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Mission From SATU part 2: Fish in a Barrel
Posted By: Chuckles
Date: 1 August 2004, 6:57 AM

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The Mission From SATU part 2: Fish in a Barrel

Lexicus stepped back slowly to avoid the growing puddle of blood. His trainer lay dead at his feet, with a chest wound that looked as if it had been made with a jackhammer. Having recently recovered from the augmentation treatment that had killed many of his fellow Spartans and had almost killed him, Lex was yet to realize his own strength.

John, Spartan-117, was instantly at his side making sure that he was okay. "Lex, it was not your fault. Same as what happened to me in the gym with those ODST's. It will take time to adjust to the augmentations. Don't give it another thought." With that, John hurried over to CPO Mendez to explain the situation.

Two more trainers would die at the hands of Spartans before the day was out, so nobody thought much of what Lexicus had done. The old adage says that it is better to be lucky than good. Lexicus was both.

Twenty-seven years later . . .

Choosing the teams had been hard. All ten Spartans on the list were qualified, and the captains did not want to leave any behind. In the end, Darkboones and Thorn had to be cut. They would remain at SATU, along with the four who had not made the initial list: Cujo, Wally, Daryl and Mark.

Speaking to the captains, Lexicus went over team assignments for the last time. Colonel Ackerson would arrive soon, and he wanted to make sure that they were ready.

"Blue team is as follows: I will be B-1, Chuckles is B-2, Hogg is B-3, Krusty is B-4, Blondsniper is B-5 and Freedomman is B-6. Red team: Turpertrator is R-1, Simjanes is R-2, Ydnar is R-3, XrayJ is R-4, Xraf is R-5 and Rhinox is R-6. I will have tactical authority over both groups and nobody fires a shot without my say-so. I can't say much more until Ackerson tells us where 117 is."

A Pelican drop ship came to rest outside and "Dad" entered the base. Once again, he was without escort. Lexicus handed him a data pad listing the teams, which the Colonel glanced at and then nodded.

"Gentlemen, I will be brief. Our window of opportunity has gotten smaller, so I need you ready to leave within the hour. The location for this mission is a classified Spartan training facility, so we will be flying you in blind. What I can tell you is that it is heavily wooded and covered with hills, and you will be furnished with a detailed map en route. The target will have two other Spartans with him: Fred and Linda. I don't need to tell you how skilled they are, and you will most likely have to eliminate them to get at the Masterchief. That's about it. Get it done, and we'll pick you up. Questions?"

"Yeah," Lexicus said, "I would like to know why the remaining six Spartans are to be eliminated. It doesn't sit right with any of us."

Ackerson was annoyed by the question, and answered coldly, "I can't tell you how sorry I am that if this doesn't work for you guys, but I really don't care how it sits with you. If any of you attempts to warn them I will find out about it, and use a HAVOK instead of Marines." Chuckles quietly pulled out his pistol as the Colonel continued. "It will destroy a nice facility, but it will get the job done just the same. Now get your teams ready." The Clown began to raise the weapon, but a hand closed around his wrist and held it firm as Ackerson left the room.

"You should have let me shoot that filth" Chuckles hissed as he yanked his arm away from Lexicus and re-holstered his pistol. "Now what are we going to do? Poison him? Or are you hoping his conscience kicks in and he commits suicide? Well," he said as he grabbed his shotgun, "I'm not waiting. He's mine."

Lex knew he had to act fast. "No! You are not to make any attempt on the Colonel, is that clear? He is not to be touched." Chuckles ignored him and headed for the door but stopped cold when he heard a shotgun cocked behind his head. Lexicus spoke calmly. "We can either work together on this, or I can work alone; it's up to you. I will not allow you to kill him, but I do plan to save the Spartans we're leaving behind and I will need your help. You saw the look on Ackerson's face when he warned us about interfering."

"Yeah, I did," Chuckles replied, "He has someone on the inside. He wasn't even trying to hide it." Finally relaxed, he put his shotgun on the table. Lexicus followed suit. "Any idea who?"

"No, but I don't think it will matter. I thought of a way around it. Cujo is the one guy staying behind I know I can trust. I need you to go talk to him." Lexicus laid out his plan to Chuckles, and the Clown left.

It was almost midnight, and Cujo sat a hundred yards outside of blue base, just like Chuckles had told him to. "They will attack at night" the Clown had said, "The bases will be hit with high explosives and anyone caught in them will be killed, so wait outside and watch the exits. Ackerson's man is certain to leave the base a few minutes before the attack. Kill him, and then get everyone through the warp."

Lexicus' plan was nearly perfect. He had accurately predicted the time and manner of the attack, and had drawn up an effective response. But as the drop ships descended and the marines prepared their weapons, no warning had went out, no one was awake, and there was no exodus through the warp. As the soldiers left the Pelicans and began to turn blue base into a stone oven, Cujo, Ackerson's informant, merely watched. I told the Colonel he couldn't trust Lex, he thought to himself. Maybe now he'll believe me. Maybe now, I'll be a captain. He knows he can trust me. His thoughts were interrupted by a sound he had never heard before; Spartans screaming.

Near the bottom of the Pelican's exit ramp a solitary figure stood straight as a post. His young crew didn't know his real name, and none dared ask. They just called the legendary ODST "Helljumper". A soldier approached. "Sir, the targets inside are neutralized." Familiar as he was with the targets, the Captain was pleased. He almost smiled.

"Good, Sergeant. And the informant?"

"Located, sir. Snipers are in place, awaiting your order."

Helljumper nodded. "Kill him."

C.T. Clown