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A Marine Named Peters: Get Ready, Get set, Reminisce!
Posted By: GLADIATRRR3000<gladiatrrr2002@hotmail.com>
Date: 10 January 2004, 11:03 PM

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       Peters stared in awe. On the floor in front of him was a Covenant Elite, or what was left of him. There were multiple lacerations on his torso and arms, his head had been torn off his neck, and dangled by a few veins and muscles to its shoulder. Its stomach had been torn apart and ripped out. Intestines were tangles around its legs and sat on the floor, dripping purple blood onto the floor. One marine laughed. "Looks like this son-bitch got what he deserved."
       "But what gave it to him?" Peters said, stepping forward. "Look, there are no plasma burns, so it wasn't another Covenant. There aren't any bullet holes, and I doubt any human could tear though an Elite's shield and chest like that."
       Rodriguez stepped into the light. "Alright. Everyone be on full alert. We don't know if there are any Covenant left in this ship. What ever did this to that Elite sure as hell can do that to us, so if you see anything, shoot to kill."
       The marines acknowledged and started moving towards a door. Aristotle set another NAV point once they passed through the door, leading down a pitch-black hall. Several marines turned on flashlights. The walls were stained with blood, purple and neon-blue. Arms and legs of Covenant warriors littered the ground. Plasma burns were visible on the walls. Panels were torn loose and shot out sparks. They turned around a corner and stopped, their path blocked by a burning metal plate that had fallen from the ceiling. "Aristotle, we need a new path. This way is blocked." Rodriguez said into her microphone.
       Aristotle, inside Rodriguez's helmet, read the layout for the ship and within seconds had a new route mapped. Peters, being in the back of the group, was now leading the squads backwards down the path. Peters hated being in the front. You always had a higher chance of being the one walking into a trap. But opposed to being in the back, he liked it. He had watched too many horror movies where people in the back stopped to look at something, got left behind, then eaten by a werewolf or some shit. He knew it was all bull, but it had stuck in his mind.
       Halfway to the next NAV point, Peters heard a thud near the back of the group. He slowed down, and several marines kept walking past him. Rodriguez and Karls stopped walking, turned, and looked into the shadows. "What is it, Peters?" Rodriguez asked.
       Peters didn't respond. He was feeling... strange. Like in those few seconds before something bad happens, when you gut clenches up. His breathing quickened, and he started to walk backwards. There was another thud, almost right next to them. They all turned to look at what made the noise. Nothing was there.
       CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! Echoed through the empty hallways. Peters, Karls, and Rodriguez all faced down the halls, making sure their weapons were loaded when...
       "Hello?" A marine called out.
       Peters sighed. "It's only the second squad of marines." He said, taking deep breaths. Rodriguez called them out of the shadows, and 60 marines started stepping out. They filled the halls for about ten feet, and Peters finally felt safer. After a short role call, Rodriguez motioned for them to start moving out. It was Karls who realized it first.
       "Hey, where did the first 27 guys go?" He asked, looking around. "The ones we came in with... what happened to them?"
       Peters felt scared again. He remembered when he had stopped to check out the noises, and realized that they had kept walking. "They must already be there." Peters said. "They went ahead."
       Peters heard everyone sigh in relief. Rodriguez, Karls, and Peters walked in the front of the group, and led everyone to the next NAV point. As soon as they got there, Aristotle pointed them towards the next point. This went on for several minutes, twisting and turning in a pitch-black labyrinth. Several marines flicked on their flashlights, creating a bright beam in front of the 3 squads, allowing them to see what they were stepping into. A puddle of blood.
       "Oh, holy SHIT!" Karls said. "It's one of those zombie thingies!"
       Sure enough, a zombie catapulted out of the shadows, landed in the middle of the group, and swung it's arms. Five marines were knocked to the ground after being hit. The zombie picked the nearest marine, kicked in his chest, picked him up, and bit open his neck. It began eating him, when everyone snapped out of their shock. 60 bullets tore through it in the first second, a shotgun blast ripped off what was left of the torso, and a pistol shot the legs out from under it. The pile of flesh that was left shuddered and started to dissolve.
       "H-h-h-holy shit..." Karls said, shaking. "It's one of those things we saw back planet side, man!"
       "Wait, you've seen these things before?" A marine asked, his voice shaking in fear.
       "Yes, we have." Peters said, shaking his head. "What are these things?"
       "Forget about it, we just need to get to the control room, get some information, and get the hell out of here." Rodriguez said.
       "What?" Peters yelled. "These things could be ANYWHERE! We need to get out of here NOW!"
       "Listen." Rodriguez said. "We're already more than halfway there. We need to get some information on the Covenant. Who knows, they may even have information on these... things. Now, move out."
       Everyone started to move towards the next NAV point, checking every shadow for movement, looking backwards every second, and no one didn't have their flashlight on. They we almost jogging, when Peters tripped over something. Everyone turned to look, and Peters screamed. They had found the lost squads. There were bullet casings, assault rifles, and shotguns lying on the ground, along with arms, legs, and a head, which had an expression of fear on it.
       Peters fell backwards, backed away from the body he tripped over, and his hand touched another leg. He yelled again, jumped up, and ran towards the other wall. One marine vomited, another one started crying, but Rodriguez started talking. "Where are the bodies?"
       Karls stepped forward, with an expression on his face Peters had never seen before. He kneeled over, looked at the bloody ground, and looked to the side. "They were dragged away." He said, standing up. "They were dragged... exactly where we need to go." He pointed ahead towards the door. Rodriguez walked through it, and sure enough, it was the Control Room. She motioned for everyone to come into the room. She stood on one side of the door, Peters stood on the other. Karls walked ahead, looking all around the room. Once everyone was inside, Rodriguez and Peters stepped away from the doors. Once they shut, five marines walked over towards it and pointed their guns at it. No one would get through that door. Rodriguez walked up a small ramp, pulled Aristotle's memory card out of her helmet, and stuck her into the hologram that suspended in mid air.
       Almost instantly, the room filled with white light, the doors locked, and Aristotle appeared on a hologram screen on the far side of the room. "Ok, Aristotle. Start copying their information and store in your memory banks. Also, try to find what these things are that attacked us."
       "Alright, it'll take one min..." Aristotle paused for a second. "No, what does that mean? Threshold... Pillar of Autumn...Truth and Reconciliation..."
       "Halo..." Aristotle said, a look of terror on his face. "The Covenant found a weapon in space, they believed it to be built by their ancestors, or some gods, I'm having trouble interpreting that... They found it, but then the Pillar of Autumn, one of our ships, came to that exact location and..."
       "Slow down, Aristotle!" Rodriguez said. "What is going on?"
       "I can't explain it all. These things that you encountered, they are known as the 'Flood', and they take over sentient life forms. They took over this ship by..."
       "How did they take over this ship?" Peters asked.
       "Well, this is the ship you were being held prisoner on a few days ago." Aristotle said.
       "How did you know that?" Karls asked.
       "It's recorded onto their logs. Shortly after you escaped, a meteorite landed on this planet, it was a piece of Halo."
       "What is Halo?" Rodriguez asked.
       "It was a ring in space containing the Flood. Apparently the Pillar of Autumn destroyed it, along with everything on it. But what they didn't realize, being dead, was that pieces of Halo were broken off by shockwaves created by the explosion..."
       "What explosion?" Peters asked.
       Aristotle ignored him. "Pieces broke off and shot into space. That was about a month or so ago. A shard landed on the planet you were on. We thought it was just a meteorite and ignored it. The flood must have hidden in caves or holes on that shard of Halo. Once they landed, they came out, saw the Covenant ship, and ran towards it. This was minutes after you left. They were attracted by the heat and the food, the Covenant. They got onboard after taking over the Covenant guarding the gravity lift, infected them, then went up the gravity lift. The Covenant lifted off to stop more from getting on, but it was too late. The Flood took over the engine rooms, destroyed their power, then hunted them down in the dark. That would explain why this ship appeared to be dead in space when I scanned it. The heat signatures must be where they're breeding, or infecting the bodies. The motion must be the Flood themselves."
       There was a minute of silence, then Karls coughed, stood forward, and asked, "Could you repeat that?"
       Aristotle glared at him, was about to yell as loud as his programming allowed him, when the room started to shake. The doors started to dent and bend. The lights flickered, and Aristotle disappeared. Rodriguez pulled Aristotle out of the hologram, stuck him in her helmet, and reloaded her assault rifle. "Get ready to run for the docking bays."
       "They're coming."