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Force Recon, Scout Sniper part 3
Posted By: Helljumper<Pittklipse@aol.com>
Date: 12 July 2004, 3:41 AM

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      Corporal Deel crouched his way slowly through the thick woods. The sun was setting leaving the sky a mixture of black and orange resembling a painting. Few birds chirped the bringing of night making it a pleasant scene. He paused kneeling on his right leg. He didn't hear his Spotter seven meters to his right and four meters back, but he could sense him. Ahead, the sniper could see where the ground started to decline steady forming the side of the hill. At the base of the hill would be a rebel camp and his target. Silently he hoped the Intel on this Op was accurate.
      He placed his S2 AM sniper's rifle between his legs as he checked his watch. The green illuminated numbers read 1907 hrs. The Scout Sniper only had another fifty three minutes before retrieval. He turned around to make eye contact with his Spotter. His eyes scanned where his Spotter was suppose to be before spotting a MA5B assault rifle sticking out of a clump of leaves. He could barely make out the Spotter's camoflagued face but wasn't that the purpose?
      Deel was about to give the "move out" signal when he heard a twig snap off to his left. Turning his head quickly he could make out three forms about seventy-five meters away. Slowly, the sniper lowered himself to the ground. His Ghillie suit would distort his profile and blend him into the foliage. The sniper retracted his sniper rifle under the cover of his Ghillie suit, folded down the weapon's bipod, and extended it forward. The process was silent as the bipod settled unto the ground. He placed the rifle's Oracle sight to his right eye. Adjusting the magnification to four times zoom he placed the crosshairs on the figures.
      The rebel patrol was speaking loudly. Their neo-German was rough and their heavy accents didn't help. They walked in a loose line as they spoke amongst themselves laughing every few seconds. The sniper could see that they wore hunter's uniforms mixed with military fatigues. They each carried foreign made weapons that Deel had never seen before. He made a mental note to look up the makes and models.
      The Scout Snipers waited until the rebel patrol was a hundred and fifty meters away before continuing. They crawled the remaining thirty meters to the side of the hill and carefully proceeded down. The trees and vegetation started to thin out as the Marines reached their firing position (FR). The FR was a section of the hill where it flattened out like a ledge, containing a large bush.
      The Force Recon Marines started to set up their equipment. Corporal Deel set the bipod of his S2 Am while his Spotter set up the Ground to Space Radio (GSR). The small device was a quarter of a meter high with an adjustable satellite dish on top. The Spotter turned the dish until he received a signal from the UNSC Carrier in space above the planet. He radioed in their situation report (SitRep).
      The trageting reticle of the sniper's scope scanned back and forth across the rebel encampment. They had several stolen UNSC Warthog LRVs roving around the perimeter. Pre-fab memory-plastic cubicles replaced the use of permanent structures. They differed in size with a large two story cubicle in the middle. Deel figured this was the command post. It contained several windows but they were covered sheets. The light from inside casted shadows as people on the inside moved pass the windows.
      Guard towers were positioned at the four corners of the camp with large spot lights scanning the area around the base. The Force Recon Scout Sniper team was safely outside the security partols and spot lights by two hundred meters.
      Deel checked the distance range finder of his Oracle scope and compared it to the reading his Spotter received from his binoculars. They matched and all relevant information was radioed to FLEETCOM. The sniper checked his watch. Only fifteen minutes until retrivel.
      The mission was simple, recon the rebel camp and laser designate it for bombing by a Longsword squadron at 2000 hrs. If the rebel leader a Colonel Higlzer was spotted, Deel was to take the shot to confirm that he was dead. INTEL had little on this rebel leader. All they knew about him was that he wears a red beret and a silver chain with a Nazi swatsica on it. At this point the Colonel wasn't visible. Deel continued to sweep across the base. Rebels walked back and forth, while others sat around fires. They have no idea what was instore for them. In less than ten minutes the valley below would be a giant fireball of death and destruction. The thought made Corporal Deel smile.
      The targeting reticle landed on the front door of the camp's command post. The door openned and several important looking rebels exited. The last person out wore a red beret. Deel closed in on the figure. He was shocked, Colonel Higlzer was a woman. She was easily in her fourties but still attractive in that aged kind of way. Her blond hair flowed in the wind as she struggled to keep her beret from blowing away. The unbuttoned top of her shirt revealed the swatsica on her chain.
      His Spotter nudged Deel getting his attention. The two looked at each other. No words were needed. Both read the same INTEL file. The last line of the briefing suggested the rebel leader could be a female but neither of them expected this to be true. The Spotter set to the task of calculating the necessary math for the shot. Taking in the elevation, wind speed, and distance to target, the Spotter instructed Deel to adjust the nob on his scope by three clicks down on the left and one click up on the right.
      The sniper had never " neutralized" a woman before. Of the twenty three confirmed kills under his belt, all had been men and important Covenant warriors. Deel placed the reticle on her head as his Spotter radioed the information to FLEETCOM. The reply was expected, 'take the shot.'
      The sniper started to zone out the world. The only thing in his life at that moment was the trigger and his target. He aligned the targeting circle between her cold blue eyes as she saluted a subordinate. He pulled the trigger.

0855 Hours (Military Time), January 25, 2553 (Military Calendar)/ ONI stealth prowler Mystic/ Slipstream space- unknown coordinates
      Colonel Ackerson sat at his desk reviewing Sergeant Erik Deel's Career Service Vitae for the fifth time. He's a true soldier, the officer thought to himself. Thirty two confirmed kills and other twenty unconfirmed. Joined the Corps at the age of sixteen, promoted to Lance Corporal at eighteen and volunteered to be a Drop Shock on the day of his birth day. After training, he was a platoon sharpshooter and assigned to the infamous 105th Drop Jet Platoon. He was one of the three survivors of his unit's slaughter on Jericho VII. Two years later and Deel was recommended for Force Recon and then Scout Sniper. Here, he was sent to put down rebel leaders poking at the open wound in the UNSC's side caused by the Covenant. The Colonel was impressed that he killed a female rebel officer. Very impressive, he's loyal, just the kind of guy we need.
      The office phone rang and he picked it up. "Thank you Captain for informing me." Hanging up the phone, he picked it back up and dailed the Cryo-bay. A female answered. "Its Ackerson, you know what you have to do."

0902 Hours (Military Time), January 25, 2553 (Military Calendar)/ ONI stealth prowler Mystic/ Slipstream space- unknown coordinates

      Sergeant Erik Deel awoke. His eyes were blurry as the dream escaped his mind to the point that he wasn't even sure of the subject anymore. I was on a mission... rebel leader...female. These thoughts were replaced as the neurons in his brian began to send signals quickly as they received information from his senses. The figure infront of him was blurry but human. Colors started to form to a bright light on a brown figure. At first he thought it was his mother. The same skin complexation but it couldn't be, she was dead. His ears started to operate as sound entered. It sounded like words but his frontal cortex was not fully operational to process the words and their meaning. Bits and pieces started to fall together.
      The Sergeant soon realized that his eyes weren't blurry but instead he was seeing wisps of fog flow from the cryogenic tube. The figure infront of him was repeating the same phrase over and over, "breath... Sergeant breath." She was like an Angel, am I dead?
      He started to panic as he realized he wasn't breathing. Pushing himself up from the gel bed, he leaned over the side of the cryo tube and tried to inhale. He began to cough until the clear cryo bronchial surfactant fluid erupted from his lungs. The coughs were violent at first but grew gentler after a few seconds.
      Clear of the cryo fog, he could make out the cyro tech that awakened him. She's beautiful, was the first thought that came to mind. Her light brown skin was similar to that of his mom's. She took his left hand and proceeded to check his pulse. Her touch was gentle and her skin was soft. She continued to speak to him with a smile but he was still only processing a few words here and there. Looking at the screen next to Deel's tube she checked on his respiration and heart rate. Both were close to normal. Producing a hand towel from the cargo pocket of her yellow jumpsuit she proceeded to wipe the "freezer burn" from the Drop Shock's chest. She continued to smile as she wiped his build frame.
      Sergeant Deel proceeded to put on his BDU pants. Finnished with that task, he sat on the bench next to his locker. His body was still tired from the stalk training those days ago or was its months. He didn't know how long he was "frozen." The cyrotube did little in respect to what actual sleep does. Looking up, the sniper saw the same beautiful tech awakening his Spotter, Corporal Baker. The two had done several Ops together and he trusted the Corporal with his life.
       Baker took the awakening process better than Deel had and was out of his tube in half the time. He stood on the cold white tile deck and streched his body to his full height of five feet ten inches. Baker wasn't as built as Deel but his Irish American frame was more physical fit than "regular" Marines as an ODST requirement. The Spotter walked over to his friend followed by the cyro tech.
      Deel and Baker clasped hands and exchanged greetings. Tech Officer (2nd class) Miranda Gloss introduced herself. Deel examined her five feet, five inch body. Her feminine shape was hidden under her jump suit except for her ample breast. The sniper smiled as thoughts entered his mind but he pushed them aside. Miranda's voice was sweet as she explained the Colonel's orders to the Marines.
       "We are twelve hours from exiting Slipspace. Colonel Ackerson suggest that you take two hours of personal time to eat, workout, shower, and other personal heigene. Then you are ordered to have eight full hours of sleep. We need you guys all rested up for your mission. At 1900 hrs you'll be awaken for briefing and mission perpartion."

      Deel exited his private shower in a pair of olive drag shorts. The shower felt great after working out with Baker in the Prowler's small weight room. He had eaten a great meal of beef and potatoes in the cafeteria which was better than most of the food he'd ever eaten in his six years in the Corps. It reminded him of the last meal convicted murders get before their execution.
      The Drop Shock climbed under the covers of his bunk. His body was tired and needed rest badly. It didn't take him long before he drifted asleep. Dreams came and went during REM sleep. After a particular dream of reliving seeing his mother die in that hospital bed, Deel woke up staring at the ceiling. He turned onto his side to see light flood his room as the door opened. Damn has it been eight hours already? A figure entered the room, and to his surprise, the door closed. He was about to sit up when a hand gentlely pressed against his shoulder. He heard Miranda's voice say, "its me."
      Deel was confused but didn't resist as she slid into the bed with him. Her body pressed against his and he realized that she was naked.

      Colonel Ackerson had fallen asleep at his desk. After finnishing all the necessary paperwork for the up coming mission, the ONI officer was tired. He had forced himself to finnish working on the budget for his many Special Operations. The failed SPARTAN program had drained millions from his own projects and that still angered him. If all went well with this next mission, the UNSC would give him all the money he needed for his "projects." That pleasant thought had led him to sleep.
      The sound of the door buzzer had awaken the Marine officer. He sat up from his desk fixing his uniform as he did so. There were a few wrinks but he didn't care, he was still tired. The buzzing continued until he hit the switch on his desk and watched as the door slide open.
      Tech Officer (2nd class) Miranda Gloss walked in and saluted. He nodded and gestured for her to sit at the chair opposite his desk. "How did it go?"
"It was fine sir," the cyro tech said as she stood at the position of parade rest.
"I know that was an odd request of you, but we need to give Sergeant Deel a reason to survive this mission at all cost so that we may utilize his skills for another. I don't know whats a greater reason to live than love."
"I'm aware of that Colonel," she smiled. "If serving your species is that," she paused searching for the right word. "Fun, I'm glad I signed up."
"I know I've said this before, but this mission could be a deciding factor in this war."