View Full Version : Maze - Working Title

09-11-2011, 01:45 AM
Prologue: New Found Horrors

1123 Hours, December 11, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Unknown System, Installation 00 "The Ark"

UNSC Marine Lieutenant Cody A. Shaer slid along the wet grass and slammed against a charred chassis of an upturned M12 LRV, commonly known as a "Warthog" by the UNSC forces, as a dozen Covenant Grunts fired their plasma pistols, brilliant bolts of emerald plasma snapping over his head. Cody eased his MA5C assault rifle over his new found cover and fired blindly at the oncoming Grunts, a torrent of 7.62x51mm rounds spewing from the weapon as a pair of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers clad in their signature black armor under his command came running towards him, their heads tucked down as they ducked under the oncoming fire and dove behind the Warthog.
"Business is good today El-Tee!" yelled the biggest of the three that now huddled together. "How much longer is the Arbiter and the Chief going to be up there?"
Cody primed a grenade and hurled it towards a pair of Covenant Jackals that had entered the fight. "Oo-rah Al. Don't worry, the Chief will get it done." He finished just as the grenade exploded, tearing off one of the Jackal's arms and sent the other sprawling into a nearby bush.
Gunnery Sergeant Allister Cox was an ODST veteran. Enlisting soon after Harvest was lost, he quickly discovered he had an aptitude for explosives and heavy weapons. At six foot four, and a solid two hundred and fifty founds, he easily was one of the largest ODST's Cody had ever fought alongside. With his short blonde crew cut and cold ice-blue eyes, Al was also one of the most intimidating. A volunteer from the infamous 105th Drop Jet Platoon, Cody was happy to have him alongside during the battle that could determine the fate of the human race.
When Commander Keyes chased The Prophet of Truth through the portal in Voi, she asked for volunteers to accompany herself and the Master Chief. Naturally, as an ODST, he volunteered himself. Along with other various other volunteers, he had been given a temporary unit of mix matched ODST's to command while the battle raged on the Ark. Currently the Chief, with the help of the Arbiter, were climbing a massive tower to power down a large shielding field while allied Separatist Elites and ODST's made sure no one got in after them. They all knew what was at stake.

The third ODST hunkered down, slowly eased her way to the end of the hog and popped up, her BR55 Battle Rifle spitting a trio of rounds into the last Grunt's methane tank as it turned to flee, high pitched squeaks and grunts dying off as the exploding tank sent the Grunt slamming into the heavy metal wall of the tower with a wet smack. She put another triplet of shots in the limp body. "Got the last one boys, you can relax now."
The three ODST's stood, a few Marines yelling "All clear" as a dozen troopers rose from their cover, the few Elites that joined them roaring in victory. A Marine not far from the trio of ODST's tried to sit up. He coughed up blood and doubled over, a large metal spike from a Brute's Spiker embedded in his stomach.
"Boule!" Cody barked, "Get over to that man now!"
The female ODST shouldered her BR55 and ran to the wounded man. She reached him and lay him on his back before removing her helmet. "It's going to be OK, hang in there!" She assured him as she opened her field medical kit and retried a canister of bioform and began to work. A concerned Private stood overlooking the Medic do her work.
Cody strode over and pulled the trooper aside. "Relax Private. Kelsey know's what she's doing. He's in good hands."
To say Master Sergeant Kelsey Boule knew what she was doing was an understatement. An ex medical technition from the UNSC Hopefull, Boule decided she could do more good on the ground with the troopers on the front lines and so, not long before the fall of Reach, she transferred into the 19th Shock Troopers Battalion and quickly forged herself a reputation for saving her fellow troopers lives, even when most combat medics would abandon hope. An athletic, dark haired woman, she had a soothing effect on her patients like no other. Cody figured it had something to do with her attractiveness rather than her demeanor but it didn't matter to him, Boule got results, and he could appreciate that.

The Private nodded and returned to his cover as another ODST approached them from the beached where a Pelican had just landed, a matte black SRS99D-S2 AM cradled in his arms as if on a quail hunt. He strode over to Cody and Al and depolarized his helmets faceplate. He gave the pair a smile. "Good to see you in one piece Lieutenant."
Cody clasped the newcomer's hand and gave him a short embrace. "Good to see you too Bitansky. Thanks for the cover."
The one member of his rag-tag unit he did know well, Sergeant Major Michael Bitansky was by far the best shot Cody had ever seen in his years serving in the Crops. A member of Cody's unit before they all arrived at the Ark, Bitansky and Cody had fought across multiple planets alongside each other. Long time friends from their days during Boot camp, the two consider themselves brothers. A tall, skinny man with cropped dark hair, Bitansky was rather nimble for a man of his build, and was one of few ODST's to qualify "expert" on every advanced marksman course.

Cody turned to the collection of Marines who now stood scattered throughout the clearing at the base of the tower, distant echos of rifle fire and explosions resounding from inside the structure as the Master Chief worked his way inside. Pausing for a moment, Cody looked out over the water and determined if there had been no Covenant and no war here, it would make a very nice vacation spot. Tearing his mind from dreamland, he quickly assessed the strength of the soldiers left. A dozen marines, a couple SPNKr Rocket Launchers, a handful of Elite warriors, and too many wounded and dead to count. He quickly determined a plan of action and began barking out orders. "Marines! Listen up! We need to make sure nothing gets in behind the Chief while he and the Arbiter do their work. Secure this area and dig in! Rockets take positions up the hill, assault weapons on the flats." He turned to Al and Bitansky. "You two, grab the wounded with Boule and escort them to the Dawn. Pelican's on the beach. Let's move people!"
The troopers sprang into action as they rushed to set up cover with whatever they could find while the Elites quickly set up portable shield barriers and helped remove the burned out Warthog that had provided Cody the others with cover during the previous fight. A pair of Marine's carrying shotguns kicked over a Covenant crate and moved to cover the tower door. Cody turned to Bitansky and Al as they helped Kelsey unfold a stretcher and load on the wounded man, the Spiker's bolt removed and his wound sealed and covered.
"I know you two would rather stay here, but I need a reliable escort for the wounded. Once you're back to the Dawn, I'm sure Commander Keyes will have you re-deploy. I'm staying to organize ground-ops here, has there been any word on Stephen and the other three?"
Mike looked down as he shook his head, as he slowly pulled the wounded Marine onto the now assembled stretcher. "Negative sir, their Hornet took a blast from one of those AA Wraiths coming in. It hit the water pretty hard, no one came up."
Cody nodded as the two ODST's moved to help Kelsey with her wounded. He took a moment and removed his helmet, scratching his shaven head as her breathed fresh air. It still tasted artificial, almost like his helmets scrubbed air, but it was much cooler in temperature. He marveled at a pair of Marines talking to one of the Elites in the dark red armor as they dug a series of Lotus Anti-Tank mines into the path leading up to the clearing and spat in disgust. Regardless of the humans new found allies, he could never forget how many fellow soldiers he had seen lost due to the Elites in their quest for the Great Journey.

Taking a moment to check his ammo in his M7 Caseless SMG, he turned at the roar of the Pelicans and checked the beach to see the pair of dropships lifting off, their engines flaring as the spun and started towards the water back to the Dawn. It was then when he noticed the large object speeding towards them high above in space. A large domed station with an odd colored smog hanging around it with large dark veins lacing it's metallic plating.
An Elite Ranger to his left roared in disgust."High Charity! Brothers! The Parasite is upon us!" he drew his energy blade as did the other Elites around him. Moments later, the once mighty Covenant City High Charity smashed into the ark with a thunderous bang, the domed section imploding on impact sending hundreds of flood dispersal pods and infected rock fragments hurtling into the air, dozens of which flew towards the tower where Cody and the others guarded. A large rock smashed through the tower window above with a crash sending alien glass raining of the defenders below.

A long time veteran of both the Rebel Insurrection and the Human/Covenant war, Cody was a seasoned veteran in combat, fighting on multiple worlds including famous battles such as the liberation of Harvest, the battle for Reach and the battle for Earth. Holding multiple UNSC Navy awards and medals, he was an expert in CQB and Urban Warfare, a bonus when and his team and been deployed to New Mombasa. Although he carried both valuable combat experience and an unmatched level of expertise in his fields of study, nothing could prepare him for what was about to take place.

It would be the upcoming hours that would scar Cody both physically and mentally as the flood came to the ark and tested every ounce of his training and knowledge for it would take everything he knew and more to survive the ordeal. He would become one of a select handful of human survivors that encountered the flood and lived to tell the tale all the while witnessing the end of the human Covenant war where he would later be promoted multiple times and awarded the Colonial Cross for bravery. His experience against the flood however, would be very important in his future, for only months after the battle on the ark, Cody would be faced with yet another terrible battle, this one far deadlier and more challenging than any before it.

09-13-2011, 04:16 AM
Chapter One: Pebbles Into Water

0630 Hours, February 20, 2552 (Military Calendar)
New Vancouver - Canada, Earth

The flattened spherical pad that lay under Cody's pillow began to vibrate, a humming noise muffled layers of cushions became a light buzz as the alarm continued. A full thirty seconds later, Cody shifted and woke as the alarm finished, the pillow and his bed becoming motionless once more as the lights in his room slowly started to brighten to a dim hue of yellow. He slowly sat up, pulling the steel-grey covers off of himself and swung his legs out of the bed onto the floor, the carpet below a comforting change to the normal titanium deck plates of a UNSC Carrier where he spent most of his time while not on leave. He ambled to the bathroom, the cold tile floor an explosive contrast to the warmth behind him as he twisted the tap handle. Cold water gushed from the large tap and into the ODST's cupped hands before being splashed onto his face, dropplets of water falling into the basin below as Cody recounted the last few months.

The terrifying battle on the Ark against the flood monsters, watching helplessly from the Elite's Assault Carrier as the Dawn hung in low orbit awaiting the Chief, the ceremonies on the hill by Lord Hood, a two week long debrief by ONI Section-3 followed by a promotion, and the promise of a long liberty to his peaceful home in South Western Canada before he was recalled to active duty to assist in Operation Reclamation.
A second splash of cold water hit Cody's face.
Operation Reclamation involved the sweeping and securing of all UNSC controlled space that still contained habitable systems before recon operations on abandoned systems began. The goal, to get an accurate number of what remained of the shattered UNSC before HighCOM started to rebuild. Easy work, security detail was what Command had said it would be however, as soon as the Covenant left the picture, pirates and warlords began to salvage what they could from damaged and abandoned UNSC ships and ship yards. Easy work became a hardened fight against rebels and pirates once again, and the UNSC wanted to quell it immediatley and begin rebuilding.
Cody twisted the tap off and grabbed a cotton towel hanging on a curved brass hook and padded his face before hanging it back onto it's hook. He glanced up at himself in the mirror and internally shuttered at the sight of the deep ragged scar that ran down the right side of his face, temple to jawline, remembering the craws of a Flood monster tearing though his flesh. He tore away from the mirror and returned to his room.
After making his bed with a practiced hand after years of boot camp and Drill Instructor's yelling in his face, he moved to a tall dresser and removed a pair of black sweat pants, socks, and a grey and green pair of lightweight trainers which he slipped on and laced up before closing the drawers and entering the hallway. He turned down the hallway and walked towards a closed door which he opened.

Polished hardwood flooring splayed out before him, a large panoramic window covering the entire length of the left wall overlooking the port city of New Vancouver, dozens of cargo freighters moving through the sky while scores of people moved about the street twenty four stories below. Along the opposite wall, a long length of mirrors from ceiling to floor hung polished to perfection while a dozen thick black mats covered the ground, each supporting various training equipment from treadmills, free weights, and training bags. Cody took a deep breathe, the smell of rubber and steel filling his nostrils as he took a moment to embrace being in his own gym rather than the large public gyms of UNSC ships and bases.
He preferred the privacy.
Not a tall man, Cody stood a mere five foot eleven, but his stocky frame was packed heavily with hard, lean muscle from what he would say was intensive commitment to trainings and a healthy balanced diet. Others called him a physical freak. Regardless, all agreed he was an amazing example of physical fitness for a normal human being.
He strode over to a wall control and quickly tapped in a series of commands, an upbeat tune of music floated through the gym speakers as he moved to a treadmill to start his warmup. Starting with a slow jog, he built up to a series of sprints alternating with fast jogs as he pushed his cardio to the max. He followed this with stretches before hitting a heavy bag, then moving to the free weights. He had just finished a set of dumbbell flys when the music stopped and a whistle tune echoed in the now quiet room. A moment later an automated voice came on. "Office Of Naval Intelligence for you Commander."
Cody set the one hundred and fifty pound dumbbells down and grabbed a towel from a steel rack by the door before leaving the gym and heading towards his front door, passing his grandfather's ancient painting that hung just outside the gym on his wall. It depicted infantry soldiers leaving beach landing craft and charging up the beached at an enemy heavily entrenched with machine guns and bunkers. Cody found it odd why such a tactic would be used, but he treasured it none the less.

He reached the door and quickly finished wiping the sweat of his face before shouldering the towel and reaching for the locks. He undid both main bolts and released the blocking chain before opening the apartment door. A man with pale skin and an angular face stood before him, wearing a beige trench coat, a white shirt and tie just visible with a matching fedora style hat to match. A small pin with the ONI emblem rested on the mans lapel. "Civvie Forms" many UNSC personnel called them for their lack of creativity and low profile, any moron with half a brain could spot these "Spooks" from a mile away. He held out a manilla envelope. "For you Commander."
Cody took it, weary of the ONI Officer who tipped his hat and strode down the hall, his heavy soled shoes clacking on the tiled floor until he reached the elevator, the doors closing behind him.
Cody quickly shut and secured all the locks on the front door before retreating to his room which's door he also closed. Sitting at the desk next to his bed, he tore open the envelope and poured the contents onto the desk in front of him. A few papers slid out along with a standard UNSC data chip. Cody tossed the envelope aside and quickly scanned the papers, determining they were standard "Classified Material" packets that detailed the legal binding and punishments for whatever it was the chip contained. He slid them aside and slid the data chip into the slot on his Personal Home Integrated System, the screen humming to life the moment the chip's connective prongs slid into place. A single line flashed upon the screen.


Cody leaned forward and leveled his eyes with the scanner along the top of the screen assembly. A bright green laser shot from the port and slowly moved up and down his eyeball, matching his retina to the UNSC file on hand and enabling access to the heavily encrypted chip. The line disappeared and a message appeared on screen. Cody began to read.

Office Of Naval Intelligence ALPHA LEVEL PRIORITY TRANSMISSION 04736G-23
Encryption Code: XR7S44L23-9008
From: NavSpecWep Command
To: Commander Cody A. Shaer (SERIAL NUMBER 2508-0406CAS-23)
Subject: Priority One Call To Duty
Classification: Classified (Directive-T3)

/start file/

Effective immediately, you are ordered to report to the UNSC Prowler Dusk for immediate briefing regarding a classified NavSpecWep operation by 0800 Hours February 21, 2552. You have been reassigned to ONI Section-III for NavSpecWep deployment "Door Knocker". All previous deployment orders are hereby cancelled. Your remaining liberty has also been cancelled.

Further intelligence and reports will be provided upon briefing.

/end file/

Cody re-read the message before removing the data chip from the slot. Not moments after he did, the chip heated and smoked as the internal crystals reduced themselves to ash, destroying the message and all traces of it's existence.
Jesus, must be pretty important if ONI is wiping out orders as basic as that. Cody thought as he threw the towel in a circular nylon bin across the room. He took one last look around before stripping down and heading for the shower, his mind racing at what had Command spooked so bad to call him off, as they had described, well earned and deserved leave. He stepped into the shower and let the warm water crash into him and let his train of thought slip away as he enjoyed what he feared may be his last hot shower in a long time.

0836 Hours, February 20, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Detroit - United States of America, Earth

"Hit me! Now! Now!" Lieutenant Commander Allister Cox yelled as he pushed off the court floor around his check, bumping the smaller man out of the way as he circled into the open space under the hoop overhead. Lieutenant Commander Michael Bitansky tossed the old dusty basket ball over his head and into the backboard where Al promptly jumped up and slammed the ball home, ending their game of pickup with the winning basket. The pair of ODST's exchanged pleasantries and a pair of fifties with a pair of now very grumpy UNSC Navy Pilots who left the court a little more poor than when they had arrived. Al wiped the sweat off his face with an old towel when Mike tossed him an aluminum bottle of water. Al caught it, twisting of the tap and guzzled down a large gulp of the now warm liquid. He let out an exhausted expletive. "What were they thinking?"
Mike shook his head and sat on a wooden bench next to the court. "Fuck if I know brother, they knew they were playing Helljumpers."
Al laughed and sat on the other end of the bench. "Groundpounders one, flyboys zero! How's your leave been so far?"
Mike shrugged, "No complaints, been pretty relaxing for the most part. I'm glad we met up for the last few months, get me doing something."
Al punched Mike in the arm, "Relaxing? You've clocked more time at the range then I do while on duty."
Mike gave him a shot back. "You'll thank me when I save your ass someday. How's the family?"
Al smiled and looked into the blue sky above. "They're good man, real good, wife and the kids are visiting the brother on Mars, we'll have the last few weeks together before I head out before I ship of to Reclamation."
Mike cocked his head. "You're deployed there too hey?"
Al nodded and polished off the remainder of his water. "Yea, hitting up the outer colonies for recon. You?"
Mike pulled his shirt from a gym bag and pulled it on. "I get to babysit 'ol Mother Earth here. Guess I'll be able to hit that brothel outside of Cairo that you used to go to a couple times a week before you married. Although I still say the girls there look worse than Grunts."
The two laughed and exchanged fist bumps as they finished their water, the sun pounding down from the sky, heat waves visible above the pavement as sweat glistened on the bare chests of the marines on the bench. Neither spoke as they embraced the heat, for it had been a long time since they could relax and enjoy themselves without the worry of war.
Neither one saw the man coming towards them from the road until he started across the court, his trench coat blowing slightly in the breeze.
"Aw fuck check out the spook." Al grunted as he gave Mike a nudge, nodding in the direction of the ONI Officer walking towards them.
"Jesus it's like high nineties and they still wear that Civvie shit?" Mike said as he shook his head and stood with Al as the man reached them. He reached into his coat and withdrew a pair of manilla envelopes from within and passed them to each ODST.

0947 Hours, February 20, 2552 (Military Calendar)
UNSC Hopeful - Sol System

"Clamp this here." Lieutenant Kelsey Boule mumbled through her medical face mask as an assistant moved in with the shiny metal instrument. Kelsey watched the man clamp the femoral artery as she slowly withdrew her gloved hand. Another assistant moved in with another tool as Boule stepped back from the table and turned to the pair of UNSC Officer's standing above her in the observation room, her reflection staring her back in the polished glass. She pulled down her mask and hit the intercom button on the main console. "The Ensign will be fine, two weeks bed rest and six weeks physio before active duty Admiral, I'll have the report to you later today. I'm recommending microgravity therapy as well sir."
The older of the pair gave a wave of his hand and nodded before turning and leaving the observation room. The younger of the two leaned forward and hit the call button. "Lieutenant a word in my Office please."
Kelsey pulled off her gloves and nodded before pushing through the OR doors. Soon after, she was showered, scrubbed off, and in uniform riding the main lift to Commander Knight's officer. She shifted the papers under her arm and brushed a strand of auburn hair out of her face as the lift slowed to a stop and the pressure doors hissed open. She excused herself past a pair of Engineers carrying trays of food from the Mess Hall and turned through the bulkhead. She reached the Commander's door and pressed the intercom button. "Lieutenant Kelsey Boule reporting sir."
The light above the door flashed green and the heavy doors hissed open. She took a breath and stepped inside.
The heavy stench of expensive scotch and cigar smoke assaulted her as she walked in, a trio of screens flashed over tactical maps and plans while a half dozen water color paintings depicting battles between Human and Covenant ships dotted the wall. Commander Knight sat behind his desk shuffling through papers, a thick cigar jutting out from his mouth as he glanced up. "Sit."
Kelsey sank into the plush chair and placed the papers on her lap. "Sir I can-"
Knight leaned forward and dropped the papers. "You come onto this ship unauthorized, while on leave, scrub into my operating room, and take over surgery from my senior surgeon all because you heard a rumor he was under the influence?"
Kelsey looked at the floor.
Commander Knight continued. "You have just broken every major regulation regarding medical procedures and ethics on board this station, undermined the Cheif Surgeon on board, and made an embarrassment of both him and his reputation."
Kelsey blinked back a tear and stared harder at the rug that sat on the deck plates.
Command Knight leaned back and picked up a piece of paper. "Dr. Garcia who you so candidly replaced in the OR had his blood test come back. Alcohol was point one four. We also found a stash of liquor in his office."
Kelsey shot her head up and stared at Knight, his expression warming as he placed the cigar into an ash tray.
"Your actions saved the life of Ensign Markovff, revealed that the Chief Surgeon has indeed been intoxicated while on duty risking the lives of all his patients, and saved the Vice Admiral much unwanted attention from both the High Command and the UNSC. As much as you did everything in your power to break every rule in the book, you got results Boule. That is what matter to the Admiral and I."
Kelsey shook her head. "I don't... Thank you sir."
The Commander nodded. "You've always been one of the best Kelsey, both on this station before your transfer and on the ground. It showed today. Although I'm not sure how you found out about everything that took place today, unofficially thank them for the Admiral and I."
Kelsey nodded and passed Knight a grey folder, silently thanking her cousin below decks. "The report regarding the Ensign sir."
Commander Knight took it and quickly scanned it. His expression turned grim as he closed the folder. "I wish I could say we're happy to have you back for Operation Reclamation. but you're being reassigned to our friends in Section Three."
Kelsey cocked her head as Commander knight motioned to the shadows off to his right. A tall, pale man with an angular face stepped forward, his ONI insignia flashing in the light as he extended a manilla envelope towards her.

Office Of Naval Intelligence ALPHA LEVEL PRIORITY TRANSMISSION 75984H-19
Encryption Code: DF9F83J19-7693
From: Richard Lash (Commanding Officer of UNSC Prowler "Dusk")
To: Colonel Volpatti (ONI Section 3 Senior Commander)
Subject: UNSC Hannibal
Classification: Classified Tier One

/start file/

Good Morning Sir,

As of 0600 this morning, UNSC Dusk has declared all first contact teams sent aboard the UNSC Carrier Hannibal as MIA. Last contact was at 0527 of this morning. Attached is a helmet cam footage last sent via short-beam emergency communication from team two commander MSGT. A. Proctor to the UNSC Dusk at stated time. This is unaltered, raw footage.

My crew has been briefed on the need for utmost secrecy on this issue, many do not know what they have just witnessed. Both my executive officer and myself however, know what we saw. Hostile numbers look to be in the high hundreds. I've attached the compressed SCV Record of a particular UNSC Special Forces member who I believe you may be interested in using to deal with this. I hope my forward thinking is not outside of my abilities.

The Dusk is ready should you need her.

R. Lash

/open attachment/

Name: Cody Allen Shaer
Birth date: 04/06/2508
Serial Number: 2508-0406CAS-23

Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Blood Type: O+
Height: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Weight: 223 lbs
Distinguishing Features: 6.23 Inch scar from right temple to lower right jaw bone/ODST Tatoo left bicep/tricep

Rank: Commander
Unit: 17th Sky-Rider Platoon
Enlistment Date: 04/06/2526
Battle Of Mars
- Apart of UNSC 31st Marine Detachment repelling rebel terror attacks along the Vinary Ridge; Awarded a Silver Star for bravery [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Battle Of Jupiter
- Led a mix-matched unit of UNSC Marines and UED Militia against rebel attacks on Tritan; Awarded a Purple Heart [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Battle Of Gamma-4
- Commanded 27th Armored Platoon on defensive operations along UNSC Base Complex 27; Awarded a Gold Star for gallantry [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Liberation Of Emerald Cove
- Apart of 105th Drop Jet Platoon [ODST CLASS] engaging underwater rebel base; Awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for heroism [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Liberation Of Harvest
- Apart of the 105th Drop Jet Platoon [ODST CLASS] engaging in rescue operations on Harvest; Awarded a Purple Heart [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Battle Of Sigma Octanus IV
- Apart of the 19th Drop Jet Platoon [ODST CLASS] engaging in recovery operations post [CLASSIFIED]
Battle Of Reach
- Led the 19th Drop Jet Platoon [ODST CLASS] engaging in rescue operations from UNSC Trafalgar; Awarded a Silver Star for bravery [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Battle Of Earth
- Led the 17th Sky-Rider Platoon [ODST CLASS] In [CLASSIFIED] operations in New Mombasa after Covenant Supercarrier slipspace jump and in resulting battle primarily outside of Voi, New Mombasa; Awarded Gold Star for leadership [SEE ATTACHMENT]
Battle Of Installation 00
- Led a mix-matched unit of ODST/Marine/Elite forces aiding Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 in [CLASSIFIED] followed by rescue and recovery operations of UNSC Forces engaging parasitic life form know as "The Flood"; Awarded Purple Cluster and The Colonial Cross[SEE ATTACHMENT]

/close attachment/

/end file/

01-05-2012, 03:01 AM
Chapter Two: False Pretenses

Cody shifted his duty bag higher onto his shoulder as he squeezed past a pair of Marines standing in line for another shuttle as he quickened his pace towards his. Having only hours to say goodbyes to his few remaining family on earth, the ODST Commander had spent the last few hours rushing through the Cairo to get to his shuttle in time to make his assignment. An Engineer gave him a nod as he worked on a pressure door circuit. The plasma scoring reminded Cody how little time had passed since they had ended the war with the Covenant. His head racing with the possibilities of what the new mission might bring, he ducked under the bulkhead and into the busy shuttle bay, dozens of hangar workers moving about prepping shuttles for launch while steady lines of Marines and Pilots boarded the small transports to proceed to their duty assignments, mostly within Operation Reclamation. Not me. Cody thought as he started down the stairs towards the hangar floor. Reaching a data terminal just as a pair of Pilots were leaving, he quickly keyed in his access information and after a quick whir, his shuttle number materialized on screen. Checking the shuttles docking location, he was relieved to find it two pads down, dreading a long walk to the end of the bay. Reaching the small transport craft, he made sure to double check the I.D. number before he climbed up the ramp of the shuttle to his left, careful not to bump his head on the overhang as he stepped inside.
The cool blue wash of the deck lamps, so soothing compared to the blazing yellow-white of the hangar lights welcomed him as he noticed a pair of familiar faces seated farthest from the cockpit. One hulking in his seat with close cropped blonde hair while the other almost blended into his with slender frame and dark features. Al and Michael stood and saluted. "Commander sir!"
Cody blinked hard, taking a moment to realize they were saluting him before quickly returning it. "At ease boys. My apologies first time wearing the new bars since the ceremonies." He held out a hand. "How are you two?"
Michael shook it first. "Good sir, wondering what the hell Section 3 is doing with the rest of my leave, but you know me."
Al laughed. "Rodger that, always wanting to shoot something. Nice to see you sir but uh, where the hell are we going?"
Cody shook his head as he stowed his bag in the compartment above his seat, careful to ensure all of the latches and locks closed with a snap. He'd had luggage come lose before, and he'd had the bruise for a week to show for it. "No clue," he shrugged as he dropped into the seat next to Bitansky, slinging his harness over his shoulders. "War's over, so unless we found some kind of rebel weapon stash or base I'm completely lost as to what they need us for."
Mike was opening his mouth to say something when Al let out a loud "Shit!"
The other two ODST's turned to where Al was looking as Kelsey Boule strode up the shuttle ramp with a piercing stare into Al's eyes that amazed even Cody. "I heard that Al," she said with a frown, "Not happy to see an old friend or something? Or was it because I turned you down for coffee?"
Al shook his head. "You know I love ya girl, but if they're sending you, that means ONI expects casualties. We ain't on no cake walk, at least that's been confirmed."
Kelsey smiled, her teeth even whiter than Cody had remembered. "What's this? Big bad Al backing down from a fight? Never thought I'd see the day."
Al mumbled in his seat and crossed his arms as Kelsey and Michael laughed. Cody forced himself to remain silent. Al had made a valid point, any walk in the park milk run wouldn't need a medic, let alone one of Kelsey's caliber. She had been handpicked for this mission, which also presented Cody with another gut wrenching feeling. If they hand picked her, then there was a good chance they had hand picked all of them, which means wherever they were going was very hostile. He would never admit it, but he was worried. OK Section 3, what mess are you sending us into this time?

Cody shifted in his chair, careful not to make too much noise in the dim briefing room, the ONI emblem rotating above the holo tank as the ODST's waited, no one daring to speak a word as they sat inside the Dusk. Not long after Kelsey had boarded the shuttle, a pair of ODST's had come up the ramp just before take off. A few quick glances and a resounding silence made it clear that they were not know to Cody or the others as they sat at the opposite end of the transport, talking in hushed voices, occasionally glancing up at the four near the cockpit. The short shuttle ride was uneventful, until the docking, where a pair of ONI spooks waved a pair of wand type data scanners over each ODST before they crossed into the Prowler. A quick glance from Kelsey confirmed Cody's suspicion that is was some type of medical device and shot a thousand other questions through his head. After the last trooper was cleared, the six of them were lead down a maze of short bulkheads and passages to a secure briefing room where they now sat and waited. During the walk, Cody had managed to make out the other ODST's ranks and had determined he was in fact the ranking trooper of the group, which both reassured and worried him. Chances are he would be leading, good. But that also meant that whatever mess Section 3 was throwing them into, he would ultimately be responsible for.
A hissing of a pressure door caused everyone to straighten up.
As the doors at the end of the room opened and a tall pale man with an angular strode through, Cody caught the flash of a Major's insignia on the collar and sharply barked a crisp "Officer on deck!" to which everyone stood and snapped a practiced salute. The man remained far enough back from the shadows as to hide his face but it didn't matter, Cody had seen it yesterday when the Spook had dropped off the package for him at his apartment. He slowly stepped forward, illuminating his hooked nose and cold black eyes before issuing a curt "At ease."
The ODST's fell into their chairs, all on the edges of their seats, eagerly awaiting their next mission. Half full of tension, half full of adrenaline, this was the feeling Cody often got whilst dropping thousands of feet into the atmosphere inside his Drop Pod into a combat zone. The fast that a simple briefing could produce the same effect both worried and amazed him. A bead of sweat slid down the back of his neck, catching the collar of his uniform. He exhaled, not having been this nervous in a long time.