Chapter 5-The Space Pirate Cometh
Posted By: Ultra Sonic 007
Date: 16 March 2003, 12:24 AM
Samus' blood froze as she pondered this latest development.
The Space Pirates were here. They must've followed her.
Now things were more complicated.
"We'll have to be more careful now. Not only are there the Covenant and the Flood, but also the Space Pirates."
The Chief wondered if the Space Pirates were tough.
Very tough, according to what Samus was indicating.
The Covenant and the Flood were hard enough. A third enemy faction would prove nearly impossible to hold off.
He could only hope that the Space Pirates were as unfriendly to the Covenant and Flood as they were to Samus.
The sharp, high-speed craft zipped through the vacuum of space toward its target.
The Covenant frigate loomed over a desert area of the planet, where it was sending more Covenant forces and supplies to the alien species main base of operations.
It wouldn't be there for long. As soon as the Space Pirates had set up a base on the ring-world, they would conquer it.
The spike-shaped front of the craft easily broke through the Covenant shields, thanks in part to its high velocity. It embedded itself in the side of the ship, ready to invade it.
The three Grunts in that area aimed their plasma pistols.
A floating mass came out. Its green carapace shielded its red innards, and four yellow-gold mandibles jutted out from its bottom.
With a pale and wraith-like shriek, the Metroid latched onto the nearest Grunt.
The little alien squealed and ran about, screaming out of pain and agony as the Metroid glowed red. Soon, the little Grunt collapsed to the ground, dead.
The two other Grunts shivered and blasted it.
Their shots did nothing but bounce off.
They started to run when one of the Ice Troopers came off the ship and blasted them both, killing them.
The two Space Pirates and the other Ice Trooper came out of the ship.
They slowly made their way through the frigate.
The eight transport craft hovered only a few feet above the ground as the metal ramps descended to the surface.
Each of the craft held four Space Pirates, one Ice Trooper, two Power Troopers, two Wave Troopers, and one Plasma Trooper.
Each craft held two tame Metroids as well.
The Space Pirates immediately got to work. They brought supplies off the craft.
They carried large containers of important materials.
They carried power converters and containers full of electrical energy to serve as their power source for the time being.
And some containers that they carried held creatures...that had yet to be tamed.
Of course, none of them were un-trained Metroids. They were left on board the Vol Arion.
The Space Pirates couldn't afford it if one of the un-tamed Metroids escaped.
Several of the Metroids and several Space Pirates now began to make their way into the valley.
The Master Chief didn't like it.
Something told him that things were about to get ugly in this valley.
He quietly started walking through the brush towards the NAV point, hoping to get the Index and get out of here as soon as possible.
He peeked over a small shrub, looking at the Covenant facility in the center of the clearing.
It was a giant dome, built over the installation where the Index was.
"That's the place. It'll take a lot to get in though."
Cortana had a point. Two Wraith tanks, four Ghosts, and three Banshees patrolled the entire perimeter. Elites and Hunters were positioned behind shield-bearing Jackals, and Grunts manned the Shade gunners.
Samus took this opportunity to scan the Wraith, the Banshee, and the Shade.
The Wraith is a the Covenant's most powerful ground unit, capable of launching a high-density plasma mortar projectile hundreds of feet into the air, arcing overhead until crashing down on unsuspecting enemies. The Covenant use the Wraith almost exclusively in an anti-infantry role, but its cannon can destroy armored tanks in a few shots. Currently, no humans have found a way to pilot a Wraith.
This flyer is the Covenant's most versatile unit. Armed with two plasma cannons and a fuel rod cannon, it can annihilate enemy infantry, but its also capable of taking heavy armor. The craft is lifted by two gravity pods that are at the tip of each wing. The Banshee is fast and maneuverable. Although small arms fire can disrupt or disable the pilot, it takes heavy artillery fire to actually destroy the craft.
The Shade gunner used by the Covenant appears to be a light anti-vehicle weapon, but its rapid rate of fire makes it ideal for use against enemy infantry. Its three shafts launch three projectiles of plasma at a time, and it requires no recharging. However, the Grunt or Elite manning the Shade needs support from the left and right for protection.
This was going to be a tough one. The Covenant did not want to take any chances against the Flood.
"Come on Samus, let's go."
The Master Chief looked back at Samus. Why was she waiting now of all places?
"What's that matter? Scared?"
The Chief mentally groaned. Cortana acted too much like a civilian.
The Chief concentrated on hearing. The strange chirpings of the Flood and the gunfire that was resonating throughout the valley was now accompanied by something else entirely...
A pale shriek.
The Chief crouched behind the bushes and decided to sneak a peek at what was going on. He used a small fiber optic cable and moved it slowly through the bushes. This way, he could use it to see what was going on.
He still saw the Covenant. Nothing strange was happening.
The shriek was getting louder though.
He then saw all of the Covenant turn their attention to an Elite...which had a Metroid hanging on its head, glowing red.
Several Metroids immediately started flying over the scene, latching onto Grunts, Jackals, Elites, and Hunters.
The Covenant fire their plasma pistols, plasma rifles, and needlers at them.
They merely bounced off.
The Hunters and Banshees fired their Fuel Rod guns at them.
They had no effect.
Even the mighty plasma mortar of the Wraiths couldn't destroy them.
The Metroids moved through throughout the entire clearing, draining the energy from the Covenant forces. Grunts squealed and yelped as the got out of the Shades they were manning and took off into the jungle. The Jackals used their shields to protect themselves as they fled. Even the Elites and the Hunters couldn't stand up to the Metroids. They took whatever vehicles they could take and fled into the rainforest.
Those who stood behind fought as hard as they could. But they all died as the Metroids drained their life force.
The Chief had never seen anything like it in his entire life. It was horrific, yet held a powerful meaning behind it.
"Good Lord....the Metroids...look what they've done..."
The Chief shared Cortana's disbelief. It would've taken him over an hour, even with Samus, to take that installation.
The Metroids defeated them all in mere minutes.
Samus stood back up and switched to her Ice Beam.
Cortana yelled at the bounty hunter in utter disbelief.
"You have to be kidding! If only seven Metroids can take out an entire legion of Covenant, imagine what they'll do to us!"
"Unlike the Covenant..." Samus charged her Ice Beam as she prepared to make a run for the installation. "I know the Metroids' weakness. Follow me."
Master Chief had no choice but to leap after her as they made a mad dash for the installation.
Ridley roared as he flew at high speed through the vacuum of space.
The Covenant had now acknowledged his presence as their frigates, destroyers, and cruisers were being boarded.
Even though they were being destroyed from within, they still fought to the last warrior.
Lights flared forth from the Covenant ships as Ridley flew quickly past them, spewing plasma torpedoes forth from his mouth. The shields of the Covenant ships flickered for a few seconds before dissipating, allowing the rest of his plasma torpedoes to destroy its plasma guns.
It would draw some attention away from the Space Pirates and Metroids that were currently in the ships' innards.
The powerful Space Pirate figurehead then turned its attention to a Covenant destroyer.
A destroyer that had not been boarded.
The blue lights pulsed along its side as plasma torpedoes were launched.
In past confrontations with UNSC battleships, the plasma torpedoes of Covenant destroyers could rip through the hulls of most ships with no problem.
They could practically turn small fighters and inanimate objects into dust with such power.
But Ridley...he had much more power than they realized.
Swooping and swerving in all directions, Ridley dodged the first wave of plasma torpedoes.
He turned his head around to see them arc, then turn around and roar back towards him.
With a powerful roar, which could not be heard in the airless environment of space, he shot out a beam of concentrated thermal energy at the plasma torpedoes.
The torpedoes greeted the heat ray like Hiroshima greeted the nuclear bomb.
They were annihilated.
Now Ridley turned his attention back to the destroyer, which now had streaks of red accompanying the blue lights on its sides.
Now they were about to fire a round of plasma torpedoes as well as a wave of plasma lasers.
The projectiles and plasma brightened the darkness of space like fireworks as they sped towards Ridley.
The agile pterodactyl quickly made a stark turn, moving under the belly of the Covenant destroyer.
The plasma lasers were clean misses.
The plasma torpedoes turned around.
Ridley led them on a game of cat-and-mouse before making a flight along the side of the destroyer, then moving around in circles above the ship.
The plasma torpedoes mirrored every movement Ridley made. They circled as sharply as the Space Pirate did.
Then, Ridley began dive-bombing toward the destroyer as red lights shimmered across its hull.
Ridley's course did not change as the plasma torpedoes sped after him.
The shields of the Covenant destroyer gave away as the plasma lasers shot forward at the pterodactyl.
He suddenly started spinning like a corkscrew as he spewed his heat ray out of his mouth. The plasma lasers were deterred as Ridley got closer to the hull of the destroyer.
He then sharply turned away mere meters away from the surface of the Covenant ship.
The plasma torpedoes couldn't turn that quickly.
Explosions erupted from the top of the destroyer as Ridley turned and sped alongside the ship, firing his own plasma torpedoes at the destroyer.
Fire erupted from the side and the top of the destroyer as the destroyer prepare to fire another round of plasma torpedoes.
Ridley gracefully arced and charged at the ship, firing his heat ray through the hull. The shield was now dead as he burst through the hole.
Explosions rippled across the ship's exterior as metal was peeled upward by the Space Pirate's assault.
Ridley began heading back for the Vol Arion as the Covenant destroyer exploded in a fiery explosion of red and orange.
Ridley grinned as he looked upon the other Covenant ships.
Soon, those ships would be theirs.
A Metroid shrieked as it attached itself onto the top of a Hunter. The Hunter tried to shake the creature off, but its body eventually succumbed to the powerful energy-sucker.
Shade guns poured plasma onto the Metroids, but the Grunts within them were destroyed by laser blasts being spewed forth from the Space Pirates arm-mounted cannons.
It wasn't long before the Space Pirates had taken control of all the ships they boarded. All the Covenant that resisted were killed. One Covenant destroyer had fallen.
Ridley smirked as he touched down on the exterior dock of the Vol Arion. Security and Science Team Personnel boarded transport craft and boarded the Covenant ships. In less than a cycle, all the captured Covenant ships were in orbit around the Vol Arion.
Now that they were out of the way, they could focus on the ring-world itself.
The Metroid was shattered by the missile.
Normally, something like that wouldn't work, but only after freezing them could they be shattered.
Which is what Samus did.
Master Chief charged into the facility as Samus froze and shattered the Metroids one-by-one. She quickly retreated inside the facility as the Master Chief came back, holding a green and black rod.
"Samus, this is the Index."
Samus looked cautiously at the trinket. It seemed odd that something like that would be worth so much trouble.
But then again, appearances were deceiving.
Master Chief got behind Samus as she charged her Ice Beam.
She opened the door and blasted the four Metroids gathering outside the door.
They then made a mad dash back through the jungle, shooting any rogue Flood or Covenant along the way before making it back to the dropship they hijacked.
Samus quickly sealed herself in one of the wings as Master Chief activated the craft and ascended from the valley.
The sight was now drastically different.
Minor sections of the Covenant and the Flood were still fighting each other, but Metroids and Space Pirates thoroughly began to sweep through the valley. The Flood attacked the Metroids, but to the slight surprise of the Master Chief, even the Flood couldn't penetrate the Metroids' carapace.
At the far end of the valley, all the Covenant forces were fleeing to their fall-back rendezvous point. Where it led, the Chief did not care.
The Covenant dropship moved above the clouds before flying off.
The Spartan exhaled as he removed Cortana's processor cube from his neck socket and placed her in the dropship's terminal. Her hologram appeared a few seconds later.
"Any idea what's going on down there?"
"Gimme a second to access...okay....the Covenant Battle-Net is in absolute chaos. If I'm reading this correctly, the ten ships in orbit above Halo have been compromised..."
Sometimes he wished there was no such thing as the technical jargon many intellectuals spoke.
"Nine of them were boarded. All of them were captured and are now in tight formation with a foreign vessel. I believe the Space Pirate vessel is the one they're gathering in formation around."
Great. An enemy able to board Covenant ships and be victorious. The Space Pirates had done in less than an hour what he and the rest of the UNSC forces had tried to do for years...board a Covenant vessel and bring it under their control.
"What about the other one?"
"...a foreign object engaged it in combat. It was smaller than one of our Longsword Interceptor fighters."
The Chief didn't like where this was going.
"The foreign object outmaneuvered their plasma torpedoes, causing them to inadvertently destroy part of the hull. The rest of the destroyer was picked apart by....hang on, let me access transmissions... okay. What seemed like a 'heat ray' and a barrage of plasma torpedoes similar to their own. The destroyer was annihilated. All Covenant on board were assumed dead."
The Master Chief tried to find something to say. He couldn't. A Covenant destroyer had enough firepower to take out four UNSC battleships. For something that small to destroy it like that was unprecedented.
"It was Ridley."
The Chief and Cortana turned over to the intercom where Samus' voice was coming from.
"Ridley? Who in the world's Ridley?"
"Ridley is one of the Space Pirates most powerful leaders. He's a deadly combatant, skilled in both long and short-range battle. He's the only thing I know of that can destroy a whole battleship when he's that small."
The Chief reflected upon the new info. One Space Pirate had defeated an entire Covenant destroyer.
The Space Pirates were bad news.
Suddenly, Cortana yelled out, "Chief! New transmissions picked up from the Incursion!"
"Chief...the Incursion has just received word of what happened in the valley. They've now confirmed of an approval...an approval of a request they made..."
Please don't let it be what he thought it would be...
"Transmissions indicate that over four dozen ships will be sent to Halo ASAP."
The Spartan slumped back into the chair. It wouldn't be long until this place would become a virtual war zone.
He needed some new info on the Space Pirates...
And he knew where to get it.
To be continued...
Master Chief wants to talk things over with Adam about the Space Pirates, but they get an unexpected visitor!
Plus, the Space Pirates set up camp in the valley as they begin to expand. And they become intrigued upon discovering Halo's little secret...