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~Chapter 16: Give me some of it~ Ash was at the controls while Caelin rested with a few of the others. Frank’s Falcon flew close by, although gun chatter was heard every once in awhile. Other than a few Banshees, nothing much was seen at night on their return. It gave off an ominous feeling to it. Which is why they rested in shifts. Junior managed to patch up Jackson, despite critical problems and the loss of his helmet; he was back to normal on his feet. However, at this particular time, he rested. They didn’t know what would come next, but they needed to be ready. Ash called back to those who were awake. Which was Caboose and Zen. The Pelican would arrive to land in about 5 minutes, and they were in charge of waking up the crew by then. Caboose started at his crew, he woke everyone up slowly but woke Jackson and Junior last. Zen had his marines up and ready to go promto. Caboose had troubles waking Junior, it got to the point he had to pick the ODST up and set him on his feet, in order to wake him up. His eyes opened, and his legs kicked in fear of what happened before he realized he was woke up. Caboose left it to Junior to wake up Jackson, then proceeded to let Ash know they were ready. Frank flew his Falcon in first, the Mammoth sat out in the open. It was unbelievable nobody was here already. It was just this giant boulder, and the vast desert. The Mammoth was ten minutes away from the camp. The real question was, how did this get here? The Falcon touched the ground, the two were departed; in charge of securing the Mammoth. Eliminating any Brutes or Covenant that were inside, if any. After the Mammoth was secured, they were to restore power. If there was no power, this was all for nothing. They approached the entrance on the left side of the Mammoth. Runner went first, she kicked the door open. Magnus was right behind her, he shined his flashlight in the room, ready to motion for it to be clear. Runner moved up and scanned the stairs with the light on the nose of her gun. Magnus did the same on the other side. It was clear. They moved up to the second floor, which overlooked the first floor. Nothing seemed to be out of the normal. Magnus motioned for Runner to stack up on the door that led to the top of the Mammoth. He motioned, and she kicked the door open. Magnus was on the spot. Clear on the walkway. They split up. Runner took the right, and Magnus swung around the left side that would take him to the front overlook and to the opposing walkway. It was clear there. He met up with Runner on the top, a dead Brute and a few dead Marines laid on the top. Blood stained on the floor. He motioned to Runner to grab the Marines and throw them over the side, Magnus grabbed the Brute and threw it over the walkway. Where everyone else awaited them, awaiting their signal. Magnus waved to let them know it was clear and motioned to Runner to run down and switch on the power. “Glad we can actually use something with force. Something big and armored, and with firepower.” Frank said as he walked in through the side-door Runner kicked open. “Yeah well, this will do for now. We have aerial support, but I don’t know how long that’s going to last us if we can’t take out any incoming Vampires.” Michael said. He directed Junior and Zeff as they carried in ammunition crates. Stacked up with DMR’s, Battle Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Sniper RIfles, Magnums, Assault Rifles, Sticky Detonators, and anything with power they could get their hands on. Jackson and Ash loaded a Scorpion, Gauss Warthog, and a Rocket Warthog through the back hatch that was lowered down for the vehicles. After that, they brought in two Gungooses and parked them in between the Warthog’s. Barely leaving any room. “Alright, I think we should be good.” Ash said, she motioned for Caelin and the marines to come aboard. They left the Pelican behind, due to damage beyond repairs at this time; so Caelin offered to come with and help support them. The marines were under her command, so they were forced to come as well. Caelin did have a higher rank than almost everyone on board the Mammoth, except Jackson, Magnus, Ash, and Frank. Caelin made arrangements with a bunch of the Longswords, Shortswords, and Broadswords for extra firepower support when they needed it. However, when they ran dry, they ran dry. UNSC Warlord wasn’t here to help them with a resupply like they normally would. Jackson directed Frank to drive the Mammoth; that way he was below deck and out of the way. Zeff was in Charge of the MAC Gun; and Runner and Magnus took the Rocket turrets that were placed on both side of the Mammoth. Ash motioned for the supportive Pelican’s that drove out to where the wreckage was, and the Mammoth laid in one piece surprisingly, to return back the camp as for they were no longer needed. The engines started up and they were ready to move out on their journey. They had no idea where they were headed, but assuming from the direction Jackson saw them come. This was going to be an 18 hour trip, in the Mammoth. An evac Pelican would be waiting for them after Joseph and Archangel had been rescued or they needed a retreat. They were hoping a retreat wouldn’t be something they needed. “Jackson. Come here.” Zeff broke the silence with his voice. “Yes, what is it Zeff?” Jackson asked, he looked over from the screen that laid the directional waypoint to where they thought was their objective. “This MAC Cannon doesn’t work without the target designator. Everything else is automatic for the weapon.” Zeff said. He showed Jackson what he was going on about with what showed on his screen. He was right, all it showed was the gun's status and a picture of the target designator. “Well it seems you are right there Zeff. We’re going to need a target designator.” Jackson turned his attention away from him and onto Caelin. “Caelin, is there a target designator onboard?” “Uh.” Caelin let Zen take over the controls. “Not that I know of, we might have one back at the base that we can drop pod in with a Longsword. Do we need it right now?” Caelin questioned, about to head back to the controls. “Yes, seeing as how if we get it now; it’ll help us out later. Especially since we’re still close to the camp.” Jackson motioned for Zeff to head up to the top walkway. That was he wasn’t pointless. “Alright, I’ll contact someone and see what we can do. However, don’t expect one to drop in for at least 2 minutes.” Caelin walked down the stairs to the communications and got on with one of her friends. “Zeff, take this.” Ash shoved a Spartan Laser into Zeff’s hands. “If we don’t have an AA Gun for you to shoot, you’ll be the AA Gun that shoots. Is that clear?” She looked at him, eyes expecting a smart response. “Yes mam, I can shoot all day.” Zeff said, he bit back on his remark. What he really wanted to say was ‘Yes mam, I can shoot all day; as long as I think of the enemy as you.’ Luckily he didn’t, otherwise he’d find his spike grenade stuck to his face. Ash walked back inside the mammoth. “Yo Magnus, wanna help out over here bud?” Runner yelled as loud as she could. Magnus was on the clear other side, knowing she could use her helmet to contact him, she’d rather yell. Magnus just let out a grumble, “Hmm?” Before he noticed what she was talking about. Six banshees and a vampire were headed their way. Banshees in front. He heard Runner fire before the lock on, he did the same. Plasma rounds hit the front of the ship. They didn’t do much, but soon enough it would burn its way through. The banshees were close enough now, they surrounded the Mammoth from all sides. The Vampire stayed in the distance as the Mammoth drove its way towards it. “Ah, god damn. A MAC Gun would be nice right now!” Zeff yelled, he lasered one of the Banshees that dodged six of the rocket turrets missiles. He looked over at Magnus, and thought of an amazing idea. “Hey Magnus.” Magnus didn’t look over, instead he replied “What do you need now? I’m sort of busy as you can see. I’d appreciate it if you would help instead of chatter.” “Yes I know, that’s what I’m trying to do. There’s five of these things, but we’re going to have trouble taking them out. I want to know if you can use your stealth drone to camouflage me while I jetpack and hijack one of these banshees.” Zeff lasered another Banshee. “Then we can focus on that Vampire.” Magnus said nothing, instead he rose his hand up and summoned his drone and guided it to Zeff. Zeff had ten seconds before the drone was forced to return for a recharge. Enough time for him to jack a Banshee. Zeff’s jetpack fuel lasted him quite a bit, and just long enough to grab a hold of a Banshee. The drone left his side, and the Banshee was spinning out of control, trying to knock him off the wing, but he held on. He saw the Vampire shoot its needlers, they missed his Banshee and all stacked up on another. Magnus watched as that Banshee crashed to the ground, impaled in needles, and then exploded from the supercombine. Leaving nothing but a black marking of the blast area of the supercombine. Zeff had control of the Banshee, he threw a Brute out, then engaged the other Banshee. He noticed the Banshees fuel rod cannon was removed. With two Banshees remaining, He shot the wings down on one, leaving it exposed to Runner’s rocket turret. He heard her exclaim from the fire in the explosion. Last, but not least he rammed his Banshee into the last one. It ripped the wings off of the Brutes Banshee, and Zeff lost a wing. His last target was the Vampire. Which was not going to happen. Six large needles came flying at Zeff. He noticed his vehicle was stationary in the air. “Zeff, get out. You’re in a stasis field!” Frank yelled out, he knew what that was. It’s not something to mess with, he learned that in training and on the field. Zeff ejected out of the Banshee, right before the needles impaled. He watched as the stasis caused the explosion to stay in place, then drop the Banshee remains like it was nothing. As he used the jet pack to soften his return on the Mammoth, he heard the Vampire fire full blast. Right after that, a large roar was heard by all of them. Caelin was on top of the vehicle as well. A drop pod crushed through the Vampire, causing it to almost instantly crash to the ground with it. Caelin and the others looked up at where it came from. Above was a Longsword, presumably the one Caelin called for a target designator drop. It flew away, then circled around, doing loops. She smiled, the pilot was being a show off. “Oh my god.” Junior said, everyone on board turned his attention to him. “Look.” He pointed at the Longsword. It all made sense now. Caelin’s smile faded. There, in the Longsword, was about thirty needles from the Vampire. The Longsword was not being piloted, as the pilots were dead. They all watched as the Longsword trailed off and finally crash into the ground. The explosion was enormous, the needles were responsible for that no doubt. “Alright, let’s just move on and get Archangel and Joseph.” Jackson said, he motioned everyone to take back their places. “Caelin, take us to the drop pod. We’re going to need that target designator. Now.” She nodded his head at him, and headed down to the controls and took it over from Zen. The Mammoth moved forward. Jackson and Zeff stood at the overwatch of the vehicle. They weren’t that far away from the drop pod, a minute drive and no more. Zeff holstered the Spartan Laser back up on one of the racks outside, just in case he needed it again. He then resumed to jump off the side of the Mammoth, and down to the wreckage to grab the target designator. It was still intact. He looked unevenly at the two dead Brutes that laid there. Scorched from the fire. Zeff looked over as he heard a call from his name. As his eyes looked up. He already knew what was going on. He saw it in the distance on the sand. Behind a large sand dune, two Scarabs and three Vampires emerged. They were not ready for this fight yet, Zeff still had to connect the target designator to the MAC Gun. He jetpacked onto the Mammoth again, and ran down and inside to the MAC Gun screen. “Guys, the Scarabs are onto us now. What are we going to do? All we have is a Scorpion and a few hogs inside, plus the rocket turrets. We’ll never hold out. The MAC Gun won’t be ready for at least another five minutes.” Caelin said, as she looked for ways around or to avoid them. There was none. “We’ll make sure we buy the time.” Jackson said, he grabbed Ash and headed towards the walkway to find something for support. Right before they reached the opening, a bright purple beam spliced through Caboose’s helmet. “Damn it! There goes my plan! Ash, Frank, and Zen, follow me. I’m getting sick of this crap.” Jackson walked down the stairs and opened the back gate of the Mammoth. Junior walked over to Caboose’s body. He grabbed his dog tags, then sat on his knees and prayed for him. The marines walked over and grabbed his body and headed up the stairs to the walkway. As Junior said the prayers while he followed them, they threw Caboose over the back end of the Mammoth. Junior opened his eyes, they were bloodshot. He grabbed his knife and slit the throat of one marine, then grabbed his silenced magnum and shot the other two in the face. With the same respect they gave Caboose. He grabbed their tags, then kicked them over board. He looked over his shoulder, nobody saw this but him. He tucked the tags in with the others, the proceeded back inside the Mammoth. Jackson had the Scorpion out while Ash took Zen and Frank in the Gauss Warthog. The Scarabs were in range. This was going to be a long cold night. ~End of Chapter 16~