In 2551, a Bumblebee lifepod was found drifting in a UNSC region of space. The pod was opened, but nobody was onboard. A SPARTAN soldier and a Marines journal were found inside. The journal was ordered to remain unopened until further notice. It was ordered to be transported to a UNSC intelligence base for study. Those working on it were shocked by the entries in the journal. The entries are below.
13th February, 2551, 11:38 AM
My name is Private Gus Johnson. I was previously assigned to my first mission off Earth 2 weeks ago. The cruiser I was stationed on was destroyed by a Covenant fleet, but myself, three other Privates who I will not name for their own reasons, and a Pilot managed to escape. We are drifting in a Bumblebee-class lifepod, and have been doing so for 2 days. We have used up most of our food supplies, so I don't know how long we will last without help.
14th February, 2551, 7:17 AM
We have spotted a UNSC fleet which appears to have spotted us. Many of us can't wait to get out of this pod.
14th February, 2551, 7:34 AM
We have landed in a docking bay on the fleet's flagship. Strangely, we noticed no names or ID on any of the ships. However, we are now waiting for permission to leave the docking bay. We haven't been approached by any crew members, nor have we seen any. Something isn't right here. Perhaps there has been an illness or an epidemic on board.....
14th February, 2551, 7:56 AM
We have received no instructions or greetings. We have all decided to explore the vessel, and are currently en-route to the Med Bay. Still no sighting of a crew member. However, we did pass a Cryo Bay. There was a SPARTAN inside one of the Cryotubes. He appeared to be alive, so our pilot has volunteered to go to the Controls. If we can successfully wake him up, he may be able to tell us what's going on.
15th February, 2551, 3:22 AM
We've just woken up to strange sounds. First, the COMM system crackled to life, but no-one on the other end. Secondly, we heard what we thought to be echoes of footsteps from the nearby Hallway. We presumed it to be our pilot, but when we called out, the footsteps stopped and everything fell silent. We don't know what is happening here. Now two of us are staying awake at a time, with rifles and pistols at the ready. Our first objective later today will be to find our pilot and get off this ship.
We have no idea on the whereabouts of the crew, the life pods aren't jettisoned, so evacuation seems unlikely, impossible almost...
15th February, 2551, 7:50 AM
We need a way off this ship ASAP! We left the Med Bay to find our Pilot, and we found her all right! She was dead in the hallway, her body twisted and mangled. She had a look of fear on her face. Her whole torso was stripped of flesh, and parts of her legs were gone. We all agree that if the situation becomes worse, we will launch a lifepod containing anything important we find, including this journal. Hopefully someone will find it...
15th February, 2551, 11:02 AM
There was a loud crash somewhere behind us. If someone, or something, is looking for us, then I think they were just at Med Bay. We better move quickly, someone may be following us.
15th February, 2551, 12:04 PM
We have opened the Cryotube containing the SPARTAN. He doesn't recall his name, or what happened to the crew. We have given him orders to take this journal to a launch bay. If we don't get there within 2 hours, he will launch a pod containing himself and the journal. We are going to the bridge to see if we can contact the other vessels in the fleet. He has volunteered to take us to the armory, so we can gather weapons and ammunition, especially for the SPARTAN.
15th February, 2551, 13:52 PM
The armory is empty. No weapons, ammo, just absolutely nothing. Something is definitely wrong...
15th February, 2551, 14:07 PM
The situation here is strange. We were just heading towards the launch bay when a crate crashed against the wall next to us. In shock we jumped through the next doorway and barricaded the door with anything we could. We then heard a loud scratching at the door, but when we peered through the door's windows, there was nothing in the hallway. Nothing at all, yet the scratching continued. Camoflaged maybe...Then what seemed like loud, heavy thudding sounds, like footsteps, but weighted steps, growing fainter and fainter. Whatever it was had started heading back towards the Cryo Bay. Maybe this is why the ship is empty...
15th February, 2551, 14:22 PM
The SPARTAN has amazing strength, even for a SPARTAN soldier. We just got to the entrance of the launch bay, but the doorway was barricaded. It seemed like a group task, but the SPARTAN cleared the doorway by himself. His strength is desirable, even so for a SPARTAN. I wonder what happened to him in that Cryotube. He can't remember much, even his name or number, yet his strength is unmatched, unrivaled.......envied. Perhaps some sort of malfunction caused it?
15th February, 2551, 18:00 PM (?)
I am a SPARTAN. I do not recall my name, number, age, or the date. The date above is approximate based on the previous date and time logged in the journal. There were four marines who headed to the Bridge, and gave me orders to launch this pod. They gave themselves a 2 hour time limit, in which they did not return. I disobeyed my orders and waited a further 45 minutes. They still did not return. As the pod launched, it passed three of the vessels in the fleet. I noticed that there were no crew members on any of the command decks. My further orders include to continue to update this journal. Private Johnson appears to be intrigued by me, and he insists I am of the utmost importance.
We concluded that the strange, yet unseen hostility on the ship is the reasoning behind the absence of crew onboard. Although, if the hostility is the reason, why no proof of death of the crew? It's almost as if they just vanished.
16th February, 2551, 10:00 AM (?)
The date is once again approximate, but that shouldn't matter, as a UNSC cruiser has spotted me. I feel this Journal will be important, so I will finish this entry before docking with the cruiser. I have thought about the fleet I was stationed on. Due to the fact there were no apparent crew members on any of the ships leads me to believe the fleet was abandoned. However, considering the fleet is still operational, and appeared to be moving, it would seem the fleet is still in the command of someone. Also, the marines who I encountered mentioned that their pilot was killed, and also mentioned noises. It is because of these events that I have decided to name the mysterious fleet 'The Ghost Fleet'...