Halo: Helljumper Issue 3
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After the events of Issue 2, Dutch and Romeo are left under attack by Covenant forces in Ariel's collapsing reactor complex, while the rest of the ODSTs retreat from the site, under orders from MSgt Frost to leave Dutch and Romeo behind. Issue #3 opens with the ODSTs on the surface witnessing the reactor's detonation, and Michaels nearly breaking down due to the apparent loss of four men in the facility. Frost orders him to quiet and the Marines move on, to another archaeological dig site some four kilometers away.
The story then jumps three minutes back, showing Dutch and Romeo fighting a Sangheili warrior in the reactor complex. As the Elite is about to deliver a killing blow to a downed Dutch, Romeo leaps in to save him, only to be instantly knocked aside by the Elite. As Romeo falls down a ledge, Dutch gets back up, barely evading another punch. Dutch then uses the opening to grab a piece of metal cable and use it as a garrote, choking the Elite to death. Romeo, having hung onto the ledge, then shoots another Elite attempting to ambush Dutch.
The two then see the reactor at the point of overloading, and realize they do not have time to escape. In a last-ditch effort to save themselves, they decide to ride the blast, using the armored Elite corpses as shields. Dutch, certain that they are going to die, tells Romeo that he put in for a transfer to another unit, much to Romeo's surprise. Just then, the reactor explodes.
Moments later, Dutch wakes up amidst the rubble from the explosion, desperately calling out to Romeo, who soon shows up, angrily asking Dutch when was he going to tell him about the transfer. Dutch only replies that they'll settle the matter later, and the two make their way over a pile of debris. They soon encounter a wounded Grunt, and start to interrogate it on what the Covenant were looking for on the planet. They find out that they were after something called "Knowing", but cannot extract more information from the Grunt. They let it go, but Romeo shoots it in the back soon after. The two decide to head to higher ground and re-establish contact with the other ODSTs. On their way, Romeo further questions Dutch about the transfer, and Dutch tells him that he filed a transfer to a non-combat planetside assignment to be with his wife.
They reach the top of a hill, where they observe the landscape with binoculars, soon locating the rest of the ODSTs - and a massive Covenant ground force mobilizing behind them. They realize that if they cannot warn the other Marines, the Covenant will slaughter them. As the two ODSTs begin to formulate a plan to warn their compatriots, several Grunts on a ledge above them proceed to pelt rocks down on them.