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Homeworlds XI
Posted By: Mainevent<billygoat359@netscape.net>
Date: 20 September 2003, 8:17 PM

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Since I really haven't thought this chapter out, bare with me. If it's lacking in action, mah bad, but the action will pick up soon. The story is really getting started here. So far there have been little things leading up to the real fun.       Thanks,
                  The Management

Chapter Eleven-You don't say.....

      The pelican made a series of rough maneuvers as she tried to slow her approach. The jerks rocked the Chief, who was holding onto a handrail above his head. The other marines, dressed in the older Spartan suits, were doing likewise.

      The second pelican, who was following closely on their tail, was having a rough time traversing the terrain as well. He could see the pilot of the vessel to their rear holding the violently jerking stick as best he could.

      John began to stand up, but was quickly put back in place by a very stiff thump as the vehicle hit an air pocket. The sound of metal-to-metal collision echoed through the cargo bay, barely audible over the deafening roar of the engines outside.

      "We'll be at the Septagon in five, check your gear, and be ready." The unknown voice of "X-07" came over his personal comm. channel. X-07 was the only thing John knew to call him, based on the numbers and letters painted on his chestplate.

"Cortana, what is the Septagon?" He asked with the hint of confusion in his voice.

"I don't know Chief, it's not registered in ANY of my files, and I have every recorded UNSC facility in the database stored in my memory. There's nothing in this quadrant, much less this system registered as a UNSC facility."

"Then stay alert. Keep me heads up on ANYTHING you hear."

"I always do."

      The pelicans hovered over the thick foliage and canopy of the forest below. A large clearing could be seen from miles away, but no buildings were evident. The Master Chief had Cortana record everything he was seeing through his headset, and store it to memory.

      As they closed in on the obviously man-made opening, four other pelicans were seen parked nearby. His pelican slowed to a grinding halt by performing several sharp turns while nearly on it's side. John was amazed at the pilot's skill over the birds, especially in such close proximity to another pelican.

      A deep sigh of relief was exhaled as they landed safely, and he quickly grabbed his assault rifle and jumped out of the rear.

      The four pelicans were lined up in a single file line. The commanders here apparently had a lot of faith that no covenant would see the enormous gap they had made in the forest.

      The seven Mjolnir-dressed marines he had gotten onboard with filed out behind him, and set up a perimeter around the clearing. Each took a prone positiion at regular intervals around the circle.

      The other pelican's occupents were filing out as well. It contained another group of seven heavily-armed Mjolnir statues, and three uniformed men. The four gold stars on their lapels made their authority absolute, but the ONI insignia made him very uneasy.

      The Spartan Project was an ONI Section Three experiment, and however well it may have gone, the lessons learned by the Chief were crystal clear. These people would do ANYTHING to get the results they wanted. He didn't trust them for a second, but would follow their orders as far as he could.

      One of the men, an older man with slightly gray hair covering his balding head, onfolded his cap and slid it onto his scalp. He tugged his overcoat until he was sure it was taut, and then approached the Chief.

"Hello Master Chief Petty Officer. I am General Abigaid, and this is the Septagon. Don't you worry, we're here to help. This is all a division of ONI, does Section Three ring a bell?"

      This man knew how to strike a chord, and isntantly had the Chief's attention. His face was fox-like, and sly, his thin eyes and arching eyebrows made him look all the more devilish, but there was nothing John could do about it now. He only nodded in response.

"As well you should, section three was in charge of the Spartan Project, under the lead of Doctor Halsey. You remember Doctor Halsey don't you?"

"How could I forget?"

"Exactly what I was thinking. You know she loved you like her children as well, and would do anything for you. As such, she had this facility built in case something tragic should occur."

      Heartbeats went up tenfold as adrenaline was forced into his bloodstream. The Spartan wasn't sure what he was feeling, but he didn't like it one bit. This man, these people even, they were up to something, and he wasn't going to be caught off guard.

"Reach." John answered solemnly.

      "Yes, that was very tragic. Our biggest setback in the war. A very crippling blow to the Spartan project as well. That was probably the biggest problem we encountered from Reach. Sure, there were billions of people lost, and our largest ship-yard was decimated, but the Spartans were a huge tragedy."

"What are you saying?"

      "It takes time to make Spartans, it takes time to train them, and it takes time to get them out and about. We have given these Spartans the training and augmentations, like the ones you recieved." The man obviously avoided references to the over thirty comrades he had lost during the procedure.

"Then why am I here?"

"Because they need more. You have the most extensive record of contact with the covenant in the entire military. You've seen more combat with them, know their tactics better, and have seen them in action more than many of THEM have. What I'm saying, is we need you to give our Spartans the training they'll need out there. We can only give them so much before the real challenges begin. We need your help." His voice was shallow at the end, and a hint of sincerity rolled from his lips. Something this man hadn't had in a very long time.

"I'll do it. But then what? After they're trained here. What then?"

"Then you need to show them real combat. Give them face time with the enemy. See how well your training has worked. We have something very special for ya'll after several tests."


      "Another day, another time Chief. Just get them ready, and make it quick. You have two weeks before you're deployed. Teach them everything they need to know, because they're blood is on your hands if they fail." He turned on his heel and walked away. Into the woods somewhere the Chief never saw, but had a feeling he would get very familiar with soon.

      The man stopped suddenly, before entering the woods, though, and said loosely, "I have something for you as well, I'm sure you'll like it. You'll be getting it tomorrow, take tonight off to rest and get to know your troops." Shadows overwhelmed him as his body faded off into the trees.

      'Salemee felt a sharp pain as he regained conciousness. He woke up in a dark room surrounded by thick metal bars, and more than enough guards for his tastes. A noise in the corner tugged his attention from his surroundings and into the corner of the holding pin.

      He was surprised to find another commando elite, much like himself, coming to his senses as well. The blue armored elite looked stiff, and very grumpy as tried to stand up, apparently unaware of his companion.

      The other elite recognized the unfamiliar sight quickly though, his beady eyes peering coldly at 'Salemee. Neither of the elites had rank over the other, so neither were required to salute or show respect, which neither did.

      "Where are we?" 'Salemee asked as politely as possible, without giving up the dominant stature he was trying to keep. If he lost the dominant stance he had worked up so far, this other elite would never even consider taking orders from him, or much less following his plans.

      "I don't know. A human facility somewhere." 'Akazeem stretched, silently thankful that he was out of the small container he had been kept in on the Suncoast. Ever since the botched attack on that vessel he had barely been allowed to move, and his muscles were very sore from disuse.

      "A human facility you say? I would have never guessed we were at a human facility. The large metal bars and HUMAN guards never gave me that impression." 'Salemee clacked on angrily.

      "Calm down! If I can survive three weeks in a box then you can survive a day in this cell." 'Akazeem showed no sign of emotion as he surveyed his surroundings.

"What do these humans want us for anyway?"

"It's not information, they know that we won't give it to them. So it's for something much worse than any torture that they may have."

"That's reassuring." 'Salemee said sarcastically.

"We can only hope whatever it is happens quickly, I really don't want to spend too much time cooped up in this room."

      Lights, chairs, and a very familiar odor all greeted John as he entered the amphi-theater. The ONI officials had spared nothing in recreating the original settings. Only this time, John was in Mendez's place. He felt strange being out of the metallic skin he had grown so accustomed too, naked almost.

      There was a much larger group of Spartans than his class was left with, and he wouldn't be losing any to augmentations since they already had undergone the procedures. He felt awkward, as he hadn't been very talkative since Reach, and now he was expected to train an entire batch of Spartans he didn't even know.

      All of the trainees were sitting erect in their chairs and staring forward at the podium as he followed the steps to the platform. He stood at attention next to General Abigaid as he began his speech.

"Welcome Spartans. You are here because you are the best of the best, and no one can deny that. You have the best armor, training, and enhancements that money can buy, but it's not enough. We are at war with an enemy like no other, an enemy four times stronger, a hundred times larger, and a thousand times more determined to wipe Humanity from existance than any other in the history of mankind. You are here to show them that odds don't mean a damn thing." His troops continued to sit silently before him, none of them moved a muscle.

"And as such, you get to do the things everyone else can't. We will take the fight to the covenant, and we will win. Over the next two weeks you will have an unparalleled and vigorous training course like no other, taught by the covenant's own worst nightmare, and you get the added bonus of live subjects." Several of the men couldn't help but look at each other and exchange curious glances at the General.

"Luckily for you, you will go out equipped in the best armor in the universe. Better than and elite's, better than a hunter's. You will go out wearing the Mjolnir Mark VI battle suit. Enhanced with Forerunner technology, it will provide the support you need in combat. Any questions, didn't think so. Meet the Chief at the training facility double time, and from there on you are under his direct control, and no one elses. Rank is null and void on the field of combat, as the Chief will be your one and ONLY superior officer. Good luck."

      The General gave a quick nod, and walked briskly from the room. John knew he would most likely never see the General again, but that wasn't necissarily a bad thing.
He left the room as well, and began his trek to the enormous training facilities buried deep underground. The Septagon was truly a miracle of technology, and his men were a miracle in themselves.

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