Posted By: Ultra Sonic 007
Date: 29 March 2003, 3:11 AM
(Little note...it's time for music!)
(Choose whichever of the three Ridley music battle themes you wish. :P )
Master Chief knew from the size of the metal-plated pterodactyl that this would be no easy fight. Clearly, this was the largest opponent the Chief had ever faced.
The Chief dived to the side as Ridley quickly turned around and fired his heat ray at the Spartan.
Ridley snarled as his heat ray missed his mark. He squinted, his yellow eyes seemingly piercing the mist in two as he searched for his target.
Meanwhile, the Chief had hidden behind the same hot boulder Ridley had thrown, so his body would throw off any heat-sensitive vision that...'Ridley'...might have had.
"Any ideas Chief?"
"Funny. I was hoping you had some."
Cortana was less than amused. "Fine then. Just give me a second to see if I can pull some data from what I uploaded from Adam's databanks...just hold him off a little longer."
Master Chief sighed as he readied to shoot some more bursts of blue plasma from his plasma rifle.
Because if Cortana couldn't come up with something in time, there wouldn't be much left of him.
Especially considering the five plasma torpedoes that peppered the surrounding area.
The Incursion lurched as a groaning sound was heard. It's purple metal was slowly torn apart as a large army of Flood thrashed against the sides of the Covenant cruiser.
The Flood had recently launched a massive assault on the Covenant cruiser a few hours ago.
Even with all the Wraiths, Ghosts, and Banshees guarding it, complete with a whole brigade of Hunters spread over the area, the ground area around the Incursion was taken.
The Covenant troops that had survived immediately retreated onto the cruiser and prepared to take off.
Unfortunately for them, the Flood immediately leapt onto the sides and the top of the cruiser from the cliff sides and the tops of the rocky hills. They began thrashing wildly against the sides of it as the Covenant ship sent all power to its engines.
Now, a large gash was being ripped open, revealing the reactor room.
A group of twenty Black Grunts and seven Black Elites fired fuel rod guns and plasma rifles at the incoming wave of Flood.
They kept coming as they slowly poured into the ship.
The Black Elites then switched for their other weapons...human weapons.
The Incursion had been delivered a large bundle of human weapons shortly before the Flood assault.
Now, it was time to test their effectiveness in the hands of the Covenant.
Three Black Elites fired scores of armor-piercing rounds from the MA5B Assault Rifles they wielded. The powerful shells easily penetrated the small Flood Infection forms.
The other four pulled out M90 Shotguns. Field observations gathered from the Spartan II's confrontations with the Flood back on the other Halo showed that the 3.5 inch magnum rounds fired from the weapon killed a Flood warrior instantly...but only at close range was it guaranteed.
The Covenant were only thankful they had gathered this info and transmitted the data back to their home-world before the ring-world was destroyed.
So far, they had succeeded in keeping the Flood out of the reactor room. Perhaps they could still drive them away before taking off...
But that thought was shattered when the wails of dying Jackals were heard in the hallway connecting the reactor room to the bridge.
A small, floating organism came into the room. It had the skin of the flood, but the razor-sharp mandibles on the bottom of it were easily identified by the Covenant.
It was the same organism that had eradicated their defenses in the Valley of the Index...except infected by the Flood.
The carapace was still as strong as ever, rendering even the Marines' weapons useless. One by one, the Covenant forces in the Reactor Room fell. The Flood began to spread their spores into the fallen Covenant as the other Warrior forms began dismantling the reactor.
A few minutes passed before a gigantic green explosion ruptured the hull in the Incursion's rear. Smoke began pouring out of the cruiser's exhaust vents as radiator coolant began to leak from the broken hull.
Soon, the mighty ship clashed into the side of the cliff wall, letting the rest of the Flood advance inside.
The surviving Covenant within the ship gathered what weapons they could salvage and locked themselves in the bridge. Grunts shivered as they clutched their plasma pistols. Jackals used their senses to the best of their ability to keep the others from being surprised. The Elites barked orders to the Grunts and Jackals to shoot to kill, while the Hunters stood silent, keeping their fuel rod guns warm.
The siege on the Incursion had begun.
"They got themselves into this...so it is only fitting that it would bring about their demise."
343 Guilty Spark chuckled to himself as over seventy-five Sentinels stood silent behind him, waiting to move in.
"However glad I may be that the foreigners finally received what they deserved, I must prevent the Flood from repairing the damage they caused to that cruiser. If they did, they would once again become the universe's bane...like they were before."
The Monitor floated silently as he remembered how the Forerunner had found the Flood...
Centuries upon centuries ago, the Forerunner, a race of highly advanced machines and electronic-based beings had spread their influence over the galaxy. They had made quite a few enemies, most notably the foreigners that were now trapped within the damaged cruiser.
He remembered the great war that took place between them. He remembered how the war went on superbly for the Forerunner until the enemy—known as the Covenant back then as they were known today—managed to capture some of their old plasma-based weapons.
It wasn't long before the scientific minds of the Covenant crafted powerful weapons from the stolen technology. Full-fledged battles soon erupted between both factions, with the Forerunner's militia, the Sentinels, firing their laser weapons with pinpoint accuracy.
They were answered with a torrential rain of plasma weapons.
After so many casualties on both sides, the Covenant and the Forerunner agreed to a lasting ceasefire...only as long as they didn't cross their territorial lines in space.
Despite the arranged 'peace', the Forerunner and the Covenant never really were peaceful with each other. They just mainly stood out of each other's way.
Still, the Forerunner wanted the planets possessed by the Covenant, but they couldn't risk any more casualties.
Then...when a research team found a planet that was in unexplored space, they set down, along with their escort warships, upon the barren desert lands. It stretched for miles before reaching a massive rain forest that encompassed the rest of the planet's surface.
They did notice one thing upon setting up a defensive perimeter...a town that was completely deserted, save for a few rodents and other creatures of the same nature.
Upon reaching the jungles, they encountered the tiny parasitic life forms for the first time...
They immediately attacked the Forerunner.
The Sentinels launched a counterattack, easily fending off the first wave of the parasitic life forms.
But when scouts identified bodies with similar body composition to the tinier Infection forms, the scientists were intrigued.
Over one hundred of the Flood Infection forms were taken back to the Forerunner home world for research, leaving behind a large battle group of three hundred Sentinels to eradicate the rest of the Flood on the small planet.
However, disaster struck almost immediately when they returned to their home world.
Even though the Forerunner regarded biological life forms as inferior, they still let other organisms use their planets for the purpose of trade and temporary residence.
The Flood broke out of their containment cells and spread into the sprawling metropolis of the Forerunner's planet, quickly sniffing out the biological life forms.
It wasn't long before the Flood had infected all life forms on the planet.
Many clamored for their immediate destruction, but the scientists still wanted to study them.
The military wanted to use them as weapons.
He remembered advocating the decision to use them as weapons against their enemies.
But alas, the final outcome disapproved such an action. The Flood were to be removed from the planet and destroyed.
The scientists would have none of that.
They made a deal...they would construct artificial worlds, with different environments on each, so that the Flood could be detained.
In return, the Forerunner leadership ordered that the artificial worlds be built with a fail-safe device...a weapon that would annihilate sentient life forms.
Why? Because if the Flood had managed to infect an army's worth of sentient life forms, they would've represented a tremendous threat to the Forerunner. The Infection forms were easy to disperse, but the infected life forms, dubbed as 'Warriors', were able to endure their laser weapons for a longer period of time...a dangerous thought, considering that the Warriors were capable of wielding weapons quite efficiently.
So, work began on construction the ring worlds immediately, while the Flood were contained back on the Forerunner home world under heavy security.
A few outbreaks occurred during the four-year construction process, but luckily, few life forms were infected.
The Flood were then relocated to the seven installations strategically placed throughout the galaxy, and they were each individually called Halo.
However, Installation 04 was the one designated to use its fail-safe weapon in a test.
Fearing something might have happened, the Forerunner retrieved a biological life form donning a powerful suit of armor to activate the weapon.
"I remember him quite well."
343 Guilty Spark had dubbed him 'Reclaimer', as he first had to reclaim the Index from a small group of Warrior and Infection Flood as a test to prove his worth.
He had passed, and the Reclaimer activated Halo's weapon.
Even though Halo wasn't at full power at the time, the pulse-wave managed to clear out quite a large number of sentient bioforms within its current range.
What the Forerunner didn't anticipate was the large backlash of disapproval over the activation of Installation 04's weapon.
Several civilizations waged war on the Forerunner. The Covenant took advantage of this time to launch their own strikes against their old enemy.
Many years passed, and the Forerunner's influence began to whither after so many wars. The Covenant, being biological life forms, were able to reproduce rapidly, but the Forerunner's resources began to dwindle as they continued constructing their descendants.
It wasn't long before all contact between the Halos and any Forerunner-possessed planet ceased.
Eventually, the Forerunner finally died out...at least to the Monitor's best knowledge. He hadn't received a word from any Forerunner outside of the Halos in centuries.
Why the Covenant had viewed Halo as a place of religious importance was still beyond him, although it was sort of ironic...the Covenant hoping to salvage ancient Forerunner weaponry, instead stumbled upon what was, as the Monitor had once called them, 'the universe's greatest bane'.
But now was not the time for reminiscing. He had a duty to before.
"Sentinels, move forward and eliminate all Flood that you see. If you find any foreigners, eliminate them as well. We mustn't let the Flood escape the ring."
The Sentinels silently hovered closer to the Incursion. Then, red laser beams lit up the night sky as they clashed against the Flood. At this height, the Flood were unable to attack as the Sentinels peppered them with laser fire.
The Master Chief quickly dove behind a rock as Ridley dashed forward, hoping to skewer the Spartan with his sharp, metal-coated nose.
The Chief quickly ran back towards Ridley and grabbed his tail.
Ridley roared as he tried to shake the Spartan off, but the Chief's superhuman strength—multiplied by his MJOLNIR armor—prevented the Space Pirate from doing so.
Ridley suddenly felt wind rushing past his face as he was flipped over. The Master Chief had turned him over.
"Nice one Chief!"
Ridley quickly got back on his feet as the Master Chief's Assault Rifle bullets bounced off his armor...without causing so much as a single dent.
"Now's not the time for your quirks Cortana."
The Chief barely had time to speak as Ridley thrashed the area with his tail, cutting through the rock formations as if they were made of string.
"Cortana, can you find a weakness?"
"Give me a second Chief."
The Chief fired several shots from his plasma rifle, aiming at the abdomen and the chest. Ridley let the plasma hit him in the stomach, but he ducked when the chest-bound shots got close.
The Chief quickly fired several bullets from his Assault Rifle at Ridley's head and neck, but Ridley ducked again, covering his chest with his hands.
Cortana noticed this.
"Chief, he seems to like keeping his chest safe...I think that's his weak spot!"
It better be.
The Chief quickly charged at Ridley, keeping a hand on his last plasma grenade.
Ridley grinned. This was his chance.
He pulled his head back, ready to fire his heat ray.
The Chief activated the plasma grenade and threw it. It glowed bright blue as it stuck to Ridley's chest.
Ridley fired his heat ray, catching the Chief's side as he dived.
His shields flared brightly as a wave of heat was felt on his side. Without his shields, his armor would've been burnt through.
Ridley looked down at his chest, and his eyes widened as he saw the grenade.
His chest was enveloped in a blue explosion, sending the pterodactyl reeling. He shrieked as he fell to the ground, clutching his chest in pain.
Ridley didn't want to look at the damage, but he did anyway.
The old gash he once had was now two feet wider, and several inches longer as well. What armor remained there was now a smoked black.
He growled and bared his teeth. No more games with this armored warrior.
Ridley leapt to his feet to face the Spartan, but he was nowhere to be seen.
He then felt a large weight fall on his back, nearly sending him down to the ground. The Chief had jumped and landed on top of Ridley.
Roaring, Ridley spun around, shaking the Spartan off. Ridley then began firing his heat ray, accompanied with some plasma torpedoes, all over the battle site.
Boulders and rocks crumbled as the mist was boiled away. Soon, the sky was visible, and Ridley saw his target.
The Master Chief had nowhere to hide now.
Ridley flapped his powerful wings and lifted into the air, flying about into the sky above.
Now that his target had no places to seek cover , and without any mist to hide behind, the playing field was now more level.
He charged away, and then made a U-turn as he prepared to fire a lethal blast.
His heat ray burst forth at the Spartan, who barely rolled out of the way just as he passed by.
The Chief would've cursed if it weren't for his self-control. Now the fight was on a higher level of difficulty.
Samus moaned as she pressed her hand against her visor. She had a small taste of copper on her tongue, and a few small splotches of her blood were splattered on her visor.
She blinked a few times and looked around. The mist that was once in the valley was now gone, blast and scorch marks adorned the ground, and bullet shells were strewn about.
And flying above the valley's center was Ridley, who was once more trying to shake off the Master Chief, who had managed to grab onto the Space Pirate's tail and get on his back.
Samus moved slowly, hoping that Ridley wouldn't notice her.
She then prepared to fire a Super Missile...as soon as she could get a decent shot.
Sentinels floated calmly through the large gash in the side of the Incursion, looking upon the Flood that were trying to repair the obliterated reactor.
The Sentinels fired upon them with a continuous laser stream, but the Flood reacted quickly, as infected Elites opened fire with Assault Rifles and plasma pistols.
Several Sentinels fell as the Monitor flew in, followed by ten more Sentinels.
The reinforcements backed up the remaining ones, enveloping the parasitic organisms with their weapons.
It looked that the Sentinels would be victorious in this reactor room, but then a pale shriek caught their attention.
343 Guilty Spark turned around to see the one he had previously identified as 'Metroid'...but he detected Flood spores in its structure.
"Unfortunate. With its infection by the Flood, this Metroid is now classified as a Class Z-Parasitic Bioform. As dangerous as they come. Sentinels, destroy it."
The Sentinels obeyed.
The Metroid still came forward, before it shrieked loudly and barged into a Sentinel, causing it to crash into a wall.
The Monitor simply stared at the Metroid as it continually rammed into the Sentinels. He then sighed as he floated away, outside of the Incursion.
"I was right. I did name the Flood a reasonable name...they are indeed the bane of the universe...I must get the Index, immediately."
With a flash of orange light, the Monitor teleported away, leaving the rest of the Sentinels to fight.
Master Chief ran as fast as he could as Ridley began diving at him, firing numerous plasma torpedoes.
With a quick strafe with his heat ray, Ridley blocked Master Chief's path.
The Chief's blood froze as he halted. A plasma torpedo blast struck the ground three feet behind him, sending him careening forward.
He shook his head and blinked as he sat up. Ridley hovered over him, preparing to fire a large number of plasma torpedoes at his enemy.
"Chief, I think this would constitute as a 'game over'."
Master Chief wished Cortana would only give him information as much as she practiced her witty remarks.
Suddenly, the sound of a firing rocket was heard.
Ridley quickly turned his head in time to see a large projectile...a projectile that was hurtling toward his chest.
Ridley shrieked as the Super Missile collided with his chest wound. He slumped to the ground as Samus walked over to the Chief's side.
"Need a hand?"
Master Chief grinned as he let Samus pull him up. He shook off his dizziness as Cortana groaned.
"What took you so long?
Samus glared at the Chief, wishing that Cortana's hologram were visible. "I was unconscious. Satisfied?"
A roar reached their ears as they both turned back to Ridley, who clumsily flew away, injured fatally.
The Chief's radio-link buzzed as Ridley disappeared from view.
Sergeant McKowsky's voice was heard over the link. "Chief! We saw some fireworks on our end! What's happening over there?"
"Nothing Sergeant. Enemy target has been dealt with. Prepare to dust off. We're leaving shortly."
The sergeant sighed with content as he replied, "Copy that Master Chief! Out!"
The Chief sighed as Samus began to leave the ridge. The Chef slowly followed behind her, feeling anxious to get home.
Ridley growled as he slowly flapped his wings, ascending into the sky. He looked down to measure how injured he was.
Plasma burn marks adorned his armor on all sides, and it was dented with bullet marks in several places. To his surprise, several dents in the shape of hands were seen on his metal tail, where the armored warrior had grabbed him.
His chest was obviously the most fatal injury area. Blood slowly trickled from the garish wound. His purplish-red skin was visible, and the armor was cracked around the wound.
His wings were torn in several places, and they also had some burn marks. He hadn't suffered this much abuse since he had last fought the Hunter.
He heard the droning of engines as the Vol Arion drifted into view. Plasma marks adorned its sides as he dropped onto the external loading dock. Several Space Pirates dragged him inside as the frigate drifted out of Halo's atmosphere.
The Vol Arion's engines flared brightly as it sped past the wreckage of the Covenant warships that had been taken by the Space Pirates. Over fifteen Covenant destroyers, cruisers, frigates, and carriers sped past the ruins of the fallen Space Pirate-possessed warships, pausing only to blast any fragments that remained operating.
Ridley was lowered into a tank full of a cytoplasm-like liquid, which held him firmly in place as sedatives were injected into his blood stream.
Ridley's eyes slowly closed, falling into a dreamless sleep as the Vol Arion jammed their pursuers tracking signals. With a flash of green light, the Space Pirate frigate entered Slipstream space. Their short tenure in the Milky Way galaxy was over.
Only one thought was in Ridley's mind before he drifted into unconsciousness...
To be continued...
Next time, it's the grand finale. Need I say more?