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Shadow Ops, Chapter 2: The Marines
Posted By: Agent Shade<Agent_Shade13@hotmail.com>
Date: 16 June 2003, 3:55 AM

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Shadow Ops, Chapter 2: The Marines

~*Author's note*~
      Just so no one gets confused, here is the Shadow Ops 1 squad...

Lieutenant Alan "Shadow" Pearson, Squad leader (assault, Red team)
Master Sergeant Jonathan "Dusk" Henderson, second in command (assault, Blue team)
First Sergeant Paul "Specter" Howe (assault, Blue team)
Corporal Colin "Shade" Thompson (sniper, Blue team)
Corporal Fredrick "Spirit" Owens (assault/medic, Red team)
Private First Class Daniel "Wraith" Clarkson (support/radio, Red team)

      This will be the last chapter for awhile folks. Exams are starting and I gotta get studying. I will continue writing when they are done though. Hopefully you like these two chapters. Later. ~*End note*~

      The Shadow Ops squad had been running for about two or three hours since they took out the Covenant patrol pursuing them and the Lieutenant told his team about their mission. They ran all throughout the morning and most of the afternoon. It was near the edge of the fog that surrounded Outpost Sierra, where Pearson decided to call for a rest. Not only for himself, but he knew his squad was tired, and unlike other squad leaders, he didn't like pushing his men that much, since he knew that they would be needed later on.

      They hunkered down inside a cluster of trees, which provided them with excellent terrain cover, and allowed them to set up an easy, strong defensive perimeter. Pearson only wanted them to rest their legs. They were in hostile territory still and Covenant patrols were all over the place. His team needed to be aware of their surroundings. Like always, Colin did his best to post himself in a tree, to provide them cover from a distance.

      Pearson glanced at his mission watch. He grinned. They were way ahead of schedule and could definitely take a long break. The Lieutenant looked up at his sniper.

      "Anything Shade?" he asked. Colin looked down at him and shook his head. He frightened the Lieutenant sometimes. Mainly because the black visor strapped on his helmet, hide his eyes and he couldn't make out his expression. Still, the way Colin expressed himself was his decision, and Pearson didn't care. He nodded back at the sniper and looked at his team.

      "We are way ahead of schedule guys, so break out some rations, lets have a small lunch" he said. The others grinned and took a moment to relax. Daniel put his two submachine guns on the ground, and took off his pack.

      "Jesus, running with 50 pounds of equipment on your back ain't easy" he said, shaking his head. Beside him, Fred Owens grinned and took off his pack as well.

      "Yeah, you all right Wraith?" he asked. The heavy weapons soldier grinned.

      "Yeah man, I'm fine, just a small back cramp" he said. Master Sergeant Henderson walked back to them, a cup of river water in his hands.

      "Walk if off son, we won't be here for that long" he said, taking a sip of the water. Pearson took off his pack and opened it. He reached in, felt around all the clips of ammo and found his nutrient bars. He took out two, unwrapped one and took a bite of it. Sergeant Howe had just finished his own lunch. He picked up another candy bar and walked over to the tree in the middle.

      "Shade, catch!" he called up. The Sergeant threw the candy snack up into the air, and their sniper caught it, nodded in thanks to Paul and ate it, still scanning around. Owens stole one of Daniel's candy bars. As Daniel reached beside him to grab one, he realized it was gone. Owens grinned at him, and held it up in front of him. Clarkson stood.

      "You fucker, give it here" he said, grinning as he reached for it. Fred shook his head and waved a finger at him.

      "Ah ahh, chain of commander private. Show some respect to your superiors" he joked. Clarkson shook his head.

      "To hell with the chain, give it" he jumped forward, missed and almost went crashing into a nearby tree. He stood and was about to charge again when a huge explosion in the distance made them all drop to the ground. Pearson literally flew off the rock he sat on and had his pistol in his hands, scanning the vegetation around them. Daniel was retrieving one of his weapons.

      "What the fuck was that?" he asked them. The Lieutenant looked up at Thompson, who was looking around with his sniper rifle. Suddenly, they heard another huge blast. Their sniper looked down, pointed west of their position, and then punched his fist out in the same direction. He held up three fingers with his left hand, and flashed his right hand two times. Pearson nodded. He looked to the rest of his squad.

      "Okay, due west of our position, three Covenant, using portable fuel rod canons, with ten infantry covering them. Pack up, we're moving" he said quickly. They moved fast, ditching their wrappers and putting everything back into their huge packs. Pearson took out his MA7B Battle rifle, clicked the safety off, and motioned his team to move. Colin jumped down and led the way, his battle rifle up and ready. They moved into the lush jungle in a spread out line, to cover more distance as they moved. Colin eventually raised his fist, and then motioned right in front of him. Pearson took this chance to check out the area in front of them.

      The Pelican which had been lost in the fog lay at the bottom of a small canyon. It was propped up slightly against the one side of the canyon wall. Near the entrance/exit to the troop bay, crates of equipment lay scattered all over the place, and six marines could be seen, firing random shots up at the top of the canyon walls. Pearson glanced over to his left, and could make out the Covenant team positioned in the bushes, facing the Pelican. Three Grunts, holding the fuel rod canons fired, and a marine was blown apart, as he ran back to the Pelican from his position. Pearson winced slightly, and then motioned his squad forward. They converged around him. He pointed to the Covenant team, and slit his finger across his throat. His team nodded, and then moved into a better firing position. They approached the edge of the canyon wall, and Pearson fired first.

      His battle rifle let out individual bullets at the Covenant. A Grunt, holding one of the fuel rod canons fell backwards, its head in pieces. Out of the bushes behind them, two Jackals, seven Grunts and a Blue armored Elite appeared and looked for the direction of fire. The Shadow Ops didn't stop to watch them and kept firing. One of the Jackals had exposed its bare back to them, and Master Sergeant Henderson took him out. Shade quickly shot at the Elite, forcing it to fall back into the bushes. Daniel's SMGs cut down the Grunts to nothing. Howe and Pearson finished off the fuel rod canon Grunts, then Owens threw a fragmentation grenade. They heard the hidden Elite and the last Jackal let out a yelp, and then the grenade detonated. Body limbs and purple blood blew into the air. They moved forward, policing their dead enemy's weapons and hiding their bodies. Pearson then looked down into the canyon, to look at the five marines that walked into the open looking up at them.

      "Specter set up a perimeter. Dusk, Spirit, with me" he said. The other three members of the squad fanned out around the canyon edge. Pearson, Henderson and Owens jogged down the canyon wall and approached the marines. There were only five left now, and each of them looked nervously at them. Pearson ignored this.

      "Who's in charge here?" he asked. Not a single marine moved a part of their body and just stared at him. Pearson finally understood why. This was the first time he and his team had come into contact with human individuals who didn't know about Shadow Ops. He assumed they knew about the program, just never met a member of the team. He nodded at this.

      "We aren't the Spartans, we are members of a different faction. Who is in charge here?" he asked them. The marines slowly nodded, but not one of them spoke. Finally, Pearson understood. It was their appearance.

      Most marines are used to seeing the regular dull brown armor and green eye reticule helmet. However, the members of Shadow Ops had totally different armor. The way the armor set up around their body was the same; however, the armor itself was much stronger. Pearson didn't know the exact specifics, but he was told that it was powerful as a single layer of titanium-A battle armor that usually covered a UNSC space vessel. Pearson's first instinct was that it would be heavier than all of them, but when he tried it on, he found out it wasn't, which confused him. He could never figure out why and not even their trainer, Master Sergeant Kyle Jones could tell them.

      Normally, their armor was black, but for this particular mission, it was jungle camouflage. Their helmets were slightly bigger, and the eye reticule was actually a black visor, which they could move up or down at their disposal. So far, their sniper was the only one who kept it down and wore the thing. Pearson didn't have time to explain all this though.

      "I am Lieutenant Alan Pearson of Shadow Ops 1, marines. Who is in charge here?" That seemed to break them out of their trance. The five of them saluted, and one stepped forward.

      "Private First Class Abe Strom sir!" he said. Pearson nodded at the man.

      "Where's your CO Private?" he asked. The young man looked back at his colleagues, then look at the Lieutenant.

      "Over here sir" he whispered. He led them to the troop bay and pointed to the body of a marine. Pearson never showed emotion in the field, but he winced quickly.

      A decapitated marine lay on the ground in front of them. He had been cut in half from the hip down. His legs and lower half of his hip were no where to be found, but his upper torso lay in front of them. The intestines lay sprawled around the cut, which was totally clean. Blood was still flowing out. The private looked at him.

      "He fell out of the bird when we hit the ground, and then the entire ship came down on top of him. He was actually alive at first, but when those crates fell out, they all landed on him" he said. Pearson then noticed the odd indents on the man's face and could tell that his skull had been completely crushed. He finally looked away.

      "Do you not have a Sergeant around here? Or maybe a Corporal?" he asked again. The private looked at him with honest eyes.

      "Well, we've found the Sergeant's arm and part of his leg so far. As for the Corporal, he was the last marine killed here. The Covenant came in so fast when we hit the ground. We've been stranded here for a few hours" he said. Pearson nodded. All that remained of the marine group was a couple of volunteer PFCs. He looked over at Owens.

      "See if any of them are wounded, and help them" he said. Fred nodded, and walked over to a limping marine. Pearson turned to Henderson.

      "Bring the rest of the squad down here" he said. The Master Sergeant turned and made three gestures to the canyon walls. Immediately, three Shadow Ops men materialized out of the bushes. Pearson nodded at them.

      "We got a problem here folks. There's no CO, which means these marines are nothing but volunteers. There's no way they can navigate through this jungle by themselves. I'm going to consulate with command, form a new perimeter here inside the canyon" he said to them. Shade and Specter nodded, and then disappeared into the foliage. Clarkson stepped forward, a radio phone in his hands.

      "Got Command on the line sir" he said. The Lieutenant took the phone and pressed it to his ear.

      "This is Lieutenant Pearson of Shadow Ops 1, I need to speak with General Harley" he said into the small device.

      "You got him Lieutenant, what's up?" came the hard voice of Three-star General Ted Harley. His thick Texas accent could be recognized by anyone.

      "Sir, we've made contact with the marines that got shot down in the Pelican. There's no CO Sir, all we've recovered are five volunteer privates. They don't know how to navigate in this jungle and they sure as hell don't know the possible landing zones and their locations" he said. He heard the General sigh slightly.

      "Well Alan, you got quite a problem. I know you don't agree with me, but we need those boys back here. Never leave a man behind, you know that as well as I do correct?" General Harley asked. Pearson nodded.

      "Of course sir"

      "Well, I'm sorry Lieutenant, but you got to take those boys with you. We can't send in evac, another Pelican was shot down today. Not in the fog mind you, so we know that the marines on board are all dead. Two mistakes in two days. We need those boys home. Your orders are to protect those marines. Consider them to be civilians" he said. The leader of Shadow Ops 1 closed his eyes. Those words the General said made his heart sink. However, orders were orders.

      "Yes sir, I understand" he said.

      "Good, what's your location?" he asked. Pearson grabbed his helmet, put it on, dropped the visor and consulted a map.

      "Grid...twenty-two by thirty" he said, taking off the helmet and strapping it back under his pack.

      "Well, you're right there at the edge of the fog. This will be our last little talk then. Just remember, any marines you recover, you bring along with you. Sorry it has to be this way, but we need every man and woman to fight" the General said. Pearson had enough.

      "Yes sir, I understand, I will contact you when this mission is complete" he said.

      "Roger that Lieutenant, good luck, out." Lieutenant Pearson gave the phone back to Daniel, who attached it to his radio and stuffed it back into his pack. Pearson pinched the bridge of his nose, then looked up and activated his team frequency radio.

      "Shadow Ops, on me" he said. His squad was around him in seconds. Pearson looked at them.

      "New orders. We have to take these marines with us. Command wants them back and will not allow them to die. They come with us until this mission is complete. So from now on, we move in a single file line. Marines will be in the middle, Shade and me up front, Wraith and Specter at the back. Dusk and Specter, you two will be on either side of the line, spread out evenly. Don't want any surprises coming beside us. Got it?" he explained, using his hands to better help them understand his idea. His team nodded. Pearson nodded back, then called Private Strom back. He jogged over to them.

      "Yes sir?" he said. Pearson looked at him.

      "Private, I've been given orders to bring you and your marines along with us on our mission. Are you aware of any of the landing zones in this area of the jungle and their locations?" he asked. The private shook his head.

      "No sir, me and the others just joined the UNSC Marine Corp like three days ago" he said. Pearson expected this.

      "I'm promoting you to Corporal, Strom. You are in charge of these four marines. You take orders from me though. You and your marines will follow myself and Shade in a single file line. My men will provide cover for you. I don't want to see you or your men raise your weapon or anything. You stay put unless I tell you otherwise, got it?" he said to the man. The new Corporal nodded.

      "Yes sir, I understand. May I ask a question sir?" he asked. Pearson nodded, as he fixed his stuff up.

      "What's our mission?" he asked.

      "Same as yours Corporal. Find out what the hell happened to Outpost Sierra" he said. Corporal Strom nodded. Pearson swung his pack around and strapped it to himself. He loaded a fresh magazine into his battle rifle, and then nodded at his men.

      "Form the line. Corporal Strom! Let's go" he said. The marines fell into a line behind the Lieutenant and the Shadow Ops sniper. Colin led the way with his battle rifle up at the ready. He moved quickly, which Pearson approved off, since they had to make up for lost time. He looked behind him, and was satisfied with what he saw. Nevertheless, the mission had just gotten a little more difficult. He shrugged the thought off though. Same mission parameters, just different personal. He would adapt. That was what he was trained to do...


By: Agent Shade