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ODST Lead the Way Chapter 2
Posted By: Helljumper<PittKlipse@aol.com>
Date: 29 February 2004, 8:01 PM

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      The two men stood in front of two adjacent doors. Davis looked at the door in front of him, B-1721. He stepped forward and the door slide open quietly. Inside was dark as he entered. His eyes adjusted and he could make out the wall lockers and the nine bunks with his Helljumpers in them. Several of them were snoring quite loudly. Davis smiled to himself, "I'm glad officers have their own rooms. The Lt. cleared his throat for what he was about to do. Sergeant Moreland beat him to it, Davis could hear the yelling and shuffling of feet coming from the next room over. With the tone and volume of a Drill Sergeant, Lt. Davis got to work.

"Lights on. Get your asses up! Let's move marines, the Corp doesn't pay you to sleep! Let's go, go, go, assholes and elbows! Full combat gear, rifles, ammo, battle armor! Why are you all moving so fucking slow? We got a mission to complete and Covies to kill... Why do you Helljumpers move like regular marines? I'm ashamed! Get your shit squared away and fall into the hallway!"

      The verbal assault was short but got to the point. The Helljumpers of second squad were out of their bunks and getting dressed.

      Two all black Pelican dropships hurled through the planet's atmosphere. Their hulls glowed a mixture of red and orange from the high velocity and high temperatures of the dropships entry through the ozone. They leveled off and flew through thick clouds. Inside the left dropship, Lieutenant Davis began to check his parachute equipment. The troop bay was dimly lit by red light. Satisfied with his check, he looked around the bay at the other nine Helljumpers under his command. The men were busy applying camouflage face paint, checking their weapons, and parachutes.

      The pilot's clam voice cut through the silence. "ETA to drop is two minutes, fellas. Check ya shit and get ready." Davis took the time to look out the portside window. It was dark but he was able to make out the seemingly endless forest below. His mind began to recall the briefing he had received concerning this mission. In just a few hours, ten thousand marines would be landing on planet to engage the fifteen thousand Covenant warriors already here. His ODST platoon's objective is to set up an ambush at a major road junction and to hold it till the 501st Calvary battalion relieves them. Depending on how the battle for this planet goes, they may never be relieved or extracted, but that's what Helljumpers do.

"ETA to drop zone, thirty seconds, good luck."

      The rear ramp opened slowly revealing the darkness of night. The planet's moon could be seen shining dimly onto the forest below. Davis stood up and signaled for his men to follow. He stood at the edge of the ramp. The cold air caught Davis by surprise but it was clean and refreshing. The recycled air aboard UNSC vessels had a certain smell about it. How could those Navy boys do it? This was thought for another time, he had to be focused for himself and for his men.
      The small light above the ramp turned from red to green. The Lt. turned to his men. "First to rise, last to fall, Helljumpers do it all. Feet first into Hell, see you men on the ground." With that he stepped backwards and jumped out of the dropship.

      The twenty Helljumpers fell through the night sky towards a small clearing in the forest below. In unison they pulled their parachute. Davis hit the ground, bent his knees and rolled. He came up onto his knees and pulled his parachute into its bag. The nineteen other members of his platoon started to land around him. Sergeant Moreland ran over to Davis and knelt next to him. The other Helljumpers spread out and took up defensive positions facing towards the forest. The Lt. produced a data pad and entered a series of numbers. A map appeared on the screen with a blue circle on it.

"We're in the right LZ."

"What's our next move sir?"

"I want you to take second squad and move north west to this road." Davis pointed to a red line on the data pad. "Follow the road east to the junction. I'll take first squad north and we'll start to set up defenses. Try not to engage the enemy unless you have to.

"Yes sir."

      Moreland completed a series of hand signals and disappeared into the forest with second squad. Davis looked around the field before signaling for first squad to move forward. The squad's sniper and spotter took the point while the medic and another rifleman took up the rear. The five others including Davis proceeded up the middle. The Helljumpers moved slowly and quietly through the forest. Every now and then the point men would stop the squad before moving forward. At one of these stops Davis took the time to look over his squad. On his left was, COM specialist Mike Williams carrying the units portable ground to space radio transmitter. Taking a prone position to Davis's right was the squad's heavy weapons team. Two of these marines carried Jackhammer rocket launchers along with their ARs, while the third carried the M73 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). This weapon consisted of two barrels with two drums of ammo on the sides. When it came to laying down a stream of covering fire, this weapon did the job. The only draw back was that the gunner had to be prone and use the weapon's bipods in order to fire it.