Silhouettes by OpeningAct
Silhouettes (I) -Training-
Date: 15 July 2004, 8:05 PM
Silhouettes (I) -Training-
A/N I've been working on this series for a while now, so hopefully you'll like it. I will be focusing my time on this series only, until I have finished it.
United Nations Space Command Priority Transmission 88943A89-A4
Encryption Code: Tango
Public Key: file/first light/
From: Colonel Wang
To: Vice Admiral Whitcomb
Subject: General Order 0140032-7B ("The Silhouettes")
Classification: Your eyes only- Code Beta
I believe I've found the final pair of suitable candidates for our 'project'. Included are the profiles of both men. Read them and I think you'll agree with me.
Subjects: Nolan Hawkes and Michael Jacobs
01 Nolan Hawkes
Subject 01, Nolan Hawkes. At 21 years of age, Hawkes is in sublime physical and mental condition. He enlisted in the marines as a scout sniper, and has remained in that position ever since. But even though he has a rather 'common' past, Hawkes has a spectacular track record. In five years, he's had twelve confirmed kills, plus two others unconfirmed, consisting of many high-ranking officers for the Covenant. Though young, he has been described by his squadmates as being calm and collected. But with youth, comes arrogance, which may be our main problem here. Still, I consider him a very decent candidate for the Silhouette project and I believe you will too.
02 Michael Jacobs
Subject 02, Michael Jacobs. At 38 years of age, Jacobs has done very well to stay in fit condition . A long and satisfying career in the corps as a sniper, has given him a load of experience, which I believe levels out the pair, with Jacobs hopefully keeping Hawkes in line. Jacobs also has an astounding track record, with twenty-four confirmed kills and twelve unconfirmed.
Conclusion: If everything gels out perfectly, I believe this pair may well be the most successful in the entire project, based on their records that is. Still, I shall leave you to decide.
Press ENTER to continue.
Woodlands, Reach 2551
Private Nolan Hawkes crawled through the dense foliage of the forest floor, scanning his surroundings for any sign of movement. He stared down the scope of his rifle, searching for his target through the sun-kissed woodlands. Rustling could be heard in the bushes behind the sniper, but he relaxed realising it was his partner, Michael Jacobs. The man's greying hair slid down his forehead which was covered in dark green face-paint, hiding his other aging features. Hawkes observed his inspirational partner crawl past him, S2 AM sniper rifle in hand. Jacobs had made Hawkes a better soldier over the last six months, though the young man considered his skill regular amongst the legendary snipers that belonged to the silhouettes.
The silhouettes consisted of only the best snipers the UNSC had to offer. They were suitably paired up by high members of the ONI brass before being approved by Vice Admiral Whitcomb, who was at the helm of the operation. To filter through the many candidates, to retrieve the superior sharpshooters, each pair took 'the test'. At that moment, not one single pair was in active service, as all had failed miserably. 'The test', was to simply neutralise a single target, with tranquillisers of course. But you wouldn't see it as simple when considering the target.
Hawkes remembered the pictures of the target from intel, the man who had actually volunteered to participate in the test. The man had plush, dark hair, was at least six foot four and had muscles rippling out from every corner of his body. The man was a Spartan, unarmored of course, as tranquillisers wouldn't penetrate their MJOLNIR armor. And somewhere within the canopy, the Spartan walked freely, breathing the very same oxygen as the private.
Hawkes stooped down against the trunk of a colossal redwood. The Adonis of considerable age, towered above the private as he leant against the thick, rugged bark. He was invisible, if you didn't know any better, thanks to his camouflage and face paint helping him blend into the environment. He poked his head around the tree's large girth, examining his surroundings through a pair of binoculars.
The forest canopy filled his vision, every square-inch covered in flourishing undergrowth, spreading up towards the sky. Flora swayed in the breeze as wisps of wind barged past them in a flurry. The distant sound of birds chirping, broke the silence that had been lingering over the private. In a remote section of the forest, Hawkes sighted a figure pushing the dense shrubbery aside. The private recognised the man from the intel pictures as his target, the Spartan. The muscle-covered man strode through an alley of redwoods and the private noticed he was armed with an M6D. That too would fire tranquillisers, or so he hoped. Hawkes also realised that it would be almost impossible to hit the Spartan with that amount of cover.
"This is November-1" Hawkes whispered into his radio. "Target spotted north-west of my position. Beginning tango manoeuvre." Static sounded out from the radio before Jacobs replied.
"Affirmative" his partner stated confidently. Hawkes re-attached the radio to his dark, leather belt and stared back to the Spartan and once satisfied that the target was still within view, began rummaging through his pack. He retrieved his ancient cassette player and taped it to the large behemoth that was the redwood. Each man from every pair was allowed to take one personal item into the woodlands with them on the test. It was meant to keep them company if they were forced to live in the wilderness for a long while, but really all the pairs that had taken the test used the items for tactical reasons. And Hawkes and Jacobs were no exception. Hawkes had taken his cassette player, with a recording inside of a detonating lotus anti-tank mine while Jacobs had brought his wife's makeup kit. Both would be used tactically in a movement, that the pair liked to call the 'tango manoeuvre'.
A hundred yards down from the redwood which Hawkes had attached his cassette player to, the private hunkered down behind a broad thorn-bush. Hawkes poked the rifle and scope through the vegetation and searched for his target. The Spartan was wondering through a clearing that was devoid of trees, an open space. Every piece of sniping knowledge screamed at him to fire, but the private knew otherwise. The Spartan, with it's enhanced hearing and enhanced speed, may have been able to escape the tranquilliser, giving away the sniper's position. No, the manoeuvre would work. He took the radio off of his belt once again and spoke to his partner.
"Go" he stated simply, initiating the tango manoeuvre.
"Roger that" Jacobs swiftly replied and Hawkes flipped the radio off before static could sound. He returned his attention to the target and viewed the beginning of the scheme.
On a redwood tree, only ten meters from the Spartan, a bright light flashed. Jacobs was using the mirror in his wife's makeup kit to reflect ultra-violent rays of sunlight. Hawkes shielded his eyes as the ray dashed over him before settling on the target's face. He too shielded his eyes, wildly firing tranquillisers at Jacob's position. This was where the private's cassette player came in. Hawkes held a piece of string within his hands that, when he let go of it, would drop a pebble upon the cassette player's play button. Hawkes did just that.
A hundred yards away, the recording of a detonation of a lotus anti-tank mine erupted. The Spartan, uncontrollably firing his weapon turned to see where the fake explosion had come from. Disorientated by the sun in his eyes and the sudden blast, the target had made the mistake of showing Hawkes his muscle-covered neck. Perfect, he thought. The private loaded a tranquilliser into his S2 AM sniper rifle and steadied the weapon. He aimed upon the Spartan's neck, before firing. The muzzle flashed as the tranquilliser soared through the air, towards the confused target. It injected itself into the Spartan's neck, releasing its serum. Within seconds, the drug kicked in and the target lazily slumped to the forest floor.
"Woohoo! I nailed him!" Hawkes yelled into his radio with ecstasy. A calm reply followed.
"Nice shot, Hawkes" announced Michael Jacobs happily.
The pair watched joyfully as the pelican fired it's secondary thrusters, carefully lowering itself onto the ground. The pilot, once satisfied the bird was safely upon the terrain, opened the hatch. It opened, and the pair walked inside, heaving the Spartan aboard on their shoulders. Even without his armor, the Spartan was still a man of heavy weight.
On board the pelican, the friendly face of Colonel Wang, the co-head of the operation, greeted them, a grin spread widely across his Chinese face. He shook both of the pairs hands, before they sat down, placing the unconscious Spartan on the side-seat. Once comfortable, Hawkes began to speak.
"So sir, are we in?" he questioned anxiously. Wang grinned once again.
"I don't think there's any question about that."