The Fallen : Chapter 2, Section 2
Posted By: Hikaru-119<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 June 2003, 5:26 PM
Chapter 2 Section 2: Earth City
1927 Hours November 15, 2553 (Military Calender)
New Mombasa, East African Protectorate
" Chief since the Covenant own the streets, " Cortana said, " and the 405th can't really spare any help right now, I would suggest that you take the quiet way in. " The Chief knew as well as she did that he'd have a better chance sneaking around the Covenant line. Although he could take on extreame odds he would have problems with as many enemy units that there were running around. Plus now that at least a platoon of veteran Elites were roaming around the city and the UNSC would be hard pressed to give him any reinforcement at this time. So he'd have to do without help as usual.
" Which way do I go? " he asked. A NAV point showed up and it was enough for him. He readied his MA8A battle rifle and went for the point. It was a five minute run from his loaction to even get off the highway safely. He had looked several times over the edge and saw it was a straight two hundred foot drop to the road below. He was hoping for a quicker way, but the off ramp would have to do.
When he had gotten off the highway it was night, which would give him the advantage. He moved his way down the ramp and onto the streets below staying close to the buildings. He saw movement on his motion tracker and stopped. A squad of red armored Grunts armed with needlers ran by not noticing him. He stayed motionless in the shadows waiting for the enemy to pass by. Following them was a Creep and two Ghosts with Brutes on board.
The ground shook as the Covenant APC passed him by without even considering his presence. The Master Chief fought the urge to shoot at the enemy and moved his finger away from the trigger guard. It was not worth the unwanted attention.
With a quick scan of the area and a look at the clear motion tracker the Chief slung his rifle and ran across the street at full speed crossing the six lane road in a few seconds. The Covenant, even if they wanted to, could not have seen the Chief long enough to lock on, shoot, and hit. The problem was the Chief wouldn't be able to shoot with any accuracy when he ran like this. When he had crossed the street he ran into the alleyway that was there and his NAV marker diasappeared.
It was dark, save the five dull blue lights that providied minimal illumination. He waited for a second for his eyes to adjust and went on. He wanted to turn on his flashlight, but knew better than to give away his presence. The movement and squabling of Covenant troops could be heard echoing faintly in the tight space. From the sound of it, he thought there had to be at least two companies. While walking cautiously the Chief nearly tripped over something.
He bent down and picked up the object. After seeing what it was he shook his head and set it back down. What he had found was the upper body of a poor marine covered in blood and ashes. The body's face was frozen in a state of agony as carbonized bone could be seen through the bloody mess. No ammo was intact on the corpse and the Chief simply went on his way and took a right at the corner that was ahead of him.
He crouched and leaned his back up against the wall facing another street. He poked his head around and saw a squad of Brutes with their Ghosts parked a few meters away. He looked closer and saw they were guarding something. No, they were moving in on something. He then heard the screams of terrified humans. The Brutes rushed inward and tossed limbs up in the air along with other bodies. They were all civilians, about twelve of them. He leveled his rifle and almost fired when Cortana spoke.
" Don't do it! " She said. He stopped and lowered his weapon. The screams stopped and there was nothing he could do to stop the slaughter, it was already finished. He remembered back on so many other worlds where this had happened. Civilians and captured soldiers alike were tortured and mutalated by the Covenant warrior caste for pleasure. No matter what he had done those civilians would have died by the hands of the Covenant. If not by the Brutes, then by a loose plasma round or a needler. There was no more time for this and he blocked out the emotions he felt and went on.
Confident the Brutes wouldn't notice him he went to the path on the left. It lead him to the other end of the buildings that he was hiding among and towards the Covenant Cruiser. The massive ship had to be at least two miles away from his position. From here he could see the gravity lift was active. He watched it for another few seconds and diverted his attention to the nearby streets. The Chief exited carefully and ran to the middle of the road into a small domed structure that was placed there for public transportation access.
He went inside the structure and a single white light was flickering on and off. There were a few human and Covenant bodies inside. On one of the marines was an S2 AM sniper rifle. The Chief took the rifle, the ammuntion, and the marine's frag grenades placing his M7Cs in the marine's hands. After checking his new found weapon for any problems he ran with it across the street and into a badly beaten structure.
The support beams were exposed and it rank of death and sulphur. In his intial look he saw a stairway and traveled upward toward the roof. The Chief wanted to get a look at the area from the safety of the high ground. On his way up he reached a section where it had been blown away and leaped over the two meter gap with ease. The Chief continued forward, but was suddenly stopped by Cortana.
" Chief I'm detecting five human life signs up ahead. " she said. He acknowledged it and heard her voice on the main COM channel. " Cortana to nearby UNSC survivors. Please call in. Over. " They got a response.
" This is Fire Team Delta. We hear you Cortana. Over." a marine replied quietly. The Master Chief moved up a stairwell until he reached the top doorway leading out onto the roof.
" Reinforcement has arrived. Hold your fire - the Chief and I are coming through. " The Chief opened the door and stepped through. Two snipers were watching the streets and two rifle men were making sure that it was an incoming friendly. The team medic stepped forward hanging onto his M7C with a death grip.
" Sir - Private Eliot, C Company. " The medic said. His gaze turned away and looked at four dead marines in body bags. He looked back to the Chief saying, " Thank God you showed up. I thought we were done for had the Covenant found us. We thought that everyone else had been wiped out. "
" Are you all that's left? " the Chief asked. Pvt. Eliot shook his head and pointed down the street. It was well into night as the Chief could easilly see the city lights. Small plasma explosions could be seen from a distance and their report heard a few seconds later. When Eliot turned back he could see more explosions reflecting into the Chief's visor and tried to ignore what was going on down the road.
" We've been stuck up here for two hours now. Sergeant Birlew has his squad down around 43rd Street some four hundred meters north of here. I haven't had any contact from his group for thirty minutes now. " Eliot replied. " We saw a Covenant armored patrol go over that way. Not sure if they engaged, we were about to check it out until you showed up. "
" Private we need support for boarding that cruiser. We'll go to Sergeant Birlew's position and then we need to assualt that cruiser. " Cortana said. The medic was in a bit of shock for a moment and regained himself.
" Yes ma'am. We'll come along and assist the Chief. " He looked back at the squad and then to the Chief. " Ready when you are. " Eliot motioned to the snipers who then fell back into rank with the rest of the squad. After exiting the building the squad was informed not to engage unless engaged upon. They acknowledged the order and kept close to the Master Chief as they went through an alley leading to Birlew's position.
They had several close calls because of the marines. On several occasions the rifle men nearly gave away their position as a patrol of veteran Elites passed them by. Eliot had slipped a few times and came within centimeters of falling out of the shadows where he would have been exposed to the Grunts that were lumbering around. The snipers and the Spartan were the only three that knew how to keep quiet and stalk around. It almost came to the point of giving Cortana a system's headache. When they came to within two hundred meters of the Sergeant's position they heard rifle fire and the explosion a hand grenade.
The Chief darted ahead of the marines as fast as his legs would take him and saw the enemy. Two Creeps and a light U-shaped model Spook dropship were unloading their troops. The side doors on the three infantry carriers opened up and the Covenant inside exited. The Chief aimed his S2 AM at the yellow shielded Jackal closest to the building that Birlew's men were pinned down in. He fired hitting the Covenant in the back of its head. A large hole opened up in the front of its skull. Bits of brain and black blood flew out of the new opening. In quick succession the Chief unloaded three more rounds into three more targets. He reloaded and emptied two more magazines when Eliot and his squad caught up.
They engaged the enemy from the rear flank taking out the officers first. Incoming plasma fire from the infantry carriers hit the Chief and barely missed the marines. However this did not stop the marines from shooting. This caused the APCs to leave in a quick hurry as well as the dropship. The transports provided momentary cover from the Chief as they turned and left. As they did a Grunt was able to get off a grenade before the Chief could take it out. The grenade landed near the wall that the marines were pinned down behind and blew a large hole in it. One of the marines hiding behind the wall for cover fell through backwards with his spine jutting outward from his body.
The Covenant were taken by complete surprise by the sudden flanking manuever. After the fourty enemy units were killed Birlew's squad ran out to greet the ones that saved their sorry tails.
The sergeant took point and gave the Chief a good look before he spoke. " Hell, I see somebody upstairs gives a damn. Good to see you, Sir. " The Sergeant said. The Chief gave the man and his marines a look over. Most of them were drained of color and a few were wounded.
" Sergeant the Chief and I need some assitance. We need you and your men to board the cruiser that is stationed above the city. " Cortana said. The sergeant nodded his head and took a look at the cruiser. He looked at his seven remaining squad members and turned back at the Covenant ship. After looking down towards the ground exhaling and checking his ammo supply he agreed to help. It was the least they could do.
It was a two kilometer run into the main workings of the city to be able to get clear shot to the cruiser. After going not even half of that distance they ran into trouble. The Creeps and the Spook from before had time to run back, get some help, and come to the new human position. A pair of Ghosts with Elites for pilots and two Phantoms loaded with Grunts accompanied them. The Chief and the marines didn't need to be told what to do. They fell back into a nearby toppled building and took cover less on marine.
A rifle man tripped over a dead Grunt on his way with squad back and fell. He turned and fired his weapon at the incoming Ghost. Armor piercing bullets pinged off the hover craft and went every direction. He ducked his head to avoid the LRV and the plasma weapons fire. The Ghost past over him and went for the group instead. He looked up to see it again and tried to fire his weapon, but his head was too high. The next Ghost followed up and hit him at the base of the neck decapitating the man. The body fell limp as the Elite laughed and it fired its weapons. The squad was now out numbered seven to one not including armor. There was little chance even with the Master Chief's help they would make it. All they could do was their duty.
After the marines jumped over the meter high forward pieces of rubble the plasma fire had already begun turning it into ash and molten rock. They opened fire and three M9 HE-DP fragmentation grenades were thrown. The Ghost pilots straffed to avoid the blasts. One of them straffed right into an explosion and was sent flipping backwards. The pliot fell out and landed on its side. The Elite shook itself off and tried to rush the squad. It was quickly put down by one of the snipers.
The Covenant troop transports unloaded everything they had and the dropships went flying off leaving the Creeps for support. A wall of plasma weapons came directly for the humans in hiding. With their defense slowly crumbling around them it seemed very unlikely the Covenant would fail. The Chief was out of sniper ammo as he slung the rifle around his shoulder and began using his MA8A. Using short controlled bursts and ducking when his shields were nearly gone he was able to take out a few. When he took cover again he saw two of the standard rifle men get hit.
Their screams could be faintly heard from all the shooting that was going on. Eliot and Birlew tried to save one, but the wounded man had lost too much blood and slipped into darkness. They went onto the other and tried to get him back in the action. It was a futile effort as six magenta colored needles bounced their way over the cover and hit the marine on several different points of his body. They exploded a second later letting out a momentary spray of blood and a scream of death.
" Target that Ghost!" one of the marines yelled throwing another grenade. Everyone targeted the armor. Bullets pinged off both the pilot and the chitonous hull of the Ghost. Finally the bullets wore away at the protectant and made their way into the main systems of the vehicle sending it around in circles. A moment later it was spun into a group of Grunts and detonated killing a few and wounding several others. The pilot slid out of the side of the Ghost onto the ground with blackened armor and several fist sized holes throughout its body. Another marine was soon taken down as were a few more Grunts. Pvt. Eliot was almost immediately on top of the marine only to find him gone as well.
The incoming fire lightened up from the Covenant line as they were reorganizing for a charge. Still the humans fired and tried to kill as many as possible. The Grunts formed a loose box formation under covering fire from the Creeps and began to charge the human defensive position. Needler fire came in and hit a few of the marines and the Chief. The projectiles detonated after imbedding themselves into their targets sending bits of armor and blood onto the ground below. With the Covenant literally on top of the human line there was little hope.
Marines began emptying their weapons at the nearest targets and were forced to engage in hand to hand combat. The snipers threw their rifles aside and began to use their M6D 12.7mm pistols instead. The Chief held his ground and effectively took out any Grunt dumb enough to get within arms' reach. The dropships had returned with another group of infantry and armor support. There was no end to the madness.
The dropship bay doors opened twenty meters away from the squad and unleashed a grouping of Jackals and Elites. Before all the troops were released however another pair of engines could be heard. The squad didn't even think about it . The thought of it being more Covenant couldn't make it any more depressing than it already was. Instead their thoughts were misguided as they heard a screeching noise followed by two explosions. The orange fire made everything look like a roman candle. The Phantoms and Spooks were hit by HE Anvil II rockets. Secondary explosions ripped through the transports and took out several surrounding infantry.
Heavy machine gun fire could be heard from above and trails of shattered metal and concrete went up into the sky towards the Covenant infantry. Bits of flesh, blue blood, and methane arcs of fire were sent high into the air as the the 40mm bullets traveled through the Covenant. The enemy was sent into disarray and was quickly put down. The firing stopped and the squad was exhausted. Out of the thirteen original marines that there were, only six remained, and all were wounded excluding the Chief. Eliot wiped his bloody hand across his forehead as he looked up to see two Pelican Dropships coming in for a landing.
The Chief approached the troop carriers and saw a familiar face. It was Sergeant Johnson. " Sir - Cortana gave me a call saying you needed help. Let's get these men out of here. I've got reinforcement on board. We'll be the ones who'll help you out take out that cruiser. " Johnson said. He turned to the squad and to the stacked up bodies. " Marine get your men on the dropship. You'll be evacuated along with the rest of the wounded. " Birlew nodded and walked over carrying one of the wounded on his shoulder to the other Pelican.
" Master Chief let's get to that cruiser now. " Cortana said. He entered the other dropship along with Johnson. The dropship was filled with eight ODSTs armed with battle rifles and increased body armor. The Pelican lifted off and went above the streets towards the cruiser.
The Master Chief took the outer port seat, grabbed a fresh supply of ammo, and watched the ground below as the Pelican sped through New Mombasa. The city had been brought to ruins by the Covenant. The once proud and industrious capital had been brought to near destruction. Debris, craters, and an ever growing stench of death and fire grew upon the city. The Chief looked over to the Pelican's tail gunner. The man looked anxious as if looking for something from far away.
" We've got in bound air patrols from our five to seven o'clock low and high. Coming in at high velocity. Keep an eye out back there. " the Pilot said. Both the gunner and the Chief saw what was inbound. There were three escort Banshees coming their way. There was almost no way to tell the difference between a normal Banshee and an escort, but the difference was a determining factor in a battle situation.
Normal Banshees were meant for ground support and were only so nimble. Escorts could fly circles around normal Banshees with ease and were meant to take on enemy air and armor support. Due too this purpose their fuel rod cannons were nearly twice as powerful. Which made them targets of priority. The tail gunner had a lock on one of the Banshees and fired the .50 caliber gattling gun. Hot brass hit the troop compartment floor and bounced off onto the road fifty meters below.
The Covenant fliers returned fire and hit the side of the Pelican. The rear armored hull was dotted with glowing red circles as the plasma fire made contact. Still the gunner returned fire as the fliers dodged the tracers like there was nothing to it . The lead Banshee flew in low and got beneath the Pelican and began to match its speed. It dove and fired its cannon ahead of the Pelican. The pilot swerved in time to avoid the shot and the sudden movement jolted everyone in the back. The gunner kept up the firing and made contact with one of the fliers.
The armor piercing bullets went through the Banshee and hit the pilot. The flier flew out of control and tumbled downward into a building. The Pelican was going so fast it quickly looked like a tiny dot of fire. The marines cheered as the other Covenant flier behind the dropship was quickly shot down. Again they were forced out of their seats as the pilot desperately tried to get the Banshee out from below.
" Hold on tight! " the pilot warned as the Pelican came to a sudden halt. Everyone was thrown towards the cockpit. The lead flier over flew was now in front of the Pelican and was met by two rockets and a hail of bullets. The Covenant ship went up in a ball of fire and what bits were left fell to the city streets below. " We're almost on top of the gravity lift. Prepare for touch down. " The Pelican was brought down just ten meters away from the gravity lift and everyone excluding the gunner and the two pilots exited the dropship.
The Chief looked back as the transport lifted up into the sky and flew off leaving them for the time being. His attention was brought back down to his level and he saw the expression on Johnson's and the other marines' faces. Their jaws were wide open with terror and almost disgust. The Chief looked around and saw what they were looking at and simply put it out of his mind as he was trained to do.
Bodies of civilians, soldiers, and six Warthog chassis were strewn all over the place. The gravity lift was painted in red and luminous blue blood. Bullet casings were all over and several impact craters left the tale of what had wiped them all out. He continued too examine the area and saw six Shade turrets and several active forward defense shields. When the Chief turned to head towards the grav lift he saw four silohuettes of Hunters dropping down. Immediately he fired at the threat with his MA8A startling the marines. The ten marines spun and saw four green guns charging to release, what had happened to the dead, upon them.