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The Tides of War Part 1 "As the Dust Cleared"
Posted By: Corbantis<ssrm3@lvcm.com>
Date: 06 February 2002, 1:42 am

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Chapter 1

0653 Hours, August 30, 2552 (Military Calendar) /
Epsilon Eridani System, Reach UNSC Military Complex,
Planet Reach, Delta Wing - Section Three research facility

    Dr. Halsey and the last Spartan left alive on REACH, Robert 068, ran deeper into the underground military research center as the Covenant forces began to glass the base. "Hurry Robert, we must get deeper underground before they hit this building!" Yelled Dr. Halsey as she huddled next to an overturned storage locker. Robert was busy shooting at the remaining Covenant forces that were pursuing them. "Affirmative, ma'am!" He lobbed a fragmentation grenade into the focal point of their pursuers, and dived behind the fallen storage locker, just as a loud, resounding "BOOM" shook the hallway. When he looked over the locker, his gun firmly in his grasp, he was relieved that the explosion had killed all their alien pursuers.
    He seized Dr. Halsey's arm, "Come on, Dr. Halsey, lets get moving," They continued to run down the hall. Once they reached a freight elevator, Dr. Halsey stopped. "Wait, we should take this elevator, I think it will take us to the lowest levels of the complex," she pressed a button on the elevator keypad and the doors slid open. Just then an explosion sent a tremor through the entire structure, and the walls began to crumble. Robert jumped into the elevator, pulling Dr. Halsey in. He punched the button for the lowest level, and as the elevator descended, the whole complex began to tremble violently. He just hoped that the others had managed to escape.

0800 Hours, August 30, 2552 (Military Calendar) /
UNSC Pillar of Autumn, Unknown Space Region

    First Sergeant Daniel O'Connor stretched his stiff arms and, hearing satisfying cracks from his joints, grinned. He figured Captain Keyes must have realized that trying to outrun the Covenant was futile, that's why the Captain had announced everyone should be ready in case of attack. The first Sergeant was a veteran of many battles against the Covenant, and he planned on still being alive even after all this was over. Besides, his squad was counting on him, and he was most definitely not going to let them down. He strolled into the locker room, and headed toward his locker, nodding to the men he knew on the way. He deactivated the lock on the door of the locker; it opened with a slight creaking noise. Daniel pulled out a slightly oversized marine combat suit, the armor on the joints clanged as they rubbed against one another.
    Daniel O'Connor was a well built, husky marine in his late twenty's, who had jet-black fuzz for hair because of his military haircut. Due to his bulk, sometimes some marines would ask him if he had ever trained to be an Orbital Drop ship Shock Trooper. He always said no to the question, and he would also add that he never planned on being an ODST, that he was a combat marine all the way. He was glad to get his combat uniform back on, he always felt naked when wearing civilian clothes. Once he had donned his uniform, he checked to make sure his boots were tied tight and his combat helmet's Heads Up Display, which is a small, square computer screen as big as a human eye that sticks out in front of your right eye; it shows tactical data and targeting data to the marine, still works. Once satisfied, Daniel tucked the helmet under his left arm, closed the locker, and headed out of the locker room.

0857 Hours, August 30, 2552 (Military Calendar) /
Covenant Ship
Redemption, Epsilon Eridani System,
Planet Reach, High Orbit

    Supreme War Master T'soll Vorskray grinned with delight as the last of the pathetic human battle ships was obliterated, the Gods surely smiled upon his forces on this glorious day. Standing nine feet tall, T'soll was basically a head taller than the other Elites and Commander Elites like himself. He wore the traditional gold colored command armor, but because he was the Supreme War Master of the Covenant battle fleets he wore bronze colored shoulder pads to symbolize his rank.
    As T'soll observed his battle ships prepare to "cleanse" this human planet, a young Tacticians officer approached T'soll and respectably bowed before his superior. "War Master, I have news of importance to report." T'soll motioned for the officer to rise and report, then he firmly told the officer, "What could be more important than this?" As he waved his hand toward the view port that showed the human planet called REACH. The young Tactician rose upon command. "A lone Human war ship has escaped, sire" T'soll growled deep in is throat out of impatience, his four mouthparts curling into a snarl. "How is this important?" He glared at the officer. The young Tactician almost took a step back in fear. "The Human ship has discovered the Ring World of the Ancients," the officer paused for a second, "we have engaged them but they have taken refuge on the surface of the ring world." The Tactician stared at the War Master.
    "They dare defile such sacred ground!" T'soll clenched his fist. "I want them destroyed before they defile the ring any further, return to your station, inform our ships there to do whatever they must to eradicate the infidels." The Tactician bowed again. "Yes, War Master" The officer left, and T'soll turned around to watch the cleansing begin. The infidels will pay for this outrage, he thought, as the human planet began to glow from the plasma bombardment of the surface.