The Bright Librarian
Posted By: CaptainTony<FieryHabaneros@gmail.com>
Date: 23 December 2009, 12:43 am
13:17 HOURS - 20 OCTOBER 97,488 B.C.
EARTH, SOL SYSTEM, SECTOR ONE
IN ORBIT OVER EAST AFRICA
"The Ark!? Are you positively sure?" said the Librarian.
"Yes — I am quite sure of this. It's been in my thoughts lately...and someone needs to be there" a young Flag officer stated.
"At least stay here with me and Didact, keep us some company in our eternity here...what about Hori? She'd be excited to stay here."
"She would be, and so would I — if she was still in our presence"
"I am so sorry Rikku, we had no idea."
"You wouldn't mind taking care our house would you? I found the location to be intoxicating" - said Rikku.
"Anything for you brother — stay safe out there."
Before he could give his final farewell, Rikku was teleported back onto the Silver Stars, a Dreadnought orbiting high above the African serengeti. Commodore Rikku Osala, leader of the Supression's Special Warfare Group, did not want to disclose the fate of his late wife Hori. Deeply saddened by his failures on G238/p4 just days prior to the activation of the Halo Array, he was a part of a strike force aimed to destroy the Cryptmind on the planet; Hori, a Naval scientist, was killed instantly when her ship strayed to close to the tentacles of the highly-evolved Flood form. Rikku, for months, convinced himself that it was his mistakes that led to her death, and that of the crew of the Voyager, due to his late arrival at the planet.
Onboard the Silver Stars, he checked up on his men, who were still grieving from the tremendous losses of their family and Empire. While a good portion of his unit's families were killed, leaked information from Fleet Command was obtained from Intelligence liaisons, instructing the Supression Fleet to exit the Array's firing solutions. Commodore Osala's truancy at the Battle of G238/p4 was caused by him and his unit going rogue, disobeying orders, and saving multiple groups of "left-behind" civilians on worlds en-route to the Cryptmind. Despite saving thousands of elders, women, and children, Osala still holds no sympathetic emotions for himself for selfishly leaving her to die.
"Commodore, hold up!" shouted Colonel Noveske from across the ship's galley.
Tihoy Noveske, a young senior officer like his commanding officer, Osala, lost nearly everything during the final years of the war. A great grandson of King Noveske, Tihoy had served with the Fleet for years prior to meeting his good friend. Colonel Noveske had commanded everything from a small troop ship transporting Marines to-and-from the combat zones, to a large Basestar in the Gamma Quadrant.
"Tihoy?" shrugged Rikku.
"Well Rik...i've decided i'm going to stay with you and continue to fight the Flood." an excited Tihoy proclaimed.
"In good conscious, I can't use you Tihoy."
"What do you mean? Your sister said that you were going to stay at the Ark and start to rebuild the Empire here in the Milky Way — I WANT TO BE A PART OF THAT!"
"She's always making me seem like some hero Tihoy, you of all people should know that! Besides...all i'm going to do is sleep and wait for someone who needs help. Simple as that".
Rikku had come to this conclusion shortly after the activation of Halo, when a request from FLEETCOM asked for a "Guardian" to maintain the physical systems at the Ark. While he would be aided by the A.I. construct 77 Exalted Heroin and her swarms of Sentinel automated drones, his role was that of a "greeter" to whomever had the technology and resources to reach the Ark facility. He knew this would be a lonely assignment and a unworthy end to a twenty year career in the Fleet, but as his sister had moved onto her own family, all he wanted was peace and tranquility.
"I...I...I don't understand Rik, the boys need you! The Fleet needs you!" a now emotional Tihoy protested.
"They've never needed me, all of them are tactically and strategically brilliant. And once you make it to Andromeda, each of them will have to decide their new destinies"
"Somehow...what you said just made a cubit of sense. And you're right about one thing...there's a couple of boys that need me."
"Goodbye Tihoy...it's been an honor serving with you."
"Likewise, Rik. Live Long and Prosper comrade."
In seconds, Commodore Osala had again been whisked away by the migrant fleet's short timetable. The Fleet, comprised of seventy ships of various types, including three Salvoy-type Dreadnought and a single Tel Aviv-type Keyship, called the Galactica. Originally led by Didact, the Supreme Commander of the Fleet, he decided to marry his partner, the Librarian, shortly after he activated the Halo Array and narrowly escaped it's wave of destruction. Because of this, Didact chose to live out the rest of his life on Earth with his new wife, watching her favorite world grow into something more. Now led by Fleet Admiral Kiri Tibble, the migrant fleet hopes to rebuild the Empire in another galaxy, praying that the Flood starve and achieve extinction before the infant sentient species of the Milky Way reach for the stars. Heading to the surface in his starfighter, Commodore Osala performed an inspection and fly-by near the Galactica, giving the fleet it's final farewell's.
In an instant, the last living, breathing remnants of the once dominant and esteemed Forerunner Empire had finally left the Milky Way with nothing but a whimper.
18:00 HOURS - 20 OCTOBER 97,488 B.C.
EARTH, SOL SYSTEM, SECTOR ONE
THE PORTAL, NEW MOMBASA, KENYA
Cooking dinner for his family and a select number of tribes people, Tribal Leader Seri sat high-atop Tayari Mountain watching flocks of wildlife all head towards the Portal in the valley below. The son of Tie N'Chala, who first encountered the advanced species twenty years prior to the firing of the Halo Array, Seri had come to know the ancient visitors to Earth very well, even serving as a representative at times to the hundreds of other Human groups on Earth. Curious about what was happening down in the valley, Seri and his family rode down to the Portal's observation tower to visit the Librarian and her husband, Didact.
The Portal's activation seemed something like a drug to anyone who saw it, drawing them in closer with every step. Thousands of Humans and wildlife came to see this even happen again, with no knowledge that this would be the last time a Forerunner facility would be activated for another 100,000 years. Sitting in the observation tower, the Librarian asked the Portal's A.I. infrastructure, "Adjutant Reflex", to activate the Strato-Sentinels that once built this giant facility in order to seal it completely shut after the final visitor left.
While the final preparations began at the Portal for the trip to the Ark, Commodore Osala went to the location where he was going to live with his wife and daughter, an island off the northeastern coast of Asia, which would later be known as "Japan". Rikku walked around for hours, planting crops, tending to his animals, and surprisingly finished their little hut overlooking the ocean. It was here that Rikku forgave himself for his failures at the Cryptmind, and was finally able to lay his wife to rest.
"RIKKU!? You there?" screamed Rikku's sister over the starfighter's radio.
"Yes, I am here — just finishing up the hut. What's wrong?" a calm Rikku said.
"You need to get here as soon as possible! There's a major malfunction going on, and I don't know how long i'll be able to keep the Portal stable"
"I'm on my way"
Rikku jumped back into his fighter and raced towards the Portal in East Africa at speeds in excess of 10,000km/h, faster than the aircraft had ever gone before. Though nearly crashing due to inclimate weather over present-day Afghanistan and a near-collision with a Strato-Sentinel over the Persian Gulf, Rikku managed to reach the Portal in just a few minutes after leaving his home.
At the Portal site, the Librarian and AdjutantReflex tried every scenario in order to keep the Portal functioning for more than a couple minutes. Sentinels aiding in these efforts were sucked through the Portal due to a malfunction in the Ark's Artificial Gravitational Field. It was nearly impossible to reach the conduit that causes such disturbances, and anything going into the Portal would have a 95% chance of complete molecular separation at the Ark end. This outcome urged Rikku's sister and brother-in-law to land the aircraft and abandon the mission to the Ark. Never failing a mission before, Rikku only considered that he had one option — to rest in peace.
"Tell my daughter that i'll see her soon and that I love her. Didact, take care of my little sister. I love you Aeria" Rikku's last known words over the tower's intercom.
Without a response from Aeria, Didact, or even his daughter, Rikku charged head-on into the wreckage of Sentinels and into the Portal. Mere milliseconds after his transit through, the Portal collapsed and finally reseeded back into the landscape. Thousands of onlookers gave their final respects and moved on with their lives.
The Migrant Fleet and it's voyage to Andromeda, other than a few garbled transmissions sent through the stars, were largely un-detailed, only telling of their successes in starting a new society, though had met an entirely new enemy within only a few years. Seri N'Chala, as with most of Earth's inhabitants, would forget about the Forerunners, with their mysterious origins kept largely secret until the early-20th century. Aeria, Didact, and their adoptive niece Hera, would mingle with the African tribes for the next few years after the activation of the Halo Array, later moving to present-day Japan to live in her brother's and wife's hut on the Pacific Ocean. Didact's Tribe, as it was come to be known, would be the last Forerunner society left in the Milky Way Galaxy. Based in Japan, they abandoned all ways of technology and completely secluded themselves from the outside world. It was only through the tribe's downfall a thousand years later, to a flu outbreak, that led the Human populations to breed with the remnants of the tribe, and give birth to the first "Reclaimers". Over one hundred thousand years later, the number of Humans with the Ancient Reclamation Gene exceeded just under five million.
Rikku Osala spent two years on the Ark exploring it's artificially-created natural beauty and writing his multi-thousand page memoirs that would be uploaded into many systems throughout the installation. The seclusion and the loneliness of the Ark had no effect on the young soldier, who opted not to activate the various hologram programs that the scientists only years prior, enjoyed. After a near-death accident while climbing near the Citadel, Rikku decided to give himself the rest he finally deserved. After two decades of war, atrocities, plague, death, and sorrow, Commodore Osala entered the tranquility and everlasting dream of a cryopod.
"For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars— pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time" The final words of Rikku Osala to his friend, Exalted Heroin.