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Halo: Aftermath by Nick

Halo: Aftermath - Prologue
Date: 14 May 2002, 5:48 am

     The Master Chief ran toward the Longsword fighter as explosions and waves of heat hit his shields causing them to flare. He was just half way to his objective, now if only he could make it all the way, then there would be now turning back, no more worrying about what was near him. Cortana yelled at Master Chief to continue running no matter the cost. To the average human, this task was impossible. However, for a Spartan such as Master Chief, this was just difficult. Flames, debris, and gun fights on both side of him.
      The Covenant fought furiously with the parasitic Flood creatures. Plasma and bullets alike flew passed Master Chief's face as he drew closer to the fighter. It would be his haven, if only he were to make it there in one piece. Suddenly a Flood in the form of a rotting human corse leaped in front of him and aimed an assault rifle toward Master Chief. Master Chief backhanded the soulless monster at lightning speed, sending it several yards and slamming into its fellow Flood critters. He will never forget its merciless face.
     It was a moldy green and brown with several human shaped bones showing. It was missing its entire right arm and a chunk of its rib cage. The whole idea of them not feeling pain was astounding to Master Chief. Regardless of the amount of punishment dealt to a hosting Flood spore, it always managed to summon enough strength to run back to seek revenge. That is what scared him the most out of anything the Flood could do. If he had slept at all in the passed two days, he would have nightmares of these things.
     Master Chief continued to run. He had reached the access ramp leading to the Longsword fight. It reminded him of the ancient stealth bombers used to avoid detection from the enemy. He ran toward the next ramp, the one belonging to the Longsword itself. He dared not turn around because he knew that at least twenty hosting Flood creatures were running after him to try and make him the next host of one of their spores. He reached the ramp and ran further inside. He hit the button marked "close" which immediately followed which the fighter's ramp shutting before the Flood could climb aboard.
     With the success so far, Master Chief wished he could relax. This was hard work, even for a Spartan. He turned left toward the cockpit area of the cabin when he felt the floor shake from under him. The sudden rumble sent him against the wall of the Longsword. He braced himself and stood back to his feet. Once again, he rushed to the cockpit. He reached it within seconds of the rumble, but with his pressure, it was more like an hour.
     The cockpit was decorated with silver steel plating, two leather chairs, and several different transparent computer screen mounted on metallic rods. On the starboard side, their was a neatly set up armory stocked with assault rifles and shotguns. To the port side, a radar planted on the console with yet another leather chair. The large, multiple plated glass fixture swallowed up the front of the ship. Above, Master Chief could easily see white and yellow lights shining throughout the Longsword. It was still intact as well, that was the Chief's favorite part of it all.

     Master Chief sped to the pilot's seat and activated the fighter's engines. The Longsword turned one hundred and eighty degrees to face the opening in the Pillar of Autumn's hull. The engines roared to life and the Longsword made a quick jolt forward. The momentum pressed Master Chief's body against the soft, black leather of the chair. He held the throttle as far forward as he could, boosting the engines to an astonishing speed.
     He and his artificial intelligence construct had made it out of the ship, but they still needed to clear the ring's atmosphere. As they rose higher into the sky, the bright blue was slowly transforming into a sheet of darkness with small white dots scatter everywhere. Behind the small fighter was the ring world called Halo, shattering into large fragments and colliding with each other. The chain had been started with the self-destruction of the very ship Master Chief had escaped from. The bodies of water leaked out into space along with large pieces of land and the granite the ring was coated with.
     A loud vibrant sound went through the cockpit. The words "Engine Temp Critical" flashed on the screen in front of the Chief. Cortana told him to shut the engines down for now, so he did without hesitation. He stood to his feet and walked to the nearest window facing the direction of where Halo had been. He witnessed thousands upon thousand of pieces of the ring brake apart. The fortress would simply finish off itself at this rate. Master Chief leaned against the window and hit it gently. He looked out again in hopes of seeing a friendly ship, or at least some form of life.
     "Did anyone else make it?" Master Chief asked. He knew the answer, but he was hoping not to have to tell himself it.
     "Scanning. . ." Cortana paused for a moment. "just dust and echos. We are all that is left." Master Chief turned around and walked toward the pilot's chair and slouched. He shook his head in disbelief. He was right, he was often right, but he wished that he had not been about this.
     He began to unhinge his helmet much like an astronaut would. He pulled it off revealing tan skin and a mud-brown color of hair. His eyes were a match with it also. He had an average size mouth and nose with soft skin covering in face. Battle wounds did, however, show as well the should considering his recent endeavors. Needless to say, he was handsome in anyone's opinion.
     "We did what we had to do for Earth. An entire Covenant armada obliterated and the Flood. . ." Cortana paused again with a sigh of relief. "Halo. . .it's finished."
     Master Chief looked down at the console in front of him. He shook his head as a sign of discredit. "No, I think we are just getting started." He lifted his head and stared straight into the merciless darkness of space. He knew that he was right about this one, just like everything else so far. The battle had been won, but the war continued to raged over numerous worlds. The Human race and the Covenant, locked in a seemingly on solvable, undying conflict. He did not know of the battles to come, of the dangerous aftermath of Halo. This was his job. He had to fight. He lived to fight.

Halo: Aftermath 02
Date: 14 May 2003, 3:29 PM

Chapter 002: Invoking the Faction

"Get a signal on where that rocket launched!" The Chief then looked out of the glass windows and ducked down as he heard another rocket blast come into the room. BOOOM! The Chief saw a small trail of the rocket and he ducked as another rocket came into view and the office room was once clean and organized, but it was now a broken hell with bullet holes all over the wall. Chief.... I found the rocket launcher trail and it seems to be from a Spartan III. A Recon Spartan with an Sp54 and an IR tracker. Cortana told the Chief as he saw the Gray Armored Spartan in the building directly opposite from him.

"We're stuck! There's a Spartan III firing at us like hell and we can't find him! The only way is to get out of here on a airship!" Fox yelled as another rocket blew open a deck into pieces. The Chief heard inside his helmet Cortana mumbling through the building blue prints. I got it Chief! We have to go to the elevator and to the top! From there, specs show a hangar bay for UNSC Pelican dropships! We have to hurry if there are still marines in the area! Cortana told the Spartans as they ran into the bullet filled elevator.

VRROM! The elevator began to vibrate as the Chief saw the meter; it was on the 100th floor when the elevator stopped. The Chief then saw through the bullet holes on the elevator doors that at least 30 marines were in the cargo room. The Chief then saw the sniper rifle on the ground and picked it up from the dead marine on the floor. The Chief then used it scope to survey the room. At least four of the marines were in front of the elevator.

"If we're gonna get to the floor, we going to have to make a firefight..." Fox told Gordon and the Chief as he open the magazine and dropped it to the floor and picked up another magazine and loaded it in the Assault Rifle. He then opened the doors and the Chief began to fire at the marines in front of the door. It took a whole second for the marines in the room to fire back, but the Spartans were halfway across the room behind cargo crates.

Echoing screams were heard across the room as the three Spartans were firing back at the marines, who were in a confusion as Gordon slid behind the marines and began to fire at them, while the Chief and Fox where firing off all of the AR rounds while the bullets were on the ground clattering. After five minutes of intense firing, the cargo room was filled with blood and bullet holes as the Chief stepped out from behind the cargo crate. The 100th floor was cleared. The small Spartan party now was on the steps and saw the door. The Chief then shot open the door to see the helipad on the top of the building.

On top was a Spartan III soldier holding an Sp54, the new prototype for the old M19 SSM Rocket Launcher. It had three barrels for more rounds during a firefight and had a guided missile system. The Chief could seem the Spartan III tense as he began to fire as the Chief opened the door. As the Spartan III fired, the Chief closed the door and jumped down the stairs with Gordon and Fox jumping also.
The door blew ajar as the rocket collided. The Master Chief then ran from the door and started firing at the enemy Spartan. Blood dripped from the ground as Fox ran in front of the Master Chief and jumped behind the enemy Spartan and hit him in the circuit hardware in the back. The Spartan III fell dead as Fox took the Sp54 and handed it to the Chief. The Pelican dropship was still there.

Fox jumped into the Pelican and pushed the Master Chief in the passenger area as Gordon jumped into the pilot cabin. He began pressing the ignition buttons as the Chief loaded the Sp54 from the small makeshift armory in the passenger seats. The Pelican began to vibrate as its VTOL engines began to make the Pelican ascend above the building.

"Sensors show that there are STINGER rockets in the area. Hold on, this is going to be a fast one." Fox said over the hum of the Pelican as the Chief looked at the UNSC mobile STINGER Warthogs.

The Chief fired one of Sp54 rockets at the small convoy of Warthogs and watched a large explosion erupt between the Warthogs and to retaliate, hundreds of STINGER rockets were being fired at Fox. Fox, now grimacing as he swiveled out of the way and out of the city, he saw that two UNSC Longsword fighters began to trail the Pelican.

"GET ME AN ANGLE!" The Chief yelled as he fired a rocket at one of the Longswords. The Longsword swiveled away and began to fire back. The Chief now began to fire back at the Longsword fighters, taking off its left wing. The Longsword now began to descend and crash onto the plains of New York, leaving a fiery burn on the ground. The other Longsword now began to return back to base, leaving off two rockets at Fox, who had no countermeasures left, couldn't evade.

The Pelican began to descend as Fox saw the damages on the ship. The two left VTOL engines were offline and the left wing was blown off from the Longsword's last rockets. The Pelican now was at 20 feet near a forest and the only thing the Master Chief could see was a small Warthog with three marines firing at the Pelican's hull.

Chief! Chief! Thank god you're alive! I thought you died in the crash! Cortana sighed with relief. The Chief's HUD began to return back to normal as the Chief felt the grip of the Sp 54 back in his hands. He then looked at the barrels, and saw a large crack on it. It was broken. The Chief then dropped the rocket launcher and jumped out of the Pelican.

"Ahh...the Master Chief's alive! We thought you died! Oh well...to bring you on notice, our Pelican crashed on a WARTHOG PATROL! Thanks to Fox's goddamn driving!" Gordon muttered. The Chief saw the bullet holes on the hull of the Pelican dropship. The Chief then ran out and saw that they had landed in a clearing. Broken tree limbs were seen all over the grass as Fox pushed the Warthog out of the three dead marines.

"We've got to move! They have a tracker on the Warthog!" Fox yelled as the Chief ripped out a M9D Automatic Pistol from one of the Marine's dead hands and wiped the blood off. The Warthog was still in driving condition and Gordon then jumped in the driver's seat, before Fox, who then got into the passenger seat, holding up the MA12b in his hand as the Chief ran and unlocked the LAAG and began to rotate the turret...