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60px-Annual_Award_Best_Roleplay.png This roleplay, Against All Odds, directed by Sonasaurus, was voted as the Best Roleplay of 2010 in the Third Annual Halo Fanon Wikia Awards.


AGAINST ALL ODDS


AAO rp
"Against all odds, we will overcome you. Against all odds, we will survive. Against all odds...we will win."

Outline

WARNING
Read ALL the content below before you join. Or else.


Rules

Joining

If this RP caught your attention and you want to take part in it, leave me a message and I'll consider it based on your skills of writing. I will most likely let you in, if you do not fall under any of these categories:

  1. Disregarding canon-friendliness and grammar.
  2. Gaining three civility warnings or a temporary block.
  3. Vandalizing articles on the wiki.

You can either inform me of any of these yourself, or I can find out myself. If it's the former, there's a chance I will still allow you to participate if your issues on this site aren't too serious and are amendable. If it's the latter, then you will most definitely not be permitted. If I invited you myself to take part in the RP, then you've already passed the first test. Needless to say, that can be subject to change should you create any problems for us or anyone else on Halo Fanon.

Logging

Once it's confirmed you're to contribute to this RP, then please follow the instructions below.

If you want to pick from the list of Spartans, sign up up to three Spartans here that doesn't have an article. Create one for them like this, and write out a decent-length article that has details on each Spartan. You can do this while the RP is ongoing, so you don't have to wait until it's finished before you participate in the RP.

If you want to use your own characters, ask me for details on the time frame and circumstances of the RP. You can use as many of your characters as you want, but don't list too many or else you'll find it hard to keep track of it all. The latest permitted date of birth is 2554, as your character will need to be old enough to be in the military during this event. Once you're clear on which of your characters you can use, add them to the same list. You don't necessarily have to write about the events in this RP for your existing characters, although if you can put it in a parallel-universe or even the same universe, that'd be great. Just don't forget to use {{Era|AAO}} if you're intending to do so.

Needless to say, you can pick both your own characters and from the list. You can pick up to five characters in total. Once you have done so, do the following:

  1. Come back here and list your name, along with your characters, beneath the "Logged Operators" section.
  2. Check the RP for updates. You can add this page to your watchlist by clicking the gold star that's beside the word "Follow".

Roleplay

You must obey the following regulations during the RP:

  1. Do not post consecutively, or post as the same character more than once in each part of the RP.
  2. Proofread your work before you submit it. Using the preview button is a good habit to develop on this site.
  3. There are no limits to how violent you can make your part of the RP, however, avoid making your section more description than it is story.
  4. If you're intending to use someone else's character in your part of the RP as a major role, please consult the user who signed as that character. Even if it's a minor role, I suggest you talk to them about it so as to avoid putting them out of character.
  5. Ask any questions you have on the discussion page. If I don't respond after a long period of time, inform me on my talk page.
  6. I may change parts of your work for reasons you may or may not know about, but it's only if things are seriously out of place. If I spot a smaller problem, I'll leave you a message and tell you to change it (tell, not ask).
  7. Minimum length for a post is 250 words, or three paragraphs.
  8. Sign the end of your post with ~~~~, then lay out a new section for the next user. For example, if you're writing under ===5===, put ===6=== at the bottom of your post.

Logged Operators (Closed)

Sona 'Demal

Cortezsniper

SPARTAN-118

RichardRHunt

  • Dr. Richard R. Hunt
  • LCDR Yehiel Aaronson
  • Jacob K. Hunt
  • LTJG Helen P. Atchley
  • Jesse Waddell

Actene

Flame-124

Dreadhead613

Bobzombie

Lieutenant Davies

Echo 1125

Sgt.T.N.Biscuits

Jaws!

Carpe

Stel

H*bad

  • Tyler

Spartan G-23

Another Poetic Spartan

Chen-179

  • Changdao Team
  • Karin-238
  • Ryu-340
  • Chen-179

Athena32

Manticore Team

  • SPARTAN-D2541
  • SPARTAN-D1378
  • SPARTAN-D761
  • SPARTAN-D157
  • SPARTAN-D1694

Introduction

It is the year 2570. The United Nations Space Command is holding their ground in the war against the reassembled Covenant far better than they had during their previous conflicts. The alliance humanity had formed with the honourable Sangheili was named the Interspecies Union, and it was a force that was unmovable by the many enemies encountered by both species alike in the past few decades. With the creation of SPARTAN-III Delta Company, the army of nearly 3000 Spartans is practically unstoppable. With the UNSC expanding its colonies throughout the universe once again, the supersoldiers are always present whenever there is a danger presented by the Covenant.

At the moment, the IU's greatest concern is locating the San'Shyuum leader of the Covenant, the Prophet of Intuition. Following the recent disband of the Sangheili separatist group, The Fallen, it became easier for the UNSC to focus their efforts on defeating the Covenant. It was completely unquestionable to many where the loyalties of the Deltas lay when it came to the fight against the aliens. But Felix Martel had his doubts. Not long ago, he had caught the Deltas' deputy executive, Wings-D339 communicating directly with the High Prophet himself, claiming that there was an alternative to the fighting by seeking peace with the Covenant. He did not find favour with the plan; after all, the war between the UNSC and the Covenant was unlikely to be forgotten, and with the present knowledge of both factions' known whereabouts, it would have been near impossible to keep peace.

Word has reached humanity about a new faction, rumoured to be comprised of Sangheili who still believed in the delusive Great Journey. The UNSC currently has no knowledge of their intentions, and whether they would ally with the Interspecies Union, the Covenant, or break away as another separatist group altogether. A group of UNSC forces have been called to the ancient Forerunner planet of C329t, now inhabited by the unknown Sangheili.

But there are also others who begin to take an interest in the profits offered by a trip to Beta-14. The abundance of Forerunner technology are widespread throughout the planet, and almost completely unguarded. Rebels, pirates, and outsiders are willing to take their own share of the artifacts for their own gain, and a certain outcast Spartan is given a task that could expose him to his old enemies once again, but if he is successful, the potential rewards would be prodigious. The reception to these heists will undoubtedly spark resentment from the UNSC, and perhaps the other Sangheili.

Only time will tell whether the mission will end in resolution or bloodshed...

Part One

0600 Hours, October 23rd, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), aboard UNSC Aeolus-class frigate Independent Crusader, in orbit around planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

Captain Gregory Montrose looked through the transparent main screen to stare at the planet that was looming closer through the viewport. Although in reality it was the ship that was flying towards it, the skipper still felt as if there was something drawing his vessel towards what the UNSC designated as Beta-14. Disconcertingly, it looked normal. Too normal to suggest at what had once resided on its surface.

The Forerunners had once inhabited this planet, from countless aeons ago. This had been one of the few places that hadn't been found by the all-consuming Flood parasite, but the inhabitants had died all the same upon the first activation of the Halo array, having been outside what the Forerunners called "the Maginot Sphere". Beta-14 was one of the planets that were cordoned off by the Flood's linear forces. Led by the rampant Forerunner AI 032 Mendicant Bias, the tactic could trap multiple inhabited colonies at a time, and press slowly inward until its victims were located and infected. Apparently the parasite hadn't made it here before the activation.

"Sir? We're on approach to Beta-14. Orders?"

At the sound of the ship's AI, Cassidy, Montrose snapped out of his reverie. He focused his gaze on the actual readings being projected on the main screen. Their vector was standard for a nonhostile landing on a planet, and the numbers all checked out.

"Carry on," he said. "Communications, try to pick up something from the surface. See if you get a lock on the Elites that are supposed to be here."

"Yes sir," the bridge officer replied.

Their mission was simple; find some intel about what these aliens wanted, and why they separated from the ones in the Interspecies Union. At the moment, they hadn't shown any hostility towards humans or other Sangheili. Montrose wasn't even sure that they had a military. But apparently these guys had pieced together some Forerunner navigation data that brought them here, and had been searching for...something. No one knew how long they were here, or where else they went. But it was worth staking out all the same, in case things turned nasty in the future.

All of which would've been normal, the Captain thought, Had we not brought a dozen warships here as well as several teams of Spartans. To anyone on the surface who had seen the task unit's arrival, it would have looked like a small invasion. But they know who we are. The brass had even decided to keep spare ships in reserve in case things got really nasty. And if even then the UNSC couldn't hold them down, the Sangheili would be contacted to see what they could do.

Have we decided not to let our guard down after everything we lost during the Human-Covenant war? Or are we just plain paranoid?

Not that this was a full-scale military operation. A handful of scientists, engineers, and other assorted civilians had volunteered to come along to lend a hand as well. They were getting quite a fair pay for this job, considering the relative simplicity of it all. Then again, there was the chance you'd go and don't make it back.

"We have to see the whole picture here," Rear Admiral Richard Lash had commented. "It's always better to do it the easy way first." Montrose secretly agreed that the Sangheili would probably take to sitting down and talking better than they would having a line of Marines brandishing guns and glaring daggers at them.

All in all, not your average mission.

1

Chief Petty Officer Cody-D1274 was completely silent as he stood next to the closed Pelican hatch. There were Marines sitting inside the dropship, talking among each other, checking on weapons and equipment, or looking out the front window nervously. He was tempted to contact the other Spartans on his team just for something to do, but decided against it. The Spartans had all been assigned to different transports, to different warships even, in case the task group's arrival at Beta-14 would be a chaotic one. It had always been a known strategy not to group a military force's most powerful soldiers together in case a well-placed attack took them all out, but this was kind of pushing it.

Given a choice, he would have rather been stationed with his subordinates, Basilisk Team. There was something reassuring about just being together. Again, Cody wanted to make sure that everything was okay. He wouldn't have been surprised if Sophia had gotten into a disagreement with another soldier or something. She could be grouchy at times, but was a loyal soldier and cared a lot for her team. He just needed to keep an eye on her all the time.

The Spartan NCO realized that his thoughts were drifting. He had to focus on what was ahead. His old mentor, Ezekiel-254, had always advised him to keep his eyes and ears sharp for anything that could be useful information for an upcoming mission. So far, all he had been told by his CO, Felix-116, was that they were to land on the surface and await further orders. A series of rendezvous points had been tagged in case something happened. Well, there's nothing I can really do to make this trip to the surface any faster.

There was no information of use inside the dropship, that was for sure. Cody cast his gaze out the Pelican's front window. They were making a steady but rapid descent, almost vertically. The ship was still outside Beta-14's gravity pull, so the soldiers inside the dropship were drifting slightly in their straps. He could see large masses of mountains, forests, and rivers that seemed to seep into the land. He could almost make out the tall hills that occupied the land in large masses. The ocean bodies took up a relatively small proportion of the planet.

It reminded him vaguely of Reach, where he was born. He remembered what the Covenant did to his homeworld, and wondered if the same fate awaited this place. It seemed so peaceful, and so normal...it was rather disconcerting. Although Felix hadn't said it in so many words, Cody guessed that there was some source to what the Forerunners had left behind here. That was most likely what the Sangheili were after, and what would they do after they obtained it?

Cody realized that his thoughts were drifting again. He looked away from the window, and decided to plan ahead for the mission. Anything could happen during or after their trip down to the surface, and he knew that it was better to think ahead and see all the possibilities. And since the Sangheili were already here, they would have the home field advantage. He had to assume that the aliens were capable of military tactics, and could potentially take up arms against the UNSC. Thinking back to his observations, the Chief Petty Officer mentally plotted out ways to put the human forces on even ground... There is no glory without honour 03:52, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

2

Ten days previously

After a while, one dive is just like any other.

This was a maxim that David Kahn and other men of his ilk learned quickly in the mercenary trade. At some point in history the various lowlifes of the universe had made the collective decision to host the majority of their dealings within taverns and bars, and so if you wanted to get anywhere in the business you had to spend a good amount of time in such places whether you wanted to or not.

Not that David particularly disliked bars. They had a certain earthy quality that was hard to find in more refined hangouts, and the clientele by themselves were well worth the grime and seediness. David had lost count of the many fights he’d sat through, watching and drinking calmly while the whole room went to hell around him. But these moments were only worthwhile when you were in the mood to enjoy them, and today he was here on business. David never allowed himself time to enjoy much of anything when he was on business, and unfortunately he was on business a good part of the time.

He’d been busy these past few months on jobs that might have been exotic to some but by this point were little more than mundane chores to him. Assassinating a gang leader here, smuggling an illegal weapons shipment here, and more or less doing the galaxy’s dirty work for it were just part of the job for him now. He hadn’t taken an interesting contract in ages. Of course, this was not necessarily something to get too hung up about. The interesting assignments usually tended to be the most dangerous ones as well, and even someone with David’s reputation didn’t like taking chances too often.

Whatever this contact has to offer had better be good, David mused, fingering the glass of water before hand. He’d been looking forward to kicking back and getting some alcohol into his system today, but that plan had been shot to pieces by a message from a local contact here on the Outer colony of New Ceylon. The man said he had a job offer from another source, and that meant today was another business days. David, like any other professional, made a point of not imbibing liquor on business days.

As he raised the glass to his lips and took a swig, the mercenary saw a familiar face push their way through the crowd and head over to the corner where he was sitting. Vincent Brown, the most prominent middleman on New Ceylon, reached the table as David was lowering his glass.

With a nod in greeting, David motioned for Vincent to sit down. “What’ll it be today, Vincent, straight talk or code?”

Vincent snorted and took a seat. “Law enforcement’s never been tight around here, Kahn. You of all people should know that.”

“It’s been awhile.” David scratched the stubble on his chin and eyed the middleman. “But I’m glad to be able to have a real conversation without some security cam bringing the whole police station down on us. Now what did you drag me out here for?”

“Same old David Kahn,” Vincent muttered with a small grin. “Always getting right to the point.”

“Time is money,” David pointed out. “And in this line of work, money is pretty much everything there is. So stop the bantering and get down to business. What’s the job?”

Vincent produced a small handheld computer from his pocket and set it on the table before him. “I think you’re going to like this one, Kahn. I’ve looked it over, and it’ll be crazy dangerous. But the client specifically asked for you, and he’s willing to pay a lot.”

David raised a single eyebrow. “Now that’s a phrase I hear all the time. Define ‘a lot’.”

Vincent leaned forward conspiratorially. “We’re talking in the millions here.”

A rare smile slashed across the veteran mercenary’s face. “Now you’re talking. Tell me more about this client...”

Half an hour later, David exited the bar looking thoughtful. Withdrawing a computer of his own from his overcoat, he flicked it open and began punching in letters.

This job would definitely be worth all the hardship it would certainly incur. The problem was, it would be very, very hard. David Kahn had not survived this long in the mercenary business by refusing to ask for help when needed, and now he definitely needed help. Preferably help that was skilled and tough, but at the same time easy to manipulate.

His eyes scanned the list of names that appeared on his screen, a list compiled by the various galactic lowlifes who made it their business to know where people were at all times. The contents of this particular list were the names of any guns for hire of any standing in the underworld who were currently in the system.

David eliminated from the list every name that was not currently located on New Ceylon. That left just one entry. Unlike most of the others, this one was not a traditional name and surname. This one was composed of only one word: Mordred.

After eyeing that one name for several seconds, David pocketed the computer and headed away at a brisk pace looking even more thoughtful then before. --Actene 03:45, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

3

On board the UNSC Independent Crusader

Lieutenant Commander Yehiel Aaronson looked out of a window on the Independent Crusader. He specifically chose these quarters due to the fact that he would get a view of the planet after leaving slipspace. As the ship gradually got closer, he saw how the magnificence of the planet grew more apparent. The UNSC had designated this planet Beta-14. This planet had a deeper significance than the average naval crewmember, officer or enlisted, had any idea what this planet could mean. He felt a small rumble below his feet. That meant that the ship was entering the planet’s gravity well. The rumbles weren’t too bad they were just a minor annoyance. When the shaking finally stopped they would be in geosynchronous orbit.

Lieutenant Commander Aaronson picked up a large metal suitcase and left his quarters. He headed down the hallway to a relatively unused cargo bay of the ship. It may have been cramped, but it was the best place to do what he needed to do. Inside the metal suitcase was an old AS2528 Portable Computer. Not many of the 2528 models were made. That made them quite the collector’s item. However he didn’t want it because he was collector. The AS2528 was one of the only computers outside a laboratory that touted the use of quantum tangling. However the evidence that the quantum tangling even worked on this computer was anecdotal at best. Add to the fact that a message had to be very short; the AS2528 was seen as a failure, among Aperture Science’s many successes.

He opened his computer.

“Helen, are you there? We’re in geosynchronous orbit over Beta-14. Landing crews are readying their approach.”

The message was too long as it was, and he had still yet to find an adequate power source to send the message.He could possibly use an emergency fusion reactor, no one would notice, at least for a while. Though one problem he would have to contend with would be doing this without drawing Cassidy’s attention, much less the engineering crew. He began to think up a plan. Maybe I could say that I’m running field tests on the emergency fusion reactors, The Lieutenant Commander continued to muse to himself, ‘‘It would keep me from garnering suspicion, at least for now.

By the time Aaronson reached engineering, he had perfected his plan. Always making snap decisions, never really planning ahead, he thought sarcastically, One of these days you’re going to regret it.--WilliamGBeggs 00:46, June 26, 2010 (UTC)

4

Wake up procedure initiated on tube 12-3-45

Rose's eyes snapped open to the sounds of hustle and bustle in the cryo storage bay as the cover for her tube opened, releasing a mist of water vapor. She took a moment to stretch her arms, then grabbed the sides of the tube and hauled herself out of the infernal freezer. She hated cryo sleep, but since it was required for all non-essential personnel she couldn't say anything.

All around her men and women were emerging from their cryo tubes and getting dressed, conversing with each other, and other miscellaneous activities. Rose threw up, not from the overarching normality of the situation, but because of the lung surfactant she still had. Once that was sufficiently on the deck for her to breath, Rose opened the footlocker by her cryo tube to find body sheathing rather than the usual Navy uniform. Since her mission called for her to be heading planetside within... she checked a nearby chronometer, six hours, she wouldn't be spending much time on the ship


“Marines, weapons check!” the Sergeant ordered. The sound of weapon catches being released and dry fires was all around Rose as she cocked her SRS99C-S2 AM with a satisfying kth-thack! Despite the turbulence of the atmospheric entry she remained on her feet, not even holding onto one of the straps.

“So Chief, what intel do we have on the planet?” Rose asked over a secured comm to her team leader, Martin-D717.

5

Damn, but do I hate cryotubes.

That pessimistic thought was the first thing to enter Noah-D1287's mind as he arose from the high-tech refrigerator he'd spent the last few days in, blinking and squinting as his eyes adjusted to the light. Grabbings a set of utilities with his name and service number stamped on the breast pocket, he pulled them on as he looked around the bay. The mist from all of the recently opened 'tubes made it hard to distinguish faces, but Noah was reasonably certain that one figure he saw a few meters away was his team's leader, Terry-D293.

Walking over to the other Spartan, Noah leaned in close to make himself heard over the hubbub in the room. "Enjoy your beauty sleep?" he asked Terry.

"Looks like your the one who needs it the most, Noah," said a voice from behind him. Noah turned to see Summer-D427, another member of their team, pulling on a pair of utilities, a wide grin across her face. Behind her stood Bess-D2639 and Hector-D2894, the last members of their team. "Any word on the op yet, Terr?" Summer continued.

Terry rolled his eyes. "Summer, I just woke up. I have no clue what's happening next."

Summer laughed. "Alright, fine. Then go and figure it out already! You didn't make Senior Chief just to stand around naked in the cyobay!"

Terry shook his head, trying not to laugh himself. As soon as he was dressed, he set out to try and figure out where the Spartans were going next. CarpeJugulum 18:37, June 26, 2010 (UTC)

6

The UNSC China Lake orbited the Forerunner planet C329t, scouting the orbit around the planet, and awaiting UNSC reinforcements, before surveying the planet.

The UNSC China Lake was the Office of Naval Research's test bed for experimental weapons. The ship was a Block III Talos-class Frigate, retaining complete invisibility, but outfitted with more sensors, high-output LASER, a reactor capable of 73% higher output, and a Heavy Magnetic Accelerator Cannon on the bow.

Commander Gordon Freeman, Ph.D, UNSC Navy, stood on the busy bridge of the China Lake, staring through the thick Pexiglas viewport on the port side, into deep inky darkness of interstellar space, laced with the occasional burst of color and speckled with stars.

However, he was not admiring the sight, but instead, using his powerful mind to attempt to ascertain the point of being assigned to the current mission.

I'm not a expert in the Forerunner in any way, nor am I an archeologist. I'm just a doctor of physics, who happens to have a Colonial Cross for valor, he wondered, somewhat confused by the logic behind his deployment over other specialists.

Doctor Gordon Freeman was the Head of Special Project branch of the Office of Naval Research. He was a hero of the Human-Covenant war, saving countless lives in the Defense of Sydney, back in 2552. Armed only with an M6D Pistol, a crowbar, and a Hazardous Environment suit, he held back the Covenant onslaught long enough for civilians to evacuate and friendly troops to arrive. He won the Colonial Cross for his valor.

He had received orders to board the China Lake, while working in the ONR labs in Brisbane, only six hours ago, to some planet he really did not want to go. He much preferred to finish his prototype portal device, which was only a few weeks from completion.

Hopefully, the next test subject will survive the transition through the portal, he thought, cringing at the thought of the outcome of the last three portal tests.

The Commander glanced back at his orders, held in his left hand, and reread the entire dispatch.

Apparently, he was in charge of the recovery of Forerunner technology on the planet C329t. Usually, a junior Ownar field officer dealt with a find like this. If he was being assigned, it must be big. This find might be able to end the skirmishes the Loyalists kept causing.

Freeman heard footsteps approaching behind him, and his right hand moved down to a case on his belt, containing a M6D semi-automatic pistol. As Head of Special Projects in ONR, he was authorized to carry a loaded firearm at all times. He was authorized to the security clearance of "Above Classified; Need to know only"; meaning he could know of almost anything within the UEG, pertaining to any research project under his watch. With increased Rebel activity, he was expected to be able to defend himself with his weapon, should he come under attack and to ensure he was unable to be captured by hostile forces due to the intelligence he possessed.

He turned around and saw a young Lieutenant standing at attention before him, saluting. He returned the salute and waited for the officer to begin his report.

"Commander Freeman, sir, I've been ordered to escort you to a survey craft to begin searching for artifacts. Will you follow me, sir?" he asked. Freeman nodded and followed the officer out of the China Lake's Bridge.

Rainbow_Dash.pngRainbow Dash (Talk)(Contribs)  

7

Ah, damnit

Bradley just finished packing his medical bags when Sonya knocked it over, the syringes lay everywhere. Sonya looked back with a smirk, while bradley started to clean them up.

"Y'Know Sonya, those syringes could have saved you're ass, now, they are gonna be in microwave for two hours." Bradley said in an annoyed tone.

Sonya kept walking, acting completly oblivious to Bradley's complaints. Bradley gave a sigh.

"Wasp, you're last team didn't need you're attitude, and I sure as hell don't." Bradley announced.

Sonya stopped.

"Oh yeah, your team is dead, we actually know how to fight."

Bradley turned back to his gear.

She turned around. In a second she was holding Bradley in a chokehold, three feet off the ground. She then slammed him into a weapon locker and the gas from the weapon leaked onto Bradley's clothes.

"You don't talk like that about them!", Yelled Sonya, who then smashed Bradley into a window.

A knife flew accross the room into the wall millimetres from her head. Fi walked in

"What is this? Put him down, this is unacceptable, just unacceptable!" Fi asked, angrily.

Sonya slammed Bradley into a wall and let go.

"Sonya, what happened. You don't usually... Bradley what did you do? Do you want to learn what happened to Sgt. Kensing?" Fi warned.

"Listen here Gates, Sonya knocks over-"

"I know. You told her about her team? You are retarded. Sonya, go to Cryo-bay. Bradley, see me in five." Fi announced.

Sonya walked down the hallway. Bradley walked through to the team barracks.

Cheers, --Blarghafreakin'Largh


8

Martin made an exaggerated sigh. "Ass all. There was a mix up at command and now ONI is being a stuck up bitch. I'll get back to you ASAP." Martin flipped off the channel and turned on some flip music. The constantly changing beat made some interesting music and Martin liked it. Than Steven D364 tapped on his visor and Martin was thrown back into the real world.

"Marty, Perez wants to see us" Steven spoke in his usual low tone.

"Ok" Martin sighed and pulled himself out the chair and stood up."We working with a spook?"

"Yeah" Steve said matter o'factly. "A LT. Fred King, UNSC Marine Corps and ONI. And he has an agenda. Brought his own sniper, Cpl. Will Hawkins."

"Not by chane rel-"

"Yup son of the Oregon Hawkins"

"No fuckin' way." Oregon Hawkins was the greatest sniper of all time. In fact the greatest assassin of all time. But only ONI and NAVSPECWAR knew that.

****

Oregon Hawkins stroked the side of his M6D and sprung into action. He leaped from his cover and fired 3 shots in mid air. He hit each target dead center. He hit the ground rolled and took aim at the new set of targets and pulled the trigger three times. Each round hit its mark dead on. Than a small group of military men walked in. He knew each one.

"Dad, missed you." came a young voice. He turned and looked into the spiting image of himself. He embraced his son in a manly hug.

"How is NAVSPECWAR treating you?" he asked but was interrupted when he realized the rest of the group was watching. "Oh sorry."

Each man introduced himself. When King stepped up Oregon asked "Hey King? As in Trip King?" turns out Fred was Andy "Trip" King's son. Hell of a coincidence. Than a gruff voice broke the reunion.

"And just what the hell is this? Some sort of gay fuck party?" the group turned and looked into the eyes of Sergeant Major James Perez."God damn good to see you Marine!"

"God damn. That you Perez?" asked Hawkins in utter amazement.

"That's right. How the hell have you been?"

"Pretty good Marine." the pair shook hands. "How is Sarah?"

"Fine. Good looking as ever"

"Hey she's my sister"

"And my wife"

"Ok. Heres the mark" Hawkins informed the pair. "The leader of the brutes"

9

Nine days previously

“Oh, shit.”

His head felt like it was splitting open. Still groaning, he pushed the blanket off of his body and sat up on his makeshift bed, in this case a couch. Clutching his temples, he tried rocking his body back and forth to ease the pain. It didn’t work.

“What the hell?” he moaned. “What time is it?”

“Seven thirty in the morning in this time zone,” answered a female voice. “You really let yourself go last night, didn’t you?”

“My head,” he muttered. “I didn’t think I.... how much beer did I drink last night, anyway?”

“Wow. You were so drunk you didn’t even know you weren’t even drinking beer. You couldn’t find any at the store, so you bought sake instead, remember? Rice wine?”

“I did? How much did I...”

“Three bottles. Three bottles of undiluted rice wine. Do you know how much alcohol is in that stuff?”

“Can you shut up for a minute Diana?” he gasped rubbing his temples and trying to lie back down.

“Well I was answering your questions,” she retorted. “And I’m not the one who decided to drink himself into a stupor last night. You deserve that hangover.”

“Go to hell,” he muttered blearily. “I needed something to do.”

“Wow,” the AI muttered. “We’ve hit an all new low. You got drunk last night because you were bored?”

“Jesus...” He wished his head would just go ahead and explode rather than holding in all the pain. “I can’t even remember buying the stuff. Were did I even get sake?”

“I don’t know. The same place where you couldn’t find any regular beer, I guess. What possessed you to go out and spend money anyway? We’re low on funds as it is without you blowing the rest on drinks and cigarets.”

The pain subsided somewhat, allowing him to sit up again and survey the apartment room. Beer bottles--or in this case sake bottles--and cigaret butts littered the area around the couch, while the rest of the room was covered in food wrappers, armor components, and weapon parts. “It isn’t my fault we can’t get a job,” he growled. “People around here just don’t appreciate our talents.”

“You mean my talents,” Diana shot back. “I do all the real work. You’re just the muscle.”

“Whatever.” Throwing his blanket aside, he staggered to his feet. “Christ, this is place is a shithole.”

“It was already a shithole when we started paying rent,” Diana observed. “With you living here, it’s turned into something a few levels worse.”

With a groan, Simon-G294, traitor to the UNSC now operating as a mercenary named Mordred, picked up a sake bottle with his single hand and squinted at it. “Wow, this is some cheap booze.” He turned and waved it at a small pile of computer equipment in the corner.

“See? It was cheap! That means I didn’t waste too much money on it!”

The hologram of a teenage girl formed from a projector sitting on top of the equipment. “You still spent money that you didn’t need to on stuff that rots your brain and liver. From now on, you don’t buy anything without clearing it with me first.”

She cocked her head and smirked. “By the way, you look completely disgusting. It’s a wonder you didn’t throw up on yourself last night, but anyone looking at you might think that you did.”

Simon looked down. He was wearing a patchy pair of briefs and nothing else. His bare chest was covered in the network of scars he’d received from an accident during his training as a SPARTAN-III. “Oh.”

“Do you plan on cleaning this dump up any time soon?”

“Which do you want me to clean first, myself or the room?”

“Try washing yourself first, dumbass. I don’t even have a nose and I can tell that you’re gagging up the place.”

“Fine, mother.” Simon made his way towards the bathroom, still rubbing his head.

A shower in the apartment’s tiny washroom, which was just as filthy as the rest of the apartment, managed to wake Simon up completely, and ten minutes later he was on his hands and knees in the main room picking up the odds and ends left scattered on the floor. He’d attached his prosthetic left arm after the shower and dressed in a ragged pair of jeans and a dirty grey polo shirt.

“I may be the muscle,” he growled. “But at least I can get where I want to go without having someone carry me there. And I can clean up, unlike some people who just sit around and give orders all the time.”

Diana sniffed contemptuously. “I don’t make messes, so I don’t need to clean up.”

“You are so immature.”

“It takes one to know one, dumbass.”

Simon was opening his mouth to continue the argument when there was a frantic beeping amidst the computer equipment housing Diana. He froze.

“Someone just set off the pressure sensor outside,” Diana said quietly, all trace of banter gone.

Simon seized the pistol he’d set on a nearby table and moved over to the door, keeping low in case any snipers were planning to shoot through the windows. “Who the hell’s visiting us at this time of day?”

“The police, criminals, the UNSC, and all the dangerous people we’ve managed to piss off spring to mind,” Diana muttered.

Simon was breaking out in a cold sweat. If it was anyone looking to attack him, he was almost definitely screwed. No one walked in the front door of a target’s apartment without backup, and there was no time to assemble his armor and weapons from the mess around the room. There was very little chance he’d be able to take an organized group of attackers with no armor and just a pistol to defend himself with.

There was an authoritative rap on the door, making Simon frown. Hit men did not generally knock on their target’s front door. Maybe it was just some police officer doing some investigation. He could probably talk his way out of that. Still, it paid to be cautions...

“Who is it?” he called through the locked door, making sure his pistol’s safety catch was off as he did so.

“Your old partner,” replied a muffled voice from the other side. Muffled, but still familiar.

With a grunt of surprise, Simon rose and unlocked the door. Keeping his pistol at the ready, he slowly pulled it open.

David Kahn stood on the apartment’s threshold dressed in a black overcoat and business clothes. He looked appraisingly at the pistol that Simon still held in his prosthetic hand. “Still as paranoid as ever I see. Mind letting me in? It’s getting cold out here.”

Simon didn’t move. “What are you doing here?” he asked suspiciously. Their professional partnership, which had marked the beginning of his mercenary career, had ended two years ago. Kahn had cut him loose on fairly neutral terms, but that didn’t mean the man was friendly.

“Let me in and I’ll tell you.”

Simon still remained where he was. “Like you said, I’m paranoid. Just give me the basics before I let you in my apartment.”

Kahn sighed. “Fine, have it your way. I have a job offer for you that involves quite a bit of money. Is that good enough, or do I need to show you an engraved invitation first?

After another moment’s hesitation, Simon stepped aside and let his former partner into the apartment. Kahn glanced around at the scattered pieces of equipment and the room’s general state of uncleanliness.

“Looks like you’re in need of money anyway,” he observed. “Or is this how you like to live regardless?”

“Very funny.” Simon threw himself down on the couch. “Hurry up and tell me about this job so I can either agree to it or tell you to go to hell. Why are you asking me anyway? I thought you didn’t like working with me.”

Kahn waited for Simon to offer him a seat, and when the invitation didn’t come he shrugged and sat down on the room’s coffee table, being sure to wipe away a layer of grime and dust before doing so. “I ended the partnership because you couldn’t keep your emotions in check during some of the jobs we took on. I couldn’t stick with someone like that, not if I wanted to make it in this line of work. But I feel safe working with you this time because it doesn’t involve Venter, the HLF, or anything else related to whatever the hell you did before doing stuff like this.”

Scowling, Simon ran a hand through his tangle of black hair. “Fine. So you figured I could cut it this time around?”

“So long as you keep your head and follow my orders, yes. I could use a second gun to watch my back, and your AI should--”

“My name’s Diana,” cut in the AI in question irritably.

“--Diana should be extremely useful in finding the person we’re supposed to collect,” finished Kahn without missing a beat.

“OK, so what’s the job.”

Kahn leaned forward and rested his chin on his fists. “You ever heard of Idat ‘Ostal?”


Simon frowned. “Some Elite?” “Not just some Elite. This guy runs a massive civilian shipping company that runs throughout IU space. He’s one of the richest Elites in the universe; the guy practically owns his own private moon to live on.”

Now Simon was really interested. “So he’s the client?”

Kahn nodded. “This Idat guy has a son, Moru. Now normally Elite kids don’t know who their fathers are, don’t ask me why, but in this case little Moru was raised by his father. Maybe Idat figured he was rich enough to buck tradition, I don’t know. Anyway, Moru’s almost grown up now, and his father wants to succeed him as owner of the shipping company. But Moru doesn’t seem to want that, so he’s run off to join this new movement of Elites thats worrying the UNSC so much. Idat wants us to find Moru and haul his ass back home, and he’s willing to pay us ten million credits if we do.”

There was a pause as the words ten million ran around inside Simon’s head. That was more money than he had ever heard offered up for a job, probably more money than he had ever heard of period. But there was no way Kahn would go for a 50-50 split. “What’s my cut going to be?” he asked slowly.

“Three million,” Kahn replied without hesitating.

“Fuck that. Five million or nothing.”

“Three and a half. I’m providing transportation here.”

“Four and a half. You said that you’d need Diana for this job, that makes us that much more valuable.”

“Four million. Knowing you, you’ll probably hang back and let me do most of the fighting if we run into trouble. Take it or leave it.”

Simon glanced over at Diana’s hologram. The AI tugged at a lock of holographic hair, a signal they’d worked out between them. He turned back to Kahn. “We’ll take it, but I want everything out on the table first. We’re talking about this new Elite faction on C329t, right? The one everyone says the UNSC is sending a task force to investigate?”

“Right. But the UNSC itself shouldn’t be much cause for worry. My ship has the best stealth systems money can buy, and they shouldn’t even be looking to cause trouble. If they do find us, Diana can confuse their systems and we can retreat and regroup.”

“I’ve never taken on a UNSC military AI before,” Diana mused. “That should be fun.”

Kahn glanced at her, bemused, before continuing. “The UNSC won’t be the real problem. It’ll be whatever’s waiting for us in this break-away faction’s compound. They probably won’t let us just take one of their own without a fight, so I’m going to rule out any attempts at negotiation. Our best bet will be to use the time when they’re distracted by the UNSC to sneak in, find Moru, and split before they realize what’s going on.”

“Alright,” Simon agreed. “sounds like a plan. But how are we going to find this guy in the first place? The squid-heads all look the same to us, and the place is sure to be crawling with ‘em.”

“We’ll have Diana hack their systems and examine any personnel rosters they might have,” Kahn said. “If they have any semblance of organization they’ll have some way of keeping track of their members. We’ll find out where Moru is stationed, get over to him, tranq his ass, and get the hell out of their before they even realize we’re around. Of course, before we do that we’ll have to do some recon around the place to get an idea of the layout. If things go sour with the UNSC before we can locate Moru, our only choice will be to go in guns blazing and play it by ear.”

Simon leaned back on the couch. “Well let’s hope these guys are in a chatty mood. When do we leave?”

Kahn stood and turned towards the door. “Get your gear together and meet me at the shipyard in three hours. I’ll be ready to depart by then.”

As soon as he was gone, Simon turned to face Diana. “So, the hair tug. You want to play along until things stop going well...”

Diana smirked. It was an expression Simon had learned to both admire and fear. “And then we turn on him at the best possible opportunity. Ten million credits is a lot of money, after all.”

Simon nodded. She had a point. But then again...

“This is David Kahn we’re talking about, not some run-of-the-mill chump,” he pointed out. “Besides, I don’t want to have to handle a base full of angry Elites by myself. I say we stick with him until we’re safely away with the target and then we see if we can get away with betraying him.”

Diana shrugged. “Have it your way. But more importantly, start getting everything together. I want to kiss this shithole good-bye as soon as possible.”

Simon picked up his SPI helmet from where it lay on the floor and gazed into its battered visor for several moments.

“What is it?” Diana asked impatiently.

“I don’t know,” Simon muttered, turning the helmet over in his hands. “I just got a weird feeling that I’m never gonna see this place again, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.” Actene: If This Is To End In Fire, Then We'll Burn Together

10

"Contact. All units form up. Enemy contacts, I'd say about a group of five or six, half a klick from my position. Over."

"We read you Red-One. Sniper Team Echo is in position. Over."

"Roger. Do they have a clear view? Over."

"Uhh, negative sir. What ever your picking up, we don't see it. Over."

"Right, I'm going to have a closer look do you copy Blue-four? Over."

"Roger, Red-One. Over."

"What the...oh shit......."--Den fryktedehodet 19:07, June 29, 2010 (UTC)

11

On board the UNSC Plato

The UNSC Plato dropped out of Slipspace. The ship entered geosynchronous orbit over Beta-14. However, the UNSC Plato was not the first one there, it was greeted by the UNSC China Lake.

The UNSC Plato was one of five Anaximander-class Science Vessels used by the UNSC Advanced Research Projects Agency. A decade's worth of budget for UNSCARPA went into construction of these five ships. The UNSC Plato didn't have many offensive weapons, but the ship could hold it's own during a battle. Also the ship had some Naval personnel onboard to help run the ship, due to the fact that even 100 scientists and Huragoks couldn't run the day-to-day, crucial operations of the ship. In addition there was an experimental AI on board, Nyx. The Naval personnel were there so the 100 scientist and Huragoks couldn't defect. The UNSC Plato also had been used numerous times to recover Forerunner artifacts. However this was no ordinary artifact retrieval, this could possibly be something that a lot of factions would after.

In the one of the guest quarters of the UNSC Plato, sat Dr. Richard R. Hunt, PhD. Richard R. Hunt was still pretty unsure on why the UNSC Advanced Research Projects Agency really wanted him. They treated him with a lot of respect during the trip and they said they needed some help with their XFT-2 Drive, a drive reverse engineered from Forerunner technology. However, since stepping onto the ship he wasn't allowed near the engineering bay.

However, he really could care less about the engineering bay. He was in fact, fascinated with the planet he saw outside his window. Certainly a marvel of Forerunner astroengineering, he mused. Hopefully I'll be able to see it from the surface. This was Dr. Hunt's first job working for any actual UNSC Agency since he was sent to St. Anne's (something Dr. Hunt had many conspiracy theories about, especially the one where he blamed the whole incident on ONR, however he usually kept these ideas to himself. Yet, Dr. Hunt still couldn't think how those fifteen years were wasted at St. Anne's.

However, Dr. Hunt worked for the UEGBI as a scientific consultant for the X-Files division. However he was asked to lend his expertise on Forerunner technology, yet he still had no idea what he was getting into. At the time he was working with some Forerunner substance. It was rather hard to explain what this substance was, other than it's identifier 85225-JM27. This drug was part of one of Hunt's theories. Unfortunately, the a small sample of the drug was discovered by the Office of Naval Research while he was working there back during the last years of the Human-Covenant War, however before he was sent to St. Anne's he was able to keep the his own instructions to synthesize the formula in one of his notebooks, he brought that one with him, in fact.

There came a knock on Richard R. Hunt's door. "Hello, Dr. Hunt?" it was one of the scientists on board. In fact, this scientist was a student in one of Dr. Hunt's undergraduate classes at the reach institute of technology. He didn't care to remember any of his undergrads, but most of the undergrads remembered him as a "slave driver" for some reason however this scientist, about ten years younger than Dr. Hunt, deeply respected him.

"Dr. Hunt?" He asked again. Dr. Hunt got up and walked to his door and opened it. It was a rather lanky middle-aged man, in his fifties, balding, the average scientist. "Yes?" asked Dr. Hunt. "Dr. Hunt, sorry to bother you, but I've been asked to escort you to a Pelican, ONR's already down there, and they've found something, yet no one there has any idea what it is. Because of you obvious expertise, maybe you could have a look.

Oh joy, ONR... thought Dr. Hunt. Let's see how they ruin my life this time. Richard R. Hunt Buck 0 0 1 Incoming Transmissions Outgoing Transmissions

12

Zzzzzzzz

Doug-103 emerged from the cryotube, and streched his arms. He really, really hated cryotubes, and felt like he had a hangover everytime he got out of one. That's what you get for being in a cryotube for a couple of days or so. Doug groaned, and stepped out of the cryotube. Fuck, i feel like i've had a hangover... he thought. He was blinking rapidly to re-adjust his eye sight. He walked towards some equipment his name on it, and went over to get his armor. There was no one for Doug to really talk to, because he wasn't in a team, he was more of the lone wolf. He got in his armor, and sat down, trying to regain on what was happening. Yes, they were going down to a Forerunner planet called C329t, now under control by a new Sangheili faction. Stel 'Vadam, one of Doug's close friends, had been missing for a while. He wondered if Stel was down there...........

--I have never given up before. I never will. 22:53, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

13

0800 Hours, October 23rd, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), aboard ONI Prowler Frame Number RR-X394 in transit to (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

A heavy fog of gas billowed from the cryo-tray, as both Spartan were brought to nominal temperatures. Technical crews swarmed around each pod, commencing the various set up sequences required to operate the armour. A middle aged man in ONI uniform stood, gazing at the fully armoured Spartan's, a single thought on his mind. The mission.

It only took a few moments for the emergancy thaw to reach it's conclusion and each hatch slid open, exposing the soilders trained and homed to obey orders and get the job done. Both Spartans took a moment to awaken. "Sorry for the quick thaw but we've got a job to do." The ONI operative informed, punching in a set of commands into the terminal infront of him.

"Sir this one has freezer burn " A tech reported, readng over the logs for each armour. "Left, arm" he continued, marking the report in Anthony-D2142's medical report.

"Understood, begin seditive reversal" he ordered, moving to the door.

Anthony groaned as he rose up from the heavy interlocks designed to hold him inside his armour. His eyes clamped shut before they quickly ajusted, the sight of the techs surounding him was both annoying and unerving, he detested waking up with cyro. A sudden sharp pain in his left his arm confirmed his hate for entering the chamber with his armour, Freezer burn. Looking down he quickly noted an ingection system designed to num the affected area.

"Please take it easy" The Tech infront of him insisted. "We have delt with the freezer burn but your going to have to take it easy" The tech instructed, a pointless jesture, he knew what would happen.

"Just like you to get freezer burn" Spartan-D249, Leona teased over the com, she already being woken up.


Your world shall burn

14

Maverick finished up with his systems check before moving towards his weapons. He checked his SRS99S-S3 first, checking through every part, and making sure his custom scope worked before he moved through to the rest of his weapons. With a satisfied click, he began to look out at the planet below. From the height, the planet held on almost erie feeling to him.

"You ready for this?" Asked a voice behind him.

Maverick looked back, seeing the familiar face of Michael Peterson and his squad behind him. The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers did their weapons checks too, ready for any form of upcoming combat. Maverick opened up the holographic map of the area for one last run over of the plan. He was to set up a recon point with the ODSTs from far away and keep an eye on the Sangheili. The ODSTs nodded with agreement as every point was carefully gone over, every terrain feature memorized. With everything finalized, the unit headed towards their Orbital Stealth Insertion Pods, and prepared mentally for whatever might happen on the planet below.

--SPARTAN-G023 Spartan IIIViae Cohors Gamma Sparti Limes Manipvlvs Myrmillio 10:53, July 2, 2010 (UTC)

15

Harry-120 finished staring into the reflective orange visor of his helmet and strapped it on with a clicking sound. Shortly afterward, the heads-up display flicked on, and the shield hummed peacefully, reloading to full power. He then did a quick routine check of all systems, as he always had for all the years he had served. For a SPARTAN-II, a job was never over – not unless you got packed in a body bag.

A few meters away, Leo-009 clicked the last piece of his armor into place and strapped an Assault Rifle on his back. Together, the two spartans made up White Team, carrying out top-secret missions and participating in classified programs on behalf of the Office of Naval Intelligence. As such, they had been through many different versions of hell; they had recovered highly potent and dangerous nuclear warheads from fanatically dangerous splinter groups, infiltrated Covenant-occupied sectors to retrieve special contraband for study (and having to remain hidden from mainstream UNSC forces while doing so, as it was in direct violation of the Cole Protocol), fought a guerilla war against the Covenant, fought said Covenant for control of an ancient and dangerous alien artifact, and many other things. And they never complained. It was their job; they didn't know what else to do with their lives.

Not that they had gone through all these decades of non-stop fighting unscarred; they had lost acquaintances and friends. Fil, the team's first AI, captured by survivors of the United Rebel Front and probably technologically dissected for his knowledge on Forerunner tech; Meghara, forcibly shut down once she reached her seventh year of operational service; Cecil Lynch, the team's control agent and sole outside friend, killed during the Battle of Earth. Neither Harry nor Leo was strangers to losing those you knew. But they were spartans; they had to keep going, always, no matter what was thrown in their general direction. They couldn't afford to falter.

"Are you all right, Harry?" Harry snapped back to reality as he heard the Hispanic accent of Sita, White Team's new AI helper. Ever since they had tested how AIs and Spartans worked together in battle with Fil, White Team had always had an AI attached to it, taking up the slot of third member.

Though command had assured them that Sita was just as effective – if not more so – than her predecessors, Harry still felt uneasy about having the new AI with him; every time they got a new one, it felt like it was an intruder. It was nothing personal; it was just that it felt like a foreign object, which it was. But they had learned to work with all their previous AIs after undertaking missions alongside them, so Harry was confident that the same would apply to Sita, eventually.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Sita." He assured her. "Just thinking, that's all."

The AI's avatar appeared a fraction of a second later, showing a young, lovely-looking woman in fashion clothing. "Well, I guess you can afford it" she said with a smirk. "After all, there's still fifty minutes 'til you were told to meet with the meat grinder."

It took Harry a few moments before he realized that she meant the captain. Once again, the AI had attempted a joke; an attempt to fit in with the spartans and be considered one of them. Though Harry often found it tedious at times, he couldn't blame her for the behavior; it was all part of 'modern' social integration protocol upgrades to her matrix, which the ONI technicians had expected would improve unit cohesion between the AI and its spartan teammates. It also showed how little spooks knew about human interaction. The use of slang of slang and hardly understood jokes didn't exactly impress the spartans.

But they coped with it; they knew Sita couldn't help it. They knew they would start to work well with her eventually. But not now. She was still a stranger to them.

Harry repositioned himself on his bench into a more comfortable sitting position, knowing he would have to wait for some time. Sita – having expected a reply that never came – shut off her avatar, leaving the room to be lit by the lights above Harry's and Leo's heads.

Over on another bench, Harry could see Leo do the same. It reminded Harry of how similar the two were. They had become perfectly synchronized a long time ago; the side effect of fighting together for prolonged periods of time. But it felt different when it was just the two of them; it felt like they merged into one being, each being a side of the same coin. Maybe it was true in all things except biology.

Regardless, Harry was sure of one thing; if the two hadn't helped each other hold together for all this time, they would have snapped one way or another. They each acted as the other's anchor holding them steady in sanity and calm, and ensured they kept fighting on conditions that would have broken normal human beings.

Harry managed a weak smile under his visor. As long as he had good old Leo, he would be fine.

無問題 استرخيت Απολαύστε

16

Master Sergeant Darrel Mac smacked the 42 round magazine of bullets into hiS BR60 as he layed against the white metal wall of the UNSC carrier. He tilted his weapon to the side and yanked back the charging handle, readying the gun for his next mission. The Sergeant had served as a Special Forces trooper since before most of his Spartan allies were even born. After setting his gun aside, the veteran slumped his head against the wall. Even though he had just gotten out of the cyro, it's effects were still on him. He closed his eyes and drifted into sleep.


"Time to rock and roll, sunshine!"

Oliver-D1512 began to laugh aloud as the old Orbital Drop Shock Trooper that laid against the wall in front of him awoke. The Spartan would be dropping from the ship alongside him and as usual, felt that it was nessecary to bug his fellow teammates.

"You stupid bastard.' Remarked Darrel Mac as he felt his head that now ached because of the loud interruption. Oliver continued laughing, his wide grin showed his both annoying and lovable sense of humor. Behind him, the much taller and much more serious soldier, Clyde-D2414, approached the two.

"Oliver, you just love being an asshole, don't you?" Clyde remarked in a strict, yet sarcasstic tone. Clyde was the more responsible man of the two, always putting the mission ahead of everything else. He was near polar opposite of his partner Oliver, yet the two had remained good friends since they first met each other.

Meanwhile, as the two friends began talking and teasing one another, Sergeant Mac headed towards his pod. He pulled out a golden crucifix necklace that once belonged to his young brother Colin, who had died years ago during the Harvest Campaign of the Great War. As he looked out at the side window that was at the end of the row SOEIV drop pods. He stared out at the endless darkness of the space and stars, before he was suddently interrupted. It was the captain, speaking over the intercom.

"All soldiers to you pods. It's go time."

Suddently, a group of ODSTs and several Spartans entered the room, put on their helmets and entered their pods. Oliver put on his helmet as he approached Mac, who proceeded to put on his as well.

"You ready for this next op, old man?" Clyde asked as he entered the insertion pod and pulled down the protective lock.

"More ready then your sorry ass ever will be." Mac replied as he placed the necklace in his pocket. He saw Oliver on the communications screen to the left of him as the pods began firing. Mac closed his eyes as he went falling down from the ship. It was just another drop.

Just another drop

--Blah 04:04, July 9, 2010 (UTC)


Part Two

0900 Hours, October 23rd, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), aboard UNSC destroyer Aurora Borealis, in orbit around planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

"My ship's in position, Admiral," Commander Evelyn Feng reported. "Looks like Captain Montrose has gotten the others in this sector locked down too."

"Good," replied Lash. On the viewscreen, she watched as the Admiral adjusting his communications to the command freq. "Keep your guns powered down, boys and girls, but keep them on standby. We never know when we're going to need them."

"When are we expecting the hostiles, Admiral?" came the voice of Commander Stephen Manderscheid.

"Give them a couple days. Then we'll have half the rebels, pirates, and mercenaries on our asses for the rest of the mission."

The Admiral sounded exasperated. Feng knew that he was frustrated with the fact that even ONI wasn't doing a good job of keeping operations secret. "Either the spooks are getting sloppy, or the rebels are getting more ambitious." Then again, it was hardly easy to keep such as mission like this quiet, especially with such a large task force in orbit around this place.

To be honest, she really hated these kinds of missions. She would be stuck on board her ship for days on end, doing routine checks and patrolling repeatedly until something showed up. That was when people started dying.

Looking at the mission log again, Feng made sure that everything she needed to do right now was done. The Spartans and Marines that were assigned to land on Beta-14 were all deployed, and the backup soldiers were all at their posts aboard the Aurora Borealis. Weapons were powered down but kept on standby, as Lash had asked. She directed her gaze to the planet instead. She wondered whether the ground units had any luck with whatever they were doing. They probably aren't bored out of their minds, at least...

1

Gunnery Sergeant Raphael Esquival-Cortez was bored out of his mind. His landing on the surface of Beta-14 was normal enough, but after finding the LZ and hunkering down with his squad, there really was nothing else to do. He had checked his equipment at least six times in the last half hour.

What the hell were they waiting for? Every ODST in the makeshift camp were ready to move out, but no orders came in from space either. Raphael was tempted to ask his CO if there was anything he'd missed on, but decided against it. It would only be an annoyance to pester him about it.

As if summoned by his thoughts, the voice of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Forenson emanated from the Sergeant's COM. "Cortez? Are your boys ready?"

Ready? No, we've just been waiting around for the last hour. Raphael didn't know why he was feeling so irritated. He looked from one ODST, who was flipping stones into a nearby river, to another who was looking at his own reflection with his helmet visor, the Sergeant answered, "Yes, sir."

"Good. Your team will be proceeding to grid twenty-two by nineteen. Spartan Basilisk Team will be meeting you there."

"Understood, sir. We're Oscar Mike." Raphael cut the connection, and gave the "move out" gesture to his squad. They picked up their gear and followed him down the river.

Grid twenty-two by nineteen was a long way from their current position. But at least moving gave them a purpose. They were finally getting somewhere. There is no glory without honour 15:51, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

2

"Fi?" Bradley walked in. Fi nodded at him.

"Bradley. We need you and Sonya for this mission. You and she are with us because we need you. You can get it together, yes?" Fi said.

Bradley pondered for a moment.

"Yes, sir." Bradley responded. He was mad, but he knew what would happen if he screwed this up. His team needed him here. Fish walked by Bradley and looked back over his shoulder.

"Fi, we've got some stranded Marines on Metgos. Should we check it out?" Fish asked. Fi waited a moment.

"Interesting. They may be the 34th. Get ready." Fi ordered. He thought it was a trap,but he couldn't take that chance. The 34th Shock Trooper Division went missing in that sector a week ago. Fi walked over to the navigations officer.

"How long untill we get to Metgos?" Fi asked the officer.

"Five days" He replied. Fi nodded then walked down to the armory. The door slid open and his squad waited for the announcment.

"We deploy to Metgos in five days. I reccomend getting some things straightened out, yes?", Fi looked over to Sonya and Bradley, then continued, "This may be a trap. Be ready." Fi announced. He was worried, he couldn't do the mission without Sonya, or Bradley.

Fi walked down to his cabin and looked at the picture of his squad before Fish joined. He missed Victoria, she was a good XO, every time he there he knew that one mistake can take so many things away. Fi sat on his bed then fell back onto the mattress. Then he fell asleep.

--

Cheers, --Blarghafreakin'Largh


3

Chen-179 00:31, July 6, 2010 (UTC)

4

Nine days previously

David had just finished the preflight checks in the cockpit of his personal ship, Starkiller, when the communications indicator beeped. Flipping the com system on, he asked, “Who is this?”

“It’s Mordred,” was the terse response. “Mind opening up? I’m in full gear out here and people are starting to stare.”

Shaking his head, David switched on the Starkiller’s external monitors and saw Mordred standing alone outside the ship’s main access hatch. Just as he’d said, the young mercenary was fully kitted out in his battered, greying SPI outfit. With a large duffel in one hand, an MA6 assault rifle in the other, and weapons and equipment strapped to his armor, Mordred was certainly lucky that most of the law enforcement officers on New Ceylon had been bribed, intimidated, or otherwise convinced to turn a blind eye to the sight of heavily armed individuals roaming the streets. David turned to another panel and punched in the code to open the main hatch. As soon as Mordred was inside, he entered the same code to close it.

The Starkiller was far from being an elegant ship. Aesthetics had never been on David’s mind when he crammed the former cargo hauler with as many upgrades, both legal and otherwise, as its systems could be modified to handle. With twin engines straddling either side of its bulky main section, which consisted of a small amount of living space set over a much larger cargo bay, a bulbous tail section that housed the ship’s Slipspace drive, and a cockpit extending out the front end, the Starkiller had often been compared to a giant metal bug. The hauler itself hadn’t been much of a looker when David had bought it; back then he’d just needed something to get him from system to system and, low on funds, he’d gone for one of the cheapest crates on the market. Now, with him having to slip past government ships and track down fleeing prey in it more and more often, David needed something more.

The sound of footsteps in the short, narrow hall leading to the cockpit caused David to swivel the pilot’s chair over to face the source of the noise. Mordred stood in the doorway, still in full armor and clutching the duffel and assault rifle.

“You can set those down wherever they won’t get in the way,” David told him, indicating the rifle and bag. “And take your damn helmet off. No one’s in here besides us, there’s no reason for us not to talk face to face.”

Lowering the duffel gently to the metal floor and placing the assault rifle on top of it, Mordred tugged his helmet off. His mane of black hair was just as unkempt as it had been back in his apartment; the only thing different about his face was the strip of white bandage wrapped around his head.

David raised an eyebrow. “Still covering the marks then? I take it you covered your chest as well?”

They’d only been partners for six months--Mordred had needed a leg up in the mercenary business and David had seen the usefulness in an extra gun and an A.I.--but that had been plenty of time for David to learn all sorts of quirks and oddities about his companion. The extreme reluctance to go into public without his face covered was one that David attributed to whatever past he seemed to share with the Insurrection, especially when he remembered how reluctant Mordred had been to take on jobs that involved the UNSC in any direct fashion. The habit of wearing a bandage to cover up an ugly, horizontal slash across his forehead and wrapping up his scar-covered chest with more of them was one of the more puzzling ones, but you ran into people like that in this line of work.

Looking again at Mordred’s hard, angular face, David was reminded of how young the mercenary really was. He couldn’t be any older than twenty, and David suspected he might be younger. For all of his shortcomings--the inability to put his feelings and emotions aside that had led David to dissolve their partnership, the cautious methods that bordered on timidity when he was collected, his relatively poor accuracy when it came to precision shooting--Mordred was still a skilled fighter, far better than David remembered being at that age.

What the hell was I doing--and thinking--when I was that young? David mused absently. It all seemed so long ago, part of a murky past that no one--himself included--was interested in digging up. There wasn’t much to be gained from digging through Mordred’s past either. So long as he and Diana did their jobs and didn’t drag complications into the mission, they had the right to keep whatever secrets they wanted to keep.

“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times,” Mordred said, his stiff voice shaking David back into the present. “My scars chafe under my armor. I have to cover them up.”

“Just go with it,” chimed in Diana’s voice, emanating from Mordred’s prosthetic left arm. Mordred had stripped the left gauntlet and arm-guards from his armor to completely expose the synthetic limb, which Diana used as a base from which she could interface with the rest of his armor. “You’ll never get him to admit that the only reason he does it is that he thinks it’s cool.”

Mordred rolled his eyes and stepped forward into the cockpit, but stopped when he saw David’s hand fall to his hip. David, who had been reaching for a pack of cigarettes in his pocket, looked from Mordred’s gaze to the loose sidearm holster he wore along with his plainclothes.

“Relax,” David told his temporary partner. “If I wanted to kill you, I would have done it back at your apartment. So long as you don’t give me a reason to start shooting, we won’t have a problem. Just like old times.” Shaking his head at his use of such a nostalgic term, David withdrew a cigarette and offered it to Mordred, who accepted it after a moment’s hesitation. “So what do we do now?” Mordred passed the cigarette through his fingers without lighting it.

“We’ll be taking off in about fifteen minutes.” David turned back to the cockpit’s computers but made sure that he could still see Mordred out of the corner of his eye. Regardless of whether they’d worked together before or not, trust was a gift that he rarely gave. So far this policy had served him well. “The Slipspace drive onboard this thing’s been upgraded since you were last onboard, but it will still take us a few days to get to where we need to go. I suggest you settle in back in the living quarters, maybe run some checks on your gear.”

“You know,” remarked Diana from Mordred’s arm. “If you let me handle all the Slipspace calculations we could get there sooner.”

“If you think I’m letting you into my ship’s systems you’ve got another thing coming.” David replied coldly. “If Mordred doesn’t mind you hitching a ride in his body, that’s one thing. My equipment is another thing all together.”

“Fine,” Diana muttered. From the tone of her voice David could tell she was sulking. “Have it your way.”

David raised an eyebrow at Mordred, who had bent to pick up his things. “Keep her under control, understand? This job’s dangerous enough already without her ego getting in the way.”

For once, Mordred replied before Diana could get off a snippy comment. “She’s a professional, just like we are. She’ll do her job.”

“She’d better.” David turned back to the control panel. “Now hurry up and get settled in. And try not to touch anything that isn’t yours.”

With a grunt of acknowledgement, Mordred picked up his things and strode back down the hall towards the living quarters. David watched him go through one of the mirrors he had positioned above the controls.

Mordred was right. He and Diana were both professionals, regardless of their somewhat patchy success rate and irregularities. If they weren’t, he would never have offered them the job to begin with. Still, they’d have to be at peak performance if they were going to make it out of all this with their quarry--and their hides--intact.

We’re about to waltz our way over to a planet that’s going to have a UNSC blockade over it in a few days, David mused with a grim smile. Then we’re going to piss off a military faction composed of warriors from one of the deadliest species in the galaxy.

Yes, the odds were stacked against them. But David Kahn had built half of his career on beating the odds.

“Against all odds, I will overcome,” David muttered to himself as he readied the Starkiller for launch. “Against all odds, I will survive. Against all odds, I will win.”

It was as good a maxim as any to live by. Actene: If This Is To End In Fire, Then We'll Burn Together

5

On board the Independent Crusader

Lieutenant Commander Yehiel Aaronson had sent his message, unfortunately it caused the lights to flicker for a moment. He snuck out of the engineering bay, just as easily as he entered. He was just about to head back to his quarters when a message appeared on the screen, "I know, there is ZTF mole onboard one of the ships as we speak."

Yehiel couldn't go back to the engineering bay, and send yet another message, without somebody noticing.

Maybe I can talk to the captain. thought Yehiel. Just as Yehiel turned around, he saw someone turn a corner. I wasn't sure if the person was a crewmember or just one of the assorted civilian, as they moved too fast, but he did notice that this one particular person had been following Yehiel for quite some time. Yehiel attempted to catch up with this person, who he later realized to be male, had turned a corner and seemingly disappeared. He couldn't take any chances if the ZTF mole had infiltrated this ship. He had to talk to the captain immediately. He had sent in a warning to the top ONI brass that there was a chance of ZTF getting onboard any military vessel if they had allowed civilians. He remembered how his message went, more or less. He also felt that ONI should've brought a Prowler of their own, so he didn't have to "sneak around" on the larger Naval Vessels.

Unfortunately, they even allowed a lunatic aboard one of the ships. Yehiel opened his newer AS2552 Personal Computer. Yehiel was referring to Richard R. Hunt. Scientist who was laughed at by the scientific community for his theories about the Forerunner, only to have been proven right in 2552. Yehiel, of course was reading Dr. Hunt's ONR profile. However another thing happened to Richard R. Hunt that same year, a lab accident caused the death of one of his lab aides, and then his son was kidnapped. His son was eventually found, but not before Dr. Hunt had a severe mental breakdown and nearly killed a man. He was admitted to St. Anne's outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. The rest of his file was used to recruit him as a senior research consultant for UNSCARPA. He wasn't official access to the UEGBI X-Files Division reports on Dr. Hunt, but Yehiel had friends in high places.

Yehiel continued on his way to the Captain's quarters, he was reading these X-Files Reports, he was quite surprised that a civilian organization had such a grasp of ZTF. He had been followed, however Yehiel knew it this time. Instead of turning around immediately, he made his stalker think that he was safe. Yehiel turned around.

The man attempted to run, but Yehiel pulled out his sidearm and yelled, "I can shoot you in the legs before you get to the end of this hall, or you can stop." The man put his arms in the air.

"So... tell me, who are you?" asked Yehiel. "I'm someone who wants to help you find the ZTF mole" retorted the man. "How did you..." "know about the ZTF mole?" interrupted the man, "easy, quantum tangling may not be intercepted that much, but that doesn't mean it's hard to."--WilliamGBeggs 04:06, July 6, 2010 (UTC)

6

"Chen...wake...time...to...sleeping..." a voice said frantically. The voice was followed by a sharp blow to the jaw.

"Come on, we have to get on a Pelican, do you want the Lieutenant Commander hauling our asses down there?" Ryu scolded Chen.

"Well, first we've gotta report to him for our assignments," Chen retorted.

"None for now, he just wants everyone to get planetside and socialize. You know, figure out who's who in the civvies," said a passing ODST who was toting a sniper rifle.

"See! You woke me up for nothing, I'm going back to sleep," Chen said with a scowl.

A strong hand grabbed his shoulder. Surprised, Chen turned around to see Karin glaring at him. "Chen, you can be so ignorant at times. Don't ask any questions and get on a Pelican," she said with a sigh.

After a few minutes of bickering Changdao Team was on a Pelican along with 2 ODSTs and 4 Marines.

"Well, it seems that these ODSts know quite well about John's little scuffle," Ryu observed.

"Little scuffle? John killed two of them!" Chen exclaimed. The ODSTs glared at him, but said nothing. After 17 minutes, the pilot informing them of their arrival on Beta-14 broke the awkward silence. After dismbarking, a Marine came up to them. "Changdao Team?," he asked.

"Yeah, what's it to you?" Ryu asked, still agitated.

"I'm Gunnery Sergeant Jeff Cohen. You're attached to my fireteam, Fireteam Tango 71," the Gunny said.

"You look like you've seen a lot, are you Elite?" Karin asked.

"As close to an ODST without being one, ma'am," Cohen said. "You'll meet the rest of the team tomorrow, it's getting dark, better get some shut-eye. Chen-179 20:26, July 10, 2010 (UTC)

7

'On board frigate New Mombasa


On the bridge Commander Benjamin Jehuty saluted as Admiral Richard Lash appeared on his holographic video screen. "Sir! the New Mombasa is on station in orbit."

"Good," replied the admiral before he switched to the command frequency. "Keep your guns powered down, boys and girls, but keep them on standby. We never know when we're going to need them."

"When are we expecting the hostiles, Admiral?" came the voice of Commander Stephen Manderscheid.

"Give them a couple days. Then we'll have half the rebels, pirates, and mercenaries on our asses for the rest of the mission."

Jehuty didn't like the sound of that. It was bad enough ONI hadn't been on the ball as of late, they didn't need any combatants past the Sangheili separatists below. He sighed as he sank into the hotseat before swiveling to face his bridge crew.

"well, you all heard the Admiral," he commented, "but keep the MAC at 50%. I don't want to be caught with our pants down. Warm up the Archer missiles and also take the safties off the Shivas. Ops, bring the crew to conditional stand-to. Get ready for a long haul people."


Planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14)

"Ma'am, are you sure these are the coordinates?" a Marine asked Rose. She sighed before keying her external mic.

"Yes Corporal, I'm sure these are the coordinates to link up with the rest of my squad. I'm sure we're just early," she responded, not taking her sniper scope away from her visor. She had picked this location for its natural defense, being on a hilltop with a commanding view of the surrounding plains. She had been monitoring the horizon for signs of her team for about an hour, with the marines formed in a defensive circle around her. They had started with hasty fortifications of just their rucks, but some had started digging fighting pits while she kept her silent, rock still vigil. Any other UNSC personnel in the area could see her FOF tag in their HUD, but so far no one else had come along. Flame-124 23:26, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

9

Hector's arms blurred as he launched a quick flurry of blows at Bess. She blocked the blows with her forearms, then dropped low and swung a stiff leg at Terry's midsection. Leaping backwards, Terry avoided the blow, but in doing so allowed Bess to take advantage of his momentary loss of control to take the offensive. The slight, quiet Spartan leapt at her larger teammate, seeking any advantage she could take.

To Terry and the rest of Kobold, who stood by watching the two spar, the outcome was inevitable, even if not yet apparent. Despite her current offensive, Bess was a sniper, not a close fighter like Hector. Surely enough, the battle was ended in the next five minutes, with Hector emerging the victor. Although he won most of the bouts, he was always a good sparring partner- after all, how better to prepare oneself than to practice against one's betters?

Hector and Bess both headed to the showers, chatting as they prepared to wash up. Terry watched them go. In a matter of days, his team would be going into hostile territory, if not all-out battle. He had to know that his team was up to the challenge- more than that, could meet any obstacle head-on and plow it out of the way. Turning to Noah, he asked, "You up for a quick round?"

Noah shruged. "Ah, sure," said, and stood. The tall, lanky Spartan was the team's best hand-to-hand fighter after Hector. Noah had a knack for getting in close to the enemy and exploiting his weak points, a gift that had served him well before. Terry enjoyed practicing against Noah because he was almost always shown (painfully) the weak points in his technique. No matter how Terry adapted, Noah always used some minor flaw to his advantage.

Six minutes and some mild bruising later, he was shown that, once again, Noah had found that opening.

CarpeJugulum 02:30, July 9, 2010 (UTC)

10

Clyde-D2414 awoke to the taste of blood in his mouth as he looked around the interior of his drop-pod. The landing had been a bit rough, but it was better then most. He briefly checked his helmet and gear, to make sure nothing had been affected by the rough landing. The Spartan sighed for a moment, then proceeded to click three red buttons that opened the pod door. There was steam filling the pod, but the door wouldn't bust.

Oh shit

Clyde's pod had landed face first into the ground, one of the worst landing positions possible. Normally, you could launch you pod out of this position, by using the extra fuel that was stored. The problem was, Clyde's pod door was open, so launching the device would send him flying across the landscape.

"Oliver must be laughing his ass off about this one."

-----

Oliver-D1512 jogged up a grassy hill with his BR60 in hand, as he suddenly saw the black object in this distance. He pulled out a pair of Aperture Science binoculars and looked through the advanced piece of technology. Far away a blurry object sat his sight. He adjusted the device and zoomed in on the object, now revealed to be and ODST drop pod. It was his partner Clyde's.

"Oh my god. This is fucking great.'

Oliver ran down the hill towards the drop pod. His veins filled with excitement, a rarity in war, to see what kind of trouble his partner had gotten into. His jogging soon turned into a sprint as he approached the pod. Finally, he arrived to see the vehicle laying flat on the ground, in the middle of a puddle. The Spartan gripped his fist and knocked on the side.

"You in there, buddy?"

"Dammit, Oliver, get me out of here!"

Normally Oliver would have taken advantage of the moment, teasing his partner Clyde or pulling some sort of prank, but there was no time for that now. They had a mission, one they needed to complete at all costs. They were going to need every man they could get.

-----

In a mere three minutes, a group of seven Orbital Drop Shock Troopers were already watching over the Spartan's pod. As it lay in low creek, the troopers began joking and brainstorming over how to get the soldier out. Soon enough, their commander walked towards the lead Spartan in front of the vehicle.

"Simple, we just flip it," remarked Darrell Mac, who rested his right hand on his chin in an observing fashion. "We used to deal with this stuff all the time, back in the Covvie war."

"You can't just flip it. You might crush the guy."

"What the fuck are you talking about? It'll just fall over and he'll be fine."

"No it won't, old man."

"Yeah it will. Here you want me to prove it to you?"

Master Sergeant Mac approached one of his fellow soldiers who stood next to another ODST, casually talking. Mac picked up the radio device and set a call to the nearest Naval vessel in orbit. all around him, the soldiers set there comms so that they could hear the Navy's communication frequencies.

"This is the ONR China Lake, do you copy?"

"Roger that China Lake, this is Fireteam Charlie of the UNSC Prime Meridian's Special Warfare Detachment, requesting medical aid. Over.'

"Copy that, Fireteam Charlie. All our ships are tied up at the moment. A research vessel left earlier, but will be unable to provide you with any assistance. Are there any other ways I can help you out?"

Mac paused for a moment, thinking of a creative way to solve their problem.

"Yes, could you put a temporary block on all communications between Spartan-D1512's headset and you ship? Only temporarily though, he's been abusing such technology."

"Roger that, we are putting a thirty minute block on all outbound and inbound communication requests from the soldier."

"Thanks." Mac switched off his comm and looked at Clyde who stood with his hands in a questioning gesture. Mac ignored the spartan and ordered his squad to flip up the pod. He walked towards Clyde and smiled.

"They told us to flip it over."

Part Three

0400 Hours, October 24th, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), aboard UNSC frigate Hyperion, in orbit around planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

Commander Seth Dunston had just received word that all ground units, military or civilian, were on the surface when it happened. His communications officer was the first to notice.

"Slipspace rupture! Covenant ships on approach."

Dunston felt a quick moment of surprise, coupled with a twinge of fear. Then it passed. Broadcasting to the fleet, he said, "Admiral Lash? We've got trouble."

"Acknowledged," replied the older officer. "We're prepared for this, everyone. You know what to do. Bring your guns up, and stay in your assigned sector. Keep your firing solutions at the aliens." Earlier, Lash had placed the fleet into sectors, and balanced them according to class, size, and firepower. Even firing in another sector's general direction could be dangerous. And as long as the ships held their ground, the Covenant wouldn't win.

"How the hell did they get here so quickly?" muttered Lieutenant Megan Silverwood, the weapons officer.

"No time to think about that now, Lieutenant," said Dunston grimly. "It's time to roll. Take the MAC gun off standby, and get me some targets."

"Sir."

The Covenant ships moved towards the fleet, their weapons glowing red with energy.

1

"You know, I thought we'd be getting somewhere by now," remarked Ebony. Felix scowled.

"We have made progress. The leader of those Sangheili has agreed to talk to us later today. We're to meet at the waterfall that Commander Feng located."

"I know. That's not what I mean," the AI said. "I thought we'd be either talking with those aliens or killing them by now."

"You're so optimistic," the Spartan officer replied. "Sometimes you remind me of Cortana."

The Lieutenant Commander didn't particularly like having an AI stuck inside his head. In his experience from Project ORION, it was best to use one's own resourcefulness, or work as a team with other soldiers. And AIs could be irksome at times. But ONI had insisted that he try working with one for this op. So far, he didn't find it helpful. Then again, this op was far from over.

"Sir, I see the waterfall a ways off," said Lance Corporal Adrian Mandaloniz. "We should get moving."

Felix nodded. "I hear you, Corporal." He stood up from the boulder he had been sitting on, and picked up his rifle.

"Commander, I'm picking up movement," Ebony said, her voice suddenly turning sharp.

"It's just the squad," he said dismissively.

"No, it's something else. I—"

"Contact!" shouted Staff Sergeant Andrea Saldivar. The sound of gunfire broke the serenity in the air.

Felix heard movement behind him. Reacting instinctively, he turned around, ducking the bullets that flew over his head, and returned fire. His Assault Rifle sprayed 7.62 millimetre rounds at a camouflage-armour human, and he fell. Not even pausing to examine who he had just killed, he switched targets, taking down more of the hostiles.

The fight was over in less than a minute. Some of the Marines took hits, but there were no serious injuries. As they recuperated, Ebony asked, "What do you think?"

Felix was now looking at the body of one of the camouflaged humans. "I think we've just had our first run-in with a bunch of pirates."

"That's not what I mean." She really loved to use that phrase. Then again, the AI often said things in a very vague manner. "You know I detected them first, right?"

The Spartan rolled his eyes. Despite the sudden attack, he could tell that Ebony was enjoying this. But she was right.

"Okay, you win. Maybe I should trust you a bit more."

"That's better."

The voice of Cody-D1274 came over his COM. "Lieutenant Commander? We've got trouble."

"What is it, Chief?" Felix asked.

"Captain Montrose said there's Covenant that just arrived in space. A couple of their dropships made it down to the surface."

The senior Spartan kept his frustration in check as he replied in a neutral voice, "Acknowledged. I'm getting to the meeting point now with the Sangheili. Tell the others to keep their eyes peeled. Protect the civilians."

"Roger that sir. D1274 out."

Felix turned to the Marines, some of whom were still patching up. "Sorry to cut this party short, everyone. But we have to move now. We're on a tight schedule." There is no glory without honour 14:47, July 10, 2010 (UTC)

2

James held, loosely, his Silenced Machine Gun. He had grown attatched to this SMG more than he had his fellow marines. Of course, they usually were afraid of making decesions that James made, or that James was usually an arrogant man who was way too stuck up for him to actually care for anyone. He had pretty much been alone during the start of this misson, with good reason. James wasn't going to let some small timers stop him from helping the UNSC complete the misson. He tapped the side of his helmet with his hand to clear the radio. It was an old fashioned tactic that James liked to do. From what he could tell from the navy brass chattering away, the covenant were here. Well, that wasn't such a big worry. The UNSC ships would take them out before James had to prepare for fisticuffs.


Snap. That one sound made James spin and fire a short burst in the direction of the snap. The bullets hissed through the air, hitting trees with thunks, before the sickening sound of bullet tearing through flesh was heard, with a short sound of a human's last breaths. Pirates? What? James' mind went into overdrive and he knew what to do here. His eyes where peeled, for any sort of disturbance around him. He took steps forwards, eyes peeled. Love is Noise Love is PainLove is these blues 15:51, July 10, 2010 (UTC)

3

Spartan Tyler, even in his old age still had his aim down. Tyler was sent ahead and decided to land at a nearby planet for reconnaissance. Two shots are fired off and one enemy falls...well most of his aiming. His age is calculated to be 55 with the cryo-sleep subtracted from his "real" age. To him, war is all he knows. It's been years since his last battle and he hopes that after this, little skirmish, he can retire with full honors...even with everything that had happened. Sitting next to him is his usual comrades, Commander Reigns who replaced Wyilliamson after his death following The Forgotten war.

Tyler gets up and walks away with the rest of his squad. Another days work done and Tyler looking to the sky and hoping to get off this little rock. It's been almost 10 years since the end of The Forgotten war, but even Tyler knows when the end is coming. He looks over at his squad, tired from a days work, and yells to them to take a break instead while he takes look out. He walks over to the kid manning the sniper rifle and relieves him for a few hours. Taking this time off is nice for Tyler, no more kids asking him questions about the Covenant War or even The Forgotten war, though he doubts any of them really know of that one. Tyler sits there looking on to see anyone else coming to try and ambush him.--H*bad (talk) 06:21, July 12, 2010 (UTC)

4

"Unknown enemy contacts, 2 kilometers away," the PA announced. "All teams report to Rally Point Whiskey."

"Heh, finally Chen is awake when I want him to be," Ryu chuckled.

"Oh, you're a regular comedian, now aren't you?" spat Chen while putting on his EVA suit.

"Come on, soldiers!" roared Cohen at his team. "Move, move, move! We've got lives to save!"

"Hope he's not talking to us," Karin muttered.

"Finally, logistics got my Warthog to me in one piece," Chen exclaimed happily. His Warthog had a Battle rifle attached to the passenger's seat in addition to the gauss cannon mounted on the back of the vehicle.

"Let's skedaddle on to the rally point, 20 bucks says that Bravo Kilos are already there," said Eagle, Tango 71's rifleman.

"Nah, we're not giving them the base that easily," replied Butcher, the Marine squad's heavy weapons specialist. He hefted his Rocket Launcher over his shoulder.

"Alright, cut the chatter and get on a Warthog," Cohen ordered. The whir of the Warthog ended when they arrived to the Rally Point. A huge mass of Marines ODSTs and assorted Spartans "Wow, I'm supposed to know these guys yet I don't" Ryu looked at the resting Spartans. "Don't jinx us Eagle, do you want this base to be overrun?" Snake, the teams scout-sniper. "Don't mind her, rookie she's always happy go lucky like that", Jet, the engineer waved her off. "Orders, Cohen? we can't just keep sitting around he-" Chen was cut off by a large expolsion. "Pirates,here?" Chen finished his sentance, He saw, Ryu and Karin instaly jump into action. Ryu jump on an pirate and slit his throat and thew the body onto another pirate disortentating him while Karin invisibly delivered a shotgun blast to the mans spine, "Ah, hell yeah!!" Karin yelled. Eagle and Butcher were engaging a pirate cotroled Scorpion, Eagle fired a burst with his Battle Rifle taking down the pirate pinning down Butcher who was engaging the 2 pirates trying to enter the room he and Eagle was holed up in " Eat this, you son of a bitch!!" Butcher fired a rocket and destroyed the tank and 3 pirates surrounding it. "Targets in my sight" Chen said as he charged his SPARTAN Laser. "Yeah! one shot, one kill" Chen exclaimed. A group of pirates attempted to storm his snipers nest. He killed the 2 pirates with one charge of the SPARTAN Laser. Jet was trying to plant an explosive on an pirate held building, while Snake covered him. "Ready?" Jet asked as he unloaded a clip of his SMG into a trio of pirates. "Yeah, I'm ready for some fireworks, show 'em what you got" Snake replied as she delivered a sniper bullet to a Innies's head and followed up by wounding another. The building exploded. After Tango and Changdao Teams decimated the battlefield, things started to make aturn for the worse, all the surviving Marine and Spartan teams were exausted. Chen heard Cohen scream "Last Mag!" Chen took aim at the pirates charging killing 2 of them. Cohen, in essence went beserk unloading his clip into the horde of pirates after throwing the his Assault Rifle at a pirate pulling out his pistol and unloading. before retreating. Ryu was close to pasing out from exaustion, Karin was trying to escape the hailstorm of bullets, Eagle and Butcher were pinned down. Jet try to throw back a grenade but it landed too close to him, it exploded. Snake screamed "Jet,NO!!!" Jet was still breathing but barely. "Fall,back now, there too many of them,"!!! Cohen screamed. "The Marines and Spartans lead a valient effort to defend this place but what did we gain, nothing but death, sadness and desolation" Chen whispered "Don't worry,Chen we will give them the hell they gave us they will remeber our name and curse it, for we are Vengeful Spartans, the most lethal force in the universe" Ryu declared Chen-179 02:16, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

5

A peclican silently hovered above the planets surface, its thrusters rotating. Anthony and Leona burst from the hatch, landing on the earth with a dull thud. Both turned as they looked at the landscape infront of them. "Spartan's commander wants you back at base ASAP" a marine called from behind what appeared to be a large barricade. Dibs Echo 1125 12:27, July 13, 2010 (UTC)

6

The tallest Spartan, Clyde, led the small unit of ODSTs up the green rolling hills as they made there way towards the allied landing spot. Behind him, his partner Clyde stood alongside the ODST commander, Darrel Mac. They both jogged fairly quitely as the group head up the hills. Not much earlier, Clyde had lectured and scolded the two, reminding them the importance of the mission. As they continued walking to their destination, the twenty or so Orbital Drop Shock Troopers accomping them chatted freely. Although, they seemed friendly, the group of battle-hardened soldiers were ready to fight and kill any enemy that stood in their way.

Continuing down the path, Clyde suddenly paused and held up his hand, giving the troopers the signal to stop moving and take position.

7

Fish jumped out of the Pelican and scanned the horizon. He then gave the rest of Kingfisher the go order. Fi jumped down and looked east, to him it looked like a camp or reserve. Fi signalled his team and the moved forward. Sonya zoomed in with her sniper and saw a platoon of ODSTs.

Once they had reached the camp they saw the remains of the 34th, most of them injured. Fi told the team to go around asking what happened while he found the CO.

"Sergant John Reiner, we got hit by a pack of brutes. They were using guns with weaponized Madigan's disease. I'm the acting CO, we have no officers." Sgt Reiner reported. Fi walked around and pondered the situation.

"We must stay. Brutes likely using ship camoflauge. Reported before. We must hold out and find they're ship. John-117 has done destroyed a whole ship with a platoon of Marines. We can do it with a group of SPARTANs and ODSTs." Fi announced. As Fi gave orders he wondered, why here?

--

Cheers, --Blarghafreakin'Largh


8

Noah's spine compressed painfully as the drop pod hit the ground. Despite the pod's advanced systems for slowing the soldier's descent so that he could walk away, the fact remained that was hitting the ground at velocities that would crumple a Warthog.

Slapping the button next to his left hand, Noah blew the bolts off the door with enough force to knock out any hostile who might be standing in front of the pod. He brought his submachine gun up as he exited the pod, ensuring that the area was clear. Only once he was sure that the area was secure did he begin to speak. "This is Sierra-Delta Twelve-Eight-Seven, confirming successful entry. Over."

"Copy Delta Twelve-Eight-Seven," came the reply from the frigate in orbit. "The rest of Kobold has also called in. I'm uploading location and mission frequencies to your display now."

Noah's helmet-mounted display flickered for a moment, then displayed a new icon. Noah stared at it and blinked twice. The icon opened a topographical map in the upper-left corner of his HMD, with the location of each Spartan noted along with the Marines. Kobold was rendezvousing near the base of a large waterfall, half a kilometer to the south-west. Noah figured he'd be there in no more than a minute flat. Turning to his pod, he flipped a switch inside. The pod's tag in his HMD now turned a deep red, with a timer counting down from sixty.

Noah nodded, then turned to the south-west and began to run.

CarpeJugulum13:03, July 16, 2010 (UTC)

9

Now

From the moment he'd first been introduced to Semi Powered Infiltration armor, Simon had been extra grateful for its face-concealing visor. Back when he'd still been fighting for the UNSC the visor had been an easy way for him to conceal his nerves from his teammates, although they'd usually seen through his body language and made fun of him regardless. Now that he was amongst people with less experience at reading people in body armor, the visor was an even more welcome addition to his equipment.

Adjusting the grip on his assault rifle, Simon turned his attention back to the forest clearing and hoped that he wasn't trembling through his armor. David stood a few feet away, but that wasn't what was bothering him. What was bothering him was the twenty or so men assembled on the other side of the clearing not fifteen yards away.

Inside his helmet, Diana whistled. "It's a whole wall of meat. And they look even scruffier than you do."

Simon let out a low, nervous growl at the quip but was actually glad for the A.I.'s presence. David had refused to allow her access to any of the Starkiller's systems and she had complained about being deactivated and left on the ship, so Simon had plugged her into the docking port on his prosthetic arm's upper portion when David and he had gone off to this "meeting." From there she could access his armor's systems and provide data--and insults--whenever necessary. Having her along meant that he had someone to speak frankly with; he had no desire to make David think he was any more incompetent than he already did, but Diana could be trusted to merely insult him whenever he voiced his fears to her.

The men facing them were for the most part unkempt and raggedly dressed. Most had body armor of some sort, but most of it looked like cast-off marine gear or cheaply made commercial products. But in spite of their hodgepodge getup, all of the men were carrying rifles that, while old, looked like they worked. And Simon had spent enough time in the galactic underworld to know that a banged-up antique of a weapon could kill you just as easily as a state-of-the-art firearm could.

"I hope Kahn knows what he's doing," Simon muttered tersely, sweeping the rest of the clearing in case more men were trying to flank them. "These guys don't look friendly."

"He's the one who arranged this meeting," Diana replied. "They must have agreed to it since they're here. We don't have to start worrying until those guns actually come up."

"I'm filled with confidence," Simon shot back before looking down to make sure his knees weren't knocking together. Every single man opposite them had the eyes of men who had killed before and would do it again in a heartbeat.

The days since they had landed on Beta-14 had consisted of ensuring that the Starkiller was well concealed and making short reconnaissance runs around the surrounding area. Simon had yet to even lay eyes on a Sangheili and David had never been forthcoming when it came to his mission plans, so the four million credits this job had promised seemed no closer than they had been back on New Ceylon.

And now, to make matters worse, there was a UNSC task force sitting pretty up in orbit and--if the Starkiller's sensors were to be believed--UNSC troops airlifting and helljumping down to the surface. Simon had been operating on the assumption that the UNSC believed him to be dead ever since he had emerged from cryo-stasis almost four years ago, but the presence of government troops never failed to make him nervous. All he needed was some jumped-up ONI agent or one of his former SPARTAN-III comrades to recognize him and get him back on ONI's hit-list.

David had seemed unconcerned by the UNSC's presence ever since they arrived; all he'd said on the matter was that they'd need to "keep their heads down" before arranging this meeting with men that Simon could only assume were either pirates or very run-down mercenaries.

David stood a few feet away from Simon, his arms folded over his chest. He had neglected to don the helmeted body armor that had become his trademark and instead wore a dark jumpsuit with one pistol holstered at his waist and another in a shoulder holster below his left arm. Everything about his posture indicated that he was relaxed, and yet Simon still got the feeling that the man was still coiled and ready to spring into action at a moment's notice.

Across the clearing, one of the men detached himself from his comrades and began to cross over to David. He was better dressed than the others, wearing what seemed to be a full rig of ODST combat armor, sans the helmet. The armor had repainted a dark shade of green that made it resemble a standard marine's rig. He was unarmed save for a pistol at his side.

David's hands fell to his waist as the man approached. Although he made no sign of reaching for either of his pistols, the approaching man still wavered and seemed to glance back at his assembled compatriots as if to make sure they were still there.

"Relax, Stanley," David said, breaking the frigid silence that hung over the humid clearing. "I'm not going to shoot you right in front of all these goons you brought along. And since we're sorting out who's not shooting who right now, I suggest you have your snipers come out and join us as well. Let's start cultivating trust early, shall we?"

The man--Stanley--wiped his forehead with the back of an armored hand. "I'm just tryin' to be cautious, Kahn," he shot back in a voice that was an odd cross between a whine and an assertion. "I can never tell with mercs like you."

"I'm not here to take you out," David assured him. "Though from the looks of things, you and your crew don't look worth a very large bounty at the moment. Now, the snipers if you don't mind?"

Scowling, Stanley made a sharp hand gesture without taking his eyes off David's face. Simon nearly jumped with surprise when two men rose from the foliage on either side of the clearing and reluctantly stepped forwards. They both carried cheap sniper rifles and wore armor coated with leafy facsimiles of gillie suits.

"Interesting," remarked David offhandedly. "Don't you agree, Mordred?"

Simon's surprise quickly turned into embarrassment. He and David had been here almost an hour before this gang had shown up and he'd failed to see the snipers creeping into position. He quickly turned on his infrared and scanned the area, but picked up no heat signatures besides those of the men already visible.

Stanley peered around Kahn, his brow shooting up an inch when he caught sight of Simon. "Who's this guy?" he demanded. "And what's up with that stupid name?"

"What Mordred calls himself is his own business," replied David. "I hired him on as an extra gun on my current job. Which brings us back to why I called you up."

"The great David Kahn takes on partners?" Stanley asked incredulously. "I thought you tried that for a year and--"

"Six months, actually," David broke in impatiently. "And Mordred's the one I was partnered with. This is a one-time deal."

"And what exactly is this job that has you taking on partners?" Stanley inquired. "I know I've helped you out a couple times before now, but if it's got anything to do with these UNSC assholes you can leave me out of it. They're laying into everyone they run into; I don't need them coming down on me and my boys as well."

"It doesn't have to have anything to do with the UNSC if we all play our cards right," David replied. "I don't want contact with them any more than you do. They've never been very good at the whole "live and let live" thing; it's bad for business."

"So who are you here to deal with?" Stanley asked suspiciously. He still sounded as if he expected David to pump him full of lead at any moment.

"Not with any of you pirates," said David, confirming Simon's suspicions about Stanley and his gang. "or with smugglers or Innies. We're paying a visit to the Path Walkers. Heard of them?"

Stanley shuffled his feet. "Of course we have," he muttered, eliciting nods from the rest of his men. "What's that got to do with us?"

"You're the closest group to our LZ." David began to pace, casually circling the nervous pirate. "Even if you're laying low, you have to know something about these aliens."

Stanley shrugged. "When I heard about 'em, I sent some scouts to investigate. None of them came back, and we were afraid those Path Walkers would come after us. But they never did. We've steered clear of them since then. Can't say we know any more about them than you guys do."

"That's a shame," David remarked. "but it just means we'll have to work a little bit harder to get what we want."

"Well, if that's all we'll be off--" Stanley began, but froze when David raised a hand.

"We're not quite finished," he said. His voice was even, but there was an edge to it that made even Simon, his partner, want to flinch. "You and your boys look like you've been seeing hard times lately."

"You have no idea," said Stanley, eager for someone to complain to. "The UNSC's cracking down on smuggling, and the Jackals are cornering the pirating business. We haven't had any cash coming in for months. The best we can do is steal from some of the smaller gangs on this rock, and even those pickings are slim. Mark my words Kahn, it won't be long before you mercs are scrabbling for jobs too. You'll be feeling a little pinched yourself soon enough."

"Some of the less... proficient practitioners of my trade may suffer from this crackdown you seem all worked up about." Now Kahn's voice was as frigid as an ice planet in a blizzard. "I, on the other hand, will not."

Stanley flinched, then seemed to realize what he'd done and attempted to regain his composure while remaining apologetic. "Yes, yes, of course you won't feel it. Slip of the tongue on my part, that's all. Don't know what I was thinking--"

Behind the two men, couldn't help but be troubled by the pirate's words. Yes, David wouldn't see any change in the amount of contracts he was offered, but what about him and Diana? They were hard up for work as it was without the pickings getting any slimmer.

As if sensing his concern through his bio-monitor, Diana cut in over his helmet's radio. "Relax. Once this job's done we won't have to worry about getting jobs for a while at the very least."

"Yeah..." Simon replied, then tried to focus back in on David and Stanley's conversation.

"You want us to do what?" Stanley was demanding. If he hadn't seemed so afraid of David, Simon might have assumed that the pirate was actually angry with the infamous mercenary.

"You heard me," said David impatiently. "We'll be extracting a target from the Path Walkers. If things get hot, we might need you and your boys to lend us a hand."

"Are you nuts?" Stanley snapped. "We've barely got enough 'Hogs to fit all of us and we've got exactly two rocket launchers total. You expect us to come rescue you from the middle of a shitload of squid-heads?"

"This can't be all the men in your group," David said, resuming his pacing. The other pirates were shifting nervously now. A few had even started to back away. "And I'll make it worth your while. Five hundred thousand if we wind up needing you, maybe more if you do a good enough job at pulling us out."

Simon saw conflict in Stanley's eyes and had been in similar situations enough times to know exactly what the pirate was going through. His instincts for self-preservation were doing battle with his own greedy impulses.

It seemed that greed won out because Stanley seemed to deflate a little and nodded. "Alright. Five hundred thousand, you say?"

David nodded. "That should be enough to get you back on your feet, don't you agree?"

Stanley nodded, as did several of his assembled minions.

"Now get back to wherever the rest of your gang is and keep your heads down until we call you." David turned away from the pirates and strode back over to where Simon was standing. The meeting was over.

David picked up his carbine from where he'd left it on a nearby stump. "That went well," he commented, thankfully failing to mention the snipers. "Let's get back to the ship."

"That five hundred thousand is coming out of your cut, right?" Diana asked suspiciously over Simon's helmet intercom.

"Of course," said David, shouldering the carbine and scanning the path they'd come from. "What difference does that make when I'm already collecting six million after this is over? Besides, scum like Stanley will probably accept less than half of that if I put a little pressure on him." A hint of distaste entered David's voice. "There are plenty of mercenaries like that as well. The clients always try to drive your price down when it comes time to collect. I never accept any less than what I signed on for, but I've know of plenty of mercs who'll go for as little as ten percent of the original deal. Life lesson, Mordred: never get into that habit. If you don't have the minerals to stand up to your own employer than you've got no business in this line of work."

"I'll bear that in mind," Simon said, falling into step behind the older mercenary. "Will our split-jawed employer try that on us?"

"Most likely. The trick is to ignore their bullshit and stick to the price you agreed on. They hardly ever argue after they see you've got enough spine to stand them down."

They walked in silence for several minutes. Both of them kept their weapons scanning the tree and bush-studded landscape in case some less friendly pirates saw two mercenaries traveling on foot as easy prey.

"So," said Simon, breaking the silence. "When do we start recon on the Path--"

He never finished the sentence. Suddenly David was flinging himself to the ground and it seemed like a good idea to follow suit. Following David's eyes, Simon saw one of the worst things imaginable.

Several yards away, mounting the crest of a hill, was a group of men dressed in instantly-recognizable MJOLNIR armor. Simon and David were directly in the path of a squad of Spartans, and with them a platoon of ODSTs. Actene: If This Is To End In Fire, Then We'll Burn Together

10

Holy shit, i feel like i've sprained something. Oh well.

Doug-103 stepped out of a SOEIV, and grabbed his SRS99. He looked around, analysing his surroundings. The surface of C329t wasn't unfamilar. It slightly reminded him of Reach, where he was born. He looked to the left and to the right. Nothing was around, just...nothingness. He cocked his SRS, making a thunk sound. He sprinted to regroup with the others.

"Must be something around here......"

I have never given up before. I never will. 11:46, July 18, 2010 (UTC)

11

“Slipspace rupture detected!” Lieutenant Yvony called from his station. Chatter on FLEETCOM was full of similar warnings as the enemy fleet entered the battlefield.

“All hands general quarters!” Commander Jehuty ordered, “get that MAC fully charged, prepare to slave Archers to targets, and synchronize targeting solutions with our battlegroup.” Experienced hands tapped at the holographic stations as chatter on the bridge shifted to more combat oriented and orders to the various departments of the ship. Commander Jehuty swiveled his chair around as the tac-holo came online, displaying the planet Beta-14, the New Mombasa, the rest of the fleet, and the approaching enemy fleet.

“MAC fully charged, Archers primed and ready for targets, receiving firing solution from cruiser Xavier Fire.” A line appeared on the holo display connecting the New Mombasa with a covenant destroyer, along with a countdown timer.

“Show all firing solutions,” Commander Jehuty requested. Several lines shot out from the human fleet connecting to the enemy fleet, several on single targets. Jehuty knew his frigate didn't have the power to take out a destroyer, but concerted fire from two destroyers would put some serious hurt on the enemy.

“Firing MAC... NOW! Archers released.”

“Never knew you,” Juhuty muttered as he felt the shudder of the MAC gun firing, sending a 30 ton DU slug out into space. On the holo display ships opened fire, streaks of white painting the darkness of space. A few seconds later covenant shields flared brilliantly as MAC rounds and archer missiles impacted, causing them to fail. Staggered fire obliterated several ships, while other were heavily damaged. New Mombasa's MAC was a solid hit, knocking out the destroyer's shields in time for two more MACs to turn it into space debris. Cheers were heard on the bridge and on FLEETCOM as the enemy forces were reduced by half.

“Its not over yet,” Jehuty commented grimly. But for now, long developed tactics might carry the day.



On the ground Rose was picking up the space battle on the com, growing increasingly anxious about meeting up with the rest of her team.

“Contact!” one of the marines yelled, pointing at a wraith tank appearing out of a woodline.

“Rockets front and center!” the Sergeant ordered. Marines with SPNKR launchers stepped up, sighting on the target and letting loose with both barrels. Six rockets streaked, arced as the wraith tried to dodge, and impacted the tank, causing it to explode into a fireball of plasma.

“More on the way!” Rose reported, sighting human tanks, wraiths, and infantry clearing the woodline. “Fleet command, this is Rose D-4140. I have confirmed sighting of human forces at grid Hotel Echo 3324, advise, hostility shown.” As she finished a human tank round shot past their position. “Advised, we're pulling back and linking up with the rest of my squad.”

“You heard the lady,” the Sergeant ordered. “Rockets cover our retreat, everyone else, fall back to the woods. Last one out shut off the water.” With that joke the rocket marines shot off their last rounds while Rose cracked away with he sniper rifle. Sangheili and humans alike fell to her withering and accurate fire, forcing them to scatter and find cover. As soon as she completed her second magazine, she turned and took off after the marines.



Later on Rose's group was traveling through the forest in a tight V formation when they heard the sounds of other humans. Everyone stopped, taking cover or kneeling down as they watched around them. Rose took the initiative, whistling a six note tune all Spartans knew from training on her com and external speakers. “Oliver? Clyde? You guys around?”

Flame-124 16:55, July 25, 2010 (UTC)

Part Four

1600 Hours, October 24th, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), on the surface of planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

"Sir, we've received a transmission," Sergeant Saldivar reported. "One of my men picked it up on a secondary frequency, it looks like it was left for us..."

Felix took the recording device she handed him, and listened intently. The translator integrated into his armour instantly turned the Sanghelian words into English.

"To the United Nations Space Command, this is Ruji 'Geran of the Path Walkers," said the voice in a low Sangheili tone. "We are aware of your presence here, and will agree to a meeting in one of our facilities on the far side of the lake you are standing next to upon receiving this transmission. Bring your weapons if you wish, but do not display hostility. If you raid this planet for Forerunner artifacts, we will not take kindly to your actions and will respond accordingly. You have been warned."

The Spartan officer mulled the words over in his head. Without consulting Ebony, he opened a private channel to Lieutenant Colonel Forenson. "Joe?"

"What is it, Felix?"

"You might want to hear this." He sent the transmission.

Joseph Forenson was probably one of the few soldiers in the UNSC that actually knew who Felix was in terms of blood. And that was because they were on the same family tree. Although not directly related, Forenson's wife was Marina Morley, the great-niece of Felix's spouse, Jess. He, like her, had spent a long period in a cryotube and had gotten used to the fact that some of their descendants were older than they were. Still, the ODST and the Spartan referred to each other on a first-name basis, unless there were outsiders also talking to them.

"Sounds pretty normal. What do you think?" Forenson asked.

"They don't seem to be up to anything," Felix replied. "But we have to be careful nonetheless."

"It doesn't look like we can make sure without getting on their nerves, though."

"Probably not. I'll go."

"What about the rogue activity in the area?"

"Those Sangheili aren't stupid," Ebony chimed in, sounding slightly irritated at having been cut out of the conversation. "They probably know what's going on and have their own ways of dealing with it."

"I'm more worried about the pirates," Forenson said. "Most of them are humans, and if they go snooping around looking for the technology. For all the Sangheili know, we could be sending them out posing as civilians."

"We'll sort everything out during the negotiations," Felix said. "Until then, we'll need our troops to clear out as many of the rogues as possible."

"Understood. You have tactical command of the Spartans, Lieutenant Commander. Good luck."

"Affirmative."

"And Felix..."

"Yes, sir?"

"Tell your boys to take some of them alive."

1

Cody was in good spirits for a number of reasons; the first of which was because he finally reassembled Basilisk Team. They looked a bit restless, so he had them move out right away with the other squads that were coming along. The second was that the ODST platoon they were assigned with consisted of an executive officer that seemed to be on good terms with Spartans (Forenson was elsewhere with his own platoon, but Major Bruce Outlaw kept a good hold over his Helljumpers). The third reason was that this mission was finally getting somewhere. He had just received word that Felix was on his way to meet with the Sangheili, and knew that one way or another, everyone else would have something to do other than hunting down the occasional rogue.

"Report," the Chief Petty Officer ordered. "Is everyone back?"

"Affirmative, sir," said Alexis-D2811, his second-in-command.

"Let's do a casualty count. How many have you neutralized, Alexis?"

"Fifteen dead, four captured."

"Twenty-two dead, one captured," Ryan-D1120 said. "There were a couple of runners, I had to pick them off."

"Seven dead, thirteen captured," said Ava-D395. "A few of them had critical injuries, but I kept them alive. They're unconscious at the moment, though."

There was a pause. "Sophia?" Cody asked, when no reply came.

"Twenty-six dead, sir."

"How many did you take alive?"

"None."

He sighed. Sometimes his CQB specialist was a little too brutal. But he could tell that her report wasn't what held her up. "Is there a problem?"

"I thought I saw something move. Under the ridge on the hill we're passing."

Cody looked back, where Sophia was positioned around a team of ODSTs. She was still walking normally, and to the casual observer, it would have been difficult to tell that she was suspicious. But he caught her stiff movements, and the wary posture she held when surreptitiously observing her surroundings.

It could be just a coincidence, he thought. But he trusted his teammate.

"Orders, Cody?" Sophia enquired. The Chief Petty Officer made a visible hand gesture to her, as if motioning to her to move up. But broadcasting to Basilisk Team alone, so that not even the ODSTs (who were often known to act on reflex and weren't the best at drawing enemies out, especially in larger groups) could hear them, he said, "Okay, here's the plan." There is no glory without honour 03:50, July 22, 2010 (UTC)

2

David lay very still under the cover of the bushes and cursed his lack of foresight. He, David Kahn, who had built his professional success on a foundation of planning for every possible contingency, had waltzed into the middle of an unexplored forest with no camouflage and only standard equipment. He'd known that UNSC troops were in the area, so why hadn't he been more cautious? Was the prospect of six million credits waiting for him at the end of this assignment dulling his wits and making him sloppy? Mistakes like this were ones rank amateurs made, the slip-up that caused most prospective freelancers to have lethally short careers.

A lesser man might have wasted several more crucial seconds on mental flagellation, but David Kahn was not one who was not predisposed towards wasting time. He was lying approximately fifteen yards away from some of the most lethal soldiers in the galaxy. All of them were better armed and armored than he was, and although he most likely had more combat experience than most of them combined, all the experience in the universe wouldn't stop a group that large from riddling him with bullets the moment he made a move. To make matters worse, he was with a fellow mercenary who, while certainly capable of looking out for himself, was prone to making amateurish mistakes.

This was another reason David was furious at his lapse in judgement: he'd spent a good amount of their short partnership together lecturing Mordred on behaving like a professional.

If the ODSTs and Spartans--for David was positive that the bearers of that distinctive armor were the UNSC's legendary super soldiers--were alerted to their presence in any way, death would be swift and unforgiving. Fortunately the group had changed course after clearing the hill, which meant that they would not be descending directly upon his and Mordred's prone forms. But that didn't mean they weren't alert. From what Stanley had just told him and from the scattered reports Diana had been intercepting, the UNSC had been slaughtering any pirates or rebels they stumbled across. These soldiers knew that they were in hostile territory and would be at the peak of awareness.

Ever so carefully, David arched his neck until he could glimpse the government troops through the leaves of his guardian bush. They were making no signs that they had seen any movement, but these were trained professionals he was dealing with. It would be unwise to spray empty bushes with gunfire, not with pirates and rebels around every tree and rock. The same was true for grenades, grenades that might be needed should a real firefight break out. No, the way David would have handled a situation like this would be to lull a suspected enemy into a false sense of security while you set up and waited for him to step out. Quick, clean, and with a minimum expenditure of ammunition.

So he'd have to wait for some time, even after these troops had passed by. No matter. He'd lain prone for hours, even days at a time as he waited for a target to pass through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. He was prepared to do it, but could the same be said for Mordred?

A chill of uncharacteristic fear briefly ran up his spine before he dismissed it. This is why I work alone, he thought distantly. You don't have anyone watching your back, but at least you only have to worry about your own screw-ups.

If Mordred fell for such a simple trap, they would both die. They'd blow him away, then come over to inspect the body and find David as well. They could both wait this out and survive--David's uniform and Mordred's armor were dark enough to remain unnoticed under the bushes--but only if Mordred stuck it out until the troops had moved on. David had no choice; he could no longer see the UNSC troops, which meant that Mordred could relax and get up at any moment. He would have to risk moving.

Slowly, ever so slowly, David allowed one of his hands to travel up to his ear and activate the small communications headset he wearing. The headset was tuned in to Mordred's helmet frequency. He could warn Mordred without anyone else hearing.

"Mordred," he began, keeping an eye on the ridge in case the group came back.

To David's fleeting horror, Mordred replied before he could finish the rest of his message. "Right," the younger mercenary said. "Let's get moving."

Everything seemed to be moving as though underwater. David tried to lash out at his partner with his feet, hoping to kick him and warn him back down, but from the tremors of the leaves around him Mordred was already getting up. Now backup plans were quickly formulating in David's head: he could make a break for it as the soldiers mowed Mordred down; hopefully they'd be distracted by their kill long enough for him to cover enough ground.

His body tensed as he waited for a fusillade of bullets to cut Mordred to ribbons.

The bullets never came, or at least not in their direction.

Suddenly the woods were filled with the distinctive sound of energy weapons. Green and blue lights slashed through and around the trees as energy carbines and plasma rifles were fired. The response was almost instantaneous: assault and battle rifles were now answering the energy weapons. The air was filled with the sounds of men yelling and aliens--squawking?

His carbine at the ready, David pushed the top of his body out from under the bush. A team of avian-bodied Jackals had emerged almost fifty yards from his and Mordred's position and were firing on the ODSTs and Spartans. The group had clearly been circling around to draw David and Mordred out: they had descended from the hill and were between them and the Jackals. But now the soldiers had little time for what they must have suspected to be rebels; their attention was fixed on their Jackal assailants.

Beside David, Mordred was frozen in place, half standing, half crouching. David dropped back down to the ground. "Start crawling!" he barked into his headset.

Mordred tried to get out of David's way as the mercenary began crawling towards him and managed to sink his armored foot into a mud puddle that had gathered at the base of a tree. Pulling the offending foot back, he scrambled to get back on the ground and also began to crawl. The two mercenaries kept this up, slowly maneuvering around bushes and trees, even as the sounds of battle continued to rage behind them. It was only after those and all other sounds had completely died away that they risked getting to their feet, brushing the collected dirt off their bodies, and proceeding back to the Starkiller as quickly and cautiously as possible. Actene: If This Is To End In Fire, Then We'll Burn Together

3

The fight was over in less than a minute. It had been obvious who would win.

Raphael turned over a Jackal's body with his boot. It was dead, no doubt. The alien had so many bullets in him he was practically Swiss cheese.

"All hostiles accounted for?" asked Major Outlaw.

"Looks like it, sir," replied Terry-D293.

"These Jackals aren't Covenant," Raphael remarked, examining the dead Jackal he was standing over. "They're pirates."

"To each their own," Outlaw said. "Most of these lizards are more greedy than human rebels."

"Everyone, I'm going to need you to conduct a thorough search of the area," came the voice of Cody-D1274. Predictably, a series of complaints flooded the channel, mostly from the ODSTs.

"Do it," Raphael snapped to his men.

Outlaw got everyone to quiet down. He asked, "What's the occasion, Chief? You said there were possible rogues in the area. It looks like we dealt with them."

"No, sir. I think there's...something else."

Cody sounded preoccupied. But aside from the occasional grumbling, the platoon set themselves to their tasks.

Raphael spotted an ODST walking around carelessly, sweeping aside bushes as if looking for something but not really glancing at any of it. "Stop screwing around," the Sergeant berated him angrily, "Or I'll have you hauled back to guard the POWs." Immediately, the Private set to his task more carefully.

Walking in a different direction, Raphael moved over the hill they had walked past to another cluster of bushes. At first glance, they seemed to be undisturbed, but the Helljumper noted how the leaves in the middle and bottom were curled away from a general direction, and had a loose feel to it. He kept looking around until he reached a tree, growing more sure that someone, maybe two people, had slipped away here recently. But it wasn't until he spotted the mud puddle that he was certain.

Turning on his COM, Raphael said, "Cody, get to my position. I think you might be interested in this."

The Chief Petty Officer spotted him, and hurriedly approached the ODST. "What have you found, Sergeant?"

He showed him the puddle. Imprinted on one side of it was a large bootprint. "Looks like armour from covert ops," Raphael said. "Any ideas?"

Cody looked over the markings carefully, taking in every detail. "That's...SPI armour. Last time I recalled, it was used by the first three SPARTAN-III Companies way back during the Human-Covenant War. It was scrapped by the UNSC after the development of the Mark VII HLS variant."

"So who the hell would wear one of those antiques?" Raphael asked, frowning. Just another mercenary probably, but...

No one but a Spartan could wear that kind of armour.

It seemed that Cody had already come to the same conclusion.

"SPARTAN-D1274 to SPARTAN-116," he said. "Sir, things just got worse." There is no glory without honour 03:30, July 23, 2010 (UTC)

4

Boom.

A plasma motar nearly hit Doug-103's location. It would of killed him if he didn't barrel roll out of the way. He saw more coming for him. He looked up.

"Oh shit. This does not look good."

He ran like hell. He ran for his life. He was going to make sure, he'd get through this. He pulled out a pair of M6G Pistols and ran for a canyon opening. The plasma mortars switched positions and blew the opening, caving it in. Seeing no way out...Doug went on, through the canyon.

--I have never given up before. I never will. 06:27, July 23, 2010 (UTC)

5

1415 Hours, October 24th, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), Planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

Forerunner tower

Image of ruined Forerunner city.

Commander Gordon Freeman surveyed the ruins of what must have once been a Forerunner city of some sort. From the orbital photography taken by the China Sea before he landed was correct, the destroyed cities dimensions were at least three miles by four miles. However, due to the the fact the ruins lay in the middle of what was now a large, thick forest, there could be more to it then that.

Freeman's Pelican had lost its radio on the trip planet-side, and much of the last 10 hours was spent attempting to repair it. The issue was actually in the Pelican's software; just yet another bug with new ONR technology. Sure, it was great to have very advanced technology, but it made no sense to have it if it was not dependable.

By the looks of the state the city was currently in, most of the buildings had to have fell to pieces millenia ago. Thousands upon thousands of shards of Forerunner metal lay discarded around the clearing the Pelican landed in. The only remaining structures that appeared intact in the city, were a pair of distant small buildings, a single tall building in the just over the horizon, and a single large, curved structure just over a kilometer away from the landing site. Something inside Freeman's mind suggested that the structure was somehow important, but his intellect simply shrugged aside the thought.

Commander Freeman gathered his ONR team, the Pelican crew, and the Marine squad in charge of security for the researchers, and explained what they would be doing. They were to make their way though the forest, document plants and wildlife on the way, before entering the structure, exploring and documenting every inch of the interior, before returning to the Pelican to return to the China Lake to drop off intelligence.

However, a radio message from the China Lake told them not to return to the ship. Appearently, in the 10 hours the Pelican radio was down, a Covenant fleet had slipped insystem, and the China Lake had gone dark to avoid drawing attention to itself or the site. And, as if to make things worse, scientists from the UNSC Advanced Research Projects Agency were rushing their way down to their location to avoid the brewing battle between the UNSC and Covenant forces.

Freeman disliked the ARPA, because the existence of that organization received funding diverted from ONR. And for what? All ARPA managed to do with a decades worth of funds was spend it, not on anything useful in Freeman's opinion, but a class of five Anaximander-class Science Vessels. He was not sharing a major discovery with the ARPA dorks.

The team gathered their packs, grabbed a weapon from the Pelican's weapon compartment, and began walking the kilometer to the Forerunner structure in a single file line. On the way, the team came across multiple intriguing finds of wildlife and plants, that were recorded on various team member's AS2559 Portable Computer in very high definition on video, in addition to the taking of DNA samples.

Rainbow_Dash.pngRainbow Dash (Talk)(Contribs)  

6

"Uhggggg, I hate night recon missions, you had something to to with this, I'm sure" Chen complained. "And if I did you'll do what?," Ryu asked with a slight smile. Changdao Team continued to advance to where the pirates were suspected to be. "Shhhhhhhh, you guys know nothing about stealth, do you want to be killed?" Karin hissed. So far there were no pirates in sight. "Where are those Elites, I'm starting to trust them less and less," Chen said. "Well, what do you expect even with the defeat of the Fallen, I doubt that all Elites are okay with us yet" Ryu replied. After another hour of fruitless search, and the usal pointless bickering. "Perhaps we should report back to HQ, there nothing, here" Karin analyzed. "Wait, wait I'm reading something unusal, think its Forerunner", Chen observed. the team continued to advance into where the supposed site of the Forerunner artifacts. "Oh, yeah definatly Forerunner, come on better report this" Karin ordered. Chen-179 02:27, July 27, 2010 (UTC)

7

SPI armor. Another Spartan's out here. One of our own.

These words flashed through Terry's mind as he heard Cody and the ODST- Raphael, wasn't it?- discussing their find in low voices. He opened a secure COM channel to the rest of his team and asked, "You all get that?"

"We heard, Terr," Summer said. The Spartans had mastered the art of holding a conversation without being obvious about it. With secure COMs and sealed helmets, two of them could be screaming at the top of their lungs and, as long as they kept their body language neutral, no one would be the wiser. "Who the hell is this clown?"

"No matter. We've got almost a company's worth of Spartans on the ground," Noah put in. "If this guy's got any sense, he'll be gone in hours. He had to have seen us- it's sheer damn luck he was under cover when we came over that hill. If we'd split up, had someone slightly behind the main group prowling the edge of the trees, we'd have bagged him."

Terry nodded slightly. "Good point. Noah, you get in the trees there and ghost along behind the group. Keep a COM channel open to us at all times.

"Got it."

CarpeJugulum 13:10, July 27, 2010 (UTC)

8

Aaaand that would be mine.


I have never given up before. I never will. 11:57, August 1, 2010 (UTC)

Part Five

1800 Hours, October 24th, 2570 (UNSC Military Calendar), on the surface of planet C329t (UNSC Designation Beta-14), uncharted system

"A rogue Spartan?" Felix repeated. He resisted the urge to groan. "That's the last thing we need right now."

"There could be a number of possibilities, sir," Cody said over the COM. "But it's the most likely...relatively speaking."

"We haven't had a lot of rogue Spartans in the history of the entire project," the Lieutenant Commander said. "I'll inform Admiral Lash and have someone run a check on the possibilities."

"Copy. Orders, sir?"

"I've received a report that a group of scientists have found something, but have run into some trouble. Covenant most likely. They got separated from the Marines escorting them and are pinned down, but they're not far from your current position, so rally your team, take a break from looking for pirates, and give them the assistance. The civilian who made the call is Dr Richard Hunt."

"Roger, sir. Have you met up with those Sangheili yet?"

Felix looked around. The soldiers he was with had come across some rebels, but as per Colonel Forenson's orders, the Marines had managed to take a few captive. But the team had almost made their way across the massive lake where the separatist Sangheili were waiting.

"Almost. Keep your fingers crossed. Let's hope they're still in a mood to talk."

1

In the end, it took them over two hours to reach the Starkiller's hidden landing zone. By that time, Simon's grey-toned armor was covered with mud, dirt, and leaves and he was certain that his prosthetic arm and most of his gear would need a thorough cleaning before he'd trust them to work reliably again. And Simon intended to have plenty of time to do that cleaning because he was certain they were about to get the hell off of this planet.

"Alright," he panted as he staggered up the Starkiller's boarding ramp and into its cargo bay. "What are we waiting for? Let's pack up and get the engines running."

Off to the side, Kahn entered a short key code into a console beside the door. The ramp began to slide upwards. When it was completely shut, he turned back to Simon, who saw that Kahn's combat jumpsuit was just as dirtied as his armor was.

"What are you talking about?" Kahn asked, raising his eyebrows.

"What do you think I'm talking about?" Simon demanded. "Let's get this ship moving before some more of those guys show up! We need to get out of here now!"

"That's not happening." Kahn strode past him and mounted the steps leading from the cargo bay to the living quarters.

"What the hell do you mean, it's not happening? Did you not just see those guys?"

"I saw them," Kahn said with a shrug. "This just complicates things a little more than we'd been expecting. Nothing to panic about."

"Nothing to panic about?" Simon tore his helmet off and glared up at Kahn with a mixture of shock and indignation. "Who do you think those guys were, the circus? Those were Spartans! In full armor! It was bad enough when this place got crawling with UNSC troops, but now they've got Spartans! We won't stand a chance if we stick around here! They'll rip us apart!"

"Calm down," Kahn said coldly. "So long as we keep a low profile, they won't bother with us. They obviously have their business with those Elites, and we have ours. They'll be focusing on what they need to be doing; we should do the same."

"How do you know the things they need to be doing don't involve sweeping this entire planet for criminals like us?"

"We're not criminals," said Kahn, a touch of contempt in his voice. "We're mercenaries. Just because the rest of the galaxy can't understand the distinction doesn't mean we shouldn't either."

"That's not the point!"

"Much as it pains me to agree with the dumbass here," piped in Diana from the speaker's in his prosthetic arm. "We should be clearing out. None of us want to tangle with the UNSC's psycho division, especially when they're kitted out like that."

"Both of you still aren't getting the point," said Kahn, sounding like he was losing patience. "If we do this right, we won't have to get near those Spartans again. There are only so many troops the UNSC can put down here, and those they do will be too tied up with clearing out all the pirates and rebels to look for a couple of mercenaries hiding in the woods. So long as they aren't here to wipe out the Elites, our job is still to grab our target and haul his ass back to his father in one piece. If anything, those Spartans can help us get this done: the Elites will be more worried about them than they will be about us slipping into their compound. We can get this done while they and the UNSC focus on each other."

"Maybe you can," said Simon through gritted teeth. "But I won't. And neither will Diana. We're out. I haven't gotten where I am now just to get a UNSC bullet through my head."

"Where you are now?" asked Kahn. "Where, exactly, do you mean? Living in some two-bit apartment and taking on hit jobs for low-grade crime bosses? If that's you're idea of being somewhere, than I'd hate to know what you had to grow up with."

"I've lived through worse," growled Simon, and meant it. "And four million credits isn't worth getting killed over. No amount of money is. We're out."

"He's right," said Diana. "I don't fancy us getting shot up by a bunch of invincible super-soldiers."

"Spartans aren't invincible," remarked Kahn mildly. "But where, pray tell, do you intend to go? You want to sign on with Stanley or some of the other scum lying around here? Maybe ask the UNSC troops if they'll give you a lift?"

"Of course not," Simon snorted. He'd already completely forgotten the allure of four million credits he'd been feeling when Kahn had offered him this job. Now he just wanted to get out of here before the UNSC--and his past--caught up to him. "We'll be taking your ship off."

"Oh really?" asked Kahn, narrowing his eyes.

"Well," said Simon, quickly jumping to clarify his intentions before Kahn misread them and got violent. "You'll be leaving too, right? You can't do this job, not without us to back you up. It's too risky. You'll have to quit, or at least go get more help. The least you could do is give us a lift while you're at it."

"Oh, but I'm not leaving," replied Kahn. "I'm staying right here until this job's done. I'm not quitting and I'm not going to get more help; we're too far in the game for me to do something like that. So you'll have to find yourself a ride somewhere else."

Simon gaped at him. "Are you crazy? You can't take a whole compound of Elites by yourself!"

"I've done riskier things." Kahn shrugged. "I'll just have to plan things more carefully now."

"You are nuts," said Diana. "Without us--"

"Without you, I'll have a harder time at things," said Kahn cooly. "I have no problems with admitting that much. But I'm not just giving up because you want to walk. That's not how I do things. I operate under certain standards that need to be met, no matter how difficult the job is."

"Kahn--"

"Let me tell you something about me," Kahn broke in. "Since you seem to have failed to pick up on it in those months you were working with me. Do you ever wonder why people pay me so much money to do their dirty work?"

Simon shrugged. "Of course. Everyone does."

"The crime lords and all my other clients pay me the kind of sums they do because of one thing: I deliver. Once I've taken a job nothing stops me from completing it. Nothing. And everyone in the galaxy knows that. Unlike you and just about every other freelancer out there, I won't stop if the job gets too tough and I don't think the money's worth it anymore. I do whatever it takes to get the job done. That's what my clients know, that's why they hire me, and that's why they pay me so much. So go ahead, walk out. I won't stop you. I just hope you know what you're doing, stranding yourself on a planet that's being overrun by the UNSC you're so afraid of."

Simon gazed up at Kahn, hardly realizing that his mouth was partially open. "Christ, he muttered. "You're insane."

"Call it what you will."

Simon's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Alright," he sighed. "I'll stay on. Diana?"

"I'm still in then, I guess," she replied. "I really can't see any other option."

"Smart move," said Kahn. He continued his climb up the steps. "We'll be able to steer clear of the UNSC troops as long as Diana keeps an eye on their communications. We can lie low for a day or so, in case they did spot us back there, then we'll move up to that compound and do some reconnaissance. In the meantime, I suggest you clean yourself up. You're a mess."

"Speak for yourself," Simon muttered as Kahn vanished up the stairs. With a dejected sigh, he sat down on a nearby crate and began to inspect his equipment. Actene: If This Is To End In Fire, Then We'll Burn Together

2

"CONTACTS!" Yelled Bradley while ducking for cover. Fi dove near Fish and told him to set up by the rock formation by their landing area. Fi stood up and shot a brute, followed by another. Suddenly a Phantom pierced through the greenish-grey clouds and shot torpedoes at his squad.

"What just happened?" asked Fi, his memory now blanked after waking up. He had hust made contact with the UNSC. All he could remember was a Covenant attack on Metgos and being knocked out by a plasma torpedoe.

"We took care of the Covvies, Sir. But Cap'n Kenning wants to talk"

"Hello, this is Captain Kenning of the UNSC Renko." The captain declared.

Fi got up, and and loaded his rifle. He then responded, "Yes, the Renko. Used to conduct search and rescue operations. We have only been here for a day. Whats wrong?" Fi asked, puzzled.

"Our records say you've been out of contact for a month." Kenning explained. Also confused over the situation.

Fi, now even more confused pondered for a moment and came up with no logical solution besides that, "Your records must be wrong."

"Okay then, our scans show that your shp is operational... pristine even. You should get out of here. Brute patrols got kicked up alot just a week ago, be careful." Kenning reported. His ship then flew out of airspace and closed their COMMs channel. Fi ordered everyone onto the ship and began their look for the brute ship that deployed those soliders.

--Sorry guys, went to Hawaii. Didn't feel like not editing on this again but not very good for thinking right now.

Cheers, --Blarghafreakin'Largh


3

Spartan Tyler is walking through the bridge of the ship Dawn of Enlightened and stares out into the blackness of space. After the first recon mission, his team was pushed back to the Calvary position in case it got out of hand. The only reason he is even still a Spartan is because of the propaganda surrounding him after The Forgotten War. Tyler walks to his quarters to sit when suddenly he gets an alert, their ship is headed directly to a planet that might have enemy supplies. His team moves out to the location.

After traveling for so long, the come to the planet to investigate. Later on, after the recon mission around the planet was complete, Tyler knew he was about to be sent down there. Only time will tell what exactly is going on. He is hoping that it is something that is more interesting then just sitting around shooting the same enemy day after day for around four decades. Tyler picks up his sniper rifle and pistol and heads out to the ship bay. Only time will tell.

--H*bad (talk)

4

DibsEcho 1125 10:09, August 28, 2010 (UTC)

5

MEIN MEIN MEIN MEIN --RichardRHunt 14:52, August 28, 2010 (UTC)

6

"Rogue SPARTAN eh?"Ryu looked at the datapad he held in his hand. "Strange, haven't heard of many rogue SPARTANs before", Karin wondered. "Are you sure? Why the UNSC didn't treat us that badly, for a solider.", Chen replied. The day had been slow for Dao Team, placed on guard duty to protect the civilians and scientists. "Wait, do you hear that?" Karin asked. the SPARTANs frroze. "They wouldn't stoop that low, would they?" Chen asked suprised. They knew quite well that they would. "CONTACTS!" Ryu shouted as the Choppers rumbled foward. The Marines all rushed foward all fireing their rifles, sometimes tearing the Brutes off the seats of their Choppers. Ryu jumped onto a Chopper and shredded the driver with concentrated SMG fire. Chen had boarded a Chopper and threw the enemy forces into disarray Karin went into camoflauge, jumping and chokeing the life out of a Brute. The Marines were still going strong, though sevreal lie dead or wounded on the ground. The UNSC force mouned an expert defence, almost no civilians lie dead on the ground. The Brute force have fell into disarray Their were no suriviors of their assault force. "Well, that was a minor inconvinance" Chen retorted out of breath."so where was I? Ah yes this rogue SPARTAN, I cant figure out why they didn't treat us IIIs so badly" Ryu wondered absent mindedly. "Do you think Command wamts us to hunt another Delta down" Karin asked. She alwaysed enjoyed hunting down a target especially one as skilled as a SPARTAN. "We wouldn't know, he's a Gamma right?" Chen asked. "From what I heard he isn't the best SPARTAN, Karin, I don't think you would get much pleasure from hunting him" Ryu informed Karin. The echos of their conversations bled into the dullness of the day Chen-179 01:14, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

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