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A Marine's Tale: First Encounter
Posted By: pj-NYkr90<phantomf4@earthlink.net>
Date: 5 August 2003, 10:21 PM

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Author's Note: Sorry it took so long guys. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, October 3rd, 2551

      "We're really close Corporal." Emanuel informs me of our position every couple of minutes. This will hopefully be the last time he has to inform us because we are right there. We can't wait much more. The damn bastards have met us everyday for the past five days at our re-supply points. We've been without fresh water for five days. We need to get past their lines.

      "Gery, how we doin' on rockets?"

      His COM fuzzes back, "Not so good, two, four at the most."

      "Alright, well, you and Emanuel go check the front and make sure not of the Covenant notice us. When you're in position, tell us."

      "Roger" I order the rest of the squad to hold there position and wait. Bynam comes up and pats me on the shoulder.


      "What we gonna do now Corporal?"

      "We're gonna end this."

      "Good, cause I'm hungry." In a couple of minutes, Gery calls in.

      "Sir, we are in range, there aren't that many, but sir, it seems like a trap."

      "Alright, let me and the rest of the guys get up there and we'll find out what's goin' on. Alright you guys, follow me." Closely followed by my team, I advance up the hill and see my reconisance force. There are many switchbacks. They are tiring. You see what your goal is, but you can't get there for an hour. And the slopes are too steep to climb up directly. It takes us ten minutes to get up the hill and where my Recon Force is.

      "Ok, Gery, tell me where they probably are."

      "Um, well, most of them are probably in that area over there, there's sandbags and crap nearby, so once we trip one of those thingamajigs, then we'll get attacked. Then, another group is probably over there by that thicket. And the last group is probably on the trail up ahead."

      "A'ight, well, let's get the word out to the team and then we'll attack." Emanuel uses his COM to tell everybody the possible enemy positions. The others form up next to the others and me.

      "Okay everybody, I need you to cooperate with me here. Yao, Bynam, on my order, smoke up the target near the sandbags. Deere and I got the thicket, and you two, fire at the trail up ahead."

      "Roger," they all reply in unison. We all level our rifles and then wait for my order. I raise my support hand and put up three fingers, then two, then one, then none.

      "FIRE!" The bullets fly towards their targets. I prime a smoke grenade and toss them towards the target. It bounces three times and then releases its toxic fumes. I hear coughing up ahead and then hear people fall down in the brush. Sticks crack under the pressure of the Covenant's 'dying' troops. I hear the two rockets from Gery's Jackhammer hit something metal. Camouflage covering flies off a Scorpion tank and reveals her body and a giant barrel. One shell flies and hits a tree in our rear. No damage, but then, her 7.62mm chaingun opens up and keeps us down while she readjusts her aim. I hear the Covies moving towards us. I can't get only so close, then give up.

      "Let 'em have it." My team rises and gives the advancing troops hell. I prime and toss two more of the smoke grenades. Gery fires his last two rockets at the tank and we watch in joy as she explodes. He throws the Jackhammer down and then raises his SMGs. .45ACP rounds pound the opposition's armor. Bynam pulls out his pistol and then starts firing at the oncoming force. They must have two hundred of those guys coming at us. Deere lets the 'Covenant' have a lot of rounds right in their gut. I pull out another clip for my assault rifle, load it in, and resume firing. The bastards just keep on coming. They're right in on top of us. If you've ever seen one of those movies about the Civil War, that's how it is. I mean, they are right here in front of this. We have to use our guns as melee weapons. So now, I'm just swinging it like a baseball bat. You'd think that they would get injured, but not really. They got so much armor, it just feels like you got shot with Kevlar on, like blunt trauma. They still get knocked out. The last remnants of their force are falling to our blazing guns. We advance forward and make our way down the trail and to the last leg, the end.

      "I can see the base Corporal," states Deere. It's another trap, I know it's gonna be another trap.

      "Alright, guys, everybody, let's lock and load, make sure all of your guns have a fresh clip in it okay." I hear everybody eject their old clips and put in a new one. Out with the old and in with the new. We reach the outskirts of the base. I can see that they are ready for us. They have machinegun emplacements and two tanks this time. We're in for it. But we must finish this op. Our victory lies in crossing the 'finish line'. We don't need to beat them, just cross the line.

      "Okay, We're probably not gonna make it outta this one guys. But that's not our objective. Our objective is being changed…by me. We're gonna take out as many of those fuckin' bastards as we can in our charge. I know you're all tired, angry, deprived of sleep and food, but we've got that little bit of space to go till we cross that 'finish line'. We will prevail, because ya'll my Gods. We ain't no pushovers from little snotty colleges. Do you read me?"

      "Loud and clear sir." They reply loud and clear. You know that they're tired and hungry, but they don't show it. We start moving in as close as possible before we start firing like madmen. I see Gery has his Jackhammer poised to strike.

      "Gery, drop it after you get the first two rounds off, then whip out the SMGs," I order.

      "Yes sir."

      "Deere, you move it up first, you've got the biggest gun out of all of us. Gery, you flank Deere until your JH is out, then, move it up, washing them out from side to side. Bynam, Yao, You pop off a couple of smokes before we advance. Then, you take the right flank. Emanuel, you're on my ass okay."

      "Yeah," they all reply after my little speech. Bynam and Yao prime and toss several smoke grenades at the 'Covenant'. Some start to fall from unconsciousness from the tear gas. Deere and Gery move up. Both rockets fly after their targets, the Scorpions. I hear the rocket launcher drop and then the little buzz of the greasegun. Two assault rifles begin their deadly dance and a heavy machinegun starts roaring out little bullets. More of the 'Covenant' begin to fall. Emanuel and my advance begins. We start to let the 'Covenant' have it. We reach the tanks and have to climb up them. They provide little disturbance in our victory charge. But by the time we make it over the tanks, the 'Covenant' begin to rally their assault against us. Plastic bullets start to plink against the armor plating, but not all of them. I hear a shout of pain come from my rear.

      Bullets start to hit Emanuel all over. He falls. I stop dead in my tracks. And begin to turn around. Bullets whip past me and start to get really close. I hit the dirt. Now, I ponder the situation over in my mind, while firing off, concentrated, regulated bursts of fire. I can't leave him. But I have to survive. But he's a friend. I can't leave him out here to 'die'. But who's more important, the leader, or a rifleman. Both are equally important. But Emanuel is just as young as me. He has to live his live out to it's fullest.

      "Bynam, cover me!" By this time, the 'Covenant' have reached their disabled tanks and started trying to hit me. Most fell down, 'dead', off of the tank because of covering fire from the rest of my squad. I try to get up, and stumble. But I try again. This time I'm running on all fours to Emanuel. I pick him up and put him over my shoulders, like in a fireman's carry. I about face and hear Bynam yell, "Cover him double time!" I run faster than I ever have in my entire life. I dodge bullets and adrenaline kicks in. A sharp spike in pain causes me to go down. But I don't stop. I'm on my knees. There's only ten feet left. I'm startin' to go. My peripheral vision is blacking out. I can just barely see Bynam and Deere moving out from the left before the peripheral goes completely. I feel two more rounds hit my arms. Emanuel collapses onto my head and I hit the concrete headfirst.

Four Hours later…

      We won our battle. Yao and Gery ended up pulling all four of us in. We all got upped a rank. I'm a Lance Corporal, and everybody is anywhere from Private to Corporal. So now, we are going through Target Acquisition, Stealth, and Close Combat. I'm up for the first shoot. I level the S2 AM Sniper rifle and aim at the moving targets that are two hundred feet away.
The barrel spits out it's first round and it hits. I reposition and aim at the second target.
Another round flies toward its target. The round hits with such force, that the 'head' of the target is ripped away from the rest of its plastic body. I turn in my firing pit and aim at two guys that are popping up and going down.
One round blows down two guys. Then, I see a 'Commander' target, made of solid titanium as to replicate a Covenant shield. I aim at it's weak spot, the center of it's head, roughly a centimeter above the centerline of your head. I squeeze the trigger.
The round shoots straight through the target's 'head'. The drill instructor looks at me in astonishment.

      "Goddamn son. You're a fuckin' sharpshooter. Two with one, the 'Commander' down in one shot, and two other high ranking targets. All your shots are right through the head, between the eyes, three centimeters above the 'nose'. Now, I got one goddamned question for you son, where the hell did you learn to shoot?"

      "Boy Scouts sir. I got lost out in the woods on night with only a .22cal. I got hungry, and well, there was a bear. I put all eight rounds I had through that things skull and eyes, and he died, when I cooked the bear, they found me because of the smell."

      "Well, good shootin'," he states as he writes down something on a sheet of paper. I get out of the seat and eject the shells, hand the rifle to the next guy in line and then, walk over to the Stealth Training Center.

      They put me in a little chamber where all of the sound made inside of it, stays inside of it and is amplifies as well. So, you have to make your way across it without making too much sound. This is all done with full combat armor on. I reach my first obstacle, a five-foot drop onto metal grating. So I stop, turn around as if I am about to fall backwards, and then easily let myself down slowly. I touch the grating and then crouch again. I move to my next obstacle. A five-foot high climb. I need to climb it slowly and then get up without making too much noise. This proves to be a challenge. I make my way up, straining my biceps to pull me up slowly while I have to hold myself up straight and still for several seconds. I get on my knees, relax for a second, and then get up on my feet to scan and see what my next obstacle is. Several chains are hanging from the ceiling and are surrounded my shards of glass. I carefully walk forward and then, walk around the dangling chains, then over a pile of glass, and then around the next set of chains a glass. I finally complete this task. That was a real test. Then, I see the final obstacle. Dead bodies. I guess that when I do kill Covenant troops, I'll have to walk over them silently and try not to make too much noise. So I walk over blood and then notice that it is making noise when my feet lift up off of the sticky residue. So I now, I'm trying harder to avoid their blood. I nearly trip over a Needler. Thank god I don't. Now, that I've crossed the final obstacle, I am happy and relaxed. I climb slowly up two stairs and open the door silently as I can, just in case they are still testing me. I meet with the instructor and he shakes my hand.

      "Good job son. That's the best test we've had so far. You made less that one total decibel of noise while you were in there!"

      "Thank you sir."

      "Your welcome, kid, incredible job." So no I'm really happy. I bring my gear over to the barracks. Now, my last test; Close Combat. I stroll over to the facility and two guards quickly greet me. They open the door for me and then shut it as soon as my body is through the door. I see two guys, younger than me, trying to take down this guy on a wrestling mat. He lifts the guy on his right up over his head and then slams him down, pressing his shoulder into his chest. The guy on the right, is coincidentally, Bynam. He doesn't go down without a fight. He trips the trainer and then leaps on top of him. He gets about three hits in him and then is brutally kicked off and then speared into a wall. Ouch. The trainer stares them both down but neither tries to get up and contest his psychotic assault. Though he's drenched in sweat, he walks towards me as if he's going to take me on. He wipes some of the sweat away from his eyes and then shakes my hand.

      "Good job dude. You kicked my ass out there on that op. You can go back to your barracks. You've passed already."

      "Who are you, because I don't remember beating up anyone like you before."

      "Oh sorry, I'm Sergeant Maddox Brooks. I've worked here for a couple of years, but you smashed my head into that giant tree on the tenth day when you were supposed to get supplies."

      "You, ah, um…sorry about…you know…um…sorry."

      "It's cool. You were just doin' your job Dunbar."

      "How'd you know my name?"

      "Uniform name tag."

      "Ah." The trainer walks back away from me and sits down to meditate. Bynam gets up and walks over to me. I fall down and start laughing hysterically after seeing how bad of a lump he has on his head. It looks like the Eiffel Tower, of better yet, the Empire State Building.

      "You think that's funny you little bastard? I should kick your ass man."

      "Man, I'll jes slam your head into the wall again heheheheh!"

      "Funny man. Real funny." After that, we hear a giant rumble in the distance.

      Two guys but in the door and yell, "INCOMING!!" Two blue flashes could be seen through the door that the guards came in through. Maddox jumps up from his Indian-style seat and rushes over to a door marked, PERSONEL ONLY. He takes out his pistol, blows the doorknob off the door and with a powerful kick, crushes the door in.

      "Over here damnit. Get a weapon guys. We got Covies comin in.!" I did so really fast. He tosses me an MA5B, a real one this time, not a training version, and three clips closely follow it. I try to put a clip in only to find out that one's already in there. I wait for Bynam to meet me at the door and then move out.

      "Alright, Bynam, my armor is in the Barracks, and so is yours, that's our first objective. Then we'll meet up with the rest of the defenders, a'ight?"

      "Yeah." We make a break for it. I see what must be plasma bolts flying over my head. The greens and blue almost make the situation peaceful, but when I see one of the freaks firing the bolts, I take a break from peace and jump into reality. I pump four rounds into one of the short Grunts. It screams while neon blood gushes out of its wounds. I see two Marines fighting off several Jackals. I see some opaque sphere on the ground and pick it up.

      "Bynam, what's this?"

      "I dunno, try pushing those two little things on the side," he replies while firing bursts of rifle rounds.

      "Okay," I say as I push the things in. It glows a fluorescent blue and I'm not in the mood to get burnt. I toss it at the Jackals. It bounces off the shield of the keystone Jackal. They halt, turn and try to run. The poor bastards are catapulted forward and land. Their limbs stay airborne longer. The Marines turn and salute us. I salute back. We move forward some more. We then stumble upon the jackpot. There are some sort of Covenant crates and weapons behind our base. It seems to be serving as a rally point for the Covenant wounded. Twenty Grunts are lying on the ground with blood gushing through them while their Elite superiors walk around them. I prime one of the spheres and signal for Bynam to do the same. We toss the things into the fray and then watch as the poor assholes try to get up and out of the way. They fly into the air and blood rains down on the Elites. I kick one of the crates over and then start laying it into them. Bynam fires the rest of his clip into a Jackal's shield. He draws his pistol and then fires at the Jackal's pistol hand. Two of the Jackal's fingers fall off. It lowers its shield and then notices the fault it has made. Two 12.7mm rounds go straight through the Jackal's head.

      I hear a buzz coming from our left and then see the trees shake violently; I can barely be heard over the sounds of war. I can make out purple silhouettes.

      "Bynam, down!" He ducks down just in time. A Ghost flies right over where his head would have been. I lay the last of my assault rifle clip into the one that went over Bynam's head. The anti-gravity generator blows and catapults the Elite drive from its reigns. HAHA! I'm a good shot. Bynam crawls over to where I am. He ejects his old assault rifle clip and then inserts his new one. The second one turns and fires on the crates in which we seek refuge.

      "We're gonna die out here man," I state pessimistically over the hum of plasma fire.

      "Hell no man, we're too young to die," jousts Bynam.

      "I'll miss you brother."

      "Ditto homes, ditto." We sit behind the crates for ten minutes. More Grunts, Jackals and Elites are brought in for medical attention. I know that we're gonna die out here. We're drastically outnumbered. But I won't die without a fight. I turn around, and then using the crate, I support my rifle to fire it. I pull the trigger, but nothing comes out. I turn and look and then see that the safety's on. I flip it to automatic but then a plasma round from the Ghost and a round from the Elite roast the sides of my hair. I fall back.

      "Shit! Don't fuckin' die on me brottha! Don't die. Shit!" I lean up, groan, and then start to laugh.

      "Holy Mary, sweet mother of Jesus, you're alive man. HAHA! You're alive! I like your do."

      Bynam continues to ramble on about how I survived. I feel my hair and notice that I have no hair except in the middle. I've got a mowhawk. "Thanks dude," I reply, "That's the last time I try something that stupid again. We sit there talking about our live for a while and then I hear a growling noise coming from my right. I hear two people yelling hysterically and then the noises of occasional gunfire. In a couple of seconds, I see the trees on my right collapse and a Warthog with Emanuel in the driver's seat and Deere in the gunner's mount appears. The 'Hog' hits the Elite, severing his head and then catapults the Ghost into the air. The Elite driving is then wedged between a rock and the Ghost. Deere starts to cut down the Covies in the rally area. Then he hops down and comes to our aid.

      "I thought you guys could use some help. Hop in guys, we got cleanup duty Corporal," yells Emanuel.

      "Roger that," I reply. I see the tires then notice that they must have run down a bunch of Covies because the tires look as if they are naturally blue. I hop in the passenger's seat; Bynam hops on the rear fender and locks himself in place with a restraint. We begin to move and soon enough we see more Covenant. It's another hour before the area has been cleared up. We have prisoners. Several Grunts, a Jackal and two Elites, one supposedly the field commander. We are all celebrating our victory, especially the newbies. Bynam and me are awarded a citation for psychotic bravery, the kind they need in the ODSTs. We are all happy that our first encounter is a victory.

      We are having a barbecue tonight. The grill is getting ready. The meat is brought in on a Pelican. The pilot also has a surprise for us. According to him, it's a morale booster. A package of letters. I even get one. Sod does the rest of my team. I follow Bynam over to a set of lawn chairs. We sit down and read them.

      "Who's yours from Ryan," inquirers Bynam.

      "My girl, yours," I reply.


      "Ah," I say as I open the letter. I begin to scan the lines. But it's the first that makes me yell…

Next up:
A Marine's Tale: Vengeance is Mine