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Attack on ERISTOCK Part 3-The Waking
Posted By: xitWOUND117<ChikenDevilR2@aol.com>
Date: 9 September 2003, 3:00 PM

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2010 Hours, December 12, 2552 (Military Calendar)/unknown location in Slipstream space, UNSC Hymir

      "Captain? Wake up," said the AI Nionmapan, or Richard. "We will be entering normal space in about two hours. Sit up and breathe deep, sir." Captain Louis Geredar pulled himself off of the formfitting gel bed and rolled onto the hard metal floor, landing with a thud. Captain Geredar did not like to be waken from his sleep, especially by an AI. They didn't have to go through regurgitating the cryo inhalant.
      He turned over onto his back and sat up, trying to take a deep breath. He started coughing violently until a long string of clear fluid flowed from his mouth onto the ship floor. "Now, now Captain. Let's try not to ruin the nice floor I just cleaned. Is that how you want to treat you home?" said Richard, appearing on an AI pedestal near the Captain's cryotube, only standing about a foot tall. "Shut up," replied the Captain. "Any more mouthing off like that and I'll be forced to reprogram you," threatened Geredar with a playful smile on his face. "Oh no! Reprogram me! Gosh, I might just have to increase your cryo inhalant amount next time..." said Richard, bending down and looking at the Captain doubled over on the cryobay floor. "No! Sorry I said anything! Just don't give me more of that stuff!" cried the Captain. Richard laughed.
      Louis Geredar stood up and looked down at the AI. "Wake up the SPARTAN III's and my bridge officers. Everyone else can wait a little longer," ordered the Captain. "Yes sir," answered Richard, disappearing from the pedestal. Captain Geredar started walking off toward the showers. Suddenly he slid on the cryo inhalant and nearly lost his balance. Stabilizing himself, the Captain said to himself, "Stuff tastes like crap AND it's a goddamn health hazard."

      George always liked the sleeping part of cryo sleep. It was just the waking up that sucked. He usually had peaceful dreams, imagining he was somewhere besides this hellish war-torn galaxy, just enjoying life. But today, it was different. He was with his mother and father on Reach, having a picnic. He was five then, and he had loved picnics. The grass was a healthy green, the sky clear blue, beautiful green trees stood near their red and white checkered sheet. Birds flew from tree to tree, chirping in the late morning. It was a pleasant spring day on Reach.
      But halfway through his ham sandwich (without the crust, of course) a huge black shape was running towards them, the birds fleeing in front of it. The shape left the grass brown and dead behind it, ripping up trees as it went. His father stood up and planted himself in front of his son, his mother standing beside him. They didn't know what this was, but it would not get George.
      The shape stopped in front of his father and formed into an Elite. The Elite laughed in his deep voice, pressed his plasma rifle against the father's head and fired. George watched as his father's head snapped back, a gaping hole in the center of it. His father's body collapsed to the ground in a limp heap. His mother screamed, but that was cut short by the Elite slamming his rifle deep into her skull, blood spurting from her head. She, too, collapsed into a heap, and the Elite pointed his rifle at George.
      George, suddenly a SPARTAN again, lifted his assault rifle and tried to fire, but he was frozen. Fear had completely taken him over. This was the one enemy George could not defeat. He heard his AI, Public, say, "Wake up George. Wake up! Nionmapan wants all the SPARTAN's awake."
      George slowly opened his eyes and sat up. He wiped some mist from the cryotube off of his visor. The SPARTAN's had all been put into their cryotubes in full armor, in case an emergency arose. His skin itched and burned like hell, but, as Ravok said, he ignored it.
      "If you're ready, we can brief the rest SPARTAN's as soon as they are all awake," offered Public. Public had a normal, nondescript voice. There was nothing particularly special about it. "I will be briefing the rest of my squad as soon as they are all awake," said George. "I will help if I like," retorted Public. George couldn't really say anything to that. There was nothing he could do to stop Public from helping to brief the SPARTAN's, save pulling him out of his slot in George's neck.
      George thought about his dream. He had it a lot, and every time he could not overcome his fear. George found this very frustrating. His training taught him he would fear many things, but he would be able to over power that fear and do his duty. And every time he had that dream he could not do his duty. He also missed his parents every time he had the dream. He had loved his parents very much, and he had been seriously grieved by their deaths. He still had not gotten over that sadness, much like his fear.
      "Chief, are we just going to sit in this cryotube all day, or is this where we are briefing the rest of the SPARTAN's from?" Public asked. George climbed out of the cryotube, his armored feet clanking against the metal floor.

      Private John Carmand was totally confused. Flood? Forerunner? What was all this stuff? And who was this dude talking to him? "Look, John. Your ship was attacked by the Flood. That is what those white bulbous things with tentacles were," said the Forerunner. "One of them infested your body by driving their main tentacle into your spine. My race contained and studied the Flood, researching them for a medical remedy to a new disease. But the Flood were too powerful to contain, and they destroyed us. None of us were infected, just killed. But some of the Flood were loyal to the Forerunner and offered us asylum by partly infesting us. My brain was transferred into a Flood. And now your body has been infected by my host, and I am asking you to help us fight against the ravenous Flood. With my brains and your body we can work together to bring down as many Flood as possible. What do you say?" "Uh, I don't know. This is all very confusing," answered Private Carmand. "Well then, I'll return you to the physical world so you can feel exactly what the Flood do to your body. Then we'll see if you want to help me out or not."

2045 Hours, December 12, 2552 (Military Calendar)/unknown location in Slipstream space, UNSC Hymir

      "Okay squad, listen up. We are heading for the Covenant ERISTOCK system, and we should enter normal space in about an hour and a half," said George, addressing the SPARTAN's assembled in front of him in the docking bay. "We are going deep into enemy territory and we will be inserted in teams onto the planet ERISTOCK to attack and hold strategic locations. If we do our job right and soon enough, the UNSC will send in Marines to take control of the planet. Just remember your training. Now, I need to split you up into groups of five. My team, Command Team, or just C-team, will be me, John-221, Mark-524, Sarah-099, and Luke-334. The rest of the teams will be decided by you. Any questions?"
      Greg spoke up. "What do you mean by strategic locations? Would that be comm bases, military installations, what?" "I have no idea. As soon as the teams are assigned then I am allowed to open the orders file," answered George. "Any more questions? No? Okay." George turned and left to go to the bridge and retrieve the orders file from the Captain.

      Field Master Huri 'Ranalamee was furious. The Wraiths and Banshees that were supposed to arrive to attack the human in the special armor had been delayed. For some reason the leadership decided to postpone the attack. His mandibles clicked menacingly. He did not appreciate delay.