It's me again. Must I continue the formalities? Here's the story. Enjoy:
“What about those camps? They’ll destroy us!” Samoa said, putting her sniper rifle back on her back.
“Puerto Rico! Rhode Island! Can I entrust the distractions to you two?” I asked, turning to them.
“O-o-o-oh, sure,” Rhode Island said, taking a grenade from the holder on his chestplate, and probably smiling creepily, “You can trust us.”
“Good,” I said, “We’ll move at the first sign of discord. We’ll have a lot of ground to cover in a short time, so go quickly. We can’t miss this window.”
Puerto Rico and Rhode Island slipped away while the rest of us hid in the African tallgrass. Soon, I heard an explosion, and a lot of cursing in several Covenant languages. “That’s our ticket, team!” I yelled, “MOVE MOVE MOVE!!!!” and we all raced across the grass. I caught glimpses of Rhode Island and Puerto Rico’s antics up on the ridge, but they wouldn’t last long if they had to fight the entire encampments. “Samoa!” I shouted, “Take out some of those Brutes! Rhode Island and Puerto Rico won’t last long without some help!”
“Copy!” Samoa responded, taking out her rifle and firing as we ran.
“So much for staying quiet,” Guam said, firing his assault rifle up the ridge, “isn’t everyone going to know we’re here? We might as well leave the words:PROJECT FREELANCER burned into the grass.”
“Dammit, you’re right,” I said, firing my DMR to take out a Grunt.
“I am?” Guam asked.
“Yes, don’t let it go to you’re head, it won’t happen often,” I shot back, already coming up with a countermeasure. “Alaska! Remember the T.O.Y. laser they gave you?”
“Yessir!” Alaska said.
“Use it on their com tower, don’t let them say it was Spartans!”
“What good is a toy laser going to do?” Guam asked.
"Message received!” Alaska said, putting his gun on his back, “Activating Tankbuster Ocular-guided Yttrium laser!” and a section of his shoulder harness came out, flipping up from his chestplate, revealing a rail gun-type weapon, that had yellow light radiating along the barrel. On it, were the letters T.O.Y. put on in spray paint.
“Oh,” Guam said in awe, almost dropping his gun, “You meant, the T.O.Y. That thing is almost legendary!”
Alaska took the canister from the middle of his GRENADIER chestplate, loading it into the gun. The canister’s top opened, revealing a complex system of lasers and hatches. A small, concentrated shaft extended, and the yellow radiation zapped the canister, and the canister focused it into the shaft, and fired it. The light was blinding, the sound brilliant, like a million exploding suns in ten seconds, and each explosion somehow breaking the sound barrier as well. The bolt of yellow light that was released destroyed the com tower like it was made out of cardboard. Puerto Rico, who had planted his own explosives, lept from the ridge and landed next to us. “What… the hell… was that?” he panted.
Guam grinned, “Just a T.O.Y. laser. Why?”
“Screw… you,” he gasped.
“Where’s Rhode Island?” Samoa asked.
Puerto Rico’s helmet lights seemed to dim. He stopped panting. “The Brutes surrounded him, the bombs went off before I could help, there was nothing I could do,” He said grimly.
Even Guam stopped grinning. Rhode Island had been the youngest of us, the one most likely to survive beyond the Director’s sick chess game. Now the damn Covenant had taken him away. “We can’t stop to mourn,” I said, “We have to keep moving. We have to finish the mission. It’s what he would’ve wanted.”
“Yeah,” Guam said, as if in a daze, “Yeah, alright.” We ran all the way to New Mombasa, furious and devastated at the same time, murdering anything and everything we came across. After what seemed like hours, we reached Halsey’s lab. The door were easy enough to break through, but the more experimental stuff would be in the sub-levels, belowground. After a quick ATC scan, I found a hatch we could use.
“Alaska,VI,” I said, “stay up here and cover us. We should only be a few minutes.”
“Copy,” Alaska said, his voice rough with grief.
“Come on,” I said, and I jumped down the hatch, into the sub-basement. Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico followed me, landing on the metal floor. I pulled up a map on my ATC, “Alright, this way,” I said, pointing into the darkness. We reached the lab without opposition, which we appreciated after fighting our way through a sea of enemies to even get there.
I activated my sword and cut a hole through the door. “If New Mombasa’s going to Hell, they won’t mind a bit of damage,” I said, stepping through. Inside, there was a machine the size of the New Colossus of Rhodes. Fitting, I suppose, since we’d just lost Rhode Island.
“Whoa,” Guam said, looking at the towering computer, “how do we extract that?”
“We don’t,” Samoa said, “We just have to get the blueprints so the Director can replicate it.”
“Better idea,” I said, pointing my ATC at the computer, “I’ll scan it, get a little more than the blueprints, and then we get back to the extraction point. Should only take a few more seconds--there! Come on, let’s get back to Alaska!” We ran back down the corridor and heard fire coming from upstairs. That couldn’t be good. Nonetheless, Alaska seemed to be shouting with elation rather than nervous fear, or anger.
We clambered back up through the hole, and saw a second Spartan III, one in blue and orange armor… “RHODE ISLAND!?!?!?” Puerto Rico yelled, almost tripping over Guam, whom he had kicked to the ground in his surprise, “How did you- I mean, when did you-”
Rhode Island only laughed, then swung the gravity hammer he was holding at an oncoming Brute. “Oh, it was awesome!” he shouted over the noise, “I found these two hammers, and then everything blew up, and for some reason, the Brutes seemed to flock around me, but it was like they were scared of me, too! So I just killed them all!
VI was cutting down a Jackal when he saw us, “About damn time!” he yelled, “We getting out of here or what?”
"We need to get rid of these Covies,” I shouted back, “You up for a little speed?”
VI perked up, “Oh, don't mind if I do!” And something whirred in his armor. With a small click! VI took off, becoming little more than a white and black blur. Everywhere the blur went, Covenant soldiers were knocked back, decapitated, or-- well, you probably don't want to know what el se. Soon, the only living things within a twenty yard radius were my team and I.
“DC-1 to 479-er,” I said into my com, “we are ready for extraction, over.”
Soon, her voice crackled over the com, “Copy that, DC-1, where do you want pick up?”
“Near the lab,” I responded, “Maybe on the roof?”
"Copy,” she said, “be there in ten minutes, the LZ’s gonna be hot.”
“Copy,” I said, “Over and out. Alright, Puerto Rico, find us an elevator to get to the roof. Rhode Island, lose the hammers, they’re too bulky for the pelican.”
“What? But I like them!” he whined.
“Sorry, they’re just too long,” I said, holding up my hands in surrender.Upon hearing that, Rhode Island looked at his hammers. Then, he broke them in half over his knee.
“There,” he said, “This short enough?"
“That works,” I said, bewildered.
Then, Puerto Rico came back, as he had found the elevator, and we all met 479-er up top and went back to base. Rhode Island was splicing wires and welding metal all the way home, making his hammers usable again.
When we got home, the Director was waiting for us. “Well done, Spartans,” he said in his southern drawl, “You have acquired valuable information for the project.”
“Might I ask, sir,” VI said, “What is the goal of the project?”
“None of your business, Agent Virgin Islands,” he responded harshly, “you will all be returned to cryostasis, until your, talents, are needed again.”
“Oh yeah?” Guam said, stepping forward, “And what if we don’t want to go back to sleep?”
The Director pulled out a small remote, and pressed a button, and immediately Guam fell to floor, being electrocuted by his own armor. “AAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!!”
“Agent Guam,” the Director said, his voice still calm as ever, “you have no choice in the matter.”
“Sir, stop, please,” Rhode Island pleaded. Guam kept on screaming.
“I think I'm gonna be sick,” Samoa said, turning away.
Finally, the Director lifted his finger from the button. Guam stopped screaming, but he just laid there, unmoving. Finally Rhode Island asked the question that all of us were too scared to: “Is he dead?”
“No, Agent Rhode Island, he is not,” the Director said this as if he was disappointed by this, “He is just unconscious. And you will all join him in the cryostasis chamber, NOW.”
“Yes sir.” I managed through gritted teeth. Together, Alaska and I carried Guam to his pod. I read the name on mine: Daniel-N6. N6. Clever. The taste of bittersweet irony when in my mouth, I climbed into my pod and waited for the cryosleep to come. For Guam’s sake, I hoped the Director forgot about us, and that we would sleep forever