Halo 2: AVoTS Chp 8---The Jump
Posted By: Mark Lieberg
Date: 10 July 2005, 9:29 am
Altered Version of True Spartans
AN: I have something to say in the comments section when this gets posted, and I would like to say thanks to all you Fan Fiction writers and Readers and Great, Great Teachers out there.Four months of readin, rereadin, editing, re-editing, writing, and re-writing I've completed half of this chapter.
Now to the Chapter
1210 Hours, September 15, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Earth's Solar System, Planet Earth,
UNSC Cruiser Gettysburg, in orbit of Earth,
Fighter Bay A-01.
John, one of the last greatest warriors of mankind, grabbed the heavy Covenant metallic bomb, which he had defused a few minutes ago when the Cairo Stations personnel were at a life threatening situation, and dragged it onto the elevator, which the damn thing barely fit. Once inside the elevator, John pushed in a button on the panel and the elevator started down into the belly of the ship. John stood next to the bomb in the elevator while it darted downwards to the bay. The space was already cramped, and John didn't like it. "You know what you are doing is crazy." Cortana stated looking at John from inside his heads-up display interface.
"So, stay here." John replied with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. Cortana thought that finally the Chief had finally gotten his sense of humor she always admired back on Reach. Before Dr. Halsey thought John was a well good leader, capable of commanding many, including his brothers and sisters to fight the war, and she was right. John was the prefect candidate to become the leader, and now was as good as any to get his humor back.
"Unfortunately for both of us. I like crazy." Cortana added being sarcastic as John smiled. Yes, he sure did get his mood back up, Cortana thought as she watched the Chief look at the side of the small room, examining the elevator seeing red lights passing by quickly. The sound of a hum whizzed pass and the elevator shook, as it was closer to the bay. Both Cortana and John knew what their doing was totally crazy, so the AI decided she need to relax more, learn of what was going on outside the ship.
"I am going to open the com-chatter to listen in on what's going on. I hope you don't mind." Cortana informed John as she opened every UNSC Frequency in range of the ship they were on.
Before John could reply with a, 'go ahead', he heard static and then a com-chatter open up like the people were sitting in a conference room speaking to each other loudly.
" Sir, they folded into our formation!" One man had yelled as it had sounded as if he were on a ship, because John could hear him in the background yell to fire archer pods B6 through B8. After the sentence, static erupted and then a quick reply came from the Admiral Hood.
" Son I told you to calm down." The Admiral stated as the man started to yell more, panicking about what to do before his station was overrun with Covenant boarding parties. John knew the Admiral was on the Cairo, continuing to hold back the Covenant while they were getting boarded.
"Additional Contacts are coming everywhere out of Slipspace." He said more calmly as he started to regain what was on his mind.
"Proceed to Rally Point Alpha." Hood ended quietly as another man, a General, entered the conversation. The General sounded calmer, probably on the main Central Command Magnetic Acceleration Cannon Station. The General spoke up talking on his end to the Admiral.
" Listen Admiral. You can not let them maintain orbit," the General stated as his station fired multiple salvos from the five MAC cannons on the station into a Covenant Capital Ship. One of the rounds hit its nose's shields and it flickered. Another two entered the middle section causing the shields to flicker with a faint white line, and the fourth missed the middle causing the enemies shields to regenerate, but when the ship fired its plasma torpedoes, the fifth salvo entered through the center. Dead in its track was the command bridge of the vessel. After that, the ship began to bubble up in the middle section of the teardrop shaped vessel.
A few kilometers away, a squadron of fighters, First Echelon, formed an attack pattern shape of an arrow, and fired their archer missiles into the vessels belly causing the ship to malfunction and when one missile reached close enough to the reactor tank, the ship exploded in a calm and quiet manner.
The Admiral responded after a cheer of victory as the Covenant Capital Ship was reported destroyed, " I'm trying General, but we lost advantage to try and keep them out of the perimeter! All Frigates are combat ineffective, and the Fighters. They don't have enough punch to take out a Covenant Assault Carrier!" John continued to stand in the elevator, anxious to get to battle, but then another reply came, from the General's station.
"Your pilots let up. But down here, it's the God Damn Apocalypse!" The General stated as an explosion rippled threw space as two nearby frigate exploded, possibly from the hundreds of Seraph fighters flying through space, sneaking up like a mosquito and attacking its prey by boarding and dropping off troops onto the frigates leaving bombs.
"I'm asking you to retarget the orbiter!" The General yelled to the Admiral as the station shook beneath his feet. He looked around and grabbed a submachine gun below his desk. He cocked the charging handle, and then looked around. A Lieutenant from the other side of the Generals desk nodded and pointed towards the door. Before the two battled the boarders, Admiral hood responded.
" And let more of them swift the kill zone! That's insanity!" The Admiral yelled again taking a breath. He looked back, and stated, "There's nothing more I can do." Back on the station, the General wasn't happy as five spec-op elite units charged in, firing plasma at the two humans.
"What difference does it make?" another man asked, "We are taking heavy fire from the Capital Ships. Not to mention the Hundreds of Dropships that landed everywhere on the planet!" a Colonel pointed out as he issued his Lieutenant to fire the archer pods on the ship.
"The Cruisers are getting passed our defenses. One of them has passed through a battle cluster, and their heading towards the surface. Alone!" another Admiral yelled as his station rumbled from the salvo that just launched itself into space. Back on the Gettysburg, John didn't like how this was sounding. It was Admiral Hood's battle cluster that couldn't keep one cruiser away from the surface, including the hundreds of drop ships heading down to the surface. This was bad, real bad.
" Their taking down our defense, it's to intense, and our grid has maxed. I don't think we'll last another run." a young Marine entered in as the elevator reached the fighter bay, and its double doors slid apart. John grabbed the bomb and pulled it out of the elevator and into the wide-open room. The docking bay doors were closed shut, and beyond the window was a view of Earth.
John took another few steps, and released his grip on the bomb. He dragged it off the elevator, and onto the metal bay, and left it there in the back. John held his rifle close, and walked towards the double sealed windows that over viewed Earth. He saw Earth, and the hundreds of dropships entering the atmosphere. He thought about the past, he wouldn't let Earth down, not like Reach. The Planet was covered with dots and in the view he could see two more ships breaking through three battle clusters and heading towards the surface. My God, we could be late, Cortana thought as she entered the conversation also.
John heard Cortana say, "Tell your men to hold their position Admiral, reinforcements are at the spoke." John walked back towards the pillar that was metallic in the middle of the bay. He walked towards it, and stopped next to it. He turned around.
"The entire fleet is engaged Cortana. With respect, what the hell sort of reinforcements do you got?" another Admiral yelled to Cortana as the Covenant Cruisers, and Fighters that flew everywhere obliterated more UNSC vessels.
" Trust me on this one Admiral." Cortana ended as quickly as she started, and saw the pillar next to John, which was in the middle of the room. "Chief? Once you access the panel to the module the bay doors will automatically open." Cortana told the Chief as he walked near the module in the center of the bay.
John paused for a few seconds, and thought about the past. Was he going to save Earth? Was he going to make the jump? Was he going to be alive to see his new brothers and sisters? The thoughts all rang in his mind, but the AI then interrupted him and his thoughts when John heard a last sentence from the com-traffic, "Ma'am, its closing below your position, near proximity zero."
Cortana gave her thanks to the Marine and cut the channel. She was thinking would they make it? There was a huge possibility that they would miss, but then again, there is a huge possibility that they could make it. There fore, before Cortana jumped with the Chief, that question pondered on her mind. So she wanted to ask the Chief for his thoughts, so she asked, "just one more question before we make the jump. What if we miss?"
John hit the panel, and a switch came out from inside the pillar. He grabbed hold of it and looked at the bomb, which lied in front of him, ready to leave the station with him.
John pulled the switch, and he pressed his weight on the module. Air was sucked out into space as cargo debris flew out with it abrupt decompression cycle. John didn't hear anything, so he grabbed tight of his rifle. The bomb that was in the back of the bay started to budge while John stared at it. The bomb then picked up with the decompression cycle, and flew out slowly.
In a quick second, it was sucked out, but John's reaction time was quicker, so he slung his rifle and then caught the device in mid air, hitching a ride as he floated down through space. While in mid-space, he saw a UNSC ship fly past him. He then saw a fire and an explosion, and to his surprise, a plasma beam cut threw the thick ship and it exploded from the starboard side and out. The ship exploded again, and it ripped in half. The ships two-part body stayed in space as the Spartan fled in-between the debris and towards the cruiser that caused the destruction. He was getting closer, and closer by the second as the ship in front of John powered its weapon again for an attack to another vessel.
Focusing back into play, the Chief could see a squad of Longsword fighters fly in swiftly towards the cruiser from behind him. As John continued to hold the bomb, he observed the squadron fly ahead. They must have seen John, or were dispatched from the Lieutenant taking command of the Gettysburg/Fireball, because they flew close, real close by the top part of the ship. Just before the squadron rammed into the ship's sliver glowing shields, the cruiser fired once more, dropping the shields long enough for John and the Fighters to get underneath. The Longsword fighters dropped five; two hundred pound bombs over the Covenant ship. Explosions rippled on the enemy's hull, and it created a large enough hole for John to get in.
The Cruisers shields deactivated again, and the squadron boosted out of the ships perimeter and fled to help other vessels. The Spartan however, shifted his weight enough to change his trajectory and land in the hole that was created by the squadron. John got the bomb placed inside the ships hallway. Just before the Master Chief got up, the huge hole that was above him turned to a bright blue, created some kind of shielding around the entry point. "They must have shielded the breach, interesting." Cortana said to herself while John examined the purple hallways, which made no way of telling which way it led.
"Well this is a bad." John said to Cortana as he saw a few dead covenant engineers. The bodies stood out well, but that wasn't what John was looking at.
"Chief. I hacked into the Covenant Battlenet. This is the Covenant Cruiser the Inquisitor. I am reading firefights through out the ship. It looks like, Chief you aren't going to believe this." Cortana said as John waited patiently. "The Flood, they are taking control of this ship. The Covenant have managed to seal the docking bay doors and shuttle bays, but they don't know how long it will hold before the Flood breach the security measures. We need to get to the reactor and detonate this vessel. If the Flood get to Earth, there is no telling what will happen." Cortana informed the Chief as he walked towards the dead bodies. There was a puddle of ooze, and a dead Combat Form Elite with a plasma rifle next to it. Shriveled up, and bleeding covering the floor with blood.
"Was it another ship that was attacked from the Halo ring that we didn't know about?" John told her wondering. "Or maybe from the gas giant by Halo. Where else would the Forerunner stash the Flood besides the ring?"
"Perhaps, checking data. The Covenant managed to isolate the Flood. Although, reports I am currently checking say they got infected just prior to the destruction of Halo. I thought the Covenant say they couldn't afford the Flood to leave the Ring. I guess I was wrong. But bringing the Flood here, wait. They were trying to destroy the Flood that was left on the ship while coming to Earth. What were they planning? They know that if one infection pod even touches a planet, it could mean chaos in the whole galaxy." Cortana muttered quickly to John as he knelt down and checked the body. Its Infection pod was deflated and dead. Cortana continued, "I'll set the timer to the bomb for thirty minutes." Cortana asked to the Chief. "Access me to that terminal Chief."
Right when Cortana ended the sentence, the bomb glowed bright red as it rearmed itself and set its timer to thirty minutes, just as Cortana had programmed it to. It ticked continuously. The Chief walked toward the terminal that was next to the dead engineers. He took out the chip from the base of his helmet and inserted the chip into the terminal. The terminal glowed blue and green for a split second and Cortana appeared on the panel near the entrance of a sealed door. "There are flood practically on every level of the ship. There's no Covenant AI, strange?" Cortana asked her self-checking the ships systems twice, and now a third time.
"The ships standard AI was erased. This is very confusing. The Covenant is talking about something called the 'Mound'. They call it a holy destroyer of all life. I wonder if it was the Halo's Flood Hive Mind. It could explain a lot why there is still Flood onboard the ship. It's something massive on this ship. The Covenant managed to isolate it, and they are calling all Hunter Kill-teams to eliminate the Mound. Strange? I can't detect any religious wordings for the creature, but
great," Cortana muttered at the end as the ship shook. Then she continued, "Chief get to the holding chamber on this level. Ill lead you through it."
"Can you give me a Navigation Point in my heads-up display?" The Chief asked as the ship shook.
"Not anymore. The Flood just blew up a navigational database for this ship. I can't access it from here. But I did manage to get the location of the ships Fusion Reactors prior to the explosion." The AI said with a hint of satisfaction. John continued to stand waiting for Cortana to speak. He wondered what was happening on Earth, but then something struck him. The timer for the bomb, it was counting, and fast.
Before John ran, he grabbed the chip, which Cortana knew why she had to leave quickly so she quickly downloaded herself into the chip, and he placed it back in the base of his helmet. Then Master Chief started to run through the hallways as a navigation marker appeared on his faceplate. He turned around a corner and was stopped by a door that wouldn't open when his presence was near. This caused him to agitate.
"Cortana?" John asked as he waited. He didn't like standing here in the middle of a corridor open for enemy fire to commence. "Cortana now is a good time." The Master Chief said as he looked at the timer he had placed on his heads-up display.
"Got it. There might be a gravity lift just three meters ahead of this door to your second left. It runs straight down to the engineering level, and you just have to run from there on." Cortana said. Easier said then done, John thought as Cortana read his mind.
As the Master Chief continued to run towards the gravity lift that was just nearby, he noticed something familiar. Something that looked almost like a tentacle, but it quickly vanished. "Chief, we need to get to the Reactor." After a few seconds, the Chief ignored what he saw and continued to the gravity lift. Before he reached the lift however, three blimps appeared on his tracer, and John was caught staring at an Elite with two Grunts.
The Master Chief raised his rifle and fired a quick shot. The first trio found its way to the orange armored Grunt. It punctured its body and blood spurted out. The Elite raised its hands, which carried double Plasma Rifles. Great, thought John as he ducked, rolled to the left, and stood straight quickly. When he rose, a blob of over charged plasma struck him in the chest. It washed past him as his shields took a beating. It was half full so John reacted quickly by firing his rifle. The bullets entered the Grunts head with out ease and another trio headed towards the Elites. It struck the alien, but its shield only flickered. He fired two more trios of bullets. The shield deflected them; "it has an over-shield layer on him. I suggest a grenade." Cortana suggested, as the Chief was one step ahead of her.
He tossed the M9 HE-DP Grenade at the Elite and watch it fly in the air getting swept off its feet. Another Grunt appeared from the gravity lift and faced John, it was surprised the seven-foot Spartan was still alive, so it turned around and starting running away squeaking with its hands in the air.
The Master Chief aimed at the cannon fodder, and fired.
The Chief jumped into the gravity lift and headed down to the engineering level. Once there, his feet felt something crush. It was a head of a Jackal. It was lying on the ground, blood pasted on the wall as the Chief's weight pressed on. He stepped off the pad, and reloaded his rifle. He noticed the navigation marker on his display, so he ran to the door, but before he made it, three green blobs sizzled past his face. Before John could react, Cortana said, "Chief, I'm getting reports that the Flood have broken into the weapons storage compartment. We need to blow this ship now!"
The Chief then turned around and knelt to his left quickly. He saw three easy targets, Grunts, and fired his rifle. "Can you start a self-destruct sequence?" the Spartan asked as he saw the Grunt fly backwards into a wall. Blood started to pour on the floor as John ran to the door. The Chief looked back at his timer.
"Negative. Something tampered with the self-destruct code. I can't initiate the sequence. We probably should have set the timer for the bomb for forty minutes." Cortana spoke to herself as the Chief entered through the door, found himself next to an adjacent hallway and chucked a grenade because he heard some noise, a familiar noise and two red dots on his motion tracker.
"Then lets get this over with," John said to Cortana as he rounded the corner a split second before he heard the explosion from the grenade. Two Flood Carriers fell on the ground, and exploded as two dozen infection pods swarmed in the air and onto the deck. They sensed the Master Chief, and crawled towards him. John didn't like the pods one bit, so he immediately opened up his rifle on the tiny beasts. They popped like balloons and in two seconds, they were gone. The Master Chief entered the door, as the navigation marker was just a foot from where he was.
"Wait Chief!" Cortana yelled in his helmet as the Chief observed the area, "Scanning the vicinity. There multiple enemy targets in the area, I suggest we avoid fighting for now. The core is just above you, nearly ten meters." Cortana said to the Chief as he looked up. There was a plank like structure over him that had a round machine sitting on top of it. By the looks of it, John figured it was the fusion reactor. Then another question arose. How in the hell was he supposed to get up there?
Plasma and grenades flew everywhere. John had seen the reactor, and in the air he saw a plasma grenade fly over him. A thought swept his mind and he turned. He looked straight forward, and saw a Combat Elite Form at his nine running towards him. The Chief raised the rifle, and fired. The creature fell down as the three bullets popped the infection form inside.
"Chief? You can throw right?" Cortana asked as John fired his rifle at another target.
"Of course I can!" the Chief yelled out loud as he fired again and again. The clip became empty, so John dumped the magazine and replaced it with a fresh new one
the last one.
John walked three feet from his current position, and looked up. He grabbed the two bundles of C-7 he always carried in his pouch and set the timer for five minutes. He pressed the button, and threw it as high as he could. The explosive reached half way, then three quarters, and then finally pasted the fusion reactor. And it kept going up, and up.
"Nice throw." Cortana said as John's shields went down half way. He ducked, and ran for cover towards a gap in the wall. The Master Chief watched the bundles fly in the air, and then, it started to fall with ease towards the inside of the reactor hatch. "The explosives made it, lets get out of here. There should be a fighter bay near here," Cortana said as she searched the Covenant database. The areas were all scrambled up, but she got a clear signal. "There, that's the fighter bay. If you run for it, we can make it." John started running out the door and down the hallway. Now he had two times on his clock, and he was focusing the one close to reaching zero.
First Timer 00:14:13
Second Timer 00:04:27
"I thought you said the navigation database was destroyed." John stated as he ran through the door, back traced his steps and starting running closer to the fighter bay.
"They did, I just grabbed a recovered a copy of the Covenant Cruiser Truth and Reconciliation's schematics. Their practically similar in design, almost." Cortana added later as the Chief sprinted even more.
"Just a little further, about two meters on the next left. There you will see two Elites. Use your fragmentation grenade. I've sent a frequency that jams their shield adapters. They should be defenseless." Cortana instructed the Chief as he ran.
"Where did you learn that?" John asked as he continued closing to the point where he needed to throw the grenades.
"I'll talk about it later." Cortana replied as the Master Chief ran the two meters, and chucked two grenades, with two shots from his rifle. The Elites went down without a hitch so the Spartan ran down the last five meters and into the door leading into the fighter bay, hopefully. Once inside, John looked around seeing three brightly lit shields active in the bay.
The Chief wondered where they were. "Cortana, where are we?" The Chief asked the AI. Cortana brightened quickly searching for where they were.
The Chief had no time to wait.
First Timer 00:10:56
Second Timer 00:01:10
After seeing the timer, he ran and dove down to a floating platform, and then swung down another few meters. They were on the very top level of the bay, but now they were on the second level, about to get to the first. "One more level Chief. I'm reading no aircraft in this bay. They must have launched them when they entered the system or─" Cortana ended as the Chief jumped down the last level.
"What do you expect me to do? Jump out of the ship?" John asked as ran towards the middle of the bay stopping to look at the timer.
First Timer 00:10:00
Second Timer 00:00:44
"My thoughts exactly." Cortana said as John ignored her, and ran for it. He reached the edge, and quickly Cortana deactivated the shields of the fighter bay. John was barely a centimeter before hitting the shields, but when they went off, the air pushed him out into space rapidly. The Master Chief made the jump.