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Macerr Chapter 29
Posted By: Xvash2, Godzilla2k4, Invaderrizz, Lord, Cocaine, Dan, Bennin<xvash2@sbcglobal.net>
Date: 13 October 2006, 5:12 am

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Macerr Chapter 29.Loved and Lost

By Xvash2, Godzilla2k4, Invaderizz, Lord, Cocaine, Dan, Bennin, and now with us Elite_Sardaukar, Octobit, and Sideral_Talon.

The Warthog bounced and shimmied under me as we drove, my knees flexing and extending to ride the suspension's bumps, practicing tracking on rocks and trees as we drove by, it had been quite a while since I had used one of these babies.

I was looking for something to shoot at as I saw the third waypoint on my visor shimmer and die, the second one beginning to flicker. I knew the first one was Riggs, I had been tracking it the whole time. His moves hadn't changed any since that first day outside Red Base, when Jereck and I were gonna go rescue some of our guys... damn good times. I looked up, saw a Pelican descending from the sky, a black ONI sonuvabitch. Could this job get any worse? I reached down, clicking my mic to the Blue freq I had been given.

"Richardson to any Blue Forces in the area. I'm 400 yards out, just beyond the hill between you and Rho. What's your sitch, over?"

I had better make it in time... I'm gonna make it in time... hang on John...

"This is 1st Infantry Battalion, Charlie Company Cmdr. First Sergeant Barry Farrish, reporting with 122 soldiers armed with small arms ready for combat. We will be arriving within the minute via D77TC Pelicans. We got no intel, what's the scoop on the battle? Over."

The Warthog drove closer

Ramsey drove recklessly to any observer, but he was in total control, so he told himself


Ramsey could only look at the destruction in silence

He heard a pelican's engines in the distance.

122, God I hope that's enough...

"Miss Richardson, This is Lieutenant Lennalli. As far as I know, you're our only chance at calming Mr. Riggs here down now that he's in this rage of his. He's not done yet so I'm gonna need you to sneak over to the co-ordinates I'll be sending you and get into Mr. Harold's stronghold. You'll be safe there and you'll have access to a loudspeaker for which to communicate with Riggs. That is of course assuming any of the loudspeakers are still operational."

Lennalli types in some co-ordinates for Talitha and then switches to a secure channel to the blue forces.

"This is the lieutenant. I need you to get the biggest guns you have and keep them all trained on that remaining beast out there. In the event that we can't calm him down, we'll need to throw everything we have at him. I don't care if that means ramming a goddamn pelican into him. Wait for my signal"

With that, Lennalli sits and waits, in his new hiding spot, keeping his crosshairs trained on Riggs' neck.

Heh, run and hide? Not likely. Besides, he's the only one out there other than those ONI asses.

"10-4, Lennalli. I'm gonna stop behind the house so I can pick something I'll need up."

I flicked back to the comm-mod's frequency, knowing I'd need it to stop John's loss of control, even if he did listen to me, without that little black box I might still be shrapnel.

"Okay, Corp, take us back behind the house, I'll bail out there with the weaponry I'll need. You go find a spot and get ready to snipe, okay?"

I copy, Lieutenant."

"First platoon, reserves. Fall back and hold position 300 feet up. Second platoon, get your heavy weapons up front and fall to 90 feet. Keep your bay guns and heavies on the big thing, but hold fire. Third platoon. Land a quarter-klik out and take up a perimeter 50 yards from the monster. Snipers and BRs up front. My bird will stay circling the area."

"Hey, uhh, sir? What Should I do? Should I just drive the merc to this Harold guy? or join with the rest of the troops taking up positions? over"

Ramsey was still sitting in the driver's seat of the warthog, unsure of what he is actually suppose to do.

"I'm reading you as a Rho deployment. Continue with your orders. I'm the company commander for Charlie Co."

"Roger That"

Ramsey decides to wait for the merc to get back and do what she tells him to do.

-The comm-mod began giving off a steady beep through Talitha's radio, letting her know both direction and distance. It was somewhere close to the house, around the other side where Riggs had picked up his helmet. Speaking of Riggs, he leapt and rolled to the right as a deafening series of blasts erupted from the sky. A .50 caliber chaingun was opening up, spraying armor-piercing rounds into the dirt in a path towards the remaining beast. It was easy to dodge, trees and dirt exploding but not a single round would strike Riggs.-

-The turret was easy enough to deal with, the Orochi grabbing a fallen tree that had been downed during the battle. The Pelican continued its descent, activating infra red, spectral analysis. The last thing the turret's sensors would note was a large, black and brown object on a trajectory with the turret's targeting system. The tree struck dead-on, the turret erupting and pitching the nose of the Pelican up sharply. It angled back down, landing struts deploying as it neared the ground.-

-The rear bay doors opened, several soldiers in black powered armor dropping on rappel lines to the ground. They looked like ODSTs, but their armor covered more of their bodies, panels not unlike those of Riggs' armor visible across their frame. Each had a BR-55, 7 total landing on the ground where Riggs previously stood in combat. Now they detached their lines, scanning the perimeter for their target. Their mission was not to kill him, only to detain him.-

-They wouldn't have that chance. The first soldier noted an anomaly on his radar HUD, a blip of red that disappeared, reappeared behind him, to his right. Right behind him again? A pair of hooked blades some 3ft in length exploded from either side of the soldier's sternum, giving him a very detailed look at his organs before a twist snapped his spine. The limp corpse was swung around into the next closest soldier, hitting him with such force that his helmet was knocked from his head. A fist collided with his stomach, rupturing the man's stomach, spleen and collapsing his diaphragm, dropping him to the ground as he slowly asphyxiated.-

-Now gunfire erupted in all directions from the black soldiers, throwing their training to the wind as they were mauled and destroyed one by one. A rolling head here, an arm lobbed off followed by blades entering a soldier's torso just above the waist. A neck was snapped by the force of a forearm chop. One soldier turned in time and fired, putting a three-round burst right through the armor of the Orochi and into its thigh, blood dripping through holes in its protective armor as the bullets exited the back of his thigh. The Orochi threw a heated uppercut, its blades starting at the man's groin and tearing up through flesh, muscle and bone to split him in half.-

-The last remaining soldier had just enough time to wet himself as the Orochi grabbed his soldiers, delivering a headbutt that smashed the man's visor in. Jaws opened wide, a feral scream not from the Orochi but from the soldier as he realized he was being eaten alive. His severed head rolled and bounced across the ground as the Orochi, blood-drenched and ravenous cried to the Pelican that was still on a decent.

He Pelicans of Second Platoon dropped down low, following the long, straight roads of Kalaa towards their target. Lance Corporal Gabriel Callafonte sat closest to the open door, watching the road pass behind the transport as it drew closer and closer to the objective. Through his headset he hard a crackle and a few seconds of static before the voice came online. It was someone from command, Callafonte didn't know who. Didn't really want to either.
"Lance Corporal Callafonte, this is Lieutenant-" there was another brief burst of static, "I've got your mission brief here."
Twenty bucks says we're assault element.
"You'll be assault element for Second Platoon. Stay back until the order comes through for attack."
"Yes sir. Keep us posted."
"Will do soldier."
The headset returned to static as Gabriel switched it through to squad frequency, standing up and grabbing onto the rail above his head.
"Here's the deal. We got an order to hold tight until but there's still a weapon of some kind that could eliminate all of us. So I'm thinking that order to hold could become longer. For the time being, I want a tight perimeter on me, watch but hold fire. Once the order is confirmed, we will start where the others left off and continue looking for this damned weapon. We clear?"
"Understood, sir!" came the reply. The section was mainly Privates; the shortage of well-trained Sergeants meant that Gabriel had been placed in charge of the section. He was sure as hell not gonna' mess it up.

"Golf 609 to Alpha team, landing zone appears clear. I say again, landing zone appears clear, over. Prepare for drop in," said the Texan voice from the cockpit.
The Pelican slowed to near stop, the audible hiss of the engines reminding them that they were still flying. Gabriel stepped to the edge, and after taking his M/7 in both hands, leapt from the transport. The crunch of the ground and the sharp pain in his knees let him know he was topside. Taking point, he checked the area for hostiles. It was clear. The other men dropped to the ground behind him in quick succession, each filing into the star-perimeter. The Pelican roared away in a trail of smoke and engine fumes.
"Golf 609, this is 3-2-Alpha, message, over,"
"3-2-Alpha, this is Golf 609, I am currently en route to coordinates: four-niner-four, seven-one-six, over,"
"Golf 609, roger that, can you give us any clear recon from the sky?"
"3-2-Alpha, negative, proceed with caution."
"Golf 609, will do, over" finished Lance Corporal Callafonte, before switching back over to squad frequency, "Alpha team, on me,"
The squad tightened the small perimeter until they were all within whispering range, still facing outwards.
"We're in the dark about the objective at the moment, boys, so we'll proceed with caution to our hold marker. Watch for hostiles, Valentine and Hayder, you watch our six. On me."
They set off at a slow jog, moving through the streets of Kalaa in silence. On his heads up display the end of the street was marked as the hold position. They filed up to it and took positions on either side, each one hugging cover. Callafonte had Hayder and Valentine on his side of the road, both armed with BR-55's, while the right side had four, Chomley, Smith, Kusenko and Lauder. Lauder was ranking private, armed with an M-90, while the others had two M/7s and a BR-55, respectively. Not a bad loadout, all in all. Callafonte switched back to command frequency - a regular occurrence, now - and waited to the static to clear before speaking.
"Command, this is 3-2 Alpha, do you have further orders at present, over."

First Sergeant Farrish looked on from his Pelican hovering 300 feet above the heads of the blue forces that had created a perimeter around the monster and the Pelican it was fighting. He noticed that the last elements of his company had dropped in, and were assembling the last segments of the line that encircled the battle from at least 200 yards away, giving the monster and the Pelican plenty of distance to fight to the finish. They were only to intervene if one of the combatants were to turn their weapons on the homes and attack civilians, or attack the soldiers maintaining their positions.

"Copy 3-2, maintain line segment and stand your ground. Hold your fire unless given orders. Farrish out."

"Command, affirmative to that order, will hold, over," replied Callafonte, looking over the car that he, Hayder and Valentine took cover behind.
"Possible contact, my twelve," Hayder whispered suddenly into his radio.
Callafonte slowly turned his upper body around to see Hayder raise his rifle to his head and peer into the scope. The Lance Corporal glanced over at Valentine, put two fingers to his eyes and then pointed towards the distance. Valentine nodded and covered Callafonte's rear as he carefully rolled over to Hayder. Although whatever was happening in the distance would probably not hear the squad, there a lot of things that probably wouldn't happen that did happen.
"Movement near the buildings, about 700 meters away," confirmed Hayder. Callafonte pulled himself up the car and looked downrange through his custom M/7 scope, carefully noting anything he saw. Indeed, there was a huge, hulking beast, but no detail could be discerned at that range; behind, blurred through lack of focus, was a descending Pelican, about 25 meters in the air.
"Two o'clock reference: delivery truck," whispered Hayder, eye still planted on the scope.
"Confirmed. Alpha, center your axis of fire on the contact, but do not, repeat do not open fire until I give the order," said Callafonte over the squad comm, watching the four men on the other side of the road silently take positions behind a fence and small garden, weapons trained.

The Distance Meter below the NavPoint kept getting smaller and smaller

Ramsey was a bit nervous, he could already hear the occasional burst of small arms and artillery.

Only other noise was the engine and an annoying harmonic from one of the M19 SSM Launchers, he considered stopping and moving it or putting a weight on it, but that would just waste time, and from the sounds he always already hearing, they needed these supplies.

Talitha jumped out behind Harold's house, even as the Warthog pulled a quick U-turn, landing on her feet and almost buckling under the weight of Tuono and her rocket launcher, as well as two extra rockets and her shottie. The comm-mod was audible, even from here, and she headed straight over, hiding in the gully leading to the basement access doors, pulling it out as she looked the package over, making sure her M90 was cocked and loaded.

The Pelican was getting lower, and she had to duck as a shower of sparks lanced down as the tree took out the turret, landing propped up against the house, and she quickly scaled it, lying prone on the roof, watching the scene, switching to the frequency she knew John would be listening on, her mouth gaping open at the carnage.

"Alula to Orochi... holy shit........"

Talitha's words didn't seem to have any immediate effect, the Orochi still raging as the Warthog continued to drop. Its bay doors opened again, a lone figure standing on the egress ramp's edge. Her hair was a deep brown, long and whipping across her face from the wash of the Pelican's thrust. Her skin was fair, a white offset by an extremely light tan. Only the skin of her face was visible though, the rest of her body clothed in a black lab coat, black gloves and thick combat boots. A pair of neon green sunglasses, the same color as the collar that locked Riggs' helmet into place flashed across her face, a smirk on her lips.-

-On the ground the lone monstrosity faltered, its maw slightly agape as its crimson visor locked with the figure onboard the Pelican. The golden stripes of light across its body dimmed, its spine drooped towards the ground as each pair of hooked blades from its wrists pulled up into their housings. It was at that moment completely powerless, dumbfounded even as the "late" Dr. Jenna Riggs was handed an S2AM Sniper Rifle. She peered down the scope, not a hint of remorse in her dull gray eyes as she squeezed the trigger.

-Her first shot would have been lethal if Riggs hadn't have snapped himself out of his stupor, leaping back as the first 14.5mm sabot from the sniper rifle tore down the inner edge of his right leg. The bullet carved a furrow down his black armor, droplets of blood just barely beginning to weep from the cracks it formed in his leg armor. Spines flared, stripes lit up angrily as Riggs took off at a demonic sprint, sniper rifle rounds blasting dirt and plant matter on either side of him.-

-The doctor tossed the Sniper Rifle back to her assistant, grabbing a small datapad from her hip. She keyed the signal, a direct line-of-sight required. Armor shocked once, shocked twice, three times. It kept the heart going, kept the lungs pumping. It flooded the brain with a bathe of chemicals that could easily kill a human being if not in the proper proportion. She yelled out to the Orochi in its hiding spot, wherever it had gone. Her voice was light, almost shrill as she screamed like a banshee into the night.-

"If you'd only accepted my experiments on our wedding day, my love. If you'd only gone along with my plans. I was going to make you a star. More popular than any Spartan, more destructive than any weapon. We could have been something. Now that something is going to do what I couldn't. Amely! Go punish your father!"

-The Orochi had a few seconds to contemplate what Jenna was screaming about before it felt a cold hand on its left shoulder. The hand pulled him around, a fist smashing into the right side of Riggs' helmet in a cracking haymaker. A few teeth from Riggs' helmet were jarred loose, flying out when a right hand brought on a thundering straight punch right to Riggs' nose. The Orochi flew back, the force of the hit sending it skidding across the dirt back into view. The Lycan exploded from the remaining forest line milliseconds afterwards, running on all fours towards the Orochi as it placed one hand on his head, trying to shake the pain out.-

-Riggs managed to deflect Amely Jenna Riggs's left hand as she chopped for his neck, but her right fist found his stomach, once, twice, three times, four times. Riggs began to double over, only to say hello to the Lycan's knee as it came up and made a direct blow on his visor. A few cracks formed in the crimson plate, its head and torso flying up. The Lycan spun, its tail cracking the air behind it as she brought her right foot around, a roundhouse kick landing on the left side of Riggs's head to send him spinning and crashing into the dirt like a broken, lifeless ragdoll.-

-Chemicals began pumping, that moment of clarity disappearing behind a veil of pain and frustration. Barriers were broken, Riggs' spines expanding a few more inches as pressure forced every drop of chemical booster and toxin into his bloodstream. As he skidded he kicked off with his right foot, performing a short backflip while still in motion. Clawed boots dug into the earth to slow the Orochi, even begin to propel it towards the oncomming Lycan. Its claws gleemed on its gloves, its hooked blades unlocking, preparing to spring forward. This would be it. Just let go Riggs...just let go..-

-The first hit was the Lycan's, another left haymaker but the Orochi didn't even seem to acknowledge it. It let out a cacaphonous roar before swinging its own right fist, spinning the Lycan clean off its feet and onto its stomach. Riggs didn't let up, grabbing the Lycan's shoulders and pulling it up to its feet. It spun the Lycan around, a knee coming up towards the Orochi's chest. This was batted away easily, the Orochi grabbing Amely's shoulders again before delivering a forehead-to-visor headbutt that put microfissures into the protective facial plate of the Lycan.-

-It headbutted her again, again, again, again, every hit throwing bits of black and silver clear metal away in whizzing shrapnel. It reared back, the transfixed stare of hatred in Amely's eyes causing the Orochi to throw her away from itself. It faltered again, Riggs' consciousness temporarily breaking the surface. Amely's face, now visible to everyone was almost a spitting image of her mothers, but her eyes were the same vibrant green as Riggs', her hair the same deep black.-

-The remains of her helmet fell away, allowing her shorter void-black hair to fall to just above her shoulders. Riggs was too busy roaring at Jenna again, no sensible words, just frustrated cries and threats. It didn't immediately register the constriction on its waist, the sudden feeling of heat as the Lycan's right whip began to superheat plasma throughout its core. The Orochi let loose a hideous cry of pain as it turned towards Amely, his own daughter was trying to kill him.-

-It was a cry from the heart, not from the searing heat that was fusing armor with skin. Pain shrouded Riggs in darkness, leaving the beast to its dark designs one final time. Amely pulled Riggs with all of her strength, trying to drag him towards her to deliver a killing blow. Her left tendril was raised and ready, but she was not ready for what the Orochi did. It didn't fight back, unhooking its claws from the Earth. Amely's right tendril kept reeling in to cover the slack as the Orochi lept towards her, its jaws open in a snarl of teeth and blood.-

-The Lycan threw its left arm forward, releasing the whip above its forearm towards the Orochi's face, but the Orochi managed to turn itself in midair, the blades of its left hand clawing into the dirt and creating drag on that side. The whip slashed by the Orochi's helmet, hooking the helmet and wrenching it clean off of Riggs' head, dislodging it from the jade collar around his neck. Riggs could only watch now, watch his body move of its own accord. He couldn't stop, couldn't keep himself from raising his right arm towards the Lycan as the gap closed between them.-

-A SHINK becomming a wet thud, Amely temporarily spasming. Seconds ticked by like hours, Riggs finally blinking, the world comming into view. He looked at the face of his daughter, saw the trickle of blood from the side of her mouth. Seconds ticked by like days, Amely blinking once. Her vibrant green eyes locked on Jonathan Rae Riggs' for the first time, her right hand comming up towards his face as the whip from her forearm recoiled completely into its housing. Riggs' right hand came up as well, father and daughter placing a warm hand on each others' cheeks for the first time. Amely spoke first. Her voice was low, full of warmth, a good mix of Jonathan's confidence and Jenna's intelligence.-

"Hi daddy..."

-Her eyes closed, her cheek falling away from her fathers' hand. Amely Jenna Riggs slowly slid from the right hooked blades impaled through her midsection, just high enough to slash the bottom of her heart. It was slow, agonizingly slow as a thick trail of blood was left on the Orochi's hooks, her body comming to rest on the soft scarred earth. On her lips was a smile. She finally saw daddy.-

-Dr. Jenna Riggs screamed as she grabbed the reloaded S2 sniper rifle, taking no aim as she fired recklessly at Riggs. Her first 3 shots were misses, the forth careening straight through Riggs' right shoulderblade, just past his right lung as bits of his scapula were thrown forward after the bullet. He dropped to one knee, blood coughed up as he stroked Amely's now cooling cheek.

Three simple words, screamed for the whole battlefield to hear. Three words, echoing in the ears of every Blue soldier there as her voice reverberated off the destroyed buildings. Three words that probably blasted the ears out of anyone listening in on the frequency her mic was tuned to. Only three words escaping her lips as the large double barreled apparatus came to her shoulder, a shot that in her normal calm rational state, she was unlikely to miss. But those three words showed she was far from rational, watching the horrors play out in front of her, remembering the tears shed in remembrance at that lonely grave. Three words, and she pulled the trigger.


Ramsey got closer to the front and he heard some echo from in the ruins, someone yelling then sniper fire.

"Damn" Ramsey was a bit shocked at level of destruction.
He turned on his comm to the usual frequency for the Blues

"This is Cpl Robert Ramsey, I've got a load of M19 SSMs and Small Arms ammo, to any Blue Forces in the area, respond, repeat. This is Cpl Robert Ramsey, I've got a Ammo Shipment to any Blue Forces in the area respond."

Ramsey waited for anyone to answer, he kept the engine running and was ready go pull a U-turn and get the hell out of there, if what did this heard his call and came looking for him.

"Contact, contact, contact!" called Hayder over the radio, forcing Callafonte off his belly, and into a crouching position, looking down the sights of his M/7.
"Multiple shots fired, hostile has engaged in hand-to-hand combat with another unknown," said Valentine beside him, his eye also planted firmly on his scope.
Gabriel did not wait for an order from the Command Pelican; he signalled to the other team led by Lauder to advance to the nearest cover, in his case, a huge delivery truck. Lauder affirmed the command and called his team around him, moving fast and low towards the truck. When they stopped, Callafonte turned to his section and had them form up on him, Hayder behind Callafonte, Valentine at the rear. Quickly they sprinted from one snatch of cover to the next, halting at a small pile of assorted crates. Just as they settled into the cover, there was a sound from the radio,
"Hoollyyy SHIT!" said Lauder from his position, signalling with his hands to the battle ahead.
Callafonte peered down his scope again, sighting the melee in much more detail now. He saw in horror that the two fighters were not human - humanoid, but certainly not human. What the fuck were they? The radio crackled to static and them to speaking, interrupting his wonder.
"3-2-Alpha, this is Golf 609, we've got a clear view of the battle, over."
"Golf 609, copy that, we also have sightings of the fight, can you tell us what the hell those things are, over?"
"3-2-Alpha, I don't fuckin' know, but I'm sure as hell not going for a closer look," said the thick Texan drawl of the pilot as he turned the radio off.

He looked down his scope again and could only watch with amazement as the two beasts parried and countered, each throwing bone-breaking strikes at the other with speed unknown to a human. Both drew back and leapt at each other numerous times, and suddenly, it stopped - the unknown warrior lay twitching at the end of a long claw, the body dying in a matter of seconds. The fight was over.
Rapid fire S2-AM shots hit the ground around the victorious warrior, the fourth struck him clean through the shoulder. Flesh and armour splintered as the bullet exited his body, but he did not fall and die. He dropped silently to one knee, looking at the dead body on the ground.
"Command, this is 3-2-Alpha, we have advanced approximately 50 metres towards the target, there has been contact between the hostile and an unknown .. humanoid, the unknown is KIA. Request permission to intervene, over."

As he waited for a reply, another voice came his radio, but not squad frequency; it was wide-band transmission. The roaring of a Warthog could be heard in the background.
"This is Cpl Robert Ramsey, I've got a load of M19 SSMs and Small Arms ammo, to any Blue Remnants in the area, respond, repeat. This is Cpl Robert Ramsey, I've got a Ammo Shipment to any Blue Remnants in the area respond."
Callafonte fumbled with his radio and switched as fast as he could to wide-band.
"Corporal Ramsey, this is 3-2-Alpha, Alpha Pathfinders, Special Recon Unit. We are at the coordinates four-niner-four, seven-one-six, over,"
He ducked behind the boxes and hoped like hell he made it before the party well and truly started. Just as he did, three words echoed across the battlefield.

Farrish observed the team's movement up to the battle, only 50 meters away, breaking the perimeter. He watched through his spotter as the two beasts went at it, the larger of the two claiming victory soon after. He watched the one go down, who was before a raging beast, but now, nothing more than human. He zoomed in the helmet absent from the armor of Beta. Damn, that girl got the shit beaten out of her. Better put a medical team on standby. He keyed his radio to the pathfinders.

"Alpha 3-2, this is Big Dog-09, ready your medics in your squad to check all the wounded and killed once this thing ends. Once again, do not engage unless fired upon or if they begin to attack any more civilian property. God I hope that girl is still alive, she looks to young to be in this fight. Farrish out."

He watched as four shots left trails in the air, originating from the bay door of the Pelican that had landed. He could make out the figure of the shooter, wondering who it was, when a loud scream came over his radio.


Roger that 3-2-Alpha, I'm on my way, I'm coming in from the south. I'll be there in 1.45 at the most."

Ramsey just slammed on the gas and had to turn hard to avoid a pile of rubble

"God, what the hell is happening here?"

"Alpha Pathfinders will hold, over," replied Lance Corporal Callafonte over the radio, before switching back to Command frequency. He knew when he heard Big Dog he was talking to Farrish himself.
"Affirmative to that order, sir, we'll ready our medics for immediate action, over," he said to Farrish quietly, signaling for Kusenko to come over to him. He was the section's medic; Valentine had also taken "relief training" for if Kusenko was WIA or KIA. They would be the best bet for any wounded on the field, but in reality they would most likely need support within minutes of getting to the wounded. He keyed the radio to Golf 609.
"Golf 609, this is 3-2-Alpha, request pending medical support, over," he said to his new best friend, the Alpha Pathfinder's eye-in-the-sky.
"3-2-Alpha, this is Golf 609, negative, we are returning to base to refuel and rearm, ETA 15 minutes, over," replied the Texan pilot.
"Affirmative, see you then."
Kusenko appeared behind him, waiting for orders. He put a hand up for him to wait, as he pulled a list of active air support in the Kalaa area.

After eliminating the Longswords prepped for fire missions and the Pelicans grounded at base, he came up with a five Pelican list.

Sierra 012: Carrying 3rd Platoon, 1st Squad
Juliet 930: Carrying 3rd Platoon, 2nd Squad
Tango 771: Dropping 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squad
Golf 609: Rearming, Refueling
Victor 535: Reserve flight


"Victor 535, this is 3-2-Alpha at coordinates four-niner-four, seven-one-six, requesting pending medical assistance when ceasefire is given, over."
"3-2 Alpha, this is Victor 535, request confirmed, en route to your position, over," he radio turned to static.
"Kusenko, you and Valentine will advance with Hayder when the cease fire is given and assist any and all wounded. Is it has a pulse, try and maintain it, we have a medivac en route to our position. It should only be a few minutes from start to finish, but we need those wounded alive when the evac arrives."
Although they were Pathfinders and therefore all of them were scouts, Hayder was used by Callafonte as Recon. Usually he was armed with a S2-AM, but urban enviroment called for a BR-55. He was the best man to escort the two medics forward as the rest of the Pathfinders secured the perimeter.

"Copy 3-2 Alpha," came an unknown voice on the COM. "This is Delta Niner-Niner, "Arizona", copy. My Pelican and squad Company Uniform from Pelican Delta 782 is down. I don't know why, but I'm the only one left. Heading to your position in an LRV as soon as I get coordinates. Hope you need another sniper, sir!" Luke said.

Pulling the LRV to a stop, he waited for the response...

"Arizona, this is 3-2-Alpha, affirmative to that request. We hold at coordinates four-niner-four, seven-one-six. Meet us here, we could certainly use an S2-AM, over."
He cut the comms and thanked his lucky stars that he would have an ODST sniper with him when the secured the battlefield. A few hours ago he had heard the call that India 099, the ODST Pelican, had gone down just outside city limits. Whatever the reason, there had obviously been few survivors. But ODSTs were the best fighting unit the Blues had, and any one of their elite operators would be a great help when this fight was over, or if they had to intervene.
Goddamn, where is that Ramsey ...

"Affirmative, 3-2 Alpha, on my way," Luke pushed the pedal of the LRV all the way and floored it down the beach. His S2-AM gleamed next his helmet, and he felt the wind through his hair. Entering the coordinates into the HUD nav of his helmet, he unplugged the link and slipped on his helmet. An orange triangle popped up next to his radar. It was amazing how his suit could detect foes from 15 meters. It was pretty helpful when sniping.

Several minutes later he heard distant gunfire. He turned the Hog slightly, and headed for the sounds. Switching off the NAV point, he slowed the Hog, and came to a stop.

"3-2 Alpha, this is Arizona. Approximately .45 of a klick north-northwest of your position. Ready to hold off bogies."

Luke laid down on the meadow grass, and he quickly made a camo suit of the meadow leaves and some rubber cement.

Static and Talitha's voice flooded the cockpit of the Pelican as the ONI specially outfitted troop carrier's multi-frequency scanner picked up the message. He looked out his portside viewport, pulling the Pelican higher into the air to let the rocket skirt just beneath the rear bay door. Jenna was thrown to the floor, gripping her S2 sniper rifle and the deckplates with her long fingernails. She was seething; she'd end the experiment herself. She'd end it all and start anew. Better to start from scratch than let that traitorous bastard live after what he had done to their daughter.-

-Once the Pelican came to rest she had another full clip ready, her own modified magazines holding 8 shots instead of the standard 4. She stood tall on the end of the rear ramp, sighting down the scope of her S2 for her former husband. She'd gladly widow herself again if it meant getting rid of him. Amely's body was alone though, lying on the ground with her hands placed over her sternum. She saw the smile on her daughter's face, Riggs must have put it there to mock her. This only brought the doctor's blood to a boil as she scanned the area for Riggs.-

-Riggs was already in motion. No more Orochi, no more monster, only something worse bolting away from his daughter, towards the woman he truly cared about. She had a double-barreled rocket launcher to her shoulder, but his eyes weren't focused on that. They were on the box beside Talitha, and the weapon within. Riggs didn't have time to hug Talitha, to kiss her, he didn't have time to say a word. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Jenna turning, saw her aiming for the vapor trail from the rocket, and its origin. She'd find more than she bargained for.-

-The first shot was sloppy, but it had been awhile since Riggs had pulled the trigger of the miniature linear rail cannon known as "Tuono Nero." It was wide right, striking the Pelican and boring clean through it, exploding from the top of the transport and leaving a smoking hole in its wake. It was like thunder rippling across the battlefield, echoed by Jenna Riggs' S2 Sniper Rifle. Her first shot on her new magazine found Riggs' left forearm, blasting away the hook-blade housing there. Riggs ducked to the left, firing a second shot that whizzed past Jenna's left shoulder, another tungsten rod impaling the Pelican and blowing through.-

-Steam was hissing up from the linear cannon, smoke from the barrel of Jenna's S2 as they kept firing madly at one another. Riggs just kept missing, Jenna only managed to tear off armor and miss flesh. Riggs' right hookblade housing was the next to go, followed by several of the spines down the right side of his back. Another shot from Jenna tore into the chemical housing and actually pulled a large chunk of Riggs' armor away, setting it aflame on the ground. The Orochi was being picked apart shot after shot, but it wasn't as it seemed.-

-Jenna was aiming for Riggs' center of mass every time. He was merely bobbing or weaving, allowing a part of his armor, a part of her experiment to die while he still lived, firing over and over and over. He didn't hit her once however, the barrel of Tuono Nero beginning to overheat and glow bright red as Riggs threw caution to the wind. Steam poured from the weapon as he unloaded all 5 tungsten rods into and through the Pelican. Jenna was on her final bullet, lining up for the shot that she knew would kill Riggs when she heard a dull whine from above and to her right.-

-Several fuel lines to each engine burst, spraying superheated corrosive chemicals across the deep interior of the Pelican, inside Jenna's command compartment. Computers and hard drives fried, a chain-reaction of exploding fuel climbed into each engine of the Pelican, causing them to simultaneously burn-out and explode violently. Interior rotors went spinning madly in every direction, several cutting into the cockpit and bringing a quick death to the pilot. The Pelican pitched right, left, and dropped like a rock straight towards the ground.-

-Tuono Nero had overloaded a 1/100 chance that Riggs was more than aware of. Its internal core cooked off, superheated plasma spraying out from vents along its sides. The damage was catastrophic to the weapon, only slightly less to Riggs' armor. A small EMP, only a few feet in diameter erupted from the slagged power cell, frying the internal conduits and connections in Riggs' armor. Now it was nothing more than a soldier's armor with a few bizarre aesthetic additions. Riggs set the slagged-out experimental weapon on the ground, starting a slow walk towards the Pelican as it descended from the ground. Tuono Nero was spent, now just a puddle of silver and black metal and copper conductors cooling on the grass.-

-Jenna leapt from the Pelican as it came crashing down, fire erupting from its center as thick oily black smoke billowed into the air. She rolled on the battle-scarred ground, her S2 left behind in the wreckage as she struggled to stand. She could feel them, footsteps approaching her slowly, heavily on the ground. She sat up, backing away as she reached for her hip. She had an M6D sidearm, holding it in both hands as she tried to see through the smoke and fire, through the debris littering the ground from the Pelican.-

-He appeared, a black demon in tattered, ragged plates of armor covered with soot and blood. The wound in his right shoulder had stopped bleeding, a thin gel layer sealing the wound temporarily. The same for his left thigh, streaks of dried crimson scarring the black of his leg. Her hands quivered, her aim wavered when she saw his face, no visor or hideous maw for her. It was Riggs' cold green stare, the same as Amely's but this time there were no chemicals. There was no animalistic berserker rage. This was something far worse. Jonathan Rae Riggs was in a place darker than the Orochi ever took him. Riggs wanted revenge.-

-She squeezed off one shot, going wide and only seeming to quicken Riggs' pace. Another step and another shot, this one finding Riggs' left shoulder ricocheting off the curved plate of armor there. For every step, there was the crack of Jenna's M6D. Most of her shots were off, the very sight of Riggs as he was walking towards her enough to shake her to her heart. One shot struck him in the right side, impacting his armor and remaining fast, whereas another hit the left side of his upper chest, finding itself in skin, muscle, stopped just millimeters from his ribs. Whatever pain that bullet brought was not registered by Riggs, not even as another round from Jenna's magnum embedded itself deep in Jonathan's right forearm.-

-Soon Jenna was clicking empty, still backing up but not even remotely as fast as Riggs rushed forward, arms stretched out towards Jenna. She found herself backed against the tallest remaining tree, her back hitting the thick cool trunk as warm hands wrapped themselves around her throat. She kicked and struggled, choking and sputtering as brutal strength lifted her several feet into the air, until she could only look down into the cold jade stare of her former husband. At that moment she profoundly understood that her experiment had in the end been a success, even at the cost of her life. Still she kept her eyes on his, pleading he'd come to his senses and release her. She was after all his wife...-

-There were no tears, just the pathetic monster in his hands. He looked up into those pleading eyes, his heart non-existent now. Words found a voice, but it was not Riggs' voice. It was the voice of the dark heart Jenna had set to beat in his chest, if just for this moment.-

"I've waited so long to say this...for everything you've done, for everything you ever did and everything you planned to do....I hate you. Good bye Jenna, and good riddance."

-The good doctor's face dropped, her jaw slacked open, eyes widening as she felt Riggs' grip on her throat tighten. Her face turned red, her lungs wheezing and grasping for air. She kicked and she punched, but she couldn't break Riggs' hold on her throat. Vesicles in her eyes filled with blood, she was losing strength with each punch. She was unable to fight back, hanging limp as her life drained away. Suddenly she could breath, but every breath was fire in her lungs, filling with ash as she felt the heat on her skin.-

-Blistering and burning, her clothes catching fire. She screamed. She screamed in the hellish flames, tried to rise and escape the hell she had been cast into. Something on her chest, holding her onto burning coals, in an inferno unrivaled by any. She screamed and she screamed, until her blood boiled and her organs cooked inside her body. Until her skin was charred black and her shriveled black heart burst in her chest. Riggs had pulled her from the tree, from the point of asphyxiation simply to let her feel the pain she had made him feel, the pain he was sure his daughter had endured. Jenna received what she deserved, the flames of hell licking at her flesh, and so he held her down in the burning fire created by the downed Pelican until he was sure hell had taken her from her scorched flesh.-

-Riggs pulled his hand up from Jenna's smoking chest, his glove-print left seared into the flesh above her heart. He took a few steps from the fire he'd put her in, seemingly in a daze. He brought a hand to his head, tried to shake out the darkness, but it closed around him. As the fires consumed and burned the rest of Jenna Marie Riggs' body to ash, Jonathan Rae Riggs's eyes went dark, and he fell...fell...fell. He hit the ground hard, but he was already unconscious long before his face could feel the cool dew-stained grass beneath it.

To Be Continued...

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