Long Time Gone Part 17
Posted By: grylsy<email@example.com>
Date: 21 September 2004, 7:33 AM
Long Time Gone Part 17: Shooting for the sake of shooting
June 3rd, 2550, Day one of Training Facility #6, Reach, 0930 Hours
Kelso stood over his men on their first day of training, they stood their in full Black Uniform, and they were all wearing the balaclavas and the gloves. The Troopers looked all the same, except for height. Some were tall some were short but they were fearsome none the less.
Kelso also noted that he couldn't tell the difference between the men and women unless he looked extremely close. The women would have their chests out more for extremely obvious reasons and if you don't get that then, eh...
"Alright, people, welcome to your first day of Shock Trooper camp, where you will learn the equivalent of the UNSC Marine Level 3 Advanced Infantry course, any questions?"
"Yes, sir, over here," said a man behind Chris, who was standing in the second row on the left side, his weapon slung by its sling over his left arm and under his right so it was strapped across his chest.
"What if we have already done that course?" Mutters from other Marines thinking the same thing broke out.
"Well, but excuse my French but, stiff shit! You'll just have to do it again for the hell of it!" More mumbles broke out.
"Alright, alright, SHUT UP!" Yelled Kelso, "ok now, members of Barracks hall, 2 and 4, meet Sargeant Johnson at the advanced weapons area, you'll be getting your hands on your specialist weapons!" About half the group broke away, it was the two men's barracks hall, Chris and Chambers were in number one, so they stood at attention still.
"And barracks hall number one and four, I hope you like to fly because your on the abseiling station!"
Chris and Chambers were the first to reach the old rickety wall, it was about 60 feet high with a plat form at the top to abseil down.
"Alright, ladies," Said Kelso pushing through the men and women of halls one and four, "as soon as you can prove you can decent off this wall effectively we'll move onto Pelican's and then you can get your turn at the advanced weapons station, Alright you, you, you, get climbing!" Chris, Chambers and a female from the group were chosen and they started to climb the ladder up to the top in full combat attire.
"Alright, now McAllen you go first!" Chris hooked up his belt that was build into the armour to the rope and held one hand out front and one behind his back and jumped back wards off the wall, going somewhat fast down for the first 30 feet before settling into a still fast but more controlled decent, he hit the ground and released his hands from the rope.
"Not bad McAllen," said Kelso, "could have been a bit quicker but still good, but you have to do it two more times before we leave here!" The female trooper when next, somewhat slower than Chris but more professionally. Then came Chambers as the next three climbed the tower. Chambers barely put his hands on the rope before doing the jump and he fell 40 feet before he seemed to be in 'control' but Chambers knew what he was doing, he reached the ground in one and a half seconds.
"Damn fine Chambers!" This went on for another hour before a Pelican come and landed at the bases landing pad.
"Why couldn't they drop us off here yesterday?" Said Chambers but already knowing the answer that Hans and Michelle's squads were needed at the first landing zone and it would be better if a Pelican did other errands rather than take two men to training.
The first load piled in the back and the pelican took off. Chris watched from the ground with Chambers by his side. Chambers had put his balaclava up like a beanie to let some wind on his face. Chris just enjoyed the balaclava because if he sweated it would soak into the balaclava and when the wind blew cool him down even more.
Soon the Pelican was hovering over a pre-selected zone and the troopers began abseiling straight down and getting out of the way before another trooper landed on top of them! With in twenty seconds the 12 men were on the ground and already walking back to Chris and Chambers.
Chris and Chambers jumped in the Pelican and each took the two seats on each side of the ship closest to the door. The Pelican shuddered for a millisecond when it took off, getting a feel for the weight it was carrying. The Pelican settled into a hover at the same spot as the others and Senior Drill Instructor Fathoms made an appearance from the cock pit and gave them the safety talk and told them good luck.
Chris was the first to jump and then Chambers would. Chris stepped up to the rear of the pelican and threw the pre-loaded bag of rope down, uncoiling as it fell. Chris got into the same procedure as before with one hand in front and one behind and pushed off. The downward thrust of the Pelican made him go down quicker than planned but he made it safe and sound.
Chambers must have seen Chris' accelerated decent and decided to do it the safer way. Chambers landed on the ground and removed the rope from his belt and took a step back before a Trooper landed right in front of him.
"That was fun!" Said Chris taking his helmet off and lifting his balaclava up, Chambers style...
"Yeah!" Said Chambers looking back up and seeing the last trooper repel down.
"Where'd you learn to repel like that?" Said Chris, referring to the wall not just then.
"Well, we had a lot of old dilapidated buildings back in the states, tall ones too, we had jobs as window cleaners, well, I did anyhow and we practised being on the heights of some tall buildings by repelling down old ones!"
"Makes sense!" Said Chris looking at his watch, "must be almost smoko!"
"What the fuck is smoko?"
"Sorry, I keep forgetting I ain't in Aus anymore, smoko is morning tea or second breakfast really, something to tie you through until lunch!"
"Oh, well lets go and find some, its almost our turn at the weapon range!"
After a brief five minute breather they headed back to camp and met the other squad already there, most of whom we carrying a second long arm weapon but we'll get to those later!
First and second barrack hall sat down at the canteen closely followed by the third and forth for a breif morning lunch... or smoko...
"Man some of those guns look awesome!" Said Chris looking over a female troopers shoulder to some men from second hall, sitting there talking.
"Yeah, can't wait to see what we're given!" Said one of the women.
"Damn straight!" said another woman.
After smoko they were lead to the weapons station several hundred metres away from camp. Johnson was waiting for them.
"Alright, lads. What we are going to do here is introduce you too your second child!" The Sargeant took several steps back and whipped a tarp off two trolleys which were stacked with various weapons, mainly shotguns, machine guns and SPNKrs. "And with most families the youngest is usually the favourite!" Gesturing towards the heavy weapons.
Johnson called out the troopers names and read their basic training results with basic UNSC weaponry. Chambers was the third called up.
"Corporal Chambers?" Said Johnson.
"Yes, Sir!" Said Chambers standing at attention.
"At ease, at ease, everyone at ease!" All the troopers let out the breaths they had been holding. "Now Chambers it says here you were a CAWs gunner?"
"Yes, that's correct, sir."
"A CAWs is an automatic 12 gauge isn't it?"
"Yes, sir! It kicks like a mule!" The troopers chuckled at the remark.
"Then you should have no trouble with the M90, even though it's standard Marine issue we got a bag of tricks for everyone who gets one! So just wait 'til everyone's got their weapons and we'll go to the range, alright?"
"Yes, sir!" Said Chambers receiving the 8'5 gauge magnum pump action shot gun and slinging it over his shoulder. He retreated back to his position next to Chris.
"McAllen, Chris!" Said Johnson, Chris walked up to the man, "ok, what do we have here, hmm." Said the Sargeant looking over Chris' basic training results. "It says here Master Sargeant, Hugh, is it?"
"Yes, Master Sargeant Hugh, sir,"
"Well it says he recommended you for LAAG training, but I have no record of your results for a LAAG course."
"That's because I did spotter training instead, sir!"
"Well you seemed to have scored well on the old L69 mgs, so..." Johnson reached down and pulled up one of the machine guns, "this is a K48A2 Light assault, machine gun," Johnson handed it to Chris, "we'll go over its operation later soldier!"
Chris stood back in his position and looked over the weapon. It was strange for a machine gun, it was in bull pop configuration like the MA5 series of weapons. It had an integrated bipod in front of the forward grip. It was someone what short being only 990 mm, just under a metre and it was light too, just over 4 kilos. It's ammo counter was featured on the left side of the weapon near where the ammo drum connected.
The troopers received their weapons. Chris noticed only one other Trooper got an mg, another K48A2, several had M90s like Chambers, two had SPNKrs and each had a person or two trailing behind who would be trained as assistant gunners. Three had S2 AM sniper rifles. But the majority of the Troopers didn't received another weapon.
Johnson had the soldiers shooting at various targets grouped at 100, 200, 500 and 1000 metres respectively. He had his eye on McAllen and Chambers. Kelso had told them to keep an eye on them because they were sent here by Hans Grebler.
"McAllen!" Said Johnson coming over with several drums of ammo, "load up and we'll see what you can do! Chambers go loader!" Chambers laid down next to Chris and begun to rummage to open the 150 round 7.62 AP drum.
"Fucking, its got a Chambers proof lid!" Said Chris with the top of his mg opened up to receive the belt from the drum. After a few more seconds Chambers produced the start of the belt from the drum. Chris locked the drum onto his MG by a set of locks in the mag housing which part of the drum went into. Chambers placed the belt onto the receiver as Chris closed the top flap and pulled the bolt back.
"Deploy the bipod!" Said Johnson who was still watching. Chris did so and flicked the safety off. "Ok, go for the 100 metre grouping!" The target was some weird figure that Chris and Chambers hadn't seen before. Chris brought the weapon to his shoulder and looked down the sight and put the target in the crosshair.
"You can shoot when you're ready, McAllen!" Said Johnson, covering his ears. Chris depressed the trigger and a bright blast of tracers littered the air heading for the target, a deafening roar of gunshots, piles of brass and the material which was some form of plastic holding the bullets together was stripped off each round and flung into the air with the empties. The target split in two from the first 20 bullets. Chris stopped shooting and heard that no one else was shooting either. He looked around and saw all the Troopers had been shooting their various weapons on the range stop and look at them.
A pile of almost 90 bullets littered the ground from 3 seconds of firing.
"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" Screamed Chambers, putting a finger in his ear trying to remove something that wasn't there.
"Yep," Said Johnson, "1800 rounds per minute on full auto, don't you just love it?" No one answered probably because they couldn't hear him, "ok now the two hundred metre one then the five, then the thou ok? Try some bursts too."
Chris turned his upper body over to the right more to get a view of the 200 metre target and depressed the trigger as soon as he saw it in his sights. A short burst of about 20 rounds hit the target as it shattered and keeled over, a clean line of holes shot through the centre. Onto the 500 metre target which was little more than a rectangle. Lots of bullets later, it now resembled kindling... The thousand metre target got the remaining rounds from the drum into. The K48A2's electronic ammo counter; near where the drum was inserted, beeped as it fired the last 30 rounds and then a harsh CLANK, as it hit empty.
Chris stood up, his hands felt like jelly after firing so many bullets in a short amount of time. Their position was littered with empties, black plastic from the belt and scuff marks from their movements on the grass.
"Fine work McAllen, you passed basic mg skills. We'll get you on a LAAG later." Said Johnson looking at the smoking K48, "now Chambers, remember how I said about the bag of tricks for your M90?" Chambers nodded, "follow me!" Johnson and Chambers left Chris with the mess to clean up, it wasn't much he swept the empties into a bucket along with the black plastic. Chris picked up his K48, closed the bipods, removed the empty drum and placed it on the rack. He then drew his MA5C, collected some ammo and got some target practice with it.
"Chambers," said Johnson, "load the orange shells; we'll have some fun first!" Chambers didn't read the shells casing he just loaded it and did the action, "have a shot at that old pelican over there," he said pointing over at a destroyed pelican which had been towed out onto the range for heavy weapons practise.
"But isn't that for heavy weapons, sir?" A smile from Johnson,
"Just shoot!" Chambers shouldered the shotgun and fired. The kick was enormous! Chambers had aimed for the left side engine port. The bottom part of the engine port exploded and fell to the ground in a heap. Johnson was laughing.
"Man, every new recruit has that same look their face, 'What the fuck was that!' Look." Johnson picked up the shell after Chambers ejected it, "HEAP shotgun rounds, they hit the target, put a small hole in them and then the fire works go off blowing them sky high!" Johnson handed Chambers a handful of blue shells.
Chambers had a shot at the pelican's rear side wall that was a good 3 inches thick and was surprised to see a small lone tree in the background keel over when it was hit!
"Yep, good ole tungsten tipped polymer carbon slugs! They'll go straight through hunter's armour at medium range, oh say, about 100-150 metres and closer of course!"
They inspected the damage to the pelican and Chambers found that he could stick his index finger into the hole and out the other side with enough room to wiggle it a little bit.
"Sir?" Said Chambers shouldering his shotgun after removing the loaded shells and placing them in the bag of shells.
"What, Chambers?" Said Johnson patting the bullet riddled pelican.
"Well, I don't know how to say it but McAllen and me have never seen a Covenant, and well, does that change much?" Chambers took a breath, he noticed the weird look on Johnson's face, "like we've both been under fire, killed almost 100 people between us and been shot for our planet, but we, well I don't feel worthy to be here with all of you guys..." Chambers looked at his feet for some kind of aggressive remark, but it never came.
Johnson had pulled out a smoke and had taken a drag.
"It doesn't matter who you've fought as long as you can fight the next enemy, we've had MPs, frickin' MPs for Christ sake! They'd never even seen Covenant on the news and I saw some of them last month and they had medals, I mean lots of medals, not pansy 'oh I got shot' medals," Chambers crossed his arms to cover his wounded in action medal, "real medals like outstanding bravery". Johnson took another puff and stared into the sky, hearing the echoes of shots from the other troopers at the range. "What I'm getting at is you can't be judged for who you've fought or haven't fought, just get stuck in and kill a few of the shits for good ole' Earth and try and enjoy yourself in the process!"
Chambers stood there, rubbing his chin, feeling for stubble which he had never felt before and still won't at least not today. Johnson lead the way back to the rest of the Troopers who were packing up weapons and ammo and getting ready for supper. It was going to be a long six weeks.