Stories of a Soudntrack -- Part 1
Posted By: The Meep<HaloFanatic101@yahoo.com>
Date: 7 December 2006, 9:59 pm
Stories of a Soundtrack: Part 1
No other manuscript of the First Battle of Lost exists but this one. This is the story of a bloody fight between two rabid enemies, one seeking purity, the other fighting for survival.
Insifier Plains, Planet Lost IV, Lost System
Thunder. It seemed to be the only thing that existed on this flat plain. Thunder. And Death as well. Death was overworked on this flat, baked wasteland. Both Thunder and Death roiled across the flat crust of desert badlands. Thunder deafened and frightened those it touched while Death freed and released those it visited.
Neither, however, could come close to the whirling figure, standing among dozens of others who had been touched by the Two Plagues of the Desert Wasteland. Even though Thunder or Death could not affect him, this whirling figure sent both out in all directions, directing them like well-trained dogs.
He wasn't tall, or handsome. Wasn't overly muscled while not being too thin and wiry. He was as average as a man could be, in appearances that is. Not the kind who was looked at twice in a busy street, or the kind that stood out among others. That, however, was only appearances.
This whirling figure, Master of the Plagues, was Ethan Pitt, a warrior of no other trade of profession than sending out his Plagues upon those he faced. Adeptly trained in all manners of war, Lance Corporal Ethan Pitt was among the unrecognized elite, the unsung heroes of the Great War. Ethan Pitt was the best.
It started as a minor skirmish. A small Covenant probing force inched forward through the oven like plains of Insifier. Its purpose remains unknown to this day, but that is unimportant. What matters are its repercussions. Squads Alpha-Alpha through Mike-Zulu of the 253rd Marine Division based on Lost were deployed to the Insifier Plains to counter a potential Covenant assault upon the cities on the desert's edge. The Covenant probe force was destroyed. To counter the force that destroyed it were sent the Armies of Significant Courage and Inanimate Destruction.
The two forces met in the center of the Insifier Plains by a large rock formation known as the Blasted Boulders. Scouts from each side were sent out, minor skirmishes ensued, and the survivors reported back to their commanders. Strategies were planned, routes laid, and orders delivered. The two forces closed in, neither attacking, but both trying to gain the upper hand in a strategic grapple.
Suddenly, the two sides meet. Grunts were trampled, Warthogs were melted, Elites were shot, and Marines were incinerated. Losses were heavy, yet neither side gave in.
This is where Ethan Pitt comes in. Commanding a tank, Ethan decimated row after row of Covenant soldiers to make way for his infantry. The infantry rushed forward, trying to widen the hole punched open through Ethan's tank. They fought valiantly, but they were outgunned, outnumbered, and outfought. Soon, his infantry were all dead or wounded, and he was left alone, encircled by the remains of the Army of Significant Courage.
A plasma grenade lands on the tank and alarms blare. Ethan dives out just in time. He runs to a deserted Warthog and takes cover inside of its embrace.
The Battle rages on outside of Ethan Pitt's area. The Humans are gaining on the Covenant as row after row of the latter's troops die and fall. The Humans let out a rousing cheer at their soon to be made victory, but it is not won yet. Many were destined to die on the Insifier Plains, and the number has not yet been reached.
Ethan Pitt pulls out his two weapons, both spewing bullets as he sits up inside the vehicle and aims at his enemies. Many fall, yet Ethan does not. He continues to use the two Plagues, Thunder and Death, as he struggles to survive. He steps out of the Warthog and continues to fight. As he backs away from the vehicle yelling, the Warthog explodes, knocking down all around it.
Ethan is the first to recover as he stands and sprays his Plagues around his whirling figure. A moment later and he stops, realizing that he alone stands in a sea where the Two Plagues of the Insifier Plains reign. Ethan Pitt has joined the ranks of the unsung elite. Now he rests from his wounds, falling to the ground, uncaring of its solidity, and waits to die.
The Humans have pushed the Covenant back, away from Blasted Boulders, and are now encircling them. Many have fallen, and the number is almost reached, and the suffering of the Humans nears its end.
The remainder of the Army of Inanimate Destruction flees from the carnage before they too make the Insifier Plains their final resting place.
The Humans let out a cheer, for they have won. They fall back on the battlefield to retrieve their dead and wounded and to lick their wounds.
A Corporal finds the member of the unsung elite next to a burnign Warthog. His hand grips the neck, searching for the throb of life. Finding none, and viewing the Covenant carnage surrounding the lone man, the Corporal carries the dead man off the field of battle.
Beyond the Insifier Plains, General Marx picks up a transmitter and radios in to Sergeant Ricter on the field. He asks for an update. Ricter says "Operation: Opening Suite is a success, sir." And the General smiles.
Truth and Reconciliation Suite
2-5, 14th spin, Plateau Zeta-B1
"Touchdown in two! Prepare for immediate engagement. LZ is HOT!" the Pilot's voice screamed over the radio. Lance Corporal Fern Dus loosened the grip on the handhold as the terrain below the Pelican bay morphed from an expansive ocean into a rocky plateau. Her free hand was holding an MA5B with a customized infra-scope and silencer. Fern held it in a vice-grip, not wanting to lose her only weapon.
Her stomach fell out suddenly as the Pelican dropped like a stone to the mouth of a narrow ravine on the ground. The COM crackled again, "Kill some for me, Dren?"
Sergeant Dren replied over his radio "Sure thing Hummer.' Then, to his Marines "HIT DIRT LADIES! GO!"
Fern didn't wait for the Marines in front of her to scramble out of the bay. Instead she leaped into the aisle and hit the ground in a crouch, MA5B on her shoulder, scope in eye, and muzzle rapidly panning her flank. Her scope picked up a cold spot and her trigger finger reacted in turn. The squeal of a Grunt seemed loud compared to the silenced Assault Rifle.
Similar sounds echoed around her as her fellow Marines cleared out the immediate area. The roar of the Pelican rapidly disappeared into the night as it left to drop off the next squadron. As soon as the engine noises dissipated, Fern took off in a crouched jog, knowing her team was right behind her.
They had rehearsed this numerous times at Alpha Base, and each team knew where to go. There was no need for instructions once they hit dirt. Fern knew her objective: get to the Truth and Reconciliation's Gravity Lift and rendezvous with several other Marine squads. Once secured, they would infiltrate and neutralize the ship via the Gravity Lift.
The foundation of this plan was speed. After the first infiltration of the Truth and Reconciliation, the Human COs were sure that the ship would lift again if presented with another infiltration. All squads had to get inside the ship fast, and pray it didn't lift off before reinforcements arrived.
Fern and her squad landed roughly two hundred meters from the Gravity Lift, and was the last squad to get there. Along the way, the squad neutralized only two pockets of enemies, both Covenant, and had suffered no casualties. The rest of the Marine force had already cleared the pad of hostiles, their remains covering the ground within ten meters of the pad.
The CO of the Marine Company, McKay, was already prepping the rest of the Marines for infiltration. Fern and her squad stepped up onto the explosion scarred platform, which was glowing an eerie greenish-blue. After they checked in, one of the Artificial Intelligence's, which one Fern didn't know, activated the Gravity Lift, and they floated upward.
The hull of the ship opened for the briefest of moments as the soldiers passed through, and closed as soon as the last leg of the last Marine cleared the sensory field. They floated in the air a second, and then abruptly fell on the now closed portal. The Marines immediately spread out and scattered among various crates and vehicles that littered the floor.
Fern and her squad mates rushed behind an immobilized Wraith with a large hole in its side. Fern looked around. The floor was metallic and felt somewhat soft. The walls weren't straight but sloped up to a ceiling about eight to ten meters above her head. There wasn't an enemy in sight, unless you counted a large smear of mixed Covenant blood by the nearest hatch.
"Report in," McKay breathed over the COM.
The eight fire teams inside the cargo bay all called in, none reporting any sight of Covenant or Flood. "Good, no hostiles," McKay said. "Follow plan directory A. Wesley, overlay the control room, hangers, and key junctions over our TACMAP. Good luck Marines, FALL OUT!"
As if a switch was flipped, the stone still Marines jumped up and sprinted for the doors, each having memorized their own route. Fern and her fire team moved through a large bay door immediately to their left. The mammoth door was jammed on itself, as if struck by something large moving very fast. The team moved through a massive hallway and exited through another hefty bay door, suddenly finding themselves in a small hallway, barely large enough for them to walk upright in.
A scream, low and gargled, pierced through the air like knife. The point man, Private First Class Muz, snapped his M7 up, resting the stock on his shoulder. "We got Flood ahead. Sounds like their fighting some Covies." A pause, then "No IFF tags detected, no Marines there Sir."
"Keep going. We need to fight through it," commanded Dren.
"Sir, yes sir," replied Muz. He started forward again, slowly and surely, keeping his eyes open for any sort of ambush. After a minute, the team reached a sharp turn in the hallway where the battle noises intensified. Muz chanced a look around the corner and buzzed open the COM. "Looks like a good dozen of 'em, all shooting at each other. We can take them."
Even as he was saying this, the young Muz was priming a frag. Fern boosted her pressure dampers in her helmet and prepared for the concussion as she brought her Assault Rifle to bear.
Then three things happened at once. The metal ceiling above Muz exploded as if hit on the other side by a rocket, the grenade Muz was holding detonated from the overpressure, and the fire team was flung in all directions.
Fern was thrown against the wall behind her as if swatted by a large invisible hand. Shaking from the pain coursing through her back, she looked up and around. Muz was completely torn apart from the explosion, no piece larger than a finger was left intact. Dren and another Marine named Folk were both dead, each missing several limbs. The last two Marines, Corporals Flin and Greef, were far enough away from the grenade that they were both unwounded, if not a little dazed.
As Fern struggled to stand up, a wet squirming was heard coming from the jagged hole above what used to be Muz. "FLOOD!" Greef screamed, even as his and Flin's Assault Rifle's were aimed at the hole. A pause, and then a veritable torrent of 7.62 mm bullets slammed through the opening. Then, as quickly as it had started, the thundering weapons fire was over. The squirming had stopped, and the corridor was eerily silent. Greef and Flin let their weapons relax as they surveyed the bloody carnage around them.
There ain't a bit of him left," said Flin. His face contorted with sorrow and disgust at the remains splattered throughout the corridor.
"Sarge and Folk bought it too," muttered Greef.
Flin and Greef walked over to Fern, who was breathing heavily and struggling to remain standing. Her face was a deathly pale. Greef looked down at the shorter woman and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey girlie. You took quite a nasty hit there. You OK?"
"I'm a bit raked on the back," she said through gritted teeth. "Nothing the Sugs can't fix once we get outta here. You hurt?"
Flin was about to open his mouth to reply, but he never got a chance. A loud hiss filled the hallway as a badly distorted Human Flood unleashed an overcharged plasma shot. The ball of energy zipped forward and hit Flin right between the shoulder blades.
The energy bolt burned through him in an instant, leaving a foot wide hole in his chest with a blackened rim. Flin stumbled forward from the impact and looked dumbly down at the cavity. He put his hand through it as if searching for something, and collapsed.
"SAINT HALEY IN GLORY!" yelled Greef as he stood dumbfounded by his friend's death. He looked up at the Combat Form and suddenly snapped back to reality. The young Corporal was in the process of bringing his weapon to bear when the former Human leaped at him, iron hard tentacles flailing. The first tentacle hit Greef in the arm, breaking it, followed quickly by another one that struck him right above his collarbone, snapping his neck. The Marine flipped end for end and landed against a wall, limbs in unholy positions.
The Flood turned to face the weaponless Fern, and with an expression disturbingly similar to a grin, leaped at her. Fern watched as the creature flew the air, tentacles aiming right for her head. Time seemed to slow, and Fern felt oddly relaxed. She watched the monster with a detached sort of curiosity, and closed her eyes.
Suddenly the deck tilted downward at a forty five degree angle. The Human Combat Form, in the air and with no traction on the floor, suddenly flew to the right and hit the wall with a sickening crunch. Fern also began to move towards the right and, noticing the fact that she was still alive and that the floor was suddenly sloped, snapped out of her reverie. Pain ignored, she grabbed hold of a niche in the wall to keep herself from falling. The angle steepened and Fern felt vibrations rumbling through the deck.
Without warning, a jolt knocked Fern from her handhold and sent her falling to the right wall, which was now the floor. The walls around her bent and warped, and the rumbling grew louder. A shock wave blew through the ship as she landed on the wall, the impact knocking the breath out of here. The overpressure wave continued up through the corridor, causing the walls to wave like ocean waves. A loud crack sounded when it reached the top, or end, of the corridor. As she lay immobilized on the wall next to the Combat Form, the corridor stretching above her swiftly collapsed, encasing her in debris.
The [Truth and Reconciliation] had landed.
Next, Brothers in Arms, a tale of the sirvivors of the crashed Pillar of Autumn.
Also, Enough Dead Heroes, a poem to all those who have died in the unending struggle of survival against the Covenant.