CR.04: Chaotic Reign .04: Light of the Ender (Series Finale)
Posted By: Neo//hack<Hometokell@aol.com>
Date: 8 June 2003, 1:02 AM
Time had come.
Elder Rin, along with Elder Orcon, had suffered more than enough. Their people gone, their home planets in ruin. Betrayed. Forgotten.
In the eyes of Elder Kaiid-Jahjun, corrupt leader of the Covenant, they were mere obstacles in the road to power.
Their efforts were futile, and their pleas were ignored. The Council remained silent, while the Covenant continued ravaging through Earth and the home planet of the Rankai.
They said it was inevitable. Impossible to overcome. It would take firepower, not willpower.
They couldn't have been more wrong. . .
"All forces advance!"
Trees rustled. Short rattles of gunfire echoed through the crisp air.
For the first time, Elder Rin, leader of the Human race, felt a glimmer of pride as his army of seven hundred battle-hardened Marines clawed and climbed their way through the dense forest before them. Distant cannons boomed in reply to the advancing Covenant. Banshees strafed low to the treetops, hoping to pick off a random target.
Grunts disappeared into the brush as well. Armed Elites followed suit, rushing past their smaller comrades.
Streaks of blue arched across the darkening sky. Grenades bombarded the branches and limbs, ripping leaves and tossing them about like child's toys.
Elder Rin watched, no longer feeling sad, as the men and women he so bravely trained marched to their destiny openly. They would sacrifice themselves willingly for the wellbeing of life in the universe.
Shimmers of light reflected off the armored aliens, reminding the great human leader how close they were. The gunfire sounded like small, distant popping of gunpowder. They were small bursts at this point, but each and every soul within the area knew what it would become.
Shouts of rallying and of revenge filled the air, sometimes muffled by the firing of guns.
Then it happened.
The sound of it reminded Elder Rin of two great masses colliding, like two rhinos smashing heads or two great rocks rolling into each other.
The two forces met in the center of the foliage, and everything went to hell.
It was incredible to watch as the opposing races met. Gunfire erupted like never before, flashes of light rising from the trees and brush as if calling out.
Grenades went off left and right, while Scorpions shelled the area like there was no tomorrow. They never seemed to consider what exactly they were hitting, for it really didn't matter. It was impossible to land a shell in a crowd of Covenants without hitting at least one human. Warthogs began to make their way into the foliage, running down roots and branches until they were in the core of it all.
It was never a two sided battle. A Marine could take down an Elite, then turn around and be confronted by a Grunt. Often that Grunt would be accidentally be burned with a single plasma shot, and fall to the ground, jets of steam rising from his chest. The Marine would be caught off guard, and another plasma shot would rip through the leaves and tear its way into their backside. Satisfied, that Covenant would turn to head into another area, but would find himself gazing into the 'unfriendly' end of a human pistol.
Friendly fire was very common. Covenants would probably kill more of their colleagues than the humans would. The Marine ratio was less, but increased steadily.
Whether or not this battle would be decisive would remain unknown until the gunfire ceased and the falling soldiers were counted and properly buried.
However, it became obvious that this battle would not end soon. Elder Rin's pride held up, but he could sense that it was fading. There was no reason for it, for the small war taking place before him was incapable of being observed from this point. Fires were breaking out everywhere, which would eventually lead to opening the forest wide open and revealing the tragedy within.
Heavy gunfire added to the situation. A few Covenant turrets were moved to the front lines, while they were met with several Warthogs. Screams also filled the air more than ever before. Elder Rin could sense that they were most likely the dying cries of his fighting men.
The battle could only get worse from here.
The skies were very dark now. Not dark to the point where nothing could be seen, but darkened as if it were going to suddenly start raining. It would be a rain that had but one purpose: to wash away the blood that was shed on human ground, of all places.
Two hours had passed since the two forces collided. Between those one hundred and twenty minutes, almost 1200 lives, whether they be Covenant or human, had been lost. Warthogs lay upside down, some burnt and missing tires. Empty casings, what seemed millions of them, littered the ground. Craters were scattered about, most of them surrounded by trees that had been blown backward. The front portion of the tree trunks were black and scarred.
Assault rifles lay half-buried in the mud, smoke still pouring from their barrels.
It was the ultimate death scene. The survivors were taken away and transported to the closest hospital.
After surveying the scene one last time, etching it into his memory forever, Elder Rin climbed aboard a transport and was taken away.
"Welcome aboard, Elder."
The great leader was escorted to his temporary quarters aboard one of the last human warships. The vast loading ramp slowly lifted with a groan and came to a close. With that, the engines were fired up and the cruiser lifted away from the platform on which it sat and roared towards the upper atmosphere.
Once it broke Earth's gravity, the ship decreased engine power and began the fairly short journey to the Council's Space Station.
Elder Rin chose to stay inside his quarters the entire trip. His mind was focused on the battle earlier, the battle he chose to fight. He decided, reluctantly, that the battle was not as decisive as he had hoped it would be. It was close to meaningless now.
He reflected on the battle, bringing back all the horrible memories. Nobody was disappointed in his decision, although he could tell that they did not fully approve of it. The occasional 'Good Work, Elder' or 'Congratulations' was all they said.
He had little to be proud of, but he knew now was not the time to feel too responsible for everything.
There came a knock to the thick door. "Elder Rin?"
Rin snapped out of his flashbacks and returned to reality. "Yes?"
"We're docking now. Shall I send the escorts?"
Rin was silent for a moment. "No, thank you. I can handle myself."
"Yes, sir." Rin could hear the light footsteps on the metal floor as the officer headed away.
Elder Rin waited until he could feel the ship shudder as it came to a halt in one of the docking stations. Once the vessel was chained to the platforms and the loading ramp dropped, Rin left his quarters and proceeded to the ramp.
Elder Rin, after exiting the ship, was escorted to the Council meeting room. There, he was re-aquatinted with the Grand Councilman.
"Ah, Elder Rin. It's been a while."
Rin smiled. "Quite."
"Well, I suppose you're wanting to know why you've been brought here, of all places. Correct?"
"The thought had occurred to me."
The Grand Councilman chuckled. "Well, it appears that we have some bad news."
"Former Elder Kaiid-Jahjun of the Covenant has activated one of his new developments. Some sort of space cannon. It was originally supposed to be a defense system that could be used by all three Races. However, he intends on using this cannon to start wiping cities off the face of you and Elder Orcon's planet."
Elder Rin remained emotionless. "What else is new?" he muttered.
"What can we do to stop it?"
"Since the cannon was designed for use by all three races, we have a copy of the blueprints."
The Grand Councilman moved aside and hit a button on his desk. A holographic diagram flashed to life.
"This is a diagram of the cannon as up to date as we could get it. A few modifications have been made, I'm sure, but I doubt it will affect how the system works."
"Hmm. I appears that a link to a vital portion of the mainframe system is fairly close to the edge of the outer shield. Will I virus insertion work?"
The Councilman thought a moment, examining the diagram. "Well, let's see."
He hit another button, then pushed a few more and the diagram seemed to come to life.
It shifted slightly, revealing the exposed link's side.
A small satellite was shown flying towards the cannon satellite. Upon reaching the side, it attached itself to the cannon and a small laser erupted from a tip in the center of the satellite. After burning a penny-sized hole in the side of the satellite, a smaller robotic arm extended and injected what appeared to be a needle into the hole. A small red light suddenly flashed on, indicating that the virus had been sent into the link like morphydranine is injected into the arm of a person.
"We call this satellite the ASVIS, or Anti-Satellite Virus Injection System. It sends a virus into a satellite the way a needle injects fluid into a person's veins."
"Looks like it could work. How will it approach the satellite without being destroyed?"
The Grand Councilman shrugged. "It's radar resistant. A stealth system."
"We can launch one of these as soon as the cannon is online and preparing to fire. Once it is going to fire, the virus can cause the most damage."
"I see. When will the cannon be fired?"
"Actually, I believe Kaiid-Jahjun is planning to fire a shot in just a short time. We don't have much time left before he does."
"When can we have an ASVIS ready?"
"About three minutes."
Elder Rin stood, his confidence restored. "This is our only chance. Let's not loose it."
"ASVIS is online and ready."
The Grand Councilman waited patiently. His face was rigid with nervousness. Elder Rin felt the same, although he fought to avoid expressing it.
"Okay, here we go. The cannon will fire in a few minutes. It is going to take approximately two minutes for the ASVIS to reach it and thirty more seconds to insert the virus. Once the virus is inside, it will require only a few seconds to infect the system."
Elder Rin didn't move. Now was a time to wait.
"Launch the probe!"
Within seconds, Elder Rin observed a small satellite blasting away from the enormous warship and heading off into the dark void of space to perform its job.
"Now we wait."
Rin remained silent, but was eager to leave the meeting room and make his way to one of the large bay windows. Along the way, he suddenly began to remember everyone he left behind, the world he once new being destroyed, and everything else that had happened.
His people who had suffered. The ruins his home lay in. Those he had come to know that lost their lives, innocent or not. A tear slipped and rolled down his cheek.
He reminded himself that a time like this was not one to feel down. The remaining population was depending on his actions to solve the greatest problem they had ever encountered.
He was prepared to head to his quarters and sit out the results of the assault on the cannon, but was stopped.
He happened to be passing by one of the bay windows when he caught a glimpse of Kaiid-Jahjun's cannon, with him aboard, was swallowed by a flash of light and disappeared somewhere inside the erupting fireball that grew in every direction, a blast so powerful that Rin was almost knocked down. It was the best thing that could have happened to Rin. A smile of satisfaction crossed his face as two words passed through his mind: