Date: 13 January 2006, 3:14 pm
Chapter 1 : The Last Few Days
William's pulse raced as he rounded the corner. He smiled when he found a dark hole in the side of the marble wall. As he sat down he checked the weapons he had left he knew his pursuer would soon find him.
Okay ,Jude, we both have no ammo left, you have an energy sword, and I have a plasma grenade. I know I will die, but I'm taking you out with me,he thought as he stood back up.
"So, William," said a voice from the outside,"ready to die?"
Perfect."No,Jude,I'm not." said William calmly as he activated his plasma grenade,"Are you?"
Swinging his energy sword Jude tried to stop William,but it was to late. As he watched William's decapited head fall to the ground Jude thought of how stupid he had been. Then the plasma grenade exploded.
Jude's pupil's dialated as his eyes grew accustomed to the bright lights of S.o.T.u.F. (Spartan Training Facility).He yawned as the simulation pod opened and released him from the cramped tube. As he exited the simulation pod something hit him in the back with the force of a Warthog. Oh no, he thought as he turned to see William's face. It was blood red from laughter.
"That's the third time this week that I've got you that way,Jude!" said William still hysterical with laughter,"you must have the memory of a goldfish or something!"
"Very funny,William,"answered Jude as he shut the simulation pod,"but I almost had you this time. Just a little bit lower and you would have missed."Jude continued his conversation as they entered the barracks. He knew today was special ,but the reason for it being special had slipped away."I can't remember what today is!"said Jude irritabely."Do remember what today is,William?"
"It's Tuesday ,shrimpfest at the seafood bar at Sector 3,the night they send us the report from Reach ,and the one you forgot was,that today is the day we are having the last of the sparring matches to decide the members of the permanent teams."
Jude just stared at William for a moment. "How do you read people's minds like that?"he asked shaking his head.
"It's a gift,"replied William as he opened his weapon's closet.
"Do you know the outcome?"he aked ,half-heartedly believing it would come true.
"No,"answered William as he put on his helmet,"but I have a feeling it will come down to me and you...again,"and with that being said he left the barracks to go sample the shrimpy goodness of the bar at Sector 3.
I sometimes wonder about him thought Jude as wondered the halls of S.o.T.o.F.. If I'm going to win I'd will have to practice,but there's no time left for practice.I need to be more patient is what it is.
"Hey,Jude," called a voice from behind,"wait for us!" As the figures came closer Jude tell that it was Ranger and Jim."Jude, we just heard from the counselor that they are going to move the battles up two hours. We'll be starting in about forty-five minutes.Isn't that awesome!"said Ranger. He was already suited up for battle mentally and physically.
"They've already put up the battle orders too,"said Jim who was also suited up."It seems that you're up against William ,16IQ ,Hashbrown ,Kiley ,Laura ,and spartans from different stations."
"Are there any from Reach?" asked Jude who was now deep in thought.
"No, the last anyone heard from them a small Covenant force was about to attack it."
"Don't worry Jude,"said Ranger,"they have John. What could possibly go wrong?"
"I guess you have a point." said Jude who was still lost in thought."I'll see you guys after I win the sparring matches."
"Whatever,"said Ranger sarcasticaly as he and Jim walked down a different corridor.
Chapter 2 : Debriefed
"All spartans report to combat simulation for sparring matches. I repeat. All spartans report to combat simulation for sparring matches,"barked huge speakers from S.o.T.o.F.'s blindingly white ceilings. Jude was suited up and ready for anything. As he walked to the simulation room he could feel the tenseness in the air.
The best trained units in the NAVY were about to try to kill all the others so that they could be the leader of their very own death squad. Jude knew it would be tough not only did he have to face spartans whose moves and battle strategies he knew ,but he would at the same time have to face opponents whose strategies and moves he did not know. As he entered the simulation room he was amazed at how many spartans were here. There must be at least one hundred and seventy-five! He stepped up to the registration machine and began his usual and frustrating endevour to get the machine to let him in.
"State your verification number,spartan."said the machine in a raspy emotionless voice.
"Spartan-258. Name Jude."
"Please,state verification number only."
"State verification pasword."
Why do we even have these stupid registration machines, Jude thought "The koalas eat flesh at midnight."
"Welcome Petty Officer-258. Please enjoy your stay in simulation hall 1/B."
"Finally," thought Jude as he entered the main hallway,"I'll enjoy my stay when they get rid of those confounded registration machines." Five minutes later all the spartans from S.o.T.o.F. were gathered in Locker Corridor-A to be debriefed on the way things would be working during the battles.
"Four teams of four spartans each will be battling in the first round."stated Sgt. Hypes,"Who will be on which team will be decided by the battle network computer. The first team to lose all their members will be illiminated. After that round you will be divided into two teams. These two teams will join the remaining spartans from the other bases. After a few more rounds of that the rest of the battles will be no teams. Are there any questions?"asked the sargeant. After a few moments of silence the sargeant issued the spartans to simulation pods to begin the battles.
Chapter 3 : The Battles Begin
Jude opened his eyes to the lush,digital ,simulation world he knew so well. By seeing his surroundings he could tell that they were at Battle Creek,or Beaver Creek as it was now known. His team,green team,was composed of Kiley,William,Bubble,and himself.
"We'll go over the rules one more time before we start,"said Sgt. Hypes from inside their H.U.D.s,"You will each have one life. If you get killed you will be out the rest of the match. If you die and your team wins ,you will be automatically transported to the next arena. If your team loses you will be pulled out of simulation mode,and you can watch the rest of the matches from the lobbies in halls 1/B ,4/F ,and 11/D. The match will begin now!" Even though the match had just started there was already chaos. Bubble had accidentally committed suicide with a rocket launcher while trying to take out Jim. Toting his sniper rifle Jude rushed up the path opposite of the giant arch and jumped into a nearby tree. His cobalt armor blended well with the leaves in the tree.
"William,I am in position,over,"said Jude over the com.
"Copy that,Jude,I'm in position as well."
"Good,"said Jude as he lined up a spartan's head in his crosshairs,"very good."
After about two minutes of intense fighting Jude was suprised by the fact that he hadn't seen anyone in two minutes. He knew Beaver Creek well,and knew that it was quite small for four teams to fight in. Must be only on or two left per team he thought. As he reached for his sniper rifle ammo he noticed that he no longer had any ammo left. Even though he figured that there were only about six more adversaries he also knew that the best were always last. He leaped stealthly from the tree as he headed for Blue Base. As he entered the base he felt a sudden chill. I probably won't need this for long he thought as he dropped his sniper rifle to pick up a magnum. He moved silently through the base,knowing that an adversary could be right around the corner. As Jude entered the back room of Blue Base he felt that sudden chill again.
"William," called Jude over his com as looked around the room,"I need to know how did you do that fancy grenade trick 'cause I think I'm going to need it."
"Just throw the grenade right before he kills you." replied William as he fired off a sniper shot.
"Okay,thanks," said Jude as he pulled out a grenade for his unknown enemy. Then ,from behind he heard the hissing sound of an activated plasma grenade. He whirled around quickly and through his own fragmentation ,but right after he threw it the plasma grenade was stuck to his face plate. He tried to move it so he could see his killer ,but the grnade fuse was to short. His grenade went off first. The screech told him he'd hit his mark ,but his joy was quickly extinguished by the grenade on his now torched faceplate. Next thing he knew he was in the post-battle room surrounded by the surviving teams.
"Did we win?" asked Bubble in an anxious voice.
"Of course,Bubble. Did you think we'd lose?" stated Kiley sarcasticaly.
"No,I was just asking,so knock it off." said Bubble with a little tone of anger in his voice.
"Okay you two," boomed a loud voice from above,"we're about to start the next match. The teams this time will be Jude,Hashbrown,Kiley,Goober,Joseph,and Laura on Red Team. Bubble,William,Ranger,Jim,Estev,and Bob on Blue Team. The level will be Foundation. The rules are the same as before,first team to lose all their members it out. Ready...BEGIN!!!"
The teams were ready for combat, they were ready to kill their opponents ,and they were ready for victory.
"Jude,"said Goober,"Kiley and Hashbrown wanted to go on recon,but I decided I would let you command the team. Is that okay with you?"
"Sure,I'll be the captain. Go ahead and tell Kiley she can take Joseph and Laura to the center bunker. Have them set up a position there then we'll give them further orders from there."
"Yes,sir!" replied Goober as he trotted over to Kiley.
As Jude sat down in the corner to look over a map of the level he heard an extremely loud "What!" that almost caused him to fire his magnum. He looked up to see Kiley arguing with Goober.
I better fix the problem I've just created he thought as he waltzed over to were Kiley was standing. "Is there a problem,soldier?" he asked in a stern ,calm voice.
"Yes,there is a problem,sir!" she yelled,as Jude tried to restrain himself from backhanding her halfway across the room."Why on this good planet were you going to send Laura out with us on recon? She's not good at stealth! She is good at blowing things to smithereens!"
"The reason she is going with you,Kiley,is because you are not just going down there for reconnosince. You are going to watch the enemy until they notice you ,then you will engage and destroy. That is why,soldier."
"Oh...," remarked Kiley sheepishly,"I'm sorry,sir. I shouldn't have doubted your decision." With that she rounded up Laura,and Joseph,her brother,and headed for the center bunker.
"What would you have me and Hashbrown do,Jude?" asked Goober.
"Grab your sniper rifles,and watch for the enemy." Jude said as walked towards the exit ,checking the amount of shells in his shotgun,"Although I can't say who's going to win,I can tell you that this battle won't last long."
Dear readers,I hope you have enjoyed the story. Do to the fact that I use someone else's computer to do this,and they do not wish to give away their IP Adress,I will be replying to people's questions about the story down here.
Long Live Halo,
SquadAK47: Path to Victory Pt.1
Date: 8 February 2006, 3:21 pm
Chapter 4: Stuck Between a Rock and a Heavily Fortified Position
It had been ten minutes since the match had started, and Kiley, Joseph, and Laura had still not seen any sign of red team.
"They're probably waiting for us to make the first move," stated Joseph as he leaned up against the cement wall of the bunker. "Do you think we should call Jude?"
"No, we'll be fine," said Laura as she motioned to the rocket launcher in the corner."We'll be able to hold our own."
"If they weren't a bunch cowards maybe we would see some action," said Kiley as she looked out the window. At that instant a sniper shot grazed her arm knocking out her shields.
"I guess you're gonna get some action wanting after all, Kiley!" Joseph said as he tossed Kiley her sniper rifle. "There are two snipers on each side of their base's entrance wall. One has a sniper rifle which, of course you've already figured out,Kiley, but I think the other one only has a battle rifle."
"Joseph, is everything fine?" asked Jude over his com, "We heard a sniper rifle fire, and we weren't sure if it was you or red team."
"It was red team alright," said Joseph as he stuck his head out the window as far as he dared. He pulled his head back in just as a sniper contrail replaced the spot were his head had been. "I'm pretty sure it was William with the sniper rifle and Estev with the battle rifle."
"No, it's someone other than William with the sniper rifle. William never misses." said Jude over the comm as looked over a map of the level. "Can you guys get any safe shots?"
"That's a negative, Jude, we're pinned down, unless you guys can give us some covering fire."
"Give me a second, and I'll try to form a plan. Jude out."
"Roger that Joseph out." The battle raged as Laura, Kiley, and Joseph desperately tried to hold their position, but with red team having the higher ground, and the advantage of a preemptive strike, blue team was all in disarray, but it is in times like these that some of the most brilliant and/or suicidal plans are formed, and Jude had decided to pull out a plan he had used on William before. He knew William wouldn't expect it because he hadn't seen it since the day he had met Jude.
"Laura, I have a plan that'll need the assistance of some of you're sporatic and heavy firepower." Jude said as he motioned for Goober and Hashbrown to up positions next to the edge of the wall.
"Finally!" she sighed in relief, as she hefted her rocket launcher over her shoulder," What do you want me to blow up first?"
"Now slow down there, Laura, let's take this one step at a time. I need you to blow a hole in red team's wall. How much time do you need?"
"As much as you can give me, buddy, as much as you can give me."
"Okay ,team, listen up," said Jude as guaged a round into his shotgun," I've got a fullproof plan to get us the victory, but it'll take timing, expert markmanship, nerves of steel," he paused for a second before continuing, "and a whole lot of luck. On my mark I need all of you to fire at red base so that they can't take down Laura. She's going to punch a big hole in the wall so that we can snipe directly into their base. Anybody see any flaws?" there was silence. "Okay then let's do this."
Within seconds blue team was in position. The second before the order was issued there seemed to be a hush that encompassed the entire arena. No comm. static, no gunfire, no nothing. It was the calm before the storm. Jude remembered his words at the beginning of the battle, Although I can't tell you who will win ,I can tell you that this battle won't last long. Now was the time. Jude took one last deep breath. He knew he wouldn't get another until the battle was over. "Mark." was all Jude said as he twisted around the corner. A sniper shot rang out. Jude ducked barely missing the bullet. Now, it was their turn. Almost instantly red base was showered in steel. As the barrage commenced Laura popped her head out the window, and fired two rockets right at red base's wall. They were two direct hits, so she quickly reloaded and fired again.
"Hold your fire." commanded Jude in a calm crisp voice. "Let the dust settle. I'm pretty sure we got most of 'em. The others are probably to stunned to fight anyway." As the dust cleared the entire blue team could see a Scorpion-sized hole in the wall. Something doesn't feel right thought Jude. As he stared into the disupating dust he saw something that made his blood run cold. Within the dust cloud stood a figure with a sniper rifle. Jude tried to tell his teammates to get to cover, but the sound of the sniper rifle firing seemed to muffle his voice as it took out Goober. The rest of the team immediatly rushed for cover.
"What was that!" asked Hashbrown, who was now breathing heavily.
"William." answered Jude in a low voice. "Hashbrown, I need you to get over to that wall. Understand?"
"Good, get going. I'll give you covering fire. Joseph, Kiley, can you here me?"
"Barely, sir." was the reply.
" Listen to me. I need you to get up onto those walls and give Hashbrown covering fire. Got that."
"Sir, yes, sir."
Hashbrown made a mad dash to the bunker as Jude fired his BR at William, but William kept a bead on Hashbrown. Jude knew William's skill. It was phenomenal, almost legendary. He knew that the only way to get William to back off was to drop his shields, but his bullets sprayed to much and weren't able to drop them in time. The only thing that dropped was Hashbrown. Dropped dead. Jude then realized that he would have to rush William.
This could get ugly Jude thought remembering what had happened earlier today when he had rushed William with an energy sword. That had been ugly. "Joseph, you and Kiley wait at the entrance before going in. William is very good, maybe even the best...well except for maybe me."
"Copy that. We'll be waiting near the door for-" their sentence was cut off abruptly by an explosion. Jude quickened his pace. By the time he got there though it was to late. Kiley and Joseph had been killed by a stray grenade ,that Jude figured was a trap set by William. William had been right; it would come down to the two of them. Jude carefully walked into the room. As he entered he could hear a trigger being squeezed. He quickly dropped to the ground, just barely missing the bullet. As he landed, he swung his foot low, tripping William. He quickly followed that up by bringing his other foot down on the place where William's haed was, but William was to quick. As quickly as he had fallen, he rolled out of the way, dodging Jude's kick. He attacked Jude so quickly that Jude hardly had enough time to comprehend what was happening. William's kick sent Jude flying into the wall. William quickly drew his combat knife, and rushed Jude, who was now flat on his back. The blood rushed to Jude's head as he saw William lunge, but at the last second Jude pulled his legs up against his chest and then kicked them, so that they collided with the center of William's chest. As William flew across the room and hit the wall he dropped his knife. Jude knew this would be his only chance. He quickly grabbed a nearby shotgun and ran towards William. William tried to get up, but Jude slammed him back onto the wall with the barrell of his shotgun.
"Well, William, I guess you were right," Jude said panting heavily, "you said it would come down to you and me, but I guess I win this time."
"Don't be so sure of that, Jude. Your overconfidence will be your downfall."
"Right, right, right. Oh well, good-bye William." And then he pulled the trigger. He stood there trying to take everything in. It was just so unbelieveable that, at first, he wasn't even sure what had happenned, but eventually sunk into his head that he had won. There was only one problem. If William was the last opponent then why am I still here? As he turned around he slammed his face into the barrell of a firing shotgun.
Attack of the Noobs!!
Jude exited the simulation pod to see the entire blue team standing around his pod.
"Did he get ya', Jude?" asked Goober sarcastically.
"Nope," he said stretching his arms and yawning, " Bob got me." The team tried to constrain their laughter, but it was to much, and soon they were all ecstatic with laughter. "Hey, cut it out guys. I thought everyone was dead."
"We're not laughing at you, Jude, we're," Kiley paused for a second trying to recover from the laughter, but only to resume by blurtting out, "Hmm... maybe we are laughing at you."
"Enough, you guys," said Joseph, who seemed a little impatient, "let's go see how William is doing. Now that we're out we'll have to give William our total support."
William sighed as he looked around the level they had just entered. Except for the map of the level they had been given they had never seen this place before, but what worried William was the fact that he had never fought these spartans before. The map he had been given said that they were inside some sort of structure, but it looked more like a tunnel. William sent Estev to scout the entrance as he rounded up the rest of his team to discuss their plan of attack.
"Now, according to the map," he paused as he unfolded it, and laid it on the snowy metallic ground, "they should have spawned up here on the top of this enscarpment." he said as he pointed at the giant cliff near their position. "If we can get over to those rocks nearby we can probably make a run for the cliff."
"But William," said Bubble who was picking up some dual SMGs that were lying on metal table near the back, "unless they're either stupid or really bad shots we're bound to get sniped. Every single one of us."
"I've already thought about that Bubble,and there is a simple way to do this if everyone will cooperate." Everyone was now anxious to here what William had to say. "Since me and Estev have on white armor we will crawl out to a good spot where we can see up the enscarpment. Then you guys will all make a mad dash for the ramp, and start up the cliff. Afterwards me and Estev will follow." The team sat there thinking it over. Finally they decided that it was probably their best bet for winning. "Okay then men," said William as he rose from snow covered floor, "let's go kill some spartans!"
As Jude and company walked down to the observation room they were almost overwhelmed by the amount of other spartans that had come. There were some from Algory, some from Eldern, and even some from as near to earth as mars. They were disappointed though in seeing that there were none from Reach. When they entered the observation room they were immediately greeted by their friends that they had defeated at Beaver Creek.
[indent"So William kicked your butt, Jude. Not a suprise really." said 16IQ as he led them over to some seats near a veiwing monitor that was used for observing the spartans in the matches, "But I guess that's what you get when you mess with the best. I hope his luck holds out though."
"Do I sense some doubt in your voice, 16?" snickered Hashbrown as she sprawled out in her chair.
[indent"No, I'm sure they'll win, but I've heard some rumors that these guys are pretty good."
"Just rumors, that's all they are." said Kiley.
"I hope your right Kiley," said Jude as he stared hard at veiwing monitor. "I hope your right."
The level was quiet as William and Estev crept out to rocks that jutted out of the snowy landscape. They noticed now that the cliff looked a lot steeper in person, but it didn't stop them. It only encouraged them.
"William we just found something that may put a damper in our little plan." said Bubble over the comm.
"Well, what is it?"
"We just found a couple of ghosts and a new Covenant vehicle. It looks a little bit like the Covenant version of a Warthog."
"Is that all Bubble?"
"That's all for now, sir."
"Good, William out." William thought it strange to put vehicle on a level like this, even Covenant vehicles, which handled much better. The lower driveable ground was to small and vunerable to be efficient. And the cliff would be only useful if you drove down on a suicidal run.
"Is everything alright, William?" asked Estev as he tapped him with his battle rifle. "Ya' seem a little high strung."
"It's nothing of importance, Estev. I just felt a change in the wind, that's all. And I don't think it is for the better.
Jude sat in the observation room trying as hard as he could to figure out a way he could help William.
"Don't worry, Jude, I'm 99% sure he'll be fine. You should just relax like the rest of us." said Joseph who was now calmer than he was before.
"What is the other 1% then Joseph?" Jude asked. His face still glued to the monitor.
"The other 1% is that he will have a little struggle then win, but I am 100% sure that he will win." he paused for a moment as he leaned back in his chair. "Besides, it's not like you can go and talk to him while he's in there anyway." All of the sudden Jude's face lit up with excitement.
"Goober, you're the guy who always follows the rules. Do you happen to have a S.o.T.o.F. rulebook on you at the moment?" Jude asked.
"As a matter of fact I do." replied Goober, "But if your going to do what I think your going to do, then I'll go ahead and tell you that it's legal." he said handing Jude the book. Jude quickly flipped through the pages, and sped through the part he was looking for. He quickly shut the book, and threw it back to Goober.
"Thanks, Goober, I owe you one."
"You're welcome." replied Goober as Jude jumped out of his seat, and ran out the door, nearly knocking over another spartan.
"What was that all about." asked Hashbrown.
"You'll see soon, Hashbrown, "said Goober as he looked back at the monitor. "Just wait."
Dear Readers Section
I am glad to see that everyone is understanding my story. This makes me happy. I will recall one thing from the last story though. Halo Fanatic 2005 quote:
However the matches were so quick they ended before I knew what had happened. Try to expand them. One of my series has one match to one story. Try that.
This is for everyone. If you tell me to read something please tell me the title so that I can find it. Hope you enjoyed the story.
Long Live Halo,
SquadAK47: Path to Victory Pt.2
Date: 10 March 2006, 7:59 pm
Attack of the Noobs! cont.
William waited patiently as Bubble's group headed up the cliff. "Have you seen anything yet, Bubble?" he asked.
"Not yet, William," he replied, "I do see an indent in the side of the cliff though. We'll hold up here while you and Estev come up."
"Roger that. Come on Estev," he said as he turned to his partner who was almost covered entirely by snow, "We gotta go meet the others up on the cliff." Estev gave a nod of acceptance. As they travelled up the cliff face William was straining to see the path in front of him. As they had travelled up the escarpment it became harder to move forward. They were constantly slipping and falling in the knee deep snow.
"William, are you there? This is Bubble. We have engaged the enemy. How much longer till you guys get up here? We could use the support."
"We are almost there Bubble. Just hang on. Hurry up, Estev, we got to pick up the pace." William said as he pushed harder against the snow-turned-sleet.
"That's easier said than done, my friend." answered Estev. " The snow seems to get worse the harder we try. It might be best to just wait here and tell the others to pull back."
"No! They wouldn't even get ten feet away in this snow. We'll just have to keep going, because at this rate it's going to take something extraordinary to get us there in time."
"So why don't we just wait here for the enemy, William?"
"Because, if you don't want people to abandon you; you don't abandon other people. Even if it's not the best thing to do."
Jude crept silently through the halls as he made his way to the training officers room. He was lucky, since everyone was watching the matches, there was hardly anyone in the hallways, except for the occasional janitor. As Jude entered the training officers room he was pleased to see that nobody was there. He sat down in one of the chairs next to the internal mainframe, and began to hack into it. Flying past all the firewalls, anti-intruder systems, and other preventitives. With the speed of a professional hacker he quickly hacked himself into the computer's core. As he entered he was puzzled to see an opened file that had nothing to keep people from looking into it, but he shrugged off the desire to look into it,and started doing what he had came hear to do.
"Hacking file 0924/iss/iw/spartan 175," he repeated as the words came up on the screen in front of him, "50%, 69%, 87%, 96%, 100%, and we are in." A window appeared on the screen that showed the battle that was going on in the simulation chambers. "Here is were the fun begins," he chuckled as he flipped a large orange switch. "Hello, William. This is your favorite hacker here live from the trainers office. How may I help you?"
"Jude?" asked William with a bewildered tone in his voice. "Jude is that really you? How on S.o.T.o.F. did you get on the comm.?"
"I hacked into the internal mainframe. You wouldn't believe how easy it was." he said flipping a couple more switches. "But right now it doesn't look like how I got here is your biggest problem."
"We're having problems with this snow. It seems to get worse the higher we get. We're almost to the others though, so we should be fine." William said as he peered through the snow. A lump of metal falling on his head told him that he was probably only one level under them.
"I was talking with some people who were from the same base that your opponents are. They said that the people that you are fighting are supposedly great at fighting Covenant in simulations, but are horrible against other Spartans. They also said that the snow is the same all the time." Jude said typing away furiously.
"Are you saying that they are either cheating, or having some outside help?" William said, he was now able to see Bubble, Ranger, and Jim behind some boxes that were in the middle of the path. They were being fired upon by a high-speed plasma turret from the Covenant-Warthog. He and Estev immediately started taking larger steps in the now almost waist high snow. Their shields flashed as the plamsa turret started to fire on them.
"Hit the deck!" yelled Estev as he and William jumped forward behind the boxes, and crawled a few feet over to their teammates.
"What took you so long?" asked Bubble who had now swapped his dual SMGs for purple rifle that shot out green hyper-charged particles. "We sent Bob back to get you, but he got killed as soon as he tried to leave. We're about out of ammo, and there's no way to get around and flank them. I think it is only a matter of time, William. The odds aren't very good."
"We'll see about that." said William as he tossed his Battle Rifle over to Ranger. "Jude hacked into the mainframe a couple of minutes ago, and he said that these guys are supposedly horrible. Not only that, but he said that the Spartans from that base said the snow isn't supposed to come down this hard."
"I suspect it's a virus or modd. that someone put on to give these guys an edge," said Jude, "I searching the mainframe now to see if I can find it. I'll let you guys know if anything pops up."
"Okay, we'll hold the fort." said Bubble.
"Or better yet," said Ranger as he picked up a handful of grenades, "we'll blow them up, and take their fort!"
William, Bubble, Estev, Jim, and Ranger held their own against blinding snow, low ammunition, and an enemy that they couldn't see. But they were running out of hope for victory. Even the optomistic Jim was starting to wonder if there was any hope. The only thing that kept them fighting was the hope that Jude would be able to find out what was going on and fix it.
"I'm out of ammo." yelled Bubble over top of the howling wind.
"Do you have any grenades left?" shouted Jim.
"Two, but they won't be any good. We can't see them and from the sounds of it their moving closer."
"Don't talk like that, Bubble, that's what people talk like who are about to lose. And I don't know about you, but I don't plan to lose." said William as he fired out a whole clip out of his SMG. "Jude, do you got that thing fixed yet?"
"Sorry, guys, I just can't seem to find it. Whoever downloaded it onto the system did a pretty good job of hiding it." he said as he leaned over on the mainframe's console.
"What makes you think they downloaded it onto the mainframe, Jude. I mean, that would take a good while and unless they did it right before the match, or from an outside source there is no other way they could of done it." said Bubble as he slipped down next to a barrel.
Jude sat there with a depressed look on his face. Not only would his friends lose, but they would lose to a bunch of lousy cheaters. But then his face lit up, he knew what to do. "Guys, guys, I've found it! I've found it! Bubble was right. They didn't download it. Instead they sent it by E-Mail as an attachment. They hid it in the best place ever. Right out in the open. I'll go deactivate it now."
"An E-Mail attachment? My goodness that trick is so old." said William slapping his visor.
"Yeehhaaa!!! Ya hear that guys." yelled Ranger at the top of his lungs. "It's time to kick their cheating butts!"
Jude deleted the attachment and file. All of the sudden the snow stopped, and there in front of them stood six white Spartans dumbfounded at the site of a clear blizzardless path on the cliff. Everyone, except for the weaponless Bubble, charged the opposing force like a herd of rabid zabu. The other team started firing, but they were hopelessly outmatched. Not in weaponry, but in skill. William, Jim, and Ranger dodged, ducked, and evaded all the shots that were fired. They quickly stopped and returned fire. William fired three shots from his sniper rifle. He killed one them with a headshot, and took out another one with two shots to the chest. A third one ran forward as he unloaded his dual magnums into Jim. Jim just sat there and waited as the noob rushed him. As soon as Jim's shields dropped he lunged forward, unholstered his shotgun, and blew the noob's head clean off his shoulders. Two others rushed them, but Ranger fired his last rocket into them, sending them over the side of the cliff. Feeling a sudden surge of confidence rushing through them they turned back to motion the others forward. As they turned around to continue, they were thrown back by a sudden volley of plasma coming from the turret.
"Bubble," yelled William as he ran for cover, "use your grenades to take out that turret."
"Roger that." said Bubble. He stood up and look at his grenades. Come on lady-luck don't fail me now he armed the plasma granade, and then stuck it onto the fragmentation grenade he had. He threw the grenade right at the enemy's head. It hit him so hard that he flew two feet back before the grenade exploded, sending him over the cliff to join his fallen teammates.
"Guess that's what happens when you cheat." said William as they were teleported out of the battle arena. "And being a noob dosn't help either."
Final Battle: Chiron TL-34
Jude ran back as quickly as he could back to the observation room. He was almost there when he stopped by Lt. Dobson.
"Spartan-258, what are you doing in the trainer's office?" asked the Lt..
"I was helping my fellow Spartans, sir." he said, hoping that would be enough.
"I see." he said rubbing his chin. "Well, that's good to hear." he said with a smile. Jude let out a sigh of relief. "I need you to come to my office though. I have something for you. How soon can you come?"
"I can come right now, Lt.." he said, although in reality he knew he needed get back to the observation room.
"Is there anyone following you, or watching you right now?" asked the Lt. in a more serious tone.
"Not within my knowledge, sir."
"Good. Now, follow me down to my quarters. I have something that I need to give you."
"Yes sir." replied Jude. He tried to hide it, but Dobson's behavior worried him. It wasn't like the Lt. to act secretive or to call him by his Spartan number unless there was something very bad about to go down. He shook of his worry for the situation though, as he knew he needed to not let the Lt. notice
William was slightly surprised when he opened his eyes to see a giant domed room instead the cramped corridors of Chiron. As he looked around, he saw an innumerable amount of Spartans standing around making small talk. Where on S.o.T.o.F. am I, and how did I get here. Walking up to one of the other Spartans, he asked if they knew what was going on.
"Why, we're waiting for the others to get done." he said.
"Who are the others, and what are they doing?" asked William.
"The other Spartans who are fighting at Chiron TL-34, who else. We wait here while they fight it out, and then when they're done another eight are taken out and allowed to fight. It's probably so the system doesn't overload."
"That, and the fact that it would look real ugly having all these Spartans crammed into Chiron at once!" chuckled the other Spartan.
After William had asked a couple more questions a buzzer went off. As he turned to ask the Spartan what the buzzer was for, he noticed that he and some of the other Spartan's standing around were gone. All that remained was some green sparks that had been created when they had been teleported. Guess that's what it's for. Well, better go find the others he thought as he started to wade through a sea of Spartans in the giant domed waiting room. It took him nearly a half-hour to find anyone that he recognized, but seeing that there was a small brawl going on over to his right he knew that it must be somebody from his team. They never did get along with strangers well. As he pushed, shoved, and elbowed his way closer to the fight he looked up to see a purple Spartan fly over his head, and land about ten feet back or so. It's Ranger. When he got to where he could see the fight he saw three red Spartans trying to take out a lone yellow one. William watched as the red Spartans tried in vain to even lay a finger on the yellow one. "Hey, Ranger!" yelled William. The yellow Spartan immediatly turned around, waving his hand in acknowledgement. The largest Spartan decided to take advantage of Ranger's being distracted. He walked up, grabbed him by the shoulder, punched him right in the faceplate; William was surprised that the visor didn't break. Landing flat on his back, Ranger looked over in William's direction again.
"Why do you always cause my to get hit, William? Are you a jinks, or do you just enjoy watching me get my butt kicked?!" asked Ranger as William helped him up off the ground.
"You know I like to see you fail miserably, Ranger."
"Ha ha ha. After I'm through with these guys I'll fail miserably all over your head."
"Who are these guys anyways?" asked William as he wiped some dust off of Ranger's armor; it was now as clean as a whistle, and had an enormous glare factor.
"They're just a bunch of noobs I tell you. If wasn't for the fact that they jumped me I would of had them beat by now." yelled Ranger as he flailed his arms in the air.
"What are you talking about!?!" yelled the normal sized Spartan, as he walked closer to Ranger, "you were teleported here, looked around, and then yelled, 'You guys are going down,' right before you ran towards us!!" William motioned for Ranger to step behind him, and let him handle this. Ranger did. Not due to fear, but out of respect for William. He knew William could handle himself.
"You'll have to excuse my friend," said William, "he's what you might call an ignoramous."
"Hey," yelled Ranger from behind William, "what did I tell you about using big words around me."
"Listen, you. We don't want to have to hurt you. We just want the yellow Spartan." said the large Spartan as he walked towards William and Ranger. "So just hand him over, and we won't exterminate you. Got it?"
"That's if you can." said William, as another buzzer went off, and teleported some of the bystanders away; one of them being Ranger. This is gonna be fun.
Jude followed the Lt. silently down the hallways. The Lt. hadn't said anything the entire time. This seemed strange to Jude since he knew that the Lt. was a very talkative person.
"Do you think that anyone is following us, 258?"asked Dobson.
I wish he'd just call me by my name "No sir, I do not think so." Jude could sense the worry in the Lt.'s voice. "Sir, is something wrong?"
"No, 258, nothing is wrong." replied Dobson as they neared his office. "Good, we're here. Please step inside." As Jude entered the Lt.'s office, he watched as Dobson went around his office, and close all the curtains, then lock the door.
"Sir, I think now that we are here I deserve an explanation for all of this secrecy." said Jude folding his arms in a determined manner.
"You're right, Jude. I'm sorry that I had to be so secretive, but this is very important. You could say it could determine the fate of the human race as we know it." said the Lt. as he opened his desk drawer. Jude took off his helmet, and scratched his head as he sat his helmet down on the Lt.'s desk.
"Why would you keep something that important in your desk drawer, sir?"
"Think about it, Jude," said Dobson as he took out a large file and tossed it onto his desk, "if you were the Covenant would you look for a device like this in my desk drawer?"
"I guess not, sir."
"Right." He searched in the next drawer. "Aww...here it is." he said, as he brought out a small, dusty, triangular shaped package. He blew on the package, and disturbed about an inch of dust. "Looks old doesn't it." Jude just nodded. He leaned forward as Dobson began to opened the package. "Now, Jude, before I open the package you have to promise me that no one else will ever know where you got this from. As far as everyone else knows this little meeting never took place. Understood?"
"I understand, sir." Dobson unfolded the package very carefuly. As he pulled of the last piece of rapping paper Jude saw in Dobson's hand a small knife, with a blade that was about six inches long. It looked like a miniature sword in a strange sort of way. Jude tried to hold back a smile.
"Sir, I seriously don't see how this knife is going to save mankind. I doubt that it could even save you from an elite, especialy if he had an energy sword."
"It may look weak, but looks can be deceiving, Jude." Dobson paused for a minute, "You can break through an elite's shield in a couple of hits with your bare hands, am I right, Jude?"
"Well then, I'll give you five minutes to break this knife or anything on it. Think you can do it?"
"Piece of cake, Lt.. Watch and be amazed." Jude sat the knife down in his hand and proceeded to pummel it into dust. He was amazed though, that after a minute and a half he had not even put a scratch on any part of it. Not even the ornamental jewel that was lodged in between the handle and the blade. The light glistened off it as though it were mocking his attempts at destroying it. "How much time do I have left, Lt.?" asked Jude as he leaned over on the desk to catch his breath.
"You're over the time limit by two minutes." chuckled Dobson as he motioned for Jude to hand him the knife. "It's unbreakable, literally unbreakable. It's so durable that not even an energy sword could break it."
"So, what is it that makes it so special that it can win this war for us?" asked Jude as he put his helmet back on.
"I'm sorry, Jude. I can't tell you." He walked over to Jude and whispered in his ear, "Just keep it safe, and don't let anyone know that I gave it to you. It could put you in grave danger. You will know it's purpose when the time comes."
This message sent a chill up Jude's spine. "Okay, Lt.."
"Well, you better be on your way, Jude." said Dobson as he put a fake knife back in his desk, "I've already selected the members for your squad. As you already know it will be you and three other Spartans. You'll be meeting them at garage-F in Sector-8, so you should probably grab your equipment, and meet them down there as soon as possible."
"Yes sir, and don't worry about the knife. It's in the best of hands."
"I hope so, Jude. Just remember that you could be wearing the fate of all our lives on your waist."
Dear Reader's Section
Hope you guys are enjoying the series! This is the third of four in this part that I am doing--it's called Path to Victory to distinguish it from the others. If you think I do something with the characters tell me with a comment, because I don't read my e-mail. I hear also that some of you think the title for my series-Squad AK47-is strange. Now that I look at it, it is strange, but I've already named it that so there is no changing it now. I also hope that you liked the single story that I wrote-The Real Roswell. Please leave comments or review my story! I grately enjoy reading them. I am trying to make it so that I can post too.
Long Live Halo,
Squad 47: Path to Victory, Part 4
Date: 27 April 2006, 1:05 am
Final Battle: Chiron-TL34 cont.
The crowd of Spartans drew closer as they watched William and the other three red Spartans fight out their differences. The largest Spartan swung his fist high, but William leaned back and missed it by inches. The smaller one gave a low round-house kick. As William leaned back from dodging the larger one's punch he could see the smaller Spartan's attack. At the last second William pulled his legs up and did a backwards flip. While still in the air, he swung his right foot into the larger Spartan's shoulder. There was a loud screech as the larger Spartan's metal scraped against the floor, and ended in a loud crash as he slammed into the white wall. As soon as William landed, he was immediately assaulted by the smaller Spartan who let loose a flurry of punches in his direction. It was all William could do to keep from getting hit by the super-fast Spartan as he assaulted William closer to the wall. William's mind raced as he tried to find a means of escape. When William tried to divert his direction to the left the other Spartan attacked him more on the left; when he tried the same thing on the right side he got the same results. Got to find a way out of this mess. As he was forced back even closer to the wall William made a bold move and jumped backwards to were his back was against the wall. The other Spartan was surprised as he his punch swiped air instead of a body. "Come on," said William as he put his guard down, "let's see what you got."
"It's alot more than you must think." growled the other Spartan. He made a run at William, and gave a powerful punch with his right hand. William was to quick though. William moved to the right just as the Spartan got to his point of no return, causing the Spartan's fist to become lodged in the wall. The other Spartan quickly brought his left hand down, but William blocked it with his arm. The Spartan was trapped, and it was now William's turn to go on the offensive. William pulled his left arm back up against the wall, and then slammed it into the gut of the other Spartan. As the Spartan recoiled, William through the Spartan's arm off of his, and brought his hand down onto his opponents neck, dropping him to the ground. His body fell to the ground with a metallic thud, and William pulled the Spartan's hand from the wall. He then turned to the last Spartan, hoping that he would back off instead of fight.
Jude was deep in thought as he headed to barracks to pick up his weapons. "What could this thing possibly due to make the leiutenant so uptight?" he thought aloud. As Jude entered his barracks he threw his helmet down on his bunk. As it landed there was a muffled moan that came from under his bunk. Jude thought back to the leiutenant's words, It could put you in grave danger, Jude drew the knife, and slowly approached the bed. As he moved closer to the bed, he could hear frightened whispers coming from underneath it. He moved the knife into a stabbing position, and threw the matress off the bed, but what he saw was nothing that could do any lethal harm to him, or to anyone else. There, under the bed springs, sat four small children that looked to be about six years old. He put his knife back quickly, so as not to frighten them any longer.
"Are you going to hurt us?" said a blonde headed little girl as she tried to scoot further away from the towering Spartan.
"Of course not," said Jude calmly as, he squatted down so that he was more on their level, "I just thought that you were someone else was all."
"So...you're not going to hurt us." said one of the other children.
"No," laughed Jude as he stood back up, "but I would like to know why you're here."
"We were brought here by some big men in suits." said the little girl, "They took us away from home at night, and wouldn't even let us say goodbye to our mommies and daddies." The girl let out a whimper. Jude knew how they felt. He could remember the night that the agents from ONI raided his home, and stole him away. The only thing that was joyful to him about that event was that they had not taken his sister with him. He now watched as the children started to get up and walk around the room, and pick up some of the few possessions that they had. "Other people like me will be coming in and out of here, so don't be startled if someone else comes in. They won't hurt you either." said Jude as he picked up his Battle Rifle and Shotgun, and slung them over his shoulder.
"Thank you, mister!" said the children as Jude started out the door.
"You're very welcome!"
William walked confidently up to the red Spartan. The other Spartan didn't seemed phased by the sight of William beating down his teammates. "So, are you going to fight?" asked William. The other Spartan was silent. William started to walk away, but as soon as he turned around the Spartan made a run at him. The Spartan lunged at William, and put him in a headlock. He lifted William off the ground, and then started to spin round, and round. He let go of William, and threw him twenty feet into the air. As William started to fall he thought he could hear a faint buzzing. That buzzing turned into a ringing noise, and just as William was about to slam into the ground he was teleported away.
William fell onto a cold, dark, metal floor with a thud. As he rose, he noticed that there was a plasma rifle in his right hand. Chiron...why did it have to here. This place drives me insane. He looked at his radar to see seven red dots within a close proximity of his location. He hugged the walls as he crepted silently through Chiron's dank corridors, all the while hoping that he wouldn't run into someone with a shotgun. Looking around the corner he saw an orange Spartan run through the teleporter. William snuck over to the teleporter as he raised his plasma rifle into a firable position. He ran at the teleporter, but when he got to the point where he should have gone through, he instead hit the wall. He grabbed his head in an attempt to stop the ringing. He went back to the teleporter, although this time more cautiously, and put his hand into the green ionic field. He realized that the other Spartan must be standing on the other side of the teleporter, thus blocking his passage. "Well, I guess we'll just have to give him a little insentive to move."said William under his breath as he leaned up against the teleporter. William could feel the Spartan on the other side of the teleporter moving away. All of the sudden, William fell through the teleporter to the other side. He rolled forward as he landed, and rose to find himself staring down the barrel of an 8-guage shotgun. The Spartan went to pull the trigger, but William pulled his feet out from under himself, causing the shotgun to miss it's target. The Spartan quickly shoved his shotgun at William's head as he tried to pin it to the ground. William rolled skillfully to the right as he brought his leg into the other Spartan's shoulder. The Spartan let out a moan as he slammed into the wall. William rose to his feet and rushed towards the Spartan to unarm him, but as he got closer, the other Spartan raised his shotgun, and fired a shot that took out William's shields. William responded by firing a few bolts from his plasma rifle, then he ducked behind a nearby pillar. The other Spartan responded in like manner. William grabbed one of his grenades, but then put it back. Blowing himself up wouldn't be a very smart thing to do at the moment. He spun out from behind the pillar, ready to give himself some covering fire as he made a fighting retreat to the nearest teleporter. He was surprised when he could see no sign of the other Spartan. Must of had the same idea going. As he walked over to the teleporter, he heard a click from above. He knew exactly what it was too. Immediately, he jumped back as a plasma grenade came down from above, and landed where he had just been standing. He pointed his rifle up just in time to see the Spartan fall on top of him. As the Spartan landed, he pointed his shotgun, once again, to Willaim's head, but William wasn't about to give up yet. He swung his plasma rifle and knocked the shotgun from the Spartan's hands, then he gave the Spartan a strong left punch to his visor, which sent him into the wall. Willaim didn't even get up this time, but just started firing from where he lay. As the Spartan's shields dropped from the volley of plasma William tossed him a frag grenade. For a moment, the Spartan was dazed, and didn't know what William had thrown his way. When he figured out what it was though, it was to late. The grenade exploded, and the wall was instantly covered red, black, and orange. William walked over, and picked up his dead foe's shotgun. He decided that he should continue more carefully from now on.
Jude took a breath of fresh air as he entered the garage area of the complex. It was one of the few areas that were open to the outside, so he decided to walk a little slower to the command bunker. He looked at all the Warthogs that were parked in shops. There were LAAGs, GUASSs, and transport hogs, with the occasional ATV or Scorpion all lined up in a row. As he neared the bunker he could see a couple marines standing around a Spartan. Walking up to a current enlistment board, he pretended to read as he listened in on there conversation. When it turned out to be nothing but mechanical enginering, he decided to go inside. The inside of the bunker smelled of grease and oil, and there were vehicle parts piled up into one side of the room. As he walked up to the desk, he was greeted by a scruffy old man with a cigar in his mouth.
"Whatcha' want ,son?" he said as he twiddled his cigar in his hand.
"I'm here to register myself for a squad. Has anyone come in that is registered as #031890?"
"Well, let me check," said the old man as he walked into the back of the room, "Ya' know," he said as lift a large cardboard box down off the shelf, "I've been here for thirty years, but I've never seen as many Spartans as we had here today. Yep," he said as looked up at the ceiling, "I remember being here when they were training the Spartan I's. Now that, boy, was a magnificent sight."
"You mean you were hear when they were training the Spartan I's?"
"Oh yes, they were wonderful to work with. Why I remember-" he stopped as the phone started ringing. He looked at the caller I.D. and sighed. "Well, it looks like Colonel Jackson wants to have another meeting over the phone. Here you go, son. These are your papers, have a nice day." he said as he picked up the phone, and smiled. Jude walked away with thoughts of the Spartan I's in action, wishing that the old man had had more time to tell of the Spartan I's. He looked down at the form he had been given; it said that the only member of his team that was done at the moment was the demolitions expert. The bottom of the form told him to meet the rest of his team down at garage area-B4.
William could feel that he was getting closer to the end. His calculations told him that there were only two other people here besides himself. His shotgun was now the closest thing to a friend at the moment. He paused for a moment as he entered the junction room.
It's sure is quiet here. To quiet. He heard a shotgun fire from above, as a Spartan fell from the floor above him. William quickly raised his shotgun, and blew off the other Spartan's head. He grabbed some shells for his shotgun from the dead Spartan, and then ducked behind a corner for a little game of head-to-head with the final opponent. He sat there for about twenty seconds without seeing any sign of movement, then suddenly, a grenade fell from the upper floor and exploded, thus creating an effective smokescreen. As the smoke cleared he thought that he could see a figure running through one of the teleporters. He advanced slowly towards the teleporter, as he grabbed the body of the Spartan that he had just killed. He lifted the Spartan's body up in front of his as he went through the teleporter. Upon entering, he was immediately blown back through the teleporter by a blast from a shotgun. As he landed on the floor he quickly threw the Spartan's body down, and rushed to a small corner of the room. The other Spartan walked into the room chuckling.
"My goodness. How did you make it this far into the fight? Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that you weren't even watching me as I went through the teleporter. Stupid noob." She kicked his dead body and started laughing again. William slowly walked over to the Spartan, but as he got nearer, he stepped on a piece of the dead Spartan's visor that had been blown off in the explosion. The crackling caused the other Spartan to turn around. "Who are you!?!" she asked as she pulled her shotgun into a firing position. William didn't answer. He raised his plasma rifle and fired off a burst. The Spartan ducked behind a nearby wall, but not before some of the plamsa had impacted with her shields. William quickly threw a grenade, but it went around the corner the Spartan kicked it away. Next, he through a plasma grenade, knowing that if she kicked it that it would still get the job done. As the plasma grenade landed, the Spartan leaped across the hallway, and fired a shot from her shotgun. The blast caused William's shields the flare. He fired another burst of plasma, but none of this one hit the Spartan. William slowly advanced towards the entrance that she had dove into. He crouched, and then stuck his plasma rifle around the corner and had it blown out of his hands; the shot also took out his shields. The other Spartan spun around the corner, and threw a plamsa grenade right on William's visor. Knowing that it was over, William rushed at the other Spartan, and tackled her. Moments later, the grenade exploded, and all that was left was a piled of molten steel from their suits.
William felt a cool rushed of air as he was brought out of the simulation pod. He went to the screen with the post-game carnage report to see where he had finished. Overall, he came in second to a Spartan from Sector-16 whose name was Rosco. Now it was time to go see his team.
Jude read over the paper once more before he entered the garage. He looked around, but there was no one to be seen.
"Hello. Is there anyone in here that is registered to squad#031890?" he said as he walked into the empty garage.
"I'm back here," came a voice from behind the Warthog, "give me a second, and I'll be out there." After Jude heard the clicking of a rocket launcher round bieng loaded, a Spartan in cyan colored armor stepped out from behind the Warthog. "Hello," he said with a smile, "I'm Camden, demolitions expert."
Jude walked around to the back of the garage. "So you're assigned to squad#031890?"
"Yes, I take it that you are too?"
"Yes, my names Jude. I'm the vehicle specialist."
"Well I'm pleased to meet you, Jude. So who else are we waiting on?" he said, putting on his helmet.
"The papers say that we're still waiting on our scout and support."
"Do you know who they are?"
"No, but I'm sure that they're-," he stopped talking as the sound of metal scraping metal was heard from up in the direction of garage 48-C. Jude and Camden ran out of the garage to see what had happened. There in the middle of the street laid a Spartan in white armor that had just been hit by a Warthog.
"What was that for!?" yelled the white Spartan. Jude could tell from the voice that it was William. The Spartan in the Warthog, which was Etsev, just laughed at him and drove off.
"Hey, William," yelled Jude as William started to walk towards them, "what are you doing all the way down here?"
"Looking for my." he said as he brushed some dirt off his shoulder pad. "This is where squad#031890 is supposed to meet right." Jude stared at William for a moment, and then started laughing.
"What a coincidence that me and you would get stuck on a team together!" he said. "Oh, by the way, this is Camden," he said, as he point to the cyan Spartan, "he's our demolitions expert, and I take it that you are our scout."
"Yes, I am," said William, "and it's nice to meet you, Camden. So, Jude, what is Squad 47's first mission going to be?"
"Who's Squad 47?" asked Jude.
"That us." said Camden.
"It can't be us," said Jude in a frustrated tone, "I told them that we were to be Squad AK47."
"Jude," William, shaking his head, said, "they don't use letters in the squad designation."
"Oh...well that makes sense then." After about fifteen minutes had passed their Warthog was brought to the garage. William and Camden stared in amazement at the Carrier 'Hog.
"Where's the gun?" asked Camden.
"There is no gun." said Jude as he hopped into the Warthog. "Our support will be bringing us a portable turret to use." At that moment, a crimson Spartan ran into the garage.
With a portable turret in one hand, and an SMG and Battle Rifle in the other, she asked, "Is this squad#031890?"
"A.k.a. Squad 47. Yes, this is squad#031890." said Jude.
"Well that's good." she said. "I've been everywhere trying to find you guys."
"Everywhere except for here." chuckled William. "So you're our support specialist. What's your name."
"Oh, my name is Allicia, and yes, I am the support specialist for this team." William was about to ask another question, but was interupted by Jude who was repeatedly honking the Warthog's horn.
"Hurry up," he said, "I just read that we need to go to Fort McNelson for orders on our first mission." Everybody hopped into the Warthog, and Jude floored the throttle, and they started on their way to Fort McNelson.
The End of : Path to Victory.
Next Chapter: Rescuer's Bane.
Squad47 Part 5
Date: 8 November 2006, 8:11 pm
Squad 47 had been driving for the past thirty-six hours across the plains of Banfador on Theta Omacron since they had left the Spartan Training Facility, S.o.T.o.F.. The sun was already peaking over the planets horizon, and in the distance the UNSC controlled town of Little Hector burned in the morning's glare. Jude accelerated as it became apparent of what had happened; the poorly prepared and horribly ill-effective makeshift wooden wall was now only burning ash on the rolling hillsides. All the buildings had been almost completely destroyed except for a weapons cache that was basically a hole covered up with two-by-fours, and a few buildings, but the worst part of it all was the tens of hundreds of dead bodies that were lying in the streets rotting, decaying, almost as though they had been dead for a week. The fact that the wall still burned showed that it couldn't have been more than four hours ago.
"Do you think we should check for any survivors?" asked Jude as he drove slowly through the city's streets. The squad was speechless, they had seen some very gruesome combat scenes where limbs had been ripped off, heads had been dismembered, and bodies diemboweled, but this was beyond all of that combined and made ten times worse. It was as though the Covenant had made sure that the city's inhabitants would have a slow unpleasant death.
William was the first one to speak since entering the city, "Jude, I don't think that there are any survivors. We should load up as many weapons as we can, and get out of this place as soon as possible." Jude just nodded as he backed the Warthog up to the weapon cache's door. William, Allicia, and Camden hopped out of the Warthog and went to open the trapdoor. They thought that they had already seen the worst of it, but they were about to discover how wrong they were.
"Jude!" said Allicia as she ran up next to the driver's side, "Get over here quick. We've got some dying marines in here." Jude jumped out of the Warthog without even taking the time to turn it off. As they stared into the cavernous hole they could see marines that had been cut around their abdomen, letting their innards hang out while they lay there in agony with their weapons just out of reach for them to end their agony. Others had their limbs cut off and were bleeding to death while their dead companions lay in silent consent that they would soon join them.
"William, turn the Warthog around. We will use the winch to lower me down there so that I can pull them out. Allicia, the weapons that are in the rear of the Warthog need to moved to make room for the marines, we may need to perform some minor medical procedures here. Camden, use the radio to call the nearest base, and get us some Pelicans down here A.S.A.P.." The Spartans all jumped to there duties, but they knew that it was probably to late for most of the marines.
"Hey! Are you guys okay down there?" yelled Jude down into the pit, afterwards thinking how stupid a question it was.
"Hanley! Hanley, the rescue team has arrived!" said one of the marines who's eyes had been tore from their sockets. " he felt around for his friend only to find a decapitated body laying beside him. "Crap!" he said jerking away from the body, "I hope that's not you, Hanley."
"Is this all of the survivors?" Jude yelled again, but the marine didn't answer. He turned around to see if William had the winch fixed yet. "William, I going on down. I'm going to check to see how many survivors there are. Just lower the winch down to me when you get it ready." William nodded and continued to attach the winch. As Jude slid down the side of the pit he landed in a pile of bodies that reached all the way to his knee. He turned on his light to see that he was standing in a mass grave. He looked to his left and saw the marine that he had been communicating with earlier. He waded through the bodies of other marines, some dead, and some who weren't dead but wished they were.
The blind marine could hear Jude as he came towards him. He went into a panic and tried to climb out of the pit. His actions grew more frantic as Jude came closer, "Don't come near me you hear! Don't come near me! I saw what you did to the guys on WhiteCaps! Get away! Get away!"
Jude was puzzled at this, "Where is WhiteCaps?", but the marine would only answer in a fearful manner, and any information that he gave was unintelligible. As he tried to figure out a way to calm him down, something hit him in the head. He looked up to see the winch cable dangling a few inches above him. "William," he said loudly, "is Camden up there?"
William looked behind him, "Yeah, he almost done with the transmission."
"Tell him to see if there is a place called Whitecaps anywhere near here." William walked over to Camden ,and relayed the orders to him. Now all we need to do is get as many of these men out of here as possible while we wait for the medical team to arrive.
After around three minutes of extracting injured marines out of the pit, Camden came over to Jude who was coming out of the pit. "If I am correct, WhiteCaps is the nearby mountain range which has snow all year at its peaks, thus the name WhiteCaps."
Jude handed a marine to William before answering, "Camden, I want you and Allicia to go there and look for a base, camp, or something of that sort. One of the marines kept babbling about something that the Covenant did there. Also, did you get an ETA on the medical team?"
"Yes, they should be here in about two hours to two and a half." Camden walked back to the radio which was sitting beside the Warthog and turned it off. "Allicia," he said looking around to see where she was at, "where are you at?"
"I'm here," came a voice from the other side of the Warthog. Camden walked around the Warthog to find Allicia bandaging up one of the marines. She had taken her helmet off and revealed her chestnut colored hair came down to just past her ears. She brushed it back behind her ear as it dangled in front of her face. Camden grabbed her helmet which had been sitting next to the Warthog and handed it to her. "Jude wants us to go up on the mountain and look for an outpost that is supposedly up there."
Allicia looked down at the injured marine as she got up. "Well, I hope he's got someone to bandage these guys up," she said slinging her Assualt Rifle over her shoulder, "come on, let's go." she started to walk away, but then stopped and asked Camden, "Wait a minute, what are we supposed to get there?"
Camden paused and thought about it. Their vehicle did seem to be the only one in the city. "I think I might have seen a garage on the southeast entrance to town. It's on the way so we may as well go and check it out." Allicia nodded in consent. It was around a fifteen minute walk to the southeast entrance, and when they finally arrived they were happy to see that there was a treaded Warthog, being an experimental version only a few hundred were made. Camden checked the gas tank and found it to be full and then jumped into the drivers seat.
Allicia walked around and sat down in the passenger seat. "Have you driven one of these before?" she asked.
"No," he answered as he switched on the ignition, "but I did drive the Scorpions some back at my training station. From the looks of things the handling shouldn't be much different." He gave it some gas, and the Warthog lumbered out of the garage. Camden put the pedal to the floor only to discover that the top speed of the vehicle was around that of a Scorpion tank. The Warthog began to show its useful qualities as it entered the snowier regions of the WhiteCaps. The scene of snow covering the landscape was extremely beautiful, however, the silence that resided there showed that there was still a menacing presence on the mountain. After driving along the wooded area of the mountain for about the span of half an hour, Camden and Allicia came to a concrete bunker, which was an odity seeing as most of the UNSC bunkers were made from steel or titanium. Camden turned the engine off, "Do you think we should check it out?" he asked Allicia who had already gotten out of the 'Hog and started towards the structure.
"Why not," she answered waving her MA5B assault rifle towards the bunker, "even if there aren't any Marines in there maybe there are some answers as to what happened." Camden agreed as he grabbed his Battle Rifle and followed Allicia inside. They quietly moved through the structure checking each room as they went, unfortunately, all that they found was the same thing that they had found down in Little Hector. As they moved past a door labeled Heating Allicia suddenly signaled for Camden stop.
"What is it?" he asked over the comm. so as not to alert whatever Allicia had heard. She signaled for him to listen for a sound that was apparently inside the heating room. He listened for awhile , but heard nothing. He was about to make a joke about Allicia's equipment malfunctioning, but then he heard it. A cough was coming from the heating room. He gave her a thumbs up as he put his hand on the door handle. As he turned the handle, a sniper rifle bullet came crashing through the door, hitting him in the arm. He rolled out away from the door as his shield burst. "I think they may know we're here." he said sarcastically.
"As soon as you're shields recharge come on in, I'm going through." Camden started to protest, but she had already gone in. He was about to rush on in and give her some support, but before he heard her say from inside the room, "Never mind, Camden, come on in." He walked in wondering what was going on. Standing next to Allicia was a man who stood about five feet tall in a heavy coat, a toboggan, and a piece of cloth covering his mouth and nose.
"So," said Allicia swinging her rifle over her shoulder, "who are you, and how come you're not dead like the rest of your friends here."
"I am Daniel Blanc, I was out on recon when I was given a message over my comm. to alert Little Hector of an attack. I was on my way down the mountain when I noticed at least a dozen or more Phantoms flying past me. I knew that I would never be able to get there in time to warn them so I stopped here to radio them, but by the time I got here the Covenant had already killed everyone and destroyed the radio equipment. I headed back into the forest and waited for the Covenant to leave. I came back after I saw the Capital ship leave. I've been searching for survivors, but I hadn't had any luck until I found you two. Have any of you two fou-" he stopped mid sentence and ran to a window that was to his left.
"What is it?" asked Camden as he walked towards the window. He looked out the window to see a large wolf-like animal with brown scraggily fur.
"Those scum are Ikariards, but we call 'em Ikies for short. They've been plaguing our men since we set up base here. We don't have any proof, but some of our superiors believe that ONI has been using these forests for testing." They watched as it started to chew on the Warthog's treads. "Is that what you came up in?" Daniel asked pointing at the Warthog.
"Yes," replied Camden as he backed towards the door, "but if we don't hurry up there may not be much of it left to get back in." Camden went to the door, yet as he reached for the door a large Ikariad burst through, shoving him up against the wall with its massive jaws. It wrapped its mouth completely around Camden's abdomen, his shields began to fall rapidly.
"Stick to wall!" said Allicia as she began firing her Assault Rifle at the creatures side. It yelped in pain as it jumped back towards the door. Daniel raised his Sniper Rifle and fired a round into the animal's skull, it fell dead to the floor releasing Camden, who's shields were just about out.
"We have to leave now, there are about five more of them inside the bunker." said Daniel as he started for the door. Allicia was about to inquire how he knew that there were more of them in the building, but Camden stopped her by putting his hand on her shoulder and nodding to move on. They made their way through the corridors without seeing any more Ikariads, but as they exited the building Daniel seemed overly nervous. "They're coming down from their nests up higher in the mountain. Hurry up and hop in the 'Hog, we have to get out of here now."
"I'll drive," said Camden moving towards the Warthog, "you and Allicia get in the back and watch for those things."
"I don't think so," said Daniel as he jumped into the Warthog's driver seat before Camden, "I know this mountain far better than both of you, thus, I'll be the one to drive." Camden and Allicia pondered this for a moment and decided that he was probably right. Daniel spend down the mountain like a mad man, dodging trees, boulders, and other wildlife. The Spartans were now wondering if letting him drive was such a good idea. They were about half way down the mountain when a Ikariad launched itself out of the forest and into the side of the vehicle, but it was quickly sucked into the treads.
"Allicia," said Camden as he caught himself from falling out of the Warthog, "call Jude and William over the comm. and tell them that we may be bringing along a few extra friends." Camden watched a pack of the Ikariad rushed down the hill after them, and they were gaining ground. The Warthog came bursting through the tree line outside of Little Hector. Daniel pushed the Warthog's engine as fast as it would go. As they passed the gate to the town Camden and Allicia looked behind them to see Jude and William lying in wait behind the left side of the gate. The Ikies ran past them and were speedily gunned down from behind by Jude and William. The Spartans in the Warthog jumped out as Daniel continued to drive through the city's streets, shooting at the Ikariads as they charged them. In the span of around ten seconds all of the creatures were lying dead in the streets.
"Now Camden," Jude said as he kicked one of the beasts to make sure it was dead, "did they not teach you in your sector not to bring home stray animals." William chuckled at the remark. "So who was the guy in the 'Hog?"
"He said his name was Daniel Blanc," replied Allicia, "maybe we can learn more about him when the medical team gets here."
Squad47, Chapter 6
Date: 12 April 2007, 9:57 pm
It took two hours for the medical team to arrive from the Thetalis Military Base. From what the Medical team was able to gather, and from the report of Daniel Blanc, it had been concluded that a surprise attack from the Covenant had taken place starting in the camps that were at the WhiteCaps mountains, and came down from there into the city. It was headed by the Brute chieftain, Tartarus. Their mission had been to capture a human vessel in hopes of using its maps or A.I. to locate the human base planet; to locate Earth. When the cruiser that they had been following seemingly disappeared they attacked Little Hector in hopes of obtaining its location, but what they found was just as good as the cruiser. Colonel Herbert Remming had been transported to the Honorable Humiliation in hopes that they would be able to "persuade" him to divulge the location of Earth to them. Major Jason Ford, who was left with command after the Colonel's capture, had asked that the Spartans meet with him at Thetalis Military Base in hope of formulating a plan to rescue the Colonel. The squad agreed, but noted that they were already on their way to the Malvent, a frigate class ship, to be transported to their mission location. Major Ford told them that he would contact the Malvent, and have it rendezvous with them at Thetalis. The Spartans agreed and followed the Major in their Warthog to Thetalis.
Jude rolled their Warthog up the gates of Thetalis, as the Pelicans flew over the walls leaving the Spartans at the gate. They watched as a guard came up to the side of the gate.
"Are you with the Major?" the guard shouted from atop the gate.
"Yes!" Jude shouted back. You would figure that they would know about these kind of things. The guard signaled for the gates to be opened. It gave a loud shriek as it moved from its usual position. Since Pelicans were the main source of transportation, the gates were hardly ever used. They noticed as they drove through the base, which was 25 square miles, that it had surprisingly narrow streets. Marines stopped and stared as the Spartans drove by, they felt as though they were a sideshow in some bizarre circus.
They were stopped by an ODST as they came to an intersection. "Are you looking for the Citadel?" The Spartans thought for moment before Willam answered.
"I'm not very sure what the Citadel is, but we're looking for Major Ford. Do you know were we can find him?"
"Yes sir, you're looking for the Citadel alright, see that large building that's sticking out above all the others." The Spartans nodded, "that's the Citadel. You'll find Major Ford. Just keep your eye on that tower and you should be able to find it."
"Thank you, soldier." said Jude as they drove towards the tower.
The Spartans proceeded to the Center as the sun began to set. They were greeted at the entrance of the Citadel by a team of rocket-toting marines. They were checked for any concealed weapons, and their weapons and Warthog were moved to a garage in the southern district. This annoyed them seeing as it was the Major who had asked them to come in the first place. Afterwards, they were taken to the rooms that Ford had selected for them to stay in.
"The Major will need to see your squad in the morning." said one of the marines, "I will be waiting in the hall tomorrow, please notify me then and I will take you to see him." He then left the room.
Allicia and Camden took a look around the room. The room at the entrance, the living quarters, had a marble-topped table with leather seats, A sliding glass door that lead to a balcony was directly across from the door, the moonlight shone through it and bathed the room in its earie glow.
"They really pulled out all the stops on this one," said Camden as he sat down in one of the leather chairs, "They should spend less time on stuff like this, and spend more time trying to find better ways to fight the Covenant." Allicia nodded in concent.
Meanwhile, Jude sat outside on the balcony running over the events that had happened today in his head. The Covenant were on a campaign to find Earth and if they were able to get that information from Colonel Remming then the war would be over. Millions of lives would be lost. He took a sip of water from the glass that he had. Unless something happened, they were fighting a losing battle. He decided to put his thoughts to bed for the night.
The next morning the squad reported to Major Ford. "Spartans, you already know of Colonel Remmings capture. With the information provided by David Blanc and our scouts we located the Honerable Humiliation making stop in Mudai-Eina valley. We have a platoon of marines in the area, but we don't want to reveal their location to the Covenant. You will redverous with them there at the entrance to the valley. Any questions?"
"Only one, sir." replied William, "How do we know that the Covenant will still be there when we arrive?"
"Don't worry about it, Spartan, it will be there." Ford turned on a nearby holo-table which showed the terrain of Mudai-Eina, "The marines there keep a low profile, but they don't just sit around and do nothing. We'll contact them and have them make sure that the Covenant aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Oh, and I almost forgot," Major Ford walked over to the main computer and pulled out a disk, "this is Josia, he's an smart A.I. that was shipped to us last month. He would be more useful to you than he would to us." the Major handed the A.I. to Jude. Jude thanked the Major as he handed the A.I. to William. "To tell you the truth," the Major whispered, "I'm kind of glad to see him go. Really annoying if know what I mean."
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Allicia asked, "It's not every day that a planet with this small of a population gets a smart A.I.."
"Oh, don't worry about it." replied the Major, "This is key planet in the defense system. Actually, we are supposed to get another A.I. in a few weeks."
The squad thanked the Major again for the A.I. as they headed to the southern district to gear up.
Squad 47 Part 7
Date: 24 October 2007, 7:40 pm
In the garage area of the Thetalis Military base, Squad 47 was preparing for their mission to the Mudai-Eina Valley. William, who had been tasked with retrieving the A.I. that they had been given, had just returned to the garage as Jude was going over the mission with Camden and Allicia.
"After we meet up with the Marines in the Valley our main objective will be infiltrating the Covenant Cruiser. I would also like to propose that we make our secondary objective, destruction of the Cruiser." Jude looked up to see William walking up to them.
"Jude, Allicia, Camden," he said looking at each of them, "I would like you to meet our new A.I., Josiah." he pulled a chip out of the back of his helmet. As he held the chip near the ground a form of a man in cloak and hood appeared from the chip. "Josiah, I would like you to meet Spartan-258 Jude, Spartan-396 Camden, and Spartan-332 Allicia." said William pointing at each Spartan respectively.
"I pleased to meet you," said Josiah with a low but friendly voice which was accented only more by the fact that he had a beard, a trait uncommon among A.I., "I am honored to be serving with you, and...thankful, to be rid of this accursed place."
"Was there something wrong with place?" asked Allicia as she brushed her hair out of her face and put on her helmet.
"Not so much wrong as annoying. The workers here have no use for me I'm a military A.I. not a document sorter."
"I can see how that could get annoying for you." said Camden as he set a rocket launcher in the back of the 'Hog, along with some extra ammunition.
"Oh, you won't be needing to load up that Warthog." said Josiah, "I had some things rearranged for you." All four Spartans stared at Josiah, wondering what he'd done. "If you look in the garage area to our right you will see that I already have two vehicles loaded with weapons and supplies which will be needed for the mission ahead."
The squad walked into the next area, and sure enough, there sat a LAAG Warthog and a Mongoose ATV both loaded with weapons and supplies. The Mongoose had a Sniped Rifle and two Magnums on a crate beside it, and there were medical supplies and MRE rations in a modified compartment on the rear. The Warthog a Battle Rifle and Shotgun next to the driver's side, a SMG and Rocket Launcher on the passenger's side, and dual SMGs and a Light Support Turret in the rear.
"I like this guy already." said Jude as he walked toward the Warthog. He looked over at the Mongoose, then at William. "I hope you like ridin' solo William."
"I won't be going alone," said William as Josiah went back into the chip. William popped the the into his helmet, "I'll be taking Josiah with me so that I can get up-to-date information on anything ahead of us while I'm scouting."
"I guess that's fair." said Camden as he looked at Allicia then at Jude. "I guess we should get going then."
The three Spartans walked over to the Warthog as William jumped onto the Mongoose. "Josiah is patching himself through to the comm. system so that he can alert us if anything comes up." He said as he started the ATV up. He could hear the Warthog's engine revving behind him in anticipation. William accelerated the throttle and drove off with the others right behind him.
"This is Josiah. Can everyone read me?"
Allicia took one hand off the LAAG turret and placed it on her temple to activate the comm., "This is Allicia. We read you loud and clear, Josiah."
"Good," he replied with a chuckle, "as soon as we exit the base we will head North-Northeast. As long as we don't run into any trouble we should be there by tomorrow morning at around 0600."
"Copy that," Jude said, "We'll try and go until 0100 then stop for a rest."
"Okay, Josiah out."
Everything was going well at 1700 as the Squad made its way down a forested dirt path, and they had been driving for around seven hours without incidence. They slowed as they came to the denser part of the forest. The large tree trunks and cumbersome vines severely limited the Warthog as the turret was constantly needing to be cut free from a vine or low hanging branch. For eight more hours they drudged their way through the foliage until they came to a hill overlooking the northwestern Whitecap Mountains surrounding the Mudai-Eina Valley. Except for the occasional bird, the engines of their vehicles were the only sound on the entire hilltop.
William, who had been traveling about five minutes ahead of the other Spartans, got off his mongoose and used the zoom function in his visor to survey the surrounding area. He touched the side of his helmet and activated the comm., "Looks all clear from here. I think this would be the best place to stop for a rest."
"Is there any place to hide Warthog and Mongoose until morning?" asked Allicia over the comm. as she moved her arm around to brush the forest debris away from the turret.
William looked to his right then behind himself, he turned to his left and saw what appeared to be the ruins of an ancient temple or something of that sort. "There appears to be some sort of ruined structure that we could use." said William as he walked to inspect the building further.
"Well, if you think it's suitable contact us. We'll wait here until your sure." replied Jude.
Camden thumped his chest with his fist and pressed a button up along his collar bone, "Stupid cooling system keeps fouling' up."
Allicia reached down from the turret and tapped him on the shoulder, "Camden." she said.
"What?" he replied looking back at her.
"Your on the comm.."
"Oh, sorry about that." he said reaching up and turning it off.
William stood there for a moment after the comm. turned off and chuckled before heading into the ruined building. He slowly brushed away the vines and other hanging plants near the entrance to reveal a five foot tall opening that appeared to have once been a door. William stooped over and entered through the door to find a single small room with a pedestal in the center of the room. He looked around the room, but all that was there was a small hole about three feet in diameter. William walked over to the hole and peered into it with his light. "Wonder what's in there?" he said to himself as he stood back up.
"That's a Ikariad wolf's den." replied Josiah.
"You mean those giant dog things that were chasing Camden and Allicia at Hector." asked William as he stepped towards the room's center, and the pedestal.
"If my study of your battle data is correct then yes, but there's no need to worry. This den has been deserted for a good while." answered Josiah.
"Well that's nice." said William as he took a closer look at the pedestal. "Josiah, can you get any readings on what this place may have been used for?"
"I can try, but I ca-" Josiah was interrupted as William, who was looking for some evidence of what the ruin had been used for, activated the pedestal. A hologram of the surrounding mountains and valleys appeared, with pictures of ancient roads and buildings. William pulled the chip out of his neural system and lowered it to the ground, allowing Josiah to transmit to holographic format.
"Josiah, what exactly am I looking at here?" asked William.
Josiah studied the map for a minute before responding, " It appears that there was once an ancient civilization here. If I am reading this correctly they came here to escape a flood." Josiah studied the code of the map some more.
"Well, we're running out of time," said William as he walked towards the door. "I'm going to call the others and let them know that it's safe enough to stay here."
"Good, It will give me a little longer to study these texts."
William ducked under the door and turned on his comm. as he walked over to his Mongoose. He looked out over the horizon, the twin suns made the sky glow a dim green in the evenings. "Jude, do copy?" he asked.
"This is Jude. Is the area clear?"
"Yes, and we may have even hit a little map room. The only thing that may be a problem is that it's the site of an old Ikariad nest."
"Okay. Maybe we can use that to find a quicker way into the valley. As for the nest, we can post watches. ETA is five minutes."
"Copy that, ETA in five." with that William switched off the comm. and turned back into the building. "Anything new, Josiah"
"Not yet, there is just so much information here. Whoever these people were they sure were advanced, but it didn't seem to be much help to them from the looks of things now." Josiah walked around to the other side of the pedestal. He looked at the map for a moment, then pointed at a small trail leading to a gap in the mountains. "That's the road we'll be taking," he pointed at another spot near the bottom of the mountain range inside the valley, "and that's where we are meeting the marines." He walked back to his standing point and began to pour over even more strands of code.
William turned his head as the familiar sound of a Warthog engine pulled up outside. "I'll leave you to your work." William said to Josiah as he stooped under the door once more. William walked over to the Warthog which Jude, Allicia, and Camden were unloading. Josiah thinks he's found a quicker route to the our redeverous in the valley."
"Good," replied Jude as he took a gas can from the back and proceeded to fill the 'Hog's tank, "we'll need every advantage we can get. I mean, we taking down a small Covenant ship won't be all that hard, but it's getting Colonel Remming out of there unharmed that'll be hard."
"Hey William, did Josiah figure out anything else on those Ikariad nests?" asked Allicia.
"He said that it had been abandoned for a good while, but I think we should keep watch just in case."
"I'll volunteer for the first watch," said Camden as he stretched, "I've done nothing except sit in that Warthog all day. This will give me a chance to focus my mind on something."
"I'll take next watch," said Jude pointing at himself with his thumb, "then William, then Allicia. Is that okay with you guys?" All the Spartans nodded in agreement. "Good," he said as he grabbed an MRE, and with Camden's help, pushed the Warthog into the bushes, "I recommend we get some rest now. 'Cause we might not have any the next couple of nights." Camden reached for an MRE as the other Spartans went to get some much-needed rest.
Allicia laid out under a nearby tree gazing over the landscape as she tried to fall asleep. She watched as the planet's two moons crossed each other giving the illusion of there being only one moon. She removed her crimson helmet and set it next her. She took her hands and ran them through her chestnut hair. Even though it only came to the bottom of her ears, it was still long by military standards. My first mission. Doesn't exactly live up to what we were told it would be like, but then again we haven't really seen any true action. Allicia propped her head up against the tree trunk and closed her eyes. Maybe we'll get some action tomorrow. As Allicia lay there she thought she could here something, it sounded like comm. feedback at first, but it just kept getting louder and louder. Suddenly, an explosion was heard. It sounded as though it had come from the camp, which since they were nearing the Covenant Cruiser probably meant that they were within patrol range. Allicia immediately jumped and made a dash back towards the camp. As she neared the camp, she could hear three-round bursts of Jude and Camden's Battle Rifles and the unmistakable fire of plasma bolts. She came to the clearing to find Jude and Camden crouched behind the flaming remains of their Warthog and with William nowhere in sight. She reached to activate her comm. only to realize that in her haste she had left her helmet.
Just then Camden turned and saw her, "Allicia," he yelled over the plasma and gunfire, "go find William. He should be getting Josiah." A carbine burst hit him and drained nearly all his shields. He ducked down behind the Warthog then looked back at Allicia. "Go!" he yelled waving his hand back in William's direction.
Allicia nodded and made off through the forest towards the ruins. It seemed much farther than it had been earlier in the evening. When she finally reached her destination she realized that she was sweating, this was most unusual. Spartans had been trained extremely hard from their beginning in the Spartan program. She entered through the small door to find William and Josiah standing there reading the holomap. "Guys, we need to hurry up. The Covenant have Jude and Camden pinned down by the Warthog."
"Give Josiah a minute to make a copy of this map, it could be useful later." said William as he shoved a clip into his sniper rifle. He knelt down next to the small green figure, "Are you done yet?" he asked in a slightly irritated voice.
"Not yet." replied the A.I. seemingly not aware of the imminent danger.
William stood back up and looked at Allicia, "Missing something?" he asked knocking on his helmet.
"I forgot in my rush over here." said Allicia with a hint of embarrassment in her voice.
"Well here," William grabbed both of his Magnums from his leg-holsters and tossed them to Allicia. "You might need a weapon."
Josiah brought up a panel and waved his hand across it. "There, now we can leave."
William held the chip down for Josiah to phase into. As he kneeled down, an energy sword ignited behind him. Allicia began to warn him, but it was to late. She could only watch as the sword was plunged through his chest. The sword was swiftly yanked out as an elite uncloaked and William fell to the floor. Allicia instinctively raised her weapons and fired until she had emptied both clips. Even after two full rounds the elite's shield gave no sign of breaking. Allicia took a step back and bumped into something that wasn't the wall. She turned her head around to see another elite standing at its full height of eight feet with two plasma rifles. Allicia stepped back only to have her throat grasped by the first elite from behind. Both the beasts began to laugh.
"You've failed us," said Josiah from behind the pedestal. The elite placed his sword near her neck, the heat from the sword seemed to penetrate even through her MJOLNIR.
I can't go out yet, not like this at least. She kicked and struggled, but the monster's grip only tightened.
"Well Allicia, you're up." came William's voice from behind.
"William, hurry run!" she struggled more but the elite's grasp was firm. William walked past the elite and in front of Allicia. The wound he has shouldn't let him do that. The second elite handed him an energy sword. With a flick of his wrist he activated it.
"Come on Allicia, let's get this over with." William pulled back the sword and swung at her.
Allicia awoke with a gasp. She looked up at William extremely bewildered, then glancing left and right saw no evidence of battle that she thought had taken place.
"You alright, Allicia?" William asked rubbing his stubbly chin.
"Yeah, I'm okay." she took a deep breath and realized that her heart was racing. "It must have been a dream."
"Well you won't need to worry about it now; we won't be sleeping again 'til we get the colonel back." he said with a chuckle.
Allicia smiled and put her helmet on. William grabbed her hand and helped her to her feet. William sat himself down where Allicia had just been and crossed one leg over the other for a short nap. Allicia walking back towards camp looked at the sites that had been in her dream. The Warthog still sat in the bushes with Jude stretched out resting beside it. As she neared the ruins she saw Camden sitting up against the wall napping with his helmet hanging on a stiff branch jutting from between the ruin's stones. She continued to patrol until morning under the night stars.
Squad 47 Part 8
Date: 29 February 2008, 2:27 am
Colonel Herbert Remming collapsed on the floor of the Covenant holding cell as his Brute captors activated the shield barrier. He scooted over to the wall of the cell and propped himself up. He looked up at his captors, his head was throbbing in pain, but right now that was the least of his worries. A Brute Chieftain sporting a white mohawk stepped forward and peered menacingly into the holding cell.
"Just give us what we want and we'll end your life rather painlessly." he growled.
Remming eyed the chieftain carefully, "In the words of General Anthony McAuliffe, 'Nuts!'"
The Brutes stood bewildered and there was a moment of silence before the Chieftain responded. "Human, I don't see how plants are going to help you in this situation."
"I didn't think they would." the Colonel chuckled putting his hand on his head. "It means no. You're not getting anything out of me, so go ahead and do your worst."
This time it was the Brutes that chuckled, however be it more menacingly. "Don't worry you fool, it will be a while before we get to that." With that the Chieftain barked some orders to his soldiers and left for the bridge.
Remming rubbed his forehead and sighed, "So much for quick and easy."
Allicia looked down on the Mudai-Eina Valley. The valley's steep mountains seemed dwarfed by the size of the Covenant Cruiser hovering precariously close between their peaks. She seemed to be in a trance as she stared towards the alien craft. Her concentration, however, broke as she heard one of her team approaching from behind. She turned to see Camden coming towards her, cleaning his rocket launcher.
"Sleep well?" he asked as he looked up from his weapon.
"Not really." replied Allicia as she ran her hand through her hair. "How about you?"
"Eh, about as good as could be expected out here." He paused to move his rocket launcher so he could clean inside the barrel before continuing, "Jude said we should be there by around 1200 today." They both looked on as Wraiths were being lifted up via grav-lift into the Cruiser. "Something wrong, Allicia? You look worried." he asked concern in his voice.
"No, I'm good." she said trying to avoid a more specific answer. "Come on," she said with a wave of her hand in the direction of camp, "the sooner we get moving the sooner we can kill some Covies."
The Spartan hefted his rocket launcher over his shoulder and smiled, "Now that sounds like the Allicia I'm used to."
Back at the camp Jude had already loaded up the Warthog with equipment and filled up its tank with fuel. A few feet away stood William adjusting his sniper scope, "Hey, Jude," he asked not looking up from the rifle, "did you ever get the Intel on how many Covenant troops are supposed to be on this ship?"
Jude answered as he went to start up the Warthog, "No, but most likely I'd say one hundred to one thousand, give or take a couple hundred depending on what its role in the fleet is." Jude ignited the engine as the Warthog gave a sickening cough, before it died.
"Great," he said sarcastically as he threw his hands in the air, "this is just what I need." William chuckled as Jude knelt down to grab a set of tools and inspect the engine. "Aha! Here it is," he said as he pulled out a small lump of fur from the engine, "You know, they should really make these things animal proof." he said as he shaking the corpse before tossing it away. "Has Josiah finished with his 'research' yet?"
William gave a suppressed chuckle, "No, he's been at it all night. I guess that's one of the advantages of being an A.I.. No need for sleep."
"Yeah, tell me about it." Jude said dropping the hood with a noise that caused a flock of birds to fly off from a nearby bush. He turned around to see Allicia and Camden approaching the Warthog. "You guys about ready?"
"Just about," replied Camden as he took his rocket launcher from his shoulder and placed it in the passenger seat of the Warthog. "Is everyone else ready?"
"Everyone except for Josiah, I believe," said Jude as he looked towards William "Hey, William, you want to go check on Josiah?"
"Sure, why not." he said placing his sniper rifle on his back. As the other three loaded up the Warthog, William ducked under the vine-covered entrance into the ruins. There on the ground he found the holographic form of Josiah whose rugged face strained as he swept through file after file. "Josiah, sorry to drag you away from your study of this wonderful place," William said with a hint of sarcasm, "but it's time to move."
"I see," said Josiah as he closed off all the files with a reluctant wave of his hand, "at least I was able to gain some considerable information during my time here. I believe it would be very profitable to recommend a research expedition here."
"Well, I'll see what we can do about that." said William with a smile as he held Josiah's data matrix. The A.I. raised his hand to the crystal and disappeared. William took his helmet from the pedestal, sliding the chip into his neural lace as he put it on. The two then made their way out through the vine-encased doorway. Outside Jude loaded the last of the necessary supplies into what space was left available in the Warthog. Allicia and Camden were already seated in the 'Hog with the former in the turret and the latter in the passenger with his arm thrown comfortably over the center roll bar.
"Ready?" asked Camden positioning himself to ride.
William knocked on his helmet, "We're ready."
"Good," replied Jude hopping into the driver's seat. "Let's go then." he pushed the ignition switch and the engine started up, two small birds flying out of the exhaust as it sputtered. Jude looked back as they flew off. "I wonder what else I have in this thing?" He put the 'Hog into gear and waited as William mounted his Mongoose and started off ahead of them.
After five hours of navigating through the thick jungle terrain the squad had found few signs of the UNSC presence in the forest. Footprints, tire tracks, and possibly even tracks made from the treads of a pair of Scorpion tanks, but the makers of the tracks were nowhere to be found. Information given to them involving the whereabouts of the Marines in the area was only general, their base's position kept secret by keeping it mobile. It took the Spartans nearly two hours after finding the tracks to find any of the actual Marines, with William coming across a lone Marine on the makeshift dirt road around dusk.
"Hey," the Marine asked rather loudly as he walked towards William's Mongoose, "Who goes there?"
"Spartan-175, marine." replied William as he shut off the Mongoose's engine.
"A Spartan, eh? Man, we're sure glad see you, sir. Captain Peterson couldn't have waited much longer. We were thinkin' that Covenant Cruiser will be launchin' any day now."
"How far to the rest of your company, marine?"
"They're about half a click away, sir. Would you like me to show you?"
"Not yet, marine, we'll wait for the rest of my squad, then you can lead the way." said William as he turned back and activated his comm., "Jude, can you hear me?"
"I read you loud and clear."
"I've come across a marine from the company we're looking for. As soon as you guys arrive we'll continue on."
"Okay, I'll relay that to the others." Jude replied, shutting off the comm. Within a few minutes the Warthog was waved off the jungle trail where William and the Marines had been waiting then the squad, accompanied by a marine, drove the rest of the way to the Marine camp.
After arriving at the Marine camp, the squad was asked to meet with Captain Peterson. He had been trying to hold off the Covenant launch until the Spartans arrived to complete their rescue mission. After a quick debriefing from both sides they gathered in the Captain's tent to discuss a plan on assaulting the vessel.
"I've had some time to think this over," explained Peterson as he unrolled a map of the Valley on a fold-up table, "We only have a limited amount of vehicles to work with so I believe a diversionary maneuver would be best for this situation." He stepped back and allowed the Spartans to move closer and observe the map. William made a gesture at the map while the others nodded. Must be using comms.. Guess keeping up their air of mystery is part of the job. Jude reached down and tapped his finger on a portion of the map showing the ridge near the Cruiser, and ran his finger to another nearby ridge on the opposite side. Camden reached down and pointed at the grav lift under the Cruiser, and Allicia gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Well?" asked the Captain as he stepped towards the Spartans, "Any input?"
William looked up from the map. "We'll need two flanking positions on these ridges," he said pointing back down at the ridges on the map. "We could place our Scorpions here on the western ridge, and a group of snipers and rockets on the south-eastern one."
"And I guess we'll use the grav lift to gain entry?" inquired Peterson as he leaned over the table.
"Not exactly," replied William as he stepped back from the map. "the Covenant will be quick to respond, and will probably have a few troops on the ground already. Even if we did get up the lift we would be dead if they tried to send down troops."
Jude stepped forward and interjected, "Captain, am I correct in noting that you happen to have a Hornet that you've been pulling along with you?"
"Why yes, but it's been out of commission since our last battle involving some Drones. We believe it's the stabilizer, but our engineers can't seem to pinpoint it exactly."
"Captain, would you mind if our A.I. and I took a look at it. It may come in handy if we can get it in the air."
Peterson thought for a moment, "No, 258, I don't see any problem with that. My men can take you to it now if you want."
"Wonderful." replied Jude. He turned towards William who unplugged Josiah and handed him over. Jude patted William on the shoulder as he passed to follow the Captain's men outside.
William turned back to the map and continued to reveal his plan. "If 258 can get that Hornet working it will greatly increase our chance of success. We could use it to lift 396 and 332 above the Cruiser." he said pointing to Camden and Allicia respectively, "From there they could cut their way inside, find the Colonel, and make their way to the grav lift."
"Wait, I thought you said the lift was too dangerous?" Peterson asked with concern.
"Coming from below, yes, but it is much safer going the other way." The Captain nodded his head agreeing. "Well, Captain, does it sound reasonable?" he asked with confidence.
"Spartan," Peterson said as he leaned forward on the table, "coming from anybody else I'd call it crazy, but that's probably why they sent you." He jotted some orders down on a notepad and handed it to one of his men who ran out of tent soon afterwards. "We'll attack at sunrise; have your Spartans ready by then. Let's just hope this works, 'cause by the time we figure out if it won't it will probably be too late to do anything about it."