Marcer dropped quickly behind a tree, scrunching himself up to present less of a target to the enemies on the other side. He considered moving forward, and immediately dismissed it as rash. His squad was on the other end of the path and down a ways so they weren’t close enough yet to support him if he was spotted and he did not want to take his chances against a patrol of Elites on his own with no backup. No one was that good, no one human at least. He took a microcam out of one of his hip pouches, brushing against the other objects in it, and started wiring it tightly. It was a handy thing. He had been issued it just the week before, on account of his squad’s unorthodox position in this engagement. The main group was going to attack the Covenant facility over the canyon more or less directly, but Marcer’s squad had a different approach planned for them. They were supposed to follow the side forest paths to the end of the canyon where it ended, then loop back around and take it from either the back or side, whichever was more accessible to them when they got there.
They had proceeded without a problem, except for Marcus getting caught up in a “spider trap” made by the indigenous species. One of them at any rate. There was scarce wildlife on Corconus V, but the most prominent of the wildlife that existed was the monkeys. “Monkeys indeed” he thought,” how we all laughed at that back in the briefing room on the ship. They wouldn’t have been a problem, if not for the other species. Simply called large spiders by the surveyors, they were nearly 3 feet long and their venom would keep a human out for a good portion of the day, if they weren’t eaten by it before then. They had many different color types and lived in the same forest areas the monkeys did. The monkeys had a unique and expressly human way of dealing with the spiders, and that was what had presented the problem. Even though the spiders could climb, and reasonably well at that, they usually stayed on the forest floor. As such the monkeys would dig out small pits and lay a peculiar type of sticky resin over the bottom, then cover them with branches and leaves. This had interested the surveyors back on the ship quite a bit as he recalled, although he hadn’t been paying much attention to them at the time. The problem was the monkeys hid them better than he had seen a human ever do and you could rarely tell one was there until you fell into it. That’s what had happened to Marcus, and due to his heavy equipment it had taken them a full twenty minutes to get him out, slowing them down considerably at the time.
He finished wiring the cam and put it down next to him. Taking the small controller unit out of the same pouch the cam had come from and turning it on, he began inching the cam slowly around the side of the tree. He linked the camera feed to his HUD and saw what it was seeing. The Elites hadn’t moved since he’d seen them before down the path, although one had put down it’s plasma rifle and was talking to the other two. That was good; if they were lucky they could take the other two down before it could pick it up again. He unlinked the cam and checked his squad’s position. They were closer than before, only about five minutes away. He slowly checked his ammo counter to make sure he had a full clip in, then reeled in the cam and prepared himself to move quickly. His help was almost there, and they didn’t have time to waste planning it out. As soon as they got there, they had to take the Elites, and fast. They were supposed to get to the facility before or at least alongside the main force, but with Marcus’s mishap earlier with the pit they had lost valuable time, and they didn’t have any left to waste taking down a simple patrol. He glimpsed Kayla to his left in the brush, and immediately she was behind the tree next to him.
“Marcus is coming around the other side;” She said, glancing at him with her Hazel eyes “he should be in place any moment now.”
“What about Jon?” he asked “Did he find a good place to set up?”
“Yes,” she said, as she adjusted the muzzle of her MA5B Assault Rifle “He found a place where he is well covered and can still see the clearing where the Sangheili are staying.”
He made a mental sigh. Ever since the UNSC had begun learning about the different species in the Covenant and of their culture, she had insisted on calling the species by their names, instead of the names the UNSC had assigned to them. Her commonly made argument was “They call us humans, not something else in their own language, so why shouldn’t we do the same?” He personally found her opinions a bit eccentric, but as long as she still killed them as effectively as she always had, he had no problem with whatever she wanted to think. She had even learned their languages, and she was one of the only people who could replicate them without any type of voice implant or translator. That and even her limited knowledge on the Covenant gods “Forerunners” had been invaluable to them time and time again. ONI had even tried to recruit her, but she had declined to stay with her squad, even though her pay would have tripled and her working conditions would have been much less hazardous to her health. He was very thankful to her for not leaving. Their squad was a well oiled machine, but it wouldn’t be so if she left. In addition to being their expert on everything Covie, she was their medic and had a way with the AR that very few possessed. He knew how lucky he was to have someone with that many talents, and she had saved their buts more times than he could count.
“Which one is Marcus using this time?” he asked. He always either used their standard MA5B AR or the M301 Grenade Launcher attached to it. Unless he had access to something bigger for the op, but if he did it was usually to blow up something big, not a patrol of infantry.
“He hits them with the launcher to bring down their shields, and then Jon cleans them out with a bullet through the brain to each. Clean and quick.”
“What if there are other patrols around?” They hadn’t encountered any besides this one so far, but just the evidence of the one here indicated there might be more. “They might hear the explosion from the grenade round.”
“Jon checked. If there are more out there then they aren’t close enough to hear the shot. We’re just here to make sure they’re still dead if Jon misses.” That wasn’t likely. Jon was their sniper, and he was damn good at what he did. He was very proud of his marksmanship and he hadn’t disappointed them yet in the field. “Marcus is in place. Waiting on your signal Sarge.”