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You Try To Make Me Fade
Posted By: Jadomaster<cornbreadhighway@adelphia.net>
Date: 27 February 2007, 6:05 am

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0524 hours, August 21, 2525 (Military Calendar)
Epsilon Eridani system, Maprae Training Field
Blue Base, planet Reach.

Alex stripped his rifle down and cleaned it, lubricating hinges, wiping down tubes. He got the special ops/surveillance equipment, which included night-vision goggles, a boosted motion-detector, and special stealth armor add-ons. But most significant of all was the rifle. It was custom made for special assault and whatever else you could do. The rifle was short, bulky, and deadly with night-vision, red-dot scope, flash suppressor and silencer, laser targeting (optional), short range sniping capability, semi or full automatic settings, and was extremely modifiable. It could fire many different kinds of rounds with simple part exchanges. A forty round banana clip helped, too. Right now, modified Narq darts were loaded. The darts would hurt. A lot. But they wouldn't kill, merely paralyze for a period of 3 hours. If you were hit, the other team could find you and take you back to their HQ as a hostage, injecting you with syringes of tranquilizer to keep you asleep for the trip. Or, if they left you, you would have to wait until you could move again and then resume playing. The times you 'died' was recorded, as well as the person who did it. Your 'kills' were also recorded, as well as the one you tagged.

The Spartan reassembled the SAS Battle Rifle quickly. It was almost time for the battle to begin. Quakes or adrenaline ran through his body, making him shiver with anticipation. Alex concentrated on calming down. He slowed his breathing, mentally preparing for the fight. He let his brain switch over to a side of himself rarely seen. His mind receded to the dark corners and depths of his mind where he rarely tread, bringing a dark side of him up from the depths of his consciousness. He settled into a state of mind that made him the feral warrior that he was. He resigned himself to thinking that he was going to be totally annihilated, which brought up a dangerous survival instinct in him. It gave him another edge to his already razor-sharp state.

Spartan-109 inhaled deeply, and opened his eyes again. He saw the world now with a heightened sense of dark awareness. He was one with his armor, his weapon, his surroundings. He was the dangerous, predatory animal capable of hunting you for eternity.

Spartan-117, John, stepped into the shady, dirty room, his weapon gripped firmly in both hands. Alex could feel the determination radiating form him, as well as the sweat gathering on his face. He could feel him squeeze the rifle grip for reassurance; feel him narrow his eyes in anticipation. He nodded to them all. The fifteen Spartans grouped in the large dusty chamber saluted him.

"Has everyone registered with the TBD?" he questioned absentmindedly as he turned on the rusty holopad. The Spartans all 'yes sir'ed. The Tactical Biosign Display flickered, and then sprang to life over the pad, displaying the bio readings of all 15 Spartans. If someone got tagged the display, which was uploaded into the helmets, it would read so. "Good." John tapped his right foot restlessly, and waited for 0500, the starting time, to come.

At 0450, the holopad display changed, now a 3D image of trainer Darkholme replaced the TBD. The Spartans stiffened, saluted, and waited. Darkholme returned the salute, and addressed them all.

"Greetings, Spartans. You are about to begin a new phase of your training, what we refer to as 'Friendly Fire Training'. You are being, as you know, split up into two groups to combat each other over a period of about five days. The guns you have been given are loaded with Narq darts, and no other ammo is allowed to be used. The darts will paralyze you for 3 hours if you are 'tagged'. If you tag someone, you may leave him, and he will resume playing when he is mobile again. Your weapon has a 'smartchip' in it that will not fire on 'tagged' enemies that have been paralyzed for five minutes. An overdose of the drug may cause lasting effects. If you chose not to leave them, your options are to inject them with a tranquilizer and take them back to your base, or inject them and try to keep him with yourself. Keep these rules in mind, but do not let them hinder you too much. Judge as best you can, but act as if you are in a real combat situation. The battlefield is 5 miles long, and 1 and 1/2 wide. The terrain is mostly forest and prairie.

Alex tuned out. He knew the rest. When it was finally time to get in position, seven minutes had already passed. Grace tapped him quickly on the shoulder as she rushed towards the doorjamb. Alex nimbly jumped up, grabbed his weapon, and braced himself against Grace's back while she checked the immediate are through the door. Alex nudged her arm with an elbow, signaling that he was ready.

Spartan-117 whispered as he crouched near the base of the doorjamb.
"Spartan-109 and Spartan-093, you take the east borderline." The starting buzzer sounded, and half of the warriors burst in coordinated patterns from the Red Base. John shouted now. "If you spot Linda, do whatever it takes to take her out." Alex circled around Grace now, and they paused, waiting to hear the rest of John's words. "Take her hostage if possible. Other priority targets will be uploaded to you as the mission progresses. Move out."