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ODST Saga: Chapter 6
Posted By: Robo42786<Robo42786@aol.com>
Date: 2 May 2002, 12:20 am

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I was completely stunned by what had just happened; I had been promoted to Captain. What an honor. And the rest of my squad was receiving promotions also. This will definitely raise their morale. When I got back to the bunkers I told everyone to put on their uniforms and meet me outside in 30 minutes. They did so and fell in at attention. "Sir, are we going on another op.?" Asked Jonathan.

"No, I have something for you all." A puzzled look came over all of their faces. I walked down the ranks starting with Kevin. "Sergeant Kevin Stewart is receiving a promotion to Sergeant Major, nice job."

"Thank you sir."

I continued down the line. "Corporal Chad Gibbons is receiving a promotion to Sergeant. Privates Brett Wallace, Jonathan Harris, Alex Johnson and David Johnson are all being promoted to Corporals. Congratulation men, I'm proud of you all.

"Thank you, Sir!" They all shouted in unison.

"What about you, Lieutenant?" Asked Brett.

"That's Captain from now on." I replied.

     We all went to the bar they had on the base and ordered a round of drinks when the sirens blared to life. "All units to defense stations, jump jet pilots get your engines warmed up. This is not a drill, I repeat this is not a drill. Capt. Clower report with your squad to General Harris's office immediately."

"Great just what we need." Said Chad. When we entered, General Harris Informed us that a Platoon of marines out on a scout mission reported a force of about 20 Covenant Special Ops. Grunts with Needlers and Fuel Rod Guns led by 2 Spec. Ops. Elites carrying Plasma Rifles about 30 KM from the base. Shortly after the marines ended the transmission HQ attempted to contact them but there was no reply, it is assumed they were spotted by the troops and were either KIA or WIA. Our task was to find the missing marines and neutralize any Covenant in the area.

     We suited up and took the usual supplies, a combat knife in the left side holster, a pistol in the right side holster, a rucksack with ammo and we each took a med kit. We all carried MA5B's and shotguns. Jonathan decided that since he wouldn't be carrying the rocket launcher he would take 2 Lotus Anti-tank mines. "To celebrate our new promotions." He had said. I decided to take 2 spheres of Anti-infantry gas; it was called the Not so Silent Death, or NSD for short. It caused burning of the eyes, confusion, and it was flammable so it is often used to magnify the effects of small explosive devises such as grenades. Since I took the gas I told everyone to bring a gas mask in case the wind shifted. When we got to the Hangar I was pleasantly surprised to see that the new vehicle called a "Serpent" was being attached to the Pelican. The Serpent's design was originally suggested by Kevin and then refined and made possible by techs at a neighboring military base known as Delta HQ. The Serpent was a troop transport/assault platform; it was 3 times longer than a Warthog and was divided into four sections, which were segmented allowing it to bend when making a turn. Each segment had two wheels and a passenger seat on each side (excluding the back segment) which was completely enclosed by 6 inches of the same Polymer-Titanium armor that our suits had. Each side of the segments (excluding the back) had a 20mm chain gun, which could fire at a rate of 400 RPM. The front of the Serpent had two 25mm chain guns called "Fangs" which could also fire at a rate of 400 RPM. The front guns were controlled by the front passenger and could be turned independently of each other. The back of the Serpent could carry four people or supplies.

"Everyone ready?"

"Sir, yes Sir!" We got into the Pelican and as we were taking off the pilot introduced himself.

"Welcome aboard, my name is Lt. Eric Lewis, I'll be your Pelican drop ship pilot from now on, my call sign is Alpha 274, and I look forward to serving you Captain."

"Very good Lt. lets get going then."

"Roger, forward thrusters are coming online now." The Pelican rocked forward and we were off.

Everyone was silent; I attempted to break the silence. "Lt. Lewis, can we have some music?"

"Sure, what would you like sir?"

"How about something old, maybe Metallica's Garage INC album from back in the 1990's?"

"Damn sir, that is old, but sure I think we have that one."

"Thank you." Good rock music always helped me get psyched up for an op.   

     As we arrived at the DZ we immediately saw tracks and traces of Covenant troops. Many more than what had been reported by the missing marines. I even noticed several places that appeared to be from a hover tank passing over the ground. Were the marines gravely mistaken about the size of the Covenant force or had another larger force moved in? I didn't like it, too many unknowns to consider, first of all we needed to find the marines...or what was left of them. We hopped out of the Dropship, unhooked the Serpent and climbed in; Kevin drove while Chad took control of the Fangs. Brett, Alex, David, and Jonathan manned the sides and I got in the back. We drove around on the outside of a clearing, there were several craters in it, they had a glassy shimmer to them. I noticed something moving in a bush on the tree line. "Stop I think I see something." I hopped out and went to investigate the movement. When I got there I found five marines. They were heavily injured with broken limbs and/or plasma burns, one of them even had a chewed up gut from where some needles had impacted and exploded. He was coughing up blood and didn't look like he would live much longer. Two marines had dug a trench behind a large rock for extra protection. "Where is the rest of your squad Corporal and what the hell happened here?" I asked.

He saluted then said "we're all that's left, Captain. The remains of the others are in those craters out in the field. The Spec Ops troops had moved on and we were forming a plan of attack when we heard the shrill cry of Covenant Banshees and Hover tanks. Half of us were immediately killed by the Banshees' fuel rod guns. We feared another pass from the Banshees so we kept our eye on them; that's when we got jumped from behind by some Grunts and Jackals. In the confusion us 5 managed to escape to some cover without the Covenant finding us. But the others weren't so lucky, The Jackals and Grunts began to eat the crippled marines while they were still alive; it was horrible Captain."

I had seen Grunts and Jackals eat human corpses before but never live soldiers. That must be a horrible way to die, devoured by a bunch of alien creatures. "Don't worry, we're here to bring you back alive." As I got up to help carry the soldiers to the Serpent I saw a flash of light from the tree line on the opposite side of the clearing. I tried to track where the plasma bolt would hit, I looked over to the marine coughing up blood, the plasma struck him in the face and reduced his head to a charred stump. After that all hell broke loose. Plasma erupted from the tree line in front of us. We dove into the trench and took cover behind the boulder as the shrubbery around us was incinerated. The Spec Ops Covenant that had originally been reported by the marines emerged from the opposite tree line 300 meters away. "OK boys, looks like we got ourselves a tiny problem so lets fix it, Kevin drive the Serpent Chad man the Fangs, everyone else get in the sides and be ready to kill some Covs." I got in the back, took out a NSD sphere and got it ready to toss out the back to mop up what ever Covenant that didn't get killed by the six chain guns. Kevin ran over 2 Grunts, Chad killed 3 with the Fangs, the other 4 chain guns killed 2 each, a total of 13 Covenant dead. I did a quick count and there were around 7 Grunts left and 2 Elites. Kevin did a U-turn and made another pass through the group of Covenant. As he did, I armed the 5-second timer on the gas sphere and tossed it out the back. The gas sprayed out quickly and in a matter of seconds the mist concealed most of the grunts, showing only the tip of their methane tanks and the upper half of the Elites. The gas had no effect on the Grunts since they wore breathing devices so they didn't realize the danger they were in. I saw a flash of light inside the deadly flammable cloud followed by an explosion that rocked the Serpent. One of the Grunts must have attempted to fire his plasma pistol at us, it proved to be a fatal error; all that remained when the smoke and dust cleared was a black crater and a few arms and legs from the Grunts. "Kevin, swing around and let's pick up the surviving marines." I said. When the Serpent stopped I got out. Out of the 5 original surviving marines only one remained, the others had been killed by stray needles and plasma. The only reason the Corporal had survived was because he ducked down into his trench throughout the entire event. "Corporal do you realize that by your act of cowardice all of your squad is now dead?" I shouted. "You yellow-bellied son of a bitch! Get in the back of the damned Serpent!" He climbed into the back and we drove to the DZ, along the way he couldn't look me in the eyes. "Brett set me up a Comm. channel to Delta HQ, tell them it is urgent."

"Roger, link acquired, they want to speak to you sir."

It was General Eastward, the man in charge of Delta HQ. "General, Sir, this is Captain Robert Clower, we have spotted Covenant tanks, troops, Banshees, and possibly a Seraph fighter en route to Alpha HQ (our base). I request you send troops and support to help them defend against the Covenant invasion force."

"Jesus Christ. Ok Captain I am sending 150 troops, 3 Serpents, 2 Scorpions, 5 Skyhawks, and 2 Longswords to help defend against the Covenant. Good luck Captain."

"Thank you, Sir. Clower out." As we loaded into the Pelican I told everyone of the situation and about all the backup we were going to get. They were surprised that General Eastward would send so much support to Alpha HQ. Lt. Lewis lifted off and we rendezvoused along the way with the support from Delta HQ. This was going to be a huge battle.