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Thursday, March 18

Righteous Triad Fists: Part 1 – Playing HALO

The wind screamed past Hammer as he went into free fall.

He was dimly aware of the other agents falling beside him, arms and legs spread. Their altimeters clicked away as they descended.

For a little while there was nothing but Hammer's breathing. It was peaceful, silent.

They plunged through the cloud cover. The air was nothing but mist and Hammer could feel the dampness fighting to get through his suit. There were flashes of lightning here and there, but other than that it was quiet. White. Beautiful.

He fell out of the bottom of the cloud. The ocean glittered beneath them in the moonlight. A storm was roiling overhead, but it hadn't yet broke and the moon was still partially visible, illuminating the contours of the island.

It was the worst possible weather for a HALO insertion. But they had little choice.

"We're clear. Deploy parachutes in five…four…three…two..."

Hammer took a deep breath and set his jaw so that he wouldn't bite his tongue. He pulled the ripcord.

The parachute exploded out behind him. There was always that breathtaking moment between deployment and the parachute filling with air. In those moments men learned their fates.

The parachute deployed and it felt as if God flung him around by the scruff of his neck. Hammer grabbed hold of the parachute controls and steered toward the landing target.

The heads-up display on his mask showed that the other agents deploying, one after another. Guppy deployed his chute right on time -- Hammer was concerned that, given his past experience, he might deploy it too early. But Guppy was the least of his problems.

A red light flashed on his HUD to the tune of a soft but persistent warning beep.

"Jimmy, what's up?"

"I'm fine," said Jim-Bean.

Hammer had to concentrate on steering. He craned his neck, but in the darkness and with the storm swirling overhead it was hard to see anything.

"Why aren't you deploying your chute?'

"I don't need one," came the monotone reply.

"You can fly now?" asked Caprice sarcastically.

"Yes," said Jim-Bean. more


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:26 AM

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