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Halo 2: The Fallen Chp 6 Sct 4- Claiming Territory pt 2
Posted By: Hikaru-119<hikaru119@email.com>
Date: 4 January 2004, 11:23 PM

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Chapter 6 Section 4: Claiming Territory part 2
1100 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Main Canyon Floor, Battle Sector Alpha 1

      " INCOMING GHOULS! TAKE COVER! " Cortana screamed over the COM channels. John looked across the valley and saw the Covenant retreating back towards the ridge. As soon as they got there they hid behind the numerous rocks. Marines seeing this immediately took advantage of the opportunity and opened fire. Sergeant Johnson seemed to enjoy this most of all. Hundreds of bullets and several tank rounds flew at the retreating enemy mercilessly killing them. Bodies of Jackals, Grunts, and Elites were destroyed and splattered as the munitions did their work. Not one plasma bolt was fired in return, not even from the tanks. The Chief found himself concerned by this.

      Although the death of the enemy was nothing new and was perfectly acceptable, there was a strange oddness about this. Almost never had there been a retreat by the Covenant. More specifically by their ground forces. After the Covenant infantry had made it back and hid a sudden silence hit the battle field. It seemed as if time had stopped. Rifles went silent and tanks stopped firing. The Chief could hear the sound of his own heart beating and the rain pattering down on his shields.

      There was a small howl in the wind from high above breaking the silence. He, as did many others, turned their heads to the sky. From the dark storm clouds came ten bat shaped fliers. On their wings were two fuel rod guns with another mounted on the fuselage. Accompanying them were four light plasma cannons. Everyone could see them and a wave of terror swept into their hearts.

      " Oh shit. " Johnson muttered. The fliers changed direction from their horizontal flight path, and dove in formation straight for the valley. Several marines looked on in awe as they saw the plasma cannons warm and glow a calm blue. The Chief immediately knew the threat and ran for cover. The Spartan holstered his weapons and ran for the nearest canyon wall. Where the Ghouls were coming from. They flew overhead and missed the humans that were along the canyon wall. The rest of the forces were not so lucky.

      The Ghouls opened up in unison and fired on the UNSC forces. Large globules of green fire and lances of blue impacted the Scorpions causing absolute hell. Dozens of large orange fireballs were sent up into the air as the tanks' munitions detonated. The tank crew attempted to get out in time but were flashed fried as their armored beasts were turned to ravaged scrap metal.

      The Ghouls had succeeded in their initial attack run destroying all but three of the tanks and completely overlooked the Warthogs. They banked hard for another attack. They now targeted the scrambling marines. Men fell to the ground screaming as the plasma bolts struck them and burned through their bodies. Blood sprayed from the wounds and drained quickly from their hosts. The fliers slowed and continued their slaughter.

      A few dozen of the survivors fired upward at the Covenant ships with their ineffective weapons. The bullets that hit barely scratched the Ghoul armor. Unhindered by a lack of human anti-air craft guns the Covenant set their primary sights for the remaining vehicles. They opened fire sending their hell fire towards the humans. A scant few managed to escape their tanks before they were turned to molten slag. Secondary explosions went off killing those unfortunate enough to be nearby. Within the first five minutes of the raid the remaining 15 vehicles were wiped out along with over a hundred infantry.

      The air grew hot as more explosions went off. Those under cover looked on in horror at the sight of their once mighty group being slaughtered by the Covenant. Along the ridge line the Covenant infantry came out of their hiding places to look at their air support doing its job. They howled and cheered as they heard the screams of dying humans and explosions bringing forth more carnage. The Chief watched this in anger. He checked the range of the enemy infantry and found it was too far out for his weapon to be of much use. He was not able to do a damned thing. He shook his head and noticed three Spartans making their way over to him.

      " Master Chief Sir. " CPO Dale-119 said to the Chief. The Chief nodded to the Spartans. Mirielle and Peter were with him. " Sir we've found a way around the enemy line. " Dale said sending the coordinates on the Chief's HUD. A small blinking red triangle appeared on the overhead map. " It's over here. No one is guarding it and we can slip by the Ghouls overhead. Lucas and Kirika have already dragged what survivors they could into the access way. Joshua is making sure the way is somewhat clear for us to make it through. If we move fast we might be able to get most of the wounded in there. "

      " And what of those that can't make it? " Cortana inquired. " Enemy dropships are bound to come in. " Dale's head hung low for a moment.

      " Cortana, " the Master Chief asked, " Is there any more UNSC air support in this sector? "

      " Negative Chief. All air support has been destroyed. They knocked out half of the original Ghouls. The remaining Ghouls killed the last of the UNSC air units in this sector. " The Master Chief disliked this. He knew exactly what would happen if they left the marines here. Their spirits would be broken first and then the Covenant would release the Jackals and Grunts on those that couldn't fight. If they did stay then they would suffer the same fate. Either way it was not what the Chief or anyone wanted.

      " We're leaving, " the Chief ordered over the COM channel, " Grab anyone that you can. If they resist, don't stop them. " He stopped to think these words over for a second. The Chief knew he would rather stay and fight alongside his dying comrades. He was not willing to make anyone stay behind. That was their choice. He felt the sudden uneasiness of his squad mates. It was as if they could read his mind. " They'll buy us some time. We need to move fast. Those fliers are not going to stop until we are dead. " the Chief snapped his head upward towards the Ghouls not taking his eyes off them. " Cortana this passage way, does it lead around the Covenant line or just away from it? "

      " One moment. Analyzing...Yes. The passage way CPO Spartan-119 has mentioned leads around the Covenant line. " Cortana replied. "Interesting. " There was a sudden shrill as the ghouls made another pass firing their weapons at the wounded that were attempting to crawl away.

      " What? " the Chief asked taking cover.

      " The passage is an alternate route to Halo's Control Center. "

      " That's it we're leaving now. Gather any survivors and move out. " He got six blue acknowledgment lights on his HUD. He took one last look at the valley, at its glowing craters and rotting corpses. The Chief turned and headed for the point the others needed to show him.

1147 Hours November 23, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Aboard the Odin

      " Shiri Gami give the status of our repairs and the Covenant on the fourth moon. " Captain Mortensen asked leaning back in his command chair. The wraith like AI popped up on the holoprojector along side a map of the fourth moon. The image zoomed and dozens of red triangles appeared.

      " Our repairs are ninety percent complete. Engineers say we should be up in an hour. Now as for the Covenant. On the fourth moon they have taken a 10sq kilometer area that they seem to be investigating. " Shiri Gami replied. " Is there anything else that you need Captain? "

      " Yes. Can you give me any specifics as to the nature of the moon. "

      " One moment. Analyzing...The moon is of terran origin. One third Earth normal gravity. Hmm... Seems something bad has happened here before. There is an atmosphere, not one of supporting human life without a breather mask, but an atmosphere none the less. Radiation levels are tolerable. Most of the moon is now rock with minimal water sources. " the AI said. The Captain took interest in the moon for some reason he couldn't explain. Maybe it was his fascination with space or something else he couldn't see. Shiri Gami popped back in. " Sir it seems that there is a massive underground facility. Forerunner origin. The Covenant are right on top of it! "

      " Crap. " Mortensen replied. He turned in his chair. " Give me a layout of what we can see. " A map appeared on the holoprojector of the facility. It was huge. At least a kilometer underground. " Shidou call up Stanforth. Send him the information of the Covenant movements and the structure we have found. Also send a request for some ODSTs to be dropped in. " Mortensen turned his chair back to the front view screen. " I've got a bad feeling about this. "

      " Sir message sent. Admiral Stanforth sends his regards. He's sending in units from the 32nd. " Shidou said. " Seems he doesn't want to take any chances. " Captain Mortensen agreed with that full heartedly. He know only hoped that the marines would be enough. He stiffened in his chair and watched as the Leviathan moved into position.

      The massive cruiser stopped and went into a geosynchronous orbit. Ten minutes had passed. There were sudden flashes of light from the bottom of the Leviathan. Nearly 10 dozen drop pods had come out and were headed for the moon. Tiny flames arced across the moon's atmosphere and disappeared in the night.

      " Sir we have an inbound transmission from the Michigan. " Shidou said.

      " Patch it through. " Mortensen ordered. On the view screen Captain Griffes face appeared. He looked angry.

      " What can I do you for Captain? " Mortensen asked.

      " What the hell is going on? I was uninformed of an orbital launch. Why wasn't I notified? "

      " Sorry Captain. We were... in a bit of a rush. We've detected Covenant ground forces on the fourth moon and Admiral Stanforth has sent in his boys already. " Mortensen replied. " You are more than welcome to join the party. "

      " Thank you. We will. " The COM link shut down.

      " Doesn't look like they are too happy with us. " Shidou said looking back

      " Keep an eye on their communications and on our boys on the ground. I have a bad feeling something is going to happen. " Mortensen ordered. " Shiri Gami can you get me the following files... "


      The Chief took point in the dark tunnel that they had found. He pointed his rifle down the long hall and switched to his night vision. All he saw was a door at the far end and numerous holopanels near it. Other than that the area was clear. He turned back to the two dozen or so marines that they managed to haul off the battle field.

      The rest had been wounded too badly to be moved or were already dead. He gave an all clear signal and moved forward. Everyone moved forward cautiously. It would only be a matter of time before the Covenant found out where they had gone. And time was running out fast.

      " Cortana keep me posted on Covenant troop movements. I don't want anything sneaking up behind us. " the Master Chief said. Those that had flashlights had turned them and stopped at the end of the hall. Soft blue light reflected off the Spartan's visors and spread along the walls from the panels giving the passage way an eerie feeling. The Chief walked up to the door. It was door non-responsive.

      " Door's locked Chief. Give me a moment. " Cortana said. The area had suddenly come alive. The holopanels had odd Forerunner calligraphy scroll along their surfaces. The movement stopped and the door slid upwards revealing yet another long passage filled with holopanels and displays.

      " Okay people let's get moving. " The Chief said stepping forward. He was in a good ten meters before anyone else came through. The room seemed to warm to his presence. Displays showed a wide assortment of symbols and graphs with things he hadn't the slightest clue on.

      The group continued on for nearly an hour going through a maze of halls like this until they reached their exit. The door slid open and a beam of yellow light pierced the darkness. The Chief looked outside and saw that the storm had broken apart in this area. He could also see a pair of Grunts standing guard twenty meters from his position.

      The Chief immediately held up his right hand in a fist to stop everyone. He then aimed his rifle at one of the Grunts. Their backs were turned to him and they seemed rather laid back. Easy targets. He waited for on of them to slightly turn their head towards him. He got what he wanted. As soon as the unknowing Covenant turned its head a three round burst tore through its breather mask and out the back of its head.

      The shots startled the other and immediately it got up and ran. The Chief fired five rounds into the alien's back. The AP rounds punctured one of the methane tanks on its back. It went up in a quick flash of fire. The Chief slowly and carefully walked outside making sure his flanks were secure. He looked to the left and saw a massive slate gray structure a half a kilometer away. It was massive. At least five three hundred meters tall and five hundred wide. Powerful beams of white-blue light shot upward.

      Seeing the flanks were secure he called the rest of the unit forward. They walked outside, some stumbling over their own wounds, and saw the objective. That building had to be the control room. They knew it in their bones.

      " Chief enemy movement update. " Cortana said.

      " Report. "

      " Halo's Control Center under Covenant occupation. Estimated enemy numbers are around company size. Assorted infantry. No armor, no stationary weapons. They just got here. " Good the Chief thought. Finally a bit of luck has gone their way. The Spartans alone could take on those kind of odds. He turned back and looked at the battered marines. He took one look at their charred and bloodied faces. If they were to attack they would only die.

      " Marines stay here and take cover. The Spartans and I are going to move in. " the Chief ordered. The men looked confused, others disappointed. With a flick of the Chief's wrist the Spartans moved out from the group and met up with the Chief. Shortly there after they left for the structure.

      The Spartans, knowing speed was key, holstered their weapons, and made a run for the structure. Three minutes had passed and they were now a mere 100 meters from the base of the structure. The Chief slowed and went back to a normal pace. The others did likewise.

      " Red and Green groups take right. Blue group take left. " the Chief said over the COM. " Distract and destroy. Red and Green teams be ready for my signal. " He got six blue acknowledgment lights on his HUD. The Spartans dispersed in a ghostly fashion.

      A group of Jackals had come down on patrol after the squad had hid behind numerous rocks and trees. The vulture like aliens squawked at each other engaging in some unknown conversation. They talked for nearly a minute until the Chief gave the go light.

      Red and Green teams stood up from their position and fired at the enemy. One of the Jackals was killed in the first instant. The rest turned in surprise to see the humans. However they quickly formed together and fired their plasma pistols. Large amounts of green fire impacted on the Spartans' shields draining them nearly instantly. They quickly ducked taking cover.

      Blue team aimed at the Jackal formation and their exposed backs. They opened fire on the Covenant. Tracers impacted the backs of the enemy splattering black blood along the insides of their shields. Several raspy voices cried out as they fell dead.

      " Now that they know we are here, let's get up quickly. " the Chief ordered. "Blue Two you have point. " Mirielle gave a response signal and ran to the nearest ramp leading to the Control Room with her S2 AM at the ready. " All teams fan out. Alpha Formation. " The Spartans went to their positions are advanced.

      After they were in position they went up. A quarter up the slope they saw a dead Grunt lying in a puddle of its own blood. They paid little attention to it. The squad continued up and spotted another dead Grunt along with a Jackal. The Spartans didn't have time to examine the dead. The Covenant were bound to come out and attack them at any moment.

      As they went up the Chief looked ahead and saw several flashes of green and blue light. The characteristic whine of plasma rifles echoed off the cold metallic surface of the structure making it seem like there was twice as much shooting going on. The Spartans instinctively ducked at the sound of enemy fire. No shots came their way.

      An explosion was heard and a flash of smoking fire was seen followed by two more. The shooting seemed to lessen in amount. The Spartans were at the top of the sloped building when they saw a platform with the Covenant company. All dead except a single badly wounded Brute.

      The overly massive behemoth limped forward holding its wounded side. Blackened blood seeped from multiple cuts that covered its body. One of its eye had been burned out and the creature was in a haze. The Spartans pulled up their files to their shoulders and fired at the Brute. By time they did they were too late.

      The Brute fell forward and landed with a thump. Several red beams of energy from above the Covenant warrior faded out of existence. Nearly a dozen sparking Sentinels hovered down and saw the Spartans. The Chief held up his hand to prevent the squad from opening fire. The guards stayed put hovering in one spot while scanning the humans. The wings of the mindless robots closed and they veered away.

      The squad moved forward slowly examining the Covenant as they went. They passed what seemed to be an Engineering group. For every five engineers there was maybe one normal member of the Covenant warrior caste. Past all of these bodies was a massive door. The Sentinels hovered around the door constantly watching squad as they approached the door.

      The seven of them stopped and searched for an access panel. Kirika was the first to spot it. She walked over to it and removed the Jackal body that was leaned up against it.

      " Any idea how to use this thing? " she asked. The Chief stepped forward and pushed the normal open/ activate button that was everywhere on this ring. Nothing happened. He hit another. Again nothing happened. He stepped back not knowing what to do. Sudden several beams of golden light appeared in front of him from out of thin air. The Spartans snapped their weapons in unison at the foreign light. The beams faded and 049 Innocent Flame appeared.

      " Thank you for coming! I was looking all over for you John! " Innocent Flame said with joy. " I was unsure if you or your allies would ever come to Installation 12's Control Room. I am grateful to see you showed up. Especially at our time of need. "

      " Time of need? " the Chief said confused. Innocent Flame looked over to the six other Spartans.

      " Friends of yours? " he asked. The Chief nodded. The rest of the squad slowly lowered their weapons. " Now then let me take you to the Control Center so we can speak. " The massive doors opened and on the other side were dozens upon dozens of Sentinels at the ready.

      " Someone likes security. " Lucas commented looking at the vast amount of defenders. They walked past the guards and into the Control Room.

      The place was the same as Installation 04's. Complete with massive hologram. Exception being this was of Installation 12's planetary system.

       " Now about our crisis. " the Innocent flame said.

Chapter 6 Completed. To be continued in Chapter 7: Trouble Ahead