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Vision of an Apocalypse Chapter 1
Posted By: Todd Hansen<hansen@phonet.com>
Date: 08 March 2001, 6:00 AM


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İİ I hate the rain. Whatever you do it seems to sink into your suit and screw you up. This is the third week I've been searching and right now I want nothing more than to lie down right where I'm standing and sleep forever, even if it is raining.
İİ I'm a sniper in K company 1/5, Force Recon. If it needs to be destroyed call Force Recon. My name is Chaka, or at least that's what everyone call me. My real name is Karl Ruden, Corporal . Me and my spotter Private Pete Baler have been together since the battle of Delta-9017. I was on patrol during the first months of the battle and we found his squad pinned by heavy fire from a Covenant ambush. Our squad ran in and helped get them out. It turned out Pete was actually my new partner, but he was so fresh the paperwork hadn't caught up with him yet.
İİ Pete and I, have fought together for months now and we're still trapped on this damnable ring living out our lives until some Covenant attack wipes out what's left of our small army. For the last couple of weeks Pete and me have been working with this squad. Our small group is supposed to locate the position of the Covenant airfield in the area and act as forward observers for our Artillery. If you ask me I think its a suicide mission. Our small group has wandered over what must be 200 miles of this planet looking for something I'm beginning to think isn't even there.
İİ The other three members of our small group were selected "Top Priority" Which in my experience has been people with the right stats and the wrong priorities. This time We didn't get screwed over, Lance Corporal Don Savage our Demolitions expert, Sergeant Bruce Kantolin, our Artillery spotter, and Captain Mike Chungus our infiltrations specialist are all top flight men.
İİ Mike approached me when I was on watch last night and filled me in on our plan. we were to enter a sector that according to Intel was one of the lead bases for the Cov's. After entering the sector our job is to slip past the outer perimeter of the base and provide support for the group until LCP Savage can lay the explosives on their communications array. If all goes well we'll withdraw to a safe distance and Don will remote detonate the charges and knock out their communications so the Cov's can't call in reinforcements. after the Com array is down Bruce will send artillery down like rain and blow the living snot out of the Cov base with everything in our arsenal. After the artillery has decimated their base our forces will pour into the base with APC's and Jeeps. Hopefully our forces will be able to "remove" whatever Covenant forces remain.
İİ Mike spent the rest of the next day instructing us with the use of a device he had discovered in the old entries of the ships library. He calls it a garrote and it was used to take down sentry's silently. he told us we could use our particular garrotes to take down any sentry or even cut open doors and locks if need be. I like it, it's just a little piece of molecular monofilament between two polycarbonate handles. I was a little nervous about how the operation was going to go down the next night. I guess Mike noticed and set me aside just before we started to move out to get into position.
İİ "Karl, listen to me we're all afraid, if you weren't I'd cut you to make sure you weren't Cov, just remember do what you've been trained for. Your one helluva shooter Karl just don't get killed, Neh?".
İİ We moved out and setup in a small group of trees overlooking the Covenant base waiting for dark to come. Pete and I watched the base through our night vision scopes and relayed the position of the sentries and their patterns to the captain. after taking a short nap before going out captain filled us in on the details. We we're going in light, which means no body armor. Which means if were in a a prolonged fight we're screwed. We stowed our gear and donned our thermal suits to blind the enemies thermal detection systems. Slowly we worked our way down the slope were we had observed the enemy. Every step I moved slowly, carefully so as not to catch a tripwire. Pete was on point and I followed right behind him. He raised his hand to signal me to stop. In my night vision I saw an outpost with two sentries guarding a heavy machine gun. we signaled this to the other three and could not find an alternate way around the defenses. Pete and I moved forward and brought out our garrote, we moved slowly to get behind the Cov's. Pete moved a bit faster than I did and caught his completely unaware. My Cov looked over to see what the noise was and I looped the wire over its head and snapped the handles tight. to my surprise the handles slid together with no resistance and the alien turned. There was no visible damage until gravity came into effect and its head dropped away at an irregular angle. Disgusted I pulled the garrote away and stowed it in my pocket. We signaled the others forward and moved away into the darkness. We avoided the motion sensors and moved into position around the communications array. Don moved away to plant the explosives while we moved out to perform our jobs.
İİ I found a shadowed spot around a corner and looked over the bases airfield. Admiring the precision that went into the covenant aircraft, I idly remembered flying a scooter over my home planet. Drifting back to the present I looked back and was startled. A covenant was coming towards me. Kicking myself for letting my guard down I pulled my silenced pistol and waited until the alien was turning the corner and raised the pistol to its head, as it turned the corner it stood upright shocked to see a human. It didn't get halfway up before its head disappeared and it fell forward onto me. I grunted as I hit the ground, damn this thing is heavy. squirming my way out from under it I dragged it into the doorway. Sitting their panting I decided to chance a look around the doorway. Slowly, slowly, I looked around the edge of the wall. Not forty yards away there were two sentries making rounds both coming right past my position. I leaned back into the shadows of the doorway and pushed myself tight against the wall hoping they wouldn't see me. I tapped my radio twice and two silent buzzes were sent to the rest of the squad, our signal for danger. A few seconds later a single buzz came back signaling affirmative.
İİ As I stood there waiting for the two sentries I thought about what I'd do if I was caught. After a few seconds of that I knew that whatever they had in store it wouldn't be pretty, I slid my knife free and waited for the monsters to catch me. Panting in anticipation I could have sworn they would hear my heartbeat, thank god they just kept on walking. After of sitting in a river of my own sweat for a couple of minutes a buzz came down the line, three for all clear.
İİ I checked around the corner once more and leaned back to wait for the signal to move back to our observation point. Finally four taps, I stowed my knife and checked the coast. Going at a fast crouch I moved back towards the array. slowing I sidled around the corner.
İİ "Gaaaccckk!"
İİ "Jesus! it's me for god's sake."
İİ Don smirked at me "Sorry Karl, I get kinda jumpy. we beginning to think you'd found a cute date."
İİ "Not with my looks Don, now lets get outa here quickfast."
İİ The five of us worked our way back to our original path. and slowly worked our way out from the Covenant base I glanced at my timepiece, almost dawn.
İİ I tapped Mike on the shoulder and then tapped my watch. He nodded and signaled for us to move faster. we moved at a low run now trying to cover the open ground as fast as possible with dawn only a couple of minutes away. We could see the observation point now and moved towards it almost at a sprint now with our time ticking down. I looked back at the base and was alarmed to see a large group of Covenant massing for what appeared to be an assault. Our group climbed the small slope near our overlook and settled in on the ridge. Dawn was still three minutes away and light was starting to seep around the horizon.
İİ "Mike. Those Covenant are up to something and if they leave then this mission is completely wasted, and we've missed a chance to get rid of a lot of the buggers."
İİ "Tell me something I don't know Chaka."
İİ "All right Sir, How about, åthey're in range of our rifles'."
İİ He grinned, "Get to work and keep their heads down."
İİ I grabbed Pete and we fixed our scopes on the Covenant, "Pete, see the tall one in the top of the big aircraft?"
İİ "Yeah?"
İİ "I think he's the one in charge. Let's play tag"
İİ "On three?"
İİ "Roger that."
İİ "Three, two, one." KA- KABOOOOM!!!
İİ Two miles away a covenant head turned into a large gray cloud as the first round took it and the second left a vapor trail through the still flying debris. The other Covenant didn't notice for about 3 seconds, Then the sound hit them and they dropped in an almost synchronous movement. One however was a little bit slower than the others and while I my scope readjusted for the wind and distance to the next target I chambered the next round. I saw a fireball erupt behind the main body of troops and the communication tower leaned slowly and crumpled in a heap of rubble. I heard Don cackling like a mad hen doing a small dance around his remote detonator.
İİ "I got you dirty bastards! You thought old Donny boy was just shit and vinegar AHAHAHA I GOT ALL YOUR ASSES!"
İİ "Pete! I've got a line to the Arty just keep their heads down for another minute while I call it in!"
İİ "CRAP!" I Reached up and grabbed Don by the collar and pulled him down just as an evil looking green light arced over our heads tearing into the forest behind us and starting small fires.
İİ "Tango one seven do you copy?"
İİ The voice on the radio was barely legible, "Roger that Lima six please provide coordinates for fire support."
İİ "Tango one seven, coordinates are as follows, sector six five two, by three seven six, do you copy?"
İİ "Affirmative Lima six, Commencing fire."
İİ The Arty was far enough away there was a considerable pause in its coming, during that time Pete and I kept pumping rounds into any alien stupid enough to stick its head out of cover or try to make a run for it. The old motto still applies, "If you run, You only die tired."
İİ Then came the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Rounds screaming overhead like a flock of freight trains. Through the scope I watched a mountain of fire erupt in the midst of the huddles Covenant, bodies flying through the air.
İİ "Lima six, you're right on target, walk fire antispinward ten degrees and shift fire on odd number arty's to load Mines and Willy Peter rounds."
İİ "Roger Tango six loading Mines and Willy Peter rounds."
İİ Willy Peter or white phosphorous ammunition has been around for centuries and no one has yet to find a chemical or acid to yet rival the destructive power of these rounds. The shells split open on impact and a small explosive charges detonates, spraying white phosphorous on anything near it, the phosphorous will burn horrific wounds into any living (or dead) creature it finds and will not stop until it is deprived of oxygen or burns itself out.
İİ When that artillery came down Pete and I just kept pumping rounds into the enemy. A few of them managed to make it into the airfield and grabbed a couple of their small speeders I managed to take out one of them before it could get moving, but the other two managed to get moving toward the perimeter of the base. Neither of the bikes made it, one was taken out by a direct hit and the other ran over a mine and turned into a fireball of flying debris and wreckage. The cannons dropped death from above and mines ripped apart those that tried to run. Buildings crumbled and fire rose into the air while aliens scrambled frantically for cover.
İİ Only one Covenant managed to put up any kind of offense against us, it managed to find an abandoned plasma cannon and spread green death around us trying to find our hidden outpost. One shot burst over our group and tore through the trees behind us, showering us with burning splinters and debris. I decided that our green meany had played a little too close, the round found his heart and it left an interesting hole through its chest in my scope.
İİ "Lima six do you copy?"
İİ "Your coming through loud and clear Tango one seven."
İİ "Lima six this is Commander Wilhelm. Clear your current area Immediately SatCom has info that an enemy force has broken through defenses and are headed toward your position, arty has been instructed to use Wonka rounds on current firing coordinates. You have 5 minutes to evac current position. Drop ship on route will collect you. Make haste to preassigned landing zone."
İİ I heard the Commander and my blood chilled, I hoped the drop ship was screaming towards us.
İİ "You crazy sonzabitches!! Go! Go! Go! we only got five minutes to make LZ!!" Mike was screaming now, grabbing his gear bag.
İİ I snatched up my pack, I knew I was gonna be hustling. Everyone was ready, Mike took point, running ahead keeping us on track.
İİ Wonka rounds are small, tactical yield nuclear charges used by our distance arty in emergencies. they are supposed to have a max 25 KT yield but it is boosted with a tritium core, and is extremely unpredictable. I have seen them used only once before while I was on the ring and I had to change my pants afterward.
İİ We ran recklessly due spinward to our LZ, the branches were snapping my face and clothes, and sweat was running in my eyes, but my adrenaline kept me chugging.
İİ "There! In that clearing ahead! Karl get on top of that ridge and spot for the dropship! Rest of you set up a loose perimeter. There, there and there. This ones gonna be tight boys!"
İİ Panting I ran up the small ridge near the clearing, I couldn't see anything at all except the rolling landscape. Dust plume. Usually the sign of a dropship going sonic at very low altitude. I pulled my rifle to me and peered through. I jacked up the image res and magnification and froze. This must be the Covies the were telling us about. I looked closer and counted. Must be damn near 2000 troops. A mixed assortment of tanks, hoverbikes and a few close circling aircraft holding for support.
İİ "Mike!" I yelled , "Them Cov's are coming in hot from the west, get the dropship on the squawker and warn him they have air."
İİ Mike pulled out the radio and searched the channels for the pilot until he found him.
İİ "Pilot of the dropship this is Lima Six, copy. we have sighted enemy forces due west of our position be advised they do have air. Copy?"
İİ "Affirmative Lima Six I hear you loud and clear, we're two minutes out and cooking. Get ready for a fast one,"
İİ I looked at my chrono, damn these boys are flying on the line. I looked back over the ridge and watched the troops. Crack unit, I saw. All of them in perfect fighting gear and formation. I glanced at the time again, thirty seconds. I scanned the horizon for the ship. There. I flipped a transmitter and the pilot banked to slow and swung in on our position. I jumped down the ridge and ran to the center of the clearing with the others. The dropship cut power and dropped with the cargo door already open and a crew member waiting next to it. We jumped inside and lay flat as the whoosh of air signaled the ship was up in the air again.
İİ "Hold on!" The airman screamed at us.
İİ We grabbed netting on the walls and braced for the boosters to kick in. Like a ton of bricks, I thought my arms were coming out of their sockets. Jesus these mothers are speeding. The stale air is getting hard to breath and I'm gasping but the pilot won't stop his burn, it feels like he kicked in the space thrusters to clear orbit but I can still see sky through a porthole. A pure white haze began to fill the cargo bay. Oh shit here it comes, The ship is starting to hum. A low vibration that's getting stronger fast, lights start going off everywhere and the pilots begin to burn everything they have, thrusters meant for outer space firing to go. Go, Get ahead of the shockwave, I prayed silently, God let us get out alive...





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