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Project: Shadow Spartan, Chapter 9
Posted By: Agent Shade<shadow_agent13@hotmail.com>
Date: 28 July 2003, 2:03 AM

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      Sam opened his eyes and was in the same dream that he always was. The burning town, his parent's bodies, the Spartans looming over them, and then attacking Sam as he screamed at them. This time however, it was different. Sam felt each blow hit him as the Spartans punched him. He floated there; completely defenseless as each Spartan punched him. Eventually, they drew back and began to shoot him with their various weapons. It was amazing the amount of pain Sam was feeling, but he couldn't do a thing about it. He watched his body virtually erupt with blood as the bullets hit him. The Spartans went through a whole clip on him, and then stopped. Sam watched weakly as Josh stepped forward, grinning evilly.

      "It's over Sam, you can't win" he whispered, his voice echoing throughout the emptiness. The Spartans disappeared and Sam fell into the black, Josh's voice still echoing in his head.

      "No!!!" Sam sat straight up again, feeling his entire body scream at him with pain as he did so. His senses returned to him and Sam realized the amount of pain he was in. He lowered himself back to the ground, wondering what he had done to his body. He looked around.

      He still lay in the meadow valley that virtually made up Regal V. Sam suddenly remembered what had happened. One of Josh's commanders; Zach, took his mother from them and left him here to die. He looked behind him and could see his Pelican dropship still burning. Slowly, Sam could feel himself slipping into unconsciousness again, but just before his eyes closed, the roar of engines could be heard and he could make out figures approaching him. Finally, he went blacked out.

      Josh stood in the control tower of Military Outpost Gamma Twelve like always, watching the sun slowly rise in the distance and observing the surrounding rocky valley the outpost was positioned in.

      The last few days had been tough for the Master Spartan. He had seen death, like he's never seen it before and was so desperate for assistance; he had to call all of his so called "commanders" back to help him out. That didn't make him happy. The reason he had designated those individuals as commanders, was so that he wouldn't have to see them. There was always conflict within the Spartan program and this was one of them. Josh hated Carl, Lisa, Judy and Zach, just like they hated him, which is why he always sent them away to guard some other place, just so he wouldn't have to see them. Now, he had to have them with him, and worst of all, it was because he screwed up.

      The elevator chimed, revealing five Spartans who stepped out and walked towards him. Josh stood motionless near the windows, his armor off. The individuals walking in had their armor on, but had taken their helmets off. Josh turned and recognized the faces of three of the four people he hated and Ian.

      "What?" Josh asked.

      "No word yet on Zachary, Josh. These three want to go out and find him" Ian said. Like Josh, Ian hated the other four Spartans, which is why Josh always had Ian with him. Josh looked at Carl, Lisa and Judy, who stared back at him.

      "I'm sure Zach is fine, there's no need to panic. After all, he can apparently handle himself or so he's said" Josh said, a hint of sarcasm in his voice. The three Spartans picked it up immediately and glared at him.

      "Oh yes, he can handle himself, which is why he is out there looking for that old woman and not you" Carl sneered, causing the other two to chuckle. Josh could feel his temper rise.

      "Get out of here, all of you, or I will send you out there on burial detail to look for Zach's body parts" he growled. The three Spartans grinned to each other, and left without a word. Josh watched them leave, and then turned to Ian.

      "God damnit, I wish they were dead and not my Spartans" Josh said, banging his fist against the window, cracking it. Ian nodded.

      "Nevertheless Josh, Zach has been awhile, I think we should let them go out, it would definitely prove to our advantage" Ian said. Josh shook his head as he watched four speeding objects slowly approach the base from the west.

      "Fashionably late as always" Josh muttered, turning on heel and walking to the elevator. Ian noticed the objects as well and followed Josh.

      Zach watched the military outpost approach them fast as he and the rest of his Spartans zoomed towards the main entrance, since Josh was having most of the Spartans fix up the hole they had made when assaulting the base. The two huge titanium doors opened and Zach and his group zoomed in. Zach felt his hover bike stutter, then collapse onto the ground. He quickly jumped off to avoid being hurt and stabilized the unconscious Laura as she fell forward. The other hover bikes all collapsed as well. Zach unhooked Laura from the broken bike, threw her over his shoulder and walked up to the main base. The hangar doors were opened and Zach could make out Josh walking towards him, accompanied by Carl, Judy, Lisa and Ian. Zach stopped walking and let Josh approach him. His leader looked at him.

      "Where is the Pelican I let you use?" he asked. Zach was about to punch him, but he knew he didn't want too.

      "Hey, I just traveled over a hundred miles to find you this woman all right? I've lost a lot of my Spartans, I'm tired, I'm pissed, so lay off and just take her" Zach growled, dropping Laura onto the ground. Josh picked her up and handed her to Ian, who walked off into the hangar, accompanied by a Spartan. Josh grinned.

      "Thought you said you could handle yourself?" he asked. Zach bawled his fists and stepped forward.

      "Better than you can" he growled. Josh's grin turned into a glare and he too bawled his fist.

      "Well guess what pal? Your day isn't over yet. Get over there and help with rebuilding the wall, all of you" he ordered, looking behind him. Carl laughed.

      "You are going to make us?" he asked. Josh nodded and four Spartans stepped forward, weapons raised. Carl took a step forward, his fist raised, but the Spartan behind him, grabbed his fist and held him back. Zach launched himself forward as well, but another Spartan grabbed hold of him and held him back. Additional Spartans appeared and held weapons to the heads of Zach and Carl, who stopped resisting. Lisa and Judy slammed their helmets on and walked off, staring back at Josh. Reluctantly, Carl and Zach followed, accompanied by two Spartans each. Josh watched them go, then turned on his heel and walked inside. He took the elevator down to Barracks D-12 and entered the same pantry that they had kept John in. In the same chair that John had been strapped too, Laura Culling sat in it, strapped in and slowly coming awake again. Ian and two other Spartans stood around her and the three of them saluted as Josh walked in. He slowly watched Laura raise her head and look around her. Josh grinned as she gasped at the sight of Josh.

      "Josh! You son of a bitch, what am I doing here?" she demanded, glaring at Josh the same why John always did. This brought back a few fears of John into Josh, but he pushed them away and smiled.

      "Hello Laura, it's good to see you too" he said. Laura spat at him.

      "I wish I never laid eyes upon you. John and I knew you were trouble from the start. I can't believe you killed him" she growled. Josh shrugged.

      "To be honest, I didn't kill him, I just gave the order to kill him, nevertheless, he is dead and I'm happy. However Laura, lately, I've grown quite unhappy with your son" he said. Laura grinned.

      "Just you wait till he gets here Josh, he's going to slice you into pieces" she said. Josh shook his head.

      "Amazing how women like you have so much anger in them. Yet, I always win Laura and it will most likely end up with me slicing him into pieces, just like what he's done to my Spartans" he said.

      "They all deserved it Josh" she said. Josh stepped forward and smacked Laura across the face.

      "Don't you ever say something like that about my Spartans ever again. You're lucky just to be alive right now Culling" he growled venomously. Laura looked up, blood dripping from her nose.

      "Why don't you just kill me" she said.

      "Because that would make Sam go on a rage and most likely kill us all, which is why I'm keeping you alive and using you as bait" he said.

      "He will never fall for a trap like that, he's been trained well" she said. Josh grinned.

      "We shall see" Josh said, taking out a syringe and injecting a black out serum. Immediately, Laura's head fell to one side and she slipped back into unconsciousness. Josh and Ian walked out of the pantry and began to make plans.

      Sam woke up again, but instead of the usual setting sun or empty blackness vision, he was surprised to see a huge blast of light greet him. He shielded his eyes until his pupils contracted to adapt to the light and he looked around.

      He was in some sort of medical tent. The walls and ceiling were made out of a strong cotton fabric and flapped around. Sam could also hear the wind whistling outside. He sat up, looking around him, then realized that there was no pain searing up through his back. He reached behind him and ran his fingers along his spine. As he reached his tail bone, he could feel some sort of bandage over it. Slowly, he felt under it and his fingers touched a large scar.

      "I wouldn't touch that." Sam whirled his head around and laid eyes upon Vice Admiral Jameson, who stood in the entrance to the tent. He wore a full combat camouflage uniform with hat and his eyes were full of worry.

      "Are you all right?" he asked. Sam nodded and swung his legs around. He realized he wore nothing but a pair of his own grey and black combat fatigues. He looked at his huge forearms and shoulders', realizing nothing was wrong. He looked at the admiral.

      "What happened?" he asked. Jameson sat in a small chair near him.

      "When we first contacted you, you were about ten or twenty minutes away from us, so we expected you in ten or twenty minutes. However, when an hour passed, I knew something was wrong. We had been able to track you by radar, after receiving your radio signal and when we activated the tracking radar, your Pelican's signal had stopped, and so we assumed you had crashed. I and two divisions of troops moved out in Pelican dropships and found you. You had broken your tail bone after some sort of hard landing, so we took you in and had you transported back here. Also, we recovered your AI, Lancelot" he explained. Sam digested the information fast and could remember hearing the sounds of engines just before he had blacked out again. He nodded as this made sense. Jameson continued to stare at him. "What happened?" he asked.

      Sam went into the long story of being chased by Zach and his Spartans, then jumping out of the Pelican with his mother just before it crashed. At the mention of his mother, Sam stopped talking and he looked at the Vice Admiral, who shrugged.

      "We have no idea Sam. However took Laura, left to fast for us to find them. I assume they took her to their base of operations" Jameson said. Sam nodded at this. He knew exactly were their command centre was.

      "What did you manage to salvage?" he asked Jameson. The Admiral grinned and stood.

      "Get dressed and I will show you" he said and walked out. Sam nodded. He slipped out of his fatigues and zipped up his black combat jumpsuit. He noticed his clean, repaired and polished armor hanging in the corner. He unhooked it and immediately assembled it to his body. He finished off by strapped his helmet to his head, and then walking outside.

      Vice Admiral Jameson and the forces he had received had assembled on top of a canyon wall that faced the meadow valley which stretched on for miles. Several rows of barrack tents made up a large portion of the camp, but additional camps made for the armory and medical tents were positioned around the barrack tents. The marine forces had constructed fox holes, which many of their snipers and rocket jockeys were hiding in. Sandbag perimeters and bunkers also helped create a stable defense. A separate area had been smoothed out for four Pelican dropships and two Longsword fights. Sam grinned and walked up to the Admiral who surveyed it all.

      "Incredible sir" Sam said, standing next to the man. Jameson grinned.

      "My scouts managed to find an active military space port, orbiting Vega Prime. We managed to assemble several divisions of veteran Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, plus a dozen platoons of ONI Special Ops forces. These guys had been trained with the Spartan-III program and from what I've heard; some of them were able to kill Spartan soldiers in training. These troops were placed throughout four UNSC Avenger-class destroyers. We have them up in orbit right now, still transporting troops and equipment down. There's also a larger squad of Longsword fighters in the lead ship of the battle group; Vengeance. Scorpion tanks, M12 LRVs, additional Pelican dropships and enough ammo to go around" Jameson explained, grinning as he did. Sam nodded. He wasn't impressed much, but he was impressed now. Jameson turned to look at the Shadow Spartan.

      "I know you stated that you didn't want any help, but I think with what I've been able to scrounge up, we'd definitely make a difference in taking out the Spartans" he said. Sam nodded.

      "Admiral, if you had assembled a small group of marines with one Warthog, I would've accepted their help. The situation as become much more complicated now that they have my mother" he said, looking at Jameson, who grinned.

      "You're the field commander here Sam, you have a plan?" he asked. Sam nodded.

      "I do. I know where the Spartan's Command Centre is. Military Outpost Gamma Twelve and I wouldn't blame them. The place is positioned right inside a small bulge in a mountain, and overlooks the surrounding rocky landscape. Here's what I propose. Longsword fighters open up the assault with bombing runs in the interior compound. Following that, Scorpion tanks, positioned well out of range of the Spartan's fire power, will then barrage the main entrance, hopefully blowing it open and continue to do so. While this is happening, the Longswords will be still bombing naturally, but we'll use our entire compliment of Warthogs to storm the base. Once we've confirmed that the compound is ours, Pelican dropships will move in and drop off Special Forces infantry, and we will then move in throughout the base and take out what remains" he stated. Jameson nodded.

      "Sounds good. The landscape surrounding that outpost is mostly rolling hills of rock and odd bushes if my memory serves me correctly, so the Scorpion's won't have a problem. I'm assuming we will hide the Warthogs?" he asked. Sam nodded.

      "They should be hidden pretty much right in front of the Scorpions and when I give the signal, we move in" he said.

      "Who will you use in the 'Hogs during the frontal assault?" Jameson asked.

      "Helljumper divisions will be in the Warthogs, and if there aren't enough of the jeeps, the extras can run to the base if they want or just stay with the Scorpions" Sam answered.

      "Right and then we'll use the Special forces for the interior"

      "That's it" Sam said.

      "I don't see any other option. You have more experience then me when it comes to the layout of the base. The plan sounds good. I will assemble the division and platoon leaders and brief them. You figure out how to get your mother back" Jameson said. Sam nodded and saluted. Jameson returned it and marched off to the rows of tents, leaving Sam alone with his thoughts.

      Vice Admiral Jameson stood in the command tent and looked at the thirty or so officers assembled around him.

      "All right people, listen up. We have to hurry, because we're moving out tonight. The Spartans have held up in Military Outpost Gamma Twelve and don't plan on moving, which makes it easier for us to take them out. The design of the base is simple. There is a wall that runs the length of the bulge that the base sits in and seals off the interior compound from the outside. Here is what is going to happen. We will move our six Main Battle Scorpion tanks to the surrounding hills tonight, along with all of our Warthogs. For the moment, we keep the tanks behind their specified hills, but at exactly 7:01 in the morning, I want those Scorpions up on the hills and firing at the outpost from a distance because at 7:00, Longsword fighters will be bombing the area with Archer IV and Devilhorn missiles. Once the main entrance to the base has been blown open, the Warthogs that will be hiding in front of the tanks will move out and enter the base, taking out whatever resides inside the compound. These Warthogs will have the Helljumper divisions in them. If there aren't enough 'Hogs, then the extra troops can either run or stay with the Scorpions. Now, once the interior compound has been secured, Pelican dropships will move in and drop off our compliment of Special Forces, who will then take out what is left inside the base. Once everything is all wrapped, we go home smiling" Jameson said. There was a holographic map activated behind him, which the Admiral used as a reference to show to the officers assembled with him. "Any questions?" the Admiral finished. Major Derek Conrath stood.

      "As much as I agree with the power behind our forces, isn't that Shadow Spartan going to help us out?" asked the Major. Jameson nodded.

      "He'll be leading the Warthog assault and also the base assault with the Special Forces" Jameson said. Major Conrath nodded and sat down. "Plus, I will be joining the assault on all fronts" finished Jameson. This caused everyone to gasp and look at each other.

      "You can't sir, there's too much risk involve, you could be killed" Lieutenant Commander Adrian Dela Cruz cried. Others voiced their opinions, but Jameson shook his head.

      "Ladies and Gentlemen, there will be no need for my services after this battle. Once the Spartans are killed, then peace will be achieved at last and military commanders like myself won't be needed. It doesn't matter if I get killed or not. I just want to fight one last time and get the feel of combat" he said, his eyes glazing over for a second. There was a long moment of silence, before the military officers around Jameson stood and saluted. Jameson returned it.

      "Now let's move, we got an outpost to take back" he said. There was a roar of approval, and then the officers filed out. Jameson stood there alone with his thoughts. After awhile, Sam entered the tent, looking grave.

      "I've just been told that you're fighting with us" he said. Jameson nodded.

      "It isn't a lie Shadow Spartan" he said. Sam shook his head.

      "Why risk your life sir? We can do it" he said.

      "It's not a question of that Sam. I want revenge. They killed a good friend of mine, your father. I want to make him feel the amount of pain he's made the men and woman on this planet feel" he said. Sam nodded.

      "Just keep a cool head out there sir and don't do anything stupid" he said. Jameson nodded back.

      "I will Sam" he said. The two of them saluted each other, then walked out, prepared for the battle of their lives.

      Josh stood in the control room once again, but this was for a different reason. The systems here at the base barely worked, but Ian had been able to set up a small radar system, with one of the station's antennas. The radar screen painted a large red dot moving towards them. They didn't know what it was and this worried Josh. He stood in the tower, cursing the night which had fallen around them. He couldn't see a damn thing. Finally, after scanning the area with floodlights, Josh gave up and turned to Ian.

      "Have everyone be prepared for an attack. Looks like our marines friends might be back" he said. Ian nodded and left the room, leaving Josh all alone. He didn't stay there in case someone was targeting him with a sniper rifle. He quickly left.

      "Something isn't right" he said.

By: Agent Shade