Chapter 14: Rescue

Sarge looked behind him at the progress the others were making with the lock at their exit door. Simmons did his best to hack the door, but he had never seen this type of lock before. Gamma pixilated beside Grif and offered his help.

"It's better than nothing at this point," Simmons conceded and Grif motioned for Gamma to do his thing. "You heard him Microsoft Sam, front and center."

Gamma quickly entered the digital lock via certain pathways and analyzed the lock and his options. He pixilated besides Grif and concluded the following. "This will take some time, hacking locks has always been Delta's domain."

"Oh well I wouldn't say we are in too much of a hurry," Sarge noted studying how quiet it was in the tunnels. The only thing he could hear was a bunch of jabbering idiots. Theta suddenly appeared besides Sarge painting out the tunnel map for him. "Check it out Sarge, the others are close by now."

"Wait a go little guy," Sarge said motioning for others to keep a sharp eye out. Sis looked curiously at Theta which made him quite nervous. "What?"

"So when did you guys get glowing talking light bulbs?" she asked.

"Long story," Simmons replied standing guard. She looked at them all and begged for them to tell her sometime. Sarge immediately shot down the idea. "Yeah, I don't think that will happen."

"Then, where can I get me one of those?"

"By standing in that corner and keeping your mouth shut. Also by doing whatever I tell you to do from now on for the rest of your life and never embarrassing the family name again," Grif replied seeing an opportunity. Just as he expected, being the dunce she can be she agreed. "You are so on! I can't wait to get one, I will name him Dolfy."

Simmons watched Sis walk off into a corner and turned back to Grif. "Smooth, I can't wait to see how you explain to her that she can't have one in the end."

"Who said anything about coming clean with her? Let her live her fantasy, it's easier this way on us all."

"That's a little harsh," Sarge noted. "Especially considering how she is your sister."

"And I am the older one, which means she will believe anything I say as her older sibling."

"Wait, really?" Simmons questioned earning a very confident nod. "Yeah, when I was five, I told her that the dentists are the root of all pain and evil in the world. I even said that he will forcibly and painfully pull out your wisdom teeth which will make you go stupid. And she ate that shit up believing every word of it. After that she never went to the dentist."

"You know, for some reason I can't quite argue against that," Simmons replied seeing the stupidity at work. Sis stood in the corner still excited to receive her own custom light bulb someday.

Lopez stopped to look behind him and found Doc and Donut to be falling behind. "[Pick up the pace you lazy humans, we need to meet up with the other idiots in a timely manner.]"

"You are right Lopez, I would love some nacho burritos right about now," Donut replied feeling his stomach gurgle. Doc shook his head. "Donut, you can eat later."

They all stopped at hearing a few noises. Doc panicked and hid behind some rubble. "Oh holy crap, what was that?!"

"[Stay here, I will check it out.]"

"Lopez now is not the time to make fun of him for being scared," Donut scolded to which Lopez just turned around to walk away. "Man, I wonder what's his deal?"

Lopez walked ever so slowly to lessen his own noises. Analysing the various noises around, he used his noise analyzer to capture and study the noises. They were from several footsteps, but they were not in the direction of the rest of the crew. Lopez stopped for a moment to consider his options, but knowing his luck he would just be blown over by the others. He decided to proceed on his own. With his rifle raised up in front of him, he cautiously walked through the tunnel.

Lopez activated his heat vision to find several hostiles pop up in view. In total there were ten. Oh great, hopefully I don't lose my head over this. He quickly hid in the shadows and saw them all approaching in formation. Lopez waited for a good opportunity as he watched them go by. As soon as the last one was past him, Lopez stepped out and opened fire. He hit several of the targets with perfect accuracy and again hid in the shadows.

"What the hell?!" he heard several of the soldiers shout. They were all in disarray. Looks like I'm not the only one working with idiots, Lopez computed as he watched many of the soldiers slowly but surely gain their composure. They all took cover behind various pillars and stuck their rifles out to scan the area with.

Lopez minimized his heat producing features as best as he could to avoid detection via the thermal scanners in the enemy guns. Only four soldiers remained and they all played it cautiously, not that it helped them thanks to Lopez's heat vision. He saw all of them communicating with one another through hand signals. Some of them were unfamiliar to him, but he instantly decoded the ones that were the military standard.

As soon as Lopez was confident that they stopped scanning, he began moving. Their scans however must have borne some fruit as they kept their guns pointed in his general direction. He managed to get behind two and quickly took them out by slamming their heads together. The other two looked in the way of the noise and quickly let out short and controlled bursts of fire. Lopez made a break for it, and now he was in their sights. They closed in slowly, and Lopez took the closest one by the neck and held him hostage. This action however was short lived as the other soldier took off Lopez's head with a well placed shot.

Oh for fuck's sakes! I said I didn't want to lose my head over this! Lopez angrily pondered watching his body fall. The soldier in his grip got up catching his breath. He was helped up by his comrade who inquired about his condition. Lopez watched his body's foot twitch. Oh wait, that's right. The body suddenly stood up and held out its arms like a zombie for the two soldiers. The two soldiers froze in their spots dropping their guns. "Uh Jim, isn't that the body of the bloke we just shot?"

"Why yes it is Bob, erm did he come back from the dead?"

"Maybe Jim, maybe. We should probably run for it."

"Yeah, that sounds good. Also, newsflash, I maybe a little slow."

"Why would you say such a thing in this situation Jim?!"

"Because I peed myself at this headless demon," Jim replied squeezing his legs together as he hopped his way away with Bob. Lopez's body walked over to the head and re-attached it. "[Morons.]"

He picked up his rifle and walked back to where he left the others. He found that they were already regrouped with the others over the radio. With a tired sigh he ran their way. No one tell Lopez anything, he doesn't need to know. Maybe I should poison their next meals when they aren't looking.

"Stab!" Tucker shouted piercing his sword through a helpless soldier's gun. That enemy soldier was the last of many who were so easily dispatched of by Locus. Tucker took the credit for taking out a few himself. He walked closer to the helpless soldier who tried to run away, but he was quickly knocked back down by Tucker. Locus held the soldier by his neck and stared him down. "How many more are there in the area?"

"A-about twenty more," the soldier replied shivering all over. Tucker looked to Sigma who verified the value. It was correct. Locus knocked the soldier out and moved on. The three looked at the real-time mini-map and agreed to take individual routes. Locus ran his camouflage unit and went into the next area from the left. Tucker looked to Sigma, who indicated his readiness and they walked to the right.

Locus snuck up behind many and knocked them unconscious. Even though he would prefer to kill them to neutralize a potential threat in the future, he understood that these soldiers did only what was told to them. Their understanding was extremely limited. They did not understand the things he knew because in truth they were never told about it. Locus only knew thanks to his resourcefulness and initiative to discover.

No doubt Tucker also had an effect on this decision as Tucker was strongly opposed to Locus killing upon their escape. Locus cleared his mind keeping his head on the task. He looked to find only three more on this side of the area. The right side however was a different story as Tucker found it difficult to get around. He saw the ten soldiers all patrolling the area in random patterns. Why can't you all just move on a fixed path like the stupid AI in stealth video games? He wondered going into hiding again. He kept a keen eye out for an opportunity and one presented itself to him.

Tucker walked out keeping his head low. Crab walk crab walk please do not notice the crab walk, Tucker thought nervously as he just barely avoided bumping into a soldier to his side. He was nearly in the clear, but then the unthinkable happened. Tucker ended up giving away his position, everyone looked his way and he stood up still. Of all the things to give me away, it had to be some shit on the ground. He looked around and let out a small nervous laugh. "Heh, can I get a rain check on this gunfight guys?"

They all pointed their guns up at him causing him to break out into a sprint. Guess that's a no then. He ran to his right and into cover just as the gunfire started. Oh fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

"Done very shrewdly," Sigma said with a smirk. Tucker looked at the flaming fragment with a disapproving shake. "I don't need that type of sarcasm from you Sig. Now help me out here."

"Give me some time and I can hack open the vent door behind you."

"You will get your time, just do it."

Locus suddenly descended from the ceiling and killed two soldiers via his sword and knife. Tucker stood up cheering in excitement. "Oh yeah, totally like an assassin!"

Locus hid behind cover and took out his rifle. "Keep your head down."

Locus took a deep breath and quickly swung out of cover and shot five in the forehead. Only three remained now. Tucker proceeded to provide additional fire and managed to shoot one of the soldiers in the arm. The target however was not incapacitated, they continued to fight back. Hmm…maybe I should have gone for more training back in Blood Gulch when Wash told us to. Tucker stuck his head out and took a clean shot for the enemy's head. Score!

Just as he ducked back down, he heard the vent door click open behind him. He motioned for Locus to follow who saw Tucker jump into the vent. Locus ran out shooting his rifle and he managed to kill one of the enemy soldiers. As soon as he jumped in, the last one came out of their cover and looked at the open vent cover. He let his weapon hang to the side as he quickly dialed for the correct frequency to communicate with the boss on. "Sir, they came by here."

Equal held up the pad to his side. "What happened?"

"T-they managed to escape. I think I'm the only one left alive. They used the vents to escape."

"I see, give the order to flood them then."

"Are you sure sir? I mean flooding the vent could end up bringing some of our colony functions to a halt."

"Stopping them is more important. The damage we do is minor in comparison to what they have done. We can always repair the minor damage, the major damage they have caused and could continue to cause will take longer to heal from," Equal replied with a stern and just tone. The soldier understood and called his own higher ups to relay the orders.

Truth looked to his side and asked. "Didn't you want to talk to Locus? That's going to be hard to do when he is dead."

"He won't die, not from something like this."

Sarge led the others as they escaped onto the streets. He stopped them from entering the main street. Gotta keep a low profile, he thought looking around at other ways of exit. Breaking off into small squads will just mess everything up. Plus, Grif can't be trusted to take care of anything, Sarge pondered all the ways Grif may jeopardize the safety of the others. Although thinking of all the ways he could punish the orange soldier afterwards was quite amusing.

"May I make a suggestion sir?" Simmons asked getting the go ahead from Sarge. "How about we stick to the back alleys? That way we don't come across many people who clearly have a dislike for the UNSC, and we can move about the city."

"That is an excellent suggestions Simmons, I say we do that. But we make sure to throw out Grif in the main street first."

"You just want to see my balls getting busted like fifty times out there don't you?" Grif asked with his head low. This was what his position on the red team had been reduced to, the guy who was known for getting the crap beaten out of his balls on repeated occasions. Sarge let out a small chuckle at the image, Agent Tex, you have spoiled me well.

"Does anyone else hear that?" Sis asked getting silence all around. Simmons looked at her and asked. "I don't hear anything, what are you hearing?"

"I don't know, it sounds like water."

Everyone looked at Grif, the resident Sis translator for those moments she didn't make much sense. And sadly those moments were in abundance. Grif looked at everyone and shrugged his shoulders. "Don't look at me. I don't know what the fuck she is talking about."

"Grif, you have one job and that is to translate for Sis. You can't even do that, I know I said I was past the point of disappointment, but this…why do we even keep you on the team?!" Sarge asked in an outrage. Grif held up a hand to stop Sarge and asked. "I thought my one job was to bring in extra ammo into battle."

"I gave that job to Lopez, he brings it in everytime unlike you."

"Oh well less lifting for me then."

They all heard a splash suddenly and saw some water shoot out of a vent a couple of streets down. Inside the vent they could all hear a familiar voice shouting. "Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!"

"Gentlemen, I have successfully opened the fifth vent down from here," Sigma noted as both Locus and Tucker ran for their lives. Tucker nodded his head waving to Sigma. "Great job Sig, now we just gotta hope we don't get all wet, and that's not even in the good way, bow-chicka-bow-wow!"

The crew found two familiar faces suddenly pop out from the vent. Doc and Donut went to help them out, but Sarge, Grif and Simmons had their guns trained on Locus at all times. Behind them they saw a sudden stream of water rush by. I guess her hearing isn't all that deranged, Simmons thought. Caboose rushed forward with his arms wide open and a crackling voice nearly to the point of crying. "Tucker! I knew we would see you again. Let me show you how much I missed you by us groping one another."

Tucker stood back from Caboose's reach letting out a disgusted shout. "Ew, stay away!"

"Its fine Tucker, I made sure to take a shower and clean my armor beforehand."

"Someone please get this moron away from me," Tucker said looking all around. They didn't know it, but underneath his helmet he was grinning like a five year old. Man, I really needed to see your guys' faces again. He turned to see Sis thrown into the mix and came up to her. "When did you come back?"

"I got transferred back, so big bro decided to take me along on this field trip."

Tucker looked at Grif and laughed. "Looks like someone does really care about their sister."

"Tell anyone else about this and I will kill you in your sleep," Grif threatened shaking Tucker by the neck. Tucker shoved the orange soldier off of himself. "Jeez fine, talk about a sour puss."

"We need to move," Locus announced breaking up the little group moment. Sarge turned to the mercenary raising his shotgun. "And what do you mean by we?"

"Wow, calm down Sarge. It's all good for now," Tucker intervened trying to get the older man to lower his weapon. But Tucker was pulled aside by Simmons who told him to let Sarge handle this. Locus let out an irritated sigh thinking, we don't have time for this now. He looked at Sarge who had his trigger finger trained on his shotgun at all times.

"I'm trying to help you all escape. I helped Captain Tucker escape did I not? I'm also the one most familiarized with the space station in this group."

Simmons again didn't want to agree with Locus but he was correct on that point. Sarge lowered the shotgun and motioned for Locus to lead the way with a warning. "Remember, you try anything and my finger may just slip."

"Do I really make you that uncomfortable Colonel?"

"You certainly do have a habit of giving me an itchy trigger finger for what it's worth."

The whole group went onwards staying off of the main streets and keeping a low profile. They came across several enemy soldiers, but they were able to quickly dispatch of them by working together.

Even the fragments pitched in with Eta and Iota constantly either jamming guns or lowering accuracy. Theta helped with adjusting the aims of various shots by Sarge's shotgun. Gamma would sometimes impersonate various enemy soldiers to help clear the way for the group. Omega helped bring out Doc's inner rage with O'Malley and easily held their own in the fight.

Delta helped provide a real time display of the map and their progress. He also routinely aided the crew with various locks. Sigma dedicated his subroutines to coming up with combat tactics to offer the most efficient results. Freckles however was nailing his targets dead on the most out of everyone else.

The whole crew ran up to their destination building. Locus entered his pass code to the doors, but they were rejected. They have already disabled my access, Locus thought looking around for another way in. Delta decided to take a crack at the algorithms, and with ease he decoded them all. "What a peculiar design, yet at the same time so surprisingly simple."

The door slid open and the whole group entered. Grif looked all around as they kept their heads low in the hopes no one would notice their armor. "Where are we?"

"We are inside a junction building that connects sector C of this station to sector D. There should be a dock around here as well. We can take a ship and escape," Locus explained looking at the directional arrows. Simmons looked all around asking. "What about Carolina and Wash? We still need to get them."

"We can take care of it on the way out," Sarge suggested. Tucker looked around and asked of how they got into the station in the first place. Upon hearing of the enemy's description they were fighting in the tunnels, Locus' let out a worried sigh. Sarge looked back at the reserved mercenary and asked what concerned him. "Your description matched that of a high profile soldier here named Pure. If they are fighting him, I don't know if they will be able to win."

"They will be fine," Simmons said in retaliation. Sarge nodded at Simmons and said. "Yeah, we just have to have faith in them."

Inside the security room of the building, a silent alarm triggered causing the guards to find out the source. They saw the Blood Gulch crew, and upon knowing their orders they quickly contacted Equal. "Sir, they are here in the joint junction building for Sector C and D."

"Send all of your men after them. Show them no mercy, have them all killed except for Locus."

"Yes sir," the guards confirmed the orders as they called in all of their comrades on radio. Equal stared at the static screen on the tablet and cut out communications. Justice held his shoulder and asked for him to rest. He shook off her concern, but she would not give up so easily. "Please Equal, you are probably the most stressed out of all of us right now."

"She is right man," Truth added marking their location on a digital map display. "You will be no good to us stressed out."

Justice held Equal down by his shoulders. He gently grasped her hands and slid them off. He looked at the two and gave a smile most pure that they had not seen in a long while on his face. "Thank you for your concern. I appreciate it, but right now ensuring the safety all those on this station comes first. We can worry about ourselves after that."

Justice held her hands behind her willing to trust Equal in his words as always. She could feel her heart grow slightly heavy, not with anxiety or worry, but with reassurance that they were all fighting together in this struggle. She slowly bumped shoulders with Equal and smiled his way. "We will all fight together then. No matter what happens, we will fight as one."