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Survival, Chapter Eight
Posted By: Agent Shade<shadow_agent13@hotmail.com>
Date: 6 October 2003, 10:46 PM

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Survival, Chapter Eight

First Sergeant Fitzgerald returned to the main cafeteria and found it to be under attack by more Flood combat forms. Bullets were pinging off the stacked blockade pieces guarding the main entrance. Fitzgerald rolled his eyes and rushed over to the nearest blockade. The huge titanium piece on top of the other was slowly being pushed off. A handful of marines were pushing against it, but the Flood were overpowering them. Fitzgerald stuck his shotgun nozzle through a small gap between the blockade pieces and fired. He heard several of the combat forms growl and die. David unpinned a fragmentation grenade and tossed it through. The marines around him ducked, and the grenade detonated. The Flood forms on this side of the cafeteria were dead. Fitzgerald received thanks from the exhausted marines, and then rushed to the other two blockades.

"Fitzgerald! We need help over here!" yelled out Major Anderson. David rushed over to the Major, slamming additional shotgun shells into his weapon. The blockade piece of the far right side of the cafeteria had fallen over. Several Flood combat forms were climbing over and swinging their whips around, and firing their assault rifles. Two marines were cut down by the tentacle whips. Another marine screamed as bullets slammed into his body. Fitzgerald jammed his shotgun nozzle into the first Flood combat form and fired. It toppled over, blood gushing from the hole in its stomach. Without thinking, Fitzgerald slammed the butt end of this shotgun into the next combat form's head. It fell down for a second and was about to get up, but David pressed down on its back and fired four shells into it. He ducked to avoid a tentacle whip lashed at him and fired the last of his shotgun rounds at the Flood. With his help, the marines pushed the Flood forms back into the hall. A few fragmentation grenades finished them. Fitzgerald breathed out deeply and took a knee.

First Sergeant Jordan Evans heard the access tube hatch open behind him. He turned and waited to see who came out. At first, there was no movement, but the hatch remained open. A sudden stench filled the small hall. Evans raised an eyebrow and slowly walked over to the hatch.

"Hello?" he grunted. No reply to his call. The Sergeant raised his shotgun and moved in. He peered inside the tube. He could see nothing but darkness. Evans shrugged and grabbed the hatch. He was about the close it, when a huge figure emerged and struck the Sergeant in the arm. Evans froze and watched his arm from the elbow down disappear. Suddenly, the pain struck him and he screamed. He fired two shotgun shells into the tube, but another figure appeared and struck him in the shoulder. Evans spiraled in the air to the right and hit the wall, where he slide down and landed on the ground. His scream brought several marines running down the hall, but the Flood combat form force was already making their way into the bridge.

The clean up took over half an hour. It took Fitzgerald and seven other marines to life the titanium blockade piece and put it back on top of the other one. Once that was done, they were exhausted. They things weighed a ton. Fitzgerald stood after a quick break and helped drag several dead marines away into the kitchen. When he returned to the cafeteria, Major Anderson rushed at him, his face completely white.

"Jesus sir, looks like you've seen a ghost" he said. The Major grabbed him.

"A Flood combat force has infiltrated the bridge and are killing at random, they're requesting back up" he whispered into his ear. Fitzgerald's eyes went wide and he too turned white.

"Are you serious?" he asked.

"The private who told me their situation was killed while he was explaining their casualties" the Major said. Fitzgerald broke away.

"Everyone into the tubes now! Get to the bridge! Move you asses, let's go!" he roared. The marines snapped out of their relaxation and rushed to the tube entrance. Fitzgerald rushed after them, not bothering to grab more ammo for his shotgun. "Go go go!" he yelled again at the marines. They moved fast and ascended the ladders to the bridge level. The access hatch was already opened. Fitzgerald could hear screams and gunfire. He swore. "MOVE IT!" he yelled. The marines in front of him quickly climbed into the hall, followed by Fitzgerald.

The entire hallway was covered in human blood. Dead marines lay everywhere, their body parts and innards sprayed along the deck. Fitzgerald jumped over the cluster of bodies and found his way to the blockade piece that was supposed to protect the bridge from invasion.

The huge titanium blockade pieces were in pieces. The amount of blood and bodies in here was huge, indicating some sort of explosion. Fitzgerald backed away from the hall and rushed inside the bridge. Crewman were dead everywhere. Groups of marines were slowly starting to clean up the dead. Along the walls of the bridge lay wounded marines. Many of them were dead, others were screaming. It was a scene of mass massacre. The Flood had hit them were it hurt.

One crewman suddenly rushed over to David, blood covering the right side of his face. There was a huge hole in his shoulder and it was spitting out blood. He grabbed Fitzgerald and looked right at him.

"They've taken the captain" he whispered. Fitzgerald read the man's name tag. "Dela Cruz, Lieutenant." This was the ship's helmsman. The man looked at David. "The Captain...they've taken him" he said faintly. Suddenly, he went limp and fell to the floor. Fitzgerald stood rooted to the spot. Captain Savard, the man who had promoted him for bravery and courage was gone. Major Anderson ran up to him.

"Everyone's dead, they left no one alive" he said, a hint of anger in his voice. Fitzgerald looked at the Major.

"They took the Captain Sir" he said.

Captain Savard opened his eyes and could see nothing. He felt something touch him, and then he was thrown to the ground. He shivered as the cold floor greeted his bare skin. Suddenly, his eye sight returned. He gasped at what he saw.

The Captain lay in the very middle of the Hybrid's engine room. Only, it was no longer the engine room. Tentacles hung everywhere like cobwebs. The green fungus that covered most of the halls was so thick here, it felt like grass. Savard could feel small organisms running through the grass. He could hear screaming echoing throughout the room. Near him, a marine was being dragged into the room. He too was screaming and struggling to break free. Two Flood combat forms held him to the ground and a small infection form sprouted from the fungus. The marine's screaming intensified as the infection form scurried over to him.

"No! Oh god, no!" he yelled. The infection form jumped at the marine's face. Savard winced as the little thing stuck a small tendril into the marine's neck. The man's veins all over his body popped and he screamed even louder. Slowly, the infection form began to suck itself into the tendril sticking out of the man's neck. As it did this, the marine's body structure began to bubble and expand. His voice became much lower and deep. Tentacles began bursting through his armor. His entire right arm fell off and a tentacle whip sprouted from his elbow. His neck suddenly snapped off as the tendril was removed by a Flood combat form. His head hung off to the side, the man's expression of horror and pain inscribed on his dead face. Slowly, the new Flood combat form stood and looked around. It then dashed away.

Savard looked around, but could see infection form coming at him. Instead, a parade of six Flood combat forms marched towards him, carrying a huge mound of flesh. At a closer look, Savard could see a somewhat larger infection form; however, it glowed with an intense brightness. Its tentacle legs allowed it to move, and its larger tentacles that it used to latch onto its prey were huge. It was dropped to the floor in front of Savard. A voice suddenly entered his head.

"Hmmm, quite a fine brain here" the voice said. Savard looked around. "Haha, do not worry Malcolm, you are not going crazy" the voice chuckled.

"What are you?" he asked. There was a long pause.

"I am the Flood" the voice said simply. Savard raised an eyebrow, and then looked at the massive infection form in front of him.

"Yes, this is who is speaking to you" the voice said.

"You speak English?" Savard said. The voice returned, but this time different.

"I keaps ynam segauganl" it said. Savard looked at the infection form, confused. "That was the tongues of the Covenant Elite" the voice said. Savard nodded.

"Why am I here? How come I'm not being turned into a combat form like the others?" he asked.

"You are the captain of this ship, you are a specific human being we need" the voice said.

"What do you plan to do with me?" Savard asked.

"Are you sure you wish to know?" the voice said, ignoring the question.

"Yes" Savard whispered, regretting he said that.

"So be it." Without warning, the infection form dashed forward and jumped high into the air. It landed on Savard's head. Malcolm was about to get it off, but the infection form stuck out its tendril and literally made a hole in his head. Malcolm's eyes went wide. He could feel the tendril in his skull, ripping apart his brain tenants. With a huge yank, the infection form removed his brain. Savard froze. His brain was gone, yet he was alive. He couldn't think. He couldn't talk. He merely looked around, trying to scream, but couldn't. Slowly, the infection form climbed into his empty skull. Thousands of tentacles exploded out of the infection form and moved throughout his body. Savard could feel tentacles travel through his veins in his legs, arms, eyes, mouth, and all his essential body parts. Without warning, his body stood up.

"This is why I need you" the voice said. Savard could hear his own voice being spoken to him. The infection form had taken control of him. He couldn't do a thing about it, not without his brain. The infection form turned his body around. Savard saw two smaller infection forms grab his brain and slowly peel it apart, feeding it into the fungus. He realized that all his knowledge of this ship and its capabilities were being into the Flood and its minions. They would know about everything. Savard tried to resist, but could do nothing.

"Thank you Captain...now, let's go visit you're loyal crew" he said. Savard's body turned to face three marine privates who walked up to him. Because of the odd skin discoloration, Savard realized that the same thing had been done to them as him. They were under control of the flood.

"Let's go" Savard said, even though it was really the infection form talking. The four human hosts walked out of the engine room, unable to do anything.

"Okay, without the captain, that puts me in charge. First thing we have to do is get him back" Major Anderson said. Fitzgerald and Lieutenant Bishop sat around him in the cafeteria. For the time being, the bridge was sealed off. The survivors from the bridge security forces were resting along the walls, while the other marines stood watch.

"By now, the Captain is in engineering, probably dead" Bishop whispered. Major Anderson shook his head.

"This has happened before. Marine Lieutenants told me about a Covenant Prophet being captured by the Flood and held as a prisoner. The same thing is happening here, except we could be dealing with a hostage situation here" Anderson said. Fitzgerald nodded, but then shook his head.

"They don't need hostage's sir. They know they can destroy us quite easily. What's the point in taking a hostage when all they want to do is kill us" he said. Anderson leaned back.

"Okay, but either way, we need to try and get him back" he said. Without warning, shouts and yelling could be heard. Fitzgerald turned around to see several marines privates taking apart one of the blockades.

"What the fuck are you doing marines?" he yelled, running towards them. The blockade pieces were moved aside. Walking through the now exposed entrance was three marine privates and Captain Savard.