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Shadow Ops, Chapter 6: The Outpost
Posted By: Agent Shade<Agent_Shade13@hotmail.com>
Date: 25 June 2003, 4:23 AM

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Shadow Ops, Chapter 6: The Outpost

~*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/demolitions, Blue team)
Lance 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)

      Shit, I made a very huge mistake when I first posted this. Colin "Shade" Thompson's rank is actually supposed to be Lance Corporal and Private Daniel "Wraith" Clarkson is supposed to be a Corporal. Sorry everyone, can you all just pretend that Shade was a Lance Corporal and Wraith was a Corporal all along lol? Enjoy...

~*End note*~

      Lance Corporal Thompson sighted his MA7B battle rifle scope on the huge bulbous Flood carrier form that ran toward their base camp perimeter in the middle of a pact of Flood combat forms. He quickly fired three rounds and the carrier form erupted, sending the combat forms around it flying in all directions. Corporal Clarkson stepped out from behind a Covenant equipment crate and fired one of his SMGs at the small group of infection forms that had been set loose by the carrier form Thompson had shot. To the left of the sniper, Colin heard screaming. He turned to see three Grunts being bitten by Flood infection forms. A group of marines quickly ran to them and pulled the forms off, crushing them with their hands. Two Flood forms came behind those marines, but Thompson jumped down from the Shade gun turret he hide in, wiped out his M90 shotgun and fired off two rounds, killing both combat forms. Before the marines or grunts could say thanks, the motion tracker circle on the HUD of his visor painted a huge group of red dots coming from the far right. Sure enough, Master Sergeant Henderson's voice echoed through Colin's ear piece.

      "Massive Flood reinforcements, request back up" he said. Colin hurried over, slamming two cartridges into the chamber of the shotgun, and then crouched next to Corporal Owens, who was blasting the oncoming tidal wave of Flood. From behind them in the camp, groups of Covenant armed with M90 shotguns joined the humans and helped them fend off the wave of Flood. However, their combined efforts wasn't enough, and a group of Flood forms teamed up on three marines, ripping them to shreds, then moving onto a group of Jackals, who brought their shields up. It made no difference. The Flood's tentacle wipes tore apart the shields and the Jackals holding them. Thompson and Owens were up and moving towards them. They each fired three rounds and the combat forms fell. Another group broke through, killing two Grunts and a marine. Master Sergeant Henderson jumped into one of the Shade gun turrets nearby, quickly adjusted himself to the controls and started firing. The extra firepower worked, and the Flood were slowly pulling back. As Thompson fired the last round in his shotgun, his radio went active again.

      "This is Wraith; looks like the Flood are taking a break. Most of them have retreated" Corporal Clarkson said.

      "Confirmed, Flood forms retreating into the jungle" came the voice of First Sergeant Howe.

      "Roger that Specter, everyone take a quick break, they'll be back" said Henderson, stepping out of the Shade gun turret. Colin slumped onto the ground, bracing himself with his shotgun.

      Since they had came back from rescuing the Covenant and Human defenders at Base camp #4, the Flood had been sending its warriors out to explore the surrounding jungle. Many of their scout squads had found their reinforced base camp and had tried to take it. For around three hours, they had been fighting for their lives, trying to hold off the Flood, while their leaders tried to get more help and also tried to figure out a plan. From what Colin had heard from radio traffic, the Covenant and Human fleets were encountering Flood forms all over the planet. Some Flood forms were successful in capturing a Covenant cruiser and used it to destroy a Human frigate.

      Colin took off his helmet and ran one of his hands through his short black hair. The weather hadn't been cooperating with them and it continued to rain and storm throughout the day. The sniper hadn't slept for four days, which was how long he and his squad had been down here on the planet. He was trained to last four days without any sleep, however, by the fourth day, he knew he needed to sleep, otherwise he would collapse, and collapsing right now in this heated situation, wasn't very good. However, when half an hour passed, he turned to look at the Master Sergeant, and then motioned with his hands that he wished to sleep. Henderson nodded at him, and Shade walked back into the camp. He found an unoccupied tent, crawled in and lay there.

      When he was first born, he had a slight deformity with his voice box deep inside his throat. He could talk, but it would cause him amazing pain. Finally, when he was around seven, his parents had his entire speaking organs (I don't know what the actual organs in the body are that allow you to talk) removed and Colin never spoke again.

      Most people thought he didn't speak because of a death in the family or something along the lines of that, but that wasn't true. Colin's life was actually quite good, besides not being able to speak. He spent a few months, recovering from the operation he had, then when he left high school, he signed up for the Marine Corp. However, he didn't get far and was transferred over to ONI Section Thirteen, where he was trained as a sniper. He liked what he did, and liked his life.

      Colin dozed off for an hour or so, when his radio beeped and he bolted up, pistol raised.

      "Shade, this is Spirit, report to the centre of the camp, Shadow has an announcement" came the voice of medic Corporal Owens. Colin nodded to himself, walked out of the tent and jogged to a small gathering around his leader, Lieutenant Pearson and the Covenant Field Master. Thompson stood back in the shadows and listened. Pearson began.

      "All right, we've been able to contact our fleets in orbit, and from what we've heard, reinforcements in this area is going to be tough. Apparently, when the Flood killed the humans in the mining fields, this was the start of the entire Flood army in this planet to break out of hiding and attack. Our fleets are having Flood outbreaks all over the place. An army of Flood actually took over a Covenant cruiser and used it to destroy a Human frigate. Luckily, it was destroyed, but the Flood began attacking more Covenant ships parked on the planet. We do know that two divisions of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are coming, and also confirmed that Covenant Special Ops personal are heading here. How many, we don't know, so we will have to see when they get here" said Pearson. Colin watched his Lieutenant nod at the gold armored Elite beside him, who looked at everyone.

      "The Outpost blueprints are most complex. There is no plan that allows all of us to stick together, which means we must split up. We do know that our angle of approach is from the west and there are two entrances into the Outpost coming from the west. We split up into six equal fire teams, and move throughout the facility, taking out the Flood and helping out the Covenant. We have contacted a Covenant veteran in the outpost, told him of our situation out here and also told him of our alliance. He expects our arrival. We split up into teams, and then head to the Outpost" said the Elite in a deep voice. Pearson finished off their speech.

      "Outpost Sierra has six floors, which is why we will split up into six different teams. We enter through the base from the west, and rendezvous somewhere on the east side of the base. Once we've confirmed that the Outpost is secure, our reinforcements will arrive, and then we will proceed to the mining fields" finished Pearson. Colin didn't have any complaints about the plan. It was simple and it would work. If one team was unsuccessful in taking out their floor, then another one would go and do it. Plus, their numbers would be boosted when they meet up with the various Covenant in the base.

      "Any questions or concerns?" asked the Elite. A few marines and Covenant put their hands up, but no one else. Beside him, Corporal Clarkson raised his hand.

      "Do the reinforcements know of our alliance?" Clarkson inquired. Pearson nodded at him.

      "Both the Covenant and Human fleets in orbit have allied up with each other and are doing their best to take out the Flood together" he said. Daniel grinned at this and nodded, looking over at Colin.

      "Dude, no more fighting the Covenant maybe" he said in a hopeful tone of voice. Thompson merely grinned and nodded. He then watched Pearson and the Elite begin to split up their people into six teams. Pearson decided to separate Shadow Ops 1. Since there was six members, one member of the team to each infiltration team. There were a total, exact number of one hundred thirty-eight fights, which meant that each team would have twenty-three members. Colin was placed with a team with eleven marines, including Corporal Strom and Sergeant McKinney. Also, there were eleven assorted Covenant with them. Five grunts, four Jackals and two Elites. Both the Elites were wearing blue colored armor, which meant they weren't veterans. The marines were all armed with shotguns, pistols and fragmentation grenades. They weren't properly trained to carry three weapons like Colin could. Once they had been split into their six teams, they were given call signs. Thompson's team was simply called "Team 4." Without another word, Pearson and his team lead the others off into the jungle, in the direction of the Outpost.

      "Designated entrances look clear"

      "Confirmed, entrances clear, no movement"

      "Roger that. Teams 1 to 3, head to the far left entrance. Teams 4 to 6, far right entrances. Move out people" ordered Pearson. Sergeant McKinney ushered Team 4 forward to their entrance. Colin led the way, putting his battle rifle back over his shoulder and taking out his shotgun. He stood to one side of the entrance, and Corporal Clarkson, who was part of Team 5, stood ready. Colin pressed several buttons and the door slide open. Clarkson and another marine slipped in, weapons raised. Colin waved everyone else forward, covering them with his shotgun. When everyone had gone through, Colin brought up the rear, shutting the door behind them and sealing it.

      He stood in a large stairwell that spiraled upwards. Already, the other teams that had gone through the door were moving up the metal stairs to their floors. Colin started climbing, following Corporal Strom and another marine who was part of his team. As Colin climbed past the third floor team, he could hear sounds of fighting and screaming. He picked up speed and arrived at the fourth floor. The other members of his team had moved through the door and had entered what looked like a large cafeteria. Colin paused as he moved through the door, scanning the room. Connecting tables formed five straight lines in the room and at the far end; a small kitchen could be seen. It was in this kitchen, where their problems began.

      A group of Covenant fighters had cornered themselves in there and were firing blind rounds at a group of Flood who stood outside the kitchen, firing into it. Sergeant McKinney and one of the Elites motioned their teammates to move forward and take them out. Colin was quicker and he jogged lightly down the far left side of the cafeteria, passing dead Covenant and Flood bodies as he did. He got a little closer without being noticed, and then tossed a fragmentation grenade. It detonated, taking out five infested marines. The rest of the team burst out of hiding, killing the Flood as they did. From the kitchen came cheers of victory. The door leading into the kitchen opened and four grunts, two Jackals and one Elite stepped out and greeted their rescuers. One of the Elites told them their mission quickly, then handed them M90 shotguns. The Grunts were too little to hold the big weapons, so they took pistols instead. Several marines gave them a two minute lesson on how to work them, and then Sergeant McKinney gave the order to move out. Colin checked the large entrance, nodded it was okay, then started walking slowly down a blood and body stained hallway.

      From what Colin could see as he walked, there was mainly Covenant bodies that lay sprawled out across the floor. He grimaced and winced as he looked at each torn or dismantled body. There were no signs of life at all and he could hear the other members of his team behind him groaning out loud at the horrific death before them. Thompson stopped in front of another door and motioned several Jackals forward. They crouched near the door, shields up and plasma pistols ready. Thompson opened the door and the two Jackals rushed in. After no screaming could be heard, Colin and the others followed them.

      They had entered a barracks. However, from what Thompson could see, it had been turned into a tomb. Dead Covenant and Flood lay everywhere and too the sniper's disgust, dead marines as well. The rotting bodies let out stenches not even big Sergeant McKinney or the Elites could handle. As they moved through the rows of bloodied beds, the door at the other end opened and a large group of Flood combat and carrier forms rushed into the room. It seemed that they knew Team 4 was in there, as they started firing their weapons the moment the door opened. A Grunt fell back dead and one of the marines took a plasma needle to the leg. Colin raised his shotgun and fired two rounds, hitting a combat form, but a volley of assault rifle bullets over his head made him duck and fire more cautiously. Suddenly, from behind them, another group of Flood moved in. The members of the team stuck out in the open were cut down in the crossfire. One of the Elites let out a roar as continuous plasma rounds hit it as it died. One marine fell dead and his buddy dropped to help him, but a needle landed right in his hand and exploded. Both men dropped dead. Colin could feel several pistol rounds bounce off his armor and he fell, completely winded. He could hear screaming all around. Quickly recovering, he unpinned two fragmentation grenades and threw one at each Flood ambush team. Their numbers were torn down to half and Colin stood, moving quickly to take out the Flood team in front of them. He fired off shots and groups of Combat forms fell. Along with a successfully thrown plasma grenade, he took out the one ambush team, and then used his battle rifle to take out the other team, while the remaining members of his team ran to him. When the last few were left, a Covenant Grunt threw another grenade and the last Flood forms erupted. The same Grunt laughed out loud.

      "Not so tough are ya?" It then spit on a nearby corpse and went silent. Colin grinned. Sergeant McKinney opened up the exit door, which lead into another hallway and more trouble. Several combat forms had not entered the battle and stood waiting. One form launched itself forward, tackling and killing a Jackal, the striking a marine right across the face. The same marine's head flew off his body and the corpse fell. Colin fired at point blank range with his battle rifle, and the combat form dropped. The other forms were about to run in, when Corporal Strom tossed a grenade at them and Sergeant McKinney slammed the door shut. The grenade exploded, the door opened and dead, steaming Flood corpses fell into the room. Without a word, they moved down the hallway, stopping only to take out a few Flood stragglers and lost infection forms. They finally came across one of the armory rooms on the level.

      Colin rushed into the room first, killing a single combat form standing on its own. As the rest of the team filed in, several Covenant soldiers came out of hiding and joined them; two more Elites, three Jackals and two Grunts. They then went about cleaning out the remaining weapons and ammo in the armory station, and then exited via the door at the other end of the long room. They entered another cafeteria, which was alive with combat. Two Covenant teams were fighting a huge Flood army charging at them. A single Covenant Hunter strafed around, firing its fuel rod canon with amazing accuracy. Without even thinking, Colin rushed towards the Flood army, tossing two fragmentation grenades, and then firing his shotgun wildly. The others joined him, and Team 4 created a successful diversion for the Covenant teams to regroup and charge. The combined effort of Team 4 and the Covenant ensured their victory and the last five or so Flood forms ran out of the room. Another Elite stepped forward and the Elites with Team 4 saluted. The veteran Elite nodded at them.

      "Good to have the reinforcements finally come. We've been waiting for awhile" he said. Sergeant McKinney grinned.

      "We still got a few more rooms to explore on this level, and then we should be done. We'll regroup with the others and take out the entire Flood infestation on this planet" he explained. The veteran Elite nodded and then motioned for his team to fall in with Team 4. As they began filing out of the smaller cafeteria, Sergeant McKinney turned his radio on.

      "This is McKinney, we've recovered the Elite who Field Master 'Favlor was able to get a hold off. Finishing off this floor" he reported.

      "Roger that McKinney, good luck, out" came the voice of Lieutenant Pearson.

      Colin was leading them down another long hall, which wasn't as bloodied up as the others had been. They walked through two more barracks, killing small pockets of Flood resistance. They then finally reached a larger cafeteria then the other two, with an attached medical centre. This area was loaded with Flood. The last pocket of Covenant resistance was being taken out. Colin rushed in, firing several rounds with his shotgun, his team right behind him. However, two Flood forms turned, both of them holding Jackhammer rocket launchers. Colin was able to gasp and he pumped his legs, diving as far as he could to the left. Both the Flood forms fired and the large 102mm rocket shells struck Sergeant McKinney as he ran through the door.

      The resulting explosion was huge. Sergeant McKinney's body disappeared in an explosion of fire and blood. There was a huge scream from the other team members behind him as they were either vaporized or sent flying backwards. Colin had been able to dive far enough not to get burned; however, the shockwave of the explosion blasted him through a group of Flood and into a nearby wall. He hit it with such a force that it cracked. Colin then fell and hit the floor. The entrance he had come through was in pieces and covered with wreckage and rubble. Luckily, Colin was quick to recover and he sat up, regaining his senses. The same group of Flood he had been tackled through came at him, but he raised a shaky armor, holding his shotgun and fired, killing them with a few rounds. Carefully, he stood and did his best to fight off several other Flood who charged at him. He limped towards the entrance, tossing a single fragmentation grenade, which blasted the Flood forms holding the Jackhammers backwards. The remaining Flood in the cafeteria was focused on killing several Covenant Grunts and Jackals hiding in the medical centre. Colin knelt around the bodies of Team 4. A large majority of them had been vaporized by the twin blasts of the rockets. However, several marines and Covenant Grunts who had lagged behind to cover their six had not been caught in the blast. Corporal Strom was one of them and he stood, saluting to Colin, who saluted back with a shaky hand. All that was left of Team 4 was one Shadow Ops, four marines and three Grunts. Although he couldn't speak, Colin was cursing in his mind. He could definitely tell by the pain that his right arm was broken and he couldn't feel his left foot at all. Still, he limped back into the cafeteria with the rest of Team 4 and helped the other Covenant hiding in the medical centre, fight off the Flood. As Corporal Strom explained to the Covenant they rescued, their plan, Colin's radio beeped.

      "Shade, this is Dusk, we've been ordered to rendezvous on the first floor. There's a huge armory hangar, not too hard to find. When you've completed your mission objective, head down there" came the voice of Master Sergeant Henderson. Colin nodded, and then motioned for the rest of his team to follow him. They all wordlessly climbed down a stairwell they found from the cafeteria and opened the door to the first floor. They walked slowly through two barracks, one cafeteria, another armory station, then found the double doors that led into the hangar. Corporal Strom pushed them open, and helped Colin through. The pain in the sniper's foot was getting worse and he could barely walk. He took a moment to look around him.

      The hangar was quite large, slightly bigger than the hangars in human fleet ships. It was shaped as a square, and on the left and right sides were parking holders for M12 LRVs. Along the far wall were individual smaller hangars for six M8088 Scorpion tanks. There were only five Scorpion tanks and around fifteen Warthogs. Colin could see the other members of their infiltration force gathering around a Scorpion that wasn't parked in the hangar like the others. It was then that Colin noticed all the bodies in the hangar.

      Flood, Covenant and Human alike, lay dead on the floor. Obviously, the original marine defenders had been attacked in here, then the Covenant who had been here was killed, then the Flood who was positioned in here was taken out by Team 1. Colin and the others slowly walked to the rest. Thompson watched Corporal Owens and several others run to them. Colin stopped walking and could feel himself loose all consciousness. Slowly, darkness clouded his vision and he collapsed.

      Lieutenant Pearson looked up from the map he was holding and saw his sniper, Corporal Thompson hit the floor. He jumped off the Scorpion tank wheel ledge and rushed to him. Corporal Owens was already looking at him. He looked at Pearson.

      "He's got a low pulse and looks really winded. They must've been hit hard" he said, taking out some medical supplies. Pearson then looked up and could see that there was only a small fraction of the amount of troops left that Team 4 had been given. Corporal Strom walked to him and saluted. Pearson returned it.

      "What happened Corporal?" asked the Lieutenant. Strom's eyes glazed over.
      "Two Flood forms in a cafeteria were armed with Jackhammer launchers. When Corporal Thompson and Sergeant McKinney entered the room and the others followed, both the Flood forms fired a single round. I assume Corporal Thompson dove out of the way, but the shockwave got him. I had fallen behind; to make sure we didn't get flanked. Everyone was killed" he said, shaking his head. Pearson nodded, and helped carry Colin over to a medical centre in the corner of the hangar. He then took out his radio.

      "Shadow Ops 1 to USS Destroyer, reinforcements are required at this time" he said.

      "Roger that Shadow Ops 1, reinforcements on the way...."

By: Agent Shade