Tue May 14, 2019 1:42 pm
Charlie-6 Chapters 17-20
The Phantom finished loading just in time. As they began to take off, the alert sounded that the Scarab had breached the wall. They flew over the battle, trying to look as inconspicuous as a retreating Phantom in an ocean of attacking Covenant forces can be. The team looked on as the Scarab leveled a few buildings with its front cannon.
“Isn’t there anything we can do to help?” Cromwell asked. Nigel shook his head. “Not without doing something completely irresponsible.” Morgan chuckled, “Since when are you the responsible one?” Nigel whacked him on the back of his helmet. “Since I’ve got a dozen innocent civilians to think about, jack***.
The Phantom had been flying about 20 minutes when Cromwell walked back into the cockpit. “Whose turn is it to sit in with our passengers?” Morgan and Nigel looked at each other, and nodded. They faced directly towards each other and began to play rock-paper-scissors. After two tied rounds, Nigel picked rock, and Morgan picked paper. Morgan pumped his fist in the air in celebration. Nigel rolled his eyes behind his visor, stood up, and walked into the loading bay. He was saddened by the sight. Twelve sad, tired, and lonely people who looked like they had lost everything. Most of them probably had. Nigel had seen this too many times in the news, and in person. Reach was strong, but he knew how this would play out. This whole planet would get turned to ashes, and only a fraction of the population would survive. But Nigel would survive. He always survived. He hated his good luck sometimes. He’d watched friends and comrades get skewered, blown up, and incinerated trying to protect a doomed planet. Nigel sometimes wished that his luck would run out, just so he could stop the pain, but that was selfish. That’s why he kept going.
Nigel sat down on the floor across from the people, took off his helmet, and ran his hand through his sweaty black hair. A woman who looked like she was in her mid twenties approached him cautiously. He plastered the most supportive smile he could muster, and asked, “What do you need?”
“I forgot to ask, where are we going?” she asked. “New Alexandria. It’s where the last evacuations are leaving, and supposedly the safest place right now.” She thanked him and began to limp back to the group. Nigel stood up and grabbed her shoulder, stopping her. “Are you alright? You’re limping.” She turned back to him and gave him a tired smile, “Yeah, I took a shot to the leg. The medic said it was bad, but that I would be fine.” Nigel still looked concerned. “Do you need me to reapply the bandage?” She looked down at her leg. “Actually, yes. I think so.” Nigel nodded and asked, “What’s your name?”
“Sally. Sally Coleman.”
Nigel retrieved a med kit from the supply crate in the front. He returned and helped undo and redo the bandage. They both talked about Reach. How it all happened so fast, and what humanity had lost. Just as Sally was thanking him, Gregor asked for Nigel on the com. “Sir? We are approaching New Alexandria. You’re going to want to see this.” Nigel didn’t like the sound of that. He put on his helmet and walked back to the cockpit as Sally waved after him. He walked in to see the whole team’s eyes glued to the viewscreen. “What is it?” He asked. He looked down at the screen, and his blood went cold. A Covenant cruiser sat over the city like ominous cloud. The UNSC and the Covenant seemed to be to be in a stalemate. No evacuation ships were leaving, but the Covenant didn’t seem to be gaining any ground.
“Dear G0d.” Nigel said.