(Part 11) M31: First Blood
Posted By: Greg and Wes Foutch<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 30 July 2003, 6:43 PM
"The Eagle has landed," Tel said to the Captain. "Actually, five Eagles have landed."
"Thank you, Tel," he replied. Suddenly the Colonization Cruiser shuddered tremendously. "Lt. Warren, report!"
"We've dropped out of orbit, sir! The moon's pulling us in!" she shouted.
"Issue course correction. Get us back on track," he commanded.
"Aye, sir. Issuing correction," she said. Then seconds later, "It's not working, sir!" She was still rapidly punching buttons, trying to get the gargantuan cruiser out of the moon's gravitational force.
"Fire emergency thrusters. Even if we lose orbit; we're not getting stuck on a damn moon!" The emergency thrusters were tanks of hydrogen peroxide and trihydride tetrazine, and when they mixed they produced a powerful explosion. The force from the explosions blasted the Santa Maria out of the way. (Reference, Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 149)
"Aye, sir. Firing emergency thrusters." She pressed a button sequence, and the ship jumped. Those who had not prepared themselves were brought crashing down to the deck. "We're breaking the moon's gravitational field," she said. "And...we're clear!"
"Good, now get us back into orbit," Russ ordered.
"Sir! The satellite orbiting this moon is turning in our direction! I think we've been spotted!" Tel alerted. Her holographic form pointed at a small, gleaming object on the view screen. It was slowly rotating toward the Santa Maria.
"Let them spot us! This is my crew at stake; I don't give a shit about those damned aliens!" Russ shouted, letting his anger get the better of him.
"I've already told you; if its comes down to it: I choose us, not them."
"What is the status report on the groundside team?" he inquired.
"I'll check," Tel said. The bridge was silent. All on deck wanted to hear the news. "Sergeant Major Keller has reported. He has split the Marines into five squads. His squad is heading for a high location to scout the ground. Nothing unusual, yet."
"Good, good. Keep me posted."
An alien creature abandoned his post and ran to his commander. When he spoke, it was unlike any language known to Earth. "Sir! We've detected something. It's orbiting Sansitor, our satellite has just spotted it."
"What is it?" the commanding creature asked.
"It looks like..." he gulped. "It looks like an alien vessel, sir!"
"We've been expecting this," the commander said, "for a very long time." He grinned wickedly and left in order to report to his own commander.
"Who... Who's there?" the creature asked. It was now early in the morning, he could see a hint of light on the horizon. "I'm armed," he squeaked. He looked back at the abandoned outpost, stilling thinking it was stupid for him to be there in the first place.
The alien spun around and fired, in response to a noise he heard in the brush. Private Wallace J. Williams screamed as the low intensity plasma bolt ripped through his innards.
"You s-o-b!" T.K. shouted, raised his HK666 Hellraiser, and squeezed the trigger. Three rounds burst from the barrel. Each one hit the alien in the head, spilling his brains all over the ground. The creature didn't have time to scream in pain; he was dead before he hit the ground. He plasma weapon rolled to T.K.'s feet, and he picked it up, looking it over. He stuck it in his pack.
"Man, Sarge! You know he's dead!" Private Jones said.
"It killed one of my men," T.K. said. For Private Williams had just gave his last rattling breath. His head lolled to the side and he dropped his Hellraiser on the ground.
"Tel?" T.K. asked.
"Tell the Captain that we have made first contact. It wasn't peaceful. The alien creature killed Private Wallace J. Williams at 05:12. I returned fire and killed the creature. It seems he was guarding some sort of structure. We're going to check it out."
"Yes, I'll inform him."
And so, down one man, T.K.'s squad entered the abandoned building. It was made of a shinning, reflective blue metal. It stood just over ten feet high, with a proximity door in the center. The remaining nine Marines went into the structure and turned their night vision on.
"Whoa! What is this place?" a Marine wondered aloud. There was a path leading down, it seemed. None of it was made out of the same metal from the outside; it seemed as if it was just tunneled out.
"I dunno where the hell this leads, but let's go," T.K. ordered. So, in single file, T.K.'s squad was led downward into the unknown.
Sorry this one was so short, but I think I was at a good stopping point. I need a break anyway.