Halo: Aftermath - Prologue
Posted By: Nick<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 14 May 2002, 5:48 am
The Master Chief ran toward the Longsword fighter as explosions and waves of heat hit his shields causing them to flare. He was just half way to his objective, now if only he could make it all the way, then there would be now turning back, no more worrying about what was near him. Cortana yelled at Master Chief to continue running no matter the cost. To the average human, this task was impossible. However, for a Spartan such as Master Chief, this was just difficult. Flames, debris, and gun fights on both side of him.
The Covenant fought furiously with the parasitic Flood creatures. Plasma and bullets alike flew passed Master Chief's face as he drew closer to the fighter. It would be his haven, if only he were to make it there in one piece. Suddenly a Flood in the form of a rotting human corse leaped in front of him and aimed an assault rifle toward Master Chief. Master Chief backhanded the soulless monster at lightning speed, sending it several yards and slamming into its fellow Flood critters. He will never forget its merciless face.
It was a moldy green and brown with several human shaped bones showing. It was missing its entire right arm and a chunk of its rib cage. The whole idea of them not feeling pain was astounding to Master Chief. Regardless of the amount of punishment dealt to a hosting Flood spore, it always managed to summon enough strength to run back to seek revenge. That is what scared him the most out of anything the Flood could do. If he had slept at all in the passed two days, he would have nightmares of these things.
Master Chief continued to run. He had reached the access ramp leading to the Longsword fight. It reminded him of the ancient stealth bombers used to avoid detection from the enemy. He ran toward the next ramp, the one belonging to the Longsword itself. He dared not turn around because he knew that at least twenty hosting Flood creatures were running after him to try and make him the next host of one of their spores. He reached the ramp and ran further inside. He hit the button marked "close" which immediately followed which the fighter's ramp shutting before the Flood could climb aboard.
With the success so far, Master Chief wished he could relax. This was hard work, even for a Spartan. He turned left toward the cockpit area of the cabin when he felt the floor shake from under him. The sudden rumble sent him against the wall of the Longsword. He braced himself and stood back to his feet. Once again, he rushed to the cockpit. He reached it within seconds of the rumble, but with his pressure, it was more like an hour.
The cockpit was decorated with silver steel plating, two leather chairs, and several different transparent computer screen mounted on metallic rods. On the starboard side, their was a neatly set up armory stocked with assault rifles and shotguns. To the port side, a radar planted on the console with yet another leather chair. The large, multiple plated glass fixture swallowed up the front of the ship. Above, Master Chief could easily see white and yellow lights shining throughout the Longsword. It was still intact as well, that was the Chief's favorite part of it all.
Master Chief sped to the pilot's seat and activated the fighter's engines. The Longsword turned one hundred and eighty degrees to face the opening in the Pillar of Autumn's hull. The engines roared to life and the Longsword made a quick jolt forward. The momentum pressed Master Chief's body against the soft, black leather of the chair. He held the throttle as far forward as he could, boosting the engines to an astonishing speed.
He and his artificial intelligence construct had made it out of the ship, but they still needed to clear the ring's atmosphere. As they rose higher into the sky, the bright blue was slowly transforming into a sheet of darkness with small white dots scatter everywhere. Behind the small fighter was the ring world called Halo, shattering into large fragments and colliding with each other. The chain had been started with the self-destruction of the very ship Master Chief had escaped from. The bodies of water leaked out into space along with large pieces of land and the granite the ring was coated with.
A loud vibrant sound went through the cockpit. The words "Engine Temp Critical" flashed on the screen in front of the Chief. Cortana told him to shut the engines down for now, so he did without hesitation. He stood to his feet and walked to the nearest window facing the direction of where Halo had been. He witnessed thousands upon thousand of pieces of the ring brake apart. The fortress would simply finish off itself at this rate. Master Chief leaned against the window and hit it gently. He looked out again in hopes of seeing a friendly ship, or at least some form of life.
"Did anyone else make it?" Master Chief asked. He knew the answer, but he was hoping not to have to tell himself it.
"Scanning. . ." Cortana paused for a moment. "just dust and echos. We are all that is left." Master Chief turned around and walked toward the pilot's chair and slouched. He shook his head in disbelief. He was right, he was often right, but he wished that he had not been about this.
He began to unhinge his helmet much like an astronaut would. He pulled it off revealing tan skin and a mud-brown color of hair. His eyes were a match with it also. He had an average size mouth and nose with soft skin covering in face. Battle wounds did, however, show as well the should considering his recent endeavors. Needless to say, he was handsome in anyone's opinion.
"We did what we had to do for Earth. An entire Covenant armada obliterated and the Flood. . ." Cortana paused again with a sigh of relief. "Halo. . .it's finished."
Master Chief looked down at the console in front of him. He shook his head as a sign of discredit. "No, I think we are just getting started." He lifted his head and stared straight into the merciless darkness of space. He knew that he was right about this one, just like everything else so far. The battle had been won, but the war continued to raged over numerous worlds. The Human race and the Covenant, locked in a seemingly on solvable, undying conflict. He did not know of the battles to come, of the dangerous aftermath of Halo. This was his job. He had to fight. He lived to fight.