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Survival, Chapter Six: Days of Rescue and Defense
Posted By: Agent Shade<shadow_agent13@hotmail.com>
Date: 27 September 2003, 6:11 AM

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Survival, Chapter Six: Days of Rescue and Defense

"Look out!" Lance Corporal Fitzgerald quickly ducked as a volley of assault rifle bullets flew at him. He stood up completely and fired off two rounds from his shotgun. The Flood combat form standing in the hall fell backwards dead. Fitzgerald reloaded quickly and fired an additional four rounds into the mass of Flood forms that were running at him. He stood behind one of the blockades set up in the main cafeteria that was being used as a home base for the marines. Beside him, Privates Walker, Mackenzie, Graham and two other marines fired their own shotguns as well.

"Loading" called out Mackenzie, dropping to one knee and slipping twelve shotgun shells into his weapon. The five other marines covered for the marine. Fitzgerald quickly slammed two more shells in and fired. The Flood had been sending huge attack waves ever since they got back from rescuing the marine fire team trapped in the armory. Fitzgerald had gotten no sleep at all. The two days worth of fighting was starting to affect him.

The Flood pulled back for a moment, before coming in again, firing their weapons wildly. Fitzgerald ducked low, avoiding volleys of bullets being fired at him. He ran out of ammo quickly as he fired at the oncoming mass.

"Loading" he yelled. One of the marines standing beside him suddenly fell backwards, blood flowing from a wound in his shoulder. Fitzgerald kneeled over him.

"Medic!" he called out, looking into the cafeteria. He suddenly realized that they didn't have any medics yet, and most of the marines in the base had gone looking for more trapped security teams with Major Anderson. Fitzgerald turned around.

"Walker, Graham, Mackenzie! Cover me!" he yelled. The three marines nodded and increased their rate of fire at the enemy. Fitzgerald stood and dragged the wounded marine into the kitchen, where the other wounded marines lay. One of them was almost done healing.

"I got it sir" he said, grabbing hold of the man. Fitzgerald nodded, and then ran back to the entrance. As he did, he paused to look at the other two entrances to the cafeteria. Each one had five marines around the blockade, ducking and firing at the Flood. Fitzgerald saw one get hit in the head with a bullet and fall backwards dead. A marine near him looked down at him for a moment, but another bullet struck him in the neck. He fell and lay beside the other dead marine. Fitzgerald quickly glanced at Walker and the others. They were merely picking off the survivors.

"Mackenzie, Graham, switch over!" he yelled at the two privates. They nodded and rushed over to the blockade which had taken casualties. Fitzgerald made sure Walker was okay, and then joined them. However, as he walked over, the blockade surround the third entrance exploded, blasting three of the marines around it into the cafeteria and engulfing the remaining two in flame. Fitzgerald gaped at the huge hole in the blockade, and then snapped out of his trance. Flood forms began rushing in. One of them had a Jackhammer launcher.

"Shit! Walker, Graham, regroup on me!" he yelled, rolling to the left, avoiding a volley of bullets. He crouched up behind a table and fired, killing two Flood combat forms. Private Walker and Graham rushed to his aid, firing their own shotguns and taking out more of the Flood forms. The combat Flood wielding the Jackhammer launcher rushed in after its comrades. Fitzgerald quickly targeted it and fired. Just as the shotgun shells ripped through the Flood form's body, it pulled the trigger on the rocket launcher it held. The rocket flew straight at Private Graham and Mackenzie. Luckily, the two of them dove right out of the way. It flew by and exploded into the wall behind him. The two privates jumped up quickly and charged forward, firing what remaining in their shotgun shells. The three marines were able to push the Flood back into the hall and eventually kill them all. The other Flood combat forms attacking retreated, leaving the wearied group of marines left in charge of the cafeteria. Most of the privates sat on a bench, panting and playing with their trigger fingers to make sure they didn't go stiff. Fitzgerald didn't sit at first. He checked on the wounded, then sat with the rest of his men.

"That was a close one" he said. The marines around him nodded.

"Another attack like that, and we're done" Private Walker said. Mackenzie nodded.

"Did you see that rocket? Jesus, I thought for sure I was dead" he exclaimed. Private Graham smirked.

"We both would've been toasted" he said merely. Fitzgerald leaned back.

"No worries, the Major should be back soon" he said. Sure enough, the access tube hatch opened and the Major stepped through. Behind him came a line of tired Marine Regulars, carrying wounded men on their backs and stretchers. Most of Major Anderson's men were being carried. The big man sat right down and pointed to were the wounded went.

"Jesus..." he whispered after helping a young private. Fitzgerald nodded at him.

"What happened out there?" he asked. Anderson shook his head. His face was covered in human and Flood blood.

"This security team was encamped around Air lock 7A, surrounded by those huge blockade things. The Flood were on either side, and the marines only had six shooters and a shitload of wounded. Mostly bullet wounds to the shoulder and legs. Many were dead though. We came in and fought off that wave, but as we were leaving, another wave of Flood forms came. Took out five of my men instantly and wounded an additional three. We fought them off as well, but six other marines, including my own, died. I hope that never happens again" he said. Fitzgerald nodded through the whole thing.

"We've got more wounded than we do fighters Major" he said. Anderson nodded.

"I know, what happened here?" he asked. Fitzgerald shrugged.

"The usual attack wave. It wasn't very hard at first, but Private Johnson and Collins were wounded and we lost five guys to a Jackhammer Flood form. The thing blew up the entire blockade, and then nearly killed Mackenzie and Graham. We fought them off though" explained Fitzgerald. Anderson nodded.

"Jesus, we don't have enough marines to send out and have stay here" he said, looking briefly at the kitchen which was loaded with wounded marines. Fitzgerald looked into the corner of the cafeteria and noticed additional blockade pieces. Some where stacked on top of another. This gave the Corporal an idea.

"Sir, why don't we just block off the entrances to the cafeteria completely?" he asked. Anderson laughed.

"Do you have any idea how much those blockades weigh?" he asked, laughing still. Fitzgerald pursed his lips.

"But what if they're stacked for us already?" continued the Corporal. Anderson stopped laughing. He looked into the corner of the room and saw the stacked blockades. He grinned.

"Let's do it. Pull the old ones out, move the new ones in" he ordered. The marines snapped to attention, then went about setting up the new defenses. It took them a total of fifteen minutes to drag the old blockades out and put the stacked ones it. The additional weight of a second blockade made pushing the huge things into position very hard. However, when they finished, they couldn't see out of the entrances to the cafeteria.

"Good, that will do, good thinking Corporal" Anderson said, nodding at Fitzgerald, who saluted. Suddenly, a marine walked over.

"Radio for you sir" he said. Anderson raised an eyebrow and grabbed the radio.

"This is Anderson" he said. At first, static came out of the speaker, but following it came a frantic voice.

"This is Lieutenant Bishop, Bridge Weapons Officer, I am with a fire team marines and we are trapped in the control room of Cryo Chamber 4C. Request immediate assistance and rescue. The Flood have surrounded the flood below and are attempting to climb up to get us. We're running low on ammo and have many wounded, please send help, out" said the voice. Anderson pulled the radio away from his ear. He nodded at Fitzgerald.

"Gather the marines on me" he ordered. David nodded and turned to the marines who were double-checking that the blockades didn't fall.

"Marines! Fall in!" he yelled. They moved quickly to surround the Major, who was already saddling up and grabbing ammo.

"Last one for the day gentlemen. A Lieutenant from the bridge and a team of marines are trapped in Cryo Chamber 4C. That's two decks below us. We head through the tubes, neutralize the enemy, and then get out of there. Corporal Fitzgerald, have a small group of marines stay back. Everyone else, grab weapons and ammo, then let's move" he ordered. Fitzgerald turned as the marines dispersed and picked six marines who would not join them. They wandered back to the benches, one marine taking out a deck of cards. Fitzgerald grabbed two handfuls of shotgun shells from a nearby weapon pile, and then got in line for the access tube. Major Anderson opened the hatch and nodded at Private Walker who was first.

"Head for the ladder" Anderson nodded. Walker saluted, then crouched low and climbed in. The marines behind him followed suite and before Fitzgerald knew it, he was bending low and crawling through the small space. The line of marines moved quickly, which Fitzgerald was thankful for. He grabbed hold of an access ladder that allowed crewmembers to descend or ascend to different levels on the ship. In this case, the marines climbed down. Fitzgerald hit the ground of the bottom deck and crawled after the marines, who were slowing up ahead. Major Anderson moved to the front, Fitzgerald decided to follow him. The two marines looked down at a small circular opening in the ground. In it was an extendable ladder and a hatch, which would lead them to the Cryo Chamber's control room. Fitzgerald climbed and held onto the ladder. He looked up at Major Anderson and nodded. The Major acknowledged him, and then hit a switch. The ladder jolted and began to fall. As it did, Fitzgerald kicked out with his foot and knocked open the hatch. The ladder slide all the way down into the control room. The Corporal jumped off and crouched up, looking around.

The control room for this Cryo Chamber was rather large than the other ones. There were two huge windows, which looked down into the chamber. Observation computers and consoles covered the walls and a single monitoring console was positioned in the middle. Since the control room was offline, that console was being used for weapons and ammo. Fitzgerald could see that there wasn't a lot. The only entrance to the control room was a large break in the glass that leads onto catwalks above the cryo-tubes. Three marines were surrounding that break, firing their assault rifles at the Flood onslaught. Fitzgerald could make out five additional marines who were able to fight, but were helping the wounded.

Behind Fitzgerald, Major Anderson dropped down and stood beside the Corporal. He looked around at the marines that they found.

"Lieutenant Bishop?" he asked. A marine near the entrance to the control room, patted two of the marines on their backs and walked over to the Major, ordering one of his marines to take over for him. He saluted.

"Weapons Officer, Lieutenant Bishop Sir" he said. Anderson returned the salute.

"Major Anderson, Internal Security forces" he said. Bishop nodded.

"Thank god you guys came, I was worried no one would get my message, we're really roughed up here" he said thankfully, panting hard. Without warning, one of the marines standing near the entrance screamed and fell backwards, holding his thigh in pain.

"Oh shit, Wilson take over for him. Cochrane, get over here and help up Maddox" Lieutenant Bishop said.

"Belay that, you three marines, help Maddox. Green team, cover fire at the entrance" Major Anderson said. Fitzgerald didn't realize that the entire marine team he had come with was standing in the control room with him. A team of five marines wielding shotguns rushed to the entrance, as the two marines standing there walked off, dragging Private Maddox with him. Lieutenant Bishop turned to the Major.

"I highly suggest we get out of here" he said. Anderson shook his head.

"Negative, we take out the enemy before we go, prevents more marines from getting hurt. However, we will start getting the wounded ready. Get some stretchers made and let's get them ready to go" Major Anderson ordered. The marines around him went to work, getting everyone ready to leave. Green team continued to pump rounds into the Flood attackers. Private First Class Jacob turned around.

"Major, there's too many, we can't take them all out" he said. Anderson nodded.

"Okay, provide some cover fire. Red and Blue teams will move out onto the catwalks and take them out" Anderson ordered. Fitzgerald led his four marines Walker, Mackenzie, Graham and Lafleur to the main entrance. Anderson stood behind them.

"Ready?" he asked. Fitzgerald nodded. "Cover fire!" he yelled. The Green team marines fired quickly then paused to let Fitzgerald and his marines by. The Corporal emerged onto the catwalk and tossed two fragmentation grenades. His marines behind him did the same. As he fired, Green team fired a few more rounds, and then Red team moved out onto the catwalk opposite to Fitzgerald's. Green team then spaced themselves out along the two catwalks and the marines opened fire.

The shotguns were god when used against the Flood. Fitzgerald must've killed twenty, just by firing twelve rounds. He reloaded, and then tossed his last frag grenade. It exploded and Flood bodies flew into the air. As the Corporal continued to fire, he was amazing at how many Flood forms there were. He couldn't even see the flood of the chamber, there were so many. Nevertheless, they had to die. Fitzgerald began firing more quickly, his marines doing the same. David glanced inside the control room and could see the wounded being sent up the tubes. Hopefully they too would be out of there soon. He was worried that Flood forms wielding human weapons would start attacking.

Without warning, bullets flew up from the ground and smashed into Red team and two other marines who were part of Green team. Human blood splattered along the wall as the bullets from assault rifles and pistols alike drove through the marines. Two wounded men fell off the catwalk and disappeared into the sea of Flood forms. Fitzgerald quickly dove to one side, just as bullets and ammo fired from below smashed into them. Luckily, most of the other marines copied Fitzgerald and dove out of the way, except for the two marines from Green team. Both of them hit the wall they stood in front of and slowly slide to the ground. Private Graham took a bullet to his leg and was slowly crawling back into the control room. Fitzgerald crouched low and ran after him, firing rounds from his shotgun.

"Retreat!" he yelled at his three remaining marines. They provided cover fire and rushed after him. However, Private Mackenzie was not so lucky. As he ran, a volley of assault rifle bullets slammed into him. It pierced his armor, and fountains of blood flew out of his wounds. The man dropped to his knees, looked briefly at the marines gaping at him, and then fell to the floor.

"Fuck!" Private Walker screamed. Fitzgerald held the man back.

"He's dead Walker, let's get out of here" he said. Private Walker bowed his head.

"So long dude" he whispered to the prone body of Private Mackenzie. The two marines turned and helped Private Lafleur hoist Private Graham into the access tubes. A small group of marines who had been helping with the wounded provided some protection. They stayed at the entrance and fired their assault rifles wildly at the enemy. More bullets flew at them and two marines fell back from bullet wounds to the face and neck. The remaining two retreated back into the room. Fitzgerald allowed Privates Walker and Lafleur up first, and then helped the remaining two marines. As the last marine was going up, several Flood forms stood at the entrance to the room and fired, catching the young private in the head. He fell off the ladder and hit the ground. Fitzgerald quickly grabbed on and hit a switch on the wall. He angled himself so his gun faced the enemy and fired. Bullets pinged off around him as he was lifted into the tube. He killed two of the Flood forms as he went up. When the ladder stopped moving, Major Anderson hit another switch and the hatch closed, sealing them in. Fitzgerald breathed with relief, and then looked up at the Major, who shook his head.

"Nice one 007" he said. Fitzgerald smiled briefly, but stopped. He looked at the hatch, picturing the control room below.

"Bye Mackenzie" he whispered. Major Anderson lowered his hand and pulled the Corporal up and into the tubes. The two men then began the long trek back to the cafeteria. When they reached there, everyone they had rescued was alive and well. The wounded were resting and the lives ones were chatting with the other marines. When the Major entered the room, everything went silent. Lieutenant Bishop approached.

"On behalf of all of my marines, I would like you to deeply thank you for the rescue, you assistance was much appreciated by all who lived" he said, and then saluted. Major Anderson nodded, and then returned the salute. He then turned to the other marines.

"For the next few days, the marines you see around you are your brothers. Each and every one of you depends on one another to watch their backs and make sure they aren't killed. The last of the security teams have been rescued, we are now on our own to try and fight off this threat. For now, let's rest up, but tomorrow, we start our campaign to take back this ship" he said defiantly. The marines cheered and pumped their fists into the air. Fitzgerald swelled with pride and grinned. Major Anderson turned to him.

"I'm in need for a new Sergeant, and you're the man I'm looking for. What do you say Corporal?" he asked. Fitzgerald grinned and saluted.

"I'm your man sir" he said. Major Anderson grinned and returned the salute.

"Good, you deserve it though. Lieutenant Bishop is here however, he is my new second in command. For the time being, he'll be in charge of interior security of his cafeteria, until we can establish some sort of plan to attack the Flood with" the Major said. Fitzgerald nodded, and then saluted at Lieutenant Bishop, who returned it.

The Days of Rescuing and Defending were over. It was time to fight back and take back what is rightfully theirs...

By: Agent Shade