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The Fallen : Halo 2, Chapter 3, Section 2
Posted By: hikaru-119<hikaru119@email.com>
Date: 30 June 2003, 4:45 PM

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Chapter 3 Section 2: The Fallen
0811 Hours November 16, 2553 (Military Calendar)
New York City, Enroute to City Center

" Chief, I've picked up alot of Covenant activity up ahead. " Cortana said. The Master Chief slowed his captured Banshee flier and flew low.

" What do you mean by alot? " he asked.

" Does two Covenant armor divisions and an air battalion answer your question? " she responded. He stopped the flier mid-air and realized what kind of fire power that was. He would have no chance, even with the Banshee. After setting it down and he disembarked pulling out his battle rifle.

The city's schematics came up on his HUD by the thought of them. He scanned them real quick and saw an opening, the sewer systems. They lead right up next to the city's main building. A manhole was nearby and was big enough to fit even him. The Chief walked over to the cover, grabbed ahold of the finger holes, and yanked out the metal plate from the road.

Green sewage water, yellow service lights, and an old rusty ladder awaited him. The Chief crawled into the manhole sealing the cover behind him. It snapped shut and echoed in the four meter tall sewer pipe. The area was well lit and would give him away if anything else was down here. Fortunately the pipe lead straight to the city center and beyond to the sewage treatment plant.

" Cortana keep me informed of anything that moves up there. " the Chief said. " I don't want them to find us. Not even a sensor ghost of us. "

" Okay Chief just give me a minute to adjust your shield system to jam their radar. I'll then hack into their personnal communications systems. " Cortana replied. With that he ran forward into the unknown.

Ten minutes had passed and not a single enemy unit had come into sight. Only the constant roar of the enemy armor could be heard from above. It was rather unnerving to hear the enemy from above. He hadn't been this nervous since the first time he saw a Hunter back on Sigma Octanus IV. The feeling was hard to get rid of. His trip had come to an end. The NAV point Cortana had originally put up pointed upward.

Problem was though, manholes didn't lead into the city center for security purposes. The Chief took a look aound and went a hundred meters further. A newer ladder was there as well as a new manhole cover. He reached into his grenade sack where he had stashed a fiber-optic probe when he was last on Omega 74.

He plugged it into his helmet and snaked it up through one of the finger holes on the cover. He slowly observed the area and took in everything. He saw the back doors meant for cargo trucks were wide open with human weapon crates tipped over or on fire. Near that was a destroyed Scorpion chassis. After he looked around more he saw the five story tall building had been brought down to three stories and had isolated fires in sections. Suddenly he got a sensor contact to his seven o'clock. He turned the probe ten degrees and saw the cause of it.

The contact was a low ranking Grunt. It was alert and was watching attentively for anything. Five others, all veterans, joined it and began to dig in. The Chief silently swore and brought the probe back. When it tilted upward it faced the morning sky. Before he could retract the probe out of its upward direction a ship had passed over.

At least he thought it was a ship. It shimmered like the stealth suits on an Elite, or the camoflauge field of an ONI Prowler class ship. No noise came from its engines which made the Chief think he was seeing things. It was there and shifted between the visible realm to invisble again. He made sure to track the blur and get a good recording of it.

" Chief I've ran across a slight problem. " Cortana said. A million thoughts ran through his mind and he didn't expect to hear those words. " I've picked up bits and pieces of data, but I'm being jammed from an unknown source. I don't know how and it seems whoever is working at the other end is not very happy with my hacking. "

" What have you got? " he asked.

" Mainly force deployment, and they aren't leaving this position. It had something to do with the ship you saw. I'd say by the amount of activity you've got here something very important is inside." The Chief hung his head low for a few seconds and brought it back up. He would need help and alot of it. " Except an armored patrol is heading out towards the north in three minutes. You can use that hole to sneak your way in and trash the main server. "

" Good. Have any idea how many are inside? " Cortana didn't have a clue. With intelligence lacking the Master Chief did not like the thought of going into the unknown, but knew it was his duty.

He back tracked and headed north down another pipe line that merged with his. After heading down it twenty meters he went up the man hole and popped it loose. Again he snaked up the probe and watched as roughly ten armored vehicles and a platoon of veteran Grunts pass overhead. He waited an extra two minutes, checked the area with the probe, slid back the manhole cover and launched himself out.

He was in the open with no cover except a nearby grouping of three maple trees. He ran for them and watched as the Covenant continued with their duties as if he were not even there. Ten Shade turrets guarded the complex's front as well as five plasma flak cannons. It was unusual to have this much support for any structure. No human bodies could be found, only a large field of bloody concrete. He then remembered what Cortana had said about there possibly being something important. Only one other time had the Covenant had this much support on a single structure, back on Sigma Octanus IV.

A NAV point had come up on his HUD and it was pointing towards the side entrance where Covenant occupation was at nothing more than a sleeping Grunt. The Chief readied himself and waited until the enemy was not looking. When their backs turned he ran at full speed and stopped at the door. He was a blur of green and was unable to be picked up by any of the guards. He slowly walked over to the Grunt that was asleep.

It made a small purring sound of approval as its breather transfered the methane air into its lungs. The Chief took another step forward and stopped when it wiggled. A nightmare the Chief thought, it couldn't have been any more right. He slung his rifle and crept over to the sleeper. With blinding quickness he grabbed hold of the Grunt's head and spun it around 360 degrees. Bones snapped and the body went limp. He let the body fall to the ground and dragged it inside with him as he entered through the rotating doors.

The place was a mess. The Longsword's airstrike had blown a spherical hole that encompassed every floor. A thin layer of smoke and dust filled the air making it hard to see anything around the upper levels. Other than the precission strike's damage path the place was rather intact.

" The server will be on the bottom floor Chief. " Cortana said. Although the server was on the bottom floor she forgot too mention that it was a straight four story drop to the bottom. The Chief walked over to the hole and looked down. A faint purple glow could be seen at the bottom. The Covenant were already down there. He looked for a way down and found a doorway.

He went to it with his weapon ready and touched the nearby access panel. It blinked green and slid open silently. He stepped through into a large office. Oak funiture, splintered desks, ash, and a heap of scatterd paper occupied the room. He picked up one of the papers and gave it a quick scan. It was a crime record, nothing of any use to the Covenant. He continued his search for a safe way down. On one of the walls had an emergency escape plan pasted up on its surface. The Chief saw it and decided to read it. It read,

In case of fire proceed out front door.
In case of tornado weather conditions or attack proceed to basement via the west staircase leading past the main server room.

Thanks--Main Security Staff.

Two other doors occupied the room, one of them leading to the main server. A broken EXIT sign was on the floor beneath its previous hanging point. The Master Chief opened the wooden door and saw the emergency stairwell. The walls were a slate gray and a badly burnt civilian corpse lay on the first few steps. He moved past it and proceeded cautiously downward.

No other bodies could be found when he finally reached the server floor. When he had reached it the faint purple glow could be seen through the melted metal security door that once stood there. The glow was moving and towards his direction. He didn't want to be seen, not without proper reinforcement. He went off to his left and ducked behind the staircase. A clicking noise could be heard as the light approached. It was almost on top of his position when it moved away and suddenly disappeared. A sound of wind rushing could be heard and then there was silence.

The Chief suddenly regreted not getting a glimpse of what was in there. He pulled his probe back out and pointed it into the room. The stark white room was clear of any Covenant activity. After pulling the probe he entered the server room. He looked upward to see the blur from before appear and disappear with amazing quickness. The top walls were blackened as was the floor. Rubble littered the place as well as the destroyed server.

" Well at least the airstrike was successful. " the Chief commented kicking a piece of the black metal casing to the side.

" One objective down. " Cortana said. She came back second later with concern in her voice. " Chief the Covenant forces above are mobilizing and are moving out at a fast rate. They are heading north-northwest. "

" What's in that direction? "

" Several historical and educational structures, most of which are museums and schools. There is also a company of badly battered marines. " she replied. He exited back up the stairs after coming to the conclusion nothing was to be gained from here anymore. When he went to look outside nothing was there. There was not a single trace of the Covenant being there remained. " Chief I'm getting a transmission. I'll punch it through. " It was more static than anything else.

" God--too man---em------d------cement--repea----eed reinfor----ahhhh! " An explosion was heard and the signal went dead. The Chief shook his head and saw the hover trail of the larger Covenant vehicles. A thin line of pressure cleaned road could be seen leading towards the marines' location. Without any hesitation he slung his rifle and ran for thirty seconds down this marking. He covered a half mile before slowing down to normal speeds. He could hear heavy machine gun fire and plasma weapons discharge.

The Master Chief arrived just in time to give help. The nearby structures had been comprimised and small pockets of human soldiers occupied the nearby buildings. The Covenant armor column had been bottle necked in the streets. It wasn't the whole division though.

Only fifteen pieces of armor had assualted this location. Eight Creeps, six Wraiths, and a Shadow. The Shadow was the Covenant equivalent to the Warthog. They had seen them only twice in the past year. Suddenly several ear piercing screams had been heard followed by six explosions. The Chief hit the dirt and took cover looking up at where they had originated from.

A trio of rocket infantry had launched their attack from the windows of the higher floors. Their attack was only successful in knocking out one of the Wraiths and terribly damaging another. The armor was turning around and began to fall back right towards him.

The Chief almost jumped out of his armor when he saw this and ran for an impact crater. After launching himself inside he took a plasma grenade and threw it at the badly damaged tank that was trying to escape. It made its mark and was enough to set off the plasma generator inside. It opened up like a flower and sent lances of fiery blue plasma everywhere. Its hover units were destroyed and the Wraith landed with a crunch. Now the Covenant armor was slowed down and was forced to go forward or suffer more tank casualties.

" Chief get up in those buildings right now! They are coming back here to establish a defensive line! " Cortana yelled. The Chief did not disagree with her suggestion and ran for the school to his immediate right. The glass windows had been shattered and the doors were barracaded. He kicked the main doors down and ran inside. Something had suddenly hit him when he had busted down the door as he noticed the forward shielding flared. It was friendly fire.

Several more bullets came his way when he entered into the middle of the room. Pock marks formed on the walls and pieces of tile flew up ward. The incoming fire stopped when the three wounded men had realized what and who he was. His shields had been dropped to an eighth when a plasma bolt had caught him in the back. The Chief turned around, crouched, and fired at the assualting Grunt. It spun twice on its heel and fell dead.

" What the hell are you doing here sir? " one of the marines asked hanging onto a M34 .30 caliber defense turret. No answer was given, only a glance from the Master Chief as he put the broken down doors back up into a veritcal position.

" Marines, how many are inside this structure? " Cortana asked.

" Don't know. At least two squads went up. " the same marine replied. " Other end has about three squads as well as the last of the company's anti-tank weaponry. Most of us have been hit. "

" Roger that marines. Can you hold this location until we get a better firing position? " Cortana asked. One of the men gave a thumbs up and reloaded his rifle. The Chief took no more hesistaion and ran to the fourth floor, the roof. Along his way several men were either dead or dying. Most of the medics had been hit and no professional help could be administered.

Up top there was a line of four bodies. The roof was covered by Banshee plasma scoring and a sea of blood. Yet the marine's had their bitter revenge as the fliers that had ended them were sputtering out smoke and sparks up on the roof. The sound of Grunts came up from the street and the Chief looked down to the road. There he saw a large group of them advancing on the structure on the opposite side of the street. The Master Chief fired his rifle taking out the rear guard, but was unsuccessful in taking out the rest of them. Five more explosions were heard and the front two Wraiths had been taken out.

The Covenant saw where the attack had taken place and the remaining units fired upwards at the anti-tank team. Twin comets of plasma soared upward and took away the top edge of the structure. Large boulder sized pieces of flaming wreckage fell to the ground blocking off the front doors. The anti-tank team was completely burned away as was the faint sounds of machine gun fire, Covenant weaponry and desperate screams were heard from inside the structure.

" Chief we've got an imcoming heavy model Lucifer dropship coming in. " Cortana advised. The Chief acknowledged her and finished off the last of the ammo inside his rifle on the Grunts manning the Shadow. He reloaded and could hear the dropship's engines getting loud and coming fast. Loose bits of metal and dust shook as the bulbulous craft came in for a hot drop. Its three plasma cannons were being fired in a fifty meter radius clearing a landing zone for it. A squad of foolish Grunts were in the way of the incoming fire and were instantly fried.

Four massive doors opened up and released the dropships' compliment of infantry. Roughly an entire company of assorted Covenant warrior class units spilled out from the two side doors and the two bays beneath it. The Chief saw this and fell back inside the school. Staying towards the roof he knocked over a bunch of metal science tables and arranged them into two layers of defense and finally leading back into a spot where he could reload behind a wall in relative safety. Once his defense was complete he went over to one of the windows and punched it out with his rifle and fired down on the advancing infantry. A firestorm was sent back at him from the Elites and Brutes below. His shields were instantly dropped and he was hit in the abdomen.

He breathed heavilly and saw the damage. He was thankful for the reflective coating as it was only blackened and not melted away. The turret downstairs was suddenly active as plasma weapons drowned it out and then silence. He watched his shield meter recharge and felt himself being lifted off the ground slightly meaning they were at full charge. Three marines were in the room with him all of which were on the verge of death. He looked over to them when he heard their movements and saw them leaning their ashen and blood stained bodies onto the poorly constructed defense he had made. The Chief nodded to the wounded and took up his own position by the door.

An Elite was heard in the nearby hallway giving orders. Human machine gun fire was then heard and the Chief darted out off the room and came to a sliding halt. Ten Elites, one of which had an energy blade, and two Brutes were rushing through and taking out the wounded on the floor. He tossed a frag and ran back into the room when the grenade detonated. he slammed the door shut locking it. The Chief dove above the tables and landed behind the last row.

The golden Elite that weilded the blade came over to the door and looked down to peer in. Four machine guns fired destroying the small panel of glass and filling the area with bullet holes. They stopped a second later as the Elite had retreated and sent the others in its place. The door was smashed down by the Brutes as was a large portion of the neighbooring wall. A grenade was thrown and caused heavy damage, but the explosive did not silence the incoming enemy fire. Lances of blue-white fire came in and melted away at the forward defense.

The plasma tore away and made the first table a pile of glowing hot liquid that burned its way trough the metal floor below. The Covenant continued their advance and made their way in. The Chief tossed the last of his plasma grenades hoping to make a hole that the Covenant would fall through. His plan didn't really work as the remaining enemy units that survived or avoided the blast were already in. That made for three Elites and a Brute. The next layer of defense was broken through and the marines had bought it.

That left the Chief vulnerable to the rest of the attacks. Three plasma rifles fired and tore away at his last bit of defense. The table was destroyed, he threw a frag, and two of the Elites were destroyed. Only the commander and the Brute remained. They fell back as the Chief went to his last defensive position behind a wall. He shook his head when he slammed up against the wall and put in his last magazine. He could hear enemy reinforcement making their way up and turned back around to engage.

The Chief met the Brute he failed to kill before and was hit with a glancing blow. He fell to the ground and was unable to move. His vision was replaced by the Elite waving its sword in the air. His eye sight was blurry and he went deaf. The Chief thought he saw his life flash before his eyes as he thought he saw his Spartans from the past. He nearly blacked out and awaited the blade to strike him down as he couldn't even bring forth the will to live. It was then that his vision recovered and there he saw a green armored glove reaching down to him.