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Project: Shadow Spartan, Chapter 8
Posted By: Agent Shade<shadow_agent13@hotmail.com>
Date: 24 July 2003, 2:38 AM

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      "Anything on radar?"

      "For the seventh and final time Samuel, no, there is nothing on the radar; there is no way those Spartans can catch up with us." Sam looked at his AI Lancelot, who stood over his console, shaking his armored head.

      "Think about it. What are the chances that they can catch up? That town has no mode of transportation at all. Those Spartans will be walking after us Sam. Walking! We are in a Pelican dropship" he said. Sam nodded.

      "All right, I'm sorry, but now that we have my mom, I'm a lot more worried about losing her" he said. Lancelot nodded.

      "I understand, but you must face facts. We are safe" he said. Sam nodded, and then looked behind him as his mother walked into the cockpit, her eyes all red and puffy. She still hadn't recovered from Sam's story about John's death. Sam knew that it would bug her forever. He knew how close the two of them had been and he had observed it all during his childhood and during his training. However, he couldn't set his mind on his dead father. He had a mission to complete. He had to get his mother to safety. Suddenly, the radio began to crackle with static. Lancelot appeared.

      "Vice Admiral Jameson on channel 1" he said. Sam nodded and leaned forward to the view screen in front of him. He pressed a single button, and the admiral's face filled the screen.

      "Sam! Thank god" he said, grinning at the Shadow Spartan.

      "Yes sir, I'm still alive" he said.

      "What's your situation?" Jameson asked. Sam motioned beside him.

      "Admiral Jameson, may I introduce the Deputy Director of Project Shadow Spartan and my mother, Laura Culling" Sam said. The view screen in front of Laura activated and the Admiral bowed his head.

      "Miss Culling, it is a pleasure to meet you" he said. Laura merely nodded, then bowed her head. Sam quickly switched her screen off and looked at the admiral.

      "I'm currently trying to find a safe area to keep her while I finish the mission" he explained. Jameson nodded.

      "Go to coordinates grid nineteen by thirty-four. We recently received a shipment of Pelicans and a few divisions of marines. I have them stationed there. Give them Miss Culling and they will bring her up here. There will be supplies there for you as well. Those marine forces will remain there until you arrive" he said. Sam nodded. He hoped the admiral didn't plan on having the marines stay with him. As if he was reading his thoughts, Jameson continued, "Once you've arrived and picked up some supplies, the marines will return to the Galahad" he said.

      "Thank you Admiral, the help is much appreciated" he said. Jameson nodded.

      "Well, I better not keep you. Good luck Shadow Spartan, Jameson out" The view screen clicked off and Lancelot reappeared.

      "I have the coordinates marked in Sam, we will be there in twenty minutes" he said. Sam nodded, and then looked at his mother who was sniffing back tears and keeping her head bowed. Sam had no idea what to do with her. He wasn't a therapist and was never trained to be one. He had no experience in these matters, so he let his mother do whatever she pleased. After awhile, Sam let Lancelot take over, allowing him to get his armor back on.

      Zach sat on the lead hover bike, watching the Pelican just above him. Behind him, Paul had his sniper rifle out.

      "Troop bay is closed sir" he said.

      "Damn, well, we will have to open them" Zach growled. The farmers had briefed them about how to use the firing mechanisms on the bikes. Paul had successfully outfitted five of the nine hover bikes around them with 102mm rockets loaded in the firing pods. Zach looked at the small computer console in front of him and turned it on. The small screen showed a first person image of his bike, along with a targeting cursor. Zach looked at the Pelican on the screen and pressed on it. The cursor hovered over the vehicle and blinked red. Zach grinned and received confirmations that his other rocket bikes had locks.

      "Fire!" he yelled, pressing down on the triggers on the handles that stuck out on the sides of the bike. Ten 102mm rockets flew into the air at the Pelican, only four of them hitting their ship.

      Sam was knocked right off his feet as the bulkhead in front of him literally exploded. He landed on the deck hard, tasting blood in the back of his mouth. He stood, and then felt additional impacts strike their ship. The troop bay ramp exploded, blasting Sam straight back into the cockpit, where Laura was screaming as she hung on for dear life. Sam stood.

      "Lancelot! What the fuck is going on?" he screamed over the noise of the whistling wind. Lancelot appeared.

      "The Spartans are here!" was all he screamed. Cursing again, Sam went to the equipment crate near the troop bay, opened it and took out one of the Jackhammer launchers. He loaded it and took four additional rockets. He then walked towards the edge of the troop bay.

      Spartan-252; Matt was out of Jackhammer rockets, but his partner who sat behind him had his SMG 900 sub machine gun loaded and up. Matt looked back at his friend, Spartan-247; Vince, who shook his head.

      "I can't see shit Matt" he yelled, lowering his weapon. Mat nodded.

      "I'll try and get you in closer" he yelled, pushing the bike to its limits and accelerating forward. That proved to be a big mistake.

      Zach watched Matt and Vince move in closer, and then watched a 102mm rocket slam right into the front part of the bike, which flipped right over and detonated.

      "Shit!" he yelled.

      Sam held the steaming Jackhammer launcher in his hands, and then targeted his last rocket on a hover bike that was slowly backing away. The he felt a plume of smoke erupt from the tube, and then a single rocket flew through it and smashed into the driver's head. Sam bent down and reloaded.

      Zach felt Paul tap him on the shoulder.

      "It's him, the Shadow Spartan, he's got a fucking Jackhammer launcher" Paul yelled. Zach nodded.

      "Take him down" he yelled back. Paul raised his sniper rifle, ordering their Spartan team to open fire.

      Sam felt bullets ping of the Pelican's armor around him, but he knew it was no use. He finished reloading and fired two more rockets, killing two additional hover bikes. The Spartans only had four left. Sam bent down to reload, when suddenly, the Pelican shook from the amount of damage it had and the Jackhammer fell out of his hands. Swearing, Sam walked back to the equipment crate and took out the two bandoliers of frag grenades. He laid them on the floor, unpinned one, waited a full three seconds, and then tossed it. The grenade detonated in the air as it fell, sending shrapnel and smoke at the bikes, which veered apart. Immediately, Sam began doing this at a fast constant pace, forcing the hover bikes to fall back. However, the Spartan knew out to time the frags and knew how far to throw them.

      Zach watched another frag explode near him and he looked away as shrapnel slammed into him. He cursed and looked at Paul.

      "We gotta take him out!" he yelled.

      "I can't hit him Zach, the vehicles are moving to fast, my bullet goes off in the other direction" he said. Zach swore and turned sharply as another frag exploded near him.

      Sam tossed his last frag grenade, and then threw both bandoliers out of the dropship. He went back to the crate and pulled out his last defense weapon. He loaded the S2 AM sniper rifle with a magazine of four 14.5mm rounds and aimed directly at a hover bike. Sadly, the sniper rifle only came with eight rounds, but Sam didn't care.

      Spartan-240; Max growled viciously and elbowed his partner in the ribs. Spartan 251; Peter responded by punched Max in the back.

      "Come on man! Get closer so I can peg this SOB" he ordered. Max shook his head again.

      "For the last fucking time Pete, we get to close; he's going to blow us away with one of his fucking frags. Get some logic in that empty skull of yours" he yelled.

      "You're a fucking coward Max. Risk is part of our job, now get closer" he yelled. Max was about to turn around and punch his partner, when Peter's visor exploded, followed by a fountain of blood spray out and onto Max. He gasped as Pete's body fell off the bike and hit the ground hard.

      "Fuck!" Max yelled and quickly strafed to the left as two additional sniper bullets were fired in his direction. Max activated his radio.

      "Zach! He's fucking sniping us off!" he screamed.

      Zach acknowledged Max, but already knew it. He had seen Pete fall and was quite disturbed by it. He began to strafe from side to side, then watched another sniper bullet smash into Fredrick's head. The driver of their fourth hover bike slumped forward, putting all of his weight on the handles off the bike. The speeding vehicle came to a sudden stop and because the friction was so high, the end of the bike slammed into the sand, flipping over and sending the gunman in the back flying.

      "Mark their position with a NAV point, we will collect him later" Zach said. He watched more sniper bullets fly and felt one strike his bike. "God damnit, everyone strafe around, give him a harder target!" he yelled into his radio.

      Sam eventually got pissed off with missing all the time; he tossed his sniper rifle out and turned to look at his AI in the cockpit.

      "How much longer?" he yelled.

      "We still have at least ten minutes!" Lancelot shouted. Sam swore and then watched Laura climb out of the cockpit and sit in the troop bay.

      "Surrender seems obvious here"

      "I am not surrendering you to them. They will kill us both or just me and torture you. We cannot surrender" he said turning to look at his mother.

      "Zach, I don't seem him, get me closer and I will toss a frag in there" Paul said from behind Zach. The Spartan nodded and accelerated the bike beyond its speed recommendations. For pieces of junk that hadn't been used in awhile, they handled well and Zach praised them. He was almost right below the Pelican when Paul told him to stop. The felt the bike shudder as Paul literally stood, unpinned and frag and put all of his weight into the throw. The frag grenade disappeared inside the troop bay. He quickly sat down and Zach backed up.

      "Move back!" he yelled at his remaining Spartans.

      Paul turned and watched, horrified as the single frag grenade flew past him, bounced once on the ground and landed right in the cockpit. Sam ducked, grabbed his mother and covering her.

      The grenade detonated and many of the consoles in the cockpit detonated as well. Sam felt the Pelican's engines go out, followed by a steep descent to the ground. Before he slipped, he grabbed a tight hold of his mom, and jumped out of the troop bay, turning himself in mid air so that his back faced the ground and slammed hard into it.

      Sam yelped in pain as the bones in his body shook. He knew something was broken, but didn't know what, since the wind had been knocked right out of him. He let go of Laura, who was unconscious and merely fell over to Sam's left. In the distance, the Pelican stopped moving and slammed right into the ground. There were smaller secondary explosions and slowly, the dropship burned. Sam was about to stand and try and carry his mother, but the sound of engines made him stop. He turned and watched three hover bikes zoom up to them and then slow down as they approached. Sam swore as he had no weapons and watched the bike surround him. Four Spartans jumped off the bikes and raised their weapons, but the fifth Spartan was slow to move. Sam knew that this must be Josh. The Spartan chuckled.

      "You've killed a lot of my Spartans today Sam" he said.

      "Self defense isn't murder Josh, they attacked me first, and I was just trying to rescue my mom here before your filth got hold of her" he growled. The Spartan chuckled again.

      "Sorry Sam, I'm not Josh. My name is Zach. I'm one of Josh's general's you could say. The Spartans you've killed today were all under my command and I'm going to make you pay" he said, his voice lowering to a venom-filled growl. Sam merely glared back at Zach, bawling his fists. He would fight, but the pain in his back told him not too. The Spartan named Zach laughed.

      "Well, seems that I've won here. Now I'm not allowed to kill you, because I know that Josh wants to make you suffer. In fact, my boss wanted me to tell you that if you want to see your mother alive, you will approach Military Outpost Gamma Twelve tomorrow at sundown and surrender yourself in" Zach said. Sam shook his head.

      "And if I don't?" he asked. Sam watched Zach look at his mother, and then look back at him.

      "I believe that's self-explanatory" he said, laughing afterwards. Sam was about to jump forward and attack, when he felt a huge impact hit in him the back of the head, and then all went black.

      Paul stood over Sam, his hand raised over the motionless Spartan, holding his M6D pistol with the butt end up. Zach nodded at him.

      "Nice, now let's get out of here. I'll ride with the prize here. Paul, you ride with Max. Darren and Richard, you two stick together. Let's go get Eddie and then we head back" Zach said to his remaining Spartans. They moved quickly and jumped onto their acquired hover bikes. Zach strapped Laura to bike and also strapped her arms around his stomach, so that she wouldn't fall off. Zach activated the engine of his bike, took a long look at the motionless Shadow Spartan, and then zoomed off, the other two bikes right behind him.

By: Agent Shade