Reach Time: 03:33
Date: January 13th 2552 (4 months and 4 days before Reach falls)
Location: UNSC/ ONI Research Facility Outpost 4-Delta 5-0.5-Charlie's North Wing
The elevator whirred and four large robot looking men stood there waiting. My green armour almost glowed in the dark as we made our way to the higher levels of the base. We were expecting many hostiles at the top of the shaft; there was two airs around the four of us. The first my own, an air of anxiety and nervousness that resulted in me shuddering and twitching on the elevator platform. The second though shared by the three others was one of excitement. They were twitching and tapping and fiddling but they seemed as if they were gagging for the action. They wanted to get into the thick of it, Rodriguez setting up the tripod on the bottom of his turret gun; John was primed and ready; and Cyph3r whom had finished tapping his helmet was now watching the large blue screen displaying the floor number almost dancing as he bobbed up and down in anticipation. I gulped. The platform ground to an uneasy halt...
I drew my assault rifle to my shoulder, my eye down the barrel ready; John did the same and the huge blast doors vibrated. Cyph3r looked round "HELL YEAH!" he screamed as the doors began to open; I was shocked at the captain's apparent lack of awareness. If it was as we expected it was a massive risk to run straight out all guns blazing. I didn't know what to do. I just looked around and Rod, on his turret, simply patted me on the back probably feeling my unease. John scoffed at me "You okay there, kiddo?" he asked me as the doors opened and revealed a large corridor. We primed ourselves...
It wasn't at all what we expected, not at all like we thought. The corridor was empty. No one, nothing. Just us on the platform, stepping off without resistance. The three men behind me let out a sigh of disappointment. "Well that was bollocks." yelled John punching a wall, frustrated. The other two looked as if they could do the same. However, they didn't and I looked around seeing still nothing. "Well boys," said the Captain sadly "Looks like we're still on 10-"
"Tartarus, come in?" came a female voice over the comm-link
"Xiang?" replied Cyph3r in a confused tone, tapping his helmet once again "Well, I can't seem to mute you can I babe?" There was a vast amount of cursing from the Field Commander but Cyph3r looked no more tense. He should've been. He wasn't though, he was just casual. "Ok, babe, give me it quick..." the captain groaned, making a sock puppet with his hand and mocking the Field Commander. He didn't expect the retort of Xiang though; we all had to laugh "Well you never take long anyway..."
The Captain told us to be quiet but we still laughed. His body language had completely changed and Rod was almost keeled over but Xiang was in a grave mood. She was cursing and shouting down the comm-link at all four of us. "Get to that Command Tower now Tartarus, or I will personally kick you all straight in your tiny fucking balls!" the four of us all felt our crotch area and after my one on one time with Xiang, I didn't doubt her claim. "Alright!" yelled the captain "I'm on it, babe."
"So you better fucking be."
All four of us now gulped, probably the only thing that seemed to keep the four (I say four, these guys rubbed off on you quickly) of us in line. There was no hesitation. We stared just running, me at the head with the schematics inside my visor. I smiled to myself, I was feeling great. "We're not far off, let's make a move." is what I said as the others seemed to lag behind me. I looked at the schematics again, the image however, was soon replaced by that of a man. I stopped. The others did also all knocking into the back of me, knocking me forward onto my face. "Oi, what the hell-?"
"Welcome, my Spartan brothers." came a voice from over the base's announcement system "Welcome to New Jerusalem, it's nice to have you in the house of God." We all looked up as the blue screen showed the face of the man we were here to actually kill. The man whom called himself; "The Grand Father" or "The New Prophet" his real name however, was Tobias Mallik. He was there, pompous as all the new age religious people were, The Covenant, for example. Armageddon, the religious sect was totally a massive waste of time in my eyes but Tobias ruled it with an iron fist. "Please, let's resolve this through talk brothers, please." he went on "I think that God could find it in his heart to forgive you, sirs?"
"We ain't your Brothers you psycho bastard!" yelled Cyph3r towards the blue screen "You talk so much shit." The whole team, looked at the large blue screen. I laughed at Cyph3r's outburst and Rod looked totally up for it. John was gone. We all looked around "OH HELL HE DIDN'T!" yelled Cyph3r "OH NO! OH NO! WHAT A... I'LL KILL HIM!" The Holy Man looked at us on the blue screen. He looked really, confused was the only word I could use to describe it. "Where's O'hoolo?" asked Cyph3r to the New Prophet with an air of curiosity; I'd totally forgotten about the ANTIFAC leader, Smollan O'hoolo. The Prophet said nothing for a while. Then revealed blood covered hands. "He has been judged, as soon you shall be..." the blue screen disappeared and massive amounts of gunshots could be heard from where we'd just come from.
"Don?" I asked, "Don? what's happening?"
"Fuck you Spartan!"
"Woah, a bit harsh there Donny boy." interjected the Captain
"I thought we said no friendly fire?"
"Well, tell the Brown Crossbow freak to stop firing at us!"
There was a tense moment then, we all looked at each other. I didn't remember a Spartan wielding a crossbow was unheard of even in my Tartarus briefing there was nothing on that. Cyph3r had to look at the other two. They denied the existence as well. Things suddenly got awkward then: "Don...?"
"Promise not to shout." I gulped, knowing the Captain's predicament
"He's not one of ours..."
The team all looked at one and other, I could hear The ODSTs dropping like flies. "What do you mean he's not ours?" yelled Donald making a massive fuss "He's fucked the guys at the door and now it's our turn, we're going to die." It was with that sudden realisation I felt a knot in my stomach "I tell you what Spartan Wankers..." said Donald in a hush voice "There's only 3 of us left, so you better fucking win..." He signed off and we knew that was it. The team's head ducked down and we just sprinted straight for the Command Tower.
We took the stairs, spraying bullets at anything that moved, leaving a trail of death behind us, we had no idea what to do now. The game had taken a massive turn. "Xiang there's a damn hostile Spartan!" yelled John over the comms for the first time in a while "I've had to withdraw, I'm at the top of the Command Tower Stairs." The commander sounded alert, violent even in her approach to the news "Ok, Tartarus, do not engage!" yelled Xiang "We need him alive."
"He's not exactlly going to let us take him!" replied Rod
"Well work on it, Rodders!"
The three of us met the sniper at the top of the stairs, "We're now on about 25 by the way."
"32." said Cyph3r
"There's no competition." I spat violently as I remembered that the ODSTs were gone, all of them. My stomach churned at the thought and the four of us looked at the door into the command centre. It was thick, not unbreachable though. I was able to do it, I just need the time. I kneeled by the terminal and began to tap away at my tactpad. I just kept tapping. The two behind me getting all the more stressed, Cyph3r tapped his helmet. John, walked off. "FOR GOD SAKE JOHN!" yelled Cyph3r taking his shotgun and grabbing my shoulder "Move!"
He pulled me away, unloaded his gun's shell into the terminal and the door opened again revealing John already on the other side, a look of total confusion painted in John's body language "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU DO IT!?" the two looked at each other. The Prophet looked at us as we all entered, John's imprint left as shards of glass now along the floor thanks to the command tower window. That he'd smashed through. Cyph3r took his rifle to his eye and pointed it towards the Prophet. "Down Mallik," yelled Rod his turret set on the holy man "It's up."
"Are you really Spartans?" asked Mallik as he observed us, his hands in the air as if delivering a sermon "I wish you were like brother Renuku. Oh well, goodbye Tartarus..." There was the sound of whistling as the Prophet escaped and what looked like arrows pierced the ground in front of us. The bolts had come from above. Then I felt a huge amount of pain, as something metallic pierced not just my shield but the MJOLNIR armour. A cold drip of blood around the metallic bolt now lodged in my left shoulder. I gripped at it and wrenched with all my might only to cause myself extreme amounts of pain. I looked at the guys who were also being barraged with the same treatment. Rod, gravved me and pulled me to cover before opening fire: "Fuck Xiang, this bastards going to die!"
I shook, still trying to wrench the darn thing out of my arm, hearing more and more pierce the surfaces they came into contact with. Cyph3r, began to fade away using his active camouflage to try and get close to the brown Spartan. Rod looked down at me, with my back on the computer desk as I still attempted to remove the bolt from my arm only to pain myself. There was a huge crash and Cyph3r and the Brown Spartan came over the top of the desk wrestling with one and other. Cyph3r had got close to this Renuku and the bout had taken a massive toll, both the giants punches sending shock waves throughout the whole room as one connected after another. Blows to the head and body, racketed off the two as they slugged it out from start to finish, with neither having the clear advantage. It was a stalemate both Spartans just assaulting each other relentlessly, no mercy and no quarter just a pure massacre of punches charged with genetic modification. I sat and watched, doing nothing. Unable to do anything as both Spartans shuddered from the force. Both dropped to one knee with exhaustion.
It was then beginning to white out due to the loss of blood, just in time for me to see the Brown Spartan hip toss the captain straight over his shoulder onto his back, pick up his cross bow and withdraw from the fight. He could see he was loosing John zeroing in on his head with every shot and Rodriguez now rampaging throughout the command centre in a hope to hit the "bastard" who'd hit me.
My sight was blurring and the guys looked as if they were actually panicking. "They got away Xiang, Orso's hit." said the Captain seriously "Who the hell was that?" I took my helmet off and let me look upon the Captain with my own green eyes, gasping for breathe to stop the pain and running my only still functioning hand through the sweat laden brown mop of hair on my head. Rod was sat beside me, caring for me "It'll be Okay son!" I laughed. growling to myself as John pointed and laughed at me.
I saw the pelicans landing outside, a shudder of relief running throughout my body "Thank fuck." was all I could manage through the pain.