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Attack on ERISTOCK-Part 1: Introduction
Posted By: xitWOUND117<ChikenDevilR2@aol.com>
Date: 1 September 2003, 1:18 AM

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      1235 Hours, December 2, 2552 (Military Calendar)/Earth system, UNSC research facilities, planet Earth, underground testing lab

      The SPARTAN-III's all stood erect in line before Chief Petty Officer Bill Ravok. It had been two years training and equipping them, but, at last, it would pay off. In two hours the SPARTAN's would be aboard the UNSC frigate Hymir and heading for the Covenant planet, codenamed by the ONI, ERISTOCK, yet they did not know it yet, except for their leader, George-218. "You have been given the best the UNSC can offer," said Ravok, "Improved MJOLNIR armor, AI's, better muscle augmentations than the SPARTAN-II's, faster reaction time, advanced HUD/weapon interface. But do you fully understand why? You are the warriors that will save mankind. Shielded by that armor and advanced equipment, you may feel that you are better than the rest of us, yet you are not! You have lost fewer of you comrades than the SPARTAN-II's, felt less pain, so this gift of near immortality comes at a lesser price. But you are not better than me, or any SPARTAN-II, or any marine, you are merely more empowered. Do not forget that! The UNSC has made you what you are, and you have one single duty: protect mankind. You feel pain, you feel sorrow, yet you will choose to ignore them, because you are the protectors. You do not seek glory, only victory. This path of war will be very hard and long for all of us, yet you will not fail. Dismissed," ended Ravok.
      The SPARTAN's filed out of the auditorium, leaving to prepare for boarding the Hymir. Chief Ravok remained standing on the stage. He originally had mixed feelings about the SPARTAN projects, but after seeing their success rate he became an avid supporter. The SPARTAN-II's he respected, they had gone through much pain and suffering and understood what they were meant to do, but he feared that as the process of making SPARTAN's became easier and less painful, they would lose sight of their goal.
      Hopefully there wouldn't be anymore need for SPARTAN's after the III series. The UNSC Admiralty had come up with a plan to carefully place squads of SPARTAN's on strategic locations on ERISTOCK and take the planet. It would be to avenge the fall of Reach.
      Ravok hoped it would work. He had served in many campaigns against pirates, rebels, mercenaries, and the Covenant, yet nothing had been attempted like the one the SPARTAN's were about to embark on. If they failed, humanity would fall in days.

      1450 Hours, December 2, 2552 (Military Calendar)/Earth system, UNSC Hymir, in orbit around planet Earth

      George walked towards the bridge, intending to report in person to Captain Louis Geredar that the SPARTAN-III's and their equipment had all been unloaded from the transport boat. George-218 was a SPARTAN-III, a force that brought terror into battle, slaughtering the Covenant warriors in the name of man. And there was forty-four others like him. Two had died in the process of becoming a SPARTAN, four crippled, and three in a coma for life. They were men and women that George had grown with, endured the process with, but such is the price of so much power.
      George reached the bridge and saluted the Captain. Captain Geredar returned the salute and asked, "What is the unload status?" "Everyone is off and everything is unloaded, sir," answered the SPARTAN. "Good. Chief, inform the rest of the SPARTAN's of our mission. And they damn well better be happy about it," ordered the Captain. "We will be, sir. It is what we live for," replied George. The Captain laughed. "That's the spirit. Tell me, Chief, what do you think about this mission? I mean, do you think you will succeed?" he asked George. "We all mean to win, sir. None of us expect defeat, yet it happens. And we are not trained to accept it. We will win, or we will die," said George, grimly. "I wish we all had your strength, Chief. I fear this war is too much for us, too overwhelming. The Covenant are too powerful and numerous. God willing, we shall see many more of your kind Chief. More SPARTAN's. That is what we need," said the Captain, sighing. "Well, go inform the rest of your men." "Yes, sir!" replied George, saluting and leaving the bridge.

      Private Carmand could feel himself flying...no...not flying...floating, as if the rest of the world was moving around him. There was blackness, a void, all around, and yet not so. Stars flew by, parts of galaxies spinning and turning. Nebulas, in their colorful glory, remnants of destruction, the essence of rebirth, rushed past. Planets flew by, full of life, peaceful animals roaming the lands. It was a world of empty loneliness, yet full of color and creation. Beautiful and treacherous, attractive yet forbidding.
      Carmand had been stationed on the UNSC ship Sentari, but the ship had been attacked by these creatures, indescribable, fearsome creatures. They were white, bulbous creatures, with writhing tentacles. One had latched itself to John Carmand's chest and drove one tentacle deep into his flesh, piercing his spine. And that was all he remembered.
      Yet now space was looming before him, flying past his face. Slowly Earth came into view, and the world stopped moving. "Welcome," said a voice, "welcome, child of Earth."