The Devil's Maw: Part 2
Posted By: Conrad Lauf<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 10 August 2004, 10:19 AM
Field Master Ghuramee cocked his head to one side. Now he had definitely heard something. And it was getting closer. He motioned for Skricket, one of his squad's twin Jackals.
"Do you hear that?"
Skricket smiled. "Of course. I think its one of those human vehicles. What are they called...oh yes, that's right. They're called Warthogs."
Ghuramee turned to his squad.
"At your positions! Humans approach! Guard the grav-lift with your miserable lives or your death will be swift!"
Instantaneously the open clearing burst into life as Grunts and Jackals scrambled to their posts. In just ten seconds they had strategically surrounded the circular ridge running around the glittering purple curtain of anti-gravity matter. Suddenly a Grunt squealed as the warthog shot off the ridge, its back tire clipping its head, snapping its neck instantly like a twig. The LRV hit the ground, its driver Argave already opening fire on the Covenant guards with his MA5B, holding it in his left hand, while he drove with his right. The weapon bucked in his grip, and inside his helmet Argave gritted his teeth as he fought to keep the assault rifle steady. Geysers of dirt erupted around Ghuramee as he fired his plasma rifle on full automatic, trying desperately to hit the swift LRV.
Argave simultaneously yanked the steering wheel to his left and hit the brakes, and grinned as the rear of the Warthog swung out, collecting a cumbersome Grunt with full force. He aimed his assault rifle, looking down the barrel at the face of Skricket, who was standing perpendicular to his seat. He squeezed the trigger-
But to his dismay no muzzle flash spewed from his weapon's mouth. Skricket grinned, and raised his plasma pistol, its barrel lit up with the light of a charged-up energy pulse.
The two enemies were barely three paces apart, and as Skricket let go of the trigger, Argave suddenly pressed back against his seat with all his strength, and closed his eyes in hope. To he and Skricket's amazement, the bolt of plasma passed through the Warthog, blazing clean just millimeters in front of Argave's eyes. If the Warthog had possessed windows, Argave would have been incinerated with the force of the blast.
Argave hastily slammed a fresh clip into the magazine slot of the MA5B, and with a brief squeeze of the trigger Skricket knew no more.
Now Argave turned his attention to the remainder of the squad. Only two Grunts and Ghuramee were still standing.
He shot forward, straight for a Grunt. It squeezed its plasma pistol with both hands, but the weapon fizzled in defiance. The Grunt realized that it was doomed, and dropped its weapon. As he was about to hit the unfortunate Covenant, Argave swerved slightly to his left. At the last possible second he reached out with his glove and grabbed the Grunt by its protruding respirator. It screeched in protest, and squirmed like a trapped devil. Argave swung the Warthog around, and threw the Grunt at one of the grav-lift's surrounding pylons. Something in the Grunt's neck cracked as it hit the alloy.
From here Argave sped up, heading straight for the Elite sergeant. Ghuramee winced as he saw his impending death come straight at him. He roared, and with the last of his strength dived to the side of the oncoming LRV. Argave swore as his vehicle suddenly sputtered, and screeched to a halt.
Ghuramee laughed, raising his plasma rifle at the bridge of Argave's nose. But what came next completely took the laughter from his face.
Argave threw himself out of the driver's seat, swinging himself around onto the turret at the back of the Warthog with one hand gripping onto the LRV's sturdy roll bar. He aimed the chaingun at Ghuramee's chest, and hit the firing studs. The chaingun burst into life, expending the last of its ammunition in a few seconds of destructive frenzy. By the time the barrels had stopped spinning, Ghuramee's shredded body lay in a crumpled heap on the earthen floor.
With the entire Covenant squad dead, Argave was able to reach into the narrow gap between the cabin and turret of the Warthog, and pull out the jerry can that was stored there. Then, he found the last two drums of 12.7mm ammunition for the chaingun.
With the Warthog now fully recharged and geared for battle, Argave drove the LRV onto the grav-lift's centre. He waited patiently for the lift to activate, and as it began to lift up the Warthog, he clambered onto the gunner's turret.
When he reached the interior of that cruiser, the Covenant guards stationed at its grav-lift's entrance would be in for a big surprise...
To be continued in Part 3!