Battle for the Norah: Part Eight
Posted By: Sterfrye36<Sterfrye36@yahoo.com>
Date: 26 October 2003, 2:46 PM
Darnit, darnit, darnit! Cunningham thought as he held the Jackal shield against the vent. How was he going to get out of this one?
He felt the Flood give a particularly strong shove and the shield got knocked back; the Flood hadn't been expecting that, and had backed off to give another shove. Cunningham slammed the shield back into place.
His strength wouldn't hold for much longer. He had to find a way to seal the thing, but how?
His eyes swept over the room...and he spotted the dead, Red Elite slumped over the nearest corner of the engine.
"One of you, get that Elite's sword!" he yelled at the PFC and the Corporal.
The Corporal spun on his heel and ran. He was five feet from it when a Combat Form leaped in front of him from behind the corner of the cylinder, reared back, and impaled the Corporal upon its huge claw hand, killing him instantly; the Corporal didn't' even have time to scream.
The PFC cursed, started running, took aim and fired; the M90 Shotgun kicked. The shot took the Corporal in the back, blew through him and smashed through the Flood form, which collapsed on the ground, growled and died. The PFC reached the sword, turned around, wound up and let the sword fly at Cunningham.
Cunningham caught the sword and wondered vaguely how he turned it on. He saw a button on the back of it. Thats gotta be it, he thought to himself as he swung it behind him, and pressed the button. It ignited with a sound that Cunningham thought of as a small thunderclap. Strangely, there was no heat near the hand guard, but he could see the air waver near the blade and tip. The sword also seemed to lock his wrist in place.
Whatever, it wouldn't hurt.
The stabbed the wall with the sword, which sank all the way in up to the hilt. The metal around the sword hissed, bubbled, popped and began to melt back over the Jackal shield. He worked the sword around the edges of the shield as fast as he could, melting the metal evenly to provide no weak points for the Flood to exploit.
Cunningham saw the Flood disappear behind the shield for a second in order to back and give another lunge, and lunge they did. It was their hardest shove yet, and the shield barely held. Barely.
Though by this time, the metal was running down the shield like wax. It started to harden around the edge of the circle. Cunningham had to disengage the wrist brace so that the metal wouldn't fry his arm. The Flood kept slamming, but each time, it became less noticeable and less noticeable. That metal's heavy, Cunningham thought to himself. Really heavy. The Flood can't even slam through it!
Above, on the second deck, Kall 'Kanamee keyed the Covenant equivalent to a radio. The Human commander was sitting there, with the sword in the wall, waiting to be shot. Granted, he had saved his life, but the Human was an enemy and would have to go.
There was a moment of static as the device tuned to the correct frequency. After a moment, 'Kanamee said: "Excellency, Humans have managed to board the ship. They have helped us remove the Flood from the Engine room. They Flood managed to capture a Human ship officer. Would it be wise to kill the Humans?"
Back on the bridge, Ship Master Faly considered. The very fact that there were even Humans left on Halo surprised him, but he did not let it cloud his judgment. Here, he would have to weigh both sides of the coin against one another. How much of the crew was left? Not enough, that's for sure he thought. We ourselves are too weak to regain control of the Norah on our own... Besides, the Humans were merely pests, easily brushed aside at a moment's notice.
"No. Do not kill them all. You may pick off a few and make them look like accidents or something of that nature, but we will keep them alive as long as necessary. We can dispose of them at out leisure."
"Yes, Excellency. You are correct." 'Kanamee spoke back. Faly heard the com crackle and go silent. The Ship Master turned back to his own dilemma: He was trapped in the bridge with only one way out. When the Norah's power had gone out, he had ordered the Elites with Plasma Swords to begin cutting through the door, including himself. However, when the power had come back on, he had attempted opening the door using the controls, but they did not respond. They were either knocked out during the crash, or he had cut too far into the door and destroyed the mechanisms that powered it. At the moment though, it was only a minor annoyance. He had but a few more inches to go.
He re-ignited the sword and jammed it back into the door. It only took him a few seconds to finish cutting to the floor, so he stood back to admire his handiwork.
The door had metal rivers running down both sides of the giant gash he had created in the door's center. With a little pushing and wedging, it would be open and Faly would escape to a place where he could do some good by directing troops and liberating essential compartments. Nobody knew the Norah like he did, after all. He advanced back towards the door, placed his hands in the crack and began to force the sides apart, but he never finished.
The door seemed to explode towards him. It knocked him off of his feet, lifted him and threw him into a console; his shield flashed, and he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head. His eyes seemed to have stars explode in front of them as he slid to the floor. He felt a liquid run down his snout and into his mouth. He tasted it. Warm and sticky.
Even with his reduced vision, he could see the monstrosity that advanced towards him through the doorway and smoke. It was huge, at least ten units tall. It seemed to writhe as muscles rippled under its skin. Infection forms crawled over it, and he could make out bumps where infection forms had allowed themselves to be absorbed into the monster's body. Its pale green flesh glistened and it made squishing sounds as it slowly approached him. A Human head, deformed to the point of near non-recognition stood out on its shoulders. Faly could barely make out the words: Lt. Hudson, Pierce on the being's chest, for they were faded as the Infection forms had taken the Human over.
It let out a deep, bass rumble that shook the room and hurt Faly's ears. Immediately a number of Infection Forms leaped off of the aberration's body for him. A few crashed into his shield and popped, but the shield, already weakened by the explosion from the door, gave way quickly. As the forms started to insert tendrils down his back in order to take over his nervous system, Faly let out a final scream.
Cunningham stood hunched over, his hands on his knees, his breath hitching in his chest. He leaned up against a wall and let himself collapse to the floor. The first battle had been won, but many more were to come.