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Derailed Part 1
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 26 August 2003, 4:08 AM

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      December 24, 2548
      The First Day of the Invasion of Lunar 4


       "Bravo 14, this is Pelican transport Delta 6, do you copy?" The pilot mumbled into his radio. Our Pelican slid carefully over the hills, but in the jagged foothills of the Bootha Mountains there was no word for smooth. The Pelican bounced over the hills, and I held my seat, knowing that if I didn't I would be skipped along the floor of the Pelican till my death, and there was nothing I could do.

       "Delta, we copy, engaging Covenant fighters two miles ahead of rally point gamma, suggest alternate route!" the radio sputtered, I listened as the pilot swore under his breath.

      "How many?" the pilot replied solemnly. "Can you mop em up before we get there?"

      "Heavy resistance, 20, maybe as many as 25. Stay low and hope they don't spot you. I doubt we can take these guys out. Bravo out." Our mission was of great importance, Headquarters was investing many fighters into our relatively small mission. I looked around the Pelican at my seven allies, each holding their seat with equal zeal. The Pelican bounced again, and I looked forward to see that the pilot of the Pelican was narrowly missing most hills, clipping the tops of some trees. The Pelican ducked into the next valley of green trees and roared across the forest, a plume of unsettled leaves and panicking birds following its movements. I noticed a flock of birds above us flying North for the artificial Summer the Covenant were creating. The Pelican slid along the contour of the valley and over the next ridge to reveal a vast canyon, extending for thousands of miles, Valley Gemini.

      I released the seat knowing that the rest of the ride would be somewhat smooth and stumbled queasily to the front of the ship, swallowing two Dramamine tablets on my own spit as I passed the rows of Marines. I walked into the cabin of the dropship and watched the brilliant flashes in the sky, the Covenant. The hum of the Pelican seemed further as I watched orange tracer fire and black flack explosions attempt to shoot down the Covenant ships. The ground below us by only a hundred feet seemed to be coated in Covenant soldiers as well as Marines, both scrambling like ants to kill eachother. The Pelican soon flew beyond the front lines and over a group of artillery cannons to the center of the Valley. I could see some of the fighters above us fighting, some of the last Human pilots versus the countless drones of the Covenant, and I realized that we may be the last hope of mankind on this planet. 400 innocent lives were at risk, and it was our job to save them. The Pelican reached Rally Point Gamma, and forked to the left, arcing over the lip of the canyon. I ran for the back of the ship once again, and seat belted myself into the seat. Across the Pelican and to my left and right some of the other ODSTs began to take out their rifles and check their functionality. I did the same.

      I slid the plastic box out from below my seat and flipped the latches on either side to open it. Contained within was my rifle, a large battle rifle, a lucky battle rifle. I pulled the Main component from the foam padding as well as the other pieces. I slid the large suppressor onto the end of the rifle and spun it a score times to make sure it was secure. I grabbed the butt of the rifle and slid it into place ass the Pelican leapt again, and finally clipped on the scope, spinning both dials to perfection. The Pelican yelled over the roar of the Pelicans strained engines, "We'll be reaching the drop zone in one minute, get ready ODSTs!"

      Our mission was to board a civilian train, which due to a communication failure has no idea that the planet is being invaded, make the train follow a safe junction to Awwek and grab set of nuclear bombs that was stown in the cargo car. The train was carrying our nuclear missiles due to the build up of tensions between the East and West of Lunar 4 over the past week. All of our bombs have been mobile for near to a week and none of them have more than one or two guards, as not to draw attention to itself. This one had none...

      The Pelican roared over the railroad, and I watched as the rear hatch slid open, for a moment a blinding line of light that soon expanded to show the nearby forests and mountains around us. The roar of the Pelican was suddenly challenged by the shriek of the magnalev train, the air howling around it. The first two to move to the back were Dust and Marcus. Each grabbed their drop cable and slid downwards onto the roof of the train, a quick tug releasing the drop cable back to the Pelican. Next to the back of the ship was Warner and Markson, each grabbing the drop cables and sliding down as flawlessly as the first. Sellers and Mitchell followed as I noticed four orange spheres in the distance. I slid the field binoculars from my belt and looked towards the mysterious flying objects. Two Banshees, the glowing tips of their wings signature of their lethality. I grabbed onto one of the drop cables and began to slide down, carefully and cautiously. It seemed like no large feat when the others had done it, but as I hung below the dropship I saw my life flash before my eyes. The metal bars beneath us and the lights along the side of the train tracks zoomed past me and into the distance in an instant. I lowered myself most of the way to the train as the Banshees descended for their attack run. My feet touching the firm, trembling railcar I reached for the latch on my chest to release the cord as Plasma cannon suddenly pelted the Pelican. The cord suddenly rippled, the Pelican staggering to keep stable despite the attack. An instant after my feet had hit the train I was ten feet in the air again, the cord that was still hooked to my belt dragging me into the air as the Pelican performed evasive maneuvers. The Pelican flew to the left slightly, and I watched as the passing lights on the side of the train tracks got closer to me until it was to the point that I could feel the air contrails as they passed. If the Pelican had moved only and inch more to the left I would have died. Luckily it descended against, trying to get me back to the top of the train. I looked towards my belt and readied to unclip the strap as I suddenly realized that it was breaking. The red plastic began to warp and turn to white as the strap, not meant to be used while half unlatched began, to snap. As I spun below the Pelican, the pilot tried to stabilize his course again. The other seven ODSTs on the train waved for me to land on the train. The Pelican gradually lowered towards the train, and a moment later I hovered only a few distant feet over the arms of my allies, each trying to help me. The Pelican suddenly rumbled again as the Banshees fired again. A blue streak of Plasma gunfire flying into the engine was mirrored as a burst of orange fire flew from the engine of the Pelican. The canopy suddenly burst open as the APE (automatic pilot ejection) system enacted. Without a pilot and with one engine lagging the crafts speed the Pelican began to lose altitude, and began to drop me. I fell the remaining eight, give or take, feet to the train and immediately collapsed to the ground. The Pelican suddenly dropped to the left and dragged the gradual arch of the cable along with it. I looked up in terror as the 50 foot drop cable caught on one of the poles along the side of the track, and an instant later caught me, the violent motion ripping the cable back, and within a second the exploding Pelican was already far behind my allies. The taut cable pulled me from my feet and dragged me, literally kicking and screaming off the train, my allies on the middle of the train, me, skipping along the deck of the train. I frantically reached for the latch, though every time I got even within a foot of grabbing it I hit another midsection between two train cars and was flipping into the air. I glanced upwards to realize that I was within two cars of the end of the train, I had only a fraction of a second to unclip the latch. As my life began to flash before my eyes I felt the latch give way, the Pelican's explosions suddenly becoming more distant. I continued to skip along the train, my speed lowering, but not fast enough. I tumbled off the back of the train only a second later. Expecting death to finally grasp me with his horrible tentacles I closed my eyes, but I found that I was far from dead. I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the rail below me as it disappeared into the distance. All of my pockets fell open and I lost most of my personal things, as well as my radio. I looked upwards towards the top of the train to see that my lucky rifle was clipped to my belt, and in turn had caught itself on one of the lights on the back of the train. I thanked whatever god had saved me from death, but realized that I was near to death because a strap had failed, and at the same time holding onto life thanks to only a simple strap. I wasn't going to push my luck...