The Strive to Survive (Chapter 3: Supplies, Ammo, and Weapons to Kill Freaks)
Posted By: CoLd BlooDed<email@example.com>
Date: 29 February 2004, 6:06 AM
The Strive to Survive (Chapter 3: Supplies, Ammo, and Weapons to Kill Freaks)
2201 Hours, January 13, 2552 (Military Calendar)/ On Halo 07, inside makeshift medical bay in Forerunner structure.
The mood surrounding the ONI survivors had sunk even lower as they were forced to clean up the carcasses of the Flood Combat Forms. They had nowhere to hide the bodies, so instead they stacked them in one of the open shafts and sealed it.
Screams occasionally resonated through the massive Forerunner structure and were usually ended by the sound of weapons fire or explosions. Another muffled thump echoed and shook the medical bay room the ONI personnel were in.
"This is useless," complained the scientist, Maxell, "If we just stand here and wait we'll never escape this structure—no, wait, ring—alive!"
The soldiers and scientists shifted, but Jake, knowing almost every single corner and crevice in the altered Forerunner structure, came up with another answer.
"We're not going to linger much longer, the Flood are slowly taking over this ring now that they have been released." he paused and closed his eyes, then spoke again, "We need to stay together to survive, we fail to work mutually and collected, then we die."
"So what are we going to do?" questioned Teck again, curiosity lined his tone.
Jake silently called up the facilities mapping routines on his neural lace, both the three floors of the structure popped up in front of his pupils. The vision beyond the floor plans blurred out as he concentrated on the diagram.
"The Armory, it's right around the corner," Jake said as he studied the map, "We'll head there and stock up on supplies, whatever we need that is necessary."
Mike called up his troops and pulled the bolt back on his MA5B. With the remaining ammunition it held; the ammo-counter read full. "Come on, Marines; time to test your fighting experience!"
"Teck and I will wait here," Sara said, "We...don't want to get in your way, fighting is not my thing."
"I'll stay back with them," shyly said the female Marine, Chelsea, "It would be for the best, I'll slow you down, I'm still waking up from the cryo-sleep."
The Sarge nodded and motioned the soldiers to follow him; Jake stepped up to the locked door and held his Pistol by his side. The ONI tech raised his right hand slowly and tapped the button to open the door, it noiselessly did so.
The technician immediately backed up to brace himself from anything that was hoping to break in, but nothing attempted to hit him except the cold surge of air that entered the med bay.
Jake walked down the hallway in a crouch with his Pistol raised, but noticed that the body of the Marine that had been locked out was missing. Blood stains replaced where the body of the dead soldier would have been.
The green blood also tainted the hallway and replaced its dull, original, grey color. The soldiers wordlessly trailed behind the nervous tech, only the sound of their footfalls reverberated around the three meter wide corridor.
They rounded the corner and continued down the hallway, a light winked at that the ONI workforce and glowed dim green, meaning it was open.
It only took a few seconds for the persons to sprint down the remainder of the hall and run into the Armory. The door shut and Peters slid the lock on it as they all went to examine the weapons.
"We're so close to the Armory! This is the perfect place to stay from the Flood!" exclaimed Cotters, he sounded confident. "But I realize we have to keep moving, whatever it takes to endure this struggle."
Jake nodded and grabbed himself a large box of 12.7mm bullets for his HE Pistol, then went over to another weapons rack to check the other weapons. A Shotgun was perfect for fighting the Flood, so he grabbed one of those and a huge amount of shells.
More med-kits and stim-packs were stored in a locker; Rocket Launchers hung from their holders and were accompanied by boxes that contained the 102mm rockets.
"Whoa, a whole arsenal for us to pick at," commented Alex, "I want grenades."
"No grenades!" said the Sarge, "Too close to use frags, son, might hurt one of us."
The Marine shrugged and grabbed himself some MA5B ammunition along with a Shotgun with a shoulder-strap, then fingered around with some grenades and hid them under his belt.
Jake witnessed this but decided that maybe they would come in handy; he directed his attention to some other weapons they had brought in from ONI.
There was a larger Pistol that fired high explosive shots like the M6D, but had a slightly different shape and could hold more rounds. Jake liked the feel of the newer weapon but stuck to the HE, he had used it more often and it suited him better.
The snarl that the group all feared repeated itself as the sound bounced off the room's walls. A Flood Form was undoubtedly in the room with them, maybe even more than one, but they couldn't see it.
"Hurry up, man," said Private Cunliffe as his eyes darted around the room to try and reveal the lurking creature, "If I can't see him, then what point is there in carryin' all these weapons?"
There was a slight ripple in the air, and then the undulation launched itself towards Peters who was knocked to the ground.
"Sarge!" yelled Chris Cotters and jerked his weapon around and shot at an unseen target standing over the crippled body of the Sergeant.
Almost immediately the invisible Covenant Combat Form became perceptible and its blood splattered against the wall. The monster staggered forward and swung its arm around, hoping to hit the firing Marine, but was unsuccessful as Alex raised his Shotgun and fired.
The creature was tossed across the makeshift Armory and hit the wall, the tentacles that jutted out from its chest dropped and twitched along with the rest of the Flood form's body.
Alex rushed over to the fallen Sergeant and shook him; Chris still concentrated his weapon on the body of the creature.
"Sarge, are you alright?" asked Alex, then the Combat Form jumped up at Chris who yelled and fired his Pistol.
The mutation was brought down only by five shots; it was then missing its arms, its "head", and most of its side. An awkward silence enveloped the room as the wounded Sergeant stood back up and brushed himself off, a slash on his neck was all he received from the Flood Form.
Jake looked around the room, trying to eye something that would make it easier to transport all the weapons back to the medical bay. A trolley wandered into his vision, it had two platforms and had anti-gravity beams to keep it above the ground. The technician rushed over to it and pushed it in front of the Marines; they examined it carefully and piled the weapons they had collected onto the metal shelves. Ammo and other supplies were hastily shoved into the side pockets and Jake pushed the pushcart over to the door.
Alex punched the button, causing the door to slide open, and the Marines ran ahead of the technician and secured the hallway. However, the hallway wasn't easily safe because many bloated Carrier Forms waddled around the intersection.
They somehow spotted the Marines that crowded the hallway in a semi-circle and started to shuffle their way towards them. Mike opened fire first; bullets tore into the flesh of the nearest Carrier as the rest of the troops followed suit.
The Flood Form contorted as its flesh expanded to an amazing size, Jake and the additional Marines closed their eyes for the imminent explosion. The blast from the monster threw the others backwards as a dozen Infection Forms were tossed to the green splattered wall—which instantly started moving towards the shooting soldiers.
The other Carriers exploded—flesh, bone, and blood splashed the wall as the blast sent out over twenty of the parasitic Flood forms onto the floor. Alex flung a primed grenade over his head which landed in the midst of the scuttling Infection Forms. An explosion rattled the hallway and the teeth of the Marines, the Sergeant hit Alex who flinched and managed a smile.
"I though one of those would come in handy." the Marine remarked and shot at the surviving parasites, several more pops rung out.
The hallway was soon clear of any Flood; Jake pushed the trolley that was stacked with weapons of every kind—MA5B's, Pistols, several grenades, Shotguns, Rocket Launchers, med-kits, and even some Jackhammer rockets—and rounded the corner to face several Human Combat Forms blocking their path to the doorway.
The creatures turned to face the technician and soldiers, they all wielded a weapon—two of them held an Assault Rifle while the others held Needlers. That meant that the Covenant were in—or near—the structure, forcibly giving up their bodies to feed the Flood and causing them to increase in numbers.
Jake had just enough time to think about that when one of the Flood forms raised their Needlers at an awkward angle. The technician dived to the right where he had much more room to maneuver, and while he was in mid-air and near the cart a Shotgun came into his grasp.
The Marines sprinted around the corner and received fire from the Human forms, and then were forced back into the adjacent passage. Jake lay on the ground, and without hesitating he raised the weapon and aimed it at one of the creatures, several shots echoed around the intersection of hallways.
The loose flesh guarding the stomach of the nearest Human Flood Form tore, and then exposed the Infection Form curled up between pushed-aside organs and arteries.
Another blast popped the parasitic creature and the Human Combat Form dropped like a rock—blood spewed out of the gaping hole and splattered over the tech's face, which grimaced in expression.
The Marines charged back out into view of the creatures and let off several rounds each, knocking limbs and ligaments off the decomposing bodies of the Flood. Weakened bones—due to the genetic altering process the Infection Forms put the host through—were thrown across the room and shattered into miniscule fragments along with any flesh that had stuck.
Jake squeezed in several more shots, bringing down the remainder of the creatures. The breathless technician arose from his prone position and attempted to wipe off the clotted blood that stuck to his face. He resumed his position behind the trolley and pushed it down the rest of the corridor while taking ragged breaths.
"You alright, Bennitz?" asked Chris as he ran up behind the technician who in turn jumped from shock.
Jake nodded, sighed, and pushed the trolley up to the door and tapped it several times. He peered through the vertical glass pane on the mechanical door and saw Chelsea rush over to the door from where she was standing—beside one of the medical beds.
There was a soft beeeeep and the door slid open half way, then stopped, and shut again. A voice spoke from the speakers that had been fixed into the crevices of the roof, it was the structures AI.
"I'm afraid I can't allow you to continue, tech—tech—continue..." Calian's tone sounded its normal self, but once it repeated the words Jake realized it was infected with a virus or was functioning with errors.
"Calian, let. Us. In." Jake said slowly.
"I informed you that I cannot allow you to persist!" the word "persist" repeated several times followed by a brief scratching noise, then the AI continued, "I—the—we have initiated a security lockdown, it was a direct order."
"From who?" questioned the Sergeant.
"From them, Human."
The AI suddenly went silent; Jake felt a mix of anger, frustration and fear flood into his mind, his hands made fists and veins bulged from his forehead.
"Let us in, Goddamnit!" bellowed Chris who walked to the door and hit on it as hard as he could. He withdrew his shaking hand and wiped the blood that had came from his knuckles on his pants, smiled at Jake, and motioned him towards the door, "Got a better plan?"
Jake walked to the door and tried to pry it open—it was pointless, but worth an attempt. There were several thumps that emanated from the other side of the door, the door slid open halfway, then shut, then open again but just stopped.
"Prepare to diiieeeee, Human," spat the AI ferociously, guttural growls resonated from the connection of the hallways; Jake spun around and saw Carriers, Infection Forms, and unarmed Combat Forms waddling their way. He suddenly felt a pang of regret for the Marine they had locked out, the late soldier must've felt the same was as the technician did right then.
"Oh, no, they won't." Jake heard the female scientist mutter from the other side of the door, which opened suddenly.
The technician shoved the trolley into the room—it skidded and came to a halt when it hit one of the surgery tables—knocking ammunition boxes and several Pistols onto the floor.
Jake and the other Marines dashed into the room and yelled at the scientist to close the door, without hesitating, she did so, and the approaching monsters were concealed from view.
The woman scientist held up the small microchip that had rerouted the doors controls and caused it to open, smiled, and put it back into her lab jacket. Jake was too grateful but couldn't come up with words.
But it wasn't over just yet, Jake had realized, as loud thrashing noises echoed from the solid door. The first blow knocked the mechanical entrance inwards slightly, the second loosened it from its hinges, but the third time the door held its place and impeded the Flood from entering the room.
Snarls and growls reverberated around the section of the structure, and with that, the Flood disappeared from the corridor. Jake exhaustedly looked at Chelsea who asked him: "How'd it go?"
The technician sighed and wiped some of the Flood blood off his face for emphasis, trying to give the female Marine a hint, and smiled at her. She grinned and walked over to the trolley.
"Finally, some real weapons to work with."
As soon as she reached down to examine one of the Jackhammer rockets, the lights snapped off and enclosed the facility in darkness. Considering that the Flood were now roaming the facility in the shadows, this wasn't necessarily a great thing.
"Bad, this is bad!" groaned the male scientist in the black.
Metallic thumps resounded around the darkened med bay and filled the technician's heart with fear, he gulped and waited a few seconds, an orange haze filled his vision and the lights snapped back on, this time more faded and red.
"Back-up lights." Jake sighed, "They've activated."
"So you're saying they deactivated the generator? How?! They're just freaks!" asked Maxell quickly, the scientist seemed like a coward to Jake, and it was the tech who responded.
"The Flood aren't stupid, they can seize areas or things that are important to them and use it to their own ability and understanding," replied Jake slowly in the dim, red light, "Without a doubt, they have already commenced with phase one."
"What's phase one?" asked the Marine, Alex.
"Killing everything they see and using the bodies for hosts."
The thumps stopped, and Jake finally said, "It will be no good to travel around the structure in the dark; we'll be too easy of targets. I'm going to fix the generator."
"By yourself?!" exclaimed Chelsea, "I'm coming with you."
"No, it's too dangerous, I need to go alone, I know where the generator is held." the technician said confidently, the female Marine fell silent, "I know a few...shortcuts."
Jake walked over to grab a Shotgun and the proper ammunition, nothing could stop him now, not awhile he was alive.