The Last War, Chapter Three: Reinforcements
Posted By: Agent Shade<email@example.com>
Date: 15 August 2003, 12:19 PM
The Last War, Chapter Three: Reinforcements
While the remaining humans in North America attempted to fight off the Xenocide forces, a contingent of troops located over a million light years away were bored. They were humans, with augmented bodies and wore a type of armor called MJOLNIR, named after the hammer, used the by Norse God of war. They sat in a cluster of boulders on a planet called Hull, chatting with each other and trying to entertain themselves.
They were Spartans, but because of the large amount of them, they were Spartans from different series. The Spartan III, IV, V and VI series were all that remained of the once glorious division of troops that were the Covenant's worst enemy. After several years of being beaten by them, the Covenant began to adapt to the Spartan's battle tactics and skills. They improved the armor and weapons used by their soldiers. They enslaved another alien caste into their alliance, known as the Brutes, who proved to be a nuisance for them. They made their weapons more explosive and even put small shield generators onto Grunts and Jackals. Elites were given better armor and a full body shield like the ones Jackals used. All this advanced weaponry stopped the Spartans in their tracks and pushed them back.
The Covenant got far, but when the Xenocides were put to use, they soon found out they would need more than weapon and armor upgrades to beat them. The Spartans were then sent to Hull to take out a Covenant force over there. Because they knew they were failures, the Spartans did not return for the huge victory day celebration after the war ended. They stayed on Hull and played around with the remaining Covenant troops there, hoping they would never go back to Earth.
The Master Spartan for the Spartan VI series; Shade, sat on a large boulder overlooking the Spartans encampment, twirling a combat knife in his hand. Sighing, he sheathed the knife and stood, letting a warm breeze hit him. Because there was no danger, he had taken his MJOLNIR armor off and wore nothing but combat fatigues and a muscle shirt. He had spiked black hair, with blond and grey streaks running through it. His eyes were icy blue. He was generally quiet when around the other Master Spartans, but was energetic and kind when around the Spartans under his command. He turned to see the leader of Spartan V series; Nemesis, climb the boulder and walk over to him. The big Spartan wore identical clothing as Shade, except he had taken his muscle shirt off. He nodded at Shade.
"How you doin?" he asked. Shade shrugged.
"Could be better I guess, working on your tan?" Shade replied. Nemesis chuckled and spread his muscular arms apart.
"Hey, why not man? We're stuck here, might as well enjoy it" he said. Shade shook his head.
"What we need is a lake or something" he said. Nemesis's jade eyes went wide and he grinned.
"Yeah, it'd be awesome to see our female Spartans go for a dip" Nemesis said, staring down at a group of Spartans who were all female. After their augmentation, their sex drive was gone, however, because of several years of total confinement away from humans, this drive for pleasure had slowly returned and Shade could tell Nemesis was one of the first to experience it. He grinned.
"I wish they didn't get rid of our desire for sex, none of the ladies here want to do it. I mean, I know it's there, just not completely" he said, bowing his head. Shade shook his head again and patted him on the back.
"Give it a few more months, they will be all over you man" he said. Nemesis nodded. The two were soon joined by the Master Spartan of the Spartan IV series; Matrix. He was the only one out here wearing a full combat bodysuit. It was black and Shade could see huge lines of sweat running down his face. The front part was open slightly, revealing his sweat-drenched T-shirt inside. He nodded.
"Dude, lose the body suit, you're going to die" Nemesis said. Because of several years of being close together, the Spartans were much more affectionate towards each other. Saying words such as "dude" was common now. Matrix nodded and took off the top part of his suit, letting it dangle behind him.
"I dunno why I had it on the first place" he said.
The three friends stood on the boulder, watching their Spartans below and talking about anything that came up. As they continued to chat, they were unaware of the blue-armored Covenant Elite sneaking into their camp. It growled and rushed forward, hiding at the base of the boulder. Two of its enemies climbed down, leaving one alone up there. It clicked its mandibles and climbed up, poised to strike.
Shade felt a movement of wind behind him and he turned, just in time to avoid a huge fist thrown at him. He ducked low and stood up, looking at his enemy. He shook his head at the Elite.
"Is that all you can do?" he asked. The Elite charged forward and tackled Shade. The two of them fell off the boulder and landed on top of several tents. The Elite rolled off and Shade stood slowly, coughing. Luckily, the sleeping bags inside the tent had broken his fall. He dodged the next few punches and grabbed the Elites arm. He pulled the alien forward, and then swung his knee up, making contact with the Elite's stomach. The Covenant trooper roared and coughed up purple blood. Shade grabbed hold of the Elite's shoulder and threw him into a nearby boulder. Its head smashed into it first and he heard a horrible snap. The Elite fell on the ground, blood flowing from its mouth. Shade shook his head and bent his back. The leader of the Master III series; Titan rushed forward.
"Holy shit, are you okay?" he asked. Shade grinned.
"Not a problem, I'm okay. Just surprised me, the Covenant usually don't attack us till night" he said.
"Well, considering the fact that most of their warriors are dead now, they probably don't care" Titan observed. Shade nodded and climbed back up his boulder, sitting cross-legged on it and took his knife. He began twirling it again, bored as hell.
From space, Earth always looked like a big blue ball floating in a dark pool. However, it now blended in so well, with the darkness of space. The smoke and ash from the nuclear blast waves had covered the atmosphere, showing no signs of the ruined surface below.
While the air convoy consisting of Colonel Conrath and the others headed towards Mount Pelagic, the rest of the human race was dying. Most of the fighting had stopped, since the marine forces had retreated. The Xenocides however did not pursue. Data knew that because of the high radiation levels, they would die in a matter of hours. Instead, the computer AI program concentrated on getting all of its Xenocide forces back to Earth. It had received word that all human life on their various conquered planets had been exterminated. All that remained were the humans down on the destroyed Earth. Data knew it wouldn't take long to destroy the survivors, but there was one group of survivors that bugged it.
It had been monitoring this air convoy of dropships and helicopters via satellite images. Sadly, Data did not have any type of interceptor fighter on its side. All Data had were a few Pelican dropships, which were spread out across the planet, transporting Xenocide soldiers to cities still loaded with human survivors.
Data's anger levels rose and broke the caution limit. The satellite it was using to view this air convoy trembled violently and suddenly exploded in a fireball. As Data continued to get angry, it caught sight of several transmissions echoing through the recesses of space. It accessed one, but a lock had been emplaced, preventing Data from seeing the message. It tried to destroy it, but could not. The transmission signal continued to play it's message and Data could do nothing about it. Without warning, it launched another nuke, which detonated in the Atlantic Ocean. Data did this out of anger. It would have to start building more Xenocides, since it was possible that reinforcements would be coming. It went to work, reactivating war factories and putting Xenocide engineers to work. It then decided to relax and wait, to see what or who would answer these pleas for help.
Night had fallen in Spartan camp on the planet Hull. They all gathered around several fires, eating the body limbs of the Covenant they killed. They were surprised to discover that the cells in a Grunt contained high energy nutrients and various minerals like iron and fibers. Naturally, this gave the impression that they were cannibals, but they only ate Grunt, when they were getting low on the food supplies in the Longswords.
The Spartans came to Hull in six Longsword intercept fighters. Because they knew they didn't plan on returning, they had stocked up each one with a large amount of food, weapons and ammo. The food supplies in four of the Longswords were gone, and the supplies in the fifth were almost done. Because of this, they were forced to switch to eating Grunt. It was good when a lot of salt was added.
Shade sat back and gulped down the water that was in his cup. Wiping his mouth he sighed heavily and looked at the people around him. They were all members of his Spartan series. He had around thirty-five or so left. Each series was around its own fire, eating food. It seemed that Shade and his Spartans were the first done. Sadly, that meant they would get first watch. Although the Covenant race had been eliminated, there was still a group of Covenant soldiers on this planet, which often attacked them. Because of this, each Spartan series would be required to keep watch for a certain amount of time. Luckily, it didn't mean that they had to clean up the mess and do dishes. That was for the series that finished second. The remaining two got to rest.
Shade retrieved his MJOLNIR armor from his tent and sat on the same boulder he had been sitting on all day. Two other Spartans joined him and the three of them started a game of Black Jack. Shade had never been a fan for Poker, plus, they had no money with them to bet. Luckily, playing the card game passed the time by quickly and before Shade knew it, Titan climbed the rock, all dressed in his armor.
"Shade, time to switch" he said as he approached him. Shade nodded and ditched the cards. He was glad he had to go now, since the dealer had given him a ten and a five. Not the best combination of cards when you were losing. He climbed down the rock and crawled into his tent. He got out of his armor and lay in his sleeping bag, slowly nodding off to sleep.
Morning came quickly, just like the Spartan VIs watch had ended quickly. Shade sat up and rubbed his eyes as they got used to the sunlight shining into the tent. He got out of his bag and slipped on his black combat fatigues. He retrieved his grey muscle shirt, and then crawled out of the tent, throwing the muscle shirt over him. Most of the other Spartans were still asleep. Shade could see a couple of Spartans getting another fire started. They nodded at him and Shade gave them a wave. He was about to head toward them, but another Spartan walked up to him.
It was Matrix, full dressed in his black combat body suit. He saluted at Shade, who returned it. Matrix then motioned for Shade to follow him and the two of them headed toward their parked Longsword fighters.
When they landed on Hull, they kept their fighters as hidden as possible. Right behind their camp was a large mountain that stretched on for miles. At the base of this mountain, there was a large cave, big enough to hold all six of their Longswords. Matrix led Shade to the closest one and they climbed into it.
"What's up?" Shade asked. Matrix sat in the pilot's chair and began accessing several communication files.
"Last night, the sensors picked up several distress signals. The computer intercepted one and logged it for observation. I came here and read it. It's from Earth" he began, looking up at Shade. Shade raised an eyebrow and motioned for Matrix to go on. The man pressed a single switch and the view screen came to life. It was filled with static at first, and then was replaced with the face of a man. He wore the uniform of a General and was surrounded by red light. Sweat poured down his face.
"This is General Don Taylor of the Pentagon control room to any UNSC forces this message gets to, Earth is under attack. Xenocide forces have bombed major population areas and are wiping out the survivors. Large pockets of military resistance are going to Mount Pelagic near Washington were we plan to coordinate a resistance against them. Casualties range in the billions, the Xenocides are overrunning our forces with no mercy, and we need help. Please hurry"
Shade's mouth hung open. Matrix replayed the message several times, and then finally stopped. Shade was still digesting it all. The Xenocides, mankind's deadliest creation had turn against its masters. They had been designed so that nothing could stop them and this proved to have worked, not only against the Covenant, but now against the UNSC. Shade heard movement behind him and he turned to see Nemesis and Titan walk into the Longsword. Matrix played the message for them. After it, Nemesis spoke for all of them.
"Holy shit" he whispered. Titan nodded. Matrix shook his head.
"The Xenocides couldn't have gone rebellious, that huge AI program called Data could easily shut them all down" he said.
"That means that Data has gone rebellious" Shade said.
"But how? I mean, it just doesn't seem possible" said Titan, shaking his head.
"Self-aware?" offered Shade.
"Yeah, that could be, after all, Data learns at a geometric rate, it could've caught on to what the UNSC was doing" Nemesis said, nodding at Shade.
"But what was the UNSC doing that made it go self-aware?" Titan asked.
"Well, let's see. The war against the Covenant is over, which means the Xenocides are basically useless" Matrix began.
"And they simply cannot blend into society, they're robots, not humans" Nemesis said.
"So, the only logical solution is for the UNSC to shut down Data and terminate the Xenocides. Without Data, they are simply useless" Shade said.
"That means, Data realized that the USNC was trying to destroy it and didn't like it, so it launched nukes and went insane" Titan finished.
"Jesus..." whispered Shade, leaning back against the bulkhead. The four of them kept quiet and didn't say much to each other as they understood what was happening on Earth. Finally, Matrix spoke up.
"Well, they need our help; do we give it to them?" Matrix asked. They all looked each other, not one of them speaking. Nemesis shook his head.
"We swore we could never go back there. If we do, we are bound to be criticized by the remaining humans" he said.
"There's a good chance that they are all dead by now. If the Xenocides can't kill them, then the radiation will" Titan said.
"Data probably knows all about the Spartan program and is expecting us to help" Shade said.
"That would mean it has a fleet ready to destroy us as we come in" Nemesis said, eyes going wide.
"It's a possibility, but it doesn't know if we are actually going to help. It knows we are out there, it just doesn't know if these distress messages will reach us" Shade said.
"That brings up another question, how come it didn't destroy these messages?" Titan asked.
"There was a lock put on the signal, to prevent Data from seeing it. They must've programmed it so that only humans could see it" Matrix said. Titan nodded and they became quiet again. Shade looked at them.
"I say we go" he said. His three friends looked at him. Titan nodded.
"I agree." Nemesis however, shook his head.
"The Xenocides are too powerful. We wouldn't last a week" he said.
"If Data knows that we are out here, it's bound to start hunting us down after it destroys humanity" Matrix said.
"There's no were to run" Shade whispered.
"I want some real action as well, the Covenant here are weak and their numbers are dwindling. These Xenocides will be a tough enemy, one worthy of our attention" Titan said. Nemesis nodded.
"You're right...I'm worried about all of us dying, but we all die eventually. Let's go down fighting" he said, grinning. Shade nodded as did Matrix. He had wanted to go from the start.
"All right, we should start getting packed. Everyone start alerting their Spartans and tell them the situation. We should leave here no later than 1200 hours" Matrix said. They all nodded, and then rushed out of the Longsword to spread the news.
The hangar door to the laboratory in Mount Pelagic opened and the air convoy of dropships and helicopters zoomed in. The door quickly shut behind them, plunging the human survivors into darkness. Several of the marines activated flashlights and flares, and then helped Colonel Conrath find the power box. He ripped it open and flipped several switches.
The lights hanging inside the small hangar flickered and turned on. The rest of the survivors piled out of their ships and gathered in a small circle. Lieutenant Savard counted at least fifty-six marines with them. He was worried that the Xenocides had returned here to make sure their leader was safe. He mentioned this to Conrath and General Taylor, who nodded at him.
"Take several platoons of your men and have them search throughout this facility. It isn't that big, so it shouldn't take you long. Make sure you leave a few marines here though" Taylor ordered. Lieutenant Savard nodded and gathered his marines.
"Okay listen up, there's the possibility that the Xenocides are here to protect their leader. I'm not going to send small fire teams throughout this facility; the threat level is too high. One large group, led by me will search through this entire facility for the Xenocides. The rest of you will remain here and protect these civilians and officers. I'm going to take around thirty of you, which leaves twenty or so marines left here. This is a secure area, so use radios to contact in case you need assistance. Let's move it people" Savard ordered.
The marines moved quickly, setting up a rough perimeter surrounding the lone door that led into the hangar. Savard gathered his men and motioned for them to move out. Thirty-one marines moved through the door. The hall went to the right and they moved down it in two lines, each line leaning against the walls. Lieutenant Savard led one of the lines, his eyes darting all over the place. The lights had been activated in the halls, which was a relief, since he knew many of his men would've cracked if they had to move through these halls using flashlights and night vision.
They eventually reached two doors. One was simply marked "JANITORIAL," while the other was marked "BARRACKS." Savard motioned to the one door and it opened by the push of a button. All the Barracks was, was several rooms of beds, lined up into rows. There were armories in each barrack room, but other than that, it was empty. They left the barracks quickly and continued moving throughout the facility.
Lieutenant Savard halted in front of another door marked "CAFÉ." He had one of his marines open it, then he moved in, weapon up. The mess hall was a huge room, bigger than most of the barracks room. It consisted of rows of tables and benches. At the end was the kitchen and along the sides were bathrooms and snack/liquid machines. One of his marines went up to one and tried using it, but it didn't work. He cursed and followed the Lieutenant out of the cafeteria. They continued moving down the hall and arrived at the end.
Two elevator doors faced Lieutenant Savard. He wasn't too familiar with the facilities schematics and assumed they went to other levels. He had several marines squish into one elevator, and then several others squish into the other. Lieutenant Savard looked at the buttons and realized that the elevator only went up and there was only one other room. He pushed the button and the elevator jolted as it headed up. It didn't take long, which Savard was thankful for. He moved out of the elevator and looked around him, his marines around him.
They stood in the large control room of Mount Pelagic. There was the large control area they stood in now, yet there was another door, which lead to a smaller control area. He could tell from the scattered chairs and paperwork all over the floor that the people here left in a hurry. They didn't explore much in here, since they would've been attacked by now. Lieutenant Savard confirmed it was clear and activated his radio.
"Conrath here" said the Colonel.
"Sir, this facility is clear, no Xenocides" Savard reported.
"Excellent, thank you Lieutenant, we'll be heading toward you. I suggest you and your men set up some defenses inside the base, and then get some rest" Conrath said.
"Acknowledged Colonel, Savard out." The Lieutenant clicked his radio off and ordered his men back to the hangar. They passed Colonel Conrath along the way, and then joined up with the rest of the marines in the hangar. They then went about, setting up interior defenses.
Data watched the humans move through the facility via the security cameras. It wasn't worried, since it knew it had locked the entire computer system in the control room and it was impossible to break it. This ensured Data's safety. It hadn't even called for Xenocide reinforcements to come and destroy the humans in the facility. It knew they had come to hide out here, since this was were it was created, however, that was a big mistake, since it could monitor what they did and come up with ways to sabotage their plans. Data's levels of happiness rose and it began to come up with ways in destroying the other human survivors still fighting against its Xenocides.
The Spartans had moved quickly and left around 0900 hours. Their Longswords were completely packed up with their gear and supplies. Many of them had to cram into the back of the fighter, but they wouldn't be there for long. Since human technology had improved, newer Slipstream generators had been added to the Longswords. They would get to Earth in a matter of hours, which they were happy about.
The six intercept fighters accelerated out of Hull's atmosphere and prepared for the Slipstream jump though space. Before they had left, they had bombed the Covenant encampment which was located a few kilometers away from theirs. The Longswords still had a large compliment of Devilhorn missiles, which they planned on using in case attacked when they reached Earth. The generators activated and the six fighters disappeared into the Slip Stream hole in space.
Data's long range planetary sensors picked up a Slip Stream hole several light years away. Data's curiosity levels rose and it reviewed the sensor report being given to it. Sure enough, six vessels had created a Slip Stream hole and entered it, in the Lomar system, near the planet Hull. Data knew from reviewing UNSC records that there were no human outposts or any type of military occupation in that system. It was pretty much uncharted, except for Hull and two other planets. Data did not know what to do with this new data. It eventually decided to wait and see where these fighters went.
These several hours of waiting passed quickly for Shade, who was in the back of his Longsword, playing a game of Black Jack with a large group of Spartans. His second in command; Redguard, was in the cockpit of the fighter. She yelled at him that they were approaching the exit. Shade ditched his cards, vowing he would finish the game, and then rushed to the cockpit. Redguard sat in the co-pilot's chair, watching space zoom by. Shade sat beside her.
"ETA?" he asked
"Two minutes" she replied. Shade nodded and checked the systems of the Longsword. Everything was going well; the computer reported that everything onboard the fighter was intact and okay. Shade warned the Spartans in the back they would be exiting the hole soon, then strapped himself into his chair, watching the hole approach.
"Ten seconds" Redguard reported. Ten seconds was like ten milliseconds. The Longsword jolted forward, and then slowed down quickly as they exited the hole. Shade was lurched forward, then backwards in his chair. The Longsword floated for a few seconds in space, and then the systems came back online. Shade looked around outside in space and gasped.
"Holy shit" he said. Redguard merely looked out the window, mouth wide open. The planet Earth hung in space before them. Instead of the normal blue, green and white colors that could be seen from orbit, all it was, was a big black ball. Swirling clouds of smoke and ash covered Earth, blending it in perfectly with the space surrounding it. Flashes of light appeared all over, indicating large storms. Shade hung his head.
"Set a course for Mount Pelagic" he ordered. Redguard nodded and programmed in the coordinates. The other five Longswords flanked Shade's, preparing to head into the ruined planet.
The planetary sensors blared alarms at Data, which reviewed the logs quickly. It observed the six Longsword fighters slowly head towards Earth. Data marked their trajectory and realized the fighters were heading towards Mount Pelagic. Data literally smirked and merely watched the fighters enter the ruined atmosphere. It didn't bother trying to stop them, since it wished to have more of a challenge for its Xenocides. Data merely watched the fighters soar over the Earth's surface and head toward the mountain.
A Klaxon alarm began blaring throughout the facility. Colonel Conrath rushed into the control room and typed away at one of the computers. Most of the other systems on the computers were locked out, but Data allowed them to have sensor control and other facility schematics, which Conrath was grateful for.
The sensors had picked up six Longsword intercept fighters heading towards them. Conrath wanted to blow them out of the sky, but knew he couldn't, since the laboratory didn't have any type of weapon that could do that. Suddenly, the radio activated.
"This is Longsword fighter One to Mount Pelagic laboratory, come in please" a voice said. Conrath raised an eyebrow. Normally, the Xenocides didn't speak. In fact, he had never heard a Xenocide speak. He grabbed the radio headset and put it on. Surrounding him were several technicians and General Taylor.
"This is Mount Pelagic to Longsword fighter One, who are we talking to?" asked Conrath.
"Mount Pelagic, reinforcements have arrived, my name is Matrix, I am the leader of the Spartan IVs" said the voice. Conrath's eyes went wide and he looked at General Taylor who grinned.
"You received our message?" Conrath asked.
"Yes, we did, please open the hangar doors and allow us to assist you in this resistance" the Spartan said. Conrath nodded.
"Open the hangars and prepare for them" he said to several technicians, who rushed off to the hangar. Conrath grinned and put the headset back on.
"Welcome to Mount Pelagic Spartans, my name is Colonel Daniel Conrath, we are pleased to have you join us in our resistance" he said.
"Thank you Colonel Conrath..."
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade