Derailed Part 6
Posted By: Dispraiser<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 September 2003, 1:46 AM
Flaming pieces of Ghosts lie everywhere. Bodies, some human and others alien were thrown through the air as the brave recovery teams tried to get Covenant rifles from the battlefield. One Ghost flew harmlessly over a shorter civilian as he picked up a rifle, only to explode a moment later. I drew my rifle and fired at the nearest Ghost, which exploded shortly afterwards. A plasma orb descended upon me from the sky above, and melted a hole in the ground that extended probably five feet below the surface. I leapt from the path of the gunfire as duos of the orbs shredded the train compartment that I was garrisoned in. I looked up, and through the sunflare saw nothing. I shielded my eyes and looked up again to see the growing, blurry silhouette of a Banshee. I slid a fresh magazine into my battle rifle as the Banshee arched away from the ground and towards a higher altitude again. I watched through the scope of my rifle as I leveled the crosshairs on the body of the Banshee. I fired a single shot into the Banshee to test my leading distance, as I was not accustomed to fighting Banshees that weren't dive bombing, followed by another twenty or so rounds, each hitting the cabin. The Banshee spiraled uncontrollably towards the ground, the pilot probably wounded within the machine. Flames sparked from the engine of the damaged beast as it plummeted into a nearby alcove of trees, a satisfying explosion following later.
I looked towards the ground battle again, noting that for every fallen Ghost two more had taken its place. Covenant foot soldiers began to flood over the distant hill, though it seemed as if the barrage of vehicles had halted. I reloaded my battle rifle and twisted the scope to make it zoom to a further extent. I could tell the emotion that my enemy felt as I pulled the trigger. The relatively small bullet, only a .223, rushed forward, tumbling in the air. The bullet hit the Grunt between the eyes, and exited the back of his neck, clipping an ally's foot. A blue trail of blood followed his head to the ground, and another lead it's path. I swiveled my aim to an Elite, and was about to fire as a sniping rifle contrail ripped his head from it's spine. I ducked into the train and picked up my radio, "Marines, begin contingency plan three, things are getting a little hot back here! I need all nonassigned personnel to grab the nukes and begin walking towards Awwek! Marines in combat, hold your positions until I give the signal." I shouted into the radio of the screams of bullets and dying foes. I looked out the window again in time to see another rocket explode in the center of a group of Grunts, throwing at least a dozen bodies into the air. Unfortunately the contrail from the rocket led the Covenant to their gun nest. I watched as a Plasma Grenade dropped into the center of the nest. Over all the noise and death I could hear the screams of the death marked men as their harrowing passage came to an end. The flash of the grenade was accompanied with several secondary explosions and an ignited rocket that spiraled wildly into the train, exploding a hundred or so feet from me.
As my eyesight recovered from the blinding flash, a group of four Grunts climbed out of a crater and to within ten feet of my hiding place. Two of them died quickly, courtesy of a half dozen machine gun rounds. The other two ran in fear. I spun to the left to kill one, his body felled a moment later and then to the right. I took careful aim for the side of the Grunt's head. Suddenly I heard an odd noise. I looked towards the battlefield as a plasma grenade arced weakly towards me. I leapt from its path as the device melted through the train's window near me and bounced to a stop where I was sitting only moments before. I jumped as far as I could away from the explosion. I landed on my elbows as it exploded and melted the portion of the train that I had hidden in. I leaned out of the new hole in the train, and began to fire at the Covenant while telling the ODSTs to fall back into the woods. I looked behind me at the civilians carrying the nukes from the train. "Sloppy." I said, before killing a Grunt. Shortly before his death he had activated a plasma grenade, which exploded and killed a few of the nearby Jackals. I was glad for that simple lucky act, I hate Jackals. They are very hard to kill because of their shields. Before I could even count my blessings the Covenant wave continued. I checked behind me to see how far the Civilians had run. Most were at least a hundred yards into the woods. I noticed that the remaining fighters were retreating as well. I quickly counted them to find that there were fifteen. I looked back at the Covenant invaders and counted at least a hundred from a quick estimation. I killed a Grunt as I realized that I was the only one left in the train, and, as logic would dictate I didn't stand a half a chance on my own. Quickly, I ran from the train.
My footsteps seemed to outrun my feet as I ran through the trees. An Elite ran into the missing part of the train that the plasma grenade had exploded in. I unclipped a frag grenade from my belt and tossed it at him, continuing to run and never looking back to see how well it worked. The explosion flashed, but I was already too far away to notice. As I ran I clipped my rifle to my backpack and began dropping the things I didn't need. I threw my canteen away, and dropped the gauze I was carrying. I threw aside my raincoat, boots, everything I thought I wouldn't need until we made it to Awwek. After around a minute of running a caught up with the civilians carrying the nukes. I grabbed the small nuke from the one who looked weakest in exchange for most of my backpack and continued running. The fallen leaves of the trees crackled beneath my feet as I looked back to see a Ghost trailing us, though traveling very slowly because of the tree cover. I tossed my last grenade in his path and continued running over the hill. I crossed the peak of the hill only to see that our tree cover ended, and there was a large Covenant battle group in the area. Four Wraiths traversed the open field, and I spotted at least a hundred human and Covenant fighters sparring in the area. It appeared as though this was the last stand of a large Human battle group. One of the Longswords descended, a trail of fire following its path a moment later, paving an all too familiar path of destruction across the moonscape that is my home planet. The last bomb tumbled loosely through the air into the last of the surviving Wraiths. A Ghost caught in the secondary explosions was instantly disintegrated. Behind me I could see the Covenant running through the trees, and began to consider the options. Soon I realized again that I was alone, and that everyone else had decided for me, I leapt from the top of the hill. The forest ended abruptly and we found ourselves in a Midwest America type grassland. I slid down the hill and stumbled to a stop eighty feet below where I had started. I could hear the barks of the Covenant as they began to climb the hill. The group was running as fast as civilian legs could carry them. I ran, checking over my shoulder to see if the Covenant had caught up with us. The crack of gunfire at the front of the group brought my attention to the front. As the last of the Jackals fell a Warthog emerged from rock cover ahead. The vehicle was no doubt confused by our army of irregulars, but still graciously accepted the help. The gunner continued to fire into the hills and at targets as best he could, though I noticed that his armor was covered in his spilt blood.
"Corporal Martes!" the driver shouted over the roar of the chaingun. "Are you the reinforcements HQ sent?"
"No, we're recovery squad 13, and a group of around a hundred survivors of a train wreck! What's your company doing here?"
"We were sent in to provide covering fire for the Longswords up there, resistance was too heavy and now we're stuck! We could use some help, sir!"
"We'll do our best. We need to get back to Awwek, can you help?"
"I don't see much sense in not helping you. What's the worst they could do, court martial me?"
"Trust me on this one if nothing else, they will be glad that you helped us back to the city, we have four nukes."
"Well, throw em in the truck! This is a combat zone and we need to evacuate the area! You take gunner sir, my guy's hurt and I need him to rest in passenger seat!" the Corporal shouted over the sounds of lasers hunting the Longswords above. His gunner jumped from the truck and collapsed in a heap, weakly standing and walking to the passenger seat. Civilians with bombs quickly threw them into the back of the truck, padding them with whatever jackets or excess things they had.
"Driver!" I shouted as he started the Warthog.
"Yeah?" he replied as the engine began to purr.
"I want you to run large circles in front of the civilians, we need to clear them a path!"
"Sir, we have more important things, like the nukes!" he replied.
"I owe a lot of them my life. Besides that, we can't allow them to be captured incase one has an implant with the location of Earth on it." I lied. I knew that no one would have an implant that had Earth's location on it. Something inside me was making it impossible to leave them defenseless with a few of my comrades.
"Alright, your funeral... And mine. I hope you're not wrong because I'm not in the mood to be dying!"
"Don't Worry Corporal, you'll live. Might wanna buckle up though..."