Sea of Steel: Part 10
Posted By: Omniscient<email@example.com>
Date: 25 August 2001, 6:00 am
Location: Aircraft carrier Alcatraz, Sector W, Halo.
The commanders were all engaged in a meeting to discuss a plan of how to locate the "secret", when a crewman on deck noticed something on the far shore. He pulled his one-eye HUD down over his left eye and zoomed in on the subject. It was a Covenant elite, but it gave out a massive energy signal. There was no one else with him. The crewman threw back his HUD and ran to the nearest radio, where he signaled the tower.
"Crewman Davis to tower, I have an unidentified humanoid form that appears as Covenant, Elite class on HUD. It appears to be traveling solo. Please confirm." Davis tried to sound professional as he gave his report.
"Tower to Davis, we have the elite in our scopes. Thanks for the heads-up. We do not see any other activity in the area. Will signal captain. Tower out." Davis listened to the radio click off, and then he hung up his end and lowered his HUD once more to take a look at the elite. It's huge, he thought, at least a head taller than a human.
The Captain was seated around yet another conference table with General Patrick Hall and the seal and marine commanders. The marine commander, Bruce Gail, had provided some detailed information and maps on the territories that his men had already explored. Ray Louis and the other seal team leaders were looking over this information on the computer when they were interrupted by the message from the tower.
"Tower to Captain, we have unidentified Covenant elite on west shore. Advise." The seal commanders slowly stared up from the computer screen they shared and looked at the Captain, who held an equally confused look on his face.
"Just one unit?" asked the Captain.
"Affirmative, sir. One personnel, moving slowly. No other activity. Air and ground radars are clean."
"I recommend we send a delegate," said Patrick, very matter of factly. He looked at the Captain and waited for a response. The Captain seemed to acknowledge the suggestion, and soon he agreed to it. Two minutes later, Louis found himself gathering together three of his best men and leading them to the shuttle-boat bay. General Hall was also going along; he was the delegate.
"General," said Louis when he arrived at the launch bay with his three men, "I have to advise you not to go. The risk is too high, your life will be at stake."
"My life does not matter anymore than any other life on this ship, Lieutenant. I want to meet this elite. I know you think it may be a trap, but I have my reasons to think differently." With that, Patrick hopped over the side of the waiting shuttle-boat and buckled his seat belt, a definite signal that he had made up his mind. Louis and his seals jumped in after them, Louis taking the wheel and another manning the front turret. The third sat along the side with his assault rifle rested on the railing, ready to shoot at the first sign of trouble. Louis waved his hand to a crewman standing behind a control panel, who manipulated some controls as a red light began to flash. A moment later, the launch bay began to fill with water as the main door opened. Once the water was deep enough to float the boat, Louis started the engines and taxied out of the bay. After clearing the huge door, he opened up the throttle and tore off toward the shore where the elite was waiting. The force of the acceleration made the passengers of the boat glad for their seat belts, and the seal manning the turret took an extra strong grasp on the handles.
It took less than a minute for the shuttle-boat the reach the shore. They did not take it right up to where the elite had stopped at the water line, but instead parked it a ways to the left. The seal kept the turret aimed tight on the elite as Louis disembarked with Patrick. There was no denying it now, the elite was definitely a Red, and it watched Louis and Patrick approach, but did not move on its own.
"Wait," said Louis, holding out his arm in front of Patrick. "Let's signal him." Louis lowered his assault rifle and used his other hand to wave to the Red. He was not exactly sure of the response he was looking for. The Red stared blankly at Louis. So he tried a verbal command:
"What the hell do you want!" Louis was not trying to sound diplomatic, and he raised his weapon toward the Red again, who put his arms behind his head. Louis looked at Patrick, who said "Let's go," and started walking toward the elite. Louis walked alongside him, but kept his gun zeroed in on the Red's head. They got to within ten feet of him before the General finally stopped and looked the Red in the eyes.
"I am General Patrick Hall of the United Earth Defenses. If you can understand me, then identify yourself."
"Jeneril, there iss no need for your United Earth Defensess any longer. That planit wass disstroyed. Now it would sseem that you are the offensess, and I am the defensess."
"Identify yourself and be prepared to be taken into custody. I do not care what you think. We could of killed you a long time ago without taking the trouble to come out here, so I suggest you hurry up and talk before we change our mind about not killing you."
"Jeneril, I come in piecess . . . no, peace, I mean . . ."
"Cut that 'I don't speak English' accent crap! I know you can talk faster then that. Louis?" Patrick turned his head to Louis, who pointed his weapon even more poignantly at the Red.
"Fine," said the Red. "I have come to help you find the secret. My survival depends on it, too."