Location: New Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa, EARTH.

Timestamp: October 20th 2552. 23:07 hours.
Unit ID: Corporal Jacob Matthews (Male, 26, 5'11"), Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, 7th Shock Troopers Battalion.
Status: Functioning, left arm lightly damaged.

"Today… Didn't go as planned." The soldier told himself as he swiped a medkit from the medical station. Many medkits were stolen from these med stations during the evac, but there were some rare ones lying around. Jacob had considered keeping it for later, but the plasma burn on his right shoulder was searing. The rain helped to ease it a bit, and the cool air also applied a soothing sensation, but it still burned and stung like someone had poured pressed a branding iron against it.

He decided to use the medkit now. If he was too injured to lift his arm and use it efficiently, then he needed to use it. He had to be at the peak of his ability, being that he was the only survivor of his squad. The only one he knew had survived that is.

The plan was to eradicate the covenant forces that had invaded, clean up, keep everyone intact, then go back to base for some drinks with the squad. But then again, these plans never go through the way they should.

What they hadn't anticipated was a covenant ship making a slip space jump at the edge of their city, causing a shockwave that crippled some buildings and flung vehicles and some people hundreds of metres.

In this blast, communications were scattered. The ground teams that were in place were unable to communicate with one another via technics in their suits. The ground teams that may still be alive anyway.

This shouldn't have happened. This was his first rotation in his home town. This should have gone swimmingly. Now his home city was in ruin. His family were likely dead, as were his battalion.

Jacob shook these thoughts away and stumbled, clutching his left shoulder with his right hand and the scavenged medkit in his left. He couldn't afford to think like that. He had to keep his head on straight, do the right thing, and get tactical.

Jacob leant his back against the cold, wet steel wall and slowly slid down into a sitting position. His shoulder now hurt immensely. The adrenaline he was experiencing in battle made the burn feel less agonizing, but now that the adrenaline had worn off, the shock began to kick in, and his body was not happy.

Jacob opened up the medkit and took out the burn gel. No matter how hard he tried not to look at the wound, he looked. He told himself that if he didn't look, it wouldn't hurt and that if he observed it, his pain would multiply.

Oh, how he hated being right.

Jacob looked at the disfiguring plasma burn that had melted his flesh. He suddenly felt pain rocket through his arm, followed by a heavy tingle as he applied the burn gel to his wound.

The tingle was followed by a soothing feeling, more than what the rain or cool air had to offer. Jacob let out a sigh of relief as he looked up at the dark, cloudy sky. He could see raindrops splashing on his visor, and running down the sides of his helmet. This sight mixed with the comforting feeling now emanating from his shoulder and the ssshhhhh sound that the downpour was almost enough to make him smile.

Jacob wanted these few moments to rest, to recap on the events that lead to where he is now. He wanted to know where everything went wrong, what he could have done to prevent it, so that he doesn't make the same mistakes again. This wasn't run in the training simulations. He wasn't trained to deal with a random close range slip space jump from a covenant capital ship.

He looked around at the damaged buildings, observing the destruction that lie in wake of the rupture. Buildings were crippled. Cars and trucks were wrecked, some stacked against one another from the shockwave. Most windows were shattered, but some had remained intact by some incredible feat. The city's debris reminded him of the stories he'd heard of the planet of Reach. He hadn't been there during the invasion, but his cousin was. Regrettably, his cousin perished in the invasion at Reach, but he didn't go out without a fight.

Reach was invaded whilst Jacob was still in training as a recruit. Since then Jacob had trained rigorously to be as good a soldier as his cousin. He excelled in his fire mission exercises and his sniper recon training. He also received honourable mention for his knowledge of medical field skills. He was overwhelmed when he was selected to join the elite 7th ODST Battalion. He was an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, just like his cousin before him.

His time for reminiscence was cut short by sounds of covenant grunts screaming a few buildings away. Panic attacked his mind. Had he been spotted? Had he made a mistake and left a clue for them to find him? No… Jacob was never that careless… Or maybe… Someone else was!

Jacob grabbed his standard issue M7S sub machine gun, and his M6S handgun was already holstered on his right thigh. He had to see if anyone was still alive, whether it be from his team or not, he had to know. Jacob cautiously approached the edge of the building, being careful not to make any noise to alert any nearby grunts, readied his SMG, and rapidly turned the corner, aiming down sights, just like his years of training had dictated he should do in this situation.

He spotted no immediate threat, but there were two yellow armoured grunts facing down a separate alleyway, snickering to each other. They were easy targets, and they could quickly be taken down without a second thought and without any other enemies being alerted. Grunts could not be shot in the head from behind, unless you were above them. They had a large armoured combat harness behind their head, which acts as a pyramid of defence. However, they do not have eyes in the back of their head, and the harness limited their vision. Jacob was invisible, and now was his chance. He upholstered his pistol and began to stealthily creep up behind the pair of them.