Shadow Ops II: Prologue
Posted By: Agent Shade<email@example.com>
Date: 9 December 2003, 1:45 AM
As many of you know, I originally did a story called Shadow Ops II: Nowhere to Run. However gentlemen and ladies, I personally did not like it, nor did I like the fact that it seemed no one that read it liked it. Because of this, I'm starting the Shadow Ops II sequel all over again. Also, I've changed my e-mail address. My new one is firstname.lastname@example.org, so e-mail me about...anything. Enjoy!
Yeyek was nervous. The little Grunt commander led the small patrol of four Grunts through a twisting path in the jungle environment that surrounded them. Its methane tank heaved up and down quickly as it looked all around itself, trying to see through the darkness that had covered the jungle. Night patrol was the one thing Yeyek did not want to do. It had heard the rumors, the stories that had been told. For the past three days, their little camp located a few umbras (kilometers) back had been under attack by an invisible enemy. Patrols of four or eleven soldiers ranging from Grunts to Elites had disappeared into the night. The whole camp feared the night, and Gagaw had been elected by that silly Field Master to go out on patrol. It hated 'Kurumee. The big Elite acted so tough and thought it knew everything. Yeyek's brain was indeed small, but it knew that whatever was waiting for them out there, it wouldn't spare four little Grunts. The other three Grunts behind Yeyek were shivering and letting out small squeaks as they climbed over large fallen trees and wadded through thick mud. Yeyek could see the path up ahead bend slightly, indicating there was a turn. It stopped and turned around.
"Made it this far" it said, panting heavily as it tried to settle its heart rate down.
"This is bad. Me hate 'Kurumee" a Grunt named Jajag whispered. The other two Grunts nodded their little heads. Yeyek looked up from the ground and nodded also, its methane mask shifting up and down on its face.
"Me agree, but 'Kurumee is in charge and we follow orders" it said.
"This be stupid orders" Jajag said.
"We go back now?" Papaw asked. Yeyek looked over at Cocon, who held a small computer-like pad in its little paw. The Grunt was studying the screen and pushing buttons, when it suddenly squeaked in surprise, and then threw the pad into the trees.
"It broke, we go back" Cocon said. Yeyek sighed.
"We go back" it agreed. The four Grunts turned quickly and began to crawl back along the path. Yeyek went down on all fours, allowing the Grunt to run a little faster. It led the way back down the path they had been following. Their suits and plasma weapons gave off enough light for them to see five to ten feet in front of them. However, as Yeyek continued to run, the light did not reach around what lay ahead on the path.
The Grunt screamed in surprise and smashed into a large tree which had fallen over. Yeyek shook its head, and then looked up to see the dead face of an Elite staring back at it. Yeyek screamed again, and then backed away quickly from the tree. Behind it, Jajag grabbed Yeyek and looked at tree. The Elite wasn't the only body that was stuck against it. The bodies of Jackals, Grunts and other Elites covered it. Each of them had a branch or two sticking out of their chests, and was also covered with holes. Yeyek calmed itself down and inspected the bodies.
"We keep going, this bad" Cocon said, backing away from the tree. However, the other three Grunts ignored Cocon and walked closer to the tree, trying to see if any of their comrades were alive. As Cocon slowly backed up, a pair of hands appeared out of a nearby bush and grabbed the Grunt's face. Cocon tried to scream, but it was pulled into the lush jungle vegetation by the hands.
Yeyek heard the bushes move and looked up from the body of the Jackal it had been looking at. The little Grunt jumped down from the tree and took out its plasma pistol.
"Cocon?" it asked into the jungle. There was no answer. Jajag and Papaw both joined Yeyek and looked around them.
"Where Cocon go?" asked Papaw.
"Search for Cocon we must" Yeyek said, moving forward along the path. Jajag followed the Grunt, but Papaw was hesitant.
"No, we go back, me scared" it said. Yeyek ignored the Grunt and searched through some bushes along the path, calling Cocon's name. Papaw was standing alone by the tree, the dead eyes of the bodies behind it staring at him. The Grunt turned to head back to the camp alone, when a figure stepped out of a nearby bush and ripped Papaw's methane rig mask right off. The Grunt felt its entire body go numb, as its source of air escaped it. It ran around on the spot, reaching for its mask that was dangling in the air behind it. It wheezed and gasped for the gas that its life depended on, but received none. Papaw stood still, its eyes rolling into the back of its head, and then slumped to the ground.
Yeyek whirled around; it's plasma pistol up and pointed at the dead body of Papaw. The Grunt gasped and rushed to Papaw's side. Jajag stood still for a moment, but began to climb the tree blocking the path. Jajag looked down at Papaw and Yeyek.
"It dead, we go, we must go!" it screamed. Yeyek looked at Papaw's methane rig. It was still full. Yeyek suddenly saw the actual breath mask lying on the ground near Papaw's face. The poor thing had suffocated. The Grunt looked around and could see Jajag running down the path.
"Jajag, return!" Yeyek yelled. The Grunt didn't answer and kept running. The lights shining from its suit eventually disappeared. "Jajag!" Yeyek screamed. Without warning, a terrible high-pitched scream echoed throughout the jungle around Yeyek. The Grunt froze, recognizing the voice of Jajag. It went down on all fours and took off down the same path Jajag had been running down. Yeyek didn't look back and focused its eyes forward. It rounded a corner and nearly tripped over the head of Jajag. Yeyek squealed and rushed away, still down on all fours. It jumped over boulders, rushed through a small swamp and was about to climb up a small hill they had come down earlier, when a bullet fired from the trees nearby smashed into the side of Yeyek's face. Its face exploded in methane and blue blood, as the bullet exited out the other side. The force of the projectile was so strong; the headless corpse of Yeyek was propelled off the path and into the jungle vegetation. Silence encumbered the jungle again.
A small smirk grew on the face of Sergeant Colin Thompson. The sniper ejected the clip of 14.5mm slugs from his S2 AM sniper rifle and loaded a new clip in. He unslung his MA5B assault rifle from his shoulder, and then slung his sniper rifle across his back. Slowly, the Sergeant began to descend from the tree he had been hanging in. Colin dropped to the ground heavily and jogged towards another human scanning the surrounding vegetation with his MA7B Battle rifle. Colin patted him on the back and crouched beside him. Lieutenant Fredrick Owens turned and nodded at Colin.
"Nice shot" he whispered. Colin grinned.
"Think it's time we move in sir" he said. Owens nodded again.
"I agree assemble the team" the Lieutenant ordered. Colin raised a finger into the air and twirled it around. Without warning, the bushes and shrubs surrounding them began shaking with movement. Four figures materialized out of the jungle behind Sergeant Thompson and Lieutenant Owens. They all wore jungle camouflage combat suits, and had had their faces covered in the camouflage paint. Colin and Fredrick both turned around.
Corporal Aaron Dela Cruz stood nearest to Colin, bracing himself with an M90 shotgun. The Hispanic man was the team's scout. Although he was smaller than everyone else, he was incredibly fast, and agile. He would always explore the surrounding environment when the team was forced to make camp for the night, or when an enemy position was sighted. He used the powerful M90 shotgun. Slung over his back was an MA5B Assault rifle and holstered to his left hip was a M6D pistol. His codename was simply "Scout."
Corporal Jason McConnell stood beside Dela Cruz, holding onto two SMG 900s. Slung over his back was a MA5B Assault rifle. The cocky heavy weapons/support specialist spat out a large wad of chewing tobacco, then began to stroke his growing goatee. Two bandoliers that had clips of SMG and MA5B ammo attached to it were slung over his body, and a black baseball cap was worn backwards across his head. Although he was cocky and extremely chatty, the firepower he carried had already saved them in a few situations. His codename was "Death."
Corporal George Kreutz Kamp towered over Fredrick Owens. The big German was their demolitions expert. Although he held an MA5B assault rifle in his large hands, a M19 SSM Jackhammer launcher was slung over his back. The combat backpack that was also over his back held six additional 102mm rocket rounds, along with some extra clips of ammo for his assault rifle. Like McConnell, he also had two bandoliers over his body that had fragmentation grenades pinned to them. Additional grenades were attached to his combat belt. Overall, the German was the most heavily dressed and probably carried the heaviest equipment. However, he still grinned and blinked his eye-lids over his bright blue eyes. His codename was "Feuer" which meant fire in English.
The final member was Corporal Jacob Bishop. Although Fredrick had been the Shadow Ops medic two years ago, he had devoted his time since then to become an active combatant. Most medics in combat were cowards and found places to hide instead of fighting, but Bishop was one of the first to jump out of a trench or foxhole to engage the enemy. He was the team's medic, and carried one of the biggest combat packs over his back, since it carried his supplies. He held onto an MA5B assault rifle and also had an M60 pistol holstered to his hip. His codename was "Spirit," which he had taken from Fredrick.
Although Colin had been offered the hot spot, Fredrick had decided to take command of the new squad. Colin didn't mind at all. He personally hated all the attention and was quite happy just being a regular Sergeant. Lieutenant Owens sported an MA7B battle rifle and a MA5B assault rifle. He was an all around assault member of the team, but he still had his knowledge of medicine, which he often used to help Jacob. His codename was "Shadow."
Colin had kept his status as team sniper and had also kept his nickname as "Shade." His accuracy with the sniper rifle only got better and better each day that he fought or trained. During Shadow Ops I, he used to use the MA7B battle rifle as his primary weapon, but recently, he found a liking to the assault rifle. Colin often switched them up, but for this mission, he had chosen the assault rifle. These six men were the new Shadow Ops II squad and had been deployed on clean up duty until the ONI brass felt they were ready. The team members all stared at Owens.
"Okay, time for the shit to hit the fan guys. We've reduced the camp compliment to around thirty or so, which is enough for us to attack the camp directly. We've studied the layout of the land and already have a plan of action. Shade and Feuer will post themselves on that hill adjacent to the camp. Feuer takes out the two Shade gun turrets, while Shade provides sniper cover. Death and Spirit will provide a distraction at the edge of the jungle, while Scout and I circle around and come up from behind. We should be done in a matter of minutes, then we'll call for evac and pray to God that those assholes think we're ready" Owens explained. Everyone chuckled at that last comment. Although they were loyal to ONI, even Colin was annoyed by the fact that they were deployed here on clean up duty, finishing off any Covenant forces that the Marine Corps didn't or forgot to kill. They were an elite group of humans, not new trainee marines out of boot camp. Regardless, they had their orders. Lieutenant Owens continued briefly.
"We move in a spread out linear pattern and follow that path. When we reach the edge of the jungle and that camp, we'll split up into our groups and execute the plan" he said. The squad members all nodded. Owens nodded at Colin, who turned down towards the path.
"Fall in!" he shouted. In a single file line, the squad dispersed from the jungle and began a light jog along the path, their weapons and equipment jumping up and down at their momentum. Colin had his assault rifle up against his shoulder. As he ran, he continuously twisted his torso around, observing the passing jungle. It reminded him so much of Vegas IV. The lush jungle environment was any person's weakness. When trying to sneak up on someone, the loose twigs and clustered bushes did not help the individual or individuals trying to move stealthy through the area. During the night, visibility was poor and it often rained. Luckily for them, it wasn't raining, but it was night. The squad had put on their helmets and had activated the night vision on the small eye reticule that covered their right eye. This helped Colin immensely, who was leading the way down the path.
The Shadow Ops II squad could cover a few kilometers in a few seconds. Colin eventually slowed down to a trot, as the lights from the Covenant encampment began to screw up his night vision. He switched it off, then crouched low and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. Lieutenant Owens stood in the middle. He gave them all a two-fingered salute, meaning execute. Colin and Kreutz Kamp both rushed off towards the large hill which the Covenant camp was situated by. The other four squad members stayed where they were, but moved closer to the edge of the jungle, so that their weapons could be heard. The camp was in a small valley, one of the few in this part of the jungle. Two rows of purple metallic structures, a perimeter of shield barriers and two Shade gun turrets made up the camp. Colin had assumed the rows of purple structures were the Covenant's idea for sleeping tents when he first saw them.
Sergeant Thompson and Corporal Kreutz Kamp had circled the camp and arrived at the base of the grassy hill. They jogged up it, pumping their legs and swinging their arms. Colin dropped to the ground and unslung his sniper rifle. He set up a plastic V shaped position stand, which he attached to the barrel of his rifle. He placed the stand at the edge of the hill and looked through the scope. Perfect, he could shoot at the Covenant, without having to worry about being shot back at. Beside him, George had his Jackhammer launcher loaded and ready. Colin did a quick sweep of the camp.
Two blue-armored Elites and four Grunts were the only Covenant sentries. Two Grunts and an Elite were at one Shade plasma turret, while the other two Grunts were at the second plasma turret. The second Elite was actually just going inside one of the tents. Colin reached into his pocket and pulled out a green bulb laser pointer. He aimed it near the edge of the valley and flashed it twice. From the trees, a red laser light flashed twice back at him. Colin counted for five seconds, and then the red light appeared again and held steady for five seconds. That was the signal. Colin looked at George who grinned.
"Gut" the German said. The rocket launcher let loose two large 102mm rockets, smoke trailing in their wake. The first Shade turret was blasted backwards, its operators vaporized in the resulting explosion. The second Shade exploded into dozens of pieces and metal, killing the nearby Grunts. Colin targeted the remaining patrolling Elite and fired, hitting the field commander in the head. The Covenant tents became alive with movement, as Grunts, Jackals and a few Elites rushed outside. Kreutz Kamp was reloading as Colin fired three more times, hitting two Elites and a Jackal. From the edge of the jungle, Death and Spirit fired their weapons at the camp and its occupants. Although Colin couldn't see them, Shadow and Scout were circling around the camp, in hopes of ambushing the enemy. Colin reloaded quickly and fired off four rounds again, hitting two Elites and two Jackals. A group of Grunts being protected by Jackals, moved towards Death and Spirit, who focused their firepower on them. One Jackal's head was blown off, followed by the other Covenant troops falling over from bullet wounds. Feuer finished reloading and fired a rocket at a cluster of Grunts and Elites. The ground erupted beneath their feet, sending bodies and flaming dirt into the air. Feuer fired again at the perimeter of Shield barriers, where several Grunts where hiding. The barriers were destroyed, and the Grunts vaporized in the large fireball that flew into the air. Without a word, Feuer slung his Jackhammer and took out his assault rifle. As Colin let off four more rounds and then looked over at the demolitions expert.
"Head on down there, help out Shadow" he said. The German nodded and jogged down the hill. Colin looked back into his scope and watched Shadow and Scout move in towards the camp, their assault rifles barking at several Grunts. Colin reloaded and killed the last three Elites that were trying to organize their remaining troops. As their bodies fell to the ground, Shade slung his sniper rifle and ran down the hill, hoping to join the fun as Death and Spirit ran towards the camp from their hiding position in the jungle. Grabbing his assault rifle, Colin cocked the weapon and sprinted after Feuer, who had just reached the camp. Grunts and Jackals rushed around the tents and debris, screeching in terror and confusion. Bodies covered the ground and a mixture of purple and aqua blood stained the grass. Colin shouldered his assault rifle and fired several rounds, hitting a Jackal in the back and a Grunt in the head. He stopped and crouched low, firing more rapidly as Grunts came screaming out of a nearby tent, their small arms flying over their heads as they ran. Plasma suddenly flew over his head, forcing the sniper to find cover. Three Jackals moved in towards him, but Kreutz Kamp unpinned two grenades and tossed them. The tent Colin was hiding behind was sprayed with purple blood and body limbs as the grenades detonated. He nodded his thanks to the German, before joining Death and Spirit, who were firing at several Grunts behind another line of shield barriers. A Grunt tossed a plasma grenade, before hopping back behind the barrier. Colin rolled and then dived to the left, as the grenade detonated, creating a small smoky crater in the ground. The sniper fired again at the barriers, finishing his clip of 7.72 armor-piercing rounds. He reloaded quickly, as the Grunts continued to fire at them. However, Shadow and Scout came from behind them and fired their weapons at point blank range. It was a bloody mess, as the Grunt's aqua blue blood sprayed across the grass and shield. It went quiet after awhile, as the squad checked to make sure no one survived and policed each body that hadn't been vaporized. Colin heard Owens whistle, calling for everyone to assemble on him. He walked through the rows of tents and met the rest of the squad in the middle.
"All dead sir" Corporal McConnell said, grinning.
"Vat a party" Kreutz Kamp stated, grinning as well.
"Well done Shadow Ops. Pelican is already on the way. We'll sit tight here for now and wait" Owens said, nodding at them all.
"How many you get?" Corporal Bishop asked Scout.
"Nueve amigo, Shadow was hogging them all" Dela Cruz said, grinning at the Lieutenant.
"How about you Feuer?" Bishop asked the demolitions expert.
"Lost count after ze two Shade turrets exploded, quite a lot though, ja" the German said.
"Spirit, you're hit" Colin suddenly said, looking at the medic's arm. Jacob raised his right arm and looked near the elbow. The armor around that area was burned and some burned skin could be seen.
"Isn't that bad actually, doesn't hurt either, but thanks sir" he said, grabbing a wet cloth and cooling off the burn marks. The roar of a Pelican's engines startled them as the dropship accelerated and then slowly hovered low on the ground. Dirt and smoke was blown everywhere as the engines flared to life to prevent the ship from crashing. Fredrick began walking towards the open troop bay.
"Let's go!" Owens yelled, motioning for his squad to get in. Colin followed Owens and jumped in first. He sat near the back, and watched as the other squad members climbed inside and strapped themselves into the uncomfortable metal seats.
The transition from the planet, to the orbiting UNSC frigate took less than ten minutes and before Colin knew it, he was standing in the docking bay of the UNSC Jackal. As the Shadow Ops II squad disembarked from the dropship and gathered along the ramp that overlooked the entire ground floor of the bay, Captain Bryan Hayes approached them, his clean grey uniform and medals shining in the light. The squad saluted the man, who returned it and smiled a white toothy smile.
"Lieutenant Owens, glad to see you and your men made it back alive" he said. Fredrick nodded.
"Thank you sir. Where are we off to next?" he asked. The Captain grinned again.
"The Blade of Wrath Battle Group, Lieutenant" Captain Hayes said. Owens's eyes widened.
"Excuse me sir?" he asked.
"We're transferring you to the front lines gentlemen, your preparation missions are over. ONI thanks you for your time and help. Time for you boys to see some real action" Hayes said, slowly turning to leave. Owens also grinned, the dry mud and paint on his face cracking. He stood straight and saluted.
"Thank you sir" he said. Hayes returned it.
"Get some rest, it's a three day trip at our best speed" the Captain said. He nodded at them all, then turned swiftly on his heel and walked off. Fredrick turned to look at his squad, grinning like a little boy.
"Well, you heard the man, this is it. We've going to the front lines. We're going to see some real action. Clean yourselves up, then head to your living quarters. We're going to need these three days of rest" Owens said. Jacob, Fredrick and Aaron headed out of the docking bay and into the armory station to drop off their weapons and armor. McConnell, Kreutz Kamp and Colin however went to a different armory in the opposite direction. Because of the shortage of room on board the frigate, their living quarters were on opposite ends of the ship. Plus, each room only had four bunks. Because of this, Fredrick had split them up into groups of three. Colin, McConnell and George were bunking together, while the other three bunked together in a different room. Colin entered the armory station and began to strip off his wet armor. Kreutz Kamp and McConnell followed suite. Jason was grinning the entire time and humming to himself.
"What's up Death?" asked Colin as he ejected the clips of ammo from his assault rifle and sniper rifle.
"War Sergeant, we're finally going to fight in the war" McConnell answered. Colin couldn't help but grin slightly at the young man.
"You've been looking forward to his haven't you?" he asked.
"Have I sir? Reason I got through training was because I was so pumped. I can't wait" Jason replied, taking his armor off his combat jumpsuit.
"How about you Feuer?" Colin said to the German.
"Ja, I am very excited. I cannot vait to actually do ze UNSC some gut" George said. Colin nodded. He knew that Jacob Bishop and Aaron Dela Cruz were probably saying the same things to Fredrick. The sniper hung his armor up in a nearby locker, and then set his weapons down on a long gun rack which encircled the room.
"Well, get some rest, because the first few days of fighting will be more tiring than these clean up missions" Colin simply said, as he walked out of the armory, leaving the two men with their thoughts. Personally, Colin was dreading the return of death and violence. He had seen it all on Vegas IV and didn't like it. The deaths of his Shadow Ops I comrades still haunted him and would most likely always haunt him. After the battle, Colin had wished he had also died with his Lieutenant down inside the Flood holding cells. But, when the mention of a new Shadow Ops team came around, it was as if he was given a second chance. He would make sure that his new teammates wouldn't experience what his dead teammates had had to experience. The pain of death or the pain of watching someone close die. Colin took a lift down to level G and entered the frigate's barracks. It was simply a long hall, with doors leading into small bunk rooms on either side of the walls. Colin found door G-13 and walked inside. The rooms were small, just enough room for four marines or Orbital Drop Shock Troopers to move around. Four bunk beds hung off the wall, two on one side, two on the other. There was a single chair near the entrance to the room, and a toilet and a sink near the back. Not exactly comforting, but they would only be here for three days. Colin climbed into the top bunk on the right and the moment his head hit the pillow, he was asleep.