Posted By: NevinNiven<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 28 August 2001, 12:54 am
The meter long muzzle flash leapt out into the still night, the almost six foot long rifle bucked. Meanwhile, the 20mm bullet arced across the terrain and into head of an Elite, bursting it and passing into the chest of Jackal, hitting it in the lung and whipping the body around. The bullet continued its destructive course by tearing through a Banshee and blowing the arm of a Grunt off, then it hit the grass hill after traveling another twenty meters.
Steiner looked through his scope with icy blue eyes and watched the bullet wreak havoc. None of the Covenant forces had noticed the massive muzzle flash. But now the sound reached them, a sound like crashing thunder, echoing through the valley that they were in. All heads began to scan the surrounding bush, the eyes keen for movement and light. At 856.713 meters away Steiner felt it was far enough away that he could work the bolt and not be noticed.
He slid the bolt back, ejecting the massive case that held the gunpowder, it wasn't actual gunpowder but the name had carried on through time, onto the ground. His spotter picked the casing up and slid it into his backpack. Then the spotter, Wolfe, looked back through his binoculars, he whispered who to eliminate next. Steiner checked the wind and distance, took his calculator out and did some math. Then, he worked the corrections into his scope, and eased his head back onto the cheek-piece while tugging the rifle against his shoulder.
At a range of 789.07 meters the target was considerably closer then the last one he had tagged. Steiner set the trigger, and pulled. The bullet screamed from the barrel, and the hot gasses erupting outward and into the warm night air. The rifle slammed up against Steiner's shoulder, then air surged into the temporary vacuum that had been created. Steiner watched as the bullet slammed into its target, an Elite, blasting its head into a mist and throwing it onto its back, the bullet flew on, and impacted a bunker that two Grunts were manning. The bullet unleashed its Depleted Uranium which lit the air in the bunker on fire, the Grunts screeched in a high pitch as they were roasted alive.
Steiner worked the bolt much quicker this time, several of the Covenant had seen the muzzle flash. The spotter grabbed the casing quickly and threw it into his backpack. Steiner looked back into the scope, picking the first Covenant he saw, a Jackal. He saw that the target was twelve meters closer, he aimed at the pelvis and pulled the trigger. The 20mm bullet twisted through the air. Twenty meters away from the target dust started kicking up, much like the wake of a plane flying low over water, from the vacuum. The Jackal watched as the trail closed on it, the bullet slammed into the Jackal's stomach, lifting the Jackal off of its feet and blowing its back apart into a flying mess of blood and bits of body parts.
The mess of the Jackal's body landed six meters away, the bullet hit a Covenant tank and burst, again letting the Depleted Uranium out. Smoke began to billow out of the cracks in the tank's armor as the Elite's faint screams perforated the air. The entire camp was now in confusion, having lost almost half of its Elites, the remaining Covenant forces were either seeking cover and leadership or searching for a long range weapon.
Steiner again worked the bolt and searched for a target. Not seeing any within his range. He switched over to the bio-electric sensor mode. He picked up the throbbing pulse of a three chambered heart. Three chambers, a Grunt, he punched numbers in his calculator, memorized the end result and made the appropriate changes to his scope. He squeezed the trigger, the rifle again kicked against his shoulder.
The bullet passed through the cinder block and hit the Grunt's head, tearing it off and sending the body hurtling along the ground, doing lazy cartwheels, for twelve meters. The bullet then struck a Jackal in the shin, tearing the leg off at knee and ripping the Jackal off its feet and onto the ground. The Jackal screamed as its blood poured out of the leg.
Steiner pulled himself up off of the ground. He reached down and picked his rifle up, he then secured it onto his self-made ghillie suit. He picked his AR up and looked over to Wolfe. Wolfe was already done packing and had his AR tugged against his shoulder and backpack on. Steiner took a last look at the confused camp and turned to face deeper into the woods. He then started on a jog back to their Jeep.
Wolfe was leading the jog back, ever alert. When he slid to a stop a few meters away from the Jeep Steiner knew something was wrong. He stopped and walked up next to Wolfe. Four gold Grunts with one red Grunt stood in a circle around the Jeep. Throwing stones at it and jumping away to see if anything happened. What idiots Steiner thought.
"Okay, Wolfe, you move ten meters left. I'll go ten meters right. We go in and you shoot the red guy. I'll toss a grenade at their feet and you charge in, I'll follow later and we can get them in the confusion." Steiner whispered hurriedly over to Wolfe.
"Roger that, sir." Wolfe replied, They have my Jeep. Filthy animals.
Twelve seconds later three shots rang out. The red was thrown to the ground as 5.56mm rounds tore through him, sparks emitted from the armor as the bullets passed through. The yellow Grunts turned toward Wolfe, and then the opposite way as a thud resounded behind them. A small green pineapple sat on the ground. The pineapple exploded, picking the two nearest Grunts up into the air and killing them with the concussion. Another one was hit with shrapnel in the chest and legs, shredding the muscle and knocking him out from pain. The Jeep rocked as the shock wave hit it. It tipped up onto two wheels and slowly dropped back down.
The other two Grunts looked at each other and began running away, their arms high up into the air and waving. Wolfe raised his rifle and put five bullets into the back of the one on the left. Steiner raised his AR and fired off a burst of three rounds. Tracking up the leg of the Grunt, crippling it. The Grunt went another half step and dropped to the ground. Writhing in pain, Steiner left it there as he climbed into the gunner's bucket. Wolfe slipped into the driver's seat and radioed HQ.
"This is Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Wolfe. We have disrupted the operations in sectior Q-135, requesting artillery bombardment in that sector to further damage and destroy buildings." Wolfe stopped talking and waited for the reply.
"Roger that, this is Artillery Radio Center. We copy your request and will allocate artillery in five minutes. What type of artillery rounds would you like delivered to the target area?" The ARC operater said dryly.
"We request explosive shells in the first round with the second round consisting of mines and cluster rounds." Wolfe spoke into his radio.
"Okay, the package is on the way. ARC out." The radio crackled and then went silent.
The Jeep roared over a hill, launching into the air and slamming back down. Mud and dust sprayed out back as the Jeep accelerated in the grass. Another two hours and they would be back at the base, enjoying coffee while they were debriefed. After, of course, scouts had been sent to recon the damage done.
A Covenant dropship lifted out of the base, carrying the remaining five Elites into the air. The Jackals and Grunts looked on as the engines increased power. Too much at once and they would explode, stranding the dropship and potentially killing everyone inside. A low whistling sound began to mingle with the crackle of burning materials and exploding power cells.
The artillery barrage slammed full force into the dropship, punching great holes in the massive aircraft. Several exploded, disintegrating the starboard half off the dropship. The dropship lurched to the side as the Elites it carried tumbled to the ground, only to be hit in mid-air with the force of a shock wave. The shock wave from the ground reached the dropship and began tearing it apart, the remaining front prong tore off and began to vaporize in the air, the other half of the passenger compartment was being perforated with holes as shrapnel pierced it. The engines exploded as the pilot, in a desperate, but foolish, attempt to escape had powered them up to 100% in a half second. The engine explosion pushed plasma into the cockpit, melting it and killing the pilot. The shock wave passed by and the smoking hulk of the left portion of the dropship crashed into the ground.
The Pelican orbited the site and the scouts used their cameras to catologue the destruction. Combined with the footage of the sniper and spotter, they would have a good look at what human weapons could do to the Covenant bases. The Pelican circled once more and shot off, its radar having picked up two Covenant scout flyers incoming. The Pelican stayed low to the ground and arrived safely at the human HQ in fifteen minutes.
The two Covenat scouts swooped over the burning wreckage of the base. They split and came in at different angles, using their holographic scanners to get data needed to create a 3d image of the base after the assault. Both pilots wondered how a base, even a secondary base, could have fallen so swiftly. Seeing as both disliked ground pounders, they decided it was because they lacked sufficient air-cover.
"Good job men, you succesfully confused the Covenant and allowed enough time for an artlillery barrage. We have again defeated a Covenant base, we are slowly tracking back to their HQ. It is the military intelligence's estimate that we will find the HQ in approximately two months. What they do not realize is that we might be dead in one month. It appears that military intelligence is an oxy moron. So, we have stepped up the operations time table. And you're next mission is in two days. Well done, go get some rest." General McClees said as he saluted the men.
Steiner and Wolfe both saluted the General, performed an about face and walked out of the debriefing room. They then walked briskly down the hall and into the cafeteria. Where they grabbed two espressos and the latest in 'food'. Some bland soup made of the local 'chickens' by the chefs. Bland, but not inedible at all, they also picked up the most recent maps and looked at where they were to assault next. They both stared at each other in disbelief. If it was just them, they were going on a suicide mission.