[41 BBT] The Unsung Heroes

Adrian Constantinescu had enlisted two years ago, about four years into the Velutarian War. He was selected to become part of a new program. Something about a new Special Force, created by the Regent himself! He and about three hundred other men and women were put in a room. Some had scars across their face while other had tattoos, truly a diverse bunch. They remained quiet for they didn’t know what was going to happen. Soon an old man came in a decorated military uniform. Then he recognised him, it was Marshall von Krassenberg. Krassenberg had survived multiple battles with the advancing Velutarians in the Tozorian Sector no less. Even before the war he was considered to be a hardened veteran. Soon his loud and strong voice began to speak.
“Well gentlemen, I believe you have an idea of what is to become of you. You gave yourselves up to be part of a new program. That program is the newly founded Orbital Drop Shock Troop Program. You all have experiences with airial droppings, which is why you were chosen. Instead of in atmosphere drops, you will be dropped from orbit right into the lines of the enemy. I am sure I don’t need to explain MacArthur’s policies on how to fight the Velutarians. You will become the new reinforcements for our struggling planets as we can’t breach large forces throughout Velutarian blockades. You will be divided into teams of six and will be trained the coming two weeks with your new equipment.”
Some gasp could be heard. Could they truly receive new weapons? Had the R/D branch finally made a breakthrough they so desperately needed? Krassenberg revealed the image of their new armour and gun.

“This is your new armour and your new weapon. Your armour has new technology integrated into it such as an assisting HUD interface and some degree of energy absorption. It also has features which will allow you to survive even the hardships of space. Now we have a war to win and we should get right to it. You will find your new designeted squad in the hall to your left. Dismissed and may God serve you well.”
Adrian quickly followed the masses and soon found his name on the board. Triton Squad, Gunnery Sergeant …
Adrian Constantinescu? He wasn’t notified of receiving a promotion? He looked at the other names in his squad. Miguel Ferrero, Octavian Mosley, William McGregor, Yuri Drakhov and Yu Dao. He looked to where he should go now and meet his squad he sure made haste. He entered his designated room and his squad mates were already there. The Hispanic talked.
“So you must be our Gunny then?”
“I believe so.”
Their instructor interjected while they talked and asked Adrian to sit down. The small blond woman in front of them began to talk.
“Well gentlemen. You are the new Triton Squad. Marshall von Krassenberg has told you that you have two weeks to train. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have any assigned mission. This program was made to bring your new skills to the front as fast as possible. Your mission will be to reinforce an evacuation post on Reach.”
The Hispanic started to talk again. He clearly was unsettled.
“On Reach?! What kind of mission is this? A suicide mission?”
The woman was clearly dissatisfied with the Hispanic’s reaction and so was Adrian. They all knew what this program could entail.
“Yes Mr. Ferrero. If you keep your loud mouth on the battlefield so the enemy can hear you cowardly words. We are Terrans for God’s sake and we will act as such. Or would you rather leave those civilians on Reach die? Perhaps you don’t know that 14-year old boys have begun to take arms against the Velutarians on Reach. Because the situations is that dire Mr. Ferrero. You signed up for the job knowing what it would entail. If you wish to leave you can do so now.”
The whole room looked at him, while he looked ashamed. A few moments passed and the woman continued.
“You will drop at Razor’s Edge and from there you will stealthily cross the enemy lines and sabotage the besieging artillery and anti-air. This will create a window in a coordinated effort with naval forces to create a window to evacuate the civilians. You are now part of Operation Salvation. Now let us start you training with your new equipment.”

Two weeks had passed Triton Squad had grown accustomed to their new gear and were amongst the best ODST Squads. They had received a day off yesterday to prepare for Operation Salvation. They had finally gotten the chance to rest after two weeks of everyday hell. They were now forged into a new type of soldiers. They would now prove their worth. Their time would come now.
The Taskforce of a hundred ships formed a triangle shape to pierce through the Velutarian blockade. They were ready now. Their casualty predictions were high, but they had to save the women and children on Reach or die trying. Admiral Holstein spoke over the comms.
“This is Admiral Holstein. We are nearing the Velutarian blockade of Reach. Remember our mission, we are here to save civilians of Reach not for glory. Now let’s get this done. Man your stations and drop pods.”
The ODST’s went to their drop pods and prepared for any moment now they could be dropped. The fleet surprised the Velutarians and caught them off guard. This worked in the Stoinians’ favour as the first line of ships had succeeded in dropping their drop pods. However what the Stoinians couldn’t know is that a new Velutarian Fleet had just came out of FTL-travel and were now firing from their rear. This ultimately decimated the Stoinian Fleet and they were forced to drop the remaining drop pods even though it would put them of course. Their fate now rested in God’s hands …

[Image: CpwxPn7.png]

Adrian or “Gunny” as he was now called, embraced the full shock of entering the atmosphere in his drop pods. Bad luck had struck and they were now falling through a storm. Miguel chattered over the comms as always. He hadn’t lost his talkative character throughout his ODST training. Right before landing they heard about the new Velutarian Fleet and lost contact with the fleet. All support was lost. They now truly were on their own. Then the enormous kick came in. He had landed on the ground. He pushed the buttons to smash his door open and quickly took his SMG engaged his night vision and marched outside.

All his squad mates had made it safely on the ground. Soon the chatter began by Miguel of course.
“Gunny, how the hell are we supposed to find our objective in this storm? Especially now that our support has been obliterated.”
“Shut it Migs! We don’t have time for your chit-chat! Spread out and follow me. It’ll only be a few moment before the Shellheads get our position. Move it! On the double!”
Triton spread out to ensure they wouldn’t be eliminated all at once if the enemy appeared. Gunny active his HUD and opened the map. He then looked around and found his position on the map. He talked to his squad while running.
“All right. Our first objective is to secure a base camp on the other side of the mountain 10 clicks north. Prep yourselves for it will be quite a hike. We’ll move alongside the trees on the left for cover, don’t use your lights just yet.”
They travelled alongside the trees, but their plan assumed that all ODST’s would make it to their planned droppings. Another cluster of 10 drop pods came their direction. By God! Two drop pods had crashed in each other while mid air. This was a clear sign that their trajectory had gone sour. The Velutarians were coming their way and he wouldn’t leave ODST’s behind.
“Migs and Willy, you stay here and provide cover when the Shellheads arrive. The rest with me, we’re going to save those poor souls.”
Octavian “Mossy” Mosley, Yuri Drakhov, Yu Dao followed him while the other two stayed put. The drop pods had landed about 800 meters from their position into the plain fields. They ran as fast as they could and opened comm channels to coordinate with the confused ODST’s. Six of them answered positively and were ready to go. Gunny checked one of the remaining drop pods, while talking to the new ODST’s.
“Gunnery Sergeant Adrian Constantinescu, Triton Squad. So who are you guys?”
“Corporal Keith Matthews, Sir. Kilo Squad. Our gunny was amongst the drop pods that crash into each other, Sir.”
“Private Harold O’Kilna, Raptor Squad. Me and Trip are the only ones of our squad that made it here, Sir. God damn Shellheads and their reinforcements.”
“Private O’Kilna, this Trip?”
He opened the door and found an unconscious ODST laying there. O’Kilna rushed to him.
“Aye Sir. Looks like he’s sleeping again. Just a sec.”
O’Kilna took Trip’s helmet off and gave him a firm smack on the face. Trip then woke up grabbed his gun and put his helmet back on. Then the shrieking of the Velutarian starfighters could be heard.
“Run! Run, to the trees dammit. They’re coming. Migs, give us cover will you.”
The ODST’s began to ran for their lives while the Velutarians shot at them from the sky. Just 800 meters, they had a good chance of making it all. And just as Gunny thought that, one of Matthews’ men was shot down. Gunny rushed to him. He attached the soldier’s gun to his belt and put him on his shoulders. Migs and Willy had revealed themselves and had thrown the Velutarians off guard creating just enough time for the ODST’s to reach the trees. He put the ODST he carried against a tree and took his helmet off and checked his pulse. Nothing. He closed the body’s eyes and proceeded to do a cross. Then he started to strip of the ammunition off the body.
“Mossy and Yu, bury the poor soul. Then set fire to it as is protocol. We can’t afford to let the Velutarians get their hands on any Terran for God’s sake! Corporal Matthews and Private O’Kilna! Report to me.”
Gunny then proceeded to find out the mission of the other ODST squads. Matthews’ was assigned with destroying the Velutarian comm relays next to their assigned artillery. O’Kilna’s was similar, though they had to destroy the power generators in synchronisation with Matthews. They decided to give up on the power generators as they didn’t have the manpower for all three objectives. As soon as they set fire to the body, they marched onwards to the mountain and set their base camp in a cave. Before the end of his night shift, he saw something cruel. The Velutarians had begun to glass the forest where they had been.

He then whispered to himself.
“By God, will they pay for this.”

Adrian woke up and went outside the cave to look what the Shellheads had done. The whole forest where they had been was gone. Only a glowing plasma like substance remained. Reach would become uninhabitable for centuries. Adrian was sure of it. Miguel cam from behind him and started talking in his typical manner.
“Even that kind of warmth is too much for us Hispanic.”
“I just hope, you don’t intend to find out Migs.”
“Oh I sure don’t. Unless there’s good looking nurse nearby to patch me up.”
Migs gave Adrian a shoulder bash.
“We should get moving Gunny. Before the Shellheads come after us, it’s just a matter of time you know. O’Kilna and Willy have already breached enemy battle networks. Can you believe they just do such things on open channels?”
“Then it means their confidence has a reason.”
They went back inside.
“Alright men! Time to move out before those bastards catch us. Willy, what did you catch?”
Willy turned to him and let out a sigh.
“Nothing good Sir. Their advance is ahead of schedule and they are clearing out the remaining scattered ODST’s. We need to go fast Sir, before they further reinforce the objective.”
“Then we’ll make it double time. We’ll eat a snack on the way. O’Kilna, you and Trip form up with Keith’s men. You will take our rear.”
Within five minutes they left their cave and marched towards the objective. The Shellheads had fortified their positions and centralised the objectives into one small base. Taking out their objectives would prove difficult, but not impossible. He explained his plan. The Shellheads had a floating overview which Yu would take and provide sniping support. Mossy, Yuri, Vlad from Kilo Squad, Trip and Migs would disable the artillery while the rest took over the center of the base and request support for an evacuation from the nearby base. The plan was set in motion and everyone was ready for it. Finally he gave the mark.

[Image: VJpM4eo.png]
A Velutarian Soldier and their hovering sniping tower.

The demolition team headed towards the artillery and eliminated the gunners swiftly. While the rest was occupied they laid down the charges and primed them. Yu also quickly headed for his objective while being supported by Keth and one of his men, James Harrington. They protected Yu from downstairs covering his flanks while he created mayhem inside the base. This mayhem was in turn used by Adrian and the rest to take over the command center of the base. The element of surprise had helped, though while breaching through the corridors, some were left with plasma burns. Nonetheless he called in for reinforcements and Captain Stacker responded. They would arrive in ten minutes, Adrian acknowledged and told him they would stand their ground until then. After the communiqué, they blasted the controls and disabled any remaining defence mechanisms. When all was ready the charges were primed and further scattered the Velutarian forces. His troops then regrouped at Yu’s position, where James Harrington was suffering from multiple plasma burns, but was still in the fight. Adrian now had taken several hits, but thanks to the amour’s absorptive capabilities he was still alive. Though he was already pushing it too far and he knew it. The Velutarians had regrouped and formed a heavy resistance encircling the ODST’s. Some of them had started praying over the comms, asking God for their final strengths. The situation looked dire. Keith started losing hope.
“God Almighty, grant me my final strength. And my every bullet from my last magazine …”
“Keith just shut up already! That’s the third time I am saving your ass!”
Adrian heard it too over the comms, who the hell was this? As he thought that three Pelicans come around and fired upon the encircling Velutarians.

The three Pelican Gunships who came to the rescue.
“Gunnery Sergeant Constantinescu, this is Private Romeo Valentin of Kilo Squad. The cavalry has arrived!”
“Private, you are indeed a sight for sor eyes! Tell the Captain he owes me one.”
“You can tell him yourself. Now get on the Pelicans!”
Two Pelicans approached and turned around to pick them up as they hovered over the ground. Adrian remained last, covering Yu’s return. Unfortunately, Yu was hit in the back by a heavy plasma bolt and fell into Adrian’s arms. Yu was still alive, but heavily wounded. Every second counted now. He eventually carried Yu onto the Gunship as the rest gave him cover. As soon as they lifted up, he threw a last grenade towards the Velutarians. Right before the doors closed his troops saw a final death blow to the Velutarians. Echo Squadron had bombed the base to hell with fire bombs. No Velutarian would survive that, that much was certain. Yu however wasn’t doing so well. The plasma burn had reached into his nerve in his spinal cord. Even if he survived, he would be paralysed for life. He then suddenly started to struggle breathing and whole Triton Squad rushed around him in the Pelican.
“Gunny, give 'em hell. I just have one … l … last wish.”
He then unsheathed his knife as he smiled.
"Say … hello to … them from … me … "
He then fell into his death and Adrian closed his eyes after doing a small cross. The Velutarians had finally started to enrage him by taking one of his men. He now was determined, more than ever, to rush Yu’s knife into one of their skulls.

Captain Fitzgerald Stacker

Back at base they were introduced to Captain Stacker who was in charge of mounting a last effort in providing a distraction for the evacuating civilians. Adrian and his men entered the briefing room where they would discuss the coming matters. Captain Stacker turned toward Adrian with a large cigar in his mouth.
“Gunnery Sergeant Constantinescu, I must admit that you truly gave 'em hell. I don’t think the Marine Corps could have done it.”
“Tell that to my dead men, Captain.”
“I am sorry for your loss Gunnery Sergeant. May God receive them well, but if stand still now thousands of civilians will die as well. Now to the matter at hand, Command has granted approval for you to join my mission under my command. Since your objective is complete, they see no further reason to keep you in the shadows. I however intend to use the full might of your ODST’s.”
He then clicked on the table to display a map of the region.
"As you can see, you have eliminated one of the flanking bases. The remaining ODST Squad will eliminate the others as well the coming hours … "
Migs interjected.
“Sir, why aren’t we launching an attack on the remaining bases then?”
“Well Corporal. As I was just going to say, after the last one is destroyed we will mount an offensive against the main Velutarian base. This will be in conjunction with three Falcon-class destroyers who will come in the atmosphere to cover the evacuating civilians. Our casualty projections are high and we can’t afford to lose any more men for the assault to be a success.”
Adrian then responded to him.
“But Sir, wouldn’t that be a suicide mission?”
“Technically yes, but since I now have a surviving team of ODST’s. I think our chances just doubled. Or would I fool myself, Gunny?”
The ODST’s all smiled. They all knew the risks when they signed up for the program. It’s because of their readiness to die they were selected. Adrian now knew this more than ever. He wasn’t Adrian any longer as he would die soon. Right now he was Gunny, CO of Triton Squad. And he would give the Shellheads hell 'til his last breath.

Gunny and his men stood in the trenches as they awaited Captain Stacker’s signal. All of them prepped to get in the Warthogs. This assault on the Shellheads main base would have been madness in any other situation. Regardless, Gunny liked Captain Stacker’s approach and style. His remaining twelve men would assist and continue to disrupt the Velutarians once they got behind their lines. Everything was ready to go, the Flacons, the Scorpions and the Warthogs. Just thirty minutes ago they had their briefing with the Captain. Then a Warthog came up to Gunny’s, Captain Stacker was in it. Smoking a cigar as always.
“Well Gunnery Sergeant, are your men ready? 'Cause we’ll be counting on ya!”
“Captain, ODST’s are always ready. We’re the desperate measure after all.”
“Let’s see how desperate we can get the Velutarians.”
The Captain’s aide interjected, the Falcon Destroyers had made it through. Their roaring engine started to be heard from miles away. Captain Stacker then took his signal torch and fired it. Then he shouted over the radio.
“Come on boys! Let’s get our people out of here!”
Seconds later the Warthogs drove out of the trenches followed by the Scorpion tanks. The Falcon gunships also rose up from their pads and escorted Captain Stacker’s assault force. After five minutes the Velutarian air support had arrived and started to eliminate several warthogs. The bloodbath had begun at last.
Several Warthogs were shot from the sky and went in flames, but if anything the Stoinians only pushed harder on the pedals. As the Falcons started to harass Velutarian Air Support, the sounds of an enormous engine could be heard, it was the destroyer ships coming from space. The adrenaline was flowing through their bodies as hell reigned upon Reach.

The attack group had crossed considerable ground and the MAC cannons from the destroyers were making quick work from the larger Velutarian installations. However nearly a quarter of the attack group was eliminated and made it to their designated targets. Gunny’s team was in charge of setting up a trench line from where the main forces could hold out as the civies evacuated. His Squad dismounted their warthogs.
“Matthews, you take your man and hold the right and take Trip with you. Rest, form up on me.”
“Copy that that Gunny!”
The two squads moved to their objectives and clear out any Velutarians on their way. The Velutarians they met on their way were easily dealt with and they were able to set up their positions and set up mortars. Their trench line was in the middle of a valley with about 400 meters away from them a forest, a good place to settle themselves. After a confirmation from Kilo Squad he set out to alert Captain Stacker over the coms.
“Captain Stacker, Triton and Kilo Squad ready Sir!”
“Copy that, we’ll come save your arses then!”
The moment they cut their communications, the Velutarians opened fire on them.
“Fire the mortars! 300 meters up front!”
“Aye Gunny, coming up!”
The mortars did their job, but the Velutarians were still advancing on their positions.
“Stacker, we are under heavy fire! Need reinforcement now! Do you copy?”
Willy replied to him.
“Sorry Gunny, they are jamming us.”
“Shit! Alright give them hell.”
The Velutarians then pressed on to their positions and in two minutes were just 50 meters away from them. Some of his team members were running out of mags. But just as he was feeling his time had come, a group of Warthog came from behind them. Stacker manned the gun on the front Warthog and shouted all over the place as he shot Velutarians as his Warthog smashed their ranks.
“Dammit boys, Stacker really is a madlad!”
The Velutarians then started to retreat and Stacker moved to Gunny’s position while smoking a cigar.
“Damn Gunny, how many times do we have to save your ass out here?”
“Why don’t you ask the Velutarians about that?”
Stacker grinned, but soon listened to his earpiece as a report came in.
“Alright Gunny you hold this position. The Velutarians are coming with heavy armour, I’ll have my men give you some rocket launchers and extra ammunition. I want you to destroy their armour while my men man the trenches. Can you do that?”
“Right away Sir!”
Gunny and his men each manned Warthogs each a driver, a gunner with a rocket launcher and the gunner. A total of four warthogs. As soon as the Velutarian tanks came, Gunny and his men circled through them and started to eliminate their tanks. The Velutarians were confused as the Warthogs drove between them the trench line also fired upon them, but through what Stacker would call Divine Intervention, they didn’t hit their own. Matthews’ Warthog would eventually be blown up by a sticky plasma grenade. Gunny looked in horror as he saw the Warthog up in the air. Not willing to share the same fate, he pressed on. The three remaining Warthogs cut through the last of the Velutarian tanks and after 20 minutes of fighting the trench forces had held up.
Then over the ready a voice could be heard.
“Captain Stacker’s forces, this is First Lieutenant Jeff Sinclair of the Marine Detachment of the Gagarin. We are coming with 6 Pelicans to come pick you up. Enemy cruiser is coming up on your position.”
“Copy that Lieutenant.”
Just as about the Pelicans were about to land, a Velutarian rocket launcher appeared from the forest and shot down one of them. Stacker then screamed over the battlefield.
“Alright boys, get your asses on the Pelicans move out!”
Stacker then proceeded get a flammable grenade launcher and aimed for the trees. It was then that the remaining Velutarians than came out of the trees, some of them in flames. A few men joined him in his perimeter while most of the attack group got in the Pelicans. Gunny however joined Stacker’s perimeter and by some miracle Keith Matthews had survived the explosion on his Warthog and joined Gunny.
“Matthews?! You’re alive?”
“Wouldn’t say that just yet.”
Gunny than took a closer look at him. Half of Keith’s left arm was gone.
“Matthews, get on those Pelicans you crazy bastard!”
"Sorry Gunny, I think I bled out enough. Won’t make … "
Matthews than fel on his back and became paler and paler with the second.
“Matthews don’t you leave me, you hear!”
“Gi … Gimme the… grenades.”
Gunny knew what he was planning.
“Stacker gather all grenades here. Matthews will cover us while we escape.”
“I hope what you are doing son! Lieutenant, give us some cover!”
The Pelicans’ guns then aimed around the perimeter as Stacker and Gunny ran towards the Pelicans. Then Matthews had blown himself up with all the grenades around him as the Velutarians had approached his position. Gunny mounted the Pelican of Lieutenant Sinclair and waited for Stacker. Just before Stacker could board the Pelican an explosion had thrown him in the air. Then Sinclair gave the order.
“Pilots, fly dammit.”
“What you can’t leave him there!”
“Gunnery Sergeant, we already have lost to many men and half the civies have been blown in orbit. I will not risk anymore of my men.”
It was in that moment that Stacker reopened his com.
“Lieutenant Sinclair, … take care of my boys. I’ll be going … with a bang too.”
“Copy that Sir. Now Gunnery Sergeant, take a seat.”
The Pelicans flew towards their destroyers, but were intercepted by Velutarian fighters. Two of the Pelicans were shot down, taking Helmut Ganz and James Harrington from Kilo Squad. Luckily some Star Furries had come to the rescue from the destroyers and eliminated the Velutarians. Then they safely boarded their destroyers and had to prepare for their new mission.

Stacker however wasn’t going to be taken down easy. Half his left face was scrapped and his left arm barely holding together. He lit up his last cigar and started to spray his assault rifle on the Velutarians. Not a single step back he set, only marching forward. He got hit in the leg by a plasma bolt, but he carried on. Eventually both his legs were shot and fell to the ground. It was then that he laid on the ground on his back.
“God damn sons of bitches, they finally got me. Well then let’s dance in hell motherfuckers!”
He took his last high yield flammable grenade and lit up with his cigar. A second later any Velutarian 30 meters from here also lit up. Stacker could still hear some screams, but his eyes and face were melted and for a few seconds he just laid there as the flames took him. Enjoying the screams of the Velutarians.

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.”
“Yes Shellcrusher!”
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!”
“Try me!”
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.

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