The Spartan Wars: Neutral Bomb - Episode II
Posted By: Random 14-Year-Old<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 February 2005, 7:13 AM
THE SPARTAN WARS: Neutral Bomb - Episode II
1215 hours, February 1, 2651 (Military Calendar) Swan Song system, Spartan training battlefield, Omega Halo surface
During their constant and torturous training in earlier years, the Spartans were thoroughly educated about the historic conflicts with the alien alliance known as the Covenant. A hostile band of advanced races, the Covenant annihilated most human-inhabited planets with ease. Every once in a while, a heroic leader such as the famed Cole or Keyes would win a battle in favor of mankind—a minor battle, that is. However, the human race still had hope at that point, because a small army of super-soldiers codenamed SPARTAN-IIs had the ability to wipe out an entire wave of Covenant enemies without worry. They were the pinnacle of strength within the infantry squadron, and they were mankind's best shot at winning the disastrous war.
So, naturally, it was to the shock and surprise of the UNSC when all of the Spartans died. As the Covenant invaded Earth, the beloved home of the human race, the number of Spartans had dwindled from dozens to a mere five. In addition, one was even kidnapped by the creator of the SPARTAN program, and is still listed as MIA a century later. Three more Spartans were killed soon after, leaving John-117, the Master Chief, the greatest hero humankind ever knew. But not even he could survive much longer, and the human race was left without a savior. Although the details of the death of the Master Chief are vague and unspecific, it was apparent that the remaining collection of Inner Colonies in 2554 did not have a Spartan to protect them as the Covenant made their assault. The question of how John-117 died could only be answered by the deepest sections of ONI, and it was a secret very few would ever know, not even the new Spartans.
Yet, even considering that mankind's last hope had disappeared, Lady Luck smiled on the men and women of Earth. The alliance within the Covenant was falling apart, as some individuals gathered and broke away from traditional belief, and therefore were deemed Heretics. Others went on a more ambitious route and attempted to take leadership away from the Prophets. All of this internal conflict, which originated from a disagreement about the core religion, resulted in the disintegration of the Covenant hierarchy. While the alien alliance had once been strong and sturdy, it now crumbled and fell apart as if the glue holding it together was wearing off. So, in a final, desperate attempt to defeat the weakened Covenant, the UNSC launched an offensive so determined that it managed to snap the very foundation of the enemy. And so the war was won.
Or, at least, that was what most of the human race thought. Although the Covenant had essentially been defeated, Colonel Edward Hayden seemed to think otherwise. According to his lectures, a new alien race just as threatening as the Covenant could pop up at any time and start attacking, so mankind had to be ready with a fresh batch of Spartans to deal with it. And not only did he prepare his Spartan-IIIs for warfare, but he also went so far as to make them battle each other. Sure, some Spartans loved to shoot up their comrades as if it was a game, but for most of the crew, including Max, it was a training exercise that was easily loathed and hated. Max had some good friends that trained alongside him as Spartans, and there was one individual that he even had a slight crush on...
But because of this absurd training exercise, Max was forced to throw all compassion for his friends out the window. Even though Hayden seemed to have tweaked the exercise so that the Spartans didn't actually die in combat, Max still despised the idea of pulling the trigger with the gun pointed at his friends. But he had to. Hayden had warned that "the loser of the battle will be punished," and Max wasn't sure if that meant the losing team altogether or the worst Spartan overall. He decided that he would just do his best to pull in victory for his team, which meant stealing the bomb from Red Team and planting it at their base.
And that, as Max mused to himself glumly, seemed next to impossible. He could hear the ominous whirring of the enemy Banshees as they circled Blue Base, scouring the area for any fool stupid enough to go outside. Someone on Max's team could try and hijack one of the flyers, but anyone brave enough to do so would get their head sniped off before even entering the cockpit of the vehicle.
"We don't have a prayer," Max mumbled, half talking to his team, half talking to himself. "We don't stand a chance—we won't even touch th—"
"Shut up," Evan-2315 interrupted. "Just shut up! We know the odds are against us, but you complaining like that is just making it worse..." Max didn't reply.
"Shouting at each other won't solve anything, either," Tony added. He, Evan, and Max were standing quietly inside Blue Base, staring at the gravity lift that an enemy could ride up on at any second. "I've sent Billy and Bob up to the top of the base to evaluate the situation," Tony continued. "Hopefully they won't die at the wrath of the sniper, and if we're really lucky, one will grab our own sniper rifle and the other will hijack a Banshee for us."
Two red X's appeared on Max's HUD at the locations where Billy and Bob were just sniped.
"Hmph," Tony grunted. "So much for that plan."
Suddenly Max heard the revving wheels of a Warthog outside Blue Base, and then two red dots bleeped onto his motion sensor. The opposition was making its move, now that the base was guarded by only three warriors.
"They're coming in..." Max whispered. He could almost hear the enemy footsteps growing closer and closer...
"No shit, Sherlock!" Evan impulsively yelled. "Of course they're coming—" Without warning, a Jackhammer rocket surged into the base from the sunroof above and impacted Evan with such destructive force that it disintegrated his body into smithereens.
"Quick, evacuate the base!" Tony cried, and both Blue Spartans lunged for a wall and rolled behind a corner. Defending the base from the bomb was their primary objective, but the rocket-wielding asshole up top was just too strong of an adversary to fight against. Max and Tony ran out the front entrance of the base and hurried around to the adjacent side, where they began to run up the ramp to the top of the base. Maybe the rocketeer was still up there, looking down through the sunroof for more victims.
"Wait—" Max stopped. "Billy and Bob just respawned, and Evan is about to, so—"
"No, we can't wait for them. By the time our teammates arrive to back us up, the bomb will have already been planted," Tony argued. It was true; Billy, Bob, and Evan were all spawning way out in the field, and despite the super quick speed of the Spartans, there was no way they could get to the base in time. Max and Tony had to stop the intruders alone.
"Okay, it's arming..." a voice whispered from within the base. Max grew stressed and alarmed as he ran up the ramp to the roof of the base—but something in his HUD caught his eye. A red dot was moving on his motion tracker—and it was behind him and Tony. One of the Reds must have exited their Banshee! Max spun around to face down the ramp. Just as Tony started climbing up, a Red started creeping up behind him.
"Tony! Behind you! No!" Max cried, but Tony didn't turn around fast enough, and the Red whacked the butt of his gun into Tony's spinal cord, killing Max's comrade instantaneously.
The SPARTAN-IIIs were indeed trained to use guns to their fullest potential, but they also learned how hand-to-hand combat could be incredibly useful in some dire situations. Max realized that this was one of those situations.
Max dove down the ramp and tackled the enemy's legs, and both combatants stumbled to the ground in an anxious power struggle. The Red tossed his gun in the air and muttered, "You want a fistfight? You got one." On the contrary, Max had no plan to use punches, as that would take much too long, and the bomb was still arming. Instead, Max jumped to his feet as nimbly as he could, arched his right leg backward, and kicked the Red as hard as he possibly could. His foot impacted the enemy's back, and the Red instantly died the same way Tony had.
There was no time to think about anything else as Max sprinted up the ramp to the top of Blue Base. He didn't care about the Red sniper hiding somewhere else in the gulch. He didn't care about the remaining enemy Banshee still circling the skies. The only word flashing across Max's mind was bomb. As fast as he could manage, Max shot down through the sunroof and landed right in the middle of his base. He whipped out the Magnum pistol attached to his waist and immediately began firing on the Red that was frantically programming the bomb for detonation. But there was another Red, and he had been waiting for Max the entire time. Max, preoccupied with the bomber, was a sitting duck for the asshole with the rocket launcher. Whether he had been blasted by a rocket or shredded by an SMG, Max never knew.
Damn moron... Louis thought to himself as he watched his teammate fly playfully through the sky in a Banshee. While the rest of Red team was intent on getting the bomb armed, Stacey-3099 seemed to have taken it for granted that her team was going to win, and that she could leisurely skip across the sky in her fun little Banshee.
Louis turned his attention back to Blue Base, and used the 10x scope to spy on a Blue that had just kicked a Red to death. Louis couldn't believe his eyes. One of his teammates had just died from a swift kick in the back! No matter. The bomb was almost detonated anyway. As much as Louis was tempted to drill a sniper bullet into that Blue's head, he knew he needed to save precious ammo. So, he simply watched as the Blue dropped down into his base, hoping in vain that he could stop the bomb from being armed. As expected, Louis's teammates subdued the pesky Blue, and Louis smiled, because victory had been clenched for the Red Team. He was just about to lay his sniper rifle down and pat himself on the back when something extraordinary happened.
Two red X's suddenly appeared in his HUD where his teammates had just been standing in Blue Base, and an icon indicated that the bomb had been dropped on the ground. Had the bomb been detonated? Did it explode? No, no... Something else must have happened... Then, just as Louis began to panic, an unspeakable word echoed from the speaker within his helmet: Betrayal.
To be continued...