Leandra Jackson was surprised to realize that there were tears streaming down her face. She watched happily as Zack lifted Selen into the air and spun her around. It had been a very unorthodox wedding. Barbossa had married them, nobody was at all dressed up, and it took place in one of the Asgard's hangers. <Please Rewrite>, Selen's maid of honor, rushed forward to hug her. Will, Zack's best man, clapped Zack on the shoulder and they exchanged a whisper, causing Will to break out into an embarrassed smile.
Natalia even seemed somewhat emotional. She, to Leandra's distaste, was another bridesmaid. After a fair half hour of hugs, congratulations, and other such things, Zack led them to the officer's mess on the Asgard. They all sat around a large, round table and ate, exchanged jokes and stories, and waited for the highly anticipated speeches that Ryan, May, Will, <Please Rewrite>, and IceBite were going to give.
Eventually, Ryan stood up. "Well, Zack gave me about a ten minute warning that they were getting married, so I had to come up with something fast." <Please Rewrite> chuckled to herself. "So, I decided to tell you something I've dubbed the "DD story" Zack pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Basically, Leandra was bragging that she could out drink Anyone, and Zack took the challenge. basically, he got so shit-faced me, Sen and Will had to drag him out of the Esper and to his house. Problem was, we decided to grab him a burger to cover his breath. He stole my car. Again." he grimaced. And we found him at a gambling bar outside the base. Now, the guy at the bar was handing out these glow in the dark rings. So he was easy to find, as he was wearing one."
Zack sighed. "Then we brought him back to his house and dropped him off. I walked in after him to make sure he ended up staying there. So I waited at the bottom of the stairs, and sure enough, there's a glow in the dark ring floating around. Then I hear Selen's voice say 'Zack, what the hell are you doing? Get in bed now.' and he replied 'Ok dad.' and disappeared. She sighed, thanked us for bringing him home, and I left."
<Please Rewrite> choked on her drink as a few others laughed. Then she stood up and began to tell a story as well. "Well, after about a week of convincing Selen to have a bachelorette party, we finally had one. It was pretty much, me, Leandra, Andromeda, Natalia, May, and Adriana. It ended up being the second most insane night ever. I'll tell you this much, on the scale of shit-faced, Selen blows her husband away." Selen grimaced, clearly recognizing this story.
"I'll put it this way, we had to take half of Selen's paycheck for a month to pay for the damage to the guy's car, and for a year on the hospital bill." Natalia and Adriana exchanged a smirk, remembering the event quite clearly. Zack looked quizzically at his new wife, then decided not to ask as Will stood up for his story.
"Ok, now, normally I'd go into a bunch of detail, but I'd be stuck inside an ice cube for a week. So I'll just summarize. No one shall say anything about the destroyed bar, there will be no discussion involving the event with those two blond hookers, and no one shall discuss the captain. that will be all." He sat down, and now it was Selen's turn to give a quizzical look at her new husband, who mouthed; "It was all Sen."
May got up after the laughter had subsided. "Well, I doubt this will be at all as funny as the last one, but here goes. For the newer members, Selen had a rage the day after she joined, and then attacked Leinad." Leandra's jaw dropped. "It Quel two weeks to get all the ice shards off her right side, not to mention the burns on her left." Leandra and Andromeda exchanged a look.
As May sat down, Maldri stood. "There was a time where Zack snatched Vesracolian a few weeks after joining the squadran. he almost dropped it on May's head during the time he was trying it out." he vanished. IceBite gave Zack a look that most of the people there translated as "What the fuck?"
Leandra decided to get up before IceBite could. "This isn't really embarrassing, but it involves both of them. During the great IG event, they weren't "working out" as they put it. Thank you." Both Zack and Selen gave her a "Fucking Really?" look.
Sighing, IceBite stood up for the final speech. "Well, as this is a finale of sorts, I'll sum up everything Zack's done. In some cases, he's one of the worst imaginable employees possible. he's dumped ketchup on higher ranks, disobeyed orders more times then I can count, stolen my stuff, dumped me in tomato sauce, and on top of all that, almost beat me in a fight." Zack raised his eyebrows. I didn't know I was winning....
"But, he's also one of the most effective and useful people I've known and worked with. He's powerful enough to have taken on Tartorus if I'd have lost, he's a great pilot, an even better flight leader, and makes some of the most imaginative weapons ever. Zack grinned sheepishly as Selen draped her mechanical arm over his shoulders.
"But on top of it all, this guy has the level of insanity that allows him to be the best at what he does, and that's be the glue that keeps the squadran running. If this guy left, we'd all be dead in seconds." He looked at Zack and said; "Congratulations buddy, just don't ever retire." Zack grinned as IceBite sat down.
Zack spoke up. "Well, now all we have to do is-"
"Plan Ryan and Claire's wedding." Will finished. Both Ryan and Claire started and blushed furiously. "We don't have plans..." They both mumbled.
"Well, you've already got kids, so why the hell not?" The Spartans, who were also there, each rolled there eyes.
After another hour of talking and eating, Zack and Selen left and headed to their quarters on the Asgard. As the others left to head to there own quarters, Will winked at Ryan and Claire and left with <Please Rewrite>. They shook their heads, but both secretly smiled at the prospect of getting married.
On a regular day, Zack and Selen would have spent the day at home.
Sadly, this wasn't a normal day. A new planet had appeared out of nowhere, and Hellcat Squadran had been assigned to investigate it. Not wanting any more near death experiences to ensure before they were married, Zack sprung it on a few of the people aboard the Asgard, which was the ship they were taking.
Now, he stood on the command bridge as the Asgard approached the new planet. It was gray colored, and would have seemed lifeless, were it not for the fact he could sense the air on the planet. "How long until we head down?" He asked IceBite. "Thirty minutes....Zack, if you want to stay behind..."
"Does that sound like me? or Selen?"
"Good point." In half an hour, the first group to investigate the planet was sent down, and split into two groups. One, the forces of Zeta Wing, <Please Rewrite>, and Holly were flying down on the Stardrift Esper to investigate the western hemisphere, while IceBite, Ryan, May, Claire, and a few other Phantom Legion soldiers investigated the eastern hemisphere.
"Helluva honeymoon." Selen said over her helmet's private link to Zack. "A new planet. You really had this planned out didn't you?"
"Not really." She laughed and turned to look out the window. "Guys, that's a boat down there!" She said, sounding surprised. The others peered out the window and saw a large warship drifting through the ocean. "Take us down. I'll introduce myself." Zack said. "Will, Sel, with me." Will and Selen stood up and followed him over to the ramp. "I'll hover at ten feet." Sen called from the cockpit. Thirty seconds later, the ramp opened and the three jumped out and landed heavily on the ship's deck.
Almost instantly, a gunshot sounded and struck Will's helmet. "Jeez Louise, what the fuck!?" He bellowed. "Hey check fire! We're not here to hurt you!" Selen yelled. A voice said; "Sorry!" and a lone, older man walked out, flanked by a group of four, soldier looking people. "The one with the do rag looks like he means business." Will murmured.
"I'd be more worried about the big buy." Zack commented. The older man stopped and held out his hand, Zack shook it. "I'm Zack Sigurdson, a flight leader of my military."
"Where are you from, son?" the older man said. "Not this planet. But I assure you, we're not aliens. We're humans from the planet earth, and we were sent to investigate this planet after it entered our universe."
"Well, that'd explain the ship. You can land now." The older man said and Zack waved his hand for Sen to land. Once he had, Leandra, Holly, Pian, and Beyghor exited. "What the hell is that?" Said the blond soldier of the four, pointing at Beyghor.
"That, is a good friend of mine." Zack said grumpily. "Damon baby, these guys look helpful, be nice!" The large, black guy said. He walked up and held out his hand, which Selen took. With her Mechanical hand, she removed her helmet. "You are the fucking biggest human being I have ever seen." She said wonderingly, and that was true, he was huge. "Thank you kindly ma'am. I'm Augustus Cole, and the really ugly bastard here is Damon Baird."
The blond one nodded. The other two soldiers stepped forward. "I'm Dom Santiago. This is Marcus Fenix. Welcome to Sera, or, what's left of it." One of them said. He was bearded, a little shorter then Zack, and had an angelic tattoo on one of his shoulders. Marcus, the one with the do-rag, didn't show much expression. A few other people stepped out onto the deck, a few nervously eying the newcomers, and few other growing vegetables out of deck gardens.
"Why are your people living on this ship?" Zack asked. The older man sighed. "Our world was destroyed by a subterranean species we've called the Locust. Ninety nine percent of the human population was wiped out. Party from our own hand, we had to use orbital lasers to incinerate most of the world, in an attempt to stop them. That's why our world looks like a wasteland."
Zack nodded. "Is this everyone left on this world, the people on this ship?"
"No, there's an outpost on the other side of the world, and there are stranded people all over the place." Zack nodded again. He removed his helmet and pressed his commlink to IceBite. "IceBite we've got people here. I think we should evac them off world."
"Normally i'd ask why, but after seeing these mutant trees, I won't argue."
"Yeah, I'll send a bunch of dropships to pick up people and bring them up to the Asgard."
The older man stepped forward. "This is cpatain Quentin Michaelson, there's a large base filled with survivors on eastern hemisphere, you should look out for it."
"Thank you captain. We'll get your people to safety." The line cut. For a few moments, they stood in silence, Zack observing the other people's activities. Suddenly, a loud crashing noise filled the air, followed by them being rained on by water. Zack whirled around, aiming his sidearm, and found himself looking at a large, pulsing, glowing stalk. "Stalks!!" Marcus bellowed and dragged Zack away from it. The other four emptied their weapons into the stalk, but even as they did so, strange, large, crab creatures spewed out of it and charged them. Zack instinctively opened fire, and the rest of Zeta followed suit.
The crabs exploded into a yellow green mess. More and more stalks shot up from the sea and spewed more of the crabs. Suddenly, a hulking, grey armored with glowing yellow spots burst out of a stalk, roared, and charged. "Fuck!! It's a Lambent Berserker!" Marcus yelled. The creature charged Selen, who sidestepped at the last second. She emptied her pistols into it, but was stunned to see they had no effect.
Zack, his protective instinct at an all time high, blasted the creature with a beam of ectoplasmic energy. But even that didn't kill it. Shocked, Zack unloaded more ectoplasmic bursts into the behemoth. After seven bursts, the beast fell. "Get back! Get the fuck back!!" Bellowed Dom. Zack looked at him, confused, when the beast exploded. His world went dark for a few moments, then it cleared, and there was smoke everywhere.
"Zeta, respond!" Zack yelled. Everyone was accounted for. He activated his comm again and yelled into IceBite's ear. "Leinad, where the hell's our pickup?!"
On the other side of the planet, IceBite and the others were having a hell of a bad time. They'd found the other major human outpost quite easily, the hard part was helping the other humans defend it. Strange, glowing creatures of all shapes and sizes were attacking a military base at what Ryan described as "the ass end of the world."
They fought there way through the creatures and towards the walls of the base. "Leinad, where the hell's our pickup!" Zack's voice yelled in his ear. "Er, on it's way, I think. Care to explain the mutants?"
"No idea, just kill the fucking things. Watch out for Berserkers!"
"Watch out for what?" Even as he said it, a loud blast sounded behind him. Something slammed into his head, dazing him. He turned in the direction of the noise and saw a hulking, black creature with glowing parts. The thing charged Tory, who tried to stop it with a blast of lightning. To IceBite's shock, the behemoth wasn't even slowed down.
Tory was sent flying into the walls of the base. The creature turned and sent Claire to a similar situation. IceBite turned to see what had hit him, and he saw, to is rage and horror, that it was May, horribly wounded and burnt by the blast. IceBite whirled and blasted the creature with a prismatic blast. He expected it to be dead, but it kept coming.He blasted it again, and then again. and finally, it fell. About ten minutes later, the battle was over, may, Claire, and Tory were all healed.
IceBite walked past Claire and Ryan, who were wrapped in an incredibly tight embrace. Ryan seemed to have some sort of glint in his eye, it was something very determined. IceBite walked over to the soldiers, and was greeted by one man with a lot of tattoos, a wild beard, and a straw hat. "Well hey there, sonny! Thanks for the assist! Where the fuck'd you come from?"
"Long story. Do you want to get to place where these creatures can't harm you?"
"Well, I'll bring s transport. Get everyone in this base together, we're leaving this world."
Four hours later, The Asgard had landed, and the entire local human population was aboard. "Zack, where are you?"
"Somewhere in a big-ass ocean. These guys are giving us a warm welcome. Care to evac us?"
"We're on our way."
"Look out for little encampments on the ground, there are other groups of humans all over." And before that day was done, the entire human population was evacuated from the planet.
1 of 2Edit
Six months later
Ryan wandered Kaven Base, looking for Claire. He checked the Phantom Legion training area, and saw Leandra sparring with a pair of soldiers. They were losing. He wondered if he should tell her. He probed forward with the force, hoping to gain a glimpse of her feelings. She seemed entirely focused on the fight, though was covering something up. She knows I'm watching her. He realized.
He probed only for a few more moments, and realized, with a slight surprise, that there seemed to be no romantic interest in him at all. In fact, she seemed to be.... Wow. Didn't see that coming. He thought and left. He finally found Claire visiting with Serah and Snow at their place. He knocked briefly and Serah answered, followed by Claire.
"Hi. Er, Claire, can I talk to you?"
"Sure." She said, said goodbye to Serah and Snow, and followed Ryan back to his house. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The setting evening sun made the place much better looking then normal, as they were outside. He turned to look her in the eye, and took a deep breath. "Claire, I know this is probably a formality, but I have to do it anyway. Slowly, his heart pounding faster then in any battle, he fell to his left knee. Claire's hands flew over her mouth, and she answered before he was able to ask.
"Yes! God yes!" He pulled him up into a kiss that lasted about five minutes. They would have gone on longer, but a wood snap sounded by the street, causing them to break apart, but stayed in the embrace. They saw Leandra and Sen standing on the ramp into the Esper. Sen lived right across from Ryan, so they had a bit of a view. Leandra brought up her hand and smacked Sen up the back of the head. Then she broke out into a fit of raucous laughter.
"Didn't even let him get the ring out!" She said then doubled over, actually crying from laughing so hard. Ryan sighed, "C'mon, we should plan this out." He said and they entered Ryan's house. "So, when are we going to do this?" He asked. He himself would prefer it if they did it the Mandalorian way, but he'd accept anything she wanted.
She considered for several moments. "Why don't we have two?"
"I thought we already had kids?"
"Two weddings. One the Mandalorian way, the other can be with Serah and Snow."
"They're getting married soon?"
"Next week, actually."
"Well, that could work. When should we do my way, before or after?" He asked. She considered the question for even longer. "How about right now?" She smiled.
"Well it's about goddamn time!" Zack exclaimed. Selen clapped her hands over her mouth and hopped in place. "Yeah, me and Sen had the misfortune of watching them break the all time make-out record." Leandra said. The entirety of Zeta grinned at the memory. Pian had found Tory and Dawn kissing one day, so he kept time and dropped a pie on them when he got bored.
"Bloody chaakars will be pissed at that!" Leandra snorted. A though occurred to Zack. "Hey, isn't it customary for friends and family to get some kind of party after they get married in Mando culture?"
"Didn't Ryan explain this?" Leandra said. "Yes, but knowing Lightning, I doubt she'd go for the Mando style...." Even as she said it, there was a loud bang on the door. No one got up, but Zack probed out. He broke out into an enormous grin and said. "I'll get the drinks." He got up, answered the door, and headed back to his house.
"Going around telling everyone?" Selen said to the approaching forms of Ryan and Lightning. "I take credit for the idea." She said before either could answer. Before anyone could say anything, Leandra had crossed the room and had wrapped Claire in a bear hug. Zack walked in a second later, and his face took a very confused appearance. Leandra jumped over and hugged Ryan. Zack gave a quizzical look to Claire, who looked as confused as he did.
"Ok, then. Where are we having the celebration?" Zack said. It happened in about a half hour, when Vanille, Fang, Spartan team Maximus, Kayla, Aleksander, Joy, Zeta (with the exception of Will, who didn't come so he could stay with <Please Rewrite>), Serah, Snow, IceBite, May, Holly, Sev, and Dhaka'ra were rounded up and brought into Ryan's house. "So, when do we do the embarassing speeches?" Zack asked Ryan eagerly.
"You're never gonna let that down, huh?"
"Ugh. Do it at the double wedding next week." It'd taken a long time to tell everyone that they were having two weddings. Holly had seemed to like that idea. "I'm giving a speech." She had said instantly, and no one dared argue. After a few more hours of miscellaneous chatter, the members of Zeta decided to leave, and, most of the other guests getting the idea, left as well. Holly, Serah, and Snow were the last three to leave. Holly looked back at Ryan and Claire and said, "Don't keep me up all night." and left. After that, Spartan Team Maximus got up and left as well, Jared winking at his father as he went.
"How come Zack is always so damn good at reading people?" Ryan grumbled. "Well he is psychic." Claire answered. She took his hand and took him into the master bedroom. She flung her arms around his neck and pulled him towards the bed.
Outside, Spartan Team Maximus was looking for a place to stay the night. As they were about to head over to Zack and Selen's, the ramp to the Esper opened up with Sen standing on it. "Don't worry your parents about freezing to death, that'd make their night awkward. Come one in." He said. The glanced at one another, surprised. They knew that being invited onto the Esper was a rarity, and few people aside from Zeta were allowed on, and even fewer without Sen's knowing. Their dad was one of the only two people to be allowed on whenever he wanted.
They entered, and saw Leandra and Holly sitting at the game table, playing some kind of strategy game. Leandra swore in Mando'a as Holly won. The latter smiled. "Rematch?"
"Bloody straight there'll be a rematch...." The two young women looked up and saw the Spartans. "He kicked you out?"
"No, we figured they'd want privacy." Raynor answered, very formally. Julian, sounding slightly unsure, asked "Why are we allowed in?"
"For the same reason John and Zodiac are. You're Spartans. And Dutch gets on because he was an ODST. Both types of soldiers Zack considers extended family." The Team found seats and sat down, glancing at each other, surprised by the revelation. "Yeah, he tries to be that super fun uncle everyone wants to have." Sen said. Leandra swore again, this time in plain english, as Holly won again.
"Someone else try to win." Sen said before Leandra could try to win again. Each member of the team tried, but only Ethan won, by sheer stroke of luck. "Well, Dad will kill me if I'm out too late, so I better go." She said and got up to leave. Ten seconds after she left, Sen got up. "Toilet's still being installed." He said, explaining himself perfectly.
"The guy cares more about the engine then putting a working toilet in." Leandra sighed. Jared was looking at a glass case filled with miscellaneous things. There was a training lightsaber, an ancient bottle of Jack Daniel's, and a large book.
"What's the book?" he asked, surprising Leandra. "Zeta photo album. The entire history of out team right there. If you want, you can look." Jared hesitated, and an impatient Leandra walked over, opened the case, and pulled Jared over to the game couch.
"Don't make me start behaving like Auntie Leandra here, that's Selen and Serah's job." She said. She flipped the book open. The first picture was a news article, featuring a story of several random deaths. The next was a newspaper image of a smaller then average soldier in a ghillie suit fighting through hordes and hordes of covenant and NOD Shadows.
"Zack at the battle of Kaven Island." Leandra explained. The next picture was a much younger Zack standing alongside a similarly aged girl and two boys. "Zack, Amy, Will, and Owen." The next five were pictures of generation one Zeta growing to it's full strength. Then it showed a picture of Selen with two other young adult women in a house, one of which was clearly pregnant. The next showed Will and Selen alone in the base, sitting next to one other in Zack's kitchen. Selen looking very depressed. "The time Zack was 'dead' during."
Then later Zack returned, and the three could be seen in pictures, then Sen, then Pian, then Beyghor, then Leandra, then Andromeda. "And that's our basic history in a nutshell." Leandra finished. Raynor, who had been listening, said "Why is it most major deaths happen in Zeta?" Leandra decided not to answer. Instead she walked over and curled up in the copilot's seat. Seventeen seconds later she was asleep. It wasn't long before Sen was asleep as well, and soon followed by the entire team.
IceBite looked at the message, confused. The Imperial Guard had sent a message inquiring what they may know about "strange, glowing creatures that seemed to do nothing but kill." IceBite knew nothing of it. Suddenly, a psychic wave washed over him. It was Adriana, calling to him, clearly needing help. It was hardly a minute before he was with her on the landing pad.
She was supporting a weakened, bleeding, and gasping young man, who was babbling in Mando'a. He helped her take him to the med-bay, while she psychically called out to Leandra, knowing Ryan was busy. Leandra was in the med-bay in two minutes. "What happened?" She asked. "We're not sure. He's been babbling in Mando'a constantly for a long time. Ryan's busy-" Leandra raised her eyebrows. "-so we need you to translate." Leandra nodded and sat down next to the wounded man.
The two began conversing in Mando'a, IceBite could catch some fragments, but not enough to really know what the message was. Leandra nodded a thank you to the man and looked up at IceBite. "Mandalore is under attack."
"The Shadow Alliance?"
"No, something else. Huge, gray, scaly humanoids that tunnel underground."
"That's what he said?"
"Yes, now get a small fleet set up, we need to get there now." Leandra swept from the room quickly. As IceBite decided to listen to her, he moved to give an order to build up small fleet.
Leandra walked up the walk of Ryan's house and promptly kicked the door down. "Guys, I don't want to know what you're up to in there, but Mandalore's under attack, we're going to assist!" She was answered by Ryan standing in front of her five minutes later.
"When do we leave?"
Ten minutes later, a small fleet exited hyperspace above Mandalore. "Take us down." Zack ordered Jack, who grumpily obliged. Zack fit his Mando helmet on and grabbed a gnasher shotgun the COG had given him. He walked out into the hangars, where he met Victor Hoffman. The COG had come to lend a hand. "Ready for this?"
"If I wasn't, I wouldn't be here now, would I?" The older man said gruffly. Zack nodded. "Alright, we'll be parking a little to the left of the main action, Zeta will exit first, then your guys."
"Alright, can't let the new couple get killed." Zack marveled how Hoffman knew that The Phantom Legion was already on the ground and engaging the new enemy. As the Asgard neared the ground, Zack could pick up bits of chatter, mainly from Ryan and Claire. He'd kept the comm channel in the helmet, just in case.
"What the hell is that!?"
"Shit, move over!"
"We just lost an AT-WW!"
"What the fu- move!" Ok, we need to go now. Zack thought. Soon they had landed, and Zack was the first off the ship. Almost instantly, a hulking, gray creature turned a gatling gun on him and opened fire. The massive rounds tore a tree to shreds. He heard the COG Gears exit the Asgard, give shouts of fury, and charge the enemy. They moved like a scythe through the first few enemies, fighting with a vengeance Zack had never seen before. Zack turned and aimed the gnasher, then emptied it into the creature. To his shock, the thing didn't fall. Suddenly, half it's head went missing, and the scrubby blond hair of Damon Baird could be seen behind it.
Zack nodded his thanks and opened charged into the enemy, now readying his earth powers. He punched one of his foes in the face, destroying it beyond all recognition. He fought his way into the middle of the fray, and soon found himself back to back with Ryan. Ryan was using his liquid blades to cut down any who came near him or his new wife.
Zack used his earth fists to punch and pummel and otherwise destroy any of the creatures who came near the three. "Helluva honeymoon." Ryan said to Claire, who was ducking and weaving using her gun instead of her sword to kill the creatures, as her sword didn't even scratch them. They were soon joined by a group of gears, who helped give them a respite by fending the monsters off with their rifles. "Just fucking well die!" Dom said while chainsawing a foot soldier. Baird and Cole could be seen in the distance, along with Samantha Byrne and Clayton Carmine.
"What are these things!?" Zack asked Marcus. "The locust, these are what we were fighting before the Lambent." He said in his dull, expressionless voice. "Well let's be sure to kill em all this time!" Zack yelled over the din and broke off, charging a berserker.
On the other side of the battlefield, IceBite cut down three foot soldiers with a single stroke before beheading a boomer. He could see people gears, his own soldiers, and the creatures fighting one another. He swore as a huge, spider like creature emerged in front of him. He shot a prismatic beam into it's face, which only enraged it. He hit it again, and it dropped.
He continued to cut and slash through the horde of foes when he found himself standing next to a large mound of locust corpses. Sen stood at the top, his two lightsabers cutting down any who dared to come near him. Sen jumped down and cut an enemy drone in two, and the pair of swordsman teamed up to fight the enemy.
The battle continued for hours, when eventually, Ryan stood face to face with the final locust, a berserker. He used his powers of the force to knock it back, right into Zack's self made crevasse. The two nodded to one another and went to find their friends and family. Ryan quickly found Raynor and Samir, who were curbstomping a wounded boomer.
Jared could be seen doing similar to a flame boomer, who had lost it's legs. As he walked through the carnage, Ryan heard two voices talking to one another, both quite urgent. "Shit, pass me the bandages, she won't live if we don't stop the bleeding!" That was Julian.
"I think we need to get the cleaver out first!" That was Leandra. He sped up, not knowing who had been hit. He soon found, to his immense horror, Leandra and Julian kneeling over Lexus, who had a large, Locust butcher cleaver embedded in her side. He froze, then dropped to his knees. Tears streaming down his face. "No......this can't happen, not now." he whispered. "Ethan hold him back!" Julian said. Suddenly, the armored arms of Ethan wrapped around his father and held him down. He wouldn't have needed too, Ryan was too horrified to do anything.
Claire rushed over. She gasped, sounding equally terrified. "Oh my....." Her voice sounded like IceBite's the time he'd punched Zack. She moved forward, but Leandra held up a hand. "You're gonna break our stride, back off." She said seriously. For another few moments, she and Julian simply communicated through looks and nods, then Julian looked up at the advancing form of Samir. "Help us out, we need to pull the blade out of her, and fill the wound with biofoam." Julian ordered. He nodded and moved forward. Leandra tore off Lexus' helmet. Her face was covered with coughed up blood.
"Ok, 1, 2, 3." Samir wrenched the blade out and Leandra and Julian sprayed biofoam into the wound. The wound quickly filled, but Lexus remained unconscious. "Alright, get a stretcher, now!" Leandra barked to someone out of Ryan's view. Quickly, Sam and Baird rushed in holding a stretcher. "Ok, Samir, give me a hand." Leandra said, and the two lifted Lexus onto the stretcher. Samir found Raynor, and they went to find a medic. They came back with Zack, who looked murderous. He quickly set to work, and soon his ectoplasmic powers had mostly healed the wound.
"She'll likely carry that scar for the rest of her life. It's a miracle she wasn't cut in two." Zack said while inspecting the wound. "The Asgard's closest, we'll go to the medbays there. In five minutes, Lexus was lying, still unconscious, but stable. Zack and Leandra turned to fill Ryan in. After they were done, he expressed his thanks by hugging both of them (something Zack found incredibly awkward, and going to see her while his other spartans moved towards the ship with Claire.
"Good job, Leandra." Zack said. She nodded and went to kick a disembodied locust head. Zack walked out onto the battlefield and met with IceBite, who was talking to Hoffman. "So you fought these things for fifteen years?"
"Pretty much." Hoffman said gruffly to IceBite. Zack interrupted. "Is it possible that the Locust are elsewhere on the planet?" Hoffman nodded, and Zack swore. "We're gonna have a hell of a time." He murmured. He paused, then added. "I think we should let Ryan sit this one out."
"Lexus was nearly killed. He'll want to stay with her." IceBite nodded. Soon, their forces were rallied. The Phantom Legion, under Kayla now, loaded onto the many transport warthogs in the Asgard. Zack split Zeta into two groups. One, him, Selen, and Will, would accompany IceBite to reinforce the main cities. The other group, Sen, Leandra, Beyghor, Pian and Andromeda, would back up the Phantom Legion in securing the outskirts.
The Battle of MandaloreEdit
Group two drove through one of the forests. "Kayla, you ever see things like this?" Leandra asked Kayla, who was in her transport. "No."
"Did you see the berserkers?"
"Yeah. Don't want to fight those again." Even as she said it, something slammed into the side of the transport with the force of a train. Leandra and Kayla were flung out of the transport and onto the side of the road. Both were on their feet in seconds, and found themselves face to face with none other then a berserker. Leandra emptied her Lancer into her, but it didn't even slow her down. They ducked to either side, trying to confuse her.
It turned on Kayla, who was about to be flattened when a loud explosion sounded and the berserker flew through the air. A second, and it was gone. "Yeah baby!! Nobody plays this game like me! Nobody!" The loud voice of Augustus Cole sounded. They turned and saw a COG Centaur tank driving up, carrying Cole, Baird, Sam, and Carmine, as well as another squad of gears, one Kayla recognized as Drew Rossi.
"Thanks for the help guys." She said. "Care to help kill some more?"
"Always." Sam answered. Sam reminded Kayla of an older Leandra. A Leandra in her early thirties. Nearly every COG gear had been given species 0002, so they'd remain that way. They continued down the road, and weren't attacked for another two minutes. This time, in force.
A large force of Locust attackers came from the ground. They spewed out and fired their rifles down on the humans. The gears instinctively ducked behind cover, soon followed by the Phantom Legion troops. Sen remained out of cover, instead using the force to deflect the locust rounds. The two armies fought on a stalemate. One drone tried to sneak up on Kayla and Leandra, who were sharing cover. It almost worked. He had punched her in the back and had tried to use a stolen lancer's chainsaw bayonet to cut her to pieces.
Instead, he found himself in a chainsaw duel with Leandra. The two whirring chainsaws collided with a sickening screeching noise. Leandra won the duel, and soon pushed the chainsaw into the drone's head. Kayla covered her face to keep the blood and bone and brain from getting in her eyes. Leandra wasn't so lucky, and got her face covered in blood. Soaking her hair to the point where it looked like she'd showered in blood.
She spat out some and returned to cover. Cole was yelling profanities galore. "Yeah! We gonna kill your skank ass queen, fuckers!" He was like an icon, always keeping everyone pumped. They'd need him in the hours to come.
Holly Lund was having a very bad day. She and <Please Rewrite> were running for their lives from a massive, spider like creature. "This is bullshit!" <Please Rewrite> said, emphasizing each word. Holly silently agreed and they ducked into a building. The creature started slamming it's legs into the walls, trying to break the building down. Holly drew her gatling pistols and fired at it's face, blowing out it's eyes. the creature reared back and went rampaging away. Suddenly, a rumble sounded behind them and they whirled around.
A huge, gray fist slammed into her head, knocking her helmet off. She staggered back. A group of drones and a boomer had emerged out a hole in the floor. The boomer raised a massive foot and crushed the helmet. <Please Rewrite> Holly drew her heavy pistols and emptied them into the boomer's face. It didn't do a thing. She brought out her CCC shotgun and blew the thing's head apart. <Please Rewrite> had passed out. Holly grabbed her and put her limp arm over her shoulder, knowing she'd have to carry her. She glanced at the helmet and cursed. It'll take months to remake that... Taking to the back alleys, they moved silently, looking for the main force.
In the centre of the city, May was also having a very bad day. She used a water whip to knock a drone squad away, then created a large icicle to impale another. She cut down with her sword on a strange, small, ticking creature, and found herself flying through the air. She landed heavily on a sidewalk. She tried to pull herself up, but found that she couldn't move her leg. She glanced down and saw that a lot of the flesh was missing, and that a lot of bone was sticking out. She swore and looked up to see a drone looking down on her, making a face that may have been the locust equivalent of a malevolent smile.
The thing raised it's foot to kick her head off, but she knocked it's foot away with her arm. Almost seeming amused, the locust shot her twice in both arms. She found that she had now lost too much blood to summon any of her powers. Damn, so this is how it ends. How unflattering. The creature raised it's foot, this time her death assured. Before it could bring it's foot down, a chainsaw revved, and the thing was cleaved in two. Marcus Fenix stood over the now dead drone, looking like a serial killer.
Then Qymaen was there and he was carrying her back to the rear lines of the battle, where medics tried desperately to heal her.
2 of 2Edit
Baird's mouth was on automatic fire, bitching and cussing. Normally, people would have told him to shut up, but they were joining him this time. "And now these assholes are back. Are we cursed or what?" Baird said angrily while kicking a drone body. There was actually a couple people nodding in agreement.
The survivors jumped back into whatever working transports were left and headed to the city where IceBite had led the attack on the city. IceBite was now talking to a few Mandalorian soldiers. "We'll take care of rebuilding. Go back to your ow planet." An official said. IceBite nodded and turned to go and talk to the medics, who had said they needed to talk to him. When he got there, he saw May with several bullet holes in her arms and a massive wound on her leg. Stunned, he quickly rushed over and helped repair it.
As the troops regrouped, Holly and <Please Rewrite>, who had just returned, saw Leandra deck a Mando warrior in the street, who didn't get back up. She moved over to them. At their quizzical looks she sighed. "Technically, he's my fiancee. He's also the reason I left Mandalore when I was sixteen." Holly and <Please Rewrite> glanced at each other, surprised, and then the three headed back to the Asgard. The Phantom Legion also loaded on. Ryan, who had been made to wait outside the medbay, tried to do something of use by going and meeting the people.
"What happened to your hair?" He asked Leandra. "Chainsaw. Head." She said simply and tapped him with her lancer. He nodded and decided to return to the medbay, not caring what the medics wanted. Leandra headed to the showers without another word. Zack and Selen watched quietly as <Please Rewrite> and Will reunited, while <Please Rewrite> watched, looking perturbed, to the side. Selen wrapped her arms around her husband and motioned with her head to the quarters area. He smiled and they headed there.
Holly, against her father's wishes, had also loaded onto the Asgard. She sat with Sen in the food court. She was still dressed in her MJIOLNR armor, aside from the helmet, which she was venting about. "It's gonna take me forever to fix this." She finished grumpily. Sen smiled at her and said "I'll help." She smiled back, thanked him, and went to change out of her armor. He watched her go, and when she was out of view turned to look out the window that was now showing the sky as they lifted off.
"C'mon man, you gotta do it sooner or later." A voice said. Without turning, he said "Hello Pian, how'd the fight go?"
"Not bad. Me and Beyghor had a rather annoying run in with a brumak, but otherwise, it went well." The Miraluka punched Sen on the shoulder and left. Sen noticed Ryan, Claire, and the entire force of Maximus (Lexus was on crutches) enter and find a table. They were soon joined by Serah and Snow. They seemed to be making plans. "Looking forward to the double wedding?" Holly's voice said. He turned and saw her sitting down, now dressed in her signature white dress.
"A little. Could always use a reason to celebrate these days."
"Very true." She sat down. "Guess who gets to be Serah's maid of honor?"
"Well of course it's you." And after that, they got into a rather extensive conversation on the wedding. "And I need to pick up a slightly more formal dress, this one won't cut it."
"On you it might."
"Flatterer." She said, though smiled at the compliment. Suddenly a loud splat made both jump. They looked to the side to see Ryan, Claire, Serah, Snow, and Maximus all covered in the remains of a huge blueberry pie. Raynor looked pissed. Ryan looked annoyed. The rest of the spartans were laughing. Serah was simply trying to get it out of her hair while Snow chucked a chunk at the fleeing form of Pian. Raynor and Ryan ran after him, around and around the court. Suddenly, Pian vanished. They stopped, looked around, and received a second pie to the head. "Goddammit Pian!" Raynor said, now very pissed.
Sen laughed quietly. Holly smiled at the mini food fight. Suddenly, someone else got caught in the crossfire. "WHAT THE FUCK PIAN?!" Leandra yelled. She chased after him, which Raynor and Ryan were happy to allow. Sen burst out laughing at this. "Oh, it's gonna be a long ride home for him."
Five days later, Ryan glanced nervously at Aleksander, who patted him on the shoulder. Zack, who was behind him, gave him an encouraging look. Raynor looked as though he thought the world was surreal. Ryan glanced up at the stage, where Leandra was sitting, holding an acoustic guitar. She'd agreed to do the music for the wedding. She smiled down on him, sending a silent message. You can try to assassinate Palpatine but you can't do this? He was about to give her a look when she tilted her head to the side. He instantly got the message and turned to face the now oncoming forms of Serah and Claire.
It was a very quick wedding. Not as quick as Mando style, or even Zack and Selen's wedding, but it was still only about twenty five minutes long. The dinner lasted much longer, almost an hour. Then, at last, Zack got up and knocked over a chair to get everyone's attention. "Well, I'd like to thank you all for coming and taking all my booze." He started, which got a laugh. "Anyway, we-Aleksander, Raynor, and myself-thought it would be best if I went first, because if my speech ruins their marriage, they don't have to go." Ryan sighed. He, like many, tried to ignore how awkward Zack looked in a tux.
Leandra looks more awkward in a dress, though. He reflected, just before Zack started. "Well, this is revenge Ryan. My story involves simply Ryan and my dear friend Leandra, who is up on stage doing the music in exchange for free beer."
"God Zack, don't do this." Ryan whispered. "Well, they were stuck in the arctic, because someone can't do a mission right. They were traveling along the arctic with nearly no supplies. And they wound up finding a shack in the middle of nowhere."
"Zack, I fucking hate you." Ryan said, just so that the people at his table could hear. "And they wound up having to sleep together to survive the cold. Under nineteen blankets on a couch. Ryan's lucky it wasn't any colder." He paused. "And that's really it, they wound up having to snuggle together to live." He shrugged and sat down, grinning at the look Claire was giving Ryan.
Holly got up, drawing several eyes, including Sen's. The dress she's found for the wedding made her most desirable bachelorette there. "Well, as it hasn't ruined their marriage yet, I'll go on."
"Serah and I have been friends ever since she joined the Squadran. I believe we really hit it off. Back when my body was just a human replica droid, we hung out a lot, and, when the others were to busy, she would talk with me. She taught me a lot of different concepts that, even in my metastability, I never considered. She's lucky to have found Snow, who appears quite perfect for her, but one thing: did it have to take this long for them to get married?!" Sen whooped, which was followed by several claps and some laughs for the end.
Qymaen got up next. "In all my years of war, I had never seen anyone, Sith or Jedi, Separatist or Republic, like Snow and Ryan. Snow is boistrous, rude, and more stubborn than a Naboo Falumpaset. However, he is, admitably, very loyal and will always fight to the end. Serah, you are lucky to have found a most loyal man to be your husband. Now Ryan, he, I have no quarrel with. He is noble, loyal, powerful, and an expert strategist. Also, he has, as many would say, a heart of gold." Qymaen began to tear up. "Claire, you are very lucky to have found Ryan, and Ryan, you are lucky to have found Claire. You two, are more of a perfect match than I have seen since myself and Rond...Ronder......" He broke down crying, stunning nearly everyone there.
"Wow, who would have thought he had it in him?" Tucker murmured.
"Saying something nice?" Grif responded
"No, crying." Tex made a threatening gesture as Jack stood up. "Well, first off, I'd just like to thank me close mate Zack for grabbing some Rum for me at the liquor store before the reception. Second off, I'd love to say just how lovely a pair Ryan and...Claire, was it...make. You remind me of two lovebirds who...constantly got in my hair where I came from: Elizabeth whats-her-face and Will Turner. Annoyingly in love, but bloody useful together in a fight. That's all I have to say." He sat down and threw down a large swig of rum.
Before Ryan could get up to announce the end of the speeches, Leandra interrupted on the mic on the stage. "I just want to say that Zack, I'm going to kill you. That is all." A unanimous laugh went through the crowd, then Snow got up and told everyone to leave the wedding gifts in the corner of the hall. Ryan was clearly confused of what happened next, so Zack leaned over and said. "This is the dance part. It basically goes on until everyone's too tired or the couple wants to....y'know."
The dance lasted the longest. Nearly four hours. halfway through both married couples just went to socialize with the non dancers. Ryan instantly went to thank Qymaen for his speech. "Why aren't you two out there?" Claire asked Zack and Selen. "I'd probably kill everyone." Selen said simply. Afterwards, the couples were the last to leave, right after Zack thoroughly explained how he knew the story he told.
The Spartans of Maximus headed to the Esper again for the night. Ryan and Claire entered their house alone, her arms around his neck, his around her waist. More then once, she almost tripped over her wedding dress. Once they were in, she sat on the counter, looking expectant. Getting what she wanted, he walked over and scooped her up. He carried her over to the master bedroom, where she jumped out of his arms and started kissing him fiercely. Her hands flew to the buttons of his shirt while his went to the zipper on the back of her dress.
Claire woke up feeling incredibly sore. She looked up and saw Ryan coming in, carrying a tray of food. "Hello." He said. "Hi there. What time is it?"
"How late were we up?"
"About seven hours."
"Sadly no, that's like twenty. And they both had a heart attack and died."
"Wow." She said. She sat up, pulling the blanket up with her. "Something wrong, you seem a little edgy." She asked her husband. "You can read me like a book." He said with a sigh. "Julian's hiding something. I really can't figure out what she could possibly have to hide." Claire waited for a moment. "Do you trust her?"
"Then she'll tell us when she's ready. Now, help me finish eating, I can't go for very long on a totally full stomach." He ate what she didn't and she pulled him under the blanket and rolled on top of him. "Can't we just relax for a bit?" He asked. "Hell no." She said, grinning.
Outside, Sen, on request from Leandra, left the Esper. Julian was with her, and the other spartans had departed early. "Where you headed?" A voice said behind him. He turned and saw Holly, out on a walk a few meters away. "Nowhere really."
"Well, I'm headed to train with Rtas, care to come?"
"Why not?" He followed her to her training session, a third of him happy, a third hoping she didn't hear what was coming from Ryan's house, and a third annoyed at those noises.