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Tanker's War

Baptism of Fire

Major Chris Jaeger sat on the turret of his M808B Scorpion MBT, a cigeratte burned inbetween his fingers and sent a small trail of smoke into the stiff are of the hangar. His battalion, the 17th Armored Battalion, were waiting for their turn to be transported to the surface of the colony planet of Hera. The Covenant had attacked it in September of 2549 with an average size fleet and took control of most of the planet. The UNSC was preparing for a counter attack and his battalion was part of it. His regiment, the 2nd Mobile would be deployed near Clover Valley and recapture the area.

"Major! Pelicans are about to load us up!" said Captian Owen Hastings, one of Chris Jaeger's subordinates. Hastings was in command of Alpha Company and probably one of his best. Chris replied telling him to get everyone ready. Word spread through the large hanger and his men and women got ready. Fifty-one Scorpion tanks, three Rhino Tanks, five Warthogs, two Mongooses, and an oversized Elephant slowly made their way to flights of Pelican dropships and Albatrosses.

"Sir, the 73th Infantry are already on the ground and waiting for us, we'll be on the surface in half an hour and be ready to make way to Clover Valley in an hour." Another one of his captians, Blake Harris.

"Alright Blake, get some rest to you're wired up pretty tight. That's an order." Chris said putting away the cigeratte. He was afraid his men might turn out like this, they were all green and had never experienced combat, he had but it was small. When he was a lieutenant his tank platoon reinforced a battered platoon of marines on a hill and forced the Covenant back, even then he only fired his cannon twice. "Paul, Kenji! Let's get moving." Chris said sliding down the turret and into his commander's seat. Paul the driver had tried to take a nap on one of the boogies, slowly he shook off the sleep from his eyes and crawled into the drivers seat. Kenji was already in the machinegunner's position and was also taking a nap, his arms were folded and provided a pillow for his head which ended up leaving a red mark across his face. Paul started the engine and the Scorpion made it forward to a Pelican, soon they would be on the ground.


"Almost set sir, we're just waiting for 3rd Platoon, Delta Company." Said Kenji who was also Chris's aid. They had all set up in the Elephant in the middle of a quickly set firebase known as Night, an odd name but it didn't matter. Chris along with his four Captians of his four companies were gathered around a table that showed a holographic projection of the area, the topography showed green rolling hills that rose high then back down to become Clover Valley.

"Alright,Blake have your recon platoon leader briefed by the scouts of the 73th and get as much info about the surrounding area, your platoon will lead this advance keep them up ahead to give us early warnings but not too far incase something happens. The 73th will mostly be on foot or catching rides with us on our way up. We'll have Akira with Bravo Company on lead followed by Alpha Company, Delta, then Charlie." Chris said looking at them all, later they would debrief the officers in their company. He looked at Akira Kurematsu, the Japanese officer was inexperienced but did best during the simulations and field training. Owen Hastings commanding Alpha Company was next in line, he stood stone faced, he seemed unemotional but everyone knew that off duty the guy was a joker much like everyone else. Then was Daniel Park of Charlie Company, he was Korean and a joker all around even cutting jokes during tense moments to lighten the mood. Last but not least was Blake Harris of Delta Company, Chris and Blake were actually friends before and went through OCS training together.

"73th say they'll be ready to leave in an hour, it's a day and a half drive to Clover Valley so gather food rations. You'll need it." Chris said trying to remember if there was anything he might have forgotten. "Alright quickly debrief your platoons and be ready. Oh and Blake find out how much longer for the Rhinos." Blake nodded and after a pause the four Captians saluted Chris who returned the motion.


Four hours later brought on nervousness to the men and women of both the 17th and the 73th. However with the 73th there were experienced officers and NCOs, unlike the 17th whose only experienced officer was Major Chris Jaeger himself and that was only light combat. The sixty-two vehicles of the 17th moved through large rolling hills slowly, one to try to aviod hitting an ambush and second, manuavering was quite difficult. Some of the marines of the 73th took seats on the boogies of the Scorpions while others were left to walk however this was dealt with shifts between squads of soldiers. Major Chris Jaeger rode in the Elephant while Paul drove the Scorpion right next to it. There Chris sat besides the Major of the 73th, a Tom Ambrose who had some experience to dirty his uniform and make him a vet and not a green. "My scouts say they can see tracks of Covenant troop movements ahead but they were old." Tom said pointing to the holographic map.

"Alright I'll have my recon platoon check the area just to be sure, hard to believe we've made it this far without some kind of resistance when we're nearing their command post." Chris said bringing his hand to his mouth, he bit down on his thumb as old habit.

"Okay." Major Ambrose said then after a moments pause looked around at the number of Scorpions around them. Fifty-one Scorpion tanks was an impressive site to see but they were all spread out and covered a large area while his own infantry walked around with weapons in their hands. "You boys got it pretty easy...not having to walk and all." the Major joked.

"We're also the big targets..." Chris said after a yawn, he was tired and wanted a cup of coffee.

"Sir I can't reach my recon platoon." Blake said in a rushed statement. Chris knew him well enough, if he said he couldn't get in communications with the platoon that meant he really couldn't get in contact. "Permission to send a runner!"

"Shit look at that!" Tom said standing up and pointing in the distance. Two hills over a number of colomns of black smoke rose to the air.

"Aw shit...Get everyone ready for combat NOW!" Chris yelled.

"INCOMING!" "MORTARS!" "HEADSUP!" "FUCKIN'A!" Were some of the things soldiers yelled as they pointed to the sky. Over the horizon a number of blue spheres arced up then down, soldiers sprinted for cover while the Scorpions had tried to anticipate the movement of the plasma however left with little space to move many were caught trapped. Immediately Chris went wide eye as seven of his Scorpions were hit with the plasma killing his men. One was hit and started a fire in the munitions container causing the turret the be blown into the air and come falling to the ground. More mortars fired killing marines as they tried to seek cover.

Chris looked at the fire of the wrecks of his Scorpions, they were gone. A Scorpion meant three crewmen, seven Scorpions meant twenty-one dead. He shook his head violently to regain focus. The fire was coming from their front, the worst thing to do was to try and brake to the flanks in an ambush, odds were those areas were set with trappes. The best option was to advance forward. "Akira! Push forward hard!" Chris said after grabbing a nearby radio.

"ROGER!"

"Sir LOOK!" A NCO said pointing to their left. From the top of the hills large numbers of Covenant infantry came over. En mass they fired as one mostly cutting down the marines of the 73th however a few Hunter pairs had took aim at the 17th's Scorpions and left them in ruin. "SHIT INCOMING!" Another NCO yelled pointing into the air, four blue suns made their downwards arc, straight for them.

"EVERYONE OFF!" Chris yelled and immediately grabbed a panicing private, he pushed hard and they both fell off the side of the Elephant. They rolled away and sprinted for cover. They jumped into a crater as Tom and Blake jumped in as well and looked towards the Elephant. They saw others trying to escape but a few were too late. The raining plasma hit the Elephant, the behemoth of a vehicle crumpled under the pressure and blow outward from the blastwave. Immediately the Elephant exploded leaving only desk size pieces of metal on the ground. "Goddamnit...they got us in a cross fire." Chris said through clenched teeth.

"Goddamn, L Ambush." Major Ambrose said reaching for his holster and grabbing his pistol. He looked around and saw a radio in part of the ruins of the Elephant, he got up and ran, grabbed the radio and ran back. "Alpha Company! John sitrep!"

"Sir we're fucked down here!" The radio yelled as gunfire rattled in the background. There was the distinct sound of plasma hitting armor and burning into the skin followed by a blood curtling scream. "My 1st, platoon is GONE! 2nd is pinned under a cross fire and 3rd has fifty precent KIA!"

Chris grabbed the radio. "Pull your men back behind my Scorpions and use em as cover!"

"We already are!"

"Goddamn...Bravo Company Sitrep!" Ambrose yelled.

"Sir I've got heavy casualties and we're pinned down by a group of plasma turrets!"

"Charlie and Delta Company sitreps! Ambrosed yelled in desperation.

"Charlie Company we're alright! We recieved little incoming fire in the intial attack en route to support Bravo Company!" The commander had sounded fairly calm, probably an experienced officer.

"Delta here! My 1st Platoon is pinned and taking heavy casualties my other platoons are advancing forward!"

Chris looked around, the hill tops to their left was covered with Covenant, they had heavy weapons and an elevation advance. Another one of his tanks went up in flames as more marines were cut down. Luckily his tankers were moving into action, cannons fired and blew away enemy positions but yet the fire didn't seem to slacken. One of his Scorpions turned its turret and fired blowing away a Hunter. His Rhino tanks fired away hitting more Covenant infantry.

"Damnit...we're gotta get slaughtered here." Ambrose said looking at a corpse of one of his marines. "77th full retreat! Get the hell outa here!" Ambrose said over the radio. Immediate marines began to get up from their positions and sprinted back the way they came, some even left their weapons for less weight.

"If we go back they'll hit us even harder! 17th, it's our turn! Full advance!" Chris yelled over the same radio. And just as soon as he said it he could see Akira's Scorpion increase speed and head straight up a hill, it fired blowing away a group of Elites then keep pushing forward to destroy a Wraith. Soon other Scorpions followed after and did the same. He could see a couple more of his Scorpions burn away, it was expected but they needed to push forward.

"This is Bravo Company hitting Wraith positions we could use some infantry to cover our ass!" Akira yelled.

"Alpha here, target rich environment out here but we're WAY outnumbered!"

"Charlie moving fast to flanking positions!"

Chris smiled and could feel tears roll down his cheeks, his men were performing brilliantly now. However he looked at Blake who was in charge of Delta Company, already Delta lost its Recon Platoon and the Elephant for headquarter's platoon, all he had left was his 3rd Platoon of three Rhinos.

"Blake, looks like Alpha needs the most help, advance with your 3rd Platoon and give support!" Chris said and watched the officer get up to run to his Scorpion and then lead 3rd Platoon to one of the hills. "Tom! We're gonna need your infantry at our sides!" Chris yelled to the almost frozen Major as he got ready to run for his own Scorpion.

Major Tom Ambrose looked across the large battlefield, most of his men were dead. Caught in the open and in a crossfire from elevated positions. His marines were slaughtered and cut down, he wanted revenge. "73th advance with the 17th!"

Chris nodded then sprinted for his Scorpion. Kenji was in the machinegunner's position firing at a group of Grunts. He cut them down and switched to target a pair of Elites. Their shields began to flare and died as they jumped for cover but Kenji was quicker. A wall of lead tore through their bodies and killed them instantly. "Good to see you sir!" he yelled over the roar of the engine and gunfire.

"You to Kenji!" Chris climbed the chasis of the Scorpion and entered the commander's position which was also the gunner's spot. "Paul advance forward we're gonna support Bravo Company!"

"Glad to get the hell outa this shit hole!" Paul put the engine at full speed, he manuavered around the wrecks of Scorpions and craters until reaching the base of the hill that was covered with now both Human and Covenant bodies.

Chris targeted a Hunter pair and aimed, the 90mm cannon would easily kill them however hitting one at a time could be dangerous since the reload. He had remembered a Scorpion take out one Hunter only to the the second almost flip the tank. He aimed at the ground inbetween and fired. The round knifed across the hill and inpacked hard ground. The explosion was close enough that the blast wave crushed the colony of warms that consisted the Hunters, the two behemothes fell dead. He waited for the reload and heard a woman's voice, "Gun Ready!" It was the computerized voice of his dead wife, something to remind him of what he was fighting for. As the voice said the words a green light lite the interior of the space and he fired again this time at a Shade as it kepted a platoon of marines pinned. The explosive round impacted and blew through the turret, an explosion of purple plasma engulfed it and a few Jackal's and Grunts around it.

"Sir Ghosts eleven oclock!" Kenji said as he turned his turrret to fire on the threat. Chris reacted as well, he swung the turret around and fired a quick shot. The round hit to the left of one Ghost causing it to flip in the air and barrel down with a heavy crash that disabled the vehicle and killed the driver. A three second pause followed by. "Gun Ready!" and a green light. He fired again this time with more acuracy. The Ghost shattered under the hit and was gone in a flash of blue light leaving only a crater. "Nice shot sir!"

Chris's compartment turned green as he heard his wife's voice, "Paul stop kiss assin' and drive!" The Scorpion shook as he fired again hitting plasma turrets. They were now with the rest of Bravo Company as they were about to crest the hill. As the lead vehicle went over the top and over a few Covenant it erupted in a brilliant flash of blue and red. Wraiths had been waiting on the other side. The rest of Bravo Company went over and fired at will. Three Wraiths exploded and two more slowly began to back away. Chris aimed and fired, the round hit the Wraith just as it was heating up to fire, the impact damaged the turret and caused the Wraith to detonate from within.

"Captian Kurematsu! Keep pushing forward but leave one of your platoons to go back and give support to Alpha Company!" Chris yelled through his radio.

"Yes sir!" Akira replied over the radio, Chris could hear the voice say "Gun Rea-" but be cut off by the cannon firing. He smiled, Akira would probably become their ace.

"Major I've got a problem here!" Blake said over the radio, "I've got Phantoms and Spirits inbound on my position!"

"I'm on it!" Owen replied before the Major could. He aimed his turret upward and fired. The round hit the cockpit of a Spirit, the armor piercing shell broke through and detonated inside causing the two prongs to detach and fall to the ground.

"Good hit sir!" His driver said as he waited to fire again. The three seconds felt like an eternity until the green light lite. He fired and another Spirit went down. Owen kept firing at the airborne targets while the rest of his company went to work.

Chris looked around, Bravo Company was dealing with the threat to their front while his other units were handling the left flank. They were slowly breaking through but Covenant reinforcements kept coming. "Major! Wraiths, two of em straight ahead!" Kenji yelled. Chris turned the turret and saw the two, one had already fired and the second was beginning to aim at him. He fired as Paul increased his speed forward and to the right. The round hit the large vehicle and disabled it, blue smoke began to fume from the interior and the crew raced to get out only to be cut down by Kenji. Chris waited for the green light, by now the second Wraith had fired and Paul did everything he could to avoid the plasma. The Scorpion jerked left and fired. The cannon spewed fire as the round exited, it found its mark hitting the side of the Wraith causing it to involunterily turn to its right. Paul immediately reacted and put the Scorpion in reverse leaving the Wraith's field of fire, another green light and Chris fired destroying the Wraith.

"Major Jaeger! We're breaking through the Covenant lines we'll swing right and push forward with you in the lead!" Major Tom Ambrose said, he had been dealing with the left flank.

"Roger move your heavy weapons up as well we've got a lot of trouble here!" Chris pressed a series of buttons that switched his munitions from armor piercing to beehive rounds. Beehive rounds were anti-infantry rounds that acted much like a shotgun round, after the projectile exited the cannon it flew forward then blew apart to throw a shrapnel in a cone like direction. He fired at a group of Elites, Grunts, and Jackals. The beehive round worked perfectly, they all fell as shrapnel tore through them. Things in his area were dieing down slightly, enough to get a sitrep of his battalion. "Alpha Company how you doing?"

"I've dealt with airborne targets and were about to swing right with the 77th! Owen yelled over the roar of his machinegunner.

"Bravo how's things on your side?"

"We got em on the run, permission to pursue!" Akira fired again knocking out his seventh Wraith of the day.

"Charlie?"

"We caught Covenant in a cross fire with Delta Company we'll be heading your way pretty soon!" Danial said in a rush of words, he fired a beehive round that riped through the Elites and Grunts.

Chris checked a display on his right, so far twenty-three percent of his unit was gone, mainly from the initial moments of the battle. "Okay Akira push hard but don't too far from us we'll catch up with you shortly!" Akira acknowledged and Chris kept his Scorpion moving forward, Kenji seemed to be having a field day as he fired in long bursts at Covenant infantry as they tried to make a retreat in the open. Marines moved forward and fired weapons at the backs of running Grunts and Jackals. Elites would stay in their positions and go down fighting. One marine ran forward lugging a rocket launcher in his arms, he stopped and knelt down and fired. Two contrails of smoke made their way to a Hunter pair, they impacted and the two were gone.

Now the surviving members of the 17th and 73th made a push forward breaking through the ambush zone and penetrating Covenant lines. They forced the Covenant back, hill after hill the two regiments attacked hard and caused the Covenant to fall. However this push had come at a cost, the 73th had taken fifty-two percent casualties now and the 17th had thirty-one percent. Black colomns of smoke had marked the advance from the ambush to their current position like a trail. Soon they would reach Clover Valley. Captain Akira Kurematsu was in the lead as usual, he had pushed his company, his platoon extremely hard but he had scored thirteen Wraiths and an unknown number of other vehicles. Charlie and Alpha were on his flanks with Delta holding the rear. "Sir we've reached Clover Vall-OH SHIT MOVE!" Akira said over the radio.

Akira just crested over a hill to see Clover Valley, and a line of Hunters ready to fire. He and his machinegunner immediately fired as did the rest of his company when they reached the top. The Hunter line was the main line of defense for the Covenant command center, large purple tent like buildings were set up in rows. On one side was the motor pool filled with Shadows, Wraiths, Ghosts, and Spectres about to move for combat.

The Hunter line took the first hit and gaps were blown open however they still held and fired. Green streams of power burned their way through the air and made contact with Scorpion tanks. Three more Scorpions were destroyed along with a number of marines. The Scorpions fired again as more of the battalion crested the hill and fired as well. More and more Hunters fell but they still held the line and traded fire destroying more tanks and marines.

Charlie Company had acted without orders, Captian Danial Park had seen the action on one of his monitors displaying the battalion in green over topography map and Covenant in red. He made the remains of his company turn right and now there were ready to make a flanking motion. They erupted from the right flank and fired as one. Most aimed for the command post, Wraiths and other vehicles were destroyed in an instance. One command tent first exploded from a shell then erupted with secondary explosions from battery packs. Other Scorpions including Danial himself aimed at the remaining Hunter line. This final volley dealt the killing blow as the last of the Hunters were left dead.

The rest of the 17th and 73th were firing on the command post now. Smoke contrails snaked their way to hit major targets. Machinegun squads and set up and kept Covenant heads down and prevented any kind of tactical movement. "Major Ambrose I'm going to send two of my companies to the Covenant's rear and prevent a retreat!" Chris said into a comm as his cannon fired. Soon his wife spoke again and he was ready to fire again.

"Alright, sorry but I can only spare you one of my companies!" replied Ambrose, he took cover in a crater as to his left a sniper fired and to his right a machinegun rattled away.

"Bravo and Charlie Company! Take these coordinates and cut off these fuckers off!" Immediately the replies came and the two companies moved. Within a matter of minutes the command post had fallen and both regiments advanced forward killing any remaining resistance. Marines walked with weapons at the ready with the tanks and fired rounds into the bodies of wounded Covenant. As one squad advanced an Elite popped from its cover, its left arm limp and covered in dark blood, in the other hand a plasma rifle was at the ready. The squad dropped and fired at the same time, seven assault rifles fired till the clips were empty. The combined fire of sixty rounds per one assault rifle meant a lot of bullets in the air which quickly cut the Elite down and left him in a pulp.

"I need some coffee." Ambrose said on the chasis of Chris' Scorpion Tank. The valley was clear now, the remains of the two regiments however could not rest. They recieved word that a counter attack may be coming so quickly they made defensive lines on the rear of the post where the attack was coming. Lucky for them was with the topography of the area that was the only place the Covenant could attack from where they were coming from. Defilade was created giving the tanks complete cover except for their turrets. Machineguns and snipers were placed to create a cross fire. Trench lines were dug in haste to give marines cover, three lines were created one behind the other so if needed the marines could fall back and still have defenses to fight from.

"Sorry but that was in the Elephant..." Chris said smoking his last cigarette.

"Hand me a smoke than."

"Last one...had more but..."

"Elephant?"

"Yep..." Chris took a puff and then handed the light to Ambrose who looked at it for a moment and brought it to his lips.

"How about food?"

"Only a MRE." Chris reached into the compartment and grabbed a black plastic bag. He opened it and tossed the Meal Ready to Eat to the other Major and put the bag back into his compartment. "Wish we could get some reinforcements, Hornets would be nice."

"Yeah it would." Ambrose said eating cold pasta from the meal. "But dont worry about it too much, my men can handle things while you boys hide in your tin cans." However after saying those words he watched as one of his men tripped while carring one too many assault rifles. He hoped Chris hadn't seen it but he had and was smiling brightly at him. "Cept him." Ambrose added.

A runner came up to the Scorpion and the two majors. "Covenant spotted about three kilometers away!" The runner bent over to catch his breath and quickly added a "sir."

"What's their strength?" Chris asked.

"Sorry sir couldn't tell but it's mostly infantry, what vehicles they have are further back and having a hard time coming up the hills."

Immediately the two majors went to work. Chris had most of his tanks switch to Beehive rounds while Ambrose had his men put the finishing touches to the defenses. Soon the Covenant arrived, from what snipers reported the infantry was tired from the long march and quick pace. It was a fool's order too have them attack now especially with no vehicles for support. But they did. The 17th fired, beehive rounds tore through the first wave leaving only a few left who were quickly cut down by machinegun fire. A second wave come forward this time with more numbers but still beehive rounds took care of most of the threats. A third and fourth wave came these were extremely large however and were composed of more fresh and experienced troops. Hunter pairs had taken out two Scorpions and a number of marines fell. But the counterattack was pushed back.

The 17th and the 73th tried to pull the wounded off the line and bring up more ammunition when a large force of Wraiths attacked. The line was forced to pull back to the second trench however Bravo Company had stayed when Chris tried to get them to pull back he couldn't tell if Akira was being insubordinate or if their radio truly went out. But Bravo's stand had lasted, they held and beat back numerous attacks and kept the Wraiths at bay, it came at a cost as more Scorpions were lost but they still held.

"They're pulling back!" A marine yelled with a cheer and then unloaded his assault rifle at the backs of the Covenant. Captian Akira Kurematsu fired another round, the explosion tossed two Elites and a number of Grunts into the air like rag dolls. The line recieved little fire now and the men and women were able to move freely. With this pause he took his chance and jumped out of the compartment. He sprinted towards his 3rd Platoon and when he got there did he realize that he had held his breathe the whole time. Looking at the platoon three of its five tanks were either destroyed or damaged, he found the one he was looking for.

"Jung-suh!" He yelled climbing over the chasis of one of the damaged Scorpions. He tried to open the hatch but it was locked, he quickly opened a small compartment beside it and punched a series of buttons and a fingerprint, the hatch unlocked and opened. Inside he saw his Lieutenant in command of 3rd Platoon, her helmet was gone and her long black hair rolled over her small shoulders. Her head hung over and her body limp. Akira ripped the safety straps off and extracted her body from the compartment and laid her out on one of the boogies. He pulled off her chest armor, her fatigues underneath were damp with sweat, her chest moved softly and confirmed that she was breathing. "MEDIC!" Akira yelled, he checked her as best as he could but went to see the other crew. He didn't bother with the machinegunner, as he passed by he could smell the copper scent of blood that had filled his spot. The driver was in bad shape, metal had pinned his left arm and he would probably lose it if he didn't die here.

A medic ran up to the captian and didn't bother to salute or pay any respects, instead he went to immediate work onto first the Lieutenant and than the driver. Akira didn't mind one bit he was glad the medic put his job first. "Sir the Lieutenant will be fine but I'm going to need to get her pulled to the rear." The medic said coming up to Akira with blood covered hands. Akira asked about the driver as he picked up Jung-suh. "He's not good, we'll need a crew to pull him outa there but we might not have enough time."

"Do what you can." Akira said with a rush than carried Jung-suh away from the line and to the rear where many more men were being brought. He looked at her face, she seemed peaceful, bringing her up to him he kissed her lightly on the forehead than continued forward.

Chris Jaeger watched as his captian carried his lieutenant to the rear. "Ambrose any word on reinforcements?"

Ambrose looked out over the line, so many of his men and women were dead or wounded. "Nope, but command did say they'd send some Pelicans to pick up the wounded and bring in more munitions and supplies."

Chris nodded than got off from the tank chasis and walked to Akira. "She okay?"

"Yes sir, Lieutenant Kim Jung-suh will be fine sir." Akira said through watered eyes.

"Stop the formalities Akira I know about you two." Chris said finding another cigeratte on him. Akira looked at him and than at Jung-suh, he held her hand firmly and wouldn't let go. "I want you off the line for a while, I don't care if we're in a fight you can help the medics." Akira started to protest but Chris walked past him. "Don't let go of that hand."

Chris walked past marines as they carried wounded comrades to the aid station or brought more weapons to the line. Two others lifted a heavy box filled with water to the front as well, soldiers needed to drink after all. He walked up to Captian Blake Harris of Delta Company, he was sitting on the boogie of a Rhino with a canteen in his hands. He sat there with a stare looking blankly at a spot on the ground twisting and untwisting the cap of the canteen "Blake how's the company?"

"What company sir? All I've got is a platoon left." He replied blankly.

Chris patted the captian on the shoulder, there wasn't much he could do for him at the moment. "Don't do something stupid alright?" Blake nodded in reply and Chris walked off to check his other companies. Alpha was alright, most of their vehicles were damaged and unable to move or operate. Charlie was the worst besides Delta, only four of its seventeen tanks were unharmed. Overhead now he could hear the roar of Pelicans coming to air lift the wounded.

"Sir we're gonna need more rounds, I'm down to just our machinegun." Captian Danial Park of Charlie Company said. Just than Chris' data pad vibrated as it recieved new information. It was from air recon. "Sir?" Danial asked looking at the pad but not the screen.

"Covenant are regrouping further out, they wont be able to attack until tomorrow morning at least." Chris thanked God, it would give the two battered battalions time to better prepare themselves and hopefully bring in more reinforcements.

But no reinforcements came only more supplies unfortunately those supplies were only for the infantry, the armor's supplies were held up due to damage on a frieghter in the space battles. Chris could only sigh at his misfortunes, he had desperately wanted more tank rounds for his men and women but now they were only reduced to moveable cover. Most of the unit was empty on rounds luckily some of the infantry split their machinegun ammunition so at least the tanks had some kind of offensive. "Major?" A voice cried out through the dark night, "You up there?"

Chris looked down from the twinkling stars, he could only wonder if they were actually stars or an ongoing space battle. "Yeah! Ambrose you guys got night vision?" Chris asked, his tankers had their night observation devices in the tanks and but he wasn't sure about the infantry.

"Yeah, well anyone with a helmet does. You got anymore smokes?" Ambrose asked as he climbed the hull of the Scorpion tank.

"Sorry."

"Guess this'll have to do than." Ambrose said producing a metallic flask from his BDUs. He took a sip and handed it to Chris. "It's only port though, not into the hard stuff." Chris took a swig of the sweet alcohol and let the small burn start in his chest. "We wont able to hold any more attacks, I wanted to see if you could place your tanks on the third line of defence so that if all hell breaks loose my marines can hop on while you're boys get us outa here."

Chris thought of the idea, it wasn't bad, right now that was just about the only thing his tanks were good for. "Yeah, I'll send my tanks with rounds up front and those without to the rear. Group em as Pack A for the front and Pack B for the rear to prevent confusion." With that they both nodded, Ambrose later walked away and Chris gave the recent orders to his battalion. The tanks' engines roared through the night as they moved to their new areas.

to be continued

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