The Long Ride Home
Posted By: Joshua Barreto<email@example.com>
Date: 8 April 2002, 7:52 am
"...NO. I think we're just getting started."
It was only about ten hours ago that the Master Chief had uttered those words. After what seemed forever, the Longsword's engines finally cooled down enough for him to attempt a hyperspace jump to the nearest colony. He had to warn his superiors of the threat he barely escaped. With him was the advanced AI construct Cortana. She had massive amounts of information regarding the Covenant, their technology and tactics, as well as their various military strongholds. She also held the knowledge concerning Halo, its use, and the way it worked. All this time drifting in space gave her plenty of time to think and plan. She looked over the chief as he slept. He was exhausted, after almost 4 days of fighting, he had a right to be.
Warning signals flashed on the main screen. A huge vibration shook the vessel, and Cortana alerted the Chief.
"What's going on?" He asked, looking at the screen.
"We've been thrown out of subspace, Chief. That's not all, I'm picking up movement." Cortana continued, "Don't know where, but I am reading energy signals that are concentrated and moving in formation. It's..."
"Covenant." The chief cut her off as he resnapped his helmet on. "What's our defensive options?"
"We've got 6 Shredder missiles, three ballistic splitter rounds and two rapid fire 120mm cannons with only about 540, no, 538 piercing rounds in each drum. Plus a couple of decoys and fragmentation charges." A beeping alert could be heard. "Chief, they're within our missiles' range, suggestions?"
He loaded his assault rifle and pocketed his pistol.
"Start launching our frag charges. They were cloaked and appeared within our range and out of theirs. They could've shot us down by now but didn't.
Just arm the cannons just in case though." He put the Longsword into manual.
Explosions appeared after short bursts of azure and aqua streams of light touched the frag charges.
"Chief, they're firing!" Cortana yelled as the covenant fighters closed in. "4 Covenant bogies on our six, chief, and 3 on our heads up."
"I see them." He immediately began firing on one of the oncoming fighters. They took evasive maneuvers as he followed one until it was shot down. Simultaneously, multiple plasma bursts hit the Longsword, knocking out the engines sending it into an uncontrollable tumble through the space.
"Engines are out, Master Chief!" Cortana told him, as he looked at the monitors.
"It's going to be a long ride home."
As the Longsword spun uncontrollably, Cortana suggested various courses of action for the situation.
"Our back up engines are still capable of flight. Analyzing.....activating....our vessel is now stable."
As soon as she said those words, the Chief immediately sprung into action. The fighter was still sustaining blows as he launched two shredder missiles into the squad of covenant fighters, blowing them apart. He looked at his radar as it came to life, beeming red with more hostiles, multiplying as bacteria do in a petri dish. Suddenly a huge cruiser came into view, with two others and then a third following not too far behind.
"Chief, we're surrounded. There's no way we can fight against four covenant fighters, let alone four cruisers..." The Spartan II, Mark V Cyborg slowly looked at her. The inability to see his eyes made him even creepier.
He looked at the cruisers, and two huge beams of green light reflected off his visor as the rounds of accelerated energy sped towards them. He took Cortana's crystal from the computer board, and put her onto his helmet. The two energy blasts hit their ship, and the Chief was knocked to the floor.
"Chief? The Longsword's systems have been disabled!" Cortana told him, as he got up off the floor.
"What else are we capable of?" He responded immediately as sparks came off the main frameboards on the pilot's dash.
"You can very well see what control we have left...Chief! The Covenant Commander...he's...hailing us?!