IN ORBIT AROUND SANGHELIOS
4 DAYS AFTER THE BATTLE OF THE ARK
Niokiljolm’ awoke to the pod’s auto-detector of exiting a slipspace vector. The pod hissed open and frosty air from inside dissipated into the warm hangar of the carrier. Niokiljolm’ stepped his hoofed foot onto the polished purple deck of The Concealed Blade. Sangheili soldiers ran from the Carrier’s launch bay into and out of the halls. A Major grasped him by the shoulder and pointed up the hall.
“Commander, we have entered Sangheilios’s vicinity. The Brutes are besieging our planet, and we can end this right here. Shipmaster Vadam request that you meet him on the bridge as soon as possible.”
The Major turned back into the hangar where phantoms were being prepared for deployment and Seraphs launched from the craft into the blackness outside. Hundreds of Elites, Hunters, and separatist Grunts stood in front of Majors and Commanders.
Niokiljolm’ ran towards the hanger. He navigated the violet, bulbous hallways with ease displaying the vast amounts of time he spent on these crafts. An Elite security team waved him into the secure perimeter around the bridge area.
“Make haste commander!” They exclaimed as the alarms began to ring. The fleet was going into combat preparation as the fleet headed towards their homeworld. Niokiljolm’ walked onto the bridge, lit by dim blue light produced terminals manned by Sangheili pilots. The Shipmaster turned in his chair and his golden armor shone in the scarce light. He appeared godlike.
“Commander. I have awaited your arrival. The Brute and Sangheili fleets are in a immense battle with each other. Apparently the remaining San’ Shyuun has elected a new leader and decided to rally and attempt to eradicate all who stood before them. They came to deal with us first, then to glass Earth and take their title as the last ones standing in this war.”
“If I get groundside, I will see to it that this will never happen, Shipmaster.” Niokiljolm said, his voice booming with bravado. He knew that this is what mattered most to his race. The eviction of the Covenant from their home, then the Universe.
“Let me show you what the brutes have brought with them.” The shipmaster activated the Holoterminal in the center of the bridge and an immense feed from the battle raging on ahead. Cruisers and assault carriers from whoever survived the Schism converged on Sangheilios for either defense or destruction. There had to be thousands on each side.
“By the rings…” Niokiljolm gasped “ How many survived the initial encounter with each other.”
“ The Prophets had deployed many large fleets to comb the outer colonies again for leftover humans.” The Shipmaster replied. “They got word and made haste to Sangheilios.”
“Sir, Two brute cruisers are breaking from the battle and heading for the Blade!” A crewman shouted.
“Show me.’” The Shipmaster steely ordered the optics officer.
The display screen showed two CCS class cruisers darting towards the fleet. A couple more began to break away and join with the other attackers. Plasma eruption flashed in the distance as projectile streaked across space like hellish fireworks. The ships began to enter attack range.
“I will assume you will show them we will not take kindly to this act of…ill-aimed aggression” The shipmaster hinted less than subtly. “Burn them.”
The Sangheili battle group fanned out in an aggressive cluster an their bows began to glow as the plasma cannons armed. The Shipmaster gave the command to fire at will. The ships launched blue and red contrails of plasma towards the Brute ships, as did they.
“Fan out and decrease velocity.” The shipmaster ordered. Sangheili were far superior ship handlers that brutes when they were unassisted by a prophet.
The ships broke away and dogged the brute plasma fire as their homing function felled right as the ships dipped below them and continued to open fire.
The first brute cruiser was struck by a volley of plasma and it’s hull boiled like water on a stovetop. Air vented out and the cruiser burst into flames as a plasma torpedo dissected to upper hull. The ship detonated and engulfed the craft trailing behind in flames, depleting it’s shield.
“Break off and attack the other two, I’ll deal with this one.” The shipmaster ordered the two CCS-Class cruisers in his fleet to engage the other two as the massive carrier sped towards the wounded cruiser. He ordered his crew to eliminate the ship. Plasma torpedoes jettisoned towards the craft and shredded many sections of the craft off in molten heaps of slag.
The cruiser tried to turn away and meet back with the massive Covenant fleet, but it was to late. Plasma conduits ruptured and burned intense red as the cruiser detonated, vaporizing most of the hull. Small meteorites launched forward as metal projectiles sped towards the planet.
“Twilight Compunction and Sanctous Light, report battle status!” Ordered the Shipmaster. A few seconds later a crackled response shrilled through the speakers.
“Both of us have eliminated the cruisers and awaiting orders” Replied the Shipmaster of Twilight Compunction.
“Shipmaster.” Alerted the communications officer who turned in his grav chair “We are being hailed by the Elite fleet. The Shipmaster of the Fist of Sangheilios is leading the Elites”
“Fist of Sangheilios, this is Concealed Blade, call off offensive orders on the Sangheili fleet on the battle cluster near the moons!”
“Roger, Shipmaster, bring your fleet towards our fleet and integrate into us and send whatever forces you have groundside.”
“Aye, We will make haste to defend our planet to our dying breath!” The Shipmaster eagerly growled with the lust for blood. “He stood from his chair and ordered the bridge crew to regroup with the brute fleet. Niokiljolm saw the true size of the fleets as they lurched closer.
A Covenant Supercarrier sat nestled in the middle of both the brute and elite fleets. It was a 16 kilometer long craft that was bristling with the most advanced weaponry in the covenant fleets. It was majestic silver and was shaped like an arrowhead attached to a long oval body with a trio of thrusters on the back. The massive assault carriers looked pathetic next to the craft. Two Space Stations laid behind the fleets firing plasma beams through space.
The Brute fleet was similar in size, with a few hundred more ships at their disposal. They had one station behind the fleet, and the wreckage of another drifting in space. The Stations resembled two purple cones next to each other with tubing that extended downward. These were refueling and staging areas for fleets that provided a backbone for large assaults. The Unyielding Hierophant was a station that was destroyed and wiped out the surrounding fleet due to an unknown reason, but Niokiljolm could venture a guess.
“Niokiljolm, I want you to get to the hanger and get command of all the troops in the Launch bay. Load them into the craft and head planet side, I also need a Security detail if any honor guards are down there to hold off potential boarders”
Niokiljolm’ nodded to his Commander and friend as the battle cluster seamlessly slipped into the Elite fleet who were launching all they had at the brutes.
“I will make sure that these brutes’ taint is removed from out planet. This is all we have that symbolized our might in the Covenant. It will not falter to whatever lackey Truth had in mind to rise in the case that he was killed.”
“I have unyielding faith in you commander. I will await a report once you get groundside. I am now going to enter a tactical channel to communicate with the commander of The Fist of Sangheilios. I hope to see you after this small…scuffle with our hairy friends.” The shipmaster managed a sneer smile as the bridge doors sealed shut.
Niokiljolm’ proceeded through ornamental purple hallways until the vast open space of the Launch bay greeted him as white light flooded into the dimly lit purple corridors. All heads in the hangar turned as Niokiljolm’s commanding presence rallied all the disorganized grunts fiddling with machinery.
Niokiljolm’s onyx armor glinted in the light and the orange accents glowed a golden hue as he strode into the hangar.
“My fellow warriors, do you lust to retribute your fallen friends and family today!” Niokiljolm’s voiced boomed in the hangar.
A mass of cheers and growls shattered the nervous tension in the hangars as Niokiljolm’ hoisted himself onto a supply crate
“We will hunt down every brute on our planet and behead them! We will drive them off our land, and attack their planet, and spill their blood! We will burn their children, gut their brides, and glass their planet until the charred ashes of what they held dear float, forgotten, in space! We will seek an end to this war, breaking the mighty steel that was once our own Covenant and rid the galaxy of the menace we were duped into driving. Do it for the Sangheili, for humanity, for the fallen!” Niokiljolm hoisted his sword in the air, and ignited it.
A booming of a thousand cheers rang out as most of the Sangheili raised their swords in excitement and desire to end this right now. A soft blue glow lit the hangar as the lights dimmed for combat alert.
“Soldiers, load into the drop ships and ready for battle.’ Niokiljolm’ ordered.
The Majors took over, lining the grunts and Minor domos onto the Phantom dropships. Their gravity drives whined as the ship levitated upward. The Elite majors clad in crimson combat armor hoisted their long legs onto the graft and gestured the grunts to load on. They waddled over to the phantoms and climbed into the back hatch as the compliment of elite soldiers followed suit.
Niokiljolm’ walked towards the pod launch bay where a black-clad special forces team stood ready to drop, arms crossed. They toted energy swords and modified plasma rifles that were jet black with crimson accents, they had an energy sword on backup and highly upgraded stealth armor, with a far more angular and elaborate helmet that had extra plating over the face to give the wearer an eerie look. Their shoulder pads were bulkier and housed active camouflage generators.
“Commander, greetings,” Said the one leaning against a crate with his arms crossed “We are a Special Operations team assigned to this carrier. I believe we have not met. I am Yoro ‘Zarbanze, leader of the Shadow Stalkers, this collection of soldiers you see here. It is a pleasure being under your disposal, I have heard great stories of your conflict on earth.”
‘Thank you, Yoro, It is my pleasure to have such fine warriors under my command. I will not let you down. But know is not the time for compliments, let us enter the drop pods.
“Very well, Commander. Arm up and proceed when you are satisfied with your armaments.” Said Yoro who motioned his troops to arm up.
Niokiljolm’ latched open a bulbous purple supply crate and relieved it of a Special Operations plasma rifle. It hummed to life as Niokiljolm’ activated it. A this energy column zapped between the two sections of the rifle. Niokiljolm, holstered it and pulled a covenant carbine from the side of the compartment. He put the long purple rifle on his magnetic back plate and took five cartridges of radioactive metal projectiles that he clipped onto his utility belt.
“I am equipped for the task at hand, let us drop into the atmosphere and cleanse our planet.” Niokiljolm’ informed the group of twenty soldiers, who were finished loading up on their gear.
‘Let us reclaim our planet, Commander.” Yoro said as his slender fingers tapped a code into the pod launch terminal.
Purple coffin-like pods ascended from the ground as the last phantom departed towards the planet. A few Sangheili remained in the hanger to repel boarders. The crammed pods hissed open and a holographic terminal rose in front of the seat.
“Warriors, assemble for drop!” Shouted Niokiljolm’. He climbed into the pod and crossed his arms. The terminal flashed red and the air-tight seal closed, entombing him in blackness.
“Prepare for hot entry!” shouted Yoro as the sound of latches disengaging clicked outside the pods.
“I’ve punched the coordinates for Zantalia, the capitol, good luck warriors. Carry the weight of blood spilled throughout this war as an instrument to further our cause, Shipmaster S’toream out.” The shipmaster gave the green light to go, and the terminals displaying the perimeter of the pod flashed to life. It was almost like not even being in the pod.
With that, a harsh clacking rang out as thirty pods descended towards the planet. Scattered radio chatter of the fleet was licking over the comm. The display showed the battle becoming a tangled mess as brute cruisers broke the Sangheili lines. Ships weaved overtop one another as they fired plasma cannons at each other in a deadly close encounter.
A wing of teardrop-shaped seraph fighters darting towards a frigate and sprayed plasma repeaters at the damaged craft. The fighters launched a salvo of plasma torpedoes at the front of the craft, which contorted and boiled at it lost control and was sucked in to Sangheilios’s atmosphere, trailing blue flames and thick black smoke.
The terminals faded to red swirling clouds as they entered Sangheilios’s atmosphere. The entry pod’s heat meter beeped as it climbed upwards. The pods pierced the cloud cover and rained down like falling stars.
“Prepare for landing, the city is in sight!” Niokiljolm’ shouted as the purple gem of Zantalia sparkled next to the light blue sea it was nestled by.
Plasma mortars detonated over the city’s airspace as they neared it. It was a truly massive city, sprawling across the entire state. It was surrounded by snow-capped mountains protected from sieges by most ground forces. The brute fleet managed to slip an assault carrier and a few cruisers over the city to deploy ground troops.
“Watch those cruisers!” screamed Yoro as they formed a blockade to halt the onslaught of Elite Warriors falling from the heavens. A handful of the pods slammed into the cruisers, puncturing them and not re-exiting.
“Divert designated courses, this blockade will get us killed!” Shouted Niokiljolm’ who raised his arm and erased the set course. The pod’s interior flashed red as it blew the thrusters. The pod rumbled as it slowed, swerving into the city’s south district, away from the center. A subsonic screech shattered the air as the pod left mach three and smashed into an Autonomous Storage warehouse. Sending an immense dust cloud as a portion of the roof caved in. A sharp pain bounced inside his ribs as he tried to regain his bearings.
Niokiljolm’ spat out purple blood that webbed across his four mandibles and he felt the thumping of a dozen other pods crash near his position. The rest must have broken off elsewhere or were destroyed by the blockade.
Niokiljolm’ swiped his finger across the terminal and disengaged the airlock. Light flooded into the cramped pod as the door launched upward and fell about five feet from the pod. Niokiljolm’s ears rang as the sudden change in pressure popped them.
He unfolded his arms and stepped gingerly from the pod and observed his surroundings as he kept his weapons unsheathed. The harsh sunset burned the darkness away as Niokiljolm’ entered the warehouse. It was bristling with decommissioned vehicles, military or otherwise. A spirit was stripped apart in the middle of the factory and civilian gravity cars lined shelves to the left.
Niokiljolm’ looked around for any signs of life. A pile of dead Unggoy were stacked haphazardly under a bulkhead that was leaning towards the ground. No pods have landed in here. Niokiljolm exited the large hole that his pod punched through the building and stepped into the industrial district. Plumes of grey smoke clawed for the sky as the hiss of plasma fire and the thudding of explosions drowned out the waves gently caressing the shore behind him.
Niokiljolm’ was lucky his pod landed where it did, or else it would have sunk into the ocean that was lit with an amber hue as the sun set behind it. Niokiljolm proceeded towards the street where a pod burst open, revealing a Spec-Ops Elite who stretched as he leapt from the pod. He unslung his plasma rifle and coughed as he looked at Niokiljolm’
“Commander! Good to see you are well. Can you attempt to establish a link with Captain Yoro?” He asked as he looked around the abandoned factory district. Dust clouds signaled where pods impaled the ground, both he and Niokiljolm’ figured.
“I will try to contact him. Hopefully he landed in this vicinity.” Niokiljolm pressed the communicator over his ear.
“Yoro, our pods have scattered about the industrial district. Can you respond?’ Niokiljolm broadcasted the signal in the are and got no response.”
“Yoro, please respond.” Niokiljolm asked futilely. There was no response, only static.
“Yoro, this is Niokiljolm’, please respond…”
A heavy crackle came over the speaker as Yoro’s deep voice rumbled over the COMM.
“We made it out of the pods, about fifteen of us have touched down about…a click from your position northeast. We are encountering hostiles by the highway, and could use your hand if you can make it from where you are.
“Acknowledged! Me and the other stragglers will regroup, Niokiljolm’ out” he assured Yoro as he readied his Plasma rifle and gestured his Sangheili comrade to follow him.
Their hoofed feet hit the ground with heavy clacks as the sprinted up the labyrinthine warehouse complex dotted with smooth purple buildings that hung low to the ground. The beacon in Niokiljolm’s ear began to beep at an increased ace as the sound of conflict broke out ahead. Blue plasma bolts painted the sky and spikes plummeted lifelessly to the ground like steel raindrops as they dropped and struck the street.
Niokiljolm’ peered through a large crack in the building to see a group of Sangheili hunkering behind an overturned specter sunk into the front of the building that has been torn open by some sort of detonation, presumably a wraith mortar.
Niokiljolm’ used his muscular arms the pry the two inch thick composite metal layers slowly apart as spiker rounds embedded themselves around him. He let out a roar as the two pieces of the wall budged, leaving an opening large enough for them to enter.
Niokiljolm’ rolled through as a green plasma bolt struck the elite behind him and dazed him. His shield lit up and deflected the energy bolt. He recovered, and slid through the hole as a beam few over his head.
“Hurry to our troops and assist them!’ Niokiljolm’ pressed the soldier as he ducked behind the specter and the pile of debris crowding the entire floor of the storehouse. Niokiljolm noticed that the roof was beginning to lean in due to the lack of support with the removal of most of the wall facing the plains where a handful of brutes fired spikers at the Spec-ops team residing in the building.
“Good to have you at my side, Commander! Now let’s see how experienced in combat you are…” teased Yoro as he blind fired his Plasma rifle over the jump seat of the overturned specter. The searing hot bolts struck near a jackal firing from behind his glowing blue energy shield, exposing him. Niokiljolm’ popped from cover and fired a burst at the fragile creature. A pair of plasma bolt’s struck the creature’s head, destroying it and splattering blood and a beady red eye still attached to it’s optic nerve all over the inside of the shield. The jackal slumped over and writhed around on the ground.
“Beautifully executed!” Laughed Yoro, emphasizing ‘executed.’
The remaining Covenant forces pushed back as they were overwhelmed by plasma bolts and carbine rounds. A phantom towing a massive Wraith tank drifted ahead, lowering altitude as it dropped the sleek blue tank in the grassy field. It began to slide towards them as it’s gunner rallied the retreating Covenant soldiers.
“Commander, we need to exit, the Wraith will surely destroy this building in one mortar blast!” warned Yoro. He was getting nervous at the sight of the vehicle. It’s gunner wildly fired the plasma cannon at the Elites who hastily exited out of the back hole of the warehoused pried open by Niokiljolm’.
As the Elites ran from the warehouse, a mortar screeched overhead and slammed onto the roof, melting metal and caving the building in. The elites did not look back as they followed the highway into the urban residences. Long purple spires spanned across the cityscape and clawed the blood-red sky ahead as a spider webbing of highways stretched in between them, the route Grav-cars took. The small pods laid abandoned in the streets as the Elites made their way down a lower highway, and paused when they saw a pack of brutes and a prowler crawling slowly across the bridge. A compliment of grunts waddled across the debris-spewn street.
“What do they think they are doing, violating our traffic regulations. Sangheili, show them some harsh justice!” Ordered Niokiljolm’ as he went prone.
The brutes stopped moving and began unloading a crate drug in by Unggoy slaves. They removed a large mount and placed an anti-gravity generator on top. He put a metal undercarriage on to and proceeded to lift a plasma battery from the crate and begin to wire it to plasma conduits. Niokiljolm’ saw this hazardous explosive as an ambush opportunity.
“Sangheili, remain quiet and deploy your carbines if you have one, everybody else await my command. Niokiljolm’ sighted his carbine and a reticule sprung open to a precision X sight. Niokiljolm waited for the captain to expose the Plasma battery he was about to install on the mortar they were construction. Niokiljolm’ fired a shot that hit home. The cell detonated and split the bridge in a blinding flash of plasma that was unleashed from the battery.
The unfortunate soul holding the canister was nowhere to be found and everyone else was flung over the bridge in flames and landed in gnarled heaps of charred flesh. A single jackal furiously jumped around and attempted to pat out the flames that encased it. Niokiljolm put a shot in it’s trachea that eased it’s suffering. It gurgled and flee over, sliding down the bending bridge into the gory pile of his comrades.
“Ahaha! Good work Commander!” Complimented Yoro, who led his men in a rush down the street. They vaulted over the debris pile of bodies and ruble and turned right to connect with the main highway to the capitol to reclaim it for the Sangheili troops engaging the brutes there.
The purple highway was about a quarter kilometer long and was caved inward to allot the cars to ride smoothly. The vehicles littered the highway like abandoned toys. The red Sangheili sky glinted off their polished surface, casting the street with an orange haze that illuminated the crystalline dust particles from Covenant Alloy that peeled off the buildings.
Down the street leading to the intersection, flashes of plasma licked the air as a group of Sangheili hastily retreated down the street, spraying plasma at whatever was chasing them.
“There. Allow the Sangheili to get some distance. We will ambush the traitorous Jiralhaenae as they continue on their ill-fated march. Take positions. Have a Shadow-Stalker pick up that fuel rod cannon laying by that ruined car.” Niokiljolm’ pointed to an overturned car venting blue flames.
A grunt that was ripped in half still clutched a fuel-rod cannon with his dying strength. One of the Shadow-Stalkers sprinted over to the cannon and crabbed the sleek weapon and loaded a radioactive clip of rods into the loading port of the weapon. He nodded with a mischievous grin.
“Yoro, Take position behind the wraith husk over there. The rest of us will arm plasma grenades frome a prone position. Move out!”
The Sangheili engaged their camouflage and smeared into the overwhelming amount of purple and dark grey in the city section. They slid under broken cars, tanks, and sighted down the intersection. A deep thumping pulsed through the ground.
“Prepare for anything, warriors. It could be anything.” Niokiljolm cautioned as he pulled his advanced plasma rifle from his thigh and put it on the ground with his outstretched palm covering it as he removed his finger from his ear and properly held the weapon forward.
A large purple column smashed a Veer tree under it, splattering thick green fluid underneath. As the machine crept out from behind a building, Niokiljolm’ identified it as a Locust. It was a quadruped robot that had it’s legs connected to a low sitting hub that had the cockpit nestled on top of it. It was a long purple pod that drooped over the front. It had a pair of plasma cannons on the front with a plasma caster, a smaller beam weapon that was found on scarabs. The back of the cockpit protruded into a rounded tip as it halted. It creaked as it forced it’s joints to a stop.. It turned it’s insectoid head to the left and swept a searchlight into a building.
A compliment of jackals surrounded it. They were unusually well equipped. They were clad in solid black poer armor. It looked like they were equipped with energy shields. They all toted carbines and wore a sealed helmet that wrapped their avian heads like a metal glove.
“Stay low and see if we can get near it to board it” Niokiljolm’ ordered as he crawled low to the ground. “Take out the escorts quietly with your carbines than harass the Locust with the plasma grenades. Aim for the legs and try to tip the machine over. I will climb aboard the beast and deliver the killing blow!”
The rustle of equipment shuffled through the Sangheili ranks armed their carbines and sighted the Jackal escorts. Niokiljolm crouch-ran behind a pylon where a shattered street-light flickered with dying breaths as sparks jumped to the street below.
“Now.” Niokiljolm ordered. Green tracers darted to their targets with respectable lethality. The Jackal’s shields flickered and popped. The Jackals with remaining shields returned fire and struck an inexperienced Sangheili who vaulted from cover to charge the jackal. He was struck by multiple rounds and collapsed. Niokiljolm’ was unsure of his fate.
“Arm the grenades!” He ordered and he sprayed his rifle from cover. It struck a jackal reloading his carbine and burned straight through his arm, disarming him. His flesh sizzled as it let out a primal screech. Niokiljolm’s orders carried through. A hail of glowing blue comets streaked across the darkening sky and dotted the ground around the Locust. In the three seconds of life that the Jackals had of precious life, they exchanged surprised glances and let out an almost electronic squawk as the grenades detonated, throwing chunks of street, flesh, and bone into the air.
A clip of fuel rods streaked from their position and struck the cabin of the Locust, sending it’s melting legs staggering. It toppled over with a crash, and thrashed it’s legs like an overturned beetle in slow motion. Niokiljolm’ burst from cover and slid under the thrashing legs to get to the cabin. A broken panel exposed the pair of brutes piloting it trying to regain their control of the mech. Niokiljolm’ would assure that wouldn’t happen. He armed a plasma grenade with a hiss and forced it into the damaged hull.
Niokiljolm’ ran with his head down as a cacophony of muffled screams greeted the grenade. A flash of sky blue energy vaporized the side of the vehicle, sending vapor contrails into the air. Fires and explosions boiled from the hull and it twitched and ceased moving.
A string of cheers rang out as Niokiljolm’ motioned his comrades towards the Sangheili position ahead. Surprised Sangheili peered from cover at the dead end down the street caused by a collapsed building. They consisted mostly of Minor domos clad in blue combat armor plates. A major in crimson assault armor and a pair of pilots clad in ghostly white stood in sharp contrast to the newfound darkness in absence of Sangheilios’s red giant sun.
“I am Commander Niokiljolm’ X’toss.” he said as he wiped purple dust shards from his polished black armor as his men strode towards the position. Plumes of fire snaked into the sky from ignited debris from what appeared to be a Ghost hovercraft. The bulbous hood was the only recognizable part of the purple craft.
“How did you warriors get here? Can I get into contact with whoever is leading this operation?” Niokiljolm’ asked as he scanned for potential ambush points.
The major stepped forward and bowed, tipping his head encased with the bug-eyed assault harness. “Commander, I am Major Grek ‘Kantar. Our phantom was shot down by a group of brute fighters. The crash site is further ahead. Fortunately most of us made it out of the crash and worked our way into the city where the Locust you so gracefully eliminated ambushed us with some sort of Jackal elite team. They refused to drop, as they were clad in energy shields. Our commander was killed in the crash and I had to assume command.”
“While I’m glad our heroics flattered you, this is not a time for praise.” Niokiljolm’ said as a few Shadow-Stalkers chuckled at these rookies. “Is there any type of command posts the Sangheili have established?”
“I…I …am afraid the Sangheili are prepared to give the city up and regroup.” He said as he choked up. Niokiljolm’ peered into the distance where the night exposed the slaughter house his home city has become. Plasma fire burned through the blackness with intense light as conflict overwhelmed the city. Niokiljolm’ realized that they were already too late. He attempted to suppress those thoughts until now, where he knew that his city was doomed for occupation. The brutes had this are under heavy blockade. If they controlled this city, than they had a stronghold that would be hard to re-capture. With a heavy heart, Niokiljolm’ accepted defeat. He needed to get as many people out of the city as he could.
“See if we can find a phantom to get us out of here. We will round up whoever we find. By the way, where are the Civilians?” Niokiljolm’ instructed as a large explosion rocked the ground in the distance.
“The Brutes, they rounded them up. I don’t know where they brought the survivors.” The Major replied as a crackling in Niokiljolm’s and Yoro’s COMMs caused them to stop the conversation.
“Hello, Commander and Captain. This is Tai ‘Zadora.” Said a voice with a cough as the faint hiss of circuits crackling sizzled through the reciever.
Yoro hastily responded “Tai? Your pods impacted the cruiser and didn’t exit, I surely thought you didn’t make it…”
Tai interrupted with a smug tone. “We are Shadow Stalkers, you should know us better. Now, direct your attention to cruiser hovering towards the city center and prepare fore the fireworks show. Tai out.”
The confused Sangheili climbed atop cars and piles of bodies and debris. The sprawling city skyline was dominated by a CCS cruiser looming with pride above it’s captured prize below. Five other Cruisers drifted around different sections of the city.
The one in the center tilted to the left. It began to creak and it eventually turned into moaning. Metal distorted and swayed right before a phantom launched from one of the hangars on the right side of the ship. It made a sharp left and headed away from the craft as it shrieked. A blinding flash of blue engulfed the mid-deck of the ship, sending the nose barreling into the other side of the city. The back end of the ship vaporized as the engines were detonated by the explosion. Shards of metal shotgunned in all directions, smashing into buildings around the city.
A large chunk screeched overhead and crashed a block away, shaking the ground under Niokiljolm’s feet. Yoro fell onto the ground holding onto his chest when he burst out laughing. All heads turned at him and looked with puzzled expressions.
“I can’t believe it.” He chuckled as debris rained from all directions. “I told you we were the best soldiers you could get under your command!” He said as he rose back to his fleet.
Most of the other Sangheili let out half-hearted laughs until Niokiljolm’ stopped them sternly.
“Yoro, get Tai back onto the Comm. See if he was the Phantom that left the craft.”
“As you wish commander.” He said as he repeatedly called for Tai. A crackle came over their earpieces as they got a response.
“Did you enjoy that spectacle?” he inquired as the Elites managed to get situated on the phantom.
“I was rather impressed, warriors.” said Niokiljolm’ “But the time is wrong for petty war games. We need to get as many people out of the city as we can.”
“Roger, I found two councilors taken prisoner during the battle of High Charity. We are going to take them aboard Fist of Sangheilios for the Imperial Admiral to appoint for requisition. We are going to pick you up in the courtyard over the rubble pile in front of you. We will meet you there in five minutes, Commander. Tai out.”
Niokiljolm’ looked at his assortment of elites. It was his responsibility to get them out of Zantalia alive and regroup outside the city.
“Warriors, scale the wall ahead and secure the courtyard.” Niokiljolm’ ordered. He placed his carbine and plasma rifles in their holsters and threw his powerful arm on a charred knob jutting from the assorted mess of metal and black concrete used in older buildings. He carefully brought his hoofed feet up one behind the other while the rest of his troops followed his lead. As they neared the top, the sound of gunfire could be heard over the edge.
As Niokiljolm’ hoisted himself over the edge, he observed the situation. A group of brutes were pushed to one side of the circular courtyard. It was massive, with a stature of Khan Yaramee aiming his energy sword to the fresh, starry night. Elites were holding the other side, a stranded wraith was keeping a Sangheili gunner on the ruined tank’s turret to lay down suppressive fire.
Niokiljom’ let out a war growl as he leapt from the debris pile into the brute lines. The rest of his elites followed suit. The brutes turned around to receive plasma bolts to their torsos and faces. They toppled over, their heavy frames thudding onto the scorched pavement. The Brutes regrouped and backed from the swelling Sangheili lines.
A pair of low-flying craft howled overhead as a bolt of florescent green plasma arced towards the damaged Wraith tank. The Tank’s ray-like hull disappeared into a cloud of debris and green flames that licked nearby Sangheili who were lucky enough to dive away.
A pair of Phantoms swept their spotlights into the courtyard. They fired a gravity beam down where a team of Covenant troops beamed down. Four brutes and three jackals were thrown into the chaos. Niokiljolm’ crouched behind a pillar as a volley of plasma hissed by him and struck a minor domo. He collapsed before he could make it behind cover. They other Phantom banked away as plasma fire peppered the belly of the craft. Melting scorch marks dripped molten metal as the craft retreated with the other one. They had a shot to turn this around, albeit a small one.
“Yoro, I have not seen your swordsmanship.” Niokiljolm’ grinned as he reached for the curved handle of his blade.
“I am sure I will not disappoint.” He said as he placed a hand on each on of his sword handles. Their black armor glowed a hellish red as flames reflected off of their reflective plating.
“One.” said Niokiljolm’ as the brutes lurched closer to their cover.
“Two” Said Yoro as the captain leading the brutes ordered them to charge their lines with animalistic fury in it’s red eyes.
“Three!” They said in unison as they sprung from cover as their swords ignited with a bloodthirsty hiss.
The Two Brute minors never got a good glimpse of their assailants before both of their heads were removed with a blue blur as Niokiljolm’ and Yoro swung their swords horizontally. Their corpses stumbled aimlessly until they flopped over lifeless.
The Jackal infantry toting plasma rifles were hacked into large chunks as the pair mercilessly sliced through whatever protection was in front of the brute captain. Yoro brought his twin swords down on a brute, cutting him into 4 chunks from his torso. Their weak power armor was laughable at best to the veteran Sangheili.
The Captain raised his Spiker and fired at the pair of Sangheili. He was too late when he realized he was no longer holding the Spiker, or his arm for the matter. Yoro had made short work of it. He glared at his severed hand. Niokiljolm’ cut his other arm off in his shock.
“How would you like to kill him?” Asked Yoro.
“Disembowelment sounds fitting.” Replied Niokiljolm’ as the beast fell back helplessly. The pair of Elites plunged their blades into the brute who howled with agony as he helplessly kicked. It squealed as they quickly sliced vertically, spilling whatever organs were inside it onto the cracked tan concrete pavement.
“Impressive.” They both muttered at the same time. The brutes concentrating on the other elites were swiftly exterminated. Corpses of the hairy monstrosities piled up as the backed into their fallen comrades. A group of elites swept through and put a plasma bolt into each brute to make sure they didn’t get back up.
A Captain clad in white combat armor approached him. “Commander, that was impressive swordsmanship there.” he said with a wheeze. Niokiljolm noticed the spike poking from his ribcage.
“Thank you. Do you require assistance with your wound immediately?” Niokiljolm’ asked in a worried tone “We have a Phantom inbound at this position shortly.”
The captain looked up at him. “I am dishonored by my blood being spilled, but if I do not acquire medical attention I will surely die.”
“Here is our dropship” Niokiljolm’ informed as a Phantom crept over the buildings. It slowly descended and the side bays opened to reveal Tai waving people on board.
“Anybody who is in need of Evac or medical attention needs to board first. We will return with more Phantoms from the fleet above.”
The captain limped aboard the phantom, as did some wounded Sangheili troops and a pair of civilians wearing tattered rags holding plasma pistols. They must have been rescued from hiding by these forces here.
They all boarded the Phantom when a mechanical shriek broke out from behind them. Everybody turned around to see a Scarab gingerly stepping over the buildings. It reared it’s head and let loose a continual stream of plasma struck the statue in the center of the courtyard. It toppled over , striking the Phantom as it desperately tried to take off. It knocked the phantom off course and it rolled into a building where it was stopped. It began to vent flames as whoever was fortunate enough to live crawled form under it in bloody armor.
“No!” Shouted Yoro. Brute infantry jumped from buildings, windows, and ledges.
“Ambush!” Niokiljolm’ cried as the Scarab brought it’s gargantuan clawed leg a few feet in front of Niokiljolm.’
Plasma bolts erupted in all directions as the Sangheili retaliated. They were not going to give up that easily. A plasma grenade detonated behind Niokiljolm’ shorting out his shields and knocking him on his side. He briefly witnessed Yoro get knocked aside by a Chieftain clad in silver armor.
With Niokiljolm’s hazed vision, he saw dozens of banshees glide slowly over the courtyard with Phantoms thrown into the mix. Another scarab sprawled over the buildings and proceeded behind the other massive machine. When Niokiljolm’ looked back, he saw no elites standing as infantry flooded the courtyard. Grunts, Jackal, brutes, and drones advanced steadily down their path they had beaten with the Scarab’s main gun , melting a large hole in the wall ahead.
“I’ve failed you.” Niokiljolm’ whispered under his breath as the brutes began to pile bodies in the fountain under what was left of the statue. Yoro winked his yellow eye at Niokiljolm’ as they tossed his body haphazardly into the pile. Niokiljolm’ managed a smile. He would persevere.
The last thing Niokiljolm’ saw was the chieftain hit him in the face with his foot.
UNSC Frigate Hell’s Half Acre
Battle Cluster in Orbit around Sangheilios.
Captain Adrian Demarco cracked his knuckles. Looking on the viewport in the steel corridor outside the Armory, he saw the fleet of the five Frigates, two Marathon Cruisers, and an Assault carrier led by the elites. It’s name was The Shadow of Intent. The UNSC ships were spares assembled by Lord hood from the surviving colonies and outposts rallied by Lord Hood.. The ships drifted quickly towards the massive pair of fleets scrambled within each other like a swarm of bees turning on each other.
Luckily the Elites provided the with FoF identification. Mike looked back into the Armory to find his team of ODSTS and ONI Black Ops soldiers gearing up in the armory. Only clad in grey fatigues, Adrian walked into the Hangar.
“Okay boys, the elites saved our sorry asses, so I figured we retuned the favor. About an hour ago, an Elite Commander dropped out of contact, according to an Elite shipmaster trying to get into contact with him. We are tasked with finding him and confirming he is alive.”
“Where would that be?” asked on of the rookie troopers by the name of Heartly. His young face covered in a thin stubble that had bothered Adrian since he was moved to his squad
“Shut up and let me finish.” Adrian responded coldly, glaring at the rookie under his black officer cap bearing the UNSC emblem, an Eagle resting over the silhouette of earth with an olive wreath behind.
“The Elites were attempting to vacate the capitol and regroup for a counter offensive. A series of Brute counter-attacks and ambushes eliminated most of them.”
The new guy they transferred, O’Connor, looked anxious. There was rumors around the crew that he had befriended the elite that led the forces in the city. He requested to be the first boots on the ground.
“We will perform a surgical insertion and sweep the area for survivors, we’ll load them onto the Wasp drop ships and get them out. The ODSTs will drop into heat after a wing of Longswords carpet bomb the perimeter of the city where the Covenant is amassing the soldiers in the city. The Half Acre will enter the atmosphere and launch us in the wasps. Hopefully this plays out like clockwork and we’ll have a clean getaway with hurting the enemy. Oohrah?”
The ONI Black Ops soldiers and the ODSTs knuckle-pounded each other as they stood and gathered their gear. They were equipped with the newer pulse weapons issued by ONI. They ONI troopers were equipped with Mark I “Demon” armor. It was jet black with thin steel plates that covered a sealed body glove. The most interesting feature, however, was the personal energy shields seen on MJOLNIR armor, putting them on par with the Elite Soldiers.
The Helljumpers preferred to stay traditional with their sealed urban camo suit with armor plating and a Helmet with a opaque blue visor that stayed in a V shape that was built around a standard infantry helmet. DeMarco always knew them as crazy-asses. That’s exactly why Officers like him admired them.
The Black ops soldiers pulled a black balaclava over their faces, exposing the eyes and upper nose only. Over this, they added another shroud of secrecy. On went a gasmask with a single respirator that protruded from the right side of the mask. The grey rubber squeaked as he pulled it down and secured. The bug-lenses glowed red as he activated the HUD. They slipped on a black combat helmet and clicked the chin strap into place.
“Let’s get a feel for these new toys.” a Black-Ops trooper said with a distorted tone as he pulled a MA7-PC rifle from the gun rack. It looked like the standard MA5C ICWS assault rifle that the infantry carried, but with some “enhancements’ made from the Sangheili and ONI.
It had a Grey and Black color finish. The Magazine contained pulse shells magnetically charged with plasma that encased it once it entered the barrel, that was supercharged with an electromagnet. It fired the 5.56 projectile at 5,000 feet per second while it was encased by an energy shield that was charged with plasma.
The Plasma charger stuck vertically from the body of the weapon and had a power meter that glowed green. The weapon collapsed from the middle to inset a fresh battery in the case that it wore out. It’s ammo counter glowed green and sported a 60 round magazine before having to reload. The barrel was extended and thicker. Electric arcs reached from the tip as the trooper pulled the charging handle and activated the weapon.
The Soldiers passed the weapons from the racks to the eager team of Black Ops soldiers. The ODSTs made sarcastic remarks as they reached for their tried-and-true BR55HB-SR.
“At least I know that this won’t explode and rip my nuts from my body.” Lt. Harris joked as he racked the bolt on his rifle.
“Settle down.” Adrian snapped as he stroked his hand across his chiseled, clean-shaved face. “Let me grab some body armor.”
He strode over and opened an equipment locker that slid with a creak. He pulled some armored boots and slid them on, trying the metal boots that reached just below his knees. He hoisted a black steel chest plate and slid it onto his shoulders. It was a heavy and snug fit, but it would hold off against small arms better than his cloth fatigues underneath.
He strapped a pair of rectangular shoulder pads on that covered most of his bicep area. He adjusted his cap and grabbed an M6G magnum and one of the three remaining pulse rifles. He turned it on and it beeped to life as it’s systems began to run. It was surprisingly light, most of the interior being made out of the Covenant’s composite alloys.
“Let’s rock, Gentleman.” he said as he pulled the weapon’s strap over his shoulder, letting it dangle under his arm.
The men shuffled as the proceeded down the hallway, looking out the windows at the raging battle in orbit.
“Damn,” said O’Connor as a cruiser was struck by a Plasma torpedo, detonating into a frag grenade of giant proportions. Debris rained onto other ships nearby. The door hissed open and the cargo elevator awaited them. About forty men altogether were packed like sardines into the platform.
It rang as it descended into the hangar. They gray walls erupted into a flood of white light as they entered the Cargo Bay and hangar. Eight Wasp Dropships stood ready. They were dual-rotor choppers reminiscent of the Osprey design popular in the 20th and 21st century with a compact frame. They had a rounded front cockpit section with a deceptively roomy troop compartment. It was a rather compact craft, a grey Helicopter that was armed to the teeth with a pair of Gatling guns and a bomb-rack containing the foot-ball sized HAVOC mini-nukes.
A few dozen more Helljumpers sat on top of crates conversing or smoking. The General for this operation, Ronald Louis, was a Reach veteran that was appointed by ONI for covert affairs and large-scale espionage and infiltration.
Adrian’s group of Soldiers entered the hangar as the service lift grinded to a halt. The gate opened as a buzzer whined. The group of ONI elite forces stepped off, followed by the group of Helljumpers that proceeded in the opposite direction towards their fellow ODSTS who high-five’d and cheered each other. The moral was extremely high for a high-risk mission.
“Alright boys, “ the General boomed, “I want a nice clean entry and exit. Captain Richards on the bridge will fire a MAC round into the outskirts of the city where the Covenant are pooling troops. The ODSTs will insert right as we break atmosphere and clean up the mess we make. That’s where Captain DeMarco and his team of spooks come in.” he grinned as he cleared his aging throat.
The troops nodded as he continued speaking.
“Once the Half-Acre is in the atmosphere, the Wasps are going to launch and sweep the left side of the city for brute stragglers and Sangheili survivors and lift the them out of the city. That’s the plan, and I hope it’s a clean sweep. Good luck.”
Captain Demarco assembled his soldiers. The few dozen elite troopers all placed their eerie gasmasks towards him, besides the other officer, Lt. Hector, who exited the Wasp for Adrian’s orders and put the cap on top of his clean-shaven head that glinted in the plentiful light of the hangar..
“Remember, once we break atmosphere, let the ODSTS clear the outskirts of the city and we extract the Commander and whoever is alive there. When we exit, we will extract the ODSTs and return to the Elite Supercruiser and drop the commander to the Elite leader and return to our fleet, where we will plan out our ground assaults to help liberate the Sangheili.”
The troops nodded and Lt. Hector waved them on board one of the Wasps.
“Whoever wants room on this one, go ahead with Hector, I’ll load onto W14 and take whoever else that can’t fit onto that one. Sergeant York and Lance Corporal Williams, take your detachments onto the other two Wasps on this section of the hangar. The other four are going to be reserved for later operations.” said DeMarco, who hunched over and entered the low-hanging troop cabin. The ceiling was netted and was sagged down by equipment and supplies placed on top. There was room for seven, but in armor, six was a tight enough fit. Mike sat down behind the cockpit and the pilot tuned around and placed a hand on Mike’s shoulder.
“Howdy, I’m Lt. Bradley, my lo-vely copilot here is Ms. Marbella. We’re going to drop you in a war memorial courtyard a few clicks from the city center, once the Captain fires at the bravo-kilo encampment on the outside and our boys drop in and clean up, we’ll be good once we break the atmosphere.” he said with a less-than-subtle southern US accent.
“Let’s go kick some ass Lt.” Mike said as he shook hands. “I’m Captain Demarco, you got a name for this fine ride?”
“You know it. Her name’s Jessica.” he said as he patted the metal hull next to his round cockpit frame. A small window and a plethora of instruments took up most of it. As the rest of the troops filed into the craft, the back door hissed and began to close as the hydraulic pipes retracted and enclosed the inside of the craft into darkness.
“Need some light, boys? “ he asked as he ran his hands along the panel in front of him until a soft green light flooded the interior of the craft.
“Thanks, Lt.” mike said as he attempted to get comfortable inside the cramped bay. The rest of his soldiers shifted uncomfortably as they found a spot to sit in the small faux leather seats. They were all set. All they needed was a signal from the captain.
Bridge of UNSC Frigate Hell’s Half Acre.
Captain Keller stood aboard the bridge of the Half Acre. Standing on in a ready posture with his hands behind his back as he gazed out the window as they pitched and headed in a straight line through the brute blockade that was slowly materializing ahead of him
“I’m assuming you want to take the honor,” he grinned as R’tas Vadum’s smirking projection came over the AI port. His face was scarred by only having half of his mandibles wholly intact. They clicked awkwardly as he spoke.
“I will lead the charge, Captain Keller. Kindly tidy up whoever escapes my wrath.” The Elite said as the Massive carrier, Shadow of Intent, moaned forward and rumbled the bridge crew, who consisted of Ensign Roberts, Lt McKinney, and Lt Zeng.
“At least we have the elites on our side.” Zeng remarked as plasma arced form the massive carrier towards the brute formation that broke away from the main fleet. The cruisers flashed brilliant white as their sheilds attempted to halt the onslaught of fire, but the Shadow continued through, hitting a frigate that was shaped as the front half of the regular CCS-Class cruiser. It disintegrated into debris scraps as the 3 mile long craft slammed through it.
“All UNSC craft open fire!” Keller shouted. The pair of Marathon cruisers and the five Frigates hit the regrouping craft with a flurry of MAC rounds, taking out most of the cruisers. They vented orange flames as the oxygen escaped from the holes punctured by the high-velocity shells.
They crippled craft drifted away as the UNSC fleet headed forward into the atmosphere with the shadow of Intent to help liberate a few cities. He had to fire a MAC round around the perimeter of Zantalia to pave the way for his forces on board. Most of them were hell jumpers and spooks. Creepy bastards.
“Lt. Zeng, bring me a magnification of the target.” Captain Keller ordered as he lit up a Sweet Williams cigar and blew out a ring of grey smoke that drifted into the ceiling of the bridge like a ghost.
“Yessir.” he replied hastily as his fingers jumped onto his Weapons Terminal.
A magnification of the target jumped on the projector table in the center of the bridge. Keller placed his aging arms onto the smooth rims of the tabled and hunched over it. The camera showed thousands of covenant infantry encamped in the dark grey sands in the mountain valley that they were in. Hordes of grunts shuffled around with their brute leaders kicking the alien slaves about.
“Poor bastards.” Keller said as he took another puff of his cigar.
A Motor pool had dozens of wraiths and a handful of Locust walkers and Scarabs. They towered above the sleek tanks that resembled mechanical stingrays.
“Aim somewhat ahead of the motor pool the small inlet by the mointains that they are in should magnify the concussive blast of the MAC shell. Wait for my mark.” he said as he stood up straight and flicked his cigar out.
“Aye” said Zeng as a targeting reticule popped over the motor pool.
“ McKinney, unlatch pod launchers and bring us closer. It’s about time we returned the Covenant a favor for attacking Earth. These Elites deserve our help.”
Dar awoke to a sharp pain in his chest. Hephaestus planted his rugged, leathery foot on his chest.
“Wake up scum!” he boomed as his apelike eyes fixed onto Dar’s terrified face. The Brute hoisted him up with it’s powerful grip, snaring Dar’s tiny frame.
“Did I not tell you that sleeping under my command will result in another one of your insignificant fingers being yanked from their sockets!”
“Please, please! I won’t dishonor your pack again Hephaestus!” Dar desperately squeaked as he kicked his stubby legs.
He struck the ground with an agonized moan as the massive brute captain threw him onto a pile of rocks head-first.
Why must this happen to me? Why can’t I go back home with my nipple-mates and see my family. When will this Great Journey come and take him from this cruel existence to serve the Prophet of Remorse?
With his last sliver of strength, he began to crawl up the sand-polished rock and gazed into the morning sky of Sangheilios that was stained a magnificent red as the sun peaked over the mountains, pushing the black sky further away.
“Please, I want to die.” he sobbed as he gazed into the scattered stars and violent explosions in the sky. A glowing pearl of a star grew in the dark section of the sky, growing larger with each second, a glowing streak in the sky that raced towards him.
Dar let out a relieved sigh as his final wish was granted. The sand a mile in front of him shot into the air in a great plume as a shockwave shook the sands, opening up fissures that sucked in Covenant forces. Hephaestus let out a horrified grow as a crack opened up under his Pack, they were sucked in and buried in a well-deserved tomb of flowing sands.
Dar smiled as he was thrown from his rock and embraced the warm cloud of sand that swept over most of the Covenant forces and erased him from existence.
Captain Demarco’s Bird gave out a cheer as the Captain of the Ship hit home on the encampment. The guttural clacking of pots launching ran out as the cruiser broke atmosphere. The ship rumbled as it descended downward.
“Let‘s do this!” Shouted O’Connor as the hangar door opened.
Red clouds swept into the hangar as the stabilized and slowed to a halt above a mountain range.
“Let the ODSTs clear the field of survivors and we’ll head into the city unnoticed.” Mike ordered the pilots “I’ll get them on Comm.”
The landing always shook up Lt. Harris. Always. The pod went dark, and he disengaged the airlock. The front hatch blasted away from the HEV pod, knocking a grunt investigating his pod into next week. It’s linp corpse skidded across the sand and stopped, leaving a slick of blue blood behind.
Harris jumped from the pod with his Battle rifle sighted. Plasma bolts were flying from the scattered groups of covenant ahead. A few more pods screamed from the sky and swerved into the sand, kicking up earth and sending energy waves rippling across the dry surface of the sand. A few soldiers clad in black toting Battle rifles stepped from their pods and took cover behind an overturned wraith.
Harris looked around and saw a few empty pods behind him with ODSTs stepping from them. Harris waved tem over with his right hand, keeping his rifle raised in his left.
“Look sir, those grunts are fighting the brutes. They probably held a revolt when the MAC round killed off most of the brutes.” said Corporal Sykes as he pointed to a distant group of grunts clawing on top of a fallen brute, pummeling the beast with their sheer numbers.
“Humans!” squeaked a nearby voice. Harris turned around with his scope planted on the grunt’s squished-looking face. His gasmask covering his toothed maw.
“No! No, don’t shoot! We are friends!” the small creature said as it struggled to hold a plasma rifle properly. “Help us kill these brutes and set us free!”
Harris lowered his rifle and looked at the grunt. “What the hell?”
“We are not fond of brutes, you see! They torture us, hit us, and even beat us!” the small creature squawked as he jumped in excitement “My name Deedab, I will bring you to the brutes!”
He began to waddle ahead, where his conical methane tank bobbed as he made an effort to pull his short legs out of the deep sand.
“Well, this is strange. Let’s follow him, I guess.” Harris chuckled as he jogged behind the tiny alien.
Deedab made a terrified yelp as a sandy hand grasped his ankle. The figure shifted under the sand and rose, sand sliding of it’s smooth armor plates. It was a brute. It’s swollen, andy eyes beaded with rage as it flung to grunt aside. It shook the sand off of itself and charged a Harris. He dived aside. His team opened fire on the ten-foot monster, shaking it up. It buckled backwards as it’s chest plate snapped.
Deedab got to his feet and haphazardly sprayed his weapon towards the brute, narrowly missing Harris in the process.
“Watch it!” he shouted as the brute turned around and threw a punch at him. He dodged and grabed the brute’s arm. It growled and shook his arm in attempt to dislodge Harris. He pulled his combat knife and slit a large gash up the brute’s arm. It’s black blood bled profusely and spilled onto the reddish sand below. It clutched the wound and staggered back.
“Eat this, hairball.” Harris said as his foot connected to the brute’s injured chest.
It staggered back and slammed into a a limestone rock that jutted from the sand. Mike stood overtop the beast and threw powerful punches at the brute’s exposed face. It’s helmet fell off when it his the rocks.
It moaned and ceased moving as it’s skull fractured and caved in from Harris’s punches with his metal-plated gloves.
Deedab cheered as fired his weapon into the air. The ODSTs ahead cut a path into the brute line with grunt assistance, evident as broken brute bodies littered the sand behind them.
The Ground rumbled and growled as something huge began to move. The ODSTs and their grunt companion stood at awe when a column of sand rose from the ground. Waterfalls of sand slid from the massive object. As most of the sand slid off the behemoth, they soldiers stood in fear. A scarab emerged scarred and sandy as it creaked to life and planted one of it’s massive purple legs forward. The ODSTs ahead sprinted towards the trenched ahead and dove for cover in the trenched as it moved it beetle like head at them and charged it’s cannon.
“Everybody to the trenches ahead. That thing will destroy us if we don’t get to cover.” Harris ordered as he sprinted ahead towards the wrecked war factory ahead. Black smoke plumes swirled from the destroyed facility.
Adrian dived into a trench and was followed by his soldiers Deedab fell clumsily into the trench screaming fearfully.
“Shhhh!” Harris hushed the grunt as he peeked over the trench.
The Scarab clawed across the sand, and a group of grunts fled in terror as it aimed it’s Plasma cannon at them and sent an almost liquid beam of plasma towards them, kicking up blackened sand particles, glass chunks, and barely noticeable grunt pieces.
“Captain Demarco, we have a situation on the ground! There is a scarab still operational! Requesting ordinance on target as you pass over the city. If you can read me, please divert course and assist!
“Roger that!” Adrian responded “Hector, deploy bomb racks as we fly over their position and open the back hatch.”
“Aye, sir.” the pilot replied. The back door slowly pulled open and warm air of Sangheilios swept in. Sand particles began to collect inside the craft as Adrian picked up his pulse rifle and stood by the open bay door. He peered out to see two rectangular chutes with grated coverings extend outwards. They housed HAVOC mini-nukes that he was going to drop on top of the Scarab that should come into view in a few moments.
A large purple insectioid walker was spotted by the pilot as he called back to Adrian.
“ring us into hover right after we drop the bombs.” Adrian ordered as he grasped the handrail and shouldered his weapon as the sands below blurred as they aced across the mountains into the desert. A Purple form below blurred as a pair of clicks indicated that two bombs had been dropped from the craft.
The Wasp leaned upward as the violent hurricane of it’s rotors died into dull thumps as it went into hover. It leaned down and began to circle slowly overhead. The mininukes engulfed the scarab into two mushroom clouds that flashed and extended upwards. The scarab’s front leg was blown apart, sending it plowing into the sand as the other explosion critically damaged the core. The machine screeched as it disappeared into a blue flash as debris shot upwards and rained across the sandy plain.
“Got ‘im!” said Hector as he entered the city outskirts, clipping over buildings. A fractured monument came into view with brutes disposing Sangheili in the upper east section of the courtyard. Crumbling buildings surrounded the coutyard and blocked infantry access. It should be a shooting gallery.
A few brutes were torn apart when Hector put the craft in hover and peppered a few brutes with the 120mm cannon on the nose. Tattered corpses flew upward as the crafts descended Three other Wasps began to touch down, spilling out ONI troopers who began to clear whatever opposition was left. The ground layed six feet from the deck of the craft.
‘Go, go, GO!” Adrian shouted almost mechanically as he jumped fom the craft and aimed his weapon down the courtyard, sighting a shocked brute reaching for his brute shot. He never got a chance to even aim it. A guttural series of bangs left a trail of green haze as the weapon fired the Plasma-encased rounds towards the Brute. It tore a large set of holes in his chest as he dropped.
“Charge!” Adrian yelled as the rest off the team jumped from the choppers and flooded into the courtyard.
Edited by D-man, 24 January 2009 - 05:38 AM.