This story takes place just before the fall of reach.
The call came late. A red blur coming from the digital clock on Mendoza's bedside table read 4.45am. The sun was beginning its ascent as it rose from behind the luscious tropical rainforest that carpeted Mt Quith. Sunrise came early for the inhabitants of the island of Iquit on the planet Xeth, and set late, having only six hours of darkness. Yet even then the planet was still lit with a fluorescent light orange color that was given off by Requin, the largest moon in the planets orbit.
Mendoza arose from his concaved bed to answer the satellite uplink that was beckoning him in the form of a high-pitched beeping sound. He placed the headset lazily on one ear and answered.
"Ahoyhoy" he said drearily.
A young, 21 year old 'child' answered, "Hello Doza, this is your wake up call, it is exactly 4.46am and it's time to rise and shine for another action packed day of slaughtering covies. I will be your host for the evening, and once you get your ass over here we can begin the debriefing."
"You were meant to call at Four Tana. I've already gone for my morning run around the Cove, where were you?" Mendoza lied.
"For one, my name is Montana not 'Tana' and I've already ran around the Cove twice this morning." Montana answered back smartly.
"Shut up Tana, I'll be there in five minutes."
Mendoza made his way to the bathroom. His eyelids were still glued shut, and he smelt as if something had crawled into his mouth and died. "Hmm, I'm in perfect condition to greet Montana", He thought.
His bag was packed full of provisions: weapons, ammo, rations, and anything else he will need for a few days in the jungle.
He made his way outside. Marine life was at its peak in these early hours of the morning. There were training squads practicing drills of all sorts in the cover of the jungle. Out on the beach another group of marines were having a skirmish to practice strategy and the pressure that is put upon you in firefights. All of these activities were being watched closely by their commanders, hoping to fnd marines that were worthy to be elevated to the special operation training center located on reach.
The whole place was alive as more marines from camp Omega, located on the South west side of the island, ran past Mendoza as he made his way from his barracks to the beach. Camp Omega was a camp of average, "unskilled" marines that were dispatched in the hope of saving planet Xeth from the hands of the covenant. Mendoza, on the other hand, was located at a seperate camp on the north east side of the island. However, Mendoza's camp was a Special Operation, or "Black Ops" camp called Fort Knox. Fort Knox's location was a secret to anyone that was not recruited to work or train there. Not even the marines serving at Camp Omega knew the location of Fort Knox.
He found his year old warthog that he "illegally" parked under a large group of palms that sheltered the beast from the rising sun. It was funny though; Mendoza was a special operation marine, or a black ops marine, yet he still had to follow the rules of camp Omega.
He jumped in his hog, the early morning sun glaring vividly in his eyes. He reached into a compartment under the dashboard where he found his pair of trusty sunglasses. They were completely black and provided good resistance to the ultra violet rays that the extra powerful sun emitted here on the planet of Xeth. All Black Ops marines were allocated an identical pair of sunglasses to protect their eyes and, well, to look cooler than their rivals in camp Omega (he thought).
The shadows given off by every object in these small hours of the morning always looked strange. They had elongated limbs and heads that looked alien to the shadows that occupied the day. It was as if there was a forever power struggle that went between the fat pudgy shadows of the day, and the long, lean shadows of dawn and dusk.
"Brrrrrrrrbrrbr!" The Warthog roared to life.
Five minutes later Mendoza was on the other side of the Wilson's Cove, flying at about seventy-five mph on the sandy beach. Wilson's Cove was about six miles in circumference. It had many small streams that ran off from the tropical, volcanic mountains that surrounded it. A luscious jungle closed the Cove off from the island. The only way into the island without having to slash and burn was through one of the small streams. Various types of wildlife were scattered throughout the island, and surrounding promontories. A reptilian creature, not unlike the now extinct crocodile native to planet earth was said to be found in the shallow streams off Iquith. Yet the difference between these reptiles and the extinct crocodiles is that these reptiles are about twice the size of its thought to be ancestors.
Hidden about two hundred feet in from the Cove was Fort Knox. Fort Knox was a small installation that held about fifty personnel. It was completely hidden from Covenant banshees that patrolled the sky above, day and night. And it had special listening devices that stopped the Covies from eavesdropping. It was as if the base didn't even exist, and for most people apart from a select few, it didn't.
Mendoza suddenly slammed on the brakes and pulled a hard left. In his absent mindedness he nearly missed the small track that was hidden by the veil of a constant water run off that came from Mt Quith and its volcanic springs. The warthog eased it's way up the stream, coming to a near halt about two hundred meters in. Mendoza scanned cautiously for the vicious crocodile-like reptiles they call Gritters, there were none. By they, I mean the twelve marines that originally occupied this island when their Pelican Dropship came to grief here by the hand of three covenant banshees. These marines were called The Priests, and they are known throughout the Marine Corp as one of the most ruthless squads to brave the hand of the covenant.
"I'll get that for you Mendoza, you just go on in, they're waiting for you." A small red headed boy said happily, clearly liking his job as a car/warthog parker.
"Thanks champ." Mendoza acknowledged
The room was dead quiet; forty-two special operation marines sat in wait of the latecomer. Mendoza strolled in, oblivious to the tight-lipped, furious colonel at the front of the room.
"Mendoza, take a seat, you are late. You didn't get enlisted into the Special Forces Black Ops marines for coming late!" The colonel exclaimed. "Now as you all know, on the island of Nor, located forty-five miles off Iquit's coast, is a Covenant strong point. Three small bases are held within, and two airfields, not to mention the construction warehouse. We are going to launch an operation there sometime tomorrow. Our primary objective is to take out that warehouse. It churns out about fifty covenant air and ground vehicles a week, and if we manage to destroy it, it will greatly aid in the fight to save Xeth from falling into covenant hands."
"Sir," a young marine raised his hand, "sir how many of us are going?"
"Well out of the forty two marines that occupy this island, thirty six of you are going." The sergeant went on. "This operation is going to be the biggest operation held by Fort Knox, and it will be our grandest. We will need six marines to stay back to defend our base, and to wait for emergency deployment. I have already decided who those marines will be and they have been attended to. For the rest of you, you will be going in three squads of twelve. Each squad will be accessing the island from different points of entry, each infiltrating a different base." The sergeant gestured to a map that came up on the large display that occupied the far wall. "From there, two of the three squads will make their way separately to each airfield to neutralize and hold them until back up from camp Omega arrives. The final squad will then ignore all other targets and make a B-line for the warehouse where they will infiltrate and neutralize all covenant forces. All bar one. Thanks to the Intel from ONI, a high ranked prophet called Eudith is apparently going to make a stay at the warehouse to oversea production and emotionally spur on the covenant troops that have been un-relieved of their duties for an extended period of time. Our final target, if all goes to plan, is that prophet. It may have some vital information on the extraction of plasma from stars, the covenant home world, you name it, it will have it. Originally, I was told that we were going to be sent some Spartans to aid us in our capture, but something has come up and they have higher priorities."
"As every last one of you know, we have never captured a prophet, hell, we haven't even tried. Ever since ONI discovered the existence of these new forms of covenant, the human race has speculated everything there is to speculate about prophets. If this mission goes to plan, it will be time for the speculating to stop, and the interrogating to begin. Report to your briefing officers for your team placement, weaponry and extraction times. You are dismissed." Colonel M Johnson finished his speech and sat down.
The colonel looked steely eyed over his troops as they made their way to the only two exits in the Briefing Hall. Before they came to Fort Knox they were a bunch of highly skilled, yet unorganized youths. Now they are an organized, precise, team orientated bunch of Warriors. He had faith that they could pull this off, and if they did, well Colonel M Johnson would go down in history as the first man to successfully plan the capture a living prophet. As the colonel made his way to his quarters, a wry smile emerged from his usually tight-lipped expression, and then, he laughed.
I know there are probably a few mistakes, but i have only read the fall of reach, and that was about a year or so ago. Constructive criticism is welcome.