Juarez turned her head slightly to a small rustling in the brush. She smiled when a small family of skirmishers emerged, their toothy beaks chittering curiously. Unlike the covenant, these creatures were inoffensive and inquisitive. Completely harmless.
A small skirmishling with a crippled talon shoved it's way past the little mob to witness the strange pink groundling.
Juarez smiled and held out a small rice stalk to the hatchling. It sniffed it hesitantly before snatching it from her hand and nibbling at the tasty grains. She ruffled the feathers on its head playfully before continuing gathering rice stalks into her basket. She enjoyed being away from the rest of society, but she did feel lonely some of the time, so it was quite nice to befriend the tree people on her planet.
As the reptilians ate, the little one raised its head suddenly and sniffed the air. It's eyes widened in fear and it opened its mouth wide as it let out a loud and high pitched screech. The other skirmishers raised their beaks to where their young one was looking, and started chattering nervously.
Juarez looked at them for a moment with a puzzled expression, before raising her head to the disturbance in the sky. The entire jungle seemed to radiate in bright light as they all stared at the strange pandemonium.
All seemed to be going well after they had emerged from the portal, but then it was as if a wall of misfortune had crashed right into them. COM systems stopped working, engines failed, and they were falling towards the planet... fast.
"Mayday! Mayday! Amber clad is going down! I repeat! Amber clad is going down!"
John gripped onto the edge of his seat as the Amber clad lurched.
"Amber clad! what's going on? We're losing contact with you-" Static.
Dang it! COM link burned up. The main pilot yelled into the speakers. "All docked pelicans docked in the hangar bay, take off! I repeat! TAKE OFF NOW!" The bay doors opened slowly at first, but then ripped off and flew into the fiery trail left behind.
"Go go go!" all the pelicans raised from the metal surface of the hangar's floor and quickly flew through the red hot opening... but then more misfortune occurred. The pelican to the left of the one that John was in started sparking in the vents, and began to spiral in the air. The rear of the of the pelican smacked into the wing of their ship, ripping it off from the hull. Marines from both ships screamed as the pelicans as they shot out of the Amber clad and started to plummet to the planets surface.
"Chief?" Dr. Halsey asked quietly through his comm link.
He didn't reply verbally, but still listened to what she had to say.
Knowing that he was listening, she said "Hold onto your helmet!"
Juarez fell to her stomach as the jungle shook from the ships impact, lighting up the jungle with bright radiating light. The skirmishers screeched in fear and hightailed outta there as fast as their thin legs could carry them. Juarez propped herself up onto her elbows and looked up from the ground, strands of hair in her face.
Smoke billowed from within a thick part of the jungle and smaller ships were flying towards it. Juarez pulled herself to her feet and brushed the hair out of her face with her fingers. She quickly hid behind a tree as another ship flew over head.
Something was definitely wrong here. She had to find out why the UNSC came to her planet... And the cause of that UNSC ship's crash and she hoped it wasn't because of the blasted Covenant.
If so... she was no longer safe.