They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Athenians-II: Full Version
Posted By: ZackDark<ftalves@uninet.com.br>
Date: 29 August 2004, 3:53 AM

Read/Post Comments


This series pass on a parallel universe to the Halo universe. Captain Keyes never made out of the Reach battle and all the Spartans II are MIA.


Chapter 1: The Behemoth


Carl "Shade" Dark. Sniper expert. My older brother. He likes to use silencers and 20x scopes on his snipers. Cold blooded and quick at the shot.

Watt "Boulder" Heinz. Heavy weapons. He's the team back-up. SMGs and Rocket Launchers are his favorite weapons. Big and strong.

Peter "Rock" Heinz. Heavy weapons. Watt's identical twin. Same likes and dislikes. Big and strong.

Robert "Grip" Johnson. Grabbing weapons expert. His guns are modified to carry lots of ropes with grips in the end of them. Fast and agile.

Dan "Number 6" Merton. Mechanic. He's best pilot and mechanic I know. Smart and precise.

Julie "Rainbow" Starwer. Background expert. She likes to stay out of the real action. She only does the transport and support missions.

I'm Zack Dark. All-techniques.

We are the Athenians-II, a special soldier division trained to help the Spartans-II. We use ÉNDJÀs battle suits that are similar to the MJOLNIR suits.

We were walking in the middle of a Covenant carrier Behemoth. We walked into a large door and saw that we were in the cantina during the lunch time.

"Ooops." Stone said in a funny tune of voice.

All the Elites, Hunters and Jackals looked up at us. (The Grunts were too busy with their food to do the same.)

"Err...Hello!!!" That was Grip.

Suddenly all the hell broke loose in the cantina. I started to shoot with mine MA5B AR and killed two Elites before they could shield them self up. Four rockets zoomed across the room and a Jackal was blow into dust by two of them as the other two encountered a Hunter. Plasma bolts were throw to us as I tried to reload my rifle. Shade managed to snipe two Hunters from behind me. Grip stole a grenade from a Grunt with his grip weapon and throw it in the middle of the Covenants. Three seconds later the air was filled with Covenant blood. Grunts were now shooting at us too and Brutes entered the fight. The twins took their SMGs and shot with all their rage at the Covenants. Number 6 sniped ten Grunts with his Battle Rifle before a Fuel Rod Cannon bolt hit him, making him fly three meters before hitting the ground. Grip smashed an object that looked like a chair on a Brute head making it fall on an Elite that was shooting at me, killing both of them.

"Nasty." Rock said as he reloaded his SMGs for the fourth time.

Shade sniped more seven Hunters and changed took his Battle Rifle to assist Number 6.
After half of the Covenant in that cantina was dead, an Elite in a plasma covered golden suit entered the room.

My team first reaction was to shoot him but as soon as the bullets touched his suit they melted. As he was only carrying a plasma sword we decided to kill the other Covenant first. When we finished with all of them we realized there were five of that plasma covered Elites.

"Oh, damn." We all said at the same time.

Suddenly all the five of them were charging at us at extreme speed.

"Boy, they're fast." Shouted Shade as one of them almost cut him in the half.

All we could do was to grab plasma swords from Elites corpses and block the attacks.
When I blocked the first attack, I remembered the training days. Block, dodge, attack. Block, dodge, attack. Block, dodge, attack!!! The plasma shield vanished and I cut the Elite in the half. When I looked at my teammates I realized they remembered the training days too.

A minute later I and my team were waiting to ours shields to recharge. The cantina floor was covered by a corpse carpet of Covenants. When our shields fully recharged we walked into the next door. Inside this room were two Brutes and the carrier reactor. The twins took one of the Brutes down in no time with their SMGs and Number 6 took the other one with his Battle Rifle. Shade set up a nuclear explosive near the reactor and the twins blow the hull for us to escape. A modified Pelican, E.M.P. shielded, named "The Doom Puppy" took us before the nuclear explosion could kill us.

The pilot was Julie "Rainbow" Starwer, another Athenian-II.

Two hours later the Pelican boarded the Boomer, a human destroyer.

"Looks like we have another accomplished mission." General Barkingson said as soon as we stepped out off the Pelican. "But I need to talk to you Zack, alone."

Chapter 2: Plasma Tanks

The General took me to his private office.

"We received a transmission from the platoon that was exploring the planet M-2568." He said.

Suddenly, I could hear the transmission in my helmet.

"(Static) we are approaching a strange blue light (static) it's coming from behind that rock. We are closing in. (Static) Wow, this is beautiful and... What's that? (Static) AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!(Static)(Gun shooting could be heard.) We are under attack I repeat we are under attack by...NOO!!!(More gunfire) Stay away from me! AAAAHHHH!!!! (Static)"

The transmission went dead.

"We want you and your team to infiltrate and investigate what happened there." said the General as soon as the transmission was over. "You have an hour to prepare yourselves"

"Sir, yes, sir!" I answered.

As I got out of the General's room I did a mission briefing for my team at the holomap room. There we made strategies to approach the cave the transmission was sent from.

In ten minutes we were all at the armory choosing our weapons. Me, Grip, Shade and Number 6 chose to carry sniper rifles as primary. As secondary, me, Boulder and Stone chose SMGs. Number 6, Grip and Shade chose Battle Rifles as secondary. Boulder and Stone chose Rocket Launchers as primary. We all, except for the twins, took Plasma Swords and grenades. Rainbow would command a Longsword Bomber squadron from The Doom Puppy to bomb the place if didn't escaped alive.

We got to the planet by The Doom Puppy. The place where the cave could be found was all rocky and desert except for a Covenant camping site just around the cave entrance. It was down the valley and as we were 10 kilometer from the valley we had to walk to the top of the little mountains around the valley. Stone and Boulder were too slow because of their heavy weapons and ammo, so we had to walk slowly.

It was night when we arrived there. The Grunts were sleeping as I could see with my sniper. We decided to take out the mass of the Covenant platoon with the twins' launchers and the ones that thought to be lucky of escaping the rockets with the rifles.

I lowered my hand and the first salvo crossed the night. Each rocket killed five Covenant troopers and the sniper bullets made 10 troopers loose their heads. The survivors got into alert status and tried find us, in vain. I lowered my hand again and another massacre started and finished a moment later. The Covenant started to panic. Grunts were running like mad from the enemy they could not see. They heard a noise from a bush beside him.
We got out of our hideouts with our secondary weapons and ripped all the Grunts and Jackals.

Some Brutes got out of their "rooms" so the twins took their launchers and blow the Brutes out. Strangely there were no Elites there.

We all entered the cave. After an hour of walking we saw a distant blue light.

"General, we are approaching it." I informed through the radio.

"Proceed to Phase Two, Zack" The General answered.

"Roger, sir"

We all reloaded our secondary guns and prepared the grenades. We looked over the rock that was covering the source of the light. There were lots of giant plasma tanks, Covenant engineers and gold armored Elites. The Elites were entering the plasma tanks and when they got out they were...

"Oh, damn it."

...covered with plasma. Just like the ones we saw in The Behemoth.

Suddenly all the Elites turned to look at us. That was when the hell broke loose and the devil had fun.
The Elites jumped to our direction as the twin rocket some of them.

"Scratch one bug!!! A hundred to go!!!" Yeah, Boulder is a joker type of guy.

They reached us and we all, except the twins who were rocketing the Elites, took the Plasma Swords and started to fight. Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! Another Elite down. Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! One more corpse on the floor. Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! Block, dodge, attack!!! Eww, that's nasty. Block, dodge... My sword's battery needs a recharge.

I looked around. All of our swords were discharged. We decided to use our grenades.

The Engineers decided to shoot at us with plasma rifles. One bolt was coming straight to me, so I dodged it, but the Plasma Elite behind me couldn't do same. When the third bolt hit him, his plasma shield overcharged and his gold armor started to melt. He screamed in agony as his armor melted with his skin.

I threw a grenade just behind an Elite and when it exploded, he flew in the direction of another Elite and when their plasma shields touched each other they overcharged too, making the armors melt with their skin.

"That's easier." Number 6 said when he saw that happening.

We started to throw grenades at the Elites in a way that they would fly in the direction of other Elite.

When our explosives were over, there were only ten Plasma Elites alive. We thought we were wasted but I remembered the Plasma Rifle, so I ran to one of the Engineers and stole his rifle. All my teammates did the same and we all surrounded the remaining Elites and fired at them until they were only golden bones.

"We're clear. Send Covenant specialists down here." I said at the radio. "We have a trophy here."

Chapter 3: Assault

The Covenant Engineers were interrogated by the specialists.
"Zack!!! Covenant destroyers coming from Slipstream!!!" Rainbow screamed at the INTERCOM. "They're coming out in 5 minutes."
"Where are they going to get out?" I asked her.
"A few kilometers from the atmosphere." She replied.
"Athenians!" I informed the team. "These bastards are going to glass this planet! We need to protect this technology! We're boarding the destroyers!"
"I'm going to catch you guys on the valley." Said Rainbow as soon as I finished the sentence.
"No. We need Longswords. The Pelican will take too long. Long enough for their energy to come back." I told her.
"Ok. Alpha 1, 2 and 3, you're going to take some extra passengers." I could hear Rainbow say by the INTERCOM.
"Alphas, you do not have the permission to full stop. You're going to fly at full speed passing under that metal arc that is in the middle of the valley!" I instructed the pilots.
"Are you crazy?!" Rock said.
"Just shut up and follow me." That was me.
We all went up the arc. We could see the Longswords approaching at full speed. When they were a hundred meters from passing under the arc, we jumped. As we all calculated right, the landing was perfect. Two on each Longsword. The back door opened and we all entered the interceptors. Shade was with me.
"Alphas, we need you to do the boarding maneuver." I said.
The boarding maneuver was an extremely dangerous maneuver if the target had defense cannons active. In this case, they were inactive, for short time, so, timing should be perfect.
We entered the vacuum room of the Longswords. When they were zooming at one meter from the destroyer we jumped out. Two seconds after our landing, the energy came back. Of course that The Boomer destroyed a couple of the Covenant ships before their shields got up, so, the Covenant decided to obliterate it before glassing the planet. What they didn't know was that, twice the much of Covenant ships of human carriers were dropping off Slipstream at that moment, so The Boomer could hide behind one of the planet's moons before being reduced to dust.
Back at us, Shade attached some C-12s in the formation of a circle on the destroyer hull. We walked to a safe distance and blew than up. The others Athenians met us near the hole. We all entered and found ourselves in a narrow, small corridor. The doors were locked because of the vacuum. The hole was slowly regenerating itself from the explosion.
"We must be careful. I expect a whole Covenant squad as soon as this hole closes." Said Number 6.
He was right. As soon as the last millimeter of hole vanished, five Grunts, seven Jackals and a Hunter came from each side of the corridor.
"Got an idea. Let's surrender." I told to the squad.
"Aye, aye." The squad answered.
The Covenants took us to the prisons. We waited 24 hours and by then we already had a plan. When the guards were shifting their turns, they chatted a bit before continuing with their "jobs". When the guards were chatting I punched the force field the hardest I could. It broke for two seconds, enough time for me to get out. The guards didn't realize my escape. I melted in the shadow and silently as the own silent I got behind the guard that stayed in the room and SNAP!!! I broke his neck. Half a minute later, the cells' force fields were down and all of the Athenians-II were armed with plasma pistols and rifles.
We got out of the prison room and headed to the reactor. Unluckily, to the Covenant, the ship's control room was in the way to the reactor. Inside the control room was a Prophet, a Field Master Elite and a Grunt translator. They tried to attack us, but we neutralized them. Prisoners of war.
The Covenants were too coward to shoot at us, just because we had a plasma rifle pointed to the Prophet's head.
They didn't even interfere us when we planted an explosive in the reactor. They even offered us an escape pod. But suddenly the Prophet, as fast as sound, pressed the rifle's trigger, killing himself. Let's say that the Covenants got a "little" mad.
The Hunters charged their cannons, the Jackals charged their pistols and the Elites prepared their rifles. A heartbeat later, a plasma tsunami was coming in our direction. We took ours plasma grenades and throw them just a few meters in front of us. When the plasma grenades blew up, the plasma shots were detoured from their direction, giving us some time.

We used this time very well by entering an escape pod and getting the hell out of that ship.

Two minutes later a huge flash of light announced the nuclear explosion.

We realized that there were only five Covenant ships and they were retreating, but a few thousands of Covenants giant dropships were heading to the planet M-2568 surface.

"A ground assault." I thought out loud. "Very smart. But not smart enough."

I made a little redirection in the pod's trajectory; it was now going to crash with one of the dropships at 100 meters from the ground. Actually, with the biggest dropship that might be able to carry a hundred blood thirsty warriors.

"Athenians, set your hydraulics to the max power!" I ordered to my men. "We are jumping!"

I opened the side hatch and we prepared to jump. We were 50 meters from the dropship and closing in. Rock jumped. 40 meters. Boulder jumped. 30 meters. Grip jumped. 25 meters. Number 6. 20 meters. Shade. 10 meters. I jumped. The pod crashed with the dropship just on the engine. The dropship started to fall. It passed me, Shade, Number 6, Grip, Boulder, but it crashed on Rock.

"NO!!!" Boulder cried.

When the dropship was almost touching the ground, Rock jumped out of its front. As the dropship crashed on the ground a hundred Elites could be heard roaring until the death silenced them. Our time to scream was coming.

"Prepare for impact!!!" I shouted at the INTERCOM.

We "stand up" in the air and rolled at the same millisecond we touched the ground. The roll lowered the crash pressure and the ÉNDJÀ battle suit almost nullified it.

Some of us were able to do a perfect roll, but Grip did a trembling roll and fell on his back, but he was OK. Rock was injured from his crash with the dropship so he did half a roll and broke his left leg.

"Are you Ok, bro?" Boulder asked.

"Hey, I'm an Athenian! A broken leg shouldn't bother me." Rock answered.

Boulder connected his brother's suit with his own, making sure that Rock would be able to cover his six without falling to the ground before the Covenant shot at him.

We headed trough the vast native jungle to the general location of the plasma tanks' valley.

Number 6 was leading us. Suddenly he lifted his hand, fist-closed. He opened the 5 fingers of that hand and made a beak-like shell in front of his helmet. A band of Jackals. We prepared ours assaults and battles rifles attaching silencers to them. The twins did the same with theirs SMGs. A faint orange light could be seen trough the jungle. A band of elites Jackals. And closing in. We hid our selves behind the trees. The orange light was coming closer and closer. When I saw the tip of a plasma shield rising from the tree beside me, I gave the attack signal. Three inaudible shots tored trough each of the Jackals throat, not giving them even the time to wonder what had killed them.

We continued to walk, with no further intermissions, except for a group or two of red armored Elites and Grunts. Nothing to worry about.

We reached the valley, just in time to see dozens of Grunts running out of the cave that kept the plasma tanks. A few seconds after the last Grunt ran out, the ground shake for a split second and a huge smoke cloud exploded out of the cave, indicating the explosion.

"No. It's all lost. The technology that could win the war for us. It's all gone." Shade said feeling both anger for the Covenant and sadness for Earth.

"Or win the war for them." Said Grip, wisely.

"One thing is for sure. These bastards are paying for that mess!" Said Boulder.

"Hell, yeah!!!" Replied Rock.

"Let's kick some Covie ass, people!!!"

Athenians-II Chapter 4: Pay Back Time

We boarded The Doom Puppy. We treated Rocks leg and chosen our arsenal for the engagement. Number 6, Shade and Grip took Battle Rifles with specials shredders rounds. I and the twins took modified SMGs with bigger clips to hold more of their deadly ammo. The twins took the new PML or portable missile launcher. Each PML could carry up to four heavy anti-infantry missiles that had a huge splash damage range. I, Shade and Number 6 took the new and improved M100 Shotgun. This shotgun carries an equivalent of a kilometer of fiber optic cable that could be attached to the ÉNDJÀ suit for computer invasion or camera spying. Its way to load the gun was also improved. The ammo was now stored into clips like the pistols' clips which consequently made the shotgun able to hold much more ammo in one load. Grip took his own old modified MA5B Assault Rifle, with shredders rounds and a tow cable that came out of the place where a normal MA5B would have the flashlight.

The Covies bastards were taking some serious fire from us.

Rainbow dropped us a kilometer from the Covenant LZ. We sprinted as fast as we could with ours "less" heavier weapons. Machine guns for the ones who didn't get it. An Elite was stupid enough to step our way with his roaring roar. He was welcomed in hell with no less than 2 bullet holes on each centimeter of his body.

This warned the whole legion of Covenant that was there. And what a hell of a party we made together.

An Elite came straight to me with his Needler ready. I was reloading from the five Grunts I've killed before. He unloaded his clip on me. The ÉNDJÀ's shield would be able to handle the explosion by itself, but the four Elites' ones surely weren't. A large BOOM, followed by a hard hit on my chest, indicated that the projectiles exploded. A spray of dark blood filled my screen. I cleaned it just to find four Elites dead. At least, what left of then. Seeing what happened, a Hunter tried to ram me. He did throw me away, but, as we, Athenians-II, were trained for this kind of situations, I rolled to my feet faster than the Hunter expected, leaving his flank opened. I've opened fire. A loud roar could be heard as his bond brother got angry at me. He ran at over speed to ram me. I wouldn't be able to survive this, and I didn't have time to avoid him. Stupidly enough, a elite Jackal placed himself in the middle of us to shoot at me. The others Jackals seeing the elite Jackal fly away, started to shoot at the ramming Hunter. A hundred of the shots hit him on the exposed back killing him. Taking vantage from the moment of confusion the twins made a few crater of where the focus of ex-Covenants were standing before they blew up or died been prepared for the hell's burning. When the LZ was pure blood carpeted and dropship wreckage, we tried to call Rainbow for pick up. Strangely the radio wasn't working. Now I was starting to realize that the Covenant LZ was on a huge metal flat polished plate. UNSC had been monitoring this planet's surface for a long time and the Covenant appeared just a few months ago. And it had to take at least a year to build this plate, even with Covenant tech. This plate was made long before the Covenant discovered this planet. The rest of the team realized that to. We decided to investigate.

A few seconds after we realized that, a part of the floor opened and a lift with dozens of Ghosts rose from the hole. Before they could understand what had happened, we opened fire. Two Ghosts exploded with the heavy fire, taking another pair with them. A Ghost came straight at me shooting his plasma at me. I quickly dodged most of them. When the Ghost was a meter from me, I side stepped and quickly hard kicked the pilot, crushing his skull. The Ghost was still on so it kept running forward until I hopped in the pilot seat. I could see that my teammates did the same.

We used other Ghost to confuse the enemy. For example, I used Shade's Ghost to do a 360° air flip and strangle some enemy Ghost pilots while upside down in the flip.

Grip used his MA5B to grab a enemy Ghost and smash it on another, blowing both of them. Ghost zooming every were. Explosions all the time. We were winning, again.

The battle took over the night as more and more Covenant emerged from depths of the hole. I decided to finish it. When the elevator went down for the 68th time, I throw a bunch of grenades in the hole. A large WUMP could be heard as the grenades exploded and a defting BAM indicated the fall of the elevator.

We killed the last of the Covenant and took their Ghosts as ours were almost falling apart.

We were going down.

Chapter 5: Secrets Within

We connected our suits with the shotgun's fiber optic cable. Together, our suit's communicators were able to communicate with Rainbow. She came with The Doom Puppy and lots of ammo and First Aid Kits. We boarded and loaded our guns. The Doom Puppy headed away from the hole just in time to see a heavy destroyer missile entering the hole.

The helmet's screen automatically blackened as the blinding flash indicated the explosion that wiped out every Covenant that could be guarding the elevator door and a little beyond.

When the flash faded, The Doom Puppy started it's descend to bottom of the hole.

The walls that surrounded the hole where made of the same strange metal from the platform. It was a bit scorched from the missile explosion.

When we reached the bottom of the hole, we saw a way wide and tall tunnel. A Longsword squadron would be able to pass through it without a scratch.

"Looks like however who made this thing was a little claustrophobic." Boulder thought out loud.

Almost twelve hour had passed, we were exhausted. Rainbow landed the Pelican so we could get some noiselessly rest.

Suddenly, the earth beneath us began to tremble. Slight at first, the tremors soon increased to terrifying proportions. Huge cracks appeared all around us, fear replaced the bewilderment. The earth cried out in pain as if the cave was about to split into a million of fragments.

The earthquake had begun.

Rocks filled the entrance and were soon reaching us. Rainbow started the engines and fed fuel the motors. We were at full speed, racing for our lives.

When the earthquake stopped, there were no way back, and we had supplies for just a few weeks. We were facing a network of caves, one of which appeared to exude minute traces of light.

Selecting this route, we found ourselves flying through a walled gallery of ancient geometric forms.

The dim traces of light grew stronger as we continued our journey through the galleried cave.

Suddenly, the left wall came to an abrupt end, opening out to display a huge ravine that stretched as far as our enhanced eyes could see.

Waterfalls poured from fissures in the rockface whilst moss-covered walls danced with pin-points of golden lights as thousands of tiny fireflies awoke to our unexpected appearance. But the fireflies weren't the only who awoke with our appearance.

As soon as the fireflies woke up, swarms of Grunts entered the cavern to attack us. As The Doom Puppy was in low altitude, we jumped out to give Rainbow less weight to maneuver. We were with the same weapons from the surface assault. We were at the top of a rock slope and the Grunts were coming up. Missiles, machine guns' bullets and shotguns' shells found their targets as shot at swarm. Pelican's HE Anvil II missiles rushed down the slope and vaporized dozens of Grunts as 40mm bullets mowed another dozens. As fast as it started, the battle finished.

We reloaded our weapons with the ammo within The Doom Puppy and continued our way.

With great care we negotiated our way trough the colossal ravine.

Finally we descended onto a plateau rich in vegetation where the earth had been constantly fed by the abundant waterfalls.

Huge palmicites, bound together by complicated masses of creeping vines, grew above carpets of graminivorous plant life.

Deprived of the vivifying warmth of the nearest star, they were colorless and without perfume.

We took an example of that vegetation and introduced it to the onboard analyzer. The plant was strangely rich in nutrients and had little dots of plasma running in it. The plasma in it was in a harmless quantity. It was eatable.

We decided to take a kilogram of these plants for further consume.

Continuing our way, we found ourselves crossing a gigantic subterranean river.

Realizing that the river was rapidly flowing south, we decided to follow it.

As the waters slowly calmed, stillness filled the air, and as we viewed all around us, we realized that we were on a vast ocean stretching as far as our enhanced eyes could see to an achromatic horizon.

A strange buzz filled the canyon guarding the ocean. We looked back and found three...

"Oh, no."


"Evasive maneuver!!!" I yelled to Rainbow.

Plasma bolts raced to us as The Doom Puppy zigzagged to get them out of its tail.

"It would be a great help if you could guys shake them a bit for me!" Rainbow said.

Missiles, shredder rounds and SMG bullets exploded one of the Seraphs, badly damaging another, that fallen as fast as a Grunt would fall to a point blank shotgun blast. The third managed to evade the heavy rounds remaining almost intact. As the pilot had a really bad aim I decided to board it. When the Seraph was right behind the Pelican, I shot the fiber optic cable from the shotgun. It attached perfectly on the Seraph's hull. I took the other side of the cable and attached it on the Pelican's hull. I crossed it, remembering the old training days.

When I reached the Seraph, I opened the pilot's hatch and the Elite jumped out to confront me. Another dead stupid shotgun blasted Elite went to hell.

The controls weren't so different from the Banshee's one. Shade kindly detached the cable from the Pelican's hull. I raced forward to clear the path for Rainbow.

The river came to a sudden into a giant hole on the "floor". I followed it making sure that Rainbow knew I was going down.

The hole was way deep. About a minute of going down the north side wall came to a small hole. Small, but big enough for a Longsword, so I entered. I found myself in a huge deep cliff with platforms scattered all around it all connected to a central ring and an enormous plasma sphere oscillated in the middle of the colossal ring.

I froze. It had at least one kilometer of diameter and Covenant Engineers were all around it, storing some plasma into a jar like object and putting them into huge machines connected to the surface by gigantic tubes.

"What the hell is that?" Shade said as soon as The Doom Puppy got into the cave with the cliff.

"Sending images to the Boomer now." Rainbow said. "My computer says that a whole fleet is having a war up there."

"Covenant fleet or UNSC fleet?" I asked.

"Both" She answered.

"So we better give'em a hand" I said.

"Oh, right!!! Will have fun today" I told you Boulder was a joker.

Chapter 6: Battle for M-2568

The cliff's cave had a giant tunnel that leaded straight up. I shot the Seraph trough it. When I reached the surface I saw my objective of live. Missiles rushed to reach the Covenant as plasma bolts did the same to burn the UNSC soldiers. Longswords and Seraphs doing spectaculars dogfights. Covenant dropships and Pelicans rushing to drop theirs thirsty for blood soldiers. Grenades exploding everywhere. It was a war.

"Oh, man!!! I thought that a war was tea time in Covenant." Boulder joked.

"Rainbow, take The Doom Puppy to the HQ, wherever it is. I'll try to scout you." I said.

"Roger, Shadow." she replied.

She fed fuel to the motors and the Pelican shot straight to the UNSC mass. I did the same, staying beside her.

Some Banshees tried to attack it, but my Seraph was enough to turn them into molten balls of metal.

When we got near to the HQ area, the turrets started to point at me.

"Wait!!! This is Rainbow, pilot of The Doom Puppy. Do not shoot the Seraph. I repeat, do not shoot the Seraph." I could hear Rainbow saying at her COM.

Suddenly, the turrets calmed down.

"Thanks." I said to her.

When we reached the HQ we saw what it was.

A huge Pelican-like ship. It was at least 25 meters tall and had 200 meters of length and 120 meters of width and an enormous 3 store hangar were a Pelican would have its troop bay. It had machine gun and missile turrets all over it and had one single oversized Gauss turret on each side of it. It was a Harpia.

I landed my Seraph in it, as did Rainbow with her Pelican.

"Wow, I bet a million credits that 4 Longswords could fit on each store." Boulder said over the INTERCOM.

General Barkingson was standing in the middle of the Harpia's top hangar store. We reported to him what happened underground and he told us the situation of the battle. It started just a few minutes after we went down the lift hole. Millions of Banshees went down the hole to get us, so he ordered to bomb them, thinking that we were already way away. The missiles exploded the Banshees but caused the earthquake that almost killed us. Knowing that their Banshees were destroyed, the Covenant realized that their secret was about to be unfold, so they attacked our fleet. Realizing that our fleet was about to be obliterated, the General asked for help, both for ground and space support. A whole UNSC fleet arrived with Harpia carriers, called Harpia/C, like the one we were aboard, and Harpia gunships, called Harpia/G, with ammo and nuclear reactors, for its MAC turrets, instead of the hangar. As the Covenant was at disadvantage in space, they took the battle to ground, as they always do in this situation. Then a few minutes after the battle started we came up. Of course the Harpia/C brought a little surprise for the Covenant instead of herself. One Harpia/C was full of exo-suits, not like the ÉNDJÀ or the MJOLNIR; it was more like a three meter tall humanoid robot with a space in the belly for a pilot; guns on and under the arm part that connects the hand with the elbow; no head; jet packs and tank-like wheels on the inside of the feet. The Exo-skeleton Personal Unit or EPU. Most of them were in the battle, but a few were left in the hangar we were standing.

"They're here because not all the Marines are qualified to use them. I'm sure you guys are a hell qualified for them." Explained the General. "Now I want each one of you using that suit and winning this battle for me."

"Sir, yes, sir!!!" We replied.

"Thank you, sir, but I prefer staying with The Doom Puppy and rescue the wounded, sir." Said Rainbow.

"You have my permission to do that, soldier." Said the General.

"Sir, yes, sir."

I chose the EPU with a darker tone of color than the others, than took a spray can and wrote on its shoulder: Oracle of Darkness.

The twins took the bigger ones and named them Golem I and Golem II.

Number 6 took the fastest and sprayed on it a large 6 in a green circle.

Grip took the lightest and named it Cap'n'Hook.

Shade took the strongest and named it LAAG.

Rainbow took her Pelican heard a call on her radio, gave us a good luck and went away.

I equipped the Oracle of Darkness with a machine gun and a flamethrower on one arm and a machine gun and a TQSLv Missile launcher, the one the twins took to the pay back time, on the other.

Shade equipped the LAAG with a sniper gun and a machine gun on one arm and Gauss rifle with scope lens on the other.

The Golems were equipped with a missile launcher and a heavy machine gun on each arm.

Cap'n'Hook was equipped with a machine gun and a tow cable on one arm and missile launcher and tow cable on the other.

The 6 was equipped with a Plasma Rifle and a grenade launcher on one arm and a heavy Gauss rifle on the other.

We entered them. The ÉNDJÀs automatically connected themselves to the EPUs. My HUD's ammo bar was substituted by a status bar of my EPU. It showed the shield bar, the heat bar (if it goes to high the EPU will automatically shut down to cool itself) and the jet pack energy bar (it regenerated at the same rate as the shield).

I shot my EPU forward at the maximum speed the wheels could give me. I reached the end of hangar. I kept running and jumped at the edge. I did a back flip and perfectly landed 15 meters lower. The others did the same, except for the twins who landed in a ground cracking stomp. The stomp made a small earthquake that broke ours shields

"Hey, that's kind of useful." Said Rock, while our shields recharged.

We raced in the middle of human installations to go to the battlefield. I distracted a little bit and almost turned into wallpaper, as we were at 125km/h. When we finally reached the main exit, from where thousands of Scorpions, Pumas, Rocket Hogs, Gauss Hogs and Troop Hogs made their way out of the camp, we saw our real situation. The Covenants were at five kilometers from our camp and their base was at least twelve kilometers from ours. We had to cross the battlefield, the Covenants that were coming from their base and the ones inside the base in order to blow up their city-sized base.

We did all we could do now. Race ahead and kick some Covenant butt.
A Ghost came straight to me shooting. The shields took the hits and when the Ghost was close enough I slammed it to my right in a hard back-handed arm swing. It went spinning into the air and blew up when it crashed in mid-air with a Wraith tank, which exploded into bits after a missile I sent after hitting the Ghost hit the Wraith.

A group of Grunts and red armored Elites came to close to me and were burned a burst of my flamethrower.

I could see the Golems doing their ground cracking stomps to break any nearby opponent into bits of flesh and metal.

Cap'n'Hook was hooking Banshees and Seraphs and "kindly landing" them on Covenants ground troops and/or vehicles.

6's Gauss rounds were blowing any threat bigger than Grunt.

LAAG's sniper precision-like Gauss shots were taking out Ghosts a kilometer away.

Golem I's missiles were blowing the Covenant dropships; while Golem II's heavy machine gun was covering him from anything that tried to attack them.

With our help the humans were able to take the battlefield to half the way to the Covenant base and to set some booby traps for the Covenant that would be able to pass us.

Plasma mortars were falling like rain all around me and getting closer. The mortars were coming from far away.

"Shade, take the Wraiths at my 9 for me." I ordered him.

"Roger." He replied as Gauss rounds raced through the battlefield to the Wraiths.

Suddenly a fuel rod blob hit me. I turned to the source, ready to blow it up when I saw it. A two meters tall purple metal egg with legs and armed arms. A Covenant version of the EPU.

It shot me another fuel rod blob. I evaded and shot a missile. He evaded too and shot stream of purple crystal needles. There was no way to evade them. A Warthog exploded behind me with the fuel rod blob and a Shadow was reduced to bits with my missile. I ran away from the Covenant EPU making sure the needles were behind me. I turned 180 degrees and waited for the needles to stick with my EPU and then sped up. The Covenant EPU tried to run away from me but its anti-gravitation pods took too much time to turn on. I hugged it and the needles blew up. We were both sent flying to opposite directions. My shields were down and I was sure the other was too.

"Fire." I said over the COM.

A stream of white smoke connected with the Covenant EPU and it blew to orbit. Pieces of scorched metal flew in every each direction. I was on back from the needle explosion. Shade gave me a hand and lifted me up to my EPU's feet. I checked the status of it. It was a step from falling apart.

"Shade, you've got the strongest EPU. Take mine to the base for repairs and come back to battle." I ordered him.

"Sir, yes, sir." He replied.

I looked around me. We managed to advance a kilometer more. There were corpses all around me. I managed to gather a MA5B Assault Rifle and ammo enough for eleven clips and a new S3 Sniper Rifle. It had a clip of six bullets, a zoom of 15x and an A-S attaching port that is used to attach the sniper with any weapon to use its zoom to assist the shooting of the other weapon.

I looked at the battlefield with the sniper.

Lots of Covenants got surprised as their teammates fell to my sniper shots from nowhere.

Suddenly I a blast from my 6 and my shields discharged, triggering the annoying alarm.

I looked back and saw a Brute ready to knock me to unconscious. I shot my MA5B at point blank range.

He howled in pain and gave me a hard punch on my chest, which sent me flying away, but not before I attached a plasma grenade on him. When he realized it he prayed for his painless death, then the grenade exploded.

I checked my armor status. The chest section of my ÉNDJÀ was ruined and the helmet had too much cracks for a simple repair.

A part of the Covenant base exploded but a Covenant cruiser landed at least a million Engineers into the base and at least a thousand of dropships full of Covenant warrior. That vaporized all my hopes.

"General, this is Squad Leader Shadow. I'm afraid you didn't see it but a cruiser just entered normal space and sent reinforcements to the Covenant. I suggest you ask for reinforcements too. And fast." I said over the COM to the base.

"Squad Leader Shadow, call a retreat. We're going to bomb the base with a salvo of nuclear bombs." He answered.

"Negative, sir. The E.M.P. could disable our defenses, giving the remaining Covenant a chance to gather all that plasma my team found within the planet and escape. I believe that if they manage to do that, they will be able to reproduce plasma and destroy all the humanity."

"You're right, Squad Leader. Is your team ready to a lone assault?"

"Negative, sir. My suit is badly damaged and I believe the rest of the team is pretty tired."

"I'll call for reinforcements. Meanwhile I want you and your team back to the base."

"Sir, yes, sir!!! Athenians, we've got a temp retreat. Back to base ASAP."

"Sir, yes, sir!!!" They all said.

"We'll meet at this location." I placed a NAV point on me." Rainbow will pick us there and retrieve us to the base."

Their acknowledgement lights blinked.

They came one by one. We had to squeeze ourselves into the Pelican for the EPUs to enter. When we finally fitted in, we raced to the base.

It was now a small landed frigate, named The Seagull, with lots of Harpias/C landed around it. There were more turrets and other buildings scattered around the base. Now it looked like a military town.

The others left their EPUs in a mechanic and we all entered the frigate. General Barkingson was waiting for us at his office. He told us a little surprise was waiting for us at The Seagull's lab.

We all entered the lift that led straight for the lab.

Chapter 7: Mark Two

The lift stopped. The doors sled apart. The Seagull's lab was colossal. The size of the lab showed that The Seagull was built for experiments instead of battling.

A civilian in a white lab coat led us to a cart that he used to take us to the center of the lab.

He stopped in front large Titanium-A protected door. He told us to enter. We did it.

Inside was an enormous blue colored room. A spotlight was centered at the middle of the room, where Dr. Laura Redhawk, the inventor of the Athenians-II project, was standing. She was now a woman around her fifty's, with a now grey to blond hair and beautiful green eyes. When she selected us and more a dozen other four years old kids to be the next generation of super soldiers, she was only 31 years old. Beside her were six human sized dolls wearing ÉNDJÀs similar to ours, just a feel less bumpy.

"I'm glad you made your way back this quick." She said as we entered the room. "Hello, Zack."

"Dr. Redhawk." I said nodding in a compliment.


"Nice to see you ma'am."

"Watt, Peter."

"Hello, ma'am." They both said in a funny tune of voice.


He kindly nodded like me and said nothing.



"And Julie."

"Good evening, Dr. Laura." Julie was always the closest to Dr. Redhawk.

"As you all know the Covenants are managing to heal any wound we make to them." The Doctor said. "So, what about giving them a wound that will leave scars?"

"That would be really good, ma'am." I replied.

"These are the ÉNDJÀ battle suit Mark Two." She said pointing to the armors. "They are the same as yours Mark One but these ones can do a lot more things. They have heat vision filters with a maximum radius of 200 meters, they can produce fiber optic cables from dust, they have increased speed, improved shielding system and the most important: a port for AI chips with the same interface as a cruiser's one. The AI will be able to control your armor if you get unconscious or if you're out of it and ask for support. Each of you will get a to-be-formatted smart AI. You will set its personality and appearance."

"But ma'am, I thought a smart AI was the one who set its own appearance and personality." I said confused.

"Since you're five years old we, the Athenians-II project crew, had been trying to create a new AI technology that the results will be seen at the moment you put on that to-be-formatted chip into your new suit.

Technicians rushed in the room and helped us to put on the new ÉNDJÀs. I tested it by opening and closing my hands. Even my enhanced eyes couldn't catch the movement. I turned the heat vision on. I saw many red and yellow blobs rushing outside the walls as really dark blue tanks were transported by blue carts that were driven by others red and yellow blobs. I punched myself on the stomach but my hand was stopped by the shield. I inserted the chip into my helmet slot. I chose a name for the AI. It would be Kilmyra. She would have a bit of every capability, but would be expert in code-breaking and intrusion. She would be a bit ironical and would be a beautiful woman. She would be just like the AI aboard the doomed Pillar of Autumn, Cortana, lost in orbit of Reach.

Diagnostics ran across my screen. I felt a sensation of ice running trough my head.

"Hello, my name is Kilmyra. I am now accessing the databases of this frigate. Done. I see your name is Zack "Shadow" Dark, Athenian-II code-number 025." She said as soon as the chip formatted.

"How do they have this kind of information in this frigate?" I thought out loud.

"This frigate is the main experiment lab for all of the UNSC approved secret projects." She replied.

"You all may now insert your AI chips into these slots for more information to them." Said Dr. Redhawk.

We did all as she instructed and prepared for getting some rest and go back to the battle.

After 3 hour of sleep and the UNSC soldiers were still able to hold the battlefield where we left it. We all got to the General's office and he briefed us from his one squad assault he was planning.

He had to be mad. Had too. He was planning to use a untested bomb called Nova to blow up the planet and destroy every Covenant on the planet, including the Covenant cruiser that was storing the strange plasma.

But orders were orders. We were going down again.

Chapter 8: The Nova

Rainbow brought The Doom Puppy to us.

"We're going into a cave swarmed by Covenant in THAT piece of old wreck?" Said Kilmyra.

"Yes." I coldly answered.

I was armed with a M100 Close Combat Shotgun and a MA5B. The others were armed with their specialties.

The Doom Puppy went straight down by the same tunnel we used to get out.

We had to plant the Nova near the planet's core. We were calculating that if we continued our descent trough the cliff till we reach the bottom, we would be near enough to plant the bomb.

There was a problem, however. The plasma sphere was now swarming with Elites and Jackals.

As soon as we entered the cave plasma bolts came from all directions.

"Rainbow, leave us there..." I said putting a NAV point on a distant platform. "... and cover us."

"Roger, sir."

She sped up toward the platform. We jumped out, weapons ready. She lifted the Pelican a little, mowed every Covenant on the nearest platform and went down.

We proceeded to that platform and gathered some plasma grenades. We would cross the platforms maze and take a lift that led downwards. The Nova was in The Doom Puppy but the Covenant would surely make the Nova planting uneasy.

We decided to head to the elevator by the plasma sphere path.

We proceeded. The platform was huge and number of Covenant was too. A golden armored Elite saw us. He yelled something. All the other Covenants turned to us.

"Fire!!!" I yelled over the COM.

A salvo of missiles rose from deep below and rained at the Covenants. Only a few dozens survived.

"That's still a large number of foes." Kilmyra said.

"They will need a thousand more to beat us." I replied.

An Elite tried to attack me. In exchange he got a fist sized shotgun hole on the chest. The same happened to four Jackals. Shade was sniping in a one-shot-kill style, his specialty. The twins were blowing up every Covenant scum within their sight. Grip was throwing Elites in the direction of Jackals, killing both. Number 6 was using his Battle Rifle to precisely mow Jackals down. My shotgun clip emptied, realizing this, an Elite started to shoot at me. I fluidly dodge the plasma bolts Matrix style while I reloaded the M100.

"Hell, this Mark Two is way fast!!!" Said Boulder when he saw me dodging.

The Elite got startled for a few seconds before I blow his face with a shotgun blast.

A few seconds later the platform was clear of living Covenants.

The next platform was actually the ring with the plasma sphere in the middle. It was far and swarmed.

"Let's ask for Rainbow to wipe out these bastards." Said Grip.

"No, it could blow the plasma sphere, killing us all." I said.

"So what will we do?" Asked Number 6.

"We're gonna kick some Covie ass ol' school style!!!" I and Shade said together.

"When you said no support, did you mean no fireworks?" Said Rock in a sad tune of voice.

"Sorry, dude." I said. Then I implemented over the COM. "Rainbow, I saw some Portable Gauss Cannons in The Seagull's armory. Could you get a couple of them to us?"

"Sure thing, Shadow." She replied. One heartbeat later The Doom Puppy shot upwards at the speed of sound.

"Portable Gauss Cannon? Oh right!!!" Said the twins.

"It is not wise to use a weapon based on EMP when using battle armors like yours." Said Kilmyra.

"We'll get around that problem. One way or another." I replied.

"Are you always that brutal?"

"Only for you sweetie."

"Oh, forget it... Wait, I'm entering the Covenant communication net. Translating now. They're preparing to leave and glass the planet. We should hurry."

"Can't you send a hold on signal?"

"Yes, but they would suspect if I asked a few hours."

"Try to hold then for five hours. Send the General an evac signal. Tell him to leave one of the Harpias/G with no crew and with space for one Pelican for us to leave."

"Done. The General has assigned the Harpia/G code KS-1574."

"If we make it to it, change its name to The Millennium Hawk. Rainbow and Shade will pilot it."

"Hey, guys. Who ordered two PGC with extra batteries and rounds?" Said Rainbow.

The twins took the PGC. They looked like a one tube Rocket Launcher with four magnetic accelerators antennas appearing. They both were already with specials EMP absorbing strips.

The twins loaded it. We advanced to the Covenants. A few dozens were killed by sniper shots and Gauss round before they realized they were being attacked. Every time the twins shot, our shields flickered a bit. A hundred Covenant warriors came to us. One Elite came to me using only a Plasma Sword and a fallen Jackal's shield. He was granted for his stupidity with a shotgun blast. A dozen more died the same way. How do these stupid bastards can destroy entire human colonies with this stupidity? War is weird.

Well, when we finally defeated then all, our most feared enemy appeared. A squad of plasma shielded Elites.

They turned their plasma swords on. I turned mine on. One by one, the rest of my team did the same. Before we advanced, the twins tested to shoot some PGC rounds at the Elites. Their plasma shields started to tremble but soon got stable.

"These are not going to work." I said over the COM.

Through all the plasma of the shield I could see that each one of the Elites was grinning.

"Fire!!!" I shouted.

Two Anvil II missiles were headed to the Elites. Two of them raised their hands. They pointed two fingers to the missiles. Suddenly a sound speeded blob of white plasma jumped from the fingers and exploded the missiles.

"We're doomed." Grip said.

"I thought there weren't any more of them and now, they've got new weapons!" Shade said.

One of the Elites roared. They all ran to us. As Grip said, we were doomed.

"Fast, move to your and right punch one of them right on the back of its neck." Kilmyra said.

"Are you nuts?" I said.

"Do it on my mark. Three, two, one, mark!!!"

I dodged the Elite powerful blast and punched him. My shield dropped critically and the temperature controller of my suit got crazy. A tiny spark jumped from the Elite's armor. The plasma shield started to tremble and suddenly overcharged. I took a few steps back. The Elite was roaring in pain. The armor was fusing with his skin. In three seconds all that was left was a plasma pound on the floor with golden bones melting in it.

"How did you know about that?" I said.

"Covenants aren't as paranoid as us to hide every bit of info." She answered.

"Did you tell the others about this weak point?"

"Yes. Although some of the others AI are intrusion masters too, not as good as me of course, and they already knew it."

"You are so convince of yourself."

"Hey, you were the one who chose me too be this way."

"And now I regret it."

"Ok, what about some focus on the... Watch out!!!"

I jumped to my left. Half a second later a white plasma blob missed me by a millimeter. I turned to the source. A Plasma Elite was pointing at me and laughing.

"Oh, my." Said Kilmyra.

"What?" I asked.

"Jump to the right, NOW!!!"

I did it. A millisecond later a laser-thin plasma stream missed me and melted, in a second, the floor beside me. Even after the stream disappeared, the floor continued to melt until it was a three meters diameter hole.

Ten minutes passed and the Elites were using this same stream. The floor looked like a Swiss cheese, full of holes. All the plasma weapons were with no charge at all and ten Elites were still alive, but too far for us to use the punching technique. The path to the lift was clear. Suddenly an idea crossed my mind.

"Shade, can you see the last plasma grenade remaining? It's at your eleven o'clock." I said over the COM while I dodged a plasma stream.

"Yeah." He answered.

"Take it. And prepare to throw it in the plasma core."

"Are you nuts?"

"That's an order."

"Aye, aye, sir."

"Throw on my mark. All the others run to elevator. Shade stay at ten meters from the elevator."

They did so. I stayed near Shade.

"Three. Two. One. Mark!"

He threw the grenade.

"Run to elevator. Activate it. NOW!!!"

He did so just a heartbeat after I stepped on it. The elevator went down just in time to dodge the giant plasma explosion that followed the grenade explosion. The Elites' cries still echoes in my mind.

Two minutes later, the elevator reached the bottom of the cliff. It was hot as my thermometer marked. It took five minutes to set the Nova. We set it to blow in an hour.

Rainbow took us out of the cave. Hundreds of Covenant capital ships were in orbit. Rainbow sped The Doom Puppy to almost sound speed. The Millennium Hawk finally came into view. It was beautiful. It was like any Harpia/G except that there were two MAC turrets, instead of one, and a Pelican-sized blast door on the top of it for the little hangar.

Kilmyra opened the blast door and Rainbow landed.

"I decided we have to change a bit of the plan. Rainbow, you are piloting this ship. Number 6, you go to the NAV station. Shade, Rock and Boulder, you guys are on the weapons stations. Grip, you're going to Engineer." I said. "On the double."

We all ran to the bridge. We went to the battle stations.

"Grip, give this bird max power. Shade, I want a weapon check list. Twins, prepare all weapons. Number 6, Rainbow, take us the hell outta here."

"Roger." They said together.

"Wow." Shade said as the engines roared to life.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Our MAC turrets are equipped with magnetic fields recycler and boosters capacitors." He said. "We can fire three successive shots with one charge. AND we've got 10000 Moray mines and 10 launching systems. That and the 300 missile pods, each with ten HE Anvil III missiles and the 100 turrets scattered around the hull, each with two heavy machine guns that can support 50mm bullets, and a missile launcher, with the same missiles from the PML."

"That's something!!!" Boulder said as the landing gears retracted.

"The Covenants are going to suffer a 'little' bit before this whole shit blows." Rock said as the Millennium Hawk nosed skywards.

"Hit it girl." I said.

The aft thrusters roared into life, sending the Millennium Hawk to space into the speed of sound, literally.

Then, I remembered that Covenant battle ships were orbiting the planet.

"Grip, what do we have for defense?"

"This baby has ten magnetic field distorters." He answered.

"They're useless now!!!" Rock said.

"Actually, recent reports from ONI revealed that the plasma torpedoes are guided by some sort of magnetic field." Kilmyra said by my speakers.

"So, what about testing it?" I said.

"Awesome!!!" The twins said as they high-fived.

"Shade, send a MAC salvo on one of the cruisers." I said. "Party has just started."

Chapter 9: It Had Just Started

The three rounds crossed the two hundred kilometers that separated us from the cruiser and destroyed it before the Covenant saw us.

Three Covenant frigates turned to face us but they thought we were too little to do the mess we did so two of them turned away to look for a bigger target. A big mistake.

The frigate which decided to face us, named Justice Hammer, started to charge its plasma cannons.

"Grip, charge those distorters and the MACs. Rainbow, Number 6, prepare to evasive maneuvers if that distorter doesn't work." I commanded. "Shade, get the missiles fail-safe off. Rock, Boulder, fire the distorters and the missiles on my mark."

Plasma torpedoes zoomed on our way.

"Three. Two. One. MARK!!!"

The torpedoes started to disperse into harmless plasma blobs. Missiles crossed their paths and splashed on the Justice Hammer's shield. It flickered with the impacts and then failed.

"Fire one MAC round at it!" I ordered.

The MAC round impacted on the frigate's hull. It was sent spinning trough space, incapable of stabilizing. It crashed on a cruiser. It shields flickered and faded as the both of them merged and annihilated them both in a blossom of plasma and fire.

Suddenly, the Covenant decided that size didn't matter. The whole fleet turned to us.

"MAC turrets and distorters ready, sir." Grip said.

"Great." I said. "Rainbow, Number 6, do you still remember the V maneuver?"

"Oh, yeah." They both said.

The V maneuver consisted in accelerating towards an enemy ship, pass under it with guns blazing and after advancing a considerable distance from it, accelerate towards it again and pass on the top of it, guns blazing. Seeing by an angle and distance, the maneuver would look like a turned V or a corned C. The advantage of the maneuver is that, when implied on a Covenant ship, the passes would be inside of their shields, giving us a better chance of punching a giant hole on its hull. The other advantage is that, if the Covenant shoot at us, our explosion would destroy a huge part of the Covenant ship. That's why the V maneuver is only suitable for small crafts, because the loss of a big human ship isn't worth the destroying of a Covenant ship.

"So do it, now!!!" I said.

The Millennium Hawk suddenly accelerated toward a two kilometers long cruiser. A storm of plasma was sent our way.


The plasma stopped in the middle of the way and dispersed. We entered the shield. The turrets started to fire upwards. A trail of holes following us. Plasma turrets exploded into waves of plasma and melted the cruiser's hull. The cruiser was opening in two, like a butterfly opening the wings. Millions of Covenant warriors were sucked out of the ship. We got out of the shield.

"Aft cameras." I said.

The image of a cruiser opening in two filled my screen.

"I think the first pass was enough for them, sir." Shade said.

"But we still have to do the other line of the V." I said.

"I love this job." Rock said as the Millennium Hawk turned 180º degrees and nosed 45º upwards. Another cruiser came into view.

"Status." I demanded to Grip.

"Sir, we need a few more time to recharge the distorters." He said.

"Direct auxiliary energy to its recharge." I said. "We need it ready ASAP."

"Roger, sir. It will be fully recharged in one minute."

"Till then," I turned to the pilot. "we will have to rely on your evasive skills."

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be."

The Millennium Hawk accelerated to full speed toward the new target. Plasma torpedoes were sent to us. When the first one was at a hundred meters and approaching, Rainbow rolled left up and started to dodge the others torpedoes with extremely high risks of touching one.

"Distorters charged and on." Grip said.

The plasma dispersed, starting a relief sigh of Rainbow.

We entered the shield. The dorsal turrets opened the cruiser like a knife would open a bread.

"We must hurry; the Nova is going to blow in one point seven five two minutes!!!" Kilmyra said.

"Charge the Slipstream engines; we're going 'home'." I said to Grip.

The space around us started to stretch and pin-points of lights flooded the Millennium Hawk. A huge explosion wiped out the whole Covenant fleet and was getting near us. The explosion disappeared as we entered the Slipspace.

"That's the end of it." Shade said.

"No, I'm feeling there will be a lot more." I said. "It was just the start."