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Derailed Part 10
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 22 October 2003, 10:58 PM

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      Carefully, I slid further underneath the table. I looked nervously at my watch, which read '9:30'. I panicked inside, knowing that facing the two Elites would be as great a challenge as avoiding them and making it out of the ship with enough time to run up the crater and to freedom. I looked at my watch again, '9:05'. I squinted over a chair in the room. It appeared as if the Elites were preparing to leave.

      "gnihton ylbaborp saw tI" one of the Elite's muttered, stumbling towards the door. Suddenly my watch beeped signaling that a minute had passed. I panicked and hit the button that silenced it. It was already too late though, both Elites had heard the noise. One snorted wildly as it sniffed the air, searching for any scents that could help it find me. I had never heard of this behavior in an Elite before, but hoped that he was overestimating his sense of smell. The larger of the two Elite's walked into the open, and I carefully scanned him for any weaknesses. His armor was tattered, and he seemed to walk favoring his right leg. Clearly he was wounded. I counted three fingers on one hand, his middle finger missing, and a patch in his armor near his spine. As the Elite turned to face me his decorated battle scars became apparent. The Elite had several deep scars along his face. Clearly, he was also not one to fight with. His long delicate fingers held a plasma rifle, polished to a mirror-like luster. The beast paced across the room, a firm set of hooves sliding past my hiding spot. As zealous as they were, they probab;ly didn't understand the concept of hiding. They must've thought I was invisible or ambushing them. The second Elite soon stepped into the open.

      Immediately I identified him as weak. He stood nervously, had no battle scars, and his armor was unscathed. Even his rifle was held somewhat odd, considering Elites were, as the name implied, elite. Neither seemed to think they needed to radio for help, either. I would have court marshaled one of my men for this behavior, and thanked god that Elite's were so arrogant. Suddenly I realized something. The young Elite's armor had a small shield generator, on it, precisely where the patch on the larger Elite was. I leaned out from behind cover and prepared to shoot the dominant Elite in the back and the other with the rest of the clip. I held the almost alien Mathean rifle to my head, and leveled the sights on the Elites exposed lower spine. Briefly I wondered whether the bullet would penetrate his armor, before a demonic shriek reigned supreme. The watch, zealously completing its job to remind me of each passing minute beeped again. The Elites spun, each at opposite ends of the isle created by the rows of tables. They found a surprised, scared, grinning and angered human to be kneeling in the center of the rows. I smiled, fired at the Elite and rolled for cover. The bullet was slow enough that I could see it moving. A raspy buzzing followed its path into the Elite. The bullet missed his armor, and struck exposed abdomen. Instantly five blades dislodged from the central pin and began to tear through the Elite. For a moment he stood, unaffected, but a tiny snap changed everything. What he thought was a tiny bullet was instead a set of five blades, and a tiny bullet. After he had yelled for only a second one of the blades emerged from his neck, a literal fountain of gore following its path to the ceiling. Another two bullets burst from his side, and another shattered his skull. I rolled under the desk again as he yelled, experiencing a pain like no other, and plasma gunfire melted the ground upon which I had knelt only a moment earlier. A thin piece of sheet metal blocked the other side of the desk, and I kicked it, knowing the Elite would win versus my restricted position. As I rolled from the other side a plasma grenade drifted onto the desk. I crawled and easily avoided it. The Elite's snorts followed a telltale pattern to the grenade's crater, passing n the other side of the desks. As he passed me I leapt from my prone position, and carefully placed his head in the sights of my rifle.

      He found no blood or pieces of flesh in the crater, and had just turned to search for me as a large Kraftod bullet struck his head. The shield absorbed the bullet and bounced it to the ceiling. Now fully alert and angered the Elite retaliated, lances of plasma gunfire arcing towards my position. I ducked, but one of the orbs came close enough to spark a small flame on my shoulder. Quickly, I patted my shoulder eliminating the nuisance. Heavy metal footsteps retraced the Elite's path as he drew closer to where I hid, again, ducked. Rather than face an Elite at point blank range I chose to run under the next set of desks, kick out the sheet metal and roll into the next row. The Elite leapt over the desks and swiveled, searching for me. While I found his tactics stupid, I knew I didn't stand a chance.

      It would take around 25 Kraftod bullets to shatter a Blue Elite's shield, even a rookie, and I only had three left in this clip. I glanced at my watch. '7:01'. The watch beeped again. A sickening feeling flooded my stomach. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me and doom me three times, shame on me. Before I had worried so much about the consequences of the watch's beeping that I had forgotten to turn it off. Learning from my mistakes I shut the watch off before rolling through next row of desks. They seemed o be something like lab stations, and labs used gas. I stood for a moment and looked for anything that looked like a fuel nozzle. The Elite barked in my direction. As he raised his weapon I spun as many knobs as I could. I slid along the floor through the thin sheet metal of the next desk and was rewarded with the smell of gas. I ran to the far end of the aisle of desks as fast as I could, after rolling out what was the last row of desks. The Elite, thinking that I was waiting to ambush him in the desk ran to the other side of the room. After spotting me he continued to the second to last row of desk and charged towards me. He clearly knew my weapon was weak versus his energy shield. He also, clearly didn't understand that gas explodes. By the tie he started to wonder about the hissing noise a Kraftod bullet was already well on its way. It struck his chest, and the energy shield sparked. I grinned before a fireball engulfed his body, throwing it across the room. He skidded to a stop, alive, but dying, near me. I smiled and lowered the rifle to aim at his head, changing my mind and aiming at his chest. I fired once, and he howled in pain.


      The watch said I only had six and a half minutes left, and I knew it would be impossible to get far enough from the explosion in time on foot. Rather than face suicide I had decided on a slightly riskier plan, to steal a Covenant ship. I knew that lots of Banshees were flying in and out of the place, and therefore knew I would be able to find one. Unfortunately I hadn't ever flown one before, which only added to the inherent risk of flying from an enemy ship with a possibly damaged flier. I walked in the bottom decks of the ship where there was some damage and fires, and it seemed as if there was no living occupants, though I walked over a number of dead and dying soldiers, gathering a half dozen plasma grenades and a fuel rod gun. The odd gun fit perfectly on my shoulder, somehow. After stumbling down seemingly endless corridors I finally found the hangar. The door slid open as three Banshee's drifted in to the Hanger, coming to a graceful stop. A few were riddled with bullet holes, and one was flaming. Quickly, a fire extinguishing team rushed out to stop the fire from spreading. I grinned as the weak Grunts tried to use the largest tools as the Elites stood back and barked orders. They managed to extinguish the fire, so I decided to give them a few new ones. It seemed as if the side of the hangar closest to me was the refueled, repaired Banshees, and the other side was the damaged intake.

      I pulled the trigger on the fuel rod gun and a large green bolt arced across the small hangar. It hit near the Elite that was ordering the Grunts to work, and instantly vaporized his overconfident body, along with the hose to the Grunt's firefoam hose. A few of the braver ones tried to put out the fires only to be burnt alive by secondary explosions, while some of the more cowardly ran for cover. I leapt to a dropship that was hovering above the second floor in the room, and scrambled to grab the smooth sides. I slid off the edge, however, and barely managed to grab the slot in the side. The fuel rod gun clattered uselessly to the ground along with one of the plasma grenades. I swung quickly to jump to the ledge before the Covenant caught on. I rolled to a stop before realizing I was standing in the center of a group of two Elites and around a dozen Grunts.

      I smiled, "Hola!" The confused Covenant looked up, rifles in hand, as I rolled form the ledge dropping two plasma grenades and igniting a third before I departed. As I fell backwards through the air I fired the plasma rifles into the horde, meaningless bullets meant to do little but splash on my enemies' armor. As I hit the ground there was a blinding flash above, and bodies were hurtled through the air. Secondary explosions damaged the dropship. My back hurt very badly form the impact, but the slightly cushioned Covenant floors aided my impact. The dropship above howled, the damage straining the engines. I threw the grenades and rifles on the ground behind me and ran for the nearest Banshee. As I leapt in the Banshee and began to fly from the hangar, the dropship crashed to the ground behind my narrow escape, explosions scalding the back of the Banshee. As I accelerated from the wrecked ship I looked at my watch, '3:07'.

      The Banshee howled into a wide turn as I began to get a feel for the handling. It was very maneuverable, but the G forces were extreme. I reached forward and poked one button to be rewarded with a sudden leap in the Banshee's speed. It accelerated into a steep vertical climb as a half dozen more Banshees descended on my position. One of the damaged Banshees that had escaped from the hangar behind me tried to follow my path, but one of it's winglets shattered under the strain and the destroyed beast spiraled into the ground, where it exploded. I could feel the blood rushing to my numb feet as the Banshee continued to accelerate into its climb. I reached for the control panel again and pressed another button. Suddenly the engines stopped. There was no soft humming, nothing. The Banshee slowed to a stop, and for a brief moment I hovered in peace. Suddenly the laws of gravity began to catch me, and the ship began to plummet. Even through the deafening hull of the craft I still heard the wind roar by the Banshee as it fell. A viewport illustrated the front view of the vehicle which depicted that I was probably five hundred feet from the ground. As the Banshee dropped it fell through the formation of pursuers. Most of them scattered safely, but two collided while fleeing and one shattered. Panicked I hit any button I could. The Banshee continued to fall, despite my efforts. The small craft settled into a nosedive, and I watched in terror as the ground became dangerously close, to within fifty feet. With my last act I swung my arm down on the controls. Suddenly the Banshee accelerate forward. I shot past the hangar where my rogue flight started, the blue fire melting the sides of the ship, swerving downwards as two more muddy Banshees flew from the fire. It seemed like this was a losing battle. Suddenly the ship started to fire, plasma lances firing into the air and destroying four of the enemy Banshees. The radio skipped to life, "Hello, this is Grunt Command Regiment 13, Nokomee', we need you to say in the air while we shoot the human pilots down, you're the only air defense we have."

      I chuckled. In the disarray they must have acquired the wrong targets. Maybe I was piloting well enough that they had assumed I was an Elite? I continued to fly, dropping to fly a few meters from the top of the ship as plasma guns along its deck started to fire into their allies. I grinned as three more of the Banshees, including the one that was closest to me, fell from the sky as flaming scrap metal. Suddenly the plasma gunfire began to arc towards my craft, and again, I grinned, about time. I pushed a lever in the Banshee and it accelerated away from the craft. I glanced at my watch. '0:15'

      Plasma continued to shatter the tranquility of the nearby air as the Banshee flew from the crash site as fast as it could, given its damage. The HUD said that I was a Superunit from the crashed ship. I prayed that was over a mile as I looked at my watch again.


      Suddenly the ship erupted in fire. The inside of the Banshee was illuminated by the back viewport, and fire soon broke through the sun-like flash. Blue and red flames hurtled into the air, followed by billowing black smoke. The Banshee behind me trembled as the shockwave's EMP style pulse knock him out of the air. My Banshee sputtered to a stop next, and the viewports opened to reveal tiny manual glass ports. I fumbled with the controls, though it seemed to do nothing. The Banshee plummeted into the forest.