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War Is Hell: Prologue: The Hard Way
Posted By: Burny<burnination7@hotmail.com>
Date: 2 April 2004, 11:54 AM

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War Is Hell: Prologue: The Hard Way

In the early dawn was an eerie stillness. Nothing but the gentle rolling waves of Tritan Sea (formerly the Philippine Sea) and a distant chorus of mechanical hums. Life seemed normal to the casual eye, but look closer and things were far from normal.

The planet: Earth. The month and day: September 29th. Year: 2552.

The situation: the Covenant have discovered the location of Earth and have already begun to invade. Or more likely, reinforcements were being dropped from the cruisers and destroyers from the fleet above. The Tritan Sea, located between Japan and New Mombasa (formerly the Philippines), has a few islands scattered about its length, many of these currently occupied by Covenant forces. UNSC Marine base ALPHA-WHISKEY, located 45 miles of the coast of Japan, have orders to recapture a Covenant air base that, at one point, belonged to ALPHA-WHISKEY. If they succeed, the UNSC is one step closer to controlling the sea. Semper Fi.


Private Bart Skitch nervously gripped his Rat33 7.62mm Battle Rifle between slender fingers. His mission was clear as day: Pelican drop into the water two miles away, amphibian insurrection by boat, recapture the Covenant airfield. He had done similar missions many times before in the past, mainly dropping into a hot combat zone via Pelican. But it still made him nervous. He had no doubt that the other 200 men in First and Second Platoon were on edge as well. The remaining platoons of the two companies were farther back (maybe about three miles).

The old transport boats, rarely used in the UNSC, were actually antiques in new paint. The UNSC flag was painted on the port and starboard side of each ship, and the dull gray paint reacted with the current light and shadow conditions, making it harder to see in both low-light and daytime scenarios. Perfect for amphibian stealth missions such as this one.

The Squad Leader in this boat, Corporal Will Sherman, peered through a small peephole on the foreramp with his binoculars. The LZ was in sight: a sandy beach with various Covenant obstacles scattered about its length. Farther up the beach were two fortified bunkers (codenamed Fire-Eye 1 and Fire-Eye 2) with plasma turrents mounted and scanning their line of fire for hostiles. Grunts in their red and orange atmosphere replicators walked their patrol routes, Jackals with blue and yellow shields stared into the sky, and blue and maroon-armored Elites barked orders to the occasionally unruly maggots. Inside Fire-Eye 2, the eastern bunker was a gold-armored Elite surveying the beach and two Brutes as his guard. Those could be a problem.

Private Skitch instantly recalled his days at the Acadamey on Reach as an image of the ebach appeared on his HUD. This would be similar to Operation: Overlord (aka D-Day), the infamous invasion of Normandy, France that occured exactly 508 years ago. This would be a replica on a smaller scale.

"Five minutes to beach!" Corporal Sherman announced suddenly in his British accent.

A few seconds later, mortars began dropping all around the positions of First and Second Platoon. At first most of it was sloppily aimed but quickly tightened up. The boats began evasive manuevers. "Hang on!" the driver said as he dodged a wad of boiling purplish-pinkish plasma.

Corporal Sherman nearly lost his balance as he spotted a Covenant Banshee practically on top of them. Water splashed into the boat as another mortar exploded beside the transports.

"Hit the deck!" he screamed as he crouched behind the safety of the foreramp. "OPEN FIRE!"

As one, Third Squad opened fire on the Banshee's exposed belly, the pow pow and brap braps of Rat33s and Malkov28 SMGs overpowering to the flier and momentarily competeing with the crescendo of Covenant mortar bombs.

There was a flash of light and a crackle of sparks as the flaming and smoking Banshee plumeted into the sea behind the boat. Private Skitch clutched a handle as the waves, caused by the flier's drop, rocked the dropboat up and down.

"One minute to beach!" the driver yelled.

"Alright men!" Will stated. "You heard what the lieutenant said! Move up the beach, take cover, and watch your flanks. We have to capture those bunkers!" He paused and a plasma bomb covered up for him. Third Squad ducked their heads down.

"Thirty seconds to beach!"

By this time, fewer mortars were being lobbed at the fleet of First and Second Platoon, but now the Covenant forces on the beach opened fire with their plasma weapons. Fortunately, the plasma turrents in the fortified bunkers stood down.

Right before the fleet carrying Alpha Company's First and Second Platoon hit the beach D-Day style, a mortar hit a boat at the back of the fleet. Everyone was either dead or too baddly wounded to move. It started to sink to the bottom of the Tritan Sea, and the fallen Marine comrades drifting calmly before disappearing as though they never existed.

"Clear the ramp!" the driver screamed. He mashed a button, as did the other drivers, and the ramps lowered to the sand.

"Hit it Marines! Go Go GO!!" Platoon Sergeant Matthew Pillar barked on First Platoon's frequency, whom he commanded. The other sergeant, Sergeant Adrian Payne, gave the same mantra to Second Platoon.

The plan was easier said then done: First and Second of Alpha spearheaded the invasion while Third and Fourth of A and the four platoons of Bravo Company hung back as reinforcements. According to intel and hidden recon satelites, the air field (the mission priority) was heavily guarded and reinforced. The Covenant task force guarding the base was between 700-800 alone. The LZ contained, roughly, 100-130 foes. If nessacary, Alpha could call in Warthogs and possibily a Scorpion tank or two. Adding in the reinforcements, the Marines had a two to one advantage over the Covenant.

The plasma turrents opened fire as 180 men stormed up the beach, blasting Covie forces with Rat33 Battle Rifles and Malkov28 sub-machine guns. An overcharged plasma pistol blast partially burned away Private Skitch's cover. He hid it behind it, crouched and heart pounding, before popping out and firing at a charging Grunt. The Grunt tripped and fell flat on his face as his breathing apparatus fizzed out methane and sky-blue blood sprayed out as the gizmo failed to work.

He watched, briefly, a Marine charge up the beach only to be mysteriously beheaded. A glowing blue two-pronged sword floating in mid-air, searching for more targets to kill. Skitch had an idea of what it was.

AN invisible swordsman, Skitch thought. If there's one, there's bound to be more. Damn it...