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  1. ~Chapter 17: Railgun~ Ash had the pedal pushed all the way down to the floorboard. The Scarabs engaged her first, the giant greenish blue plasma beams soared her way. Zen ws on the Gauss turret, while Frank sat in the passenger seat with a Spartan Laser. Zen’s orders was to engage the Vampires, and attempt to try to take them down. If they could take down the Vampires, air support would be able to clear their way. That is, if the MAC Gun wasn’t online by then. While Zen did that, Frank would shoot the Scarab’s in their joints. In attempt to slow it down. “Jackson, these Vampires will be an easy fix as long as you can give us some cover support. I assume they’ll have infantry vehicles and light vehicles in route here soon. If these Scarabs get in range of the Mammoth. We lose, you know that right?” Ash took a risky move and pushed the Warthog underneath one of the Scarabs. The legs swung around like crazy, one of them almost pierced through the vehicle. That would not have been good for them. “Yes I can, I’ll be there in a sec.” Jackson was only five hundred feet away right now, going as fast as he could. “You know, I’d take any tank we had back at war with the Covenant we had when we were on Earth, but these new upgrades for more armor and less speed.” Jackson sighed, Ash could hear it in her ear. “I just don’t think it equals out, especially against a Scarab. I’m almost a sitting duck, plus the engine on this thing is loud.” Jackson targeted a Prowler, as soon as he had the measurements setup. He fired, the canister smacked the seat the Brute driver was in, launching the Prowler to oblivion. “Yes I know. Just, deal with it for now. As soon as Warlord and the others get back, you can ditch that thing. It’s all that we have.” Ash said. Jackson noticed the tone in her voice, it’s as if she had given up hope. He couldn’t let her believe that, he needed to prove there still was. They needed to get Archangel and Joseph, not now was the time to give up. Jackson looked up at one of the Vampires, Zen managed to destroy one but the other two stood above them and just sort of hovered there. Small plasma cannons opened fire. Jackson knew this was crazy, and risky at the same time, he needed to try it. The Scorpion rolled up on the side of a sand dune, front of it up in the air. Jackson aimed the cannon at the Vampire closest, Zen was engaged with it. If he could support him and get this done faster, air support could be en route while Zen destroyed the last Vampire. Jackson aimed at the Vampire, and fired. The canister missed the first wing, but hit the bottom of the second. The Vampire spun out of control, it didn’t destroy the Vampire but it did knock out the wing. Which is what it needed to stay up and fly. Zen fired the Gauss cannon a few more times into the the Vampire, this time he hit the pilot canopy. The rounds pierced through it, and soon after that the Vampire caught fire; blue flames emerged from the aircraft. While ever so slowly, the Vampire crashed into the back of one of the Scarabs, the Vampire burst into even more flames. The Scarabs back end fell off, and the Scarab fell forward off its feet. However, it was quick to get back up. The AA turret on the Scarab was disabled, but the other Scarab was still intact so that didn’t make a difference as much. A Brute captain and Brute infantry came up top of the Scarab. The Captain with a fuel rod gun, and the infantry with spikers and plasma rifles. Jackson looked back and noticed Ash and the others were being followed by two Choppers and a Prowler. The Prowler was stacked full of Brutes, two on the sides with spikers. Jackson pushed forward as fast as he could go, and fired canisters. Hoping to get lucky and hit the Brutes. Magnus and Runner sat silently on the rocket turrets. If they got involved now, they would be swarmed with Brutes. Zeff finally got the MAC Gun and target designator online, although using it right now would be dangerous with the Scarabs. “Caelin, get us a carpet bomb. I’ll take out the Vampire.” Zeff said. He pointed the target designator straight at the Vampire. “We already have one on the way, they’re just waiting on a confirm. Are you sure this will work? We need to warn Ash and Jackson. So they’re out of the way.” Caelin looked over at him, grimly. “I’ll let them know, you contact the Shortsword.” Zeff said, he walked up to the top walkway. He then remembered the beam rifle. Over on the side was a jackal, bright purple weapon in his hand and a bright purple glow on his face. He seemed distracted by the fight going on at the Scarabs. Zeff grabbed a sniper rifle in his hand, setup the bipod on the side of the Mammoth. As soon as the jackal was in his sights he fired. The sniper sent off a loud echo. It was now or never. He raised the target designator at the Vampire, and charged the lockon. The enemy Scarab, the fully functional one, saw the Mammoth. It was basically on a full sprint towards the Mammoth. Ash heard a loud roar in the distance, “Jackson, we need to move. Now! There’s a Shortsword in bound and if we’re in it's way when that Vampire shoots it down. We are dead.” Ash tried to punch the gas as far down as she could, to get the hell away from the Scarab. She saw Jackson doing the same, he shot ghosts that were behind him. He was slow, but they slowed him down. A loud ear piercing sound was made. Ash didn’t look, instead she relied on the other two to give her a recap on what happened. “Dear god.” Zen said. “Wow, that was amazing. The MAC Gun destroyed that Vampire as if it was putting paper in a paper shredder.” Frank said. That was good to hear, but now what about those Scarabs? Ash saw the one headed straight towards the Mammoth. She drove that way, but stopped. The Shortsword came in, fast and low. Guns blazed, it fired rounds into the Scarab like none other. It sort of looked like one of those targets that were shot on the target range with all those bullets. The Scarab took a second to realize what had happened, as the Shortsword fled away and headed back to base, the AA turret opened fire on the Shortsword. Soon after, the carpet bomb activated. All those holes in the Scarab, were actually explosive rounds which detonated as soon as the Shortsword was out of range. Brutes tried to flee out of the vehicle, only to have the Scarab self destruct and burn them all to their death. All that remained was the last Scarab. Jackson and the others boarded the Mammoth. Last thing they heard was the sound of the MAC Gun fire, it shook the Mammoth for a couple seconds. Soon after they departed their vehicles to head back up top, a loud explosion was heard, and they were on the move again. They only had seven hours left before they arrived at the said coordinates. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Archangel looked over at Joseph, “Ah. I see they got you here too. Bummer. Oh well, we’ll end up like the rest of them no less.” Archangel joked around. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.” Well you see, the Chieftain is hungry and these Brutes are in the middle of a famine. Each meal one of us is taken to be ate. He eats twice a day, y’know.” Archangel and Joseph were in a holding cell inside a Covenant Cruiser. It seemed to be owned by the Brutes, and the Brutes only. There were other survivors in here, mostly Marines. All were taken captive just like them and placed in different rooms. They were free to move however they wish inside the room. A Brute stood outside the only door, knowing that he was all that was needed to take them out. Anymore would be unnecessary. These Brutes starved to, they knew they wouldn’t last a chance against him. Especially since this Brute was a Captain. “You know, it’s weird seeing you without any armor. It sorta makes me feel like you’re vulnerable. One of us.” Joseph and Archangel were stripped of their weapons, and the Brutes removed their armor. Joseph lost his ODST gear, which was used to forge the Brutes weapons and ammo, and Archangel’s Mjolnir armor had been torn off him and destroyed. The Brutes didn’t want them to have any chances of hope. They were doomed, but also used as bait for people who thought they could rescue them. “Yeah I know, and without my armor anything the Brutes fire at me will most likely result in death. Even UNSC standard issue weapons will deal damage to me.” Archangel said, grief covered his face. “Yeah I hear ya. Say, I thought Jackson’s dad, Sarge or whatever, was killed by Junior’s dad, Doc? And didn’t he use a pistol?” Joseph looked over at him. Confused about that. “Yes, but Sarge wasn’t a Spartan like his son. He was an ODST.” Joseph suddenly felt embarrassed after that. “And to keep it between you and I. Sarge wasn’t killed by Doc, Architect was. Sarge was killed by one of Lan Chorus’s men. Which I believe I have now came to realize is this Elite who spared me and left me for the Brutes. His name is Verite.” Archangel said, his facial expression didn’t change. He stared deeply into Joseph’s eyes. Joseph looked down at his feet, “Oh. So...” Joseph was cut off by a scream right outside their door. They both looked up, and the door turned from its red glow to a light pinkish purple. The Brute Captain stood there with an ODST in one arm, he ripped the armor off the soldier and through them in with Archangel and Joseph. Two Brutes scavenged the armor, and left the room. The Captain left after they did. He stood at the door, staring them down until the door closed and went back to its red glow. Joseph and Archangel looked over at the ODST, it was a female. Her arms were banded together. Blood came out of scars on the back of her arms and on her legs. She was in pretty bad shape after that dismantle. Tears streamed out of her eyes. Archangel walked over there and took the bands off her arms. She just laid there. After a few seconds, she finally said “Thank you.” “Your welcome, is there anything we can do to help you, um, mam?” Archangel said, he kneeled down in front of her. “My name is Anne Knight. Do you have anything to drink?” Was all she said. Archangel looked over at Joseph, who had a little bit of water left over from what the Brutes gave them. The Chieftain didn’t want his food near-death dead, he wanted a good meal. Joseph walked over to Anne and gave her what was left. He carefully grabbed her head and lifted it up, then poured what was left into her mouth. After she swallowed it, he carefully lowered her head back down on the floor. “Thank you.” Was all she said. They let her rest. Archangel and Joseph needed to work on a plan, the only thing they could think of was to escape through the vents, but there was only one vent in the room. It was their only hope, they just had to be careful of drones. They looked over at Anne, she had a knife tucked inside one of her socks. ~End of Chapter 17~
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