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Survival of the Fittest: The price for being nosy
Posted By: MasterCD<carleighcat@hotmail.com>
Date: 17 January 2004, 12:40 AM

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"Holy hell!" came a scream from somewhere to his left. Taylors was too busy defending himself to be worried about any others. An Elite was charging at him. Taylors swiftly fired rounds from his assault rifle, concentrating on the head and chest areas. It faltered slightly, but still kept going. Eight feet from Taylors, its plasma armour flickered and disappeared, allowing several bullets to tear it open.

As Taylors turned to face his next opponent - a Jackal - he wondered why they had to open the stupid door anyway. Oh well, curiosity killed the cat, eh? The Jackal fired a few shots from its plasma pistol, but stayed hidden behind its circular shield. Unluckily for the Jackal, Taylors knew the method for cracking open tough cases. He charged forwards and thwacked the shield firmly with the butt of his assault rifle. The shield shattered, and the Jackal was flung backwards, allowing Taylors to stick a couple of bullets in it.

"God, they just keep coming!"

"Tham, behind you!

"Ahhhhh, get it off, get it off me!"

This last comment was made by an unfortunate Marine with a plasma grenade on him. The grenade went off, scattering bits and pieces everywhere. Taylors wiped a glob of blood off his helmet, shuddering in disgust. This feeling gave him an energy burst that took down three Grunts and two more Jackals. A sudden scream tore through the air. It was quickly drowned out by the blast of a fuel-rod. Taylors turned, knowing what he would see.

Three Hunters had emerged from the tunnel, and were ploughing their way through the terrified Marines. Taylors gulped, and took a step back. Hunters were 12 feet of armoured spikes and big guns. He flung himself sideways as a blast from the fuel-rod sped past, striking an Elite squarely in the stomach. Taylors rolled to his feet, to see a Hunter charging straight for him.

The Hunter seemed intent on smashing him into a pulp. Taylors couldn't see any way out of this mess. He just started jogging backwards firing at the Hunter as he went. The Hunter raised one plasma-shod fist, and swiped at him. Taylors ducked, and the swipe took out a Grunt that was standing a little too close. Taylors took advantage of the distraction to try something he had seen on holo-vid. He dived through the Hunter's legs. It wheeled round, snorting in frustration.

Taylors flung himself upright and swung out wildly with his assault rifle, smacking the Hunter in the face. Normally this would have done nothing, but the Hunter was slightly off-balance. With a roar of anger, it toppled backwards. This gave Taylors time to ram a fragmentation grenade in the gap in the Hunter's armour. He turned and ran away; shouting out, "Get away! It's GONNA BLOW!"

An explosion tore through the air, carrying bits of Hunter with it. Taylors allowed himself a grin as he surveyed the damage. Two Elites and a Grunt had not heeded his warning, and were either dead or dying.

The sound of a sniper shot whistled through the air next to his ear. Taylors spun around to see the Hunter standing right behind him, ready to attack, crumple silently. Taylors gazed around, looking for the shooter. A sniper winked at him from the ledge he was on. Taylors grinned back, but the smile faded from his face as he saw an Elite sneaking up behind the sniper. He opened his mouth to shout out a warning. But there was no need. As the Elite raised its weapon, the sniper shoved his gun backwards into it, then turned and fired at point blank range.

Now convinced the sniper could look after himself, Taylors looked around for another target. He spotted Jackson, who was in a bit of trouble. He was pinned up against a wall, besieged by four Elites. Taylors vaulted over to him, and cracked one Elite on the back, breaking its spine. The others spun around to meet their new attacker. Jackson leaped forwards, and blasted an Elite, sending it spinning into another. Taylors shot the remaining Elite, and turned to face Jackson, who was panting.

"You okay? They didn't get you did they?"

"Nah, I'm fine. Close call though. Whew, I thought I was deadstuff. Thanks."

"No problem. Race you to that Grunt?"

"You're on!"

As he dashed towards the Grunt, who was now attempting to run in the opposite direction, Taylors glanced around. While the Humans were putting up a good fight, there were heavy casualties. The sergeant was down, taken out by the remaining Hunter. Many other Marines had been slain. 'How long can we go on like this?' he thought.

Suddenly a voice crackled into life in his helmet.

"Hello? Does anybody read me? This is Evac Squad. Is anybody alive down there?"

Taylors literally screamed into his headset. "Yes, we ARE alive. This is Private Taylors reporting. The sergeant's down, and we need Evac NOW!"

"Okay, we're on the way. Fall back to the outside immediately. We will pick you up there."

Taylors turned to Jackson. "We need to get outside. An Evac squad is waiting." Jackson wasted no time.

"FALL BACK! GET OUTSIDE! FALL BACK!" he bellowed. The Marines that could still use their legs obeyed instantly, moving backwards, but still keeping up a heavy fire. The Covenant followed, firing as well.

Taylors felt better to be outside in the snow. An enormous shadow fell across him, and he glanced up. Several dropships were slowly landing. The Marines gave a ragged cheer at the sight of the ships. Taylors shoved a couple of Marines, getting them moving. The Covenant pressed forward, enraged that their prey was escaping.

Taylors realized they were going to have to hold the Covenant off if any were to escape. He turned and fired, all the while shouting at the Marines to get a move on. A couple of them had followed his example and were firing at the Covenant, providing cover.

Finally, he and the other four helpers dashed towards the remaining dropship. Taylors looked at his partners and recognized Jackson, the scout Nira, the engineer Collineer and the sniper from the rocky ledge. Taylors slumped back in his seat. The pilot turned and grinned at them.

"Okay people, we're going up. Have no fear; Miranda Catters is your driver!"

With that enthusiastic comment, she flipped several switches; the ship hummed into life, and began to rise from the ground. As they began to move, Taylors felt an immense relief seep through him. They had survived, it was all over...

A motion detector bleeped as several red dots began moving on it.

"What is it?" asked Taylors, fearing the worst.

"Looks like we have a few Banshees on our tail." Said Catters grimly. Taylors groaned. Great. Just great.

!Okay, that was part 3. Comments appreciated!MasterCD