|This article, Crunch Time, was written by UnggoyZealot and Alaska013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writers' permission.|
|July 11, 2532
Obsidion, Drawn, Shalim System
A platoon of Army troopers made their way through the war-torn streets of Obsidion, the capital city of Drawn. Guiding them were a small handful of OPD officers, surviving members of the now obsolete Obsidion Police Department. Their objective was simple: to get to the final of three mass drivers being held by the Covenant invaders. Getting there was simple. Actually fighting through the alien defenses was another matter, however.
But the military forces had one trick up their sleeve - at the point of the formation was a mighty Spartan-II, Alaska-013. His armor was all GRENADIER prototypes fresh off of the production lines, crowned with the iconic Mark IV helmet, all plastered in a chrome layer of...teal. Standing at an impressive height of eight feet in his suit, the gargantuan super-soldier bellowed orders to the men, keeping his massive armored form between himself and any Covenant forces they would happen across; a clear statement of 'they are under my protection'.
As they neared their destination at the mass driver, one of the Army troopers glanced up, her eyes widening in the shadow of the large warehouse that the device rested atop.
"Crap...that's our destination?"
"Sure as hell is," replied one of the Obsidion deputies at the forefront of the group, thumbing towards an open door leading into the warehouse. Spread out around the door were several Covenant barricades, their gleaming purple tones sprinkled out among the hard concrete.
Alaska stomped forward, his AIE-486H machine gun in hand, bringing it up to bear as a lance of hardy Unggoy and Sangheili Minors led by a veteran Sangheili Major bounded from out of cover, kickstarting a hail of plasma fire at the troops. A second Army trooper whipped around and shouted, "Spartan! Take the police and get to the mass driver! We'll handle these Covies!"
Alaska glanced at the Army trooper out of the corner of his visor and nodded. He split off from the group, leading the OPD officers around the maze of covers to inch closer to the door.
"Let's go!" the behemoth Spartan bellowed, pivoting on his heel to exchange AIE-486H bullets with the Covenant's plasma fire to give himself breathing room.
The Army troops stuck behind to distract the Unggoy and Sangheili, while the police eagerly rushed towards the door to escape the coming fire. Alaska continued to provide covering fire, only relenting once the final constable had safely entered the large warehouse storing the MAC. the interior was sparse, only supporting dust, albeit there was a a polished, steel staircase leading up to the second floor of the structure.
"Up the stairs, Spartan!" hinted a female deputy.
The super-soldier simply nodded in response, thundering up the staircase with the sound of a pack of Brutes. Once arriving at the top, he held up a hand. "Stay close," Alaska said in a sharp and clear tone.
The OPD officers nodded, beginning to follow up the stairs, but one of them stopped midway. His cohort behind him stumbled, barely managing to keep her balance. "Hey, why the hell'd you stop? In case you didn't notice, we're a bit short on time here."
"I think I saw something."
The police pointed to the far side of the barren first level, pointing out two vague shimmers. In response, a plasma bolt pierced through the air, burning through the police's meager chestplate and dropping him instantly. The other four police whipped around, raising their shotguns and pistols.
"Shit!" hissed the female deputy, cocking her sidearm.
Alaska's eyes watched his HUD as he spun, laying out fire in the hopes of catching the shimmering forms out in the open before they could retreat. Several bullets hit their marks, revealing a pair of cloaked Spec-Ops Sangheili. The opposing duo evaded the other bursts and raised their plasma rifles, snarling in their native language before unleashing their destructive weapons on the police. The female deputy ducked behind a constable, fishing a datachip out of her chest pocket and handing it to Alaska.
"You'll need these to break the lock mechanism on the MAC! We can handle these two Split-lips. After all, we outnumber them two to one!"
The Spartan took the the datachip and slipped it into the auxiliary slot on his helmet. Alaska looked the deputy in the eye, despite the visor separating their two sets of eyes.
"Keep the shotguns on 'em...break their shields first," he replied as he nodded his helmet towards her in a gesture of respect. As she returned the gesture, he charged up the stairs to get to the MAC.
On the second floor, there was yet another steel staircase leading to the rooftop, where the MAC lay idle. Alaska paused for a second to adjust the sling for his heavy chaingun, ready to let loose its spray of lead once more. After he was finished, he then began to trot up the second staircase.
As he advanced, several of the steps were suddenly sliced in half, collapsing beneath the Spartan. As the stairs fell out from under him, the Spartan grunted in surprise from the unexpected attack. He landed with a brutal, floor shaking THUD.
"And so we meet once more..."
Alaska heard the malicious snarl translated through his helmet, and he knew who it was at once. "I know you're here, Gleq...you belly-crawling monster," he spoke, letting his translators change his English language into Sangheili dialect.
"So you have learned my name from our previous encounter, Demon." The Sangheili General stood behind Alaska, plasma rifle raised towards him.
Alaska turned around slowly, only taking it easy due to the limited space and his bulky frame. Behind his helmet, his green eyes blazed like fire as he stomped his foot and roared in a challenge. The General simply bared his mandibles at the Spartan, firing his plasma rifle with the knowledge that Alaska had little room to maneuver.
Alaska growled, letting his beefed up shielding take the hits as he let his machine gun clang to the deck in favor of his M6D; a big old HMG wasn't going to be good in a space like this one. Gleq snarled in anticipation, taking a step to the side to gain traction as he continued his barrage. Despite the precaution, Alaska managed to draw a clean line of fire on the Sangheili and fired off a volley of shots at his center mass, hoping to bring him down quickly.
"You good for nothing son of a Grunt..."
Gleq's shields easily absorbed the rounds as he himself ignited a formerly prone plasma grenade. "There will be no other Demons to save you this time."
He threw the grenade in a graceful yet precise arc, sticking it to the remainder of the foothold right next to Alaska's head. Hearing the 'hissss' of the live grenade, the soldier dove forwards towards the Sangheili, all 1400 ponds of teal-armored Spartan crushing through the steel frames to hurtle towards him.
Gleq sidestepped immediately, but it was barely enough to avoid the Spartan; the Sangheili stumbled into a wall as the staircase exploded nearby, launching a chunk of metal at Alaska and colliding with his chest.
"Argh!" Alaska roared as the debris slammed into his armored chest, pinning him to the ground.
Gleq raised his plasma rifle to finish off the Spartan, but was abruptly cut off when the two Spec-Ops Sangheili from the previous encounter on the level beneath tromped up the stairs. One stood back at the top of the staircase while the other swaggered confidently over to the General saying, "We have eliminated the human enforcement as you tasked us with doing."
Gleq kept his plasma rifle trained on Alaska's limp form but acknowledged the Sangheili with a glimpse to the side. "Well done. You have proven yourselves at least on par with Shipmistress 'Zufamee's Special Operations forces."
The other Spec-Ops Sangheili snarled with malice at the mention of the Shipmistress. "We are much more competent than those buffoons. We answer directly to the Field Marshal!"
Gleq grumbled in exasperation, clicking his lower mandibles in reply. "Say what you will, 'Jaidoree. But we must deal with the Demon at hand."
Alaska groaned as he shoved the metal hunk off his chest. He stood up, body creaking like an old hinge while the General's attention was away from him, and drew his second M6D. He wasn't going to let himself die this way, not if he had anything to say about it. Instead, Alaska bellowed, "Hey, if you're gonna talk about your goons, make sure you don't have company!"
He followed up with a few shots from his sidearm at 'Jaidoree, causing the Sangheili to snarl as his weaker shields were destroyed. The last Magnum shot made contact with the Sangheili's arm, knocking him off-balance. 'Jaidoree howled in pain and clutched his mangled appendage as he careened into a railing from the force of the blast, hitting the back of his head before grunting in pain and tumbling down the staircase.
Alaska turned his attention to Gleq and snarled in mimicry of the Sangheili's gruff voice. "Go on, fight me for your honor. I'll enjoy seeing you fall."
The other Spec-Ops Sangheili charged forward in response, firing his plasma rifle at the Spartan. Alaska ducked, dropping to one knee and letting the plasma blasts swoop over his head. However, the action left him vulnerable from behind, and the Spec-Ops Sangheili leapt over Al as Gleq holstered his plasma rifle. Finishing the action, the Spec-Ops trooper landed with a THUD behind Al and snaked a leg around to kick him in the back.
The super-solider fell flat on his armored chest, grunting as the air forced from his lungs. Alaska growled in anger, and begin to lift himself up, only for an ornate golden boot to stomp down on his helmet, forcing it to the ground with ease.
Gleq's face slithered down from above, regarding Alaska with cold eyes. "You are outmatched, Demon."
Alaska's voice returned to him, with a fury in his words that was unmatched. "You won't walk off this planet alive, you know. You will bow before this here Demon."
Without waiting for a response, he used his armored elbow to jab the Sangheili in the inside of his knee with enough force to immobilize it temporarily, causing the General to stumble backwards. The Spec-Ops Sangheili charged once more into the fray, grunting in effort as he activated an energy dagger, plunging it into Alaska's shoulder.
The Spartan-II roared in anger and pain as he whirled to face Gleq, his focus completely removed from the lower Sangheili. The Spec-Ops Sangheili gasped in awe as his entire body was thrown around, being hurled off of the Spartan's sprawling back. Alaska's eyes blazed with bloodlust behind his helmet. The searing pain in his shoulder was ignorable, as he'd felt far worse.
"Is that the worst you cam muster? Pathetic, really"
Gleq narrowed his eyes hurling yet another plasma grenade straight towards Al as he answered.
"Your reflexes are pitiful, Demon."
Alaska dropped to the floor; the grenade sailing past him and missing by all of an inch. From a posture as if he was doing a push-up, he sprang upright again. "Fight me with honor and I'll make this painless..."
Gleq roared a challenge for the Spartan, activating his energy sword with a CRACKLE, only for the Spec-Ops Sangheili to shove him out of the way, leaping towards Al in a fury he intended to take out on the human himself. The Spartan met the Spec-Ops trooper in mid-air with an armored fist. Alaska hopped up, slamming his fist into the Sangheili's helmeted head with brutal force, and the two probably landed in a tangled mess down below.
The Spec-Ops Sangheili collapsed in a daze, struggling to pick his head up as his energy shields flickered and gave out. Gleq curled his hands into fists from afar, disappointed at the Spec-Ops trooper's brash attack.
"Maybe you are not as skilled as 'Zufamee's troops after all."
Before the operator could reply, Alaska untangled himself from the mess and drew his Magnum with immense speed, pulling the trigger in a flash to give the Sangheili a coup de grâce to the head.
With the other combatant eliminated, the Spartan turned to Gleq. "Now, show me what you've got, Hinge-Head."
Gleq sprung forward with a guttural growl, using his slightly smaller size and agility to weave around the Spartan, delivering light punches while avoiding the Spartan's heavy swings. Alaska tried to uppercut the General, only to miss and have his head kicked back from a responseful jab. Eventually, Gleq leapt onto Al's back with a lethal grace, grabbing the Spartan's neck and brandishing his blade in an attempt to impale the human.
With a roar, Alaska spun on his heel to throw the Sangheili from his back, channeling his rage into strength. Gleq roared in defiance as he swerved around, slicing into Al's back with his energy sword before the inertia seized him, snatching him off and collapsing to the ground with a dull THUD. The Sangheili grunted in pain as he hoisted himself up on one leg; the other damaged from the impact.
Meanwhile, Alaska felt the sizzling sharp heat flash across his back, forcing his mind shut down, replaced by only raw Spartan instinct. He gripped the injured Gleq by thr throat, lifting him up and ramming him into the wall without a sound; all of it was cold, empty, Spartan-II rage.
As the Sangheili General was thrust into the hard concrete, he screamed in pain as his arms and legs shattered effortlessly, releasing a blood-curdling howl that drowned out the sickly snaps emerging from his limbs.
Gleq dropped to his snapped knees, his back propped up against a wall. The now-puny Sangheili hacked and wheezed, before slowly turning his gaze up to Alaska. The pain in Gleq's eyes disappeared, replaced by a vengeful fury akin to the Spartan's own. In an attempt to make the best of the situation at hand, the Sangheili growled in frustration.
"Roikla klaka-zii," Alaska snarled as he lifted up his armored boot with increased slowness, before letting gravity take its course as his foot plummeted into Gleq's chest. The Sangheili's chest caved in, spattering blood over the surrounding floor and walls. A bubble was caught in Gleq's throat as his two hearts were smushed, causing the life in his eyes to evaporate in the span of a second.
The Spartan II stood there for a second, panting from the pain across his back. "... Damn... good, he's dead..."
With no rest for the weary, Alaska received a message on his COM channel. "Alaska, this is Captain Gerald! I need you on the MAC now! The Corvettes are vulnerable!"
"On... my way," Alaska barked in response, ignoring the pain in his back and abdomen as he limped up the mangled stairs, reaching the MAC above.
On the screen it read "Locked, please submit access codes to access device." with a sigh, Alaska slipped the key chip out of the auxiliary slot in his helmet and used it to override the locks. "Access Granted." Alaska plopped into the mass driver's seat and got to work, bearing MAC onto the Corvettes.
He got the MAC up and running, locking onto the first Corvette in sight. "To hell you go."
The MAC fired at the vessel, piercing straight through the bridge. The ship wobbled as its systems gave out before crashing into a nearby skyscraper.
Alaska locked onto the next ship, and repeated the process with ease. The other Corvette went down as well, bringing down multiple UNSC aircraft with it, however.
On the first floor of the warehouse, littered with the corpses of the ill-fated Obsidion Police Department, 'Jaidoree stirred, grumbling as he picked himself up. He listened for a moment, but heard nothing upstairs, deciding to assume that his cohort and commander had perished. He glanced out the doorway to see the insolent human soldiers surprisingly pushing back his Covenant brethren. The thought to assist his brothers came to him, but the Sangheili tossed it aside.
"This battle is lost. And besides, my life matters more than that of a mere Major."
With slipper precision, the Sangheili engaged active camouflage, sliding away in the chaos as the humans continued to mow down the Covenant.
Alaska eventually rejoined the fight, laying down fire upon the Covenant - And when all was said and done - The first thing to exit his mouth was: "I should probably see a medic..."
"Affirmative! Let's get this Spartan some aid!" shouted a trooper. The rest of the Army troopers cleared a path to let the hulking Spartan-II through, before setting a course away from the warehouse. As they departed, one whooped in enthusiasm, "So much for crunch time, eh?"