Shadow Ops II: Chapter Two
Posted By: Agent Shade<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 December 2003, 5:55 AM
"Take him down." The 14.5mm slug exited through the long barrel of the S2 AM sniper rifle held in the marine's hands. The bullet flew straight and true, smashing into a Covenant Grunt's face. The little creature toppled over backwards, methane and an aqua blue blood squirting out onto the grass. The marine sniper reloaded his weapon, and then stood at attention.
"Target down" he said. Beside him, Colonel Paul Fitzgerald lowered his binoculars and sighed.
"That's the fifth scout you've killed. Will they ever learn?" he asked, taking out a cigarette and lightning it.
"Unlikely sir" the marine sniper said, shrugging. Chuckling, Fitzgerald patted the man on the back, and then walked along the catwalk he stood on. Gamma Colony had fifteen feet high steel framed wall that surrounded the interior. Just recently, a catwalk system had been set up around the wall, allowing marine snipers and rocket jockeys to pick off targets that approached the colony. Fitzgerald walked to a ramp, which lead down to the ground. As he walked down it, the main gate that lead inside the colony opened, and two M12 LRV Jungle Warthogs drove inside, splashing mud and dirt all over the sides of the road. The two vehicles came to a stop, and the marines occupying jumped out, screaming for a medic. Paul quickened his pace as he watched the gunner of the first Warthog pick up a wounded marine.
"What happened?" Paul inquired as he approached. The company Sergeant saluted quickly.
"Ran into Covie patrol sir. Private Larson was shot twice in the arm and shoulder" the Sergeant said, gesturing to the moaning marine. Paul looked at the wounds. Burnt skin and part of the bone stuck out of the arm. The man's shoulder was still sizzling from the plasma shot.
"Well don't just stand there, get him to the medical tent" Paul barked. The young Private carrying the man nodded and rushed off, a group of marines behind him. The Sergeant however remained.
"They're on the move sir. I estimate another attack force of around one thousand troops to reach here in about an hour" he said, wiping blood off his face. Paul nodded.
"All right, pass the word to be ready. Let's saddle up" the Colonel growled, tossing aside his cigarette. As the Sergeant ran off, Paul leaned against the opened gate, looking out at the war-torn field. Since his arrival, the marines under his command had dug two one kilometer long trenches. Because of the amount of rain that was falling on them, he had even had them line the insides of the trench with a plastic covering. Majority of his forces were inside them now, hopefully getting themselves ready. Paul found no use for the Warthogs and since they had less than hour, they wouldn't need them quite yet. He had had several marines detach the 30mm chain guns off the back and position them behind sandbag bunkers which were located in between the two trenches. Sadly, his group wasn't given M12A1 LAAV Rocket Warthogs. The three barreled rocket launchers were looking very handy right now. Paul sighed at this. He would have to make do. They still had man-portable launchers, which Paul had mainly placed inside the colony, along with his teams of snipers. They would be up on the catwalks, shooting into the valley below. As Paul reached for another cigarette; a marine sniper looked down from the catwalk.
"Pelican's incoming!" he yelled. The Colonel put his nicotine stick away and rushed outside, looking up into the grey, clouded sky. Ten Pelicans were slowly descending towards the colony. Paul was saddened to see that there were no vehicles attached to them, but was happy to see additional marines jump out of the troop bays and march towards the colony. One marine approached him, saluting briskly
"Major Benson, 106th Infantry division" he said. The Colonel grinned and returned the salute.
"Colonel Fitzgerald, 156th Warthog division. What brings you here Major?" Paul asked.
"Admiral Baker sends a gift Colonel. Two gifts actually. Us and them." The Major turned and pointed to six approaching men all wearing dark camouflage combat armor. Paul turned to face one of them who stood beside Major Benson.
"Who are you?" he demanded. The man saluted.
"Lieutenant Owens, Shadow Ops II" he said. Paul's eyes went wide slightly.
"Shadow Ops? Rumor was they were all dead" he said. The Lieutenant grinned.
"Shadows can't be killed sir" he whispered. Paul nodded, and then looked at both men.
"Welcome to Gamma Colony gentlemen. Major Benson, place your troops inside the trenches. Any snipers or rocket jockeys you have, have them head inside the colony. Lieutenant Owens, you and your boys come with me" Paul said quickly. Major Benson saluted, and then marched off to his troops who were waiting in their formations. Thunder rolled through the sky and the last bit of sunlight disappeared. Slowly, night time came upon them, as the Colonel and Shadow Ops II marched towards the entrance to the Colony. Paul stopped suddenly and faced the six men.
"An attack force of one thousand troops is approaching. We have maybe less than twenty minutes, depending if this rain that's about to come slows them down. Lieutenant Owens, where do you wish to place your men?" the Colonel asked. Owens turned around.
"Your strategy suggests that all snipers and rocket men are placed inside the colony Colonel, therefore Shade and Feuer will go to the Colony wall. Death, Scout, Spirit and I will remain in the trenches" he said simply, turning back around. Paul nodded.
"All right. You boys only take orders from each other, Lieutenant Owens, myself and Major Benson. Everyone else is a lower ranking friendly. You have no idea how glad everyone is to have you with us. Let's kick some ass" he said. The Shadow Ops members saluted the Colonel, who walked off to get his stuff ready. He turned around to see the six men huddle together. He had heard the rumors, mainly about how deadly and efficient they were. They struck without notice and moved just like shadows stalk the person that creates a shadow. He hoped they were true.
Lieutenant Fredrick "Shadow" Owens turned away from Colonel Fitzgerald and stared at the five faces staring at him. He felt immensely proud over them. They had overcome the boring missions that were given to them by ONI and now, they were here. They were ready to make a difference. They were ready to fight, ready to die. They were ready to serve.
"All right you heard the Colonel. We got twenty minutes to get ourselves ready. Shade and Feuer, head inside the colony, post yourselves on the wall and provide some cover fire for us. Coordinate your attacks with the other marines up there. Everyone else, stay with me, we'll head insides the trenches for now, spread ourselves out accordingly" he said. Lightning flashed across the sky and more thunder boomed around them. Fredrick grinned as drops of rain began to form in the clouds above and fall down onto them. He gazed into the eyes of his comrades, and nodded.
"This is it boys. This is what we've been training for. It's our time; it's our time to kill and do some good. Let's not disappoint anyone. Move out!" Shade and Feuer saluted to Fredrick, and then marched off towards the colony, grabbing their weapons slung over their backs. Scout, Death and Spirit stood near Owens, who grinned and jogged to the first trench.
"In we go" he muttered. Fredrick walked along the wet grass and jumped down inside the meter and a half deep trench. The plastic coverings along the floor of the trench prevented the Lieutenant from sinking into the mud that was no doubt flowing beneath. Fredrick stepped aside, allowing his three other comrades to jump in. The four of them slowly marched down the trench, pushing past marines who were yelling out orders and loading their weapons. Fredrick took note of four 30mm chain guns hidden behind sandbag bunkers. They were set up in between the two trenches that were located in front of the colony entrance. Fredrick immediately stopped and grabbed Death by his collar. He pulled him in close, so that the man could hear him over the yelling and thunder.
"Get up there and arm one of those things" he said, motioning to the chain guns. The heavy weapons specialist grinned evilly and nodded. As he climbed out of the trench, Owens looked at Spirit.
"Find the other medics, spread them throughout the trench, then post yourself somewhere" he ordered. The medic nodded and jogged off down the trench, looking for any man or women who bore the Red Cross patch. Scout stood beside Owens, who looked around him. He then shrugged.
"Go wherever you please Scout, just be careful" he said. The Hispanic man nodded and turned, walking in the opposite direction of Owens, who continued moving down the trench. Groups of marines watched him pass, their mouths hung open, while others saluted. Owens returned those that saluted, but other than that, he kept to himself. He came across a young marine searching his armor for a clip of 7.62 armor-piercing rounds. Fredrick pulled four clips of ammo out of his belt and handed them over to the private. He looked up and took the ammo, saluting afterwards. Fredrick returned the salute. He looked the marine over and patting him lightly on the head, before moving on. The ammo didn't bother him. There would be tons on the ground by the time the battle started.
He found himself a spot along the firing step of the trench that wasn't occupied. He took a knee and unslung his weapons. He slammed a clip of ammo into his MA5B assault rifle and MA7B Battle rifle. Since the Covenant would be charging out of the trees and into the valley, Fredrick was hoping he would be able to pick some of them off. Once the enemy got close enough, he would switch to his assault rifle. A marine suddenly collapsed beside Fredrick. The Lieutenant looked at the man, as he cursed and stood up. He recognized the marine from the Pelican along the way down here. Private Tucker was his name. Tucker turned and jumped to see the Lieutenant. He saluted quickly.
"Glad to see you sir" he said through the rain that hit his face. Fredrick returned the salute, and then finished putting his weapons onto the ammo rest that ran along the trench wall.
"Good to be here Private. Been looking forward to battle for a long time" he said.
"You guys just finish your preparation tasks sir?" Tucker asked. Fredrick nodded. "If I may so sir, those are pussy missions" the marine said. Owens chuckled at this. He looked at the private and grinned.
"You've been on some?" he asked.
"Yes sir. Hated it with all my heart" Tucker said. Owens nodded.
"Same here." The Lieutenant stood up on the firing step and peered over the trench wall. The rain was coming down heavily now, creating a blanket of water across the valley. Lightning flashed, allowing Fredrick to see the valley and edge of the jungle in front of them. However, as the thunder rolled across the sky, his vision became cloudy again as the rain continued to pound down on them.
"Can't see shit" he muttered. Tucker stood straight and looked over the wall.
"Fuck, me neither" he said, crouching back down again. Fredrick looked down to his left at a marine who was patting marines on the backs and yelling out commands. He recognized the man as Major Benson, leader of the 106th. The Major approached the Lieutenant, who saluted.
"All set Lieutenant?" the Major asked, returning the salute. Owens motioned with his head to the rain.
"Can't see anything with this rain sir. Got any Infa-red vision?" he asked.
"Afraid not Lieutenant, we'll just have to make do" he said. Fredrick shrugged.
"Good luck sir" he said. The Major nodded at him, before moving off down the trench. Tucker looked at him, before turning back to Fredrick.
"You guys technically don't have to take his orders though. You're ONI, he's UNSC" the Private said. Owens shook his head.
"The Office of Naval Intelligence is a government organization that runs under the command of the UNSC. Because of this, the Shadow Ops squad follows any higher-ranking soldiers in the field of combat" he said. Tucker smirked.
"That must suck sir" he said. Owens shrugged.
"Guess it does, but all we want to do is serve and fight Private" he said. Tucker cocked his assault rifle and grinned.
"Amen to that sir." There was a sudden hush among the marine ranks as everyone raised their weapons to their shoulders and pointed the nozzles into the rain and light fog forming across the valley. Silence encumbered them as they waited. The rain continued to pour down from the heavens and thunder boomed loudly as lightning flashed. Owens squinted his eyes, trying to see into the distance, but couldn't. He would think that the glow of the Covenant's plasma weapons would allow the marines to see them, but either the rain protected them or they weren't approaching them yet. Fredrick bent his head slightly and peered through the battle rifle's scope. He activated the night vision, but another flash of lightning made his sight all blurry and disorientated. He cursed silently and put his battle rifle away. He instead took out his assault rifle. If the enemy could not be seen, then Owens was willing to bet that things were about to become nasty. He raised his radio to his mouth.
"Shadow to Shade."
"Can you see anything?"
"Negative Shadow, my vision is quite useless in this weather."
"Indeed, so is mine. All right, be prepared for the worst, Shadow out." As Owens put his radio away, he heard Tucker beside him curse out loud.
"I can't see anything sir" he growled.
"Yes, we're all experiencing that problem. Be on your guard" Owens said.
"Yes sir" Tucker responded. Lightning flashed again, illuminating the valley. Owens squinted hard, but still couldn't see anything. Again and again, lightning continued to flash. Although this helped Owens, he wished it didn't come now, since each time he could not see the enemy. Beside him, Tucker sighed and took a step down.
"They aren't out there" he said. Without warning, the marine standing beside Owens fell over, screaming and clutching his throat. Another marine farther down the line fell backwards onto the floor, blood flowing from his body.
"What the fuck is this!" a marine screamed. Two more marines fell, both of their head's exploding. Owens looked out onto the valley. Lightning struck the ground ahead of them, revealing the field again. Beside him, Tucker gasped.
"Oh shit..." Groups of Covenant soldiers could be seen moving towards the trench. A line of Jackals were leading the way, their energy shields held up in front of them. Behind them were Grunts and then a few Elite commanders. The army was already halfway across the field, and not one of them had been killed yet.
"Fire!" someone yelled down the trench. Owens was already pulling his trigger. The assault rifle shook in his hands and against his shoulder as it let loose bullets onto the Covenant lines. The entire trench became alight with gunfire, as marines fired their weapons. Behind the trench, the chain guns began to turn and blaze the area with lead, cutting down groups of Covenant soldiers approaching their position. From the colony wall, 102mm rockets flew from Jackhammer tubes and smashed into the Covenant lines. Groups of Jackals and Grunts were sent flying everywhere as each round smashed into the ground. The exposed survivors were then cut down the gunfire. The odd sniper round flew over the marine's heads and smashed into a Covenant soldier. Plasma suddenly flashed through the night. Marines fell backwards off the firing step, either screaming in pain or already dead. Owens ran out of ammo, but reloaded quickly, focusing his fire at the closest group of Covenant. Blue pulsating orbs sailed through the air and landed inside the trenches. Explosions of blue plasma fire erupted afterwards, vaporizing marines and sending others flying out of the trench or into the mud. Owens tossed two fragmentation grenades and watched with satisfaction as a group of Jackals were sent scattering in all directions. Another volley of rockets followed, slamming into more Covenant soldiers. Screams from the Grunts, Jackals and Elites could be heard, as the explosions killed them, staining the grass with their blood. Fredrick reloaded again and fired off quick bursts, switching from target to target. Grunts fell over as they ran at the trench, Jackals were more successful, but as they approached, the chain guns opened fire, ripping them apart. One Elite had a running start, and was successful in jumping inside one of the trenches. However, a group of marines jumped onto the field commander and literally beat the alien to death.
"Looking good so far sir" Tucker yelled, reloading his assault rifle.
"Don't jinx it, keep firing!" Owens yelled over the noise. Without warning, the ground trembled beneath them and the sky was illuminated. However, it wasn't a lightning bolt, but a glowing ball of plasma, which arched in the air, and slammed into the trenches. Owens was thrown to the ground along with other marines as the plasma bolt erupted a few meters away from him. Marines screamed violently as they were lifted out of the trench. Blood was spilled all over the place, along with body pieces. Fredrick hauled himself to his feet, bringing Tucker up with him.
"That's a fucking Wraith" the private screamed, wiping dirt off his already grimy armor. Fredrick nodded, raising his assault rifle again and firing off rounds at a group of Grunts.
"Private, get Major Benson, tell him from me that we need some air support here" the Lieutenant yelled, as another plasma mortar slammed into the trench, blasting marines backwards into the wall. Tucker nodded and stepped down from the firing step. As he took his radio out, Fredrick tossed two fragmentation grenades, aiming them near a small cluster of Jackals and Grunts who were harassing the far side of the trench. Both grenades bounced once and landed right in the middle of the group. The two Covenant species stopped firing and looked down at the two explosive devices, before both of them shattered apart, and blasted all of them away. Fredrick finished reloading and fired over the trench again. Beside him, Private Tucker stood straight.
"No air support sir" he growled. Owens cursed out loud and stopped firing for a second. He looked back at the colony, and then brought his radio back up.
"Shade to Feuer"
"Ja, Feuer here" the demolition German answered.
"Are there any intact Warthogs inside that base?" Owens asked. There was a long pause, which Fredrick used to shoot his assault rifle at an Elite that seemed to be going kamikaze, as it rushed forward at the trenches, firing two plasma rifles. As it fell to its knees from continuous bullet fire, the radio held in Owens's hands crackled.
"Shadow, zere are three Vorthogs intact. Colonel Fitzgerald ish sending marines to head to ze battle wiz them" Feuer reported.
"Perfect, get in one, I'll be with you shortly with a gunner" Owens yelled.
"Affirmative Shadow, Feuer out." Owens strapped his radio back to his collar, and grabbed Private Tucker.
"You know how to shoot one of those?" he asked the man, pointing to the LAAG chain guns on the ground. Tucker nodded frantically.
"Yes sir" he said.
"Good, come with me" Fredrick said, pulling Tucker off the firing step and to the other side of the trench. He ran down the long dugout and reached Corporal McConnell's position. The heavy weapons specialist was reloading his 30mm chain gun, while two nearby marines provided cover fire.
"Death!" Owens yelled, waving his hands. Jason looked up from his gun and leaned forward. Owens pulled himself up slightly, so that the man could hear him over the noise.
"Give us some cover fire when you're ready, there's a team of Warthogs heading out to destroy the tank and we need to get on them" he yelled. Death nodded and finished stuffing the chains of ammo into the large receptacle. He cocked the large weapon and nodded he was ready.
"Fire!" Owens yelled, hoisting Tucker out of the trench. Jason swung the chain gun back and forth, spraying the entire battlefield with gunfire. Several plasma rounds bounced off the armor plating surrounding the weapon, but he ignored them and kept firing. One marine crouched beside him, rolled to the ground dead as a plasma needle slammed into his head. Tucker bent down and helped Fredrick up. The Lieutenant looked around him, before pushing Tucker forward.
"Go! Move, move, move!" he yelled, patting Jason on the back as he ran past him. As he and the private jumped into the second trench, the chain gun that Jason held onto began melt as the plasma rounds slammed into it. The Corporal eventually let go of the weapon and took cover behind the sandbags, with the other marine. Fredrick helped Tucker out of the second trench again, and then was pulled up onto solid ground. The two of them rushed through the colony gates, where the three Warthogs were in position. The first two were loaded with marines, but the last one had one marine in it, holding a Jackhammer rocket launcher. Kreutz Kamp grinned and saluted the Lieutenant as they approached.
"All set sir" he said.
"Tucker, arm the chain gun" Fredrick barked as he jumped into the driver's seat. The Private ran to the back and climbed up, strapping himself onto the chain gun. Fredrick turned the key that was already in the vehicle and revved the engine. The Warthogs in front of them were already rolling out of the colony, the gunners focusing their attention to the trenches where the Covenant continued to advance. Fredrick stepped on the gas and they sped up, zooming through the mud tracks in the ground and out to the battle. The three vehicles went around the trenches on the far left and as soon as they emerged in the opening, the gunners opened fire. As the first Warthog drove around the trenches, its gunner spraying the area with bullets, a plasma mortar smashed into the ground beside the armored vehicle. The Warthog flipped high into the air, spinning twice and sending its gunner flying into the air, screaming. Slowly, it fell into the trench, landing upside down and crushing several marines beneath it, including the driver and passenger. Fredrick spun the wheel hard to prevent the jeep from flipping and drove straight at a group of Covenant soldiers. As they scattered, Private Tucker sprayed them with ammunition, killing them all with a few thousand rounds. As Fredrick drove around in circles for a moment, crushing Elites, Jackals and Grunts alike, he kept a look out for two things. The other Warthog and the Wraith. He could see the second Warthog doing donuts in the grass, crushing Covenant soldiers. The Wraith, which was positioned near the edge of the field, lobbed another plasma mortar in the Lieutenant's direction. He swerved again to avoid it and drove towards the edge of the valley. As they approached, the outline of the tank's firing turret could be seen. Tucker drove in a small circle, then revved the engine and accelerated the Warthog to the tank.
"Feuer, fire at will!" he yelled at the demolitions expert. Kreutz Kamp finished reloading, then shouldered the huge weapon in his hands and fired twice. Tucker veered the Warthog away, allowing Private Tucker to get a few shots in. He then made another circle and focused on a few Covenant soldiers, while the second Warthog drove towards to the tank. As they drove past each other, Fredrick looked at Feuer.
"Did you hit it?" he asked.
"Vone rocket hit, ze ozer vone missed" he said, sighing. Fredrick nodded.
"Let's see what our comrades can do" he said, slowing down slightly, to see the second Warthog drive straight at the tank. A group of Covenant soldiers clustered around the Wraith, and fired at the approaching Warthog, which in turn returned fire. During the firefight, the driver of the Warthog took a round to his left shoulder. He bent over to hold the wound, but suddenly fell out, crushed afterwards by the wheels. The marine sitting in the side seat reached over to take over the wheel, but several plasma rounds slammed into his torso and stomach area. He slumped in his seat dead, his gun falling onto the gas pedal of the Warthog. The gunner was oblivious to the whole situation; however, as the Warthog continued driving at the tank, he realized that something was wrong. The marine looked down and saw the side seat marine dead. He unstrapped himself and jumped off the back of the Warthog, tumbling along the ground. The front bumper of the jeep slammed straight into the Wraith, digging through the armor and crushing the internal engine. As the Warthog flipped over the Covenant tank, fuel leaked into the hole in the Wraith's armor and ignited the plasma that was leaking out of the cells. Following that, there was an instant explosion, as the Wraith tank ignited, engulfing the flipping Warthog in the process. The two created an even bigger explosion, which killed the Covenant soldiers around the vehicles. Fredrick whistled at this, but then focused on getting back to the colony, since the major threat was abolished. He turned the Warthog around and headed back to the trenches. As they went, Feuer fired off two more rockets and Tucker continued firing the chain gun. The first trench slowly came into view. Bullets bounced off the armor, ranging from assault rifle or chain gun rounds. Fredrick ducked his head as the hiss of a bullet passing past his ear startled him.
"Jesus Christ, can't they see it's a Warthog?" he muttered, referring to the marine forces firing at them. The sound of a fragmentation grenade pinging off the front bumper of the Warthog and landed on the ground beside them answered Fredrick's question. As a last minute decision, he spun the wheel to the left, and braced himself for the explosion.
The grenade detonated along the left side of the Warthog. A column of smoke and shrapnel rose into the air and smashed into the jeep, as it was propelled to the right by the discharge. Owens felt several shrapnel pieces hit him, but ignored it and tucked his head low, as the Warthog flipped over on the ground and continued rolling. He feared the worst for Tucker, as it continued to flip. George Kreutz Kamp had sat down in his seat and was also doing his best to keep parts of his body inside the Warthog as it continued to flip. Finally, the vehicle fell inside the first trench, landing upside down. Fredrick grabbed the sides of his chair, but was knocked forward after the sudden stoppage of movement. He fell out of the chair and landed on the plastic flooring of the trench.
"Fuck" he whispered, raising himself up and shaking his head. He winced as he tried to support himself with his left arm. He looked over at it and could see two pieces of shrapnel sticking out of his skin. He grabbed both of them and ripped them out. He tore off pieces of his uniform and then taped them to his wound. He crouched up slightly and looked towards George. The demolitions expert was alive and slowly crawling out of his seat. Blood flowed from a scratch on his cheek and there was a large gash in his right arm. He sat up, leaning his back against the Warthog and looked at the Lieutenant.
"I hope ve never do zat again" he said, shaking his head and wiping some blood off. Owens chuckled and stood, helping the man up. The sound of gunfire made them realize they were still in a battle. Fredrick walked to a few dead marines nearby and pried an assault rifle from a pair of dead hands. He cocked the weapon and raised it over the trench wall. A jolt of pain in his arm made him remember he was wounded. Grinning, Owens ignored it and fired. A cluster of Grunts running towards them began falling over as the bullets from Owens's gun hit them. Kreutz Kamp raised a pistol and fired it with his left hand. His right arm lay at his side. The wound was obviously too big and painful for the German to handle. Regardless, the Grunts collapsed dead. Owens lowered his weapon and looked out onto the field.
"Do you see Tucker?" he asked, squinting his eyes. George began reloading his pistol and looked at the field as well.
"Nein" he said, firing at several Jackals. Fredrick stopped looking to shoot at an Elite running at them. He emptied the clip into the soldier, but it still came at him. Dropping the rifle, Owens brought up his pistol and fired. The Elite's shields disappeared, and it eventually fell to its knees after additional bullet impacts. Owens was about to switch targets, but stopped.
The Covenant that remained in the trenches or in the field began running back into the jungle. Grunts screamed arms high in the air as they ran. Jackals covered their heads with their shields and Elites snarled, before sprinting ahead, roaring at other soldiers. Owens watched them disappear through the rain that still fell onto them. He sighed and dropped his pistol. It seemed that the fight for Gamma Colony was over for now.
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade