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Attack on ERISTOCK-Part 2:Departure
Posted By: xitWOUND117<ChikenDevilR2@aol.com>
Date: 4 September 2003, 2:14 AM

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      "Welcome child of Earth," said a voice. John Carmand watched a human-like figure slowly appear in front of him. Shrouded by a light blue mist, all that was visible of this figure was a silhouette of his body.
      This newcomer had a deep, rumbling voice, yet kindly and pleasant to hear. He looked like something out of a vague yet wondrous dream. And John waited for that moment when he would wake up and would find himself safe on Earth, realizing that all of it was a dream, but that moment never came.
      "Hello, John Carmand," said the mist creature. John gave a jolt of surprise that this thing knew his name. "How-" John started, until the dream thing interrupted him. "I know many things, John. I know more than your kind will ever know, because I am a Forerunner." "Uh, what's a Forerunner?" asked a puzzled Carmand. "My kind, the Forerunner, are an ancient race that was destroyed many ages before your time," answered the 'Forerunner'. "If your race was destroyed, how are you talking to me?" asked John. "I am not physically talking to you, John. As you should have already noticed, you are not in the physical world. I am talking to you through your mind, now that you have been infested by the Flood. This all is an illusion, yet not so." "The what?" said John, totally confused. The shrouded creature sighed silently, and realized that this was going to be a very long talk.

1453 Hours, December 2, 2552 (Military Calendar)/Earth system, UNSC Hymir, in orbit around planet Earth

      Captain Geredar turned and faced the main view screen, which displayed the blue and green planet Earth. Long had Earth been the home world of humanity, for it had given birth to them. And ever since the early 20th century, Earth had been abused, raped. Prized minerals ripped from it's hide, toxic waste dumped into the oceans, gases released from factories that had worn away the atmosphere, nuclear tests scarring the crust. Currently there was a major attempt to clean Earth up and wastes had been severely reduced or gotten rid of in another manner. Earth was the Temple of Man, precious to every human being. And Captain Louis Geredar would die before he saw Earth fall.
      But now, it was time to leave for ERISTOCK. "Lieutenant Evenka, plot a course through Slipstream to the ERISTOCK system," ordered the Captain. "Yes sir!" replied the tan, thin woman at the Nav station. Jane Evenka was fresh out of the Academy, an all-business, by-the-books woman. "Nionmapan!" yelled Captain Geredar. A hologram appeared in the nearby pedestal, showing an 11th Century European Crusader. "Look, AI's are supposed to have short names," said the frustrated Captain. "So from now on, I'm calling you Richard." "Fine with me," said the AI. "Richard, get all of the crew into cryotubes. As soon as everyone is in cryosleep enter Slipstream space and follow Lieutenant Evenka's coordinates." "Right away, sir," replied the AI.

      George heard his AI say, "You need to get to the cryobay, Chief. Nionmapan has ordered everyone into cryosleep." "But I haven't briefed my men yet," protested George. "You'll be able to brief them after the Slipstream jump, now get to the cryobay."       George's AI had a tendency to be a bit bossy, but George didn't mind. Nicknamed 'Public', the AI, whenever he was given access to a holopanel, appeared as a 20th Century gas station attendant. Public was one of the newer AI's designed for the MJOLNIR suits. He had the ability to load data files from the UNSC net and display them on George's HUD, and play audio and video feeds.
      George walked off towards the cryobays, ordering over the SPARTAN COMM channel, "Everyone get to cryotubes, we've got a Slipstream jump coming up. I will brief you all on our mission after we arrive at our destination." Lights winked on his HUD to show that the rest of them acknowledged his order.

      Field Master Huri 'Ranalamee stood on the top of the hill, watching the human in special armor fight with the daily attack. The human dodged plasma shots with amazing speed, then brought down his enemies in a hail of bullets. After all were dead, the human retreated back into his crashed fighter.
      It was like that every day. A group of Elites, Grunts, and Jackals attacked the crash site, and the human would slaughter them. 'Ranalamee had the impression that this was the human that had caused so much trouble on the Ancient's ring world right before it had been destroyed. The Elite suspected this human was also responsible for the destruction of the ring world.
      But the Field Master had something new that was going to attack the crash site. Five Wraiths and a squad of Banshees. 'Ranalamee was going to stop at nothing to see this human killed.