John grabbed the broken concrete pieces and pulled a large slab out, thrusting it forward in front of him like an Olympic javelin thrower. The projectile slammed into the incoming plasma grenade, sticking it and detonating in mid air. The other plasmas that were thrown with it detonated in unison with it, creating a blue wall of smoke between the Chief and the Covenant facility for a quick moment. He took the moment to grip his MA5B EC tightly and sprint forward, rushing through the plasma as it finished evaporating into the air. Two Shade turrets on the top of the wall tried to pull down and aim at him, but the triple plasma turret attached to them got down to aim much too slow for a sprinting Spartan. He was within the aftermath of his first explosion before a squad of Grunts and their Brute leader knew what was going on.
John pushed himself off to the right, then pushed back off a broken slab that had fallen diagonally, getting him higher than his blue-armourred foe while the Grunts screamed in terror. He pulled a fragmentation grenade from its magnetic clip on his hip armour, freeing the pin from its socket. Three seconds before it detonated.
The Brute roared in rage as he watched the flying 'demon' descend toward him. Two seconds. John put his feet forward and landed on the Brute's left shoulder, pulling his knees in as the primate rebalanced himself. He slammed the fragmentation grenade into its still-open mouth, causing it to gag and half close it. He pushed off the Brute and barrel-rolled as he hit the ground, the force of his legs spun the Brute around to face the four-foot methane breathers.
The grenade detonated, blowing the upper half of the Jiralhanae clean off. Shrapnel that escaped its lower jaw punctured a Grunt's methane backpack, blowing the helpless creature into oblivion as well. The rest of the Unngoys panicked and scattered in every direction, leaving the Masterchief alone in the lower hallway.
"This thing's freakin' heavy." An ODST muttered, setting the tactical nuke case carefully down next to the corner of the hallway. Samus prepped her vira suit for whatever waited around the bend, pulling energy from her other systems to her cannon to give her main energy rounds a slight increase in strength.
"There's something big in the next hall." Samus whispered over to the explosive experts.
"Then go kill it before we get the chance to show you how it's done." Was the whisperred reply to her. Just then the sound of an automatic rifle echoed through the hall, and nearly a dozen roars followed. She had no time to wait any longer, she switched to the frangmentation missiles she carried and primed them as she pivotted on her right foot into the open.
The hall extended nearly fifty meters straight down, enterring an circular room in the center where the door to the center lay. In the middle expansion, a dozen of the massive apes ducked for cover, except for one. He was nearly a foot larger than the rest, and his armour was maroon and designed differently than the others, more mystical and powerful, showing experience and superiority. He had a larger headdress as well, and carried a hammer.
A very big hammer.
She raised her cannon up and braced her elbow with her left hand, took a breath to brace herself, and shot two of the missile at once. Her right elbow bent out despite her hold on it, and her right shoulder kicked back. Both fragmentation energy missiles successfully launched however, and quickly found their mark on the Brute's back.
Masterchief stopped spraying the area ahead with his MA5B EC when he saw an orange figure appear behind the Brute Chieftain and the few of his squad that stayed in the open for a split second more. He pulled a new weapon from his back and placed the Assault Rifle on the magnetic cables that held weapons in place. He pulled the ten guage pump-action to his right shoulder and chamberred a shell. The M16D Combat Shotgun he had recieved for this mission was finally going to get field tested. He took a large step forward when a new boom erupted in front of him, followed by two explosions that tore the Chieftain to shreds. Hundreds of shards of shrapnel splinterred everywhere, stabbing several Brutes all over where their armour left them exposed. One Brute grabbed the left side of his face and screamed in pain, becoming half blind.
He started forward again in a short sprint for the Gravity Hammer dropped by the mutilated Chieftain, stopping only slightly to send a shell into a Brute's head at point blank as he made a grab for his Brute Shot that was dropped in the chaos.
As Aran ran down the hall to regroup with him, he scanned the doorway leading to the inside of the facility. It wasn't much of a door, more like a rectangular hole. Inside the courtyard behind it was a large circular hole, surrounded by alien metal piping that spread in every direction, but all ended in the ground either next to the hole or in it.
"Samus." John greeted to her as she caught up and looked into the courtyard as well.
"Chief." She answerred. "ODSTs, it's clear!"
Five slow seconds went by without any answer. Just the sound of the top defenses continuing to fight with the Marines outside.
"We need that nuke now, soldiers!" John yelled over.
"Something just went wrong." Samus finally growled.
Both of them immediately sprinted back down the hall, turning the corner without hesitation for what could be around it. Samus tripped on the head of an ODST, pushing into John for a second and then rebalancing.
Both ODSTs lay on the ground, the backs of their heads burned by plasma. The nuke case sat open, and a green-armourred Grunt sat next to it making grunting noises filled with curiosity. It stopped and looked up at the two soldiers towerring above the Unngoy for two whole seconds. It finally began screaming in terror and dashed through them and down the hall, wobble-sprinting.
"Sneaky little thing." Samus mumbled. "Snuck up on the ODSTs--"
John looked over the nuked as she spoke, then cut her off through an open COM channel.
"The nuke's been misarmed. Detonation in thirty seconds. Everyone evac NOW."
Jefferson listenned to the transmission in horror with his squad as they sat behind their usual cover, letting the two fifty millimeter turrets on their Warthog reinforcements finish off the last of that wall's top defenses.
Out of the COM lines he screamed over the warthogs so the gunners could here, "The nuke's been misarmed! We need to go NOW!"
The gunner of the closest Warthog replied, "Get in! Everyone! They can hold all eight of you!"
"Go go go!" Jefferson orderred to the two squads of Marines that had been fighting for nearly fifteen minutes, waving his hands to their only chance of escape.
"Samus, Chief." the radio openned up again as they made their way out the front door and caught sight of the only two Warthogs speeding off as fast as they could down the freeway. "Evac's enroute. It's going to be close so start running now.
Neither had to look at each other before taking long strides out of the facility and passed the Marine's offensive line.
"Can your ship reach us fast enough?" John breathed, focussing more on where he stepped than anything else.
"Not a chance." Samus replied grimly.
The pilot of the Pelican brought the left wing down and kept the throttle at its fastest speed, quickly getting the freeway and the Covenant facility in his view. He kept glancing down at his radar and watched the two Phantoms that had once followed him, but now quickly bugged out in the other direction. They must have known that the sudden retreat of a winning foe meant that something was up.
"Chief," the pilot finally entered the COM channel again. "I have you and Samus in view. Keep running, I'll try a moving evac maneuver."
"Roger that," John said in between breaths. He and Samus kept the same sprinting pace, but kept watch on the Pelican as it quickly swooped in on their left and hoverred over the massive waterline that seperated the long island from the mainland and the next island the freeway ran across to. Their evac hoverred carefully over to them but flew at their speed, keeping only one foot over the pavement. Samus turned left with him and got behind the aircraft, where two Marines stood on the side and extended their hands. They held onto the handlebars on the sides of the Pelicans, so John accepted the hand and jumped onto the Pelican a moment after Samus.
"Go go go!" The Marine yelled through the COM channel to the pilot. The hatch to the Pelican raised back up and shut as they raised altitude and the co-pilot slammed the reserve throttle to maximum. The engine's core temperature slowly started to increase, but it was a necessary tactic. Just moments after they were three hundred meters away, a white light engulfed every viewscreen and a thunderous crack deafenned everyone in the Pelican.
>//END CHAPTER ONE