Halo: The Recovery: Part 5
Posted By: witelancer<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 25 November 2003, 7:27 PM
September 23, 2552
UNSC fleet above Delta Hexanus VII
Stanforth watched on the edge of his seat as the Covenant armada neared the UNSC fleet's position. The primary of Delta Hexanus shone its brilliant rays on the incoming Covenant ships, making them look like stars in the distance. From the bridge of the Prometheus, Stanforth could only see the radiant rays of the sun being reflected off of the Covenant ships' hulls. That won't do, thought Stanforth.
"Lieutenant: get me the approximate Covenant ships. Guns: I want firing solutions calculated and then staggered. Communications: transmit those solutions to the rest of the fleet. I want to hit those goddamned Covies right as they come around the planet. Maybe we won't have to sacrifice Albert Lea."
A chorus of "aye's" and "yes sir's" echoed around the bridge as the Prometheus readied for battle. Viewscreens flashed with hundreds of possible firing solutions. Calvin deftly staggered these mathematical formulas so that the Covenant's shields would be neutralized in the first volley of MAC rounds. Suddenly, the numerals that formed Calvin's body lit up with a bright red color.
"Incoming message from Delta Hexanus Seven!" exclaimed the AI.
"Put it up on the main screen, Calvin," said Stanforth. "I want everyone to read this." Within a few blinks of an eye, the message from the Marine Firebase was displayed on the liquid plasma display.
INCOMING MESSAGE—TOP SECRET
FROM: General Nast, UNSC Marine Corps
TO: Admiral Stanforth, UNSC destroyer Prometheus
Encryption Code: Alpha
The situation down here is desperate. You may not know this, but thousands of Covenant troops have already landed. We're being overwhelmed... Please send assistance immediately!
"Shit! Jenkins was right!" exclaimed the admiral.
A few minutes later
Two miles north of Firebase Alpha
Jones screamed and slammed the Warthog into full reverse. A Covenant Hunter leaped out of the trees in front of the jeep, its fuel rod gun still charged and ready to fire. Hylland and the passenger emptied clip after clip of 7.62mm and 50mm with no effect. The Warthog's wheels churned up gallons of mud and dirt as Jones attempted to evade the Hunter's deadly weapon.
Jones saw a neon-green flash and then heard a woosh! A round from the Hunter's fuel rod cannon passed directly over the Warthog. He screamed "Use the Jackhammers!" as he yanked the steering wheel to the right. Hylland crouched down and grabbed the Warthog's standard-issue 102mm rocket launcher. She rose and took aim with the cumbersome weapon. The private in the seat next to Jones screamed curses and stood up, firing his assault rifle. An entire clip of 7.62 hit the Hunter with no visible effect. The walking tank simply walked onwards. Hylland fired a 102mm shaped-charge rocket and missed wide just as the Hunter fired another shot from its fuel rod gun.
The round missed Jones but hit the marine in the passenger seat squarely in the head. The unfortunate soldier didn't even have time to scream as the bolt of energy melted his helmet into his skull and then burned his immolated head off. Jones vomited all over the dashboard and shoved the Warthog into drive. Hylland fired another rocket. This time, the rocket didn't miss. The Hunter came apart, goblets of meat rained down all over the forest floor. Orange blood soaked the ground where the shattered corpse fell to the ground.
Hylland and Jones simultaneously heaved a sigh of relief. Jones turned and eyed the carbonized remains of the private. It occurred to him that he didn't even know the soldier's name. Wordlessly, the two Marines cleaned and reloaded the 50mm chain gun.
Once the bolt clicked into place, Jones turned back around and hit the accelerator.
"Covies at six 'o clock!" screamed Hylland. She frantically fired the chain gun into the trees. The wails of dying Grunts and Jackals could be heard over the rapid thud-thud of the chain gun. Jones floored it and was beginning to feel a little bit better about surviving. Without warning, another Hunter sprang at the Warthog. Jones tried to brake instinctively and then grimaced as the 'Hog crushed the behemoth beneath its tires. More gore splattered the windshield.
The flustered PFC heard the distinctive rattle of MA5B assault rifle fire behind him. Hylland stopped firing the chain gun and watched in awe as a squad of ODST Helljumpers emerged from the woods, taking down the remaining Covenant.
"It sure is nice to see you guys," remarked Jones.
"Well... we could have been here sooner, except for the fact that our Pelican went down in the forest a few hundred feet back," answered one of the elite Helljumpers.
"Want some backup?"
"Sure... why not. It'll be a party!"
The next few hours were spent cleaning up the forest around the Pelican's crash site with thousands of 50mm chain gun rounds. By nightfall, the forest was littered with Covenant and UNSC corpses. Jones finally got to hit the sack at around 0200.