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Tales From the Homefront: Prologue: The Russian Front, Stalingrad: Part 1: Into the Fires of Hell an
Posted By: (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher<rabid_masterchief@hotmail.com>
Date: 15 January 2005, 4:31 AM

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      Lance Corporal Vladimir Romanov slowly moved with the boat, the waves silently lushing against the bow of the small craft. The other Russian soldiers moved with it also, but their movement wasn't noticeable. The Russian Officer, Commissar Nikolai Bardanovia, finally saw the shore to his homeland, his home country.
      "Welcome to Stalingrad...." He said, leaning back to the troops inside the boat. The sound of German gun fire was raging in the battleground in front of him. Vladimir rested where he was, waiting for his orders.
      "You are about to begin your greatest moment, gentlemen. The Covenant have finally reach the city of our Stalingrad over mountains of their own dead bodies, and we are finally turning the tide!" He yell, the sound of plasma explosions and short and long gun-fire heard in the distance, but strangely far away.
      "Our great nation, our race, our very own lives gentlemen, have given us the task not to let the Covenant reach the Volga, and to defend the city of Stalingrad!" He yelled again, a Banshee making a strafe run at the boat.
      Vladimir ducked his head, the plasma blasts missing his head and body. Other soldiers were hit as soon as they got into range. Two soldiers jumped out of the boat, escaping the battle. Nikolai cursed and swore, then continued his speech.
      "Forward against the enemy! Up to the un-remitting battle, for our comrades, for our great country! Not one step back!" He yelled, the Russian soldiers yelling with him, getting pumped up for the battle ahead. Vladimir yelled too, but kept his yell down a octave lower.
      "Do not count days, do not count miles, count only the number of Covenant you have killed!" He yelled, artillery blasts almost hitting the boat while more plasma firing and automatic rounds was getting closer.
      "Kill the Covenant, this is your mother's prayer!" Nikolai yelled, plasma fire and plasma artillery missing his head and his boat. The Russian soldiers screamed and readied their weapons as the shore came even closer. Tank fire and Warthog LAAG fire was getting even louder as the boat floated closer to shore.
      "Kill the Covenant, this is the cry of your Russian Earth!" The Commissar yelled again, the troops screamed and fixed their bayonets as they watched their Commissar.
      " Do not waver! Do not let up! Kill! Death to the Covenant invaders!" He yelled, the boat finally landing on the ground. The troops yelled the last line of his speech and ran out, screaming out. Nikolai, with his MA5B, ran out with Vladimir, the Russian Marines screaming and firing out their weapons, towards the Covenant plasma positions.
      This is gonna be a long war....


      Nikolai skylarked across the fields as he cavorted up the hill, trying to reach his target. The plasma turret fired away, missing Nikolai by inches as he ducked.
      "You, comrade. Follow me!" He yelled, pointing his finger at Corporal Romanov as he motioned towards him.
      "Yes, Lieutenant?" He then asked, his head wet from sweat. Nikolai got up and slowly motioned the Lance Corporal over to him. Nikolai was breathing heavily as gun fire raged over his head.
      "Commissar, what is it?" Romanov asked his superior officer, over the intense fire. Nikolai managed to yell over the fire.
      "We need to take the plasma bunkers. I need you to take our sappers and get them up there! I'll send units when I can!" He yelled, pointing to the men next to him who, without their weapons, looked as if they wanted to kill.
      Romanov nodded, then motioned the sappers to follow him. Nikolai nodded, then crawled to the hole where the sappers were, and silently prayed.....

      Lieutenant Natasha Bardanov silently aimed her rifle, the scope perfectly arranged. She silently waited, her target hiding out in the battlefield ahead. Suddenly, one Covenant Elite popped it's head out of the rock it was hiding, and ran to the compound in front of it.
      Natasha pulled the trigger, the bullet flying across the field. The Elite seemed to jump up as he was shot. His body flew a couple of feet before it bounced off the ground and landed, a large rock stick between it's heart and veins.
      She stuck the butt of the rifle into her shoulder and slowly breathed out. She then squeezed the trigger, her target a small Jackal. The Jackal stopped and apparently saw the bullet coming for it. It tried to dive out of the way, but was struck by the bullet. She smiled with satisfaction as she got up. Suddenly, she heard Russian Marines flood the floor below her, then she saw countless Marines running across the fields, trying to get to the Covenant Bunker.
      "Quickly! Set up the machine gun!" She heard below her, the sound of the Quad MA5B being setting up realized that her position was in danger of being targeted for artillery. She grabbed the S2 and slid down the stairs. The Russians were confused, but set up the machine gun and fired away.
      Natasha ran out of the building and jumped into a foxhole. Artillery fire was heard from the distance, and she saw the plasma balls heading for the building she was just in. She heard cries and yells, just before the plasma balls hit the house. It exploded into pieces, the house's remains almost killing.
      "Lieutenant! You okay?!" Yelled Commissar Nikolai, seeing her in the foxhole. She nodded okay, then ran over to the hole where Nikolai was. Nikolai gave her suppressing fire while she jumped inside the foxhole.
      Explosions raged around the small, two person hole as Nikolai and Natasha held together. Suddenly, the explosions stopped with a abruptness that startled both of the soldiers.
      Nikolai raised his head, and saw what caused the stop of the seemly-endless barrage of artillery. There, on top of the bunker, stood Vladimir, waving the UNSC flag high in the air in victory.
      "For Russia!" He yelled out, the rest of the soldiers yelled back. The Covenant who survived turned around and ran into the deep urban sectors of the city, away from Red Square. Nikolai and Natasha sighed, and laid down.
      "For Earth...."