Legacy: A 500,000-Year Old Saga of Guns & Lightsabers
Posted By: SeverianofUrth
Date: 24 February 2006, 2:27 pm
Legacy: A 500,000 Year-Old Saga of Guns & Lightsabers. [I]
Part One of Two.
"So are they finally thawing him out, then?" Lewin Dryk frowned at the ancient cryo-chamber before him. Through the layer of frost, he could make out the dim green-armored figure inside.
The Twi'lek--his name was Vrun--beside him giggled. "Yes! After three long monthes of bureacratic twiddling, we're going to bring him back to at last. Just imagine it--the oldest living specimen of humanity ever found!"
"But it's going to be peaceful. So why am I here?" Dryk thumbed the lightsaber tucked into his belt, more out of habit then anything else. "After all, this thing is ancient. I doubt that old-time humans would pose much threat, even if they were inclined to do so."
"The protocols state otherwise," the Twi'lek said. "Besides, our scans show otherwise; the human is quite formidable, physically." Vrun motioned for one of the droids to come forward. It, a golden speciment that looked vaguely humanoid, pattered forward on metal limbs. "Bring up a holo of the scans, please," the Twi'lek asked.
The droid complied, and before the Jedi a small, rotating vision of the human locked inside the cryo chamber was projected. The first thing Dryk noticed was that the man inside was unusally... large. Then the holo switched to the skeletal structure, and he gasped as the man's bones were shown to be, also, rather unusually thick and--
"Unbreakable?" Dryk asked, after reading one of the notes floating beside the figure. "His bones are unbreakable?"
"Well, not so much unbreakable as very break-resistant."
"So what is he? A freak?"
"Some of our experts have translated the language used back then, and it shows that this man was on a mission-- against something called the 'Covenant.' No idea what that is, however."
Dryk stared again at the hologram floating above him. "He looks fat. With those heavy limbs I doubt he'll pose much threat, speed-wise." Yes, he thought: he would dance around the ancient if the need arose, and hack away at the limbs first. Cripple the beast, topple the mountainous. "This should be a cinch. Should the ancient ever attack, I should be able to take care of him quite easily."
"That's why you're here," the Twi'lek replied. "The Senate felt that having a Jedi preside over the operations would... smooth things over a bit."
"More bureacratic twiddling?" asked Dryk, smiling.
"Oh, yes. It never ends. Still, this is worth it-- we'll be able to talk to him! Imagine that, Jedi! A man from five hundred thousand years ago, long before recorded history, or at least what we have of it."
The Jedi pointed out, "But we'll have no idea what he's saying."
"That can be taken care of," Vrun said. "It's nothing. We converse daily with our friendly Hutts, correct? Not to mention the Wookie laborers. It'll be nothing." He hummed. "I'm also very fascinated with that armor the human is wearing. Primitive, but marvelous; it's fully functioning, too, which is just great. S'gurakin--"
"Who's that?" Dryk asked, cutting in.
"That blue marsh-dweller over there," the Twi'lek replied. He pointed out the alien's tentacles. "Anyways, she discovered that the human's suit held some sort of a force-field device; we've charged it up with remote power transfers. Also, our research pointed out that cryo-resurrection was far more primitive in those days, so we're just using our own methods."
"Oh, yes. In those days, a brief moment of hazy disconnection followed right after awaking--and after that drunken moment, you really weren't fit for much, not until you stretched out your limbs and 'got your bearings,' as the Coruscantians say." Vrun smiled. "My son taught me that."
"Right," Dryk said. He stared at the frozen form. Why did he have such a bad feeling about this? "So he'll pop out fully refreshed--is that it?"
"Yes. Normally, that's not how we'd do such things, ancient alien beings usually being bloodthirsty folk, but you're here, and the Council felt that in this case, it would be safe enough. And besides, again, you're here."
"Of course." The Jedi thumbed his lightsaber. "Of course."
Oh, God. I have a ache in my back...
Master Chief slowly came to consciousness, and found himself staring at the familiar frost-hoared glass of a cryo chamber. He was, or had been, frozen; and now, as the glass was raised and he was given leave to get up, he wondered just how long he had spent sleeping.
Then something popped out. It was blue and had tentacles. Adrenaline shot high and he lunged forward, reflexes taking over, as the thing before him--no idea what it was, but it had to be something from the Covenant--emitted a high-pitched scream. The Chief lashed out with his fist, and simply smashed through the alien's head, leaving behind only a bloody ruin in his wake.
Jesus. The Chief realized that the Dubya, the ship that had been ferrying his frozen body to what was postulated to be the Forerunners' homeworld, had been taken over by the hostiles. And he had no weapons. He glanced around, and saw that--
The two doors at the end of the chambers slid open, and white-armored things surged out, strange-looking guns in hand. The Chief was shocked as he realized that those armored figures were human, or at least similar in proportions. Then they began shooting: a red bolt of some energy splashed against his shield--which was active right after his awakening, strange--and he rolled to the side, tactical options riffling through his head. It was clear that these people--or things, you never knew--were his enemies, at least for the time being. He had no weapons. There wasn't enough cover in the room, asides from the cryo-tube, and that would only last a second under such a barrage. No choice then: and with that in mind, he charged. His motions blurred; the troopers panicked under such a display of speed; and then the Spartan was upon them.
"Oh, dearie," Vrun whispered. Dryk paid the Twi'lek no mind as they watched the five-hundred-thousand year-old human massacre a squad of Republic Commandos.
"He's fast," the Jedi said. "Unusually fast. If I didn't know better I'd say that he was Jedi-trained... but I can't sense the Force, around him. I would have to check the Mitochlorian levels to be sure, but still--"
"He killed S'gurakin." Vrun turned towards Dryk, and whispered again, "he killed him. Just like that. A punch."
"Very strong, too. And some sort of a shielding system around his armor-- do you think it'll repel a lightsaber?" Then the Jedi noticed that the Twi'lek was paralyzed with shock and fear. Sighing, he wondered if he should modulate the Force in such a way to instill cheery feelings in Vrun, but decided that a simple slap to the head-tails would accomplish the same thing.
"So do you think his armor can repel a lightsaber/" Dryk asked again.
"I mean... I don't know. Regular blaster fire just seemed to melt away off him, but a lightsaber's power levels are about a hundred times more intense, so... Oh, I don't know."
"Guess I'll just have to go in, then." Dryk turned, and started walking towards the door. "I want you to call for more back up. Not troopers, but real Jedi. I'll hold him off. Make sure that the lockdown procedures are in place."
"Watch out!" Vrun squealed.
"It shouldn't be too hard," the Jedi said. "The Commandos were shooting to stun, not kill; I'm not going to make the same mistake as they did."
The Chief collected two of the guns and practiced firing them, one in each hand; they were smooth, with almost no recoil, and he was satisfied to see two big black holes scorch on the steel walls. He tried to wipe the guilty feeling out of his mind, remembering how these soldiers had bled red, like men. He had killed humans before, but after fighting exclusively the Covenant--and all other sorts of aliens--for so long, the feel of human blood on his hands was very unpleasant.
He decided that he had better things to worry about for now, like survival. He was trapped behind enemy lines, vastly outnumbered, confused and alone, and there was no telling what the next minute might bring. It was a very familiar feeling.
Where was he? The interior was certainly of a ship, but something within him, call it intuition if you will, whispered that it was not so; this place was something or somewhere else. The Spartan tried his comm channels, and found only static.
Then came the realization that he had no idea how long he had slept. Cryogenic sleep was like that. What if--this possibility actually frightened him--he was lost in time, or other such nonsense? The Spartan turned back to the dead bodies on the floor, and lifted off one of the corpses' helmet. It came off, and he saw--
A vaguely Asiatic face. The Chief cursed, to himself. Either these people were rebels against the UNSC who somehow had found, and were collaborating with, unknown species of aliens, or he really was lost in time.
He bent over another corpse and pulled off it's helmet. The same identical face stared back at him, dead, eyes open and staring. Were they twins? Then he moved onto the next dead body, and then the next--
They all had the same faces. Clones, the Chief thought. Flash-clones, or others of that ilk. The Chief cursed again. This was certainly a proof that he was sometime in the future, that he had slept for far too long. Cloning had not been perfected in his time, after all.
The doors slid open again. John stood up and turned towards the man striding in. The man walking through the doors had brown hair, was dressed in something that looked like a cross between old European tunics and a monkish robe, and held a metal rod in his hands. The Chief saw how the man held himself, erect and proud, and deduced that this must be a authority figure, in this future.
John was no diplomat, and he disliked what he considered bartering of politics. He preferred the solid, brutal, yet firm reality of the battlefield. Yet it was clear that these men were not his enemies, though they might consider themselves his.
Languauge must have changed, since his time. The Chief raised up his hands, palms out and spread towards the man, trying to communicate peaceful intentions. He didn't want to kill this newcomer, for diplomacy usually didn't start with murder.
But the newcomer uttered something alien, and there he sprang, fast, blurring and exploding into motion. The Chief barely avoided the man's swing of--what was this?--his energy sword.
This man had to be augmented; no normal human being could move so fast. John felt then a stab of envy, at the other's lack of disfigurement. He looked normal, yet was not, while he, the Spartan, was irrevocably marked by his size and other such abnormal traits.
Then the man lunged, his energy-blade blurring; the Chief dodged backwards, the tip of the weapon coming perilously close to his helmet--
It was but a glancing touch, but his shields overloaded from just that brush with the weapon. John watched that glowing blade with new respect: the thing was very, very lethal. And the man before him was even faster then the higher-up Elites he had fought before.
Another swing, this time followed by a flurry of slashes; it was all John could do to keep himself from being sliced open. Then his opponent stopped, and stepped back. The Chief circled him warily, wondering just what he might do--the man was raising his arm towards him, palm open--
Some invisible force gripped him 'round the chest, and hurled him away. He was battered against the steel wall, and no sooner was he back on his feet that the swordsman was again upon him. The blade swung for his face; the Chief ducked; the weapon melted through the steel wall above him, then slashed downwards.
The saber never finished it's swing. The Master Chief's fist punched through the man's guts, and jutted out the back. Blood dripped, and when the Chief drew his arm back out, the man's entrails splattered all over the floor. The energy blade deactivated, and clattered to the ground. Shock filled the man's eyes; shock, surprise, and fear. Then he sunk to his knees, and slowly, his hand drifted up to the spilled ruin of his stomach. Blood still seeped out in thick gulping rivulets.
The Chief stared into the dead man's face. As the corpse toppled over to the side, the Spartan, for the first time in years, felt true remorse for killing--for fighting--for murder.
But there was nothing he could do. Circumstances had carried him into this indescriably distant future. He couldn't go back, and so he would have to fight for his survival. The Chief picked up the energy sword, knowing that it would come in use.
"The council begs assistance, it does?" The little green Jedi picked up his lightsaber. Still young, the warrior motioned for his apprentice to follow.
"Yes, Master Yoda," the padawan said. He was human, tall, and pale. "Some sort of a security mess-up. Jedi Dryk was sent in, but word was sent that he was killed, indicating Sith interference."
"The Sith, yes? Then help, I will." And there Yoda marched off, and his mind probed the Force shimmering around the planet--there was a disturbance around here, but it did not reek of the Dark Side. That disturbed him, a bit; it indicated some force in motion, beyond the black-and-white contrasts of the Light and Dark. But then, a Jedi's blood had been spilled; the transgressor must pay.
"And orders have come down, Master Yoda," his padawan said, "that lethal force is authorized in this case. Apparently, this human is a rogue Jedi of some sort, kept in cryo for five hundred millenias."
Yoda nodded; he was piqued, by that. Five hundred thousand years old... there was much that this human could tell him about ancient history. Much had been lost in the years of colonization and warfare, as humans traveled and encountered vast varieties of alien life on distant planets. And there, the little green Master decided that he would capture this rogue alive, if possible.
But, as they say, the best laid plans of little green men often go astray...
End of Part One.