Well Enough Alone Part II: Arrival
Posted By: Ryan<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 28 March 2002 1:17 am
That was really all I can remember of the crash itself. I can remember waking up as my squad tramped through the dirty waters of the swamp, one of them kindly splashing some water on my face to wake me. The Pelican rested about 5 feet from us, now nothing but a mangled piece of metal shards. Sparks jumped out from the remaining outlets which hadn't burned up, and a plume of smoke could be seen rising from where the cockpit was once located.
Mendoza was kneeling in the swamp water about 10 feet from me. One of my men offered to help me up, I laughed at his offer and told him that I'd promote him to Chief if he could lift me. Needless to say he was un-successful. A moment later I hoisted myself up. Our surroundings were swamp like, to say the least. Moss and Lichen covered trees were all around us, vines winding from the twisted branches. A small brook wound its way through the trees, connecting numerous puddles of dirty water. The one we were in was rather large, probably about 20 feet around.
"Has anyone seen my helmet?," I asked.
Mendoza was the first to reply.
"Roger that Chief, it's just over there; next to the gear we've piled up"
"Heh, thanks Private."
I hobbled through the water, which was crawling with life. The Marines had piled a collection of weapons and equipment; my helmet was among the supplies. I leaned down to pick it up, and tipped it upside down to let the water trickle from it. Private Munson tossed me a towel, which came in handy as I wiped the water from the helmet. At last I was satisfied that my helmet was dry, so I snapped it back on. I also tossed up a MA5B Assault Rifle, and began walking towards the survivors. I un-locked the weapons safety clip, and the digital computer screen came to life. 34 rounds were left in the clip, which was really all I would need to tackle an ambush. Paul was strewn against a log, heavily bandaged an bearly breathing.
"Is the pilot alright, Sergeant?" I asked with a tone of worry in my voice.
"Somewhat. He's suffered a broken leg, and from the looks of it a concussion. He'll be alright if we keep his temperature down... honestly, that shouldn't be to hard - I'm freezing out here."
Another Marine made his way over to me, curiously staring at me. Finally he spoke up.
"Master Chief, sir, any idea what happened to the other two drop ships?"
"I haven't heard anything of it. They're probably in the same predicament as us right now. From the looks of it... we were never ment to complete this mission!"
A look of horror and surprise flashed across Sergeant Johnson's face.
"What on earth do you mean by that, John?" He asked sharply.
I let out a small sigh, and realized that all eyes were on me. I crossed my arms and began slowly pacing back and forth. Finally, when I knew what to say, I spoke up.
"Men, if Admiral Raul wanted to survey this area, he would have used a Longsword Interceptor... It could have provided a fly over infrared scan of the entire region in half the time - AND still have had room for plenty of Marines if it were shot down. Our detachment was sent out here to die, men, plain and simple."
Everyone was silent for a moment, no one knew what to say. I glanced around at all of the faces, all of them had a grimace look painted across them.
The Sergeant shook his head solemnly, "Great, just great!", he shot out uncomfortably.
I chuckled once to myself, and continued with my explanation. "That's not the end of it..." I was certain the hearts of my men sunk at that point. "You see, we were all traveling at a good rate of speed when the covenant ambushed us. From what I can tell, our dropship was the first to crash. The others most likely did the same; less than a minute later. However, at such a velocity, easily 600 meters could have been traveled during that time."
"...Meaning what exactly?" Spoke up a typically quiet Marine.
"The other two Pelican's could be as much as kilometer from our location. I don't think I need to outline just how long of a hike that would be... and we don't even know which direction to start hiking. Men, we're trapped. Looks like every squad for themselves."
That's pretty much how it's been for the past few days. We lost a total of 3 men when our transport crashed, including Paul - he died two hours after the accident. The covenant found out crash site shortly, and began hitting us hard. Ammunition has been running short today, we've probably emptied 900 rounds trying to dispatch of the covenant strike teams. So far, we've only lost two Marines trying to hold them off. That brings our grand total of survivors down to 6; myself included. Honestly, things weren't going to get any better. I was about to present some new plans to the Sarge', and suddenly a faint and muffled signal came across my suits transcom system.
"This is Pelican D-Dropship Janni 568, does anyone copy? Over."