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The Rookie - Chapter 1 - The Pillar of Autumn
Posted By: The British Commando<VarneyTjv@aol.com>
Date: 3 April 2002, 4:50 pm

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Location:Deck-E (Pelican Bay) UNSC Pillar of Autumn
301 km from Ring-World "Halo"
Date:June 14th 2054 (Earth time), 0400 Hours.
Status:Combat alert - Alpha.

     I stroked my rifle and prayed while the Sergeant gave us our orders.
"... and I don't care if it's God's very own anti son-of-a-bitch machine or a giant hula-hoop!" he continued, "It's our mission to make sure that those Covenant bastards don't get it! Instead, we are gonna' give 'em a belly full of lead and a pool of their own blood to drown in! AM I RIGHT MARNIES?"
"Sir, yes sir!" I shouted along with the other 11 marines in my squad. "Dismissed!"
The ship shook as another ball of super-heated plasma slammed into the hull. I wondered why so many ships from the Covenant battle group had followed this small Cruiser from the Reach system. I was even more curious about what this giant artificial ring-planet that we were being sent to was. It seems a bit too coincidental that a blind jump would land us right next to an item of such curiosity considering the infinite vastness of space.
Another ball of plasma hit the ship, somewhat closer to deck-E than before. The ensuing explosion caught me off balance and ripped up a coolant pipe suspended just next to my head. Pain racked through my body and I fell to the floor. I couldn't see for the smoke and I had the hot metallic taste of blood in my mouth. I tried to get up and head for the pelican with my squad mates but I collapsed to the floor again when I tried to get up. I tried to look down and inspect my wounds but blood and smoke were stinging my eyes. When I was just about ready to give up and ready myself for the sweet release of death, I felt strong arms hoist me up and start to move me. Through my semi-conscious delirium I heard the deep husky voice of Corporal "Bubba" Johnson. Bubba was the biggest guy in the squad at 6'7" and all of 300lbs. At that point I passed out from the pain.
"How is he?" said a distant voice.
"He suffered a concussion, four bruised ribs and several lacerations to the right arm and leg" replied another far away person "He lost a lot of blood, but he will be fine in a day or two..." The voice trailed off and I fell unconscious again.
     My eyes ached. I rolled them about under closed lids and decided that I wasn't dead. I coughed to make sure. "Ah, back with us I see?" said the voice that I recognised from before. I opened my eyes gently to reveal that I was in a dimly lit tent, punctuated by the occasional storage crate and electronic gizmo. To my right was the source of the voice. I recognised him as the squads' medic, who I only knew as "Doc". I was new to the squad, as I had only finished training the week before.
"Wh-Where am I?" I asked, still lying down on the foldout medical bed.
"You're at base camp on the "Halo" world," replied Doc, who was checking the bandages on my leg. "How do you feel?"
"Not bad I suppose" I replied, noticing a bandage on my head. I sat up, and was greeted by a piercing headache.
"There is nothing seriously wrong with you anymore, so I recommend that you return to your squad, I have many more wounded to treat" said Doc. I got outside, and into a beautiful sunlit day. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it to be Earth. There were trees, grass, and I could hear the song of birds in the distance over the sound of Marines going about their business.
     I was in the middle of a complex full of tents like the one I just left and I had no idea how I was supposed to find my squad, but it was reassuring to see that many other marines found their way off the Pillar of Autumn.
     "Hey" said a familiar deep voice. It was Bubba. " Follow me, the LT is waiting for us"
"Bubba...You saved my life... I don't know what to say..." I replied.
"Save it for later, we're late," Said the big guy as he started to walk towards another of the tents. "C'mon Private"

To be continued...

***Authors' note*** This is my first fanfic, so if it sucks, please tell me. All constructive criticism welcome.