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Spectre: The Hydorian Campaigns: Prologue: Part 2: The Beginnings of a Platoon
Posted By: (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher<rabid_masterchief@hotmail.com>
Date: 10 February 2006, 12:50 am

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AN: Vladimir Baranov is a character from my older series that I never got off, Tales From The Homefront. Check that out too.

The Grunt fired off a burst shot from his pistol, the plasma hitting the hard rock. The rock was scored, but did not break under the super heated plasma. Behind the rock, a man took a quick side-step and opened fire from his Assault Rifle. The burst shot was accurate, the bullets shredded the skin around the breathing mask of the Grunt's face, the bullets entering the brain of the alien. The Grunt fell back, dead.

The man was wearing a power suit. A power suit is a suit of protective armor, with a recyclable breathing system installed. It also included a temperature control unit and a visor that could be flipped down and reveal tactical data. New to Special Forces, it was a design based off the MJORNLIR armor system, except with no shield. It had double plating, based off a tougher metal than the Spartan armor but lighter. Each suit was either painted grey for the Recon units, or the forest camouflage for Spectre units. Each suit was formed to the specs of the person who was wearing them; tight around the chest, loose around the joints. Often men and women called it the 'Lineman' suit because of its design form, relating to the undershirt a lineman on a football team wears. So far, only the Spectre unit and some Recon squads were armed with the Lineman Suit. The suit around the man, however, was different. It was bigger around his chest, because of his arm and body mass, and he seemed like a powerful man.

The man himself had a crooked nose and pink skin around his neck from the helmet he wore. The helmet encompassed his entire head, and the only thing he could see was using the clear glass in front of his face, and good thing too, because his face bore a look that he could rip a Grunt's head off with just his hands. Suddenly, behind a clump of rocks, three more Grunts and a Jackal with a Plasma Rifle appeared out of nowhere.

Firing another burst shot, he hit the nearest Grunt in both the motor functions of the suit and the breathing pack located on the underbelly of the Grunt suit. If it did not die on impact from the bullets, it would die from suffocation. Turning the Assault Rifle so it was trained on the other Grunts, he squeezed the trigger. It made a sound that resembled gas escaping into the air. Looking down at the ammo counter, he noticed he was out of ammo, and he had no more spare packs.

"Damn…" He cursed, as he made a hasty backstep march, an elegant and sharp purple blast hit the ground near his foot, as he then turned and began hiding behind the rock as the Grunts peppered his hiding place with plasma fire. The soldier looked at his armament his currently envoyed, ducked from the fire from the sniper Jackal and the two Grunts. He only had one grenade left out of his arsenal, but that might do the trick. He raised his head, and cursed again as he noticed they were too far apart away from each other, retreating back to his cover. His eyes darted up, as he grew a smile while he retreated his head back to his hiding place.

What he noticed was a rock pile, above the Jackal and the Grunt's position. It was wide enough so that if the man threw the grenade behind the rock pile, it could collapse onto the Grunts and kill them. He cocked his arm, grenade in hand, and with his fore fingers squeezed the button that prepped the grenade for detonation, and threw it with all of his strength.

The brown object soared into the sky, whirling and twirling while the Grunt's noticed that it flew over them, and they chuckled before opening fire once again, thinking the human had missed them on accident. The grenade landed behind the stone pile, as it rolled closer to the mass of stone and quarry.

It exploded, causing the rocks to fly off the small cliff that was above the Grunts. The chunks of dirt and hard stone fell above the Grunts, killing them instantly as the rocks crushed their suits so badly that it compressed their body massed to flatter-than-usual surfaces. The Jackal's body was simply decompressed, as organs exploded within as they were flattened. It was an ugly site. Suddenly, the environment went dark, as then green lines appeared around a black and dark room.

The man took off his helmet, and revealed a handsome yet suave face, with jet black hair to compliment the exact opposite of the UNSC poster child. He was tall, and his body mass resembled a muscular yet not overly muscled man. He smiled at the mirror across the black room, which had the face of Zander Thompson peering from the insides, where the Control Room for the Hologram Simulator was located.

"How'd I do?" The man asked.

"Better than Matthiesson, Lancaster. I guess you have filled the role of demolitions even without a charge. Good job, you made the team."

"Thanks, Chief." He responded. Zander was not the real 'Chief', but his rank and job still qualified for that role. Being the Mustering Petty Officer often had its perks, as Zander once said. He smiled as Dave waved a hand, before leaving the room. Zander's smiled dropped almost immediately as he looked to his left.

To his left was Rebecca, but she was wearing a grey jumpsuit, with her last name and her codename: 'Stryker'. Her arms folded across her chest, she only nodded in agreement of Zander's statement. That was when a knock on the control room for the Training Room diverted their attention. The door slid open, and stepped in a man.

The man had a flattop of blonde hair, and had a face that once probably could of conveyed happiness, but now showed no emotion. Rebecca probably concluded it of ONI's training tactics.

"Mam, Lieutenant Junior Class William Holtz, reporting for duty." He said, with no bravado or cheer inside the cold shell. His hand went to a brisk salute, and stood there motionless as Rebecca and Zander looked him over. After a minute of silence, save the clicking and computer sounds, Rebecca gave him a salute.

"Colonel Redwing said I could forgo the training and give you a demonstration." He said, softly in a once loving voice that was now too, cold and hard. With a nod from Rebecca, Will looked to his right and looked intensely at the notepad that Rebecca had left on the nearby computer. It suddenly levitated, before it made a loop-de-loop as it descended back into its original spot.

"Psi Ops?"

"Correct, Chief Thompson." Will replied, soft and hard, as he stared into the man's eyes. For a while, nothing was spoken until the sound of Rebecca clearing her throat.

"So, Lieutenant, did you meet Lieutenant Colonel Gallagher yet?"

"Yes, I have. He told me to report to you."

"Since Colonel Redwing told you not to perform the training drills, you made hit the bunks, and get some sleep. Big mission in the next three days, Lieutenant Junior Grade. On the mission, sleep is a prize. Use that prize sparingly now."

Without a word, the man brought his hand to one, perhaps agitated, salute. Rebecca returned it, before he made an about face and exited the room. Zander breathed a sigh of relief.

"I never trusted those psychics, especially ones in the Naval Intelligence Sector. Worse, I don't trust that guy either. How the hell did he enter the program again?"

"He's a pilot, and we're short of private pilots. He had letters of recommendation from Commandant Padwell, which surprised me because he is a psychic, and a letter from Lord Hood himself doesn't usually go with a Psycho." Rebecca told Zander as she leaned against the nearby computer terminal. A Psycho is the term for a Naval Intelligence officer within the Psi-Ops program, referred to the psycho term because most had weird personalities.

"You're sure he's a Psycho? I've seen Psychos, and I can definitely specify that his character doesn't tell me that he's one of them."

"He's too quiet, I know. But, he could do that trick. That's enough for me. Mission briefing at oh eight hundred hours. Be there" Rebecca said, picking up her notepad. She smiled at Zander one more time, before she made a bee-line towards the door. The door was on automatic hydraulics, which meant it opened for anyone close to the proximity unless it was in lockdown. She stepped through, and made a turn around the entrance to the door, walking down a hallway.

Currently, they were on station on board the UNSC BB-21 United States of America, the newest ship and class to the UNSC ship designs. The Battleship was the largest ship in the fleet, barely within mass regulations to go through Slipspace, and had a impressive armament of eight MAC cannons, and twenty Havoc Missile pods, powerful missiles that were faster and thrice as powerful as the Archer Missiles. The United States was the only one in its class, however, since it cost a fortune to build and arm the ship, let alone pay the personnel onboard the ship.

When the Spectre unit was first assigned to the United States, Rebecca was stunned when she first walked her hallways. Now, she was still impressed, but that awe feeling washed itself away. She came to the elevator, circular and open to personnel. She stepped in, her fingers pressing the numbers 3 and 4, meaning Deck 3, Level 4. Soon, gravity pushed her down as the elevator shot upwards for a brief second, before it suddenly stopped. She was here.

The door opened to the biggest hallway she saw. Her eyes darted to the men and women of the military units that had their barracks here. Level 4 was the Barracks, for both the Marines onboard and the Spectre unit. The only person she recognized was Jonah Matthiesson, the driver for the team, and Ensign Anthony Davis. Anthony was tall, six foot three, and had blonde hair cut in a flattop. He had a suave form to him, and was particularly handsome. He already had a reputation for being a bad boy, and was probably the most guy that girls on the ship had their eyes on. Anthony's job in Spectre was the team's field medic, and was the senior advisor to Lieutenant Commander Gallagher's medical officers.

"Hey Stryker!" She heard the gleeful cheer of Anthony's words, as he waved at her. Smiling, Rebecca walked forward, but she cut him off at the last second.

"Briefing's in oh eight hundred hours. Get some sleep, all of you."

The briefing room was small in nature, but the meetings it sometimes held in its walls were huge by comparison. Right now, only three people were inside its walls at the moment, waiting for the troops to file in. Standing in front of a long table, with enough chairs for twenty people on each side, was Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gallagher, in his Marine BDU, with Rebecca sitting down in the first chair on the right of Gallagher, papers in her hands, and a man wearing the Marine BDU uniform himself. On his BDU was the nametag: RAZAK.

The man, Lieutenant Jean Razak, was a man of average build, but for his rank he looked old. He was at least forty five, with thin hair that was once red but now was going grey. His face was tired looking, like it had seen more battles than the man had cared for, and his eyes, they were different. Rebecca could barely even look at him, the eyes just held too much death and sadness for her.

Apparently, Gallagher did not feel the same way.

"Jean, its good you found this. I'm surprised your Psycho didn't find it first." Anton said, making small talk as he looked over at Jean, a smile on his face. Jean, who surprised Rebecca, smiled back.

"Carl is better than most Psychos I know, Anton. At least he's able to keep up with the enemy around me."

"Ooh. Ouch. That hurt." The Marine replied, with a smile. From Rebecca's limited readings of their files, they both graduated from the same college, West Browning University in Michigan, and fought together in the same unit against pirates until six years before the attack on Harvest. Gallagher proceeded up the chain of command, while Jean Razak left the service to teach. He was enlisted, and given a commission because of his command experience and his combat prowlness. The major difference, however, was the mechanical forearm and hand that Jean Razak now wore due from a plasma sword fight with an Elite. The report did not go into detail, but somehow Jean Razak managed to use electrical wiring to fry the Elite's shield systems, causing it to overload in an electrical-caused explosion, killing him and disabling the forearm and hand of his right arm.

The little thought of Gallagher going up the chain of command that popped up in her mind she nearly regretted it. She remembered hearing about the Battle of Wolf V, a planet in the Wolf Major system about twenty two light-years away from Reach. He led an armored battalion into combat, with only him and two other tanks escaping the battle and trap. Naturally, ONI, and moreover Brigadier General William Ackerson, blamed him for the actions and demoted him from the new rank in the United Nations Space Command 'Commodore' to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. The fact that he was not dishonorably discharged was because of Admiral Hood and William's brother Major General Edward Ackerson.

"Kidding aside Anton, I want to know what the boys upstairs want to do with us."

"You've haven't read the report?"

"Not yet. You usually add little snippets of action into it that always causes me to smile. Today, I shall not smile. Instead, I shall remain vigilant to the cause of not laughing. And I mean, today I will be like a rock."

"Good, because what you found is so serious, I cannot make a joke about it."

"That's what you also said about the mission to Alpha Centauri, to reclaim that planet. Then, near the end you slipped in something about mutant clowns and how they molest little Grunt babies with dead bunny feet and Colon Blow."

"That was an entirely different issue, Ackerson wanted to come along, remember?"

Dawning comprehension was drawn on Jean's face.

"Oh yeah! I remember Zooliger coming behind him and yelling 'Oh my god, the Mutant Clowns! They've got their dead bunny feet! They've got their shit all on the walls! Run!' and boy, did that scare the piss out of Ackerson!" Jean yelled, roars of laughter erupting from Jean's and Anton's mouth.

"Good times, Jean. Good times…"

The door opened, and in filed down the men and women of the United Nations Space Command's elite and special warfare units. They were very different, with the Spectre units on the right side of Gallagher looking like tired yet happy and good humored soldiers. The men and woman on the left side of Gallagher looked like tired souls, their happiness taken away from fights. However, this reminded Rebecca of her old times fighting the Covenant, you're always better off duty than on duty.

Besides, if anything the Recon units have more experience than most of the Spectre people, they were the first to use the Combat Suit, and they saw the most action of all of the Special Forces units currently enrolled with the United Nations Space Command Armed Forces, or the U-Saf as it was called.

"Good morning, gentlemen, and ladies. Due to the data found from Private First Class Edward Collins on Hydoria Prime, Fleet COM has ordered a special operation into the planet. At the very moment, only three officers excluding us know about the program. That is Fleet Admiral Hood, Vice Admiral Preston Cole, and Brigadier General James Ackerson."

At the sound of the name, most of the men except for Holtz moaned, but Rebecca knew that Holtz did not have much love for Ackerson either by the sound of his short sigh.

"The mission is of serious nature, and shall not be talked about to anyone except for the fore mentioned officers and yourselves. Now, that malarkey is out of the way. Let's begin:

"Three months ago, Private First Class Edward Collins and his Marine Recon unit went into jungle recon. From the data we've gathered, he was ambushed by creatures we have not encountered. However, Mister Collins was able to take out two of the creatures with an SMG, but he had run of ammo, and fled until he was dismembered. Now, the purpose…"

Gallagher continued, but Rebecca stopped paying attention. Instead, her eyes went to the line of Recon men and woman that were sitting there.

Her eyes first went to the man sitting next to Razak, a tall man with brown hair and a rather handsome face, the last name 'RICO' written on his BDU. However, he was only a Private First Class, and apparently was Razak's aide de camp by appearance. In the hands were a small stack of papers, briefing information most likely. She smiled faintly as she moved her eyes to the next name.

This man had blonde hair, but seemed bigger than the other. She noticed that this man had a slight belly, and a pissed off look to his face as he gripped a pencil. Wearing his BDU, Rebecca could clearly see the name 'BRUTTO' on his uniform, and the Sergeant's stripes clearly shown on his arm. She moved her eyes on.

Now her eyes rested on another man. This man had red hair, and a complexion that reminded her of a Texan. His blue eyes seemed to conflict with his red hair, and the scar that extended from his chin up to his left eyelid. He also appeared in the way that Razak had, with a deep sorrow yet a funny complexion and a hidden shield of emotions. Rebecca's eyes then went to the Corporal's stripes on his arm, and with the stenciled name 'GOSSARD' on his BDU.

The other woman, Isabel Flores, was in Sickbay right now, and enjoying quiet R and R with the hospital's resting places.

"Also, I have some news to report. UNSC Ground Forces are now designated 'Mobile Infantry' and will be referred to as such. Navy's the same, so no new fancy name for Spectre."

A murmur of fake moans went into the room, causing smiles from both sides of the briefing room.

"Spectre, you have received four new members. First up is Nova Anmei'ee, an Elite from the Praxium Protectorate. Her transfer from her army is to train Special Forces units on how we do it ourselves. Zanka, Rebecca, was pulled and is on leave on Earth for additional training, so don't expect him to come back soon. But, as far as I care, they're both permanent.

"Second is Lukas Van Heilienburg, a native of Bonn. He is your radioman and logistics operator, as well as the new supply officer for both Recon Squad 4 and Spectre Team 12. He's also one of the survivors from the German Campaign two years ago on Earth."

The German Campaign was an operation to retake Germany from the Covenant when it was invaded by the Covenant a second time. Twelve Mechanized Infantry units were sent in to attack the Covenant forces and retake Germany from their hands. The major battle that took place was the Battle of Hill 312, a hill twenty two miles west of Berlin where two forces, the 21st Mechanized Infantry Division with its support unit, the 5th Army fought with Covenant forces led by Praetor Elysian, a Brute with a nasty disposition. The Humans won, but the only remains were two tanks and twelve men after an orbital bombardment by the Covenant Ship Reconciliation's Pride.

"The third newest member is Lieutenant Junior Grade Vladimir Antonavich Baranov. Vladimir was one of the Russian men and women who volunteered to cross the Volga River on old boats to retake the city. He is a Covenant vehicle operator, and also proficient with Covenant plasma weapons and flying vehicles.

"Finally, a new member to Spectre is also a former member himself. When Commander Richard Henderson comes in, you treat him with proper respect and the attitude, else Wolf will surely come and kill you in your sleep. And I am not joking. Chief Zander, you are no longer Team One commander, due to the fact that Wolf has had more experience than you and he is a higher rank. And, Zander! Stop whining!"


"That's right. Now, listen up. Get some rest, but be prepared for drill at oh nine hundred hours tomorrow. Teamwork will be tested, so better prepare. Now," He said, clearing his throat as he then straightened his back.

"When I give you the command to be dismissed, you will be dismissed! Men, dismissed!"