Chapter 8-Rescue Op
Posted By: Ultra Sonic 007
Date: 27 March 2003, 5:20 AM
Samus floated over the water, her Space Jump providing her limitless flight. This ability was extremely useful for getting to high places.
As she touched down on the main island for the Control Center, she wondered what 'errand' the Master Chief had in mind.
As she pushed her way past the palm trees, she moved into the main clearing in front of the Control Center, where the dropship was waiting, along with the Chief and Cortana.
"Climb on board Samus."
Samus was already locked into the left wing before Cortana could finish talking. She activated her com-link and opened a channel to the Master Chief. "What errand are you talking about?"
The Chief activated the dropship's propulsion systems as they ascended into the blue sky above. "We're heading for a Covenant ship about 700 kilometers from our position. They've got some Marines imprisoned on the ship."
"The UNSC's soldiers. We're going to save them before we get off of Halo."
Samus didn't reply as she sat back into the metallic chair...wondering when this mission of hers would end.
The Space Pirates finally activated the lockdown as Ridley set down inside the facility's parameters.
Ridley swiftly stomped into the Engineering Sector, where a group of Space Pirate engineers promptly began to weld on a new section of battle armor to cover up his gash.
Ridley sighed. Soon, he would be back at full strength.
Alarms suddenly blared out through the room. What was going on now?
Security personnel activated the intercom and yelled out that the security lockdown shield had been overridden...from outside the facility.
Ridley cursed to himself. He looked down to see that only a few millimeters of armor were welded over his wound.
It would have to do.
Ridley stormed out of the facility and moved outside to see dozens and dozens of metallic drones flying about the facility, shooting upon the Space Pirates with red laser rays.
In a way, they reminded Ridley of the Space Pirate Security Drones. The Security drones of the Space Pirates used two metallic limbs to fire rounds of energy orbs, while the actual 'eye' emitted a red laser beam. They were ferocious when provoked, and relentless.
Unlike the tenacious Security Drones, these metallic machines seemed...calm, and at ease. They moved at the same speed at all times, unlike the Security Drones, which varied depending on their target.
But out of all of them, he noticed one strange unit...it seemed like a glowing blue eye.
It seemed to be the leader.
The other drones surrounding it fired lasers at the Space Pirates that tried to ward off the invaders. And the Metroids that were released were unable to sap their energy, seeing as the intruders weren't biological life forms.
Then, the one with the blue eye hovered in front of him.
Ridley growled at the mechanism's casual tone.
"Greetings. I am 343 Guilty Spark. I understand you've already established a secure residence on Installation 03. According to the databanks I purged upon reaching this facility, your name would be Ridley...would it not?"
Ridley gave a slight nod...begrudgingly.
"But I am not here for peaceful reasons. I have recently classified the organism 'Metroid' as a Class-X Parasitic Bioform. It is on the same threat level as the Flood, and I'm afraid one of them was infected."
Ridley learned of this earlier. A Plasma Trooper had told him.
That Plasma Trooper now was cut in two, lying in a riverbed elsewhere.
"I am afraid that there has been far too much foreign activity on the ring. Now, I am afraid to be the one to say this, but I must terminate all who would dare to step foot on this ring."
Ridley scoffed as he thrashed the Monitor with his tail.
The AI Construct shrugged it off without so much as a dent.
"Oh well. I gave you my warning."
The Monitor teleported away in a flash of orange light, leaving the Sentinels to dismantle the facility.
Ridley growled as he charged at the Sentinels, knocking one down with his metallic talons.
The rest of the Sentinels turned to him and barraged him with laser fire.
This wouldn't have been so bad...if they hadn't focused it all on his chest.
Ridley roared with pain and flew into the air. He cursed to himself as the Space Pirates began to evacuate the facility. The Sentinels pursued various personnel as they scurried to salvage all the equipment they could. All Metroids were recalled into their holding tubes.
Ridley then looked into the sky, searching for the Vol Arion.
He saw the little speck that represented it, as well as the other Covenant ships that had been commandeered by them.
Then, he was shocked to see streaks of plasma being exchanged between them and thirty other specks.
An entire Covenant armada had engaged in battle with the Space Pirates.
This signaled the end for the Space Pirates' endeavors in this galaxy...and Ridley knew it.
Ridley growled as several transport craft began to lift from the surface. They had to evacuate Halo immediately.
But not just yet.
Ridley still had one last thing to take care of.
He roared as he flew off at high-speed, searching for the Hunter.
The dropship set down slowly inside the destroyer's hangar. No Covenant troops were on the ground, or in the hangar.
"Odd...unusually quiet for a Covenant vessel."
The Chief nodded in agreement. He stepped out of the cockpit and landed with a small thud as Samus exited the dropship's left wing.
"Hold on...transmissions indicate that most of the Covenant troops had left the ship to scout the area...they've encountered a large group of Flood...including an infected Metroid..."
Samus said nothing. If Metroids and Flood were deadly before...a Flood-infected Metroid could prove nearly unstoppable.
"This is bad Samus. When someone is infected by the Flood, they no longer care for their personal safety. With a Metroid no longer caring for its own safety..."
Samus didn't want to think about it.
"I'm detecting some life forms about 100 meters above us. It must be the Marines."
Master Chief nodded as he quickly opened a door...and he saw two Black Grunts wielding fuel rod guns.
The Grunts squealed as they charged their weapons.
The Chief and Samus dove as two rods of plasma exploded where they had once stood.
The Chief pulled out his Assault Rifle...but he only had 100 rounds left, and the battery on his plasma rifle was running low.
Samus incinerated one Grunt with her Plasma Cannon, while the Chief scorched one Grunt's armor with his plasma rifle.
The Grunts slumped to the pinkish floor as their fuel rod guns automatically exploded.
The Chief and Samus quietly ran up three floors of the destroyer, until they were right in front of the door where the NAV point ended.
The Chief kept his weapon ready as he opened the door.
He wasn't ready for what he saw.
The room was five times bigger than the hangar. Two Pelican dropships laid inside, and in one corner of the room laid various kinds of weapons. Along the sides of the room were cells, holding in thirty Marines.
And there were seven Black Elites, one plasma sword-wielding Gold Elite, a dozen Black Grunts, and some Jackals inspecting the weapons. Three Hunters were also in the room.
They turned their attention to the opening door to see a shocked Chief.
He didn't need to be told twice. He quickly ducked as a barrage of plasma cascaded over his head. Samus ducked as well, charging her plasma beam as she crouched down.
The Chief threw a frag grenade into the room, and one second passed before two Black Elites and four Grunts were sent flying by the explosion. They could hear the cheers of the imprisoned Marines.
Samus took her chance.
She leapt into the room, landing on top of a Pelican dropship. She immediately fired a charged plasma blast at the nearest Hunter, cremating it.
The Chief then ran into the room, grabbing the head of a Grunt and twisting its head until a sick, cracking sound was heard. The Grunt collapsed to the floor, dead.
A Black Elite turned its attention towards the Master Chief as he raced for the stockpile of salvaged weapons. He fired scores of plasma bursts at the Chief before it fell to the ground. Samus had knocked the Elite unconscious with a swift thwack in the head with her Arm Cannon.
The four Jackals turned their attention to the Chief. He quickly threw down his nearly empty Assault Rifle and grabbed a S2 AM Sniper Rifle. He immediately rolled behind a Pelican as four plasma bursts scorched the ground where he once stood.
He inspected the Sniper Rifle. It had a full clip.
He quietly crawled under the belly of the Pelican, which was being held in the air by super-strong suspension cables. There was only about two feet and six inches worth of room to crawl through.
"If you're spotted, you're not going to have a lot of room to maneuver."
The Chief took aim for the small notch that was on the right side of all the Jackal shields (left if you were actually wielding the shield).
He fired once.
A Jackal went down.
He quickly took aim and took down another.
The remaining two Jackals took notice of his new position and began blasting at him with charged plasma pistol shots.
The Chief quickly threw the Sniper Rifle at the incoming plasma shots. The weapon boiled and melted under the extreme heat of the charged shots.
But it gave the Spartan the chance he needed to make his way out of from under the Pelican. He then looked at his plasma rifle.
He quickly climbed on top of the Pelican and let multiple bursts of blue plasma shot forth from his rifle to the crowns of the Jackals' vulture-like heads.
They collapsed with a groaning, bird-like wail.
The Chief immediately put down the plasma rifle, which was empty on energy.
He looked over the large pile of munitions with a somewhat militaristic glee. It was comforting to be able to use familiar weaponry again.
He picked up old MA5B Assault Rifle and put some new clips in it. For once, he was thankful for something the Covenant had done.
He then picked up a fully loaded shotgun. This powerful weapon could kill anything at close range, even a shielded Elite.
He then glanced back at Samus, who was surrounded by a Hunter, four Black Grunts, and two Black Elites...the last of the Covenant that were in this room.
The Chief took out his shotgun and pointed its barrel at a Black Elite's back.
Numerous pellets busted their way through the Elite's shields and into the skin of the Covenant warrior. The Elite groaned as it slumped to the ground.
This immediately caught the surprise of the other Covenant. The Black Grunts were scared by the Chief's arrival into this standoff with Samus and fled the room, possibly to enlist the help of some reinforcements.
Samus then peppered the remainders of the Covenant forces with Missiles.
The Hunter and the Black Elite were killed.
The Marines let out a whopping helping of applause.
"Looks like they're glad to see us."
The Master Chief silently nodded as he stepped up to the control terminal at the far end of the room. He deactivated the cell fields, giving the Marines their freedom back.
The Master Chief then walked over to the group of Marines, where all thirty of them had gathered in front of the weapons pile. "Who's in command?"
"That would be me sir."
A sergeant then stepped in front of the Chief's vision. The sergeant was a white man with tanned skin. He looked to be about in his forties, but the battle scars on his face hinted that the man was younger than he looked.
After all, war could change you...for better or worse.
The brown-eyed, red-haired sergeant then saluted the Chief. "Sergeant McKowsky reporting for duty."
"At ease Sergeant. Mind telling me what happened to your group?"
The sergeant sighed as he leaned against the wall, clenching his retrieved Assault Rifle. "We were at Sigma Octanus Four, finishing up on repairs to Alpha HQ and Firebase Bravo...we were just finishing up on polishing the place."
The Spartan remembered that battle. The Battle of Sigma Octanus Four, where Admiral Stantforth's fleet of 48 ships battled a Covenant fleet of 20 in orbit above the planet, while the Master Chief and eleven other Spartans took care of Covenant ground forces. Only 14 Marine regulars survived out of the 1600 stationed at Firebase Bravo, Alpha HQ, and the city of Cote d' Azur before the Covenant attack.
He heard the UNSC fleet had driven back the Covenant, but they had only seven ships that were still able to move left at their disposal afterwards. Over twenty ships lost and around twenty disabled in a battle against 20...
"When we got to the Munitions Bunker to finish cataloging all the weapons, a Covenant cruiser suddenly flew over us, hovering about a few dozen feet above us...we don't know how they got past our radar, but we engaged them in a struggle. We didn't stand a chance against all those troops...but they salvaged tons of our own weapons...any idea why?"
The Master Chief didn't answer.
"Anyway...thirty of us were taken as prisoners of war...the other fifty were killed in battle. We were thrown into these cells, and the Covenant immediately began inspecting our weapons...but why now? Why bring an entire cruiser to Sigma Octanus Four...just to get some Marines and a bunch of weapons?"
The Master Chief still didn't answer as Samus walked beside him.
"Um...pardon me, but who the heck's that guy?"
Cortana chuckled as Samus turned to face the sergeant.
"For your information, I'm a 'she'."
As Samus turned back, McKowsky fought back a wave of embarrasement. The other Marines simply whistled.
"I'm detecting movement......everyone, get on a Pelican. Designated pilots can get in two of them, the Chief and I will pilot the first one. Get any UNSC and Covenant weapons you can get onto the Pelicans now!"
The Master Chief looked at the hangar door in front of where the Pelican was hanging. The controls to open it were in a different room...and the plasma fire he heard behind those doors indicated that he needed to make a hole of his own.
He quickly grabbed a package of C-12 and began molding the putty-like substance onto the hangar door.
Samus quickly got on top of one of the Pelican's as the Master Chief lighted a fuse. He quickly got into the cockpit of the foremost Pelican as a massive explosion ripped a hole in the hangar doors.
"Activate your engines boys! We're leaving!"
The Pelicans then began to fly forward, ripping the cables out as they did. Two Pelicans carried a Warthog each while the Pelican the Chief was piloting carried a Scorpion tank.
Suddenly, the doors into the large room burst open, and over a dozen Flood Elites burst into the room as the three Pelicans lifted off into the sky.
Sergeant McKowsky blinked rapidly as he looked at the strange creatures. "Chief...what the heck are those things?!"
Cortana's voice came over the intercom.
"THAT, Sergeant McKowsky, would answer your earlier questions. The Covenant took Marine weapons because of their effectiveness against the Flood, and they got you so you could serve as Flood fodder."
The sergeant gulped. He remember reading Master Chief's report on the Flood...he never thought he'd actually see one.
The Marines began to talk and chatter as the three Pelicans flew away from the Covenant destroyer, heading back for the Gunship.
Ridley sniffed the air, flapping his wings to keep himself hovering.
He then grinned.
The Hunter was close.
The three Pelicans set down in a ring formation around the Gunship. The Marines poured out and stretched, taking the time to breathe in the fresh air.
Samus hopped down from on top of the first Pelican and immediately went inside her Gunship.
Samus noticed the hint of worry in Adam's voice. "What's wrong?"
"Well...it's Ridley...you know my sensors spread all over Halo...and he's on a direct course for us..."
Samus didn't say a word. Ridley had enough power to decimate everything in this clearing...Marines and all.
She turned on the engines.
"If Ridley gets within 200 meters of the Gunship, take off immediately...I'm going after him."
Adam's eye didn't blink as Samus left the Gunship...this was quite the role reversal...the young bounty hunter was giving orders to her CO.
"Be careful Samus."
Samus walked over to the Master Chief, who was just now getting out of the Pelican. The Marines were now getting out some beer that had been placed in hidden compartments within each of the Pelicans' before they were captured at Sigma Octanus. Despite the fact that the whiskey was a bit warm and a tad old, it tasted good to them.
Samus walked over to the Master Chief and whispered in his ear...well, where his ear would be if he weren't wearing his helmet.
His face paled beneath the faceplate.
The Chief quickly walked over to McKowsky. "Sergeant."
The Sergeant quickly put down his bottle of whiskey and stood at attention. "Sir!"
"Get all the Marines together. Spread them out over a radius of ten to a hundred feet from Samus' Gunship at a maximum circumference of seventy meters. Get the Warthogs and the Scorpion tank unhooked from the Pelicans, and keep the dropships' engines on in case things get hot."
The sergeant didn't understand. "Are there Covenant on a course for this place? Or...the Flood?"
The Chief shook his head. "A creature about the size of a Longsword Interceptor, but with enough firepower to annihilate a Covenant destroyer."
The sergeant gulped.
"You have your orders."
Sergeant McKowsky saluted the Chief. "Sir yes sir!" He then turned to the Marines as he picked up his Assault Rifle. "Marines! Drop what you're doing now! Put new clips into your weapons! I want a driver for both of the Warthogs with someone manning 'Old Faithful'! Get out the Scorpion as well!"
By 'Old Faithful', he meant the powerful chain gun fastened on the end of the Warthog. The Marines quickly put away their beer cans and whiskey bottles as they got to their assigned tasks.
The sergeant then looked back to where the Chief was.
He was gone.
So was the armored female that was with him.
Samus and the Chief were already five hundred meters away from the Gunship, and they were still en route to Ridley's position.
"So is Ridley as dangerous up-close as he was to the Covenant destroyer?"
Samus looked back at Chief as if he was crazy.
"Of course...he can utilize quite a lot of techniques at close range."
They continued on for another seventy meters until Cortana said something.
"Motion detected ahead of us...moving slowly..."
Samus looked at the area they were in. Two ridges of gray rock slanted down at a 50-degree angle, and in between them was a field with patches of grass and stone figures jutting up from the ground.
She quickly moved to the other ridge, quietly moving upwards as the Chief hid along the stone slabs in the small valley below.
The cloudy mist clouded her vision. She switched to the Thermal Visor.
The Chief examined his Assault Rifle and the plasma rifle he pillaged from the Black Elites in the Covenant destroyer. All full.
Suddenly, a large mass of a heat moved upwards past Samus' field of vision, moving over to the ridge behind her.
She quickly aimed her Arm Cannon at it, ready to fire.
It simply collided with the ridge, before tumbling to the ground and rolling to a stop.
The shape was that of a boulder...except it had been subject to heat recently.
Samus' blood went cold as she realized that she had been tricked.
She quickly spun around in time to have Ridley ram into her like a raging bull with his armor-plated head. The collision was enough to drain three whole Energy Tanks, and the collision itself sent Samus flying until she collided with the gravel on the ridge.
The first collision with Ridley had already made Samus dizzy. The second one knocked her unconscious.
Ridley grinned with self-satisfaction as he set down in front of the Hunter's fallen body.
He was one step away from succeeding.
He prepared to bombard the Hunter with a barrage of plasma torpedoes until she was no more.
Then, a blue plasma bolt struck the side of his head.
Ridley growled as he turned to where the blast was from, firing his heat ray. The ray literally boiled away at the mist that was once there, but his target was not there.
He then fell to the ground as a plasma grenade exploded on his back.
Ridley roared as he shook off the explosion. He looked behind him and saw the outline of a figure in green armor standing behind him.
"I don't think you know me Ridley...but I am Master Chief Petty Officer John-117...and I'm ready to go whenever you are."
To be continued...
It's the moment you've been waiting for! Master Chief squares off against Ridley in a one-on-one battle! But can the Master Chief succeed in fighting in enemy he has little to no information as to what his weakness is?
As for the Flood, they have infiltrated the Incursion with the help of the infected Metroid! 343 Guilty Spark uses every single Sentinel at his disposal to destroy the powerful Covenant ship before it lifts off from Halo!