Squad 284

Written: 2010

A fan fiction story from the video game series Halo made by Bungie Studios. Takes place in the same universe but shares no actual story content with the official games/books.

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.

Marcer 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 just 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 work as well 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.”

“Give it.”

She nodded, and then vanished back into the brush towards Marcus. That way if they did end up having to finish off the elites they could hit them from two different sides. With luck, they would be able to kill the elites before they recovered from the blast. He risked a glance around the tree. His only warning would be the explosion from the grenade, and he wouldn’t have much time to act once that happened. He scanned the trees and bushes on the other side of the clearing. He would know when he saw it … ha! There it was, to the left of the leftmost elite from Marcer’s viewing, the small glint that only showed up to him, or more accurately, the gadget over his left eye. He had a buddy in the R&D department back on the ship, and he said it was a prototype that had been planned for mass distribution to UNSC Marine squad leaders. However it quickly proved too costly to produce in sufficient amounts for the common soldier, as so many things often did, and was shut down while they moved on to different things.

His friend had procured one of the prototypes for him a few weeks ago, and it had proven quite effective in the forests on the planet. It was simple, in effect. It enabled him to identify his squad members if his eye ran over them, through the barcode on their necks. The barcode for every marine was made of a single specific substance, and it read the quantity and location of the ink type used to determine the number. It then compared them to a built-in memory bank and put it up unobtrusively on the top of the small screen. He had to scan the bar codes and input them before hand into it’s memory, but because only heavily shielded objects could block it’s scanning the item was incredibly useful in forested and jungle areas to identify allies.

He read Marcus’s there which meant Kayla was … there, on the opposite side. To the right of the elite farthest right. He nodded. Everything was in place, which meant Marcus would be firing any second. He got ready to spring out on his knees and checked to make sure his knife was in it’s sheath. He had been given the knife when he was a kid, and the sheath from his parents, and he had used it ever since he joined the marines. It hadn’t failed him yet. BOOM!

Marcer moved, rushing out behind a bush to get a clear field of fire over the clearing. He was just fast enough that he saw one of Jon’s bullets go through the head of the last Elite standing. He fell, right over one of the others. Marcer saw Kayla come out into the clearing over to the right, and Marcus came out as well, slinging his grenade launcher onto his back. They checked the elites to make sure they were dead, policing their weapons. Too many marines had died because they thought an Elite was dead, and then it chopped them in half with an energy sword or fried their brains from behind. You didn’t take chances with them, not if you wanted to keep on breathing.

“I’m coming down.” Marcer heard Jon say over the comm, “There’s some difficult terrain in between, I’ll be there in 10 minutes or so.”

That bastard. It didn’t matter what “Difficult terrain” was between them, Jon could get through anything in record time, he was just using the extra time to clean his rifle. When he was issued his first SRS99C-S2 AMB Sniper Rifle, he had immediately disassembled it and rebuilt it from the ground up. Instead of having one barrel, it now had 4 smaller ones, arranged in a square formation, with an individual ammo slot for each. Instead of the typical armor-piercing rounds, it utilizes Jon’s own special rounds.

Still armor piercing, Jon made them himself with his own personal kit. They were exactly the same as the normal rounds in look and effect, but made of a different metal and half the size to accommodate his rifle. Each barrel’s slot could hold 4 rounds, for a total of 16. Jon could fire all four at once linked, two linked, or single for each barrel. This meant he could go much longer than most snipers without reloading, and that had been invaluable in many engagements so far along the course of their travels.

“Ok, looks like Jon won’t be here for another ten minutes. Rest up and clean up.” They knew what that meant. Check your weapons, clean them, and check again. Unlike some other squads he kept weapon maintenance as a high priority, and no member of his squad’s weapons had failed them in combat yet because of it. Kayla snorted. She knew why Jon was taking so long, and she didn’t like it. Jon made fun of her opinions on the Covenant whenever he could, and she returned the favor about the devotion he had to his weapon. It was never more than a snort here, a short argument there, so by and large he let it pass. They never let it affect how they fought, and that’s the way he liked it.

“Sir.” Marcus said, “There’s something on the Elites belt that’s beeping.”

“Beeping?” Marcer said, fearing the worst, “A grenade? Bomb?”

“Doesn’t look like it. Looks more like some kind of transmitter.”

“Kayla.” He said, motioning her over, “What is it?”

“Marcus is right.” She said, “It’s a Sangheili transmitter, and our dead guy is getting a call.”

“Well,” Marcer said, “Pick it up then!”

“She nodded, pressing one of the symbols on the strange device.” Immediately something Marcer recognized as the Elite’s odd speech started flowing out of it.

“He’s asking for a status report.” Kayla said, “Looks like they’ve seen the main forces scouts and are wondering if there’s some over here too.”

“Well tell them there isn’t any then.” Marcer said, a smile forming on his face.

“Yes sir.” Kayla said, picking the transmitter up and holding it to her mouth. Then she spoke in Sangheili.

He still didn’t know how she did it. Not just forming the right words in the language, but even making it sound like it was coming from an Elite’s mouth. The deep, guttural sound was so completely opposite from her normally brusque but light speech that it instinctively made him reach for his knife every time he heard it.

She finished speaking, and then pressed another symbol turning the thing off. “They now think that the patrol is normal and is even returning to base.”

Four dead elites, four humans in his squad. It was just too perfect. “Well then.” He said, “Let’s stroll right in shall we?”

2 Responses to Squad 284

  1. Nicholas Reo says:

    I loved how this turned out lad, great characters, steady flow, and great explinations. Though ye could describe their physical features a bit bettar, ’tis still a great story. I can’t wait for the next update as well. ^,^

    • Fireskull says:

      Yeah I noticed that myself, but I couldn’t find a way to really fit it in that area. Especially when their heads are shaved. The main things are height, features, and eye color, which I’ll do my best next chapter to describe.

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