This novel may be canceled due to lack or interest, or lack of work from the author. This is at fault to the author due to the fact, he hasn't been very supportive of his characters or members that wish to be characters. I hoped this could've worked out for everyone. But as most people said, "It's just a big mess." I appreciate your criticism and it'll be noted whenever I decide to pick up this novel again. [Recorded record for this topic being dead Page 10]. Best regards, SpartanSRS. Mods if it's possible I'd like to request this to be moved to the Halo Universe Section.. UPDATE: CHAPTER 6 Author/Script Writer: SpartanSRS [KIA] Co-author/editor/Machinima Director: TheSpartanMjolnir [MIA] Artist/Cover Art: animemannn [MIA] NOTICE: Registration is over! Thanks! Squads: ODST Squad 1: Cpt. Jakson Lt. Ela Lt. Jacob ODST Squad 2: Lt. Slinger Cpl. Pomeroy Pvt. Dylans ODST Squad 3: Commander Rik Sgt. Fransico Lt. Arlk Valdmir (Shellshocker thanks for the Heads up.) UNSC Marine squad 1: Sgt. Blackwell Sgt. Tierney Pvt. Bonus Cpl. Ryan Pelican Pilots: Cpt. Samuel Cpt. Owens Cpt. Agib Covenant Mercenaries: Arbiter (19th) Shiva Vadum A'vent Matri Spartan group 1: Spartan 149 Spartan 151 Spartan group 2: Spartan 302 Spartan 047 Spartan group 3: Spartan 1969 Spartan H99 Chapter 1: Landfall Character lists: UNSC Personel: Spartan 149 - Ithica Spartan 151 - TheSpartanMjolnir Admiral Parse - SpartanSRS A.I - Joshua (made up). Cpl. Ryan - Chupathingy Cpt. Amup - thepuma Cpt. Ela - Beth (xxFemaleSpartanxx) Spartan 047 - Spaz47 Spartan 302 - animemannn Cpl. Jakson - 1 shot 1 kill Cpt. Agib - Bigalt424 Lt. Owens - Texan2012 Sgt. Blackwell - Spartan II Sgt. Vilanova - Count Vilanova Elite Mercenaries: Arbiter (19th) - ArgetArduna Vadum Shiva - ShipMaster Honor Guard (Name?) - Spartan 129 Elite (Name?) - mynameisunknown A'vent M'atri - adventSpartanMatrix Chapter 1: Landfall As the titanic frigate explodes out of slip space, electronics are fried and systems are shut down. "Lieutenant! Damage report!" barked Admiral Parse. "Sir, we've lost all systems in decks C and D." replied Capt. Ela. "Joshua, have you detected any contacts in the vicinity?" "No Admiral, although I have detected multiple... Never mind just look up" snapped the AI. Admiral Parse looks up in horror. Hundreds. No, thousands of Covenant ships lay lifeless. Their hulks bleeding plasma into the mouth of space. Ahead lay seven planets, each equally aligned in a circle around the sun. The Admiral hadn't even noticed the sun. It glowed a deathly black. Coils of metal protruding out of it engulfing entire ships. "Admiral, our Slip space drive is fried. We're stuck here," reported Cpl. Ryan. "Send out some probes, I have a feeling... we're not alone here." Encroaching darkness peered over the sun, waiting for its chance to strike. "Men, we've discovered remains of a Covenant fleet, judging by the wreckage a gruesome battle must have taken place here. Our A.I has also detected life signs on the following planets. Planet one will be designated as Delta, and Planet two will be designated as Alpha. We will scour both the planets and ships to repair our broken frigate. Any questions?" The officers and generals present nod in agreement. Each waiting for the next to take the next move. The Covenant mercenaries were the first to rise. "How do we know the life forms aren't... hostile?" "We don't. That's why we're sending an embassy down shortly to find out." "Do we have any intel on these life forms?" "From what Joshua's been able to gather, the first species go by the name of 'Drinols', we're unsure if they are a major threat." The Elite grunts and leaves the room. A'vent Matri and (Other Hunter) follow mindlessly hoping for something much more interesting to happen. Capt. Amup and Spartan 047 clamber out of their way, shuddering in the shadow of the hunters. "Well, back to the point," begins Admiral Parse, "We'll need a couple of volunteers for the first reconnaissance team on Delta." "Sir!" shouts Capt. Jakson, "The ODST will be glad to take your offer!" "Very well, we'll need more than fifteen ODSTs to cover a planet now! Come on people!" "Permission to speak sir," whispers Spartan 149. "Permission granted." "Surely the ODSTs will need some heavy support, let me and Spartan 151 watch over them." "All volunteers are greatly appreciated, that about wraps it all up, dismissed." Officers glance around for their platoons and the eerie Spartans slip into their chambers. This was going to be a long night. In the ODST barracks each member helped each other equip their armor. Afterwards they headed into the armory. With dozens of guns to choose from their time spent was long. Next came the Spartans, each in unique ornate armors. Glints of gold sparkling off their visors from the dim fluorcent lights. Without emotion they picked up their weapons. "Sir! Capt. Agib reporting for duty!" hollers the young and ambitious pelican pilot." "So you'll be our pilot?" inquires Spartan 149. "Sir yes sir! I've got the Warthogs ready to go and another pilot to transport the other squad." "Good, we'll be seeing you shortly." Transcending down through the wreckage was harder than we thought. The ODSTs couldn't risk an orbital drop due to the severe amount of wreckage. Capt. Agib struggled to dodge the floating harbingers of death. But he still got us out in one piece as did the other pilot. Examining the landscape hence smashing through the atmosphere we noticed large amounts of desert. This gave us a huge disadvantage. Were we to land we could be falling into a death trap. Joshua notified us that there were significant signs of Covenant chatter in the network. Giving a sign to Agib and the squad, guns locked and loaded we prepared to drop. Then it became a living nightmare. Sandworms. Gouts of sand rocketed into the sky. Shrieks and roars echoed in the arid desert air. "Capt. Agib take evasive action!" shouted Spartan 149. "I can't! The engines are clogged with sand!" "Capt. Jakson, what's your status?" "We're still good to go you?" "We're dead in the water, engines are clogged with sand, and the worms will come back any minute." "We'll give you cover fire from the pelican, take the Warthog and get to the nearest mountain!" "Roger that, good luck Captain." "Good luck to your too," grimaced Capt. Jakson. The Warthog roared to life, getting in while in the air was a risky thing. Capt. Agib was eased into the passenger seat and Spartan 151 manned the gunner seat. "Hold on, this is going to be a rough ride," grunted Spartan 149. The pelican was buffeted by worms and sand in the air. If they had lingered a few seconds later they would've been dead. Capt. Jakson's pelican opened fire with its entire load of missiles and the chain gun. They took down several worms but dozens replaced them. The Warthog twisted and turned to avoid the serpentine worms. Spartan 151 shot load after load into their thick thighs but it only fueled their rage. "Spartan! We've run out of ammunition, we'll try to distract the worms and meet you at the mountain!" shouts Capt. Jakson. "Negative! Send out a signal for reinforcements! We'll be dead before we reach the mountain!" "Si-" The Captain was cut off. Our transmission is too weak to send anything out now. Capt. Agib pulls out a Spartan laser from the trunk of the Warthog. "I knew we'd need this sooner or later." Spartan 149 nods in approval. The worms spilled entrails of purple blood. Surprised by this new weapon they flee. Reaching the base of the mountain the team rests in a nearby cave. "We're probably going to be stuck here for awhile." sighed Spartan 151. "As long as we don't move and set up a visible signal for the others to see we'll be fine." "Still..." The light of the flares pierced the night sky; pelicans scoured the air at high altitudes. Not wanting their birds to be swallowed as Agib's did. "Hey! I've found them, they're over by the base of the mountain," squawked Lt. Owens, "I'm beginning my descent to pick them up, watch my back." "Roger that Owens." replied the others in unison. The trio carefully loaded up into the pelican, each equally weary and tired. "Looks like you guys have been through a hell of a battle eh?" remarked Owens. The three murmured in agreement too tired to say anything. Just glad that they didn't have to put up with any more ambushes from mutant worms. CHAPTER 2: Debriefing "So you were attacked by... let me get this straight. Sand worms?" chuckled Admiral Sparse. "Yes sir, we were prone to major casualties were it not for Spartan 149's quick thinking." replied Spartan 151. "Ah yes, yes. We'll leave Delta for another time, while you were gone the Elites went on to Alpha for a similar scouting trip, we haven't been able to reach them in around twelve hours. I want you to take all the Spartans and find out what happened to those mercenaries." "Sir, yes sir." Spartans 149 and 151 and the ODSTs get a well needed rest in the frigate's quarters, their minds eased by the fact they didn't have to go back to Delta. Meanwhile, a small force of marines and Spartans go off to reinforce the Elite mercenaries. Spartan 302 takes a M90 shotgun and MA5C, while Spartan 047 picks up a handful of grenades, a M41 SSR MAV Rocket launcher, and a M6G. Spartan 302 grins in approval at Spartan 047's arsenal. "Planning for something big Greg?" "You know it!" Boarding onto the pelican, they check their weapons and armor, making sure each is in place and ready to go. The marines were the next to pile into the pelican. Sergeant Blackwell simply nods to the Spartans, his squad's eyes lit up when they saw that two Spartans were accompanying them. All of them had a variety of weapons, a couple had SRS99D-S2 AMs, but most stuck with the MA5C and BR55 HB SR. "You're clear to go Owens." shouts Sgt. Vilanova. "Roger that, hook up the Scorpion!" As the scorpion is eased onto the rear of the pelican Greg's eyes lit up, ever since he was a child he's simply adored things that cause horrendous explosions. The Scorpion was one of them. "We're launching! Let's do this marines!" The pelican's turbines roar to life, and glides into space, deliberately dodging space trash. Reaching the atmosphere of Alpha they notice the planet was almost made up entirely of water. Fish sprung out of the water gracefully, and then disappear seconds later. "We've spotted some land," reported Owens, "Looks like the Elite's phantom is docked on the side, it doesn't seem that they've crash landed at all..." "Everyone load up, we don't know what happened to the Elites and their forces so get ready for anything." announced Spartan 302. Deep underground the Arbiter and his contingent of Elites explore the grisly structure. The hunter pair moves up front, walking as living tanks they protect their fleshy allies. "Arbiter, we've yet to find any signs of life, and we've lost radio contact for over five hours, should we turn around?" asked Vadum Shiva. "No, we'll press on until we find something worth taking." growled the Arbiter. A'vent Matri brought up his fuel rod, sensing danger near by he motioned to his brother. Another motion towards the Elites told them something was closing in on their position. Grotesque monsters sprung out of the darkness, crimson red blood stained their skin. The foul smell was familiar. Something told the Arbiter, that they've fought this enemy before. He knew it was too late to fall back, the Flood had infested this planet. "Get to cover!" screamed the Arbiter. Carrier forms hobbled past the fallen combat forms. Plasma fire scorched the walls. The Covenant force had fallen into an ambush. They came in the hundreds. Decaying forms of former beings sprinted towards them, he winced at the sounds of strained muscles and broken bones. A'vent Matri swung his shield like a mace, taking dozens of combat forms out. But still more came. His brother was the first to fall. Succumbing to hundreds of infection forms his armor was left a hollow husk. A'vent Matri roared in agony, and fired numerous salvos of concentrated plasma at all infection forms. Plasma grenades flew and decimated the Flood forces. It was going to be a long battle. Transversing down the various ramps and doors Spartans 302 and 047 hear multiple shots of plasma and explosions. Looks like they've found the Elites. Safeties were flipped off, as the squad headed into the battle. Having seen the Flood immediately the Spartans brought up all explosives. Lobbing several grenades took care of the first wave. Spartan 047 fired a tube from the rocket launcher taking out a sufficient amount of combat forms. While Spartan 302 pumped round after round into infection forms. All marines holstered their assault rifles and opened fire and the nearest infection forms, watching each others back. The Arbiter released his fury upon the Flood. Swinging his energy sword wildly in a berserker fashion. Vadum Shiva pinpointed the infection forms inside their hosts killing them instantly. Bodies lay twitching on the cold floor. The Arbiter's mandibles formed a crude grin seeing the Spartans and their squad had joined them. "Your assistance was greatly appreciated Spartans." "No problem." "We've discovered what happened to the life forms here... They don't resemble anything I've seem in my life." "Judging by the skeletal structure they look like humans... But different, the scanner never showed any signs of UNSC craft." "Could it be Forerunner?" "Possibly, we'll never know unless we push on." "Then let us be off Spartan, time is of the essence." The reinforced Elites continued on deeper to the core of the planet, knowing little of what horrors lay in the dark. The sea was dyed a crimson red. Chapter 3: Tendrils of Death Pressing on through the narrow corridors, the Flood were ever relentless. Hobbling pure forms emerged from the darkest corners. Gargantuan husks of flesh blocked entire passage ways. It took crates of plasma grenades to blast through these obstacles. "We're making good progress, but we haven't had a stable signal with the Admiral or Joshua in quite awhile." grunted Spartan 302. "You need not worry Spartan, once we find the origins of the parasite we will then be on our way." smirked the Arbiter. The squad was weary, passing the point beyond exhaustion. Down to only a couple cartridges of ammo, the remaining marines headed back towards the surface along with Spartan 047 as a guard. The markings on the walls grew more and more elaborate. Using an unknown dialect known to man or Covenant soldier. It was clearly alien, but what? The passages grew larger and expanded into a hollow dome. "We shall rest here for the night," announced the Arbiter. "Sir, our troops grow weary of this trip... maybe it would be wise to turn back," inquired Vadum Shiva. "NO! Having trekked so far underground will not go without any gain, we will press on." "Yes Arbiter." Fires were lit and weary Elites lay flat sleeping. Spartan 302 was the first to take watch, no sudden movements were noticed. Slithering through the shadows a serpentine tendril writhed above. A single eye awoke, and then it started. An ear piercing screech echoed from above, tendrils shot out and infections forms plummeted from the ceiling. Fuel rod rounds and plasma took hundreds of the forms out of commission, but thousands came. A'vent Matri gored hundreds of combat forms and cut tendrils from the monstrosity above, still screaming in pain dozens more tendrils constricted A'vent Matri. Struggling to cut free, A'vent Matri fired his fuel rod cannon at its eye. The scream lasted for minutes. Grenades flung at the eye quickly silenced it in a blue nova. A loud thump resounded from the form as it fell from the dome's ceiling. A'vent Matri breathed hoarse breathes slowly calming down. Several Elites lay dead on the bloodied floor as with hundreds more Flood. "Next time I choose where we rest," grunted Spartan 302. "Let us move on, we don't want more Flood to ambush us while we rest." yelled the Arbiter. The Elites nodded in approval, looking back at their fallen comrades a sliver of water droops from the Arbiters' eye. Admiral Parse glimpsed down on the display. They had lost contact with the Elites and Spartan 302 for a little over a week now. The damage from the slip space rupture was the same from one week ago. Engineers worked feverishly at the engine room to no avail. They were a floating hulk of metal and there was nothing they could do about it. "Joshua what is the distance between us and the Black sun now?" "It is approximately 253,895 miles away, we have plenty of time but..." "But what?" "It's moving at a pace of five hundred miles every twelve hours." "How much time do we have left?" "We only have around forty two days left Admiral," frowned Joshua. "If only we had more time..." sighed Admiral Parse. Half the crew died after they exited from slip space. Multiple miniature explosions wreaked the Transcending Lance near useless. Their MAC gun was only 55% operational, and many of their Longswords were critically damaged in the explosion. Parse remembered the event prior to that like it was a century ago. Having a drink with the officers and joking with some fellow personnel. But things were different now. "Joshua, are there any active slip space drives in the vicinity?" "Scanning... No, but there are several parts we can use from them to create one." "Good enough, we'll need to get to those ships ASAP." "I'll put together a recovery team right away Admiral." "That's all, give me an update when it's done." "Yes Admiral." Time was running short and the supplies were running low. The black sun inches closer every day, and soon there'd be nothing left to save. Chapter 4: Dead Space [41 days till impact.] Sprinting through the decks of the ship Lt. Slinger led his squad of ODSTs to the hanger. Cpl. Pomeroy grabbed a crate of grenades and a bag of battle rifles on the way there. The squad only took five minutes to get fully prepared for the mission. Spartans 1969 and H99 glided towards the squad, their weapons holstered on their hips and back nodding to the Lieutenant. A gold bar glimpsed in Slinger's vision, here comes their pilot. Lt. Jay along with his crew headed towards the docked Pelican, loading up extra clips of ammo, rations, and med kits. He beamed a huge smile at the Spartans. "This is going to be interesting." "Lieutenant, do you have enough fuel to get us to where we need to go?" "Of course not, you'll be hopping onto Agib and Owen's pelicans once I run out of fuel." "Affirmative." The ODST body suit had been modified to allow the wearer ninety minutes of oxygen, Spartans were allowed one hundred eighty minutes of oxygen. They'd have to make these trips quick unless they wanted to be dead in space. The crew waved a clear to go and they were off. Pale forms of Jiralhanae lay lifeless on the decks, floating ominously. Looking at the collateral damage the ship had received, it looked as if it was ripped apart. Methane tanks from grunts were suspended, with no gravity to keep them down. Reaching the engine room the engineers began removing what was needed for their custom drive. What used to be an extravagant blue nova was now a rotting slush of metal. It looked like the core imploded on it self, melting entire walls and pillars. The ODSTs were used to space combat, but never simple maintenance work. Having successfully removing the parts. Lt. Jay waved goodbye as he transported the pieces to the Transcending Lance to be converted. Boarding the next pelican, the ODSTs shook their heads looking back at the wrecked Covenant ship. "If we had some of those weapons in the UNSC, then no one would want to mess with us!" smiled Cpl. Pomeroy. Spartan 1969 nods, checking and rechecking his M90 and MA5C. Spartan H99 looked out the view port scanning for any possible threats to the mission, heaving his Spartan laser the safety was always off. They headed off on another pelican to the more dangerous wreckages. The pelican's sensors flared red as life signs were detected. Holstering his shotgun he jumped onto the translucent bridge of the Covenant ship. Lights flared occasionally dimming his vision. Spartan H99 equipped his magnum, shining his LEDs at peculiar objects. Spartan 1969 discovered a UNSC dog tag glittering like a shiny diamond on the ground. This was strange. They never detected a UNSC craft in this area at all. Spartan H99 motioned over to Spartan 1969 in urgency. Passing the corner, hundreds of cryo tubes were stacked together, marines and personnel were stacked like toys inside the tubes. Who could've collected these tubes and where did they come from? Every tag they found was too eroded to read and the inscribed letters of their mother ships were scratched off. "Joshua, we've got nearly one hundred cryo tubes in this ship." radioed Spartan 1969. "That's impossible; I've checked and rechecked this system for UNSC craft." "Well, it looks like you're wrong." "Very well, bring them in for examination, maybe we can learn what happened to them." "Affirmative, Spartan 1969 out." Spartan 1969 glimpsed at the cryo tubes, judging by the amount of erosion they experienced they could've been decades old. He stopped at one cryo tube. The numbers were nearly incoherent. But through rough scraping he eventually made out the numbers. Spartan 1969 jumped back. It was impossible. Motioning to Spartan H99, pointing to the number. Both equally trembling in shock. The number read 117. Spartan 117 was lost two decades ago. The 18th Arbiter confirmed that the ship was cut off when going into slip space. Having discovered his cryo tube was mind blowing. Spartans 1969 and H99 began heaving the tube towards the pelican. A small chip blinked with life at the back of Spartan 117's helmet, slowly booting up discovering its new destination. Joshua was in for a big surprise. Back on planet Alpha, the Arbiter and his squad reached a grotesque chamber. The infection had definitely broken out in here. Shattered remains of windows and electronics lay on the floor. A cobalt armored Elite kicked a piece of glass. A silver object rested on the desk of a computer. The letters read... Run? The chamber became a house of illusion. Hundreds of thousands of Flood crashed through the doors and vents. Beam rifles cracked through liquid flesh, and the pop of infection forms was like an endless firecracker going off. "Arbiter! We're going to need more firepower to hold these guys off!" yelled Spartan 302. "I know! But we've been cut off from radio contact for days; our best hope is to pray." As they prayed, the undead horde gathered around them once again and pounced for an attack. Spartans 149, 151, and 047 flared their LEDs at the hollow dome. "Looks like a hell of a battle took place here," whistled Spartan 047, "If only I stayed with them..." "Don't worry Spartan, we'll catch up to the-" suddenly Spartan 151 paused, "Did you guys hear that?" "Wait, yes I do." responded Spartan 149, "It's coming from the passage ahead of us, it sounds pretty far away though." "Then we'll have to hurry up," smirked Spartan 151. Rushing down the corridors the trio holstered their shotguns and jumped into the frenzy. Elites looked up in surprise, there was no doubt that they hoped for reinforcements but not this soon. A lone hunter grew weary. A'vent Matri had exhausted most of his energy. He had cut through swarms of the deranged Flood, avenging his fallen brother ten fold. He grew impatient as more Flood came every second; all he wanted was it to end. Smiling in his mind A'vent Matri overloaded his mounted fuel rod gun, and the chamber was splattered in orange gore. The explosion was massive. Mandibles were burnt, bodies were singed, and weapons were even rendered useless from the explosion from the concentrated plasma. The Arbiter and the Spartans tossed away their weapons, looking down at the black crater which remained of A'vent Matri. "He was a brave soldier, I was proud to have served with him." nodded Shiva Vadum. "As am I, to have recruited him into our force." replied the Arbiter, "He will be remembered for his great deeds." A blue light hovered from above, it was embedded into the Flood's skin like a piercing. It spoke only one word. "Reclaimer." whispered the light. Chapter 5: Assault (Days until impact: 38) Having experienced many casualties over the past few days on both planets, Admiral Parse then announces a meeting to be held. "We've yet to get everything we need and our annialation is close at hand! Come on people we need to hustle up and get moving!" shouted Admiral Parse. "Sir, we've detected several Covenant signals on Delta," uttered Joshua, "But it seems to be in the masses, there is a high probability that there may be a working slip space drive on the planet..." "Then let's get a move on! Organize everything we have to get that drive!" "Sir, yes sir!" Spartans loaded up on Spartan Lasers and explosive weapons. The sand worms seemed very susceptible to explosive ordnance. Five MBT Scorpions were loaded up onto Pelicans, the marines grinned childishly at the sight of it. A company of armor was the best thing that's happened to the division in the past couple of days. Ten Spartans, three squads of ODSTs, and five squads of marines loaded up into the hovering Pelicans. The assault upon Delta was about to begin. Joshua pondered at the cryo tube the Spartans had discovered earlier, staring in disbelief that it was indeed Spartan 117. Records indicated that he was lost when the ship Forward Unto Dawn was fractured during slip space. And here he was standing before him, twenty years after that horrible incident. He continued scanning the body for life signs and other routine procedures to foreign objects. The blue light in the back of his helmet burned a radiant sapphire, unseen from the foggy glass that apprehended the message from breaking through. Entering the hot atmosphere, the Spartans coded in several commands to change the pigment color of their armor. A khaki camouflage slowly enveloped their Mjolnir armor. The element of surprise was their best resource in this battle. Each individual had several plasma grenades and a Spartan Laser. Spartan 047 jumps into the Scorpion giving everyone else thumbs up. The rest of the Spartans jump onto the treads and Spartan 155 hops into the turret above Spartan 047. Their footfalls were all the worms needed to know to pinpoint where the strike team was. Grueling combat ensued shortly after landing. A trio of worms burst from the hot sand, long pink tongues grasping out. Spartan 047 quickly fires a shell into the gargantuan creature taking its head off swiftly. The remaining two bellow in remorse, charging towards the stationary tank. The machine gun's rounds bounced harmlessly onto the hot sand, piercing the tough hides of the remaining two worms. They twitch lifelessly in the shadow of the sun. The Spartans give each other a compliment, and head off towards the Drinol capital, knowing the city would soon be filled with blood. Joshua enters a series of sophisticated commands. Frowning in dissatisfaction, he enters the code again. The cryo tube wouldn't open, judging by the block he's encountered, Joshua grunts and attempts to hack into the machine's network. The blue light behind Spartan 117's helmet glowers red. Joshua jumps back, in shock. He had never anticipated an A.I to be inside the cryo tube. According to fact, AIs only had a lifespan of seven years, yet this cryo tube has been gone far from that. Was it possible that the cryo tube had prolonged its existence? Joshua shakes in consonance, no it's not possible. He sits in the columns of data thinking of what to do next. Time was running short. Spartan 088 lies on the rumbling tread, checking and rechecking his ammo and weapons. There had not been an ambush from any of the desert worms for hours. The hot desert was filled with an eerie silence. "When are we going to get some action?" whispered Spartan H99. "Until we find the city or whenever we get attacked." grumbled Spartan 088. "Well that's going to take forever..." groaned Spartan 151, "All we've seen are rocks and more sand." The treads left a snaky trail on the desert floor; little did they know that what they sought was right beneath them. Drinol scouts peered from dunes, preparing to launch salvos of bio bombs into the air. The Spartans were about to get the biggest welcoming party from Delta. Plasma mortars floated seamlessly through the sky, it was too late before the Spartans could react. An entire battalion of Drinol and Covenant forces had surrounded them. Each of them nodded at the other, in a few seconds they disappeared into a flurry of sand. Joshua justifies his information and attempt after attempt is thrown back as the AI inside the cryotube prevents him from opening the contraption. He is growing more frustrated every second. The other AI must've known every trick in the book, he's used all known hacks that have been used by the UNSC and Covenant yet none are able to penetrate the cryo tube. He sets up a channel to communicate with the AI, shortly after a distorted image of a woman appears on the display screen. Joshua stares in disbelief, the years of malfunction and disuse had completely brought this AI to the level of insane. A distorted face of pain was transmitted towards Joshua, looking for any signs of help. Running numerous schematics on the AI showed Joshua the UNSC code for her. It was... CTN 0452-9, Cortana. Sand erupted into the horizon. A titanic sandworm engulfed the entire squad before they could fire a single shot. The Spartans were better left for dead. Gurgling bubbles of acid filled the chasm below. Spartan 047 leaped out of the scorpion before it falls to its doom. The tank is melted on contact, Spartan 047 winces as his most prized possession is destroyed. Hanging onto mere foot holds the Spartans were still alive. The Drinols had apparently begun firing upon the worm. Plasma mortors impacted the thick hide, blood seeped inside and out. Climbing slowly the Spartans armor changed to a crimson pigment, a groan of pain resounded from the worm's throat as it toppled over onto the desert floor. The Drinols, satisfied that the threat was eliminated left swiftly. Time for the Spartans to make their move. Spartans 151 and 149 holstered plasma pistols and fired at the retreated Wraiths. Completely immobolized, the drivers cried out but it was too late. eight Spartan lasers had taken out the entire scouting party. Spartan 088 picks up a beam rifle from the fallen Drinol scouts, wiping the fried gore off the barrel he smiled and holstered the weapon. Spartan 047 drops his rocket launcher and grins at the sight of a fuel rod gun. Spartans 1969 and H99 hastily bury the bodies under the sand, and take care of most of the ground work. Spartan 302 points in the direction that the Drinols were heading, a gaping tunnel of darkness grinned at the small party, beaming with lights and plasma. Spartan 064 frowns at the molten wraiths, wishing to have used them on the siege ofe the city. Spartan 055 beams a smile as he removed several plates from the Wraith's armor, welding them together to create a shield. Spartan 055 had earlier stolen a ceremonial energy sword from the Elite mercenaries, it pulsed a sapphire blue waiting to be used on the most devasting opponents.... The Spartans trekked cautiously into the gaping hole, stalagmites formed above opened like the maws of a shark. Spartan 151 points forward at an opening in the distance, light and fire, which meant there were enemies to kill. Assassinating the two guards took little time, but the hard part has yet to come. The city was reflected off the golden visors of the Spartans. Walls scalled hundreds of stories high, buildings larger beyond belief, and the pungent stench of disease and garbage filled the air. A shot was fired and all hell broke loose. Drinol honour guards pulled up in their Prowlers along with multiple brutes and grunts. Apparently there was a definite Covanant presence on this world. Red glares of heated light boomed through the cave, inflicting hundreds of casualities upon the Covanant forces. But wave upon wave grew larger and larger, the Spartans were eventually down to their fists and fallen weapons from the dead Covenant. Fighting with fist and foot they pushed forward, a bloodied battle field left behind them. Wraiths belched balls of plasma, despite firing into their own troops they continued their barrage. The Spartans were exhausted beyond belief, the fighting and screaming lasted for days and time was running short. Falling back to an abandoned building the Spartans regrouped and assessed the situation. "There's little to no chance we'll take this city," sighed Spartan 1969. "But we've nearly decimated their entire army!" points out Spartan 047. "True, but have you seen the damage we've taken?" inquired Spartan 302, "Our armor is damaged beyond repair, 42% of our circuits are fried and we've depleted thousands of plasma weapons!" "Okay everyone calm down," whispers Spartan 149, "We'll need to keep low and try to repair our armor for the next couple of hours, we'll need to take this city tommorow or else there'll be more we'll have to worry about than Covana-" A tremor interupted him. "What the hell was that?" shouted Spartan H99. "Look..." whimpered Spartan 064. The sand worms had returned, blasting through the reinforced cave walls they bellowed in a berserker's fury, the end of this world had begun. She was a mess. The fact that Cortana had survived so much collateral damage from disuse had caused her entire identity to fragment. Garbled words spewed out of her mouth, it was near impossible to comprehend until he translated it. She had said.. "The Chief lives on." Puzzled at the moment Joshua glances over to the cryotube, lifesigns began to flicker on his display. Shouting in awe and excitement he yells across the loudspeaker, "The Chief lives on!". Sand worms exploded from the walls, invading the Covanant forces. Entire regiments disappeared into their gaping jaws. The screams never ended. Those that did survive fled to the safety behind the fortress walls, but it was only a matter of time before the worms would break through. The Spartans watched for hours, constantly checking their weapons. Nodding towards each other they prepared to embark. But then a light shone from the entrance. The battle froze, worms and Covanant alike slowly turned to see the brilliant light. Only to be met by three Pelican's chain guns, and fifty marines firing rocket launchers. The gore was unexplainable. Huge chunks of worm flesh rained down upon the battered fortress walls, crumbling it to dust. "So we heard you needed some assistence," grinned Capt. Jakson. "We'll gladly take your offer," grinned the Spartans. The force pushed forward into the city, lumbering past the hollow husks of the worms, and the thousands of dead Covanant, no one was innocent. Flamethrowers burned buildings, civilians lay scorched on the dry dirt. The palace lay ahead, and the UNSC had no idea what they would be facing. Pvt. Bonus and Cpl. Ryan nodded to each other, planting the charges on the doors took a long effort. Dialing the numbers and locking the charges took nearly an hour. A line of explosive charges latched onto the wall, sitting meters away they pulled the trigger. At that moment, a monster burst out from the smoke. An inhumane roar echoed from its throat. An oversized brute lurched out of the gate, his eyes bloodshot red. "What is this thing Sergeant!?" shouted Pvt. Bonus. "It one of those crazy Covenant spawn! They've turned him into a Berserker!" shouted Sgt. Blackwell "How do we kill it!" grunts Cpl. Ryan. "We'll have to find out the hard way," radioed the Spartans. The brute was moving at the speed of a demon, biting and clawing at anyone nearby. Plasma burns and assault rifle rounds covered its dark hide but it wouldn't fall. Several marines were taken out in the first few minutes. The Spartans eventually rounded up the brute, cutting him down with several magazines from their assault and battle rifles. The marines cautiously moved forward, taking cover around each and every corner in the main hallway. "Where's all the Covies?" complained Pvt. Bonus, "I want to get some action!" "Keep your mouth shut or we'll all be toast!" whispered Sgt. Blackwell. "Wait I think I hear something..." A shimmering disallusion of the air glided into the hallway, red targeting arrays glowing ominously. "Get down!" shouted one of the Spartans, "It's a stalker!" Hitting the deck the marines and Spartans barely avoided destruction from the Stalker Brute's firebomb grenade, the blazing object struck the wall behind them and set the hallway ablaze. Lobbing several grenades towards the stalker, the marines took out several brutes waiting for them on the other side. "That was a close one..." murmured Cpl. Ryan. "Yeah, these hairy apes are more cunning than we thought eh?" replied Pvt. Bonus. "Shut it you two, we've got a mission to complete!" ordered Sgt. Blackwell. Turning the next corner they moved quietly into another room. There was a precarious silence in the room, the low hum of the plasma generators nearby were the only sounds that comforted the force. Setting up a perimeter they eased up to the following door. Before they could respond the doors were blasted open. Several hunter pairs hobbled into the room, the marines hugged the wall, hoping not to be discovered. The hunters raised their heads, their small white eyes glancing back and forth. Unsatisfied they marched into the previous hallway the marines had entered from. The marines heaved a quiet sigh, slowly crawling into the door. The Spartans nodded and turned back towards the hallway, they had some hunters to take care of. The hunter pairs were busy examining the corpses of the brute stalkers before they knew they had been attacked. A red laser point glowered on the surface of the rearmost hunter, before he knew his time had come, orange clumps of gore exploded out of the hallway. The other hunters roared in response charging towards the Spartans. The Spartan laser was dropped, it had no more of a use in this cramped hallway. They threw dozens of grenade, taking only a couple of hunters in their barrage, the rest pushed through their dead comrades and launched their attack. Their cumbersome shields knocked the Spartans off their feet. Clambering back to their feet they were pushed again into a wall. Their shields flashed red, they had to end this now. Sticking spike grenade onto the remaining hunters exposed backs they sprinted towards cover. The gargatuan creature's shields flailed forwards lodging themselves into the nearby walls. Panting the Spartans fell over and rested, they would need their energy for the next fight. Chapter 6: (34 days till impact) The Master Chief hobbled slowly out of the cryotube, surrounding his helmet stood the distorted image of Cortana. Joshua rushed forward trying to help, but Cortana raised her hand and gently pushed him away. Garbled words whispered from her mouth. "There's no need." The Spartan nods towards Joshua and walks into the elevator. Joshua sends a message towards Admiral Sparse, the casket has been opened. Idle marines reluctantly saluted the Spartan, surprised and bewildered at the fact he still existed. He hadn't walked in years, the feeling was exilerating. Walking towards the command bay he noticed several whispers echoing through the hallway. He paused when he entered the command room. An individual clad in white armor stood in front of him. It was another Spartan. "Hold them back!" shouts Cpt. Jakson. "Throw some frags!" yelled Lt. Ela "We can't hold them for much longer!" grunted Sgt. Blackwell. They came by the hundreds, Grunts, Drinols, Brutes, and Jackals. Each and every one of those alien scum rushed into the battlefield eager to destroy the intruders. The bodies continuosly piled up, layers of gore lay on the floor beneath the marines. The insane rush of adrenaline pulsed through each and every one of them. Several of their own had fallen to the occasional plasma grenade and brute shot. Carbine bullets whisped through the air above them. Screams of agony echoed through the hallways back to the Spartans. Sprinting in full pursuit them rushed to the aid of the marines. Spike grenades clung to the rising columns of stone, shards flung in all directions lodging themselves in rotting corpses and fleshy hides. The marines hung onto their very lives in that room, overturning tables, using any solid object as a piece of cover. It was survival of the fittest, and the marines were losing. MA5Cs lay cracked on the stone floor, grenades flew, and bodies fell. The room quickly fell silent, a figure emerged from the doors across the room. A prophet emerged from the blissful white light, the creature spoke in a tongue foreign to the humans. But everyone in the room knew what he wanted them to do. He wanted them to die. A wrinkled finger pointed towards the area where the marines had established a fortification. A hunter pair emerged behind him and readied their cannons. "Are we going to wait for them to blast us to hell?!" screamed one marine. "Soldier keep your mouth shut!" hushed Cpt. Jakson. "No I won't sit here and wait to die!" The marine motioned to his friends and they peered over the wall to begin breaking the silence. Before they could fire a shot multiple snipers replied to their presence. The Captain winced at the sight of his men dying before they could fight back. All they could do is wait for the Spartans to come and save their sorry hides. The mission had turned into a humiliating loss. All they could do was pray. Admiral Sparse turned and nodded towards Master Chief. "It's a delight to see your Master Chief, you've missed a lot." "Yes I have sir," saluted Master Chief. "At ease soldier, as you can see we're no where near Earth from now. As a matter of fact I don't even know where we are, but that's not the point. The point is that we've got to get the hell out of here as soon as possible or that THING is going to destroy us for good." pointed the Admiral to the black ball of iron in the distance. "Sir, permission to speak." "Permission granted son." "Where is everyone else on the ship?" "Good question, they're all down there. On Delta fighting the Covenant figureheads and trying to capture a slipspace drive to get us out of here." "Permission to join them sir?" "Well... we'll have to check you up first, however permission granted," smiled the Admiral. "Thank you sir." "Dismissed." The Master Chief left the command deck and headed straight towards the armory. He passed the tests with flying colors, grabbing an Assault rifle and Battle rifle he jumped into a drop pod. The calvary has arrived. Constant explosions echoed through the hallways that the Spartans sprinted through. The entire palace was like a miniscule labyrinth, complete with winding corners, and dead ends. "The explosions have intensified, I don't the the marines can hold out for much longer," exclaimed 1969. "Then we'll have to sprint faster, follow the explosions," replied Spartan 151. "I just hope we get there in time..." murmured Spartan 302. Reaching the doorway the Spartans motioned forward, screams of agony pierced the cold air. The smell of death was strong. The Spartans had to act quickly, they had to clear an extraction or at least cover the marines till they get to a better area. Spartan H99 quickly deploys a radar jammer. Several brutes wandered around confused, their electronics overloading with pings of enemies. Spartan 1969 throws flares, blinding the enemy in both areas. Having done so the Spartans launched their initiative. Grenades flew and assault weapons exploded upon the blinded enemies. During the confusion the prophet was toppled off his throne, his withered body crawling to the nearest cover. Before he escaped he was trampled by fleeing brutes, drinols, and grunts. No one noticed his untimely death. -End Transmission. Note: Yes, it takes place in the Halo Universe, (Not particularily sure when it will take place, going for before or after the UNSC discover the Covanent invasion... EG: Contact Harvest). Note: You will either appear as the main character, supporting character, antagonist, neutral character(s), cannon fodder, or you'll come in later in the story. 405th UNSC Infantry Division aboard the frigate Transcending Lance ODST Squad: 15 Personel: 7 slots left Sorry for the misconception.. UNSC Marines: 150 Personel: 130+ slots left UPDATE: I added 100 more slots to marines since.. well it's an infantry division. (Plenty of roles for marine in this story! No matter what the cost we'll complete the objective!) Spartans: 10 Personel: 0 slots left FULL Elites: 15 Personel: 13 slots left Hunters: 2 pairs: 1/2 of a pair is taken, 2 1/2 is left Grunts: 30 Personel: 30 slots left A.I: 1 slots: 0 slots available Pelican Pilots: As many as you want (Subsection of UNSC Marines.) Admiral: 1 : Have not decided. Enemies: (Covenant and new!) Jiralhanae: (Brutes): We'll need a couple leaders but make your name very detailed like Tartarus from Halo 2. (Slots: 4) Drinols: The new race on Delta, we will need a planetary leader, four generals. (Slots: 5) Flood: One leading mind to lead them, no need to name the other flood members. (Slot: 1) If you have ideas PM me!