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Recce, Chapter Two
Posted By: Zombie<kolin013@hotmail.com>
Date: 3 August 2006, 3:24 am

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0350 Hours, October 14, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Siberia, Russia/ Western Siberian Plains

      Sergeant Dagmar had never run so fast in his entire military career. His sprint and five kilometre run timings were low in basic, but the moment Dagmar had heard screaming over his radio, something had took over him and he ran. The Sergeant now leaned against a large tree, weapon up and scanning around him. Corporal Lauren flanked him, her blond hair hidden under her helmet and her bright blue eyes observing the team's rear. Privates Thomson and Reynolds were ghost walking through the foliage ahead of Dagmar, searching for Corporal Scott and his team.

      "Try again," Dagmar heaved, his body still trying to recover from his sprint. Lauren looked up at him and then grabbed her radio phone.

      "2-1-Alpha-1, this is 2-1-Alpha, over," she said. As she released the send button, nothing but silence answered her. Dagmar looked away from Thomson and Reynolds briefly and stared at the phone held in Lauren's hand.

      "Again," he urged.

      "2-1-Alpha-1, this is 2-1-Alpha, please acknowledge my last, over." Again, there was not a single sound. Dagmar gave a low whistle and Thomson turned around. The Sergeant held up a fist and Thomson nodded, passing the signal to Reynolds and the two dropped to the ground slowly. Dagmar glanced over to Lauren.

      "What did the screen show before the screaming?" asked Dagmar.

      "The night vision was really screwing up the image, but I saw about six or seven Jackals. Then, I think Scott attacked them, because I could see tracers from plasma and bullet fire flash across the screen and I definitely saw a Jackal collapse to the ground," Lauren started to explain.

      "You think he engaged?" Dagmar interjected. Lauren hesitated, but then nodded. Dagmar swore and looked away, "Damnit, I told him his ROEs were to not engage."

      "I think the Jackals had backup though Sarge, I remember seeing a plasma sword just before the screaming started and Scott's camera went off," Lauren finished. Scott was a smart soldier; Dagmar knew he would never compromise himself or the lives of his men, especially in a hostile environment like the one he was in now. In leadership training, soldiers are allowed to think, since they're the ones giving orders, not following them. They were the team leaders now, everything was their responsibility.

      As Dagmar reflected on this, he reminded himself that he had four men missing and if he didn't discover their whereabouts, it would be his responsibility. Dagmar loved his troops though, they were family to him. He made sure they all came home, dead or alive. Sighing heavily, he nodded to Lauren and consulted his map.

      "We still have a few feet to cover before we reach Scott's last contact report position, let's move out," ordered the Sergeant. Thomson and Reynolds emerged from their cover and allowed Dagmar to take the lead of the column. They advanced at a quick-time pace, keeping their arms out to deflect swinging branches, but constantly observing their surroundings. Stealth wasn't much of an option if the Covenant already knew they were here and they had to get to Corporal Scott's team before more trouble found them.

      No sooner did Dagmar and the others step off further into the woods, gunfire erupted through the forest ahead of them. The line of soldiers immediately dived to the ground, searching for the source of the sudden commotion. Dagmar raised his head over a large boulder he lay behind and could see muzzle flashes just ahead, right around the projected area of Corporal Scott's last report.

      "Enemy front, my twelve, my twelve!" Dagmar reported to his troops. Thomson, Reynolds and Lauren crawled through the vegetation and positioned themselves in a scattered line facing the sudden commotion. They propped their weapons up on the rock and waited for further instructions. Dagmar kept his eyes on the battle ahead and could see shapes moving as bullets were fired. He cocked his weapon as the familiar sound of plasma bolts came after each gunshot.

      "Alpha team, centre of axis, fifty metres and closing, enemy section or platoon, watch and shoot! I repeat, watch and shoot!" Dagmar shouted over the turmoil that was getting louder. He heard battle rifles being cocked and the safeties being released as his troops got ready. Once the enemy could be seen, they wouldn't be standing anymore.

      Sergeant Dagmar peered through the scope of his rifle and could barely make out two shadows moving towards them. One appeared to be limping and the other was massive and didn't look human at all. The gunfire was coming from both shapes as they paused to fire back at the Covenant chasing them.

      A plasma grenade went off suddenly and the darkness around them disappeared for a brief moment. In that moment, Dagmar looked through his scope to see Private Victor and Private Oliver running through the forest. Private Oliver was covered in blood and had a limp in his run. Dagmar noted that the radio he was supposed to be carrying was gone and the entire backside of his uniform was burnt. Private Victor on the other hand appeared fine, but he carried Corporal Scott on his back, whose limbs bounced loosely as Victor tried to catch up with Oliver.

      "Hold fire!" Dagmar ordered quickly and stood up on his knees, waving his hands frantically at the members of his team. "Oliver! Victor!" Victor caught sight of Dagmar and shouted to Oliver, who rushed after his team mate. As the two got closer, Dagmar could see how terrified both privates appeared and he stood up completely. However, the two showed no signs of stopping.

      "Sergeant, we gotta go!" Victor yelled, not even stopping near Alpha team. Dagmar reached out and grabbed him however, holding him in place. Oliver paused behind them, wheezing and trying to catch his breath.

      "What the fuck is going on soldier?!" Dagmar shouted. Victor's eyes were wide and crazy as he looked at Dagmar and then in the direction he came from, as if something worse than the Covenant was chasing him.

      "There's no time, there could be more, it will kill us, we have to go!" he shouted.

      "Sarge, enemy spotted!" screamed Lauren, who was still with Thomson and Reynolds. Dagmar kept a firm grip on Victor's shaking body and glanced into the forest. Through the flashes of plasma bolts, he could make out the distinct silhouettes of Covenant Grunts and non-shielded Jackals.

      "Normal rate of fire, go on!" Dagmar ordered. Alpha team opened up on the approaching Covenant platoon with quick three round bursts. Several Grunts attempting to climb over a fallen log collapsed as multiple rounds slammed into their bodies and ripped apart their organs. Aqua blood and methane sprayed everywhere, but the Covenant did not stop. Two Jackals easily jumped over the same log and activated their personal shields. Thomson took one out with an accurate headshot, but the second quickly hid behind its shield and fired back at Alpha team, allowing additional reinforcements to climb over.

      Meanwhile, Sergeant Dagmar was still trying to talk to Victor: "Private, listen to me, what happened? Tell me what's going on here." The Sergeant kept his voice calm, trying to stop Victor from freaking out. But the usual silent sniper was alive with movement and noises. He whimpered and stamped his feet, almost on the verge of tears.

      "Don't you get it? It will kill everything if we don't go. It got Murray, it got Scott, and it'll get you too!" Victor screamed. Dagmar looked behind Victor at Oliver, who was motionless and staring at the ground, his eyes glazed over. There was a massive scar running from the left side of his jaw, across his eye and stopping just above the bridge of his nose. Dagmar could also see a bone sticking out of his left thigh, but the Private stood tall and still regardless.

      "Oliver, what is he talking about? What happened?" Dagmar demanded. Oliver looked up and his mouth opened to speak, when three plasma needles flew past Alpha team and stabbed into Oliver. The Private gasped and looked down, just when the needles exploded in his face, showering him with plasma shards. The deadly explosives ripped open Oliver's uniform and blood sprayed out like fountain water, staining the vegetation around him.

      Victor screamed and broke free of Dagmar's grasp, taking off into the forest. Sergeant Dagmar swore and grabbed Oliver's falling body, easing him slowly to the soil. His skin was deathly pale and his pulse was extremely weak. The Sergeant grabbed Oliver's shaking hand and held it tight while gripping the back of his bleeding cranium.

      "Damnit son, answer me, what happened?" Dagmar asked, holding up Oliver's head. His breathing was quick and troubled as blood began filling up his lungs. Oliver coughed, but his blood-shot eyes were locked with Dagmar's.

      "You-must-leave," Oliver whispered through a trembling mouth.

      "Why? What killed Murray and Scott?" Dagmar asked, holding Oliver close. Oliver's eyes rolled into the back of his head and he mumbled words to himself.

      "It's going to kill." Private Oliver went limp in Dagmar's arms. The Sergeant lowered his body and closed Oliver's eyes. However, his thoughts of sorrow were interrupted by more plasma bolts that flew past. He removed Oliver's tags and then glanced into the forest where Victor had disappeared. He had to find him before he got himself killed.

      "Sarge?" Lauren asked, reloading her battle rifle. The rest of Alpha team were still engaging the Covenant and Dagmar could see dozens of Covie soldiers emerging through the forest. They had stirred up a hornet's nest, meaning it was time to get out before they all got 'stung'.

      "Ozzy peel back to the camp, I will RV with you there, understood?" Dagmar yelled over the fighting. Corporal Lauren nodded and took command of Thomson and Reynolds. Dagmar fired a full magazine of 7.62mm ammo at the Covenant and then took off into the forest, searching for Victor.