Disclaimer: I do not own Halo, or any movies, media, or merchandise associated with said franchise.

Author Apologies(s): PLEASE, read ANY AND ALL of the following BOLDED text! Wow. Well, first of all, it has been a long time. I am so very sorry for the ridiculously-late response/update. I was caught-up with real-life, for a while (Baseball, Track-And-Field, Graduation, College Finalizations, Etc.), and my FIRST thought was to keep-track-of, and respond to any and all of the outstanding message-conversations that I have on this here site—and update any and all of my existing FanFictions. However, just as I got back on this site, I realized something: I have been reviewing/revising/re-writing my FanFictions, BEFORE I upload/update them, but it was NEVER ANYWHERE CLOSE to how much I NEEDED To review/revise/re-write them! ...So, I STARTED reviewing, revising, and rewriting ANY AND ALL of my FanFictions, and just when I was about HALF-WAY through doing that (I Have OVER 200,00 WORDS Published/Posted On This Godforsaken Site! Do You Know How LOOOOOONG That Takes To Review/Revise/Rewrite?! VERY LONG!), and about to respond to any and all of my messages, when my life fell apart—literally.

Between psychotic breaks, episodic events, and metal crazes, (All Of Which Were Caused By My Life, That Just Happened To Turn Super-Sucky), I was, well, incapacitated.

You don't need an excuse. But, you do deserve one.

The good news (For EVERYONE) is the following. Writing my OWN ORIGINAL Books-Series (There Are FOUR, SEPARATE, UN-Related, Book-Series, And Hopefully, I Will Have A Literary Agent/Publishing-Deal, In A Year, OR Two! …On The SLIM Chances That Is DOES Actually Occur, Or Happen…), looking for agents, looking-into-querying, and FAN-FICTION have become my outlet! ...So, my depressing life will make for AWESOME FanFiction, with HAPPY undertones (But, My Stories/FanFictions Will STILL Have Character-Deaths [Well, SOME], Gore, Blood [NOT TOO Much, Though], Romance, And NO OOC-Ness, OR Mary-Sues, Mind-You!).

I have JUST finished-up reviewing/revising/rewriting my CURRENTLY-POSTED chapters of any and all Fan Fictions, and today is the day that I shall be updating ANY AND ALL of my FanFictions. And, also, today is also the day, that I will-be starting three NEW FanFictions, and they will be the LAST FanFictions that I will EVER start—unless, I decide to do a cross-over, between my DC-Comics-FanFiction, and my MARVEL-Comics-FanFiction (BOTH, The MARVEL-FanFiction, AND, The DC-Fan Fiction, Features A Teenage, Next-Gen-Hero-Team, So Having Them Team-Up In A Cross-Over Would Be Kind-Of Cool. …But, IF I Do That Cross-Over, Then That Definitely Would Be The LAST Fan Fiction That I EVER START!)! For a timeline of future updates you should know this: "I Will NOT Cancel ANY Of My FanFictions!" I WILL FINISH THEM ALL! …If you wish to have a better idea of how often updates will be coming, though, I have FOUR FanFictions that take precedent over my others, and as such, those four will probably be updated faster than others. You should all note, however, that I WILL be updating ANY AND ALL of my FanFictions! However, I am unsure, as to how long each update will take, so PLEASE HAVE PATIENCE! So, to keep-up with the updates, PLEASE, subscribe to me/my-story, favorite me/my-story, or message me and ask me to personally message you whenever I DO update, and I will HAPPILY do so!

Author Advertisement(s): That's right. Ads. I have TWELVE—Count-'Em, TWELVE—FanFictions On here, that will ALL end-up, being OVER 100K-Words, and they will ALL be updated REGULARLY—HOPEFULLY—from this point-on. …So, if you happen to read in any of the OTHER FanFic FanDoms, that I write for, then, PLEASE, by all means, do NOT hesitate to check-out some of my OTHER FanFictions! Check-out my profile for more information (And Some Awesome Quotes, As Well!), and MESSAGE ME, if you have ANY questions, or just want to chat! I, contrary to popular belief, LOVE to hear from fellow FanFiction-Readers, as-well-as, my own readers! …Also, it should be noted, that ANY AND ALL of my Comic-Based-FanFictions, are VERY EASY to understand, and they are MADE for EVEN a NOVICE/NON-Comics-Reader, to be able to understand VERY EASILY, and things are explained VERY clearly in these above-mentioned Comic-Based-FanFictions, of my own creation.

Accolades/Appreciation: Thanks for ANY/ALL of the reviews! I really appreciate them, and I take them all into account. Don't stop now, though! ONWARD!

II. Normally Abnormal

PINPOINT PLACEMENT: Prowess Public High School, Bars City, Aföld State, Ütközet Province, Viery Territory, Planet Reach, Epsilon Eridani System; 1140 Hrs. (11:40 AM), 2535 A.D.

The two teens, Lucy and Jai, walked into the lunchroom, laughing—although only one of them was laughing audibly. Eight teenagers were already sitting at a table at the far end of the large room, and they were beckoning the two teens to come and sit with them. Lucy and Jai noticed their eight friends, and they made their way over to the table. There were two teens sitting down at the table that were not present at the meeting with John and Kelly that morning. Lucy smiled at the two fresh faces as she sat down.

The boy with the blond, browning, hair and emerald eyes smiled in return, as did the girl with the dirty blonde hair next to him.

"Sam, Grace, I thought that you two had died or something. Since when are you two late to school?" Jai teased.

"School is important, but there are things that are far more important, Jai—things like meeting with the woman that is making our 'schooling,' possible." Sam retorted, smiling sincerely at his friend.

Everyone else raised an eyebrow at Sam, and Jai looked sour. Doctor Halsey. She was the only mother figure that the Spartans knew. They would kill for her. They would die for her—and Spartans never died. They just went to hell to regroup. Jai didn't feel the same way about her, though. And it showed.

"What'd the bitch say?" Jai asked, and the other teens all looked at him in surprise—even Linda, who rarely ever showed any emotion.

Grace cleared her throat. She swiftly scanned the expansive entirety of the cafeteria, so as to confirm that no one could hear her. Then she whispered to her nine friends, as quietly as she could.

"Ahem. Well, she said that, once the two-in-question are ready to be re-inducted into 'the Program' and they regain their memories of their experiences, that we'll likely be deployed. …And, since we are running out of places to be deployed—as the Covenant is glassing every world from Harvest, to Aesir, to hell—we will need to be deployed shortly, if we are to have any effect in this war. That means that we need to make John and Kelly experience humanistic qualities, as much and as quickly as possible. We need to make them understand why we have to fight, why being human is important. The majority of the ODSTs have already expressed severe animosity towards us. We can't fight against them, while also fighting with them. So, we need to be what we are defending. We need to be human, before 'O.N.I.' will allow us to be deployed. If we don't pass their psychological evaluation of our humanistic qualities at the end of this 'Program,' then we won't be able to fight. They assess that we'll do more harm, than good in the battlefield, if we remain at the psychological stage that we are at currently. So, to assist us with speeding-up John and Kelly's humanization, an officer will be assisting us in our practices for the upcoming competitions for the 'Prowess Perfection Program,' and since the program is linked the ROTC for the UNSC's different branches, the training should serve John and Kelly well in stimulating their retained training, skill, and instinct, which should jump-start some of their memory-retention." she said silently. Her friends all nodded in return. Jai scoffed.

"What officer?" Joshua asked curiously. He was thinking the same thought as the others.

"You'll have to wait and see. We'll meet him later today, at practice." Sam responded on Grace's behalf, not even attempting to hide his smile.

"Hmph. They took our humanity, and then expect us to fight for their own. Such a waste. We were taught, trained, and tempered for years to kill, to survive, yet we can't even do those two things right—at least in their don't deserve to be saved. We can't fight against them, and we can't even fight for them now. John and Kelly made the right decision to request the history of the 'Spartan-II Progression Program.' And then Halsey made the wrong decision, as she always does, to have them wiped." Jai said sternly, yet silently.

Fred narrowed his eyes at him. "Enough, Jai." he reprimanded the young Spartan.

"Aye, sir." Jai said, saluting Fred mockingly. Fred opened his mouth to say something, but Adrianna cut him off.

"You don't really believe those things, Jai. You want to, and you want to need to believe those things. But you can't. Believing those things is not logical, and after we disregard emotion—which we have always done—then the only thing left to govern our decisions is logic. Logic states that the strong live, and the weak die. We are strong, Jai. Those that put their faith in us, those that believe in us, are strong. Faith is perseverance. Faith is strength. Those that put their hopes in us, in the UNSC, have faith. They have strength. Thus they must live. And we must ensure that they do." Adrianna reasoned, and Jai locked eyes with her, as he relaxed his form and loosened his fists that had become clenched.

Jai looked up at Adrianna, and he smiled somewhat, his smile soon turning into a smirk. "Do you always have to do that?" he asked exasperatingly.

She smiled. "Do what?" she asked, smirking in return.

"Win an argument against me—by agreeing with me." he replied. She shrugged. Jai shook his head and turned to Lucy who was eyeing him seriously. She started laughing—soundlessly—once again. Jai laughed in return, and their eight friends all looked at the two like they were insane.

"What is so funny?" Joshua asked, annoyed by their laughter.

"Lucy almost gave this one girl a concussion, in a DT fight in Physical Fitness." Jai said, through bursts of laughter. "And, when she came-to, she wondered what had happened, and Lucy signed to her, 'you were hit by a jumbo shrimp.'" Jai said, laughing even harder. Everyone else shared a quick chuckle as well. Except Linda. Will laughed the hardest, but his fit was over the quickest, as well.

Fred looked at Lucy, and after his laughter died down, he eyed her sternly. "Luce, you know that we're not supposed to draw any attention to ourselves." he stated.

She nodded, looking down apologetically. Tom looked at her sincerely. "What did she say to you, Luce?" he questioned her.

Lucy looked at him signed a single word, which doubled as a bold-faced lie. 'Nothing.' she signed silently.

"Well, just be glad that the shrimp didn't kill her!" Will said humorously. Everyone laughed again, and this time even Linda gave a small chuckle.

Tom narrowed his eyes, and he walked over to her, and took her off to the side. "Lucy, what did she call you?" Tom repeated his question.

Lucy looked into his eyes and signed in response. 'She called me a cripple.' she replied.

Tom sighed. He kissed her forehead. "Will was right. I commend you for not killing her." he replied. Lucy smiled at him and pecked him quickly on the cheek. The two quickly returned to the others. Linda shot them a knowing look, but said nothing.

Then, the last two Spartans entered the large commons area—loudly.

"No, you idiot, 'Wasserbaum Battery Bombs,' are not a practical method of eliminating enemy forces in combat. They are cumbersome and difficult to procure—even with the right materials." Kelly shouted at John, as the two entered the commons. The ten teenage Spartans all turned their heads to view the incoming pair. Will smirked once again. Grace had to silently disagree about Kelly's comment. Grace could make an explosive out of almost anything.

"They are not difficult to procure if your I.Q. is above 2." John shot back, and Kelly fumed silently, as the two walked throughout the room.

Fred beckoned the two over with a signal. They caught sight of it, and they made their way to the table, both fuming mad.

"What happened?" Fred asked, and Will answered before either of the two angry teens could even attempt to open their mouths.

"Let me guess. Kelly used a 'Wasserbaum Battery Bomb,' on Natalia, and it didn't kill her, so Kelly is defending her failed plan, by saying that those bombs are difficult to use." Will offered, and Kelly shot him a fatal glare, while her cheeks turned slightly red. John looked slightly confused, but he shrugged it off.

"Well, if you must know, we were in AP Chemistry, mixing highly reactive alkaline metals with their ideal ionic pairing-partners, and when describing our expected results, Kelly remarked that making a 'Wasserbaum Battery Bomb,' was easier than the assignment. I agreed, but then she went further and said that, although they were easy to make, they were hard to use. I disagreed, and an argument erupted—because Kelly was wrong and would not admit it." John explained.

"Idiot." Kelly mumbled. John glared at her.

Fred shot Will a concerned glance out of the corner of his eye. "…Um, how, exactly, do you two even know what a 'Wasserbaum Battery Bomb,' is?" Joshua asked the two, and they both opened their mouths, closed them, looked at each other, shrugged, and turned back to Joshua, unable to answer. John and Kelly had no idea how they had so much information about explosives—or weapons in general, for that matter. John and Kelly were going to have difficulty not drawing attention to themselves.

Joshua and Fred shared the same look that he and Will had just previously shared. This was going to be more difficult than any of them had ever imagined.

PINPOINT PLACEMENT: "High Charity Covenant Carrier City," In Orbit Around Planet Pegasi Delta, 51 Pegasi System; 01200 Hrs. (12:00 PM), 2535 A.D.

Thel waited outside of room, waiting for the door to open. The door slid apart and the person that he wanted to talk to came through the open archway. Thel stopped the grown Sangheili warrior, and he turned him around to face him.

The other Sangheili spun swiftly, and he instantaneously entered a fighting stance. He relaxed his stance when he saw that Thel remained relaxed. The other Sangheili eyed Thel curiously.

"Brother, I wish to discuss a proposition with you." Thel said suddenly.

The other Sangheili nodded. "So speak, brother. I am listening." he replied, relaxing his form even more.

"Shipmaster Rtas Vadumee, I need your assistance. I am gathering a group, a squad of superior Sangheili soldiers, as requested by the Prophets themselves, to eliminate a radical cell of Heretics on a nearby planet. I must acquire this team quickly, and I know that you know many well-trained, well-experienced, and well-versed warriors of such a caliber. I am in need of them. And I am also in need of a shipmaster that can navigate hostile air with confidence and skill. I have seen you work, and I know that you are the pilot, whom I seek. I need these things, and you need me. Take this offer, and we will both solidify our assent into the high ranks of the Covenant, brother." Thel explained.

Rtas thought for a few moments. "You speak your mind, but you follow your heart. That difference could rip you apart, young one. Be careful. I shall assist you. But, only if you can give orders that will be clear to my men. Your conflict of heart and mind must not affect your ability to lead. Is that agreed?" Rtas answered back.

"Of course, good shipmaster." Thel responded readily.

Rtas nodded. "Very well. Meet me in the second-tier training room in a short time. I will be waiting with what you need, soldier." Rtas said, walking away.

Thel nodded, sure of himself. He now had a pilot. And a promise. A promise from a Sangheili was worth more than a ship full of Brutes. They always kept their words.

PINPOINT PLACEMENT: UNSC Combat Carrier, "Blades of Retribution," In Orbit Around Planet Aesir, Alpha Antini System; 0840 Hrs. (8:40 AM), 2535 A.D.

ODSTs were taught, trained, and tempered to do two things: kill and survive. And they were very good at those two things. Beside Spartans, they were the best that the UNSC had to offer, the best that humanity had to offer, and they were excellent. But they weren't enough. Captain Keyes looked over his shoulder, as he held his helmet in his hands. The rest of his armor was already in place, securely around his body, as his helmet was held firmly in his hands.

The armor that any and all of his ODSTs were wearing was the new "Neo-Nano-Neural Model," and it was a vast improvement from the earlier models. The suits of armor had tiny neural fibers, that inserted themselves into the neural-uplink in an ODST's neck, and thus, the suit was contained, controlled, and maintained, not only by the soldier's physical actions, but by their mental thoughts, as well.

The suit was made of many metallic alloys, and they were all interweaved, and stitched-together, by an invisible forcefield of empirical energy, that reinforced the suit, as well as powered it. The forcefield reactively responded, readjusted, and replied to added pressure forces, and energy from the outside of the suit—and it always protected its user. But the suit of armor was not nearly as strong, or durable, as the MJOLNIR powered-assault armor that Spartan-IIs were famous for wearing in battle—although Spartans hadn't been seen on any battlefield, for months. Some soldiers were happy for the disappearance of the Spartans, claiming them to be monsters, untrustworthy, and unreliable. Captain Keyes knew better. He trusted the Spartans. He had seen them in action. He knew what they could accomplish.

He knew that the UNSC needed them to return to battle, if humanity was to have any chance of winning this war.

The new, "Neo-Nano-Neural Model," powered assault suit would transfer the heat from the plasma of incoming enemy fire, and send searing surges of heat into the interior of the armor. This method kept the exterior of the armor mostly-fresh, and battle-ready. But, it came at a great cost. That heat that traveled to the inside of the suit affected the soldier inside in a bad way—a very bad way. But, even though this heat would most-likely injure any ODST, it would not stop them. Besides that fact, though, every ODST was equipped with, at least, one medical pack—each of which contained a nano-healer-serum.

This serum was pumped from the exterior injection-port, directly to the interior systems of the armor, and eventually, into the neural-uplink of the ODST in question. Once this happened, the microscopic robotic elements of the serums traveled—quickly—throughout the soldier's body and attacked foreign infection, repaired damaged tissue, and sealed open wounds. It was a very useful tool for any soldier. But it was also highly expensive to manufacture, and as such, it was in rare supply nowadays.

Captain Keyes looked over his men and women, all of them suited-up completely, save for one. The one that were not completely suited up had her armor completely on, except for the helmet that she carried in she hands.

Keyes walked over to her. He swiftly scanned around him. All of his other Helljumpers were fully-suited-up, and checking their weapons. The one woman that had her helmet in her hands was scanning a weapons rack. The weapons on the rack were all close-quarters weapons. Captain Keyes knew who he was looking at. He knew all of his soldiers. He did his homework—always. He was just like his father in that regard. The only difference between him and his father was that, instead of going into the Navy of the UNSC, Michael Keyes had chosen the special division of the UNSC Marine Corps.

Keyes walked over to the woman. She swiftly spun to face him, and she nodded sternly, ready to salute, before he stopped her with a hand. He quickly pulled her record from his memory. Lieutenant Lina Capulti. Italian. Exceptional hand-to-hand combatant. Killed several elites at close-quarters. Home-world glassed when she was seventeen years of age. Family killed. She watched. Anger issues. Rash decisions. Battle injuries. Many of them—as the scar above her right eye showed. All of this though, Captain Michael Keyes used to form one word that described the Lieutenant effectively. Dedicated. …Or, perhaps, a better word would be…martyr.

She narrows her eyes at her superior, and she raised an eyebrow expecting him to say something. It had been almost an entire second. That was a long time—to an ODST.

Her long black hair was tied up in a ponytail hanging over the back of her shoulders. The regulatory hair-length had been readjusted by the UEG—five years ago. Females were no longer required to shorten their hair; in fact, it was encouraged for females to allow their hair to grow out—not too long, so as to have it affect their skills in combat in a bad way, but long enough. The UNSC no longer wanted to try and make all of their soldiers seem similar.

The UNSC knew that their soldiers, their civilians, that the military that protected humanity consisted of many different kinds of people. They were different—but equal. Males were, by default, stronger than females. But females were, by default, far faster than males. These differences were acknowledged, and they were used—to the advantage of the soldiers. The UNSC wanted to acknowledge these differences, and so the regulatory hair length for women was revised.

The Lieutenant cocked her head to one side. She narrowed her eyes at her superior. He returned the favor, before he shifted his gaze to the weapons rack above her. She carefully, cautiously, turned her head back to the weapons rack. She eyed the M90 shotgun that was housed there. Captain Keyes eyed her as she eyed the weapon.

She was about to reach for the shotgun, when her superior finally spoke.

"Lieutenant, I would highly suggest that you take another weapon." Captain Keyes addressed her.

She turned back to him and raised her eyebrows. "Oh? And why is that, sir?" she asked aptly, a sense of defiance in her eyes.

"You and I both know that you're an intelligent woman. And, using that intelligence, you can't tell me that you plan to use that weapon—on this mission—if you want to live. If you get close enough to use that weapon down there, then you're as good as dead. And you're no good to me, dead. I realize that you enjoy fighting at extremely close-quarters, but that does not excuse your past actions. Regardless of what you like to do, what you will do is follow orders. And the first one is a simple one: do not die. If I've done my homework correctly—and I always do it correctly—then you are my second-in-command, and second only to Major Silva and myself, on this mission. I don't need you dying in some crusade of intense martyrdom for your homeworld." he explained elaborately.

The defiance in her eyes grew, and it spread to her lips as well. Her eyes narrowed further. "With all due respect, sir, I will follow any order that you give me on the battlefield. But, here, in this room, is one of the few places that I have left to make my own decisions. And I will do just that. And if I choose to die—then so be it. If you want to stop me, then go to hell. …I'll meet you there." she said seriously, grabbing the M90 shotgun, and securing it to the magnetic back of her armor.

Captain Keyes was not amused. "I'm already in hell, Lieutenant. I've been there for some time. I've seen men and women—good men and women—lay down their lives for this cause, for this war. And, none of them have ever done so out of spite. They gave their lives, so that we could use our own. We owe them. Their memories are the one thing that ties us to this pitiful existence. And I won't have you disrespecting them by dying, simply out of spite—whether that be spite be for me, or for your enemy. And, this is the goddamn battlefield, soldier. Every single planet that has humans on it is a target for the Covenant. And, if it's their target, then it's our objective. And you know damn well that our objectives are always on a battlefield. So keep your word, follow my order, and do not die." Captain Keyes addressed the rash young Lieutenant.

His brash, experienced, eyes met her angry, aggressive, amber eyes. She narrowed them, and he returned the favor.

He took a battle rifle off of the weapons rack, and forcefully shoved it into her hands. "At least get some range into your damn arsenal." he added finally, walking away, ending the discussion.

"Very well then, sir." she said solemnly, giving him subtle salute—using a not-so-subtle tone.

Captain Keyes did not notice this—or, rather, he pretended that he did not notice it.

"Damn. No offense, ma'am, but I think that you just turned me on, a little." Romeo said, walking over to her. His helmet, like the helmets of the rest of the soldiers, was already in place.

He held his S2AM sniper rifle tightly against his body.

Lieutenant Capulti rolled her eyes and donned her helmet, making sure that the circuits in the helmet merged mentally with the circuits in her neural-uplink, which merged with the circuits in the rest of her armor.

"Lance Corporal, I am in no mood to deal with a horny Helljumper. You are useless, unless you are completely focused on the mission at hand. If you are not, then you are useless. If that is the case, then it's a shame. But, regardless, we could still use your body as bait to lure, and ensnare, the enemy. I'd have to kill you for that purpose, though. Now, only one question remains. Are you going to be useful, dead or alive?" she asked the Lance Corporal aptly. He nodded solemnly.

"Alive, ma'am." he said seriously. She nodded and walked over to the drop-pods. Her pod was stationed directly next to Captain Keyes' pod. She inhaled deeply and said nothing.

Romeo released the breath that he was silently holding. There was no sign of falsity in her eyes. She might have just actually killed him.

The heads-up-display finally flashed to life on her helmet's visor, displaying the information about her currently-held weapon of choice—but not her choice—the battle rifle, as well as information regarding her health, stamina, and her grenade count. The HUD also carried general information, regarding how much nano-healer-serum was already in her system—and how much more she could take until her maximum limit was reached.

She then walked over to a rack that held med-packs, and she picked one up and fastened it to the metallic magnetic plate on the back of her armor.

Captain Keyes had his own helmet on as well, and as soon as his own HUD lit up, he turned to, and addressed his ODSTs.

"We're all already in hell. Let's make sure the Covenant join us there, as well. Sound good?" he addressed his soldiers

They all responded, in unwavering unison, "HELL YES, SIR!"

Lieutenant Capulti rolled her eyes silently under her shielded visor. She had to admit that Captain Keyes knew how to motivate his men, how to gain their trust. She respected that. She even respected him—even if she didn't like him.

Major Silva walked over to his pod, on the other side of Captain Keyes, and he entered the vessel.

"Alright then. Luxia, prepare all the pods for immediate drop." Keyes said suddenly. The A.I. appeared on a holographic pedestal near the Captain and she nodded at his request, already fast at work trying to complete it.

All of the Helljumpers stepped swiftly into their pods, and they latched the door shut behind them. The only escape would come on the battlefield.

Luxia gave one final warning, and then silence was heard, as the pods left their sturdy solid docking posts on the ship and plummeted towards the arid atmosphere below them.

Lieutenant Capulti cleared her mind. She closed her eyes as her pod plummeted—straight into hell. The temperatures skyrocketed in the pod. The jarring force and acceleration was bone-shattering. But she made no notice of it. She had a clear picture in her mind. A picture that explained exactly why she did these things.

The picture was simple one; it was picture of her hometown…as plasma from the sky burned it to ashes. It was a picture of her younger brother…bleeding and unable to be resuscitated. It was a picture of her father and sister, and although her sister was older than her, panic was clear on their features. It was a picture of her father, the fearless insurrectionist leader, knowing that he couldn't win. It was a picture of her planet…from orbit…as it burned. It was a picture that she could never rid herself of…and would never want. It was a picture that reminded her why she fought.

She opened her eyes, just as the pod impacted—harshly—with the ground, and the door flew off its hinges. An Elite was a few feet away, its plasma rifle leveled her head. She narrowed her eyes and rolled forward, just as the alien fired. As she hit the ground, and her body rolled forwards—towards her enemy—she quickly pulled two frag grenades—from her mid-section-magnetic strip on her armor—and she primed them, cooking them as she rolled.

She skillfully stopped her rudimentary roll, just as she was on her back, and her feet were poised to launch up—to strike her opponent in the chest. She launched herself up without a second thought. Her feet impacted the Elite's chest, before it even knew that she had risen from the ground. She flipped their positions as she flew through air—with her feet pressed harshly to chest of the Elite—and the moment that the Elite hit the ground, back-first with her standing on top of him, she released the two cooked frag grenades and swiftly sprinted forwards, grabbing the battle rifle that was held securely on her back.

She brought her rifle up to her line-of-sight, just as both of the grenades detonated, killing the Elite in a mess of fire and flesh.

She swiftly scanned her surroundings, and she quickly ascertained her location, the basic layout of the battlefield, and the position of her fellow soldiers, relative to her own. She sprinted forwards, stooping down, and crouching behind a low embankment in front of the exterior of the third story of a building—a building in a very large city. The entire city was manmade, floating on a very large manmade metallic platform. This platform supported the entire city, as it floated on the surface of the ocean—the ocean that covered the entire surface of this planet.

Lieutenant Capulti quickly checked her two weapons, her battle rifle and her shotgun, before securing the shotgun on her back, and leveling her battle rifle at eye level.

She swiftly snapped back to the current conflict. Screeching sounds of battle raged all around her. Grenades detonated. Plasma stormed, scorched, and seared metal, armor, gel-layers, and flesh. She turned her head to view behind her, and she saw that any and all of her ODST comrades were quickly lining up against the embankment that she had taken refuge behind. They were all crouched down on the exterior of the third story of the building, and the embankment was constantly taking plasma fire from the opposite side. It wouldn't take much more, and she knew it.

Soon, Captain Keyes reached her side, crouching down just as he did so. The front of his armor had smears of blood on it—the blood of Grunts and Elites. She smirked under her helmet. Captain Keyes and Capulti may have hated each other, but they both hated their enemy more, and that was very clear. Their hatred was not a factor now, though, because their respect for each other was all that mattered at the current moment.

Captain Keyes depolarized his visor and looked over his shoulder as Dutch, Romeo, and Major Silva ran to the embankment and crouched down to join them.

Lieutenant Capulti and Major Silva depolarized their own visors as well.

Dutch had a noticeable burn mark on the upper left shoulder of his armor. The armor was fine and completely in-tact, but they all knew that the heat had purposefully been transferred the gel-layers and the flesh beneath the armor's exterior, so as to better-preserve the armor. The heat had not affected the armor, but it had affected Dutch—although he showed no sign of his immense pain.

"Dutch, heal that up. Use the nano-healing-serum in your med-pa—" Captain Keyes started, but Dutch cut him off.

"With all due respect, sir, I've got a lot more blood to lose before it becomes a problem. I'm good." he replied. Captain Keyes nodded.

Captain Keyes peeked over the embankment in front of them. He ducked his head back behind the small wall, just as two Covenant carbine rounds flew past him.

Keyes looked around him, and he assessed his soldiers' conditions. Two had been killed already, and their bodies were among those that were gathered behind the embankment. They did not leave a Helljumper behind. Ever. He understood this—and he respected it, very much—but he also understood that dead weight was dead weight. He sighed. He knew the two soldiers—as he always knew his soldiers, especially the ones that died. Corporal Martha McGinty, and Private Marlo Masante.

Captain Keyes quickly shook his head.

"It wasn't supposed to be this hot, was it, sir?" Romeo asked aptly.

Keyes shook his head. "No. No, it wasn't. But when was the last time that we were fed good intel?" he asked Romeo in return.

"Wait. There was mission where they actually gave us good intel? Where the hell was I for that?" he asked in return, semi-jokingly.

"Yeah. Before your time." Major Silva responded, smirking as he did so. Romeo nodded and chuckled slightly.

"Listen, they got this whole damn city locked down. Tight. So we're gonna act like butter. Slip in. Grease up their stronghold, and get 'em to let go. Lieutenant, you take Romeo and Dutch and get charges placed at the base of the building that holds our objective. Romeo, you're on overmatch. Watch them both and make sure that the attention of the enemy is on you, at all times. And the moment, that they turn to look at you—waste 'em." Captain Keyes ordered, and the soldiers nodded to him.

Dutch pulled several explosive charges out of the pack on his back, and he securely attached them to the strong magnetic strip around his waist.

"Good. Once the charges are set, then fall back. We'll blow them, divert their attention to the source, and attack from the opposite side, creating a huge hole in their defensive lines. Romeo and a few other snipers will keep overwatch over the charges, and when they blow, you will pick off any of them that come to investigate. Understood?" Keyes said seriously. They all nodded.

Lieutenant Capulti smirked at the sheer boldness of the plan. Keyes noticed this, but he said nothing. He would have to address the fact that he didn't think that she could do anything other than frown later.

Major Silva noticed this swift, small, silent, exchange between the two, but he remained silent. He'd ask Captain Keyes if he was sleeping with the Lieutenant later. The three leaders repolarized their visors, but right before Captain Keyes's face disappeared behind his dark visor, Lieutenant Capulti caught the faintest sigh of a smirk—aimed right at her.

"Good. I'll take the rest of the Helljumpers to lead a false frontal offensive and distract the enemy, while the charges are laid. Get in there, and get out. Go. Now!" Keyes yelled, as he turned to Major Silva behind him, and began to give him orders, regarding the false frontal offensive.

Lieutenant turned to Dutch and Romeo. "You heard the man. Let's move." she said, and as she did so, she got up, and sprinted for the stairs to the lower levels of the exterior of the building.

Dutch and Romeo followed closely behind, as Captain Keyes and his men launched themselves off of the platform, and began to return fire upon their enemies.

The drop site was hotter than any of them had hoped. But, it was nowhere near as hot as they expected it to be. They were used to high temperatures. They were Helljumpers. And this was hell.

A/N: Well, I hope that you all enjoyed that chapter. On a side-note, any and all of you, wonderful readers/reviewers, should surely check-out my profile, and see what other of my publicly posted FanFics might interest you! There may be a few. If you have read a book, then the chances are that I have read it as well, and if I have read it, then I'd love to talk about it! Message me, if any of you guys have any questions, or just want to chat, about ANYTHING. I'd love to hear from you! Well, stay tuned for the next update, and please click that subscribe/alert button, if you want the alerts for updates on this story, or simply message me, and ask me to message you every time I update, as I would be HAPPY to do so! So, please R&R, and stay tuned for the next update!