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SPARTAN III Chapter 2: Your Problems Begin After You Land
Posted By: Winters<PMOH_Winters@hotmail.com>
Date: 21 February 2004, 3:40 AM

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As the Spartans sat in their hangar, loading up on gear and checking their equipment, Aeris couldn't help but feel nervous. Unlike many of the other Spartans, she wasn't exactly looking forward to this mission. She really couldn't place the reason, but she had a duty to complete the mission, and her team, Red Team, had to report to the drop pod bay in half and hour, so she continued cleaning her rifle.
On the way to the drop pods, Aeris had to pass by multiple crew members on the ship. Some cheered them on, others just gave them a nervous stare, but most kept their distance. The ODSTs just did nothing but glare. The Spartans were stealing their assignment, and both parties knew it. Aeris just walked past them, hoping that they wouldn't cause any sort of ruckus, especially right before a mission.
In the Medal of Honor's drop pod bay, techs were dashing all over the place, checking everything from hull integrity to life support. Aeris could already see other Spartans going over the "dummy pods". She saw that Spartan- 310, Cargo, and Spartan-314, Cleetis, were packing explosives into the dummy pods, enough to demolish a city block. She suspected that if the dummy pods didn't get hit, they would act as massive bombs, but explosives weren't her area, and she couldn't afford to be distracted. She walked over to her pod, strapped herself in, and looked at her mission clock. Just ten minutes left...

Zugzug didn't really care if he was considered a coward by every Elite, Jackal, and Grunt in the Covenant, as long as he didn't have to fight on the front lines. That was why he was overjoyed with being assigned to the Elite Zuru Rakamee, a "data analyst", or as other Elites called them, "spies". Zugzug couldn't really care. He got to stay well behind the front lines in a small listening post, doing nothing but writing down Rakamee's notes and delivering them to the command center. But right now, Zugzug feared for his life. In the midst of battle, taking notes was the last thing on Rakamee's mind, and as of thirty seconds ago, the command center was nothing but a smoking crater. Rakamee was too busy trying to listen in on human frequencies and screaming orders to notice that spying on the humans did no good, and that there was nobody left to take orders. The entire front line was gone. Zugzug, didn't care about anything else but his own life, so he did what every coward was good at. Running.

Aeris quickly kicked off the smoking pod seal and jumped out, assault rifle at the ready. She saw what was supposed to be the Covenant command center in flames, probably the work of a dummy pod, and Grunts and Jackals, who suddenly had nobody to take orders from, running around in confusion. Aeris quickly got to work scanning for any viable target. She caught site of an intact Covenant bunker, with an Elite and a team of Grunts manning it. She pulled out a frag grenade, primed it, and threw it straight in. Only the Elite noticed the grenade as it bounced off his skull.
The resulting explosion ripped everything inside the bunker to shreds. Once the smoke cleared, Aeris saw that the bunker looked like a cored apple dropped in a fire. No survivors. Without hesitation, Aeris got up and started running. In the split second before she threw the grenade, she caught sight of a Grunt running out of the bunker. She had no plans on letting any Covenant get away.

Zugzug just ran, dodging anything that got in his away, Covenant, the demon humans, and pods that seemed to fall out of the sky. He managed to find a path through the carnage, and saw the woods. If he could make it, he could hide out until everything calmed down, then return to the main camp, and proudly share his story of survival. The Elites may be so impressed, they could even give him a promotion. That thought brought a smile to Zugzug's face. Even after this disaster, things may still go his way. Zugzug started running with brighter spirits. Until something slammed into his leg, his kneecap disappearing in a cloud of blue gore.

Aeris smiled at her bit of marksmanship and quickly ran up to the grunt she had just shot. It seemed pretty pathetic. The grunt rolled on the ground, clawing for a way to escape and blubbering some form of beg for mercy. Aeris pulled out her pistol. No use wasting MA5B ammo on a Grunt. She aimed carefully at the head, and made eye contact with the Grunt. Aeris froze for a split second, shook off the foreign feeling creeping into ther head, and squeezed the trigger.
Aeris thought she should've been proud of her kill, but something gnawed at the back of her head. Part of her danced and cheered and killing the Grunt, but the other was revolted and sickened at killing such a poor defenseless creature. Aeris couldn't tell which part was really her, but quickly shook it out of her head. She had a mission to complete, and the mission always came first. She wiped some flourescent blue blood off her visor and scanned the area for any nearby teammates. At this point in the battle, it was clear the Spartans had won, but she didn't want to miss out on anything.