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Roughneck Two-Zero Chapter 2: Rent-a-Wreck
Posted By: Anthony Coronado<killa_snypa7@hotmail.com>
Date: 3 April 2002, 3:33 pm

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0321 Hours, January 3, 2553 (Military Calendar)/
Epsilon Erandi System, In orbit around Eclipse, onboard UNSC cruiser Blademaster

"Sir! The Covenant are retreating! Pursue?" "Ensign Lowell, set course for 180 and pursue that destroyer. I have studied their tricks. Do not let them jump to Slipspace. Get me one hundred and ten percent on those engines! Lt. Dominique, arm Archer missile pods A1 through F7. I want MAC guns on shredder rounds, three rounds. Cut them down before they get to Slipspace." Ensign Lowell and Lt. Dominique replied "Aye sir," in unison. The Blademaster lurched to starboard, and the Archer missile pods opened. Captain Young knew he was going to launch a barrage of five hundred missiles at the ship. The Blademaster know faced the Covenant ship, Huntress' engines. He planned to use the MAC guns to rip the shields apart and blast them to Hell with a barrage of Archer missiles. He had studied the Covenant tactics. Whenever they withdrew, he knew they would come back in force. If he could down this ship down, it was one less ship to worry about later. "MAC guns at ninety-two percent charge. Climbing at two percent per thirty seconds. Archer missile pods A1 through F7 prepped and armed. Ninety-four. Ninety-six." "Fire on my mark!" "Ninety-eight. One hundred percent charge!" "Fire! Hold Archer missiles!" "Aye sir! Firing! Number one MAC round running normal! Number two hot and straight! Number three away! Impact in ten!" The first of three shredder MAC rounds impacted the Huntress' engines. The first round hit a shield. It held. The second it. The silver shield shimmered and faded. The third impacted, launching the Huntress into a wild tailspin. "Fire those Archer missiles!" "Aye sir! Missiles away!" "Starboard camera! Main view screen!" The starboard view appeared in the main view screen. A barrage of five hundred Archer missiles impaled the screen as they streaked towards the Huntress. The failing shield could do nothing to save the Huntress from a fiery death. The Huntress lurched as a catastrophic explosion dominated it. Five hundred Archer missiles impacted the engines, disabling the ship. A disabled ship could still fire on the Human Fleet. Captain Young wanted a dead ship. "Arm Archer missile pods X1 through Z10. Bring that ship down!" "Aye sir. We are locked and have a firing solution! On your mark?" "Negative. Fire at will." "Affirmative. Missiles away!" Another barrage made the Blademaster lurch back and forth. The Archer missile raced towards their target. The blunt of the attack hit the ship in the engines and the starboard-port side. Plumes of red fire engulfed the ship's engines, and it slowly drifted towards the surface of Eclipse.

0324 Hours, January 3, 2553 (Military Calendar)/
Epsilon Erandi System, Planet Eclipse, LZ Alpha

Isis caught a faint glimpse of something moving in her scope. She tracked it for a few steps and fired. She saw a metallic silver shield flicker and died. She saw a limp body fall over backwards. Just one more notch to add to her barrel when she got back. Her and Izanagi had a little competition going on. They kept track of kills, but only Elites that they got. She had forty something, but was too tired to count. She pulled her eye away from her scope and looked up. The rain had stopped, and the black of night was quickly fading. She could now see stars. It reminded her of evenings on Earth, where she was born. As she gazed at the stars, she saw a huge explosion in the night sky. A ship lurched and rolled. The Covenant destroyer, Huntress, slowly descended towards the surface. It was engulfed in flame as it plummeted through the atmosphere. The Huntress gained speed, and shards of armor were ripped clean off the hull as the friction built up and tore the ship to shreds. The Huntress gained incredible speeds, and smashed into the planet. A plume of dust and smoke a mile high arose from the planet. Circuitry and sparks of electricity erupted inside of the ship. Flames engulfed the interior and scorched the control panels. Almost all of the nav-banks and weapon controls were destroyed upon impact. Taking the scene in in instant, Isis quickly placed her eye to her scope once again. She tracked a movement. Fired. A Grunt fell. Damn, that wouldn't count. The Covenant Task Force quickly ducked their heads back into the trenches and bunkers that they had constructed for cover. A heavy bombardment had battered the Covenant forces all night. No matter how much they wanted to sleep, Roughneck Two-Zero couldn't sleep because the bombardment. The lines had been continuously harassed by flights of Banshees and Ghosts. They were quickly taken down by an air strike by a pair of Longsword interceptors. Over head, a flight of ten Longswords flew over head, streaking towards the Huntress. They circled the crash sight and then returned to base. Nothing was alive, at least not outside.