In Darkness They Hunt
Posted By: Conrad Lauf<email@example.com>
Date: 9 May 2004, 6:56 AM
LOCATION: Ghor'amel - Covenant Supply World
KA'LIMEE aimed his plasma rifle at the crouching figure in front of him, making sure the rifle wasn't overheated. Ka'limee wanted this to be the easiest kill ever. Last time the plasma rifle had been overheated, and as a result he lost the element of surprise, and the squad of marines had proven quite a challenge to destroy.
The figure in Ka'limee's aim was facing the other direction, and was disabling the security system for the vault containing the Covenant stronghold's cloaking and overshield storage. The human was so engrossed in his or her work that they didn't hear Ka'limee stalking them. The human had almost hacked into the computer; they only had to figure out three more numbers. Ka'limee smiled, his eyes closing to slits as he thought of the publicity of the kill. He could almost hear the cheers from his fellow Covenant…
What Ka'limee didn't hear was the slight sound of nine shadowed Nightwraiths hitting the floor after dropping from their nylon ropes, attached to the ceiling behind him. What he did hear, however, was the metallic sound of a silenced M6D being cocked, the long barrel pressing against the back of Ka'limee's head.
"Oh shi-" Blam. Ka'limee never managed to finish the sentence.
Casey watched as the elite in front of him slumped to the floor, a puddle of pink blood forming around the body.
"Shane, how's that code coming along?" Casey asked.
"Nearly done sir," replied Private Shane Boswell, as he typed frantically at the portable keyboard in front of him. Casey turned around, making sure they weren't about to disturbed by some unwanted intruders.
"All done sir," reported Boswell, packing up his hacking equipment.
"Door's open for us."
A keening siren wailed, as flashing orange lights passed over running elites, jackals and grunts. A squad of a gold elite, three grunts and a pair of jackals ran flat-out in the direction of the high-security vault. They turned a corner, and feared the sight before them. The vault was wide open, its contents gone. But it was not this that filled the squad with dread. It was the sight of Commander Nao'gon, one of the last fifteen green elites left in the universe. As the squad pulled to a halt in the hallway, Nao'gon turned to face, accompanied by his bodyguard of hunters.
"What is the meaning of this?" asked Nao'gon, chest heaving with rage.
Sha'milee, the elite sergeant, replied, "I do not know, my liege, apart from the fact that fifteen active camouflages and thirty active overshields are now stolen from this vault."
Above them, a single screw fell to the floor with a tinkle. All twelve Covenant soldiers looked up, and could hardly believe their eyes. Through the grating, they could see the frightened eyes of a human, as he tried desperately to keep still.
"By the Gods," remarked Nao'gon. "Kill the human thieves!" Sha'milee shouted to the hunters, who moved forward, directly underneath the two metre-wide air-con grating.
Casey swore loudly as he saw the five hunters fire up their fuel rod guns, and shouted, "Go Wraiths! Upupup!"
With a crackle, five plasma bolts whistled up into the grating, obliterating Conan, the last man in the vent with a ferocity that defied reason. The body of Conan, however, managed to get forced up three metres by the impact, giving the nine Nightwraiths a boost to the top of the vertical shaft. One by one, they pulled each other up into the flat tunnel. Once up, Casey found he could stand up easily in the horizontal shaft, as it was two metres high.
He turned to yell, "Come on! They know where we are now, so there's pressure!"
He helped Private Frank Bennings, who was struggling under the weight of the stolen shields.Casey could hear voices in the tunnel to their left, and thought,
'Holy shit that was fast! How'd they manage to get troops up here so quickly?'
He turned the corner, drawing out a silenced SMG, carrying the crate full of shields with the other. As they hit the right-angle turn, Casey sent a swathe of lead covering the area in front of his squad, met by the group of ten grunts that were ready for them. Instantly Bennings' head snapped back, his spine shattered by the charged-up plasma blast that slammed into his face, and Casey was forced to drop the crate and instead had to stand guard, making sure the Covenant din't come anywhere near it.
Private Peter Menzing screamed as he was hit by an onslaught of plasma rifle bolts, but took down three grunts with his silenced MA7B battle rifle as he fell. Casey took down four grunts simultaneously with his twin SMG's, and was forced to drop both when their clips ran dry, and unslung his MA7B, hastily unscrewing the silencer so he would have more power with his shots.
Stealth was out the door at this point, and all that mattered was the lives of Casey's Nightwraiths…
To be continued in:
Embodiments Of Vengeance