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Operation False Prophets, Chapter Five: Used Cars Under $1099
Posted By: Ian Barnes<panzerschreck15@netscape.net>
Date: 17 March 2002, 7:19 pm


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İİİİİJohn sulked through the shadows towards what appeared to be a Covenant military base. In the distance, the faint whine of the Covenant single ship craft, the Seraphs, could be heard as they flew into the night sky. Surrounding the base was a seven meter tall plasma fence. Anything that touched it would undoubtedly be boiled instantly. The bright purple flashes produced from the crackling and sizzling as molecules of atmosphere touched the fence was mesmerizing, almost hypnotic. It was a few seconds before Cortana shook him back to reality.
İİİİİThere were several bushes a few hundred yards ahead of him. Near them, there was a large guard house, but the Chief couldn't make out much else, he would need to get closer.
İİİİİJohn followed the fence, but staying out of its illuminating glow. It would be careless things like that which would end in his demise. Finally, John reached the bush closest to him, crouched, and obsered the guard house from there.
İİİİİIt was a large building, it had several adjoining rooms, and the Chief couldn't be sure how many Covenant would be inside it. In the front room, which controlled the raising of the gate, was a single Elite. It appeared to be rather bored, and taking very little pride in his assignment. John began to creep forward. He had a plan, but if it didn't work, he would have a problem. He would have to be fast.
İİİİİLeading toward the gate was a road, with two bushes on one side, and one bush on the other side, the side John was on. The guard house was on the opposite side. John planned to run past the first bush, and to the second one, the Elite wouldn't notice him unless he decided to turn all the way around, and even then, he might not notice. John rose, readied himself, and sprinted across the road to the other side. John skidded to a halt, and flapped his arms wildly, trying to keep his momentum from causing him to fall over. Apparently, the first bush wasn't a bush. It was a Grunt, who was currently looking the other way.
İİİİİWith lightning quickness, one hand reached over the Grunt's mouth, while the other twisted the Grunt's head into an unnatural angle. The Chief sighed. Why wasn't he more careful? This had happened twice now. Next time, his luck might run out. The Chief stooped, and retrieved the plasma pistol the Grunt had been carrying. John was surprised the Grunt hadn't heard him, but then, for a man of his size, the Chief was amazingly quiet.
İİİİİJohn made his way into the second bush, by some miracle, the Elite hadn't noticed John when he was standing almost in the middle of the street.
İİİİİWindows surrounded the guard house's front room, but the Elite stood facing the gate, with his back to John. The Master Chief walked up to the guard house, and lept onto the roof. It was three meters up, but he was quiet as a cat. John unslung his shotgun, and primed it as quietly as he could, and held it with only his right hand. He then retrieved the policed plasma pistol, and held it at ready in his left. John took a deep breath, and counted to three.
İİİİİOn three, John's boot raised, and smashed into the roof, punching through the roof, and right behind the Elite. Before the surprised alien could even turn, John tripped the alien from behind, and it fell on its stomach. John rose and quickly followed with a downward swing with his right hand, holding the shotgun. Much of the shotgun impacted the Elite's back, and shields died. John followed with a downward swing with the plasma pistol, hitting the Elite's spinal cord, breaking disks in its back. It stopped moving.
İİİİİThe Master Chief quickly ducked behind a wall which separated the front room from the rest of the guard house. John placed the pistol on the ground, and weaved a fiber-optic probe around the corner. Inside the next room, which was a ten meter by ten meter square, were two Elite Minors. Cortana's voice chirped in.
İİİİİ"What are you doing? If they find the bodies, we're going to be discovered!"
İİİİİ"We'll be long gone before they find anything. Besides, these two aren't going anywhere."
İİİİİWith his left hand, John held the firing mechanism on the pistol, charging it up to full power. John swung around the corner, and dove forward in the hair, his body horizontal to the ground. He held both weapons in front of him. Both Elites were all the way against the back wall, talking. John released the energy blast toward one Elite, and fired off a shotgun round towards the other, all while still in flight. Just before John hit the ground, he curled up and rolled on impact, when he rose, he had cut the distance to the Elites to five meters, and he kept charging. John's left arm recoiled and hurled the plasma pistol at the head of the Elite who had been struck by the plasma. It connected.
İİİİİCrunch.
İİİİİIn John's follow-through, his left hand found the grip of the shotgun, pumped it once, and by that time, he was only feet away rom the Elite. He fired a round straight into the gut of the Elite. It penetrated the Elite's already weakened shields, and pulverized its insides. The alien fell to the ground squawking. John raised his boot, and lowered it harshly onto the Elite's face. It stopped squawking.
İİİİİ"I must admit, nicely done." Cortana chimed.
İİİİİ"Thanks."
İİİİİ"Alright Chief, head outside, and we'll find ourselves a ride. We need something airborne, but not big. We need to travel a few hundred kilometers, and we need to be quick. John walked over to where his plasma pistol lay, primed his shotgun, picked up the pistol and placed it in his pouch. The Chief walked to the door, pressed a button on the holo panel, and the door slid open. John hesistated.
İİİİİOutside was a massive amount of firepower. Rows and rows of Ghosts sat at ready. Hundreds of them. Several hundred Banshees also sat unoccupied. John glanced upward. A shield. Strange, visible from the inside, but not outside. Clever.
İİİİİ"Chief I'm scanning for the best choice of craft. Try to get into one of the Seraphs. It will get us to our destination the fastest."
İİİİİJohn stared at one of the Seraphs. It was an almost exact replica of the Covenant hover jeep. With several major differences. The cabin was enclosed, and on both sides, were wings. On top of the ship was a rotating plasma cannon similar to the one found on the dropships. There was also one on each wing. Each one could rotate individually to track several different targets. Efficient. The cockpit seated two, a pilot and a gunner. John was confident Cortana could handle the weaponry. There was a line of twenty Seraphs, an Elite stood watch next to each ship. He could make it to a ship, but they would follow him, and he'd never be able to get rid of nineteen of them, he needed a diversion. John reached into his pouch and produced a plasma grenade. He hurled it to the far side of the airfield. Before the grenade was halfway to its target, John had hurled three more. Each of these three landed on an unshielded Seraph. The first grenade detonated, which caught the Elite's attention. As the three Seraphs exploded into balls of plasma, John withdrew his Jackhammer, and loosed two rockets at other Seraphs. Both of the ships erupted into molten fragments and flares of plasma shot skyward. The confused Elites ran for cover inside the main facility of the base, possibly for reinforcements. John sprinted to the nearest Seraph, climbed in, inserted Cortana, and lifted off.
İİİİİCortana seemed delighted to discover that the Seraph also had two small versions of plasma torpedo launchers. As the ship flew skyward, Cortana unloaded with all three plasma cannons and two plasma torpedoes. It was just enough firepower. The shields glowed white, and disappeared.
İİİİİJohn turned the ship back toward the base, made a strafing run over the base and destroyed what looked to be a radar or communications dish with his plasma cannons. Hopefully now they wouldn't be able to track him.
İİİİİAs John arced the Covenant fighter upward, he was able to appreciate the craftsmenship that went into the craft. It was half the size of a Longsword, but twice as tough, not including its shielding. It was also extremely nimble, It could fly faster, and turn better than any UNSC craft. John hoped if he returned to UNSC space, he could bring back this craft. UNSC engineers would have a field day reverse-engineering the ship.
İİİİİJohn sighed to himself as the ship rose into the air. So far, this mission was proving harder than expected. He had nearly exposed himself. The Covenant knew something was going on, but they had no reason to suspect it was a human. What he had done was far better than charging into the open, trying to take on twenty Elites would have been more or less, a bad idea.
İİİİİ"Cortana, take over, I'm going to try to take a short nap."
İİİİİ"Affirmative Chief."
İİİİİJohn removed his helmet and drew in a deep breath. This mission was only going to get harder.

*******

İİİİİ"John... John.. Wake up!"
İİİİİThe Master Chief opened his eyes, and all he could see for miles was white. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't seeing things. Nope, everything was still a vast whiteness
İİİİİ"Cortana," The Chief said cautiously, "where are we?"
İİİİİ"The Northern Pole of this planet, this is where their facility is located, deep underground. That is basically all I know. I don't know anything about the structure of the facility, ways in, out, etc. I also have no idea about enemy strength in the area. But we should get moving. A few minutes after we took off, a couple Seraphs from the base took off and gave chase. I managed to deal with them, but I would guess there will be more soon.
İİİİİ"In the rear of this craft is a small storage area, big enough to house a Ghost. We're ten kilometers out from the facility. We can use the Ghost to take us in. From there, there won't be much I can do to help you. But I'll try."
İİİİİJohn sighed, reached over next to him, picked up his helmet and put it on, it clicked into place. Next, he removed Cortana from the ship's computer, and inserted her into his helmet. That calming liquid sensation filled his head again. John pulled the lever which opened the cargo door, exited the ship and walked to the rear of it. The Master Chief climbed aboard the Ghost, increased the throttle, and zoomed across the white expanse. Nothing grew out here, it was bare and alone. Like him. Unfortunately, his enemies couldn't say the same thing.





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