Week 53: A New Beginning
With my year of filling the role of judge out, I now gladly hand the responsibilities of the project over to slowfuture, who has guest judged before and volunteered to take it on. May we all wish him luck, and ourselves in our responses to the prompts he designs.
I would first off like to congratulate Ahalosniper on his superlative running of the Weekly for the past year, I hope I can continue his good work.
Prompt: So, one thing I remember about the site when I first joined middle of 2008, there was a huge exploration in what happened following the post-Human-Covenant War; most of which was more warfare if my memory serves me correctly. But for my first prompt, I'm hoping to allow you to write something happy and positive, perhaps in contrast to Sniper's final post - but if I know Halo Fanon that's unlikely! In about 600 words or less, write how your characters felt as the HCW came to an end and how they hoped the future would be. Are they excited for the future? Are they distraught as they are forced to rebuild their worldview? Good luck.
- Promotion by DarthNicky
- This vignette captures two things about this prompt that I had hoped to see -- one example is, albeit, only mentioned in passing -- and that is of people leaving the military after a war that raged for three decades, and of promotions in the wake of what I have always imagined to be resignations en masse. So I commend you for this. As for the content, my biggest complaint is how rushed the entire scene feels. There's very little time to allow the scene to settle - I would have liked a little more back and forth between the two before moving onto the crux of the piece. Secondly, I would have liked a little more description. Small touches like mentioned that Lucas had the patches promptly on display for O'Neil or that the datapad was next to him, highlighting that Lucas was prepared. It's a minor gripe I know, but it is important in storytelling. For example instead of 'Lucas then ushered him out of his office,' you could say. "Lucas raised his hand and swiftly waved it towards the door." It just allows for a more visual experience. A small issue, but you say 'resignation of resignation'. That aside, I'm looking forward to reading more of your entries as the weeks progress!
- Reflection by Sierra-A143
- Another interesting piece. It's true that for Spartans the war never really finished and likely would never really finish. The UNSC will always have those who wish to fight against it. Like above, and this is something I am going to try and impress while I'm the judge, is the importance of showing rather than telling. For the third and fourth paragraphs I would have liked to have some description of Nathaniel's body language, as opposed to the telling of the emotions that he was cycling through. Again it's small things like this that allow for your characters to come alive in your work - and you do have examples of this later in your piece. My rule of thumb is that when I go through discussing emotions my character feels I try and include one or two reference to their facial expression or stance, or something as simple as balling their hands into fists, turning their knuckles white. Regardless, I found the ending to be very touching, it's good to see that despite the despair Nathaniel feels there is some reason to feel some joy.
- Scarred by Timothy Emeigh
- There seems to be some contradiction between the mini blurb at the top of the piece and the actual contents of the piece, or I might simply be misunderstanding the intentions of such. Regardless this is a well-written piece but it doesn't really discuss the prompt I had in mind, instead that is relegated to the last couple of paragraphs. I feel like it might have been better to instead have the piece focus on her in the cockpit, that way it allows for a dialogue between herself and someone else. It would let you dive deeper into the recon aspect of her career and why she is so excited to return to piloting. While it might not match up perfectly with the prompt I do want to stress that this is a very well-written piece and am excited to read more of your work.
- Something Felt Wrong. . . by Slower Than Most
- Perhaps the darkest and most hopeless piece put forward in this weeks challenge - and a good one at that. However, my one enduring complaint with it is the telling rather than showing. This piece feels like someone is just telling me what's wrong instead of using Aylla herself to highlight the pain and loss she feels, as well as how ill at ease she feels with her replacement organs. I would have loved a description of how she looked on the bed, a mention of her face as she tries to come to terms with the anguish of losing her squad. It feels very cerebral and detached considering the depth of emotion you are dealing with in this piece, and it's especially disappointing because of how well this piece is written. I would like to see an expanded version of this piece because it has the potential to be the turning point of your character's development.
- Someone Else's Victory by Actene
- Ah, Stray and the Rat Pack. A criminally underused asset of yours if I may say so. I'm going to use this piece as a teaching exercise of the importance of showing rather telling. This piece is chock full of description and it is easy to visualise the entire scene and its lacklustre surroundings. The best example is that of Estebar "curled a fist around the barrel of her rifle" - this in particular informs the reader that she is angry without explicitly showing us. It allows us to imagine the tightening grip, the scowl upon her face as she hears news that she knows isn't good for her and her planet. Stray 'slunking' behind his comrades is a good word choice to end the piece on. Stray was made for one thing - war, and he contributed almost nothing to it. If I had one thing to complain about, I perhaps would have liked Stray to feature more prominently in this piece but that aside, this is my pick of the week.
- Breath by Brodie-001
- You know, when I came up with prompt I was imagining the Arbiter in his ship as he left Earth, and I expected to be met with a plethora of Voi pieces. Luckily enough I got a diverse list and my imagined prompt to dissect! Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of the Voi scene in H3 is how bereft of people the ceremony is, perhaps due to the limitations of technology in 2007 and we as a community have come together to fill in the gaps. This piece adds new vibrancy to that particular scene. The camaraderie between these Spartans is immediate and apparent, you've done an excellent job of highlighting that these men really have been fighting together for decades and for that I commend you. I have one issue and that is the small part where Marco comments on the formal dress being monkey suits and Jax's reaction to that - I would have just liked to see a small description of how stiff or awkward Marco looked in the suit. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.
Week 54: Betrayal
Prompt: Quick thanks to Brodie for giving me the idea for this prompt. So in Halo, each of the two warring factions has their own internal conflict - the URF and the larger Insurrection, while the Covenant has its religious heretics. While the larger halo novels has given us a series of colourful UNSC rebels they've never given us much detail why they would defect other than some throwaway corruption comment. For this prompt I would like you all to write about why someone, doesn't have to be one of your characters can be one created exclusively for this prompt, would betray their allegiance to their particular faction - whether UNSC to the URF, or a Religious Heretic coming back to the fraternity of their Covenant. 600 words or so should be enough. Have fun!
Week 54: A Moment of Doubt
Prompt: So for this prompt, I'd like you all to write about a particular part during the war, be in HCW or a post-war conflict, that one of your characters began to doubt the legitimacy of their mission - was all this really worth fighting for? By the end I'd like to see whether or not this doubt has been resolved or strengthened by the events around them. I'll give you about 1000 words - Have fun!
- One of the most conflicting things about Humanity after the end of the HCW is how quickly that old tensions and issues resurface. Indeed these soldiers deployed here knew they were fighting for their very species existence and now that they have a reprieve they have to deal with this? It's exactly what I wanted when I asked for this prompt. However, I would have loved it if you had focused in on one of his troopers in particular, would have just heightened the human element of the piece. All in all, a good piece.
- Faithless by Lordofmonsterisland
- I must admit I did not expect any piece to focus on the Jiralhanae, they are not a species I often associate with empathetic emotions. This is a good emotional piece that really personalises the experience felt by our protagonist. If I had one particular criticism is that I'm not sure I understand the ending - is he going on a rampage? But it insinuates at first that he's sick of violence by going looking for more violence? Perhaps I'm misinterpreting but that's how I understood it. That aside, I enjoyed it.
- Was it all worth it? by S-D379
- First off I think it's important to point out that you describe the planet in a similar fashion three times within the first four paragraphs. It would be better if instead you started off with particular aspects of the planet's glassing, gradually increasing detail for very specific parts of the occurrence. I also would caution against using etc. when giving examples in fictional prose. That aside this exactly the kind of piece I was looking for and I am glad you submitted it!
Week 55: Fly Me to the Moon
Quick update! LOMI and I have agreed to rotate judging duties on a tri-weekly basis. I'm currently too busy with work to really devote time to this exclusively -- as you can see by my late judging. In order to ensure this competition continues we've decided to work together. Anyway, I'll see you all in a few weeks - now LOMI, over to you!
Prompt: For this week, I'll give you a short and sweet prompt with a lot of creative freedom: give me something involve anti-gravity, real or simulated. Doesn't matter how, just be creative with the idea. Evokes those same feelings of "wow" and "this is pretty cool" we felt doing outer space firefights in Halo 2 and Halo 4, or the cinematic rush down a Guardian from Halo 5. Around 600 words should be sufficient, so good luck!
- Derelict by Brodie-001
- I like how you use this to hint at the possibility of the Banished without stating it outright - the subtle hints work well. I also like how there's emphasis placed on the fireteam working together to clear the ship. Perhaps it's just me, but it always seems like we, as fanfiction writers, forget to show the Spartan-III's team efforts or have them running solo. There was nice focus on the differences in combat that anti-gravity presents, though nothing particularly eye-popping. As for technical notes, I would say there are just a handful of things that could've been worded different: leaving out the last sentence of the highly descriptive fifth paragraph, or changing the phrase "and began the slow journey" to "trudged" or "slogged". Just small things here and there. Overall, a very solid piece.
Week 56: Know Your Enemy
Hey there, LOMI still here! I'll let it slide if you need a little more time to finish a submission for last week's prompt, but now it's time for me to get the next prompt started promptly. Ha! Yeah, I'll show myself out after this...
Prompt: Halo Wars 2 is coming up on us fast, so let's celebrate shall we? In about 500 words or so, give me a piece about a commanding officer trying to take control of the battlefield. Are they fretting over the situation from a UNSC outpost, watching monitors and unit statistics to determine their next move? Could they be a Covenant warrior, charging the frontlines alongside their finest warriors? Or is it something more shadowy, like ONI or the Created manipulating things from afar? Show me what you've got, ladies and gents
- Unexpected Resistance by Minuteman 2492
- Definitely a very brief scene, which brings to mind my first note: I'm not really getting a big picture here. By the end of the piece, I've come to realize that this is some form of rebel attack against the academy. However, I wish this had been made more clear at the start. At first I thought it was a live-fire test for the cadets, then a battle with the Covenant, before it all cleared up at the end. I believe the concept makes for something unique to this piece, but the execution is a little bit of a "text wall clump." The very first paragraph suffers a bit in formatting: periods, colons and semi-colons would've been useful to you, breaking up the orders more efficiently. Similarly, the last two paragraphs mix dialogue and prose in ways that don't work well. In the future, consider breaking the paragraph into smaller pieces, usually starting with the various dialogue lines. However, in the grand scope of things, it does give us a good view of a commander working to keep his troops together despite difficulties, and that's why I named it this week's winner.
- Painful Silence by Sierra-A143
- A lot of dialogue in this piece, which keeps telling us what's going on. Normally, I'd say the dialogue adds flavor to a piece, but here it's almost too much. I would've liked to have seen more descriptors in the story: the words are being said, but how? And when a description was given, it was detached from the dialogue, making it feel like an unrelated detail. For the first few paragraphs, there's no context given for who's speaking since everything is in pronouns. I'm not sure if you were trying to create mystery, but I only saw confusion. Giving names up front to associate dialogue to helps keep things flowing without needless overthinking. Finally, while some of the details are nice, they seem to be said then glossed over: someone fired a nuked at Spartans? There is a fireteam of Spartans working for ONI? Why is CHANCELLOR confused by the number of friendlies at first? A nice piece, but further clarification would've been helpful.
Week 57: LvUrFR3NZ
Prompt: This week is pretty simple, ladies and gents: it's Valentines Day this week, so give me your best shorts on love, loss and the feels. All in good taste though, please. Keep it around 600 words or less, and good luck!
- Stargazing by Timothy Emeigh
- Emotionally speaking, this was a very nice piece. It conveys a very tender, simple love without using words, much like the lovers by the end of the story. It also captures upon the idea of how fragile and fleeting love can be, especially in the midst of a war. That said, from a technical standpoint, it could use a little work. The entire story is four very blocky paragraphs: while that's not bad, given the lack of dialogue, paragraphs are meant to break apart separate thoughts. As an example, the second paragraph could've been split in half at "but tonight was different," as that sentence begins a description of why it's different. Similarly, when you start listing things - such as the second sentence of the third paragraph - you tends to use a lot of commas, when instead you could reword slightly and divide the ideas into separate sentences. So instead of "Millions of tiny specks of fire blazed and twinkled in the dark, Sirona’s moon casting... [etc]", it would read something like "Millions of fiery specks twinkled in the dark as Sirona's moon cast a blue glow across the scene. The orange light... [etc]". As a final note, you overuse "flowery" descriptors too often. In the previous example, I changed "millions of tiny specks of fire blazed and twinkled" to "Millions of fiery specks twinkled;" "tiny" is implied by "specks," while blazing and twinkling denote two different things.
- Talitsa February by Actene
- There's not really much for me to note when it comes technical points, so I'll focus on the emotional and story-telling content. I'll say first that the small, quick details really help draw the scene in my mind: Zoey's quick, nervous movements around Simon, probably coupled with a nervous hair swipe or tap of her finger on her knee, foiling well to Cassandra's calm, subtly aggressive demeanor and Simon's thinly veiled anger. You can almost feel Simon gritting his teeth while mockingly mimicking "who would've thought?" back at Cassandra. I also enjoy that this really plays on all the themes I presented as possible aspects for this prompt: Simon has lost, Cassandra has love and maybe a little loss, and Zoey has a good old case of the feels. I will note that while I feel everything flows really well, the final paragraph is a bit of a dud, mostly in the last two sentences: I would have found it better had Zoey given commentary within her mind, as it would feel more personal than merely stating things as the detached narrator. That said, I still feel it is deserving to be the winner of this contest.
- 600 Trillion Miles To Home by Ajax 013
- Usually I get on to people for not having enough paragraph breaks: this story feels like it suffers from a large block of text followed by too many paragraph breaks. Personally, I would have cut the opening paragraph down to a quarter or third of the original size, such as "Ajax took a calming breath. He steadied his hand, and looked at the blank monitor, catching a glimpse of his reflection as he pressed the call button. Sitting back, the computer began ringing as it crackled to life, before the monitor sparked and a woman's face appeared. Lying in bed, bedraggled auburn hair obscured her face as she stared into the camera." Afterwards, the dialogue back-and-forth works really well, though I feel it's too many paragraph breaks. How to remedy this exactly, I honestly don't know - I don't have all the answers to writing technicalities, only suggestions. I'll say that this is a very different emotional perspective for Ajax, as love isn't something usually associated with him: the small lovebird touches, with awkward hand motions, distracted mutterings and the inability to spit it out. Hopefully we can get some more depth to Ajax in the future as well.
Week 58: Recommissioned
Prompt: So, at the suggestion of Actene, we're going to try something a little unconventional this week. Instead of submitting a short story, I want you to give me your best pitch for a fan-made faction for Halo Wars 2 DLC. Tell me about the faction, their strategies, unit types and even a campaign storyline if you have one in mind. Show me what you've got, fanonites. Somewhere less than 800 words please: something more akin to an RTS manual breakdown versus a Halopedia article
- Halo Wars 2: Swords of Sanghelios DLC by Ahalosniper
- A rare entry from Sniper, and first post at that. On top of that, it manages to give most of the things that I asked for. The campaign is a very brief synopsis, but it gets across the ideas for a nice DLC run that works well with canon. While there's little to add in regards to base building and combat style, the leaders and unit types provide a good grasp of the variety of Swords units and how they can be upgraded. Given the concise, manual-esque nature of the entry and all the myriad things it offers, this is my pick for winner of this challenge
- Halo Wars 2: The Raiding Legion DLC by Actene
- While I would've liked to see more about units, given how the Kru'desh are a rather unique faction. Covert Siphon is a rather unique leader power, but otherwise they all seem rather standard. The campaign does stand out, especially compared to many RTS campaigns, and manages to tie into and explain much of Simon's story in a very unique way.
- Halo Wars 2: Republic DLC by Ajax 013
- I really appreciate how much effort you poured into this, apparent in the amount of content you had to cut to fit the word limit. I also have to say that I like how you drew on both fanon ideas and canon, since one of the staples of RTS is to draw on new ideas as well old, established ones. That said, there's not a lot of uniqueness to this - even disregarding other candidates - and there's no campaign to speak of, both of which being things I was hoping to see from this entry.
- Halo Wars 2: Insurrection DLC by Another Poetic Spartan
- There's a nice bit of lore digging here, with the inclusion of things like the Rumbledrugs, and I think this would work really well if it was paired with Lieutenant Davis' Freedom from Tyranny idea. That said, like many of these, I see you did not get to fully finish it, which leaves to wonder what else you might have added.
- Halo Wars 2: Freedom from Tyranny DLC by Lieutenant Davis
- While offering me two interesting teases for rebel-themed campaign ideas, teasing me was all you really did. The use of Daniel Black was unexpected, but he and Robert Watts as focal characters would make for a nice contrast. Perhaps you can expand on these ideas in your own articles later.
- Halo Wars 2: Yanme'e Swarms DLC by Sev40
- First of all, props for being the most out there faction idea: while everyone else work on ideas for Sangheili and Humans, you went out of a limb and did the Yanme'e. Obviously you didn't get to finish, but I like the way you started forming the Yanme'e Queen as a leader with an on-field unit. Not sure if you had in mind that she would be the base-builder or would summon extra bases, but interesting ideas nontheless.
Week 59: War of Wits
Prompt: So stretching the Halo Wars theme to the max, did anyone catch the nice little commercials of Cutter and Atriox warring over used cars? Something about that, as weird as it is, amuses me. So we'll keep this prompt nice and simple: humor. Come up with something humorous, no matter what the form, when it's set or who's involved. Around 600 words or so, please. Good luck to you all.
Week 60: Goodbyes
Prompt: So I'm back! For this prompt I want you to write a final goodbye between some of your characters, it doesn't necessarily have to be sad! Play with varying emotions and come up with something unique! 600 words or so should be enough! Good luck, have fun!
- War is Sacrifice by Actene
- A goodbye was requested, and a goodbye was delivered. I like this glance into a portion of the Chancer V mythos that we never really get to see. It may not be a teary-eyed or death-filled goodbye, but it effectively generates and keeps an aura of sad finality for two characters I've never seen meet before. It also shows the dichotomy between the two rebel leaders: one accepts his fate thanks to his hardened background and one only knows to run when the world he knew collapses. Honestly, I don't have much to weigh in on this piece besides these notes: the structure seems well formed and I don't have any real notes on pacing.
Week 61: Put Off Till Tomorrow What Could Be Done Today
Prompt: Procrastination. Laziness. These are just some of the reasons why I'm not posting a prompt until Thursday for a project called "the weekly." That said, let's explore that same theme with your pieces. Putting things off always has consequences: write me a short piece about a character or group that ignored a problem or kept putting it off, but now it's finally come back to haunt them. Around 600 words, preferably.
- It's A Survival Blanket by Actene
- This is a definite change of pace compared to many of your other works, focusing on a quiet moment and intimate feelings more than action, betrayal and moral questions. It also draws on the sympathetic side of Simon buried deep in the character, which is drawn out by the caring Cassandra. You do manage to create a nice back and forth between the Gammas, with the patchwork fabric serving as the vehicle for that conversation. As far as grammatical issues are concerned, there's only minor things. A few places with unnecessary words, such as "what seemed like" in the third sentence, or some alternative punctuation use like adding an ellipsis to the middle of "Wait. Bedsheet?" in the eighth paragraph.
Week 62: Et tu, Brute?
Prompt: The Ides of March was a week or so ago, and we haven't had a good battle prompt in a while, so combine the two for this week's challenge: give me a fun battle scene, but try to have it related to some form of betrayal, whether literal or metaphorical.
Week 63: Pimps at Sea
April Fool's everyone! No prompt this week. Since we've had some prompt time delays over the past few weeks, I decided to give it a rest for one week and let everything reset.
Week 64: One to Remember
Prompt: I've played a lot of Halo over the years, and there's nothing quite like getting together with your friends and completely owning the battlefield. But when the tables turn and its a free for all between your friends, things get a bit more sticky, and that "one story" about you and another guy 1v1'ing tends to get murky down the road. So in that same vein, capture some of the awe of a one-on-one fight between your character and an opponent - preferably another character of yours, but it can be a new character or just a random enemy.
But don't settle for just a fight scene. I want you to give me the juiciest fight scene you can, but give it to me from both fighters perspectives. Maybe their recollections are the same, or maybe the details they notice are very different. In any case, in 800 words or less, give me a battle scene worth remembering - no matter what the details are.
Week 65: To Infinity and Beyond
Prompt: Space is a major playing field in the Halo universe, especially the novels, but it's something that characters usually look at in one of two ways: either they are amazed by it or terrified of it. For a sailor, it hosts a vast unknown for them to explore, but for a soldier it's a strange place where their skills are useless. So give me a piece that reflects how your characters react the great blue yonder in roughly 500 words.
Week 66: Dust and Echoes
Prompt: Benjamin Franklin once said, "Without continual growth and progress, such words as 'improvement,' 'achievement,' and 'success' have no meaning." So, what happens when one of your characters runs out of progress? What happens when they've finally achieved what they've always dreamed of or wanted to do? I'm not concerned particularly with how they got there, so much as what they're feeling: are they satisfied? Or does the victory feel hollow? Or is it something else entirely? In roughly 600 words or so, give me your response to this situation.
Week 67: Stop and Smell the Roses
Prompt: The five senses how we experience the world around us - unless you count vague "sixth senses", but that's a whole different boat. Out of these five senses, we most often focus on sight and sound, with a secondary role going out to tactile feelings. But what about that most oft overlooked sense of smell? After all, just the slightest hint of a smell is known to trigger all kinds of memories and feelings. So in about 600 words, write a short piece about your character(s) and their experience with smells.
Week 68: Devil in the Details
Prompt: So based on the past two weeks entries, I've noticed that certain details can make or break a story. Two weeks ago, a fact at the end gave me a sense of confusion about the piece, while last week the smell was a detail that changed the story's course. But so often we tell stories that have a point, but they meander through everything to get there. So my challenge this week is to create a story where one, single detail is critically important to the story. 800 words is the upper limit, so good luck.
Week 69: Another Year Older
Prompt: Well that prompt may have been too specific, so here's a little more broad of one. It's my birthday this month, which makes me think we shed a bit of light on our characters birthdays. Is it time for sadness as a Spartan realizes they don't know about theirs? Or is it time for a party in the midst of dark times to lighten spirits? You decide. 600 words or so should do.
Week 70: AI's a Crapshoot
Prompt: We know that Halo 6 isn't getting announced and released this year, so it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer to see what the Created are up to in the universe. Which means it's the perfect time for us fanoners to figure out how those AI are ruining our characters lives! In 600 words or so, explain what some of your characters are up to in the present day of the Halo universe.
Week 71: Nowhere to Run
Prompt: Your character is up against the wall, literally or figuratively. They've got nowhere to go, stuck in a dead end situation, or the only survivor of some terrible plot. Show me how they deal with that sort of situation, in 500 words or less.
Week 72: Burn the Witch!
Prompt: Heretics? Hypocrisy! How dare you!? Humanity can be awful people, and long story short, people hate change and hate when their world views are challenged. In 600 words or less, give me a short on your characters getting wrapped up in some nice hypocritical situations - whether they're the hypocrites or not is up to you.
Week 73: Glory Lies Beyond the Horizon
Since LOMI's away this week, I'll be taking care of the prompt and last week's review!
Prompt: Charge! When your goal is dead ahead, sometimes the only way forward involves a lot of speed or a lot of violence. Or both. With an upper limit of 1000 words, give me something about your characters rushing ahead to achieve victory - or not.
Week 74: She Said that to Me, Once
Prompt: We all have characters with varying moral compasses: we have heroes, the villains they face, a few in that moral grey zone, and some who are just bastards. But regardless of what kind of moral compass they may follow, their personalities endear them to us. This is true both in and out of canon: we all know of Master Chief, the loyal soldier with curt humor and lucky streaks, or Gavin Dunn, the jovial starship captain with a dark past that always end up in one wacky misadventure or another. Our interpretations might differ, but we are drawn into these characters nevertheless. So in 1000 words or less, give me a piece showing off your character(s) personality in a situation that you feel showcases their defining characteristics - or maybe shows them questioning why those are their defining characteristics.
Week 75: One Man's Trash, Another Man's Treasure
Prompt: This week includes Bungie Day, so in the spirit of happiness and appreciation there's no set theme this week. Write me the very best short story you can...
But there's always a catch! Any story topic is fair game, but this week you need to use another user's character. That's right. You have to go ask someone else to use a character and then write a story about them however you feel. And in light of that, for this week only, I'll forego the word limit completely. So best of luck and let's see what you guys can come up with.
Week 76: There Are Many Like It
Prompt: This week we'll keep the prompt simple. The weapon sometimes defines the warrior, so show us your character interacting with their personal weapon. 500 words or so, and good luck.
Week 77: We're in for some Chop
This week, Brodie-001 will be stepping in as a guest judge once again.
Prompt: Ah, the dropship. A mainstay of any good sci-fi franchise. These beautiful machines are a great way of dropping characters off, saving their asses at the last moment, or inevitably being blown out of the sky at an inopportune moment. In spite of their tendency to go down like flies (seriously, Halo 3 has one crashed or crashing in almost every level), I think we can all agree that they're really, really cool. So, in the ballpark of around 1000 words, write a story with a dropship - any kind of dropship - as a key part of the narrative. How you do so is up to you. Have fun!
- Start Date: August 1st, 2017
- Deadline: August 8th, 2017
Week 78: Unforgotten Memories
Prompt: So keeping somewhat with last week's vehicle theme and inspired by recent IRC discussions about forgotten Halo weaponry, this week's prompt involves weapons and vehicles that the series forgot. Remember the Shadow from Halo 2? Halo Wars 2 did, and references them with the new Yayap leader. What about those Booster Frames in Legends? Halo: Escalation picked that back up. There's been all sorts of vehicles and weapons that became one-offs - the Focus Rifle, Spectre, Sticky Detonator, etc - so how would you bring them back? Give me a short somewhere under 1000 words that focuses on one of the forgotten vehicles or weapons of Halo in some way. Good luck
- Start Date: August 10th, 2017
- Deadline: August 17th, 2017
Week 79: Breaking the Covenant
Prompt: When I first played Halo 2, some of my best memories were the pieces of the game where you took on huge Covenant onslaughts to rocky background music. Whether it be blowing my way across the Mombasa bridge, trying to tear through the Scarab as fast as possible, or murdering both sides in the three-way melee at the end of Gravemind, those were the moments that stuck out to me. So give me your very best, bombastic brawl with the Covenant: no one on one duels or close call escapes, just a good, old fashioned firefight where your guys beat down the aliens with either brute strength or sheer ingenuity. And for added bonus points, feel free to put up a piece of music you feel fits the short. 700 words or less, but the rest of the details are up to you.
- Start Date: August 20th, 2017
- Deadline: August 27th, 2017
Week 80: Jolly Cooperation
Prompt: Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. While many of our characters work alone or have an entire team to back them up, sometimes there's only one person they can really rely on. In around 1000 words or so, produce a story about a pair of characters working together - or not. Who's to say all partnerships last, after all?
- Start Date: September 2nd, 2017
- Deadline: September 9th, 2017
Week 81: Phantom Pain
Prompt: Everybody gets hurt once in a while. For most, it's physical. For others, it's psychological. Either way, someone has undergone some serious trauma, and while they're on the mend, perhaps it's difficult to deal with? Write something about a character (or characters) coping in the aftermath of some form of injury. No word limit on this one either, so write as much as you need to.
- Start Date: September 10th, 2017
- Deadline: September 17th, 2017
Week 82: Too Little, Too Late
Prompt: If there's one thing I'm consistent at, it's inconsistency. Late prompts are basically a specialty of mine thanks to real life, but it does make one think about the consequences of taking just a little too long. So in 500 words or less, show me a moment where your character arrives to finish their mission or goal... but they're just a little too late.
- Start Date: September 24th, 2017
- Deadline: October 1st, 2017
Week 83: Politics, How Tiresome
Prompt: A lot of things in the Halo universe, much like in the real world, have political motivations behind them: the Far Isle bombing, the Changing of the Guard, the plot of Hunt the Truth, and many others. So give me a scenario where politics are heavily in play: perhaps it's a parley meeting between factions gone wrong, or a reassignment based on internal power plays. The choices are up to you, but capture the essence of the moment in 500 words or less.
- Start Date: October 9th, 2017
- Deadline: October 16th, 2017
Week 84: What Could Have Been
Prompt: There are many things that could've been in Halo. For some, like the Sharquoi or the blind wolves, canonization is out there waiting just around the corner. For others, like the, the light of day may never shine on them. Inspired by the recent reveal of some interesting new Halo Wars 2 concept art (or possibly a Halo Wars 3 pitch - the Powers That Be are trying to scramble the news and remain coy), give me your best short story featuring one of the that the series has to offer. But be succinct: 600 words or less, please.
- Start Date: October 18th, 2017
- Deadline: October 24th, 2017
Week 85: Haloween 3: Electric Boogaloo
Prompt: It's that time of year again guys! This week, in 600 words or less, give me your best piece showing off the terror of the Halo universe. Is it the deadly Flood plague? The horrors of a battlefield filled with corpses? The existential terror of an AI thinking itself to death? That's all up to you to decide. Good luck!
- Start Date: October 30th, 2017
- Deadline: November 6th, 2017
Week 86: Real Human Being
Prompt: Brodie-001 here for another guest Weekly prompt. So this week I want to try something a little unorthodox, so bear with me. Flash cloning seems to be a common part of medical science in the 26th century as a way of quickly growing organs and other body parts for emergency transplants, and as all of us are likely aware, the creation of short-lived, highly-illegal clone children was one of the more horrific elements of the SPARTAN-II Program. As such, let's take a brief look into the life of a human flash clone with our stories this week, in a scenario that I will provide for you.
The date is October 8th, 2556. There has been a break-in at a corporate laboratory in the city of Castiglione on Escala III, leading to the escape of a number of illegally-made flash clones into the surrounding area. On the run from unscrupulous mercenaries looking to cover things up and armed only a single name, some residual memories of their template and the knowledge that they will live for around a year or two at most, what do these escaped clones do? No word limit on this one, so have fun and feel free to even work together as you give us a short story from a clone's perspective at some point in the first 72 hours after the breakout.
- Start Date: November 15th, 2017
- Deadline: November 22nd, 2017