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Halo 2: The Forerunner Chronicle Part IV
Posted By: Velker<velkerskater@msn.com>
Date: 01 March 2002, 7:43 pm

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The ride down to the planet was short. Knight and his pilots brought the Spartans in about five klicks from a main Cov position. Before they had gone in, the Master Chief had insisted on every Spartan bringing an M90 shotgun, in case they met up with the Flood.

The Master Chief took his Gold team deep into Covenant territory on a Warthog. The jeeps were meant for three, but they managed to squeeze four Spartans in. They pulled up onto a cliff and Gold Team's sniper, Jack, scoped out the base with his rifle. He linked his targeting information to the rest of the squad, so they could see the Cov base. There were three pre-fab buildings already set up. Arrayed around the perimeter at even intervals were sixteen plasma turrets. Two Covenant Wraith tanks patrolled the around the inner area. An electronic energy fence surrounded the fortress. A large number of Ghosts patrolled the area outside the fence, and presumably, judging from the distant whine of their engines, the surrounding area. There was a strip of sixteen Banshees. An Elite stood or sat next to each. For every three pilots, there was a pilot with golden armor, the MC guessed these were flight leaders. A Black armored Elite stood at the first Banshee in the row, probably the leader of the whole group. Hundreds of Grunts and Jackals patrolled the inner and outer perimeters. Mixed in with them was maybe fifty Elites, one out of every six or so had gold, red, or black armor. There was the tell-tale shimmer of some cloaked Elites, through heat scans only showed five. About ten Hunters were on the prowl, staying in groups of two. Four dropships were 'parked' near the Banshees, as well as some of a Covenant hover vehicle that the Chief had never seen before. It seemed to hold three Elites, as there was one patrolling the base. There was a plasma turret on the back, with two seats up front. The Elite riding shotgun had his gun aimed out the window. Two forward plasma cannons could be seen on the front, near the bottom. They seemed to be the Cov equivalent to a 'hog, so John deemed them 'pigs.'

"Chief, orders sir?" asked Jack, "You want me to snipe those gold and black elites? I found some incendiary rounds in the armory. Work real nice. They make a target burst into flames, while nearly tearing off whatever body part they hit."

"No. We're going to head back to camp and get a plan. I'm thinking Longsword attack followed by a ground assault. I'm going to have some Scorpions shipped down from the 'Jersey. That firepower will help against the enemy light and heavy armor, which, as you saw, they have a lot of." It'll be tough taking this base, he didn't add, since he knew that all of Gold team could see that.

It took an hour for all the equipment to be shuttled down from the NJ. Two Scorpions and one Longsword, plus about sixteen Warthogs. This was definitely going to be a full-scale attack. John, Sam, Knight, his brother the Longsword Pilot and the Spartans' best tank operators, a quiet woman named Tina and a small (for a Spartan) man named Stephen, were hunched over a table inside the command tent.

"Okay, here's the plan," said the Master Chief. "First I want Lt. Steve Knight to do a high altitude missile strike, aimed here." He pointed to a spot on the map, right in the center of the Covenant base. "Then I want our sniper teams, which will be placed here, here, here, here, and here, to open fire on Elites, preferably black, gold, and red armored ones, turrets, and Hunters. Then six of the 'hogs will tear into the base through the main gate opening, trying to take the Banshees out before they can get off the ground. Then the tanks will burst through here and here, on different sides of the base, and open up of the enemy mortar tanks. Then the rest of the assault force will rush in to mop up. Is that understood?" The soldiers surrounding the table nodded.

The Master Chief sat in the driver's seat of a Pig, on a cliff overlooking the enemy base. He looked through his binoculars at the camp. It had taken three hours to get everyone in position for the raid. A few Covenant recon parties had been encountered during the process, and a some of the Spartans, including John, had appropriated a few Ghosts and Pig Jeeps. The Pigs had proven to be equal to a Warthog in terms of speed, toughness, and firepower. And they could strafe from side to side, a feature that John had liked about Ghosts. It was time. Right on cue, a Longsword roared across the sky, launching one missile. Its core was a the same high explosive compound found in frag grenades, except only finer and there was more of it. The missile hit right on target, wiping out the three pre-fab buildings. As the Chief had suspected, one supplied power to the whole base, so the plasma fence went down. The turrets however would be powered by independent back-up generators. As soon as the smoke cleared, the snipers opened up fire. There were about ten snipers hidden at various points around the base. The Covs had selected a bad location for their base, one surrounded by hills, forests, and cliffs. Several of the Hunters and Elites burst into flames from incendiary rounds. One had cut Hunter in half completely. The tree trunk-like legs were still standing. The Master Chief put his binoculars down and revved the Pig's throttle. "All teams begin assault!" He launched the Pig off the cliff and into the center of the Covvie base.

His gunner opened fire with the plasma cannon, cutting at the line of Banshees. The Warthogs sped through the main gate, LAAG cannons blazing, cutting down the remaining turret gunners. The Master Chief's passenger, riding shotgun, had opened up with an anti-armor rocket on the Banshees, doing his best to make sure that none got off the ground. He had almost succeeded; only two banshees got off the ground and they were cut down by an M41 LAAG and one of the tank's main cannons. The other tank had moved in and wrecked one of the enemy mortar tanks. A few grenades from a 'hog's shotgun rider had taken care of the other. Still, some thirty Grunts and Jackals were running around, trying to escape the slaughterhouse that their headquarters had become. The Elites were smarter and they sought cover behind rocks, foliage and wreckage. Still, the Spartans' shields held, and no one was seriously injured. The sniper fire continued cutting down the remaining Elites; there was no place they could hide from people like Jack who had the whole base surrounded. Finally the shooting stopped.

"Sniper One's reporting all clear!"

"Sniper Two's clear!" The same reports came from all of the snipers positioned around the former Covenant base. They had won. And without a single loss. But then again, thought the Master Chief, isn't that the Spartan way? One thing was for sure however: there was going to be a lot more fighting, as he had yet to find out who had loosed the Flood.