Posted By: Frensa Geran<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 July 2003, 11:09 PM
Rise and defeat
"YOU CALL THIS FOOD?!?" Xexec spat at Marla, chewing on a dead animal cooked by the makeshift fire. Marla didn't care anymore. She knew she'd never find what she was looking for, or ever leave the planet. She'd never have her first kiss, or go to her mother's funeral. If she still had the shotgun, she'd already of used it.
"Hey, Human slug! Are you listening to me?" Xexec said, his teeth growling. Marla didn't respond, still staring at the fire. Xexec was finally fed up and pulled his disruptor.
"Xexec! NO!" Sarong said, throwing down his meat and pushing the gun into the air. It fired, sending the tree above them into a blaze.
Even after all this happened, she still did not even look at them. She smiled at the thought of the Elite firing, ending her woes. When it didn't happen, she went blank again.
Jack... Mother... save me. Won't someone save me?
Up above in the sky, a ship the size of a small moon grew closer to orbit Nolly. In about 40 hours, it would glass the entire planet, ending the only world the Humans called their own.
The Prophet smiled at the idea, still speaking to her Jackal assistant. "Once this rock is gone for good, the rest of the Humans will die out. Think of it, the Universe will be ours..."
"Phew! Could there be any more heat?" Jernid said to himself as he moped along the desert towards the town. He had lost his smile and his active attitude, only wanting food and water.
"Note to self, never touch another shiny thing." He said, holding a finger above his head. "Note number two. Never fly a shiny thing. Number 3..." He said, before spotting something shiny on the ground.
It seemed to be almost fully buried, except for a small hatch to enter it. "No... must... not... touch!" He said, his arm slowly reaching for it.
"But... could... be... valuable!!!" He screamed, opening the hatch.
Inside was a small basement like structure, only high enough for him. In one corner, a large stockpile of water sat. "WHOOO HOO! It's no food nipple, but it will do!" He said, grabbing the first bottle and dumping it over his body.
"So Marla..." Sarong said, finishing his meal. "Tell me, just in case I forget, what is it your looking for?"
Marla looked up from the fire, her face droopy. "Hope." She said softly.
"Hope eh? If you were looking for hope, I would've built a time machine. Hope was lost long ago for your race. They should've surrendered when they first met us a thousand years ago." Sarong said grinning.
"A thousand years." Marla said. "And we're still alive. Still fighting you. We'll never fall, until our last breath is spent."
Xexec laughed loudly, shaking the singed trees. "How noble of you to say! I think I'm gonna cry! HAHAHA!"
Marla didn't respond, and went back to the dying fire, its last embers almost gone. "When do you think the Covenant will pick us up?" Xexec whispered.
Sarong shook his head, worried. "I dunno. They should've detected us hours ago. Let's just get some sleep, then we can make for the town."
Xexec nodded, and curled up like a cat to sleep. Sarong did the same, eyeing Marla, who went into the fetal position, and closed her eyes.
CRYO-TUBE ACTIVATION COMPLETE. EJECTING SAFETY PINS IN 5. CRYO-STASIS COOLANT DEACTIVATED.
John's eyes opened. Many thoughts were still running through his head. Did the make it back to Earth? Why had the cryo-sleep deactivated? Did Cortana need help?
He twisted his suited neck to the side, checking his suit status. The health bar in his eyepiece showed him fully charged. He grabbed the sides of the cryo-tube, and lifted himself up.
Looking around the tiny room, he noticed almost every single light no longer functioned. There were cracks in the hull. Even small ferns were growing over computer consoles.
What the hell happened? Are we still in space?
The Chief looked on the panel of the cryo-tube:
CRYO-STATIS POWER SUPPLY: 0
MAIN COMPUTER: OFFLINE
SECONDARY FUNCTIONS: OFFLINE
LIFE SUPPORT: NO POWER
"Impossible." He said out loud. "Cortana, doesn't it take at least a thousand years for the power supply to expel itself?"
There was no answer to his suit. "Cortana? Cortana respond."
He was getting worried. John walked towards the door of the cryo-room, expecting it to open itself. He slammed himself hard into the glass door. "Oh right... no power."
He took both hands on the sides of the door, pulling with all his might, opening them wide. He looked down the hall towards the back. He couldn't see two feet towards the door. He looked right, towards the cockpit. No light whatsoever. Even the windows were black.
"What's covering them?" He said, becoming more and more concerned. He got close to the screen, eyeing the covering closely. "Sand?" He said.
"We're buried underground? Cortana, how far are we to Earth?" He forgot she was not reachable.
John sat down at the pilot seat, and pulled her tiny glowing data disc from the computer. It was not longer glowing. It was dark and brittle, no power readings at all. Sides broke off as he held it.
"It can't be. It takes seven years to shut down. How long have I been gone?" He said.
John looked intently for a working chronometer. He took some of the power of his suit, and placed it in the mainframe. Lights lit up barely, and the chronometer what readable:
3:43 PM Friday June 7th, 3652
"June 7th, 3652... No. It can't be. Impossible. I entered that cryo-tube more than one thousand years ago?" He kept saying. He put his hands to his head, shaking away the idea.
"Earth... Humanity... where did it all go? The Covenant, was their home world destroyed? The SPARTAN Project, the UNSC, no more? Is it all gone?"
Jernid drank from the buckets of water, for what seemed like hours. The suns were now falling on the desert, and sleep began to overtake him. He hadn't dented the supply of water, which was still mammoth in proportion.
Before he had completely closed his eyes, the ceiling of dirt began to shudder. Jernid awoke with a squeal of shock, and hid behind a tall bucket of clear water. The ceiling shook with each footstep, when suddenly the creaking of the metal hatch was heard.
Jernid could see the silhouette of a man, holding a shotgun. "Who's there!?" He cried in anger.
Jernid did not answer, but his teeth shook as he trembled. What would he do if he knew that he lost 3 gallons of water? The idea of death mortified Jernid, and he hid from sight.
The Man cocked his gun, "I know you're in here! Saw yer space ship land! If you's be one of those Elites, I ain't scared! Come out!"
The man took a few feet toward Jernid, and then turned his head to the corner of the dark dusty room, eyeing 2 buckets that were empty. "You've been drinkin' me water! For this I'll kill you slowly!"
John had dug himself from his buried prison, and found himself standing on a large hill, so perfectly shaped, it seemed every rock was evenly placed. Someone had obviously buried his Long Sword after it had crashed.
Carrying two Battle Rifles that had not been rusted after 1000 years underground, he set off on the only path he could. The road was completely straight, and the trees were too close together for him to travel into the woods.
In his mind, all of the questions circled around, causing him to stop, and try to shake it all off. Wherever he was, it obviously wasn't Covenant.
"Maybe we won?" He said. "Maybe... maybe the SPARTAN Project continued on Earth. The entire UNSC could be all SPARTANS. Yeah, that's what happened. I'm sure they'll be glad to see me when I get back to Earth."
With this reassurance in his mind, he set off again, before hearing a scream. It came from about a mile down the path. It sounded like a girl, obviously being attacked.
He set off on foot, running as fast as he could, getting the 1000 years of immobility off of him. It seemed his adventure was already continuing.
"IF YOU EVER TRY TO ESCAPE AGAIN, I SWEAR I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS HUMAN!" Xexec said, squeezing Marla's throat.
"The nerve that you could actually leave without us knowing! HAHAHA! You're more foolish than I thought. You're execution will be quite a feast!" Sarong said, trying to pull back Xexec.
"C'mon Sarong! Let's just kill her now!!" Xexec replied, pulling out his rifle.
"Let go of her..."
To Be Continued...