A pilot's life: Chapter 2 Fallen Angel
Posted By: Captain Rasc<Rasculia38@cox.net>
Date: 19 October 2003, 4:28 PM
As I dove towards the ground, I glanced at my sensors. They showed the fighter still tucked in on my tail.
"Damn this guy is good!" I thought to myself. As if to confirm this, he fired four shots at me. The shots penetrated my shields and tore into my fuselage. My engines shut down with a whine and the craft began to tumble end over end towards the ground. I tried to eject, but my ships electronics had been totally fried, leaving me helpless as the ground rushed towards me. I felt a sickness rise in my stomach, but knew that would only last for about 20 more seconds.
15- The ground was close enough that I could make out clumps of trees and a little stream.
10- I can see the individual trees now.
5- I close my eyes tightly.
1- The ship jolts violently and there is the sound of tearing metal. A second jolt slams my head against the side of the cockpit, and then there is only black...
I came to some time later. The smell of smoke filled the cockpit, and my head throbbed painfully. I hung sideways in the safety harness. Looking out thru the cracked canopy, I saw only the sky and a some distant treetops. Shaking my head to clear it, I hit the release on the harness. I dropped sideways, then climbed out of the cockpit thru a hole in the glass. I stood up shakily and looked around.
I was in the middle of a valley. A small clear stream ran nearby, winding along in between the rocks and scattered trees. I turned to look at my fighter. It was an absolute wreck. The only recognizable part was the cockpit, which was lucky for me. The port wing was badly twisted, and the other wing lay on the ground about 100 yards away. The engines were completely slagged, and the plasma cannons were both bent out of alignment. Pieces of my fighter were scattered all along a plowed out strip of earth stretching about 200 yards back. I shook my head slowly, and thought, "How the hell did I survive this? I should be dead!"
I climbed back into the cockpit and retrieved my pistol belt. Fastening it about my waist, I took the gun, loaded it, and flicked off the safety before re-holstering it. I took a moment to consider my options. I could either wait here to be picked up by someone, or try to find some other human survivors. The first idea was dangerous because the Covenant would most likely send a search team to make sure I was dead. The second idea was fine, but I had no idea where anyone might be. I decided to head higher ground so I could get a better look around.
I turned and began walking towards a nearby rocky outcropping. Suddenly, a trio of Grunts leapt out from behind some nearby bushes. They leveled their plasma pistols at me, and one called for me to surrender. Acting on instinct, I dove sideways and rolled behind a nearby rock. They fired reflexively, but were way of mark. I yanked my pistol from the holster, rose and fired off two rapid shots. One of the shots blasted a hole in the leaders chest. He looked down in surprise, then slumped over dead, blood oozing from his wound. I ducked back down as a plasma bolt hit the top of my cover, spraying me with heated rock shards. I popped up again and squeezed of a shot. The bullet hit the second grunt in the head, and he dropped like a sack of bricks, his head gushing bright blue blood. The third grunt lost his nerve and tried to run. I rose and fired, trying to kill him before he could escape and warn his comrades. The shot shattered his life support gear. He fell too his knees, gasping for breath. He struggled to rise but instead he collapsed forward, twitched once and died. I rose cautiously and walked over to examine the bodies. They were all stone dead, and I was about to leave when something caught my eye. The leader had a pair of shiny silver orbs on his belt. I recognized them as plasma grenades. I gladly appropriated them, knowing they could come in handy if I encountered anymore Covenant. Having retrieved the grenades, I continued on towards my destination. After a short arduous climb, I reached the top and gazed out at the valley.
* * *
I stepped out from behind the one of the many rocks surrounding the lifeboat. I had spied it from my lookout point and decided to head towards it in hopes of finding survivors. I had made my way cautiously along the stream towards it, stopping now and again to make sure I didn't have any unwanted company. There were however, no Covenant forces nearby, and I made it to the lifeboat without mishap. My hopes were diminished as I stepped into the clearing. There was no sign of any survivors. There was however, a large amount of supplies lying around on the ground. I lifted a backpack that lay nearby and examined the contents. It contained about two weeks worth of food, a flashlight, two first-aid kits, and a trench knife. There were also two large empty pockets on each side of the bag. Looking around I spied an assault rifle next to the life pod. I walked over and picked it up. The gun was in working order and I decided to keep it. I also grabbed about 60 pistol rounds and 200 rifle rounds and stuffed them in the empty pockets on the bag. I grabbed a pair of fragmentation grenades and clipped them to my belt.
After arming myself, I took a moment to look around. There was no sign of anybody being here. There weren't any bodies or footprints, and there was no blood either. However, it was obvious this tub had been occupied at some point. The question was, where were the passengers?
The sound of gunfire erupted from the rocks to my right startled me out of my thoughts. There was an alien roar, followed by the painful scream of a human. I ducked back behind the lifeboat as four Marines came barreling out from behind the rocks, closely pursued by a pair of Elites with plasma swords. Acting fast, I whipped up the assault rifle and triggered a long burst at the closer Elite. Most of the shots reflected off his shields, but they soon collapsed. He staggered as two 7.62mm bullets tore into his left arm, then a third bullet slammed hard into his chest and he collapsed in a heap. The second Elite turned and I knew I was in trouble, since I had little chance of defeating a 9-foot tall Elite in close combat. He charged towards me, plasma sword swinging. As he swung his blade horizontally in an attempt to decapitate me, I rolled forward and kicked upwards. My feet connected with his belly and he doubled over in pain. Regaining my feet, I turned and clubbed him hard on his fragile head. He dropped to the ground with a moan. The four Marines, who had been hiding in the rocks during the fight, now approached me.
"Thanks a lot Lieutenant," exclaimed one of the men, "I thought we were done for!!!"
"I was glad to help," I replied, "Is this your lifeboat?"
"No, sir" replied a second marine, "I'm Sergeant Evans, this is Corporal O'Brein and Privates Walker and Louis. We were sent down here from the Chesapeake to find downed pilots and survivors from lifeboats. We had just finished searching this lifeboat and were leaving when we were jumped by these two."
"Any idea what happened to the passengers?"
"No sir, we think they may have headed south, out of the valley. We were headed that way when we were jumped by smiley and his friend here," said Evans, nodding towards the two dead aliens.
"Do you mind if I join you? I was shot down and I've been looking for friends for a while."
"Sure thing, we would be glad to have you along sir." He replied.
"Right, grab some spare ammo and anything else we can use, then let's move out!"
I reloaded the rifle while they collected what ammo and supplies they could. Then we set off, making our way south out of the valley and into the vast land beyond.