• Published 14th Feb 2012
  • 3,602 Views, 127 Comments

Halo: ODSP - GySgt Buck

Orbital Drop Shock Ponies...Need I say more?

  • ...

Ch. 2 - Re-entry


Buck performed a barrel roll and narrowly evaded the first volley of plasma torpedos from the Covenant battle cruiser. Dammit, Mickey...I'm gonna need a new eardrum.

Once Fast and Loose entered slipspace, the battle cruiser's weapon systems had begun to warm up. Buck and his squad, Princess Celestia in tow, raced towards one of the four battle cruiser's hangar bays. They met with surprisingly little resistance; Princess Celestia had left an impression on the Covenant. The Prophet whom Celestia was hunting had ordered all remaining Covenant soldiers to set up a perimeter around his quarters. The Covenant took awhile to regroup, giving the ODSTs ample time to steal a Phantom dropship as well as a banshee. Upon Celestia's injury, the battle cruiser became an alien beehive.

Mickey took the helm of Phantom, a great prize considering the circumstances. It had a pair of Ghosts mounted beneath it and would come in handy if this were to become a ground game. A quick look around the hangar told the story; Celestia had made a mess of things. Blue fire spewed from a majority of the vehicles. Their Phantom was one of two pristine vessels in the hangar. Buck thanked his luck when he eyed a few Banshees still intact. Buck hopped into the banshee and the big and small purple craft vacated the battle cruiser and headed for Equestria.

The pair of craft had put several kilometers between themselves and the battle cruiser before it began to open fire. The plasma torpedoes barely missed Buck's Banshee but shaved some of the hull off of the Phantom with a near miss. "Mickey, you all right?"

"Fine, Gunny. Plasma torpedoes aren't good for much when shooting at targets this small. Still..." Mickey turned and looked through the passage from the cockpit to where the others were seated. Dutch was shaking slightly. Since the rumble occurred from the near miss he had been signing himself constantly. The big man hated flying and a few more meters to the left and the torpedo would have sent them all the Pearly Gates. "So, what's the battle cruiser's location? Has it moved? Is it in pursuit?"

Mickey observed the Phantom's readouts. "No movement yet, Gunny. Princess Celestia must have knocked out its engines. Permanently, I hope. I really hope she did something about the slipspace drive, too. Don't want anymore Covies showing up. Wait...GUNNY! THE BATTLE CRUISER'S PULSE LASERS ARE FIRING! DETECTING A SALVO OF AT LEAST TWO DOZEN!" Pulse lasers were far faster than plasma torpedoes. Buck groaned. They would need some incredible luck this time around.

"Gunnery Sergeant..." Celestia had regained consciousness. She was communicating with Buck with telepathy. "Move...as close to us...as you can." Buck didn't hesitate. "Yes, ma'am!"

Buck boosted his Banshee as close to the Phantom as he dared. He came within three meters of it and to his astonishment, a glow had encapsulated both ships. He guessed it was an energy field of some kind, conjured by the princess, no doubt. The banshee's warning alarms blared. He clenched his teeth and braced for impact, but the pulse lasers bounced harmlessly off of the barrier. "Gunny, the princess, she's..." Buck laughed. "Yeah, Mickey. I kinda figured."

Well, we can just use Celestia's magic and glide down to the planet unabated. Hard part's over. "Gunny, I think we have a problem." Buck hated the word 'problem.' It always meant more work and usually resulted in a death or two. He sighed. "What is it?"

Mickey turned towards Celestia. Her violet eyes had begun to roll back in their sockets and the glow of her horn had started to dim. The Rookie, who had taken a knee beside Celestia and had been monitoring her condition, looked up at Mickey and shook his head. "Celestia's losing consciousness...looks like out magical force field isn't going to hold out for much longer."

"Great. Just perfect. Well, how much further are we from the planet?"

There was a pause. "Sorry, Gunny. I didn't brush up on my Covie before we left. I can just barely read their numbers for battle data but I still can't get a fix on the planet. I have no idea how far away we are from it." The magical shield dissolved. "Pulse lasers. Second salvo firing..." Mickey was resigned.

Dutch yelped. Romeo screamed. "WE'RE GONNA DIE!!! Right?" This was directed at the Rookie whose response was immediate. "Right." Romeo screamed again. The Rookie leaned against the bulkhead and crossed his arms. He put his chin on his chest and closed his eyes as if he were taking a nap. "Wait..." Mickey said. "What is tha..."

What could only be described as a rainbow suddenly shot out from the void in front of them. It flew at blinding speed, past the Phantom and Banshee and straight at the battle cruiser. It punched a hole in the battle cruiser's side, causing the pulse lasers to overload and explode. The rainbow blew out the other side, crippling the vessel. Buck was disappointed the whole ship didn't explode but he'd count his blessings as they came. Celestia's voice filled his head again. "Great job...my little...ponies." Buck just cocked his eyebrow. Sure, ponies. Why not? It had been an interesting few hours to say the least.

"Mickey, let's set down on that rock and get regrouped. That vessel's on crutches but I'm sure Celestia missed some dropships. We'll need to be prepared for when they land."

"Roger that, Gunny."

~ ~ ~

Klaxons blared, Brutes roared, and the Prophet of Affinity seethed as the pair of Covenant craft edged closer to the Forerunner world and put distance between Grace Through Fortitude. The idea of filthy humans defiling the sacred Forerunner planet with their presence was bad enough, but the FACT that this Princess Celestia had decimated his ships single-handedly made Affinity's blood boil. What was worse, she had somehow used the Forerunner's technology to deal a crippling blow to his capital ship. No doubt her kind had fired the weapon, whatever it was, from the planet's surface.

"This heresy shall not go unabated!" The Prophet boomed. Tiberium, Affinity's primary subordinate, Jiralhanae Chieftain, and Captain of Grace Through Fortitude, a station he obtained through murder and opportunity during the Great Schism, knelt at Affinity's side. A low growl silenced the mob of Brutes who were undoubtedly testing the patience of their Prophet. The mongrel beasts ceased their ruckus immediately. Even kneeling, Tiberium was nearly at eye level with the Prophet, who hovered with the assistance of a gravity belt. "Command me, lord."

The Prophet of Affinity glanced down at Tiberium. He was rather obedient for a Brute, but he had total command of his underlings. He had silenced the riotous bunch without a word, what amounted to little more than a guttural bellow. Affinity had witnessed Tiberium crush the previous captain's head, a feared Sanghelli Elite, like an overripe fruit. He then forced his Brutes to eat and lick the carrion of their former captain and killed all those who refused; in all, seven were eaten that day. It had disgusted and pleased the Prophet all at once. Someone like Tiberium was a great asset.

"Chieftain, gather your Jiralhanae. Take a strike force down to the Forerunner planet and exterminate the humans. Return here with Princess Celestia...alive. You may kill any other of her kind you come across. Reclaim the Forerunner world so we may continue on the Great Journey!"

"YES, MY PROPHET!" Tiberium stood to his full height and held aloft his gravity hammer. He let loose a mighty roar that his Brutes responded to in kind. Tiberium marched out of the Prophet's chamber and his Brutes followed. Affinity turned towards the Forerunner world, wondering why others had attained that ancient technology whilst his people's reliance on said technology had led to the near extinguishing of their faith.

~ ~ ~

Buck would never again think that the day, any day, couldn't get any worse or weirder than it already was. Every time he had thought that within the last six hours, a Covenant battle group had appeared in shambles upon his ship leaving slipspace. Then his group of ODSTs had happened upon a mythical being that was a cross between a pegasus and a unicorn. Now, a dozen or so pegusi, complete in matching blue uniforms and goggles, were attempting to board or otherwise harass Mickey's Phantom. A pegasus with a rainbow colored main and cyan skin was trying its damndest to crash his Banshee. It can always get worse and always get weirder...

"ROOKIE! ROMEO! WAKE CELESTIA UP! Tell her to call off her friends! This one's almost got the cockpit open!" Buck did a barrel roll and boosted but the little pegasus kept up with him at every turn. It was definitely tenacious. Dutch screamed on the intercom. "GUNNY! THERE'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS IN HERE WITH US!"

The moment's hesitation was all it took. The rainbow haired pegasus somehow opened the cockpit and Buck started to free fall. He screamed as the banshee lost power and began to fall with him. Suddenly, with an upward jerk, he slowed and the banshee fell past him. He looked up and saw the pegasus who had skyjacked him was holding him by his backpack in its teeth. Buck looked down and saw the Banshee take a nose dive into a swamp. He looked back over his shoulder into the furious eyes of the pegasus who literally had his life in its teeth.

"Why do you haff our pwinshesh?!" Buck could barely understand what the pegasus had said. For some reason, which he knew was the most asinine thing he could have said right at that moment, he responded with "Could you repeat that? I didn't catch it." Buck was free falling and screaming again. 'I SAID..." Buck jerked to a stop again but instead of teeth holding up his backpack the pegasus' hooves and forelegs were wrapped under his arms and around his chest. "Why do you have our princess?"

The little pegasus, by this time Buck guessed was female due to its voice (he thought the hair was a dead give away, too,) was slowly falling with him. She was trying her hardest to keep aloft but Buck weighed at least 100 kilos with his armor, and he assumed any flighted animal would have a time keeping itself and that much weight in he air. "We're saving her, dammit! She was on that ship and got injured and we got her out! LOOK OUT!"

The rainbow haired pegasus could barely get out "Huh?" before she flew into a tree, dropping her captive as she went. Buck hit a few branches during the fall but was on the ground within a few seconds. His armor had absorbed most of the impact but his back took some of it, and he would feel it for the next few hours. Before he could shake off the stars that were buzzing around his head, his blue skinned assailant was in his face. Her fore hooves had his shoulders pinned. Instinctively Buck reached for his Magnum but he found his hip was bare; he must have lost it in the fall.

"You saved her, huh? We'll be the judge of that! Twilight, how is the princess?" Buck, still spread eagle, tilted his head back and saw the Phantom had landed. The six uniformed pegasi had all settled on top of it, as if they were trying to pin it. He saw Princess Celestia some distance between himself and the Phantom. A somewhat purple unicorn with a purple and pink striped mane was by Celestia's side, examining her wound. "She seems fine other than the damage to her wing. She's unconscious..." She began to tear up. "What did you do to her?!" She screamed in Buck's direction. Buck began to speak but the Phantom's hatch opened suddenly. His ODSTs had their weapons at the ready. The six pegasi that were atop the Phantom flew over and formed a shield in front of Celestia. Buck shoved off his own pegasus and stood up, gripping his back as a sharp pain shot through it.

"STAND DOWN!" The ODSTs slackened their stances a bit. They put their guns to their side and began to exit the Phantom. Buck turned towards the cyan pegasus and held up a hand. "Please, let us explain. We're not your enemy but those other aliens up there are. Please, Miss..."

"Dash. Rainbow Dash. You stay right here. Tell your guys to stay where they are. I'm going over to where the princess is. If you try anything funny, we'll mess you up!" Buck sighed but winced as pain shot through his back again. "Thank you...Rainbow Dash." He could barely say it without laughing. "I'll tell my men to behave and we'll let Celestia explain when she wakes up." Rainbow Dash, teeth bared and still grimacing, nodded slightly then flew over to Celestia's group. Buck got on his radio through his helmet.

"Sit tight boys. Rainbow Dash there is going to have a conference with Celestia to get this all squared away. By the way..." He had just noticed something. Celestia had somehow gotten out of the Phantom under the guard of three ODSTs. How the hell had that happened? "Care to explain how Celestia got out from under your watchful eye?" There was a brief silence before Dutch spoke up.

"Well, Gunny, that purple one there just appeared in the Phantom with us. There was a flash of light and she as there with us, like she teleported or something. She overpowered us." Buck was flabbergasted. " 'scuse me?" Romeo spoke up next.

"The moment she was in with us her horn started to glow like Celestia's had back on the cruiser. She used some kind of telekinesis and threw all of us around the cabin. The Rookie tried to get off a shot but his gun just glowed purple and wouldn't fire. The unicorn then stood over Celestia and teleported away. The whole thing was over in three seconds. Nothing we could do, really." "Apparently, the Rookie tried to do something. Rookie, hit them both for me."

The Rookie promptly hit Dutch and Romeo on the back of their helmets with his hands. They turned at him as he simply shrugged. "Thanks, Rookie. Mickey, how's the Phantom? Systems still green, or, purple? Are the Ghosts intact?"

"We're all good, Gunny. Those pegasuses, or pegusi, whatever, were just a distraction, I guess. Didn't do any damage." Buck let out his first smirk of the hour. "Well, that's some good news, at least. Well, boys, we're here on Equestria now. Hopefully Celestia's friends can give us a hand in our fight. Once she explains things, we'll need to recover our equipment. We have an interesting fight in front of us. I'm just glad Celestia took care of most of their forces before we arrived."

The squad nodded in unison as Buck walked over to the tree he had just taken a tumble off of. He leaned against it, back pain ever present, and slid down to the ground. "I'm going to take a nap now, fellas. Wake me when the deliberations are done." "Yes, sir, Gunny." That Dutch. Screaming like a little girl earlier at the sight of these ponies. Buck found it to be quite amusing. He couldn't wait to tell Veronica this when he saw her again...IF he ever saw her again. He close his eye lids and sleep came upon him quickly. He started to count sheep but decided to settle on pegusi and unicorns. Why the hell not, he thought. Why the hell not?

~ ~ ~

One hundred and thirty-three. Counting himself, Tiberium discovered that Celestia had left this paltry number of his kinsman alive after her rampage though Grace Through Fortitude. There were nearly twice that many Grunts, but even totaling two hundred and forty-one, Tiberium would have traded that amount for twenty-five Jiralhanae in lieu of those cowardly creatures. Sixty-one jackals had survived, as well; their prowess as snipers would come in handy. Celestia's most fatal error came in her overlooking of the mighty Mgalekgolo. She had only dealt with two pairs of the mighty Hunters, leaving eight pairs alive. Reviewing the surveillance footage, he noticed she had to restrain her powers when dealing with them; fear of destroying Grace Through Fortitude along with the Hunters was his only guess.

Celestia had been less forgiving as far as craft and weaponry were concerned. She had turned two of his battle cruiser's hangar bays into scrap yards. Noxious lilac fumes hung in the air, pouring from the purple wreckage of Phantoms, Wraiths and Ghosts. In all, there were only sixteen Phantom dropships, twenty-five Wraiths, and forty-three ghosts. It would be a ground war.

Tiberium held his breath as he boarded a Phantom. It had been so long since he had personally undertaken anything of this significance from his Prophet. It wasn't worry that stilled his breath, but rather excitement. As much as he hated to admit, some Sanghelli were worthy foes. A two on one assault would be an even match for most brutes, no doubt, but these new foes...if there were any more with even one percent of this Celestia's power, his skills as a Chieftain would be put to the test. He hungered for a chance at revenge and redemption. If he could bring Celestia back to the Prophet of Affinity, he was sure he would be greatly rewarded, not only in physical boon, but awe and respect, as well.

With its engines disabled, Phantoms would have to leave Grace Through Fortitude and travel a great distance to the Forerunner planet. And with only over a dozen dropships at his disposal, it would take two whole trips to get ninety percent of his remaining forces down to the planet. Some would have to stay and guard the Prophet. In all, Tiberium could assault Celestia and the humans with a force of about four hundred. That should be more than enough but he couldn't shake a feeling that the fight he was preparing for would be an even one.

Only five humans had been with Celestia when they fled Grace Through Fortitude, so why this feeling? Celestia had surely been injured, but that prismatic beam that had hit his vessel earlier could only be used against capital ships...something like that that being wielded against ground troops would be a terrifying sight, not to mention overkill. They'd be completely helpless...No. They all walked the sacred Path. They would be triumphant. They would claim the Holy Relics of the Forerunners. They would quash Celestia's rule and destroy the humans! FOR THE GREAT JOURNEY!

Tiberium exhaled and motioned towards the Phantom's pilot. The operation had begun. Tiberium was to leave none alive save Celestia. He wanted the humans alive if possible; they tasted better that way. Dead would be just as good. A fight was coming, and Tiberium was going to be in the thick of it. More, he WANTED to be in the thick of he. He had to be.

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