First Lieutenant Sinclair lead Gunny and his remaining men to Commander Elizabeth Anderson on the bridge. They all saluted her in unison when close to the large view table.
“At ease gentlemen. So these are the ODST’s Lieutenant?”
“Yes Ma’am, sadly Captain Stacker died on the field and his remaining forces are scarce.”
Commander Anderson sighed, gaining Gunny’s attention.
“Ma’am did the civies get evacuated?”
Anderson exchanged a few looks with Lieutenant Sinclair. Eventually he gave her a small nod.
“They did not Gunnery Sergeant. The Velutarians have brought reinforcements and have started to fully glass Reach. Here is the last video feed from our cruisers which were destroyed.”
“Dear God.” Migs said out loud, while the rest remained ice cold. Commander Anderson then turned towards them.
“As you can see it is imperative we get the remaining civilians out of the nearby city and make a run for it. Command is coordinating with remaining destroyers in atmosphere and evacuate whatever we can. Gentlemen the situation is dire, as Command put it, Reach is falling. It is but a mere question of when. Therefore we will use your help to extract whatever we can. However Command has informed me of your new mission. A high ranking scientist named August von Braun is your objective. You have to bring him alive as he contains valuable information to the war effort and previous attempts to exfiltrate him have failed. Lieutenant Sinclair and his men will help you in securing this tower.”
A large tower appeared on the screen in the city skyline.
“Von Braun has been informed of your rescue and is preparing to leave his lab as we speek. We have a limited timeframe here so get in and get out quick. As our current projections show the city of Helios will be within range of the Velutarian ships. You will have 30 minutes for this operation. Any questions?”
The ODST’s remained silent and Gunny nodded at her.
“Very well then. Show me what you ODST’s are made of.”
It had been a short hour since the debrief and Gunny and his men reloaded their gear. They installed flashlights onto them as it had grown dark and it was unknown if there would be light inside the tower. They boarded their Falcons and set out for the tower and Gunny saw the city in ruins. The Velutarian ground forces had been here already and an occasional gunshot could be heard. The Army was still fighting down there. Let’s hope their bravery won’t be for nothing.
They had arrived on top of the tower, but there were Velutarian elements on top of it. Due to its height it made a good vantage point and the Velutarians were using it. The ODST’s quickly jumped out and started to eliminate them. Sinclair joined them as well, but he was outflanked by an unarmed Velutarian who tackled him down. He went for his knife, but it was quickly thrown away and he found himself in a hand to hand combat with a tall Velutarian. Somehow he had gained the upper hand and within a split second he noticed a rock. He rolled towards it and grabbed it in his hand. When the Velutarian came for him again, he smashed the rock against his helmet shattering it. Sinclair then stood on top of the Velutarian and continued to smash the Velutarian’s head until its skull gave in and its brains were splashed all over the area.
Meanwhile the top had been cleared of Velutarian forces and Sinclair regained his weapons. Miguel Ferrero then commented on the nice work Sinclair had done.
“Damn Lieutenant. I didn’t know you were such a Shellcrusher.”
“Just doing my best, Corporal. Men, form up on Gunny.”
Sinclair had just gained a lifelong nickname thanks to Migs’ big mouth. Gunny then turned towards them at the door. Counting down to three with his fingers and than running through the room. Within seconds he fired upon the Velutarians which had made a barricade. However he pressed on towards them and fired with every round with utter precision, putting bullets into the heads of three Velutarians in a row. No time to think about it, he had to get a scientist out of here. They had cleared the room and looked for the elevator.
“Migs, Mossy with me in the elevator. Romeo you stay on the look out on top and scan for incoming hostiles. Rest coordinate with Sinclair’s men. We’ll be right back.”
They all nodded and set up for when the Velutarians came. Luckily the elevator was fast and had brought them to the scientist labs.
“Von Braun, we are your rescue team. Let’s go now!”
A frale man with a thick German accent appeared.
“Ah yes, just a moment. I am downloading the final files.”
“Sir, I don’t think you understand the situation. The Velutarians are already in control of this building.”
“Just a few more seconds.”
Migs than got angry and began to speak towards the scientist.
“Listen buddy, we need to get out of here right now. If you won’t move your ass, I am damn fine with car…”
Migs was then shot by a Velutarian in the head and fell to the ground. A group of five Velutarians had appeared and the scientist took cover. Gunny was furious now, his best friend and right hand had been killed. He dropped his gun and charged at the Velutarians with his knife and butchered every last one of them. He then returned to the scientist and screamed at him with a tremendous fury.
“Are you finally done yet?!”
The scientist remained calm and responded.
“Yes the files are ready. We should go now.”
Gunny then punched the scientist in the face.
“You better be worth it. That man may have had a big mouth, but he didn’t cause needless death.”
“You soldier are way out of line!”
Gunny then grabbed the scientist and put him on his shoulders. They went to the elevator and the scientist complained about his behaviour. The scientist may have been mad, but he couldn’t be as livid as Gunny was right now. His best friend from these few weeks had just died because of this scientist. He put the scientist down.
“Listen buddy you will shut up now. You will be free to press charges, but right now you better shut up before I persona …”
The elevator had abruptly stopped and its doors opened. It was an ambush. The Velutarians managed to hit the scientist in his lungs, but Mossy had eliminated the Velutarians. The scientist than uttered towards them.
“Sir, … Take this … It’s … my wo … work.”
The scientist handed out his data chip. Gunny took it.
“We’ll deliver von Braun.”
The life had ceases in von Braun. Let’s hope whatever was on that chip was worth it for his objective had failed. Now they had to climb the remaining stairs which were infested with Velutarians now. He tried to communicate with Sinclair, but it was worthless. The Velutarians now had learned their lessons and blocked all channels. Gunny and Mossy than ran as fast as they could and reached the top. Just mere seconds a plasma sticky grenade had attached on Mossy and he quickly jumped away with the sticky grenade to the ground. Then the explosion came and Velutarians began to charge the room.
Gunny went for cover while several Marines were gunned down by the Velutarians. However these weren’t normal Velutarians and their armour reflected it. They were more elegant somehow and what? They had personal shields. As Marines were gunned down he went towards Sinclair.
“Lieutenant. Objective is compromised, but he gave me this chip. Now take it and leave it. I will get you the time.”
Sinclair took it and gave Gunny a last look.
“May God receive you well.”
Sinclair then gathered his men to the Flacons. Gunny then shouted to his ODST’s.
“Triton Squad, knife charge!”
They all dropped their guns except for Romeo who had already installed in a Falcon and gave them cover fire with his sniper. Killy and Trip wrestled down one of the four Velutarians and slit its throat. A Velutarian shot Yuri in the chest and Willy jumped on it pushing the knife in the Velutarian’s neck. A Velutarian then smacked Gunny down to the ground gave him a few punches. A few gunshots could be heard and the Velutarian broke Gunny’s visor, but was then pushed away from Gunny. Gunny threw away his helmet revealing his face with a furious face. He charged towards the Velutarian and pushed his knife in its face. He then stood up and saw Trip and Willy down bleeding on the ground and one more Velutarian choking Killy. He jumped the Velutarian and freed Killy who then killed the Velutarian with his knife. A few heartbeat later he spoke.
“Dammit Killy, I am proud of you and the boys for what you have done these past days.”
“Wouldn’t have done it without you Gunny.”
They then stood up and saw the Falcons leaving for the Destroyer.
“What do we do now Gunny?”
Gunny waited a few heartbeat before answering.
“Give our respects to our men. Then we bring a bigger hell to the Shellheads.”
Gunny and Killy put their comrades in line or what was left of them. Putting their helmets on improvised sticks. They then each held a minute silent for each one of them.
Miguel “Migs” Ferrero was the loudmouth, but also cheering calmness for Gunny. A true friend when he needed him to be and an excellent right hand.
Yu Dao was the squad’s sniper and had saved him countless times. Yu had everyone’s back and could be counted on whatever the odds.
William “Willy” McGregor was always fondling with technology both praising and squandering it with his iconic Scottish accent. Had he been alive, Gunny would give him his helmet to repair.
Octavian “Mossy” Mosley was a good soldier with a heart of gold. Always putting himself in danger before others even until his death. A true embodiment of the Stoinian Spirit.
Yuri Drakhov had breached the many walls and doors. If his explosives didn’t do the job he would build dozer it himself with his giant stature.
This was Triton Squad. These were his men which he had gone through hell with and feet first. There would be no medals, no glory, no one to remember their deeds in this dreadful war. It all seemed for nothing, but he knew deep down they all had done their part in ensuring Mankind’s survival. They had done it for God and Kingdom, the duty any Stoinian would do. They had proven the ODST’s nature, taking orders and deliver results, feet first. However they had one more thing to show the Velutarians.
“Alright Killy. Let’s make this our finest hour yet. For King and Kingdom, let’s show these Velutarians how our Proud Lion roars.”
Neither madness nor foolishness had pushed Gunny and Killy to charge the Velutarians in the tower and even on the streets. They had grown beyond the fear of death, for they were already dead. They eliminated many Velutarians for hell had come to them, but they sure gave it back to the Shellheads. When their mags were out they fanatically charged the Velutarians until their knives hit the ground and each gave their last breath. No one may remember their final acts, but one thing remains sure. They now belonged to Reach.
The scientist’s data contained schematics for more refined shield generators, which would eventually be used on the Infinity-class super dreadnoughts. Unbeknownst to them, they had given their lives to ensure Mankind’s last resort to survival. Lieutenant Sinclair would put them on recommendation for the Medal of Honour, Stoinia’s highest decoration. Sinclair fought on and later in life became the Legate to Ryccia. Romeo Valentin would continue the fight as well and lead his own ODST’s in the remainder of the war. After that he would settle for a family and training new ODST recruits for his sniper reputation had grown over the war. However both these men would never forget the bravery of Triton, Kilo and Raptor Squad. For that was the least they could do. For neither songs will be sung nor victory parades for these men.