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Halo 2: The Forerunner Chronicle Part V
Posted By: Velker<velkerskater@msn.com>
Date: 02 March 2002, 2:35 am

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The Master Chief and ten Spartans walked slowly into the place where they had first met Xarnin and the Forerunner. They weren't sure what they would find, being as the Flood might have been contained in that installation. But, thought the Master Chief, if the previous Halo is as similar to this one as it has proved to be so far, the Flood were probably in a swamp. John motioned for Boomer to place a demolition charge where the hidden door had been. They Spartans stepped out of the room and Boomer blew up the door. They crept in through the wreckage of the door and down the long hallway, searching for signs of the Flood. They found six Forerunner robots guards, ones shaped like Forerunner armor, with Forerunner guns grafted onto their metal frames.

"Halt! You are in a restricted area! Leave now!" said the first guard, which had a red stripe on its arm.

The Master Chief ignored the robot and asked, "Where is Xarnin?"

"Ah, Master Chief, you have discovered our latest creations, the Guardian defense robots," yelled Xarnin who walked out from a door on the left.

"You do know the Flood have been released, don't you?" inquired the Master Chief angrily.

"Yes. We know. They've been contained again, in a fortress in a swampy area. We haven't found out who let them loose yet, but our best people our working on it. We lost Colony 4, in one of the Cold Zones, actually, not to far from the Control Room. And how do you know they've been released? We never told you."

"Some of my Spartans and I found out firsthand. Our scientists were studying the Control Room when the Floodies bursted in. Thanks to one of my demolitions experts and some good flying by some Pelican pilots, we survived. And I suppose you know about the Covs arriving?"

"Yes. Our soldiers have drawn all civilians into impenetrable underground fortress. They'll leave sooner or later."

The Master Chief raised his hand to deck the man, but stopped knowing that such a blow would kill him. "You are an ignorant fool Xarnin. The Covenant won't leave. They don't want humans in control of Halo. Don't you see?"

"Well, then we'll just have to fight them off on our own timetable," answered the scientist.

"No. You'll give me command of your armies so we can eliminate what's left of their forces before they really dig down into their foxholes. We'll kill every last one of those murdering pigs!" John's words spoke into the heart of every Spartan there, as all had lost friends and the Human-Covenant war.

"Very well. We'll provide intelligence, but nothing more. Our armies will be stationed at our main colonies and our science bases that the Flood have been contained in. We can do energy missile strikes if need be. There are several missile bases scattered all over Halo. The missiles produce an explosion that should level a good deal of any Covenant base."

"Okay." the Master Chief pulled a radio off the back of one of his soldiers. "We'll be in touch." He turned on his heel and marched off, followed by his Spartans.

Over the next two days, four raids were conducted on some major Cov positions. The Master Chief had requested additional space reinforcements, since the Covvies would likely return after not hearing from their original taskforce. Still, the 'Jersey could hold her own against several Cov ships for a short time with her new weaponry. There had been no sign of the Flood. The Master Chief was shuttling up to the 'Jersey after mission against a Covvie base, tired and splattered with Covenant blood, the whole rainbow was represented on his sage green armor, with the orange of Hunters, the purple of Elites, and the blue of the Grunts. He was in a shower with his armor on, rinsing off the alien blood when a Junior Lieutenant from the bridge came to fetch him.

"Sir! The Covs have arrived. A small taskforce, one cruiser, two corvettes, and four troop transports, but still a threat. The Captain wants you to bring Cortana to the bridge right now. The Cov cruiser is about three hundred kilometers off and closing fast." Both men sprinted to the bridge.

"Captain Orus," said the Master Chief ominously. He remembered saying almost the same thing to Captain Keyes before going down to the first Halo.

"It's good to see you Master Chief. Please, we need Cortana to help fly the ship. The transports are heading straight for the Halo, our Longswords are harassing them, but so far they've only damaged one, and the rest of them are almost down."

The Master Chief pulled Cortana out of his helmet and inserted her into the slot on the computer interface. She starting handing out orders right away. "Weapons, charge the MAC guns. Give me a solution on the cruiser. Helm, take us through the middle of Halo. I want those Covs right on our tail. Communication, call down to Xarnin and his scientists and tell them to launch missiles at..." she read off a string of coordinates right in the center of the ringworld, "Better yet, see if you can get me command of their missile bases. Recall the Longswords. I want them going after any Seraph fighters that decide to come close." Then she shouted orders over the intercom: "To all soldiers, secure air locks and prepare to repel boarding parties. Spartan teams head to your armory and prepare to supplement Marine defenses. Pelican pilots: prepare your dropships in case of a need to evacuate the 'Jersey." Cortana kept barking out orders, and people kept listening, even though most thought she was kind of bossy,Ýbut the AI knew what she was talking about.

The 'Jersey accelerated towards the center of Halo. "Cortana!" shouted the Comm Officer. "The Forerunner have transferred command of missile stations Alpha through Nu on Halo's surface. The missiles are loaded and ready to fire at your command."

Cortana's hologram nodded. The Master Chief looked at the main view screen. It showed a map of the area, with the Cov cruiser and corvettes on their tail. They passed through the center of Halo, with the Covs closing the distance. About a minute before the Covs passed through the center of the ring, Cortana said, "Firing ground missiles now!" The view switched to a rear camera. It showed about twenty or so flashes on the surface of Halo. The flashes sped towards the Covenant ships. There would be no escape for the cruiser. The two corvettes limped towards Halo's surface. They made it, with only a few moments before the New Jersey could have brought its guns to bear on the smaller ships.

A Junior officer on the bridge voiced what everybody was thinking: "I hate Covs."

John walked into the Spartans' cafeteria. He walked in and pumped his shotgun. Everyone in the room looked up. "I'm going on a volunteer mission to go after a Covenant corvette. If we can find the location of their homeworld, we might be able to wipe the Covvie pigs straight off the face of the universe. There's a catch. I've been informed that the only salvageable corvette crash landed into the Library, where the Floodies have been contained. Only those that want to go have to. If you don't I understand." Every single Spartan raised their hand. This mission definitely wouldn't be a Cov killing mission, since by the time they got there, the Covs were likely to be Flood. And a whole Corvette full of Floodies sporting plasma weapons, which excelled at taking down shields, was not going to be fun, considering the way Flood multiplied. John just had to make sure that none of his Spartans got taken. The Master Chief shuddered at the thought of a Flood with the strength, sight, and speed of a Spartan, combined with the natural strength and dexterity of a Flood warrior. Yep, this wasn't going to be fun. But maybe, just maybe, he could find out who loosed the Flood and find the Cov homeworld, killing two birds with one stone.