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Halo 2: Chapter 1
Posted By: Mark Lieberg<malieberg@msn.com>
Date: 21 March 2004, 9:18 AM

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Chapter One

0938 Hours, Date Unknown, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Epsilon Eridani system, unknown location,
Longsword Fighter in route to Earth

On the Longsword... "Chief. Wake up Chief. CHIEF!" Cortana said yelling on the intercom while the cryo tube opened, and out came the Master Chief after a long sleep from the destruction of Reach. The chief stood up, and looked around. They were still away from Reach's destruction. As the Chief straightened up, he coughed up the proteins, and nutrients that you were supposed to swallow. The mineral was all green, and blue like the Covenants blood making the Chief sick. He then remembered the tragic loss of his captain, and fellow soldiers.
"All right. Cheap AI's." the Spartan said to Cortana whispering. The Chief walked threw the door that was on the other side of the armory. He then took the elevator to the bridge, and accessed the door open. The door lit green saying that the Chief could walk in.
"I heard that Chief!" Cortana said yelling at the Chief while he walked out of the elevator with his helmet off of his MJOLNIR armor suit. He walked up to the clock on the ship, and saw what time it was.
"All right, all right. Cortana," John said to the artificial computer monitor that Dr. Halsey created for John, "ETA to Earth?" John said sitting down lifting his arm over his mouth to yawn. He saw the camera connected to the cryo level of the ship as he looked out of the window. All he saw was black empty space.
"We enter the Earth's solar system in three hours chief, and we will drop out of slip stream space in a few minutes." Cortana said shifting her hands to hold her waist. " You now you slept over five hours, and forty-nine minutes, and your shield strength needs some repair. The Engineer didn't fully repair the damage to your suit. My scan indicate that the shields are not inoperable, but can be repaired. " Cortana said reassuring the Chief that if the ship got under attack by Covenant forces, ONI or UNSC ships might not be in the vicinity.
"Understood. Did you contact the UNSC HQ yet?" Spartan-117 asked while he sat down on the command chair waiting till the other Spartans wake up from cryo stasis again looking at the monitor. He stood up again, and stretched, and walked over to the obstacle course that was integrated to the ship after he gone back down in the elevator.
"I have for the last hour, but all I get is static. I wonder what is wrong." Cortana said walking up to the woken chief sitting at least two to three centimeters above the desk console watching the Spartan-117 jump, and flip threw the obstacle course.
The obstacle course was short compare to in Reach, but that would be probably turned into a Covenant facility while they flew to Earth or the planet Reach would be glassed. The obstacle course was so short it took the Chief one-minute to complete. He grabbed a towel, and walked over to the computer that sat on the desktop looking at him in a strange way.
"Did you complete the report for Admiral Stanforth yet?" The Spartan asked the computer cause he didn't want to do it, and also cause he was in cryo stasis the whole trip back to Earth. He then walked over, and sat in the chair putting on his equipment. It took him a while to put the suit on, but finally managed to put it on, and activate the shielding that was used for the MJOLNIR project in the Epsilon Eridani System. He remembered that Captain Keyes said that it was vital to get to it before the Covenant does with Dr. Halsey their creator.
"Yes I have, and should I wake the others Chief?" Cortana said wondering. As she stood up looking at the shiny armor as the Chief walked passed her walking in to the cryo chamber.
"Wait another hour Cortana, and prepare to enter normal space Three Minutes." The Chief said tapping a few buttons on the elevator. The elevator moved down to the armory. He got off, and walked to the locker room. He grabbed a pistol, and a MA5B, and strapped it to his back with extra clips of ammo. He left the locker room, and headed towards the bridge. He sat down and the clock on the top said ten seconds left. "NINE...EIGHT...SEVEN...SIX...FIVE...FOUR...THREE...TWO...ONE. Entering normal space now." The computer Cortana said to the Chief after he strapped him self to the chair cause it gave a big jolt if not strapped on to the UNSC belt.
The Longsword Fighter dropped out of slipstream space, and entered normal space about 5 light-years away from the captured planet Reach. The Longsword Fighter plotted a course, but not accurate cause of the design the UNSC made, for Earth. The ship shot it's afterburners to make a long journey short. Master Chief stood up, and walked away from the console to the other console on the left side of the ship. "Cortana. Can you scan for any UNSC vessel's, or transport ships before we awake the Spartans." Chief said to the AI.
"I will Chief. Scanning. No transmission intercepted on any band frequency system, and no ships are inbound sir, it's just us." Cortana replied to the Chief as he stepped away from the console, and headed back to the elevator. The elevator moved down to the cryo level, and the Chief walked out of the elevator going to the door. "Sir, shall I wake them up sir?" Cortana said to the Chief.
"Wake them." The Chief said to the computer. After Cortana asked the chief to wake up the squad, she opened the door so the Chief can get in while all the tubes opened in the room. The chief looked at Cortana then turned around, and saw the squad in rest, and comfort.
The Chief stood up, and told the holo-emitter as he turned, and watched at least 12 Spartans rise up off the tubes, and coughed the fungus out cause it still tasted awful. The chemicals of proteins, and vitamins could not be swallowed, and whoever created this stuff must have been drunk, or his IQ was way below genius.
" Sir, the Spartans are awake." Cortana said to the Chief as he walked inside yelling.
"Single File! Get in line ASAP soldiers!" Chief said standing up away from the door looking at the soldiers.
"Sir, yes sir!" answered the squad as they filed in a single file on the double. As they moved quickly Cortana had to slow her time index by -5% in order to see the troops single file. Spartan number-098 stood at first, Spartan number-078 in second.
"Sir! Ready, and waiting orders sir!" said the first Spartan number-098.
"Very well Spartan!" Chief yelled to the first Spartan as he walked down the line looking at each Spartan's face examining them. The Spartan's stood still like a piece of metal on a ship in a single line. As he walked back, and forth he told Spartan number-098 that he is second squad leader, and Spartan number-078 as third squad leader. The Spartan looked up at the Chief, and yelled his name was Rick Y. Callel, and the next Spartan's name was Gabriel R. Grownster. They appeared to be in there thirty's as the Chief, and the rest looked like hell. He saw one Spartan with a loose arm, and another had an ear missing. He looked like he used to be a Hell jumper, but he remembered him at his first time running in the obstacle course on Reach. He then remembered that he had also lost that race. He lost the very first time that morning on the day. He then looked up folding his arm behind his back.
"We have detected strange reading's on Earth's atmosphere, and have suspected it to be Covenant Ships coming out of slipstream, and attacking Earth. We will enter the Earth's Solar System in 30 minutes, and expected that we will be under heavy fire! We have tried to contact the UNSC HQ, but were not answered by Earth forces. We don't know what is happening, and we wont be at Earth to see what is wrong! And sack up soldiers! Understood Spartans?" John yelled to the team.
All of them heard what the Master Chief said, and yelled, "SIR! YES, SIR!" John walked back to the first, and second Spartan in the line. He wondered how many systems fell to the Covenants.
"Are you all right Chief?" asked the AI as she saw John reminding them that if also he was to die they were to be the next Master Chief to the first two Spartans that they were second, and third leaders of a squad command. He wished that Kelly, and Sam were still alive, but knew they died defending Earth.
"Yah. I am fine Cortana. Can you plot the ship to Earth on auto pilot for thirty?" Chief said replying to the computer. He then turned, and saw all the Spartans in groups talking about Earth, and that they only have been there once. He saw some of them going to the armory, and loading up MA5B's, and pistols as a side arm. Most of them checked if the shielding of the MJONLIR worked, so they used their pistols to test, but Cortana said stop firing on the Deck. Most of them laughed at the AI.
The Spartan's finished loading up, and headed to the short, and worthless obstacle course that was on the Cruiser. He saw some of them say that the ship was worthless, and they should improve the training grounds on the ship. They were right thought John as he turned around, and headed to the elevator.
"Sure chief." The AI responded to the chief's command, and the Longsword Fighter was set on autopilot. "The autopilot is set Master Chief." Cortana said smiling to the Chief as he walked with Rick, and Gabriel to the bridge using the elevator. They walked in the elevator, and pressed the activation panel. The elevator moved up to the bridge, and walked to three separate consoles. Gabriel walked to Weapons, and Rick to Engines on the bridge consoles. The Chief walked towards the command chair, and sat down looking at the console trying to contact Earth. He tried everything to get it online, but it was worthless trying. He sighed, and looked at the bridge. The only people that were on the bridge were Rick, Gabriel, Cortana, and himself. He tried to again to contact Earth, but then the console on the bridges command chair started beeping.
"Sir we are receiving a distress signal. It's coming from Earth Chief!" Cortana said to the three Spartans as they looked at each other.
"Patch to all communications on all decks." Chief said quickly as he heard Admiral Stanforth's voice on the distress signal.
" This is Admiral Stanforth of the UNSC HQ. We are engaged by Covenant Forces, repeat Covenant Forces. They some how managed to get a fix on Earth. They are destroying all armory facilities, and weapons platform. They passed threw the checkpoint without being noticed. Repeat all UNSC ships or any vessels willing to help the UNSC get to Earth immediately... Attacked by Covenant Ground, and Air forces. They surrounded the HQ. Repeat get to Earth, and attack, repeat attack the Covenants... they are breaching the perimeter, and are exceeding, repeat exceeding. All UNSC ships get to Earth ASAP for backup, and to attack the Covenants. All frigates and cruisers get to Earth as soon as possible...Please! Help save Earth, I repeat please save Earth...AHHHHHH!!!!!" Then the transmission ended abruptly as it had started, but there were strange weapons fire. It sounded like Plasma guns, and grenades. The Chief stood up, and looked at Rick, and Gabriel. "Did you hear that guys? That sounded like Grunts entering the compound." Gabriel said making a fist.
"That's all the transmission sir. I am powering engines to 157%, and increasing." Cortana said to the Chief, " and sir. Should I send a reply?" Cortana said wondering if they should send the transmission back to HQ.
"No. Don't reply. Covenant ships might still be all over the Earth's System. They might intercept, and pinpoint our location. Load the MAC guns, and see if the orbital platforms around Mars are still intact." The Chief said back to Cortana. The Chief walked up from the command chair going down the aisle way.
"Sir? Shouldn't we tell that reinforcements are coming?" Rick said to the Chief thinking that the AI is right, and we should send a reply. He then walked over to the Chief looking at him. "At least we should tell them what happened at Reach, and that."
"Negative. We should not let the Covenant locate our position, Understood? And never, ever question my orders Spartan. We are chosen to perform hard tasks, and that's what we will do. Destroy as many Covenant Vessels as we can then try to capture, and Covenant Truth and Reconciliation again to drop down to Earth. Tell the Spartans that we are getting home quicker than expected, even faster." The Chief replied to the Spartans nonsense, and to the AI.