Fort Underworld Pt 4
Posted By: K. Beitzel and J.B.<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 20 June 2010, 11:41 pm
Alexis threw herself against the wall next to the doorway and tossed her sidearm to the elite. Dumbfounded, Hyla stared at the marine.
"Can you fight?" Alexis asked, batting off a stray infection form.
Hyla wrapped her long finger around the trigger of the pistol, aimed at the heart of an infected marine and fired once. He fell and was consumed by more squid-like infection forms. "Yes, but this weapon is not effective against the swarm."
"That's what this is for.." Alexis raised her rifle and sprayed the pile of filth. Like popcorn, the bulbous jellies exploded one after the other, leaving a gap to run through, "We're meeting the Sergeant at the elevator, let's go. Double time!"
Hyla followed Alexis through the mess of wounded and infected, being careful not to slip on the slime coating the floor. The door before them opened, leading them down a ramp to another door leading to the chamber housing the elevator. It failed to open.
"Dama!" Hyla cursed, "Locked, quarantine protocol."
Alexis kept her rifle trained on the still-open door to the main section, "Can't you override it? You elites are supposed to know all about this Forerunner bullshit!"
The young elite looked at the console on the door, "Yes. Give me a minute."
Two carrier forms squeezed into the doorway above, "We don't have a minute! Get that door open! Now!" Alexis fired into one of the carriers, causing it to explode with the force of a grenade. The second carrier was sent flying down the ramp, right into Alexis' arms.
The door slid open, "Got it!" Hyla chirped, "Let's get- oh no.."
The throbbing infection form had thrown Alexis to the floor, and was swelling, ready to blow. Hyla hitched the still-unconscious Kig-Yar securely over her shoulder and grabbed Alexis' arm, wrenching her free of the bubbling carrier form. Hyla tossed Alexis and Riko into the room, shutting the door after them, then turned in time to see the carrier burst like a giant balloon, flinging her backward into the door and showering her with slime.
Alexis stood, dumbfounded. She had been a second from death, and an alien had taken the hit for her. She frowned, Decker would be royally pissed about this, but at least she still had the jackal.
She nudged it with her boot, "And why the hell aren't you helping?" but the Jackal didn't wake. With a heavy sigh, Alexis dragged his unconscious body to the central elevator and sat with a thud beside him, "Well, here's hoping Decker has more luck getting his group out alive, huh?"
Hyla blinked through the muck, her head was swimming yet again and her body felt tingly. She groped around for her weapon, found Alexis' AR and blindly got to her feet. Her ears were ringing from the explosion, and her vision was clouded by the slime. It reeked of death.
She remembered her objective. She had to get out, she had to join the others. She turned to the door and punched in the combination to the lock. Just as she was about to confirm it she felt the probe punch into her neck. She cried out in pain as the infection form wrapped its legs around her neck, forcing its way into her body. She reached back, gripping it by its feelers, and slammed herself against the door repeatedly. It only drove the needle-like probe deeper into her neck, the pain was unbearable.
She slammed her fist on the console, opening the door, "Human!" she gurgled before falling to her knees.
"Holy mother of-" Alexis got to her feet and sprinted over, snatching back her rifle, "Eat someone else's tier-three asset you slimy son of a bitch!" with that, she slammed the butt of her rifle down on the infection form, crushing it. Hyla peeled its remains from her neck and painfully removed its probe, any longer and she may have succumbed to the will of the infection.
"You alright?" Alexis offered a hand.
The elite stood, shakily, and wiped muck from her face, "I hope so.. what now?"
"We wait for the Sergeant. Three minutes, then we leave. In the meantime, we watch this doorway, none of those.. things.. get in. You understand?"
Hyla nodded in agreement.
"Here." Alexis picked up her sidearm from the gory mess lying by the door and handed it back to Hyla, "Don't lose this, it could mean the difference between life and death." Hyla nodded in reply. "Now, watch the door, carefully. Friendlies could be coming through any minute now, we don't want to blow their heads off by accident."
The flash-lights of numerous MA5Bs illuminated the hallway as Decker approached.
Decker slowly came around the corner, hands raised, and gave the counter-sign: "Atom." The Marine closest to the door didn't lower his rifle. "Sarge... is that really you?"
Decker's eyebrow rose quizzically. The Marine got the hint. "So what's the plan then? I ain't staying in this shit any more, man. No way."
"The plan, Marine, is exactly that. We're getting the hell out of here. Evac birds are already on their way, and I've got someone working on the elevator to get us topside." Decker patted his rifle and checked the chamber. "And if anything gets between us and the summit, well, sucks to be them."
The Marine still didn't seem convinced. "With all due respect, they just took out our whole damn command center, sir. It's down to just us four, your guys, and the package. How in the hell do you expect us to-"
Decker cut the soldier off. "Private, I will not have you question my authority when I need everyone in this fight! We're rendezvousing with Rodriguez and the squid whether you like it or not. I don't care if you approve, I only ask that you obey. Are we clear?"
"Good. Now grab whatever you can, because we're getting out of here, all of us. The ODSTs may go feet first into hell, but today we're all going to walk out of it in one piece."
Decker and the remaining Marines soon found their way into the elevator chamber, where Hyla was still watching the doorway, weapon raised and pointed at the humans. He slapped the sidearm towards the ground as he passed. "Point that God-damned thing down, squid. Rodriguez, we're all here. How's the elevator coming along?"
Hyla slammed her fist on the locking control and discarded her weapon, kicking it at the group, "It isn't 'coming along', Sir." she quoted with her fingers, "If we didn't watch this door for you, there would be nobody here to secure the chamber. Your welcome party would consist of these.. abominations.. and you would be consumed."
The elite glared at Decker, "You are in charge, you passed the order to shake this hive?"
Decker squared his shoulders, "I gave the order to bust open the lower chamber, yes."
"With no regard to the multiple warnings? Can none of you decipher the glyphs left by the Forerunners? Do none of you know what they mean?" She looked around at the group, who stared back, stupidly. Hyla sighed heavily with frustration, "Of course not, otherwise we wouldn't even be in this mess.."
Alexis blinked at the sudden outburst from the elite, then cautiously eyed her CO. He stood silent, knuckles white as he gripped his weapon.
"Fe'het.. watch the door." Hyla muttered, wiping goo from her cheek as she trudged toward the centre console, "I'll start on the elevator.."
"Irving, watch her in case she tries to leave without us. Not that she would make it very far without an escort.." Alexis added warningly.
With a growl, Hyla began the process. The encryption was far more complex than any of the other doors. "Get comfortable. This may take longer than I first anticipated."
Decker crossed his arms and arced his brow slightly. "How long, exactly?"
The elite turned and jabbed a long finger in Decker's direction, readying a retort only to be cut off by a Marine pressed against the door.
"Sarge...out there. I can hear them. Coming. This way." Decker could practically feel the tension in his voice as the soldier whispered. He made his way over to the Marine and did a quick sensor sweep. Decker's tracker buzzed to life, showing a large, pulsing swarm slowly crawling towards the elevator shaft.
"Of course. Nothing can ever be easy. Get it together Marine, we're going to get out of this alive. Walters," he barked, "what did you and the boys manage to pull out of camp before you bailed out?"
Cpl. Walters kicked the lid off a large footlocker he and another Marine had carried into the room. "We grabbed this from storage once we heard we were under attack. Haven't had a chance to look inside until now." Walters pushed aside the lightweight foam packing material covering the contents and frowned. "Looks like a M247 with a couple of box mags, extra MA5B ammo in various flavors, and shotgun shells. Not that those will do us any good without shotguns."
"The ammo. What types of ammo are in there?"
"It's mostly armor-piercing, standard issue FMJ shit. Other than that, there's four baggies worth of JHP and one or two bags of shredder rounds - JHCs, that's good stuff, but frankly sir, I'd much rather have had this thing be full of welding torches."
Decker scratched his chin. There was enough ammo in the crate for a holding action, but an extended firefight would be suicide. "Here," he said, grabbing the two bags of shredder rounds. "There's five of us, six counting our lady friend over here and seven if you count the squid. We're going to split the ammo in here; I want everyone to load two magazines. First mag will be thirty rounds shredder, then thirty rounds JHP. Second mag will be all JHP, and anything left over we'll fill with armor-piercing. Those anti-personnel rounds should give us the advantage, at least from the start. I'll man the two-forty-seven and set up in the center of the room. We'll have you and everyone else hunker down behind whatever you can find, make that doorway a killzone. If nothing else, maybe we can clog the door with their bodies until this thing finishes with the elevator." He thumbed to Hyla who scowled back.
"Sounds like a plan to me, sir." Walters grabbed the munition packs and began relaying Decker's orders to the remaining Marines.
Decker attached the box magazine to his new M247 and sighed as he muttered to himself. "For all our sakes, I sure as hell hope we live long enough to find out if it was a good plan."