Halo: Arc of the Covenant (Revised)
Posted By: Aleks Gingras<email@example.com>
Date: 6 August 2006, 8:11 pm
Halo 3: The Arc of the Covenant
By Aleksander A. Gingras
Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
The vacuum over Asia was quiet, unlike most of the world, as the covenant were not interested in taking over Japan, a pelican screamed as it tore through space toward earth; an emergency landing was the plan. The Pelican's right rear rocket engine on its stubby wing was on fire and trailed smoke as it hurdled through earth's upper atmosphere. "Attempting engine eject," the pilot said in his non-panicking-specially-trained navy voice. A loud clang signaled the lock disengaging but the engine remained in place. Pvt. Robert O'Brian, one of the marines in the back hold of the drop ship screamed,
"If that doesn't come loose we'll burn up on re-entry!"
"I'm opening the back hatch, one of you has to take the engine off!" the pilot ordered, despite his low rank he was in command here. The hatch exploded open as the atmosphere vented into the low pressure, but the marines' space suits kept them pressurized and fed them oxygen from SCOABA tanks on their backs. O'Brian leapt from his seat, grabbed a strap and tethered himself to the ship. He leaned out, holding onto the doors' lip to keep steady and pushed with all of his power, nothing. In the low gravity he rolled back and two-foot kicked the engine. It came loose and a stray piece of steel caught his pant leg, he screamed as the engine pulled him out of the ship snapping his tether and dragging him out into imminent death. "Christ, not another one," a marine groaned. Before the pelican left the bay the Covenant had killed nine of them, and no one was in the mood for another death. The front engines turned to face backwards and ignited full throttle. The ship shuddered and groaned as it slowed it descent towards a large city. The computer said it was New Kyoto right before it hit a flying chunk of debris and smashed the NavSat antenna. The engines pulsed, coughed and died. "Engine failure" panic crept into the pilot's voice "attempting empty emergency landing" The ship turned and arced towards the roof of a massive sky scraper. As the back hatch closed it scraped along the front tow hooks of the Warthog light reconnaissance vehicle and caused it to tip up, sliding the center of gravity back, causing the whole drop ship to tilt backwards. A loud squeal of glass on metal shredded through the cockpit and drop bay as the ship tore through the side of the building. The nose hit a desk that caused it to jump upward and push the front of the ship to poke up through the floor above it. The small armored LRV disconnected as the ship blew out the other side and nosed towards the ground. The pilot prayed as he hit the flaps lever forward and pulled the nose back up just in time to drive it into the middle of a heavily armored door. The pilot and co-pilot were crushed to a paste and the small ship smashed on the ground from a 20 meter fall. The door slid open on the side, fell of its hooks and clanged to the ground. Out of the dust two marines limped, carrying another marine by his arms. They crawled into a building for cover and to get their bearings. An explosion rocked the building and dust seeped down on to their radio. It squealed, beeped, squawked, and puffed smoke. "Well, now were not getting a ride" Cpl. Roman Diselie groaned. The unconscious marine stood up after about five minutes of solid sleep. He pulled the BR55 Battle rifle off of his back only to curse at the fact that the barrel was bent. It clacked as he hurled it to the cement of the Adam's grocery store floor. He thanked god when he noticed his M6C magnum pistol was intact and he had all seven magazines for it. The other two marines looked through the broken off sniper scope at the enemies crawling over the warthog that fell to the ground off the back of their Pelican. An Elite looked out while grunts and floating engineers crawled around the vehicle, wondering where it came from. Cpl. Diselie jumped out of the shattered window and fired a three round burst at the elite, its shield flickered then winked out of existence, another burst and the 9 foot tall armored body crumpled to the ground. The 3 marines ran firing at the aliens and plucking them off their feet like flowers. The Warthog now spattered with phosphorescent blue blood and bullet pock marks was then boarded by the marines. The tires squealed on the pavement as the 'hog burned out and raced away from the crash site. It scratched to a halt as a large hover tank slid in front of the small truck. The massive tank had a wide pearlescent blue-ish nose and two long main wings jutting out from either side. The whole front had a 4 inch thick armor plate on it and two plasma defense guns near the small sealed hatch on the top. The warthog clacked into reverse and the tires shrieked backwards. The two plasma turrets on either side fired at the 'hog and boiled away the fenders. Soon the guns were out of range and the main Mortar on the back of the tank charged and fired. The hog turned and the blue-white blob of created sunlight vaporized the street corner they were on. The hog was in an alley with a brick wall to their backs and the entrance to the street and certain death ahead. The wraith tank, as it was called by the marines, slid gently in front of the alley entrance. The driver gunned it drove up the nose of the tank and soared onto the roof of the building behind it. Diselie turned the Light Anti-Aircraft Gun around and the turret chattered as it sprayed ammo into the weak area on the back of the tank. The tank exploded into a ball of blue flame and sent pieces flying into lazy arcs and soaring back down, Jack Chaison the driver yelled,
"How do you like that alien freak?!" The hog scratched along the roof jumped off of an A/C system and landed on the street and raced towards the bridge entrance through a tunnel. The hog skidded into the city tunnel and entrance onto the bridge. A bus lay on its side smoldering and the LRV had to run the wall to climb past it. The long warped pentagonal tunnel curved around under ground and water and the Warthog growled as the driver downshifted to climb a twisted piece of roadway and caught air off of the end. The wheels thumped to the ground and the indivi-trac suspension and split driveshaft bore the brunt of the landing, but the marine in the passenger seat still bumped his head on the center roll bar, cursing, he strapped in his seatbelt and set his gun in the clips on the soft plastic dashboard. The bridge crossing was uneventful as the hog weaved through burning traffic and destroyed enemy vehicles that oozed blue fuel and sprayed bluish white smoke. They came to the tunnel on the opposite side and entered. The engine growled as the driver downshifted and slowed to a stop at the massive half-closed meter-thick doors. The doors were there in case the tunnel walls leaked and broke causing a flood, but the mechanism had been destroyed mid-rise and was the height of the curved wall to their left. The 'hog squealed up the wall, turned and roared over several corpses as it hopped off the other side and hit the bottom.
"Hey! Someone did our job for us" the passenger Sgt. Simon Campbell commented happily, he had no interest of fighting any more of those covenant bastards. The hog drove past a scorpion tank but they decided speed was more important than toughness, especially without any living covenant left alive. The warthog vaulted another flood door, then after sliding through a small round air tunnel the warthog emerged at the edge of a 10 foot cliff. The 'hog scratched at the rock cliff jumped off and landed the front wheels in ankle deep water, it growled and water splashed the windshield through the holes in the fenders then crawled backwards up onto dry land. The driver slapped the shifter into forward and the hog turned, spun out, and then regained its grip. It circled the large multi-tiered arch structure in the middle of the round area circled by walls when the driver saw three gaps in the wall he looked back at the covenant stronghold park and nearly hit a destroyed ghost, the 'hog turned sharply to avoid it and roared through the opening where a wraith tank was waiting to put them down. Fortunately the tank was empty and on fire. Five fist-sized dents riddled the front armor and dark purple blood was spattered across the right wing. The hog kept moving down the hill, past a ground level fountain and over a patch of burnt grass. It drove around the burning tank and into a high and thin corridor with a decorative water fall towering above them at the end. The tires squealed as the driver slammed the handbrake and pushed the hog between the fountain's pool and a wall, then he drove around it and exited near the city center. What looked like glass coated part of the road, Sgt. Simon Campbell, the once unconscious passenger hopped out and touched the glass which was so hot that he recoiled and held his hand in agony. Something had melted the road at such a temperature that it turned to liquid and re-glassed.
Chapter 1.5: The Fall of Man
The Sergeant looked up and noticed the top of the building was torn completely off and the edges were singed, as were most of the buildings higher than 10 stories tall, he looked around for an explanation, but there were no covenant vehicles or weapons anywhere. He hopped back in the hog and it spun and slid on the glassed pavement before hitting some good ground and thrusting forward violently. Around the corner to their left there was a burning Scorpion tank and two destroyed foot bridges above the roads running perpendicular to them. The staircase meeting the bridges on a small grassy hill had the tank lying nose up half melted to it and burning.
"Whoa, what did that?" Roman was horrified that any covenant weapon had the power to do such damage. Jack kept on driving through the war zone right to a building with a ramp directly to the roof for emergencies.
"Well, I guess it is an emergency," Roman said as Jack revved up and drove up the steep incline. At the top they were faced with a series of bridges, most of them warped at a ridiculous angle or completely torn out of their holds. They drove along the only intact one that hung from the side of the building and ended up at the end of a cliff over looking downtown Kyoto. It was a beautiful sight but there was no time for sight seeing. So they took one last glance as the hog drove off the cliff onto a lower cliff turned left and drove towards a burning hunk of metal. The large shiny silver structure was about the size of a small house and with its legs was a towering monster. Its feet were 1 meter deep in the water and the bug like machine was bent forward, smoking and burning. The warthog splashed into the water and the float foam inside the frame rails kept the body above water, a gentle hum lowered the small jet-prop into the water and the engine growled as the drive link switched to the propeller. The scarab contained a large amount of fried electronics three elites and a dead grunt on the top level. So they re-boarded the hog and as Simon untied it Jack tried to start the engine, it whined and groaned but didn't turn over. The hog slowly drifted away from the Scarab as the current carried it to a 140 foot waterfall and into the blades of a generator turbine. The engine finally turned over, right as the hog rolled off the falls. "Oh sure, now it works!" Roman cursed as the hog dropped and landed on its side in the main turbine pool. The only reason they survived was that a Ghost Hovercraft got jammed in between the gears that turned the massive blades. The warthog was totaled from the hard landing so the three got out and swam to the edge where they pulled each other up. They heard a creak then a loud groan. The ghost that was jammed in the gears was slowly moving forward, deeper into the gears, in a millisecond it was crushed into a flat plate and spit out the other side. The turbine turned like a tornado and sucked their warthog in and all the water that had pooled above the turbine down to the ocean. The hog exploded when the blade hit its fuel tank and twisted the blades into a maze of shrapnel. They looked over the edge and saw a twisting downward pipe and seeing as all other exits were completely destroyed they decided to jump in. At first this seemed like a stupid idea but the twist and turns slowed them down and they stopped violently when they hit a metal grate. They found a hatch after five minutes of swimming around in the water that poured down the pipe, popped it and went in. Though the original design of the hatch suggested it was for removing garbage from the filter the 3 marines fit through without much trouble. Inside they were in a long hallway lit by dim but numerous bluish white lights, as they proceeded forward, Jack noticed a sign that said the stairs were behind the door to their left. So they kicked it down, or tried to, but it was a heavy door, and after trying for 5 minutes Romans shoulder ached so he pulled out his pistol and put 5 rounds into the steel hinges. They popped and the door clanged to the floor revealing a small cylindrical area with stairs spiraling upward and down. As they ran down the stairs no one noticed the elevator entrance to their left but instead ran down all 176 floors to the ground level exit. Several successive rounds from the M6C magnum pistol put that door down, too. The door revealed the ground level of New Tokyo where burning vehicles, overturned trucks, and dead bodies, alien and human alike, lay all over the streets. A warthog LAV sat nose up halfway into a wall. Luckily the Light Assault Vehicle still ran, the driver was simply removed from the warthog by a violent plasma burn to the head. The gunner and passengers bodies didn't seem to be among the several bodies strewn everywhere so instead of worrying about taking their dog tags the small group hopped into the large off-road vehicle and the chunks of rock and dirt crunched under the tires and shot forward through the window of a small convenience store. The truck turned almost all the way around on its tight 4-wheel steering turning radius and pulled into an alleyway, the chain link fence made a hollow clinking noise as the hog smashed through it and drove onto a less damaged street. They turned towards the city center, an immensely huge structure that used to reach a kilometer into the sky before it was mowed down to half its height by a crashing alien cruiser. The center had the best stronghold in the city and if anyone was alive, they would be in there.
Chapter 2: The Flood
After a long drive and nothing to shoot at, Diselie started whining and complaining,
"What if they're all dead, what if were making this journey to get nowhere?"
"That's a chance we have to take." The state of the building surprised all of them, hundreds of corpses surrounded the doors but they weren't human, or alien, but the horrible slimy yellow corpses had traits from both humans and elites, the smaller aliens were just mangled and deformed. The doors to the center were double sealed and made of solid Titanium-A, about a meter thick, but still deep claw gouges, bullet holes and plasma burns riddled the outside of the door. Sgt. Campbell stepped out and went to the small Finger Print ID machine and placed his hand on the reader then typed in a 4 digit code, the door lock beeped, clicked, and then released. The Sgt. Stepped back and as the door hissed open, he saw them, hundreds of the horrible yellowed creatures devouring human flesh turned and looked at him, he ran backwards shouting at Diselie,
"Fire man, fire!" A shell blew over his head and blew away the first row of the gruesome enemies. But they kept running, swinging, and shooting, as if they didn't know the gun could hurt them. The sarge jumped on the windshield and yelled at the driver to leave, now. The hog squealed in reverse as the Gauss cannon coughed a depleted uranium shell and it removed another row of the attackers. The fact that the reverse 180 worked was a miracle but amazingly it also swung the Sgt. around and into the passenger seat, where he removed the rifle from its clips turned around and unloaded a magazine into the oncoming horde, the rear mounted cannon punched holes in the attackers but for every 5 that disappeared 40 more took their place.
A pelican screamed over head turned and dove down. The nose of the craft was pointing towards the small warthog but its guns were still out of range. A tank dropped from the bottom rear of the craft. After loosing the heavy burden the craft jumped up, turned, and landed behind a large building. The barrel on the tank jumped as it fired a heavy 102mm round at the tiny warthog, the shell sailed past the hog and punched a massive hole in the enemy; the back end of the warthog also lifted up a foot from the blast, nearly causing it to crash into an abandoned vehicle. The tanks machine gun fired, and besides from putting more holes in the left fender most of the fire seemed to be directed at their pursuers. The driver slammed on the brakes and slid sideways into the tanks front bumper. The tanks' main cannon jumped again, its 7.62mm chain gun spewed shells until the sidewalk was completely covered with thousands of brass casings. The sgt. heard shouts over the firing of the tank cannon, and the magnetic accelerator cannon on his warthog, Suddenly a dozen marines rushed out of an alley armed with rocket launchers and machine guns, 52 seconds of sustained combat was enough to wipe out the attacking force. The pelican rose from its hiding place behind the building and picked up the 12 marines plus the three new ones from the warthog, and the tank driver, the three were so relieved to see some other human marines that they laughed and gave each other high fives, the other marines looked at them like they were crazy and childish but after Jack and Simon explained what had happened to them the other marines tried to cheer them up with rowdy hoorahs and high fives. The pilot, Lt. Jameson of the downed human vessel, The Osiris, as was engraved on his helmet, turned and spoke to the marines in the cargo hold,
"Those things you fought, what are they?"
, sir" the marine almost missed the honorific but the el-tee forgave him, after all he'd just fought with a large group of horrible monsters, and was in the midst of shell shock.
"We do know they apparently infect our own kind and aliens, though." Another marine spoke up.
"How?" the Lt. asked fearful for the safety of earth.
"I don't know sir, but I think it can break into three stages, the first two we saw fighting, but the third must be some sort of parasite that is born from the large explosive ones that threw themselves at us in the front line."
The lieutenant sat back in his seat and wondered about the parasite.
"We have to find the source of this infestation"
"I think I know where they came from sir" The sgt. piped up.
"Oh, really?" even though he was skeptical the lieutenant was interested in his story.
"Yes, the cruiser that crashed here, the guardian of the holy light, must have the new alien aboard it, we saw it right near where the cruiser hit the ground."
"Good, Robertson, call in air support, at least two Longsword fighters, and have them follow us"
"Yes, sir" Robertson answered, and started working his radio. A few minutes later two Longsword fighter/bombers appeared on both flanks of the Pelican. A minute later the cruiser appeared in front of them, laying on its side and spewing fire.
"Target Locked, sir" the co-pilot spoke.
"Excellent, give the necessary order to the Longswords and fire all weapons. The chain guns on the front hummed as they spun the barrels then spit fire at the gaping hole in the side of the warship on the ground. The two Longswords banked away from the Pelican, circled around, found the reactor chambers and dropped two remote activated bombs, one of the Longswords tore upward and locked to the bottom of the Pelicans belly, the marines opened the floor hatch and hopped into the Longsword, once it was full the next one attached, and picked up Roman, Jack, Simon, and Sahiid, the tank pilot. The Swords engines screamed and both of the space fighters raced from the crash site and into space, the pilots hit the remote detonators and in the rearview screen they saw a huge blue explosion as the reactors detonated, killing everything in a 50-mile radius, and leveling the country of Japan. The marines whooped and high-fived each other from their seats, The Longsword on their right smeared and warped and a long burnished orange ships nose appeared out of slip-space, luckily the theory of displacement forced the small fighter out of the ships way, but not far enough. The triangular ships left wing clipped the Longsword and caused it to explode into a ball of flame and shrapnel. The sergeant hit his emergency release switch on his seat belt and floated toward the right window get a closer look, the huge ship raced forward, but the engines shut-down, and they heard a crackle over the radio,
"Got a new contact, unknown classification"
"It isn't one of ours take it out"
Aside from the two voices of the commander and radar ops a third voice crackled over the radio.
"This is Spartan 117, can anyone hear me?
"Master Chief? Mind telling me what you're doing on that ship"
"Sir, finishing this fight."
Chapter 3: Iceman
A ball of red plasma swung in front of the Longsword and the pilot turned and accelerated out of its path. The sarge hit his face on the side window and cursed at it. He jumped back to his seat and strapped back in, Sahiid lowered his head,
"Let's get those, sons of-"
"We will, trust me." The sarge reassured him, and then yelled at the pilot. "Hey, Frost! Get this crate to that ship, on the double!"
"yes, sir" The Longsword banked and sped towards the long ship, made a wide turn and dropped a bomb on the ships starboard front. The hole was just barely big enough for the Longsword so he backed in to it and opened the cargo bay door. The marines, wearing sealed pressure gear, jumped out and ran into one of the explosion-forced open doors. The Longswords engines screamed and the pilot guided it out and away, to a safe zone far from the ship. The marines ran through, room after room killing the few aliens that got in their way, and dodging plasma fire. Romans' battle rifle's ammo counter flickered 00-empty so he switched to his SMG. He pulled the trigger on the "bullet hose" and sprayed ammo at an Elite, its shields took 25 hits, faded, and winked out, and the rest of the clip put holes in his chest and neck. The tall beast roared, and then crumpled to the ground, dead. Roman pulled the long slender side mounted clip from the weapon and popped a new one in place, then asked Jack for his magnum.
"No way, I need that thing, what if I run out of ammo in my battle rifle?"
"Oh, come on Jack, all I have is an SMG."
"The answer is still no."
"Fine," then Roman added quietly, "Hard Ass."
"I heard that"
Roman paused to pick up the plasma rifle that the elite dropped, it was an SMG sized, blue-glowing weapon that fired fist sized bolts of blue plasma at super sonic speeds. He looked up and saw that his team was already 50 feet ahead, he yelped and lunged forward into a full sprint. The door they arrived at was sealed, and welded shut, since they didn't have welding equipment, they back tracked about 10 feet and found a transparent blue panel of glass. They smashed the window and walked along the 170 foot maze of pipes and electrical conduits, to another glass panel. Through it they could see a long empty hallway with several view ports facing out into space. The marines put their shoulders to the panel and pushed, it hissed as its seal popped and the heavy window fell to the floor, shattering into thousands of pieces. All around them doors locked and they were trapped in the L-shaped hall.
"Tango team 346" Sahiid called on the radio with his thick Arabic accent, "calling Delta 872 pilot Frost, call-sign, Ice-man, we need pick up"
"Negative, Tango" Frost's response came quickly, "I'm bein' pursued by- whoa, damn it, anyway, you're best finding your own way out."
"Hey, guys!" Jack called, "come here."
They all came to the window and saw the Longsword swooping and diving to avoid the plasma torpedoes. The Longsword skimmed the outside of the ship and a seraph fighter that was following "the iceman" smashed into the outer wall of the ship. The other seraph banked, fired a plasma torpedo in front of Frosts ship and blew the left wing and its engine clean off. The longsword traced a circle in space and smashed into the port side of the ship. The last thing they heard was frost's scream.
After the collision David "iceman" Frost unstrapped himself from the seat and pulled his SMG's from their holsters. He jumped through the shattered front window and into the hole the crashing longsword had made in the substructure. A trio of brutes and two drones wearing pressure suits stepped toward him carrying brute shots. He aimed for the drones and fired, they immediately went down but the brutes just walked into the fire, Dave retreated back into the safety of his ship, a grenade from the brute shot bounced into the cockpit and blew the seat apart. Dave desperately searched for anything to kill the brutes with, and was glorified to find a rocket launcher. He popped the top hatch and climbed out, the three brutes stood close together so a single rocket could kill them all. He raised the launcher to his shoulder and took aim.
"Good bye, sons of bi-" The rest of Dave's sentence was muted by the two rockets firing from the tube. The explosions blew the brutes apart, and completely destroyed two of the three weapons they held. Frost picked up the undamaged brute shot and held the handle on top, he walked through the only door in the hole he had made, and was utterly shocked by what was there.
Chapter 4: Loss of a Friend
Several screams echoed through the deck plates, Dave was dying, and it had to be in the most painful fashion imaginable.
"Oh-my-god" the sarge whispered, "what now?"
"Hey!" Sahiid called them, "over here"
They ran over to Sahiid and he showed them a row of escape pods. They heard a door unlocking, with a hiss and several clicks.
Roman called to Jack, "let's go man, we don't have all day!"
"No! You guys go; I'll hold 'em off" Jack told them.
"Jack, you don-" The sarge interrupted Roman and pulled him into the pod.
The air-lock on the pod doors closed but they could still hear Jack swearing at the aliens while he was shooting at them, they heard an explosion and Jacks' last scream as the pod burst out of its bay and accelerated away from the hull. Another explosion shook the escape pod, and as it neared the Human freighter the Tribeca, and skidded into its deserted bay, and as they exited they realized all of the hallways were empty too. They searched through most of the ship on their way to the bridge, and nothing was out of shape or on fire. A strange noise aroused their attention, and they walked toward an air vent, slightly dented, and covered in a greenish yellow slime. Sahiid forced the vent open and was suddenly engulfed in a storm of balloon-like flood infection forms which grabbed him, jabbed penetrators into his spine, and tapped his nervous system. He felt amazing pain and passed out. The chemicals the infection form injected into his system brought him back, though, and he could feel something claiming his mind, an intruder, destroying his memories, and suddenly he couldn't remember why he was worried, or what was going on for that matter. He could still see though, and he saw his partners, the sarge and Roman being claimed by flood infection forms too. He tried to scream, the air left his lungs causing everything to go black, suddenly he heard something, a buzzing noise, droning like and angry insect, he tried to break free of it but felt like he was alone in a black chamber; he soon realized that he no longer controlled his body and he was inside his own mind. He tried to remember what had happened, but he couldn't, in fact he didn't know his own name. He tried to remember Sahiid
Kuwanza, yes that was it. He heard the buzzing get louder, the droning presence was angry at something, and he realized that it was angry that he remembered his name. He tried to remember more, and heard an explosion, the first grenade he ever threw raced past his memory, his beautiful wife and son, whose names he couldn't remember, his first car, his apartment on earth, and nothing else. He became very angry and tried to lash out at the other presence, but nothing, he heard chatter over the radio on his boom mike.
Chapter 5: Do What You Must
"I don't care; blow up the ship, now!
"But, sir, there are still faint life signs on the Ser-"
"Did you not hear me, Commander?"
"Sir, yes, sir"
Commander Zachary Manning, of the UNSC battle cruiser, The Chimera, yelled orders, "warm up the MAC gun and aim all of the archer missile pods at the Serpent"
"Sir, that's one of our ships"
"I realize that, private, but reports are that there are flood on that ship"
"Archer pods hot" another private called out.
"The MAC guns magnetic coils charged and warmed, ready to fire."
"then do so!" the captain barked.
The ship jumped backward 100 feet as it fired the 200 ton depleted uranium shell into space, a bolt of white lightning left the ship and raced towards the Osiris, as it impacted the nose, the front end crumpled and its missile pods detonated, setting of a chain reaction that exploded along the lateral lines of the ship, the Chimeras archer pods fired and hundreds of missiles raced towards the half-crippled ship, the long rocket propelled tubes of explosives flew in through a gaping hole in the side, found the reactor fuel tanks and detonated, the tritium based fuel detonated with enough force to vaporize the entire ship and the 3 flood infected marines inside, Roman, Sahiid, and sgt. Simon Campbell. The Chimera shuddered as a shockwave passed over it and the Commander had to grab onto the bulkhead to keep from tipping over, he could tip over though, since there was no gravity on the bridge, but commanding a ship while tumbling head over heels had its difficulties.
"Accelerate to full speed and turn to bearing one-one-nine, and yaw to two-six-five, ASAP"
Several "yes, sirs" echoed throughout the command bridge, the ship then shuddered upward and to the left, right towards the super MAC cannon platform over the city of Beijing, China. Every major city had an orbital defense platform; since China had a much denser population their platform was much more fortified and at least 40% larger that the other 732 defense platforms. Thanks to its amazing weapons and heavy guard the platform was still intact and firing at the two remaining alien ships. The long silver tear-drop shaped ships seemed to be able to bend the super MAC rounds and push them away. The Chimera was close enough to the Super MAC that the bridge crew could hear the characteristic whine of the super MAC as its superconductive coils charged to 100 percent, and the loud scraping and clicks of a new shell popping into place. The main charge pin dropped downward and lit up the magnets, which pulled the 500 ton shell to hypersonic speeds, the shell left as the vents in the side of the long barrel opened up and vented 10 000˚Celsius coolant into the vacuum of space.
The ship shuddered as it came to the Beijing ship dock, and a deep clack reverberated through the deck as the dock locks slammed into the built-in ports for them. A long sealed tube extended to the side of the ship, and locked in. The ships exit doors hissed open and the messenger from the bridge ran through. Several heavily armed marines greeted him, "he told them that the ship needed to be re-armed, all of the archer pods were empty and the MAC coils needed new coolant. A larger tube, the approximate height of a semi-truck standing on end, extended from the base and it locked onto the panel containing the engine room. It hooked on and sealed, causing the main door to release, as it did many marines and workers carried huge tubes tanks and other items for the ships reactor and weapons. Men in jetpacks and pressure-sealed exoskeletons ran around the ship and welded new plating on to the walls of the ship, and replenished the archer pods' missile supply, while thousands of workers quickly removed and repaired the original reactor fusion core and replaced it with an experimental one.
"I don't remember this in the repair and replace checklist" a sergeant leaned over a privates clipboard as he checked off inventory.
"Me either, sir, but since you came, we're giving you a special offer"
"So this new reactor works?" the sarge questioned, staring at the long hollow glass tube with a smaller glass tube coiled inside of it.
"We're not really sure, yet, sir"
"You're joking, right?"
"I wish I was, sir"
"Jesus Man! Why would you experiment on one of the few ships left in the UNSC core?"
"Well, we stole some weapons off of a covenant ship that was destroyed nearby, and they needed extra power to work, so
"So you're telling me you put covie weapons on this ship?"
"Yes, sir, techs are adding the weapons controls to the bridge as we speak."
A huge tank rolled by, and the sarge watched as they hooked up a small tube to the reactor tube and filled it with a smoky gas.
"So, what does this thing run on?"
"Apparently, it doesn't run on anything, sir"
"Yes, I was questioning it too, but that gas," he spoke as he pointed to the large steel tank, "that fuel is somehow not burned but energized, and it triples the power output"
"Good, but how long does it take to charge, or setup?"
"Not long, as soon as we apply the coolant she's ready."
Another large steel water tank rumbled by, the workers hooked the hose to the top and water gushed from the spout.
"Water, the coolant is water?!" the sgt yelled.
"Sir, the water is coolant and the backup generator, as the gas heats, the water turns to steam, floats upward, and turns a turbine which keeps a secondary battery charged incase the primary goes offline or so the ship can do multiple energy-burning tasks at once."
"Hmmm, I see."
The water finished pouring into the tube, and the workers disconnected the hoses, and guided the two tubs out of the ships hull and onto the sealed space bridge, back to the space station. As the door was closing to the reactor room sealing the bridge off, the sgt looked out and saw a red bolt of plasma hurtling towards the bridge, and prayed the door would seal before it hit. The door sealed and clicked loudly just before the loud wham of depressurizing air reverberated through the engineering bay. The sgt. ran to an elevator which took him to the 17th floor, and another that raced along a maintenance line, straight to the bridge entrance.
"Commander, the reactors and weapons are ready, ready to come online!"
"Alright, officers, fire the ship up."
Chapter 6: Final Moments
Again, several yes sirs echoed through the deck, followed by the low, gentle, and quiet hum of the reactor coming online. The dock locks disengaged and the ships docking engines screamed as they spewed bluish-white fire. Another Plasma bolt appeared on the screen and it headed for the ship, luckily, the Chimera managed to slip away from the bolt just in time to watch it hit the station and boil several layers of metal away.
"Bring the ship to course nine-one-seven, yaw five-two-eight."
The ships superstructure groaned as it turned and angled up toward the covenant ship. The long silvery bulbous ship slid forward and its lateral lines glowed red with plasma. They fired and several balls of red plasma raced towards the Chimera. The commander yelled orders and the ship rolled to port, barely missing the flaming plasma balls. The MAC on the underbelly of the Chimera warmed and fired, and as the bolt of fire tore through space the elite commander panicked and the huge capital ship, The Guardian of the Icon, rolled out of the way just enough so that the shields were the only thing that was hit. The shield icon flashed at zero but the reactor still had full power, and the elite, Fure Satumee, growled at the officers to fire all of the plasma cannons at the Class-III Destroyer. Red plasma formed along the lateral lines of the ship causing a huge ball of plasma 10 kilometers in diameter to race for the Chimera. It splashed the front of the ship, vaporizing it completely. The commander turned to the left screen and his jet black, gold trimmed armor glistened in the bluish-white light. He then glanced at the radar and imaging ops center,
"Is anything alive?"
no nothing, no escape pods, drop ships, or fighters, anything that survived that blast would be a miracle."
"Good, now bring the ship into a parallel vector with the forerunner ship, get even, and ready the launch bays for the escape pod pickup."
"Sir, they've slowed down, and there are reports of a ghost, or assassin of sorts, many covenant have died, and no one knows how or why."
"Why not speed up and begin the great journey?"
"Constant reports that if they leave the unpurified aboard, they will not be purified by the Great Journey either, it is even in the forerunner scriptures."
The commander thought for a moment.
bring us close and have my seraph readied for a ship to ship transfer, give me some weapons, two commando elites, and my energy sword"
"Sir, I strongly suggest that you stay and let the bru-"
"The brutes can't handle this assassin, trust me I've seen him, and the brutes will underestimate his strength.
"When I return with his head you'll know."
"Okay sir, the seraph and commandos are being prepared as we speak."
Chapter 7: Vendetta
The ships launch bay doors opened and the shields around them deactivated. The seraphs engine screeched as it left the bay and headed for a makeshift launch bay fabricated from an old storage room on the forerunner ship. The ship touched down and halted. The normal security that should have greeted him was splattered against a wall and blood was smeared everywhere. One remaining grunt dragged itself toward him, and prayed to be put out of its misery. The elite looked down, removed the carbine from his back lock, aimed for the grunts head, and fired. Phosphorescent blue blood spattered the front of the rounded, soft-purple rifle as the ultra-dense radioactive round penetrated the grunts skull and killed him instantly. The other two commandos came out of the hatch and stared at him, their eyes burned with anger, but soon noticed the grunt was mutilated and that he was shot with remorse, and Fure didn't really want to kill him. They stepped out of the seraph, and joined him at his sides. After a short examination, it was discovered that the brutes, grunts and jackals were all killed by a sharp object, which was truly amazing as the brutes were excessively strong and wouldn't let anything get near them, and the jackals had their almost impenetrable wrist shields. The two commandos shuddered at the sight of a grunt that was torn open at his midsection, but Fure just glanced the other way, only to see more blood spatter, this time from a jackal, its dark purple blood dripped from the wall.
"This wasn't done by one human," a commando suggested.
"Human?" the other commando sounded amazed as he glanced at a violently disemboweled elite, "this couldn't have been done by twenty humans, especially without a single human death!"
"There is one that can." The second commando added, "The human in the special armor"
"So you think he-"
"Yes, I'm sure"
"Oh my, what if he's watching us now?"
"Quiet! If he is still here, he will hear you!" Fure ordered.
A quiet scraping of metal was all he heard, and when he turned around, both commandos were dead, cut open at the spine, and gushing blood. The elite removed the energy sword's handle from its hilt. He snapped the button, and the double blade sword activated with the sound of breaking glass, the long twin blades faced forward, perpendicular to the handle, and were glowing a bright blue-purple. He heard the hum of another energy sword and brought his sword around just in time to stop his attacker's blade. He tried to see who attacked him through the glass like blade but it glowed too brightly and the heat caused his shields to flicker, further impairing his vision. The Master Chief Petty Officer, John could see well, even though his shields flickered the gold plated visor on his helmet polarized to decrease the glare, he saw his attacker, a ship commander, and he put forward his left leg and placed it behind the elite's heel. After that he changed hands and punched the elite in the stomach, the pain caused it to retreat and caused it to step right into his heel, which tripped it. As the elite fell the CPO turned the blade and plunged it into its throat and up into his brain. Its heavy body thumped to the ground and the Spartan turned and headed for the Seraph, there was nothing more he could do to stop this ship, not from here, anyway. The seraph whined as it accelerated out of the bay and the Spartan set course for New Mombassa, Africa, it was the first place the covenant landed, and he was determined to find out why. The ships nose turned red as flames licked the front of the vaguely oval craft. The atmosphere came a lot faster than he expected, the seraph was very fast, and it could turn on a dime, and give you a nickel of change, Mendez told him that once, it meant it could turn really sharp.
Chapter 8: The Arc
As he neared the ground a human AA gun opened fire, and hundreds of holes formed in the back of the seraphs engine. It coughed, sputtered, belched smoke, and the ship started to go down. As it crashed he noticed the mightiest city in the African protectorate was a burning crater. The seraph hit the ground and threw him through the torn open hatch, where he landed in a large pile of sand. As he got up he noticed a glint of metal, and headed for it. He came to a crashed Albatross DC-128 drop ship, no one was there but an abandoned assault rifle lay on the ground, he picked it up and pulled back the lever to put a round in the chamber. The ammo counter read 60-a full clip, so he continued forward to a cracked road, and walked along the right side. A midsized transport jet lay on the ground, hollow from stem to stern so the CPO decided to step through it and check for anything useful, an extra clip or some grenades, and that's what he found. The three grenades clicked into his belt along with an assault rifle clip filled with armor piercing "shredder" rounds. He found a box of experimental gloves for his MJOLNIR mark VII armor, and slipped them on and sealed them into the armor. There were other boxes containing armor for his suit but the only thing he could recover was a new visor and the gloves.
The heat wavered around him as he continued walking towards whatever the Covenant cruiser hovered above. He came to another downed delivery jet, the ship was completely torn open at the middle and broken steel plates and small pieces of plastic littered the sand. He stepped through the torn fuselage and came to a massive crater, formerly the city of New Mombassa, inside the gigantic crater several cruisers hovered around a low-dome structure that made the capital ships toy-like in comparison. The clouds twisted into a perfect tunnel directly above the structure, and thirteen steel flaps, each at least a mile high rose from the body of the structure, causing a pulse to tear along the ground and up the sheer cliff face, the burst of wind blew chunks of rock off the cliff and caused whatever was left of the road to tear off and fall. Banshee engines howled as the small craft tore by, followed by a phantom drop ship. A bright light emitted from the now massive hole in the center of the dome, it was so bright in fact, that his new visor dialed down the brightness until everything was black, but the light still burned into his eyes. Several of the shiny silvery cruisers raced away from the massive structure, clearly in panic, as their engine cones flared the large shadow that loomed over the CPO slid away. Suddenly, thousands of covenant banshees soared by, the hover pods on their short stubby wings howled as the oddly shaped purple ships headed away from the object. One banshee was particularly unlucky as it soared right next to the chief, completely ignoring him, and heading away from the burning light. He grabbed the wing of the banshee and pried his foot into the crevice where the two support rods met the engine pod, He opened the top of the vehicle, which protected the driver, grabbed the elite by the neck, placed his foot on the aliens' waist, and hurled him out of his newly acquired ship. He laid down on his stomach on the pad designated for him and keyed the switch for the top hatch to close. He put the banshee into a wide turn, and hit the fuel rod activator. The gun warmed to a loud roar under the belly of the banshee, and he fired, the bolt of green radioactive explosive raced for the nearest banshee, causing a bright greenish explosion followed by a secondary explosion of the banshees' fuel tank exploding, No one noticed the first five ships exploding but after a lead banshee, adorned with gold and glowing orange plates exploded all the banshees turned on the lone banshee containing the Master Chief. A ball of green plasma raced to the CPO's flyer, so he hit the boost mechanism and turned left sharply, the ship rolled to port, narrowly missing the ball of death. He looked between the crack where the cockpit seat met the upper shield and saw the nose of the forerunner ship, slowly floating towards the artifact, which was still opening and glowing brightly. At that point he realized that the forerunner ship is the icon that activates the world destroying Halos that he just escaped from, if it activated the 6 Halos, the universes supply of sentient life, i.e. humans covenant and anything else would be immediately vaporized to halt the reproduction of flood. There must be a way to stop it. He stared at the ship and fire pelted the banshee's upper carapace, he tilted the ship upwards and blew another one of the pearlescent purple ships out of the sky.
Chapter 9: Let the Great Journey Begin
A covenant cruiser appeared out of slip space directly in front of the CPO's banshee. The ships engines flared and it made a break for the forerunner ship. A screen popped up on the chief Heads Up Display An older black man stood on a bluish white background, it was Sgt. Avery Johnson.
"Chief, are you there?" His scruff voice called out.
"Sir, that ship-"
"We know, and we also know how to stop them for good."
He tapped the tiny screen and the chief's face enlarged to the full screen.
"Chief we're gonna slow that ship down, get aboard and kill the prophet!" he ordered.
"Understood" the chiefs voice bellowed over the speakers.
The cruiser accelerated toward the Forerunner ship, which was now very close to the Dome and rammed its nose into the side of the long orange-tan ship. The ship ground to a halt in the air. The banshee's engines howled as it raced towards the ship. The prophet was the covenants religious leader, he was old, and his dead brothers, (which he killed), regret and mercy were kind enough to give him the remainder of the three crystal fragments before they died. The purple shards could bend space and time; they were the reason doctor Catherine Halsey, and Kelly, Linda, Fred and William, the other Spartans were still alive, saved by John the Chief Petty Officer SPARTAN-II, he wished he had their back up right now.
His banshee took a critical hit and started to drop into the crater, with what little aerodynamics the ship had it sailed to the ground with its engines smoking. The banshee hit with a whump and a loud shrieking of metal on metal. He jumped out of the seat and the banshee rolled into a crevice and exploded. An Elite stood, 10 feet away glaring angrily at the CPO, the fuel rod launcher that he was carrying smoldered with a green glow, the elite dropped the weapon, because at that range the blast would kill them both. The elite reached for his sword, and activated it. A brilliant flash of light beamed out as the energy sword activated, normally the chief could reach for his assault rifle, strapped to his back, but by then the elite could cut him in two. His COM. Channel stuttered, and the elites head exploded, its lifeless body crumpled to the ground and the chief snatched the sword out of its hand. He glanced back, a few thousand meters away was another Spartan, and he activated the zoom on his visor, and got close enough to see the HUD name over the armored humans head. Spartan 058- Linda stood proudly, her sniper rifle waving in the air. She ran towards John, her feet planting firmly into the metal of the forerunner artifact. She got to him faster than any human could, whether or not she was wearing a half-ton suit of armor. She held her rifle in the air and saluted John; he saluted back, even though he outranked her, it was a sign of respect. Linda was the best sniper in the galaxy; she could knock out a fully armored tank with one shot, simply by inflicting a ricochet into the back of the drivers head. He remembered when Linda had saved him on Reach, during training when they were only 13 years old. He was at the wrong end of a guard's handgun, when a tranquilizer dart burrowed into the guards neck, and he hit the ground screaming.
He would have hugged her but knew that would not be appreciated by a fellow soldier, instead, she hugged him.
"Thank god you're here; it was starting to get boring"
John was still too shocked for words but he nodded and reached for his MA9B Scoped Assault rifle. He clicked the laser sight on and activated the scope, the small LED display that showed his Ammo Counter, faded to reveal another screen with a magnified picture ahead, in which a grunt was standing, he fired two rounds, which was two too many to kill a grunt, and the little methane breather hit the ground. He glanced at Linda, who was aiming the same way he was; she turned to face him,
"You stole my kill!"
"Don't waste your ammo"
Chapter 10: Cortana
She blew him off, not caring what he said. Two banshees flew past trying to strafe the Spartans, Linda fired a shot and the first banshee hit the ground, the second one flew so low that John grabbed the right rudder, opened the cockpit and tossed the driver out. The elite fell several hundred feet, deep into another crevice in the domes structure and didn't survive the landing. Linda pulled up in the banshee next to him. They raced for the forerunner ship, now forcibly joined with the Covenant cruiser that Sgt. Johnson piloted. The fighter bay on the cruiser opened and the banshees sailed inside. The Spartans ran through repeating hallways, through warped pentagonal doors, the purple lights reflecting off of their pale olive green armor. They arrived at the bridge, where a huge holographic purple woman floated, Cortana, the Chiefs former Artificial Intelligence, hovered up high, staring at him. The code that scrolled across her body glowed red, then softened to a deep tranquil purple. She bent down very low, her head almost as tall as the chief, since he was seven feet tall, that was quite a feat to accomplish.
"So, you're back?"
"Check your mirrors next time" the chief commented as he looked at the forward screen, the display showed the forerunner ship deeply embedded into the nose of the cruiser.
"So you did miss me" she commented cheerily.
The chief grinned behind the visor of his helmet, but no one saw it. He stepped up to the central platform, and removed Cortana's chip from the terminal, and inserted it into the CNI interface in the base of his skull, through a port in the armor.
"Wow, lots of room in here, just like last time"
Sgt. Johnson could barely hold in his laugh at Cortana's quirky remark. Covenant were all over the fore screen, welding and cutting, to free the forerunner ship, most carried jetpacks, but the large bulbous pink creatures floated due to a natural lighter-than-air gas bladder. Those engineers, a small neutral race which could disassemble and reassemble an object in a different order, and make it work. The creatures were geniuses and they could join either side, the perfect creature to have as allies.
"Okay," the chief said, pulling back the charge lever on his assault rifle, "lets get to work"
"I'm ready!" Linda said, her icy cold voice completely gone. The sniper rifle clicked as one of the armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot rounds popped into the chamber, Linda removed the clip and checked it for ammo, and for anything that could jam the firing mechanism. It was clear so she shoved the clip back into the receiver and loaded it. A hole in the wall appeared, and a glowing teleporter hovered behind it, they stepped through the glowing green tube, and appeared in a ship bay, full of seraphs and covenant drop ships. Sgt. Johnson, Miranda, and Linda hopped into a phantom, the chief got into a seraph. The bay door opened and the ships screamed as they left the bay. The forerunner ship was teeming with life, hundreds of jetpack equipped elites, engineers, and grunts with plasma torches. The plasma torpedo on the seraph whined as it charged up and fired a ball of white heat at the workers, everything within 200 meters of the blast vaporized instantly, and none of them felt anything as they joined the trillions of particles in the air. The Seraph swept the side the forerunner ship and dropped several plasma bombs on the side. The drop ship flew inside one of the gaping holes caused by the bombs and used its three plasma turrets to blast the aliens inside. The ship lowered to the ground and its gravity lift lowered Johnson and Linda to the ground, Miranda stayed inside and kept the ship flying. The chiefs Seraph howled as it flew into the hole and landed on the charred floor of the ship. He popped the hatch and ran for the door that Linda and Johnson were standing at, rifles ready. Johnson pulled out a grenade and tossed it into the crowded hallway, a whole troop of grunts and five elites died in the initial blast and the clearing fire that followed. As they passed the hallway full of corpses and blood spatter, and elite grabbed Linda's leg, she screeched and crushed the alien's chest with her boot, killing it instantly. The strange triangular door ahead opened into several pieces, revealing an open chamber beyond. The vast, vaguely orange room contained several pipes, and hundreds of fusion cores. In the centre of the room, leading across a dark void, was an energy bridge, to which the controls were on the other side. The bridge was active, but the hidden guards at the other end could shut it off quickly, killing anyone riding it. Linda raised her S2 AM Sniper rifle and searched for the guards.
"The Bastards are hidden behind energy barriers and there are five of them"
The chief looked around and suddenly got an idea.
Chapter 11: Things That Go Boom
Scrailshyk was talking to another Brute, Plafentarus about the elites "high and mighty" status when a fusion core slid off the light bridge and landed right between them, soon another hit the ground, and another, after about twenty-six fusion cores landed Shyk, as he was called, looked out from behind the energy barrier. Just as he did, a sniper rifle bullet hit the nearest fusion core, and caused a massive explosive reaction, vaporizing all five brutes, their weapons and the main bridge control. The light bridge malfunctioned and winked on and off every few seconds. The Sgt. reached for his timer and timed the bridge power cycle, as they ran across the bridge the Sgt. would yell "Jump" and John would have to jump 7 feet in the air while Johnson held onto him. Linda had less trouble, but because John had the Sgt. She had to carry the weapons and ammo. At the other side the Spartans, and the Sgt. met up with a few of the bird-like jackals, their wrist mounted shields failed to protect their frail bodies as clips were emptied into them, Johnson then ran between the Spartans and broke the plastic butt pad of his gun on their heads. Passing into the next room, John accidentally stepped on one of the jackals' heads; it made a disgusting slurping noise as chunks of brain escaped through cracks in its skull. Beyond the armored door, lay a beautiful room clad with golden panels, purple spires, and an ivory trimmed maroon staircase that spiraled upward around a gigantic silver cone. That was their next target, as they started running across the vacant room the chief noticed several distortions along the walls, he opened a private comm. to Linda.
"Yeah, I see them too"
John and Linda gracefully reached for their grenades and tossed them to their sides, the first two explosions set off several plasma grenades the elites were carrying, causing fourteen additional deaths. They got to the stairs just before the elite got their bearings back, and wanted to fight. The stairs were a misconception; the spiral was more of a teleporting floor which dragged the user along without them having to move, however there were still stair like structures underneath, in case of power failure. Once on glowing blue energy field sped up, and they raced up the cone four times faster than walking or running could take them. The roof opened and slid away revealing the prophets chambers. This room was holy so no guards were allowed near it, but the century old prophet had a trick up his gold embroidered sleeve. He pushed his fingers down on the control pad and under each armrest a small three sided tube slid out and lit up. The chief had seen this before; in fact he had almost died as his other target the prophet of regret had used the equivalent of the hunter's fuel rod on him. While the hover chair was slower than a hunter, it was nowhere near as bulky or tank-like, as most of the prophet's body is exposed. The chief ran forward and jumped onto the prophet's chair before he had a chance to fire, he readied to punch through the shields when the chair dematerialized under his feet. And appeared several feet back, this time the guns fired, and a long orange beam of fire belched out of the gun and splashed his shields. They immediately dropped to zero. The guns readied for another burst when the purple crystal shards floated upward out of the prophet's pocket, the three shards formed a triangle, touching tip to tip, and then split apart and "bloomed" like flowers. The ground crackled around the chief, Cortana uttered something but it was muffled by a bullet that ripped past his head as Linda tried to finish the prophet with her sniper, the bullet collapsed and bounced harmlessly off the prophet's shields. The ground around the chief split apart slowly, and cracked into tiny pieces. The floor under the cracking tiles was solid, but the chief had a feeling that it wouldn't be for long. Suddenly the crackling noise stopped. The prophet cursed in the covenant language and snatched the crystals violently. He screamed as the crystals bloomed in his hand and tore the flesh apart. They then escaped his clutches and drove themselves deep into his chest. The prophet screamed as the crystals changed their shape inside of him, slowly and painfully executing him as they slashed through his vital organs. The Sgt. vomited on the floor at the sight of this horrible disemboweling. Suddenly the ship jerked forward and threw Johnson and Linda to the floor, John was near a table so he grabbed it for support. The ship was moving for the object again, if it made it there, John thought, humanity as he knew it would be destroyed. John opened up the COMM.
"All UNSC Craft still in operation," he said as he dropped a NAV point marker, "It is imperative that you break off combat with the enemy and intercept this ship."
"Apologies Spartan, but there are only three craft left running, we are coming to assist, but chances are," the commander sighed, "chances are that we aren't gonna make it."
"If you get close fall into the atmosphere and fire all weapons."
The COMM snapped off, and John turned to Linda who was helping Johnson off the floor.
"We have to leave now"
They ran for the door, but Cortana stopped them.
"Why not go through here?" she asked as she hacked a security system and opened a door to an escape pod.
"Why not tell us this in the first place?"
"Just get in."
As they entered the pod they could hear its engines warming to fire it out of the bay. The door hissed as it sealed, and they just sat down when the small pod shot from the bay. Outside they could see the ships nose almost touching the dome behind them, and in front the vague outlines of two Human battleships and a frigate. They just entered the atmosphere when the dome activated. John looked down, as he did he noticed Mount Kilimanjaro was glowing from the light emitted by the dome, but when he looked back at the dome he couldn't see it, the only thing symbolizing that it still existed was the beam of white light that shone upwards, the mountain was glowing on its own. He also saw glowing in the distance, on the forward screen. He pointed to it and asked Cortana
"What the hell is that?"
"That is Cairo Egypt."
"Why is it glowing?"
"Some sort of electrical disturbance in the magnetic polarization of earth"
"Sorry, think of it as a global short circuit, look"
A small scale map of earth appeared, on it marked with wavering lines were the hotspots of the magnetic disturbance. John looked carefully at the globe and noticed that all of the hotspots were over national monuments. He was about to ask about this phenomenon when a huge wall of blue light sailed over the small pod. The roar of the sky tearing followed it closely. The shield floated right at the edge of the atmosphere, and it glowed a bright cobalt blue.
"What is going on?"
"They are shields, to protect the human race in the event of the Halos being activated."
"When did you learn about this?"
"The very second they activated."
The shield flared a bright blue and then faded to nothing.
Chapter 12: Assimilation
Without the support of the ships which were vaporized by the halos universe cleansing light the UNSC managed to overthrow and assimilate the remaining covenant armies into a society on earth. They used the technology remaining from the covenant assault to improve human life. The master chief stepped out of a hover car and walked into a storage bay to put his armor away, two elites that he knew well guarded him as he removed the heavy armor and placed it into a storage tube. As a joke he took a felt pen and wrote "In case of war break glass" on the top. As he stepped out of the changing room the two elites glanced at him and dropped to their knees and bowed.
"whoa, what the-"
"You look like the only evidence that the covenant ever had that proved the Forerunners existed, you are a forerunner.