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Grunts of Lore: Chapter 1
Posted By: Alex Bianca<snoopy1528@charter.net>
Date: 1 July 2005, 7:19 pm

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Chapter 1: Beginning of the Begining

Geere never was a brave grunt. That is because he wasn't stupid. He knew that every creature of his species were doomed to an existence of being cannon fodder for whatever happened to be stupid enough to challenge the Covenant. Or whomever the prophets decided to crush for the benefit of the great journey. But this time, Geere was blessed. Truth decided that Geere's skills were too valuable to be wasted on petty patrol work. He and his team were sent to find the demon that was single-handedly killing off the Covenant's invasion armies, and then kill him at any cost. Suprisingly, no elites were sent on this mission. After pondering it, Geere concluded that the elites were considered too valuable to be sent on this mission, because the demon was a one-human army and would most likely kill them all. Or as Truth put it, "We have decided that the grunt's race deserves a chance to prove themselves as worthy warriors of the Covenant. No elites will be sent to share in your glory." That political twist on the prophets' orders meant that Geere and his team had a heavy burden on their shoulders. All of their race looked upon him and his team to show the rest of the Covenant that the grunts were mighty warriors worthy of just as much respect as any jackal.
The demon's last known sighting was a covenant-held site filled with ruins of pathetic human attempts at architecture. As soon as the news came in, Geere's team (or PACK-4207, as the officials deemed it) was swept off in a phantom to pursue the demon. Geere now sat in the back of the phantom, preparing to be dropped at the area of the sighting. He looked back upon his team, wondering if he would be better off patrolling the rest of the sacred ring.
Delin was the special equipment expert, and Jeck was the radio specialist, responsible for receiving orders and warnings from high command. They were both crowded at the power rod dispenser that was strapped to the back wall. Jeck was reaching for the dispenser with his radio strung across his back, its rod socket popped open, and Delin was holding a sharp instrument with plasma coil coming out of its back (an electric disturbance injection canister, or E.D.I.C., Geere guessed) to the side as he reached over Jeck's head to get at a power rod for it. Clipclip, the heavy weapons expert, was in a corner of the room near the ammo safe, with his weapons spread out in front of him. Two needlers, a plasma rifle, and three plasma grenades littered the floor around him while he checked the radiation control on his fuel rod launcher. Geere thought that Brino had the most demanding job of all. Not only was he the medical expert, but he was also a "failsafe." Meaning that if any grunt on the team died, he took over their responsibilities. Brino's medical supplies were all strapped to his pack. He was sitting next to the grav drop, tinkering with his only weapon: a plasma pistol. His medical supplies left no room for any spare weapons. Not only was his medical expertise of high value to Geere, but also as his best friend, he would feel a particularly painful stab of sadness if Brino died. Geere himself was the leader of the pack. He would control the team's operations, and improvise when needed.
"Hey, Geere, sir. One minute to drop off. Me go first?" Clipclip asked, strapping his weapons to his specially modified holster strap.
"No, I'll go first. You stay here until I leave, then come down and open up cover fire for the rest of us."
Clipclip acknowledged this with a crisp, "Yes sir!" and moved to take his position in the drop line.
Geere would have had him go down first, but Clipclip had an annoying tendency to turn the ground in front of him into a crater before taking in his surroundings to see what he was about to vaporize. There had to be other squads there. If he actually saw Geere go first, he'd be more careful about his aim.
"Geere, sir! Me ready for drop off, sir!" Brino enthusiastically snapped to attention.
"Ok, you go fourth in line, right after-" The THOOM! that Geere had come to associate with human anti-aircraft fire interrupted his orders and blasted the ship off course. Geere and his team were thrown against the side wall like rag dolls. Equipment was scattered in all directions, narrowly missing the grunts and causing the air to fill with plasma rifles and balistic equipment. Grabbing for a foot hold, the grunt fought his way to the cockpit, and managed to push the door open. A growling elite was at the controls, boiling with confusion-compelled anger.
"Give me the controls!" Geere screamed at the elite pilot, while another blast rocked the ship, making him grip the door frame for much needed support.
"Never!" the elite seemed to use the word to push his hand forward towards Geere. He side-stepped, and the hand intended for Geere carried the elite out of his seat and onto the floor with a sharp thud.
"Listen," Geere said to the elite struggling up from the floor, "I am a grunt, but I still out rank any pilot on any ship. That includes you. If you want to live, let me do this!" he said, settling into the seat without bothering to strap in. Out of the corner of his eye, Geere could tell the elite was having an internal conflict between his hate for Geere and his selfish will to live.
The former won out, and he climbed into the copilot's seat.
Once he donned the appropriate headset and scanned the flashing screens, the elite immediately realized the problem. "It's the demon! He's taken out two of our under side turrets, and—now he has a lock on the last one! Request permission to return fire!"
"No. Turn our nose towards him, and then cut the power in the front engines to 20%. Keep our back in the air." The grunt hands scrambled over the pads to keep the ship in the air. The controls weren't built for his kind.
Suprisingly, the elite complied with his orders. "The demon lost his lock on our last turret," he said, like he just witnessed an amusing magic trick. "Nice job."
Geere meant to tilt the ship so that the demon only saw the top. Even if he did fire another rocket, nothing could penetrate the 19-inch thick armor on the hull. "Keep the ship this way, and drift sideways while you drop us. It should be safe. Don't leave until I give the word." The grunt pushed himself off the seat and went back to ready his shaken troops for drop-off. This wasn't a good start for such a demanding mission, and he had little hope it would get any better.