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Silent as the wind
Posted By: Spartan 006<minorchief@yahoo.com>
Date: 15 September 2006, 12:55 am

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      Lieutenant Marine sniper, Alden Richards, stared through the scope of his sniper rifle from atop a ledge on a mountain at the group of Covenant in the sparsely forested valley below him. He could feel the tension in the air as he signaled his men into a flanking formation. He would lure most of the Covenant away with a distraction, and then his men would come in and finish off the unsuspecting ones that stayed behind.

      "Engage only after the enemy has followed me in persuit, and is out of long range sensors." said Richards as he lined his scope up with an Elite, "I'm going to silence my comm. so that you can stay focused on getting your job done even if something happens to me. Is everyone fine with that?" his team aknowledged him by silencing their comms, "Okay then, let the hunt begin." He fired a shot from his rifle into the of an elite as it was making its watch. The bullet forced its way through the alien's skull and hit a control panel; causing an explosion that resulted in the deaths of some nearby Grunts and a Jackal. Panic swept through the ranks of Grunts while Elites searched for the origin of the shots. The lieutenant looked up from his scope to see if he had attracted enough attention, but only half of them had seen the shot, and the other half had heard it but didn't really know what it had been. Richardson pulled grenade from his side and threw it down into the valley below. "Let's see if that gets their attention." he said looking back into his scope. The whole camp went into an uproar as the grenades exploded. Richardson looked for a target that he could use to give away his position. He found his target in the form of an Elite Zeolot. The Elite walked menacingly through the camp; his golden armor seemed to glow even brighter due to the flames around him, and waving his energy sword proudly he dared the attacker of his men to come and fight him with honor. Richardson, however, was not very honorable. He waited for the right moment and shot the Zeolot in the hand where he held his energy sword. The Zeolot gave a growl of pain as his energy sword combusted in his hand. The enraged Elite looked in all directions for the fool who was stupid enough to destroy his sword. The lieutenant saw his chance and went to fire a shot right into the ground in front of the Elite, but when he pulled the trigger nothing happened he checked his ammunition and saw that he needed to reload. Crud monkeys he thought as he reloaded, but while he was reloading the Elite could see the bushes that had been concealing Alden on the mountain.

      "Wort, wort, wort!" yelled the Elite as he pointed with his bloody hand at the spot on the cliff where the lieutenent was. As Richardson finished reloading, he looked up and saw Elites in the valley firing at him with their plasma rifles. He quickly rolled behind a nearby boulder as the plasma burned the bush that he had been using for cover. He tried to look aound the boulder, but each time he tried he was greeted by a volley of plasma bursts. Knowing that it would be suicide to try and escape with the Covenant guarding the boulder, and that it was only a matter of time before they scaled the mountainside Richardson placed a grenade under the boulder and pulled the pin. He waited for a moment then made a break away from the Covenant into a nearby forest. The Covenant fired at him as he leaped down the mountainside, but when the grenade exploded they were forced to move from their postions or become an alien pancake. The Zeolot, who had become slightly irritated at his men's ability to kill a single human, snatched a plasma rifle from one of the Elites and fired a single shot at the lieutenant hitting him on his arm. This caused him to go into a tumble and roll down the hill. The Zeolot then turned to the SpecOps Elites that had been watching and ordered them to go and bring him the lieutenant's head.

      By the time that Richards had recovered from the fall he realized that he was in the valley that he had previously been firing into. He tried to get up, but his injured arm and newly discovered twisted ankle prevented him from moving very far. He looked for his sniper rifle but it was halfway up the hill that he had just fallen from. He pulled his pistol from his holster and limped as fast as he could away from the camp. After about five minutes of limping he was totally exhausted and collapsed on a nearby grassy knoll near a strange looking tree. All he could do was lay there and wait for the inevitable. He wished now that he hadn't ordered comm. silence. He began to think about thoughts that people usually think about before death like if there could have been another way to die, his family, his friends, and his squad. His only wish now was that his squad would fair better than he had. Another two minutes passed, he could hear things that he had never noticed before, he could hear the birds chirping in the trees, a nearby river that gurgled in sweet ignorance of the havoc that had been done downstream, the wind blowing gently across his face as though to tell him that everything would be okay, the leaves crunching in the...wait a minute leaves don't crunch by themselves! He tried to stand but his body just seemed to ignore its instinct, it knew the time had come. He looked up and saw a large SpecOps Elite, his energy sword glowing bright in contrast to his armor, another stood behind him with a plasma rifle.

      "Well," asked Richardson with a smirk, "are ya' going to kill me, or did you just come by for some tea time?" The Elite just smiled and laughed, then he plunged his sword into Richardson's abdomen. Richardson winced trying to show as little weakness as possible, but the could tell how much pain he was in. He raised his sword to bring down the final blow, but before he could bring the sword down a sniper round pierced his skull; his weapon deactivated and fell to the ground followed by his body. The other Elite's gaze darted back and forth as he looked for his adversaries. As he turned left a round came out of the trees and hit him in the stomach knocking out his shields, then a second shot came out and hit his head, which sent him flying backwards onto the ground dead as a doorknob. Out of the forest walked the men of Richardson's squad. The next marine in command went over and kneeled down beside of the lieutenant.

      "Looks like you did a number on yourself, lieutenant." Richardson just nodded, "Sir, we knew that you were always fighting man so we thought that we'd bring you a little present." he motioned for one of the other marines to come closer. He handed a sniper rifle to the other marine who then handed it to Richardson.

      "Thanks guys," he said with tears in his eyes mostly from the pain, "you don't know how much this means. Man...wish I could stay here."

      "We try our best, sir." Then Richardson slipped away with rifle in hand. Later when the rest of the regiment came to pick them up they already had a place ready for his funeral, but his squad said that with his last words he had said that he wished he could stay here longer, and with consent fromhis family, he was buried under that tree on the knoll where the wind blew softer, calmer, silent.