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Together We Stand (Part 2 of 2)
Posted By: CoLd BlooDed<kwb_419_@hotmail.com>
Date: 13 May 2004, 3:41 AM

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Together We Stand (Part 2 of 2)

Outskirts of New Morrison

      Isna 'Ornamalee looked up to see the white flash of an explosion behind the city walls. He smirked.
      "We are on a continuous advance, no stopping!" yelled a voice over to the Elite, his grin disappeared and he marched forward.
      New Morrison, the name of the human city that they were attacking, didn't hold any significance; it was merely an obstacle for taking over the last remaining planet. Universal domination was almost theirs, almost.
      Another explosion rumbled through the uneven grass, shaking Isna's legs and almost causing them to buckle, he was stronger than that, though, they all were. The Elite surveyed the landscape, the city loomed directly ahead of the approaching Covenant army, cliffs off to the right sloped off to become beach, and the ocean followed immediately after. On the soldier's left, however, were military bunkers used by the humans. An inferior creation, but useful in different scenarios, that's at least what Isna thought.
      The Deathly Reception hovered above the surface a kilometer back with its gravitational lift activated, for every section of Covenant soldiers killed; another two would float down and take its place. A different tactic used among the Covenant, one that had hopefully confused the primitive humans in thinking that they killed everything and anything. Dying for honor. Dying for justice. It described Isna and every other trooper among them, but wasn't exactly true. They also fought, and died, for each other.
      But why? he thought, Surely there is another reason, one that makes more sense.
      'Ornamalee fired at a human soldier that lay in the dirt, wounded. The enemy was already bleeding, and bad, but the Elite finished him off with a clean shot to the face. The soldier didn't even yell as his skin bubbled and his appearance swelled, his eyes rolled—even though they were half-melted—and he died painfully.
      Isna took no notice as another Elite was tossed by a brilliant grenade explosion over him, the dead body toppling over itself leaving blood-splatter where it landed.
      Neither did anyone else.
      It's true, we die for each other, but no one notices.
      Ironic, sort of.
      The Covenant soldier raised his Plasma Rifle and aimed at another wounded infidel, and shot twice. The first shot impacted into the man's face, melting the skin over the eyes and lip and causing him to scream. And the second tearing through the soldiers' torn armor and eating at his chest, more specifically where the man's heart was. Isna guessed it was like lighting yourself on fire, but he had only been shot at with the projectiles fired by them. It hurt, yes, but not badly...
      Getting a bullet through the helmet, however, did.
      There was a sudden sound, a relaxing but sharp one, which tore through the battle quite suddenly. Isna looked behind and up and saw blue streaks painted across the sky, they came from the clouds, and he smiled.
      They were coming in drop-pods, unnecessary, but helpful. Anything that brought more troops to the battle; more is always better. Everyone looked up, putting a pause to the march for a moment.
      The flare following the pods disappeared, but left a faint, sparkling trail of pale blue behind. One of the pods, however, was heading straight for them. A miscalculation, he thought, a simple miscalculation that was overlooked.
      He was wrong, couldn't have been more than wrong.
      "Keep moving!" the same voice as before said, "No time to look, we have a city to destroy!"
      Isna kept moving, but kept his eye on the pod that moved towards them. It came closer, and closer.
      There's no way that was a mistake of velocity that was meant for us. Run, Isna, run.
      Don't be erroneous.
      I'm serious, look at it! Run!
      It was too late, whether or not he would've actually run, the drop-pod landed in the ground where the Covenant soldiers were forced to separate. They created a wide circle around the deployment casing, and they stared at it.
      The door of the pod opened suddenly, and the light-blue vapors escaped, rising and disappearing like steam or smoke. That wasn't the important thing, though, because when the mist cleared, all the soldiers looking inside gasped. Tons of human explosives had been stockpiled inside, there was no room at all, none. Black, brown, and grey metal shimmered in the ghostly sunlight, Isna blinked.
      Too late to run.
      The doomed Elite raised the hand holding his Plasma Rifle and yelled triumphantly, "Don't bother running! We go down proud! Together we stand!" Behind him the drop-pods were still speeding towards the ground.
      And after he finished speaking, a low humming sound emitted from the inside ceased, and a red light—among one of the large bombs stored inside—shone. A gorgeous, yet intimidating, explosion was created, a fresh wave of heat washed over Isna and he felt himself succumb to the force of the blast.

Traveling to New Morrison Hills

      "There," Corporal Bennett said gracefully and pressed the button on his arm. A muffled blast came from far away, and he felt himself grow with pride. Whoops from the other ODST's echoed over the COM.
      "Great job, boys!" hooted Lance Corporal Storm. "Now let's let 'em have it!"
      They had come in the drop-pods from behind the Covenant, a risky choice but one that would catch them off guard. They could sweep through from behind, killing every single enemy soldier at a time.
      James felt the G-forces wear off, and the sudden halting of the moving landing pod. He checked the display, watched a burst of Covenant characters scroll across the screen, and knew they had landed. It was about time.
      "Exit in three, two..." the Sarge announced, "One!"
      He pressed the button on the hatch, watched it open, and was greeted by the battlefield. The city towered in the distance, the ocean licked against the cliffs on the right, and a NAV point blinked into existence on his HUD.
      "Advance towards the NAV point, fire at will." Sergeant Riley ordered sternly, pulling the trigger at a nearby Grunt.
      Bennetts' drop-pod had landed behind the Sarge's, and watched in awe as the other ODST's broke out of their pods and exit the blue steam, their guns flashing immediately.
      "Come on, damnit! Come on!" yelled Storm as he fired his Battle Rifle, the brains of an unsuspecting Grunt exited out of the back of its head in clumps and clots.
      The Covenant still hadn't caught on, and Bennett observed in hidden happiness as secondary blasts from the explosive-filled drop-pod erupted, creating minor fireballs that threw enemies everywhere. The Corporal fired at the back of a Jackal, watched as the bullets ripped through the skin and exited out the other side, the alien fell to the ground with a pool of blood forming around its sides.
      The other PFC's were firing nonstop, and as the Helljumpers marched on, the more bodies they left behind. It was easy until the Covenant finally figured out what was going on.
      "Frag out!" yelled Private Bill Connors enthusiastically, James smirked behind his reflective visor at the ODST's sudden happiness.
      The grenade's pin was pulled with Connors' index finger, causing the metal to pop off; the Private threw it with ease. The frag went straight ahead, curved quickly, and landed under a Brute. It exploded, sending shrapnel, dirt and chunks of Brute everywhere. Grunts and Jackals were thrown free, but landed in heavy thumps; they were killed without any trouble.
      Eight Jackals turned around, overlapped their shields, and created what humans would call a Delta formation. They fired, but the ODST's found cover behind the glowing, purple shields that the Covenant set up and rocks.
      "This is Sergeant Dean Riley of the Helljumpers to UNSC command, we require you to send out men immediately!" the Sarge's voice broke out; the channel was silent for only a second.
      "We hear you, Sergeant Riley, troops dispatched, enjoy. Command over and out."
      "Thanks, command, we owe you one."
      James gave a thumbs-up to Private Fletcher, the ODST returned it.
      "I need covering fire, moving out!" yelled the Corporal, he rose up over the rock and tossed a grenade with precision. It landed behind the Jackals, exploded, and as the bodies were sent out he moved forwards. Bullets zinged by him in yellow streaks, and slammed into the chests of dazed Grunts or undefended Jackals.
      The running Helljumper grabbed a plasma grenade off of the ground as he sprinted, pushed the button, and stuck it to a Grunt that raised its weapon. He pushed the soldier towards an Elite, shot the Grunt, and dived backwards. The blue explosion washed over him, and the Corporal was tossed to the ground, he was luckily unhurt.
      "Come on, ODST's, help out the Corporal!" barked Riley.
      James rolled right, watched as green orbs of plasma washed against his armor, and fired at the attacker. Bullets knocked the Jackal off his feet.
      An explosion rumbled from afar, and the Corporal stood up without bothering to brush himself off.
      "Welcome to the party, boys!" a tough, Texan soldier said over the COM, "Let's show these punk ass sonofawhores how it's done on Earth!"
      Another explosion, more screams of Covenant. Blood, whether it was human or Covenant, sprayed his face. James smirked evilly, and fired at whatever moved.
      The ODST's continued the fight, killing Brutes, Grunts, Jackals and Elites. Purple and blue blood painted the grass, it was sticky and coagulated. The UNSC helped from far-off, shooting at large masses of Covenant with Scorpion Tanks and Rocket 'Hogs. Snipers guarded the large wall of New Morrison, and they managed to take down many. Many being an understatement.
      "Together we stand, boys. Helljumpers or UNSC, we both live on this planet, we both fight for the same cause. Together we stand." the same person said thoughtfully, the statement touched the Corporal, but he was in the middle of an operation. Battle just wasn't a time for thinking. It was either act or die.
      Or both.
      The Covenant were dropping like flies, they began to dwindle in numbers, the Spec Ops team hadn't taken any casualties. The military of New Morrison, on the other hand, was a different story.
      A bloodthirsty howl echoed over the battlefield, but the Elite who had made such a cry was finished off with a loud crack! crack! emitted from the Battle Rifles.
      James fell behind a rock, he frantically, but smoothly ejected the empty clip and shoved a fresh one in place. He paused. Nobody was making any noise on the other side of the boulder he used as shelter. The Corporal calmly looked above the granite.
      They had won.
      No enemies remained standing—except the ones that had fled, only wounded aliens twitched on the bloodstained ground. James listened in on the public network.
      "Evacuate the survivors of Tango team." one voice said calmly.
      "That's a no-go, command, we can't raise them." another voice replied worriedly.
      "I don't care, send out a Pelican, a Warthog, anything! We don't leave anybody behind."
      "They were only a few klicks from the city, in a bunker or something—" someone else was put into the conversation, but was interrupted.
      "Command, we found Tango..." one of the speakers said grimly, "No survivors."
      "Goddamnit, comb the perimeter, make sure no enemy is alive."
      "Roger that. Major Devon over and out."
      The Corporal shut off the network; they had won, but lost in an entirely different matter. Tango was dead.
      "Good job, Helljumpers, another operation completed. Let's haul ass to New Morrison, we'll discuss later."
      Corporal James stood up, shouldered his rifle, and marched on with the others. The NAV point winked out of existance. They had won. But the statement made by the Texan soldier still lingered in his mind.
      Together we stand.