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Victories Last Hope Ch.9
Posted By: me<gumdosword@comcast.net>
Date: 10 July 2006, 7:50 am

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AN: Okay Please leave a comment I know at least one person will read this. Also I am thinking of ending this series you guys get to have your say. If I get overwhelming amounts of people who want to end it I probably will in the next chapter.

       As an A.I. he had lived countless centuries, and had lain dormant for many years before that. Yet during the most recent years numerous incidents of interest had occurred, and he knew that many more interesting things were held in the future. The A.I. also knew that there wouldn't be such a future if he didn't decide now. Slowly the present began to weave into the A.I.'s perception.
       "S—e –y –t to ch—k in"

       Finally the information provided by omnipresent Forerunner drones fully integrated with his systems. Before him he could see several humans standing over a representation of their battlefield. Others provided them with constant updates and relayed information gathered by squads in the field. Finally the screen on the table was dominated by a Covenant warship hovering over the ruined city. The designator in the corner named the planet as hell.
       "Sir we can't detonate the bomb yet the last team hasn't checked in yet. If we detonated the bomb now our team could die."

       "They volunteered to plant those bombs; they knew that they might not comeback."

       "But sir, you know that if the Covenant could take those bastards out no one else would have survived either. You're among the few who know who they are, and you also know that their record rivals and might even surpass the Spartans. That's amazing especially when you consider the fact that this is one of the worse platoons in their division."

       "Okay fine we're giving them five minutes after that we blow the bombs, I don't care who's on it."

       The A.I. dragged itself back down to its current situation; aboard that ship were several people who could not be allowed to die. If they did only a miracle would be able to stop the flood a second time, and he would be violating an oath he had made to his creator and someone whom he had respected for many reasons. The data from the horrific moment began to flood in and lace with his auditory and visual sensors. He tried to stop the flood but the same thing that had stopped him from deleting the memory stopped him from reaching the sanctuary that the present represented to him.
       Suddenly he was watching his creator run towards the communication hub in the lab, and turn on the containment field as the flood crashed through the doors. The scientists and engineers began grabbing whatever weapons that were stored or that they were in the process of creating. As the weapons lit the room with brilliant flares and beams of light his creator began to speak.
       "I have very little time to talk. You need to flood the room but before you do I need you to promise me something." His creator stared straight at him as his hologram flared into life. His creator had been a renowned expert in the creation of weapons and A.I.s, but he was also known for the ability to peer into the future. While this wasn't rare for the Forerunners he was extraordinarily gifted for it.
       "But why sir I can use---" He began.

       "No you will save that for the person I will tell you about," his creator yelled. The crystal he was referring to had the extraordinary ability to bend space and time. Left to its own devices it would subtly influence the events surrounding "those that destiny choose" as his creator and many had put it. When he or another high level A.I. commanded it to it would change reality to do one thing, but it was a one use weapon only. Also it only worked on the present so they couldn't change the past to eliminate the danger the flood represented; the crystals also affected those "that were marked by destiny."
       I just don't know what that means, but my creator always said that in time I will the A.I. thought.

       "Now listen," his creator started looking around at the carnage visible on both sides of him. "There will be those who have the ability to destroy the flood, but among them will be two or three who will have the ability to obliterate them." He stopped and looked as a scientist started wildly firing an implosion device at several flood forms only to fall to an avalanche of the forms from behind. "To annihilate them" he said almost to himself.
       "Now promise me that you will protect them till they are able to fulfill this," he yelled. His normally calm creator was now almost to the point of madness; his eyes danced with a fire that seemed barely contained.

       "Yes I will, I promise" he heard himself say.

       "Good now flood the room," his creator seemed once again calm; as if death was a lesser concern then something that he would never live to see.
       The A.I. couldn't kill his creator. His logic routines screamed the fact that the sacrifice was worth, it hundreds of flood including reanimated Flood Walker forms were now assaulting the barrier. Several holes appeared in the energy barrier and as Flood infections tried to enter the holes closed. His creator would die anyways his logic centers screamed, yet his emotional subroutines answered and overrode any other concern.
       His creator sensing the conflict said "Override emotional centers." Immediately he felt release from the emotions that were holding him back, and began working towards his creator's last command. Finally his creator said before the room flooded "You shall recognize them before the years have settled on their shoulders. From the womb you shall know their destiny. Eventually you and the other shall merge with them at the end of it all you will find closure."
       The room flooded, not with any liquid, but with suspended particles that superheated on contact with the air. The room burned and every living thing melted under the barrage of heat. When the particles burned out no biological remained and standing in the doorway was a green armored Reclaimer. Shame washed over him as his emotional routines reset. If only he had waited the Reclaimer would have been able to save his creator.
       Then gradually the memory separated from his perceptions. Many of the warriors had told him that they admired the ability of an A.I. to shut down their emotions. Every time he had heard that he felt lucky, but after that incident he had always felt a wave of self loathing. If he hadn't had that ability his creator would have lived.
       Yet centuries before him they had argued if A.I.s even had emotions and lately the humans had argued over the same fact. Now after all these years they had given up now that he finally had an answer. The A.I.s were capable of emotion but they also had the ability to override them; and later regret the decisions that they couldn't have made any other way.
       Without a second thought he activated the crystal. He had kept his promise and would continue to do so. Though he thought he would never be free of the memory he knew that refusing to do what was needed to honor the last command his creator had given would only worsen the pain.

       In High Charity Truth still stood over the crystals. The "holy artifact" had been shattered into thousands of pieces by the humans. While he had used that incident to fuel the religious Covenant to a new religious fervor he still regretted the loss of the other fragments. Suddenly the crystals began hovering and rearranging themselves in peculiar formations. He and the others in the room could not understand the strange formations, but then again he also couldn't see the other half of the crystals.

       Before the very eyes of the ONI scientists the crystals began to hover and rearrange themselves. The formations they created looked almost as if half of them were missing. If anyone had been able to watch both simultaneously they would have been amazed to see the precision they were capable of when a galaxy away. The crystals began to collectively focus on one point in space. The readings they were taking reporting unknown types of energy and radiation being spewed from the crystals in impossible amounts, but as suddenly as it had started it stopped. When the puzzled tech looked up all he saw was the crystal lose any shape and form, and it became nothing.
       On one planet millions of kilometers away the energy reached a focal point. The continent it focused on looked like a desert. The largest city on that continent surrounded the focal point of all that energy. In that city the space where all the energy met happened to be occupied by a ship, and all for all the places surrounding that area time stood still.

       The Elite moved closer to his teammate. Each one was held by another Elite. Greg kept trying to fight his way out of the grasps of yet another Elite that restrained. Surrounding them was a semicircle composed of even more elites. He knew he was good or lucky but he knew he wouldn't be able to escape this. Slowly he stopped struggling and gave up all hope of ever surviving. He just stood there prepared to watch the death of his squad and among them his remaining friends. He just stood their and listened to death, which had been calling for his life ever since he first saw a Covenant. Death promised him that he would die on that ship, and then Death would only have to worry about one other person that had defied it.
       As the Elite that had hounded him all his life drew closer to his first victim absurd thoughts began to spring into his head. He had never known what to call this particular Elite. All the others he had named prey, but he couldn't call the beast that was about to kill him prey. When as if from outside of him someone spoke. Call him your first challenge. Greg didn't know what to say or think but hundreds of words flew into his mind speaking quiet words of encouragement. Finally Death began to retreat and he knew that he wasn't ready to die yet. Then he finally realized that the Elites had never taken his knives.
       He immediately tried to reach his only weapon, but the Elite was holding him too tightly. He whipped his head back and felt it impact against the Elites chest. That maneuver bought him enough room to swing his elbow back into its gut. The Elite doubled over and he drew his knife and shoved it into the base of its neck. As it collapsed he sprinted towards the one opposite him. The Elite engaged its plasma sword as the one that was preparing to kill his friends turned to face the escapee. As he drew closer the Elite began to swing its sword, but Greg effortlessly countered by twisting towards its sword hand. He was now parallel to it, but still facing the wrong direction. In one lightning fast and fluid motion he unsheathed a second knife similar to the first and stabbed it deep into his opponent's spine, while sheathing the knife he carried in his right hand. He then let go of his knife and continued his twist as the Elite started to drop. When his right hand came around he immediately grabbed his knife and pulled it from the Elite, and immediately spun the blade 180 degrees and plunged it deep into the Elites throat.
       Another enemy ignited its blade and charged him from the other side of the semicircle. Greg approached it from an angle as the Elite leaped into the air. Greg continued to charge headfirst and leaped up as well. When he threw the blade the flying Elite recognized its error. The blade lodged itself in the Elites throat, and the Elite grip on its blade slackened deactivating it. Greg collided with the flying corpse feet first and landed on the floor after grabbing his knife and two other items, and immediately shoulder rolled towards the Elite standing in front of him. This Elite was only armed with a plasma rifle and was armored with the blue hues of a rookie. As it leveled its rifle it found itself skewered by the first object Greg had picked up, a plasma sword. The remaining Elites fell prey to the second item, which just happened to be a blue orb of death.
       Only one target left. Of course that Elite would be more skilled. That one Elite stared at him and almost smiled as it advanced.