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0400 Hours, September 8th, 2543 Unknown frontier location Victoria, 111 Tauri System
"Contact, we're under attack!"
At the word from one of his sentries posted around his camp of about fifteen Victorian Airborne Forces candidates, Lieutenant Jonathan Ulan leaped out of his tent, grabbing his MA3A rifle as he did. "Section, form defensive position Bravo!" he yelled over the clatter of gear and other related noises of the men under his command scrambling to prepare to ward off the attack. Ulan quickly keyed his COM earpiece. "Sentries, report." he asked, only to be met with static. "Shit." he muttered to himself as his men finally moved into their preassigned defensive positions. Unsafetying his MA37, Ulan sprinted across camp, and slid across the wet ground into cover with one section, crouched and spread out behind an earthen wall, all keeping their heads buried in the dirt for fear of inviting a sniper's bullet from the instructors.
"Heads up, you can't see the enemy with your face in the shit." Ulan growled at the troopers in the five man section, scanning the area in front of him for any sign of the opposing force. As soon as one of the men raised his head up, a lone shot rang out, splattering red paint on his helmet as he fell face-first onto the ground. In accordance, the remainder of the section pressed their faces to the ground again. While he wanted to once again snarl at them to keep their heads up so they'd see the enemy coming, Ulan realized that wherever the instructors were, they had a bead on them, and he had already paid a price for telling his men to keep their heads up. "Fine, you want to play that way, we'll do that." Ulan said to himself as he pulled what looked like a rifle grenade off his belt, and threaded it onto the end of his rifle. Dropping the magazine, Ulan pulled the charging handle back, and, retrieving a crimped round from a pouch on his belt, fed it into the top of the magazine, before reinserting it, and letting the charging handle down slowly. Pointing the rifle skyward, he pulled the trigger, sending the projectile flying upwards. After several seconds, the flare detonated, bathing the area in bright white light.
Peeking his head over the top of the earthwork, Ulan spotted the instructors, less than fifty meters directly in front of him, turning away and attempting to raise their night vision goggles as the flare went off. Standing up, he turned to the left of his position, where the other two sections were. "Enemy direct front, northwest of the camp, charge!" he screamed as loud as he possibly could, not caring he would be feeling it in his throat the next day. Firing several rounds at the instructors, hoping they would urge his men forward, Ulan saw the other sections and his own vault their cover and spring forward towards the opposing force, firing their rifles as they went. He quickly followed, his boots sinking into the soft ground with every step, and before he knew it, he and his men were face-to-face with their instructors. As the flare's light began to die away and the area once again turned to pitch blackness, the point-blank range gunfight turned into a thrashing melee of fists and rifle butts.
Spotting one instructor directly in front of him dropping a magazine from his M7S, Ulan charged at him, turning his rifle around with the intention of beating the man into the ground. As he drew back to swing at the instructor's midsection and the instructor raised his submachine gun, an amplified voice came over the battlefield. "End exercise!" it said, and in obedience, Ulan drew back his blow, and the instructor lowered his weapon. As the adrenaline began to wear off, Ulan felt his legs turn to gelatin, and braced himself against a nearby tree. Taking deep, gasping breaths, Ulan began to calm as he saw Sergeant Kovals and his fellow medics coming through with their batons and kits, reversing the effects of the TTR rounds on trainee and instructor alike. Still taking deep breaths, Ulan saw one of the instructors approach him, his helmet off. As he came closer, he realized it was the head instructor, Captain Francis Harrison. "Sir." Ulan managed to stammer out. "Did we win?" he continued.
"That depends." Harrison responded. "You lost nearly half of your section, so in terms of preserving lives, no. But I think if you had been facing some backwater UNSC partisans, you might have at the very least scared them off with that charge. It was rash though, and had we had a heavy machine gun or two, we could have easily mowed almost all of you down before you got to us. Same with the flare. We were wearing night vision, so you nearly blinded us for a few seconds. UNSC partisans aren't always, and you do that, you've just given them daylight to kill you. But, you and your section performed better than we had expected, which was for you to hold out and eventually be encircled and destroyed. Any questions?"
"Good. We will continue training later today. For now, tell your men to get some rest. They have two hours before wakeup."