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A Story of Betrayal, Part 1: The Return Home
Posted By: Anthony<Anthony41988@hotmail.com>
Date: 22 April 2004, 9:22 PM

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0930 Hours, September 15, 2552 Aboard UNSC Destroyer Noah's Ark,in orbit over Earth

Captain Rick James marveled at the increase of activity in the bay over the last week or so. Ever since contact was lost with Reach's battlegroup, every single UNSC ship had been called back, from the smallest longsword to the biggest carrier. Longsword fighters swept their Patrol zones, looking for any suspicious activity. Destroyers and Carriers were being refitted at orbital stations. The 32 orbital MAC guns were made sure they were in order, and even more MACs were being made as he thought to himself.
"It doesn't matter" he thought as he watched again and again a replay of the Covenant's armada at Reach. If they came to Earth with the same kind of power, the battle would easily go to the Covenant's favor. A loud knock at his door interrupted his thoughts. "Captain James. Your presence is being requested on the bridge, ASAP" a voice shouted from the other side. James walked to the door and opened it, facing a young private. "Reports are coming in saying that an unknown ship has just exited slipspace on the farside of Mars, sir. It could be Covenant, sir" the private stated, shakily. "Thank you, private. Dismissed".

1000 Hours, September 15, 2552, aboard UNSC frigrate Gettysburg bewtween Earth and Mars.

Sergeant Johnson, John, Fred, Will, and Linda all stood, staring out towards the big blue planet neither of them had ever seen. "There is no way in hell i'm letting the Covies destroy something that beautiful" Johnson said out loud, revealing his soft side. A feminine voice boomed over the loudspeakers. It was Cortana. "Chief, it seems that some damage had occured to our identification software earlier on that I overlooked". "So what does that mean?" John asked.
"It means, don't expect a warm welcome" the AI replied.
The UNSC frigate Gettysburg, beaten and bruised, pinged Earth's fleet as it slowly crawled forward. A few minutes later they got a response. "This is Captain James of the destroyer Noah's Ark. Hold your position. A rescue team is on the way".The MC gave a sigh of relief. He was finally back in unhostile space, and even though the Covenant threat was greater than ever, he could now afford some relaxation. "Everyone start to get your stories straight," Cortana said, "cause we have alot of storytelling to do. Chief, Plug me back into your suit." The Chief walked up to the Holopanel, removed her chip and placed it into his helmet. All of a sudden a feeling of sensation went through his head, followed by a brief jab of pain. "Good. Lets prepare for the boarding team" Cortana said and they were off. Within minutes, a boarding team of ODST's had boarded the ship. The spartans were waiting for them. The soldier's stopped in their tracks, star-struck. "Whats wrong marine? Look's like you've seen a ghost" the Chief said as he walked by him, along with Johnson and the other spartans onto the boarding craft.

UNSC HighCom Facility Bravo-4, September 16, 2552, Washington, DC, Earth, 0600 hours

All four spartans along with Sgt. Johnson sat in the waiting room waiting to be called in to the Lions den. The Chief had already made up his mind on what he was going to tell them about the Flood, and was as cool as ice water. He could tell the same about his spartans, but Johnson looked a little shaky. After a few more minutes of waiting, they were all called in simultaneosly. As they walked through the doors they all felt like they were being watched by millions of eyes. They stopped in the middle of the room, and John realized there was an officer sitting at every seat in the round room. He did not recognize any faces, but he could tell they were mostly senior brass. Admirals, Captains, and Colonels.
"Cheif, your a sight for sore eyes" the man directly in front of him said. "I'm Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood. The gentlemen and I surrounding you would like to know just how the hell you are standing here before us." The Master Chief stayed silent for a second and then began his story, followed by the other spartans and Sgt Johnson's recollections. After about an hour of detailed explanations, the room was quiet. Major general Strauss finally spoke up. "So Cortana," who now was placed on a holopanel in the center of the room, "how long do we have before the Covenant are able to enter the Sol system?" "According to my calculations based on how long they take to gather there forces, supplies, etc, they should be here in approximately one standard week" the AI replied.
Colonel Ackerson, who had all this time been silent, began to shake his head. "Master Chief, do you know what you have done by ignoring the possible rewards of capturing a Covenant warship? Do you have any idea of the benefits? The second you had it in possesion you should have returned to Earth" the Colonel said in an angry, demonic tone. "Sir, with all due respect, if we had not done what had we done then there would be no Earth right now. Two entire Covenant fleets have been destroyed by a single man, more ships than any UNSC fleet has destroyed" Cortana replied in the same tone used by Ackerson.
"Enough" said Hood. "Ackerson, I will have you thrown out the next time you blow up like that. Master Chief, your story, along with the others, is quite extroadinary. If what you say is true, then there is no reward in the UNSC that can commend your actions." "All I want sir, is the chance to fight the Covenant again, and defend Earth to the best of my abilities, which is exactly what these soldiers next to me want. As long as we are here, There we always be hope, sir" the Chief replied. "Before we dimiss you Chief i would like one more assurance. Are you 100% positive the Flood are gone?" Hood asked. "Yes, sir". Hood sat back in his chair. "Good. Assuming we survive the oncoming onslaught, we will take care of the discovery of Halo. Unfortunately, even though you may have struck a serious blow to the Covenant at Halo, the ring itself and the 3 other rings cannot help us here. I will notify the entire fleet and military personnel of the situation. Meanwhile, you people get some rest, and later I'll personally make sure that you and your fellow spartans will get your new armor, along with new weapons, and the new technology that has been developed here on Earth. Your dismissed, Chief."
As they all walked out, the Chief could only wonder about the new armor Admiral hood was talking about, along with the new technology. The Chief could not wait to get started.

New york city, New york, 1900 hours, Fort Delaware

Lieutenant George Gray read the letter he just received from his superior at HighCom. There was a cog in the plan. The spartans, who were presumed dead, apparently are back. He could begin to feel as what they had set in motion had begin to unravel. However, his superior assured him that this was just a minor setback. A minor setback? That damn spartan wiped out two Covenant fleets. Gray was sure he would have no problem with a few hundred humans. Whatever. If what his superior was saying was true, and what he had planned worked, then ultimately there would be nothing left to worry about.
They would have to be sneaky, however. The Colonel knew in advanced about the attack on Reach. Hell, he was most likely the catalyst for those events. He withheld knowledge that would probably turn the tide for the humans. However he chose not too. Gray didn't know why, however, he knew which side he wanted to be on when the fighting started again. And that was the Colonel's side, which him and the 2 platoons of trusted ODST's and marines had chosen.
At that moment, he wondered what the Covenant offered him in order to betray the human race? It would definitly would have to have been a great reward. He knew what the Covenant wanted, which was the complete annihilation of Humans, along with all their religous mumbo jumbo artifacts, but what would the Colonel and his followers receive? Who knows, and who cares he thought. He quickly burned the letter, and read the next letter in his inbox.
It stated that the Covenant will be here in one standard week, and that the civilian population would not be notified so they could avoid panic. Definitly alot later than expected . He was beginning to get worried. Gray sliped the letter in his coat pocket, and walked out of his office.

PT 2: The onslaught begins. Coming soon....