01 January 2011

HALO: Frontline-Part One: Dark Mirror

Ever wondered what Noble Six did before Reach? Wonder no more.

0115 Hours June 18th, 2551 (Military Calendar)
41 Arae 2 System, Osage Colony

Despite the air-scrubbing filters inside of his Mark V(B) helmet, SPARTAN-B312 could clearly smell the harsh aroma of home-rolled cigarettes. These were a hallmark of the United Rebel Front to the UNSC. The rebels wouldn’t pay the taxes on their sinful habit to support the very government they were rebelling against.

He was glad for the telltale sign of the patrol’s position, and he moved gingerly on the open tall-grass plains, even though the SPARTAN III worn a next-gen ghillie suit with heat-sinks. From his new position among some thick brush, his audio-pickups recorded their fireside talk, while he counted heads through his 3x zoom of his DMR’s scope.


Eight-to-one with a normal soldier was unthinkable, even if he was a ODST, he would outmatched, but he was a SPARTAN, raised from a child to be a trained lethal tool of UNSC policy.

Eight wasn’t too much. Especially since these rebels were not even local colonial militia that linked up with the rebels. These were just ordinary men. Even if B312 was not in his new MJOLNIR Mark V powered armor. Few SPARTAN-III’s had them, he was just lucky to have NAVSPECWAR buying his toys.

He checked his armaments one last time before he would go into battle. DMR with a screw-on sound suppressor, along with a 7.62mm MA5K carbine, and on his thigh was a M6C/SOCOM. Normally, operators liked to use that caseless 5mm bullet hose for up close work, but B312 preferred his shortened carbine, especially with loaded with shredder bullets. While the 5mm bullet was meant to maul, the fat 7.62mm was designed to murder. He didn’t like an enemy getting back up when you think he is KIA.

That’s the way soldier’s die, by not finishing the job. Lt. Cmder Ambrose’s words echoed as he gave the rebel campsite one last survey, mentally locking-in their locations before the strike. But he paused, and then looked again. There were nine. Tucked in next two of the bigger farmers, was a teenager, about 12 by the SPARTAN’s judgment. He was not expecting any child-soldiers on this OP. For a moment, he eased-dropped on the conversation, and determined that his father thought this patrol would make a man of him.

For a moment, the SPARTAN III paused and dwelled on how alien the interaction between the father and son made him feel. Twelve was the age when he had taken his first life on the battlefield, and he had never known his father.

Would he kill this boy? Could he kill them? It was one thing to pull the trigger on a soldier or rebel, but a boy of twelve?

While his interior conflict waged, the SPARTAN kept them under the crosshairs. Deep Winter, their AI construct, had told them about the various religions of old Earth, and that God had created mankind in his image. And now, man made the SPARTAN in humanity’s more brutal reflection, like a dark mirror.

Orders were orders. The UNSC obeying citizens of Osage had been killed or driving off their lands when they refused to yield to the demands of the rebels. The foodstuffs produced on those farms were critical to the war-effort against the aliens trying to wiped mankind off of the galaxy.

No, his duty was clear…the rebels were to be killed.

With a firm slap, the DMR was magnetically attached to his back, and the MA5K was in his hands.

Time to go.

With the enhanced speed via his armor, he would be in range in less than three heartbeats.

It was not the report of the SPARTAN’s gun that alerted the rebel patrol that a real-life ├ťbermensch was bearing down on them, but the crunch of the dry pirate grass.

It did not matter that they heard the rush of the armored warrior; he was on them before they had their weapons up to bear. He strafed the campsite with shredder rounds until the weapon clicked dry. When the echoes of the muffled gunfire drifted off into the windy night, the SPARTAN took to the grim task for checking the bodies.

All nine appeared dead, a testimony to Dr. Catherine Halsey’s skill, and to his endless training, but he had to confirm it. When he rolled the massive dead weight of the father, the son and the SPARTAN locked eyes. His M6S was wiped out in flash, but he then noticed the femoral artery pumping out into the air freely.

It wouldn’t be long.

With an un-SPARTAN moment of weakness, B312 stopped his impulse to waste the kid right there. He knelt down and un-sheathed his combat knife. The kid’s eye popped open to the size of the twin moons hanging over their heads. No doubt, the kid had heard the stories of the knife abilities of a SPARTAN. Then he pulled out the magnum, and the kid stared for a moment, taking in the jester.

The kid’s eyes and nod selected the pistol.

“Good choice.”Spoke the SPARTAN, and made it quick.

None of this sat well with him. He was sure at times on his counter-insurgency operations, he had called in artillery on structures were women and children were hiding, or taking out a vehicle with teenage soldiers. But, the difference was, he didn’t think of them as human. This encounter was too real for him. The meat grinder of Camp Currahee on Onyx with its manpower demands by ONI forced his humanity out.

He told himself that he did not have time for that shit.

While picking the pockets of the rebels, B-312 wondered why these simple farmers on a backwater colony would risk the wrath of the superior UNSC. Then he reason that’s how those alien Covenant bastards thought of humanity. Why didn’t we just roll over for them?

Shaking out those thoughts, he checked the bodies for any intel, computers, or useful ammo. Within the pocket of the commander of the patrol, his wrist-computer had some GPS coordinates. With the Mark V (B) helmet, the data was scanned in, and with the suit’s own software, the location was laid over a map projected over his visor. It was just a few klicks south-west from here.

There was nearly nothing between him and the enemy encampment on these barren plains, and intel was weak on the level of sensor being used. He needed something to cover his advance. When wood cracked in the campfire, the SPARTAN had his answer.

The smoke and marching phalanx of fire would cover his insertion.

He chuckled when the so-called base became visible over the hills. Being the errand boy for ONI’s dirty wet-works operations, he had seen dozens of rebel bases, and this was certainly the most comically.

The united rebel front base was a dairy farm.

From his raised position, the SPARTAN-III observed about forty rebels inside the wire, with three manned watchtowers, however, much of the firepower and focus was directed towards a frontal assault. Much of the original farm building was retrofitted for military use, but the command post was settled in the farm house. That was his primary objective.

The situation reminded him of a quote that Lt. Cmder Ambrose used from Sun Tzu: So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. The weakest point seemed to be the domed tents that dotted most of the territory inside the defensive positions, and for his strategy to work; he needed access to the motor pool area.

Three squeezes on the DMR trigger resulted in three prefect headshots, unmanning the watchtowers. The path into the rear of the base was clear.

Keeping his profile as small as possible, he climbed down the embankment and the scent of fresh brewed coffee hit him. B-312 remained in the shadows behind one of the dome tents. Two rebels talked while the flames illumined their dirty faces, in the dancing lighting, the SPARTAN noticed their ancient assault rifles were at their feet. He slung his MA5K, despite the name, sound suppressed weapons made noise, and he could not afford to be caught. SPARTAN or no, he couldn’t win against forty in a stand-up fight, and SPARTANs did not like to lose.

B-312 would utilize the tools of those ancient warriors that attacked from the shadows, fear and a blade.

The two rebels enjoyed their dark French press coffee, and he listened in to them bitching about the lack of supplies and worry about the encroaching grassfire. Sensing the moment was favorable, he emerged from the night with the orange and fire colors playing across his dark armor.

One of the soldiers dropped his mug, and froze in terror at the silent armored warrior, before the man could muster his voice and warn the man with the SPARTAN behind him, a knife was shoved into his lung, robbing him of a scream. The other solider, got his wits about him, and threw the French press at the attacker. It was easily dodged, but B-312 respect the fight in him, and returned the favor with a knife through the chest.

Once he confirmed both were down, he dragged the bodies into a tent, zipped them up into their sleeping bags, and then covered up the scent of the body with the coffee. The way to the motor pool was clear.

From the thermal sweeps, three mechanics were working away, two under the civilian version of the Warthog, another was walking the floor.

It would have been very easy for the SPARTAN to burst in a waste the three of them before they could blink twice, but there was risk. If the suppressed gunfire was heard, or if one was about to raise the alarm, then his mission was finished.

SPARTAN were created to win, and B312 was going finish the job.

Luck, as it was, was on the side of the ├╝bermensch, the one walking the floor was coming out the back door. He drew his combat knife and waiting for his prey.

When the mechanic wandered over to the spare parts pile, and was murmuring to himself. The SPARTAN-III saw the moment was here; his prey was distracted and unaware. With speed and darkness, B312 positioned himself directly behind the normal human and waited for him to turn around.

When the mechanic turned, 7 inches of high carbon steel plunged through the greasy coveralls of the mechanic, his eyes bugged out, while his mouth attempted to makes a sound, but nothing came but a gasp.

The SPARTAN-III stashed the body behind the junk pile, and moved into the shed with pistol drawn.

“Daryl!” Yelled out one of the mechanics under the lift. “Took your sweet time!” The SPARTAN holstered his weapon, located the lift control, and hit the release, squishing the mechanics like cockroaches under a boot. With the motor pool clear, B-312 planted remote detonation charges under the hydrogen tanks.

The massive armored soldier seemed to melt back into the shadow, and made his way to the barn. This was the highest point in the encampment, and risky maneuver due to a SPARTAN soldier in MJOLNIR weights about half a ton.

While watching the activities, he mentally reviewed his orders: locate and destroy the rebel base of operations, purge their computers of any data, destroy all rebel war material.

His plan was direct and violent, the kind the SPARTAN’s like. Once he dealt with the primary object of the rebels HQ in the farm house, B-312 would return to his perch, and take out the survivors of his attack with the DMR.

When the severed communications with the rest of the rebels on Osage colony got their attention, someone would be sent to investigate the downed comm.-lines. They would see the SPARTAN-III’s handiwork, and there would be little doubt that one of the mysterious warriors of the UNSC did this. He hoped the message to the rebels would be simple, give up, or I’ll be coming after you next.

A quick sweep with thermal revealed the farm house was occupied with five. Four were manning computer stations, and one was busy pacing.

That was the commander.

From the body profile, B-312 was able to deduce that one of the computer techs was female.


The software, enhanced strength, and experience manufactured a prefect toss of a stun grenade, sailing through a window, just a second before it exploded; the SPARTAN keyed the remote detonators. The rebel encampment was a washed in noise, as B-312 leapt into the air, throwing himself from the barn to the farm house. This time his weight of 1,000lbs worked for him, the force of his landing on the roof of the farm house caused him to crash through the roof and directly into the command center.

Smoke from the debris, and the effects of the flash-bang grenade, allowed the SPARTAN-III to be unopposed for the moment. With this VISR illumining the targets, he drew his sound suppressed M6 Magnum, and killed three of the techs in less than three seconds. Then he moved on the female. She attempted to level her inferior sidearm at the armor encased warrior, but in a blur of moment, he stripped of the weapon, and had her in a headlock complete with a combat knife to her throat.

Through the confusion, the commander of the base was recovering from the few seconds of complete madness. To his dazed eyes, was a seven-foot warrior in menacing black armor. He could not see any hint of the warrior’s face or even if they were male or female.

“You bastard!” He splat when he noticed the bloodied bodies of his techs. With a tap from B-312 pistol muzzle on the computer terminal, he signed his demands. The commander responded with his middle finger.

With a high pained scream, female tech reacted to the SPARTAN pushing the knife blade just far enough into her neck to draw a few drops of blood.

He dropped his pistol, and walked over to the terminal with his hands up. “Alright…alright you bastard! I give it to you!” He jousted at angry finger into B-312’s faceplate. “But she lives.” The SPARTAN-III nodded.

With a few key strokes, the computer network was open, and with a trained maneuver, he shoved the girl into the commander’s arms, send them both to the floor. While they recovered from the blow, B-312 attached a data-pump to the data port, and within ten seconds, all of the data was his and the primary mission objective was done.

Then his massive shadow was cast over the commander and the tech. He pulled the girl of the rebel officer, and presented his sidearm and knife in both hands.

The rebel commander looked bewildered. Then he understood with a grim inevitability, and pointed a shaking finger to the blade.

“Bad choice.”Spoke the SPARTAN.

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