Force Recon, Scout Sniper part 2
Posted By: Helljumper<Pittklipse@aol.com>
Date: 1 July 2004, 1:22 AM
1417 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.
Gunny Sergeant Lindon looked at his watch. It has been thirty five minutes since the sniper took his first shot, and by the rules for Scout Sniper stalking exercise, the sniper only has five minutes left. Why is he taking so long? Lindon raised his binoculars to his dark brown eyes and lowered them quickly in frustration. "There's no sign of him. You would think you could catch him at least once?" He said to himself in a whisper.
He checked the location of his three seekers as something brushed against his leg. These Helljumpers were trainees for the Force Recon Scout Sniper program and knew how to effectively stalk. He hoped they were taking good mental notes from the sniper.
The left and right seekers were positioned fifty meters apart with the third seeker in the middle. That's when Lindon noticed the middle seeker patting the back of his neck, the pre-arranged signal. The Gunny started to get excited but forced himself to remain calm. His heart started to beat faster as he looked through the binoculars. He followed the direction of the seekers elbow to an object protruding through the tall tan grass.
Lindon adjusted the magnification and focused on the object. It took him a few seconds to recognize the eight sided muzzle break of a S2 AM sniper rifle. He knew all to well how effective the muzzle break is. Attached to the end of a rifle's barrel, it kept the barrel from jumping too high after a shot. This allowed a sniper to quickly relocate his target for another shot.
The Gunny unclipped the small walkie talkie from his belt and placed it close to his lips. He spoke softly hiding the excitement in his voice. "This is Oscar one to Sierra two. Take three steps to your right and two steps forward."
"Roger Oscar one,"
Lindon watched as the seeker executed his commands and stopped close to the muzzle break. The sniper didn't move. I got you now. The sniper instructor placed the walkie talkie back to his lips. "Sierra two, sniper at your feet," Lindon said with full confidence. He observed through his binoculars as the trainee bent down and then stood back up. Lindon focused on the Helljumper's face. "Sierra two, what's wrong? I repeat sniper at your feet." The seeker bent back down and picked up a camouflage painted sniper rifle.
The Gunny was shocked and slumped down in his chair. Something brushed against his leg, but he dismissed it as grass blown by the wind. He checked his watch again. I guess I won since you ran out of time. It wasn't the kind of victory he wanted but at this stage in the game he would accept it. He pulled a blow horn from a side pocket on the chair. Adjusting the volume he announced that the exercise was over and that by default, the sniper had failed. That's when he heard a familiar click. The sound registered in his mind as that of a M6D pistol's firing pin hitting an empty chamber followed by the cocking open of the weapon's slide.
Lindon turned around to be face to barrel of gunmetal black pistol. His eyes adjusted from the barrel to the dark figure holding the weapon in both hands. The figure stood in a combat stance with its left leg extended forward and arms extended fully forward holding the weapon in both hands. The tan grass inserts in the sniper's ghille suit radiated from his back as his front was covered in rich brown dirt. The sniper's face was painted in green and black face paint combined with dirt.
The instructor felt something brush against his leg again and looked down to see a strain of grass touching his thigh and followed it as it attached to the sniper's left leg. Lindon didn't want to ask how long the sniper had been behind him.
The seekers turned to the Gunny's observation chair after not seeing the sniper reveal himself. After seeing the site in front of them, they started to clap in unison and letting out cheers followed by the chanting of 'sniper', repeatedly.
The sniper's voice was deep and harsh after not speaking for the last hour and thirty minutes. His African American accent was strong as he spoke each word slowly. "I guess the student has surpassed the master, Gunny?"
The once stern look on Lindon's face disappeared and his facial features formed into a smile. The sniper replaced his pistol to the olive drag holster strapped to his upper thigh. The former student and the teacher embraced in a tight handshake. The three seekers arrived at the observation chair when the sound of a low rumble filled the air.
The sound increased until a dropship emerged over the forest and banked towards the open field. It came in fast turned 180 degrees on its horizontal axis before landing with the troop bay facing towards the group of snipers. The engines started to decrease as they entered a standby mode.
They watched as the rear ramp opened and four figures emerged from the Pelican's troop bay. Upon seeing the Colonel ranks on the lead man, the group snapped to attention and presented a salute. The Colonel in his green Marine Class A uniform returned their statue while covering the distance between the snipers and the dropship quickly. "At ease men," the officer ordered as he stopped in front of the group. The two armed guards moved into flanking positions of the snipers while the ONI Lieutenant stepped next to the Marine officer, briefcase in hand.
"I'm Colonel Ackerson with the Office of Naval Intelligence. I'm looking for a Sergeant Erik Deel."
Ackerson was surprised when a large dark figure emerged from behind the group of Helljumpers. He was instantly impressed with the Scout Sniper in his full Ghille suit. "I'm Sergeant Deel sir," the six foot two inch tall figure replied.
The Colonel led Deel away from the others. The Colonel already knew what the man was thinking. Marines, especially those in Force Recon, knew that when ONI came knocking, they wanted you for a Special Operations mission. ONI was infamous for snatching Marines from their units sending them on suicide missions never to be heard from again. Once the Marine Corps brass heard these reports they mandated that Marines must be given a choice in participated in these missions. As a Marine, Ackerson knew that loyalty to one's unit came second only to their loyalty to humanity. This made ONI's job especially more difficult in selecting candidates for their missions, but Colonel Ackerson wasn't discouraged by this fact. He knew the mind set of Marines and employed the ONI's best weapons successfully, Lies and Deceit.
"Sergeant, you already know why I'm here, so lets cut to the chase. You're the best Scout Sniper available and the mission I have for you is of the utmost importance."
Ackerson was surprised that the sniper took time to formula his answer as he wiped the camouflage paint from his face. "Sir, my unit the 2nd ODST Battalion 109th Regiment is being deployed on a major combat operation in just a few weeks. There is no way I can leave them now."
Ackerson was prepared for this reply.
"Sergeant, what is the Force Recon creed?"
Sergeant Deel was caught off guard by the question. He, like all Force Recon Marines, knows the creed by heart, but never expected to have to recite it, especially right now. He straightened himself to the position of attention and held his head high. His body still hurt from crawling around in the bush from the stalk but forced the pain aside.
"Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me. Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics, the title of Recon Marine is my honor. Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; to overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission. On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate. Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart."
Ackerson was impressed. The pride that laced the Sergeant's recitation of the creed was exactly what the ONI Colonel was looking for. The first part of getting a Marine to do what you want is to appeal to his pride.
"To quote your creed 'to quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail.' We are in a losing war with the Covenant son. Your volunteering to help the ONI can be a deciding factor in winning or failing. I don't have to remind you that failing is not an option."
"Sir failing is not an option, but I'm not sure that I'm the right person for whatever mission you have planned."
He is going to need some more convincing.
"Are you qualified with the Barrett M82A5 .50 caliber sniper rifle Sergeant Deel?"
"What is the effective range of the weapon?"
"1,800 meters sir," Deel replied without hesitation.
"That's a one point eight klicks. That is a very long distance. Do you agree Sergeant?"
"Yes sir, but most people can't hit a target with that weapon at that range."
"Can you hit a target at that range?"
"Yes sir, I've used the weapon close to that range but the Corps no longer uses the Barrett."
"Do you know how many Marines are trained to use the M82A5?"
"There are only three men qualified to use this weapon and that includes yourself. One is MIA and the other is standing behind you."
Ackerson hoped that the sniper didn't know the truth. There were probably a hundred other snipers qualified with the weapon, but Sergeant Deel had a special ability that made him perfect for this mission. An ability that made him the best marksman in the Corps.
The sniper turned to look at Gunny Sergeant Lindon. The Gunny was the one who trained him to use the Barrett. He knew that the Corps didn't train many snipers to use the weapon because its heavy weight made it difficult to carry in the field. Because of the weight issue, the size, and power of the .50 caliber bullet the Corps stopped production and field use. Even with the disadvantages, Deel personally loved the weapon. Its ability to deliver a powerful bullet to a target from that distance insured that the sniper would not be found. Ackerson interrupted the sniper's thoughts.
"Sergeant, this mission is on a tight time schedule and I need to know your decision now."
"I'll agree on one condition sir."
"Speak your mind Sergeant."
"Sir, I reserve the right to pick my spotter."
"You pick, I'll approve, does that work for you?"
"Who do you have in mind?"
"Sir, I request Corporal Jeffery Baker."
[inden]Ackerson held up one figure to the Sergeant and excused himself. He walked over to the ONI Lieutenant and spoke in a whisper so no one would over their. "Lieutenant, I want you to hack into Camp Baker's personnel computer and find the file of a Corporal Jeffery Baker. Read it and decide if he is qualified for his mission." The Lt. nodded and produced a data pad from the briefcase and got to work.
0900 Hours (Military Time), January 25, 2553 (Military Calendar)/ ONI stealth prowler Mystic/ Slipstream space- unknown coordinates
ONI Captain Kara Manu sat in the command chair on the bridge of the Mystic reviewing several navigational charts. Her shoulder length brown hair was tied in a knot exposing her pale white neck. Her black ONI uniform was expertly pressed even after being on duty for the last eight hours. She rotated every ten hours with her XO but felt out of place when not on duty.
Even thought she was officially the prowler's commanding officer, she took orders from the cold Colonel Ackerson. She personally didn't like the Marine officer. She felt as if she wasn't needed. He made all the tactical decisions and told her where to go and when. To him, she and her crew were nothing more than transportation.
Navigator Ensign first class Grey turned from his station and reported that they would be exiting slipspace in twelve hours give or take a few minutes. Kara acknowledged the Ensign's message with a nod. She pulled the wireless PA mic from the arm of her chair. "Bridge to Cryo-bay," she waited for a reply before continuing. "Awaken our Force Recon guests."