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HALO 3552, Chapter 1
Posted By: Wesley Frost<chefwesley@hotmail.com>
Date: 2 December 2007, 11:19 pm

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Chapter 1
Year: 3552
Planet: Extended Reach
Section: CZ3

Spartan-2931 stepped off of the platform overlooking the sniper training field and started to walk down the field. It was 0600 in the morning and he had decided to do some early morning sniper training while the sun began to rise over the horizon. He was remembered all of the early battles he had been in while a young boy. Sniping was all he had ever really known. There was no memory of a life before becoming a Spartan. He enjoyed the breeze blowing, even if he couldn't feel it. He enjoyed watching the trees sway and the way that the dew glistened from the sunlight combined with the gentle movement of the wind.
S-2931 turned around to see Mick, or Spartan-2945 as his dog-tags read. He was walking briskly towards Alex. A walk that only a Spartan could do. It wasn't an easy task for anyone to move the half-ton armor, but for a Spartan it was as effortless as blinking an eye. Mick slowed as he became closer to Alex.
"We are being deployed soon," said Mick. "General Tsao is expecting us shortly for the debriefing."
"Let's get going then," replied Alex.
Mick turned and started walking off. Alex did the same, but then stopped for a second and took a glimpse behind him at the target he was aiming for just a few minutes before. He noted the three shots in the chest of the cutout and the one in the forehead. He had only taken four shots and had hit exactly where he was aiming. Satisfied he turned back around and followed up the steps that Mick had just fluidly ran up.
When he reached the top he scanned his palm readout (the UNSC and gone from neck "barcodes" to palm readouts in around 2789), and the two ton door slid open with a slight "hiss".
It had been one thousand years since the big war and the sacrifice that so many had given. From the hundreds of thousands of Marines to the first Spartans. Alex was proud to continue the legacy of that program. There was a lot of talk after the war ended that the UNSC would discontinue the Spartan project in hopes to not have to resort to such drastic measures again. That hope was lost only 100 years after the end of the war. With no one else to battle, the humans had again resorted to fighting amongst themselves. Most people believed the battle with the Covenant and then the dreaded Flood would unite the nations of Earth, and it did for a while.
Alex hated reading that part of history. There was not much left of Earth after the great war, but what little wasn't glassed over was habitable and promising. All of Earth started to step up to the plate and became one great world. Around 2630 a few politicians began to make trouble as they wanted to move from Earth and find a better planet to inhabit. After months of deliberations, they took it into their own hands and stormed the UNSC embassy located in New South Africa. They took control by force and started an ignition code that took them out of Earth and it's protection.
As they disappeared life started to become less safe on Earth. Blamed was placed everywhere and no one wanted to except that they were at fault. Alex remembered reading how the civil wars began to pop up all of the world. Many rebels took to space and escaped from the chaos. That is where the trouble became even more obvious.
Alex recalled reading how a single ship appeared in Earth's atmosphere one day in 2710 and a man stumbled out, gasping for air and crying about a gold sword that destroyed his city located on a planet 30 galaxies away. He had managed to escape and plotted a blind course for Earth. More ships followed him, filled with grunts and jackals. Earth had not seen these creatures in over 150 years. Not since the days of Master Chief. Alex had read how the Arbiter and promised justice over the remaining Covenant. There was a problem with his promise. The Covenant also went through many changes. Grunts and jackals formed an alliance as the hunters went off into hibernation. The brutes lost all confidence in themselves and little by little were hunted and destroyed by the Arbiter and his band of elites.
Alex walked down a corridor and scanned his palm to gain access to the debriefing room. Seated were his team of Spartans. 2676, 2681, 2911, 2734, and of course 2789. There names were Dexter, Felix, Jennifer, Wesley, and Mick. Each had their own distinct armor pattern. As the years had passed the MJOLNIR armor had became fairly personal to each individual that wore it. The original designs and schematics that Master Chief had worn were totally revamped to fit each one in combat. Dexter, for instance, was given extra sights in his helmet and a stronger shield. The only downfall was he was slightly slower than the other Spartans. The extra shield and sights helped in his sniper missions, which is typically where he was located. The colors for each Spartan could be set or they could be set to a chameleon mode that would help each Spartan blend into the environment. Alex pushed aside thoughts of how each one's armor varied and took his seat next to Mick. General Tsao quickly walked into the room and all the Spartans stood erect with a sharp salute.
"At ease," Tsao said. "We have an urgent mission to speak of."
All of the Spartans sat back in their specially designed chairs and pressed their attention to the screen shining in front of them. Figures and statistics started to be scanned down the screen in record time. The Spartans HUD's recorded the information and quickly thread it through the neurotransmitters located throughout their brains. Alex saw five confirmation flickers as the others acknowledged that they had received and understood their mission objectives. There was a pilot training facility staring down the barrel of an enemy attack. To make matters worse, the facility had a visiting general staying there with no possible route of escape.
"As you all see, General Edwards is facing an enemy attack in Section Z12 of the planet Nevoi. We are sending you in to push back the enemy and find out what their plans are. I have contacted the E.P.A. and they are sending you back up. Now suit up and get ready, you leave in five." General Tsao saluted and the Spartans quickly stood and returned the salute. The general exited the room and the Spartans filed out behind him.
They all strode into the equipment room and went straight to their respective lockers. Alex grabbed his duffle bag and laid it on the floor. He opened it up and took out his BR 87 battle rifle. He checked through the sight and clicked back the bolt. He pulled the trigger and the gun "clicked" to let him know it was in fine working order. Satisfied he put it back in his duffle bag and stood up.
Alex looked around the room and said, "Let's go Spartans, the general needs our help."
With that the other Spartans stood and stepped out of the room and headed to the landing pad. Their VPI-8932 Vulture aircraft sat waiting. The engines revved as the Spartans stepped into the back of the aircraft and took their seats. Alex and Mick took control of the front class-four projectile guns as Wesley and Jennifer took the two guns in the rear. Dexter and Felix strapped all their equipment down and then fastened themselves into their pilot seats. Felix checked all of the switches and made sure that they were cleared for liftoff.
"All systems clear, Dex." said Felix.
"Thanks Felix," Dexter flicked the last switch that gently lifted the Vulture off of the ground. He raised the landing gear and pushed the throttle forward and upward. The aircraft lifted and pushed towards the sky.
"Everyone brace for slip-space," warned Felix. With everyone strapped in Felix pushed in the slip-space code and the Vulture jetted into space.