Posted By: Tycho [OSC]<email@example.com>
Date: 10 June 2000, 9:28 am
" Awww crap "
"What now Marine?"
"Sir, we have incoming sir..."
"FIRE AT WILL!"
The sound of gunfire was not foreign to Pvt. Galen Kell. The covenant flyers passed overhead, raining death and destruction on the marine search party. The covenant flyers swooped in gain, coming in from the sun. Pvt.Kell thought that they looked like the riders of the apocalypse, the reflection of the sun playing off their surfaces like fire and blood. Pvt.Kell snapped out of revelry as hot plasma scorched the earth around him. 2 covenant flyers were shot down on this pass. The marines surprise had worn off. The remaining marines of the search part watched the last remaning covenant flyer retreat with grim satisfaction in their eyes. They had taken 2 flyers for 1 marine. The marines remounted the search for survivors of the 101st massacre.
The battlefield they searched gave no indication of the hard battle that had been fought, as all of the bodies had been removed to another location. Only the charred hulk of a tank remained on the field to attest to the fact that there was actually a battle 2 days ago.
"This is going nowhere sir," said a Pvt. From the rear.
"Shut your hole marine, keep looking - go search that tank!"
"SIR YES SIR!"
Nothing was to be found in or near the tank save a few spent shell casings and a marine helmet. Their wasted efforts in searching out the survivors were increasingly frustrating the 9 marines of the search party. No bodies were found, let alone survivors in 2 days of searching. The marines took the helmet from the wreckage, and decided to head back to base empty handed. The walk back to HQ was quiet and remorseful, each marine reflecting on the loss of a comrade and a friend. The marines looked to the sky as a loud boom echoed above them. Fearing another ambush the marines spread out and assumed combat positioning - they're training taking over. The only thing to greet them was a torrent of rain. Just what they needed, rain to accompany their already dour mood. The marines got back into formation and resumed the long hike back to camp. The marines had no idea that there had been survivors from the battle before. The marines continued on in silence. The marines reached the base and trudged into the briefing room, sullen and mad at the days unrewarding efforts. The marines were debriefed and sent back to their bunks to wallow in their own private thoughts. Every marine on base was completely unaware of the events unfolding at the very same time at a location far away.
The covenant troopers failed to fell the hard to hit shadow in the woods. The shadow had been thwarting their efforts to kill it for the past 3 hours. The shadow would disappear, then reappear only to kill one of the troopers hunting it. There was no clear hunter or hunted in this skirmish. The shadow disappeared gain into the thick woods, sing the beating rain to mask its footsteps. The lead covenant motioned for the rest to hold and take cover. The leader knew it was out there, he could smell it. The smell of humans never left a covenant after they experienced it. It was putrefying, a violation to the very holy spirit itself. The covenant waited for the elusive shadow to strike again. A single report broke the silence in the woods. The lead covenant didn't even look back, knowing that he would only find a dying trooper. The covenant motioned for 2 of his troopers to go in the direction of the sound, knowing that the shadow had already moved. He could not have been more wrong. A second report filled the air, another trooper died. The second trooper sent to investigate charged headlong into the dark grove from which the sound had come. The lead covenant motioned for the rest of his team to follow. No sound was heard coming from the grove. When the whole party reached the grove all they found were two dead troopers, one from a large bullet wound and the other from having his throat slit. The lead covenant roared his hatred into the air. Another report sounded, followed by three quick thuds as three troopers hit the ground.
"How nice of em to line up for me" spoke the shadow quietly as it emerged from the undergrowth 10 feet away.
The covenant leader was amazed to find that one marine, covered head to toe in gore that was not of his race walk from the shadows. IT was just one marine, it could not have possibly killed off an entire hunt team. Yet the marine had. The covenant leader emitted a low, guttural growl meant to strike fear into its enemies. The bloody marine just grinned. The covenant charged, ready to rip this marine limb from limb like he had so many others in the glorious battle 2 days previous. It was as the covenant charged that he saw the head of his beloved commander that had led the assault on the slaughter hanging on the marines belt. The red colouring had faded to look more greyed out. The covenant only charged faster, eager to shed the blood of his commander's assassin.
The charge would never make it to the standing marine. A long knife, encrusted with blood met the covenant in mid charge, halting his advance. As the covenant fell to his knees he looked at the 2 feet of glimmering steel protruding from his chest. The covenant looked up only to see a pistol barrel aimed at his face. The covenant saw no more.
It had been too long since the hunting party sent out to find the cause of all the disruptions around this sector had reported back. The covenant HQ was worried. Was this another marine offensive, and if so - why hadn't they heard about it? The covenant ordered another patrol sent out to investigate. Just as the base doors opened a large light filled the complex. Many gunshots were heard, and they were of the covenant type. When the light faded all the patrol was dead at the base of the doors. The covenant inside the base was unarmed, never expecting an attack. Fog slowly crept into the base. Nothing was seen or heard for more than a minute. Then something that took the covenant completely by surprise happened. From the fog could be seen a figure coming closer. From the fog emerged a lone marine, covered from head to toe in gore, carrying a covenant assault rifle in each hand. The marine had a red covenant head on its belt. Then he fired. It was all over in less than 15 seconds. The covenant tried to get around their workstations and charge the lone marine, but all attempts were met with a ferocious hail of murderous plasma. Soon, no covenant were left alive in the main room of the complex. The lone marine dropped the two spent assault rifles, and drew his pistol. The lone figure continued into the base in silence.
No warning was given. One minute the group was playing a game at the table, the next a figure had appeared in the doorway. The figure threw a red covenant head down onto the table and opened fire on the stunned onlookers. The rest of the resting troopers in the bunk hall got up and reached for their weapons - only realizing that they had none. No time was given by the figure in the doorway, only death. Soon, the marine dropped the spent pistol to the ground, and drew his three-foot long combat knife. The light played off the knife; casting evil looking shadows on its wielders scarred face. The human grinned, the last covenant trooper in the room charged. The fight didn't last long, the unarmed covenant no match for the fury the marine fought with. The marine dropped his remaining explosives onto the floor of the barracks, setting the time delay to "remote". The marine walked out, as silent as he had walked in, only pausing to reattach the red head back to his belt.
The marines of the base got ready to send out another search and rescue party. The base was shrouded in fog. Remorse and failure, not accepting the loss of two days previous permeated the mood of the marines. A lot of friends had been lost. With the destruction of the 101st and the appearance of a red "leader covenant" served to usher in despair and hopelessness. The marines on patrol were glad that the rain had subsided, but none to happy that a heavy fog would join them on this mission.
"Alright you jarheads, saddle up - we have marines to rescue!"
"SIR YES SIR!"
The marines were just about to the edge of the bases fence when they stopped short, jaws agape. Out of the fog and past them limped a single marine. He was covered in covenant blood, carried a marine issue sniper rifle decked out scores of kill markings, and a red covenant head attached to his belt. The sniper passed the marine patrol without a word or glance. The sniper went straight to the center of the base, and stopped.
"Here are your missing marines, there are no survivors. Here is your leader covenant." The sniper said as he dropped a bag of bloody dogtags and the covenant head to a table. The sniper grabbed more ammo for his rifle wordlessly. Marines emerged from the buildings to look upon the unknown warrior in awe and amazement. The numbers 101 were visible on the marines shoulder pad as he finished gathering his ammo. Then he walked again into the fog, as silent as he had walked in.