Like Father, Like Son.
Posted By: crashedwarthog<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 6 February 2011, 12:54 pm
"Get up! Again! Do it again!"
"It's too hard!"
"You're too weak! Strength! Agility! Focus!"
"Sir! The Private is not WEAK SIR!"
"PROVE IT! GET UP!"
Pain shot straight to his arm; within a second he had realised what was causing it. The energy sword was lodged into the ground he was laying on, holding his left arm into position as it seared through his skin. He reached up with his free arm and sheathed the blade back into it's holster. After a sharp hiss the holster crashed to the ground with a heavy thud, narrowly missing his already damaged arm. Exhausted, he lay there, clasping his wound and trying to stop his head from spinning. He knew what had happened before, what had led him to this exact moment. Only what he did not know was, why was he still alive? He slowly got to his feet, spotting his rifle laying beside a crate. He grabbed it deliriously; it weighed so much more now than it ever did before. He became aware of his senses again; the smell of his own seared flesh, the darkness of the room, the sounds of battle still raging on. His heartbeat, his sweat, the heat, the smoke, the jingle of his spent shells as explosions moved them around; he could feel himself losing consciousness again.
"Why am I alive?"
"Where is my squad?"
"What is my next move?"
"Strength... Agility... FOCUS..."
His mind, his body, his very being simply was not ready to deal with his current situation; he was going into shock.
He closed his eyes and began to let his brain subconsciously do what he could not do himself. He began to recollect... to remember... to focus and bring himself back... to compose himself and help his mind comprehend...
The sky was on fire. Oranges, yellows and reds engulfed the horizon and smoke spewed into the atmosphere. His scope was scratched, his barrel was scarred and riddled with pockmarks from prior engagements. He could see for miles, and yet he could only focus on one thing. The Elite Field Commander was pacing back and forth along his own front line, barking orders, forcing his troops to stay calm under the mortar and artillery fire that was raining down upon their position.
Surely he knows I'm up here... surely he can't take his position for granted...
He smirked aloud, "He's either very brave or very stupid."
"Both." replied his spotter.
It didn't matter. The marine was breathing slowly now. Almost a mile away from his target, he was well within range to take the Field Commander down. His only problem was that the Covenant front line was within the ruins of the former outskirts of the city, and he could only see the flash of his target's armour through holes in the debris every few seconds. His spotter had located the target, now it was up to him to finish the job, try and create a few more casualties, and displace before their position was compromised. He could feel little more than the weight of his rifle in his hands and the sweat that was gathering underneath his headband. His ability to focus helped him to ignore the absolute deafening explosions that were happening around him. He didn't acknowledge his discomfort while he was kneeling on the cold, hard floor of his nest. It was time. He was focused. He breathed in. Long. Deep. The golden flash of the armour. Again. Again. The biggest hole was coming up in the wall.
The sabot round ejected from the barrel with ease, sliced through the thick battle fog and smashed into its target. The armour lit up as the shields struggled to resist the impact. The Field Commander had barely corrected his stance as the second round plowed into his shields, taking them out and blowing a hole in his armour, ripping through his shoulder and exiting into the methane tank of a grunt 20 meters behind him. The tank and the grunt exploded, knocking a platoon of Covenant to the ground whilst killing and maiming several others. The Commander, still standing in complete surprise felt the third and final round go through his left mandibles and out the side of his neck as he crumpled to the ground on his back, blood spewing out from his wounds.
He suddenly could not comprehend his own survival; his mind erased all hope, and he began to wail, a long and fearsome growl that echoed louder than the artillery that was mercilessly pounding around him. He was helped up by his guards, and carried on their shoulders to the back of their line. He was placed on his back as they sought help, but as he lay there, helpless, he struggled to raise his head, to try and see where his death came from. His eyes glassily scanned what little of the horizon he could see, until he spotted it. A perfect position. Textbook. A sniper's nest hidden amongst a number of buildings almost a klick away. He passed out, his head thudding to the ground, the image of the nest playing over and over in his mind. The guards had come back, and as he slipped away, he kindled the thought of revenge into a single flickering flame...
Heavy breathing now. Hurried steps. The sniper team quickly descended from their nest into the streets below. Covering each other from door to door, street to street, they searched for their next nest. They would be hard pressed finding another one that gave them such a comprehensive view of the Covenant front line, but they knew that they had already accomplished what they needed to. Now they were fire support for infantry and spotters for enemy armour and maneuvers.
Fires burned constantly and smoke engulfed the streets in a thick haze that choked the pair of air. The sniper paused between buildings and held his fist straight up. Had he heard something? They knelt to the ground.
"Switching to thermal."
He scanned the streets looking for any sign of movement. None. Clear. They moved on. They soon came across a five story building that overlooked the battlefield with at least 100-150 degrees of vision.
"Breach and clear. One floor at a time. Suppression."
They quickly moved through and cleared three floors with no sign of Covenant; only a couple of UNSC crates and filing cabinets that hadn't been touched by the destruction around them. Moving on to the next flight of stairs they could hear something moving around above them. They quickly and quietly ascended the stairs and negotiated their way towards the sound. The sniper's heart rate began to climb; his training began to take over. In close quarters their weapons gave them a tactical advantage; a modified SMG with an extended clip and a suppressed automatic shotgun. Suppression would ensure lack of reinforcements. Frag would be covered by artillery. Unsure as to whether or not they needed to discharge their weapons, they leant against the wall of the room where the sound was emanating from.
Suddenly a large amount of static interference was heard, and an elite's voice echoed through the floor of the building. A brute's voice responded; clear and concise, as if it were standing next to the team. They knew from experience roughly how many troops this brute would have in its charge; it sounded like a standard observation and communications post.
"On my mark. Frag, breach and clear."
"Ready when you are."
The spotter opened the door slightly but quickly while the sniper shoved a grenade through the opening. Cooked to perfection, the grenade blasted within 1.5 seconds, creating a forceful impact on the door that the spotter was holding. After the initial shrieks and cries of the wounded Covenant inside, the sniper team breached. The brute had been knocked to the ground and was on his back holding his weapon at the doorway. Before he could even fire a shot, his chest, neck and head were riddled with pellets from the automatic shotgun, while the remaining grunts and jackal were sprayed with SMG fire.
"Affirmative. Lets shut that comms unit down and get upstairs."
"Simple as that."
"Don't get cocky."
They slowly ascended to the last floor and cleared it, finding themselves their new nest in the process. Setting up a number of proximity mines in the stairwell, they gathered together some rubble and set the 50 calibre rifle in place, ready for their next mission. It was getting dark so they settled in for the night, making themselves as comfortable as they could while they watched the sky light up from more artillery barrages. They would get a few hours sleep at the most, and do as much damage as they could in the early hours of the morning.
"Nice job today private, you did a damn good job."
"Thank you Sir, I won't let you down."
"Strength, Agility, Focus. What it's all about."
As he gazed out across the battlefield and watched the battle rage on, the sniper became engulfed in a single realisation of his survival.
Strength, Agility, Focus. Ha. Dad didn't tell a lie about that; too bad he forgot to mention the most important part.