"Seth, take point, makes sure there aren't any Covenant around the corner waiting to ambush us."
"Yes, sir!" Seth eased around the entrance to the structure and gave the all clear.
"Stay alert, I don't need to remind you all that the chances of cloaked Elite units is extremely high, as soon as we are at the end of this corridor switch to infrared specs."
We made our way down the empty entrance corridor expecting to be met with full force resistance from multiple Elites. Nothing. "Anyone picking up anything on sensors?"
"Negative. Everything looks...peaceful, I don't like it boss." Said Seth
"Neither do I, we shou--"
My sentence was cut short as I saw an energy sword power up in mid-air behind Seth. He turned around and fired his weapon but the Elite somehow had it's shields enabled while it was cloaked, they took the damage and I watched in horror as Seth was cut from leg to head by the energy sword. "Forget the silenced weapons, they already know we're here! Fire at will!" I quickly grabbed my shotgun that I brought for back up and shoved it under the Elite's chin and pulled the trigger, he no longer had a head.
"Men we need to keep going as far into the structure as we can and plant the nuke, if these genetically engineered diseases escape and infect the humans on this planet there's no telling what kind of damage they could cause."
"Boss I'm picking up multiple signals on radar, I count at least 10 and they' re big, Hunters I would guess." Said Brett
"Damn" I thought "there's no way the four of us can hold off 10 Hunters."
"This is as far as we go. Set the nuke on a 30 minute timer, I hope its enough to completely level this facility as well as wipe out anything a few hundred feet below it." I grabbed the dead Elite's energy sword and powered it up. "Lets move before those Hunters get here and spoil our fun."
We moved to the doorway and upon exit we were greeted by plasma fire from 6 Ghosts. "Shit, we're trapped!" Just then the Hunters appeared at the end of the corridor and I could see them charging their plasma cannons. "I've got an idea, on my mark everyone duck!" 5 Hunters fired their weapons simultaneously. "Duck!" I could feel the heat as the super heated plasma passed directly over my body. Just then the plasma impacted the ghosts and when I got up and looked I could see a white hot pile of molten metal, what must have been 2 ghosts because the 4 others were intact.
"Alpha 213 we need extract now!"
"Roger that, I'm on my way."
"Kevin! Chad! Take out those ghost pilots, we need to get to the LZ now!" " Brett come with me, we're going to try and draw their fire." Brett and I fired on the ghosts leaving their sides exposed to sniper rounds. Kevin and Chad made Covenant swiss cheese out of the pilots. "Everyone grab a ghost and split up, meet at the extract point in less than 10 minutes, I want plenty of time to put some distance between us and this nuke."
As we began to split up I remembered the Hunters that were only a few yards away, as I looked back I saw plasma coming straight for me. "Holy shit!" The plasma impacted the ground next to me but it was still enough to slag my ghost and throw me 20 feet from it. I was still conscious but I noticed a sharp pain in my leg "broken" I thought. I reached for my radio but it was a useless melted heap of metal and circuits. My armor had gotten welded to each other and wasn't providing much protection anymore so I decided to dump the extra weight. I was fortunate to have been blown behind a rock. I guess the Hunters thought I had been killed and was among the slag of the ghost because they were retreating back into the building. I had to find some form of transportation or else In about 20 minutes I would be nuked along with the rest of the Covenant bastards within a 2-mile radius.
I knew there was no chance of anyone even knowing what had happened to me because we all split up and they were long gone by the time I had been blown up. Maybe if I was lucky they would realize something happened to me when I didn't meet up with them at the LZ. If not then I was sure Courtney wouldn't leave me before at least making a pass over the area.
I peeked over the rock to see if maybe there was an un-attended ghost or banshee or anything I could use to get to the LZ. To my horror there were no vehicles but there was 3 black armored Elites, the best of the best, supported by 4 jackals and 10 grunts. "Well it could be worse I guess, there could be Hunters among them also and they could have seen me, that would be real bad." I thought. I herd the shouting of the Elites issuing orders to the grunts and jackals. "Shit I hope they aren't planning on searching the area for me." I peeked over the rock again to see if they were spreading out, it was a bad choice. One of the Elites saw me out of the corner of his eye and began pointing at me and shouting in his alien tongue.
I quickly searched my armor for any weapon that I could hold them off with. I found the energy sword, 3 grenades and my pistol. I took the bundle of grenades and threw it where most of the enemies were. The Elites almost instinctively jumped away but the dimmer grunts and jackals payed no attention to it. I zoomed in on the bungle with my pistol and fired. The following explosion killed 5 of the grunts and 3 of the jackals but the Elites remained unharmed. In the chaos I managed to kill the rest of the jackals and the remaining Grunts ran off into the woods screaming, This did not make the Elites happy, I watched as they fired upon the cowardly grunts, killing them all.
"Damn it I can't kill 3 Elites with a pistol and I sure as hell ain't walking close enough to them to use the energy sword." I checked the ammo in my pistol. One round left. "Damn if that's not lucky I don't know what is." I thought.
There's no way im going out like this. Just then I herd the familiar hum of a Warthog engine revving up. "That better be what I think it is." I looked in the direction the sound appeared to be coming from, it was what I thought, Kevin in the driver seat, Chad riding shotgun and Brett was manning the chain gun. "I love you guys!" I shouted. One of the Elites charged my position and leaped into the air at an angle that would land him right on top of me, but I remembered my energy sword and just as he was coming down I powered it up and impaled the Elite, sending a thorough coating of his blood all over my body. The other 2 Elites were not scared at all and foolishly held their ground, Chad picked one off with his sniper rifle and Brett killed the other with his chain gun.
"Alpha 213 brought us a warthog so we thought we might as well come save your ass!" Shouted Kevin
"Great now lets get the hell outta here before this damn place goes up and takes us with it!" I climbed into the back of the Warthog and we were at the LZ within a few minutes. "Damn, Kevin, as soon as we get back to HQ I'm signing you up for driver's ED."
As soon as we had the warthog attached and we were strapped in, the drop ship took off. "Hey, Courtney, do you like fire works?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" A few moments later the timer on the nuke ran out and the structure erupted in a ball of nuclear fire and smoke.
Back at HQ debriefing went as usual except they were curious about the Elite soldier who had shields on while also cloaked. I told them all I knew was that it didn't show up on infrared scans but it bled and died like a normal Elite. Intel seemed extremely interested in this possible new technology, I didn't care, all it meant to me is that we would have to be more alert on the next missions.
We had a funeral for Seth; standard UNSC service except his family was there to attend unlike many other soldiers. Those bastard Covenant murdered my heavy weapons expert and my good firend, those were hard to come by. I would have to start looking for a replacement for Seth immediately; HQ wouldn't let us go on another mission without being at full strength. They gave me power to recruit up to 3 extra men to reinforce my team.
I woke at 0500 hours the next morning and decided the best place to start my search was the UNSC training camp. The soldiers there would be green still, eager to see combat and head strong, that's not the type I needed for Special Forces missions but I might as well at least look. I met one man that didn't look very bright but he was 6'8" and built like an ox. I asked the Chief Petty Officer what he knew about him. "His name is Jonathan Harris, he goes by "The Bulldog" he's 30 years old and weighs 315 Lbs. I've seen him turn over a fully loaded Warthog single handedly." He looked like the perfect man to carry the new rocket launcher, which could fire 4 rockets simultaneously or in succession. I decided he would be the man to replace Seth as our heavy weapons expert. "Have him transferred to my squad immediately Chief."
I thought I should also at least look for 2 more recruits but there didn' t appear to be anyone here worth my time so I headed back to HQ to sort through their files. After 2 hours of carefully screening through all the profiles I had, I chose 2 men; David Johnson, who I already knew from ODST training a few years back, and his younger brother, Alex Johnson, a fairly new ODST recruit but he looked promising and he worked well with his brother and that's the kind of cooperation I needed on my team.
I had great expectations from my team, that is if they accepted the new replacements. Seth would be a hard man to replace mentally, we all had a level of communication from working together for so long on so many missions, we almost knew what each other was thinking, that's something that cannot be duplicated. That is what scared me most about our next mission, I was afraid that we wouldn't perform as well as we had in the past and that could cause us the mission or even worse, our lives. Today would be the day I introduce the squad to the new editions and it would be our first day of training together as a new team. I was very determined to get them used to each other and combat ready as soon as possible.
"Front and center!" Chad Brett and Kevin lined up at attention. Jonathan, David and Alex lined up next to me across from the others. "I've chosen replacements for Seth, I know it's not the same but I'm sure in time you will come to accept them as part of the team. Everyone introduce yourselves to each other, get to know and trust them." Everyone took turns introducing themselves to one another, from what I could tell everything was going smoothly, except I think everyone, including me, was overwhelmed by the sheer size of Jonathan.