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Homeworlds XIV
Posted By: Mainevent<billygoat359@netscape.net>
Date: 24 September 2003, 12:16 AM

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Since it appears that episode XII is NOT going to be posted, I will fill you briefly in on what happened in that episode. Ahem, chapter, whatever.

The Master Chief and his trainees recieved their armor, and the Master Chief was told that cortana would be given to him after they had finished the training, which due to recent events had been hacked from 2 weeks to one.

Training was a two phase ordeal, consisting of 1) a recon op against recently released covenant prisoners of war (carrying modified covenant weapons that would only stun, not kill) in which they detain all of them and 2) an attack on the heavily defended Septagon by his recruits, with the aid of he if necessary.

All of the recruits and aliens in phase one were carrying stun rounds, and the spartans were not equipped with their MJOLNIR Mark VI battle armor that they had just recieved.
However, in phase two, they would be equipped with their MJOLNIR battle armor, but would be up against opponent's using live-rounds.

They were NOT allowed to kill any of their opposition.

Episode XIII was Phase One
Episode XIV is Phase Two

ENJOY, That's an order.

      He stared at the mess of bodies lying helplessly on the ground, either writhing in agony, or unconcious. The stun rounds worked like a charm. These specially designed bullets would insert a long thin wire into the nerves of it's victim, and would emit a very real shock if nerve synapses fired. The victim would then either lie motionless, or pass out as he tried to fight the shocks.

      One by one he removed the stun wires from the spartans, instructing them to do the same with their comrades. After all of the trainees were active again, he filed them into two seperate groups.

      Teams Alpha and Bravo were temporary assignments, but he was going to teach them what they did wrong none-the-less.

      "Would anyone here like to tell me exactly how ONE, count that, ONE, person managed to take every single one of you and render you battle inoperable? Go ahead, this is all learning, so take a stab at why you failed."

      Eyes were staring blankly at him, and none of the marines rose their hands. Except for four, the same four that had managed to stay calm during the firefight. There were going to be a lot of angry marines to teach if he didn't get more than four hands out of a class of forty-two.

      "Since no one here wants to tell me why you failed, then w-, you, will run ten miles, through the woods, and then do field excersises for three hours. There will be no chow, and you will wake up at 0330 tommorow. I'll see you tomorrow then."

      He hadn't even turned around before every hand in his class shot up. He wasn't sure if they suddenly realised their mistakes, or if the threat of physical excersise jogged their memory, but one of them did. He glanced down at the small notepad he brought with him.

      "Spartans 1135, 1007, 1010, and 1607 please come to the front. Spartans 1110, 1560, 1683, 1646, 1783, 1753, and 1920 please step to the left of the lines. Everyone else, merge into one line."

      One unanimous movement expunged the named marines from the others, and they formed one large line. He admired all of his marines, but there was no room for the sloppiness they had demonstrated. He would sort them out quickly.

      "Ladies and gentlemen, the four Spartans you see at the front of the lines have shown exactly what I am looking for in cadets. They did not falter, they did not run, and most importantly, they did not panic. The spartans to your left panicked, and caused a detriment to your team."

      "As such, the spartans to your left are your new squad leaders. I have divided you into even teams of seven. I will not punish you as of yet, only if you fail your next challenge will you be punished. Trust me, if you think the small assignment I gave minutes ago was punishment, you have no idea."

      Cortana would be proud. Being with the new class of Spartans had brought back some dead part of his soul. He was now with people who had experienced the same things he had. Undergone the same procedures, and taken the same risks, and that, he could be a part of.

      "Now, I will take away one benefit that you would have had if you had succeeded in capturing me. I will not be accompanying you on your mission. I will be watching you. But rest assured, I would not let you go into this mission alone, if I did not believe you had the training, knowledge, and abilities to win it."

      "You know the drill. Stun rounds only, there are to be absolutely zero deaths in this excercise, and should one occur, report it immediately to me. However, this mission will continue until it has been finished. A death on the field is a death on the field. There is nothing you can do to help that man, and trying to do so will only slow you down. Do you understand me marines?"

"WE UNDERSTAND YOU SIR!" Reverberated through the audience of super-soldiers.

      "Very well, I will be monitoring your progress closely, and how you perform here will determine your final rank at the end of this training period. So do your best. The attack will begin at 0330. Can anyone tell me why I have chosen 0330 for this excercise?" All of the hands instinctively went up, a shallow grin crossed John's lips. "Spartan 1454, tell me why I have chosen this time."

      "Sir, you have chosen this time because of several reasons. First of all, it will be dark, and even though the soldiers we are oppositioned against we have full use of night and thermal goggles, we will still have the advantage. Second, the soldiers on duty will be at the end of their shifts, and will most likely be tired, as well as their guard down." The tall dark-haired soldier finished nearly out of breath, but showed no signs of it.

"Very good Spartan 1454. You have your orders marines. Get suited up, grab more ammunition, and get tactical."

0330 Hours, Cerapian Standard Time

      Rockwell, Jack, and Shelly were crouched in the enormous oak tree several hundred meters from the entrance of the facility. Seven guards were all patrolling, albeit haggardly and with very little enthusiasm, but they were still patrolling. Spartan-1683, Rockwell, had been assigned squad leader of Delta Team. He opened a private comm. channel between his team mates on his HUD.

      "Jack and Shelly, I want you two two take out the foremost guards, and then lay down a supressive cover fire. Sparatic as possible and still deadly, got it?"

"Yea." Shelly responded.

"Just tell me when to shoot." Jack responded coldly.

      "Candace, Morgan, Shimmer, and Richards, give em hell from four sides. I want chaos at all points, take them out as quickly as possible, the fewer there are the quicker we eat chow."

"Hell yea, I'm all for chow." Richards winked his acknowledgement lights twice, indicating he understood.

      "Then let's go marines. Three lights is the signal." Rockwell rapelled down the tree cautiously, it shook awkwardly as his heavy armor shifted it's weight quickly.

      Worn and tired eyes stared unknowingly into his attackers. Jack sighted his weapon against his shoulder, and waited for the sign. FLASH FLASH FLASH winked across his heads up display, or HUD, and he quietly squeezed the trigger.

      A hapless marine's body made a dim thud against the ground as he was neutralized. Three similar fates met the guards around him. The three other guards, suddenly awake and aware, went sprinting for cover. Stun rounds activated harmlessly in the dirt and metal as they tried to hit their prey.

      One of the marines ducked into the small alcove at the facilities entrance. Shimmer stalked around the jungle's breakers and stood at the edge. He peered into the hole and found his target, but his prey had seen him as well. Bullets whizzed and zinged over his head and several impacted the tree to his right. Bark and dirt sprinkled his suit as he ducked the barrage.

      The familiar clink of a frag grenade was heard as he combed the forest floor. A primed explosive was sitting only inches away. He made a hard leap into the open, and took several ugly rolls as the blast tossed him. Bullets spared no expense as they traversed the air heading for him.

      He rolled out of the path of several only to face a more dangerous adversary, a shotgun wielding soldier standing above him. Shimmer watched as the seamingly slow-motion cocking of the weapon proceeded before his eyes.

      He swallowed the small lump of saliva that had wedged itself in his throat quietly to himself, and knew that even with his reflexes it was too late to dodge at such close range. The other spartans had their hands busy with the new marines spewing into the battle, he closed his eyes and shielded his face with his hands as he heard the deafening roar of weapons fire.