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The Mind and the Master Part 3-The Ring
Posted By: Cthulhu117<spartan_eric_271@yahoo.com>
Date: 14 November 2005, 12:11 am

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Section 3-Eastwood Style

The Master was wondering if his descent was ever going to end when it did.

There was a thump muffled by the sound dampers in his helmet, and his teeth rattled painfully. He touched the door control pad. The door smoothly slid open, showing him Gamma Halo.

The sight was a beautiful, panoramic scene. He would have taken shore leave there, if there had been any such thing as shore leave anymore.

The Master sighed. During his drop towards the ring, he had been doing what the Reclaimers were never supposed to do- contemplate their lot in life. The Forerunners had forbidden it to his race after the Naij Rebellion. The revolt against the Forerunners was over two thousand years in the past know, and even the oldest of the Reclaimers had no memories of it anymore. It was better that way.

2,326 years ago, one of the Reclaimer leaders had started thinking about the situation his people were in. If the Flood won the century-long war that was taking place, he had realized, they would certainly destroy or infect his species. But if the Flood were defeated, the Forerunners would no longer require a combat-race. They would eradicate any race they didn't absolutely need, it was said, due to their experience with the Flood.

And so this one Reclaimer had gathered others to his cause and rebelled. They had been unsuccessful, of course. But it had taken the entire group of slave races and some unwitting Flood intervention to do so. Even now, the Forerunners didn't want the Reclaimers to start thinking. The Master knew why. They weren't sure they could defeat the Reclaimers again.

He pulled his weapons off the wall of the pod and stepped out. The Flood were not here yet, but he was fairly certain that they'd be here soon enough.

He checked the shotgun he'd taken. To his disappointment, it was out of shells. He wondered why the mind had given him a gun with only three shells in it. That was very much like it wanted him to get killed. He liked the MX160 line, but he had come to prefer Forerunner weaponry lately. He didn't have to reload for most of their weapons, and all he needed to worry about was the gun overheating.

As he dropped the shotgun and activated his double energy sword, three more pods dropped to the ring and a Sangheili climbed out of each. The biggest he recognized: it was Garva Kontolee', an Ultra. The others were both major Elites who he didn't know by name. Kontolee' strode up to the Master.

"Is the parasite here?" he asked in his gravelly voice.

"No," said the Reclaimer after some thought. There was a smell of metal in the air, but not the characteristic stink of Flood forms...yet.

He looked at the other side of the ring. It looked completed. It was complete. As he watched, a pulse came from points on the Halo's circumference and met in the middle. The Halo was ready to fire.

Which was something that the Flood must have guessed, because they immediately turned their ships away from the crippled Intangible Avenger and headed for the ring.

The Master looked back to the three Sangheili. There was a slight rasp to his voice as he commanded the trio.


"My Lord?"

"We're going to the control room of this place. We are going to destroy the Flood. We are going to activate Halo."

Section Four- Crusade

The Flood were leaving the doomed Forerunner ship. They had attacked it so heavily that even they couldn't repair it.

But on the bridge of the ship, the mind lay weak and dying in its antigrav bubble. The Flood had exposed the bridge to space. They didn't need to breathe. But the Forerunners did.

The Flood were abandoning the ship.

Yet on the ruined bridge, something was moving. It wasn't the mind.

It was a Flood Infection Form.

Or rather, several dozen Flood infection forms.

The mind wanted to do something about it as the tiny assassins crept towards him. Yet he couldn't. He couldn't even scream as they impaled him with half a hundred neural penetrators. He couldn't even think the word 'Gravemind' as the Flood made itself a part of him. No, not a part of him. The Flood made itself him.

On Halo, the Master was making progress. He was less than a mile away from the structure they called the control room. The Flood had started to land about an hour ago. Since then, he had been fighting ridiculous amounts of Flood without a pause.

One of the major Sangheili, Juva Temisolonee', had been killed by a Carrier form just seconds before. His shields had dropped from the pounding of a Plasma Rifle just as the blobby thing exploded behind him.

The other two Sangheili, Kontolee' and Hexa Potoyee', had piled into a Sangheili vehicle that the Master had dubbed a Spirit. It had a driver's seat, a passenger seat and a pulse laser that could destroy a Sangheili Seraph fightership in two hits.

At the moment, Potoyee' was on the turret, and he was losing it. He was wildly firing at anything that moved, even if it was only a tree swaying in the breeze.

"Make each shot count, fool!" howled Kontolee'. "That happens to be the last power cell we have!"

The Master neatly hopped into the Spirit and rode shotgun, blasting a Combat Form out of his way. "Do as he says, idiot!" he berated Potoyee'.

But the Elite was beyond listening. His sanity had snapped at the same time as Temisolonee's back.

There was suddenly a huge explosion. A Lek'golo infected by the Flood had fired a Fuel Rod beneath the Spirit, blowing it to shrapnel and chunks of Sangheili flesh. The blast had apparently removed Potoyee's midsection.

Kontolee' threw his Enforcer Needler aside and drew two energy blades from his back, grasping one in each big hand. As he ignited their blades, the mutant Lek'golo charged him. He dodged its strike and lashed it twice in its back.

The Hunter Form was too quick for him the second time. It lashed out backwards with incredible force. Kontolee' was slung sideways into the air and skidded into a rock. He glared at the Flood beast and charged it, injured, without an energy shield and weaponless.

The hellish Lek'golo thing was suspicious of some kind of a trick. When no such trick presented itself, it met Garva Kontolee' head on. The Master winced as purple blood splattered his armor. There wasn't a piece of Kontolee' left bigger than a hand grenade. The Flood Hunter had fired his fuel rod cannon at the furious Elite somewhere during their meeting.

As the Master picked up a dropped Plasma Rifle to try and deal with the monstrosity, he was surprised by a small glowing purple sphere, which appeared to be watching the action. As he looked at it, it spoke in a voice that grated on the Master's nerves.

"Oh, hello, Reclaimer. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Monitor of Installation zero-seven. I am one-one-seven-six-four-nine Reproachable Instigation. We must activate the ring. But the Flood are too numerous already on Gamma Halo. On Alpha Halo, you will have a better chance of retrieving the Index and activating the pulse. This way."

The Master dissolved into a field of golden shimmer, and as he felt himself traversing a vast distance in interstellar space, his last thought was a hope that Alpha Halo didn't have a Monitor as well.