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An Unggoy Life: Chapter 24: The Apocalypse of Armagedddon
Posted By: CrazyGrunt<thomas-hoskins@comcast.net>
Date: 14 September 2005, 2:53 pm

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Armageddon Flame, Tactical Room

      Lord Grievous stood at the western end of the Holomap. Ghazghkull, the Great Despot, Urgok the Unstoppable, and their subordinates had all come to the meeting, including his own generals.
      "As I'm sure you all have been informed," Grievous wheezed, "The conquest of Armageddon has hit a snag in the plan that I had not foreseen. The Flood had been on Armageddon, buried underneath five human miles of ice for an untold number of years in the Deadlands. My guess is that they were there before the activation of the Halos, and were suspended in an inanimate state when the rings were activated."
      "How they got there, I do not know. I remembered the Flood being emprisoned on the seven Installations, but I never recalled them being placed on an actual planet."
      He looked around the Holomap, looking at the group gathered around it. He could see that everyone else was confused by what he had said. He could almost see the gears in their brains grinding to comprehend with it. He felt satisfaction, an emotion he had not felt in millions of years. It felt excellent.
      "One city has been taken by the Flood," He continued, "A city called Helsreach. That city was supposed to be taken by Warlord Skrag's Gargant Big Mob. Wasn't he fighting under your emblem, Urgok?"
      "That 'e was," Urgok replied, "He would be here with us, but he is aboard the Command Gargant at Acheron."
      "His incompetence is becoming tiring," Grievous said dangerously, "I suggest you give him this incentive to capture Acheron at all costs: Capture the city, or don't come back at all."
      "Well, that will definitely motivate him," Ghazghkull chuckled.
      "What about the enemy fleet in orbit around Pelucidar, my Lord?" The Great Despot questioned.
      "Patience Great Despot," Grievous answered, "They will be dealt with after we control the planet. Dismissed."
      Unknown to the group as they exited, a Grot had been listening to the entire conversation inside the vent, with an audio recording device, and had recorded the entire meeting. The Grot, whose name was Grubbad, pressed the stop button, and crawled stealthy back through the vent, and headed for the shuttle hangar. If he could get this info to the UWSC fleet, they could help the secret three-strong Grot resistance, which was planning to defect to the UWSC.
      He reached a slant in the vent that led to the shuttle hangar. This was the part Grubbad had always liked about this mission was the ventilation system. The slide.
      "Wheeeeee!" Grubbad whispered as he slid down toward the vent cover, so as not to alert the ship of intruders.
      He had be there to co-pilot the Ork shuttle back to the Gorka and Morka for Ghazghkull, or he would be wormfood for sure.
      Thankfully, the Droids never bothered with posting sentries at the doorways to the hangar because Grievous thought that all the Orks and their sub-forms were completely loyal to their masters. He had a lot to learn about Orks.
      Grubbad glanced at the Ork shuttle. It looked to the common Ork, it looked like a medium-sized asteroid with thrusters. But Grubbad knew better, because he had helped Orkimedes build it. The huge crater on the top of the 'asteroid' was actually a viewport for the pilot of the shuttle, and if looked at from the outside, it looked like a huge crater.
      Grubbad scampered up the boarding ramp and into the hollowed out section that was the passenger room. The room was basically covered in three inch thick Titanium-A. It had a small copper ladder leading up to a trapdoor on the ceiling that was the human equivalent of two feet squared.
      Grubbad climbed up the ladder with the grace of monkey, even wieghed down with the recording device. Then he heard a sound that made his pale green skin go white with fear. It was the sound of the hangar door opening.
      Grubbad hurriedly punched in the three-digit code. 1-3-0. Damnit, he thought as the trapdoors display display flashed ACCESS DENIED. The code was 1-3-0, it was 0-1-3.
      He rapidly punched in the code. The trapdoor's display flashed ACCESS APPROVED, and the locks deactivated.
      He pushed the trapdoor opened, and was quickly heaved up by the ship's Grot pilot, Gullzag, and the Grot manning the shuttle's Comm system, Wazzagrub, who were both members of the resistance.
      "Did ya get it?" Gullzag asked quietly as he quickly closed the trapdoor. His red eyes contrasted with his white skin, most of which was covered by a leather cloak which underneath he wore a pair of pants made from the jumpsuit of a dead Ork.
      At first glance, one would guess that Gullzag was scared. But Grubbad and Wazzagrub knew that Gullzag was an albino Grot, which made him an oddball. This status made him a bullying target for the Orks, who would usually kick him and beat him more than other Grotz.
      Wazzagrub looked like a normal Grot, with pale green skin and a pair of brown leather pants made from the same material of that Gullzag's were. The difference was that Wazzagrub was obessed with speed.
      "Oi, scumbags," Ghazghkull yelled into the Comm mic in the passenger room, "Get dis shuttle out of the hangar NOW!"
      Gullzag and Grubbad scrambled into their seats and started up the engines. Grubbad heard the hiss of the boarding ramp closing. He turned around and saw Wazzagrub setting up the long-range Comm, so they could contact the UWSC fleet.
      "Sending message now," Wazzagrub said, "Lets hope the Orks aren't listening."
      "I think the Droid Army is though," Grubbad said in horror as he watched a lasercannon battery on the Droid flagship they had just left charge up and prepare to fire, "Hurry up with the message."
      "Message is sent," were the last words Wazzagrub uttered before the lasercannon battery annhilated the shuttle with a single salvo.

      Ghazghkull stood in the hangar, watching with satisfaction as the rebel Grotz were killed.

      Thomas walked toward the grey landing pad at Acheron's spaceport as a Banshee landed there.
      "If you came looking for refuge, you're in the wrong place," Thomas said as he shouldered his Shotgun, "The city is being evacuated."
      "I came to warn you," the Sangheili said as he got out of the Banshee, "The Flood are on Armageddon."
      "SAY WHAT!" Thomas yelled in surprise.
      "The troops from Helsreach and Death Mire are heading for the Pillar of Autumn II as we speak," The Sangeili continued, "You must get your people to the ship ASAP."
      "Understood," Thomas nodded, "There's only the ODSTs of 5th Platoon that aren't casualties defending. That's about five men. We got one Pelican left. Everyone else has left for the ship. Lets get moving!"

      "Ma'am!" Cortana called as she picked up the Grot's message, "We received a transmission from a Ork shuttle two seconds ago. The message is an audio recording of a meeting between the commander of the Droid Army fleet, and the three Ork Warlords. The Warlords refer to the person commanding the Droids as "my Lord." This 'Lord' says that the Flood is on Armageddon, and had been undetected by humans because they were suspended in an inanimate state underneath five miles of ice. There is reference to a 'Great Despot' and it sounds as if this 'Lord' was there when Halo was orginally activated."
      "then we have no choice," Miranda said as she reached the command chair, "Are all the civilians and troops accounted for?"
      "Yes ma'am," Cortana replied, "Everyone is accounted for."
      "Then we use the Novas," Miranda sighed, "Launch one toward Armageddon. Send the second one at the Droid fleet. Set the detonators for one hour. That should give us enough time to make the slipspace jump back to Earth."
      "It is now 1300 hours universal time. Detonation time set for thirty seconds before 1400 hours," Cortana said, "Novas launched. Ma'am, we may need to get moving in less than thirty seconds. there is a Ork task force headed in our direction."
      "Navigation!" Miranda yelled, "We need a slipspace jump now!"

      Two seconds later, the Pillar of Autumn II, Gettysburg, and New Denver all jumped to slipspace. The Armada of the Great Despot had been given orders to destroy them, so when the UWSC ships jumped, the armada pulled into a stationary orbit around the small planet of Pelucidar.
      Urgok's Armada was given the task of patrolling half of the system's Oort cloud, to make sure the UWSC ships didn't double back. Grand Warlord Ghazghkull's fleet, accompanied by the Armageddon Flame and the battleship Apocalyptic Visions, patrolled the other half. The Droid Army fleet had been ordered by Grievous to continue maintaining orbit above Armageddon. The two other important Droid Army ships, the destroyer Grand Annihilator, the carrier Geneosis's Pride, and the three battleships Judgement Day, Day of Reckoning, and The Apocalypse.
      Five Ork Roks were stationed in orbit above the five Roks on the surface of Armageddon, because when one landed, it immediately became an instant fortress when it touched the ground. When the Flood had been unleashed, the Orks had begun using the 'tellyporta' installed on the Roks to teleport the Ork Warbands back to the ships they had been teleported from, even though the Ork fleets were near the edge of the system.
      Aboard the Armageddon Flame, Grievous had captured several Flood specimens for studying purposes. Among them was Holi, who had awoken and retained semi-consciousness ever since the Infection Form in her body had been captured and her entire body was placed in a cryotube in the interrogation room.
      At fifteen minutes to 1400 hours, the three Droid battleships in orbit around Armageddon made a small slipspace jump to meet with the Armageddon Flame and join the patrol, as the five Roks planetside began charge their slipspace generators. The plan was to make the jump into slipspace planetside and damage enough ground to wipeout the Flood that were planetside.
      Thirty seconds to 1400 hours, the Novas went off.


      Grievous slammed his fist into the table in the Interrogation room. The human bitch who commanded the UWSC ship Pillar of Autumn II was very cunning, that much credit was due. She had vaporized the majority of his fleet, along with the Grand Annihilator and Geneosis's Pride, and ten Ork Roks at once.
      They knew how to fight dirty. She was nearly as cunning in tactics as his own race had been. He had controlled the planet for an hour, only for it to blow up in his face.
      A blinking red light flashed on the Holopad he had with him. He must be receiving a Comm. He touched the blinking light, and the Holoscreen split into rectangular thirds. The face of Ghazghkull, Urgok, and the Great Despot each appeared on one of the thirds.
      "It seems that the UWSC had a backup plan in case the planet was captured," Ghazghkull growled, "We should have killed them when we had the chance."
      "While the extensive destruction of my fleet is a considerable loss," Grievous replied, "I know the location of the fragmented Covenant forces, and the Ark. I also know the location of the first Halo."
      The three Warlords gawked at him. The seven Halos were spread across the galaxy, each fifty thousand lightyears apart.
      "There are only seven true Halos," Grievous began, "The one Ghazghkull and I encountered on the ice planet, which, like Armageddon, is now gone, was a false Halo. The ring that had been embedded in the planet was designed to perform the opposite function of its larger counterpart. Instead of trying to starve the Flood, the ring was designed to annihilate it."
      "Installation 001 has a different effect when it activates," Grievous continued, "Unlike the six other Halos, it does not destroy sentient life. The ring's library contains a staff that can be used like the Index, but it will have a strange effect. The effect of this staff will reveal something in that Halo, and that something can only be obtained by the Ark. Unfortunately, the library is crawling with millions of Infection Forms."
      "Which is why we must head for the Isengard system," Grievous concluded, "If we ever are going to obtain this awesome power."
      "How do know this?" Ghazghkull asked, awed by the information.
      "I am a Forerunner,"Grievous replied.