NEW MOMBASA—4 days after first orbital drop
TIME: 5:42 A.M.
"Damnit Backlash!! You filthy Sangheili, fucking piece of SHIT!!!" Jackson swung his fist as hard as he could at the elite's face, but failed to make a hit. Backlash let out a growl and threw his elbow in Jackson's face knocking him to the ground.
" You will never stop us sky leaper!" Backlash yelled as he began to walk to pick up his weapon. Jackson stood up and spit blood from his mouth then chuckled a little. Backlash grabbed his weapon and pointed it at Jackson. The two looked at each other for a bit, each seeming to try and understand the other. "You know I can read your mind human. We followed your species
.to now." Jackson looked hard at the elite, the ash from the sky falling like snow around him. Backlash grunted a bit then began to walk slowly towards Jackson. "I know you think of her alone on your second world of Reach. I know that it burns you to know that she just might be!" Jackson clenched his teeth just for a second then turned away, "I should have never protected you from the Flood. You're just going to kill me aren't you?" Explosions could be heard all around from a distance. It was like they were the last one's left. The elite laughed as loud as he could then lowered his weapon, "No.. I will not kill you like this human. You will run away from me and I will hunt you. I want your death to be hard to find. I want you to walk these city steps and listen to your brother's fall all around you, and then I will find you." Jackson looked back at the elite and frowned, "I guess we are even after I walk away right?" Backlash glared at him, his eyes cold like the ones who brought him to Earth, "Yes. After you walk away you will be my enemy again." Jackson took a deep breath then began to walk towards his helmet the elite ripped off about an hour ago. The sky was red with the dawn and ships could be heard flying around overhead. Backlash watched Jackson retrieve his helmet then walk away, he muttered to himself, "You will burn.."
"YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO!" Claire yelled her eyes full of tears. Jackson turned to face her, and then lowered his eyes, "I have to. I am apart of this." He turned and slipped his chest armor over him. Claire whipped her tears and looked out the window to see the pelicans landing in the rift zone. She put her hands in her hair as if to pull it out, "What about the Spartan? You know
The one you always hear about?" Jackson chuckled and looked towards his helmet on the floor next to his tags, "He will not be there." Claire breathed out as if all hope was lost. Jackson grabbed his helmet and tags and turned to her, "Please don't worry Claire. The dropzone I am landing in his miles from the front. Our mission is simple." Claire walked up to him and looked up with her water soaked blue eyes, "If you leave. We will never see each other again." She glared at him in anger and waited for his response. Jackson looked down at her and squinted his eyes as if a dagger ripped his spine in two. She glared at him as he did not say a word and walked out of the room. She looked around as if trying to figure out again what was going on.
Jackson sat in his seat awaiting the pelican to take them to the cruiser. He knew she did not mean it, he knew this.
Claire ran to the field screaming for Jackson, the wind was cool and dusk was approaching. The tall grass around her blew with the wash of the pelicans. She looked up not knowing which one he was on and tears filled her eyes. She fell to her knees and looked at a small insect trying to escape the chaos, "I'm sorry Jackson."
That memory ran over and over threw Jackson's mind as he ran through the debris filled streets of New Mombasa. He had found a battle rifle and was holding it like he would Claire. He knew that Backlash would find him if he did not relax and try to form a plan. He rounded another block and saw a few jackles lurking near car. Jackson threw himself back against the wall and sighed quietly trying to catch his breath. He peeked around and read their stats in his HUD. They were at 100% health and pissed. The sun was almost up so and it was too bright to use his VISR. He checked to see if the rifle was ready and turned the corner and began firing. The jackles fell to the ground and let out screams of pain. Jackson hearing this ran to them and stomped their jaws in to shut them up. He looked up and around, "This was too easy."
The sound of large feet could be heard coming from the east. Jackson turned and looked towards the sound in time to see a Brute flip a car his way. Jackson began to run down the street dodging cars and debris in his way. The Brute yelled chasing him, "YOU WILL NOT GET FAR HUMAN!" Jackson jumped down a ramp that lead into another alley. He knew it would take time killing this creature with just a few short burst of his rife. He looked franticly somewhere to ambush the Brute. He found a weak door and threw himself into it! The Brute was just around the building. Jackson stood up and saw a small child hiding under a chair. Blood was on her face as she looked to him with frightened eyes. Jackson put his finger over where his mouth would be on his helmet then slowly took it off. The Brute at this point had stopped running and was taunting for Jackson to face him. The child watched as Jackson put his helmet on the ground then checked his rife to see if it was ready to fire. The girl pointed to a mantle that had a large dagger on top of it. Jackson looked at it then towards the girl. He grabbed it and slammed his body next to the doorway breathing and sweating heavily. The Brute seemed to shadow the window as he crept by it. Jackson could feel the Brute looking towards the doorway. He gripped the dagger and closed his eyes. Claire was all he saw, her hair on her shoulders, laughing and looking playfully at him. The Brute put his front leg in the door then began to step inside. The girl put her hands over her face as she heard Jackson through his hand as high as it could go reaching the Brutes neck with the long blade. The Brute let out a gargled scream then began firing his weapon all over the room. Jackson yelled and put his rife on the Brutes belly and began pumping rounds in it! Blood from the brute sprayed all around the room, Jackson spit some of it out of his mouth. The girl took her hands from her face to see the brute on his knees leaning against the doorway, its eyes dead but glaring at her. Jackson slumped down next to it breathing heavily, shocked that he survived. He looked toward the girl and smiled just a little. She glared back at him as if she was upset that he killed the beast. Jackson cocked his head then noticed a flicker on the girls face. He pointed his rifle at the girl and fired a round into her forehead only to see it hit the wall behind her. The girl smiled with an evilly then spoke," Now I have you sky leaper!" The girl vanished and Backlash burst from the closet slamming his energy sword near Jackson's feet. Jackson screamed then kicked the elite in the chest sending him back against a chair. Jackson stood up and leaped at Backlash the dagger in his hand! The elite threw up his hand and wrapped it around Jackson's arm, "I knew you would kill the brute. They are clumsy creatures!" Backlash spun Jackson against the window launching him onto the street. Grunts could be heard running up the street to see the commotion. Jackson stood up and felt the sun hit his face, the cool morning air reminded him of Claire and leaving her behind. Backlash stepped through the window and began to laugh, "Look human! You will have an audience witness your death." Jackson slowly looked around to see grunts and more platoons of elites emerge from the city streets. They all screamed and cursed him as he knelt in the street. Backlash raised his arms as if to take all the attention, "See how pathetic the human race is! Even on their own world they bow to us!" Jackson spit more blood from his mouth and stood to his feet. He looked at Backlash then to the covenant army surrounding him. Backlash pointed his gun at Jackson's forehead then smiled, "You have earned your death Jackson. No Spartan will save you today. You will fall forever in burning furry! We will destroy everything you humans call home, and I will see that the one you love dies just as fast." Jackson looked up at the elite and noticed a beautiful sight speeding towards them. The UNSC finally made it to the party. Jackson then looked in to Backlash's eyes and smiled, "Like I said, I should not have saved you from the Flood." The pelicans began dropping warthogs and firing on the covenant forces that gathered to watch Jackson die. Backlash flinched and Jackson reached for his weapon and ripped it from his hand. Backlash screamed and reached for Jackson but fell to his knees when the blast ripped through his stomach. Jackson frowned looking down at Backlash as the blaster cooled off. The elite looked up to see Jackson and the ships above him, "I was going to be a hero. The prophets were going to grant me status above all." Jackson knelt in front of him looking into the elite's eyes, the battle raging all around them, "You will fall forever." Backlash growled and watched Jackson stand up and run towards the battle. He fell to his side and died in his own blood.
TO BE CONTINUED