Third Marines, chapter seven- the ship.
Posted By: Andres<email@example.com>
Date: 1 February 2005, 3:16 PM
UNSC Colony Dijon.
Forward Operations Base Juliet.
Staging Area X-Ray
The two hundred troops that had recently arrived on the planet prepared their gear for the upcoming battle. First Marine Force Recon (Space Entry Capable) gently and professionally formed into parade formation as soon as the alarm sounded.
"Attention I-M-F-R. Prepare for briefing," Colonel Dan Harley, the commander of the task force assigned to seize the Lyon woods arrived in the Warthog. He unloaded the vehicle, the Marines stood at attention, snapping their ankles. The Colonel saluted, the formation saluting back. "At ease," he said with a gentle voice.
"Marines, as for today by directive of Vice Admiral Preston Cole, General Dukakis and John Edmonds him self the focus of the ground operation have switched objectives. Your mission has switched from probing force for the assault on Lyon to a... well... different assignment, as for now you are part of Operation Fox Hole, you will be reinforced with the remnants of first battalion third Marines, you will need them for this operation," the Recon Marines looked at each other in disbelief, "they might be regular soldiers, but they are the most experienced unit in the theatre. They will advice and assist the unit. That is all for now, good luck," Dan Harley watched as the six five ton trucks arrived in the staging area, carrying the Marines from first Battalion.
"They sure look mean," said Private First Class Albert Thomas referring to the Force Recon troopers.
"Nah, they only have some really cool gear," answered the newly promoted Lance Corporal David F. Bradley.
"You now, it's not the bow what makes the Indian," said Corporal Perry as he dropped from the open transport vehicle.
"Don't get philosophical with me you jarhead," said Bradley in a calm tone.
"I outrank you meat head, if you want to pull your new rank it's your call," answered Perry with a not uncommon trace of joke in his voice.
"Hurrah jarhead," responded Bradley. The trio of Marines simply stood by the truck until a large intimidating Recon Sergeant joined the three Marines at the end of the truck.
"Hello Marines, my name is staff sergeant Frank Diaz, you three will follow me now," he said with a very commanding tone.
The four Marines arrived to a squad of Marines that stood in a circle, chatting and sharing their rations, not worrying that they would be in battle shortly after.
"Listen up you bunch, this are the attaches from first battalion, they are assigned to us as for now. I would love to chitchat with you ladies, but we are moving out, get in truck three," the Marines walked together to the truck where they just arrived.
"He couldn't bring them to us, he had to make us walk to them and back," protested Thomas as he walked, one of the force recon troopers walked with the trio of men from first battalion.
"That's like him; he is one of the best out there though. My name is PFC Burt O' Marley," said the trooper, the four marines exchanged names.
"So, what is like out there?" said the Marines to the group.
The three Marines thought for a couple of seconds as they walked, only one of them answered. "Unforgiving," said Bradley.
The column of trucks passed the wreckage stamped in the memory of Bradley, there, his friend, sergeant Gus Anders died saving his life.
"It's ok pal, you avenged his dead so far. It was not a waste," said Thomas as he placed his hand on his shoulder. Bradley didn't answered.
Battle sounds and smoke from the woods were now noticeable, the Marines responded to this with a characteristic professionalism, not showing any form of fear.
"About time we got here," said Perry. They arrived at what once was the edge of the woods, a forward aid and command post lay before the burned path of trees and dead. The trucks slowly stopped in front of the area, the Marines unloaded and formed into parade formation. Shortly after a Colt motorcycle arrived to the area where the Marines were formed, a dirty Captain unloaded, Bradley recognized him immediately, and he was Captain Karl Muller, commander of A Company. He walked to the major commanding of force recon, talked for a few seconds and then returned to the front lines in the motorcycle.
"Marines, prepare for immediate deployment, we are going in, now ," Major Foster informed.
"Marching column, first platoon has point, move!" Gunnery Sergeant Diaz informed. The company marched forward, through a built in metal road that engineers had built for casualties evacuation, they reached the "front", a large trench formed by explosions holes and broken threes. The forest ahead was in a way intact, a beautiful green carpet formed no mans land, soon to be blasted away. Bradley scanned the territory; hundreds of human bodies lay between the aid and control station and the front. The covenant carcasses were missing; Intelligence had gathered them and shipped them out of the planet.
"Hey Brad, isn't that Captain Muller by that hole?" asked Thomas.
"Yes, let's go greet him," said Bradley, the trio of men walked to the shell hole where the Captain sat, his face showing no emotion, he just watched the ground in grief and sorrow.
"Hey Capi," said Perry in a joy full voice that characterize him.
"Oh, my boys, you are alive!" he said, jumping of the ground and hugging the men.
"Right Captain, you too," said Perry.
"Sir, what happened here?" asked Bradley as he sat on his helmet.
The Captain sat again, looked into the Marines. "They asked me to help and plan and attack, straight for the Covenant lines. We had two battalions to do it. We launched a massive bombardment on the Covenant lines, that's why you see no forest between and here, then, charged into the center, they were waiting for us. We took the ground but suffered 90% casualties, we have a different approach now, you will found out tonight though," the rest of conversation switched to tactical to private.
Master Chief Petty Officer John 117 watched through the camera what the data link of the recon sniper relayed. "I count one Elite on guard, easy kill. Major I want you to follow me right behind, everyone on stealth, before the main thrust to squads on a recon patrol, then charge right in. My party will be waiting for you," informed respectfully the Spartan to the CO of first force recon. "When I call over the radio "Tango, Tango, Tango" you open suppressive fire, no silencers, I want to scare them to dead," the Spartan saluted the captain, who responded with the deserved respect.
The Spartan rallied with the rest of his squad twenty meters in front of the front lines. "Right, we are going to infiltrate their lines. Zeus will go right in front of the group. Athena, will wheel right, Poseidon will wheel left, and Apollo is on over watch. Aye-Ef-Ef (IFF) warning, Marines on the flank on recon party, watch out," the Master Chief looked at his team leaders into the eyes, "deploy Spartans," ordered John, the four teams disappeared into the woods.
The fourteen Marines crawled through the muddy terrain; the target was a creek bed, a perfect place for an infiltration in the suspected covenant lines. Lieutenant Ed Glover led his recon team through the forest, finding nothing, two Marines from first battalion were attached, Bradley and Thomas.
"Contact, eleven O' clock," called the point men. Elite drank water in the creek, their target; they were to recon and asses, not engage.
"Lets take it out, silent kill," ordered the lieutenant.
"Are you out of your fucking mind!" whispered loud one of the attached Marines, Thomas.
The Lieutenant turned his head around, his eyes showing indescribable anger. "Excuse me private."
"Hey Bradley you tell him that's not a good thing to do," Thomas said, ignoring the Lieutenant.
"Shut up Thomas, you are going to get article six on your ass," He cracked Bradley thought, battle stress had depleted Thomas ability to maintain discipline.
"El-Tee, I would advise against that... you now sir... for the experience," said Bradley respectfully.
"Your friend here is going to the can, we are engaging, you two, stay here," said the lieutenant.
The four Spartans ran silently though the forest, their rifles scanning the front. "Contact," the team froze. "Spartans stop," the four teams froze.
"041 86, twenty Golf, seven Juliet and two Echoes," called Spartan Kelly, twenty grunts, seven Jackals and two Elites, the Covenant observation unit. Easy target thought John.
"Lets do them, Zeus five, no heavy rounds, we are going in silent," he ordered, "Three teams. Scaled order" called John.
"Two I'm with one," answered Kelly.
"Three and four," answered Linda and Fred.
"Five, single, over watch," said the team sniper, Daniel.
"Roger that, team. Right to left net. We will take the Grunts out first. Maneuver formation, sixty meters, and then infiltration ten meters, ready to move".
The team maneuvered through the forest silently, until they were only twenty six meters from the spotted Covenant. The Grunts were in a ditch, the Jackals sat around fire in a circle. The three Elites stood in front of a pod displaying a hologram, two plasma automatic weapons were on the ditch were the Grunts slept, they were to be taken out first.
"Team, five minutes to go time. On schedule for now, prepare to engage, left to right, count of," he ordered the team to select the targets from left to right, each had a specific target starting from team leader to number five. Twenty Grunts, four targets each. "Mount Olympus, thirty seconds to go time," said John over the comm. Network, talking every Spartan.
"Go, go, go!" even though they were neither visible nor audible the muzzle blasts released the hypersonic led to the unaware Grunts, in les than a second twenty were dead, none of the Covenant creatures spotted the five Spartans.
"First batch of Echo Tangos down, target the Juliets now," ordered John.
"Ready," responded at unison the team.
"Hit them," the seven Jackals got fifty bullets into them, none missing their targets.
"Juliets are down," said John.
"Zeus five, check for targets," the sniper acknowledged the order the moving his powerful infrared sight around the forest, finding no targets.
"Two, three on me, rest of the team, cover, ready to suppress if spotted," John walked out of the cover of the woods, Kelly and Fred following him, striding to the trio of unaware Elites. The surrounded them, each taking the back of each creature.
John prepared to shoot.
"They are nuts you now that Brad," said Thomas to Bradley as both watched the Marines surround the Elite in the creek.
"Yea, lets hope that thing lowers its shields when drinking water," Bradley watched through the ACOG sight how the lieutenant crawled behind the beast with the knife at the ready. "He's FUBAring the whole thing," said Bradley.
"Got that right mate," said Thomas.
The lieutenant crawled until he was right behind the beast, standing, puncturing his knife into the head of the feast. The combination of thick skin and bone made it impossible for it to penetrate.
"Wooooooort" screamed the beast in anger, turning around, pushing the lieutenant away.
"I told that sucker!" said Thomas as he stood, shooting his rifle at the beast.
"Well, they got to learn somehow!" screamed Bradley as he joined Thomas, the remaining members of the squad fired again.
"Small arms in the flank," reported calmly Rose to Todd, the two Spartans ducked an covered.
"Dam amateurs blew it," said Todd. The Spartan with a mysterious past had little respect, in the form of military art, for the regular UNSC ground troops. On the other hand he would lay his life for any soldier of UNSC, his brothers in arms, who he respected as humans.
"Athena three, check the comm. See who is deep on it," ordered Todd.
"Seems a probing team two hundred meters at 051, your instructions boss," asked Spartan 102 Niles.
"Check with Hector Queen, hold position until otherwise advised."
"They ordered us to hold, its up to them."
"Jackals on the right flank," said Bradley to Thomas, both Marines lost contact with the recon Marines, they knew they were alive by the blasts from their weapons. Still, unable to coordinate with them.
"Frag out!" said Thomas.
The grenade landed on the hoplite of five Jackals that marched straight for them. "Dam dude, this birds can fly!" said Bradley.
"I'm hit!" said a voice of a random Marine, just in front of them.
"You thinking what I think I'm thinking?" asked Thomas.
"Dam Albert, that doesn't make any sense, and yes," this drill needed no orders, Bradley advanced while Thomas fired cyclic into the woods. Bradley walked fifteen meters, until something grabbed his ankle.
"I need help..." said with a weak voice a Marine.
"Found him, pulling out," said Bradley, Thomas imminently ran towards him, standing in front of him and the Marines. He fired a full magazine as Bradley pulled the Marine back.
fifteen meters later
Bradley, Thomas and the Marine lay behind the body of a tree, doing nothing but checking their ammo and gear, hiding, the battle of the recon troopers and the Covenant continued.
"Think we should pull out?" asked Bradley.
"There are still Marines back there," said Thomas. Both Marines kept quiet, until a weird event took place. The body of a Marine landed in a near 90º angle in front of them. The three Marines turned around, showing their faces over the thick stick.
"What the..." they felt the ground shake, lightly yet noticeable.
"On three..." said Bradley, "one, two..." the three Marines stood. They saw the scariest thing they have seen so far, and given their combat record that was saying something. The behemoth stood over three meters, it was as thick as half a scorpion tank, it was fully armored, its left arm was a large weapon. It smiled directly at the Marines, razing its weapon at the Marines.
"Oh my go..." a huge ball of plasma formed in the weapon. "Well, its been a fun ride," said Thomas as the Marines prepared for the blow, whoosh, two streaks of white smoke raised over the Marines, stroking the beast in the center.
"You three get down, now!" the three Marines dropped as over fifty rifles and machineguns erupted in their rear.
"First platoon right flank!" ordered the familiar voice of Major Simpson.
"Charge!" the Marines ran over the trio of Marines lying in the ground. "What are you waiting for jarheads, charge!" said the Major as he passed past them.
"Let's go pal!" said Bradley.
The Covenant had formed into defensive positions ahead of the Spartans; the sounds of the battle at the flank had revealed the Marines intentions. "Tango, Tango, Tango!" said John over the comm. The Marines fired over the head of the five Spartans, hitting the mixed formation of Covenant defenders.
"Now!" the five Spartans knelt, each holding a two tube Jackhammer launcher, each fired two Fragmentary missiles into the Covenant lines. "Lets go!" John jumped, the five Spartans charged into the covenant lines, John fired his assault rifle in one hand and a sub machinegun in the other, blasting into the Covenant lines. The Covenant defenders were unaware of the Spartans until they were right on top of them, being that their guns were silenced. The Grunts panicked as the large humans appeared in front of them, they charged their plasma pistols until large balls formed in their muzzles.
"Grenades!" ordered John; the Spartans stopped cold, each throwing four grenades in less than a second. "A Team, right flank!" the Fred and Kelly turned around and charged the right flank, where two elites where who stood no chance. The twenty fragmentary grenades detonated in the center, opening a hole in the already corrupted lines of the Covenant, the local Commander of the Covenant forces, a Golden Elite followed by ten more of them and a large number of Jackals attacked the three Spartans in the center, appeared out of nowhere.
"A Team, large group, front of main group, flank and destroy," ordered John. "Zeus five, cleared hot," ordered John to his sniper. The golden Elite took a 30mm round to the chest, its powerful shields deflecting the shot, but fainting. The sniper threw the breach loader and grabbed his point fifty caliber rifle, shooting it like a semi automatic rifle, still deadly accurate. The golden Elite was dead with the first rounds, it was now time for the real work.
"Team, suppress, then flank, I'm moving now!" said John as he ran through a rain of plasma fire to the right flank, throwing his sub machinegun and grabbing a grenade from his battle harness. The Elites were kneeling in the open, blasting their high velocity plasma rifles at the Spartans, the Jackals moved to form a defensive shield in front of the elites, John cloud not let that happen, if that happened his Spartans would be deep on it. He ran in a circle, dodging plasma fire from the Elites, when he was on the right flank, the threw his grenade at the Jackals who were running to cover the Elites, not defending them selves with their shields.
"This is A Team, we are engaging now!" John threw his grenade just in front of the path of the fast Jackals. The fragmentary round killing three of them, he stopped running, shooting his assault rifle into the Jackals, killing two more, however the remaining five Jackals now stopped and turned into John, not a good thing, since they formed a defensive shield that he with his rifle cloud not break. He cloud not stand in the open, he had to retreat and cover. He ran in the direction where he came from, meeting the Spartans of his team in the way to the flank. "Frag them, and then retreat, the Marines will handle this! Our job is done, live to fight another day," the Spartans obeyed the order, they had broken the Covenant lines, it was now up for the Marines to finish the Covenant of.
Seven hours later
"Hey Brad, we did it again," say Thomas as he took cover behind the large tree where the survivors from the squad rested. "Perry is Ok too, two clicks away down the road, it seems the whole bunch rallied there."
"Yea, we won," said Bradley. This time it was a real victory, the Marines had broken the Covenant first defensive lines, the rest had been moping up, and the scattered resistance they met was easily destroyed. Humanity had switched tactics at the Covenant, instead of a massive show of force and fire power they sneaked, infiltrated and destroyed. The target was now only two hundred meters away, the center of the forest finally .
"Get ready to move out," said a random officer over the radio.
"Showtime again," said Thomas.
Bradley used the butt of the rifle to stand, the seventy marines walked through the woods with not a trace of fear, walking fully exposed, tired from the battle and the sleepless night. They walked one hundred more meters, there they met something interesting.
"Is that a..." said Thomas, fucking starship thought Bradley. The massive ship twenty meters tall and fifty meters long, tear drop shaped.
"Marines, suit up, boarding action," said Gunnery Sergeant Diaz.