Derailed Final Part
Posted By: Dispraiser<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 November 2003, 5:15 AM
Martes left the room with the Civilian, who soon returned with a fire extinguisher, spraying the flaming Grunt before the fire could spread through the whole house. He then helped me to my feet, and then used his body as a crutch to take me to the basement, where I saw around ten civilians working on various tasks. Most worked on the radio with Martes, where authentic smiles signified success. The other half of the group worked on making rudimentary traps. Luckily, most houses had plenty of grenades and claymores in the family gunshack.
It is not at all unusual for a rural family of five to have ten rifles and around twenty grenades, twice that number in the suburbs, and enough ammo to last several days. With frequent wars against the Matheans most people spent their money on food and ammo, and nothing else. It seemed alien to me that on a peaceful planet like Mars no one has even a pistol. People are raised and find out guns exist when they're town or twelve. Myself, I knew advanced combat maneuvers when I turned seven, part of this a result of my father's paranoia about the coming invasion from the Matheans or Covenant. Such illustrated my prior point perfectly, however. Fear forced everyone to own rifles, though the bliss on Mars left their society underdeveloped when the Jovian armies attacked in 2480, and as anyone could tell you it was not the peace loving Martians that had great success in the following war, and it was the rifles of the Jovians that changed history.
The civilians let out a cheer of victory as the radio crackled to life.
"Command, this is Corporal Martes, en route to deliver three nuclear missiles to HQ! We're pinned down in the suburbs of Awwek and need an evac Pelican, as soon as possible!"
"Corporal Martes, this is HQ, we have three available Pelicans near your position. The nearest two have been called in, expect them there within ten minutes."
"It's nothing, just get back here in one pieces with those nukes. We were saved by the grace of god just three hours ago. A Covenant ship was hijacked and rammed three others out of the air before it was destroyed. Our MAC cannon is down, though we are redirecting the grid to power it back up, and all we have now are some artillery cannons firing nukes."
"Alright, Corporal Martes, praying for the best."
"Over and out." The radio replied before falling silent.
"Martes!" I shouted, "We need to get those mines out into the street and make some smoke to get the Pelican in here. As good as a Goxinus reading is, a smoke signal would work better."
"I'll get it in line, sir. Your leg..."
"It's fine." I replied.
"Alright, well, as you can see, only a handful of survivors, ammo, bountiful, defenses par. Things are pretty good, considering our position. I could have asked to take less casualties, but we'll manage. Sir, I would like to apologize for my former abruptness, and apologize for the loss of your friends, but with all due respect we have more important things to worry about. If the grief is impairing your command I would gladly run the operation for you."
"It's fine. Just give me a rifle and I'll make them pay."
Nervously I bounced the rifle in my hand. A Grunt hung to the last fragments of his life, blue blood seeping from five new holes in his body. I prayed he was alone, but soon another ran around the corner, nervously running to his now deceased ally. I slowly aimed at his chest, and fired. For a split second he was confused by the buzz of the slow-moving bullet, but soon the bullet entered his chest cavity. Five blades instantly dislodged in his chest. He fell to the ground, though I noticed none of the blades exited his body, a good sign that he suffered. Before his death he let a long, loud shriek escape his lungs. Soon, two more Grunts stumbled around the corner, wondering what happened to their friend. I centered the sights on one of the two Grunts and squeezed the rigger, the rifle coughing another bullet into a hapless Grunt. Three of the blades exited his body, one stabbing his ally's head. The wounded Grunt managed to fire in my general direction a few times. Suddenly another wave of gunfire poured into the house, ripping delicate family portraits and memories of happy lives were uprooted and violently torn apart. I ducked, but had they been better at aiming I would not have been so lucky as to live. Gunfire began to roar from almost every house on the block as another wave of Grunts was slaughtered. A landmine exploded, shrapnel shredding one of the Grunts and mortally wounding dozens. The clap of distant landmines satisfied my hunger for Covenant blood. A group of Elite ran around the corner.
"Oh shit! Take cover!" I yelled, running back into the house. Grunts weren't too clever, and still hadn't figured out where we were for the most part, but the Elites knew where we were hiding.
I traded my rifle for a traditional assault rifle, and ran for the window. I aimed at the pack of Elites and clicked the grenade launcher's trigger a trio of times. The grenades arched into the Elites and threw their bodies in every direction. Two of the survivors ran into the center of the street, and fired into the house that I hid within. As I ducked I saw weak gunfire tag the Elites from either side of the street, and heard the roar of a sniping rifle tear one of them apart with a series of eight thunderous cracks. I sprung from cover and killed the remaining Elite. We had never seen the Covenant homeworld, but it was increasingly clear that they didn't have streets like we did. The middle of the road is the last place you want to be while under fire from all directions, especially when a planet is prepared for invasion. Lunar 4 ordinance forces all suburban houses to park their cars behind their houses in case of invasion, and to siphon all of the gas into canisters in the house. Cars were not very good cover, even if parked in the streets. They tend to fall apart and explode when used as cover, especially in an ambush where the streetside people stumble basically into the barrel of the enemy guns.
Another pack of Elites stumbled around the corner and managed to destroy one of the houses with a volley of grenades before they were destroyed. I grabbed my radio and called Martes on the floor below. He sat in the garage with a motorcycle waiting, fueled and ready. "Martes, they're coming in too soon, we still have four minutes left! I think it's time for a diversion. Motorcycle ready?"
"Yeah." Martes replied.
"Hell yeah, sir."
I smiled as I hobbled down the stairs on a flimsy crutch and passed through the kitchen into the garage. Martes strapped a large helmet on as he sat on the motorcycle. He tossed me a helmet, though I figured crashing was the least of our worries. Quickly, I sat on the back of the motorcycle and spun so I was facing backwards, relative to Martes. I reloaded as the garage door opened and the motorcycle accelerated into the streets. Martes began to turn left form the driveway, but a Wraith turning onto the street convinced him otherwise. After realizing that he couldn't turn left fast enough Martes accelerated into the yard opposite the street. He smashed through a peaceful picket fence as the street exploded in a blue flash. The motorcycle crashed through a picnic table in the backyard of the house as two Ghosts accelerated to follow the motorcycle. Martes jumped across a small pool in the back yard, continuing the arc into their neighbors back yard. The two pursuing Ghosts smashed through the fence behind Martes. Suddenly plasma gunfire streaked past our faces, and I fired back futilely. The gunfire bounced harmlessly off the Ghosts' armor plating, though I continued to fire in hope that one of the bullets would do anything to harm them. Martes spun to the right, smashing across a small flower garden and through a child's sandbox. The motorcycle leapt across the back fence of the house, and Martes continued into the next yard, narrowly missing a metal swingset. The Ghosts continued behind us, burning the wood fence with their plasma gunfire. One managed to swerve between the swingset, but the other clipped one of the metal poles and crashed into the house. It slowed to back up and continue its path as the motorcycle turned right on the street, passing by the original house. As Martes looked forward after watching the Ghosts over his shoulder he saw a Wraith tank sitting only a few yards away. It was already too late to swerve out of the way, so he slid, tipping the motorcycle. A shower of sparks showering from the pavement, we slid beneath the tank, popping to our original position on the other side. I screamed in terror and relief. The tank had already started to fire at where we had been, a few yards in front of him, and was too late to stop the firing process. The Plasma mortar hurtled into the lead Ghost, melting it instantly. A flaming metal corpse twisted through the air, and I grinned in jubilation. A few mines exploded beneath the Wraith as we accelerated around the street corner at the end of the block. The Ghost that had crashed, perhaps the lucky one, continued to pursue Martes. It detonated a mine, but the trigger had sparked the explosives late, and the flames barely licked the back of the craft. Martes noticed that one of the houses' doors was peppered with bulletholes, and swerved towards it, streams of Plasma bolts chased us into the house. Martes crashed through the door and coincidentally drove into the stairs of the home. I was nearly shaken from the back of the motorcycle. The Ghost rammed its way through the door, though it was too wide to fit into the house. Rather than stop it instead chose to smash its way through the doorframe. As it tried to pursue us I emptied the rest of the magazine into the Ghost in hopes of intimidating it. Martes turned left at the top of the stairs and carefully navigated through a hallway into a small bedroom. As we drove through the rooms I slammed the door shut and tipped a cabinet against it. As the cabinet crashed into the door wooden shrapnel flew everywhere. The Ghost tore its way into the room, and entrapped itself in the cabinet. Martes smashed through a glass window, a few shards cutting my arms, as he smashed onto the balcony outside the house. As we tumbled into the railing and onto the slope of the roof I pulled a grenade from my pocket and dropped it onto the balcony. The motorcycle fell to the ground and snapped beneath the handlebar on impact. Martes rolled to a relatively peaceful landing, but the motorcycle crushed both my legs at the shin. I heard a loud pop as my leg's broke. Another bone snapped in my lower arm, and I screamed in pain at the same moment as the Elite only twenty or so feet away. Flames and shrapnel arched from the balcony of the house. A few larger pieces of wood and marble sized pieces of the house rained on the street.
Martes struggled to his feet and ran to pull the motorcycle from my legs. I screamed as it moved. I managed to look at my legs to see that jagged bone had ripped through my flesh. Martes looked my legs with grimace, "Sir, your legs..."
"I know! Go on without me!"
He hesitated, "But I can't leave you... I'll be back with help soon! Just hold tight!"
"Just give me some god damn ammo and leave me!"
"I'm not gonna leave you here! Keep your radio on and keep your head down. I'm gonna run to the others! We'll be here to save you soon!" A plasma bolt arched over Martes head, "Fuck! I'll run back to the base, you try and stay alive! Use your radio if you need help."
I sighed as Martes left. His intentions were honest, but there was no use in him coming back. I almost felt bad for him. Martes was only twenty or so, and tried his best at everything. He was on the road to disappointment. There was no hope of saving my life.
A Grunt that had fired at Martes continued to pursue him, and I quickly raised my sidearm and shot its chest with the entirety of the magazine. I dragged myself to the house and leaned against the whitewashed boards. Plasma gunfire danced in the air as a Pelican hovered into place. The chaingun mounted on its chin flashed as it tore Covenant soldiers apart. A Grunts body was lifted through the air into my sight as a half doen rounds hit its chest at almost the exact same moment. A hail of gunfire tore everything apart. It hovered over to the houses that we were originally based in.
"Sir, I need you to hang on for one more second!" the radio crackled. I didn't bother to reply, as I coughed some more blood from my dying lungs.
"Sir, if you're alive, tell me! Ciriaco, pick up your radio!" Martes voice trailed off. "Damn, this isn't good. Load the nukes!" I heard him shout to another person, "Sir, Kaz, I need you to respond. Please respond!" I didn't respond, "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too." I muttered to myself, remembering with my last fleeting thoughts the happy memories of my wife and my friends, the people that mattered most to me, and that I had failed to protect. I sighed a final breath and gave up what little control I had to the Covenant. I hated them...