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Attack on ERISTOCK Part 15: One More Time
Posted By: xitWOUND117
Date: 12 November 2003, 2:40 PM

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Deployment +17 hours:31 minutes:27 seconds (SPARTAN-218 Mission Clock)/Surface

      George glanced at the countdown timer on his HUD: COUNTDOWN TO FLEET ARRIVAL--18:59.33. He quickened his pace. The ERISTOCK sun was setting and the sky was a fiery orange glow. The part of the planet they were on would become darker for a few hours, but the moon would soon rise and ERISTOCK would be close to daylight again. But, regardless of how bright or dark it was, his team would need some sleep. They had fought off hundreds of Covenant and Flood in one day and must have traveled quite a few miles. They still could walk a few more hours, though.
      George was leading the way through the dark forest, Mark had Morrurs arm over his shoulders and was helping the Marine walk, and John was covering the rear. George looked behind him to check on Morrurs. The Marine winced at every step, but smiled weakly at George and motioned for him to keep moving. George shrugged and looked forward again.
      Suddenly John whispered, "Quiet!" over the COM channel. The SPARTAN's and Morrurs froze, clutching their rifles, ready to fire at anything that moved. Suddenly a group of black armored Elites burst out of hiding and attacked the humans. One tackled Mark to the ground, another got his leg blown off by one of John's grenades, two more Elites fell under an abrupt hail of bullets from George. Another Elite jumped at George and caught a rifle butt in the stomach. George threw the alien to the ground and shot it in the head with his pistol. Purple blood splashed onto his armor. John was knocked to the ground by an Elite, but he whipped out his combat knife and stabbed it into the Elite's leg. The Elite roared and shot at John. The SPARTAN II rolled away, got up, then smacked the Covenant warrior in the face with his rifle. The Elite fell to the ground, pieces of his brain seeping out of his broken skull.
      George and John turned to see Mark wrestling with the last Elite and Morrurs sprawled out on the ground. George and John raised their rifles, but they didn't fire, for they feared they would shoot Mark. Morrurs pushed himself to his feet and picked up his rifle, waiting for a chance to help Mark. Morrurs, once the Elite's back was facing him, kicked the alien. The Elite tumbled off Mark and rolled onto the ground. Morrurs pressed his boot against the Elite's chest and pointed his rifle at its head. Ten rounds later the Covenant's face was a bloody pulp.
      Every member of C-Team gave a sigh of relief. Morrurs wiped the blood off his face and tossed his rifle to the ground, empty. He only had brought a certain amount of clips for the MA8B, and now it was completely empty. He picked up the dead Elite's plasma rifle and examined it, as if inspecting it for defects, despite the fact that he knew nothing about Covenant weapons.
      Suddenly there was a loud Elite roar and all the humans jumped. Morrurs looked around and saw an Elite lying on the ground on his stomach, trying to reach his rifle. The Elite was missing his leg and behind him was a trail of purple blood, evidence that he had dragged himself to get his weapon. George walked over and stepped on the Elite's hand, preventing him from recovering his gun. Morrurs pointed his new plasma rifle at the Elite's head. "Let's try this baby out on that bastard's face," he said. "No," George ordered. "He can't do anything to us. Let's give him some food and leave him here." "That piece of shit would kill us if he got the chance," protested Morrurs. George was about to answer when the Elite pulled out a plasma grenade. "Shit!" John yelled and he jumped at the Elite. John's armored boot came down on the Covenant's head a second later, knocking the Elite unconscious. The Elite's finger was a millimeter away from the activation button.
      George reached out and took the Elite's grenade. He searched the rest of the Elite for grenades and other weapons. Once the Elite was decided to be harmless George treated what was left of the alien's leg and set some food on the ground for the Elite. "I still don't see why we can't just blow the thing's goddamn head off," Morrurs muttered. George ignored him and led the way further into the forest.
      After an hour of walking they came within sight of the third wall of defense around the structure. The SPARTAN's and the Marine emerged from the forest and they surveyed the defenses. A huge force of Covenant patrolled the wall and the building in front. A pair of Hunters stood guard every few yards and thousands of Grunts and Jackals stood atop the wall, ready to shoot at any invaders. Among the small Grunts and Jackals were an enormous amount of Shades, manned by black armored Elites. The building was guarded by hundreds of blue and red armored Elites. "Holy shit," whispered Morrurs. "How are we going to get past there, sir?" Mark asked. George took off his helmet and ran his fingers through his short black hair. "I have no idea," he answered.
      The humans sat on the grassy ground for thirty minutes, thinking of ways to get past the army in front of them. But the sound of combat interrupted their thinking. A huge mass of Flood had burst out of the forest fifty meters away from the SPARTAN's and attacked the Covenant defenders. Purple flashes of plasma struck down the Flood as the Shade gunners tried to stop the wave of Flood. The Hunters and Elites on the ground soon found themselves in intense combat; plasma flew everywhere as the Covenant and Flood fought. Occasionally a few plasma shots would fly out over the battlefield and reached towards the sky as a soldier fell, his dead finger still holding the trigger.
      "Mark, do you have any C-12?" George asked. Mark stopped staring at the battle and took off one of the packs he was carrying. He handed it to George and said, "That's all." George threw it over his back and put on his helmet. Then he stood up and ran off towards the battlefield. "Stay where you are!" he yelled back to the rest of his team. Mark tried to follow him, but John held him back. "He knows what he's doing," John said. "Or at least I hope he does."
      George ran towards the building in front of the wall. He pulled out his assault rifle and pistol and shot down any Covenant or Flood that stood in his way. Most of the Covenant and Flood ignored him, though. They were to involved with fighting each other to bother with one little human. He reached the building and ran up to a door. The door slid open and George stepped in. He gunned down the few Elites that hadn't rushed out to fight the Flood and he looked around. He spotted what he was looking for. A large plasma reactor stood in the back of the warehouse sized building. George set the C-12 down next to some critical looking equipment inside the reactor and ran out of the building. He paid no attention to anything that attacked him and ran to where the rest of his team was sitting. He slid to a stop. "Well, let's hope this works," he said. Morrurs started to say, "What w-" when George activated the C-12. The building exploded in an orange fireball, and a millisecond later a huge plasma explosion covered the battlefield. Pieces of Flood and Covenant bodies flew into the air as the blue explosion washed over the fight. When the explosion ended and the dust settled down there were no enemies to be seen, but the SPARTAN's could hear Elites farther down the wall ordering their troops to investigate the explosion. "Let's move!" yelled George. Mark threw Morrurs over his shoulders, who was too slow to keep up with the SPARTAN's, and they ran towards the enormous hole in the wall.
      Once they had made it past the wall they started, once again, walking through the dense ERISTOCK forest. The Covenant structure still lay far away, and it was sure to be heavily guarded. Thus they began the last part of their journey.

      Kuri 'Sulamee walked over to his command post behind the last wall of the holy relic's defenses. He passed the two Elites guarding the door and entered the building. Frustrated by the Flood attacks, he fell into his chair and yelled at a Grunt to get him food and drink. The Grunt ran off, in search of what the Excellency desired. A few minutes later the Grunt came running back, a cup of water in his hands. As he was handing 'Sulamee his drink there was a loud noise, like a huge explosion. The frightened Grunt dropped the glass, which shattered on the ground. 'Sulamee leapt to his feet and dashed outside. He looked to his right and saw, far off in the distance, the smoking remains of part of the wall. Damn it! They've breached the wall! Filthy scum! he thought. 'Sulamee ran back inside his command center and hit a button on his holopanel. "'Ronalamee!" he yelled. A voice responded from the panel, "I'm here, Excellency." "Order all of our soldiers to pull back and defend the structure. Make sure no one gets into that structure!" 'Sulamee ordered. "Yes, Excellency," 'Ronalamee replied.
      'Sulamee ran back outside and turned to a guard. "Do you know how to drive that?" 'Sulamee asked the guard, pointing at a nearby dropship. "Yes, Excellency," the guard answered. "Then get in there and fly me to the dig site. NOW!" The guard dashed to the dropship's cockpit and 'Sulamee jumped in.

      George motioned for the team to stop. The sun had already set and the moon was just now beginning to rise. "We've gone far enough. Let's get some rest. Mark, you've got first guard shift. Wake me up in about three hours, then you can sleep," he said. George and the rest of his team took off their equipment and food and layed down on the ground. Mark listened closely to the noises of the forest. Hearing nothing, he assumed there was no threat and he resumed his guard duty.
      Soon seven hours had passed and the SPARTAN's woke up, ready to continue. Once they had some food and packed up their equipment they set off towards the structure. The forest was quiet while they walked, and there were no signs of Covenant at all.
      Three hours of walking passed without incident and they reached the edge of the dig site. The forest was abruptly cut off by burning piles of timber and Flood bodies. The entire area around the structure had no trees or plant life. The land had been dug up and flattened, so there was no cover anywhere. George stood at the edge of the forest, surveying the structure and the hundreds of Elites, Hunters, Jackals, and Grunts guarding it. "Sir, assuming we actually make it to the structure without getting killed, how the hell are we going to get in? It's not like there's gonna be a fuckin' welcome mat or anything," said Morrurs. George unslung his rifle and brought it to his shoulder. "Let's work on getting there first. The getting in will be easy," he answered. "How is that gonna be easy?!" Morrurs exclaimed. George tossed a grenade at him. Morrurs caught the grenade and looked at it. "That thing looks like it's made out of goddamn titanium, it's not just gonna blow open-" George threw another grenade at him. "Two isn't gonna help!" Morrurs yelled at him. "Look, shut your mouth. Would you like me to kill these bastards or sit here and explain the way we're going to get in the building that we aren't even at?" George said, turning around and looking at the Marine. Morrurs said nothing.
      George turned around to face the structure again and used his scope on his rifle to search for an authority figure. He spotted a gold Elite patrolling what looked like a door to the structure. George placed the recticle over the Elite's head and pulled the trigger. The Covenant nearby jumped when they heard the shot and rushed towards the humans, drawing their weapons. George dropped his sniper rifle and pulled out his M6D. Carefully taking aim, he started systematically blowing each alien's brains out. Mark crouched behind a fallen tree, firing his assault rifle at the Covenant. Morrurs took out his plasma rifle and sprayed plasma fire at the Covenant. John assisted killing the Grunts, Jackals, and Elites by taking out two assault rifles and emptying their clips into the aliens' bodies.
      Quickly a pile of bodies accumulated and the humans began moving across the barren field, searching for trenches and hills to hide in or behind. After the initial attack, the Covenant began to regroup and started attacking in large groups, trying to overwhelm the intruders. But the SPARTAN's continued to slowly make their way to the structure, defeating each attack as they went.
      George jumped into a trench, his teammates following. A second later there was a loud, deep 'THUD' as a plasma bomb smacked into the ground, hurled from a Covenant morter tank. George brought his assault rifle over the edge of the trench and fired at the Wraith. The tank turned and hurled another bomb at George. Then John, Morrurs, and Mark jumped out of the trench, throwing plasma grenades onto the Wraith's hull and firing their rifles. The Wraith exploded in a ball of fire. George scrambled out of the way of the bomb as it descended to the ground. There was another explosion and George jumped out of the trench. The rest of his team were twenty yards away, pinned down behind a hill by a group of Elites supported by Grunts and Jackals. George unslung his sniper rifle and picked off the Elites, then charged forward to assist the slaughter of the surviving minions.
      George ran up to a Grunt and punched it in the face; he could feel the Grunt's bones in his face shatter. Another Grunt jumped onto George's back and tried to drag him to the ground. George shook him off and the Grunt fell to the ground, and George crushed the alien's face with his boot. Two Jackals grabbed his feet while another jumped and hit his stomach. George fell to the ground, hard, and the Jackals started trying to beat and shoot him. His shields flickered from plasma fire as he grabbed one of the Jackals and broke his neck. The dead Jackal went limp and crumpled to the dirt. The other two Jackals backed away from the SPARTAN and hid behind their shields as they fired their pistols at him. George took out his combat knife and a plasma grenade. Activating the grenade, he threw it at one of the Jackals. The grenade hit the Covenant shield and slid to the ground. Frightened, the Jackal turned around and ran from the grenade, trying to get killed by the explosion. But George threw his knife at the Jackal and the blade embedded itself in the Jackal's neck. The last Jackal threw his shield to the ground and ran away, but George picked up his rifle and fired a three round burst into the retreating Jackal's back.
      Suddenly several shadows fell over the dig site. George looked up and saw six dropships preparing to land. "Get into the structure! Now!" he yelled into the COM channel. "Sir, this is the part you refused to dicuss. We have no idea how to get in there," Morrurs reponded. "Shut up and just get in the building!" ordered George. After a few minutes of searching, Mark found a door. It slid open when he approached it, so everyone ran inside. Once George was in the structure and the door slid shut he found that there was no light at all. "Great idea. Let's all hide in the darkest spot imaginable," said George, staring at the pitch blackness. Mark began to say something, but John cut him off. "There are Flood here," he said grimly. "What?! Here?! Now?!" Morrurs asked, fear tainted his voice. "Be quiet and you can hear them," John said. Mark turned on his light and found him face to face with an armless infected Elite. "Damn!" he yelled and put ten rounds into the creature. "Shit. Nice work, now you've gone and alerted every single Flood in here. Everyone, turn off your lights and hide. I'll open the door and hopefully they'll attack the Covenant. The team of humans turned off their lights and searched for places to hide while John crouched near the door, making it slide open. Soon hundreds of infected Elites, infection forms, and carriers rushed by the humans and ran towards the Covenant unloading from the dropships.
      Once all the Flood had passed by the SPARTAN's and the Marine came out of hiding and turned on their lights. Mark started walking further into the structure, but George held him back. "We just watched a large amount of Flood come from there. We don't know what else is hidden in there. Let's stay as far away from potential danger as we can," he said. Mark nodded and stopped walking.
      Suddenly the sound of a MAC shell slamming into the ground near the structure filled the air. "The fleet!" shouted Mark, and he ran to the door, looking outside. A single battered frigate could be seen far out in space above ERISTOCK. Thousands of ODST drop pods began crashing into the surface, free from their long imprisonment on the frigate. One of the pods landed near the SPARTAN's. The front burst of to reveal an infected Marine. "Holy shit!" Morrurs yelled. Mark fired twenty rounds into the Flood and it dropped to the dirt. "Flood?!" yelled Morrurs. "Shit. That must be the Hymir, that frigate. But how the hell did Flood get on it?" said George. "They arrived shortly after you left," said Richard. "More and more kept arriving. I guess they were collecting an army." Another MAC shell crashed into the surface. "Look!" Mark said, pointing at the battlefield. The Flood were fighting each other. "What the hell? John, do you know why they're doing that?" Mark asked. "They've never done that before," he replied.

      John Carmand kicked the front of his drop pod away and jumped out, his assault rifle drawn. He spotted some Covenant fighting a group of unloyal Flood, or Raging Flood. He ran as fast as his mutilated legs would go to the small fight. Once he was only a few yards away he emptied his clip into the group of Raging Flood and Covenant. All of the enemies dropped to the ground under the hail of metal. Carmand turned around and faced the rest of the battle. The Loyalists were fighting the Ragers. Both sides exchanged heavy fire and bodies began to pile up al over the dig site; green blood covered the ground. Revolution was coming to the ranks of the Flood.