A Rough Beginning
Posted By: Covie Armada<email@example.com>
Date: 29 November 2003, 8:44 PM
This is set in the general vicinity of the 2nd mission on Halo. Please give feedback telling me things I should change in future parts etc.
John Castle stumbled out of the crashed Pillar of Autumn escape pod and fell to his knees. He heard several marines leaving their seats behind him. The rut in which the pod now rested was deep and the grass was singed. Getting slowly to his feet he peered over its lip. They were in a valley, with a stream running down the centre. Now and again there would be a drop in the bed of the stream and it was dotted with rocks. A hand appeared on his shoulder.
"You okay Private?" It was Sergeant Harrison, an MA5B in one hand.
"I-I guess so Sarge. Just a little shaken."
"I can understand that rookie. Arm yourself, we're moving out. From the air Peterson saw a structure, not sure if its safe but it's the best place we can see to call in an evac Pelican. Stay close, we're going over there now."
Harrison patted his shoulder and turned to talk to the rest of the squad. Castle stood and walked back into the pod to collect his rifle. Once back outside the squad began to move. They were halfway up the sloping grassy valley when the roar of engines disturbed them. Looking up, they took cover as they saw a Covenant dropship soared overhead. It came down a hundred metres away and disgorged ten Jackals and sixteen grunts, with a blue-armoured elite heading them. The human squad consisted of ten men. Harrison addressed the squad.
"Look boys, if that squad finds the pod they'll know we're here. We're gonna have to take it out. Conserve ammo, fire in short bursts. We'll sit back here and grenade them. Wait for the dropship to move away. On my order guys."
The squad waited tensely. The dropship flew off.
"NOW!" cried the Sergeant. The squad opened fire and tossed frag grenades. The elite went down in the combined blast of four grenades. Castle tossed a grenade between bursts, which rolled in amongst the Jackals killing five. Another grenade wiped out nine of the grunts. The grunts got behind the shield wall the Jackals set up, but to no avail. Another grenade exploded just in front of the Jackals, confusing their formation, and as they exposed themselves the marines opened fire cutting down the remaining grunts and all but two Jackals, which were dispatched by a few shots from the pod pilot's M6D pistol. Threat dealt with, the squad policed the weapons and continued. They reached the top end of the valley and glanced back downhill. No more Covies had landed. Turning back they moved through a narrow canyon, maybe twelve to fifteen metres across. The light was suddenly blocked out above them. Looking up, they saw a second dropship.
"Move people!" Harrison yelled and the squad picked up the pace. Ten minutes later the men were leaving the canyon and looking into another valley. There was a wide expanse of grass ahead with few trees, the only notable feature being the continued stream. Inhuman voices were heard ahead. Peterson scouted ahead with his sniper file, and came back reporting a platoon of grunts.
"Okay men, there are... " he made a head count, "ten of us, so five fire teams of two. Fan out, get good positions, and we'll hide out until we got them surrounded. Then we ambush the bastards."
"Yes sir." The marines cried in relative unison. They got into pairs and fanned out behind rocks and fallen trees. The platoon was thirty strong, but it was solely composed of grunts. The squad waited silently until the grunts were in the heart of the trap.
"Fire marines!" the Sergeant sprung the trap. The AP rounds in the assault rifles mowed down two dozen in twelve seconds or less and the other six were finished off with a second spread of three round bursts. Castle dropped six himself. He had partnered off with Corporal Patterson, who was the only member of the squad packing an M90 shotgun, which he was currently jamming fresh shells into. Castle, his back to a rock, sat and ejected his magazine. He slipped in a new one and locked the bolt.
"Shit, how the hell did I get into this one." The Corporal muttered next to him.
"The same way I did. Got assigned to the wrong god damn ship." Castle replied and stood, walking up to the rest of the squad. Several seconds later, the Corporal formed up too and the squad moved out. Now they could see the structure up ahead. A quick scan through Peterson's scope revealed a small garrison of about twenty enemies, but all were blue or red elites. It wouldn't be easy.
The marines were dug in behind some fallen trees until about 1100 when the Sergeant finally worked out a strategy.
"Guys. There's nothing for it. We're gonna have to all split up, every man for himself, and charge in. Meet up on the top of the main structure. Good luck. I mean it."
The Sergeant finished and everybody paused to think about what they were going into. At 1200 they were all in position. Harrison raised a fist and punched the air. The squad charged.
Castle mowed down a blue elite and took down a red-armoured one from behind. He was moving cautiously around various structures until finally he arrived at the foot of the main structure. Suddenly he was thrown to the floor and his rifle flew from his grip. He rolled over to see a red elite flying towards him. Its shields were activated, he couldn't use his combat knife. He prepared himself for the incoming blow...but it didn't come. Three loud gunshots rang out and a thud was heard. Opening his eyes, Castle saw the elite dead on his left. The Corporal stood a few metres away.
"Jesus Christ Patterson, that was close! Thanks."
"Don't mention..." Patterson trailed off.
"Patterson?" Castle said warily. Patterson slumped forwards revealing a red elite with a recently fired plasma rifle.
"PATTERSON!" Castle cried and grabbed his rifle. He got to his feet and trained his weapon on the elite. It fired a volley, but Castle avoided it by charging the elite. He opened fire and the elite began to shudder as the bullets hit its shields. They didn't withstand the bullets for long. The shield shattered and the bullets began hitting the elites armour, burying themselves in his torso and head. It crumpled to the floor and Castle stopped, still firing into the elites corpse.
"YOU BASTARD! YOU BASTARD!" Castle cried. His rifle clicked empty. Ejecting the mag, Castle jammed in a fresh clip and turned away. He walked up the ramp on one side of the structure and reached the top, where six others including a wounded Sergeant Harrison had assembled. Peterson and three others hadn't made it. He knew where one lay dead...
"Castle, how many kills did you score?" the Sergeant asked him urgently.
"I killed three, and I counted two that the Corporal dropped before he got hit."
"Good, that should be the whole garrison down then. Go retrieve the dead, bring 'em up here. I received fragmented transmissions from a Pelican somewhere around, I'm gonna try and call them down."
"Yes sir." The squad chorused and carried out the dirty work. They were on a Pelican dropship thirty-five minutes later on their way to join up with whatever survivors they could find.