Survival, Chapter Five: Chaos
Posted By: Agent Shade<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 25 September 2003, 3:21 AM
Survival, Chapter Five: Chaos
"Flood forces overwhelming the blockade! Executive officers all dead. Casualties range in the hundreds, we need back up. Oh Christ, they've breached the perimeter, fall back! Control, Flood forces pushing deeper into the ship, nothing we can-"
Captain Savard sat completely still as the same message from a marine Corporal was played over again. Finally, he looked at Lieutenant Hayes and motioned with his hand across his throat. The Lieutenant nodded and the message stopped. Major Anderson stood by the Captain's side.
"We're getting reports of Flood activity all over the ship. They've escaped the engineering deck and are moving throughout the levels above and below" he said gravely. Savard swore out loud and looked at a readout of the ships interior. There were red markings all over the bottom level of the ship, indicating Flood activity.
"Seal off decks 19-24. I don't want a single one of those bastards breaching the upper part of this ship" he growled. Lieutenant Hayes nodded and relayed the order. Savard looked at the Major.
"What kind of weapons are our boys using?"
"Mostly assault rifles sir. We're grabbing all the available shotguns in the armories and dishing them out the marine security teams, but they're scattered all over the place" Anderson replied. Savard nodded.
"Just make sure every marine has one. I also want this bridge sealed off. Bring in what marines you can Major, I don't want a huge defense in here, most of our boys should be out in the ship" he said. Major Anderson nodded.
"Is that all sir?" he asked. Savard shook his head.
"I'm putting you in charge of internal security Major Anderson. You're in command of the marine forces. Tell them what to do to beat our enemy" he said. Anderson nodded and saluted. Savard returned it.
"Good luck" Malcolm said. Anderson nodded and marched out of the room, a handful of marines following him. Staff Sergeant Evans watched them go, and then turned to Captain Savard.
"Awaiting your orders sir" he said.
"Raid the barracks Evans, get some combat armor for the ships crew. I also want some more weapons and ammo in here" Savard ordered. The Sergeant nodded and turned to the fifteen marines with him.
"Green team with me, the rest of you hold here" he said quickly and rushed out of the bridge, five marines behind him. As they left, Savard looked at the readouts scrolling across Lieutenant Yu's screen.
"What power do we have?" he asked.
"Not much sir, the Flood have re-routed almost all main power to main engineering. They've knocked out communications, weapons systems and most of the controls of this ship. All I have is environmental control, life support, internal Comm. Channels and the rest of the ship's controls" she said.
"What can you make this ship do?" Captain Savard asked again.
"Well sir, the Flood have control over engine power. I can activate the engines, but they have the power to increase or decrease our speed. They can also steer most of the ship, although I'm sure Lieutenant Dela Cruz would be able to battle that" she said. Malcolm nodded.
"Is there someway we can get a single out to the UNSC about our situation. Can we somehow use the Comm. channels?"
"For now, no sir, there is no way, but I'm sure if you give me a few hours or so, I could cook something up with Lieutenant Hayes" she said. Malcolm patted her shoulder.
"Get to it" he ordered. Yu nodded and abandoned her station. Savard turned around.
"Lieutenant Dela Cruz, since helm controls are useless, man Lieutenant Yu's post" he said. The Mexican-American crewmember saluted and walked over to Yu's post. Savard turned to his weapon's officer.
"You up to some fighting?" he asked the man. Lieutenant Bishop was holding his M6D pistol in his hands. Before joining the Navy, he had been a combat marine, part of the Earth Defense Forces. Bishop looked up and grinned.
"Yes sir" he said. Savard nodded.
"Suit up and go find Major Anderson. You'll take your orders from him" Savard said. Bishop nodded and left. Savard had a moment to breathe in slowly, and then relax. He sat in his chair and listened to the chaotic reports coming in from the marines.
Lance Corporal Fitzgerald and what remained of his security team had run through two decks, trying to escape the Flood behind them. Eventually, they rounded a corner after exiting an elevator and faced a large security blockade positioned at one of the air locks. Surrounding the titanium blockades were chunks of human and Flood flesh. The floor was stained with blood and the walls covered with bullet holes. Fitzgerald slowly walked into the open.
"Friendlies coming out!" he yelled. The security marines held their fire and one stood and saluted.
"Private First Class Walker sir!" he said. David Fitzgerald returned the salute.
"Lance Corporal Fitzgerald, who's in charge here private?" he has quickly. Private Walker shook his head.
"Killed in the last attack sir" he said. Fitzgerald swore.
"All right, the Flood army is right behind us. Let's pull together and try and fight them off" he said. He heard mumbled agreements as he climbed over the blockades and grabbed some weapons and ammo. This team of marines didn't have shotguns, which made him worry even more. No sooner did he and his teams of marines get ammo for their weapons, the sound of the Flood could be heard. First came the squishy noise that the infection forms made, followed by the gurgles and barks of combat forms. Fitzgerald crouched behind a blockade.
"Gentlemen, assault rifles are the worst type of weapon to use against the Flood, but since it's all we have, we'll make do. The limbs of the Flood are east to shoot off. If you can, aim for their arms and legs to put them down" yelled the Corporal. Not a heartbeat later, the Flood rounded the corner of the hall and came at them. Without a word, Fitzgerald opened fire, as did his marines. Dozens of bullets flew into the Flood lines, causing many of them to recoil backwards. Several Flood forms were knocked over, and then trampled by the other forms running to the marines. Fitzgerald ran out of ammo quickly. He tossed a fragmentation grenade as he reloaded. Slowly, the other marines around him encountered the same problem. This allowed the Flood to advance. Several of them leapt forward at them, but several marines had reloaded early and shot them out of the air. However, the other flood forms took out their own assault rifles and opened fire. Bullets pinged off the blockade pieces, as the marines attempted to duck and stay low. Several bullets struck marines in the head and shoulders. They fell over sideways, screaming in pain. A marine beside Fitzgerald took a round to his neck. He fell backwards, grabbing his wound in pain. He tried to scream, but nothing but a weak scream came out.
Fitzgerald forced himself to ignore the man and continued to fire. Both sides exchanged death to each other. Blood was forming in puddles around the marines as more and more took bullets to their upper torso area. As Flood forms kept fire on the marines, a second wave of Flood combat forms jumped and flew right over the blockades, landing behind the marines. Fitzgerald turned right around and fired quickly, taking out a combat form's leg. Two of its colleagues however moved in and swiped away with their tentacle whips. Two marines stood to attack, but gunfire from the other Flood forms struck them in the back. As they fell, the combat forms they were going to attack moved in on them and ripped them to pieces. Fitzgerald stood and tackled a Flood form that beheaded a nearby marine. The two of them skidded along the floor, fighting each other. Fitzgerald knew he was in trouble. The Flood combat form was extremely powerful. He quickly grabbed his pistol from his side and fired five rounds into the Flood form's stomach. It let out a loud gurgle, than died. Fitzgerald stood, and then tossed another fragmentation grenade into the Flood forms moving in on the blockade. The marines were scattered around the area, firing the odd shot, then turning to defend themselves from a tentacle whip. Fitzgerald began using his assault rifle as a club. He was able to beat on wounded Flood to death, but another Flood form leapt at him and lashed out with its whip. Fitzgerald felt the tip of the whip rip open his armor around his stomach. Luckily, his skin wasn't pierced. David grabbed his pistol and fired it continuously into combat form. Finally, he stood up completely.
"Retreat! Fall back to the upper level!" he yelled. The marines didn't need to be told twice. They ran quickly from the blockade, firing random shots over their heads. Fitzgerald and two privates provided cover fire from the hall they stood in. The marines rushed past him, and they followed, tossing two frag grenades as they did. As Fitzgerald and the others ran through the corridors, additional marine teams provided cover fire, crouching near the edge of the hall and fired random shots at the Flood. They followed Fitzgerald, who was eventually leading the way. They reached another airlock hallway and passed Private Walker and four marines waiting to help their comrades. Fitzgerald waited with them and urged his men onwards. The Flood suddenly appeared at the end of the hall. The small team with David fired and the first two Flood forms dropped dead. They kept firing, until finally they retreated.
"Hold here!" Fitzgerald yelled, looking at the air lock they were standing around. The marines acknowledged him and fanned out along the edge of the hall, weapons trained at the entrance. The Flood ran through and were cut down by bullet fire. More fragmentation grenades were tossed. Two Flood forms were blown right into the marine lines, knocking over a private. Several Flood forms were able to fire off a few rounds. A nearby private took a round to his leg. The marine in front of him turned to help, but another bullet round hit him in the back of the head. He fell over, a pool of blood forming around him. Two marines standing closest to the entrance to the air lock hallway both died quickly as a group of Flood near the entrance fired at them. Their bodies danced on the spot as bullets rammed into them. When the Flood stopped, the dead marines fell. The same Flood forms rounded the corner and fired again. The marine in front of Fitzgerald took a bullet round to his left hip. He fell, clutching it and screaming for help. David lifted him up and threw him over his shoulder.
"Retreat!" he yelled again. Several marines provided cover fire, while the others either ran for their lives, or helped carry the wounded. Fitzgerald led the way, the marine on his back still screaming in pain.
"Shut up marine! Tough it out until we find you a doctor!"
"My kidney's gone and exploded sir! I'm pissing blood and it hurts!" he screamed. Fitzgerald shook his head and dropped him to the ground.
"Put your arm around me, I'm not having your piss and blood all over the back of my head" he said. The marine complied and they slowed to a jog. Others limped around them. The marines who had been providing cover fire were dead. The last one was tramped by a horde of infection forms. Fitzgerald ignored their screams and kept on running. He knew they were dead. The Flood were breathing right down their backs. Suddenly, an access tube hatch burst open and a large group of combat marines rushed through, all holding M90 shotguns. They didn't say a word and quickly rushed at the Flood, firing off the 12 gauge rounds into them. Within a few seconds of fighting, half of the Flood were dead. Another few seconds went by, and the last Flood form fell dead. The ten marines who had come to their rescue turned and began helping with the wounded. One marine stood in the middle.
"Who's in charge here?" he asked. Fitzgerald stood, wiping blood of his hands.
"I am sir, Lance Corporal Fitzgerald" he said, saluting. The marine returned it.
"Major Anderson, good to see you and your boys made it Fitzgerald. Captain Savard has put me in charge of internal security on this ship. You boys all take orders from me now" he said. Fitzgerald nodded.
"Sure thing sir, what can we do for you?" he asked. It was good to show that even with wounded soldiers; you were willing to help out in anyway. Major Anderson chuckled.
"You and your boys are going to get some rest. For the time being, we've set up a command post in the main cafeteria, two decks up from this one. We'll head there, drop off your wounded, and then head out. I'm focusing on gathering all of the remaining marine forces in that area, then fall back to a smaller area of the ship so it's easier to defend" Anderson explained. Fitzgerald nodded. Suddenly, the barks of more Flood forms could be heard.
"Let's move it ladies, grab the wounded and let's get out of here" Major Anderson snapped. Fitzgerald grabbed his assault rifle, then ushered the marines carrying wounded into the access tube. He and Major Anderson brought up the rear. The hatch closed behind them, just as another Flood attack wave appeared at the end of the hall.
The access tubes ran all over the ship and allowed easy access to certain areas. They were mainly used by engineers and flyboys, but in case of mutiny or aggressive capture, they were handy for positioning troops for an attack within the ship. That was proven when Major Anderson and his men pulled Fitzgerald out of the fire. The tubes were only five feet tall. Fitzgerald was 6'3", so he was forced to duck his head as they walked through the tubes.
Within minutes, the marines at the front of the column popped open the hatch and they climbed into the main cafeteria onboard the Hybrid. Fitzgerald walked in and cracked his neck. Several minutes of crouching low in an enclosed space wasn't fun. He looked around him.
This was Fitzgerald's first visit to the cafeteria. It was quite large and made up most of this deck. They were around seven or eight rows of benches and a large kitchen in the back. There were only three entrances, and all were blocked off. Groups of marines were gathered around them, firing off shotgun rounds at what David assumed was Flood combat forms. He ignored it for now. What attracted him was in the kitchen.
Not only was there food which he helped himself too, but a large ammo dump in the back. He grabbed a M90 shotgun and around 30 rounds. He immediately loaded twelve into the chamber and cocked the weapon. Slinging it over his shoulder, he grabbed a bowl of hot soup and a chunk of bread. A group of marines were sitting at a bench, playing cards. Fitzgerald joined them. Private Walker was sitting among them. He nodded.
"Corporal" he said. Fitzgerald returned the nod. He looked at the other three marines. Walker leaned forward.
"PFCs Graham, Mackenzie and Lafleur" the private said. Fitzgerald nodded at all of them, and then began eating his bread and soup. As he did, he glanced over at Private Mackenzie's cards. They were playing a game of Black Jack, and the private was holding a ten and a five. David chuckled.
"Take a hit" he said. Mackenzie shook his head.
"I got bad luck man, I'm going to stay" he said. Private Lafleur called for a hit. Walker handed him a six. Private Mackenzie swore, causing David to nearly choke on his soup. Private Lafleur grinned and revealed his cards. He had started off with fifteen as well and now had twenty-one.
"The frenchie wins it again" Private Graham said, shaking his head.
"Ah oui my friends, the French always win" Lafleur said with his strong French accent. Fitzgerald drained his soup, and then played a few games with the privates. On David's fourth game, Major Anderson walked over to them.
"Who's winning?" he asked. Everyone pointed to Private Lafleur who grinned. Anderson shook his head.
"Well, my congratulations. Time to wrap up the game though. We're got reports of a group of marines trapped in armory station D. That place only has assault rifles and pistols if I remember correctly. I'm gathering a small team. You boys are with me. Saddle up and meet me near the access tubes" he said. The five marines nodded, and then ditched their cards. Fitzgerald made sure his shotgun was still cocked, and then slammed a fresh magazine into his pistol. He holstered that, and then unslung his shotgun. He and the other privates gathered around Major Anderson, who was already ready.
"Okay, armory station D isn't far from here. Follow me, wait for my signal to attack" he ordered. Including Fitzgerald, eleven marines followed the Major into the access tubes. Fitzgerald was once again forced to duck his head.
The Major was right. The team came to a halt in front of a hatch. Anderson put a finger to his lips and they all listened. The sound of gunfire could be heard beyond the access hatch in front of them. They could hear the Flood and marine's screaming.
"When we get out, we'll be right behind the Flood. Move quickly and take them out. We'll gather up the wounded and move back through this tube. Fitzgerald, you, Graham, Walker, Lafleur and Mackenzie remain here at the tube entrance to make sure it doesn't get surrounded by the Flood got it?" Anderson explained. Fitzgerald and the others nodded. Anderson slowly counted down to three, and then opened the hatch. The team of marines piled out into the hallway and looked around. The Flood were swarming the entrance into the armory room. Immediately, the small fire team came about and opened fire.
Flood forms fell to their knees as continuous shotgun shells flew into them. Several turned, but none of them were able to shoot. The marines moved forward and cut them down, eventually reloading. Fitzgerald took out his pistol and fired off a few rounds, before finishing reloading his shotgun. The Flood forms attack the marines died off quickly. Anderson rushed forward into the armory.
"Fitzgerald, hold here!" he yelled over his shoulder. David nodded and turned to the privates with him.
"Fan out here guys, and shoot anything that comes down that hall" he ordered. The four privates nodded and stayed close to the walls along the hall, crouching low and raising their weapons. Fitzgerald knew that reinforcements would be coming soon. His thoughts betrayed him. They came now.
The hall was soon filled with Flood forms, charging forward. Walker and Graham tossed fragmentation grenades, while Lafleur, Mackenzie and Fitzgerald used their shotguns. The Flood were cut down quickly, but many of them were able to fire off a few shots. Luckily, they all missed. As Fitzgerald fired, he looked behind him.
"Major! We need help" he yelled. Four marines rushed out of the armory room and joined Fitzgerald and the others. They opened fire immediately, causing more Flood forms to fall. The last few were able to fire off a few shots, but not many. They dropped dead.
The ends of the nine shotguns pointing down the hall were smoking terribly. Two of the marines who had joined them, rushing back inside to assist Major Anderson. Fitzgerald kept his eye on the hall.
"Man, this is insane" he heard Private Mackenzie whisper.
"Dude, this may be insane, but do you want to go and fight for the Flood?" asked Private Graham.
"My friends, I would not talk about such things right now. Look, more of our enemies approach us" Private Lafleur said to them both. Fitzgerald smirked, and then fired his shotgun again. As they fought off this new wave, Major Anderson and the other marines appeared, carrying several wounded marines on stretchers. Anderson nodded at Fitzgerald as he passed into the tube.
"Hold here until we're through" he said.
"Got it sir" Fitzgerald answered and tossed his last fragmentation grenade. There was a long line of wounded marines being carried on stretchers. Some of the Flood forms stopped and fired their weapons. A marine carrying the one end of a stretcher took a bullet to his shoulder. Blood flew out and he fell, the stretcher following him. The wounded marine in it screaming in pain from the impact. The marine at the other end bent down to help him, but a round slammed into his head and he fell off to one side. Fitzgerald crouched and ran to the stretcher.
"Where are you hurt?" he asked the marine.
"My left leg sir, its broken" he answered, wincing in pain. Fitzgerald helped him up quickly.
"Walker!" he yelled. Private Walker tossed another grenade, and then ran over to him.
"Yes sir?" he asked.
"Help this man back to the cafeteria, he's the last one" he ordered. Walker slung his shotgun over his shoulder, and then held up the wounded marine. The two of them climbed into the tube. Fitzgerald turned to look at the rest of his marines.
"Fall back into the tubes!" he yelled, after reloading his shotgun. Private Graham threw his last frag grenades, and then ran through the tube, Private Mackenzie right behind him. One of the marines with them took a bullet to his shoulder. He fell over, clutching his wound and screaming. Fitzgerald and Private Lafleur grabbed him and held him up. Private Lafleur went with him. Fitzgerald walked to the tube, ushering the last marine with him to follow.
"Come on!" David yelled. The marine put his shotgun aside then ran to David. A bullet struck him in the chest and he stopped.
"Go sir!" he was able to yell, before being hit by additional bullets. Fitzgerald winced and slammed the hatch shut. He locked it twice, and then backed away, his shotgun still up. As he did, he felt someone tap his shoulder. He whirled around to see Privates Mackenzie and Graham waiting with him.
"Let's get out of here" Fitzgerald said after nodding at the two of them. Second later, they were in the cafeteria, checking in with Major Anderson.
"Glad to see you boys are okay. The last of the rescue teams of come in, we'll hold here for the night. From what the radio's picked up, there are still at least four groups of marines trapped out there. For the time being, looks like the Flood have eased off a bit and are taking a break themselves. Nevertheless, the entire ship has been encumbered by chaos" the Major said sadly. Fitzgerald stood at attention, listening to every word. The Major nodded at them.
"You boys did well, now go rest, we have more rough days ahead of us by the looks of it" he said. Fitzgerald saluted, and then walked back to a bench with Walker and the others. The five of them had become friends, which Fitzgerald was happy about. His one friend, Lance Corporal Banton was dead and the two of them had been life friends. It was good to have some friendly faces to nod too.
That night, Fitzgerald didn't sleep well. The Flood kept on attacking, forcing several marines to defend the entrances. The next few days and nights weren't going to be fun.
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade