Disclaimer: I do not own any working titles associated with Bungie, nor do I own Halo or any of its characters, they are, and always will rightfully be the property of Bungie and Microsoft. All main characters in this story are my own, created, inspired and developed by myself. I do not plan to sell or profit from this title. It is purely for audience's reading pleasure.
[For those of you who have me on a watch list or their favorites, no I am not dead. My lack of updates is mostly due to the amount of work I've been putting in. Also, the number of projects that I have in mind are slowing me down a little, namely the series of accounts I have titled "Killjoy". I want to at least get that one off the ground before I forget. Don't worry though, once I get the first part of my Killjoy series out of the way, Requiem for Mombasa will be my primary focus.]
A single Covenant Citadel rested tranquilly in a lush, green plain south of the charred remains of the outer colony settlement. The small privatized contingent of Brutes had come with bone crushing strength to claim the land, ravaging the colony and taking human prisoners to ransom safe passage from the system. It was a final desperate attempt at fleeing from a war that the Covenant had started.
"There they come!" a Brute War Chieftain howled, thrusting a finger to the sky at the streaks of fire burning through the atmosphere.
"The hierarch's foresight was true," his captain said, "They're heading for their ruins. No doubt to save their precious people."
Of course, the UNSC wouldn't let this deed go unanswered. They wouldn't leave the colonists on this planet to remain prisoners to the Jiralhanae. Little did the Brutes know that the humans' reaction to this act would be more of a reprisal than them simply submitting to their demands.
"Pathetic!" the War Chieftain spat, turning to the Grunt operator. "Wait for them to land! Then detonate the charges!" The Grunt fearfully nodded then turned to run for his control unit that was wired to the anti-matter charges in the colony. "We'll show these primitives the cost of their treachery and weak compassion!"
Exiting his short monologue, the Chieftain turned to see his Grunt demolitions operator staring at the sky rather than still rushing to arm the charges. "I told you to ready the charges," he growled. The Grunt didn't move. "What in the name of Rukt is wrong with you?" The Grunt threw his hand up at the sky, pointing like a stargazing child. A solitary streak of fire was arching away from the rest. The Brute's face twisted in confusion as he squinted at the ball of fire on its heavy descent.
The incoming pod began to grow larger, burning brighter in the dawning sunlight. "What is this…?" A scream began to fill the air, growing louder along with the rumble of fire in the sky. The Chieftain's eyes shot open with surprise. The pod was close enough for the Brute to see its breaking chute deploy. "Spread out! Spread out!"
The scout party scattered as if a Shiva missile was coming down on them, running in all directions. The Chieftain dove away just in time as the pod landed down meters behind him. He opened his hand and poked a glance through his fingers, timidly looking over his shoulder. He let out a hoarse laugh from his deep belly and stood up, a Brute Minor on either side of him. "Ha! An admirable attempt, human, but it makes no difference, for you will die in vain! Kill it once it emerges from its crypt."
Steam began to hiss through the corners of the drop pod's hatch. The Chieftain tried to hold back from laughing. He could already see himself breaking this suicidal human fighter's neck, tearing it into ribbons. No, this was one to remember. Perhaps instead he would rip its skull from its body and keep to drink out of for when he feasted on the seared body.
Suddenly, the bolted pattern around the front of the pod popped and sent the hatch flying. The Chieftain let out an "oof!" as the hatch slammed into him, throwing him back from his subordinates. Baffled by their leader's painful fate, the two looked at each other and then opened fire on the pod. Their spike rifles spat white hot rounds in and around the pod, each shot connecting the target with a ka-chink. They tightly squeezed the triggers until their ammo packs were depleted.
The two reloaded and readied up again, approaching the pod with weapons forward. One of them waved his hand to clear the smoke away from his sight. The haze surrounding the pod still lingered but from what they could see, the interior was empty. There was nothing but a vacant seat and a menagerie of spikes cluttered all around. One looked at the other. "What's this?"
As the smoke began to clear away, a figure climbed up onto the pod from behind it, perfectly balanced in a squat. The two surprised Brutes yelled as they snapped their head up at the silhouette. A blue visor cocked sideways, almost curiously through the smoke as it looked down at them. Without hesitation, the brutes gunned up on their target.
The figure used its legs to leap off of the pod toward them. Arms raised, the Helljumper flicked his hands back as he soared toward his mark. From his vambraces emerged a pair of blades that locked in place several inches past his palms. The Brutes stood their ground, bringing their aim to his level as the blades cut through the smoke. Before they had a chance to fire, the gracious fighter landed his air attack on both of them blade-first, following their bodies to the ground.
Marco remained crouched over his opponents, gently lifted his hidden blades from the lifeless Brutes with ease. The demo grunt stood feet away, petrified at the appearance of this ghost. Shaking in his armor, he stepped back, snapping a twig as he did. The Helljumper jerked his head up at the grunt, a glint of blue light shining from his visor. As the two were locked in a stare, the five foot alien began to stammer, chattering his teeth beneath his mask. Marco brought a finger up to the base of his visor, letting out a quiet "shhh." The Grunt screamed, flailing his hands in the air, and ran off into the field.
Marco brought himself up from the bodies of the two Brute minors, arching his back and shoulders, listening to his bones popping under the sealed protection of his suit. "Ah," he groaned with a light Italian accent, "land." He smiled with his accomplishment. For trying to aim a pod at a single target while in freefall, he made quite an accurate shot, even though he didn't hit the Chieftain. The ground began to rumble, and moments later the impacts of drop pods reached his ears as the rest of his company made land-down.
His TacCom activated and began transmitting. Gunfire could be heard over the radio for mere moments. He heard a distant "oorah" in the background as his CO's voice filled his helmet. "Corporal, you're off mission. What the hell happened?"
Marco keyed his comm to reply. "My pod malfunctioned," he lied, "I had to break formation. I didn't want to put anyone at risk."
"Roger. What's your situation now?"
"I landed somewhere east of the Citadel, just outside of its defensive range. I also encountered a Covenant party overlooking the colony from a distance. They were planning on springing a trap once you went to rescue the hostages. Keep an eye out for anti-matter charges near the settlement."
"Copy that. Thanks for the input. Listen. I want you to stay put, alright? Don't risk anything; it's not worth getting killed. Relay whatever intel you can from where you are now. Just don't go out of your way to engage the enemy."
"Say again your last," Marco purposely tuned his comm channel out of synch with the CO's frequency, disrupting the transmission with white noise, "I did not copy."
"I'm losing your signal, lead. I say again, repeat your last." Just then, he killed the transmission and closed the channel. "Well isn't that inconvenient," he said with a smirk.
The truth was Marco's priorities were elsewhere, priorities that no one was allowed to know. His company, his commanding officer, not even the Office of Naval Intelligence knew. Of course, the colonists were still among the objectives, but one less Helljumper wasn't going to change the outcome of a rescue insertion.
He made his way over to the demo grunt's now abandoned control node, stepping on the War Chieftain's gut as he passed. The Brute let out a belch as the armored boot stomped over him. The Marine didn't entirely know how the console worked. The man-sized, box-shaped device didn't leave him much to work with other than an alien keyboard and a small gap behind it. He frowned, and then shrugged as the answer came to him. "When in doubt…" He extended the blade on his right arm and jabbed at the back of the control pad, making the opening into the box larger. He then nuzzled a grenade into the gap in the node.
"I just saved your life, Captain," Marco said quietly as he headed for the Citadel, the demolitions node popping behind him like a heated kernel. He turned his head to catch a glimpse of the combat trailing along in the distance. He lazily tossed a two-finger salute in his company's direction, despite being out of visible range. "Safety and peace. I know you'll get the job done."
[Author's note: This whole thing...started with a text conversation with my friend. He was talking about saving up money to buy an Ezio costume for Halloween. I said I have other things to save my money on, like full out ODST gear. Somewhere along the line, I said "Helljumper's Creed" and thus spawned his idea. I've meant for it to be a one-shot, but with the length of this damn story, I can't imagine reading one huge wall-o-text would be enjoyable. So I'm going to be uploading it in sections for easier reading.]