Prepare for drop
It was Nightingale’s first day on the job as a spartan. Trained in the art of stealth and then given the black armor of a Scout-class armor. Trained to silently turn on an energy blade and to silently kill someone. But today, there will be no mock patrols, there will be no hiding in bushes and jumping an unsuspecting robot. This was a real mission. Nightingale put on the black armor, and checked the battery of her energy sword. She then sheathed the jagged combat knife to her right shoulder armor. The sheath was slightly scratched, but it fit with the color scheme. Then, a booming voice was piped into her radio: “Nightingale-021, you’re dropping from the egg. Once you land, prepare for your instructions.” Ugh. The egg. The egg was one way of entry into a different planet, in the form of a pod. The pod would be first exploded from the ship, and the pod would plummet towards the ground. If you were lucky, you didn’t hit some debris and then spin out of control. Many cases of Spartans “missing in action” was due to losing control of the pods and burning up in the atmosphere of some crazy planet. The Office of Naval Intelligence didn’t enjoy telling the public a Spartan died. They live by the quote. “Spartans never die, they just disappear.” Muttering to herself that she should have done intelligence, Nightingale then walked out to the drop room. A faint glow from the rack lights of where the pods used to be illuminated the otherwise dark corridor. A nearby weapon rack was empty. “Looks like some drop troopers went to action.” Nightingale knew that she probably would’ve been a drop trooper if she chose to no become a Spartan. That meant going in the pods almost every day to subdue some cranky alien species on a planet running amok trying to kill its inhabitants. But there was only one rack of pods left. This section was apparently “for escape only”, and a more recent note stuck to it said “and Spartans too.” This rack of pods were a bunch of dinosaurs, ancient descendants of the lifeboat that was also racked in the ships. Nightingale took a deep breath, and hopped into the first pod, immediately regretting it. It smelled like blood in the pod, there was a MA5 Assault Rifle stuck in its rack, the seat was torn and had absolutely zero cushioning, the controls seemed weak, and when Nightingale pulled the hatch down, there were obvious marks of various cracks, and the electronic communications were blacked out, had error screens, or simply were taken off. A tattered manuel was sitting in a cargo net, labeled “Standard use of the “Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicle”. Nightingale then figured she needed to time the launch, so she had to look for the “timing box”. Usually, when used by Drop Troopers, or “ODST’s”, the ship’s AI would do it. But this ship was a dinosaur too, a merchant ship-turned battle frigate. The converted ships drop system was so unstable, troopers would sit in and the hatch beneath would open. The trooper was usually dropped by a firing system breaking a chain, but there sometimes would be too little energy or too much. So when Nightingale finally opened the timing box, the pod starting moving. The hatch opened, and then a massive explosion blasted the pod out the ship and into space. Space was cold, and Nightingale could feel it through the cracks in the hatch. Then, the system computer on the unbroken side of the hatch lit up and informed that there would be several incoming meteorites. Nightingale remembered something from the menu about “Type something something anti debris rocket things.” She then found a third control stick, and this was the one used to aim. The pod’s aiming computer connected to Nightingale’s helmet, and then she aimed for a rock coming towards her pod. She pressed the little red button, and the pod was rocked sideways, spinning out of control, until Nightingale figures the large control sticks on her left and right hand sides were used to control the pod. She then figure that in order to fire the rockets without risk of spinning out of control, she would have to keep one hand on the control stick to keep the pod stabilized. But, Nightingale used more fuel then she would’ve liked, as she what’d no fuel left. The backup tank declared itself as “out of action”, and hence all she could do was sit. Then, the darkness and cold of space disappeared, and now the heat and the amount of g forces of reentry. The pod gathered speed, and suddenly the beautiful view of green trees, tall mountains, and blue water appeared, but this break was intercepted by a warning. An anti-aircraft defense belonging to the Covenant(the aliens) had spotted the pod and fired several homing missiles at it. There were several rockets in the pod when it was in space, but now there were only two. The rest had either burned away or were shot at space rocks. The pod clipped one missile, and then just as Nightingale thought she was in the clear, she was racked with three more hits. The system computer said there were massive damage to the exterior of the pod, and when Nightingale turned around, a huge chunk of the back of the pod was gone, the electronics exposed. The chunk of metal plummeted into the water, but when Nightingale turned around, the pod was smashing through a mountain, and rocks dented Nightingale’s armor. The pod came out, but then there were only trees and more rocks, and large swampy areas. The pod then plummeted down, and while Nightingale was attempting to prevent the pod from crashing into the swamp, the controls didn’t work, as the electronics were shattered form the anti-aircraft missiles. The pod’s fall was broken by several layers of trees, and then pod bounced off a rock. The pod then fell sideways into the swamp, bouncing, until the pod uprighted itself. Nightingale thought she had sustained several heart attacks during the trip, and vowed to never use a pod again. The pod’s door then hissed, and stopped. Nightingale thought the door was supposed to pop out. But it didn’t. So she pulled the manual out, and looked at it thoroughly. Indeed, it was supposed to, but since the pod had been damaged so much, the oxygen tank that was meant to burst the door off was emptied. The hunk of metal that had been blown off by the missile had expended the tank, thinking there was loss of pressure. Because Nightingale was a Spartan, she could survive in space, so she could only felt the cold. If she was an ODST, she would’ve died. A loud whistling sound was heard, and a red hot stick with some flaps at the top landed in the swamp. The reason why the pod ride had been so bumpy was cuz that was the airbrake. A sort of parachute. The pod’s door finally hissed again after a lot of kicking and stabbing with the energy sword. The door then left a massive bang and in the process, completely went through a tree. The tree then remained afloat, and then crashed to the ground. Nightingale then jumped into the murky water, and decided to pull the MA5 Assault Rifle out. It came out smooth, and Nightingale clipped the gun to her back and put the extra clips into her leg armor storage compartment.. She then grabbed her energy sword, and set out on her mission.