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Survival, Chapter Seven
Posted By: Agent Shade<shadow_agent13@hotmail.com>
Date: 4 October 2003, 4:52 AM

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Survival, Chapter Seven

~*Author's note*~

Forgive me fellow readers, however, I'm running out of names for each of my chapters, therefore, I've decided to stop naming them. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience for some people. Enjoy!

~*End note*~

Sergeant David Fitzgerald slammed several shotgun shells into his weapon, then raised it to his shoulder and fired off four rounds. The kickback of the weapon barely affected his aim, since he'd been fighting for several years now. Two of the Flood forms charging at the blockade line fell, however they're comrades did not stop. Fitzgerald ducked to allow the other marines behind him to open fire with their own weapons. Staff Sergeant Evans was crouching near them, helping out a wounded marine. His continuous barks and insults were ignored. Fitzgerald smirked and fired the last three shells in his gun. He sat against the wall of the hall and reloaded eight shells. He looked up.

"Anyone got any more ammo?" he grunted. A nearby marine stopped firing, reached into his pocket and tossed a full shotgun shell magazine, loaded with 32 shells.

"Thanks" Fitzgerald said, grabbing the magazine, opening it and taking out four more shells. He pocketed the magazine, loaded the shells into his gun, and then continued to fire. However, he only fired three of the shells. The moment his third shot struck a Flood form, the remaining forms retreated. The marines stopped firing, but kept their weapons raised. The hallway went silent. Finally, Fitzgerald sighed and sat back against the wall. The marines with him did the same. Sergeant Evans crawled around them, making sure his boys were all right. He came to Fitzgerald.

"Anderson wants you" he said. Fitzgerald nodded and patted Evans on the back, who grunted in response. David climbed over all the other marines and began the somewhat long walk back to the bridge.

Fitzgerald, Major Anderson and a small group of marines had been called back to the bridge, to report to Captain Savard what the situation was and also to strategize. There was only one entrance to the bridge, which was well protected, but the marines had taken the liberty to expand their little territory to the other halls around them. There were small blockade stations along the way, which David climbed over. He had been ordered to assist the defense forces, while the Major talked with the Captain.

Fitzgerald walked into the bridge, slinging his shotgun over his shoulder, then standing at attention. Captain Savard, Major Anderson and Lieutenant Bishop stood around the small view screen that was fixed in front of the Captain's chair. The three men turned. Both the Captain and the Major returned the salute given to them. Captain Savard nodded.

"This him?" he asked. The Major nodded. Savard took a step forward.

"Major Anderson tells me that you have shown excellent leadership and battle skills. You apparently defended the main cafeteria with only...what was it? Fourteen marines, against a full Flood attack?" the Captain asked. Fitzgerald choose his words carefully.

"Sir, it wasn't a big accomplishment, but yes, I did" he said. Savard shook his head.

"Sergeant, had your defenses fallen, we probably wouldn't be standing here right now, you've done an excellent job it seems" he said. Major Anderson was nodding behind him. Fitzgerald was going red. Why was he being honored for doing this?

"Sir, I appreciate the thanks, but it was really nothing" he said.

"Also, Major Anderson tells me that you were successful in protecting the wounded marines being loaded into the tubes when you went and rescued Lieutenant Bishop here" The Captain said. Bishop nodded at Fitzgerald who gave a small nod.

"Not just me sir" he said.

"You also lost a man in the process?" Savard asked.

"Yes sir, Private First Class Mackenzie" he said.

"Well, our greatest sympathy to him Sergeant, he must've been a good soldier. However, you're the reason why I've called you here" he said. Fitzgerald nodded.

"Sergeant, I believe you deserve to be more than a Sergeant. Your dedication to this ship and its crew is admirable. I'm therefore promoting you to the rank of First Sergeant" Captain Savard announced. Fitzgerald was about to protest, but the patch indicating his knew rank was already in the Captain's hands. The Captain slapped it on, ripping his old Corporal patch off first. Fitzgerald grinned with pride and saluted.

"Thank you sir" he said. Captain Savard returned the salute.

"You earned it son, keep up the good work. Now then, let's get down to the real deal gentlemen. We have two command posts on this ship; everywhere else is loaded with Flood combat forms. We assume their numbers are dwindling, hence the less and less attacks they send, which therefore means they're getting weak. What should be our next course of action gentlemen?" he asked. Major Anderson raised his head.

"Sir, I do not believe that it is safe to say that their numbers are dwindling. Although their attack strategies have changed, the number of Flood forms they send in each wave is still the same, which means that they still have a somewhat large supply of combat forms" Anderson explained. Captain Savard turned to him.

"Good point, what do you have in mind then Major?" asked the Captain.

"We need to assume more control over this ship and that means covering more ground. I suggest we set up a second command post somewhere. The main cafeteria is already bustling with marines, too many marines to be honest. I'm thinking about liberating an armory station on deck C. That will be our second command post. Once that's accomplished, we then work out an attack plan" the Major said, answering the Captain's question. Savard raised an eyebrow.

"Major, how does liberating an armory station help gain more control over this ship?" he asked.

"Forgive me sir; I used the wrong analogy for that. I meant to say, I don't think it's safe to have all our eggs in one basket. If the main cafeteria is breached and all the marines in it killed, not only will the Flood numbers grow, but the defenses inside this ship will be gone" Anderson said. Savard nodded thoughtfully.

"That's happened too many times in the past with assembled ground teams. Very well Major, work up a strategy for taking that armory station, then report back to me to discuss our attack plan to taking out those bastards" he said. The Major, Fitzgerald and Lieutenant Bishop saluted. The Captain returned it, and then turned his back to them. The three men walked out of the bridge.

"Lieutenant, gather our men near the access hatch, but make sure all the enemies in the area have been killed" Anderson ordered. Bishop saluted and rushed off down the hall. Fitzgerald and Anderson were left alone at the end of the hall. Anderson turned to him.

"I personally asked for your promotion Fitzgerald. My company Sergeant was killed during the Flood assault. I'm in need of a second command for my marines" he said. Fitzgerald nodded looked up at the man.

"What about Lieutenant Bishop Sir?" he asked.

"When we take that armory station, Bishop will be in charge of it and the marines in it. You'll be the second-in-command" Anderson explained. David nodded, and then watched the Lieutenant and a group of eight marines walk towards them. Anderson nodded at them all, then opened the hatch that lead into the access tubes.

While the hallway leading to the bridge was the only entrance, the access tubes provided a secondary entrance in case of possible boarding action. In this case, the tubes were being used for same transportation from one spot to another. Fitzgerald climbed in after everyone else, closing the hatch behind him. The small group of marines climbed down several ladders to reach deck B, then exited the tube and entered the main cafeteria. Fitzgerald climbed out and sealed the hatch shut behind him. He looked around the big room.

Even the cafeteria couldn't hold all the marines they had rescued. Many sat at the benches, others sat along the wall. A few marines were curled up in corners, trying to sleep. Screams from the wounded being helped could be heard. They had recently been sent three medical marines who were getting many of their wounded marines back into battle. The stacked titanium blockade pieces were still in position around the entrances and hadn't been destroyed. Fitzgerald walked over to his three new friends he had made and promoted; Corporals Walker, Graham and Lafleur. The three men were playing their usual game of black jack. Fitzgerald sat at their table. They looked at him.

"Jesus, promoted again?" Corporal Graham asked, leaning back from the bench. Fitzgerald smirked.

"Damn right marine" he said, trying to imitate a boot camp drill sergeant. The marines chuckled, and then went back to their game, allowing Fitzgerald to play as well. The First Sergeant did well several games, but when a young private accidentally spilt his soup on David, he started to lose it.

"Oh yes" Corporal Walker said, flipping his cards over to reveal twenty. Corporal Graham growled, and tossed his cards onto the table, revealing eighteen. However, like always, Corporal Lafleur flipped his cards over to reveal twenty-one.

"Damnit man!" Walker exclaimed, laughing and throwing his cards at the French man. Lafleur grinned and chuckled.

"My friends, what can I say, I am a winner no?" he said. Fitzgerald smiled and tossed his cards onto the table, revealing sixteen. His fellow marines booed him.

"Take a chance man" Graham said.

"Last time you told me that Graham, I do believe I ended up with twenty-six!" Fitzgerald said. That brought upon more laughs from the marines. However, because the next few games were won by Lafleur, they stopped playing. Walker stood, mentioning something about soup. Graham and Lafleur both went to play poker with some other marines. Fitzgerald however stayed where he was. He was soon joined by Major Anderson, who was holding two cups of what looked like coffee. Fitzgerald grabbed the offered cup.

"Coffee sir?" he asked, saluting briefly. Anderson chuckled and sat across from him.

"One of the medics was bored, so he got it working" he said. Fitzgerald shrugged and took a sip at the hot liquid.

"Can't complain I guess" he said. Anderson nodded and took a sip. He then looked over at the Sergeant as he swallowed the caffeine-loaded drink.

"Here's the plan David. The armory station I want is the same one we rescued Security Team Alpha-B from. One entrance facility, with a small little barracks room in the back. Last report said that there were still lots of ammo left and the explosive racks hadn't been opened, which is good for us. We use the tubes naturally, large group, probably close to twenty marines. The tube entrance sadly leads to the front of the station, so we might have to see how easy, invading the interior is going to be. However, I have a strong feeling no one is going to show up" Anderson explained. Fitzgerald merely nodded and listened. "Now, once we've pretty much secured the area, we'll expand our territory slightly, by setting up blockade pieces at the end of the hall, so if we send reinforcements, they aren't jumping in on Flood forms trying to get into the base" Fitzgerald laughed at that.

"That wouldn't be too good now" he said, taking another sip of his drink. Anderson laughed as well.

"Wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure. I want you to grab ten combat marines; I'll grab the additional ten. I want to move out ASAP" Anderson said. Fitzgerald drained his coffee and slammed his cup onto the table, nodding at the Major.

"Kick ass sir" he said. Anderson finished his as well.

"Let's see who wants to kill" he muttered, standing and walking off among the marines. Fitzgerald took the two cups to the sink, where the medics were attempting to do dishes, since they had helped the wounded the best they could. David then turned and searched among the marines, looking for ones who were fit to fight. Naturally, his three friends immediately volunteered and suited up quickly. Seven other marines followed them, each of them running on a days worth of sleep, which was good compared to the others. Fitzgerald suited up and grabbed a new shotgun which was already loaded. He strapped two of the shotgun shell magazines to his combat belt, and then cocked his weapon. The rest of the marines forces were already gathered around Major Anderson, who was explaining to them the process.

"...wouldn't want some of our boys to jump down into Flood combat forms trying to get into the armory station" he said. The marines laughed at the joke. Anderson nodded at Fitzgerald, who returned.

"All right, let's do this quickly so we can all sleep tonight. I will lead the way to the access hatch; Major Anderson brings up the rear. There should be little resistance, but be on your guard, Once we've confirmed that we've secured the area, Lieutenant Bishop and the others who were assigned to stay at that station will move through the tubes" Fitzgerald yelled. The marines nodded in understanding. Major Anderson turned and opened the hatch.

"Let's kick some ass" he said. As the marines cheered, First Sergeant Fitzgerald climbed into the tubes and began a slow, steady jog to his destination. He remembered the way, since he had been at that armory station two days ago. The marines followed closely behind him. As they went, someone began humming "Click Click Boom" by Saliva. Fitzgerald eventually heard the others joining in and before they knew it, the band's over-used song was being sung by everyone, even the Major. Fitzgerald merely shook his head, but was eventually forced to make a fist. They had reached their destination.

The hatch was much like the hatch in the cryo-room they had been in yesterday when rescuing Lieutenant Bishop. Fitzgerald climbed down and hung onto the ladder that would extend into the hall. He looked up to see Corporal Walker fingering a small switch. Fitzgerald nodded and Walker pressed it. Immediately, the small access hatch opened and the ladder fell into the hall, Fitzgerald hanging onto it. He let go with one hand and swung his shotgun around, looking for hostiles. There were none. He jumped off and allowed the other marines to jump down. They gathered around the main entrance, which was closed off. Major Anderson walked forward through the group, his ID card up. Surprisingly, when he slipped it through a small control panel on the side, the door opened.

Fitzgerald leveled his shotgun, switched it's flashlight on and slowly walked into the room. The interior of the armory station was like all the other stations on the ship. A large rectangular room, filled with titanium blockades. Four locked racks of explosives and down the middle of the room were cases of guns and ammo all positioned on a structure that filled up most of the room.

David side stepped off to the left. Behind him, Corporal Graham went to the right. The marines split up into two lines and followed the two marines into the station. Fitzgerald wasn't surprised to see that the bodies of the dead Flood were gone. However, he could still make out large blotches of blood; human and flood. He ignored the small stench he could smell and explored the station. He eventually met up with Corporal Graham and the other line of marines. They place was empty. The light suddenly turned on. Major Anderson walked towards them, looking around.

"Still seems in good shape" he muttered to Fitzgerald as he walked by.

"Doesn't seem right sir, where's the Flood?" he asked. Anderson could only shake his head as he looked around.

"I think we should be thankful there isn't any flood Sergeant" he said. David agreed.

"Yes sir. Shall I have Lieutenant Bishop start bringing his men over here?" he asked. Major Anderson stood still for a moment, looking at the blood, and then nodded.

"Yes, have him come" he said. Fitzgerald nodded and grabbed his small two-way radio.

"Alpha team to Café Marine, come in please" he said.

"This is Café Marine, done already Fitzgerald?" asked the voice of Lieutenant Bishop.

"No resistance at all Lieutenant, we're ready for your men to be transferred" he said.

"Roger that Sergeant, we're on the way, out" Fitzgerald clicked his radio off, and then looked at the titanium blockades. However, the Major was already ahead of him.

"All right, I want these blockade pieces placed at the end of that hall. Be quick about it, we don't know if there are Flood forces nearby. Try and stack them, if not, just make sure no one can just walk forward and kill one of you" he ordered. Fitzgerald helped his men do their orders, while Major Anderson waited for Lieutenant Bishop. Luckily for them, some of the blockade pieces were stacked up upon one another. This allowed them to create a successful wall at the end of the hall, sealing off their armory station from the rest of the ship. Small blockade pieces were positioned around the hall, in case of a breach. While this was happening, Lieutenant Bishop and his men had arrived. They were setting up inside. Fitzgerald finished pushing a blockade piece and turned to Major Anderson, who was walking towards him.

"Ten of our boys have to stay here, the Lieutenant didn't bring enough defenders" he said. Fitzgerald nodded and turned.

"I need ten marines willing to stay here and help defend this station" he said. Corporal Graham and nine other marines volunteered immediately. Fitzgerald nodded and had them report to Lieutenant Bishop. The remaining marines packed up what gear they brought and got ready to leave. They waited for Major Anderson, who walked back to them, Lieutenant Bishop at his side.

"All set sir, thanks for your help" the Lieutenant was saying. The two men saluted, and then Bishop left them. Anderson nodded at them all.

"Let's go" he said and climbed up the ladder. The marines followed suit, leaving Fitzgerald behind. The Sergeant looked around him. Something didn't feel right. No resistance of any kind. They basically just walked into a part of the ship that wasn't controlled by the Flood. He felt odd. He knew something was wrong. However, he prepared himself for the worse and climbed up the ladder, which was pulled up after him. The hatch was closed and the second security marine command post was established on board the Hybrid. Survival seemed a possibility for the internal security forces.

Unknown to the secure internal security forces, the access hatch that led from the tubes, into the bridge of the Hybrid was slowly opening. A patrol marine turns and prepares to greet a security marine of some sort. However, a human being does not step out of the tube...