Spartan III Chapter 3: The Hunt
Posted By: Winters<PMOH_Winters@hotmail.com>
Date: 3 March 2004, 6:43 AM
By the time the smoke cleared, the battle was over, and the humans long gone. Kano Kalamee, one of the many Elite investigators, pored over the entire battle site, searching for clues. The first and most obvious, the human drop pods. They were the first things to be examined, but they were already stripped of all useful equipment. They were nothing but useless metal hulks. Kalamee gave up on tracing the pods and put his attention to assessing damage. Right now, he was standing in a four foot crater filled with carbonized ash. Just over two hours ago, it was the command center for this tent. Kalamee knelt and picked up a handful of ash. Officially,, Field Marshals Pana Solamee, Naga Makanee, and their entire command staff were missing or dead. Kalamee threw the useless powder away. Even the most ignorant fool would notice the flecks of gold scattered in the ash. Kalamee would write up a confirmation of their deaths, and an analysis on the human attack.
Just less than a mile away, in a hilly region, Red and Green team kept a close eye on the Covenant team examining the battle site. It was Aeris' turn for watch, and she kept her binoculars trained on the group of Elites milling around where the hotspots of the battle used to be. On her order, she could have Blue team's snipers open up, and mow down every Elite standing in the field. Never before had Aeris have this much power over the lives. Never before did she feel so nauseous. She seriously considered giving the signal, and gleefully watch every Elite down there fall in a pool of their own blood, dead before they even hear the "crack" of dozens of sniper rifles. She shook the thought out of her head. Her watch was almost over. Let someone else deal with their deaths.
As she walked away, violent thunder-like cracks filled the air.
Kalamee rolled to the ground and tumbled into a nearby blast crater. Thanking the High Ones for sparing his life, he saw his fellow Elites toppling over like sacks of meat. He could only watch helplessly as his comrades were taken down. Massive holes suddenly appearing in their chests and heads in a blink of an eye. Kalamee stayed huddled in the crater for long minutes. It was not like an Elite to cower in fear of these lowly infidels, but Kalamee was not looking forward to death yet and continued to play dead. He thought, no, he KNEW that this had something to do with that besieged human base nearby. Once he was sure the humans were gone, he would go back and call for reinforcements. A LOT more reinforcements.
It was time for Red and Green teams to pull back to HOLLOW BASTION. Using the forest as cover, they slowly made their way to the mountain fortress, wary of any potential ambush. It was truly amazing how silent such a large group of soldiers cocooned in nearly half-ton armor could be as they moved through the heavily wooded area. Aeris didn't even bother checking her motion tracker. The group was too large and spread out to tell whether any movement was hostile or not. She instead kept a sharp eye for anything that didn't belong in the forest. Seeing that nothing was wrong, she started to slacken, but quickly corrected that. Being complacent was not a good thing on a battlefield, and certainly not good when there could be a Covenant ambush just around the corner. Then, two clicks broadcast on her comm. Two clicks meant that there was a Covenant patrol nearby. Everybody immediately crouched down into the bushes to hide. Her team leader, Jonesin, clicked his comm three times to confirm whether or not the previous clicks were random comm trash. Two clicks followed, loud and clear. Jonesin quickly motioned for Aeris, Cleetis, and Cargo to take a flanking position. Red team would lie in wait and herd the patrol over the waiting Green team. Aeris quickly took position behind a thick-boled tree and activated her active camouflage. Cleetis and Cargo did the same.
The scientists at ONI were able to back engineer the cloaking devices the Elites used, making it perfect for stealth and ambushses, but the only drawback was the active camouflage could only last for about 3 minutes before burning out and wold have to recharge.
The patrol, consisting of twenty-four Grunts, five Jackals, and three Elites were lumbering through the forest at top speed toward where HOLLOW BASTION was supposed to be. Probably some sort of reinforcements. Checking her internal clock, Aeris calculated that she had roughly two minutes of active camo time left. Quietly, she chose an Elite and crept up behind it. Cleetis and Cargo both did the same. Suddenly, as if all three Spartans knew when to strike, three quick blows the back of the neck and three Elites were down. The Grunts and Jackals turned at the sound of falling bodies, only to follow in suit. About half of the Grunts broke and ran, running right into Green team's line of fire and were torn to shreds. The Jackals bunched together, using their overlapping shields to protect themselves, but that proved to be a fatal mistake as a frag grenade rolled right under their shields and at their feet. Leaving behind a pile of corpses and a smoking crater in their wake.
As they neared the nav point, an ominous, black mountain loomed in the distance. Around the massive base lay a thin circle of color. Undoubtedly the Covenant troops, or what was left of them. Everywhere, the carnage Blue team left behind could be seen. Burned and bullet riddled bodies lay piled unceremoniously on the floor in shallow pits. Only one area was still intact. A then strip of gray. The road that led into the heart of HOLLOW BASTION.