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Fan Fiction

The Fallen: Halo 2 by Hikaru-119

The Fallen: Halo 2 Chapter 1 Section 1
Date: 7 June 2003, 3:53 PM

Note to the reader: This story is what I think will come out of Halo 2...at about the Heroic/Legendary difficulty setting. I am open to suggestions in the post/read comments section. But before you judge the story I'd suggest you read all of it. Thanks.

Chapter 1: Evening The Odds
1747 Hours November 15, 2553 (Military Calendar)
High Earth Orbit, Above the North American Continent

Master Chief could see the Covenant cruiser appear below him. It got bigger as he came close to the ships upper hull and he could begin to see the different indentations designed into the ship. Suddenly an orange triangle appeared on a part of the ship. He realized it was a NAV point. On his helmet speakers Cortana spoke to him.

" Chief that point is an external access way for maintenance. Go through there when we land. I suspect the cruiser's shields will be down only for another five minutes. We need to hurry." she said. He was right on top of the ship now and slammed into it violently. Quickly he grabbed a loose edge with his left arm and felt his shoulder pull from his socket. The feeling was to familiar to the Chief. He then with one hand pulled out the MA8A Battle Rifle's sling and put the weapon around his arm. It was now time to board the ship.

It took a moment for him to reorient his body toward the NAV point. It was then a hundred meter crawl from indentation to indentation. Finally when he made it to his point he could see a three meter pressure door. There was a red glow around it and suddenly it was flashing from red to white at a quick pace. Finally it stopped and the lights went to white and the doors slid open.

The Chief pulled him self inside and immediately felt the effects of gravity. He was inside a meter tall tunnel that was absent of light. He chinned the flashlight switch in his helmet and a bright beam shined out from his right shoulder illuminating the interior. The walls shined an odd purple as he crawled his way through the tunnel. It was two minutes since he had entered when Cortana piped up again.

" Chief the first exit panel is twenty meters ahead of us. It should lead us to about four decks away from the bridge. We need to get there." she said. The Chief understood and continued his crawl. He finally made it to the panel and turned off his flashlight. " Motion detected Chief. I'd say about twenty of them. Time to try out your new toy. "

" Not quite Cortana." he responded. The AI was puzzled by this and then detected his motions. His hand was going for one of the five grenades he brought with him. She understood now. Master Chief then took his right hand and pried open the panel slowly making enough room for him to slip his grenade in. He then pulled the pin and slipped the frag in. Three seconds went by, then a resonant boom shuddered through his area.

He could hear the sounds of screaming Grunts from down below. With that he tore open the panel and slipped in rifle first. He scanned the area without even having to poke his head in. It was an expansive dimly lit blue room. Crates were lined up against the walls, what looked like hover beds were in another corner, several guards, and the dented armor plating from the explosion of his M9 HE-DP fragmentation grenade.

Several bodies also lay on the ground either dead or dying. Those that were wounded were coughing up blood in their methane breathers. Moans and little growls could be heard from the Grunts on the floor. However a few were unscathed and were panning the area with their plasma pistols. The guards were all Grunts and most of the red armored officers bought the farm. He realized he could dive in and take them all out with relative ease.

He prepared himself and launched his body into the room. His gun was blazing as he landed on his shoulder, rolled, and sprung to his feet. Seven seconds passed by and only the green armored Spartan remained alive.

" Where to now Cortana?" he asked. A moment passed and another NAV point came up.

" You should find this ship familiar Chief. It seems the Covenant build the interior of their ships exactly the same as those of their class. Pretty lazy if you ask me." Cortana said. The Chief had to agree with the lazy bit, but it allowed for them to transfer from ship to ship without having to learn all over again. Before he headed for the NAV point he checked his ammo counter. Only twelve rounds remained, not even half left. He swapped it for a new one and left the room.

The next room he entered was barren. Only another door and a control panel were there. He went over and touched the panel and the door opened. It was different this time however, as the room was inhabited. There were three Jackals with their shields down standing there stunned. The Master Chief however did not hesitate and pumped out nine rounds in quick succession taking down his targets with head shots. After he did so he took one of the plasma pistols and attached the claw like weapon to his side. He looked at the bodies for just long enough to notice the fear in their eyes. He felt no shame for what he had done to them and felt no pity for the dead.

He was able to advance several rooms without any other opposition. This upset him a bit not knowing where the enemy was. When he noticed this Cortana filled his helmet.

" Chief we have three more decks. All of which are crawling with Covenant," she said. " Yes. They are currently engaged with a destroyer just twenty kilos away from here. We need to get to the bridge and take the ship over. However I suggest that you take the next batch of enemies out from afar if possible. We don't have much time." The message was clearly understood and the Master Chief ran down the dark corridor until he made it to a rather large door.

It opened and two red clad Elites stepped through armed with plasma rifles. The Chief quickly reached for his plasma pistol, crouched, and charged it up. The green light gave away his position, but before the Elites could respond he let loose the charged blast and it hit the forward one in the chest. Its shields dropped and the Spartan used his rifle to land a three round burst into its face.

The creature dropped holding its wound and screamed in pain. The sudden attack stunned the other Elite and the roar of his comrade filled his ears. Again the Chief charged up the pistol and hit the other Elite that was standing in shock. It saw the Chief and fired a shot before it was hit. The Chief's shields dropped an eighth, but the Elites were gone. He didn't have time to fire so he rushed the creature and slammed his fist into its gut knocking the breath out of it. An uppercut and another punch followed breaking the Elite's left jaw. The weapon now cooled and a steady stream of green fire went into the Covenant warrior's face.

The Master Chief turned around to finish the other one on the floor, but he found it had died from massive brain trauma. He shot it again just to make sure. He was by himself and could not afford to have one of them to attack him from behind. He then dropped the plasma pistol and touched both plasma rifles.

" Cortana which has more ammo?" he asked. There was barely a pause from her.

" The one on your right. I'll have your HUD indicate when your near one with more ammo. Oh yes one more thing. The destroyer we were engaged with has found a new target. All UNSC ships in the Sol system have received specific orders not to attack this ship."

The Chief thanked her and picked up his MA8A and rummaged through one of the bodies for a plasma grenade. He found two and put them in his grenade pack. When he stood up a red light in the lower left began to pulsate. " Chief I'm picking up several transmissions. They know you're here now." Now stealth would be his most important asset to getting to the bridge. Just then he looked at his motion tracker and it was filled with red in front of him.

Quickly the Chief ran to a nearby crate for cover. As he did two doors opened and twelve Grunts came through cautiously. He waited for one of them to get close. He could hear them talking and listened carefully to the clatter of their hooves. Finally one was close enough and he unloaded three rounds into it. Those lower in rank jumped and ran back while their red armored officers stayed and attempted to duke it out. The Chief saw them cluster up and tossed a plasma grenade. The flaming explosive attached itself onto one of the Grunts.

It ran around in fear and finally detonated taking out itself and another of its kind. The plume of plasma also damaged three others. The Chief went Grunt by Grunt taking out those highest in rank and went his way down. He hadn't noticed it but several shots came his way and made contact.

Then the alarm sounded in his helmet that his shields were taking heavy fire. He backed off and waited for them to recharge. It did not take long, but the Grunts had almost advanced to right on top of him. Their minds were filled with the thought of the taste of human blood and they entered a frenzy.

Yet before they had reached the peak of their blood lust he exposed himself and bashed in the first one's skull in with the butt of his rifle. The breather mask on the alien cracked and the force of the hit split open the rear of its skull. Pieces of its small purple brain began to leak out and fall towards the floor. Before they did the Chief had emptied the last of his clip on the remaining few.

Orange tracers, green streaks of super-heated plasma, and small methane arcs of fire flew everywhere. As the last shot was fired the Chief's shields had dropped entirely and the threat had been neutralized. Patches of blue luminous blood stained the floor and plasma scoring had painted a tale of fiery hell.

Only a single bleeder remained and the Chief delivered a final blow to the enemy's face. He reloaded his weapon and scrounged up four fresh plasma grenades. It was now time to head to the bridge.

He went stealthfully out of the room that he was in and entered another walkway that headed upward. He went through several more doors and came into the mid-deck of a launch bay. Inside there were two light model U shaped Covenant dropships like the ones he had faced on Halo. One on each side a of a center divider that was accessible from the floor that he was on that separated the room into two halves.

He could see outside the ship from the two shielded launch ports in the hull. He saw several MAC guns firing from a distance and plasma trailing from the Covenant, the MAC guns' intended targets. He stopped to watch another salvo fire and knew time was short.

As he turned from the spectacle he heard several doors sliding open and the clattering of hooves and boots. He saw a stack of crates and decide to run for them. As he did a Jackal from below spotted him. He whipped out his plasma rifle and opened fire. The Jackal however put up its shield in time to take the damage. He kept the gun going in short controlled bursts while the Jackal kept up heavy answering fire.

The plasma rifle fire finally tore through the Jackal's shield and then through it's body. Others now were coming together with the support of two blue armored Elites. Other doors were opening revealing more Covenant. Most of them were contingents of Grunts and Jackals.

The Chief knew the Elites were the primary threat and tossed a frag behind them. The blast sent them forward damaging their shields to near zero. He opened fire and killed one. The other ran and hid behind the multiple Jackals. A second NAV point then appeared on his HUD. Again more Covenant reinforcement made their way into the launch bay.

The Fallen: Chapter 1Part 2
Date: 7 June 2003, 4:02 PM

" Chief go to it! RUN!" Cortana cried. It was the best thing he could hear. He did as told and ran backwards into a doorway firing his plasma rifle at the open targets. As he entered it he threw a frag grenade and the door shut. " I don't know how long I can hold them off from here Chief, but we should get moving." The Chief was grateful and looked to see how much ammo was left in his plasma rifle. His counter read twenty seven, but this was deceiving considering the plasma rifle could fire two shots for the price of one. So technically about fifty four shots actually remained.

He put the weapon to his side and took out the MA8A. He headed upward through a series of passages and came to a dead halt when a hall was filled with Grunts. He ducked back before they had noticed him. He then carefully looked around the corner. All of them had combat experience either that or they were trained very well considering they were red backs armed with needlers. This was not good for anyone.

Slowly he grabbed a plasma grenade and tossed it into the center of the pack and ducked back out. The flickering blue grenade latched onto one of the Grunts and it tried to run, but was too clogged up around the others. He exploded taking seven with him. By time the grenade went off the Chief was down the other end of the hall watching for stragglers. He zoomed his battle rifle in at 5x magnification and took a single shot at a panicked Grunt.

That was all that was needed to bring several more his way. He took them down within a few shots each to the upper body and skull. Several shots came his way of which he side stepped avoiding most of the rounds and continued his firing. He was then force to reload as another wave was preparing to come in. They came and were quickly put down. He then ran for his objective with weapon at the ready.

The Chief went an entire level without running into a single enemy. It was then he realized something was not right. It was too quiet for a ship that was both in battle above a planet and one being boarded. He then stopped and turned on the flashlight on his armor's right shoulder. The light interacted with something in front of him causing a shimmer that could be seen. He fired without hesitation at the shimmer and took out an Elite that planned on ambushing him. It screamed in shock and fell dead with its intestinal track spilling out. The Chief swapped his old plasma rifle with a new one and redrew his MA8A. He then heard a clack behind him and saw a meter long beam of glowing blue energy hovering midair. Next to it was a similar shimmer just as with the previous opponent.

He then opened fire and was charged by the energy blade. It went side to side and kept coming right at him. It went up into the sky and came down at him while the assault rifle was firing. The weapon clicked signifying the need for a clip change.

The Spartan rushed forward as the blade came down and slipped past his opponent. He quickly turned and hit solidly where the blur was standing. He heard the cracking of armor and bones and the scream of pain from his target. The blade then deactivated and fused to the arm of the now visible Elite. The Chief searched the body and found three plasma grenades and saw he was only a hundred meters from the NAV point. He rushed to the nearest door and went for the objective.

The Chief glanced at his motion tracker and that the bridge was crawling with Covenant activity. On top of that only one of the doors was unlocked for him to enter. An obvious trap that in his case would prove effective for the Covenant. He then saw another point show up on his HUD as the other disappeared.

" Its unlocked Chief. They aren't expecting you to come from here." Cortana said. The Chief went over to the door and made sure his weapons were loaded. He also checked how many magazines were left for his battle rifle. He had the one in it, an extra full one, and the one that he changed from the beginning of his boarding. Not very good for what he was going to attempt. Due to his situation he took out his plasma rifle and readied it.

The door opened as he approached it. There was a central platform held up by several hover units and holographic projections on the wall and in the air. Then there were the sounds of his enemies' breathing. The recognizable anxious sounds of the Grunts and the raspy voices of the Jackals.

The Spartan ran in and unloaded his rifle until it over heated. The shots took out three Grunts. Barely enough to scratch the numbers. There were at least twelve Jackals and ten Grunts left. He then tossed the last of his frags and knocked four more out of the Grunts. Only one of the problems at hand. The Jackals suddenly opened the flood gates of plasma fire on him. The Chief was lucky and found a position behind a support pillar to take cover. Shots boiled away at the pillar's armored section.

He stayed there taking cover and crouched there with his MA8A zoomed in. He took shots at the divots in the sides of the Jackals' yellow transparent energy shields and wounded as many as he could. They got smart quickly though and began locking their shields together and forced him to improvise. He tossed a plasma grenade in front of them knocking out a few of the shields and killing two others.

When the grenade exploded he dashed forward in the confusion and ditched his battle rifle and grabbed two plasma pistols off the ground. He ran fired both of them in their charged mode and took out two more. He did this until the weapon was empty and he heard the shields down alarm again just a moment before he fired his last shot from the weapons. The Chief then felt the heat spike as a shot landed him on his right shoulder. The armor flared and took damage. He was slightly melted, but continuous fire would take away the armor and kill him rather quickly. The armor made him strong and capable of taking several of shots like that, but it wouldn't take very many shots to take even him out.

He ducked behind the same pillar he done once before and waited twenty seconds for his shields to recharge. He then saw one of the plasma pistols from another Jackal he had blown apart nearby. He dropped his two empty weapons and snagged it and let out a steady stream of fire as did two other Jackals that were advancing on his position. The Chief strafed left and flanked the enemy. He finished the first one off with several shots to the gut and his fist struck the other.

It recoiled and growled. He then back handed it, performed an upper cut, and a double punch which shattered bone. The Jackal crumpled down to the ground to which he then shot. The Chief looked up and rushed up the ramp to the heart of the bridge. Something was not right however. It was then that a single door opened and three gold armored Elites came in. Two had plasma rifles and the center was armed with an energy blade. They were the primary bridge crew.

The Chief without hesitation through a plasma grenade latching onto one of them as they ran towards him. The others rolled out of the way a considerable distance as the grenade exploded. The Chief turned to the one carrying the blade and fired a charged shot at it. The shot hit and the creature bowed down as the heated plasma burned right through the shields. There wasn't enough time to let the weapon recharge so he pulled out his plasma rifle.

As he did this the other Elite opened fire and the Chief concentrated on his target and unloaded on it. The weapon over heated and the enemy fell to its knees clutching its stomach as it died.. The Chief then rushed the remaining Elite and hit its shields. Although it did minimal damage it still scared the shit out of it. The plasma rifle now was cooled and the Chief ran around the Elite nimbly dodging most shots from his opponent as he gave answering fire. The shields dropped on the Elite and the Chief finished it off quickly.

After grabbing a new plasma rifle he went back up the ramp and several little icons appeared. He looked around the platform and to what the highlighted section on his HUD was showing him. Next to a panel highlighted by the HUD were the words Insert Here. It was Cortana giving him instructions as to where to put her. He pulled out the module, in which Cortana was contained, from his helmet and put it into place where AI had indicated. The module disappeared and the holo-panels flickered.

" Let's see here. Step one lock doors." Cortana said over the bridge's speakers. The doors in the bridge locked down and the lights around them turned red. " Step two deactivate shields and send the bugs on their way. " A loud sound of air rushing came from outside the nearest door. Screams of loose Covenant troops could be heard and then silence reigned. " That's most of the problem completed Chief. Now engaging the enemy in orbit."

The Chief knew full well what Cortana had done. Every deck had been decompressed and most of the crew would have been sent out into space to die. First their blood would boil and the water within in them would turn to vapor in an instant. At which point the weakest portion of flesh would open up and allow the vapor to escape causing a nearly instant painful death. Not a great way to go out, even for the Covenant.

Three sudden booms could be heard from the cruiser. Cortana was now engaging the other Covenant ships in orbit above Earth. Three blazing blue torpedoes streaked for the nearest two Covenant ships. Both were frigate class charging up their weapons to glass the planet. However when the first torpedo hit its target the frigate was sent spinning to port. It hit the second ship there just as another torpedo hit it and was torn in two. The shields on the ship it had hit flickered and failed in time for it to be knocked out by the remaining plasma torpedo.

" Two down and seven to go. That is of course seven to go in orbit." Cortana said. A screen was then visible as to what Cortana was seeing. She was targeting the cruiser beneath them. The lateral lines on their cruiser built up a charge and fired outward and bent straight down and hit the cruiser. Its shields were damaged, shined silver, and cooled. Cortana however did not let up. Again she fired and let loose a plasma torpedo along with it. The plasma hit and took out the shields and the torpedo followed drilling a hole through the top of the craft sending bits of molten metal everywhere. Its orbit destabilized and it began to fall into Earth's gravity well.

Cortana went on like this for another five minutes taking out ship after ship. It was spectacular as the orbiters were blast into bits. All the Chief could do was watch as the Covenant fleet went into a panic as they were being hit by plasma. That panic was the window of opportunity for the UNSC. The battle in orbit was changing drastically from desperate for the human forces to a scramble to sort out what was happening for the Covenant. During the conflict a single Covenant cruiser that had it's weapons disabled entered the atmosphere in a desperate attempt for escape. Unfortunately Cortana was unable to target the ship before it had slipped into the Earth's atmosphere.

The Fallen: Chapter 1 Part 3
Date: 7 June 2003, 4:10 PM

Part Three

A transmission then came in. The voice was familiar to the Chief. It was General Kits, the one he had overheard debate with Stanforth in orbit.

" Stanforth I thought you said you couldn't attack the orbiters. What the hell is happening up there?" the General said over the radio. Before the Admiral could respond Cortana interrupted.

" General this is Cortana. Those were the reinforcements I promised ." she said. Her response sounded odd to the General. From what he had been told is that the fleet ships in system were engaged and those that were not were at least a few star systems away or disabled.

" Cortana? Admiral what the hell have you been hiding from us???" General Kits demanded. However, even the Admiral did not fully understand. All he had been told was to not attack a particular Covenant ship and then suddenly that ship was assaulting other Covenant vessels.

" Yes Cortana, please explain what is happening. I want to know what reinforcement you were referring to." the Admiral said entering the conversation.

" Sirs I have the man that destroyed an entire Covenant armada." she then hesitated. " Virtually by himself." The two officers held their comments for a moment. Kits then responded.

" Cortana you are telling me that you have a Spartan on board that thing?" he asked with disbelief.

" Yes General I do. Now if don't mind the Chief and I need relief on this craft. Not every section is accessible from my current point and I believe it would be to our benefit if you would send some boarding parties to assist the Chief and I."

" Acknowledged Cortana. The Leviathan will send dropships your way. ETA ten minutes. Stanforth out." The Master Chief relaxed his shoulders in time to hear an explosion at the main door. There was another and then a final one that took the door down. He spun around with his rifle at ready and opened fire at the Grunts that were attempting to retake the bridge.

The Grunts came rushing in firing their weapons blindly in the hope of hitting a target. From what they figured there had to be many humans that had boarded in order to even take the bridge. Those that survived were shocked that there was only a single soldier occupying the room that wasn't Covenant. By the time they noticed this however their numbers were down drastically.

The doorway was clogged with bodies of the dead Grunts and they wouldn't be able to enter unless they blasted the bodies apart. For once the Grunts showed signs of intelligence and ran several meters away from the door. The Chief jumped down from the main section of the bridge and slowly walked towards the pile of bodies. He listened to what the Grunts were doing and the translation software came in handy just then.

He heard an english translation of the Grunt phrase, " Everybody duck!" Quickly he ran from the door and a plasma grenade rocked the bridge. Bodies flew and other plasma grenades that were suddenly activated by the explosion were sent flying and exploding at different intervals. Blue explosions went off all around the Chief and damaged the ramp up to main console and the first starboard hover unit causing it to tilt in that direction. The armor plating around the door was melted away and a crater almost made it through to the floor below.

The Grunts now had a clear way in and rushed the Chief. The glare of red metal and the light of plasma weapons fire filled a small section of the bridge. The Chief fired the last cough of his plasma rifle and switched to his MA8A and went back behind a support pillar.

Several of the Grunts ran inside and met the business end of an assault rifle and toppled over dead. The Chief's shields dropped once more and he slammed his back up against the pillar facing the wall that received heavy fire. He watched his shield bar slowly recharge when it suddenly stopped and the hit indicator on the left of his HUD glowed a dull red.

Three Grunts were attempting to flank him and were doing a good job of it. The Chief looked over and killed two using up the last of his current magazine. The remaining survivor ran away screaming like any other orange backed Grunt. The Chief swapped the magazine for another one and switched to his plasma rifle. Although the weapon was out of ammo it could still be used as a close combat weapon should the need arise. He ran for the two Grunts he had just killed at full speed, stopped, picked up a needler and two crystal ammo packets, and fired the remainder of the current ammo inside the needler at the Grunts that were taking cover.

The lead soldier took in eight needles and ran for a second before exploding into a plume of magenta colored shrapnel. He had to reload the needler and reopened fire on the enemy. After he unloaded another clip he heard machine gun fire followed by the screams of startled Grunts. The remaining enemy forces looked around in utter confusion from the sound of ever growing rifle fire. The Chief took advantage of this and jabbed the needler into the back of a Grunt.

The ammo in the top pierced through the outer layers of the survival pack and caused methane to hiss out at a rapid pace. It screamed in pain and bought four rounds in the back. The needles exploded blowing out the back end of its environment suit. The other Grunts turned back around to engage the Master Chief and were met with no target in sight.

The Chief had ran behind them and tossed his last plasma grenade in their midst. It exploded leaving only bits of Grunt pasted on the floor and neighboring wall. The Chief looked at his radar and saw a blob of yellow approaching his position. He could hear the noise of combat boots and marines barking orders at each other. He stuffed away the needler and pulled up his assault rifle. He waited and a contingent of marines rushed in seeing the Spartan and stopped in amazement from all the dead bodies.

" Good to see you sir," a marine said looking at the corpses of Covenant infantry. " Nice work you've done here." The Master Chief gave a curt nod accepting the compliment from the marine.

" What unit are you from soldier?" the Chief asked examining the squad. The sergeant of the group stepped forward. The man was at about six foot tall and even he had to look up to the Master Chief. He gave a crisp and proper salute and the Chief returned the favor.

" Sir Sgt. Links. 312th ODSTs Division Bravo Company Fire Team Delta under Captain Strathmore. Sir." the marine replied. The Spartan gave a quick glance to the other marines sizing them up. They would be adequate to guard the bridge long enough for him to help with the mop up duty. Then again even if they did fail he would not have a problem retaking the bridge should they fail.

" Sergeant I need to take leave of the bridge to continue mop up duty. Your squad has the bridge until I return. Cortana will keep you updated as to the situation around you." the Master Chief said to the marine. The sergeant replied with a loud 'sir' and turned to his squad.

" Okay marines we have nest duty until the Chief gets back. I want a perimeter set up in three minutes! Get to it!" The squad was quick to set up. Four marines armed with MA8As set up shop outside the blasted door and the remaining eight stayed in to defend the bridge and be ready to give support as necessary to the men in the hall. The Master Chief was pleased with the quick deployment and went back up to the center platform. Cortana heard everything and materialized once more into the physical module to be put back into the Chief's suit.

He took her and plugged her back in. The standard cooling of his mind set in and he regained his normal self again. He checked his ammo and decided to ditch the needler for a plasma pistol instead. Yet again another NAV point came up pointing to the shuttle bay he had already gone through.

" Chief the nearest group of marines are in this area. Ammo and supplies are located there. I recommend you restock before we head out to finish off the Covenant on this vessel. Oh yes if you are wondering my subroutines are still engaging the remaining Covenant ships in system." Cortana said to the Chief. He knew to take advantage of this opportunity and took a right out of the bridge and went through a quick passage and entered the shuttle bay's top floor.

The shields had been raised on the bay's doors and four pelicans were docked. Two on the lower level and the other two were set up on the second level. About twenty marines were running about taking each level. The Chief looked down and could see his shields could easily survive the fall onto a crate below. He walked over to the edge and dropped landing on the crate and suffered no damage to the shields. He approached an ammo dump that was being guarded by a single marine armed with an M7C sub-machine gun.

The marine stood in shock as the Master Chief went amongst the ammunition as if he owned it. The Chief grabbed two ammo packs, five frag grenades, pulled the ammo pack tabs out, and stored the ammo into their respective slots.. Not a word was spoken between the Chief and the marine. Instead the gaping jaw and bulging eyes of the marine said more words than he could have come up with anyway. The Chief listened for assault rifle fire and followed accordingly.

He was lead to a group of pinned down marines that were fighting an uphill battle against a phalanx of Jackals. When the marines heard and extra rifle firing above their heads they were amazed to see what stood behind them. The Chief emptied half a magazine taking out the main Jackal. He continued firing on the Jackals taking on one at a time.

However the Jackals quickly reorganized and gave heavy return fire. Bolts of green plasma flew past the Chief hitting the wall behind him. Some made their mark and dropped his shields a bit every time they hit. Even then not all the Jackals aimed at the Chief, several shots were directed towards the marines.

The Fallen: Chapter 1 Part 4
Date: 7 June 2003, 4:14 PM

One of the unfortunate fellows received heavy bombardment. His body was shot and burned by three different guns. Blood sprayed out of his wounds as he screamed in pain from the fire. The shooting let up when they Covenant guns began to over heat and had to cool down. When they did the marine with his dying breath rushed the Covenant line and tossed a frag ahead of him. He screamed and fired until his rifle ran out of ammo and the frag detonated killing three of the yellow shielded Jackals. The remaining two rolled out of the way as the marine tried to engage in hand-to-hand combat and was met with two blasts of overcharged plasma. His hands went to the points where he had been hit. A marine from his squad yelled out as he saw his comrade get hit.

He fell to his knees and removed his hands from the wounds. There was no more pain as he saw the bright red blood that drowned his hands. He gave one last grimacing look as he collapsed to the floor spilling his blackened digestive system. The Master Chief didn't even winch as he saw the man die and the Jackals' attempt to re-engage. Before their shields were back up the Master Chief gave a quick burst putting both of the Covenant scum out of humanity's misery.

One of the marines they Chief was with rushed up to the corpse of his fallen comrade and slung his rifle and started pounding on his chest. The marine did everything he could too resuscitate his friend. He attempted CPR and came back looking into the twin holes in the body. Finally seeing the amount of blood loss and the ashen flakes of flesh on his hands he simply stopped, reloaded his weapon, and went to each Jackal body and gave them each a last taste of human bullets.

The Chief had no time to watch the lamenting in progress. He too had lost friends and knew better than too try too comfort the marine. It wouldn't bring the soldier back anyhow. The Chief simply went up the corridor after replacing the three clips he used from what was salvageable. When he reached the exit to the corridor he was on top level of the shuttle bay once more and already saw trouble.

On the first floor four Elites and a few Grunts were giving the marines down there trouble. The marine the Chief ran into on the top level fired his sub-machine gun at the Covenant only picking away slightly at the lead Elite's shields. The Chief knew they didn't have a chance. Even if there were seven marines there would be now way they could take out the Elite's in time. They couldn't even more so from their position. He zoomed in on the unsuspecting Covenant and took out the three Grunts to the rear. When they had fallen he targeted the most active of the Elites. It took the last of his magazine to knock out its shields and the Elite was then met by twelve armor piercing rounds to the chest. It fell dead, but the other Elite's did not stop their shooting.

Attempting to get in on the humans' flank one of the lesser blue Elites ran to the left and hooked around to where the marines were dug in. It fired send lances of blue flame into the human line. The Chief reloaded his rifle and switched over to his plasma pistol and charged it. He released the energy bolt and it was sent flying straight for it. It hit giving the marines the lapse they needed to take it out. It to then fell under several human bullets. He continued his support fire and assisted in the accurate elimination of the remaining Elites. After the threat was neutralized one of the marines down below waved and thanked the Chief for the assist.

He gave no response and continued back towards the bridge to take on the other half of the ship. As he went there was more shooting up ahead. He could hear many plasma weapons going off. The noise kept getting louder drowning out the assault rifle fire. He ran to the location that he heard the shooting and saw a pack of red armored Grunts. He threw a plasma grenade and watched as it latched onto the only cropped shell and detonate. Three others were taken out along with it while the remaining force went into panic mode from the sudden surprise attack. Then they too were taken out by the Chief. He continued past the bodies of two dead marines and the survivors and came to a stop at a locked door. Before he turned back Cortana spoke.

"Hold on Chief we need to get through here. I'll unlock the door." she said. The door's lights went from red to white and it opened. "Up ahead is a turbo lift we need to gain access too. From there we can take the main armory station located in the ships lower interior." The Chief though of the opportunity to get this location and ran for the new NAV point that came up. However he met heavy resistance.

Two Hunters and a squad of red armored Elites were waiting for him. He saw them and side stepped in time to dodge the two incoming shots from the Hunters. He threw a plasma grenade and it hit the Hunter on the right. It exploded doing minimal damage. However the Chief was not going to stop. He threw another and then a frag. The Hunters still stood, but were wounded finally. They exchanged fire for a minute until the Hunter on the right was dead.

Behind the Chief were four craters made by the Hunters that gave him plenty of cover. He was back stepping when he fell into one and took advantage of this as two of the Elites came up to replace the hole where the dead Hunter once stood. They alternated fire so that both guns would not be overheating at the same time. The Chief met several plasma bolts and was forced to duck so that he would not lose his shields. He exposed himself when his shields regenerated and fired at the Hunter even though the Elites were causing the most trouble.

The firing from the Covenant did not cease as the Master Chief finally took out the Hunter. Then its spot was only replenished by a single Elite. The other had ran back for reinforcement as the others were now advancing on his position. They walked forward slowly still shooting like crazy. If the Chief had stayed down he would still have his shields, but the Covenant would be right on top of him and even he could not take on three Elites at close range with his weapons. He would simply die from superior firepower.

So he quickly took out his plasma pistol and charged it up. He released it on the center Elite and its shields instantly dropped. The weapon cooled as he took four more plasma bolts from his opponents and pulled the trigger as fast as he could sending out an almost solid stream of green fire at the Elite. It buckled under the fire and dropped dead with a final scream of agony. The other two Elites looked at their fallen comrade and took cover around the corner of the corridor they were next to.

Only one of the Elites could fire that position and the Chief took full advantage of his rifle. He zoomed in and started firing at the exposed parts of the Elite. Only the foot, right arm, and top edge of the head could be seen. He targeted the head when it was available and picked away at the shields. His clip went empty and slapped in a new one taking a few hits in the process. Confident that the shield son his opponent were at a low enough level he threw a frag. It bounced off the wall behind the Covenant and detonated sending it to Hades. The other came to replace its partner and was met by the Chief rushing to its position with his gun blazing away.

The bullets chipped away at the final bit of the Elite's shielding and went into its chest. The Master Chief stopped firing and hit the Elite three times with his rifle shattering bones and killing it. He dropped his plasma pistol and grabbed the rifle from the corpse's claws and rummaged for a fresh plasma grenade. As he did so he heard the low tone voice of an Elite barking orders to lesser units.

" Chief enemy reinforcements approaching fast." Cortana said. The Chief quickly fell back and ducked away back inside the crater that was formed in the deck. He sat there crouched waiting for the enemy to show. He could hear a few Grunts approaching slowly accompanied by two Jackals whispering back and forth. He watched as the red motion sensor blips came closer and he almost jumped out to engage when several bullets zinged past his head hitting the lead Grunt.

The Covenant jumped from the sudden shooting and one of the Grunts ran for cover. The Chief looked up and saw tracers fly overhead and a small blob of yellow on his motion sensor at the six-o'clock position. Plasma weapons fire and needles trailed in the air above him. He decided to show his face and let loose with a full auto spray at the two targets nearest to him. The Grunts dropped quickly and the Elite from before saw him and had a clear shot. The Chief felt three bolts of plasma hit his shields and saw as they were cut in half. He tossed a plasma grenade toward the Elite and saw it dive out of the way into a hail storm of bullets by the friendlies behind the Chief.

Its shields took a serious beating and failed. The Elite's motions were stuttered as the Chief and all the marines fired on it. Although there were several other targets the Elite was priority. Always target officers and the greatest potential threat first. A new found rule amongst UNSC ground forces. The Elite fell and as it did so did the morale of the squad it commanded. Bullets flew, plasma weapons were fired, and in under a minute the Covenant had suffered ten fatalities while human casualties were held to a few wounded.

The Chief finally looked back to see the marines behind him. The team medic was patching up a man who had been hit by a needler. A real mess. His side had been hit and had a hole the size of a fist in it. The medic was taping off the wound after inserting the bio-foam as the Chief went on his way. He noticed the marines were following him as he went. The medic and the wounded man eventually caught up after the squad of eight had encountered three more enemy security teams. Only one other marine had suffered any life threatening damage. The medic went to work immediately on him. They were at the lift's entrance waiting for the medic to complete his job. Two others were helping out trying to bring the wound marine back into at least a condition in which he could shoot back.

The Chief however had other things to do. He went over to the lift's holo-access panel. He looked it over and scanned his memory for the right " button " to push. He tried a triangular shaped section towards the bottom and he heard a motor begin to work. The lift was now coming and he had to continue. It arrived a minute later and left the marines to secure the lift's entrance. The doors opened and the Chief entered. He looked to the right and saw a holo-panel and pushed a similar looking button to the one he had to activate the lift.

The Fallen: Chapter 1 Part 5
Date: 7 June 2003, 4:17 PM

The doors shut and he felt himself going down. He waited until the lift slowed and the doors opened. When he stepped out he realized how big a Covenant armory really was. There were at least eight Wraith mortar tanks parked along one of the walls, about twenty Ghost LRVs, and a line of ten Shade turrets guarding the armory from the deck above him. Beside this there were crates loaded to the brim with weapons and supplies scattered everywhere. The Chief stepped forward when he heard an alarm go off in his sector. He looked around with his MA8A at ready. No targets, just flashing red lights above him. He looked up and saw four Covenant dropships , all Phantom Assault Class. A moment later two massive doors meant for transporting the armor to the nearby launch bay opened up exposing at thirty Covenant troops.

The Covenant rushed forward thirsty for blood. The Chief simply crouched, zoomed his rifle in, and began firing at the higher ranking red-armored Grunts. Each fell within a few shots and more seemed to take their place. Plasma weapons fire came towards him hitting his shields and dropping them to dangerously low levels. He ducked back allowing the shields to regenerate as the crate he was hiding behind began to melt away. Eventually the armored plating on the weapons crate melted away allowing for some plasma rifles to fall out. The Chief saw this and switched to his plasma rifle.

He fired into the Covenant line as they kept advancing. When his plasma rifle was over-heated he quickly switched back to his assault rifle and fired until its clip went dry and switched back to the plasma rifle. Amazingly he was holding his own quite well until the Covenant began to retreat. The Chief reloaded his rifle and ditched the old plasma rifle for a new and moved to a new position. He watched the doors carefully and walked forward with his plasma rifle at ready. The doors slid open once more and ten Elites came out. Among them was one golden armored field commander, six red armored units, and three lesser blue armored Elites. Their armament was just as varied. The Chief knew he hadn't a chance and ran back for cover after he tossed a plasma grenade. The Elites rolled away in time and suffered no damage. The Chief simply ran backwards firing his plasma rifle blindly. The Elites returned the favor and had the Chief pinned down under heavy crossfire. The Chief then heard a noise even among all the firing behind him.

It was the lift opening. He hadn't the time to turn back, but to glance at his radar. A massed spot of yellow moved and spread out quickly. Machine guns fired from behind the Chief giving him adequate covering fire. He then targeted the main threat, the field commander. The golden armored beast ran straight for one of the marines that had just came in to help save the Chief and swung at the soldier. The energy blade sliced right through the marine splitting the side of his abdomen and causing enough shock to kill him in one blow.

The nearby marines opened fire on the Elite in a desperate attempt to take it down. They back stepped and fired, but the Elite kept swinging away killing two others. It even began to hum a battle hymn as it did so. Finally the shields failed and the Elite met up with several bullets. After it had fallen dead the others still attacked wounding three other marines. A grenade was thrown and detonated next to two of the blue armored Elites. Their shields dropped and they were badly wounded. The Chief fired two rounds at each finishing his magazine and killing the Covenant warriors.

" Fan out and get them in cross fire damn it!" a sergeant yelled from the group of marines. The human soldiers quickly fanned out and began firing at the same target at the same time taking the Elites down one by one. After the enemy forces had been eliminated the Chief re-supplied his ammo and grenades. A sudden loud clang was then heard from above him. He looked up and saw the Phantom dropships were being moved. He looked over to the large doors that the last wave had come from and looked above. Two more doors opened and the dropships flew towards them slowly.

" Chief the Covenant are trying to load up and launch another wave! Quickly get to the launch bay and stop them!" Cortana screamed in the Chief's helmet. He ran for the twin open doors and the marines followed him. When he made it to the door the Covenant were already on their way to load up and head down to the surface. There were at least thirty enemy units clustered together if not more. The Chief without hesitation threw two plasma grenades followed by his last frag. They detonated taking out the first few lines of Covenant infantry. The enemy returned fire and a wall of plasma shot towards the Chief and the marines. Those that could, including the Chief ducked back around the doorway to avoid being shot. A few however were not so fortunate.

Plasma hit them boiling away at their armor. With the amount of fire coming in their deaths were relatively quick. The Chief stayed next to the edge of the door and fired at what he could hit until his shields dropped low and took cover for his shields to regenerate. He repeated this process three times until their numbers were low. He looked over to the other side and saw the remainder of the combat capable marines. They still took cover waiting for the plasma fire to decrease. The Chief turned his attention back to the Covenant who had now nearly loaded up two of the Phantoms. He quickly rushed in throwing his final plasma grenade in front of the two ranking yellow shielded Jackals.

They dived out of the way to have their backs exposed to the explosion. The two officers were taken down and the remaining low ranked Grunts panicked. The hole in the enemy line was good enough for the marines to open fire once more. With rifles going at full auto the marines rushed in and took out the confused Covenant infantry. The Phantoms were fully loaded when the infantry was taken down.

Cortana suddenly piped into the COM channel sounding distressed, " Chief we need to leave RIGHT NOW! They're opening the launch bay shields and I CAN NOT stop them! " The marines heard what the Chief had heard and looked at each other with terror in their eyes. The Chief would survive the sudden lack of a breathable atmosphere, but the marines would pop like balloons on the inside. They quickly ran for the bay doors from which they had came and saw them beginning to slowly close. The Chief made it through along with all but one marine. The doors nearly shut when the marine tried to leap through the door. There wasn't enough room for him to successfully make in time. Before the doors shut to the point where the marine couldn't get through the Chief tossed away his rifle, snagged the marine by his armored chest plate, and yanked the man in. The doors then shut tight and the shields dropped to let out the dropships.

The marine was set down and he panted. He looked up to the Chief and saluted him and fell over on his back. It was considered thanks enough to the Chief. The Master Chief looked around making sure no enemy units were set up to ambush them. When he was done Cortana again spoke to him directly.

" Chief I have an incoming distress signal. Here I'll pipe them through." She said.

" God General we need reinforcement down here! The Covenant have one of their ships locked above the city and we can't hold off this many! I need more men down here now!" The Chief knew what kind of hell was happening out on the streets and only wanted to end it. He then heard the roar of engines from the launch bay he had just exited. He readied his rifle and waited for more Covenant to come through. The doors opened and a single Pelican drop ship was there. There was a metallic clang as the rear hatch opened up. A single man, a sergeant, stepped off the back end after the door dropped and approached the Chief. He saluted and slung his rifle.

" Sir, Sergeant Johnson of the 180th Drop Jet Division Company B." The sergeant said. " Master Chief I have direct orders to take you off this ship. You are needed elsewhere. " The Chief returned the salute and continued listening. " Sir come with me. I'll explain everything on our way down." Johnson then went back into the drop ship followed by the Chief.

The Chief moved past the tail gunner and past the five other marines inside the Pelican. When he gotten to the cockpit the rear hatch shut and the drop ship left the Covenant vessel. On the trip down Sergeant Johnson began to explain the newly assigned mission that the Chief had been given on such short notice. It would be the first of many that he would have too do too save Earth.

The end of chapter 1.

The Fallen: Chapter 2, Section 1
Date: 16 June 2003, 11:37 AM

Note to the reader: Everything inside this section is actual Halo 2. (thanks to the E3 vid) Hope I wrote it accurately and entertainingly enough for you.

Chapter 2 Part 1: Earth City
1820 Hours November 15, 2553 (Military Calendar)
New Mombasa, East African Protectorate

The Pelican swooped in from the sky above and headed straight for the city. Dimmed explosions could be seen through the clouds and lines of dull blue lights could be seen from the city's upper plate structuring. New Mombasa, one of the few floating capital cities, was under attack from the get go by the Covenant. While on their way Cortana was fed the information from SOL FLEETCOM HQ about what was going on and relayed it to the Chief and the marines on board.

"...it took two in the nose, then dropped into the atmosphere." she said. The Chief watched as the city got larger and observed the chaos from a distance. Sergeant Johnson was next to the Chief in the cockpit along with the two pilots in the ODST's uniform.

" Who was first contact?" the Chief asked. Johnson turned his head to the Chief and spoke.

" 405th out of Diego Garcia...but don't expect a big welcome. Covenant wiped most of 'em out before they hit the ground." The Pelican continued on its way and passed over a pair of scout snipers on a roof top looking over one of the main avenues. The spotter activated his radio as he looked down his range finder. There were several enemy units running by followed by four pieces of Covenant armor.

" Immediate 3-Kilo-2-3 is hot. Recommend mission abort." the Spotter said. The Pelican's pilot continued going, but slowed down a bit for maneuvering.

The pilot replied back, " Roger, recon." He turned back to Johnson who was hanging onto the back of the copilot's seat. " It's your call, Sergeant."

Johnson pointed forward, " We're goin' in," he turned back to the troop compartment and barked, " GET TACTICAL, MARINES!" The ODSTs in the back checked their weapons and donned their helmets. A moment later plasma flak was coming in from the surface. The pilot stayed on course as blue explosions that were double the size of plasma grenades went off all around them. The pilot was well within New Mombasa dodging the flak and flying around the stratoscrappers that littered the floating giant.

" Covenant ground forces own this city." Cortana said, " We'll need to deal with them before we can kill that cruiser." The Pelican went through more flak and suffered no damage. The firing stopped as it banked for a landing on a roof. There was a pre-fab landing pad set up waiting for it as the dropship deployed its landing gear and pointed its thrusters downward to make a landing. The ramp was let down and Johnson jumped off the back end waving his arm forward.

" GO GO GO!" he yelled as the marines hopped off. The Master Chief stepped out of the dropship and took a look around. The sides of the nearby buildings had plasma scoring and portions missing due to heavy weapons fire. He watched as the marines ran from the dropship and disappeared around the corner going down a ramp. The Chief followed and heard Johnson over the radio. " I'll evac the wounded. Keep me posted, Cortana." In the background they could hear heavy gun figting up ahead and knew it would not be easy.

" Of course, Sergeant." Cortana replied. A marine stopped the Chief before he went down the ramp and gave a quick salute. The marine like everyone else was shorter than the Chief and sported an MA8A.

" Sir - Corporal Perez, A Company. CP's this way." he said. Perez lead him down the ramp and ran past a pair of marines who were helping each other out and were shocked to see the Chief. The wounded one didn't believe what he seeing. The Chief continued on his way ignoring what the marines were saying. He had gotten to the point where he was just used to that kind of talk.

As he continued they were coming up on the company's medical station. On the ground to the Chief's left was a medic frantically pumping on a wounded man's chest. The medic's face and the area was covered with the wounded man's bright red blood everywhere. To his right were two medics inside the main tent trying to save another man's life. It was pure hell for them at that moment. The Chief was crossing a road when two marines on patrol ran past him. Perez finally stopped and the Chief saw a medic looking down at his watch and at the man he couldn't save. " I'm calling it. It's 19:00." the medic said.

" The lieutenant got hit as soon as we dropped in." Perez explained gesturing to the corpse on the ground.

" Who's in charge now, Corporal?" Cortana asked.

Perez gestured behind him, " Sergeant Banks ma'am. He's pinned down out front. C'mon I'll show you." The corporal ran through the building he pointed to and lead the Chief inside. They past by a pile of rubble and a wounded marine on the stairs as they went up. They could hear heavy machine gun fire and plasma weapons. They passed the machine gun and the trigger happy marines operating near it. Finally Perez stopped just inside a doorway leading to the outer area. Perez ducked around the corner and shouted to a marine that was hiding, " Oye - Parsons!"

" Yeah? " Parsons replied keeping his head down.

" Is it clear?" When Perez finished his sentence a massive explosion took apart a section of wall just a few meters from Parsons position. Loose rubble hit the marines and the Chief.

" You tell me!" Parsons replied. Perez ducked back behind the door and made sure his weapon was ready.

He mumbled something and ran out shouting, " Friendlies - movin out! Covering fire!" Parson, Perez, and two others including the Chief ran to the edge over looking the street and began firing on the Covenant down below. Plasma fire was returned from the Grunts and Jackals down on the street. The Chief strafed right hugging the wall while firing his assault rifle in zoomed mode along the way. When he reached the end of the wall he went through a door and a ramp was there.

" Grunts down low!" A marine nearby yelled. The Chief went over and looked down on five Grunts that were slowly walking by. He threw an M9 amongst them, it exploded killing them, and leaving a small crater. He fired at the last of the Covenant in the area that they were across from. The Chief saw out of the corner of his eye a marine waving his hand. It was Sergeant Banks. The Chief ran over to the sergeant who was leaning his back up against the three foot tall remains of a wall. In his hand was an M7C submachine gun.

" I asked for reinforcements...I didn't think they'd send a Spartan." Banks said exhausted. The Chief saw a bright blue light beginning to form and looked up at a Covenant artillery piece. He had seen this type before, but not in a long while. Not since before the Reach disaster. The artillery piece built up a charge and then fired taking out a whole side of a building. " We gotta take that thing out...cover me!" Banks said, exposing his top half to the street below. " TAC HQ - this is Sergeant Banks. I've got hostile artillery 200 meters north-northeast of my position. Bring smoke NOW, over..." he said over his radio. There was a moment before he got any response.

" Hostile is right..." a marine replied. Again the artillery piece fired, but this time it was much closer. The explosive hit the side of a nearby building exposing the inner works of the structure.

" Dammit, HQ - is anybody on this freq?" Banks demanded.

Banks got a reply, " Sergeant this is Major Easley. Hang tight - we're inbound" The Chief looked back up at the artillery as it blew away another structure. He looked at his radar and multiple hostiles were coming in from the lower right. He looked over and saw a turret with a dead marine laying on it. The Chief pulled off the corpse and manned the chain fed weapon. He looked down and saw seven Jackals along with about ten Grunts moving along the road below. He opened fire and watched as the .30 caliber tracers flew towards the enemy. The bullets pinged off the Jackals' shields until the force of the bullets hitting forced their arms to move exposing them to the gun. Bullets tore through their bodies sending bits of flesh and black blood into the air. The Chief then targeted the Grunts and they too fell dead. After he was satisfied he unmanned the turret and heard the roar of two Longsword fighter coming in.

He looked up and saw the two flat fighters come in and drop their ordinance. The artillery piece was building up another charge as the fighters passed it and the bombs hit. The gun was unable to send its shell outward and blew from both ends to the center. Fire ran up and down the Covenant weapon until it fell and became a large piece of charred junk.

" Verify delivery of ordinance is on target. " Easley said.

" Dead on, Major - target is neutralized." Banks replied. The sergeant turned to the Master Chief and held his side handing over his submachine gun. " Take my weapon. You'll need it." The Chief took the weapon, slung his rifle, and took out the other M7C he grabbed while he was on the Pelican. With both guns in hand he headed down the ramp that was nearby and went onto the road. A few Jackals were waiting for him. He opened fire and bullets bounced off their shields. He aimed for the sides where their pistols could be used and fired.

The bullets made their mark and hit the hands of the Jackals. Those that were hit recoiled in pain and were torn apart by the Chief's dual SMGs. The Chief turned right from his position after dealing with the enemy and ducked inside a newly formed tunnel of debris. When he entered he was met by a squad of Grunts. He fired and fell back around the corner to allow his shields to recharge.

A marine ran up and tossed a grenade in yelling, " Frag and clear! Clear it out!" The explosion went off and the Chief ran in. He finished off the last two Grunts and their high pitched screams were heard over the snap like sound of his submachine guns. The Chief maneuvered through the tunnel until he exited looking down on five Jackals. He pulled out his assault rifle and zoomed in.

They noticed him and faced their shields toward him. He fired and they locked their shields together. Before the Chief had a chance to kill any of them two Warthogs sped in and ran the Jackals down. They stopped in front of the Chief.

" I can use a gunner, sir!" one of the drivers said. The Chief looked back at the two marines that had followed him up to this point.

" Go ahead, sir -we've got your back." one of the ODSTs said.

The Chief jumped into the Warthog that was without gunner and manned the M46 LATG. The LATG was a light anti-tank weapon recently developed specifically for the M12 LRV. The gun itself fires a version of the rockets used in standard anti-tank infantry weapons, but with a little less potency. The Chief racked in a shell and the semi-automatic weapon was ready to be used. The warthogs then left and were sent at top speed. They were quickly separated and the marines went for their targets.

They ran over a few fleeing Covenant and ran across a column of Creeps. The Creeps were originally seen at the first ground engagement after the Halo Campaign. They were a form of Covenant ground APC armed with a modified Shade turret. The Chief opened fire and took down one with a little over half-a dozen shots. The other behind it began firing and got two shots off before the Warthog had been out of range. He concentrated his fire up front taking out a squad of Grunts in two shots. They ran across two more Creeps and blew them to hell.

" Ghosts! Making a break for it! We got 'em!" the driver yelled. After he said this the marines began arguing amongst themselves over who should be driving and what not when a Phantom passed over head firing its belly turret laser.

Three long, thick streaks of red energy came out of the rotating turret. " Phantoms!" Cortana screamed into the Chief's head. He quickly adjusted to fire on the dropship. He got off three rounds before it turned around the corner and was unable to be hit. The Chief targeted the Ghosts and destroyed three in the chase. He passed by two more Creeps and destroyed them. Again another Phantom passed overhead and slowed down. Its bottom doors meant for carrying armor let down four creatures. Each were the size of Hunters, but more mobile and had a more muscular build. In addition they were covered in hair and up close they looked like an Elite-ape mix. " Brutes!" Cortana said. No more had she spoken two of the beasts leaped onto the Warthog in front of the Chief and onto his own. They tore out the passengers and tossed the soldiers as if they were toys. The Chief jumped down off of the gun and fired at the Brute on his warthog.

Bullets tore into the flesh, but the creature kept on coming. He finished his magazine in his assault rifle and rushed the creature hitting it in the chest with his rifle three times. The Brute dropped to the ground the Chief quickly reloaded as there were two more behind him and another in front. He fired three rounds into the downed Brute and began firing on the pair behind him. Modified plasma rifle fire came towards the Master Chief and made contact.

The direct approach wasn't working so he tried an indirect one instead. Nearby was a civilian vehicle that could be used as a grenade. The Brutes were next to the car when the Chief fired at the gas tank. The bullets ignited the gasoline and sent shrapnel into both of them killing the one nearest to the vehicle. He quickly fired on the survivor with his rifle and it too falls under a hail storm of bullets. He then turned to deal with the Brute behind him when Cortana spoke up again.

" Ghosts - to your right!" The Chief pulled out his SMGs and fired nearly the last of the ammo in the weapons as the first Ghost sped past him and through the bullets. He targeted the next one and finished off the ammo in the gun in his right hand. The Covenant LRV sped right for him as he jumped up on top of the vehicle. The driver was confused when the Master Chief landed on the Ghost. Before the pilot had a chance to shake the Spartan off, the Chief delivered a drop-kick sending the Brute out onto the ground as the Chief commandeered the vehicle. " The marines won't stand a chance, if those Phantoms double back! See if you can draw them off. "

The Chief did just that. He fired the Ghost's forward plasma cannons at the two Phantoms above him. The blue lances of fire hit and boiled away at the armored plating of the dropships. Three more Ghosts were deployed by the Phantoms and began to pursue the Chief. He finished grabbing their attention and took a road to his right leading to the highway.

As he went on ahead the Covenant was in hot pursuit firing their plasma weapons. The lead dropship fired ahead and above the Chief at a billboard in the attempt to have it fall on the Master Chief. After the Chief had past the billboard, before it fell, the pilot of that dropship tried to fly underneath of the falling sign and was hit on its starboard side. The craft flew sideways and went into a slow downward spin. The ship hit the road on its top and its power core went off destroying it. However the remaining force continued after the Chief.

Up ahead there was the main access door to the main highway. Normally open the door began to close. Cortana began to question the Chief's moves when he told her to hang on. The doors were nearly shut when he jumped off leaving an exploding Ghost behind him. He slid for twenty meters draining his shields all along the way.

The Ghost pilot behind him did not see the shut door until the last moment. At which point the LRV and the pilot went up in flames. The Master Chief stood up as the Ghost exploded and looked upward to see the orange sky and the Covenant cruiser he was after.

" Bingo, " Cortana said, " There's the cruiser. Now all we need to do is..." She trailed off as the Chief saw several blue-green streaks fall from the sky. They parted the clouds displaying the darkness that was to soon come over the city. His stomach fell with the thought of being glassed and of the thought that the fleet had been defeated. He looked closer and saw that the streaks were too small to be the plasma weapons that are used for glassing an area. Suddenly he heard a screech similar to a Banshee as seven of those streaks were landing nearby.

They were actually ten foot tall, green, chitonous pods. The Chief readied his SMGs and aimed at the nearest pod watching it open. A brilliant white light from within the pod created an eight foot tall shadow and out stepped a veteran class black armored Elite. Each of the pods were armed with the spilt chinned bastards. The Chief scanned his targets and watched as they each powered up an energy blade. The closest Elite shook its head growling. The Chief tossed his empty M7C behind him and drew a plasma grenade.

" Betcha can't stick it." Cortana dared the Chief. He accepted her challenge and tossed the grenade. He hit the first Elite, but the grenade did not stay as it should. Instead it bounced off the shield and landed on another. The Elite howled in fear and went up in a plume of super-heated fire. The Chief emptied the last of his ammo inside the submachine gun and ran backwards. The remaining Elites ran after him as he switched to his rifle. It was now he wished he had grabbed a plasma weapon along the way before he gotten himself into this mess.

He had taken on bladed Elites before, but not this many at once. He fired anyway and tossed a frag at his feet. He still ran backwards and the forward two Elites were more concerned with taking his head than anything else. They paid for their stupidity with a sudden flash in their faces and their shields dropping to dangerously low levels. They jumped back in surprise as the Chief fired his rifle. The last few slivers of shielding broke away to the armor piercing bullets. The two veterans fell backwards and hit the concrete road in their death throws.

Two more of the beasts caught up with the Chief. It was a blur of motions as the Master Chief dodged the first attack from the forward Elite. He spun around and slipped past it to turn around and see their backs. He knew their shields would be weak there due to the nature of the Elites' battle behavior and fired the last of his magazine into it. The shield dropped and he ran forward and landed two hits onto the creature's spine, shattering it.

He strafed left and dodged another attack by the other Elite. Three swings came close and missed by mear inches. All the while he was changing his magazine to counter attack. He locked the bolt in place and ducked yet another swing. The air grew extremely hot as the blade swung over his head. The Elite slid a little past the Chief while it attacked and was struck in the back of its head with the Chief's last plasma grenade.

It gave a final defiant roar and ran around in misery as the grenade engulfed it and its comrade it accidentally ran into. They both went up in flame. However the other survived the blast. It knelt down and tried to gain its breath before the human could attack once more. With its shields dropped and suffering third degree burns all along its body it knew it was highly unlikely it would win. Before it could regain itself though, the Chief finished it's misery with ten rounds to the chest cavity.

After confirming the Elites were dead the Chief stored away five new plasma grenades. He reloaded his weapons and retrieved the tossed M7C and put it aside. The Chief then looked at the piles of flesh of the Elites that were killed by the plasma grenades.

" I won the bet. " he said. Cortana gave a short laugh and redirected him. They had to go through downtown to get to the Covenant Cruiser above the city. The streets there were crawling with Covenant activity and he'd have to kill all of them to accomplish his mission, and he was ready to do so.

The Fallen : Chapter 2, Section 2
Date: 23 June 2003, 5:26 PM

Chapter 2 Section 2: Earth City
1927 Hours November 15, 2553 (Military Calender)
New Mombasa, East African Protectorate

" Chief since the Covenant own the streets, " Cortana said, " and the 405th can't really spare any help right now, I would suggest that you take the quiet way in. " The Chief knew as well as she did that he'd have a better chance sneaking around the Covenant line. Although he could take on extreame odds he would have problems with as many enemy units that there were running around. Plus now that at least a platoon of veteran Elites were roaming around the city and the UNSC would be hard pressed to give him any reinforcement at this time. So he'd have to do without help as usual.

" Which way do I go? " he asked. A NAV point showed up and it was enough for him. He readied his MA8A battle rifle and went for the point. It was a five minute run from his loaction to even get off the highway safely. He had looked several times over the edge and saw it was a straight two hundred foot drop to the road below. He was hoping for a quicker way, but the off ramp would have to do.

When he had gotten off the highway it was night, which would give him the advantage. He moved his way down the ramp and onto the streets below staying close to the buildings. He saw movement on his motion tracker and stopped. A squad of red armored Grunts armed with needlers ran by not noticing him. He stayed motionless in the shadows waiting for the enemy to pass by. Following them was a Creep and two Ghosts with Brutes on board.

The ground shook as the Covenant APC passed him by without even considering his presence. The Master Chief fought the urge to shoot at the enemy and moved his finger away from the trigger guard. It was not worth the unwanted attention.

With a quick scan of the area and a look at the clear motion tracker the Chief slung his rifle and ran across the street at full speed crossing the six lane road in a few seconds. The Covenant, even if they wanted to, could not have seen the Chief long enough to lock on, shoot, and hit. The problem was the Chief wouldn't be able to shoot with any accuracy when he ran like this. When he had crossed the street he ran into the alleyway that was there and his NAV marker diasappeared.

It was dark, save the five dull blue lights that providied minimal illumination. He waited for a second for his eyes to adjust and went on. He wanted to turn on his flashlight, but knew better than to give away his presence. The movement and squabling of Covenant troops could be heard echoing faintly in the tight space. From the sound of it, he thought there had to be at least two companies. While walking cautiously the Chief nearly tripped over something.

He bent down and picked up the object. After seeing what it was he shook his head and set it back down. What he had found was the upper body of a poor marine covered in blood and ashes. The body's face was frozen in a state of agony as carbonized bone could be seen through the bloody mess. No ammo was intact on the corpse and the Chief simply went on his way and took a right at the corner that was ahead of him.

He crouched and leaned his back up against the wall facing another street. He poked his head around and saw a squad of Brutes with their Ghosts parked a few meters away. He looked closer and saw they were guarding something. No, they were moving in on something. He then heard the screams of terrified humans. The Brutes rushed inward and tossed limbs up in the air along with other bodies. They were all civilians, about twelve of them. He leveled his rifle and almost fired when Cortana spoke.

" Don't do it! " She said. He stopped and lowered his weapon. The screams stopped and there was nothing he could do to stop the slaughter, it was already finished. He remembered back on so many other worlds where this had happened. Civilians and captured soldiers alike were tortured and mutalated by the Covenant warrior caste for pleasure. No matter what he had done those civilians would have died by the hands of the Covenant. If not by the Brutes, then by a loose plasma round or a needler. There was no more time for this and he blocked out the emotions he felt and went on.

Confident the Brutes wouldn't notice him he went to the path on the left. It lead him to the other end of the buildings that he was hiding among and towards the Covenant Cruiser. The massive ship had to be at least two miles away from his position. From here he could see the gravity lift was active. He watched it for another few seconds and diverted his attention to the nearby streets. The Chief exited carefully and ran to the middle of the road into a small domed structure that was placed there for public transportation access.

He went inside the structure and a single white light was flickering on and off. There were a few human and Covenant bodies inside. On one of the marines was an S2 AM sniper rifle. The Chief took the rifle, the ammuntion, and the marine's frag grenades placing his M7Cs in the marine's hands. After checking his new found weapon for any problems he ran with it across the street and into a badly beaten structure.

The support beams were exposed and it rank of death and sulphur. In his intial look he saw a stairway and traveled upward toward the roof. The Chief wanted to get a look at the area from the safety of the high ground. On his way up he reached a section where it had been blown away and leaped over the two meter gap with ease. The Chief continued forward, but was suddenly stopped by Cortana.

" Chief I'm detecting five human life signs up ahead. " she said. He acknowledged it and heard her voice on the main COM channel. " Cortana to nearby UNSC survivors. Please call in. Over. " They got a response.

" This is Fire Team Delta. We hear you Cortana. Over." a marine replied quietly. The Master Chief moved up a stairwell until he reached the top doorway leading out onto the roof.

" Reinforcement has arrived. Hold your fire - the Chief and I are coming through. " The Chief opened the door and stepped through. Two snipers were watching the streets and two rifle men were making sure that it was an incoming friendly. The team medic stepped forward hanging onto his M7C with a death grip.

" Sir - Private Eliot, C Company. " The medic said. His gaze turned away and looked at four dead marines in body bags. He looked back to the Chief saying, " Thank God you showed up. I thought we were done for had the Covenant found us. We thought that everyone else had been wiped out. "

" Are you all that's left? " the Chief asked. Pvt. Eliot shook his head and pointed down the street. It was well into night as the Chief could easilly see the city lights. Small plasma explosions could be seen from a distance and their report heard a few seconds later. When Eliot turned back he could see more explosions reflecting into the Chief's visor and tried to ignore what was going on down the road.

" We've been stuck up here for two hours now. Sergeant Birlew has his squad down around 43rd Street some four hundred meters north of here. I haven't had any contact from his group for thirty minutes now. " Eliot replied. " We saw a Covenant armored patrol go over that way. Not sure if they engaged, we were about to check it out until you showed up. "

" Private we need support for boarding that cruiser. We'll go to Sergeant Birlew's position and then we need to assualt that cruiser. " Cortana said. The medic was in a bit of shock for a moment and regained himself.

" Yes ma'am. We'll come along and assist the Chief. " He looked back at the squad and then to the Chief. " Ready when you are. " Eliot motioned to the snipers who then fell back into rank with the rest of the squad. After exiting the building the squad was informed not to engage unless engaged upon. They acknowledged the order and kept close to the Master Chief as they went through an alley leading to Birlew's position.

They had several close calls because of the marines. On several occasions the rifle men nearly gave away their position as a patrol of veteran Elites passed them by. Eliot had slipped a few times and came within centimeters of falling out of the shadows where he would have been exposed to the Grunts that were lumbering around. The snipers and the Spartan were the only three that knew how to keep quiet and stalk around. It almost came to the point of giving Cortana a system's headache. When they came to within two hundred meters of the Sergeant's position they heard rifle fire and the explosion a hand grenade.

The Chief darted ahead of the marines as fast as his legs would take him and saw the enemy. Two Creeps and a light U-shaped model Spook dropship were unloading their troops. The side doors on the three infantry carriers opened up and the Covenant inside exited. The Chief aimed his S2 AM at the yellow shielded Jackal closest to the building that Birlew's men were pinned down in. He fired hitting the Covenant in the back of its head. A large hole opened up in the front of its skull. Bits of brain and black blood flew out of the new opening. In quick succession the Chief unloaded three more rounds into three more targets. He reloaded and emptied two more magazines when Eliot and his squad caught up.

They engaged the enemy from the rear flank taking out the officers first. Incoming plasma fire from the infantry carriers hit the Chief and barely missed the marines. However this did not stop the marines from shooting. This caused the APCs to leave in a quick hurry as well as the dropship. The transports provided momentary cover from the Chief as they turned and left. As they did a Grunt was able to get off a grenade before the Chief could take it out. The grenade landed near the wall that the marines were pinned down behind and blew a large hole in it. One of the marines hiding behind the wall for cover fell through backwards with his spine jutting outward from his body.

The Covenant were taken by complete surprise by the sudden flanking manuever. After the fourty enemy units were killed Birlew's squad ran out to greet the ones that saved their sorry tails.

The sergeant took point and gave the Chief a good look before he spoke. " Hell, I see somebody upstairs gives a damn. Good to see you, Sir. " The Sergeant said. The Chief gave the man and his marines a look over. Most of them were drained of color and a few were wounded.

" Sergeant the Chief and I need some assitance. We need you and your men to board the cruiser that is stationed above the city. " Cortana said. The sergeant nodded his head and took a look at the cruiser. He looked at his seven remaining squad members and turned back at the Covenant ship. After looking down towards the ground exhaling and checking his ammo supply he agreed to help. It was the least they could do.

It was a two kilometer run into the main workings of the city to be able to get clear shot to the cruiser. After going not even half of that distance they ran into trouble. The Creeps and the Spook from before had time to run back, get some help, and come to the new human position. A pair of Ghosts with Elites for pilots and two Phantoms loaded with Grunts accompanied them. The Chief and the marines didn't need to be told what to do. They fell back into a nearby toppled building and took cover less on marine.

A rifle man tripped over a dead Grunt on his way with squad back and fell. He turned and fired his weapon at the incoming Ghost. Armor piercing bullets pinged off the hover craft and went every direction. He ducked his head to avoid the LRV and the plasma weapons fire. The Ghost past over him and went for the group instead. He looked up to see it again and tried to fire his weapon, but his head was too high. The next Ghost followed up and hit him at the base of the neck decapitating the man. The body fell limp as the Elite laughed and it fired its weapons. The squad was now out numbered seven to one not including armor. There was little chance even with the Master Chief's help they would make it. All they could do was their duty.

After the marines jumped over the meter high forward pieces of rubble the plasma fire had already begun turning it into ash and molten rock. They opened fire and three M9 HE-DP fragmentation grenades were thrown. The Ghost pilots straffed to avoid the blasts. One of them straffed right into an explosion and was sent flipping backwards. The pliot fell out and landed on its side. The Elite shook itself off and tried to rush the squad. It was quickly put down by one of the snipers.

The Covenant troop transports unloaded everything they had and the dropships went flying off leaving the Creeps for support. A wall of plasma weapons came directly for the humans in hiding. With their defense slowly crumbling around them it seemed very unlikely the Covenant would fail. The Chief was out of sniper ammo as he slung the rifle around his shoulder and began using his MA8A. Using short controlled bursts and ducking when his shields were nearly gone he was able to take out a few. When he took cover again he saw two of the standard rifle men get hit.

Their screams could be faintly heard from all the shooting that was going on. Eliot and Birlew tried to save one, but the wounded man had lost too much blood and slipped into darkness. They went onto the other and tried to get him back in the action. It was a futile effort as six magenta colored needles bounced their way over the cover and hit the marine on several different points of his body. They exploded a second later letting out a momentary spray of blood and a scream of death.

" Target that Ghost!" one of the marines yelled throwing another grenade. Everyone targeted the armor. Bullets pinged off both the pilot and the chitonous hull of the Ghost. Finally the bullets wore away at the protectant and made their way into the main systems of the vehicle sending it around in circles. A moment later it was spun into a group of Grunts and detonated killing a few and wounding several others. The pilot slid out of the side of the Ghost onto the ground with blackened armor and several fist sized holes throughout its body. Another marine was soon taken down as were a few more Grunts. Pvt. Eliot was almost immediately on top of the marine only to find him gone as well.

The incoming fire lightened up from the Covenant line as they were reorganizing for a charge. Still the humans fired and tried to kill as many as possible. The Grunts formed a loose box formation under covering fire from the Creeps and began to charge the human defensive position. Needler fire came in and hit a few of the marines and the Chief. The projectiles detonated after imbedding themselves into their targets sending bits of armor and blood onto the ground below. With the Covenant literally on top of the human line there was little hope.

Marines began emptying their weapons at the nearest targets and were forced to engage in hand to hand combat. The snipers threw their rifles aside and began to use their M6D 12.7mm pistols instead. The Chief held his ground and effectively took out any Grunt dumb enough to get within arms' reach. The dropships had returned with another group of infantry and armor support. There was no end to the madness.

The dropship bay doors opened twenty meters away from the squad and unleashed a grouping of Jackals and Elites. Before all the troops were released however another pair of engines could be heard. The squad didn't even think about it . The thought of it being more Covenant couldn't make it any more depressing than it already was. Instead their thoughts were misguided as they heard a screeching noise followed by two explosions. The orange fire made everything look like a roman candle. The Phantoms and Spooks were hit by HE Anvil II rockets. Secondary explosions ripped through the transports and took out several surrounding infantry.

Heavy machine gun fire could be heard from above and trails of shattered metal and concrete went up into the sky towards the Covenant infantry. Bits of flesh, blue blood, and methane arcs of fire were sent high into the air as the the 40mm bullets traveled through the Covenant. The enemy was sent into disarray and was quickly put down. The firing stopped and the squad was exhausted. Out of the thirteen original marines that there were, only six remained, and all were wounded excluding the Chief. Eliot wiped his bloody hand across his forehead as he looked up to see two Pelican Dropships coming in for a landing.

The Chief approached the troop carriers and saw a familiar face. It was Sergeant Johnson. " Sir - Cortana gave me a call saying you needed help. Let's get these men out of here. I've got reinforcement on board. We'll be the ones who'll help you out take out that cruiser. " Johnson said. He turned to the squad and to the stacked up bodies. " Marine get your men on the dropship. You'll be evacuated along with the rest of the wounded. " Birlew nodded and walked over carrying one of the wounded on his shoulder to the other Pelican.

" Master Chief let's get to that cruiser now. " Cortana said. He entered the other dropship along with Johnson. The dropship was filled with eight ODSTs armed with battle rifles and increased body armor. The Pelican lifted off and went above the streets towards the cruiser.

The Master Chief took the outer port seat, grabbed a fresh supply of ammo, and watched the ground below as the Pelican sped through New Mombasa. The city had been brought to ruins by the Covenant. The once proud and industrious capital had been brought to near destruction. Debris, craters, and an ever growing stench of death and fire grew upon the city. The Chief looked over to the Pelican's tail gunner. The man looked anxious as if looking for something from far away.

" We've got in bound air patrols from our five to seven o'clock low and high. Coming in at high velocity. Keep an eye out back there. " the Pilot said. Both the gunner and the Chief saw what was inbound. There were three escort Banshees coming their way. There was almost no way to tell the difference between a normal Banshee and an escort, but the difference was a determining factor in a battle situation.

Normal Banshees were meant for ground support and were only so nimble. Escorts could fly circles around normal Banshees with ease and were meant to take on enemy air and armor support. Due too this purpose their fuel rod cannons were nearly twice as powerful. Which made them targets of priority. The tail gunner had a lock on one of the Banshees and fired the .50 caliber gattling gun. Hot brass hit the troop compartment floor and bounced off onto the road fifty meters below.

The Covenant fliers returned fire and hit the side of the Pelican. The rear armored hull was dotted with glowing red circles as the plasma fire made contact. Still the gunner returned fire as the fliers dodged the tracers like there was nothing to it . The lead Banshee flew in low and got beneath the Pelican and began to match its speed. It dove and fired its cannon ahead of the Pelican. The pilot swerved in time to avoid the shot and the sudden movement jolted everyone in the back. The gunner kept up the firing and made contact with one of the fliers.

The armor piercing bullets went through the Banshee and hit the pilot. The flier flew out of control and tumbled downward into a building. The Pelican was going so fast it quickly looked like a tiny dot of fire. The marines cheered as the other Covenant flier behind the dropship was quickly shot down. Again they were forced out of their seats as the pilot desperately tried to get the Banshee out from below.

" Hold on tight! " the pilot warned as the Pelican came to a sudden halt. Everyone was thrown towards the cockpit. The lead flier over flew was now in front of the Pelican and was met by two rockets and a hail of bullets. The Covenant ship went up in a ball of fire and what bits were left fell to the city streets below. " We're almost on top of the gravity lift. Prepare for touch down. " The Pelican was brought down just ten meters away from the gravity lift and everyone excluding the gunner and the two pilots exited the dropship.

The Chief looked back as the transport lifted up into the sky and flew off leaving them for the time being. His attention was brought back down to his level and he saw the expression on Johnson's and the other marines' faces. Their jaws were wide open with terror and almost disgust. The Chief looked around and saw what they were looking at and simply put it out of his mind as he was trained to do.

Bodies of civilians, soldiers, and six Warthog chassis were strewn all over the place. The gravity lift was painted in red and luminous blue blood. Bullet casings were all over and several impact craters left the tale of what had wiped them all out. He continued too examine the area and saw six Shade turrets and several active forward defense shields. When the Chief turned to head towards the grav lift he saw four silohuettes of Hunters dropping down. Immediately he fired at the threat with his MA8A startling the marines. The ten marines spun and saw four green guns charging to release, what had happened to the dead, upon them.

The Fallen : Chapter 2, Section 3
Date: 23 June 2003, 5:30 PM

Chapter 2 Section 3: Earth City
2051 Hours November 15, 2553 (Military Calender)
New Mombasa, East African Protectorate

The Chief ran towards the lift with his weapon blazing. He concentrated on only one of the Hunters and emptied the last of his magazine. The Hunter brought up its shield to cover itself and bullets ricocheted off the massive piece of impenetrable armor. The four Hunters fired their weapons sending the green flaming projectiles at the Master Chief and the marines. The Chief dodged the blasts, reloaded, and got in close. Before he had finished reloading the Hunters began to split up into five meter intervals and fired again.

The squad of ten marines engaged and were running around taking cover where cover could be given. The smarter ones ran for the forward defense shields the Grunts would normally use if they were there. Ten machine guns began to fire at the twelve foot behemoths. The Chief was in close and engaged the Hunter on his terms. The blue armored Covenant warrior stopped charging its main gun and swung its shield at the Chief. The Chief stepped back barely avoiding the intial and fall down swings. Again the Hunter tried this and missed as the Chief got in behind the beast and fired his rifle into the small orange blood sack that was unprotected.

Bullets made their way in, but did not cause any major part to rupture. The Hunter turned around and hit the Chief sending him flying into another Hunter. He shook his head and ducked out of the way of the second Hunter. His shields had been knocked down to an eighth and he quickly avoided the next blow. He fired his rifle again and it was worthless as the bullets just bounced off the armor. Knowing the weakpoints and being unable to get to them with his normal rifle he switched to his sniper rifle instead. He ran towards the first Hunter again and let it swing.

He aimed the long barreled rifle at the weak point when the arm lifted up into the air. The Chief fired an anti-material bullet and orange blood splashed onto his shields. The Hunter fell to its left and helplessly bled to death. The Chief's shields were back up and he did the same trick taking out another. While going for the next Hunter he suddenly felt something hit him from his back and his shields dropped a bit. He got off the gravity lift when he realized he was inside the marines' line of fire.

There was a sudden flash of light and three streaks of blue plasma went by him. He turned and zoomed in on the Shade turret that the blast originated from. The Master Chief almost fired the weapon until he saw it was a marine manning the gun. He turned back and took a quick look at the Hunter the man was targeting. The blasts did almost nothing to the Hunter as most flew off of its shield. It charged up its main weapon and fired at the turret. The bolt of green fire hit the base of the turret and sent the soldier off in two seperate directions. Entrails were flung every direction and littered the area. The Hunter was taken out a second later by a pair of grenades thrown by the marines. The final one attempted too relocate to a better firing position and was taken down by the Chief who had snuck up on its rear flank.

" Area secure! " Johnson yelled, " Get on that pad marines! Time for boarding! " The squad ran towards the flat pad and waited for the Chief. The Master Chief took one last look around and made sure the area was clear. Confident he wouldn't have any enemy reinforcement coming in from behind he stepped onto the gravity lift. Loose particles began to float upwards and the Chief felt himself rising. Tiny orange globules of blood lifted up and sky rocketed towards the ship. Soon after he and the squad was lifted into the vessel.

Once inside they notice it was running dark for some reason. Only the light given off by the four smaller doors was visible. The Chief activated his flashlight and the marines put their's onto the rifles they were carrying. Having previous experience from before coming in this way the Master Chief immediately informed the men to watch the doors from the center pad. They quickly formed a defensive circle and sure enough a security team came to investigate the situation. The team of Grunts and Jackals were silenced before they had a chance to fire off a shot. A rather large blob of red showed up on the Chief's motion tracker and he relocated to engage the new comers. A power door slid open and three veteran Elites rushed into the room.

Everyone concentrated on the Covenant at hand and fired in five round bursts. The Elites returned fire with needlers and plasma rifles. Soldiers were hit and bullets bounced off the shields of the new threats. A streak of magenta flew into one of the marines that had not moved far enough away from his spot. He felt the spikes pierce their way into his body. The man coughed up blood and went up in an explosion of schrapnel. Micro shards hit the nearby marines and their fire stumbled for a second. The Elites attempted to take advantage of this when they were suddenly stopped by the quick moving Master Chief.

He had slipped through the confusion and used the momentary lapse of when the marine died to get in behind the Elites. His S2 AM was at point blank range when he pumped out three rounds into the back of an Elite's head. It shields flicker, popped, and the eight foot tall warrior fell with a loud thump. The Chief fired his last round at the closest Elite and missed. The Covenant quickly reput its attention back onto the Chief. He could have reloaded his rifle, but the plasma rounds would have torn right through his shields and into his armor before he even had a chance. Instead he ditched his rifle and scooped up the plasma weapon neraby on the ground and fired.

Blue lances of fire and red tracers took out the shielding and tore into the body. Only a pock marked and burned corpse remained. The Chief retook his position and waited for more Covenant to show. The waited there for three minutes and nothing had shown.

" Chief let's get moving. " Cortana advised bringing up a NAV marker. He had to agree with her and followed it. The marines followed the Chief and made sure the area was secure before moving on. He moved his flashlight over the area the marker was pointing and saw the main doors leading to the supply rooms were open.

They ran into the massive corridor on the left and went down the ramp and out the door at the bottom. When they entered the supply room they scanned for an Covenant and came up empty. The entire room was barren, not even a supply crate was in the two story room.

" Is it just me, " a marine spoke up, " or is this suddenly a ghost ship? "

" Shut it marine we don't have time for that kind of talk. " Johnson said. They quickly left the room and went through several more open doors and another corridor leading into a shuttle bay. The bay was illuminated only by the city lights from outside. The shields on the main launch ways were down and this room to was empty. The Chief was starting to get alittle uneasy. Covenant ships were not supposed to be this empty.

" Cortana, " Johsnon said, " Where the hell are they? " They left the bay and went up a level not encountering a thing before Johnson got a response.

" Don't know sergeant. After we boarded everything was shut down. I'm assuming their main power grid was heavilly damaged when the ship was hit and came into the atmosphere. " Cortana responded. When Cortana finished her sentence suddenly the lights flashed on. Their eyes barely had time to adjust as a group of eight Jackals came in from two directions.

Eight over charged shots of plasma headed for the human group. Almost everyone was hit including the Chief. His shields flared and gave out. Two of the marines could not take the extreme heat and fell dead. A frag grenade was thrown and the Covenant warriors quickly adapted by locking their shields together.

The blast forced the line back a little, but no damage was done to the Jackals. With the marines surrounded it was a free shoot for the security team. Bullets were fired in reponse and one blue shielded Jackal was taken down. It writhed in pain as the AP bullets tore into its body. The Chief was taking cover as his shields regenerated and the fighting went on. When they were up he rushed the smaller group as fast as he was able to go.

The Covenant tried to track the Chief and failed. He got in behind them quickly and hit one square in the back. Armor dented and bones shattered by the force of the blow. The Jackal was still alive, but definitely paralyzed. The Chief used this to his advantage and grabbed the falling enemy in his right arm and tore out the plasma pistol from its claws with his left. He used the Jackal as an extra plasma shield and fired on the back side of the two remaining enemies in that particular grouping.

He fired the claw like weapon as fast as he could at one until it over heated and had to give off the excess heat. The first Jackal fell dead by time the last of the energy blasts had hit. The weapon cooled and the Chief did the same on the other. He targeted the other group holding the body up still. He fired and was met by a ricocheting bullet in the head. He was glad the suit had shields and continued firing. The remaining Jackals fired in return and finished off their comrade instead of the Chief.

Even though it was dead he kept his cover. He fired again and several more shots came at him and burned through the dangling corpse hitting him in the gut. The bottom half was burned off and the Jackals paid the price for ignoring the marines right in front them. A rather common problem for that particular level in the Covenant warrior caste. Suddenly A grenade was rolled behind them and they were sent flying forward. Their backs were ripped to shreads and black blood painted the deck floor. Three marines were lost in the exchange of fire and a few others were wounded. In addition there was no medic was available to give any aid. Which meant they'd have to rough it out.

The bodies were scavenged for ammo and the squad continued onto the next deck up towards the ships command center. Again there was zero resistance on their way up. They only prayed nothing was waiting in ambush. When they made it to the command deck they stopped and noticed that only the emergency lights were active and the doors were sealed to the control center. His NAV point disappeared marking the end of their run to the center.

There were three doors that they could use to enter the control center. The Chief knew this and ordered the marines to split up into smaller groups of two or three and charge in when he gave the signal. They acknowledged his orders and split up. To lessen the risk of losing both non-coms Johnson went to the far door with two others. One of the marines stayed with the Chief and was sweating hard.

" Think we can take them on if their in there sir? " the marines asked anxiously. The Chief turned his head to the marine and nodded. " What if they outnumber us ten to one? " The Master Chief closed his eyes for a second and didn't give any response to the marine's question. He knew full well that with his superior training and suit he'd probably make it, but the marine would most likely die.

The Chief opened up his COM link and spoke quietly. " Marines five seconds. " Those five seonds passed and the Chief gave them the signal, " Mark! " The seven humans rushed into the room and were starled. Six Brutes were standing there waiting and behind them was the ship's commanding officer, a golden Elite. Several of the marines came to a sliding halt and fell to the floor. Some were so scared by the creatures occupying the doorways that they didn't even fire their weapons.

" Take 'em down marines! " Johnson yelled firing his rifle. The Brutes yelled out in anger and made their move. Most fired their plasma rifles at point blank, while the others simply made grabs at the marines. The Chief fired a sustained burst into the skull of one that tried to get him. His bullets hit a piece of armor guarding the forehead and barely scratched it. Before the Brute had a chance to make another swing he aimed down and forced the barrel into its mouth and fired a six round burst.

The bullets made their way through the medulla oblengotta and instantly fried the Brute's mind. The Chief pulled his rifle out of the creature's mouth dragging bits of brain along with it and ducked as a hairy arm swung at his head. The blow missed and slammed into the nearby wall denting it. He moved into the room and slammed the butt of his rifle into its side and delivered a quick shot to the stomach. After he fired he heard the screams of two nearby marines and the snapping of armor plating and bones, he fired the last of his magazine and slapped in a new one. A dead marine was tossed and hit his feet. The man's rib cage had been busted open and bones protruted outward from the multiple wounds than ran along the entire body.

Two of the Brutes remained in the room as well as the Elite. Johnson had gotten his group of now two inside and fired on the officer up on the elevated platform. The Elite returned fire and hit Johnson's left shoulder. Bullets pinged off the silver shields and slowly drained them while lances of blue fire came towards the marines. The Chief looked at the situation at hand and was not about to let the Brutes flank the marines after they were down pounding on the corpse that occupied them.

He threw a plasma grenade onto one of the hairy beasts and it latched onto the back. Its buddy noticed the grenade and tried to back away, but was running into a wall. The blast enveloped both of them killing one, and badly damaging the other. The survivor writhed in pain as muscle was exposed to the air and every hair on its body had been burned off. The smell of burnt flesh was heavy and the Chief switched too the air inside his suit too avoid it. He fired three rounds into the Brute lying on the ground finishing it off and spun around facing the Elite. Its shields had dropped and the officer backed away hoping to regenerate its shields. The Chief wasn't going too let this happen. He primed a frag and tossed it at the ceiling above the platform. The grenade bounced off and fell a meter above it detonating.

The threat was neutralized and the room was clear. The remaining members of the squad went up the platform with the Chief. The corpse of the Elite was full of holes and its black blood was seeping out. He stood their waiting for instructions from Cortana.

" Chief I've hacked into the ships engine controls and I'm plotting a crash course now. " She said. He and the marines felt the ship suddenly move and begin to accelerate. " I'm going to crash it in the nearby Indian Ocean. " The Chief was a bit shocked that she was going to crash it.

" I know we were given orders to kill the cruiser, but..." he began to protest and was suddenly cut off.

" No Chief we can't salvage this ship. Everything on board is ground side, the shields are fried beyond repair, the gravity lift is now busted, engines are practically dead, artifical gravity is no longer intact, and the life support systems are down. As a matter of fact the NAV database is also been cleared. " She paused for a moment, " So effectively this ship is dead and besides I've already been given clearence by Admiral Stanforth himself to crash this vessel. " The Master Chief was certainly put in his place and fought back the embaressment of being shot down before he could finish his sentence.

" So how are going to get off if the grav lift is down Cortana? " Johnson said.

" There is a Pelican already in launch bay six. We already went through it on our way to the control room. " she replied. " Now then there is one piece of information that I'd thought you might want to know. The ship we are on is called the Deceit and command has renamed our new ship in orbit the Revelation. Now let's get off, we have ten minutes till this thing reaches maximum speed and another three before it crashes. " The Chief had to agree and went for the launch bay alongside the marines.

The Pelican was the one they had been dropped off in, but a little bit different this time. Its armor was blackened in several spots and a meter long chunk was taken off the back end. Still the dropship would fly pretty much the same, just with a little studder in its movements from time to time. They got on and the dropship left the Covenant ship and dove to avoid being hit by the back end of the massive craft. The Chief watched as the cruiser slowly went downward and towards the not so distant ocean.

" Hang onto your hats we aren't done yet here people." the pilot said. The Chief realized what the pilot had meant. The remaining Covenant armor was massing up and preparing an assualt on the 405th's position. About twenty pieces of Covenant armor were heading out. Alongside them were at least a hundred Covenant troops. The tail gunner began to fire the chain gun and took out a line of seven infantry and damaged a Creep.

A sudden boom was heard from above and then another was seen on the ground. Ten of the Covenant vehicles and at least thirty infantry were taken down. The Chief looked up and saw a pair of Longsword fighters accelerating off.

" This is Major Easley. Delivery of remaining ordinance completed. Hope that helps out enough groundside. Good luck. Over. " The Pelican's tail gunner saluted and fired off the last of his ammo. He pulled back two levers and the ammunition drum fell out and onto the ground two hundred meters below. He reloaded the weapon, pulled back the reloading handle, and fired a quick burst at the Covenant line below.

" Three hundred meters till drop! Master Chief you're on your own from this bird. Marines are on the ground waiting for you! " the Copilot yelled back to the Chief. The Chief understood the situation and gauged the enemy on the ground. After doing so he topped off his ammo supply and grabbed a J8-HR7 rocket launcher and six extra rockets. The J8-HR7 was better known as the " Jackhammer " because of its high level of fire power. It would easilly knock out a Covenant tank in three shots. The Pelican touched down and the Chief jumped off and went over to a group of about five marines leaning up against some cover. One of them turned and saluted the Chief, it was Corporal Perez.

" Welcome back Master Chief. Glad you could spare a hand. " Perez said. The Corporal took a look around. Three warthogs were positioned at ten meter intervals guarding the street the Covenant were about to come up on. In addition about twenty marines were seperated into five man teams, with each team having a .30 caliber machine gun turret. The Chief saw the defenses as well and went up fifty meters ahead of the marines and entered a building on the east side of the street.

When he ducked in he quickly went to the top level and looked out from the roof. He took up his MA8A battle rifle and zoomed in down the road. The Covenant vehicles gave off a big dust signature as they came towards the human location. He recounted the amount of Covenant armor that was incoming. There were four Ghosts, five Creeps, and a smoking Wraith mortar tank. The tank would have to go first.

The Chief pulled out his Jackhammer rocket launcher and sighted the tank. He waited until it was within a hundred meters of his position. He squeezed the trigger and a flaming rocket was sent screaming out. The projectile made its way to the tank and made contact. The explosive was set off and the hovering tank jolted backwards a few meters still intact, but slowed considerably. He fired again as the tank let out a single randomly fired round. The blue swirling comet like plasma shot flew high into the air and made contact with a building near the Chief. The side of the structure was blown off and the shockwave could be felt remendously on the roof where the Chief was located. The second rocket had made contact and the Wraith was destroyed.

The Covenant armor and infantry rushed after the tank was down. The Creep's doors opened up and let loose their infantry. Grunts, Jackals, Elites, and even Hunters were released onto the street. The Ghosts had slipped past the Chief as he reloaded his launcher and launched another two shots at the on coming hoard of troops. Two plumes of smoke and fire erupted sending bits of Covenant into the sky. He reloaded once more and heard heavy machine gun fire from behind.

The Chief quickly switched weapons and targeted the Ghosts' rear flank. He fired in short bursts chipping away at the armor plating on one of the LRVs. The Ghosts continued forward and met up with the Warthogs that were in position. Two M46 LATGs opened up on the Covenant vehicles sending them into flaming wreckage. Satisfied that the marines could hold their own the Chief began to target infantry from a distance. He was able to take down several Grunts and wound a few Jackals, but was unable to stop the group of veteran Elites that ran beneath his field of fire. The Elites quickly ganged up on the marines and wiped out nearly half of them before they were taken down by heavy machine gun fire.

A sudden roar was heard coming in from the Covenant location followed by several explosions. The Chief's visor had barely adjusted in time to the intense glare that was set off among the Covenant armor column. Large pillars of orange and blue fire went upward and enveloped the nearby infantry. The Chief looked up into the air a moment later and saw a single Pelican fly out of the inferno. Following it close behind were two others that set down near the marines, while the first set down on top of the roof the Chief was on. A NAV marker was set to the troop bay on the Pelican.

" Chief reinforcement has arrived and you are needed somewhere else right now. " Cortana said. The Chief didn't want to even imagine where he was being sent to next. Instead he would listen to Cortana and find out where he was due next. The Chief gave a quick scan of the battle area to amek sure nothing had survived and boarded the nearly full dropship taking the seat just outside of the cockpit. He leaned back and watched as the Pelican lifted high above the war torn city and flew off towards the Northwest.

Note to the reader: I think I sort of failed on parts of this section. Tell what I did wrong, if anything, so that it'll help in later chapters. Thanks.

The Fallen : Halo 2 Chapter 3, Section 1
Date: 30 June 2003, 4:43 PM

Chapter 3 Section 1: The Fallen
0603 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Atlantic Ocean Enroute to New York City, U.S.A

The Master Chief had been rather laid back since he had left New Mombasa, Kenya just eight hours ago. During that time he had taken the opportunity to get in some rest in from the six hard hours of fighting he had to endure. During his rest five more fully loaded Pelican dropships had met up with his ride and flew as a convoy over the Atlantic.

Cortana spoke up and tried to wake him. " Chief we have a hour left of flight time get up. " She said. He was out cold and gave no response. Cortana gave it another shot and again the Chief did not wake. " Fine Master Chief you don't want to get up, then I guess I'll have to help you. " Suddenly the Chief was jolted by a small electric shock in his back. As he jumped out of his seat the marines inside the Pelican stopped and took a quick look at him. They wore rather confused looks on their faces as the Chief retook his seat.

" You didn't have too do that Cortana. " He said.

" Yes I did. You wouldn't wake up7, so I improvised. " Cortana responded. He frowned for a moment at the thought of her being able to cause him harm when he wouldn't respond. " Chief you've had several hours of sleep now and I've recieved a full briefing from the Brass. Plug me into the cockpit's holotank and I'll show you what is in store. " The Chief got up out of his seat and passed through the Pelican's weapons locker and into the cockpit. The pilot turned to the Chief and then back to the blue ocean ahead of them.

" Good to see you finally woke up. " the pilot said. " Name's Lieutenant First Class Marner Chief and he's Junior Lieutenant Ellerman. " The man said gesturing to the co-pilot. " We're your lift until we get off this rock. The ship's name is Omega 74. "

" What do you need Chief? " Ellerman asked.

" Cortana says we need the holotank for a while. For briefing purposes. " the Chief replied.

" Have at it. " The Chief went to the pojector without hesitation and plugged Cortana in. Her " normal " form was projected as the Chief turned the tank on.

" Been to long since I've been in one of these things. " Cortana said. She disappeared and a rotating hologram of New York was brought up. Sections glowed red, green, and blue signifying threat level. " Chief the city we are currently headed for is New York. Population was roughly 13 million until the Covenant set up shop. A UNSC division of standard marine ground forces, the 103rd, have already reached the city's ports and are already in heavy fighting. The green sections of the map represent where that fighting is occuring right now." About a fifth of the map lit up with a bright green. " We'll be the reinforcement for that unit. Expect alot of fighting today, I heard you'll have to stay until after the majority of the mop up is complete. "

" Any word if enemy armor is in the area? " the Chief asked.

" Yes Chief. Intelligence shows about a two divisions of Covenant armor are scattered throughout the city. Don't worry the 103rd has anti-tank weaponry waiting for you ground side. " Cortana said reassuringly. The Chief still didn't like the odds he would be going up against. " What we need to do when we reach the ground is to make our way into downtown and to the city center where you are to confirm that the airstrike that was delivered two hours ago did what it was supposed to do. "

" What would that be Cortana? " the Chief asked.

" Wiping out all data relevant to the human star charts located there. Unfortunately it seemed that the system wide initation of the Cole Protocol failed here. So it's our job to get it done. "

" Anything else? "

" Yes you are too reconoiter the area and see why the hell the Covenant would spare that much armor. Other than that, no, not yet. I'll brief you when new information arrives. " The Chief was a bit disappointed. He had to do another clearing of data the hard way like he did when Reach was conquered. Reach the Chief thought, the name and the memories associated with it tore at his heart and mind. So many lives were lost that day. Too many friends and allies. The Chief put his thoughts away and mentally prepared for his mission. There wasn't any time for the luxury of emotions. He patiently waited as thirty minutes passed while he examined the holographic map and put it to memory.

" Ten minutes till drop! " Marner yelled. The Chief looked up from the hologram and out in front of the drophip. He hadn't bothered looking at the city before the short briefing and was amazed at the size of the place. New Mombasa was big, but it paled in comparison to this.

The city was huge with towers reaching above the clouds. It lit up as dawn rapidly approached and showed off its glistening surfaces. Then there was the other feature that was very visible now, war. The six Pelicans pushed it to full speed and made it to the outskirts in good time. He took a quick look out front and saw the landing zone, an seven lane shipping road. The street was already littered with human bodies, impact craters, and trashed vehicles. The Chief grabbed Cortana and traded the Jackhammer launcher for an M6D pistol instead.

The six dropships fired their autocannons ahead of them and tore through several Covenant infantry that were holding the area. Enemy fire immediately came towards them and one of the dropships setting down was hit in the port wing engine by plasma flak. Orange fire shot out and again it was hit in the troop bay as it spun out of control. It flew forward and slammed its nose into concrete and steel. It slid for several meters and came to a screeching halt. Two marines came crawling out of the wreckage with third degree burns all over their bodies. The screams of the two men died out as the weapons' locker inside the dropship bursted outward with fire. Bullets over heated and were set off, while explosives blew the ship apart into a million smaller fragments.

The remaining five ships set down unloaded their troops, then lifted off to find a safe location. A wave of human flesh, armor, and hot lead went down the seven laned road. Plasma and needler fire flew towards the humans and made several contacts. Already casualties were rising on both sides. The screams of the wounded could be heard faintly over the staccoto report of the battle rifles. They were launching an assualt on a Covenant weapons depot. Crates of supplies were stacked along the sides of the road and were carefully guarded by four Shade turrets and at least a platoon of experienced officers and standard infantry.

The Chief took up the middle and rushed down the street firing his rifle at a red armored Elite that was giving orders to a team of Grunts. It took an entire magazine to drop its shields, but a quick follow up shot from his pistol to the head solved that problem real quick. He fired six more rounds and killed the Grunts that were running to the north side of the street trying to gain some cover behind a flipped over car. Methane sputtered out of their punctured breather masks as they grasped at nothing and fell to the ground taking in normal air coolapsing their lungs. He fired the last of the ammo in the pistol at a Jackal and reloaded his weapons.

After his rifle was set he suddenly felt the air around him pop and the temperature around him spiked. The shields had been dropped by an overcharged shot from another Jackal. He quickly sought cover and avoided a firestorm of plasma pistol fire that came his way. A tipped over vehicle was nearby so he hid behind it and waited for his shielding system to come back to full strength. As he leaned his back up against the car he looked back over to the marines. He had moved too far forward for them to effectively help out. He cursed himself for not remembering they weren't Spartans and the marines for being unable to keep up a little better.

There was a clammering of hooves on the other side and the talking of stressed out Jackals. He saw that his motion tracker had targets at ten meters. He grabbed a frag grenade and rolled it around his cover. The grenade suprised the unsuspecting Jackals as it detonated and sent schrapnel into their bodies. The Chief was confident that the group was eliminated he ducked his head around the other end of the car and ducked back when he saw a flash of light come right at him. The corner was hit, glowed orange, and melted away. The Shade turrets were firing down on him.

" Chief can you give us some covering fire? " the Master Chief heard over his radio. He looked back at the marines again and saw the group that was heavilly pinned down by two turrets. One of them was waving his hand. Their cover was red hot and turning to ash quickly. The Chief nodded and stood up over the car and leaned on it.

He fired on the turrets that were giving them a hard time. The incoming plasma fire lightened up on the marines as the Covenant troops fell one by one. He swapped magazines and every survivng marine capable of moving ran forward.

It was an amazing spectacle as human flesh was properly coordinated towards the enemy. Two rows of ten troops went up the sides of the street while the main force of roughly twelve scattered in the center. Their fire was staggered to allow maximum efficency of ammo usage. Yet as efficent as they were the Covenant had a counter. The remaining six Elites were all red-armored officers that had the support of about twenty Jackals and ten Grunts.

The Covenant broke up into groups centered around a Shade turret each. Jackals crouched and locked shields as Elites towered over them, while Grunts were supporting the guns taking out the bodies as the gunners fell dead in their floating turrets. Six men were hit after the Covenant had reorganized and all but one had been turned to carbonized bone fused with steel plating.

One of the rear line marines saw the men that were hit and vomited. Realizing one was still alive he ran for him and dragged him over between two nearby warehouses on the south end. Smoke came off of the wounded marine and a long blood trail was made from where he was hit. The man who had dragged him over screamed for help.

" MEDIC! I NEED A DAMN MEDIC OVER HERE! " he yelled. One of the medics that advanced with the rest of the infantry turned and rushed back. He ran in a zig-zag pattern avoiding incoming weapons fire. He slid over to the pair and dropped his sub-machine gun and tore off his backpack.

The medic said, " Help me take his armor off! " The two quickly began to detach the armor plating all over his body. The medic tore open the wounded man's shirt and saw the injury. He was lucky he was alive, he had only been hit twice by the stationary guns and with only one or two of the plasma lances from both. Bright red blood was leaking out of his chest from the three holes that scarred his flesh into blackness.

The medic grabbed the dogtags and checked the blood type. A-type, standard blood he carried around with him. He threw the dogtags back down and opened up a pouch that contained an IV stand. He propped it up and grabbed two units of A-type blood and put them on. After unraveling the IV line he grabbed the wounded man's right arm, wiped away some ash causing great pain, and put the line in. He tore the tab on the two units and blood flowed down the line and into the body.

" There's not much I can do for him. We need too tape him up and call for a med-evac. " the medic said digging into his backpack once more. This time he pulled out a roll of medical bandages, tape, and a canister of bio-foam. He tossed the healthy marine the bio-foam and began wrapping the bandages around the upper torso. The nozzel was stcuk into each hole and the foam was injected.

The wounded man screamed again as he felt a burning sensation go through his body. He began to move violently and slipped into unconsciousness. The wounds were quickly wrapped and taped off. The medic reached into his left chest pocket and pulled out a syringe and inserted into the man's other arm. Slowly injected the fluid into his blood stream and pulled back when it was in.

" What was that? " the other marine asked looking up. The medic threw the needle away and wiped off his hands on his uniform.

" I gave him a few CCs of morphine for when he wakes up. He'll need it. " the medic responded. He reached into his other pocket and pulled out a small metal disk. He tore off the flaps that guarded the adhesive of the device, put it on the wounded man's shoulder. and turned a small switch. A single blue light blinked on and off. It was a tracking device for the med-evac to find him. He repacked the loose articles of supplies, grabbed his weapon, and gave a quick check of the wounded man. " Think you can keep an eye on him while I'm gone? "

" Yeah. I'll make sure he gets out of here. " The medic nodded and went back towards the infantry line. " Hey hold on. " the marines said. The medic turned around. " Thanks. " He nodded and ran to the battle that was coming to an end up ahead. It was nearly a hundred meter run.

He passed by blood splotches of both humans and Covenant. A few scattered bodies were here and there and thousands of pieces of brass glimmered in the light of the rising sun. The gun fire was more human now than Covenant and was still as loud as it was when he was some distance back. When the medic finally made it to the battle he ran into the Chief.

The Master Chief was in the process of allowing his shields to come back up from being hit by several needler rounds. The bar turned blue again on his HUD and he sprung out from his protection. His rifle had been slung and he had grabbed a plasma rifle along the way. When he jumped out several marines followed him and ducked as they went. The Chief fired the plasma weapon and knocked out two yellow shielded Jackals before having to wait for his shields to come back. However the threat had been effectively neutralized and only the dying remained of the Covenant line.

" Area secure. " Cortana said over the COM line. The Chief was busy gathering a few new grenades and a new plasma rifle.

" Roger that, " a sergeant replied. " Marines fan out and dig in. We'll be here a while. " The marines acknowledged the order and fanned out and into nearby buildings. If anyone had looked from above all they would have seen were corpses and no sign of the UNSC presence that hid there. Exactly what they would need.

" Cortana which way to the city center? " the Master Chief asked. A NAV point came up. He looked at the distance and felt his energy drain for a moment. He had to move to the west ten kilometers. " Long walk. " he commented.

" Not really. " Cortana replied. He was confused and then heard a few engines to the right of him. Between the warhouses and other buildings came five M17 ATVs or better known as the " Squirrel ". The Squirrel was a small one man four wheeled vehicle that was extremly fast and agile. Only problem was they didn't have their own mounted gun. Instead if you had a weapon like the M7C or another potentially one handed weapon you could at least have some defense. They came bounching over to the Chief's position and came to a dead halt in front of him. One of the marines jumped off and saluted the Master Chief.

" Private Roberts, 103rd Infantry Division, Sir." the marine said. He then gestured to the ATV. " You can use her only if you promise to treat her well. " The Chief nodded and got on the four wheeler. He punched the engine and headed west at top speed.

" Chief, I've received some good news from up stairs, " Cortana said. " Ten of our ships just jumped into our system. Six destroyers and four frigates, all carrying ground forces. I've been told there are even some units that wish to come here directly when they reach Earth orbit. ETA is twenty minutes. " The Chief was glad to hear that there were volunteers. Generally volunteers fought much harder than any other soldier. The Chief liked that.

As the Chief sped ahead three kilometers and had zero contacts until he heard the tell tale sign of a Banshee. He looked up and behind and the saw the flier coming fast. It flew overhead and went past the Chief as he tracked it with his eyes preparing to go off course. After it flew in between the towering structures and came back with friends. Two more Banshees accompanied it and fired down on the Chief. He swerved back and forth to avoid the incoming plasma blasts. They passed over head and turned for another run. The trio swooped in low and fired their fuel rod cannons at the Master Chief.

The explosive shots hit behind the ATV and delivered enough force to send the vehicle flying. The Chief was forced off and hit the ground hard. His shields had been stripped away by flying debris and sparks flew from his armor as it dug a light scar in the road. He shook himself off and watched as the fliers flew past him. He looked down and saw a small back road where they would be unable to get to him. He took the alley and ran to the far end.

The sound of the fliers grew louder as two others had come in to find the Chief. He stopped at a T-junction in the alley and melted into the shadows on the right. The sound of the Banshees died out and the low pitched voice of an Elite shouting out orders was heard instead. He watched his motion tracker, he had sensor contacts. Three were coming in at twenty meters. Ten meters. Three meters. The Chief showed himelf around the corner, primed a plasma grenade, tossed it into the tightly packed group, and ducked back behind the corner. A cry of fear, an explosion, and then silence.

The Chief armed his plasma rifle and slinked around the corner. Only two corpses remained and a sea of blood took the place of the other. He looked around satisified and walked out with his weapon at ready. His helmet had barely stuck out when he was suddenly fired at on both flanks. He jumped back as if he had been suddenly hit by a shock batton. The Elites were holding their ground and were waiting for him. Knowing full well there wasn't a chance of taking on both he had to change his tactics.

The Squirrel was visible from his position. The entire back end had been melted away and the gas tank had been torn in half. Amazingly it had not gone up in flames when it was hit. The Chief was thankful as its entire fuel supply had been spread out in about a twelve meter diameter. Close enough to the opening for the alley. He fired a shot upward and quickly aimed at the gas spill. He had sensor contacts and the two Elites were coming in for the kill. He waited until their bodies were barely seen and then fired.

The fuel ignited and knocked out the majority of their shields. Quickly he aimed for the red armored officer on the right and fired a sustained burst at the Covenant warrior. The remaining shields died out and the plasma tore through it. It died firing its weapon knocking out the last sliver of its allies shielding. The Chief changed targets and fired eight rounds killing the blue armored opponent.

He checked the weapons, gathered another plasma grenade, and went to the Banshees. The trip would suddenly get a risky speed boost, and the Chief was willing to take it.

The Fallen : Halo 2, Chapter 3, Section 2
Date: 30 June 2003, 4:45 PM

Chapter 3 Section 2: The Fallen
0811 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
New York City, Enroute to City Center

" Chief, I've picked up alot of Covenant activity up ahead. " Cortana said. The Master Chief slowed his captured Banshee flier and flew low.

" What do you mean by alot? " he asked.

" Does two Covenant armor divisions and an air battalion answer your question? " she responded. He stopped the flier mid-air and realized what kind of fire power that was. He would have no chance, even with the Banshee. After setting it down and he disembarked pulling out his battle rifle.

The city's schematics came up on his HUD by the thought of them. He scanned them real quick and saw an opening, the sewer systems. They lead right up next to the city's main building. A manhole was nearby and was big enough to fit even him. The Chief walked over to the cover, grabbed ahold of the finger holes, and yanked out the metal plate from the road.

Green sewage water, yellow service lights, and an old rusty ladder awaited him. The Chief crawled into the manhole sealing the cover behind him. It snapped shut and echoed in the four meter tall sewer pipe. The area was well lit and would give him away if anything else was down here. Fortunately the pipe lead straight to the city center and beyond to the sewage treatment plant.

" Cortana keep me informed of anything that moves up there. " the Chief said. " I don't want them to find us. Not even a sensor ghost of us. "

" Okay Chief just give me a minute to adjust your shield system to jam their radar. I'll then hack into their personnal communications systems. " Cortana replied. With that he ran forward into the unknown.

Ten minutes had passed and not a single enemy unit had come into sight. Only the constant roar of the enemy armor could be heard from above. It was rather unnerving to hear the enemy from above. He hadn't been this nervous since the first time he saw a Hunter back on Sigma Octanus IV. The feeling was hard to get rid of. His trip had come to an end. The NAV point Cortana had originally put up pointed upward.

Problem was though, manholes didn't lead into the city center for security purposes. The Chief took a look aound and went a hundred meters further. A newer ladder was there as well as a new manhole cover. He reached into his grenade sack where he had stashed a fiber-optic probe when he was last on Omega 74.

He plugged it into his helmet and snaked it up through one of the finger holes on the cover. He slowly observed the area and took in everything. He saw the back doors meant for cargo trucks were wide open with human weapon crates tipped over or on fire. Near that was a destroyed Scorpion chassis. After he looked around more he saw the five story tall building had been brought down to three stories and had isolated fires in sections. Suddenly he got a sensor contact to his seven o'clock. He turned the probe ten degrees and saw the cause of it.

The contact was a low ranking Grunt. It was alert and was watching attentively for anything. Five others, all veterans, joined it and began to dig in. The Chief silently swore and brought the probe back. When it tilted upward it faced the morning sky. Before he could retract the probe out of its upward direction a ship had passed over.

At least he thought it was a ship. It shimmered like the stealth suits on an Elite, or the camoflauge field of an ONI Prowler class ship. No noise came from its engines which made the Chief think he was seeing things. It was there and shifted between the visible realm to invisble again. He made sure to track the blur and get a good recording of it.

" Chief I've ran across a slight problem. " Cortana said. A million thoughts ran through his mind and he didn't expect to hear those words. " I've picked up bits and pieces of data, but I'm being jammed from an unknown source. I don't know how and it seems whoever is working at the other end is not very happy with my hacking. "

" What have you got? " he asked.

" Mainly force deployment, and they aren't leaving this position. It had something to do with the ship you saw. I'd say by the amount of activity you've got here something very important is inside." The Chief hung his head low for a few seconds and brought it back up. He would need help and alot of it. " Except an armored patrol is heading out towards the north in three minutes. You can use that hole to sneak your way in and trash the main server. "

" Good. Have any idea how many are inside? " Cortana didn't have a clue. With intelligence lacking the Master Chief did not like the thought of going into the unknown, but knew it was his duty.

He back tracked and headed north down another pipe line that merged with his. After heading down it twenty meters he went up the man hole and popped it loose. Again he snaked up the probe and watched as roughly ten armored vehicles and a platoon of veteran Grunts pass overhead. He waited an extra two minutes, checked the area with the probe, slid back the manhole cover and launched himself out.

He was in the open with no cover except a nearby grouping of three maple trees. He ran for them and watched as the Covenant continued with their duties as if he were not even there. Ten Shade turrets guarded the complex's front as well as five plasma flak cannons. It was unusual to have this much support for any structure. No human bodies could be found, only a large field of bloody concrete. He then remembered what Cortana had said about there possibly being something important. Only one other time had the Covenant had this much support on a single structure, back on Sigma Octanus IV.

A NAV point had come up on his HUD and it was pointing towards the side entrance where Covenant occupation was at nothing more than a sleeping Grunt. The Chief readied himself and waited until the enemy was not looking. When their backs turned he ran at full speed and stopped at the door. He was a blur of green and was unable to be picked up by any of the guards. He slowly walked over to the Grunt that was asleep.

It made a small purring sound of approval as its breather transfered the methane air into its lungs. The Chief took another step forward and stopped when it wiggled. A nightmare the Chief thought, it couldn't have been any more right. He slung his rifle and crept over to the sleeper. With blinding quickness he grabbed hold of the Grunt's head and spun it around 360 degrees. Bones snapped and the body went limp. He let the body fall to the ground and dragged it inside with him as he entered through the rotating doors.

The place was a mess. The Longsword's airstrike had blown a spherical hole that encompassed every floor. A thin layer of smoke and dust filled the air making it hard to see anything around the upper levels. Other than the precission strike's damage path the place was rather intact.

" The server will be on the bottom floor Chief. " Cortana said. Although the server was on the bottom floor she forgot too mention that it was a straight four story drop to the bottom. The Chief walked over to the hole and looked down. A faint purple glow could be seen at the bottom. The Covenant were already down there. He looked for a way down and found a doorway.

He went to it with his weapon ready and touched the nearby access panel. It blinked green and slid open silently. He stepped through into a large office. Oak funiture, splintered desks, ash, and a heap of scatterd paper occupied the room. He picked up one of the papers and gave it a quick scan. It was a crime record, nothing of any use to the Covenant. He continued his search for a safe way down. On one of the walls had an emergency escape plan pasted up on its surface. The Chief saw it and decided to read it. It read,

In case of fire proceed out front door.
In case of tornado weather conditions or attack proceed to basement via the west staircase leading past the main server room.

Thanks--Main Security Staff.

Two other doors occupied the room, one of them leading to the main server. A broken EXIT sign was on the floor beneath its previous hanging point. The Master Chief opened the wooden door and saw the emergency stairwell. The walls were a slate gray and a badly burnt civilian corpse lay on the first few steps. He moved past it and proceeded cautiously downward.

No other bodies could be found when he finally reached the server floor. When he had reached it the faint purple glow could be seen through the melted metal security door that once stood there. The glow was moving and towards his direction. He didn't want to be seen, not without proper reinforcement. He went off to his left and ducked behind the staircase. A clicking noise could be heard as the light approached. It was almost on top of his position when it moved away and suddenly disappeared. A sound of wind rushing could be heard and then there was silence.

The Chief suddenly regreted not getting a glimpse of what was in there. He pulled his probe back out and pointed it into the room. The stark white room was clear of any Covenant activity. After pulling the probe he entered the server room. He looked upward to see the blur from before appear and disappear with amazing quickness. The top walls were blackened as was the floor. Rubble littered the place as well as the destroyed server.

" Well at least the airstrike was successful. " the Chief commented kicking a piece of the black metal casing to the side.

" One objective down. " Cortana said. She came back second later with concern in her voice. " Chief the Covenant forces above are mobilizing and are moving out at a fast rate. They are heading north-northwest. "

" What's in that direction? "

" Several historical and educational structures, most of which are museums and schools. There is also a company of badly battered marines. " she replied. He exited back up the stairs after coming to the conclusion nothing was to be gained from here anymore. When he went to look outside nothing was there. There was not a single trace of the Covenant being there remained. " Chief I'm getting a transmission. I'll punch it through. " It was more static than anything else.

" God--too man---em------d------cement--repea----eed reinfor----ahhhh! " An explosion was heard and the signal went dead. The Chief shook his head and saw the hover trail of the larger Covenant vehicles. A thin line of pressure cleaned road could be seen leading towards the marines' location. Without any hesitation he slung his rifle and ran for thirty seconds down this marking. He covered a half mile before slowing down to normal speeds. He could hear heavy machine gun fire and plasma weapons discharge.

The Master Chief arrived just in time to give help. The nearby structures had been comprimised and small pockets of human soldiers occupied the nearby buildings. The Covenant armor column had been bottle necked in the streets. It wasn't the whole division though.

Only fifteen pieces of armor had assualted this location. Eight Creeps, six Wraiths, and a Shadow. The Shadow was the Covenant equivalent to the Warthog. They had seen them only twice in the past year. Suddenly several ear piercing screams had been heard followed by six explosions. The Chief hit the dirt and took cover looking up at where they had originated from.

A trio of rocket infantry had launched their attack from the windows of the higher floors. Their attack was only successful in knocking out one of the Wraiths and terribly damaging another. The armor was turning around and began to fall back right towards him.

The Chief almost jumped out of his armor when he saw this and ran for an impact crater. After launching himself inside he took a plasma grenade and threw it at the badly damaged tank that was trying to escape. It made its mark and was enough to set off the plasma generator inside. It opened up like a flower and sent lances of fiery blue plasma everywhere. Its hover units were destroyed and the Wraith landed with a crunch. Now the Covenant armor was slowed down and was forced to go forward or suffer more tank casualties.

" Chief get up in those buildings right now! They are coming back here to establish a defensive line! " Cortana yelled. The Chief did not disagree with her suggestion and ran for the school to his immediate right. The glass windows had been shattered and the doors were barracaded. He kicked the main doors down and ran inside. Something had suddenly hit him when he had busted down the door as he noticed the forward shielding flared. It was friendly fire.

Several more bullets came his way when he entered into the middle of the room. Pock marks formed on the walls and pieces of tile flew up ward. The incoming fire stopped when the three wounded men had realized what and who he was. His shields had been dropped to an eighth when a plasma bolt had caught him in the back. The Chief turned around, crouched, and fired at the assualting Grunt. It spun twice on its heel and fell dead.

" What the hell are you doing here sir? " one of the marines asked hanging onto a M34 .30 caliber defense turret. No answer was given, only a glance from the Master Chief as he put the broken down doors back up into a veritcal position.

" Marines, how many are inside this structure? " Cortana asked.

" Don't know. At least two squads went up. " the same marine replied. " Other end has about three squads as well as the last of the company's anti-tank weaponry. Most of us have been hit. "

" Roger that marines. Can you hold this location until we get a better firing position? " Cortana asked. One of the men gave a thumbs up and reloaded his rifle. The Chief took no more hesistaion and ran to the fourth floor, the roof. Along his way several men were either dead or dying. Most of the medics had been hit and no professional help could be administered.

Up top there was a line of four bodies. The roof was covered by Banshee plasma scoring and a sea of blood. Yet the marine's had their bitter revenge as the fliers that had ended them were sputtering out smoke and sparks up on the roof. The sound of Grunts came up from the street and the Chief looked down to the road. There he saw a large group of them advancing on the structure on the opposite side of the street. The Master Chief fired his rifle taking out the rear guard, but was unsuccessful in taking out the rest of them. Five more explosions were heard and the front two Wraiths had been taken out.

The Covenant saw where the attack had taken place and the remaining units fired upwards at the anti-tank team. Twin comets of plasma soared upward and took away the top edge of the structure. Large boulder sized pieces of flaming wreckage fell to the ground blocking off the front doors. The anti-tank team was completely burned away as was the faint sounds of machine gun fire, Covenant weaponry and desperate screams were heard from inside the structure.

" Chief we've got an imcoming heavy model Lucifer dropship coming in. " Cortana advised. The Chief acknowledged her and finished off the last of the ammo inside his rifle on the Grunts manning the Shadow. He reloaded and could hear the dropship's engines getting loud and coming fast. Loose bits of metal and dust shook as the bulbulous craft came in for a hot drop. Its three plasma cannons were being fired in a fifty meter radius clearing a landing zone for it. A squad of foolish Grunts were in the way of the incoming fire and were instantly fried.

Four massive doors opened up and released the dropships' compliment of infantry. Roughly an entire company of assorted Covenant warrior class units spilled out from the two side doors and the two bays beneath it. The Chief saw this and fell back inside the school. Staying towards the roof he knocked over a bunch of metal science tables and arranged them into two layers of defense and finally leading back into a spot where he could reload behind a wall in relative safety. Once his defense was complete he went over to one of the windows and punched it out with his rifle and fired down on the advancing infantry. A firestorm was sent back at him from the Elites and Brutes below. His shields were instantly dropped and he was hit in the abdomen.

He breathed heavilly and saw the damage. He was thankful for the reflective coating as it was only blackened and not melted away. The turret downstairs was suddenly active as plasma weapons drowned it out and then silence. He watched his shield meter recharge and felt himself being lifted off the ground slightly meaning they were at full charge. Three marines were in the room with him all of which were on the verge of death. He looked over to them when he heard their movements and saw them leaning their ashen and blood stained bodies onto the poorly constructed defense he had made. The Chief nodded to the wounded and took up his own position by the door.

An Elite was heard in the nearby hallway giving orders. Human machine gun fire was then heard and the Chief darted out off the room and came to a sliding halt. Ten Elites, one of which had an energy blade, and two Brutes were rushing through and taking out the wounded on the floor. He tossed a frag and ran back into the room when the grenade detonated. he slammed the door shut locking it. The Chief dove above the tables and landed behind the last row.

The golden Elite that weilded the blade came over to the door and looked down to peer in. Four machine guns fired destroying the small panel of glass and filling the area with bullet holes. They stopped a second later as the Elite had retreated and sent the others in its place. The door was smashed down by the Brutes as was a large portion of the neighbooring wall. A grenade was thrown and caused heavy damage, but the explosive did not silence the incoming enemy fire. Lances of blue-white fire came in and melted away at the forward defense.

The plasma tore away and made the first table a pile of glowing hot liquid that burned its way trough the metal floor below. The Covenant continued their advance and made their way in. The Chief tossed the last of his plasma grenades hoping to make a hole that the Covenant would fall through. His plan didn't really work as the remaining enemy units that survived or avoided the blast were already in. That made for three Elites and a Brute. The next layer of defense was broken through and the marines had bought it.

That left the Chief vulnerable to the rest of the attacks. Three plasma rifles fired and tore away at his last bit of defense. The table was destroyed, he threw a frag, and two of the Elites were destroyed. Only the commander and the Brute remained. They fell back as the Chief went to his last defensive position behind a wall. He shook his head when he slammed up against the wall and put in his last magazine. He could hear enemy reinforcement making their way up and turned back around to engage.

The Chief met the Brute he failed to kill before and was hit with a glancing blow. He fell to the ground and was unable to move. His vision was replaced by the Elite waving its sword in the air. His eye sight was blurry and he went deaf. The Chief thought he saw his life flash before his eyes as he thought he saw his Spartans from the past. He nearly blacked out and awaited the blade to strike him down as he couldn't even bring forth the will to live. It was then that his vision recovered and there he saw a green armored glove reaching down to him.

The Fallen: Chapter 3 Section 3 The Fallen Arise
Date: 15 July 2003, 11:59 AM

Note to the reader: It has taken me a long time to write this chapter so I'd appreciate any feedback. The morale boost given allows me to write stories more inventively and more often.

Chapter 3 Section 3: The Fallen Arise
1037 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
New York City, Downtown Educational District 3

The Chief looked up and blinked twice not believing what he saw in front of him. The green armored glove was still there as well as the one it belonged to. He grabbed it and was pulled to his feet. After wiping the blood off his shields he took a look around. There were six of them, six other Spartans, all in the older model suits. Half were the original Mk Is while the others were in the Mk IIs. Scratches and dried blue blood stained parts of their armor. All were armed with the outdated MA5B excluding the one who had given a helping hand. He had a slightly upgraded S2 AM.

" Soldier, " he said over the radio to the Spartan that helped him up, " Who are you people? Which class are you from? " The one that helped him was a bit confused and spoke to the Chief directly.

" The first class sir," the Spartan replied confused, " Don't you remember us 117? " He knew the voice and then the Chief smacked himself to see if he was truly alive. It hurt as it should've bringing him to the conclusion that he was not among the dead.

" Yes, but how did you-"

" Don't worry about the details. We'll explain everything later. " The Spartan said interrupting the Chief. " Now we've got more hostiles coming in. More than we've got ammunition for. Recommend we leave this place and come back in full force. We are awaiting your orders...Blue-One. " The Chief snapped out of his unbelieving state of mind and quickly thought of what was necessary to be done. He quickly assigned call names to each of them.

" You three, " the Chief said pointing to one of them in the Mk I armor and two in Mk II. " You are Red group. The rest of you are in Blue group. Red group assign yourselves numbers and prepare to back out of this area. " He then turned and assigned numbers to the others. " Now who can tell me what is left outside? " Red-One stepped forward and explained. He dug into the loose rubble and drew what had happened.

" The Lucifer dropship dusted off with the damaged armor units and left about a company of assorted infantry along with several gun emplacements. We came in as it was leaving. " Red-One said pointing outside. " Several of the guns have been blown thanks to Blue-Three. We also dealt with everything that got in our way to here. Which was about twenty Grunts and the three other units inside this room. The remaining enemy force has begun to dig in. Seems they are trying not to destroy the museums or the library nearby. "

" Very similar to Sigma Octanus. " the Chief added.

" Right. Now we've received reports that an armor column is on its way. ETA is ten minutes. Our dropship was shot down just three hundred meters south of here on the outer edge of the educational district. Don't know if the other dropships made it, but that area is to hot for our numbers to even consider making it in and out again in one piece. Too many armored units. " Cortana decided to ask a few of her own questions when the Spartan stopped speaking.

" Are there any human survivors left in this area? " she asked. The others spun around with weapons ready. They scanned everywhere trying to find the source of the voice. The Chief tapped his helmet twice.

" What was that sir? " Blue-Two asked.

" Cortana, our computer...our electronics and battlefield analysis specialist. Now are there any survivors left in this area? " The Chief replied. Red-One shook his head. " Well then. Let's get out of here while we still can. "

" Teams there is an exit in the basement. Leads all the way back to the shipping district and all over the city. I strongly suggest we take this route back and assist in the eventual counter attack. " Cortana said. They looked at each other and then to the Chief.

" We'll travel together as one unit until we reach the port, " the Master Chief said. " We'll then split up and try to take this city along with the remaining marines here. " He got up and policed the ammo from the dead marines and decided to gather their field recordings and dog tags. The others were busy enough grabbing the plasma weapons from the dead Covenant. After everyone was loaded up they headed out into the hall.

Tiny colored lights darted across the navy blue and tan walls. As the lights zipped upward code ran along the ceiling painting odd colors onto the floor. Carefully the Spartans made their way down to the basement slipping past several Covenant on patrol. Several more Phantom dropships were coming and dropping off mechanized infantry. They could tell from the distinct roars of the engines and the howling of Grunts. The group gathered dog tags from the dead they ran across and made it to the basement in short time. They were a bit shocked, as the basement was rather small for an elementary school of its size.

Pipes ran along the ceiling and wires were exposed to the air. It was not as professional looking as the floors above. The Chief spotted the manhole easily and pried it open. Two Spartans had their rifles fixed on the manhole while the others kept the area secure.

" Red-Three you're first. " Master Chief said. The smaller Spartan left her position and went down. It was pitch black in this area when Red-Three landed. Her vision adjusted quickly before she turned on her nightvision. Blue-Four was next, followed by the others and lastly by the Master Chief. " Which way now Cortana? " A NAV point appeared on everyone's HUD. The distance was a little over six kilometers.

" Chief the marines have moved up and have established a better hold out sector. They've been engaged by the Covenant presence here only once and with minimal armored force. That's not saying that the marines didn't receive all hell, but it seems the Covenant have not been on the offensive too much these past few hours. " Cortana said. That was good news as far as the Chief and the others were concerned.

" Teams split up into your groups. Red Team I want you on the other side of this sewer pipe. The water here is shallow, move across and go into five-meter spacing. Just incase something is down here. " The Master Chief said. " If there is anything do not engage unless imminent danger presents itself. And no explosives. Blue-One Over." He got three acknowledgment lights on his HUD.

The three Spartans consisting of Red Team moved across and did as the Chief had ordered. They almost blended in perfectly with the green tinted nightvision and came close to disappearing along the side of the sewer wall. They traveled a kilo when they stopped and heard a pair of Grunts talking above them. The Chief turned off his nightvision and switched to infrared. He looked up through a storm grate at the cold bottom hoof of one of them. The translation software got part of what they were saying.

It was a lesser red-back officer being rimmed out by a black-back veteran type. There wasn't much other than a mention of the marines being to large in number compared to the officer's squad and he was forced to fall back if he was going to survive and come back in full force. The argument was quickly shut off when the veteran rimmed him out and fired its plasma pistol into the officer's chest cavity.

" Well at least they are killing each other. " Blue-Two commented. The Spartans continued on when a problem had occurred another kilometer ahead of them.

" Blue-Four to Blue-One. Over. "

" Copy Blue-Four what is it? "

" Sir up ahead the sewer has collapsed. I can see into a building above us. Looks like an office from my position. No enemy contact. Over."

" Roger that. Motion tracker is clean. We'll move up and advance on the streets. But be careful people. We can not afford to be found this far away from reinforcement. Blue-One out. " The squad moved into the office covering each other's blind spots.

The office was a mess. Blood stained papers were scattered across the floor and constant dripping of water came from the pipes in the ceiling. Every window was automatically shut tight. No contacts alive or otherwise. They advanced into another large office area with a flickering when a good-sized mass of movement was being picked up from outside. Faint sounds of humans crying could be heard from the other side of the wall they were nearest to.

The Chief pointed a single finger towards a closed window and then pointed to Red-One and Blue-Three. After he had done this he made his hand into what looked like a knife and did a small lifting motion. He got two green lights and they went to their task. The nightvision was shut off and they were plunged into the darkness.

Red-One opened up the sealed window seal by pressing a touch panel next to it and then again for the glass window. They were looking into a parking lot that was roughly seventy-five square meters. Traces of sunlight were shown in the lot illuminating small patches of concrete. There were a few cars, mostly those of the employees of the office. They resumed their analysis when two plasma pistols were suddenly fired at an extremely rapid pace. Terrified screams were heard during the shooting. The two Spartans had their rifles pointing out the window immediately. A group of about ten civilians had been cut down by two Jackals, but the Covenant warriors had gotten something they hadn't expected.

A pair of unwounded male civilians had rushed the two while the plasma weapons were overheated. The humans bashed the claw like weapons out of the hands of the enemy and began to wrestle on the ground. The blue shields made it had for both the attackers and the Covenant to move.

The Spartans tried to aim at the Jackals, but there was a great chance they'd hit a friendly instead. The struggle continued when one of the shield bands was torn off. The Jackal was pinned down and met several blows to the skull by a human fist. The creature writhed and struggled in pain. The man continued striking his fist when a sharp pain entered his shoulder. The Jackal having a longer jaw reached up and latched on with its serrated teeth. Flesh was torn, blood was spilled, and filthy saliva entered the wound. The Jackal struggled for power and got on top of the man chewing on his shoulder still. The pair of Spartans had a clear shot to its back and took full advantage of it.

Two quick bursts of armor piercing bullets ripped a few new engravings along its back and into the spinal cord. The body went limp and the Jackal's bloody jaw slid off. The other pair was shocked to hear the report of weapons fire and momentarily stopped to look over. The human saw the two Spartans in the window and got far enough away from the confused Jackal in time to avoid another burst of bullets. Black blood sprayed out of several holes in its neck as it desperately tried in vain to continue its existence. The men looked in terror as they saw the Spartans and were stunned by their sudden appearance. The now wounded one grabbed his shoulder looking at the shredded wound.

" Damn it! It bit me. The son-of-a-bitch bit me. " He said.

" Blue-Three take point. Blue-Four help the wounded. " The Chief ordered off the COM channels. Blue-One went through the window and stepped onto the street. He looked around, saw the corpses, and waved the others forward. The two civilian survivors watched as the Spartans came out and quickly secured the area.

They were stunned at the sight of the armored soldiers. After the area was confirmed secured Blue-Four went over and gave a quick patch up of the wounded man's shoulder. When he was finished he resumed his position in the defensive matrix.

" Team I've got incoming hostile signals incoming. They got a negative radio reply from the Jackal scouts. I'd say ten maybe more incoming signals from the north. " Cortana said. The Chief brought his hand up in a fist and spread his fingers out. The squad fanned out and disappeared in the corners, under bodies, or any other spot they could find. The two survivors, although frightened, followed suit.

A moment had passed and a single orange armored Grunt showed himself. It walked forward and stopped in the center of the parking lot and saw the two dead Jackals as well as the dead humans. It was confused and scratched its head. The Grunt turned around and waved inward. Ten more Grunts came in and fanned out checking out the area. They came within arms' reach of several of the Spartans, but they did not engage. A moment had passed and the majority of the Grunts relaxed and sat down.

The Master Chief saw they growing closer to Red-Three's position. Closer to the pile of human bodies she was hiding in. He opened a secure COM channel and spoke quietly. " Red-Three you are the go signal for the attack. Over. " He got an acknowledgement light and saw that the enemy was getting close. Finally one of the Grunts stopped above her and took a seat on the bodies above the Spartan.

Red-Three then sprang into action grabbing the Grunt's neck and crushing it with her hands. The rest of the Spartans opened fire when Red-Three got up. The Covenant had no idea what had hit them and began running around frantically. They were put down swiftly. Afterwards the Chief walked over to the parking lot's exit and crouched by the corner.

The squad immediately followed him and fanned out along the exit. The rifle fire was too much and too loud as it alerted a nearby armored patrol. Three Ghosts were coming to investigate. The Chief watched the LRVs and saw the pilots, nothing more than Grunts tightly packed into their seats. He waited for them to come within range and put his targeting reticule on the head of the lead Ghost pilot. He fired a five round burst into the alien and watched as it rolled off the still accelerating vehicle.

Its body jolted around as fire enveloped its face. However the methane had not been entirely ignited when the mask was penetrated. The Grunt could still breathe, but with normal air mixed into it. The combination of gases flowed into the gas-sucker's lungs and went off like a Roman candle from the inside out. The other two pilots swerved over to their dying comrade and then to the direction of the Spartans.

Blue fire came streaking in and hit the Chief four times. He dropped on his back as his shields completely dropped and fired at the front of the LRV on the right. The Spartans as a whole opened fire picking away at the reinforced plating while avoiding being shot. The storm of armor piercing bullets did their damage and ignited one of the plasma converters on one of the Ghosts. Super-heated blue flame came from the Ghost as it spun out of control and burned away at the concrete road below. The other Ghost met a similar fate shortly there after.

The Chief pointed to Blue-Four and had him take point. The Spartans left the civilians and continued their path down the war torn streets of New York. It was nearly an hour of trying to avoid any confrontation with the Covenant. On occasion a pair of Longsword fighters or a Pelican would fly overhead and deliver attacks further into the city. The flights became fewer when the Spartans made it to a battered marine outpost near the waterfront.

They watched as everything that was going on. Damaged Pelicans were loading up for attack runs, a fleet light tonnage cargo transporter was having its supplies unloaded, a pair of Warthogs and Squirrels were on patrol, while the mobile deployment medical hospital was stacked with wounded. All through the firebase hold out points and barricades were being established.

" What do we do now sir? " Blue-Two asked.

" I want all of you to gather new weapons and ammo. Try them out on that damaged wall over there. " The Master Chief said pointing to the side of a scorched structure. " Your armor should automatically adjust to the upgraded reticules. " The Spartans understood the orders and went to one of the munitions piles.

They examined the newer weapons and took what they saw fit. They each took an MA8A excluding Red-Three and Blue-Four. They grabbed the M7C and enough ammo for the seven of them. The Spartans tried out their new toys and were satisfied by the stopping power and fire rate of the weapons.

" Chief, " Cortana said. " You got a new objective. "

" Pipe it through to the rest of the squad Cortana. " he requested.

" Of course. Cortana to Red and Blue teams. The brass has given you orders to assist in a counter attack as expected in the educational district. You are to arrive via Pelican dropship, retake that area, and await further orders. " She said. " Longsword airstrikes are in progress and are awaiting mop up. "

" You heard her Spartans! Lock and load! " Blue-Two barked. They loaded their weapons and searched for a dropship. Most had already been filled and were in the process of lifting off. The Chief spotted at the end of the line of dropships one that was vacant. It was his "reserved" ride Omega 74. He ran for it and the Spartans followed. The tail gunner saw the Spartans coming and his jaw dropped wide open. He wanted to say something, but he was in too much disbelief to speak.

The clanking of boots onto the deck of the dropship then alerted the pilots. Ellerman looked back and nearly jumped out of his seat. He only thought a group of marines had gotten on board, but he did not expect a group of Spartans. Lieutenant Marner looked back and had the same reaction.

" Get us out of here lieutenants. " Cortana said.

" Yes ma'am. Beginning lift off and setting in a course for the drop zone. " Marner said preping the dropship for lift off. Omega 74 ascended to one hundred meters and followed a line of other dropships. They were roughly in the center of the pack of sixteen Pelicans on route to the educational district. The Chief had the first seat out and took advantage of his spot to look for potential hold out points.

There were a few around some destroyed pieces of armor both Covenant and UNSC. He watched some small isolated firefights occurring and fired a few rounds of support every time he had a clear shot. It wasn't much, but he had wounded maybe even killed a few of the Covenant down below. He watched and waited patiently with the rest of his men. As they waited and were within a mile of the dropzone a transmission came in.

" Keep your heads down back there. We've got incoming plasma flak and anti-armor weapons fire coming in. Its gonna be a rough landing. " The lead Pelican pilot said. No more had the message been said that the living hell had begun. The plasma flak and Wraith mortar fire came in was heavy as rain. The dropship pilots spilt off into groups of two or three and swerved through the city's towers to avoid being hit.

The Spartans held on tight and watched nervously at the incoming fire they were passing. Two Wraith rounds flew towards their dropship and barely missed. The heat given off was enough to melt an outer layer of armor on the dropship's tail. Another volley of plasma flak came in and hit the Pelican just behind them.

Armor plating fell off and to the ground. The dropship's flight became uncontrolled and it was hit again inside the troop compartment. Flaming marines fell out of the back end to their deaths below. The warthog on the back was melted to nothing but a formless piece of metal and fell off the magnetic tail. The Chief watched the bodies fall and hit the ground hard. The Covenant ground troops were right on top of the corpses the second they hit. He turned away not wanting to see what was to become of his allies. It was not a time to be concerned for the dead, but for his own squad. Omega 74 swerved away from the other pelicans and went into another area. This helped spread the dropships out more evenly for a quick advance.

" Thirty seconds till drop. " Marner said over the radio. " God be with ya. " Those words did not help ease up any of the tension. The dropships had begun firing their forward machine guns to clear the way. Three dozen Covenant infantry bought the farm as they set down and unloaded their troops.

The Fallen: Halo 2 Chapter 3 Section 4
Date: 15 July 2003, 3:12 PM

Chapter 3 Section 4: The Fallen Arise
1300 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
New York City, Downtown Educational District 3

Ten of the original sixteen Pelicans had survived the heavy anti-aircraft fire and set down along the outskirts of the Third Educational District. Mechanized Covenant infantry patrols roamed the streets and offered heavy resistance. The group of seven Spartans were some of the last to land as the surviving compliment of marines advanced through the streets. The final members of the counter attack had stepped off as the Pelicans lifted off to begin their air support patrols along with the five Longsword fighters in the area.

The vast majority of Covenant heavy armor was hit before the drop had occurred and their smoking corpses offered plenty cover throughout the streets. The Spartans were dropped near several of the smoldering pieces of armored wreckage that they would use to their advantage. The group fanned out into smaller groups of two and advanced from piece to piece picking off the Grunts and Jackals that they ran across. The Chief traveled on his own and took cover behind a pair of destroyed Creeps. Twenty meters away from his position were two Shade turrets on top of a " bus hut" supported by a squad of six red-armored Elites on the road below.

" Blue-One to all groups. Ahead of my location roughly twenty meters are two Shades. Red Group you've got distraction duty. Move in on the right flank and draw off their fire. Blue-Group you move in on the left. I'll take center. Blue-One out. " He got his acknowledgement lights and watched Red Group move up and over to the other Creep on the right. They stayed along its edge and waited for Blue Group to get into their launching position.

Blue Group was ready and the Chief gave the signal. He tossed a single frag at the gun on the left. It toppled over with the Elite still inside it. It shields did not drop entirely when the grenade went off so it slid out of the hovering chair. Red Group quickly engaged and fired at the Elites. Another grenade was thrown and the second gun was disabled.

" Don't stop shooting, " the Master Chief said. The Covenant squad was confused and fired towards Red Group. With their backs now turned Blue Group engaged splitting up the Elites. The Chief waited three seconds reading his battle rifle. The Covenant began to advance on the two groups when he exposed himself out in the open and engaged.

With their shields already weakened he was able to take down two of them on his own. One of the others saw him and tried to get in a swing to cave his helmet in. It would have if not for the support fire he was given. Shields flickered then faded out as AP and hollow point bullets hit and tore through it like paper. Only one remained and the Master Chief was able to get in behind it and jump up high enough to get a strangle hold. The Elite wasn't even given a chance to shake him off as he grabbed on half of its split jaw and yanked with a loud snap breaking its jaw. It writhed in pain tossing the Chief to the ground. He fell to the ground hard and busted part of the road. His shields were damaged by a quarter when he hit. The Elite tried to deliver a downward blow and missed as the Chief rolled out of the way. When he was clear of the attacker the Spartans opened fire. They watched as bits of flesh and blood were blown off and spattered all over the road.

The Chief policed the plasma rifles and had the Spartans attach them magnetically to their sides ditching those which had less charge. They stopped to notice there were motion tracker contacts in every direction excluding their six o'clock. The problem was the Covenant were everywhere and they'd have to split up the two teams to secure the area. The Chief turned to Red Group and gave them their orders. They were to head north and eliminate any threat that was in the way. He ordered Blue Group to head south and do the same. The Chief decided he would move to the west on his own and meet up on the other side of the structures with whom ever he could find.

The Spartans looked at each other uneasily when the Chief had said he'd be on his own, but his orders were final. They knew that and would comply. The groups split and advanced. The Master Chief waited until they were a sufficient distance away and then continued down the street he was originally heading down.

" Why'd you do that Chief? " Cortana inquired. He mulled over the reasoning and couldn't find any real good answer.

" Instinct Cortana...and trust. " he replied. There wasn't any logical argument she could bring up to his answer at this time. He couldn't afford to concentrate on her and the threats ahead. " Now mind telling me where we are to go exactly? " Cortana gave him a NAV point. It was small meaning it was far away. About a kilometer away and not exactly on a straight path either. He had her patch it to the others and advanced until he had seen a few hostiles. There was an Elite accompanied by a squad of Jackals holding out on a street corner.

He saw tracers ping off the Jackals' shields as they shot out large bolts of green plasma. The Elite hid behind the squad and fired in the same direction. All were easy targets from his point. The Master Chief reached into his grenade sack and pulled out a plasma grenade and then set it back. They blue flame was like a flare and would allow them to dodge the attack more easily. Instead he grabbed an M9 HE-DP, primed it, and gave it a good toss into their position. The Jackals were so concentrated on their front that they didn't realize the grenade was there until they saw the Elite rolling out of the way. Black blood went into the air with a flash of smoke and fire.

The Elite shook itself off and took little notice of its damaged shields. They shined silver and then cooled at about half level. The Covenant warrior saw the Chief as he was taking aim at it's head. It roared in defiance and charged the Chief firing its needler. The Master Chief returned fire and side stepped enough to have the crystalline needles fly past him. They detonated mid air and in the sides of the nearby structures. His bullets finally made their way through and dropped the shielding system. A trio of bullets then met the Covenant warrior's skull. The body stopped in its tracks as bits of bone, armor, and brain flew from the falling corpse. He went to the corner it was holding out on and ran across a group of seven marines.

They continued in their southern advance and allowed the Chief to move on his own. He encountered another squad of Covenant and quickly put them down. He gave no more notice to the smoking corpses when he heard a piercing shrill above him. The Chief flattened himself on the ground until the noise and shockwave that followed it had passed him. He looked up and saw two trails of smoke and a badly damaged Longsword fighter coming in hot. The ship hit the side of a building and lost its port wing. After spinning out of control it came down hard, nose first into another building. The engines gave a final sputter and went out.

* * *

Major Sawyer winced in pain as he struggled to undo his holding straps. The front window had been caved in and shattered glass littered the fighter's deck. He looked over to his co-pilot and saw the overhead terminal had been forced into him during the crash. The Major looked around unbelievingly and saw the severed smashed head on the floor.

" Shit. " he said. Sparks flew as he undid his straps and grabbed his emergency radio.

" This is Major Sawyer of Gamma wing. Can anyone hear me? Over? " Static was the only response. " I repeat this is Major Sawyer of Gamma wing. Is anybody listening? I've crashed in the local educational district. Please anybody respond. Over. " Again only static. He repeated the message a final time and was interrupted by the squawking of a Jackal.

The pilot threw his radio to the floor and reached to his left for his M7C sub-machine gun. He grabbed the weapon, loaded it, and crawled out of his seat. He yelled as a sharp pain went through his lower back and right leg. Despite this he forced himself out and turned around to the ship's rear.

He looked outside through three massive glowing holes and a thinner almost scar like portion were the wing had been torn off. A squad of enemy infantry was on their way to examine the crash site. The Major propped himself up and aimed his weapon at the leading Grunt. His breathing became heavy as he sighted the weapon and squeezed off a burst.

Most of the bullets missed the intended target and sent tiny plumes of dirt upward. The Grunt recoiled from the three shots that hit it and fell back more into the rest of the line. The sudden gunfire had alerted the rest of the squad. They quickly ran forward and fired blindly into the ship. A pair of plasma bolts nearly hit the Major as he took cover behind his seat. The remaining bolts struck various instruments within the fighter and melted them away. A shower of sparks sprayed Sawyer's back. He let out a momentary scream of pain.

The Covenant outside heard this and moved in for the kill. He fired his weapon and took out two of them before having to reload. His gunfire had alerted the attention of several other Covenant nearby. The squad had continued to advance and stopped at the glowing metal at the outside of the fighter to avoid being burned. He was thankful for that. He was able to hold them off for now.

Several minutes had passed and many more Covenant were waiting to get their hands on some human flesh. The Major slapped in his last clip and began firing again as he heard a faint explosion. A ragged body of a Jackal had been flung into the fighter's rear bay and began to smoke up as it hit the heated panels. Two more faint explosions came and more bodies flew from the Covenant rear line.

The swarm's attention was diverted to their rear flank. The Major saw faint flashes of yellow flame and watched as the Covenant rear guard fell dead. Every plasma weapon suddenly opened up and fired that way. The Covenant fire slowly faded away as they fell one by one. As it did several assault weapons could be heard until the rifles took over. He tried to get up to see what was shooting and screamed out in pain as his leg touched a melted piece of cockpit chair. He turned to the melted portion and tore his leg from the spot. When he looked back out he flinched back at the sight of an armored giant, the Master Chief. Behind him was a marine watching the area with an S2 AM.

" Can you move? " the Chief asked.

" My leg's broke, " the Major said with a slight bit of pain in his voice, " and my back feels kind of weird. "

" We need to get you and your co-" the Chief stopped as he saw the decapitated body, " We need to get you out of here. " The Chief walked over and pulled the Major up and put him over his shoulder. The two bodies slipped around and nearly off each other from the shields. The master Chief brought the Major out and set him down on his back away from the dead.

" Where's the rescue squad? " the Major asked looking around noticing their were only two of them.

" What rescue squad? " the Chief replied. Major Sawyer's jaw dropped. " The sergeant over there was only lending me a hand to get you out of here. Can you walk on one leg? " The pilot nodded and the Chief whistled to the corporal to have him give the Major a hand.

The corporal unslung his rifle bandoleer and handed the Chief his weapon along with it. After they put the Major on the marine's shoulder the sniper pulled out his pistol with his free hand. The Chief put the bandoleer on and slung his battle rifle in favor of the long distance weapon. The marine then activated his radio.

" This is Corporal Sherman to Private Chung. Do you read me? Over." he said. A moment when a static filled response came in.

" This is Chung. What is it sir?"

" Chung get down here with the model M12 Model D. I've got wounded. Come straight to my position. Over." the corporal said.

" Roger that sir. ETA five minutes if we don't run into any trouble. I'll bring support. " Chung responded. Sherman nodded and looked to the Chief.

" Think we can wait that long? " Sherman asked with a slight grin. The Chief loaded a fresh magazine into the sniper rifle and scanned the area. The corporal chuckled and waited patiently. Four minutes later five Warthogs came speeding in. They slowed down and were loaded up with a bunch of troops. Two were newer models, Model D's, mainly meant for bringing in a lot of troops. It was a great idea if not for the removal of the turret. Six medics piled out and set up a stretcher, IVs, and began to wrap the Major up as they brought him over to one of the troop transports. When the seven men were inside the Warthog sped off along with one with a turret as an escort. The other three waited for the Chief and Sherman to get on board. Before they left Cortana spoke up.

" Marines I've transmitted onto your Warthogs' radar the direction we need to go. We'll need to grab the other Spartans and assault the Museum of Earth's Geography and Culture. The Covenant have put their full backing into this area and are not giving up. They must be removed, those are our orders. " she said. The drivers acknowledged this a split up into three groups. The Chief and Sherman were headed for the museum while the others would grab the rest of the Spartans and would meet up in the assault. As they went other Warthogs came with them and ran through the streets causing all hell to break loose in the scattered Covenant line. The randomization of landing zones proved effective allowing for the rapid and confusing deployment of human troops.

After dealing with the loose units in the streets the marines had to agree with Cortana. As they got closer to the museum the Covenant seemed to double in number and firepower. They made their way past a squad of Elites by running they down, but were forced to a halt up ahead. They were down the street about two blocks from their objective.

Flak guns, Shades, several light armored vehicles, and flaming wreckage occupied the space between them and the main objective. In the sky ten escort Banshees and six dropships owned the air in that sector. The Chief stopped the driver from going any further.

" I'll make my way from here. " he said. The marine turned around and had a look of fear for the Chief in his eyes. The other marines also gave him a similar look.

" No offense sir, but are you crazy? " the driver asked. The Chief hopped off the back and walked over to the driver.

" No marine I'm not. If anything staying on this hog is worse than going on foot. Being in a vehicle just makes you more of a target. I'd recommend you too get out and advance with me. " The Chief responded. The driver looked to his passenger who was already disembarking and did the same. The rest of the marine on board got off as well and ran to the sides of the road with the Chief. The Covenant then engaged.

" Nice work Chief, " Cortana said. " I'm assuming you have a plan? " He ducked into a small bus stop for cover and told her what he intended to do.

" I'm going to use the back door like at the city center earlier. I want you to give my instructions to Red and Blue teams. We need to get back there safely and without grabbing much attention. From there we can see what the hell is going on and maybe we can split the Covenant line in two. " He said. She understood the logic in attacking the rear and relayed the message to the rest of the Spartans.

He looked out to his right to see two Warthogs go by fast and then exited. The sound of battle echoed through the streets as buildings collapsed, weapons were fried, and people were dying. A squad of marines were advancing fast up ahead and were suddenly pinned down by one of the Phantoms overhead. The dropship fired its main gun and sent long thick streams of red plasma their way. Every time the gun hit a marine turned to carbonized bone fused with molten armor. The deaths were instantaneous. The survivors fired back in defiance and were unable to leave a scratch in the armor.

" Cortana to Gamma Wing Patrol. We need support fire at our position. Covenant air patrol is to hot for ground forces to engage. Over. " This message was relayed to everyone. A moment had passed until they got a response.

" Roger Cortana this is Colonel Tate. Gamma Wing is inbound hot. Engaging enemy air patrol now. " The Master Chief took cover and watched as the remaining four Longswords still in the air came in. He and the marines watched as the Covenant flak guns reoriented themselves to fire on the human fighters.

The balls of blue fire missed repeatedly and were unable to hit the fighters. When they came within range the Longsword fired everything they had. Over thirty missiles had been fired in the area knocking out the dropships and several of the Covenant ground forces below. However some of the missiles were off target and grabbed the Chief's attention as they became unstable.

He looked more closely and saw the missiles swerving from side to side and then detonating midair as if something had intercepted them. It was then that the Chief saw why they had done this. The blur from before was there and the explosions were not that far from it.

" Gamma Wing this is MCPO Spartan-117. Do you have anything left in those pods? Over. " he asked. The Longswords flew off and circled back around high above to avoid the Banshees.

" Negative Master Chief. Pioneer missile pods are dry. Gattling guns are at zero percent as well. Over. " the Colonel replied. The Chief was unnerved by this, and zoomed in on the blur.

" Chief I'm picking up a coded transmission from inside the museum. Very heavy in traffic. I'm recording now. " Cortana said.

A faint light was seen for a split second and then the object moved upward. A mighty wind and thunder shook the ground. The Chief, along with several others, fell and looked upward. The Banshees were disappearing in mid-air and the object had moved off. With all the dropships gone the Covenant entered a frenzy and charged the remaining human forces.

Only ground troops remained and were giving the UNSC forces hell. A wall of magenta colored light came flying forward from the Grunts and Elites as large globules of green plasma came from the remaining Jackals. Nearly twenty of the remaining marines died in an instant. Several plumes of shrapnel were flung into the sky and the smell of burnt flesh permeated the air. The survivors returned fire in the lapse that followed when the enemy had to reload.

Tracers peeled away at the Elites' shielding and tore through the Grunts. It was utter chaos. The genocide continued on for another ten minutes until the remaining Spartans showed and helped mop up the remains.

* * *

The Chief and the others helped out those they could along their way to the Museum of Earth's Geography and Culture and entered the through a pair of wide steel doors. Inside were tons of Covenant crates, transmission devices, and other sorts of things they had never seen before. Other than the Covenant technology the rest of the place of an absolute mess. Rocks were scattered, priceless artifacts were destroyed, and data records were virtually raped. The Spartans were the only ones that entered the vast museum to see all of this.

The Chief walked forward and saw one of the transmission devices and recognized it from somewhere. Next to it was a pile four meters high of many different rocks and another box that looked nearly destroyed. This puzzled him and brought him to ask of Cortana's advice.

" Cortana any ideas? " he asked looking around and handling some of the objects.

" Scanning...Yes Chief I do. Tell me do these images looking familiar to you? " she replied. A series of triangles, squares, and other geometric shapes appeared on his HUD.

" Some sort of writing perhaps. Why? Do you recognize them Cortana? " he said confused. His team mates looked at him attentively listening to the conversation.

" Yes I do. We'll be heading there as soon as we get off this rock. It's a map Chief. And the Covenant don't want us to know we've got it. " She said.

The Fallen: Chapter 4 Section 1
Date: 22 July 2003, 2:29 PM

Chapter 4 Section 1: New News
2000 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
On Board the Leviathan, On Sol System Patrol Near the Mars Ship Yards

      The Chief sat down along with the other Spartans out of their combat armor inside the Leviathan's briefing room. The others were patiently wondering what their next assignment was, unlike the Chief. He was remembering every time he was on this ship. His memories were always disturbing; most of them seeing God only knows how many planets being glassed. It was a long wait before the power doors at the back of the wide room opened. Stepping through were four men in uniform. One was a short man with graying temples accompanied by another who was not much taller, but definitely younger looking. Another was cleanly shaved and wore the uniform of a marine officer. The last was in a completely different uniform to that of the UNSC. The words Defenders of the Homeland were stenciled above the top right pocket of his B.D.U.'s. The Chief didn't recognize the last two, but he knew the shorter man and quickly stood at attention.

      " Admiral on the deck! " he barked. The others rose in unison and waited for the Admiral to pass by. The Chief gave a salute when Stanforth stopped in front of him. He returned the Chief's salute and ordered them to take a seat. They sat down in unison and watched the pair go to the front of the room. They stopped by a massive holoprojector and activated it. There was a projection of what looked like a gas giant accompanied by a single moon.

      " Good to see you Spartans. Been too long since we last met. I have good news for all of you. Feel free to ask any questions during the briefing. Seems we managed to find some spare Mk III combat suits for you, but before we get to that I have some other news. " Stanforth's voice began to lower after this last sentence. He gestured to the hologram with a remote in his hand. He pushed a button and several strings of combat data flashed by. First what looked like on a ship, then down on the ground, and they continued flashing until he pushed another which zoomed it in on a massive ring shaped object.

      The Chief recognized every second of it and knew it as his own combat recording from a year ago. He still had nightmares from his experiences on Halo. The Covenant, Captain Keyes, the Autumn...the Flood. He quickly snapped out of it and listened to what Stanforth had to say.

      " Fourteen months ago a ship known as the Pillar of Autumn was stranded on this artificial ring world. " he began saying. " The ship was originally intended for capturing a Covenant vessel which would help bring this war to a close. Unfortunately it failed its mission. " A cinematic rolled showing Halo's demise. A flash of white light at one end that almost looked like a stellar diamond on the ring and then it split apart. " Instead it and its crew eliminated roughly three hundred Covenant vessels with the help of Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan John-117. " Another button was pushed and the hologram of the ring disappeared and went into standby mode. The Admiral began to stroll around.

      " After the ring was destroyed we automatically assumed that it was the only one and we abandoned the Spartans' last mission before Reach was lost to capture a Covenant vessel. Praying that we wouldn't have to. " He paused a moment and reactivated the hologram, but instead Cortana and a star chart appeared. " Fortunately we have defeated the Covenant in the Sol System except for in a few scattered cities on Earth's surface, which are being dealt with right now. Of course the cost of this victory we estimate are over four billion casualties system wide.

      " In addition we have captured a Covenant cruiser and have intercepted an encrypted message which Cortana will explain right now. " The Admiral nodded to the slender AI

      " This is mainly about that transmission I managed to intercept while we were on the surface. So try not to get bored. " A series of symbols began to plot out points on the star chart. " What it is, is a complex number of geometric figures that match with currently known constellations. All of which point to one specific point in space. It is in a star system some nine hundred light years away. I am confident that these are coordinates that the Covenant are going to head to. If we go by their beliefs then it is another Forerunner artifact. " Cortana said.

      Mischief entered her voice then. " Of course I didn't need to go based on the Covenant's assumption. Considering it was by a very similar transmission that I found Halo. " The Chief's hand shot up into the air. " Go ahead Master Chief. "

      " What do you mean by a very similar transmission? " he asked.

      " Back a little over a year ago a transmission was captured at Sigma Octanus IV. The transmission was unable to be deciphered by normal humans. That is because they were all going in the wrong direction. When fleeing Reach during its demise I remember reading the transmission and noticed it matched with the star charts when put together. I used the coordinates of the transmission to jump to Halo. Only problem was the Covenant decided to follow us right after they got done with Reach. Their problem now. Those that were foolish enough to follow were destroyed. " she replied. The Chief's hand retracted and he withheld comments for the time being.

      " We are going to jump to these new coordinates in six hours after the repairs are finished on the Leviathan. When we go we will be accompanied by the surviving six ships of the Leviathan's battle group the Gemini class cruiser the Odin commanded by Captain Darrell Mortensen. Volunteering to assist us is the Sol System Defense Militia Fleet's prized javelin destroyer, the Michigan commanded by Captain Gary Griffes. " All of the Spartans involuntarily gave confused looks. They never heard of a militia vessel being allowed to assist on something of this classification. It was understood that militia only got involved in their own system's affairs. Still it was one more ship on their side, even if it belonged to civilians. " General Kits will also be on this operation. He'll have command of all ground based operations. " Cortana waved away the star chart and looked directly at one of the Spartans. " Dale-119 you said that you explain to your squad leader that you would explain what was happened to you and the other Spartans. Please inform us how you intended to do this? "

      The petty officer stood up and firmly gave his answer. " Ma'am I intended to give the details by showing the combat records from between the fall of Reach and our escape. "

      " Very well. I'll access your CSV and play the highlights your combat recordings. " Cortana responded. The Spartan retook his seat and waited. They watched the AI " close " her eyes as green code ran horizontally along them. She disappeared and an over sized showing of what happened appeared where she once was.

      What was shown was a view from a pilot of a Pelican dropship. The Pelican swooped in from high above and penetrated the columns of black smoke that filled the air. On the radar thousands of contacts registered and they could be seen with ease.

      Covenant all many sorts were scattered across the battlefield below. Banshees, Wraiths, Spooks, and other pieces of armor made their way through the human line like a hot knife through butter. They say a flash of orange light in front of the dropship and watched as five Banshees went up in smoke. The screen looked as though it was falling and then it came to a slow stop.

* * *

      " GO! GO! GO! " Fred barked as he waved the twenty-four Spartans out of the Pelican's rear bay door. Spartan-119 was the last off. He grabbed his modified S2 AM from the pilot's seat and immediately engaged. Eight sabot rounds were fired and eight Grunts lost their heads. He reloaded and followed the other Spartans to a hold out point were a company of marines were desperately holding out.

      " Thank God it's you people! " a marine yelled. Fred went over and stopped by the marine and his particular squad.

      " What's the situation over here marine? " Fred asked. He damn well knew what it was, but he needed a confirmation from someone other than in his group. The marine fired the last of the ammo in his current magazine and slapped in a new one.

      " Thousands of 'em. We've managed to hold off the ground wave so far, but I've gotten reports that-" The marine stopped talking and fell dead. His charred corpse fell to the ground and smoked away as his armor plating melted through and met the other side. The Spartans continued their engagement. Every three minutes one of them was injured or killed. Warthogs went on suicide runs never to return and the screams of dying men were everywhere.

      " Damn it all to hell! " a marine lieutenant yelled. " FALL BACK! FALL BACK TO THE COMPOUND! " He yelled. The remaining bits of the company fired their weapons as they back stepped their way into the entrance of the fusion generator they were defending. The tall camouflaged building was scarred with large portions of armor plating melting away. Most were shot dead as the thousands of Covenant warriors advanced. Marines began to set up explosive charges to get the Covenant as they were coming. After they were set they entered the structure and fired from pre-established hold out points.

      " I'm sending a message to the Autumn! " Fred yelled taking cover as his shields recharged. His signal was bad and parts couldn't heard over the explosions happening all around them. " This is bad. Reactor complex seven has been compromised. We might be able to save number three. " He stopped and pointed to Kelly who was helping with the explosives. " Set off those charges now! " Twenty plumes of dirt, metal, flesh and bone were suddenly flung into the air. " Be advised Pillar of Autumn, groundside reactors are being taken. Orbital guns at risk. Nothing we can do. Too many. We will have to use the nukes. " Fred cut off the signal and began firing next to Dale. Thirty plasma rifles opened fire suddenly and killed the two Spartans next to him.

      He looked at them for a spilt second and grabbed Peter-098 and dragged his wounded body along with him. All the while firing the sniper rifle as though it were but a pistol. Peter fired when he could and was dragged out of there.

      " Shut the blast doors! " he yelled into the radio. A faint screeching noise could be heard and the complex slowly became darker until a dozen over sized lights from above snapped on illuminating the entire area. Most of the Covenant had been cut off from the complex, but too many had gotten through. Three Banshees had entered along with nearly a hundred other troops ranging from Grunts to Elites. Dale stopped and looked down at Peter.

      " Can you get up? " he asked reloading his weapon. Peter forced himself upward with his thoughts.

      " I'll move the suit with my mind. Even though my leg is broke I think I can make it. " Peter replied. It would be a hard move, but he was a Spartan and therefore would not give up. Dale felt a hand on his shoulder and slid back around what was behind him to see it was one of his fellow survivors.

      " We're all that's left! Now let's fall back with the others! There's safety further inside the complex. We need to make it to the tunnels to CASTLE. We might be able to survive in there! COME ON! " The Spartan said firing the last of his MA5B's ammunition. The three of them backed away and ran as fast as they could avoiding incoming plasma fire as they went.

      The ground was suddenly jolted and a large explosion was heard as they made it to the reactor's sub levels. A wave of heat penetrated clear down to this level and went away as fast as it came.

      " Must of been the nukes. " Peter said.

      " Yeah, let's just keep moving. We're almost there. " Joshua-137 replied grabbing a dead marine's rifle and ammo. They kept moving for several minutes going past the dead and dying. The numbers of survivors were getting better the further they went down. Eventually they came to a stop when several thuds could be heard from above.

      " What is going on up there? Are they setting off more nukes? " Dale asked. A marine was nearby and his face was full of horror and blood.

      " I didn't sign up to die like this. " He said. The marine then sighed and looked down to the ground. A moment had passed and the man completely broke down. The surviving Spartans watched the marine and looked between him and the way they came to make sure no stragglers were right on top of them. The explosions from above did not cease. Reach was being glassed and everyone underground knew it. Their hope for survival and rescue was nearly zero.

* * *

      Cortana had fast-forwarded through more of the footage until the date read November 12, 2553. What was seen before them had changed from inside a structure to black space. The sky was filled with distant stars. A ship could be seen off in the distance as well. A much smaller ship appeared and came in towards the camera.

      " This is shuttle pod three. We read you Spartan. Glad at to hear from ya. " A voice said through the radio. The shuttle had come in and did not give off the standard flame of re-entry. There was no atmosphere to re-enter. The pod flew down and stopped in an impact crater on the surface. The back end opened up and a man in a form fitting space suit waved the Spartan over. The camera moved towards the pod and turned to see four dozen others in space suits come out towards the shuttle. Another dozen came and carried four objects that looked like under sized torpedo casings. On the top of them the banner of the UNSC was painted on them.

      The camera had a hand move in front of it as the Spartan gave a salute to the casings as they were carried on board. Three more shuttle pods descended to Reach's surface and gathered the rest of the survivors. The pods lifted off the ashen rock and left it.

      " Good thing we found you people before we headed back to space dock. If we hadn't of come here on patrol we never would have heard your distress call from way down there. " The pilot of the shuttle pod said. No reply was given from anyone. The shuttle pods began to dock with the ship above and painted in bold white letters along the destroyer's lower port side was the word Deliverer. The file ended and the hologram shut down after they had docked with the ship.

      The Master Chief looked over to his comrade and took a good look of the expression on his face. His emotions may of well have been chiseled in stone for there were none expressed. A long minute had passed before anyone spoke another word.

      " That explains three of you, now what about the rest? " Cortana asked. Kirika-013 rose her hand.

      " I'll give you the abridged version. " the short, black haired, female Spartan said. Cortana and the others allowed her to continue on without interruption. She stood up and turned to the squad looking onto them with her red-brown eyes.

      " At the same time Reach came under attack three of us, petty officers Lucas-015, Mirelle-056, and I were in the Acamar system. We successfully performed our mission there, but were force to retreat to the Sanctuary when things in orbit went sour. " She said starting out. " When we got on board we immediately came under attack once again. The ship was nearly destroyed, save life support and communications. About thirty of us hid inside the center section of the ship with enough rations to last us a while. We sent out a distress call and were picked up a two weeks ago on the Deliverer.

      " The crew informed us of the Reach disaster and we requested to see the planet ourselves. Our request was granted and we picked up the other survivors from the battle. Immediately following we headed for the Mars Space dock and arrived here in time to help out MCPO Spartan-117. That's how we made it out ma'am. "

      The Spartan sat down and an unusual noise echoed in the briefing room. It was a slow and steady clap from the Captain Griffes. The Chief looked at him quixotically and then at Captain Mortensen as he joined in. They ceased slowly after seeing the Chief's puzzled look.

      " Good job Spartans. Now let's see if you can it for us again. " Stanforth said. " Stand while receiving official orders. " The Spartans stood at attention in unison. " You are to report to the Odin on the next shuttle pod out with Captain Mortensen and receive your Mk III MJOLNIR armor. Chief the repairs on your suit have been made and it has been placed on the Odin. " The Admiral continued with, " Following this you are to familiarize yourself with the civilian weapons and the newly issued firearms of the UNSC in the Odin's test range. After this make any requests for the upcoming mission and they will be granted. You are dismissed. " The Chief snapped a salute for the squad. Stanforth returned it and the Spartans exited the briefing room single file.

      When they had left, Griffes turned his attention from the Spartans to Stanforth, as did Mortensen and Kits. The Admiral took a look at both of them and activated a video sequence. Life size holograms of the known Covenant ground units flashed through every ten seconds going in the known order of rank. It ended with an accelerated tour of Halo before it restarted and went through the process all over again. He watched the hologram and spoke.

      " Tell me gentlemen how many times how you actually seen a Covenant up close and personnel? Once? Twice perhaps? " Stanforth asked. " Or maybe you never have. "

      " I've been involved in three separate engagements groundside. " Griffes said. Stanforth nodded his head with approval.

      "Can't count that high Admiral." Kits said half chuckling.

      " Once sir. " Mortensen replied. " When my ship was nearly taken over by them. Why do you ask? "

      " Because I need to know if you can take them on and break down. I need you as my sub-commanders both space and ground to be strong in the weeks ahead of us. " Stanforth said. He paused letting out a sigh. " We may have defeated most of the Covenant here today and that is good enough for me. But we can not afford to lose any more battles from here on out. Not since we've been attacked in our home system. On top of that we can only pray that the Covenant don't know how close they were to ripping the human race apart. If the odds were slightly tipped, we would be so much floating junk out there. "

      They watched the Admiral as he watched the recording intently. " We won't fail. " Griffes said. " My men will defeat the Covenant alongside yours. It is also our duty to fight them. We can't afford to lose, just as you said. " Stanforth allowed himself a small smile and left for his bridge.

The Fallen: Chapter 4 Section 2
Date: 23 July 2003, 3:08 PM

Chapter 4 Section 2: First Engagements
0230 Hours November 21, 2553 (Military Calendar)
On Board The Odin Enroute to Spacial Coordinates 23.7-178.02-278.01

      After receiving their new Mk III suits they carried out the rest of their orders before having to enter the freezer. The battle group consisting of four frigates, three destroyers, and two cruisers then began the five-day jump to their objective. Only Cortana and the Odin's AI stayed operational for the travel time. When they were only two hours out from their objective the crews were woken up.

      Fog rolled out of the main cryo bay as dozens of pods opened and revealed their inhabitants within. The Chief woke and gagged as the protein supplement exited his lungs. He stopped it in his mouth before he vomited and swallowed it. It left a nasty taste in his mouth, but he'd be able to get something else in his gut before then. He looked around, saw his squad, and noticed the crew letting the stringy fluid roll onto the deck.

      " Rise and shine crew. Time to get to work. " A metallic male voice said from the loud speakers in the room. Many people were rather groggy from the rest and moved in slow sluggish actions as they dressed themselves and woke up. The Chief and the rest of the Spartans threw on some marine B.D.U.'s. They knew if they walked around in their armor just now the crew might be a bit uneasy around them. Problem was the shortest of them was just above average height making them noticeable still. Several other cryo bays opened and the remaining bits of crew began to get to work.

      " So where to now? " Lucas asked the Chief.

      " We'll grab some eats and then we need to go down to the main launch bay and ready what we need to. " the Master Chief replied. The others seemed to agree with that and headed towards the nearby mess hall. There was barely anyone in the room yet. Only a hand full of marines and crew sat eating.

      The seven of them went over to one of the food dispensers and they each grabbed a tray. The inserted them and pushed the buttons as to what they wanted. Although the meals were rather basic it was still good to have something other than M.R.E.'s. The Spartans separated themselves into one of the dark corners and ate there. More crew and marines entered and filled up the mess hall. All of which avoided that corner except for one. The scrawny marine stood there for a moment looking at them and the one open seat.

      The Master Chief looked up to him chewing on his roll. He saw the seat and did an eye check with his squad. None of them cared as he gestured for the man to take a seat. They continued their eating as he sat. An awkward moment had passed for the marine as they ate efficiently and spoke not a word.

      " You're those Spartans the rumors were saying came on board aren't you. " the man said. They all stopped for a full three seconds looking at each other and to the marine. The Chief set finished his roll and swallowed.

      " What makes you think that we are them? " he asked.

      " Does size and the way you seven act around the others mean anything? " the marine replied sarcastically. The Chief was disconcerned by the reply. He was hoping to keep a low profile, but the attempts appeared to be in vain. He mind as well of been inside his armor. " Besides I thought you were supposed to be a bunch of cold-blooded killers. What's with that? "

      " Don't know anything about the cold-blooded part, but we are efficient at what we do. " Peter said answering the man's question. He fell silent as the Spartans finished eating and left for Launch Bay 4.

      " That could have gone better. " Mireille said as exited past a long line of crew trying to get inside the mess hall. The Chief had to agree with her. They never did fit in well with the normal service men that joined like any other human. " I'm assuming we are beginning our preparations now. "

      " That's correct. We'll be in the launch bay until we are called on. " the Chief said pushing the button to the turbo lift. A few seconds passed by and the oversized elevator opened up. They stepped in and pushed the button for the 10th deck. The doors shut and they were accelerated upward. The doors opened and they stepped out into another series of halls. After several minutes of travel they made it to the bottom floor of the launch bay.

      It was huge. Nearly four hundred meters in length, three hundred in width, and two hundred in height. They watched as Warthogs, Scorpions, and Squirrels were being rigged to the eight Pelicans in the launch bay. Still there was enough left over for those dropships two times over. They even noticed the newer model M890 Lobster Dual 90mm Barrel MBTs inside the launch bay along with five Longsword fighters. They entered the bay and proceeded immediately to the center section where munitions were stored.

      When they made it there the Chief presented his credentials to the guards standing there. The accepted them and opened the secure doorway leading to the seven suits. The Spartans helped each other out and put the suits on in about fifteen minutes. Their snap of their helmets locking in sealed the suits and they were close to being ready for combat. A message boomed through the loud speakers of the launch bay.

      " Captain Mortensen to Launch Bay 4. Send the Spartans to the bridge. " It said. They looked to each other and grabbed their weapons. They'd have to give them up at the bridge, but the Captain's voice almost sounded edgy. The ship suddenly felt like it slowed down to a crawl and everyone on board noticed it. They had just exited slipspace.

      The Spartans proceeded to the bridge as ordered. The Odin was of intelligent design, as they had to go to center of the vessel to get to the Captain. The UNSC had lost too many ships from Covenant gunners shooting into the bridges. Most human bridges were under very little protection or were directly exposed to space. Should a tiny hole be formed in their viewing windows the ship would be without its command crew. The turbo lift stopped on the bridge deck and the Spartans exited. The bridge was down the hall a few meters and about of squad of ODSTs guarded it with MA8A's. The Spartans stopped in front of them.

      " Please remove all firearms and explosives on you. " a guard said stepping forward. They complied and removed all weapons on them. The guards were a bit shocked by how much was on them. Four MA8As, an S2 AM, two M7Cs, seven M6Ds, 35 grenades, and about 5,000 rounds of ammunition. The guard looked at the pile and then again at the Spartans. " Proceed. " They did so and made their way to the Captain.

      The bridge was in the shape of an octagon. In the center there was a lowered section in the same shape with the part of the bridge crew. The walls were covered with monitors, screens, and a bridge crew of twenty working hard. The Captain's chair was seated towards the other end in front of three larger screens and a holoprojector. The Chief saw him and stepped forward giving a salute.

      " Reporting as requested sir. " the Chief said. Captain Mortensen returned his salute and hit a keypad on his chair. The three screens in front of him snapped to life. One was of the binary star system they were in, another had the locations of the other eight ships, and their objective. A gas giant roughly the size of Saturn hovered in space with six moons. Swirls of blue and red gases made up the large planet. A much smaller object could be seen faintly among the moons.

      " Glad you could make it Spartans. I want you to meet someone. " Captain Mortensen said. The Spartans looked around for this someone that the Captain wanted them to meet.

      " Well if it isn't the famous Spartans. " a cold voice said from nowhere. The Chief looked over to the holoprojector and a small figure was there. It looked like an angel, but with blood red wings, a black cloak, and two cold blue eyes hidden within the head section of the cloak. On the belt of the hologram was a silver Longsword.

      " Who is this Captain? " the Master Chief asked.

      " It's the Odin's smart AI Shiri-Gami. He's our ship weapon's specialist and main systems hacker next to Cortana. Just created a month ago. " Mortensen replied. " I wanted you to meet him ahead of time in case you run across him again. " The Chief thought this over for a moment. Shiri-Gami was a smart AI, which meant he was as capable as Cortana in many ways. Having two A.I.'s like this would prove handy in any combat that was to follow.

      " Speaking of A.I.'s sir, where is Cortana? " he asked.

      " She's just finished sorting herself out for a hard transfer and is preparing a few battle plans for the potential ground engagements ahead of us. " the AI said. " Now if you don't mind Captain I would appreciate getting back on schedule. Admiral Stanforth has shipped a list of things for me to do for the next hour. "

      " Very well Shiri-Gami. I no longer need you to be slowed down for us. " Captain Mortensen said slightly waving his hand away to the AI the red wings folded inward and wrapped around the A.I. A small flash of light and then it was gone. " We are currently in a far orbit of the gas giant and are waiting for the rest of the ships to get to the rally point. Only the Leviathan and Michigan are in orbit with us. The rest of the battle group is expected to be here in approximately thirty minutes. We can begin the invasion then. "

      " Is that all sir? " the Chief asked. When he had finished his question an alarm blared and the bridge lights turned from white to red. Shiri-Gami reappeared and the tactical displays in front of the Captain snapped to radar and ship's status.

      " What the hell is going on here?! " the Captain demanded. On the main view screen the gas giant was shown and a dozen Covenant ships, frigates mostly, came into view. " Damn it. " He reached for his comms device and activated it. " Attention! All men man your stations. Covenant contact imminent! I repeat man your stations. Imminent Covenant contact. " He turned to Lieutenant Shidou at Tactical/Comms. " Shidou activate the Cole Protocol. Wipe everything. We still got other worlds to protect. " The female officer quickly did as told and triple checked to make sure all back ups were neutralized.

      " Sir incoming secured transmission from the Leviathan. " she said after completing her task.

      " Pipe it through the main channel. Taylor get those MAC guns charging! Medium rounds only! Arm Archer missile pods A1-A6! Zaurak bring the engines back online and push them to ninety percent! " Mortensen ordered. The crewmen went to their duties immediately. The alarms went off, but the light in the room was still dim. The Admiral's voice could be heard through the bridge clearly.

      " Stanforth to all ships. Engage the Covenant vessels at will. Launch all dropships and fighters. Get those men down on the surface of that ring. We need to make this invasion as big of a success as possible. Stanforth out. " The bridge crew was silent as they did their orders. The Captain rubbed his forehead with a sweating palm. They knew why. A dozen ships against three was ridiculous, even if they were two cruisers and a destroyer.

      " Sir requesting permission to take Cortana onto the surface. " the Chief said stepping forward. The Captain looked to the armored Spartan puzzled.

      " How could you possibly use her without the proper equipment? " he inquired.

      " The suits sir. Just give me her memory processing matrix cube and anyone of us can use her. " the Chief replied. The Captain nodded and agreed with the Chief.

      " Cortana, " he said, " You are being transferred to the Chief until this is all over. "

      " Understood Captain. " she said from the computer. He got up and walked to the forward terminal. A series of keys were pushed and her module slid out of the computer. He handed it to the Chief and watched as it was put into one of the armor's head slots. The Master Chief felt the cold rush of Cortana melding with his mind and felt like he was whole again.

      " Get to Launch Bay 3. Your dropship is there. If all goes well, I'll see you on the surface. Good luck. " They left the bridge. The number of guards had doubled since the alarms went off. Crew and marines ran around frantically to get to their stations as quickly as possible. When the Spartans were out the doors slid shut and they gathered their weapons outside.

      " Let's get out of here. " the Chief said turning for the turbo lift. They entered ready for combat. They weren't the only ones on the lift though. About twenty unarmed marines got on and went down three decks to deck 8. Everyone exited and followed the signs leading to the launch bay. When they made it in several of the dropships had already lifted off and were moving into their respective air locks. The Chief looked for a dropship and overheard a nearby conversation between a pilot and a marine.

      " You ground pounders just don't get it do you?! I have specific orders to allow the Spartans on here first. If there is any room left then some other can get on board, but unless there is no one else gets on this dropship! " Lieutenant Marner screamed. The Chief walked over behind the marine that was preparing to hit the pilot. The man's fist went back and was caught in the elbow as the strike went forward. The man's fist stopped just an inch from Marner's face.

      " There's room for you and your squad. No need for violence just yet sergeant. " the Chief said. The man turned around and his jaw dropped. The Chief was two heads larger than him and much more intimidating than that. His fist uncurled and he nearly fell. " Now get on board. The Captain has ordered us to hurry. " The marine nodded and Marner jumped back into the dropship. The twelve of them got on board and the cargo bay door to the dropship was closed. They entered their airlock and awaited departure.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      " Sir MAC guns are at one hundred percent and Archer missile pods are armed. Which target first sir? " Junior Lieutenant Taylor asked.

      " Target the ship furthest to port. After that ship is down pick your targets. One ship at a time though. " Mortensen replied. They watched as two blazing white eyes went across the fabric of space and were followed closely by dozens of white streaks lead by yellow fireballs. The Covenant ships began to turn to starboard and revealed their lateral lines. Plasma weapons were charging for a few seconds and then they burned across space.

      " Sir twenty seconds till first salvo impact. Thirty seconds until plasma reaches us and the others. " Lt. Zaurak said compensating to avoid the bolts. They watched as the two lines raced for each other's targets. The first of the MAC gun rounds hit the Covenant frigate and shuddered the ships shields. They blazed white-hot and went out when the second MAC round hit. The entire port side was dented in and tiny fires started along the ship's edge.

      The missiles were close behind and were being shot down left and right. Only a third of them made it through. Tiny blossoms of fire detonated along the ship and tore away at sections of the hull. A few made it in and caused some serious damage near the engines. The ship's lights went out and the engines failed. No plasma weapons recharged and the craft floated away in space. However the plasma it had let out hit its target. The Odin was hit around deck 17 by one of the two bolts. The two meters of titanium armor glowed white hot and slowly melted away. Minimal damage had occurred to the ship.

      " Gordon how long until the rest of the battle group makes it here? " Mortensen asked.

      " Sir ETA is ten minutes. They're having their own troubles. " Gordon replied. Mortensen silently cursed and watched as the Leviathan launched another salvo. The heavy rounds and excessive amount of missiles used pummeled the two frigates it had engaged with. He continued to watch and felt the ship shudder as two more MAC rounds went off followed by several Archer missiles. He looked at the tactical display and noticed that the Michigan was not on the scopes. He almost panicked until he saw them on screen. They were just too far out from the normal scanners.

      The ship was moving in from afar, just outside of the standard plasma weapons' range. A tiny light was seen coming from the craft followed by a large bright light and a dozen white streaks. They all headed for the center of the Covenant battle group.

      " Take advantage of this. We can only do once more people. " Griffes said over the radio. Mortensen turned and saw what had happened. The center frigate was hit and the missiles scattered out in multiple directions hitting the craft on both port and starboard sides. A sudden bright blue flash had occurred. If the monitors hadn't adjusted in time they would have gone blind. The four ships had been vaporized while the others simply lost their shields and suffered minimal damage. The Covenant began to charge up their weapons for another salvo. They accelerated towards the three human ships and were gaining at top speed.

      " Fire Archer missile pods C1-D2 at all targets! Full spread! Bring the MAC guns back up Taylor! " Mortensen ordered hitting his fist on the arm of his chair. The crewman jumped as though shocked. His fingers danced across the keypad and the weapons were fired a moment later. The Covenant didn't know what had hit them. The MAC guns and missiles from the Odin and Leviathan had destroyed all but two of the ships. Still though some of the plasma had gotten through. It impacted and the three UNSC ships were damaged. Armor plating flew free from the ships and glowed red hot cooling shortly there after.

      The other two Covenant ships began to retreat slowly. The Michigan however would not let them do that. They fired another salvo of missiles and a MAC round. The missiles impacted and set the engines of the lead ship into a critical state. The ship shuddered for a moment and went up in a billion smaller fragments. The blast was enough to tear a hole into the nose of the ship behind it. The final Covenant vessel slowly floated off and drifted dead into space. Captain Mortensen eased up from his tense state and slouched in his chair letting out a long sigh. They had gotten lucky.

      " Shidou give me a damage report. " he said sitting upright in his chair.

      " We've lost armored sections 1 and 2 on aft deck 17 and section 1 on port deck 2. Minimal casualties. Engines are fine, but Archer missile pod D1 did not launch. Weapons crew is dealing with the problem as we speak. Two percent of electronics have been burned out from EMP by the nuclear blast set off by the Michigan. No need to worry, nothing of importance. " She stopped for a moment and looked at the other casualty list that scrolled across her screen. " However we lost the frigates Pioneer and Net Force. Lifeboats have been launched. The destroyer Rayearth has also suffered extreme damage, but she can move and shoot. Just a slug's pace. "

      A third of them had already been wiped out and not even a day into the operation. The Captain was having second thoughts about the risk.

      " How many other Covenant vessels are in system? " he asked.

      " I'm getting approximately two hundred signals within the ring's atmosphere and the third moon only. They are keeping in their spots. " Shidou replied. Mortensen's blood ran cold from the numbers. Shiri-Gami gave her some new information. " If I'm getting this right they've only been here a few more hours than we have. No more than four maybe five or at least that's what Shiri-Gami is saying. "

      " Good. One thing slightly tipped in our favor. Don't need them to have been down there for days knowing their way around. God only knows what they'll find. " Mortensen said. " Zaurak give control to the AI we're going on patrol. Time to see what we can see. "

The Fallen: Chapter 4 Section 3: Through the Woods
Date: 8 August 2003, 5:21 PM

An apology for readers of the series: I've been gone for over a week with marching band so sorry if it seems like its been too long since I have written. If you have been keeping track of the story just skip down to the first line of asterisks.

Summary of the story thus far(for those that have not read it all):

Chapter One - Master Chief has boarded a Covenant cruiser through one of its maintenance ducts with the help of Cortana. Following this he takes the bridge and the rest of the ship after marine reinforcement piles into the shuttle bays. Upon taking the ship entirely he heads down to Earth on a Pelican.

Chapter Two - Once down in Earth's atmosphere MC has been deployed to the floating capital of New Mombassa, Kenya where he is assigned to take down another cruiser that has survived the battle in orbit and is giving this city hell. After fighting his way through the streets he encounters the first reporting of an orbital drop of infantry done by the Covenant. After many hours of fighting he boards the cruiser to find it is abandoned and sends it off into the Indian Ocean. Yet again he is pulled out of the action and is shipped out.

Chapter Three - He is sent to New York City along with a few hundred other marines and makes a barely successful landing at the cargo docks. He then makes his way into the city where he must destroy the city's main server which holds several star maps to the remaining human colony worlds. He completes this objective noticing an odd glow shortly there after and what would appear to be a Covenant ship with stealth technology. He stays in the city and is nearly killed by a golden Elite wielding an energy blade when saved by the other survivors of the past. Those being six other SPARTAN IIs. After a day's worth of battle the Spartans make an assault along with a company of marines and retake the Covenant stronghold. They succeeded, barely, and discovered some new information that the Covenant were working hard to get at.

Chapter Four - The Spartans are put on the Leviathan where they receive information about another ring world. They also are told of the Militia help and other units that will assist them in their mission to take this other Halo. After a five day trip aboard the UNSC cruiser the Odin they make it to this other ring world to find the Covenant already making their initial landings and are dispatched while the fleet deals with the dozen ships in orbit.

And that's where we pretty much are. Tell me in the post/read comments section what you did and did not like. Maybe even some suggestions. I need the constructive criticism.
Chapter 4 Section 3: Through the Woods
0419 Hours November 21, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Enroute to Sector 0012 by Grid 019 On Halo's Surface

The Pelican next to Omega 74 was hit a vanished into several tiny orange fireballs as it entered the ring's atmosphere. Ellerman looked over to the radar and watched as their signal split up and disappeared. Twelve men were dead in an instant without a fighting chance. He and Marner watched and struggled for control as their dropship was going through the re-entry process. The entire craft grew hot as the atmosphere burned all around them.

" We're almost through the worst of it! Hang on back there! " Lieutenant Ellerman yelled into the troop bay. The Master Chief closed his eyes and allowed his body to jolt back and forth as his straps held him in place. The marines that had accompanied his squad grew nervous and were sweating bullets. They nearly lost their cool before they even hit drop.

" I've got a bad feeling about this drop man! " one of the marines screamed gripping his rifle. The dropship gave a sudden jolt and it began to cool down as they were through the worst of it.

" Stow that mister! I don't need to hear your whining! " the man's sergeant yelled back. There was another jolt and the dropship's flight became smoother than before.

" One minute until drop! Verifying coordinates of landing zone! " Marner yelled. They passed through a thin layer of clouds and the surface of halo could be seen. Lush hills teeming with plant life littered the area. A pine wood forest extended out to the horizon and in it was an odd formation. From this distance it looked almost like a structure. Towers several meters high owned the outer edges of the roof and several massive openings toward the base of the browned structure were wide open exposing themselves to the outside world. Marner took a look at it and back at the landing coordinates. " Ellerman are these coordinates right? "

Ellerman checked them, double checked the map of the area that had been quickly made by Cortana, and looked out and saw what Marner was confused about. " They're right. Looks like we are going to make a siege. " The lieutenant couldn't have been more correct.

The front entrance was guarded by two Lucifer dropships while ten Banshees were on patrol in the air. The Covenant dropship doors opened and let loose six Creep troop transports each. A hundred and twenty infantry ranging from Grunts to Brutes were released to do their worst.

" Screw this. I'm dropping these people somewhere else. We'd be cooked if we even tried to land on top of the structure. " Marner said. The Chief's eyes popped open after hearing this and shifted them towards the cockpit. He left his seat and used the handrails above to keep his balance.

" What's the problem lieutenants? " he asked.

" Master Chief we're dropping you at the edge of the forest and several others are doing likewise with their men. There are just too damn many to risk an engagement with only ten Pelicans left in this sector. We can take on the Banshees, but those drophsips will tear us to pieces. " Ellerman responded. The Chief thought the logic of this over and agreed with their action, even if it was against orders.

" Very well. Awaiting drop. " The Chief retook his seat and waited as the rear bay door opened. A wave of cold air could be felt inside the dropship as the door lifted. Omega 74 descended and touched down for a moment. The seven Spartans and five marines got off and saw another Pelican about two hundred meters distant lifting off after deploying their marines.

" Okay let's move out! GO! GO! GO! " the squad's sergeant barked. The five men immediately ran into forest and disappeared. The Spartans however stayed until the dropship lifted away and engaged with the Banshees above.

" Spartans I'm sending you NAV points for the structure that we've been ordered to take. " Cortana said. A second passed and on each Spartan's HUD an orange NAV point appeared. They had a good kilometer to advance until they would reach the Covenant stronghold.

" Red-Group move one hundred meters that way and then advance into the woods. " the Master Chief said pointing in the opposite direction of the marines. The three Spartans nodded and immediately ran. High above the screaming engines of the Banshees could be heard tearing through the air while the occasional rifle burst was heard within the forest. He turned to Blue-Group and then back to the tree line. " You three follow me. Ten meter spacing, don't bunch up for grenades. " The Chief then ran into the woods. Blue-Group followed from a distance.


" Damn it Rigel fire your weapon! " Sergeant Johnson yelled as a hundred splinters of wood flew past his face. The private he was yelling as he clumsily brought his weapon up and fired blindly at the distant enemy. One of the forty bullets he fired actually hit the Covenant. Johnson looked crouched down next to the private and smacked the back of his head.

" What the hell was that for!? " Rigel yelled rubbing his head.

" Learn to aim private! Now shoot CORRECTLY! " Johnson barked. The sergeant fired ten rounds and took out two of the orange cropped shelled Grunts. He continued firing killing three more until running out of ammunition for his MA8A. Several bolts of green plasma flew his way as he took cover and examined what was left of his squad. Privates Tellerman and Sheen were holding tight to their tattered sides. The Grunts had hit them with needlers and made them members of the casualty list. Four others also had been hit. There was not much of them left. Johnson searched the bodies and desperately tried to find some ammo. It was now that he desperately wished to be out in the open, where his team Warthog could have been used.

He found what he needed. An M7C with about two hundred rounds and an M6D with twelve in the mag. Johnson procured the weapons and wiped the tiny pieces of burnt meat away from the trigger guards. A sudden large amount of plasma fire came in nearly missing him.

" GRENADE! " Rigel yelled. Johnson turned from the dead and wounded to see the flaming blue explosive fly through the air. Going towards it was Private Rigel hands open. " I've got it! " Before the sergeant could say anything the private had already grabbed the grenade. He tried to throw it back, but was caught by the realization that it had attached itself to him. " SARGE GET IT OFF! " he yelled running back to the squad. Johnson pulled out his pistol before the marine could make it back and put a .45 caliber bullet between his eyes.

The man fell and nothing remained of him as the plasma grenade went off. Only a glowing crater was left of the "green" soldier. The Grunt that threw it looked disappointed and sauntered back to the rear line of its squad. This futile action did not save it. One of the remaining marines threw a grenade returning the favor and killed the last four Grunts that were giving them hell. The wounded were given WIA transmitters and were left behind. Sarge didn't like leaving anyone back, but they would just slow the rest down.

The structure was just a few hundred meters ahead and the sound of the Lucifer dropships drowned out everything else. A perfect opportunity to sneak in and see what was left guarding the structure. The remaining three marines stopped and hid behind a fallen log and were given adequate cover. They all were frightened by what they saw.

Besides the two dropships nearly fifty infantry remained outside on patrol. Not one of them was lower than a red shelled Grunt. Four of the original Creeps criss-crossed each other in the clearing made by the dropships. About ten Elites watched over the lower ranks and kept an eye out along they outer edge. Their infinite black eyes saw all. The three marines were frozen for nearly a minute and it was then that the Elite commander saw the top of Johnson's cap through the brush. It extended a long claw towards him letting out a roar and a squad of Jackals approached. They encircled the front edge of the log and searched on the ends for the humans.

Their movements darting and bird like they walked all along the edge of the log. One of them crawled over and saw them. Its large orange eyes grew wide as it struggled to fall back. Johnson unloaded a burst into the alien's skull and was given a shower of blood in return. The gun fire was enough to alert all of the Covenant there. A literal wall of plasma flew towards the log burning it down to tiny embers. The firing ceased for about three seconds giving the marines enough time to get up and run.

Johnson and another made it out unscathed, but the other marine was not so lucky. Forty guns opened up and turned him to a pile of blood and ashes. He let out a final momentary scream of pain that tore through the drowning sound of the engines. Johnson didn't have time to care. He just ran blindly towards the insertion point until he hit something and fell to the ground. The sergeant rubbed his head and looked up. He thought it was a tree for a moment until he was picked up and placed on his feet.

" Good to see you Sergeant Johnson. Didn't realize you were on this op. " Cortana said.

" Better to see you people. We've got dozens of Covenant back there. " Johnson said gesturing behind him. " I recommend we get out of here and blast them from above or get a helluva lot of reinforcement. " The Chief stepped past the sergeant and the three other members of Blue Team stepped out to follow him.

" No need for that sergeant...We're here. " the Chief replied. The marine watched the Spartans fan out and take up an assault formation. One of the smaller ones climbed up a large tree and propped his S2 AM on a branch over looking the squad. Six rounds rang out and the Covenant advanced eager for the taste of human flesh. The forward Jackal unit was in sight and began engaging the Spartans. Johnson and the only other man in his unit watched as they disposed of the ten Covenant warriors with ease.

" Six hostiles coming in right flank! " the Spartan sniper said reloading his weapon. The other three changed their formation and spread themselves out even farther. Two red armored Elites armed with plasma rifles and four Grunts with needlers came running through the thicket. Four shots were heard and the Elites fell dead. The Grunts were confused at the death of their officers and slowed to a crawl. Another two shots were fired and they ran with arms flailing. They were put down by battle rifle fire. A small crashing noise was heard and a few twigs fell as the sniper dropped from his position. A group of ten marines came from behind as the Spartan landed and checked his weapon.

" We heard heavy gun fire, is everything alright? " one of them asked Johnson. He turned to the marines and then back to the Spartans. The man leaned over and saw what he was looking at. " Never mind, question rescinded. "

" Marines the Spartans and I need some assistance. Follow us to the Covenant dropships and lend support. " Cortana said over the radio. The marines were a bit apprehensive until they saw the dead bodies of the Covenant. It was the morale boost needed to send them further into the front.

" No problem Cortana. Awaiting your order to assault. " one of the marines said. The Spartans gave a quick look at their new support and made their way towards the dropships. They passed the still burning pieces of wood that Johnson had hid behind and kept an eye out on the Covenant on patrol.

They were all aggressive in their searching and even began to bicker amongst each other. Agitated, the Chief thought, just we what need. He leveled his rifle on the golden Elite and took aim for the chest. A staccato burst happened next to him from one of the marines and his trigger finger slipped letting out an early burst.

" Let's hit 'em marines! GO! GO! GO! " one of the humans yelled. The human forces advanced inward and fired at the nearest targets. Several Grunts were taken down easily within the first few seconds, but the others compensated for their loss. Three marines were hit hard by the Creeps' main cannons. The Chief fired again and unloaded the last of his magazine on the ever moving commander. Its shields were white hot when Dale-119 fired two sniper rounds into it finishing off the shields and decapitating the Elite.

The lesser units that saw their commander die went into a momentary panic giving the foolish marines enough time to fall back and take cover from the six APCs on patrol. Only six of the original twelve made it out. Those left out in the middle of the opening were prime targets for heavy turret fire. Their bodies burned away from the heavy fire and returned to dust. Several minutes had passed before reinforcement had arrived from the right of the dropships splitting the Covenant in two.

The battle was in utter chaos as the humans held back what they could. It seemed a little out of normal to the Chief and he then realized why. The dropships hadn't fired a round, if anything they looked like they were getting ready to dust off. He couldn't have been more right. Just then they were closing their bottom hatches. The Master Chief primed himself to run and jump.

" Cover me! " he yelled into the radio as he dashed forward. Blue-Three tried to stop, but failed in the attempt. Instead he simply fired his weapon doing as ordered. The Chief slung his rifle and used the confusion of the battlefield to his advantage. Plasma bolts and bullets alike whipped past him occasionally making contact draining his shields. The dropships were almost about to go off and gather more reinforcement when the Chief jumped up and pulled himself into the main deployment compartment of one of them.

He rolled in and landed on his back. The doors shut and he was sealed inside the massive section reserved for armor units. A few scattered dull blue and red light decorated the ceiling as did multiple docking clamps with the walls. There were crates, communication stations and a few Shade turrets as well.

" Mind explaining this one to me Chief? " Cortana asked. He stood up and unslung his rifle bringing it to bear.

" This is a Covenant heavy model dropship. It is designed to withstand alot of outside punishment. Pelican dropships have insufficient firepower to take down this type of craft. Even if they do outnumber them five to one. So the key word is outside in the type of punishment. " he replied.

" So you intended to set its reactor off then? " Cortana asked.

" No. " he replied. A very rare and very small amount of mischief entered his voice. " I've picked up a bad habit of taking things over that don't belong to the UNSC. " Cortana let out a long sigh and a single NAV point appeared.

" Cockpit is this way. Sorting self for control interface. " He felt a sudden jolt and lost his footing buckling to his knees for a moment. The ship was flying off and fast. After regaining his balance the Chief walked towards the cockpit. Inside it was awfully quiet for such a large ship. Quiet enough to hear two nervous Grunts and an Elite. He slowed his pace when he made it to a ramp that lead up to the second story of the dropship. He wasn't far from the cockpit when its main door opened and one of the Grunts stepped out.

It jumped when it saw the Chief and ran around as if searching for something. He saw what the Grunt's problem was, it was unarmed. The Grunt made it to a rack of plasma rifles and grabbed one. The threat was clear now and the Chief fired a five round burst into the alien. It fell to the deck silently. The bullets' report echoed off the hull giving away his existence to the pilots.

The Elite exited from the cockpit and saw the body of the dead Grunt and the human. It reached for a plasma pistol on its belt and leveled it at the intruder. The Master Chief fired at the beast and evaded best he could from the incoming plasma. His shields were hit by a charged blast and went out. It grew to nearly intolerable temperatures inside his armor as he took cover giving his shields a chance to recharge. They barely made it half way when the Elite made it past his cover point. It got off another charged blast and missed. Bits of molten metal flew past the Chief's helmet and hit both of them. He quickly closed the distance and engaged in hand to hand combat.

With full force he swung the butt of his rifle into the Elite's shields. He struck again and again doing further damage. The shields dropped as the Chief went in for another attack. His blow made contact sending the Elite back ten feet slamming it into a wall. The tall creature coughed black blood and doubled over from the human's strength. Thirteen rounds were sent into the beast silencing it. The Chief reloaded his empty weapon and made his way to the cockpit.

" CHIEF BEHIND YOU! " Cortana yelled. She couldn't of said it any sooner as two green bolts flew past him. The explosive rounds detonated and damaged the ramp he came up on. Twin green lights grew and the Chief knew what they were. Hunters. He fired his battle rifle at the massive creatures barely scratching their armor. After reloading and fired the last of his rifle's ammunition. Still no effect. Tossing his weapon aside he ran for the Hunters with his M6D. He got in close enough for them to reconsider shooting and had them attack him with their massive shields.

As one lifted its arm up high he fired three rounds into its gut to make sure it was dead. The other came down and missed. Angered it tried again and met a similar fate as three explosive rounds tore through its spine and out its front. Luminous orange blood splattered everywhere. The Chief went over to each of them and lifted up their heads by the thin helmets they wore and put another round into the brain cavity.

" Only the pilot remains Chief. Let's take this craft over. " Cortana said. He agreed and went for the cockpit. The doors slid open and much to his surprise a Grunt was piloting the ship. Has to make up for something he guessed. The pilot turned around and jumped out of its seat just to have its skull crushed by the Chief's fist. The dropship stopped and hovered in mid air.

" Ready when you are. " he said. The ship began moving and they headed back to the original target structure. This time though they had a bigger gift to deliver.

The Fallen Chapter 4 Section 4: Power Regulation
Date: 13 August 2003, 3:38 PM

Note to the reader: For those of you who are reading this (both new and old readers) I want you to know that this is a hopeful account of the future Halo 2. If you are new to this than you should be informed that I've tried to base this on the Heroic/Legendary difficulty setting as best I could. Enjoy and give me some new suggestions for later in the storyline.

Chapter 4 Section 4: Power Regulation
0500 Hours November 21, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Unknown Structure in Sector 0012 by Grid 019 On Halo's Surface

      Cortana had done a good job gaining control of the Lucifer dropship and bringing it back to the structure. At least fifty new Covenant firearms had been captured and one powerful ship was at their disposal. The fighting outside had ceased except for a few fire fights throughout the woods. The other Covenant dropship also had not returned as of yet. Cortana set down the massive craft and the Chief exited from the port troop deployment bay

      He looked around and saw maybe twenty marines holding down this position. His Spartans were not anywhere to be found. He searched for a moment until he stopped and called them up on the radio.

" Blue-One to Blue and Red Teams. Over. " he said.

      " Red-One here. What is it Blue-One? Over " P.O. Lucas-015 responded.

      " Where are you people currently located? Give me a status report. "

      " We have merged with Blue Team and are currently sweeping out the forest for any straglers. No injuries. " The Chief was relieved by this.

      " Very well Red-One. Continue patrol and report back when you are finished. Blue-One out. " He turned around and went towards the edge of the structure. Red-One acknowledged the order and killed the com channel. It was at least eight stories high and about three hundred meters wide.

      " Chief I'm detecting multiple signals from within the structure. Almost all of them are Covenant. " Cortana said. He had some cleaning up to do. Unfortunately his rifle was still out of ammo and the marines already took the spare munitions off the dead. He'd have to work with his M6D for a while. At least until he could manage to procure a new weapon. There was a massive opening in front of him.

      Beyond the opening a few faint lights could be seen in the darkness. The Chief went inside with his pistol at ready and faded into the shadows. The ceiling was high up with only a few lights active giving barely any light to the metal floor below. He was a good twenty meters inside when he heard a creaking noise behind him. He turned and the outside light was disappearing. A massive door was locking him in. There was no way he could have made it out in time. The door shut and he was trapped.

      " Cortana please tell me there is a way to open the door. " he said nervously.

      " There is a security station five levels down. We can unlock the doors from there. " she replied. The moment of relief was shot to hell by the sudden firing of plasma weapons from the darkness. Blue lances of flame impacted on the Chief's shields taking them out with just six shots. He looked for a motion tracker signal, but found none. Stealth Elites he thought running for his life. The firing slowed and halted. This lapse gave the Chief's shields a chance to recharge.

      He quickly turned on his shoulder flashlight and panned side to side. A slight glimer was seen and was gone just as quick. The Chief looked again and fired a single round once he saw once more. It impacted tearing a small hole in the Elite's shoulder armor. The tall creature fired its weapon. The Chief side stepped the blasts and fired two more rounds into the Elite's chest. It still did not die, but its entire body was seen from the impacts. Another round was sent towards its head. The tiny explosive shelled muntion made its way through the back of the Elite's head. The Covenant warrior fell dead letting out a final roar as its brain leaked onto the ground below.

      The Master Chief went over to the corpse and examined the plasma rifle. It was nearlly at full charge. An excellent replacement for his battle rifle. He set down his MA8A and brought up the plasma rifle. A smaller door was near the body and in it a ramp leading downward. He advanced through this opening and walked carefully checking his motion tracker every so often. As he was going down the dark ramp the sound of water dripping could be heard echoing through the confined space. When he reached the bottom he could see clearly without his flashlight. Only problem was the area was crawling with Covenant.

      He poked his head out the door and looked to his right. The walls were slate gray and had little indentations running along their vertical axis. From there it also looked like there was more of the structure on the other side of a massive gap spanning several hundred meters. Near the edge of this gap a pair of Jackals were stationed with their backs turned to the Chief. He brought his head back and checked his ammo supply. Enough for maybe a fifteen minute engagement. He'd be able to hit them, but his exsistance might be given away to the other Covenant he was picking up on sensors. He saw it was a risk worth taking.

      He magnetically attached the plasma rifle to his side and brought out his pistol. They weren't even fifteen meters away from the door. He leveled the pistol on the one on the right and slowly walked over paying close attention to his motion tracker as well as the targets in front of him. When he was two meters away he leaped forward and smashed in the first target Jackal's head.

      It fell dead and hit the floor with a dull 'thump'. The other say its comrade die and turned to meet a double punch in the face from the Chief. Its jaw was broken and its snout was shoved into the brain cavity. The ugly beast dropped to the ground with enough force to of cracked its skull. Both targets were down. He grabbed one of the plasma pistols and carried it in his left hand. He walked over to the wall on the opposing side of the gap and crouched. He creapt along the edge until he met the corner leading into another room. A single signal was coming his direction slowly.

      The signal was ten meters away when he heard the clikcing of mandables. He was the tell tale sign of an Elite. There was little time to think as it was closing distance fast. Its shields would be up and would be hard to take out with what he had. Except for the plasma pistol. The glow would give him away, but the Chief didn't care. He depressed the trigger and held on aiming upward as to where its center of mass would be. The Elite cleared the corner and looked down to see a fiery blast hit him in the chest.

      Its shields blazed silver and dropped completely. The Covenant warrior fell to its knees and got back up before the Chief got off a shot with his M6D. The bullet missed and the noise activated even more motion signals. The Elite became enraged and swung at the Chief making contact. The shields took the brunt of the damage and dropped to a third of the original strength. The Chief stopped hesitating and fired both weapons at once. The combination of solid projectile and plasma was one that the enemy could not take. The Master Chief did not stop firing until his M6D's clip ran out of ammunition and the plasma pistol had over heated.

      A hole nearly the size of both of his fists combined was burned into and out of the Elite. The howling of Covenant baying for blood could be heard throughout the entire structure. It was a chilling noise that made his blood run cold. The red tracking signals then began to converge and became one big mass coming his direction.

      " Chief threat level is increasing. I recommend going over the edge. " Cortana suddnely said. Her voice nearly startled the Chief. He then thought of what she just said and was puzzled.

      " What do you mean? " he asked watching and listening.

      " You can fall down a floor and survive. You'll recieve no physical injuries...unless your shields are down. " she replied. He went over to the gap and looked down. There was enough room for his body to make it and enough for a freefall that would be the end of him. So he dropped his plasma pistol to the floor below. It landed not even recieving a scratch. He knew having the weapon down there would be handy later. He then grabbed the other plasma pistol from the second dead Jackal and attached it to his side along with the M6D pulling out his plasma rifle. The Covenant were almost to his location when he fell, landed, and spun immediately running for cover.

      He slammed his back up against the wall and watched as the tiny amount of shields that were left began to recharge.The tracking signals were right above him when they were at full. A single NAV point appeared on his HUD with the words Bridge Controls written next to it. He walked in the general direction of the NAV point and went through a complex hallway system leading him downward.

      He made it to his destination in roughly ten minutes. He was at the edge of the gap next to a holo-panel. Tiny symbols decorated the controls to the bridge. He reached over and touched one that looked like a blue rectangle. The hiss of pressured being released was heard and he saw two metal bars extend outward from beneath him. On the opposite side of the gap two others also came out and a bright blue beam of light formed over the gap. The light bridge had been activated. He stepped out onto it and looked up several floors. A single Grunt was seen looking around.

      Its eyes were drawn to the light and it cocked its head quizotically. It continued looking until another Grunt came up to it and tapped it on the shoulder. The alien was startled and spun around to its ally. Before anything was spoken it lost its balance and fell backward. The other Grunt reached out to grab him, but missed. It watched as its friend fell into the depths below and saw the bridge. It also saw the Master Chief and backed away.

      " Chief I'm picking up heavy enemy radio traffic. They're coming down here get across the bridge before they get reinforcement. " Cortana said. He didn't need her to say it twice. He looked down to the control panel and shot it immediately running acrossed the bridge. When he was half way several Grunts began firing at him. With their plasma bolts always hitting behind him they became frustrated and left for the floors below them. By time the COvenant had made it to the bridge he was already acrossed. He stopped and waited at the control panel on his side. " Shoot! Chief what are you waiting for!?"

      " A trap. " he replied. The Covenant started to cross the bridge. About four Elites and several Grunts had gotten half way and fired their weapons. A few shots impacted on the Chief's shields. He waited a second longer and activated the bridge controls again. The light faded and the bars retracted. The Covenant on the bridge saw their mistake and fell to their deaths below.

      " That was cheap...I like it. " Cortana said complimenting the Chief. He turned around and went over to the door that was on this side. Two green lights flickered and the door opened to his presence. Inside were several holographic screens and a single one in the center. " That terminal try there. " Cortana said. The Chief went over to the center and looked around. He scanned for anything that looked like it would open the outside doors.

      Most of the symbols were green or blue except for a trio of them that were red. He figured they were the main doors. He pushed the red symbols and they turned to green and then to blue. The opening doors were faintly heard from his location. Another noise was heard as well. It sounded like a nervous animal breathing. The Chief listened for the sound and followefd it to its origin. He exited the security room and walked around to the back. In a corner a orange shelled Grunt was standing with its plasma pistol at ready. The Chief was exposed to it for a second and the Grunt pulled the trigger. The Chief stepped back and saw no green flame eject out towards him. The enemy frantically pulled the trigger and still no projectile was sent towards the Chief.

      The Covenant warrior paniced and searched its pocket for a grenade. The Chief saw this and fired five rounds into the Grunt's chest. Its armor boiled away and the final two blasts burned away at its flesh. It fell down and still tried to get off the grenade. It pushed the orange activation button and pointed towards the Master Chief wth its last breath. The Chief jumped away from the Grunt and watched as it disappeared in a flash of blue fire. A hole was burned right through the floor and left a two meter wide opening into the pit below. The Chief then returned to the security room to see what else he could see.

      He examined the panels and noticed one of them flashing ornage and then to red. Another hologram was flashing next to it as well. He went over, touched the smaller button and heard a winding up noise. It was immediately followed by a massive roar. He slid back and brought up his plasma rifle by pure instinct. He heard three more and walked out to the gap. Three beams of light came in from above and illuminated the area. He looked up at them and saw clouds moving overhead and a shadow passing over momentarially. Suddenly three blue beams shot straight up and faded away.

      " I see. It looks like this is a power regulation station for the ring. Interesting. " Cortana said examining the energy that was just fired up and into space. His attention was taken from the beams of light by a sudden radio transmission.

      " Red-One to Blue-One! Over! " the voice on the other end said.

      " I copy you Red-One. What is it? " the Chief replied.

      " The Lucifer dropship has returned with additional reinforcement. Approximately a hundred Covenant infantry are left. " an explosion was then heard from the other end. " We are holding off best we can. Pelicans are giving heavy support. We need you out here ASAP. "

[indnet]" Understood Red-One. Give 'em hell. I'll be outside soon. ETA fifteen minutes. "

      " Please hurry. Red-One out. " The Chief closed the link and walked over to the bridge's controls. The Covenant on the other end were pissed. Their weapons were out of effective ranges and hadn't a chance to hit the Chief with any accuracy. He liked it like this. He looked out onto the Covenant and put away his plasma rifle bringing up his M6D. He zoomed in and began picking off what he could. He continued doing this until all of the lesser infantry had either retreated or had been killed. Which left only the eight Elites enraged.


      Blue-Two fired his sniper rifle at the advancing Covenant and reloaded. Three enemy units instantly had their backs blown to bits from the anti-material munitions. He heard the dropships and looked up to see the Covenant had retrieved their stolen dropship and left with it ditching the ground units. Fortunately most of the plasma weapons had been grabbed by the more intelligent marines.

      " Red-One to all UNSC forces. Fall back into the forest and engage al those that follow. We can't afford to lose. I repeat fall back into the forest. " The order was heard and carried out with no disagreement. The remaining Covenant forces advanced on the battered UNSC and took out several of the marines as they ran into the woods.

It was actually quite amazing that anyone could hear anymore. The staccato noise of battle rifles, the whine of plasma weapons and the sound of grenades drowned out even the screams of the wounded. It was hell for both sides. The Covenant scattered into the woods and took out most. The humans had managed a retreat and were near the woods edge. Near wide open fields where armor could be used. They were forced out of the dark woods and ran into the middle of the field.

" Red-One to all Pelicans. We need armored support and heavy suppressing fire along the tree edge. Can you deliver? Over. " Lucas said.

" This is Omega 74. Roger that Red-One. We are inbound hot. Keep your hats on. " The Spartan looked at the tree line and watched as the last four marines made it out and joined the thirty some survivors. Everyone crouched down on their either on their own or their wounds forced them too. The ten Pelicans came in and fired their chain guns throughout the trees. Their rockets immediately followed. Splinters and fire filled the tree line as they let loose their destructive capabilities. Most of the Covenant were wounded or killed within the first ten seconds of the support fire. The Pelicans finished their initial attack run and touched down over by the marines.

" Know about God now don't ya! " Red-One heard a marine yell once the fire balls gave out. The marines then turned around and saw their Warthogs being deployed. All but three were the standard anti-infantry model A's. The other three were the troop transport model D's. There was enough room for everyone to mount up and start attack runs on the Covenant that were foolish enough to come out. The Spartans however did not get board any of the vehicles.

They stayed there crouched aiming at the tree line. As they did the battle field suddenly got quiet. Only the engines and the crackling of burning wood could be heard. Then a single roar from an Elite was heard and the ground trembled and the sound of Grunts could be heard. They poured out of the woods guns blazing at the Warthogs. The marines returned the favor and held down their triggers sweeping back and forth.

Despite heavy losses the Covenant still advanced crawwling over the dead as they did. Ammuntion was running low on the chain guns and still they kept coming. The Spartans were in the thick of it keeping their heads down from the incoming fire. Up above they saw three more dropships leaving from near the structure. Two medium class Phantoms and a light class Spook. It was a reasonable explanation for the sudden increase in enemy forces. The fighting continued for another two minutes and then seven guns went 'click.' Most of the marines looked down on their guns and saw the barrels glowing red from the heat. Ammuntion in the guns had run out and it was time for another retreat. The Warthogs ran and gave their other shooters a few moments to shoot leaving their Spartan allies behind.

The seven of them held out taking down Elite officers and working their way down. Shields were hit hard and the Covenant were now the getting the batttering as the Pelicans came in for a fianl machine gun pass. Most of the enemies retreated and were halted by another force coming in. The shooting stopped and the Spartans looked outward towards the decimated tree line. Coming out was the Master Chief with luminous blue blood staining the outer layer of his shielding. Red-One waved the Chief over. The Spartans regrouped and waited for their next set orders.

" Spartans, " Cortana said, " This area is unacceptable for a base of operations. General Kits has found a new spot for us to take up as home for a while. " They looked at each other and then to the distant structure. Nearly seventy human lives had been lost taking this area and for only a few hundred dead Covenant. They didn't like the numbers. Omega 74 touched down near them and the Spartans got on board. The dropships picked up their Warthogs and they left for this new spot General Kits had found.

The Fallen: Halo 2 Ch5S1 Moving In
Date: 8 October 2003, 12:53 PM

Chapter 5 Section 1: Moving In
0000 Hours November 22, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Enroute to Sector 0347.08 Aboard Omega 74

      The Master Chief didn't particularly like this new assignment he had been given. After meeting up with General Kits' division the Spartans had been spread out to four different locations. Two were with General Kits, another two joined an assault for a potential firebase that was being held by the Covenant, and the other two were sent out on patrol looking for any major hostilities. The Chief unfortunately got stuck with recon duty in a known Covenant held position with fifteen marines. They would slow him down considerably. Only good thing about them is that they were the gray uniformed special forces. Members of the 202nd Special Reconnaissance and Infiltration Division.

      Their mission was to land in this territory, gain any data they could on the Covenant location, exterminate all hostiles, and they were to examine all Forerunner technology that they should run across. There wasn't anything good about this mission. Despite all of this the Chief sat back in his seat and waited patiently until the dropship would land and deploy him for the mission.

      " Prepare for drop. ETA three minutes. " Marner said over the radio. The Chief prepped his M7C sub-machine gun and rechecked his S2 AM sniper rifle. Both were fine and he was ready to get back on the ground. He looked out the back end and watched the snow covered ground accelerate beneath him. The dropship slowed down and landed. The Chief was the first off and immediately he looked around through the scope of his rifle.

      All he could see were the stars in the distance, the lightened ring above him, and one of the six silver moons off to his ten o'clock illuminating the night just barely. He checked the cliffs in the distance, the field in front of him, and the area behind him. The entire sector was clean of any Covenant presence. He double checked and saw nothing. The marines had made it out of the dropships and spread out into defensive positions. Both of the transports accelerated off into the distance leaving them without air support.

      " Reinforcement is on standby. If they are needed they'll be here in roughly half an hour. We'll be out of the sector and will be waiting for the evac signal. Good luck Omega 74 out. " Ellerman said.

      " Copy that. " the Chief said. " Cortana was initial recon incorrect? I don't see any sign of the Covenant. "

indent]" Chief the Covenant position is not far from here. They are stationed just three hundred meters relatively west of the drop zone. " Cortana said. " We need to meet up with the sniper patrol that is currently on their way back from the Covenant position. I'll give you a NAV point with their current location. " He turned to his left and walked towards the orange NAV marker. Towards the cliffs in the distance. The marines followed in two lines behind the Chief.

      It took them several minutes to reach the snow covered cliffs where the snipers were in hiding. The marines looked around for their comrades and could not find the original sniper team that came in. All they saw were snow covered rocks. However for the Chief the NAV point gave them away entirely. He walked over to them and looked down at two white lumps in the ground. They saw the Chief and revealed themselves from their hiding spot. Both of them could barely be seen even with their rifles.

      " Sniper Team November report. " Cortana said.

      " Corporal Fargason sir. " one of the snipers said saluting. " The Covenant are dug in pretty well sir. I estimate fifty some infantry and two Phantom dropships. Infantry are comprised of mostly Grunts. There are also sixteen structures and the eight defense turrets are active. Don't know what the structures contain. Never seen their profile before. There is also another structure native to the ring. An entrance of sorts it seems. Lots of Elite activity around there. " The Chief thought this over and examined the marines. They should be able to take on those kind of odds as long as they didn't draw the attention of the dropships.

      " What entrance options are there Corporal? " the Chief asked. The other sniper answered this.

      " Master Chief Sir there are two ways in. We can go through a cave system that we've been using that the Covenant don't know about. It leads straight to the top of the cliffs and to the central valley. Or we can enter through the ravine at the opposite end. The Covenant have two turrets watching that entrance very carefully though. " the sniper said.

      " Very well. " the Chief replied. " Fargason I want you to take my four snipers along with your spotter and place them in three separate sniping positions. Target Elites and officers first. Don't fire until the order to do so is given. "

      " Yes sir. " Fargason replied. The sniper turned and grabbed the four snipers the Master Chief had under his command. The Chief turned his attention over to Sergeant Dollneaz.

      " Sergeant you and your men follow me. We'll attack from that ravine the corporal had mentioned. " the Chief said to the grizzled soldier. Dollneaz nodded and his squad was ready.

      " Okay you heard the Chief everyone. Let's move out. " Dollneaz ordered. They immediately scattered like cockroaches in light.

      It was a five minute jog to the other side of the cliff formation with the Chief taking point. The marines came to a sudden halt when they saw the Chief had stopped in his tracks. The marines were momentarily puzzled as to why the sudden halt until they saw what he spotted. Two Phantoms had taken off from within the valley encircled by the hills and sped off at maximum burn.

      Once the Phantoms had passed they resumed their advance. The Chief led them to a small pile of boulders where he had stopped. His motion tracker had picked up a pair of signals. The marines came to the pile slowly and stayed low. With his sniper rifle in hand the Chief took a quick look.

      The ravine was insight along with two manned Shade turrets. Next to them was a pair replacement gunners. All operators were the high ranking yellow shielded Jackals. After a momentary examination of the targets he placed his rifle between two rocks and gained some extra balance on the weapon..

      " Fargason are those men in position? " the Chief asked.

      " Roger that Master Chief. All snipers in position and awaiting the order to fire. " Fargason replied. The Chief took aim and practiced the movements for the order in which he was going to shoot. Officer near the left gun, officer near the right gun, right gun, and finish off the left gun. The Chief turned to the marines that were waiting with him.

      " Squad after I reload and all the shots have been fired fan out and advance. Stay in groups at least three strong. Prepare for anything. " he said. The Chief then took aim at his first target. " All snipers fire at will. "

      With that seven guns armed with APFSDS rounds were fired in rapid succession. The bullets flew straight into their targets sucking out the entrails through the exit wounds tearing the Covenant warriors apart. In just three seconds the enemy went into a sudden snap of confusion with the death of their officers. The Chief reloaded and the marines advanced. The sound of heavy gun fire echoed off of the valley walls as the humans made their inward advance.

      The Chief followed the trail of marines that ran into the entrance and switched to his M7C. Immediately upon entering they split up into two groups taking the forward and right flanks. The Covenant had regained their command structuring and made a hasty counter offensive. Roughly fifteen Grunts and two Jackals moved in on the advancing humans.

      The Grunts opened fire with their plasma pistols and threw several grenades at the bunched up squad. The marines rolled out of the way and missed the plasma grenades, but met the heavy gun fire instead. Screams of pain and flesh burning came from the wounded as they were hit.

      Those that were unfortunate enough to be shot fell to the ground attempting to take cover. The following plasma bolts struck and burned away at what was left of the wounded. The snow around the charred corpses was stained with blood. Another squad of Grunts ran out and attempted to engage the humans. Their efforts were thrawted by the sniper support.

      " Squad move in right flank! " Sergeant Dollneaz yelled at the marines. Four of the remaining marines ran far right and took cover behind a stack of crates. A few of the Covenant moved towards them and were exposed to the rest of the marines and the Chief. They learned their mistake with a wall of hot lead. With those units down the four marines moved in on the right flank.

      Two grenades were thrown behind the remaining Covenant. Twin flashes of smoke and fire flew up killing them. The Chief moved in on the enemy corpses with his SMG ready. He made sure they were dead and turned to the marines behind him. As he turned the final Jackal fell to the ground grasping its throat. Blackened blood poured out of its wound and onto its fallen comrades.

      One of the marines spoke up firing a three round burst into the dying Jackal. " Area secure. " As the marine finished this sentence he fell to the ground without warning. Everyone brought up their weapons and searched frantically.

      " What the hell was that! " Dollneaz yelled. Again another marine fell dead next to him. The Chief looked down at one of the dead marines and saw a tiny hole through the back of his helmet.

      " SNIPER! " Cortana yelled beating the Chief to the punch. Everyone immediately scattered taking cover where they could. Behind a crate, near one of the larger pod like buildings, anywhere that could cover them up.

      A Covenant sniper was completely unheard of. Most people even thought the idea of the Covenant using such tactics was completely unlike them. Even the Chief did not think about the possibility of such a unit existing until now.

      The Chief suddenly entered his first cold sweat in years. It seemed that the Covenant had been busy assimilating the effective human tactics into their own. Another shot was fired and zipped by the Chief's helmet.

      He saw the thin lance of blue-white light stream by in front of his face. he moved his head back and saw where it the bolt hit. It impacted on the ground just a few feet in front of him. A tiny wisp of smoke and steam came up from the point of impact. It's up top he said to himself.

      " Fargason are you still there? Over. " he said over the radio.

      " Yes sir. What is it? " Corporal Fargason replied.

      " Do you see anything odd up on the cliff top? A shimmer or anything? "

      " Negative. " Another shot was fired and it hit the edge of the Chief's shields. They dropped immediately. He curled up as best he could and prayed his shields would return quickly.

      " Come on I need you to- " the Chief said with worry in his voice.

      " Hold on. I think I saw it. " Fargason said interrupting. He turned on his night vision and looked past the origin of the shot.

      His vision picked up a small, faint, blue light. If it hadn't of moved he never would have noticed it. Before another shot was fired the sniper pulled his own trigger and a stealth Elite appeared.

      The air was sucked right from its lungs as the shot penetrated its armor. Another shot was fired to the head. Its helmet was torn from the skull and the Elite fell off the cliff edge. The limp corpse landed with a hard thump.

      " Sniper down. Are secured. " he said. A cheer of victory rang out from the marines. The Chief looked up and let out a long sigh. If the shot had been a centimeter over he'd be in bad shape. After his momentary relief he looked around and found the body.

      He took a good look at the Covenant warrior. On is back was a runic symbol of sorts. It almost looked like a crosshair from a scope with a diagonal line going through it. He then looked at the weapon he had been hit with.

      The design was similar to a plasma rifle. Except the top half was much more elongated, about the length of an S2 AM's barrel. On top of it was a tubular scope. The chromed weapon also had a butt plate like that of an MA5B and was clip fed. The Chief slung his M7C and gave the weapon a feel on the shoulder. It was light and worked with his shoulder perfectly.

      " You can have it. " Fargason said walking up to the Chief. " I want its helmet. " Fargason added grinning. The Chief nodded to the sniper. The corporal happily picked up the head piece and placed it inside his backpack. The Chief stripped all ammo from the body and placed his S2 AM and munitions on the ground.

      " Sergeant Dollneaz hold this position. " Cortana said. " The Chief and I are going inside. "

      " Yes Ma'am. Okay you heard the lady, get into hold out formation theta. On the double! " Dollneaz yelled at the remaining members of his squad. The Chief gave a final look at the scrambling marines and then head into the entrance buried within the cliff side.

To be Continued in Chapter 5 Section 2: Where Did they come from?

The Fallen: Halo 2 Ch5S2 Where Did They Come From?
Date: 8 October 2003, 12:54 PM

Chapter 5 Section 2: Where Did They Come From?
2302 Hours November 21, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Onboard the Odin In Orbit of the Third Moon

      " Shiri-Gami give the report on the enemy fleet movement. " Captain Mortensen said leaning back in his chair. The AI complied and the TAC display showed the location of the 214 Covenant ships inside Halo's atmosphere. All were holding their positions. The Captain looked at the scattered dots on the ring and didn't make out their tactics at all. " Any ideas why they are staying still? "

      Shiri-Gami showed himself on the small holo-tank. His sword and wings had blood red lines of code running along them as he gave it some thought. " The only logic in their spreading out like this is to find something. I've gotten scattered reports of them desperately trying to find some ancient text of some sort. Then there is the information of them having a hard time on the surface right now in isolated areas. Primarily where the Spartans and General Kits are located. "

      That was good news. At least they were getting roughed up on the ground. Mortensen got up and walked up to the tactical display and continued thinking as to why they haven't launched a counter ground attack. He stood there for several minutes just staring at the display. He sighed, turned, and walked back to his seat. As he sat down the bridge lights suddenly snapped to red. A small alarm went off and the ship began to exit orbit.

      " Shiri-Gami what the hell are you doing! " Mortensen yelled griping his chair. The TAC display changed and an image of seven Covenant vessels coming from behind the moon began to appear. A destroyer and six frigates showed themselves to the human bridge crew. The Captain's stomach felt like it dropped to the deck below him. He whispered, " Oh shit..."

      " Requesting permission to engage the incoming Covenant fleet. " Shiri-Gami said. Mortensen nodded and with that the ship accelerated. The Captain's eyes could not be torn off from the Covenant ships. It was a full ten seconds before he came back to reality and pushed the communications switch on his chair.

      " All hands this is the Captain. We are reengaging the enemy. Report to battle stations immediately. " he ordered. " Taylor I want those MAC guns charged now! Arm Archer Missile Pods B1- B6! Shidou get Stanforth on the line we need all the help we can get! Zaurak get us the hell out of dodge! Evasive maneuvers! Nylund send the order to Omega Wing to get out in the black! " Mortensen barked. The bridge crew did as ordered as fast as they possibly could. Mortensen looked at the main view screen and watched as the Covenant formation fanned out.

      " Sir MAC guns at one hundred percent. Archer Missile Pods are armed. " Taylor said.

      " Engage the destroyer Lieutenant. Begin firing at will. " Mortensen said.

      " Yes sir. Engaging Covenant destroyer. " His hands quickly typed in commands resulting in two low booms that shook the ship. They watched as twin bolts of white hot tungsten heavy rounds flew towards the Covenant formation. Following close behind were the Archer missiles heading towards their target. " Thirty seconds till impact. "

      They watched as the MAC rounds closed in on the target. The Covenant ship began to turn to port to dodge the attack. The first shot was a clean miss. The second however hit. The Covenant shields shimmered and cooled. As the missiles came in nearly half were shot down by the point defense lasers. The balance of missiles hit the shields sending up tiny flares along the ship's super-structure.

      " Sir Admiral Stanforth is on the line. " Shidou said.

      " Put him through. " Mortensen ordered. On a side panel of the main view screen Admiral Stanforth appeared.

      " What is the situation Captain? " Stanforth asked.

      " Sir we are currently engaging the local Covenant fleet. They snuck up from behind the third moon. One destroyer, six frigates. " Mortensen said.

      " Understood. Hold off what you can. The Leviathan is enroute. ETA ten minutes. Stanforth out. "

      " Okay then. Nylund what is the status of Omega Wing? " Mortensen asked. Lieutenant Nylund turned.

      " Sir Omega Wing is launched. Currently engaging the Covenant Seraphs. " Nylund responded. Another two thumps were heard from the Odin's under belly. The twin MAC rounds headed for the destroyer.

      " Sir Covenant vessels' energy levels are rising. " Shidou said. Panic struck into her voice. " All craft charging plasma weapons. " They watched as red lights grew along the lateral lines of the Covenant ships. They also watched as the MAC rounds grew closer to the destroyer.

      Both shots were direct hits. The first shot hit and sent the ship into a port spin. Its shields flickered and failed. The second shot hit near the engine. The Covenant destroyer shuddered for a moment and was destroyed in a series of smaller explosions throughout the craft.

      " Covenant plasma inbound! " Shidou yelled. " Twenty seconds until impact! " The bridge crew watched as six blue-white bolts of fire raced across space to meet them. It was almost as beautiful as it was deadly.

      " Zaurak push the reactors to one hundred and thirty percent. Get us as far away from those plasma bolts as you can. " Mortensen ordered. Zaurak immediately did as such. The Odin suddenly jolted forward as he pushed the reactors above recommended safety levels.

      The continued to watch as the plasma accelerated and came for the Odin. Zaurak had did as ordered and missed three of the bolts. The others however hit the massive cruiser. The fiery projectiles burned their way into the ship tearing apart the outer layers of hull. Pockets of atmosphere ignited and made their way through out the unsecured decks. As the fire made its way through the missed shots had arced and came back at the Odin impacting and doing similar damage.

      " Sir fires on port decks 12 and 13 in sections A-D! And on starboard decks 24 and 5 sections L-N! " Nylund reported. " Armor in those sections are gone! "

      " Seal those sections off Nylund. Shut down all atmosphere to those areas. " Mortensen ordered. A long hiss could be heard from the bridge as those sections were vented and shut down. Shortly there after two more thrums were heard as the MAC guns fired once more. The twin shells flew and hit their target. The first frigate was hit. Its shields however still held.

      The Covenant frigates began to charge up their weapons again. Two of them were quickly stopped as four MAC rounds and over three hundred missiles took them out. The Leviathan had showed up as promised. With it the Michigan as additional support. Still those Covenant ships remaining fired. Four bolts were launched impacting both the Michigan and the Leviathan. Armor boiled away and was stripped from the two ships.

      " Excellent. Some reinforcement. " Taylor said typing in commands. They watched as the Covenant line split and went in four different directions. Their weapons however still began to recharge.

      " Sir we've got outbound signals from three of the Covenant vessels. " Shidou said. " Dropships heading for the ring and the fourth moon. I have sixty three confirmed transports. Correction one hundred and thirteen. Fifty drop pods have also been launched. "

      " Range? " Mortensen inquired.

      " At ten thousand kilometers sir. Several of which have already broken through. Pods are now out of range. " Shidou replied. Mortensen silently swore to himself. Every pod meant God only knew how many human deaths.

      " Nylund send a message to Omega Wing. Have them give those dropships hell. " Mortensen ordered.

      " Yes sir. " Nylund said. The message was sent and they watched as Omega wing immediately broke from their targets and attacked what they could of the dropships. Several tiny orange fireballs appeared on the view screen fighters and dropships alike were destroyed. The fighting went on like this for several minutes. " Sir Omega Wing is retreating for rearmament and refueling. "

      " Understood. Inform all launch bays that they are coming back. " Mortensen replied. He looked at the tactical display and watched as the Covenant fleet was whittled down by the surprise attack from Admiral Stanforth and Captain Griffes. TheOdin fired once more sending the last Covenant frigate to Hell.

      " Covenant fleet in this sector has been eliminated. No escape pods found from any Covenant vessel. " Shiri-Gami said over the Odin's loud speakers. A cheer resonated throughout the ship. The Captain however just sighed and fell back in his chair. He had gotten lucky and damn well knew it.

To be Continued in Chapter 5 Section 3: Innocent Flame

This section wasn't the best, was it?

Halo 2: The Fallen Chp 5 Sect3- Innocent Flame
Date: 30 October 2003, 4:32 PM

Chapter 5 Section 3: Innocent Flame
0149 Hours November 22, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Sector 0347.09, Within Forerunner Installation

      The Chief reloaded his sub machine gun and policed the plasma grenades from the three dead Grunts he had just killed. After giving a quick check of the area behind him he continued down the corridor Cortana had led him to. The place was barely lit except for two horizontal aqua colored lines running along the sides of the hall and a dim white light at the end.

      " Chief we are just six hundred meters from the target. Sensors show lots of movement ahead. " Cortana informed. He took her warning to heart and stayed close to the wall on his left slowly walking ahead. He went another fifty meters and stopped when he heard the sound of an Elite. Six radar signals appeared on his motion tracker after the Elite stopped talking a minute later.

      The Chief was just ten meters away from the end of the hall. Several shadows danced acrossed the floor giving away the position of four of them. Slowly the Chief reached for his grenade sack and pulled out a frag. He primmed the explosive and lobbed it into the room. It bounced off a wall and disappeared from his sight. A sudden paniced scream came from a Grunt in the area. It was silenced a second later with an explosion.

      The upper half of the body was thrown into the hall. Luminous blue blood and intestines stained the walls. He held his position with weapon at ready. A full ten seconds had passed until he moved forward. There were no more motion tracker signals when he reached the light. He paused and pulled out his fiber-optic probe connecting it to the port on his helmet.

      After snaking the probe around the Chief activated it seeing what was left. The shattered remains of the Grunts were all to be seen. The place was a bloodied mess. He continued to look around and saw a crate as well as a mobile communications device. Behind it was a blue Elite in hiding. The Chief retracted the probe and put it away bringing the M7C back up to his shoulder.

      Immediately he ran and turned to his right to meet the Elite. It stood, shields recharged, and fired at the Chief. Lances of blue fire zipped past the Spartan as he dodged the attack and fired his own weapon. They closed range and the Chief was hit twice. His shields had dropped to half power and his weapon went dry. The Elite got close enough and took a swing at the human. It missed by mere inches and was delivered a blow to the back.

      It knealt forward from the sudden hard impact and didn't have time to recover. The Chief dealt two more punches breaking through the shields. He did not stop and continued puching the Covenant warrior. Bones broke, armor dented, and blood flew. After six hits the Chief stopped and walked to the front of the battered Elite.

      He dropped his M7C and grabbed the top of the Covenant's helmet. Blackened blood and drool leaked out of the creature's mandibles. The alien's face was covered in bruises and one of its jaws were broken. The Chief brought the Elite so that their eyes met and forced a solid fist into the mouth and out the back end.

      He pulled his armored glove out and wiped the blood off on the corpse. After retrieving the dropped weapon he reloaded and got himself reoriented. He was now down to the his last three magazines of ammuntion and was out of M9 HE-DP fragmentation grenades. The Elite and Grunts were worthless in the department of plasma grenades. He resumed his advance and was led to a ramp that spiraled downward.

      The Chief continued downward until he reached a pressure door. When he approached it the door did not open. It was locked.

      " Give me a second to access Chief. " Cortana said. The Master Chief watched as the door lights flickered and died out. A moment later they reappeared with a green hue. The door slid open. He stepped through and took notice of his surroundings. " Well isn't this a familiar sight. " Cortana commented.

      She was right. The area he was in was on a corner. To the right was a walkway with a massive chasm that was thousands of meters deep. To his left was a dead end. It was nearly identical to the complex where the Silent Cartographer was held on Installation 04. He went to the path on the right already knowing his way around and snuck about. He checked his motion tracker for signals and found none. His search for the Covenant brought him down two levels with zero contacts. With this he pondered what could have been down here.

      " Cortana what was the target you mentioned before? " the Chief asked stopping in a corner.

      " Unknown. The only information I have is that the Covenant were after something here. Based on past experience I'm assuming it's this leads to Halo's map room. " she replied. He accepted that answer and continued until he entered a large room. The Chief jumped back as though his body had just been shocked. He did for good reason.

      The area he had just entered was filled with over twenty dead bodies. Grunts, Jackals, and the like were scattered everywhere. He examined a few of the corpses and noticed burn markings. The bodies had several accurate cuts that looked like they were done by a pricision laser. He looked next to one of the bodies and found a piece of gray metal.

      He picked it up and looked at the two foot long piece of scrap. It seemed oddly familiar. The Chief's investigation came to an end when he heard a noise not far from him. It was like a hum of a machine in the distance followed by what sounded like a quiet voice. He picked up a few of the words. It was enough to make the Chief's blood run cold.

      " Cortana did you hear what- "

      " Let's hope we were imagining things. " Cortana said interrupting. He readied his weapon and moved out slowly. He continued until he noticed a blue light. His heart beat began to race . The Chief continued despite his fear growing by the second. Suddenly he saw a pulse of red that continued pulsating at two second intervals. The Chief finally got enough strength and boldly jumped out from the wall he hid behind and was again in a bit of shock.

      He had to look twice and forced himself not to fire. What he thought was there was not. The object that was pulsating red was examining a hologram of the ring when it noticed the Chief. The hologram faded and the orb floated over to the uneasy Spartan. An odd static like noise came from it as it gave the human a look over.

      " Um, hello..." the Chief said trying to make contact.

      " Langauge and physical analysis complete. English. Language of the Forerunner. From species 8472? My I guess humans have gotten a far way in the past 10,000 years. " the little orb said in a poor british accent. " Oh yes. I'm sorry. Hello to you as well. "

      " You aren't 343 Guilty Spark. Are you? "

      " No. I am the monitor of Installation 12. My name is 049 Inncoent Flame. 343 Guilty Spark is the monitor of Installation 04. And who might you be? "

      The Chief contemplated how he should answer. He was unsure if this machine would back stab him or not. Cortana suggested just to use his real name. There would be many others with the same, so it didn't matter.

      " Um, It's John. " he said rather nervously.

      " John. Pleasure to meet you. Glad to see that at least one species is not so hostile towards my counterparts and I. " 049 said.

      " Counterparts? " As the Chief asked this ten sentinels came floating in from above. Several of them had sparks coming out of them and lazillied floated about.

      " It's a shame that they had to be hostile towards us. That is the species you seem to be battling with. Must of been scared of the secrets of the ring. Too bad. They would have made excellent allies, test subjects, and so on... " 049 said. The Chief ignored the monitor's sentiments on the Covenant. If anything it was good that he was becoming allies with it instead of the Covenant.

      " Speaking of secrets of the ring. " the Chief asked cautiously, " Mind sharing some? " The Innocent Flame's voice was suddenly full of joy.

      " You wish to know the secrets of Installation 12? That is excellent! " the Innocent Flame exclaimed. An orange beam then came out of the center of the little orb and gave the Chief a quick scan. " Your suit is rather low in technological level. Still your onboard computer looks like it should be able to handle the data. "

      A sudden electrical wave of knowledge was forced into his suit and into Cortana's memory matrix. It had been so much that even he felt the electric surges pass around and through him. The beam had stopped and the connection was terminated.

      " I hope you are happy. I've given everything that is permitted to hand over to outsiders. You should find it quite useful. I even included the location of every heavilly guarded position of this enemy of yours. You may also want to check out the research facility located on the fourth moon. There is much else to learn there. However I can only grant you limited access. The Forerunners would be very upset if I were to let you go about yourself in that facility. Perhaps I can accompany you later. "

      " Thanks. " the Chief said unbelievably.

      " You are most certainly welcome. Well then I must be going. I wish to observe one of your battles else where. It's has been nice meeting you John. " With that several bands of golden light encircled 049 and he disappeared along with the ten sentinels.

      " That was convienent. " Cortana said. " But I don't trust him quite yet. "

      " Same here. What all did he give you? " the Chief asked.

      " I have a fully detailed map of the ring, information on its power matrix, and more things like that. Plus a star map of the entire galaxy. Not very well labeled, but we can deal with that later. " Cortana said. " Well then our business here is really done. We should return to the surface for extraction. " The Chief turned on his heel and made his way back towards the entrance.


      The Chief had almost made it to the entrance when he heard heavy gun fire. He ran towards the on going battle and ran acrossed Dollneaz who was carrying a wounded marine. The injured soldier's helmet was broken and a bloodied face was seen from beneath. Dollneaz stopped in front of the Chief.

      " Thank God you got here Chief. " Dollneaz said slowly gasping for air.

      " What happened sergeant? " Cortana asked. Dollneaz replied slowly checking back between the Chief and the three marines that were following him.

      " Orbital shock troops. Elites. I'd say twenty of them. All veteran class. They hit most of the snipers and then got us. We called for evac, but the dropships were too far out to get here in time. "

      " Understood. Get your men inside the facility and hold out. " Cortana said. Dollneaz nodded and continued his retreat. The Chief brought out his Covenant sniper rifle and watched as the few survivors made it back. Only six of the original seventeen had made it out alive. The last man to get in was a sniper with a squad of house guests hot on his trail. He fired four bullets taking down one of the Veteran class Elites before reloading and making a run for it.

      Seven Elites advanced towards the humans with energy swords and plasma rifles at the ready. The Chief spotted the point man and fired a round from his new toy. The Elite stopped and fell to its knees. Its squad mates watched as their comrade fell to the floor dead. The Chief pulled the trigger once more and nothing came out. The weapon gave an odd sound and the clip fell out.

      Realizing this he quickly slapped in a new one and fired another round. The Elites saw him and opened fire. Lances of blue fire zipped past him melting the metal walls and floor behind him. He fired again and another dropped dead. A tiny port near what would be the chamber of the rifle opened up and released a steady stream of excess heat. A sudden wave of heat struck him and he was hit.

      The first bolt struck his shielding causing it to flare. Another bolt hit followed by another. He immediately ran away, back to the marines. The Chief's shields took another blast and fell to a sliver left of protection. One more shot and he would be screwed. The Elites followed him as he ran.

      " Give that man some covering fire! " Dollneaz yelled as he saw the Chief running back. Four guns opened up and sent tracers past the CHief slowly chipping away at the Elites' shields. Their fire continued and did little to stop the oncoming threat. Their weapons were all aimed at different targets, a fatal move.

      The Chief's shields finally recharged and came back to full power. He stopped at the marines and spun to face the Elites. He fired the sniper rifle back at the oncoming Covenant. He fired two shots as fast as the weapon would go and took out one of them. A grenade was thrown and a flash of smoke engulfed the severly angered veterans. Three of the remaining four Elites lost their shielding or came close to a complete failure. Another grenade was thrown and two more were taken out.

      A moment had passed as the fire fight continued. The Elites were wiped out and another marine had died in the process. Several others were inflicted with more critical wounds. Another minute had passed and a radio transmission came in.

      " This is Omega 74. We are inbound hot. Prepare for dust off. "

      " Understood lieutenant. We are coming out now. " Cortana replied. " Marines time to leave. " They were all exhausted and it showed. Several of them even gave a long sigh. The two dropships came in and touched down.

      They marines helped each other up to the Pelicans and loaded on. There weren't even enough to fill one transport. Even with the wounded. The Chief stood guard as the last of them took their spots. He took a look around seeing the scattered pods and single story buildings that were sealed tight. One of the buildings had been cracked open from a drop pod.

      The Chief left the dropships and went over to the damaged building. He poked his head in taking a good look. He now understood what was going on. Inside were weapons, communications equipment, infantry gear, ghosts, and shade turrets. This was a supposed to become a firebase.

      " Chief we should leave. " Cortana said. He agreed and got took his seat on Omega 74. The dropships then lifted off and headed off in the distance.

The Fallen: Halo 2 Ch6 The First Wave
Date: 5 November 2003, 3:40 PM

Chapter 6 Section 1: The First Wave
0600 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Newly Established Firebase Alpha, General Kits Division

      General Kits paid no attention as another pair of Pelicans flew overhead and landed nearby. So many craft had been flying overhead during the past few hours that they no longer disturbed him or his command staff. The six of them gathered around a mobile briefing table underneath a tent. The General activated the electronic table and began explaining his newly formulated plan.

      " We attack here at 0800. " he said pointing to the map before him. " Rumor has it from the 22nd Light Reconnaissance Unit that a real juicy target is in this area. The 22nd is having some serious trouble around this area giving more reason to this suspicion. The Sol System Militia has requested reinforcement from us to relieve their men. "

      " What are we going to do about this? " one of the officers asked that were standing there.

      " I intend to send in Delta company of the 519th Armored Battalion along with 'volunteers' from Bravo and Echo Company of my division. I'm also assigning the Spartans to go in as well. " General Kits responded.

      Using the word volunteer was generally bad. The only 'volunteers' that would be sent would be those who haven't bad shot or horribly wounded yet. On top of this sending in the Spartans was also not taken very well. Many uneasy looks came onto the five men of his staff as they thought about having such a heavy Spartan presence.

      Although they were glad to have such support on the battlefield when things were already sour, they didn't find the idea of having such men around the regulars to be very intelligent. Most marines were uneasy around the stronger and more intelligent Spartans. Some of the newer marines even thought they were Elites and began to fire on them until they were smacked up the side of the head by the more experienced soldiers. The Spartans would just bring too much confusion on the battlefield on both sides as far as they were concerned.

      " How many of them? " the same officer asked.

      " All seven. We need their support. Reports show that this location is heavily guarded. I don't want to take the risk of receiving heavy casualties. " Kits said. The general had just stopped when he saw the six scowls of his officers looking past him. He turned to see all seven of members of the Chief's squad at attention. The Master Chief stepped into the tent where the briefing was taking place.

      " MCPO Spartan 117 reporting as requested sir. " the Chief said giving a crisp salute. The general returned the Chief's salute and invited him to the briefing.

      " Welcome Chief. Here's the plan. I want you to split up your team into three groups and mount up on the next group of Pelicans heading out to this sector. They'll be landing at these beach heads here, here, here, and here. " Kits said pointing to the map. The Master Chief listened carefully and made sure he took in every detail given to him. " You are to relieve members of the 22nd Light Recon Unit. They say something is juicy through here and guessing by the amount of Covenant movement in that sector I'd say they are right. The enemy isn't dumb enough to commit that much force to one area without a reason. "

      " There's good reason for that General. " Cortana said through the Chief's speakers. " That sector is the only path leading to Halo's Control Center. " The General looked up and then back to the briefing table.

      " Damn. I knew they were after something important. " Kits said slamming the table with his fist. " Very well then. Chief I want you to leave as soon as possible. Relieve the 22nd and help take the sector. I'll even send in the order to let loose the HAC-7s. It'll be a while before they make it down to the ring, but I believe Stanforth will be more than willing to make them hurry up and get down here. "

      " Thank you sir. " the Chief said. He was glad to hear this. The HAC-7 was an effective hover assault craft. It was more or less the UNSC equivalent to the Banshee. Something very handy when in a tight spot.

      " Your welcome. The terrain you will be in is a little rough along the edges, but there is plenty of room to fit a bunch of armor. I'll leave the weapons department on this mission up to you and your team. You are dismissed. " Kits said. The Chief gave a final salute and left. The Spartans were waiting outside by the Pelicans for him.

      He didn't even need to say anything to them as he passed the six of them. They just followed. When they had made it to the main depot everything was available. Sniper rifles, shotguns, explosives, anti-tank weapons, even a crate of old MA5Bs were there.

      " Sir what is the mission? " Dale asked. The Chief turned to the Spartan.

      " We are being sent as reinforcement for a scouting group. Seems the Covenant are hammering down on the 22nd LRU pretty hard. We and volunteers from Bravo and Echo companies are to relieve the men of the 22nd and are to take the area. We also have armor support courtesy of General Kits' Delta Company of the 519th Armored Battalion. " The Chief replied. " The area we are going into is a little rough according to General Kits. However our initial landing will be at one of the four entrances to the highlands along the shoreline. General Kits has informed me to split the squad, to lessen the risk of all of us being wiped out in one fell swoop. "

      The Chief turned his attention away from Dale. " Mireille and Kirika are with me. Joshua and Peter are Green team while Lucas and Dale are Red team. "

      " Recommendations? " Dale inquired. Cortana had her own for this mission.

      " Spartans bring assault gear with enough ammo for a few hours of fighting. Everything else you really need is already on the field or will be brought to you as needed. " Cortana said. The Chief agreed with this recommendation and grabbed an M6D and MA8A with about eight magazines for each. The others did this as well except for Dale-119 and Mireille-056. They each took an S2 AM. They also each took five M9 HE-DP fragmentation grenades.

      " Ready? " the Chief asked. They each slapped in a magazine and cocked the bolts on their rifles in response. He nodded and they headed out with the rest of the landing force.


      The Master Chief looked down and watched as the shimmering blue water raced beneath the pelican and slowly got closer. His stomach was uneasy about this mission. Delta company had moved in just an hour ago and the last report from them was too long ago. At least forty minutes back. Plus the fifteen marine regulars accompanying him were barely enough should they get into any real trouble. The last thing he wanted was to have this mission go sour just like the last.

      Three minutes had passed by when his fascination with the water wore out. Instead he paid more attention when he heard several more engines and machine gun fire coming from Omega 74. A massive red splotch had passed overhead on his radar and a pair of Spooks accompanied by a Phantom dropship flew by with smoke coming out of its troop compartment. The Chief could see even from this distance that their troop bays were empty. A very bad sign.

      The Chief's attention was once again taken. This time by the marine next to him. The man held out his right hand. " Sergeant Stacker sir. " the man said. The Chief shook the man's hand. " Boy won't this be a story to tell the kids when I get back. " Those words made the Chief even more like crap. He wanted to say something, but no words came. He knew full well that this man had a very large chance dying on this mission. Just as everyone else did. Before anything else was spoke the Pelican slowed down and came to a stop.

      " We're inbound hot! " Lieutenant Ellerman yelled over the comm. channel. Omega 74 touched down on the sandy beach and the Spartans exited. Immediately they fanned out guns blazing at the minimal Covenant resistance leaving deep boot prints in the beach. The Chief looked to his right and then to his left and watched as the marines assisted the Spartans in their advance. Immediately tracers, plasma, and needlers filled the area between the two forces. As soon as the last man was off the Pelicans ditched the troops and headed back where they came from.

      The Covenant out numbered the humans three to one and made sure at the very least the marines knew that. Within a matter of seconds four men were dead from excessive needler fire. The soldiers were struck by dozens of the magenta colored spikes and went up in multiple plumes of shrapnel. Their screams were silenced as their lungs, along with the rest of their bodies, disappeared in the explosive columns of Covenant weapons fire. After the second explosion on each of their munitions packs detonated sending uncontrolled bullets flying everywhere wounding those that got in their way.

      " Damn it take them out! " Stacker yelled as he threw a grenade at a blue armored Elite. The explosion rocked the ground and knocked out the Covenant warrior's shields. Several bullets tore into its body as it flew forward from the blast. It cried out in pain and fell backwards bleeding to death.

      Despite losses on their side as well the Covenant seemed to laugh as their merrily fired away. Most of which were officer ranked Grunts. They continued firing and died as armor piercing tracers tore through their bodies. The incoming plasma fire however did not cease. All of the humans noticed this and fought not only to avenge those that had died, but to prevent themselves from becoming part of the KIA list. Kirika did so the most and it showed.

      She ran forward and took point with her MA8A blazing. With the last twelve rounds in the magazine she killed three lower ranking Grunts. Not even bothering to reload she brought out her pistol and began shooting once again. Her shields blazed gold as plasma pistol fire impacted and lowered their strength.

      Kirika immediately fired on the pair of Grunts that were giving her trouble. Two shots were fired and the Grunts fell dead from head shots. The Spartan fired the last six rounds in her magazine before she fell back to let her shields regenerate. Those six rounds resulted in the death of three Jackals and three more Grunts. Again all head shots. She ran ahead and ran into a surprise already set up by the Covenant.

      A pair of anti-tank plasma cannons nicknamed " Specters " opened fire on her. Kirika rolled to her right dodging a pair of blue explosions. Sand and glass flew up showering down on the Spartan. Several more Covenant infantry came alongside the guns giving support fire. Immediately she retreated back to the rest of the line and allowed her shields to recharge behind a massive rock she had passed by.

      When the others finally caught up her shields had recharged. They too hid behind the rock as the guns fired another round every second. Blue explosions went off all around sending more molten glass up into the air. Several their shots also whizzed by hitting the rock and the ground nearby.

      " Master Chief, Cortana! " Kirika said waving him over from the opposite end of the massive rock. He ducked behind the rock and came over to her location. He noticed the fear in several of the marines

      " What is it? " the Chief asked as he took cover from the rounds hitting above him.

      " A pair of Specter guns are over there. I'd say about seventy five meters from here with six support infantry. One Elite, five Jackals. " she responded.

      " Okay then. " he said. The Chief snapped his fingers and called for Mireille. " Mireille we have two Specter turrets seventy five meters from our position. I want them taken out. " He looked around to find some cover she could use. He found what appeared to be a piece of gray metal sticking out of the ground just fifty meters from their position. He pointed to it saying, " Run over there and take the guns out. We'll give you covering fire. " Mireille nodded and readied herself. The marines had heard everything and took up positions where they could shoot. " GO! " the Chief yelled.

      Mireille immediately ran and was shot at by the Covenant guns. Several shots zipped by and missed. The marines had opened fire when she reached the half way point. The Elite was quickly taken by the massed fire and fell dead within in seconds. The sudden loss of leadership sent a few of the nearby Jackals to panic allowing Mireille to get into position.

      She came to a sliding halt going into a prone position. The covering fire had ceased and the Specters fired back at the group again. Mireille deployed her bipod and zoomed in on the guns. They were not much different than Shades. Very little armor on the flanks giving her plenty of target. She fired once killing one of the Grunts. The guns stopped shooting and its turret went into a slow spin as the corpse held the aiming lever to one direction. She fired again at the other gunner and watched as it crawled out of the Specter clutching its chest. Mireille fired once more putting it out of its misery. Now all that was left were the Jackals.

      " Targets down. Engaging support infantry. " she said over the radio.

      " Marines fan out and attack! " Stacker ordered. The squad fanned out both end of the rock and assaulted the Jackals. Their combined fire along with Mireille's sniper rifle was enough to take the Covenant in less than ten seconds.

      Several of the marines cheered and continued firing on the now dead Covenant yelling sending insults at their defeated enemies. Not one Covenant unit was alive on the beach now.
The Chief momentarily looked at the dead Elite and watched as a pool of blood seeped out of his body. Tiny circular ripples formed in the blood in random locations and grew in number. He looked up and saw that it was beginning to rain.

      " Area secured. Marines continue advance! " someone said over the radio. The remaining ten marines were hurt, but not to the point where they could not fight. They continued on ahead, but were left lagging behind by the Spartans. In the distance they could hear the echoes of rifle fire and the occasional explosion. They were hearing the sound of the other beachhead landings. The marines ran forward and came to a stop as they reached the entrance of the first canyon.

      The field they were looking at was blackened. Splinters of glass and a dozen shattered Warthog and Squirrel chassis littered the area. The smell of burnt flesh was just as heavy as the black smoke rising from the destroyed vehicles. Several disabled Ghosts also were out their with dead pilots either in or nearby. At least six dozen bodies, both human and alien, lay dead within the area.

      " Come on people let's keep moving. " one of the marines said. The ground was soaked in blood giving it a mossy feel as they walked upon it. They continued on past the dead and met up with the waiting Spartans on the other end of the field.

      They were firing down hill at the Covenant when the marines arrived to help. A trio of Brutes and a few Grunts were giving hell to four members of the 22nd. The marines showed no restraint and foolishly ran for the Covenant screaming.

      Their screaming grabbed the attention of two of the Brutes. The massive ape like creatures rushed the on coming marines. Large beams of blue plasma were fired from the Brutes as they closed the distance. Three of the marines were hit and fell to the ground gasping for air. The others fired and tried desperately to kill them.

      The bullets hit and did very little. Tiny wounds formed on the Brutes, but did nothing to stop them. One of them got in close enough and grabbed a marine by the head with one hand. The man screamed and panicked then suddenly went limp as the Brute crushed his helmet. Red blood, bone, and brain leaked out of the deformed head.

      " They got Morris! " one of the marines that saw the killing yelled. The man threw a grenade and emptied his magazine on the Brute. The explosive went off and stripped away a chunk of flesh off its back. The Covenant beast roared sending a shockwave of fear into the marines. It got on all fours and came within arms reach of the man that threw the grenade. It stood back up and ignored the pain of the bullets hitting it and swung the bladed end of its rifle at the marine. The blade made contact and split open the man's chest.

      He immediately fell to the ground screaming. In a finishing move the Brute brought its massive fists up in the air and prepared to slam the human into the ground. Just as it did the marine managed to grab his last grenade and pulled the pin as he was forced into the hardened dirt. The Brute gave a victory cry and was silenced by the grenade it had not noticed. Only a blacked face and shredded meat remained of the beast. It was suddenly silent across the battlefield.

      Through all of the gun fire the marines and militia alike hadn't noticed that the Spartans were busy from their position. They looked around and noticed that the Covenant had been silenced in that short amount of time. The Master Chief took point of the three man Spartan team. They walked past the marines and went over to the militia.

      The battered civilians looked the Chief and his men over making sure that they were not Covenant. Seeing they only had human weapons and presented no hostility to them they were satisfied.

      " Thank God you people showed up. " one of the militia said. His face was half covered in blood and his uniform was in poor shape. He'd have to see the teams medic soon as well. With the plasma wound in his side he wouldn't hold out long under the stress of combat.

      " Soldier whose in charge here? " Cortana said through the radio channels.

      " I am sir, um ma'am. " the soldier replied. " Corporal Poldor. "

      " What's the situation here Corporal? " Cortana asked. The civilian sighed for a moment and looked over what was left of his squad.

      " We came in roughly four hours ago when we ran across the Covenant presence here. Of the combined original force of one hundred men and thirty seven vehicles only maybe a fifth of that remains. We saw part of your armor column go by an hour ago, but were unable to make contact. We then moved down from a structure we were hiding in over there, " the man said pointing to the hills, " when we were forced out by the Covenant you saw here. They pretty much had this entire area secured until you people showed up. "

      " Very well then. Bring us to this structure. My earlier scans show a potential short cut around the main Covenant armored force in this area. " Cortana said. The man's face fell.

      " There is a Covenant armored presence here? " Poldor said shakinglly.

      " Yes Corporal and it is a very big one. "

To be continued in Chapter 6 Section 2: Just Passing By

The Fallen: Halo 2 Chp 6 Sect 2 Just Passing By
Date: 1 December 2003, 3:48 PM

Note from the author: I have just completed reading Halo: First Strike and have a few quick comments. I fully understand the differences in the proper story alignment and my rendition of Halo. I will not say the spoilers for those unfortunate enough not to of read the book as of yet. I would like to apologize for any confusion for those of you that have already read my work and the work of Eric Nylund. But notice something, I was pretty close on several little things here and there in my story and what actually happened in the First Strike. You people just have to look and find them...Man I'm lucky.

Chapter 6 Section 2: Just Passing By
0912 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Canyon Passageway 1, Sector 11209.66

      Red Leader watched the Covenant armored patrol from the tree he was hiding in along with Red-Two. The Spartan zoomed in at 2x power on his S2 AM and counted the number of units that he could spot. They wouldn't have had a chance if they had tried to engage. There were about thirty Grunts, two dozen Jackals, six Elites, three Brutes, and a pair of Hunters. These were not including pilots for the four Creeps, six Wraiths, eight Ghosts, two heavy class Ghoul tanks, and Shadow.

      The pair of Spartans waited until the enemy had completely passed them. Once the low thrum of the engines died out they exited from their hiding place. With the rain masking their movements they landed on the ground undetected.

      " I assume we are going to follow them. " Lucas asked.

      " Yeah. I want to keep a close eye on such an armored unit. We might be able to take a few down without anyone noticing. " Dale replied. " Now let's go before we lose them. " The pair immediately went and trailed after the Covenant.

      They watched carefully from a distance as they followed. As they traveled the rain came down harder and masked the sounds of their movement. The went a good four hundred meters before the Covenant line stopped. The pair stopped and dashed behind some bushes. They hid there and watched as the Creeps lagged behind.

      They could see the Creeps had stopped at a junction point in the canyons allowing the others to continue on. The Grunts hopped off and carried what looked like glowing blue canisters that were eight inches long and two inches wide. Each carried three and began digging small holes in a random fashion.

      " What the hell are they doing? " Lucas asked. Dale watched as they put the canisters into the ground after hitting a button on the top. The glow stopped when this happened and they set them in the ground. They carefully put the dirt they removed back over the canisters when they were finished.

      " They are setting up a mine field. Clever bastards. " Dale replied. " They've got them really scattered now. I think we can safely engage them. If we are lucky they'll be stupid and rush us. "

      " Or they can just run and get reinforcements to take us out. " Lucas replied killing Dale's idea.

      " Well then I guess I'll just have to make an 'accident' " Dale said with a bit of mischief in his voice. " Cover me. I'm moving out. " Lucas nodded and Dale was off.

      He ran past the bush and closer to the Covenant by fifteen meters. They were too preoccupied with their mines to notice the Spartan moving in. They were half way done when he was in position. With his rifle at 10x zoom he scanned the area for a group of them.

      " Bingo. " he said looking at a cluster of five. He targeted a Grunt that just armed the mine. He aimed for the mine and waited till it was close to the ground. He squeezed the trigger and the mine exploded killing the cluster of Covenant in a large plume of blue plasma. The ground shook by the explosion.

      Bits and pieces of flaming Grunts were flung everywhere. The other mines and plasma grenades on them were set off killing two others. A charred and bloodied arm was flung clear over to Dale and landed next to him.

      Immediately the Grunts withdrew their weapons and scanned the area. They frantically communicated with each other and slowly looked around for what could have done this. They saw their comrades in arms on the ground and splattered as far away as one of the distant walls of the canyon.

      After two minutes of a cautious search the Grunts shrugged off the explosions as an accident. Just as Dale had hoped for. Unfortunately that would pass only once. If it happened again they'd know it was an ambush. Grunts were unintelligent, but they weren't entirely stupid. He let the Grunts continue setting up the mines until they were near the Creeps.

      The last two mines were being set when they were near the APCs. Once again Dale fired a round at a mine setting it off. The explosion was big enough and close enough to the lead Creep to knock it out of action. A series of mines went off trailing to the other Creep setting it on fire as well. The Covenant went into full out panic mode and began moving through the mines carefully and fanned out to find their assailants.

      " Green-Two hit 'em! " Dale yelled into his radio. Lucas came out of his position immediately and began firing on the Covenant. Many were hit from the sudden series of three round bursts and fell dead. The two Spartans unloaded their weapons killing all of the stragglers with minimum resistance. When they had finished they moved to the edge of the minefield the Grunts had set up.

      " That was easy enough. " Lucas said looking at the glowing craters and the dead. Dale nodded to that. Suddenly they both snapped their heads up. A desperately sounding transmission came in.

      " This is Assault Team Kilo 'sszhk' heavy fire re--------ng reinforce----. " An explosion was suddenly heard. " Covenant defensive pos---- is to st---g. Requires --r--rike 'sszzzhhk' If anyone ---- this pleas- --sist. ---ualt Team Kilo out. " A few explosions could be heard faintly from where they were. They looked at each other and headed out.


      " Is this it? " Cortana asked Corporal Poldor as they approached a massive doorway. The civilian walked forward and the door slid open. Inside were two human bodies, both of which were once armed with M90 shotguns. Blood and plasma burns painted one of the walls. Over a hundred shotgun shells littered the floor.

      " Yeah. " Poldor responded. The man's shoulders sank for a moment as he looked at the bodies. He stepped inside with his shotgun at ready. The narrow hallway was a tight fit for the seventeen of them. It was too easy for the Covenant to take them out with amassed fire or grenades. Fortunately for them no such Covenant were in the hall waiting for them.

      The Militia and marines went on ahead taking point. The Chief however stayed back for a moment. He examined the two bodies. Their uniforms were burnt and bloodied rags. He checked their weapons and bandoliers. No ammo in either of them. The Chief turned his head to the other body and noticed one last shell inside the corpse's hand. He shook his head and headed back towards the group.

      The hall was pock marked with bullet holes, burnt black with grenade explosions, and stained a dark purple from the mixture of human and alien blood. Halfway down the he heard rifle fire from the next room. Two explosions then went off followed by a scream.

      The Chief immediately ran inside and saw a pair of Hunters charging up their guns. One of them fired at him nearly getting a direct hit. His shields blazed and dropped to a mere sliver. The Chief immediately ran forward and straffed to his left. The humans unloaded their weapons at the massive behemoths chipping away at their armor.

      The Hunters fired again catching a marine in the back. The soldier flew forward with his back armor fused to his spine. He was instantly paralyzed and unable to move most of his body. All he could do was scream as the melted armor plating burned its way to his lungs stopping even his cries.

      " Grenade! " someone yelled as a frag was thrown. A flash of smoke a fire went off between the Hunters barely damaging them. The two of them stopped shooting and then came at the humans. The marines just continued firing trying to take them down. The Hunters lifted up their shields to swat at the marines and fell dead a split second later. Orange blood was sent everywhere.

      " You'd think they'd learn from such mistakes. " Mirielle said as she reloaded her sniper rifle. The militia looked at her with jaws wide open.

      " Nice shot. " Corporal Poldor commented. Mirielle smiled inside her helmet and went over to the Hunters. She lightly kicked one of them with her boot. The joyous mood was suddenly shut off when Cortana spoke up.

      " Chief I've got something you should hear. " she said. A radio message was broadcasted to everyone. It was full of static and several of the words were not able to be made out.

      " This is Assault Team Kilo 'sszhk' heavy fire re--------ng reinforce----. " An explosion was suddenly heard. " Covenant defensive pos---- is to st---g. Requires --r--rike 'sszzzhhk' If anyone ---- this pleas- --sist. ---ualt Team Kilo out. "

      " Chief we should move outside. Their is an elevator nearby that leads to the nearest exit to Assault Team Kilo's position. " Cortana said.

      " Agreed. " the Chief responded. A NAV marker showed up on his and the other Spartan's HUDs. He turned to the team and waved his hand forward. They immediately followed. It took a moment for everyone to get through the multiple halls leading to the elevator. Several of the soldiers groaned when they saw the size of it.

      " Guess we'll have to take turns. " one of them commented. The small lift could fit about five maybe six people on it. The Chief immediately stepped forward and got on it. Three marines got on and went up. Four more trips were made bringing everyone top side.

      " Chief the door that leads outside is nearby. " Cortana said. They quickly ran for the door and exited outside. As they ran massive explosions could be heard from outside.

      The doors opened and they were on an elongated bridge that was suspended in the air by electrical beams. The rain had also picked up the pace bringing it from a light rain to a downpour. Everyone except the three Spartans came to a sliding halt when they noticed another annoyance.

      Roughly five Grunts and six Jackals were on the bridge firing downward on the humans below. The Spartans opened fire killing half and took cover as the enemy turned their attention to them. It almost seemed as if the plasma pistols were fully automatic from the amount of fire that came towards them. It burned through the thin two meter high walls they hid behind and hit the canyon rock behind them.

      " Damn it! Their taking out our cover! " Stacker yelled a man next to him was hit squarely in the face. The soldier's face collapsed in on its self and a puddle of blood formed around his shoulders and skull. " Grenade! " Stacker yelled poking his head out from the cover. He tossed the grenade at the Jackals that were slowly advancing. They turned their shields to the explosive and absorbed the blast. He swore and hid once more.

      " INCOMING! " someone yelled. The Chief looked upward and saw a blue flame arc through the air and hit one of the marines. Everyone nearby scrambled as the man ran around screaming, begging to have it be torn off. He went up in a flash of blue taking two others with him. Blood splashed the Chief in his helmet from the marines. All that was left was a mess and a glowing red hole in the bridge.

      " Spartans distract and destroy! " the Chief yelled. Mireille and Kirika and nodded and moved to the other end where the hole was formed and exposed themselves to the Covenant. Immediately the Jackals targeted them and rained hell onto them.

      Their distraction was just long enough to give the Chief a chance to get in on the left flank of the enemy. He fired ten rounds killing two and wounding another. The Jackals were caught by surprise and split up trying to take on the two threats. They, as well as their Grunt counterparts, were taken out within a matter of seconds.

      The trio did not stop there, but immediately ran forward. They ran to the other side of the bridge covering each other as they professionally made sure the bridge was secure. No more Covenant were remaining on the bridge.

      " Bridge secured. " Cortana said. The Chief looked at what was left and listened to the explosions going on beneath him. The Marines and Militia ran as fast as they could to the Spartans. Several of them, mostly the wounded, had to regained their breath.

      " I think we should stay here sir. We can give some support from up here. " Poldor said approaching the Chief.

      " We'll stay with them as well. " Stacker added. " I'll have my medic help out the wounded. You should keep going sir. " The Chief nodded and exited through the door at this end of the bridge along with the Spartans close behind.

To Be Continued in Chapter 6 Section 3: Claiming Territory

The Fallen: Halo 2- Chapter 6 Section 3: Claiming Territory
Date: 11 December 2003, 4:04 PM

After six rewrites this section is finally finished. Would have it out last week, but it just wasn't what I wanted. Well I hope you guys/gals like it.

Chapter 6 Section 3: Claiming Territory
1017 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Canyon 4 Access way

The Chief stopped in front of the massive metal door before him. He steadied his aim and waved Kirika forward. The other Spartan nodded and slowly approached the door. A hiss of air sounded as it opened by the proximity of the soldier. Beyond there was nothing but darkness. Still the faintest light was enough for any Spartan to see. Kirika walked into the room and cleared it.

She walked in a few meters and saw a faint glow to her right. She examined the source and saw it was that of a pair of flashlights lying on the metal floor. Two horribly ravaged soldiers accompanied the lights clutching them as if they had no idea what had hit them. Both were covered in blood and deep cuts. Kirika signaled for the Chief and Mirielle to come in.

" Look sir. " she said pointing to the corpses. The Chief saw them and shook his head. " Any idea what could have done this? " she asked.

" I haven't a clue. " he replied. Mirielle walked over to the bodies. She knealt down and examined the pair.

" Brutes maybe? " Mirielle suggested looking at the wounds. " Very similar to the blade they wield on their rifles. " The Chief disagreed with that.

" No, it doesn't seem right. There aren't any plasma burns and their bodies haven't been too horribly torn apart. " The Chief then bent down and picked up one of the MA5Bs laying there. " Look, " he said gesturing to the ammo counter, " weapon's full. These guys didn't even put up a fight. With Brutes they would have a chance of shooting. "

The Chief set the rifle down and stood up. As he did a small click was heard from above him. He immediately looked upward and turned on his flashlight. The other two did as well and looked up. Nothing was seen. They scanned the ceiling twice and shrugged it off as something mechanical in the walls of the ring. They had been hearing a lot of that since they had landed on Installation 12.

" What was it? " Kirika asked. Before the Chief could respond three red flashes came down from the ceiling hitting Mirielle's shields. They flared and suddenly a man sized object landed on her shoulders forcing her to the ground. Kirika and the Chief drew their weapons and aimed at the mass that hit their comrade.

They hesitated as they watched Mirielle wrestle this new threat that had landed on her. The pair were moving fast and nothing but a blur of motions could be seen. Four seconds had passed and the Chief heard the snapping of bones with an accompanying screech of pain and anger. Another second passed and Mirielle had the creature's head pinned to the floor. She pulled out her M6D and unloaded half a clip into one of its thin luminous blue eyes. All motion stopped as bright orange blood splattered onto the floor.

" Damn little Stalker, " Mirielle said getting up and brushing the thick blood off her shields, " Next time you'll know better than to ambush a Spartan now won't you? " Kirika chuckled at this. The Chief said nothing. Instead he examine the new opponent.

He picked up one of the scaly gray arms and looked at the four elongated finger on its hand. On them were sharp, three inch long claws that could easily of torn apart the two dead militia on the floor next to them. They also looked strong enough to support the alien's weight. Impressive.

The Chief then looked at the device on the alien's wrist. A small blue-gray weapon was mounted there. It had two barrels and an odd looking firing device. One look and the Chief new he couldn't use the weapon even if he wanted to. At least not at its full potential. Still he took it and strapped it to his armor.

" So what do you think Cortana? the Chief inquired.

" About Mirielle's 'Stalker'? Not much. Physically it can support its own weight with those talons it wields. Probably be a major problem for someone unarmored like our two poor guests. Other than that I'd say this guy was a scout. A Stalker, more or less, as Mirielle commented before. " Cortana replied.

" Great. Well let's keep moving. Command is expecting us to help take the area. Soon. " The Chief said. He gave one last look at the Stalker followed by the dead soldiers. He and his squad then left the are.

The trio continued their advance for several minutes until they had reached another door leading to the next canyon. They could hear the faint crack of rifles and the whine of discharging plasma weapons from inside. There was a sudden explosion that rocked the cliff side they were contained in. Dust fell from the ceiling and settled on the floor. Immediately the Spartans ran for the exit in the attempt to reach the conflict before it was over. Hoping to be of some use before the Covenant overwhelmed whom ever it was outside.

When they had made it out they saw what had made the land rock so violently. Two Scorpions and a Lobster tank were exchanging fire with a half a dozen or so Demons. Between them were several of human and Covenant infantry. The Spartans suddenly dropped to their knees and began firing on the Covenant infantry.

The enemy tanks charged their weapons and fired at the human line. Twelve blue-green streaks of fire raced across the sky and detonated near the human tanks obliterating one of the Scorpions.

The tank shuddered and suddenly exploded in an orange ball of fire. Armored plates were flung high into the air impacting into the ground with great force. A thick cloud of smoke formed over the wreckage. After the tank was destroyed the other two moved at top speed away from the smoldering chassis and fired on the enemy as they went.

Three white streaks formed in the air and damaged two of the enemy Demons. The floating crab like tanks were forced back several meters and began smoking. One became so filled with smoke that the Elite pilot inside bailed out and began engaging on foot after it had regained its breath.

The Spartans watched through their scopes, killing what they could, as the battle raged on. Both tank lines got off another salvo hitting each other. Three tanks exploded and became blossoms of fire and secondary explosions. Both the Scorpion and Lobster were taken out forcing the marines that were engaged to run. There were howls from the remaining Covenant infantry as they blindly attacked the retreating survivors..

The Covenant, now unhindered by any armor, were free to advance quickly and they did so with extreme force. The remaining tanks opened up taking out a dozen marines in a single salvo. Their other shots missed, but made large burning craters that no one could not with stand walking into. Plasma fire refilled the air killing and or wounding all but four who managed to escape.

The Chief watched as they ran helpless against the superior enemy. They continued to run until the came to edge of the opposing canyon wall. The Chief zoomed in and got a total of eight FOF identification tags. To his amazement four of which were his Spartans.

" Blue-one to Green-One and Red-One. Do you copy? Over. " he said over a secure COM channel.

" Copy Blue-One. This is Green-One. What is it sir? " Joshua responded.

" Have you picked up any anti-tank weapons? We need those things taken out or they will burn us up real fast. " the Chief asked.

" Negative sir. We have zero. I repeat zero anti-tank ordinance. " The Chief let out a disappointed sigh and thought quickly. He had to or his team would be torn to shreads. For some odd reason in this moment of stress the Chief remembered about the briefing and the General's orders for the HAC-7 Wasps.

" Cortana what is the ETA on the HAC-7 arrivals? " he asked.

" They are already in the ring's atmosphere and are doing patrol runs. I'll see what I can drum up. " she responded. A few seconds had passed by and Cortana gave the ETA on the air support. They had to wait another three minutes.

" Okay then. Everyone fall back into the canyon walls as best you can. Air support is on its way. ETA three minutes. " he ordered. He got six blue acknowledgement lights on his HUD. Everyone did as they were told and not a moment too soon.

The Demons had locked onto their positions and begun firing on the canyon walls. Massive boulders were forced out of the side as the flaming projectiles splashed over them. Large shards of glass fell and ash slowly dropped like black snow in the rain. The bombardment continued for four minutes. The air support was late. Another two minutes went by and the shooting suddenly stopped.

Te Chief walked over to the door and looked up into the sky after seeing the tanks reorienting themselves. In the distance three black shadows came from the clouds. He saw multiple flashes of fire and heard them a second later. Tracers and rockets straight for the tanks and hit them relentlessly. Explosions rocked the tanks damaging them badly. The Covenant turned for a counter attack and fired into the air.

The plasma was too slow and missed the three small craft. They sped by and delivered a final knock out punch. The Chief saw the craft as they sped by. A rare grin ran across his face as he watched the vaguely Pelican like craft speed by. The trio disappeared as quickly as they came.

" Okay squad move out. Keep an eye open for straglers. " the Chief said over the COM. The others made there way back to the exit. The door way had been completely boiled down to a molten slag. A dozen impact craters remained along side a pool of molten metal and rock. The squad moved past this and examined the damage doen by the air strike.

Nine columns of smoke rose into the air adding to the darkness of the clouds above. The ground near the tanks was tossed up from armor piercing bullets and rockets. At least four dozen bodies, all Covenant, lie dead in and around the Demons. There was a suuden rumble of a car engine as the humans examined the wreckage. The Spartans turned towards the sound and saw a Warthog along with two Squirrels. They came to a slow halt as they approached the Chief.

" Heard you people could use a hand. " a marine said hopping out of the driver seat of the Warthog.

" Thank God we've got a hog. " one of the few surviving marines said. The soldier and the three others mounted up in the troop carriage.

" Who are you people? " the Chief ordered stepping towards the driver. The marine shook his head real quick and gave the Chief a half-hearted salute.

" Sorry sir. Forgot about the pleasantries. Name's Corporal Yu Aida. I'm your transport to the real front. General Kits has got the rest of the battalion down ahead two klicks from here fighting off a bunch of armor. I was given specific orders to take any survivors from the rear line up to main armor compliment. So if you don't mind sir we should get moving. " The Chief nodded to this and got into the passenger seat. His Spartans filled in the last seats as the engine was revved. After everyone was aboard they peeled out along with their Squirrel escort.


The Warthog passed another smoldering tank as they approached the battle ahead of them. The Chief, as did the others, looked over and saw the dead bodies sprawled out all over the ground. Their ashen bodies made the air smell horrid. In the distance they could hear the sounds of combat raging.

Several minutes went by as they passed several more flaming chassis. After about the twelfth wreck the Chief stopped observing the slaughter that had happened. Everyone's morale had been a little drained after seeing this much death. Including the Spartans with all of their training and experience. Not much, but enough that they noticed the decline.

" We're almost there! Kits says this area is top priority right now! So hang tight people because once I stop you all need to bail! " Aida yelled. He accelerated and they could see the valley where the battle was taking place.

It was an image of hell. Dozens of Scorpions, Warthogs, and lobsters exchanged fire with the Covenant tanks on the far end. On the ground were wounded, dead, and dozens of destroyed Covenant and UNSC armored vehicles. The air was filled with bullets, fire, dirt, and shrapnel. The screams of the desperate humans echoed off the canyon walls, but were quickly drowned out by the never ending howls of the Covenant and their guns. Not getting hit here was almost like avoiding the rain. Damn near impossible. The Chief became tensed when he looked at the ridge at the far end.

Roughly two dozen Wraiths and Demons lined the top ridge over looking the canyon and the massive cavern beneath it. Accompanying them were several Shade and Specter gun turrets. The guns rarely ever stopped shooting down at the humans. The only time they did is when the barrels had over heated and even then it was only temporary.

" Spartans once we're dropped head to the any cover you can get behind and take out what you can. Remain hidden and don't draw attention. " the Chief ordered. " Now then Green Team I want you to take left and aim for those turrets. Red Team take infantry up the center. Blue Team you're on me. Aim for what you can hit. All teams, if you find anti-tank weapons use them on the Demons and Wraiths if at all possible. Blue-One out. " He got six blue acknowledgement lights on his HUD after a three second pause.

He let out a long breath and prepared to launch himself out of his seat and into battle. He had to have faith in his team. The Warthog slowed and was suddenly thrown into a violent spin as a mortar round hit next to the vehicle.

The Chief was torn from his seat and thrown to the ground. There was an alarm in his helmet as his shields went dead. He rolled for several meters and saw the flaming wreck he was once in. The whole front left side was blown off. He squelched the noise of the alarm in his helmet as he reoriented himself. Seeing the first available cover he ran and hid behind a nearby crashed Pelican. He looked back to the wreckage of the Warthog and searched for his Spartans.

He saw Green Team running from the flaming vehicle and then they disappeared behind another piece of destroyed armor. The Chief continued to search for the other members, but found none. He shook his head briefly and checked inside the back hatch of the Pelican for any survivors or something he could use. There was a medic inside with a critically wounded soldier. Both were stained in bright red blood. A moment had passed and the patient went into a coma. Blood gurgled from his mouth as he drowned in his own fluids. The medic beat the side armor panel and cursed. There was nothing he could have done with the limited supplies he had left.

The Chief shook his head and propped himself on the Pelican's tail over looking the canyon floor. So much was going on that the carnage seemed to be totally uncontrolled. For the most part that was the case. The only exceptions were the turrets, tanks, and a hand full of Jackals that were firing at a disabled Lobster nearby.


A plasma bolt zinged over the private's head splashing some where far behind him. Several more shots came by missing him and his squad by mere inches. The man squirmed away and hid underneath the carcass of a Lobster light recon tank. Along with him were three others, all of which were badly wounded.

" Damn it! " the private's sergeant yelled as his shoulder was hit by one of the fiery projectiles. " Jones get your ass over here! " Private Jones reluctantly obeyed orders and crawled over to his squad leader. The man fired his weapon at the enemies' feet in a vain effort to knock out the shielded Covenant. AP bullets simply ricocheted and hit the muddy earth.

" I can't hit them Sarge! " Jones yelled. The mud encrusted sergeant handed the man a frag grenade.

" Roll it past them! " he said as Jones grabbed it. The Private turned to the Jackals that were giving them hell and saw three of the original seven suddenly fell dead. Jones gave an confused expression as he saw two more drop. He almost fired instead when he saw the last one turn to its right and fired its weapon.

He looked to where the enemy had concerned itself and saw a tall green figure unloading the last of an MA8A on its shields. It suddenly ran forward closing range hitting the alien square in the forehead. Black blood was forced out of the Jackal's skull as a trio of hits struck with extreme force crushing its head. Jones looked on his eye HUD piece and saw the rank of MCPO-117 appear.

" That was amazing sir you really kicked the shit out of them! " Jones commented. The Spartan heard the comment and looked at the survivors underneath the tank. Jones and his Sergeant crawled out taking cover.

" Thank God you showed up Chief. " the sergeant said wiping the mud from his face.

" Hello Sergeant Johnson. Long time no see. " the Chief added. Sarge gave a small laugh and jumped back as he saw the Chief turn to his right and fire a burst. The Grunt at the receiving end flopped head over heels and landed dead in a puddle. The Chief reloaded and turned his attention back to the marines. " Sergeant how many have you got with you? "

" There are five of us sir. Three are unable to move. Brutes got to them. " Johnson said with a strong hint of anger in his voice. The Chief nodded and looked to the far end where the Covenant armor was stationed. He noticed the guns were disabled. Compliments of Green Team. " Any suggestions sir? "

" Stay low and follow the Chief. We'll need every man up near those tanks. " Cortana said over the COM channels.

" Still have a women stuck in your head Chief? " Johnson replied. Cortana gave a huff of disliking as the Chief said nothing. The Chief looked at his radar and saw more friendlies coming his direction. He turned seeing they were the rest of Blue Team. Sergeant Johnson gave a low whistle. The Spartans nodded to the Chief and the marines. One of them hefted a Jackhammer missile launcher.

" Blue-Three put her to use. " the Chief said. Kirika grinned on the inside of her helmet and aimed for the lead Demon. She knelt down and locked the anti-tank gun on her sights. A second later and both tubes of the launcher were emptied.

Twin projectiles screamed across the valley and hit the Covenant tank. A blossom of fire erupted as the first round impacted. The second hit in the gun port and the Demon was neutralized. Jones gave a cheer of victory. There was a sudden silence from the Covenant. The humans, however did not stop shooting. Several Covenant warriors cleared the valley and were picked off by marines and Spartans alike.

" Oh God... " Cortana said with fear in her voice. The Chief looked down to the ground confused. If Cortana was willing enough to say something and express an emotion of fear than something was wrong.

" Cortana what is it? " he asked. Cortana suddenly screamed over every COM channel in the canyon.


To be Continued in The Fallen Halo 2- Chapter 6 Section 4: Claiming Territory Part 2

Comment from the author: I will laugh my ass off if Bungie has something like the Stalker lined up for Halo 2.

Halo 2: The Fallen Chp 6 Sct 4- Claiming Territory pt 2
Date: 4 January 2004, 11:23 PM

Chapter 6 Section 4: Claiming Territory part 2
1100 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Main Canyon Floor, Battle Sector Alpha 1

      " INCOMING GHOULS! TAKE COVER! " Cortana screamed over the COM channels. John looked across the valley and saw the Covenant retreating back towards the ridge. As soon as they got there they hid behind the numerous rocks. Marines seeing this immediately took advantage of the opportunity and opened fire. Sergeant Johnson seemed to enjoy this most of all. Hundreds of bullets and several tank rounds flew at the retreating enemy mercilessly killing them. Bodies of Jackals, Grunts, and Elites were destroyed and splattered as the munitions did their work. Not one plasma bolt was fired in return, not even from the tanks. The Chief found himself concerned by this.

      Although the death of the enemy was nothing new and was perfectly acceptable, there was a strange oddness about this. Almost never had there been a retreat by the Covenant. More specifically by their ground forces. After the Covenant infantry had made it back and hid a sudden silence hit the battle field. It seemed as if time had stopped. Rifles went silent and tanks stopped firing. The Chief could hear the sound of his own heart beating and the rain pattering down on his shields.

      There was a small howl in the wind from high above breaking the silence. He, as did many others, turned their heads to the sky. From the dark storm clouds came ten bat shaped fliers. On their wings were two fuel rod guns with another mounted on the fuselage. Accompanying them were four light plasma cannons. Everyone could see them and a wave of terror swept into their hearts.

      " Oh shit. " Johnson muttered. The fliers changed direction from their horizontal flight path, and dove in formation straight for the valley. Several marines looked on in awe as they saw the plasma cannons warm and glow a calm blue. The Chief immediately knew the threat and ran for cover. The Spartan holstered his weapons and ran for the nearest canyon wall. Where the Ghouls were coming from. They flew overhead and missed the humans that were along the canyon wall. The rest of the forces were not so lucky.

      The Ghouls opened up in unison and fired on the UNSC forces. Large globules of green fire and lances of blue impacted the Scorpions causing absolute hell. Dozens of large orange fireballs were sent up into the air as the tanks' munitions detonated. The tank crew attempted to get out in time but were flashed fried as their armored beasts were turned to ravaged scrap metal.

      The Ghouls had succeeded in their initial attack run destroying all but three of the tanks and completely overlooked the Warthogs. They banked hard for another attack. They now targeted the scrambling marines. Men fell to the ground screaming as the plasma bolts struck them and burned through their bodies. Blood sprayed from the wounds and drained quickly from their hosts. The fliers slowed and continued their slaughter.

      A few dozen of the survivors fired upward at the Covenant ships with their ineffective weapons. The bullets that hit barely scratched the Ghoul armor. Unhindered by a lack of human anti-air craft guns the Covenant set their primary sights for the remaining vehicles. They opened fire sending their hell fire towards the humans. A scant few managed to escape their tanks before they were turned to molten slag. Secondary explosions went off killing those unfortunate enough to be nearby. Within the first five minutes of the raid the remaining 15 vehicles were wiped out along with over a hundred infantry.

      The air grew hot as more explosions went off. Those under cover looked on in horror at the sight of their once mighty group being slaughtered by the Covenant. Along the ridge line the Covenant infantry came out of their hiding places to look at their air support doing its job. They howled and cheered as they heard the screams of dying humans and explosions bringing forth more carnage. The Chief watched this in anger. He checked the range of the enemy infantry and found it was too far out for his weapon to be of much use. He was not able to do a damned thing. He shook his head and noticed three Spartans making their way over to him.

      " Master Chief Sir. " CPO Dale-119 said to the Chief. The Chief nodded to the Spartans. Mirielle and Peter were with him. " Sir we've found a way around the enemy line. " Dale said sending the coordinates on the Chief's HUD. A small blinking red triangle appeared on the overhead map. " It's over here. No one is guarding it and we can slip by the Ghouls overhead. Lucas and Kirika have already dragged what survivors they could into the access way. Joshua is making sure the way is somewhat clear for us to make it through. If we move fast we might be able to get most of the wounded in there. "

      " And what of those that can't make it? " Cortana inquired. " Enemy dropships are bound to come in. " Dale's head hung low for a moment.

      " Cortana, " the Master Chief asked, " Is there any more UNSC air support in this sector? "

      " Negative Chief. All air support has been destroyed. They knocked out half of the original Ghouls. The remaining Ghouls killed the last of the UNSC air units in this sector. " The Master Chief disliked this. He knew exactly what would happen if they left the marines here. Their spirits would be broken first and then the Covenant would release the Jackals and Grunts on those that couldn't fight. If they did stay then they would suffer the same fate. Either way it was not what the Chief or anyone wanted.

      " We're leaving, " the Chief ordered over the COM channel, " Grab anyone that you can. If they resist, don't stop them. " He stopped to think these words over for a second. The Chief knew he would rather stay and fight alongside his dying comrades. He was not willing to make anyone stay behind. That was their choice. He felt the sudden uneasiness of his squad mates. It was as if they could read his mind. " They'll buy us some time. We need to move fast. Those fliers are not going to stop until we are dead. " the Chief snapped his head upward towards the Ghouls not taking his eyes off them. " Cortana this passage way, does it lead around the Covenant line or just away from it? "

      " One moment. Analyzing...Yes. The passage way CPO Spartan-119 has mentioned leads around the Covenant line. " Cortana replied. "Interesting. " There was a sudden shrill as the ghouls made another pass firing their weapons at the wounded that were attempting to crawl away.

      " What? " the Chief asked taking cover.

      " The passage is an alternate route to Halo's Control Center. "

      " That's it we're leaving now. Gather any survivors and move out. " He got six blue acknowledgment lights on his HUD. He took one last look at the valley, at its glowing craters and rotting corpses. The Chief turned and headed for the point the others needed to show him.

1147 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Aboard the Odin

      " Shiri Gami give the status of our repairs and the Covenant on the fourth moon. " Captain Mortensen asked leaning back in his command chair. The wraith like AI popped up on the holoprojector along side a map of the fourth moon. The image zoomed and dozens of red triangles appeared.

      " Our repairs are ninety percent complete. Engineers say we should be up in an hour. Now as for the Covenant. On the fourth moon they have taken a 10sq kilometer area that they seem to be investigating. " Shiri Gami replied. " Is there anything else that you need Captain? "

      " Yes. Can you give me any specifics as to the nature of the moon. "

      " One moment. Analyzing...The moon is of terran origin. One third Earth normal gravity. Hmm... Seems something bad has happened here before. There is an atmosphere, not one of supporting human life without a breather mask, but an atmosphere none the less. Radiation levels are tolerable. Most of the moon is now rock with minimal water sources. " the AI said. The Captain took interest in the moon for some reason he couldn't explain. Maybe it was his fascination with space or something else he couldn't see. Shiri Gami popped back in. " Sir it seems that there is a massive underground facility. Forerunner origin. The Covenant are right on top of it! "

      " Crap. " Mortensen replied. He turned in his chair. " Give me a layout of what we can see. " A map appeared on the holoprojector of the facility. It was huge. At least a kilometer underground. " Shidou call up Stanforth. Send him the information of the Covenant movements and the structure we have found. Also send a request for some ODSTs to be dropped in. " Mortensen turned his chair back to the front view screen. " I've got a bad feeling about this. "

      " Sir message sent. Admiral Stanforth sends his regards. He's sending in units from the 32nd. " Shidou said. " Seems he doesn't want to take any chances. " Captain Mortensen agreed with that full heartedly. He know only hoped that the marines would be enough. He stiffened in his chair and watched as the Leviathan moved into position.

      The massive cruiser stopped and went into a geosynchronous orbit. Ten minutes had passed. There were sudden flashes of light from the bottom of the Leviathan. Nearly 10 dozen drop pods had come out and were headed for the moon. Tiny flames arced across the moon's atmosphere and disappeared in the night.

      " Sir we have an inbound transmission from the Michigan. " Shidou said.

      " Patch it through. " Mortensen ordered. On the view screen Captain Griffes face appeared. He looked angry.

      " What can I do you for Captain? " Mortensen asked.

      " What the hell is going on? I was uninformed of an orbital launch. Why wasn't I notified? "

      " Sorry Captain. We were... in a bit of a rush. We've detected Covenant ground forces on the fourth moon and Admiral Stanforth has sent in his boys already. " Mortensen replied. " You are more than welcome to join the party. "

      " Thank you. We will. " The COM link shut down.

      " Doesn't look like they are too happy with us. " Shidou said looking back

      " Keep an eye on their communications and on our boys on the ground. I have a bad feeling something is going to happen. " Mortensen ordered. " Shiri Gami can you get me the following files... "


      The Chief took point in the dark tunnel that they had found. He pointed his rifle down the long hall and switched to his night vision. All he saw was a door at the far end and numerous holopanels near it. Other than that the area was clear. He turned back to the two dozen or so marines that they managed to haul off the battle field.

      The rest had been wounded too badly to be moved or were already dead. He gave an all clear signal and moved forward. Everyone moved forward cautiously. It would only be a matter of time before the Covenant found out where they had gone. And time was running out fast.

      " Cortana keep me posted on Covenant troop movements. I don't want anything sneaking up behind us. " the Master Chief said. Those that had flashlights had turned them and stopped at the end of the hall. Soft blue light reflected off the Spartan's visors and spread along the walls from the panels giving the passage way an eerie feeling. The Chief walked up to the door. It was door non-responsive.

      " Door's locked Chief. Give me a moment. " Cortana said. The area had suddenly come alive. The holopanels had odd Forerunner calligraphy scroll along their surfaces. The movement stopped and the door slid upwards revealing yet another long passage filled with holopanels and displays.

      " Okay people let's get moving. " The Chief said stepping forward. He was in a good ten meters before anyone else came through. The room seemed to warm to his presence. Displays showed a wide assortment of symbols and graphs with things he hadn't the slightest clue on.

      The group continued on for nearly an hour going through a maze of halls like this until they reached their exit. The door slid open and a beam of yellow light pierced the darkness. The Chief looked outside and saw that the storm had broken apart in this area. He could also see a pair of Grunts standing guard twenty meters from his position.

      The Chief immediately held up his right hand in a fist to stop everyone. He then aimed his rifle at one of the Grunts. Their backs were turned to him and they seemed rather laid back. Easy targets. He waited for on of them to slightly turn their head towards him. He got what he wanted. As soon as the unknowing Covenant turned its head a three round burst tore through its breather mask and out the back of its head.

      The shots startled the other and immediately it got up and ran. The Chief fired five rounds into the alien's back. The AP rounds punctured one of the methane tanks on its back. It went up in a quick flash of fire. The Chief slowly and carefully walked outside making sure his flanks were secure. He looked to the left and saw a massive slate gray structure a half a kilometer away. It was massive. At least five three hundred meters tall and five hundred wide. Powerful beams of white-blue light shot upward.

      Seeing the flanks were secure he called the rest of the unit forward. They walked outside, some stumbling over their own wounds, and saw the objective. That building had to be the control room. They knew it in their bones.

      " Chief enemy movement update. " Cortana said.

      " Report. "

      " Halo's Control Center under Covenant occupation. Estimated enemy numbers are around company size. Assorted infantry. No armor, no stationary weapons. They just got here. " Good the Chief thought. Finally a bit of luck has gone their way. The Spartans alone could take on those kind of odds. He turned back and looked at the battered marines. He took one look at their charred and bloodied faces. If they were to attack they would only die.

      " Marines stay here and take cover. The Spartans and I are going to move in. " the Chief ordered. The men looked confused, others disappointed. With a flick of the Chief's wrist the Spartans moved out from the group and met up with the Chief. Shortly there after they left for the structure.

      The Spartans, knowing speed was key, holstered their weapons, and made a run for the structure. Three minutes had passed and they were now a mere 100 meters from the base of the structure. The Chief slowed and went back to a normal pace. The others did likewise.

      " Red and Green groups take right. Blue group take left. " the Chief said over the COM. " Distract and destroy. Red and Green teams be ready for my signal. " He got six blue acknowledgment lights on his HUD. The Spartans dispersed in a ghostly fashion.

      A group of Jackals had come down on patrol after the squad had hid behind numerous rocks and trees. The vulture like aliens squawked at each other engaging in some unknown conversation. They talked for nearly a minute until the Chief gave the go light.

      Red and Green teams stood up from their position and fired at the enemy. One of the Jackals was killed in the first instant. The rest turned in surprise to see the humans. However they quickly formed together and fired their plasma pistols. Large amounts of green fire impacted on the Spartans' shields draining them nearly instantly. They quickly ducked taking cover.

      Blue team aimed at the Jackal formation and their exposed backs. They opened fire on the Covenant. Tracers impacted the backs of the enemy splattering black blood along the insides of their shields. Several raspy voices cried out as they fell dead.

      " Now that they know we are here, let's get up quickly. " the Chief ordered. "Blue Two you have point. " Mirielle gave a response signal and ran to the nearest ramp leading to the Control Room with her S2 AM at the ready. " All teams fan out. Alpha Formation. " The Spartans went to their positions are advanced.

      After they were in position they went up. A quarter up the slope they saw a dead Grunt lying in a puddle of its own blood. They paid little attention to it. The squad continued up and spotted another dead Grunt along with a Jackal. The Spartans didn't have time to examine the dead. The Covenant were bound to come out and attack them at any moment.

      As they went up the Chief looked ahead and saw several flashes of green and blue light. The characteristic whine of plasma rifles echoed off the cold metallic surface of the structure making it seem like there was twice as much shooting going on. The Spartans instinctively ducked at the sound of enemy fire. No shots came their way.

      An explosion was heard and a flash of smoking fire was seen followed by two more. The shooting seemed to lessen in amount. The Spartans were at the top of the sloped building when they saw a platform with the Covenant company. All dead except a single badly wounded Brute.

      The overly massive behemoth limped forward holding its wounded side. Blackened blood seeped from multiple cuts that covered its body. One of its eye had been burned out and the creature was in a haze. The Spartans pulled up their files to their shoulders and fired at the Brute. By time they did they were too late.

      The Brute fell forward and landed with a thump. Several red beams of energy from above the Covenant warrior faded out of existence. Nearly a dozen sparking Sentinels hovered down and saw the Spartans. The Chief held up his hand to prevent the squad from opening fire. The guards stayed put hovering in one spot while scanning the humans. The wings of the mindless robots closed and they veered away.

      The squad moved forward slowly examining the Covenant as they went. They passed what seemed to be an Engineering group. For every five engineers there was maybe one normal member of the Covenant warrior caste. Past all of these bodies was a massive door. The Sentinels hovered around the door constantly watching squad as they approached the door.

      The seven of them stopped and searched for an access panel. Kirika was the first to spot it. She walked over to it and removed the Jackal body that was leaned up against it.

      " Any idea how to use this thing? " she asked. The Chief stepped forward and pushed the normal open/ activate button that was everywhere on this ring. Nothing happened. He hit another. Again nothing happened. He stepped back not knowing what to do. Sudden several beams of golden light appeared in front of him from out of thin air. The Spartans snapped their weapons in unison at the foreign light. The beams faded and 049 Innocent Flame appeared.

      " Thank you for coming! I was looking all over for you John! " Innocent Flame said with joy. " I was unsure if you or your allies would ever come to Installation 12's Control Room. I am grateful to see you showed up. Especially at our time of need. "

      " Time of need? " the Chief said confused. Innocent Flame looked over to the six other Spartans.

      " Friends of yours? " he asked. The Chief nodded. The rest of the squad slowly lowered their weapons. " Now then let me take you to the Control Center so we can speak. " The massive doors opened and on the other side were dozens upon dozens of Sentinels at the ready.

      " Someone likes security. " Lucas commented looking at the vast amount of defenders. They walked past the guards and into the Control Room.

      The place was the same as Installation 04's. Complete with massive hologram. Exception being this was of Installation 12's planetary system.

       " Now about our crisis. " the Innocent flame said.

Chapter 6 Completed. To be continued in Chapter 7: Trouble Ahead

The Falen: Halo 2 Chapter 7
Date: 21 April 2004, 11:31 AM

Note from the author: Well it has come to my attention, through people that shall remain nameless, that the combat in this series is getting a bit repetitive and is a sign of a series' expiration. Well the series is almost over, but not for this reason. After Chapter 7 we have just 4 more chapters (not sections, actual chapters) to go and it is finished. But fear not, Chapter 7 is going to be worthy of the number that it has been given. Things are gonna get juicy in Chapter 7. ENJOY!

Chapter 7 Section 1: Trouble Begins
Location: Installation 12's Control Room
Time: November 23, 2553 1216 Hours

      The Innocent Flame floated about painting the floor with red illumination. Came to a stop and turned to the Spartans that had accompanied him. Lazily he drifted backwards as he lead them to the main control panel.

      " As I was saying there has been a breach in security on one of the Installation's secondary facilities. " he commented. Several of the dozens of Sentinels floated into the room and flew in circles around the room constantly keeping an eye on the Spartan team.

      " Secondary facilities? " the Chief asked confused. The massive hologram in the room flared and zoomed in on one of the nearby moons. A red triangle began to blink on it.

      " Yes secondary facilities. On this particular satellite world we built a facility to maintain off world security for this system. Unfortunately I have lost all communications with this structure. Security systems are not responding and the teleportation grid within the facility is no longer giving off any signal." 049 added. The Chief let out a low sigh. He was afraid he knew what the little floating ball was going to ask next. " So I am requesting that you would please investigate this matter. It is of utmost importance. "

      " I can't do that," the Chief quickly protested, " Not without permission from command. " The Flame hovered in one spot for a full three seconds before it said anything.

      " Explain why not. " The Chief turned to his Spartans and saw their scorched and blood stained armor. He then turned back to the Monitor of Installation 12.

      " We have a mission to eliminate all Covenant forces in this area. Our orders are very specific. We can not leave until all are gone. " the Chief said sternly. The monitor leaned to it's left giving what passed for a confused look.

      " One moment. " There was a rush of air and a flash of golden light. The Spartans brought their weapons up and watched as the Sentinel population had dropped to zero. " Your Covenant problem is being dealt with as we speak. " Two silent minutes passed as the squad talked to each other over secure COM channels. There was another rush of air and several of the Sentinels returned. "Sentinel population reduced by five percent. Within tolerable levels. "The Innocent flame turned to the Chief. " Your threats have been neutralized. "

       " Cortana? " the Master Chief asked without letting anyone else hear him, " Is it true? "

       "He's telling the truth Chief. " Cortana said. "I've sent a quick report to General Kits already. So, are we going to take up this mission? "

       "Only if Kits clears it. Otherwise, no. Send a mission request. See what he says. "

       "Roger that Chief. Mission request sent. "

Location: Surface of the Fourth Moon

      Private Sena nearly shit his pants as soon as the Covenant began their plasma artillery bombardment on the ODSTs. A dozen flaming blue trails of heat and fire scorched the sky sending blisters down the marine's back despite being several meters above him. He screamed in pain and ducked behind a nearby rock. The rounds impacted kicking up dirt and molten rock as they forced themselves into craters that dotted the battlefield. There were a few muffled screams that pierced their way through the explosions.

      Sena looked back at the men who were hit and found nothing but smoke and ash. He felt his stomach hit rock bottom and gripped his rifle tightly. The measly private, scared to death, looked over his cover and saw the Covenant line. There were twenty mobile artillery platforms accompanied by at least a battalion's strength in troops. It was a sea of red, black, and chromed armor lined up along the complex they were ordered to take. He ducked his head back down and leaned back and began to scrutinize himself.

      " Damn it why'd I have to join the corps? " he said cursing himself as he hid like a coward, " The ODSTs at that even. " Sena closed his eyes as he listened to a symphony of staccato rifle fire, the ever present whine of plasma weapons, the thunderous booms of artillery, and a haunting chorus of a thousand alien voices baying for his blood. The man was about to crack underneath the pressure. A shot whizzed by a hit a scant meter next to him. It kicked up a cloud of chalky white dust that covered his helmet visor.

      For a moment the marine stopped breathing. Everything around him slowed and quickened in pace. Immediately there after he began to try to dig himself a hole with his rifle. He was literally trying to hide under a rock. A roar from above him stopped his frantic digging and a trio of Longsword fighters came in fast. He looked over his cover once more and watched as they came in and sprayed six columns of 110mm bullets and then drop their bomb payload on a few of the Covenant artillery pieces. A smirk tugged at Sena's face and then quickly faded as he saw the enemy air support.

      Seven Seraph fighters came out of no where and fired their plasma weapons at the human fighters. The trio of Longswords split from their formation and began to engage the new threat. Red bullets screamed out of their turrets chipping away at the Seraph shields. A few shots broke through and one enemy fighter detonated in a shower of sparks and a smoldering chassis that fell to the ground. There were five sudden flashes of blue and orange fire and two of the human fighters were intercepted by the alien craft. They flashed away and sent flaming shrapnel plummeting to the ground. Sena closed his eyes at the sight and from that moment on he knew he was going to die. He stayed in that state for a long time and began to shudder.

      There was a sudden jolt on his shoulder. The marine's eyes popped opened only to see a fellow human grabbing him and trying to throw him back into the fight. The marine spoke to Sena, even yelled at him, but he could not hear the man. He wondered if it were the explosions going off, or the screams all around him that got to him, maybe even the fresh memories of his fallen comrades. It was none of them. Sena had fallen into shell shock. All he could do was stare into the black void of the marine's helmet and into the vacuum of space beyond that. The man gave up on him and leaned up against the rock they were behind and fired at the Covenant position.

      Sena watched as he fired. The orange flashes gave away their position in the night. Suddenly the man's head jolted back and a spray of air and blood came from his helmet. Again it jolted and a thin blue beam of energy was seen. It was a sniper. Sena froze with fear. The corpse fell slowly to the ground due to the one-third normal gravity and crashed on the powdery dirt of the planet. Air continued to spray from the multiple fissures and cracks in the corpse's helmet. Sena reached over and closed the air release valve. He disconnected the air tank as well as the spares and put the in his satchel. He then poked his head above the rock to take a look at what Covenant forces were left.

      He saw got a brief glimpse of dozens of Grunts with their chromed armor and weapons accompanied by the bird like Jackals with their forward energy shields in position. Beyond that were the intact artillery pieces still hammering away at the humans. It was a hopeless situation. He ducked his head back down and began to dig a deeper hole for himself. A deeper, inevitable grave.

Seven Hours Later

      The Chief leaned out the back of the Pelican and looked down at the scorched battlefield. It was pockmarked with glowing craters tinged red, several Warthogs, Ghosts and the like were scattered giving off thick clouds of smoke, many bodies lay on the ground next to them, both human and alien. John shook his head at the waste of lives ad resources.

      " Is anyone else left? " he asked Cortana.

      " Scanning...." She replied, " Covenant presence topside is at 2 percent of original complement...all UNSC forces are not showing any signs of life. So no, Chief, it doesn't seem so. " He gave no response. It wasn't like it was anything new to him. Men and women died in large quantity nearly every time the two armies met each other, but the human numbers were dwindling fast. Soon such large wastes of people could no longer happen and everyone will be gone. The Covenant would see through to that.

      He now wished that Kits hadn't of only sent him in on this operation. Having at the very least one other Spartan would have been a blessing. But orders are orders.

      " Okay then. Let's see how close we can get to that structure without being shot down. " The Chief said walking towards the Pelican's cockpit. " Ellerman how close can we get to the structure without detection? " The Navy pilot cocked his head around and looked at the Chief. He then looked at the displays on his helmet's visor.

      " We can evade Covenant detection systems by landing about 340 meters from the Forerunner facility. Any closer and we'd be spotted on their radar. ETA to the LZ is 10 minutes. " Ellerman replied. The Chief nodded accepting this answer and loaded up on ammunition. He snagged an MA5B and screwed a silencer on the end. The suppression device gave a click signifying it was secure. He also took an MA8A and about 300 rounds for each weapon.

      The Pelican banked in hard and slowed as it neared a large crater. The dropship came to a halt and drifted down towards the surface. It stopped four meters from touchdown and the Chief hopped off. He felt himself fall slowly and then impacted on the surface sending up a small cloud of dust. Low gravity combat he thought great just what I don't need.

      "We'll come by later in approximately 4 hours should you not give us a call back. Good luck Chief. " Ellerman said over the radio. With that the Pelican lifted off and flew into the darkness. He watched it leave and then quickly gave the area a look around. It was clear and the Chief immediately headed out to see what the hell was wrong with the place.

Yet another note: I know it wasn't the best, but I did what I could with my limited time. Please be patient with me. And yes I know it was short.