Aftermath Part 4
Posted By: Alex Ross<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 14 April 2002, 1:08 am
Muteka had just ordered a salvo of plasma missiles launched at the last of the UNSC's frigate. The blue balls of fire immediately melted the armor lining of the ship away and the commander was too late too stop the decompression in the breached hulls. The ship imploded to half it's size and was dead in space. Muteka now focused his aim at the 2 destroyers escorting the Liberator.
"Charge main turrent batteries and prepare to fire another salvo," Muteka himself was a golden elite. Although he was not nearly as skilled as his commander, he indeed was a worthy one. Muteka watched as a red elite went to the other side of the bridge to complete the commands. The bridge of the cruiser itself was a large rectangular room that had mostly purple tones and had an organic feel to it. A large ramp in the center of the room was where the commander stood with computers all around him at the top of the ramp. At the sides of the room were computers as well, where other elites and scientists operated. Beyond the top of the ramp on the wall was the viewing screen to allow the commander to see the battle up ahead.
"Barrage is away," the red elite stated. Muteka was satisfied to see the salvo split up to intercept both destroyers. Just then something caught his eye. "Evasive maneuvers! 30 degrees down!" Muteka had reacted in time, but it was still too late as he saw the MAC rounds from each UNSC destroyer slam into his ship. The ship's shields immediately went offline. The rounds shook up the bridge and he was thrown off the ramp. He was cursing too himself the whole time on the ground. A blue elite immediately went to aid his commander.
"Are you all right my lord?"
"Prepare to fire pulse laser fire on those devils and any missiles that are launched! Now!" He watched as his plasma missiles hit their mark, rupturing the front sections of both destroyers. This alone did serious damage to the destroyers, but did not put them out of action. Just then missiles streaked out of the pods lining the destroyers and were all inbound for his ship. Muteka was not about to give the humans the satisfaction of a victory, but he wished his commander was here...
"AAARRRRGGGHHH!" The gold elite let out a loud roar as John severed a gash of flesh off its chest with his saber. Purple blood flowed to the floor, but that only seemed to make it mad. John had a large but superficial gash on his left arm. Fortunately it wasn't the arm using the sword. The elite charged at John and took a large jab for his stomach. John deflected the elite's sword downward and rolled to the left out of attack range.
"You'll never win you devil," John shouted.
"Devil? You destroyed sacred ground. Better watch who you call devil!" I guess everybody knows about Halo, John wondered. The elite brought the sword down to John's head to which he met with an offensive block, pushing the elite's sword back. It was now a struggle of strength, with pushing the other's sword back being each contender's goal.
"You know Spartan, I saw others like you when I landed on Reach. They put up a good fight before I sent them to what you call hell!" This easily set John on edge. His comrades slayed by this aberration? John brought his left leg up during the sword struggle and kicked one of the elite's arms hard. Before he could bring his leg down, the elite grabbed it and pulled the leg behind itself, making John fall to the floor. He lay on the ground unable to move. The elite brought his sword down to kill the Spartan to which John blocked with all his might. Slowly, but fiercely it forced the sword farther down near his face and glow of the sword was so intense it nearly blinded him.
"Now Spartan. Go to hell!" The elite drove the sword to where the tip almost touched his forehead when the elite was all the sudden pushed from behind and was sent flying over John. John's pupil's adjusted quickly from the bright light of the saber and he saw something that should have been dead.
"The flood?!?" John saw a mutated marine with a assault rifle aim upward towards his chest. John rolled to the side, dodging the incoming fire, and threw his saber at the creature, killing it instantly. If there was indeed a soul in the creature it sure as hell wasn't there now. He saw the elite fighting similar creatures all around. John had no time for this. Without his MJOLNIR armor, he was susceptible to infection. To his horror he saw many of the flood spores poor through the airducts into the armory, ready to infect anything. He picked up the saber and started to make a run for it.
"Give my regards to Satan asshole," John yelled at the elite before running out the door. He still had Cortana's chip and needed to get to the bridge of the Liberator in order to do 2 things. Ensure that the flood cannot pilot this ship at all and get Cortana to start the self-destruct sequence. It was going to be a busy day.
Muteka had had his fill of punishment. The pulse laser fire was not enough to stop a swarm of Archer missiles heading into the cruiser. They had punctured the port side of his vessel. He had watched the impacts of the Archer missiles. Once impacted, they blossomed like fire flowers all over his ship. One had punctured so far and managed to damage the main reactor and the ship was now dead in space. The bridge was engulfed in flames and everybody on the bridge was either dead or dying.
Muteka looked around his ramp at the sea of fire around him with rage and despair. He charged a plasma rifle from a dead elite nearby and put it to his head.
"Forgive me Lord Junata." After uttering the words honoring the head prophet, he pulled the trigger.
John saw a flood soldier ahead of him in the hall leading towards the ammunition armory. He charged at it and brought the saber through the creature's head. The head split in half and the creature fell to the ground lifeless. He opened the door to the armory and immediately grabbed an M90 combat shotgun and all the ammo he could carry. He grabbed a marine backpack and put his saber and spare ammo in it. It was time for him to get to the bridge. Before he exited the armory he noticed another door in the dimly lit room. The door read "Restricted Access. All Unauthorized Personnel May Not Enter". The admiral can wait half a moment, John thought. Then he noticed another sign on the door, which was the symbol for a biohazard. John didn't care and entered anyway. Good God! He saw row after row of tall metallic canisters in the room filled with G-219. G-219 was a strong type of nerve gas invented in the 24th century in order to deal with rebel factions on earth. The factions disagreed over all the countries uniting to form the Republic of Earth and preferred their separate countries. Most people did not share the same view and the conflict turned violent and the Republican special forces gassed many enemy barracks with this lethal gas. First of all, it caused paralyzation and then instant death. What was it doing here? He saw a computer terminal labeled ONI on the screen. Figures they're in charge of this. John started to type keys on the screen randomly to get it to function.
"Would you like to learn about Operation Viper?" the computer asked in a gentle feminine voice. John touched "Yes" on the screen and a presentation came on screen.
"Operation Viper is the extensive use of G-219 nerve gas throughout the covenant campaign in order to eliminate the threat. Through its use in grenades, rockets, or even bullets, G-219 is designed to neutralize enemies in a wide radius with quick results. A 1/2 a pint amount could take out a major battalion of covenant by conventional missile. Grenade launchers have been fitted with G-219. Once inhaled, the enemy is instantly paralyzed and dies a fraction of a second later." John couldn't believe that the military would stoop so low as to use biological terror against the enemy. Yes, G-219 did its job effectively, but if used improperly or for worse matters, captured by the covenant, it could cost the lives of humans as well.
He saw a type of armor on the wall that said "Project Mjolnir".
"Looks like Viper was going to be in the hands of the Spartans!" John was surprised. ONI did not trust the Spartans and had usually relied on their prized Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, who now of course lay in ruins. Why shift this operation to the Spartans? He didn't care right this minute and quickly tried putting on the armor and succeeded, along with a newly issued helmet. Not only did it project teammates and the crosshair for his gun, but it had infrared vision and projected levels of G-219 in a certain area. This uniform was specifically designed for Operation Viper and next to where the armor was, was a grenade launcher, fitted with G-219 rounds. Who knows, if he were the only left in a certain area, he would use them against the covenant. Or the flood. He sprinted out of both rooms and quickly made his way to the bridge. What he found was bodies of marines that littered the floor in the stages of mutation and with a special mutation like Captain Keyes near the bridge controls, the Admiral. John quickly destroyed the mutation and brought out Cortana's chip and inserted it into the bridge's controls.
"Miss me?" the MC asked.
"Thank God! I thought I actually "died" when I went dark. Wait a minute. I'm analyzing the structure of your armor. This is not the same model. What happened?"
"Long story. Can you activate the self-destruct sequence?"
"No problem." John watched as the symbols raced furiously across Cortana's body. "There, 12 minutes. Will that suffice?"
"More than enough," The MC answered. "Method of escape?"
"According to surveillance there are a couple covenant dropships in the docking bay near here. I can fly us out of here if you allow me to interface with the controls."
"Will do." The MC detached Cortana from the bridge controls and back into his helmet. He sprinted 65 miles down the hall. That was 15 mph faster than his last suit. He learned something knew every moment.
"I've just got one question Cortana. How did the flood get onboard this vessel?"
"My best guess is that there were flood on the Longsword to begin with. Remember, the door to the Longsword was open when we got there. " Then he realized it. When he was making a run for the Longsword on Halo, the door to the craft was indeed open when he got there. There might have been a few flood creatures waiting for him onboard! But, they waited a whole day to strike? They could have killed him when he was alone onboard the Longsword. Why strike now? Perhaps they were getting more intelligent about when the best time to look for a host is? It didn't matter right this second. Sure enough when he got to the docking bay there were 2 covenant dropships. And a lot of Flood.
"Cortana, you went through this ship's program on the bridge. Did you scan for human survivors?"
"Yes I did. None were detected by my scanners."
Upon hearing this, the Master Chief instantly launched a G-219 nerve gas grenade into the center of the room. The gas flooded the whole docking bay and it instantly paralyzed and killed all Flood life in the area.
"Good, the nerve gas have effect on the flood, which probably means they have an effect on the covenant as well." Cortana answered. "Looks like the ONI spooks did something right for a change." The MC ran for the covenant dropship's cockpit and hopped in. The seat was actually rather comfortable. In the back part or neck of the dropship there were actually two seats. The one farthest forward was the cockpit and the one farther back controlled the turrent.
"Cortana, get ready." The MC wired Cortana's chip with the covenant dropship and the ship instantly blared to life and slowly exited the docking bay.
Whatever this gas was it killed everything behind him. The brave elite quickly ran to the docking bay near the rear of the ship. He entered the giant room, ruins of human troop transports everywhere, but there was one covenant troop transport left. Omnitus made a run for it across the vast bay. Just then flood poured out of the airducts above him and landed right in front of him, cutting off his escape. He had no shield and at that moment he saw a purple blip in the middle of space from the docking bay doors. The Spartan no doubt. He had no choice but to fight his way through. Omnitus drew his saber and in doing so slashed a flood soldier in half from the bottom up. Green blood flowed to the floor and the two pieces of the flood fell to the ground. He punched the head of a mutated elite clear across the room and stabbed another in the chest, lifting it clear off the ground. The opposition was quickly disposed of. Omnitus made a run for the cockpit and checked the computer system of the dropship. Good, this was the dropship he rode in on.
He quickly punched a holographic button and exited the cockpit. He watched the shield between the two troop carriers of the dropship. A special type of banshee decloaked. Instead of being purple toned, this one had a bluish silver tone. Omnitus recalled the specs of the ship quickly. Not only did it have the standard plasma cannons, but it had a quick charge fuel rod cannon, capable of doing 25% more damage and charging 40% faster than the normal cannons do. The banshee also was installed with a new shield generator that could take decent amounts of punishment. By the miracle works of the scientists, this beautiful craft was custom made just for him. Omnitus lowered it from the dropship's shield and Omnitus quickly entered the banshee.
"Trenga a huego." -"Here we go."
"I'm going to have a talk with the CINCSPACEFLT (Commander-in-Chief of the UNSC space fleet) about why he would use biological weaponry."
"According to the files installed in your suit, the admiral doesn't even know about it, thanks to the spooks at ONI." The Master Chief then spotted two UNSC destroyers from the turrent seat he was seating in, which after firing two MAC rounds at the now ruined covenant cruiser turned their missile pods towards the covenant dropship that both him and Cortana were now in.
"Cortana to Cherokee. The Master Chief and I are the only survivors of the Liberator and need immediate boarding."
"Affirmative, but we are a bit far away. It will take 10 minutes to get into protection firing range. For that 10 minutes you'll be pretty exposed without protection. Fortunately, the last of the covenant ships has been destroyed. The reason we're so far away from your position is we were in pursuit of the flagship, but that's no longer a threat."
Cortana started to accelerate the dropship towards the Cherokee, one of the two destroyer survivors of this costly battle. There was approximately 6.5 minutes left until the Liberator would become a great ball of fire. Different symbols raced across her body and all the sudden Cortana assumed an alert posture.
"Chief, I've got a radar contact, closing awfully fast. I surmise it's a covenant banshee. Not only that... it came from the Liberator!"
"What?" The Chief asked quietly but filled with agitation. "It can't be, it just can't be!" The Master Chief was now locked in a state of panic.
"Sorry, Spartan," a deep, guttural, and all too familiar voice intruded over the communications link. "Hell had no vacancies."