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The Outsiders.

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Hawk_v3
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« on: 24 April, 2009, 05:05:21 pm »

Also known as a story I never finished after playing through Halo 2.

Some years ago.

Ah, well. Read and comment. If enough people like it, I might finish it one day.
###

Chapter 1   Forest Limits

   In a forest, near Bulkhead Range 16.

   “…This is Private Giles, Scout Platoon Beta, Squad Four Infiltrators testing comms set….” Pause “…Sergeant, please respond…”
“…This is Sergeant Kabe, Signal strength one-zero, repeat one-zero, what can I do for you?...”
“…Corporal Jenkins wants a word, sir.…”
Giles looked up. He was well-camouflaged, surrounded by trees and had his squad around him. Corporal Jenkins took the comms handset. Giles listened in.
 ‘…Sir, Jenkins here……Yessir…We are covering the forest…………No sir, No sign of Covenant…Sir, what was the last known location of the Master Chief? ……Halfway round the ring. Thank you sir ………Outpost, sir? .........Very good sir. Moving out…’
Jenkins gave the handset back to Giles.
‘Right then, we’ve been told to remove a small Covenant outpost near the edge of Bulkhead Range 17 about 10 kilometres west of this position. Any questions?’
‘Nosir!’ roared the squad.
‘Typical Marine reply’ thought Giles. ‘Not even original’.
‘I have sir! What’s a Bulkhead Range?’ asked the squad’s latest recruit.
‘A Bulkhead Range is an impassable mountain range between two different climates on the Delta Halo. Only infantry can go through it, which makes it a pain in the ass for moving through. Any further questions?’
‘Nosir.’
‘All right, move out!’

      ***

   Covenant camp, in clearing just outside Bulkhead Range 17, half an hour later.

   A haze entered the temporary structure near the Bulkhead Range, swirled, collapsed and took the form of an Elite scout. He had a Needler, two Energy Swords and wore blue armour. He turned to the other Elite, dressed in red armour, and made his report. ‘There is a small movement of troops east of this position, and they are approaching the Bulkhead. They appear to be some form of scout party. They are not carrying usual equipment.  Advice?’
   The second Elite got up, walked outside, and looked around the camp. ‘Set up snipers and make sure that there are enough defences around to stop them if they break through.’
‘Right, Fula. Will you be taking up your usual post with the snipers?’
‘Me? Of course! Can’t deplete my score can I? Lest you overtake me!’ Fula looked at the scout and smiled. ‘Last time you went on post, you nearly wrecked my reputation! Come, let’s get some food then organise this rabble.’ They walked into another temporary building and therefore missed the glint of sunlight on a hill away from the clearing, caused by a scope pointing their way.

      ***

   Hilltop, 2 Km away from unknown camp.

   ‘Got a line on the camp, sir.’
Jenkins crawled over to the sniper, Private Walker.
‘Whose camp is it?’
‘Covenant, sir’
‘What do you see?’
‘Two buildings, one terminal of some sort, coupla Elites, few dozen Grunts, and some Jackals sloping off into the Bulkhead Range. Could be a Hunter in there,’ Walker spat. ‘Or there could be some heavy weaponry in there.’

Jenkins checked the site over. The outpost was half outside, half inside the Bulkhead, with some temporary buildings and a comms uplink outside. He could see why Walker had spat; Hunters were a Marine’s worst nightmare. Like Walker, he didn’t know what was in the Bulkhead and that worried him. The scout squad were veterans at survival, camouflage and, to some extent, long range and close combat. They had been in the forest for a while and, with Covenant hunting you down, you learned to survive.

The Corporal had seen too many people die of unknown variables than of any other cause, like the time that… Jenkins shuddered. He had been leading an assault on another Covenant base and the squad had failed to clear the building that they were in. An Elite had decloaked and filled two soldiers full of needler rounds and then disappeared back into the foliage outside the building. The pieces left after the twin explosions hadn’t been big enough to be recognised but the shattered dogtags had been enough to make Jenkins careful about surprises. ‘We’ll camp here. No open lights or sounds. That is an order. Understand?’
‘Yessir’ said the sniper, moving down to tell the others the Corporal’s orders.

      ***
###
That'll do for now.
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