[Fanfiction] Ashes

This was it. There was no possible way for them to turn it around. UNSC HIGHCOM Facility Alpha sat in the eye of an unnatural hurricane, swirling black clouds that pulsed with lightning, illuminating the flames and ash that made up the storm. The forests beneath it burned and mountains melted under their relentless onslaught. The Covenant was glassing Reach. And this was their last target.

“Major, we need you to get whoever else is still fighting out there and rally back to HIGHCOM. There’s weapons in there the Covenant must not acquire. Are we clear? Give them Hell.”

Hell. That’s what Reach is now. It used to be the symbol of Humanity’s military might. Now it’s a sea of molten metal, a testament to the unstoppable bloodlust of the enemy. Major James Surkin looked up from his tacpad. His recon team of ten men accompanied him, and there were more isolated squads in the forest below him that had to be rallied. Smoke plumes snaked skyward and flashes punctuated the darkness below him.

“Marines, get the ‘Hogs ready to return to HIGHCOM. We are leaving.” Surkin shouted to his obviously shaken Marines. This planet is where most of them were born, seeing it like this was too much for Surkin, who was Earth-born himself.

“This is Major Surkin, all UNSC forces with in the vicinity of this emergency broadcast are to disengage immediately and rally at HIGHCOM. This is a direct order from Admiral Whitcomb. Operation: LOCK AND KEY is now in effect. Disengage immediately. “ This signal was sent. Hopefully whoever was still fighting out there got the signal. “Sir, we’re ready to roll. Hop on the turret.” “Affirmative, Corporal. I’m on my way.”

Surkin let his BR55 dangle by his side as he proceeded towards the LRV. Two of them sat roughly parked next to each other, one was an APC variant, and the other sported a M19 Gauss Rifle capable of punching through Scorpion battle-plate. The Marines loaded into the troop hog, each placing their weapons pointing out of the roll cage. Surkin placed his helmet on and his eyepiece displayed his targeting HUD. Its green hue faded as it integrated with his eyesight. He pulled back the massive lever on the M19 and electricity arced through the conductor coils. He rotated his head to see multiple Pelican dropships exiting clearing in the forest below. They spun and accelerated towards HIGHCOM. A few cleared the way before hope was once again crushed. Lances of plasma descended from the sky, striking the green plating of the remaining pelicans. They boiled and contorted as they fell to the trees in molten heaps. Seraph star fighters swarmed the airspace, there was at least one squadron of them. They left blue exhaust trails as they flew away like opportunists, abandoning their kills. As they disappeared into the blackened horizon, dozens of Spirit dropships emerged from the cloud cover. Their U-shaped hulls hummed as they spread out to deploy troops into the area.

“Let’s get going. Now! Punch it Marine!” Surkin aimed his cannon skyward.

The projectile fired traveled almost at the speed of light. If he could score a hit he could make short work of a few dropships, however the panicked Marine now tearing down a mountain trail could make it a bit difficult. Surkin tilted the turret. A low-flying dropship flew parallel to the ridge, and Surkin let him have it. Thunder erupted as the Gauss cannon sent a tungsten slug directly through the driver’s cabin at the rear of the craft. Plasma coils exploded a brilliant sapphire as the craft split apart, it’s troop compartments spilling screaming Covenant forces. The unmistakable scream of Banshees was clearly audible, and Surkin snapped into action.

He swung the turret 180 degrees, and he saw that the Banshee was in pursuit of them. He fired a single shell, sending Banshee bits and gore exploding outward. The chamber rotated, and another slug locked into place. They were going downhill now, at unnerving speed. Rocks and dust tumbled off the cliff next to them as they tore down the mountain. “Hoorah, don’t slow down.” A Phantom swooped from a blind spot, its twin engines moaned as it hovered in space. The air shifted and melted into a pair of Special Ops Elites, their angular armor forming as they exited cloak. A 300 pound alien landed on the hood on the ‘Hog. Its mandibles opened with a horrifying roar as saliva formed tiny webs between its carnivorous teeth. The driver screamed like a -Yoink- and fishtailed.

“SHIIIIIIIT!” Surkin reacted. A flash sprang from the barrel and severed Elite legs slid from the hood, leaving a bloody smear on the hood. The vehicle shook as it ran them over. The driver, stunned looked back with his mouth agape.

“Eyes on the road!” Surkin leveled out the turret as they turned onto the overpass leading to HIGHCOM. A screech shook the tepid air as something massive slipped from the surrounding hurricane. A Covenant Battle cruiser. And another. And half a dozen more.

“Jesus Christ”

Definitely a good start. The only criticism I would have is your dialogue.

There are a couple of lines (There’s weapons in there the Covenant must not acquire, for instance) that seem a bit out of place. I could be wrong, but I picture the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations saying something more like “There is sensitive prototype weaponry within HIGHCOM Facility Alpha. I need you and your men at that position to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.”

Or something like that.

Despite that minor point, your description of the action is excellent. You should definitely keep writing.