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Squad 47 Part 7
Posted By: Spartan 006<minorchief@yahoo.com>
Date: 24 October 2007, 7:40 pm

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      In the garage area of the Thetalis Military base, Squad 47 was preparing for their mission to the Mudai-Eina Valley. William, who had been tasked with retrieving the A.I. that they had been given, had just returned to the garage as Jude was going over the mission with Camden and Allicia.

      "After we meet up with the Marines in the Valley our main objective will be infiltrating the Covenant Cruiser. I would also like to propose that we make our secondary objective, destruction of the Cruiser." Jude looked up to see William walking up to them.

      "Jude, Allicia, Camden," he said looking at each of them, "I would like you to meet our new A.I., Josiah." he pulled a chip out of the back of his helmet. As he held the chip near the ground a form of a man in cloak and hood appeared from the chip. "Josiah, I would like you to meet Spartan-258 Jude, Spartan-396 Camden, and Spartan-332 Allicia." said William pointing at each Spartan respectively.

      "I pleased to meet you," said Josiah with a low but friendly voice which was accented only more by the fact that he had a beard, a trait uncommon among A.I., "I am honored to be serving with you, and...thankful, to be rid of this accursed place."

      "Was there something wrong with place?" asked Allicia as she brushed her hair out of her face and put on her helmet.

      "Not so much wrong as annoying. The workers here have no use for me I'm a military A.I. not a document sorter."

      "I can see how that could get annoying for you." said Camden as he set a rocket launcher in the back of the 'Hog, along with some extra ammunition.

      "Oh, you won't be needing to load up that Warthog." said Josiah, "I had some things rearranged for you." All four Spartans stared at Josiah, wondering what he'd done. "If you look in the garage area to our right you will see that I already have two vehicles loaded with weapons and supplies which will be needed for the mission ahead."

      The squad walked into the next area, and sure enough, there sat a LAAG Warthog and a Mongoose ATV both loaded with weapons and supplies. The Mongoose had a Sniped Rifle and two Magnums on a crate beside it, and there were medical supplies and MRE rations in a modified compartment on the rear. The Warthog a Battle Rifle and Shotgun next to the driver's side, a SMG and Rocket Launcher on the passenger's side, and dual SMGs and a Light Support Turret in the rear.

      "I like this guy already." said Jude as he walked toward the Warthog. He looked over at the Mongoose, then at William. "I hope you like ridin' solo William."

      "I won't be going alone," said William as Josiah went back into the chip. William popped the the into his helmet, "I'll be taking Josiah with me so that I can get up-to-date information on anything ahead of us while I'm scouting."

      "I guess that's fair." said Camden as he looked at Allicia then at Jude. "I guess we should get going then."

      The three Spartans walked over to the Warthog as William jumped onto the Mongoose. "Josiah is patching himself through to the comm. system so that he can alert us if anything comes up." He said as he started the ATV up. He could hear the Warthog's engine revving behind him in anticipation. William accelerated the throttle and drove off with the others right behind him.

      "This is Josiah. Can everyone read me?"

      Allicia took one hand off the LAAG turret and placed it on her temple to activate the comm., "This is Allicia. We read you loud and clear, Josiah."

      "Good," he replied with a chuckle, "as soon as we exit the base we will head North-Northeast. As long as we don't run into any trouble we should be there by tomorrow morning at around 0600."

      "Copy that," Jude said, "We'll try and go until 0100 then stop for a rest."

      "Okay, Josiah out."

      Everything was going well at 1700 as the Squad made its way down a forested dirt path, and they had been driving for around seven hours without incidence. They slowed as they came to the denser part of the forest. The large tree trunks and cumbersome vines severely limited the Warthog as the turret was constantly needing to be cut free from a vine or low hanging branch. For eight more hours they drudged their way through the foliage until they came to a hill overlooking the northwestern Whitecap Mountains surrounding the Mudai-Eina Valley. Except for the occasional bird, the engines of their vehicles were the only sound on the entire hilltop.

      William, who had been traveling about five minutes ahead of the other Spartans, got off his mongoose and used the zoom function in his visor to survey the surrounding area. He touched the side of his helmet and activated the comm., "Looks all clear from here. I think this would be the best place to stop for a rest."

      "Is there any place to hide Warthog and Mongoose until morning?" asked Allicia over the comm. as she moved her arm around to brush the forest debris away from the turret.

      William looked to his right then behind himself, he turned to his left and saw what appeared to be the ruins of an ancient temple or something of that sort. "There appears to be some sort of ruined structure that we could use." said William as he walked to inspect the building further.

      "Well, if you think it's suitable contact us. We'll wait here until your sure." replied Jude.

      Camden thumped his chest with his fist and pressed a button up along his collar bone, "Stupid cooling system keeps fouling' up."

      Allicia reached down from the turret and tapped him on the shoulder, "Camden." she said.

      "What?" he replied looking back at her.

      "Your on the comm.."

      "Oh, sorry about that." he said reaching up and turning it off.

      William stood there for a moment after the comm. turned off and chuckled before heading into the ruined building. He slowly brushed away the vines and other hanging plants near the entrance to reveal a five foot tall opening that appeared to have once been a door. William stooped over and entered through the door to find a single small room with a pedestal in the center of the room. He looked around the room, but all that was there was a small hole about three feet in diameter. William walked over to the hole and peered into it with his light. "Wonder what's in there?" he said to himself as he stood back up.

      "That's a Ikariad wolf's den." replied Josiah.

      "You mean those giant dog things that were chasing Camden and Allicia at Hector." asked William as he stepped towards the room's center, and the pedestal.

      "If my study of your battle data is correct then yes, but there's no need to worry. This den has been deserted for a good while." answered Josiah.

      "Well that's nice." said William as he took a closer look at the pedestal. "Josiah, can you get any readings on what this place may have been used for?"

      "I can try, but I ca-" Josiah was interrupted as William, who was looking for some evidence of what the ruin had been used for, activated the pedestal. A hologram of the surrounding mountains and valleys appeared, with pictures of ancient roads and buildings. William pulled the chip out of his neural system and lowered it to the ground, allowing Josiah to transmit to holographic format.

      "Josiah, what exactly am I looking at here?" asked William.

      Josiah studied the map for a minute before responding, " It appears that there was once an ancient civilization here. If I am reading this correctly they came here to escape a flood." Josiah studied the code of the map some more.

      "Well, we're running out of time," said William as he walked towards the door. "I'm going to call the others and let them know that it's safe enough to stay here."

      "Good, It will give me a little longer to study these texts."

      William ducked under the door and turned on his comm. as he walked over to his Mongoose. He looked out over the horizon, the twin suns made the sky glow a dim green in the evenings. "Jude, do copy?" he asked.

      "This is Jude. Is the area clear?"

      "Yes, and we may have even hit a little map room. The only thing that may be a problem is that it's the site of an old Ikariad nest."

      "Okay. Maybe we can use that to find a quicker way into the valley. As for the nest, we can post watches. ETA is five minutes."

      "Copy that, ETA in five." with that William switched off the comm. and turned back into the building. "Anything new, Josiah"

      "Not yet, there is just so much information here. Whoever these people were they sure were advanced, but it didn't seem to be much help to them from the looks of things now." Josiah walked around to the other side of the pedestal. He looked at the map for a moment, then pointed at a small trail leading to a gap in the mountains. "That's the road we'll be taking," he pointed at another spot near the bottom of the mountain range inside the valley, "and that's where we are meeting the marines." He walked back to his standing point and began to pour over even more strands of code.

      William turned his head as the familiar sound of a Warthog engine pulled up outside. "I'll leave you to your work." William said to Josiah as he stooped under the door once more. William walked over to the Warthog which Jude, Allicia, and Camden were unloading. Josiah thinks he's found a quicker route to the our redeverous in the valley."

      "Good," replied Jude as he took a gas can from the back and proceeded to fill the 'Hog's tank, "we'll need every advantage we can get. I mean, we taking down a small Covenant ship won't be all that hard, but it's getting Colonel Remming out of there unharmed that'll be hard."

      "Hey William, did Josiah figure out anything else on those Ikariad nests?" asked Allicia.

      "He said that it had been abandoned for a good while, but I think we should keep watch just in case."

      "I'll volunteer for the first watch," said Camden as he stretched, "I've done nothing except sit in that Warthog all day. This will give me a chance to focus my mind on something."

      "I'll take next watch," said Jude pointing at himself with his thumb, "then William, then Allicia. Is that okay with you guys?" All the Spartans nodded in agreement. "Good," he said as he grabbed an MRE, and with Camden's help, pushed the Warthog into the bushes, "I recommend we get some rest now. 'Cause we might not have any the next couple of nights." Camden reached for an MRE as the other Spartans went to get some much-needed rest.

      Allicia laid out under a nearby tree gazing over the landscape as she tried to fall asleep. She watched as the planet's two moons crossed each other giving the illusion of there being only one moon. She removed her crimson helmet and set it next her. She took her hands and ran them through her chestnut hair. Even though it only came to the bottom of her ears, it was still long by military standards. My first mission. Doesn't exactly live up to what we were told it would be like, but then again we haven't really seen any true action. Allicia propped her head up against the tree trunk and closed her eyes. Maybe we'll get some action tomorrow. As Allicia lay there she thought she could here something, it sounded like comm. feedback at first, but it just kept getting louder and louder. Suddenly, an explosion was heard. It sounded as though it had come from the camp, which since they were nearing the Covenant Cruiser probably meant that they were within patrol range. Allicia immediately jumped and made a dash back towards the camp. As she neared the camp, she could hear three-round bursts of Jude and Camden's Battle Rifles and the unmistakable fire of plasma bolts. She came to the clearing to find Jude and Camden crouched behind the flaming remains of their Warthog and with William nowhere in sight. She reached to activate her comm. only to realize that in her haste she had left her helmet.

      Just then Camden turned and saw her, "Allicia," he yelled over the plasma and gunfire, "go find William. He should be getting Josiah." A carbine burst hit him and drained nearly all his shields. He ducked down behind the Warthog then looked back at Allicia. "Go!" he yelled waving his hand back in William's direction.

      Allicia nodded and made off through the forest towards the ruins. It seemed much farther than it had been earlier in the evening. When she finally reached her destination she realized that she was sweating, this was most unusual. Spartans had been trained extremely hard from their beginning in the Spartan program. She entered through the small door to find William and Josiah standing there reading the holomap. "Guys, we need to hurry up. The Covenant have Jude and Camden pinned down by the Warthog."

      "Give Josiah a minute to make a copy of this map, it could be useful later." said William as he shoved a clip into his sniper rifle. He knelt down next to the small green figure, "Are you done yet?" he asked in a slightly irritated voice.

      "Not yet." replied the A.I. seemingly not aware of the imminent danger.

      William stood back up and looked at Allicia, "Missing something?" he asked knocking on his helmet.

      "I forgot in my rush over here." said Allicia with a hint of embarrassment in her voice.

      "Well here," William grabbed both of his Magnums from his leg-holsters and tossed them to Allicia. "You might need a weapon."

      Josiah brought up a panel and waved his hand across it. "There, now we can leave."

      William held the chip down for Josiah to phase into. As he kneeled down, an energy sword ignited behind him. Allicia began to warn him, but it was to late. She could only watch as the sword was plunged through his chest. The sword was swiftly yanked out as an elite uncloaked and William fell to the floor. Allicia instinctively raised her weapons and fired until she had emptied both clips. Even after two full rounds the elite's shield gave no sign of breaking. Allicia took a step back and bumped into something that wasn't the wall. She turned her head around to see another elite standing at its full height of eight feet with two plasma rifles. Allicia stepped back only to have her throat grasped by the first elite from behind. Both the beasts began to laugh.

      "You've failed us," said Josiah from behind the pedestal. The elite placed his sword near her neck, the heat from the sword seemed to penetrate even through her MJOLNIR.

      I can't go out yet, not like this at least. She kicked and struggled, but the monster's grip only tightened.

      "Well Allicia, you're up." came William's voice from behind.

      "William, hurry run!" she struggled more but the elite's grasp was firm. William walked past the elite and in front of Allicia. The wound he has shouldn't let him do that. The second elite handed him an energy sword. With a flick of his wrist he activated it.

      "Come on Allicia, let's get this over with." William pulled back the sword and swung at her.

      Allicia awoke with a gasp. She looked up at William extremely bewildered, then glancing left and right saw no evidence of battle that she thought had taken place.

      "You alright, Allicia?" William asked rubbing his stubbly chin.

      "Yeah, I'm okay." she took a deep breath and realized that her heart was racing. "It must have been a dream."

      "Well you won't need to worry about it now; we won't be sleeping again 'til we get the colonel back." he said with a chuckle.

      Allicia smiled and put her helmet on. William grabbed her hand and helped her to her feet. William sat himself down where Allicia had just been and crossed one leg over the other for a short nap. Allicia walking back towards camp looked at the sites that had been in her dream. The Warthog still sat in the bushes with Jude stretched out resting beside it. As she neared the ruins she saw Camden sitting up against the wall napping with his helmet hanging on a stiff branch jutting from between the ruin's stones. She continued to patrol until morning under the night stars.