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Long Time Gone Part 31
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 24 December 2004, 5:20 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 31: The Berth of the Kill Team

January 7th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, "Visitor's" Quarters, 0301 Hours

       Chris was woken by banging on the door. He sat up in his cot.

"Who the fuck..." he said under his breath getting up, "who is it?" He said in a louder voice.

"ONI, open up!" Replied a voice.

"Oh great," Chris muttered, "give me a second..."

"Now!" Demanded the voice, further bangs on the door followed...

       Chris opened up the door; he was only dressed in his Flecta camouflage fatigues. Two men were outside the door; Chris couldn't make out their features, a light behind them blanked out their faces.

"Sargeant McAllen?" Asked one of them.

"Yes?" Said Chris, not knowing what to expect.

"You are coming with us; we need to leave, right now..."

"But where? And its 3 in the morning, come on!" Chris stamped his foot on the floor out of anger.

"Sorry, Sargeant we can't tell you, if you would just grab your gear and we'll get going..." One of the men stepped past Chris into his room and grabbed several of Chris' unpacked duffle bags.

"Alright, alright, I'm going..." Chris packed up the rest of his gear and followed the two men to their vehicle; a Warthog lorry; painted jet black with the big white letters 'ONI' under where doors would be if it had any.

"Nice ride..." Remarked Chris as the one with his bags tossed them in the back, "hey careful! My shit's in there you know..."

"Yeah... I know..." Said the man with a smirk on his face, "get in the back... bitch." Chris almost chuckled at the remark, these two seemed human... almost.

       Chris sat back on seat, looking out at out the Hathcock base; it was very quiet and barely anyone was awake. The Warthog was stopped outside a barracks; the two ONI men said they had a few more people to round up.

       Chris didn't mind, he sat in the back and looked at the stars, he saw the Quail in orbit, he let out a sigh and prayed he would see Alison again.

       After five minutes the ONI men came back with three more hopefuls in tow, they made them carry their own stuff this time. They piled in the back with their gear. The three sat on the opposite side of Chris, he didn't care. He didn't know them and they didn't him so it was ok.

"Hi," said Chris to one of troopers extending his hand, they looked at him through balaclavas and grunted in reply; "assholes..." Chris breathed under his breath sitting back.

       The Lorry bounced along the road around the camp. Chris and the other three soldiers looked around themselves. They were heading toward the main gate.

"Oi, mate," Said Chris sliding along the seat toward the driver/passenger area, "where we going? ODST headquarters are that way..."

"Yeah we know..." Said the passenger.

"And this isn't the quickest way there either, man," said Chris looking at the driver; he knew where he was going.

"Just sit back and relax, Sargeant..." Replied the passenger waving a hand.

       Chris sat back as the Warthog entered the ONI briefing centre. Unlike the rest of the base there was a lot of activity here. Men and vehicles constantly moving around, spotlights illuminated the area along with the weapon mounted flash lights of men.

       The jeep came to a stop near the main entrance to the underground network. The two ONI men stepped out of the Warthog and ushered the four troops out. Chris reluctantly stepped down after his gear had been taken by several other ONI personal to his new home from which he knew nothing about.

       Chris was now standing on one side of the elevator with the two ONI men, the other three soldiers stood on the other side. They were clearly afraid of the two ONI men.

"You guys come here often?" Joked Chris.

"Nah..." replied the one who had been the driver, "we only come here for tea parties..." A couple of snuffed laughs came from three soldiers. The second ONI man looked at them and their laughter stopped immediately.

       It took almost ten minutes to descend to the level of the ONI briefing centre.

January 7th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, ONI Briefing Centre, 0436 Hours

       For the second time in 24 hours Chris was in front of the board. But this time he wasn't alone. Eleven other mixed troops were there. Including Shock Troopers, Marines, Marine Special Forces, existing ODST and Chris was happy to see another Fallschirmjäger; Chambers...

"Troops," said a voice from the darkness, "you twelve have been selected for a special purpose. If you choose to do so of course. But all we can say is that it will be very secretive but you can still have contact with old comrades if you were wondering."

       A wash of relief went over Chris; he could still see Alison then.

       The briefing went on for several more minutes of how lucky they were and that they could not falter in their duties. It was of the highest importance to the ONI and to Humanity, in that order too.

       "Now all that remains is that will you men and women accept?" At that statement Chris looked over the other recruits, he couldn't notice if any were women! Everyone all looked the same with the armour and face masks.

       No one said anything.

"If you don't want to say it, let's do it this way then," said a calm, cool voice, "everyone willing to carry out their duty, take one step forward, now..." There was a mighty echo in the room as 24 boots stepped forward and snapped to the ground to attention.

"Excellent," said another voice, "these will do nicely..." Whispers broke out; various agreements were made at the statement.

"Alright ladies and gentlemen," said the familiar voice of the authority figure, "welcome aboard, you all will receive further orders in the morning... Don't worry; you won't have to come to another one of these... for awhile, alright dismissed!"

"Sir!" Said All the Troops in rely as they existed the room.

"Do you think they will do as we order them too?" Asked a voice.

"Yes, they would do anything to help our cause... even what we need them too do..."

"Shall I prepare the target list?" Said another voice.

"Yes, and don't forget anyone, we cannot allow them to know what they shouldn't."

January 7th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, ONI Personal Quarters (Above Ground), 0630 Hours

       Chris had a room all to himself. As did every other man and woman who had been at the meeting. Chris stuck his head out his door. Nearly everyone was sitting down in a lounge area just outside his door. They chatted quietly, Chambers wasn't there. Chris would have checked where he was but Chris needed to get changed.

       After another hour of quiet time the quarters were raided by masked ONI men; armed ONI men. They stood at attention in the centre of the lounge. Another armed soldier walked in. Major bars on his ODST ONI Division uniform.

"Hello, ladies..." he stated.

"Good morning, Major Newman," said some of the troops near Chris.

"Yeah, good to see you twelve accepted, we are gonna have so much fun together now..." Newman walked up and back the lounge. He did a walk by of Chris; Chris noticed the man's weapon. It wasn't the 'normal' issue Chris was accustomed to seeing. It was truly amazing.

       The weapon was just over 12 inches long. It had a telescopic stock that could extend to make the weapon more accurate and it had an external 60 round box magazine mounted on the left side of the weapon.

       The twelve ONI dressed ODSTs weapons were just as good. Several had the small assault rifle whilst others had a weapon that looked similar to the MA5B issue rifle, with the magazine in a bullpop configuration, but this had a carry rail with a scope mounted on it.

"Don't worry about the training, we only have to go other the Orbital Drop stuff and of course new weapon training, also there will be several lessons on zero gravity combat." Some of troops near Chris moaned in disappointment. Zero gravity was one of the worst fighting conditions.

"When will we be starting, sir?" Asked a female trooper next to Chris.

"After breakfast which is," Newman looked at his watch, "about now, so get your shit together and report to the mess tent, it's, err, over there somewhere, just follow that putrid sewerage smell, and you'll find yourself at the front door..." Newman was the only one who chuckled at his joke.

       The Troops piled out after they were dismissed and headed for the mess tent.

       After a high energy breakfast the two platoons of troops reported to their quarters. The platoons were issued their Orbital Drop Shock Trooper uniforms.

       A suit of greyish, blue armour was handed out to every Trooper, they fitted like gloves, they had been made specially for each Troop. Their helmets were even better. The helmet locked into the suit of armour to form an air tight suit and enabled combat in space with the appropriate life support gear.

       The helmet's appearance was well liked by all the Troops. Even Chris agreed it was good. The helmet was the same colour as the armour and was similar to comparison of that of the Spartan helmet. It had a reflective visor that covered the faces of the ODSTs, they looked truly fearsome in the armour.

       They wore no division insignias. Which seemed strange but the ONI was strange.

"Alright, now that we're all in our new gear let's go and get you guys some new guns..." Various grunts in approval followed as Newman lead them outside to the armoury. The twenty-five troops were quite an eye opener. Everyone who was outside stopped and looked at them as they crossed the open area between their quarters and the armoury.

       The Majority of the troops received the new BR55 Battle Rifle, a 9.5mm assault rifle holding 36 rounds with a 2 times scope and only fired three round bursts. Where as troops with secondary weapons like SPNKr rocket launchers, sniper rifles and light machine guns were issued M7 submachine guns. They fried 5mm rounds at 1200 rounds a minute from 60 round magazines.

Troops like Chambers who had shotguns got a BR55 when Chris with his K48A2 LMG got a M7 SMG.
      Chris' K48A2 was replaced by a K50A1 LMG, it was of the same basic design except the bipod had been removed, the magazine was changed to 200 rounds and an optional 500 round drum was usable.
The later choice was attached to either the soldier's back or to their belt instead of to the weapon; a belt cover fed the ammo between drum and weapon.

Chris took the standard 200 round magazines in preference to the 500 round drums.

       The soldiers were also issued live rounds to train with, they were all given M6C pistols; these were the standard M6D but without the scope, this made for a far more effective side arm as it now had iron sights.

Chris' M6D was taken off him and the scope was removed by a tech who then added the iron sights in the scopes place. Chris thanked the tech and took his pistol back, it was lighter now and the iron sights made it extremely effective to just pull it out and shoot with out the normal HUD loading time required with an M6D.

Chris also took several additional things from the armoury to personal his uniform, as did Chambers. Chris took a holster for his M7 SMG that fitted to his right thigh and held 6 magazines as well.

On his belt he had grenades to the front, M6C straight behind him with magazine pouches on either side, K50A1 magazines were carried in pouches attached to his left thigh. Chris put his Fallschirmjäger Gravity Knife into a torch pouch as it fitted perfectly; he put the pouch up near his left shoulder.

       After the troops had practiced a little with their new weapons Newman got them to stand attention and come forward to receive their new ranks. Chris noticed in his HUD every member except Major Newman only had a single Private Bar above their heads. He enjoyed the new targeting system as well. All he had to do was move his weapon and the HUD followed with pin point accuracy to where he was aiming.

      Major Newman first hit a button on his left arm's PDA; every Trooper had a similar device attached to his or her left forearm. It was used in the art of communicating between each squad member in text communications and also acted has their own personal organiser.
When Newman hit the button instantly Chris' HUD lit up as everyone was given their old ranks back, he noticed there were a lot of Sargeants.

"OK, everyone is familiar with their old ranks but here's some new ones for some of you," Newman pressed another button. The Soldier next to Chris' rank changed from a Corporal to a Sargeant. Newman did two more and two Sargeants to promoted to Gunnery Sargeants as they had the SPNKr rocket launchers. Chris was expecting the same thing as he had a LMG.

       Newman pressed another button, Chris looked around, no one had changed, then he noticed in the bottom corner of his HUD there was a picture of a envelope; he had mail...

The message read:

Sargeant McAllen,

       You have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant,

Congratulations, Major Newman

       A Lieutenant!

What the hell!

These were just some of thoughts in Chris' head, he looked over and saw Chambers, his rank had changed to Master Sargeant, but Chris could still feel he felt left out, even though his face was blanked out by the visor.

       Several more promotions followed. The Lieutenant of the first platoon became a Captain and his Master Sargeant became the new Lieutenant.

       They were soon dismissed but not after Newman asked all the Officers to stay. Newman just told them they would have to carry out every order to the word or there would be penalties, their race was depending on them.

January 13th, 2551, Reach Atmosphere, ODST training vessel, 1343 Hours

       They were on their last proving jump before they were 100% Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Chris was in the first pod to be launched from his Platoon, he held onto the rails on each side of his seat. His K50A1 LMG and M7 SMG were attached to each side of the pod so not to cause injury on impact.

       The Captain of the vessel came over the speakers inside the pod.

"Alright, good luck, Troopers, do this and then you can go and kicked some Covenant ass..."

"Fucking A..." Said a Trooper over the network.

"Retain radio silence, Jeebs!" Yelled Chris to his sniper, William Jeebs; he was a damn fine shot but Chris had to say Alison was still better. As the green light came on; indicating ten seconds before the pods would launch, he found himself thinking of Alison; he hadn't talk to her since she left.

       God he missed her.

"See you soon, Alison..." He said as his pod launched. It was like riding an express elevator that had become disconnected! All the way down... It took little longer than thirty seconds for the pod to pierce the atmosphere and hit the surface. Somewhere between 20,000 and 10,000 feet the boosters stopped and parachutes were deployed to control the decent but they didn't do much.

When the pod was thirty feet of the ground a last ditch thruster was fired that made the pod jump just that little bit more to lighten the impact.

       Chris grabbed his kit and pressed the door released; with a hiss it launched itself a good ten metres away from the pod. He looked up instantly and saw the other eleven pods of his platoon smack down.

"Alright, let's go!" He instructed waving a hand and leading them to the waypoint, they were as good as home...

January 13th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, ONI Briefing Room, 1547 Hours

       The briefing room was quiet. No one was in the spot light; it was a meeting between the board members. They had just received the good news that their two ODST platoons had completed their last jump and they were ready.

"What should we get them to do first, sir?" Said a voice.

"But are they really ready to do ANYTHING, sir?" Asked another.

"I have one last test in mind for them and yes I believe they are ready, readier than you or I to do what we ask..." The man stopped speaking, "victory to our Kill Team, God help those who stand in their way..."