I Fight For You [H&R 9]
Posted By: Jillybean<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 18 September 2003, 6:15 PM
Halos and Rings
I Fight For You
"Nice ship." Margrave cooed as the Chief, Daxia, Harry and the Marines exited the Avalon.
"I'll brief the engineers on her, her technology is far superior to that of the Covenant's, or anything we've seen." Daxia said, getting a nod from the captain she left in search of some engineers.
"Cortana wants to be taken to the Earth Government." The Chief said, handing Cortana's chip to Margrave. "She has some information for them."
"Right." Margrave took the chip. "I'll do that. Marines, Lieutenant, go to Mitra and find out where she wants you." He said. "Chief, you ought to get to one of those drop-ships. The Covenant are crawling all over North America."
"Yes sir." The Chief turned away.
"Ensign Ring?" A marine approached Daxia as she finished with the engineers. "Mitra says she wants you flying point in the next drop." He said. "Come on, I'll take you to the Pelican."
"Listen, how could I track down my sister?" Daxia jogged to keep up with the marine's long strides. He smiled at her.
"All civilians have been tagged and are kept in community centres in each secure city." He said to her. "Most of our troops are situated there. We may not take over a Covenant controlled area doing that - but at least the Covenant don't take over an area we control."
"Great motto." Daxia said dryly. "Trench warfare, what else kills as many people?"
"You got a better idea?" The marine asked, grinning down at her. She grinned in defeat.
"That's why I'm just an ensign sir."
"Damn straight." The marine grinned, pretending to hold the gangway of the Pelican open for her. She winked at him.
"Don't go getting any ideas marine." She said saucily, sitting down and nodding to her co-pilot, her tag said Lieutenant O'Flynn.
"Pre-flight systems check." O'Flynn said. "We're ready to rumble."
"Okay - you marines buckled up back there?" She called over her shoulder, smiling to the sarge who stood behind their shoulders.
"Sir, yes sir!" The marines shouted back at her. Daxia grinned and took the Pelican out.
"Today on our tour of the world we're going to visit the Covenant Controlled Areas. Be aware the locals have had some recorded levels of hostility, keep your passports and wallets safe on you and watch out for pick-pocketers or the plasma rifles."
"So how did you get caught up in all this?" O'Flynn asked in a moments respite of flying back to base. Daxia glanced at her, taking the Pelican out of the way of some mean Covenant fire.
"Oh you know, the usual. I got a degree in engineering and then went and trained to be a pilot with the UNSC. Got posted on the Autumn at Reach, promised my sister I'd keep a close eye on her husband. He was a marine."
"Nice." O'Flynn said. "You had a marine?"
"This is wartime girl, do you know how much the rate of illegitimate pregnancies soars during war? I've had a marine, a sergeant, a commander . . ."
"Had a captain?" O'Flynn asked mischievously. "I have. Very nice. Quite . . . stoic." She laughed with Daxia. "So - you got posted on the Autumn, you were there at the fall I take it?"
"Yeah." Daxia sighed. "We escaped, trying to lick our wounds and we found ourselves by Halo. We evacuated the ship, my life-pod survived re-entry, just. I was one of those who went back to the Autumn's crash site, trying to salvage as many Pelicans, Warthogs and Scorpions as we could. So I spent the first twenty-four hours trying to build up a main base camp, dropping marines off here and there and everywhere. Then we got shot down and the Master Chief kinda . . . . I dunno . . . picked me up and didn't put me down until we got off of that God forsaken rock."
"You know the Spartan?" O'Flynn asked after they'd tactfully avoided a string of Banshee's. Daxia nodded.
"John. I know John." She said thoughtfully. "A lot of people forget that. His name's John."
"You sound kinda close." O'Flynn noted. "I guess the uh- what are they called? The Flood? I guess the Flood would do that to you."
"They do." Daxia glanced at their read-outs.
"Phantom interceptors." She said. "I'm bringing her around, we don't want to be noticed."
"Agreed." O'Flynn was unbothered, Daxia couldn't say she was particularly concerned either. The Phantom's usually left them alone. "Hmm." O'Flynn said. "Better pick up the pace, they seem to be turning."
Daxia glanced down at the instrumentation and picked up speed. She was starting to worry now, the Pelican couldn't go much faster.
"Shit. They're gaining." O'Flynn said. "Damn I hate Pelicans. Why do drops on a completely unarmed vessel?"
"We don't have anything else." Daxia looked at the instruments again, the Pelican engines were straining. "Ok - I'm bringing us down, we'll never outrun that thing."
The lumbering Pelican turned around the canyon outcrops. This area was known as the Rockies, a slightly more manoeuvrable ship paired with Daxia's skills could have led the Phantom's a merry chase, but not a Pelican.
So the Pelican doubled back around the rocks, skimming the surface of the mountains. It landed in a stream, hidden by a canopy of trees. It's pilots waited, shutting down all the engines, praying the Phantom didn't see them.
"Shit." Daxia grabbed her pistol, scrambling out the back of the Pelican with O'Flynn.
She landed in the stream, finding it was more of a river and was waist deep. She and O'Flynn struggled through the current, running into the forest. The Phantom's were scouring the treetops above them.
"Make for the mountains, the rock will mess with the scanning equipment!" O'Flynn yelled over the noise. Daxia paused, seeing something on the ground.
"Hey wait!" She shouted, grabbing the spent shotgun shell. "Marines!" She cried happily, taking off in the other direction.
They stumbled upon the stronghold of marines and were instantly folded into the ranks.
"Hold on to your guns men!" The sergeant shouted. "You got nothing to lose! Show them bastards who owns this planet!" He said. Daxia grabbed a discarded plasma pistol and hid behind a rock with O'Flynn.
"You clear us a safe passage to that river and we got a pelican waiting for you!" She told the sergeant.
"Easier said than done sugar!" He called to her. "Here they come!"
The covenant came all right, flying at them. Daxia got down to the nitty gritty and started shooting.
"Chief!" A corporal shouted, waving him over from the military base they had just secured. "There are marines out in the open down there - we're gonna have to get them out!"
"Shoot down one of those Banshee's." The Chief instructed. "Call Mitra, tell her we'll need some evac." He stocked up on plasma grenades, dropping his spent plasma rifle for a new shotgun.
"There's your Banshee sir!" Shouted a marine, pointing to a rather charred, but still usable one that was upturned on the base's walls. The Chief flipped it, taking time to check the base really was secure.
"This is Mitra. Master Chief, there is an evac in the area, once we get a lock on their position they'll be right over."
"Roger." The Chief climbed into the Banshee, taking it up for a ride.
"Look out! Banshee!" Someone shouted, Daxia spun, aiming for the vulnerable air fins that steadied the craft.
"Wait! Don't shoot!" The sergeant shouted. "It's the re-inforcements kiddies! Now you can see what a real soldier looks like!" The marines cheered as the Chief dropped from the Banshee, landing in a crouch. He started firing at the Covenant, running straight into them. A few melee attacks cleared a space for him to throw a grenade, he leapt away, sheltering behind a rock as the Elite's were scattered everywhere.
"Chief!" Daxia shouted. "Get that Phantom out of here and we can use the Pelican!" She gestured to the circling Phantom.
"Why do you gravitate towards danger?" The Chief called back, flinging a grenade at a Hunter, weakening it's shields enough to take it out with a melee attack.
"Oh I learned from the best." Daxia grunted, ducking a Jackal's blow and firing at it. The shield absorbed the blow easily and the Jackal did something unexpected. It used the shield to hit Daxia, sending her flying backwards. She landed roughly, rolling to stop the Jackal from killing her with another blow from the shield.
"Hey!" O'Flynn yelled, distracting it long enough for Daxia to blow it's head off.
"You okay?" O'Flynn ran over, helping her up.
"I'll be fine. He so copied that move from one of our marines." She added, brushing herself off. The Chief leapt onto the wing of the Phantom, sticking a grenade to it. He fell to the ground as it exploded.
"Get the marines to the Pelican." He said to her. "You okay to fly?"
"What's a few broken ribs between friends?" Daxia muttered, waving the marines to follow her.
"Pre-flight sequence . . . ah fuck it." O'Flynn cancelled the time-consuming checks and set the Pelican hovering. She waited until all the marines were on board with the Chief before taking the Pelican up.
"Wait." Daxia said. "I got a funny feeling . . ."
"Wait for what?" O'Flynn scanned the horizons - "I don't see anything. Do you? Master Chief?" She turned to the Chief standing behind them, looking between the Spartan and the sergeant she shrugged. "Maybe you should just rest up Daxia."
"Wait." Daxia gritted, staring out of the front screen. "John, look over there."
"What am I- oh." The Spartan grabbed the seat in front of him. "Oh . . ."
O'Flynn took another look out of the Pelican's window. She still didn't notice anything out of the ordinary - except a brightish tinge to the sky. She would have said it was just the sun but . . . the tinge was growing brighter.
"What is that?" The sergeant breathed.
"I don't know." Daxia turned the Pelican around. "But we're getting out of here."
Ten minutes and twenty two seconds later a huge explosion went off, destroying most of Northern America.
The Pelican limped back into port, confronted with not too many other Pelicans. It landed - rather it crashed into the docking bay and was met by commander Beattie.
"What the Hell happened out there?" The marine sergeant demanded. Beattie looked grim.
"We're working on that." She said. "Chief, the government wants you and Ring in Siberia. Now."
"We'll need a ship." Daxia said, taking her helmet off to run a hand through her hair. Siberia was where the government hid in the deep, heavily protected underground bunkers.
"Take the Avalon." Beattie said. "She's not doing any good sitting here."
"Yes sir." Daxia said, she and the Chief heading for the Avalon.
The Siberian bunkers were crowded and chaotic. There were marines, scientists, politicians . . . and loads of civilians who had realized that the safest place to be was where the big cheese's were. Daxia appreciated their intelligence.
They were told to take some time off until they were called for by one of the AI's - so the Chief manhandled her to the medics.
"You'll live, though you could use more sleep and less coffee." The doctor said to her, ignoring the hovering Spartan.
"Couldn't we all?" Daxia asked with a grin, the doctor winked back.
"Tell me about it - when this was it over we're gonna have a Coffee Anonymous group for every street."
"Count me in." Daxia said, hopping off the bed and glancing up at the Chief. "Hungry? I could eat a horse."
They ate in the mess hall, catching up on all the chatter. No one knew what the explosion in North America had been, only that the Brass knew and they were keeping very, very quiet about it. Someone said they knew that Cortana had been in with the Brass all day, which didn't surprise either Daxia or John.
It made sense to get as much sleep in as possible - but why they found some private quarters didn't make any sense at all. Or why John locked the door. Daxia didn't particularly care. She resumed what Cortana had interrupted back on the science ship, she had to stretch to reach John's lips, he was a lot taller than her. That was a Spartan thing, she guessed. She wondered if everything was in proportion.
Momentarily she thought about O'Flynn's description of the captain. Stoic wasn't the word that sprung to mind with John - fanatical devotion to the task in hand - perhaps.
For the first time since landing on Halo, she slept soundly, not haunted by the noise of Flood as she lay encircled by the Spartan's arms.
John woke from his light sleep, he knew something had happened to wake him and he thought quickly. There was an automatic rifle underneath the bunk with his t-shirt, pants and the rest of the standard issue clothes he and Daxia had been given. There was a plasma pistol sitting by the door and Daxia never moved without the standard issue pistol nowadays. It was likely to be under the bed too.
The door was the only entrance to the room and it was locked with a deadbolt, no fancy locks. If there was an enemy, or someone who really wanted in the room - they'd have blasted the door down by now.
There was nothing so sinister going on and he relaxed a little, listening out. It was probably just some marines walking past the door that had woke him. He looked down at Daxia, sleeping peacefully and was at loath to move her. Caught between the desire to find out why he'd woken up and the pleasure derived from just watching her, he moved a little. It was enough to wake her.
"Something wrong?" She asked, supporting herself on one arm and looking to the door anxiously. Her hand dropped to the floor to find her pistol, John caught it, bringing it back up to the bed.
"Nothing." He said. "I thought I heard something."
"Then you probably did." Daxia said doubtfully, relaxing when he kissed her again. "No." She tried to protest, pulling away as much as she could given their somewhat confined space. "You should check-"
"Daxia we're in an ex-Soviet bunker, re-inforced to protect Earth's government. Even I know when there's enough rock and concrete between us and the nearest battle."
"Calling all active troops, prepare for deployment." An AI said over the loudspeakers. Daxia smirked.
"Safe as houses." She said, reaching for her shirt.
"What's going on?" John asked as he and Daxia approached the council room.
"We have a slight problem." One of the governors said. "The AI construct Cortana has been kidnapped."
"What!" Daxia shrieked.
"By who?" John demanded.
"Captain Margrave." The governor said darkly. "He made a deal with the Covenant. They planted the Flood in North America so we bombed the place - he used it as a distraction to take Cortana."
"I'm going to get suited up." John turned to Daxia. "Get the Avalon ready to fly then get underground."
"You can't fly that thing half as well as me." Daxia replied. "Cortana's my friend too John, and this is my war as well. You're not leaving me here."
"Fine. Stock up on weapons." John said as he hurried off.
"The Covenant cruiser that Margrave is on is called the Grace and Glory." The governor told her. "Cortana won't be able to hold up for long under their probing."
"The Avalon's fast enough." Daxia replied, heading for the armoury.
The Chief climbed into the Avalon, taking a quick look at the pile of weapons place in her hold. There was also a Warthog, a nice touch. He reached the cock-pit and sat beside Daxia. The pilot barely acknowledged him, taking the Forerunner's ship up and out of the Earth's atmosphere.
There was no stopping them.