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Halo Story - Finale
Posted By: Vector40<brandon@berkeleyhigh.org>
Date: 25 May 2001, 3:48 am

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    The field was swept with the torment of agony.
     A lone figure stood, high and heavy above the strewn debris, the blood and tears, the dark, silent mass of oblivion.
     He was silent for many moments, letting the wind whistle around his armor, the fading light shoot in streams around his hunched shoulders. A second figure approached him.
     He raised his head, slowly. Sir. A lieutenant addressed him. No matter. It was always sir, lord, my liege. Thank ye thank ye thank ye.
     "We're ready to go, sir. Whenever you're ready."
     He looked down. "Just a second."
     "Sure. Take all the time you need."
     Presently, the man left.
     And Falcone, sighing, bent down and lifted the object at his feet.
     A feryncite cube, gleaming with a crystal lattice, and reinforced with inch-thick bands, which shifted ever so slightly to expose a seam as he beamed the combination. He pulled at the break, folded it away, and reached inside the container to withdraw the tiny implant chip within.
     He held it in his palm, staring, for several moments, then resigned himself to his duty.
     He gently socketed the plug into the slot behind his ear.
     Instantly, the dour old voice was there.
     [Took you long enough. Slowing down, old man?]
     He closed his eyes. "You okay?"
     [I function without error. As always. Of you humans, though, I am unsure.]
     Three seconds in and he was already regretting it. "That's not what I-"
     [You fool-]
     "Shut up, Duran-idiot. Damage. Are you damaged?"
     [Nothing can damage me. Durandal Durandum Beowulf Gilgamesh-]
     "Shut- UP! You are not invincible. Immortality does not prevent you from damage. For either of us. Now- ARE YOU DAMAGED?"
     There was a prolonged silence. Yeah, chew on that, you son of a bitch. This isn't the Marathon anymore. I'm the one in charge.
     Finally: [Only some small data corruption from particle effects. Backup and rerouting prevented any loss.]
     And then, peevishly: [I liked you much better as Wiglif.]
     "So did I. At least that time you died before I did. I'm tired of you outliving me. Okay, back in your hole. We'll reactivate you when we reach the base. Hopefully, without me around. Christ, I hope this was worth it."
     [The Covenant seem to have thought so. I'm looking forward to sparring with their comptroller.]
     [Goodbye, dearie.]
     Falcone pulled out the socket with a jerk, replaced it with a dust-plug, and dropped the chip unceremoniously back in the cube. He locked it, tucked it under his arm, and trotted back to the column of Marines- found the baggage car and tossed it aboard, enjoying the sound it made. He bellowed to start moving and found a place at the front.
     As he began to walk, he could not help smiling a little.
     Here we go again.

     Five miles overhead, in the Covenant overwatch ship skimming the atmosphere, an Elite was blurring down the halls and corridors of the twisted ship. Sprinting at full speed into the control room, it waved a portable AI terminal desperately as it smashed into the commander. It gasped.

     "IT'S HIM."