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A Pilots Life:Chapter 6-Making a Stand
Posted By: Captain Rasc<Rasculia38@cox.net>
Date: 29 October 2003, 1:27 AM

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The Marines, strategically positioned to have overlapping fields of fire, opened up on the aliens crowded together in the entryway. Caught massed together in the lethal crossfire, they never stood a chance. Two Elites died instantly as plasma bolts burned away their heads. The Grunts tried to scatter and were cut down quickly. One of the Elites managed to get off a handful of shots, one of which hit Jones in the shoulder. We responded with a barrage that tore the Elite apart. As his companion was cut down, the last Elite opted to charge the barricade. I rose and fired my shotgun point blank at his face. His head blew apart like an overripe melon, spraying brains and gore everywhere. His headless body collapsed atop the barrier. I turned to Jones and examined his wound. It wasn't deep, and I bound it easily with a strip of cloth from my jumpsuit sleeve.

Just in time, as two more drop ships arrived and deposited more Covenant, including two Hunters. They charged forward, and we scrambled away from their guns. One of the hunters charged me, swinging his shield towards me. I rolled sideways, trying to dodge the blow. I partially succeeded, but the glancing blow still knocked me into the wall. Stars exploded in front of me as I hit the wall and slid down. The Hunter roared with glee and charged forward, bringing his shield down to crush me. Acting fast I kicked off the wall and slid on my back between his legs. I fired two shots into his back before he could recover. Florescent orange blood sprayed everywhere as he fell to the ground with an anguished roar. I scrambled to my feet as a Elite charged towards me. The shot collapsed his shields. I stepped forward and kicked him in the gut. As he staggered backward from the blow, I brought the butt of the shotgun down on his head. He dropped to the ground, his skull shattered. I dove behind the barrier as a stream of plasma bolts tracked towards me. I stuck three more shells in the chamber, just as an Elite came charging around the barrier. I fired two shots which caught him in the chest and hurled him backwards to the ground. I rose tossed a frag grenade at a cluster of Grunts. The explosion scattered them and I charged forward through the gap as bullets and plasma filled the air. A Jackal stepped forward, bringing his pistol up, and his head evaporated under a hail of bullets from one of the Marines to my right. I rolled sideways, dodging some needler rounds that had been tracking me. Regaining my feet, I turned and snapped off two shots at an Elite standing to my left. His head evaporated in a bloody mist and he slumped to the ground. The weapons fire died away as the last of the attackers was killed. I returned to the barricade, reloaded my shotgun, and prepared to fight some more.

Again more enemy troops were dropped off, and they stormed in, guns blazing. We fell back under the onslaught, regrouping in the computer chamber. Upon seeing us flee they charged forward, shouting with glee. The six Elites quickly outpaced the sixteen Grunts accompanying them. Overly confident, they were caught completely off guard when we spun about and opened fire, cutting all six of them down at close range. The Grunts tried to run, but they were unable to escape the trap. We cut them down as they ran. Then more Elites charged in. One of them had a plasma sword. He stormed forward and swung his blade at Jones. The blade cut the Marine in two. The Elite turned towards me and charged. I pulled the trigger, but the gun just clicked. The gun was out of ammo, and the Elite was moving too fast for me to reload. He stepped forward, bringing his sword around to decapitate me. I put up my hands and shut my eyes, bracing myself for nothingness. A shot rang out and I heard a bellow. I opened my eyes just a crack. The Elite was dead, one of the Marines had shot it in the back. The plasma sword was embedded in the wall, only two inches away from the side of my head. I almost fainted. Suddenly, I heard a sound that I never expected to hear again, the engine of a Pelican drop ship. We ran outside as it touched down in the snow. Six Marines piled out of the back and ran to meet us. I informed them of the situation, and they in turn told the pilot of the Pelican. The ungainly ship took off, headed for the command shuttle. We retreated back inside with the six Marines and set up to repel more attacks.

* * * * * * * *

"That's the last of them," said Johnson as he shot the last Grunt through the head. After being reinforced, we had repelled six more waves of Covenant. The final attack had almost succeeded, we had lost three men, including Lathier and Jones, and had retreated into the computer chamber. From there we had managed to defeat the attack and retake the entrance. However, we were getting low on supplies and needed relief.

We heard the sounds of rapidly approaching diesel engines. A minute later, a pair of Warthogs came flying up to the entrance of the structure. They were followed by a pair of Scorpion tanks, and three transport Warthogs. All seven vehicles were fully loaded with Marines. They quickly set up a defense at the entrance as three Pelicans arrived. They touched down and their passengers disembarked. "Wow, we must have struck s nerve with someone at the shuttle," I said to Johnson as some of the Marines began unloading supplies off of the Pelicans. It was then that I noticed a man flanked by two Marines approaching us. As he approached I saw that he was a Captain. I snapped to attention as stopped in front of us. He returned the salute, and then said "Lieutenant James Patterson?"

"Yes sir, that's me!"

"Would you be so kind as to take me on a tour of this facility?"

"If you'll step right this way sir," I said walking into the structure. I led him through the foyer and into the computer chamber, which was bustling with Marines. "This is the computer chamber. The door on the left leads to a supply chamber, and the door on the right leads to an elevator."

"Where does the elevator lead?"

"I am not sure sir. I didn't want to investigate until I was able to contact a command shuttle and get reinforcements. Now that reinforcements have arrived, I'd be more than happy to lead a team down there to investigate, with your permission of course."

"That won't be necessary. We will send a team of specialists down there to investigate. In the meantime, you will be sent elsewhere. We are forming a resistance movement to harass the Covenant as much as possible. You are going to help us do that."

"Does this mean I will be flying drop ships?" I asked hopefully.

"I am sorry, but you won't be flying. We have more than enough pilots. Since you proved yourself to be an excellent leader, you will be in command of a squad of Marines."

"Oh," I said disappointedly, "When do I meet them?"

"Go back to the entrance and find Pelican Alpha-316. It will take you to the command shuttle. You'll be introduced to your men there. Now get moving Lieutenant!"

"Yes sir!" I said saluting. I turned and jogged back to the entrance. I asked a Marine where Pelican Alpha-316 was. He pointed to the farthest of the three ships. I jogged over and climbed in the back. Once I was aboard the big ship lumbered into the air and headed for the command shuttle.
* * * * * * * *
"Right this way sir," said the Private. He had been waiting for me when we landed and now led me through the cave system that was now home to the command shuttle. We passed through a handful of checkpoints before arriving at our destination. The Private stopped and said, "Here we are sir."

I nodded my thanks and walked over to the small prefab barracks building at the end of the cavern. I opened the door and stepped inside. The room was small, with four double bunks lined up on the left wall. At the back of the room was a door that led to the bathroom. The room was empty, but the presence of stowed gear showed that that was only temporary. At the far end of the room, there was a single cot lying apart from the other beds. Lying atop the cot was a suit of neatly piled armor. On the ground next to the cot lay a folded blanket and a small black bag. I walked over to the bed, picking up the helmet that lay on the pile. The name "Patterson" was stenciled in white across the back. I put the helmet down and opened the bag. Inside were some spare clothes, a razor, shaving cream, toothpaste, a toothbrush, some soap, and some deodorant. I took the bag and walked into the small bathroom at the back of the shelter. I shaved, scrubbed myself clean, and put on some clean clothes. I walked back into the barracks and, after stowing the bag, put on my armor. I had just finished suiting up when the door opened and in walked the squad.

They were all young men, probably no older than twenty. They were all tall and physically healthy. Two of them were so similar in appearance that I guessed that they were brothers. They were all talking loudly and didn't notice me sitting at the end of the room. I sat there for a moment, but when they continued to ignore me I rose and bellowed, "Attention!"

They finally noticed me, and immediately snapped to attention. I stood and walked over to them. I then went to each man and asked for their name. When I had learned each mans name walked back to my cot and spoke. "My name is Lieutenant Patterson. I am your new CO. We have been given the task of harassing the Covenant wherever possible. We leave in one hour so get geared up and report to the main armory in fifteen minutes. Understood?"

"Yes sir!" They bellowed back.

"Good, then get to work." I said, turning and striding from the room