The Last Halo part 4
Posted By: pest/swingamajig<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 11 May 2006, 8:24 pm
I'm really pleased with this one. Hope you are too.
The Last Halo
Evans, Josh and Steven crept through the darkening grassland. Evans fumbled a new clip into his SCIIs and flicked on his built-in flashlight, even though it only just started to grow dark. His mind was racing, thinking about the hideous task the monitor of Halo had just assigned his Spartan companion, Kayleigh. Trying to put it aside, he saw a Pelican zooming overhead. Its magnificent streamlined shape made it a beautiful sight compared to recent events. His eyes followed it to the horizon as it flew out of sight and fired its chain gun. He took notice of the broken fragments of the surrounding structures and fallen trees that would provide cover should they come across hostile fire. Evans thought the Flood would still be contained in the structure but he was not taking any chances after hearing that Pelican fire its weapon so he was prepared for conflict.
"Sir", Josh called, dislodging Evans from his thoughts, "Maybe we should contact the evac crew and arrange a new time. At this rate, we will be at the beach by eight and the time was not until 9."
Evans knew full well they were going to be early, but it was surely worth the reprimand by Cortana as long as they were as far away from that place as possible. But then it hit him; Cortana! He should call for conformation of the Flood's escape. He immediately attached one of his guns to his belt with a metallic click and brought his hand up to the side of his face. With two fingers, he tapped the side of his helmet and spoke "Cortana". A faint crackle could be heard and Cortana's voice rang in his head.
"Evans? What are you doing outside the structure?" she asked.
"I'll explain later, Cortana. We need conformation of the Flood's escape from the containment area. We must do what we can against them."
"Just a minute marine."
Onboard the Trial and Tribulation, John watched his screen, displaying the events happening on the island. A gathered group of Peacekeepers witnessed a marine, by accident or design, falling from the back of an out of control Pelican. He crashed into the sand fifty metres below him. As the Pelican came closer, the Peacekeepers saw the Pelican's hull was bearing a large hole and the wings had blown off. Those nearby managed to evade the impact by diving out of its path as it smashed into the sandy beach with an almighty crash and exerted black smoke and flames. Brave Elites could be seen diving into the cockpit and rescuing a severely shaken Pilot. The group of Peacekeepers of all different races fled from the wreckage and almost on cue, it blew up, sending shards of glass and chunks of metal flying everywhere.
The explosion shook the ground a few slow grunts were killed. An unlucky Elite was caught by surprise as he felt something piercing his back when he was running from the Pelican. The high-speed metal shard slammed into his spine and flung him forward. The metal landed in the sand with the Elite impaled on top. He slid to the bottom leaving behind a trail of Blood on the metal fragment. John cursed as he watched the nearby Marines desperately trying to save the doomed Elite who was spitting up blood.
"Sir, a small group of soldiers have made it out of the structure. Should we let them know about the rearranged evac time?" Cortana asked John. She turned to face him. She saw his solemn face with a grim expression. Coupled with an array of wrinkles. She thought he's never looked older.
The Admiral looked sick at the disastrous events he was witnessing. He finally acknowledged Cortana, "They will surely be furious we were going to abandon them, Cortana. I'm sure they will not see it as exchange. Some lives for many more. They will not understand our reasoning
John and Cortana had agreed previously to blow up the island at 20.00, an hour earlier than the original evacuation time because of the increasing Flood threat. They had not anticipated there being such a strong Flood resistance here so the more troops deployed there the more potential Flood hosts there would be.
"Let the Elite Commander tell them", were the Admiral's last words to Cortana as he was called away by Lieutenant Higgins. Cortana left the Admiral's side to report back to Evans' team.
Cortana was not willing to disobey John's orders so told Evans what she could: "Yes, Spartan 302. Conformation, the Flood have escaped from the containment zone. We suggest you make your way to the beach; there are reinforcements on site."
"Roger Cortana. Evans out." He tapped his helmet and Cortana went from his radio. He took his spare SCII from his hip and brought it up close to his other one. The two made for devastating short to middle range fire that was excellent against the Flood. He had the choice before the mission whether to bring a shotgun or a sword instead but was willing to be a guinea pig for the testing of this new weapon and so far they were proving to be excellent. Nevertheless, he still kept an old SCI in reserve. The old ones are the best ones he thought, proving his point he noticing his two companions had Shotguns. "Cover me guys!"
With that, Evans ran from cover behind a fallen tree and sprinted out into the open. Keeping his guns aimed at likely spots in which he could be attacked, he reached a downward slope with rises on each side. It looked a risky route to him because at any time a group of infection forms could come down either side and ambush him but it was the quickest route to the beach and safety.
Josh and Steven did their best to keep up with the half a ton Spartan. His superior reflexes and speed made him very hard to keep up with. Standing behind him, they watched the flanks. It was nearing sunset now so both the marines turned on their flashlights and eyed their surroundings carefully. They had been under Evans' command for only a short while but having witnessed how good of a warrior he was; they felt like they mustn't let him down.
"Okay, follow me," Evans ordered quietly. Last time they did a member of their team, Barkley got killed, so they were apprehensive at following his order. They moved down the slope at a steady speed, all the time watching for movement. Luckily, there was none all the way down and they had all made it safely. From here they could just about see a crashed Pelican on the beach in the distance with several Elites, Grunts and Humans huddled close by. Evans zoomed in with his visor and noticed a huge mass of green moving towards them from the other side of the Pelican.
"Time to kick some guys, let's go." Evans told them and with that he sprinted to the scene in front of him. Every second Evans got closer he could see the sea of Flood getting nearer and nearer to the group, stopping just behind the remains of the Pelican, out of sight. There were too many to handle if the Flood surprised them first. The group hadn't seemed to notice them yet so Evans fired one of his SCIIs into the air. Luckily one of the Elites heard it. Seeing the long neck of the Elites turn to his direction, Evans waved frantically and pointed to the mass of Flood about to ambush them. Luckier still the Elite understood him and gave a long war cry that Evans could hear it was so loud.
The group fanned out, forming a defensive line and pointing their weapons to the threat that they still couldn't see. A fast thinking Marine threw a grenade over the wreckage and it made a huge explosion. The damage seemed to further the extent of the smoking Pelican and it erupted into flames, burning most of the infection forms behind it. Those quick enough escaped the carnage and poured around the sides. Although most had been killed, there was still enough left to overwhelm them all. As Evans ran he got closer and closer, watching the battle unfolding, but he was still too far away to accurately fire his weapon.
In front of him, the Elites had formed a line, protecting the minors should any get close enough to latch onto them. They fired their Plasma Rifles and SCIIs at the little blighters. From behind them, the Grunts and Humans fired their weapons too. In not much time the threat subsided and the group survived without any casualties. Just as the lead Elite wearing Golden armour declared victory, Evans arrived, closely followed by exhausted Josh and Steven.
"No way you floating scrap heap. I'm not going to help you kill all life!"
Kayleigh had just woken up in Halo's library only to be greeted by the monitor of Halo who wished her to activate the ring. She knew it would want someone sooner or later but she never guessed it would choose her. "Take me back to the island."
"If you are not willing to help, I will simply
"Find another? You won't find one because we are all wise to what your ring does," Kayleigh contradicted him.
"My creators discovered this was the only solution, Reclaimer, you will simply find the same." At this time several sentinels floated down from the roof and approached her, obviously to threaten her.
"Are you sure?" she retaliated, "We have now removed all trace of the Flood on the other installations. And check your records, the Flood aren't completely indestructible."
"Impertinence, you cannot possibly have done this."
"Monitor, we have a common enemy here. Fight with us and we won't have to use the final weapon. You must see my reasoning."
"No-one can tamper with my programming. If you will not see the answer, you must die." The Monitor floated upwards, allowing the Sentinels a clear shot at their unwilling Reclaimer.
Kayleigh felt around for a weapon of any kind around her but there was none. This was the end for her. But was it? In her haste she had forgotten about the active camouflage she had had installed just days ago that would give her a five second window. The Sentinels would have no clue where she was because they had not got motion sensors. Hoping they didn't have night vision, she pressed a little white button on her arm and became one with the dark background.
"Thank you for the warning Spartan, they said there may be one or two of you still around," the Golden Elite said as he greeted them.
"And we were told you needed assistance," Evans said, raising a hand for the Elite to shake it. The Elite deactivated his sword and shook the hand. For the briefest of moments, the scene was majestic and tranquil with the setting sun behind the assorted Peacekeepers. This was quickly dashed as a grunt screamed and ran around with his hands flailing. Evans turned to see what the Grunt was so frightened of and he jaw dropped at the sight.
The hill in the distance, once peacefully surveying the crash site and the previous battle now had a green carpet moving across it. Evans zoomed in and saw the largest group of Flood he had ever seen, led by half a dozen mutated human and Elite warriors.
"Peacekeepers! We stand firm. United as one, we can beat these monsters!" the Elite told the others whilst activating his energy sword.
Evans respected the Elite's bravery but they were viciously outnumbered and without many real short range weapons victory looked unlikely. They needed a plan. Without really noticing he began saying his thoughts out loud.
"Marines! Fire your battle rifles on my command. When I say retreat to our position..." Evans thought back to the Pelican exploding earlier. "
And we shall put the Pelican between us and them, throwing a few grenades to blow them up as soon as they're close enough. That should even the odds a little. Now go!"
The three marines with battle rifles knelt down and zoomed in on their scopes. The three round burst of fire withered the Flood's advance as the front warrior fell to the ground. Meanwhile, the rest of the troops backed off twenty metres or so from the crashed Pelican.
"Grunts, we need you so don't do something stupid like getting yourself killed." They were noticeably unnerved by this but more eager to do their part. Evans saw Josh was in front of him and had his Shotgun up to eye level. He returned to watching the other Humans' progress.
The Flood were very close now and one marine had already retreated back to the Pelican with a Frag Grenade clutched in his hand, he activated it and threw it at the Flood. It exploded, making a large dent in the infection form carpet sweeping the floor and killing another of the infected Flood warriors. The other two marines followed suit but were less successful. One Flood warrior was hit though and flew up and through the air. It flew so far it was heading straight for one of the Marines. Only an exploding grenade hadn't hit it as Evans saw it land the leap and swing its giant arm towards the hapless Marine. Evans was horrified as he saw the Flood arm go straight through the Marine's helmet. Through the neck. Through the head. The bloody head landed on the sandy beach and the lifeless body soon followed it.
The other two retreated, firing their battle rifles to empty behind their heads but another was struck by the attacking Flood warrior, this time in the back and he fell with a large gash in running all the way up his spine. The last marine made it back though and just in time.
"This is it!" Evans yelled and threw a grenade at the smouldering remains of the Pelican. Four other grenades thrown by some of the others followed it and a couple hit the target. The explosion was strong and nearby infection forms immediately popped. Through the chaos the last Flood warrior jumped forward, straight for Josh. He fired his weapon and it back flipped in mid air, landing in a messy heap in front of them, so he ruthlessly gave it another shell for good measure.
There were still hundreds of infection forms scrambling over each other, each trying to be the first to eat someone alive, but the Peacekeepers were not ready to give up yet. Josh quickly reloaded and led Evans and the Elite commander up by his side. They dug into the sand and roared "For glory!" The Grunts shouted in response and with that they charged the enemy.
Blood. Flood and Peacekeeper alike clashed in a bloody massacre. Elites collided with the Flood, using their physical strength rather than their weapons to shatter their enemies. Evans did his best to keep the infection forms off the unshielded creatures but inevitably; they were falling to the Flood like ants drowning in a river. Blood was being sprayed everywhere, so much so it was hard to distinguish friend from foe. A flash of Gold armour passed Evans by and a huge weight landed on his legs. He discarded the empty SCIIs and hurriedly picked up the sword the fallen Elite commander had dropped and chopped him in two so he would not become one of them.
Just as he did, a large amount of Flood collided with Evans' shield, killing themselves but reducing the shield to 30%. No time to let them rechargeEvans thought and dashed forward to slice a mutated Human Flood.
Despite Evans' initial beliefs, they were winning. Most of the infection forms had been killed but there were a few Flood warriors running around now. Evans shield sustained heavy damage when one swung its long tentacle-like whip at him and made his shields completely fail. Now accepting he was almost as vulnerable as a Marine, he swung his giant sword, disintegrating the Flood in front of him. He spun round to see where there was a nearby threat. His shield was gone but so appeared to be the enemies. He could see a small group of Peacekeepers further over, beating down the final mutated Elite. It fell just as Evan's shields began to recharge.
But that was not the end.
He didn't know what made him do it but Evans turned around to see a Spartan walking towards him from over the hill. It had grey armour and he recognised it as Adele, one of the other female Spartans. Only she was walking oddly with her Shotgun held to the side. Evans scoped in on his visor and to his horror, saw an infection form buried in her side. He remembered back to his last encounter with a Flood Spartan. It wasn't pretty and he had the scars to prove it. However he thought the Peacekeepers had issued all Spartans with self-destruct units should their brains be taken over by the Flood? Evidently, Adele had no such devise or at least it didn't work well.
He looked around for a battle rifle on the floor. Yes! One. He checked it for ammo 24 bullets, that would mean 8 shots. Evans carefully zoomed in and got a headshot on Adele, but the shielding system was still operational. It flickered, bouncing off the three bullets and absorbing the damage, so Evans fired for a second time. Noticing it was under attack, the Flood Adele was sprinted towards its new target: Evans. The three shots yet again got a head shot; he fired again and again and again until her shields finally dropped. By now she was very close so Evans had to get this right. "This is it", he mumbled and got the final rounds through her head. The Spartan flipped up in the air and dropped to the ground dead. Empty, he chucked aside the Battle Rifle and deactivated the sword. Feeling no remorse for killing his fellow Spartan, he looked up to congratulate the other survivors.
"What a kick-ass battle, well done," remarked Josh.
Evans couldn't believe he survived, having no shield generator, bit evidently; he was a better Peacekeeper than most. The other survivors were two red armoured Elites, one of which was being tended to by the other.
"Not bad yourself, marine," he acknowledged and looked at the Elite lying on the floor.
"His skull is fractured, I don't think he will survive," the other remorseful Elite stated.
The three of them rested on the beach until 20:00 hours, when a sole surviving Pelican arrived to pick them up. Hoping there wasn't any Flood left in that place, Evans and the other two clambered on board, leaving behind the heroic Elite who had died just moments before. Evans waited briefly to see if Kayleigh would turn up, but no such luck. Evans kept his watering eyes on the beach until the Pelican took off and flew them back to the Trial and Tribulation.
Where is she? he wondered
And yes, there will be a part 5