|This article, Boots on the Ground, was written by EliteMaster117. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Boots on the Ground, is currently under active construction.|
Boots on the Ground is a short story of a squadron of ODSTs.
Two words crackled into the comm system of a Marathon cruiser's drop pod bay. "Winter Contingency". Those were the last words Orbital Drop Shock rookie Dylan Rust wanted to hear. It meant he would be fighting. And hard.
Three ODSTs walked by, each in identical armor. Dylan was their medic. He was their only hope if they were wounded. He put on his helmet, and stepped into his pod. A hatch came over it, and it closed, turning around to give a spectacular view of a colony, tainted with shades of violet, as Covenant ships appeared.
The commanding officer appeared on one screen, another ODST on the other.
Dylan remained silent. The pod lighted up, systems good. Dylan pulled a picture from his shoulder pad. His mother. He looked at it, and imagined he was back on Earth. He was on a farm, running through wheat fields, the sun baking his skin a golden brown, the wheat scratching it into a white.
But then he heard the voice on his panel, and was brought back into reality.
The CO briefed them. They would be defending a warehouse from Covenant forces, and since the Covenant forces were already en route to the warehouse, pods would be required. When the CO was done, a timer started. Three... two... one...
The pod shuddered. Dylan made sure to grab on to the handrails. Then, suddenly, the pod started descending. Covenant ships flew by, Seraphs and Banshees leaving fuchsia streaks of energy in the abyss of space.
As he cleared the ship, Dylan saw how serious this was. A fleet of UNSC ships, and a full on battle going on above. The Covenant had made a swift move. They were one step closer to Reach.
They passed a destroyed Pelican dropship. There were dead UNSC marines, floating coldly through space, getting moved by the nearby ships.
Dylan winced. They said this would be a once in a life time experience. He knew why.
The pods passed by a Banshee, which fired a plasma torpedo towards Dylan's pod, narrowly missing it. Dylan heard a crash, and the CO's screen faded to white noise.
Dylan curved left, getting a view of the CO's pod. It had stopped moving completely, and there was no sign of the commander, other than the blood splatter on the hatch. He had probably been sucked out.
Dylan knew this was going to be a bad day as he slammed into the atmosphere. He suddenly felt much heavier, and never could get used to the change in gravity. Red had collected outside his pod, and it was getting hot inside. He was tempted to take off his helmet, and wipe the beads of sweat, but it was against regulation. If there was even a minuscule leak, he would suffocate at this height.
But he was dropping fast, and three pods beside him, he knew already, his squad would be doomed without their commander.
The pod slammed down onto the ground. The hatch flew off, landing a few meters away. Dylan grabbed his M7S Submachine gun, and his M6D Magnum, and jumped out of his pod. There was an explosion behind him, and suddenly, his pod was much farther away. Behind him, there was a Covenant tank. A Wraith.
Dylan panicked, and started shooting the Wraith. It would do no good. The Wraith launched another mortar, and Dylan ran. He felt a heat so immense he could have been lying on a stove, and was abruptly thrown off his feet. For a second, time slowed. He could see every bullet passing around him, every plasma bolt zipping by, and every grit of mud, dirt, and blood in the air. Then time started to speed again, and he landed in the mud. He was stunned for a second, as all he could see was mud, but then, he stood up, wiped the mud off of his visor, and started running.
There were two marines taking cover behind a broken down wall. One of them was delirious. He kept moaning on about how fighting was useless. How the Covenant would eventually get to Earth, and take over. He also was saying how his sister should "shut up.". Dylan, as a medic, knew it was his job to assess him. Dodging a plasma bolt, Dylan sprinted up to the wall, taking cover behind it.
"What's the damage, soldier!?", he yelled over the loud bursts of gunfire.
The soldier was sitting, slumped over, rifle in hand, when Dylan realized he was dead. Dylan backed up out of shock, and he felt a pain like the Wraith's shot, except more concentrated. He clenched his side, and fell beside the delirious marine. He crawled up to the wall, and yanked the dead soldier's dog-tag from inside his vest. He took off his backpack, and pulled out some duct tape. He opened the soldier's mouth, and winced. Dry of any saliva, the tongue had turned purple, and was cut. It had been infected from most likely the flying bits of dust and dirt. Dylan stuffed the dog-tag into his mouth, and then backed off. He wiped off his fingers, feeling "icky", and then put the duct tape over his mouth. Dylan clenched his side again, and it felt warm and damp. He knew that feeling, but would help his wound later. Dylan threw the soldier into the open, and sat back on the wall. He picked up his rifle, and threw two shots at Grunts. One's mask flew off, and it gasped, falling to the ground. The other grabbed a grenade of some sorts, and activated it. It glowed blue. Dylan jumped up, and grabbed the marine, putting him into a fireman's hold.
He started limping as fast as he could, and behind him, there was an explosion. He moved to a nearby rock, and put the marine down. He was unconscious now. Dylan know saw his wounds. He had a bad burn covering most of his back, and shrapnel was embedded in his back and arms.
Dylan hated seeing the wounds, but it was his job to help them. The marine turned around, awake again, and looked at Dylan, crying. The marine had something in his hand. He said to give it to his family. Dylan grabbed the dog-tags, and grasped them hard. He put them in his rucksack, and nodded. The marine smiled for the last time, and slowly closed his eyes, dying with a smile. Dylan was contempt for a few second, but then he felt the warm and damp feeling again. He had one more wound to assess. Dylan got out Biofoam and bandages. He pushed the Biofoam into his wound, and screamed out. He knew it burned, but had never felt it before. It burned like no tomorrow, but it was a feeling he was already too familiar with. Dylan then wrapped his bandages around his leg. He stood up, and saw the warehouse in the distance. It was already under fire, civilians lying dead, giving a trail to it. Dylan got up, and grabbed his M7S.
He looked around, and then started sprinting. He dodged Covenant fire, bullets, and Wraith mortars, and charged through the door, into the eerie silence of the warehouse. Absolute silence, other than the Covenant fire outside. The windows had been closed, and it was dark. Dylan's VISR would turn on any second. It lit up the dark, and Dylan saw what was in wait ahead. Two Covenant Elites, cloaked by darkness, were looking straight at Dylan. There were several dead marines and civilians, though some were still showing vital signs on Dylan's radar. The Elites had their weapons pointed at Dylan. He stood still. Perfectly still. Then the Elite activated his weapon, and Dylan grimaced at the horror of its face. Four mandibles, yellowed teeth sprouting from each, along with a circular maw, and orange eyes, creeping into Dylan's soul. He took one shot, and the Elite growled. It ran at him, and he ran out of the warehouse, back into the warzone. The Elite was faster, though, and grabbed him by the head.
He brought Dylan back into the warehouse, and turned him around. The Elite brought its sword by Dylan's head, almost blinding him. The Elite growled quietly, twisting its head. Dylan closed his eyes, and hoped it would all be over. The Elite got angry, and threw Dylan onto the ground, his helmet flying off. The visor cracked. Dylan looked at the Elite with fear, and the Elite brought his sword to Dylan's neck.
In the darkness, all Dylan could see was the bright glow of the Energy Swords, light blue wisps of Plasma coming off of the sword as it swayed. Dylan thought he was done for, when he heard the cock of a Shotgun. The Sangheilian Zealot turned around, and growled, as there was a blast of a Shotgun, violet shaded blood spraying onto Dylan's face. A boot appeared in the darkness, and as the flare from another shotgun blast entered the other Zealot's body, Dylan saw a SPARTAN. The SPARTAN looked at Dylan, and pulled him up, giving him his weapon. Before Dylan could say anything, the SPARTAN was gone. Dylan heard something crackle on his helmet. He walked over to it, and put it back on. Dylan listened as orders came in.
"All UNSC forces, retreat to Rally Point Bravo. An MFDD has been activated. Get the hell out of there! Marking Danger Close on all UNSC HUDs."
A waypoint appeared, albeit distorted from the crack, on Dylan's HUD. He cocked his Shotgun, and ran out into the light of the battlefield. He was thrust back by a plasma grenade, and started blasting his Shotgun at a Grunt squad. Dylan backed into the building, and a timer appeared on his HUD. 2:00.
He started running, and took cover behind the same rock as earlier. He pulled a wounded marine up, and put him into a fireman's hold. Dylan then started to run. He passed a destroyed drop pod, and a Wraith round slipped in front of him, blinding him for a split second. Dylan shook it off, and saw a Warthog slow down ahead. He put the marine in the gunner's seat, behind the gunner, and saw the Warthog out. Dylan had to get out of there, now.
He loaded his Shotgun, and cocked it. He saw a Sangheili Ultra roar up into the air, and bring its Energy Sword out. The Ultra started running towards Dylan. He had more important problems, though. Dylan threw his helmet down, and his rucksack. He threw down his pistol, trying to get rid of as much weight as possible, as the timer ticked to 1:00. A group of Pelicans arrived a few hundred yards ahead, and behind, was the warehouse. What was so important, in there? Dylan didn't think he would ever know. He started sprinting, jumping over a barricade. He barrel-rolled, and dropped his Shotgun, as the timer landed on 00:30. He saw the last Pelican leave. Dylan slowed down, and stopped, as the thrusters on the Frigate in orbit lighted. Then he saw a Falcon come down. The Falcon opened up on the warehouse, tearing apart the living Covenant forces. The blood and gore flew around, creating yet another rainbow of horror. Dylan saw the gunner nod to him, and Dylan jumped onto the Falcon. He sat in the passenger seat, as the Falcon lifted off. Dylan got a thorough examination of the battlefield at that time. The Wraith was destroyed, and there was no sign of whoever saved him. The warehouse was unscathed, though. Dylan saw that the Covenant hadn't gotten to the other side of the warehouse, where there was a crater, filled with abandoned mining equipment. He saw a light in the crater. Then he saw someone running. A SPARTAN. Dylan saw the SPARTAN get blasted by a Grunt with a Fuel Rod Cannon, and motioned the pilot, as the timer went to 18:00. The Falcon slowed down, and Dylan heard the Captain of the frigate.
"Be advised, you will not be at a safe distance when the MFDD goes out, do you copy?"
The pilot turned the Falcon around. "I copy.", he said, as the Falcon lowered, Dylan reaching out for the SPARTAN's hand, as the timer rang even faster, at 00:05. Dylan pulled the SPARTAN up, and the Falcon ascended into the sky, going towards the Frigate. Dylan heard one final ring, as the timer clicked onto zero. Dylan saw a bright light through the windows of the warehouse, and flames came out through the windows, eventually incinerating the entire warehouse, coming out like a Grim Reaper, collecting all the bodies. Dylan felt the temperature increase, as the flames touched the Falcon, trying to drag it in. Dylan leaned back, and closed his eyes, as an even more intense heat engulfed him, and the Falcon. He knew, that he had saved many lives, and that was all the mattered.