Wake Me Chap 2
Posted By: alimination602<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 29 December 2007, 2:50 pm
The assault on the ark had begun. The Chief and the Arbiter had stormed the cartographer and the location of the Control Room and Truth himself was now known. The only thing standing in they're way was a large defense barrier Truth had activated too ensure his success in activating the Ark undisturbed, well that was soon going too change. "We hit these three generators and the barrier will fall?" Miranda looked across at her temporary advisor, 343 Guilty Spark may have been a pompous ass and at times he would let his set duties put Humanity second behind the safety of his installations, but he was also a wealth of knowledge about the Forerunners and the Halo rings. He turned to her to answer. "A small section, yes" With her answer Miranda snapped back too her view screen. "Good enough. Johnson, drop the Chief at the first generator and then head to the third. The elites will punch right down the middle" The five pelicans and Two Phantoms broke formation, Miranda and her escort banking left. The Chief and Johnson banking right, while the elites continued their present course. "Brace yourselves! We're going in a little hot" She heard one of the other pilots screaming, the COM channel being blurred by static, something about Tower 1. "Ma'am this is Hocus. We lost our wingman and our only hog" "Roger that. Get out of there Hocus" Miranda would never allow herself too put any of her soldiers in unnecessary risk. Miranda lowered her pelican down onto the beachhead. "GO GO GO!" She screamed into the rear compartment, she looked out the side of the pelican too the Mongoose screech too a stop, the Chief hopping onto the back the new Spartan Laser slung over his shoulder.
The Chief's approach to the first tower went exactly according too plan. After the loss of Hocuses wingman she was forced to bug out, forcing Miranda too take up the position of supply bird and recon for the Chief's mission. From her position high above the carnage, watching the Triple-A (Anti Air Artillery) fire streak past her bird or scrape across the hull of her craft. "Things seem to be going to plan, ma'am" Sakura fizzled into existence over the holotank, her flowery voice a god send in comparison to the throb of the engine. Miranda turned too her AI "Indeed
." Turning back to the map. "
.but the battle has only just begun. Activate the Chiefs HUD" Sakura closed her eyes once more. "On the main view screen" The view screen was suddenly awash with life as Miranda stared at the carnage the Chief was inflicting on the unlucky Brute forces that had been assigned to guard the entrance too the First Tower, curtsey of the standard issue camera implanted in every UNSC soldiers helmet. She saw the barrel of the Spartan Laser come up on the edge of the cameras view. The burning red laser flew towards its target as the Wraith exploded; Miranda had to turn away from the blinding flash as the laser cut through the reinforced mineral that composed the metal used in the hull of Covenant vessels and Vehicles. She opened the COM link, her voice booming inside the Chief's helmet. "Chief, get inside that tower and shut it down" He put his hand to his helmet. "Roger that ma'am we're on it" The Chief reloaded his assault riffle as he ran into the tunnel that lead into the tower.
Sakura had never seen such brutality in her life. As a ship AI her duties circled around ship maintenance and navigation, due to this she had never experienced ground combat before. And when she did she had an immediate distaste for it. The blood and the violence of the battle that she watched was more than enough to make her stomach churn, if she even had a digestive system to speak of. Miranda had spent most of her naval career on the bridge of her ship and as such spent a lot of her time with her AI Sakura. So she learned too pick up on subtle things from her. "Not a pretty sight is it" Sakura turned too her, the commander seemed completely unfazed as she watched the Chief empty round after round into squealing and retreating grunts. Her turning point was as see watched a screeching grunt trip as it ran in fear of the green monster that loomed over it. It rolled onto its back, its black spherical eyes reflecting the gold of the Chief's visor, before he drew his shotgun and squeezed the trigger.
That was the last straw for Sakura as she finally pried her eyes away from the carnage. The only thing she could hear was the wet squeal as the Grunt stole its last breath of life. Miranda turned too Sakura and watched as she clutched her loose poncho tightly in her hands for whatever support it offered her. "I know how you feel" Sakura turned to her commander and friend. "How do you do it? How can you watch such
?" She trailed off unable to finish her sentence. "And still remain so calm?" She finished her sentence for her. "I lost my father to these creatures. I'm afraid murder is a necessary evil in war, we kill them they kill us. It's just the way it is" "But how can you stand watching creatures suffer like that poor grunt. I mean that squeal before it died was just awful" Her expression finally broke, tears running down her silk soft skin as her poncho was lined with dark spots of tears. Miranda put her hand out as Sakura collapsed into her palm for support, even though she had no feeling of touch it still offered Sakura support to know she was held by someone she trusted.
.." A voice broke the silence. Miranda tapped the COM switch as the Chief's voice boomed through the pelican's cockpit. "Ma'am I've secured the First Tower" "Hit the switch Chief and the barrier will fall" They watched the camera shake as the Chief ran past the corpses of dozens of brutes that had decided to challenge the last surviving member of the Spartan-II program. His gauntleted hand slammed down on the holo-switch as he peered out the window. "Well done Chief, the arbiter should be just about. That's Two!" She watched the beam from the second tower die. "It's all up to Johnson's team now" But the third tower remained active. "Get outside Chief, wait for transport".
She closed the COM link. She turned too Sakura. "What happened ma'am?" "Johnson's team failed to take down the Third Tower" "Chief can you hear me!" Johnson's voice suddenly beamed across the COM. "We need reinforcements, we're pinned dow
." Hi transmission was filled with static, that was all Miranda needed. "I'm on my way" she gripped the controls ready to divert course and come in guns blazing. "Negative, Fires too thick everyone fall back" "Sergeant Major" No reply. Sakura could hear the fear in her commander's voice. "Johnson can you hear me?" She said much more firmly, still no reply.
As soon as the Chief returned to the beach he boarded a waiting Hornet and took off, bound for the Third Tower. Miranda watched outside as dozens of banshees streaked past the cockpit window. "Fire" She hit the trigger as the force of the Archer missiles leaving they're berths pressed her back into her seat. The missiles streaked towards the floating Phantom, impacting the hull as the ship broke apart and crashing down into the waves waiting below them. Plasma impacts washed across the titanium armor as each layer slowly melted away under the force and heat of the plasma impact. "Incoming Triple-A fire" Sakura chimed in, bringing up a camera view of the target. "Get me a lock on the Anti-Air Wraith" The pelican panned to the right as the targeting reticule centered on the wraith as it let loose with a storm of green mortar fire. Her finger hung over the trigger as she watched her target explode in a glow of blue flames, before she could even fire the weapon. She turned too see a new hornet inbound, machine guns blazing as banshees around her turned towards the new target, only to plummet into the freezing ocean as the Hornet's fire ripped through their armor plating. "Nice too see you Chief" "Likewise ma'am" She turned the pelican on some invisible axis as she fired the engines towards the next Tower, the Chief's Hornet remaining on her wing as her escort. As they came around the cliff face they were met with a grand dogfight between a squad of UNSC Hornets and a Fleet of Covenant Banshees and Phantoms. Miranda was eager to tip the odds in UNSC favor. She fired 3 archer missiles, three targets. Three wrecked Banshees. Now with a hole in the Covenant defenses the Chief touched the hornet down on the platform, jumping clear of the cockpit. Using the wing for cover John fired his assault rifle into the brutes that stood at the top of the stairs, raining grenades from their Brute Shots down upon him. He threw a plasma grenade into the enemy lines "3
.1" A blue flash was the signal he was waiting for as he leapt from his cover, firing into the collapsed forms of the stunned brutes. "Any sign of Johnson?" Miranda asked the Chief. "No ma'am no sign of Johnson or his team" Sakura could see that last sentence had hit Miranda hard, but regardless she continued on with the task at hand.
The Chief deactivated the final Tower. Miranda looked out of the view screen as the shield collapsed on itself. The Shipmasters Flagship moved into position over the Forerunner Citadel. "Now Prophet, you're rein is at an end" Suddenly Miranda noticed the rupture of a slipspace jump appear in the sky. The rip then opened around a large comet or rock as it collapsed down towards the Ark. "By the gods! Brace for Impact" The incoming projectile slammed into the hull of the Shadow of Intent, the screeches of stressed metal rang out across the terrain. Miranda covered her head as she watched pieces of debris streak past the cockpit. Watching the camera view from the Chief's helmet she saw something slithering out of the rock that had impacted the Third Tower. Then she realized they're worst fears had been realized. The parasite slipped across the floor, some running towards the Chief while others broke off from the main group as they swamped over the corpses of the Brute soldiers. The creatures then buried themselves into the corpse, eventually mutating and reanimating the body. "Shipmaster. Report!" She pleaded into the COM link. "Significant Damage all over the ship. Weapons systems offline" "Move too a safe distance. Stay away from the flood" Miranda ordered. "Flood?" Sakura pondered the name Miranda had given too these monsters. Miranda closed the COM link. "The Flood, that's what you called them right?" Miranda turned too her AI "Yes, they're what Halo is designed too stop" She told her. "How can you stop something like this?" They watched as the chief emptied magazines of Assault Rifle fire into the creatures, but as one of the creatures burst 3 more would appear too avenge it. Miranda thought she may as well know. "By killing us all. That's what Halo does, it kills any life form that can sustain the flood eventually starving them too death" Sakura was stunned, she could not believe even the Covenant could go as far as a complete purge of the entire galaxy, simply for they're beliefs. "So how do we stop them" Miranda gripped the throttle, her eyes burning with determination. "By taking down Truth".
This was it. The Chief had dispatched the Covenant perimeter Guard and now he and the Arbiter were on the doorstep of Truth's doorstep. Miranda watched the Chiefs view, listening too the Truth spouting his lies of the fabled 'Great Journey'. The Chief suddenly froze. He stared at the screen on the wall that broadcast Truths sermon to the Soldiers of the Covenant. He saw Johnson being held by two brute guards. "Chief are you close enough?" "Not enough" That was all Commander Keyes needed. She knew that she would never live with herself if something happened to Johnson, and she knew she would never live if Truth was able to activate the rings. She banked her pelican as she came up on the rear of the Citadel. Through the window she could see Truth preaching his sermon as Johnson was held over the console. That was the last straw for her. She turned the pelican towards the Citadel, lining up the craft with the window as the reinforced Titanium craft smashed through the window, slamming down onto the platform. Miranda unbuckled her straps as she slid out her seat. Sakura called out to her "Be careful" Miranda turned back, just long enough to blow her AI a kiss, as this may have been her last action too her. Sakura blushed at the kind gesture.
Sakura couldn't see what was happening outside the dropship as the Exterior Cameras had been damaged during the crash. As such she was forced to listen helplessly as the sound of gunfire rattled through the Chamber. Minutes past, that to her felt like hours. But her hopes of Miranda returning unharmed were dashed when see saw Johnson stride into the cargo bay, clutching Miranda's limp body in his arms. She appeared on the holo-tank in the cargo bay. She stood stunned as Johnson laid her limp body onto the bench in the cargo bay, tears running down her face. Johnson took the pilot seat as he started up the engine as the damaged craft lifted into the air, out through the breach caused by they're first crash. But suddenly the craft lurched back towards the Control Room; he was intent on saving the Arbiter and Chief. Sakura couldn't allow any delays, there may still be hope of saving Miranda if they made it back too the Dawn. She was forced too take drastic measures in order to save her friend. Sakura slipped herself into the computer system, over riding the pelican's controls and taking control of the craft. "What the?" Johnson called out as control was snatched away from him. "Chief, I can't evac ya. I can't control it. You'd better find you're own way out" The Pelican shot back over the terrain, Sakura was not about to lose her friend and Commanding Officer.
Once they had boarded the Dawn Johnson carried Miranda Keyes body into the Cryobay. Sakura's avatar fizzled into existence as she watched Johnson lovingly place her body into the CryoTube, sealing the hatch as her cold hard gaze stared through Sakura. From then on Sakura never left the Cryobay, she continued her duties as normal but lacking the flowery voice and perky attitude that she reserved exclusively for Commander Miranda Keyes.