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Shadow Spartans, Chapter 1: Combat Ready
Posted By: Agent Shade and Arinoth Koby<Agent_Shade13@hotmail.com, stklego@hotmail.com>
Date: 26 June 2003, 12:17 AM

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      "Captain, five minutes till we reach the LZ" came the voice of Second Lieutenant James "Firebat" Johansson who sat in the front of the modified Pelican dropship, Firestorm. Instead of the usual 40mm chain guns mounted on its nose, it had two 60mm chain guns placed on its stubby wings and a single 90mm HV (High Velocity) Canon mounted on its belly. The armor of the Pelican was upgraded from the usual titanium-B to titanium-A. The troop bay had been enlarged slightly so it could hold an additional ten personal. However, for this particular mission, there were only two occupied seats in the large bay.

      Captain Arinoth "Koby" Kobrynovich watched the waves of the Atlantic Ocean below move towards the South American coast. While double-checking his MA7B battle rifle was loaded and cocked, he glanced over at his good friend and partner in combat, Lieutenant Colin "Shade" Thompson. Colin held a regular MA5B assault rifle, but strapped over his armored back was an M 19 SSM "Jackhammer" rocket launcher. He stared off into the rolling sky, not noticing his CO staring at him. Arinoth looked away and checked to make sure that the S2 AM Sniper rifle was still strapped to his back. He had around ten extra clips of ammunition for this battle rifle and sniper rifle. Colin had the same amount, however, he had two rocket casings strapped to his back, with the Jackhammer over them, which allowed him to grab the launcher quickly, then reloaded without having to stop.

      Arinoth looked back outside and noticed that the scenery had changed. They were no longer flying over the violent sea, but flying over a war torn Naval Base. The radio inside Arinoth's helmet cracked with static.

      "This is Naval Base Gamma, calling for any UNSC reinforcements in the area, we need immediate support. Covenant forces overwhelming base defenses, we are retreating to our third and last line of defense." Koby shook his head, and then the voice of Johansson entered his ears.

      "Get ready sir, LZ is real hot, get ready, you may be in store for a rough landing" he said, his voice in monotone. Arinoth chuckled. He knew they had had a lot worse landings than this. He caught Colin's eye, nodded, and then cocked his battle rifle again. Colin nodded, slammed a magazine of ammo into his assault rifle, and then unstrapped himself from his seat. Arinoth did the same. Firestorm suddenly shook violently, and the two hung on to the overhead railings. As Firestorm continued to descend, more plasma rounds fired from Covenant troops around the LZ hit the ship. Finally, Arinoth nodded at Colin, and they both leapt off the troop bay and onto the LZ, which was an unused landing pad.

      Arinoth rolled, and then crouched up. Colin did the same; however, as he crouched up, he fired several rounds from his assault rifle at a small group of Covenant Grunts rushing at them. As Colin continued to fight them off, Arinoth signaled to Lieutenant Johansson that they were okay. Firestorm's engines roared and the dropship sped off into the clouds.

      Colin had stopped firing and was scanning their surroundings, much like Arinoth was. The marine defenses here were set up in three lines of bunkers, sandbags and chain gun turrets. The first two lines lay in ruins, dead bodies scattered everywhere and spent weapon ammunition lay around them. Arinoth could make out the weakening third and final line of defense. He activated his radio.

      "Shade, marines sighted, move out along the left ridge" he said. Colin nodded, jumped off the landing pad and proceeded to a ridge that lay to the left of their position. Arinoth followed, firing several rounds from his battle rifle. They moved quickly, to avoid being flanked and came up behind the marine defense line. Behind them, the Naval Base's shadow towered over them. Colin and Arinoth both came to a stop and they crouched behind a line of stacked sandbags. Several marines looked up at them.

      "Whoa, check it out, Spartans are here" said a wounded PFC.

      "I thought all the Spartan-IIIs were dead?" questioned a Corporal, firing blind rounds at the charging Covenant. Arinoth merely looked down at the Corporal.

      "We're not Spartan-IIIs" was all Arinoth said, leaving the Corporal confused and curious. Arinoth looked at his partner.

      "Shade, take out those Shadows, then mop up the rest" he said. Colin nodded, and then ran down the line, unstrapping his Jackhammer as he approached a Covenant Shadow.

      Meanwhile, Arinoth spotted a group of marine snipers posted on a ridge off to the right of the battlefield. The boulders surrounding them provided excellent cover. Without another word to the Corporal beside him, he stood, and bolted for the ridge, taking his sniper rifle as he ran. Plasma bolts hit the ground and flew through the air around him, but he ignored it and continued to run. His speed was equivalent to that of a horse. Within seconds, he walked up behind the two snipers, who were reloading. The snipers looked up from their weapons.

      "Jesus! What-who..." stammered one sniper. The other grinned.

      "Good, we got some experience up here" he said, glaring at his partner who was still goggling at Arinoth. Although they couldn't see it, Koby was grinning inside his suit. He propped his rifle on a rock, crouched behind it and targeted a gold armored Elite, who was firing at Shade as he reloaded his Jackhammer. Quickly, he sighted the targeting reticule on the Elite's head and fired. In a heartbeat, the Elite's head vanished. A fountain of purple blood started spewing out of its severed neck and the corpse dropped.

      Lieutenant Thompson looked up at the ridge, where the bullet had fired from. He quickly finished his reloading, and signaled to Arinoth his thanks. He crouched low, and fired another Jackhammer round, blowing off the plasma gun turret on the front of the Covenant Shadow gliding towards him. The Grunt sitting in the gunner seat disappeared in a cloud of neon blood and a methane respirator. The Shadow however kept on coming at him and Colin fired another round, into the belly of the approaching craft. The Shadow slumped to the ground, and then exploded in a blast of white smoke. The Grunts and Jackals sitting in the small troop bay on the Shadow were sent flying in all directions, dead. Colin put the empty Jackhammer back over his armored back, then grabbed the assault rifle at his side and started firing full auto rounds at the Covenant who were trying to recover from the loss of their Shadows. From the ridge, Colin could barely make out the sounds of sniper fire, and dozens of Covenant around him fell.

      A group of Elites and Brutes suddenly emerged from a captured marine bunker, covered in red blood. Colin moved quickly, unpinning two fragmentation grenades, throwing them, and then firing at them as the grenade detonated among their ranks. Since the Brutes didn't have any shields on their armor, they went down first. The Elite's shields took the balk of the blast and died. The shield less Elites turned to fire at Colin, but the rounds he fired hit them first and prevented them from defending themselves.

      Colin reloaded his assault rifle and ran into the bunker. What he saw would even make Arinoth grimace and wince. There were scattered body limbs and organs all over the bloody concreted floor. He saw no movement among the heaps of limbs and this enraged him. He stormed out of the bunker and looked for any Covenant to slaughter.

      Sure enough, two marines with no ammo were pinned down behind a couple of rocks by several Grunts and Jackals. Arinoth did not have a straight line of view to take out the targets, so Colin rushed forward firing quick rounds from his assault rifle. Those that did survive his small assault were beaten to death by him.

      The marines behind the rock looked to each other in confusion but nodded their thanks to Colin's back as he ran back into the battle. The only main threat that was left was a Covenant Wraith Tank positioned near the ridge that the snipers were on. Arinoth had put his sniper rifle away and did his best to flank the Wraith and surrounding Covenant. Colin was already making his way up, engaging those within range of his assault rifle.

      The tank was not focused on Arinoth or Colin, instead targeting two M12 LRVs "Warthogs." The Warthogs had been sent out to do two things; take out the Wraith and mop up the Covenant stragglers. However a single plasma mortar round that struck the ground between the two 'hogs demolishing both of them and sending their occupants to an aerial death.

      Colin was lucky enough to find a single Jackhammer rocket lying near a dead marine. He activated his radio.

      "Covering fire!" Arinoth received this message and burst out of his hiding space, firing his battle rifle at the surrounding Covenant around the tank. As he did this, Colin slammed the Jackhammer rocket home and fired it at the Wraith tank. Arinoth saw the rocket being fired and dove out of the way as it struck the firing turret of the tank causing a massive explosion killing all those who were around it.

      There was a cheer from the defense line as the remaining Covenant forces were falling back, yet the marine defenders charged after them, killing the last of the Covenant assault force.

      Arinoth and Colin both stood on the ridge as their armor was finally able to mirror the environment around them, making them virtually invisible, even when they moved. They ran down to the marines who were all looking for them. Arinoth, then Colin deactivated their camouflage setting on their armor and appeared among the survivors. The marines gasped with shock in surprise.

      "What the fuck?! Where did you come from...sir?" said the same Corporal who had greeted them when they had arrived. Arinoth looked around at them all and communicated to Colin over his radio.

      "Good job Shade, I guess it's finally time to reveal ourselves to the rest of the UNSC forces?" Colin looked at his Captain and nodded. Arinoth looked at the anxious marines and began to explain himself and Lieutenant Thompson.

      "I am Captain Arinoth Kobrynovich, or Captain Koby. My partner here is Lieutenant Colin Thompson, or Lieutenant Shade. We are the Shadow Spartans, a non-government project now under the hands of the UNSC. We are here to remove all Covenant threat from Earth."

By: Agent Shade and Arinoth Koby