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The Fall of Fate: Special Edition (Destiny-Freedom)
Posted By: 'Nosolee<crugg2003@optonline.net>
Date: 30 December 2003, 1:16 AM

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1030 Hours April 29, 2548(Military Calendar)//Onboard the Covenant Sister-Ship of Fate, Destiny.

      The black armored Elite, Tusla 'Pokaree, stood before the Prophet of medium power in a dimly lit room. They were to discuss the second invasion of Ucundus, and the excavation of the room beneath the planet's surface. 'Pokaree stared at his marvelous leader. The Prophet wore a complex and intricate headpiece and his body was draped with opulently embroidered crimson robes. The Prophet gazed at his soldier with cold, black eyes, as if he were analyzing the Elite's unworthy soul. Tusla 'Pokaree lowered his head in respect and waited for the Prophet to speak to him. The bony lips of the Prophet parted but no words came out. He closed his mouth again as if what he was about to say would have been deemed wrong, like a question to an oral examination. The Prophet took another breath and sighed. Now he spoke.
      "I have heard rumors, 'Pokaree. Are these rumors true?" the Prophet inquired. The Elite raised his head.
      "May I inquire what these rumors concern, Your Excellency?" the Elite asked.
      "You know very well what they concern. The transmission we received from the Grunt. Is it true? True that we have lost three ships and the only survivor is a Grunt? What of Field-master Wkehu 'Drrana? Hmm, why have we failed!" the Prophet exclaimed in anger and pounded his gaunt fist on the armrest of the hovering throne.
      "Your Excellency, the humans found our sister-ship, Fate, hovering above the excavation site. The two Seraph fighters were not enough to hold against the human forces. I believe we were overwhelmed. The ship could not drop off enough troops before humans entered the ship and planted their nuclear weapon. The bow was blown to pieces; thousands of troops were killed in that one single blast, the debris alone killed hundreds. The ship fell upright and was held in place by dirt and rubble. The destroyer could not deploy any more dropships, the abundant human forces overwhelmed our troops and then fled. And as if the destruction of the ship was not enough, the humans persisted on knocking it down upon our survivors! No one, except the grunt, survived. I am sorry, Your Excellency," Tusla said. The Prophet stared in disbelief for a few seconds, let out a deep breath, and said:
      "Well, how do you know all of these details? Surly the Grunt didn't explain them to you," the Prophet asked.
      "I watched on a view screen via our battle cameras, Your Excellency," the elite responded with his head lowered once more.
      "Hmm, this is a problem. This is a very, very difficult problem. How many ships are in this armada?" the Prophet questioned.
      "Two destroyers, Destiny and Providence, Fate's two sister-ships. Three frigates, The Repentance, The Candor and Appeasement, and The Belief and Wisdom. We have twenty Seraph fighters, and one assault carrier, Judgment," the Elite explained.
      "Excellent. Where are we en route to?" the Prophet asked.
      "We are headed to..." at that moment a blue armored Elite bustled through the door holding a coordinate chip, gasping for air.
      "I-I A-am very s-sorry to disrupt you, Your Ex-Excellency, but we h-have received anoth-another transmission from Ucundus!" the Elite said.
      "Well, what is it?" the Prophet asked impatiently. The blue elite made a gesture with his hand to let him catch his breath.
      "The Grunt has been captured, this transmission is from the hunter named Yugo Kosa Bohrrok. He says that Field-master Wkehu 'Drrana is still alive, but is being held prisoner at theses coordinates," the Elite placed the chip into a control panel and a holographic representation of the battlefield sprang to life. The target was marked on a small shack-like building where Grunter and 'Drrana were imprisoned, "The Hunter is severely wounded and his bond brother is dead," the blue Elite said.
      "Alright, I want the Ship-master alerted to place his Slipspace coordinates on Ucundus. Get the combat Ossoonas ready to be deployed as soon as possible. The failure on Ucundus was unacceptable. We will not fail again," the Prophets orders were immediately executed and in a matter of minutes the armada was facing the blue and green countenance of Ucundus.

April 29, 2548. In the Control Center of Ucundus.

      "What? What's wrong?" Gregory stared at the horrified expression that engulfed Augustus's face.
      "T-this instillation," Augustus stammered, "is a weapon," upon uttering the word 'weapon', both Augustus's and Gregory's eyes flared.
      "What, wuh-what do you mean this is a weapon?" Gregory asked nervously.
      "This Control Center has a pulse radius capable of annihilating this galaxy, and it also contains the coordinates of...Earth," as soon as Augustus articulated Earth, a holographic representation of the blue planet appeared, along with a series of numbers marking the coordinates.
      "Shit! If the Coven.." Gregory exclaimed.
      "N-not only that," Augustus continued in his horrified drone, "but it contained the coordinates of many other human colonies also. The Covenant must not gain access to this instillation." His voice became more excited. "We've got to get a rescue party here. We need reinforcements," Augusts said as if commanding Gregory to execute his orders immediately.
      "Okay, but what kind of weapon is it? Can it be controlled? Can it be used against the Covenant?" Gregory asked these questions hastily.
      "No, no it cannot. But, if I'm translating these encryptions correctly, this instillation has its fair share of defenses. There are several, highly powerful energy-pulse cannons. I believe they would be capable of defending the planet from the ground in time of an aerial or orbital attack. If I can locate these cannons, we may be able to harness Forerunner weapons technology. We may be able to lead an effective stand against the Covenant!" Augustus said with a new triumphant vigor.
      "Great," Gregory said dully, "but I don't want to have to touch any holo buttons."

1030 Hours April 29, 2548 (Military Calendar)//Above The Surface of Ucundus, In the Makeshift Prison Shack

      Wkehu 'Drrana stared in disbelief at the little grunt for several seconds.
      "What do you mean, another invasion is in the works?" the elite inquired.
      "I mean, that they are coming back for us. We're gonna be saved!" the Grunt exclaimed. At that moment two marines entered through the wooden door.
      "So, how are we feeling today? Hmm?" York said to the prisoners. The Elite just glared in contempt at the human, while the Grunt said nothing.
      "Well, I hope you're ready to work, Grunt. We've got a lot of debris removal to do. Ha ha ha!" York chuckled. The other marine raised his shotgun as York opened the prison door and dragged the Grunt out. They led the alien out of the wooden door onto the once silent and somber battlefield, which was now transformed into what looked like a massive construction site. Dozens of huge cranes removed debris and rubble that had once been the hull and interior of the Covenant battleship. Grunter saw hundreds of prisoners of war that had been brought from various battles to help remove the wreckage. Grunts, jackals, and he even saw a few Hunters helping out with the heavier pieces, but those were the only species of Covenant he noticed. The others, the Elites were to strong willed, unlike the three weaker minded species. All P.O.W. were forced into labor practically at gunpoint.
      "At this rate, we'll be done in about a week," York shouted above the din.
      "Yeah, but the removal of that ship is going to be a bitch," the other marine yelled. Grunter watched as one of the cranes dropped a large package of rubble into the back of a huge garbage-craft.
      "Yeah, some of this stuff will be shot to the space dumps, others will be rushed to ONI, like the ruined ship," York explained to the other marine. Hehe, that is if the garbage-crafts don't get blown up by the oncoming invasion , Grunter thought.
      "Hey, Grunt! You'll be working over there in cleaning up some coolant leakage from the craft," York yelled, Grunter felt the chill of the coolant already.
      "Just don't fall into the pools," the other marine snickered. The coolant bubbled and churned.

1070 Hours April 29, 2548(Military Calendar)//Onboard the Covenant Sister-Ship of Fate, Destiny.
      "How long until deployment?" the Ship-master, Quasa 'Ligoree, paused his pacing upon hearing the Elite's voice appear from nowhere. Suddenly the air in front of Quasa rippled and a pale armored Ossoona materialized. 'Ligoree grunted.
      "Well, Arga 'Yulemee, don't sneak up on a Ship-master like such, I could have you executed," the noble voice of 'Ligoree responded.
      "Well, how long will it be before my special-ops team goes in for deployment?" the Ossoona inquired once again. And at this moment a dozen other stealth troops materialized from the dark of the room.
      "Oh, how long were you in here?" Quasa questioned. "Never mind, be prepared for deployment in fifteen minute-units," 'Ligoree commanded.
      "Yes, Commander," the Ossoonas left the bridge and continued through the purple halls of the ship into a docking bay. There, two dropships were waiting for the Ossoonas. The stealth troops gathered their gear, some carrying plasma rifles, others carrying the holsters to plasma swords. They boarded the dropships and took off into space. They traveled along the far side of the planet until they quietly landed in the hills where the Seraph fighters had crashed. They had already sent a signal that dismantled the human radars from space so they never knew of the two dropships.

Back inside the makeshift prison

      Wkehu 'Drrana sat in silence, watching the four human marines talk about their private life while playing cards on a makeshift card table. Suddenly, the wooden door swayed open as if from a breeze. A marine stood up and volunteered to close it. He walked to the door and held out his hand to push the door back, when suddenly he was seized. He was spun to face the marines by an unseen force. He limbs swung about violently as if possessed by a demon, he tried to yell but a strangled scream bellowed from his lungs. And suddenly, a loud crack! was heard, as the marine's neck was snapped and he fell to the floor, dead.
      "What the fu..." the marine never finished, because at that moment three, shimmering blue plasma blades appeared out of thin air. The marine was caught in the stomach by the sword. The Ossoona ripped it out sideways, splashing crimson blood and fragments of the marine's ribs across the floor. The other two marines were startled by this new threat, they groped for their assault shotguns, or anything to use as a weapon against the new assaulter. The card table was shattered into fragments by a sword almost as easily as the marine. One soldier saw the rippling air and smacked an Elite in the face with the butt of his weapon, but the Elite had a clearer shot at the human and did the same. The headless carcass fell against a chair with a sickening thud! The last marine backed against the far wall and fired random rounds at the air from his shotgun. He watched in desperate horror as the neon blades crept closer, and closer. He was pulled away from the wall by an invisible force and he felt one of the weapons sever his torso from his stomach. He fell onto his back and stared in ultimate horror, as he watched the aliens fling his departed legs to the side.
      Wkehu 'Drrana watched in amazement at the slaughter from behind the metal bars, as each of the guards was killed with precise brutality. The three Ossoonas deactivated their camouflage and placed the charge to the bars. There was a dull boom and a flash of light as the metal bars were disintegrated. Wkehu 'Drrana felt an exciting notion of freedom. The Ossoonas handed the Field-master a plasma rifle and a few grenades. Wkehu checked the weapon and thanked the Ossoonas, who had now reactivated their camouflage.
      The marine who had last been "killed" was still conscious to watch his assaulters reveal themselves, to see them free the prisoner, and to activate an M9 HE-DP Grenade...

To be Continued...