Six gasped for air and she closed her eyes, struggling to stay conscious. The shipyard was long behind her, the Pillar of Autumn long gone, and she was starting to think she was the last human left on Reach. It was quiet and a fog had settled in around her, making it hard to see.
She checked her rifle, as she sucked in one breath after another, mentally going down a checklist of her equipment and armor. Her shields were intact and her health was good. She'd run into few Covenant squads since leaving the shipyard and those that did cross her path did not put up much of a fight-at least compared to what she'd left behind.
What she needed now was rest, to sit for a moment before continuing on, but there was nowhere left to hide. Stumbling, she walked up a hill, found a lookout that still had a mounted machine gun. She could see all around her, as far as the fog would let her. Throwing herself on the ground, she slumped more than sat, but she kept her grip on her rifle. She began to nod as she struggled to stay awake, but exhaustion eventually won.
Dimly, she could hear Carter telling her to leave the lone wolf stuff behind and Kat correcting him to tell him that if there was a time to be that wolf, it was now. She could imagine Jorge telling her to be strong and Emile telling her that being a hero only led to a name on a plaque and little else. Jun would be giving her a run down of her odds and reminding her that Spartans tended to beat the odds.
They had little time together, but it was enough for her to know that she needed them to make it through this. With finality, she realized it was only a matter of time for her to join them, wherever they were. It was almost over.
The sound of an incoming Phantom startled her from her troubled sleep and when she opened her eyes pain made her squint against the light. Her crisp movements giving nothing away of her state of mind, she got to her feet, a part of her mind already scanning the landscape even as she was still waking up. She sighed as the red dots on her scanner merged into one giant mass coming straight at her.
She grabbed the mounted gun and tore it free. Jumping down from the lookout, she engaged the first wave of grunts, mowing them down quickly, but the bigger boys were close behind. She took down two before her gun ran out of ammo. Without missing a beat, she reached for her assault rifle with one hand and her pistol with the other. She moved, evading when she could, but there were too many and her shields fizzled once more before shutting down. They closed in on her.
As she fired her weapons, she gritted her teeth against the tightness in her chest. No sleep, little rest, and she was running low on will, but she kept firing. She was not going to go without a fight.
Her visor cracked. In all the years she'd been a Spartan, in all the battles and skirmishes she'd been in, that had never happened before.
Tired, angry, and running out of time, Six threw her helmet off and took a deep, shaking breath when the humid air hit her bare skin. Even as Elites and Specialists closed in on her, she tilted her face up, eyes open wide, and looked at her last sunset.
She blinked once and let her instincts take over when they could no longer be ignored. She moved quickly, smoothly, and with precision. Bodies piled up around her, but her health was now dangerously low.
Plasma grazed her armor and needles stabbed through it. She gritted her teeth, swinging her weapons around to take out whoever was in the way. One got too close and she swung her arm, hitting its helmet with her pistol but dropping it in the process. Her vision swam, her muscles slackened, and she couldn't stop from falling to the ground when she was hit from behind. She flipped over to her back, ready to fire her rifle, but when she pulled the trigger, it clicked, the sound echoing in her ears.
The last thing she saw was orange armor and an energy sword.