Outlaw six: Escape
Posted By: Andres<email@example.com>
Date: 2 June 2006, 1:45 am
1912h, January 21, 2529 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Taurus System, UNSC Inner Colony Controlled Space
On the town of Saint Paul, Westwood
Igor, the irregular tall man, stretched the plastic explosive portion into the pentagon of Charlie-4 around the shaft, sweat pouring on his forehead. For the past hour he and two other soldiers had been preparing a volatile ring around a shaft to form a tunnel to help one hundred orphans to escape the grasp of the Covenant.
To be grateful is to understand exactly what a person or persons did for you, to accept it, and embrace it. To be truly grateful one has to be mature; to be mature one has to experience certain things in order to learn to act wisely. The children were by far the grateful most refugees he had ever seen or met. It was not their kind words or small gestures of gratitude. It was the way they understood exactly what was going on.
The filthy, tired, hungry children formed a column one after the other on the gray sidewalk seventy meters down the street from the opened gutter. Inside it was a disarmed soldier whose only job was to carry the infants inside and then to a long corridor-like sewer dully illuminated by lightsticks thrown in by the Helljumpers.
"Sir," squawked Igor on his radio transmitter. "The bitch is ready to blow."
"Roger," replied the Lieutenant somewhere above on the street. Igor stepped back and sighed, beautiful. The brown paste formed five perfect, straight lines of one meter each. If all was OK the tunnel would be long and wide enough for the children and his teammates to pass by.
"Clear!" said Igor as he turned around dragging with him the two soldiers that held the detonators. He made a right turn shortly, entering the inside of a gutter where the Lieutenant was standing just above it.
"Good to go?"
Igor nodded, "Fire in the hole!" The strong concussion was not the defining factor, it was the dust and debris that showed the true power of the explosives.
"Igor, what the fuck?" said the Lieutenant immobile but with his arched right arm exactly where he was before.
"I got to see this," noted Igor, turning around and holding his thermal imager just in front of his eyes. "Oh yeah!"
Ricardo smiled. "Go," he grabbed a chilled by the armpits swung it around and placed it in, "chup, chup little man." He visually ordered an idle soldier to help. "Lets go."
Scout snipers had two primary missions, all the time. One to be the eyes and two, if possible, to be the ears there forth Helljumper scout snipers are senses, not people. They are part of the greater being that is a platoon of Helljumpers.
That, and only that, was the reason they crawled whishing they had botton less shirts- up hill towards the ridge that overlooked main Covenant force, three miles away from the town. The aliens had set up camp so that when the time came they would be ready to strike.
"Outlaw six," pronounced the sniper inside his ghillie suit on a ridge above camp. Unlike the basic UNSC Expeditionary Camp which had tents, fires and structures it simple stretched out with crates and equipment. "Eyes on the target." The spotter gave a thumbs up and pulled out of a pouch behind his semi-EVA suit a pair of binoculars with a bipod. He sat it over the grass and knobbed it on.
"Eyeball, count off."
"Roger," said Eyeball before he felt two taps on his right shoulder. "Aerial contacts!"
Ricardo looked at the picture stuck onto the inside of his black helmet and smiled, it was the that of Diana a beautiful young burnet serving somewhere with the UNSC, he let-out air and smiled. He immediately placed the helmet over his head, clicked the straps on and wiped the sweat out of his forehead.
"Ricardo," said Woods walking to him on the near empty street by the farm on the outskirts of the town. "We have to doge."
"Talk to me Gunny."
"Moore and De Cabello have spotted about fifteen aerial contacts inbound." Ricardo frowned, "ETA is fifteen minutes."
"OK," said Ricardo jumping inside the open troop compartment of one of the Gator APC. "We go east and you west," he pointed at the second vehicle. The plan was amazingly simple but tremendously dangerous. Ricardo and six other troopers were to drag the enemy away from the town, escaping into the woods and starting with sabotage missions. Hopefully the team would reach Saint Denis, six miles away and hide there until the heat wore off.
It wouldn't be so easy, yet as Ricardo knew, it was the only option. The orphans had a way out, underground. Yet, if the Covenant suddenly assaulted the town, they would search every building, and beneath any stone to find the troublesome troopers. Once they found it, they would track down and overrun the troopers, soldiers and juniors.
"Cool," said the young sergeant. "Corporal Ambrose?"
"Yes sir," replied the old man through the radio.
"Yes sir," said the former Colonel as it were. "We are getting in the last of them now."
Ricardo smiled at his sergeant. "Lets go then."
Commons shifted into first gear and the six wheels began to spin. The six men inside placed their rifles in the normal position, muzzle to the floor and buttstock to the ceiling and in the turret was Dieter. "OK guys, we pick up the snipers two clicks from here."
"Hurrah," replied the squad immediately. The vehicle had covered half a mile of grassy terrain before it spun on the air, rolled twice over the ground, making the inside feel like a drycleaner, and landing halfways upside-down throwing the passengers as clothes.
Ricardo did not know how close the Covenant had come until there was a sudden burst of 6.8x51mm . The compartment was full of red liquid and a coppery smell. Death and confusion was among him. "Right flank, right flank!"
"Roger," replied a second trooper. "Frag out!"
Ricardo raised his head immediately, he was on the right sidewall of the troop compartment; he turned to face right and found two white pupils staring at him. His name was PFC Leroy Mendez, and he was from Earth. He, as a man, was no longer. The radioactive fuel road that penetrated the hull- struck him directly and separated his body from the legs filling the entire compartment with red liquid. He had bleed to death and Ricardo had been out cold to help save him.
The Lieutenant slowly stood up and he heard something crack. A rib, the same one the Elite had broken before. "Get it together," he said as he secured an MA-5H and stumbled out with his rifle shouldered. Three of his men standing using as cover the hull of the vehicle were the only defense he had against the enemy inbound, immediately one turned and saw the dizzied man exiting the doorway to their right.
"Lieutenant!" bellowed Igor. "I thought you were dead."
"Indeed," said Ricardo and stuck his back on the Gator. "I count three."
"Leroy is K-I-A, Martini and Pullings are W-I-A!" he was interrupted by Pinot's LMG. "Pinto has no eyes on, we could be surrounded."
"Roger," he pulled back the arming lever of his rifle revealing a slug on the chamber, he let go of it and pressed he intercom on his neck. "Outlaw six-two, copy over?"
"How are things going your way?" asked Woods.
"Tricky, we need backup and transport at 06043023."
well be there in ten."
"Outlaw six-twelve, copy over?"
"Unable to reach pickup." There was no reply. "Go for checkpoint Baker on foot, we'll met you there."
"Retreat," said Ricardo grabbing Pinto by the shoulder. "I will cover."
"No way sir," said Pinto barking away his Light Machinegun. "We will go for this together."
"OK," said Ricardo squeezing two rounds over the vehicle into nothingness hopping to suppress the incoming fire from the nearby forest or grove. "Igor, get in try to patch someone up, we will hold the fort." The trooper turned around, threw his SMG towards the ell-tee and made his way to the insides of the Gator. Ricardo slowly rose his head and immediately ducked as he saw a bunch of green beams heading towards him. He also spotted several small shades moving into the night and immediately identified it as threat. "I count three shooters, the rest are on maneuver to the right flank," Ricardo looked at pinto. "Hit it."
Pinto lat loose and took down six figures before three yellow ovals appeared. "Jackals!" said Commons next to him.
"Roger that," said the Lieutenant. "Keep them pinned. Igor, how you doing in there?"
"Radio is out!"
"Oh OK," replied the Lieutenant surprisingly calmed. "We are in a pickle aren't we?" then when the heart pounded as hard as it could and the sweat nearly covered his entire body he spotted the blue, flaming sphere in the air that slowly, it seemed, approached his position. It all seemed in black and white and every piece of air it consumed seemed like an eternity. It landed just next to him.
"I had it ell-tee," said Commons apparently unharmed, "Its been an honor." Ricardo sighed in diguist as he saw Commons covered in blood and tissue. His blurry vision had tricked him.
"Sir," said Pinto standing just next to him firing over the left wall of the APC. "We need you and your gun with us."
Ricardo looked one more time at lifeless Commons before standing up pushing himself against the APC. "Still firing blinds?"
"Roger," said Igor. "But we got a couple of them."
"We have to blow out," barked Ricardo behind the sound of gunfire. "Pinto base of fire north, Igor, south."
He immediately grabbed a smoke grenade and pulled the pin out. "Can Martini and Pullings move?"
"Yes sir," reported both wounded men, leaning against the APC.
"OK," he said as the smoke covered him. "Go," Ricardo waited for a cloud of smoke to involve the troopers and then began to calmly walk to the cement grove that was Saint Paul. Holding the cloud former on his hand and his pistol on the other he led his men through enemy fire, until suddenly, "Oh my God!"
It was Igor, plasma pistol straight through his armor and he was lying flat on the ground. "Shit!" said Ricardo throwing the smoke cylinder on the ground, and making his way past two of his men who were shooting to the flanks- and slid right next to Igor.
"I'm good," supposed the Ukrainian. Ricardo removed the hands from the leg of the wounded trooper and finding the opened thigh.
"You look like shit," the Lieutenant whispered between the smoke. "Lets move." The troopers resumed the rehearsed movement-by-fire as the five men limped away towards the town.
"Damn it," complained Igor dropping to the ground, taking the Lieutenant with him. "Leave me."
Ricardo exasperated, he had never left a man behind and he hated the idea of doing so. "Shut the fuck up." He grabbed the man by the vest, halfway turning his body to his right and grabbing the harness that stretched across the chest of the trooper and pulled him and himself up in a single movement, he put his shoulder on the trooper's hip and pulled his upper body up. "Go! Go! Go!"
Suddenly a loud whistle thundered as it descended upon the field. The sound was recognized by all. "Longsword, Longsword," said Martini. The almost invisible boomerang passed overhead and two contrails left it's stubby wings. The rockets battered the Covenant infantry and their flaming bodies were thrown everywhere.
Ricardo and his men went prone, immediately and turned on their IFF probes at the double. "Outlaw six, this is Outlaw five, come in over?"
Her name was Lieutenant Commander Samantha O'Connor, commander of Task Force Helltear. "Stay put, we are clearing this house." There was the grinding noise of the gatling guns going off before absolute silence and the whistling sound of the Pelican's Engine. "All clear," she said as she fast roped in. She shouldered her rifle and went directly for the Lieutenant. "Its OK."
"Damn it!" said the Lieutenant as he woke up in the gray room looking for any means necessary for defense. There was none. Both his pistol and his BR were gone.
"Calm down Lieutenant."
"Not quite," said a gray haired, tall man with the faint previews of a beard, sitting right next to his chair. "Just me."
"Preston Cole," said another man, younger but still old enough. "And I'm Rear Admiral Jonathan Romeo."
"Oh sir, sorry about the whole thing but you see-" he was interrupted by an intense look.
"Good job son," said Cole. "You are a fucking pride to the goddamn Marines."
Ricardo was in shook, as if he had crashed to a wall, which he did metaphorically. "Excuse me?" Ricardo said looking directly into the blue eyes of the Fleet Commander, "sir."
"Good job taking out three sailors, damaging a ship, trapping a entire squad of SPs in a elevator and escaping a fleet to enter Covenant held ground," Cole chuckled -irregularly loud- and slapped his own right knee.
"Well if you say so sir," replied Ricardo confused.
"You got the Orphans, right?"
"They escaped underground."
"A very fine move," said Romeo approaching the bed. "The Covenant trashed the place shortly after."
"Sir, I know this is a Court Martialbe offense but-
"A breach of protocol."
"I invented the Protocol son," said Cole. "And if I say so it ain't breached."
"Have the orphans reached Saint Denis?"
"Not yet, though they are nearly there," replied Cole.
"I want a team to be there to extract them." Ricardo remained silent, waiting for an order or a punishment for his actions. "There will be no medals for this one, just this," the Hero of the Battle of Harvest stretched his right arm and extended his hand. Ricardo, filled with thought, extended his arm and firmly gripped the milk-white hand. "Good job."
"Thank you," said the Lieutenant. He had been given the highest military award, yet it was visible to no one.
"There is one more thing."
"Yes sir," replied Ricardo straightening his back against the bed.
"You ready for one more mission?"