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War Is Hell: Chapter 2: Rub Out
Posted By: Burny<burnination7@hotmail.com>
Date: 3 May 2004, 11:12 AM

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War Is Hell: Chapter 2: Rub Out

(A/N: Okay, I know I've screwed up on some references in the last two chapters based on MCC's comments. In this one, I'll fix the Elite's name, etc. Not to mention everything else I can. Hope you enjoy!)

      Hand-to-hand combat was something Bart Skitch didn't really enjoy. Nor did he particularly swallow the thought of close-quarters fighting. Combining the two made for something horribly painful to think about and somehow carry out into action. He bandished the thought from his head and snapped his thoughts to the current structure he was in. It was purple and pink, standard Covie colors, with steam pipes and valves running along the walls and into the ceiling. One of his friends once wondered if the Covenant were gay. Bart had laughed and replied, "It wouldn't surprise me."
      The nine-man squad observed radio silence, not wanting to telegraph their position to the Covenant. But it seemed to be that the Covenant weren't using com lines either. So the Marines did it the old-fashioned way; they used hand signals.
      Private Mark Girana held his hand up, signaling the squad to pause. He put his back to one side of the hallway and peeked around. The corridor wasn't small nor particularly large. He peeked his head out slightly, and quickly hid behind it; he had almost been spotted by a Jackal.
      "Four Jackals, one Elite, seven Grunts," he whispered. Corporal Sherman nodded and made a horizontal slash gesture in the air. He also noted a pressurized door on the other side of the intersecting hallways. Private Girana, his dark skin beginning to sweat, nodded in return, priming a frag grenade. He pulled the pin, counted to three, and launched it around the corner.
      One of the minor Jackals turned to his left and looked at the floor. Its features blossomed with surprise as the foreign object exploded in his face, erasing his life, and threw the dead body three feet south of where it originally had been, purple blood smearing a trial across the floor. The Marines all rolled out from behind cover and opened fire with their wide variety of weapons; three Rats, two MA5Bs, three pistols, and one Malkov SMG. The differences of the ammo (9.96mm, 7.62mm, 12.7mm, and 5mm) made some of the enemies fall more quickly then others. Private Skitch squeezed the trigger two times, six rounds flying towards a Jackal and a Grunt, both flipping backwards and dying at once.
      Only three Jackals and four Grunts were dead. The remaining assortment of those creatures were hiding behind cover. The Elite was popping out from cover, firing his plasma rifle, and ducking back whenever his shields flared. He popped out again and fire a quick, three shot burst. He managed to hit Private Girana right around his left thigh. He yelped in response and surprise, limping over to the over side of the hallway to crouch behind the wall.
      "Let's go!" Will screamed. "Get through the blast door!" The Marines were attempting to disengage, firing as the last man got behind the safety of the wall. Bart put Mark's arm around his shoulder and helped carried him to the other side of the blast door, taking fire from the pursuing alien bastards, not suffering any hits. The brain boy of this squad, the one whom was working on locking the door, was having trouble. "Damn it, c'mon! You piece of shit!"
      They watched from behind as a Jackal over-charged his plasma pistol and discharged it at the two Marines.

      Field Master Tosolva 'Ibanuree dashed from cover to cover, as did his Brute body guard, Hukra. One of the maggot snipers had loped off Trega before his eyes with one of their putrid 14.5mm armor-piercing fin-stabalized discrading-sabot rounds that could kill two of his own kind, the bullet going through one and into the other. It sickened him and it worried him. Half of one of their platoons was giving chase to him. It had actually been his own fault that they were chasing them; he had walked out from behind cover, extremely cautious that something would happen. If it hadn't been for the moonlight glimer on a bush ten yards away from him, the Field Master wouldn't have caught the hint of crystal-clear sniper scope. He ducked down right as he was about to be shot, the white contrail flashing by his head in a split-second and severing Trega's head from his torso.
      Then Hukra and 'Ibanuree had high-tailed it, going deeper into the misty jungle forest on this island. As they kept running, sniper rounds whizzing by them occasionally, they came upon a familiar landmark; one of his army's trip-wires. He and Hukra hopped over it and knew they were close to the airfield. They continued running...

      A glowing green sphere of plasma kept getting closer and closer...then Skitch heard a metal CLANG behind him and heard the plasma bolt splash into something metal. He glanced over his shoulder, allowing Private Mark Girana to sit down against the wall closest to him, and saw that the blast doors had shut and locked extremely tight. Mark unclipped his thigh's armor plate and rolled his pant leg up.
      He took a glance at his wound. The burns were somewhere between first and second degree but leaned more towards first degree. The skin was charred black that glowed a faint red. Three slithers of blood ran down at seperate places on the wound. Mark wasn't in shock, he knew he was going to be hit; he just didn't dodge in time. The squad's medic crouched next to the wounded Marine, looking over it himself and making a mental analysis of his condition. He pulled out a small bottle from his pack, and squeezed bio-foam into the three and half inch wound. He pulled out white linen dressings and applied a tight layer of them over his thigh. Mark pulled his pant leg up and clipped his blackened armor plate back on. Damn, he thought, that burst of plasma burned through my armor. I got lucky. Really damn lucky. He hadn't realized he sighed aloud. Using his Battle Rifle as sort of crutch, he got to his feet.
      Once the squad reassembled, all was silent. They heard the unmistakeable sounds of Shade plasma turrents firing from what seemed like one level above. The floor plans for this bunker confirmed that there was a staircase nearby that led to a second floor. Corporal Sherman moved his right arm up and down twice as though it were chopping something; it indicated to move toward the door leading to the staircase. He made a gesture to approach it and then made a cutting gesture.
      Private Lon McGarth and Lance Corporal Wallis Jackson were ordered to breach the door. It was an old-school tactic, invented by the counter-terrorist team Rainbow Six, that involved standing beside a door, opening it and throwing a flash-bang grenade in and then rushing in while any enemy inside was disorientated. The tactic, rarely used in Marine and ODST operations, would finally come out from the attic after of not being used for over three hundred years.
      Private McGarth slammed his large foot into the Covenant door, quickly shuffling himself to the left side while Corporal Jackson primed a flash-bang and tossed it in. The rest of the squad took cover from the white flash around the corner. It exploded, a bright flash of light shooting toward the wall that faced the door. They all charged in at once, up the stairs, alert for possible Grunts, Jackals, Elites...or worse...Brutes or Hunters. They encountered none.
      Private Skitch was first to reach the door at the top of the stairs, which only led up one more level since the bunker was two stories high. He opened it, sweeping his Battle Rifle from side to side. He found himself in a short hallway, the measurements 24 feet by 12 feet according to the bunker schematics, that dead-ended in front of him at the end. Directly to his right was a type of door, most likely a Human door. At least this part of the bunker remained the same, he thought.
      He opened the door slightly, peeking around, and he saw a Grunt manning one of the plasma turrents. He was sure another was manning the other one. He gestured to the squad with his head. Corporal Sherman nodded, giving him the okay. Bart opened the door and it swung back. No one heard it because of the bullets and plasma. He was startled to discover that an Elite Major was manning the other turrent on the right...

      Slowly, the darkness of the night was giving away to the reds and yellows of dawn. At 0530 hours, Alpha Company and Bravo Company will have been engaged in almost constant combat for 24 hours. The rolling waves surrounding the island were gentle, with no plasma mortars rising the temperature of the water. Everything seemed to be calm. And in less then five minutes, a squad made up of men from 1st and 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 4th Marine Battalion, 11th Regiment will have done what was needed to re-capture the beach.

      Corporal William Sherman manuevered his way towards the door. He glanced around, then quickly hid behind the door frame, his face that of panic. It was brief though.
      "Okay, on the count of three, you hang around and shoot the Grunt while I stick a plasma grenade to the Elite. After the grenade goes off, I'll have Private Daniel Gibbs snipe the other Covenant in Fire-Eye 1. Understood?"
      "Yes, sir," Skitch whispered in replied. Private Gibbs gave the thumbs-up.
      Bart Skitch reloaded his Battle Rifle as Private Gibbs moved up alongside Sherman, wielding his S2 AM sniper rifle like it was an instrument of a god. "One."
      The corporal digged around in his grenade satchel for one of the blue orbs. He pushed a button in the middle and it powered up. "Two."
      The two men shifted position, ready to begin the attack. "Three..." He paused a split-second. "GO!"
      Private Skitch exploded from cover and unloaded four bullets into the Grunt, causing him to spin around wildly as the Shade turrent ceased to fucntion. At the same time Will threw the plasma grenade at the maroon-colored alien commander, his aim deadly accurate. He didn't bother to watch the fireworks. He swiftly grabbed the door handle and closed it just so he wouldn't be engulfed by the radiation. Three seconds, a cross between a bang and boom echoed inside the enclosed space. The Marine opened the door again (and was greeted to a shower of purple blood), himself running through the door, followed by Daniel and Bart.
      "If anyone comes up here, give us covering fire," Skitch said on the squad-wide radio link.
      "Yes, sir," they replied in unison.
      Quick as a cheetah, Private Gibbs was an artist painting extraordinary masterpieces of death. As the old saying went, "One shot, one kill." He moved with the precision of a machine, firing his four-round clip in four seconds before reloading. It looked as if an endless wave of Covenant were lined up across the way inside Fire-Eye 1, as more kept coming. But after ten minutes of shooting and one clip of ammo left, the Marines had recaptured the bunkers.
      Choruses of cheers, whoops, and "hell yeahs" filled the all-hands channel. It was broken up by the deep, thunderous voice of the commander of this operation, the voice of Captain Samuel Riley.
      "Alright, Marines. This was a damned good job you all pulled off. My special thanks goes to the nine-man squad, led by Corporal Will Sherman, who were responsible for silencing the plasma turrents." He paused. "Now, listen up. The rest of the battalion will be landing tomorrow. For now, we dig in. Make a solid permiter as best you can. Get a bite to eat and sleep as well. Because sleep and food can sometimes be a long way away. We regroup at the beginning of the forest that stretchs out and ends at the edge of the airfield. A plan of attack will be made once Lieutenant Colonel Polarky and the rest of the battalion gets here. That's all, men. Captain Riley out."