It was apparent to Jacobs that his platoon was full of fresh meat. The marines in all had a decent shot, but the Sergeant could tell by the way they held themselves that they had little to no experience on the battle field and it was a bit discouraging. He had wanted to use the third squad, but knew Shana would think his intentions to be too obvious. After seeing each squad take their turn at the set up, it was no longer a want. It was a necessity and that made Jacobs feel a bit awkward about the decision.
Sighing, Sergeant Jacobs glanced at the wall toward a clock as he thought about the mission ahead. It had involved a few Spartans which told him that there was going to be difficult journey ahead. With too many inexperienced marines under his command Jacobs knew Shana was his only hope for his platoons survival rate.
His blue eyes returned to his platoon and scanned them as they stood to attention awaiting his orders. Forcing himself away from the wall, Jacobs walked silently to the front of his platoon to give them his evaluation. "As you all know, the covenant are a great threat. The mission ahead is not easy. There have been reports of several Spartans being involved and that is why it is of the utmost importance in deciding which squad I am to take with me this round. Some of you may not like my decision, but I need you all to acknowledge that my main concern is the safety of my platoon."
He took a moment to look over the marines once more before finishing his speech. "Third Squad fall out into the Armory to prepare your weapons for the mission. When you are finished you may do what you wish until we've received further orders. Platoon, fall out!" he said and watched the marines do as they were told.
The woman looked to the Sergeant as the members of her platoon began to shuffle their way out of the rifle range. She said nothing, her eyes only stared coldly at the younger man. Sighing silently to herself, Shana fell out and followed the group out of the room and down the hall toward the Armory.
She wasn't sure what Jacobs thought he would be able to get out of her, but knew that it was not going to help him in the least. The woman didn't need to state much and with her past classified, there wasn't much Jacobs could do other than wonder. She most certainly was not proud of what she had done, but it was times like this that she was glad it was highly classified.
A hidden smile displayed upon her face as she placed her rifle upon the counter in the Armory. She gave it a quick inspection before reloading it with a full clip of ammo. The squad didn't need much time considering the prep they all did before practice shooting. Placing her rifle gently in its place, the marine backed off and walked out of the armory leaving the squad to foolishly talk highly of being the chosen one for the first mission of the new platoon.
There wasn't much else to do, but wait so the woman decided it would be best to take a rest. She didn't know how long this mission was to last and now was as good as any to catch up on some much needed rest until that time came though the woman wasn't sure if her mind would settle once she got to her room.
The woman walked down the hall and rode the elevator up to the floor where the dormitories and lavatories would be found. Perhaps she was spoiled, perhaps she just didn't do well with others. Whatever the real reason, Shana was one lucky private to be privileged with her own room. Not that it was glamorous by any means nor was it large. It was just big enough to fit her twin bed and desk; even those two items were rather cramped in her space.
Typing in her keypad beside her door, she entered her seven digit code and entered her room. Cords and exposed wiring greeted her as she cautiously came in. Her desk held a computer that seemed almost hidden beneath the tangle of cords. It didn't make much sense to her, but had become used to the mess. Sitting on the bed, the marine leaned her back against the pillow and wall, her hands finding the familiar patched wires. With these she placed on various spots upon her body. Some went to her head, others up her shirt to her chest. She then reached for a metal object with a cord on the end, this she placed into a nasty scar on her her stomach near her belly button, when it clicked into place, Shana reached over to the computer and pushed a single button. It made an irritating hum as it came to life. The wires leading from her body to the computer began to send messages stating how the woman's body was doing. A generic computer voice came through the computer's speakers to give percentages of the body functions. "Preform..ing body analysis. Please wa..it .........BW...A..lpha 14. HR...86...RBC..4.576 m..illion... WBC....6,890...BF...12%.... rem..aining power...83%... Analysis com...plete...Total Status...fine. W..ould you like to know m..ore?"
The woman stared at the ceiling and answered the computer with a simple, "No." as the computer shut itself off, the marine freed herself from the tangle of wires and pushed them aside. The computer always seemed to get stuck on certain words and though it slightly agitated her, she had grown used to it. The computer was old after all, but it still did what it was meant to do and the woman couldn't complain. Turning onto her side Shana closed her eyes, but her thoughts couldn't help but wander.
Sergeant Jacobs was sitting at a table in the cafeteria when the Echo's Company Commander had stood behind him. Jacobs would have noticed if his mind had not been setting heavy in his stomach. There was just too much on his plate today and he wasn't sure if he could digest any of it. He couldn't even work his fork properly as he watched as it raked the mashed potatoes upon his plate.
"Sergeant Jacobs.." the older man's voice sounded startling the platoon sergeant into reality. Jacobs dropped his fork and moved to stand up, but a firm hand upon his shoulder guided him back down.
"At ease soldier." The commander said and sat down beside Jacobs. The older man studied the sergeant for a moment before speaking his mind. "I realize you must have a lot on your mind right now and it would be best for you to get some sleep, however, it seems my thoughts aren't exactly at ease either. I want you to take your squad out and look for the spartans we sent out earlier today. There's a pelican waiting now."
Sergeant Jacobs looked to the commander and began, "Sir, we haven't heard from them yet and the--"
The commander interupted him with a quirked eyebrow, "Are you questioning my orders, Sergeant?"
"No sir." Sergeant Jacobs said. He wanted to help after all. He stood up from his seat at the table and saluted the commander. The older man offered a small smile and salute to the sergeant and said, "Then go."
Jacobs lowered his hand and picked up his plate to discard it in the proper place before gathering up his troops.
"Waait! It's a trap!" the woman hollared and reached for the marine beside her. Her hand went through the young man as though she was a hologram and kept running into the dark passage of a strange building, his combat boots clomping as he ran along the metal floor. Shana stared at her hand in disbelief, but quickly became distracted by the flickering light above her. Soon her surroundings faded to black and she was welcomed by darkness. The sound of a door creeked open behind her as she peeled her eyes away from the light above her she heard a distant voice call her name. The door opened painstakingly slow, a bright light emitting from the other side. She heard her name again, but slightly louder.
Waking up, the marine sat straight up, her green eyes immediately staring at the comm line by her door. Static came through the speaker and then she heard the voice. "Shhaana, report. Are you there? Shhana.."
The woman pushed herself off the bed and manuvered her way over the computer cords to her speaker next to the door. Pushing down on the button below the speaker she said, "Echo Private 1068689 here."
There was a long pause and the woman realized just who was on the other end of the comm. Finally the voice came back, "Shana prepare for immediate evac and report to the pelican deck. Jacobs out."
The marine shook her head softly as she smiled. It must be difficult for him to accept her position just as it was for her. The woman patted herself down and looked around the room to make sure she remembered everything. There was nothing for her to grab though so she pulled her shirt down tight and secured her armor before leaving her room. She jogged to the elevator and took it back down to the weapons floor to recieve her weapons from the armory. The woman snagged a few ammo packs and a couple of gernades before heading back out the armory when she nearly ran right into the company's commander.
Placing her riffle onto her back she gave the old man a salute and waited for his response.
He gave her a weary smile and handed her two vials filled with a red dye. The man didn't need to say anything, Shana took them and placed them carefully in her chest pockets before sliding past him and rushing toward the pelican deck.
Regardless of her rank now, the woman was never late to anything and blamed her sleep on that now. She stood in front of Jacobs and saluted him, her eyes glancing to the rest of the squad that sat rather comfortably in the pelican. The Sergeant gave his salute and placed a gentle hand behind the woman to guide her into the pelican. She chose the seat closest to the door and watched Jacobs make his way to the cockpit to inform the pilot. The woman counted six members of the squad excluding Jacobs. As the door began to shut the Sergeant found a spot across from Shana and told the squad, "Here we go." as the pelican began to exit the mother ship. The marine was slightly curious about the details of what was to happen and had happened prior to her awakening, but she kept quiet instead.
As if he had read her mind, Jacobs looked to his squad and said, "Our mission is a search and rescue. We are to find the Spartans, bring them back to base, and report what we saw. It's a simple mission and I expect everyone to stick together. Clear?"
In unison the squad replied, "Yes Sergeant."
For the most part, the ride had been fairly smooth with the exception of a few bumps. Shana held onto a handle bar near the exit for extra support, but thought that it might have been a bad idea after listening to two privates converse quietly back and forth.
A tall and lanky fellow, PVT 5898689 read his name tag, though she overheard his name to be O'brian, whispered in a shorter soldiers ear, "Look how short she is..we're going to rescue Spartans..those guys won't even see her.."
The shorter soldier glanced to Shana, making it a bit obvious that they were talking about her. He turned back to O'brian and brought his palms together as he replied, "Meeep squish.."
The privates stifled their laughter at their immature ideas to such a thing. Shana's grip tightened upon the cool steel, but her face remained motionless. Behind her shaded piece the the helmet gear gave, her green eyes rolled.
Sergeant Jacobs stood up from his seat and began his walk to the cockpit, one of his boots lightly kicking O'brians. "That's enough." he said, in a polite way of stopping the privates from moving their conversation further.
"Yes Sergeant." O'brian said and shut his mouth from further discussion to his fellow private. Jacobs entered the cockpit and sat next to the lone pilot to converse a good landing point as well as pick up.
A female private adjacent from Shana scooted herself to sit in front of the older woman. "I wouldn't pay much mind to them. I think it's kinda cool that an older woman joined the ranks..better late than never right?"
Shana allowed her head to tilt back with a light thud against the wall. She just wanted this ride to be over. Closing her eyes she held her breath for a moment before slowly releasing it. She knew the younger girl was just trying to be friendly, but she didn't help the situation by any means.
The woman thanked the heavens when the pelican finally landed and the doors began to open up to the darkness outside. Though she had sat up and had indeed intended to go first as was the order, the other marines filed out before her. O'brain looked to Shana and then pointed to her assault rifle. "Hey, that gun IS old you know? How come you didn't grab a new one back at the armory?"
When Shana didn't reply to him, he then realized she was the same soldier from the armory earlier. He shut his mouth and hurried outside before the woman could blow up on him again.
"Dude.." O'brians friend said as he followed him out, shaking his head.
As Shana finally stood up, Jacobs came up beside her. She stopped, assuming he was going to push past her as well, but he knew better and waved her to move on. The woman placed the rifle upon her back and headed out of the pelican to fall into her squad.
Sergeant Jacobs grabbed a flare gun and checked the chamber before heading out himself. Placing the gun on his side, he waited until the pelican took off before addressing his squad. "As luck would have it, we have the blanket of the night to help keep us hidden. I want everyone to keep quiet and STAY TOGETHER. The less we make ourselves known the better our chances will be. Now Shaa..er...Private 106 is a great tracker, so we'll follow and listen to her. Don't forget about your night vision. All of your helmets are equipped with one, you all should know how to turn it on, if you do not know how to turn it on then you need to go back to training." he told the squad and looked at Shana.
The many eyes upon her suddenly made Shana feel very uneasy. The mumbled voices around her told her that the squad was confused and had questions about her. None of that mattered though. The private took a slow breath and and turned on her helmet's night vision.
She ignored Jacobs attention and looked around the ruined city. Buildings and concrete alike were thrashed. Everything told its own story, but she was looking for one or two in particular. Shana wasn't informed about much and could only make her own conclusions including the number of Spartans that came here. Her eyes stared at a fallen grunt, a small frown upon her face as she remembered O'brains comment on her height. The smallest of the covenant was around her size. Kneeling down she traced a hand over a strange crater. Standing back up Shana walked to a car that was rendered completely useless. The hood was smashed in, the windshield cracked in so many places, it was mind boggling as to how it remained intact. She rested her hands upon it and inspected the dent. "Someone landed here, someone big."
"Something big...that can be anything compared to her." O'brian whispered into his friend's ear.
"Did he fall out of something flying, or a building?" Jacobs asked looking around and staring at the craters, but the craters were not from something other than a pod, and Shana knew this, but did not make the connection as to why the pod was not where it should have been.
"No. He or she was flung..do you see the windshield. This person was coming at this vehicle in an angle at a high speed." shana followed the crater marks on the road until she found a drag mark that led into a building. She stared at the useless SOEIV pod and looked in it, but found nothing. She didn't understand why someone would go through the trouble of dragging it. The busted door she could see was used as a shield, but that didn't make much sense to the woman when many other things around could just as easily be used as protection.
"How do we know a Scarab didn't come by here?" O'brian asked staring at the craters around the ground.
"Where'd he go?" Jacobs asked Shana, forcing her away from her curiousity. He ignored O'brians quesion, Jacobs didn't believe a Scarab had come through here to leave so little damage behind knowing full well it was capable of much more. The sergeant didn't much like the idea of a Scarab being involved at all, but he didn't want to throw the possibilty out for later either.
"He wasn't alone.." the woman said and looked around. She spotted another pod not too far away, but did not bother to look at it, already knowing no one was inside. "There was a lot of things going on here." she commented and kneeled beside a few dead bodies. The woman was not afraid to stick her hand right in the wounds and inspect the thickness of ooze that followed her hand out of the gaping holes in the bodies. "Some of these are fresh..others...old."
Wiping her hand on a clean spot on a fallen covenant, she stood back up and followed the scattered bodies. The woman stopped at a dead hunter corpse before staring at a building before her. She read the faint title of the building. TechCo Research and Development Center
Sergeant Jacobs looked at the building. Stepping over a grunt he began his way inside. "They go in here?" he asked, but already assumed it was true. Shana said nothing, her attention going to the streets around them. It was too quiet for her liking and it began to set in as paranoia. With Jacobs now leading the squad, Shana was the last to enter the building with her back first. She pulled forth her assault rifle and held it close. The light above her flickered as it struggled to recieved electricity, buzzing lightly. Before the woman could be hypnotized, she felt for the light switch and turned it off.
As the rest of the squad quietly crept up the stairs, Shana stayed behind and crouched down low, leaning her back against the wall. She had already known there was no one in this building. The prints she was tracking led out, but she did not want to bother telling the squad for her mind was focused on something else. Pulling out a small mirror from one of her chest pockets she angled it out the door so she could see out behind herself. At first she saw nothing in the street, but then a faint glow appeared in a building across the way. It was barely noticable until that small glow passed a window and stopped at the open door. Very slowly, Shana took her mirrror away from the door and placed it back in her pocket. Though the night vision did not tell her any true colors, she knew that glow was from a shield a jackel was so fond of carrying. The private looked up at the staircase. Her squad was too far for her to signal to them and the jackel was just too close that she couldn't use her comm to inform them.
Shana picked up two pebbles from the ground and dared to peek out the door with her own eyes. She saw no other movement nearby so she tossed the pebbles one after the other down the street from where her squad had come to get the jackel's attention. As she thought the critter noticed the sounds, and mumbled in response but did not move. The woman did not give up though, she attempted it again with two more pebbles. With luck on her side, the jackel finally gave in and walked out of the building to inspect the area from which the noise had come. Shana slid her knife from her left thigh and snuck her way behind the jackel. She looked around one more time before embedding her blade into the soft spot of the jackel's neck, killing him nearly instant. Though she strugggled, Shana gently laid the creature down onto the ground careful not to make a sound. The woman nearly jumped right out of her armor upon hearing one of her squad members declair, "Here she is! I found her!"
Startled and pissed off, Shana whirled around to find out who announced to anything near of the whole squad's presence. Part of her was not surprised in the least to see it was that tall and lanky private.
Sergeant Jacobs appeared besides O'brian and looked over to Shana. "Shana, I told the squad to stick to--" he began but was interupted by an elite's surprised comment to so much noise outside. At least her squad was not the only foolish beings to give their location away.
Shana raised an arm toward the building across the street from her, but when her squad stood dumbfounded she shouted, "Covenant, Cover!" and rolled to her side to hide behind a large piece of rubble from the road. The woman wiped her blade on her pants then placed it back in its place on her left thigh. Propping her assault riffle on the ledge of the rubble she waited for the covenant to exit their building and enter the fight with her squad.
Echo members hurried back into their building, pulling out their weapons as the did so, gunfire immediately following. Several grunts rushed out the door to fall just as fast. Plasma finding it's way to the side of the building toward the marines, Shana unloaded a clip on an elite that was just a little too slow to realize even though he was out of view from her team, he was not out of view from her own gun. A growl full of rage emitted from another elite as the woman was found. Shana began loading a new clip, but failed, the elite had rushed her too fast with a sword and she had to move out of the way before getting hit. Her clip falling to her previous position as Shana darted her way down the street, the giant following close behind.
Cursing at herself for not being able to load the clip fast enough, Shana put the rifle on her back and pulled the pin out of a frag gernade. The elite was too close and she knew in order to get the gernade to denonate and kill the elite she had to damn near commit suicide. She counted inside her head as she ran as fast as her legs would take her toward the ruined car. three....two...she let the frag gernade drop out of her hands onto the ground and turned her body slightly to catch the front bumper of the car with her foot. The energy sent her back just as quick and barely missed hitting the elite head on as she came back. The elite stopped and slid into the car, but before he could create any other motion the gernade near his feet ran out of time and blew up. The wave sent Shana into a rolling fit causing her to skid against the ground. If it had not been for her helmet she might have gotten more than the scratches on her armor. The elite however was not so lucky and was taken of his life, his limp body left smoldering from the blast.
Before she could lift herself up, her hand automatically reached for her pistol and aimed for anything in front of her. Her squad managed to take the rest of the small group of covenant out and stood back near the entrance of the office building waiting for her. Pulling herself to her feet, Shana put her handgun away back on her calf and brought her assault rifle back out. Bending over, the private picked up the clip she left behind and put it in her rifle to load.
All their eyes made her feel uncomfortable. She didn't like people watching her..judging her. Placing herself ahead of the squad she said, "This way.."
Sergeant Jacobs was not going to let that fly and he was going to let her know it. "I don't know what you call that, but that is unacceptable. You can't drop a gernade and expect it to denonate when you want. That was foolish..you could have gotten yourself killed if not seriously injured..Shana...Private 106!..do I make myself clear!?" He had trouble saying as Shana's lack for attention made him all the more upset even if it was more of a concern for her actions than actual anger for what she had done.
He made her feel like a young child and that agitated the woman very much so. Though she mumbled it, she did say it through grinding teeth, "Don't tell me what I can't do.." pausing in her footsteps she took a deep breath and forcefully let it out slowly. She dare not face the sergeant, but she replied to him clearly, "Yes, sir!"
"Meeeep Squish!" she heard a voice in the background, whirling around Shana walked right to the six foot four private and stared up at him.
"Do you have a problem with me? Maybe we should handle this now.." Shana snapped at O'brian. He blinked at the five foot even woman and then gave her a face before pointing to a pod a few feet away from them. She looked over to it and then to the the grunts and a brute beneath the pod. She calmed slightly and let it go.
Jacobs felt a loss for words. He didn't feel right being the discipliner, but he didn't like to be ignored either. Apart of him wanted to stay out of it altogether, Shana was afterall his first lieutenant not that long ago. Against his desires, however, Sergeant Jacobs had to say something once more. "Private 589 and Private 106 you will be serving clean up duties when we get back and possible demerits if this charade continues."
O'brian made a face of disbelief and slight anger, but no noise came from his mouth.
Shana recounted how many pods she had spotted thus far and then crouched to the ground to figure out how many tracks there were. A part of her wished to ask the true number, but she refused to say anything. The woman should have never spoken a single word at all...and though a part of her even thought Jacobs was a different person from when she was in command, she knew that he did not change much and he was not someone that should be in charge. Not that he did not have potential, just that he was too nice.
Standing back up she began walking down the street. "From the looks of it they must have found something worth chasing down." She said and led the squad toward a graveyard of tanks and more bodies. There were shards of what remained of a banshee. Part of it stuck obnoxiously in the side of a building. A large pile of rubble laid out of place among the buildings, but a closer look revealed that that had once been a building in itself. "A tank..." the woman spoke aloud to no one in particular this time.
Shana looked around the area, but saw no movement other than her own squad so she traveled into a building to study a couple of hunter corpses. Nearly hidden from view, she almost did not spot an empty biofoam canister laying upon the ground if she had not kicked it by mistake. Picking it up she smelled it then eyed the rubble beneath a large hole in the ceiling. The woman tossed the can aside and climbed atop of the debris. Her hands felt around the space that had held someone a few hours earlier. Looking back to the sergeant, Shana reported, "Someone is injured. I think they might have taken a vehicle after this had happened."
"What kind of vehicle?" Jacobs asked and looked around the night area. Shana cautiously made her way down the rubble and out the building to look around for any more signs, before she could make a clear judgement a private had a different report to give to the sergeant.
"I've spoted a trail down the way a few blocks away. I wasn't sure what it was, but there's a few covenant remains. I think it leads to a base of some sort..might be worth a look right?" the female private reported.
The mission was to locate the spartans and bring them back. If one of them was injured, that should be the first priorty, but the young marine had a point. If there was a base nearby, there might be surviving marines and the more firepower they gained the higher chance of survival they had. "Alright, let's check it out." Jacobs said, not bothering to look back for approval from Shana. Not that he needed to, but a part of him knew that Shana was the only one that really knew anything about tracking.
Private 106 was not going to object, not anymore. She had enough trouble for one mission and didn't have it in her to show Jacobs his place. Besides, it might be better if he'd learn for himself anyways. Double checking her assault rifle, Shana followed behind the squad to back track their progress.
As they followed the road, they passed several dead covenant and a disabled wraith. Shana took note of the structure and wondered why this one did not take the vehicle instead of destroying it. Her thoughts did not wander far when she passed a few near fully charged swords. The woman was tempted to pick one up, but was never fond of carrying more than two main weapons and two knives. Her squad was getting a bit far ahead of her and she wished they'd slow down. Rushing into things was never something Shana was fond of doing and she had good reason behind it.
"I don't like this. You should slow down." she said into her comms at her squad.
Jacobs gave a short whistle to his team to signal them to slow down. He thought Shana simply could not keep up, maybe she really was getting old on him. No sooner had the squad slowed down than they sped right back up to the noise of an unknown human's scream. "Hey!" Jacobs hollared at the squad, but they did not pay any attention and kept running. The sergeant waited for Shana to catch up and together they hurried to catch up with the rest of the team.
The dead of silence came to life the familar sound of gunfire.
"Whaat!?" an elite growled.
The night was filled with a mix of both sides, When Jacobs and Shana reached the scene, they were in sight of a large group of covenant forces. The woman pulled forth a frag gernade and tossed it in the mix without much thought. The squad was not close enough to it to really matter. Several grunts learned to fly while elites were intelligent enough to jump out of the way in time.
Sergeant Jacobs crept his way to one fallen member of the squad to double check their status, but they were no longer among the living. Standing up he pulled out a battle rifle and fired at a jackel that had been retreating further away, killing it quite easily with its back open for business.
Shana fired a clip at an elite with her rifle, its shield finally depleted, a member of her squad took it out with their gun as the woman allowed the clip to fall out of her gun and put a new one in its place.
"I'm not afraid of you!" she could hear O'brian's squeeky voice ring over the cries of battle.
Private 106 placed her rifle on her back and pulled forth her handgun once more to shoot the top of a grunt's triangle like back. Hitting just the right spot sent the grunt spinning into his fellow comrades followed by their death with a mix of gunfire. Shana almost paid no attention to O'brian's obnoxious voice until she realized just what was going on. That idiot...she thought angerly as O'brian tossed aside his battle rifle and pulled forth his knife, taunting an elite.
Even if the elite was injured, it was still strong enough to kill the private in a single blow. Growling at the marine, it began to rush toward him. If Shana had been thinking, she would have let it happen..that would have been smart..but no, the woman pulled forth her knife from her right breast plate and ran toward the two in an attempt to catch the elite off gaurd. Keeping her blade close to the ground she impaled the elite in the ankle. Angry, the Elite stopped and turned his attention to her. "Shoot him!" she yelled at O'brian, but he was frozen and did not budge. Shana reached for her knife, but the elite was moving his body to face her. Reaching for her knife on her left thigh with her right hand she swung her arm up in a slanting motion. She missed the elite's neck, the woman was just too short, the tip of her blade slicing into the elites lower left jaw piece.
The elite raised his arm and swung at Shana. He missed her by a hair and as he lowered his body she shoved her secondary knife up through the roof of his mouth into his head. Using gravity she pulled the elite over her and used his limp body as a shield to protect herself from plasma shots coming from the remaining covenant, O'brian got hit in the shoulder and fell to his back. Pulling out her pistol, Shana shot at a jackel, her angle was no good and only pierced its shield.
Coming from behind the Jackel appeared Jacobs. He used his rifle to kill it off and the remaining squad took out the last of the covenant in the area.
Shana tried pushing the elite off her back, but he was too heavy. She could feel his blood ooze down her armor, some sliming its way past it into her shirt. Jacobs kicked the body off Shana and helped her to her feet. Her hand immediately reaching for her neck to feel the warm goo.
O'brian began to lift himself off the ground, one hand on his shoulder where the plasma had hit. "Hey thanks Squish." He said without paying much attention.
Shana turned to O'brian and rushed him, "What were you thinking you ignorant whelp!" she hollared and pushed him back down to the ground. "You really think you can just go head on with an elite!?"
O'brian didn't have much to say, he shrugged. "I guess I wasn't, you killed him though no big deal." He gripped his shoulder once more.
"No big deal!?". The private pulled her knives out of the elite's body and stomped her way into what everyone assumed was a small base. She was shocked as to how little teamwork the squad was willing to perform. Shana looked around the abandoned place passing a young female as she went. Stoping only momentarily, Shana sneered, "And where were you?"
The young private went to explain, but Shana didn't wanna hear her excusses and continued down the hall angerly.
Attending to O'brians wound, Jacobs was just as surprised and angry to see the young private come out of the building as Shana. Standing up, the sergeant looked her over and demanded, "In the midst of battle where were you? Do you believe yourself a marine or a coward? I have one man dead and another injured. What do you have to say for yourself?"
She stopped and looked to the side somewhat ashamed. There was nothing she could say to make anything better. The young private had never been in a battle before and was scared the moment she saw the group of enemies so she had ran to the base to hide. Her eyes watered, and Jacobs felt slightly bad knowing that this was most likely everyone's first mission out of training, but that was no excuss. "Tend Private 589's wound." he ordered her and walked past to look for Shana.
He walked down the corridor and into several rooms. One marked armory had been emptied. That didn't make Jacobs feel any better seeing that, but that wasn't his immediate concern. When he came across a locked door, he assumed the woman was in it so he knocked. "Shana..are you in there?"
He was right, the woman was in that room. She sat on a metal table, her helmet in her hands, the tinted eye cover staring back at her. After a minute she spoke, "Your team sucks. You picked the wrong squad you realize this?"
"...Shana will you let me in? I could really use your help." Jacobs said in response to her remark.
Her green eyes glanced to a mirror near by and just could not stand the sight of her own reflection at the moment and in her rage, she broke it with her fist. Standing up, she went to the door and unlocked it then moved back to the metal table to sit down again.
Jacobs entered and shut the door behind himself. He chose to sit beside Shana and he too removed his helmet. Staring at it he spoke, "I dunno what to do..I picked your squad because you had the most experience and I thought if I chose this squad we'd all be most likely to survive."
"You act like this is your first time in command." she remarked. When Jacobs gave no response, Shana had to quirk an eyebrow and look away. "Oh.."
"They make it look easy. Am I just not meant for this?" he asked.
"You think it's easy? In time you'll learn." Shana said and didn't feel like giving anymore advise. It wasn't her place to tell someone of higher rank what to do. The idea was awkward and made her dislike being where she was all the more. "Armory is empty, no survivors, we have one man dead, another injured, and we're going in the opposite direction of where we need to be." she stated.
It was not meant to be stamped as fail, but it certainly felt that way, especially with one man dead and one injured. His next plan was to go back and hit the trail again before he found out the possibly injured Spartan was dead. Jacobs didn't want that on his head too. It made him think of Shana for a brief second and to that he felt he had to ask even if he already knew he would not recieve an answer. "Shana..last I saw you...you were trying to be a Spartan...what happened to that?"
Shana touched her stomach at the question as she was reminded of her downfall. Putting her helmet back on she said, "I don't wanna talk about it." She moved to the door and headed out into the hallway to retreat back to the squad.
When she returned to the squad however, she had forgotten where she stood. Seeing a private work on another private just wasn't about to slide past Shana. Stopping behind the young female she interrogated, "Private, are you specialized to work on anothers wounds? Did you recieve training on how to dress specific ones? By whom were you trained?"
The coward looked to Shana and then went back to wrapping O'brian's shoulder. "106 I don't need to answer to you. I'm a marine and I'm here to help out...Sergeant Jacobs asked me to."
"...right." Shana said softly and walked away feeling slightly dumb. It wasn't easy being a private nor would Shana soon get used to it. The woman scanned a total of five members of the squad including herself. They seemed a bit shooken up, but were not about to admitt it to anyone. Kneeling down to their fallen comrade, the private closed his eyes for eternal sleep and took a moment to study just how young he was. Just a baby..she thought.
"Listen up squad. Tonight has been a mess. The lack of teamwork has given us a dead man. You're marines and I expect you all to fill those shoes! No one said it was easy but if you're going to survive you better start acting like a team. Reload and pack up any extra. Let's move!" Sergeant Jacobs said to the squad and reloaded his battle rifle.
"Uh..Sarg..my gun is out of bullets." O'brian commented lifting up his assault rifle.
Jacobs bent over and picked up a plasma pistol, tossing it to the private, he placed his rifle on his back and began his walk back to the tank graveyard.
O'brian picked up the plasma pistol and stood up, leaving his assault rifle behind. He inspected the gun and then put it away on his left thigh holter.
Shana stood up and as she walked to follow the sergeant, she purposely bumped into O'brian making a comment before leaving him behind, "You have a pistol..."
She was still upset at his actions during the elite knife attack and wanted to remind O'brian that he was not unarmed during that battle. Jogging the rest of the way to Jacobs, Private 106 spoke low for only he could hear, "No one is authorized to do bandage work, but you. If you want to keep your position, you'll make sure their health is in your care. If someone isn't bandaged correctly and there's a chance that someone gets worse because of it..that's on you."
She didn't wait for his reaction to her words, something catching her eye as they walked up the street. Trailing away from the squad she walked to the object, only when she got close enough did she realize just what she was staring at. For a brief moment she turned off her night vision and stared at the corpse of a spartan. There was nothing unquie in his colors and that's what took her off gaurd. Stepping over the green giant she sat on his chest and carefully removed the helmet. She allowed the helmet to fall with a thud and checked for a pulse even though it seemed quite apparent that the Spartan was indeed gone.
Shana didn't recognize this Spartan which in a way, pleased her, but she was curious about his last moments so she took off her helmet and put on his to see just what had happened. Maybe there was another Spartan with this one.
The inner speakers came to life as she gave it orders to replace the last moments. Gunfire and screams. Growls of rage. The screen turned on and revealed the area in smoke and fire. City people ran away from the screen in a panic. The owner of the helmet waves more people away as he jogs further into the city.
"We gotta leave base it's too dangerous!" a marine tells the Spartan and tries to move faster. Stopping the marine pulls forth his assault rifle and begins firing at incoming covenant from within the City. "The city is being overthrown, we need to move."
The spartan looks back to the base and stops, The helmets movements make Shana a bit dizzy, but she continues to watch anyways. The green giant is searching for something or someone in particular, but he did not see what he was searching for and turned back to face the marine, pulling forth his battle rifle and aiming at an elite. "Are they done with Patric? Where is he?" The spartan asked as the elite fell limp to the ground.
The marine looked back up at the Spartan and says, "They'll take care of them the best they can, but we really need to g--" blood sprayed the Spartan's helmet screen and the marine fell down a hole in his head. Wiping the liquid from the screen, the helmet beeped at him warning him of no shield protection. The green giant pulls a pin from a frag gernade and goes to toss it into the crowd of covenent but something had caught his attention and he turned around to face the base.
Shana thought it was damn near impossible for a brute to sneak up on anyone with their heavy body and big hammers, but as the screen moved to look toward the base, there one was lifting his hammer up to attack. The screen blacked out and Shana was left to guess whether the brute had killed the Spartan or if the gernade had done the job first.
As Shana pulled the helmet off her head, O'brian stood near her a stupid grin upon his face. "Greetings Lord Helmet to Earth we welcome you HmMm" he commented in a yoda-like voice.
Shana didn't catch the Space Balls reference or the Star wars voice. She ignored the kid, put her helmet back on and then hurried to the front of the squad once again to inform Sergeant Jacobs of her findings. "We need to be on the look out for snipers in the area." she told him as she slowed down into a walk. Private 106 didn't mention the name the Spartan had mentioned in the video, she didn't think it was that important. There was no one in the base after all which meant this 'Patric' was somewhere else if not one of the marines that litered the ground.
Jacobs nodded his head and looked back at the marines behind him. He could hear O'brian explaining to another marine the significance of what he had told Shana, but the marine just thought the movie references were way too old for many people to remember. "Hey...we're not here to chit chat. Keep quiet before any more covenant detect our pressence." The sergeant said and everyone grew quiet in their walk once more.
Before too long they were back at the demolished wraiths. Quickly, Shana picked up the main trail once more. Even a rookie could tell where one particular Wraith was heading, a clean path down the road making it clear as day. Leading the group down the road, she kept a watchful eye on the surrounding area. The squad, shockingly kept quiet and followed close behind. The marines boots were all that could be heard with the exception of the occational buzz from an electrical outlet in the buildings. Private 106 didn't like it, and could sense the same from her squad. She prayed they would have her back in the next fight, but mentally prepared herself as she patted her pockets to count how many clips she had left just in case she was alone again.
It was a long walk even if Shana hadn't checked the occational corpse for age, but finally the marines had gotten closer to their destination. Slowing down, Private 106 gave the signal to stop and kneeled down in front of the entrance to a parking garage. She looked around, but saw no other life forms. Being cautious, Shana readied her assault rifle none the less and checked to be sure she was loaded before sneaking her way into the garage. The squad stood in silence as she drew further away.
When Shana had gotten a few yards ahead and nearly out of site within the rubble and dented cars, Sergeant Jacobs turned to the rest of the squad and gave his orders. "I want a perimeter set up. Private 589 and Private 687 I want you two to go into the building behind you and keep watch. Private 754 and Private 920 I want you to come with me."
Silently O'brian and his friend went into the building as directed. The coward and another male followed Jacobs into the Garage near the enterance. They settled near a burnt and tipped over pick up truck and kept an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Leaning his back against the concrete wall, Jacobs turned to the female and said, "I know this must be unsettling being your first mission out of training, but if you cannot be a part of this squad I will send you back to training myself and have you replaced."
Shana walked silently by herself, her footsteps light. Seeing a purple wraith, she came to a stop and crouched down. Setting her rifle on her back Private 106 whispered, "Alright you're up Jacobs." When no one responded back, the woman looked around herself with a quirked eye. She cursed beneath her breath for not catching onto silence earlier. Her squad was not improving in their footsteps, they were simply not there.
Shana didn't want to confront her objective. She didn't like Spartans. It wasn't her job to do so either, but the woman was not given any time to complain. The marine should have been thankful, being able to have some command for the time being, but she wasn't. Standing up she made herself known to the group located on the otherside of the wraith. "Marine approaching." she said loudly and walked around the tank to stand at attention to the two spartans. The closest to her was one in blue and gold. Unaware of who was in control she held her hand in a strong salute and kept it there until someone saluted her back. "Sir, Echo Private 1068689 Reporting. Objective: Locate Spartans, Complete. Awaiting next orders, sir."