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Long Time Gone Part 36
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 27 January 2005, 7:29 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 36: Hostile Negotiations

August 14th, 2551, Space, Undisclosed Location, Aboard Pirate Vessel 'Geiger', 1305 Hours

       The airlock opened with hiss. Karl Henderson stood back from the control panel and moved back towards the rest of the squad, he purposefully stood behind Chambers, trying to stay out of sight incase enemies were on the other side. .

"Alright," said Chris, looking behind at his Squad, "this it people, time for us to have some fun!"

       The airlock door made a hollow thud as it finished opening. Alpha Team rushed out of the airlock, their weapons up and searching for targets.

       They rushed through the ship and then they turned a corner and entered a long corridor. Bulkheads were at ever thirty of so feet, it was possible for the Team to leap frog each other up to the end.

"Schematics place the cargo hold at the end," said Tom Veil; the engineer, "crew quarters are all along this corridor..." Chris cut him off and started to issue orders.

"Alright, Ramirez, Chambers," Chambers and Ramirez spun to Chris, "you two take the left side, Jeebs and Flemings take the right side, everyone else form behind."

       The first door in the corridor was on the left, Chambers edged closer to it; covered by Martha who was standing four feet behind him whilst everyone else covered the area in front and behind the squad.
      Chambers moved his left hand over a frag grenade on his webbing; he reached the doors controls and noted the names on the door.

They would be dead in a few seconds, Chambers pulled a grenade from his webbing; the special design on their uniforms had a piece of string attached to the pins of every grenade so when they removed the grenade it was primed and ready to go.

       Chambers looked back to Chris; he nodded and everyone else was out of the way from the outward explosion to follow. Chambers released his thumb and the spoon on the grenade was released.

"Fire in the hole!" Said Chambers as he threw it in the room and heard startled cries from the occupants.

       Chambers pushed himself flat against the wall, counting loudly over the Squad's communications.
       "...One, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thou-" A wash of materials was flung out of the door; pieces of walls, furniture... And body parts. Chambers brought up his rifle and moved into the room before the dust even cleared.

       There had been three men in here, two were well and truly dead, missing limbs and all of their exposed skin was riddled with fragments. The third however was a different story; he sat slouched backwards over a chair, his head was tilted, looking at the roof.

       The man moaned; he was barely alive, as blood seeped through a large hole in his throat, he noticed Chambers standing in the doorway and tried to move.

"Hey buddy..." Said Chambers as he fired two quick bursts with his Battle Rifle from the hip and caught the man in the chest, finishing him off, "...were you alright?"

       The explosion followed by the bursts from Chambers had made so much noise in the confines of the corridor that countless Pirates emerged from their quarters all along the corridor, wearing what ever they had been; underwear for the majority.

"There's a fucking army of them, sir!" Said Ramirez aiming her rifle and dropping one of the farthest ones with a burst. Chambers leant out of the door and joined in with Ramirez.

"Let them have it!" Cried Chris diving to the ground to get better control of his weapon. Even though it lacked a bipod, Chris balanced the weapon on the drum and maintained a solid stream of fire down the corridor.

       The walls vibrated with the constant firing of Alpha Team's weapons, in several seconds of firing, the Pirates in the open had been cut down and the light machine gun made others think twice about leaving their rooms.

"Sweep and clear!" Cried Chris firing hard as he stood up and made for the left side of the next bulkhead. He switched arms and held his weapon in his left hand, whilst resting his right arm on the bulkhead for a makeshift shooting platform.

"Go, go, go!" Said Alison leading the men up after Chris.

       The ODSTs leap frogged each others movements up the corridor covered by the machine gun. They used grenades and cleared every room whilst under fire from the far end.

"Argh!" Cried Henderson, "I'm hit!" A bullet had just skimmed his left hand; he dropped to a knee and clutched the wound, his dropped sub-machine gun rattled on the ground from the vibrations.

"Shut up you big baby!" Said Jess Flemings, she was the designated Medic and begun to treat him under fire.

"Everyone take cover positions, I got to move up!" Said Chris, he had been left several bulkheads back and it was getting hard to get shots off at the enemy with his men in front of him.

"Flemings, check that..."
"Argh, Henderson, check that..."
"Veil, check that...
"Jeebs, roger, dodger..."
"Stick to radio procedure! Elliot, check that..."
"Ramirez, check that..."
"Chambers here, check..."
Alison cut in to speed things up.
"Parker, check that... We got you. You're covered to move, go!"

       Chris broke cover and ran up to his men from behind. Bullets whizzed over head and pinged as they collided with walls and hit the ground. A large amount of brass was flung into the air by the assault rifles only; as the sub machine guns fired case-less ammunition.

"Some cover fire, sheesh!" A bullet still managed to hit Chris in the left leg but the armour held and Chris made it to his new position.

       They let off some more lead at the Pirates as a radio message came in.

"Good work McAllen, too all your men! It's working like a charm," Newman stopped talking and fired a burst, "but try and draw a few more, make you seem like the bigger threat; you'll just need to get creative! Newman out."

       Chris smiled at his men through his visor; they were truly beginning to act as a team.

"I'm out!" Cried Becker, taking cover to reload, Chambers took his position and continued to pummel the Pirates.

"I'm out! Anyone got a spare bandoleer?" Cried Veil, "this one was half empty!"

       Chris pulled out several spare magazines from his thigh holster and handed them over.

"Check your ammo next time," was all he said.

"Thanks, sir!" Said Veil reloading his weapon and let loose a short burst, dropping a Pirate with a head shot.

       They had made it half way up the long corridor; they had almost eighty metres left.

"Jeebs, Parker, give us some sniper support already!" Ordered Chris, reloading his machine gun. Chris pushed himself against a bulkhead, trying to stay out of sight and looking back down the corridor from which they had came from as he fumbled for a fresh drum.

       A door to a room supposedly cleared with a grenade, a metre away from Chris opened. Chris saw the stubby barrel of a MA5B sneak out, ready to shoot his men from behind.

"Motherfucker..." said Chris dropping his machine gun with a clash as whipped out his pistol from behind his back.

       Chris reacted quickly and sent a kick at the extended weapon; it flew out of the man's hands as he fired. The burst hit the roof and sent lead pinging to the floor.

       Chris swung into the room; his pistol held low by his side, Chris had surprised the man; he was heavily wounded from a grenade blast.

       They both didn't move, Chris just stared at the man.

"Well, well," started Chris, "looks like we got ourselves a Mexican stand off... With no Mexicans."

"I'll kill you!" Said the Pirate. He went to draw an F-5 pistol from his belt. Chris raised his previously lowered pistol and fired two shots from less than a foot away. The large calibre rounds ripped through the man with ease, splattering star shaped explosions of blood on the wall behind him.

"See you in hell," said Chris firing several more cartridges into the corpse. Chris quickly grabbed the man's bandoleer of ammo and the discarded MA5B.

       Chris rejoined his men and gave the gear to Veil.

"Aww, come on! This is shit compared to the M7s..."

"Well next time check your ammo!" Said Chris. He retrieved his machine gun and finished reloading it.

       A deafening noise filled the short corridor, Chris ears begun to ring just as he saw the cause. Alison had her sniper rifle out and Jeebs was spotting targets with a set of binoculars.

       The noise was worth the result though. A Pirate who had been plaguing them with a light machine gun received a large hole in his forehead; and out the other side for a matter of fact, just for his troubles.

"Shot, Alison!" Said Chambers giving a low whistle, "getting better every time..."

       Chris took up a similar position to before and used his right arm as a makeshift shooting platform with the help of the bulkhead.

       Chris fired short bursts of twenty or so rounds at a time. The Pirates started to fall back under withering fire from Alpha Team.

"Don't follow them!" Cried Veil looking at the Schematics on his HUD, "they just ran back around the corner to the Cargo Bay, an ambush most likely."

"Alright, ready some light demo charges, Elliot." Said Chris; Sargeant James Elliot was the demolitions expert.

"Sir?" Elliot usually didn't question orders but this time he just had to ask.

"To throw at the Pirates... What else? Not like we could blow up the ship or anything," said Chris.

"Alright, sir, I'm on it!" Alpha Team advanced up the corridor cautiously; collecting grenades and anything of value from the corpses.

       Taking from the dead didn't seem right to Chris but he didn't do anything to stop the few of his men who did it. They sometimes found good things. They found a few thousand credits one mission on a dead Marine Officer. That had paid for a few nights at the bar for both Squads.

       Elliot fumbled with two light demo charges as they run, he armed one and handed it to Chambers.

       Light Demolition Charges used by Chris and his Team are the size of average paper back novel. A small counter indicated the status of the weapon; usually 'SAFE' when carried, but once armed it would beep until it exploded.

"This stuff puts my home made pipe bombs to shame!" Said Chambers holding the charge.

"You were always a Rebel as a kid," said Chris, "or so you told me."

       They stopped thirty feet from the corner that led to the Cargo Bay.

"Alright, I want some flash bangs around the corner followed by the charges," Chris looked at Chambers and Elliot, "think you can throw them far enough?"

"It's only thirty feet from the door to the corner, sir," said Veil consulting the schematics again.

"Alright, on my go..." Chris gestured to Ramirez and the now bandaged Henderson. They moved closer to the corner and readied two flash bang concussion grenades each.


       Ramirez and Henderson bounced the grenades around the corner and ran away from the corner hands over their helmeted ears, waiting for the deafening explosion.

       As the name suggested the Flash-Bang grenade; flashes then goes bang.

       An explosion of light illuminated the area followed closely by the bang. Chris' ears rung once again and he was around a corner, it must have been truly painful to experience it face to face.

       Chris pushed Chambers and Elliot to go to the corner. Unlike Ramirez and Henderson, they ran around the corner and threw the charges before jumping back.

The two caught a glimpse of twenty or so disorientated Pirates taking cover behind mobile defences commonly used on UNSC Ships.

       A low series of beeps were emitted by the charges. The beeps got quicker and quicker as the timer of five seconds came to an end. By the fifth second there was no gap between the beeps and it sounded like the charges had flat lined.


       Men and equipment were hurled away from the door which itself, was blown up, leaving a somewhat, clear path into the Cargo Hold.

       Chris led his men into the Cargo Hold, through the smoke and debris; they walked thirty feet into the Hold before they stopped. The smoke had begun to lift and they were in clear view, but no one shot.

       There were almost one hundred Pirates in the massive Cargo hold in various positions but they held their fire.

The Cargo hold was easily as long as two foot ball fields and at least one wide. Not to mention the high ceiling; almost fifty metres and covered with large glass, flood lights.

"Don't shoot guys," said Chris over the comms.

       A voice sprang out, followed by its owner. "Ah, welcome" said the man, he was of average height with a pug nose and dark hair.

"Hi," said Chris turning the outside comms switch off so the man could hear him.

"Enjoying your visit?" Asked the man genuinely, he had an MA5B Assault rifle resting down by his side.

"You in charge of this rabble?" Asked Alison stepping up next to Chris.

"No, I am not, and you are?" Asked the man. Alison raised her visor.

"Your worst nightmare..." She said and closed the visor again.

"Well anyhow, too the point" started the man; after giving Alison a good looking over in her figure hugging suit, "my commander would like to discuss the surrender."

       Chris thought for a second, snuffed a laugh and said, "Sorry but we don't have the facilities to take you all prisoner!" The squad chuckled at the comment. The man's face went sour as his men begun to whisper and ready their weapons.

"Who told you, that you could speak?" Yelled Chris at them, he fired a burst up at the roof and continued, "don't move and no one else gets hurt..."

       Just as one of the large overhead lights from the roof collided with the ground... It had been detached by a random bullet from the burst and killed several Pirates on impact and sent out hundreds of glass fragments that wounded others.

"OK..." said Chris taking a step back, "how about no one gets hurt from now on?" then over the comms equipment, "everyone take cover!"

"Kil..." started the man but never finish what he was saying as Chambers hit him in the chest with a blast from his shotgun.

       Alpha Team took cover behind various crates and forklifts. The Squad was scattered around the crates, worse still the enemy was putting out a lot of lead and kept them pinned down.

       Chris looked around the Cargo Hold, he was trying to think. They were out gunned for once; the enemy had the edge no matter how untrained they were. Quantity would win over quality.

       Then he looked down at his boots. The magnetic soles were still enabled, he had totally forgotten about them. He hadn't even notice them during his manoeuvres.

"Who's got the spanker!?" He asked over the comms.

"We couldn't bring it," said Alison, "they didn't want to take the chance of us compromising the ship before the objective was complete!"

"Oh just fucking great!" Said Chris looking at the closed airlocks used by Pelicans or other craft to enter and exit the Hold from space. Light Demolition Charges wouldn't be sufficient to breach the air lock and even if they could get close enough, they wouldn't be able to reseal the Hold. If they have airlocks then there must be airlock controls...

"Veil," said Chris, "where's the controls for the airlocks?"

"Uh-oh, what has he got on his mind?" Asked Alison firing at the Pirates.

"Um, according to this they're directly above us, an access ladder is over near, Parker," stated Veil.

       Chris looked up and saw the 'sky-box' that was the control centre for the Cargo Hold. The ladder up wasn't a good story. It was a ninety foot climb and the concentrated fire of the Pirates didn't make it any easier.

"Ok," said Chris as a bullet hit his helmet, "we got ourselves into this mess, and by damn we'll out of this," Chris fired a burst in frustration, "ok, here's what we're gonna do." Chris took another look at the ladder.

       "On my command, I want everyone to fire as fast as you can, try and get some grenades over at them if you can manage, I need cover to get up there and open the airlocks," Chris snuck a peak at the Pirates, several of them were trying to flank his Team's position.
       "Everyone make sure your magnetic soles are engaged and find something secure, this is gonna be close..."

"But, sir" said someone; it was Henderson.

"What?" Chris was getting ready for his dash.

"If anyone should go it should be me, what if you can't operate the machinery," Henderson stopped, and showed Chris his bandaged hand, "my, err, suit, isn't as atmosphere resistant as it could be..."

"Fuck," was all Chris said to begin with, "sure you could make it though?" Henderson looked at Chris, "well I s'pose you ain't got much choice do you?"

       Henderson cocked his head to the side. "Glad you see it my way, sir!"

       Henderson readied himself for the run; he had his head low behind cover; waiting for Chris' signal.

"Why don't we flash them?" Said Alison. Chris shook his head.

"No, no, the blast wouldn't blind all of them, some of them are almost a hundred metres away, they won't be affected... Much."

"So what, we're just gonna try and pin them down?" She said looking at Chris; he tapped where his temple was on the outside of his helmet.

"Sometimes I wonder why I signed up for this..." Sighed Alison removing the partially empty magazine from her M7, reloading with a full magazine.

"That makes two of us, Alison," said Chris, even though she couldn't see his face; Alison was positive that he was smiling, she smiled back.

       Chris slowly edge upwards towards the end of his cover upwards. "Everyone get ready..." Scuffling of boots and barely audible whirr noise the magnetic soles made when they attached to the floor, filled the small area around the squad.

       Chris rose up first, brought up his gun in a millisecond and jammed down on the trigger as he yelled, "Henderson, GO!" Alpha opened fire...

       Instantly the area around Alpha Team lit up under the light of muzzle flashes. Vast shadows were cast in the light, adding to terror they all felt.

Henderson broke cover...