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~Chapter 6: Vortex~ “Dexter.” Fauz approached him. Dexter just finished his lunch, really good sandwich if you want to know. “What is it Fauz? Kinda busy here.” Dexter wasn’t, but he didn’t want to leave his post just in case something happened down on Installation 07. “We just got news back from UNSC Vortex. They deployed a ground team and found the clues we’re looking for.” Fauz introduced the topic. “Paladin, Biggles, Zen, and Gregor deployed and found them. We are deciphering the script now. We should have it in a matter of hours. Heracles is on it.” “Alright, that sounds great. I’ll get to the teams and let them know that the other ground parties have found it.” Dexter radioed in. “Pelican One, do you hear me? Pelican One, do you copy?” All that remained of Pelican One was Frank, Joseph, and Caboose. “Roger, this is Joseph. What is it?” Joseph answered the comms. He halted the other two to stop and stand watch. They were about half a kilometer from the pelican. Dexter slid his pistol away from him. Unloaded but was there for safety measures. “Pelican Nine found the clue. You guys are clear to head back. I advise you have Frank pilot, since he hasn’t done much for the task.” “Roger that, will do sir. Headed back to Firestorm. Pelican One out.” Joseph turned the tank around and headed back to the pelican so they could return to the frigate. “Jackson.” A voice was heard. “Jackson! Are you alright!” The voice asked again. Jackson opened his eyes, Ash stood above him. Junior helped Archangel and Magnus off their feet. Eric was missing. Nowhere to be seen. All he could remember was flying for one second, then he was knocked out the next. He saw Junior offered him his hand. Runner checked up on Magnus and Archangel, she ensured they were alright and fully functional until Junior could make it over and check for himself. “Jackson You okay?” Ash asked. “Yeah. Just out in the cold. All those thoughts rushing me at once, I just couldn’t remember. Now I do.” Jackson trailed off. “Why are you here? I thought you were in the desert searching for the clue?” “No, we got transferred over here by Dexter to figure out what was wrong since your pelican went out. We saw the ship, and decided to search. Hoping for the best, we found you eight hundred meters away. Lucky me.” Ash stated. The pelican was booted up behind them, Zeff was on the side turret, he was on watch for any flood that may sneak up on them. The rest of the crew was headed there. It was just Ash and Jackson that had yet to move. “Alright, let’s go. Hopefully we’ll find Eric later.” Jackson lead Ash back to the pelican, ironically. A figure showed up on the hillside. It appeared to be a spartan. “Ash do you see that?” Jackson pointed at the figure. “Yes, who is that? Is that Eric? We should go check out what’s up.” Ash said. She transmitted to Runner to meet them over there. She agreed, and Ash watched as she ran over there. The figure fell. Runner was close by. Ash noticed Zeff aimed at Runner, just in case. Magnus had out his sniper. “Alright, lets get up there. Another figure suddenly appeared behind Eric. A giant orange beam ripped through his neck, he was decapitated. The other figure charged something and aimed at Runner. Another orange beam hit her in the chest, she flew back from the sudden force. Yet, she was still alive. Medical assistance was needed as soon as possible. Zeff fired the cannon and Magnus unloaded the sniper. It didn’t matter. They all missed, the figure disappeared. “Junior, get to Runner asap. We’ll be there soon.” Ash helped Jackson get to the pelican. They eventually broke into a run. Between breathes, Jackson asked Ash, “What. What was that?” He inhaled and exhaled quickly. “Where did it go?” “I don’t know what that was, but we need to get going. Eric is gone, Runner will be too if we don’t hurry. Junior can’t get her back on her feet without the med bay on UNSC Amber.” Ash was close to the pelican. The figure popped up in Jackson’s face, pinning him to the ground. It’s armor peeled back to reveal a glowing orange skull. It screamed in his face. Ash ran up to kick it off, but it disappeared. “Time to go.” Ash helped Jackson up and into the pelican. “Punch it Magnus. Let’s go.” Ash commanded. Zeff and Archangel were on the turrets, it seemed like all of the flood on the Installation swarmed at them. They opened fire. “Alright, we’re in the clear. Heading back to UNSC Firestorm.” Ash told everyone with reassurance. She sat in the copilot seat and transmitted to Dexter, to let him know of their approach. ~End of Chapter 6~
~Chapter 6: Jigsaw~ Michael climbed up the tunnel. He was exhausted from this long walk, being almost crushed by boulders, and his life risked from a merely invincible robot. He was just glad to be out of there. He grabbed the wall to support himself out of what was now what they used to call the cave entrance. The room was fine, everything was the same. It’s as if the Covenant’s energy projector was never fired. Michael continued through the building, he was quiet. As not to disturb any enemy forces in the building. He ran into a wall. “Ow!” He yelled. “Who goes there?” Someone said. Michael noticed a weapon aimed at his head as he recovered from the pain. There was an arm, but no person. It was a magnum. Could this person see him through the wall? Michael thought. “I’m a member of Team Mike, we were sent down here to observe and take out any Covenant ground forces. My team are eighteen hours away underground in that tunnel I just came from. I was separated from them when I risked my life to save one of them from a wall collapse.” Michael responded, he may have said too much information. The soldier moved from behind the wall. It was a Spartan II, a red light shined at the right side of the helmet. It turned off in a matter of seconds. “I am Alex, from UNSC Warlord. You guy’s alright? Or more or less, are you alright?” The spartan said. “Yeah I’m fine. Just exhausted. Is anyone else here?” Michael started to get curious oft he Spartan and wondered if anyone else was around. He was kinda hungry, too. “Just my ODST support man, Fauz. He’s in the other room, covering my back. Just in case I made the wrong move. To my luck, I’m safe. Now, would you mind leading us to your friends?” Alex stood up tall. It was as if he was a leader of a team, or maybe the general of the UNSC Warlord? Whoever he was, he looked like he could kick a Field Marshal's teeth in. Jackson didn’t stand a chance against this rocky mountain. “Yes, uh, just follow me. I’ll lead you to them.” Michael turned around and led him upstairs, then to another set of stairs that led them downstairs to a concealed room that had just a rugged couch and the cave. “No wonder we couldn’t find the entrance. I thought it led back to your small armory. I guess this is the way in. We picked up your distress beacon, but it’s a little up on the weak side. We can track the location it was last emitted. Which was this base. Nothing else could be found or heard. We’ve been here for the past three hours. Searching.” Alex started to explain to Michael about how one of the UNSC Warlord crew members left an anonymous distress beacon. It was either Bek or Paladin. He bet it was Bek, she was the most concerned of the team. “I understand that. Thanks for the summary. Do you mind telling me why the Covenant’s energy projector’s didn’t do anything to our base?” Michael decided to answer the question to calm his desperate need to want to know what the hell happened. “Energy projector’s? As soon as we came back, we saw two covenant cruisers, and our ships high-tech engineer, Osiris, managed to shoot them down within ten seconds. We never saw any of them fire at the surface.” Alex was confused as to what he wanted to know. “Oh...” Michael felt stupid. If they would’ve just waited out five more seconds, they all would’ve been just fine and not in this huge mess as they were! Oh well, I guess it’s better safe than sorry, he thought. “Alright, let’s go. Fauz, you coming?” Alex put the magnum back on his waist. He grabbed a spartan laser and assault rifle, he put both of them on his back. “Yeah, yeah. I’m coming, mate. Jeez, hold ya breath. Was only doing some Yoga, before we go.” Fauz appeared around the doorway, he held a sniper rifle and a DMR resided on his back. Fauz was an ODST, one of the best in his class. Which his class just so happened to be... Sniping. This is gonna be great. “Alright, then lets push forward.” Alex activated his helmet lights and walked into the cave. Fauz and Michael followed behind him, their flashlights on. This was going to be a fun, long walk. As Michael was walking, he heard something behind him, he turned around to see what it was. Nothing. He heard the noise again. Michael turned his head over his shoulder, he hoped to see if it was really something, or if he was just hearing things. He saw nothing. Maybe he was in early development of Schizophrenia. He heard the noise again. This time he turned around as soon as he heard it. He saw nothing. Wait, there was a displacement of air. It looked a little infringed. Wow, he really must have Schizophrenia, or at least in the development. He would have to check this out with Nut. It was a scary thought, but he needed to know. Something moved in front of them. ~End of Chapter 6~