The Enemy Within-Chapter Seven: Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down
Posted By: Mind_Affecting_Parasite<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3 April 2004, 2:40 AM
(Author's Note: Sorry about the wait, for those who have been following my series. This is tedious work, and my schedule keeps getting things added to it. Some of you may notice I kept the Hunter's names that I mistakenly created from the last chapter. I had to, to keep a reference. I will endeavor to come up with accurately put names for the Covenant characters in the future. Have a good read!)
"Let's move!" shouted Sergeant Ferring, scrambling across the slick floor.
Private Kyle Jones fired long bursts into the motion filled doorway. Luckily for the humans, the Flood were much more interested in the flailing Hunter than them. Another green flash outlined far too many combat forms, making their way around the Covenant beast.
Plasma spheres impacted the metal mere inches from Samantha, leaving glowing craters. She heard someone yell, and hit the deck. The characteristic gurgle of the Flood filled her ears for a split second, before green gore stained her back. Sam sent silent thanks to her husband before quickly scampering towards the fallen weapons not far ahead.
Another form flew from the doorway with "superhuman" strength, but it intentions were never fulfilled as it fell apart, courtesy of a HE pistol. As Lance saw Kyle slap a new magazine home and once more open fire, he made his three yard dash to his prize. Warm olive colored casing found his grip, as the Sergeant grasped the dual-rocket-holding magazine. He reached for the double tubed firing assembly and-
"Fire in the hole!!" -a flash of thunder turned three far to productive Elite flood forms into strips of slimy flesh. "I can't hold out much longer!" added Kyle, lobbing yet another grenade into the approaching fray.
A wave of heat and another concussion threw Lango back to the ground. He was losing his endurance, and knew his time was coming, like his blood brother's had just a few moments previous. Monstrous Flood forms swept over him, effectively keeping him pinned to the ground. The Hunter was not finished yet though, and willed up the strength to swing his shield again. Lango felt satisfaction with the nearly drowned out sound of cracking bones.
The creature fired his weapon again, and more Flood ceased to exist. Lango struggled to rise, under the push of wild animated corpses. Yet another blast impacted the frayed Hunter, flipping him onto his side, only to smack back down onto his belly. Orange blood smeared across the floor. The lone beast finally righted itself, teetering on his legs for a moment before managing to regain his balance. Combat forms and Flood pods alike pushed against the mighty animal, driving him forward from behind.
Lango billowed, blood spraying out of his mouth. The Hunter reflexively spread his limbs as he was pushed into the doorframe, he could see three humans sliding across the floor. They would surely die soon as well. As a living flood shoved ever harder against the struggling animal, Lango braced himself as firm as he could against the frame of the portal.
"Sarge!" shouted Patrick Carter over Sergeant Ferring's COM. "Where the hell are you, Sir?"
"It sounds pretty damn noisy from here" added Daniels.
"Keep your ass moving Marine!" growled the Sergeant back through his radio. "We're coming."
A flash filled the right barrel of the M19 SSM RL, and a high-explosive rocket streaked forwards. The horizontal plume of grey smoke, spiced with black wisps and tendrils of flame, sped forward to meet its' target. The one-hundred-two millimeter shaped charge slammed into the armored chest of the Hunter. A ball of flame and smoke enveloped the creature, blackening the ancient alloy. A dozen mangled pieces of bright orange meat smacked into the walls, along with their once attached fragments of bone and segments of warped metal. The Flood had not escaped the blast either, and a new void enticed newly arriving Flood forms towards the humans.
Samantha Jones stumbled forward from the Rocket Launcher induced blast, nearly falling to the floor. The deal hulk of a former Elite Combat Flood form hit the ground two feet in front of her. Sam slammed her heals into the metal, and fell flat on her butt. She grunted and looked back behind her, and her eyes met those of a rapidly approaching Human Combat form. She scrambled to her feat and pushed towards the single shotgun tantalizingly close. It didn't work, the tip of Sam's boot caught on the mass of the green gore composed Flood form laying prone on the floor. The frantic woman moved her feet to rise again, but to no avail, as her boots slipped on the discolored blood.
The bolt on the MA5B locked, and the rapid fire bursts stopped. Kyle glanced away from the falling creatures that should have already been dead. Before the empty clip had even clattered onto the cold floor, Kyle slid his last full clip into place and snapped the bolt back. As the Private raised his rifle to fire, a motion caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see an air born former Human land on its' feet, nearly on top of his wife. Sam's right arm stretched out towards a M90, her fingers brushing the stock.
"Sam!" he shouted, bringing his rifle to bare and squeezing the trigger.
But Kyle was too late. The Combat form had enough time to take a swing, its' trio of hardened tentacles whizzing through the smoke choked air. Time slowed for Samantha, like when your life depends on a single act. She willed her arm to reach farther, her middle finger barely catching on the trigger guard of her goal. Her wrist, popping from the strain, it contacted the body of the weapon and Sam tightened her grip. As she began to retract her arm; however, a triple whip sliced into her legs. The foreign limbs cut through her fair skin, peeling through layers of muscle and tissue. The two outer whips of flesh slid outward; the upper sliding through and under the back of her thighs and exiting out of her left buttock, and the lower raping the tissues of her calves. The center, however, dug down to the bone, reaching a centimeter into the hard supporting organ of her upper left leg before slipping free. The once green Flood limbs came out carrying a sickening red substance, speckled with white and pink pieces.
The heated door exploded outward, one section cutting clean through two Elites and implanting itself into the front of a dropship. Two other sections smoked through the air as well, one slamming harmlessly into the ceiling, and the other gauging a five centimeter scar in the shield of the closest Hunter, Juargas. Then, more fire came from the smoking portal. A rocket streamed out of the haze, blowing Juargas into the wall above the Covenant built deck. Following the rocket, two grenades, one human and one Covenant, and a single fuel rod blast landed on the now smouldering platform. One of the remaining Elites, still caught relatively off guard, was caught in the chest by the green fuel rod round. The burning projectile punched a hole through its' chest before exploding, sending blue paste through the energized air.
The other, and last Elite, took a step back and grabbed onto the fuselage of the closest dropship as the two troop carrying vessels hummed into motion. As the ship with the lone Elite turned away from the death ridden porch, the single Plasma Grenade landing right in the Elite's lap. The human fragmentation grenade; however, bounced towards the intact Hunter and detonated in a flash of thunder. The metal fragments pinged off the thick armor, clearing for the real threat, now coming through the door.
Flood, Combat forms, Carrier forms, and Ranger forms alike raced through the constricted passage. It was as if vinegar had been poured into a tube of living green baking soda.
'Ipnaimee raised the monocular to one of his eyes, trying to get a better idea of the situation at the end of the large tunnel. Through the magnification device, the Field Master had enough time to see a Plasma Grenade latch onto an Elite, who himself was attempting to get into a fleeing dropship. The explosive went off, sending a corpse into the air, and deforming the metal on the front left corner of the dropship, as the ramp raised into place. The two crafts fired their mounted weapons, lances of plasma etching dark craters through the spongy Flood. Ipnaimee redirected the monocular to the Flood covered Hunter, who lit the surrounding area with his weapon blasts.
The Field Master dropped his monocular, to see the ships speeding towards the bay. As more plasma fire rained from the dropships to the sides of the tunnel, 'Ipnaimee saw them, he saw them all. Hundreds of Flood forms literally poured from the passageways lining the bored tunnel. A living torrent, climbing over and under, beside and through each other, over the walls, and on the floor and ceiling, the Flood rushed towards the open doors of the Covenant ship's hangar. The already trailing dropship took fire, two rockets caught the vessel in the belly, and a third, a fuel rod blat, smacked into the rear set cockpit. Smoke billowed from the crafts wounds, the ship started to wobble.
"Activate the shields!" shouted 'Ipnaimee. "Bring up the shields!"
The closest Elite leapt towards the holographic controls, slamming his fist on the controls. A blue tinged flicker covered the border of the large portals, and the purple film sped into place.