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Attack on ERISTOCK-Part 4: Core
Posted By: xitWOUND117<ChikenDevilR2@aol.com>
Date: 16 September 2003, 2:31 PM

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2200 hours, December 12, 2552 (Military Calendar)/unknown location in Slipstream space, UNSC Hymir

      Captain Geredar stood on the bridge of the Hymir, watching through the main view screen as the planet ERISTOCK flickered into view. "Entry into normal space complete, Captain," said Richard, standing at a pedestal near the Captain's holopanel, which was clear glass with light projections of various objects and ship stats. "Good. Lieutenant Evenka, get us into orbit around ERISTOCK; we need drop off the SPARTAN's. Lieutenant Morrurs, remove all weapon safety locks and charge up the MAC guns: we are bound to meet some resistance," ordered the Captain. There were 'Yes sir!'s at appropriate times from the respective officers. Lieutenant Karl Morrurs was a young yet experienced weapons officer, scars ran up and down his face and arms.
      "And Lieutenant Nasian, send a transmission to FLEETCOM that we have arrived in the ERISTOCK system," Captain Geredar said, turning to the COMM officer. Lieutenant Lars Nasian was a large, heavy set man who had just joined up for duty in the Navy. There had been suspicions that he worked as a mercenary before his Navy duty, but no one every proved it. "Yes sir," replied the Lieutenant.
      Soon they would be dropping off the SPARTAN III's then pulling back out into the Earth system. Captain Louis Geredar would be very relieved once they got back home, out of the enemy's territory.

      George sat in the pilot seat of the D77-TC "Pelican" dropship. Sitting in the cargo bay were John, Mark, Sarah, and Luke, the other members of C-team. There were nine other Pelicans in the ship bay, each containing a team of SPARTAN III's. Each of the teams had missions to fulfill, they were just waiting for the Captain's order to move out. George had complete confidence that his men and women would complete their missions and successfully take ERISTOCK.

      Everyone was preparing for their assault on ERISTOCK, yet none of them knew what they were getting themselves into. Public was eyeing some data that, he thought, was very peculiar. One week ago the relativly lightly defended planet had a group of seven prophets land on the surface, and, one day later, defenses increased ten-fold. But Public just pushed it out of his head, figuring it was a temporary thing.

      Mark-524 sat in the back of the Pelican, resting his head against the wall of the cargo bay. Next to him were Luke and John, across from him was Sarah. He liked and respected their leader, George. George was fearless and worked to protect those under his command, trying to earn the trust of his fellow SPARTAN's.
      But Luke, however, Mark was unsure about. Luke very often only worked to protect his own hide, contradictory to the SPARTAN squad-oriented combat tactics. Luke frequently liked to try to provoke George, trying to pick a fight with him. In fact, Mark was unsure on whether Luke would help at all on this mission. But it was not his place to question such things.

      Jaku 'Ilramamee stood at the head of the table before the High Prophets. Seven Prophets made up the Covenant's leadership, and this was the first time in many lifetimes that the entire High Assembly was in the same spot at the same time. Because what 'Ilramamee had found deep in the ground was very worthy of their attention. But now he had to convince all seven of them likewise.
      There were three prophets at each side of the table and one across from 'Ilramamee, each bobbing up and down, staring at the Elite. "As you know, Jaku 'Ilramamee, we are very pressed for time, so speak up, or our time here is wasted," said the Prophet across from 'Ilramamee. "Yes, of course," said Jaku. "Exalted Ones, as you know I was stationed here on Gragudu to search for remains of the Ancients technology. I am responsible for many important finds over the years, and my latest will not prove to be the least valuable." 'Ilramamee rubbed his mandibles together, pleased that he would finally be announcing his latest discovery.
      "Many years ago we discovered several of the Ancients ringworlds, which proved to be very useful in providing us new weaponry and anti-gravity technology. Transportation became faster and more effiecent, ship armor effectiveness doubled, revolutionary plasma weapons were introduced, Slipstream jumps became more precise. But what was only recently found was that housed within each ringworld is a network of weaponry capable of massive destructive power. After we captured and interrogated an AI that called himself '343 Guilty Spark', we knew that an 'Index' could activate the weapons, destroying all sentient life in a vast radius. However, that is not quite correct. Behold," 'Ilramamee pressed a button under the table and a hologram of a huge structure.
      The structure looked like a giant silver pyramid. Protruding from the pointed top of the structure were four elegant, silver strings of light, reaching out to four nearby gold buildings. Grunts and Jackels were digging around the site and carrying things to and from the commanding Field Master's tent.
      "This is the network core. It controls the entire web of ringworlds, giving us access to previously unavailable weaponary options. This is the key to wiping out those filthy humans for good."