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Spectre: The Hydorian Conflicts: Prologue
Posted By: (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher<rabid_masterchief@hotmail.com>
Date: 23 January 2006, 6:25 pm

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UNSC Skynet Battle Station
Planet Capri; Systech Corp Design. Number: GQ-346035
Troop Battalions: 12
UNSCMC/UNSCN Combined Station
12:16 USNC-Delta Time

Capri V was perhaps one of the more beautiful worlds of the United Nations Planet Commerce, a lush placid world that was the third planet of a four planet system. Sprawled with continents, the lands were separated by two oceans, with large mountains, one small desert, but mostly plains and forests. It was once beautiful, but that was once. Now, the surface was barren, a wasteland forged by years of war in an interstellar conflict, between the men and women of the United States Space Command and the Covenant. The only thing that was really of interest anymore was a rather large station, manned by the men and women of the UNSCN, the Navy Branch of the United States Space Command, and the people who kept watch on the actions on the station were members of the UNSCMC, the Marine Corps branch of the UNSC.

Inside a small office a singular man stood next to a Plexi-Glass window, his hands behind his back as he watched the stars roll by, his stance cool and calm. Behind him, sitting in chairs in front of his desk, were two people, one man and one woman. The man standing by the window had thin grey hair, closely cut, and his build was more of a Marine than a Navy operator. Slightly muscular and about five foot seven in height, his grey orbs were viewing the planet, Capri Prime, barely visible with the naked eye at the current station's angle.

Sitting in the left chair was a man, with a flattop of brown hair, cut short in military standard issue hair. He was skinny, but his body was built for it. His build was more or less a runner, and he was not skin and bone. Sitting in the chair, he had his hands together, his fingers securely between the sides of each finger, as he stared at the man's back, near the viewport.

Sitting next to him, in the right chair, was a woman. Her red hair in a ponytail, it was military textbook perfect, not a single stray lock of hair dare touched her collar. Her build average, she was sitting a bit more relaxed than the man next to her. Her facial expressions were nothing. Not one emotion was played on her face, unlike the man next to her, with the look of sorrow.

"So, anyone care to debrief me, or shall I read your reports?" The man next to the viewport spoke, turning his head so he could give a half look towards the two people who occupied his office. The man sitting down did not return a response; he only looked down at the steel floor. The woman did not return the look either; she merely looked away from him, her eyes staring at the walls around the office. The man at the viewport sighed, before he executed a perfect about face, and then made a walk towards his chair. Grabbing the arm of the desk chair, he turned it around, before he himself turned his body, setting his backside firmly into the chair, before turning the swivel towards the people who occupied the room.

"Look, I know it might be hard, but I would rather you tell me before those ONI bastards come here and start asking you. Trust me, I'd rather talk with those piss-ants, you know how ol' Gallagher loves to deal with them." The man sitting in the desk chair, Gallagher, spoke.

"I'll," The man sitting down across from Gallagher began to speak, but stopped. A small lump in his throat went up and down his throat, before he cleared it. He spoke in a Texan twang-ish voice, sounding more like a cowboy than a member of the UNSC.

"I'll give Team One's report, sir. When we assaulted the building, I sent Jones and Lancaster up to the briefing room, while I went to the electrical power systems. I kept radio contact with Lancaster, but after I sent a large electronic surge through their generators, they opened fire on the terrorists. I, I heard on the radio that they were being overwhelmed, and I ran over to the briefing room, before I lost contact half-way to the briefing room. I, I found them dead, sir. Chopped up…" He tried to speak, before Gallagher raised his hand.

"I guess that you killed the men responsible, and then secured the LGN Missile, right Thompson?" Gallagher asked. The man, Zander Thompson, nodded in agreement as he looked down at his hands. Gallagher thoughts were astray, remembering the first part of the mission: Drop in via Pelican, Secure Insertion area, Enter complex… His thoughts stopped when he looked at the woman, remembering the rest of the briefing would come later.

"Can you give me a briefing, Rebecca?" He asked the woman. The woman, Rebecca Harrison, only nodded in agreement before she began to give her briefing, in her somewhat proper Irish accent.

"We encountered heavy anti-air fire, from the old Ranger class missile launchers. Our Pelican took a hit in the starboard engine, and we crashed into the mountainside of Mount Red Lion. Following the crash I took the surviving members of my team: Jenkins, Walter, and Isaac. None of the Pelican's crew survived. We were too far away from either my objective or Hellraiser's, sir. I ordered an orbital strike on the missile plant they had under control, and I believe the John Fitzgerald Kennedy managed to blow it sky high, by the explosions from the plant itself. I was able to order in a SAR Pelican to pick me up, but we were ambushed by a terrorist cell. Jenkins and Walter were killed in the firefight, Isaac moderately wounded. The SAR Pelican managed to come in time, and I got Isaac inside, with the gunner killing most of the men. Isaac died on the ride to the hospital." She stopped there, closing her mouth shut and staring into Gallagher's eyes.

Zander spoke up, breaking the tension between Rebecca and Gallagher.

"Sir, may we leave? I need to write the reports to my team members' respective loved ones."

"No, Zander, I'll do that. But you're right, you need to leave. Rebecca, stay in here, I need to talk to you."

Zander immediately stood up, in the form of attention, his hand snapping to a salute, slightly bent so he could see the palm in his peripheral vision, in the perfect example of military bearing and drill.

"Aye aye, sir!" Zander spoke, before dropping the salute and executing an about face, walking forward. The door automatically opened, and then shut behind the man,

"Rebecca, you need to pick and hold trials for the men coming in. Chief Thompson can't handle that responsibility, and someone from Force Recon could definitely handle that. I want you…" He spoke, gruffing as he grabbed a stack of folders, his hands holding around the bottom of the stack, before placing them in front of the woman. They were only about five inches high, since they were only personnel folders who applied for the teams.

"I want you to select five people who are in this stack, and then I want you to prep for a mission. You will also need to select one Elite from this stack…"

"Excuse me, sir?!" The harsh tone of reply came from the woman.

"It's politics. Trust me, I don't want one of those aliens on the team either, but Colonel Strayer has been getting on my ass since the war ended, and he ordered me to find a Elite and put a place for him on the team. Rebecca, I'm living with it, so should you."

"I'm not becoming its friend."

"I'm not saying you should. He's on the team, and that's it, however." He spoke.

"But sir,"

"I said, that's it!" He raised his voice, slamming his fist on the desk, his grey eyes making intense contact with Rebecca's, long moments passing between them before, unlike other times when this would happen, Gallagher let his eyes gaze away.

"Anyways, recruit an Elite, get the men, and saddle up. We leave for another operation soon, and I fear SPECTRE will be at the heart of it…

Rebecca slowly moved her hands to the sides of her temple, and like a snail her hands slowly rubbed the skin as she tried to ease the growing pounding headache that was growing. She had gone through fourteen candidates, and so far she hated all of them. She hoped the next batch would prove better than she expected. Looking down at her desk, she saw the next folder, to which she flipped open. What she saw was average for a candidate:

Name: David Lancaster, W.
Callsign: 'Luck'
Rank: Lieutenant
Branch of Service: Navy
Age: 27
Personal Record of Medal(s): Silver Star, Bronze Star, Unit Citation, Purple Heart(2)
Injuries: Minor plasma burns to the neck, right thigh, left forearm, and right ear
Profession: Demolitions, Engineer
Security Clearance: ST-6

The rest of the dossier was personal information, like dental records and serial numbers. She did not need to read them; she turned the page to the man's history in the UNSC:

First Post: Given command of the 416th Seabee unit. At the Battle of Draconis IV, was given Silver Star for bravery under fire. Following medal, was promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant, JG. Was also awarded the Unit Citation for the 416th's participation in the battle. Following promotion, was given command of the 122nd ODST Battalion's Naval Liaison. After attack on Jangia II (the last command directive for the 122nd), was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, also promoted to Lieutenant, for courage under fire, saving the lives of Private Jacob Filial, Sergeant William Hobart, and Lance Corporal Kevin Jenkins, all members of the 122nd Force Recon unit. Was awarded another Purple Heart after onboard ship accident, moderate plasma wounds to the neck region. Transferred to the 314th Longsword Wing as supply officer. Pending new orders.

Rebecca raise her eyebrows, intrigued by the man's history. She decided, after fourteen fuck ups, she'd at least hold a meeting with the men who she chose. She placed the folder left of the pile, making it her 'Accepted' pile.
Now it was time for the choosing of the Elite. She, again, sighed as she looked over the profile:

Name: Zanka Zim'amme
Callsign: 'Red'
Former Rank: Field Marshall
Current Rank: Ensign
Branch of Service: N/A
Current Profession: Shock Trooper
Security Clearance: ST-10

The rest of the file was classified, with red lines covering the text, a classic calling card of ONI's Section IV, Black Ops. This caused a slight light bulb to pop up inside her mind. Due to this, she decided in her mind that this was the Elite that could qualify for the team. Another folder she dropped into the Accepted pile. Another she picked up.

Name: William Holtz, G
Callsign: 'Wraith'
Rank: Lieutenant, JG
Branch of Service: Navy
Age: 26
Personal Record of Medal(s): Purple Heart, Bronze Star.
Injuries: Minor leg burns, plasma
Profession: Pilot
Security Clearance: ST-4

Rebecca raised a slight eyebrow again. Usually, soldiers his rank don't have a security clearance that high. Hell, She thought. I know Commanders and Lieutenant Commanders without a security clearance that high… She shook her head, and read the short history paragraph that was allowed, the rest was colored blue, the calling card of ONI's Section III, which surprised her too because he appeared to have no background that would qualify for a Sect Three job anyways.

Fought at the Battle of Earth, both siege phases and space clean-up stages. Flew At this point, a blue stripe covered about two lines of sentences, leaving them to only her imagination. And the two lines that were covered were the only lines left, besides the words: Pending Orders. Apparently, she thought when she turned the page and coming across two letters addressed from her, they really want him in this unit. One of the letters of recommendation was from Commandant Jerry Padwell, and quickly skimming most of the letter she figured that Padwell really wanted him in the unit. The other, however, was not a recommendation letter. She quickly read it, holding it in her gentle hands.

Dear Lieutenant Rebecca Harrison, SPECTRE Team One Leader:

If you are reading this letter, than you have received Lieutenant JG Holtz's dossier. I suspect you are planning to recruit a few more men, and I want you to know that I personally want him on your team. If he does not, I hope you got a good reason.

Yours Truly,
Lord Terrence Hood, Admiral

A letter from Lord Hood? That sparked another eyebrow. She sighed, placing the folder at the top of the 'Accepted' pile. Another person, another file.

Name: Jonah Mattision, E
Callsign: 'Fanatic'
Age: 26
Rank: Lieutenant, JG
Branch of Service: Navy
Personal Rank of Medal(s): Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart
Injuries: Moderate third degree burns to the left knee
Profession: Pilot, Driver
Security Clearance: ST-7

Fought at the Battle of Earth, awarded Medal of Honor when using his Longsword Fighter to engage two squadrons of Seraphs. Details unknown. Awarded Purple Heart for injuries sustained at the battle. Flew the X-103 Broadsword fighter at the Battle of Constant IV. Pending orders.

We need a new driver, and we might have to use a Longsword or two in a battle some time… Her mind wandered again, before setting the folder onto the 'Accepted Pile'. Now, she had her team all set up. She slide the folders into her hands as she walked out of the room, making an near perfect left flanking movement, before heading to Gallagher's office…

Southern Forest-Valley Corridor
Hydoria Prime
First habitable planet in the Hydoria system
Three Months earlier

The sounds of heavy breathing filled in the trooper's head, as he continued to run. His feet burning, his leg straining, he willed himself to continue to run away, away from a threat that was steadily gaining on him. A cry of terror escaped his lips as he pushed himself, the forest camouflage of his combat fatigues racing against the dense woods.

He panted, his breathing rate climbing steadily up to the rate of his heart. Suddenly, he screamed again as he arched his back, falling to the ground face first. In his back was a bone-like object, small and with narrow bumps on the backside. The sound of a clicking noise was heard, as the lonely trooper, a Private in the UNSC, looked behind him.

What he saw was six legs, their ends pointed down for speed and maneuverability. His eyes darted up, seeing the torso, which was practically non-existent. The torso was probably just a bunch of bones connecting to the two large mandibles, located on the bottom and top of the sharp head. With its only dark and black eye situated on the bottom, it was only bred for war.

"Oh Jesus!" The man cried out, before the thing screamed out a shrill, then it closed the two foot distance between them in an instance, sinking its mandibles into the soldier's torso. Screaming, the man tried to push them off, but the creature held tightly. Screaming still, the creature only was increasingly angry, so it squeezed harder. With an odd squish sound, the soldier snapped in half, his upper body falling off as it leaked blood, pain exploded in the soldier so badly that he glassed over, not making a sound. The creature shrilled again, turning around and scurrying onto the path from which it came

The trooper, now dead from the decapitation, held a vile in his hands. The vile, on the side labeled 'TW-43576', held inside a data-chip. The data-chip held the video recordings of all of his squad members and his squad leader. The mere importance of it

A single twelve hours later, Recon Squad 4, Twelfth Battalion entered the area. The point man, Private Carl Jenkins, bent down by the body.

"Who the hell could of done that?" The man behind him, Sergeant Frank Brutto, asked as he viewed the body of the recently slained private.

"Whatever happened to him, it wasn't in vain. He's got data in his hands." The squad's leader, Lieutenant Jean Razak, spoke as he took the vile of data in his hands. Without saying a single word, he took the data-chip in the private's helmet, and inserted it into his data-viewer, a single green square that was attached to his helmet. Since the sound and video were only visible from Razak's view, no one knew why Razak looked terrified to the bone.

"We have to get to H-Q, quickly. They'll know what to do."