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~Chapter 20: Preparation~

 

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UNSC Ambient engulfed their vision upon arrival. Few Covenant were in the area, but were eliminated upon range of the vicinity. Longswords and Broadsword’s circled the ship, ready for the fight to come to them.

 

“Alright, Commander. Precautions will be advised. We’re beginning to dock now.” Caelin sounded smart and very authorative with the Ambient’s Captain, and she was very friendly about it too.

 

“Good job Caelin, now to get Ash to the medical bay asap. I would like to see her see another day. As would the others.” Archangel complimented on her skills, but was still worried for Ash. She was his friend, afterall. So were the others.

 

The Longsword approached the dock, Operators were on the ground to ensure they docked safe, and the entry was clear of hostiles. Incase there was any Covenant that tried to sneak by their defenses.

 

As the hatch opened, a medical team ran up the ramp, with a spartan alongside them for support. Another team boarded after Ash was taken off off and rushed to the medical bay, these guy’s were here to do checkup and ensure everyone was alright. Turns out the Marine’s had it worse, all except for Zen, with just a few minor bruises and cuts was all.

 

As everyone exited the ship, they were greeted by the ship’s Commander. Where she stood tall and firm, hands behind her back in a criss cross manner. Her black hair was up in a ponytail, that laid just above her green uniform. Her face, empty as the void of the space abyss, laid in a firm manner, but representable for someone of her stature.

 

“Commander Maria Leouff, sir.” Jackson stood tall, and saluted her; as did the rest of team and the marines.

 

“At ease.” Maria said, only her mouth moved as she spoke. If felt as if her blue eyes pierced right through their skin and could see and predict everything they were thinking.

 

“We are thankful for the medical attention you are providing to our wounded. Can we provide assistance in any way?” Jackson decided to take the role of the group's spokesperson. Even though he was the leader.

 

“No, but I do recommend you returning to your ship. UNSC Warlord? However, that isn’t an option at this current state as she is under heavy attack. On the front lines with UNSC Firestorm and UNSC Valkyrie at this moment. So I suggest you stay here and provide any necessary assistance to UNSC Ambient. That is, unless you want to risk your chances of being killed in a ship.” Maria’s voice was monotone, Jackson had just noticed this now.

 

“Yes, sir. Team Lord will assist you as much as we can. We’re smaller than we started out as, but we can do what it takes to get the job done.” Jackson stared into her eyes as he spoke, although he immediately regretted it.

 

“Good, then in time, you’ll be the one’s ready to carry out the dirty deed to the Covenant. Lan Chorus and his new known Elite Zealot, Verite, will fall.” Maria smiled at this thought, Jackson was pretty sure her smile was extremely rare, from his judgement of the ODST’s faces that showed shock from that facial gesture of hers.

 

As Jackson walked away, the team approached him. None of them spoke, but they all knew they should head up to the overwatch deck and check on what needed done. Junior, however, headed to the medical bay. To keep up tabs on Ash.

 

As they approached the overwatch, Marine’s scattered around along the ODST’s. None of them were equipped with weapons, even if there was to be a Covenant boarding. However, if one were to happen. This ship would fall easily, none of them would be able to matchup against the horde. They’d all be dead.

 

“Archangel, what do you got?” Jackson spoke amongst the crowd. That or it was the channel frequency he was picking up in his helmet.

 

“Uh, we got Covenant ships inbound. Actually, we got a lot of Covenant ships in bound. These one’s look like they’re made for boarding, they’re also being accompanied by Spirits and Phantom’s. However, those are probably just the meatshields of what’s on the spear.” Archangel looked at a hologram mapping of what was all out there. UNSC Warlord seemed to be in terrible condition, whereas Firestorm didn’t have much damage, what was there could be fixed in a couple hours.

 

“That’s not good, we need to prepare for any boarding actions, while this ship and its crew defends itself.” Jackson said. “Oh, and Joseph? Open up a channel with Junior. Let him know to stay on alert, and you’re headed his way.”

 

“Aye aye.” Joseph accepted, he pulled up his wrist gear and did as such, whilst he walked towards the medical bay where Ash and Junior were at.

 

“For the rest of you, follow me. We’re not splitting up into teams this time around, we’re sticking together.” Jackson waved his arm up to ensure there weren’t going to be any loose ends.

 

“Jackson, please come to the Command deck, please”

 

Jackson shook his head in disgust as he put his hand up against his head, “Alright, you guys head down to level two, and hallway three’s elbow. Expect any Covenant, even if they aren’t boarded yet. Play it safe, I’ll catch up to you guys when I see what Command wants.” Jackson headed off to the Command deck as the others did as they were told. Runner took point, as always.

 

Jackson entered the Command deck where Maria stood with her second-in-command and a hologram figure displayed Commander Samantha. “Yes, sir?” Was Jackson’s first impression as he entered the room.

 

“Jackson, we need you to do something to get rid of Verite and his ships. Lan Chorus isn’t in the area, but at this point we’re losing hope. UNSC Warlord is going to fall, but we need your help. Only you.” Samantha said. Jackson noticed all the other ship commanders were portrayed through holograms as well. They were just in the distance standing.

 

“What is it you need done?” Jackson asked, knowing he was in no place to ask questions but to only accept orders.

 

“Glad you have asked, see... We need you to deliver a havoc to their flagship. Take it out, and probably any of their other ships nearby or smaller units... Anyways, we’ve pierced a hole through their ship when we broke their shield, however it’s only in the rear part of the ship. You’re going to have to fly by all the defenses and enter it through the back. Which is good, because the havoc we are deploying with you will take out the engines, completely faulting the ship, and eventually destroying it. Their only escape will be through drop pods, which lead to the Brute’s below.” Samantha seemed to have this all though through, she just needed someone ready to send off and take a score for the team. Even if that meant risking the person’s life.

 

“And it’s just me going?” Jackson was concerned.

 

“Yes, of course. We don’t see any other reason to send more troops. That just raises our... casualties. Since all you’re doing is flying a Broadsword under their flagship, and then inside. Plan sounds simple, and easy. We’ll do our best to eliminate threats headed your way, and you should be able to eliminate any threats as well. The Broadsword is our fastest ship we can send at the moment, since that’s all UNSC Ambient has sitting in their bay, and the payload is already ready for delivery. We just need you to head out now.” Samantha said, she sounded a bit impatient about this. Maria’s eyes just pierced through Jackson’s skin, waiting for him to say okay.

 

“Alright Commander, I’ll do it. For the team and to delay my squad from death for now.” Jackson didn’t want to do this, but he knew if he didn’t Warlord would fall and the fight would definitely come to them. “Just, if I don’t make it...”

 

“Goodluck, Jackson.” As soon as she said that, all the holograms disappeared and he was left alone with Maria and her second-in-command.

 

“You should head down now, Jackson. I have a team of Air Assault troopers waiting for you, everything is ready and prepped to go. Except you.” Maria sounded stern. She left the room through an exit you couldn’t really tell was an exit. It was like just a regular wall, except the doors opened up for her when her second-in-command pushed the security key in.

 

Nevermind that, he had a job to do.

 

Jackson went down to the hangar, he looked outside from the ship. He felt as if it was destined to probably be his last glance. All he saw was an abruption of fire and chaos among the Covenant and their ships, except he noticed something.

 

UNSC Warlord was the cause.

 

The ship was abrupt in flames as it slowly, yet fast, split into a bunch of pieces of which will be later called ‘debris’.

 

This... This area of space above this Brute homeworld, would soon become known as a shipyard... and he was going to become part of it.

 

Jackson sat down in the cockpit as the team of Air Assault cleared for takeoff.

 

It was up to him now. He lost his home. All he had left was his family.

 

Oh how he hoped Ash would eventually recover from her injuries. He didn’t want to lose something else anymore. Which is what he needed to do, destroy Verite and his ships and he could finally takedown Lan Chorus and avenge all of those he had lost.

 

Jackson pushed down on the thrusters and headed straight for the flagship. He had one shot he needed to take. Even if that meant sacrifice.

 

Jackson put on his helmet, he was ready to end this now.

 

~End of Chapter 20~

 
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