"We are dropping into Hell, troopers! Time to grow a pair!" Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck said over the COM. Rookie heard beeping noises, and saw other pods drop down. The beeping grew higher pitched until it reached its highest note and let the pod go.

Rookie involuntarily jerked his head up, and then put it down after a few seconds. He looked at his screens on his right and left. The one on the left showed Dare, while the other showed Buck. Both had their visors half polarized. Rookie looked around his pod some more, then his eyes rested on a picture on the left side.

It was a very small picture, about a few centimeters wide. It showed a beautiful woman, in her twenties, smiling at the camera. She had chocolate brown hair and bright green eyes. Rookie momentarily took his left hand off the inverted handlebar and brushed his fingers against the picture.

Zoe.

His fiancée. Rookie had promised her that once he came back, they were going to get married. Rookie would never break his promise.

"Lance Corporal James Daniels. Please don't get yourself killed."

That was her parting words.

James sighed, and went back to gripping the handlebars and praying to God.

Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck had Rookie on his screen. He could see whatever he did. He saw him touch a photo of someone on his left side of the pod. He could see him in deep thought, he could hear him sigh. He knew what it meant.

A loved one.

Buck knew the feeling. Oh, did he know the feeling. Not now, however, as his loved one was in a pod right next to his.

He just said to Rookie over the COM, "Stay focused, Rookie."

"Stay focused, Rookie," James had heard over the COM, Buck was talking to him.

Rookie looked to his screen and nodded.

Now was one of those times, it paid to be the strong silent type.

James looked out the window. He saw UNSC frigates that had been torn apart. Some parts of them were still glowing a bright orange.

"I take it back, Navy got its butt kicked," James heard Romeo say over the COM.

"Hey Romeo. Remember when I told you to shut your mouth?" Buck asked

"Yeah."

"Consider that a standing order"

That shut Romeo up. James frankly didn't like him. Hitting him a sniper rifle.

It still hurt.

James's vision was clouded with…. Clouds. He realized. Silently cursing himself for forgetting that they were going to pass through clouds, Rookie rested his head on the walls of the pod.

"Captain! Fifteen klicks off deck." Buck said to Dare.

Rookie perked up.

"Stand by to adjust trajectory… On my mark." Dare said nonchalantly.

"What?! What did she just say?!" Dutch said over the radio.

"Mark!"

Everyone's pod veered off course. Way off course.

"We're way off course!" Mickey said, as if reading his mind.

"We're heading exactly where I need to go."

"But we're gonna miss that Carrier!"

Suddenly, a stream of energy moved across the Carrier. Like energy shields putting themselves back into place after getting damaged.

"Radiation!" Dutch said.

"The Covenant just set off a nuke?" Mickey asked.

James saw a little dot in the corner of the window, and automatically hit the magnification on his faceplate.

It was In Amber Clad.

"No. The carrier's going to jump! It's a slipspace rupture! You need to-" Dare couldn't finish her sentence, as the Carrier made a slipspace jump.

Inside New Mombasa.

And In Amber Clad was going to follow it.

"Son of a bit-"

Mickey's pod slammed into James's, making it spiral out of control.

He could only imagine what kind of tricks Mickey's pod was doing.

Oh boy.

James gripped his handlebar as tight as he could, causing his knuckles to turn white. He felt like he needed to vomit.

And for the first time, his helmet was cursed.

Rookie's vision started to turn black. Rookie didn't fight it. It would be dumb to be awake while this thing crashed into New Mombasa.

But Rookie wasn't going to die. Oh no.

Lance Corporal James "Rookie" Daniels was not going to die.

Not today.


There's going to be a second chapter. Also, if anyone didn't get it (I'm no going to judge you, caveman) Lance Corporal James Daniels is Rookie. So I alternate between calling him Rookie and James.

Sorry if that confused you.