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Hello and welcome to the Beta Test for the upcoming Season 5 of Survival of the Fittest! As the name suggests, the purpose here is to test out SotF's new features on a small scale before making them available to the entire community. Besides me, there's only room for five other users in this beta, so if you want a spot, you'd better put your name down fast! The deciding participant list is first-come, first serve, no exceptions.

First of all, if you're unfamiliar with SotF's new rules, be sure to read them over here. Or if you're looking for a more casual explanation, see my blog. Since the actual season 5 isn't due to start until 2014, we're really in no hurry. But if you're participating in the beta test, just make sure you know the game before your characters are thrown into the fray. The new rules may be a bit overwhelming at first, but they'll be relatively easy to understand once we get the ball rolling.

Which brings me to the other reason for running this beta test. Despite my best efforts, I'm only human, and with the radical changes I've made to SotF this year, there may be complications or faults with the new system that are unforeseeable in the blueprints. So hopefully with this beta, we'll not only make season 5 easier to understand through demonstration, but if there are issues with the new system, they can hopefully be worked out in the beta.

So without further ado, let's jump right into it. The applicant list is below, resource pool will be below that. And below the resource pool will be the character stats and episodes. Remember, each user is limited to a maximum of 2 characters, so choose wisely.


Map

SotF season 5 map

Participants (Closed)

Once you have your characters selected, I'll give you your survival points and assign your characters their attributes in the stats section below. As a note, I'll try to be as fair as I can with the attributes, but if you feel that your character deserves a higher number in an attribute, you can negotiate altering them with me.

Sonasaurus

Survival points: 624

Name: Melissa McKay Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 6 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 540 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 5 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 6 20px-SotF_agility.png 6 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 5
Kills

0


Name: Victoria O'Connell Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Stabbed to death by Leonid-144 (KIA)
Location of death: Contested city grounds, Viridian Plains
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 7 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 750 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 6 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 7 20px-SotF_agility.png 8 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Laconia

Survival points: 1066

Name: Elena-G124 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 7 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 700 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 7 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 6 20px-SotF_agility.png 5 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 9
Kills

0


Name: Jorge-052 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 10 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 1000 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 12 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 6 20px-SotF_agility.png 4 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Brodie-001

Survival points: 2310

Name: Ash Mitchell Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 7 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 580 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 6 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 6 20px-SotF_agility.png 5 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Name: Marco-025 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 7 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 700 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 8 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 7 20px-SotF_agility.png 6 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 5
Kills

0


Hyper Zergling

Survival points: 922

Name: SPARTAN-077 (Rickraptor77) Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 8 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 720 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 8 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 7 20px-SotF_agility.png 5 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Name: Taszar 'Vadam Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Sangheili
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 8 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 810 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 10 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 5 20px-SotF_agility.png 6 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Spartan 501

Survival points: 1790

Name: Roger-341 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Gunned down by Colonel Wright (KIA)
Location of death: Forest of Silent Messengers, near Skalski Airbase
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 8 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 750 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 7 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 7 20px-SotF_agility.png 6 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 6
Kills

0


Name: Leonid-144 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 8 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 740 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 9 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 5 20px-SotF_agility.png 4 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 7
Kills

1


Lieutenant Davis

Survival points: 450

Name: Colin-142 Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 8 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 780 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 8 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 6 20px-SotF_agility.png 5 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 5
Kills

0


Name: Jerrold Pershing Age: {{{age}}} NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Species: Human
Type: {{{type}}}
Status: Active
Location of death: N/A
Endurance 24px-SotF_endurance.png 7 Energy 25px-SotF_energy.png 770 Strength Dexterity Agility Accuracy
Kill count: {{{killcount}}} Rounds survived: 1 20px-SotF_strength.png 7 18px-SotF_dexterity.png 7 20px-SotF_agility.png 5 15px-SotF_accuracy.png 4
Kills

0


Resource Shops

² indicates that the weapon is dual-wieldable

Commander Grunwald's Supply Depot

Quantity available Resource Cost Components (1 unit) Attribute requirements
 Automatic rifles  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
9 120px-MA5C_ICWS.png 75 SP
  • 1 MA5C Assault Rifle
  • 160 rounds
3 2 2 2 -9
250 SP required
12 120px-T-51_DER_I.png 70 SP
  • 1 Type-51 Plasma Repeater
  • 3 battery cells, 100% battery each
2 3 2 2 -7
225 SP required
5 120px-Z-130_DEAW.png 250 SP
  • 1 Z-130 Suppressor, unlimited ammunition
3 5 3 3 -10
1200 SP required
 Marksman rifles  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
5 120px-BR55HB_SR.png 100 SP
  • 1 BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • 108 rounds
3 4 2 4 -10
360 SP required
8 120px-M392_DMR.png 90 SP
  • 1 M392 DMR
  • 60 rounds
3 3 2 5 -10
325 SP required
8 120px-T-51_C.png 96 SP
  • 1 Type-51 Carbine
  • 72 rounds
3 2 4 4 -11
350 SP required
7 120px-T-31_R.png 108 SP
  • 1 Type-31 Needle Rifle
  • 63 rounds
3 5 3 4 -11
375 SP required
4 125px-Z-250_DEEW.png 300 SP
  • 1 Z-250 Lightrifle, unlimited ammunition
3 5 4 6 -13
1500 SP required
 Shotguns  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
2 120px-M45_TS.png 90 SP
  • 1 M45 Shotgun
  • 24 shells
3 2 2 1 -11
300 SP required
12 50px-T-52_P.png ² 60 SP
  • 1 Type-52 Mauler
  • 30 bolts
2 2 1 1 -4
200 SP required
5 125px-Z-180_CCR.png 275 SP
  • 1 Z-180 Scattershot, unlimited ammunition
3 4 3 2 -12
1350 SP required
 Sniper rifles  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
3 150px-SRS99-S2_AM.png 180 SP
  • 1 SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • 28 rounds
4 3 1 7 -12
600 SP required
5 150px-T-50SRS_PBR.png 175 SP
  • 1 Type-50 Particle Beam Rifle
  • 2 battery cells, 100% battery each
4 3 1 6 -12
540 SP required
2 150px-Z-750_SASR.png 600 SP
  • 1 Z-750 Binary Rifle, unlimited ammunition
4 6 2 7 -16
2000 SP required
 Automatic handguns  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
16 100px-M7_SMG.png ² 60 SP
  • 1 M7 Caseless Submachine Gun
  • 360 rounds
2 2 2 1 -6
200 SP required
5 120px-M7S_SMG.png 80 SP
  • 1 Silenced M7 Caseless Submachine Gun
  • 240 rounds
3 4 3 3 -7
275 SP required
22 75px-T-25_DER.png ² 48 SP
  • 1 Type-25 Plasma Rifle
  • 2 battery cells, 100% battery each
2 2 2 2 -4
160 SP required
28 80px-T-25_DER_J.png ² 54 SP
  • 1 Type-25 Brute Plasma Rifle
  • 2 battery cells, 100% battery each
2 2 3 1 -4
180 SP required
11 75px-T-33_GML.png ² 100 SP
  • 1 Type-33 Needler
  • 150 rounds
2 1 2 2 -5
300 SP required
12 100px-T-25_C.png ² 90 SP
  • 1 Type-25 Spike Carbine
  • 150 rounds
4 3 2 2 -6
280 SP required
 Semi-automatic handguns  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
2 48px-M6D_PDWS.png 80 SP
  • 1 M6D Pistol
  • 60 rounds
2 4 3 3 -3
150 SP required
14 60px-M6C_PDWS.png ² 30 SP
  • 1 M6C Pistol
  • 48 rounds
1 2 3 2 -2
50 SP required
6 75px-M6C_SOCOM.png 60 SP
  • 1 Silenced M6C Pistol
  • 48 rounds
1 3 2 3 -3
125 SP required
12 70px-T-25_DEP.png ² 40 SP
  • 1 Type-25 Plasma Pistol
  • 2 battery cells, 100% battery each
2 2 2 2 -4
75 SP required
5 70px-Z-110_DEP.png 240 SP
  • 1 Z-110 Boltshot, unlimited ammunition
2 4 4 3 -5
1000 SP required
 Heavy weapons  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
6 150px-M41_SSR.png 200 SP
  • 1 M41 SSR Rocket Launcher
  • 6 rockets
4 3 1 1 -16
700 SP required
4 150px-M6_GNR.png 225 SP
  • 1 M6 Spartan Laser
  • 100% battery (5 shots)
4 3 1 3 -15
750 SP required
7 100px-M319_IGL.png 160 SP
  • 1 M319 Grenade Launcher
  • 12 grenades
3 3 2 2 -10
600 SP required
8 150px-T-33_LA-AW.png 190 SP
  • 1 Type-33 Fuel Rod Launcher
  • 15 mortars
4 2 3 1 -14
675 SP required
5 150px-T-52_GML_E.png 210 SP
  • 1 Type-52 Plasma Launcher
  • 100% battery (10 shots)
4 3 2 2 -14
720 SP required
8 150px-T-25_GL.png 170 SP
  • 1 Type-25 Brute Shot
  • 12 grenades
4 2 1 2 -12
640 SP required
2 120px-Z-390_HE-MR.png 720 SP
  • 1 Z-390 Incineration Cannon, unlimited ammunition
3 5 3 3 -10
2100 SP required
 Support weapons  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
4 120px-ARC-920.png 200 SP
  • 1 ARC-920 Railgun
  • 12 powerpack and slug blocs
4 4 2 5 -13
640 SP required
10 150px-M247H_HMG.png 150 SP
  • 1 M247H Heavy Machine Gun
  • 400 rounds
9 4 1 2 -20
400 SP required
10 150px-LAU-65D_SGM-151.png 170 SP
  • 1 LAU-65D/SGM-151 Missile Pod
  • 16 missiles
7 4 2 4 -17
440 SP required
10 150px-M7057_DP.png 180 SP
  • 1 M7057 Flamethrower
  • 1 fuel canister, 100% fuel
7 6 3 1 -18
480 SP required
10 150px-T-52_DESW.png 150 SP
  • 1 Type-52 Plasma Cannon
  • 3 plasma batteries, 100% battery each
7 3 1 2 -18
300 SP required
 Mêlée weapons  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
11 100px-Combat_knife.png ² 20 SP
  • 1 combat knife
1 2 2 1
40 SP required
5 108px-Energy_sword.png ² 130 SP
  • 1 Energy Sword, unlimited battery
2 4 5 2
450 SP required
5 150px-Gravity_hammer.png 150 SP
  • 1 Gravity Hammer, unlimited battery
5 3 3 2 -10
480 SP required
2 150px-Hard_light_blade.png 750 SP
  • 1 Hard light blade, unlimited ammunition
5 8 8 3 -20
2400 SP required
 Grenades and ammunition  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
25px-UNSC_ammunition.png 150 SP
  • MA5C: 128 rounds (4 magazines)
  • BR55HB SR: 96 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M392 DMR: 45 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M45: 12 shells
  • SRS99-S2 AM: 12 rounds (4 magazines)
  • M7 SMG: 180 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M7/S SMG: 144 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M6D: 24 rounds (2 magazines)
  • M6C: 60 rounds (5 magazines)
  • M6C/SOCOM: 24 rounds (2 magazines)
  • M41 SSR: 2 rockets (1 load)
  • M6 GNR: 100% (1 battery)
  • M319: 6 grenades (6 loads)
  • ARC-920: 6 blocs
  • M247H: 400 rounds (2 boxes)
  • LAU-65D/SGM-151: 16 missiles
  • M7057: 1 fuel canister
Same as weapon requirements
150 SP required
25px-Covenant_ammunition.png 120 SP
  • Plasma Repeater: 100% (1 battery cell)
  • Carbine: 72 rounds (4 magazines)
  • Needle Rifle: 63 rounds (3 magazines)
  • Mauler: 15 rounds (3 magazines)
  • Beam Rifle: 100% (1 battery cell)
  • Plasma Rifle: 200% (2 battery cells)
  • Brute Plasma Rifle: 200% (2 battery cells)
  • Needle Pistol: 60 rounds (2 magazines)
  • Spiker: 120 rounds (3 magazines)
  • Plasma Pistol: 200% (2 battery cells)
  • Fuel Rod: 10 mortars (3 magazines)
  • Plasma Launcher: 100% (1 battery cell)
  • Brute Shot: 12 grenades (2 belts)
  • Plasma Cannon: 100% (1 battery cell)
Same as weapon requirements
120 SP required
60px-M9_HE-DP.png 200 SP
  • 4 M9 Fragmentation Grenades
N/A
500 SP required
60px-T-1_APG.png 225 SP
  • 4 Type-1 Plasma Grenades
N/A
500 SP required
60px-T-2_APFG.png 240 SP
  • 4 Type-2 Spike Grenades
N/A
525 SP required
50px-T-3_APAM-IG.png 275 SP
  • 4 Type-3 Incendiary Grenades
N/A
540 SP required
60px-Z-040_AFG.png 160 SP
  • 4 Z-040 Pulse Grenades
N/A
500 SP required
 Combat gear  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
4 50px-Energy_Shields.png 500 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable energy shield generator
N/A
900 SP required
6 50px-Active_Camouflage.png 360 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable active camouflage
4
800 SP required
6 50px-Passive_Camouflage.png 280 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable passive camouflage
3
600 SP required
6 50px-Jetpack.png 350 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable jetpack
3
600 SP required
6 50px-Speed_unit.png 320 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable speed unit
4
640 SP required
6 50px-Hologram.png 300 SP
  • 1 armour-equipped rechargeable hologram projector
2
600 SP required
 Supplementary resources  SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
23 Medical pack 125 SP
  • 1 non-reusable medical health pack
  • Replenishes endurance by 1 for 3 rounds
N/A
125 SP required
100 Stimulation packs 60 SP
  • 2 stim-packs
  • 1 stim-pack increases character energy by 50 points
N/A
125 SP required
12 Binoculars 100 SP
  • 1 set of binoculars
N/A
150 SP required
12 (6 sets) Radio 175 SP
  • 1 radio unit connected to a set of 2
3
300 SP required
4 Spy drones 240 SP
  • 2 atmospheric reconnaissance spy drones
4
600 SP required

Colonel Wright's Black Market Armoury

Quantity available Resource Cost Components (1 unit) Attribute requirements Possible defects
SotF strength SotF dexterity SotF agility SotF accuracy SotF energy
30 125px-MA2B_-_Insurrection.png 32 SP
  • 1 MA2B Assault Rifle
  • 240 rounds
3 2 2 1 -7 25% chance of weapon jamming
35 125px-MA6.png 48 SP
  • 1 MA3 Assault Rifle
  • 192 rounds
3 2 2 1 -8 20% chance of weapon jamming
50 60px-M4A_-_Insurrection.png ² 15 SP
  • 1 M4A Magnum
  • 32 rounds
1 2 1 2 -2 15% chance of weapon jamming
80 60px-M4C_-_Insurrection.png ² 24 SP
  • 1 M4C Magnum
  • 36 rounds
1 2 2 2 -2 12% chance of weapon jamming
30 60px-M6L_standard.png ² 25 SP
  • 1 M6I Machine Pistol
  • 200 rounds
1 3 2 1 -3 25% chance of weapon jamming
8 125px-M620_Light_Machine_Gun.png 100 SP
  • 1 M25 Light Machine gun
  • 800 rounds
3 2 1 1 -12 30% chance of weapon jamming
5 160px-M73_GPMG.png 136 SP
  • 1 M37 Medium Machine gun
  • 900 rounds
5 2 1 1 -15 40% chance of weapon jamming
35 120px-M28_Carbine.png 40 SP
  • 1 M19 Carbine
  • 150 rounds
2 2 3 2 -6 15% chance of weapon jamming
2 150px-M99_SGR.png 320 SP
  • 1 M99 Stanchion Gauss Rifle
  • 7 battery-powered slugs
5 5 1 7 -14 10% chance of fire sequence failure
20 80px-Marksman%27s_scope.png 50 SP
  • 1 medium-range marksman's scope upgrade, compatible with any human marksman's rifle (including the MA2B assault rifle and the M7S SMG)
  • Bonus: Increases character accuracy by 1
3 N/A
12 80px-Sharpshooter%27s_scope.png 80 SP
  • 1 long-range scope sharpshooter's upgrade, compatible with any human sniper rifle (including battle rifle and DMR)
  • Bonus: Increases character accuracy by 2
7 N/A
40 60px-Silencer.png 15 SP
  • 1 weapon silencer, compatible with any human weapon
N/A N/A
25px-Insurrection_ammunition.png 95 SP
  • MA2B: 180 rounds (3 magazines)
  • MA3: 128 rounds (4 magazines)
  • M4A: 24 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M4C: 36 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M25: 400 rounds (2 magazines)
  • M37: 300 rounds (1 magazine)
  • M19: 150 rounds (3 magazines)
  • M99: 7 rounds (1 magazine)
Same as weapon requirements N/A
Handmade grenades 90 SP
  • 4 shrapnel-loaded explosives
N/A 5% chance of explosive backfire
20 Attachment — frag grenades 20 SP
  • 1 weapon attachment, compatible with any human assault rifle, marksman's rifle, or shotgun
  • 10 launch-fire fragmentation grenades
3 15% chance of grenade backfire
30 Attachment — shotgun 16 SP
  • 1 weapon attachment, compatible with any human assault rifle, marksman's rifle, or carbine
  • 30 underslung shotgun shells
3 30% chance of shotgun jamming
20 Attachment — flamethrower 25 SP
  • 1 weapon attachment, compatible with any human assault rifle, shotgun, or carbine
  • 1 tank of incendiary Pyrosene-V
3 20% chance of incendiary backfire
100 Medical pack 50 SP
  • 1 non-reusable medical health pack
  • Replenishes endurance by 1 for 3 rounds
N/A 25% chance of contaminated supplies
50 Rumbledrugs 36 SP
  • 1 vial of combat-boosting drugs
  • Bonus: Increases character strength, agility, and endurance by 1 until the end of the round
3 3 -100 15% chance of contaminated supplies
100 Performance enhancers 28 SP
  • 2 vials of combat-boosting drugs
  • Bonus: 1 vial increases the character's current energy by 20%
  • Warning: Decreases endurance by 1 at the end of the round
3 3
  • 20% chance of contaminated supplies
10 Spy drones 150 SP
  • 3 atmospheric reconnaissance spy drones
5 15% chance of technical failure
3 Intel documents 175 SP
  • A set of very valuable documents that provides the character with intel on the whereabouts of other characters or advantageous locations to find resources
N/A Decreases karma by 1

Episodes

Introduction

Commander Kathrin Grunwald looked up from behind her counter as twelve individuals appeared standing above the teleporters lined up against the far wall. Most of them were humans, although one of them was a Sangheili. More than half of them were Spartans, and the rest were a mixed bunch between Marines, mercenaries, and oddly armoured figures that looked a lot like Spartans.

They looked rather confused, as if they didn't know how they had ended up there. That's good, I suppose, Grunwald thought, stepping forward and placing her hands on the counter. It'll stop them from trying to kill each other for the time being. At least long enough for me to explain what's going on. She cleared her throat, and all eyes were instantly drawn on her.

"Well, don't be shy," she said. "Gather round and we'll get down to business."

The newcomers did as she said, approaching the counter silently. A few of them were eyeing the impressive display of weapons below the counter and on the walls, and some of them were looking at each other to see if there was any recognition.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure some of you have buddies here you're going to recognize," Grunwald said, drawing their attention back to her. "Don't ask questions for now, and just listen.

"If you're wondering where you are, it's called Commander Grunwald's Supply Depot. That's me, by the way. The twelve of you have been brought here because I need a hand in something. A lot of somethings, actually, so I trust that you're all capable. If you do a good job, you'll be paid accordingly. And then you can come back here to get yourself some equipment."

Grunwald took a breath. "These jobs can vary from anything to setting up camp in territories I need claimed, to finding something to bring back to me. Or I could send one of you to kill someone else in this group, which I'm sure some of you wouldn't mind doing."

Some of the newcomers exchanged glances. Sizing each other up, deciding who they would try to target, no doubt. Grunwald took note of the ones that looked like they were on the same side, before continuing. "But before I send you into the field with your objectives, you should all grab some ordnance. As you can see, I have just about anything you're looking for. But these aren't cheap, so I expect you to pull your weight if you're going to be walking out with some of my firepower." She pressed a button on her wrist collar, and a dozen holographic screens appeared in front of each of the newcomers' faces, with the text "600 SP" displayed across each screen.

"This is your balance of SP, or survival points. You can see how many SP you have when you enter my shop or when you complete an objective. As you may have noticed, each of your screens are colour-coded. There is one other person in this room with the same coloured screen as you, and that's who you're sharing your SP with. If that person is killed, then congratulations, it all becomes yours."

The participants looked around at each other again, locking gazes with whoever had the same screen colour as them. "Most of these weapon costs are less than the 600 SP you have right now. But there is also a minimum SP requirement for you to have in order to buy them. This is to make sure you don't walk in here and spend all your points, and screw over whoever you're supposed to share them with. Sound fair?"

There were collective nods and grunts of affirmation. Some of the participants who didn't look particularly pleased with their "partners" relaxed a bit. Grunwald opened her arms, gesturing at the weapon-laden walls around them. "Well, look around. Pick out what you want."

They immediately spread out throughout the store, some pacing up and down the walls to browse though the equipment, others picking up weapons and examining them. Grunwald noticed a teal-armoured female taking a pair of Plasma Rifles and holding them experimentally. The ODST beside her was testing the weight of a Shotgun. The only Sangheili in the room was giving them both a wide berth.

"All weapons are disabled as soon as you enter my shop, by the way," Grunwald added. The identically blue screens in front of the two humans chimed, and two sets of numbers appeared on them.

The ODST turned to face her. "What's this, Commander?" she asked. On her screen, its name visible only to Grunwald, was scrawled "MELISSA MCKAY, FIRST LIEUTENANT"

"When you pick up something from my shop, Lieutenant, your screen will display its price. And the attribute requirements you need to use it."

"Attribute requirements?" repeated the teal-armoured one, her screen labelled as "VICTORIA O'CONNELL, MAJOR".

"Okay, everyone, listen up. If you tap the icon at the top right corner of your screen, it will show your strength, dexterity, agility, and accuracy attributes. Each of you has been evaluated on your individual abilities, and your attributes will reflect that. I will only sell you a weapon if you meet all four of its attribute requirements."

"Sounds about fair," remarked a male with dark-blue armour and green highlights ("JERROLD PERSHING, SPECIALIST"). "Hey, Carolina, what are your attributes?" he asked, peeking over at Victoria's screen. She immediately returned her screen to display her SP instead of her attributes.

"Hey," Jerrold said, surprised. "I thought we were on the same side."

Grunwald shook her head. "That may not be a guarantee. You're free to form your own teams as you see fit, but keep in mind that sooner or later, you might find it better not to take sides at all. In any case, it's an advantage if no one else can see your attributes, or else they could figure out your weaknesses and exploit them in the field."

"Enough talk, what do we do now?" asked a Spartan who had already selected his weapons ("ROGER-341, JUNIOR LIEUTENANT"). "You mentioned objectives, so can you give them to us now?"

Grunwald nodded. "Alright then. Return to the teleporters you were standing in before, and it will take you to a random location. Once you're out, you'll get a list of objectives on your screen. Pick one, and then it's up to you from there." She watched as the twelve of them finished selecting their weapons and stepped back onto their teleporters. When the last one took his position, there was a simultaneous flash, and then they were gone.

The Commander sat back in her chair and crossed her legs. "And so the game begins," she said to herself.

Episode 1 (Complete)

 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Help Army forces take back a UNSC launch yard from the Covenant
8% 160 SP
  • Escort a convoy of UNSC vehicles to a rally point in a rebel-held city
  • Hold off rebel forces until UNSC perimeter defences are online
16% 320 SP
  • Track down and silence a rebel spy carrying valuable UNSC intel
  • Retrieve the intel and return it to the UNSC base, evading hostile rebel forces
17% 340 SP
  • Regroup a scattered team of Marines in a Covenant area and transport them to the extraction point
14% 280 SP
  • Locate a team of Special Operations Sangheili (allied with humans as well) and assist them in their mission
16% 320 SP
  • Infiltrate a rebel cell group and learn more about the underground black market movement
20% 400 SP
  • Plant a bug in the rebels' central communications array
15% 300 SP
  • Steal a rebel transport vessel along with its cargo of Warthogs
18% 360 SP
High-risk
  • Lead an offensive strike into a Flood nest and destroy its source
54% 1620 SP
  • Eliminate Victoria O'Connell
Relative to character stats Relative to risk level
  • Eliminate Roger-341
Relative to character stats Relative to risk level
Wild card
  • Locate and defuse a rebel-planted bomb in a civilian city
11%—62% 280—1800 SP
  • Aid Jerrold Pershing by eliminating hostile rebel forces
    OR
  • Aid rebel forces by eliminating Jerrold Pershing
6%—43% 200—1200 SP
  • Board and destroy a rebel ship, and capture the Captain
15%—64% 360—1840 SP
  • Help a team of rebels eliminate a Sangheili unit in a standoff
    OR
  • Help a Sangheili unit eliminate a rebel team in a standoff
13%—35% 300—900 SP



1

Name: Melissa McKay
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6C Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 9.5mm magazines (108 rounds)
  • 24x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 4x 12.7mm magazines (48 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 6/6 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 540/540 (0) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Help Army forces take back a UNSC launch yard from the Covenant
8% 160 SP



There was a dazzling burst of sunlight as something went bang in front of Lieutenant Melissa McKay. She jumped slightly and instinctively reached for her gun, when she realized that she was standing in an SOEIV. The sound had come from the hatch popping off, and she saw that the pod she was inside was standing in shallow water.

She stepped out, taking in her surroundings. She was situated at the edge of an ocean shore, which wrapped itself around a beach and some bluffs in a concave pattern. Foaming water lapped at her boots, but apart from the sound of the waves rolling in, there was no other sound present.

McKay assessed her weapons quickly. She had a Shotgun attached to her back, as well as an M6C Magnum on her hip, along with a fair amount of ammunition. Her combat knife was sheathed over her left shoulder.

Looks like I have everything, she thought. She noticed that her Battle Rifle was attached to one of the weapon holsters on her SOEIV, which she liberated as well before marching towards the beach. The area looked unfamiliar, but that didn't bother her too much. She moved at a fair pace, scanning the area for signs of trouble.

A beeping sound came from something attached to her right bicep. She took one hand off her rifle to grab it.

The two metal cylinders slid apart, unrolling a sky-blue holographic sheet. On it was scrawled in digital text an entire list of objectives. The ODST stopped for a moment to read through them. After a moment of contemplation, she pressed a finger on the one marked "HELP ARMY FORCES TAKE BACK A UNSC LAUNCH YARD FROM THE COVENANT (RISK: 8% • REWARD: 160 SP)".

As soon as she did so, a navigation point appeared on her HUD. She looked up and saw that her objective was only a few hundred metres away. She slid the cylinders back together and reattached it to her shoulder before continuing onward.

When McKay reached the top of the beachhead, the first thing she saw was the movement ahead that was impossible to miss. There was what looked like an entire platoon of humans in dark olive armour shooting their way further up towards a UNSC facility. This must be the Army forces, she thought, flicking the safety off her Battle Rifle and sliding the weapon's first three rounds into the chamber. She peered through the scope and spotted the Covenant forces holding their ground right outside the facility's entrance.

Even though her gun was fully capable of scoring hits on the aliens from her position, McKay decided to move up a bit more towards the barricades that the soldiers had set up. At her range, she would be at a disadvantage to trade shots with any potential Kig-Yar snipers hiding outside the facility. As she advanced, she turned on her COM and set it to broadcast to all local friendly forces. "This is First Lieutenant Melissa McKay, Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. I'm approaching on your six, moving in to assist."

Some of the soldiers took a moment to duck behind cover and turned around to look at her. "Appreciate the help, Lieutenant," replied one of them. "Watch yourself, the Covenant have forces all over the entrance."

McKay made it to a barricade and put herself behind it, peering around the corner. "Good morning, boys. You got anything that fires farther than my rifle?"

The Corporal next to her shook his head. "We're all out of sniper ammo, ma'am. We used it to take out as many as we could, but there were just more of them coming out."

She used her Battle Rifle's scope again to scan the alien bodies. "Why didn't you move up once you eliminated the ones in front?"

"They've got two Hunter pairs up there," the Corporal said, pointing. "We tried advancing, but they started hosing us before we made it a third of the way across. We lost four while backing into cover."

"Great," McKay muttered. "Last order of business before I get your asses moving. Any of you spotted snipers over there?"

"We've eliminated all the snipers, Lieutenant," a nearby Private said. "Haven't seen any enemy dropships coming in to deploy more either. But there might be a few in the launch yard."

"I'll take my chances," she said, setting her Battle Rifle to three-round burst. Turning on the COM again, she said, "Troopers, scatter yourselves in one line. Take out the Grunts first, but keep an eye on the Hunters. Move!"

To their credit, the soldiers didn't hesitate as they leaped over or moved around their cover and sprinted up the beach, Assault Rifles blazing. McKay took aim at the first Sangheili she sighted on, firing a rapid stream of bullets at the tall alien. It sidestepped, managing to dodge some of the rounds, but she readjusted her aim. The Corporal next to her fired her rifle in staccato and punched through the last of its shields. McKay adjusted her aim and fired three rounds, and the last bullet took the alien through the head. It fell in a spray of purple.

Plasma was flying through the air all around them and burned into the sand, although the troopers had managed to take out more than half the Unggoy with their combined firepower. A group of Kig-Yar stepped into view, overlapping their shields and firing at the oncoming humans.

"Deploy grenades!" McKay barked. The soldiers primed Fragmentation Grenades one by one, and tossed them through the air. Some bounced off the Kig-Yar shields, but a good number of them managed to make it behind the formation, blasting apart the wall of shields. McKay used the last rounds in her magazine to put down the survivors, and quickly reloaded her weapon.

The Mgalekgolo had taken position on either side of the ramp leading up to the launch yard, and they were opening fire. But they were having difficulty landing hits with the platoon spread so far apart. One unfortunate soldier who was busy firing at a group of Unggoy didn't notice the danger until he took a brutal beam of plasma to the chest. His screams didn't last long before half his torso was melted and he died.

Another soldier took a needle to the face and crumpled. He was dead before the projectile shattered and turned his head into a messy pulp. A third was stuck in the leg by a well-thrown plasma grenade. The soldier doubled his running speed and fired furiously at the Sangheili who had thrown the explosive. He managed to tackle the alien right before the grenade detonated and ripped them both apart in a blue-white explosion.

They were almost at the main ramp now. McKay switched her Battle Rifle to fire single rounds and used up half a magazine to take down the surviving Unggoy. Plasma splashed against her armour, but none penetrated. A Kig-Yar appeared in front of her, Plasma Pistol glowing with overcharge. She sidestepped around the lizard-like alien and dealt it a hard kick, sending it sprawling and the plasma shot flying into the air. She fired two rounds into its torso, dropping it.

The last Sangheili, a Field Master, was being fired on by six of the remaining troopers. Its shields flared but it held, and it ducked behind a deployed plasma shield. McKay followed it and kept up the fire, chipping away at its weakened shields. The alien roared and raised its Plasma Repeater to hit her, but one of the nearby soldiers shot it in the side. It flinched as the round passed through its unshielded armour. McKay didn't hesitate, furiously pumping the trigger until the hostile was brought down by the semi-automatic fire.

Now all that was left were the Mgalekgolo. The ODST saw that the platoon had engaged them, trying to get clear shots on their unprotected orange flesh. But the massive aliens were tearing through them, either beating them to death with their mighty arms, or firing their plasma cannons at them relentlessly. The soldiers were panicking, firing bullets that bounced uselessly off the Mgalekgolo's thick armour.

She quickly checked her Battle Rifle and saw that she had only four rounds left in the magazine. She decided to eject it and insert a new one, although she only had one magazine for the weapon left. I should save this in case I need it later, she thought, placing the gun on her back and drawing her Shotgun. She charged at the nearest Mgalekgolo, who hadn't yet noticed her behind it. She jammed the barrel of her Shotgun into its back and fired the powerful shells into its back until it keeled over, dead.

The other Mgalekgolo gave a furious roar and charged for her. The ODST backpedalled, frantically sliding more shells into the feed. She dove to the side as the alien tried to make a swipe at her with its shield arm. She hit the dirt and scrambled to her feet, as it turned around and moved for her again.

McKay knew that if she fired the Shotgun from this range, most of the pellets would just scatter and hit the armour. She drew her M6C with her other hand, discharging round after round from the handgun and trying to hit it in the neck. Most of the bullets bounced off, although a couple of hits managed to slow it down. The Magnum soon clicked empty, and she holstered it again, peering behind her before aiming the Shotgun again.

The Mgalekgolo closed in and raised its arm to crush her, and she dove to the side, snatching up a Plasma Grenade off a dead Unggoy as she did so. Its shield came down on a Covenant storage unit, and crushed it completely. McKay took advantage of its momentary confusion to attach the Plasma Grenade to its belly. She dove away as it looked down at the glowing thing on its middle.

The explosion sent what was left of the crumpled container flying, as well as the Mgalekgolo's mangled body. Silence settled over the launch yard.

McKay looked around. Out of the forty-odd soldiers that had been present when she first arrived, she counted twenty-seven still alive. Not a great outcome, but it could have been worse. The Corporal was approaching her, grinning.

"Well, you really are something, ma'am," he said. "Never seen any Marine take on two Hunters like that, not even from your Helljumpers' lot. Well, I suppose we owe you one, so how about you take a breather here for a while. What do you say?"

"Sounds good," replied McKay. "As long as you don't stick me in the shipping bay for my barracks."

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 98 (Success)
  • Help Army forces take back a UNSC launch yard from the Covenant
8%

160 SP


Name: Melissa McKay
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6C Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 1x 9.5mm magazines (36 rounds)
  • 20x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 3x 12.7mm magazines (36 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 6/6 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 517/540 (-23) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


2

Name: Marco-025
Current weapons:
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • M6D Pistol
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 5x 7.62mm magazines (160 rounds)
  • 5x 12.7mm magazines (60 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 688/700 (0) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Wild card
  • Board and destroy a rebel ship, and capture the Captain
15%—64% 360—1840 SP



Marco-025 slid his fingers up the holographic screen, coloured dark red to indicate that he was partnered with the shifty-looking ODST he had observed in Commander Grunwald's armoury. He noticed that one of the "low-risk" objectives was already crossed out. Not that any of them interested him, now that he looked through them. Instead, he kept scrolling down the screen until he reached the high-risk and wild-card objectives.

The high-risk ones definitely look rewarding, he thought. But he had no desire to attack a Flood nest, nor did he want to go after either of the UNSC targets unless he absolutely had to. He decided to pick the wild-card objective with the instructions to board and take out a rebel ship, and capture its Captain. That's something I can do with a clear conscience. He snapped the cylinders shut and reattached it to his armour.

He looked up and saw that he was now standing in the cargo bay of a Pelican dropship. It was already airborne, and there was a pilot behind the controls. A navpoint was also visible, marked ▼1.8 km.

"Get ready to deploy, Spartan," the pilot said over the COM. "I can insert into the hangar bay, but I can't stick around to defend it. Once I drop you off, you're on your own."

"Got it," Marco replied shortly, placing one hand on the Pelican's hull in preparation for the rough entry. "Am I expecting you to pick me up once I have the package?"

"I'll try my best. Be prepared for every possibility, though."

Like I need to be told that, the Spartan thought. But he said nothing as the Pelican adjusted its trajectory to make its final approach to the rebel ship.

"Heads up, we've got enemy fighters coming to head us off!" the pilot called. Marco peered out the viewport and saw four Broadsword fighters moving to intercept them.

"Seal off the cockpit," he said. "And drop the hatch. You focus on getting us into that ship, I'll keep the fighters off your back."

The pilot complied, and Marco grabbed hold of the Pelican's mounted machine gun turret. As the hatch retracted, a fighter appeared in his line of fire, and the large gun barrel began to swivel.

A deadly hail of bullets shattered the Broadsword's viewport, filling the spacecraft with vacuum and sending it spiralling off into space along with its dead pilot. No energy shields then, Marco thought, adjusting his aim. Guess that makes my job easier.

The other Broadswords, noticing the gunfire, moved to avoid the Spartan's aim. But he was faster, scoring hits on a second fighter's wing and causing it to jerk erratically. It failed to move out of the line of fire and was eliminated by another spray of fire.

The remaining fighters were returning fire, and the Pelican pilot swerved to avoid them. Marco was nearly thrown off the dropship from the sudden manoeuvre, but gripped the turret firmly to hold on. He shifted his weight back into position and kept up his fire, trying to see through the mess of missiles and countermeasures flying between the vehicles.

"We're coming up on the hangar!" the pilot shouted. "I'm firing ANVILs at their doors. Get ready to jump, Spartan!"

There was the sound of missiles ejecting from the Pelican's wings, followed by a dozen overlapping booms. Marco's shields flared as they passed through a wall of flame, and suddenly the muffled vacuum of space was replaced by blaring alarms echoing around the hangar bay they were in.

The pilot decelerated quickly, pulling the Pelican's nose up and activating its vertical thrusters to slow it down. The Spartan took one hand off the turret to grab his MA5C off his back, and after eyeing the floor below him, leaped off the still-moving dropship.

He rolled into a standing position, wielding the rifle in both hands and sweeping the hangar bay. There were rebels all over the place, running for the exits as the hangar decompressed. Behind him, the Pelican turned itself around and jettisoned itself back out of the ship, right before the emergency blast doors slid in and sealed off the breach.

Most of the rebels in the hangar were technicians, but they drew their pistols and opened fire on Marco nonetheless. He ducked behind a large metal container as bullets flew through the air past him. A quarter of his shields had gone down from the hits he took, and he waited for it to recharge before moving partially out of cover and returning fire, aiming first at the guards armed with MA3 Assault Rifles.

The rebels were wearing vacuum suits, but it was poor armour, and the Spartan's bullets easily tore through their numbers. The MA5C was not a formidably accurate weapon at medium range, but it was sufficient enough to fire in short bursts, and it didn't take more than a half dozen rounds to put down one hostile.

Marco had used up two magazines in his weapon and brought down thirteen rebels before they thought to rethink their strategy. As he reloaded, he saw three Frag Grenades flying through the air towards him, and rolled away as they landed next to the container in a trio of pings. He managed to make it out of the blast radius as the grenades sent the crate flying, but was now in the open.

Rather than seeking cover again, the Spartan decided to go on the offensive. He charged straight at the nearest group of rebels, gunning them down one after another as he closed in on them. He took a few hits, but for the most part was too fast for them to get a proper aim at. When his Assault Rifle's magazine was empty, he ran at the two rebels firing at him and beat them both to death with his gun. Without slowing down, he drew his M6D Pistol and fired three shots, dropping the last handful of rebels on the other side of the hangar.

Marco took a quick breather, reloading his MA5C as he made his way into the nearest service corridor. The rebels definitely knew he was here by now, but he doubted that they would abandon their ship entirely for one enemy, even if it was a Spartan. Instead, he would probably be expecting a number of hit teams or ambushes to bring him down.

So, as long as I can capture the Captain before the rebels realize how screwed they are, this should go well. Destroying the ship would come later. First he needed some insurance.

The bridge wasn't too far from the hangar bay he had landed in, and immediately it was clear from the amount of security present. Marco hadn't made it halfway down the second corridor before more gunmen appeared, firing sniper rounds at him.

Damn, he thought, darting back and leaping around the corner as grey trails of bullets whistled past him. His shields were beeping a warning as one round depleted it to near-empty. He drew his Pistol again, wishing that he had grenades with him. He waited for his shields to recharge before flipping up the scope on the handgun and taking aim at the line of snipers on the other side.

The M6D bucked as its deadly slugs flew through the air and punched through the faces of two snipers. It was the snipers' turn to take cover, and without hesitation, Marco broke into a run to close the distance between them.

The first sniper never saw him coming. As soon as Marco appeared before them, another bullet tore through the rebel's helmet. He turned around to see the two remaining enemies pointing their rifles at him. The Spartan's free hand snapped out, grabbing one of the barrels and snapping it. He kneed the sniper in the face, and a painful-sounding crack was heard from his skull. He dropped the last sniper with one point-blank shot to the side of the head.

He holstered the sidearm and redrew his Assault Rifle, proceeding down the corridor warily with his gun up. He was approaching the conjunction that would lead to the bridge, but he guessed that it would not be that easy.

He was right. Upon reaching the conjunction, he saw that it was filled with gunmen, guns trained on him. And beyond them, the bridge doors were firmly sealed.

Nothing for it then, Marco thought. He sprayed the room with automatic fire, not even needing to aim too carefully to hit the rebels. He killed a decent number of them before his shields took enough damage to force him into cover again. He was busy reloading when a rocket blasted into the doorway he was standing in, showering him with shrapnel and taking down the last of his shields.

The Spartan grunted, caught by surprise as he stumbled away from the smoking remains of the doorway. He drew his M6D and aimed it at the entrance as he backed away, listening carefully.

He heard the footsteps before he saw the first rebel appear around the corner, and shot the enemy twice in the chest. A second rebel took the handgun's last three rounds in the stomach and fell over the first body.

Marco's shields came back up as he reloaded the Pistol. He took a deep breath and moved through the doorway, scanning the rebels for the one with the Rocket Launcher. He moved into the midst of their formation, shooting one enemy down after another as they reeled away from him.

There! He spotted the one hefting the launcher, and it was pointing right at him. The Spartan's handgun came up, and he fired a quick shot, grazing his target's shoulder. The rebel flinched, and it was enough time for Marco to put the last two bullets in the M6D into its torso.

He was still taking hits, and his shields were at half now. He drew his Combat Knife and snapped into motion, weaving through the group of enemies. Some tried to back off, some tried to take down his shields with continued fire, but it made no difference as they fell one by one.

Marco wiped the blood off his knife and sheathed it again. He also reloaded his M6D and walked down a hallway pointing in a different direction from the bridge. If he couldn't open the bridge doors, he would just have to force his quarry out.

···

Boom.

The rebel Captain stumbled as the ship shook. He looked around wildly. "What the hell was that?"

"We've got a breach in the engine room!" shouted a panicked operations officer. "The fusion reactors have been set on overdrive!"

The Captain grabbed a nearby pedestal to steady himself. "What? Dammit, it must be that Spartan! How'd he get access to engineering?"

"Chief engineer gave him the codes, sir," reported the communications officer. "I've still got monitoring online in the engine room."

"For fuck's sake," the Captain said angrily. "Get me a line to engineering, now."

"Everyone in engineering is dead, sir," the communications officer replied. "The Spartan...said he would kill them quickly, and he did."

"Captain," the operations officer said urgently. "Sir, we need to get the hell out of here. The engines are hot right now and we can't shut them down. They'll burn the ship apart within an hour!"

The Captain gritted his teeth. "Alright. Order all hands to abandon ship. Forget the Spartan. Let's get out of here."

The communications officer carried out the necessary protocols, and the bridge officers gladly assembled for evacuation. The Captain opened the doors.

Thirty-two rounds flew into the bridge, cutting down every single one of the crew members before anyone could react. The Captain heard the click of a handgun and found himself staring down the silver barrel of an M6D. The weapon was held in the hands of a Spartan.

He froze, staring down the masked supersoldier as terror overtook him. Finally, he managed to say something. "If I come quietly, will you keep me alive?" he asked.

The Spartan considered this. "Sounds fair."

The butt of the M6D came down on the side of the Captain's head, not hard enough to leave a serious injury, but enough to knock him out. Marco caught the rebel before he hit the ground and dragged him away from the bridge.

The evacuation was on, so he would undoubtedly run into more rebels. But they would be a lot more careful about opening fire when they saw who was with him.

The Spartan keyed his COM, and noticed that he was already in the pilot's channel. "This is SPARTAN-025. I've got the package and need evac."

"Copy that. Meet me at hangar bay one. You're close to the bridge, right?"

"Yeah. See you there. Be advised, the entire ship is evacuating, so keep a low profile."

"Don't worry, I know what I'm doing, Spartan. See you in five."

Well, that was fun, Marco thought as he made his way back towards the hangar bays. He was all out of ammunition for his MA5C, but he could easily replenish that once he paid Commander Grunwald another visit. He checked on his captive, making sure that he was still out cold.

I hope the payoff is worth the trouble for getting this guy. If this is the game I'm playing, I'm going to need a lot more ammo.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 54 (Success)
  • Board and destroy a rebel ship, and capture the Captain
29%

1750 SP


Name: Marco-025
Current weapons:
  • MA5C Assault Rifle
  • M6D Pistol
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 0x 7.62mm magazines (0 rounds)
  • 3x 12.7mm magazines (36 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 688/700 (-12) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


3

Name: SPARTAN-077 (Rickraptor77)
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 9.5mm magazines (108 rounds)
  • 24 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 5x 12.7mm magazines (60 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 720/720 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Locate a team of Special Operations Sangheili (allied with humans as well) and assist them in their mission
16% 320 SP



Rick-077 cursed as his finger accidentally tapped the wrong objective on his holographic data sheet. Stupid touch screen, he thought, looking sourly at the mission that he was now forced to take. I don't care if these squid-heads are allied with humans. Someone else could have taken it. He snapped the cylinders shut, and the dark yellow screen blinked off.

As he replaced the deactivated data projector on his armour, he noticed that he was standing in a swamp. It was dimly lit only by the fireflies and glowing plants that took up residence around its damper regions. The air filtering through his helmet vents became a lot warmer.

"Where the hell are these guys?" Rick muttered, scanning the swamp carefully. It was really quiet in here. Too quiet...

The Spartan tensed as his sharp hearing picked up the whine of propulsion engines ringing through the swamp. There were ground vehicles heading his way, several of them, and they definitely weren't UNSC. Quickly, he sought the nearest cover, a thick gnarled tree that bent its branches over the swamp like an umbrella. Then he waited, Shotgun ready.

Two Spectres tore out into the open from a dense cluster of trees with its boosters blazing with energy; it was quickly followed by a second one that was closely behind. Both vehicles were operated by Sangheili, with eight of them in total.

Then, before the Spectres had even gotten halfway past Rick's line of vision, a Prowler appeared as well packed full with with four Jiralhanae, escorted by two Choppers. Plasma fire and glowing projectiles were flying through the air between the two groups of vehicles, although the Sangheili were clearly at a disadvantage since their plasma turrets were having trouble hitting the small assembly of Jiralhanae vehicles.

I wish I had some grenades, Rick thought as he did a quick check on his weapon. Hoping that these were the Sangheili he was supposed to meet and that he wasn't about to make a terrible mistake, he jumped out of cover as one of the Choppers was about to reach his position. As the vehicle sped past him, he blasted the driver at nearly point-blank range, killing the alien instantly and causing the Chopper to grind to a halt.

Before the rest of the Jiralhanae could figure out what was going on, he took the controls of the Chopper, quickly familiarizing himself with the controls. Damn, it's been a while since I drove one of these. His foot found a pedal attached to the right side of the wheels, and was nearly thrown off as its engines roared and sent the vehicle flying forward.

The other Chopper was continuing to give pursuit to the Sangheili, but the Prowler's turret turned to point at him. Uh-oh. Rick squeezed the triggers on the steering grips, spewing superheated metal at the larger vehicle. The Jiralhanae driver snarled and moved to evade the gunfire, although he was too easily exposed from his position. Rick carefully turned his Chopper this way and that, following the Prowler's trajectory with his autocannons. This isn't too hard, he thought, trying to keep a clear shot on the driver. If I drop this guy, the others are dead meat—

There was suddenly a flash of green. Rick's face was slammed into the Chopper as a blast from a Fuel Rod sent his vehicle reeling. With a grunt of annoyance, he returned fire on the Jiralhanae who had fired the weapon, punching a hole through the hostile's armour and causing him to tumble out of the moving Prowler. In response, the driver turned to the side, allowing the gunner and the other passenger to get a clear shot at him.

Big mistake, Rick thought, and floored it. Another Fuel Rod bolt was fired at him, but he turned the Chopper sharply, managing to evade the fuel rod as it bounced off the ground right next to him. Hardly slowing down, he zoomed right at the Prowler's vulnerable side.

The unfortunate passenger was immediately sucked under the wheels from the impact; the Chopper shook and its wheels ripped the alien apart. A split second later, an explosion engulfed the Prowler as the Chopper cut it in half. Rick's shields shimmered from the heat as he plowed through the destroyed vehicle, ducking as the gunner's burned body sailed over his head. He felt a piece of debris lodge into his Chopper, stopping the wheels sharply. "Agh!" Rick yelled as he was forcefully thrown into the air and landed on the ground in a heap.

The remaining Chopper finally turned its attention to him and was zooming straight towards him. "Oh, great," the Spartan muttered, wishing he had his armour lockdown with him. He scrambled for the wreckage of the Prowler, pulling aside pieces of flaming scrap metal until he caught a golden glint and grabbed it.

The Prowler was less than twenty feet away when he turned around with one of the Fuel Rod guns hefted on his shoulder. At this range, it would be impossible to miss. He fired all four remaining rounds in the magazine, blowing the enemy vehicle apart in a yellow-green explosion. He discarded the empty launcher and ducked as one of the Choppers' wheels sailed over his head.

"Well, that's that taken care of," Rick said. He was knee-deep in swamp water and had no idea where he was, but at least the danger was gone for now. The Spartan began to trudge forwards, peering into the wrecked vehicles for supplies. A faint whining noise from behind him turned Rick around, levelling his weapon as a familiar vehicle moved towards him. It was a Spectre, crewed by three Sangheili.

"Hey! You split-lips friendly?"

Rick hoped that they didn't take the insult to heart as a red-armoured figure leapt off the vehicle and began walking towards him. The plasma turret had him dead in its sights, so the Spartan made sure to move slowly. The Sangheili stopped several feet in front of him and spoke.

"You saved us, Demon. Why?"

Okay, so they're not attacking. Good. Rick lowered his gun. "I was in the area and saw that you needed a hand, that's all."

"Hrmph. You may come with us, if it pleases you."

"Sure." The Spartan briefly considered declining, but as that would leave him stranded in the middle of nowhere it would be better to take these guys up on their offer. He followed the red-armoured Sangheili back to the Spectre and clambered onto the vehicle. It immediately sped off through the swamp, meeting up with the second one a little further down the way. Rick didn't say a word for the whole trip, and was mostly content to sit back and enjoy the ride without being fired at. Eventually, the Spectre emerged from the swampy canopy into a wide open area on the edge of the swampland. The Sangheili dismounted, some of them eyeing Rick with suspicion.

"So," he asked. "Why were they chasing you, anyway?"

"For this."

The Sangheili leader produced a large crystal from a bag. It glowed to the touch, and certainly wasn't natural. He knew that Covvies went mad for this kind of stuff, and merely nodded. As the small group approached the centre of the clearing, a Phantom dropship descended, hovering overhead for a few moments before one of it's side gunners opened fire to the right.

"More Brutes!"

Sighting, Rick ducked into cover behind the Spectre as three Banshees swooped in. One was shot to pieces by the Phantom's gunners, the other two spiralling off to come in for another attack. On the edge of the clearing, another group of Jiralhanae emerged, raining down spikes on the Sangheili. As the fire increased and it quickly became clear that his allies were losing, the Spartan leapt aboard the Spectre and activated the plasma cannon. Blasts of hot plasma tore through the other fliers, one crashing down into the dirt and crushing the second Spectre. Rick looked to his left and saw the red-armoured Sangheili lying dead on the floor, riddled with spikes. The bag lay at his feet.

"Hey, you forgot something!"

The Spartan gunned down several approaching Jiralhanae before leaving the turret and sprinting across the field. The Sangheili were already retreating up the gravity lift, apparently unaware that their precious crystal was still down here. He stooped for a moment to grab the bag and tossed it with all his might into the lift. It floated upwards and into the dropship as the hatched closed shut. It hosed down the treeline with it's main cannon and sped off into the sky.

"You're welcome!" Rick shouted to the retreating ship. With that, he was fairly certain that he'd completed his mission. He was alone again, in a field at the edge of a swamp in the middle of nowhere. He turned back to the Spectre. But I do have a vehicle.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 89 (Success)
  • Locate a team of Special Operations Sangheili (allied with humans as well) and assist them in their mission
16%

320 SP


Name: SPARTAN-077 (Rickraptor77)
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 9.5mm magazines (108 rounds)
  • 23 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 5x 12.7mm magazines (60 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 696/720 (-24) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


4

Name: Jorge-052
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M7 Caseless SMG
  • 2x Type-52 Maulers
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 24 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 6x 5mm caseless magazines (360 rounds)
  • 24x 7.9mm magazines (120 bolts)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 10/10 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 1000/1000 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Wild card
  • Aid Jerrold Pershing by eliminating hostile rebel forces
6%—43% 200—1200 SP



The sun was reaching its midday point in the sky when Jorge-052 came across the train tracks. The maglev rails were laid out in a wide bend upon the field and stretched out in both directions until they disappeared around a line of trees. The Spartan decided against crossing over the magnetic rails; even with his sharp hearing, trains were much faster than quieter than most believed. He changed directions and walked alongside the tracks, careful not to get too close in case the magnetic generators were capable of damaging his armour. At least I know this will lead me somewhere.

He had been walking for nearly an hour now, but still there was no sign of anyone else nearby. He had already selected his objective earlier, but had no idea if he was even going in the right direction to find this Jerrold Pershing. There was nothing for it by sitting around waiting, however, so he decided to head off on his own from the abandoned bunker that he had emerged from. And after that, there was nothing to do but walk.

As Jorge made his way through the field next to the tracks, he began to make contemplate what he could figure out from his situation. Who had built these tracks? They looked like they were human-made, but where did it lead to? From the sounds of what Command Grunwald told us, the UNSC might not be the only human forces down here. But how large was this area that he had found himself in? What resources were scattered around the land? I've got to find out as much as I can about this place as soon as I can get my hands on the information. Until then—

The big Spartan straightened at the sound of a muffled explosion not far off from his position. He turned his head away from the tracks, listening for more sounds. There was faint sounding and the sharp reports of automatic fire. More explosions followed.

Jorge weighed his options. He couldn't hear any Covenant weapons amidst the commotion, so it was unlikely that there were aliens nearby. Whether the ones firing at each other were UNSC or rebels, they had to be there for a reason, and if he made his way over, he could find a lead to his objective. He inspected all the weapons that he had and decided that the Shotgun would have to do.

The Spartan stepped towards the foliage that enveloped both sides of the tracks, moving as quickly as he could while trying not to make noise. This was not an easy task for a fully armoured Spartan, especially one of his size. Nonetheless, he kept his Shotgun up and ready as he cut through the hedges and into the trees, one eye on the motion tracker in the corner of his HUD.

He didn't get far before he saw them. A squadron of gunmen, clad in olive fatigues and bearing MA3 Assault Rifles, were dashing towards a clearing, where some of their comrades lay dead in bloodied heaps. There was a flash of green and blue from behind a thick tree trunk, followed by two grenades that sailed through the air towards the gunmen. Some of them managed to dodge the shots, but three of them were killed immediately by the resulting explosions.

A nav point appeared on Jorge's HUD, right over the head of the armoured figure who had fired the grenades. Mr. Pershing, if I'm not mistaken. The Spartan recalled the one who had picked a Grenade Launcher in Grunwald's armoury. Well, that makes my job a lot easier—

Another trio of explosions sounded off to his right, followed by the splitting crack of wood. The gunmen dove for cover as a massive tree toppled over and crashed through the foliage and fell to the ground with a deafening boom. One of the gunmen, lying prone, saw a pair of armoured boots and looked up to see Jorge. "There's another one!" he screamed. He backpedalled and reached for his rifle, as the others turned in their direction.

A blast from the Shotgun silenced the gunman. Jorge's eyes caught the crimson fist of the Insurrection painted on his fatigues before bringing his weapon to bear with the other enemies. Gunfire flew at him, striking against his shields and chipping away at them. The Spartan ducked into cover with his back against another tree, running ideas through his mind on his next course of action.

Another squad of rebels had reached his position from the opposite direction, their guns trained on him. Jorge raised his Shotgun and fired until the weapon chamber was empty, tearing apart the hostiles in the close quarters. His fingers moved nimbly, sliding 8 gauge shells into the magazine feed. He was sliding back the pump when he heard a dull thunk at his feet and looked down to see a Frag Grenade there.

Jorge manoevred himself around the trunk and leaped away with a grunt. He landed not ten feet away next to the last four gunmen, who were staring up at him in fear. The Shotgun clicked as he released the pump and allowed it to slide back into place.

The rebels' rifles weren't even halfway pointed at him before half of them were dropped by two lethal shots. The other two broke and ran, firing at him as they did so. But Jorge's shields were already recharged, and most of the shots on him went wide. He was just beginning to give chase when a pair of muzzle flashes stopped them both in their tracks. The rebels jerked as they were riddled with bullets, and they tumbled over, rifles clattering away from their lifeless hands.

Jorge didn't lower his weapon as silence fell over the field. The blue-armoured soldier stepped out towards him, an SMG in each hand and his Grenade Launcher on his back. He casually ejected the magazines from his handguns and reloaded without looking down. "Afternoon," he said pleasantly, holstering one of the SMGs to extend his hand. "Judgin' by how ya used that there lead chucker, I'm guessin' you're here to help."

Jorge shook hands with him, noting how the NAV marker had disappeared from his HUD. "I am. I'm Jorge. SPARTAN-052. I take it you're Jerrold Pershing?"

"Yep. Also known as Agent Virginia. Call me Virg if ya want, tha's what all my friends know me as."

"Alright then, Virg. I don't suppose any of your friends are close by at the moment?"

Jerrold shook his head. "I spotted one of 'em in that Commander's resource shop, but I ain't got an idea where she is now. Anyhoo, I don't have no time to stand 'round here chattin'. I was on my way to some Innie outpost and make a mess outta their communications relay when I bumped into these fellas."

"Communications?" Jorge repeated. "There's a rebel outpost nearby?"

"Aye, though it ain't that close from the looks of my NAV point. Place is called Hardluck Point, I think, 'bout ten klicks off the west end of the peninsula. Still got a ways to go from here, 'specially by foot. But if you're lookin' for intel, which I'm guessing y'are since tha's a first instinct for you Spartans, I'm sure it'd be worth your while if ya come along with me. What do ya say?"

Jorge thought about it. It seemed that his decision to find this Jerrold Pershing hadn't been for nothing, and he seemed trustworthy enough at the moment. Still, he reminded himself to stay on guard at all times. There's no telling what this guy is going to be after once he takes out that communications relay. Out loud, he said, "Very well. Lead the way then, Virg."

With that, the Freelancer turned around and headed away from the clearing, with the Spartan following closely behind. Silence soon settled over the field again, peaceful save for the bodies of Insurrectionists laying among the charred and broken trees.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 40 (Success)
  • Aid Jerrold Pershing by eliminating hostile rebel forces
26%

766 SP


Name: Jorge-052
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M7 Caseless SMG
  • 2x Type-52 Maulers
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 14 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 6x 5mm caseless magazines (360 rounds)
  • 24x 7.9mm magazines (120 bolts)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 10/10 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 975/1000 (-25) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


5

Name: Roger-341
Current weapons:
  • BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
  • Type-1 Energy Sword
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 7.5mm magazines (108 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 750/750 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Steal a rebel transport vessel along with its cargo of Warthogs
18% 360 SP



Roger-341 lay completely still in the ditch, listening to the sound of approaching vehicles. The dirt path before him was lined with tire tracks, which made him almost certain that he was in the right place for his objective.

The convoy of rebel vehicles he had spotted winding their way up the hill were almost upon his position. Yes, he could clearly hear the deep hum of the transport vessels becoming louder, and it was coming from down the road. The Spartan pulled his Energy Sword hilt off his hip and waited. It wasn't long before he saw the vessels driving towards him; three of them, just like the ones he had spotted at the bottom of the hill earlier. They were big, bulky moving crates, each carrying four Warthogs inside its cargo bay. He only needed to obtain one to complete his objective.

The Energy Sword ignited in Roger's armoured hand as the first transport vessel approached. He leaped out from the ditch and slashed at its front tire, puncturing the reinforced material with very little effort. He leaped away as the vessel teetered and slowed down, sending flecks of dirt flying as it scraped across the road.

The second vessel braked sharply, but was not quick enough to stop before it crashed into the first. The second driver saw a blur of grey zoom past a split second before three rounds punched through his window and entered his skull.

The third driver managed to stop his vehicle in time and was drawing his pistol when his door swung open. Twin plasma blades flashed out, impaling him through the side. Roger tossed the body out and seized control of the transport vessel, knowing that he had seconds. He slammed the door shut and put the vehicle in reverse as rebels poured out the back of the first and second vessels in their Warthogs.

The Spartan turned the wheel all the way to the left and floored it just before machine gun fire flew at him. The transport vessel made a clumsy u-turn and sped off back down the road. There were a few pings as some bullets found their mark in the vessel's thick hull, but none managed to slow it down.

Roger could see three Warthogs that had managed to clear the collision and were giving chase. Shit. I should have planned this out a little better. The transport vessel was nowhere close to matching the jeeps' maximum speed capacity. All he had to bank on was the hope that they wouldn't want to destroy the vessel and its cargo with him in it. All he had to do was somehow find a way to lose them.

···

Not far off, a pair of cargo trucks were making their way up the road, unaware that the stolen transport vessel was heading their way.

"We're twenty-five klicks away from Skalski Airbase, sir," reported the driver of the first truck. "The Albatross is prepped in the hangar, ready to load up and go as soon as we arrive."

The man riding shotgun said nothing, and simply took a drag from the cigar in his mouth. He was staring out the open window as if more interested in the scenery than he was in responding to the driver. He took another puff and exhaled a cloud of smoke before tossing his cigar out the window.

The driver glanced down as the truck's built-in COM blinked red. That meant trouble. He took one hand off the steering wheel and tapped the open COM button twice. "Unit Kilo-Five-Three here. What's going on?"

"Kilo-Five-Three, this is Transport Unit Victor-Eleven. Our convoy has been halted eight klicks from your position. Be advised, Victor-Thirteen has been hijacked by a Spartan and is inbound on your position over."

The passenger looked down at the COM. "What?" the driver exclaimed in surprise. "Victor-Eleven, repeat last transmission. I don't think I heard you correctly."

"Stop the vehicle," the passenger said to the driver. "Put both trucks off to the side of the road and out of sight. Unlock the cargo and await further instructions."

"I...yes, sir," the driver replied. He stuck one hand out the window and signalled for the cargo vehicle behind him to pull over. Both trucks halted and steered into the foliage. The driver pressed the button to open the cargo doors as the passenger stepped out and walked to the back. A group of Insurrectionists sitting in the cargo bay disembarked, looking confused but waiting to see what was going on.

"Now," the man continued. "Here's what we're going to do."

···

Roger's hands tightened over the steering wheel as he barely managed to make the next turn at top speed. The Warthogs followed quickly without any trouble, closing the distance between them little by little.

The Spartan was rethinking his strategy. It was obvious that he couldn't lose his pursuers. That leaves me with only one option. I'm going to have to ram them off the road. At least they refrained from opening fire on him after he initially took the vessel. They would probably try to board him once he slowed down, but to hell with it. He wasn't going to continue this wild goose chase for any longer.

Roger was glancing from the road to the pursuing Warthogs, timing his next move, when his vision suddenly filled with a bright green glow. Before he could react, a multitude of fizzling plasma bolts flew out and sprayed the front of the vessel. He cried out in surprise as energy currents washed over the vehicle and stalled it. He kicked the door open and tumbled out, energy shields crackling.

A score of Insurrectionists stepped out from the sides of the road, Plasma Pistols in trained on him. The Spartan snapped into motion; he had two seconds before their weapons cooled down and they opened fire on him. He had to get into cover on the other side of the truck.

A blur of movement out of the corner of his eye caused him to turn. One of the Warthogs was tearing down the road, heading straight for him. Without thinking, Roger dove to the side as the vehicle just missed him, tumbling down the ditch and landing in a heap in the foliage.

He looked up to see the barrel of a machine gun pointed right at him. Holding the weapon was a tall, thin man with a glowing cigar in his mouth. His sharp grey eyes dared the Spartan to make a move.

Roger's hand snapped towards his Energy Sword when the gun's muzzle flashed. A rapid hail of lethal gunfire found their marks, chipping away at what was left of his energy shields. The Spartan was pinned mercilessly against the side of the ditch as the bullets tore through his armour and into his body. The gunfire didn't stop until his torso and stomach was reduced to a bloody mess. The man lowered the machine gun as its ring faded away and the last few bullet casings clattered into the grass at his feet. He bent down to examine the lifeless Spartan. Insurrectionists were making their way over from the road, staring in awe at the scene before them. Some of them were afraid to even approach Roger's body. Finally, the man called one of the rebels over. "Lieutenant Walters." The Lieutenant hastened over, clutching his Plasma Pistol tightly. "Sir?" "Contact Skalski Airbase and tell them that I'll be there in thirty minutes. In the meantime, they need to send in some transport to Victor-Eleven and Victor-Twelve's location. Tell them to secure the cargo and prep it for air transport as planned. And get a line to Fort Gravesend, tell them to ring me, pronto." "Yes, sir," Walters replied. He hurried off in the direction of where the cargo trucks were hidden and disappeared into the trees. A few minutes later, the man holding the machine gun tapped his earpiece as a call came in. "Fort Gravesend, command centre here," came a voice over the COM. "This is Colonel Nathaniel Wright," the man said. "I just came across one of Grunwald's puppets trying to steal my cargo. I'm going to be a bit delayed in reaching Fort Gravesend." "Understood, Colonel." "In the meantime, see if you can locate the rest of them. I have no doubt that the Commander will try and further sabotage my efforts and try and find me." "Yes, sir. Should we send out teams to eliminate them once we've found them?" "Oh, not at all," Wright chuckled. "I think they'll be far too useful for that. I'm going to see if we can't let them in on our business."
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Oppose 11 (Failure)
  • Steal a rebel transport vessel along with its cargo of Warthogs
18%

0 SP



6

Name: Ash Mitchell
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6C Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 24x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 4x 12.7mm magazines (48 rounds)
  • 1x UNSC Medical Pack
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 580/580 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Infiltrate a rebel cell group and learn more about the underground black market movement
20% 400 SP



Camp Jubilee was a bustle of activity as the afternoon faded into evening. Insurrectionists were lined up along the perimeter of the island outpost, watching for any signs of trouble. To any outsiders, the purpose for the guard was clear to see. Transport vessels were moving to and fro around the base on designated routes, heavily loaded with weapons and supplies. Albatross carriers were swooping in on ship pads and lifting off again laden with equipment.

The entire operation would be impossible to hide from any nearby sensors or even the naked eye, which was why the guards were put on such heavy patrol. And with the camp only seven kilometres from the open mainland where anything could be lurking, it made sense to put no less than thirty guards along the east side, along with six snipers and two fully manned Warthogs on standby.

But none of these things were of much concern to Ash Mitchell, who had circled the entire compound twice already and had made note of everything before slipping into its grounds undetected. Well, slipping in wasn't really the right term. But the Insurrectionists wouldn't figure out that he had scaled one of their watchtowers and slit the occupying sniper's throat for another thirty minutes or so. And that was more than enough time for Mitchell.

Now the mercenary was making his way through the camp ground in the sniper's fatigues (being a professional, he had managed not to spill a single drop of blood onto the uniform when he killed its owner), taking in every detail of Camp Jubilee that he could see. He walked at a casual pace, following one of the patrol routes to avoid attracting attention. After making another round on the interior of the compound, he decided to get on with his objective.

The command centre was not too far off from the patrol route, so Mitchell made sure that no one was looking his way before approaching the building from the side. There were two guards standing in front of the main doors, both wielding MA3 Assault Rifles. Mitchell drew his M6C and fired once, dropping one of them with a clean shot through the head. The other guard flinched, and had just spotted him before two more bullets from the handgun found his heart and sent him crumpling to the ground.

The doors were locked, unsurprisingly. Mitchell fished through both guards' pockets and found the key card within ten seconds. He scanned the card against the pad, and the main doors slid open.

The mercenary saw the swivelling turret before the doors opened fully, and leaped aside as a spray of machine gunfire flew past where he was standing a moment ago. Back against the wall, he quickly drew his combat knife and peeked around the corner. He ducked his head back as bullets flew past his face. Mitchell flipped the knife in his hand so that he was holding it by the blade, and in one deft move, leaped out and threw it at the gunner.

The knife embedded itself into the Insurrectionist's shoulder, throwing him back and causing him to let go of the turret's firing studs. Mitchell broke into a run and reached the enemy before he was able to get up, and neutralized him with three rounds to the chest. He yanked the knife out and wiped off the blood before sheathing it again.

Rapid footsteps from behind caused him to turn around. More Innies were rushing the entrance, guns up and pointed at him. The mercenary backpedalled, firing the Magnum as he did so. He managed to take out one of them before he reached a side hallway and he ducked into the cover.

He reloaded the sidearm before holstering it and drawing his Shotgun. He hurried down the hallway, aware that he was likely being followed. He soon found a staircase and made his way up off the ground floor, trying to keep as quiet as possible.

The staircase ended on the second floor, and Mitchell was approaching the door when he heard voices on the other side.

"Come on, pick up the pace! We have orders to get these documents off-base before that intruder gets here."

"Would you slow it down for a minute? There's an Albatross on approach to receive the documents. If we run out into the open, we might get taken out. This intruder might have backup for all we kn—"

The doors flew open with a bang and Mitchell charged into the hallway. He found himself facing a uniformed woman accompanied by three Innie gunmen. Five guns came up.

Mitchell fired first, taking out the guard in the front with a single blast from the Shotgun. He caught the enemy's body before it hit the ground, using it as a shield as bullets flew at him. He tossed the corpse with a grunt, momentarily distracting one of the guards while he took out the other one with a lethal point-blank shot. The last guard had just enough time to shove aside the body that was thrown at him before he saw Mitchell aiming at him. The Shotgun fired a third time, killing the last guard.

The mercenary felt a jolt as something kicked the weapon out of his hands. He leaped back as the woman closed in on him with an M6I Machine Pistol levelled at him. He drew his own sidearm and pointed it at her, making sure that he was at a safe distance from her reach.

An amused look crossed the woman's face. "I know who you are. And what you're after. Lower the gun."

Mitchell didn't move a muscle. "Why should I?"

"Because, Ash Mitchell, I have something for Commander Grunwald. Valuable information on the Insurrectionists' black market movement, which I know is why you're here. I was planning on hijacking an Albatross in mid-flight and finding her myself when you showed up."

"I don't believe you."

"You don't have to. In about two minutes, this entire building will be swarmed by Innies, and it won't matter to me what you believe. Or you can come with me, and I'll get us both out of here undetected. Your move, mercenary, and you'd better decide fast."

Mitchell gritted his teeth. This woman could be bluffing for all he knew. But if she was right, then there was no way he was going out like this. Slowly, he lowered his Pistol. She did the same, and waited for him to retrieve his Shotgun before gesturing for him to follow her. "Right this way, Mitchell."

He grimaced. What is this game I've gotten into? And who is she?

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 59 (Success)
  • Infiltrate a rebel cell group and learn more about the underground black market movement
20%

400 SP


Name: Ash Mitchell
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6C Magnum
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 21x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 3x 12.7mm magazines (36 rounds)
  • 1x UNSC Medical Pack
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 567/580 (-13) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


7

Name: Elena-G124
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 7x 12.7mm magazines (28 rounds)
  • 24x 8 gauge shotgun shells
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 700/700 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Regroup a scattered team of Marines in a Kig-Yar area and transport them to the extraction point
14% 280 SP



Elena-G124 ducked back as a lance of purple plasma whizzed past her face. She listened for the sound of footsteps on the forest floor below the thick tree that she was perched in. Hearing none, she shifted her grip on her Sniper Rifle and strafed back out of cover, which was not easy to do when you were a heavily armoured supersoldier standing atop a relatively narrow branch. Nonetheless, the Spartan was able to maintain her balance while keeping her aim on her quarry holding the Particle Beam Rifle sixty feet away.

The Sniper Rifle boomed, a long thin trail of grey flew through the air, and the lizard-like sharpshooter fell out of his tree with droplets of magenta blood spurting from his punctured head. Elena heard the alarmed hisses of the alien's allies nearby, and panned her aim towards the source of the sounds. She took down a second Kig-Yar with a bullet through the torso, followed by a third through the mouth. The last alien was quick enough to bring up his shield and deflected the fourth round that was fired at him.

Elena ejected her weapon's empty magazine and slapped a new one in, and moved sideways as the alien returned fire. Green plasma splashed against her shields, but they held as she peered through the scope again, taking aim at the Kig-Yar's exposed gun hand.

The sound of automatic fire echoed through the forest, and the enemy folded forward as two muzzle flashes lit up from behind him. The energy shield fizzed out and he collapsed, dead.

Elena lowered her rifle. Two Marines appeared from between the trees, both armed with MA5C Assault Rifles. One of them spotted her and waved. She returned the wave and leaped down from her perch. "Thanks for your help."

"No, thank you, Spartan," one of the Marines replied as she approached. "Our squad walked right into the middle of Jackal territory about twenty minutes ago. We all got split up in the firefight that followed."

"Let's go find them, then," she said, shouldering her Sniper Rifle. "I'm guessing you have an extraction plan?"

"Affirmative," said the other Marine. "Our dropship is coming in to meet us at a rendezvous point in two hours. We haven't been able to reach the pilot on our COMs yet though."

"So we'd better get going. Which way was the rest of your squad going?"

"Roughly the way we came from. There's a lot of guesswork though, we're scattered all over this damn forest."

Elena decided to switch to her Shotgun as she set off into the forest with the two Marines behind her. The three humans moved in silence, watching for any sign of movement.

It wasn't long before she spotted another group of Kig-Yar about to cross paths with them. She held up one hand and motioned for the Marines to hold position and prepare to open fire. She broke into a run and charged straight at the alien formation, weapon up. Hearing the sound, the alien squad leader turned his head towards her. His squawk was cut short as the Shotgun discharged, ripping his chest apart. A moment later, Elena's fist buried itself into a second Kig-Yar's head, pulverizing his skull.

The other three enemies raised their Plasma Pistols and brought their shields to bear towards her. A moment later, the Marines' Assault Rifles barked, tearing into the Kig-Yar's flanks and cutting them down in seconds.

No sooner had the last alien dropped, plasma bolts flew in from every direction on Elena. Her shields sputtered and flickered out just as she dropped to the ground, scrambling for cover as fast as she could in a prone position.

"Shit," one of the Marines muttered, stepping back as a circle of Kig-Yar closed in on the Spartan. The aliens kept up a persistent stream of fire, heedless of the bolts that splashed against each others' shields. Both Marines reloaded their rifles, preparing to punch a hole through the aliens' formation.

There was an almighty crash heard from off to the side, followed by a spray of purple as a Troop-carrier Warthog crushed three Kig-Yar under its massive bumper. Elena looked up to see a Marine behind the wheel, along with four others in the back, firing furiously at the enemies. "Come on, hop on!" the driver yelled.

The Spartan jumped to her feet and sprinted for the Warthog, blasting any Kig-Yar that got in her way. She took cover on the side of the vehicle, taking down the aliens one by one until the other two Marines made it to them and climbed into the back of the Warthog. She hopped into the passenger seat as one particularly reckless Kig-Yar rushed them from the left side. The driver drew his sidearm and blew out the alien's brains with a single shot, and without further pause, floored the gas pedal. The Warthog sped off, a little battered with plasma scoring but unhindered as it escaped the fray.

The Marines slumped back against the Warthog's cage-like compartment, letting their rifles clatter to the floor. Elena stayed upright, sliding more Shotgun shells into her weapon and racking the slide. "Good timing. Is this all of you?"

"Yeah," replied the Marine next to her, driving skillfully with one hand as he holstered his Pistol. "We found our Pelican crashed next to a river two klicks from here, that was where we found the Hog. Guess we're going to have to drive our way back to base. You sticking around, Spartan?"

"I guess so," Elena said, deciding to put the Shotgun on her back and draw her Sniper Rifle again. "I have nothing better to do right now anyway."

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 51 (Success)
  • Regroup a scattered team of Marines in a Kig-Yar area and transport them to the extraction point
14%

280 SP


Name: Elena-G124
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • M45 Shotgun
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 6x 12.7mm magazines (24 rounds)
  • 10x 8 gauge shotgun shells
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 677/700 (-23) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


8

Name: Colin-142
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Magnum
Supplies remaining:
  • 24x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 5x 12.7mm magazines (60 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 780/780 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Ambush a trade-off between the rebels and the Covenant, and steal the carried artifacts
15% 300 SP



Colin-142 crawled towards the ridge. His armour's motion tracker was already picking up a lot of movement in the valley below, so he'd have to be careful here. The Spartan glanced over, and saw that the meeting was already underway. A dozen men in civilian clothing stood around their trucks, carrying outdated Human weaponry. An old Covenant Shadow sat across from them in the valley below. A few Unggoy were milling around while a group of Jiralhanae conducted the tradeoff.

"Gotcha," Colin muttered.

Since there was little cover beyond his current position on the ridge, the Spartan moved at a slow pace around the area, sticking to the treeline while remaining out of sight. After several minutes of manoeuvring to a better position, Colin was ready to strike. The rebels and Covenant soldiers in the valley would have no idea what hit them. Switching to his pistol, he slowly raised it and gunned down four of the Unggoy before they could react. One of the Jiralhane turned to face him and was shot several times in the head.

"Right, now for the rest of you!"

Colin leapt atop the Shadow, kicking a nearby Unggoy to the ground as he mounted the plasma turret. The surviving aliens and rebels ran for cover as he opened fire, streams of plasma cutting several down instantly. It was then that he spotted the object he'd been sent here to acquire. Grab it, get out. Those were the orders. After ensuring that all of his foes had scattered, the Spartan leapt from the vehicle and began running towards the centre of the meeting place. Among the corpses lay a metal case, once in the possession of the Insurrectionists. scanning the area once more, he shot down a fleeing rebel and reloaded his Magnum before picking up the case.

Well, that was surprisingly easy.

Then the treeline exploded.

Colin reeled backwards from the fire and ran back towards Shadow as two Pelican dropships roared overhead. Both were marked with the familiar red insignias of the United Rebel Front. He dropped down low, rolling into the foliage as one came in to land while the other continued circling the area. If he tried to run then he'd just be shot down. He had to stand and fight. Several heavily-armed soldiers emerged from the Pelican, and began to look around the remains of the meeting site.

"Spread out! It's around here somewhere!"

'It' was almost certainly referring to the case Colin was carrying. Well, no way are the innies getting their hands on it. He waited until one of the rebels drew close to him before pouncing, a single punch sending the man flying into the Shadow with a sharp snap. He didn't even give the others a chance to turn; well-placed Magnum rounds silenced four of them before he broke into a run towards the Pelican. As he approached, Colin noted the pilot's expression of terror with some satisfaction as the Pelican began to take off again. It wasn't fast enough.

Before the hatch could close, Colin sprinted round the dropship and dived inside. The pilot went for his pistol, only to be immediately shot in the face. The Spartan pulled his body out of the chair and tossed it aside, taking control of the Pelican and placing the case in the empty co-pilot's seat. Below him the few remaining rebels had gathered round and were shouting up, while the second Pelican approached. Colin calmly moved his newly-acquired dropship to face the other one, and unleashed a barrage of missiles at it. The vessel was completely obliterated, hunks of burning metal raining down to the ground as Colin flew off.

That wasn't so bad, really.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 59 (Success)
  • Ambush a trade-off between the rebels and the Covenant, and steal the carried artifacts
15%

300 SP


Name: Colin-142
Current weapons:
  • M45 Shotgun
  • M6D Magnum
Supplies remaining:
  • 24x 8 gauge shotgun shells
  • 4x 12.7mm magazines (48 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 766/780 (-14) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


9

Name: Taszar 'Vadam
Current weapons:
  • Type-31 Needle Rifle
  • Type-33 Needler
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 6.3mm crystalline magazines (63 rounds)
  • 5x 4.8mm crystalline magazines (150 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 810/810 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Hold a perimeter against a Flood horde and provide aid for the wounded
25% 500 SP



Taszar 'Vadam smelled them long before he picked up the sound of fighting as he pressed farther into the swamp. The Flood was close by. Even though he had yet to pick up a sign of the undead creatures, there was no mistaking that scent.

The sound of rapid footsteps off to his right made him turn with his Needle Rifle up. He held his breath and tried not to make noise as he kept moving, watching for any sign of movement. The footsteps stopped.

And then a combat form leaped out of the thrushes, wielding a human Pistol in its hand. Taszar opened fire, shooting the creature full of crystalline needles. He stepped back as an explosion ripped the combat form apart, killing it and rendering its body useless.

The first combat form was quickly followed by two others. He took a crouching stance and shot them both in quick succession. Without further hesitation, he put his rifle on his back, drew his Needler, and broke into a run.

More Flood was appearing before him, most of them being tiny infection forms scuttling across the ground towards him. Taszar destroyed them in large groups with bursts from his Needler, then crushed any that dared get too close beneath his hooves.

A combat form lunged at him. The Needler came up, fired one, then two shots, and clicked empty. The Sangheili warrior ducked back as a tentacled arm flew past his face, barely missing him. With the instinct of a lifetime's training, he loaded a full crystalline container into his weapon, snapped it shut, and fired within seconds.

One needle found its mark in the combat form's torso where the infection form inside resided. The round stabbed deep into the mottled flesh and exploded, destroying its host. The combat form crumpled to the ground immediately.

Taszar didn't even slow down. He cut straight through the rest of the Flood horde, firing furiously in full automatic. He managed to clear a path through them by expending another magazine, and switched back to his rifle as he reached a clearing where a massive battle was going on.

Sangheili were spread out into a line, shooting plasma outwards in all directions. Behind the infantry, four Plasma Cannons were mounted on the wide roof of a short Forerunner facility, keeping the attacking Flood forces at bay. Even though they were firing methodically and were managing to keep the zombie-like creatures back for the time being, it was clear that they were outnumbered.

Taszar made it behind the line, held in place by deployed plasma shields and barricades. He was greeted by a hassled-looking Officer Major who hurried over. "Good to see you, Zealot. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated."

"What are your orders?" he asked.

"We've managed to get a signal out through the swamp earlier," the officer replied. "There are dropships on their way to take us out of here. Our task is to simply keep holding off the Flood until they arrive. And we must protect the wounded."

Taszar turned sharply and shot down a combat form that had nearly made it to the barricades. "Very well. I shall aid you as best as I can." He reloaded the Needle Rifle and took aim, deciding to go for precise fire to support the others' less accurate weapons. The Flood forms returned fire but were falling left and right to plasma, and for a while, the hostile forces were beginning to dwindle.

Then hundreds of infection forms burst out into the clearing, scurrying frantically towards the Sangheili that they were so eager to consume. The ground between the two sides became a sea of blue as plasma sprayed into the Flood ranks. But a few infection forms managed to make it through, latching onto the Sangheili whose shields were weakened.

Taszar grabbed an infection form that was trying to mutate the Minor next to him, and popped the pod-like creature with his fingers. The other Sangheili were also fighting to pull infection forms off their allies, but a few of them ended up infected.

"Get in front of the door!" the Major barked. Instantly, a half dozen Sangheili stood in formation between the Forerunner structure and their infected allies, who were now trying to get to the wounded inside.

Taszar clenched his mandibles and forced himself to keep focused on the advancing Flood outside the barricades, knowing that they would make it through if the dwindling firepower could not keep them at bay. He expended every last round in his Needle Rifle before switching to his sidearm and resuming fire. The mishap behind them was soon contained, and the surviving Sangheili returned to their positions.

Taszar was down to the last magazine in his Needler when he heard the hum of turbines above his head. Heavy plasma fire rained down on the Flood ranks and a moment later, two Phantom dropships swooped in over the Sangheili position. He holstered his weapon, deciding to save the last magazine in case he needed it later, and hurried inside the facility to help bring the wounded out.

After the wounded were loaded onto the dropships, the Major began ordering his troops to get on board one by one, before embarking himself with Taszar. The Phantoms immediately closed their hatches and lifted back into the air, with the gunners on either side of the hatches keeping up fire to fend of the Flood trying to board the ships. The swamp was soon far below them as the exhausted Sangheili slumped back against the sides of the hull, discipline momentarily forgotten after the long fight.

Taszar felt the Phantom lurchas it adjusted its direction and began to fly forward. "Where are we headed?" he asked the Major.

"Defiant Courage," the officer replied. "Our outpost where the plains meet the polar region. The Flood will not find us there." He let out a long breath, clearly just as tired as his troops were. "You fought well, Zealot. I hope you will stay with us for a while."

"I suppose I will," Taszar said. Until I find out what I am to do next.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 39 (Success)
  • Hold a perimeter against a Flood horde and provide aid for the wounded
25%

500 SP


Name: Taszar 'Vadam
Current weapons:
  • Type-31 Needle Rifle
  • Type-33 Needler
Supplies remaining:
  • 1x 4.8mm crystalline magazines (30 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 794/810 (-16) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


10

Name: Victoria O'Connell
Current weapons:
  • 2x Type-25 Plasma Rifles
  • M6D Pistol
  • 2x Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 4x plasma rifle batteries (400%)
  • 5x 12.7mm magazines (60 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 750/750 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Escort a convoy of UNSC vehicles to a rally point in a rebel-held city
  • Hold off rebel forces until UNSC perimeter defences are online
16% 320 SP



"Fireteam November, you are clear to move up to my position," Victoria O'Connell said into her COM. "Hostile forces have been eliminated."

"Copy that, Major," replied the senior NCO she was talking to. "Keep your eyes peeled for any signs of trouble until we get there."

"Way ahead of you." She cut the transmission and holstered the Plasma Rifle in her other hand. Around her lay the bodies of thirty rebels or so, some of them still gripping their weapons. None of them had managed to put a single hit on her.

She was on a hilltop in a rebel-held city, southeast of the Insurrectionist outpost known as "Camp Jubilee". The city was contested territory, and the UNSC was determined to claim it. She had met with Army forces from the UNSC who she was helping get into the city and establish proper defences until the full force could come in and push the rebels out for good. Until then, there were plenty of enemies for her to take out.

There's one of them, Victoria noted, spotting the sniper that just appeared in a third-floor window off to her right. She snapped into motion, moving just before the sniper round flew into the ground where she was standing. She broke into a sprint, running to and fro towards the hostile as he tried again and again to shoot her without success.

She snatched the M6D from her hip and loosed several shots on the sniper without slowing down. Three of the five bullets found their mark, and the Insurrectionist disappeared behind the window in a spray of crimson. She checked that his vital signs were flatlined before reloading the empty weapon.

"Major O'Connell, we're approaching on your position."

The sound of engines prompted Victoria to turn around. There was a convoy of six Warthogs carrying supplies and disassembled heavy artillery along with an entire platoon of soldiers. The Staff Sergeant in charge of the group pulled his Warthog to the side of the road and disembarked, looking around at the carnage.

"You took these guys out single-handedly?" he remarked. "I'm impressed."

Victoria shrugged. "I've taken on worse. You boys should set up shop now before the next group arrives."

"Not a bad idea." The NCO turned to face his platoon. "Alright, men! You know the drill, snap to it!"

"I'll go scout out the perimeter," Victoria told him. "See if there's any more trouble nearby."

"Whatever you think is necessary, ma'am," the Staff Sergeant replied. "Give us a call if you need a hand."

"That won't be necessary. I work best on my own." With that, she ran down the street leading down the hillside, ducked into an alleyway, and began climbing the side of a building until she was on the rooftop. She moved from building to building, Plasma Rifles ready.

It didn't take long for her to spot the Insurrectionists moving towards the hilltop on foot. There were only nine of them and they were armed with standard infantry weapons. It was likely they had backup somewhere else. Easy targets, nonetheless.

Victoria leaped down onto a shorter adjacent building before landing behind the group with a thud. By the time most of them turned around, she had already opened fire. Two rebels fell to the rapid plasma fire, and the rest returned fire. She ducked to the side, easily evading their panicked firing formation. Plasma bolts sprayed the enemy squadron, breaking up their coordination.

There were five Innies still standing when Victoria closed in on them, now holding her Pistol. One enemy was brought down with a hard gauntlet to the face. A second rebel tried to stab her with his bayonet, but she ducked and pushed aside his rifle with her other hand. The Pistol pointed three inches from his face and fired, blowing his brains out. She leaped into the air as the other three opened fire, and landed next to one of them. A low sweeping kick knocked him off his feet, and three shots to the torso stopped him.

Then one of the rebels actually grabbed her from behind, trying to hold her still as the other one took aim. She punched him with the back of her clenched fist, dislodging him. She leaped to the side as the other rebel opened fire, and ended up taking out his own teammate. Two shots from her Pistol dropped the last rebel, and then everything went quiet.

Then there was an explosion that threw Victoria off her feet. She rolled to the other side of the street and scrambled up as a Scorpion rumbled out from an alleyway, flanked by several rebels. She immediately leaped aside as machinegun fire sprayed at her. The Pistol came up again, pinging bullets off the tank's armour until the gunner slumped over dead.

She had no time to reload the weapon. She pulled out her Plasma Rifles and fired on the rebels standing around the Scorpion, weaving to and fro as the tank fired a second shell at her but missed. She brought down the last rebel with the last of the energy in her guns, but had no time to replace the batteries. She went for her other weapons, the combat knives.

Victoria saw the barrel of the Scorpion pointed at her and jumped , just as a third shell exploded and pushed her higher into the air. She landed on top of the driver's hatch and pried it open.

The driver was going for his sidearm but she was faster; one of the knives stabbed through his gun hand and pinned it to the inside of the hatch. Before he could even react in pain, the other knife stabbed into his throat. The rebel went limp.

Victoria straightened, wiping the blood off her knives on his uniform. She was reloading her weapons when she looked up and saw a Falcon flying towards her, guns blazing. Two missiles launched from its wings and flew at her.

She dived off the Scorpion. Behind her, the rank exploded into a fiery blaze. Without hesitation, she ran up the street, looking left and right for an alleyway to take cover in.

Her COM pinged. "Major O'Connell? Perimeter defences are up and sensors are fully functioning. It looks like you could use a hand."

"If it's not too much trouble," she panted, weaving left and right as bullets chipped at the road around her.

"Get yourself back here in one piece then. Keep that thing distracted, and we'll take care of it."

She didn't reply, because the next two missiles fired at her landed with her just inside the blast radius. She grunted at the force of the shockwaves and stumbled as her armoured beeped a warning. But she simply returned fire with her Plasma Rifles, goading the aircraft into following her. She was at a disadvantage to run up the hill with the Falcon behind her, but she kept going, keeping her eyes on the hilltop where the Army was waiting for them to get into range.

I wish I had my speed unit, Victoria thought crossly as she continued to run as fast as she could. I could take out this thing myself if I could boost my armour to run up a wall or something—

The next missiles landed so close that she was suddenly thrown off her feet and landed on the road in a heap. She turned so that she was facing up at the Falcon, ready to scramble aside before its guns punched her full of bullet holes.

Then there were four magnetic buzzes sounding in quick succession, and the gunship was immediately consumed in an explosion as four glowing white slugs found their marks. The aircraft plummeted to the street in a flaming heap.

Victoria looked behind her to see the outpost lined with Machinegun turrets, Gauss cannons, and Missile launchers. The Staff Sergeant waved to her from behind one of the cannons.

Mission accomplished, I guess, she thought as she got up and approached the soldiers. I don't think the rebels will be taking down this setup anytime soon.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 88 (Success)
  • Escort a convoy of UNSC vehicles to a rally point in a rebel-held city
  • Hold off rebel forces until UNSC perimeter defences are online
16%

320 SP


Name: Victoria O'Connell
Current weapons:
  • 2x Type-25 Plasma Rifles
  • M6D Pistol
  • 2x Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 2x plasma rifle batteries (191%)
  • 4x 12.7mm magazines (48 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 739/750 (-11) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


11

Name: Jerrold Pershing
Current weapons:
  • M319 Grenade Launcher
  • 2x M7 Caseless SMG
Supplies remaining:
  • 12 break-action grenades
  • 12x 5mm caseless magazines (720 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 770/770 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Low-risk
  • Plant a bug in the rebels' central communications array
15% 300 SP



"Tha's the place," whispered Jerrold, eyes on the structure not from where he was lying prone in the grass. "Hardluck Point. Central communications point between the Innie outposts on this here side o' the land, and 'bout ninety percent of the Kig-Yar camps in the Delta."

Beside him, Jorge shifted, being much larger and less hidden than his companion. "So, got a plan?"

"Easy," the Freelancer replied. "There's a train due to arrive in 'bout five minutes. We hop on, wait till we're in the docking bay, and bail out."

"We spent several hours walking here," Jorge said, somewhat annoyed. "There were several trains that have passed us on the way. Why didn't we wait by the tracks and let it take us here?"

"The longer we're on board, the more likely we are to get caught," Jerrold pointed out. "Besides, I don't fancy my chances at hopping aboard a maglev tha's speeding at five hundred klicks an hour. You may have them bones of steel, big man, but we don't all 'ave the strength of a Jiral'nae to hold on."

The two supersoldiers stayed where they were, waiting as the minutes passed by. Surely enough, six and a half minutes later, the faint hum of electromagnets became more noticeable. A train turned the bend around the trees, slowing itself down as it approached Hardluck Point.

"Okay, we'll hop onto the las' car," Jerrold whispered as if the rebels on board the train could hear them. "Looks like a freight carrier, so there shouldn't be too many on board. You go first, Spartan."

Jorge nodded, raising himself ever so slightly from his lying position. Hands pressed against the ground, he kept his eyes on the train. One car passed, then two, then three—

The Spartan bolted upright, and leaped forcefully into the air. His massive hands grabbed hold of the railings at the front of the fourth car. He felt a wrench in his arm sockets as the train's momentum pulled him forward but he held on. A moment later, Jerrold jumped as well, grabbing onto the handrails at the very rear of the train. He grunted as he was nearly thrown off, but managed to swing himself around so that he was standing on the freight train's rear platform.

Jorge saw the Freelancer beckoning to him, and shimmied towards the back of the train with some difficulty. But he made it to the platform as well, and the two Spartans quickly got themselves inside the compartment just as the train was approaching the docking station.

There was no visible threat inside the compartment, but both supersoldiers kept on alert. Jorge was taking point, Shotgun ready. Jerrold had his SMGs out, watching for signs of movement. "Okay, you remember the plan?"

"Yes," the Spartan muttered. "Now be quiet, we can make no mistakes."

The train came to a smooth stop. Every compartment door slid open at once.

Jorge bound out, taking down the surprised technician outside with a single blast from the Shotgun. Jerrold was quick to follow behind, running straight for the Innie guards standing around the station. His SMGs blazed and bullets flew at the enemies, cutting them down in a swift and merciless barrage of gunfire. Jorge was focused on taking out the unarmed hostiles to prevent them from raising the alarm and to buy them a few minutes.

The docking station was soon empty. Jerrold reloaded his SMGs and pulled out his grenade launcher. "Okay, no time to waste dawdlin', big man. Let's get to that comm array."

Freelancer and Spartan dashed through the exit and deeper into the facility, staying in formation as they proceeded towards their objective. They made it through several hallways before arriving at a junction where rebels poured out at them.

Jerrold fired a grenade, blowing apart three enemies and sending their mangled bodies flying in all directions. Jorge covered him by firing on the Innies with Shotgun and SMG held in both hands. A second grenade flew out, taking out two more. A quick burst from the SMG took down the last one.

Jerrold checked his HUD. "Okay, comm station is this way. Ops are over yonder." He pointed at a side doorway in the junction. "Go get tha' intel, we'll meet back at the docking station in fifteen. Good luck."

"And to you, Agent Virginia," Jorge said. They headed their separate ways, continuing towards their respective objectives.

The Freelancer reached a massive open area filled with staircases with more Innies bearing down on him. He shot a grenade at them, but they all dived to either side, and the explosive sailed past them. He switched to his SMGs as they took firing positions and rushed them.

Bullets flew back and forth between him and the rebels. Although his weapons were less accurate, he was a far better shot, and he took out half the group without trouble. With a fair amount of ammunition still in both weapons, Jerrold closed in, firing point-blank at each gunman while keeping himself moving. Bullets pinged off his armour, but he ignored it, and soon the fight was over. He reloaded his SMGs again before moving on.

After heading down another hallway, he took a left and entered a massive generator room. Computer terminals were lined along a single wide column in the middle, and there were Insurrectionists in the room. Here we are. Communications.

Two grenades sailed out in quick succession, taking out most of the guards and a good chunk of the equipment before the Innies realized what was going on. The three remaining gunmen managed to return fire briefly before they were taken out by several well-placed grenades. The technicians didn't even have the chance to surrender before they were blown apart as well.

Jerrold quickly checked to make sure that the room was empty before approaching the central communications array. He pulled out the device containing the bug and inserted it into the main terminal and waited. The chip's light blinked and flashed green, indicating that the bug had been successfully planted. He withdrew the chip and hurried out of the room without further pause.

The rebels were on full alert now, which made the return trip much more difficult. But Jerrold managed to make it back to the docking station before the end of fifteen minutes. There was no sign of Jorge, only squadrons of Innies determined to take down the intruders.

One of the open compartments on the train caught the Freelancer's eye. He ran for the car just as Jorge burst in through another door, guns blazing. "Agent! Where the bloody hell are you going?"

A Mongoose sped out of the compartment ramp, with Jerrold at the controls. The small ATV swerved left and right around the Innies, all of them trying to shoot him but missing. He pulled to a stop next to Jorge. "Hop on," the Freelancer said urgently, fending off the enemies with an SMG in his hand. "I'm runnin' outta ammo here."

The Spartan wasn't sure if the tiny vehicle would hold his weight, but there was no time to argue. He sat himself behind his companion, feeling the Mongoose sag as he did so. Jerrold stomped on the gas, and the two of them raced out of the station with bullets flying after them. "Yee-haw!" the Freelancer cheered as they sped away.

This guy is loony, Jorge thought grimly, trying to keep his balance on the unsteady ATV. But then again, they had completed their objectives, he had intel now, and they were both still alive. For now. Let's see how long this game of survival lasts when everyone will be forced to kill each other.

 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 79 (Success)
  • Plant a bug in the rebels' central communications array
15%

300 SP


Name: Jerrold Pershing
Current weapons:
  • M319 Grenade Launcher
  • 2x M7 Caseless SMG
Supplies remaining:
  • 4 break-action grenades
  • 7x 5mm caseless magazines (420 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/7 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 748/770 (-22) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


12

Name: Leonid-144
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • 2x Caseless SMG
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 7x 14.5mm magazines (28 rounds)
  • 12x 5mm caseless magazines (720 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 8/8 (0) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 740/740 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}


 Objective type   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
High-risk
  • Eliminate Victoria O'Connell
58% 1740 SP



The Army fortifications were complete, and nearly impenetrable.

Nearly.

Leonid bulldozed through the array of turrets like an unstoppable force, a mere ten seconds after taking out every single gunner with his sniper rifle. The soldiers didn't even have time to react before he charged in guns blazing.

Victoria rushed out of the building immediately, Plasma Rifles in her hands. "Fall back! It's me he's here for!" Without waiting, she dashed away from the perimeter, firing at Leonid to bait him to follow her. He was only too happy to comply.

She led him on a speedy chase all the way at the bottom of the hill before slowing down to let him catch up. He approached, Sniper Rifle aimed at her. The weapon boomed as it fired every round in its chamber.

Victoria evaded every single shot with ease, and returned fire with her M6D. His shields shimmered as some of the rounds found their mark. He grimaced. "You're a fast one," he muttered. "Guess I'll have to take you out up close then." He switched to his SMGs and dashed at the Freelancer, as she pulled out her Plasma Rifles again.

Bullets and plasma bolts flew back and forth across the deserted city street as the two contenders closed in on each other. Leonid felt his shields flicker and die as rapid streams of energy found him. Victoria grunted as bullets shattered against her armour. One of the caseless rounds penetrated just below her rib cage.

Leonid saw her slow down and moved to reload his SMGs. A second later, she was suddenly in front of him, and landed a hard punch on his stomach. He went flying into the side of his building. His empty SMGs clattered away.

Victoria drew her combat knives and charged at the stunned Spartan. But he recovered quickly with his own knife in his hand. He rolled to the side as one of the Freelancer's blades stabbed against the unyielding building and snapped. He slashed brutally, leaving a deep cut on her bicep.

"Agh!" She flinched but let go of the broken knife, and in one single movement, dealt him a spinning kick to the face. She charged as he went reeling, and made a stab for his throat. The Spartan's knife hand came up, and parried as he fought to regain his balance. He shoved her back with a forceful push on the knife, and turned the weapon around in his hand so that he was holding it upwards.

Victoria charged again, undeterred. The air was filled with the metallic pings as the two supersoldiers slashed and stabbed at each other in a flurry of blades. Leonid caught her knife hand with his other, and made a jab at her side with his knife. She performed a complex manoeuvre that evaded the attack and allowed her to slip out of his grip. A moment later, she made a swift cut on the back of his wrist with her blade, followed by a punch to the arm socket to make him let go of his weapon.

Leonid's foot lashed out and swept the ground from beneath her feet, causing her to fall over. She leaped back up without placing her hands on the ground, but then his fist collided with the middle of her helmet, knocking her over again. He held her down by grabbing her wrists, and kept her feet pinned with his own. His fingers fought to snatch the knife from her.

In one deft movement, she twirled it around and stabbed it into the back of his hand. The Spartan held back a yell of pain and struggled to maintain his grip on her, although it was difficult with a blade lodged between his finger bones. She felt his hand weaken, and threw him off her with some difficulty. Her hand unholstered her M6D and she leaped at him.

Leonid felt his other hand close around something, and he realized that it was the broken combat knife that his opponent had dropped earlier. He brought the blade up as she raised the gun to shoot him.

The knife stabbed through the black layer of polymer below her throat and entered the right side of her heart. Victoria stiffened, and the Pistol dropped from her hand. Her fingers found the hilt of the blade embedded in her chest before she crumpled, unmoving. Leonid stood upright, heaving for breath. He checked to make sure that she was dead before retrieving his dropped SMGs and walking away, leaving the Freelancer where she lay in the street. So that's my first opponent defeated, he thought, wincing with each step he took. Now what?
 Outcome   Objective   Risk level   Reward 
Support 96 (Success)
  • Eliminate Victoria O'Connell
58%

1740 SP


Name: Leonid-144
Current weapons:
  • SRS99-S2 AM Sniper Rifle
  • 2x Caseless SMG
  • Combat knife
Supplies remaining:
  • 3x 14.5mm magazines (12 rounds)
  • 12x 5mm caseless magazines (720 rounds)
Endurance 20px-SotF_endurance.png 7/8 (-1) Energy 21px-SotF_energy.png 716/740 (-24) 15px-SotF_safety_addition.png {{{safetyadd}}} 15px-SotF_safety_reduction.png {{{safetyreduce}}}



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