The Reclamation of Earth
Posted By: Zerotide<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 February 2005, 7:27 AM
IN UNSC DROP POD BOUND FOR EARTH DROP ZONE
The chief's stomach lurched as the drop pod inverted. He checked the small LCD by his knees, the red caution light was blinking. The storm they had been forced to drop into could possibly cost him and his team's life. He had been dropped with Fred, Kelly, Linda, and a handful of ODSTs, their target was Washington D.C., which was now heavily occupied by Covenant forces. Gusts of wind and turbulence forced the pod to turn horizontally. He checked the screen again, only 600 meters until they hit ground, and he knew they were going to hit very hard.
It was less then five seconds later when the thrusters that were supposed to slow the descent kicked in. They were no use, the pod was still coming in on its side. The Chief braced for impact praying that his team would make it. There was a jolt that shook and rattled every bone in his body as the MJOLNIR armor strained against the harness. The pod continued to bounce on the ground as he became more and more disoriented. The straps tore and he was thrown around in the interior of the pod. Blood began to pool in his eyes as he was knocked unconscious.
The Chief's eyes eased open, his head hurt like hell, not to mention his ribs, which were all broken, but he quickly banished the pain. He was no longer in the pod, which lay about 40 meters away. He shook his head clear then clicked his com, 3 response clicks came in, and he dropped a nav marker. About 3 minutes later two Warthogs came driving up side by side. Fred and Kelly were in one and Linda drove the other, an ODST was on the gauss cannon.
The Chief gave a curt nod to the other three Spartans. The ODST jumped down and walked towards the chief. "Sir! Sergeant Dowel reporting as ordered!" he said as he snapped a salute. The Chief returned the salute then turned to Fred. "Status?" he asked. "Dowel is the only other ODST survivor, the other hogs didn't make it either. To top everything off, we're about 10 miles away from the intended drop zone."
The Chief thought about that for a moment. What was left of ONI hadn't been able to give them much intel, so he didn't know if the area around was occupied by the Covenant. Finally he said "We're going to continue with the mission. Fred, you drive one of the hogs, I got the other." The Chief took Linda's seat in the Gauss hog, and she took the cannon. Dowel sat in the passenger seat. He dropped a nav marker over the drop zone, then floored the accelerator. The hog's tires squealed as they sped across the rain soaked ground. Rain splattered across the windshield and his visor as lightning streaked across the sky.
They passed a few still closed drop pods, and he could see Dowel out of the corner of his eye, looking at them, hoping that the ODST inside would suddenly emerge. The Chief knew how he felt, after the destruction of Reach, he had lost almost his whole team. Red blobs appeared on his motion sensor. "Contacts," Dowel yelled, as he dropped his binoculars. Linda opened up on the two specters that had come up behind them, and Kelly ripped a group of Elites gathered around a drop pod to shreds with the chain gun, then turned to finish up the specters. The Covenant now knew that they were on the move.
Linda clicked her com, "Chief, we've got banshee fliers up ahead, I count seven flying in formation. Shall I open up?" The Chief made a signal with his hand, and the gauss cannon belched 25mm rounds on the dots on the horizon. Seven small explosions dotted the sky. Even with something as bulky as the gauss cannon, Linda had still taken them down at extreme range. The Chief checked his coordinates quickly; they were only 200 meters away from the target. "Once we get to the drop zone, it's only 150 meters until we get to the city border. We're going to leave the hogs just outside, then continue to the objective on foot." Luckily, all humans had evacuated the city 2 days ago, so it was a no-brainer for ONI to send the Chief in to activate the nuclear warhead beneath the city, which would wipe out every Covenant occupant in the city. It would also destroy all the history the city contained, but humans were losing Earth, and they had now resorted to more desperate measures.
They had reached the DZ, and the Chief looked over a map of the area. He dropped a nav point in a small urban area just outside the main city. Sam and the Chief re-aligned their hogs towards it, taking cover in the thick fog whenever they could. The Chief's motion trackers were showing countless contacts, but none could be seen.
Suddenly the chain gun on Sam's hog roared, the enormous muzzle flair the only thing that could be seen through the thick fog. "Kelly! What do you have?" the Chief asked. "I don't know what they are, sir. I can't tell!" she screamed over the blaring hum of the enormous weapon. "Some are bipod... some are little pods that bounce around... they kind of look like..."she was stopped by the Chief. "The flood."
OUTSKIRTS OF WASHINGTON D.C.
The Chief's blood ran cold as he said the word. He could see them now, wandering about aimlessly. They must have been brought from High Charity, the forerunner ship that had brought Truth here had landed in D.C. Speed was now of essence if they were going to keep the flood from spreading to the rest of Earth.
"Change of plans, we're going to take the hogs right to the city center," he said over the comm. Three acknowledgement lights winked on, and the Chief dropped a nav marker. "Follow me," he said. They tried to move through the streets as quickly as possible, but waves of Flood and Covenant impeded their progress. Luckily, the Covenant and Flood seemed to be more interested in battling each other than trying to go after the quick moving warthogs.
Finally, the group entered a tunnel, which by the look of things, hadn't been occupied by Flood or Covenant yet. After a fifteen minute journey, the Chief took a sharp turn into a small offshoot of the tunnel. They stopped at what looked like a dead end, and the Chief jumped out of the hog. The others did the same. "Linda, access codes?" he asked. "Roger," she said as she slid a chip into an empty slot on her neck. She then placed her hand over a lone panel. About 15 seconds later, the wall in front of them opened.
The Chief stepped inside, and signaled for the others to follow. Once everyone was behind the 3 meter thick doors, he hit a button and the doors shut. Seconds later the elevator they had just stepped into began its long descent.
Exactly 20 minutes later the doors opened, and they were faced with another set of huge doors. Linda again opened them. What they saw inside left them in shock. They were in the largest room he had ever seen made by human hands. Lined along one side was a group of sleek and slender fighter aircraft, and on the other were so many cases of new, high tech ordinance that he couldn't even imagine how much firepower was down here.
They continued down through the room and they entered a hallway which brought them into another large room. This one was filled with at least 30 low profile tanks. Also there were cases of body armor, but he could see each had shield generators similar to that of his armor. No wonder ONI wanted this place gone. Here was the pinnacle of human technology right underneath the Covenant's nose.
A large computer console was at the far end. "There's the objective, Linda. Set the countdown for half an hour." She moved silently towards it, and within seconds, a large "0:30:00" was displayed on the screen. "Let's move people! This will destroy everything within a 90 mile radius." The Chief yelled. They ran into the first room and the Chief led them towards the new aircraft. "We're going to use these to get away. Dowel, you're with me. The rest of you are on your own." The Chief took the pilot's seat and immediately mechanized carts began to load each aircraft with missiles and ammo crates for the twin 20mm inboard chain guns. Each box was labeled with "F-45" that must have been the jet's designation. Two minutes were spent loading, and the large doors behind them opened, revealing a tunnel with a slight incline. The Chief brought the jet around and hit the thrusters. All four of the aircraft accelerated up the tunnel. Once the reached the end more doors opened and closed as they went through them. The new jets were extremely fast and nimble, but the thing that made the chief happy was a bar on the HUD that said "shields" above it.
"We're going to the UNSC airbase in London, England. It hasn't been taken by the Covenant yet." The Chief said. Several blips appeared on the radar. The F-45's onboard computer identified them as Covenant Scarab fighters. Five green squares appeared on the HUD then turned red as the advanced computer system got a simultaneous missile lock on the incoming craft. "Okay," the Chief said to himself, "let's see what this thing can do." He flipped off the missile launch button cover and fired.