New Ghent. UNSC outer colonies.

Michael was in hell.

Just yesterday he had been thinking of picking up a new hobby, when suddenly a Covenant cruiser had appeared in orbit. Then plasma began raining from the sky, aliens methodically slaughtering their way through the streets, city blocks burning, and the stench of death filling everything. As he'd ran to safety, a squad of Marines had shoved a rifle into his hands and those of other refugees fleeing the city, bringing them to the large ONI complex that had served as a base for UNSC forces, and was now where the local resistance was rallying. He was just some ONI bookworm. He wasn't meant for this kind of crap.

They were one of the larger outer colonies and had survived by sheer luck, but that was over now. Now it was time to die.

He gripped his assault rifle as he scanned the barricades. Overturned cars, tables, sandbags, rubble. Anything that isn't nailed down was thrown on the barricades. It was manned by a hodgepodge of civilian "volunteers", conscripts, marines, some retired military men and women. Some of the volunteers held weapons like they had actual training. Either hunters, or perhaps secretly Innies. It wouldn't surprise him with how far they were from the Core Worlds. The actual marines were placed in strategic positions to be relocated as need be. The actual Marines were spread around the Complex, ready to act upon any assault. He and the other milita were there to tell them where the attack was coming from, and then die.

"Incoming!" someone yelled.

Snapping out of his introspection, Michael took aim down the main street that led towards the Complex. Grunts were coming around the corner, and lots of them. He didn't wait for orders and immediately opened fire. His aim was sloppy, but there was no need to aim here, just point and shoot down the street. Grunts fell in droves, gas tanks going off, or grenades exploding as a lucky bullet hit them.

Just as abruptly as the attack began, it stopped. MIchael ducked to reload his rifle, only to feel something very hot pass over his head. The moment he'd ducked to reload, one of those green beams had shot over his head. Pained screams came from all around as those firing at the waves of grunts were picked off in rapid successions. Blue energy balls flew overhead and turned vast sections of the defenses into slags.

The thundering sound of heavy artillery and the pop of mortar fire lit up the night as the UNSC bastion intensified its counter battery fire. Marines moved up to reinforce the defences. Warthog guns blazing away, grenades, screaming, the smell of blood and excrement, the smell of plasma. Michael was frozen in terror and lost control of his bowels as he continued aiming his rifle at the attackers, not noticing the ammo had run out. He was sobbing loudly.

Then something hard and fast hit the ground between the two sides. Dozens of blue man-sized pods. His heart skipped a beat as he looked at the color. It had to be elites. He clumsily ejected his magazine and slid another one in, nearly dropping it twice.

A pod opened revealing a tall humanoid figure in a full suit of blue armor. Its limbs looked to be about the size of those of a human, elbeit shaped like a dog's, while its chest was either incredibly bulky, or its armor was. The figure scanned them, then took a weapon from his capsule and leapt out. But no new death came at Michael. Instead it took aim at the -Covenant- and opened fire with a stream of green rounds that melted the flesh of whatever covenant they touched.

More pods began dropping down, the blue-armored soldiers emerging and opening fire upon the Covenant. Caught completely by surprise, the Covenant fell in droves, a multitude of differently colored rounds being unleashed. Grunts were turned into green sludge, or had their methane tanks explode as red incendiary rounds passed through. One of the new soldiers hefted a large black cannon that shot out an honest to god Black Hole that ripped through the advancing covenant line, shattering their advance.

One of the soldiers took an overcharge plasma bolt that seemed to explode just before it impacted the new arrival. A new weapon? No! It had hit some kind of barrier. The soldier collapsed, grasping at his plasma-scarred armor. It led out a shrill birdlike screech. The sound shook Michael out of his stupor. He got up and ran out of cover, sprinting towards the fallen soldier. He sought a handhold and began trying to drag it behind cover.

The bastard was heavy, and he could barely move it. Only for another of the new arrivals to lend him a hand and help him. No words were exchanged in the frantic firefight.

"Assist them, now!" Came a shout from the ONI facility as the marines saw their opportunity and sallied out, riding shotgun on the tank treads of a Grizzy tank. They advanced through the rubble strewn streets, fireteams advancing under the cover of each other. The alien who'd helped him drag his fallen comrade pushed him into cover and pulled something out, panic went through him for a second, only to see the alien was offering him a pistol. Michael snatched it and took aim at a sewer grate that suddenly opened, a skirmisher leaping out. His shot blew it in half.

"They're coming from below!" He yelled, grabbing the alien's arm and pointing at the grate. Without pause it pulled what had to be a grenade from his belt and threw it down the hole. He saw a squad of marines come to the same conclusion and fire their flamethrower down into another sewer grate. "Cook you alien bastards!" the operator screamed.

Squads of the new arrivals were forming up and advancing through the ruined storefronts and homes, to the sounds of explosions, plasma splashes, and screaming. The arrivals weaponry shot holes through walls, while plasmafire lit up the night. It was so bright it almost felt like day. The Grizzly tank was laying down a withering stream of fire, when an Elite suddenly leapt from a rooftop onto the tank, cutting the barrel in half with his energy sword, then cutting open the hatch and throwing a plasma grenade inside. The Marines opened fire at the attacker, only for it to vanish into thin air. "Spec ops!" A marine shouted.

The Elites were here.

The distinctive sound of plasma rifles and fuel rod guns began lighting up the night, while energy sword began lighting up as the Elites made their play. The Arrivals weapons washed across the Elite's shields to Michael's horror. The alien who'd given him the pistol did something to his rifle, causing a blue glow to appear around it. He took aim at the elites, blue rounds impacting shields, followed by the satisfying pop of a shield overload. The moment the shields popped, the color of the projectiles changed, turning into white, red, or green bolts that frozen, melted, or liquified whatever flesh they hit.

Michael could see the elites taking heavy losses as they advanced, but their weapons took a heavy toll on both the marines and the their unexpected reinforcements. Flesh melted, blood boiled, armor melted. And then the Elites were upon them, throwing grenades and lighting energy swords. Michael felt something hot on his left side, but continued firing his newly acquired weapon. Blowing a hole in the chest of an Elite which had just cut three soldiers apart in seconds.

The fighting devolved in a frantic melee as the streets turned into a close ranged brawl of energy blades, and weird red blades that the arrivals seemed to conjure out of their armor. They attacked in groups. Close range blasts of what had to be shotguns, and weird red energy blades that the arrivals pulled out occasionally. Blood and limbs went flying, walls were blasted out of buildings, and a bolt of wraith plasma took out a score of soldiers. As buildings collapsed in the fighting, they formed cover that both sides fought over tooth and nail.

Michael's pistol ran out, and he looked up into the sky. He could see fast moving pinpricks in the sky, and gunships passing overhead. Clashing with Covenant fighters and dropships. He couldn't make out how the battle was going. Far in the distance he could see the massive Covenant Assault Carrier hovering ominously on the other side of Williamtown, somewhere in the open plains. It was glassing something. He could see large blasts appearing on top of the ship, hitting its shields from orbit, although he could not see where the shots were coming from. It was a constant rain of fire that lit up the shields of the ship. Large wings of new alien fighters flew overhead, delivering their payloads on unseen targets, followed by larger ships which flew towards where the fighters had launched their payloads. They're clearing landing zones. He realized. This was a large invasion.

The fighting was beginning to die down, the final Elite only dying when a Marine unloaded a shotgun into its chest at point blank until it ran out, and one of the new arrivals had stabbed it multiple types with the fallen blade of another Elite. The remaining elites were quickly finished off by the Marines, while the new arrivals began stripping the fallen covenant of equipment, and dragging a couple of the still moving bodies with them. Nobody spoke up about this, too shocked by what had just happened.

An awkward quiet descended across the battlefield as the humans and the aliens looked at each other. Both sides set to gathering their dead, taking their weapons and equipment, and preparing for the next fight. One of the aliens, approached and activated some kind of holographic gauntlet. He pressed a button, playing a message.

"We are the Turian Hierarchy, protectors of galactic peace. We've come to aid you in your fight against the Covenant. Bring me to the leader of this fortress so we can plan our next move." There was a solemn silence amongst the Marines present, and then a sigh or relief. One of the soldiers took the Turian commander and led him inside the base. Michael smiled. Then noticed the Medic looking at him in horror and running at him with a Medical kit. He looked down and saw that his left arm and shoulder had been shot off. As the adrenaline wore out, everything went dark, the last thing he saw being the Turian from before catching him.