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The Last Halo
Posted By: pest/swingamajig<car_radical@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: 9 April 2006, 1:38 pm

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The Last Halo
Part 1

      It is fifty years after a peace treaty between Humanity and the collection of soldiers formally known as the Covenant was passed. UNSC personnel have been working furiously with their new allies, utilising their combined knowledge of weaponry and war tactics and assisting each other in all manner of battles to fight a war against a common enemy, the Flood. Humanity has since created the Spartan 3s, but the last Spartan 2, John 117 still exists. He no longer fights on the battlefield due to old age but commands troops as a wise leader of the UNSC.

      Over this half-century, these allied soldiers, now known as the Peacekeepers, have found and destroyed all trace of the Flood they have come across, as well as the rings that held them. Leaving behind a flood-free Delta Halo as a last resort against the Flood should things take a turn for the worse, the Peacekeepers searched the galaxy for the final ring that would harbour the last of the Parasite, so they could finally be destroyed for good. This story begins as they find the last elusive Halo:


      "We're above the ring now, sir."
      "Well done, Corporal, retain position and prepare for troop deployment." John sighed and returned to his seat, breathing heavily. His hand gripped the chair until his knuckles turned a ghostly white. With his free hand, he pushed the buttons on the panel to his left and breathed in deep whilst turning on the loudspeaker. John's voiced echoed from every room, hallway and hangar abroad the ship called 'Trial and Tribulation' and every human immediately stopped what they were doing and listened intently. The Admiral never commanded the respect he was given, but they all knew that without his heroic efforts fifty years ago, humanity might not have been around now, so everyone shut up and listened to what he had to say.
      "This is the moment we have been waiting for people. The last Halo has been discovered and it's our job to destroy the hornet's nest that awaits us. We all found out the hard way that just destroying halo is not enough; we first kill off the Flood. Make your family's proud people. 117 out." With a rasping cough, the speaker crackled and on came the voice of the AI Cortana.
      "Okay you heard the Admiral. Pelicans, load up your men and follow in the assault squad. Spartans, each join a Pelican and minimise casualties. Good luck, Cortana out."
      Back up in the bridge, a small pillar next to John flickered and Cortana appeared, giving out a radiant blue glow. The AI appeared in her usual human form and motherly asked, "How you doing, old friend?" to the tired Admiral. She observed him, calm and peaceful in comparison to the majority of the crew abroad the Trial and Tribulation, although it could be put down to pure tiredness.
      "Not so much of the old, Cortana. I've still got it turning upstairs, you know", John remarked surprisingly alertly." She crossed her arms and lent to one side with a little smirk on her face. "You know, I never really thanked you for rescuing me from the Flood on Delta Halo."
      "Have the asault squad landed in their pods yet, Cortana?" he asked, completely avoiding her last remark. They both knew full well he would avoid it and they got straight back to business.
      "Yes, sir. The LZ is secure and the Pelicans are close behind. Oh and the Elites ships will be here momentarily, they seem eager to get this war over with."
      "As do we all, Cortana. Then a new era of peace can thrive." John waved his hand over the stand Cortana was on and she disappeared in a flicker. Sighing once again, he called the head pilot, Corporal Higgins: "Bring up a visual of the LZ at Halo's surface. A Spartan is preferable." John never could get used to most of the new Spartans arrogance. Each thought they were better than each other. A competitive nature was common amongst them, which John thought was useful on the battlefield, but continued elsewhere, which mostly caused havoc.
      "Okay sir, I'll patch you in with Evans", he's the only one not showing off his new weapon. A good new one that…"
      "Fine, Higgins, bring up a visual."


      The last dropship hovered a little way above the ground, dropping off the last of the troops. Spartan 201, Kayleigh, jumped down from the hull and basked in the bright sunlight, coming from the nearby planet Elevon, of which the ring orbited. It shone on the beach and made even the black armour of the Marines from the pods that landed beforehand look shiny. The collection of human soldiers gathered around the beach, centring around the head Spartan, Evans.
      Evans stood on a fallen pillar on the beach and raised his arms, commanding silence. He saw half a dozen Spartans; each leading a group of three marines huddled around them. The black armoured marines stood away from the rest, clutching their battle rifles, but still focused on the leader of the group. Kayleigh and her squad assembled, just as the Pelican took off, leaving them all on the beach. Evans took it as his cue and gave his orders, knowing full well the Admiral could hear and see everything he could, so he better be on best behaviour.
      "We shall strike quickly and efficiently against these monsters in an organised manner. Each Spartan shall lead his or her group into the centre of the island from different positions and we shall flush out this parasite." Evans pointed to the raised hilly centre of the island. "Cortana has the co-ordinates uploaded into you, Spartans. Once the doors are open, it's your job to clear out the area inside. It is probable the containment area will go deeper than sea level, so prepare for a long battle. Now, you lot…" he remarked, pointing to the black armoured marines, "shall go in groups of twos to assist the Spartans to the middle of the island and will hold position once the doors are open. We don't want any Flood escaping from this place do we? We are to rendezvous here at 21.00 hours for pick up. Now go and blow those sons of bitches sky high, marines."
      With that, Evans jumped down from his position and rallied his group towards him. "Omega team, move out!" His group followed him up the beach, each holding a shotgun, apart from Evans himself, who held two new Plasma/SMG cross weapons the others appeared so pleased with. The gun sprayed the enemy with a hail of tiny plasma coated bullets that impacted and then burned the enemy. It was the most recent creation from the Peacekeepers and was nicknamed the SC, considering PK Sidearm Creation III was too long for most Marines' vocabularies.
      Kayleigh reluctantly ordered her team to move out, the opposite way to Evans, who she secretly had a crush on. Clutching her Shotgun, her and the rest of Alpha team moved down the beach.
      As well as the two black armoured marines, she had with her a couple of worried looking guys, who she thought looked no older than 18. They each had an SC. The other guy trailing the pack was Barkley, who she had talked to before. He had a shotgun, and made sure to bring plenty of ammo by the looks of it, because he had a whole belt full of tin can sized pockets. Kayleigh was a little downhearted she had been given two so inexperienced Marines. "What are your names guys?" she asked mainly to pass the time for their long trek.
      "I'm Tom", said a frightened little guy.
      "Martin, ma'am" replied the other, even more nervously than the first.
      "Lloyd" and "Hector", the two HellJumpers answered. "We got your back."
      Kayleigh didn't really care what those two were called as she was leaving them soon anyway. "I'm Spartan 201, pleased to meet all of you. Barkley, keep an eye on these two will you?"
      "Yes ma'am" he answered in a low, gruff voice.
      The six of them made their up a hill into the centre of the island, just ahead was another group. Progress was slow, because the marines appeared weighed down by their SCs. Kayleigh thought they were very light, but that was because she was a powerful super warrior, engineered by the Peacekeepers. She had highly absorbent shielding that normally resided in Red Elites, and the armour of Hunters that repelled all small arms fire. That is, if anything got past the shield, so in short, she was strong enough to withstand a direct hit by a rocket.
       One Alpha Team reached the hill summit; they descended to the left, watching the other team disappearing to the right. They kept walking until they reached a large elevator. The red arrow in Kayleigh's HUD disappeared and so she gathered the five of them around her. "Right, this is it, you two stay here, and guard the elevator, right?"
      "Okay ma'am" the guy named Lloyd answered.
      "Good, now you three, follow me," Kayleigh said, circling round to face the controls. They were exactly the same as on the last Halo she had been on so she knew how to work them. All survivors of the last halo onslaught were to keep quiet about the mass casualties inflicted last time, and she was one of the people who appealed. All but her from her squad had died there, including her best friend, Jack, who had famously held the control centre himself against at least a hundred Flood warriors only for his escape Pelican to get shot down. Under his orders, they blew up Halo with him still on there still protecting it from the Flood and he was never seen again.
      Kayleigh, Barkley, Martin and Tom all boarded the lift and it descended into near darkness, so they turned on their flashlights.


      Back on the Trial and Tribulation, John, Higgins and the rest of the crew on the bridge kept watch over the events happening on the island.
      "How's it going, Evans?" the Admiral called on his radio.
      "So far so good, sir", Evans replied. "All other groups have entered the structure, and are now out of contact. We are awaiting your orders."
      "Proceed, Marine. Good luck."
      "Thank you, sir, Evans out."
      John relaxed in his chair, viewing the overhead shots of the island given to him by the circling Pelicans, making sure no Flood were getting past the Marines manning the Lifts.
      A blue flicker on the pedestal just behind the screen signified to John that the AI Cortana was arriving: "There are twelve others watching these pictures, Admiral", she told him, "You don't have to do so as well, sir." John did not reply, but continued to watch the cycling pictures. "They probably haven't unlocked the Flood doors yet, you know." Still no response, the Admiral continued to watch his computer screen. "You work too hard." she said and flickered away.
      "Is she gone, Higgins?"
      "Yes, sir", he replied.
      "Then come watch, Higgins, I'm on level five."