Frontline 11: Danger! Falling Grunts
Posted October 14th 2004
This is Radio WRKX broadcasting, with the latest report from a desert island down on the surface of the big spinner, Halo. And this time we join castaway reporter Suzie Hoffenblatt up on top of a steep hill rising out of the beach, just near the charred wreckage of a downed UNSC Pelican. Our gal with the mike has made her way up the narrow winding path and it seems that she's found a whole gaggle of Grunts to have a chat with. Word has it that these guys aren't the brightest sparks in the galaxy, so this could be a tricky assignment. Another frontline first, brought to you by Radio WRKX. Take it away Suzie…
Suzie: Let me see: one, two, three, four, five of you. Gosh, quite a collection. Thank-you for talking to me everyone, and I must say, it's quite a nice spot you've got up here.
Grunt 1: Oh yes, very nice. It's not big, but then neither are we so it's quite a good fit.
Suzie: Yes, that's handy. And why are you up here exactly?
Grunt 1: Well it's got a pretty good view out along the beach, so our Elite basically said to just stay here and shoot anything that looks like a cyborg. That's some sort of green monster they think might be showing up at some point. No sign of that yet though. We did have a bit of fun with that big ship down there though.
Suzie: Ah, the Pelican. Yes, it does look to've had a bit of bother.
Grunt 1: Hah, nicely put Suzie. Yes we gave it quite a bit of bother actually. Five plasma pistols soon mount up you know. Didn't stand a chance against us.
Grunt 2: …although technically it was already coming in to crash.
Grunt 1: That's true. It was coming in to crash. But once it was down, boy oh boy, we soon gave it a roasting.
Suzie: Yes… commendable work I'm sure.
Grunt 1: Well I know I'm pretty pleased with myself. My Elite calls me Nipplefreak.
Suzie: Ah-hem, well bearing in mind that we're broadcasting live across the galaxy, I hope that's a reference to those 'food nipples' of yours that I've heard about. But I'm not entirely sure it sounds complimentary.
Grunt 1: Well I didn't quite get it but I assumed he thought I was special, so…
Grunt 2: Actually he calls me Nipplefreak as well.
Grunt 3: And me.
Grunt 4: Me too!
Grunt 5: Count me in.
Suzie: So, it seems like we've got a whole squad of Nipplefreaks. The UNSC quakes visibly in fear I'm sure. Still, I think you may need a good deal more work with those plasma pistols if that cyborg shows up.
Grunt 1: Oh we'll spot him a mile off!
Suzie: Hmmm… but I have to point out that you didn't actually see me until I got up here and tapped you on the shoulder. And that almost made you jump out of your grunty little backpack.
Grunt 1: You shouldn't creep up on people like that!
Suzie: Well I'll be sure to pass that advice on to the cyborg if I see him. But if I can move things along, have you fellows been up here long?
Grunt 1: Oh, a few days actually.
Suzie: Really, that long! It must get a bit dull though. Is there anything that helps you pass the time when there's nothing to shoot?
Grunt 1: Well, we're pretty keen on jumping.
Grunt 1: Oh yes. Over the edge there, by the sea. It's a real blast. Next best thing to riding on the back of a Hunter clinging onto his spikes!
Grunt 2: I find that a bit scary actually.
Grunt 1: Now you mention it, it is a bit scary. In fact, as far as I can remember I usually wet myself, which would be embarrassing if everyone else hadn't done it too.
Grunt 2: You can certainly put me on that list.
Grunt 3: Me too!
Grunt 4: And me!
Grunt 5: Call it a round five.
Suzie: Er… ok ok, I think our listeners get the picture; we'll take it for granted that there's a lot of damp life support suits involved. But I think we were talking about jumping off the edge there.
Grunt 1: Jumping off the edge? Are you crazy? You could kill yourself!
Suzie: But you said you did it all the time!
Grunt 1: Did I? Oh yes, now I remember. You almost fooled me for a minute with all that business about Hunters but it's all coming back to me. Yeah, we love to jump off, and the ground's just about soft enough to land if you get it right.
Suzie: Seems a bit risky to me. It looks a long way down.
Grunt 1: No no no, it's easy, and we're pretty tough anyway. My Elite dropped me on my head only the other day when I fumbled a live plasma grenade into his breakfast by accident, and I didn't feel a thing. Heh, you should've seen him move when he saw that thing fizzing on his plate!
Suzie: I can imagine. Do you play with your plasma grenades at the breakfast table often?
Grunt 1: Well, not any more.
Suzie: And I'm sure the rest of the table is truly grateful. But coming back to the matter in hand, I still think it's a long way down.
Grunt 1: No trouble Suzie; here, just watch this.
Suzie: Well I'm sure there's no need for you to demonst… oh, too late, he's taking a running jump.
Grunt 1: Watch out people down below 'cos off I jump and down I go! Wheeeee… BOOF!
Grunt 2: Liked the opening cry there; very nice rhyming.
Grunt 1: See? Not a scratch. Comin' up!
Grunt 3: Nice landing too; right on his feet. I give that a nine.
Grunt 4: Only an eight from me; he put his paw down at the bottom. What do you give him Suzie?
Suzie: I give him a fifty percent chance of seeing tomorrow, if he keeps jumping off cliffs like that.
Grunt 2: Nah it's no trouble. Here, let me have a go!
Suzie: That's really not necessa… ah, too late again; there he goes.
Grunt 2: Watch out rocks and watch out sand 'cos somethin's comin' in to land! Wa-haaaa… BOOF!
Grunt 3: Not bad. Very nice scream on the way down. That's a seven from me.
Grunt 5: I give it an eight. Just look at those big grunty footprints he left in the sand. Really gave it some wallop when he came down.
Suzie: You wouldn't want to be underneath, certainly. Perhaps you should put up a sign. Still, thanks for the demonstrations guys, and if I could move on to…
Grunt 3: My turn!
Suzie: Oh heck. Looks like another free-fall enthusiast is lining himself up. Yep, there he goes.
Grunt 3: Grunts can run and Grunts can leap so look out sea I'm jumpin' deep! Waaaaaa… BOOF!
Grunt 4: Yes, not much of splash there. Didn't really deliver on that opening boast. Bit of a let-down I'd have to say.
Suzie: And what mark do you give that one?
Grunt 4: I give that a…
Suzie: Fascinating. And here comes Nipplefreak 1 back up from the sand, with Nipplefreak 2 not far behind. Did we enjoy ourselves?
Grunt 1: Oh yes, that was one of my best. What did they give me?
Suzie: I think it was an eight or nine.
Grunt 1: Woo-hoo! In da face!
Grunt 4: Huh! I can beat that! Watch this!…
Suzie: Here we go again folks.
Grunt 4: Everybody duck!
Grunt 1: That's mainly for throwing grenades actually Suzie, but it does also come in quite useful when you're falling at speed.
Suzie: I'm sure it does.
Grunt 4: Wheeeeuuup… BOOF!
Suzie: Hey, he did a somersault on the way down!
Grunt 1: Oh yes, we like those. Do 'em when we're getting off the dropship sometimes. Boing! Love it. It's pretty hard to work it into a big drop like this though. I give that a 10. You can't get much better than that.
Grunt 5: Unless you gave it an 11.
Grunt 1: That's true, I could've given it an 11. Hmmm… guess it wasn't as good a jump as I thought it was then. What do you think Suzie?
Suzie: On a scale from 1 to confusing, I give it a round of applause and a missed heartbeat or two.
Grunt 5: Wow, da human like it! Ok, now let me try one; I can do a somersault too!
Suzie: (Sigh) Whatever. There's the edge tubby, knock yourself out.
Grunt 5: Round and round I'm going to spin so watch out folks, I'm goin' in!
Suzie: Sounds a bit ambitious.
Grunt 1: Show-off!
Grunt 5: Wheeeeuuup… huh? What the…?
Grunt 1: Uh-oh! He's over-rotated! See those paws flailing?
Grunt 5: Can't… correct… with… thing… on… back! SPLURPP!
Grunt 2: Casualty!
Suzie: Oh dear. That was unfortunate. He seems to've done a belly-flop into the sand. Gone quite deep actually; just that funny life-support fin sticking up. I don't think he's walking away from this one listeners.
Grunt 1: Run away!
Grunt 2: He's gonna kill us all!
Suzie: Er, actually I can't see any cyborgs for miles.
Grunt 3: Cyborgs for miles! Ah-ha-ha-ha!
Grunt 4: Flee!
Suzie: Oh dear. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. Well listeners, it seems like what's left of this particular squad of crack Covenant troops has broken into a blind panic with a view towards running around in circles for the next ten minutes. So with that, I think I'll move quietly along the beach to see what else the UNSC has to fear. Over and out!