Shadow Ops II: Chapter Seven
Posted By: Agent Shade<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 December 2003, 1:41 AM
"What's wrong? Get him back!" Captain Brian Hayes hovered over Lieutenant Nixon's console, glaring at the view screen.
"I don't know sir, we lost the signal, and I can't get a hold of anyone down there"
Nixon stammered, his tired hands typing away at his keypad.
"Shit...what do our scans show?' Hayes asked Lieutenant Scott, who was back at the navigation station.
"Heavy Covenant population all over the surface sir. I don't think we shot down a lot of those dropships" he said.
"Where are they located?" Brian asked.
"Omega, Alpha and Gamma Colony sir" Scott whispered.
"Bloody invasion" Lieutenant Nixon whispered beside Brian. The Captain nodded.
"So it seems. Lieutenant Elliott, what's the status on the purging of our security forces and marine weapons?" Brian asked. The weapons officer looked up at the Captain with a dull expression.
"Sir, all the remaining ground forces we had were killed when Docking Bay One exploded. The Pelicans in Docking Bay Two are being loaded up with weapons and ammunition from the armouries. We can drop these supply crates over the colonies" he explained. Brian nodded and turned back to Lieutenant Scott.
"What is the condition of the colonies defences?" he asked. Lieutenant Scott did another planetary scan and brought the results up on the view screen.
"The Daedrea gave Alpha Colony her entire regiment of marines and ODSTs, plus several columns of vehicles, including tanks. I think it's safe to say Alpha is secure. We had thought Gamma Colony was not going to be attacked again, so there are only a few companies of marines there and some Warthogs. Omega Colony is the main problem sir. A platoon of three hundred fifty ODSTs and the Shadow Ops II squad are the only defenders there sir. They also have the ten Death Walkers this battle group was supplied with" he explained. Brian lowered his head. Overall, it seemed that they were going to loose Vivec, unless some extra marine forces could be sent down.
"Status on the Carnage?" he asked. The big Galactic-class cruiser could be seen on the view screen, as it moved closer to Vivec.
"She's just moving into orbit sir" Lieutenant Scott said.
"Communications; Tell them to supply Omega and Gamma colonies with reinforcements. They're going to need them" Hayes said to Lieutenant Nixon.
"Message sent sir. She acknowledges and is rallying her troops now" Nixon said. Brian turned to look down at the planet's surface as storm clouds began to gather along the atmosphere.
"Hold on guys, help is coming" he whispered.
"Left flank! Cover left flank!" Lieutenant Owens roared. The three ODSTs that were along the left part of the colony wall fell backwards off the catwalk dead from continuous plasma bolts. Another group of marines moved in, their assault rifles barking.
"Incoming!" a marine yelled. Owens looked up and ducked as a plasma grenade soared over his head and landed in the compound below.
"Keep firing!" the Lieutenant yelled, standing back up and finishing his clip of 7.62 armour piercing rounds. The Covenant had surprised attack them and had done a good job. Nearly half of the ODSTs that had been dropped off earlier were dead and either lay on the compound below or on the catwalk. The amount of Covenant troops charging at them was incredible. Fredrick had never seen so many Grunts, Jackals and Elites in his entire military career. A huge tidal wave of the troops attacked the marine defenders and moved to the colony gates.
"Take them out!" Lieutenant Owens yelled, unpinning several fragmentation grenades near him and tossing them over the side. The wall surrounding the colony was made out of thick titanium, used on the battleships that flew through space. The resulting detonations of the grenades and the plasma bolts did no damage at all. Owens reloaded his assault rifle and fired into the crowd of Covenant. A marine beside him was swinging his SMG 500 back and forth, spraying the area with bullets. Owens grabbed him on the shoulder.
"Soldier, you keep doing that, you're just going to waste valuable ammunition and make yourself sick. Concentrate on one enemy at a time, it's more effective" he yelled. The private nodded and fired at a Jackal. The high-powered bullets ripped apart the alien's shield and it dropped to the ground. Owens nodded with approval and continued to fire.
"Lieutenant! They're massing at the colony entrance!" Owens turned to see Major Kerr waving at him and pointing to the entry.
"Shit" the Lieutenant whispered. The Covenant were indeed clustered around the sealed up gates, firing their plasma weapons at it, in an attempt to melt the doors. Although it would work eventually, melting the thick armour would take a long time. The Covenant seemed to realize this, since several plasma mortars fired from Wraiths flew high into the air and smashed into the door. The resulting explosions shook the entire barrier and the catwalk. Several Helljumpers fell backwards off the ramps and onto the ground.
"Those Wraiths are going to be the death of us" a Helljumper cried, reloading his weapon.
"So it seems, just keep firing and stand by for a colony breach" Owens said, patting the man on the shoulder. The marine nodded and continued shooting. Owens looked down into the compound and looked at the Death Walkers. Their cockpits were being opened by marines and slowly being activated.
"Death, Feuer, get into one of those Death Walkers and don't let a single
Covenant soldier walk into this colony" Owens said into his radio.
"We're on it sir" Corporal McConnell replied. Fredrick looked around the colony wall. The amount of Covenant forces below them were too large for them to hold off. Helljumpers stood up to fire at the enemy forces below, but would either fall backwards or forward dead from plasma bolts. The Lieutenant turned to the main entrance and could see that the titanium armour was beginning to melt and fall apart as the Covenant fired at it and the Wraiths bombed it. Lieutenant grabbed a nearby Helljumper.
"Spread the word to fall back into the compound. The colony is about to be breached" he yelled. The marine saluted to Owens, then ran along the catwalk, yelling at other marines to retreat. Fredrick tossed the last of frag grenades over the side, and then spotted a Jackhammer rocket launcher lying near a dead ODST. The weapon was still loaded and the Lieutenant could make out an additional package of two 108mm rockets. Fredrick hoisted the weapon, and slowly pointed the nozzle of the gun over the side of the wall and to the Covenant army below. Instead of firing blind shots, the Lieutenant turned and aimed over at the Covenant gathered around the main entrance. He would hope that if he could kill them that would buy them some time. Without thinking, Fredrick fired the two rockets. Although he ducked behind the wall after the last rocket fired, he could hear the screams of the Grunts, Jackals and Elites that had perished into the explosions. He reloaded the rocket launcher and moved to a different spot along the catwalk. He leaned over the wall again and looked towards the entrance. There were two large craters where the group of Covenant had been shooting from. Their bodies lay on the ground with all the other Covenant bodies. However, another group of troops began massing around the entrance, shooting at it. Fredrick fired the rocket launcher again. Both rockets killed the twenty or so soldiers standing around the entry. Grinning at the screams of pain he could hear below, Fredrick dropped the launcher and ran along the catwalk. He found one of the ramps that lead down into the compound below. As he jogged down it, his radio crackled in his ear.
"Lieutenant Owens, this is Major Kerr" came the voice of the Major. Owens slowed down to a light trot as he ran to the cluster of Death Walkers that were massing around the gate entrance to the colony.
"Yes Major?" Owens asked.
"Your scout team has returned Lieutenant. They're being pulled up over the wall now" the Major said. Fredrick's eyes widened for a moment. He looked near the back of the colony to the wall that surrounded it. He could make out a group of marines leaning over the side and tugging at a rope. The Lieutenant immediately pumped his tired legs and sprinted over to them. He climbed the ramp quickly and rushed to them. Five marines were pulling at a rope that disappeared over the side of the wall. Fredrick grabbed the end of it and helped them pull. The head and the rest of Corporal Dela Cruz's body soon appeared over the wall. Three marines let go of the rope and grabbed the man's shoulders. They pulled him completely over the barrier and laid him on the catwalk. Lieutenant Owens immediately went to his side.
"Scout, can you hear me?" he said. The Hispanic man turned his head and looked up at Fredrick.
"Sorry I was late sir" he whispered. Owens grinned slightly. A marine medic knelt beside Fredrick and began looking over Dela Cruz's body.
"What happened?" Lieutenant Owens asked Aaron. Dela Cruz looked away, staring off into the clouded night sky.
"Ran into a Covenant patrol. As far as I remember, we had fought them off, and then I felt something grab my shoulder and pinch some nerve. I don't know exactly what nerve, but I remember my entire body going numb, then I blacked out" he whispered. Owens looked over at the medic for an explanation, but he was crouching beside the prone figures of Corporal Bishop and Sergeant Thompson that lay on the ramp. Owens walked over to them. Colin's nose was bent in an odd angle and his entire face seemed bruised. Jacob Bishop had a huge gash on the side of his head that was still bleeding.
"They'll be okay sir, just knocked out. I doubt any of them will be fighting tonight though" the medic said, standing up from the body of Corporal Bishop. Owens nodded.
"Fix them up. Marines, come with me" he said. The five ODSTs who had helped bring the Shadow Ops members over the wall followed the Lieutenant back down into the compound and towards the Death Walkers. The mech units had set themselves up in a semi-circle, each of them pointing their weapons to the bulging colony entrance. The remaining ODSTs were setting up bunkers from the titanium and metal plating that had helped make the houses in this colony. They began grabbing what ammunition they had left and crouching behind these bunkers. Major Kerr stood up from a dugout he had been in and walked over to the Lieutenant.
"I've got one hundred seventy nine of my men left. We took a real beating up on that catwalk" he said sadly.
"Three of my party are out. Seems they were ambushed in the forest" Owens said.
"Hopefully these DWs will make a difference. All our firepower focused on one spot will definitely cut them down" Kerr growled. The sound of the hinges around the colony wall snapping and breaking off made them realize the time had come. Owens saluted to the Major, who returned it.
"Good luck Major"
"You too Lieutenant." Fredrick turned and jogged over to a titanium fence that several marines had created. As he crouched behind it and loaded his weapons, their radios began to crackle.
"Helljumpers of Bravo Company! In about ten seconds, all of our lives will most likely be swept away in a wave of destruction. Blood will be spilled, friends will be lost, but we shall endure. When that gate falls, we find out who is afraid and who isn't. Who runs and who hides. And by god, I am not afraid and I will not hide. Feet first into hell Helljumpers. Let's take it to them!" the Major yelled. There was a roar of approval from the other marines and even Owens couldn't help but smile. Morale speeches like those pumped adrenaline through the veins and made every single human in this colony fight harder. Owens cocked his MA5B assault rifle and shouldered the weapon. He pointed it at the entrance and looked at the seven marines beside him.
"Do not let a single god damn Covenant soldier to step inside the colony boys" he yelled. The ODSTs all exchanged grins with one another and saluted Owens. They then focused on the gate that was slowly falling apart.
There was a loud explosion, followed by the sound of metal scraping against metal. The entire gate entrance that lead into the colony fell to the ground, charred and burned. As the smoke and mist cleared, the hulks of ten Covenant Hunters could be seen, slowly making their way into the colony.
"Fire!" Major Kerr yelled over the radio. The Death Walkers fired first. Argent V missiles flew out of their launch tubes and smashed into the Hunters, blasting them backwards. The 50mm chain guns on their arms clicked and began to turn, letting loose thousands of bullets onto the enemy soldiers charging into the settlement. ODSTs holding onto Jackhammer rocker launchers fired the weapons. The rockets soared towards the Covenant lines, smoke trailing in their wake. The resulting explosions killed hundreds of Covenant soldiers. Finally, the sound of clattered gun fire could be heard over all these explosions as the remaining Helljumpers fired their assault rifles, sub machine guns, battle rifles and pistols. The ten Hunters were nowhere to be seen after the opening attack. Huge craters dotted the entrance from the rockets and missiles. Above all else, the screams from the Covenant as they died was the most satisfying sound Fredrick ever heard as he fired his assault rifle. The Death Walkers were indeed handy. The Covenant probably hadn't gotten a chance at all to fire their weapons at the humans. Their blood stained the ground and their bodies piled high on top of each other as soldier after soldier fell to the ground dead. Fredrick reloaded his assault rifle quickly and kept on firing, watching more Covenant troops fall as the Death Walkers fired their Argent V missiles.
Unknown to the humans, the Covenant were creating groves along the colony wall using their plasma weapons. This then allowed cloaked Elites to climb over the barrier and march into the compound below. The marines didn't notice this until it was too late. Plasma swords were ignited and floated in mid-air behind ODSTs. With no mercy whatsoever, the Elites brutality chopped the heads of several marines who were reloading. The quick, painless death allowed the Elites to kill without being spotted. Fredrick however began to notice that the far left side of their defences were no longer firing their weapons. As he ran out of ammo again, he looked over to the titanium blockades and saw the dead bodies of the marines who had been there. Owens raised an eyebrow and turned around. Floating in front of him was a Covenant plasma sword, and lying on the ground in front of the Lieutenant were the seven Helljumpers who had been with him. Lieutenant Owens moved quickly, ducking to avoid the sword that was swung at him and jumping forward. He caught a pair of armoured legs as he tackled the air. The cloaked Elite howled as it fell backwards onto the ground. Its onboard cloaking device sparked several times and powered down. Fredrick looked up from the mud and could see the head of the Elite looking back at him. He could hear the Elite breathing and then heard it growl as it kicked Owens in the chest, knocking him backwards. Owens landed against his titanium barrier, but grabbed his radio quickly.
"Cloaked Elites behind us!" he yelled. As he stood up and circled around the Elite, the remaining ODSTs turned and shot at the floating plasma swords. The Elites that had been holding the weapon fell backwards dead as the bullets struck through their armour. Fredrick raised his fists at the Elite which stood in front of him. The Covenant Field Commander tossed aside its sword and spread its legs, assuming some sort of Covenant battle stance. Owens jabbed at the Elite with his left and right fists quickly. The Elite brought its own hands up and blocked several of the blows. The Lieutenant was lucky to hit the Elite several times in its stomach area and head. The Elite suddenly jumped forward, blocking and grabbing one of the Lieutenant's fists and brought its other hand up and down on Owens's chest. The mighty blow knocked Fredrick backwards, who had the wind knocked out of him. Breathing heavily and wiping the blood from his mouth, Owens swung his fist forward, putting all his weight into this one blow which slammed into the Elite's face. The Covenant creature howled in pain as Fredrick heard something snap. The Elite turned to face Fredrick, one of its mandibles hanging limply from its mouth. Owens smirked and swung his fist again, but the Elite blocked it. Owens faked a right jab, and brought his leg up, making contact with the Elites stomach area again. The armour around that area cracked and the Lieutenant's boot hit bare skin. Screaming the Elite backed off, bending over and holding its stomach area in pain. Fredrick took a skip forward and uppercut the Elite. It flipped over and landed hard onto the ground, blood spewing from its mouth. Owens shook his head and took out his pistol. He held it to the Elites head and stared into its eyes.
"Welcome to Vivec" he growled. Lieutenant Owens pulled the trigger. The bullet flew through the barrel of the gun and exited the chamber, smashing into and out of the Elites head. The helmet it wore exploded in fragments, covered in blood and pieces of brain. The Elite went limp as the hole in its head bled onto the grass. Grinning, Fredrick straightened his back and went back to the battle that was still going on around him.
The Covenant had seemed to have realized that getting into the colony by the main entrance was futile and were sending troops to climb the wall and attack from the catwalk. However, six of the Death Walkers had been ordered to focus on the troops climbing the wall, while the remaining four kept firing at the entry. The Helljumpers were scattered all over the colony, chasing down cloaked Elites and defending the interior of the colony as the Covenant climbed the walls. A group of seventy marines were with the Lieutenant as he ran through the rows of houses and huts, firing at what seemed to be the last floating plasma sword. The Elite howled as multiple bullets smashed into its body. It fell to its knees, and then slammed into the ground, blood flowing from the wounds.
There was a slight sense of relief that the threat was gone, but they weren't done yet. At the very back of the colony, a group of one hundred Covenant were successful in climbing the wall undetected and were moving through the houses, killing all who opposed. Owens gathered the ODSTs with him and they charged after the Covenant, firing what ammo was left in their weapons. Several Grunts and Jackals were cut down as they approached them from behind, but the rest turned and opened fire. Twelve Helljumpers immediately fell from plasma wounds. The others all dove out of the way, firing their own guns as they hide. Owens tossed a frag grenade he had found and watched a group of Jackals disappear in an explosion of blood. An ODST across from the Lieutenant fired a Jackhammer rocket, which reduced the Covenant numbers to around eighty. With ammo and battery charges low, the amount of firepower around the homes began to cease. As Fredrick fired the last of his armour piercing rounds from his assault rifle, the Covenant in front of them suddenly lowered their weapons and ran towards the humans. Owens stepped out from behind his cover and watched the seventy or so Covenant soldiers run at them, snarling and roaring at them. A Helljumper Sergeant took a step forward and threw his assault rifle onto the ground.
"Let's fuck them up!" he yelled, running to the Covenant with fists raised. The marines cheered and ran after him, dropping their weapons and bawling their hands. Even Lieutenant Owens couldn't help but feel the adrenaline in him take over all his senses. He tossed his assault rifle onto the blood stained ground and ran after the marines, who were engaging the Covenant in a bloody hand to hand fight.
Standing at the edge of the jungle that surrounded Omega colony and watching groups of Covenant troops climb up and over the wall; Private Tucker remained invisible and unseen to the Covenant forces. However, calling the invisible figure Private Tucker wouldn't be right. The body of Private Tucker was invisible to the Covenant. The power essence that was inside the human had complete control of the marine and didn't plan on letting him go. Suddenly, the invisibility that had surrounded Tucker disappeared and he stood completely exposed and seen to the Covenant. Several of them paused and motioned to him. A Grunt even fired its pistol at him. The plasma pistol discharged, letting a small bolt of the deadly weapon fly at Tucker. The Private however simply stepped to one side, completely avoiding the shot. The Private suddenly grinned widely and raised his right arm into the air. The Covenant began to back off slightly as he did this. Slowly, Tucker lowered his arm and pointed at the Covenant. He held that pose for a few seconds, before lowering his arm.
The Covenant that were watching him went quiet, while the others continued to fight the humans inside the colony. The ground beneath them began to tremble, as the sound of thousands of feet drummed along the earth. This drumming noise became louder and it seemed as if the whole jungle was shaking. Without warning, figures covered in tentacles and carrying their limbs rushed past Private Tucker and charged at the Covenant lines. The Covenant began to raise their weapons to fire, but like a tidal wave, these tentacle figures trampled through them, crushing some Covenant and beating others to death. Private Tucker merely stood at the edge of the jungle, still grinning as this army of Flood combat forms appeared out of the jungle and ran past him, attacking the Covenant who were forced to stop shooting at the humans inside the colony and try to defend themselves. The entire jungle became alive with Flood activity as hundreds of thousands of forms crawled out from under the ground like zombies rising from their graves. They shook themselves of the dirt and decomposed material that covered their bodies, and then extended their long tentacle wipes. Their barks and growls filled the night sky as they swarmed around the UNSC colonies, looking to feed.
Captain Hayes sat in his command chair with his head in his hands. Reports from all around him were being yelled to him. They all sounded the same. The Covenant had struck hard. Gamma Colony was destroyed; Alpha Colony was slowly being weakened. Omega Colony, like the beginning of this mission, was a mystery. He didn't know what to do. Admiral Baker was back at the UNSC, leaving Brian in charge of the battle group. Even with the arrival of the UNSC Wilderness, it seemed as if Vivec would belong to the Covenant in a matter of hours. He hoped that they would be able to scan Omega colony soon and determine its fate.
As if his prayers were answered, Lieutenant Nixon looked up from his communications console, looking shocked and confused all at once. Captain Hayes looked over at the man, but he struggled to find the words.
"Lieutenant?" Brian asked. Nixon paused for a moment, before looking up at the Captain with a thin lip smile.
"Could you come see this sir?" he asked. Brian stood and walked to the Lieutenant's station. Readouts and a small diagram scrolled across the screen. Hayes recognized the diagram of an area of Vivec.
"These are the latest scans from Omega Colony" he said, a hint of hope in his voice. Nixon nodded and enlarged the diagram. A small series of yellow dots could be seen inside the colony.
"Those are what marine forces are left sir. We count one hundred fifty-six" Nixon said. He typed several more commands into his keypad. The yellow dots disappeared. The picture of the colony was suddenly surrounded by clusters of red dots. Some of these dots were even inside the colony.
"Covenant numbers range in the six thousands" Nixon said. Hayes mouth hung open, but it seemed that Nixon wasn't done. He continued to type and changed the screen. The red dots were gone and were replaced by an even bigger blob of green. The entire jungle that surrounded the colony was covered in these green dots. The picture pulled back, showing not just the colony, but the colony and the surrounding terrain. This green blob continued to cover the landscape.
"The computer cannot calculate this new force that has arrived" Nixon whispered. Hayes looked away from the screen and down on the planet.
"Have the other ships confirmed this?" he asked.
"Yes sir, their scans show this new force around Omega, Gamma, Beta and Alpha colony. Ours show the same thing" Lieutenant Nixon said.
"Oh my god" Brian whispered. Before he had time to think, Lieutenant Scott turned around in his chair.
"Sir, radar contacts bearing; 045 mark 105, range; 2000 Kilometres and closing" he said.
"What?" Captain Hayes growled.
"The Covenant are returning sir. The computer estimates six ships. Four destroyers, one cruiser, one carrier" Lieutenant Scott said. Brian stood straight.
"Bring the ship up to combat alert alpha. Remove all weapons safety locks. Polarize the armour and secure all decks. Bring us to heading four, four, one" Brian said quickly, walking to his command chair.
"Aye sir, removing all weapons safety locks."
"Polarizing the armour, all decks report secured and ready."
"Coming to heading four, four, one." The bridge crew moved fast in relaying these orders to the rest of the ship. Slowly, the Blade of Wrath turned to face this new enemy that rapidly approached her.
"Sir, our sister ships request orders" Lieutenant Nixon said.
"Have the Carnage and Daedrea position themselves in a geosynchronous orbit over Vivec. Tell them to take out as many of those bastards as they can" Hayes ordered.
"Aye sir. What about the Wilderness?" Nixon asked. The UNSC Wilderness was a Typhoon-class Battle Carrier. She only sported a few Devilhorn missile pods and two small MAC turrets. However, not only did she have seven metres of Titanium-A battle armour across her hull, she had two large docking bays that were filled with Longsword and Stormwing interceptor fighters.
"Tell her Captain to hold position and continue supplying our forces below with reinforcements. However, also order the Wilderness to launch their squadrons of Stormwings and Longswords. If we fail, she will break orbit and retreat to a nearby planet" Hayes said. Nixon nodded. Hayes turned and faced the main view screen. The new planet side threat would have to wait. The Covenant ships approaching them rapidly would not give Brian time to think up a strategy to overcoming this new menace.
"Charge up the MAC guns..."
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade