(the following is encrypted data, kept separate of the Red Horse mainframe)
It’s been five days shaking down the Harris installation and getting all this shit sorted out and shipped back to the Horse. Spirits are much better now that we’ve got our hands on a quite a bit more firepower, even if small arms, but we’ve still got the Covenant looking for our ship to contend with. The sooner we can get the Horse up and moving again, the sooner we can all breathe a little easier, even if it’s just moving to somewhere else in order to get the old girl spaceworthy again. So far, every attempt to jam up Loki has been unsuccessful, so those Ares missiles are still so close… yet so very far away. Need to get back at it, this stuff won’t load itself. Lt. Commander Penniket has been pulling some insane shifts flying all this gear back.
22 Jan, 2526
Finally drug our asses back to the Horse for a little downtime. Bekyros pulled me into her office and informed me that Bravo is being re-tasked with some LRRP duty, and a new squad is being formed up to take care of some of the other things popping up around the Horse. Alpha team will consist of:
Hess, newly minted E-7
Jarshawn, promoted to E-5
Lansky, promoted to E-5
Dane, promoted to E-5
Cochrane, promoted to E-5
Seems I’ve managed not to piss Bekyros off too much, as I earned myself a promotion out of the latest batch of Bravo’s good work. SCPO Walcott passed me my bars a little earlier, letting me know that the ships’ command has been pleased with all the good we’ve been doing. I need to make sure the rest of Bravo gets thanked and tanked appropriately, because it wouldn’t have been possible without them. Word is Bravo 1-1 is spooling up for a trek out to another continent in the near future.
23 Jan, 2526
Another day helping the civvies and crew learn about survival in the lovely exterior environs. Giving some helpful pointers in both first aid, survival, and basically not getting your ass shot off by the Covenant if you run across them. Bravo 2-1 is out on hops gathering intel, the rest of 1-1 is off on training of their own. Jarshawn and I have been keeping with the weights, I’m feeling a bit stronger these days.
24 Jan, 2526
Coffee and breakfast with a lovely lady, a bit of time in the gym together before I get sucked into meetings, briefings, and more meetings. Word is we’ve discovered a UNSC distress beacon from the Vostok, there’s some flight techs that managed to get off the ship before it was destroyed, but they’re stuck on the other continent. Damned if I can remember the name of the place offhand, but it’s not too far from some big city named Ashegara. Seems we’re heading there to see about scrounging up some parts for the ol’ girl to see if we can get her to fly again. Seems Walcott has a special place for me in his heart, as I’m going to be his acting ears on these council meetings comprised of UNSC and civilian personnel. We’ve got a lot of work to do in order to make the day to day livable around here, might as well make the best of it when we can to see if we can get these damned in-fights to stop happening.
25 Jan, 2526
I’ve scored the day off, I’d better make the most of it. I think I’ll go see what that cute gal over in supply is up to, we’re supposed to have a date and go take some pictures out near the lake. Back into the gym later, this shit’s getting addictive.
26 Jan, 2526
Training day. Today is a lot of technical jargon being tossed my way, I’m cross-training to work the Kunz-Aigner array. I swear to god, there’s more buttons, switches, and blinking lights on this damned thing than I care to look at. Makes medic training look like child’s play, god almighty. I’m checking out the tunnels under the Horse later with Aigner, see if we can expand on the situation down there and make an attempt at getting living conditions a lot better down there. We’re also looking into stuffing a bunch of storage in down there to lock up, as there’s something of a shortage of space on the Horse for all the damned guns and gear we found at Harris. Someone made an attempt on Little Bill’s life today, rigged an engine he’s been tinkering on to explode. This shit has got to stop. Hit the gym later today before I rack out.
27 Jan, 2526
I’m going to go insane if I look at a computer readout anymore today. Pulled up everything I can think of about Ashegara, specs on the sewer, power, city infrastructure (fire, police, hospitals, hell… even a veterinary clinic if need be.) Aigner and Kunz have been clocking crazy hours on the array, hopefully what we’re cooking up gives those Covenant bastards the big middle finger.
28 Jan, 2526
Reccie flight on Charlie 217. We spotted a Covenant battle-class cruiser glassing part of the planet, same shit as always, but no other contacts to speak of today. I wish we could figure out what these assholes are after and get our hands on it, short of that, kick their asses before they do.
29 Jan, 2526
Day off. That’s either a damn good thing, or it’s not. Things aren’t much better here, nor are they worse, but only time will tell which at this point. I’m going to go check on Kunz and Aigner, see how they’re doing.
Well shit, that’s why I got the day off. They’ve finished work on the array, we’re punching out on a long haul tomorrow. We’re going in civvie, and we’re going to be there awhile. Next stop, Ashegara. Hopefully we can get our hands on what the techs here need to get this beast in the air, or move it away from where we’re sitting at least. The Covenant are getting damned close with the glassing. I’m fairly certain we’re only going to keep them fooled for so long, best we not be here when they finally do score a lucky shot on where we used to be. Updates will be sporadic at best, but I’ll do what I can to keep my jumbled thoughts penned down, so to speak. Off to meet a pretty lady at the gym, 0400 is going to roll around pretty damned quick.
30 Jan, 2526
Delta 2-5, you magnificent bastard. I’ve learned how to sleep in some of the most awful environs, you never cease to amaze me with your cramped quarters, constant roar of the thrusters, and gentle rocking motions of Penniket avoiding banshee fire. One of the little shits tried knocking us out of the air while Jarshawn and Penniket took turns laying into his fool ass. Minus one more splitlip flyboy, Covenant. Have a goddamn good day with that. We’ll camp out overnight and make as long a hop as we can tomorrow. Came across a family travelling via wagon, told them we were scavengers who saw the aerial battle and came to investigate the machine when they landed for repairs. The folks kept mentioning “God sent his angels” and other theological things before setting off again.
31 Jan, 2526
We found an airport, we’re putting her down here for the day to have a look around to see what all we could rustle up. The airport has a couple of wrecked pelicans (one police, one military) as well as a few decent sized hangars. Kunz got to work getting one of the hangars fired up and lit for occupation, Penniket pulled 2-5 in and shut it down for the night. Found a boatload of fuel (Avgas, Diesel, and some Jet-A), as well as some small time scores. One thing we did also find; people. Came into contact with a Col. Ryger and his band of survivors from the nearby settlement. Turns out the Covenant hit the place, but never really glassed anything. Strange. Must not have been interested in some snow and ice, turns out it’s a damned good thing. We spend the night in the airport getting to know each other, and turns out these folks are good shit. We might have a new home for the Horse if we can get her here.
1 Feb, 2526
Took a tour of Kaspara. 400 survivors eking out a life in a frozen land. Ryger’s a sharp son of a bitch. When the Covenant hit, they managed to evacuate nearly 80% or so of their people to the Tiara before the shit really hit the fan. He told us he got his folks in gear putting as much as they could haul into safe storage in an undermountain bunker complex. This place is damned near a fortress, and has more than enough room to house everyone on the Horse, as well as under it. We’re going to put the word in with command to see about getting things in gear and getting our asses up here ASAP to get to working on getting back into this fight, or at least getting word of the fight back to UNSC high command. These folks are good people, and I’ll be damned if I sit idle and not help fight this bunch of alien assholes and get them off Harvest.
2 Feb, 2526
Departed Kaspara today, next stop: somewhere nowhere near Ashegara. We’re heading in via warthog with a pretty sparse load of fuel, food, and guns. We’re scavengers, best we look the part. Aigner and Kunz aren’t overly thrilled at the prospect, but hell, these folks hate the UNSC a bit more than they do the Covenant, I dare venture. Rolling in strong is only going to look a damned bit suspect, and will likely get us all dead in a hurry. We’re a resourceful lot, shouldn’t take us long to look like a damned military unit I’m sure.
3 Feb, 2526
Day’s travel, not much to report on. This area has been hit, but not hit too hard. There’s a lot of broken down vehicles on the highway we’re on, and we rooted around a couple of deuce and halves a bit earlier. Not much we found in them, just some ammo and an M6 in need of a ton of love. We’ll press on a bit, but the fuel reserves are going to be a lot worse than we expected. Distilling methanol isn’t going to be fast enough at the rate we’re burning through it. We’ll head offroad in search of some more suitable biomass to work with, see about getting the tanks filled.
4 Feb, 2526
Encountered a pretty stiff resistance looking farm today. Rather than to chance anything, we cut them a wide berth. Few hours later we came across a burned up farmhouse and silo, looks like there was a bit of a firefight here a couple weeks ago. Bodies, looting, the usual. Warthog took a bit of a beating today, and when we stopped for repairs we discovered a small group of survivors. Survivors hell, these folks were loaded for bear. Looked like a few operators, an older gentleman, and a lady. I chanced it and engaged them in conversation and was immediately met with military precision and challenge. These guys are Three-Charlie (Army SpecOps), and they’ve got a damn UNSC Rear Admiral and a Doctor with them. We jaw a bit, and it turns out they’re trying to haul ass to anywhere not here, so we link up and head to the farmhouse to call it in to the Horse. Tier I asset Dr. Catherine Halsey is deemed precious cargo, and Delta 2-5 is sent immediately to dust her, her operators, and Bravo off to an unknown location. Arrival slated 5 Feb.
5 Feb, 2526
We’re outbound to Alpha’s FOB, Romeo Alpha-5. Halsey is one sharp tack, and the RA is a no-nonsense fellow himself. Turns out they know a bit about the Janissary Initiative, and have been following our progress for awhile. Looks like Bekyros done alright with us after all. We put in at Romeo Alpha a bit later that day, and we’re pulling security with the boys and girls of the A-squad until 2-5 and 3-1 can come and collect the fine Doctor and her band. She’s been busy helping Kunz and Aigner put together some upgrades for their array when we get back to it. Surprisingly, there’s an attractive photographer here that looks like she might’ve missed me in the few days we’ve been apart. I’d write more, but that just seems quite non-gentleman.
6 and 7 Feb, 2526
More security, some more working out with Jarshawn, and a lot of no-nonsense Q&A with the RA and Halsey. They apparently came in on the UNSC “Walk of Shame” a while back (after we didn’t get back) and were promptly shot the hell right down. The 3C and these two managed to haul ass planetside in a dropship, but the Shame is gone. Word down the pipe is that they’re getting exfil’d to Kaspara tomorrow, we’re heading back to the house to gather up the Hog and get our asses in gear. Seems there’s a bit of a counterattack in the works, and Vice Admiral Cole is putting together the biggest collection of spacegoing asswhoop he can lay his hands on. The big dance happens 1 March, and the Rear Admiral respectfully requests we get our music machine in order and start playing some dirges for the Covenant before Cole arrives to help toss them into disarray.
8 Feb, 2526
Pelicans on a 24hr delay, new ETA 9 Feb. More questions, more answers, and a little more Faustine before I head back out. I’m starting to think I might want to live through this godawful, shitty mess.
9 Feb, 2526
Pelicans 2-5 and 3-1 arrive at FOB. 3-1 loads up 3Charlie and the Tier I’s, heads them to Kaspara STAT. We load up into 2-5, with the balance of Bravo inside! Hot shit, reinforcements! Spirits are back on high again, we put the Squad back together. Things got a bit hairy after that though. When we got back to the farm, turns out in the few days we’d been gone, the place got ransacked again. They stole our ride. Man’s gotta hang for stealing another man’s horse, so we set out looking for a neck. Few hours later we came across a lone sentry, so we bled him out quiet and got a look. Small quarry with some tents, quite a few armed bastards, a cage full of ladies, and one freshly acquired ‘hog. The ladies were getting a hell of a bad go-round from the boys, and they were messing around with the array. Plans were made, plans were then unmade and re-made when an IFV showed up, plans revised after the IFV departed, and plans thrown into motion after it was gone. Rhino, Kunz, and I snuck down into camp to start putting folks down on the silent, with Em, Aigner, and Bill up top watching our asses. Shit broke bad fast, and we had to go loud. A lot of small arms fire exchanged, quite a few bodies left on the ground… long story short, we got our ride back before the IFV showed back up. Well, sort of. They got to the edge of the quarry and were lining up a shot when some white light or something came out of the sky and blew the car up. We managed to get three of the girls from the cage loaded on the ’hog before we hauled ass. In the escape, Kunz took a sniper shot to the chest, but kept driving until she passed out from the shock. We got back to the farmhouse and started triage, Britta’s lung had collapsed from a broken rib puncture. I had Aigner assist, and I started field surgery to get her lung back to functioning before it went south. Em provided a blood transfusion, and we got Britta stabilized. She’ll pull through alright. Treated everyone else as best I could, and had Aigner take a look at the shot I’d taken in the right leg. He did a damn fine job patching it up, and I made sure I told him so. He’s got a decent set of hands. I’m running on fumes here, so that’s about all I can recall right now. Off to Ashegara tomorrow after we get the ’hog squared away.