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Third Marines in Harvest: Chapter four- The woods again
Posted By: Andres<andres_vera2000@yahoo.com>
Date: 18 January 2005, 9:54 AM

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UNSC Colony Dijon.
Galilee Continent.
Forward Operations Base Juliet.
1st Battalion, 3rd Marines Command Control Post.

Colonel Dan Harley had to hand it for the engineers; the Marines teased them every time they cloud, even if they were part of the Corps. The regular combat Marines or Eleven Bravos (Infantry) called them "geeks" or "Chickens" or simply "Sea Bitches". They sure knew how to build their bases, out of scratch they constructed a large fort, witch cloud house over ten thousand troops and cloud support operations for a full regiment. The lights of the briefing room are out, its show time.

       He walked to the podium, every officer of Third Marines, from battalion commanders to platoon leaders were sitting in chairs in the large room. "All right people, we've made our first contact in these woods. They are only ten clicks from the target, the city of Lion designated Objective Foxtrot. Today we are going to launch operation phase one or OPI. In these woods is where the Marines from A Company have engaged the Covenant, I regret to inform you that we suffered our first casualty, Gunnery Sergeant Gus Anders, first Sergeant of Alpha Coy. Once we take the woods we can take this highway here -he signaled a normal sized forest on the digital screen, the forest however was not even near the highway in tactical terms- we can bring Two-Seven Cavalry and assault the city."

       "We have divided the area of operations surrounding Lyon in four sectors surrounding the city. First Battalion has the South western one, Second the North western one and so on. 3rd Marines has to take the city, while the rest of the division secures the rest of the continent, it's not a large one, only ten thousand kilometers in diameter. The rest of the Marine Expeditionary Unit will take the other continents, named Golan and Eurasia. The largest covenant presence on the planet is here as far as Office of Naval Intelligence knows. The Fleet has given us a frigate for support, if you need to blow something to hell simply call them, it's the UNSC Ripper. So look sharp." Dan Harley sat in his chair as a member of ONI took the stand.

       "ONI has something to show you- said Lieutenant junior grade Alan Smith as he pressed a button in a remote control in his hand; the officers immediately recognized what was showing, a helmet camera displaying a recent operation- this Video was recovered from the helmet of the Commanding Officer of one-four-three Drop Jet Platoon, First Special Forces Group (Space Entry Capable), From first Marine Expeditionary Unit." He hit "play" in the remote control, the video in motion now.

       UNSC Marine Captain Steve P. Burns III, serial number 158762345-Oscar Delta Sierra Tango

       The video started as soon as the door of the Human Entry Vehicle popped. The captain walked out, his Thermal Imager System, dust filling the air from the impact of the HEVs, thirty Helljumpers clearing the area. Every squad clearing a part of the perimeter around the thirty canisters, once every squad leader gave thumbs up a sergeant approached.

       "Sir, area secured." Said a Senior Chief Petty Officer whose name tag said Nakata.

       "Thanks chief, place motion sensors in a circular perimeter, one hundred mikes radius." Ordered the Captain as he opened his personal computer unit.

       The video fast forwarded seven minutes, changing camera users.

       UNSC Navy Ensign Hans Stran Svelonks, serial number 1632147845-Oscar Delta Sierra Tango

       The video showed what a squad leader was looking at, eight Helljumpers placing motion trackers under rocks, under leaves and sticking them into trees.

       "Corporal Everton, lotus mine, aiming to 256." ordered the Ensign.

       "Roger that sir." replied the corporal.

       The Corporal grabbed one lotus mine from his back pack setting it gently on the ground, pulling the pin from the mine.

       "Sir, motion trackers show movement, ten o' clock." said a private standing next to him.

       The ensign then moved his arm aiming into the bearing of the movement, then rising his fist and lowering his elbow, then circling his finger in a circle, the squad set up in an Z ambush formation into the source of the movement.

       "Twenty meters sir." informed the private.

       "Men, don't engage, only if I order it so." informed the Ensign.

       "Fifteen mikes"


       "Worgh, hahahaha" Said a deep voice. Like a monster.

       "Sir, no visual contact, we should see it by now." The Private with the motion tracker sensor whispered at the Ensign the stress on his voice noticeable for everyone in the Squad and the briefing room, private tightened the grip on his rifle.

       The Ensign scanned the front, where the movement apparently came form, nothing to be seen, grave yard quiet. He turned on his thermal imager. Spotting anything except a tiny dot hovering in the air. "Lets pull-" an energy blade appeared only ten meters from the squad, just by the green dot, it then moved with super natural speed heading into a Marine in perimeter guard the blow of the sword making the Marine fly away, the body landing over the ensign.

       The Marines opened up on the sword, an energy shield appeared, sparkles of electricity showing. Then a bolts of blue plasma appeared from the right flank.

       "Suppressive fire, retreat!" The Camera of the ensign turned black.

       The camera then turned back to the CO of the Helljumpers.

       It showed a Helljumper retreating to the drop zone, filled with blood dragging the body of the Ensign of the squad that had just been brutalized, the captain recognized him immediately.

       "Everton, what the hell happened?" The corporal the collapsed from the battle stress. The last thing the video showed were streaks of blue plasma heading into the drop zone.

       The screen then turned into the map. Whispers of shock audible in the room from every officer.

       A captain stood in the room.

       "Captain Muller, CO, Alpha Company. Sir this woods has no tactical value, why are we attacking it. And what the hell is that?"

       "This came straight from ONI. General Dukakis already approved it, that's all you need now, expect a milk run, estimated guesses from ONI says that this ghosts are in limited number since none of them attacked the squad that retrieved the memory chips."

UNSC Colony Dijon.
Galilee Continent.
FOB Juliet.
Marine Temple

"Ten hut!" The Marines snapped into attention, all staring at the rifle with the helmet in its butt stock. The dog tags of sergeant Gus Anders hung from the trigger, bent and showered in blood for the shock of the Covenant vehicle.

       "Lord we hereby release the body of Gunnery Sergeant Gustav Homer Anders, United Nations Space Command Marine Corps." Said the Chaplain as he read from the Marine Field Manual of Mortuary Procedures, he closed the book, now speaking his mind. "His soul remains with the Marines, oh, dear lord, for that he will live forever".

       "Present!" ordered Sergeant First Class Daniel Brown.

       "Present!" the Platoon commanders repeated the command.

       "Arms!" Sergeant First Class Daniel Brown, the new company first sergeant commanded as he saluted him self. The Company saluted, taps followed, tears in some of the Marines eyes. In the last place of the line of 1-1 (First Squad-First Platoon) stood Private First Class David F. Bradley, he who had carried the body of the sergeant to the morgue.

       "Order!" The platoon commanders repeated the commands.

       "Arms!" The company stood now at attention.

       "Parade!" the platoon commanders repeated.

       "Rest!" The company placed their hands in their backs.

       "At ease!" Brown said as he relaxed.

       Lieutenant Colonel Peyton West, commander of First Battalion, moved in front of the monument, saluted then turned around, staring at the Company. "Marines, you'll be the first to face the Echo Tangos head on, you will lead first battalion into battle. First Battalion will move into the ridge overlooking the forest designated Objective Reach. The forest it self designated Objective Peach and the opposite side of the forest designated Objective Block. Task Force Sport consisting of Alpha, Bravo, Foxtrot, Mike, Lima and Sierra companies together with A Troop, First Light Armored Recon Battalion will be responsible for the ground assault, Helljumpers will hit the opposite side of the forest in blocking party. Alpha Company will move in the emfevs (MFV or Marine Fighting Vehicle) with the support of eight tanks and will secure the edge of the forest. The rest of Task Force Sport will deploy there and press into the forest and secure it."

       "Marine, lets make Echo Tango ass burn for this!" Said Private Albert Thomas, the Officers didn't reprehend him for that action, they just nodded. A casualty may be acceptable for the brass, but not for the Marines in the field. "Marines, pay your last respects, briefing in five minutes in Motor Pool Dismissed."

       The Marines walked to the monument, paid their respects and retreated, Bradley stood with out moving, hatred burning inside him. He will make the Covenant pay for this.

UNSC Colony Dijon.
Galilee Continent.
FOB Juliet.
Motor Pool of First Light Armored Recon.

       The platoon had gathered in the motor pool with the rest of the company. Bradley rallied gathered with the rest of his squad, corporal Perry leading, de Fort assistant squad leader, Juliet, Ford, Cruz, Thomas, Monique, Hans, Smith, Lin, Sidney and Bradley, they were around a MFV (Marine Fighting Vehicle), a heavily armed APC, it had a 40mm chain gun a Jackhammer launcher a .50 cal and a AGL-25, a 60mm automatic grenade launcher.

       "All right guys. We are going inside the woods where we made contact. We estimate that a ton of shit is there. We are goanna blow it up" Said Lieutenant Miller.

       It was weird that he talked like this, like an average Marine, he was after all a Quantico Military Academy graduated from Earth, a full gentleman in every situation. The last fire fight must have relaxed him a bit.

       "We will move supporting second platoon, the Tanks will march ahead. Second platoon will move in the emfevs behind the tanks and secure the edge of the forest, we will the link up, unload from the MFV and Warthogs and press inside the woods."

       "Sir, can I go with second?" asked Cruz, eager to fight. The Lieutenant didn't even pay attention.

       "First and second squads will go in the emfevs, third and fourth will go in our own warthogs. They told us to expect a milk run; I will get you through this. If I get killed you follow Lieutenant Walsh, he will protect you."

UNSC Colony Dijon.
Galilee Continent.
Task Force Sport.
Heading for Objective Peaches.

       The sixty six ton M-888B Scorpion Main Battle tank rode through the fields of a not yet battle, marching in a tight formation with seven more tanks. Corporal Jason Rains eased on his chair, his two hands on the joysticks to the sides of his large chair. His right joystick manned the turret; the other the tracks of the tanks, three digital screens showed what surrounded him, the five cameras aiming at each side, including the sky. Jason came from a military family; he was born on a Space Assault Vessel, living there for most of his childhood, joining the Marines just as he family had done for fifteen generations, serving proudly every minute of his career.

       "Objective in front of us, no contact." Reported the third in command of the Regiment, leader of the task force sports armored component. "Roger A-3, A-8 has no contact. Over" reported Rains as he lowered the Gunner Primary Sight over his head. "A-3 to colt, no contact. Report"

       "HQ this is Colt - the codename for A Company- objective Reach secured, no contact made, moving to objective Peach." Marines cloud hear Captain Karl Muller through the comm. Network.

       A Troop tanks marched ahead of them. First Platoon was in second echelon of the Task Force, they were ferried to the target by one MFVs and five trucks. Bradley sitting just by the door in the rear of the vehicle, when the Marines will exit when the fight begins. They were inside cramped in a tin can, behind them were six trucks and ten Warthogs carrying the rest of the company. After twenty minutes they crossed the wreckage of the Warthog were sergeant Anders had died. The remnants of the covenant vehicles however were missing, ONI must have grabbed them.

       Objective Peach was the forest witch was only three clicks away now.

       "Lock and load A Company, we are going in hot." The captain informed over the radio.

       "You now, we are making history here." said a random Marine on the front the vehicle.

       "Yea today is the day Albert Thomas will release his rage on the Aliens! Mark my words Marines, this day will go through history!" Said Thomas.

       "Shut up!" Said almost every man in the company.

       "Let's hope we live to tell it." Bradley said.

       "You are wrong Marine! -said Sergeant Brown- its not that we may live to tell it, it's that they don't live to tell it to their little shits at home!"

       "Hurrah!" said the Marines at unison, the nervousness and excitement of the Marines cloud be sensed in the whole troop compartment. Most of them had their faces painted in randomized green and black colors, their rifles written with offensive comments to the covenant.

       "A-3 -that's the leader of the tanks escorting the Marines- to Colt, no contact on the ridge. Forest is two clicks away". That's good Bradley thought, Dominique, Thomas and him were the only ones with combat experience, they were a little relaxed, the rest of the Marines were all tense as almost every one of them with their eyes closed, whispering words in prayer or simply remembering their loved ones. Bradley remembered the moment when his friend Sergeant Anders had died, how the covenant tried to ram their vehicles into them, how the sergeant had saved his life; he felt a cold hand grab him by the neck, shaking him from side to side.

       "Wake up you pussy, its almost go time!" Thomas was looking at him, with his always funny face, every Marine in the large two row compartment looked at them, the twenty four Marines watched through a screen inside the MFV how the things were going outside, the woods seemed quiet enough, at least from this distance.

       "You like this don't you Thomas?" Asked Corporal Henry Walt from second squad.

       "How can you not? Good rifles, good friends -he said as he hugged Bradley- and the chance to get revenge for the millions dead at Harvest, I love this chance to serve the UNSC and Humanity. This what I've trained for and I'm loving every minute of it." Thomas was full of pride as he said these words. "Hurrah." Said softly the Marines around him.

       "Crap Albert, the shit hasn't even started." Bradley said to him, looking directly at his eyes.

       "Yes it did, a few million are already gone. That's enough shit for me." Bradley looked away from him, staring at the screen.

       The woods seemed peace full, one and a half kilometer away. It all changed real fast.

       A green ball of plasma appeared in the edge of the forest, then three, then six, then nine. The plasma balls slowly increased dimensions, eventually turning into green bolts, they streaked into the marine vehicles, faster than a jackhammer missile, in a heart bit two tanks got directs hits.

       "A-3 to A Troop, sound off!" Rains pressed the button on his right Joystick the tank fired its 90mm cannon into the woods.
HEIC (Heavy Explosive Incendiary Core), the 90mm incendiary rounds from the tanks were perfect for this kind of situation, napalm was contained in a synthetic rubber capsule in the center of the shell, once it impacts the ground the shell penetrates little the earth, the explosion of the HE warhead propelled the capsule out, detonating and sending napalm in every direction. The green plasma even though it did not penetrate right then it slowly burned through the armor, it passed through the hull entering the turret basket.

       "A-7 to A-3 temperature rising, its going to blow. Bailing out!" Rains looked at his buddy's tank, the green plasma even though it did not penetrate right then it slowly burned through the armor, it passed through the hull entering the turret basket. The Private in the tank jumped out, he collapsed from the heat.

       "A-9 to A-3 we are igniting the sprinklers. Well try to save it." Reported the crew of the second damaged tank.

       In response for the Tank fire, all kind of enemy fire erupted, needles, blue and green plasma including this heavy kind that hit the tanks.

       Rains selected HE from the panel in front of his chair. Once the green light appeared he pressed the button again. The Heavy Explosive shell detonated in the woods, sending a Jackal out of the forest.

       "Marines, deploy." Ordered the MFV vehicle commander.

       Bradley was right next to the exit, as soon door opened on the rear of the vehicle Bradley jumped out of the vehicle then ran three meters next to the MFV dropping to the ground. The crew of the vehicle unleashed its fire power on the woods to cover the Marines, the 60mm grenades and its 50mm chain gun. Juliet followed shortly after, deploying next to him, she got his AR5B, (Automatic Rifle 5) a support weapon for the squad and opened up on the woods, aiming through his ARAG (Automatic Rifle Advanced Gun sight), shooting a wall of led randomly into the woods. Bradley joined him setting the butt of the rifle on his shoulder, placing the ACOG slightly in front of his right eye, then removing the safety button by the trigger, he scanned the edge of the woods, the fumes of the spent propellant clouded the battle field, he switched to thermal imager, gray and white from the Marines and vehicle figures appeared on his scope. He spotted a tiny dot three hundred meters away by the tree line, he clicked on the sight magnification button, the glasses inside the sight rotated automatically generating a x4 image, he saw the outline of a little grunt holding what looked like a bazooka exposing it's upper half over a rock, he pulled the trigger three bullets leaving the muzzle, traveling at fifteen thousand feet, slamming into the creatures head, it lost its balance and dropped. Bradley swung his head around, looking into the MFVs direction; the platoon was already deployed, the vehicle was advancing slowly forward, all its fire power ahead. He scanned ahead, second platoon was busy maneuvering behind the advancing tanks, they all took cover behind something, and when they couldn't they zigzagged, of the Marines was distracted for a second by the spectacle surrounding him, in return he got 30 needles in his body, he exploded filling the ground with blood and guts.

       "Thomas, were are you?" Bradley asked as he ceased fire to look for Thomas.

       "Almost kissing your ass."

       He turned around; Thomas was behind him in a prone position, covering his head as Bradley should be doing. "Do you see any covenant?"


       "Why do you always kiss his ass? Some times I can't make the difference between you and him, you go so deep sometimes." Said Perry as he fired his rifle with his head turned, a dangerous thing to do.

       "Second platoon, forward fifty. First right behind, move now." Ordered Captain Muller over the comm. Network.

       The Marines knelt, walking forward slowly. The plasma fire kept coming in as if the Marines were landing on Omaha Beach. Bradley scanned the surroundings; at least twenty marines were gone already, their bodies lying on the ground, forty were wounded at some extent or another, the medics franticly running around trying to assist them. The tanks were trying to suppress the incoming fire; they couldn't do anything to diminish the fire even when shooting thirty rounds a minute each. The Marines of second platoon advanced in the open field, attempting to keep up with the tanks for cover, plasma raining over them, slowly dismissing their number by ten. The Tanks stopped cold, still shooting giving the chance for the Marines to catch up. Once the Marines reached the tanks position the plasma fire stopped. First platoon held its position, twenty meters behind the tanks and second platoon, who now stood behind the tanks. The Marines of second platoon were looking at each other, behind the cover of the tanks, expecting an ambush in a few seconds.

       Lieutenant Miller moved his arm forward, signaling his Marines to advance, Bradley now stood, walking forward, keeping low until they reached the tanks and second platoon, taking cover behind the sixty six ton vehicles.

       "Dear god, we are sitting ducks here." Said a random Marine from Second platoon.

       "What now?" Asked Corporal Perry.

       "You know, the Covenant may not be bad, they just need love." Said Daniel, a private from second platoon with a peace sing on his helmet. "Lets give them love!" He said out loud, almost the whole company looking at him. "I'll take the whole Covenant in my bed right fucking now!" He screamed as he stood in the open. Poor sucker thought Bradley. A streak of blue beams that came out of the forest hit him in the stomach, he collapsed to the ground.

       "No buddy move!" Ordered the Officers. Both platoons stood cold, Daniel holding his opened stomach. "We have orders not to engage, don't move." Said coldly Lieutenant John Miller as he watched the Marine grab his stomach, crying for help.

       A warthog appeared between the MFVs that were now twenty meters behind, then joined the tanks position, Captain Muller was onboard, a corporal who was the target of most of the jokes in the company unloaded with him, he had thick glasses, short blond hair, his name was Lance Corporal Carl Finch. The Captain crawled behind the tank leader, calling both platoon commanders. The woods were only two hundred meters away now.

       "Dam, not bad for an hours work. Lets get ready to move. Second platoon stand fast. First platoon move forward." Ordered captain Muller over the comm.

       Lieutenant Miller and Potter crawled to where the CO was, kneeling next to him. "Potter, we need to get to the edge of the woods, out in the open we are sitting ducks, makes me wonder why they ceased to engage. Move your platoon till you reach the edge, create a line, I'll send first and third right behind your men. Once we enter the woods I'll call for Bravo company to move. Fourth platoon is ready for backup, if you need them call them."

       "Second platoon get ready to advance, set the goggles on." Lieutenant Miller said gently over the comm.

       Bradley reached into his combat bag that hung by his harness, he grabbed the MFG-3 (Multi Function Goggles) and set it on the rail on the front of the helmet, he lowered it until they were in front of his eyes, switching to thermal imager.

       "First squad, move forward, scouts formation. Second platoon, get ready to follow." Lieutenant Potter ordered as he ran to his lead element.

       Captain Muller turned around and opened a little hatch in the rear of the tank, revealing an intercom, pressing the button enabling him to talk with the tank leader. "Major, roll your tanks forward with second platoon. I need you to cover them, I'll have every thing I can with you." he told the CO of the tanks, Major Steve Calloway.

       First squad of second platoon walked forward with the tanks moving shortly after them, after the squad walked ten meters the rest of second platoon followed walking right behind the cover of the tanks. After they were twenty meters ahead of Captain Muller ordered. "First platoon, move."

       First platoon marched slowly right behind the tanks and second, Bradley was in the first line, his rifle at the ready, right behind second platoon.

       "Wort, Wort, Wort!" Bradley turned his face to Thomas, they both looked at each other, each face showing a glimpse of fear as they both recognized that voice, it was that of the human like covenant. After the screams of the beasts all kind of enemy fire appeared from the woods, together with the incoming fire two hundred grunts charged out of the woods, a bad mistake, they walked right into the kill zone of A Company. First squad of second platoon was gone in a matter of seconds by the enemy fire, only one survivor that took a charge of plasma in the shoulder crawled to the tanks, as a reflex Bradley was on the ground right after the first shots.

       "Suppressive fire!" Ordered Captain Muller over the radio. The Marines opened fire in full auto mode, with no natural cover A Company was exposed in the open, the covenant taking advantage of it, killing twenty more Marines, including Sidney from Bradley's squad, yet the Marines stood fearlessly in the open shooting a the horde of grunts, killing over one hundred of them with the help of the tanks yet two hundred more appeared.

Lyon Woods
Unknown Human system, Unknown Planet

Pride Legion, Covenant Courage Army assigned to the Solemn fleet.
Command Post of First Echelon

Hunser Goldhareds, Commander of the Legion of Pride ordered to protect the shuttle of his Holiness Anger his holiness him self, one the Ranking Shanglei in the Covenant. He watched the hologram displaying his forces. The tenacity of the Humans surprised his fleet; his battleship was attacked and destroyed, his holiness dragged into this infested planet. He would make the human filth pay for this sacrilege.

       "Hons Rowdash, my dear brother, how are the grunts faring in this battle?" He asked his second in command, an elite in scarlet armor.

       "My grateful leader, the grunts are charging hopelessly into a wall of fire, we need more to break it, pardon my insolence your greatness." Even though they were both wearing golden armor the distinctive marks of leadership in Hunser Goldharedds body, printed by the Prophets them selves were a sing of leadership and most of all honor.

       "It's not your fault my old friend. I can't understand why we can't beat them. If I'm correctly Humaed Shieldesrt is in charge of that Horde of Grunts?" Asked Hunser as he thought as he thoroughly watched the battle in the hologram.

       "Indeed my brother in arms. A young brave Elite, his rank is Gold-1, fresh out of the Training Convent. I botch for him." Said Hons as he bowed in front of his superior.

       "You tell that fool that if he doesn't charge the humans I will fill the chamber of his Holiness rage with his insides. Get the Hunters ready, I will lead them my self."

       Of the original two hundred creatures that charged out of the woods, only twenty remained, yet reinforced by three hundred more they charged like a Mongol horde, fearlessly in spite the wall of led that lay in front of them. Now that cloud be a good picture Bradley thought as he fired into the carpeted ground, one hundred more grunts poured out, screaming and screeching.

       The tanks turned their turrets slowly down, training them into the center of the covenant. The rounds hit the center of the onslaught of grunts, releasing their deadly fire, the napalm of the incendiary rounds setting fire on some of the grunts, the creatures running in panic attempting to extinguish the fire or rolling into the ground, witch cloud not be done. In spite this awful shelling from the tanks, the horde kept getting closer.

       Lieutenant Colonel West was in his command trailer, as reports came from the battle. His forward element, A Company, was at seventy percent nominal strength, being charged by a deadly enemy who apparently is willing to die for this cause. His two support companies, Bravo and Fox were still stranded behind the Marines. The plan called for Bravo Company to support Alpha company in the assault, this plan was failing.

       "HQ, Colt here, incoming enemy fire -the captain paused as the plasma fire hit next him- I already have fifty men down, requesting fire mission, over". Screamed the Captain Muller into the radio.

       West looked into the map. Alpha company getting attacked by superior numbers, they had to be reinforced; he grabbed the radio set in the table where the map was displayed. "Trojan to Bull, roll forward and assist Colt." Right next to the command post were the self propelled howitzers of First Field Artillery Battery of 230mm. "Colt, Trojan here. Contact fire team London, I already dispatched Bravo Coy for support." In the display the blue dots representing Bravo Company started to move forward-

       "A-3 to Colt! Enemy danger close, we can't depress our turrets more! Call in for AT or they are going to do us!" Reported Major Calloway as the grunts over ran their formation, passing the tanks in a number of twenty.

       Captain Karl Muller stood in the open, fearlessly staring at his battlefield; he was running out of options. His HHC section was entirely engaged, his company was spread thin, and there were two options. First tactical or best said frantic retreat or the bad option, he had to drop AT in the green zone. He grabbed Finch who was in the ground shooting his weapon fanatically into the covenant. "Son, you call AT in the taboo zone, and do it fast!" Finch got to it right away, calculating the right range on his battle field computer. "London this is Colt, requesting fire mission. Five rounds ICM, one-niner-four-three-six-seven, taboo zone! Fire for effect. Over"

       "Oh my go- all right Marines, One-niner-four-three-six-seven fire for effect, I repeat fire for effect on taboo zone. London out." Said a sergeant over the radio.

       "Colt here, net call. Every one brace for Alpha Tango on the taboo zone. Out."

       "Eat shit you covenant puke!" Bradley emptied a whole magazine on the nearby grunt, only five meters away. The twenty grunts that had passed the tanks were now all gone. David Bradley moved to a dead Marine and pulled a magazine from his belt, reloading the rifle, instantly shooting again.

       The main thrust of the enemy was less now a bare dive meters in front of the armor. The Canon and .50 cal fire from the tanks had little effect on the onslaught, who passed them like they were not even their, charging for the Marines. The grunts were used as meat for the grinder, there was the best part of three hundred dead in front of the Marines. At long range they were easy an easy kill, at close range they were showing their tenacity. A tank got at least twenty plasma grenades stuck on him on every side.

       Corporal Jason Rains watched hopelessly as his wingmen blew up, the armor slowly diminished by the plasma grenades. There were no options, they were to die in this ground. Every moment on his life flashed in front of him as he pressed the trigger and the firing button for the coax and the cannon, he remembered when his dad, his grandpa and he watched the old Cavalry movies from the third world war, as the tanks fought each other, firing their guns in a hopeless fight that would end this fifty one flags nation. He remembered how they changed the battle by going to the offense- Got it he thought. He yanked the drivers joystick forward, accelerating into the grunts. Stepping over them like glass with thick shoes. "A-8 to A-3, I'm rolling forward, hurrah!" Every tank that cloud move followed him.

Bradley watched as the remaining four tanks advanced over the grunts.
       "I've seen this in the movies, we are the Yankee cavalry wasting the Indians" said Ford as he uncontrollably fired his M-13A6 6.8mm designated marksman rifle, the odd thing was that he fire it like it was a sub machine gun.

       "Them I'm freaking John Wayne!" Said squad leader Perry as he pulled the pin out of a grenade.

       Bradley reloaded another clip, immediately putting the butt stock on his shoulder, pulling the trigger firing sixty rounds in four seconds. Killing a grunt and wounding other a bare five feet from him. "Marines hold position, let the tanks roll over them!" Sad Finch over the radio.

       "By the edge of the woods, ten mean looking creatures." Called second Lieutenant Brandon Walsh, the Officer Candidate Course graduate, a former corporal, executive officer of the platoon.

       The human looking creatures stood in the edge of the forest, challenging the Marines with their bravery, seven of them wearing scarlet armor, two of them black and one of them was wearing a shiny golden armor, they were in Bradley's opinion the elite of the covenant. The golden one opened an energy sword, screamed something that even with the hell of explosion sounded loud, then signaled to the Marines formation and yielded what to the ears of the Marines seemed like a pain scream, too loud and raw to be an order, the Elites however charged formation, the tanks swung their turrets away from the grunts aiming into the elites who were hard to kill, they moved from side to side, faster than any human.

       "I call blondy." Said Corporal Perry referring to the golden one.

       The tanks killed three of the scarlet elites, yet the speed of the others was too much, they reached the pile of the dead grunts, something they did in a fraction of a minute, the scarlet and the blacks jumped over the hill of carcasses twenty meters away from the Marines, landed in front of the tanks, the Gold one landed right in the middle of the formation. Bradley turned around and aimed into it, shooting three rounds, the shields deflecting them. The Marines now opened fire on it, hundreds of bullets gazing in every direction, the elite however was hard aim at, and in the cross fire some Marines shoot their buddies raising the body count for A Company.

       "Watch the cross fire! Take it out!" Ordered Captain Muller as he fired his own rifle at the beast.

       The elite raced to a couple of Marines firing their weapons rifles at him, with a single move he cut them both, he then grabbed a blue ball pressed a button in it turning into a blue flaming sphere, he threw it into a medic that was assisting a wounded marine, the grenade stuck on the medic, the medic turned around to look what was burning him moving his hands to his back, he saw nothing as the grenade was in a blind spot in his back, the sticker exploded in his back, killing him and the Marine he was aiding, wounding some of the Marines next to him leaving them in a critical state. Fury filled every inch of David Bradley's body, him and every Marine in the area shot irregardless of the cross fire, shooting in full auto at the beast, the Marines managed to train on the target after a thousand bullets. The kinetic energy from the Marine fire coming in from all directions made it impossible for it to move, it was like it was taking a beating from all sides, its shields eventually disappeared, electricity rays appeared around the Elite, subsequently the best part of one hundred bullets hit its body. It was dead before its knees hit the ground.

       Bradley immediately turned around to see four more elites coming in, at close range, they opened up.

       "Loading." He knelt grabbing a magazine from his belt. A nearby grunt that somehow escaped his eyes aimed its plasma pistol at him, a green ball forming in the muzzle, he had only two options, try to reload his rifle fast enough and try to shoot the beast, or charge into it. He threw the clip into the beast, the magazine hitting the head of the Grunt, making the shoot of plasma go into the sky, he then grabbed the rifle by the barrel, ran towards the panicked little beast, making a golf swing, breaking the scull of the Grunt. He grabbed another magazine, reloaded and scanned for targets, two hundred grunts coming in, he didn't pay attention to them, he was looking for elites, found one, shooting at Marines from fourth platoon who were running in the open to reinforce the battered Marines, he aimed like he was trained to do, both eyes open, one centered on the sight, he aimed to the scarlet elite that has it's mouth opened, laughing as he killed Marines, automatic fire left the muzzle of Bradley's rifle, hitting the shield, this shields although were weaker than the golden ones were hard to diminish, his fire together with three more of the Marines killed the monster on the spot, the dead Marines from fourth platoon were avenged. After the cheers from the Marines who killed the incoming elite a distinctive sound was audible for all to hear, incoming artillery, and the grunts kept coming in, beautiful.

       "Incoming, drop to the ground!" Shouted nearly all Marines.

       The ICM (improved conventional munitions) has a proximity fuse, laser determines the range with was set to discharge the bomblets, the hundred bomblets discharging from the shell, detonating over or in the ground it self. The hundreds grunts that were climbing the dead carcasses of their comrades had no chance. One hundred of them were dead in a matter of seconds, the waves of covenant being decimated by the bomblets. Bradley was on the ground blocking his ears as the fire rocked the ground. The Marines slowly stood up, the discharges of artillery having a stunning effect on them.

       The fire ceased as there were no targets, some of the Marines then aided the wounded comrades and some kept perimeter security.

       "You now, it's weird that the birds weren't here, right Thomas." Bradley said.

       "You are right, you now its official hunting season for birds here!" Said Thomas attempting to relax the Marines.

       I don't know why I said that Bradley thought, as the bipeds arrived shortly after, with their energy shields held up front, like an ancient Greek hoplite. Behind them grunts with their "bazookas" appeared, shooting twenty rounds into the Marines. Before the Marines cloud react twenty plasma shells streaked into them. Bradley went prone, placing his hands over his head, the plasma shells hit the formation, only the Marines that ducked fast enough survived. One landed right next to Bradley shocking him, blisters filling all his body, the pain being to heavy to bear, he turned around looking at the sky, the temperature slowly diminishing.

       He thought he was dead, he couldn't hear anything, just the beautiful ski, He realized he was alive when he saw... SkyHawks! There dozens of them appeared overhead, the attack jets fired their Blade rockets into the woods, together with the 56mm fire from their guns ripping apart the Jackals and the Grunts. The Covenant that survived panicked and fled; only a few brave jackals remained, Marine snipers, tank fire and support fire from the SkyHawks finished the Covenant of.

       The Pelicans that were supposed to drop the other companies on the other side of the woods to block the covenant appeared, at least twenty of them. Large red plasma started to fly through the woods targeting the Pelicans, one of them took a hit in the forward fan, losing control and crashing in the woods. Bradley stood, dizzy by the shock wave, he stared at the woods as the Blades and Jackhammers from the jets and pelicans hit the forest, he lost it out of his sight once that crossed over the tree line, he wondered what will happened-

       "Snap out of it Marine, lets get this fucks, charge into the woods!" Said captain Muller as he passed him by the side. The remaining two Scorpion tanks were already charging forward, opening holes in the mountains of dead.

       The Marines advanced through the field of wreckage and dead, the medics attended the Marines that were wounded, if one cloud not survive the medics would pop morphine into their veins, in the lack of it they would put a little tube in their nose releasing a deadly gas, giving them a painless dead. Bradley remembered the woods, once it was thick and beautiful; it was now a bunch of dead covenant and burnt or burning trees. The Marines charged the woods, once inside they scanned for targets, they spotted the retreating Covenant. The grunts ran with no tactical form of retreat, throwing their rifles away, some of the Jackals had their shields covering their backs. They Marines opened up on them, the grunts were slow easy targets, the Jackals leaving them behind, the grunts stood no chance.

       "Clear the edge of the forest, check the enemy to see if there are survivors. Don't kill them if they are alive, we need some Intel on this folk. Sergeant Brown, report." Captain Muller said, he hung his rifle.

       The sergeant walked to him and whispered to his ear so that the Marines couldn't hear. "Fifty six are dead, sixty five are wounded. That leave us with seventy nine able bodies, some of the wounded might come and fight."

       The Marines started the post battle drills, checking the dead Covenant for weapons and equipment, after ten minutes of post battle drills they regrouped. Bradley rallied with what remained of the squad in a shell hole. Thomas was still here, Dominique wasn't anywhere to be seen, de Fort, Perry, Ford and Cruz, Juliet and Ford were by the medic, getting patched up. Bradley wondered where Emma Dominique was, she might be wounded, he cleared his mind, and then focused.

       "Dam, I didn't get blondy. What did you guys get?" Perry asked as he sat, removing his helmet.

       "Don't know, too many variables." Said Ford as he returned with a patch on his shoulder. Sitting down in a rock.

       "Variables my ass! I killed about one hundred of them." Said de Fort.

       "And what happened when you fell from your bed you poor ass wet dreamer" said Cruz, cleaning his rifle.

       "Shut up! I'm getting a Medal." de Fort replied.

       "Yea? well I'm getting bored of your cockfight" said a gentle female voice.

       Emma Dominique stood there with one of her eyes patched, she was holding her rifle with her right hand. She sat on a dead grunt next to Thomas.

       "So, is this it?" Asked Perry. Looking around, seeing seventy men and woman regroup and refit, finding holes to sit on.

       "Why are we here any way, this forest has no tactical value." Asked Thomas, attempting to look smart, he of course failed.

       Bradley thought that this forest was just attacked because the Covenant was seen here, they were really making a stand here, this fight was more than tactical, it was an strategic one if things remained as they were.

       "Net Call, Net Call, all Colt units we are moving out." Said the voice of Finch on the radio. A company had lost more than half of its men so far, and they haven't even begin the attack on the center of the woods.

       "Roger that geek!" said Perry over the comm. set on his shoulder, grabbing his helmet and placing it over his head.

       "You guys 1-1 from A Company." Said a thick voice, a black men, large and muscular with a plasma burn on his face.

       "Yea who are you?" Asked Perry as he stood up.

       "I'm Corporal Arthur Woods, from 1-2 -first squad, second platoon- I'm the only survivor, I'm going to stick in with you guys." Said as he sat down on the ground, placing his rifle over his crossed legs.

       "Fine, but I'm still in charge" said Perry

       "Cough, Cough, pissing contest, cough." Thomas said.

       Bradley heard the common sound of truck engines, he turned around and saw six five ton trucks rolled into the edge of the forest, seventy two Marines unloaded, they were all clean and neat, their uniforms with out a bit of sand on them. Their Captain unloaded, his radio operator behind, talking into the head set. Bravo Company was finally showing up, at least half its men. The Marines formed in parade formation, standing at attention as the Sergeant reported, suddenly the Marines were alarmed by something, and they ran for cover some of them signaling to the sky. Bradley looked up, something was in the sky, he cloud only see a tiny spot, then it grew larger as it dived on the Marines, it wasn't human, it was a Covenant craft, a Banshee. It dove right for them, opening fire from its two plasma cannons and one large ball of green plasma.

       "Incoming!" The Marines screamed as they ran for cover.

       He took cover behind the body of a tree, or what remained of it, shooting his rifle at the flying crafts, for no result, fourteen more Banshees appeared.

       "Colt to almighty, we have enemy air on top of us, requesting priority air support." Said Captain Muller into the radio as he looked up, irregardless of his safety.

12th Tactical Squadron, 1st fighter group.
Dijon Colony, Epsilon Eridani, System.
Marines Head Quarters. Britannia Island Chain.
Galilee Continent

       Lt. Pearce led the four Longsword fighter bombers heading east. He watched in the digital screen the picture of his wife and two kids, back at Britain in earth, he had a perfect life as an attorney on earth until a phone call to his office ruined this. He had been drafted into service. He then graduated in Lakenleath USNC Air Base on Earth, he was a veteran against the rebels, a instructor for the Longsword when the news of Harvest came in, a perfect CSV. He volunteered on the spot, he was eager to take the covenant on, to save his family's future.

       "Command this is Maverick lead, heading for target area." Said Pierce, they were to bomb a suspected Covenant held building in Lyon.

       "Negative, you are turn right heading 187. Head for Air Combat Station Five Mike, once on station contact Almighty for control" Called UNSC Carrier Germany, the mother of this flight.

       "Roger Command, swinging right. Still at angels sixty."

       Pierce turned his fighter right, heading into the station for air support, accelerating into mach 3.4. After eight minutes they reached the air station.

       "Sir, I have 15 contacts on top of the Marines. I have no IFF returns, radar also shows twenty eight pelicans on the opposite side of the forest. Fence in by the way." Said his co pilot, Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel del Horno, "fence in" means that they just entered hostile territory. "Almighty this is Maverick, we have entered station Five Mike. On station." He reported as he turned on the data link.

       "Maverick, we have Marines under air strike. Turn right heading 17-niner, splash enemy air, check for IFF tags. We have your data link and are sending info, out." Reported the fleet liaisons officer with the Marines.

       "Roger, turning to engage." Said Pearce.

       "Flight switch to cold." This command ordered his flight to switch of all equipment that might leave an electronic trace for the enemy to find. He had one LRAAM (Long Range Air to Air missile) called Tomcats, four AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air missiles) called Slammers and five SRAAM (Short Range Air to Air Missile) called Spikes, plus on the bomb bay were two SDAGM (Small Diameter Air to Ground Missiles) ideal for a heavy blast and precision.

       "Get us a target." Ordered Pearce to his weapons officer. Using the data link they uploaded data from the radars on the ground. Keeping their electronic emissions to a minimum

       "Roger I have a passive lock on five enemy crafts, no ECM or TEWS spikes detected. I suggest we engage fast, they are blasting at the forest." Del Horno said, as he coldly hit buttons in the panel.

       The targeting data appeared on Pearce's Head Mounted Display, each target in a square with a dot on the middle, still seventy miles ahead, the radar will give the missiles the information of the target, heading, speed, altitude and position. The missiles will self guide into the enemy crafts once at close range.

       "Flight, go hot".

       The four planes selected different targets.




       His flight acknowledged the order.

       "Three, take four to the right. Let's do a pincer." Ordered Pierce.

       The pincer is an old tactic; the flight was to flank from two different sides, the crossfire on them like a pincer.

       "Thirty miles." Almighty checked in.

       "Flight make ready." Ordered Pierce. Once the second section confirmed the order he armed the missiles.

       "Press." Ordered Pierce.

       Fifteen slammers dropped from the rails inside the bomb bay, igniting at five feet from the aircraft, streaking away at Mach 7. The radar display showed the five missiles, together with fifteen more missiles from the rest of the flight.

       "Three seconds sir." The timer on his HMD reaching zero in seconds.


       The fifteen Banshees dropped from the sky.

       "Enemy incoming." Whispered Lieutenant Miller at the Marines as seven hundred grunts formed into attack formation in front of them.