Introversion in the Key of D Minor, Chapter 4

The dropship started again, the engines humming quietly, the whole metal frame shifting upwards.  Dust scattered in great tan clouds, dispersed by the current of air coming through the ship’s propellers.  The Guardians could make out the grey silhouette of the dropship through the cloak of sand, rising higher and higher.

“Good luck, Bravo-Nine,” Angela said over the radio as the dropship reached its apex.  “Good luck to you, Guardians,” the pilot responded, “You’ll need it more than I do.”  And with that, the ship took off, almost immediately disappearing over the lip of the cliff.

Fireteams Indigo and November were inside a small crevice east of the Fallen outpost.  As had been stated to them earlier, they were to split up, with November heading north and west and Indigo heading south and west.  November would snipe at the Fallen from behind the cover of rocks on the other side of a river.  They had a significant amount of equipment, though it was all light and could be moved quickly if they needed to change cover.  The Fallen would naturally try to bring everything to had to take out the sniping Guardians, or at least, that’s what they hoped.

While the Fallen were distracted, Fireteam Indigo would sneak around behind the Fallen base, drop down a low spot in the ridge, take out the communications array, and run back to the crevice they were originally dropped into.  November would join them there and they would work their way east and south to escape the Fallen and get to a human base.

The dust clouds began to settle, and soon it was silent but for a soft wind.  The Guardians sat still for a moment, lost in thought.  Angela snapped to work; “Alright, Indigo, November, let’s check our equipment one last time before we move out,” she said, “The Fallen shouldn’t find us out here; patrols are usually pretty scarce around these kinds of outposts.”  “Affirmative,” the November Hunter said, “You heard her, team, check every piece of equipment we’ve got, we want to know exactly what we’re dealing with.”  Of course they had been relatively careful to grab just what they needed earlier on, before they even got on the dropship, but it was always worth double-checking.

Leon pulled out all his weapons and ammo and laid them out in front of him, being careful to avoid kicking up too much dust so that nothing would get dirty or messed up.  He was carrying a bullpup assault rifle with three long semi-transparent clips and two smaller black clips, a fusion rifle with six batteries, and a machine gun with three drum magazines.  On the side of the machine gun was the sentence “Bred of Weyland”.  Leon also carried some of the ammo for Angela and Dan, not to mention a high-explosive demolition charge with a timer.  Other than these, he didn’t have much, except for a single radio beacon and two frag grenades.

Looking around, he saw Dan had much of the basic equipment and rations, along with some real basic weapons – scout rifle, pistol, and shotgun – while Angela packed more weapons – pulse rifle, hand cannon, sniper rifle, knife – and tactical equipment.  Fireteam November all carried sniper rifles, with plenty of ammunition, along with pulse or scout rifles, and then a second weapon varying between, again, a pistol, a hand cannon, and a fusion rifle.  They also carried some tactical equipment and rations.

“Be sure to check your weapons and ammo thoroughly,” Angela reminded the others as she began to disassemble her weapons for inspection.  Leon did likewise, as did Dan.  Everything seemed in place, and the ammo clips were all full.  All the ammo counters on the weapons seemed to be functional, and the safeties all worked.  “All good,” Angela said, “How about you, Dan?”  “Everything checks out just fine,” Dan replied.  “How about you, November?”  “We’re all good.”  Turning to Leon, Angela asked how he checked out, and he gave a nod and a thumbs up to indicate everything checked out.

Everyone packed their weapons back up, and Angela gave the order to move out.  The two fireteams bid each-other good luck, and began the brief trek to their target locations.


The sun was starting to go down by the time Fireteam Indigo made it to their destination.  It had occurred to Leon that their mission should’ve started after midnight, when the Fallen least expected to be attacked and would be most vulnerable to attack.  Why had the brass not taken the time into consideration?  Maybe they had, and other reasons had simply gotten in the way of a night assault?  Leon couldn’t know.

They were now hidden in a thicket of bushes and trees, waiting for November to give them the word that the Fallen had their attention diverted.  They had crept past some Fallen guard towers, being careful to stay out of sight, staying behind cover where possible and trying to avoid being seen.  There were very few guards posted at the moment – the main guard tower contained only two Dregs – and they seemed quite lax in their duties, mostly preoccupied with each-other and with small tasks like cleaning their weapons.  Angela sent word to November that they were in position, and now awaited their chance to move.

Angela kept an eye on the compound, while Dan watched to see if there was any commotion with the guards they had just passed.  Meanwhile, Leon had time to think.  Normally a blessing, this was starting to become a problem.  His mind now always drifted back to his inability to speak, never able to shake the depression that was slowly enveloping him.  Once or twice during this, he couldn’t help but stare at Angela.

What he’d give to just tell her…

A crack of thunder broke the silence, a shout, another shot, and a din of alien voices erupted.  November had started shooting.  “Get ready,” their leader said over the radio.  More cracks of thunder, and the voices only got louder.  Leon looked through the shrubbery towards the compound.  Alien beings came pouring out of numerous buildings, rushing towards the front gates.  More gunshots.  Some of the aliens fell, but their comrades did not seem to notice or care.  This was the basic feature of the Fallen, indeed of a number of the alien races that humanity faced:  the death of one, even of several, did not matter to them.  The horde methods of the Fallen, of the Hive, of the Vex; they proved surprisingly effective, if a little foolhardy.

It would still be a while before Indigo entered the fray; the Fallen were aroused, but the opportune moment would be when they had lost their starting vigor, when they had settled down a bit, even though they were still preoccupied with Fireteam November.  As it was, they were too alert; it would be too easy to get spotted, and if Indigo was spotted in the middle of the compound, they’d be crushed.  If they held off a while, the Fallen would turn more cautious, and cautious Fallen were always easier to tackle than newly-aroused ones.  Right now, they operated as a horde, and there was no way to tackle them individually.  If they grew more conservative, they would start operating more individually, and it would be easier to take them on head-to-head.

The shots rolled across the valley, and the hills, and the cliffs, echoing all across the landscape.  And as this happened, ever more Fallen fell.


Leon was anxious, and something about Angela and Dan told him they were too.  The sun was getting lower, and the sky was turning crimson, the land highlighted in bright oranges and yellows.  Every so often a gunshot could be heard.  The Fallen were settling down, though, taking cover, playing more conservative.  Playing cautious.

“Now, Indigo, go!”

Fireteam Indigo snapped into motion, swiftly but smoothly cutting down across the slope, taking cover in various places so that none of the Fallen would see them.  They worked their way toward the backsides of a few buildings, probably munitions storage facilities, using them as cover from the Fallen who were out front watching Fireteam November.  Silently they crept over to a large door at the back of a central structure – this was where they needed to go.  Angela pulled out a code spoofer and attached it to the door, tapping a few keys.  The door slid open nice and quiet – convenient.  Leon ran in with Dan, and Angela ducked in after them, pressing a button to slide the door shut.

They were in the belly of the beast.

To Be Continued…

2 Responses to Introversion in the Key of D Minor, Chapter 4

  1. Ragashingo August 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Nicely done, though it ended too soon. I want more! :)

    • PerseusSpartacus August 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve been away from this story for too long. I feel like there are things I should’ve done better, but then again, it was a bit of a rushed attempt. So, for instance, too much of the same thinking from Leon just gets repetitive, and the design of the mission here was a bit unnatural, but hopefully I can do better with later parts. I’m glad you really like the series.

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