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Halo satire

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Author Topic: Halo satire  (Read 249 times)
EightyEight
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« on: July 21, 2007, 05:27:00 pm »

Okay, okay, it's not straight satire. Or parody, thank God. I just decided to bastardise the setting a little, and see what would have hapened if a squad of my STaSIs troopers (from SaC) had somehow gotten into the Halo universe. And, of course, were sent on all the risky missions instead of the Spartans. This scene is from the prologue to the Fall of Reach, where basically 5 Spartans slaughter a thousand Grunts with nothing more than their assault rifles (oh yeah - and a shedload of lotus mines). I think I posted an earlier version of this on the old OW, but this is the new and improved STaSIs to match the new and improved board.
I'm thinking of doing a whole series of the action scenes from the Fall of Reach with these guys, and then invent a reason for one of them to be on the Pillar of Autumn and help the MC through the challenges of Halo (then Halo 2, when I finally get the game...).
Yeah, sounds like crap, but it'll satisfy my itch that the Spartans' tactics aren't brilliant.
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The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Straight from The Art of War - take that, Spartan 117!

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   “Squad, call off and report.”
   “Demolitions in position and nothing to report.”
   “Sniper ready and willing.”
   “Lancer in position.”
   “Chaser, nothing to report.”
   “And don’t I know it. Hang tight and wait for my mark, boys.”
The sun hadn’t yet cleared the horizon, but the sky was warming with a pink radiance. It would be another hot day. Lead gazed down into the valley with borrowed eyes – those of the small Prowler robot he had planted. To the north stretched a valley, a river meandering through its trough. The river ran west, where it emptied into the sea that lay south of the valley. At Lead’s back was a sheer drop into the waves, two hundred metres down. And in front of him was the reason for his being here: Grunts, easily a thousand of them. One thousand, one hundred and thirty four, his processor told him. They were stretched along the flatter part of the valley’s trough, camped on both sides of the river. They were the cannon fodder of the Covenant army – if you could be bothered to make the distinction. The way they were used, all of the alien troops may as well have been cannon fodder. Meat for the grinder – and Lead’s squad would be happy to oblige.
   The Grunts blocked the passage of the UNSC’s Blue Team of Spartans. The Spartans wanted to go play in the centre of the covenant lines – something about planting a nuclear mine. Whatever they were doing, they needed the Grunt plantation uprooted and killed or forced to go a long way away. Since the latter option required a logistical miracle, they settled for the former. Even half way up the southern side of the valley, Lead could hear their chattering, squealing speech. What they were talking about, he couldn’t guess – a Grunt is only just smarter than a good dog, but in the military sense: a dog can’t fire a plasma pistol, but a Grunt can’t raise one leg to take a ****.
   Their weapons were about as laughable as those who carried them. The plasma they fired was undoubtedly dangerous, but it travelled so slowly that you had a good few seconds to vacate the area before you were forced to leave it due to it, and you, being vaporised. Their needle guns were even worse.
   No, Lead wasn’t worried at all. Enclosed in several hundred kilos of armour and ammunition, and carrying three of the deadliest personnel weapons known to man, he was a one-man catastrophe by himself – and there were four more just like him positioned around the Grunt encampment, waiting for his signal. The one hitch might be the four stationary plasma cannon the Grunts had, two on either side of the river. However, being stationary when a squad of mavericks was around meant being dead very, very quickly.
   “Thirty seconds. Just like a drill.”
He activated the Taipan on his left arm, feeding a Spark round into the magnetic rifle. He poked the weapon out of a fold in the camo sheet he wore. The cloth blurred his outline and blended in with the local terrain – off-white rock and green-brown scrub. He waited.
   “Hit them!”
He fired once, sending a supercharged round into a plasma cannon at six times the speed of sound. The impact alone punched a fist-sized hole in the glossy cupola. But nobody ever got to see the damage, because at that point the round’s energetic pulse was released into the metal. The turret exploded in a bright, rose-coloured pillar of plasma. Identical explosions blossomed where the other three turrets had been, flooding the valley with red light. Nearby Grunts were incinerated or flung away from the detonations. Secondary explosions rang out, the blue fire of plasma grenades ignited by the temperature and pressure.
   “Whoah!” Someone called over the squad channel. That reaction between Spark rounds and plasma coils had been documented before, but this was the first time Lead’s squad had seen it.
   “Shut up and keep shooting,” Lead growled. He brought the Rattlesnake stowed on his back up and over his right shoulder, casting the camo blanket aside. He linked Spread rounds into the weapon and quickly reconfigured them to hurl their shrapnel in a flatter ellipse, rather than the default circle. Then he got to work. Twenty rounds spat from the weapon every second, a small blue flash like a pilot light flickering at the end of the barrel. Its baritone roar was drowned out by the noise from the valley floor as the Spread rounds exploded in flight, sending clouds of shrapnel scything into the Grunt lines. They died in waves from his assault alone – and on the northern slopes, Sniper was unleashing an identical fusillade. From the west, on both sides of the valley, Chaser and Lancer fired their Anacondas, sending HE bombs into the centre of the mass of aliens that exploded in plumes of fire, metal and sand.
   “Lancer, hit them. Everyone, start circling.” He followed his own order, stowing the heavy Rattlesnake and feeding the Spread rounds instead to his Viper.
A brilliant line of fire scythed through the valley – Lancer’s Ballista ‘thunderclap’ laser. Lead smiled grimly. It was an odd twist that the most inefficient weapon devised by the STaSIs would be so useful for drawing the Grunts out. The laser burned through the air, expending all its power in a wonderful display of ionisation. A roar rolled over the land, the sound of thunder that gave the weapon its nickname. Though most of its power was wasted on the way, it still managed to burn through three Grunts, cauterising the wounds and blowing clouds of vaporised armour into the air.
   Until then, the Grunts had been milling, unsure where the attack was coming from or why their plasma cannon had all simultaneously detonated. Plasma bolts and purple needles streaked out in all directions, never close to any of the mavericks’ true locations. But now they had a target – Lancer, standing high on the north ridge of the valley, camo cloak discarded. They charged en masse, making the ground shake and raising a cloud of dust and sand.
   But Lancer was gone as soon as hit shot was fired, sprinting over the broken ground. All the mavericks circled, going anticlockwise around the aliens. Except for Demolitions; he had his orders. Lead sprinted along with the rest of them, counting in his head.
   “Break one.” He skidded to a stop, deployed the Rattlesnake, and let fly. From the opposite side of the horde, Chaser was doing the same, using his Anaconda to shower the aliens with Dragon high-explosive bombs. He waited precisely five seconds, then called out again, “And circle.” He let go of the machine gun, felt it slide back over his shoulder, and ran. Even over the rocky terrain, the maverick armour could propel him at forty kilometres per hour. It moved with him, shifting the Rattlesnake on his back so it didn’t interfere with his motion. Artificial muscles strained under the outer layer of armour, adding their strength to his own.
   “Break two,” he said, but kept running. For five seconds, Spread rounds and Dragons slaughtered Grunts. “Circle.” The mass of aliens had lost its momentum, confused at the disappearance of their target. Plasma still rained the thickest where Lancer had been, but he wasn’t there.
“Lancer, hit them again, please.” This time the beam of burned air emanated from the south side of the valley – from the Grunts’ flank. Lead was ascending again. He had passed the river and the station that Demolitions still held under his stealth blanket.
   A proximity warning beeped in his ear, and he twitched a finger to bring up his map. Five new blips had appeared, closing from the south west, over the ocean, at velocities of one hundred and two kilometres per hour. Banshees, then. The Covenant fliers were bulbous, slow, and purple. They stood out like a sore thumb against every sky he had ever seen – he never bothered even using homing torpedoes. A Slug round from a Taipan would do, usually. Still, their plasma cannon were deadly, if they could hit – and Lead didn’t want to have to deal with them and the Grunts simultaneously. There were still upwards of five hundred of the little buggers left – no matter how many you shot, there were always more. Well, to a point. It was time for a change of plan.
   “Okay boys, we’ve got company. Five Banshees at eight o’clock. They’ll be here in three minutes. Demolitions, wake up and lay a welcome mat for out little friends. Remind me again what your loadout is today?”
   “Nine sleepers, nine Blazers and two beacons,” Demolitions replied instantly.
   “Good. Use the Sleeping Dragons, all of them, and lay a grid fifty by fifty metres, centreline in the river. Rig it for proximity to take out as many Grunts as possible. Lancer, bounce down the valley and join him. See if you two can’t draw the Grunts down that way. I’ll join you soon. Chaser, Sniper, I want you two to set up on either side of the valley, as high up as you can get. Go silent and don’t draw any attention to yourselves. Have your Taipans ready. Everyone got all that?”
   He listened to their acknowledgments, then turned around. He could see Demolitions now, dispensing mines from the drum on his back. Lancer arrived, skidding to a halt, and fired his Ballista again. He had the Grunts’ attention, but he fired again. Lead could see the cooling fins on his back glowing cherry-red – some of the heat generated by the Ballista just couldn’t be recycled. Demolitions paused in between laying mines and fired his laser. The twin streaks of light burned only a handful of Grunts, but what it accomplished in getting their attention far outweighed the small casualty rate. A storm of needle shards and plasma bolts roared down the valley, starting brushfires and turning water in the river to steam. It looked more like a fireworks display than deadly force.
   Lead fired his Rattlesnake, scything down the front rank. Their fellows behind them tripped on the corpses and were trampled by still more aliens. He arrived on the valley floor, and took a moment to realign his Spread rounds’ configuration again – flattening the spread arc to be almost a horizontal line. The Grunts weren’t very tall.
   “Chaser, can you give me a Mako at the coordinates I’m showing?” He used his rangefinder to approximate the coordinates of the top of the southern valley ridge – a kilometre behind the advancing Grunt horde.
   “Firing,” Chaser called, unnecessarily. The missile streaked across the valley, exploding in the air just below the top of the valley.
   “Again, and vary the range a little.” Another missile exploded, further down the side of the valley. Lead checked the radar and grinned. The Banshees, who had been heading for a point only fifty metres west of Chaser and Sniper, changed heading to enter the valley at the point the missiles had exploded – way out of position. Of course, when they arrived, they’d simply realign themselves to attack the mavericks, but it meant that they’d advance down the valley. Into the jaws of the trap, to use the cliché.
   There was a thirty second pause. The Grunts still thundered towards the three mavericks, who had begun to retreat, the Banshees still advanced, but nothing… happened. Sniper and Chaser called in once each to report that they were in position, then shut up.
   Then the first of the flyers appeared over the south ridge. A kilometre out of position. The full wing of them appeared, flying in a V formation. They turned slowly, as if confused, then saw the mavericks and Grunts and came on at full speed. Elite pilots – gratifyingly predictable. They were coming fast, but as far as flyers went, their air superiority rating was zero. Lead would have liked a Thunderbird or two available as air support, to show the alien bastards just who had the real power, but the full wing of them was engaged on the other side of the planet.
   “Chaser, Sniper, target those Banshees but hold your fire.”
The ground shook as four hundred Grunts bore down on the three mavericks. Lead was standing waist-deep in the river, and had given up firing his weapon – he’d wait for the Grunts to walk over the minefield and save ammunition. The Banshees opened fire, spraying blue plasma over a hundred-metre-square area centred on the humans. Steam billowed from the river.
   “All right, time to go home. Let’s get out of this river.” Lead accelerated into a run, slogging through the water and up onto the southern bank. The Banshees tracked them, their accuracy improving as the range decreased. The mavericks sprinted. Lead kept a careful eye on his map.
   “Sniper, Chaser: let fly!”
   Hypersonic Taipan rounds found the flanks of the two outermost Banshees. The mavericks were positioned perfectly – because of the alien fliers’ advance through the canyon, they were at equal level with the snipers, whereas aircraft really want to be above whatever they’re attacking. The northernmost Banshee was hulled dead-centre by a focused Spread round. It shattered, the mutilated body beginning a graceful plunge to the ground. Halfway down it exploded, raining debris on the Grunts. The southern banshee was hit by an unexploded Spread round. It jerked, and a spray of metal and purple blood vented from its opposite side. It heeled over towards its neighbour. The other flier tried to avoid the collision, but the vehicles’ ‘wings’ foiled the attempt, locking the craft together in a slow fall. Some of the Grunts paused to look up as the two hulks crashed down on them, splashing into the river. A gout of steam and plasma roiled skywards as they exploded.
   Of the remaining two, one banked north, seeking its attackers. It never found them; Viper shots from the south ripped into its open rear, killing the Elite inside and smashing its cockpit equipment. The other continued straight on, firing its main weapon, the fuel rod cannon. At the same instant, a Maki II missile flashed from Lancer’s Anaconda. The three mavericks dove aside as a brilliant pillar of green hellfire burst where they had been standing. The flier didn’t have a chance to even think of evading before the missile struck; the vehicle crested the intense explosion like a dinghy on the open sea, and began its final plummet. It never reached the ground; at that moment, the leading Grunt tripped the proximity beacon Demolitions had rigged. The valley filled with fire and smoke as the nine Sleeping Dragon HE mines detonated simultaneously. Most of the Grunts were within its hundred-metre blast radius, and those that weren’t were hammered by pressure and shrapnel. Two small wavefronts powered through the river on either side of the explosion, and the low-lying shrubs in the valley bent away from the pressure. Those nearer the blast caught fire.
   The mavericks stopped running. Lead and Lancer deployed their heavy weapons immediately. The valley was still full of smoke and sand, but their helmet displays automatically compensated, overlaying infrared and electromagnetic profiles onto their vision. The ground was carpeted with red and white figures, the corpses of Grunts. Some struggled, in dying exertions or efforts to free themselves. The humans scanned the tableau slowly. Lead eventually broke the silence.
   “We’re done here, boys. Time to go.”
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 08:08:48 am by Bakerman » Report Spam   Logged

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He who keepeth a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep.
-Sir Humphrey

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-Me

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-Midnight Oil, Bakerman

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Tau Worlock
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 10:11:33 am »

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Even half way up the southern side of the valley, lead could hear their chattering, squealing speech.
Lead is not capitalised even though it is a name

I remember the last version of this and have to say I cant remember much of a difference, then again it has been a while and my memory is not perfect. But a good piece nevertheless.
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EightyEight
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 08:09:19 am »

Good catch Wink
Edited.


So why does it let me edit this thread and not the other!??
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Quote
He who keepeth a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep.
-Sir Humphrey

Quote
Only a fool fights fire with fire.
-Me

Quote
The bakerman is laughing 'cause he's rolling in the gold...
-Midnight Oil, Bakerman
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