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The First Step Into A Long Fall by JediKnight114



The First Step Into A Long Fall Part 1
Date: 30 April 2002, 1:03 am

"Well, there it is, Myth," remarked a marine from the drop ship. The drop ship neared the rocky giant, Jake turned to his new friend and companion Alex and remarked "you ready?" Alex replied "I hope so." Jake and Alex had joined up with the Marines after news got to earth about the fall of reach, both just happened to be snipers for the same squad. Both too eager to see action, Jake had adopted the name, showboat while Alex, was happy trails. Just then Sophie the drop ship's pilot came over the intercom "alrighty boys touchdown in 5" this woke some of the marines who drifted off during the flight down form the Centaury Dawn. The Centaury Dawn is the newest yet one of the only cruisers left in the UNSC's fleet. The 5 minutes had expired and sure enough they could now see a moderately sized installation with scores of troops on the move along with dozens of warthogs dotting the perimeter. To add to that were service bays with several scorpions in them. The drop ship proceeded to a large raised platform in the center of the installation, "ok boys head out I'm going to catch myself some coffee." With that the marines exited and retired to their barracks, "so Alex think we are going to see anything here?" "dunno lets hope so." Alex was moderately quiet while Jake was the outgoing one the two were like brothers they had developed a bond over the short months of bullshit they call basic training. Jake's interpretation of it was "here is a rifle this is how you shoot it, grenade pull pin throw ok now your read" things had gotten sloppy since reach was glassed. Night came and went now it was 3:30am military standard, the usual time the base became busy again with activity. The intercom squawked "Charlie team, Delta team report to briefing"
As Jake heard this he gathered his gear and help out Alex all the while having his platoon sergeant Benjamin Hobbs yelling at them to double time. They had gotten to briefing late, not good, Commander Dalton dismissed the tardiness, for now there were more important matters. "Ok listen up guys the covenant are getting to close to earth we cant let that happen fight for earth with everything you have, the covenant have landed and are currently occupying a broad area here near sector G cross section H, out by the big mountain ranges. We have a little surprise for them we are giving you 4 scorpions refitted with a refractive alloy that relays plasma back into the open air and the chain gun replaced with a more accurate rail gun. Delta will lead in with the tanks Charlie you give close anti troop support we need to decisively strike them down if retreat is the only open option use it wisely, we may not be able to re- supply you. Delta you will lead through this pass that stops short before a creek and Charlie I want you to take these hills here on the opposite side to flank the covenant, am I clear?" Alex though well this is it and he pulled out his dog tags and kissed them for luck. ›Later in the weapons locker Jake was busy sculpting together his new rifle it had a carbon based barrel with a notch inside it to give the bullet a reverse rotation for distance, along with a steel foam molded stock and his own custom sight with thermal imaging. Alex came in a picked up a standard issue 52 AB slightly better than the older 52 AM, he gave a look of disapproval and decided to add his perks to it also. Alex refitted an aluminum alloy barrel onto the rifle they then departed to the drop ship. By now it was 6:50 military standard and Charlie had just reached their objective Jake took vantage to the North ridge and Alex over to his left on the East slope. "This is Showboat to Boomhower I have 2 elite patrols on the North sector along with various grunts station at the perimeters," "Happy Trails here I have the East looks to be the most heavily defended advise Delta to move it through the South pass "this is Boomhower safeties loose men fire when ready" "copy Showboat out, ›I copy Happy Trails out." Just then Alex shot at an and it elite sucked all the lead out of the bullet falling over twisted as if his back had broke and then was a lifeless heap on the ground. Jake soon followed with dropping another elite which had slumped against a wall the covenant were in total disarray



The First Step Into A Long Fall Part 2
Date: 1 May 2002, 2:54 am

Jake smiled contently he quickly  moved his sight up to a grunt in retreat round a corner Bam! Another shot straight through the grunts head, it immediately stopped and face planted the ground.
"another one down" shouted Jake
"this is Boomhower give me an ETA to move in we have a short window here"
"Happy Trails here go on my mark, set, time' now 4 minutes"
Jake again panned the area when he spotted his next victim, "you sorry bastard here is a present for ya!" with that he shot the defining sound cut through the rest of the barrage the squad was giving to the covenant. A couple grenades were tossed out near the 4 shade guns in the east corner which effectively took them out. Then plasma bolts peppered the vicinity where Alex was he then leapt up and ran 20yrds to relocate for the covenant had found him, once settled back down again he saw a gold elite. He shouldered his rifle and placed the sight right over the crest of the elites armor and executed two beautiful shots straight through the upper skull of the elite the force of the impact moved the elite back a couple steps until it fell over crushing three near by grunts, Alex chuckled to himself.
"Mark! Delta move through the south pass take a position to you left flank, we have right and your forward guard"
"Alright Delta lets move it  I want the scorpions to give heavy suppressive fire ! All warthogs take our right, watch for enemy air support!"
The tanks moved with a methodical rumble with they're rail guns coughing out round after round, which were drowned out by the chain guns of the warthogs that were riding escort. Than in one mighty salvo all four tanks fired in perfect unison all four shells impacting enemy gun emplacements. Plums of fiery smoke rose up from the ground once occupied by covenant.
"watch out ! Covenant mortar tanks inbound fall back to the east !" shouted a marine from Charlie squad. By this time the tanks had reloaded and were ready the first of the enemy tanks that  showed. It took fire from 2 tanks wedged into a rock formation immediately turning them to charred cinders and ashes.
"whoa six hunters advancing on you Delta, me and Happy Trails will intercept them enroute" now Jake and Alex were on the move each taking shots as they moved with a grace that none has ever seen before. Hurtling rocks and tree stumps while keeping their rifles shouldered. They managed to take out four of the six by shooting their backs clearly pointed out by solid white contrails. But by then the other two noticed Alex and Jake started to open fire on them. Jake dove to his left and almost off the cliff but rolled back over and pushed himself back up after the fuel rod charge had sailed over head, letting the rifle hang free around his shoulders  he continued forward . Alex had to jump back a step to avoid the blast, then the supersonic sound of a tank shell rocketed by followed by a huge explosion, they both looked to see a scorpion at the base of the cliff which had swung around by 90 degrees. Jake then recovered his breath and  noticed scorch marks on his side and leg where his armor once was , Alex was taking a quick drink form his flask which he always carries around with him.
"shit that was too close, lets go we have to stay on top of things"
Now either side's tanks were engaging each other, two scorpions were side to side firing at a mortar tank and the other two had gotten behind the mortar tanks and began to open fire everywhere covenant and marine alike was engaged in some form of combat. Delta had become spread thin, they did attempt to regroup but was cut short by the mortar tanks. They did however manage to take most of the elites out but a large number of grunts were left. Then something that was rather a morale boost happened Sergeant Hobbs had come over a comm. channel.
"ok take us in point blank I want to flip one of those tanks and keep our tank fire concentrated on their tanks anyway" then a brief moment of silence as everyone witnessed the hog blow up on contact with the tank. The explosion was so massive it spread to another mortar tank near bay and melted it away. The four scorpion tanks fired again then took out the last covenant tank. Then what was left of the three warthogs that made it in the base were leavening at full speed  and Hobbs' second in command corporal Christian came over the comm.
"Ok guys lets show Hobbs everything wasn't in vain, Delta lets go move it go, go, go  "
Jake and Alex joined up with the rest of the squad and moved out to the extraction point. While that was taking place the  ground shook tremendously and a mushroom cloud was seen rising over where they had just left as the marines boarded their drop ships the losses began to show Charlie squad lost twenty five people while Delta reported 2/3 casualties. The ride back to the base was a solemn  one for everyone gave they're own moment of silence for Hobbs' sacrifice. As they got back more bad news was to great them Delta was ambushed an suffered 90% losses including all four tanks. Jake had been taken to sickbay for burns and a fracture while Alex and the rest of the squad were in debrief .



The First Step Into A Long Fall Part 3
Date: 14 May 2002, 10:54 pm

Well the worst happened to Delta squad, everyone hung in silence. Jake had gotten out of sick bay (after a little mingle with the nurse) and had joined up with the rest of his squad. Life around the base was easy going, every day something new would turn up and with research facilities going full charge something big was bound to happen. As for some of the new technical advances there was a simple shield devise that automatically charged and covered the area in which the projectile was to strike, sort of like a smart shield. Another was a new battle armor, it had multiple layers the classic titanium alloy cover with a layer of anti flame material with a water base inside, and the very bottom layer was heavy Kevlar with a steal strip running through it. All made lighter by advanced movement enhancers. The usual supply ship came on its schedule and past on the news about our several defeats and few wins, morale was running low these days. Then the solemn  tune of life was cut short when the base intercom came to, "Eagle Battalion report to briefing on the double" . Alex looked up form his meal to see his fellow soldiers running and scurrying  to and fro until Jake ran by and did one of those double takes and stopped  turned around and grabbed Alex,
"c'mon man we gotta go", then commander Dalton's voce came over again
"All combat teams on alert Alpha 1 , Fire teams to offensive positions, stand ready"
Something was up and everyone knew it, the entire battalion had assembled and was ready. Dalton soon showed his weary face and asked if everyone would watch the projection screen in the center of the room. The screen came to life and showed massive scenes of destruction, an entire base annihilated smoldering wreckage was everywhere with wisps of flam and smoke rising up. Then the camera flashed back, showing scenes of incredible fighting, explosions big enough to rip apart tanks and reinforced bunkers gun fire projectile and plasma alike was all over the place. The camera panned and zoomed on a marine hanging on the back of an elite stabbing it with his combat knife, purple blood oozed everywhere then the elite limp without life slumped and fell. The marine then got up and was hit in the back by a charged shot, a huge hole was blasted into him and with a dieing breath he threw a grenade onto a gold elite, a beautiful flash of blue went off. Then the camera flickered and then dimmed. "alright gentlemen as you can see we have our selves a problem. We are dispatching you to this area here 4.45 clicks south by south west of  installation 026 where we believe to have found a covenant force there. You will have full force compliments and every piece of equipment we have churned out over that past months. Your objective here is to eliminate any and all forces there and to establish a outpost to hold your position until we provide relief. May luck carry you so far may your skill hold you upright and may the survival of mankind keep you alive, God Speed gentlemen."
In all 60 drop ships and 2 cargo ships were airborne and enroute to their target. Jake and Alex settled up together, "hey whatta ya say we set up together this time?"
"sure, I can't see the harm in that", the drop ships landed an hour or 2 off schedule due to bad weather. As they landed tanks and jeeps all busied themselves with setting up a perimeter,  103 tanks and 70 jeeps all made use of themselves. Captain Mclarkin came over the comm. Channel, " ok boys we have some bastards to go kill" with that the behemoth force moved on.
"this is Jolly Green to Eagle's landing enemy sighted 250 meters north of our current position, I count 53 mortar tanks 20 ghost escorts and roughly 3 elite squads, 10 squads of grunts and jackals , we have our work cut out for us sir"
"hmm right lets see , all units move east 5 degrees I want cutthroat interceptors on point, soften em up a bit." then the unmistakable roar of the interceptor's engines were heard off in the distance , then over head , and then out in front . As the cutthroats were flying escort longswords came in and dropped their payload, secondary explosions confirmed hitting their targets. Jake and Alex had moved ahead to pre- position themselves with the other snipers.
"snipers in position we have I repeat we have a clear shot may we engage enemy ?"
"permission granted engage enemy on your mark I repeat you are clear fire at your discretion"
As that was said white contrails were seen being shot off and elite after elite dropped then the fire concentrated to the jackals. but the jackals soon organized themselves and walled up next to each other. "shit that's gonna be  a problem" yelled Another marine suppressing fire continued to keep the jackals pinned. Then the warthogs leaping and bounding over the ridge came charging out into the midst of everything chain guns going everywhere. The covenant mortar tanks quickly countered this sudden onslaught, 5 jeeps were taken out and 2 more damaged in a volley of super hot plasma. 4 scorpions took vantage on either side of the ridge pass and fired. The other scorpions filed in and took u positions and fired as well, plasma and tanks shells were exchanged. A costly effort but scorpion after scorpion was cratered though each tank did not perish in vain, they took out 23 mortar tanks.
"move forward advance bring heavy fire don't let our lead slip" with that everyone lurched forward and sniper fire opened again a gold elite directing covenant troop movement was shot through the head by 5 different snipers and then shot twice in the chest just to make sure he wouldn't get back up, longswords came over again and dropped more bombs, huge fireballs plumed upwards where they hit. Then a group of 25 hunters appeared over the far northern hill closest to the covenant base. They immediately opened fire their fuel rods clashing down peppering the battle field, killed both covenant and humans.
"Jake c'mon lets get those hunters"
"ya I'm with ya"
"wait I have something on my motion tracker,... Hold up" Alex raised his rifle and clicked on his inferred which wined to life casting the world into the mute red thermal world. He saw 3 cold spots shaped like an elite, he pulled the trigger twice over what he thought to be the head of one of them, it fell dead it's jaw twisted and broken. The other two took cover but were stopped short by a volley of grenades tossed by a group of marines behind the elites, they smiled and waved the all clear to Jake and Alex. They both moved on and took up temporary cover in some bushes Alex mounted his rifle again and sighted in on one of the hunters...



The First Step Into A Long Fall Part 4
Date: 3 June 2002, 5:46 am

As he aimed at the hunters Alex saw 5 marines move up the base of the pass he was settled up on, one of them shouldered a rocket launcher. The other four marines threw grenades into the crowd of covenant some 50 yards to their left , Jake came and sat next to Alex and aided the marines. Alex then yelled to the marine with the rocket launcher "you private!"
"yes, sir?" answered the marine
"see if you can fire there at those hunters before they get in range of us!"
"yes sir!" with that he fired a rocket left of the hunters and before you knew it another rocket was off to the right, as they both watched the rockets head toward the hunters nearly dead even with each other then as the hit with slight error 4 hunters were ejected from their running path up and over 45 feet to their deaths. The other 11 were still advancing this time firing on the marines,
"run! Get clear" yelled Alex, Jake propped over and took four shots, only 2 of them brought down the massive hunters. "this is Happy Trails I'm requesting some support here I want a tank over on my position now we have incoming hunters and are unable to stop their advance I repeat we need help" almost instantly a scorpion came out of know where and planted a tank shell right into the group of hunters effectively taking out all but 2. The hunters exchanged fire the marines that had come back out to press cover fire had been lessened to half now, the 2 that survived the plasma blast crawled over to some rocks to hide , another tank salvo went across the gorge and cut the remaining hunters down. Now Jake and Alex could turn their focus on the battle unraveling before them the forces of both sides had been reduced to little to slim but the marines still had a couple hogs and 2 tanks. They used this to their advantage the two tanks stationed on the flanks pounded the covenant and the hogs ran in and out of combat both dropping off wounded and picking fresh soldiers up. Then the unthinkable happened the remnants of the grunts had backed into the base and killed themselves. Astonished the marines ceased fire and stood in awe. Jake and Alex froze
"something's up" said Jake, he donned his thermal goggles,
"where the hell did you get those things?!" said Alex
"hehe what can I say I'm a fan of the olden days hahaha, there coming over the ride 2 squads of cloaked elites, hey maybe if we sneak over behind em we can get one and see if we cant get our selves some of that cloak"
"shit dude your evil yet clever"
Alex then turned around to see 10 marines had taken residence to their sniper perch, "you all we need some help , ya guys up for it?"
"sir yes sir" came the shout from the marines,
"ok what are your names?"
"I'm Gunnery Sergeant Mike Arnold , that's Cpl Jared Smith , there are John, Josh, Carl, Andrew, Hal , Chris , Patrick, and Big Bob"
"Ok well lets move out we need you to distract those other elites while we single one of them out, ok here is what we are going to do. They are on their way to that clearing you guys take cover in those bushes there and we will give the word for grenades , got it?"
"yes sir"
"good move out keep on this ridge line cross over there and lead into that path and cut round the far side we will bring up the rear" as that was said the small newly formed task force set out moving with swiftness matched by few. They reached the break in the ridge and crossed into the path while Jake and Alex broke off around to the back of the elites. they nestled down safely behind the second squad of elites "on my mark..............2....1....now! grenades away !!" the elites walked right into a jumble of grenades. They all reacted in a chaotic mass then the explosions cut their screams and grunts short as nearly all died the marines fell back behind a boulder and Jake came up, took his combat knife and leaped towards an elite and slit its throat careful not to cut anything else so that the cloak did not wear off. The marines then jumped form their position and sprayed lead everywhere the last 3 elites decloaked and died.
"whew that was crazy ok is everyone in ship shape?"
"yea we are good"
"good, this is Show Boat calling evac I have a special bonus for our fellas at home"
"this is Shadow 419 I read you, transmit coordinates"
"commencing , current position is 55.9S by 110W"
"gotcha ETA 2 minutes"
"great, Show Boat out, you guys want a lift too ?"
"sure, hey wait where is Andrew?!?!?!?!?"
"look there !" shouted Josh Andrew staggered around the corner holding his stomach. Jared ran up to him and brought out a med pack "lemme see,... shit!. Its cauterized, no bleeding, th .. th .. that means he's been stabbed by a plasma sword!
Alex stepped forward "ok lets all stick together here in a tight ball so if we see the bastard he will get the surprise of his life"
"this is shadow boys I have a visual"
"ha! We could hear ya long before , we are ready for evac"
The pelican laded and they all hopped aboard they lifted away from the scene what they saw was unfathomable. The entire battle scene was indescribable only a couple marines and 2 hogs were left but the base had suffered the most damage, it held together though with the American flag flying high. Bodies littered the ground and the purple and red blood changed the ground a dark crimson color, the wreckage was everywhere and the smoke slowly billowed upwards .
"hell clean up is going to be a bitch said Jake"
"hey guys tis gonna be a long ride ya might want to catch some Z's"
"cheers to that!" said Mike, slowly then after everyone drifted asleep.





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