Oh, hello, Dannoh403, finally moving my squad 403 stories to here! woop woop. so uh. enjoy.
Chapter 1: Alex's POVEdit
"You are dismissed, Spartan," says the gruff ONI agent. I walk out of the briefing room, stupefied. I had just been ordered on a suicide mission, a "valuable effort", as the ONI spooks said. A covenant cruiser had jumped into the system just last night. It was on a direct heading to our orbital station. My Squad, Squad 403, was going to stop it, if possible. We would infiltrate it, blow it's engines, get out. Get out, was not the primary directive.
Not that this bothered me. I'd been on more suicide than any of the other SPARTANS. A group of genetically engineered soldiers. All I had ever known was fighting, keeping my squad alive. That was my primary directive. I strolled through the base towards my team, to give them their orders. I passed by the other stations, the other Spartans.
Caylin-974 sat at the alarm station. Samuel-076 and Dave-077, the twins, as they were called, practiced their synchronized fighting skills. Zack-284 and Andy-634 were attempting to learn how to use covenant technology.
"So I press this button and-" Andy's sentence is cut short by an explosion. They seem fine, so I keep going. I pass all of them. The only family I had ever really known. All in danger. Their lives rested on my shoulders. Before I know it, I'm at the entrance to my squad's quarters. I take a breath and push open the door.
It seems business as usual. Will-459 sits in the corner, working on his sniper rifle. Hunter-809 works at the schematic station. Ryan-072 studied a covenant shotgun. Caden-1105 is at the virtual training station, working on his sniping skills. As if that was needed. He was the demolitions expert, but was a good as a shot as Will.
"Hey," mutters Ryan without looking up. He's intently studied schematics of a covenant mini-tank.
No sense in dragging this out, I think, "We've been redeployed," I say to everyone. They all turn toward me. "ONI spotted a covie cruiser in system. We're going to kill it."
Hunter stands up, "That's suicide,"
"I know," I say, "but this entire planet is at risk. We have to do our job."
Will stands and slaps a clip into his rifle, "When do we launch?"
Author's Note: I referenced some Hunger Games Wiki and YWC users in this chapter. Spot em anywhere?
The rest of the Squad seems just as eager. I'm leading them into their graves, but they still follow my orders. We pack up our weapons and head off to the hangar. As we prepare to leave, Callam-097 drives by on a mongoose.
"Where you guys goin'?" he asks us.
"We're gonna blow up a spaceship," Caden says eagerly. Ryan, our teams vehicle expert and driver, hops in the driver seat. Our team had specially designed warthogs to accommodate our team. Each one has two extra seats in the middle. We pile in and drive off.
"Sabres," says the ONI agent at the launch site, "Prepped for launch, enough for you and your marine escorts."
"Why not just use a dropship?" inquires Ryan.
"Well, this way, if one of you is shot down, the mission can continue." We all stop talking. The ONI agent continues the briefing, how to pilot a Sabre, weapons systems, evasive maneuvers.
Once he's finished, We grab our gear and climb into the cockpits of our Sabres.
"Green-one, all good," I say into the COM. The rest of the squad follows suit. "Launch in 3, 2, 1, Now!" And with that, we fire our engines and streak into the sky.
When we reach the orbital station, the cruiser is already in visual range. We didn't have much time. A squadron of marines piloted 8 sabres to escort us. The flight to the cruiser is a short one, and it's not long before enemies pop up. A squadron of banshees, in attack formation. A volley of missiles puts them down.
"Phantom phasing out of camo!" calls a marine. His cry is cut short as the dropship's cannon destroys the craft. It targets Caden's Sabre next. Before he can react, a blast destroys the engines. Caden is thrown free and I gasp. He manages to fire a grenade at the phantom's cockpit. The blast knocks open the pilot's cockpit. The entire ship depressurizes, leaving only a floating piece of junk. But Caden is still falling.
I maneuver my Sabre under him, allowing him to climb inside. He takes the gunner seat behind me. We're celebrating our victory when Seraphs jump out of slipspace.
About five minutes of Dog fighting later, we're down to 4 marines and my squad.
The Sergeant keys the COMM, "Spartan, you get your team inside, We'll hold of the fighters." No way could 4 marines hold of a squadron of Seraphs, but he knew that too. I channel my own Squad.
"403, This is 712, We're going in."
"Roger that," they all say.
"Hunter, look for an entry."
"Got it," he says, "Large view-port, marking way-points, now." A small dot appears on the cruiser through our Heads-Up-Display. "Our weapons won't crack it, but our Sabres will." We all get the message. We break away from our marines and accelerate towards the cruiser. I brace for the impact, but it does no help. With the screech of metal against metal, and the sound of the atmosphere exploding, our Sabres crash through the Cruiser's view-port.
Now, if you've ever crashed a Sabre into a covenant cruiser, you'll understand that it is NOT a good idea. "403! Magnetize!" I yell into the com. We magnetize our boots to the floor. If our suits weren't pressurized, we'd be dead men. The troops inside weren't lucky enough. All of them were sucked into the vacuum. I regained my feet. All of us were present and accounted for.
"Move out," I say. Our boots clunk as we walk. I sling my shotgun off my back and aim it ahead. We'd be entering some close quarters soon, and a DMR wouldn't do much. Somehow, the hallways have stayed airtight, allowing us to unseal our helmets.
We walk in close formation. Hunter holds up a TACPAD, "Engine room is that way," he says pointing. We turn and continue down that way.
We walk in complete silence. I sense something wrong. I hold up my hand and we stop. I hear one last clunk of a foot. Not a human foot.
"COMPANY!" I shout and turn around. Before I can even turn around, the stealth elite has unsheathed an energy sword and impaled Will with it. Ryan, who's closest, blasts the elite into the wall with his own shotty.
I lean over Will. It's bad. Real bad. I can't do anything at the moment, not with a mission to complete. I take a health kit off my belt and toss it too Ryan.
"Stay with him," I say, "Let's move Spartans!" The rest of us run down the hall.
Hunter, Caden and I arrive at the entrance to the engine room. It takes Hunter only a few seconds to hack into the controls and open the door for us. Once we're inside, he closes them again. I shoot the controls with my rifle.
"Okay, the cooling vents for the main engines are right over here," Hunter says, looking at a TACPAD, "A grenade should destabilize the core."
Caden calmly loads his grenade launcher and walks over to the terminal. He sticks the barrel inside the small opening and begins to pull the trigger. That's when we hear a horrible sound. We turn toward the door and see it's smoking. Someone....or something, is trying to get in. Hunter, Caden and I aim our weapons to the door. A small smoking hole appears in the door, then it explodes.
When the smoke clears, we've regained our footing and aim. There's nothing we can even see. Then an Elite walks through the smoke.
It stands about seven feet tall. It's an Ascetic, a type I've only read about. Extremely dangerous. He holds out his clenched fist and drops something. Dog tags, UNSC dog tags. I don't even have to look to know they belong to Will and Ryan.
I don't even grief for a second, because we all attack at that moment.
The Ascetic calmly puts the weapon he cut through the door with down and draws an energy sword. Caden fires a rocket, that hits him square in the chest. He stumbles only a little, his shields barely touched. Hunter unloads his pistol into the elite. No dice. I watch in horror as he slices his stomach and draws the blade across his visor. His hands go to his helmet and he screams. He falls to the floor, his faceplate still smoking.
Caden fires the other rocket, another hit, that does nothing. The Ascetic dashes forward and clubs him over the head with the hilt of his sword. He collapses.
Suddenly, it's just me, and him. I pump 3 shells into him with my shotty, doing nothing. I just barely dodge the blade as he stabs at me. I try to grab his wrist, but the shields cause too much friction, and my hand slips off. He throws me to the ground. He draws the sword above his head, prepared to finish me.
I glance over and see Caden's grenade launcher. Luckily it still has one shot in it. It won't kill the Ascetic, but it sure will complete the mission. I pray the shot flies straight, and it does. The grenade goes straight into the cooling vent. I hear a dull thump as the engines begin to superheat. A look of surprise and horror flashes on his face. He jumps off of me and dashes out the door.
"What, the, heck?" I think aloud. I put the question out of my mind, I run to my teammates. I help Hunter to his feet, and we carry Caden between us. Hunter looks about ready to pass out himself. We move down the hallway as fast as possible. On our way, we pass by Will and Ryan. Ryan pushes himself to his feet.
"I'm sorry sir, nothing I could do," he says weakly. We carry him too. Will was already gone. I know I'll have time to grief later. Well, I don't know. Maybe I won't. But my head needed to be here and now. When we reach the hangar, it's chaos.
Covenant troops run everywhere, trying to get off the doomed ship. I point out a small dropship in the corner. Hunter nods and we sneak to it. It takes us five minutes to get there, staying as stealthy as possible, but we make it. I climb into the control seat. Training kicked in and I remembered how to pilot the strange fork-shaped dropship. We zoom out undetected and head towards the nearest place that can save my Squad's lives. Orbital Station Iota.