Posted By: Ultra Sonic 007
Date: 23 March 2003, 2:44 AM
The Covenant armada suddenly appeared in the middle of space, their power systems down due to the travel through Slipstream space.
But in a few moments, all of the power systems were back online.
The predator-like ships then got into formation as they prepared to head for Halo...and the foreign ship that had attacked the previous Covenant group.
Over thirty ships moved towards the foreign frigate, while the other dozen flew on a straight course for Halo.
The Space Pirate researcher looked over the data packet with much curiosity. It tapped a few commands on the console, initiating the copying of the data into the main database.
-RESEARCH INFORMATION (PRIORITY BETA)
-INFORMATION CONTAINED MAY HAVE ITS IMPORTANCE DESIGNATED BY RESEARCH TEAM ANALYSIS
-RECORD LOG (START/TERMINATE)
The researcher clicked on 'Start'.
-TRANSLATING DATA LOG.
)FORERUNNER LOG XY000Z
)ORGANISM BIOTYPE 'FLOOD' HAVE BREACHED OUR CONTAINMENT WALLS ONCE MORE. INFECTION FORMS DESTROYED. MAXIMUM SECURITY ENGAGED AT THE OTHER CONTAINMENT AREAS.
)PROTOCOLS REQUIRE CLEAN-UP OF SECTOR Z-4. CLEAN-UP COMMENCING IN 0300.
)FORERUNNER LOG XY027Z
)WALLS HAVE BEEN REINFORCED FOR TRANSFER TO INSTALLATION 03. TRANSFER BEGINNING IN 0100.
)FORERUNNER LOG XY273Z
)LANDING ON INSTALLATION 03 WAS SUCCESSFUL. BEGINNING RELOCATION OF FLOOD TO REINFORCED BUNKERS BELOW THE SURFACE.
)BEGINNING TRANSFER OF SEDATIVES TO BUNKERS 1-7.
)FORERUNNER LOG XY734Z
)RESEARCH FACILITIES ACTIVATED. POWER READING AT 67%. ALL SYSTEMS TO BE ACTIVATED IN 0700.
)INDEX HAS BEEN SECURED IN VALLEY FACILITY LOCATED IN SECTOR J-9. INDEX IS TO BE KEPT SAFE ACCORDING TO PROTOCOL 085 UNTIL THE NEXT OUTBREAK, IF AND WHEN IT OCCURS.
)FORERUNNER LOG XY923Z
)TRANSMISSION RECEIVED FROM INSTALLATIONS 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, AND 07. ALL HALOS ARE AT FULL POWER.
)PRIORITY Z COMMAND-ALL WORKER PERSONNEL ARE TO LEAVE ALL INSTALLATIONS IMMEDIATELY. SENTINELS AND MONITORS ARE TO STAY BEHIND TO SAFEGUARD ALL INSTALLATIONS FROM FOREIGN INTRUDERS, AS WELL AS PREVENT FLOOD OUTBREAK.
)FORERUNNER LOG YB726K
)CONTACT WITH INSTALLATION 04 WAS LOST. UNIT 343 GUILTY SPARK, MONITOR OF INSTALLATION 04, HAS COME TO INSTALLATION 03, REPORTING THAT DURING AN ATTEMPT TO ACTIVATE THE INSTALLATION'S PULSE WEAPONS, THE RECLAIMER TOOK THE INDEX AND DESTROYED THE RING.
)ALL SENTINELS ARE TO REMAIN ACTIVE. ALL LIFEFORMS THAT TRY TO LAND ARE TO BE TERMINATED.
)FAILURE TO MEET THESE OBJECTIVES WILL RESULT IN TERMINATION.
The researcher closed the log.
The Forerunner sounded like a highly advanced race.
A research team would have to investigate this artificial world further.
Two Metroids floated with predator-like grace as four Plasma Troopers, one Space Pirate and two Ice Troopers examined the cave.
The same hiss was heard as the slowly went into the room...where they saw what seemed like Space Pirates...except sensory appendages were growing out of their necks, and their skin seemed flaky, pale, and sickly.
And large tentacles had grown out of their hands.
The infected Space Pirates whacked at the Metroids with their tentacles, sending them into the wall.
It only served to anger them.
The Plasma Troopers opened fire on their infected brethren and brought them down. The infected Space Pirates collapsed to the floor with what sounded like a gagged roar.
Then, the doors to the far left of the room burst open as tons of the Infection forms, with Flood Elites backing them up, poured out and began to crawl towards the Security Team.
The Metroids shrieked as they latched onto the heads of the Flood Elites. The Flood tried to attack the Metroids, but they couldn't pierce it's green carapace.
The Space Pirates opened fire on the Flood Infection forms, causing them to pop. This started a chain reaction that destroy the ones close to them, and the ones that popped caused the ones next to them to explode.
However, they just kept coming.
The Metroids and the Space Pirates were ordered to fall back.
The three Space Pirates that were still outside had installed the locking mechanism.
The Space Pirates immediately retreated, and the Metroids floated behind them as the Flood tried to get them.
The Security Team had left the cave. The Space Pirates immediately activated the lock.
A metal door slid down to the ground, effectively blocking the entrance. Then energy bars stretching from the center covered the door, locking it down.
They heard the pounding from the parasitic organisms. They continued to pound at the door with incredible ferocity.
They had never seen such ferocity.
Then, they were issued a Priority Alpha Command.
The main facility was under attack!
Ridley flapped his wings as he flew through the morning sky of Halo.
For some reason, he admired the fact that there were other species out there that were capable of their feats.
Probably because it gave him the motivation to outdo them.
Ridley's nostrils then widened. He stopped flying forward, his wings now fully extended to keep him hovering with the updraft.
He smelled the same kind of creatures he smelled earlier...
The ones on the two dropships he destroyed.
The Space Pirate grinned as he roared. The sound waves would reach their ears.
They would know that he would be coming.
It didn't matter.
He would kill them all anyway.
The Covenant dropship flew silently through the air, hidden by the cover of the clouds.
However, the only ones on board were the Chief, Cortana, and Samus.
"We'll be close to the control center soon. Keep an eye on your motion tracker."
The Chief remained silent as he flew the ship.
Meanwhile, Cortana was attempting once more to access Samus' database.
As she looked at the status of all the firewalls, she nearly felt like owing a favor to the Monitor...
Apparently, he had damaged Adam's firewalls when he hacked into his database.
She was trying to access the database using the teleportation grid uplink that Adam himself had opened up. She noticed that the computerized CO was busy trying to fix the system.
So she sent out billions of pings per second to overload the system.
The incoming data packets alarmed Adam so much that he stopped what he was doing to try and sort them out. Cortana sneaked in, and within a second, she had all the data she was looking for.
She began looking over the data files.
During Samus' childhood, the Space Pirates had annihilated the human colony K-2L, where she lived. She was found and 'adopted' by the Chozo, a highly advanced race with technology that was mind-boggling, even to Cortana. She would have to see it later.
She then began to trace through Samus' life like a set of footprints, watching her being trained in the warrior arts of the Chozo, then she saw a Power Suit being bestowed to her before she went off to the planet known as Zebes to combat the Space Pirates.
Cortana spent four full processor cycles to digest the irony of it all.
John was a young boy at the age of six, living on the human colony Eridanus Two. John, along with 74 other six-year old human children from different human-inhabited worlds, were chosen for the SPARTAN II program to be the United Nations Space Command's super-soldiers...
When their bodies underwent biological enhancements, such as skeleton reinforcement, muscle enhancement, nervous system super conduction to improve reflexes, and other necessary changes for the SPARTAN II program at the age of 14, 30 of them couldn't handle it...they had died.
A dozen more were too mutilated by the process to continue serving in battle.
The other 33 survived, and they went on to become the unit with the best record in active duty...only three were killed in over 200 ground missions against the Covenant, and only one was too injured to continue active duty.
And John, codenamed Spartan-117, had graduated to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer.
Many years into their military career, John and the other Spartans were give the Mark V MJOLNIR battle armor, equipped with the latest shield technology and neural reflex enhancers.
That was also when John and Cortana first went on a mission. Since then, they were both like glue...Cortana would supply up-to-date intelligence from transmissions, and the Chief would do all the fighting.
Then the Covenant launched a strike on Reach, the naval shipyard colony that was the prime base for UNSC forces and the home for the Spartans.
The Master Chief was the only one who had survived, or at least the only one that she knew of.
She now realized how alike both John and Samus were...their life was changed dramatically at a young age, they were trained in the art of combat, and then given powerful suits of armor to combat their enemies.
Now that she thought about, Samus, figuratively, WAS the Master Chief...of the opposite gender.
"Cortana, we're about to set down."
Cortana snapped out of her thinking process and pulled herself together. "Got it Chief...calculating safe landing zone......there."
Even as the red NAV point that led to the LZ appeared on his HUD, the Chief didn't like the pause in Cortana's speech. "Is something wrong?"
The Chief pulled out Cortana's processor cube and put it in his neck socket as she answered, "No.....nothing's wrong..."
The Incursion's alarms blared loudly as their sensors picked up a hostile heading straight for them.
The bioscan signals they sent out identified the figure as the same one that destroyed the destroyer in orbit above Halo.
All personnel were ordered to get to battle stations on the double.
Wraiths and Ghosts were delivered to the surface via the gravity lift. Banshees flew out of the hangars as multiple Shade units were placed in the hangar, on top of the ship, and on the ground.
All the Grunts, Jackals, Elites, and Hunters on the ground wielded their weapons, all of them at maximum ammunition.
They all waited until they saw a small figure zooming in, closer and closer.
The Wraiths, the Banshees, the Shades, and the Incursion all opened fire on it.
If it happened to get in closer, it would be under assault from over three hundred Covenant units.
Ridley blinked rapidly as a plethora of plasma-based weapons were launched at him. He quickly made precise maneuvers to avoid the massive plasma beams that were being launched at him.
He swerved to the left in an attempt to get out of the plasma weapons' line of fire.
But when he saw the massive number of Covenant troops, he realized that he had made a grave mistake.
All the Covenant units opened fire on him, and this time, Ridley was unprepared for what he was facing.
Over two dozen plasma shots bounced off his metallic body armor, but he could feel the heat from where the shots hit.
He flew higher into the air to get some breathing room, but he suddenly saw three Banshees flying down towards him, firing their fuel rod guns.
Three green bolts of molten plasma struck Ridley in the face, sending him sprawling.
It took all of his effort to right himself as the Wraiths launched large plasma mortar projectiles at him. Ridley barely dodged them as the projectiles sailed past him, leaving behind faint trails of blue-white plasma mist.
Ridley growled as he remembered the name the Research Team had given them upon intercepting transmissions.
They were known as the Covenant.
Ridley roared loudly as he spewed forth a surplus of plasma torpedoes on at the Covenant units. He then followed up with his thermal-powered beam.
Plasma torpedoes struck the side of the Incursion. The multi-colored battleplate peeled away from where the torpedoes hit. The ones that went into the hangar destroyed the Shade gunners.
On the ground, Wraiths and Ghosts melted and boiled upon contact with the plasma torpedo/heat ray combination assault. Grunts fled to a safer position in the rocky area before mustering the courage to open fire.
Ridley began to speed along the Covenant cruiser's top, taking out any Shade gun emplacements he found.
Then a Gold Elite leapt onto the back of Ridley as he flew by.
Ridley growled with annoyance as the Elite maneuvered to its front before slashing at him once across the chest armor with its blue plasma sword.
Ridley grabbed the gold Elite with his hard, metallic claws.
Then, in an act of bestial rage, Ridley bit across the Elite's midsection with his razor-like teeth. The Gold Elite gave out a cry of anguish before its vitals flat-lined.
As Ridley let the dead Covenant fall to the ground, he glanced at the purple blood that now stained his body...then he saw something that horrified him.
A large gash about one foot in length and seven inches wide was now seen on his breastplate. The Elite's purpose was seen as suicidal, but it was a well-conceived plan on the Covenant's part.
His chest was now a vulnerable target.
Ridley experienced this first hand when a Hunter fired a fuel rod blast at him, colliding with his chest...a pinpoint hit.
Ridley howled as pain danced across his body. His armor was now breached across the chest, and the Covenant were too accurate with their weapons.
He also ran the risk of getting hit by one of the Incursion's plasma weapons. If one of those hit his chest, he wouldn't be surprised if a hole was torn straight through him.
So out of desperation, Ridley retreated, setting a course for the Space Pirate facility.
As he left the firing range of the Covenant weaponry, Ridley was infuriated at what had just happened. Various sections of his armor were burned with plasma scoring, which didn't really do anything, but made him a more vulnerable target nonetheless.
His chest area was the most problematic of his wounds. He needed to get it repaired at once.
The Space Pirate facility was now under a Flood assault.
A Space Pirate fell as a Flood pierced its exoskeleton, place its spores within it. Then it was popped by laser fire.
The Space Pirates had the entire facility locked down, and all doors and hatches were secured.
But the Flood were still coming.
Plasma Troopers and Wave Troopers hopped onto the roofs of buildings as Ice Troopers and Power Troopers held their ground against the oncoming swarm.
A Flood Elite thrashed against a Power Trooper with its tentacles, but the Trooper responded by slicing through the infected Elite with its energy scythe.
But before it could do anymore, ten Flood Infection forms latched onto it. The Power Trooper cried out before falling to the ground.
A Flood Elite pulled the blaster out of its exoskeleton as some Flood carried the fallen Trooper away to infect.
The Pirates by themselves weren't going to hold out forever against these numbers.
They issued a Priority Alpha Request to Command, which was immediately acknowledged.
Two dozen Metroids suddenly filled the air...all of them were out, save the several still inside and the two with Security Team Zeta.
The Metroids began latching onto the nearest Flood Elites, draining them of their energy while the Pirates discharged numerous energy rounds against the Flood Infection forms.
Then, one of the Infection forms caught a lucky break as it jumped...and embedded itself into the red innards of the Metroid.
Red blood began to cover the inside of the Metroid as the Flood bit and gnawed on it, sending its spores into it.
The Metroid finally shrieked in agony as it shuddered and fell to the ground, dead as a rock.
A Flood Elite then picked up the fallen Metroid and ran off into the woods surrounding the valley. The other Flood followed suit.
The Space Pirates exhaled, relieved. Their base was still intact, and they had driven off the invaders.
But when the Metroids went back into their containment areas, they noticed that one was missing.
The Flood had taken a Metroid.
Laser fire hopped across the dropship's hull as Samus fire her Wave Beam at them from the dropship's wing.
So far, she had counted over two dozen Sentinels...and as she looked at the pyramidal structure stationed on the island ahead of them, there were many more.
The Monitor did not want them to reach the Control Center of Halo.
"It's gonna be hot once we land!"
Cortana had to find another Landing Zone...the Monitor had been waiting for them in an ambush.
The Master Chief had no choice now. He set the dropship down in front of the structure as he jumped out of the dropship and fired at the Sentinels with his plasma rifle.
Samus then jumped forward and made a mad dash for the structure ahead of them. Sentinels poured out of it and the survivors began to creep closer to them.
Master Chief threw his last two plasma grenades at the group in front of him, but even though they destroyed ten, over thirty were still there.
When they had reached the ramp to the Control Center's entrance, over forty Sentinels surrounded them.
"What a way to go..."
The Chief's mind raced for possible ways to get out of this mess.
He couldn't think of any.
"You asked for it..."
The Chief turned his head to Samus, who now leapt forward at the Sentinels...except she was now spinning.
And her entire body pulsed with a colorful glow of energy as she plowed through the Sentinels, tearing them to pieces.
"What in the world???"
The Chief could ask the same question. The bounty hunter seemed to have a never-ending bag of tricks at her disposal.
Samus stopped spinning and bounced off the structure walls, spinning again in the same energy as before.
The Sentinels focused all their attention on Samus, firing their lasers at her.
The lasers deflected off her glowing figure as she tore through some more of them.
Another mistake the Sentinels made was that they forgot the Master Chief entirely.
That is, until he began shooting them with his plasma rifle.
They then turned to him as Samus tore through some more of them.
He throttled one of the sentinels with the butt of the plasma rifle, dissipating its shield before shooting it with his MA5B Assault Rifle.
Bullet holes littered the body of the Sentinel as it crashed to the ground, smoking, burning, and crackling with sparks.
Samus fire her charged up Plasma Beam at the Sentinels, incinerating the last of them.
If it were for anything else, an innocent bystander might've mistaken the whole spectacle for a fireworks display.
Samus sighed as she flexed her fingers. The Chief was impressed, but Cortana was in awe.
"Wha...what was that?"
Samus checker her Arm Cannon as she replied, "The Screw Attack."
"I'm impressed. Do you think it would be possible to have your Suit's blueprints?"
Samus eyed Chief, although she was really looking at Cortana's icon on the Chief's HUD. "Judging from what weapons you use, you couldn't replicate this Suit's technology even if you tried."
The Chief mentally chuckled as Cortana groaned. "Enough. Samus, you need to place explosives at the pulse generators. Cortana will give you the NAV points, and you have to set explosives in the pulse generators...set them to remote detonation. If I'm guessing this correctly, then the explosives will cause a chain reaction, and the pulse generators will explode. That should be enough to destroy the ring."
Cortana paused for a second as she thought over the Chief's plan, then gave a hum of approval. "Your plan checks out Chief. Samus, I'm uploading the NAV points to your visor."
A few seconds passed as three red NAV points appeared on Samus' visor. They pointed to three islands about two hundred meters away from the island of the Control Center...and they were arranged in a triangular formation.
Samus already had the explosives necessary...her Power Bombs. She could set them to remote detonation, and she ran off.
The Master Chief then walked up into the Control Center. The top of the structure held an elevator that went down below the surface. He casually let the elevator go about one hundred meters below the surface before it stopped, revealing a path into a large room.
The room he was now in was spherical in shape, with a small hole on the bottom. In the center lay a terminal, and a hologram of Halo, the rocky planet Herron V, and its moons Rona and Seri.
"Go ahead and put me in the terminal Chief."
The Chief put Cortana's processor cube into the Control Center's terminal. Cortana began the process of installing firewalls to prevent the Monitor from doing anything.
Then, he had an idea.
Cortana stopped installing the firewalls as she replied, "What is it Chief?"
"You know what I'm thinking, right?"
Several seconds passed before Cortana chuckled. "Genious Chief. Genious. I'll immediately disassemble all the firewalls I set up."
"You will tell Samus, won't you?"
As Cortana was working, the Master Chief sighed. After Samus had finished placing the explosives, they would head back to the Gunship and take off. Once they got back to Rona, where the Flawless Cowboy sat, dormant and dark, they would activate the explosives and watch Halo go boom...and he also counted on meeting the Monitor once more.
Once the explosion took place, anyone on Halo would die, and the debris would become a living nightmare for any ships near the Ring-World.
Suddenly, Cortana's hologram came up, a bright green from her normally lavender hue, and she was breathing rapidly.
"Chief...you won't believe what I've found..."
If this had anything to do with another secret of Halo, he didn't want any part of it.
"The Covenant transmissions I'm picking up details about prisoners..."
"So? They're probably Space Pirates."
"Negative Chief. These ships had prisoners on board before they even entered the system."
That didn't make sense...unless...
"Are you saying...that there are humans with the Covenant?"
This presented a problem. He would have to save them before leaving Halo...he wasn't going to leave his comrades here to die. The UNSC needed its soldiers.
The Chief then brought up a communication link with Samus. "Samus? How many generators have you rigged?"
Static was heard before Samus replied, "Almost all."
"Meet us back at the dropship when you're done. We have one more errand to complete before leaving...and I have a new plan that you might want to hear."
"I'm listening Chief."
To be continued...
Next time, the Chief and Samus infiltrate a Covenant destroyer in an attempt to rescue the Marines trapped on board, but will they be able to get past the Covenant?
Plus, the Monitor is not pleased with the Space Pirate's meddling with Halo. In response, he leads a force of Sentinels to defeat them.