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The Guardians, Prologue-Chapter One
Posted By: Agent Shade<cthompson013@hotmail.com>
Date: 11 July 2004, 7:14 AM

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This is not a story which will explain the existence for "The Guardians" who kill randomly in the various multiplayer levels of Halo: Combat Evolved. This story will not focus on the Covenant caste system and the various Prophets and Forerunners they worship.

This story explains the usage of augmentation, the process where limbs and inner organs of the human body are given special treatment, such as medical drugs or surgery to extend their growth and improve the test subject's overall physical and mental state.

Augmentation was first used on the Spartans, a group of "super" soldiers, designed for the extinction of the Covenant. Although the process killed off several trainees, it was evident that augmentation could be done.

After the success of the Spartans, augmentation was perfected, as the United Nations Space Command began to introduce plasma technology into their own technological creations. This opened a whole new era for medical science, and one major factor was augmentation.

Once the existence of multiple Halo ring worlds was confirmed, the Office of Naval Intelligence, which provided funding for augmentation, decided it was time to test out this process again. Since the Spartans were busy at the frontlines, battling with the Covenant, a new team of super soldiers had to be created, to deal with the threat of the Halo ring worlds.

Immediate thoughts were how a hunk of metal floating in space could be a threat? However, battle records and personal statements gathered from the Master Chief of the Spartan-IIs, who survived the destruction of the first Halo ring world, proved the existence of the Flood.

Although there were no specimens, scientists gathered that the Flood were a parasitic race, based upon the small infection forms which seek out suitable hosts to be turned into the Flood's fighters. Since there is no account of a so called "leader" of the Flood, it is assumed the Flood simply exist to wipe out all life in the universe. Currently, the human body and the Covenant Field Commanders known as "Elites" are the prime subjects to be infected and turned into a Flood being. All others are simply killed.

Other assumptions then were created, regarding the existence of the Halo ring worlds found in various systems. It is believed that these huge worlds were created as testing grounds for this race; since it is obvious they did not just spring out of nowhere.

The creators of these ring worlds and the Flood are still unknown and currently, not the major threat here. The UNSC believed that the Covenant were trying to use these Halos for their own purpose and send on the human race, the Flood. This couldn't happen. They then gave the go ahead for "The Guardians."

A select number of individuals, five to be exact, ranging from the age of twenty to thirty were searched out. All five came from the Marine Corps. They underwent extensive training that went beyond what they learned in boot camp, along with the improved augmentation processes. Since the improvements in technology, they did not have to be six years of age, with continuously growing muscles and limbs. In fact, it was assumed that more subjects would survive this process, since their body had virtually stopped growing, giving the doctors fixed specimens to work with.

All five members survived, and are now out in the field of combat. The story about to unfold explains the battles they go through, as they attempt to take out all the Halo ring worlds, to prevent the release of the Flood and the destruction of the human race.

By: Agent Shade

Chapter One

Captain Isaac Baine sat in his command chair, spinning an ink pen through his left hand. He usually did this to relieve tension and stress, but right now; it was out of mere boredom.

His ship, the Guardian, sat in a secure location, just a few hundred miles away from a large Halo ring world. Surrounding the Guardian, were additional UNSC vessels that were part of a specialized Halo Hunter team. In total, Captain Baine was in command of six ships, including his own, that made up this battle group.

Like the other Captains, he didn't want to be here. Thanks to radar and recon satellites, they had discovered the existence of four ring worlds located a few million light-years apart from each other. They had to be taken care of. Baine had no idea why he was chosen. He hadn't even volunteered for the assignment, nor did anyone else sitting where he was now.

He was an excellent leader and had fought in four major battles against the Covenant. Admiral Hanson had even offered him a promotion, and an office at FLEETCOM. He had politely refused. His life was with his ship and his crew. This was no life though. This should've been a trainee mission, practice for them, so they would be a big help when around veteran ships.

But there was one thing that Baine was happy for, and that was his new ship. The Guardian was a Dreadnought-class UNSC battleship, armed to the teeth and a solid wall of armor for protection. She was shaped similar to the Halcyon-class cruisers, which were long out of use for the UNSC. Surrounding her was nearly four metres of specialized Titanium armor, which had portions of Covenant plating in it also. Since the metals used for Covenant ships were unknown, Baine wasn't given a term for the 11% of armor that was Covenant. He also didn't care, as long as it did its job. Positioned on the ship's stern, port, belly and top were "Super" MAC (Magnetic Accelerator Canon) turrets. Surrounding each turret was a smaller MAC turret and prototype pulse lasers. These weapons were mainly used for close combat. Like the other ships, she sported forty Archer missile pods, positioned around the MAC turrets.

The rest of the fleet was small compared to the Guardian. But Baine knew that he wouldn't be able to test out these weapons. Three ring worlds down, this being the fourth and still no sign of the Covenant. To quote his navigation officer, this sucked.

The bridge doors opened, revealing an extremely bulky individual, wearing a black flight suit. He slowly moved through the bridge and stood to Baine's left side, saluting afterwards.

Isaac sighed and stood, facing the man and returning the salute. Lieutenant Commander James Ryan lowered his hand and looked out the bridge view windows. He then locked eyes with the Captain.

"No word?" he asked. Baine shook his head and moved over to the communications console. The woman manning it looked up at the Captain, rolling her eyes. Baine smirked and checked out her latest update.

"Ground forces are being evacuated; we're just waiting the confirmation on those explosives. What are your...people doing down there?" Baine asked, turning to face Ryan. The Office of Naval Intelligence officer shook his head.

"Unknown, probably making last minute preparations. In the mean time, we have a bigger problem to consider" he said. It was Baine's turn to roll his eyes. He crossed his arms.

"Another ring world?" he asked, knowing he was right. James Ryan walked to an empty computer console beside communications and began to display the latest radar updates from their satellites.

"Two systems away. Once we're done here, it will take us around a day to reach it" he said, as Isaac looked over the records. He shrugged.

"Nothing special, why is this a problem?" he asked. Ryan suddenly grinned and brought up another radar scan. As the small needle spun around the green and black circle, small dots could be seen near the designated ring world. Baine raised one eyebrow and looked up at the ONI agent.

"Covenant?" he asked. Ryan shrugged, still grinning.

"No radio contact made with them, so they aren't UNSC" he said. Baine bawled his fist and grinned back at Ryan.

"'Bout bloody time. How many?" he asked.

"Counted five so far, maybe more" James answered. Isaac nodded and moved back to his command chair with renewed spirits. Ryan saved the records to the computer and hovered to the Captain's right. Isaac eventually stopped spinning the pen in his hand and looked up at James.

"God damnit Lieutenant, where are they?" he demanded. Usually Ryan would give an equal response to a rude question, but he ignored it and shrugged.

"My people are careful people Captain. You must learn patience when dealing with them" he answered. Baine grumbled and leaned back in his chair.

"I have patience, and the more I work with you and your team, the more thinner it gets" he muttered. Ryan smirked and said nothing. The communications officer suddenly turned in her chair.

"Message from Pelican Gamma Four, package has been set, they're coming home" she said.

"Finally," Isaac growled, standing up. "Open launch bay doors. Have the team meet me and the Commander in my briefing room." The officer nodded and turned back to face the computer. Captain Baine turned to face James.

"Let's debrief them, then inform them of our next assignment" he said. Ryan nodded and stepped aside as Isaac walked out of the bridge. The ONI agent gave one last look around the bridge, and then followed.

Gamma Four's troop bay doors dropped open after the pilot confirmed they were docked. The five individuals inside gathered their belongings and slowly walked out, keeping their heads low. On the catwalk, a group of medical personnel stood by, but no one had sustained any injuries.

That was the way Rook liked it best, no injuries. He and his team had moved cautiously on that ring world. The Captain was no doubt pissed, but he didn't care. He was team leader and had to ensure everyone came back alive.

A single marine slowly approached them, shaking slightly and sweating nervously. Rook stood around seven feet tall and dwarfed the marine. Not to mention that he weighed two hundred and ten pounds of pure augmented muscle. The combat uniform he wore under his armor was practically bulging as he lifted a crate full of ammo onto a nearby rack. The marine saluted.

"Orders from the Captain Sirs. You are to go to his briefing room" he muttered. Rook nodded at the man, who turned quickly and almost ran out of the docking bay. He smirked slightly and looked over at his second in command.

Frye chuckled and pretended to look scared. This brought laughs from the other team members. Shaking his head, Frye then hefted his weapons and followed Rook down the catwalk. Once they had packed up their equipment into the docking bay armory, they found the nearest elevator and headed to bridge level.

The doors parted, and the five giants walked through the hall, ignoring the shocked stares from nearby crewmembers. They reached a door positioned off to the side and walked into the room.

Rook spirits plummeted as he gazed into the cold hard eyes of Captain Baine. From the start of this mission, they had gotten off on the wrong foot. Rook merely ignored the Captain and the rude comments he often received from him. He would always dwell on the thought of picking up the man and throwing him into the depths of space. His thoughts were interrupted by Lieutenant Commander Ryan. Despite being an ONI spook, the Lieutenant was a warm, caring man. He too hated Baine and had to endure the most of him, which was where Rook and his team respected him the most. He took the blame, while they did their job.

"Welcome back team, have a seat" Ryan said, after shaking each of their hands. Like always, Baine did not stand or salute them. He simply shuffled some papers and leaned back in his chair. Rook sat next to Ryan, with Frye on the other side. The rest of their team sat on the other side of the table.

Even while sitting in a chair, Titan still towered over them. He stood around seven foot four and maintained a well shaped body, similar to his comrades. His brown colored skin made the whites of his big eyes practically glow, the same going for his teeth. He sat silent though and merely observed the room.

Kilo sat on Titan's left. He was often described as the silent giant. Although they were all tall and big, Kilo was by far the strongest out of all of them. He only stood around six feet, eleven inches, but what he lacked in height, he made up in bulk. Two hundred and twenty pounds of complete muscle, no body fat at all. He had once wrapped his big arms around a wounded Covenant Elite and suffocated the thing to death. Because of this, he was the most fluent in hand to hand combat and could beat anyone in an arm wrestle.

Finally, the last member sitting next to Kilo was Angel. She was the only female on the team and because of the feminine figure, did not appear to be as bulky as her team mates. However, like she said to so many marines that had tried to take advantage of her, never judge a book by its cover. Angel had a cold, stone hard personality and emotion made of steel. To most men, she was the Devil's bitch, since anyone who tried to take advantage of her would get a little attitude, followed by a trip to the hospital. However, when around her team, she was extremely warm and friendly, even with James Ryan. Plus, her sniping skills came in handy.

Rook then looked to his good friend and second in command. Frye was the joker of the team. You would never see him sulking in a corner, or avoiding conversation. He always started the team talk, and when things were rough, people would look to him to bring their spirits up, which he did. He stood the same height as Rook and had the same bulk also.

Captain Baine cleared his throat, indicating he was ready. Rook left his train of thought and looked over at the Captain. Baine was fiddling with an antique pen. Rook had seen it before. Some sort of stress reliever he assumed.

"Four Halos down, another one found. It's located in an uncharted system approximately four million miles away. At best speed, it will take a day or so to get there" Baine started off. There was an awkward silence that followed. Rook shifted in his chair.

"And?" he asked. This time, Ryan cleared his throat. The ONI agent stood up and walked over to a small holo-projector. After being activated, the image of satellite radar records appeared.

"This, as you know, are radar records, taken from our satellites scouting around in that system we've currently named "Cascade." The current picture is of the Halo ring world and the planet it orbits" Ryan explained, pointing at the projection.

"Uh, that's not all. What are those little dots there?" Frye asked. Rook looked back at the picture. Sure enough, a small group of blips could be seen on the radar circle, located just around Halo. Ryan looked over at the Captain.

"Those are Covenant ships Frye" Ryan said, answering the question.

"How many?" Rook asked.

"We've counted five so far, there could be more in orbit though" Ryan answered again. Rook nodded and leaned back in his chair.

"Looks like the Captain gets the action he wanted" he muttered, glancing at Baine who remained silent. Ryan hide his smile and looked over at the Captain.

"Would you care to explain our course of action, Captain?" he asked. Isaac grunted and stood up, while Ryan took a seat beside Angel.

"We get to this system and stay in the outskirts. We don't know enough to charge in there. Like the Colonel said, there could be more behind the planet. We need detailed photographs and once we've obtained those, we devise a possible attack plan. The Covenant won't simply let us maintain an orbit over Halo. They want it for some reason and we can't let this happen. Once we're secure up here, we'll send you down first. I don't want to send my entire corps down, without proper data of Halo's control room. You'll find the Cartographer; you'll secure it, determine the location and report back. Once done, the marines will move in to the control room to begin assaulting it" Baine explained.

Rook said nothing and merely nodded. This was the same plan they had been going through for the past month. However, he couldn't help but feel excited. Before they had found their first Halo world, they had been at the frontlines, battling the Covenant and Rook knew he and his team needed a workout after nearly a month of blowing up empty ring worlds. Ryan stood up again.

"The fleet is already en route to this ring world. Get some rest. I have a feeling these next few days are going to be tiring" he said, looking at each of the Guardians in the eye. Rook stood and saluted, followed by the rest of his team. Ryan returned it, and surprisingly, so did the Captain. As Rook lowered his hand, Captain Baine nodded at them.

"Dismissed" he said. Rook patted Frye on the back and the two of them walked around the table and joined the rest of their team mates at the door. They each nodded at Ryan as they filed out into the hall.

"Thank you lord, were gonna get some fucking action!" Frye yelled as they stepped inside the elevator. Rook chuckled.

"Thoughts Rook?" Titan asked. Rook always gave his team a little pep talk after a mission and before their next mission.

"Nothing much Titan. The obvious has been stated by Frye. After nearly a month of blowing up these ring worlds, we're going to blow one up that isn't devoid of life. But like Ryan said, it's good to get some rest. I too have a feeling that with five or so Covenant ships in orbit, this won't be a milk run. Head to your quarters, get at least ten hours, more if you can. Even if you can't sleep, stay in bed, it'll help the muscles" he said. Frye laughed.

"Yes mother" he said. Rook laughed too and punched Frye lightly in the stomach. The elevator door opened, revealing a long wall, crowded with marines. The Guardians pushed past them and departed into their separate rooms. Rook's racing mind came to a stop as he put his head on his pillow and slept.

By: Agent Shade