Legacy of the Forerunner
Posted By: Al7eredBeasT<email@example.com>
Date: 17 May 2006, 1:21 pm
"Take one step closer to that panel and I'm going to kill you. Don't move an inch."
"It's too late
regardless of if you stop me
the others have already been set free, the other techs
they will have freed the specimens
"Hmm. Never mind, I'll deal with any free parasites later, once I've dealt with you and blown this lab to pieces."
"Why, why do you want to end our experiments? Can't you see that this is an endangered species!? Can you not see the biological knowledge that this life form can give us?"
"No. I see only death. You and your colleagues have created monsters. They need to be destroyed. Every last one of them until not a single scrap of their DNA remains. They must not reproduce. If they stay alive, then all life in the galaxy is at risk."
Don't be so silly! My babies would never, could never do that to anyone
we give them livestock to breed, they do not use us as hosts."
"Not yet they don't. You haven't given them one of us to use as a host yet, have you, you don't know that they won't infect us just as readily as they infect other life forms."
I don't know. They have been trained not to
"Then you're even more stupid than you look. Do you really think that you can TAME those things? That's insane. You cannot teach those monsters anything."
"But we have! They recognise us!"
"As what, food?"
"You just can't open your mind to the possibilities, can you? You can't see that this is the only way forwards for our race? If we incorporate aspects of the parasite into us, then we will become GODS. We will be unstoppable; we'll live forever, as long as we have a sufficient source of calcium to create new hosts once our current hosts are destroyed."
"You'd just give away your life to become on of those things? They look like maggots for god's sake."
"NO! In time they will evolve, create NEW life forms, become more sentient and intelligent than they are!"
"You have no idea do you? You can't see past your own aims and blinded judgement. These things kill. They have a one track mind. Find a potential host, infect it, and then produce more of them. It doesn't matter how they do that, as long as there is a way to get a new host then that's all that matters to them. If they are left to reproduce then the entire galaxy will be consumed by it."
"You lie! My babies would do no such thing! They know their daddy
I WILL BE A GOD! You
you will learn with time
The corpse slumped to the floor.
"You're a fool to have ever believed that the Flood could be used for good
now we all have to pay the price of your insanity
" She kicked the corpse and began to walk away. She reached the door, and then stopped, turned, and looked back at the dead scientist.
" She took out a small canister of fuel and poured it over the corpse, then stood back and fired a single shot at it. The corpse went up in flames.
"Now you definitely won't come back
She turned and hit the door switch, the door slid open and she left the room, looked left and right down the corridor, in the distance she could hear screams and the sound of small arms fire echoing. She shook her head, hit the record button on her HUD's camera, and then ran off to her left.
"Red 12, we have contact with the parasite. We need to pull out of here and nuke the facility, there's no other way to do this."
She turned around and fired a burst into the nearest group of infections crawling towards her. She primed a grenade and threw it backwards, darting towards the exit and shooting the doors control switch. It hissed shut behind her and a faint click could be heard. The door was locked permanently. She chinned her comm. channel and replied;
"I know. Get the rest of Blue team and clear the way out. I'll collect Green team and meet you on the surface, rendezvous with Red team when clear, I'm putting Red 4 in charge, I'll be leading Green team from now on until we get clear. Acknowledge."
27 lights blinked on and off inside her HUD. Three remained dark.
"Blue 7, 3 and 9, respond."
"Where the hell are they?! Someone report now!"
"Ma'am, they volunteered to stay back and hold the parasite off for as long as they could, to buy us time."
"Are they alive?"
"Unconfirmed. We've had no contact from them as of two minutes ago."
"Okay I'm going to find them."
"It's too risky, you had best pull out. They knew that staying would risk this. We need to leave them, dead or alive."
okay, No one else dies, you hear me? You die and I'm gonna personally come and kick your ass in heaven when I get there."
27 lights blinked on. Her comm. crackled and another private channel opened up to her.
"Alexa, make sure you get out alive, okay? If you can't get to Green team don't try to be a hero. Please. We need you up here, not dead down there
or as one of those things."
She paused for a second, and then responded;
"Of course. But
if I don't get out
switch to plan ALPHA-04."
There was a pause over the comm. channel, then;
"Aye. Red 2 out."
Alexa kicked the door to check it was shut, she could hear the Flood on the other side scratching at the door, trying to get to her. She turned and ran down the hall, back the way she had come. Gunfire echoed from one of the rooms off to her right, she ran into the room and stopped, staring in horror at the scene before her. Dead scientists lay everywhere, glass containment tanks lay smashed and a strange yellowy-green fluid was spread on the floor, having washed out of the containers. Flood infections were latched onto the scientist's bodies.
One of them held a gun and was firing randomly, using one hand to try to dislodge the infection from his back. He screamed and then twitched, then went silent. He was dead. Yet he was still standing. She watched as the infection on his back pulsated slightly and then wriggle. The mans legs moved, he took a step forwards, and the arms raised and moved around.
She suddenly realised what was happening.
The infection was controlling the mans body. That was what the professor had meant when he said host
She gripped her rifle tightly and aimed at the dead man. The gun in the mans hand wavered and then pointed at her. She saw his finger squeeze the trigger, and felt a ping off her armour as the bullet struck her. The gunshot was muffled by her helmet speakers, at such close proximity the gunshot would have been almost deafening, since the second round had jammed and the gun exploded, blowing the mans arm off.
The flood writhed in what seem like pain on his back, and she stood back and watched.
The flood infection on his back suddenly began to convulse and she saw blood start to spray from where the infection was nestled. She gasped as the infection suddenly pushed forwards and squeezed itself inside the mans torso, in through the small hole it had made just under the mans ribcage.
She felt the urge to puke, but stayed steady, watching. The flood was now completely inside the mans body, and now the body was walking around like a puppet on strings. The flood was testing its new body. She had seen enough, she switched to shredder rounds and then opened up, filling the lab with razor-sharp shrapnel. Bits of flesh were ripped from the bodies of the men as her rounds tore into them, the infected man walking around let out an eerie howling scream, and charged at her, even as bits of its body were tore off by her bullets. She braced herself and roundhoused the thing, sending it flying back into the wall. Without stopping, she tore another grenade from her belt and threw it into the centre of the room. She ran out and started sprinting down the corridor. Two seconds later there was a dull thump and fire and smoke blasted out the doorway into the corridor. She heard bits of charred flesh hitting the floor as the smoke cleared, and then glanced back round the corner she had just dived around.
Bits of flesh pasted the wall opposite the doorway, and the wall was blackened. She heard no movement from the room, but wasn't going back to check. She turned and continued running through the facility.
"Green team, what's your position? Over."
I don't know! We're stuck in some sort of containment area, there are Flood coming at us from all sides. You're better off finding your own way out of here, leave us! We'll kill as many as we can and try to get out ourselves, if we don't arrive within two hours, then blow this place to hell. Please ma'am, don't come looking for us!"
"Soldier I can't just leave you there!"
"No ma'am. Get the hell out of here and leave us!"
"That's a direct order! Start trying to make your way to the rendezvous point ASAP."
"No disrespect ma'am, but go to hell. We're staying here, we can't get out, and you can't get in here to help us. We know we're dead, but at least we're gonna go down fighting like we should do."
"... Fine. Stay there, but take down as many as possible. And Daniel, you make it out alive from this and I'm gonna beat you into submission for talking to an officer like that. Good luck, Red 12 out."
The comm. channel went dead.
Alexa sighed and loaded a fresh clip into her rifle, then smashed the seal on the next door and took the elevator upwards. She heard the unnatural screams and cries of the Flood below her, she looked down through the glass floor and saw flood jumping up the walls of the lift shaft her, the bodies of the scientists beginning to mutate from the flood DNA now pumping through their veins.
She ran out the lift and sent it back down again, hearing the bones of the new Flood snap and crunch as the huge metal box shot down the shaft and crushed them underneath it. The exit to the surface was only a few hundred metres in front of her. She could see daylight and could hear Blue team and the rest of Red team shooting up ahead. Without warning something heavy smacked into the back of her head and everything went black for a second. Her vision cleared and she kept running, stars were everywhere. Behind her she heard a squelching sound, and glanced behind her for a split-second. One of the new flood was following her, it's wrist was snapped and it's hand hung uselessly, large tendrils had sprouted from the broken wrist, the bones of the hand and arm sticking out through the flesh next to it, as if the limb had been forcibly snapped backwards by the whip like tendrils sprouting through. She noticed the mans chest, his shirt was ripped and there was a lump in the chest, and sickeningly, the feelers that were on the infection had been forced through the flesh of the mans chest and now protruded, waving around sensing the environment around it. It had well and truly become a Flood form now, and powerful, since the blow it had delivered to her head with the whips on its arm had been strong enough to almost knock her out. She turned and fired a shredder burst into it. It dropped to the floor, apparently dead, but then to her horror, got back up again and came at her. She aimed at the chest and concentrated, stopping and standing her ground. As it neared within arms reach of her she unloaded her clip into its chest, right where the infection was. The corpse dropped instantly to the ground and stopped moving totally.
She turned and ran, she could hear more coming from behind her, she caught up with the rest of her team, who were in a circle around their dropship, firing at anything that came close. They saw her running and opened up a gap to let her in. Blue 5 was already inside the dropship, firing up the engines to take off. She opened up the comm. channel to her team-mates.
"Everyone get inside NOW!"
Acknowledgement lights winked on and then seconds later all 18 of them poured into the dropship. The doors closed and Alexa felt her stomach churn as the ship flew straight upwards, away from the infected area. She looked around the troop compartment, all of her squad was there. All of Blue team, and now, all of Red team. She opened a channel to Green team and asked one last time;
"Green team, is anyone there?"
There was a crackling of static, and then she heard faintly;
"Ma'am, thank you. There's
of us left
We're almost out
just go, we'll find our own way away from the facility."
"Rodger that. Red 12 out."
what the hell?! FIRE damnit! Ma'am, we're surrounded, there's no way out for us, the path ahead is blocked. This is it. We're activating the self-destruct on our suits, they won't turn us into one of their infernal hosts."
She stopped. Over the comm. channel she heard 5 voices chant their squad's anthem, and then, as one, they shouted their battle cry, before there was a loud WHUMP and the speakers went silent as they were incinerated.
The channel went silent for the last time. She looked away, at all of her team-mates left alive. 18 of them. Suddenly she realised that Green teams last stand had been broadcasting over the ships speakers, every one of the people on board had heard it. They all were silent, looking at the deckplates, their heads bowed in reverence to their dead comrades.
She looked around the bay, and then stood up, and walked to the centre. The ship lurched to the right but she managed to balance.
"DAMNIT Jacob, keep your driving steady!"
"I know, sorry for shouting."
"That's okay ma'am."
She turned back to look at her team.
"Okay. Well, we've lost Green team. Luckily they won't ever become those monsters, their bodies are now ash. We survive however, and we need to destroy this parasite, this Flood. Jacob, load up a nuke, we're going to blow the facility to the stars.
The dropship turned and slowed, then a nuke fired from the bottom of the ship and down the mouth of the facility. There was a brief silence, and then a huge ball of light erupted from the ground, the explosion ripped outwards and the sound blast hit them a second later. The ship rocked under the wave of hot air, Jacob hit the thrusters, the ship turned and they flew out of the planets atmosphere and into space.
Twelve hours later
"How is it progressing?"
"You know what I mean."
yes. By tomorrow it will be completed."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Even if it isn't, we're still going to have the same fate in the end."
the youngest are to be placed inyo Cryo in there?"
"Yes, everyone under the age of 3 is to be placed inside. Along with maintenance bots to assist. They will be woken after a significant amount of time, by which time the Flood should have been contained. One of the monitors will see to it that they do not die."
okay. Are the installations ready?"
"Exactly how long has the Flood been known about? How long has it been kept a secret?"
"And the installations, how long have they been in construction?"
"Since we discovered the Flood."
strange, everyone knows about the Installations, but none of the public know their true purpose. Was that intended?"
"Do you think they will understand?"
"Well then, for all our sakes
I hope this plan works."
"So do I."
Two days later.
Alexa stood in the bridge of the cruiser and looked down at the huge crater sitting in the middle of the planets single continent. It was a strange planet, but one that everyone had agreed upon to be where the infants would be placed. She looked up, and saw the clouds part as the large circular structure descended and landed. The flaps on the top began to close, the light faded and then vanished. The dust settled, and then, slowly, the excavation force began to cover the huge object with earth.
After an hour, it was buried. Inside were Enforcer sentinels, capable of digging an exit out through the earth once the final task had been completed. Alexa stood and looked at the huge object being slowly covered with dirt. She thought of the infants locked inside, condemned to an eternity of sleep, before waking up with nothing. No parents, nothing to support them except whatever the monitor inside taught them or what was left for them. She had no doubt that if they survived, they would one day uncover the object again, and would learn the truth of their origins, why they were there, what happened to cause this.
She sighed and looked around the bridge of the cruiser, her team, or what was left of it, stood around the outside in a semi-circle, watching with her. The ship then jumped out of the planets atmosphere and into the void of slipspace.
A few minutes later, they felt the ship slow down and they reappeared in normal space. In front of them was a ring structure, floating in the void. They flew down towards it, and Alexa could see the other cruisers in the fleet already on the surface, herding Flood into containment areas and then evacuating as quick as possible. After several minutes their cruiser reached the control room and the monitor of the installation greeted them.
"Hello, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am 343-Guilty Spark, I am the monitor of Installation Zero Four."
" whispered Alexa. "Are you named after our guilty consciences, or because it's just a strange name?"
"I cannot answer that question, because I do not know that answer myself. So sorry."
"Great. A brainless construct."
"I resent that remark."
"As you wish
"Spark, how much longer until we can get this over with?"
the main generators are powering up, everything is in place, all we need now is for the Reclaimer to activate the ring."
"So that's me then
"Why, of course."
"Let's do this then. Gods forgive me
Alexa was wearing her armour still, Olive coloured and with a golden visor. She looked like a machine in it, all her squadmates were dressed the same, and the armour allowed little room for a female figure. She walked up to the control panel, and pressed the activation button. The holographic ring in the centre of the huge spherical control centre began to glow and spin faster, and a light built up at the bottom of the pit. It shot upwards and out through the roof, and the ring began to shake.
From a distance, away from the ring in space, onlookers could see several such beams of light fire up towards the centre, they joined and a ball of energy formed as the Halo began to fire. The last beam, the one from the control room, travelled up through space and added to the ball. Suddenly, it exploded, and a wave of energy ripped outwards through the heavens. Far away, all the other installations activated. They amplified each others signal and the wave ripped through the galaxy, destroying all life in its way.
Hundreds of years later, on the planet, a light blinked on inside a large round object. The Ark hummed and lights came on, the monitor inside activated and the cryo-tubes released their occupants. Sentinels inside burrowed to the surface, and the newly christened 'humans' were left on the surface of this new world. Grassland was everywhere, and the sentinels taught the young children all they needed to survive, before submerging back inside the huge, 3-mile wide object and then shutting it tight, the new race of humans unable to return inside it's safety, and the sentinels unable to activate it and open the door until another object was united with it. Such was the Forerunner's design.
Far off in outer space, Guilty Spark hummed to himself and continued to check the system, over and over, as was his job. The bodies of Alexa and the other Forerunner lay in the control room, where they had died, as an enforcer flew down to collect them, and place their bodies inside huge burial chambers elsewhere in the ring. The monitor knew that a Reclaimer would come again one day
wearing the same olive armour, and with the same iron resolve as Alexa had
History repeats itself, and one day, a SPARTAN known as John-117, one of the remaining direct descendants of the Forerunner, would almost make the same mistake that Alexa had.