Retribution's Thunder

Whiskey 077
Bugs on the Windshield

In Slipspace approaching 111 Tauri System, May 25, 2545. 0930 local, UNSC Hercules Hangar Deck.

Whiskey Zero-Seven-Seven lurched as the vertical thrusters on the wing nacelles and the high tail extending over the crew ramp, roared to life. The sound was music to his ears. An ear splitting rumble that was more like a warm blanket of comfort to him, than the vectorable VTOL hellfire that it really was. As he hit the controls to close the crew ramp and seal the Pelican against the noise and the vacuum of space, he watched the ODSTs shift uncomfortably, strapped tightly into their jump-seats. All but one of them. Crew Chief Steven ‘Sparky’ Mitchell watched the squad’s Lieutenant casually fiddling with his helmet as if nothing else was happening, while his squad collectively gripped what they could just a little tighter.

“We have a hard seal Captain. Troopers are secure. Board is Green” Sparky squawked into his helmet intercom.

“Copy that Sparky. C’mon up and grab the back seat. I want you strapped in for this run. It’s going to get hairy.”

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FIRST DROP 2012.02.17
From the point of view of the Wolf

“Holy shit this hurts,” Sgt. Ranulf McClelland call-sign “Wolf” thought to himself as the drop pod entered the atmosphere of the planet. Even though he was strapped in so tightly he felt as if he were in a vice, his innards banged around inside his body. The initial weightlessness and feeling of his stomach trying to force its way up into his throat when the pod blasted away from the ship was overwhelming. Struggling to not black out from the excessive G-force Ranulf felt his guts smash back into his stomach when the reverse rockets kicked in to slow his descent. Despite the powerful reverse thrust, his drop pod slammed into the ground with such force that Ranulf was sure he’d suffered a severe concussion and a few cracked ribs.

“We’ll that was fun,” Wolf said out loud as the hatch to his drop pod blew open. Checking to make sure the M6C SOCOM Magnum was still secured in the holster on his right hip; Wolf paused only briefly as he realized a few things didn’t make sense.

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Lieutenant Pete
Rest when you're dead

UNSC Hercules
2545 – May 20th. In Earth orbit.

The buzzer’s piercing trill jolted him awake. Instinct made him instantly reach for the loaded and racked M6C/SOCOM laying unholstered on the stand by the side of the bed. Lieutenant Pete O’Grady realized that his finger was already putting micropressure on the trigger and he backed off, exhaling as he realized that he was awake and no longer dreaming about the annoying sound to his left. He squinted in the dark room by the light of the datapad and checked his sidearm, relieved that the safety was still on. Sitting upright, rubbing a hand over his face in an attempt to snap out of the crap that passed for sleep these days, he grabbed for his buzzing datapad and touched the screen to stop the incessant noise. 3.5 hours of sleep. That’s what the chrono on the pad indicated. 0415 ship time. What the fuck, he thought. That was supposed to be an eight hour rack. He tapped the pad to bring up the menu and figure out why it woke him up.

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