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Shadow Spartans, Chatper 4: The Running Prophet
Posted By: Agent Shade and Arinoth Koby<silent_shadow13@hotmail.com, stklego@hotmail.com>
Date: 17 July 2003, 6:19 PM

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~*Authors' note*~

      We had typed in that the name of this chapter would be "Capture Prophet; End Game?" but to be honest, I (Agent Shade) didn't like that title, so we changed it to "The Running Prophet." Enjoy

~*End note*~

      Naval Base Gamma was located in a valley inside a large canyon in the jungles of Brazil. Leading from the valley the base was in, was a large pathway that stretched for a few miles. Near the end, was a valley similar to the valley the naval base was in, however this one was slightly smaller and had pathways branching off from it that lead deeper in the canyon.

      In this specific valley, there was a Covenant Raiding Camp set up. Because of the unlikely attack coming from behind, the Covenant had set up a defence perimeter facing the path that lead to the naval base. It consisted of three lines of four Shade gun turrets, each surrounded by plasma shield barriers. The camp also had a somewhat large compliment of Covenant Ghosts, two Covenant Shadows and a single Covenant Wraith tank. Luckily, because most of the ground troops were used in the last attack on the naval base, the only members of the camp that remained was a division of Covenant Grunts, a few Jackals, two Elites, two Brutes and one Hunter.

      In the middle of the camp, there was a large circular complex that had a single entrance, which was completely sealed. Inside this complex was another ring of defence, which consisted of two Shade turrets, eight cloaked Elite commandos and four Brutes, two of which who manned the turrets. Their purpose was to guard the Covenant Prophet that was overseeing the destruction of the naval base.

      While the camp lay in a subdued silence, approaching it from the main path was a single M12 LRV, its occupants, ready to kill. Arinoth Koby watched the camp appear in the distance, and slowed the Warthog down. In the back, Colin Thompson levelled the 30mm LAAG chain gun at the base, ready to fire. Arinoth shook his head however.

      "Not yet, let's get closer; we won't win this battle just by going kamikaze on them" he said and Colin relaxed his grip on the firing triggers of the gun. Slowly, Arinoth drove the 'Hog closer, then finally stopped and got out.

      "Wait here a second" he said, and then jogged off to the far right side of the path, using the darkness of the night and their armour as protection. Luckily, it wasn't needed. Arinoth unslung his S2 AM sniper rifle and aimed at the defence perimeter the Covenant had set up. He grinned to see that only two Grunts were standing around the Shade gun turrets, eating away at some sort of bio-food. Arinoth targeted the first one's head, and then switched over to the second. He did this a few more times; before he felt satisfied he could pull the two shots off in a matter of milliseconds. He aimed at the first Grunt again and pulled the trigger.

      The 14.5 x 114mm APFSDS round struck the Grunt right in the neck, severing its head from the rest of its body. A fountain of blue methane spewed out of the destroyed neck, and the Grunt toppled over. Already, Arinoth had switched targets and fired again, the exact same results happening to the second Grunt. He grinned, slung his weapon, and then ran back to the 'Hog.

      "Sentries are out, let's park this vehicle, then move in" he said. Colin nodded as Arinoth jumped in again, activated the engine again, then drove the 'Hog into the valley, making sure the engine's noise didn't elevate too much. He found a spot between two huge boulders. He parked it, jumped out, Colin doing the same. The Shadow Spartans climbed the boulder and observed the camp. Arinoth had his sniper rifle out again.

      From what he could see, there were four Shade gun turrets positioned inside the camp, obviously in case the perimeter was breached. Four Grunts were in these Shades, but weren't really paying attention and were chatting with other Grunts nearby. Two Elites were standing around what looked like some sort of communication structure, talking with each other. The two Brutes were nearby, but luckily were asleep, as were the four Jackals around the entrance to the large complex. Other than that, the camp was empty. Arinoth couldn't take out the Grunts, since the others would see their comrades' fall, but he could definitely take out the Elites. He did the same set up as he did the two Grunts, but focused harder, since Elites were harder to take out. Finally, he targeted the red armoured Elite and fired.

      Arinoth grinned as the sniper round smashed right into the Elite's head, blowing open its skull and spilling blood and brains all over its colleague. Before the second Elite had time to react, a second bullet hit it in the shoulder. The Elite groaned and Arinoth cursed, quickly retargeting the Elite and firing again. The Elite let out a roar and fell over, a huge hole in its chest.

      "Oh shit" whispered Colin, levelling his assault rifle. The entire camp was awake now, and looking to where the Shadow Spartans were positioned. Lances of plasma fire, fired from the Shade gun turrets smashed into their position. Arinoth's shields flared as continuous shots hit him. Colin pulled him back and they hide behind the boulder. Arinoth shook his head.

      "My bad" he said and Colin nodded at him.

      "Yeah, your bad" he said, then fired a sustained burst at a Grunt who had wandered towards them. Colin peered at the camp, but quickly retreated as more plasma fire came at him.

      "We aren't going anywhere with those Shade gun turrets. Give me some cover fire, and I can take them out" he said to Arinoth, who nodded and took out his MA7B battle rifle. Colin took out his M19 SSM Jackhammer rocket launcher and signalled to Arinoth that he was ready.

      Arinoth nodded and sprinted away from the boulder, tossing two fragmentation grenades at the Covenant Grunts running at him, and firing random rounds from his battle rifle. The four Shade Gun turrets turned to focus on him, but Colin stepped out from behind the boulder and quickly fired two 102mm rockets at two of the Shade gun turrets. The first turret erupted in a ball of fire and plasma, incinerating the Grunt operating it and also vaporizing two Grunts standing near it. Near the second turret, the Grunts gathered around it squeaked in surprise and attempted to dodge out of the way of the second rocket, but it was no use. The second Shade toppled over in pieces, flattening three Grunts. Colin quickly reloaded, as did Arinoth who was crouched low to avoid the volleys of plasma fired at him. He tossed another frag grenade and watched one of the Brutes rush back to the camp, blood flowing from its wounds.

      Colin was finished reloading, and he quickly took out the last two Shade turrets. Slinging the Jackhammer over his shoulder, he sprinted out of his cover position, firing quickly at several Grunts. Arinoth finished reloading, and then looked to the complex entrance, to see the Jackals moving in.

      "Shade, rendezvous at the entrance to that complex" he said. Colin nodded and tossed a single frag grenade, which exploded among the Jackals moving in on Arinoth. Arinoth stood and rushed towards the camp, firing his battle rifle at the remaining Grunts. Suddenly, as he approached a plasma shield barrier, one of the Brutes charged at Arinoth and was successful in smashing its fist into Arinoth's rib area. The Shadow Spartan grunted in pain, and then turned sharply, delivering a huge blow to the Brute's head with the battle rifle in his hands. Arinoth heard bones crack and he was sure that the Brute's skull had been punctured, but the thing kept coming at him. Arinoth rolled to his left, avoiding another melee swing and crouched near one of the dead Elites he had shot earlier. The Brute turned and roared at Arinoth, who reached beside him and picked up a plasma grenade dropped by one of the Elites. The Brute was still roaring at the Shadow Spartan, when the grenade sailed through the air and landed right on the Brute's foot. The Brute stopped, looked down at it and grunted, kicking his leg out, trying to rid himself of the grenade. It was no use though, the grenade detonated and the Brute disappeared in a shower of blood.

      Colin approached the camp from the right, killing the Grunts running at him. As he reloaded, he tossed a single grenade, killing the last of them, and then moved into the camp. Suddenly, he stopped and listened. He could feel the ground beneath trembling, and he could hear the sound of armour clanking together. His eyes widened.

      "Oh shit" he said. The Covenant equipment box beside him exploded, showering the Spartan with plasma and wreckage. His shield bar dropped incredibly and he fell to one knee. He turned to see a Covenant Hunter rushing at him. Quickly, Colin rolled backwards, doing a backwards summersault. The Hunter's melee battle shield smashed into the ground where Colin had been momentarily ago. He stood and watched the Hunter turn to stare at the Spartan. Even with the armour on, the Hunter still stood taller than Colin by a full head. He gulped and was forced to roll backwards again, avoiding another melee attack. The Hunter roared and charged up its fuel rod gun, but Colin was already moving away from it, loading his Jackhammer. If he was lucky, the Hunter would get lost and confused. The Hunter held back its shot and began searching for its prey. Colin crouched near the wreckage of one of the Shade turrets, finishing his reload. He then stood, Jackhammer ready and moved up the terrain slightly, to sight his target.

      The Hunter had its back to him and was looking from left to right. Colin aimed and fired, then rushed back into the camp. The rocket sailed straight and true, smashing into the Hunter. The huge behemoth roared in pain, but did not fail. Instead, it became even angrier and began running around the base. Colin watched it approach him. He let the Jackhammer cool down, then fire again. The rocket tore right through the torso of the Hunter, shredding it in half. The bottom half of the Hunter stopped moving, while the top half fell to the ground, orange blood pooling around it. Colin grinned, loaded his last Jackhammer round in the chamber and jogged towards the entrance to the complex, where Arinoth stood waiting.

      "Enjoy that little dance with the Brute?" he asked Arinoth, who shook his head.

      "How bout your tango with the Hunter?" he replied, causing Colin to grin as well.

      "We'll call it even then" Colin said. Arinoth nodded then looked at the door.

      "Sealed tight, not even a Jackhammer round could penetrate it" he said. Colin groaned.

      "What are we going to do then?" he asked. Arinoth grinned and turned slightly, staring at the unused Wraith tank near them.

      "Are you armoured certified?" he asked, causing Colin's eyes to widen, then he grinned.

      "Of course" he said, then walked over to the tank, popped open the hatch and jumped in, closing it and activating the systems. The tank came alive and floated above the ground.

      "What am I doing with this thing?" he asked Arinoth.

      "Shoot at the door" Arinoth answered. Colin positioned the tank in front of the door and began looking over the various controls in front of him. He frowned and pressed one switch. The view screen in front of him turned all green and foggy. Colin raised an eyebrow.

      "These guys have night vision?" he whispered to himself. He switched off the vision and began looking for the firing control. He shook his head.

      "Fuck it" he said, then grabbed hold of the controls and revved the engine.

      Arinoth watched as the tank charged at the door. He stepped back, waving his hands.

      "I said shoot the door open, but ram it!" he yelled, but it was too late. The tank smashed right into it, creating a large dent. Colin backed the tank up, and then charged again, making the dent even bigger. He did this several more times before stopping. He grinned and activated his radio.

      "Found the firing control" he said, looking at the red button in the middle of the controls. Arinoth shook his head.

      "Fire away Lieutenant" he said. Colin nodded, pressed the button and hung on tight. The tank rumbled as the firing turret poked its head out of the hatch on the top of the tank and fired. The turret let out a huge ball of plasma energy that sailed into the air for a few seconds before smashing into the door, ripping it open and killing two Brutes and two Elites standing around it inside. Quickly, Colin climbed out of the tank, closing the hatch and rolling to avoid lances of plasma that were fired at him. He took out his Jackhammer and fired the last round in it. The rocket struck the ground in between the two Shade gun turrets, blowing them away from each other and killing the operators and three Elites nearby. The remaining three cloaked Elites moved in on Colin, but Arinoth fired several shots and the commandos dropped dead. Colin looked at his CO.

      "How did you see them?" he asked.

      "Heat vision" he said. (Or was it night vision?)

      Colin nodded, and then motioned to the entrance. Arinoth moved in first, weapon up. Colin trailed behind, covering his six, with his MA5B assault rifle out. The complex wasn't that big. There was a small door that lead into a smaller room which they assumed was inhabited. Colin crouched right in front of the door and Arinoth went to the control mechanism. Colin nodded and Arinoth opened the door.

      Colin slowly moved into the room, Arinoth right behind him. Arinoth gaped at what was in front of them.

      A single Covenant Prophet, sitting in its anti-grav chair floated in the room, bobbing up and down from the air flows that entered the room. It looked at the two Spartans approaching it, and then raised its hand.

      "Hello" it said. Arinoth raised an eyebrow but did not move. He took out the transmitter given to him by General Abraham and pressed it twice, signalling for backup. The Prophet watched Arinoth do this and shook its decorated head.

      "I wouldn't advise that. You see, I have also called for backup, which will get here much faster than your marine forces. I suggest you merely go back to the base you came from and leave me" it said. Arinoth shook his head.

      "I suggest you kiss my ass pal. Now shut up" he growled. The Prophet looked at him.

      "There is no need for that tone Spartan, what I say is true and to be frank, I am saving you from your deaths" he said. Arinoth growled even louder.

      "That's enough!" he shouted. The Prophet grinned.

      "I seem to be annoying you" he said. Beside Arinoth, Colin shook his head.

      "You have no idea" he said. The Prophet chuckled, and then looked over their heads.

      "Ah, my backup is here, farewell Spartans" he said. The Shadow Spartans turned and raised their weapons as two gold armoured Elites walked into the room, plasma swords activated. Behind them, Arinoth could see dozens of other Covenant soldiers, aiming at them. Arinoth shook his head, realizing that capturing the Prophet would be impossible. He looked at Colin and activated a private comm. Link.

      "Let's get out of here" he said. Colin nodded, and the two of them charged forward, weapons blazing. The two field master Elites jumped in surprise as bullets slammed into them. Both Arinoth and Colin slammed their weapons into the Elites, causing them to fall over.

      The Shadow Spartans left the Elites there then charged at the Covenant soldiers gathered around the entrance. It wasn't much, which Arinoth was thankful for. He jumped into the air, crushing a Grunt and slamming his weapon into a Jackal, Colin doing the same. An Elite swung at Colin, but he grabbed the thing's fist and held it back. Arinoth fought around them, killing the others, while Colin and the Elite duelled. It ended up with Colin taking out a Kevlar battle knife and sticking it right into the Elite's throat. He left it there and sprinted away, Arinoth right behind him, firing rounds from his pistol. As they rushed to their Warthog, Arinoth could see the Prophet being escorted out and into the dropships that awaited them. Another batch of Covenant soldiers were out and firing at the Shadow Spartans.

      As the two humans fell back, their marine forces appeared on the main pathway. The two M808B Scorpion tanks leading the way fired, their 90mm explosive shells drilling into the Covenant position. Body parts flew into the air, causing the Elites to pick up their pace and they literally threw the Prophet into the dropship. The Elites jumped in as well, calling what remained of their troops to them. However, the marine forces moved in fast, firing their weapons. The Elites told the pilot to take off, which it did and the two dropships soared into the air, disappearing into the night sky. The Covenant that had been left behind was finished off quickly, thanks to the added firepower by the Spartans who had appeared out of their cover position. Arinoth watched the dropship disappear and extended his middle finger at it.

      "Next time, your ass is mine"

BY: Agent Shade and Arinoth Koby