The Fall of Fate: Special Edition (Parts 3-6)
Posted By: 'Nosolee<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 22 December 2003, 11:03 PM
900 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Above The Surface of Ucundus
Wkehu 'Drrana suddenly awoke to an atmosphere of death that hung around the battlefield. He gasped for breath and choked on the tainted air. He could barely see a few feet in front of him Am I dead, he thought, no, I'm still very much alive. The very tangible pain he felt from the metal spike that protruded from his armor served to convince him that he was still alive. Oh, how I wish I were dead!, he thought. The pointed spike was a jagged piece of debris that had been uprooted by the crash flew at him at a high speed, cracking his armor and piercing his scaly skin. He grasped the long piece of metal and was hesitant to pull it out of the wound because of the pain. It was a good thing he did so because a few moments later he heard the crunching of boots, human boots, approaching him. They appeared from the misty cloud with oxygen masks over their faces to keep their airways from clogging up because of the dust. There were three of them, all carrying assault shotguns to put down any wounded enemy quickly. Wheku played dead.
'Drrana could barely understand what they were saying because of the garbled interference of the masks they wore on their faces. He saw one lift a radio to his face and say:
"This is Richard York to Pelican Beta 514. Do you copy, over?" he paused to listen for a response. A new transmission came from the radio.
"Yeah, York, how's the search coming. Has there been any resistance from the Covenant?" a man's voice asked from the speaker of the radio.
"Barely any, a few wounded elites, we took care of 'em pretty fast with these babies," he patted the metallic-black barrel of the shotgun, "There's no sign of the Spartan anywhere, we're towards the edge of the battlefield and the hills are ahead. There's nothing moving on radar, it's a wasteland out here. I'm calling it quits, requesting extraction to continue our search from the sky; we might be able to see him better from above, over."
"Rodger that, I'm on my way," the radio clicked off. Richard took a deep breath and then sighed.
"What puzzles me, is why the Covenant came here in such a small quantity. I mean, why didn't they just glass the planet and be done with it. Why risk three ships and thousands of troops?" Richard asked the other marines. 'Drrana thought the same thing. We should've glassed the whole damned planet. I really don't give a shit what the Ancients left underground at this point, he thought.
"Yeah, I dunno, there could be a million different explinations. But I'm sure glad I'm not that guy!" another marine said as he gestured towards 'Drrana. Wkehu felt the piercing stares of the humans as each one looked at him. His eyes were shut and he held his breath, but he knew that they each raised their shotguns and were contemplating shooting him. He had no protection. His shield generator had been damaged and died out during the battle and his armor had been considerably weakened. Wkehu thought about ripping the painful, jagged spike from the left side of his chest and slicing each of the humans' throats. But he knew that if he so much as lifted a finger, the vile humans would end his life in a heartbeat. He had seen marines take down mighty hunters with single shots form the powerful weapons the aliens held in their hands. They called them 'shat-gunes'.
"He's long dead," said the third marine.
"Yeah. Oh hey over here!" the second marine said as he waved to another group of three marines. They too were carrying shotguns. They hurried over to York's group.
[indent["Any luck with the Spartan?" said one of the other marines.
"No, we're callin' it quits," Richard said as the loud roar of the Pelican was heard close by, "here's our ride." The Pelican blew dust all over the place and Wkehu had to hold his breath and squeeze his eyes shut to avoid coughing. The dropship caused a dust storm and the marines had trouble seeing the loading ramp, but they obviously made it onboard because Wkehu heard the Pelican ascend and accelerate, leaving huge amounts of dust to blow in his face. Wkehu Drrana opened his eyes when the dust finally cleared and let out a deep breath. He grabbed the spike again and yanked it out of his chest forcefully. He tried to ignore the ear-splitting pain that followed. He looked at the tip, which was covered in his dry, purple blood. When some of the agony left he pushed himself from the upright piece of debris that he was resting his back on and tried to find his way to the hills. His vision was fogged by the large amounts of dust in the air. He stuck his arms out in front of his face as a blind person would so he wouldn't hit into any rubble. When the dust cloud became lighter he was able to see the silhouette of the hills and pretty soon he saw the charred skeletons of the Seraph fighters still spewing orange flames in various places. The ground became softer as he trotted from the battlefield and into the grassy plains. His walk became a desperate limp and he became even thirstier and hungrier than before.
"I m-must get into those hills. There must be some sort of food, some stream to drink from," Wkehu said desperately. 'Drrana continued towards the hills and twenty minutes later he was scavenging for supplies, weapons, and maybe even large purple transmitter around the base of the fallen fighter. Wkehu ripped a piece of the weakened hull from the Seraph off and entered the inside. It was an inferno, but Wkehu was determined to get into the cargo bay. He walked passed burning supply crates and knew that if there was anything in them they would be burnt and damaged, thus of no use.
He squeezed through a pair of smashed double-doors and entered the cargo bay. The cargo bay of the Seraph fighters were considerably smaller that the other ships, it was only about twenty feet long by fifteen wide. Plasma weapons littered the floor. Wkehu paused to pick a plasma rifle up, checked its condition, and clipped if to his holster. He found only one undamaged crate. He opened it up and thanked the gods that there were food packets inside. He devoured some of the foul tasting gel packages and took the rest in his arms. On his way out with his hands and arms filled with supplies, he accidentally tripped on a piece of ragged metal. The supplies flew from his hands, one of which was a plasma grenade. The blue sphere flew into a flaming crack in the wall. 'Drrana took notice of this, got to his feet, and ran. He slipped past the two damaged doors and kept on sprinting as the overheated grenade exploded, setting off other grenades, creating massive detonation. The hull of the ship shuddered and 'Drrana slipped again only to see more flames race at him. He quickly regained his balance and left the ship, still at a full sprint through the hills. When Wkehu 'Drrana became too tired to run anymore he turned to see both Seraph fighters explode into greater flames and noticed that the explosion must have punctured the fuel tank of one of the ships, creating a chain reaction. But he soon realized the fatality of his error when he heard the human dropship circling overhead... Wkehu 'Drrana threw himself prostrate and clutched his plasma rifle as he prayed to the gods that he humans hadn't located him. He looked around for a place to hide until the humans had left. There was no sturdy, fully concealable cover in sight. 'Drrana got to his feet, pressed his back against a boulder, and hoped for the best.
"What the hell was that?" Private Richard York leaned over the seat behind the copilot of the Pelican and watched as the two Seraph fighters exploded in white flames.
"Could be the Spartan; I'm also getting a figure on radar," the pilot of the dropship said. York looked at the radar and watched as the blip went from white, to yellow, and finally to red.
"Shit, we've got an enemy in the area. Use machine-guns to take 'em out," York said.
"My pleasure," the pilot responded by activating the Pelican's 70mm heavy chain guns.
Wkehu 'Drrana's fear mounted to terror when he heard the roar of the human dropship's engines getting louder as it approached. The ship flew swiftly overhead and was followed by a gust of wind from its engines. 'Drrana said a prayer of thanks to the gods as he saw the plane continue its straight flight ahead, but paused in the middle of it when he saw it decelerate and turn to rush at him. "Oh, oh no!" 'Drrana exclaimed as he realized they were about to fire at him. Soon after he comprehended this thought, the heavy machine-guns blared and fired high speed, armor piercing, 70mm bullets at him. 'Drrana ducked and spun around the opposite face of the boulder as soon as the bullets pounded into the exact spot on the rock where 'Drrana was just standing. The Dropship zoomed past again and the machine guns under the wings rotated to face him once again and fired. 'Drrana repeated his last movement and ducked behind the original face of the rock as the ground was laced with bullets.
"Damn it!" Wkehu screamed. This same procedure was repeated for the next ten minutes—the dropship would approach, 'Drrana would duck behind the opposite face of the boulder.
"York, I'm wastin' a lot of ammo and we're not gettin' anywhere. You mind if I drop you guys off and let you handle it yourselves?" the pilot asked.
"Not at all," Richard said to the pilot, "Guys, get ready, we're taking this son of a bitch down ourselves," the York loaded the last shell into his shotgun and re-clipped his helmet onto his head. The Dropship began its decent to let off the troops about thirty yards from where 'Drrana was hiding.
900 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Beneath The Surface of Ucundus
"Open. Up. You. Stupid. Son. Of. A. BITCH!" After every word Gregory Spartan 183 pounded the metal of the ancient cryo-tube.
"Don't waste your energy, it's not going to open by force," Augustus said.
"Why? Huh? Why can't things be that simple?!" Gregory pounded the metal again.
"Relax, I've got a new game for us to play, okay?" Augustus said.
"What? What else could we possibly do. The holo images of the ring won't come up any more, this damned cryo-tube won't open, and we're trapped down here!" Gregory shouted.
"Well, while you were ruthlessly beating the cryo-tube, I reasoned with the idea that the Forerunner might have built another entrance, almost like a back door," Augustus said.
"So, after analyzing the reverberations of sounds, making a small thermo-scan, and more technical data that would confuse you," the Spartan made a grunt of amusement, "I've concluded that a portion of the ground below us is actually...hollow."
"Hollow?" the Spartan repeated.
"Yes, there must be more to this underground 'room' than meets the eye. Start looking over there for some sort of hatch or door," Augustus marked a target on Gregory's HUD.
910 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Above The Surface of Ucundus, In the Hills
Wkehu 'Drrana readied his plasma rifle as he heard the vile infidels disengage from their dropship and set out to hunt him. 'Drrana crouched behind the boulder.
"Let's move! Tom, check behind that boulder. Be careful, the bastard could be anywhere!" York shouted. The marine they called Tom crept closer to the boulder. There wasn't anyone visible at first glance, but as he got closer he saw the massive, black boot of the Elite; then he saw the blue burst of energy from the alien's rifle.
Directly after Tom fell, grasping his bloody face in pain, the other marines fired their shotguns at the exposed creature. 'Drrana crouched back again behind the rock, but the marines had a new tactic.
"Stand clear! Frag out!" a marine threw a fragmentation grenade beside the rock. There was a thud as it bounced. Seconds later, 'Drrana somersaulted from behind the boulder and the grenade exploded, sending shrapnel and dirt high into the air while blasting a significant piece of 'Drrana's cover to pieces. He side-stepped as he fired the plasma rifle at the marines, evading their bullets.
"Yeearoww!" 'Drrana screamed and he continued to fire at the marines. One marine caught some fire in the shoulder and fell to the ground, another was shot in the forehead.
"Shit! This freak is tougher than I thought!" York exclaimed, "He's outta range, these shotgun bullets can't do much damage from our position. Derek, try to sneak around the back and take him out. Get us a P.O.W., but if he's too difficult, just shoot the son of a bitch." Derek snuck around the hills and came up behind 'Drrana. Wkehu 'Drrana continued to fire at the marines but suddenly paused when he heard someone approaching him. He spun and was greeted by a fast, painful smack in the face. The familiar feeling of unconsciousness flowed over him.
910 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Beneath The Surface of Ucundus
Gregory waved his hand along the ancient floor, brushing sand and dust aside. He continued his search for the hatch until he found a thin groove in the floor.
"Huh, what's this?" he traced the line around until it formed a square. He brushed more dust away and revealed a handle.
"Alright, no tricks or electronic do-dads to deal with. Great, hopefully this will really be that easy," Gregory said as he opened the trapdoor and peered into the darkness below.
"What in the hell?" Gregory looked down a steep, dark stairwell. His boots clanked as they stepped on the metal steps and the echo reverberated down the ancient staircase. The Spartan continued down the steps for fifteen minutes until he reached a small, roughly pentagonal door. He stared at the odd looking door and noticed two rectangular, green lights. As he got closer, the door hissed and opened automatically.
"Hmm, interesting," Augustus mused to himself. Beyond the door was a long rectangular gallery with a high ceiling and black walls. The room was dimly lit; most of the light came from strange, tall, blue screens that lined the entire length of the room.
"This place just gets weirder and weirder," Gregory said as he stepped through the bizarre Forerunner arcade. At the end of the hallway was another door exactly like the first. He opened the door and walked up a short ramp. He surfaced into another bizarre looking room with light bluish-tinted walls and floors. This room, however, was well lit and, so far as Gregory could tell, roughly circular in shape. In the nucleus of the room were three strange, delta-shaped structures.
"Hmm, I wonder what those are for," Gregory said.
"Analyzing. They appear to be some sort of engine, or power generator. They could possibly be used for keeping this place running," Augustus declared, "Let's continue to move through this structure." Gregory got closer to the pointed machines and looked up. Three holes, parallel to each generator, went from the ceiling up to...it looked like the surface. A blue band of light streaked along the sides of the holes going upwards revealing the tube that went to the surface. Gregory followed the light with his eyes until it disappeared.
"Hey, Augustus, do you think these machines are supposed to fire something?"
"Hmm, possibly. I cannot make deductions on their purpose just yet."
"Right," the Spartan said dully. They exited the chamber through a large, triangular door and entered another long, rectangular room, but this one was wider. The floor was oddly corrugated and so was the high ceiling. At the end was a large blast door, it was signified locked by the two red lights.
"Well, I guess this is the end. Can't go any more, dead end. Better be heading back," the Spartan said hoping that Augustus wouldn't make him press any further.
"Hold on now, not so fast. See those holo-pads..."
"Not this again."
"Go press one of the big yellow buttons, that should open the doors," Augustus marked the button with a nav point. Gregory let out a long sigh.
"Damn it. Fine, but if that door blows up in my face like that other thing, we'll either both be dead, or I'll survive, and then I'll crush you," Gregory threatened.
"You charm me, just open the damn door." Gregory pressed the button and watched. There was a deep clank as the gears shifted, the light turned green, there was a hiss of released pressure, and the doors slid apart revealing a room beyond anything the Spartan could have ever imagined.
950 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Above The Surface of Ucundus, In the Makeshift Prison Shack
"Damn you humans! I'm telling you I have no idea where the Sphar'tin is!" 'Drrana pounded the bars of the metal cage.
"You sure as hell better know, for you sake," York said as he shoved the shotgun barrel between the rods, into Wkehu's face.
"Or you'll what, kill me? Go ahead, end my painful misery!" 'Drrana screamed at the marine.
"Damn you, where is he!" York yelled.
"I swear! I'm telling you this again! I don't have any clue on the whereabouts of your stupid Spartan," 'Drrana violently rattled the cage bars and roared. Even though the marines were bad asses, the scene of a vicious alien in a brutal rage made their spines tingle with fear. York held his ground.
"Fine then, we'll just have to torture you until you do know where the Spartan is," York said. 'Drrana snarled and clicked his lower mandibles. He was trying to be as patient as he could.
"Grrahh! Just because you stupid humans left without taking one of your insolent soldiers and then crushing him with the body of Fate, does not mean that you should take your anger out on me!"
"I have one quick question for you. How come you speak perfect English, but none of your other elite buddies do?" York asked.
"I am educated you imbecile! I am a field master!" 'Drrana replied.
"And, oh yeah, in response to your last comment--just because your stupid, fucked up leaders tell you to kill us, doesn't mean that you should," York said to anger the Elite off. And it did. The Elite took his hand of the bars, clenched them into fists, raised them above his head and roared. An ear splitting scream echoed towards the heavens. He never heard such blasphemy in his entire life. The Elite took the wooden bench in his cell and smashed it against the bars. He picked up a jagged piece of wood and attempted to slice at York, who tumbled backwards, startled.
"Shit! Someone get the sedative!" he yelled at a marine to get the narcotic drug. The marine opened a black case, loaded the drug into the gun, and fired at Wkehu 'Drrana's neck. The Elite felt a sharp sting in the side of his neck, stopped screaming, and greeted the familiar friend of unconsciousness.