Halo Story Part III
Posted By: Vector40<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 08 May 2001, 3:30 am
Jerry Michaels sat in his foxhole, dumbfounded, as the Falcon came and went.
Rifleman Roger "Hawkeye" McClellan and Private Al Winters lay low in the mud, pressing their bodies against the form of the Halo as one would embrace a lover. It was not passion that drove them, though, but the Covenant bombardment that had reduced their berm to a ditch.
Corpsman Alex Bordeaux fired his last three rounds into the face of the Templar that held him, grabbed for his knife, and had first his arm, then his head severed.
Warrant Officer Jim Trebour Poirot rigged the last cord, drove the light tank a last dozen feet, whispered a final goodbye, and exploded in holy flame.
Time after time after time, baptismal cannon fire exploded around PFC Corchev's hole. He was beginning to think they were just playing with him, when it hit him.
Corporal Shiguru Tinaka managed to get out his last words into his personal data correspondent, just before his body, spirit, and mind reached a parting of the ways. The words were sent out from his suit and picked up as part of a routine information transfer by HQ. "BECAUSE WE ARE MARINES."
The words of Corporal Satherin might have been considered a sequel. "Those poor bastards/bastards/they haven't got a chance."
Private Winters crawled the dozen feet to Michael's hole, arriving miraculously unscathed. Michaels had roused himself and was laying down his last futile gesture of defiance with the shotgun he procured, apologetically, from the body next to him. He and Winters chatted for awhile, and, right before the trench was targeted by a Covenant STM, accidentally broadcast a final salute over the comm-net: "... and that son of a bitch still has my gun..."
Somewhere, high above it all, a computer felt the hundredfold paths of probability shift.
And, rising throughout the battlefields tumultuous roar of death and pain and ending, a thin bugle cry echoed.
With a powerful, thickly roar, the eyes of every member of the battle turned upward, seeking out the source of the sound.
Falcone blew again, sending a shrill but piercing note of gloom and hope spinning through the convoluted depths of the trumpets brassy curves.
And the 77th, 81st, and 102nd Marines, each and every one mounted on electric steeds, swept forward and charged.
And in the lead, armor marred and rent, helmet missing, and a gruesome, slashing scar checking across his left cheek, sword held high, etched steel and fire at the forefront of the storm, rode the Falcon, eyes like a thousand furies, and parting the tides of darkness like the horizon.
The sergeant, blinkering on the edge of unconsciousness, saw the sight, and marshaled his strength for one last transmission.
"Thank you, Mr. Falcon. If you'll take the helm?"
And then blackness.