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Force Recon, Scout Sniper part 1
Posted By: Helljumper<Pittklipse@aol.com>
Date: 27 June 2004, 9:07 PM

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1307 Hours (Military Time), January 4, 2553 (Military Calendar)/ Camp Baker Marine Corps Orbital Drop Shock Troopers' training camp, planet Thurs in the Contra star system. Marine Force Recon Scout Sniper stalking training grounds, 10 kilometers northwest of Camp Baker.
Where is he?
      Gunnery Sergeant Lindon lowered the binoculars from his dark brown eyes. At the age of fifty, the Gunny was still in top physical shape and as sharp as any new recruit. His white hair was showing under his Marine issue cap but this was no indication of his skills or performance. Sitting on the meter high observation chair, his eyes scanned the fourty meter long field of tall, tan grass as it ends in a forest of thin trees with green foliage. Some where out there, a sniper was stalking Lindon.
      The wind blew the red and white target positioned three meters to the left of Lindon's chair. He turned to make sure it didn't fall and turned his attention back to the task at hand. The Gunny knew the sniper well. Shit I thought him everything he knows. He thought to himself as he stared through his binoculars at the field for anything that seemed out of place. Most new recruits for the Marine Force Recon Scout Sniper program were always predictable. They all made the same mistake when stalking.
      The Gunny laughed to himself as he reflected on the first time he caught the current sniper those many years ago. The sniper had made the mistake of crawling into the tan field while still having green leaves attached to his Ghille suit. That was years ago. He's currently the best Scout Sniper the Force Recon has to offer the war. He maybe the best now, but I was the best before him. I will catch him.
      The three seekers out in the field waited patiently for the Gunnery Sergeant's orders. Lindon knew the rules of the game too well. It reminded him of chess... well in a way. The Marine seekers were his hands and he was their eyes. They couldn't move without his directions, and they couldn't tell him if they saw the sniper. That's the way the Corps designed the sniper stalking training exercise, but like all rules, they are meant to be broken. He arranged with the seekers to perform prearranged body signals to help him spot the sniper. Secretly, Lindon knew the cheating probably wouldn't help, but hoped it would.

      The sniper laid prone in his Ghille suit behind a bush, safe within the forest. He looked through the scope of his S2 AM sniper's rifle at his former teacher and mentor, Gunnery Sergeant Lindon. No matter how many times he beat the Gunny at this game of stalking, he always demanded a rematch. It was their way of staying in contact over the years and it gave the sniper the chance to polish up on his skills with the best.
      He maneuvered the crosshair of the rifle onto Lindon's head. The crosshair lit up red as the sniper aligned it between the Gunny's eyebrows. Steadying his breathing, he relaxed his other muscles and zoned out the world. His finger rested lightly on the trigger. He knew his weapon well, including the lightened trigger pull.
      The sniper inhaled, held his breath and gently squeezed the trigger. The firing pin clicked. He smiled to himself, Got ya Gunny.
      The rifle was lowered from his eye as his left hand slide up the side of the trigger to the bolt. Slowly, he pulled it back allowing a 14.5 mm armor-piercing fin-stabilized, discarding-sabot round to slide into the chamber. The bolt slide forward until it locked into place. The sniper placed the scope back to his eye. He aligned the cross hair on the red and white marksmanship target next to the Gunny. His thumb clicked off the safety while he placed the butt of the weapon firmly against his shoulder.
      With his left eye closed, the sniper started to zone out the world. The chirps of birds and the rusting of the leaves by the wind started to fade away. Everything was silent until a new sound penetrated his ears. It was a low whine and rumble. An all too familiar sound that grew louder. A dropship was approaching. The growing sound started to interfere with his concentration, but he kept the rifle pointed at his target. That's when the words of the Gunny started to echo in his head. Use your surroundings to your advantage. Not just the ground and the plant life, but the sounds and confusion of war.
      The dropship was close. He could tell that it was heading north and would probably fly right over the stalking grounds. The sniper chose to wait as the plane moved closer and closer. The sound was loud and he could see its shadow crawl across the forest floor. It was now or never. He steadied his breathing, exhaled, held his breath, and squeezed the trigger. The plan worked perfectly. The sound of the passing dropship drowned out the sound of rifle fire. He smiled to himself.
      Looking through the scope, he placed the crosshairs on a very confused Gunnery Sergeant Lindon.

      The Gunny stared in disbelief at the dead center bullet hole through the target. He didn't even hear the shot, only the sound as the bullet passed him and entered the target. That bastard, he used the dropship to mask the shot, that's why he's the best. The first part of the exercise was over. The sniper took the shot from within the forest without being seen. The second shot had to come from within the field of grass. That's where I'll catch him. That's why I kept my seekers from going into the forest. I'll win this game yet.

1323 Hours (Military Time), January 4, 2553 (Military Calendar)/ Camp Baker Marine Corps Orbital Drop Shock Troopers' training camp, planet Thurs in the Contra star system.
      Colonel Ackerson disconnected his seatbelt as the D77-TC "Pelican" dropship touched solid ground. The drop from Ackerson's personal Prowler, the Mystic was noticeably smooth. He had personally selected the Pelican's pilot. A smile crept across the Marine officer's face and quickly disappeared as he reflected on the day he snatched the pilot from underneath the nose of a Vice Admiral during a counter attack that was trying to retake an outer colony.
      The Colonel relaxed his muscles and turned to check on the other occupants of the Pelican's troop bay. Two ODST Marines sat across from him in their new issue Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). The Corps had changed the uniform shortly after the fall of Reach. The new Class C uniform (same thing as BDU, the uniforms from the E3 demo for Halo 2) incorporated camouflage patterns. The ODST were issued new armor that was lighter in weight, stronger against plasma fire, and included a full helmet. The ODST across from Ackerson weren't carrying a full combat load including the new armor and helmet. They wore the woodland camouflage pattern with their black berets that contained the ODST emblem on the front along with their equipment kit. Their new Battle Rifles were secured in between their legs. M6D pistols were strapped to their thighs the way only ODST are allowed to wear on the weapon.
      The Helljumpers, however, weren't there to protection him, they were there for the young ONI Lieutenant sitting next to him. Even with Ackerson's high security clearance, he was not allowed to read the young officer's file. He didn't argue. If he wanted to read it bad enough he could have. The Lieutenant wore the all black ONI Class A uniform. He held a briefcase securely in his lap attached to his wrist with Titanium A handcuffs.
      Ackerson reflected on how his duties with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) didn't allow him many opportunities to wear BDUs. He was always in the Marine Class A uniform like he was now. His silver Colonel ranks sat on the collar of the uniform's tan shirt reflecting any light that caught them.
      The pilot must have finished shutting down all of the dropship's systems because the rear ramp began to open. There was a hiss as the troop bay decompressed. Sunlight rushed into the cabin making everyone's faces more visible. The ODST wore stern and serious looks on their faces. These men were professionals with several combat drops under their belts. That's why Ackerson picked them. They were the best he could find in the time frame he had. There would be no need for security on this particular assignment since they were on a Marine base full of Helljumpers or those in training to be Helljumpers, but ONI standard operating procedure (SOP) required at least two armed guards.
      Colonel Ackerson was the first to stand. He straightened out his uniform and adjusted the custom M6D pistol on his belt that rested over his dress jacket. The weapon was given to him by his father General Ackerson senior. The 2x integrated scope on the weapon was removed and replaced with iron sites. The entire pistol was chromed except for the white ivory pistol grip. Instead of the standard twelve round extended clip, it was equipped with a nine round clip that didn't extend pass the pistol grip. The weapon was mostly show, but was fully functional if needed.
      He led the others out of the Pelican and unto the paved surface of the landing pad. The intense sunlight caused the group to cover their eyes with the brim of their hats. Days spent in the artificial light of the UNSC spaceships had that kind of affect.

      The leaves of the bush separated revealing the barrel of a rifle. The sniper observed the location of the Gunny and his seekers through the S2 AM sniper rifle scope. They have no idea where I am... This is too easy, I need to finish this once and for all. An idea crept its way into the sniper's mind. He lowered the scope from his eye and scanned around him. This is going to be great.

      Colonel Ackerson hopped out of the transport Warthog in front of Camp Baker's Headquarters buildings. A second LRV pulled up causing loose dirt to be kicked up into the air. The ODST guards and the ONI Lt. dismounted. The Warthogs drove away as the Colonel stood admiring the United Nations flag and the Marine Corps flag flying from the tall flagpole outside the HQ. That's what we're fighting for. He thought as the UN flag flapped in the wind.
      A Marine approached the group. "Welcome to Camp Baker also known as Hell's training grounds. I'm Captain Webb, the Camp S1 (Personnel Officer)." The ODST Captain saluted Ackerson before the two shook hands.
"If we knew you were coming Colonel, the Camp commander Lieutenant Colonel Sicat would have made himself available."
"Where is the commander, Captain?"
      The Captain looked at his watch and then looked over to his left. He pointed off into the distance. Numerous Human Entry Vehicles, (HEV), were falling through the atmosphere. Their ceramic skin began to peel away. Moments later their parachutes deployed slowing their decent.
"Colonel Sicat is recertifying his drop status, sir."
"How about the Camp's executive officer?"
"Major Williams is currently off planet visiting his family on Earth."
"Well they don't matter. I'm here to see you. I have the transfer orders for a Sergeant Deel."
      Ackerson signaled to the ONI Lieutenant who walked up and produced papers from the suitcase. He handed them to Captain Webb who read the transfers orders from top to bottom. He nodded when finished.
"We usually don't get Colonels, and armed guards to complete transfer orders, sir."
"Captain, this isn't the usually transfer orders. Can you tell me where I can find Sergeant Deel?"
"Of course sir."
      Webb reached into his cargo pockets and pulled out a data pad. He typed in a few orders and waited as the data pad made a direct connection to the camp's computer mainframe and to the Captain's personnel computer. The data pad beeped. Captain Webb read off the small screen.
"Sergeant Deel United Nations Marine Corps, ODST Marine Force Recon Scout Sniper. He is assigned to the 2nd ODST Battalion 109th Regiment... Currently he is at the Scout Sniper stalking grounds ten klicks north of camp."
"Thank you Captain, we'll be on our way and I'll leave the paper work to you."
"No problem, sir. I'll arrange two Warthogs and some Privates to drive you."
"We're kinda strapped for time right now. I have a Pelican waiting at the landing pads."
"Sorry sir, but regulations don't allow Pelican's into that area."
"Captain, I'm ONI, I'm above regulations."