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Super-Soldier Chronicles Part 1
Posted By: Luca<theredcorsair@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: 1 March 2010, 11:43 am

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Super-Soldier Chronicles©
By Luca

Dmitry takes a deep, lasting drag of his cigarette, enjoying the thick intoxicating fumes. The ancient smoke detectors have long malfunctioned along with the better part of the decrepit old station. Another day wasted away. The end of the universe, far away from everything that matters. Even the stars. A place where time stands still, a place where nothing matters anymore, making life a dreamless sleep. 'Deep space installation Bravo-212'. The place marines go to be forgotten.

The other marines sit in clusters a around the long steel tables, talking quietly amongst themselves. Their voices mixed with the clanging of plastic cutlery against sectioned plastic trays. Dmitry sits alone at the back of the mess hall looking out the unusual large windows to outer space. One glancing hit would blow a hole big enough to suck half the station into the cold black abyss outside. Maybe not a bad thing. Dmitry exhales putting his feet on the table knocking aide his half eaten slop with his heavy boot. The view is terrible anyway; barely even a star to look at. Just a Halcyon-class cruiser, the UNSC Bastion orbits the station lazily, only visible due to the fairly-like lights emanating from all over its armoured skin. Dmitry turns round to watch it drift pointlessly through space, wondering why command would even bother attach it to the station as it would be next to useless in an attack. So close to heaven but so far away from the angels, Dmitry thinks to himself.

A piercing alarm rings throughout the roomy mess hall before stopping abruptly. "Meals over boys!" a commanding voice shouts out. All the Marines jeer. Lunch and dinner is about all the time they get to relax. Never the less they slowly pick up their trays, dumping them near the kitchen area on a designated table. Dmitry takes a few more drags of his cigarette before casting it away. It explodes in a violent shower of embers as it hit the grounds. He picks up his cigarette pack from the table. He looks at the big picture of the Emerald Cove tucked in inside it. He sighs, gets up and follows the other marines back to the barracks through the warren of tiny corridors.

The chatty Marines arrive at the barracks wondering inside casually. Dmitry does not. He walks to a door beside the barracks entrance. He unlocks it with his key pass and enters turning on the light which buzzes as if in complaint before finally illuminating. His room is Spartan. Just a bed and a desk with a closet beside it, the walls and floors are sheet-metal like the other areas of the installation. Dmitry walks to the humble bathroom at the back and looks in the mirror above the small tarnished steel sink. He runs his calloused fingers down the burn scar on the side of his face. A reminder of the past. He washes his face and begins to shave; afterwards he slicks back his short black hair and walks to his closet. He takes out his combat fatigues and throws them on the bed. Three minutes.

Dmitry takes off his shirt. He looks down at the tattoos engraved on his chest. Just as bold as the day he was initiation into the family so many years ago in St. Petersburg. The stars over his heart and on his knees, the crucifix on his chest, the knife on his stomach. A reminder of the FSB which started this whole mess; a reminder of his past in the Russian Mafia. To make anything of yourself you had to scratch and claw your way up, be more ruthless and cold than the others. Old Russia. The heart of the beast.
Dmitry quickly throws on his grey combat fatigues and steps outside his door. 0 Minutes, inspection time. All the other marines are standing to attention in a line looking nervous and for good reason to. Dmitry casually joins them as heavy footsteps start approaching. A thick set man with a uniform so neat it's almost glowing comes round the corner at a steady pace flanked by two fierce Marines wearing blue fatigues on either side. "Good morning ladies" he calls out with his powerful voice. "Good morning Chief Ambrosio!" the Marines shout out immediately in unison, Dmitry greets the chief impartially, something which Ambrosio notices instantly with his dark eyes constantly scanning for any imperfections.

He storms over to Dmitry and stares him right in the face. His eyes so harsh they could penetrate steel. "What the hell is your problem Petty Officer Zurcov?!" he screams at the top of his lungs. Dmitry, unphased remains still looking down; he lets out an involuntary sigh.
Ambrosio watches him carefully, regarding the man's cool attitude "You are not ONI anymore, son. They have left you here to rot." He says after a moment of thick silence with a large grin of delight. Dmitry's eyes flash onto him, suspicious. "Yes, that's right, I know all about you." Ambrosio says, starting to circle slowly around Dmitry like a shark before an attack. The men closest shuffle away nervously.

"Looks like they sent you here to die, Zurcov and I will see to it that you do serving as I see fit." Ambrosio said drawing his razor-sharp Titanium combat knife putting it to Dmitry's throat. "I am Chief Petty Officer Ambrosio, ranking officer and commander of this installation...none of you forget that!" he shouted addressing the men, his armed marines coldly scanning the men's reactions. Ambrosio lets out a wolfish grin turning back to Dmitry casually putting the knife back to his neck with "That means I own you now." He pauses, his smile fading fast "However it looks like someone loves you enough to give you an officer's rank with officers 'comforts'" He said pointing with his thick head to Dmitry's cabin. "That doesn't mean shit to me, not here. I am the Chief. You don't forget that" Ambrosio said fiercely, his eyes wide. Dmitry stands as still as a monument, eyes staring forward blankly. "That's better" The Chief says slowly withdrawing the knife from Dmitry's neck so it draws blood. He does not even flinch. The chief yanks Dmitry by the cuff closer to him "Pull it together Zurcov! Your ass belongs to me..." The Chief whispers right in his ear. Ambrosio throws him back and nods to his men. Dmitry straitens up quickly before the Marines in blue grab him, pulling him away from the group. Dmitry watches the Chief walk off down the line inspecting the men's boots, his ear ringing.

"I wear your uniform Ambrosio but I am not part of your Corps." Dmitry says calmly in his thick Russian accent; fighting the two Marines trying to pull him away. Ambrosio freezes mid-step, his dark hazel eye burn like hot coals and his moustache quivers when he swivels round. He storms over to Dmitry seizing a gun off one of his remaining blue Marines and immediately rams the butt into Dmitry's stomach who falls to his knee coughing; the Marines behind him pull him up. His coughs and splutters turn to chuckles as he pulls something out of his pocket "You want one Chief? They hit harder than you" Dmitry manages to speak though his laughter and sharp breaths, offering his cigarettes.
"That wasn't funny, Zurcov. Take him" Ambrosio says slowly, thinly veiling his fury. The two Marines behind him pull the coughing Dmitry, he goes willingly laughing. "I own you now Zurcov and I will break you!" Ambrosio calls out after him, glaring at him till he goes out of site.

Dmitry spends the next 8 hours handcuffed to the toilet door on deck B 'guarding against queers' as one of the Marines put it who chained him up.
The hours pass agonisingly slow but it was worth it. It was worth it for the adrenaline at least. He stares with glazed eyes out the window, the Halcyon-class cruiser the UNSC Bastion lazily orbiting the station every hour or so. Dmitry looks sceptically at the MAC gun and ARCHER missile pods and the dated armour frame of the ship. It arrived three months ago and never left. The cruiser eventually passes out of sight and out of mind; Dmitry resumes his search for the elusive stars.

A few hours later he is back in his cabin. Another mind numbing day over. He takes out another cigarette and smokes it while lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Three left, worse yet it's his last pack of the thirty he was given at the Emerald Cove a few months back by one of the smugglers. After he finishes Dmitry prepares for sleep, ready to rise again at '4am' and re-live another pointless day. Ambrosio was right; at least command was kind enough to give him his own cabin, probably because they know he would eat all the other Marines for breakfast. Dmitry laughs at the thought and turns off the light, quickly falling sleep.

The night passes unpleasantly as it always did. Ever since his last assignment he had nightmares. He sees himself back on the planet, Emerald Cove among the rebels on their secret paradisal base. The bright tropical sun, the clear blue ocean lapping up against the golden beach beside 'The Fortress', an impregnable rebel base which sprung up after the UNSC abandoned the planet due to fears of it being glassed by passing covenant fleet.

The dream becomes more cryptic and surreal. People with hazy faces ask him how he is but they fade away before he can answer. He sees him. The leader of the rebels, the General Simba, a hulking man standing eight foot tall, pearl white teeth in a grin, skin as black as coal. He hears his booming voice thunder through his troubled mind, somehow distant. 'Dmitry. We fight for freedom; we fight for a right to be our own men and women, not part of a government on the other side of the universe, telling us what to do and how to live, what do they know?! Your one of us now and we will fight for you.

The memory of secretly disabling the ground based super MAC and orbital radar flash through his mind. The last image he sees is fire and death from the unexpected orbital bombardment he initiated. He sees is a whole company of Marines storming the camp, flames and screams everywhere followed by bullets and bombs. His last vision is the General wrestling with a SPARTAN 2 super soldier and falling into the burning sea.
It was his fault. He brought the demons into Eden, into paradise. Destroying it forever. Destroying the hopes and dreams of men. Destroying it all forever
Dmitry wakes up sweating and breathing heavily.

"You have betrayed your friends; you betrayed your dreams but Dmitry, it's not too late." The General's distant, disapproving words echoes through his head.

Dmitry sits up as if he was pulled by something. He looks around his dark windowless room and wipes the burning sweat from his face. Its wetter than it should be. He looks at his hand, blood. He lets out a sigh and gets up to the bathroom. The light snaps on cruelly, he squints against the abrasive light and turns on the tap to full. He looks into the mirror. His face is bleeding again. He washes off the blood revealing a sharp scar more like a gouge on the right side of his face just under his eye. "Some memories won't allow us to forget." he whispers hoarsely to himself with a forced smirk. He reaches for the medicine cabinet.
Before he has a chance to open it he is thrown out the bathroom into the wall in the bedroom. The lights flicker emitting a grating buzzing noise. Dmitry drops to the floor and braces himself as he was trained to do. His mind starts to race, his heart beating on overdrive. Excitement mingled with adrenaline in a powerful cocktail. He wonders if it is another meteor shower. Last time they had one they had to seal sector 8 due to atmosphere leakage. No, he had a strange feeling this time. The station lurches again and this time the light does not come back on. Startled voices come from the barracks. The red emergency lights cut in, illuminating the darkness a bloody red. "At least something works here" Dmitry says to himself. Picking himself up. He throws on his combat fatigues and rushes outside. The corridor is full of Marines looking confused and nervous. Dmitry heads over to them. The station shakes violently again, the metal groaning under the stress of the impacts. Dmitry knew what it was, he controlled his nerves and focused. Finally the emergency alarms went off. Its sharp sound screeching through the metal halls. Chief Ambrosio runs into the scene followed by his four armed Marines. "What the hell is this? Cut that god damn alarm!" he shouts into his radio. A few seconds later it stops to the relief of all ears. Ambrosio listens intently to the radio walking far enough so none can hear.

"Alright ladies! Some Covenant fighters some how wondered into our area, the installation has taken a bit of a beating but they have been taken out. I want a full sweep of the station" He shouts abruptly. Dmitry could see anxiety in his eyes. Looks like the Chief has got comfy here, like the 'Toy-Soldier' 'Green-Marines' who were nothing short of panicked. Dmitry knew he was waiting for something like this; he was a soldier since he could breathe and some.

"Chief...There will be more. It sounds like it was only a recon unit. The station is lost; we must leave before the main hunting party arrives." Dmitry cuts in coolly, fixing his steely black eyes on the Chief. The men seeing the fury in Ambrosio's face shuffle aside until Dmitry is in his clear view. Ambrosio takes a few steps closer "Well look who we have here...Our resident expert on Covenant tactics. Why the ONI let go of such a genius I will never know" He says sarcastically reaching for his knife. The alarms cut in again. "What the..." Ambrosio was cut short by a large explosion nearby which sent all the men flying in all directions. A wave of superheated steam burst out of the faulty pipes right over their heads. The carnage ceased as suddenly as it began. The sound of screeching, grinding metal and the rushing sound of steam was replaced with coughs and groans. Chief Ambrosio stumbled clear to the airlock down the hall with the rest of the men, Dmitry followed, he looked round at the few unlucky men that were flash fried by the steam. "Seal the Airlock!" Ambrosio roared "But sir! Some are still aliv..." A Marine began "That's an order!" Ambrosio shouted at Soldier withdrawing his pistol putting it in his face, punching the manual airlock control panel with his other hand "Yes sir!" The Marine replied, shaking. Dmitry looked on in silence as the injured men were slowly sealed into their tombs.
The station intercom cut in. "All personnel on full alert. Covenant boarding parties inbound." The station A.I said coolly. "Shit..." Ambrosio whispered under his breath, walking quickly his four loyal blue Marines following close behind, the only armed ones onboard. The Chief stops abruptly before a thick metal door. He punches in a series of numbers into the wall mounted key pad. The door flies open. "Get yourselves kitted up boys. We are going to clear a path to the lifeboats, time to lock and load! Go, go, go! " he shouts over the crowd. Dmitry walked in after letting a bulk of the force go in before. Some men picked a weapon fast, others fumbled with shaky hands. Dmitry looked over the rows of weapons mounted upon the wall mounted racks and the ammo on racks beneath them. He took a BR55 battle rifle and a M6C SOCOM off the wall and loads them, stuffing seven extra magazines in his belt and one in his shoe. Seven was lucky. He notices a young Marine to his left having trouble loading his weapon.

Dmitry turns to him. "What is your name soldier?" He asks with his thick characteristic Russian accent. The soldier looks back at him nervously; it was the first time Dmitry spoke to any of the others "W-W-W...Private Wilson...S...Sir..." he stutters. "Give me your gun Private W-W-Wilson" Dmitry says with a little smile to reassure the young soldier. The soldier hands him the gun with shaky hands. Dmitry looks him in the eye till he receives the weapon; he loads it and cocked with such ease only a veteran could have, handing it back briskly "There you go Private Wilson" Dmitry says with a grin. "Thanks...I guess" Wilson replied, looking at his weapon with confusion. Dmitry nods, double checks his rifle; finding a flaw in the bullet chamber he switches it for another. "Sir?" Wilson says after a moment of hesitation "Do you think we will make it? I have never fought Covenant before...I don't want to die... I...I think you know more about this stuff than the Chief..." Wilson looks around nervously "Don't tell him I said that..."

"Private Wilson, we will make it, just keep your head down" Dmitry replies with earnest "Stay behind me" He whispers before striding out of the crowded armoury. "Come on ladies! We got aliens to kill. Move! Move! Move!" Ambrosio shouts impatiently, his rifle balanced on his hip. The last of the men rush out as the armoury door seals. The station rocked gently. "Attention all personnel, Covenant boarding parties located on sector 6" the cool female voice rings out through the station intercom. "Alright, that's where we are headed. I want to clear all corridors on the way. Dmitry! You cover the rear, if we are ambushed I want you to be the first to die, the rest stay close and ears open" he shouts before moving off. Dmitry smirks, staying at the back. "Fire crew, report to bridge. All research personnel to landing bay Section-6".

The Marines stalk down the passages, guns to their shoulders, moving quickly and quietly on full alert for anything. Sector 6 was a good walk away and all was clear so far, not even a whisper. "Sir? Is it true you are in the ONI?" Wilson says quietly beside Dmitry "How old are you?" he replies not looking at him "Eight-teen, sir! I sighed up before they could draft me!" Wilson says with an air of pride. Dmitry noticed the eagerness the youth's eyes and could not help but pity him; he had the 'new soldier look'. He had not yet experienced the horrors and misery of battle. Worse yet, he even liked the kid.

Ambrosio raised his hand; the marines halted and scanned the area "Bravo-Team? What's your status?" The Chief said into the radio "Bridge is secure sir, the last of the scientist are moving down to the hanger" a voice breaks through the intense static "Alright, erase the data banks. I don't want to leave anything for them, and I mean anything. Do you understand me, soldier!?" "Yes sir!" "Good, when your done get those eggheads to my position" Ambrosio growled "sir, yes sir." Dmitry wondered what information was so important that it would make Ambrosio so anxious about its destruction. There were no co-ordinates to earth on static installations.
The chief flicked the channel on his radio "Team Romeo?" "Sir?" a reply came after a brief pause "Status report" "Area-5 secure, on route to Area-6, sir" "Lock it down, soldier" Ambrosio said. "Alright boys, we are going to secure the escape pod bays, eyes and ears open from here on" Ambrosio said cocking his weapon.

Within a few minutes they were approaching Area-6, an emergency hanger used as a storage room since the last one was sealed off. The escape pods were at the end through a maze of crates of all different shapes and materials. The Chief raised his hand "Romeo?" No reply came. The Chief looked around the hanger. He motions for everyone to follow. The Marines follow, guns raised, Ambrosio taking point. Dmitry strains his ears for any sound. They should have heard some sign of the Covenant boarding parties long ago, it's been too quiet. A few jittery Marines flick their weapons to various corners of the room, imagining they heard something. The lighting is bad; most of the lights have malfunctioned; only the dull red security lights give any illumination to the area. "Sir...What's that?" whispered, straining to keep his panicked voice quiet. Blood and lots of it. "Shit..." Ambrosio uttered, looking around the room frantically.

A deep throaty roar issued from ahead. The men froze, raising their weapons wearily to the sound. Dmitry heard quiet footsteps behind him. He turned quickly to see a pair of Jackals, strafing out of a group of crates with raised plasma shields close off the way they came, their only escape. Dmitry opened fire whilst moving to dive behind a group of crates, the bullets harmlessly bouncing off their shields. He hit the cold steel floor hard narrowly missing two supercharged plasma bolts flying into a pair of Marines. Their backs opening wide to a fountain of blood. "Ambush!! Get into cover!!" Ambrosio shouted, guns blazing desperately in all directions at the emerging enemies. The rest of Alpha-Company took cover behind groups of metal crates as six black Elites and their cadres of feral grunts came, emerging from the maze ahead in all angles.

Dmitry and Wilson were a few metres away from the bulk of the group, at the back. "Private? You hurt?!" Dmitry shouted over the roar of gunfire. "I'm good sir!"Wilson called back, pressed up against a fridge-size crate on the other side of the small pathway. Dmitry looked back to the Marines. It was a stalemate, the Covenant had them pinned but they were returning enough fire to keep them from getting close, still. They would not last forever.
Dmitry curses, the situation is bad. He raises his head slightly over cover. Three plasma bolts fly past, so close he feels his skin peel and blister. Dmitry grits his teeth against the pain, the smell of burning flesh and hair hanging in the area around him. "Sir!? You ok?!" Wilson shouts out. "Private! I need some suppression fire on five!" Dmitry calls out over the raucous. The sound of combat was deafening, he could feel his ear drums rattle. Bullets ricocheting, plasma bolts lighting the gloomy room, heating it up too.

Wilson opened fire, shooting wildly at the stalwart Jackals. A plasma bolt hits Wilson; he falls back with a scream, dropping his rifle. Dmitry immediately pops up from cover, opening fire at their weak legs before they recover, the bullets ricocheted off the ground under their shields, slamming into their legs. They tumble over with strange birdlike screams. Dmitry sprays them with bullets, purple blood and gore flying into the air. He then ducks behind cover, shooting a look at the Marines ahead.

Piles of dismembered grunts lie dead before the Marine's line of fire. A few Elites moving from cover to cover almost faster than the eye can see. Their shields flaring as stray bullets hit. "Keep it up men!" Ambrosio roared from behind his cover on the same side as Dmitry. The rest of the Marines behind some crates to his left fired relentlessly. They would run out of ammo soon, if they were lucky enough to live that long. They were taking casualties, fast. Wilson was back against the crate, his left hand pressed up against his body, shaking. It was badly burned, his skin melted and bloody. He held a pistol in his other hand. Dmitry nodded.

Movement where the dead Jackals lay caught Dmitry's eye. He ducked as three yellowish plasma bolts slammed into his crate, ripping huge chunks off the tormented metal. Three Jackals cautiously moving to take the place of their fallen comrades. He heard a scream and looked up. The Jackals were literally torn to pieces, dismembered by a hail of bullets. Behind them 'Bravo-Team' came running, just arrived from the bridge. They ran right past Dmitry and Wilson taking places by Ambrosio and his near over-whelmed men.
Dmitry dashes to Wilson's Position. "You ok?" he asked looking at his hand. "I'm ok, sir." Wilson replied, his face a mask of strength. "Ok, follow me, stay close" Dmitry says quickly, looking Wilson in the eye. Dmitry dives from cover to cover, keeping low with Wilson in tow. Another door comes clear ahead; Dmitry remembered it from guard duty long ago. It's supposed to lead round to the escape bays. Dmitry and Wilson make the last dash to the door when a group of grunts spot them, firing chaotically. They dodge the deadly plasma orbs, some passing uncomfortably close. They make it to the door. Dmitry presses up against the wall by the entrance. The bloodthirsty grunts come running. He leans out of cover at the last moment and riddles them with an entire clip, they all fall screaming and dead draped over each other in pools of luminous blue blood. The pursuers dead Dmitry looks down the hall. Wilson's facade of cool begins to crack as tears run down his face.
Dmitry looks at him inquiringly "T...The p-pain...Sir...I-I am...Ok...What about the others." He says breathing heavily. He looks down the corridor "Cover me from the end; I am going to seal this." Dmitry says sternly. A look of regret passes over Wilson's face before he moves off, raising his pistol. Dmitry looks to the Marines
The impatient Covenant forces were swarming with a fury into the bay. Dmitry stared in disbelief, he had never seen or heard of a boarding party this numerous or determined.
"Pull back! There are too many!" Dmitry shouts at the top of his lungs. Another pack of grunts begin opening fire on his position.

Ambrosio instantly turns round "Screw you Zurcov! No one moves or I shoot them myself!!" he shouts back before any Marines get a chance to move. Unnoticed by the distracted Chief, a crafty grunt makes it through, leaping up onto the crate where he is sheltering behind displaying unusual agility; it puts its plasma pistol to Ambrosio's head and fires. The last thing the Chief sees is his brain matter and the back of his skull fly out his mouth. A few Marines panic and try to run to Dmitry but are cut down mercilessly by the crafty black Elites. The grunts attract two Elites who begin moving towards Dmitry. "I tried." Dmitry sighs, punching the control panel "NOOO!" One of the Marines desperate as the doors seal shut. Mercifully the screams and explosions are cut off with the door closing.
A thick silence fell. Dmitry's ears rang like a million tiny bells due to the intense noise. "Where are the others?!" Wilson calls out. Dmitry sighs, turning round to explain. He freezes, raising his weapon. "W-what...?" Wilson stuttered, confused. "Get down!!" Dmitry roared, trying to find an opening. Wilson's eyes open wide in terror. Too late.

A jet black Elite seizes the unaware Marine by the neck lifting him high into the air. Wilson kicks, letting out a choked cry, dropping his weapon. The Elite laughs in its deep throaty way. Dmitry fires a shot at the Elite, its shield flares as the bullets strikes it in the head. The Elite roars in indignation, discharging his rifle into the Marines lower back. Wilson screams as his guts fly out his abdomen in a bloody mess spraying all over the floor, ceiling and walls. Dmitry feels his stomach turn at the gory sight. The Elite lets out another laugh throwing the corpse down where it falls in a pathetic heap upon the floor. The creature charges at Dmitry with blinding speed. Dmitry lets out a scream of rage as he opens fire, the Elites shields flared violently. They give out as the rifle clicks empty.

It smacks the gun from Dmitry's hands, punching him in the chest with its open palm. Dmitry goes flying back, hitting the floor hard sliding to a stop, his head spinning uncontrollably from the impact. He whips out his pistol, frantically opening fire; the Elite fluidly dodges the clumsy bullets. The clip clicked on empty. Dmitry reached for another clip on his belt; the creature flew forward stamping its hoof on his wrist, pinning it to the ground fast. The creature cackled, applying pressure steadily, its toothy mandibles with delight. Its dark armour glistening with the fresh blood of the fallen Marine. Dmitry attempts to move, the creature applies more pressure. The pain growing more and more intense. So intense he feels his bones start to crack. The creature draws its plasma rifle pointing it at Dmitry's head. He closes his eyes and begins muttering a prayer. Every soldier must one day die in the field.

The pressure and pain disappear. He sharply opens his eyes, staring in disbelief.
The Elite was struggling with something arching its back, its weapon hand behind its back. A bear-like shiny metal hand held the back of the Elite's head. It let out a loud keen as its skull caves in like a cracked egg. The body crumples to the ground revealing Dmitry's saviour. A midnight blue armour clad man standing almost 7ft and hulking like a beast, his outstretched fist covered in purple gore. He wore a helmet with a reflective visor hiding his face. A SPARTAN II super soldier.

Dmitry blinks rubbing his face. He picks himself up and spits on the Elite. Wilson's mutilated corpse sickening him. He forces the image and memory out of his mind for the moment. He looks up at the SPARTAN.

He gets an odd sensation. His thoughts suddenly rip him from the installation back to the Emerald Cove. He looks around at the bullets screaming through the air, the explosions and blood. The ODST's swarming over the rebel base. Longsword fighters mercilessly cutting down the fleeing survivors. His mind pulled him to the scene where General Simba grappled with a sleek blue SPARTAN. Even with its enhanced strength it struggled. Both powerful figures falling into the ocean out of sight amid the flames and death. Him?

You..." Dmitry says finally, pushing the rushing thoughts out of his head looking at the SPARTAN in shock. "Sir...We need to move, are you ok?"

"Who are you...Soldier" Dmitry says rubbing his aching head. "Marcus-268" he replies in a deep, slightly distorted voice. Dmitry scrutinizes the SPARTAN. Abruptly he pulls out his cigarettes, puts one in his mouth lighting it. Marcus stood motionless, his armour glaring to the flash of the warning lights. "Ok...Let's move" Dmitry says picking up his gun, reloading it. Marcus nods, turns and walks off. Dmitry stops by Wilson "Rest in peace kid, you're in a better place now. Sorry I couldn't join you." He whispers.
Marcus-268 was a strange for a SPARTAN. He strode as if he did not have a care in the world, he always seemed distracted and distant. Dmitry could have sworn Marcus would sing quietly to himself from time to time as they went. They walked from corridor to corridor to loading bay to corridor. Each was empty and similar to the last. Quiet aside from the occasional beeping sirens.

"You smoke?" Dmitry asks exhaling a large amount of smoke. "No...I don't think so..." Marcus says somewhat unsure. "Then you must be super-human. How are we getting out of here?" Dmitry says "Area 4, there are still some pods there." Marcus replies "Area 4? It has been sealed...atmosphere leak" Dmitry replies taking another drag of the cig. "...Chill, I checked the maintenance records, didn't say why it was sealed. 50% chance"
"What?! Maybe I find my own way out." Dmitry spat
"I can't let you do that. There is only one way back and I need that sealed, as long as it's sealed we will be..." A loud explosion a fair distance away echoes through the halls. Marcus freezes and turns round; Dmitry readies his weapon to the sudden sound. "I think we should run for a bit..." Marcus continues "I think your right" Dmitry shouts back. Marcus was merely power walking while Dmitry was in a flat out sprint just managing to keep up with him. Deep throaty voices roar in the distance, catching up.
They ran through the warren of corridors till they came face to face with a large steel blast door with a sign on it 'WARNING: DO NOT OPEN'. Dmitry gives the control panel on the wall a quick look. "It's locked down...It will take a little while to override it" Marcus said calmly "Little while?! Can you hear that? We don't have a little while!" Dmitry shouts back. The sounds of hurried footsteps grew louder and closer. Marcus was absorbed in the little control panel, his hulking frame bent over the tiny device. "Hmmm...Harder than I thought..." He mutters under his breath. Dmitry stares at him in disbelieve. His heart begins to pound in his chest. There was nowhere to hide if they got caught up in a fight.

A clumsy footstep round the corner seizes Dmitry's attention; he raises his gun in a hair trigger reaction, ears straining for any sound. "Marcus...I heard something..." Dmitry whispered. "Nothing on my motion sensors...Just need a little more time..." Marcus says distantly. Dmitry stares so hard at the emptiness it almost hurts. His senses heightened, like an animal sensing a predator closing in. When the Elite flew round the corner Dmitry fired before it did. Its shields flare violently, it let out a loud roar discharging its weapon. Two purple orbs strike Dmitry in the arm-plate. They burst, ripping through the armour into his flesh. Dmitry roars in pain. Marcus dives in front of the wounded soldier. The SPARTAN's shield flares as the follow up shots slam into him. Marcus raises his plasma pistol and releases a supercharging plasma bolt. The black Elite attempts to dodge in vein as the ball of superheated plasma homes in, splashing into his chest depleting his shields. Marcus fires another supercharged plasma ball at the stunned Elite, doubled over in pain. The second shot hits it square in the left arm tearing it off at the shoulder. The Elite spins spraying thick blood in a large purple arch.

Dmitry has already taken out his field medi-kit from his belt. Crouched on the floor he grunts as he applies the bandage. Marcus stands nobly in front of Dmitry like an unbreakable wall. "More inbound..." He states. "This time you hold them off while I fix this" Dmitry says picking himself up to the control panel. Three Jackals charge round the corner, surprised by the sudden appearance of the SPARTAN. Marcus bolts forward slamming into one with such force its ribcage and skull implodes. He spins quickly discharging three rounds into the one on his left. The other backed away huddled behind its newly erected shield, shooting wildly at the giant. Marcus stands side on to protect himself. He takes careful aim. He fires blasting the aliens hand off, he fires another shot into its head bursting it like a ripe melon. The creature buckles, spasming sickly. "You done having fun?" Dmitry questions. The door groans into life, creaking as it opens. As soon the gap is big enough Marcus and Dmitry run through. Before them is a pitch black corridor. Marcus switches on his visor light and scans the area. "Like I thought; Power leakage" he says calmly. Dmitry smirks, punching at the door controls. They walk on as it slams behind them, covering their escape. "You knew all along..."

It did not take them long before they reached the escape pod bay. A dark area with at least thirteen pods lined up. They walked till Marcus stopped at one, the last one. Number 13. "This one..." he says motioning to it. Despite the power failure the doors open and the lights come on, unlike on the others they passed. Marcus and Dmitry walk in and take seats strapping themselves in. The SPARTAN looked cramped and uncomfortable. The craft was bigger than the other life pods as it had a cockpit and room for 12 personnel and better engines. It was certainly a new installation on the station, possibly three months old.
"Who's flying?" Dmitry asked after a moment of awkward silence. "That would be me" A soft, voice with a distinctive tint of arrogance called out of the cockpit. The owner of the voice steps out. He looks like a pirate out of some old English buccaneer novel. Long rich silk shirt covered in tassels, baggy black pants with a silver rapier dangling from a lose belt with a pistol on the other side. The man looks to Marcus "Has your Tin-can head completed the task?" he says with a sneer. Marcus nods, taking hold of a support, looking away.

Dmitry frowns and takes another cigarette, only two left. He knew where he was going. Only they would send such a freaky team.

Dmitry stares at the midnight-blue SPARTAN, the one who saved his life and his alone, the one now sitting curtly as if there was nothing out of the ordinary happening. "I know you...Emerald Cove...The General..." Dmitry says breaking the silence, taking another deep drag of the cigarette. Marcus remained motionless for a few moments before nodding. Dmitry was about to continue when Marcus put his finger to where his lips would be.

"We good, gentlemen?" The strange pilot calls out sarcastically. "All good" Marcus replies quietly. The craft rocked as super-compressed air fired it out into space. Dmitry leans back in his chair putting his foot on the seat opposite. He looks out the window at the Covenant cruiser amid the remains of the fallen UNSC Bastion near the installation, being in the navy sucked. Marcus suddenly came alive, pulling something from his magnetic leg holster. A detonator.

"We are now clear......nnnnow." The pilot calls back from the cockpit. Marcus flips the lid open and presses the big red button. The Installation flashes into a fierce brilliant white fireball before drowning in the oppressive vacuum of space. Flying bits of debris of all sizes fly in all directions. Dmitry smiles when he sees the Covenant Cruiser spin out of control, half of it blown away. "I wonder if admiralty will give me that kill! Ha!" The pilot shouts out cheerily. "Where are you taking me?" Dmitry asks, curious if he was correct in his assumptions.
"You're going to see him. Better start practising licking boots. Can't wait...ETA 29 hours" the eccentric pilot shouts back. Dmitry looks at Marcus for clarity. Marcus looks away, avoiding his gaze. Dmitry shrugs, slumping back into his uncomfortable seat, enjoying the rest of his cigarette. "Any food on board?" He jokes "This isn't a god damn cruise liner, sit down, and shut the hell up." The pilot shouts now sounding pissed. 29 hours, not long enough.

In Russia there is a saying in the Mafia. Vory v zakone, it translates as 'thieves in law'. They are all thieves in law. ONI, UNSC, UEG. They sacrificed everyone's life on the station. He knew long ago their lives were signed away when he arrived; they never had a chance, not even Wilson. Vory v Zakone. Why he was pulled out so soon, he would soon find out.