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Long Time Gone Part 38
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 20 February 2005, 6:31 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 38: Time For Us To End This

August 14th, 2551, Space, Undisclosed Location, Aboard Pirate Vessel 'Geiger', 1403 Hours

       Newman dropped to a knee, taking cover behind one of the many over turned tables strewn around the room. Newman discarded the empty magazine from his sub-machine gun, replaced the magazine and raised himself above the table and let rip a short burst at some of the remaining Pirates.

       Bravo swept over the small area like Death itself.

       Unlike Alpha, Bravo Team was the team made up of men and women chosen by the ONI. Whereas Alpha was made up of Newman's choices, Bravo were true blue, Black Ops personnel.

       All of Bravo were extremely well trained, more so than that of Alpha. The ONI had Bravo handle more pressing matters. But without Alpha on the majority of the missions, Bravo would be pretty useless; it was a relationship that met in the middle.

       Bravo's professionalism showed one of its better forms in close combat.
       Newman watched one of his Sargeants in a struggle with a Pirate. The Sargeant had his knife drawn and had the Pirate pinned down on a table, edging the knife closer to the Pirate's throat.
       With one final plea for mercy from the Pirate, the Sargeant sunk the knife into the man's throat, threw the convulsing body to one side like a rag doll, drew his handgun and dropped another Pirate several feet away with a headshot.

       Newman finished off another magazine, killing the last Pirate in the process; a deadly silence filled the room as the members of Bravo emerged from cover.

       With the room clear, Newman got the team to regroup. They were only one room away from the captured Spook.

"Ok, guys" said Newman, "as much as I hate to say it, we'll need Alpha's help on this one." Newman saw the posture changed on Bravo as one, somewhat annoyed having to bring Alpha into another battle they could handle on their own.
       But they knew they better not failing the objective. Newman changed frequencies.

       "McAllen come in," he started, the gentle static of the channel soothing him only for it to be interrupted by McAllen's response.

"McAllen here, sir."

"What's your SIT-REP, over?" Newman asked genuinely. Chris' reply was hardly happy.

"We lost Henderson," was all he said at first, "we're moving up another bastard of a corridor but no resistance, over"

"I need you up here on B Deck, we're about to breach the Prisoner holding cells but I want to make sure we don't lose the objective, so I want you to breach on the other side of the room, ask your engineer, should be marked clearly on the schematics, we're at the southern door, out."

       Chris had stopped his Team. Looking at them take positions, he didn't want to put them into battle again if he could help it but he owed it to Henderson to kill as many of those Pirate bastards as he could...

"We'll be there, Major..." Chris led them forward with a wave of the hand, it wouldn't take long.

       Chris and Alpha rounded the corner to the elevator, weapons up, half expecting the entire ship's crew to be there to defy them but a vast empty platform greeted them; similar to the one down to the ONI briefing area at Hathcock.

"Hender..." Chris stopped, "Veil, get us up there." Everyone piled onto the elevator and took positions around the edge looking upwards towards the top of the ship.

       Veil fiddled with the controls for a second and hit the 'UP' button, with a slow rumbling, it begun to rise, slowly but surely.

       Chris held his M7 tight to his shoulder, changing his firing vector rapidly, searching for threats, trying not to let his men down... again...
       Alison noted Chris' actions, wanting to say something encouraging but that little voice told her to just let him be.

       Chambers was kneeling next to Elliot who was still crying; he had his visor open and was wiping his eyes every now and then when the tears were too much.

"It'll be ok, Elliot," said Chambers putting an arm around him, "we'll get through this, like Karl would have wanted us too." Elliot didn't stop crying he looked at Chambers and went to say something but lost it in all the blubbering.
"Oh for fuck sakes," exclaimed Chambers, dropping the voice of sympathy, "he's dead! Alright? Dead, dead, dead, fucking dead! Nothing you or I can do about it so suck it up you gutless fuck, we got a job to do."

       Elliot's face twisted as he took in what Chambers had said. Chambers slid away from Elliot, not wanting to be close incase of a physical rebut.

"You're right..." said a low voice, Chambers didn't notice it at first but it had been Elliot, the usually loud and lively man that had known was now a quiet mouse of a man. "He is dead and there is nothing I can do about it, but..."

       "Just move on, Elliot," said Chris from the other side of the platform, "it will be hard but you can do it, you'll only die slowly thinking of what if, or what could have been, ok?" Chris retracted the stock of his M7 and holstered it, drawing his M6C from its holster and cocking it.

       Elliot started to stare, not at any one in particular; he was trying to find the truth in what they had said.
"Ok, Captain, I'm ready..." said Elliot standing up, re-cocking his BR-55, a full casing ejected from the weapon and fell to the floor, with a echoing ping .

       Chris saw the change in Elliot's eyes, from the bright intelligent sparkle to a dull glazed over look.
"Elliot is on leave as soon as we get back, Alison, ok?" Said Chris over the Officer's channel. She turned and just nodded in reply but she too noticed the change in Elliot, if it was for the good or bad, time would tell.

       The elevator came to a halt on B Deck, half of Alpha fanned out to the left side of the first room and the other half went right and met near a container not far from the shaft.

       It was a largish room, almost a small cargo area but it looked deserted, containers littered the room of various sizes, it was a low ceiling room, lots of ambush positions. The roof was covered in florescent lights; everything was painted in an unnatural white glow.
       They were not far away from where Newman wanted them. But first they had to get there.

       Chris stepped forward, staying low and took a position behind a container; he motioned for everyone else to move up.
"Parker," Chris turned to Alison, "I want you take Elliot, Chambers, Jeebs, Veil and Ramirez, go around that way," Chris pointed at the wall and then towards the opposite end of the room, "I'll take everyone else and go the other way, go now."

       Alison's Team broke from cover and moved silently, Chris led his Team the other way, the idea was to clear the room whilst moving for the exit and met at the door out of there.

       Jess Flemings held her M7 tightly, she was right behind Chris. Jess was still crying as they moved, her visor was closed and her moans could only be heard by herself.
"Jess," stated Chris, he put his left arm out and signaled for her to go around one side of a suspicious container.

       Jess sucked up the tears and clicked her mic, moving slowly towards the container. Chris led everyone else to the other side of the container.

       Jess Flemings rounded the corner of the container with a deep breath and fired by instinct at the most obvious hiding position there.
       The bullets impacted high on the Pirates who had been hiding there, no they had not been hiding... they had been waiting...

"Ambush!" Cried Jess jumping into the downed Pirates' position, they wouldn't be needing it anymore.

"Down!" Cried Chris as the room suddenly filled with the sound of gunfire, most notably MA5Bs and the slight drone of M7s could also be heard but only just.
       Chris crash tackled one of his men into cover as a wild stream of fire raked the wall above them.

       Chris scurried up against a crate, signaling for his three other men to take cover with him.
       The three men clambered to the floor next to Chris; they started returning fire as soon possible.
       Sargeants Rick Hornster, Pat Lincoln and Staff Sargeant Tom Floyd returned fire with their BR-55s with extreme accuracy, killing several of the Pirates and wounding more.
       Normally this Trio would have the Team's SPNKr and BTFUs, but since they were not allowed to bring them, the three just brought extra grenades and ammunition.

"Where's Flemings?" Asked Chris noticing her absence.

"Right here, sir!" She said over the comms, Chris noticed her waving an arm from cover getting his attention.

"I see you, are you ok?" Chris noticed they were only under fire from the end of the room, from the door, the only way out for them. If they tried to run back to the elevator the Pirates would have little trouble gunning them down and they would have easy shots of the descending team from the edge of the shaft.

"Just dandy, sir," Jess tried to stray as little from cover as she could, "looks like there is about a dozen or so of them, 5B's and F-5s, nothing serious."

       Chris snuck a peek at the enemies' position; it was of basic structure, containers of various make and size, stacked into a makeshift barricade.
It won't last against a well thrown explosive, but a grenade wouldn't be big enough, I'll need Elliot.

       On the other side of the room Alison was already on it.
"Hurry up, Elliot!" She cried, "We need to take out that position! Now!"

       Elliot fumbled with a light demolitions charge, checking the wires and powering up the detonator. He entered a five second timer and hit enter. Elliot then hot potatoed the charge to Chambers.

"Fire in the hole!" Yell Chambers as he threw the brick of explosive towards the barricade of crates.

"Fire in the hole?" Repeated Chris, "what's going on?"

"Everyone, down!" Ordered Alison over the comms. Chris and his Team put their heads down as a deafening roar filled the room followed by a shockwave and then by the debris.

       Chris jumped up soon as he could and pulled Hornster along with him, leaving Floyd and Lincoln to lay down suppressing fire.
       They wouldn't need to though; the Pirates were all dead or good as dead.

       Chris and Hornster checked over the dead, turning over bodies and scrounging grenades and munitions. Chris relieved one of the Pirates of an MA5B. Hornster laughed at Chris.
"God you got some guts using one of those things, I'll never go back to the 5B's after these," Hornster motioned to his BR-55.

"They're still good weapons, you just need to know how to use them," Chris pulled the cocking handle back and pushed it up into the receiver lip. Removed the empty magazine, scrounged a fresh clip and several spares and inserted it into the rear of the weapon and with a slap he released the cocking handle. "This will do, Hornster, don't worry."

       Something stirred behind them, Chris turned with his rifle up and his fingers were tensed but relaxed when Alison and her team emerged from the shadows.

"Don't scare me like that, woman!" Exclaimed Chris lowering the rifle and opening his visor, he offered a wry grin and turned back to where Floyd and Lincoln were. "Lincoln, Floyd, its all clear, move up!"

       The Figures of Floyd and Lincoln emerged slowly, moving up to the rest of the Squad with their weapons up, not letting their guard down for a second.
       The two came to a stop and finally lowered their weapons, giving acknowledging nods to Elliot for the help with the explosives.

       Chris' ear exploded with static for a second as he received a message, over the Officer's channel, he closed his visor so no one could hear him.
"Hey," said the voice, it was Alison, "I was looking at Elliot under fire, he seems normal to me, maybe he just had the shakes?"

       "Possibly, but I would feel safer after he had some serious time off, I know what it is like to lose someone so clo..." Chris cut himself off, "but he is on leave as soon as we get back, ok?"

"Roger that," said Alison, turning for the door, "we should get going." Chris nodded in approval and led the way.

"Major Newman, this is McAllen," stated Chris as he opened the door into the next room, Tom Veil stood by his side with the schematics in hand; well they were pictured on his HUD anyhow.

"The northern entrance to the holding cells is just there," he pointed to a heavy set door at one end of the room, "it should be open, I hope."

       Newman and Bravo Team had been painstakingly waiting for Alpha to get into position; the sound of McAllen's voice on the closed circuit got their hearts racing... It was go time.

"Roger McAllen, get ready to breach the room, well you breach first, be the distraction for who ever is in there. We'll get them with their backs turned; give me the message when you're ready..."

       Chris walked over to the door cautiously, looking at its construction and scanning the room at the same time. It was a large room but had nothing in it at all, it was blank. Probably an old extension of the Prison cells but by the scuffing of metal on metal marks on the floor, Chris guessed it was sometimes used to store cargo and loot.

       Elliot stood next to Chris, silently he pondered how to put breaching charges on the door.

"Better off just throwing eff-bees as we open the bastard of a thing," said Elliot.

"Which reminds me," said Chris, "Floyd, how many stun grenades do we have left?" Floyd fumbled around with his back pack and protruded six dark cylinders with pins attached. "Only six? What about everyone else? Frags too, people."

       There was a slight clutter of noise as Alpha checked their ammunition and grenades.
Floyd made a list and sent it too Chris' HUD's inbox, it read.

8 x M7 SMGs
32 x 60 Rnd Magazines for M7
10 x BR-55 ARs
5 x 36 Rnd BR-55 Magazines
2 x S2 AM Sniper Rifles
1 x 4 Rnd S2 AM Magazine
13 Flash Bang Concussion Grenades
5 Fragmentation Grenades
2 Light Demolition Charges

"And everyone has a side arm with 3 mags, minimum, unless anyone has used them?" Said Floyd looking over the squad.

"I used mine before, only used a couple of shells," said Chris checking the list, "not much too work with but redistribute the ammunition as best as you can, marksmen get dibs on the BR-55 ammo, ok?"

       Floyd grunted in reply as he took the remaining BR-55 magazines off Lincoln, Hornster, Elliot and himself and handed it to Ramirez and Chambers.

"Don't spend it all in the one place, kids," said Floyd putting his now useless BR-55 against the wall and drew his M7.

       Chris held his MA5B lazily and grunted at Hornster. "Well BR-55s may be better but at least I have ammunition, Hornster!"

"Ah, shuddup you," said Hornster putting his rifle down next to Floyd's and he drew his M6C.

"Here have this you big bitch," said Chris tossing Hornster his M7 and remaining magazines.

       With the remaining grenades and ammunition distributed among the Troops Chris finalized his plan.
"OK, on my go, you," Chris pointed at Floyd, Lincoln and Hornster, "throw those eff-bees and get down, after they go off we'll let loose some lead and hopefully Newman will do his part and drop anyone who is in there."

       Newman and Bravo waited patiently, they had stun grenades ready themselves and were just waiting for McAllen's go.

"Anytime soon, McAllen," said Newman, "I'd like to be home before it gets dark, alright?"

"Ha, ha, very funny, sir," said Chris, "alright we're good to go, any second now, get ready Team."

       Chris and Alpha were position around the door; he nodded at Lincoln who was near the controls.
       With a hiss the door opened and before it had even reached half way up; which took less then 12 milliseconds, the Flash Bang stun grenades were already thrown into the room.
"Everyone, get down!" Said Chris just before the combined explosion of six Flash Bangs sounded. Ramirez and Chambers ducked out from behind the door way and fired off bursts simultaneously at the Pirates in the room.

       As soon as they heard Alpha's Flash bangs go off and the distinct firing of BR-55s, Bravo opened their door and threw six Flash Bangs of their own.

"Alpha, get down!" Said Newman. Alpha Team jumped behind cover as the Flash Bangs bounced to a halt then detonated. "We'll take it from here..."

       Bravo Team now entered the room with the help of the distraction caused by Alpha Team. They shot everything that wasn't in an ONI uniform in that room.

       The actual room itself was small for an area of such importance, it was like the room Bravo had just been in except along the eastern wall were six small, wrought iron bar cells and noticeable in the middle cell was the Spook...

       Retaliatory fire zoomed back across the room at Bravo Team, they used what probably was some of their last ammunition on the remaining Pirates.

"Alpha, move in, we need some back up!" Said Newman, they didn't really but it would be quicker if Alpha joined in.

       The last group of Pirates were caught in the cross fire of Bravo and Alpha Team's. They were stuck in the middle of room behind a makeshift barricade of overturned desks.

"Get the hostage!" They cried as a final act, they retreated into the Spook's cell. One of the Pirates grabbed the Spook and shoved an F-5 semi-automatic pistol into his face.

"Don't move or the spy gets it, ok?" Said the rough man holding the Spook.

       Alpha and Bravo converged on the Cell, surrounding it but not shooting.

"Get back!" Cried the Pirate, "I'll do it! I swear to God I will!" The other three Pirates stood with their weapons trained on the twenty-three armoured soldiers outside of the cell.

"I don't think he will," said Chris over the Officer's Channel to Newman, Alison and Newman's second in command.

"We'll see," said Newman coldly.

"Get back God damn you!" Said the Pirate with the hostage, his hands were shaking and his eyes were on fire with rage. "Let us get to a ship and you can have your spy... Deal?"

       Over the closed circuit for Bravo Team to hear only.
"Take out the other three Pirates on my command." Newman opened his visor, "no deal scum bag, drop them!" The three other Pirates were bombarded by the combined fire of M7 submachine guns, BR-55s and M6Cs, large splashes of blood were projected onto the rear of the cell..

       The forth Pirate with the F-5 stared at the corpses of his comrades, blood from his comrades was speckled on his face, his eyes were no longer full of anger but fear, cold, hard, uncontrollable fear.

       He sucked up his fear for a second and said defiantly. "Shoot me and he dies..."

       The Spook took this time to talk.
"Hey thanks, guys, what took you so long?" He offered the Kill Team a warm smile, "mind taking care of this?" He motioned his head back at the Pirate still holding him at gun point.

       "Not at all," said Newman raising his M7 and let loose a burst at the Spook. The Spook's face exploded red and grey as his entire head was blown off his shoulders.

       The rest of Bravo Team, following their Leader's example, opened fire on the Pirate who was now holding the headless body of the Spook and wore a face of disbelief.

       After a long second of firing Bravo Team ceased fire.

       Newman smiled and turned to Chris.
"Mission Complete, McAllen," said Newman, he removed his helmet.

       Chris continued to stare at the body of the Spook.
"Why the fuck did you do that? I lost a good man to rescue that guy and now he is dead, what the fuck?" Chris turned and faced Newman, his face was still full of the excitement of battle.

"He was captured," said Newman, "he knew we could never let him go out and try to collect information on the Covenant or what ever, not after this gets blown across the six o'clock News, and yes the press got wind of an ONI Intelligence Officer being captured by these Pirate's, better for him to be dead then lying to the press for a year."

       "What was this really about Newman?" Chris didn't believe Newman's response.

       "Ok, these Pirate fags captured the Spook because his Prowler had been damaged and he had been drifting in space, he had been doing recons on Pirate activities around here and all that data is stored in the Prowler which I guess is still in the Cargo hold.
       "Otherwise the Navy is going to be busy searching through all that debris your team flung into space for it."

       Chris still didn't understand why they had to kill the Spook, he could have done another job.

       "I know what you're thinking," said Newman catching another one of Chris' gazes at the dead Spook, "technically, Spooks do not exist ok? Like you're in the ONI and a Captain, what's that gives you, hmm, about the power of a Colonel if you had to command any UNSC personal, but anyhow, it should be OK for you to know." Newman closed his visor and talked over a direct link to Chris' comms.
       "We, the ONI, can't just have people who have families and known relatives wandering around gathering the most crucial information of the war, there is always that possibility that they will tell their folks. So by staging the deaths of the Spooks before they join, the ONI just got themselves a fully fledge member who cannot go back to the real world without causing a mess. And obviously the ONI would not let them do that. I don't know if that made sense but in time it will, I hope."

       Newman turned on his heel and walked into the cell and made sure the Spook was defiantly dead, even though he was missing his head, Newman put several more bullets into the torso.

August 14th, 2551, Space, Undisclosed Location, Drop ship bound for UNSC Vessel Familiar, 1513 Hours

       Chris looked at the body bag again, in big white letters it had 'ONI' written on it.

       Everyone in Alpha was beat, they had taken off their helmets despite that they were still in danger inside the Pelican.

       Chris could not look around and not see someone crying or someone with the tell tale signs of crying around their eyes. Even Chris had wept when they were finally going 'home' as Newman had joked earlier.

       Chris reached into his left breast pocket and looked at Henderson's Dog Tags, they were caked in blood, A+ blood according to the Dog Tags.

       "It's all over, people," said Chris, "we made it. God. Three months off, come back, first mission and bam! I lost another one." Chris was about to throw the Dog Tags in frustration but something leant onto his throwing arm then onto his leg.

       Alison lay sprawled out on Chris' lap; he scuffed a bit so he was more comfortable and sighed.
       A resounding explosion traveled through space. Chris looked back out the rear of the Pelican and saw the Geiger explode into a ball of flames, snake trails from Archer missiles launched from ships at the blockade.

"All for nothing..." Breathed Chris clenching the Dog Tags in his hand and putting them back in his breast pocket.

       Soon they would be speeding back to Reach with the hard drive from the Spook's Prowler and all the information on it. With luck they would find something to justify Henderson's death...