Hello everyone, and welcome to my Infantry fic. It is devoted to the good will me and my friends share on Infantry, as well as to the fact I can keep in touch with my brother a half state away by playing it. With the coming feelings of goodwill echoing in the chat set up by my longtime friend Luminis I have been working feverently to write a proper fic. Aside from the beginning, and a few 'war stories' this fic will NOT have very much fighting. If the reviews for it are good I might write about the escapades of the group DURING the war. Well, with that said, I now will start: Christmas of The White Flag!

~Naso



"You never know what hell is like until you get a cut asshole, and then come down with diarrhea. BTW- I wish this chair was softer."

-Episode/Infantry-



**Heh, well a little self quote from Infantry chat this time. How ironic to be in the Christmas spirit then get the craps from too much eggnog.**

Chapter 1- The First Episode

Episode slowly broke formation from his squad as his drop pack loudly slid off the combat scarred street, and onto the grassy plains near the edge of town. There had been intense fighting on this moon of Titan since near the start of the war, and as a Collective soldier Episode had been given one of the harder tasks in the war. To stop any bombardment from heavy troopers from the Collective outside the city Titan had called in two of their best fighters. One was the infamous commando who went by the call sign Alone. He wasn't going to snipe Episode though, the white armband on Episode's right arm would see to that. This commie was someone Episode knew better than anyone, and the band was a dead give away for neither him, nor the commie to shoot. What worried Episode more was the other veteran Titan had assigned to cleanup. He was a jump trooper, and he was the best in all of Titan. His call sign was Cerberus, and he had gotten the name by defending a wide gate outside a Titan city on another moon.

Supposedly it was like a scene out of hell, and only two other Titans survived the gate's defense. Thus the name Cerberus. Episode himself was considered to be a good jump trooper. He never made mistakes, he was very conscious of what was going on around him at all times, and from some praise the commanders had given him he was assumed to be good. That was why he was assigned this mission. Since it was important that Titan not hold this city, the Collective would have to make certain to crush the spirit of those fighting within the city. Not only would they need the safe supporting fire of heavy troopers, but they would need to show that they could best any Titan out there. Episode had been given only one order from command. He had been told to engage the enemy jump trooper, and kick his sorry ass off the moon.

Episode scouted the area with the panoramic view of the helmet attached to his drop pack in search of his opponent, but he didn't see a sign of him just yet. That was probably best as it was a bad omen to see your enemy as soon as you set out. As Episode started a long loop around the city he checked his radar for any heavy troopers on the outskirts of his city. Quickly finding one he got the ID number of the trooper and saw that it was a friend of his. Exosuit had been a drinking buddy of Episode's since he first came from Titan-8, and the young jump trooper figured it would be best to see if the friend would need his protection. He kicked in the throttle to full as he cut a sharp turn around one skyscraper that was slightly out of town. He could picture the man on the roof with his white armband, even if his cloak kept him off radar. He knew that's where the commie alone was. After all, his brother always DID like high places when sniping. Episode neared the quordinates of his pal Exo, and made it a quick point to give the bird to the skyscraper with his banded arm. He turned off the engine, and landed on the ground casually as the antigrav thruster on the pack turned off. Exo gave him a curious look, but soon got his answer when a nearby sandbag exploded into dust at the hands of a shot from a particle accelerator.

"My brother." Episode said off-handily as he watched Exo get his Rpg out. Exo sighed and put down the Rpg. "He didn't have to be the one to announce his presence." Exo said nervously, "I'm glad you came along otherwise he probably would have shot me."" Episode sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if I have killed a friend of his." Episode said almost sadly, "I wish there was a way we could get names across the lines to each other." Exo had started to light up a cigarette, and he considered this for a moment. "You two are brothers, I'm sure you could figure something out." He said. "Yeah maybe." Episode started, but he was interrupted when he heard a whining noise coming from an engine. A second later there was a warning blip from the personal radar, and the two soldiers dived into the sandbag pit just before Gauss Rifle slugs whistled by. Episode could see the energy trailing the bullets. If you were a veteran you could guess what had been fired by the sound, but the energy trail was ALWAYS a dead giveaway. "Damn he snuck right up on us!" Exo noted as they watched the other jump trooper go screaming into the distance before turning around in a wide loop. Exo had the Rpg ready when the jump trooper had come around, and Episode also prepared his own Gauss Rifle. The battle wearied weapon hummed to life as it primed the customary two shells for firing, and as the other trooper started to get close Exo fired the Rpg.

In all actuality the shot had been fired at the perfect distance, but this other jump trooper seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He turned just before increasing his thrust, and thus effectively strafed away as the rocket impacted and detonated on the ground where he had just been. The trooper fired his Gauss again from his off balanced position, but neither of the inhabitants of the sand bag barrier so much as blinked as the shots were off target by yards. Still considering the shooter's predicament this was considered extremely good aim. Episode narrowed his cross hairs, and trained a lead on the trooper as the drop pack the man was on whistled away again, then he fired. Much to his dismay the first shot was a shin splint ahead of the trooper's abdomen, and the second was a foot behind him. Cursing his aim having failed Episode got his pack fired up after crawling from the sandbags. "Hey be careful Epi." Exo warned as he used the pet name for the jump trooper, "I can tell this guy's good." Episode gave him a wry grin as his pack lurched forward. "I know, I think it's Cerberus!" Episode yelled back at Exo, and he laughed as the other young man's face whitened. Exo always got worked up when Episode went after someone alone, and this time it was the best the enemy had!

After a short chase without catching up to his opponent, Episode noticed the enemy trooper drop into the city, before reappearing turned back at Episode from about a mile out still. 'Here it comes.' Episode thought as he concentrated. Pulling hard on his shoulder restraints, which acted as controls, Episode started a strafe to the left. He immediately reared back to the right for his real turn off, and noticed two Gauss Rifle slugs fly into where he would have been. He didn't take notice to the quality of the aim, as his opponent had also strafed to the right. The two circled each other for a quick second before Episode opened up on his opponent first with his Dpb, and then his Gauss Rifle. The Dpb hit for the most part, as it usually did, but what satisfied Episode was that the first of his two Gauss Rifle slugs hit his opponents left hip. He knew it had punched through the generator field as he saw blood splurt out, and his opponent wavered in flight for a second. Although he had first blood Episode hadn't won yet, or even gotten close to it. He didn't brake or strafe, and luckily his opponent's Dpb didn't hit home to badly. Then Episode caught the flash of a Gauss Rifle slug coming at his head. 'Damn he is good.' Episode thought as he plunged the air brake down with his foot.

This effectively put him out of the dead on range of the slug, and he turned his head as his generator shield tried to turn the bullet away. It only managed to deflect it, and Episode felt the slug nick off the side of his helmet. He felt the ear piece fly off, and he abruptly lost his radar and communications display. At least he wasn't dead. As he turned back towards his enemy for another game of chicken he realized that this time if he turned first his enemy would be able to put a slug dead on into either direction he took. The guy had already seen his move once, and this time he would judge Episode's speed well enough to put a lethal slug into either path. Episode decided since his only choice was to play chicken with a veteran he would rely on his best tactic. Essentially he was had, but he wouldn't admit that. Even if he went head on into the guy, his opponent hadn't fired a Dpb and he hadn't drained his generator either. If he cut loose with a Dpb shot he would win no matter what weapon Episode shot in a head on.

Episode noticed how close he was to his opponent now as he went over his strategy one last time. God he hoped he was a good a shot with this gun as he claimed. Sliding his one weapon that relied solely on ammo, and splash damage, Episode readied his plan. He neared his opponent at a maddening pace as he saw the hands of his enemy gripped tightly on the blaster controls of his drop pack. Things seemed to slow down, and as soon as the instant reaction of his enemy going to fire his blaster came Episode reacted. He fired what he hoped was a perfect shot from his Grenade Launcher as he kicked in the air brakes for first the front, and then the back end of his pack. The result was that Episode leaned forward, and then went into a front flip as he started what would be a very painful, out of control, crash. At least the Dpb shot had missed him. The grenade he fired had been inhumanly aimed to perfection, and it took only a slight rise before pitching into the side of the turning opponent dead on. The resulting explosion blew the drop pack, and the occupant apart in spectacular fashion. Episode smiled from the vantage point he had of the blaze from his crash site. He had skidded for over one hundred yards, and he knew he and his gear were broken into many little pieces. At least he was intact even though broke. He groaned as he saw the exhaust pipe for his drop pack several tens of yards back. He couldn't say the same for his pack. Episode sighed heavily before passing out from shock.

~Fin.

Well that is the end of chapter one! This one little fight is very important to the plot of the fic, so read on if you will! I am having fun, and I hope my Infantry pals appreciate this. Except for Cerberus, I kinda killed the asshole off for the pissy way he has treated his friends lately. There goes Eric's butt buddy! I will have to get back at Eric another way.

~Naso