Well Enough Alone Part 1: Deceitful Dreams
Posted By: Ryan<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 14 March 2002 10:06 pm
Another gust of wind blew up from the valley, carrying with it the rain as it fell. This wasn't my idea of a nice day. Our squad has been camped out here in this rainy hell for almost a week now, fending off small groups of covenant with nothing to do but empty their batteries. I looked over at Mendoza, who's stare had become increasingly blank over the past 5 hours. The reliable marine was reminding me more and more of a flood zombie, so I decided to speak up.
"You must love that clump of sod, Mendoza"
"You know, I think it's becoming my best friend..."
"Heh heh, I know how you feel..."
This wasn't anyone's idea of fun. I'm guessing I've lost you already, so let me back up a bit. Our Pelicans were moving slowly away from the command shuttle, 3 of them in all. Our assignment was to scour this quaint planet for any signs of covenant life, and eliminate them if necessary. I should have known someone was up when they sent us in a group of three. As the Command Shuttle (hereby known as CS) faded slowly from view, I kept wondering what it was they had neglected to tell us. The sun shone brilliantly down onto the left side of the pelicans dingy interior, reflecting off the Sarge's boot covers. I smiled a I gazed at the blue sky around us, which was tastefully painted with white clouds. I leaned over to touch my helmet. I had taken it off for the flight, figuring I would have ample time to snap it back on if we ran into covenant. A few more moments passed as we glided through the air, which was unusually heavy here. All of us were on the tips of our toes, something had to give. It was just too calm.
Mere seconds after that fateful thought crossed my mind, a searing blue bolt of energy materialized from no where, impacting the 10th vehicle clamp on the Pelicans tail. I jolted up, and moved quickly over to the cockpit.
"Master Chief sir, did something just hit us?!" asked Paul politely.
"You could say that, we just took a plasma rifle blast to the rear stabilizer."
"Damn Covenant... wait... what's that rumbling?!"
Paul was rather dim for his rank, he was a un-seasoned rookie and hardly my definition of a reliable pilot. My thoughts drifted momentarily to Foe Hammer, and her un-timely fate. I closed my eyes and re-established my focus. My head swiveled to the left just as three more bolts hit our transport. One of them hit the underbelly of the Pelican, melting the Titanium hull and launcher hundreds of plasma sparks across the cockpit. The glowing hole it left in the bottom of the hull has yet to leave my memory. I glanced back at Paul, who was fumbling with the pelicans montage of cockpit switches. I watched his fingers stumble through the knobs and levers for a about 20 seconds, before I couldn't stand it anymore and reached my hand in. With a simple tap on the left control joystick, the pelican made a hard bank to the right. Wind tore through the hole in the floor, sending pieces of molten titanium and metal shards into the faces of my squad. The shots began increasing in their intensity at a rapid pace. Sergeant Johnson yelled something to the Marines, though I couldn't decipher what he had said over the screaming of the wind and plasma. Mendoza sat up from his seat and crouched over to the end of the cockpit and began firing his weapon.
"Covering fire sir!" yelled Mendoza.
"Roger that!" I snapped back.
We began colliding with more blasts, and our ride became more turbulent. I moved up to the cockpit again. Paul's hands were grasping the twin joysticks on either side of him, his knuckles white.
"Paul, we need to set this bird down - NOW!"
"I know sir... but, I don't want to take 'er in too close to the covenant's fire..."
"Stow the complaining son, Bank a hard left and pull 'er down into that outcropping of bushes to your 3 O'clock!"
I almost felt sorry for Paul as he began to re-adjust our flight pattern, this was his first Pelican and I could hardly blame him for wanting to keep it in one piece. I grasped one of the side support beams as we began to drop our altitude. The howl of the wind became even stronger, this was it.
"BRACE FOR IMPACT!!!" shouted Paul at the top of his lungs. In the final seconds before impact I looked down at my helmet, for the first time since the covenant began firing I realized I wasn't wearing it. My heart fell heavy in my chest as a nervous panic came over me. We crashed.