Sea of Steel: Part Four
Posted By: Omniscient<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 02 August 2001, 10:53 pm
Location: Covenant drop ship unit 7, sector 3, Halo.
"Your honor, sensors indicate unidentified structure 1,000 grids ahead."
"Ping out." The Covenant elite operating the sensors stared down at the square screen below him, displaying a map of the sector. He waited patiently for the return. "Ping in. Signal negative, Sir. It is not of Covenant origin."
"Then what in the order of the gods is it?" demanded the leader of the drop ship, a muscular elite.
"A human building, honor."
Before the sensor officer could reply, a third elite called out from his station, "We're under heavy fire!"
"Evasive action!" called the leader, he took his seat and pressed a button on the arm of the chair that turned on a holographic display in front of him. It was the view from a camera that could look outside from any angle. He panned the camera down and zoomed in on the Alcatraz. He had never seen an aircraft carrier before, and thought it was some kind of structure built up in the middle of the water. Orange tracers were flying up at the ship. "Get us out of here!" he called again. But the pilot did not respond.
The leader stood up and ran to the pilot's station. There were holes through the bottom of the cockpit. The pilot sat dead in his chair. "He's dead!" yelled the captain as more bullets shot through the floor and exited through the ceiling. "I'm taking over, signal the base!"
"Affirmative!" called the sensor officer. Just then shells ripped through the floor in front of him and he watched with open eyes as the line of holes grew rapidly closer to his position. He tried to dive out of the way, but the bullets were flying to fast. The controls in front of him exploded as the shells sliced their way through it like butter.
"What's happening?" yelled the leader. He looked behind him, to see the limp body of his sensor officer lying lifeless against the back wall. The ship was on fire, alarms were going off, lights were flashing. The captain turned back to the controls. "Die, humans." He tried to angle the drop ship down toward the carrier, but the controls did not respond. The holograph display shorted out, and he stood up and stepped back to the center of the ship, where he could look down through the floor and see the water below.
"Oh gods, forgive me."
Another volley of anti-armor bullets pierced through the drop ship, which was now starting to spin down toward the ground. Before it reached the surface of the water, the ship exploded into flames, sending debris of blue and purple alloy everywhere.
Location: Aircraft Carrier Alcatraz, somewhere on Halo.
"That got 'im!" yelled Griffith, who was still standing on the deck of the ship. He watched the flaming wreckage plummet into the water. All around him, the seals and crewmen were whooping. The speakers came on again, "Target destroyed. Way to look alive."
That little encounter helped bring everyone into the present. No one was shocked about being on Halo any more. In fact, the crew was quite happy after downing the drop ship that they forgot how far away from home they actually were.
"Let's just hope they didn't radio for backup," said the captain in a meeting that evening with Patrick, Ray Louis, Griffith, and the other commanders. The seal commanders reported that their squads were ready to go land-side and had all received the coordinates to meet the human marines, who still did not know that the carrier was here.
"Do we have any idea of what to expect from the enemy?" asked Captain Renault, from the Nocturne.
"No idea at all," said Patrick. "We won't know until you're men go in. We could launch a satellite, but the Covenant would undoubtedly notice that and use it to locate us. You just have to be careful. If that drop ship managed to radio for backup, it may already be too late."
"When do we move out?" said Lieutenant Rawlins, of the Alaska.
"At night fall," said the captain. "You will navigate by your head-up displays and night vision."
"What did your men think of the new rifles, Lieutenant Louis?" asked Patrick.
"Those new assault rifles? They're beauties. Twice the firing rate and ammo capacity of the old ones, plus the built-in grenade launcher. We are definitely thankful for those."
"Just don't get too trigger happy. When you meet up with the marines, we'll arrange for a transport to bring them in some new hardware and medical gear. Do we need to discuss anything else here?" No one responded. "Good. Go load up; and good luck."
The commanders stood and left the meeting room, all just a little bit nervous about their mission.