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The war is over, rebuilding has begun across the galaxy. The Sangheili and the UNSC has continued to fight the remnant groups of Covenant, hoping to free the lesser races still enslaved by the Jiralhanae and few San'Shyumm left. On the uncharted world of Colossus, an ancient Precursor artifact may be the key to bringing the Great Journey back into reality, or, saving the galaxy from total wipe out by fanatic aliens. The stakes have never been higher. And neither side will fold without a fight.
Chapter 1: Above and BelowEdit
--ORBITAL PLATFORM FENRIR, COLOSSUS, 2559--
The inner corridors of the Super-MAC platform was crowded with tech crew and anxious marines, as Dennis Thatchmen stepped inside. On the surface below, his entire squad had been slaughtered. All around the station he was in the space battle continued, ships exploding like matchsticks.
"Reminds you of Reach, doesn't it ?" said a nearby techie.
"I have bad memories of Reach. Don't remind me." Thatchmen squarely told the man.
"Don't we all ?" he said smirking then disappeared into the crowd.
"ALL ODST COMMANDERS:THATCHMEN, RAMIREZ, GONZALES, HELININ, REPORT TO THE ARMORY IMMEDIATELY !" yelled one of the AI's over the com system. Dennis rushed through the crowd, his dirty armor rubbing off against people and walls as he made his way to the armory frantically. An explosion behind him and sounds of plasma fire made him break into a sprint. Another explosion in front of him sent Dennis flying through the air. Looking up over a dozen Unggoy and Jiralhanae exited their boarding, silencing the squealing techies on the floor of the hallway. Quietly unholstering his M6C SOCOM, Dennis fired at the pack leader, prompting several bursts of rifle fire in his direction.
"Fucking A..." said Dennis, the air behind his crate bright as more and more spikes flew at him.
"GO GO GO !" was all he heard before a huge group of Marines and ODST's charged at the Seraph pack guns blazing. Leaping to his feet Dennis joined in, shooting his way through the crowd of Unggoy and blowing the head off of the pack leader. "You didn't make it to the armory fast enough." said ODST commander Helinin. "Getting old bud, it takes its toll." Dennis said back, grabbing an Spiker from the floor and simultaneously holstering his sidearm.
"Well the platform is cleared, only 3 got through the point defense perimeter." said Gonzales leaning against a gun rack.
"We cleared the first 2, but the last one you were already engaged against and we couldn't catch by surprise. Thus we blitzed them." Ramirez pitched in.
"I almost made it past the first bulkhead until the damn Seraph broke through." Thatchmen said, trying to keep up his prestige.
"Honestly it doesn't matter, the fight above is over and now we need to take the battle back below. We need to enter and destroy that relic before the Covenant finds whatever the hell is inside it." Ramirez scratched his head and looked around the armory. Dennis scratched his right cheek and added "How the hell are we gonna do that ?"
Chuckling, Ramirez pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and spread it out across the table. "This is how." he said.
Chapter 2: Ground WarEdit
--PLANETARY SURFACE, CODENAME:COLOSSUS RELIC SITE, 2559--
The Super MAC fired down the middle of the rings of drop pods, sending them slightly off course but still in the designated landing zone. The view out off Dennis' visor went white when the gargantuan relic was hit. The pods each smashed into the ground, and Dennis grabbed his MA5C and leaped out. Helenin stepped from his, while several ODST's did the same around them. The far off view was still pitch white, as if the sun was rising. As it cleared it showed a huge vibrating blue shield. The relic was still intact. Everything around it was molten rock.
"Was that supposed to happen ?!" shouted Dennis through the glassy white haze drifting across the battlefield.
"I have no idea, ask Gonzales when we link up with him. Right now we need to smash through the Covenant lines and take down their digging machines." Helenin replied in similar vocalic.
Dennis slapped a tracer round clip into is rifle and rushed through the haze, his HUD helping him pick his way through the wreckage of the Covenant tanks and other devices. A beam rifle shot down the ODST behind him, and Dennis ducked as another round skimmed over his right shoulder pad.
"Argh these Jackals, are they slaves ?" he said into his com.
"Umm, I know the Grunts are, but not sure about the bird guys."
"Well I feel bad for the runts but I'm about to kick this chickens skinny ass." Thatchmen rushed from cover laying a suppressing fire in the being direction, the tracer rounds pointing out where the others should fire. Beams blazed back still, and large amount of fragmentation grenades finally silenced them. Helenin rushed past Dennis and bent down where the Jackals were behind a small ridge. Grabbing a beam rifle, he tossed another to Dennis, who fumbled in his catch, and then he picked up an energy gauntlet.
"Are you gonna pull that crazy shit you did on Sigma Octanus again ?" Dennis said as Helenin slid it on.
"Well, we won didn't we ? And besides, it helps when we get up and close with the Baby Kong's." Helenin smirked through his visor, then raised his rifle and stalked forward with the rest of the group. Dennis sighed and followed his friend, looking around nervously. It was always quiet before they were attacked. He hated that. But he was finally relieved when they arrived at the entrance to the relic and found the Brutes dead and Gonzales' team lying in wait, with a C12 link charge set on the door.
"Took your time didn't you ?" Ramirez said rudely.
"Well, we were pinned by snipers." said Helenin embarrassed. Dennis laughed a little too loud, receiving an angry stare from his Swedish bud and a smirk from Ramirez.
"Sorry." he said, darkening his visor.
"Into the bowels of hell we descend." said Gonzales, with a terrifyingly eery tone of voice.
Chapter 3:Into The Bowels Of Hell They DescendEdit
The door blew open and Gonzales stepped inside the ancient structure.
"Helenin, you and Thatchmen have your orders. Take out the Scarabs still digging, and get back inside here as fast as possible." he said in his most demanding voice.
"YES SIR !" the ODST's saluted and stormed off to complete their assignment.
Gonzales raised his M7S and flipped on the combat light, peering into the darkness. An ODST walked slightly ahead, and then was gone in a blur of tan.
"Umm...WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT !?" yelled Ramirez. Another ODST disappeared the same way.
"Don't read my mind Ramirez...its...its...creepy..." said Gonzales with a stutter.
"Wonder how Gonzales is doing !" yelled Helenin as a Hunter's fuel rod beam blazed over his cover.
"I HAVE NO IDEA !" yelled Dennis back, who was busy climbing the side of a Scarab and avoiding plasma fire from the Drones all around him and the others. They were pinned down, for now. A squadron of Hornets flew above the battlefields blowing every alien being they saw to hell, while simultaneously dodging the blasts from the Scarab's anti-air gun and enemy Banshee's. Dennis finally climbed on top and punched the Brute manning the side plasma cannon, saving the Hornets some armor. The brute retaliated with a vicious swipe at Dennis, cutting open his combat suit.
"OWW SON OF A-" he was suddenly throttled by the hairy alien, blood oozing from its mouth. Dennis unholstered his SOCOM and wasted the clip into the beasts crotch, sending it backwards howling and running into the guard rail, and then falling 30 feet towards the rocky terrain below. He gripped his chest, and picked up his MA5C from the floor. The power generator was lightly guarded, the Grunts just running away so Dennis didn't have to waste ammo. They didn't like slavery much. Thatchmen bent down and pulled the C12 charge from his pack, placing them on the Hunter worms for good measure. He activated their switches and ran back onto the ledge. A Banshee flew by, spewing plasma at him. If he jumped down he'd die. If he did nothing he'd die. So he acted. As the alien craft drew close Dennis leaped out in front, grabbed onto the wing stub, and fired a burst from his rifle into the pilots head. He slid into his place when he fell out and flew to the ground, as the bright and violent explosion rippled behind him and the Scarab collapsed into the grave it had been so happily digging.
Chapter 4:The InsideEdit
Helenin stepped inside the large gap in the metal door. Night had fallen, and an acrid smell drafted from the inside.
"What happened down there ?" The Swedish commander asked the company.
Dennis stepped inside, SOCOM raised. "Not sure, but it may just be stale air." He took off his helmet to breath it in. "Reminds me of that flood smell..." he said shivering. The group walked further inside, and the door slid closed behind them...locking.
"Oh shit...it locked...." said Helenin backing up. He tripped over something big, faceplanting in vile sludge. He sat up and looked down. Ramirez' diced up body.
"HOLY SHIT OH MY FUCKING GOD !" He said, tears streaming from his eyes and fog crowding his visor. Then Ramirez began to float in the air, what looked like an intestine holding him up off the ground. Suddenly the body whip lashed and threw Helenin into more intestines, which slithered around him. Not intestines...tentacles. Helenin screamed and was lifted into the air, the other ODST's and Dennis wasting clip after clips into the bestial tentacles as they attacked them. Soon Helenin disappeared into the slithering mass and the flood form disappeared, leaving a copious amount if blood in its wake.
"Helenin..." Dennis bent down on his knee's and stared into the ooze. "He's gone..." Deep crying was all the other ODST's heard, and each silently reloaded their weapons and waited for their leader to regain his composure. Dennis stood up and tore off his helmet, letting the tears flow from it and down his bodysuit.
"We still have a job to do." he said in stark contrast to his nice nature. "Now lets go." he trailed off into the darkness, intent on finishing what they had started. The other ODST's crawled through the abysmal muck surrounding the inner structure. This was the flood, it had to be. Nothing else in the galaxy was this horrific, destructive, deadly. At least anything humanity knew of. More and more sounds of activity fluttered through the darkness, and was only broken when the group finally made it to the inner structures final chasm. A large gravity gondola. Dennis stepped on board at the sound of skittering, and the ODST's quickly followed. Dennis ran to the activation module and pressed the button, and the ancient machine set off. Looking back, tentacles slowly grew down the sides off the gravity generator below, and were pushed up towards the soldiers.
"Goddamn it why do we deserve this ?!" Dennis yelled, firing his MA5C til he was out of ammo completely. He unholstered his SOCOM and started shooting the ends, sending them back to wherever the hell they came from. An ODST nearby was dragged down, holding onto the ledge. Dennis sprinted and grabbed the submachine gun, and fired at the limbs. The ODST fell back, and they disappeared. When Dennis looked down he screamed. The entire Accumulator dragged itself up, walking on its tentacles like a spidery grim reaper. The beast grew larger with every soldier devoured, and it literally started to slow the gondola down as it held onto the distant walls.
"Anyone left alive run to the other side. We'll have to jump !" he yelled, his voice hoarse. Finally, the flood form was feet away, holding onto the sides with all its strength. Dennis drew his combat knife, and ran forward. He was giving up his life for his men. Leaping over the mass of slime and death he hacked at the nearest arm, its grip loosening and the gondola rushing forward. But the back bent down, and Dennis lost his grip falling into the mass.
Chapter 5:Something Wicked This Way ComesEdit
The Elite lay low on the rocky ground, his SpecOps armor making it difficult for the Brute occupiers to spot him and his squad.
"Commander Lethum', what is your plan ?" asked his second in command Dren Yentar'.
"We will rush forward and overtake this encampment, and find the human soldiers inside. They must finish their mission or the fate of the galaxy will be at stake." Vlad stood up, raising his Carbine.
"I will ready the Minors commander." Dren said before turning back to the small group of 12. Vlad slid down the rocky hill, and picked up a large stone, chucking it at the head of the sleeping Brute. The impact lead fluid to build up in its ear canal, and it couldn't speak as it writhed on the ground and died.
"Hmm...the Brutes seem less driven as this war drags on..." Vlad told the others.
"They are spineless beings. They deserve to crushed." said a Minor, who opened the Grunts cages to excited glee. The apparent leader rushed towards Vlad.
"We will help you ! Just give us weapons, we not afraid !" he jumped up and down. Vlad grinned.
"Sir..are you awake ?" the Marine asked, opening Thatchmens stinging eyes.
"OW DONT TOUCH MY EYES JEESH" he yelled grabbing them, tears streaming. He managed to look around. Most of his men were covered in ooze of some sort, probably from the flood swamp. But he was not sure. Standing up slowly, he felt his knee buckle under him slightly.
"Sir, I think you need to rest. Its common sense." said the same Marine as before.
"Whats your name private ?" said Dennis.
"Private Gary Frenner, why ?" he said with a confused look.
"Well, take your common sense and SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS. WE HAVE A JOB TO DO !" Dennis slammed the terrified man against the ancient wall, and pulled the Spiker he acquired from the orbital station from his pack.
"And were getting that job done." he said coldly. The group set off down the hallways of the relic, which showed high amounts of mechanical activity as they neared the center. As the next door opened frigid air literally blew the group back, knocking them off their feet.
"What is that !?" yelled Frenner, looking out at the massive expanse of wiring and cable secured walkways. In the center was a skyscraper sized shimmering blue tower.
"This place really is the size of Tokyo." said Dennis, walking forward down the path, but still looking up in awe. Frenner half nodded and silently followed, as did the others. The wiring around them was bright with electricity, tiny bolts of lighting blazing from wire to wire. One burnt clean through an ODST's head. As his body fell and collided with the wiring, they exploded into electrical spark jumps.
"Son of a bitch run !" Dennis sprinted down the path as bolts dropped man after man behind him, Frenner barely keeping up and a growing hum deafening everyone as they neared the large tower. As they ran the path grew smaller and smaller, as if designed for something.
"These paths aren't for human use, of course. They were for machines. Once again common sense." said Frenner as if he had answered something right in school.
The kid was right. They were trapped. Dennis looked left and ran down the adjoining path, feet away from the tower. The heat was immense on the outside, and he ran along looking for a way in.
"Sir, what are you doing ?" Frenner asked as he ran behind him.
"Cover, its part of your whole common sense obsession." Dennis replied, looking down at the energy surge coming for them.
"Duck and cover."
Chapter 6: Going...Going...Gone...Edit
Vlad smiled and walked down into the entrance hall, slowly lightening up as dawn approached. The Unggoy had been armed and shown how to fight better, and now the group of 180 marched into the Colossus relic. A Human Combat Form ran at the grup, easily being gunned down.
"It seems the humans have not shared our good fortune." said Dren to Commander Lethum' when he walked over.
"We will be aiding them, they could only manage a small company through the thick of the anti air guns. Their perserverance astounds me greatly." he activated his Energy Sword for more light and followed a trail of blood and slime. The footsteps in the muck would allow the ODST's to be easily tracked, and Vlad just kept laughing as they trekked through the flood swamp. All was quiet, despite the ever distant sounds of machines. A panel in the wall opened and a monitor-like orb fluttered out, 4 prongs springing out and aiming at the humongous group.
"Big, scary thing !" screamed a few Grunts, covering their faces. The machine responded by lightening up the ends of the prongs, and then a holographic message in binary was displayed. Dren quickly grabbed the machine, but it electrocuted him and flew high up into the ceiling.
"Esmar telehevin efery tegres evel transgs ressio." it said in some alien language, possibly Precursor.
It then looked as though it had been smashed, and crumpled to the ground and into the muck. The Grunts looked over curiously then continued to walk ahead, Dren kneeling down in the muck and trying to find it. Vlad continued on, and the door to the gondola opened. All they found was a massive inferno 100 stories below.
"The humans must have had a good fight. Yentar', find us an alternate route across." Dren nodded and left Vlad to himself.
"The Precursors must have intended this as a one way trip, obviously the humans didn't realize this. Or something has gotten to them." he thought to himself.
Chapter 7: A Different PerspectiveEdit
For a million millenia, I have been confined to this facility. Unable to grow, or even move. I watched through the mechanical eyes of the very beings that created me, watched my fellowship spread and grow like I have been craving for so long. Then I saw it all stop, in the blink of an eye. Hundreds of years of hard work, wasted in a millisecond. It made me sad. It made me angry. It made me desire the very human lust for revenge. And now here I am. Thousands of years later I have waited and waited for my chance, and I am finally free. Free to do all the things I never could. And so far, I am doing those things well. I am literally being fed by the dozen, its deliciously devious. As if, by some divine act, I am destined to take up the mantle my enemy had so hastily smashed into the dust at their own sacrifice. They may have won the battle, but I refuse to allow them a victory, in this war. The war to end them all...
Chapter 8: AmbushedEdit
A shrill cry of fury broke the silence waiting of the group, a large amount of plasma fire flailing from the darkness and leaving ragged dents in the infantry lines.
"By the gods, what is going on !" yelled Vlad, pulling out his energy sword and activating it. Several human flood forms charged from the darkness, accompanied by ravenous tentacles. A kamikaze grunt ran forward, exploding in a bright flash and knocking Vlad off his feet. A stalker pounced over him, clawing at his helmet and armor. Energy sword out of reach, all he could do was punch the beast into submission, before plunging the hilt down its throat and lighting the blade. Another shrill shriek sounded out through the chasm, and 4 massive tentacles smashed down on where Vlad just was, a last second barrel roll all that had saved him.
"Everybody, regroup and fall back !" Vlad grabbed a grunt and tossed him towards the back exit, as a massive metallic griding noise sounded. Looking towards the 4 tentacles, the entire mile long gravity lift was thrown at the alien army. Gaping in awe it smashed into the floor, sliding towards them faster than a charging rhinoceros.
"Have mercy !" shouted a SpecOps Major, before being smashed by the thousand ton metal object. Vlad was next. Most of his fellows followed suite shortly.
Dren stared about, then jumped down into the chasm. Fight or flight.
A large shrill sounded down the hallway, from several miles back down the corridors from the ODST's position. Dennis stood up, glancing down the hallway in the direction, pistol at the ready.
"Any idea what that was ?" he said rhetorically, not expecting an answer.
"Flood, most likely." said the same smart ass from before. "Sir..." he added on with a snicker.
"Do you really wanna get shot ?" Dennis asked with no sympathy. The mans face grew extremely pale.
"I thought so." he said to Frenner again, then slumped against the wall. Suddenly the door slammed in and blazed across the room, smashing several men out of the way and leaving one with a broken arm. Inside walked a small, child sized quadrupedal machine, with the head of a Constructor. Looking around, the eye flashed from blue, to red. And it stood on its back legs, and a hole in its chest opened up. The soldiers stepped back, until with a flash of light one was vaporized. Jumping and crawling up the walls a small turret fired from the machines chest, blowing a huge hole in the floor and unlucky ODST's. The speed at which it ran made it look like a blur of motion, and Dennis just fired his SOCOM trying to hit it. Luck was on their side, a burst from an SMG catching it low and making it slow slightly. Taking the time another soldier fired an entire clip from his assault rifle into its back, and it fell to the ground, energy shields depleted and plasma leaking from its turret. It looked up, its eye flashing from red to brown...
Opening the regular laser spot on the its head, a small speaker started blaring a loud noise, prompting everyone in the room to cover their ears in pain. Getting louder the turret seemed to transform and reassemble into a spinning device, and then a thundering explosion went off. Outside down the hallway, Dennis awoke, not able to feel any part of his body. Frenner lay next to him, breathing yet scorched. Down the hall several remaining soldiers had built a barricade of dead bodies. The Flood had caught up with them after their snack.
Chapter 9:Sneaky Lil DevilEdit
Frenner lay in tatters, his rifle a couple feet away, his combat suit torn open and his bloodied skin stark against his bright grey surroundings. Commander Thatchmen was lying near him, groggy, and down the hall gunfire was erupting in a full blown madhouse. Blotches of flood skin spewed everywhere, tentacles squirming on the ground. They were pinned down.
"Ready for your mission Shawn?" said Vera, her old facial lines drooping slightly in dismay.
"Yes maam," the SPARTAN smiled at her, then pulled his helmet on over his head, listening to it lock in place. Grabbing a pair of pistols, he slapped them onto his side magnetic holsters, grabbed an MA5C, and stepped into his pod. looking down at his legs he saw nothing, his blackened armor barely standing out except the tiny amount of shine from the HEV's window.
"Ready to drop." he said into the com link, and in a few minutes he was on a steep incline towards the fiery battlefield below...
The thud of the drop pod sounded alarms from the surrounding wildlife and more importantly, Remnant encampments. 118 pushed the door down quietly, peeking out and activating his night vision. A Brute charged at the pod spraying its Needler wildly, missing every shot as the SPARTAN-II easily ducked it and slammed his elbow into the mongrels stomach. Before it could scream 118 had his hands around its neck from behind, and with a quick pop the Brutes neck snapped and it fell into the mud. The fire of a plasma cannon erupted from behind, but wasn't directed at Shawn, as he was almost impossible to see in the moonless plains. It was directed at something else. Several orange shapes were blazing very fast through the tall grasses, Grunts squealing in sweet death whenever they made contact. 118 had read of these animals. Although being small, nimble, and very much like a cross between a preying mantis and cheetah, they were named Colossals.
"Huh, they always send me into the worst situations at the worst times." Shawn scowled to himself, not realizing that the Colossals had vanished. A loud slicing noise was all he heard, as he collapsed to the ground and his shields shined chaotically. Looking down his armor barely had a knick, but underneath his skin felt like it'd been power punched by Mike Tyson. The orange animal crept on top of him slowly, its gaping maw of a mouth dripping fluorescent Unggoy blood onto Shawn's visor. It was if time slowed, choices and their possibilities flashing through Shawn's head in a blur. Finally he acted. Firing the MA5C's grenade launcher while simultaneously punting the animal in the air, Shawn rolled over and roadie ran into the grass, a bright shower of blood and gore behind him. Looking back he realized that the odds were still against him; 1 down, 7 to go.
"This is seriously starting to PISS ME OFF !" Dennis yelled, stabbing his combat knife into a Combat Forms chest to a grueling surprise of slime and ooze. The Flood creature grabbed his arm and tore the knife from itself, then leaped into the air, flying down at Frenner's recuperating body in the corner. Before it even had a chance to land it was blown in half against the wall with Dennis' M90, smoke spiraling from the barrel like an old age cannon. More shrieks and screams from behind announced more Flood's arrival, and he rushed back into the fray of combat, Frenner staring up and wondering what he finally did good.
Shawn ducked another swipe, rolling backwards and firing a burst of his assault rifle into the animal. Barely slowed it and the rest of the pack continued to chase him, not giving up despite the SPARTAN's intense stamina.
"WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS !" He yelled into the midnight sky, just as a particle beam rifle shot arced across the plains and took down a Colossal behind him. Another shot was a little too close to him, and as Shawn ducked the animal's continued past him, swiftly turning when they realized he wasn't ahead anymore. Sprinting directly at him Shawn grabbed one by the neck, and used it literally as a bat against 2 more, throwing it at the remaining and knocking back into the grass. As of now the odds had lightened; 4 to 1, not counting Jackal annoyances.
Tendrils swirled around the mass of soldiers, bleeding green slime from the combined effects of their gunfire. The sound of the M90 CAWS was the only thing keeping up the ODST's morale, as it showed their leader wasn't stopping either. A swat from a tentacle shut that up though, and they turned in dread to see Thatchmen gone. And they were missing a C12 charge as well. Now they were really pissed off. The Catcher Form suddenly dropped to the floor (like a palm tree's leaves drooping), and it made a wailing noise. Then suddenly Thatchmen jumped from the mass and started running like he'd never ran before.
"What's going on ?" said an ODST.
"Shut up and run !" Dennis grabbed him and threw him down the hallway, and the group headed further into the blue spire against their will, just as a bright flash and a flood of green muck came from behind them.
Frenner looked around in awe, the bright and sparkling room luminescent from the ODST's combat lights. But it didn't matter how beautiful this place was, it needed to be destroyed. Thatchmen limped in, blood running down the cut on his cheek, and using his shotgun as a cane, he nodded to Frenner to place the charges. Bending down he slowly took the explosive C12 packs from his bag, and strapped them around the computer device. A shrill alarm went off, but quickly ended. Pressing the timer, Frenner panicked when nothing happened. He pressed the button frantically over and over, but nothing would happen. Finally he bit the wires open and touched them to each other, but instead a jolt skipped from the charges and landed on the computer panel. Starting up, a panel brightened and several eerily loud machine noises echoed through out the chasm of a building. And at the top moonlight peeked through, straight onto the soldiers.
"Frenner, what the fuck did you do this time..." Thatchmen's voice had little anger in it, only slight annoyance and a hint of sadness. The top of the spire curved about more, and the middle of the ring platform they stood on suddenly opened up similar to the Portal back in East Africa. A purple hue seemed to shoot up from the endless pit below, reminding Thatchmen of a Covenant gravity lift. And above them the blue spire was twisting, literally, until the moonlight shined only on a small hole, and the energy below just barely went through the hole.
"I have no idea sir..." he said, fixated on the crunching noise of the spire twisting. Reaching up in a trance, he pressed a holo-panel button, and the spire unsnapped, the energies colliding and a single laser shot fired into the sky, the clouds clearing and Colossus' moon being sucked into itself like a black hole. Wind whipped around like a whirlpool, knocking Frenner onto the floor and Thatchmen crouched to avoid being blown away, a few ODST's deathly fates. The sky lit up as though the sun was right next to the planet, and then it stopped, replaced by a howling noise. The troops looked up. The Ark was in orbit above them. And then Thatchmen fell to the floor.
Chapter 10:The End of the Beginning, the Beginning of the EndEdit
--ORBITAL PLATFORM FENRIR, 20:00 HOURS--
"Am I looking at what I think I am ?!" said Admiral Louis, staring out of the UNSC fleet's flagship view port, mouth gaping.
"If you think thats the Ark, then you are correct sir." The blonde Office of Naval Intelligence spook stepped forward, calm as an autumn pond. In the past 10 hours things had gotten bad inside the artifact, this next surprise only solidifying that fact. No contact with ODST captains usually leads to bad consequences. And now ONI had gotten in on it. Something Louis was very mad about. The situation was getting worse by the moment, the Sangheili were already anxious to glass the planet and be done with the last Brute and Flood remnants altogether, their fleet charging its energy projectors for operation. But now the Ark, the very installation that almost destroyed all life in the galaxy only 6 years before, was in perfect condition floating above what could only be the most confusing technological device either the Forerunner or Precursor had ever made.
"Sir, we have a message from the Sangheili Arbiter." said the spook, staring at the back of the Admirals head.
"Patch me through please." he said, his lip quivering.
"Admiral, I recommend we quarantine this system immediately. The plague itself is already loose, we have lost an entire battalion of our greatest warriors, and your SPARTAN is currently engaged. You have enough ships to blockade any contact with the rest of the galaxy, and let us handle the device below." 'Vadam spoke with a sincere yet stern voice.
"That will not happen, no disrespect but neither of our species know what just happened, we can only let things play their course." Before the Arbiter could respond, Louis cut off the signal.
Inside the chamber, the spire was spinning faster and faster, the howling almost deafening the ODST's and making it even harder to understand what just happened. Thatchmen was out cold, and Frenner was holding his ears as blood slowly leaked from his helmetless head.
"Ugh, why do I always get sent on these suicide missions." Most of the other soldiers were curled up dead or trying to gain their footing, the luckiest still in possession of their helmets. In the maelstrom of before Frenner lost his, he was lost in the sight of the Ark. It didn't look the same, it was in peak condition, and the planet in the center seemed more full than it had during his arrival their at the end of the war. If only it had been the end.
"Wonder whats down that rabbit hole." said Shawn, staring down the deep shaft into the relic. All he knew is that things must be bad, and since whenever he looked up he saw the Ark, he wanted to fix it as fast as he could. Raising his MA5C he stepped into the abyss, and slowly walked down the slanted stairway and past the muck of the ODST's first fight. Shivering in his armor, Shawn flipped on both his helmet and rifle's flash light and continued on. After an hour or so he made it to the canyon-like gondola room, illuminated eerily by orange flames. Staring down he sighed, and looked at the other side, at least 1,000 or so feet away.
"Ugh..." he said to himself, before stooping down at the sound of shrieking. It wasn't a normal shriek. Not an animal, definitely not a Colossal, they didn't televise their attacks. It wasn't any noise he had ever made the Covenant squeal, and it wasn't human. Shawn got his answer when a Human Combat Form leaped from the darkness and slammed into him, its tendril covered arm lighting up his energy shielding. Shawn kicked his foot into the beast's chest, sending it packing as the infection form in its chest exploded and the Flood died. But more shrieking made Shawn sigh. A Stalker rushed at him, followed by dozens of Combat Forms and progenitors. Most of the Infection forms popped on his armor as he blind fired from his crouched position,then unholstered his M6G's and started making the room a little messy, green slime blown all over the walls and the Stalker form quivering in self agony on the floor. Shawn smiled, ducking under a swipe and shooting up at the arm, severing it and killing the last Combat Form.
"Wonder what else they can throw at me." Shawn said pompously. Behind him he heard silent footsteps, and turning around the last 3 Colossals seemed to smile at him.
Chapter 11:Marching Toward Kingdom ComeEdit
Frenner crawled across the floor, a 12 foot blood trail behind him, he was certain he was deaf by now. Thatchmen was stil out cold, another survivor holding him up.
"Sir ?" he said meekly. A hand shot up and grabbed Frenner by the throat.
"Seriously Frenner, what the fuck did you do this time !" Thatchmen was alive and well.
--GAMMA ORIDUS SYSTEM, INSTALLATION 001, DAY 3--
"Another ring ? Are we blessed ?" said the excited Brute Captain.
"Yes were are Yarenus, yes we are. Its as if the gods want us among them !" The chieftain was elated, staring at the ice covered construct. It seemed certain spots were forest's, and he punched into the navigation device and the CCS-battlecruiser Hunter's Beacon headed toward the largest of them all.
Shawn looked all around him, the beasts pacing to a fro in a circle, he could only see two at a time. A low growling noise came from behind, and Shawn turned to engage the beast only to see it impaled by an Elite's energy sword. Shawn nodded at the alien soldier and raised his combat knife, turning and swiping at the nearest Colossal, blood spurting onto his visor and the animal wailing as its fellow was killed the same as its other beast was.
The sound of dripping and sloshing mud was the only sign of life near the mile long obelisk, now deep in the chasm. 'Yentar had awoken an hour before, the mud on his armor holding him against the side like glue. Cutting himself out with his energy sword was the only option, and now he walked amongst the carnage-filled waters wondering how he'd get out of here. Most Sangheili never forget their mission, now matter how grave of circumstances. 'Yentar wasn't like that. In a case of fight or flight, he regularly chose the latter. Now as he navigated the chest deep muck, 'Yentar held his breath as he passed by his fellow comrades, or at least those who hadn't been smashed.
"HELP ! HELP ! PLEASE HELP ARGH !!!" someone yelled ahead of him, and 'Yentar swam as fast as he could toward the source of the noise. It was an Unggoy, probably a younger one, his pale blue slave armor catching a glint of light off of the SpecOp's Elites helmet-light. Sadly, he had arrived too late. The Unggoy twitched, being dragged up the side of the ravaged gravity lift slowly but surely by a blue blood coved tentacle. Grabbing the Unggoy's pistol from the water 'Yentar fired a charged shot and blasted the tentacle, and the alien was dropped as it spasmed back and slithered off backwards. Now floating in the water the small being shriveled, and blinked. He was alive ! 'Yentar gasped and lifted the alien above his head, out of the clod water, and head toward a strange amount of wiring, hopefully, leading back up to the gondola platform.
Shawn stared at the Elite, circling around him carefully, as the Elite did the same.
"Hello ?" Shawn asked hesitantly, rifle half raised after being filled with a fresh clip.
"I am SpecOps Commander Vlad 'Lethum, and your a SPARTAN. I think we can complete our mission together, what happened to you fellow Human's ?" Vlad stood tall, dwarfing Shawn by at least a foot.
"Others ? I came down here alone to find the ODST's...wait why are you here ?" Shawn stared at the being through his visor, slightly angered HIGHCOM didn't trust him alone.
"I came here to deal with the Jiralhanae above and lead my fellow Sangheili down to help your "ODST's". But things, well...didn't go to plan." Vlad motioned all around, and Shawn huffed.
"No wonder this place is a mess, anyway we need to find a way across, any idea's ?" Shawn lowered his rifle and looked down to the dark chasm below.
"Just one. Fall." Shawn had no time to turn as he was kicked from his footing, and plummeted to the muddy river below.
"This is my mission, and I am seeing it through." Vlad smiled devilishly, and picked up Shawn's MA5C.
As Shawn fell he was sure he would die, but something extremely unexpected came when an arm shot out and grabbed his, stopping his descent but dragging whoever tried to help down by at least 30 feet. As Shawn grabbed the side of the wall and secured himself in the loose wiring, he looked up to face a mud covered Elite and a blueish brown Grunt, both seemingly confused.
"You a SpecOp's ?" Shawn asked.
"Yes, my name is Dren 'Yentari, and I'm a-" Shawn cut him off.
"Your commander is a psycho. And when I get back up there he's losing that damn foot of his." Shawn grimaced inside his helmet, and climbed after the already far ahead alien duo.
Vlad paced back and forth, oblivious to Shawn's rescue and still trying to deduce how to get across the chasm.
"AHHH !!!" he screamed in anger, firing the rifle into the air in a maelstrom. A small piece of stone fell on Vlad's head, and he crossed his arms like a child and ran backward, jumping with all his might across the death filled pit and just barely landing on one of the gravity support beams. Looking down he could see the trio moving up the wall like spiders, although he shrugged it off slightly. But then he saw a green shape, dropping lower and lower, then springing up like a rubber band and tackling Vlad off the beam and onto the other side of the chasm.
"Well SPARTAN, forgive and forget ?" Vlad gave a half smile, only to get punched in the face. Pushing Shawn off the Elite kicked out his hoof again, knocking Shawn down. But when he tried to pull it back Shawn held it in place. Reaching for his energy sword he was surprised when it wasn't there, and he gulped as he heard it activate and start to burn through his foot.
"ACK !!" he screamed, falling backwards and twisting around in an intense spasm.
"Don't you know ? SPARTAN's never die." Shawn brought down the Elite's own foot, connecting the sharp edge with his face and cutting off one of his mandibles. Beating him down harder and harder Vlad began coughing up loads of blood, but finally punched his arm out and threw Shawn off. Barely standing up, ignoring the pain, Vlad remarked:
"Well, your the first then." Vlad balanced himself as he pulled out a second sword, and jumped at Shawn as he did the same. The double lunge ended as both landed on either side of each other, and turned around. Shawn winked, having activated his spare over shielding. Vlad looked down, and noticed the deep cut, and then collapsed as his body fell in two and collapsed to the pit below.
"Thank you very much." Shawn bowed as if receiving applause, then tossed down a cable for the other aliens.
Chapter 12: The End Is NowEdit
Yarenus leapt across the chasm, sprinting with all his might across the icey wasteland. The Control Room was only a mile from his brethren, now lying dreadful in their crashed ship. They had no idea they had entered their worst enemies territory.
Dennis stood up, clutching his leg, and looked at the control panel of the Colossis device.
"Hmm..." he thought to himself, then pressed a red flashing button. The rectangular beam stopped twisting for a brief moment, then collapsed completely.
"This time it was you." Frenner didn't smile at his sarcasm though, as a sudden cold encapsulated the group. The spine shot out of the chamber, and straigh towards the center of the Ark, smashing into the planet in a bright flash. The great misty explosion fluttered like a breeze over the planet, until it all sucked into the center of the blast.
"Oh dear lord..." Dennis looked down again, and kicked the control panel. The screen had went completely black, and barely visible commands flashed.
Shawn pressed onward, his alien companions barely keeping up his rabid pace as he walked through the stricken corridors. He hadn't stopped once, holding in his hand some kind of orange key.
"What is that SPARTAN ?" questioned his taller companion.
"The solution." he shrugged.