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~Chapter 14: Chieftain~ “We’re not far from the crash site, it seems we have about seven kilometers.” Caelin said, she was focused on both the distance and the sky. The desert seemed so vast and felt like it would never end. It was incredibly beautiful, yet it felt so empty at the same time. Caelin heard Ash yell, “Defensive procedures, use whatever you can!” then she started to hear what was going on on the outside of the Pelican. The Falcon’s nose gun was being heard, with its loud three shots. The machine gun turrets had opened fire. She looked to her side. Three phantoms and seven banshees were on to them. All full of big hairy monkeys. “You have go to be kidding me right now.” Caelin activated the Pelican’s weapons. Two heavy machine gun turrets swung down in the back, and a missile pod launcher lowered down in between them. The nose gun opened out of its canopy and mounted itself on the nose, exposed. “Ash, get up here and take point.” “Will do.” Ash walked over and took the nose gun. While Zeff and Michael took the machine gun turrets, and Joseph was on the missile pod. “Suppressive fire, suppressive fire!” Joseph yelled at the marines and Junior. Who were all stuck with DMR’s. Junior watched Frank, Magnus, and Runner got caught behind. Engaged with six banshees. More of them en route. They appeared to be stripped of their fuel rod cannons. However, their twin cannons were still effective. “Ash, your friends are falling behind. If we do not help them, they will die. The falcons chances of winning are 80%, but do you want to take those chances?” Caelin asked her, she kept the pelican focused on the objective. Ash was in despair over what Caelin just said. “Caelin...” Ash knew she was going to have to add a few extra minutes to the clock. She didn’t want to take any chances. “Turn around and lets help them out.” Ash said. Caelin turned the Pelican around. Ash engaged the phantoms with the forward nose turret. She destroyed two of the phantoms almost instantly. Caelin smiled at her. The brutes weren’t putting up with any of this. Choppers and Prowlers were headed towards them on the ground. Cannons blazed and fired at the pelican, while the pelican took out the banshee’s. “Let’s go Frank, we need to get out of here. Anymore time and everything’s lost.” Ash said. “Got it.” Frank pushed on the thrusters and flew above the pelican, which moved back towards the route of the objective. Michael and Zeff engaged the ground forces. Which put up a really good fight on this desert terrain. One of the choppers seemed to be going off route towards the pelican. Most likely retreating. “Should we engage it Zeff?” Michael asked. “No, it appears to be retreating. Leave it for now. It’ll tell its friends to fear us.” Zeff said, completely unaware of how the Brute’s worked. “Alrighty.” Michael said. He engaged a couple banshee’s and more prowler’s. Even some ghosts that showed up. “Sir, we have a problem.” Junior told Ash. “What is it?” Ash asked him. “Well you see, there’s a lich right behind us, and well you see. Our machine guns aren’t capable of breaching the shields on their own. Plus, we have no idea what these Brutes plan on doing.” Junior said. “Understood.” Ash said. “Joseph, come up here.” Joseph walked through the entryway, “Yes mam?” “We need you on the cannon.” Ash said. “Yes mam.” Joseph said. He reached over and climbed up the ladder to the controls. He took the controls and activated the cannon. “Alright Ash, I’m ready.” “Good, I need you to help Zeff and Michael with that Lich. They need all the firepower they can get.” Ash said. Banshees and Phantoms swarmed at them from the front. Joseph turned the cannon around and fired at the Lich. A Scorpion-like shell fired at the Lich, and was absorbed in the shields. He fired a few more. All which did the same thing. “Ash, I’m going to need some assistance.” he asked. Firing another shell, which did the same thing. “I’m sorry, I can’t at the moment. We’re dead if I have to stop what I’m doing.” Ash said. Everything got closer and closer. She fired up the laser cannon and wiped out as much Banshees she could in a single charge. Joseph fired at the Lich again. The shields went down. “Michael and Zeff. We’re good to go. Destroy this thing.” “You got it!” Zeff said. They both engaged the infantry, some of them ran for the plasma turrets, but were killed before hand. “Watch out you guys, this area seems to have a few desert mountains.” Caelin said. She watched where she flew. Wasn’t too bad of an area, not many mountains. It was just better to be safe than sorry. “Caelin, this is a Brute stronghold. We’re taking fire from Spikers and Maulers from down below.” One of the marines said. Junior looked at the soldier. Where have I seen this man before? His face looked familiar... “Watch out!” Caelin yelled. The Brute Chopper returned on the mountain. Headed straight towards the Pelican. Michael engaged the Chopper, but it kept coming. At last, the Chopper applied its boost and flew straight at Michael’s cannon on the side of the Pelican. “Oh you have got to be kidding me.” Michael disengaged the turret. Which was too late on his part. The Chopper slammed right into the turret, and destroyed it to pieces. The collision was enough to throw Michael out of the bay of the Pelican. Luckily he grabbed ahold of the center piece between the two thrusters on the tail. “Michael, whatever you do. Do not let go.” Junior said. “I’m going to try my best to see if there’s anything we can do to get you, and fast before that Lich takes you down.” Junior looked into the bay to see what he could find. Zeff destroyed the Chopper that almost killed Michael. “Don’t worry Michael, I got your back on this.” Zeff fired as fast as he could and as much as he could at the Lich before he noticed something. It was the power core. Zeff engaged the power core, almost instantly destroying it before Joseph saw it and took the credit for the destruction of the Lich. The Lich swirled around in circles, just barely missing the Pelican. “Michael we’re coming to get you, stay put!” Joseph said. He left the cannon’s seat and headed on the roof of the Pelican. It was too late. Two Brutes were already up there after him. “Michael! Don’t let go!” Junior yelled. He fired his magnum at one of the Brutes who were equipped with a Beam Rifle. Headshot, just enough to kill him. “Don’t you even dare.” Joseph said. He slammed into one of the Brutes, throwing him off to his death. Joseph pulled up his DMR and fired everything he had into the Brute. He reached his hand down and pulled Michael up. “Thanks, you saved me. I really thought I was going to die so quickly and suddenly like everyone else has before me. Thank you, I appreciate it.” Michael said. “For an ODST, you did pretty good. I owe you one.” Michael and Joseph headed back to the inside of the Pelican. Ash spoke to them, “Hey, get down here. We’re literally three kilometers away from the destination.” “Roger that, we’re coming.” Joseph said, he looked at Michael. “Why don’t we get you down there and have Junior look at you. What do you say?” “Sounds good to me.” Michael headed down first. “That’s good. Didn’t wanna lose someone valuable on this team.” Joseph said, he headed down the ladder, but something stopped him. He was moving away from the ladder now, he saw Michael’s head pop up with his Sniper Rifle in hand. He fired it right above Joseph. Who realized what was going on now. He completely disregarded his surroundings. They were still engaged with Brute forces. Joseph watched the Pelican fly away as the dead Brute that grabbed him weighed him down to his death. “Sometimes we save each other, sometimes we don’t.” Joseph hit the ground. He didn’t die, but he did have a Brute on top of him. He watched as Brutes all surrounded him, and their Chieftain approached him. He roared incredibly loud and swung his hammer. ~End of Chapter 14~