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Halo: Standing Firm Part III
Posted By: Xzilen<superman_adam@hotmail.com>
Date: 13 December 2002, 11:27 am

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Authors Note:

Sorry it has taken so long to get this posted, I don't have microsoft word anymore since I just revamped my computer into XP, hope you like this one. I'll start on Part IV in Study Hall on Monday :)
Feedback is appreciated.

Halo: Ressurection
      Part III

      A scorpion tank fired it's cannon and a 90mm HE aimed at a wraith tank flew out, missing the tank and hitting a group of Covenant Jackyls, blasting them into all different directions.
      Assault rifles spat casings as Marines held their fingers on the triggers. A warthog with an Arden short range missile rack let loose with two missiles. The Ardents streaked towads a wraith tank and exploded, taking the tank with them.
      Kyan concentrated his tank's machine gun fire at taking out the grunts, while saving his tank shots for the larger targets.
      Two sniper rifles cracked, and an Elite fell. A Wraith tank got a grip on what was happening and made the first move on the Human forces in the tree line, letting loose a shot. A group of Marines panicked, seeing the plasma mortar was coming their way, and scrambled to move. The mortar shot landed right on top of them, blowing boiled body parts around.
      Kyan decided that the Wraith tanks were by far the biggest danger, being able to shoot over the barriers that the Marines had set up. He swivled his tank gun and drew a beed on a strafing wraith tank, he fired the cannon and was rewarded when the Wraith rocked with the impact of the shell. Unfortunely, it remained intact.
      Another mortar hit a Stinger tank, the outside boiled red for a second then cooled back to blue. The Stinger got off a round at the wraith tank that Kyan had shot at, destroying it, before another mortar round hit it.
      Kyan sighed, the Stinger tanks, while outdated in their armor and light infantry support capibilties, had a better gun in their 152mm cannons. The UNSC had lowred their production due to the Scorpion's lower cost, and better all around capabilties, including superior speed, armor, and light infantry support capibilties.
      He also knew that they were going to get slaughtered if they didn't do something about the Wraith tanks. He flicked on his comm and spoke hastily.
      "Unload the ardent missiles, we can't take much more abuse from those Wraiths!"
      Being the superior officer in the battle, Kyans orders were immeditely carried out. A dozen Arden missiles took flight from one of the warthogs while using the multiple targeting system. The missiles were able to target six different wraith tanks and they all headed on a quick course towards each.
      Kyan smiled, the Wraiths would be history any second now.
      The missiles suddenely exploded in the air, causing Kyans heart to skip a beat. The Covenant must have had some kind of electric device that caused the missiles to destroy themselves, but at the moment Kyan didn't really care to speculate, he cared about taking out the damned tanks as soon as possible.
      "Fire the remaining missiles off, we'll have to do without backup ones" Kyan said as smoothly as he could into his comm channel.
      A few seconds later, five more wraith tanks went up in flames, unfortunately the remaining one let out another blast, this time aimed at the Ardent carrying Warthogs. The shot missed, but did hit a patch of soldiers, causing instant death and their metal plates that they wore for armor to bubble.
      A Stinger swiveled, bringing its 152mm cannon to bear on the Wraith. It fired, delivering the knockout blow to the Covenant tank.
      Even with the tanks gone, the team still had a problem on their hands, there were so many Covenant left, including the atrocious Hunters, who were tearing Marines apart with their fuel rod cannons. Marines fired round after round at the "blue armored bastards" but the things kept coming, bullets pinging off their armor. A pair of Marines lobbed a couple frag grenades, both landing relatively close to a Hunter. The grenades went off, causing a large explosion, sending shrapnel in all directions. But the Hunter barely slowed down, and even emitted what sounded to be a chuckle.
      Another Marine stood up behind a nearby barrier, Jackhammer in hand. The Marine brought the Hunter into his smart link scope and squeezed the trigger, moving back slightly with the recoil. A trail of condensation followed the 102mm Rocket as it sped towards the hunter. The Hunter turned just in time to raise its shield, getting driven back by the rockets force. Still, it stood, shocking the Marine that fired at it. Angrily the Marine fired again, this time the Hunter couldn't raise his shield, his left arm hung loosely at his side. The Rocket slammed into the Hunter, whom never rose again.
      "Teach him to chuckle" the Marine muttered bitterly.
      The Marine stood, eyeing the dead Hunter for a few seconds longer, too long in fact, as Covenant Plasma rammed into him, dropping his lifeless body to the ground.
      Tank guns roared again, shells reaching out towards other Hunters, each like a finger of death, eager to touch and cut the life away with its scythe. Four more Hunters crumpled, but the Covenant were making progress up the hill.
      Kyan knew they couldn't possibly wait any longer, he radioed to the Engineer's channels. Taking a deep breath, and waiting a few heartbeats more, he said "Blow the hill."
      The hill seemed to expand as explosions ripped from the ground, remote detonated mines being set off.
      Countless Covenant went down, but the remaining kept coming.
      Even Kyan was starting to feel panic take hold of him. "Christ, they refuse to stop."
      Casings from thousands upon thousands of bullets littered the ground and more joined them as the Marines swept their rifles back and forth across the Covenant ranks. Shotguns roared as some Covenant made it near the barriers, pushing the aliens back.
      Kyan cursed aloud, the Covenant were inside a zone, where he wouldn't be able to hit them without hitting some of his own men.
      Another pair of Marines dropped to the Covenant plasma and a few were ripped open by the pink needles that some of the Covenant shot. A Marine screamed as a plasma grenade attached to him, the Marines knew that there was just about no way that the Grenade could be removed in time. Thankfully, the Marine gathered his wits extremely quickly and jumped over the Barrier, charging into the Covenant ranks before detonating.
      Even above the gunfire, the squeals of surprised Grunts could be heard as Warthogs veered in behind the Covenant line, trapping them in a hail of bullets from their chainguns, and the Marines at the tree lines rifles and own chainguns.
      The marines that had played the role of diversions earlier had returned. Even with their original ranks down by a large percentage they hadn't left the fight completely, instead returning and sending spurts of morale through the Marines who had started fearing that the Covenant would never die.
      By the time it was over, the battlefield was an absolutely horrid site. The smell of burnt flesh put a stank in the air that fouled the senses of anyone lucky enough to still be there. Body parts were strewn everywhere and blood actually formed puddles in places that it didn't soak into the ground.
      Kyan tried to feel sorry for the dead Covenant, but he just couldn't. They were aggressors who showed no sympathy to humans, never offering an option of peace or surrender. Sadly, Kyan was beginning to feel nothing at all anymore. He had long lost contact with friends he grew up with, all of them either now dead or one at one of the other few remaining colonies.
      The colonies, the thought of what the Covenant did their made Kyan's blood boil. Some Colonies had barely been around long enough for a generation to grow up on them.
      Never before had war been about survival to this degree. There had been wars about freedom, wars for economic reasons, wars to overthrow Governments, but never to stop ruthless slaughter such as this. Never had people needed to fight just to keep alive as species.
      Kyan grabbed his pistol and climbed out of his tank. Only five Scorpion and two Stinger tanks remained. Nine tanks lay in smoldering wrecks.
      "Lieutenant Tracknowski, our casualty is sixty two percent at the current estimate, General Hollis is recalling us once reinforcements arrive to take our place" A Private who's arm was in a sling and face was caked in dirt informed Kyan.
      "Understood, lets get ready to move out, but stay alert"
      Kyan passed by a cargo truck where bodies of Marines were being hauled in. Another one was being loaded with Covenant weaponry that had been recovered. The truck's contents would most likely be loaded on a small cargo freighter and shipped back to Earth for ONI to study.
      An assault rifle and battle rifle cluttered a short burst each, two marines finishing off some near dead Covenant. Kyan yanked out his radio. "Try to take some alive soldiers."
      "But sir" a man on the other answered "they never ga.."
      Kyan cut the man off, "Just do it, interrogation equals information, try especially hard to get a few of the Elites, Jackals and Grunts will do, but the Grunts seem to know as little as we do."
      The Marine paused before responding, letting out a soft sigh "...Yes sir."

      0300 November 19th2152
      On UNSC Frigate Lazarus, in orbit around Ralon III.

      Captain Carl Lipton rubbed his eyes. He had set a three and a half hour sleep cycle for the Lazarus's main bridge crew. He knew he should have made it longer, but he wanted the best available crew on the bridge whenever possible, if/when the Covenant attacked again.
      All his people were compenant, but he knew the main shift was among the best in the entire fleet, they were diligent, professional, damned good at what they did. Above else, they knew how one another operated, they were quick, and trusted each other.
      Out to the port, a few Longswords kept formation, the pilots would be relived and the ships rearmed soon. The craft still had ammo, but weren't filled to capacity.
      Walking to the bridge Lipton called for a weapons status check.
      "MAC Capacitors at 100% still per your orders sir. Archer missile pods closed, but ready to open on your command. "Archer missile pods have been reloaded. Autocannons have 100% ammo." Marquee, Liptons XO answered.
      Taking a long drink of bitter coffee, Lipton caught up on his messages. A congratulation from Admiral Jan Tanith, and a message from ONI concerning salvage crews coming awaited him.
      "Rotate the Longswords and inform the others to do the same"
      "Aye Sir" Nillenway replied, stifling a yawn.
      Kyan took his time to read over the ground war report. Nothing of the Covenant remained down there that was operable. A small convoy of ships had left to head to Earth with Salvaged Covenant technology. The army and Marine forces that had been stationed on the ground-fighting end had taken heavy casualties. Out of the one million troops fighting, fifty nine percent had been killed or wounded too bad to fight for a long while. Another ten thousand soldiers who had helped evacuate the main cities were killed or wounded as well.
      He admired what those men had done, fought of a Covenant invasion force. Not since Sigma Octanus IV had that happened.
      Best of all, two elites, a jackal, and a grunt had all been taken alive. They were the first Covenant to be captured in a long, long while, and even before, it had only been a few grunts.
      "Sir" Nillenway called"
      "Yes Corporal?"
      "UNSC High Command reports that they regretfully inform us that they can not be sending us reinforcements" Nillenway said with bitter disappointment clearly visible in his voice.
      Lipton was taken aback. Not by UNSC's refusal to send reinforcements. Heck, he had expected that his request would be denied, but Nillenway hardly ever let his feelings seep out while on duty, He shook his head, knowing that it would pass.
      "Acknowledged, thank you Corporal."
      Lipton knew his men and women under his command would continue to watch over the planet dutifully, from the next inevitable Covenant attack.
      They would do their duty well. Of that, he was sure of.