Running Riot-Part 4
Posted By: Simon James<email@example.com>
Date: 4 August 2003, 7:10 PM
The next day at first light the three intrepid marines set out for Port Perry. They had their map as well as weapons, ammo, grenades and about two day's worth of M.R.Es. This time Joe took the gunner position and Sarge took the passenger seat. Pvt.Johnston drove. They returned to the highway to work out a route that would avoid any known Covenant encampments. It was a long way. They had been on the road for two hours when they encountered some more marines, headed the opposite way. The other marines were in a column of Warthogs. They all had equipment trailers towed behind them. They also had troop carrier 'hogs and 'hogs mounting rocket launchers.
Johnston stopped the 'hog to talk to the leader of the other group. "Whats going on here sir?" He asked. The major in the other 'hog answered, "We're from the Port Perry garrison. A major Covie push is on the way and we got orders to pull back. Right now we're on the way to the Grand Canyon." Johnston explained what they were doing and asked permission to join the group. It was readily granted, so Johnston drove back and took up a position. They moved out again.
As they approached the road-side stop they had found the map at, the column was ordered to stop. Covenant had been sighted ahead. This was confermed when a enemy dropship came in and landed in front of them. The major gave orders to scatter and fight on their own. The order was followed because the drivers had no choice. The first group of 'hogs ran towards the enemy, running them over and blowing fist-sized holes in those they missed.
The first 'hog was destroyed by a Covenant tank that had been linguring on the side lines. The tank in turn was destroyed by a rocket-firing 'hog. Then things began to go bad. The Covies began to organize themselves into rough squares, as if there were at the battle of Waterloo almost 300 years ago. But even now the squares where somewhat successful. When the 'hogs went by, a veritable cloud of plasma grenades came from each square and stuck to one 'hog. The crew bailed out, but it was too late for the gunner. He stayed on the gun until the 'hog exploded. As a final act of revenge the 'hog's wreak went right through a Covie square, killing or wounding most of the enemy.
Seeing that the Covenant had resorted to such old tatics, the major decided to use slightly more modern techniques. But only by about fifty years. He ordered the 'hogs to circle to Covie lines. They did so, firing into them the entire time. It was extremly successful. They made difficult targets and took out many of the enemy. Then when more dropships appeared, the order came to get out of there. Again they did so. The dropships landed and their doors opened. Out of each side came two Hunters. Before the first two could level their weapons however, they were taken out by the speeding 'hogs. The second two were left to fire wild shot at the Marine's tails.
While moving over the road towards the Grand Canyon, Sarge took stock of causilities. They had lost three 'hogs and only four Marines. That was surprisingly good, considering what they had been up against. Sarge himself had taken out at least five of the enemy. Then factor in that their were nearly a dozen men in passenger seats, plus more in gunner turrets. The Marines had won a stunning victory.
The road to the border was clear. Within five hours the convoy was at the former Niagra Falls. When the Covenant first invaded, the area was partially glassed. All the water in the river was instantly evaporated. The bridges that spanned the river had long since fallen down. To get across now, people and vehicles had to take a dangerous path down the valley and across. If an enemy dropship or patrol were to spot them then the Covenant would be all over.
The former Port Perry contingent moved slowly down the path. All guns swept the top of the valley and the sky above. All they saw were a few birds and all they heard was the sound of their own vehicles. It was a tense moment. Suddenly a roar filled the air. A flight of Banshees went over the valley. At first it seemed they hadn't seen the convoy, but the Banshees wheeled around and dived on the 'hogs. All the guns opened up, hurling a wall of lead into the sky. It took down two of the attackers before they managed to fire a shot. Then all the other Banshees did at the same time. A rain of plasma fell. Three of the 'hogs took direct hits and were knocked out. All their crews died. The Banshees had to pull up now to prevent crashing. They were most vunerable now and another three went down.
The Marines were confident that they had the enemy on the run. But they could'nt let them get away to warn others. Out of nowhere it seemed, the Marines produced rocket launchers. Almost all the passengers had one and they fired in a volley. Unfortunatly, most missed. The ones that did hit destroyed their targets in the air. Only debris fell.
One of the Banshees was hit in it's engine pod. It limped downwards, trailing smoke. It settled only about five feet above the ground, where it was easy prey for all the assualt rifles in the convoy. They fired and one rounf got through to the pilot. He fell out and was killed on impact. The Marines cheered. A few 'hogs stopped and their passengers hopped out. They approached the Banshee carefully. They found it safe. They examined it and found the only damage it had taken was the rocket in it's engine pod. They decided to load it onto one of the empty trailers. Perhaps it could be repaired later.
While searching the wreakage for more technology to capture, another squad came across a Banshee with an intact engine pod. They reported it to the commander. He told them to put it in the trailer with the captured Banshee. They did so and set off again.
End of part 4