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A Reason To Fight (IV)
Posted By: Phoenix99<reverberation99@hotmail.com>
Date: 19 July 2004, 3:00 AM

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A Reason To Fight (IV)

       "What's goin' on, why do you have your—" but I was cut off by a finger to the lips from Jared.
       "Listen" he whispered to me and pointed up. I tilted my head to the ceiling and listened. At first I couldn't hear anything. I strained to listen harder, and could make out a faint hum.
       "Landing craft" whispered Preston without taking his eyes off of the ceiling. I listened as the humming became louder. I looked at Jared who glanced back with a stern countenance.
       "Lookin' for survivors" he whispered, and tightened his grip on the rifle. The hum became louder and louder until it was directly above us. The four of us stared out the gaping hole in the ceiling as the stars were blocked by a large shape. The hovering craft's main body was "U" shaped with a small extension to the back. It was hard to make out specifics, but I could definitely see a swiveling turret on the back extension of the ship. Two beams of blue lights shown down from the front of the craft. We looked out the crumbling door frame of our room to see the lights panning the ground. Stopping here and there to examine dark crevices.
       "Maybe they'll just pass over" said Michael in a frightful voice. The lights fell onto the downed Pelican.
       "Shit" hissed Preston. The lights moved slowly over the downed craft, before panning the ground again. They moved from place to place and onto our building. The light spilled through the hole in the ceiling casting the room in a blue glow. But the lights continued on, seemingly unaware of the occupants huddled inside. The light was suddenly extinguished and we heard the humming craft move away from above us. Preston let out a sigh.
       "They're movin' off!" said Michael in an excited whisper. But to our horror, it did not fly off. We watched through the collapsed door frame as the ship slowly began to descend to the ground.
       "Oh shit. They're gunna find us. We can't stay here, they're gunna find us!" uttered Michael.
       "Keep it down!" Said Preston, "Besides, we can't just ditch Mac here." Mac still lay motionless on the ground beside Preston. The blue light panned across the building and the four of us ducked to the floor.
       "Do you think they know we're here?" I whispered to Jared.
       "I don't know, But if they knew we were here, they coulda just glassed the place from the air."
       "Or maybe they do know we're here," stammered Michael, "Maybe they're just fuckin' with our minds!"
       The light moved from our building and Jared raised himself to a crouch. He pulled his satchel from his back and removed a pistol and three magazines. He slid one of the magazines in and pulled back the action with a click. He looked up at me.
       "Can you handle one of these?"
       "I think so" I replied
       "Just point and click" He said while sliding the pistol and two spare magazines across the floor to me. Preston raised himself to a crouch and moved quietly to the door frame. Jared reached over to the pack next to the Mac's unconscious body and removed another pistol and magazines. He slid them to Michael. The weight of the cold metal in my hands was reassuring. I inched up to where Preston was leaning against the door frame, peering out. The ship was descending to the ground about 75 meters from our building. I felt Jared's hand on my shoulder.
       "What's happenin?"
       "We're gunna have company real soon." said Preston. The ship slowed it's descent about 2 feet from the ground. The low hum seamed to slowly die out and all was still, save for the two lights still panning the area. With a slight hiss, a panel running from the length of the ship facing us opened. The black starry night shed no light on the scene, but the panning lights flooded the area around the craft in a glow. Out hobbled four squat creatures that were no taller than 4 feet. They stood erect with two stubby legs and around their faces was what looked like some kind of breathing apparatus. With their guns raised, they hobbled a few meters from the ship.
       "Grunts" said Jared in low tone, "The cannon fodder of the covenant race. Not too bad on their own, but you get a big enough pack of em' and they can cut right through ya."
       A loud deep bark resounded behind the grunts. Another creature stepped out from the craft's open bay doors. Unlike the Grunts this creature stood around 8 feet tall, with two long muscular legs. One arm was hoisting a weapon of some sort while the other adjusted the iridescent blue armor that clad its body.
       "An Elite" whispered Preston. He didn't have to explain to me about this creature. It was obvious that this beast had been made for war. The Elite walked powerfully over to one of the Grunts as the landing craft lifted off and disappeared into the night. The Grunt turned and quivered at the sight of the advancing creature. Towering above the Grunt, the Elite let out a series of harsh grunts and barks. The Grunt replied with a high pitched voice in a language alien to me.
       "We gotta pan out, if they find us we'll be sitting ducks" whispered Preston.
       "Yeah you're right. Look I'll head out to the left a little ways" said Jared while pointing at a large pile of rubble about 25 meters to our left.
       "Sounds good, " said Preston, "I'm headin' over to the right, near the Pelican."
       "Got it. John, you move up about 10 meters to that car." said Jared nodding in the direction of some twisted wreckage.
       "Guys, I don't know how much help I can--"
       "Hey John remember what I told you?" asked Jared.
       "Use it" I said.
       "That's right. A reason to fight" he gave me the thumbs up and he and Preston bounded off to their positions. It was pretty easy to move around out of sight outside in the street. Debris and wreckage was everywhere from last nights bombardment. I made it to my position and looked left and right for the other two Marines. To my left was Jared about 20 meters off, lying prone beside a large piece of building, and to my right, near the Pelican, was Preston, crouched behind another destroyed car. I peeked around the side of my cover to where the Covenant had landed. The Elite raised his hand towards the pelican with a bark. The grunt let out a squeal. Raising its left arm, the Elite back handed the grunt who rolled to the ground from the blow. The Elite bellowed and raised his weapon again, pointing in the same direction toward the downed Pelican. The Grunt scrambled to his feet and began to hobble towards the Pelican with a look over it's shoulder at the Elite. I watched as Preston peered through the broken windows of the car he was behind. He saw the Grunt approaching the Pelican and ducked back down with his back against the car. He looked to his right at me, and put a finger to his lips. I nodded. The Grunt moved closer to the Pelican until it was right outside the dark passenger bay of the downed craft. I watched Preston remove a grenade from his webbing. The Grunt stepped slowly into the dark bay of the Pelican and out of the light projected from the Covenant craft.
       It all began very quickly. I watched as Preston tossed the primed grenade into the bay of the craft from behind his cover. I heard a startled yell from the Grunt, and then a loud BANG with a flash of light come from the bay of the Pelican. The Grunts gnarled body rolled out of the passenger bay with a sick thud. With that I heard rifle fire come from my left. I looked over to see Jared had opened fire on the remaining group of Covenant. His rounds peppered the Elite but I saw a kind of white shield that enveloped the Creature flare up. He immediately had to take cover as they returned fire. I then heard firing coming from my right, and looking over I saw Preston let loose on the Elite as the Grunts held down Jared with a continues barrage of fire. I watched the Elite's shields flare up again as it returned fire and Preston ducked down below cover.
       "John!" yelled Jared to my left "Fuckin' fire your weapon man!" The three Grunts were slowly inching their way towards Jared's cover. I knew that they would soon overtake him. I gripped the pistol firmly in my hands and leaned out from my cover. One of the Grunts was about to round the side of Jared's cover. I took aim and fired off two rounds. The first took the Grunt in the shoulder and the second down near the mid section. It keeled forward and thrashed on the ground. Now aware of my position the two other Grunts turned to fire on me. I ducked behind the damaged car as fire filled the space I had just lay. I could actually feel the heat from whatever the creatures were shooting as it flew past. I heard Jared fire his rifle and looked around my cover as one of the Grunts took two rounds in the chest and one in the face. I fired 3 times at the remaining Grunt as it fled back towards the Elite. One of my rounds caught the creature in the lower leg and it toppled to the ground. Jared finished it off with two rounds in the back.
       "Alright man, we gotta help out Preston with that Elite!" yelled Jared as he hopped over his cover and dashed towards where Preston and the Elite were exchanging fire. I turned to see Preston pop up from his cover to rip off a couple rounds. The Elite ducked behind the wreckage of a building and then returned fire. Preston caught one the Elites searing rounds in the shoulder and he fell back with it's force. Jared opened fire on the Elite from behind and I watched as it wheeled around to face it's new enemy. Jared ducked back down behind his cover.
       "Cover me! Gotta reload!" He yelled. I stood up and released round after round into the Elite's shield from my pistol. I watched as the shield flared and then went out. My seventh round caught the Elite in the shoulder. It stumbled from the hit and then turned to me. I pulled the trigger but only heard a slight clicking. Dry. The Elite dropped it's weapon and reached behind to it's back to remove a small thin object. The creature squeezed the object and a blue shroud of light in the shape of double bladed sword appeared from the Elites hand. It gave out a deafening roar and I could see it's mandibles extend from it's lower jaw. It began to rush towards me, with the glowing blade held behind it, ready to make a sweeping blow. I stared in horror as the Elite bounded closer and closer to me. My heart pumped inside my chest, I could not move. the muscles in the creatures legs pumped as it closed the distance to where I was standing helplessly. A single shot rang out from behind me. I heard the round wiz by my right ear and watched it catch the charging Elite in the face. It's head lolled backwards from the blow. It stumbled on it's own legs and tumbled to the ground skidding to my feet, energy blade still glowing. I turned around to see Michael standing in the doorway of our shelter breathing heavily, pistol held out before him.
       " 'Bout fuckin time Michael" I said

To be continued...