True Purpose: The Finale
Posted By: Frensa Geran<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 July 2003, 4:31 AM
The True Purpose
Location: Planet 'E'
Lieutenant Marshal Walker sat in his cramped cockpit, his co-pilot Marcus Flen right next to him. The sat quiet in their Long Sword, watching outside as other Long Swords, along with Carts filled with nuclear warheads were being attached to the wings.
But worst of all, the sight of Banshees, hovering in midair, and Troopers, green clad demons were getting into their Drop Ships.
"I can't stand the sight of it." Marcus said breaking the silence.
Both Mark and Marshal had been in a squad together when the Troopers had first landed. They were the lucky ones; they survived.
"I keep telling myself it's for the greater good, but I can't seem to believe it. I've been out here since we first found HALO. Nothing would please me more than to shove these nukes up Planet 'M's..."
[Pilots...] Said General Ferguson over the comm., stopping Marshal's swears.
"Yes sir?" Marcus replied after a light chuckle at Marshal.
[You have your orders correct?] The General replied.
"Yes sir." Said Marshal, holding a green slip of paper. Usually their orders were pages upon pages, but this time, all they had was a sentence and a picture with an arrow.
The Picture was the Forerunner Ship, an outline with a few details, the only things sensors could get, being unable to penetrate the hull. The Sentence:
"Fire Nuclear Warheads."
An arrow pointed to certain spots on the ship, signifying their importance.
[You do? Excellent. The cloaked Long Swords will launch in 30 minutes, with or without you, gentleman. So stay on your toes, Ferguson out.]
"Here Chief, we got this Shipboard AI from one of the cruisers, she'll be keeping you abreast of communications and tactics." A Soldier in a white coat said to the Chief.
Mark was standing on the side of a long airstrip, along with some marine doctors and engineers. They made sure every program and nerve was working properly. Even he couldn't make out the things they were checking.
"Aerodynamic giga-drive auto-sequencer?"
"Multi-Valve elastic join booster?"
The doctor with the AI inserted the tiny chip into the side of the Chiefs head, causing a ringing in his ears.
"Well, doesn't really suite me, I'm a bit used to galactic starships, but this'll do." The woman said in his head.
"Don't get used to it missy, I don't plan to take long." Mark replied, shaking his head, as if there was water in his ears.
"Master Chief, I'm just trying to do my job. Eww!" She screamed.
"Ah!" The Chief said, "Not so loud! What's the problem?"
"When was the last time you cleaned your data processor? There's gunk all over it!"
"Troopers, to your post!" General Maron, chief of Covenant Strategy and Tactics said to a line of 8 Troopers.
Each of these massive green clunks of armor ran quickly from their chatter, mostly about ways to kill Humans once the alliance was over.
"The High Counsel, along with the Human Fleet Admiral have both created your orders. I hope you all have them?" He asked in a loud angry voice.
Each Trooper nodded their bulky helmet in acknowledgement.
One Trooper, named Sardok, looked at his palm that contained a small screen that was activated. On it, flashed his orders:
"Board Drop Ship. Once you have made it to your destination, eliminate all Forerunner forces."
Sardok chuckled lightly so General Maron wouldn't hear, and looked back up.
"Now, you know what you have to do, kill the Forerunners. The faster you do, the faster you kill these Humans!" Maron shouted, raising his rifle and firing a few bursts. The rest of them did the same, and then quickly strapped themselves in on each arm of the Drop Ship.
Location: Forerunner Battle Cruiser (Bridge)
"Computer, zoom in, sector 22-32-2." Said a high-pitched voice, emanating from a dark robed and hooded figure.
The entire bridge contained no walls, or ceiling. It was simply all completely white, except whatever he wanted to appear.
A door appeared out of then air, and out came another hooded figure. "What have you found?" A deeper voice said.
"The Humans and Covenant have amassed a small army on one of the moons. Intercepted radio signals tell of an attack on us." The high-pitched voice said with a cackle of laughter, looking at a view screen that seemed to be floating there. On it was Planet 'E', with many Long Swords and Troopers walking on the surface.
"They don't actually think they'll win?" The deep voiced one replied in a shocked voice.
Everything fell silent, when a booming voice came from out of nowhere, his words spread across the entire plane of nothingness.
"DO NOT FORGET THE CYCLE. ODDS CANNOT ESCAPE IT."
Both hooded figures looked around anxiously, worry in their voice. " Y - yes master! Of course, the cycle!"
"I - I never forgot!" The other said.
"FORGIVEN YOU ARE. DO NOT MAKE SUCH WORRIES ARISE AGAIN."
"They will destroy us!"
"But how can we fight. We must kill. Death to them!"
"Lock us up for millennia, and now death! The scum!"
Even in a state of half death, Sergeant Collin felt his head pang stings and soreness. Too many voices filled his ears. The Flood voices would not be able to be sustained in a human body.
The parasite within him controlled his mind now. He couldn't move, or stop, or fight. It was a terribly painful ordeal. But still, he was tempted to listen to the hive mind.
One voice seemed to accumulate all of the opinions, and form words.
"We must find a way out. Search for a ship, shuttle, anything!"
The parasite that invaded Collins body was not taking good care of his body. Already he limped, his face torn and smashed. His entire body was a sick yellow, no hair on his head.
Even parts of his chest simply fell off, and no blood fell. It was hell inside his very own body.
Location: Forerunner Battle Cruiser (Bridge)
The view screen vanished from view, while again like magic it re-appeared. The hooded figure seemed shocked when it happened.
On the screen in their foreign writing:
INCOMING TRANSMITTION FROM HUMAN PLANET #2
Intrigued, he activated it by simply thinking to.
A woman in a blue dress sat at a desk, the camera facing her with paper in her hand.
"Recent updates on the Human/Covenant alliance. Military activity on Planet 'E' has reached a critical high, while some witnesses from Civilian towns claim they saw Banshees being escorted by Human bombers. No word yet on the actual plan to stop the unknown alien."
The hooded figure hissed like a snake. "You cannot stop us." He said, closing the link.
A swirl of wind hit the hooded figure that made him shudder and turn around. A cage appeared, roughly 4 feet high with metal bars. Inside was a Human Marine.
"We'll fight you with our last ounce of strength!" The Private hollered in a raspy voice, obviously he'd been through a lot.
Right next to him, a very tall hooded man appeared from thin air, his hand on the cage. It was the booming voice man.
"Calm yourself Mr. Chip Nicholas."
Location: Planet 'E'
Inside the cockpit, Marcus and Marshal watched as one by one, the 14 other Long Swords activated their cloaks, and shot off into space. They were second to last in line.
"Alrighty then, engage impulse engines." Mark said once #13 flew off into space.
"Engaged. Running 100% efficiency." Marshal replied.
"You sure do keep that exhaust valve clean." Mark commented.
"My girlfriend says I have a knack for it." Marshal replied, laughing.
Before they realized it, they were airborne. Mark still hadn't gotten used to the feeling, or the beautiful view he got miles above the surface. Everything was so peaceful, quiet and relaxing.
"Our 4 Warheads are armed and ready." Marshal said automatically.
That one sentence made Mark drift his head up from Planet 'E', and look at the giant black sphere that was dwindling in distance. The knot in his stomach tightened, his palms began to sweat. This is what he feared.
"You ready to save our asses?" Marshal said.
"And your joint enhancing systems, I've never seen so much residue and plaque! This is the dirtiest motherboard I've ever seen. You know I can recommend some excellent de-greaser for your..."
"CAN IT!" The Chief said to Mary, his AI.
"Chief?" General Ferguson said worried. "Whom are you talking to?"
"Forget it. When am I due to leave?" The Chief asked, changing the subject.
"The Pelican is waiting for you outside. It'll take you inside the Forerunner Vessel, and from there you can... negotiate with them." The General replied. The Chief knew was "negotiation" meant, and clutched his Battle Rifle tighter.
He said goodbye to the General and went out the door of the control tower. Ahead of him, a Pelican sat on a runway waiting for him.
No breeze touched him; the air was still, holding its breath for him. The hazy sky denied him a shadow, something he could do without.
"Something wrong Chief?" Mary asked.
"No, uh, nothing." He replied. He sprinted for the Pelican, grabbed a seat and gave the thumbs up to the pilot. The launched upward without another sound, and he found himself once again in space, on his way to "negotiate."
"Time to landing: One minute and forty four seconds." A computer voice said in the Covenant Drop Ship. Sardok sat, mediating in his straps, trying to block out the chatter of the other three in his arm of the Drop Ship.
"So then I grabbed a plasma grenade and chucked it over a hill, hoping to hit something. Next thing I see, this pitiful Human comes running toward him, and a plasma grenade on his head!" A Trooper said, rumbling the arm with his deep laugh.
"What about you Sardok, got any war stories? Or were you too busy mediating to fight?" A malice voice said, punching him in the arm.
Without a word, Sardok grabbed the arm and twisted it, causing the Trooper to scream for mercy. It gave everyone else a good laugh. "I prefer quiet before I enter battle." He said softly.
The others, not wanting a beating quieted.
The entire Drop Ship began to shake, and the dim lights within the arm flickered. Sardok tapped a console on the arm, "What is happening?" He shouted at the Pilot.
"I - I'm losing control! Energy loss is at critical! I'm reading the same on the other 5 Drop Ships. The cloaked Long Swords cloaking device just lost power."
"Can you fix it?" The Troopers with the hurting arm asked.
"This is exactly what happened before the planets were destroyed! Oh God! A light is coming from the Forerunner Ship!" The Pilot replied.
Sardok and the other three Troopers couldn't see a thing inside, and relied on Pilot descriptions for help.
"The - The light is getting brighter! The ship is turning to face Planet 'H'!"
Without another word the entire Drop Ship knew what was about to happen. "Oh no."
The build up gave way, and a wide beam of light struck Planet 'H', disintegrating it in seconds. Nothing was left.
"Entire cities. There were millions of Covenant forces there. When the Humans planned to attack, we moved practically everyone there! Their all dead!" Sardok shouted, making the arm vibrate.
The lights flickered again, and the Drop Ship was shaking harder than ever before. "Energy lost again. Life Support is failing!" The Pilot shouted.
"We need to eject the arms!" Sardok said.
"Activating decupling sequence."
Before anyone could protest, both arms shot off of the main body, retro-rockets firing.
"Now what Sardok?"
"Damn! I'm able to keep their cloaking shield steady, then another power drain hits!" Marcus said, hitting the controls with his fist. The glass on the screen cracked, and cut into his hand.
"God!" He said, clutching it with the other hand.
"Any longer in the Forerunner's energy field and we're gonna lose Life Support Mark!" Marshal said tapping controls so fast his hands were a blur.
"Energy losses up to 70%. We won't last much longer!"
Location: HALO (356 Guilty Spark Office)
The door to the office flung open, revealing two hooded figures, both stepping in slowly, as if the floor was plagued.
356 was connected to the wall, receiving new data. He decupled from it, "Hello." He said. There was something wrong about how he said it. And his blue aurora was dimmer.
"Guilty Spark, you need to power down the Environment Simulation Processors before we destroy the HALO. If not it could cascade." The high-pitched voice one said with a hiss.
"Yes, the Simulators." 356 said dully.
The deep voiced one was the first to comment, "Guilty Spark, is there something wrong?"
"Wrong? Nothing is wrong." He said, "Would you please excuse me, I must release the locks on all the doors, so the Flood may be released into the open areas." He said dully, activating a computer terminal.
"WHAT? We have Research Teams down there to pick up rock samples before we destroy it! You can't!" The high pitched one said hissing.
356 did not respond until, "The doors have been opened."
"Rock sample 1121-D has been extracted, I'm heading back to the ship." Came a Forerunner Scientist over the comm. A single hooded Forerunner sat inside the ship, monitoring their progress.
"Excavation Party D, status?" He said.
He waited for a minute, but no response came. "Party D, come in please." He repeated.
Sighing, he activated the Party A comm. channel, "Party A, can you give me the last known coordinates of Party D?"
"Last time we saw them they headed into a rock tunnel near the cliff edge." A woman responded.
"Must just be interference then, Command out."
A knock came at the door to the small shuttle. "Yes?" He said. No one was supposed to be back yet except Party B, and they were miles away.
No answer came from outside. He opened the door warily. It was Party D. "Where the hell have you been?" He asked.
Giant tentacles came from the Forerunners chest, slicing off his head.
"Guilty Spark, I demand an explanation! We've lost contact with the Excavation Team! What happened?" The deep voiced one bellowed.
"I released the Flood. Is there a problem?" He replied in a one toned voice.
The high-pitched voice one took a scanner from his robe and shot it at Guilty Spark.
"The Flood has tampered with his logic sub-routines." He said, taking out a smaller version of what looked like a plasma rifle. He fired, and the blue ball disappeared into particles.
"We'll have to destroy HALO, with or without rock samples I'm afraid."
Location: Forerunner Battle Cruiser (Bridge)
"Let me go!" Pvt. Nicholas shouted, shaking the bars of his cage.
The loud bass filled voice of the Forerunner Captain replied, "AS YOU WISH."
The bars vanished from thin air, leaving Pvt. Nicholas to stand full. He charged the hooded figure, fists flying. But like magic, a piece of wall appeared between him and the Captain.
Nicholas slammed into the wall, his nose was now broken.
"DO NOT FIGHT ME, CHIP. I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING." He said eerily.
The wall vanished, and suddenly the entire wide void disappeared. Now there was blackness, utter blackness. Chip couldn't see the floor below him, but his feet felt it. The blackness ceased, when a few stars could be made out. More and more appeared, until the stars began to form familiar patterns. He'd seen these before.
"When I was sitting in the cockpit of that Long Sword, my oxygen running low, I looked into the stars. We're in space, near the HALO aren't we?"
"WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER AFTER SEEING THE STARS?" The deafening voice asked calmly.
"I was - I don't remember. I guess I was transported here."
The hooded man nodded his head. "WE TOOK YOU FROM THAT COCKPIT, AND SAVED YOUR LIFE. YOU WOULD'VE RUN OUT OF OXYGEN OR HEAT SOONER OR LATER. THE MASTER CHIEF FOUND A CLONE OF YOUR BODY WE PLACED ON THE COVENANT CRUISER. HE THINKS YOUR DEAD."
"He does? But, how, why..." Nicholas stammered.
"Why me? Why'd you take me?" He asked.
"IT WAS YOUR TRUE PURPOSE." The Forerunner Captain replied.
Location: The Chief's Pelican
"This is Echo 1-11 to Command, I'm getting some interference coming from the Forerunner Ship. I can't seem to maintain oxygen flow or thruster control. Please respond."
The Chief was eavesdropping in on the conversation when he began feeling the ship bob up and down uncontrollably.
"Echo 1-11, we ---- seem to ---- Forerun------ disruption in the -----." The signal fizzled out and died.
"Can you get them back Mary?" The Chief said to his AI.
"No, damn! The ship is emitting tachyon particles movie at a high velocity to..."
"I don't need a science review Mary, can you bypass the problem?" The Chief yelled angrily, making the pilots head turn.
Mary mumbled some numbers and words Mark had never heard before, "I - I might be able to. Hold on."
A sudden jolt struck the Chiefs suite, as his ears were filled with static. Slowly it started to turn clearer, a man's voice was apparent.
"Got it!" Mary said finally.
"Master Chief, do you read me?" General Ferguson said in a worried tone.
"Yes sir. What is the situation?"
"We're using Mary's technique to block out the interference from the Forerunner Vessel right now. So far, it's been a success." He said.
"Oh, yes thank you." The General said in the back round, talking to someone who just handed him some papers. "I just got word, all of the Long Sword Fighters are back in action. We'll relay this to the Covenant. Ferguson out."
"Now, on to battle." Mary said.
"Yes, it works! I got the cloak back online Mark!" Marshal said from the front cockpit. Mark was in the back fiddling with wires.
"You can stop trying to electrocute yourself now." Marshal snickered.
"Very funny," Mark replied, sitting back down, "I was TRYING to keep the Life Support on and save your sorry ass. Seems to be my job nowadays."
Marshal gave an insulted look, "Who pushed you out of the way of an oncoming Ghost on the Planet 'B' takeover? I recall it was me!"
"Oh please, I would've ducked, and besides, I..." Mark began before Marshal lifted his hand sternly.
"Wait..." He said in a whisper, staring out the front window, "Something's happening to the Long Swords up front."
Mark turned to look at what he was talking about. The Long Swords seemed to have slowed down once they were within firing range of their targeted areas.
"Tractor beam I'd bet." Mark said.
"Maybe we should head back so we're not caught in it."
But it was too late; the Long Sword shuddered, and began to slow. Strangely they didn't get repelled away, but they were slowly being pulled into a small hole in the surface.
"Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!" Mark shouted, firing the frontal thrusters. "We're not stopping! We're heading straight inside along with the others!"
"How'd they see us?" Marshal shouted calmly.
"Something tells me their technology is a BIT more advanced." Mark replied.
Location: Forerunner Battle Cruiser (Bridge)
The Bridge was no longer an image of space, but had returned back to its original white nothingness. Two chairs had been created, and a giant screen in front of them.
Pvt. Nicholas and the Forerunner Captain sat there, watching an image from the surface of the ship. There he saw the Covenant Banshees and Long Swords be pulled inside the ship.
"What are going to do to them?" Pvt. Nicholas asked in fear.
"EXAMINE THEM, BIOLOGICAL TESTS, SEE THEIR ORGANS IN DETAIL. WE ARE NOT SIMPLY MINDLESS KILLERS, WE ARE EXPLORERS AS WELL. AS WE HAVE NOT YET ENCOUNTERED HUMANS, WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO DO RESEARCH."
"Research!?" Chip shouted, standing up from his chair, "You're talking about killing innocent creatures, against their will, for the sake of simple interest! You can't do that! It is immoral!"
The Captain nodded, "WE ARE AWARE OF "HUMAN MORALITY" AND ARE QUITE FASCINATED BY IT. WE LOOK FORWARD TO LEARNING ABOUT, AS WE HAVE NO SUCH MORALS."
Pvt. Nicholas looked dumbfounded, "You don't understand! You must let them go! Let me talk to them! I can tell them to call it off and..."
"CALM YOURSELF YOUNG HUMAN, THIS IS THE WAY THINGS ARE MEANT TO BE. IT IS THEIR TRUE PURPOSE."
"True Purpose!? What does that even MEAN!? What is their true purpose? How would even know their true purpose?" Chip shouted, pushing his chair over, watching it vanish from thin air.
"WE ARE ADVANCED IN MORE THAN JUST TECHNOLOGY. OUR MINDS ARE FAR MORE COMPLEX. HALO WAS JUST SUCH AN EXAMPLE."
"Was?" Chip asked, more relaxed and intrigued.
"HALO IS A DEVICE OF THE MIND. IT IS BOTH SPIRITUAL, AND A TEST OF MENTAL STRENGTH. IT WILL ONLY REVEAL ITS TRUE PURPOSE, TO THOSE OF VAST WISDOM. ...US."
The screen suddenly shifted from the Long Swords to a glimpse of HALO. It was changing before their very eyes. The ring began to turn, faster and faster, until finally it was a gray blur.
But in the middle, a great purple vortex, like the one that sent his ship through from the Threshold system, emerged in a vivid flash of light.
"What in Gods name is that?" Chip asked.
"ITS TRUE PURPOSE. THAT WORMHOLE LEADS TO FORERUNNER SPACE."
"What will happen to the Humans... and the Covenant?"
"THE LUCKY FEW WHO DARE PASS THROUGH IT, WILL FIND THEMSELVES IS AN EXOTIC WONDERLAND OF HAPPINESS. THOSE WHO STAY WILL SADLY DIE. HALO SOONER OR LATER MUST BE DESTROYED. THE FLOOD CANNOT ESCAPE."
"Sir?" Pvt. Nicholas asked kindly.
"HMM?" The Captain bellowed?
"What's my True Purpose?"
"THIS... ALL OF THIS. IF YOU HAD NOT GONE THROUGH HALO, CAPTAIN MARSHAL WOULDN'T OF ALTERED COURSE. IF HE HADN'T, HIS SHIP WOULDN'T OF BEEN DESTROYED BY THE COVENANT. THE SPARTAN WOULD NEVER HAVE FOUND HIMSELF ON HALO, OR TAKEN TO HAVE HIS ARMOR COPIED. SERGEANT COLLINS WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN RE-DEPLOYED, THUS NOT RELEASING THE FLOOD, WHICH IS WHY WE ARE HERE."
Pvt. Nicholas's eyes widened, "I caused it all. It was I."
"IT WAS YOUR TRUE PURPOSE."