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The Campaign Of Biogaia #1 - The Drop
Posted By: PoeticRulesAll<randomiser1337@hotmail.com>
Date: 6 October 2012, 4:19 pm

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The bridge of the UNSC Elemental Storm was quiet. Commander Eleanor stood with her back against the wall, sweat beads breaking across her face. The small Charon-class light frigate was almost at its destination, zooming through a slipspace jump. Down in the engine room, the pulsating Shaw-Fujikawa slipspace drive whirred away with a high pitched wail, vibrating gently in its hull.

"Ten minutes to arrival, Ma'am!" A pilot, seated before a luminous terminal shouted to the commander. "Understood," she replied, turning back to face the elite group of soldiers before her. Max stared at her with intent, through his helmet, with the initials ODST carved into them. Beside him were members of his ODST squad, Nathaniel, Joshua and Mickey.

"Biogaia, a UNSC colony, was taken by the Covenant overnight. UNSC only received the distress beacon after everyone was brutally slaughtered. We're rushing there right now to stop the Covenant from finding whatever's on it. Follow the trend: Wherever the Covenant goes, we find something. Biogaia has an urban metropolis, while the rest of the planet comprises active volcanoes, desert tundra and abundant farming land. The four of you will be going in feet first on a beach invasion."

"How could all defences have been overcome in a single night? What's the catch?" Nathaniel questioned.

"There was an unexplained tectonic shift in the plates hours before the attack began. That was followed by a mysterious EMP over the entire planet. The UNSC was crippled and the Covenant chose to strike at the opportune moment. This may have something to do with whatever's on the planet. "

Max looked up and realised that a UNSC officer was staring at Eleanor, listening in on the conversation. Max's graze met her's and she looked away.

Eleanor paused, then added, "The ONI states that Biogaia is just a dwarf colony – it's relatively unimportant. Just a small, minute planet. Our frigate alone should be enough to handle everything. Hurry up now, just storm the beach first. You will be dropping feet first, with Pelican aid. The rest of your squad will join you later."

Max broke into a run, leading the four to the drop bay. Slowing momentarily to stare at the hologram table, Max proceeded and stopped in front of his drop pod. Pulling the catch, he cranked his anti-material sniper rifle and stashed it behind the seat. Staring to his right, Max eyed Nathaniel chugging a final beer before the drop. Max lowered his arm and slid four rounds slowly into a rifle magazine, hearing the momentarily click each time.

There was a vibration on the deck, causing Max to lose his balance. A rutilent sunshine enveloped the Frigate as the Elemental Storm pulled out of the slipspace portal. An alarm sounded as the thrusters of the Pelican dropships roared to life and whizzed out of the drop bays. They had to work fast – before the Covenant Frigates could open fire. Max lay back in his pod, pulling back the spring catch of his submachine gun, before stashing that in front of him. The lid of the pods slammed shut, hissing with steam. Over the communication systems, Max heard Eleanor order to open fire.

The Magnetic Accelerator Cannon charged and ejected a lethal projectile, penetrating and slicing a nearby frigate. The four ODST pods swayed from side to side. Max's Orbital Insertion Vessel was lifted and hung over the edge of the Frigate. A marine clicked the switch and released the four feet first over an atmospheric drop.

Max closed his eyes as gravity yanked the pods away from the frigate. Entering a freefall, Max stared out of the small glass pane and saw a plasma torpedo head straight for the Elemental. The Troopers fell straight through thin air as the atmosphere came into sight. The skyline was orange, from ravaging flames of the land that had once supported many with its food. Buildings collapsed in the distance, one by one. Grasping the joystick, he struggled to steer his pod in the right direction, narrowly missing a nearby Covenant Phantom. He looked down and veered the joystick to the extreme left, colliding with a Banshee fighter, clipping its left wing off. Max broke into a smile as the Banshee banked to its left, losing control.

Shade turrets on the ground spun upwards to face the insertion vessels and opened fire with a sickly plasma sound. Hot, red beads of burning plasma rained towards the four.

The Pelicans were ready and charging towards the beach shipyard. Simultaneously, they opened fire with their Rocket Turrets and Light Anti-Aircraft Guns, shelling the Covenant blockade. Covenant Revenants on the ground fired plasma into the air. One Pelican was hit in the left wing and it caught on fire, dropping the warthog attached to its magnetic field as it curved downwards. It landed in the water with a small explosion. But Max had no time to stop and cry.

Max saw a Plasma Mortar charge, drawing energy from the air around it, before firing straight into the air. He swung his entire body, changing the trajectory of his pod, missing the mortar narrowly as it collided with a Covenant Phantom. "Guys, are you all right?" Max shouted over the communications. "Fine as ever." "Sure." "Yolo." came the three replies.

A jackal sniper with a beam rifle ran out onto the deck; He scowled menacingly before taking aim. Max flinched as a particle beam hit him in the right shoulder, shattering the glass on his pod. He closed his eyes as he flinched in pain. His feet was getting hot – the bottom of his pod was sustaining a lot of plasma fire, being the first to drop.

Max's insertion vessel landed with a sickening thud. Before he could reach for the release handle, Max felt his pod shake as his lid was ripped off. There was the screeching of metal as Max stared right into a Brute General, clad in yellow, golden armour, who had ripped the lid off. Max's right arm was paralysed by the pain of the particle beam and he swiftly grabbed his SMG with his left hand, firing a short burst into the hairy monster. The brute flinched and stumbled backwards, giving Max enough time to draw his combat knife and throw it into the Brute's throat. Max finished his kill with a few more SMG rounds, and then stumbled out of the pod, shaking from side to side vehemently, only to see the flying of plasma and lead, and dirt tearing out of the ground.

The three other pods hit the ground behind Max and Nathaniel burst out of his pod with a Spartan Laser. Charging the red beam, Nathaniel tore through a shade turret that was firing at the Pelicans just as they passed overhead. Max backed himself against a wall in the harbour, sliding a new magazine into his SMG. He had left his sniper rifle back in his pod and could not return to get it. Mickey and Joshua advanced upon the lance of grunts, firing their Battle Rifles. Blue, luminous blood splattered in drops over the ground and shipping containers. Nathaniel sprinted up, and charged his laser again, imploding a ghost headed straight for Max.

Max raised his right hand, straining the muscles in them. He sprinted over a heap of debris, did a barrel roll on the ground, and crouched behind his pod, reaching for his anti-material. He raised it, and scoped in on a few shade turrets, beheading the grunts firing them on the landing marines. Another Pelican's fuel tank ruptured and exploded, dropping its warthog near Max. Max dropped his sniper rifle and lifted the side of the warthog with his hand, flinging it over.

Max threw his sniper rifle into the passenger's seat, and climbed into the driver's position. He drove up to Nathaniel, shielding him from the plasma fire of a wraith. "Get the hell in Nat!" Max shouted, raising his left hand and laying down covering fire while keeping his other hand on the wheel. Nathaniel stashed his Laser and jumped onto the turret, spinning the barrels of the anti-aircraft gun. A panel on the Wraith exploded and flew off. Max drove past and as he did, he clicked the button on an incendiary grenade, flinging it onto the hull of the Wraith. The wraith burst into flames as the fuels licked the sides. A few final rounds from Nathaniel and the body of the brute driver was flung into the air as the entire mortar launcher disintegrated from the tank.

"Eleanor to Max, we're taking fire in the air. We have to leave. Take everyone you can. Clear the two mortar towers on the beach, regain control of the TJY Hydroelectric Power Plant, and dock in at the city by night." Max looked upwards momentarily and saw a slipspace portal open out of the sky. A blue flame licked across the hull of the Elemental. "Roger that, Nathaniel and I are on Tower 1."

Max veered the warthog accelerator and skidded past Mickey and Joshua, knocking over the bunch of grunts that the duo were tackling. Mickey threw Nathaniel on the turret a Rocket Launcher, which Nathaniel stashed on his back, while Nathaniel threw Mickey a health and supply portable package.

Across the harbour, the first tower charged it's plasma mortar again. Two Pelicans encircled the tower in the air, opening fire simultaneously with their machine guns. One banked to the left just as it missed a heavy blue mortar shot. Max and his team had dealt with these ordnance before – They were hard to take out from the air and Max did not have much time. He swerved the warthog to the right, keeping a watchful eye on the tower that had almost blown him out of the air in his pod just now.

"Mickey to all teams, Joshua and I are taking tower two." "Do you have transport?" Max asked, sweat beads breaking across his face. "We've captured a Covenant Prowler and we're on the move. Mickey out."

As the tower came into sight, Max veered the warthog over a ramp, sending it into the air momentarily. Nathaniel grabbed the turret with one hand and spun the safety catch off the Rocket Launcher, balancing it with his other hand. Max slammed the brakes and activated power slide, knocking over a Brute general and half of his grunt lance. Aiming carefully, Nathaniel punched a HEAT Missile into a Hunter and leaped from the warthog, firing an SMG burst into its bond brother. Max jumped out of the warthog, flinging an EMP grenade at the tower.

A light green flash shone out the polygons in the tower as it deactivated, giving the two Pelicans adequate breathing space. Max did a roll to the side and aimed down the sights of his pistol, firing at the small glass protecting the generator in the heart of the tower. "Max, catch!" Nathaniel tossed his Rocket Launcher through the air and Max caught it with his hand, spinning it onto his shoulder. Pressing the trigger hard, Max blinked as a blinding yellow light came into his sight and flooded his visor. The core of the Mortar Tower exploded as an alarm sounded.

Sprinting back into the driver's seat of the warthog, Max activated the engine and set it running as Nathaniel fired the turret upon the remaining Covenant. There was a huge explosion and it sent the warthog rolling on its sides, crashing into a propane tank. The propane went up in smoke just as Max wrenched himself free from below the warthog chassis. Attempting to drag Nathaniel out from beneath, Max clenched Nathaniel's chestplate and wriggled him free, seconds before the fuel tank of the warthog imploded. Nathaniel was bleeding and Max's chest still hurt from the sniper. Raising his left arm, Max signalled for one of the Pelicans to pick them up.

The Pelican descended vertically as the dirt behind Max blew off into the distance. Max lifted Nathaniel upon his shoulders and lay him down on the floor of the dropship. "Mickey to Max, we are under heavy fire and need reinforcements!" "We're on it." Max shouted, as the Pelican accelerated forth horizontally above the warehouses of the harbour, leaving its troop bay door open.

Lifting his sniper rifle up, Max pulled the catch backwards, springing a shell from the barrel. He steadied his racing heart and the long, linear weapon. Passing above the crash site of the overturned Prowler, Max penetrated the heads and chests of three brutes, about to fling Joshua into the air. Max grabbed a Jetpack and grappling hook from the Pelican and turned to see an enemy Phantom open fire upon the Pelican. Passing his sniper rifle to a marine, Max jumped from the Pelican into the open air.

There was a roar as Max's jetpack came to life – flames burned away the engines and lifted him up. Max held on to his grappling hook, swinging it around in circles as he flew towards the Phantom. He swung it with deadly precision and did not miss, wrapping it around a bar in the Phantom. Max swung his body forward just as the jetpack died, and grabbing a Brute by the back. He flung it out of the dropship. Max ran forward and smashed the skull of a grunt on a Plasma Turret with his fist, and ejecting the purple machinery from its base, fired upon the troops which were going to be dispatched. Max ran backwards and leaped from the Phantom, still holding onto his grappling hook – before arming a Trip Mine and flinging it into the Phantom's Drop Bay. There was a fiery explosion and the alien machinery in the Phantom went up in flames, cascading scorched metal debris over the battlefield.

Max landed in the Pelican with a smooth thud. He flung the empty jetpack aside, and grabbed his combat knife. "Take us to the second tower!" Max commanded, as he steadied his body in the back of the Pelican. The Plasma Mortar tower charged a blue light, and fired it straight for the Pelican. The pilot ejected a small barricade from the front of the Pelican, hitting the projectile feet away from the dropship. Max was close enough. He closed his eyes and counted to three. Then he leapt from the Pelican.

Max fell straight towards the dirt below, raising his combat knife in anticipation. He forced the knife into a Hunter's throat, using it's body to cushion his fall. The large, menacing beast fell with a growl as it's bond brother erupted into rage, charging into Max. Max rolled to the side and jumped to the back of the beast, forcing the blood-stained knife into its back. Max rolled the knife upwards, forcing a piece of the Mgalekgolo armour plating off. The back plate went off with a ping just as Max slit the individual worms within that made up the gigantic figure – These creatures were strong as one, but mere weak worms individually.

Max grabbed a handful of Mgalekgolo worms with his hand, raised them up into the air, and roared into the air. He reached for a personalised shortened Energy Stave, stashed on his kneeplate, and knocked over a Brute nearby. Electric shocks sparked from both ends of the stave as Max wheeled it round and round on his foes. Max somersaulted through the air and jumped onto a Ghost. Hanging on for dear life, Max slit the Brute driver's throat, flinging the limp body out of the vehicle, and jumped onto the controls.

With a sleight of hand, Max fumbled for his grenades and stashed them on the Ghost's control panels. He activated the boost and drove straight for the core of the Mortar Tower. He jammed the foot lever on boost and jumped off the Ghost, sending it straight into the core. He only remembered an ear-splitting explosion and being flung several feet backwards.

Max landed in the dirt and soil particles lay on his visor, obstructing his vision. He threw off his ODST helmet, still lying face-up on the ground. He made out an outstretched hand reaching for him, and grabbed it, feeling a blurred figure help him onto his feet. It was Mickey. Joshua stood beside him, as the surviving three Pelicans landed over the grave of the Mortar Tower. Only three out of eight Pelicans had survived the invasion – And the Beach Invasion would only be the beginning. Max had suffered a sniper wound in his shoulder, and Nathaniel was severely injured in the chest too.

Max felt his chest, feeling the blood inside his armour. He was a sniper during the invasion – ironically, an enemy sniper had weakened him first.

Max looked at the marines around him. "ODST Trooper, what did Captain Eleanor say? What are our orders now?" A nearby marine asked Max.

Eleanor's words, "Take Everyone You Can," rang out on Max's head. Max eyed every remaining survivor of the invasion, and looked at his team. He had seen enough people dying – Marines getting blown up into the air by Brute Shots, Pelicans being struck by rains of projectiles, Warthogs exploding and flipping over on their sides, and the Elemental Storm shaking under the imploding Plasma Torpedoes.

"Go back to Elemental Storm. The four of us will take it from here."

Max watched as the three Pelicans soared into the air, back onto sea. He turned around to see Nathaniel, Mickey and Joshua sitting on the sides of an M808 Heavy Scorpion Tank. "Max, you gonna get this thing moving?"

It would be a long journey and campaign. Over the setting sun and licking flames of debris, Max lowered his Energy Stave, and walked briskly over to the vehicle, leaving his footsteps in the dirt.