Frontline 7: A spot of bother

Posted June 18th 2004

This is Radio WRKX broadcasting, with an unexpectedly rapid return to the surface of Halo. Just moments ago we left Suzie among the rocks with Sarge and the boys. But now we hear that new developments are afoot, and so without further ado it's right back to our girl on the frontline, here on Radio WRKX. Take it away Suzie…

Suzie: Yes well, I had been hoping to pop back out of this rockslide area before things got nasty, but it seems that quite a few enemy troops have disembarked from several dropships and are now closing in with weapons at the ready. And whilst I can normally get past a few aliens with a smile and a wave of the microphone, it's not something you want to risk when there's a whole heap of trigger-happy nasties on the warpath. So in short, it looks like we could be in for a spot of bother. I guess it's time to live up to that 'Frontline' claim after all! I'll try to keep my head down and describe the scene as it unfolds. I just hope that…

Sarge: Heads up men!

Suzie: Yipes! The enemy's found us. And that's the sound of a plasma rifle you can hear there; looks like it's being wielded by one of those fearsome looking eight-footers coming in from the direction of the lifeboat; that'll be one of the so-called 'Elites'. I'm right at the back here so I should be safe for a moment. Can't say the same for that Marine down at the front though. And what's this? Two, no, three scampering little snout-nosed fin-backed devils in support; those'll be the Grunts, and a couple of them are really letting that front guy have it with their needlers. Yes, there go the needles now; he's not going to like this at all.

Ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt …BANG!

Oooh dear, that looked nasty; a huge pink explosion. Poor guy had no chance. Well, other than if he'd moved out of the way of the needles of course, but there was no obvious sign that he'd covered that on the training ground. Looks like some of these guys may've bunked off more than just Grenade Avoidance 101. We're off to a poor start here.

Sarge: Fall back men! Fall back!

Suzie: I think you heard that listeners; Sarge has given the order to fall back up to the plateau above us. I'm just hurrying up the slope around the side now… it's actually… quite… steep… phew! Up we go… and here we are at the top. Sarge and his men are going straight over to the back of the plateau now. Looks like there's some pretty good cover back there; a couple of large rocks and a few trees. That should help.

Sarge: Ok men, hold your positions.

Suzie: Or at least it would if they stood behind them, but no, looks like they're going to make a spirited defence on that expanse of featureless ground instead. Guess I should've expected that.

Hello, what's this? Sounds like a Warthog, coming in at speed. I'll just clamber up out of the way on this huge central rock out front here… Ooof! Ok I'm on the top now and there's a handy depression in the middle; should be safe enough here if I keep my head low. Got a good view all around now… and yes, here comes that Warthog, and it's Master Chief at the wheel! So, 'MC' in person, back to help out again, and with a couple of Marines on board. That enormous chain-gun on the back looks like it could be jolly useful too.

They're pulling up against the cliffside now. MC's jumped out… and I think he's given the crew some orders.

Passenger: Everybody out! Go go go!

Suzie: Yes, looks like he's had the Marines dismount too, even the gunner. Maybe the thing's out of ammo or something. Then again I've heard good things about this Chief fellow; maybe he doesn't need the chain-gun. We'll soon find out. He's taken up a position just behind a good cover rock out at front left up on the plateau; looks like he's all ready to leap out and ambush the enemy with that 5B assault rifle he's carrying. I just hope he can squeeze a bit more accuracy out of it than Sarge and the boys!

Yow! I think I can hear the enemy arriving! Looks like they're going to funnel in from the left. Hey, MC's out from behind his rock; he's heading down the few yards to that left entrance… and look! An enormous red Elite is coming up the side, but he hasn't seen MC yet! MC's swinging his rifle butt and…

Elite: Hurrrmppfh!

Suzie: Ouch! Oh I say, did you see that? Well, obviously not, but I can tell you that MC felled that eight-footer with a single blow from the side; took him completely by surprise. Very nifty.

Grunt: The leader is dead! Run away!

Suzie: And it sounds like some of the Grunts are panicking; yes, I can see a few of them now. You might just be able to hear an assortment of screams and scampering feet in the background there. But it hasn't slowed up the rest of the enemy; here comes a blue Elite with a needler now, and MC is letting him have it full on with the assault rifle at close range, really making a tremendous racket down there. And the blue's been caught quite off guard because he's just reeling backwards and…

Elite: Waaaarrrrggghhhhh!

Suzie: …down he goes! A trifle dramatically I must say, but I suppose he's only ever going to get one chance, so he might as well milk it for all it's worth. Bravo MC. And that hasn't helped the morale of the Grunts either; I can still see them running about screaming down there.

Meanwhile MC has taken up cover behind that left rock again and I can see him reloading, ready for the next wave. Those Grunts are piping down now and it's gone a bit quiet for a moment. The calm before the storm perhaps.

Now I can hear some clanking and the patter of grunty feet; sounds like quite a bunch of nasties approaching up around the plateau side. Still not in sight yet but… Hey! MC's just thrown a frag grenade, hard and fast. Hah! It's bounced off a rock and headed down the side of the plateau!

Grunt: What the?… Grenade!


Grunt: Waaaaaaah!

Suzie: Oh good show, and there goes a launch-assisted Grunt to prove it. Now that was funny. Another nifty tactic from MC there with the grenade bouncing; the enemy couldn't have liked that much. But it looks like they're still coming… and yes, here's a few really ugly beak-nosed fellows with glowing shields; Jackals! And MC is letting them have it in the side with the assault rifle.

Marine: Frag out!

Suzie: And there goes a grenade from one of the Marines this time. It's a good one. The Jackals are diving for cover but…


Suzie: Gosh, look at those Jackals fly with those long spindly arms waving around. That was even funnier than the Grunt! Talking of which, the little guys seem to be scattering again…

Grunt: Can't… run… with… thing… on… back!

Suzie: Meanwhile I can see a few more enemy filtering in here and there. And way off in the distance along the cliffside, I can see a lone Jackal emerging from a narrow passage and… hey, is he pointing at me? I'm a reporter you silly beak-face; look, I've got a microphone; go point at somebody else. Hey, what's that green glow? I don't think he's got my message. I think he's charging up his weapon, and… Yipes! Just a moment listeners whilst I duck!


Hey, he shot at me! That was a big ball of green plasma that just missed my head. Hmmpf! I'd like to see him try that up close; I'll give him a whacking he won't soon forget! But hello… he's advancing now; looks like he's joining the main group down below. Maybe MC and the boys can administer that whacking on my behalf.

Grunt: I'm goin' in!

Suzie: And it sounds like the Grunts have gathered up their courage again; there's a bunch of them starting to come forwards with two more Elites, and I can see more than a few Jackals now. This is a big push. MC's dodging around from behind cover laying into the Elites with the assault rifle now, but he's taking a bit of a battering from that red's plasma rifle, and…

Grunt: Down in front!

Suzie: …one of the Grunts has whipped out a glowing plasma grenade from nowhere and lobbed it straight for those two Marines, and… oh I say, good throw sir! Err… I mean, this is terrible, it's landed on one of the Marines!

Marine: Get it off me, get it off!

Suzie: He's flailing around wildly and the other one doesn't seem to've noticed at all. This doesn't look good…


Suzie: Ouch, there go MC's buddies. That's going to make him mad surely. Yes, he's retaliating with a grenade of his own now; looks like a frag grenade. The enemy's diving for cover but…


Hah, too late for most of 'em. That's given MC a bit of breathing space, and he's headed over to pick up a few grenades left behind by his buddies. But the enemy push isn't over; here's a few Grunts and Jackals quickly regrouped. MC's got a bit of cover behind the Warthog now and he's letting them have it with the assault rifle again. That's giving them pause for thought, and one of the Grunts has turned tail already.

Grunt: He's gonna kill us all!

Suzie: A certain lack of optimism from the Grunt contingent there! But now MC's reloading and …hold on, no he's not; he's suddenly jumped into the passenger seat of that Warthog. In fact that was really odd; it looked like he was practically pulled in, just as he reached for a new clip. And now he's just sitting there getting shot at. Again, something of a tactical mystery. Has he gone mental?

But finally he's back out again and actually reloaded, and… hello, what's this? He seems to be rather angry. And I say that because he's just levelled his assault rifle at the hog and he's giving it a right old going-over. Ok then, so maybe he has gone mental. I mean, hewas in a freezer for quite a long time, which can't help. And now he's chucked a frag grenade under the wheels and…


…yes, there goes the hog now, up in a beautiful high arc and… Crunch! Oooh, I don't think that's going to buff out.

Well, I'm not sure what that strange little episode was about, but he seems to've worked out his anti-hog feelings for now, because he's returned his attention to the alien advance. Which is just as well because it's now been reinforced by a blue Elite with a needler, and an aggressive looking red with a plasma rifle.

And MC looks like he's in a bit of trouble here. He took a bit of a battering while he was busy with the Warthog, and I think he may be having a problem with his shielding. Yes, he seems to be making a tactical retreat around this central rock I'm on, to join the Marines at the back of the plateau. There he goes now.

Marine: Wow! He's taller than I thought. And better looking too!

Suzie: Well, quite an enthusiastic welcome from that Australian gentleman over there - perhaps a little too enthusiastic actually - but yes, I have to say, this Master Chief fellow looks quite resplendent in his shiny green armour. Big too, like the Marine said. Can't really see his face through the tinted visor though; maybe that Australian has better eyesight or something… or just an overactive imagination.

Anyway, MC's taken cover behind a large rock back on the far left as I look at it. But the enemy's pushing over the rise now, and it looks like both sides have seen each other.

Red Elite: Wort wort wort!

Suzie: Oooh, I don't like the sound of that.

Sarge: Triggers down men, triggers down!

Suzie: Yes, it's all hands to the pumps now, but I'm not sure Sarge's men heard his advice about triggers, because they mostly seem to be rolling around like Chinese acrobats rather than doing any actual firing. That's really letting the enemy get a foothold, and gosh that red Elite is cutting our guys to pieces with that plasma rifle. There's one on his last legs already…

Marine: Uhhh! Show me what you got!

Suzie: …and he's obviously annoyed about it; waving his arms and staggering forwards with his assault rifle now and…

Marine: Arrgggh!

Suzie: Oh dear. Yes, it turns out that what the enemy had 'got' was another stiff dose of piping hot plasma. Tough break, soldier. It could've been so different if they'd got a fluffy toy or a refreshing glass of lemonade or something; but piping hot plasma? Who would've thought it. I don't think Sarge was too happy about that either…

Sarge: Next one who dies gets double duty! And cleans my laundry!

Suzie: That's telling 'em Sarge. A few long rifle bursts coming from a couple of the more enterprising Marines now; maybe they've seen Sarge's laundry before! But I see what he meant about the accuracy of that 5B. Those rounds are going all over the shop and…


Suzie: Yow! Hey, watch the microphone with that pop-gun you bozo! It's bad enough with the ENEMY shooting at me!

Marine: Sorry Suzie, my bad!

Suzie: Well darn it, this is my best one too! Hope you're still receiving me listeners. But now here's MC to the rescue; looks like his shield is back up again. He's leapt out from behind that rock with a big gleaming pistol.

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!

Suzie: Oh, terrific shooting from MC there; he's taken out two Grunts and now he's really slamming shots into that red Elite's noggin. That's going to give the ugly devil quite a headache in the morning. Hold on though, he's waving his arms and going into a fit of rage; looks like he's had enough…

Elite: Arrrrrrrrrrrr…


Elite: Urp!

Grunt: Casualty!

Suzie: And he's down! Still got that blue to take care of though. Here comes a wave of needles now, heading for one of the Marines; but MC has seen it and gallantly jumped in front to take most of them square in the chest. What a hero; that Marine would've been a gonner for sure! Hello, looks like that Grunt up front is getting twitchy now and… yipes, grenade!

Grunt: Everybody duck!


Suzie: Oh good headshot MC! Straight between his beady little eyes; sent him head over heels and the grenade's gone loose on the floor. There's already a few down there too. The enemy's diving for cover but…


Sarge: Ow, that's gotta hurt!

Suzie: Amen Sarge, amen! That was a terrific chain reaction down there with all those grenades lying around, and it's really knocked the stuffing out of the attack. That blue chappie got blown clean into next Sunday! A few Jackals are clearing off whimpering with their shields over their heads, but not fast enough I think…

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!

Yes, that's the sound of MC sending pistol shots into alien hide. Splat! A few more Jackals off to the great pointing arena in the sky. But here come another few Grunts up the rise now; they should be spotting MC any second…

Grunt: There ya are!

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Suzie: …and vice versa, as I think you heard! No trouble for the Chief at all with that lethal pistol of his. And gosh, you know, that's a lovely shade of blue you can get out of those little guys. I wouldn't mind a sweater in that shade actually.

But now it looks like MC reckons the attack is over. He's jumping across to a sort of island plateau; must be after some more bad guys. He's picked up a needler from somewhere too. He's really shifting across that plateau and I think he's going to jump straight off the edge! Let's listen up.

Elite: Arrr! Roboman…

Ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt …BANG!

Elite: Aaaaarrrrggghhhh!

Suzie: Hah, sounds like the Chief really hit the mark with his needler there, firing as he jumped down. Wish I'd seen that… But yipes! Another Jackal over here, creeping up towards the Marines.

Sarge: Whoa!

Marine: Not more of 'em?

Suzie: Hey hold on, that's the beak-nosed freak who took a pot-shot at me! I'm going to give him a piece of my mind. Just let me slide down here. Oooof! Hey, you there; beak-face! Look, here's my microphone! Here it is whacking you across the head… Whack! …and here it is whacking you across the other side of the head… Bap! …and here's a two-hander just because you're so damn ugly: Thwappp!

Sarge: Heh hey! Nice moves Suzie! Remind me not to mess with you in the future. Heck I ain't even seen the Chief pull off a three-hit combo before!

Suzie: Well, we reporters do run into the odd 'awkward' customer now and again. And I'll be happy to give the Chief a few pointers when I catch up with him; I'm sure he'll be glad to add it to his repertoire. Looks like it was quite effective actually…

Sarge: Did you kill it?

Suzie: Let's just say his pointing days are over.

Marine: We showed em!

Suzie: Hmmm… well technically MC showed 'em whilst you just rolled around a bit and shot a few colleagues in the back. Still, I'm sure there's a medal in it for you.

Now, where's the Chief gone? I really want to get a word with him. Ok listeners, I'll just follow his footsteps over to that island plateau… gosh, bit of a jump coming up… Oooof! Just made it. They ought to pay me more for this. Ok I'm on the island now… and looking over the edge… but I can't see him. Where's he gone?

Hey, a Pelican's just appeared over the clifftop. Looks like it's coming in to pick up the survivors. It's quite a majestic sight, circling in…

Hold on… do you hear that? I think that's the Warthog starting up; looks like MC didn't total it after all! Oh darn it, he's back at the plateau already and he's pulling up to let a few Marines get aboard. I'll just run over and… Oh dear; slight problem here listeners; I can't jump back up, it's too high. I'll give him a wave. Excuse me Master Chief! Excus…

Gunner: Rock and roll!


Suzie: Oh dear… guess he didn't see me; they're off to do more good work I suppose. Oh well, maybe I'll bump into him another time. Hello… looks like Sarge and his men are on the move too.

Sarge: Gotta go now Suzie; catch you later. And hey, any time you want to join the Marines, just lemme know!

Suzie: Well thank you, I… Oh, too late! Yes, there they go, down to the Pelican. So listeners, it seems like that's the end of that spot of bother. All except for one small matter. How the devil do I get down off this island?

Note: In case you didn't realize it, Suzie got caught up in a rockslide megabattle. And so can you!