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Survival of the Fittest: Season Five

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SotF season 5 map

Introduction

0700 Hours, Day 1

Location: Cyclades, 87 km northwest of The Warden's Lake

"Let's get started."

Commander Kathrin Grunwald stood up from her chair and strode over to the massive window making up one of the walls in the massive room. A holographic pad sprang to life, hovering over the glass pane in front of her. She tapped several buttons and slide some of the virtual lights around, clearly very familiar with its workings.

Beside her, Lieutenant Joseph Besson was eyeing the individuals within the tiny room that they were overlooking. There were twenty-six of them, all encased in energy fields that kept them were they were, for the time being. The younger officer's gaze lingered on the various humans that were present. There were quite a few of them. "Ma'am..."

"Ready the teleporters, Lieutenant," Grunwald said unflinchingly, continuing to adjust the panel without missing a beat. "And prepare to deploy weapons."

Besson straightened immediately. "Yes, Commander." He turned away and hurried towards a second control panel on the opposite side of the room.

Behind Grunwald, six tall, armoured creatures stood in two lines, faceless and unmoving. Clad in near-indestructible armour plating, they stood nearly eight feet tall and had a vague resemblance to some cyborg version of Sangheili. She wasn't even sure if they were living beings or machines. Not that it mattered. They had no purpose to their existence other than to protect her.

The creatures ignored Besson as he nervously made his way past them and brought his station online. In the room below, the subjects were getting restless. Some of them were tapping on the energy fields, others were shouting at each other or at no one in particular. Grunwald activated the loudspeaker. "I'm going to need you all to be quiet," she said, easily drowning out the noise. "And listen carefully, because I'm only going to brief you once.

"In sixty seconds, you're about to be teleported out of here and onto one of the numerous islands west of here. You'll be given weapons and one objective: to kill each other until one is left."

She saw the individuals looking at each other warily, some possibly trying to find potential allies in the group. "But it isn't over when you're the last one standing. Once you've killed everyone else here, you'll be taken to a much larger area with many more opponents to face. They'll be a lot harder to find, which will give you more time to prepare yourself. But you'll be given more details later. For now, try to survive your first challenge. Good luck."

Besson flipped a switch, and immediately the room below was lit up with twenty-six glows. A moment later, it was completely empty.

Grunwald strode away from her station, thinking about the subjects she had just observed. Some of them, particularly the smaller aliens, were obviously not going to stand a chance. Still, anything could happen.

"Ma'am?" Besson inquired. "Do you think that whoever comes out of this alive can really help us track down Wright's black market operation?"

"Let's hope so, Lieutenant," she replied.

"And until then?"

"Until then, you should get to your post," Grunwald said. "It won't be long before the rest of the subjects get here."

Survival of the Fittest: Season 5

Episode 1: The Meat Grinder

0702 Hours, Day 1

Location: Northwest Islands, 61 km north of Black Knight's Embers

Barry Hartfield materialized in a rush of light and energy and saw that he was standing in an open field by the ocean. There didn't seem to be anyone else around, so he dashed for the nearest source of cover—a tall hill that was standing opposite the water. As he crouched by it, he spotted a Grunt creeping about in the grass not far off. Hartfield raised his SMG and took aim, finger on the trigger.

Then his brains exploded as a long needle shard took him through the head and dropped him where he stood. Fifty feet away, Ank shifted his grip on his Needle Rifle and quickly broke into a run, well aware that he had just given away his position.

Nibesa turned, alarmed, at the sound of gunfire. He spotted the dead human lying by the hill and decided to move in the opposite direction. He made it to a cluster of boulders dug into the sand not far off and made to shoulder his Fuel Rod Cannon when a dark blur leaped out front of him. The Grunt already knew it was too late before he could even scream as Veral T'ramee's Energy Sword clove him in half.

Ank spotted T'ramee, considered opening fire, and decided to retreat to a safer position instead. He silently turned to make his way up the beach and spotted Aspen-B145 running straight at him. The Needle Rifle came up and he let loose three shots that impacted on his opponent's shields, but was unable to slow him down. The Spartan deftly hurled his combat knife at him, and a split second later Ank crumpled with the blade protruding from his open mouth.

Lying prone on a wide, tall-grassed hilltop farther up the beach, Edgar J. Haywood watched the fight through the scope of his Sniper Rifle. He lined up his reticle on Aspen's helmet but hesitated, years of training preventing him from firing on a friendly target.

There was a slight rustling from behind him, and his hand instinctively went for his sidearm. But he was too slow; strong fingers wrapped themselves around his throat and tightened. Haywood kicked and struggled to no avail, unable to get up because his assailant was refusing to let go. Darkness entered the corners of his vision, he felt the strength go out of his hands, and he went limp.

Jonathan Watts didn't waste time examining his victim. Keeping himself as silent as he could, he quickly relieved Haywood of his weapons and slinked away, leaving the dead soldier where he was.

He went undetected by all save for Amy-G094, whose keen senses spotted the movement in the grass and stealthily followed. She would have soon caught him if it hadn't been for Yusnak, who swiftly swooped in from the sky and grabbed hold of her armoured legs. Amy cried out in surprise and pointed her SMGs at him when the Drone suddenly took flight, shaking her weapons out of her hands and keeping her dangling upside-down in the air.

Up and up they went until they reached a staggering height. Yusnak flipped into a headfirst dive. They picked up speed, with the weight of Amy's armour dragging them down more quickly. At the last second, Yusnak let go and angled himself upward, while his quarry carved a deep hole into the ground with a whump. The armoured figure didn't move, her limbs all bent in unnatural angles.

Yusnak didn't get far. A strong four-fingered hand caught him around the middle and pulled him back down, and the whir of a Plasma Pistol charging was heard as a green glow lit up in his vision. Tulan 'Zulmar released the trigger, and the shot flew straight and true. He tossed aside the Drone's corpse with plasma vapour trailing out of his melted face.

On the other side of the island, Gerald Roberts yanked the knife out of Scott Brooks' windpipe, having killed the older man with his own weapon. He looked up and peered through the bushes, seeing Brandon Foster backpedalling with T'ramee firing after him. The fight didn't last long as the Elite cornered his opponent and decapitated him with a clean slash of his blade.

Roberts checked his newly acquired weapons and knew that he didn't have the means to take down T'ramee, and decided instead to hold his position. The alien soon disappeared as he headed back towards the ocean, but the silence was once again filled with more sounds of fighting.

Garr 'Lakovee dashed across the open field, Plasma Repeater blazing. Trailing him was Aspen, returning fire Ank's Plasma Rifle. The two adversaries were weaving through the grass without pause, blue plasma bolts flying between them and melting against their shields. Suddenly, 'Lakovee spun and dealt the Spartan a strong kick, drawing his Energy Sword in the same movement. Aspen was caught off-guard and barely avoided getting amputated as the twin blades slashed through his gun. In his other hand was his combat knife, which he brought up as the alien tackled him with his sword held high.

The three-round bark of a Battle Rifle cut through the air and a burst of bullets tore through 'Lakovee's head. Aspen shoved the dead Elite off him and looked up to see Shepard-G127 standing not far off. The two Spartans appraised each other for the briefest moment before Aspen leaped up with Ank's Needle Rifle. Both fired at the same time.

Shepard's shields held against the attack, but his shots shattered through Aspen's visor. He reloaded his nearly empty magazine, making sure that both his adversaries were dead as he did so.

Two prongs of glowing plasma pierced his back and erupted from his chest, and the Battle Rifle clattered to the ground, joined by Shepard's body beside it moments later. T'ramee glanced about furtively and dashed away, knowing that to stay still was to die.

Down by the oceanside, Piyus spotted Grigore Vasilescu trying to retreat towards the relative safety of the hills and fired his Needler furiously. The human heard the gunfire and turned to retaliate, only to have a dozen needles stab into his torso. The crystalline explosion that followed ripped him apart in the blink of an eye.

Jared Miller took up a flanking position on Piyus, having seen him bring down Vasilescu. He sighted through his DMR and fired a single shot. The round flew straight and true, and the Grunt was thrown a short distance into the air before toppling into the sand.

Miller heard rapid footsteps behind him, and turned to see T'ramee advancing on him. The SPARTAN-IV broke into a backpedal, pumping round after round from his DMR into the alien. But his opponent was fast, darting from side to side to avoid the shots. His Plasma Pistol discharged, splashing against Miller's shoulder and bringing down his shields. His DMR clicked empty as T'ramee closed in on him with his Energy Sword ignited.

Desmond-A451 leaped out in a low tackle, bowling the Elite over and sending him flipping onto his back. Miller looked up to see that the Energy Sword was now in the newcomer's hand. A hot flash of pain entered his midsection and intensified as it worked its way up, and then all feeling slipped away from him.

T'ramee recovered and jumped up to confront him. Desmond straightened and saw that his opponent's Plasma Pistol was pointed at him.

Not far off, the rattle of an SMG was heard, and then 'Zulmar dashed into the open, shields shimmering. He was holding 'Lakovee's Energy Sword and fending off Roberts' gunfire, slashing at the human whenever he got close enough.

Desmond lunged at T'ramee, who squeezed off an overcharged shot. His shields crackled as the bolt flew past his head but missed. The Elite never got a chance to fire a second shot before he was gutted by his own weapon.

Thirty feet away, Roberts' SMG clicked empty. In the blink of an eye, 'Zulmar's Energy Sword slashed out and removed his gun hand. The soldier's scream of pain was cut off as the next slash took off his head.

'Zulmar turned and locked eyes with Desmond. The two of them charged at once, Energy Swords seeking for blood.

Jacquelyn S. Pattillo had made it to a bend further down the edge of the island with Larr-I-kas pelting after her. She staggered as the grass beneath her feet became rock and fired a defiant burst at the Jackal pursuing her. Her movements were ragged, as he had shot her in the side with his Beam Rifle earlier. Crimson droplets of blood trailed her as she neared the ocean.

A stream of shots rang out from Larr-I-kas' Plasma Rifle, and the female soldier fell with a grunt as the heated rounds burned at her armour. The force of the shots were enough to cause her to lose her balance and fall over into the water.

The alien Pirate Lord was merciless. Tossing his weapon aside, he leaped onto her, his piercing sharp teeth seeking her unprotected neck. She fought to throw him off, but the exertion was too much for her wounds. He clamped his beak down upon her flesh, and in one movement, ripped her throat out.

Larr-I-kas stood up and walked back to retrieve his Plasma Rifle, leaving Pattillo's body to drift slowly into the ocean, with a steady cloud of crimson spreading into the water.

On the opposite side of the island, where most of the fighting that had begun had now died out, two adversaries were exchanging shots amongst the numerous bodies scattered around the beachhead. Peter Onegin fired his MA2B vigorously at his opponent from behind the cover of a boulder, and ducked back as the bang of a Revolver sounded and a bullet pinged off the rock next to his face. He reloaded his weapon and leaped out, firing in sustained bursts to keep his opponent suppressed.

Standing behind a tall hill, John Patterson could tell by the increasing sound of gunfire that Peter was getting closer. He quickly inserted a new magazine into his handgun and listened carefully, waiting for the right moment.

Peter was about to turn the side of the hill when Patterson suddenly leaped out from above at him, Revolver pointed at him. He instinctively threw up his rifle and the weapon took the bullets that were meant for his face. The force of the gunshots pushed him back, but he still had enough strength to bring up his damaged weapon and smash Patterson across the face with it.

The SPARTAN-IV's shields flickered out, and without thinking, Peter unsheathed his tactical knife and stabbed it right under his rib cage. He grabbed the Revolver from Patterson's weakened grip and used it to shoot him with the remaining rounds in the magazine. His opponent flew back and fell limp against the side of the hill.

Panting, Peter bent over to grab some ammunition for the sidearm from Patterson when a massive shockwave uprooted a good chunk of the hillside. Peter cried out in surprise and landed in a heap as Attilus rushed towards him. Weaponless, he tried to crawl up and run, but was too slow. The Gravity Hammer came down on his body, turning his insides to pulp.

Back in the hills, Desmond and 'Zulmar broke off their duel as both their Energy Swords sputtered and died out. They were about to engage each other with their other weapons when a number of new opponents arrived and caught their attention.

Desmond didn't hesitate to break and run, clearly knowing that he was at a disadvantage. 'Zulmar was not so quick and was brought down by a full magazine fire from Leonard Hawkinson's MA5C. The automatic fire chipped away at what was left of his shields and riddled him with bullets until he stopped breathing.

Not far off, Larr-I-kas picked up the scent of fresh blood and moved towards it, knowing that there weren't many opponents left to face. Beam Rifle held tight in his hand, his sharp hearing soon picked up the sound of running. His weapon was up as he saw Hawkinson appear from the hills. Crosshairs lined up with the soldier's head, he pulled the trigger.

The beam flew out and would have taken Hawkinson's life if Attilus hadn't jumped out and knocked the human to the ground. Larr-I-kas could hear his would-be victim screaming as the larger adversary fought to kill him with his own hands. The Jackal adjusted his aim to kill Attilus instead—

A bullet flew out from the grass, splattering Larr-I-kas' brains into the air with a trail of grey following it. Jonathan Watts watched with satisfaction as the Pirate Lord dropped like a rag doll, and turned his attention to Attilus, who was standing up from Hawkinson's broken body. He fired a second shot, but the Brute was already moving, and the bullet missed as the alien ducked back into the hills. Cursing, Watts got up and slipped off, knowing that someone most likely spotted him firing the shots.

Attilus didn't make it too far before he was confronted by Desmond, who had found Nibesa's Fuel Rod cannon. The Brute weighed his odds and decided to close the distance and win by sheer strength with his Gravity Hammer.

The first mortar hit him dead-centre, throwing him off-trajectory. He barely managed to shake off the shock before the second mortar found its mark, blowing him into chunks. Everything went quiet.

Desmond looked around, trying to figure out if anyone was left alive. Dropping the Fuel Rod, he stalked out towards the beachhead, Battle Rifle ready. He decided to take up a firm position by the boulders and wait for signs of trouble, when Ryas 'Vadam stepped in from the side.

It was too late to react. A flurry of plasma had already taken out most of his shields by the time that he fired his first shot. Ryas discarded his Plasma Rifle as it overheated and he swiftly drew his Carbine. The first round pierced Desmond's armour on his right pectoral. The second took him through the hand and caused him to drop his rifle. The third entered the base of his skull and fried his spinal cord.

Watts heard the gunfire and laid himself flat on the ground, holding his breath and watching for movement. There! The Elite stalking through the grass right across his line of vision had to be his last opponent. He looked through the Sniper Rifle scope and put his finger to the trigger.

Ryas heard a rustling off to his right and spun, Carbine raised. He immediately spotted Watts and fired in rapid succession, shattering the ground around the human into pieces.

Watts leaped up, clutching an M6C in both hands. He returned fire without pause, emptying the handgun's magazine at his opponent's centre of mass. The last round took out what was left of Ryas' shields, and Watts rushed him with a tactical knife in his hand.

Ryas knew he had no time to reload. He dropped the Carbine and his hand went for his Plasma Rifle, although Watts was now mere feet away.

The knife hand stiffened and there was a grunt of pain. Watts looked down to see his midsection rent open by an Energy Sword, held in Ryas' left hand. He had enough time to realize that the Elite had been feinting with his gun hand before his eyes rolled back in his head and oblivion took him.

Ryas deactivated his Energy Sword, but didn't move as he stood there looking around at all the bodies scattered along the beachhead. Slowly, he retrieved his weapons and made sure that they were in working condition before walking away from Watts' body. Not knowing what else to do, he looked up at the sky and declared, "I stand victorious, human! Whatever comes next for me, I ask that you bring me quickly to it!"

"Yes, well done," came a voice behind him.

Ryas turned around to see Grunwald standing behind him. He had no idea how she had gotten there, but decided not to ask questions. There will soon be stranger things to behold, no doubt.

"I think you'll be of great help to me," Grunwald continued, examining the bodies lying around them. "Come with me. Now the real challenge can begin."

Episode 2: Opening Fire

1

Name: Allison
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
  • 2x M7 Caseless SMG
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x DMR magazines (60 rounds)
  • 12x magazines (720 rounds)
  • 1x rechargeable active camouflage module
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 12/12 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 1000/1000 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +13% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -11%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Bailey-132
47%
-13%
+8%

42%

1410 SP


0800 Hours, Day 1

Location: Western Shore of The Warden's Lake

Strong gusts of wind rippled the surface of the lake and carried over the rolling dunes of plains grass as far as the eye could have seen. Dawn was only just breaking over the horizon, gold-orange light making dry savannah grasses glow like tongues of flame as they swayed in the breeze when a disturbance in both wind and light arrived.

Halos of golden light strobed down around the humanoid figure held within, whipping the grass nearby against the savannah's otherwise uniform grain. As the illumination faded into tiny motes of light and winked out, the armored form was left behind, standing as dark as the morning's shadows. Its helmet swiveled to take in the surroundings.

Agent Texas' sensors quickly flooded with fresh input data. A moment before had been the holding cell, and nothing but the quiet whine of fluorescent bulbs. Now, there were tiny waves lapping on a sandy shore, and wind whistled around the surface of the PISCES armor Tex was installed in.

'She', as Tex considered herself, was only pulling the strings of the powerful hydraulics inside the armor, not truly there physically. She couldn't really hear the wind and waves, that was her audio sensors interpreting it, and she couldn't really feel the sandy soil and crushed grass beneath her boots, just analyze the feedback from the pressure in the armor's legs. But she could remember those feelings.

Agent Texas, or Allison, depending on who wanted to know, was more free of her artificial nature's restrictions than other AI. While her logic centers determined what she heard and then informed her, the digital ghost of her antecedent's brain still held the sentimental feeling of being on a beach and listening to the waves, and applying it could almost live that memory again.

Still, the experience fell short. Dismissing the collected information of the thought in the electronic equivalent of a sigh, Tex took one step forward and suddenly tilted her helmet up as a sonic boom broke the sky.

Out of the rosy-tinged clouds, vapor trails suddenly started falling to earth. Light-analyzing scanners in her visor registered a dozen, then a dozen more, and started loosing track as even more distant ones fell on the edges of her sharp perception. There might've been as many as a hundred or more, each dropping away from its comrades in a seemingly random spread. And one of them was falling straight for her.

The blur came down with a crash and threw a small cloud of sand into the breeze. Once it disintegrated, Tex could see what had landed.

It was a UNSC ordnance pod. The model was a little outdated, but the red light that started silently blinking meant it was still active. Texas cautiously approached, and when she came within five feet of the pod, its cover dropped off with a hiss. Resting in the padded inlay were a pair of sleek black M7 submachine guns, a similarly-colored DMR, and a silver-bladed combat knife. Deciding she wouldn't leave anything for scavengers even if it hadn't been obviously meant for her, Texas removed each weapon and affixed it to a suitable magnetic plate on her armor.

Just as she slid the knife home into a sheath, a line of text appeared at the top of her Heads-Up Display. Objective: Eliminate Bailey-132.

Eliminate. That was what the voice in the cell had said. That was why they were here, to kill one another off until there was just one left. Who the others were remained mostly a mystery to her, but she knew it wouldn't for long. She considered the questions of why and who for only briefly, processing them in fractions of a second before deciding they didn't matter. She was a part of this gladiator game for the moment, and that suited her just fine. At least it was something she was good at.

Recalling which one of the pods had fallen closest to her, Texas turned south along the shoreline of the lake and started walking. With luck, that would be Bailey, and if not, maybe they would help her track him down.


0814 Hours, Day 1

Location: Southwest Shore of The Warden's Lake, Northwest of Korag

It wasn't long before Tex had found the neighboring pod. She'd looked inside, but there was no way of telling what the resupply canister might've contained. So, she walked on, following the deep prints of a MJOLNIR boot left in the sandy soil. It wasn't a guarantee it was Bailey, but at least the tracks confirmed her quarry was a Spartan.

Moving faster, as she knew that she was closing in, Texas would have almost missed Bailey if her sight depended on normal eyes. As she waded through the waist-high grass, she spotted the rounded outline of a suit of Mark VI MJOLNIR laying facedown on the crest of a slight hill. His distinctive yellow armor actually proved an advantage, blending seamlessly into the wheat-gold stalks of grass all around.

Texas stopped at once, reaching reflexively for the rifle on her back. With her glove halfway, however, Texas paused, realizing that Bailey hadn't seen her yet. A definite memory of feeling smug satisfaction crossed her mind with the thought that she could go for a stealthy kill and save her resources.

Texas activated her Active Camouflage module at once in case Bailey happened to turn around, and carefully advanced. Every step was carefully placed so it wouldn't disturb the long grass with telltale ripples, and the sound of the wind brushing a million blades together masked her approach.

As she reached the bottom of the slope just meters from the Spartan, Bailey suddenly moved, and Texas froze, crouching low. If she'd had breath, she would have held it. But Bailey only stood up, continuing to gaze out into the distance with the rising sun reflecting in his golden visor.

Texas turned her head to follow. Less than a kilometer away from their position stood the stone walls of a castle that looked like something out of ancient myth. Upon the ramparts, her sharp sensors caught the outlines of numerous Jackals, all of them armed, patrolling the masonwork ramparts, seeming oblivious to Bailey. Was he planning on attacking them? Should she wait until he had, and let him wear himself down? No, Texas resolved. Better to kill him quickly and sneak away instead.

Slowing even more as she closed in, Texas came within arm's length, curled the solid steel of her gauntlet into a fist, and lashed out with a strike to the back of Bailey's head.

The yellow Spartan stumbled forward. "Ow!" he shouted, turning around. "What the fuck was that for?"

Her attack made, Tex's camo faded away, leaving her stunned for a full second wondering why the blow hadn't outright killed him. Then she went for her knife, and Bailey for a pistol on his hip.

Texas was faster, and went to slash the soft body glove of Bailey's elbow where she thought aiming the pistol at her would put it, but the Spartan had instead angled the weapon and caught the blade against his trigger guard. Twisting it, Bailey pulled the trigger three times in the span of a second, bouncing heavy slugs off her breastplate as the M6D's recoil shook them both.

Unconsciously growling in frustration, Texas swept the locked weapon-arms aside, coming in with a solid punch with her left to Bailey's stomach that bowled the Spartan over. Letting the knife drop, Texas went once again for the DMR over her back.

Seeing this as he rolled into a crouch, Bailey turned and dashed for the barest cover offered by the other side of the dune. Texas drew and sighted on him midway, punching out rounds that made Bailey's shielding flare gold over yellow armor. Before an alarm even rang in his helmet, he dived over the crest and into the long grass.

Losing sight of him, Texas pursued with her rifle up, but a hailstorm of Assault Rifle fire sprang up with a spray of dirt and sliced grass, forcing her to duck back. She tried to activate her Active Camo module again, but found that it had still not recharged from her last use.

That wasn't right. She'd always been able to use it at a whim before, it should have been ready. But there was no time to think about the failed component now, Bailey's fire had stopped for the split second it would take him to stand and get a decent shot.

Another tight cone of gunfire followed her as Texas ducked into the grass with her head down, a few shots leaving discolored dents in her armor as Bailey's tracers searched for her. They stopped a moment later, and Texas looked up to see Bailey automatically slap the rifle's magazine release and reach to his belt for another one. Seizing on the opportunity, she leaped up and lunged at Bailey, meaning to make it a hand-to-hand fight if she could help it.

Spotting her in mid-air, he turned the weapon across his torso to shield himself, and it caught against her shoulder as the two titanium sets of armor collided. Tex's momentum threw them both to the ground, rolling through shorter grass as they came closer to the beach.

Getting an arm under himself, Bailey recovered first and turned on Texas with the rifle he'd kept ahold of, only to find the whole weapon had been bent sideways by the force of Tex's tackle. A few steps away, she was getting to her feet looking tense and ready to go at him again.

"Is there any particular problem here, bitch? There's plenty of beach for the both of us."

The remark caught him a moment's reprieve as she answered, "The only problem I have is about to be fixed, banana boy."

Bailey smirked. "That's banana man."

With a flick of his wrist, he hurled the broken rifle at Texas and charged, drawing his own knife.

Texas dodged the weapon easily and met him head-on, putting vast amounts of hydraulic pressure behind a punch that would push Bailey into the air. The Spartan had picked up on her approach, however, and edged aside it as he drove his blade into Tex's unarmored midriff.

Negative maintenance reports drove memories of pain through the firewalls surrounding Tex's processors, and she fought to clear the junk data so more important commands could get through. When she fought, Tex had the utmost confidence in her every blow. But this opponent wasn't so easily outmatched, and Texas wasn't as used to adapting and falling back on complex contingencies like her fellow agent Carolina. Nonetheless, she curled the arm that'd slipped past Bailey and grappled with him before he could free the knife.

Bailey had glanced down at his knife's entry wound and seen something that gave him pause. Instead of blood, out of the hole protruded a severed, copper wire. Bailey glanced back up to Tex's visor, surprised. "What the-?"

With her free hand, Texas drew one of her SMGs, pressed its barrel to the crook of Bailey's trapped arm, and held the trigger down. Weakened shielding failed, and blood splashed from ruptured cloth and skin. Bailey cried out in pain, but Tex refused to stop, holding fast even as dark crimson liquid covered the front of her armor.

She heard the sounds of rending flesh and splintering bone. Or at least, she remembered it.

Lifting a strong, mechanical leg, Agent Texas pistoned a kick into the Spartan's chest and pushed him back, and the final ragged tendons of his held arm snapped. He fell back into the sand, blood flowing from his arm to form a patch of dark-red, almost black mud. His teeth grinding together to keep himself from shouting, Bailey looked at the stump and hissed, "Déjà vu."

Texas cast the Spartan's severed hand aside and fell to her knees beside him, locking her gloves around his throat. Bailey started to hold his breath, and the muscles in his face stiffened as he fought with Texas for control. He kicked, but a powerful leg pinned his own as his strength began flagging. He glanced down at the knife embedded in Tex's side once more.

"You're not even alive." Bailey croaked. "What does it matter if you survive?"

The question stung, and Texas pressed down harder.

It took time. The Spartan's oxygen-rich blood kept him alive for more than a minute, but eventually Bailey's collapsed windpipe and crushed neck became problems that he couldn't overcome. After a final few muscle spasms, he finally lay still.

Texas kept her variety of sensors trained on the body until she was sure he wasn't coming back. When she was satisfied, she stood up, still gazing down at the body despite that her programming told her there was no logical reason to. After a minute, she noticed the blood still discoloring her armor, though the red of Bailey's blood was rapidly curing black.

A primitive revulsion forced its way out of the reconstructed brain matrix, piggybacking with the assessment that the blood would hamper her active camouflage. Remembering its earlier dysfunction, Texas reached to the unit on her back and pried it loose, turning it over for inspection.

Nothing about it seemed damaged, despite running a few repeated diagnostics. Apparently, this game would be effecting her equipment as well.

Replacing the unit, Texas glanced up and looked around to make sure the scuffle hadn't attracted any unwanted attention. The Jackals at the nearby keep might've seen them, and it would be best to clear out soon just in case. Turning towards the lake, she waded into the shallows to wash away the Spartan's blood, and then went to retrieve the equipment she and her opponent had left behind.

Written by Ahalosniper.
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 81 (Success)
  • Eliminate Bailey-132
42%
  • 1410 SP
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • M6D Pistol
  • 1x combat knife


Winner: Allison
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
  • 2x M7 Caseless SMG
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x DMR magazines (56 rounds) (-4)
  • 12x magazines (694 rounds) (-26)
  • 1x rechargeable active camouflage module
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 11/12 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 979/1000 (-21) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +13% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -11%


2

Name: Heraktus
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • Type-2 Gravity Hammer
  • Type-25 Spike Carbine
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x Spiker magazines (160 spikes)
  • 1x rechargeable energy shield generator
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 12/12 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 1080/1080 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +18% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -11%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Reaver Delgado
40%
-18%
+11%

33%

1200 SP


0934 Hours, Day 1

Location: Contested territory, 65 km west of Koltak

Heraktus could hear the sounds of fighting even before he caught sight of the battlefield. There they were, Humans and Jackals, facing each other on two lines across a wide strip of shoreline that stretched adjacent to the seemingly endless ocean beyond.

Barricades and drop shields were laid down all over the blood-stained grassland, and vehicles lay in smoking, twisted heaps. Hundreds of bodies lay dead on both sides, but neither showed any sign of wanting to give up. There were still countless combatants still standing, but Heraktus' eyes were drawn immediately to the NAV point that appeared in his HUD. Objective: Eliminate Reaver Delgado, it read.

There, standing three hundred metres away, the black-armoured Human positioned behind a barricade was making himself quite conspicuous even if there wasn't an arrow displayed over his head. The Brute watched as Delgado brought down Jackals in quick succession with precise bursts from what he recognized as a Battle Rifle. It looked like his opponent had already received his weapons as well. Heraktus had no long-range weapons, only a Gravity Hammer and a Spike Carbine. So without further pause, he charged down the hill straight towards his quarry.

The Humans quickly spotted him, and he began to take hits from several directions. But his upgraded energy shields held against their gunfire, and he easily shot several of them dead with sustained bursts from his Spiker. He brought down eight of them with one magazine and reloaded before switching to his hammer.

The first swing came down on an unfortunate Marine who wasn't quick enough to get out of the way. The resulting shockwave sent several of his buddies flying in all directions. Heraktus didn't wait for them to recover their cohesion. The next swing sent a disoriented Human flying into the air with his entire rib cage shattered. The blade slashed back, laying open another victim's torso.

The Jackals took advantage of this unexpected attack to make an all-out charge. Soon the Humans found their positions overrun and they were forced to fight the lizard-like creatures in close quarters. In the ensuing pandemonium, Heraktus was able to close in on his target.

Reaver Delgado saw the Brute coming and slipped a new magazine into his rifle before moving his position away from the barricades. He knew right away that the big bastard was sent to kill him. We'll see about that. The ODST knew better than to rely on the nearby Marines for help. They were too busy dealing with the Jackals to do anything more than survive.

He fired the first shot, landing a tight three-round burst on Heraktus' middle. He spotted the silvery shimmer of energy shields as he followed up with a persistent stream of gunfire. Gotta rethink my strategy then.

A pair of Marines noticed what was going on and moved to assist. One of them tossed a frag grenade at Heraktus. The Brute swung the hammer expertly, batting it back with the weapon's head and killing them both with their own explosive. Without losing momentum, the Gravity Hammer spun in a second circle. "Whoa!" the ODST yelled, leaping back as the head smashed into the grass where he was standing a second ago. Grass and dirt sprayed into the air and he stumbled as he was pushed back by the shockwave. The Battle Rifle went flying out of his hands but he managed to stay on his feet. Delgado drew his M6C and emptied the magazine into Heraktus' shields before his larger opponent could recover.

The Brute shook off the missed attack and pulled the Gravity Hammer out of the ground. Delgado backed up, still firing on his opponent to bait him. Unsurprisingly, Heraktus leaped at him, hammer held high. The ODST immediately dove sideways, making sure that he was out of the weapon's shockwave radius. The Brute realized that he was about to fall onto the flaming remains of a Warthog, and unable to correct his trajectory, instinctively brought down the hammer on the destroyed vehicle.

Shattered fragments of metal flew everywhere, and Delgado saw that Heraktus was jammed into the Warthog's skeleton with fire lapping at his shields. He retrieved his Battle Rifle and took aim at the struggling alien, lining up his reticle with his head.

In one swift motion, Heraktus drew his Spiker and returned fire. Delgado gasped as the deadly projectiles struck against his armour. Two of them penetrated his chestplate, not too deep but still enough for him to feel the heated tips searing into his flesh. The ODST staggered and dove behind a barricade as more of the spikes showered the metal plates between him and his opponent. He breathed raggedly, trying not to let his injury distract him.

One particularly bold Jackal was advancing on Delgado's position, Plasma Pistol glowing with overcharge. The ODST leaped up, grabbed the alien by the wrist, and blew out his brains with his M6D. He then relieved him of his arm shield and jumped out from behind cover, charging at Heraktus with the shield held in front of him as he fired his sidearm furiously.

The Brute growled as his energy shields sputtered and died, and several of the rounds punched through his armour. The Spiker's rounds clattered uselessly against Delgado's stolen shield and the weapon clicked empty. Without time to bring out his Gravity Hammer, he stabbed the weapon's bayonets directly into the shield.

"Agh!" Delgado fell to the ground as the force of the attack caused the shield generator to sputter and fail. His forearm was bruised, but he still raised his Pistol with his other hand and fired the remaining rounds into his adversary. When the gunfire failed to deter him, the ODST fumbled to grab his rifle, even if he knew that he was out of time.

And then a Warthog plowed into Heraktus, tossing the massive alien into the air. Delgado looked up to see a Marine behind the wheel looking down at him. "You alright, sir? Hop on, let's take that asshole out!"

Heraktus landed some thirty feet away, a bit battered but otherwise okay. He growled furiously as he stood and saw a group of Jackals standing before him. "Why are you after that Human?" one of them asked.

"It's none of your business," he growled. "Just keep his allies away from me." He stalked over to his Gravity Hammer, which was laying head-down not far from where he fell.

"There are many of them here," said the leader. "If you help us take this territory, we'll make it worth your while."

He didn't reply to this except with a non-committal grunt. He never did like Jackals, and he sure as hell didn't trust them very much. Still, he knew how keen they were on the shadier types of business, and whoever was supplying them with weapons seemed very resourceful indeed.

His thoughts were interrupted when he spotted the Warthog running circles around another group of Jackals. Delgado was behind the turret, mowing down the aliens one after another with the deadly machine gun. More of the human vehicles soon followed, and the Jackals were beginning to be pushed back again.

Heraktus decided to deal with the one speeding straight at them first. Behind him, the Jackals raised their shields in a tight formation as bullets flew through the air at them. The Brute's hammer flew straight and true, caving in the Warthog's hood and sending its occupants flying as the vehicle flipped over. The dazed Marines didn't even have time to retrieve their weapons before the Jackals mowed them down.

The other aliens reacted quickly. Every Jackal armed with a Plasma Pistol fired overcharge bursts at the Warthogs, stopping them in their tracks. But to their credit, the Humans weren't discouraged by the retaliation. Well-placed frag grenades were blowing the Jackal squads apart and punching more holes in their advancing line. And to make matters worse, some of them were commandeering the dropped plasma weapons and shooting through their shield formations.

Heraktus wasn't particularly worried about the Jackals. This battle was of little concern for him. What he was focused on was Delgado's Warthog, which was still speeding about on the battlefield. The driver was very skilled at avoiding getting shot, and the ODST was still landing hits on the Jackals' numbers despite the hectic driving. The Brute knew that if he charged straight at them, he would likely be killed. He had to figure out a way to get his quarry off his vehicle.

He was running out of time as well. The Warthog was speeding right at him. He braced along with the Jackals as Delgado turned the machine gun to face him. And unlike them, he didn't have a shield to hide behind.

One of the Jackals next to him charged up its Plasma Pistol. Immediately, Delgado turned his aim and pressed down on the firing studs. The alien shrieked as the deadly bullets tore through his gun hand, and inadvertently turned his shield to the side as he flinched. The following spray cut him to pieces.

Thinking fast, Heraktus took advantage of the distraction to pick up the Jackal's mangled body, and tossed it right at the Warthog. The driver yelled as the body landed right on his windshield, causing him to spin and lose control. The vehicle slowed just a fraction, but it was enough for Heraktus. He leaped at the Warthog and smashed straight into him, snapping off the turret from the force of the collision. Brute and Human tumbled to the ground, right before the Warthog flipped over twenty feet away from them.

Delgado recovered first, snatching up his Battle Rifle as he stumbled to his feet. Heraktus' hand lashed out, grabbing him by the foot and yanking him back to the ground. The rifle discharged into the Brute's stomach, and he fought to grab the weapon away from his target as its point-blank fire started to chip at his shields again.

The ODST screamed as Heraktus crushed his fingers between his own. The useless hand released the rifle and he struggled to grab his Pistol with his other hand. He stopped as the Brute's Spiker was pointed at his face, its bayonets tickling his throat.

The last spike fired from the carbine, punching through Delgado's helmet and emerging on the back of his head. The ODST went limp, and blood oozed from the fatal wound. Panting, Heraktus stood, ejecting his gun's empty magazine and inserting another. The Jackals had already killed the Marine driving the Warthog. And it didn't look like the rest of the Humans were faring so well either.

This battle will soon be won, he thought, striding over to the Jackal leader. My task is complete. If a few more lives are lost, it is of no consequence to me. Nonetheless, it was obvious that even the weaker Humans here were not to be underestimated. If he was to survive, he had to take every advantage he could get.

"Now," he said. "You said you had a proposition for me?"

Written by Sonasaurus.
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 67 (Success)
  • Eliminate Reaver Delgado
33%
  • 1200 SP
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M6C Pistol
  • 1x combat knife


Winner: Heraktus
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • Type-2 Gravity Hammer
  • Type-25 Spike Carbine
Supplies remaining:
  • 2x Spiker magazines (80 spikes) (-80)
  • 1x rechargeable energy shield generator
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 11/12 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 1064/1080 (-16) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +18% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -11%


3

Name: Nusra 'Nagon
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • Type-50 Particle Beam Rifle
  • Type-25 Plasma Rifle
  • Type-1 Energy Sword
Supplies remaining:
  • 2x Beam Rifle batteries (200% energy)
  • 2x Plasma Rifle batteries (200% energy)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 10/10 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 910/910 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +10% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -14%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Jay-G090
47%
-10%
+5%

42%

1410 SP


1154 Hours, Day 1

Location: Saurian Falls, 16 km southeast of Tellat


Nusra froze, crouching to get a better angle. A group of creatures prowled through the woods below, clutching various plasma weapons. Kig Yar. the Sangheili eased up slightly. They weren't the ones he was looking for. Since he had arrived on... wherever he was, he had received an order to kill a target. Normally he would question where such orders came from, but this one had him interested: Eliminate Jay-G090.

Normal Humans did not have names like that. This was a Demon.

From his hiding place on the slopes, Nusra 'Nagon watched as the Kig-Yar below him moved along the cliffside. They were clearly speaking, though the words were largely drowned out by the roar of the nearby waterfall. He checked his tracker for any other signs of life. Nothing yet. The Sangheili crept forward, anticipating the moment when he would slay the Demon; rid the galaxy of one of his wretched kind.

But for now, these will do.

There were five of them in total; a small patrol's worth. For all the talk of their highly adept senses, they never saw Nusra coming. As the warrior approached, he raised his plasma rifle and trained it on their backs. Then he opened fire. The creatures barely had time to turn as bolts of white-hot plasma ripped through their bodies, dropping three and sending the others into an immediate retreat. Nusra leapt forward, his free hand clamping down on the neck of one as he shot down the other like an animal. The Kig-Yar tried to struggle, only to be flung shrieking off the nearby cliff and into the river below.

Pathetic.

Nusra surveyed the corpses around him. They didn't seem to bear the marks of typical Covenant soldiers, though they appeared too well-organised to be mere pirates. It was strange, though fairly unimportant at this time. As the warrior turned back towards the woods, a dot flashed up on his HUD's motion tracker. An armoured figure emerged from the treeline, and froze as he saw Nursa.

The Sangheili and the Spartan moved at once, both diving for cover while opening fire. Nusra cursed at losing the element of surprise as he moved round a tree. He quickly drew his beam rifle, hoping to tear through the Demon's armour before it could close the distance on him. He had barely stepped out of cover when several shots impacted on him, making his energy shields flicker. This will be a problem.

Since the Demon clearly had him in its sights, running was not an option. The tree Nusra had ran behind probably wouldn't stand up to sustained fire. After a few seconds, the Sangheili went for his belt, gripping the handle of his energy sword. It seemed a waste to use for something like this, though it would taste blood soon.

As the Spartan slowly advanced, DMR trained on Nusra's location, the Sangheili sliced through the tree.

It took a couple of seconds for it to give way, but it was plenty of time for Nusra 'Nagon to move. Creaking, it thudded to the ground in an almighty crash that forced the Demon to dart aside. By the time he had his weapon raised once more, Nusra was already leaping forwards, sword in hand.

"Die!" He roared into his foe's opaque visor as be brought the blade down. In an impressive display of speed, the Demon rolled to avoid the blow that would have sliced its head in half and sprang to face Nusra. While it did not possess a weapon like his for melee combat, the green-armoured Demon used its rifle as a club to knock the Sangheili off-balance for a moment; more than enough time to fall back into the woods.

Nusra grunted in annoyance and sprinted after his foe, filled with the bloodlust that accompanied any warrior in a battle like this. His sword slashed into trees and foliage that blocked his path as he pursued the retreating Demon towards the sounds of the nearby river. Perhaps I'll throw him off the cliff like I did those Kig-Yar. Weakling. He had heard tales of the Demons' legendary prowess and was thoroughly unimpressed with this one.

Keep running. Soon you will tire, and when you do I'll—

As the pair exited the treeline at the edge of the river. his green-armoured opponent leapt towards a tree, touching it for barely a second before backflipping off it and landing directly behind Nusra. The Sangheili warrior barely had time to turn as it brought the butt of its rifle towards his chest, winding him and sending him back into the river.

Even with his armour on, Nusra felt the icy cold of the water as he slipped into it. Before he could leap out, the impressively strong current took hold of the warrior and began sweeping him downstream. The Demon ran alongside the river, trying to fire at Nusra as he drifted closer and closer towards the waterfall. His energy sword deactivated and slipped from his grasp as he flailed for a handhold. Nusra cursed and spluttered as he tried to keep his head above water, glaring at his pursuer with a look of intense fury.

Then, his outstretched fingers gained purchase. It was the branches of a fallen tree, brought down by the weather rather than battle. In one tremendous heave, Nusra pulled himself up onto the bank and into a crouching position. His beam rifle lay out of reach on the other bank, and his deactivated sword had been swept away. His plasma rifle, however, was still there. He grabbed it from his belt and managed to raise the weapon as the Demon came into view across the river. It fired a few shots from its rifle before running forward and traversing the entire river in a single impressive bound.

Panting, Nusra opened fire on the Demon. A few lucky hits struck his opponent's weapon, melting and twisting the metal into uselessness as he got to his feet. He should have had the Demon dead to rights, but once more his foe's impressive speed allowed him to close the gap and quickly grab Nusra's rifle before be could finish off the Demon. The warrior grappled with his armoured attacker for a few seconds, a well-placed punch denting his armour and pushing the Demon back.

The Sangheili slowly moved backwards. In their brief struggle his enemy had not only disarmed him, but had stomped on his weapon for good measure, making is useless. He was getting dangerously close to the edge of the waterfall now. The Demon knew full well that Nusra was retreating, and moved after him cautiously. Still, Nusra was unsure if he would survive another close-quarters battle with his foe. Despite being smaller and seemingly weaker than the hulking Sangheili warrior, this Demon would completely annihilate him if he tried to take him on; he was just too fast.

Nusra had fought in many battles over the course of his life, and like many of his kind was unafraid of death in combat. Nonetheless, the shame and anger he felt at the prospect of dying at the hands of a creature like this forced him to make a stand. Even if he was killed, Nusra would be sure to take his foe down with him. If he had to, he would use his weight to bring the Demon off the waterfall with him. He took a deep breath, and prepared to spring forward when he noticed something at the water's edge.

A sword hilt.

It was half-buried in mud and concealed by grass that grew by the river, but the momentary glint of a familiar handle had caught Nusra's eye. He slowly took it, making a similar gesture with his other arm to make it look like he was about to leap onto the Demon. His foe—Jay, the objective had named him—had began to move towards Nusra when he leapt. It planned to strike him and bring the warrior down to the ground where he could be easily dispatched.

Halfway through the air, Nusra ignited his blade and brought it down on the Demon.

His enemy was definitely surprised by this, and couldn't move fast enough to escape his swing. The blade slashed deeply into its armour, searing the flesh underneath and making the Demon grunt in pain. Not allowing his foe to gain a second's advantage, Nusra grabbed the Demon's right arm and swung him round as he drove the blade through his armoured chest.

To his credit, the Demon did not scream or cry out as this, and merely attempted to grasp Nusra's neck before the Sangheili kicked him away. His scorched body flew out over the waterfall and toppled down lifelessly onto the rocks below. Nusra peered over the edge and watched as the Demon's broken body smashed into them before dropping into the calmer waters below. He had won.

For a few moments, nothing could be heard apart from the roar of the waterfall. Then Nusra began to laugh. This was truly a momentous victory for him; few had survived Demon encounters, and barely a handful had actually killed one. He inwardly thanked whoever had given him this mission, and the chance to slay such a creature. He would cross the river to reclaim his beam rifle, and move on to whatever faced him next.

Written by Brodie-001.
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 75 (Success)
  • Eliminate Jay-G090
42%
  • 1410 SP
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle


Winner: Nusra 'Nagon
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • Type-50 Particle Beam Rifle
  • Type-25 Plasma Rifle
  • Type-1 Energy Sword
Supplies remaining:
  • 2x Beam Rifle batteries (200% energy)
  • 2x Plasma Rifle batteries (176% energy) (-24%)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 9/10 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 894/910 (-16) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +10% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -14%


4

Name: Russell-041
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 5x MA5C magazines (160 rounds)
  • 24x Shotgun shells
  • 1x rechargeable energy shield generator
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 9/9 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 820/820 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +14% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -13%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Winston Zhou
35%
-14%
+7%

28%

1050 SP


1100 Hours, Day 1

Location: 1km south of Firebase Scorpio

They could have at least dropped me off in a better spot, Russell thought to himself as he pulled one heavily-armored leg through the murky water coming up to his waist.

At 0800 Hours, according to his helmet's mission timer which Russell highly suspected of being tampered with, he'd found himself on a small patch of dry land in the middle of a hopelessly overgrown swamp, and had been slogging his way through the marshland for three hours since, headed in the direction his Heads-Up Display told him was north on whatever planet this happened to be. He'd been having a miserable time of it so far; his gray MJOLNIR armor was prone to sinking into the swamp mud below, making it only harder for him to keep his weapons hoisted above the water level so they stayed clean. It wouldn't do to let his equipment down, or it might let him down in turn.

But now, at last, the bog seemed to be thinning out, the water getting shallower and the branches of moss-coated trees less tightly knit. Russell picked up his pace as he spied the start of some reasonably solid ground ahead.

Even over the sloshing he was making as he trudged towards the shore, Russell heard the sharp crack of a branch snapping underfoot somewhere nearby. Without hesitation, he stopped fighting the pull of gravity trying to unbalance him and plunged beneath the water's surface, disappearing from any sniper's scope or motion tracker that might have him in its sights.

For a minute, Russell lay beneath the brackish swamp as it calmed over him, watching his own motion tracker for any sign of trouble, but what he found most troubling was that it picked up nothing at all. This was a swamp, there should have been movement everywhere from a myriad of alien wildlife making it harder to ID a target, but the lack of distractions was more unsettling than anything. Finally, he carefully raised himself up and started to surface, letting only the top of his helmet and the barrel of his rifle slip above the waterline.

After a moment scanning the tangled roots and gnarled trunks of marshland trees, his sharp eyes found the outline of the disturbance. The figure was humanoid, with a silhouette cut in the distinctive shape of MJOLNIR Armor. Russell stood a little higher and lowered his rifle just a fraction before he realized this had to be another contestant.

The other Spartan had a rifle of their own trained on Russell, and like him stood stock-still, perhaps unsure of what to do. After a moment, Russell lifted a hand from the water and flicked one finger in the Spartan sign to open a private COM, but the other figure only turned and ran off into the trees at the edge of the swamp, and was soon lost to sight. Evidently, Russell hadn't been their target, and he suspected they were not his target, either.

Trying not to feel too disappointed, Russell stood and glanced down at the grit now washed over his armor. With a groan, he shook his rifle in the water briefly to wash off what he could, and kept on moving north, thinking, At least it should help with camouflaging me a little.

Winston Zhou. That had been the name on his HUD, his target. Well, if whoever wanted Zhou dead was going to drop him off in the middle of a swamp, they could just be patient. Russell was going to get his bearings first, and decide for himself if Zhou was someone who deserved death. He could see ahead that it wasn't clouds filling the sky with white; glacier-topped mountains towered in the distance. It was a little much when all he was asking for was a vantage point, but he could have done worse.

Soon, he spotted a tower rising over the trees between him and the mountain peaks, a tower made of drab-painted metal and prefab plastics. Speeding up, he soon came to a break in the forest where the permacrete walls of a UNSC outpost stood, and the black body suits of ODSTs stationed atop a solid-steel gate. Walking out into the middle of a dirt road leading up to it, Russell waved an armored hand as they spotted him.

"Identify yourself!" came a shout from the top of the wall, along with the click of a battle rifle being leveled at him.

"Spartan Oh-Four-One!" he called back, "Relax, I'm friendly."

"Okay." the sentry said, shouldering his weapon. "Come on in."

Behind his visor, Russell frowned. Well, that was . . . easy.

The heavy gate jolted and slowly drew aside into the wall, letting him in. On the other side was the dusty main yard of the complex, with a red-trimmed ODST standing with "Parker" on his nameplate and a helmet under his arm awaiting him. Supposing he was the man to see, Russell walked up and as the crew-cut man remarked, "You look like a mess."

"Blame the teleporters." Russell said. "What is this place?"

"Firebase Scorpio, Sierra. Westernmost UNSC fortification on these islands."

"Right. What I meant was more like where these islands are?"

The trooper chuckled. "Teleporters must've really been having a day, eh? Follow me."

Parker's lack of a straight answer annoyed him, but Russell followed nonetheless as the trooper started towards a metal frame staircase leading to the walltop. "We've got all the comforts of home out here for you, sir. Armory, motor pool, sniper's nest . . ."

Russell's helmet turned to glance out over the yard, at structures built to the specifications he had seen a hundred times before. And yet, something about the way they were arranged seemed odd to him, like there was something missing. He tried to ignore it, but the feeling wouldn't go away, and the longer it persisted, the more Russell was convinced that there was something to it. He hadn't figured it out yet, but he'd learned from one of his fellow Spartans long ago the value of trusting his intuition. He held onto it in the back of his mind as he started to correct the trooper.

"It's not sir." Russell said. "I'm a Petty Officer Second Class. We're the same grade. You're a Sergeant, right?"

Parker glanced down at his uniform, as though he had forgotten it. "Yeah, I guess so. We don't get many visitors except for inspection."

He rounded a pulsing fusion coil sitting by the bottom of the staircase, and started up, pulling himself along by the railing. Russell followed closely, asking, "How long have you been out here, Sergeant?"

"Ah, few months, myself. A few of us have been out here longer, though."

"Is that so . . ." Russell mused aloud as they reached the top of the wall, over the gate and beneath an armored canopy. Parker set his helmet down on top of another fusion core and turned to face him, raising an eyebrow.

"Everything alright?"

"No . . . no, not everything. You know what's wrong with this picture?" Russell asked. The man shook his head. "There aren't any barracks on this firebase."

"Barracks, sir?"

Russell spread an arm out towards the rest of the compound. "There's no barracks, there's no mess, I don't think there's even a bathroom. There's no way you could have been here a few months. Are you lying to me, Sergeant?"

The trooper blanched, his eyes widening. "I . . . no sir! I remember . . ."

"What? What do you remember?" Russell pressed. "You didn't even look like you remembered your own rank, and I doubt you remember the last few months right, but somehow you've got a firebase running by UNSC regulations out here like you've been trained properly except for the lack of facilities and the fusion coils laying around everywhere!"

Parker stuttered for a moment more. "The—the fusion coils weren't us, sir! Zhou did that after he came in!"

"Zhou?" Russell asked, when he spotted another ODST just a few meters behind Parker, staring at them. Mind clicking instantly, Russell's arms had just started to raise his assault rifle when the man in stolen ballistic armor opened fire with one of his own. The fusion coil he and Parker were standing next to exploded in a blast of force and fire that hurled both of them off the wall and into the yard below.

Russell hit the ground hard, shields flaring, and he rolled into a crouch as his sense of which way was up came back to him. He'd lost his grip on his rifle, and spotted it sitting in the dirt a few meters beyond where Parker was lying prone.

"Sergeant!" Russell called. Whether this man's memory had been tampered with or, as he was beginning to suspect, entirely fabricated, he still wanted him to be alright. Unfortunately, his HUD's reticle detected no life signature when it passed over the body, remaining clear instead of glowing green. Then a second explosion almost knocked him off his feet again as another fusion core was hit.

Throwing up an arm to shield himself, Russell glanced the other way and saw the man he had to assume was Zhou on the walltop, bracing an old MA2B rifle on the railing. Muscles tensing with a Spartan's reflexes, Russell sprang into a run, heading for his own rifle.

Zhou opened fire again, his target's shielding already weakened, but Russell dived forward and rolled as soon as he heard the first gunshot. Shields still intact, he came up with his MA5C leveled and retaliated with a hail of precision gunfire. With only ballistic armor, Zhou couldn't risk taking any more hits than necessary, and backed behind the cover his position on the high ground afforded him.

A moment's reprieve payed for, Russell dashed across the yard to one of the permacrete buildings, kicking aside a fusion coil set by its door. A few tracers ricocheted off the doorframe as he pressed his back to a wall for cover, showering him with pulverized stone dust. This was not the way a Spartan was supposed to engage. He needed to be able to control the battle, but since Zhou had taken time to rig their battlefield, Russell was at a severe disadvantage. But if he could just get close enough, he knew the man would be no trouble to overpower in close quarters. Getting up there was the tricky part.

Glancing outside, he spotted another fusion coil resting near the entrance to the next building. Sighting on it, Russell pulled a trigger and turned it into a momentary blossom of flame, removing the hazard from his path as he prepared to make a run for the armory.

But he'd miscalculated. A second later, as Russell had just taken his first running step outside again, a second blast which made the fusion coil look like nothing more than a firecracker racked the entire compound. The base's armory, packed with grenades, C12, and who all knew what else went up like a powder keg, fuming dust and smoke as the overpressure wave lifted all quarter-ton of Russell's Mark VI Armor off the ground.

He hurtled back against a wall, leaving a spiderweb pattern of cracks in the permacrete as he collided. Starbursts flared as his vision blurred, and the crackling of flames and a wailing shield alarm filled his ears. Shouldn't have done that, Russell thought, picking himself up again. Shaking his head clear, he looked up to see the armory had turned into a torrent of hellish flame stretching meters into the sky, casting orange light and shadows quivering in fear. Should not have done that.

He was just in the process of glancing over his shoulder to look for any sign of Zhou when a desperate cry seized his attention. "Help!"

Whirling, Russell saw the flames were already spreading, igniting oil trails spilled in the yard like fuses. Just across from him, a garage with the misfortune of being adjacent to the armory had halfway collapsed, but inside the twisted steel of its broken vehicle door, he spotted the blue-black sheen of an ODST's helmet, flames reflecting in its visor. A lot of help they'd been to him against Zhou so far, but Russell hesitated not at all, and ran across the trails of fire to the protest of his already-shrieking shield alarm.

The garage door snapped apart as Russell broke through it, leading him into the pitch-black clouds of smoke trapped under the collapsing ceiling. His helmet helped to outline solid objects, and he spotted the trooper he'd seen kneeling by the side of a half-crushed Warthog, another man trapped underneath.

"I can't pry it up!" the Helljumper shouted. Russell could barely hear him over the crackling of flames tearing oxygen out of the air, a firestorm louder than a tempest at sea.

"Just be ready to pull him out!" he shouted back, and dropping his rifle, locked his gauntlets under the Warthog's fender.

Lifting the vehicle's twisted chassis proved harder than he thought, its frame pinned to the floor by a beam that had fallen in upon it. Russell's armor and musculature strained towards what he was sure had to be their breaking point, but pride refused to let him yield before the wreckage did. In a moment, the jeep shifted up just a few inches, and it was enough for the wounded soldier's comrade to pull him free.

There was no time to savor the victory, however. Just as Russell was about to let go, the collapsed beam gave way after being moved, and more of the roof came crashing down around them. The only thing holding so much scorched and twisted metal above their heads was Russell.

"Get out of here!" the Spartan growled as the first trooper slung his wounded comrade's arm around his shoulder.

"What about-"

"Go!" he barked, and that settled the matter. As Russell watched, muscles quaking, the troopers limped to the hole he'd opened up in the metal door and slipped carefully through, disappearing into the blinding light outside. It was hardly a moment before another black body suit replaced them in the single shaft of sunlight, blinding because of his HUD's compensation for the smoke everywhere else around him.

Zhou.

In his last moment, Russell wondered if saving those two troopers' lives had been worth it, if Zhou had even let them live. They might not have even been real in the first place. But their cries had seemed real enough to be worth saving to him.

One tiny flame, no more than a lighter's spark, flashed from the rifle's muzzle. The last of Russell's shielding burned away, and the next moment, the garage collapsed in shadow and smoke around him.

Written by Ahalosniper.
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Oppose 6 (Failure)
  • Eliminate Winston Zhou
28%

0 SP


Winner: Winston Zhou
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • MA2B Assault Rifle
    • Marksman's scope
    • Silencer
  • MA5C Assault Rifle (+1)
  • M45 Shotgun (+1)
  • 1x combat knife (+1)
  • 1x tactical knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x MA2B magazines (240 rounds)
  • 5x MA5C magazines (140 rounds) (+140)
  • 24x Shotgun shells (+24)
  • 1x rechargeable energy shield generator (+1)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 5/6 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 543/550 (-7) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +15% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -20%


5

Name: Clyde Dawson
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Pistol
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 48x Shotgun shells
  • 5x M6D magazines (60 rounds)
  • 1x medical health pack
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +7% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -10%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Daniel-240
57%
-7%
+6%

56%

1710 SP


1100 Hours, Day 1

Location: 30 km south of Gakseg

York was feeling a bit out of his element. His list of specialties involved close quarters combat, picking holographic locks (mixed results), and generally making a lot of noise when engaging hostile forces. And right now, he was walking through an open forest, no signs of civilization in sight, hunting a target that was most likely going to notice him first. Great.

Of course, York hadn't made it to the top rankings of Project Freelancer for nothing. He knew the drill when it came to shifting gears from your usual strategies. Which was why he had his M6D drawn, and the M45 shotgun that he usually toted was currently on his back. And he was moving as quietly as one can possibly do in a full suit of power armour.

Onto the objective. It sounded simple enough from the way the words popped up on his HUD earlier. »Eliminate Daniel-240. Sure. Bring down a fully-armed, undoubtedly well-trained Spartan. No problem.

York could only guess at what he was up against, since his objective said nothing about what this Daniel-240 specialized in. But that was all part of the guess, he supposed. Get the characters to kill each other and figure out all the details on the fly. He could see why that would be entertaining to watch. Or he would, if the stakes didn't involve all their lives.

York slowed as his sensors detected movement not far into the trees. He quickly took cover behind a particularly thick trunk, engaging his visual scanners as he did so. The climate of the forest was fair, so it wasn't hard for him to pinpoint four heat signatures, all of them identifying as Kig-Yar.

So there were other hostiles to contend with. York mentally went through his options, wondering how he could quietly kill four aliens with the weapons he had. Only way to find out is to try, he decided, drawing his combat knife. I really wish D was here right about now. He could probably tell me how my odds look.

He sneaked quietly towards the Kig-Yar's position, careful to stay hidden at all times. If any of them spotted him, the bright tan of his armour against his surroundings would stick out like a sore thumb. He waited until the aliens had walked past his hiding spot behind the boulder and were facing away before preparing to make his move.

And then a Spartan leaped out directly behind the Kig-Yar with barely a rustle. The alien bringing up the rear didn't even have time to react before he dropped with a knife in his back. The Spartan yanked out the blade as the others spun to face him. A hefty kick sent a second alien reeling before the knife reappeared in its abdomen.

The remaining two Kig-Yar opened fire, but the Spartan was faster. He rolled to one side, drawing his assault rifle as he did. A burst of bullets tore into his target's knee, and he took the opportunity to close in and cave its skull with the butt of his weapon.

The last Kig-Yar fired. An overcharged bolt of plasma found its mark, causing the Spartan's shields to flicker out. He turned to deal with the culprit, who had the plasma pistol pointed at his head and was ready to fire the fatal shot when the weapon cooled down.

The alien flew sideways with a squawk. It was quickly stopped by a tree that held up its gun hand and the combat knife that pinned it to the trunk. York stood up, pistol in hand.

"Oops, sorry," he said. "I was aiming for your head." And with that, he put the Kig-Yar out of its misery with a bullet to the skull.

The Spartan kept his distance, watching him warily. York casually stepped into view, holstering the pistol as he drew his shotgun. His HUD confirmed that he was looking at his target.

"Who are you?" Daniel asked as his shields recharged.

"No one special," York said casually. "Just completing my objectives and surviving, like you. Though I thought I'd...give you a hand." He snickered.

"And what is your objective?"

"You, as it happens. So let's get this over with, shall we?"

Daniel stiffened. One moment his rifle was pointed at the ground, the next it was spraying bullets at York, who was barely able to duck back behind the boulder. He waited until the Spartan had ceased fire before propping out his shotgun and loosing off a trio of blasts, which were moderately effective from his range. His opponent moved for cover in the trees as well as his shields took a few hits.

York frantically slid new shells into his gun and ran to close in on Daniel, deciding to take him on in close quarters as a best bet. He was well aware that he was probably being very obvious but decided to come down hard on his opponent and give him no time to strategize.

Daniel, who could very easily hear York's approach, knew better than to wait for the Freelancer to get to him. He jumped out of cover, assault rifle raised, when he saw to his surprise that York's hands were empty. A firm gauntlet shoved his weapon barrel away. The other was coming at his visor in a clenched fist.

Daniel caught the punch, but could feel York holding fast onto his rifle. The Spartan let go and caught him unawares as he shoved him back, followed by a stomach kick that sent him flying back. He drew his knife in one fluid movement and tossed it.

York landed on his back but moved to the side as the knife came down a few inches from his face. He still had Daniel's rifle and used it to fire at his opponent, who was closing in fast. Daniel's shields held and he grabbed for the gun, trying to pin down York at the same time. But the Freelancer rolled up onto his feet, pistol raised. Two bullets connected with the shielding before the return fire threw him back on his heels. York's armour held, but he moved for cover again as he realized that he was far less protected than his opponent.

Daniel decided not to follow for the time being, opting instead to wait for his shields to recharge as he sought cover as well. He scanned the forest, taking note of York's preference for CQB and deciding to find a way to exploit that to his own advantage.

York, who was ready to re-engage, realized that Daniel had seemingly disappeared. "Damn," he muttered under his breath, watching all sides while being careful not to make himself a target. "So this guy wants to play hide-and-seek." He moved from position to position, looking for clues to figure out what the Spartan was up to.

The Freelancer was moving around a tree when a spray of bullets punched into the armour on his back. He was thrown forward as a combat knife missed his throat by a hair and embedded into the tree next to him. He grabbed the knife and fired the shotgun one-handed at Daniel, who was elusively running circles around him. Suddenly the Spartan appeared swinging from a thick branch before him, and landed a double-footed kick to York's torso, knocking him flat.

But York was still holding Daniel's knife, and in one movement, stabbed it into the Spartan's shin. His opponent gasped in pain, and stumbled from the sudden assault. As York's shotgun came up, he kicked it out of the Freelancer's hand with his other foot, and with some difficulty, rushed away to recover.

York didn't bother retrieving his weapon, instead drawing his pistol again. He was able to squeeze off one shot on Daniel while he was exposed, but it was enough to punch through his armour and into the Spartan's kidney. He ran to close in, running past the Kig-Yar pinned to the tree as he did so. He snatched his knife back, causing the alien's body to crumple limply.

Daniel had taken a knee and let loose the remaining bullets in his magazine. But he was hindered by the fact that he couldn't adjust his aim without a persisting pain stabbing into his side from where York had shot him, and the Freelancer easily evaded the haphazard gunfire. The combat knife flew again, landing blade-first into the Spartan's shoulder joint to discourage any further fire. A second later, York was close enough that he couldn't miss.

Two bullets flew straight and true, dead-centre into Daniel's helmet. The Spartan toppled back in a spray of blood and visor fragments, assault rifle slipping from his fingers. York was hunched over his defeated opponent, breathing raggedly as his HUD confirmed that Daniel's vitals were flatlined.

That's one point for me, he thought, relieving the Spartan of his weapons and ammo. But damn, these Spartan guys are tough. I wouldn't want to try my luck with too many of them.

York wasn't quite sure that he felt good about killing another human being, someone in service to the UNSC. But if he was going to be stuck in this uncertain predicament for a while, he had to keep his sights on what was certain. And survival always came first in his objectives.

Written by Sonasaurus.
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 89 (Success)
  • Eliminate Daniel-240
56%
  • 1710 SP
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • 1x combat knife


Winner: Clyde Dawson
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Pistol
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 45x Shotgun shells (-3)
  • 5x M6D magazines (54 rounds) (-6)
  • 1x medical health pack
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 6/7 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 526/540 (-14) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +9% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -16%


6

Name: Brandon Smith
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M7S Caseless SMG
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x Battle Rifle magazines (108 rounds)
  • 5x M7S SMG magazines (240 rounds)
  • 8x M9 Fragmentation Grenades
  • 1x medical health pack (armoury)
  • 1x set of binoculars
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 6/6 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 450/450 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +7% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -15%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Wilson Blater
42%
-7%
+9%

44%

1260 SP


1315 Hours, Day 1

Location: 53 km south of Fort Jericho

Once upon a time, Brandon Smith might have had more reservations about his objective. Being born into a time when humanity was inching itself away from extinction meant that for the first half of his life, there was no justice in killing another human being unless it was pointing a gun at him. And for a while, that philosophy had served him quite well. Or gotten him through his campaigns alive, at the very least.

But I was lucky is all. How many rookies walked the same path I did, believing in the same things until they realized that they were taking the express elevator down? Despite the hell he had endured for a large portion of his life, Brandon considered himself damned lucky to still be around with all limbs intact. Reality had hit him hard all those years ago, but it woke him up just in time. And now, once again, he had been thrust into the position of deciding if he could cheat death once again.

»Eliminate Wilson Blater. Another human being, being put to the test just as he was, forced to fight for survival, hope to come out on top, and wait for the next pairing as their odds got shorter and shorter.

One of us walks away. The other joins the statistics, the lost and tragically forgotten. Brandon's mouth tightened. It was a cruel reality, but if this was the hand he was dealt, then he was going to play by the rules.

According to the device fixed onto his wrist, his objective was within a 200-metre radius of his location. It didn't seem to provide any information that was more specific, but he supposed that was the point. And at the moment, any of the numerous ancient buildings scattered around the cliff edge could be a likely spot for his target to be hiding. And with that in mind, the Marine decided to divert his attention away from the tracker and settled into that familiar sense of scanning for clues or potential advantages in the territory.

The ruins were made of a worn-out stone, and almost all of them were missing at least one sizable chunk of wall. The design looked vaguely Forerunner, but Brandon wasn't sure what exactly he was up against here aside from the other contestants. And as old as the structures looked, he sincerely hoped that he wouldn't have to deal with any Prometheans in this hellhole.

Brandon peered through a crevice in one of the smaller buildings, and spotted what looked like UNSC-issue supplies laid by an opposite wall. There was a likely place to start. He considered slipping in through the crack but thought better of it. If there was someone lurking inside, he would be better off making his entrance in a way that would allow him to keep his weapon raised. Instead, he made his way around the corner, all the while keeping an eye out for any sign of trouble.

He hadn't gone a step from the corner when his foot stopped in mid-air. Stretched across the narrow passageway between two buildings, clearly visible, were four frag grenades tied to a trip wire. It was quite an obvious trap, and it took Brandon only a split second to figure out why. But even as he dove away from the wire, he heard the gunshot go off, and the wire snapped as the bullet cut it cleanly in two. The explosions went off before the Marine hit the ground, sending him flying back instead as large pieces of stone flew in all directions.

Fifty metres away, perched against what was left of a low rooftop, Wilson Blater peered through the scope of his DMR, scanning for signs of life from where his would-be hunter had disappeared from his line of sight. The explosion would have undoubtedly disoriented Brandon at the very least, but that Marine had been fast in figuring out the situation. Wilson had little doubt that his opponent would have heard where the shot came from as well, so he wisely decided to slip down the roof and reposition himself.

Brandon had been thrown hard against the wall of an opposite structure, but luckily he hadn't hit his head. Nonetheless, he had received an unwelcome dose of shrapnel to his left hip, which would definitely slow him down if his target intended to come after him. Quickly but carefully, he got back on his feet, making sure that he hadn't lost any of his weapons. The structures before him were almost completely collapsed from the explosion, and there was a lot of rubble strewn about the field. Not a great place to hold out, even if he hadn't just barely cleared four grenade explosions.

Wilson had slipped around the cluster of ruins that he had been hiding in, careful not to get himself pinned against the cliff edge. His boots made barely a rustle in the grass as he closed in on Brandon. The DMR was not the most suitable weapon for close-quarters combat, but he saw little other choice; if he gave his opponent time to recover, then he would lose the surprise advantage he had gained.

Without warning, he heard a slightly muffled explosion about fifty metres ahead and to the right; he quickly managed to identify it as that of a frag grenade. Brandon, most likely. Had he deliberately given away his position as a ruse? Wilson stopped and watched for movement, but there were no signs that the other Marine was making a run for it. Had hostile forces arrived and he was possibly engaging them? No, there were no reports of additional gunfire, and they did seem to be quite alone. What was he up to?

Slowly, Wilson approached a junction between three buildings, staying against the wall as he did so. There was no sign of Brandon, but there was smoke steadily rising from one of the buildings; it looked like the grenade had gone off inside the walls, strangely.

He spun around at the barest whisper of movement behind him, and sure enough, Brandon was positioned behind one of the broken protruding walls, Battle Rifle raised. Wilson already knew there was no cover to either side, so he backpedalled, pinging bullets off the solid stone to keep his adversary suppressed. But it did little to deter the other Marine, who was returning fire furiously.

Brandon's magazine was half empty when he saw Wilson reach the corner and duck behind cover. Immediately, he took one hand off the Battle Rifle and primed another frag grenade. He activated the detonator but held it for a brief moment before throwing it in a well-practiced arc.

Wilson was fumbling to eject the nearly-spent magazine from his DMR when the grenade exploded in mid-air; although he was far enough from the junction to be out of its blast radius, it had enough force to blow apart the already weakened wall before him. He flinched as bits of stone pelted him and knocked the DMR from his hand.

And then Brandon turned the corner, SMG pointed straight at him. Wilson dropped to the ground as a burst of bullets flew over his head. He grabbed the first object to come to hand—a chunk of debris—and hurled it at Brandon. The projectile didn't do much more than cause the Marine to stumble, but it was enough time for Wilson to move out of the line of fire and stand with his combat knife in his hand.

Brandon realized what his opponent was going to do next, and took several steps back as he shifted his aim. He was able to squeeze off two shots from the silenced SMG—one of which hit Wilson's shoulder, enough to cause his knife swing to miss.

Wilson flinched as he staggered from the gunshot. He dropped his knife by reflex, but then closed in, grabbing the SMG with both hands and forcing the barrel to the side. His foot swept out to unbalance Brandon, but the older Marine anticipated the move and let go of his gun, surprising Wilson and sending him reeling back with a kick to the stomach. His hands reached for the Battle Rifle on his back.

But instead of trying to bring to bear the SMG across his chest, Wilson did the unexpected and tossed the gun aside. His other hand unearthed the DMR, hidden beneath a pile of rubble, with one round left in the chamber. Both Marines took aim at each other.

A single bullet flew through the air and found its mark. Brandon's trigger finger spasmed, sending three rounds into the sky as he fell backwards with Wilson's bullet in his forehead. His lifeless fingers slowly released the gun as silence fell over the ruins.

Wilson stood up, panting, as he retrieved his knife and the SMG. He looked around warily to make sure nothing had snuck up on them in the midst of their fight, and was satisfied to see no sign of movement. Nonetheless, he acted quickly in stripping Brandon of the rest of his gear and made his way away from the structures. The place was giving him the creeps.

It was definitely a close fight, and sooner or later he would have to do something about the bullet lodged in his shoulder. But for now, he just wanted to sell some of this damn equipment and hope that there were still enough medical packs left to keep him in one piece.

One down, who knows how many to go. Wilson grimaced. Despite his victory, he couldn't help but feel as if his odds were getting shorter.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Oppose 38 (Failure)
  • Eliminate Wilson Blater
44%

0 SP


Winner: Wilson Blater
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle (+1)
  • M7S Caseless SMG (+1)
  • 2x combat knife (+1)
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x magazines (45 rounds) (-15)
  • 2x Battle Rifle magazines (78 rounds) (+78)
  • 4x M7S SMG magazines (197 rounds) (+197)
  • 6x M9 Fragmentation Grenades (+2)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 4/5 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 391/400 (-9) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +9% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -18%


7

Name: Joshua-G024
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
  • M6C/SOCOM Pistol
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x DMR magazines (60 rounds)
  • 4x M6C/SOCOM magazines (48 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 9/9 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 670/670 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +7% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -8%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Madison-A006
48%
-7%
+8%

49%

1440 SP


1200 Hours

Location: Forest of Silent Messengers, >1km south of Folras

Three hours into his watch, Joshua felt the sensation of a million tiny pin-pricks along his calf as his foot started falling asleep, but he didn't dare to move to move. It wasn't so much in case wary eyes were watching as the precarious nature of his perch; three hundred feet above the forest floor, holding the lowest substantial bough in the canopy with nothing but the monolith tree's sheer, branchless trunk between him and the ground.

Climbing, surprisingly, hadn't been the hard part, nor the most time consuming of his first hour in his new surroundings. After being teleported—Forerunner slipspace translocation, he suspected given the light show—he'd found himself on the forest floor, surrounded by a thin veil of green mist that gave him flashbacks to his life on Onyx. Not that they were entirely positive. He'd endured and perpetrated too many ambushes in those long-gone forests to feel remotely safe. Instead, battle rifle in hand, he'd started walking.

Before long, he'd spied a complex of purple towers trying woefully to measure up in the low points between trees. Just a few minutes of observation gave him a cursory understanding of the Jackal fort's defenses, and at least a handful of ways he might systematically eliminate them, but there was no call for him to waste his energy. Grunwald had said their fight was with one another. He'd needed only one thing from the ravenous aliens, and just one inattentive guard later, he had it.

With the stolen Particle Beam Rifle slung over his back, he'd then started his climb for the ultimate high ground. His combat knife for a piton, Josh found cracks in the bark just wide enough to wedge his balled fist in for an anchor, and moved upward at maybe a dozen feet per minute. It tested the limits of his endurance more than anything in recent memory, but all it took was effort. Once he was at the top, he'd taken a seat, belted himself in place with a cord from one of his armor's pouches, and settled in.

He could think of very few better vantage points. Good cover, out of range of a solid number of small arms, and with a decent range of view. Through the vertical slats between meters-wide tree trunks, he could see the best pathways on the misty ground in every direction and the Jackal outpost a just short of a klick away. So far, this deadly game had been unexpectedly quiet for him. All he'd had to do was keep watch and look through his acquired sniper weapon's scope once in a while. There was only one disadvantage he could think of: it gave him time to think.

Right now, it was the last thing he wanted to be doing because it gave him nothing but questions. Questions that made no sense, and had no way of being answered. Why this contest? Whose motives were at work here? Where in the galaxy was here, if he even was in galaxy anymore? Because the last thing he remembered before being conscious in a holding cell was his own death.

Words, painstakingly chosen and written out in his best handwriting. An explanation, an . . . atonement, maybe? In some small way, to make up just one bit of all the things he'd been involved with? In hindsight, he didn't feel as sure as he had in the moment. His fingers uncurling from the pen after his last signature, and wrapping around the handle of an M6. It would've felt remarkably similar to the one magnetically sealed to his thigh plate right now. He'd thought it over for a long time, enough to make his decision and sound reasonable telling himself. But secretly, he'd hoped just a little bit that someone would come and stop him. He didn't know who, not for sure, but somebody. Somebody who cared enough. But there'd been no one. What the hell was he supposed to make of it all, now? Thrown into a strange land to claw his way over the bodies of those he killed to attain some kind of victory didn't seem much like a second chance for anything worthwhile.

He'd drifted again. He had to stop doing that. Getting distracted would lessen his chance of success.

Then, at last, something did happen. Something familiar, something to focus on and dissect. Gunfire. Automatic, human gunfire. He ran a careful check of his helmet's audio sensors and found the difference in sound intensity and arrival times to pinpoint the source, then trained his Beam Rifle's scope on the source of the disturbance: the Kig-Yar outpost.

Thought so. Joshua smirked. In this featureless forest, his enemies would be drawn to the outpost in search of weapons, supplies, or simply something to break the tedium of walking around tree trunk after tree trunk.

His weapon's reticle passed over a magnified image of the compound's outer wall and into the courtyard, where plumes of smoke rose from telltale orange and purple flames. Oh, yes, if someone was taking on a whole Kig-Yar outpost, they had to be someone powerful enough to rival him. But at a disadvantage, and completely unaware of him, for sure. I have the high ground. He laughed inwardly.

A flash of matte red and tan crossed his view of the courtyard. He was about to adjust, when a second of the same color dashed the other way. His attention split for an instant, it took him the space of a breath to figure out he was dealing with two targets, both in the same color of MJOLNIR armor. But apparently, the color scheme didn't make them friends. They were trading fire pretty fiercely, the rapports making it all the way up to him in the canopy.

He hesitated a moment. Not to wonder if it was right to shoot another SPARTAN. He'd already had time to think about that, and hadn't wasted any of it bemoaning the situation. He knew very well what kind of people Spartans were, not the spotless suits of armor ONI's Section II propaganda posters put up everywhere, but bastards like himself. He hesitated to wonder which of them was his target, if either. The objective hadn't indicated clearly who "Madison-A006" was, exactly, just given a tag which Joshua guessed meant a SPARTAN-III from Alpha Company.

He saw two gambles before him, and took the lesser one. Redoubling the scope's magnification, he zeroed in on one of the Spartans as they danced through a hail of gunfire and into cover behind a wrecked Ghost. They were wearing GEN2 armor, sleek crap with none of the weight of the older gear, and Josh got a good look at its AA-variant helmet as his reticle hovered over it.

The reticle stayed its neutral yellow; either not his enemy or out of range. He tested it again on the other as they emerged from a corner to lay down more covering fire.

Red. Bright red. So that was Madison. He had his target after all.

Making sure to regulate his breathing, Joshua steeled himself to make two quick shots. With luck, he'd kill them both. The other might not be his target, but if only one could survive, they too would be his enemy eventually. And if he left them alive, there was a chance they could trace his shot back to its origin.

One inward breath, swelling his chest in anticipation, and one outward as he lightly drew back the trigger of the recoil-less weapon.

A streak of violet lightning burned through the understory, a sudden, skewed diagonal against the exactly-vertical tree trunks. A stream of beautifully-glowing particles where science met beauty for just an instant. It was a shame it missed.

It wouldn't have, if his opponent's grenade hadn't gone off and thrown Madison out of the way at just the right, or wrong, time. But the Spartans down below both definitely took notice. They slunk out of the courtyard before Joshua could line up his second shot, trading petty, ill-aimed shots with each other as they entered one of the nearest towers' shadows.

He exhaled deeper. Damn.

He slung the Beam Rifle over his back again. He'd taken his shot, and now his targets weren't as clueless as they'd been before. He'd take no chances and reposition in case one of them managed to trace his shot using their helmet recorders. And in the time it would take to get down, their fight could be over. Better to move in and finish off a tired winner than give them the chance to recover. He could recover any energy of his own once he was back in the treetops.

Just as he was turning to find his first handhold in the bark, a tracer blazed through the air in the foot between his helmet and the side of the tree. Startled, Josh pressed himself flat against the trunk to reduce his profile as more followed!

Bark chipped away in a wide spread around him, and one round glanced off his shin plate. He couldn't spot the shooter, and in their sights, he didn't have time. Instead, Josh let go of the tree, kicked off with one foot, and dropped.

Gravity took hold in an instant. The exact acceleration of 1G on a human body took hold, tearing a primal fear from its slumber. But Josh's higher functions were stronger, had control of it. He had a plan.

Reaching to his waist, Josh pulled the one other item he'd happened to take from the lone Kig-Yar he killed; a long, pod-shaped bit of equipment. Flicking open its lock with a thumb, Josh aligned his body so he was falling headfirst, gauged his trajectory, and threw it.

The ground was coming fast, and only a second passed before the object reached it. Blue-white light sprang up to meet him, even as more tracers started whizzing by.

His fall slowed, decelerating easily enough to avoid snapping his body in any unpleasant ways. The portable grav lift's beam had caught him, and he rolled out of its gentle grasp to drop the last meter to the ground, landing gracelessly on hands and knees, but alive.

Without a moment to spare, Josh scooped up the grav lift, snapped its three legs shut, and sprang into motion. For a second, he saw where the shots had come from, and thought a sliver of the mist looked a little darker, but not long enough to make out so much as a silhouette. An ancient trunk wrapped in moss broke the line of sight before more bullets could come his way, and Josh sprinted for the walls of the Covenant outpost. It may not have been the best of plans, but luring his opponent into the middle of another firefight, and bringing another contestant into his targets' fight unexpectedly, might just be enough to give him the edge.

He'd have the benefit of being the only one planning on it.


Most of the time, Madison complained about the glowing icons of his Heads-Up Display cluttering his vision. Today, though, he was just glad the SCANNER helmet he wore came jam-packed with imaging options. Otherwise, his MJOLNIR-clad opponent might've started their fight with the drop on him, or he couldn't have traced the vector of superheated air left by some unseen assassin's particle beam rifle. With that information, he was able to get out of the sniper's line of sight, but the other Spartan he'd picked a fight with was running neck and neck with him.

Three-round bursts glanced off his shoulder, taking a chunk off the top of his shield bar. He didn't worry about it; the shield was there to take hits for him, and it allowed him to steady his SMG long enough to loose a prolonged burst of rapid, automatic fire his opponent's way. The other Spartan abandoned taking aim at him with their battle rifle and slid to cover in the mud behind the waist-high base of a floating Covenant watchtower.

Madison veered right, intending to strafe sideways and reestablish line-of-sight; with his SMG, hounding his opponent so their shield never had a chance to recharge gave him a better chance of winning their shield war of attrition, but globdules of green fire suddenly started raining on him from above.

A flick of his eyes up told him the watchtower was occupied, and he could see why the other Spartan had made a beeline underneath it. A squad of the native Jackals had regrouped well enough to set up their point-defense gauntlets in a proper phalanx at the edge of the donut-shaped platform, and now their combined fire came down all around, flash-baking tiny craters in the mud by his feet into glass.

Madison wasted no time and dove forward as several bolts splashed against his shield, flaring it brighter. In the span of a heartbeat, he lost sight of the Jackals as he slid into the platform's shadow and backed to the rounded base on the side opposite where he'd lost sight of his foe.

Madison listened for any sign of the Spartan making a move, but all he could hear was the frustrated chatter of the Jackals overhead. Wedged between the barest cover of two low ramps spaced evenly around the watchtower's base, he felt exposed and on edge, but dared not get up and run lest the Jackals or his rival pop up and shoot him in the back. His shield bar was nearly drained by now, and would take a few more precious seconds to recharge.

Human gunfire from nearby suddenly rang in his ears, proving his opponent was still on the other side of the base. Madison's head shot up, ready for an attack, but more alien screaming came in response. His enhanced eyes just barely caught sight of a battle rifle's yellow-orange tracers flying up at a steep angle, through the center hole in the platform floating overhead. A moment later, one of the Jackals fell limply, purple blood staining the scaly skin around a ragged bullet hole, and rebounded in the gravity lift at the platform's center. The next, the corpse tumbled to the ground with a disgusting crunch.

Madison snickered, getting the idea. As the shadows of a few Kig-Yar skirting around to the other side of the hole shifted in his peripheral vision, he reached down to his belt, pulled a grenade free of its pin, and rolled the hand-sized sphere into the lift.

The result, had he been able to see it, was sure to have been spectacular. Five or six alien voices squawked over the sharp whump of the grenade, and a few torn-up bodies fell over the edge of the shaking watchtower.

"Not bad." came a voice from around the base's corner as the last of the debris settled.

"Yeah, well," he replied, finding back his grip on the SMG, "it seemed like the thing to do."

"Did shooting at me fall under the same category?"

"Aren't you Kevin-B077?"

"Yeah." The other Spartan answered.

Madison nodded. "My objective said you were my target. Who'd you get?"

"It changed halfway." Kevin answered. "First it was somebody, now it's another. All the same to me."

"So I guess that means I'm not the only one who gave in and just started shooting." Madison pressed his back a little more solidly against the platform's rounded side, taking pressure off his ready-to-spring legs. "I thought maybe we could be reasonable once I found you, but you kinda surprised me."

"Nah." the other Spartan answered. Madison could practically hear the shake of his head. "You had the right idea. Whoever has the power to bring so many Spartans and Brutes and Elites here has us all far outclassed. I don't think we really have any other choice than to fight. And if we agree to work together, then what? We work together to kill anyone who doesn't want to team up? Hardly seems fair."

Madison felt a little of his determination flag. "I guess." he replied. "I'd just like to be able to think I'm better than . . . I dunno, violence?"

Out of sight, all he got in return was Kevin's harsh laughter. "You're in a half-ton of titanium power armor. Violence is all you're good for."

The remark stung, but Madison bit off a retort of his own. He was in the middle of trying to kill Kevin, after all. Switching out the magazine of his SMG, he called, "Ready to go again?"

"Let's get violent, Alpha!"

Madison smirked without knowing completely why. Maybe it was that Kevin was being such a good sport about it all.

"Ready?" he asked. "Go!"

Madison sprang from the ground and twisted, searching frantically through his SMG's sights for Kevin's tan-and-red armor, when an unexpected flash of red and yellow dropped from above.


Joshua could hear the damn thing on his heels. He knew it fired a gun at him before, but the way it was chasing him, Josh wasn't sure anymore of this thing being a sentient person. More a rabid, crazy animal, looking to tear him apart. But he could outsmart an animal.

Dead ahead of him, the sleek surface of the Kig-Yar compound's wall rose straight up from the forest floor, offering no way through and nothing to grip for climbing. But he made a headlong run at it all the same, hearing the footfalls of his pursuer back off a few steps as it concluded he'd be trapped. It was getting ready for a fight. Josh would be more than happy to disappoint.

A few steps before he would have collided headlong with the wall, his gauntlet went to his belt again, unhooking the three-pronged legs of the grav lift. He hurled it to the ground in front of him as wavering blue light sprang from the center, acceleration changing from forward to straight up.

He glanced at the top of the wall and saw his jump would carry him just near enough to make a grab for the top, and spun mid-air. His DMR was already held tightly in his other hand, ready to make one critical shot: the center of the lift below him. One was all it took; the sharp report echoing through the monolith trees as the bluish glow faded, leaving the emerald mist a shade darker once again. Josh glimpsed the dark figure standing in the haze below for just an instant, then had to twist again to grab for the edge of the wall.

His off-hand's fingers barely caught ahold. The rim of the wall was curved and smooth. But the plate over that corner had an end to it, and he locked the very last joint of his digits around the rim. Without letting his boots even scrape the wall's surface, he used the last of the gravity lift's acceleration to pull himself one-handed to its top, then whirled around to bring his DMR to bear on the figure.

It was gone. Vanished, back into the mist and shadow. Joshua decided not to take a chance by sticking out in the open atop the wall, and turned to see a pair of matched tan-and-red MJOLNIR suits crouched on either side of a Covenant tower's base. The platform, covered in burn marks and gore from a recent explosion, was easily within jumping distance. Steadying himself, Josh leaped and made a landing on the platform as lightly as he could, its hovering in an anti-gravity field helping keep quiet, then leaned over the edge.

The one with the bulkier helmet was his target, and seated directly below him. If he hadn't paid attention to his motion tracker . . .

He could make this a very low-expendature kill. All he had to do was strike, then take whatever route he liked and escape back into the trees, somewhere opposite the shadow who'd hounded him to find a new sniping position and wait him out. Josh drew his knife. Then, lining up his strike, he dropped over the side of the platform—

Only for his target to stand up and turn the moment he'd let go, dropping him straight into his Madison's line of fire. Josh didn't even bother cursing, there wasn't time. He simply lashed out with the butt of the DMR in his off-hand.


Madison's forearm went numb as a bar of black gunmetal drove into his wrist, whipping his arm back hard enough to jerk his torso around. A gasp of pain and shock started, but caught in his lungs as the newcomer lashed out at his neck with a length of gleaming steel.

He leaned back in the literal nick of time, the knife's tip passing just close enough to drag through the black bodysuit over his neck and leave a thin scratch through the top layer of his skin. Madison did the only thing he could do for the moment and tried to step back. He had no idea how the new Spartan had gotten so close. Maybe it was about time he started paying closer attention to his HUD and motion tracker.

Before the red-and-gold Spartan could lunge at him again, the rattle of burst fire broke out, and rounds slammed into the shield over their back. Not about to be forgotten, Kevin had opened fire from behind them.

Madison capitalized on his new attacker's distraction. He barely had any feeling in his right arm, down and behind him. It would take precious seconds bring his SMG to bear with it. So instead, he moved the arm just a bit further back and let the weapon go. As it started to drop, Madison plucked it back out of the air with his left and brought the gun around.

The newcomer, ducking to evade the battle rifle bursts, turned back around to see the weapon coming at him and in turn dropped his knife, locking his hand around the SMG's foregrip and pushing it up so Madison couldn't aim at him properly. Madison pulled the trigger anyway, hoping the recoil would help shake his enemy off. He didn't expect the resounding explosion that came in response.

His shots went up at an angle, punching through the opalescent underside of the already-distressed tower platform. Those bits of high-velocity lead were the final straw for the anti-gravity stabilizers inside, and the whole platform exploded from the inside out. Debris and violet-blue fire rained low out of the sky, giving the Spartans below barely a warning.

On the far side, Kevin turned away and made a break for it at once, but the Spartan in red-and-gold had Madison in their way. In the second he had to decide, Madison set his teeth and stood his ground. His opponent saw what he was doing and tried to slip by on his now-bad right side, but Madison swung his lame arm up and bashed their side. It wasn't much, but it was enough to stop them for a moment, and that was just long enough.

Half of the broken platform crashed down, plowing rim-first into the ground and bashing the two Spartans apart to get there. Madison's shield broke immediately, the debris colliding with his chest plate and transmitting enough force to hurl him backwards, landing in the dirt as a cloud of dust swarmed up from the crash. His shield alarm was still blaring in his ears by the time it settled.

His chest felt like it had caved in on itself, but Madison presently gathered the strength to pull himself up into a sitting position. The two large chunks of the broken platform ring lay in a heap over the base, the light of the grav-lift dim. Further back, Kevin sat with one leg over the compound's back wall, watching. He saw Madison, but didn't go for his weapon.

Grateful for that, Madison spied his SMG lying in the dirt and bent over to retrieve it. He straightened back up, took one last look at the debris, when a bullet passed through the space his shield no longer was and shattered his visor, spraying the inside of the shards left behind with gore.


Madison-A006 crumpled, titanium armor hitting the ground with a heavy thud. Joshua stepped out from the corner of the platform's wreckage, pistol still trained on the still form. Then, after a moment of stillness, he whirled and fired half a magazine in successive rounds towards the other Spartan perched over the wall. They didn't stick around, slipping over and being lost to sight.

Joshua let himself untense at last, just a bit. Even while he rested, just standing in place, he reloaded his sidearm and shuffled a few new rounds into the half-empty mag. There was more he was guaranteed to scavenge from Madison's body.

It was his first victory of the day. He should've felt proud, if not celebratory. But all it seemed to be was the first of a hundred fights to come. A hundred more after finally thinking he'd been put to rest. The pragmatic, survivor-trained part of him that accepted it spurred him to walk over to the empty husk that used to be Madison.

Another part, however, still nagged at him, more curious than ever. A jump like that explosion had made his heart pound and aware of how alive he was, thanks to danger reminding him how mortal he was. And yet, he was sure now that he had died already. So what did that make this? The afterlife? He'd wondered so often about it before, sure of a promised land he could strive to be worthy of. If this was the place he'd been sent, maybe he hadn't done enough to be worthy.

After all he'd taken part in, it didn't seem unlikely.

The thought depressed him almost as much as realizing the SMG was the most Madison had carried. His DMR lay back in the wreckage, bent in half and wedged underneath, and all he would have to replace it were these small arms. Joshua was just about to set about taking it resignedly, when a red dot popped onto the very edge of his motion tracker.

Josh dropped beside his victim quickly and pulled a second M6 off its thigh plate, then spun and turned both weapons toward the compound gate, the hostile's direction. When he spotted the distinctive armor, however, he froze.

Standing there, weapons at ease like their owner didn't feel the least bit threatened, was a seven-foot suit of black, Mark VI armor. Layers of ballistic plating and ceramic shock-absorbers outfitted the suit for close-quarters battle, and cradled in its arms was a dark, steel shotgun. The figure from the forest.

It didn't move, but the red visor was definitely intent on Joshua. The non-standard coloration seemed a bit silly to him, but unnerving nonetheless. Black-and-red like a mockery of a Spartan taken from a child's nightmare. Then, it reached up to its helmet, flicked something, and the shape of an FOF-tag appeared in Joshua's Heads-Up-Display. Its information resolved a second later.

Ajax-013.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 77 (Success)
  • Eliminate Madison-A006
49%

1440 SP



8

Name: Fiona-127
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 5x MA5C magazines (160 rounds)
  • 24x Shotgun shells
  • 4x M9 Fragmentation Grenades
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 730/730 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +2% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -16%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Duncan Foreman
26%
x1.25
-2%
+15%

46%

780 SP



9

Name: Ajax-013
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 24x M45 Shotgun shells
  • 4x DMR magazines (60 rounds)
List of allies:

One does not simply ally with Ajax

Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 9/9 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 850/850 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +3% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -17%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Joshua-G024
46%
-3%
+8%

51%

1380 SP



10

Name: Leonid-144
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • 2x M7 Caseless SMG
Supplies remaining:
  • 7x Sniper Rifle magazines (28 rounds)
  • 12x magazines (720 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 740/740 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +10% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -11%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Felix-116
52%
-10%
+9%

51%

1560 SP



11

Name: Darcy-B122
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Pistol
Supplies remaining:
  • 24x Shotgun shells
  • 5x M6D magazines (60 rounds)
  • 4x M9 Fragmentation Grenades
  • 1x medical health pack (armoury)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 5/5 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 550/550 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +6% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -12%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Pete Stacker
38%
-6%
+9%

41%

1140 SP



12

Name: David Kahn
Current location: Starting point
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • M6C/SOCOM Pistol
  • 1x combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 7x Sniper Rifle magazines (28 rounds)
  • 4x M6C/SOCOM magazines (48 rounds)
  • 1x atmospheric reconnaissance spy drone
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 10/10 Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 750/750 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png +11% 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png -10%


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Roger-341
46%
-11%
+13%

48%

1380 SP


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