Frontline 3: Everybody duck!

Posted May 23rd 2004

This is Radio WRKX broadcasting, with more from that spinning ring in the sky, Halo. Today a snow encrusted Suzie Hoffenblatt gets the low-down from a creature that should know all about it, because he's very low down indeed at five foot nothing. And you can hear him now, dozing away in the snow at the base of an imposing zigzag structure built into the cliffside of an icy waste. Frontline is there, whatever the weather, only on Radio WRKX. Take it away Suzie…

Mr G: Zzzzz… Zzzzz… mmm…

Suzie: Excuse me… Mr Grunt? Mr Grunt? Oh heck, have to give him a little nudge. MR GRUNT?

Mr G: What the…! Run away! He's coming, he's coming!

Suzie: No no, come back, that's not 'till later. It's just me, Suzie Hoffenblatt reporting for Radio WRKX.

Mr G: Oh… sorry, but that running away thing is a bit of an automatic reaction for us little guys. Quite a life-saver on occasion.

Suzie: Yes, I can see how it would be effective. But it's alright, I wasn't going to shoot you or anything, I've only got this microphone.

Mr G: You could whack me with it…

Suzie: But I won't.

Mr G: Well, ok, but no sudden moves or anything, or I'll be gone before you can say "food nipple".

Suzie: Of course. Would you like me to say "food nipple"?

Mr G: Maybe later, just to stop me dozing off again.

Suzie: I'll remember that. But let's see if I can get in a few questions first. Perhaps I can start by asking how the campaign's been going for you so far.

Mr G: Well I'm not completely sure, having slept through most of it, but I did wake up long enough to do a good bit of running away a couple of days ago, along with the rest of the guys. Vooom! Hah, you should've seen us scatter! That was some of our best work that.

Suzie: It sounds impressive. Although, I'm not sure your squad Elite would have agreed.

Mr G: No, he does get a bit annoyed with some of our tactics I have to admit. We do occasionally pop our heads back out and loose off a few shots - and some of the guys aim too - but it's more for appearance's sake than anything. Mind you, we can be pretty effective with the old grenades sometimes. Have a lot of fun with those we do. They're great. Look, I'll show you.

Suzie: I'm not sure that would be a good i…

Mr G: Everybody duck! Hurrrrph!

Suzie: Oh crikey. Just a moment listeners whilst I follow what seems like excellent advice…

Mr G: Boooom! Got one! Heh heh heh- snort! Not really. But you see what I mean.

Suzie: Yes quite. It's just as well I'm at the throwing end here.

Mr G: A number of my late squad members have made that same error of judgement over the years actually, Suzie.

Suzie: Now you tell me! Do you Grunts blow up your own squad very often then?

Mr G: We do have 'mishaps' on a fairly regular basis yes. Really get it in the neck from the Elites when we do that. If they don't go up in the blast that is. Hard to miss 'em sometimes, 'cos they're usually standing in front having a fine old time slaughtering the enemy. So it comes as quite a surprise when they suddenly realize they've got a plasma grenade fizzing away on their rear end.

Suzie: Yes, I can see how that must put a bit of a damper on their fun.

Mr G: Oh they absolutely throw a fit Suzie. Or at least, as much of a one as they've got time for. But that's still a pretty good fit when you've got a lifetime's worth of Angry flashing before your eyes. 'Cos for an Elite, that's a whole lot of Angry.

Suzie: It certainly is. I wouldn't like to be in the grunty little shoes of the fellow who did the throwing.

Mr G: Well we would say sorry, except at that point we're usually pretty busy running in the opposite direction or diving for cover. But we try our best; and it's really hard to resist pulling out those glowing blue fizz-bangers.

Suzie: And the way you did it, it seemed to come out of nowhere, like magic.

Mr G: Oh that's just a basic Grunt conjuring trick. We do a lot of that. Helps pass the time. Got one guy here, he's really good. Whipped out a bunch of flowers the other day, just for show. Course, he almost got his head shot off for his trouble. Not a very appreciative audience those Marines of yours. He's wasted on the enemy.

Suzie: Well it sounds like he certainly will be wasted at some point, yes. But I see you're also equipped with a rather fearsome looking purple item with what seem to be glowing pink crystals coming out of the top.

Mr G: My needler, yes. Looks good doesn't it. I polished it up only this morning actually. We have quite a bit of fun with these, but they do jam up once in a while. Have to give it a knock sometimes. But when it's going ok you really wouldn't want to be on the end of it because it's pretty stingy. I can tell you that first-hand, what with all the times I've got it in the back from one of the squad. "It wasn't me!" they'll say. Jokers. There's quite a lot of that actually.

Suzie: Dear me. And I don't imagine your Elite likes it in the back either.

Mr G: Too right. It's not as bad as a plasma grenade on the rear end but it still drives him wild. Even starts talking backwards sometimes; no one can understand a word he's saying! We have a bit of a chuckle about that when he's not listening.

Suzie: Is he around here at the moment? I can't see him.

Mr G: Yeah we're a bit spread out today. Or at least, I am. I sneaked down here for a bit of dozing actually. So did a couple of others, now that I look around. And see the big blue fella just up the ramp there? That's my pal Spike watching out for the Elite for me, just in case he comes looking. But the rest of the squad is probably back up the zigzag path a way.

Suzie: Perhaps I'll pop up and have a word later. Do you know what's right at the top?

Mr G: Well, there's a pretty big welcoming party behind the sliding doors, I know that much. Apparently they're expecting some trouble later, but it all seems pretty peaceful here to me. Very peaceful… and restful… and… Zzzzzz… Zzzzzz…

Suzie: Oh dear. FOOD NIPPLE!

Mr G: WHERE? WHERE? Oh, it's you again. Did I nod off?

Suzie: Just for a moment there. Perhaps I can get in just a few more questions before you leave us on a more permanent basis.

Mr G: Fire away Suzie.

Suzie: Again, I think that'll be getting taken care of by someone else later. But tell me Mr Grunt, aside from your obvious talent for running away, and your rather less obvious talents for grenade lobbing and shooting, are there any other facets to your combat training?

Mr G: Well, we're pretty good at creeping around looking for the enemy.

Suzie: Really? Would you show me?

Mr G: Of course. Watch this… clip… clop… clip… clop… sniff sniff… snort! Hey wait a minute… There, you see?

Suzie: Gosh that was very good. You almost looked dangerous there at one point.

Mr G: Oh stop it Suzie, you'll embarrass me. Yeah we do quite a lot of the creeping around business. Sometimes out in the open, sometimes around a rock; anywhere really. And smell comes into it too, because you humans really pong something awful you know, no offence.

Suzie: None taken… Bomp!

Mr G: Ow! Hey, you said you wouldn't whack me with that microphone!

Suzie: It slipped. And when you eventually find something?

Mr G: Well that's usually where we bring the running-away tactic into play, see? It's a pretty comprehensive strategy all in all, we like to think.

Suzie: You certainly seem to have it all thought out I must say. I can see that the Earth forces are going to have a tough old time up against you lot.

Mr G: And we can run sideways too. Watch this… clip-clop… clip-clop… See? And backwards. That's for when we want the Elite to think we're fighting, but actually we're running away very slowly. Hah! Love fooling him like that we do. Have quite a laugh about that around the campfire sometimes.

Suzie: Yes, that's amusing. So you can do all sorts with those little legs of yours.

Mr G: They've never failed me yet Suzie.

Suzie: …which may or may not remain the case in the very near future. But I think I've taken up quite enough of your valuable dozing time for now Mr Grunt, so with thanks for giving us these insights into your little grunty world, I'll let you get right on with it.

Mr G: Yippee!