ODSS Chapter 3
Posted By: Firerwolf<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 July 2011, 9:17 pm
Kathleen lay in the mud and leaves hidden in the undergrowth of the forest. It has started raining about an hour ago but it only helped the ODST hide from their enemy. They'd been dropped off about two hours ago with a simple task: get to the top of the hill. At least it seemed like an easy task when they started. That was until they found out there were two squads of marines waiting for them to keep them from reaching the top including several snipers and booby traps along the way. It caused the trainees to pause and rethink what their plan was. according to Peter and David's recon there were a total of five snipers set up in various places and, at least one row of possible land minds about half way up the hill, and another twenty or thirty soldiers waiting for them at the top of the hill.
It wasn't the kind of odds that Kathleen liked but they weren't more then the ODSS could handle. The team was currently hiding in the forest around the base of the hill. The forest only went to the base of the hill meaning they'd be out in the open the rest of the way up. On top of that they hadn't been given any weapons. It was a scenario that they hadn't faced before. In the past they'd always been given some sort of weapon even if it was just a knife but this time there was nothing. It was going to be one hell of a mission.
It had taken the last hour and the luck of the rain to make up their plan. From the clouds above the down pour wouldn't stop soon which would help. The cloud cover coupled with the rain made it poor conditions for even the best sniper. Kathleen was sure that they wouldn't have been ready for this much rain leaving weapons water logged and sniper miserable. If Kathleen could have secured that it would continue to rain she would have held off their assault a few days to let the soldiers get more annoyed and ready to give up but she couldn't control the weather.
The ODSS waited until night had almost completely fallen before they made their move. With the dim light and the rain still falling their black body armor would be adequate camouflage against the waiting snipers. Kathleen took David, Peter, and Tobias with her as they started to slowly crawl their way up the hill. It was slow going crawling on their stomachs slow enough that they wouldn't be spotted but for the thrill of victory they were willing to take the extra time and insure they didn't loose.
Half way up the hill they spotted the perches that the snipers were using along with the turned up earth that marked where the land anti-tank mines had been set up. They crawled along the edge of the mine field until they found the worn out path that the marines had used to bring their troops up the hill. They had come up by foot and had stomped down the dirt over a patch of torn up area. It would have been an idiotic move to place a mine under the area but Kathleen wouldn't have put it past the marines. She knew, as they all did, that the marines never liked loosing and were willing to try desperate measures to win. She took the lead slowly crawling forward keeping to the worn part of the path. She'd thought about waiting till they had to have supplies taken up to them but the Gunney had placed a time limit of three days to get to the top of the hill. Her SPARTAN training told her she needed more time but the part of her that was becoming more and more of an ODST told her they could do it in an hour if they didn't want to prove their tactic skills.
As Kathleen moved she listened carefully for the tell tail sound of a mine being tripped but there was nothing. She supposed the marines had known they would need a way down when they lost. Once all four were past the mine strip Kathleen motioned to David and Tobias and then to the east before motioning to herself and then Peter then the west.
The two teams split up heading in opposite directions toward the sniper perches. The snipers had chosen to construct camouflage tents to hide themselves on the green grass but they had been easy enough for Peter to spot. The two moved up the side of the hill a bit more coming around behind the sniper who was without a spotter. They must have figured that with the mine strip below nothing would get past their range. They would just have to learn the hard way not to underestimate the ODSS. Kathleen's fist made contact with the back of the marine's skull knocking him out. Peter quickly grabbed the sniper rifle grabbing all the TTR sniper rounds that he had. He then moved into position with Kathleen watching his back as he took aim at the next sniper in line on the hill. A swift and silent shot hit the marine in the head paralyzing him and making him dead in the combat. The two moved to his position making sure that he was out. Kathleen took the sniper rifle and slung it over her back taking the side arm from the downed marine and all the ammunition he had for it. If they made an assault on the top of the hill they were going to need ever bit of fire power they could get their hands on. Peter took out the third sniper and the pair again moved to check that he was out before raiding his weapons and ammunition. David and Tobias soon joined them having finished off the other two snipers.
"Couldn't see anyone higher up but they might all be bunkered in up there for all we know." Tobias reported. "We got two sniper rifles with rounds and two side arms from out kills."
"Same for us but three of each." Kathleen said leading the others back to the side of the hill they had started on. She flashed a red laser pointer that she'd stolen from one of the techs before the missions. The other eight ODSS moved out into the now deep darkness of night moving across the clear break in the mine strip and up to the others. The ODSS split up having a sniper take the spot of the old sniper but now facing up toward the hill. Not the ideal position but when your target was up hill you shot up hill. One ODSS covered each of the snipers while the two remaining slowly creeping forward. Kathleen sat back watching as David and Edward moved up the hill toward their enemy. They disappeared behind the top of the hill and Kathleen waited patiently for the sound of gunfire.
Oddly the shots never came. David reappeared and shouted down to the others. "There's no one up here. Are you sure this is the right hill?" He asked.
Kathleen moved up the hill to stand by David. For a moment she thought they must have had the wrong hill. There was no sign of anyone having even been up to the top of the hill. "You said there were soldiers up here," She said glaring at David.
"I said I thought there might be. I never said we saw anything or anyone actually up here. We couldn't get past the snipers to get a clear view," David defended.
"If this wasn't the hill then why were they protecting it?" Edward asked looking very annoyed with the prospect of another fight having been a lie.
"Maybe they were trying to throw us off. Are there even actual mines in that strip down there?" David asked.
"Tobias, check the mine strip for actual mines," She shouted down to the new confused soldier. He didn't question though and moved off down the hill. "If this isn't the hill then where is our target?" Kathleen asked.
A moment later there was an explosion and Tobias returned joining the other three at the top of the hill. "Yeah there are real mines down there."
"What was the point of all this then? What was the point of all of that? Fighting past snipers to find nothing, why make us do it?" Kathleen wondered aloud.
"Now what do we do?" David asked as the rest of the ODSS gathered at the top of the hill confused by the absence of people.
"We pop smoke and the pelican comes. There's nothing else we can do. We got to the top of the hill and that's what we were ordered to do," Kathleen replied. Emily tossed down the signal and the familiar bright orange smoke poured forth bright even in the dead of night. It took the pelican only minutes to come for them and take them back to base.
Kathleen once more found herself standing in the Gunnery Sergeant's office as he stacked papers on his desk. She stood still trying to understand the day's exercise when he finally spoke. "So how did the mission go? Got to the top of the hill?" He asked his face neutral. He should have already known the answer but he acted as though he'd been told nothing.
"I believe we did, sir," Kathleen replied. "We reached the top of the hill as you had ordered us."
"You sound unsure soldier. What is it that is troubling you?" He asked, as though the entire conversation was not between himself and a subordinate.
"Sir, there was nothing at the top of the hill," Kathleen answered. "No soldiers, not items, no nothing. Why did we need to reach the top if there was no point to it?"
"Are you sure there was no point to it?" Saran asked. Kathleen looked at him confused by the words. "Sometimes what your goal is, what you get from doing something, is not a physical or tangible thing. Sometimes where you expect there may be enemies you may not actually find any. Maybe you were just clearing a way for a team that was looking for something that you can't find because only they know where it is."
"I think I understand, sir. The purpose was to illustrate that the target or goal is not something we always understand but it is out goal." Kathleen replied.
"Something along those lines, yes." Saran agreed. "As ODST you are sent in to clear the way for ground forces. You are not always the main force of the task but rather the means by which to set greater plans into action." The Gunnery Sergeant replied. "That is all for now. Have your team be ready for a new challenge tomorrow."
"I assure you they will be." She said before saluting Saran and leaving the office, a new found understanding of her team's place.