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Project Myrmidon- Finale
Posted By: spartan shot<farfrompuken191@cs.com>
Date: 2 January 2010, 8:13 pm

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Bridge of the Tyr's Hand. August 1, 2545.

      I was a little nervous. I had just left my wife and children in a hotel with Dr. Halsey and was on my way to a battle that could not be won. Fhajad sat next to me in his wheelchair, shaking as usual. Captain Heller was doing me a huge favor once again. This time, he was putting his entire ship and all his men in danger. He was about to enter a battle that we were sure to loose. The only real hope we had was Halsey's "people". We had just stopped at Eridanus II and were awaiting the return of a Pelican.

"Captain, I can't thank you enough for this" I said.

"Stop saying that" he said. "I am in your debt."

"Well after this, we're even" I said.

"If you say so" he replied.

      The ship's AI appeared on the holo-table. It was a man in old Norse armor and a faded blonde beard. In his left hand is a short sword. He had no right hand.

"Captain, the transport you've sent is returning" he said.

"Thank you Tyr" said Heller.

      Fhajad looked up at me.

"You won't be disappointed" he said. "Come, let's go meet them."

      I pushed Fhajad in his chair down to the hangar. We made it there just in time to see the Pelican land. When the hatch opened, my jaw dropped. Nine soldiers walked out and came towards us. I had never seen a Spartan in it's armor before. It was incredible. They all stopped before us and looked at Fhajad.

"It's been a while Fhajad" said the one in the center. He had the numbers 117 painted in white over his green armor.

"It's good to see you John. It's good to see all of you" said Fhajad.

      I stared at the one in the center. This was the Spartan which Fhajad spoke of. This was the greatest warrior to have ever lived. Starting from the left end, Fhajad began to name them all. He could tell who they where without even looking at their faces.

"DeCorzo, this is William, Grace, James, Fredric, John, Kelly, Linda, Joshua, and Isaac."

      They all saluted.

"At ease" I said. "I'm the one who should be saluting you. It truly is an honor to meet you all."

      They all dropped their salutes.

"What's our situation?" asked John.

"Follow me" I said.

      I walked them all to a secure room. Heller told me about the ONI agents looking for us two years ago after he brought us to Earth. I was taking no chances. I led the Spartans to the armory.

"Alright, so here's the deal" I said. "Colonel Ackerson has made his own pet project."

      Fhajad brought up the files on Project Myrmidon and showed it to the Spartans.

"That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen" said Kelly.

"What is it?" asked James.

"It's a robotic soldier that is controlled by an AI. The cost of these things is ridiculously high for a single weapon. Especially when it can be taken out by just two Wraith mortars."

"Why was it put into production if it costs that much and can be destroyed so easily?" asked Fred.

"Who knows" I said. "Only twenty have been built so far and one was destroyed on it's first op. Anyways, Ackerson has taken control of an entire fleet of UNSC ships and has led them to their doom. He thinks his new toys will win this battle."

"So what's our mission?" asked John.

"The mission is to buy the fleet some time to escape, and dare I say it, rescue Ackerson from his own stupidity. Get some rest soldiers, we'll be there in a few days."

Bridge of Tyr's Hand. August 10, 2545.

      The ship emerged from Slipspace and onto the fringes of a great battlefield. The remains of UNSC and Covenant ships made it look like an exploding scrap yard. Several ships on both sides still fought like hell. It was turning into a fight to the last man. Captain Heller tried to raise any surviving UNSC ships.

"This is Captain Paul Heller of the UNSC Tyr's Hand. Is anyone alive out there?"

      For about ten seconds all he received was static until someone responded.

"Captain you sure are a sight for sore eyes. I should ask you what you're doing out here but I really could not give a shit."

"Identify yourself" said Heller.

"This is Commander Lerreck. I'm the acting commander of the UNSC Lionheart and what's left of this fleet."

"Where's your commanding officer Lerreck?" asked Heller.

"Some Covenant bastards boarded and captured half the command crew. Admiral Gibons and Colonel Ackerson were taken prisoner to their flagship."

      John nudged Heller out of the way and spoke.

"Commander, this is Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. Eight of my Spartans and I are ready for a rescue mission."

"Say again?" asked Lerreck. "Did you say Spartans?"

"Roger" said John.

"Come to the Lionheart. We'll plan this out."

Halls of the Covenant flagship Righteous Execution.

      Ackerson, Gibons, and at least five others were being escorted by several lances of Elites. Each of their hands were bound behind their backs. They were taken down the halls of the grand vessel to a large door. Slowly, it opened up. The room within was dark. The only light was from an upper landing. Supreme Commander Xotenlee sat high above the deck in his gravity chair.

"I am Supreme Commander Vaklo Xotenlee. So you're the ones who led that pathetic band of ships into my trap" he said.

      Gibons looked at Ackerson, knowing it was his fault.

"That pathetic band just vaporized nearly all of your fleet" yelled Ackerson.

"Do you think that I wouldn't have destroyed all of you if I wished?" asked Xotenlee. "This ship has sat behind my grand fleet the entire time. If it had taken part in the battle, you would all be dead."

"I believe that's called cowardice!" yelled Gibons.

      Xotenlee stared at him for a moment. He then descended in his chair and touched the ground. He then marched right up to Gibons and backhanded him across the face.
      As Xotenlee's hand flew, Ackerson noticed something on it. He couldn't believe his eyes. It was a cross. He was staring at the very Elite whom he watched torture the marine on Harvest all those years ago. Xotenlee was his motivation for Project Myrmidon. Ackerson began to laugh.
      Gibons spat out blood and looked up at Ackerson. Xotenlee walked over to him.

"What are you laughing at?!" he yelled.

"Was torturing that marine all those years ago worth that mark on your hand?" asked Ackerson.

      Xotenlee's eyes widened. He grabbed Ackerson by the throat and lifted him off the floor.

"How do you know about this?" he asked.

      Ackerson could not respond. He was being strangled. Xotenlee dropped him to the deck and kicked him in his chest.

"You know, if it wasn't for you…" said Ackerson, trying not to cough. "I wouldn't have made the ultimate weapon. And that sensor station and your precious refinery would still be up and running."

      Xotenlee kicked Ackerson and caused him to flip on his back. He then stepped on his chest and continuously put pressure on him. Gibons looked on with anger. Even though this was Ackerson's fault, he felt sorry.

Halls of the UNSC Lionheart.

      The UNSC Supercarrier had taken a beating but was still in working condition. Much of the lower decks had been greatly damaged but the ship itself remained intact. I walked with the Spartans, including Fhajad, through the halls of this magnificent vessel.
      Blood stained the deck and the walls. Body bags lay all over the place. It reminded me of a morgue. The corpses of many Covenant warriors littered the deck as well. It was not the prettiest sight in the world. Even though they were our enemy, half of me secretly gave my sympathy to the number of dead. The other half would've forced me to spit on their corpses if I hadn't contained myself. I even saw a medic performing surgery out in the open halls. After all these years watching the recordings from the safety of a base, I was back in the front lines. I was back in the suck.
      After seeing the gruesome spectacle in the halls, we made it to the bridge. Many engineers and technicians walked around fixing consoles and repairing systems. What was left of the command crew scurried around trying to direct the remains of the fleet . As soon as we walked in, someone shouted.

"Officer on deck!"

      They all looked at me and stood at attention. I was confused. I wasn't even wearing my uniform. How could they have known?

"At ease" I said. "Which one of you is Commander Lerreck?"

      A young man with a cut across his left cheek stepped forward.

"That'd be me sir" he said.

"How does everyone know I'm an officer?" I asked.

"There's a warrant out for your arrest. ONI sent pictures of you and this one around" he said as he pointed to Fhajad.

"Then why haven't we been arrested?" I asked.

"Honestly sir, we need all the help we can get. And if you're with these Spartans then there's no way anyone on board will make an attempt to do so."

"Alright then, gimme a sit rep"

"Well, a few days ago, a Covenant stealth ship-"

"I've heard that part already. Start with the battle."

"Yes sir. Yesterday we exited the Slipstream in this system. There were no ships visible but we found several pings on the radar system. In a matter of minutes, more pings showed up and a massive fleet came out from behind the planet. Ackerson tried to order a retreat but it was too late. Admiral Gibons was getting us ready for battle when Ackerson tried to take command again. Gibons laid him out on the deck. That blood stain over there is actually his!"

      He pointed to a small red stain on the floor. I couldn't help but laugh a little.

"After Gibons retook control, we started exchanging fire with the Covenant. We dealt with most of the larger ships. The smaller ones are hiding in that soup. There's almost nothing left of either fleet now. We've been engaging them in a guerilla war in this scrap yard for hours."

"What about the command crew?" asked Fhajad.

"Several camouflaged Elites walked in here and started tearing up the place. They took the Admiral and Ackerson with five others. We tried to stop them but the bastards were too powerful. We tracked their evac vessel to the Covenant flagship that's been sitting in behind the fleet since the start of the battle."

"Have any rescue missions been attempted?" asked John.

"No. We don't want to risk moving anything forward in the scrap yard."

"Can't you sense any of the active ships?" I asked.

"There's too much interference with all these dead ships. Some of their systems are still active so we can't tell a dead ship from a working one."

      An explosion suddenly occurred just outside bridge. It shook the walls and rattled all the interior electronics of the consoles.

"We'll take it from here Lerreck" I said.

"Thank you sir" he said. "Orders sir?"

"I have an idea, but it's risky. Did Ackerson bring anything aboard when he arrived? Any special cargo?"

"Now that you mention it, yes he did. We weren't allowed to talk about it but some of the personnel down in the cargo bay said they saw several large robots."

"Take us there."

      Lerreck led us down to the cargo hold. Hundreds of crates were stacked up and netted. We were taken through a large maze of supplies before finding nineteen large objects with black tarps cast over them. I went up to one of them and pulled the tarp down. The Myrmidon had two AA missile pods on it's shoulder. Painted over it's visor were the words "Death has no meaning." Under the visor was a skull and crossbones.

"Get these tarps down" I yelled.

      The others went around to the remaining robots uncovered them. All of the Myrmidons were found to be fully loaded and ready for battle. Ackerson would see them in action after all. Lerreck grabbed me and took me over to a lone crate. He opened it up and revealed a black console encased in a grey foam. Next to it was a Data Crystal Chip which was glowing yellow.

"Help me with this" I said.

      We lifted the console out of the crate and set it upright. I then inserted the chip. Achilles appeared on the small plate and the Myrmidons were active. The red lights in the corners of their visors blinked on and they slowly began to move. All the personnel cautiously stepped away from them.

"Achilles, await orders" I said.

"What's the plan" John asked.

      The other Spartans gathered around and listened.

"We're going to board a frigate. Lerreck will have the other ships fire on the Covenant flagship and lower it's shields. Once they're down, we'll drop in using HEV's. The Myrmidons will use their jet boosters and follow up. Fhajad will be in a Prowler nearby with Achilles and the transmitter. Our primary objective is to save the command crew. If you can disable the flagship or even take out the fleet's commander, then do so. But our goal is those prisoners. If you can't save Ackerson, then no one would blame you."

      They all laughed. I turned to Lerreck.

"Send a message to whatever ships are left. I want any ODST volunteers."

"Right" he said as he ran away.

"Everyone else, gear up!"

      They all scattered. John stayed behind.

"I assume you'll be joining us then?" he asked.

"I've got some experience in those HEV pods. So, yeah. I'll be in the fire with the rest of you. But I want you as the team leader John."

"Understood" he said.

UNSC Frigate, Nautilus. One Hour Later.

      We all gathered in the HEV launch center and readied for drop. The timing had to be just right if we wanted to get past those shields. The ship was being escorted through the scrap yard by two Marathon-class Cruisers, the UNSC Shaolin and the UNSC El Diablo. They got the attention of the Covenant vessels hiding in the wreckage while the frigate pushed towards the flagship. As we neared the Supercarrier, it did not fire or even try to defend itself. The scrap yard was covering our approach.

"In your pods everyone!" I yelled.

      The nine Spartans and fifteen ODST's got in the HEV pods and readied for launch. We drifted over the gigantic ship, blending in with the rest of the field. Once we were over the mid section, Lerreck gave the order.

"All ships fire at will!"

      The thunder of about a hundred MAC shells burst through space. They slammed against the shields of the flagship. Each shot lowered them more and more until finally they fell.

"Launch!" I yelled.

      One by one, the pods shot from the frigate. Looking down, all I saw was the purple tint of the ship. It slowly began to move.

"Myrmidons have been launched" said Fhajad.

      I up looked and saw the nineteen robots descending on the vessel. When I looked back down, we were much closer than I had anticipated.

"Impact in three" said John.

      He was right. Within three seconds, the pods slammed through the ships hull. I was tossed violently within my pod as it burned through the thick armor of the vessel. The pod then burst through the hull and landed in a hallway. I burst from it and looked around. Covenant soldiers floated around, lifeless in the vacuum. I slowly walked through the halls and made my way to a door. Automatically, it activated. I walked through. Air and small pieces of equipment flew past me.

"Regroup on me" said John.

      A NAV point came up on my visor. The door closed behind me and the suction of space stopped. I made my way to John. On my way there, I saw a Grunt run past me. I haven't seen one of these things up close, and alive, in years and I completely forgot to shoot. It turned around and looked at me. Without thinking, I charged at it. The little alien let out a scream and raised its arms in cowardice. I speared it to the ground and started to pummel it's skull.
      I was getting my fill of beating on this helpless alien when a large hand grabbed my neck and lifted me from the ground. A red armored Elite looked me in the eye.

"Let us see how you like it!" it said.

      It raised it's arm and was about to slam my head in when blood spat out from it's helmet and painted my visor purple. It then dropped to the floor, lifeless. I pried it's dead fingers off my neck and got up. I looked it over, confused.

"Hey!" said a voice.

      I looked down the hall and saw a Spartan. She was holding a sniper rifle. I ran towards her.

"Thanks" I said. "Linda right?"

"Affirmative" she said. "Let's go! John's waiting."

      The two of us went for the rendezvous point. We had been moving for a few minutes when we heard several gunshots.

"This way!" said Linda.

      She ran down the halls. I tried to keep up but she was running like the wind. I turned a corner and saw her on one knee taking aim. Three Spartans were fighting off several Elites. A shorter Spartan was moving like lightning. Even by Spartan standards he was fast. An Elite tried to bring his arm down on him but the Spartan dodged it within a millisecond and brought his knee into the alien's chest. The Elite flew backwards onto the floor. The Spartan then took his two SMG's and lit his enemy up. The other two Spartans were doing much better. One of them was pulling off some fancy work with a combat knife. He slashed one Elite's throat then turned around and stabbed another in the chest. With his other hand, he pulled the trigger on his shotgun and made a hole in another Elite's torso. The other Spartan wasn't even using a weapon. He kicked one Elite in the chest and then round house kicked it in the face. The alien toppled over. Another Elite withdrew an Energy Sword and tired to impale this Spartan. He moved out of the way, grabbed the Elite's forearm, and snapped it over his knee. After this he grabbed the sword and drove it through the Covenant warrior's chest.

"My God!" I said in disbelief. "They're amazing!"

"That's Kelly, Fred, and Will" said Linda.

      The three Spartans looked around. They had no enemy to fight. The short one, Kelly, turned towards us and waved. Linda gave a thumbs up. The two of us ran over and joined the three.

"Have you heard from the others?" asked Linda.

"Just John" said Fred. "He's with Josh."

"What about James, Isaac, and Grace?" asked Linda.

"Nothing yet" said William.

"Any word on the ODST's or the Myrmidons?" I asked.

"No" said Kelly.

"Alright" I said. "Let's rendezvous with John. Maybe the others are with him."

      We moved towards the NAV point. The halls of the ship rumbled violently. We could hear the screams of Covenant warriors.

"We must be doing good" said Fred.

"It's the Myrmidons" I said.

"Ackerson's gonna be happy to know they're useful" said Will.

      Thankfully, the halls of this section of the ship were big enough to let the robots move. This intrigued me. For what reason would they need this? I quickly shook this thought. I tried my hardest to keep my head in the fight. After all these years watching on the sidelines, I was back and I needed to get used to that.

"Friendlies at your six!" said a random voice.

      We turned around and saw five ODST's following us.

"Who's in command of your group?" asked Fred.

"I am. Corporal Durden. Call me Raptor."

      This ODST's gear had a few designs on it. His helmet had red scales and two yellow reptilian eyes over the visor.

"Status?" I asked.

"Four are MIA. The other six, dead. They didn't even get through the ship's hull."

"I'm sorry to hear that" I said. "Follow us. Rendezvous point's this way."

      The ten of us kept going until we made it to John's position. Only he wasn't there.

"John set this as the rendezvous point didn't he?" I asked.

"Must've split" said Kelly.

"Why?" asked Raptor.

      Just then, two Hunters came lumbering down the hallway. They stopped and aimed. Their cannons glowed a bright green before two projectiles fired.

"THAT'S WHY!" said one of the ODST's.

      Linda grabbed me and brought me to the floor. Fred jumped out of the way. Will grabbed Raptor and another trooper and brought them to the deck. Kelly jumped towards the incoming projectiles and hit the floor. They went sailing over our heads and impacted on two troopers that didn't get out of the way in time. They were sent down the hall and rolled to a stop. Will grabbed an M19 SSM Rocket Launcher off of the back of one of the troopers he saved. He pulled another one off his back and onto his shoulder.
      He held the two launchers ,one on each shoulder, and fired. The first pair of rockets hit the Hunter's shields and made the aliens stumble. The second pair each hit the Hunter's in their unprotected mid section. The explosions split them in half and orange blood painted the walls and floor. Small eel like creatures squirmed around a little before dying. Raptor got up and ran for the two troopers that were hit by the explosions. They both lay face up. One of them had a design of a leprechaun on his chest plate with a shotgun in it's hands. The other had a golden halo on his helmet. I got up and walked over to him.

"I'm sorry about your men."

"That was Clover" he said as he pointed to the one with the leprechaun. "and Saint" he pointed to the other. "Good men."

      I hadn't been fighting for so long that I had forgotten what it felt like to loose a fellow soldier. I didn't' know these men but I still felt terrible. Raptor must've felt like shit. They were his troopers. As I stood next to him a figure ran across the intersecting halls. It was not Covenant.

"John!" yelled Kelly. "Where have you been?"

"No time!" he said. "Move!"

      We all fell in behind him and followed. The Spartans took the lead because they were so damn fast. John led us to another intersection in the halls. Several crates were stacked up in the center. Three Spartans along with two ODST's took aim down the hallways.

"What were we running from John?" asked Linda.

"The Myrmidons" he said.

"Say again?" I asked.

"They're attacking the Covenant but crushing anything in their way."

"Where's Cowboy and Piglet?" asked Raptor.

"They were in the way."

"Damn it!"

      Static broke over my COMM. A voice broke through. It was very weak but it sounded familiar.

"DeCorzo!" he yelled.

"Fhajad?" I asked.

"Finally a decent connection!" he yelled.

"What's the problem?"

"I've got a fix on Admiral Gibons' neural implants. He's near your position. I'm sending you the coordinates now."

"Roger. Fhajad have Achilles slow the Myrmidons down a bit. They trampled two troopers for Christ's sake!" I yelled.

"So much for Ackerson's ultimate weapon" he said. "I'm on it."

      A NAV marker appeared on my HUD.

"He's not far" said John.

"Let's hope they're still alive" said Isaac.

      We all began running towards the NAV point. As we neared it, we saw several large doors. They were big enough for a Wraith tank to fit through. I still couldn't understand why though. The Covenant had these gigantic doors and hallways as if they were mobilizing a ground assault. I thought that these doors were big, then I saw the one at the end of the hall. It was twice the size. In the center was a circle with three glowing red lines pointing inward.

"You're right on top of them!" Fhajad yelled through the static.

"How the hell are we gonna get through that?" Raptor complained.

      Just then, we heard several thumps. The ground continuously shook as the noise grew louder.

"That's how" said John.

      A Myrmidon turned a corner and ran towards the door. The destruction bar on it's arm was all we needed. We fell in behind the behemoth robot and waited. It struck the door. Then again. Then ten more times, then twenty. The door was nothing but a dented piece of metal now. We could almost see into the room. From what I could tell, it was dark. The robot hit it one last time and there was a gap large enough for us to fit through. The darkness on the other side was broken by a bright green light. A beam of energy then completely knocked the door down and the Myrmidon with it. Thankfully, the robot stopped the door from moving any further down the hall and killing us.
      The Spartans went first. They all bolted into the room and aimed in different directions. We followed and did the same. It was dark and quiet. The room had two stairwells which followed the curved walls up to a landing filled with light.

"Stand down" said a familiar voice.

      Ackerson slowly approached followed by Gibons and five others. Each of their hands were bound behind their backs.

"Colonel!" said John as he lowered his rifle. "What's going on?"

"You've walked into a trap" said Gibons.

      The landing above was suddenly filled with Elites. They aimed their weapons down at us. A gravity throne descended from a higher point in the room and hovered between the two peaks of the staircases.

"You humans are so predictable" said Xotenlee. "Did you think I did not anticipate every step you've made?"

      We all aimed our weapons at the Elites on the landing. The Covenant were one step ahead of us. I looked around the room. I noticed that we were all standing on a strange part of the deck. While the rest of it was gray, we were standing in a silver circle.

"Now that you are all here, you can die together!" said Xotenlee.

      He slammed the arm of his chair. In an instant, the circle opened up and we fell into a chamber. Remains of Covenant creatures were scattered all over. I got up and looked around. The walls were the same color as the circle, except for one part. It was very gray and was the exact size as the doors in the halls. I heard a clank and it began to move. It split in half and revealed a pitch black chamber. A grunting noise was heard from within.

"Oh great" I said.

      Several thumps shook the ground and a large beast walked out from within. It was roughly twice as tall as a Hunter and had tan skin. It wore a blue and tan piece of armor which covered it's torso, waist, and it's hunched shoulders. A strange piece of what looked to be bone was centered in it's face. Below it was no mouth, just what appeared to be a beard of pointed bones. Two spikes jutted out from each of it's forearms and reached out past it's three fingered fists. The beast let out a muffled roar and slowly charged us. This was the reason the Covenant had such large doorways in this ship.

"You've gotta be kidding me!" said Raptor.

      I heard gunshots from above. I looked around and noticed that the Spartans were not down here with us. They had jumped off of the trap door before it had opened. Whatever they were doing up there, they were doing it well.
      Raptor and his men shot at this monster. The bullets did virtually nothing to it. They just bounced off it's skin. It ran towards us. Most jumped from it's path but one ODST was not so lucky. The beast slammed him with the back of it's arm. The trooper was sent into the wall.

"Murphy!" yelled Raptor.

      I grabbed Admiral Gibons and undid his handcuffs. One by one, I unbound the hands of the other naval personnel while dodging the beast. I finished with Ackerson.
On the landing above, I heard the screams of Elites as the gunfire raged on.
      Back in the pit, the alien juggernaut grabbed another one of Raptor's men and crushed him in it's hand.

"God damn Spartans!" yelled Raptor. "Where are you now?"

      It then turned to me. I froze. The creature ran towards me and I was stuck in my place. I knew I had to move but did not have the ability to do so. As I awaited my inevitable death, someone tackled me out of the way. It hurt. The tackle was way more painful than it should have been. Then I found out why. I looked at my rescuer. It was a Spartan. The numbers 117 were painted in white on his green armor.
      John got up and looked at the creature. Just then, a loud bang was heard in the room above. A shadow appeared over the pit and a large hunk of metal landed within. Ackerson's eyes gleamed with pride as he saw his weapon stand defiantly against the unstoppable alien. The Myrmidon fired it's chain gun. The high caliber bullets bounced off as if they were nothing. The robot then switched to it's laser weapon. The device on it's shoulder glowed red and let out a powerful beam. Again, this had no effect. The laser just left a dark spot on the beast's skin. We all hugged the wall of the pit while the Myrmidon faced off against the alien. Small indents began to appear in a line to the top. It was a ladder. I didn't care why it was there, I just climbed up as fast as I could.
      Upon reaching the top, I saw Elite corpses all over the place. Fred stood with one foot on top of the alien commander, aiming at his head. Admiral Gibons climbed up next, followed by Ackerson, then the command crew, then Raptor and the last of his men. John however, did not come up. He stayed in the pit and dodged the fight between the two large combatants.
      The Myrmidon had it's hands locked with the alien's. They pushed each other back and forth across the pit. The alien broke this lock and hit the robot over and over again, leaving several cracks in it's visor. The Myrmidon extended it's destruction bar and pushed the beast away. It swung the bar, only to have it caught and pulled from it's forearm. The alien then cracked the bar over the Myrmidon's torso and left a nasty dent. After this, the robot fell over. Sparks flew from the point of impact. After all the talk of the Myrmidon being the ultimate weapon, it ended up being countered by a species which the Covenant had hidden away.

"No…" said Ackerson.

"My Drinol cannot be defeated! Your weapon is useless!" yelled Xotenlee.

"Drinol?" said Fred as he pushed the barrel of his shotgun to the Elite's head.

      The alien's attention was now focused on John. Joshua, Grace, Isaac, and James were about to jump in but John put his hand up. The four stopped in their tracks. The Drinol charged the Spartan. John rolled underneath it's legs and ran to the other side of the pit.

"Get out of there!" I yelled.

"No" said Joshua. "He's got this."

      John then jumped out of the way of another charge. The beast slammed head on into the wall. It shook it's head and turned towards him. It tried to crush him with it's fists but he dove under it's legs again. This time he stayed there.
      The Spartan was staring up at the alien's head. He noticed a hole right behind the beard of spikes, filled with teeth. It was it's mouth. John grabbed a frag grenade from his belt, primed it, jumped off from the Drinol's knee, and forced the explosive into the hole. He tumbled to the floor and looked up. The alien clutched it's throat in pain. It then released it's grip and grabbed John from the floor. As it held him, it's head exploded into a dark blue pulp.
      The Drinol fell and shook the ground with it's landing. John pushed himself from the beast's grip and climbed up the ladder.

"Fhajad was right" I said. "You are lucky. What was that thing?"

"No idea" said John.

"Whatever it was, it was a beast" said Raptor.

      Ackerson cracked a small laugh.

"Congratulations trooper, you've just given it it's designation" he said.

"What? Beast?" asked Raptor.

"Why not?" said Ackerson.

      I looked at Ackerson and took off my helmet.

"Colonel, we need to have a talk."

"What about?" he asked.

      I took my helmet and hit him across the face with it. He fell to the floor. I immediately followed up by getting on top of him and relentlessly slamming his face in. I would've beat him to death if John and Raptor hadn't pulled me off. As they restrained me, I screamed at him.


      He clutched his bloody face in pain. He moved one of his hands and spoke.

"It had to be done."


"Then why didn't you?"

"Because you're the only one who can pardon me, my family, and Fhajad."

"What makes you think I'll do that?"

"Look around Colonel. You're on an enemy vessel and surrounded by Halsey's children. And if I remember correctly, they don't like you any more than I do."

      The Spartans stared at him. Ackerson got up and held a wound on his head. His face dripped with blood.

"You wouldn't dare leave me here" he said.

"Try me."

      He looked around. Each of the Spartans were staring at him. The naval personnel and what was left of the ODST's did the same.

"You've got nothing Sir" said Gibons. "I suggest you do what he tells you."

Ackerson stared at him with an angry look. Gibons cracked a smile.

"Fine" said Ackerson. "You, your family, and that crip-"

      James, Isaac, Grace, and Will all aimed at him.

"You're all pardoned!" he yelled.

"I want your word!" I shouted.

"You have it" he said.

"Good. And if you dare take it back then you'll be hearing from me."

      John and Raptor loosened their grip on me and I walked freely again. Fred was still standing over Supreme Commander Xotenlee.

"What do we do about this freak?" he asked.

"Kill him" said Gibons.

      Fred tightened his grip on the trigger of his shotgun.

"No!" said Ackerson. "I've got a better idea."

"What?" I asked. "Why not just end it all now?"

"Look at his hand" said Ackerson.

      James walked over and grabbed the Elite by the wrist and looked at the burn.

"It's a cross" he said.

"He's been living with that shame since the fall of Harvest. I saw it happen" said Ackerson.

"Then let's give him something else to be ashamed of" said John.

      He walked over to Ackerson and pulled the UNSC Emblem pin off his chest. Isaac handed him a Plasma Pistol that he picked up off the floor. Grace went over to the Elite and pulled the helmet of it's head. John overcharged the plasma weapon and put the metal emblem to it. The superheated plasma made the it glow red after a few seconds before John pulled in away. Xotenlee squirmed and tried to escape Fred's grasp. Will and James came over and held him down.

"You've earned this" said John.

      He stuck the glowing metal emblem into Xotenlee's neck. The Elite spread his mandibles and let out a loud scream. John held it there for a few seconds before pulling it away and tossing it back to Ackerson. He caught it but burned his hands as he tossed it in the air. The Spartans released Xotenlee. He clutched his neck in pain.

"Leave him here" said John as we all left the bridge.

      On our way to the evac point, we saw the remains of every Myrmidon that was dropped in. All of them were scattered in different locations around the ship. Around them were hundreds of dead alien soldiers. I don't know how, but the Covenant found a way to defeat them. Ackerson was speechless. After twenty minutes of walking, we entered a hangar to see a black UNSC Prowler. The hatch opened up and we all ran in. Fhajad was sitting next to the pilot.

"This is the UNSC Shadow Gem. We have the package and are coming home" said the pilot.

"We're receiving a transmission sir" said the communications officer.

      A voice broke through the static. It was very cold and shrilled.

"Colonel Ackerson, I know you're on that ship" said Vice Admiral Parangosky. "We'd like to speak with you about a large sum of money that has disappeared from our treasury."

      Fhajad looked at me and laughed. Ackerson had been caught. The ship flew through the field of debris and into the hangar of the Tyr's Hand. I looked down at the planet.

"We'll be back here someday. And we'll blow this rock to hell" I thought.

      We had completed our mission. Fhajad, my family, and myself were free from any charges. With the help of Halsey and her Spartans, this whole ordeal was over.

Dungeon. High Charity.

      Xotenlee's return to the holy city was not very welcoming. He was immediately taken to the Council Chamber and tried for heresy. The burn on his neck was a sign of automatic execution. He now had a new burn. Jiralhanae Chieftan Tartarus was given the honor of publicly branding him with the Mark of Shame.
      Xotenlee stood in the dark. The only light was that emitted from the corners of the platform he stood on. He had been stripped of his armor and was chained between two columns. A light appeared over his head and a trap door opened up. The platform slowly began to rise. As he neared the top, he heard the cheers of thousands of Covenant life forms. Upon reaching the peak he looked around. He was inthe center of a gigantic circular arena. Thousands of Covenant were gathered in the stands to witness his punishment.
      About one hundred meters in front of the former Supreme Commander was a special viewers box hovering over the stands. He could see the golden back pieces of the Hierarchs. Directly below them, a gate opened up. Xotenlee heard the familiar sounds of a large beast lumbering out of it's holding cell. The Drinol emerged from the darkness and looked the Elite dead in the eyes and charged at him. After the feeding of many of his subordinates to his own Beast, Xotenlee was about to feel their pain. It would be a Righteous Execution.