- 1 Prologue
- 2 Rules of Engagement
- 3 Logged Operators
- 4 BEGIN RECORD PLAYBACK: BATTLE RECORDER COMPILATION 3247S-BRAVO, AFTER-ACTION REPORT
- 5 Movement One
It is 2609, more than half a century since the end of the Great War. Humanity is well into the long road to recovery, assisted in their efforts by their new allies, the noble Sangheili. Together, the two species have set about pacifying and liberating the remaining Covenant Remnants, defeating the occasional Brute warlord or upstart Prophet. These conflicts have begun dying down as new Forerunner technologies, discovered by joint UNSC/USR scientific expeditions, are applied to the armed forces of those factions. Sangheilian military discipline and Human scientific research methods have crossed sides, allowing for the mutual advancement of both races. Xenophobia is still something of a problem, but with more and more organizations being formed to promote inter-species tolerance and awareness. Things are looking up, and peace seems to be the watchword of the day.
Unfortunately, this is not to be. Back on the home front, humanity's United Earth Government has found itself overstretched, trying too hard to expand and reclaim its once-prominent frontier, as well as claim new worlds for its increasing population. Funds are tight, and belts are tighter. It is with this in mind that the government begins to retract funding from one of its most financially-draining projects, veteran support. Upon completion of service, all veterans and survivors of veterans of the Great War were granted two choices: a large tract of land and a prefab house on a new colony, or a monthly stipend to be paid until their twilight years. Surprisingly many of the vets took the land and the chance to start anew, away from their terrible memories of the past. But there were a significant amount that chose the stipend. Now, with the government requiring funds to both grow its defense force and accelerate its colonialism, these veterans have been put on "rolling allotments," whereby their payments are skipped every other year. Resentment against the administration has grown because of this decision, and formerly loyal colonies have turned more and more to thoughts of Insurrection. Nowhere has this sentiment been stronger than the planet of Baikal II, a small, frigid and rainy world in the Outer Colonies. Neo-Insurrectionists-- or as they style themselves, the "New Resistance Front"-- led by Garrett Elmsworth, propagate anti-government feelings and spread xenophobia amongst the restless population. With perhaps the worst timing possible, Kig Yar raiders have temporarily cut supply lines to the planet.
Now, huge and angry riots rage across the major population centers, focused primarily on the UNSCDF garrison in the city of Maerska, Arkangelsk District. HIGHCOM, now significantly worried, has quietly dispatched a unit of ODSTs-- the 105th's 10th Shock Troops Special Operations Company, to the planet to assist, officially, in "quelling the riots" and "providing security for humanitarian aid group officials." Their true purpose however, is to eliminate New Resistance leaders and supply caches across the planet. ONI believes that such actions will soon cause the riots to stop, and eliminate the nasty business of a second rebellion movement. How the mission will proceed, however, remains to be seen...
Rules of Engagement
Here are the rules of this operation, plain and simple. If you wish to join the mission, please contact me at my talk page asking for permission. Once you have received this permission, do the following.
- Proceed to this page and select up to two ODSTs that do not have a link.
- Create a character page for your selected character(s), following this type of format.
- Return to the RP page and list your name, along with your characters, beneath the "Logged Operators" section.
- Hunker down and wait for the RP to begin.
In general, there are only a few guidelines to stick by while the RP takes place. They are quite simple, and are as follows:
- Please limit yourself to one post after the prompting post (which will be made by either me or another Moderator).
- Keep it clean: use a spell checker and proof-read your posts before you actually make them. Even the best of us succumb to operator error at times.
- I personally have no problem with any sort of gore, coarse language or other "realistic" material. This RP is meant to be "M"-rated like the game it is based off of. Feel free to use any sort of realism you prefer.
- Please do not take over another person's character without their permission.
- Any further questions should be directed to this article's talk page, where they will be answered quite promptly.
Thank you for reading and please remember to abide by these rules through any post that you make.
- GySgt. Malcolm Lennox
- LCpl. Janos Vincze
- LCpl. Timothy Vanderhoeven
- PFC. Mark "Diablo" Elliot, Team 1, 18/10 Shock Troops
- Pvt. James "Fresh Meat" Matthews, Team 1, 18/10 Shock Troops
- UNSC Las Vegas
- En-route to Baikal II, ETA [UNKNOWN]
- GySgt. Katerina "Kitty" Nevsky
- L.CplDerek Marin(on transfer for mission)
- LCPL Spencer "Disco" Urie
BEGIN RECORD PLAYBACK: BATTLE RECORDER COMPILATION 3247S-BRAVO, AFTER-ACTION REPORT
Under ONI Directive OCTOBER BLACK, this record is designated as CLASSIFIED, EYES ONLY for operatives and officers with security clearance LODESTONE-2 or higher. It is not for distribution or replay until the material contained within is considered DECLASSIFIED by UNSCDF HIGHCOM. Any and all events contained within this review are not to be discussed with anyone outside the officially-designated review panel, and any personnel caught doing so are punishable under UCMJ, and will be prosecuted to the highest extent and penalty.
I am an Arms Dealer...
Garrett Elmsworth sat back in his newly-liberated faux-leather swivel chair, propping his feet up on the worn out door that served as his makeshift desk. Fumbling around in his pocket, he withdrew a chrome lighter, engraved with the insignia of some UNSC Special Ops unit. He couldn't really remember which one it was, but the operator had been captured and interrogated by his crew. He thumbed the light scar across the face of the lighter disappointedly. Those hooligans were supposed to have swept the man for valuables, and had missed this when the question and answer session turned violent. At least the blood had mostly cleared off by now. It had crusted in the scratch, however, and wouldn't come out no matter how hard Elmsworth tried.
He flicked the cover, sparked the lighter and watched the flame gleam for a minute before re-lighting the damp hand-rolled CompH blunt in the corner of his mouth. Inhaling, he allowed the smoke to pool in his mouth, savoring the odd fruity-nutty aroma and feeling his senses sharpen. Puckering his lips, he blew several smoke rings before snatching the remote off his desk and activating the old-school flat display on the wall. The newscaster, a highly-attractive blonde woman-- or AI? Elmsworth wondered-- seemed decidedly serious today as she relayed to her viewers in a concerned tone the important events of the day.
"Food riots have broken out as Remnant forces staged a desperate raid on the relief freighters inbound to our sector today. Hundreds of tonnes of desperately-needed supplies and aid have been either pilfered or destroyed in the attack, and UNSC forces have been dispatched to the area to provide extra security for the remainder of the convoy, and to eliminate the Remnant ships operating nearby. Colonial Authority representatives promised that they would do everything they could to relieve the suffering here, but so far the population remains skeptical."
The picture cut to a stocky man of Slavic descent with an angry expression on his face. Behind him, rioters surged against the shield wall of the local constabulary, throwing rocks and pieces of prefab shelters. Elmsworth cut the sound and just watched the man's face, reading him. Anger behind those eyes. Anger at betrayal. Anger at the bureaucracy, at the Man, at the Colonial Authority officials who certainly dined far better than he ever would tonight. He looked ripe for a little suggestion, balanced right on the knife's edge of dissent and rebellion, easily swayed. Or pushed, Elmsworth thought, chuckling to himself under his smoke-laden breath. Slowly, he dragged his feet off of his desk and stood up. Striding to the door, he flicked the wall display off, picked up the old MA5B he had left in the corner and snatched the voice-amplifier from its hook on the wall. Things were going to get interesting tonight.
"Mei!" he yelled, his voice echoing off the dingy plasticized framework of the old rowhouse. "Get the boys and girls mobilized and let's go! We got a good situation to exploit here!"
The dropship ride down to the planet's surface was both unremarkable and boring. The same stresses of gravity, the same heat of re-entry, the same nervous energy, the same stuffy atmosphere that reeked of sweat and aggression. Lee Deacon sat across the bay from his assistant squad leader, Madison Carson, checking his armor for the umpteenth time this trip. The nicks and dents on the plates were all just memories to him, their positions personalizing his armor in a far more terrifying way than any paint or patch could accomplish. He rotated his helmet in his hands-- the helmet that should have technically been on his head, just in case of hull rupture-- and looked it over. The regulation cobalt trim had chipped and faded into a jagged half-stripe on the top, though the small rectangle of white tiger just above the visor had maintained its original appearance. Hand-stenciled on the side of his helmet was the sword and Templar cross, painted there once he had earned his callsign, Apostle. His squadmates had thought themselves oh so funny when they had awarded the nick name to him, punning off of his last name. He rolled his eyes and looked over to Madison.
She was busily fiddling away at a handheld gaming system, her gear checked and double-checked, her helmet popped and lolling haphazardly in her lap. She slouched against the cushions of the crash seat, an expression of intense concentration on her face. Apostle grinned, shaking his head at her disregard for standard regulations. Quickly, he did a rundown of the Pelican's troop compartment, making sure that his squad was squared away and ready to go. "Longshot" Vincze sat off in the far corner of the bay, apparently lost in his own thoughts, while "Killer," helmet on, played with the evil-looking new combat knife he had requisitioned from supply. The new member of the squad, "Freshmeat" Matthews, was currently having his ear advised off by "Diablo" Elliot, while "Angel" Söröss looked on, quietly amused. "Tiger," "Boomer," and "Splash" all clumped together on the same row playing rock, paper, scissors, while "Yahtzee" listened to some sort of atrocious neo-colonial zip music on his helmet speakers. The two Team Commanders, "Lotus" and "Slate," sat in the auxiliary seats of the cockpit, where they could see everything that was going on. Everyone looked in pretty fair condition, like they were ready for anything. Which was good, because that meant morale was high. And with a mission as dull and uninteresting as the one they had been briefed on before their departure from the UNSC Ain't No Sunshine, every bit of positive attitude would help.
The intercom sputtered. "Get ready, boys and girls, gonna speed up our re-entry time. Hang on to something..." Nearly immediately after the pilot had finished this sentence, the dropship lurched downwards abruptly, nosediving for the surface and drawing loud protests from the troopers in the bay.
"What the hell, man?" Tiger whined, pulling the restraints tightly around his armored torso.
"Yeah, really, right?" Boomer rejoined, "Who does he think he is? Some SpecOps peli-jock? Come on, manos, no need to try and impress the big bad Helljumpers..."
"Stow it," Killer growled, sheathing his combat knife. The crimson hash marks on his armor's gauntlets and pauldrons, defining his kill count, had spread across to his chest plate and earned him quite a bit of wary respect from his recent team mates. So, when he told people to shut up, they listened. No matter how small he was, he made up for it with sheer intimidation.
"Coming in hot, kicking the thrusters," the pilot reported, accompanied by the reassuring blast of the bird's four heavy engines. "Get ready to disembark, and make sure you don't leave your shit on my blood tray, 'cos I sure as hell ain't coming back any time soon."
1100 Hours, November 28th, 2609
Baikal II, low orbit, enroute to Maerska, Arkangelsk District
Gunnery Sergeant Katerina “Kitty” Nevsky sat awkwardly on the hard metal seat of her pelican dropship, rifle secured to her lap with some all purpose crash netting, holding a set of rosary beads in her hands that had clearly seen better days. She’d never been particularity religious before joining up, despite a thoroughly catholic upbringing, but had found her faith quickly after she made dropping out of low orbit a regular pastime. The rosary itself was a keepsake she’d saved from a squad mate she’d lost years before, who’d been surrounded and overrun by Remnant forces after an orbital drop gone awry. She’d led the recovery force, against orders, and retrieved his body and the set of beads he prized so much, keeping them in his honor, though she’d received a two step drop in rank because of her actions. Now she kept the beads close on every mission, and whispered a prayer to herself before every insertion.
Murmuring a Glory Be under her breath, Kitty took a moment and surveyed the troop bay of the pelican. It was uncharacteristically quiet, missing the tell tale roar of engines on full power, wounded troops being tended to, and the incessant roar of combat that permeated everything. The silence was more than a little unsettling, especially given the very hush-hush nature of the mission itself. Kitty’s unit hadn’t been told much of their objectives in the pitiful excuse for a briefing aboard the UNSC Ain‘t No Sunshine, and she’d gotten precious little intel out of her own team leader, much less her very uncooperative commander, Lieutenant Wolf. She did know they were on route to a backwater outer colony world by the name of Baikal II, supposedly to “provide security to humanitarian aid officials”.
Though it was obviously a cover, she still wasn’t sure for what. She hadn’t been able to find anything of importance related to the small planet, at least not the open channels. As a veteran special ops operator, she was used to “black” missions and “off the record” operations, but she’d usually been told what their real purpose was. This time, no dice; as far as she could tell, they really were sending a company of top-line ODSTs to police food riots. Perhaps, she mused, their cover was real for once.
The sudden blast of the pilots voice over the dropship intercom shocked her out of her quiet reverie, and one hand instinctively shot to the pistol-grip of her sniper rifle on her lap, the other shoving her rosary into one of her armor’s chest pockets.
“Wake up kiddies, we’re expediting our entry a tad-bit.” said the pilot in a mocking drawl “Might want to grab something to hang on to.”
Katerina didn’t think much of the announcement given the lethargic nature of the ride beforehand, but got a moment to reconsider when she glanced up at the wall monitor and saw the Team One pelican ahead of them nosedive straight towards the planet, trailing reentry fire. She braced as the Team Two pelican followed in it’s tail, cutting back on the fore thrusters and dropping towards the surface, drawing complaints from some of the more outspoken members of the team. Kitty wondered for a moment how men who routinely inserted in HEVs could even think to complain on fast Pelican ride, and realized for the hundredth time in the last few weeks that she was in a very different unit. Better, but very different.
“Dropping attitude and hitting the brakes.” Announced the pilot “Grab your gear and leave us a nice big tip for the safe ride down. Coming in for a landing.”
1105 hours, November 28th, 2609 Baikal II, low orbit, enroute to Maerska, Archangelsk District Derek woke with a start when the pelican pulled out of the dive, causing the blood tray to jump. Like Katerina, Derek was from a different unit, on transfer for the mission. Derek was sitting next to Kitty, and rolled his eyes at the others as they complained. Kat smirked and pulled on her helmet. Derek noticed the beads hanging out of her pocket and asked, "What's with the beads?" Kat looked down and stuffed the beads into the pocket, saying, "Keepsake." obviously not about to elaborate.
Derek dropped the conversation and checked his gear. He had upped on supplies for the mission, and had four Automags, two SMGs, His Designated Marksman Rifle, a Sniper Rifle, 4 proton charges, a myriad of knives, and his machete. Satisfied, he opened his chest pocket and pulled out some memo items. Derek looked in turn at the pictures in his hand, One of him with his first platoon as an ODST, one of him and his family before the war, and lastly one of his wife, son, and friends from after the war. The mishap of troopers had bonded, and still tried to stay in contact. Derek put the pictures back in his pocket and studied the other items. The dog tags of his deceased Father-in-Law, Joseph Dekeyser, and a more recent piece, a round from a spike rifle. He had been shot in the gut while he was pinned down with a militia force on another planet. As the militia men broke ranks as the Brutes gave chase, one stopped to kill Derek. With no other option, Derek tore the spike from his injury and slammed it into the Brute's head, killing it.
Derek replaced the memorabilia in his armor and stood up as the pelican touched down on the planet's surface. He grabbed his helmet from the seat next to him and put it on. --Spartan-G117 01:45, February 26, 2010 (UTC)
1100 hours, November 28th, 2609 Baikal II, low orbit enroute to Maerska, Archangelsk District
LCpl Janos "Longshot" Vincze sat quietly in the corner, oblivious to the events outside his corner. His head was hung low as he was playing with an antique 21st Century coin. Janos flipped it high in the air and was about to catch it but the Pelican experienced a mild turbulence causing the coin to veer away from his grasp. The coin fell on the ground, creating a distinct clinking noise. Janos quietly sighed and slowly got up to get the coin, with him looking around the Pelican. Everyone else was laughing and were/or playing games. There others but they weren't really doing much. Some were sleeping while others quietly sat down, waiting for the ride to come to an end.
Janos made his way back to his secluded corner and propped himself against the wall. He closed his eyes and deeply exhaled. He recalled the day they were briefed for the mission. Everyone was gathered around the missions officer. From small details to major points, the briefing went. After the debriefing he noticed something a bit odd about the mission details. They didn't really match with their designated location. The purpose of it seemed to irrelevant. Janos tried to get a better picture by asking his superior but Ms. Wolf rebuffed him and told him that everything was going to be answered in due time. And now, he finds himself on a Pelican traveling to a quiet outer colony, Baikal II. "It just doesn't seem right." Janos thought. Something in his stomach churned but Janos shrugged, not wanting to bother with the problem his stomach presented.
Placing the coin in his pocket, Janos made a move toward a necklace that hung from his neck. It was a handcrafted steel item that was emblazoned with a Sniper Rifle and behind it was a Rising Sun. Janos remembered the day he got it. It was the day, he received the nickname, "Longshot". He remembered the event quite fondly. Janos was newly member of the unit, having been transferred from his other unit, possibly for misconduct or a danger to everyone in his unit. Urban Warfare was taking place and he was on top of a rundown hotel, downing any hostiles he came upon on. His new teammates noted his cool and cold tenacity as he fired. Shot after shot, hardly noticeable shots flew threw the air into their designated targets, usually killing them in the first hit. However, if the target somehow survived, Janos would take the time to play with them. Often, he would allow them to lay there, injured and wailing for aide. And whenever aide did come, Janos coldly took them down. He would perform his type of sadistic torture. Aiming at the wounded's limbs, he would fire, blasting their limbs off. But once he lost interest, he would finish them off with a well placed shot in between the eyes. These cruel and brutal acts terrified his comrades at first but they eventually came to terms with it, preferring not to question a man who can possibly kill them in painful and unimaginable ways. Several hours had passed and the fighting was almost over, with brief firefights, here and there. Janos saw his commanding officer, making his way to a seemingly empty building. Suddenly, an armed civilian appeared out of nowhere and attempted to stab him. However, his commander dodged the weapon and but the rebel got a hold of him and both of them went to the ground, grappling each other for supremacy. Janos sighed and activated his comm, "Sir. I'm going to need you to relax. I got him."
"What Janos!! Are you crazy? Don't take the shot!" He replied.
"Sorry sir. But I'm going to save your life." Janos bluntly replied. He inhaled deeply and held his rifle steady, carefully taking aim at the two. Just then, the rebel raised his head up, and immediately after, Janos took the shot. The bullet flew through the air, making its mark as it passed through the rebel's skull, instantly killing him. The rebel slumped to the ground. The comm channel open, and the commander's voice flooded his helmet.
"Well done Janos! You saved my life! That was possibly the longest shot I've ever seen Janos!"
Uhh. Thank you sir. I'm just doing my job." He replied.
"But still. Great Job. "Longshot"." He commented.
After the success of the mission, his officer gave him a handmade necklace, as a thank you gift. The name "Longshot" stuck with him after that. Janos was brought back to reality when the Pelican shook violently from a small disturbance.
Janos brought out his modified sniper rifle and began a maintenance check, checking the modified barrel and testing out the scope. Janos checked the cartridge and counted the correct amount of ammunition. Satisfied, Janos placed the rifle down and took out a small weathered down book, Art of War and began to read.
Just then the intercom came online, "Wake up kiddies, we’re expediting our entry a tad-bit." the pilot announced "Might want to grab something to hang on to."
Janos sighed and placed his book back into its armour pocket and gathered his equipment. The ride down became mildly bumpy and everyone started to whine about it. "I would rather be in an HEV than face this. I don't want to hear the damn whining." Janos thought.
The pilot made another announcement about landing but Janos was already by the exit, ignoring the rest of his companions. He felt the Pelican land and as the exit opened, the pilot said, "Have a nice day. You need it." [I wake up. To see nothing][Everything is silent] [The Dark Grey Clouds foretell][An Ominous End]|Prepare For The Inevitable
1110 Hours, November 28th, 2609, Baikal II, low orbit, enroute to Maerska, Arkangelsk District
The Pelican dropship rocked as it broke out of low orbit and redirected its approach at a steeper angle. Cpl. Spencer "Disco" Urie and PFC. Frederick "Orv" Cosgrove, who were playing a game of poker, swore as the cards flipped off an empty crash seat and onto the floor. Their words were accompanied by several other ODSTs protesting to the bumpy ride.
"Quiet," said Sergeant Konstantin "Frosty" Malikov, not looking up from the rifle he was adjusting. 2nd Lt. Michael "Fleck" Lang and GySgt. Malcolm "Mac" Lennox were up in the cockpit, having a word with the pilot, and SSgt. Jao "Shawty" Li was fast asleep. Which meant it was left to him to keep the troopers in line.
Frosty didn't like Pelican rides. He knew that if they were detected, one well-placed hit from an AA gun would wipe out the entire team. True, it wasn't easy seeing your Helljumpers taken out one by one from pot-shots while making rapid drops in HEVs, but at least it meant some of the boys could make it to the ground in one piece. And it was obvious the thought was on everyone's minds at the moment.
But if there was one thing Frosty learned from his past experiences, it was that once you were stuck in a shithole, you stayed in that shithole. And it wouldn't do any good to pester the pilot about it, because it wouldn't make the insertion any easier.
Frosty exchanged glances with LCpl. Timothy "Vee" Vanderhoeven, the team's sharpshooter. Vee was one of Fleck's favourites, and had an obvious rivalry with Team One's LCpl. Janos "Longshot" Vincze. Vanderhoeven found Longshot's style too unorthodox.
"What the hell is the point of being a marksman if you don't take them out quickly?" Vee had commented once. "Blowing off their limbs? What, does he think sniping is a torture session? That's just a waste of 14.5s."
For the most part, there was no time to think about who was right or wrong. Frosty was sure that everyone in the 18/10 knew what they had to do. And they would get it done...one way or another.
"They're pulling in a lot of troopers for this one," the Sergeant remarked. "Haven't seen such a big op in a while."
"We've been up to our necks in this crap since the damn war started," Vee said. "With all the hits we're taking, I'm surprised we're not running short."
"Let's hope we don't, anytime soon."
One thing was for sure, though. The Innies wouldn't give up easily. And neither would they.
There is no glory without honour 17:16, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
1130 Hours, November 28th, 2609, Baikal II, low orbit, enroute to Maerska, Arkangelsk District
Timothy "Vee" Vanderhoeven gave himself a quick pat-down as he and stepped off the Pelican, assuring himself that his tools were secure.
Rifle, SMG, machete... all good.
The Lance Corporal reached up behind his right shoulder and whipped out the M13 machete, holding it straight out at arm's length. The sunlight played around the honed blade as he inspected the edge.
Too shiny. Some blood would change that.
Sheathing the blade, Timothy unlimbered his SRS99G-S3-AM and began calibrating the scope as he waited for more orders.
The other ODSTs were doing what bored soldiers did best: socializing. Vee had never been one to do so, finding humans in general just beneath his attention. Unless they happened to be a superior officer, of course. He preferred to keep to himself. Better to not care about someone you might end up shooting, after all.
Maerska, just outside the military base that the ODSTs had just arrived in, was in the turmoils of a mid-day rush hour. It seemed like virtually everyone was piling out of work to get lunch.
Something was wrong. A delivery truck had pulled slowly out of its driveway and accelerated on to the road approaching the UNSC base. Judging by its speed, it would reach the base's in a few minutes.
Timothy raised his rifle and peeked through the scope. "Sergeant Konstantin?" He called over to one of the ODST groups.
The Sergeant in question wandered over. "What is it, Corporal?"
"Truck sir, northern approach."
Konstantin pulled out a set of binoculars and tracked the truck that Vee had indicated.
"Probably just a food truck. 'An army marches on its stomach,' you know."
Vee just nodded and kept following the truck. "Something's not right, sir."
"I agree. I'll ping the gatehouse and warn them to keep an eye out."
Timothy turned his attention back to the truck. It turned slightly, and a sudden glare off its side forced the sniper to squeeze his eyes shut. When he opened them again, he was able to see the company logo on the side.
"Manson and bros. Paper Co."
The UNSC doesn't use paper. Vee realized with a jolt.
Konstantin whirled around, his voice going from calm statement to panicked orders.
"Clear the gatehouse, clear the damn gatehouse!"
The surrounding ODSTs had realized what was going on, and were already taking cover.
MPs in the gatehouse were fleeing for their lives. A few managed to make it away before a device in the truck triggered, and orange and yellow flames burst from it, chewing through the surrounding area. The gatehouse was enveloped in the heat; it was unlikely that anyone in there was still alive. The driver of the vehicle was most certainly fried to a crisp.
Timothy Vanderhoeven snarled as a small chunk of concrete bounced of his shoulder, and then rose. He may not like other humans much, but he knew his job. And there would most certainly be casualties, perhaps even a sniper or two that would try and take potshots at his comrades.
Oh, he wished there would be Innie snipers.
Do not insult me. 05:57, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
1135 Hours, November 28th, 2609, Baikal II, 500 feet above Maerska, approaching Arkangelsk District
A green-painted UNSC Marine Corps D77 Pelican flew quickly over buildings and houses in the City of Maerska, on the planet of Baikal II.
Inside, Private First Class Mark "Diablo" Elliot and Private James "Fresh Meat" Matthews, both members of Team 1, of the 18/10 Orbital Drop Shock Trooper Company clung on to their BR55 Battle rifles, as a ground-side explosion rocked the Pelican they were hitching a ride on to the Arkangelsk Distrect, deep in Maerska.
Reports over the COM reported that violence had begun to erupt planetside, and the newer ODSTs did not want to miss all the action. Apparently, some idiot with a rifle shot at the landing zone they were gong to, and the zone was declared "hot".
"Troopers, we are coming into the LZ. Prep for a hot drop," the Pelican's pilot called out over the intercom. Good, the Troopers thought. The sooner they got there, the better.
Mark Elliot was a semi-veteran ODST, who specialized in Electronic things, and had seen quite a bit in his 5 years as a Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, most of which was drowned in drinking binges after missions. However, like he did before every mission, he thought back to his wife and newborn daughter, and of how proud they would be when he recounted his experiences to them, overly exaggerated, of course. He also felt anxious to get in the fight, so he could get back home sooner, as if if contributions would be that much more noticeable.
"Hey, Fresh Meat," he called to James Matthews. "Not going to throw up in this, are you?"
James Matthews was a ODST straight out of ODST boot camp, and lacking mission experience. He also looked quite green from the little bit of turbulence. He was thinking of his mom and dad, and wondered why he signed up in the Marines, and volunteering to be a ODST, instead of going off to College. A mistake, thinking back on it now.
"No, Diablo," Matthews replied. "I'll be fine...BLEH!" he said, as he blew chunks on the "blood trey" of the Pelican.
A Policeman seated next to Matthews chuckled slightly at this. "You drop it, you pick it up," he quipped lightheartedly.
The two troopers and the other four policemen in heavy riot gear felt the Pelican's center of gravity shift as the Pelican flared and decelerated for landing.
The Pilots voice came over the intercom again.
"Popping the back hatch, and...OH FUCK!", he screamed, as he sighted a RPG, aimed for the Cockpit, that impacted less then a second later. The Pelican plummeted the 30 feet to the ground in a uncontrolled decent. The Pelican burst into flames upon impact with the black tarmac, some of the passengers thrown free of the burning Pelican.
Thick, dark smoke drifted into the sky, symbolizing yet another small victory for the Rebels.
The Ringing In Your Ears Is Normal
1140 Hours, November 28th, 2609, Baikal II, UNSC Security Base Duvall
Apostle got unsteadily to his feet, vision filled with brightly-colored circles and flashing stars. Oily black smoke poured from the Pelican's two damaged engines, darkening the icy blue sky with ugly obsidian smears. Overhead, the one remaining dropship broke off its landing vector, veering away from the ground with its engines whining from the strain of sudden thrust. The tell-tale white jetstream of a rocket-propelled grenade traced a dagger-sharp arc from the ground to the sky. Flames rose into the sky from the blasted gatehouse, and a hapless MP who had not made it away from the blast zone screamed in agony as the napalm-like explosive compound ate away at his skin. The noises all combined in a pulsating, roaring, keening pitch, and Apostle staggered to the side, automatically checking his surroundings. There was his helmet, lying three feet away, rolling slightly in the scorched depression left by a flying fragment of the Pelican's superstructure. He focused on getting to it, his vision narrowing with black as he trudged forward, vaguely aware of another ODST screaming orders and directions. The dull thump-thump-thump of an autocannon, slowed down for some reason-- likely the adrenaline spike that was keeping him up, he thought-- added to the general commotion as Team Two's Pelican disabled the safeties and opened fire on the obviously-hostile figures standing belligerently on a roof top nearby. Apostle didn't see them get mowed down and reduced to pulpy shreds of meat, but the cheering from his squadmates tipped him off to this outcome. Stooping down, he retrieved his helmet, which was remarkably intact, and placed it over his head, securing the environmental seals. The helmet's hardware flicked on, activation HUD, team vitals, and wirelessly connecting to his neural implant. Micro-stim injectors built into his bicep plating got the necessary permissions from the implant and injected mild amounts of their cargo into Apostle's bloodstream.
With a jolt, he was back to reality, his chemicals balanced and at equilibrium as before. He checked on his squadmates and breathed a sigh of relief as he saw they were all in the green or yellow, no major injuries. Now, where the hell could he find a weapon? The landing strip around him resolved itself into the battlefield it had become; MPs decked out in riot gear charged to the breached entrance, where enraged civilians surged like a tidal wave, screaming threats and foaming with rage. APCs, originally supposed to transport the ODST squads to their individual locations, rushed to plug the gap as the MPs swung their stun batons, crouched behind the relative safety of their shields. Apostle's HUD flared as a Battle Rifle crossed his field of vision, then blinked as its scope connected and he picked it up. Madison popped up at his elbow, a wry grin on her face, her helmet missing and a nasty gash dripping blood down from her forehead to her nose. Her eyes gleamed and the corner of her mouth quirked up slightly as she said gently, "Welcome home! Looks like everyone's really happy to see you and your new pals!"
He depolarized his visor and rolled his eyes viciously. "Aw, just zip it, wouldja?"
She moved as if to say something else, but was interrupted by the cool, crisp voice of Captain Cielo over the company frequency. "Team Three, move to support the MPs at the gate. Repel any hostiles with due force. You are authorized to engage lethally only if you verify that a target has a weapon and intends to use it. Team One, check your wounded and regroup at flight line, Hangar 4. Team Two has pulled back for now until the landing zone can be deemed secure. Get to it, boys and girls."
Apostle swung as a grey and black blur darted past him, heading towards the gate with the rest of Team Three. It was Killer. Of course. He clicked open his comm. "Killer, assist in clearing the wounded from the crash site."
A tersely-stated "Negative, Sergeant," was all he received in reply. Mentally shrugging, he let the determined noncom go and began to move back towards the wreck when the first mortar shell hit. It was improvised, he could tell, a simple fragmentation burst lobbed haphazardly from a jerry-rigged launch tube somewhere outside the perimeter. It slammed into a hangar, rending metal and damaging the structure, but otherwise doing no significant damage. That is, until they get their range, he thought worriedly, and tapped his comm back on. "Gunny, can you patch in to Team Two and see if you can get them to provide sniper support, over?"
The gruff reply grated slightly on his ears as Gordon Lydecker, the Team's assistant commander, veteran of the major Battle of Kanna and numerous other black ops spoke. "That's an affirmative, Sergeant. It's already been called in for, over." Something odd was lying dormant in the Gunny's tone, and Apostle thought he detected a hint of resentment somewhere.
"Copy that, Gunny. Much obliged, over."
Elmsworth chuckled to himself as he watched the Pelican go spiraling down to pancake itself upon the tarmac. It had been a one-in-a-thousand shot, and his loyal followers had been willing to sacrifice themselves so that the others could get this opportunity. With the fall of the base, not only would Elmsworth be one hassle less, but he would also get what he really wanted. Of course, this was just a foreshadowing of the things to come; he never expected to be able to breach such a secure perimeter on the first try. At least not all the way. He swung his binoculars over to the gate, where the UNSC troops were scrambling to beat back the crowd. A generally successful scramble, the Insurrectionist leader noted. These people weren't yet motivated enough to really brave the dangers facing them. Which brought him to the two-fold purpose of this mission: to show the mob that they could get into the base and to confirm his source's suspicion that the incoming dropships actually held the ODSTs that had been requested by the base commander. He played his vision over the tarmac, at the crash site. As one of the columns of smoke drifted away, he saw that his informant had been correct. The heavy slate-grey battle armor, bedecked with the scars and stripes of battles long passed, placed this bunch as a hardened unit, one that had seen battles. After further observation, Elmsworth also noticed the large amount of troopers with pristine plating: replacements. This was worth noting down. As the ancient tactician had once said, "Know thy enemy, and know thyself..." Raising the cheap civilian chatter to his lips, he muttered casually, "Mortar teams, go." The signal traveled through the hacked-in encryption frequency and reached his demo experts, who replied with a single click of the mike.
Elmsworth stepped away from from the plate glass window of the high rise, then caught his reflection in the mirror-like surface. He turned to his partner, stroking his ragged blond beard. "Mei, what do you think? Should I get this trimmed or let it grow a bit more?"
The Asian woman looked up from the bloodstained body of the MPD chief of police with a harried expression, hands still deep in the man's skull. "Now really isn't the time," she hissed at him, then returned to work. Crimson stains soaked her shirtsleeves up to the elbow, and blood flecks had spattered over her face and ironically white biohazard suit. Cecile, the agent Elmsworth had planted in the escort service, sat in the corner, hastily dragging down a CompH cigarette, clothes still in a ruffle. Garrett grinned mockingly. Getting to the old man had been easy. A few well-placed ears here, a little bit of hacking there, and the Resistance had easily discovered that the pig regularly employed representatives of a certain "High Society, Ltd." that were red-headed, young, and attractive. Finding a member of his group that would pose as the chief's latest "hire" was a little trickier, but with enough persuasion, Elmsworth and his staff had gotten Cecile to do the deed. She was coming down off of the blood-frenzy they had worked her up into and was beginning to like more than a bit frightened and sick. The knife she had used to kill the poor sod was still lodged in his midsection, handle-deep.
Blood had been both spilled all over the floor and splattered on the walls from Mei's cutting. Garrett looked at the patterns as he might a piece of fine art, evaluating and judging its value. He had most certainly seen his share of blood by now, and was by all means immune to the panicky feeling that seemed to have struck the shaking woman in the corner. He checked his watch, an antiquated analog model, one of the few actual mechanism-driven ones manufactured. It was already past their time window. He was about to turn to his associate when she spoke up.
"Got it," she said.
"Good," he nodded as he spoke, then looked at Cecile. "Ladies? Let's blow this cracker stand, shall we?" Checking the charge on the wall, he confirmed that it was set, armed, and ready for his signal. Then he strode to the door, looked down both sides of the hall to make sure no one was there-- of course there wasn't, that was the appeal of being a bourgeous high official in this terrible planet, all the nice private floors to oneself-- and headed for the roof exit with his team. The wind cut into him, and he wrapped his arm around the already-quavering Cecile until the 'flitter had arrived.
As soon as they were at a safe distance, he flicked the trigger on his detonator, sending the entirety of Chief Howardson's flat up in searing flames. He smiled as he watched the place burn, as he hoped that the whole of the corrupt capital would some day.
1240 Hours, November 28th, 2609, Baikal II, UNSC Security Base Duvall
The day hadn't gotten any better as it progressed into the afternoon. Corporal Konrad "Boomer" Ruger watched the Pelicans being cleared for flight and taking off into the cold, bleak sky. The mission had gone off to a rough start so far, and it wasn't likely to improve.
Corporal "Tiger" Patel walked up beside him, and punched him lightly on the shoulder. "I coulda mistaken you for a sentry. Cielo told us to 'check for wounded and regroup' here."
"Well," Boomer said, not taking his eyes off the buildings surrounding them. "Apostle's checking for wounded, and we've already regrouped. Your point being...?"
The CQB trooper sighed. "You're unpredictable, you know that, Boomer? You seemed very lax during our way down, but now I'm wondering if you're even blinking behind that helmet."
"That's cause there's nothing I can contribute during aerial insertions. This is different."
Another ODST walked up to them. Boomer's HUD tagged her as Sergeant Madison Carson. "You boys alright?"
"Yes, ma'am." Both Helljumpers immediately replied. The squad leader never was one for bullshit.
"Get back to your lines. Team Two's sending us some backup, and the Loot wants everyone rallied and good to go."
As Boomer followed her back to where the others were, he saw a few of his squadmates dealing with their various injuries. Most of them were on their feet, and the ones that were wounded didn't seem to be too bad.
I guess we were lucky none of us were killed, he thought. But for the ODSTs, it was already a sign that the Innies would make things very difficult for them while they were stuck here. Looking absently at the surrounding area, the engineer wasn't surprised to see smoke rising from the ground. He heard that the rebels had put hits on some of the buildings, and even destroyed a gatehouse with an explosive-armed truck.
How long were they going to fall for these tricks? No one could tell what the damn Innies were up to until something happened, and it was too late to stop it.
Looking back down to the Helljumpers assembled around the flight line area, Boomer could tell the emotions in his squadmates by their body language. The Privates and rookies were standing in groups, nervously fidgeting with weapons and equipment. The Corporals were more composed, but were slightly tense, ready to react should something happen. The Sergeants were completely calm, giving orders throughout various parts of the team and watching things with a "seen-it-all, done-it-all" composure. He didn't see Lieutenant Jennifer Wolf around, but the team commander was probably busy with something.
All in all, a typical start to a long-lasting fight, Boomer thought. But it wouldn't be anything the ODSTs couldn't handle.
There is no glory without honour 04:29, March 10, 2010 (UTC)
1245 Hours, November 28th, 2609
Baikal II, UNSC Security Base Duvall
Katerina had been on plenty of missions before, and had had a lot of them go down the tube on her, but she’d never seen one go to hell quite as fast as their landing fifteen minutes ago. A pelican down, a gatehouse blown up, a raging mob, and a whole lot of wounded all contributed to a situation as hectic and crazy as any she’d experience in her twelve years in uniform. Word on the street was that they had heavily armed, foot mobile insurrectionists bearing down on the base from multiple routes, terror bombers blowing up apartment buildings in the inner city, and perhaps even more worrying, a nest of rebel mortar teams bunkered down somewhere in the surrounding neighborhoods lobbing shells into the heart of the security base, creating even more confusion and chaos than there already was. All in all, a very unpleasant start for a mission that, to Kitty at least, seemed less and less likely to go off correctly.
“Shit.” muttered Alexander Coal, Katerina’s Team Commander “They’re getting their range down now.”
The second lieutenant in charge of running Team Two was standing perilously close to the edge of the Pelicans drop bay, feet only a few inches from the lip that separated the relative safety of the crew compartment from the open sky. Normally, it was closed when in a combat situation, but things were still hectic and it’d been left open in case they needed to rapidly deploy. They were orbiting high enough in the air to avoid RPG fire, and they figured that if the Innies had anything capable of reaching the Pelican from the ground, they would have used it already.
Katerina herself was strapped in five seats away from the edge, and couldn’t see what was going on at the base for herself. The comments of the team, however, painted just as good a picture as seeing it firsthand. Between the curses and wincing, she could tell it wasn’t going well.
“Christ.” muttered someone behind her. “Are we really gonna sit here and take it from the Innies like that? What the hell is the LT waiting for?”
It was just a bit of pent up aggression and resentment boiling up, but it also sounded a bit to close to insubordination for Kitty’s liking. She turned in her seat to face the trooper and was going to speak up and give the soldier an earful when Lieutenant Coal glanced at her and gave her a very deliberate stare that clearly told her to mind her words. Team assistant commander and NCO or not, she was still an outsider to the unit.
It was the same kind of thing that’d been happening since she’d been taken out of her unit and transferred into the 18/10, the same kind of politicking and petty harassment that she resented, but at least she recognized where it came from. Any unit would be wary of a new soldier in an NCO role, but in a unit as tight nit as the 18/10, it was even worse. At least the Innies made a good distraction most of the time.
Kitty realized she’d been reaching for her beads unconsciously, and took her hands out of her pocket to check her scope, fighting back the nervous habit. She glanced about the cabin once again, and saw Lieutenant Coal was still at the edge of the bay, but was no longer watching the scene below them. His free hand was held to his helmet and he appeared to be talking animatedly on the radio to someone. A few moments later, he nodded once, depolarized his visor, and activated his helmet speakers.
“Check your gear Helljumpers, and get ready to shift it.” he said, voice excited “Slate says Apostle wants sniper support, which apparently is code for ‘go kill some mortar teams’, so we’re Oscar Mike. Trajectories indicate the incoming is coming from a suburb a few klicks outside the base, so we’re going in for a little shoot and scoot.”
"Vee, you're on counter-sniper duty. Find a good position and give us some cover."
"Copy, Sergeant. Taking up a position now." Timothy Vanderhoeven slung his sniper over his shoulder and pulled himself up the ladder. As he pulled himself on to the roof of the barracks, Timothy opened the channel again.
"I'm in position. Call them in and they will die."
"Copy loud and clear, Lance Corporal. We've lazed two targets on top of the northern most building, third from the right, as well as three more in the middle floors."
Timothy took cover behind the low wall that ran around the perimeter of the building and unlimbered his SRS99G-S3 Anti-Materiel sniper. He settled down and peered through his scope, scanning the indicated building.
A humanoid figure appeared and raised a weapon. Timothy let out a slow breath and made a couple of adjustments, but held his fire. He had to wait to make sure that the other target was still there.
It popped up. Timothy marked their position and went to scanning the windows for the other three targets. They would likely be isolated, so it was safe to take them out first.
One popped up. Timothy scanned the top of the building to make sure the snipers there were under cover, and fired. The 14.5x114mm round flew true, and the target flew apart. Vanderhoeven dropped beneath the wall and waited for any fire to come his way. None came, so he risked a quick glance up and saw a window sniper drop in to cover. He roadie-ran to a position a few dozen meters away and set up again.
He repeated the same process twice more, quickly bringing the threat of the snipers in the windows to a grinding halt. The two on the top of the building, however, would be a problem. If one saw the other fall, he'd be sure to alert the Insurrectionists and move. He'd have to hit them while both were standing.
Timothy waited for both to pop up, then mentally timed how long they stayed up. He id it a couple more times, and estimated that both remained standing at the same time anywhere from six to ten seconds. That would be enough time.
He waited for them both to rise, and dropped the first one before the Innie had fully risen. Shifting quickly, Timothy fired again. The final target dropped. The sniper reopened the com channel.
"That building's clear. Call them as they come."
He reloaded and settled back down for a long day.
--Do not insult me. 18:36, March 26, 2010 (UTC)
"FIRE IN THE HOLE!!"
Derek ducked back as the door leading to the Insurrectionists' gun nest blew open. The Innies had pinned some of the others down, and Derek had been closest to their position. Derek stepped through the rubble and was greeted by the sight of a group of dumbfounded Insurgents surrounded by the mutilated bodies of several marines. Derek roared as he opened fire with his SMGs, cutting the rebels down. As Derek reloaded, one of the Rebels tried to crawl over to the firing slot. Derek grinned as he prepared to shoot the man, but realized he was reaching for a lever, which was connected to a lighter, which was connected to several sticks of dynamite. Derek turned to run, but was blown backwards when an explosion came from a vent over the door. Derek was quickly buried under the rubble, but he eventually dug himself out. As he breached the surface, he got a fleeting impression of someone reaching out and pulling him out of the rubble, accompanied by voices coming over the COM. --Spartan-G117 20:23, March 28, 2010 (UTC)
"Disco, get your ass over here!"
Spencer Urie glanced over his shoulder, ducking behind the low, bullet-pocked permacrete berm as he did so. Through his tinted visor, he looked in the direction the sound had come from. Half-standing, half-crouching across the fire swept street was a nondescript armored figure, sharply waving its free hand at Urie.
Standing, Urie fired off a quick burst from his rifle, then dashed across the street, bullets nipping the broken masonry around his ankle. Reaching the street cornet, he spun, accidently slamming himself into the wall in a rattle of gear in the process of reaching htis welcome cover.
Glancing at the figure, Urie noted the stencil "SSGT Li" on his helmet. Dazed by his collision with the wall and still out of breath from his sprint, it took Urie a confused second to process that this "Li" was in fact his squad leader, Staff Sergeant Jao Li, who, it seemed, now wanted something of him.
"Disco, Cosgrove said he saw hostile victors moving North. Did you see them pass your position?"
"Ah, negative, Staff. I've been taking sporadic small arms from that direction, but I haven't seen any vehicles."
"Fuck. Ok, find Bingo, and track down those victors. Got it?"
Before Urie could answer, Li had disappeared around the corner. Swearing under his breath, Urie scooted further behind cover and clicked his helmet radio. "Hey, Bingo, this is Disco. Where are you?"
Urie heard a low voice rumble on the other end. "I'm just north of that big-ass roundabout near the LZ. Why?"
"Well get your ass over here. Shawty's got some victors he wants us to find."
"Goddamn Shawty...Ok, I'll wait for you."
"Fuckin' lazy-ass weapons bastard. Why do I always have to come to you? Y'know what, just fuck it, I'm oscar mike."
And so Urie moved off, dashing from building to building, weapon at the ready, working his way towards Bingo Brussard's position.
The crackle of flames was loud in Urie's headset as he past gutted shops and overturned cars, still covered in the shards of broken Molotov Cocktails. The sun filtered through the clouds of smoke, and the sky and the dusk glowed red as blood, a crimson aegis spread over broken building, broken lives, and broken bodies. Today was not a good day to die.