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Survival of the Fittest: All in a day's work (for a Marine)
Posted By: MasterCD<carleighcat@hotmail.com>
Date: 13 January 2004, 4:44 AM

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Taylors fiddled with a loose thread in his uniform. He still couldn't get over the fact he was actually a Marine! He had spent a good deal of his life as a Trader apprentice/guard, but this was totally different. He had applied for the post after having to defend a hospital from a Covenant raiding party, armed only with a stick. He had decided he needed better training. So here he was.
The sergeant finished doing roll-call and straightened up. Taylors dragged his mind back to the present.
"Okay men, you know the task. We are to scout an old Covenant base. It was destroyed a few days ago, and we are to mop up any survivors, and salvage any interesting looking material. But be cautious! You don't know what all their stuff can do. Now, move out!"
They moved into a line, two abreast. Taylors ended up next to an unknown Marine. The Marine turned, and briefly shook his hand,
"Hi. I'm Jackson. Resident Covenant expert. How about you?"
"Taylors. I'm a frontline scout." Jackson looked at him almost curiously.
"Taylors. I've heard that name before. Hey, wait, you're the guy who-"
"Yeah, I know, I fought off an entire army of Covenant, consisting of 70 Banshees and 200 Ghosts."
Jackson laughed. "No, I mean, I was in the rescue party that found your wrecked ship. You had a big lump on your head. But yeah, I have heard about the hospital incident."
"Who hasn't? But, geez, all I did was take down two Grunts and an Elite! That's nothing!"
"Ah, but you're forgetting you did it with a stick."
Taylors was about to retort when the sergeant yelled at them to shut up or he'd feed them to the Covenant! After an hour or so, the sergeant gave the order for them to form battle lines. As a frontline scout, Taylors was in the front row. They would proceed first, clearing the way, and checking for any danger. Then came the main force of Marines. Next were those who were needed for business other than fighting, such as Jackson. Lastly came the snipers, who would fall back, and attack from a distance.
Up ahead was the base. At first glance it seemed deserted, but they had all learned to be cautious. Taylors and the rest of the frontline scouts advanced on the sergeant's signal. Keeping his weapon pointing ahead, he looked around the building. A few objects were scattered here and there, nothing very dangerous looking. The leader of the scouts reported back to the sergeant, who then proceeded forward with the rest of the troops.
It was like this for several more rooms. Jackson and the other experts salvaged numerous items, but there was no sign of any hostile forces.
Then a scout spotted something. The sergeant rushed over.
"Yes, what is it Nira?"
The scout turned, her grey eyes worried. "Well, I was walking past that cabinet thing, and I swear I heard something suspiciously like a Jackal. And there's a long crack in the wall."
No one doubted her. Sally Nira had the keenest eyes and ears on the force. The sergeant huffed slightly, then called Jackson over to take a look. He knelt down, and examined it closely.
"Sir, I think Nira's found a hidden entrance to either a second Covenant base, or a small hideaway for important equipment."
"Can you open it Jackson?"
"No sir, you're gonna need someone better with mechanics for this."
"Very well, Collineer, get over here and see if you can bust this baby open. Everone else, stay on alert, I doubt the Covenant are going to appreciate us visiting."
Taylors readied his weapon, feeling slightly nervous. Here they were breaking into a facility that contained at least one Jackal, and probably more, and probably much worse stuff, and only he seemed to care.
Suddenly Collineer stepped backwards as the door slid back with a hiss, to reveal a sleepy looking Grunt. The Grunt looked at them, and ran shrieking down the passage.
"Okay people, we've rung the doorbell, now be ready." The sergeant was as brisk as ever. Taylors looked apprehensively down the corridor, just in time to see several Elites, Jackals and Grunts come charging down it.
At least seven Covenant were felled before they reached the opening, but the Marines also lost five to plasma rounds. Then the Covenant were in among them.

!There you go, the second part. I'm still open to comments - carleighcat@hotmail.com! MasterCD