Stories of a Soundtrack -- Part 6
Posted By: The Meep<HaloFanatic101@yahoo.com>
Date: 7 September 2007, 2:32 am
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Name: Gery Young Faj
Place of Residence: Unknown
DOB: June 30th, 2537 (SAC)
POB: Fu City, Nib Ki Colony, Lost System
Current Status: Unknown.
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A Walk in the Woods -- Part 3
Hill Golf 331, Murnil Forest, Acienic Continent, Planet Yeng III, Yeng System
Atop of the hill, Futo 'Gulomemee was facing a dilemma. With the disappearance of one of his officers, the death of his Snipers, and the destruction of more than thirty Unggoy and two Sangheili from Sniper fire severely weakened his defensive abilities. The appearance of more Infidel troops along the edge of the forest and the moving of the Scorpion tank into the open meant the Humans had received reinforcements. They were being bold. But wait
Could they be doing a...
No, 'Gulomemee thought. Not even Humans are that stupid.
Not everything was against them however, the Mortar had proven extremely useful in destroying Human emplacements, especially after their motor pool went up in vaporized ions. His plasma turrets had taken out at least a score of Humans who had attempted to rush the hill by themselves and the snipers picked off several dozen.
Suddenly, the area went eerily silent. Bullets stopped zipping into the hill, the thundering of the tank slacked off, and the final grenade detonated with bone-jarring intensity. Then
nothing. Many of the Covenant soldiers slowly stopped shooting, confused by the lack of incoming fire. Several looked around, breathing heavily, as the twin moons shone down on them, bathing the hill in silver moonlight.
On top of the hill, 'Gulomemee stared across the wide open plain, a cold rock forming in the pit of his stomach. His original guess had been false: the Humans had not received reinforcement. Normally, this would be a good thing, but their recent troop and tank movements, as well as the sudden disengagement, now meant something completely different. It wasn't an act of boldness; but one of desperation. And every good commander knew a desperate animal was much fiercer.
Then it began. Slowly warming in intensity, a throaty rumbling noise came from the surrounding treeline. A multiple hundred Human throats echoed with the frenzied cry. For the blood of Covenant. For vengeance to lay their fallen comrade's souls to rest. 'Gulomemee felt a shiver of fear run down his spine, but quickly discarded the emotion.
The roar became louder and then crested into an all out cheer. Without warning, dozens of white vapor trails etched the area from the forest to the first trench. Most of the bullets missed their marks, but enough landed to disable the Unggoy using the plasma turrets. The roar continued and, along with a slight tremor, several hundred Humans raced out of the tree line, firing Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and the occasional captured Plasma Weapon. The silence was shattered, and the fight began yet again.
'Gulomemee, knowing that such a mass of Humans cheering and shooting would discourage any Unggoy or Kig-Yar, raised his Communicator to his mandibles. "Noble warriors of the Army of the Tangible Remains of Faith! This is our finest moment. Let not the damned Infidels destroy it, but instead create it!. We shall break their tide and hold our ground. We will leave this damned rock and destroy it from our Fleet. They may stab us, shoot us, kill us. But they will never destroy our spirit! For we are the Covenant, and the Infidels will not annihilate our faith and honor. Stay your ground, defend with your life, and you will soon be on the Great Journey with your blessed ancestors!"
At the end of the speech, 'Gulomemee listened as a battle cry of their own swelled up and replied to Infidel's cry. They didn't run any slower, but they seemed much less sure of themselves as needles and plasma rained down on them. 'Gulomemee desperately wished for a Drinol, or some Lekgolo; anything that would give them a fighting chance.
Suddenly, the two sides clashed. Exchanged fire turned into hand-to-hand combat. Unggoy soaked up bullets while Sangheili manned the turrets before being killed themselves. Dozens of Humans jumped into the first trench, and the forces there were overwhelmed with their ferocity. "Retreat!" yelled 'Gulomemee into his communicator. "Fall back to the second trench!" The remaining Covenant hurriedly obeyed, leaving their battles and scrambling up the cratered slope, the Unggoy falling easily as they slowly climbed over the ridges. The Sangheili ran up the slope, shooting over the shoulders. When they reached the trench, they dove into it and used it for cover.
The tide of Humans followed, most chasing up the slope while others stayed behind and took care of stragglers in the trench. The Human tank started moving forward and began shelling the second trench. 'Gulomemee sent his personal bodyguards, Dera 'Gugonomee and Fi 'Dunee to reinforce the second trench. They obeyed without question and jogged down the slope, their expert aim killing many.
The Humans, while suffering terrible losses, were adamant and swarmed the second trench in just two Minor Units. To add insult to injury, as the Mortar prepared to fire yet again, it shuddered and flexed. Unggoy ran in every direction away from it as the heavily damaged artillery started to sag.. A shock wave went out from it as it exploded, knocking 'Gulomemee off his feet and peppering the Humans and Covenant alike with white hot shrapnel.
It was a bad day for the Army of the Tangible Remains of Faith.
'Wetrumoo the Assassin snarled with satisfaction after killing the Human soldier. The smell of blood was a good smell, the warmth of the red liquid enjoyable. The assassin had waited for the mortar bomb to hit, one of the last fired from the doomed cannon. When it impacted, he had snatched the loud mouthed Human and pulled him into the undergrowth. For a split second, the shocked Human had stared into the cold eyes of the assassin, fear and confusion etched into his face. Then 'Wetrumoo had shot him in the skull with his Needler, ending the confused expression and leaving a gaping hole.
With his carnal yearnings satisfied, 'Wetrumoo grasped the stock of the Human sniper, disgusted with how cold and hard the metal was. He hefted it as he stood and, careful not to alert the Humans searching for their companion nearby, walked to a nearby thin tree that split into two trunks. He rested the barrel there, adapting himself to the awkward and inefficient scope that zoomed in at bounds, not smoothly.
Once sure he could fire it with pinpoint accuracy, 'Wetrumoo sighted to the top of the hill. The trenches were still there, but the occupants were no longer shooting and neither were the Humans. He could hear a deep roar picking up from the Humans . He knew they would rush soon. He had to hurry.
A sudden crack of a branch behind him startled the Elite, causing him to drop the Sniper Rifle through the split in the tree onto the ground behind it. He recovered and whirled around, Needler held in his hands, fingers on the pressure pad.
Gum was hurting. The numerous cuts and bruises from fighting for the past ten hours from the Plains to the Hill, coupled with the burning leech bites from the swamp made for a very painful walk. Add that he had to kill his best friend, and had watched a long time boot buddy's head explode, along with the fact that he had to carry on, even if he was all by himself, drained him emotionally. Mentally, his mind had been on overdrive for the entire ordeal, and he was reaching the end of his limits.
The sound was muffled and light, but it came to Gum's ears. Being a Sniper and Scout, he recognized it instantly: the adjusting of an Oracle scope. But there was no FOF beacons, no talking, nothing to indicate a Human. After the clicking stopped, Gum could've sworn he heard a deep breathing, like that of an Elite.
Gum crouched and started to walk slowly towards the source of the deep breathing. He thought if he could just get behind the Elite, he could dispatch it with a shot to the head or maybe a good ol' fashioned pistol whip.
Gum swore inwardly as he took his foot off the snapped bamboo branch. The split-lip had definitely heard that. As if too confirm his theory, a hail of needles headed in his direction, tearing up the foliage. He dove to the ground and went flat as the purple shards sailed over his head, their movement arcing downward to track him. The Needler rounds couldn't turn hard enough and impacted the ground immediately behind the prone Marine, sending puffs of dirt upward as they detonated.
Gum reacted instantly. He began yelling and screaming like a Banshee and curled up in a ball, faking a hit. He kept his eyes pointed in the direction the needles came from and buried his arm, pistol in hand, in the soft ground. As he expected, the honorable Elite decided to come and gloat over his victory.
It stood two and a half meters tall, dark skin blending in the shadows. The mandibles were long and had razor sharp teeth rooted on them like deadly fins. Set deep in it's ugly head were two eyes, small black beady things that looked like they had been frozen in the Artic and just now set in the alien's head. It said something, the warbling tone hushed and subdued but filled with contempt, followed by it's signature Wort Wort Wort!
Gum gripped the pistol and forced the tip up out of the dirt. The Elite began to raise it's Needler, it's mandibles forming a grotesque grin. Gum looked up and stopped moaning, revealing he wasn't actually hurt. As he stared down the startled Elite in it's ugly eyes, he began to pull the trigger.
"Rica and Nex, mother—"
The powerful M6E pistol bucked into the dirt, bruising Gum's hand and burying itself three inches deeper. The Elite had far bigger problems. The oversized round had taken it in the stomach and blown right through the body, leaving a large hole the size of a man's fist. The Elite stared at the Human dumbfounded, processing the fatal wound. The multi-jointed legs gave out and the thick bulk collapsed to the ground, blood seeping into the dirt.
Gum pulled his hand and pistol out of the ground and stood up. The Elite was lying face up, hand exploring the wound in his stomach, dumb shock on it's face. "How?" it managed to croak in the Human tongue.
Gum walked over to it and put the gun in it's mouth. "'Cause we got better soldiers."
The report was lost in the Human's charge.
Things were go badly, very badly. 'Gulomemee gripped his sword hilt as the Humans climbed out of the second trench, the remaining Covenant fleeing, no, retreating back to the last defensible position, the wreckage of the mortar. The hill, once smooth and soothing, now looked like a shot from Hell. Bushfires started by plasma bolts raged in the dry grass, multiple craters gouged out by grenades and tank rounds dotted the south face of the hill. An Unggoy running to close to one of the fires exploded as his methane tank caught fire, the shock wave knocking several Humans and Jackals down.
'Gulomemee shook his head and looked downward, accepting his defeat. As the retreating Covenant passed him and held their ground at the burning mortar, 'Gulomemee looked up just in time to catch a trio of bullets in the face.
His shields held at half strength and the impact rocked him back on his heels. He recovered quickly, activated sword held in his hand. With a cry, he ran headlong into the human formation, his honorary plasma sword tearing through metal, armor, and flesh. Another spray of bullets and his shields were down, but he kept going, the sword dealing death wherever it touched.
Suddenly, he found himself alone on top of the hill, eight Human Marines lay in smoldering pieces at his hooves. The other Humans had fallen back momentarily at the second trench, preparing for the final rush. They had lost over half their force, but the Army of the Tangible Remains of Faith was utterly annihilated. As 'Gulomemee wearily walked back to the mortar where his troops had watched in awe, he was startled by how few had survived.
Five Sangheili: his bodyguards, his First Officer, and two Minor Veteran's, were crouched, weapons at ready, behind the wreckage. A lone Unggoy stood behind the Elites, holding two plasma pistols pointed at the trench behind 'Gulomemee. No Kig-Yar had survived.
As he joined the group, Plasma Sword deactivated, one of the Minor Veterans hung his mandibles and spoke up. "Honorable Commander? Why are they not attacking?"
He forced a grin. "They require a moment of rest. Our defense has decimated their ranks and they feel the fear gnawing at their souls as they prepare to attack us. They think they will recover by waiting."
His bodyguard, 'Dunee, stood. "Honorable Commander, there is no margin for retreat, the Humans have encircled us and may attack from behind. I will be honored as I make my last stand with you here."
"And I," said another Sangheili.
"As well as I."
"Me too!" squeaked the Unggoy, who proceeded to beat the ground with it's pistols in a frenzy dance.
'Gulomemee widened his mandibles. "You will all be blessed at the forefront of our ranks as we march onto the Great Journey! I am honored to fight and die with such bravery!" 'Gulomemee roared and thrust his sword in the air. "Let us not wait for the Human swine to attack us, for we are Covenant, and we will give them a fight to remember!"
With that, 'Gulomemee roared again and rushed towards the trench, sword held in front of him. The other Sangeheili ran behind him, raining plasma down on the trenches. Even the Unggoy followed in a tottering run, firing his duel weapons.
The Humans in the trench were not expecting an attack by the outnumbered Covenant. The Sangheili dove into the trench, soaking up bullets as if they had an iron deficiency in their blood. The Unggoy dove in after them, ripping off his re-breather and biting at the Humans with his sharp teeth. The Sangheili shot, hit, and broke several Marines before starting to fall. 'Gulomemee's bodyguards fell to a grenade at their feet. The Grunt's leaking methane exploded into a fireball, killing him and lighting up several other Humans. The other Elites fell one by one from a constant stream of enemy fire.
'Gulomemee and his three remaining Sangheili fought, the Commander with his sword, his officers with their spent rifles as clubs. 'Gulomemee's mind was blank, his emotions destroyed. His only purpose in life now was to end it, and he was very good at it. His shields fell from panicked rifle burst and he disembowled the attacker. Two of his other Sangheili had fallen and it was just him and a tall Minor Veteran, fighting back to back. The pressure gave way as the Blue Sangheili fell, the bullets that had killed him smattering the Commander's shield. 'Gulomemee felt no sorrow for his Army's death. No pain, nor joy in killing the heathens. He didn't feel loneliness or desperation either. He didn't even feel pain from his wounds. No, 'Gulomemee did feel relief. Relief that would be woven into his clan's poem, and his legacy remembered.
Gum watched with a fascinated horror at the final battle on the top of the hill. Even though the Covenant were outnumbered 50 to 1, they actually rushed the hill. Gum pulled his view from the Sniper Rifle's scope, scanning the forest around him for enemies, and shook his head. The Covenant were always portrayed as weak, cowardly beings, never staying to fight and always looking to run. But after watching them dive into certain death and sign their wills, Gum now knew they were not only an enemy to be hated and feared, but also to be respected.
The lone Marine returned his view to the Oracle scope, peering through the crosshairs at the last three Split-Lips. He hesitated on firing a shot for fear of hitting a fellow Marine and decided it would be best to just watch. Maybe he could get a clearer report into Intel than the battle-fogged Marines could. Gum couldn't see the maimed or dead on the floor of the trench, but he could see as the Elites began to fall. Soon, only one was left, the Silver one with a sword. After a few seconds, he was put down too by a burly Marine wielding a shotgun. He continued to fire into the corpse as the rest of the Marines cheered. He saw several Marines climbing out of the trench, all of their pants soaked up to low shin in blood.
Gum sighed, put down the Sniper Rifle and closed his eyes. The fight is over. He fingered Nex's and Rica's dog tags as he began to head back to base. The Sergeant was mentally and physically exhausted, the battle draining him of everything. The only thing he could think of as he headed back to the staging area was I need a raise.
Ambient Wonder, the story of the Human destroyer Gargantum in the Battle of the Christmas Cloud
The Gun Pointed at the Head of the Universe, a narrative of Sergeant Mobuto's last mission, and his final moments.
Trace Amounts, a poem dedicated to the Covenant cruiser of the same name.