Yellow Grass, Red Blood by The Great Babush
Yellow Grass, Red Blood: Prologue
Date: 16 December 2008, 12:46 am
Day 48 of the Second Battle of Earth-
Central Africa, Sub-Saharan Savannah:
We had been hiding out around the areas outlying the Covenant stronghold for the better part of a month now. When the Covies landed here several weeks earlier they brought the full force of their fleet with them. Most of our strong points got pasted before we even had a chance to organize. Most of our units were taken down to half-strength and some simply ceased to be. Survivors were ordered to stay out of sight, and to keep any actions restricted to raids and hit and run attacks, in order to deceive the enemy about our actual strength. Unfortunately, our "actual" strength was practically non-existent. We had lost most of our ammunition and supplies, not to mention a good portion of our finest men, when we were running with our tails in between our legs. The higher-ups finally gave the offensive the green light when, seemingly out of the blue, the CCS class Cruisers that the Covenant had scouring the area suddenly headed north to the ruins of New Mombassa.
The ships were in such a rush they left behind a large number of troops and equipment, my guess is that they didn't have enough ships to fit all of them, we may have lost space superiority but that doesn't mean the Covies didn't take a beating courtesy of the UNSC Home Fleet. Even those gigantic carriers couldn't absorb more than three shots from one of our Super-MAC gun platforms, and with 300 of those babies we made the atmosphere catch on fire with all the debris from the cruisers we split open. Still, it was only a matter of time till they overwhelmed our defenses and focused on the ground war. Now, it was our turn to make those zealous fanatics start praying to their gods, and a lot of good it was gonna do them one we got in there. Most of the men weren't feeling in a particularly merciful mood, a lot of them had had their homes turned to a sheet of glass, and their friends and family along with it, when we got up close and personal we were gonna show them just as much compassion as they showed us.
The day of the counterattack was at hand and morale among the men was high, we all felt that we were finally going to show these alien freaks that they were not as invincible as they thought they were. We became even more certain after the arrival of the 117th South African Armored Battalion, since we all knew what that meant...tanks! 100 Scorpions and even a couple of Grizzlies were added to our ranks, and with heavy armor in such short supply, they were a welcome addition. We were surprised to see that anything had made it out of South Africa, especially after the Covenant commenced full scale glassing of the entire South African Peninsula. We later learned that the only reason they survived the initial attack was that they were out on a training exercise with other units in Zimbabwe.
At 0900 hours the preliminary bombardment began with Rhino Self-propelled guns and Cobra MLRS batteries opening up on the Covenant positions. Our light infantry, which consited of several ODST squads, had set up outside of the Covenant front lines the night before and managed to take out a number of their communications and radar stations. This left the Covies in a state of disarray and confusion by the time the main assault began. I rode in a Cougar APC with the rest of my squad, our job was to support the tanks once they broke threw the main defenses and take out several anti-aircraft installations so that our much needed air-support could be put to use. We had nearly a mile of open ground to cover before we reached our drop-off point and without any air cover it seemed suicidal, and indeed for many of our boys it was. Several Banshees screeched down from the sky and began strafing our advance forces, the APC next to us went up in flames after it took a direct hit by a fuel rod cannon. Seeing this, another crew attempted to disembark from their armored vehicle prematurely and ended up being cut to ribbons by a second Banshees plasma cannons.
The driver shouted for one of us to man the vehicles auto cannon and start suppressing the Banshees. I took it upon my self to get at the gun controls and start firing away at everything that moved. Unfortunately, everything that moved was moving awfully fast and it was next to impossible to get a bead on those things until they started diving to start another strafing run. However, I got lucky and managed to clip one of their wings as it dove towards us. I let out a fierce war cry as I watched it spin out of control and impact on the ground in a spectacular blue fireball. Even so that was just one down and a shitload more to go, and they were dealing a lot damage than they were receiving. That is until the our Anti-Air finally caught up with us, the Wolverine's started filling the sky with missiles obliterating an entire squadron's worth of the sons' a bitches before they even knew what hit em ,soon the Banshees were forced to retreat.
When we arrived at our drop point I quickly murmured a Hail Mary and held my breath as the door dropped and we ran out to meet the enemy face to face for the first time.