Crazy Cowboy [H&R 14]
Posted By: Jillybean<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 October 2003, 3:11 PM
Halos and Rings
Lara O'Flynn stood outside the war room. She had her dress uniform on, but it was bitingly cold outside the made-over Control Room and she wished she had the luxury of her thick uniformed jacket.
Beside her Spartan-117 waited. He too was in dress uniform, decorated with more medals than Lara thought a single person could have. It probably wasn't even all of them. There were marines, a few officers, but Lara's attention was on the lone Spartan.
"Is there something wrong?" He asked after a moment. Lara shrugged.
"I just hope you haven't convinced Dax of a suicide mission." She said calmly. The Spartan looked straight ahead.
"She's used to them."
Lara stared at the door to the war room, she marvelled at the Spartan's callousness. Without looking at him, she said:
"There's a saying that God made women to make up for making men."
"Did he make men to make up for making Covenant?"
Their verbal battle was cut short by the clunking of the unlocking door. It slid open just a fraction and Commander Ring exited. She nodded to the assembled members and beckoned them inside.
Cortana's holographic projection towered above the circle of seats that had been set up in the Control Room. She rotated slowly as she took note of each face, prepared to tell them her master plan. The Governors and Generals who had given their idea the go-ahead were now sitting staring at their hands.
"Ladies and gentlemen." Cortana began. "Our scientists have been working hard on the Forerunner technology: The Avalon and the Halo. They have managed to decode the complex Space-Maps that reside in the Avalon's computers and; cross referencing this with speculation and current knowledge; we now know the location of the Covenant homeworld and the other Halos."
Cortana paused to allow this information to sink in.
"So now we are proposing a double strike.
"Alpha Team, led by General Harrison, will attack the Covenant homeworld. This will be a massive, co-ordinated, pre-emptive strike. With our new knowledge of Subspace jumping we expect to at least survive the encounter.
"Beta Team, lead by Captain Lewis, will supervise the evacuation of Earth. Every citizen on Earth or an any other colony must be evacauated. They will be sent either to this Halo, or the site of the first Halo in specially prepared cargo-ships.
"Delta Team, lead by Commander O'Flynn, will prepare the ground on the Halo we have dubbed Halo 3. Their job is to prepare Halo 3 for colonization. "
Cortana stopped again. O'Flynn seemed to take the news of her promotion well, though her mission cooled her off. Now Cortana had to tell the world the truth and she didn't know if she could. This was the worst part. The part where she admitted her lies.
"There is an Omega Team." She began heavily. "Omega Team is comprised of the Spartan III project."
"There are more Spartans?"
"Where the Hell have they been?"
"Mighta known the Brass had somethin' up their asses."
"Ahem." Cortana affected a cough to regain control. "The Spartan III project has been in hiding throughout the war. Previously they have been deemed unfit for duty - however we need them for this. Omega Team is going to accompany Alpha Team to the Covenant homeworld."
Finished, Cortana chanced a look at the officers and sergeants surrounding her. They seemed eager to hit the Covenant first for once.
"Dismissed. Mitra will hand you mission specifics to you later." Governor Mitchel stood up to say.
John waited for them all to leave before he confronted Cortana.
"There were other Spartans and you didn't tell me?"
"John." Cortana stressed. "Before you say - or do - something we'll all regret: The Spartan III's weren't successful. Their enhancements - well - only twenty survived out of the whole troop. That twenty are still . . . the doctors are calling it 'adapting' . . ." Cortana sighed.
"What's wrong with them?" John asked.
"Very violent. Very dedicated. They're bigger than you are for a start. Nine foot tall on average. Stronger than you are - they're also just as fast. However, what they have in muscle they lack in ability. Skills like engineering, piloting, these things are far beyond them. They are not strategists."
"How did it go so wrong?" John asked after a moment.
"Over ambition." Daxia walked into the Control Room, unbuttoning her starched jacket and tossing it to an empty chair. She gave him a half-hearted smile. "They tried to do too much and it backfired. They can't be trusted in battle." She fell into one of the seats and kicked her legs of the arm.
"What's our mission specs?" John asked after a while. Although he had come up with the initial idea - Cortana and the officials had fine tuned the plan beyond his recognition.
"Wanna field this one Cortana?" Daxia asked.
"Omega Team lands on the Covenant homeworld: Finds out which Halo the Covenant are planning to release the Flood on: Go to that Halo: And make sure that Halo's defenses are triggered."
"We're going to wipe the Galaxy void of all life." John sighed.
"Technically - only those who aren't within the reach of our two colonized and one destroyed Halo." Cortana said. "We've worked out how to disable this Halo's firing mechanism."
"You're going to be coming with us - aren't you?" John turned to Daxia who spread her hands and put on a big smile.
"Pilot at your service. I'm not worried. I'll be with twenty one Spartans. And it's even rumoured, but it's never been proven, that one of those Spartans kinda likes me."