Assault on Lyon, Chapter One: Part A
Posted By: Andres<email@example.com>
Date: 20 March 2005, 9:40 PM
UNSC Colony Dijon.
City of Lyon.
2km from Church Area
The familiar sound of incoming artillery made him instinctively to cover behind the rock.
The effect after the shock of the explosion is indescribable for anyone who hasn't been under it. The high pitched sound in your ears, how your brain slowly reboots, you can see everything clearly but cannot react, it was a like a bad dream. For Pierre it was not a new state of mind, just an interval of war. His brain slowly began to function correctly, after he was him self again he collapsed against the rock. He noticed he was trembling, the fear was too much to cover.
It just doesn't stop, I can't much more of this shit.
After a few seconds of uncontrolled trembling he regained composure. It was time to continue with his task. He took a deep breath; he exhaled, then placed his right hand on the top of the rock, he slowly raised his head over the large rock. He watched a growing fire down by the road, he knew what it was, it was not artillery shell what landed two blocks down the street, it was a human bomber. The massive "Bombsword" had been shoot down by the Covenant fixed guns further down the road, it was the third Pierre knew of.
His target was simple, scout the area on the parallel street from the hideout. He meticulously scanned every inch behind the relative safety of the rock; there was nothing to be seen. He had seen enough.
Time to leave.
It was time for bravery again, to expose him self as he retreated, he contracted every muscle in his body, he set his mind blank, and he took another deep breath, he slowly rose, he caught a glimpse of a creature as he turned to get out.
He immediately ducked behind the rock again, three creatures had appeared, by the opposite side of the street, carefully taking cover by a collapsed roof behind the large chunks of cement of the former structure, they were wielding their sniper rifles at different angles, covering all the possible sides of the street. If the three Jackals were working by the "book" they were doing reconnaissance for a larger group, the aliens were predictable on the ground, and Pierre knew it very well that he could not stay there. The remnants of the house where he hid were lower compared to the buildings in the opposite one, the two store building was built with an underground parking garage, the building collapsed over it, thence it was lower than the others at street level, an advantage he planned to seize, he could get out. He realized something, he was scared, he took a deep breath, he pressed his back against the rock, and after he exhaled he looked up to the sky, attempting to find beauty in the awful moment.
Two white dots were visible, descending very close to each other. Pierre watched carefully; he made out the outline of the two ejection capsules, provably from the shoot down aircraft. The trio of Chickens aimed their rifles to the sky, their bright white fangs visible as they laughed and smiled, preparing to hunt their evening meal. Pierre face contracted, this time anger took over the comon sense, he was not going to let the two pilots die that easy, even though it was suicidal to take the three of them by him self. He placed the butt of the rifle on the shoulder, he slowly knelt into a comfortable firing position behind the cover behind the rock, the unaware chickens didn't know that they as well being stalked by a hunter.
Machinegun fire erupted bellow the descending air crew, the pilot scanned with the camera where it came from, right bellow him a firefight was taking place, this would be a hostile landing. He opened the weapons hatch right next to the seat, extracting the gear he had to use to survive. Captain Robert Ellis, UNSC Navy prepared to fight as a grunt, not in his job description.
Landing in thirty three sierras, reported the neural interface on his combat helmet.
The pilot cocked the sub-machinegun from his survival gear, it was time to fight. He hadn't heard from his copilot, Covenant electronic jamming gear crippled the capsules comm. set. He was on his own.
Pierre reloaded the third magazine, there were two more chickens he didn't see before he fired a bad mistake since now he had been dragged into a fire fight and not a hit and run run as he would have wanted. He pressed his back against the rock, and then slowly peeked to the right side, there it was, at least one of them, over a rock aiming right for him. Experience told him that the other was on a flanking run, this one serving as bait; he ignored it and looked for the other Chicken. He peeked right, the other bastard was climbing a partially destroyed building, possibly to take a vantage point on high ground, and if Pierre allowed it he would not survive the firefight on the long run. He peeked right again this time he exposed him self, he pressed the trigger spraying a whole magazine into the chicken whose back was exposed as he climbed by a tube on the wall, it was toured apart.
Three fast beams struck the rock, all missing him. He knew that he had to go; he knew the Covenant sniper rifles took some time to cool of, he was going to run for it, otherwise Covenant reinforcements would swarm the area before he could kill the second chicken. He prepared to spray a whole magazine into the last known position of the chicken.
A rocket soared overhead unexpected. He and the chicken took cover, he looked up, it was not a jet, it was the ejection capsule. Its rocket ignited to avoid the crash, Pierre peeked right, watching it set gently on the rubble. The door popped, a pilot walked out firing a machinegun into a pile of rubble, the scream of pain of the chicken could be heard shortly after.
Ellis NVG allowed him to see exactly were the Jackal hid; he emptied a whole magazine on some rocks, and killed it just after the door of the capsule popped. He had scanned the firefight from the sky; he knew someone, possibly a resistance fighter, had saved his ass thence he had to repay the favor.
"You can come out, I'm friendly," said calmly the pilot. The head of the fighter popped behind a rock on a destroyed building. It showed no expression, it was covered behind mud, dust and blood; his two eyes seemed to see through the pilot. He placed his finger in front of his mouth signaling to shut up, he then gestured Ellis to come to his position. Ellis moved down the slope of rubble, scanning the surroundings with his powerful night vision goggles, it was clear of threats. He slid the final two meters behind the rock. Before he could talk the fighter shut him with his hand, he then signaled to a small trail under the rubble. The pilot nodded, and then walked to the trail, the fighter following him shortly after.
The hideout wasn't that bad the pilot thought, at least from the outside, the housed seemed intact, compared to the others in the block. They walked over the rubble of a parallel building, and then they slowly walked to a window on the side of the house. The fighter whistled like a canary, shortly after another whistle came in response. They both jumped inside the window. The pilot saw a teenager aiming a bolt action rifle right at him.
"Easy fella," said the pilot, the scariness in his voice noticeable for everybody.
The boy's face was pretty much like the older fighter, dirty and emotionless, his voice however was different, "you are lucky, it thought a chicken was following Pierre," the voice was filled with a crying like tone.
"Robert Ellis, Captain UNSC," said the captain proudly.
"I'm Pierre," said the fighter with the same, expressionless face, "about time you guys got here," said now with a glimpse of happiness in his expression.
"Oh yes I'm getting tired of fighting," said the kid, again with the sad tone in his voice.
"C'mon, follow us to the basement," said Pierre, the trace of happiness was gone.
"Ok, here is the thing," said the pilot, the four fighters sat around him, exited to hear what he was about to tell, "We thought the city was completely gone. Once we discovered you guys were in play we moved with what we have at hand, that was a bad call. We didn't expect the Covenant air defenses to be this heavy."
"Covenant?" asked the older men.
"Oh yes, that's what they are called."
"Shit eaters," said the leader of the group, Francois, "that's what we called them."
The pilot laughed, the others didn't, and just stared at him, he felt remorse for the laugh, he had to assure them that the sacrifices were not in vain.
"It is just a matter of time," said the pilot as he greened, "we will defeat them."
Two hours later
"Ropes!" screamed the crew chief as he released the two rappel ropes over the building.
"First squad, right rope," called calmly Lieutenant Roy. Everton ran from his seat, grabbing the thick rope with his hands, he jumped out of the Pelican, lacing his feet around the rope, descending the fifty meters rapidly into the roof of the unscratched building. He landed softly, he then ran to the edge of the roof, kneeling behind the cover of the thick yet low wall that served as a obstacle between the roof and the street.
He scanned the opposite building's windows, not targets to be seen at plain sight. "East building clear!"
The squad cleared the roof in a heartbeat; every adjacent building's windows were cleared.
"Fire team Alpha, stack up on the door," ordered the squad leader Master Sergeant Evans. Everton stood, turned around, and walked into the center of the roof were the door was in a square shaped cement structure that led into the stairs. The fire team consisted of four men, Pryor, Almeida and Fallon and Everton who led it. He extracted the probe of the heart bit sensor of the custom battlefield suite; he stuck the circular sensor to the door, nothing.
"Clear," said Everton.
He placed the lock pick device on the electronic lock. It beeped three times, the lock was opened. Pryor then walked ahead of Wayne Everton, he traversed until the door was right in front of him.
He kicked the door. "Alpha breach!" reported Everton as he followed Pryor in.
Up in Pelican "Dash 13" Ensign Roy Chance was in over watch over the city, protecting the ODST platoon that just landed from threats outside the building. He took the craft just above the building.
"Contact!" called the voice of a private over the radio. Immediately machinegun fire erupted bellow the hovering craft.
In the troop compartment the sniper noticed something in a building nearby, it was odd, like a small ball with a tube attached to it. It took him some time, but eventually he figure out what it was, too late for the pilot to react.
"Anti-Air, six o' clock low, breaks right!"
Chance pushed the throttle forward and pulled the elevation lever and the joystick up; he reacted as he was trained but it was too late, three radioactive fuel balls struck the craft amidships, shattering one of the forward turbofans. As the craft swung uncontrollably Chance struggled to keep the craft under control, trying to compensate for the lost fan, the aircraft rotated from right to left, decreasing altitude gradually.
"Watch out for the building," screamed the crew chief. Chance didn't saw it in time, the front of the aircraft struck building, just bellow the cockpit, the chain gun was ripped apart together with a large chunk of the crafts' nose, the radar and radio antennas were gone. Chance pulled the elevation lever, pulling the aircraft up. The crash with the building made the craft stop swinging, Chance managed to compensate for the lost fan as he climbed, regaining control of the craft.
"Command this is Dash 13, I'm hurt, I'm going back," there was no response to Chance's call over the radio. He looked at his copilot, his face was pale and he was breathing uncontrollably.
"I need you with me on this," said Chance with a serious face, "c'mon bud, don't leave me hanging."
The copilot shook his head and then looked at his panel, "I'm going to check that radio."
The large command craft hovered in a holding pattern, escorted by two Dagger fighters, just ten miles from Lyon.
Reports came in from the city, contact in every direction. Dan Harley watched the digital map, the growing number of OPFOR and the small size of his force were enough to scare him.
"This is Shade zero four, we are taking triple A and small arms from the and around the landing zone, and it's an ambush," reported a disturbed Captain.
Harley walked to the comm. station of the Tactical Operation Center. "What's the status on the Helljumpers?" asked Harley.
The private manning the radio looked at him, "no contact, they reported been engaged just a while ago."
"Keep trying," said Dan as he walked back to the map, he hid his feelings, if he didn't he would show one thing, fear and sorrow for the men he had just send to their dead, it was not what a good commander should do. He crossed his arms and stared at the circular table that showed the map, two large arrow shaped flights were heading into the city, First and Second battalion.
"I think we should call this off," said Command Sergeant Major Doug. Experienced, seasoned men who had no room for bullshit.
"Yes, we should, but we can't," said Colonel Harley.
"Roger that," said Doug.
Both men knew that the decision to attack with out proper preparation was a mistake that will be paid with blood. But the men and woman that survived the attack deserved that sacrifice, and the men and woman of the UNSC would do it.
Lance Corporal David Bradley kept a tight grip on the tube on the holder of the Pelican. He looked outside the window; the fields of the planet of Dijon were simply beautiful. Hundreds of farms, rivers, lakes and small villages were scattered on the green carpet of Galilee continent.
"Yo, Bradley you ready for the shit?" asked sergeant Brown.
"Hurrah sarge!" yielded Bradley.
"Hey Thomas, how ya feeling," said Bradley as he slapped his best friend shoulder.
Thomas turned his head and stared Bradley. His face was strained, Bradley would find out soon enough why. The stomach of Thomas contracted, ejecting digested food and acids on Bradley's boots.
"Oh, fuck you god dam Jarhead!" Bradley cursed all over the compartment, the Marines laughed at the spectacle as Thomas threw up again on the floor.
"Dam, those MREs sure carry some fiber on it," said Thomas as he took sip from his canteen. His face lit up in smile, he stared at Bradley who walked to the end of the Pelican spiting into the air by the open hatch in the rear.
"Fuck ya leather neck," said Bradley, really pissed.
"You boys chill," said the commanding voice of Sergeant Brown, "target is only three clicks away, prepare to go medieval."
Five kilometers from LZ Yankee Bean
"I think it'll hold," said the copilot to Chance. The Pelican moved, al most touching the buildings bellow it.
"Yea, as long as we don't have to maneuver hard."
What chance didn't know was that he was heading right into friendly forces undetected.
"You guys in the rear, ell zee is two clicks away," the Marines looked at each other, "lights, camera and action!" screamed the pilot.
"Geek," said Thomas refering to the pilot.
"Right on," said PFC Malone, new to the squad but not for the war.
"Shut up... let's hope for a smooth landing," said the sergeant.
In the cockpit the flight crew prepared for the landing at the square, what they didn't know was that a friendly Pelican was heading in a collision course in their path.
With out transporder, and flying low it was undetected, the Pelican flew right into the flight of first Battalion.
"Break right! Break Right!" screamed the copilot at pilot Roy Chance, though he reacted rapidly, the craft was not in the condition for a fast break, the craft swung until it was almost parallel to the second Pelican, they both collided laterally. Both crafts stuck together, unable to break away from each other they lost control, the crashed in a major avenue.
Two hours later
Unknown location in the city of Lyon.
Wake up darling.
Bradley saw his dead moms face, she was a beautiful woman, he wa- "wake the fuck up bitch," the uglier face of Private Albert Thomas appeared out of the blur, looking right at him smiling as Bradley opened his eyes, "you scared the crap out of me, don't do that again," he said seriously.
Bradley looked around, the Pelican was partially turned around, and six corpses lay on the compartment, he recognaized a few of them, old buds from A Company. A heavy firefight was taking place around the craft, he looked at the cockpit door, there was nothing to be seen, only a hole filled with rubble.
"At we in the right place," asked Bradley puzzled.
"If by the right place you mean deep shit," said Thomas seriously, "you're on," he smiled as he grabbed Bradley by the harness and lifted him, "let's go!"
Bradley sat; he grabbed a rifle from a dead men's body. On the starboard gunner's window was a Marine firing a light machinegun, Bradley could only see the legs of him. The Marine dropped to reload, his name was Lance Corporal Matt Perry and he stared right at Bradley, looking kind of worried.
"I just go two Elites men!" he shouted in a joyful tone, "I'm a baaaad motherfucker!"
Bradley laughed, then checked his gear and looked back at Perry who was trying to clear the breech of his Machinegun, "who's in charge? I don't see searge Brown."
"C'mon, we need a solid base of fire, many Covenants out there."
Bradley walked behind Perry to the gunner's window, "Brown is on the rubble on the right, you run and don't stop, and I cover your ass."
"Roger," said Bradley as he pushed him self up, struggling to climb upwards, Perry had to push him up. Once up he scanned around.
Dam, everything is gone to hell.
The avenue was full with rubble and skeleton of buildings, the street was wide, the two Pelicans crashed parallel to each other, Bradley's Pelican just behind the other.
He saw a trio of men firing down the street by a building, the ground floor, it was blown away, and the upper floor was held by a few pillars. Just like every building in the street it was three or two stories up, the avenue was a mile long in each direction, the Marines didn't knew it as rubble blocked the view a few hundred meters at each direction, massive buildings had collapsed.
Bradley's run to the sergeant position was eventless, random plasma bolts struck the rocks around him. He rolled the last meter into the building were two wounded pilots lay, being attended by a shaky Marine.
"Hey Brad, nice to see ya' it's a FUBAR situation we have here," the sergeant fired a burst from his rifle to a Grunt that popped out of the rubble, "it's real hot here," he fired again at apparently nothing in a building fifty meters away, "we count eleven Kilo-India-Alpha and twice the number of wounded," he pulled a canteen from his harness and took a large sip, "contact everywhere, and the good news," the sound of a incoming artillery plasma bolt made everyone instinctively cover, after the blast the sergeant resumed, "is that there is no radio and we have a tank nearby." The sergeant sighted and then looked at Bradley, "go get Thomas and move down the road, try to find out where the bastard is, when we get the radio back up I'm going to drop some ay-tee on the bastard."
"Right on searge," said Bradley as he headed back into the Pelican.
"Sir it all went to hell," said Lieutenant Colonel Peyton west over the Radio.
"Why?" asked Harley.
"We got hit a massive barrage of triple A," he was interrupted by an explosion, "I got five or so companies on the ground, scattered and non cohesive," the colonel paused for a second, the heavy battle on the background audible to everyone in the TOC, "we are on an oval shaped perimeter," the fight intensified, still audible for everyone, "I got a battle to lead." He did not need to say any more words, Harley understood him. He walked to the display map, recently updated. The oval shaped perimeter was exactly where the resistance radio reports were last heard, the area was called "church area" by the resistance. Just after the UNSC attack they seemed to just fade away, only small pockets of survivors were found. For the Marines it was all in the hands of Majors, Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants. Dan Harley had trained them and prepared them for this situation, it now for the young people to die and for him to lead.