Thick wooden desks and shelving units were propped up all around the doors to the conference hall on the first floor of the building, providing ample but easily destructible cover for Noble Team. Not wasting any time, Alyss and Jorge hunkered down behind one of them and readied themselves. Up above, sat Jun on a balcony, the only useful point he had in this entire building. The curse of constantly carrying around a sniper rifle. Carter and Kat positioned themselves behind some cover as well, right down the center of the room, and remained close together. Emile was closest to the doors, with his shotgun at the ready. The eerie cries of the incoming phantoms pierced the walls of the building, and two dark shadows fell across the courtyard outside.
"On my mark, Noble," Carter whispered as the doors opened. A series of Grunts waddled into the room, barking at each other like foolish little dogs. Twenty total. Jackals coming up right behind them, their shields up and ready, but they approached with little caution.
One Grunt, who was a bit overly curious, wandered up to Emile's cover, and sniffed the wood loudly. One of its friends tugged at its arm, and their strange language echoed through the area, probably warning not to get too close. Emile squirmed where he crouched, wanting to pounce.
"C'mon, it's right there. Let me get it." Emile growled.
Now the Elites were beginning to enter, their armor gleaming like beacons.
In a flash, Emile burst from his cover and swung his Kukri straight at the nearby Grunt, lobbing off its head. With his other hand, he fired at a Jackal, and sliced another grunt before dashing towards farther cover. Kat popped up from her spot in the back and opened fire with her pistol, her shots landing with ease on those that were nearby. An ear splitting crack came from behind them, and two Elites fell, followed by two Jackals. Six and Jorge popped up from their cover as well, the Spartan-II's machine gun roaring to life. Bullets tore through the air from every direction, and the returning plasma fire made the air crackle crisply from the sheer heat. Six watched a plasma grenade fly by, and land in Emile's range. But before she could warn him, he managed to notice it, and jumped out of the way.
"Am I the only one that has a feeling this is way too easy?" Jorge asked.
"Yeah, I wonder what the catch is." Jun chimed in.
"All of them are Minors. Why send in Minors for this sort of job?" Six added, and slammed a new magazine into her MA37 Rifle. She was more than just suspicious. It was obvious that there was something going on here, something they were planning.
Noble continued to fend off the attack, bodies littered the floor, and colorful blood began to intermingle in a strange morbid rainbow. Then almost suddenly, there was nothing left. Spent bullet casings were everywhere, and the Spartans-still on high alert- remained in their positions. It was quiet for only a few moments before another dropship arrived. The shadow of the U-shaped vehicle loomed just outside, but as Noble Team watched and waited, none came into the building to greet them.
"...Commander, what's going on?" Kat asked quietly. Six could hear her shift around behind her cover.
"Not sure, Kat. Hold positions, Noble."
The tension was high, but none of them moved. Jorge and Six glanced at each other, and across the room, Emile glanced at them as well, offering only a shrug. They waited like this for quite some time, until the terrible feeling that came over Six began to get worse. She looked around once again, her Assault Rifle ready. "I have a bad feeling about this..." She mumbled over the COM, and turned to check her left side again, where Jorge was crouched.
Something made the air shimmer behind him, and her heart nearly missed a beat.
"JORGE LOOK OUT!" She cried just a moment too late. In only a second an Energy Sword flared to life, and stabbed the Spartan straight through the back. He barely had any time to react before he fell to the ground.
"We've been engaged! Damn it, Jorge, hang on." Opening fire upon the camouflaged Elite, its shields popped, and all hell broke loose. There was another scream, this time from Carter. A stream of swears filled the COM from Kat, and the remaining members of Noble desperately searched and opened fire on the rest of the Elites that surrounded them.
The second her immediate area was clear, Six ripped a Biofoam can off her belt, snapped the cap off, and gently rolled Jorge onto his back. The sword had gone straight through the Spartan's chest plate. But luckily for everyone it had missed his heart. Just by looking at the wound she knew that his left lung was pretty much gone. "Alright, this's gonna hurt like hell Jorge." She took the Biofoam and began to fill the hole in his chest when he snapped his hand around her wrist and hissed through clenched teeth to prevent himself from crying out.
"Damn it, the Commander's down too. Six, we need you to provide more cover fire!"
"Kat I had to treat Jorge, give me a second!" She snapped back at her. Tugging at Jorge's arm to try and get him to let go, he managed to loosen his grip enough to let her go despite how hard he was shaking. Picking her rifle back up off the floor, she spun around just in time to slam the butt of her rifle into another camouflaged Elite. Firing a quick burst into its mouth when it reeled backwards, the Elite fell in a heap. Dead.
It took only a few more minutes for the remaining members of Noble Team to take out the rest of the hostiles. Emile cussed low to himself over the COM, and shook the thick purple-blue blood off his armor, Kat began to tend to Carter's wound, and Jun was coming down from the balcony.
"Golf one-oh-three, come in, over." Jun attempted to call the Pelican. There was a long silence, which sent a pang of worry through Noble Six, and then Golf 103 responded.
" 'm here, Noble team! Just barely made it. Got another one with me for evac."
"Good. We're all clear and ready for evac. We'll be waiting outside for you."