Thus Is Our Land by Carson Woo
This Is Our Land-Chapter 1
Date: 23 May 2011, 4:55 pm
Chapter 1 - The Mission
13/2/2992, 1618 Hours
Base LAST RESORT, Planet Harvest
"Incoming!!!" Gunnery Sergeant Gary Johnson shouted. Rains of Covenant plasma mortar dropped on the entrance of the base. Private Downs, a member of Gary's 1st squad, blew into atoms as a mortar landed on him. The poor private barely have time to scream before his was vaporized by the heat produced.
Private Howard was enraged by Downs' death, so the marine charged towards the Brutes and Grunts approaching the base, only to be blasted to his death by plasma weapons wield by the Covenant. "Sir, we cannot hold our position! We've got two KIA!" Gary told Colonel Terry, his CO and the highest commanding officer on Harvest. "Fall back. Now!" Terry ordered.
"Fallback! Into the base!" Gary ordered. He threw a fragmentation grenade at the Covenant Grunts, killing four aliens. "Cover us!" he shouted to Sergeant Edward Chen, the leader of the 2nd squad guarding the door. Edward nodded and fired his battle rifle without aiming. A Brute screamed in agony and fell.
The 1st squad, now consisting of 8 marines including Gary, enter the base, followed by the 2nd squad. The blast doors slammed shut and 5 meters of super hardened titanium-A+ separated the Covenant and the marines. Rifles were slug across the marines' back. The shields of the marines' armor regenerated.
Gary and Edward's Company, consisting of fifty marines waiting for evacuation holding LAST RESORT is the last human military presence on ground. After Harvest's glassing in 2525, the colony was not terraformed because of strategic reason. Instead of being colonized again, the planet served as an outpost of the UNSC - Elites alliance at this sector. The only humans on the planet are marines and other military personnel, and Harvest was transformed into a military world with little buildings and shipyards. The colony is a 'Colony Ready to Abandon', as stated by HIGHCOM. In case of a Covenant attack, the UNSC will offer little resistance on ground- and pull the fight to space. UNSC ships are now as powerful as the Elites' ships are, and with Reach reterraformed, the number of shipyards increased and as the number if ships.
So, just to conclude the situation of Humanity now. Shield Domes were deployed on every single colony. Ships adapted Elite technology with shields installed, MAC upgraded, and fully upgraded Slipspace drives. Soldiers are issued armors with shields and also under slug plasma weapons to make a hybrid Human- Elite weapon. To make matters simple, human technology is just the same as the Elites. And that enabled us a way to fight the Covenant in space.
This, of course, was all just simulations before the Covenant Hierarchies decided to start their genocidal campaign all over again. Harvest was the first colony to be assaulted, due to its position.
Everything was going according to plan, marines retreated and was evacuated to space. Human and Elite ships enjoyed victories over the Covenant in space.
However, everything changed as the Brutes unleashed their ultimate weapon- or ship- the Covenant Super Cruiser-Pathfinder. Unlike previous Super Cruisers, this one is ten times the mass of a UNSC Destroyer. The Cruiser was well armed, and its weapons burnt Human and Elite ships like fire burning paper- fast and deadly.
The original plan was abandoned, just like Harvest. Now, the battle for Harvest have lasted for 6 years, with UNSC troops on the verge of losing the colony. Ground forces were redeployed but with little success. Elites sent strike teams and managed to captured the Super Cruiser, but was quickly dispatched by groups of suicidal Unggoy, who triggered a chain reaction by blowing up their methane tanks.
Now, let's leave the backstory alone and visit the marine in LAST RESORT.
Gary's COM pad beeped. He toke the little machine out and a massage from Colonel Terry , his commanding officer, appeared on screen. YOU AND CHEN. TO THE HEADQUARTERS ASAP. BRING YOUR SECOND IN COMMAND TOO. NOW. BRIEFING STARTING IN TWO MINUTES. YOUR LOSS IF YOU ARE LATE.
Gary clapped his hands to get the marines' attention. He showed the com pad to Edward, Corporal Haverson and Corporal Eston. "The skipper seems jumpy," he told the marines. "Lance Corporal Kola, you have command of 1st squad before I come back. Guard the doors!" "Yes sir!" Kola replied. Edward made his arrangements too. The four marines sprinted towards the elevator. Eston punched the button for 18th floor, and the elevator rushed upwards. The marines were rewarded for their quickness as they were the first to arrive.
"Welcome to my little corner of the Universe," Terry welcomed the marines. "Glad that you are not blasted to atoms, Gary. I can still please your father."
Gary felt his eyes wet. His father, Captain Howard Johnson, was destroyed along with his ship, the UNSC Frigate Last Of The Brave. Just before the Captain's death, he asked his best friend-Colonel Terry to protect Gary. Gary was just 23. As the descendent of Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, he is much more lucky than his ancestor. If the UNSC is not fighting a war and need every single one to fight, he would now be in the Officer Candidate School on Luna and he would probably be a Lieutenant by now.
However, Gary still have a hope that his father conducted a Slipspace jump before the torpedoes hit Last Of The Brave. It would be unlikely, though, because the torpedoes generated more heat than the hull van sustain. As a result, the Last Of The Brave would be blasted to atoms in Slipspace even though they have jump.
"Permission to enter , sir!" Gary snapped off a crispy salute. Terry and Edward was now the closest people to a family for Gary. With his mother back on Reach, still weeping every day, he treated Terry as his uncle. "Granted, son." replied Terry. "You're lucky to be be the first," Terry whispered to Gary and Edward. "You and your squads probably will be the ones to conduct this near-suicidal mission."
The Sergeants stopped. "Mission, sir? Sir, we are ODSTs, ODSTs are for near-suicidal missions! The Utgard mission is suicidal, but we managed to finish it! Permission to lead that mission, sir!" Gary replied loudly, and everyone heard. "What mission, Gunny?" asked Corporal Haverson. Gary ignored Haverson and held his gaze at Terry. He wanted to avenge his father. He want to kill every single one in the Covenant. "If Captain Howard A. Johnson is your friend, let me do so. Sir!" Gary felt his eyes wet, ready to cry out as loud as he could. He resisted that temptation.
Terry patted Gary's shoulder. "Very well, Gunnery Sergeant. Mission request granted." He turned to Private Bradley, his personnel assistant. "Tell the others stay downstairs. Call 1st and 2nd up here ASAP." "Yes sir." replied Bradley.
As the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers arrived, Terry briefed the marines in the mission.To Terry's surprise, the troopers expressed quite positive emotions after knowing that they are about to go on a near suicidal mission.
They are excited.
They are ready to die for the UNSC and Humanity.
Stealth Hangar, Base LAST RESORT, Main Launch Bay
Gary waited for the ODSTs, total eighteen marines, to broad the Eagle L-52 special operations aerial assault ship before settling in the pilot's seat. The ship was well armed, with 25 HE-64 missile warheads and a dual laser beam. Ballistic weapons are mounted at the back. It can be fired by either the pilot or the gunner sitting on the rear. Fire holes on the sides allow passengers to attack.
Sitting beside the Gunnery Sergeant is Edward, as his copilot. "Ready when you are, Gary," said Edward. Gary nodded and thumbed the start button to launch the engines. The thrusters roared to life and lifted them off the launch bay. "Hold on!" shouted Gary.
The ship, about 50 meters long, ejected out of the hangar. They wasn't noticed until a Grunt minor jumped and screamed to his Brute leader. The Grunt and his companions were silenced by the machine-gun on the rear. Wraiths fired on the ship, but the shields flickered and held.
The first phase of Operation:CAMPING ON THE MOUNTAIN has begun. The ODSTs will be extracted to the ONI sloop The Monument, then they will be spilt into two groups. First squad will land on their objective, the Covenant Super Cruiser using the Eagle. Second squad will drop by HEV drop pods.
Then, the troopers will attempt to capture the cruiser. If they can't, they will blow the core and hopefully escape before the ship blows up. However, it would be unlikely that eighteen common human can assualt a Super Cruiser crowded with a few thousand Covemant enemies. Gary expressed his concern on the matter to Colonel Terry, and as a result, ONI and HIGHCOM both sent a reinforcement to the group. Gary doubt that two additions will help, but orders are orders. He believe his commanders are wise enough to send the best as they have to crack the Covenant Super Cruiser.
"Commander Hammond? We are coming in. Open the bay doors please." Gary told Commander Hammond, the commander of the ONI sloop. "Come in," the commander replied. "And be careful, your reinforcements are here. Be careful not to bump them." "Yes, sir!"
The Eagle dived to rendezvous with the sloop's entry bay, and rose up into the entry bay thanks to the sloop's artificial gravity pull. The Eagle settling on the floor. Gary pulled the key out of its slot and the engines stopped humming. "Fall out, troopers!" Edward told the ODSTs in the troop bay. Edward and Gary walked out. Then, to his surprise, a Spartan-III from Omega Company and a Dreadnought, the newest creation by ONI Robotics Department, was waiting by the passage that led to the rest of the ship. The 'reinforcements' joined the ODSTs.
Both the Spartan and the Dreadnought were two point four meter high. The Dreadnought beeped and the marines received a massage from the machine. "Greetings!" the massage appeared on the marines' Heads Up Display. "I am D-153 from the Office of Naval Intelligence. It it very nice to meet you! I hope that the operation will be a success!"
The marines looked at each other. Corporal Haverson asked Gary on the team frequency. "Any idea what that is, Gunny?" "Read article 267 part A chapter 73 in your armor's library." replied Gary.
The marines saluted the Spartan. SPARTAN-O244, Richard, a Lieutenant, returned their saluted. "I suppose that you are Gunnery Sergeant Gary Johnson and Sergeant Major Edward Chen? From Harvest?" "Yes, sir!" the Sergeants replied. The Spartan did a headcount. "Eighteen," he said. "That's all. Come on, follow me. There is a transition platform that will lead us to the bridge. We must go ASAP, before that Cruiser do the Navy more damage."
The soldiers and the Dreadnought ran for the platform. In a few seconds, they are on the bridge.
Gary and his squad escorted the machine to the Eagle. Escort was the right word - the Dreadnought requires guidance, especially during this mission, ONI's Smart AIs no longer guides the machine. Gary must control it from now on until the mission finishes.
As the marines boarded the Eagle, Gary contacted Edward, who was with his squad and the Spartan, waiting for Gary's signal to launch their pods and land on the Super Cruiser. To Gary's relief, the pods and the Eagle have active camouflage. Which means they probably will survive the landing.
"Edward? We are clear and ready for launch." Gary said. "Roger that." replied Edward. "Come on you jarheads. Let's completed this mission." Edward told his squad.
"Steady, everyone!" Gary told the marines. "Launch!" the Eagle and the drop pods speeded towards the Super Cruiser.
"Be careful!" Gary told everyone. "Com silence from now on." He received 19 green acknowledgement lights. He clicked off the com and spoke quietly. "Good luck," he told them.
/// TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 2-CAPTURE. CHAPTER TO BE RELEASED 10-12 DAYS LATER. UNTIL THEN, GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HEALTH. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TARGET-WHATEVER IT IS, AND TRY YOUR BEST TO ACCOMPLISH IT///
[SEE YOU PLANET SIDE!!! BYE BYE!!!]
Carson Woo, May 22nd 2011
This Is Our Land-Chapter 2
Date: 9 June 2011, 8:27 am
"I can pretty much guarantee that at least one of us will make it outta here in one piece"
- Sergeant Major Avery Johnson
Chapter 2 - Capture
13/2/2992, 2353 Hours
Covenant Super Cruiser Pathfinder's Hull, Above Enemy Bridge
As the Eagle and the HEV drop pods slowly descended onto the Cruiser's hull, the 1st squad's sniper, Lance Corporal Taylor, peered at the hull and saw a single Brute Stalker on the hull. He reported to Gunnery Sergeant Gary Johnson, his squad leader using a single beam com launcher, which will hopefully not be detected by Covenant forces. "Single Brute. Jump pack ones. Wanna smoke 'um?"
Gary received the massage. After a moment of consideration, he flashed a green HED status light to Taylor that added," Use the silencer. Do it quietly." Taylor flashed him back a green light, then a red light. "More Brutes. They have their grenade launchers, so called Brute Shots. Suggest evasive action, Gunny." Gary relayed the massage to the marines and the new members of the squads. "Lieutenant," he asked the Spartan, Richard. "What do you think?"
"An usual engagement would be unwise," the Spartan - III replied, "I suggest that you and your team take advantage of the element of surprise and try to stick the Brutes with silenced plasma grenades. I have discovered a whole cache of those grenades under your seat, Gunnery Sergeant. The decision is yours, though, because you have tactical command of this capturing mission. That's all." he slammed his fists together. "I am ready for everything."
Gary considered the plan, then agreed with the Spartan. "Okay, we will stick to your plan, Spartan. Haverson, Taylor and Clarke, you three and the Spartan will launch the grenades. Edward," he contacted the 2nd squad leader. "Adjust your entry trajectory. I need you to evade the Brutes. Pick off any stragglers by bumping them off."
Gary sent the Grenadiers a count down by sending red, amber and green status lights."Now!" he ordered. A hail of plasma grenades blew up midair, kill every Brute except one Brute Captain. The Captain growled while looking up to search for enemies. Edward intercepted a signal from to Captain and possibly for the Shipmaster of the Pathfinder. "The enemies have breached our lines!" the Captain shouted. "Shipmaster, I need reinforcements...."
Taylor's Sniper Rifle coughed and the Captain's brain exploded when the high explosives 16.5 X 6.8 mm bullet breached the Captain's head. However, more Brute Stalkers jumped out, search for the Humans' blood. Two of the Brutes attempted to carry the Captain's body away, only to be killed by a plasma grenade threw by the Spartan. The Spartan was spotted though, for poking out his hand. A Brute Major launched a spike grenade at the Eagle, revealing the assault ship with its flaming light.
"The grenade is about to explode! Haverson, arm the HORNET mines! Set the ship's course straight down to the bridge! Abandon ship, now!" Gary ordered. "Yes sir!" Haverson replied, "Working... Armed!" "Okay, jump, now! Come on, marines!" Gary shouted.
The ODSTs secured their helmets and armor, activated their amor shields, then jump using the jump pack thrusters mounted on their back. The elite soldiers fired their MA9E assault rifles and a few M9B silenced sub-machine gun while throwing frag and plasma grenades. The Brutes' shields failed and their armor were breached. They fell one by one into the space, their bodies forever lost. The 2nd Squad also landed on the hull, gathering supplies from their Human Entry Drop Pods while attacking the brutes.
The only Brute survivor went berserk after seeing his teammates dying one by one. He growled and fired his Spiker using one hand and fired the Brute Shot using another. The Brute, a Minor Brute, aimed at Richard the Spartan-III. The Spartan was busy at evading the Eagle crashing down above his head so he cannot do anything to the Brute. He escape from the Eagle, but was about to die under the hands of a mere Minor Brute.
His shield flickered and failed, exposing his plain armor to the Brute. The ODSTs fired their rifles at the Brute, breaching his armor and spilled red Brute blood our. However, the berserking Brute held his ground. He send a large roar out to the space, and readied his Spiker to deliver a final blow at the poor Spartan. Corporal Eston turned around, knowing that she cannot do anything for the Spartan except praying for a painless death for Richard.
Richard closed his eyes, reading himself for a quick death.
For a few moments, Richard felt that spikes jabbed his stomach, but that feeling soon faded. He forced his eyes open, hoping to see that he was already in heaven, dead.
However, to his disappointment, he saw just the empty outer space and a handful of ODSTs and the Dreadnought. The Brute was gone. 'What the hell!' he thought. 'Where's the Brute!?' Then, his saw that his allies were all stoned. He turned around, and thought that it was caused by his death. But it was not.
The Eagle breached the Pathfinder's hull, and the powerful HORNET mines exploded inside the enemy bridge. A huge ball of flames consumed the enemies, and the humans can hear voices calling for help in the distance. A huge hole broke on the hull and the Brute Minor was swallowed into the flaming bridge.
"Enemy commander crew destroyed," Haverson, the controller of the mines reported to Gary after assessing the status of the Super Cruiser."Orders, sir? Sir?" Haverson turned to Gary's position, only to see the marines all were staring at the aft section of the ship. Lances of plasma torpedoes raced towards the Pathfinder's belly. Impacts on the shields were useless as the Pathfinder's shields were much stronger than the others. "The enemy's Shipmaster Brute, sir," Kola reported to the Sergeants. "He thought that we are about to capture the ship, so he ordered the engines to be overloaded. Detonation in 16 minutes. However, a slipspace jump can halt the overloading. Also, in case we find a way to halt the overloading, the Shipmaster ordered the other Covenant ship in range attack and destroy the Pathfinder."
Gary considered the situation and asked Private First Class Hubert, the squad's tech specialist. " Trooper, can you hack into the ship's control center and start a slipspace transition?"
Hubert took out a data pad and pressed a few buttons. "According to the ship's control center, sir," he answered, "the Brute aboard already started a slipspace transition. Maybe there's a mutiny sir." "So.. Why are we still here?" Edward inquired. Hubert shook his head. "I don't know, sir," he replied. "Wait, detecting new signals.... A Covenant AI! He's gone rampant and halted the Slipspace transition!" Hubert's hands shook Asa he typed in commands on the data pad. The data pad shown an error sign.
"You'll need to destroy the AI's data center, Gunny," Hubert said. "Then you can insert this data pad into one of the terminals. It will start the transition. However, there's only 10 minutes left!"
"That's mission impossible, Gary," Edward whispered. "Kill the AI, start the transition in ten minutes? Impossible." "No. It's not." Gary replied. He grabbed the data pad. "Remember my father's ship? He conducted engine overload after the Brutes threatened to capture the Last Of The Brave, then the ship AI started a slipspace transition without my father's command. However, the bastards Covenant shot the ship with its shields down." he explained. "Then the ship disappeared. According to my armor's library, when a slipspace transition is conducted with a hull temperature of over 10000 Kelvin, the ship will be sent across the universe and the universe's timeline due to the major heat inside the FTL drive. I may find my father and save us all."
"The shield generator is located 2 kilometers north from here," Hubert said. "We will need to break the hull, then throw a few fragmentation grenades into the generator. That shall disable the shields for a few seconds. The slipspace drive is just besides the generator. I can manually override the AI and start the transition."
"Lieutenant?" Gary asked the Spartan. "Can you and the Dreadnought do this on your own? We'd like to clear a perimeter outside the bridge. Then, we can establish a command center inside the bridge. There's something called the Engineers who can repair the bridge. Hubert," he turned to the technician. "Give you data pad to the Spartan." "Yes Sir!" "Deal," Richard replied as he inserted the pad in one of his helmet's slots. "I'll contact you once the shields are down."
The Dreadnought and Richard vanished in a flash of light -- then reappeared two kilometers away, now inside the hull of the Pathfinder. The MJONIR's new teleporter was a new installment to the UNSC arsenal.
"Let's go marines," Gary told them. "What are we waiting for?"
The eighteen marines helped each other to take out their 'Driller', a drilling machine first used by the Engineering Crops to take out enemy bunkers, was issued to all UNSC soldiers for emergency use. The driller was about 25 inches long and 10 inches wide. It was tipped with a C-13 foaming explosive portable mine for drilling.
"Ready, marines," Gary called out loud. "In 3,2,1, now!"
The ODSTs snapped the driller into the hull, detonating the C-13 and blew a hole measuring 10 meters wide. The marines jumped into the ground. Besides them was the flaming bridge. "Let's spilt up," Gary ordered. The two squads patrolled each aide of the bridge.
Corporal Haverson found a tight service corridor. Gary noticed the glyphs on the floor, and decided that the service corridor is for the Engineers. "Edward," he asked, "have you found anything yet?"
"No," the Sergeant replied. "But Eston detected a few contact on his radar. Possible Covenant. The contacts are quite big, maybe it is Ghosts or a Choppers. Be careful, it's ignoring us and coming to your position!"
"Roger that, hold position and set up firing pits. Deploy your machine guns along with the missile launchers."
"Yes, sir. Chen over and out."
Gary clicked off the COM. He told his squad,"Kola, deploy the heavy weapons," he ordered the squad's heavy weapons specialist. "Others dig out firing pits with your driller. I need at least 5 assault rifles in the pits in 3 minutes."
The marines did as told, and soon the 1st squad were all inside firing trenches. Haverson took armor platings from the cooled bridge and used them as shields for the marines. "Gunny, we look like cowards now," Private Jackson moaned. "Why don't we just attack those Covenant vehicles?"
"Stow the BS, marine," Gary barked. "You wanna live? Then shut the fu** up and man the machine gun." Jackson silenced than whispered to Private Gregorio, "This duty station really sucks. I am now serving under a coward, idiotic Gunnery Sergeant who don't have the guts to attack Ghost or Brute Chopper with 2 rocket launchers."
However, the Private's moans was overheard by Haverson, who reported to the Gunnery Sergeant. Haverson, serving as Gary's second in command, asked Gary to attack. "The men is unsettled," he said. "I think you should send a few to ambush the Ghosts, in which that we have advantage over 'em."
Gary thought about it. "Very well, Corporal," he replied. "Send Lance-Corporal Kola to lead the operation. Get the heavy weapons with you, but be careful..." "Gunny! We've got incoming, sir!" cried Private Gregorio. "I've got visual now! Orders, sir?" The Private's prophecy was proved right, as five Ghosts Recon Assault Vehicles charged at the marines.
"Shit!" Gary cursed, "Haverson, what's the bridge's status?" "Suitable for human life, sir," Haverson answered. "But something's inside, who ordered repairs to the bridge."
Kola cut off the Corporal, and reminded the Sergeant, "Three minutes left before the overloading," he said, "Sir, I suggest that we leave now, sir!" "Contact the Spartan, then," Edward joined the conversation through the COM. "I can't contact him!" shouted Kola.
"Shit! Crap!" Gary punched the floor. Suddenly, a blue light glowed and the floor gave away. "Holy Crap..." shouted Edward. Both teams dropped into a shaft and was ejected along with the shaft into the empty space. Another pod followed, and the three pods was surrounded by a flash of light and disappeared. Soon, the Pathfinder's aft glowed, and exploded.
May 23rd, 2554, 1748 hours
Aboard UGOH Fortress-Class Super Carrier, Medical Bay 392
In Orbit Of Charum Hakkor
"Die? Didn't you know? Spartans never die."
"What the hell?!?!"
"May you.. Rot in HELL!"
SPARTAN-051, Kurt, woke up in a floating bed. His armor was off, revealing scars and his pale skin. He forced himself up, but his muscles complained and he obeyed his body's orders.
Kurt remembered why he was there. Before the FENRIS warheads detonated, a gold flash of light surrounded him, and he was brought to a surgery center. Then, he blacked out. Until now.
He checked his surrondings, and found out that the 3 meters wide room was empty, except his bed and an unknown alien nurse-like figure. The alien turned around and saw Kurt has woken up.
"Finally," the alien spoke, revealing that he was a male. "You've been in coma for about 1 and a half year! I've got many questions for you. But first, allow me equip you with your armor. Ah, yes. My name is Glory Flames of Light in your lauguage, or Thchestron Acpalios Dewaca Hanouin, son of General Flafucawa Hanouin, commander of the 2nd Fleet, United Justice." He reached out his hand. "Welcome to Charum Hakkor, the last world of Humanity."
Kurt ignored Thchestron's friendly welcome. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. "Probably you don't. You Covenant son of a gun." He punched Thchestron in the face, breaking his nose. Blood trailed down the bloody face as Thchestron backed off.
"I'm just trying to help!" Thchestron said. "I know you're devastated by the death of your soldiers, the Spartans, but you cannot be angry and hit other..."
"Real funny," Kurt snorted, "listen." He rose from the bed, ignoring the pain now. He pointed his index finger at the alien, Thchestron. "I am SPARTAN-zero-five-one, Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose, senior officer on the UNSC colony, Onyx. Now, you will show my way out, give me my armor, then let me OUT!"
Thchestron wiped the disgusting liquid from Kurt's mouth off his face. "Look," he replied,"I am Lieutenant Hanouin of the United Governments Of Humanity, and acting commander of the 229 Regiment. I hope that you will accept your new armor, then you can get off."
Kurt slowly calmed down. "Fine," he said. "But I still cannot trust you. You've got that?" "Yes, Commander," Thchestron answered, smiling. "Follow me."
April 18th, 2543
Battle of Psi Serpentis
UNSC Flagship, UNSC Everest
Listen to me, Covenant. I am Vice Admiral Preston J. Cole commanding the human flagship, Everest. You claim to be the holy and glorious inheritors of the universe? I spit on your so-called holiness. You dare judge us unfit? After I have personally sent more than three hundred of your vainglorious ships to hell? After kicking your collective butts off Harvest - not once - but twice? From where I sit, we are the worthy inheritors. You think otherwise, you can come and try to prove me wrong.
--- Admiral Preston J. Cole
"Fire at will, Lieutenant!" Admiral Preston Cole shouted. "Shiva and Archers away,sir." replied Lieutenant St. Clair. "Detonation in 1 minute, Admiral. The Io is now 59 kilometers away from the Everest. Exposure immediate."
"Commander Ching? Engage slipspace engines. Transit now!" Cole ordered. "Aye sir," answered Ching. "Transition in thirty seconds.""Good. New heading two two four by two two nine, Lieutenant Nevola." Cole told the navigation officer. "Aye sir." Nevola replied. "Coming avpbout. New heading confirmed."
"Sir? Major hull damage." Change reported. "Superstructure near collapse. "
"Shit," Cole barked a rare curse. "Jump now!" "Aye, sir!"
A large blue ball surrounded the Everest and send it into slipspace. "We're clear," Nevola said. "Safe in slipspace." "Then we better not try our luck too far, Lieutenant. Remain in slipspace for a whole year will surely help us escape."
Cole sighed. "Before that, we better go into cryogenic tube and have some dreams."
A Year Later.........
Everest emerged from slipspace. Strangely, they are not alone... A Phoenix-Class colony ship was there, too.
The ship is CFV-88, the UNSC Spirit Of Fire.
This Is Our Land-Chapter 2
Date: 25 June 2011, 4:39 pm
NOTE: DUE TO THE RELEASE OF THE HALO 4 TRAILER, I CHANGED THE PLOT OF MY STORY TO MAKE IT THE SAME WITH THE REAL HALO UNIVERSE. THE FIRST PART OF THE SECOND SECTION IS BASED ON THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE TRAILER.
FOR THE SECOND PART,REFER TO HALO: GHOSTS OF ONYX FOR DETAILS ON SPARTAN-III.
"Eddie Buck is a career Marine that has seen more than his fair share of this war. He has had the dubious honor of participating in many of the wars' most vicious battles; including both the liberation of Harvest and the Fall of Reach. That he has survived through it all speaks volumes. Truly, if he was any better he'd be a Spartan. However, his stubbornness and uncontrolled temper obstructed Buck from promoting until his brave actions in New Mombasa during the Battle Of Earth made him a Captain."
Halo Reach Firefight Description Of Edward Buck
Chapter 3 - Reunion Tour
September 8th, 2559, 1538 Hours
Planet Doisac (Brute Home World)
Although the Human - Covenant War was declared finished in 2553 after the destruction of Installation 04B, minor conflicts in the frontier of Human - Elite space sparked between the Covenant and the Human - Elite alliance. These conflicts turned into a minor war that pressed the Brute and Prophets back to Doisac, the Brute Home World. After the lost of High Charity, the Prophets became miserable and the Brute took over without major disagreement through out the Covenant. Although Brutes still treat Prophets as their leader and sometimes will consulted them but Prophets don't have the power to object the Brutes' decision.
"We are now pushing the Brutes back to their last city," Nuka 'Romumee, an Elite Special Operations Major (Lieutenant in Human ranks), pointed at a huge tablet, showing the military situation now on Doisac. Red and Blue arrows pointed out both the Brutes and the Human - Elite alliance's military deployments.
"If we now launch a stealthy strike into that Brute city, we can cut off their supply lines and hopefully, capture the Prophets inside, Captain." the Sanghelli suggested. "However, the Supreme Commanders all agree that human Drop Troopers are the most suitable for this mission. I agree with the commanders..."
"Enough!" Captain Edward Buck slammed the tablet close. "After all, you're just hoping that none of YOUR Elite Special Operations buddies die. And you don't care about US." Edward stood and kicked his chair under the table. "I MUST see your Commander. I'll ask him what do you want. You want those Prophets or you want us die? We gonna have no air support, no heavy weapons. Or do you suppose that a few Submachine-Guns and Assault Rifles can kill a few hundred Brutes and take a Prophet?"
Captain Buck was mad to everyone after he knew that Captain Veronica Dare was shot by a thief back on Reach. Her injuries were quite serious, and her doctor pointed out that maybe Dare's left hand will be disabled. His squad, especially Dutch and Romeo, were always rebuked for minor faults, or even for nothing. The Squad forgave him, though, because everyone was promoted and they knew about Dare's injuries. Vergil followed them into battle, providing support for their equipment. Vergil was once slammed by by Buck for not properly cleaning the bolt of his Sniper Rifle. Vergil was so sad that he leave the Squad and asked for a transfer to another squad, which was accepted.
For compensation, HIGHCOM send Elite Major 'Romumee to his squad who was even more annoying than Romeo for being arrogant and ignorant to the Squad's suggestions. Luckily, Colonel Howard, his commanding officer, promised him a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel if he survive the battles on Doisac. That means he can order 'Romumee to do whatever he want because, according to the Elite Code Of Honor, if an officer is three steps higher than his subordinates, he can do whatever he want to his men, even sending them to their death. And to Buck's relief, 'Romumee followed the Code and even applied them to Humans.
"No! Captain, we are allies and we shall not fight among ourselves!" 'Romumee growled. "I insist that you followed our arrangements, Captain. If you don't do so, Commander R'tas Vadumee of the Special Operations Division will be more than happy to give you a lecture."
"Great!" Buck smashed his fist into the tablet, breaking the screen with the strength of his new armor. "I've heard of this Vadumee. This coward guy glassed half of Africa and just watched in space when our Spartan-117 was fighter the Flood and the Covenant on the Ark. Bring me to him, you bastard."
To his credit, 'Romumee wasn't angered by Buck. Instead,he smiled and said,"Good! We should go now. You can bring your team to the Shadow Of Intent, the Commander's flagship. Commander Vadumee will be glad to convince you. However, you will probably beg for mercy after seeing the Commander."
"We'll see," Buck snorted, "ODSTs are green and very very mean. We shall not fear anyone."
As the two jogged out, the Squad including Dutch, Romeo, Mickey and the Rookie followed. As Buck ordered secretly over the COM, Mickey brought 15 kg of C-12 and the Rookie brought the ODST Flag with a skull on it. Dutch even took a Rocket Launcher and a brand new Mark II Spartan Laser.
"Corporal Taylor Miles. Dutch. Deaths' head slapped right on his helmet. Heavy weapons specialist. Time on Mars tends to give a man...perspective. Although Gretchen's left leg almost killed 50 Insurrection prisoners, he is still probably the one who is the least annoying and have the least temper in the Squad"
—Edward Buck On Dutch, Halo 3 ODST ViDoc
August 10th, 2559, 1933 Hours (Earth Time/Military Calendar)
36th Age Of Doubt, 267 Units, 7th Cycle (Covenant Battle Calendar)
093% May, 136278, 2651 Hours (Forerunner Standard Time FST)
"They let me pick. Did I ever tell you that? Choose whichever Spartan I wanted. You know me. I did my research. Watched as you became the soldier we needed you to be. Like the others, you were strong and swift and brave. A natural leader. But you had something they didn't. Something no one saw, but me. Can you guess...? Luck."
—Cortana, Halo 3 Opening Cutscene
Aboard UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, Location = Unknown
"John, wake up!"
'I need you! Please! Wake up John!"
The brain awakens. "Chief!" shouted Cortana. John-117 was inside of his cryo-chamber. His helmet's flashlights activate, and he slightly moves his head back and forth. John, now wide awake, forcibly throws open the cryotube and pushes himself to Cortana's holotank.
John and Cortana turn to see the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn exploding and collapsing. John stows Cortana's chip in his helmet, and pushes off the holotank to speed down the hallway. Taking advantage of the microgravity, he uses a pair of thrusters on his armor to maneuver through the girders and debris in the imploding hallway. He grabs a floating EMP Blaster Pistol and blasts a piece of debris out of the way, and stops his movement by grabbing a protruding girder. His boots magnetize themselves to the ship's hull.
Now standing on the edge of the Forward Unto Dawn, John reloads his pistol and stares out into space. The Dawn was being pulled into an enormous iris-like opening in what appears to be a Forerunner machine or spacecraft. John descended into the armory below him, and equipped himself with a MA5C Assault Rifle, a M6D Magnum, a SR23AM Special Application Anti - Material Sniper Rifle and a few grenades.
"Good evening, Chief." Cortana greeted the Spartan. "Today is August 10th, 2559, 7 years after the discovery of Alpha Halo and the death of Captain Keyes."
Although John thought that mentioning Captain Keyes and waking him by saying 'I need you' than talk rubbish was unacceptable, he kept his disapproval to himself and focused on what he's needed for. "Yeah, good evening," John replied. Then he noticed the Forerunner machine. "That's what I'm needed for, isn't it?"
"Yes, Chief." Cortana said. "That's a Shield World, designed to house Forerunners who escaped form the Halo. However, the Forerunners disappeared, and the Shield World was abandoned."
"Problems?" John asked as he observed the so called 'Shield World'.
"We're about to be pulled into the opening. Wait, I'm picking up a few signals with no FOF tags." Cortana said.
"Solution?" The Master Chief thrusted himself up a few meters to take a better look. "I can't see anything, Cortana."
"Oh, yes." Cortana answered,"this shield world is surrounded by slipspace, and inside it is a Micro Dyson Sphere, something theorized by Freeman Dyson, a scientist a few hundred years ago. Surely you can't see anything in slipspace."
"I still don't understand. But fine. How can I get inside?" the Chief sensed a field of static inside his HUD. He slowly realized that he was entering the slipspace field.
"That's the way, Chief," Cortana shouted, "there's gonna be a brief blackout. Hang on!"
John closed his eyes and didn't reply. Soon, he felt that he was teleported through millions of kilometers and he blacked out, unable to enjoy the trip through the Shield World.
"You have been called upon to serve, you will be trained... and you will become the best we can make of you. You will be the protectors of Earth and all her colonies."
—Dr. Catherine Halsey to the SPARTAN-II recruits, Halo: The Fall Of Reach
John opened his eyes, recovering from the black out. "Where am I, Cortana?" he asked. He heard no reply. He turned his head around, and saw Cortana on a holo pad. Relieved, he inquired,"How did you get out of my skull and onto the pad?"
Cortana smiled. "Turn around. Again." John did as told, and he saw three humanoids in gold armor with a blue trim, and a height of about 10 cm lower than the Chief. He immediately reached for his EMP Blaster Pistol and aimed it at the humanoids.
"Bloody hell!" one of the armored humanoids exclaimed. The three humanoids approached John -117. "You must be a Spartan II," the leader extended his hand. "Welcome to Onyx. I'm Ash."
John ignored the friendly humanoids, because he saw something, or someone, to be precise. He saw three fellow Spartans of his own, and recognized them as SPARTAN -087 and -104. He also caught -058 with his enhanced vision. John holstered his blaster pistol.
"John," said Fred-104 in disbelieve. "Can't believe it." Linda hopped down and joined them. The four Spartans made the 'smile' gesture over their faceplates.
"Welcome to Blue, Spartan," Kelly welcomed John, "But there's a problem, John." Fred frowned under his visor.
"Yeah," he replied. "Now, Friend Or Foe tags online everyone."
Linda said, "You'll understand what's the problem.
The golden armored humans and the Spartans did as told. John didn't understand until he saw the FOF tags. It listed the golden armored humans as Ash G-099, Mark G-174 and Olivia G-136, who were Petty Officers Third Class.
He also saw his name, Master Chief Petty Officer John -117, Petty Officer Second Class Linda and Kelly, but he was surprised to see Fred listed as Lieutenant Junior Grade.
"Okay, I understand," John said. "I'm supposed to be squad leader, but Fred's rank is higher than me."
"That's a major command problem, Chief." Fred slammed his fists together. "Who will be in command, then?"
Although surprised, John stayed calm. He was about to suggest when Cortana intervened. "According to UNSC protocols," the AI said, "a squad leader have tactical command over the squad. However, the most senior officer present have complete control over all personnel."
"We should follow Cortana's suggestion," Fred said, "I suppose we all agree, do we?" he turned to the Chief. "Do you agree, John?"
"Yes, I do," the Chief replied. "I think everyone do."
"Yes, I think we'll stick to UNSC protocols." said Kelly. Linda simply nodded.
"However, who promoted you to Lieutenant?" John inquired.
"That's a long story," Fred sighed. He patted John's shoulder. "Let's get you up to speed."
John yanked Cortana from the holo pad and inserted the chip into his skull. He felt a cold sensation as the AI slowly filled his head. "Still many room here, Chief." Cortana observed. John ignored the AI and followed his companions.
The Spartans jogged into a wooded base, made by the trees nearby and reinforced with some sort of steel discovered underground, according to Fred. The humans also moved a few portable computers made by the Forerunners that was a portable version of a 'Terminal', according to Cortana, to their base, which was named 'Sparta', after the Spartans who were the main residents.
Fred ordered Ash, the Spartan -III, to walk John around. Ash showed John the armory, or just the weapons storage room. Inside there was a few Sentinel Beams, collected from the ground, and a few Rocket Launchers and other UNSC weapons. John also visited the guard towers, and met two Spartan - IIIs, Tom and Lucy.
Then, Ash led the Chief and his fellow Spartans to the conference room where several Terminal were set up on a long table sitting on the center of the room.
Doctor Catherine Halsey and Chief Mendez were both working on their own computers. Dr. Halsey was using her notepad computer to work on her calculations of the slipspace field that surrounded Team Katana, a Spartan -III team, while Chief Mendez was playing chess with the computer using a Terminal.
John and Cortana were both surprised to see Doctor Halsey and Chief Mendez. "Doctor Halsey," John greeted the Doctor, "nice to see you."
"John." Halsey extended her hand. "Welcome to Sparta."
John hesitated a while, then shook her hand. "Chief Mendez," he shook with Chief Mendez too. "Damn good to see you, son," Mendez said, and he saluted.
"You too, Chief." John returned his salute.
The Master Chief was about to ask why the Doctor and Mendez were here, but the Spartan - III, Ash G-099, interrupted them. "Sir," Ash called, "the Lieutenant wants you at Sector 271, sir."
John told Halsey and Mendez,"I'll talk to you soon." The Doctor nodded, while Mendez patted his head, or helmet, to be precise. "I'm not a boy, Chief," John reminded his tutor. Mendez simply smiled.
"Lead the way, Petty Officer," The Master Chief said. "This way Chief," Ash replied. John followed the Spartan-III. After a 12 kilometers hike to the sector numbered 271, they finally arrived. Fred and Linda were there, examining three pod like objects, each with the size of a Scorpion MBT.
"Chief, you're here finally," Fred greeted John. "We've found these 15 minutes ago, and we are reading life form signatures inside. However, we are getting no response and signals show that they are in coma. Linda here," Fred pointed to his fellow Spartan and Linda waved back.
"She's getting an infinite range with his sniper rifle's Oracle Scope rangefinder." Fred sighed. "That means, we are not cutting through the pods, or open them with any ways. The people inside are not coming out, too."
The Master Chief observed the pods. The pods were tipped with a pair of thrusters. A mirror on the left side of the pod showed the chief's helmet back at him. "So," John asked,"Why am I needed?" John touched the pod, and he felt a field of static.
Fred was about to reply, when a fourth pod crashed down on a tree and the three Spartans heard faint screams. The fourth pod opened, and John was shot in the face by an alien who appeared out of the pod. Fred and Linda tried to return fire, but were shot too.
The three Spartans was knocked unconscious by the blow in the face. Before the blackout, John saw several human soldiers in a much advanced type of ODST armor. He heard gunfire, and blacked out.
This Is Our Land - Chapter 4
Date: 18 July 2011, 12:01 pm
"It is a poor soldier who insists on seeing things not as they are, but as he wants them to be. One day reality hits, and his illusions fail him, and he dies stupidly. What honor is there in that?"
—Thel 'Vadamee, in Halo: The Cole Protocol
Chapter 4 - Infiltrate
Captain Edward Buck
[34281-19203-EB] [Orbital Drop Shock Troopers Special Ops Division]
Joint Operation : THE STORM
STATUS : Active
September 8th, 2559, 2103 Hours
Elite Carrier Shadow Of Intent In Orbit Of Doisac
The trip on the space shuttle to the Shadow of Intent was disastrous. A supposed ten-minute trip turned into a seven and a half hours of waiting and with 'Romumee insulting Humanity, saying that 'Humanity would be dead if the Elites didn't rebel against the Covenant, and will be dead if one day the Elites declare a war which should be declared now.'
Romeo tried to return the insults, but was stopped by Captain Buck. Buck told him that 'Elites weren't worth the glorious Humans to correct them.' Mickey joined, insulting the Elites on using the shuttles with heavy armor to travel to surface (which caused the waiting), rather than dropping directly with Entry Pods.
Things got worse when 'Romumee introduced the Squad's newest addition, Private Aquino to the ODSTs, who seemed to be obeying the Elites rather than Buck. The Squad were angered and tried to teach Aquino a lesson, when Buck told them that his sixth sense told him that Aquino was just pretending, and his déja vú was always correct.
However, Buck must admit that Aquino looked like a rebellious teenager, with his hair slightly over Marine Corps protocols and his helmet missing. But Buck thought that to pass the ODST selection, one must obey orders and have above-average abilities. Therefore, he settled on the idea that Aquino was just pretending.
When metal groaned and the shuttle halted, the visitors and 'Romumee exited. 'Romumee greeted his fellow Elites who stood guard at the shuttle bay, then jogged away to a gravity lift after secretly speaking with one of the two guards.
The another guard approached the ODSTs and asked for their identity chips. The Squad obeyed, and gave the Elite their chips, which were stored inside their brand new Mark II type of the LEGOLAS Powered Assault standard issue armor, which was just issued to ODSTs a few weeks ago, while other standard marines were still equipped with the Mark I ones.
The LEGOLAS armor offers a large array of features, including the Energy Shielding technology, EVA thrusters, a motion tracker and an updated radar jammer, which can be deployed along with the Active Camoflauge on stealth missions like capturing enemy leaders, disarming bombs, etc. Basically, it was just a MJLONIR Mark VI Armor, but weaker than the MJLONIR which was exclusively used by the Spartans.
The guard accepted the chips, and processed them in a computer connected to the Elite and Human military personnel library. The guard matched the data on the chips and on the library. He took samples of the ODSTs' DNA, and soon the system revealed that the ODSTs are the ones who they claimed to be.
"According to the system, you are the ones due to meet Commander R'tas 'Vadumee of the Special Operations Divison." the guard announced. "The Commander will be available in a few minutes time. Meanwhile," the Elite pointed at a gravity lift besides the one that 'Romumee travelled further inside the ship. "Please go through that lift and exit at level B3. At that level Special Operations Officer 'Zukamee will lead you to the waiting room. I will personally accompany you on the lift to ensure your safety."
The guard returned the chips which the marines slotted back into their armor. Although he knew that the guard was not ensuring his safety, and was just watching them, Buck said," Thanks," and the Squad followed the guard into the Gravity Lift.
Once the Squad and the guard walked into the purple beam, an invisible hand pulled they up. Mickey whistled as another beam, pushed them horizontally into the level tagged as Level B3. The visitors exited while the guard continued up the lift. The marines were greeted by the officer named 'Zukamee, who introduced himself.
"Welcome to the Shadow Of Intent," 'Zukamee welcomed the marines, "I'm 'R'ais 'Zukamee, commander of the Shadow Of Intent's Security Team." The Elite extended his hand. Which Buck shook.
"You must be Captain Buck. The Supreme Commanders and Commander 'Vadumee are expecting you." The Squad followed 'Zukamee into a large conference room, where a group of Elites equipped with purple armor along with a purple cloak that wraps around and over the shoulder cauldrons were sitting on their seats while whispering to another. The talks ended as the marines entered.
A few Elite Ultras in fancy headdresses stood guard on both sides. Buck recognized them as the Elite Honorguards, who originally were assigned to protect the Prophets, but were reassigned to guard conference rooms where high ranking Elites were present. The Honorguards reached for their Energy Swords when the Squad entered, but quickly released the Swords after the Arbiter waved them to stand down.
An Elite wore an sliver antique armor, different from the others. Buck realized that the Elite was the Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee, the only Elite that he respects. The Captain quickly told the Squad quietly to respect the Arbiter. The Squad complied.
One with the purple armor wore a red cloak rather than a purple one, and the other Supreme Commanders seemed to have respect and fear for the red cloaked. However, Buck didn't know who was the red cloaked.
"Commander 'Vadumee will be here soon," 'Zukamee told the Squad, and then left the room. Buck was about to ask why was there a group of Supreme Commanders, but gave up asking when 'Zukamee quickly retreated out of the conference room.
Although all of the Squad except Aquino, who was just fresh out of the ODST war college, were reluctant to salute their former enemies, they saluted with showing discontent, at least not that much to be noticed. The Elites returned their salutes, and suddenly the room was quiet and everyone's heartbeat could be heard.
The Supreme Commander with a red cloak, named 'Lgfamee, broke the silence. "Take a seat," the Commander said, "Please. Half of the War Council is here, to discuss with you on the capturing mission of the Prophet inside that Brute city, named Takhem, which you will start tomorrow." there was a commanding tone in the Elite's voice, which failed to please Buck.
Buck motioned the Squad to remain standing. "According to my knowledge," the Captain crossed his arms, a gesture which caused disapproving sounds in the council. "We are human, and are a part of the UNSC Marine Corps, which means, we don't take orders from some jackass aliens," Buck secretly sent a signal to his Squad except Aquino, a massage to ready their radar jammers and weapons.
"We take orders from the Corps and the UNSC, we take orders from humans. You got that?" Buck pulled out a seat and crossed his legs. The Squad did the same.
A smile touched 'Lgfamee's lips. "You've got a lot of bravery to say that," he smiled. "However, General Tyson allowed us to borrow your squad. In fact," the General stood, "he allowed me to have complete control over your squad which is now ours."
'Lgfamee handed Buck a tablet. Buck accepted it, and read scrolls of information as sweat ran down his head inside his helmet. The reader not only confirmed the Supreme Commander's claim, but also stated that 'Lgfamee, now revealed to be an Imperial Admiral, a second-in-command of the Arbiter, can do whatever UNSC commander can do, and must be treated as one, along with the Arbiter.
Captain Buck motioned the Squad to stand down and sit properly. "Very well," Buck said, "What do you want us to do?" Buck just finished when R'tas 'Vadumee entered the room and smiled.
"Seems that you've got the situation under control," 'Vadumee said he saw the ODSTs sitting obediently. "I'm not required now. Please proceed."
After the Commander left, the Arbiter and 'Lgfamee revealed the plan - not a normal Special Operations one, but an exciting one. The talk made the ODSTs nervous, but also looking forward to the mission. The ODSTs were nervous because, 'Lgfamee told them, that Humanity's and the Elites' ships, military, money, everything were locked on Doisac.
If Buck's squad, supported by a squad of Elite Special Operations Officers, cannot capture the Prophet and at least a Brute Chieftain, they are doomed to perish under possible Insurrection attacks and other attacks from the remaining Covenant, scattered all around the galaxy.
The fate of Humanity and the Elites rested on their shoulders.
"Not exactly green; no ODST is. But if I didn't think he could do the job I wouldn't have him on my six. He doesn't say much, but I don't care. I just need him to listen."
—GySgt Edward Buck, Halo 3 ODST ViDoc
Aboard UNSC Pony Express, Main Drop Bay
September 9th, 2559, 2236 Hours (UNSC Military Calendar)
2533 Hours (Doisac Standard Time)
"This Galaxy is vast; its wonders and beauty are almost unfathomable. But the galaxy also hides dark secrets, some of which have lain dormant since the beginning of time itself. There is a danger in secrets, both in seeking and in knowing. Some things are meant to be hidden from view. Some mysteries defy understanding, and sometimes even the things we think we know are untrue. Some secrets should remain untouched."
—Cortana in the Cortana Letters
The UNSC Pony Express was a UNSC Mako-Class Corvette. As of 2552, it was the fastest ship available to the UNSC. Although it was not the fastest ship now at 2559, it remained a reliable ship in speed when it is needed.
During the Battle of Earth, the Pony Express was at Earth fighting the Covenant. After receiving a message from Dr. Halsey, Lord Hood planned on sending the Spartan-IIs to Onyx aboard the Pony Express, but they opted to instead capture a Covenant destroyer, the Bloodied Spirit, which was faster than even the Pony Express.
(Refer To Halo: Ghosts Of Onyx)
The Pony Express' commander, Commander Martin Cobley, received orders to drop ODST troopers to Doisac during the battle. Given a role as a support ship when produced, the corvette was used directed in battle, especially during run-and-gun missions after dropping the troopers.
Among the two hundred drop pods in the huge drop bay, only six pods contained human soldiers. However, ten Elite SpeOps pods were also lined up in the drop bay. The Elite Squad was personally led by Commander R'tas Vadumee.
As Commander Cobley, the commander of the Pony Express gave the go-ahead to the Elites and the six ODSTs, Buck immediately keyed the com package, and told his marines, "Time to dance, troopers," and punched button to drop. The ODSTs followed, along with the Elites.
As the shadow of the Pony Express slowly moved away from the troopers, the pods began to enter the atmosphere. Their anti-gravity thrusters slowed them down, and luckily no one has dug his own grave yet.
"So far, so good," Buck contacted Commander 'Vadumee. "However, it seems that the drop zone is hot. I repeat hot." 'Vadumee didn't understand the marine's military slang, but understood after seeing the images sent by Buck.
He was about to reply when Mickey cut him off. "Gunny," he told Buck, "I'm picking up lots of signals above, big ones. They match Covenant...a capital... Sh..... Wa..... Torpedo.... Expr..... Corve......"
"Say, again," Buck asked Mickey,"You're breaking up!"
Buck was rewarded by static. He moved the pod's external cameras around, and was shocked when he saw none of the pods. He tried to contact the Elites and the marines, but none answered.
Soon. He felt a wash of static. He looked up, and realized that a Brute ship was shooting his pod with a pulse plasma turret. The Titanium-A armor saved him, but it was enough to knock him off course, and crash with another pod.
Buck, after seeing that all of the pods were crashing down to the Brute city, screamed as they were about to crash into a Brute base.
Commander Martin Cobley
[17367-24983-MC] [UNSC Navy]
Joint Operation : THE STORM
STATUS : Unstable
Up in orbit, the Pony Express was about to link up with the rest of the 256 Combined Fleet, when a Lieutenant reported, "Commander, the sensors sensed about 50 Brute ships coming this way. However, scans showed that none match the database."
Cobley frowned. He issued an order to back off, but soon, another Lieutenant cried,"Commander, we've got visual!"
"Aft cameras! Weapons, charge the MAC. Remove safeties for the Archers. Comms, contact HQ. Tell them that we have enemies on screen." Cobley ordered.
A series of 'Aye,Aye's answered the Commander. But the Commander cannot hear them anymore. A bullet from his M6D Pistol ripped through his thigh and into his heart. Death was immediate.
Why? Because on the aft cameras, twelve Covenant super carriers with twenty Plasma turret was shooting the Fleet and the Pony Express. Soon, most of the fleet was destroyed.
The Covenant had launched a major counter-attack, and no one want to face the coming damnation, including Commander Cobley.
Even Spartans wouldn't want to do so.
"Most of the crew - not to mention your fellow jarheads - will be leaving the ship in lifeboats. They'll ride to the surface in air conditioned comfort, sipping wine, and nibbling on appetizers. Not you, however. Oh no, you're going to leave the Pillar of Autumn in a different method. Tell me boys and girls... how will you leave?"
—Major Antonio Silva, aboard the UNSC Pillar of Autumn.
"We go feet first, sir!"
—Shock Troopers' response.
Halo : The Flood
This Is Our Land - Chapter 5
Date: 18 July 2011, 12:07 pm
The country is so beautiful, where so many heroes had devoted their lives into it. Sorry that the Qin Emperor or the Han Wu Emperor lacks a sense for literacy; while the founders of the Tang and Song dynasties came short in style. The great man, Genghis Khan, only knew how to shoot eagles with an arrow. The past is past. To see real heroes, look around you.
Qinyuanchun - Snow (沁园春雪), 1936
--- Mao Zedong, Former CPC Chairman
Chapter 5 - Farthest Outpost
Master Chief John - 117
Lieutenant JG Fred - 104
Civilian Consultant Doctor Catherine Halsey
Chief Petty Officer Linda - 058
August 11th, 2559, 0007 Hours (Military Calendar)
Abroad Berger Class Escape Pod, Breaking Orbit Of Onyx
John slowly woke up. His blurred vision cleared, and he saw Linda, Fred and Doctor Halsey, clearly unconscious, on the floor. His stomach shifted as he discovered that they were in an escape pod with advanced technology. Soon, he felt that the pod was rising.
He contacted the base, Sparta, but got no response except static. A few moments after that, he felt that something was not right in his mind. Something he couldn't tell, but he knew it was important to him, and it might be fatal to him if he lost it.
Suddenly, he knew what was going on...
Cortana was gone.
As John bashed the heavy armor of the escape pod for the seventh time, Fred woke up and helped Doctor Halsey and Linda up on their feet. "Give it up, Chief," Fred sighed. John turned around, and was relived to find out that his friends and... his mother like figure, now awake.
Fred knew the Chief would ask questions, so he spoke first, "We must stay calm, and find a way out of here before those... things kill us." he realized that Cortana was absent, so he added, "and Cortana."
John felt a shiver up his spine after imagining Cortana's data chip reduced to ashes, and the AI totally destroyed. He managed to hide his thoughts, though, and that helped him to remain in control, or at least pretend to be.
The Chief inspected the armor plating around the pod. Its size was much smaller now, because the aliens spilt the pod into several rooms to avoid communications between the humans, John presumed. The Chief told his roommates' his thoughts. They all agreed.
Doctor Halsey frowned. "If that's the case," the doctor knocked the armor plating, "we should be able to reach the others, by...." Halsey halted, searching for the right word. "Breaking through this armor, then we can find out who is attacking us." Halsey finished, then without waiting for an answer, she went to find her laptop.
"I won't advise that, Doctor," Fred argued, "We can't be sure that besides us is another room, or just vacuum. You will be at risk if the plan goes wrong."
Doctor Halsey forced a weak smile, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," she said, "that's Anders' trademark phrase. My, my, that's more than 24 years since I last saw her."
"Anders, ma'am?" John asked, "who is she?"
Linda glanced at Doctor Halsey. "It's the women with the highest IQ, isn't it. I remember that she is your student, Doctor." Fred and John traded surprised looks. Halsey was a genius, they don't believe that anyone can be smarter than her, especially one of her students.
"Highest IQ born after 2500," Doctor Halsey added, "and she was my student. She knew about you SPARTANs, and went away after arguing with me over that. She must be at least 45 years old by now. Was my best student. Is still my best student."
Halsey finally found her laptop, but her micro AI, Jerrod, was gone. She winced, and put the computer away. "I wonder where is the Spirit Of Fire is. Whatever, let's just wait here. Fred is right."
She stared at the left side of the pod. "Even Anders will be wrong. Stubborn as hell."
The Doctor smiled, and went back for her laptop.
Civilian Consultant Ellen Anders
Captain James G. Cutter
Petty Officer SC Douglas - 042
Petty Officer SC Alice - 130
Petty Officer SC Jerome - 092
UNSC AI 'Serina'
February 1st, 2532, 1323 Hours (Ship's Time)
August 11th, 2559, 2355 Hours (Military Calendar)
Aboard UNSC Spirit Of Fire, In Orbit Of Unknown World
"Captain, something has happened."
Captain James Gregory Cutter, commander of the UNSC Spirit Of Fire, was awakened from a horrible nightmare, in a cryogenic tube. Quick unfreeze caused some problems but he managed to hold himself. He quickly jogged past Cryogenic Room 3, then 4,then 5, finally reaching the elevator.
The Captain dressed himself while a bot delivered his clothing. He put on his hat, holstered his sidearm, then punched the button for C Deck, where the bridge was located. As the elevator rose, Cutter contacted Serina, the ship's AI, when he felt the ship tumbled.
The Spirit Of Fire's Captain was awakened six months ago, seven months since the shield world problem. Serina detected a slipspace hole. Before they can avoid it, the ship was pulled inside. Cutter went back to cryogenic sleep, leaving Serina to monitor the situation.
The Captain held a railing and stabilized himself. "Serina, report!" Cutter keyed the nearest intercom and barked into it. He knew when that tumbling happened, the ship was exiting slipspace. That is nearly impossible, because the ship lost it Faster Than Light, or FTL engine, during the battle in the shield world.
"Captain, we're being pulled out of slipspace. Reason unknown." Serina answered, "scanning. We are close to UNSC controlled space. Matching. Our current position is inside the Zeta Doradus system, near a planet named Onyx. Curious, I can't access the files on this planet. It seems to be... ONI."
Cutter didn't care about ONI or some secret planet. His mission was to save the crew and the ship, protect the data, then return to UNSC controlled space with the data on the shield world. "Unfreeze the crew. Get the Spartans and Anders up to the bridge as soon as possible. Scan for possible threats. " Cutter ordered as he exited the elevator.
"Already working on it sir," the AI replied. "Wait. I've detected a slipspace bubble surrounding the planet." The intercom buzzed. "Uh... Captain, you better come and take a look. The planet is not a planet anymore. According to my database, the appearance is the same with the shield world."
Cutter shivered. He and his men deserved medals and promotions, not another battle with those parasites. The whole crew would probably go nuts after knowing this. "Don't unfreeze the crew except the Spartans, Professor Anders and the bridge personnel. Hold position, and I want a comprehensive report on my console," the Captain told Serina.
Cutter pressed in the password, and the heavy blast doors of the bridge opened for its Captain. "Direct the telescope on that planet, Serina." Cutter ordered as he entered the bridge. He sat on his commander's chair, and read the report Serina prepared.
Serina's hologram winked to life on a holopad. "Captain, please look at the main viewport. Also, Threat sensors registered 275.. Correction, 312 of those Sentinel inbound towards the ship. Their light are blue, and this means no trouble. Yet."
A shocked James Cutter raised his head. On the main viewport was a sphere made with Sentinels, and surrounded by trillions of Sentinels. He was about to experience a heart attack, when his training kicked in.
"Shocked, is not something to be shameful of as a Commander. Don't know what to do, is something you should be shameful of. Do anything that you think it's right. Do not wait for your opponents to launch the first strike."
Cutter remembered what his tutor told him and his classmates during the first day at OCS on Luna. Captain Robertson told him many skills, which most were useful in combat. The Robertson Maneuver taught by Captain Robertson even saved his life in combat for countless times. A shame that Hood put Robertson in OCS. A great tactician wasted.
"New heading one-eight-zero by one-eight-two, give me 80% speed and charge the MAC. Arm the Archer pods, ready pods A1 through A7 and fire on my command. Arm the AA and Point Defense guns. Tell the pilots to prepare the Longswords for close air combat."
Cutter calmed himself down. The bridge crew began to fill in empty chairs. He heard whispers between the stations, and was worried about the crew in losing morale, when heavy footsteps told the Captain that the Spartans had arrived. Before the doors closed, Professor Ellen Anders entered too.
The Spartans saluted Cutter and the Captain returned them. "Professor," Cutter asked, "can you tell me what is that thing?"
Before the Professor looked at the viewport and answer with a shocked face, Serina cut in. "The slipspace bubble surrounding Onyx collapsed. I'm detecting two slipspace ruptures, one inbound and one outbound." She announced with her calm voice.
"Cameras on both ruptures." Cutter barked. The viewport spilt into two screens, one showing 3 Scorpion Tank-sized pods traveling into a hole, while a UNSC Super Carrier exited another hole. The surprised crew asked each other questions, and Cutter told Serina, "Match the ship with the database."
Serina complied. On the secondary viewport, a Sentinel's blueprint turned into a Super Carrier named Everest. The ship was battered, and two Point Defense guns were gone.
"Admiral Preston Cole commanding, the UNSC Everest, constructed during the Insurrection Wars, but a superior ship compared to other UNSC ships with a 1-2 odds against Covenant frigates."
Although stunned, Captain Cutter held his nerves. "Lieutenant James, open a channel to the Everest. I need a secured channel feed on UNSC E-Band."
The shocked Lieutenant typed in commands, then Admiral Preston Cole appeared on the secondary viewport. "Captain Cutter?" Cole growled with a rather annoying tone. "You mind telling me why the Spirit Of Fire is here? You're MIA.." he checked his ship's clock, "13 years ago, Captain."
"13 years, sir?" Cutter asked, clearly not understanding what the Admiral told him, "It's 13 months since Arcadia, not 13 years, Admiral. It's there a mistake?"
Cole turned around. He checked with the Everest's AI, Watchmaker, then growled again, "Captain, it is April 18th, 2544, 13 years after the Covenant's first visit to Arcadia. You better explain why it's 2532 now, Cutter."
Cutter was almost furious now. He was about to explode at his superior when Serina informed him, "Captain, the pods are about to enter slipspace. I've detected at least 15 life forms inside, and half of them are confirmed human."
The Captain didn't care about arguing with Cole anymore. He personally slammed the button on Lieutenant James' console to terminate the contact with the Everest, then told Serina,
"Flank speed, Serina! Follow those pods into slipspace. Full thruster power and deploy Plasma Rockets. Tell Cole to either follow us, conduct a jump, or continue to wander in nowhere."
A rather harsh suggestion to his superior, but the AI complied anyway. "Aye, aye, Captain. Massage away. New heading 232 by 239 confirmed, bulkheads sealed, blast doors closed, slipspace ready."
Cutter replied with a slight nod. "Professor," he told Anders, "can you work with Serina and try to find out who are in the pods? Especially those life forms not confirmed human."
"I'm on it, Captain," Anders replied as she exited the bridge and went to her lab on the observation deck. Cutter noticed that the three Spartans seem to be bored, and decided to give them something to do.
"Spartans, go to the cryogenic rooms and punch the release button for every cryogenic pods. Take a short break after that, then go to Engineering and take several engineers with you then go to the Armory. The techs will assemble a few new weapons for you to test."
"Yes sir," the leader of Red Team, Jerome - 092, answered. His team saluted, then left the bridge. Cutter sighed, and sat on his command chair.
"Serina, status report."
On the ship's status screen, all windows closed. "Entered slipspace, Captain. The pods are followed with slipspace probes. The ship is undamaged and fully operational. I wonder, why aren't the Sentinels following us?"
"Let's focus, Serina. I hope Cole followed us, or I'll be court martial once we get back to Earth." Luckily, the Everest did followed the Spirit, but Cole was angered, and denied any communications for the whole slipspace journey.
However, unknown to Cutter and Cole, another ship followed they into slipspace. On board was another Spartan.
\TRACKED\ (UGOH SYSTEMS)
LIEUTENANT THCHESTRON ACPALIOS DEWACA HANOUIN
[O3-76920-10266-8257-76902] [ARMORED SPECIAL OPERATIONS]
CO: COMMANDER HEKALDUO KEISHHIRM SKENJS LAIONUM'SS
COMMANDER KURT AMBROSE
[HUMAN ORIGIN, FORERUNNER TRACE DETECTED, TEST 1 PASSED]
August 5th, 2559, 1827 hours
Aboard UGOH Fortress-Class Super Carrier, Armory 12B
In Orbit Of Charum Hakkor
In the five years after recovering from coma, Kurt was treated as a guest on board the Super Carrier. He was accompanied by Thchestron, who told him about the aliens and their history. He learnt a lot about these aliens who turned out to be Kurt's ancestors.
Thchestron told Kurt a lot about his race, and gave Kurt his notebook, a data pad, contained details of his race's history.
In about 150,000 B.C., a race named the Precursors reached a technology level of Tier 0, a celling for technology. They created the Forerunners, who stood up against their creators and destroying them. Many species evolved in the galaxy, but none can be par with the Forerunners, let alone defeating them.
Until one day, the humans appeared on the stage. They were born on Earth, and the Forerunners viewed them as their successors. The humans evolved, and spread out in the Orion Arm to escape Forerunner control. They built colonies, and soon they were par with the Forerunners.
They met the Prophets, and fought them. At last, an alliance was formed. Some hundreds years later, a spaceship crashed on a human planet. The ship contained lots of powders. These powders can make the humans' and the Prophets' pets' appearance better, and soon, it flowed into the black market.
These powders infected the pets. The powders are the Flood, a parasite. Systems are infected, and in need of new worlds, the humans desperately invaded others. They won easily, but lost even more worlds. Soon, they reached Forerunner territories.
The Forerunner worlds were invaded. The Forerunners declared war on the humans, and Humanity was forced to fight a two front war. Finally, at the cost of one third of their population, the Prophets and Humans drove the Flood out. However, the Forerunner fought the weakened alliance, and the Prophets surrendered.
At the last world of Humanity, Charum Hakkor, the two sides fought for fifty years, until Humanity was defeated. They were exiled to they home world, and down graded. Unknown to the Forerunners, some humans with technology par with the Forerunners, remained.
These humans remained in a safe house, until the Forerunners fired the Halos. They were safe, and came back to rebuild Charum Hakkor. They've learnt a lesson, and only stayed in Charum Hakkor's system, until a scout came. They've known that they children survived, and thus sent scouts all over the galaxy, and one, reached the Sol system, but it was destroyed, for unknown reasons. Because of that, the Humans abandoned their search.
The scout found Kurt, and save him. They've detected other humans, but cannot reach them due to a blockade set up by the Forerunners to avoid others to reach Onyx's core.
The Human's council debated to either try to break the blockade or not. After five years, they've finally decided.
The council decided to sent Kurt. Therefore, Thchestron fetched Kurt and led him to his new armor in order to complete the mission.
"Commander," Thchestron led Kurt into an Armory that contain several advanced weapons and an armor that greatly resembled a SPI Armor. "Here's your new armor, an advanced type of your current one, named Semi-Powered Assault Armor M. II, graded Grade 15, just suitable for your mission."
"What mission?" Kurt halted and asked. "I haven't agreed to go on any missions.
Thchestron seemed to knew that he leaked some secret. "Nothing," he forced a smile, "you will know soon. Commander Laionum'ss will brief you at once after you have tested your armor."
Kurt said nothing, but he remained alert. These humans could kill him or capture him easily. But he will not go down without a fight. Even without a MJLONIR, Kurt was convinced that a Spartan can manage to grab an alien as a hostage, then get off.
As they entered a testing room with robots all over the place but without aliens monitoring them, Thchestron instructed Kurt to stand into a beam of gold light in order to equip the Spartan with the SPA. Kurt did as told reluctantly.
Once he stepped into the beam. The gold light flashed and suddenly, he discovered that he body, arms and legs were armored. A robot held his helmet, which Kurt accepted and put on. Thchestron flipped a switch. The HUD came up, and Kurt inspected himself and the SPA Armor.
The HUD was green in color, and later Kurt was told that the green HUDs were exclusively used by Special Operations commandos. It showed his motion tracker, grenades, shield meter, health monitors, a Tactical Map, a compass, NAV points and weapons.
The armor was green, similar to the one Thchestron was wearing. The appearance was similar to a MJLONIR. A Thruster Pack, or T-PACK, was located on his back.
"The armor suits you," Thchestron observed. "Try moving around now. If you have any question or the armor is not working, I'll be over there," he pointed at a desk, "after you're done, meet me there. I'll take you to the other stations for further tests."
Kurt nodded. He walked around, and felt that the armor was A - Okay. He was glad to have a advanced armor. That may help in fighting the Covenant, he thought. Kurt decided that he was ready, and went to meet Thchestron.
Thchestron stood up. "You're ready. Good. Follow me to the next test. I will test your targeting sensors, shield recharging system and motion tracker."
The alien walked to a door, and placed his palm on a DNA reader. The reader beeped, but the door remained closed. A male voice inside the room said something that sounded like Latin, which Kurt didn't understand. Thchestron discovered that problem and told Kurt after he replied the voice, "Turn on your translator program," the human instructed. "the switch is inside your chest storage. The second button from the left. Turn it..."
Thchestron consulted his computer inside his armor. "Five times. That will be your language." Kurt did as told, and was rewarded by a reply of the voice's line in English.
"Welcome to the Testing Room, Lieutenant. Bring the recruit in. I'd like to speak with him."
Kurt hated to be called as a recruit. He called his Spartan-IIIs like this for 21 years. It sounded like that Doctor Halsey was talking to him. He didn't believe that anyone can call him a recruit. He entered the room, though, without showing much discontent.
"Ah, the recruit," the voice belonged to a armored human sitting behind a desk. He seemed to be a man with too much pride. He was tall, standing 2.2 meters, Kurt estimated. Thchestron saluted the man with respect and said, "Commander."
"That would be all, Lieutenant. Get back back to your post." the human said without returning the Lieutenant's salute and even not looking into Thchestron's eyes. The Lieutenant didn't seem to mind, though. Thchestron saluted again, then left the room. The doors closed behind him.
"So, recruit," the human
started, "I'm Commander Hekaludo Keishirm Skenjs Laionum'ss, commander of the Armored Special Operations Division. State your name and rank, recruit. I was told that you're saved on a Forerunner Installation where you decided to die with your enemies while badly injured in order to save your comrades. Respectable, but reckless."
Kurt had enough.
Kurt sat on a chair, "Commander Kurt Ambrose. Same rank with you."
Laionum'ss seemed to be surprised. His face dimmed and he apologized for his disrespect. Then, he briefed Kurt on his mission. At first, Kurt didn't cared about it, but when he heard of Onyx, he jumped.
"Onyx?" Kurt shouted. "How did you know?"
"Scanning your brain, of course."
"What!? Never mind."
Kurt sat down, and he was anxious. He cut Laionum'ss off. "When do we leave?" he asked.
"5 days later." the human replied. "If you know about what to do, get yourself ready. We will dust off exactly 5 days later. Lieutenant Thchestron will get your weapons ready. Dismissed."
Although Laionum'ss told someone with a same rank 'dismissed', Kurt didn't cared.
He will meet his Spartans.
He will meet his fellow Spartans.