Survival, Chapter One: Hijacked
Posted By: Agent Shade<email@example.com>
Date: 16 September 2003, 4:13 AM
Survival, Chapter One: Hijacked
Several light years away from Earth's Solar System, an intricate battle was taking place. Positioned between a planet know as Ragas V and it's single moon, a large ring hovered in between the two in a stable orbit. Surrounding this ring was a fleet of Covenant warships, transporting troops and supplies to the surface of the ring below. In return, dozens of other dropships carrying wounded and dead Covenant were flying back up. Unknown to the crew of the Covenant war cruiser Strength and Honor, the seven dropships flying in their direction did not carry Covenant beings.
Field Master Vira 'Viminee was quite scared. It was the first time in his entire military career where the sensation for fear had run through his body. He sat at the controls of the lead dropship. Standing behind him was a large figure with odd tentacles poking out of its body. It held a plasma rifle and was holding it to the back of 'Viminee's head. The Field Master winced as the figure pressed hard on his skull and he finally turned his head.
"Could you please not push so hard with that thing" he growled. The figure complied and relaxed. The Covenant leader turned back around and a large plasma screen in front of him warmed to his presence. The stern face of Ship Master Quala 'Qualamee stared at him. The Elite nodded.
"Field Master, what is your status?" he asked. 'Viminee gulped.
"Seven dropships including my own, four carrying wounded and the remaining three carrying the dead. We request permission to dock with your ship" he said. The Ship Master nodded.
"Proceed" he said and the view screen clicked off. 'Viminee sighed and turned around to look at the figure still pointing the rifle at him..
"All done, the cruiser's gravity lifts will take over the dropship" he said. The shadow nodded and leveled the plasma rifle forward. 'Viminee gasped, but the single round fired from the weapon struck him in the face before he could scream. The dead Elite topped forward and the shadow emerged into the light. The Flood combat form fired two more times at the Field Master, then returned to the holding pods positioned along the dropship, where additional Flood forms were waiting to eat.
Ship Master 'Qualamee stood in the Strength and Honor's large docking bay, which was already overcrowded with wounded Covenant and damaged ships. The flight of seven dropships slowly hovered into the bay and waited for a pack of Jackals to signal for them to land. Once a few wounded Grunts were hauled aside, the ships landed. 'Qualamee walked forward to the lead dropship. He and Field Master 'Viminee had been good friends, since the beginning of their training to join the Covenant Army. He looked forward to hearing a report from the Field Master.
'Qualamee and a phalanx of Jackals stood near one of the large holding pods on the dropship. At first, nothing happened and they remained closed. 'Qualamee looked at the other dropships and realized, they had the same problem. Nothing was opening. He motioned to two of his Jackals, who walked forward and activated the exterior ramp switch. Slowly, the pods began to open. What came out of the pods surprised and frightened 'Qualamee. The dead hulk of Field Master 'Viminee fell out of the pods and landed on the deck. The Ship Master looked at the other pods and could see other Field Masters fall onto the ground. Following that came dozens of Flood combat and infection forms. The two Jackals positioned near the pods were ripped apart as a Flood form whipped them.
The entire scene was chaos. All seven dropships were loaded with Flood combat and infection forms. They spread out throughout the bay, killing Covenant that tried to resist. 'Qualamee was rushed away from the battle by several of his Elite officers. As they ran, the doors leading into the docking bay opened, and Special Forces troops rushed into the battle. However, the Flood forms were too many. A lot of the infection forms were able to sink their tendrils into Elites. Within seconds, they stood up, their bodies mutated and discolored. Two Hunters roared and rushed forward, swinging their battle shields. However, infection forms latched onto them and slowly drained their life away. The Special Forces stuck together and killed many of the Flood, but they were outnumbered. A huge tidal wave of infection forms jump and were successful in assimilating four additional Elites. 'Qualamee stood on the second level, overlooking the madness. The entire main floor was loaded with Flood within several minutes. Elites positioned around the Ship Master fired down below. Sadly, it was proven that plasma technology was almost ineffective against the Flood. Many of the Ship Master's officers fell into the Flood army below. The docking bay doors were reopened and several more dropships flew in, loaded with more Flood forms. The Ship Master could not believe what he was seeing. The Flood planned an assault and were winning. 'Qualamee grabbed what remained of his staff.
"To the control room, we must order the other ships to open fire" he growled. The officers nodded and they sprinted off, as more Covenant soldiers tried to hold the Flood back. They rushed up several levels, passed dozens of blockades being set up by the crew. They reached the control room in a matter of seconds. The control room crew saluted at 'Qualamee who ignored it and rushed to the controls. His officers began yelling out reports.
"They're moving fast, security reports that the engine room is theirs. Armory stations are being locked up. I'm sealing off level eight"
"The entire bow of the ship is dead Excellency, the Flood are moving too fast. They've ripped open entrance to level nine, overrun fourteen blockades. They'll be here in a matter of minutes." 'Qualamee ignored all of these reports and concentrated on sending a message to the rest of the fleet. He typed in the commands quickly and a text box appeared. Just as he began to type his message, the entire room blacked out.
"Excellency, they've cut main power!" screamed an Elite.
"Silence! Seal off the bridge, activate emergency lighting" the Ship Master roared. The computer responded and several spot lights appeared, which light up the room. Grunts and Jackals were positioned around the door, sealing it off. 'Qualamee took out his two plasma blades and activated them. His officers recharged their plasma rifles and leveled them.
"No, take out needle guns, those weapons are useless" 'Qualamee ordered. The entire crew rushed to the small armory containers in the corner of the room and armed themselves with needlers. They then positioned themselves around the room and waited.
The sounds of gunfire, screams and the Flood's barks could be heard all over the ship. No one spoke. 'Qualamee knew it was hopeless to win here, but he knew that if the Flood attempted to fire upon the rest of the fleet, they would be destroyed. He hoped that's what they would do.
Suddenly, large bangs could be heard near the doors and the control room members all shivered and leveled their weapons. Without any warning, all four of the doors leading into the room were blown open, crushing several Grunts. 'Qualamee roared and charged forward, swinging his plasma swords around him. His crew fired their needlers and Flood forms were ripped apart by the explosive projectiles. 'Qualamee's shields flared as continuous shots and whips hit him. A warning siren blared in his ear, but he ignored it. He twirled around, chopping several forms in half, but received several huge blows in return. His shields were gone, but he didn't care. The Ship Master took a moment to look around and noticed that the last of his crew were dead. He roared a battle cry, tossed his blades aside, and activated all four of the plasma grenade he held. He stuck them to him and grinned.
"Come to me" he growled as the Flood surrounded him. Just before their whips and tendrils hit him, the grenades detonated and 'Qualamee disappeared.
Outside, several more dropships, full of Flood forms entered the Strength and Honor then the huge ship turned and accelerated out of the system. Not a single Covenant commander or leader noticed the enormous war cruiser disappear into a Slip Stream hole and vanish from their scopes. The ship was headed for one place; Earth's Solar System.
"Duty...a UNSC Captain's life is filled with solemn duty. I have led thousands of souls into battle, I have thought up unthinkable battlefield tactics. I have represented the UNSC in forty space engagements with the Covenant, but none of this compares to my solemn duty today...as the new commander in chief, of the United Nations Space Command's first Human-Covenant warship. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...the Hybrid" The curtains hung over the huge observation room windows were put aside, revealing the massive USNC warship that was docked in the small space port. There were a few audible gasps from the people gathered in the room, followed by a large applause. Captain Malcolm Savard smiled and shook hands with several UNSC High Council members, who goggled over the ship. Savard too was deeply impressed. It reminded him a lot of the Pillar of Autumn; the ship that he first served on when he joined the UNSC. In many ways, the Hybrid looked exactly like it in design structure, however, there were unique differences, which was what most people noticed.
Savard stepped away from the window and allowed the people in the room to get a better look. A waiter walked by and the Captain grabbed a glass of Tequila. As he drank the warm liquid, he gazed at his new ship. He had been promoted to Captain during the battle of Vegas IV. The Captain didn't know how he did it, but somehow managed to prevent a huge invasion force from landing on the small planet, and kill of Covenant boarding parties that were all over the ship. Savard received a medal and got the promotion. Now, it was time to for him to show people what he could really do.
Savard put the empty glass down on a nearby table and walked over to a group of young people chatting away with each other. They all turned and saluted at him, but Savard shook his head.
"Please, you guys don't have to do that" he said. The five officers all nodded and grinned at their Captain. Savard stood before his four main officers who would be with him on the bridge. Lieutenant Jonathon Bishop; Weapons officer, Lieutenant Catherine Hayes; Communications officer, Lieutenant Michelle Yu; Engineering and Lieutenant Lance Dela Cruz; Navigation officer. The four of them were young, but very experienced. Malcolm had had them transferred from their old ship to this new ship under his command. The four of them were quite attached to one another and were good friends.
"We'll be leaving soon, I suggest we all say our goodbyes and prepare to board her" he said, pointing at the large ship in the window. The officers nodded and finished of their drinks. They saluted Malcolm again, and then walked off, waving a few goodbyes to several Generals and High Commanders. As they left, Captain Savard walked over to an old man standing alone, looking at the ship. Savard stood straight and saluted. The man turned and returned it, smiling at him.
"How are you Captain?" asked Vice Admiral Daniel Avery.
"A little nervous, but I'm ready sir" Savard answered. Avery nodded.
"Understandable, taking a ship like this, anyone would be nervous" he said.
"I'm here to receive orders sir" Savard said, getting straight to the point. Avery grinned.
"Ah yes, of course. Well, I don't expect you to carry them out right away. Every Captain has to get used to their new ship. Here's what I need you to do. We have reports of a large battle going on near the Ragas V system. Covenant ships have been detected, along with a large circular structure floating between Ragas and it's moon" Avery began. Savard's eyes went wide.
"Another Halo?" he asked.
"I'm afraid so. We've designated this one as Beta Halo. By the amount of Covenant ships leaving the battle group, I'm willing to bet they've taken heavy casualties. Once you've familiarized yourself with the ship, get over there and put a stop to the fighting, then destroy the Halo" the Admiral ordered. Savard nodded.
"Not a problem sir" he said, and then saluted. Avery nodded and returned it.
"You'll do fine son" he said. Savard nodded again, then turned and left the room. He took the elevator down several levels and arrived at his quarters. It was a somewhat large spacious apartment. Just enough room for a bachelor. Malcolm's bags were already packed and ready to leave. He remembered doing this in the morning. The man sighed and picked them up. Just as he was about to leave, he paused and stared down at a picture on a nearby table. It showed a very attractive looking woman, holding a toddler, who was around the age of four. Malcolm stared long and hard at his ex-wife and son. Megan had left him because of his constant traveling and fighting. The life of a Captain didn't leave much time for his or her personal side. Malcolm would often go several years without seeing his wife. His son barely recognized him when he got the chance to visit. Malcolm could feel tears well up in his eyes. He quickly looked away, and marched out the door, blinking several times to rid himself of the tears forming in his eyes.
The Captain took another elevator down to the docking bay level. The Starport had a large bay full with small shuttlecrafts that allowed captains and officers to get to their ships. Malcolm spotted his crew and marched over to them. Within a matter of seconds, they were standing in the Hybrid's docking bay, staring in awe at the amount of room there was. Unlike the Pillar of Autumn the Hybrid had two docking bays, each loaded with a variety of ships and vehicles. Savard led the way out of the docking bay and into the busy halls of the ship. Many crewmembers paused and saluted their Captain, who returned it. They took a single lift up to the bridge level. When they entered the large bridge, Lieutenant Bishop stood straight.
"Captain on deck!" he yelled. Immediately, all movement ceased and the tech crews and crewmembers stood straight and saluted. Savard nodded to everyone and returned the salute.
"You all know why we are here, let's get ready to leave" he said. With that, the crewmembers went back to work, getting the ship ready. Savard wasn't one for long speeches. He merely stood beside his command chair or the "hot seat" as it was sometimes called. His officers sat at stations around him, each checking their systems.
"No COM link traffic sir, we're clear to leave" Lieutenant Hayes said.
"All weapons online, pulse lasers charged up, MAC gun capacitators are at zero charge" Lieutenant Bishop reported.
"Engines running smoothly sir, bringing the Slip Stream engines online" Lieutenant Yu said.
"Awaiting your destination sir" Lieutenant Dela Cruz said, finishing off the quick report. Savard nodded and sat down.
"Lay in a course for the Ragas system. Prepare for Slip Stream entry" he ordered. Dela Cruz and Yu nodded, and typed away at their consoles.
"Course plotted, Slip Stream generators ready to go" reported Dela Cruz. Before Malcolm could issue the order, Lieutenant Hayes turned in her seat.
"Sir, scanners are picking up radar contact" she said. Savard raised an eyebrow. They hadn't even left cleared the spaceport and there was already trouble.
"What do you make of it?" he asked.
"Covenant war cruiser of some type. I believe it is called the Strength and Honor" the Lieutenant said. Savard stood.
"Visual?" he asked. The large view screen in front of Lieutenant Dela Cruz warmed to show the large Covenant ship appear out of a Slip Stream hole and come at them. "No response to hails?" asked Savard.
"None sir" Hayes responded. Savard grinned.
TO BE CONTINUED
By: Agent Shade
Hopefully this will tie you guys over while I try and finish this series and the Last War.