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Together We Stand (Part 1 of 2)
Posted By: CoLd BlooDed<kwb_419_@hotmail.com>
Date: 8 May 2004, 7:11 AM

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Together We Stand (Part 1 of 2)

Frigate Yorktown

      The ODST's of Alpha team stood in a silent, motionless row. The shadows of the room ceased to exist as the sun broke out over the planet below, its pale-orange glow rebounded from the window onto the walls and soldiers. Staff Sergeant Dean Riley stood in front of the loyal Helljumpers, unblinking, his chest heaving up and down in excited breaths. They were going in on a mission—a mission in which they were going in as reinforcements. Not an assignment the ODST's were known for, but an assignment nonetheless; they would use caution in their every action, it was the ODST trademark.
      Corporal James Bennett was only one of the nine Helljumpers that stood in the row, his hands were folded behind his back, and his chin was up. He was a serious type, never one to joke around, and luckily, he was the teams' only marksman, nothing that entered his crosshairs were left alive. Bennett, however, didn't hold the usual ODST bravado, and never really talked, but what he lacked in outgoingness he made up with his sniper.
      "Alright, soldiers." Sergeant Riley began. "You all know that New Morrison is currently under attack by a large task force, the UNSC is holding up fine for the moment, but once again they need us to bail 'em out."
      The Helljumpers laughed, and then stopped as quickly as they had started. A UNSC related insult was all it needed to break the ice. The Sergeant continued.
      "We've been receiving telecommunications every few minutes, each one informing us of worse news than the last." the Dean looked around with a calmed expression, "No other orbiting ships are as near to New Morrison as us, and that's why we have decided to send in a Special Insertion—an ODST team at that."
      Private Thomas Fletcher, one of the heavy weapons, raised his hand. Riley nodded in his direction, "Yes, Private?"
      "Are we going to be the only team going?"
      "Affirmative," the Sergeant replied easily, "As for the mission, I want you guys suited up and ready to leave in ten minutes. However, we won't be taking the usual routine down to the planet. We're a small fire team of cocky Helljumpers; we wouldn't stand a chance if we walked right up to the Covenant and began an attack."
      The ODST's laughed again, although this time quieter. The team didn't mind if the Sarge talked about them being arrogant, besides, they all knew that they were.
      There was a sudden groaning sound, and the Yorktown lurched—it was turning. Stars disappeared from sight, the light cast by the sun was replaced by shadow, and the planet edged into view. The Sergeant, despite the load moan of metal and rumble of engines, continued on.
      "We'll meet on the bottom floor of the bay," he said gravely, "dismissed, Helljumpers!"
      "Sir!" they responded simultaneously and left the room.
      They were all in one of the side-passages of the hangar, and it would take only several seconds to reach the bottom floor by the elevator. This gave them enough time to load up with the proper equipment; armor, weaponry, grenades... everything the hardcore Helljumpers would need for their trip to the surface.
      Corporal Bennett looked at all the familiar faces of the Special Insertion team, they were larger than most teams would normally be, but they were an exception. He was the only sniper; the others piggybacked Battle Rifles and Frags, referring to themselves as heavy weapons. Bennett had always found this humorous. The regularly calm faces caught the light reflected off of the planets' atmosphere that came through the large windows every few moments, and then quickly disappeared into shadows, only to reappear again.
      The Corporal looked at Private Bill Connors, one of the best men that the ODST's had to offer. The man was skilled with a Pistol, and could throw a grenade farther than anyone else in Alpha team—plasma or otherwise. He didn't look that tough though, because if looks could kill, the Private would be dead. His pale skin, his small build, his false appearance to be shy and timid; it was all part of his personality... but he still held the regular ODST daring, however.
      Lance Corporal Howard Storm, on the other hand, was nothing but muscle. He could shoulder two Jackhammer Rocket Launchers if he had to, and use them to his efficiency. He had a normal Helljumper attitude, yes, but only towards the Covenant, his teammates were most important to him.
      The others all were the same, Privates First Class Chris Richards, Maxim Steenkamp, Damian Knewles, Thomas Fletcher, and Logan Hart; they could work together, had an ODST persona, and worked well with the Battle Rifle. None had outstanding traits like Storm, Connors, or the tough-guy Staff Sergeant Riley. But that didn't matter; they were in the same Special Insertion team and worked together.
      The Helljumpers approached the dark end of the hallway, entered the lift that would carry them to the bottom floor of the hangar, and moved tighter. Lance Corporal Storm spoke, "Alright, Helljumpers, don't fuck up on this one. Once we get to the surface, we're gonna kick some ass!"
      The ODST's cheered before the elevator lurched and began its slow descent. They were once again going to accomplish another mission.

Outer edge of New Morrison

      They were trapped, hours of relentless attack, and what happened? They got fucking trapped.
      Master Gunnery Sergeant Nick Jameson sheltered his head with his hands as another explosion rumbled through the remains of fallback-point Beta. They were pinned down in a bunker, big enough for three or four Marines, but they had managed to get the survivors of his squad in. There was only one door, and at least a dozen Covenant were shooting at the entryway to keep them inside; for the most part, it was working.
      "We need some goddamn reinforcements, command!" Jameson yelled into his earpiece, there was an eerie silence on the channel. "Does anybody read me? Over!"
      "We hear you, Tango squad; reinforcements on their way." replied a voice, "Should be there in a few..." a sudden explosion rumbled in the background over the COM network, the same voice—although much more panicked than before—spoke up in ragged shouts. "Keep them pinned down! Don't let them through! I said keep them PINNED DO—"
      The COM channel snapped off, but the Sergeant knew that command would still be up and running. They had the biggest military station in this sector, after all.
      Nick looked out and looked at the skyscrapers behind the ruined defensive walls, they were on fire and great plumes of black smoke billowed out of the flames. UNSC Marines kept pouring out of the broken fortification in formation, but over and over again they would scatter, dive for cover, and be picked off one by one. But reinforcements were coming, one way or another, reinforcements were coming, and they'd be headed straight for them; it would be their primary goal.
      "Sir, Jordan isn't looking so good! The shot he took the chest must've really put him out of action." one of the Privates announced in fear, the Sergeant didn't look back.
      "It's okay, Private, he'll make it."
      "But sir, he's not—"
      "He'll make it! Do I make myself clear, Private?"
      "Sir." Nicholson replied quietly, Nick didn't like yelling at his men, but what had to be done had to be done.
      "Sergeant Jameson, this is command, do you copy? Over." a different voice broke in through the network, screams, gunfire, and explosions echoed in the background.
      "I copy, command, go ahead."
      "We've contacted the Yorktown, it's an affirmative that reinforcements are on the way. Just sit tight, and you should do fine. Over and out."
      "Roger that, command. Staying on station." his heart flipped, barely. They still didn't know when the backup would arrive, sooner would be perfect. But later would be better than never.
      Would they be ODST's or other Marines? Maybe it would be a Pelican, and they could just charge into the back while they were lifted off. Another explosion cut off his thoughts, and the Sergeant realized they would have to wait—without any cover or way to protect themselves—until the reinforcements arrived.
      He peeked out again without so much as a centimeter of metal from his helmet emerging, and once again surveyed his surroundings. The Marine's had stopped coming, the large, crumbled gap established in the wall stationed Scorpions and artillery. The surviving soldiers, on the other hand, were crouched behind flipped cars, Warthogs, and rubble that had found its way onto the freeway leading out of New Morrison.
      The Sergeant looked farther to the right, exposing most of his face and chest. Nothing shot at him.
      He was looking directly at a Covenant Cruiser, one that hovered fifty-feet above the surface, troops inexorably—in the dozens—floated down the grav-lift, landing roughly on the pad and moving out. The clouds behind it were orange and black with small sections lighting up drastically in blue or yellow flashes; most likely a squadron of Longswords battling a fleet of Banshee's in midair flight.
      More gunfire erupted, and Jameson quickly turned his attention back to a trio of Marines hiding behind a fallen LTV—a light transport vehicle. They were firing at a Brute which had managed to make its way ahead of its own race; it took shots in the chest, blasts from grenades along with the shrapnel, and still managed a slow, menacing walk. The Sergeant immediately raised his rifle, he could assist the Marines, but it would be a far shot. He clicked the magnification, aimed at the back of the closest Brute, and fired thrice.
      The alien turned around in sudden anger, blood poured out of its hairy back in greasy, glistening knots—it gave the defending Marines their chance to fight back. One of them—one that made such an incredible, yet idiotic move—brought out a long, silver knife and drove it forward into the Brute. The blade pierced the bowels of the alien, and the brave soldier lifted it upwards, slitting the Covenant soldiers' stomach open in a spray of fetid gruel. The other two Marines kept firing at it, and in seconds, the death-machine lay on the ground in a bloody heap. The other Brute had been taken care of, thanks to a well-placed sniper round from a nearby marksman stationed on the wall surrounding Morrison.
      Nick Jameson emerged from the doorway, and was immediately brought back in by the tug of his armor; blue orbs of plasma singed the metal barrier bordering the entrance.
      "Look, sir." Nicholson said and pointed at the sky directly above the Covenant Cruiser. The Sergeant looked up, and right away he was filled with anger. Blue streaks of flame protruded from the clouds, only ten, but Jameson knew what they were almost instantly. Covenant drop-pods.
      "Goddamnit!" he said aloud.
      The stretched mark of the azure-hue flare following the descending pods materialized in an instant, and the Sergeant knew they had landed already. It was most likely that Elites were in the pods, but Brutes were possible too... or Hunters. Maybe the Covenant had eavesdropped on his call for reinforcements; maybe they had decided to send a Spec Ops team to finish a trapped squad stuck in a tiny bunker. Maybe he had made the mistake of making the call for reinforcements in the first place, maybe he should've just ran with his men across the field to the road and enter New Morrison from there. The Sergeant gulped, and then spoke with resentment.
      "Sorr-ee command, my mistake for thinking you were sending us the backup."
      "Tango squad, is that you? Stay where you are, we've already said—" the same voice as before spoke with concern before Nick cut him off. He was tired of this shit. He didn't need it.
      He smiled bitterly and turned to his Marines.
      "Nicholson and Jerry, get ready to carry Jordan across to the freeway. Everyone else, follow me. Stick together, work as a team and we'll get through this alive." he said. "We're not leaving just yet, though, still gotta wait for the perfect moment..."
      The Sergeant trailed off, looked outside again, and shouldered his weapon. Fuck HQ, he could get through this without them.

Stay aware and awake for part 2.