Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Chronicles of Halo #2 - Six Bobs Wild Ride

Lobsterboy naturally loved the ocean. So when he spawned beside it on the flat pebbled beach of Zanzibar, he couldn't help but feel a sudden sense of nastalgia.

"Home." He paused, breathing in the salt air, thinking about his fellow lobster minions in the sea...

"No time to smell the ocean, Lobsterboy," came YoniMon's voice crackling over the radio. Lobsterboy turned around. Yonimon was already manning the massive rear mounted gauss cannon on the back of the now idle-humming warthog. The driver seat was empty. He sprinted towards it, snatching up a battle rifle lying in the sand along the way.

Climbing into the hog, he caught a glimpse of Thrawn traversing up the steep backside of the large, now crumbling seawall. Going for the sniper rifle, Grand Admiral? Lobsterboy mused to himself. As if on cue, Thrawn shouldered the long gun and headed around the wall, out of view. “See you beauties on the other side!” he shouted.

Lobsterboy jerked the hog forward towards the arched seawall entrance, white sand spewing behind them. “O.K. Thrawnboy,” he replied, we’ll m----“

“Ghost blocking the entryway!” Yonimon cut in. Their setting up a chokepoint, Yonimon thought as he swiveled around the gauss cannon to bear on the hovering ghost. Even as he aimed he could see the other two – one on the left of the archway with a battle rifle, the other on the right with…a rocket launcher.

Yonimon instantly changed target to the manned rocket launcher as Lobsterboy spun out the hog to give him a clear strafe of the now crowded entrance. Leading to the left, he fired the first ferro-titanium round right below his targets feet. The blue team member flew backward, arms flopping like a codfish, the rocket launcher falling safely to the sand.

Bolts of fiery plasma energy slammed the side of the hog as the ghost now advanced, mingled with slicing rounds from the battle rifle. The hog was holding up, but shields were dropping – fast. Time to kill two blue’s with one stone, Yonimon grinned. He squeezed off a single round to the right side of the ghost, perfectly striking its fuel pod. The blue team ghost splattered to the left, exploding into clouds of blue energy, smashing violently into the other un-attentive blue team member with the battle rifle.

“Nice job,” came over Yonimon’s headset. Lobsterboy had already jumped out of the hog, grabbed the rocket launcher, and was crawling back in the drivers seat. With the only launcher on Zanzibar now in their possession, the biggest threat to their hog was neutralized. “Lets storm the base Lobsterboy.” Hopefully Thrawn was surviving and holding the sniper tower, bless his little peck heart, he thought.

…Thrawn had slow-crouched his way to the base of the tower…which was already occupied by a yellow team member. Crapola, he grimaced. He stooped over to the plasma grenades lying next to the warcrate…at least they hadn’t been picked up yet. Carefully he shifted to the right, till he could see the back steps leading to the doorway of the tower. We’ll smoke the monster out…he sang joyfully to himself as he flung a plasma through the opening. The yellow team member didn’t notice the sizzling ball of energy soft landing on the ground behind him…bursting into a flower of electrons, it sent him wheeling off the tower and smashing headfirst into the adjacent windmill structure. His body writhed as it slid down the side of the windmill to the grass valley floor below.

“Yes,” Thrawn whispered triumphantly…he was about to start up the steps when the telltale sound of battle rifle rounds began to pelt his armor from behind.

There were two of them, teammates of the yellow guy he just annihilated. Probably pissed, Thrawn considered as he switched to his battle rifle and honed in on the closest attacker. He fired. Three-three round bursts struck the vulnerable helmet section of the yellow guys armor and took him down instantly. The other yellow continued to close the distance, hoping Thrawn’s shields were getting low…they were. He glanced at his HUD…about 25% remaining. Wouldn’t last if yellow aimed well. He backed up to the left and up the steps for cover, and chucked a frag against the opposite wall.

Yellow’s momentum carried him mercilessly into the outskirts of the explosion, shrapnel taking most of his shields down.

Time to join your buddies, Thrawn smiled to himself as he jumped through the residual cloud of debris from the grenade and meleed the yellow to the ground. Finally. Quickly he hoisted himself up the stairwell, grabbed the active camouflage, switched to his sniper rifle and crouched, looking at his perfect view of the windmill base tucked against the side of the valley wall. Now, where the hell are my crap-lousy teammates?

The hog’s monstrous wheels skipped the sand and landed on grass, picking up speed as its engine whined higher. Lobsterboy pointed its nose towards the lower left portion of the gigantic human windmill, at the gap in between the slowly counterclockwise turning louvers. Gotta time this right, he thought cautiously as he increased speed slightly to clear an approaching louver on its upward ascent.

Like a typical lobster, he didn’t speed up enough.

As the hog entered the gap, the approaching louver effectively high centered the now motionless vehicle, catching it in the center between the front and rear tires.

Idiot, Lobsterboy muttered to himself as he fought the controls to clear the louver…

And now a brief moment of retrospect. Sometimes, the crapiest situations in life turn out to be your best friend. Not always, and certainly not often for our dear Six Bobs, but it does happen. On this sunny afternoon on the shores of Zanzibar, it just so happens that it did. Now the rest of the story…

…Lobsterboy didn’t clear the louver. In fighting the controls, he effectively balanced it. The giant arm slowly slid the hog into the air, like a spoon. The hog continued upward, like a car of a ferris wheel at your local county fair.

“That’s awesome, keep it steady man!” Yonimon yelled out. He could see the surprise of the advancing teams now below them who were probably thinking they had the hog trapped. Turkey shoot, he thought as he steadied the gauss at multiple targets below. Wham!!! The cannons magnetic coil hurled its first of many high-density slugs with electromagnetic force toward the ground below, sending two greens sailing and others running for cover into the base in front of them. Yonimon continued to mow the lawn, so to speak…through the wavy film of airborne gas particles released from the cannon, he could vaguely make out other attackers creeping out onto the ledges of the second story base. Probably going for the auto turrets, Yonimon smiled. The hog was even higher now, giving him even leverage with the second story. He swiveled the cannon straight ahead, and obliterated one of the auto turrets to dust before a blue could get to it. Desperate, the blue tried chucking a frag at the elevated hog. It sailed passed Yonimon even as he fired another supersonic round at the blue and plastered him against the far base wall.

The louver was reaching maximum upward swing now. Not even Lobsterboy could defy the laws of gravity. “Hold on!” Lobsterboy shouted. As the hog slid down the louver, it pitched forward. Down went Lobsterboy, Yonimon, and their beloved hog, twirling in the air like some freak of nature till it smashed on its side right outside the base. A gigantic thud followed by showers of sparks spewered over the already gauss-blackened landscape. The Six Bobs wild ride ended as crazily as it had started.

“Bunch of goofy-a retards,” mused Thrawn as he zoomed in on two blue’s advancing through the jagged rocks towards the fallen hogs location. He had been watching the whole wild ride fiasco from the concealment of the tower, sniping all attackers that were too busy fussing with the hog to notice him. He fired one scoping round at the lead blue, then led his reticule slightly right to catch the second one. Enough of this, he thought. Jumping straight off the tower he glided down to his fallen teammates, who were amazingly still alive.

Lobsterboy’s HUD was flashing red and he could hear the shields down warning beeping incessantly through his headset. He jumped out. Two greens on the right, coming right at him, dual smg’s hitting his faceplate. But wait, oh yea, still got this, mocked Lobsterboy as he spun around his unused rocket launcher, ran backward and fired one round at the greenies, scorching them to the cratered ground. He then looked up to see Thrawn’s smiling face walking up to him.

“Last score right here,” Yonimon’s voice over the comm. Lobsterboy and Thrawn whirled around to see Yonimon take his newly acquired shotty from the ground and point it in the face of the last charging yellow. “Aaagh!” was the last thing the yellow said before he joined his buddies in halo heaven.

“That’s how I roll,” said Yonimon as the game voice gave its usual “GAME OVER” through the comlinks.

Thrawn laughed out loud. “You guys have your fun down here?” he grinned. Lobsterboy walked quietly over to the seething pile of metal that had provided so much enjoyment over the last 10 minutes. Thrawn and Yonimon were already looking happily at it. “I miss my hog,” he sighed.

Yonimon smiled. “I’m sure they’ll give us another one, Lobsterboy.”

The screen faded black on the Six Bobs, once again…