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The Aftermath (Part 3)
Posted By: Gasmask
Date: 6 July 2002, 3:23 am

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İİİİİİDurumov swore softly as he typed. He was filing a report to the other colonies to be careful about traitors in their ranks, and how much damage they had sustained. Sleep pulled at his eyes, and he feebly batted it back, determined to finish his work. Ten minutes later, he hit the send button, and the message was off. He sighed deeply, then hit the intercom button to his secretary. "Katka," he croaked, "Get Lieutenant Jareth 430 in my office immediately. I need to brief him."
İİİİİİ"Yes, sir," came the reply. Katka sounded as weary as he.
İİİİİİ"And Katka,"
İİİİİİ"Enjoy the rest of your day off," Akhardy yawned.
İİİİİİ"Than...Than...Thank you, sir." There was a brief period of silence, then, "Chancellor, Jareth will be in in five minutes."
İİİİİİ"Thank you, Katka." Five minutes. Five minutes of quiet, when he didn't have to do a thing. Those moments were rare, and he always enjoyed them.
İİİİİİ Jareth 430 lept up the stairs towards the Chancellor's office. If he requested him personnally, it must be urgent. Deeper and deeper he went into the bright hall, his heavy boots thumping on the red carpet. When he got to the Minister's office, he knocked as softly as possible, but the door still rattled.
İİİİİİ"Enter," came a voice from inside the office. Jareth turned the knob slowly, then entered the pentagonally shaped room. The light was dim, sunbeams peeking in through the curtains, and just barely outlining the minister behind his grand oaken desk.
İİİİİİ"You wished to see me, sir?" the Spartan querried. There was a slight sigh, then the minister leaned forwards and replied, "Yes, khomrad. I did. As you know, last night a team of Spartans went renegade and destroyed two vital installations. After wreaking havoc and destroying good men, they fled into the desert, and we retreated because of the number of wounded. Today is our chance to strike back. A probe returned this telementery this morning at 0200 hours." Durumov hit a switch on his console, and a hologram appeared on his desk out of a projector. On it were a warthog, a scorpion tank, and five spartans. All were resting peacefully.
İİİİİİ"They forgot to have someone stand watch, khomrade," the minister continued, "and it is time to strike them for that fatal error. I want you to take your second in command and go snipe them off. They are about 10 klicks off of our eastern perimeter. Good luck."
İİİİİİ"Sir, thank you, sir!" And with that, Jareth 430 exited the room. He had a mission. A purpose. To kill the traitorous pigs. It would take them roughly half an hour to get out to the objective in a jeep, so he had to move quickly. Speed was of the essence. Speed killed.

İİİİİİAdam slowly drifted into consciousness. He cracked his eyelids, and light flooded them. "Owwwwwww," he croaked. He put on his helmate, then rose, slowly, caked sand rushing off his body. He looked at the time. 5:00. They had overslept an hour. And they all forgot to have someone stand watch. It had been very shoddy.
İİİİİİAdam woke the other spartans, and they breakfasted quickly to make up for lost time. They started a light conversation, when suddenly, a bullet struck Daniel square in the chest. Blood poured from the wound, and stained the white sand brown. There was no time to try to save him. They all knew he was dead. They just had to make sure that they didn't end up the same way. The four remaining warrior dove behind the tank for cover, as a bullet ricocheted the armor behind them.
İİİİİİ"Ellen, you got your best friend ready?" Steve asked.
İİİİİİ"As always." The female spartan reached into her pack and retrieved the sniper rifle, and assembled it in five seconds.
İİİİİİ"I'll draw them out," Adam said.
İİİİİİ"Like heck you will," Chesley said, "Let me go. You're too important to lose."
İİİİİİ"We're all too important to lose," Adam said.
İİİİİİ"Oh, cut the crap," Chesley said, "I've been the major downfall of the team since day one. I barely passed. Let me do this one thing, so I'll go out a hero than a failure." Before Adam or Steve could do a thing, Chesley got up and ran, bent over so that the tank would cover him until he got out in the open. Ellen was ready. She barely edged around the tread, to the point where she could see where she thought the sniper was. She heared a WHAM, heard a TUMP, and knew Chesley was dead. But he didn't die in vain. She saw the tracer, and fired twice. One for the sniper, one for the spotter.

İİİİİİBlood oozed from fresh wounds in Jareth's shoulder. He got two of them, but that was it for today. He wouldn't be able to fire with a bum shoulder. Top that off, and his right hand man was dead. He looked long and hard at his teammate, his brains now oozing out a hole in his head. "Rest well, my fiend," he said, "Rest well." Jareth slid down the sand dune that he had perched on, and crawled to the warthog. He jumped in, and punched the accelerator. If they still had that tank up and running, Jareth didn't want to be at the business end of its main cannon.

İİİİİİThe spartan team grieved for their comrades. After they had buried them side by side, the remaining three saluted.
İİİİİİ"So, what now?" Steve asked, "What do we do from here?" Adam turned to face him, and said,
İİİİİİ"We head for the mountains. They have some good caves there. It's less dangerous. We're too exposed out here."
İİİİİİThe other two spartans nodded in agreement. "Besides," Adam continued, "The mountains will give us enough time to recover ourselves and plan our next attack." He plodded over to the warthog.
İİİİİİ"Steve, you take the scorpion. Ellen, you get the back."
İİİİİİWhen they were all in, they drove to the north, as the sun beat down upon them. Adam was reminded of a song in a book he read once. He began to sing it.
İİİİİİ"And to the misty mountains cold
İİİİİİThrough dungeouns deep
İİİİİİAnd caverns old
İİİİİİWe must away
İİİİİİEre break of day
İİİİİİTo win our harps and gold from him."