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Long Time Gone Part 25
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 17 November 2004, 6:44 AM

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Long time Gone Part 25: Lost Company

August 25th, 2550, Zeta Doradus, Pillar of Autumn, boarding party pod #3, 1702

       Whilst on patrol in the Zeta Doradus system a fighter from the Pillar of Autumn; whilst on an advanced reece had discovered a semi destroyed Covenant ship, extremely small, somewhere big as an apartment building, big but not that big for a ship...

       Michelle Ripply was to lead her platoon and a platoon of Marine Special Forces on a scouting mission of the ship. If anything useful was found they would radio back and the techies would then come aboard.

The two platoons were wearing extremely cheap but effective atmosphere suits over their uniform, IF the ship had oxygen they could remove the suits and be ready for combat.

       Michelle had her men sit down and be ready for the launch and brace for the impact of hitting the Covenant ship. The AI's voice came over the intercom.

"Launch in tee minus ten seconds," the Troops locked in their safety harnesses and wore grim faces; this could get painful, "nine... eight... seven... six... five..." the engines begun to start up with a hypnotic purr, "four... three... two... one..."

       The small craft sped toward the Covenant ship, it was just inside heavy weapon range on the PoA; just in case they were playing Possum...

Michelle had closed her eyes, she didn't want to see the big ship looming toward her.

THUD Was the sound as the ship attached itself to the Covenant vessel.

       A Technician stepped up to the breaching device in the pod and started typing rapidly, a green light came on.

"We got Oxygen, sufficient levels for humans... Covenant as well so be on the look out, no visible of noticeable breaches in hull integrity, all clear, ready?" Michelle gave the techie the thumbs up, he hit the switch and then the lasers went into work; they cut through the side of the Covenant vessel allowing for the Boarding Party to actually board.

PING! Was heard as the door opened; almost like an elevator. A musky smell greeted the teams' noses.

"Cue Wee! What the hell died in here!?" Said one Marine as he led the way, the lights were off so they turned on their flash lights.

"This is Boarding Party, this vessel seems to be abandoned," started Michelle, she locked the magazine in her MA5C and stepped out of her suit; she folded it up and placed it in her pack, "proceeding to sweep and clear, out." Then too her team, "alright move out ladies, move out, keep the chatter minimum, Marines check the upper deck, we got the Cargo hold, alright move!" Michelle lead her platoon and the Marine Sargeant lead his.

"This is, Quinn," One of Michelle's troopers said, "we've got a slight life reading up ahead, only slight, I'd say some type of rodent."

"Alright, Quinn, take Malarkey and Yogi and check it out," whisper Michelle into her throat piece, "Xavier! Stay on my ass!"

"Yes ma'am," replied Xavier, he had drifted off to the left a little bit.

       Quinn gave the go signal and Malarkey and Yogi broke cover from behind one of several purple containers and moved forward; stopping at the next pile of crates and covering Quinn's advance.

Quinn held the life detection device at arms length, his MA5C in the other. The soft droning 'beep beep' got slowly faster as he neared the area where the life was coming from.

"Quinn status?" Asked Michelle, she had stopped the rest of her men from moving ahead. Quinn looked away from the device and looked around with his torch.

"Two fifths of three eighths of fuck all here, ma'am" Replied Quinn. His device started to beep slightly faster. 'Beep beep beep...' Quinn didn't notice he was looking around himself.

       Meanwhile on the upper level the Marine Special Forces weren't fairing any better.

"I got several life readings, minor; most likely Covenant pets or something," said the Marine in charge of the Life Scanner.

"No chances check it out..." Said the Sargeant, "everyone else hold up, fan out thirty metres!" The Marines complied as the one with the scanner wandered off into the darkness.

       Charles Hoffman looked around himself, his scanner said he was right on top of the life source but he could only see blackness, even with his torch the area failed to be fully illuminated.

Then he felt it...

       A small droplet of warm liquid hit the back of his unprotected neck.

"What the fuck?" He said over the system.

"What? What is it, Hoffman?" Asked the Sargeant.

"I dunno, where the fuck did it come from?" He looked left and right then he looked up...

       His flashlight reflected off ten or so pairs of eyes watching him; they belonged to huge creatures. They were suspended off the roof; they had hand grips on the ventilation system on the roof of the ship.

One dropped down in front of Hoffman; it was big, at almost nine foot it almost doubled the man's height. The creature snorted a foul breath into the Marines face. The creature was wearing a helmet and armour similar to the type Elites wear.

Hoffman babbled to say something then he saw the blades on the creatures arm bands. They were sharp very sharp, they even had caked blood on them.

"S... S... SARG..." Cried Hoffman into his radio as the creature swung its blades at neck height slicing the mans throat from ear to ear, the remainder of his speech was a gargle as he dropped to the floor; blood spurting out of his wounds.

"Hoffman! Hoffman!" Cried the Marine Sargeant looking over his shoulder, "you two check it out!" He pointed at two Marines who reluctantly complied.

       Michelle heard the commotion on the Marine channel and switch frequencies.

"What's the problem, Sargeant?" She asked making sure Xavier was still behind her.

"We got a man MIA, possibly KIA we don't know, ma'am." Xavier looked around himself, he had duck taped a flashlight to the barrel of his K48A2 and was using it to see into the shadows.

He felt a sudden gust of wind; no wind couldn't be warm in here he thought, there couldn't even be wind inside a ship! Then a drop of liquid hit his helmet he looked around himself then felt powerful hands clasp his head and wretch him off the ground silently and into the darkness.

"Alright stay frosty," Michelle cut the transmission and turned to ask Xavier something; but he wasn't there, "Xavier?" She enquired into the darkness, "where'd you go? This isn't the time to be a hero!" A clung got her attention, off to the left.

"Reece!" Michelle hissed into her mic, she needed back up, static met her ears, she switched frequencies, "Sargeant?"

"Yes, ma'am?" He answered, "something wrong?"

"Yes there's something wrong! My fucking platoon is missing!" Michelle heard someone, something, running off to right now.

"Just try again I'm sure it's on their end... Oh good lord!" Cried the Sargeant, gunfire broke out on his end of the radio, "kill it, kill it!" He cried, "there's another one! Winky, no!" More gunfire erupted, distracting Michelle.

       Footsteps echoed behind Michelle. She turned and saw something; something big sulk off into the shadows. She pushed herself up against the containers she was hiding behind.

She peeked around the corner and heard something the other side, she swapped sides and looked again; nothing.

"Where the fuck are you..." She muttered to herself, she only just noticed the transmission from the Marines had ceased, "oh shit..." She thought checking her HUD, the Marines were all KIA, she checked her team's status and two of hers were still said to be alive.

       Michelle gripped her MA5C tightly fumbling for her combat knife and fitting it to the base of the forward grip; it was effectively now a bayoneted assault rifle.

"R... Rip... Ripply!" Cried a voice in pain behind her, she saw one of her men in pain, bleeding from the gut, he was slouched over, leaning on a container.

"Hang on I'll help you!" She Cried moving over to him.

"No, stay back there's one holding me righ... ARGHH!" The man toppled forward a large gash in his armour's chest plate. Michelle could hear the heavy breathing of something. It was close.

       The Creature took a step out of cover; a new coat of blood on its wrist blades.

"What the fuck are you..." She breathed slowly bringing her weapon up to fire.

Just as the creature charged her, it was a good ten metres away when Michelle started shooting, firing full auto at its head...

"Die! Die!" She screamed spraying the whole magazine into the creature; it didn't stop. Michelle took a desperate action and lunge at the beast with her bayonet just as it was upon her; just below the chin in the throat.

The creature stopped and toppled onto her as it fell to the ground; dead...

       Michelle scrambled out from under the beast; reloading her weapon before looking at her dead comrade the one who had been the bait and saw his shotgun.

Blue shells! Her mind screamed as she rushed over to the corpse and took the man's M90 and his bandolier of ammunition. She pumped he shotgun rapidly emptying the buckshot and then loaded tungsten tipped polymer carbon shells.

       Michelle didn't have much faith in her getting out of this alive but she'd go down fighting.

An uneasy wash of silence engulfed the ship. Michelle couldn't even hear her own footsteps she were so silent as she walked. Only the sound of her own breathing could be heard. All of a sudden a voice boomed in her ear piece she jumped for a second then realizing it was the radio.

"Recon team, check in," a voice asked with authority, "report, over." Michelle reached for her radio.

"This is Ripply, everyone else is dead, there's something bad on this ship," Michelle blubbered a little, "I... I don't know what to do!" Michelle suddenly felt crowded even in this vastness she felt something looming over her very existence.

"Calm down soldier we'll get help over there ASAP," said the radio operator," head back to the pod and wait for the next team, out." Michelle was left alone once more. She sulked back to the pod, constantly looking over her shoulder.

       Footsteps... Running footsteps! From behind! Michelle turned and fired out of instinct and hit one of the massive creatures which had charged her in the head. Instant take down...

The echo of the beast hitting the ground echoed louder than the actual shot from the weapon. Michelle took a step towards the beast; it looked dead then it let out a rough snort. Michelle shot again blowing a large hole out of its throat and warm breath floated into the cold, dark air.

       Michelle stood there looking at the creature, but then another broke cover from behind her...

Michelle spun and fired but she wasn't as lucky this time the creature came running at a half crouch run; the slug zoomed over head. The beast spear tackled her. Michelle lost her grip on her shotgun as it flung off into the darkness; out of reach...

       The beast held her down with to powerful arms. Looking her up and down; it then swiped its wrist blade across her breast plate. The blade pierced but failed cut her skin.

       Michelle started to panic as the creature raised its arm again, this time it was at head height.

Michelle drew a grenade; removed the pin and stuff it down the rear plate of armour on the beast. It stopped its swing immediately and knew what was down its back. The beast slackened its grip on Michelle who was loudly counting, 'one, on thousand, two, one thousand...' When the beast slackened its grip, Michelle jumped to her feet and dashed for cover, leaving the enemy to its fate...


       Michelle dived as the explosion sent out a shock wave... She landed hard on something; the shotgun! She picked the weapon up and began to move as quickly as possible to the pod.

August 25th, 2550, Zeta Doradus, Pillar of Autumn, boarding party pod #3, 1739 hours

       If I can make it me and the techie can get the hell out of here! She thought as she rounded the corner to where they breached the hull... A bad sight met her eyes.

       One of the creatures stood inside the pod and was mauling the corpse of the techie

"Nooo!" She yelled raising the shotgun and firing rapidly. Boom, cha-ching, Boom, cha-ching... Each hit sent the creature sprawling backwards until it slumped against one of the walls.

       Michelle rushed into the pod and checked the techie; half his face was gone, he was obviously dead...

Michelle heard unmistakable sound of movement, almost ten pairs of feet running towards her. She began to cry when she saw that several of the slugs had pierced the dead creature and destroyed the control panel... she was stuck here.

       The footsteps grew louder and louder. It was a hopeless situation, Michelle didn't want to die by a blade; she preferred a bullet...

Not really thinking she drew her M6D with shivering hands, thought of Chris as she placed it under her chin...

"Goodbye, Chris..." She breathed as she closed her eyes.


These soldiers had the great pleasure of being some of the first to see and die by the Covenant beasts known as the Brutes...