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Alien Brethren: Chapter 8: The Nightmare Returns
Posted By: Alex L (Greek Elite)<yoshi64y@aol.com>
Date: 21 October 2005, 12:01 am

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Ok, few things before I get to the story (as always). First off, you'll notice there are hard indents in this story. Well after not knowing what the heck 'the code' has to say about hard indenting i decided to do it like this (since i didn't like the format of my other stories which dont have hard indenting). So until anyone complains, this should be how my next coming up stories WILL look. Second of all, I aplogize it took a while to get out Chapter 8 but I was planning on sending this Chapter with Chapter 9 (Which i'm currently typing but have difficulties as far as actually getting to the typing). I'm hoping that Chapter 9 WILL be submitted before the end of next week. The reason why I wanted to send Chapter 8 with 9 is because they both revlovle around the same mission, just that i decided to split the mission into 2 chapters. Another thing i'd like to say is you should start reading "Arbiter" work. I personnaly recomend his stories since they are outstanding. He's my fan fiction buddy so I reccomend you start reading some of his work IF you haven't so far. Last of all, shout out to my love Amy A. I'm feeling awesome this week because I got to see her beautiful face again! But I digress...ENJOY!

Chapter 8: The Nightmare Returns

"Do you mind going over our mission again?" Alei asked, examining his Carbine thoroughly.

Alei, Baxter, and Kaskut, accompanied by some other Marines were sitting restlessly inside a Pelican. In the Pelican that trailed behind them there was Betronus, Lib, the monitor, Sergeant Stackers, and some other Marines.

"Alright," Baxter said taking in a deep breath to explain the mission again, "Miranda Keyes is leading an operation to retrieve something called the index. This index supposedly is the key to activating this Halo. If we get this index, your Prophets won't be able to activate Halo and we'll all still be alive. Now this index is heavily guarded by machines called Sentinels. These Sentinels will do whatever it takes to stop us from getting this icon, and to add onto that we're positive the Covenant will be on our backs, racing for the index as well. So far it sounds like we've got a head start, however these Sentinels and your Covenant friends aren't the only things we'll encounter."

"The Flood as well?" Alei asked in horror.

"Yes. To get to the icon we'll need to push through the Sentinel forces and in doing so we'll be threatened by the Flood. Have you ever dealt with them before?"

Frightening and disturbing images flashed through Alei's mind of his past experience and conflicts with the Flood. He shuddered at the memories that resided inside his mind and shook away the pain he felt. "Yes I have unfortunately."

"Good, then you'll know what to expect from them, as for me, I'm clueless to how they fight. Any way's, while proceeding through Flood infested grounds and pushing through Sentinel forces we'll be heading as a group to our destination. The name of the game is to protect the convoy of Marines that will be defending Miranda. We have countless amounts of Marines on this mission so defeat is not an option. Do whatever you can to keep Miranda alive, stick together, and try your best to defend the other Marines as well, and most importantly keep up. Once the Flood attack, it's going to be hell. Any questions?"

"Yes one," Alei said as he felt the Pelican nervously shake and rock, "Are Kalno Tebo and Ralna Tebo going to be alright?"

Baxter gave out a chuckle at Alei's concern as the Pelican rocked some more. Alei had refused to leave the Tebo Hunter brothers behind at the Relic, and Baxter had come up with a solution. On the tail of the Pelican, where vehicles or ammunition pods were carried, was where the Hunters clung to the ship.

Their giant shields had been strapped tight to tail of the Pelican while their bodies dangled as the Pelican soared through the winds. Not only was this the most efficient way to travel with the Hunters, but it provided the Pelican with much supporting fire as the Hunters were still able to use their Fuel Rod Cannon arms to attack any opposition of the Pelican.

"Don't worry about them Alei, they'll be fine," Baxter reassured.

"And what about us? Are you sure this vehicle can support both their weight?" Alei questioned, skeptical of Baxter's plan.

"Alei, this bird can hold one of our tanks easily along with a squad of Marines. I'm pretty sure it can support your two buddies," Baxter said resting his head against the Pelican.

Alei activated his comm. link and tuned into the two Hunters to check up on them, "How are you two doing?"

The Hunters gave out a eerie frightened moan of sickness. He suspected the Hunters would be feeling nauseous, but by the looks of it the flight would be ending soon.

The two Pelicans began to slow down and the sound of gun fire echoed through the air. Alei peered out from where he was in the Pelican to see hundreds of marines planted into the quarantine zone below. They were fighting off the floating wonders, the Sentinels. The smaller ones seemed to be easy cannon fodder against the humans however the larger ones, Sentinel Enforcers, were more of a challenge and managed a decent body count.

Below were two human vehicles, a goliath tank and the trusty Warthog. Alei remembered that the second Pelican was carrying an additional Warthog for the extra support. He was amazed to see how determined the humans were for this operation.

As the two Pelicans came to a halt and hovered above the battlegrounds, Alei watched the humans suffer against two Sentinel Enforcers. The Scorpion Tank and Warthog were avoiding the machines at all costs but the humans willingly and desperately fought off the monstrosity machines.

Just when he felt that the humans had little to no hope of defeating them quick enough he felt the Pelican rock and saw two large green beams shoot at the Enforcers. The green beams hit them in their unguarded region where their shields had no protection from the heavy assault. One green beam made a critical hit and the one Enforcer came crashing down. The other turned towards the Pelican and began firing upon it, its last mistake. The humans took advantage of its back turned and easily finished it off.

With both Enforcers down the Pelicans were able to land safely and the Warthog was dispatched, and the troops gathered with the others. The other Marines' first reaction to the Hunters and other Covenant on board the Pelicans was a shock and confusion, though they quickly adjusted to them and came to the conclusion that they were an ally, not an enemy. Alei stuck close to Baxter, feeling lost and alone amongst the huge amounts of Marines. Kaskut jumped on Baxter's back not wanting to have to walk excruciating miles through the snowy region.

It was a gloomy, dark region where there was a faint snow fall. The wind's eerie whispers made everyone uneasy and on their toes, wondering when they might find their greatest nightmare. Alei, Baxter, and Kaskut now joined up with Lib, Betronus, and the Tebo brothers. They were near the center, where a large Scorpion was and a female human sat on top of it. The female sitting on top the Scorpion motioned for Baxter. Alei and the rest of the Covenant followed Baxter, feeling lost without him.

"Good to see you Sergeant. Mind telling me who your friends are?" Miranda asked.

Baxter turned to his Covenant friends behind him and said, "They're all trust worthy and all skilled. Alei, the Elite in red is the first I met, everyone else is under his command." Alei bowed slightly to Miranda as a symbol of peace and greetings.

"The more firepower the better", Miranda admitted, "Just make sure they don't friendly fire. Alright Sergeant?" Before Baxter could acknowledge, the sinister humming and whirring of Sentinels echoed through the quarantine zone.

"Clear out those Sentinels!" Ordered Miranda, her voice echoing through the quarantine zone. The marines and squad of Covenant fired instantly on command at the new threat. They went down gracefully by the large amount of gunfire, until the Enforcers entered the fray. The Scorpion's main cannon turned toward the Enforcer and fired suppressing machine gun fire and delivered an awesome blow to the Enforcer's frontal shield. The shields disappeared and the Hunters sandwiched the enforcer from the front and back with their deadly Fuel Rod Cannons.

"Nice work, now let's go! We can't waste any time," Miranda said to her massive squad, "I want one Warthog leading the squad ahead and another Warthog tailing behind. All troops assume a circular formation around the tank."

They all obeyed command with haste and proceeded towards an object marking a wall that opened by proximity. They were shudder like doors which lead into a large dimly lit hallway. The Warthogs rolled at slow speeds to keep with the Scorpion and the other Marines.

Alei and many others found the hallway eerie as noises creaked and groaned at the walls of the tunnel. There was an odd odor that few recognized before. It struck Alei's senses hard and he felt a chill go up his spine. As they continued to proceed there was a sudden bone chilling scream that came from the rear of the squad.

"AHHH! SOMEBODY HELP! AHHHHHHHHH!" Screamed a Marine in hysteria. Everyone turned toward the Marine and tried desperately to help him with something latched onto his leg then there was another sudden cry of madness, and another. Soon more Marines began to panic and many began to fire.

Alei searched around looking for the nightmare he assumed had closed in on the squad. He saw something skitter before him and he began engaging. Yellow and white fluids popped from whatever it was and more skittered. Alei kept firing off his Carbine at the crawling enemy, killing as many as possible.

Another patch of them came about, firing echoed off the walls of the tunnel. The sound of Marine's dieing and zombie like screams filled the tunnel. It turned into utter chaos, the tunnel was now a giant trap. Baxter began firing sustaining shots with his SMG at the squirming creatures, and Kaskut fired his pistol occasionally in fear of the enemy. Betronus was not resorting to weapons however, feeling overconfident to use them, and began using his giant fists and feet to exterminate the parasites. Lib was cowering near the tank with his shield next to the monitor.

"Oh dear, the parasite are present, this is most unpleasant," Remorseful Incentive chimed.

Alei found his Carbine was a poor choice against the new enemy and immediately switched to his sword and heard Miranda call out something, "Everyone proceed and-"

Alei 'Limoto did not hear the rest of what the female human was saying because there was a immense piercing pain that struck the back of his head. He was immobilized by pain and blacked out and a vision appeared before his eyes.

"Alei!" Alei 'Limoto immediately snapped out of a trance he was in, pondering about the humans. He saw it was his father who'd call his name.

"Yes father?" Alei asked.

His father wore noble, white armor showing much power and authority in his armor. Alei wore standard blue armor, the most basic armor used for mediocre ranked Elites. Alei had recently a few weeks ago sworn into the Covenant along with his other brothers who stood among him; Ebak, Palo, and Nifa. His other brothers too wore blue armor like him and were on the same mission as he was.

They were all standing on a Covenant ship used for research purposes, they were the vigilant guards of the ship. His father formed a smile at his youngest son with his mandibles, proud to see him in the Covenant, "You should be prepared, Alei. We are carrying out a very important mission for the Prophets and your mind seems distracted. One false error could cause failure."

"I'm sorry father. Next time I shall be more alert and aware to my objectives," Alei apologized, hanging his head in disappointment. Alei always seemed to day dream and ponder the most among his brothers. His thoughts mostly on mysteries that the Prophets refused to explain like the Great Journey, the Forerunners, and the Humans.

"It is all right my son. I know this mission may seem tiring at the moment but I must remind you that it is extremely important and extremely risky," his father reminded them.

"Father," Palo, the second oldest and wisest of the brothers said, "Why exactly are we doing this again? Why are we researching and delivering these worthless parasites?"

"Questioning the Prophets is a risky matter Palo, though I respect your thirst for knowledge," their father replied, "I know what the Prophets intend with this mission. They wish to understand these creatures as the Forerunners have. The Flood is mysterious and dangerous. Should we find out more about then we may fight and survive against their power, perhaps even use their power. Our mission is to secure this ship that contains this parasite, and protect it so that the others may research."

"Why do we not simply wipe out the entire Vernon? The Covenant can crush these parasites easily, and I thirst for victory!" Cried out the eldest, most blood thirsty of the brothers, Ebak.

"Not all victories can be accomplished by means of power, Ebak. We must protect this ship, it is our duty given to us by the wise Prophets," His father replied simply.

"But who would want to attack or interfere with us?" Questioned the second youngest, and most loyal to the Covenant, Nifa.

"The Humans. Their intensions or plans are unknown to us. I also suspect that the Prophets are worried of some sort of rebellion in the future and that friendly fire may be an issue."

The mention of the humans made Alei's mind race more about the mysterious race and he had to ask the question that had floated through his mind for so long, "Why didn't the Prophets offer the humans to join the Covenant?" Everyone stared at Alei awkwardly wondering what he had just said. Alei felt a lump in his throat but was not ready to discard his question yet, "The Humans could be misunderstood for all we know. Why didn't we offer them a place in the Covenant?"

Before anyone could speak an alarm sounded off and the ship shook. "WE HAVE A FLOOD BREACH! EVERYONE ASSUME EXTERMINATION AND STERALIZATION ACTIONS!" Yelled an Elite's voice over the PA.

The family of Elites readied their plasma rifles and their father led them through the ship to the research area where the Flood breach would be.

"Be diligent my sons and stay together. We shall overcome this conflict," their father reassured as he opened the door leading to the heart of the research station. They headed inside the dimly lit room where plasma fire came from all ends of the area.

Alei's nervousness must have been obvious because his brother, Ebak, turned to reassure him, "Don't worry Alei, we will overcome this and soon we may have the chance to be shipped off to Halo so that we may fight the true enemy, side by side." His confident, warrior born brother's words calmed Alei a bit but still found the sickness of going against an unknown, parasitic enemy.

Dozens and dozens of yellowish, whitish blobs with tentacles scurried across the surface of the floor searching for its victims. Alei's father was the first to fire at the parasites, leading his brood into combat as well. The burning plasma obliterated the Flood easily but the more the Elites fought, the more determined the Vernon became.

They all proceeded in further into the research facility where dozens and dozens of the parasites had resigned and swarmed. Alei saw other Elites in the research facility as well, giving their all to eliminate the threat. He then saw a pack of infection forms swarm towards him, hungry for his fresh flesh. Alei back peddled and started firing but his plasma fire was only good enough to wipe out half of the pack once his gun overheated. As they closed in more, Ebak shot furiously to wipe out the rest of the enemy that engaged his brother. Alei gave a curt nod to his brother as thanks and they continued to fight.

Alei moved over towards his father's position, who now had two plasma rifles in hand and seemed to be the most violent and skilled warrior in the room. Alei helped his father wipe out another swarm of parasites easily and then turned to see his brother, Nifa, struggling to destroy a pack towards him. Alei immediately assisted him and the two wiped out the parasites.

Then there was an agonizing, horrific scream that echoed through the chaotic room. Alei, the only one of his family whom wasn't dealing with a swarm of Flood at the moment, turned to see what had happened. He saw one of the infection forms latched onto the back of another Elite's head. The Elite desperately tried to get the infection off its head, with another Elite desperately trying to help it as well.

The Flood grew hungrier and their hunger made them even more persistent and powerful. His father activated his comm. device to reach the other parts of the ship and shouted, "WE NEED MORE ASSISTANCE!"

Alei knew, and assumed his father knew as well, the ship didn't have many Elites on board. The prophets had sent a small amount of Elites to carry out this task, and there were only a few left that could assist, those being the pilots.

In a matter of minutes, Gold Elites now appeared in the scene, with magnificent, glowing Energy Swords in hand. They tore through the Flood like they were nothing, but the Flood seemed to sense the amount of power the Gold Elites had, and targeted them more. He watched the Gold Elites tear through the Flood as more of them swarmed towards them. The Gold Elites were persistent, but so were the Flood, and the Flood was hungry. The Gold Elites soon seemed overworked and more stressed as they fought now that the Flood was literally flooding on their position.

The Gold Elites soon showed weakness and weariness in their battle and then a large swarm of Flood leapt and showered the Gold Elites with a magnificent attack, completely overwhelming them. Alei could barely make out the Gold Elites now that they were covered by the infection forms, and then he saw another swarm of Flood coming towards him.

Blue plasma splashed the hungry parasites and they began popping from Alei's suppressive fire. The once mildly tranquil research facility was now a living hell as more hideous cries of Elites echoed in the room, and the enemy was uncontrollable. He saw flashes of Elites slowly being engulfed by the parasites and transforming into the spawn of hell. Alei backpedaled nervously from the terrifying scenes he witnessed and then the worst had finally come.

Then the Infection forms began swarming on his family. Palo had an infection form planted on his skull, Nifa had one scraping its tentacles into his back, Ebak was struggling to get one off his shoulder. The worst was seeing his dad's misery; a infection form dug its sharp tentacles into his chest and his blue blood began to spray from his chest in a messy manner. His father's face was horrifying and seeing him in pain nearly killed Alei. His painful looking eyes stared into Alei's.

"Alei…" His father groaned as the infection drove deeper into his chest. His father was in too much pain to speak anymore and Alei didn't know what his father wanted him to do. Did he want him to stay here and fight of the rest like his family, assist him by trying his best to get rid of the infection form that tried desperately to infect his father, or save his own skin since dieing here like this wasn't worth it.

Alei didn't know exactly how to read his father's thoughts at that chaotic, nightmarish moment but Alei's instinct of survival told him to leave. Alei ran towards the door leading to his escape and sealed it behind him. He panted heavily and the hellish images flashed before his eyes at lightning speeds again and he was no longer the young, cowardice Elite anymore.

Alei let out a final cry and all the pain had gone away and he was back in the tunnel where the large amount of Marines fought to survive and to protect Miranda.

He rubbed the back of his head. He felt a slight trickle of blood drip from a small yet precise hole in the back of his head. He figured it wasn't that serious and the miracle was that the Vernon was off of him.

He turned to see Baxter grabbing the Flood infection squirming around desperately in his hand. It popped after a few seconds and Baxter smiled seeing his Alien friend was alright.

"Once again, I am in debt to you," Alei said giving Baxter a curt bow and they returned to their fight on repelling the Flood.