Halo 02: Unstable Territory by FOrunnER
Unstable Territory: Prolouge
Date: 21 April 2004, 8:27 PM
Mendoza assessed the threat. He spotted four officer Grunts in shiny red armor and another six in the standard orange. The area was predominately populated by Jackals, mostly armed with plasma pistols and a few plasma rifles. A Brute was standing guard at the south side of the base with his Grenade Launcher at the ready, his back was currently to the rest of the base.
Two blue armored elites stood near the center of the base besides a deactivated Ghost, apparently conversing in there native tongue and tossing an occasional dark glance at the Brute guard. An Elite sniper in white armor (the new color designation for snipers) with his active camo currently turned off was attending to his rifle in a make-shift sniper nest. There were a couple Shade turrets, porta-shields, a medium sized bunker, a methane pit for the Grunts, and a cluster of command tents for the Elites and Brute.
He pocketed the GPS receiver (which had been picking up live feed from a HighCom satellite in orbit) and faced the assembly of ODST's. He spoke, "Okay people, this'll just be a pin-prick strike, not a big battle".
Besides the briefing pedestal, a small hologram appeared showing what he had just seen on the receiver. "As you know, the Covenant recently set up a command and control base in a very important Forerunner structure at the cost of many human lives, located at the center of this valley", the hologram zoomed out to show a valley hundreds of kilometers wide, a small purple dot blinked into view at the center.
"Ever since they did, they have been establishing a series of firebases in a spiral pattern outward, making this valley home to the largest Covenant military presence," red and blue dots appeared on the hologram, "The red dots represent the firebases that have completed construction, the blue dots represent firebases under construction on what are now only small outposts. There are 22 red dots and 13 blue dots. These firebases are strengthening the perimeter of the main base, making an infantry advance against it impossible and an areil advances tricky, so were going to make sure that no more are built."
"Your target is a blue dot, a small outpost soon to become a firebase," the hologram zoomed in on the base again, "Right now there is merely a foothold presence there, and since covenant resources in the area have been spread thin due to the recent firebase production, they aren't expected to start receiving external supplies anytime soon. As you can see from this hologram, there is roughly a platoon Covenant presence, mostly Jackals, with little armor support. Should be a piece of cake for the ODST's", Mendoza grinned, "is there anything you would like to add Sergeant Allens?"
The strongly built tan man besides him shook his head and Mendoza turned back to the assembly, "Questions?"
A marine seated in the third row raised his hand, "Sir, those Shades provide a 360 degree cover area of the outpost. They'll be able to mow us down within seconds, will we be given anti-armor units to deal with them?"
"Two Warthog Light Reconnaissance Vehicles with mounted LAAG's, plus the demolition experts in your platoon will be supplied with rocket launchers. You'll be dropped 5km upspin of the outpost, there's long range detection gear inside the bunker that would give the Covies an early warning if any aircraft headed there way"
"Any more questions?", now voices spoke, "Okay, dismissed!!"
Obi 'Kajomee strolled down the halls of the Forerunner structure. The engravings on the stone-metal hybrid walls glowed a multitude of colors, the turned green, then red, then blue, then a brilliant violet, and then to a shiny gold that matched the color of his armor. They continued in this cycle as 'Kajomee strolled down the hall. This was the third time he had toured uncharted portions of the facility alone. It was huge on the outside, hundreds of levels above ground, but millions upon millions of level underground. The engineers hypothesized that the facilities underground portions extended all the way to Halo's bottom. Every unit or so an exploration team would be sent down and map out another level for more thorough exploration later, but even at that it was likely that they would never be able to explore the entire facility in his life-time, as was true with the rest of Halo.
He was advised against going exploring alone, for evil could lurk in even as holy a place as this, however the second hand vids from the exploration teams did nothing to satisfy his curiosity. He looked up and realized that the hallway came to a dead end, one of many found in this facility. He sighed and turned back. It took him 15 minutes to get back to the tope level of the facility, he was thinking that he might take his personal Ghost for a ride, the thrill of speeding through the air was always refreshing.
He stepped out of the cavernous elevator room to find a crowd of Grunts and jackals circled around a spectacle in the hallway. A Brute and an Elite were rolling on the ground, trading blows and punches, both bruised up really bad. Another Brute roared and attempted to join the fray, but was clocked across the face by another Elite and, much to his surprise, a field veteran jumped on his back and attempted to wrench his neck back. Another Brute rushed to the scene and aimed his grenade launcher at the mess, willing to take out two of his brothers to get the three offending Elites, however the second Brute had managed to throw the field veteran off him and he flew into the third Brute. His weapon was knocked from his hand and the round exploded harmlessly on the indestructible Forerunner ceiling.
Kajomee had seen enough, he barked and order and those in the crowd that had them aimed there weapons. Painfully aware that they were under the sights of 30 guns easy, both parties immediately stopped. Kajomee activated his plasma sword and raised it over his head; for a split second both the Brutes and the Elites eye were focused on the sword, and then it slashed downwards and plasma rained down on the fighters. Deep roars of agony echoed throughout the hall, drowned out by the whine of plasma discharges, then there was silence. Purple blood stained the halls along with six smoldering corpses.
"Clean up this mess!", yelled Kajomee as he turned his back to the crowd and took a side passage.
Fights like this were becoming more and more common and it disgusted him. When the Brutes first joined the Covenant collective, it had been obvious that the would be below the Elites in the caste system, but they had somehow believed that they would be equal to the Elites, even though it clearly stated in the Great Prophecy that it would be the Elites that led the Covenant armies to victory, guided by the will of the Prophets. There unwillingness to knuckle under the Elites rightfully infuriated them and created much tension between the two races.
It probably did not help that the Brutes were granted the same amenities as the Elites, such as command tents, personal vehicles, and authorization to eliminate members of the lower races; among other things.
Command ranking Elites and Brutes had direct orders from the High Prophet to execute both Elites and Brutes that fought another. Another thing they would probably interpret as being equals. Despite pleas from both sides to straighten the other out, the Prophets refused to comment on the subject. Kajomee could not see a reasoning behind this, but he trusted the Prophets wisdom and knew that there reasons were beyond his comprehension. Adding fuel to the fire was the recent assassinations of Elite and Brute members in the Prophets personal advisory, for both sides blamed the other. Kajomee knew if the Prophets did not speak on the matter soon it would only be settled in bloodshed, for now the fights were even leaking into the higher ranks.
With a start he realized he had walked right into the personal vehicle courtyard. he spotted his Ghost amongst the rows of vehicles, He had changed the Ghosts color to blue instead of purple, its plasma cannons were removed and it was slightly larger than the average Ghost, and a lot faster, for the generators that heated the plasma cannons were no longer needed and there was room for a bigger engine generator. Two plasma swords came out from under the Ghosts wings to the sides when activated, a common modification used for competitive jousting matches amongst officers, but rarely for frontline battle. He had two silver Covenant symbols painted on, one on each wing. One stood for power, the other for intelligence, the two qualities that made the Elites the Prophets only chosen ones, his own silent way to support the fellow members of his race.
Hopping on his Ghost and speeding off, the adrenaline rush made him soon forget about the Covenants problems, although it would haunt it him later......