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The 7th Column: Abandoned
Posted By: Mainevent<billygoat359@netscape.net>
Date: 9 October 2003, 12:14 AM

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Author's Note: I'm sorry, but I don't do prologues, and I forgot to explain, that this story takes place before the Covenant war, when the various pirate groups were the UNSC's biggest dilemma. Sorry for any confusion this might have incurred.

      Travis and Wilson had taken the earliest flight out of the city, aboard the Aerowak transport Serenity. Their ship had landed on Sal Buran at 0400, with only several people at the station. Several people anxious to greet loved ones, or stragglers, nothing important.

      Travis still worried about the large bulge nestled on his back. This weapon was the only bargaining chip he had against Georgio, and he was sure to bring it to the table. Security was lax, but still present, in the form of a rather husky man with a tan and moustache, and a lanky black man.

      Wilson was still dressed in his battle regalia, complete with assault rifle and M6D pistol, so taking on the two lightly armed guards wouldn't be a problem if the unfortunate need arose. The taller guard stared the two down, but didn't make any moves.

      The pair hustled to the nearest rental facility, and borrowed a Warthog IX. It's slick yellow paintjob and bulky tires made it an impressive sight, and the off-road durability was exactly what they were looking for.

      "I'll drive." Wilson said cockily, taking the keyes from Travis' palm and jumping into the driver's seat. Travis rolled his eyes and stepped into the passenger side. Dust and rocks shot into the air forming a thick cloud as the massive tires grabbed and shot the vehicle forward.

      The two-and-a-half hour trip to the remote and secluded base was bearable, but very quiet. The two men only stared off to avoid any form of contact. Travis sighed as they pulled onto the shoulder and out of sight of oncoming traffic.

      "I bet Georgio's gonna crap himself when he sees us." Travis insisted. Wilson merely slapped a new clip into his weapon and cocked the bolt. "Alright, what the hell's your problem? You haven't said a damn thing this entire trip."

      "Nothing. I've been thinking about how we should approach this." Wilson's words were bland. The sudden whoosh of a car speeding by barely stirred the marine as he casually looked behind him.

      "Whatever man, let's get going."

      "You'll need a gun. Take my pistol." Wilson unholstered his sidearm and dropped it into his partner's palm. He retrieved two clips of spare ammo for him as well, with more secured to his utility belt if needed.

      The heavily wooded forest area they were sludging through was oddly beautiful. Slivers of sunlight broke through the canopy wonderfully, an almost miraculous sight to behold as the red and yellow leaves reflected their colors.

      They walked for easily several miles, crossing a small brook and then free-rapelling a small cliff. Wilson was still unsure of the whole situation, what made Randaford and Debrose turn, and why he was trekking through the forest to kill his old boss with a strange scientist.

      The rhythmic crackling of leaves under their feet had been stricken from their minds after several minutes, and the addition of a new set of footsteps stopped them both cold. Wilson instinctively rolled behind the nearest tree while gripping his gun, and was surprised to find Travis already hidden.

      A sentry waddled past evidently unaware of their presence, his pants around his legs as he searched for a suitable place to relieve himself. He stopped inches from Wilson, and took a welcomed leak on the opposite side of his tree.

      He had never heald his breath for so long, at least he was sure he hadn't, frozen in fear as he waited for the man to pass by. The zipping sound and sputter of broken bark signaled his finsish, now all he had to do was leave.

      Unfortunately his weapon slipped, landing with it's barrel facing Wilson's panicked body. The half-stooped soldier heard the heavy panting of a breathless marine as he jerked his head upwards. He yanked his gun up and prepared to fire.

      He wrapped his finger around the trigger and pulled it hard. The blurt of automatic weapons fire roared through the forest, sending several hundred birds soaring into the air, and a deer-like animal skidding downhill in a mad dash for safety.

      The man moaned and tears trickled down his cheeks as he shakily probed his side and back with his hands. Two large holes had ripped through the skin, and imploded inside of him, tearing his organs and tissue to hell.

      Wilson watched as Travis leapt stealthily from his tree-branch perch, nearly invisible. He was holstering his pistol as he made a crouching dash to his friend.

"You a'ight?" He asked while visually scanning Wilson's body.

"Yea, I'm fine. What about him?" Wilson watched as Travis shook his head solemnly.

"I put one his his spleen and two in his spine, he won't make it. Not unless he get's some serious medical treatment extremely fast."

"Well, all we can do is pray, let's go before backup arrives."

      The duo skittered off around the base, which was nestled at the crest of an almost mountain-like hill. They found an unguarded side entrance, which was locked. Travis knelt at the keypad and fiddled with the mechanism for several minutes, and it sported a wiley pop before opening.

      They cautiously surveyed the facility before entering, hopefully blending into their fellow scientists and marine counter-parts. No one seemed to notice their strange appearance as they strolled through hall after hall on their way to Georgio's throne room.

      They entered an enormous room, covered in pictures of old generals hanging on the walls. Large trees adorned the corners, and an exquisite rug covered the floors. Intricate precious metals and sparkling rare-gems reflected the light off of his heavy chair.

      Georgio looked more like a Mayan tribal leader than the sophisticated head of the UNSC's most troublesome pirate organization. He was to busy chatting with an associate to notice them at first, but his eyes quickly locked onto his new guests.

      "Well if it isn't my old traitor friends Deskin Wilson and Travis McKaulen. What brings you two back-stabbing bastards to my humble abode?" Georgio snarled as he finished his sentence.

      "Back-stabbing, your a fine one to talk you prick." Wilson began, but was cut off mid-sentence by the entrance of Randaford and Debrose. Randaford's legs had been replaced with artificial limbs, and Debrose sported a thick mechanical device around his torso.

      "You two thought you could just waltz in here, steal my, our, weapon, and then leave unpunished. I'm afraid not." Georgio interupted as three more marines, sporting shotguns, entered the room.

      "We didn't steal anything, you've got your facts mixed up. That bastard Randaford and his pal Debrose turned on US. Not the other way around." Georgio's forehead crinkled in though momentarily, but the wrinkles were quickly replaced with a bullet.

      "What the hell are you doing?" Wilson screamed to Travis, who was firing at the three marines in the corner. They dropped to their knees as bullets punctured their throats, stomaches, and other exposed bodyparts.

      Debrose quickly backed through a door at the rear of the room, and Randaford jumped for cover behind the late Georgio's throne. Wilson was confused but had to fire as four more guards entered the room. His shredder rounds slicing through their thin body armor as though it were leather.

      Randaford peeked out from behind his cover, and delivered a crippling round to Wilson's leg, and he crumpled to the floor in pain. Blood seethed from the wound, and he delivered as much preasure as he could to slow the bleeding.

      Travis only glanced at his wounded partner once, before firing three shots and Randaford, which all happened to miss by a wide margin, but just close enough to distract him, and then exited the room in the chaos.