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A new Breed of Spartan:Chapter 2: Off the Beaten Path
Posted By: Forerunner's Advocate<sttrooper87100@yahoo.com>
Date: 4 October 2004, 4:22 PM

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       "Sir may I ask you a question?" asked the Corporal over the roar of the modified Pelican's engines.
       "Go ahead Corporal," said the Master Chief emotionlessly.
       "Well..." said Campbell hesitating. "I wanted to know your name. If we are going to work together I think it would be prudent to get to know each other."
       "My name?" the Spartan had not even used his own name since Reach had fallen. "My name is John."
       "It is a pleasure to meet you John." said Lance. Knowing the Spartan's name made him a lot more comfortable. It somehow made the Spartan seem more human to him.

       "Doctor Halsey; It fills my heart with joy to see that you have survived the disaster at reach," said Captain Andrews beaming. "I do wish to hear the story of how you did it when we have more time."
       "It was the Spartans. I owe my life to them. They were... never mind. We must concentrate on the task at hand. I have looked through your files and I have chosen three other candidates for the program. They will be go through the augmentation process if all goes well with Corporal Campbell."

       The U.N.S.C. drop ship, a modified Pelican, switched over to it's nearly silent and non-heat emitting backup engines. It slowly dropped toward the surface of the planet Haythim XI. The O.D.S.T. or Orbital Drop Shock Trooper and the Spartan-117 jumped from the ramp and landed softly on the forest floor. They watched as the Pelican swiftly but quietly took off toward their faraway ship.
       Lance watched as the Spartan slid a magazine into his modified
S2-AM Sniper Rifle. On this mission he was told that keeping his head down was the most important thing. The Spartan's armor could take an extreme amount of punishment but his on the other hand... Well let's just say a few well placed plasma rounds could turn Lance into piece of charred carbon. But he didn't intend to let any covenant live long enough to get a shot off. He also slid a magazine into his rifle and chambered a round.
       "Okay, COM check. Do you read me Campbell?" asked John in a whisper.
       "Loud and clear, let's make sure none of those covenant faggots live through the night," said Lance coolly.
       They had been given sound and flash suppressors for their S2-AM rifles. They would certainly be put to good use. They began to slowly make their way through the mist that blanketed the nighttime forest floor. John motioned for Lance to stop.
       "I am picking up multiple enemies on my motion tracker. Let's slip up over this ridge and try to take as many out as we can without being spotted."
       "Roger that. Lead the way," whispered Lance trying to hide his excitement. He had always felt this way when he was about to engage the covenant. It was a mix between excitement and dread. They crested the hill and could see a line of twelve grunts break through the foliage there were two jackals bringing up the rear.
       "Fire on my mark. Take out the ones bringing up the rear first."
       "Roger." As the two soldiers took aim Lance noticed that they were stopping. "Sir wait," he said quietly as he watched two grunts set down a crate that they were laboring over. They started babbling in what Lance presumed was their native tongue. He could barely hear them.
       "What is it?" asked the Master Chief.
       "Do your censors tell if there are any covenant close enough to hear a plasma grenade?"
       "Negative, there aren't any covenant that near.
       "I have an idea. If I shoot a plasma grenade carried by one of the grunts it should create a chain reaction and set off the other grenades carried by the covenant. Plus the methane tanks will add to the explosion. I will shoot into the tightest group. You are probably a better shot than me so you can start with the clean up while I recover from the flash."
       "Affirmative. Let's do this while they are still clumped together. Fire at will."
       Lance quickly aimed at what he thought would give him the most effective radius and squeezed the trigger. The rifle kicked against his shoulder as the gun fired a one hundred, forty four millimeter projectile toward his enemies. FWOOM!! The grenade burst into a cloud of blue hot brilliance. It was just a matter of enjoying the show after the initial explosion. A mix of covenant flesh and blue blood flew in all directions as grenades exploded and methane tanks burst into flame.
       "Good call Campbell. That worked better than we could have hoped. Let's move on."
       The next half hour went by uneventful. Lance was just about to speak when John made the signal for him to stop and retreat slowly. When they were at a safe distance from what they were trying to avoid John spoke.
       "There are two hunters guarding the gates into the complex that we are heading for. Have you had any prior experiences with these monsters Campbell?" asked the Master Chief quietly.
       "Ya, but I had a jackhammer so I am not exactly sure how to take them out with what we have."
       "Okay, the only place that our rifles will be able to do any damage to them is that orange patch of skin on their backs. I think it would be better for me to deal with them. Follow me to a point where you can watch," said John as he turned to walk away.
       Lance followed until he could see both hunters. If Lance had thought they were huge when he had fought them it was nothing compared to when the one on the left stretched to its full height and popped the vertebrae in its back. It had to be at least 12' tall. Then Lance saw a white streak blur across his vision. It went into the back of the nearest hunter blowing a hole the size of water melon as it exited. John had switched to ballistic rounds and the slug had burst into a thousand shards of metal then exited his back ripping his spinal chord to pieces. Another white streak and orange blood pasted the ground as the remaining hunter fell to the ground in a heap.
       "Gate clear. Let's go save those marines Corporal. Meet me at the gate," said John over the COM system.