Posted By: 343 Salty Beans<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 21 May 2004, 4:14 AM
Author's note: I know that Grace and Kelly are both gone, but I reintroduced them to maximize the story's effect.
John-117 checked and rechecked his battle rifle, then slung the weapon over his shoulder. His MJOLNIR armor was running a full, 20 minute diagnostic on all his systems.
John liked the new MARK VI version. With the customizable emblems, he could tell his team apart with FOF tags disabled. Not to mention the boosted shield strength, the new reflective coating, and the advanced motion tracking system-and that was just the start of the hundreds of improvements.
And they were going to need it on this insertion.
After a beep that confirmed that his shielding system was working, the Chief assessed what was left of his team.
Fred-104 was his second in command for this drop; if John bit the dust, Fred would take over the burden of responsibility. He was also the martial arts specialist. Grace-093, their explosives and demolitions specialist, was leaning in the corner, watching the waves crumble onto the sand, grasp the tide line, then ease back into the depths. Grace had John worried-the death of Li and Anton on the Ascendant Justice seemed to have changed her attitude. Kelly-087 was the rabbit of the group-she was faster than anyone in the entire original SPARTAN-II team. She could leap, run, and dodge like lightning, and had equipped herself with two new HE pistols, which had no zoom, but could punch through 2 feet of solid concrete. William-043, the support/engineer, had brought two sub-machine guns along with his battle rifle.
Linda-058 was the last one John looked at. His closest teammate was the sniper. She had eyes like a hawk, and was a critical part of this mission. He needed the precision shots that had saved all their lives on the Unyielding Hierophant.
John's last diagnostics cycle ended, and the cool blue status lights pulsed on his HUD. He pulled up a schematic of the LZ-codenamed "Zanzibar". It was a fusion reactor for the Orbital Defense Platforms circling Sol, which was disguised by the wind wheel that generated electricity for New Mombassa. The Covenant had captured this particular generator, and Admiral Cole had insisted that the SPARTANs be enlisted to take it back-the space battle's situation was already dire.
John and his team had been tactically inserted by sea about a mile down the coast from the generator's entrance. The complex was guarded by a decayed seawall, and the enemy had taken to the structure situated in the center. Covenant forces included about 500 grunts and jackals and about 50 Elites, guarding a host of 100 Engineers who had disabled the generator. There was also the word 'Brute' amidst the screaming from the report that an incoherent Marine who had been guarding the complex had given.
His team had been given a new Rocket Warthog to get themselves into the base, and a Hovercraft sat in a sea cave to get out of there once they had completed their mission. The gist of the operation was to force their way into the structure, have Cortana access the entrance to the underground generator, secure about 20 Engineers, and hold their position until Cortana used her translation lexicon to have the Engineers repair the generator.
John got up; the sun peeked over the horizon, and there was work to be done.
"Spartans!" he barked. "Let's move out!"
The silent warriors gathered their equipment and moved out.
Field Master Tuka 'Nosamee scowled at the Underlings sleeping in the corner. He roared in anger and kicked one, sending the squealing creature flying. The rest gibbered incoherently and snapped to attention, manning the slug-firing gun the humans had left.
'Nosamee hated the necessity of using human weapons, but with Shades unavailable, he needed stationary defenses. He had to admit that the gun was extremely effective, albeit he felt galled to the core to even touch it's primitive controls. Such infidels and their weapons should be incinerated.
He clacked his mandibles and moved into the base. Three 'Ghosts', as the humans had named them, hovered near the gate and other two entrances. His troops had blasted a hole in the wall to gain access to the structure, but now he regretted doing it. He had had his troops fill the gap with debris. He nodded at the additional Jackals patrolling the area, and entered the underground lair.
He hoped the filthy infidels came for this base: he was ready to slaughter them if they did.