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Long Time Gone Part 19
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 26 September 2004, 1:17 PM

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Long Time Gone Part 19: He shoots, he scores!

June 15th, 2550, Reach, 13th day of Training, Training Facility #6, Enemy Weapons training, 0736 hours

       The glowing green weapon look fearsome, it discharged and the fiery green plasma shot towards the armour on the wall. It hit with a hiss and then the green plasma cooled and its colour faded.

Chris wiped his eyes and looked at Johnson who had fired the plasma pistol. He lowered the weapon and retrieved the armour. Walking along the Troopers assembled in front of him. The armour didn't have a mark on it! It was the same as the armour they all wore.

"Now we'll test it for multiple hits!" Said Johnson walking back over to the table of captured Covenant weapons, picking up a plasma rifle. "The term 'rifle' is miss-used in the description like our assault-RIFLE, which is more in fact a sub-machinegun, as is with this weapon." He raised the weapon and fired multiple shots at the same spot on another set of armour, he kept shooting until the weapon's cooling fins deployed and it failed to function.

Unlike the first, this armour had a sign of it being hit, where it had been hit almost twenty times there was a small melt mark.

"What about that?" Said a Trooper pointing to the armour when it was passed by him.

"That?" Said Johnson touching the damage himself, "oh I wouldn't worry about that! See, taken from reliable battle reports, it is now known that the user of this weapon", a nod to the cooling weapon on the table, "have little to none participation in open warfare to our knowledge." Johnson put the armour down and looked at his watch, he still had twenty minutes before they would be briefed on the known Covenant soldiers. "Our armour is vastly superior than the standard UNSC Marine armour and takes an average of 56 non-stop hits from high energy weapons to pierce it."

"But, sir," said Susan Foley, "what about that weapon over there?" She said pointing at the V shaped weapon with several rows of glistening purple crystals protruding from the top.

"Ah, the needler, that is a different weapon altogether, Foley." Johnson picked up the weapon along with several small objects which looked like diamonds but they were the same colour as the needles on top of the weapon. "Yes this weapon fires needles, hence the name, but don't be fooled, these aren't your mamma's sewing kit needles! These little pricks," he said this touching the point of one of the needles, "have a tendency to follow you and explode!"

       Johnson brought up the weapon and fired off some needles which launched in a straight line as they had not been targeted to anything. They hit the walls; of the bunker they were taking this lesson from. The needles exploded with a sound of breaking glass.

"Oh, sure, your thinking, 'that didn't hurt'? Well try this for size!" Johnson targeted one of the vests and held down the trigger, the remaining 15 or so needles hit the armour and exploded as one after a second... BOOM!!! The bunker shook as the needles blew the armour apart! Chris swore he heard someone yell that they got hit by something!

"Yeah, that's the worst thing about these little shits," he threw the weapon at the table, "they have a habit of making one big explosion if ten or more needles are on the same target and don't think that because the ammo isn't in the gun it is stable!" Johnson lead the troopers out to the range and placed two of the 'clips' for the needler near the damaged Pelican and got everyone to step back. He drew his pistol and fired a shot at one of the clips...

BOOMMMMMM! As the Pelican shook and was engulfed in a purple flame. When it cleared the armour plating was charred beyond recognition, some of the thinner metals had melted...

"Remember that when you see one of those little Grunty fucks reloading one, people!" With that Johnson dismissed them to play with the weapons and get a feel for them if they should ever have to use one.

       They were all confronted with virtual 3D images of known Covenant soldiers. The stupid but numerous, Grunt. The alert but weak, Jackal. The feared but slow Hunter and last but not least the superior soldiers, the smart, strong, well armoured and armed, Elite.

"Ha, ha, ha!" Laughed Chambers, "it looks like, you, McAllen on a bad hair day!" He was pointing at a Jackal with its beady eyes and a Mohawk protruding through its helmet.

"Haw, haw, extremely funny, man!" Said Chris faking a yawn. They had been learning about the Covenant for three hours and they were almost finished. Kelso dropped in and told Fathoms who would be needed at the Warthog bay and who could have the afternoon at the range.

Chris and Chambers were taken to the Warthog bay with about fifteen others. Kelso was waiting for them.

"Alright, we'll be covering LAAG gunnery skills and basic all terrain driving!" Kelso was looking over the Warthogs. "McAllen, you take the gun, Chambers behind the wheel!" Chambers jumped in and turned the ignition, the electronic motor whirred to life with a buzz and Chris' M41 LAAG was powered and was ready to shoot. They drove the vehicle around the course first letting Chambers get used to the controls.

"Come on, Chambers! My grandma drives faster than that!" Yelled Kelso across the intercom. Chris chuckled but stopped when Chambers hit a bump on purpose and caused Chris to jutted and was almost thrown out. The next lap they had targets popping up and moving around, Chris was barely looking down the sight, just using the tracers to aim.

       It was Chris' turn to drive now. Chambers was in the rear, swivelling the weapon around getting a feel for its rotation and traverse. Chris put the LRV into gear and dropped the clutch, the wheels spun as he sped off onto the course in first, they reached the first straight, Chris pushed in the clutch, changed to second, gave it some more rev, onto third gear just as they hit the first corner. He dumped it down a gear, sacrificing some speed for more traction. The four way suspension/drive kept the vehicle stable on the muddy section, Chris found the Warthog slipping off to the left, he turn the wheel to the right, causing the rear to stabilise as they sped to the finish.

They ran it with the targets next, it all went smooth, Chambers proved to be a pretty good shot. They passed the course and it was 1603 when they were finished and ready to go to have dinner and then go to bed. BUT they got to sleep in on the 13th day of training, Kelso would run them through some refreshers on day 14 and then they'd begin their month war. Where the best soldiers would be posted to the best units, most likely boarding parties for UNSC ships.

June 16th, 2550, Reach, day 13 of Training, Shock Trooper training camp #6

       Chris got up at 1300; he was still tired and wasn't surprised to see 50% of the camp still in bed! Chambers was missing though. Chris checked the showers, mess hall and the female barracks but he couldn't find him. He also noted on a lesser level that Susan Foley was also missing...

"Oi, Ericson!" bellowed Chris at a trooper playing cards with some other guys near the armoury.

"What?!" Yelled the Coloured private.

"You seen Chambers or Foley?"

"No, why?"

"I think they might be up to some hanky panky!"

       Just then two Warthogs skidded into camp. Six familiar figures hoped out, all dressed in Black Clad fatigues. Chris had put his helmet on, but most Troopers wore it as it was extremely comfortable and because they had games on the helmet's computer!

Chris walked over to the jeep, sneaking up on the six Troopers looking towards the HQ.

"Well, well!" Said Chris smacking the nearest one on the shoulder, Hans turned around a mad look on his face which changed to a smile, "HANS!!" Cried Chris, shaking the man's hand, "Gunny! Jinx! Trent! Sid!" Chris remembered them all, he then saw someone he had been thinking about all the time here... Michelle Ripply. The sun reflected of her hair, she had a childish glint in her brown eyes.

"CHRIS!" She said hugging him.

"Yeah I missed you too, say can you let go, you're embarrassing me in front of the guys!"

"Oh sorry," she blushed, almost forgetting about the other troopers, "how's training?"

"Good, rest day today, then refreshers tomorrow followed by the month war or something."

"Yeah that month war is a damn fine experience McAllen," said Hans, Gunny and the others had said they're hellos and headed off to the HQ to see Kelso; with the usual, 'remember me' remarks graduates always made. "If you do really well you can get posted into some of the best units!"

"You saying you're not a good unit?" He chuckled.

"Well we're one of the top 10 units to be posted too so we get some of the best." Said Hans matter-of-factly, "so I'd hope to see you and Chambers in my squad someday, speaking of which, where is he?" Chris scratched his head.

"I don't honestly know!" He said looking around the camp, "you caught me just as I was going to go and look for him."

"We'll join you!" Said Michelle putting on her peaked cap.

       They walked around the camp asking Troopers had they seen Chambers or Foley and every time they got a 'no' or a 'I saw them yesterday'.

"I think they're up to something," said Chris, he had taken a real liking to Chambers, he felt like a brother, not a favourite brother but still a brother he didn't want to lose, "something naughty!"

"Well I've heard the story of you two!" Said Hans, Michelle blushed and tried not to look at the Gunnery Sargeant, "all is fair in love and war, Ripply. I don't care what you too did or haven't done, as long as you are still good soldiers".

They looked around the base for a good hour before they called a stop and went back to where the Warthogs were.

"By the way," said Chris leaning on one of the Warthogs, "what brings you lot to this neck of the woods?"

"You'll know in two days, Corporal," Said Hans straightening his cap and motioning for Michelle to follow. Chris' eyes dropped to Michelle's posterior as she walked away. Chris bit his lips and shook his head, it was good to see her again, that part the most...

       It was 1430 before Chris saw him. He came strutting into the mess hall; he had his fatigues on and his cap in his hand. A look of was pleasure on his face.

"Hey, Chambers!" said Chris, looking at him, "where you been all..." Just then a second figure walked into the mess hall, Susan Foley; whose blonde hair was somewhat messed up and had a cheery smile on her face. She walked up and pecked Chambers on the cheek and said hello to Chris. Then she went to get something to eat.

"Let me guess," Said Chris, "you and her?" Chambers nodded and sat down.

"Aw, that was awesome!" He said savouring the moment,

"Just leave it at that, man, I know how it feels!" Said Chris pushing his food forward, already not hungry from the image caused by the words Chambers had said, then pulling the plate back feeling the hunger come back.

"Ok, hey, who came in the 'hogs?" Said Chambers point out the window to the two Warthog's parked outside the HQ.

"Hans is here," Chambers' face turned to surprise, "so is Jinx, Trent, Sid, Gunny and of course, Michelle." Chris took a gulp from his cup, washing down some bad, what ever the hell the chief called it.

"What? Why? We still got that month battle thing still!" Chambers saw Susan sitting down with the other women at a table, talking quickly and enthusiastically, obviously talking about him. Chris changed the subject.

"So does this mean you got a girlfriend?" Said Chris looking at Susan, she wasn't that bad, she was sexier than most of the women here. Chambers has the eye already! He thought.

"Yeah! Never felt so good, Michelle said anything to you?"

"Yeah she's fine," Said Chris, he learnt over and whispered to Chambers, "I have a sinking feeling that she and the others are going to be involved in the last month of training..."