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Stories of a Soundtrack -- Part 5
Posted By: The Meep<HaloFanatic101@yahoo.com>
Date: 30 August 2007, 2:32 am

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FILE OF PLANET CHEN IV (648276351, 364945617 SGP)
Current Condition: OCCUPIED by Covenant Forces (Statistics Follow ONI CSP 55521-KP-1)
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Major Centers: Hi City, Fust City, Treenut Metro.
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A Walk in the Woods, Part 2

      Hill Golf 331, Murnil Forest, Acienic Continent Planet Yeng III, Yeng System

      He had left only two Minor Units after he had been dismissed by 'Gulomemee, leaving his file of pathetic Unggoy behind to man the mortar themselves. With him, he only took a Beam Rifle and a Needler, trekking down the steep back of the hill in the direction the sun had set. For navigation, he only used his memory and eyesight. His name, Edo 'Jugomee. His real name, Fero 'Wetrumoo.

      The real Edo 'Jugomee had disappeared for two Minor Cycles, completely vanishing from his barracks onboard the Inscrutable Justice. To 'Jugomee, he had been kidnapped by an extremist Heretic faction and was being tortured for information. 'Wetrumoo had held nothing back from the act and had given himself sick satisfaction at tormenting the honorable Sangheili Officer. After he had lived out the facade, he had ejected Edo's body into interstellar space, erasing any chance of him being found. 'Wetrumoo was surgically altered to be identical to 'Jugomee before returning to the Inscrutable Justice. When asked where he, 'Jugomee, had disappeared to, he told them the truth. Captured, tortured, and drugged, but eventually escaping and returning. He always conveniently forgot the part about the flash-frozen 'Jugomee floating in the void.

       'Wetrumoo was an experienced assassin, a practicer of the deadly and silent art of killing in secrecy. His target: Futo 'Gulomemee, Silver High Commander of the Army of the Tangible Remains of Faith, 3rd Parallel, Masses of Regret. He had tried several times before: poisoning food, cutting wires, even trying to stab him in the back once. Each time failed, or wasn't carried through. Whether by chance, meaning, or the will of the Forerunners, Futo would not die.

      Now was an extreme situation: The Army of the Tangible Remains of Faith was caught in a vice grip, with nowhere to run. Futo 'Gulomemee would surely perish. 'Wetrumoo/'Jugomee could just as easily walk away from the battle, casting his honor to the depths of necessity, as was declared by his trade. Whether he stayed or not, Futo was doomed. But his superior, the un-nameable leader of the Assassins, had made a strange request: 'Wetrumoo himself had to kill 'Gulomemee, or by means of his causing. His superior would not explain why he wanted this done this way and 'Wetrumoo knew better than to ask. One doesn't question his superior in the Assassins.

      His hoofs made soft impressions in the ground as he sneaked into the trees. Sneaking because the weaponry and moonlight combined lit the hill and surrounding area as brightly as a Drinol stadium. His pace quickened into a sprint as he got deeper into the thin bamboo like trees. After roughly ten Major Units, 'Wetrumoo came to a stop, his breath barely faster than normal. He disconnected his Beam Rifle from its strap on his back before discarding all of his armor. He did this to avoid it reflecting moonlight for someone or something to see. He wasn't bothered by being naked; the Military's initiation rites he had endured Cycles before becoming an Assassin erased any reason to be ashamed of his nudity.

       'Wetrumoo crouched, placing his needler on the soft moss of a nearby rock, and put his Beam Rifle's stock on his shoulder. He found a hole in the trees where he had an open sight of the hill he had just left. The assassin pulsed the magnification on the scope and the mortar slid forward. Near it were Unggoy tending to its intricacies. He also saw the figure of Futo 'Gulomemee covered in his silver armor watching the battle. The figure twitched as the Plasma Mortar fired before turning around to command the Unggoy. 'Wetrumoo couldn't help but to laugh at the imagined confusion pasting itself on his victim's face as he learned his officer had disappeared.

       "You will not escape me this time, 'Gulomemee," sneered 'Wetrumoo. "Not after that dishonorable slap." His mandibles curled in on themselves in a smile as his long finger started to compress the trigger pad.

      A sudden noise ripped through the foliage. 'Wetrumoo flattened himself on the ground, his dark skin blending in with the nighttime shadows. The noise grew louder and his acute hearing recognized it as a Human Warthog. Where there are Humans, there are more Humans. I think a Human bullet would look more natural than a plasma burst thought 'Wetrumoo. He slinked back farther into the shadows and waited for the Humans to pass by.

       "Oi, Rendez!" yelled Private First Class Fen "Big Pat" Ruly. "How's the ride?"

      Corporal Rendez, who was enduring the severely rugged jolting in the Warthog, scowled and yelled over his shoulder at the PFC. "Aw, screw you, Pat!"

       "Jesus, come-on, it can't be that bad. You're doing what? 10? 15? Toughen up," taunted Pat.

       "I said, screw you! Why don't you come up here and see how long a 'hard-ass' like you lasts?"

       "Nah," said Big Pat nonchalantly. "I need the youthful exercise of walking."

      The Marine riding the gun spoke up. "Guy-s-s, wh-a-a-t ab-bout-t m-e-e? You thi-ink the fro-ont's-s ba-ad?"

       "Shut up O'Riely, no one likes you," kidded Pat at the jouncing Marine.

       "Fu-uck you Pa-a-t!" O'Riely managed through the jarring ride.

       "Ya, take it easy on him. He's gonna have brain damage after this," warned Rendez.

      A sudden explosion cut through the small arms fire as the Plasma Mortar landed another blob of plasma. Pat was silent afterwards.

      The Warthog screeched to a halt and O'Riely swung the gun around. The ground was unscorched. The Plasma Mortar had hit an area on the open plain in front of the hill.

       "Hey Pat! You OK?" yelled Rendez.

      A pause and he called out again.

      Still no reply. Rendez tapped the driver on the shoulder. "Stay in the 'Hog. Keeps it idling in case it's a trick."

      He climbed out with O'Riely and looked around. Pat had disappeared. "Damn," said O'Riely. "Where'd he go?"

       "I dunno."

      The two Marines walked around the area while the driver kept the Warthog running. "Hurry it up guys! We got a date with the Covies behind!"

      They didn't answer, but kept beating the bushes. A group of twenty Marines came around the bend in the path. The one in front, a Sergeant yelled to Rendez. "Corporal! Why has the Warthog stopped in the middle of my path with no hostiles nearby?"

      Rendez snapped to attention, remembering not to salute in the combat zone. "Sir, Private First Class Fen Ruly has vanished. We were searching for 'im, Sir!"

       "We got to keep moving or else the Covies can retreat. Pat can catch up back at base. Move out!"

       "Sir, yes Sir!"

      Rendez and O'Riely climbed back into the Warthog. As it started up again, Rendez could've sworn he saw two red eyes peering at him through the foliage. A second look and they had disappeared into the night.

      Just 300 feet south of there, Gum and Nex had set up camp. After trekking through the bogs, large puddles, and insects that inhabit this part of Yeng, the two Snipers finally made it to a desirable range to shoot from.

      Gum glanced across at the prone form of Nex, most of whose body was buried in bug infested swamp muck. "How you doing Nex?"

      Nex glared at Gum who had situated himself on top of the only dry piece of ground within ten feet. "Fine, ju't fine. And I bet yu'r endurin' the elements on that piece o' dry land! Nah, it's 'kay. I o'ly have five buggers crawling up me pants at the moment!"

       "Hey, who got her first? Who found the high ground first?"

      Nex sighed, making sure his Sniper Rifle was out of the muck. "You did," he said in a downcast tone.

       "Lighten up, we got three Jackasses ripe for the picking and God knows however many more Covenant who want to poke their heads out of the damn trenches," consoled Gum. With that, he propped up his Sniper rifle on its tripod and sighted through the Oracle scope. "One bullet apiece…"

       "…and an extra one to make sure," finished Nex.

      The two men punched their fists and peered down their barrels. Gum said "I got the ugly bastard with the yellow fin. You take the Red fin. The one in the middle is wild card. On my mark." Gum paused. "Mark!"

      Two shots rang out so close in unison that they sounded like one. Two of the Sniper Jackals fell, one missing it's head, the other missing it's head and shoulders. The third Jackal, named Ruk, reacted quickly. It ducked behind the rim of the sniper Perch as two more white trails carved the air above its head. He poked his rifle through one of the slits in the rim made especially for cover shooting. It traced the trails back through the night air into a small clearing where two Humans lay, both with Sniper Rifles. It aimed for the head of the lower one and prepared to shoot.

       "We got two of 'em," said Nex. "The third one's hidin'."

      A sudden whoosh of air and a Beam Rifle bolt lashed down at Nex, slashing his shoulder. "DAMN!" yelled Gum as he traced the beam back to the tower. "Gotcha, mother—"


      The bullet ran straight and true, cracking through the thin wall around the slit and blowing half the Jackal's head away. The perch swayed precariously on its grav beam from the impact. Purple blood began dripping through the entry hole in the middle where the anti gravity field propelled it back into the perch again.

      Gum quickly rolled over to Nex who was still in the bog, now screaming in pain. The shot had cut deep, over 3 inches, and the arteries below it spurted blood by the pint full into the air. Plasma bolts usually traveled slow enough to cauterize any wounds they had caused, keeping blood loss to a minimum. Beam Rifle bolts, however, moved so fast that they cut right through and barely sizzled the flesh. Of course, the victim generally has bigger problems at the moment than 1st degree burns.

      He checked the wound and reached for the med kit, realizing too late that the beam had also cut through the arteries in his right thigh and boiled the medical kit, its contents rendered useless. At once, Gum knew Nex was going to die, slowly and painfully. After a half hour, he would have bled enough to slip into unconsciousness, but not before suffering through the agony of it.

      Nex sobbed, biting through his own lip in pain. The hurt proved too much for him to form words and he could only gag and choke on his own fluids. Gum stood up, taking Nex's dog tags and drew his pistol. A look of peace flashed through Nex's eyes as the barrel was pointed at him, and his convulsions eased momentarily. He managed to mouth Thank you. Gum looked away and squeezed the trigger. The sobs were horribly cut off, the spattering of blood dying away, and the surrounding area silent once more.

      Captain Resinky sighed and cupped her head in her hands as she sat at her impromptu desk at the Field base on the Murnil Plains. The terrible losses inflicted on the Marines during the Battle of Murnil Plains had taken its toll on her once pretty face. Her cheeks sagged and her eyes had black circles under them. Her hands sometimes shook and her mental state was degrading. After 56 hours of constant fighting and watching her soldiers die, she was about ready to buy it herself.

      She looked down at her desk and sighed as the reports kept coming in. Two Warthogs destroyed, over one hundred Marines dead from the Snipers, Turrets, and the Mortar. And now she would either hope that the Scorpion Tank got in a lucky shot on the Mortar or she would be forced to risk a rush on the. With the turret emplacements, the mortar, and the height advantage, the Covenant forces would wreak utter havoc on the Human forces.

      New reports came in. The Mortar round struck the Warthog depot. All the Warthogs destroyed but one, which the Panic Squad was using, and thirty more Marines killed in the explosion. A strange report from the Panic Squad said that one of their men, their Sniper, had disappeared, literally into thin air, and couldn't be found. With the loss of her LRVs, the deaths of dozens more Marines, and the soon to arrive Panic Squad, she braced her self.

      Resinky picked up the FORCOM unit and primed the receiver. She held it to her mouth and left it there for five seconds before talking. Finally, she forced the words out. "Commence FBP Alpha Tango Opera Sixer Eighter. Commence the rush."

To be concluded...