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Battle for the Norah: Part Two
Posted By: Sterfrye36<Sterfrye36@yahoo.com>
Date: 17 June 2003, 6:02 PM

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      The 'Hog's engine roared and her tires squealed.
Jacob Strom frowned; he had misjudged the distance to the new HQ.
      "Sorry, sir," he said to Lieutenant Commander Paul Cunningham. "It looks like it could be another ten to fifteen minutes before we reach it. Those tanks are slowing us down."
      "Crap," was Cunningham's only response. He knew that, in order to get off of this forsaken rock, they'd have to capture that Cruiser, maybe with a few Covenant on board ASAP. If they didn't, the flood could get almost impossible to kill.

      Andrew Barnes stuck his head above the little balcony that proceeded from the instillation...and almost smashed his nose into an Elite's foot.
      "CRAP! There are Covenant in here!" he yelled as the Elite roared in surprise; Barnes brought his MA5B Assault Rifle up and pulled the trigger.
      Bullets smashed into the Elite's shield and knocked him back as the shield began to overload.
      Andrew held down the trigger for full auto fire.
      The Elite's shield failed and bullets tore through him, sending its sickeningly colored blood splattering onto the wall.
      Barnes pulled himself up and over the balcony's edge and spotted a pair of Jackals, so he opened up on them too.
      They didn't have their energy shields up, so their fragile bodies were torn apart by the hail of bullets.
      Just then, a Gold Elite charged out of the shadows and raised his sword, fixing to kill Barnes by decapitation...and fell as a Sniper Rifle Bullet tore through his shields and sent his brain flying into the already messy wall.
      There were no more enemies left.
      Andrew turned around to look outside and saw Jacob Strom waving at him.
      Barnes shook his head. He had never trusted Snipers...then he saw what the Covenant had been guarding.
      His eyes opened in surprise.
      There were twenty Humans there and they all wore the uniform of UNSC navy personnel.
      "What took you guys so long?" one of them asked as he stood up. He wore the rank insignia of a lieutenant and had regulation cut brown hair.
      "We've been under lock and key in this little cavern ever since that Cruiser fell outta the sky.
      "Sorry, the Pillar of Autumn blew. It kind of put a kink in our escape plan...that and the Flood," he replied irritably.
      "The Flood?" the Navy guy answered blankly.
      "Yes, the Flood," Barnes said, more than a little annoyed. "The thing is, they take over your body, turn you into a grotesquely mutated form, and then force you to fight for them against both the Humans and the Covenant"
      The navy guy laughed.
      "Yeah, whatever," the Navy guy said. "You can quit joking around now."
      "Just what makes you think I'm joking?" Barnes replied, his tone cold and icy.
      The Navy guy's smile wilted.
      "What exactly did the Covenant want you for?" Barnes asked.
      "To pilot that thing," the Navy guy replied.
      "Sorry," he said, "I guess I didn't introduce myself. The name's Pierce. Hudson Pierce. I'm a navigation officer."
      Barnes smiled. This was perfect. They had found somebody capable of piloting that thing.
      "Oh yeah, I've a piece of valuable cargo as well."
      "And that would be...what exactly?" Barnes asked, somewhat surprised.
      "This," Pierce said as he produced a small chip from his pocket.
      Barnes frowned.
      "What is that? A ration?"
       "No, it's not a ration," Pierce said knowingly.
      "It's the Autumn's backup AI that the Captain never had a chance to boot up. We don't know if it'll function or not, but it's a safe bet to say that it will."
      Barnes smiled. Cunningham was going to like this.

      Cunningham had liked it.
      Staff Sergeant Jacob Strom sat on the edge of the Scorpion and looked through his Sniper Rifle's Scope.
      The plan was to send their hogs up toward the Cruiser and draw the Flood out. And once the Flood were out, they would bombard them with the Scorpions. Wash, rinse and repeat as necessary.
      His rifle was Smart linked to the Scorpion's aiming system.
      "All right, McCarthy, a little lower....there, perfect" he said to the Scorpion's gunner.
      The aim was just inside the docking bay, where it was thought that most of the Flood would come from, seeing as how it was the fastest way out of the Cruiser.

      Barnes gunned the engine. Paul Cunningham was the gunner for the 'Hog as they wound their way towards the Cruiser's docking bay.
      Cunningham hefted a plasma grenade towards the docking bay, watched it bounce off of the single door and blow.
      It was as though somebody had turned on a faucet.
      Flood or every form-infection, combat, carrier-surged out of the various nooks and crannies like a mass wave of flesh.
      Barnes spun a 180 and slammed his foot on the pedal while Cunningham opened up with the LAAG, mainly focusing on the Combat Forms.
      Everyone else followed suit.
      The LAAGs roared and cut down rows and rows of Flood, but no matter how many they cut down, more appeared.
      Cunningham's eyes widened in terror as one Elite combat form leaped high into the air-to fast to retarget it with the LAAG-...and saw it shot out of the sky by a sniper bullet.

      Strom breathed deeply.
      If anything, that had been a lucky shot...

I hope you like this Shade!