Episodes of Reach: Before the Fall #1

    The ground is uneven and rocky, with little patches of snow dotting the landscape. The peak rises ominously in the distance, wreathed in boiling, black clouds  illuminated by arcs of red lightning flashing across the sky. On either side of me steep cliffs rise and nearly block out the sky with their great height and seem to get narrower as I go on. I can no longer tell the difference between the thunder and distant explosions. Any moment now this valley could become like so many other parts of Reach, a Covenant ship overhead burning everything in its path to ashes. A light begins blinking in my visor, notifying me that my vitals are reaching a critical level. I don't have much time left. I do a quick equation in my head between the miles left to the objective and the amount of time it will take on foot. If I could run I would almost have enough time. Almost.

     I check my ammunition. I have three .50 caliber rounds left for my sniper rifle and half a clip of shredder rounds in the assault rifle's magazine. My pistol has been empty for hours and my shield generator's long gone. I stop walking and take a moment to assess my situation. The canyon means limited movement and motion tracking, my ammunition is almost depleted and without shields a falling rock from the top of the cliff could be lethal, let alone more conventional weaponry. I've lost too much blood to last long without medical attention and the nearest medic is under four feet of ash along with the rest of the command post. My frustration builds as I realize how hopeless it is. No. I take a deep breath, still my thoughts and emotions, and resume at a jogging pace. I will reach the end of this canyon and the Pelican troop transport I saw fall out of the sky thirty minutes ago.  I will use their radio and call for evac. If I am so fortunate as to find any Covenant troops at the crash site, I will use what sparse means I have at my disposal to send every last one of them to the gates of Hell.