Chapter 19: Mission Start
In the drop off zone, the Blood Gulch Crew now dubbed the 'BGC' for the purposes of the operation waited patiently. The rebel group had gone ahead of them to first take care of the security and ensure an easier time getting to Equal. The second group however did not need much time as their disguise allowed them to blend in well and raise little to no questions. In a matter of minutes the security system was down and so were the secondary alarms.
"Come in BGC."
"We read you loud and clear," Sarge replied itching to get the action started. The leader looked at his fellow fighters for confirmation and said. "We are finished here. The security systems should be down. You now have the green light to go after Equal. Remember to take it slow. It would be troublesome if you walked into an ambush. We are here should you need the backup."
"We will keep that in mind," said Tucker leading the group. Heading inside the tower they kept their weapons hidden and armor covered in cloaks. While they raised several eyebrows along the way, they also did their best to keep anyone from taking any unwanted actions.
"Watch out, totally not strange looking dudes coming through. No need to take any unnecessary actions," said Tucker.
"Yeah, it's not like we are crazy red and blue people," said Caboose in his aloof tone. Tucker quickly kicked him in the shin. "Shut up Caboose, they will know we are someone suspicious then."
"Yes, because it's the red and blue that makes this whole thing seem suspicious," Doc replied sarcastically as they made it through just another hall. Lopez snickered to himself getting some curious looks from the others. "[Maybe they will eject you into space without your jets and watch the helpless morons flail until your air runs out.]"
"Lopez, this is no time to be talking about how good of a leader I am!" Sarge scolded the robot and said. "That can be all saved for when we get out of this. But it was nice of you to say that."
"[I hate you all.]"
"I love you to buddy," said Sarge sniffing a little. Aw shucks, I promised myself I wouldn't cry when I told him that. They suddenly came to a stop to see one of the employees nonchalantly walking into middle of the hallway. The employee exaggerated his pose and pointed a finger at the group. "They be totally suspicious!"
"No we are not suspicious. Wait, are we suspicious?" asked Caboose.
"Imma gonna press the alarm!" shouted the employee in his rather very Chinese English accent. Tucker reached out for the employee stopping him. "Don't you do it man!"
"Imma do it!"
Nothing happened. The employee looked all around and began to quiver in his spot. Everyone in the hallway heard a liquid drip down to the floor and saw the employee stand in a puddle of his own urine. Mommy, I peed myself. O'Malley found a good laugh to be had in this. "Oh this is just precious. The little man peed himself."
"Imma run away now!"
"Yeah, no," said Tucker bashing him in the back of the head. "Anyone else wants to be weird and ruin our totally NOT suspicious walk?"
There was no one who dared to oppose them now. Good, thought Tucker rushing towards the elevators. They searched for the highest floor and closed the doors. Come on, faster, faster, faster. They all pondered while in Equal's office he saw a blip on his screen of the tower's architecture. He pressed the security button and nothing happened. It seems they are not acting without a plan this time. He reached for a secret control panel hidden by a sliding door and found the elevator controls. But shutting the security will not be enough. It seems you have failed to take different variables into account such as my special set of controls operated from other power sources.
Equal saw the live camera feed from inside the elevator and reached over to another button. I hope your adventure was fun while it lasted. He reached for his radio and called up any remaining security forces and got them coordinated on specific floors above the elevator. "Your orders are simple, kill the invaders."
He forced the elevators to stop in the whole tower and saw some panic amongst the BGC. Good luck getting out of this one. Equal saw the once calm atmosphere beginning to unravel with panic hidden inside. Tucker kicked the elevator doors shouting. "Great, what do we do now?!"
"Don't get your panties in a twist blue," Sarge replied calmly studying the various panels in the elevator. "Maybe one of these is an escape hatch, help me look."
After a bit of searching, the heated arguments against seemed to arise. Tucker began smashing against the elevator doors growing desperate by the second. "Great, so we are going to be stuck in this stupid lift forever!"
"It's not that bad," said Doc suggesting that they all sit down, take a few minutes to relax and start a brainstorming session. "I mean we have been in worse situations after all."
"Yeah, but in those situations I wasn't stuck in a lift full of dudes. The only thing that can fix this is getting an elevator full of girls in here."
"[Or you know, getting out.]"
Caboose seemed surprisingly quiet. Everyone looked his way asking if he was alright. The blue soldier kept his head down with his shoulders shaking with growing inner rage. "My name is Caboose…"
They all tilted their head at him as he turned around with an ominous glare towards the door. "And I hate babies!"
He ran for the door slamming into it hard. The metal bent and the doors came loose being thrown out into the hallway amidst the many enemy soldiers. Caboose rammed into many of the enemy soldiers and caused them to fly across the hallway. "I will eat you all for breakfast!"
"Um…what's happening here?" asked Sarge only to receive a shrug from Doc. "Like I would know."
Tucker stuck his head out afraid at the enraged Caboose. "You okay buddy?"
"I will eat you all, and then I will go eat a giant dinosaur egg!"
"Yeah, that sounds like Caboose," Tucker verified as Delta appeared in the center of the group. "I apologize for the surprise."
"D, let me guess, tapping into his rage again?" Tucker motioned towards Caboose rampaging towards the scared soldiers. His rage caused many of them to drop their guns and run away. "That is correct."
"I thought you didn't approve of such manipulation brother," said Sigma suddenly bursting out into flames behind Delta. The two fragments turned around to face one another. Delta looked at Caboose's borderline uncontrollable rampage and said. "That was the old me. Caboose is also doing this for good reasons. I have no problems with that."
"Good to us perhaps," argued Sigma observing the brute. Caboose finished bashing the last of the enemy skulls against the wall. Equal stood by the control panel shaken in fear. That strength is ridiculous. He went over to the communications and called the other soldiers on a secure line. "The enemy is headed your way. Remember to stop them at all costs. For if you fail, I won't be as kind as they would be in letting you live."
Justice entered his office and was ready to be deployed at any given time. "Let me go, and I will take care of them."
"No," Equal stopped her from leaving the office and said that he needed her by his side. In the face of his argument that should the enemy make it here, he will need a reliable source of backup. She reluctantly chose to stay. The BGC however would not sit idly by and thus begun to climb the various floors via the emergency stairs.
Theta brought up the building schematics transmitted earlier by the second team. "Check it out guys. We are near the top floor already."
They kicked open the door to the top floor and were met with several guns trained onto them. Tucker felt his confidence drop just as quickly as it had risen. "Well fuck!"
Lopez pulled out his laser gun and shot off several guards in the head. "[Use your laser guns you idiots.]"
"Good advice Lopez, I think I will go have me a burrito after this is over," Sarge replied pulling out his laser shotgun and opening fire. They began to receive enemy fire and quickly hid back into the stairwell room. Tucker looked at his comrades for help. "So how should we get out of here now?"
"This is for all the ignored kittens out there!" Caboose shouted as he jumped head first into the enemy fire. They all gave him a silent salute thinking, goodbye Caboose for we finally understood your stupidity knew no bounds. And that you had a freaky love triangle going on with a tank who is now a giant killer robot and a Spanish Robot. We knew you well for what you were, a creepy obsessed kid who probably had a crush on Church thanks to your repressed memories of your parents having sex in the middle of the night. Yes, we all know about that somehow. Goodbye the blue idiot.
"Hey guys, I could use a little help out here!"
Or not? They all looked out into the hallway and found the enemy to be on the run to the other end of the hall, but Caboose was trapped behind some cover. It was impossible to cross the thin line of fire in this narrow hallway. Sarge quickly looked to the others and shouted. "Move up men! We are going to give Caboose the covering fire he needs and hopefully one blue at least goes down in this suicide run!"
"So Caboose then?" asked Tucker running up to the cover. Sarge looked up at the ceiling in thought and said. "Yeah sure, but I was thinking more along the lines of someone wearing aq-"
"Do not even finish that sentence."
The BGC became even more coordinated than before with Sarge's commands and Caboose's overwhelming strength. With time they made great success, and with time they managed to make it halfway across the hallway without so much as a scratch. "Okay boys, we just gotta keep on pushing forward!"
Washington waved for Muffins and his group to run over to their position. "Come on, quickly!"
The turbines on the ship roared loudly and the heat from the jets glazed the ground in black. Grif looked at the pilot panel and determined that it was quite similar to a pelican. Shouldn't be a problem, hopefully. As soon as everyone was on board, he looked back one last time to do a head count and told them to strap in. Pushing the speed lever upwards, the ship slowly began to hover and pick up speed.
"Are you sure you know what you are doing?" asked Private Boyscout. Grif gave a thumb up. "I know what I'm doing about as much as I know how to properly follow orders."
"So basically you don't know squat then," said Simmons but was then struck with a question himself. "How is it that you have managed to fly the ships before all this time then?"
"I wouldn't consider that flying really, more like blind luck keeping us alive," Donut interjected holding tightly onto his gun. The gun was his comfort amidst the novice pilot taking charge of a flight that would decide the future of the people of the planet and the space colony. Yes, they are boned. Private Buttmunch jittered in his spot looking from left to right and back again. "So if that's the case, shouldn't we have an experienced pilot in the cockpit?"
"Probably," said Grif taking the bird into the air. "But I called dibs. Are you familiar with the international dibs protocol?"
"Oh ja, that protocol that no one else seems to know about. Too bad Buttmunch, you are just going to have to deal with it."
"Deal with leaving a rookie in charge of our lives sir?"
"Ja, it be fun no?"
"Respectfully I disagree sir," said Buttmunch only to receive a boot to the face. Muffins crossed his arms and puffed up his chest at him. "No one cares what you think Buttmunch."
So, shield, shield, shield where are you? Grif wondered as he hovered his finger over several buttons. Ah here it is! He pressed it in the nick of time just before entering the field of the hostile man made clouds. The villagers from down below looked up with prayers of their safety and success in their minds. As the ship entered into the clouds, the whole crew felt the turbulence. At the front, Grif was shaken by the thunder all around him. We are supposed to get through this?!
Washington could tell Grif was scared from the little he could see into the cockpit. "Grif, calm down, and remember to keep your eye on the goal!"
Most of the thunder narrowly missed the ship, but some came into contact much to their worry and fear. The shield however did its job of keeping the ship safe by absorbing the energy from the attacks. They finally broke through after a nerve wrecking ten minutes inside the death trap. What they saw next amazed them all. Behind all the dark and gloomy clouds was a beautiful sight to behold. Sun pierced through the sky shining its beautiful warm rays down onto the planet. Even the clouds that looked to be hostile from the surface looked quite majestic from up above under the sun's shine.
"Now isn't that something?" Donut said with his visor stuck against a window. They all agreed, it in fact was a very beautiful sight. This only encouraged them more to succeed for the people of this planet, for Walters, Ben, Elsie and Edwards. These people deserved their freedom, and they also deserved to see such magnificent sunshine, feel it coat their skins with its warmth amidst a gentle breeze.
"Hang on, we are getting out of the planet now," said Grif as he began the exit sequence from the stratosphere. Pretty quickly they were in space. Grif inputted an automated path to the space station, but the closer they came to it the more blinking lights they saw. What is that? They all wondered. Grif pulled up a zoomed in image of the area and nearly all of them gasped audibly. Sister was on all four limbs staring closely at the image. "That is a lot of ships."
Everyone could feel a tremor in their bodies. No way we could stand a chance against them, wondered Simmons as he looked at Washington. The grey soldier was busy studying the strategic positioning of the New Order battle cruisers all around the space station. He looked to the others and nodded his head in reassurance. "Don't worry guys. This is why we brought some insurance with us."
Everyone in the ship heard static echo from the radio with a transmission clearing up for the crew to answer. Grif looked back to the others unsure of what to reply with. "Um, they are asking for our confirmation codes or some shit like that."
Washington stood up and went over to the seat closest to the cockpit. He undid the restraints and forced their prisoner onto his feet. He slowly guided the enemy to the radio and said. "Remember to only say what is asked of you and no more. Try anything funny and they won't find your body."
"Hardcore," said Donut in a whisper. Just for added pressure, Wash pressed the tip of his blade against the soldier's neck and gave him permission to speak. "This is the New Order military class ship, designation B-9956A returning from the communication tower defense mission."
"How'd that go?" asked the security officer by the dock as he cleared a request for them to land. Wash applied more pressure to the knife. It was a sign to wrap this up quickly. "I- It went fine, but we did lose a lot of guys."
"I hear you on that. We ended up losing several on the frontlines as well. Seems as that those bastards' message managed to alert the whole of UNSC and they sent two more fleets to attack ours. No doubt they will be coming here as well."
I'm counting on it, thought Wash as he whispered to the soldier. "Wrap this up."
"What dock should we proceed to?" asked the prisoner doing his best to keep it together under the knife's pressure. The security officer let out a deep breath and said. "Hmm let's see here, proceed to dock C-19."
"Got it, thanks," said the prisoner before being dragged away to his seat again. Washington retrieved the knife and patted the soldier on the shoulder. "See, that wasn't so hard, was it? We will let you go once we are on board the station."
Grif looked at the control fumbled at what to press. "So what do we do now guys?"
"We land," said Buttmunch worriedly. "You do know how to land this bird right?"
"Sure, that just means stop flying right?"
"We are going to die!" shouted Boyscout receiving a back handed smack to his head from Muffins. "Calm down cry baby, I am sure if we believe, then we will be just fine."
"So yeah about that landing…," Grif said with a crooked grin. Everyone looked at the open bay doors and the clamps ready to receive the ship. Yet the ship was not slowing, when asked for answers Grif just shook his shoulders at them. This is going to be the worst landing ever of all time! Washington quickly ducked under his seat as did the others.
With a loud crash the ship burst through the doors and into the dock! The ship skidded across the floor until it came to a halt thanks to the friction. Friction, it was their savior, and their hero. Inside the ship was a mess, bodies everywhere on top of one another and at the very bottom was Muffins. I think my pee wee got crushed owie… He looked up above himself at the others and shouted. "Okay, so which one of you didn't believe hard enough?!"
"Someone get the prisoner please aghhhhh…," Wash moaned from underneath Carolina's and Simmons' body. Since when were these two so heavy? He pushed them off of himself and found the prisoner no more worse for wear.
Outside of the ship, several security officers and cleanup crew gathered to study the damage. Inside the ship, the crew could hear their various orders. The security was going to try and force open the door to get inside. Washington stood up with the prisoner in hand and gave the same orders to the others. "Oh shit, get up and be ready with your guns!"
Just as the security crew was about to go ahead and begin the hacking procedure to the door, they heard it opening much to their delight. They all drew their guns and the one in the front shouted. "Ship crew, if you are still alive then please confirm and slowly walk out here."
The prisoner walked outside. They were all relieved. Washington walked up behind the prisoner with his gun pointed at the prisoner's head. Ah shit, they all thought raising their guns at him. Wash pressed the barrel against the enemy's head and said. "Relax guys, one mistake and my finger might just slip."
The rest of the crew comes out with their guns pointed at the security. Wash looked around at the nervous atmosphere shrouding over everyone and said. "Look, we don't' want to kill you and you don't want this guy to die so how about you let us go and we give him back to you?"
"You are all wanted criminals!" shouted one of the officers.
"So?" dared Grif as he motioned to the prisoner. "It's not like the New Order is any less guilty."
"Bullshit! The New Order could never be responsible for such horrors!" another shouted back at them. Wash stopped Grif from arguing any further. "Don't, it's a waste of time trying to get through to them."
Wash shook the prisoner and asked of the security. "So, deal or no deal?"
"Fuck you grey man!"
"Well look at the racist here," Grif replied with a disgusted tone. Wash let out a heavy and tired sigh. Again, why did I expect any different? He motioned to his allies and said. "Open fire."
Bullets began to fly. The ship crew took cover inside and knocked out their prisoner. That should at least keep him safe until all this is over…hopefully. Carolina stuck her head out and took out nearly half the platoon. One of the dock workers reached for the emergency button and activated the red lights and alarms throughout the facility. Following standard protocol, every dock worker not related to security left. Even security was sparse now thanks to the Blood Gulch Crew's handiwork.
"Come in sir!"
Equal stared at the sudden communication and reached for the control panel. "This is Equal speaking."
"Oh thank god!" the security officer gasped for air as he looked around in a panic. "W- We are under attack by the wanted criminals. Th- They just crash landed into our dock, C-19 and began a conflict!"
Equal's mouth dropped open. He could not believe it. Even the BGC from the planet comes back to the very nest they once harmed for their deserved deaths. He looked up to Justice and told her to call for a few New Order soldiers. "Make sure they don't escape the facility, I am going to send backup your way. It is time we cut the head off of our enemies."
The soldiers entered Equal's office informing him of the situation down a few levels. He waved the topic away and said. "I didn't call you here for that. I have a special task for you all. I need you to go down to dock C-19 and provide support to the security officers."
"But what about those down below sir?"
"Just do as you are told!" Equal reaffirmed in a strict tone. The others remained quiet with the leader slowly taking in a deep breath. "Are there any questions?"
They were all silent. He nodded his head at them and waved them away. Justice began to head out with them but she was quickly stopped by his quick reactions. She jerked his grip away from her forearm and continued to follow the group. He followed after her all the way to the elevator trying to convince her otherwise. "Wait, Justice. Don't do this, I need you here. Please!"
Just before she entered, she stopped to turn around and gave a reassuring smile. "Don't worry. I will come back safe and sound. Right now taking care of the enemy matters the most. We can't allow them to join forces with the group down below."
He wasn't convinced, not in the slightest. She leaned in close for a hug. He looked at her with surprised eyes and asked. "What are you doing all of a sudden?"
"Just trying to calm you down."
"If you do this, it feels more like a goodbye then."
She had to agree that he was right. But it put her heart at ease to know that he cared so much about her even if they had their differences in thoughts, actions and beliefs. She patted him on his shoulders and smiled widely. "Don't worry Equal, I have to come back. We have a lot to talk about, and a lot to work out together after all. I will return, I promise."
Don't make promises you can't guarantee, he thought as he backed away from the closing elevator doors. With a deep lonely sigh, he walked back into his office. Being alone in here again left him feeling empty. Just like in that nightmare. He walked over to the communications panel linked to the whole station and slid open emergency controls. Right now I have to stop thinking about my own feelings and think about the station's well being.
Equal flipped open a number pad and inputted a series of security codes to unlock a special button. May fate see it fit that you all survive. He looked out the window one last time before pressing the button that dimmed the lights in the building and activated dark red emergency lights. The shutters on his window began to descend and the cars outside quickly diverged from the highway to the nearest emergency shelters.
"This is a message to all security and military personnel," said Equal as he hoped for Justice's safe and fruitful return. "Should you find anyone engaging in harmful or suspicious activities, shoot them on sight. The wanted criminals have taken actions against us again, so we must take every step to defend our citizens and our liberty. Remember that we take no prisoners, and that we offer no second chances. Aim for the homestretch people, and bring down the hammer of justice for all those who died in Sector-D because of them. That is all."