The Last Stand
Posted By: Matt Joseph<email@example.com>
Date: 16 August 2001, 10:58 PM
-Korolev Crater, Far Side of Moon
Lunar Time: 0516 hrs
Earth GMT: 1437 hrs
It was a serene tropical place with palm trees and he was sipping his drink out of hollowed out coconut shell with a little umbrella sticking out of it. He saw ticki huts and beautiful women in bikinis walking around offering another drink or some tanning oil rubbed on his shoulders. This is the life.......RING RING...RING RING...
General William Aaron, United Earth Marine Corp, awoke to the harsh ringing of the telephone next to his bed. He picked it up, "General Aaron," he said in a groggy voice.
"Sir, sorry to wake you, sir, but you'd better come to the Control Station."
"Our radar installation on Phobos picked up the Covenant fleet just passing though sector Lambda."
"I'll be right there."
"Very good, sir."
He broke connection. Aaron got out of bed, cursing that it was all just a dream. He couldn't wait for his vacation to Kahihi Beach on the resort planet of Fonis 2. He threw on his uniform, splashed some water on his face and went out the door passing the armed guards that guarded his room. He returned the salute and went down the hall to the sub station. He boarded train A and told the computer to go to the control station.
"Very well General, sir," a female voice replied, "Would you like some coffee?"
A door next to his seat opened and the general grabbed the coffee that was in the compartment.
"Arriving at Station C, Control" the female voice said.
Aaron got off the train and boarded the elevator which took him staight to the Control room. The entire trip took a total of 3 minutes.
"Good morning, sir."
"Good morning, Lieutenant," answered the General and returned the salute.
"I have contacted Admiral Tavington, the Naval base commander. He should be here soon."
Just then the elevator door opened behind Aaron and Admiral Maxwell Tavington, United Earth Navy, walked out.
"Good day to you General Aaron," the English admiral said.
"Shall we get started?" replied Tavington.
"Yes, sir," answered the young leiutenant. He flipped a switch and a three dimensional map fizzled to life.
"As you know the Covenant are moving this way and they seem to be in huge hurry. They are already half-way through sector Kilo. As you gentlemen well know, ever since the Covenant destroyed Fort New Gettysburg on Pluto have we been monitoring the Covenant's every move."
"Where are they headed?" asked Aaron.
"They seem to be en route to..."
"They will be here in approximatly 3 hours."
"Shit! We have to warn Earth."
"I'll get someone right on that."
There was some uneasy silence. "Sir?"
"What is it Sergeant?"
"The Covenant fleet...they've stopped. The seem to be assembling the fleet."
"They're goin for it," said Tavington. "And we've got to stop them."
"Put the base on full alert. Wake everyone up and get them to their defense stations," ordered the General. "They've gotta go through us."
Lunar Time: 0600 hrs
Troops Quarters B Block
Sergeant Hill, Cybernetic Marine, snapped his helmet shut when he heard the defense stations alarm. He typed in the code to his arms locker and it opened. He grabbed his assualt rifle, slid a 60 round magazine into it and chambered a round. He strapped his gear belt on and ran out the door to assmeble with his fellow cyborgs.
"OK, boys listen up. The Covies seem to want a piece of us and we are gonna be responsible for kickin their alien asses! Is that understood!
The platoon replied in unison:"Sir, yes, sir!"
"Good. We are gonna be responsible for defending the north east sector of the base. And we are gonna do a damn good job doin it! So lets get this show on the road."
The platoon piled onto a troop carrier train and once everyone was on board, it sped off.
"The stop's acomin up, ETA, 7 minutes."
"Check your gear, men. Full kit inspection in 5 minutes."
Then suddenly they heard a crash on the surface.
"What in the hell was that?!" screamed the Captain.
Before anyone could answer, the back of the tram exploded, launching it forward and on its side. Sergeant Hill was thrown from his seat and when he landed slipped into the black oblivion of unconciousness.
Hill opened his eyes and saw a blurred vision of the Captain.
"Get the hell off your lazy ass and pick up your frickin weapon! The Covs are early."
Hill got up and shook off any bit of grogginess that was left. He couldn't believe what he saw. The tram was on its side and the back half was torn to shreds. He saw half his squad lying dead among the tangled mess. When he looked up he could see through the ceiling to look at the stars. All he could hear was a ringing.
He flipped on his flashlight and followed the Captain through the rubble. When his hearing came back he could hear the explosions of energy blasts slamming into the Moon's surface and the rumbling of every one.
"The Covs have overrun the base. We gotta get to the control station."
They made their way out of the tunnel and surprised a group of Covenant grunts. Before the grunts could get any shots off they were lying on the ground riddled with bullets.
Hill and the Captain made their way through the base. They came upon a small Covenant force. Remaining unseen, they found cover. Hill peeked over the rock.
"We got 5 grunts, 3 elites and a heavy tank."
"OK, I'll distract the infantry. You'll sneak around and take out the tank. Stay outta site, or we'll be toast." order the Captain
Hill looked around the rock: None of the Covs were lookin his way. He sprinted behind the tank and got into position behind some twisted metal that used to be Marine tank.
"In position," he whispered over his radio.
The Captain loaded a fresh magazine into his assault rifle and checked to make sure his pistol was loaded. He grabbed a grenade from his pouch and armed it. It beeped. He tossed it into the group of hostiles. The covenants looked at it and before they could react it detonated, throwing them left and right. The blast killed one and lowered the shields of the rest. That got the attention of the tank and the remaining enemies. The tank swung its turret towards the Captain's position.
"Now!" he screamed over the radio and popped up behind cover and loosed off a flurry of lead.
Hill grabbed a grenade, armed it and tossed it under the tank. When it blew, it launched the tank onto its side. This stunned the Covs. Hill came behind them and along with the Captain, fired on the remaining aliens. Hill fired in three round burts and put three into one of the elite's backs, turning it into a rumpled mass of flesh. The Captain loosed of a by-the-book three round burst. The first two round hit the grunt in the chest and the last right between the eyes. The last cov was an elite and it was firing randomly, hiding behind its shield. Hill dodged an energy blast and fired a burst. Two of the rounds hit the Cov in the leg, knocking it off balance and moving its shield. The Captain then emptied his mag into its chest, drilling it to the floor.
The two Marines stood, rifles at ready, over the bodies. "Clear."
He and the Captain cautiously approached the tank, rifles aimed at the hatch. The hatch opened and the Captain put a three round burst into the head of the dismounting alien.
"There's gotta be more in there," said the Captain. He motioned with his hand, curling it into a fist and, in a punching motion, pointed towards the tank. Hill nodded in reply and took a grenade from his belt. He armed it, threw it into the tank and they fell back to cover. In the split second before detonation they heard a shriek and then...BOOM!
The tank lurched and the turret flew off.
Lunar Time: 0725 hrs.
General Aaron and Admiral Tavington were sitting at a table discussing their options, which were few in number, when the door slid open.
"Sir, they've taken the entire east sector of the base and are sweeping west," said the young Sergeant, "we don't have much time before they reach the control station."
"Thank you, Sergeant, dismissed."
The sergeant saluted and left.
"What did the President say?" asked Aaron.
"Nothing. The line cut off before we could speak. The bastards must've destroyed the comm satallites."
The two thought silently.
"Bill, I just had a bloody wild idea. What if we could draw the attention of the Covenant fleet and lure them away from Earth."
"Max, what the hell are you talking about?"
"The Pillar of Autumn."
"That project has been long since aborted."
"Not ture. It was kept alive just in case we needed it. We could take the sub system to the launch zone..."
"Have you gone shit crazy?!"
"Far from it. I could radio the site and they could prep it for launch."
"Doesn't that take 3 hours?"
"Sure it does, but do you have a better idea? Besides, it'll take at least three hours to assemble everyone."
"One question remains: How the hell do we get throught the Covenant blockade?"
"With a little help from lady luck."
"I still think you've gone crazy, but you call the site and have them prep for launch. We gotta try to get everyone there."
Hill loaded his last magazine into his rifle and looked around at the mismatched squad that was put together. There were other cyborgs and human marines. Even some Naval personel.
They were moving as fast as they could through the base, fighting skirmish after skirmish. They had stopped to rest at an bombed out hangar and they had also found a Warthog.
"Covenant platoon comin in!" screamed the watchman.
The Captain ran to him looked through his binoculars.
"Two o'clock, low."
"Holy Mary, mother God. It's a damn brigade. 30 plus infantry and about 6 armor. Jesus boys, you'd better get movin."
By this time Hill was also lookin through his binoculars.
"Im stayin. Somebody better stop these bastards."
"Sir, you don't stand a chance alone."
"Are you stayin or are you goin?"
"Im staying, sir."
Many other troopers from the squad stepped forward to stay. The total turned out to be ten. The rest of the squad headed west toward the Control Station.
"OK, listen up. I got a plan but we don't have much time. I wanna take that mounted machine gun from the warthog and put it in that position over there." The captain pointed to a bombed out building.
"I can do that." A regular marine stepped forward.
"Good, get it done."
"Sir? I got my sniper rifle here and we could probably help."
"Where are you thinkin, Corporal?"
"The second story window of that building."
"OK, go set up."
"Aye, aye, Cap'n."
"We gotta get the buggy outta harms way cause that's our ticket outta here. Take it behind the hangar. That will be the Alamo. Hill, you're with me. The rest of you, gather up all the ammo and frags you can carry. Move in teams of 2. I want you there, there, and there."
"Cap'n, we got a problem though." said Hill, "How do we get 'em to come down this way?"
"I can use the buggy to get their attention," suggested one trooper.
"Awright. Get in your teams. You and your partner are gonna be responsible for gettin their attention."
The captain's radio fizzled to life: "Sir, Corporal Jackson here. Our company's a'comin."
"OK, everyone to their positions lets go!"
Corporal Billy Jackson, United Earth Marine Corp Sniper, was in his position. He was lying prone setting up his sniper rifle.
"Jackson, you fire the first shot."
He pulled the tri-pod down and put the three-and-a-half foot barrel in its place, then snapped the scope into postion.
The entire sniper rifle was six and a half feet long and could be taken apart to ease movement. When the barrel was retracted, the weapon was three feet long. But when fully assmebled, it weighed 9 pounds, and could only be fired accurately when its operator was lying prone and had the tri-pod extended.
He loaded a magazine into the slot and worked the bolt to load a cartridge. He looked through the scope and brought an Covenant elite's head into the cross-hairs. Then shots rang out and he saw the buggy burn down the ambush lane.
"We fire on your signal, Jackson."
Jackson watched the Covenant move down the lane. He zoomed in on the elites head and flicked the saftey off. Then he keyed the laser range-finder, 573 yards. He pulled the trigger, the rifle roared and the meter long muzzle flash shot out.
Hill saw the Elite's shield flicker and then its head implode like a melon and a purple, pink cloud come out the back. Then, he pulled the trigger of his assault rifle and it jerked in his hands, shell casings flying everywhere. He began picking off every moving target in his field of fire. He and his squad-mates were mowing down the surprised Covs.
Private Krieg Ulrich was cutting down the opposition with his .50 caliber machine gun. He switched ammo boxes and continued to fire.
The squad contiued to fire relentlessly at the Covenant forces but the upper hand subsided when the armor came to play. A large energy blast struck right next to Hill's position.
"Displace!" screamed the captain.
Hill and the captain crawled out right before another blast blew their previous cover to smitherines.
"Everyone displace! Fall back to the Alamo!"
Jackson got one more round off before he got up. That bullet struck the Grunt square in the chest, knocking it 5 feet backward. The bullet came out, and continued to kill three other grunts. His triumph was short lived as energy blasts came close to hitting him. He picked up his rifle and left.
Ulrich fired off the last of his rounds and picked up his machine gun and sprinted as fast as he could back to the Alamo. On his way there he was struck in the shoulder and was knocked forward. He got up, still clutching his machine gun, and ran to the Alamo.
Hill got behind cover and finally saw what havoc he and his squad had wreaked. At least 20 Covs lay dead on the ground.
Hill watched his troops retreat and saw a position of one of the fire teams get incinerated by an energy blast and then another position got hit. One of the survivors crawled out, dragging the bloody stumps that used to be his legs. A Covenant trooper soon caught up to him and raised his pistol to the marine. Hill lifted his rifle and brought the Cov into his sights. He pulled the trigger...*click* and the marine was killed execution style.
Hill saw another fire team retreat across the road and one got struck by a blast. The unfortunate marine spiraled through the air and caught a few more energy blasts. His partner was lucky enough to reach Hill's position.
"Sir, that armor is killing us."
"No, shit! Lets get back to the Alamo."
The two marines met up with the survivors at the Alamo. Hill saw the large cache of ammunition and he slapped another mag into his empty rifle. He found some cover and began firing on the advancing Covs. He loosed a few three round bursts at running grunt, but for some reason, Hill couldn't score a hit before the grunt found cover. Hill switched to single shot and waited. The grunt peeked its ugly head up, only to have it plugged with a 5.56 mm round.
"Sir, what the hell do we do now," asked Hill.
"You men are gonna take the warthog to the control station. I'm gonna stay here."
"Sir, no, sir. That is unacceptable."
"Sergeant, I'm giving the orders. You get your ass in that hog and you drive."
"Sir, a Marine doesn't leave a comrade behind, sir."
Just then a flurry of energy struck their position, sending shards of concrete and rock everywhere."
"Sergeant, leave now!"
The Captain pulled his side arm. "Sergeant, you are disobeying a direct order, this offense is punishable by death." he pointed his .45 at Hill. "Now I will shoot you. Leave."
Hill got into the warthog.
"You heard the Captain, lets move!"
The rest of the squad piled in and they drove off, leaving the Captain behind.