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Warning: escaping convicts by Cap'n Keyes



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 1)
Date: 13 May 2002, 11:32 pm

The man had many names he went by. One of which was the Master Chief. Another name was SPARTAN John 117. It didn't matter, however. The things, the flood did not care about names. They only sought to destroy. This is what John was thinking as he ran down the ramp to the lone Longsword fighter. The Pillar of Autumn's life was sadly coming to an end, and the Master Chief did not want to join it. As he got onto the Longsword, Cortana remarked as so:

"We're cutting it close!"

The Master Chief then got into the control station for the Longsword.

"Here we go." He said.

The Longsword then roared out of the Pillar of Autumn and blasted into space. Down below there were the many assortments of flood mutants and Covenant littering the crash site.

Down near the crash site, Sargent Peter Wallace of the 54th assault division was having a hard time with a Covenant elite.

"Arrr, you little mutha'!"

The Pillar of Autumn sent out a wave of fire, and intense heat.

"Oh, crap. It's over, baby, hold me!"

They embraced, but not all was lost. All of a sudden, Wallace heard the elite speaking normal English.

"Come on, human. I am a Major elite, and my two backup vehicles are parked out back. If we hurry now we can make it. They ran to the site, and found two modified Banshees with active camouflage installed on them.

" These Banshees are invisible to all scanners. I don't have time to give you a crash course..."

"That's okay. I am the vehicle expert in my team."

The odd pair of two different races powered up their Banshees and blew out into space.

Meanwhile, The Master Chief and Cortana were worried about what had happened.

"Did anyone else make it out?" asked the Chief.

"Scanning... said Cortana. Just dust...and echoes."

The disappointed Chief justified his sacrifices and prepared for the next day.

Sargent Wallace and the Major elite had just made it out of the ring's atmosphere when the ring self-destructed. The modified Banshees were shielded and took most of the blast. However, impact caused them to swerve violently and head straight toward the near moon. Tricky steering and skill helped them to remain on a safe course.

The red elite started to call the nearest Covenant Battleship.

"I will try to call the Truth and Reconciliation, but I doubt they are still intact. The nearest one besides them is the Forever Known, about 1 lightyear away."

"How do you know all this?" said Wallace

"Just trust me"

The elite made the call to the Truth and Reconciliation.

"Amazing! They are still alive!"

The Truth and Reconciliation came nearer to them. As it neared, the elite wondered out loud.

"But last time we were there, it was infested with..." He never finished the sentence. The two Banshees were beamed onboard the ship, where they were greeted by half-flood Covenant elites.

"Hello, Dersoa," one of them said. "We've been expecting you."

TO BE CONTINUED



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 2)
Date: 15 May 2002,12:03 am

No, thought Dersoa. This isn't happening. These are my friends, my whole life's companions, and now they are being turned into the flood. I had expected them to die in the battle ensuing after the escape of the infidel commander and his minions. But they apparently survived and have now turned into these¸things, these horrible excuses for life. Any state would be better than this.

Dersoa decided to put these things out of their misery. Wallace was horrified at what happened also. Most of the flood looked the same. This ship seemed to have mostly Covenant infestations, but there were some human flood wandering around. Luckily they hadn't seen the odd companions yet. The half-flood Covenant still had enough of their former brain to not fire on an ally, but that was quickly changing.

Wallace quickly appointed his newly made ally. "We can't let this happen. If we don't move now, we're screwed. We have got to clear this room out now and call for backup. I can take all flood on, except for the infection forms. My lack of shielding does not work well for combating them, and if you don't cover me, you could be seeing a new combat form really quickly."

"All right," said Dersoa. "Let's get dirty." And with those words he unsheathed his Plasma Rifle and Wallace his M90 Shotgun, both scavenged from the areas around the Banshees.

Dersoa aimed right for a combat form that seemed to be of Covenant origin. A superheated ball of blue plasma flew out and sent the combat form's head rolling along the grated floor. It had no effect, though.

"C'mon! Don't you know that flood don╠t need their heads?" retorted Wallace. "The only way to stop them is to cause organic failure in them." And the roar of the M90 finished that thought, as the green, putrid blood of the flood was blown everywhere.

All of the combat forms were unarmed, but that did not mean that they were any less dangerous. "All right, we have some combat forms headed in from the top of the bulkhead." Wallace again. The charred skeleton of a Wraith tank provided some cover for them.

Finally, all of the flood combat forms were put down, either by the M90 or the Plasma Rifle. "All right!" said Wallace "let's call for backup!" And with that, both got onto the Banshee's comm system and called the nearest Battleship.

"OK, the nearest human battleship is sending Foxtrot 290 to bring reinforcements."

"The Forever Known has acknowledged our situation and is sending troops."

"All right, all we have to do now is wait."

LONGSWORD 1298-UNS PILLAR OF AUTUMN

The Master Chief and Cortana had been wandering aimlessly for about two hours when the distress call arrived. "Cortana, power up the Longsword's engines. It's time to help some survivors." Poor guy thought the Chief, all alone on an enemy vessel. Cortana was heard to remark: "It will take about one half hour for us to get there. The 'sword's engines are pretty toasty right now, and running them at full will probably melt them." "All right," said the chief, "But we'd better get there."

DROPSHIP FOXTROT 290-ON INTERCEPT COURSE TO TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION

"All, right! I'm goin' to blow away some covvies, and maybe take down some flood on the way."

Private Richard Smith, the joker in the corps said. "Hey, I got a question. We call the Covenant covvies, so what do we call the flood? Floodies?" "No, private, you call them life sucking mutants with an attitude, just don't say that to their face." Sergeant Willy Thorton said.

"So, what makes us do this crazy mission anyway?" "Sarge Peter Wallace is a respected member of the UNSC military's administrative program. He is an important member, and when he asks for assistance, by God, we give it to him."

COVENANT DROPSHIP-FOREVER KNOWN

Onboard were many of each type of covenant, except for Hunters, who seemed to panic when they saw the flood. The dropship was one of three sent to provide support for Templar Dersoa, who played a key role in the Covenant hierarchy. Maybe, if they were lucky, they could take back the Truth and Reconciliation and continue with their slaughter of the infidel humans.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION- ONE HALF HOUR LATER

The first people to arrive were the Master Chief and Cortana. They had to dodge the fire from the flood to get into the bay where the two partners were. "Hello," said the Master Chief.

Dersoa was taken aback. "The legendary SPARTAN! It is good to have you here."

"What the hell does this guy think he is?" said the Master Chief, and raised his M90 to fire on the red elite. "Wait!" It was Peter Wallace. "Our primary goal is to take over this ship and escape. We have forged a bond over it."

"Take over the Truth and Reconciliation?" Said the Chief "Why, so the Covenant can continue to kill us?" "No," said Dersoa "If we take this ship back over, it will be a diplomatic vehicle, and we will negotiate peace with it. Our real enemy is the flood, not humanity. If we are to have a chance, we will need to band together."

With that came the whine of Foxtrot 290's jet engines and the loud blasting music of the marines. Foxtrot deployed the marines and left. "SPARTAN", said Dersoa, "Fill the marines in on their mission" "All right, but this is the weirdest mission I've ever done." But with that he left, and approached the marines.

"Hey, marines," said the Chief "Hello, sir!" They all said in unison. "Our mission is to clear this ship of all the pathetic things that call themselves flood. We have forged a temporary, maybe permanent truce with the Covenant on this basis. There are going to be Covenant dropships coming in and dropping covenant troops. They don't know of the plan yet, so they will probably fire on you. Take cover and prevent that from happening."

The Chief wandered over to Dersoa. "I filled in my people. Now it's your turn." With that, Dersoa walked over to the stealth Banshees and activated the radio. "Calling dropships," he said, which sounded like "Spihspord gnillac."

Oh, no, I just remembered, said Dersoa, the Forever Known's dropships have no radios installed in them. I can't tell them that the humans are not to be shot at. Crap, here they come now!"

"Marines!" yelled the chief "find some cover now!" "Dersoa, my fate and all the others' is resting on you. As soon as the troops are deployed, keep them from shooting at us. Tell them that we are good, and prevent any of your men opening up on mine. Good luck!" And with that, the Chief went running for something that would serve as a hiding place.

TO BE CONTINUED



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 3)
Date: 18 May 2002, 10:33 pm

The Covenant Dropship came in with the whine produced by the fusion-reactant engines. On the bottom, the plasma cannon searched for a target, be it flood, human, or both.

"Everything's okay," said the Master Chief. "Stay low, soldier." Wallace was on the other side of the bay, hidden behind a strange Covenant crate. The Covenant troops were deployed, and he heard Dersoa filling them in on their mission. However, he was speaking in Covenant, so he could just hope that he was telling them that the humans were good. After about five minutes, Wallace heard a rustling noise, and the sound of plasma pistols being bled. "All, right, humans it's okay to come out now. My brothers understand."

But apparently the humans did not, or at least did not care about what the Master Chief told him. "Yahhhhh! Die you Covenant pile of trash!" Wildly swinging his MA5B, Private Richard Smith broke rank and charged the Covenant. "Stop, human!" Said Dersoa. The Master Chief pulled something that looked like a taser from his MJOLNIR armor and pointed it at Smith. The rebel immediately fell. "Some artifact found on Halo. Must be a forerunner device for subduing flood. I guess it works on humans, too." Wallace immediately went to work handing out orders. "All, right, pick up Private Smith's body and put it into the corner. You two guard him," he said, pointing to two soldiers. "Restrain him however possible. If you see any flood infection forms, kill them right away. They are going to go for Smith right away, because he appears to be dead. Don't let them get you, either. This loading bay is our base camp. Our group will head to the bridge of this ship. As soon as we get there, we will take it over and make that our new camp. Two of us will guard the old camps, and if there is any suspicious activity, call for support. I would rather have a false alarm once than having two more combat forms to deal with. Does everybody understand?" Sir yes sir! Said the marines in unison. Even the Master Chief thought that was a pretty good plan. "All right, let's move out. If there is a chance that there is Covenant here, Dersoa and his crew will move in and inform them of what is happening. All, right, any questions?" "No, sir!"

The crew was split into pairs. The Chief got paired with a commander elite with a plasma sword. He could see that the elite had been in many battles from the many scars on his face. The rest of his body wasn't without scars, either. "Don't try anything foolish, human," said the commander scornfully. "The same goes to you." Said the chief. He saw that Wallace had been paired with Dersoa, and there were many Covenant-human pairs. However, there were three times as many Covenant as there were humans, so there were mostly Covenant to Covenant pairs. The Chief saw many marines paired with jackals. Good, he thought, that will provide them both with cover.

The strange pairs moved through the second room of the loading bay and through the sliding doors. Strange, I remember killing two hunters that came out of there just a few days ago. "Okay," said Wallace, "keep your eyes out for flood! If you see any, do not be afraid to fire at will. We all know how dangerous these things are, and hesitation will get us nowhere."

A low guttural sound echoed around the bulkhead and through the halls. There seemed to be more holes a than there were the last time they had been on the ship, probably made from the fighting between the Covenant and the flood. They all knew that flood liked to hide in the holes in the ceiling and they covered the area until all the others had made it.

For the first time, Cortana spoke up. "If you can load me into one of the consoles on the corner of the hallways, chief, I can find the schematics to the bridge, and possibly a the Covenant armory. This Dersoa also seems to be a regular part of the complement on this ship, so he should be some help." The group had come to the control pad at the corner of the hallway, and they still had not found any flood. This was strange, given their nature and their name. "Okay, load me up," said Cortana. "There we go. When I can get back into your helmet, I will give you a navpoint that points to the bridge, and a second one that is possibly an armory." The Chief plugged Cortana back into his helmet and was immediately rewarded with two red arrows, one of which was larger. "The larger one is the bridge. We seem to be only about 100 meters away from it. This is very strange that there have been no fl---"

But then, bursting from the hallways came many infection forms, bent on destruction. The crew turned around and immediately opened fire. Since the gunshots needed were loud, it attracted the combat forms, and the carrier forms. "Okay, group 1, take the left side, group 2 take the right!" It wasn't even known who gave that order, but everybody seemed to follow it. Even the jackals who didn't understand English seemed to get the point.

The air was filled with searing plasma and nearly molten lead. With the help of the Chief and many of the ╗lites, none of the flood reached the unshielded marines and grunts. Not that it mattered much, but it helped anyway.

"Come with me," said the Chief, and they started to make their long fight toward the bridge. They no longer had the element of surprise, and now they were just staying alive on their skill and luck. "Fifty meters more." An explosion rocked the ship, and another wave of flood poured in. "Same plan!" The unmistakable staccato of flood with assault rifles echoed throughout the halls. "They have guns! Take 'em fast!" The flood were soon taken out, but not without some casualties. "We have wounded here! They can probably make it, but if they take any more shots, I don't know what we can do about it."

"Here's the bridge," said the Chief after they had gotten there. "The door seems to be locked. Take care of it, Carlson." The corporal pulled out a hacking device, much like the one that had released the flood, and attached it to the door. The opening code was punched in, and the doors turned to a white tint and opened, revealing the gaping bridge room, the same place where Captain Keyes was found.

The bridge was awash in flood mutants, and they all seemed to turn and start running at the same time. One flood got shot, and fell down, missing the top of his torso, and his ribcage showing. "Seems like they're unarmed. Let's mop up the rest of them!" The air filled with plasma and lead again, and the flood were all on the ground. One marine went over to what seemed like a human flood. "Get up so I can kill you again!" The flood got back up and swiped at the marine, drawing blood across his chest "aaaaaaaaaaahhh! I'm never saying that again, at least not to a flood!" The chatter of his MA5B made the mutant fall down again.

Wallace was the next one to speak. "Good job marines and Covenant! We are at our objective point! Group number one will stay here and guard the bridge panel. Group two will raid the armory and find as much weaponry we can get to combat the flood with. When group two finds the armory and the weapons, it will probably be highly populated with flood. Group two has one of the harder missions. It's tough, but it's possible. Okay, let's go!"

Wallace and an equal number of Covenant were in group one, the group assigned to protect the bridge. The Chief, the golden elite, and a bunch of marines and lesser Covenant were group number two. "Maybe we should get to know each other better," said the elite. "My name is Jersatil, and this scar across my face was given by you. But that is in the past, and I will not have to kill you over it. Not at least until this stupid truce is over with."

The Chief cradled his M90, just in case things should heat up. "We are about 200 meters away from the Covenant armory," Cortana was heard through the Chief's helmet. "in there should be what we need for a heavy assault against the flood. They seem to have the usual plasma weapons, such as the pistol and rifle, but they also have the fuel rod cannon, both in the Specops grunt variety, and the hunter variety. Remember that we are not only stocking ourselves, but group one also, take what you can carry. Half of this group will carry supplies, and the other half will clear a path back to the bridge. Okay, here's the armory right here." Cortana seemed to send out some kind of electromagnetic beam, and the wall of the hallway seemed to open out of nowhere. The sound of rushing air was heard. "All right, boys, here you go. Tons of Covenant weaponry, untouched by human hands. No offense to all you Covenant."

TO BE CONTINUED



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 4)
Date: 24 May 2002, 12:08 am

The team immediately got to work gathering up as many weapons as they could carry. As per the premeditated plan, half of the team two carried weapons, while the other half cleared a path to bring them to group one waiting on the bridge.

The Master Chief thought how strange it was that there were really no flood encounters except for some really casual resistance. He thought that the tactics used in the battles were unlike the flood, also. Usually the flood just rushed in with their arms swinging, and that was that. But the flood they had been fighting were very strange. The tactics seemed more like the Covenant's tactics, the combat forms coming in lines, and the lesser flood coming in behind. It was strange, and he would have to ask Dersoa about it when they came back to the bridge.

The marines, lovers of huge firepower, chose hunter variety arm-mounted fuel rod cannons. The guns had the usual arm-mount, but they also had clamps so that other things could attach them to their arms. The external battery pack gave the guns infinite ammo, but required about a five-second-charge time to cool the gun and work up more power. All in all, it was quite an impressive gun that could adapt to any user.

In there were the usual plasma rifles and plasma pistols. These were relatively useful against the flood, given the heat that they produced.

The team packed up and the covering half of team two moved out. The covering group were the bruisers of the team, Jersatil, and of course the Master Chief. Some marines that were known to be "floodthirsty" were also on the team. They would have to cover the supply group all of the 200 meters that it took to get to the bridge. They were expecting a flood attack, and they were prepared to counter it.

One hundred meters passed, and the team was beginning to get uneasy. They had gotten this far without having a flood attack, and they were not sure how long this luck would last. 150 meters passed, and still not a scratch. The supply group moved up, and they looked nervous also. The flood knew they were there, so why didn't they attack. Only 10 meters more and they started to get outright scared. They hoped they did not have to confront the flood. It was very strange that they had not attacked.

All of a sudden, the huge bridge doors slid open to reveal...

A bridge devoid of flood, with only group one in there. "Finally you got here," said Wallace appreciatively. "That sounded like quite a battle you had back there. The Master Chief was quick to respond. "What? We came into contact with no flood." "I heard you all back there. I heard the roars of the fuel rod cannons, and the sharp cracking of the MA5B's. You may have not suffered a scratch, but I know you fought back there."

"I've seen conditions like this on the battlefield, Chief," said a marine from team two, "They get really stressed out and start to hallucinate. I think Sgt. Wallace just needs a rest." This statement created a lot of disapproval from group one. All those that could speak English swore they too had heard a battle raging on in the hallway group two was in. Even the jackals testified that they had heard something.

The Master Chief was about to ask something of Wallace again when he started feeling dizzy. "John..." He heard voices calling "Come to us," and immediately he knew where the voice was coming from. He noticed that Jersatil, Dersoa, and Wallace had also gotten a similar message at the same time. They were the only ones that heard the message, however, and to the rest of the squad, they seemed to be acting very strangely.

"Chief, are you all right?" one concerned marine asked. "Fine, just stay here. We four have to go find something. Guard the bridge and shoot any flood that come in. you now have the superior weapons. We will be back in a while." The four revelators set off, each with their weapons of choice. Master chief with his M90 and MA5B, Wallace with his MA5B and M6D, Dersoa with his Plasma rifle and optional Plasma Sword, and Jersatil with the same. They had all gotten the urge to visit the former brig, where the power seemed to be emanating from.

They started their 500-meter journey to the brig, and were once again amazed that no flood were attacking them. Each of them except Wallace, who had never been on the Truth and Reconciliation, had their own memories, walking these halls that were now scorched and stripped.

Master chief thought about both the times he had come to rescue Captain Keyes, the second of which was unsuccessful. He thought about all of the Covenant he and Fire Team Charlie had obliterated, but most of all, he thought about what the Captain had become.

Dersoa remembered when he was a chief religious officer and scientist aboard this craft. He remembered the thrill of beating the human ship to the ring world, and he remembered the sheer panic that had been created when the humans had boarded the ship.

Jersatil was the token Covenant warrior, and he remembered the resistance on this ship, the humans versus the Covenant. He remembered the successful campaigns against the humans, and the pride of guarding the control room. He remembered picking up on a human radio transmission and finding out what Halo was really used for. He hoped that his campaign against the flood would be successful.

The Revelators had traveled about half the distance, and they were beginning to think that there really was no flood there. Maybe the remaining Covenant had completely taken out the flood, and they had just died trying. It was always good to hope, and that was what all four were doing earnestly. They would need all they had to face the brig and they decided to rest for a minute or two.

TO BE CONTINUED



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 5)
Date: 24 May 2002, 12:09 am

The revelators started walking again, making the pilgrimage to the brig to see what evil lurked there. Wallace was struck by an intelligent idea. "Hey, earlier on, I referred to the 'battle' that you guys were in, but that you denied. Maybe it's all of those things in the brig. We know that they can send thought messages to specific people. Maybe they can also make the noise of gunfire seem far away. Whatever is in the brig is definitely a force to be reckoned with." The minute or two it had taken to rest was also a time of preparation. Whatever was behind those brig doors were definitely powerful beings, and they would have to find out.

As they neared the brig, the dimly lit hallways provided just the perfect effect to make almost everybody nervous. Even Jersatil and the Master Chief were on the edge. They had never come into contact with something of this power, and they were ready to take action on whatever it was.

The brig doors slid open, and the revelators immediately began to search the area. "Why do you seek us?" the voices seemed to moan "Look over here." The brig cell doors split open to reveal what looked like flood combat forms, but much more dangerous.

"We are the flood" said one of them with a voice that sounded like a Covenant elite, "We are called cerebral forms. The flood developed us as a commander for their forces. As our old lives as elites, we were the highest priests, capable of mind alteration and persuasion. We can read minds, and we can alter reality. We are the reason the flood will become the dominant race in the galaxy."

The impulse to shoot these things was great, and each of the four reached for their long range weapons. They could not move their hands, though. They seemed dead, they stayed in one place. "Ah, so now you can see our power. Our control of your mind does not allow you to move your hand. All six of us can easily take any of your minds." The cerebral form that was talking came forward and took the forerunner subduing device. "Ah, this is the device 'for subduing flood. I guess it works on humans, too.' Do you have any idea what happens when this is shot at close range to the head? The tissues of the brain start to decay. This contains the flood enzyme. The human that you shot, Richard Smith, is now one of the flood. The two marines guarding him are dead. They will soon become the flood. Our minions are now cleaning up the mess."

Dersoa all of a sudden recognized who the cerebral forms were. They were the half-flood Covenant that he had met when they boarded the Truth and Reconciliation. But he had killed them. The cerebral form that apparently had control of his mind said, "We were just figments of your imagination. We really did not exist there, we made the image straight on to your mind, and then we made an image of the dead version of us. It is that simple."

Wallace and Jersatil were horrified also. The cerebral forms had found everything in their heads and proclaimed it. "Do not worry, though," they had said, "We knew all of the secrets of every one of you the minute you walked on to this ship.

"Now, onto John-117. You thought it was strange how none of the flood had attacked you when you were going to the armory. We were planning to do that, and now you will see why. All of our armies are fortified, and we will release them soon. Notice that we only called in the species that had shields, the ones that could provide protection against an attack. Of course, Peter Matthew Wallace could not, but he was one of the important figures." The Master Chief thought but shields are only good against one type of flood and that is... "Release the infection forms!" yelled the head cerebral form. The doors all over the bridge exploded and thousands of bloodthirsty infection forms raced across the floor. The remaining groups one and two fired their fuel rod cannons desperately, but since they were unshielded, they were hopeless. After about a half an hour, the four would be facing about 50 new flood.

"Ha ha ha! That was wonderful! All right, now onto phase two of our glorious plan" said the cerebral form. It took out the "forerunner device" and pointed it at the Master Chief first. "John-117, you will now feel what it is like to become a flood. Let me describe it for you so you can anticipate it all the more. The first feeling you get is that of intense burning. It feels like your skin is going to come off, and it does. The second is that of your neck snapping, and all of the bones in your legs crunching. The last sensation is that of your skin rotting and falling off. This is unfortunate, because that gives combat and carrier forms only a few days of life. This is your punishment for killing so many flood. We are giving you the express invitation to become one. Although you will only live a few days, you will at least be with your friends! Ha ha ha! I will give you ten minutes to think this over before I ruin your lives." The cerebral form and his minions vanished, and the four were left alone in the brig. "Hey, we can move again!" said Wallace. "I don't know how long it will last, though. We need to devise a plan. This is going to be extremely tough, since the cerebral forms can read our minds and hear our plans. We need to think of a way we can distract them for a second. As soon as they know something is wrong, they will freeze us, and we will be virtually helpless. We need to blow up the Truth and Reconciliation. I know it is the compromise of our diplomatic vehicle, but it is the only way to kill the cerebral forms.

The four allies started to think of a way to carry it out.

TO BE CONTINUED...



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 6)
Date: 23 July 2002, 3:11 am

Wallace was the first one to speak. "I think if we can somehow focus all of our minds on one cerebral form, then we can maybe overload its mind and force us a way out of here. The main cerebral form seemed to be the most important, so we should focus on him. The others can read our minds, but they can't seem to freeze us. If we take out the main cerebral form, we should escape. Objective number one, take out the cerebral forms."

In a minute, the cerebral forms would return. "Okay, try not to think about our plan. They seem to have some kind of range that they can read our minds from. Hopefully, we are out of that range now." The brig doors opened, and this time it revealed the ugly cerebral forms.

"Ah, let us begin our flood conversion," said the main cerebral form. "You all know how you turn into a flood, now you will witness firsthand what it will be like.

Wallace felt that the time was right to execute their plan. "Now!" he yelled. At that command, all of the revelators turned their minds to the main cerebral form. "Nooooo!" he yelled, "I can't take that! I could handle regular examples of your species, but you are all unique. Your brains combined are too much for me!" The cerebral form's head blew up revealing rotted flood brain, or what was left of it.

All of a sudden, the revelators were free. "Turn and fire at will! Let's get rid of these flood pieces of crap!" The group unsheathed their deadliest weapons. The roar of the M90 from the Chief and the MA5B from Wallace drowned out the surprised screams from the cerebral forms. The electronic chatter from the plasma rifle of Dersoa's went nicely with the sound of Jersatil's plasma sword slicing through flesh. At last, all of the cerebral forms lay dead. The entire fight had taken about ten seconds.

Okay, let's get back to the bridge and face the new flood that have been made. Let's go! The group made their way through the dimly lit hallways and prepared to meet the flood when they opened the doors. "All, right, guys it's now or never. If we are going to take out the flood, we need to get rid of this prejudice between us. We need to fight as a unit. If we make even one mistake, we are going to die instantly. We are about to go into one of the toughest fights we have ever been in. Okay, let's go"

The bridge doors opened again, and the flood was again suspected to be there, but...

"Hey Chief, what took you so long? We've been waiting here for hours." One marine was quick to greet the group. So, the cerebral forms were just making the part about them being infested up. But, wait, since the flood had no leaders anymore, they would be back to what they were like.

"Everybody, get your weapons ready! Those with shields, guard those without! If I am right, the infection form attack will really happen," said Wallace. "Since the flood have no more leadership, they are back to being like they were, no tactics, just attacking. We know they know we're here. Nobody could have missed the noise we made getting in. Let's keep ready. It's only a matter of time before they come in. When they do, I want you to fire as many explosive rounds at them as possible. This will cause a chain reaction and it will cause other infection forms to blow up. It's only a matter of time. All we have to do is wait."

Suddenly, the doors of the bridge started to bulge in and then explode. "Crap, it's faster than we thought it would be! Fire explosive rounds!" Three rockets flew out of jackhammer launchers and the infection forms turned into a cloud of flesh. They would not go down easily, though. Just as in the swamps of Halo, the doors all around the bridge burst open, and the most infection forms ever seen poured out. It was just like what happened in the vision.

Wallace was quick to remember what was their downfall in the vision. "Troops! Form a phalanx behind the Jackal's shields! We are going to have to form a circle of shields and fire from behind them. The flood have surrounded us, and that is the only way we can deflect them. Second wave! Fuel rods, get ready, shoot!" The sickening green rods flew out of the launchers, and the bulkheads melted where they hit. Most of the infection forms died from the heat. The remaining few were taken out using standard weapons.

"Okay, on to the next phase." Wallace remarked. "We had said when we got onto this ship that we

needed to get rid of every flood in this ship. I think that the flood know we are here now. We will make the bridge our base, and we will wait here, shooting every flood that comes near. As soon as the rush dies down, we will progressively scout out and destroy the rest of the flood here. Jersatil and the chief will be in charge of scouting and destroying. The rest of us, with the possible exception of Dersoa, will guard the bridge. When the ship is cleared of all flood, Dersoa will go down to the engineering section and repair the engines. This former battleship will be the symbol of the truce forged against the flood. Okay, let's get ready!"

Cortana spoke up again. "If you would like me to, I will make your motion tracker more sensitive. This way, when in the halls, you can see if there are flood in the halls ahead. You can also see that it will take up a bigger space of your vision, so you will have to compensate for that." Then to the rest of the troops, " I have found where most of the flood are hiding. I will point you in the right direction, but not all of them are guaranteed to come out of there. Be sure for anything, since the flood may do anything."

TO BE CONTINUED



Warning: escaping convicts can be allies in disguise (Part 7)
Date: 5 August 2002, 9:11 pm

The plan was immediately put into action. Jersatil and the Chief were assigned the duty of "purifying" the ship of all the flood. It would seem like an extraordinary job to any regular human or Covenant troop, but for them, it was just another day on the job. After the cerebral forms had been killed, the flood, as predicted, had just turned back into, well, flood, and they could counter them easily. They both had powerful weapons at their disposal. The Chief with his M90, and Jersatil with his plasma sword. The Chief still felt uncomfortable being right next to the plasma sword when it was on. It emitted a great amount of heat, and given Jersatil's unstable nature towards humans, he felt a little nervous. Added to that, Jersatil was 3 feet taller than he was, and just as solidly built. When he got going, there was very little that could stop him. If he was for you, he made a useful ally. If he was against you, he was a formidable foe. The Chief just hoped for now that they could stay allies.

Even though both of the team members had very powerful weapons, they decided to check at the armory once more, just to make sure that they were well prepared. They left the bridge area, and were greeted by the scorched and blackened halls of the gutted ship. Since they were only a little distance away from the armory area, they put their guns down and just calmly walked there.

But, since the cerebral forms had been put down not twenty minutes ago, the flood were up to their usual activities. Combat forms came bursting from the holes in the ceiling and headed toward Jersatil and the Chief. Jersatil's plasma sword jumped to life, and the Chief jacked a shell into his M90's chamber. The combat forms didn't even know what hit them. All of a sudden, the air was full of buckshot and the green blood of the flood. Jersatil caught a combat form with a downward swipe, and it was immediately sheared in half, leaking blood and viscera.

When they were sure that all of the combat forms were put down, they moved on to the armory. Once inside, they found a safe that they hadn't noticed before. It was about 5 feet by 5 feet and had a dull metallic glint to it. It looked like it had a key that was made for it, but there was no key inside it. Jersatil came up to it and slashed it with his sword. The metal turned white and then cooled down. It had not warped at all. "It looks like Cro-Molybdenum-carbonate, the same metal used in the hunter's armor." Jersatil observed. "A few plasma grenades should melt it enough to open it the rest of the way."

Jersatil and the Chief stepped back while Jersatil placed a plasma grenade on the door. The grenade blew up, and filled the room with the unearthly blue light that had become all too familiar to the Chief. The door turned white again, but this time before it could cool down, Jersatil placed another one on there. The grenade blew up again, and the door melted down. Inside were two tubes and four bottles. Jersatil noticed an inscription on the inside of the safe. "It is in the ancient language of our prophets," he said. "I will try to read it."

In the dark days of the future,
There will be those who seek to destroy all life.
The foes will start small, but the threat will increase.
These weapons are forged by us, and will help you.

"That's all they say. I will check the walls of the safe."

Two blue orbs to open this safe,
Two blue orbs to close it.
Inside here is contained the way
To defeat the foe.

The Chief was fast to catch on. " The foe are the flood. The infection forms are the starting out small, and their hosts are the larger threat. But what are these weapons. Jersatil reached for them, and gave one to the Chief. They tried them out, and a tongue of blue flame came out from the nozzles.

"Plasma based perdition flamethrowers!" Jersatil sounded ecstatic. These are the legendary weapons of our ancestors.

"These should work well against the flood," the Chief said, "since the flood have no armor or shielding, these should be the most effective way to take them out. Well, let's try them out."

"Wait, one more thing to take care of," Jersatil objected. "It says that there are two more blue orbs to close it. These are obviously plasma grenades, but how is that supposed to work?" They placed two more plasma grenades on the safe, and they exploded, making the roof turn to slag, and melt across the opening. "Let's not worry about it, let's just keep going on our mission." Jersatil said, and turned away. The Chief turned around also, and started to walk away. He heard a strange noise and turned around to see the safe once again in perfect condition, just as they found it. He sped up to keep up with Jersatil. Jersatil remarked: "well, let's test out our new weapons."

And the two of them progressed through the halls, ready to carry out the will of the prophets. Cortana spoke up again, and said, "I am doing a thorough scan of the ship's superstructure. I have pinned down the areas where the flood usually are. This is not a 100% chance there are flood there, but it gives you a good warning what to expect. I will set up navpoints on all of the areas I consider 'high risk.' This way, you will not be overwhelmed when they come from hidden areas."

Cortana was just done saying this when about 5 combat forms burst out from the ceiling. Jersatil and the Chief were quick to notice them, and greeted them with their flamethrowers. Two blue flames blossomed out and caught the combat forms square in the center. The first blast took down three of them immediately. The air was filled with the sounds of crackling, and the smell of putrid skin boiling off their bodies. The other two got in the way of the flaming ones, and were caught on fire now.

They had never felt so confident. They had finally found a weapon that could defeat the flood.





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