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The Rookie - Chapter 3 - First Blood
Posted By: The British Commando<VarneyTjv@aol.com>
Date: 9 April 2002, 2:21 pm

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     We walked silently through the middle of a shallow valley with gently sloping sides. Everything was quiet apart from the sound of footsteps and the clinking noise of equipment in our packs. The twelve of us were walking in two-by-two formation with two recons, Smith and Harrison, thirty metres in front.
     A crackling came over the radio in my headset. My display on my night vision visor showed that the frequency was 195.49, our squads' frequency. "Lieutenant, Covenant patrol spotted two-hundred metres from our position, and they're heading right for us!" came Harrisons voice, sounding urgent.
     "Okay, recons, get your asses back here!" replied the LT. "The rest of you, split into two teams and head up either bank and take cover. We're gonna ambush those sons of bitches when they come past, stay in radio contact. Go go go!"
     I ran up the bank to my right side and got into some cover behind a large rock with two other marines. Everybody was silent and I listened intently for what seemed like an eternity. Nothing. Then, I heard the heavy footsteps of what I thought to be an Elite and lots of smaller footstep sounds masking it. "All right marines, they're close... on my mark" came the Lieutenants voice over the radio. Another eternity passed, and the footsteps got ever closer, they must be less than twenty metres away now. "Mark! Fire at will, marines!"
     I looked over my rock and readied my rifle. There were at least a dozen grunts, an Elite, headed by a couple of Jackals. They were only about fifteen metres away, and would have walked right past us when I pulled the trigger. My MA5B assault rifle came to life and started spitting out vicious yellow tracer rounds towards their hapless targets. The recoil tried to pull my gun skywards but I held it fast against the closest enemy, a grunt in yellow armour. The bullets tore through the almost unprotected and soft flesh of my enemy, puncturing several organs and continuing out the other side. Bright blue blood leaked out of the fresh holes and dribbled down the body onto the ground, staining the grass. The little grunt looked at me quizzically for a second, its head tilted to one side, and then it collapsed limply onto the ground. It was my first ever kill, and I didn't intend to stop there.
     The other marines had targets of their own, tracer rounds and bolts of green and blue plasma streaked the darkness with a deadly rainbow of light. Several other grunts had fallen, along with one of the Jackals. The Elite was moving up the other side of the valley, towards my squad mates, its shield flaring bright white when the 7.62mm AP rounds struck it. I turned my rifle towards the group of confused and frightened grunts and pulled the trigger again. I sprayed the tightly knit mass of grunts with full-automatic fire and slowly moved my rifle left to right until my ammunition in that clip ran out.
     I ducked back behind my trusty rock to switch magazines and saw bolts of plasma streak the air just above me, exactly where I had been. Some of the plasma had hit the rock, and melted a small part of it. I suppose it was funny - I had never seen lava before. I finished changing mags and looked back above the rock the deal out some more pain, but there was nothing left to shoot. Corpses littered the ground ahead of me, and a dead Elite was rolling down the bank which it had worked so hard to climb.
     "Good job Marines" came the LTs' voice over the radio "Lets head home".
     The walk back to HQ was as silent as the walk away from it. I was listening to the ever present sound of footsteps and equipment and mulling over the events of a few minutes before. I was proud of myself.
     HQ was just over the brow of the hill we were walking up, and nothing prepared me for what I saw.
     "Holy shit." I said.

     To be continued...