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Rise To Honor - Part 22: The Battle They'll Never Forget
Posted By: Shadow<Shadowolf16@aol.com>
Date: 29 August 2002, 11:47 am

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Shadow watched the crest of the hill from one of the taller trees. He was still in his all black uniform, but he still blended very well with the dark forest. The other snipers were each on a different tree adjacent to his. He had command of their forces. 300 snipers in all. Enough to take down almost anything within their numbers. The humans were sure to loose, but he would fight to the end. He looked around him. The other snipers were holding their rifles up towards the hill, and a few were shaking from the fear and nervousness of the situation. But he was sure that most of them wouldn't turn tail. Otherwise the rest of them would be fucked to hell. About 2000 feet in front of him, there were the 20,000 troops, all lined up and amassed for the final battle. There was no way they could devise a strategy with this many men involved. With the forest to stutter their movements, the Covenant all in front of them, John was out of his normal brilliant strategic ideas. It was just a hold out, and whoever had the most men and bravery were the ones to come out of the battle victorious. Many of the soldiers had their guns slinged on their shoulders, others with theirs down at their sides. The troops were equipped with miscellaneous weapons. About half were equipped with MA5Bs, and the other half were made up of laser rifles, chainguns and rocket launchers. But the front line had their guns up and ready the whole time, too nervous to do anything else but be ready. Warthogs made up most of the front lines, dotted with a few soldiers. Each of the warthogs were equipped with laser chainguns. Those should chop right through the elite's shields. The tanks were lined up in the back, ready to provide volleys of shell attacks. On the downside, the enemy Covenant tanks (affectionately called Big Daddies by the military bunch) could also volley against our tanks. In addition we had no higher ground. This battle would be hard. A whole bunch of radio transmissions littered his earphone as he listened to music. Most of it was John going over last minute checks on equipment and everything.

***Boss, we're gonna die!***
***Shut up!***
***Man, if you die, can I get your radio?***
***Hey! I thought I saw something!***
***Life sucks the big one.***
***Soldier, it was probably something that bounced off the glare, it's nothing.***
***Squad 562, we have a technical problem with one of our warthogs.***
***Sergeant, we have 20,000 men. Do you think I have the time to deal with ONE god damn warthog?***
***We're all gonna die!***
***No sir, I guess you're right.***
***This is Red Team. We're ready to perform operation Dead Line.***

It was Jan's voice, and she talked extremely fast from her excitement and miraculously automatically self-caffeinated self. John replied over the radio.

***Go when you see the Covenant charging our position. You're in charge of that initiation. I'll have too much on my mind at the time. Ok?***

Geb reported from the front lines.

***I think I see something.***

Shadow looked up and through his sniper scope. He scanned the top of the hill. At first all he could see were blades of grass muddled throughout, but in a flash, he could see the slight glare of blue armor. As soon as he noticed, he locked in and fired.


***Got it.***
***Report Gold Leader, what was that?***
***I don't know. Shadow, what'd you just shoot?***
***Shit! I have contact! Enemies coming up all over the place on top of the hill!***
***Gold Team, Red Team, Black Team, All Teams prepare for our last stand in this holy war of theirs! Whatever they do, no matter how many we've lost, we will not lose this battle. We can't! This is our moment of truth troops! This is for our freedom to live! This is for everything we stand for as humans! Everything! We will survive!***

There was a huge rally of cries and yells of enthusiasm amiss the nervousness and fear of the situation. John made quite the speech. It gave a boost to morality. It even made his relatively emotionless personality want to fight to the end. He was going to anyway. He looked up from his scope, and at first there were only a few hundred miniature sized Covenant troops appearing on the top of the hill, but soon more and more came. Soon the entire top of the hill was littered with Covenant. He pressed a few buttons on the control panel to activate a private channel with Jan.

***Jan, you better get going now. Once they charge, you'll be cut off. Go now!***
***Shadow? Alright.***

He watched as a small detachment of soldiers quickly left the main group and moved into the forest to flank the Covenant base. The bulk of the Covenant forces didn't seem to notice and they were really preparing for the final battle.

***Stand ready!***

One silver Elite was in front of them all. He yelled something in their language, and the Covenant all of a sudden started down the hill, all yelling some religious babble. Looks like they were as emotional about this as we were. As they started running, the ground thumped beneath them from the millions of feet slamming into the ground, ready to destroy us all. The trembling was amazing. Many of the soldiers had to kneel down to keep themselves from being knocked off their feet. The Warthogs rocked back and forth on the ground as the incoming troops came towards them, some near tipping over. Shadow made the first shot. It hit dead center on the silver Elite. The blast went right through the soldier, breaking a huge hole through his gut. The leader of the group fell to his knees, dying. At that moment he realized how honorable and brave that Elite was. How brave all of them were in this whole war. He never noticed it before, but the alien race paid so much heed to honor and respect. That one silver elite ran into the battle hundreds of feet ahead of the others, knowing that he was going to be the first to die. But as far as the Elite was concerned, being the first death in the final battle of victory was like the martyrdom of Jesus Christ himself or something. The point was that this alien race seemed to have such great respect for the elders, and their "gods". If they weren't at war with these aliens, they could probably teach us something or two. He nodded to himself. The sound of the war came in at the background as he thought to himself. He never thought about the Covenant and their lifestyle. All of a sudden, he wondered how much better it would be to be one of these Covenant Elites right now. Not because they were going to win, but because their mind seemed to operate completely different from a human one. Honor and Respect were priorities beyond survival...similar to the values of the Chinese and the Japanese cultures. Maybe the Chinese and Japanese were on to something. It didn't matter now. He was going to fight for his own honor, the best kind: The kind where death was the only option.

As the covenant bawled in, Geb and the others began to fire into their ranks, blowing out hundreds of their troops before they even got to the human front lines. The tanks blew enormous holes in the Covenant ranks, and Warthogs continuously mowed down grunts, elites, and Jackals. It was strange. None of them seemed to be firing back. The jackals had their shields deactivated, as did the elites. The grunts ran full on, no matter how many of their brethren fell next to them. It was as if they were honored to die in this battle ahead of them. In no time though, the Covenant and the humans collided. Warthogs were flying in the air. Bodies flew everywhere. Geb smiled and just opened loose with his laser chaingun, and mowed down the enemies. A Covenant came running at him. He ducked as the elite came running at him. He caught the enemy soldier's legs, and flipped the elite over his head. As the fool was falling head first, Geb spun around and tore up the soldier before the poor fellow could even hit the ground. He spun around and whipped out the butt of the gun, and snapped another elite's neck. He locked the gun back in place and began firing at amazing rates, tearing apart the enemies. The bullets kept on going through, and the enemies kept on coming. He heard the yell of pain, and he looked to his left. A soldier had a plasma sword through his chest and blood was splurting out of him. The Covenant soldier bowed his head, and slowly pulled the sword out of the dead soldier. Strange. It was as if the soldier was sorry for killing the human. It was as if he was sorry for this entire war. It was as if he never really wanted to do this. Regardless, he yelled and spun the gun to the Elite's position. The enemy's mouth dropped wide open right before he was torn apart by laser blasts. Another yell came from his right. But he disregarded it. There were going to be casualties, and there was no stopping it. Tending to each soldier wasn't going to work. He just continued to firing, hoping not to run out of ammunition. A hunter rammed through a soldier, cutting the fellow in half. The hunter spun around in a 360 degree circle, taking out whoever was in his way. And he came for him now. Geb fired rapid rounds at the enemy, but the bolts just pinged off his armor harmlessly, just like the assault rifle. He kept on firing but it did no good. From the background, he could hear a rocket blasts initiate from human lines. He watched as a rocket hit the ground right in front of the Hunter, sending the now dead corpse flying into the air. He looked around, but the one responsible for saving his life was not in the midst of his vision anymore. He kneeled down and loaded another clip. This was going to be a long

Jan ran as fast as she could with the large smart gun harness around her chest, and the gun itself in her hands. The soldiers quickly kept up with her, keeping their eyes out for enemies in the area. There were none. She looked on the radar on her eyepiece, and found a large metallic signature up ahead. It must be the base. She activated the homing targeting system on the smart gun, and lights and HUD systems lit up. She held the gun up, and was ready to fire on the enemies. The base was enormous, but the main communications and electronics center for the Covenant was located at the front of the base. That would make things easier. The area was surrounded by Shades and Shade II's. Shade II's were essentially Shades with faster firing rate, and the ability to move slowly along the ground. One of the soldiers hanged back, and readied his new Mantis laser sniper rifle. He aimed and fired as many rounds as he could. As she ran forward, she could hear and feel the laser blasts zooming past her and slamming into the shades and their operators. There weren't too many, as they weren't expecting a counterattack with such a large and desperate battle on the human's part. The Covenant should have learned how cunning humans could be by now. The first four shades were completely obliterated and exploded in bright blue smoke. The other two guns were taken out by their operators getting hit. They kept on moving. The building was right in front of them. There weren't any problems, so far. But wait. There were two enemies tanks. They were not operated, but they could provide problems later on. She was about to say something, but the tanks both exploded as they were lit up with the red fire of the laser bolts. They were both disabled, as black smoke billowed out of their cannons and chassises. She kept on going. There were two elites moving to check out the situation. Immediately, the smart gun interfaced with the HUD, and targeted them both. She aimed in their general direction and fired. The gun let out high powered assault rifle blasts at extreme rates. The gun's aiming was handled completely and the elites were all pelted with bullets until they fell to the ground. She ran up to the door of the building and it quickly slid open. There were Covenant operators inside. She and the other marines immediately blasted them.

"I want you guys to stay out here. I'll go inside to deactivate everything. Stay frosty. We don't know what they could still have in this base."
"Yes ma'am."

She rushed to the main control panel and began configuring different items. She moved her hands like lightening across the holographic control panels, pressing and dragging. After five whole minutes of code breaking and hacking, she was able to get to the main unprotected mainframe of the base's communications. She immediately deleted all software and other schematics that were required for communication. She also deleted all map diagrams that were relayed to all Covenant headsets. Finally, she stripped all interstellar communication. No more talky with the destroyers up overhead. She was going to disable more, but a marine burst into the building.

"There's a large group of enemy bogies moving in! There's a Nok with them!"
"Fine. Call for Cal on the aerial transmission. Tell him that Jan needs him. Alright?"
"Yes Ma'am."

It looked like there wouldn't be any time for more tactical disabling. She took out her pistol and fired into the main computer and blasted most of the HUD screens before rushing out of the base. She looked to her right and saw enemy Covenant Elites rushing to their position with a Nok following slowly behind.

"Lets go!"

Geb was still fighting in the ranks of the humans. Huge blue blasts from the Covenant tanks slammed into the human ranks like meteors into the moon. Body parts would fly all over the place, with a mix of blue and red blood all over them. The Spartans also were fighting in the front lines to keep the enemy Covenant from advancing so far. They were professional killers. Almost no one could touch them. Their shields would only momentarily glare in their gold color before disappearing. The problem was that the Covenant weren't giving up any time soon, and they were losing men fast. Overhead, Banshees, Banshee II's, and Verones fought against Mad Hornets, Cheetahs, and Zingers for air superiority. Occasionally, a Banshee or some other flying contraption would hit ground and kill a lot of ground troops with them. It was probably as big of a hell up there as it was down on the ground.

***This is John, we're retreating to the forest for better fighting position.***
***Roger. Az did you get that?***
***Yea, we're pulling back.***

Geb wasn't on the same side of the army as Az, but he was sure she was experiencing the same kind of gruesome battle of attrition. He reprogrammed the channel and voiced it to all in his group.

***Everyone, we're pulling back to the forest. Go now!***
***Yes Sir!***
***Don't need to tell me twice!***

They were still on the front lines, and it took a while of backing out before they could get to the forest. Meanwhile, they had to leave behind injured soldiers. But the retreat was necessary.

***All men, hide behind the thick trees for cover. We are staying together, so listen closely to orders!***
***Yes Sir!***

It was getting to the late afternoon and early noon, and orange light beams shone clearly through the holes in the cover of the trees. The Covenant were moving in quick, but they seemed to be confused and bewildered at the humans' new style of fighting. They tried fighting back, but the camouflaged and covered humans quickly cut down their forces. He looked around himself, and found that most of the other groups had escaped with at least a few troops left in their platoons. He leaned his back on the tree, but not for long. He quickly spun around, and fired off a few rounds into a grunt, and began a sprint farther into the forest, closer to their retreat camp. He constantly spun back around to fire a few at the Covenant. As he turned around, one of the humans was also firing back. The soldier got it in the chest and crumpled over on the ground. Geb looked but a second and another human ally fell. He turned around and began another quick sprint to some more cover.

***Team, status report!***
***We have lost about 120 now sir!***
***Only 80 left? Alright. All men, we are going for a full retreat back to the RC!***

He breathed a huge sigh. The Covenant were making their big push. They needed to move quickly or be sandwiched in enemies. The firing was nonstop. So many guns were firing that the sound of the blasts never ceased. He breathed another sigh and decided. This was it. They needed to go now. He spun out from his cover...and saw...nothing. What? Where are they?

***Az, you seeing what I'm seeing?***
***The Covenant are retreating!***
***But they were going to crush us!***
***I don't know! Lets just get back to the RC as quick as possible!***
***I'm with you on that one.***

He began to run back, but a blue Covenant Elite was running straight for him. It must have been a straggler in their ranks. He pulled up his chaingun, but the enemy trooper had the first shot. Two superheated balls of plasma slammed themselves into his body. The first shot hit his arm, and blew right through it. The second shot went right through the area right underneath his shoulder. A huge hole was all that was left. He screamed out in excruciating pain as the bolts shot right through him. The Elite watched carefully and then quickly ran past the mortally wounded Dark Wolf. Geb felt the burn zing through is body, and it felt like his entire body was just struck like lightening. He couldn't feel anything, and he couldn't say anything.

The ship rumbled a little as he flew it at full speed, but it wasn't anything that the Night Wolf couldn't take. Cal looked on his radar. Shit. There was a Banshee II on his back. He thought for a second, and decided on a risky maneuver. He put the system on full burst. The burst pushed him into the back of his seat, the G-forces slamming into his body. He pulled quickly up on the joystick, and the ship did a 180 degree flip so now it was facing the incoming enemy Banshee II. But at the same time, he put the ship on reverse so that even though he changed the way he was facing, he was still traveling away from the Banshee II. As he traveled backwards, he zigzagged his movements to dodge all the plasma blasts. He flicked up the missile switch and slammed down into the fire button. Two Hawkblast missiles were released from the missile tubes, and went zooming towards the enemy ship. The first missile impacted the shields and did nothing but create a large explosion that blinded the pilot. But the second missile went right through the weakened shields and blew out the cockpit. Blew smoke began to flow out profusely, and the ship spiraled towards the ground. Kill number 6. He was about to take on some more, but when he looked down to his radar, all the bogies were retreating, seemingly back to their base. Static came through the radio system before Jan's homemade system could adapt to the high atmosphere.

***This is Flight leader 2, we're heading back to Retreat Base. Lets go.***

Jan turned and led the group out of the base through the broken line of Shades and began a full sprint towards a flat ground up ahead. She looked behind her. Two of the soldiers were already pegged by Elite plasma fire and the blasts from the Nok's guns. They were done for. Cal was nowhere in sight. She turned around and was ready to stand her ground to the end, but three sniper blasts from a rail gun silenced the yelling pursuers. The Nok, seeing his comrades fall, decided it be best to turn tail. Or maybe it was something else making him go back. Whatever it was, he spun around, and made a full sprint back to the base. She looked up, and saw the silhouette of a dark figure. The sun blocked her main vision, but the loose clothing, and the ninja look told her that it was Shadow. What was he doing here?

***Shadow, what are you doing here?***
***Getting you out of the shit you're in.***
***But what about the other snipers?***
***Retreating with the rest of the humans. C'mon. We need to get back to the human camp before the bulk of the Covenant troops return to base and find us daddling around here.***
***What are you talking about? They're retreating?***
***Yes. They lost communications, thanks to you. When we retreated into the forest, they had a hard time dealing with our forces. They're not used to that type of guerrilla combat. C'mon, they'll be back here in no time.***

She nodded and began to sprint after Shadow's quick moving figure, the other marines also following behind

He was lagging behind the others, sure that the Covenant weren't following their movements. Their retreat seemed too quick and too rapid for their race. It was very strange. He never saw them leave the area so quickly. He heard a small groan from the distance. A wounded soldier? He stopped for a second, scanning the area. He looked up to Jan and the others, but their figures had already vanished into the night. He listened for the groan again, but it never came. He dashed over to where he thought he heard the moan, but didn't find anything. He continued his search, until he found the soldier. And the person he found shocked him almost that he yelled out loud. It was Geb! He immediately kneeled down and looked at the wounds. Two big ones right through the shoulder blades and the arm. It looked real bad. Geb had lost too much blood for any resuscitation, and it was already a wonder that Geb was still alive.

"Hold one Geb. I'll get help."

He pressed open the COM system and EVA showed up.

"EVA! Get help from the RC now!"
"What happened?"
"Just do it!"

He looked back to Geb. It was real bad. He wasn't going to make it. It didn't matter, he was going to help his friend no matter what. He quickly ripped off his shirt sleeve, and tore it into two pieces. He wrapped the first one around the wound on Geb's arm, and the second on his chest. Geb spoke up. His voice was raspy and barely an audible whisper.

"D-Don't bother. It's over. I'm not going to make it."
"I'm sorry Geb. It was all my fault. I shouldn't have made you go into this battle with the rest of us. It was wrong of me to force my values on you."
"N-No Shadow. Y-You were right. It was an honor to fight alongside my race and my team. It was an honor to die in the battle to try to save our race."
"I'm sorry man. I know we never really ever got along, but I would have never left you to die."
"No. You are my brother. I would have fought alongside with you to the end my friend."

Geb closed his eyes, and meant to open them again, but he never had the chance. Geb stopped breathing. Shadow closed his eyes tight, a lone tear slide down his cheek as he realized that he had lost one of his only friends. One of his best friends. He placed his head on the butt of his gun for a few minutes, and then strapped in the rifle. He lifted up the dead body, and slowly walked back to the Retreat Base.