[quote][i] As this story has come to a close, I would like thank all of my readers. Thank you for your support and your enthusiasm. It is much appreciated in every way. Your maps, machinima, and comments never cease to amaze me. Thank you and I hope you have enjoyed following Tom and the squad through thick and thin.
I'd especially like to thank [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page]Halopedia[/url] and H.B.O. for their great resources. [url=http://nikon.bungie.org/]Halo.Bungie.Org[/url]'s time-line is what started this entire project and Halopedia's information kept it accurate and afloat. Of course, that being said, I still couldn't have done it without the support of [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/41623/Group/GroupHome.aspx]Mjolnir Battle Tactics[/url], and the members of the fanfiction community—wherever they may be now.
Dig in and give 'em hell![/i][/quote]
Be sure to check out Sierra's map [i][url=http://www.bungie.net/forums/posts.aspx?h3fileid=32743215] DIG IN! [/url][/i] as it comes to the Bungie Favorites this week thanks to the good people over at [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/118020/Group/GroupHome.aspx] CompoundIntelligence[/url].
Also, check out MBT's [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/41623/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=22316857] Official Fanfiction Contest [/url]. Give it a shot. I'm the judge.
There is a distinct lack of fanfiction nowadays, quite different from before Halo 3. As part of [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/41623/Group/GroupHome.aspx]Mjolnir Battle Tactics[/url]’ third birthday, I decided that I would release a previously exclusive fanfiction to the world! Sadly, it does not make up for our stunning defeat in the Humpday Challenge. It’s been nearly two years since I first released the original version and nearly four years since I began writing fanfiction, back in the days where there were only a few of us “fanfictioners”. I've revamped the original version and have recently completed the story.
Eric Nylund's [i] Fall of Reach [/i] touches briefly on the Jericho VII conflict, but it does not bring to life the struggle of the average Marine. I want to bring you down into the trenches with the grunts as they fight it out against the numerically-superior Covenant. It's an all-out battle for survival that you won't want to miss.
[b] As of June 7th, [i]DIG IN[/i] has been completed. Chapter Ten is online. [/b]
[i] [b] Chapter I: First The Food, Now This?[/b][/i] - Page 1
[i] [b] Chapter II: Welcome To Jericho VII, Enjoy Your Stay[/b][/i] - Page 1
[i] [b] Chapter III: A Walk In The Woods[/b][/i] - Page 1
[i] [b] Chapter IV: Tea For Two[/b][/i] - Page 1
[i] [b] Chapter V: To Grandma's House We Go...[/b][/i] - Page 1
[i][b]Chapter VI: Back In Black [/i][/b] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?
postID=17058736&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=2] Page 2[/url]
[i][b]Chapter VII: Rest In Pieces[/i][/b] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=17058736&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=3] Page 3 [/url]
[i][b]Chapter VIII: A Midsummer Night's Dream[/i][/b] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=17058736&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=4] Page 4 [/url]
[i][b]Chapter IX: Return Of The King[/i][/b] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=17058736&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=5] Page 5 [/url]
[i][b]Chapter X: Never Get Out Of The Boat[/i][/b] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=17058736&postRepeater1-p=7] Page 7 [/url]
[i][b]Epilogue[/b][/i] - [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=17058736&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=7#end] Page 7 [/url]
[i] January 31st, 2008. Redux Edition. Written by Papa John. [/i]
[quote] [b] [u] DIG IN: [/b] [/u]
[i] The Jericho VII Conflict [/i]
[i] [b] [u] Chapter I: First The Food, Now This? [/u]
Surface of Jericho VII
Lambda Serpentis System
02/11/2535 0550 Hours - Standard Military Time
United Nations Space Command Outpost Delta Three-Four [/b] [/i]
Private First Class Tom Waters sat playing with the mountainous mixture of mysterious food lying on his mess tray. [i] Not only was this the worst post in the entire galaxy[/i], he thought, [i] it was also the worst food in the entire galaxy[/i]. Nonetheless, he would need his nourishment and even if the odd mixture of bread, butter, bacon and some mysterious looking wafer covered in dripping brown sauce didn’t look to be of his taste, he scoffed it down, forcing himself to swallow between large gulps of hot coffee.
[i]Coffee[/i], he thought, [i] now that’s something he could go for more of [/i]. He got up, rubbed his eyes, counted the grand total of ten other heads in the gray lifeless mess hall and made his way slowly to the front counter where he could talk to the cook, a good friend of his, and try to swindle a few extra rations off of him.
Tom was an average man. He was no taller, nor shorter than any of his comrades. He was well built, and sported a long cut on this right bicep. His near-black hair was scruffy and not well kept and he looked as if he hadn’t shaved for a few days. Even though the bags on his eyes drooped down, his eyes still twinkled as they always did. His dark eyes glinted in the dull light of the mess half and gave him a sort of malevolent look, which he lived up to with his sharp comments and wise cracks. All of which his squad mates had come to enjoy.
“Tom you ole dog, come on over here! You look bright and cheery eyed early on this fine day. Don’t you love the smell of rain on the dirt? Probably not, we’ve had that smell for the last two weeks,” roared a voice from the long brown table off to Tom’s left.
Tom turned and faced the voice, distracted from the front counter and the cook. The familiar accent of his fellow squad mate, Corporal Jennings made the hairs on his neck raise as they usually did when the aging Corporal spoke. The man had a way with words, always managing to drag Tom into long conversations in his thick English accent. Tom knew something was up though; Jennings only spoke with him when he needed something. So he put down his tray on the front counter and walked up to the Corporal.
Before he could reply, his superior, Jennings whispered over to him, “keep quiet, I’m going to let you in on some… classified information. I suggest you make good use of it. In about half an hour, the Sergeant Major is going to announce that this early start was not just for the fun of it. The Covenant has been detected in the system. We’re going to be engaging the enemy if they land. Take heed of my words, get your stuff together early, I want our squad ready for the Sergeant Major’s announcement. Pass on the word, then get yourself going,” he said, finishing it off by crunching down into a stale peace of bread, trying to keep a straight face.
Tom looked across the mess and of course, to his luck found none of his squad-mates. He quickly bartered with the cook, his former shipmate on the way into Jericho VII years ago. He ended up gaining three extra cans of coffee and a tin pot for a small price of a few odd dollars.
He left the dull mess hall and made his way across the camp to his barracks. Before he entered, he scanned the sky, expecting to be able to see the Covenant fleet up there through the clouds. He didn’t. Tom sighed, knocked the mud off his boots against the door and entered his squad’s barracks.
He found them all there. Some were playing poker with a deck cards, others lighting up their cigarettes while humming an old Marine Corps tune. Regulations weren’t enforced very much on camp. The camp was in the middle of a large forest not far from the deepest and widest valley in that hemisphere. They were between nowhere and somewhere, so the rules often got overlooked.
“I’ve got some bad news boys and girls. This early wake up wasn’t for drill day or extra training, no it certainly wasn’t. Grab your gear and suit up, the Covenant are coming,” Tom stated, watching the enjoyment on their faces quickly disappear. The cigarettes in their hands fell to the floor.
He moved to his bunk, took off his boots and began to dress himself appropriately. He doubled his socks and threw an extra pair in his bag. He put on his pants, then a thin layer of a semi-bulletproof and slightly metallic material which was standard issue and would serve to protect his thighs and calves. He finished by putting on his flak jacket and his appropriate chest armor. He slipped on his boots again, tightening them as he went.
Grabbing his sack, he threw in the three extra cans of coffee, a few extra snack bars which he had hid under his mattress for quite sometime now and a few other odd assortments of food which had previously been stored in his bunk area for safe keeping. He threw in his appropriate supplies, some small medical items, the pot, a small flat pan, a sharp hunting knife, a pack of cigarettes for good luck and zipped it up. He shouldered his sack, grabbed the olive shaded helmet from his bunk, then said goodbye to his fellow squad-mates and made for the center of the camp.
[i] It won’t be long now[/i], he thought, and at least it’s not [i] raining [/i]. He waited a few minutes. Slowly, his squad assembled, along with members of other squads who had apparently overheard about the announcement, or had been told in the same manner as Tom, from one of his superiors.
The Sergeant Major finally arrived and stumped up a small podium where he could be seen by all. Seconds later, a bell sounded and the Marines and other personnel not in attendance were rudely notified.
After waiting several moments the entire camp was now present. A motley crew of more than two hundred Marines and other UNSC personnel gathered around to hear what the Sergeant Major had to say.
[Edited on 06.19.2008 7:44 PM PDT]