• Published 22nd Dec 2019
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Halo Equestria: The Long War - Demon_Imp_Spartan



In late 2551, humanity discovers the planet Equis and the Equestrians. So do the Covenant. With no choice, the humans and Equestrians must band together in order to survive.

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10- The Siege of the Crystal Empire

10

December 22th, 2551

Troop Bay of Pelican dropship, en route to Crystal City, Equis

“Why in Tartarus are we supposed to be here?” demanded Rainbow Dash. She and Twilight both sat aboard pelican with four SPARTANs and a mix of fourteen marines and ERA soldiers.

This had to be the fourth time she asked this in the past hour. In that time, they’d been taken from Ponyville to Canterlot, loaded onto a pelican, and began flying to who knows where. No one had bothered to answer her questions thus far. Twilight, far from her usual inquisitiveness, was oddly silent and lost in thought

One of the SPARTANs – 039 – tilted his head toward cockpit for a moment, then stood.

“We’re coming up on the city,” he said. “Everybody get ready.”

In unison, all the soldiers stood and began checking their weapons. One of the SPARTANs, 122, glanced at Rainbow Dash and Twilight.

“That insurrectionist that attacked the princess was telling the truth,” he told them. “Your Crystal Empire has been taken over and its leaders have been taken hostage. We’re going to take it back. By force.”

“You mean . . . you’re taking us into a warzone?” Rainbow Dash demanded, her eyes bugging out. First, Applejack's brother loses his mind and signs up to join the military, and now she and Twilight were being taken unknowingly right into a firefight. These humans really were causing every type of trouble imaginable. “What right do you have to take us? Why do you even need us?”

Maybe after a stunt like this, the others would see just how dodgy the humans were and finally take her side.

“The UNSC has been informed about your status as . . . elements,” 039 said, looking at her. “We know you can all handle yourselves in dangerous situations. We’ve already seen what Twilight can do, and Princess Celestia recommended her personally to us. We also wanted another one of you who knew the city, and we decided you were the most likely to be useful in a situation like this.”

Rainbow Dash was silent. She wasn’t really sure how to feel about what was happening. If people were in danger and others thought that she could be of some help to them, she would help in a heartbeat, but she hated all this deception and simply being whisked away with no choice but to comply. Especially by humans, who she didn't trust one bit.

“I still would have appreciated a ‘head’s up’ first,” she grumbled.

“There wasn’t time,” said SPARTAN-030. “We were on a tight schedule, and it was a life-or-death situation. Would you rather us have wasted time?”

Rainbow Dash didn’t like it, but she didn’t exactly have a response for that, either.

The back door of the troop bay opened slowly, revealing the open air and a breathtaking view of the snowy mountains around them. Rainbow Dash could see other Pelicans flying in a loose formation.

She glanced at Twilight. “What’s got you down?”

The other mare’s frown deepened. “They told me the rebels have my brother. And Princess Cadence. They’re in the tower. I’m . . . I’m just really worried. This is a dangerous situation. If something goes wrong, they could die!”

“Oh . . . oh, I . . . I had no idea,” Rainbow Dash said.

“Don’t worry,” said another SPARTAN – 047. “Part of our mandate is to make sure your brother and the princess make it out of this and are freed. Everything’ll be fine.”

Rainbow Dash looked between the hulking SPARTAN and her taller friend. As much as she didn't like rooting for the humans, for Twilight's sake, she hoped the SPARTAN was right.

_ _ _

Isaac-039 pressed one finger against the hardened uplink module attached to the side of his Commando helmet. A small feed materialized in his HUD, displaying the formation and position of each of the twenty-five pelicans as they approached the city. Command had sent two full companies to take the city back from the rebels. No chances were being taken. Deadly force had been authorized and everything short of explosives had been provided – they were fighting in ponies’ homes, after all.

“White Team, all ready?” Isaac asked, speaking over a private comm. channel to his squad.

“Spartan zero-four-seven locked and loaded,” said Keiichi.

“I’m ready,” said Vinh.

“I’m weapons ready and good to go,” Joseph reported.

“Good,” Isaac said. “When we get –”

He was suddenly cut off as a deafening explosion coming from somewhere in front of the ship, rocking them violently. Isaac, unprepared, momentarily lost his footing and grabbed for the ship’s hull, steadying himself.

“What’s going on?” screeched one of the mares, Twilight.

Isaac glanced at his HUD and saw that the icon of the lead pelican had disappeared. A vivid, red ‘X’ now took its place.

“We’re taking fire,” he bellowed over the comm. “Take evasive maneuvers!”

Below, he actually saw the fiery wreckage of the first pelican hit the ground and burst into metal pieces of varying sizes. Several other loud booms sounded, and Isaac saw anti-aircraft rounds flying past their own ship at high speeds. He knew that even a glancing blow to their hull could be fatal, and could only hope that the pilots were skilled enough to avoid a deadly blow. He and White Team would be okay, but he doubted that he would be able to save the two mares. If they died, that would certainly be the end of any relations between Equestrians and humans.

Isaac shielded his eyes as one of the pelicans trailing close to their own drop ship took a direct hit to its cockpit, causing the front of the ship to erupt into a ball of flame before falling from the sky like a load of bricks.

“Oh, sweet Celestia,” muttered Twilight in awe and horror. “Those ponies . . .”

“We’re comin’ in hot!” called the pilot over the intercom. “We’re trying to shoot the guns, but it’s not easy with all this maneuvering. I wish we had Longswords.”

Secretly, Isaac wished they had Longswords too. But they had been deemed ‘too destructive’ for the city environment. They were going to have to take the city the hard way.

“Do what you have to do, pilot, just get us down there!” Isaac ordered. He turned to address the troop bay at large. “Expect heavy resistance on the ground. Lock and load, marines.”

The pilot clearly took Isaac’s words to heart, because he saw the ground coming up rapidly to meet him. Isaac reached onto his back, removed his M392 Designated Marksman Rifle from its magnetic clip and held it at the ready.

“Stay close to me,” Joseph was telling the two Equestrian mares, pulling the bolt back on his sniper rifle. “I’ll be further from the action than the others.”

“Y-yes, sir,” Twilight murmured.

“I hear you,” Rainbow Dash affirmed, all the defiance gone from her voice.

The ship swayed from side to side, the ground just below them. “We’ve landed,” the pilot shouted. “Go! Go! Go!”

Isaac bolted from the ship, his rifle ready to fire. As he ran around to the front, he heard the sounds of other troopers just behind him. Blue and pink crystalline buildings flanked the ship on either side. The Pelican actually had to float somewhat so that its wingspan cleared a few of the shorter houses. Just ahead, Isaac could see a two M95 Guided Missile Weapon Systems mounted on the tops of houses on either side of the street. Rebel soldiers clad in their characteristic red armor lined the roofs, firing down upon the UNSC forces.

A bullet glanced off Isaac’s left shoulder, and instinctively he dove into an alley between two buildings. He looked up into the sky. The remaining pelicans were circling above, avoiding the AA fire as best they could. Apparently, none of them wanted to risk landing yet. Isaac knew there were other AA batteries to the west, south, and possibly the north, but if he could just neutralize these two, perhaps enough of the flak would be cut to allow the ships to set down and let off their troops.

“Vinh,” he said over the comm. link.

“Isaac?” she answered.

“Take a squad of marines into the building and take out the AA gun to the left. I’ll do the same with the right.”

“Copy that. Let’s go, marines!”

As Vinh charged into the building with eight marines, her M45D Tactical Shotgun blasting open the door for them. Isaac looked back at the pelican. It was in a strange sweet spot where its nose-mounted chain gun could not aim high enough to fire at the AA guns, and the AA guns could not aim low enough to fire at the pelican. He opened a separate comm. channel.

“Beta squad, on me!” he ordered. “We’re taking out the AA turret on my position!”

Eight UNSC marines bolted from the pelican towards him, dodging incoming fire from above. All eight made it to Isaac unscathed and formed up around him.

“Follow my lead; we’re breaching the building and clearing every floor until we get to the top,” Isaac said.

As the marines nodded, he stepped back out onto the main street. He raised one leg and kicked the building’s door hard enough to split it in two and send the pieces flying into the interior. As it turned out, two rebels were getting ready to rush outside. The debris from the door collided with on, knocking him to the ground where he lay in a heap, motionless. Before the other could even raise his weapon, Isaac put a bullet straight through his visor.

He and the marines rushed into the room, immediately taking shelter out of the way of the door, so as not to be shot from behind. They began breach and clear procedures; sweeping the bottom floor of what appeared to be a tailor’s shop, judging from the sewing equipment and thread that lined a few tables and drawers.

“Two of you clear the floor,” Isaac ordered, signaling with his left hand for the marines to sweep the house. “The rest with me; move onto the second story.”

He moved up the stairway just in front of the door, DMR raised and ready to fire at a moment’s notice. Turning left on a small landing, Isaac hugged the wall, exposing as little of his hulking frame as he could manage. Almost as soon as he emerged into the large, single room that was the second story, a volley of bullets from an assault rifle flew at him, causing him to leap back into the cover of the stairway.

“Down here!” shrieked a voice from in front of him. “It’s one of those spartan thi –”

The rebel was cut off when a marine leaned around Isaac and shot him in the exposed throat with a pistol. As the rebel collapsed to the floor, drowning in a pool of his own blood, Isaac led the six marines into the second floor, taken up mostly by more desks, file cabinets, and tables set up with what appeared to be old sewing equipment.

“We’re clear,” one of the marines reported. “Let’s head to the top floor before more show up.” He and the other marines began crossing the room towards another set of stairs that appeared to lead to the roof.

Isaac followed, but briefly turned his attention to his comm. link. “Vinh. Status?”

The muffled sound of gunfire rang in his ear, followed by Vinh’s voice. “Encountering moderate resistance. We’re almost on the roof. AA turret will be down in another minute or two.”

“Copy. See you in a minute.”

Isaac disengaged the link and caught up with the marines – all waiting on the stairs.

“What’s the holdup?” Isaac asked.

“Door’s locked, sir,” reported one of the two marines at the top of the stairway. “We’re trying to force the lock.”

“Here; let me.”

Isaac stepped forward, but there was nothing he could do. The door blew open, sending shards of crystal flying down the stairway. Both marines by the door were certainly dead; scorched by flames and punctured by crystals. A third marine fell down the stairs screaming and clutching at several crystals embedded in weak points in his armor.

The UNSC and ERA might be limited with their ‘no explosives’ rule, but apparently the rebels were taking no such limitations.

Isaac leapt up the stairs in three quick steps and burst out onto the roof. It was a wide, mostly flat surface. In the center was the AA turret, and facing him down were six rebels, waving around assault rifles, DMRs, and pistols. Two of the remaining uninjured marines joined him on the roof.

Nobody moved.

“Give up!” shouted one of the rebels. “We’ve got you outnumbered.”

One of the marines gave a small chuckle.

“Something funny, human?”

In the split second that the rebel turned his attention toward the marine, Isaac rushed forward, removing a combat knife from its sheath. He tackled the lead rebel and plunged the knife into his throat. As the pair hit the ground, he rolled, pulling the spasming body close to him. The one rebel that reacted quickly enough turned her pistol on him and fired, but hit only the chest of the now limp body Isaac held in front of him.

In one swift motion, he yanked the combat knife from the corpse and threw it at the woman, impaling her right in the center of her chest. In the confusion, the marines opened fire, killing the four remaining rebels in seconds. Isaac pushed the rebel’s body off of him and got to his feet. He strode over to the woman he’d thrown his knife at. She lay against the side of the roof, feebly stirring.

He leaned down and removed the knife. She gave a weak spasm, groaning slightly before her wide eyes glazed over. Isaac wiped the blade off on the woman’s pant leg before sheathing it and standing again. He walked over to the AA turret and powered up the keypad before glancing back at the two marines. The four remaining members of the squad had joined them on the roof – one supporting the marine that had been impaled by crystal shrapnel when the door exploded.

“AA turret deactivated,” Vinh reported over the comm. “Status?”

Isaac returned his attention to the turret and typed in the universal shut down code. “AA turret deactivated.”

_ _ _

“Alright, we’ve given it long enough. Let’s go,” Kai ordered the group.

They had spent the night inside the Pelican they had arrived in, and then crept down to the city limits in the morning. Kai had decided to make them wait until the attack on the city really ramped up before they attempted insertion.

Andrew placed his knife, which he had been sharpening on a stray crystal he’d found, back into its sheath on his HP/PARAFOIL chest plate and stood up, removing a DMR from its magnetic holster on his back.

“What’s the plan, again?” Mac piped up, gingerly holding a shotgun, as though he was worried it would go off at any second.

Kai glanced back at the Equestrian, and though Andrew couldn’t see his expression through the bronze visor on his UA/HUL[3] Recon helmet, the tilt of his head told him that he was rolling his eyes. He could tell that Kai wasn’t the type to take a liking to any soldier that wasn’t on his level. Mac was new to this life – there was a certain level of slack that he needed to be cut. Andrew knew that.

“We’re gonna make our way to the central tower as quietly as possible,” Kai started. “Most of the rebels’ll probably be busy with the other forces attacking the city to the east. We’ll ascend the tower, locate civilians and our two high-priority targets and free them. We’ll neutralize any hostiles we find and then exfil before we draw too much attention to ourselves.”

“Ya make it sound so easy,” Mac remarked.

“That’s kinda our job,” Andrew remarked. “Just stick to the plan. Everything should be fine.”

“Let’s move out – standard formation,” Kai ordered, pulling the action on his assault rifle. “Cortez and I in the front. Mac in the middle. Andrew and O’Brien in the back. Move quick and keep a lookout. The tower’s in the middle of the city – it won’t be that hard to find.”

The squad quickly got into formation, and Andrew fell into step beside the younger ODST – O’Brien. They set down the city streets at a smart pace, advancing toward the tower without trying to draw attention to themselves. To the east, Andrew could make out the sounds of intermittent gunfire as the UNSC and ERA forces engaged the rebels while establishing a foothold in on the city’s border.

“How long do you think it’ll take them to set up a Forward Operating Base and take the city?” Andrew asked.

“Another hour – if that – for an FOB,” O’Brien said. “A day for the city. Maybe two. There aren’t that many rebels and they have four Spartans on their side. Not to mention whatever damage we end up doing.”

Andrew studied O’Brien. He, like Cortez, wore a standard black and gray ODST Battle Dress Uniform, with its signature squared chest plate and wide, blue visor. Under the helmet, he’d seen him with a permeant frown and a head of messy, dark red hair. He was a little short for an ODST, but what he lacked in stature, he more than made up for in his skill with a sniper rifle. Andrew had pulled up his and Cortez’s files while waiting in the pelican and read through them and, he had to admit, he was a little impressed.

It was no wonder they’d both been assigned to this team.

After perhaps half an hour of walking down various city streets – and stopping every now and then to hide as rebel troops passed them – the squad arrived at what seemed to be the city center. The large, open area beneath the tower was now empty save for a few munitions crates and some weapons lying about. Now that he got a closer look at the area, Andrew noticed a crystalline pillar in the center of the clearing beneath the tower. Balanced in a small opening between two pillars was a crystal heart. He wasn’t sure of its function, but it looked important.

“Guess everyone else is attending that party we’re throwing,” Kai muttered. “Mac. Do you know the way into the tower?”

“I ain’t been here,” Big Mac said, looking around. “But my sister has – she told me about it. Lemme see . . . Over there! Any one a’ those doors should do.” He was gesturing to the pillars that formed the base of the tower. Each had a door at its base.

The squad hastened toward the pillar closest to them. Andrew saw that a large door was carved into the crystal. Large enough that it should be able to comfortably accommodate the two taller SPARTANs. Andrew and Kai, who had taken lead positions, pushed open the door.

Immediately, they came face-to-face with two red armored Equestrian rebels.

“Wha –”

In the second or two it took for the rebels to fumble with their weapons, the two SPARTANs made simultaneous movements. They each pulled back a fist and sent it flying full force into the enemies’ face plates. Glass shattered and metal bent and the two Equestrians dropped to the floor in a heap, blood oozing out from beneath their crushed helmets.

“C’mon,” Kai ordered. “We need to keep moving.”

“Your armor needs reinforced,” Andrew muttered to Big Macintosh as the group filed into the room, stepping over the two dead bodies.

They found themselves in a circular stairwell and began a quick ascent.

“What’s at the top of these stairs?” Kai asked.

“Uhhh . . . I don’t know,” Mac admitted.

“It would’ve been nice if ‘her majesty’ had provided us with a layout of the building we were assaulting.”

“I’m sure if she coulda, she woulda,” Mac shot back. “We ain’t exactly integrated with all your technology yet.”

“Look, we’re here now,” Andrew said, mediating the debate. “It’s not like we haven’t been trained to deal with insurrectionists before. This is standard breach-and-clear, hostage rescue procedure. We wouldn’t be ‘the best of the best’ if we couldn’t handle it. Let’s just get this over with quick.”

The group reached the top of the stairs and found themselves pausing just before reaching a landing. The doorway was just a few steps up, though there was no actual door present. Just an opening in the wall that led to the room beyond.

Kai held up one fist and everyone halted on the stairs. He tapped the side of his helmet, signaling for everyone to seal their helmets and switch to comms. Andrew and the others did as he said except Mac who was just glancing at them all strangely. Andrew tapped him on the shoulder and the Equestrian turned to face him.

“Seal your helmet,” he whispered. “Comms only.”

Mac nodded and did as he was bid.

“I’ve got some movement on the motion tracker,” Kai reported. He and Andrew were the only two on the team that had them – small radars built into their armor that detected movement up to 25 meters. “I can’t tell if everyone is hostile, though. We’ve gotta do this careful.”

Andrew glanced down to the bottom left corner of his HUD and saw six red dots moving around. “There could be more, too,” he said.

“I know,” said Kai. “Andrew, Cortez. You two’ll head in first. The rest of us will cover you from the doorway. Go in hard and fast. We’ve got the element of surprise – might as well use it.”

The team shifted around on the stairs so that Andrew and Cortez were at the front of the group. “We’re ready.”

“Go.”

The two soldiers leaped up the last few stairs and into the room beyond. Andrew took in his surroundings. They were standing in a room that seemed to take up most of the length of the tower, but not the width. From pictures he’d seen, it was somewhat reminiscent of the throne room in the Royal Palace; long and with a carpet that led to a throne on the other end of the room; carved from multicolored crystal, just like everything else.

Seated on the floor all around the room, heads down, hands folded over the backs of their necks, were what seemed to be civilian hostages. Now that Andrew got a more up-close view of them, he saw that these Equestrians appeared to be partially crystallized themselves. Their skin sparkled in the light and shone in various colors just like the gems everything else around here was made of.

Very strange, to say the least.

Finally, Andrew saw that in front of the throne sat their targets: the princess and her husband, in the same position as the other hostages. Patrolling the room were at least twenty rebels, all armed with standard issue UNSC weapons.

“Intruders!” cried one.

“Open fire!”

Cortez immediately dove for cover, but Andrew raised his DMR and started firing back, knowing he could stand to take more shots before retreating. He found cover behind a large crystal outcropping on one side of the room and went for it. Bullets whizzed past him, a few hitting his shields, causing them to flare up in a bright yellow light around his body.

Once he was mostly sheltered behind the crystal, Andrew saw that the rebels had quickly taken up positions at the other end of the throne room. Wish he had grenades about now, he sighted up and took the helmet off one of the enemies in a single shot.

“Everyone but O’Brien – move up!” Kai ordered. “We need to end this quick before any hostages get killed.”

Andrew sighed and glanced up at his shields – displayed across the top of his visor. Seeing that they’d fully recharged, he darted out from behind cover and pushed ahead, firing all the way. Bullet casings hit bounced of the floor. Andrew’s shields flickered again. Screams came from both civilians and rebels. Blood splattered across the floor.

He ducked behind another crystal for a moment to let his shields recycle. He glanced at his DMR’s ammo counter, which read 02. Ejecting the magazine, he reached for another. At that moment, however, a rebel appeared around the corner and knocked the rifle from Andrew’s grasp. The rebel leveled his assault rifle at his torso and pulled the trigger.

Bullets bounced off Andrew’s shields. They would break at any moment. Thinking fast, he pulled his knife from its sheath, flipped it around, and drove it up underneath the rebel’s helmet. The male Equestrian emitted a low gurgle as the force of Andrew’s blow lifted him off his feet. Andrew yanked his knife from the rebel's skull and he flopped to the ground, stone dead. Andrew retrieved his rifle and finished reloading it. This needed to end.

There was a sudden lull in the noise.

“Enough!” called a male voice. “This is over. Now!”

Andrew slowly peered out from behind the crystal, his rifle raised and trained ahead of him. He was about three fourths of the way toward the end of the room. Before him, civilians sat or lay on the floor, cowering as the firefight ended. Almost all of the rebels lay on the ground, dead and with blood oozing out from under their still corpses.

One rebel stood before the throne. His helmet had either been knocked off or taken off, making the fear and hatred easy to read on his face. He held a magnum pistol up to the temple of an Equestrian mare that he had pinned in the crook of his free arm. She was struggling, though to no avail.

“That’s Princess Cadence!” Big Mac said over the comm. link. “We can’t let him hurt her!”

“Understood,” Andrew said.

Slowly, he walked out into the middle of the room, rifle still trained on what seemed to be the last rebel standing.

“No Magic,” the stallion was ordering the princess. “If I see so much as a flicker, you’re dead.”

“Let the princess go,” Andrew ordered. He didn’t have a plan, but he needed to stall the rebel so things didn’t get any more out of hand. “The fight’s over. You’ve lost here, but you don’t need to die.”

The Equestrian spat at him. “The fight’s not over!” he shouted. “You think because you came here and beat us that this is over? No. People will see what you really are. They’ll see a city full of dead ponies and they’ll see that you’re responsible. Then they’ll wake up and join us!”

“You captured the city and took its residents hostage,” Andrew replied. “We took it back and freed them. That’s what they’ll see.”

“Give it up,” Kai ordered, coming up on Andrew’s right, his assault rifle trained on the rebel. “You’re outnumbered and surrounded.” Cortez flanked Andrew to the left, wielding a silenced SMG. Mac stood beside him; his shotgun pointed at the ground.

Andrew lowered his DMR. “Come on,” he said in what he hoped was a calming voice. “Why don’t you put the pistol down and come with us? We’re not going to hurt you. This fight is over. There’s no point in anymore fighting.”

“Listen to them,” pleaded the princess, her voice strained because of the stallion's grip around her throat. “Do not do this. There’s no point.”

“That’s enough,” the rebel said. “Here’s what’s going to happen: you’re gonna let me walk out of here with the princess. If any of you try anything, she get’s shot. If any of you make a move towards me, she gets shot.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” said a low voice.

Everyone turned. While their attention was elsewhere, one Equestrian Unicorn clad in a royal-looking outfit stood beside the throne, raising a sword to strike the rebel. The rebel turned the pistol on the newcomer, his finger closing around the trigger. Andrew, Kai, and Mac jumped forward. A gunshot rang out.

The rebel fell to the ground, the top part of his forehead missing. His grip on the princess released and she stumbled, though Andrew managed to catch her before she hit the ground. The Equestrian man took a shocked step back; the corpse of the rebel lying at his feet.

“What in –”

“Damn, that was a close one.” Andrew looked back to see O’Brien approaching the group, busying himself by reloading his sniper rifle. “I didn’t have a clean shot until you tried to slash him.”

“It’s over, everyone,” Kai said to the room at large. “No one here is going to hurt you.”

Slowly, the civilians in the room began looking up, picking themselves up off the ground.

“He . . . he almost . . . I could’ve been –”

“It’s alright, ma’am,” Andrew said, helping the petite princess to her feet. “It’s over now. We’re here to help.”

“This is a mess,” Mac muttered, almost to himself, one hand sliding down the face of his helmet.

“What happened here?” Kai asked the two Equestrians. “How did they manage to take over the city so quickly?”

“The city’s been lost for at least a week,” said the stallion. “It started out with protests against humans. Then a riot. Then they got weapons and raided this tower. We couldn’t stop them. We were totally unprepared. After that, it didn’t take long for the city to fall.”

“My husband is right,” the princess said. “Where did they get your weapons? I was under the impression that the UNSC was only giving weapons to the new Royal Military.”

So the Unicorn was the princess’ husband – Shining Armor. Twilight Sparkle’s brother.

“We know what’s happened, ma’am,” Kai assured her. “We’ll handle it after we ensure that the city is insurgent free.”

A lie.

“I see,” the princess nodded, stepping back to allow her husband to place a comforting arm around her.

“Your Majesty?” Mac piped up.

“Yes, soldier?” she asked, fixing him with her pink irises.

“Where are all the other citizens?” he asked. “There’s only twenty people in this room.”

“I don’t know,” she admitted looking down. “Some joined the rebels. Some may be dead from the riots or takeover.”

“I overheard a few the rebels talking about other hostage camps,” Shining Armor said. “I don’t know where, but there must be other places in the city that they took people to.”

“Great,” Kai said, placing his assault rifle on his back. “I’ll have to tell command. We might end up staying here a little while longer.”

Author's Note:

Hey y'all.
This chapter came out quicker than I'm sure most of you thought it would, but I really wanted to get it out because it's the first really action-packed chapter. It might be a hot minute before the next one comes out, but we'll see.