Survival, Chapter Four: Critical Alert
Posted By: Agent Shade<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 22 September 2003, 7:06 PM
Survival, Chapter Four: Critical Alert
Captain Malcolm Savard sat in his command chair, head in his hands. The news of the existence of Flood specimens on board his ship had just reached him. This was a complete surprise to him. He expected Covenant warriors to be on board, not the Flood. Not only that, but he was hoping the Covenant were onboard, since they seemed to be the easier enemy than the Flood. Savard raised his head and put his chin on his hands, sighing heavily. Beside him, Sergeant Major Harry Anderson stood at attention.
"Captain Savard" he said, saluting. Malcolm stood and returned it.
"What's happening down there Harry?" asked the Captain. Anderson walked over to a nearby console and accessed the data charts of the engineering deck. Malcolm looked over his shoulder.
"Well sir, here is how it starts. The engineering deck has four main access ways, which we've surrounded with marine security teams. There are two additional entrances, in the auxiliary access tubes, located throughout the ship. I doubt the Flood know about them, but since they've infested tech officers, we'll assume they do. Because of that, I've had marines completely seal off those tubes with titanium blockades and triple locking the doors. There's no way they can break through. Now, we look at the main problem here. The Flood most likely obtained an additional one hundred fifty specimens into their army when they took the engine room, and the surrounding halls. Thanks to field data, we've confirmed they can use our weapons and have most likely accessed our main armory stations along that level. Because of this added firepower, our security teams positioned around the four entrances are encountering a lot of resistance. Reports show that each blockade team is attacked by at least ten or fifteen Flood warriors spread out through a few hours. These guys don't go down with a fight. In the past day of fighting these bastards, we've lost sixty marines" Anderson explained. Savard pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Will they hold?" he asked, referring to the security teams. Anderson looked up at his Captain and slowly shook his head.
"By the rate of losses we're encountering, our supply of marine regulars will be gone within three days" he said.
"We still have your special forces" Savard said.
"Captain, if we use the Special Forces, we know we are in trouble for sure. I think its best we try to avoid using them. I doubt they would have much success" Anderson countered. Savard lowered his head to the floor.
"What options do we have?" he asked.
"Not much sir. We could increase the numbers of our marines at each entrance, and then slowly move into the engineering. However, by the way our men our dying, we wouldn't last long"
"What else then?"
"The only other idea I could think of is using the access tubes. Send marines through them and dropping in on the Flood unexpected. But, I'm really worried that the Flood knows about the tubes already. We could be setting ourselves up for a very deadly trap" said Anderson. Savard thought for a moment. Both plans were extremely risky. Both plans had the same failure probability. However, if there was one plan Savard was leaning towards, it was the access tubes.
"Okay, here's what we're going to do. We'll rely on our defenses around the entrances for now. See if we can turn the tide and not lose so many marines in every attack. We also go on the offensive. Send small teams of marines in with explosives to kill as many of the bastards as we can. However, if we keep losing more and more marines, we send in the ODSTs through the tubes and kill them, regardless of the danger" Savard decided. Anderson nodded.
"Combine the two plans, good idea sir; I'll relay that to the security team officers" Anderson said. Savard nodded and watched the big marine walk out of the bridge. Malcolm sighed heavily and returned to his chair, where he prayed to whatever god was out there to assist him in this endeavor.
"Cover fire, cover fire!"
"AHHH! It's got me, it's got me!"
"Hold still damnit, MEDIC!"
"Fire in the hole!" Lance Corporal Fitzgerald fired off his assault rifle at a small tentacle ball which was running to a wounded private. The small thing exploded. The marine then crouched up and finished the rest of his clip into a bigger tentacle enemy coming at him. The thing slowly fell over as Fitzgerald reloaded. He slammed a new clip in, cocked his weapon and fired a few rounds into the corpse in front of him. He paused at the sound of a marine screaming "HIT THE DIRT" as he unpinned a fragmentation grenade. As he did, a tentacle corpse launched itself into the air and stomped right on top of the private, crushing the man's chest. The marine screamed and coughed up blood. The grenade without the pin in it fell and detonated.
There was a flash of light, followed by an explosion that rocked the entire deck. The marine and the tentacle corpse disappeared. Two nearby marines were blown into the wall, covered in shrapnel. Another marine lost part of his leg from the explosion. Fitzgerald felt small pieces of shrapnel hit him, and then it was done. He stood and fired what was left in his clip at the enemy. He rushed over to the wounded marine and dragged him off to the side. He reloaded and continued to fire, hitting another tentacle corpse.
After a few more minutes of dreadful carnage, the last four tentacle corpses rushed back into their domain, their barks and screams echoing off throughout the hall. Fitzgerald still had his gun pointed down the hall, but finally relaxed his grip and sat against the wall. He discharged the old clip and reached for another one, but found none. A dead marine lay beside him, three clips of 7.62 armor-piercing rounds on his belt. Fitzgerald grabbed the three of them and nodded at the dead man's glazed over eyes. A corpsman came by and dragged him away. As Fitzgerald sat there, trying to get his heart beat down, Staff Sergeant McGrath limped over to him.
"How you doin marine?" he asked. Fitzgerald looked up at him.
"I dunno Sarge, I'm kinda confused" he said. McGrath knelt beside him, wincing at his bullet wound.
"What's up?" he asked. Fitzgerald and the Sergeant had become a lot closer as friends since this they returned from their little field trip into the engine room. Fitzgerald looked away for a second, staring into the darkness of the hall ahead of them.
"What are they?" he asked, looking back at the Sergeant. McGrath nodded and leaned back.
"Bout time I told you and the others what they are eh? You've never seen them before?" asked the Sergeant.
"No sir, I did most of my fighting on Earth" the Corporal answered. McGrath nodded again.
"I know what they are, as do the flyboys up there in the bridge, but I guess they aren't going to tell you. They're called the Flood Fitzgerald, and I guess you can assume why. They're a parasitic enemy that Spartan-117 found on that ring world he fought on, back in the days of the Pillar of Autumn. We know almost nothing about them, only that those little guys, the infection forms, infest worthy subjects like marines and Covenant Elites and assimilate them into Flood combat forms. Infested marines, Elites, crewman, those are the guys you're fight now. The little guys ensure that their numbers stay high. There's another form of fighter called the Carrier form. We assume their unworthy subjects like Grunts and Jackals, or they are full grown infection forms. Carriers are suicidal. They waddle up to enemies and explode, spilling more infection forms into the battle. The blast of the carrier is quite powerful, and can whip out the shields of an Elite or a Spartan. But I doubt we'll be fighting them" McGrath explained. Fitzgerald nodded afterwards, digesting all the information.
"Thanks Sarge" he said. McGrath nodded.
"We'll be getting better weapons soon. Assault rifles aren't the best in trying to take out the Flood. The other armory stations are being raided and they're bringing us some shotguns" the Sergeant said. Fitzgerald grinned at this news.
"Good, I was beginning to wonder if any of our weapons could take them out" he said. There was a small silence between them, and then Fitzgerald stood and saluted. McGrath returned it.
"Keep it up Corporal, them flyboys will have us outta here soon" he said, a hint of doubt in his tone. Fitzgerald smirked and walked off. Not a second that he turned away, the Flood returned.
A marine screamed out in alarm and Fitzgerald turned. A single Flood combat form stood in the entrance of the airlock door, which had been blown open earlier. The infested marine held a M19 SSM Jackhammer launcher in its one hand. Fitzgerald gasped and watched the thing turn and fire a 108mm rocket into a group of marine's playing cards. The entire wall they sat around exploded and the remains of the six men splattered all over the deck. Fitzgerald raised his assault rifle, but the combat form fired again, this time in the direction of Staff Sergeant McGrath. The marine Sergeant was standing a few feet away from the wall, but the blast wave of the rocket exploding sent him flying into the other wall, the back of his armor gone. Fitzgerald fired, and the Flood's arm fell off. The smoking Jackhammer fell. Without warning, the Flood form charged at Fitzgerald, who dropped his assault rifle and whipped out his Kevlar combat knife. The Flood form raised its tentacle whip back and then swung it forward. David held his knife up and cut off part of the whip coming at him. However, a good majority of it slammed into the left side of his torso area. The armor in that area was ripped apart, revealing open flesh. David sidestepped to avoid another attack, and then stabbed several times at the infested marine. It roared and turned, bringing its whip around again. It cracked over Fitzgerald's shoulder, piercing his skin. David howled in pain, and then growled viciously as he brought his knife down all over the Flood form. He successfully cut off the thing's whip, and then jumped on top of it, stabbing at it continuously. It let out small gurgles, and then seized to exist. Fitzgerald stood over it and spat on its body. He suddenly realized that the entire area was filling up with Flood combat forms as they charged into the hall. David grabbed his assault rifle and fired a few rounds with his good arm. He rushed over to Sergeant McGrath, who held his M6D pistol and was firing. Blood was flowing from the back of his head, and his nose was bleeding. He grinned, showing blood painted teeth. David shook his head.
"Damnit Sarge, why didn't you move outta the way?" he asked. McGrath chuckled and coughed up blood.
"You get the men out of here, finish the mission and kill all of them" he ordered. Fitzgerald nodded.
"Yes sir" he said. McGrath smiled at him.
"You're in charge now son, good luck" he whispered. Fitzgerald patted his shoulder, and then saluted. McGrath raised a shaky hand and returned it. Slowly, David backed away, then turned and ran.
"Fall back! Fall back!" he yelled at the marines still trying to fight off the Flood. However, they had sent every available warrior and their position was being overrun. As Fitzgerald and the others ran, McGrath fought for his life with a single pistol. Without warning, a single infection form leapt forward and grabbed the man's face. McGrath screamed, but no one could help him. His life ended.
Malcolm Savard could hear reports being yelled out all around him; however he could not hear them. He had dozed off for a moment, wishing the mission could've gone well. He wasn't prepared for this kind of battle. He felt a hand on his shoulder. Savard snapped out of his trance and looked up at Sergeant Major Anderson.
"The Flood jumped ahead of schedule. They've sent all of their warriors through the entrances and through the access tubes" he said. Savard stood.
"I thought you said you sealed the tubes off?" he asked. Anderson nodded.
"Yes sir, we thought we did, but they proved to be more resourceful than we though. They overcame the locks and pretty much climbed over the blockades. We're facing a massive infestation of the ship. All forward security teams are falling back. We've confirmed that all of the Staff Sergeants in charge have been killed" Anderson explained. Savard bowed his head. He turned around to Lieutenant Dela Cruz at the helm.
"Go to Critical alert" he ordered. Dela Cruz nodded. A loud Klaxon alarm soon filled the room. Savard then turned to Major Anderson.
"Get the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers" he said. Anderson hesitated, and then nodded. He turned and headed out of the bridge again, passing a huge group of marines who were setting up a security blockade. Savard sat back in his chair.
"New strategies are needed" he said to no one.
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade