|This article, Halo: Annihilation, was written by MasterGreen999. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
Before the beginning, I would like to state that this takes place in an alternate timeline, and the war went a lot differently. There will be several new characters, and several you will recognize. Overall, though, it takes a pretty big step away from canon, so if you're a perfectionist about that kind of stuff, this article is probably not for you.
Things transpired far from what they should have been... The Master Chief was killed on High Charity. The Admiral that was to become the Arbiter was found innocent in his trial. The Covenant Civil War never took place. Humanity is nearly extinct. Delta Halo has been primed for firing...
This story follows the last group of Marines on Earth as they struggle to survive against the Covenant onslaught, and stop the Covenant before all life in the galaxy is ended.
- SPARTAN-007 CJ, Human SPARTAN super-soldier
- SPARTAN-118 Allen, Human SPARTAN super soldier
- SPARTAN-128 Donna, Human SPARTAN super soldier
- SPARTAN-099 Mark, Human SPARTAN super soldier
- SPARTAN-150 Cody, Human SPARTAN super soldier
- 1st Lieutenant A.J. Johnson, Human UNSC Marine officer
- Pfc. Lopez Mencia, Human UNSC soldier
- General Carl Parkins, Human UNSC Supreme Commander
- Noble Prophet of Truth
- High Prophet of Mercy
- High Prophet of Regret
- Supreme Admiral (Arbiter), Covenant Supreme Commander
- Rtas 'Vadumee, SpecOps Commander
- Ssfa 'Jcoree, Elite Imperial Admiral
- Tartarus, Brute Supreme Chieftan
- Gargantua, Brute Vice Chieftan
- Dundoon, Unngoy Councilor
- Yathim'Or, Kig'Yar Major
- A very familiar SPARTAN
- A very familiar AI
- Cpl. Chang
- Pvt. Chang
- Lt. CJ Patterson
- Pvt. Ricky Garcia
- Sgt. McCully
- Cpl. Jimmy Hawkins
So, now... The story begins:
(Rated PG-13 for Language, Extreme Violence, and Gore.)
Humanity has been defeated. Earth is conquered. The Covenant are victorious, and the one man who could save us... is dead. Mankind is all but extinct, as it only survives in small pockets in the most remote locations on the planet. The most concentrated collection is in Africa, some 200 kilometers from the remains of New Mombasa. They have revealed their existence to the Covenant, and have challenged them to try and kill them.
Thousands have tried, all have failed. The savannah surrounding the 30 square-km city is covered in the corpses of the Covenant, showing that taking this city is a futile effort for all but the largest army. Thus, the Prophet of Truth has ordered 3 divisions, an unheard of 250,000 soldiers, to attack the city at once. Even the garrison in the city of 3,000 Marines and 20,000 citizens willing to fight, the Covenant have an assured victory.
Their forces marched toward the city, so vast in number you could not view them all at once. It is said that their mass was visible from orbit. Of course, no one was around to prove that theory.
As the Covenant marched on, they barely noticed several Pelicans fly overhead...
As the Pelicans flew towards the last Humans stronghold on Earth, their hope grew, as the Covenant just 100 meters below had yet to send aerial forces to engage them.
CJ wasn't just your average soldier, he was a SPARTAN. He and his squad, Hammer Team, were the last SPARTANS on the planet. They were heading to the Human base, "Last Hope" to bolster the forces. They better be happy to see us, he thought. We came here all the way from Mount-freakin' Rushmore As they neared the base, the radio crackled to life: It was the pilot of their Pelican.
"We have Covenant Banshees inbound. All gunners open fire. You too, lazy-ass."
That was Donna. Another SPARTAN, and the pilot of their Pelican. The next SPARTAN to speak was his good friend, Cody.
"Hey, CJ, you're girlfriend says start shooting!"
"Shut the f*** up, Cody! You've got the Spnkr! If anyone should be shooting, it's you!"
With that comment, Cody fired a round, blowing a Banshee out of the sky, as the gunners from the other four pelicans took down their targets as well. CJ was going to take a moment to relax when Donna sent another transmission.
"Uh-oh. We have a Seraph fighter inbound. Plasma torpedoes are already loaded and preparing to fire on Falcon-3." Falcon-3 was the Pelican next to them. "Open fire, I repeat, open fire! Take that thing down!"
With that, all five Pelicans shot at the Seraph, desperately trying to bring down it's energy shields, but to no avail. It got within firing distance and launched off a torpedo, hitting Falcon-3. Several Marines were killed instantly, and the rest were knocked unconcious, all except for one Marine: Private First Class Lopez Mencia, their gunner. He nearly fell out, but gripped onto the turret for dear life, dangling out the back.
"Damn! We've gotta take that thing down before it fires another round! Sir, take over. I'm going to deliver a little present." She was speaking to SPARTAN-118, Allen, their commanding officer. He hadn't spoken since they had left Rushmore. The Pelican rocked as it maneuvered to come just above the Seraph. Donna immediately jumped out, landing on top of the Seraph.
"Um, what's she doing?" one of the Marines on board with them asked. "Something crazy, I'm sure." CJ replied.
Donna planted a shockingly large amount of C4 on the Seraph, and jumped off, landing on top of the Pelican that had maneuvered to catch her. The Seraph exploded in a ball of fire, roasting the pilots, and the area around it, as it fell to earth, crushing several Covenant soldiers. With that, the Pelicans came within site of Last Hope, and prepared for landing.
The five Pelicans came over the landing pad of Last Hope, and carefully descended to the ground. Paramedics were already there, and tended to the wounded on Falcon-3, as a compliment of a dozen Marines met the other soldiers. CJ was greeted by a man wearing the insignia of Lieutenant. These days, most soldiers don't live long enough to become Lieutenant. The man snapped to attention.
"Sir! 1st Lieutenant Avery Johnson at your service, sir!"
"At ease, soldier." CJ replied. "I'm not into the whole command thing. I prefer to take orders, not give 'em."
"Whatever you say... sir."
CJ had known this man 5 seconds, and already disliked him. It was a new record. The rest of the SPARTANs disembarked, and Allen approached the Lieutenant. His voice was smooth and calm, but large and commanding at the same time.
"Soldier, who's your commanding officer?"
"General Parkins, sir. He's the only officer above Major left. He's in the command center, I'll take you to him."
With that, the two left, and Mark went off to find food, leaving Cody and CJ to help Donna off the top of the Pelican without crushing someone.
Carl Parkins was exhausted. He had already been under a lot of stress lately, finding room for the refugees arriving every week, trying to keep order in a dead civilization, and on top of that, there's a Covenant force bigger than the one on Reach is knocking on his door with a hammer the size of a truck. And now, here was a SPARTAN telling him that said army was less than two days away? He considered shooting himself and ending it there, but decided against it.
"All right, soldier. I think I can handle that news. But, I don't think the other soldiers could."
"They're going to have to, sir. The whole reason we came here was to warn you."
"All right, then. At least with you we have enough men to last against the onslaught for a little while longer. If we get lucky, we might be able to hold out for reinforcements. And then--"
"Sir, permission to speak freely?"
"You don't get it, General. When I told you my soldiers were the last of them, I didn't mean on Earth. I meant the Galaxy. The Covenant have wiped out Everyone. We're all that's left."
Parkins was too appalled to even speak. After almost a minute of silence, he finally spoke.
"Well, that complicates things, doesn't it? God Dammit, I was depending on reinforcements!" He banged his fists on the table, splintering it. Hearing this, Johnson stuck his head in the door to make sure no one was dead. Parkins sighed. "Spartan, you're my only hope. These men'll probably just shoot themselves if they find out the news you've just told me, so do you mind keeping it our little secret?"
"Good. Now, if we're gonna survive this, I'm gonna need some ideas to keep us alive. I'm open to any suggestions."
"Well, sir. I might have a few ideas..."
Knock, Knock. Bang, Bang.
The Covenant army seemed to go on forever. At least, that's what Yathim thought.
Yathim'Or was a Kig'Yar Major, leading a lance of snipers, and he was getting anxious. The last Humans in existence capable of putting up a fight, and he got the honor of killing the first one. He was filled to the brim with excitement, and he had already taken off his rifle's safety. As they neared the city, he saw Humans on the walls. Hundreds of them. Many of them with their crude imitations of the Kig'Yar rifle. Feh. He thought. At least this will be a small challenge.
CJ was getting nervous. As he saw the Covenant march ever-closer, he realized just how awfully outmatched they were. He clicked off his sniper's safety and met with the rest of Hammer Team, where Allen had finished his motivational speech, and was discussing the plan. CJ already knew it, so he had been elsewhere during the explanation. They were to distract the snipers long enough for Johnson and the other snipers to open fire on them. Hopefully, that would be enough to hold their attack for a few more hours.
As they neared the walls, Yathim'Or saw the Humans duck under the battlements. What cowards. He and his Kig'Yar crouched and aimed their rifles, ready to kill anyone that dared look up. Then, his hopes came true. He noticed a head poke up from the battlements. He shot him. The head didn't go down. It must be one of the demons He thought. He ordered his entire lance to fire on the head, and they did. They fired for a good five minutes, but the Human did not die. Eventually, they were all out of ammo. It was only then that Yathim'Or noticed one crucial point about the head: Human heads were not made of steel.
With that, countless Human snipers fired, killing all of Yathim's lance. The volley did not stop there, and continued on to wipe out a large number of Sangheili, Jiralhanae, and Lekgolo. He prepared to run, but it was too late. He lost all feeling as a sniper found punched through his midsection, splitting him in half.
The Covenant had fallen for it. The dummy had given Johnson's platoon the time they needed to get a bead on the Jackals. During the volley, they had also killed several High-ranking Brutes and Elites. CJ was confident that they could hold now. But he knew not to get cocky.
With good reasoning, too. With the snipers gone, they could stand again, and CJ looked at the bottom of the walls to see Grunt engineers spaced every 20 meters or so setting up grav-lifts.
He saw the Brutes break rank, and charge at the grav lifts. The Marines and Hammer squad opened fire, killing many, but it wasn't enough to stop them. They quickly began to rise onto the walls.
The first Brute up was killed, along with the second, and third. But the fourth made it up as they were reloading, and took his chance. He ripped open one Marine, and sent another flying. CJ attacked it, cracking it's head open with a deafening thud. As soon as it fell, though, he realized there were dozens more already on the walls. He quickly threw a grenade and jumped away, but the Brute he was aiming at tossed it aside, off the wall, and next to a grav lift. It was destroyed in the explosion.
That gave CJ an idea.
"Everyone, throw grenades at the grav lifts, they won't be able to send reinforcements if we destroy them!"
Immediately, Mark threw a grenade, and destroyed a grav lift, killing a brute heading up. Pfc. Lopez, now recovered from injuries, shot a rocket and hit a lift, damaging it. The Brutes that tried to come up were sent every which way, at speeds that killed them before they hit the ground. This continued until all the grav lifts were destroyed, and the dozen or so Brutes left alive were killed.
The advancing Covenant pulled back, and the enemy moved out of sight. The first day had been won. The humans were victorious.
Cody walked up to CJ. Even with his helmet on, he knew Cody was smiling.
"Dude! We won! We sent those Covie bastards straight to hell! Ain't that right Johnson?"
Of course, Allen intervened.
"Calm down, soldiers. This is nothing to celebrate. The Covenant weren't retreating. They just know that their strategy won't work anymore."
"That means they'll be making a new one."
"Where the Hell are we?"
City of High Charity, alternate timeline
Time was running out. The Prophet of Truth was about to leave for Earth, and John was the only one that could stop him. He had fought his way through the city, against Covenant Loyalists, Separatists, and the Flood. He wasn't alone, though. He had rescued six Marines from the brig, and they were coming with him. They were Sgt. Mcully, Pvt. Ricky Garcia, Cpl. Jimmy Hawkins, 1st Lieutenant CJ Patterson (In this timeline, CJ never became a SPARTAN)And the twins Cpl. And Pvt. Chang.
They had rushed to the grav lift to reach the ship, but it was about to take off. As they neared the lift, a holo-image of Cortana appeared on the projector nearby.
"Chief, that ship is leaving NOW. You have to hurry. I need to stay behind, in case they try to remotely activate Halo. If they do, I'll detonate In Amber Clad's engines" She glanced at the crashed ship. "Not very original, but we know it'll work."
"Cortana, I'm not leaving you here."
"I have to stay here. I have no choice."
"But, can't you just make a copy to leave and assign to detonate In Amber Clad's engines in case of a remote activation?"
Cortana paused. "I--I suppose I could. The thought had never crossed my mind." She paused again. "Done. Okay, let's go."
John's head cooled as Cortana entered the databanks in his helmet.
"I'm in. Let's hurry, it's starting to launch."
John and the Marines rushed to the lift, and went flying as they neared the ship. But it was too late. The ship had taken off, and had made a hole in slipspace just below them. Cortana began speaking.
"We're too late! We're out of options!"
"What if we enter the slipspace jump?" Patterson commented.
"That wouldn't work. The jump would most likely rip us to shreds. Not to mention, we'd be entering it backwards. I have no idea what would happen."
"It's either go in the jump backwards," John commented, "or plummet to our deaths waiting miles below us."
"... On second thought, the jump sounds good."
"I thought so."
With that, the Marines and John fell into the slipspace jump, and felt a tug of countless G-forces as they flew through space. The Marines realized there was no atmosphere, and put on oxygen tanks similar to the one John had, that allowed them to breathe in space. Their armor was already the right proportions to keep from exploding in the vacuum. After what seemed to be what Cortana dated as three months, they arrived at Earth. With that, John wished he had just died from the jump.
They were looking at a destroyed Earth, with most of the planet glassed, save a few small patches, and the entire UNSC fleet was just wreckage floating through space. Cairo Station was just a ball of wreckage. It looked to be intact in some areas, but the MAC gun was just gone. After minutes of silence, Cpl. Chang broke the silence.
"Where the hell are we?"
To Kill A Human Resistance Movement, One Must Think Like a Human Resistance Movement... And have a really Big-Ass Gun...
High Charity, two days after the First Engagement with Human Resistance
The Noble Prophet of Truth, Monarch of the Covenant, was holding court this unit, and it had been a rather trying day. Even with the Humans-- quite possibly the greatest threat presented to the Covenant in 3 ages-- all but destroyed, there was still the matter of the Flood, and the rogue Oracle and his Enforcer Guards... However, there were more trying matters. For one: The Field Master in charge of the operation against the Human Rebellion had been killed, and a new leader had to be appointed. Of course, Truth had already chosen the new one, he just hadn't been informed yet. Ah, here he comes now. Truth thought to himself.
Every Covenant in the Council, Sangheili, Unggoy, and Prophet alike, bowed as the new general entered the room. He was the Supreme Commander of the Covenant Military, and was simply named such. The Sangheili had a brilliant violet armor, with a flowing cape of matching color. His helmet had several modifications as well, leaving it as a very elaborate head dress, similar to the Elite Councilors', but smaller and less bulky. By his side was the Commander of all Special Operations Covenant: Rtas 'Vadumee. He was dressed in the white armor of an Ultra, but slightly more silverish. The Commander stepped up to the podium, awaiting Truth's word.
"Grand Commander, do you know why I have called you here today?"
"Yes, Noble Heirarch. It is about... the death of my son."
"Indeed. Your son was among our greatest generals, and the entire Covenant feels his loss. However, I bring you here, not to punish you for his actions, but to offer you a chance... to avenge his death."
"I am listening."
"The Humans that we are fighting have boxed themselves in, and no frontal assault could root them out. We need you, Commander, to lead a group of Elites, and Brutes, into the base. Through stealth, you are to gather as much information on them as possible. And, as a secondary goal, kill the man that has slain your son."
A holo-image appeared of a dark-skinned Human, with a cigar, as they were apparently called, carrying a sniper rifle.
"This man, named Averee Johnsun, is the man that killed your son. If you accomplish your primary goal, you may have the pleasure of killing him. But, there is one more thing. Exactly five units from now, we shall launch another attack on the base. Your company is to begin attacking key points of the base as soon as you are ordered. You are to distract them until one of our Scarabs can destroy the gate. Am I clear, Commander?"
"Yes, noble Hierarch. I shall have Rtas prepare our Phantom--"
"No. He is to stay here. He shall not be coming with you on this mission."
"Then, noble hierarch, who shall be my second in command?"
Truth uttered one word: "Tartarus"
On perfect cue, a large, hulking Jiralhanae, or Brute, entered the room. With white fur in a mohawk on his head, and covering most of his body, save his chest, hands, feet, face, and several scar marks. He also had a large covering of body armor, along with an energy shield with overwhelming power. He carried a gravity hammer, popular among Brute chieftans. He also had beady black eyes that made him look more of a monster than the supreme Commander of the Brutes.
"... Yes, noble Hierarchs. We shall prepare for immediate departure."
With that, the Commander and Tartarus left.
John and the Marines drifted towards Cairo Station, hoping to find supplies, or better yet, a ship to get them down to Earth. They found a cracked open hangar, and ducked in. The door closed after they entered, and oxygen filled the room. The Marines took their helmets off, happy to be in semi-fresh air again. John decided they should split into search parties, and look for supplies, but at that moment, the hatch behind them opened, and almost a dozen Grunts marched in. They were led by an Ultra Grunt, sporting the white armor common among them. He began squeaking and barking in his tongue, and the COMM on the seven Human's helmets translated for them.
"Humans? Here? But, aren't they all dead except for that one city?"
"Me thought so!"
"No matter, just shoot them!"
The Grunts opened fire, and the Marines ducked behind cover as John opened up with his Battle Rifle, killing most with headshots. Eventually, only the Ultra was left. He yelled something, and two Elite Honor Guards materialized, disengaging their active camo. They tackled John, pummeling him with their fists, and totally disabling his shields. John fought back, grabbing a metal pole and impaling one elite through the heart, killing it, as he rolled across the floor, exchanging punches with the other. Before it died, the Elite let out a cry:
"Run, Dundoon! The demon is too strong!"
After speaking this, the Elite slumped, dead, and the Grunt-- Dundoon, John guessed-- ran out the door. Cortana began speaking again.
"Wait a minute, Chief. Did that Grunt say there were more Humans still alive? If that's true, then maybe Humanity still has a shot! Chief, we have to find a ship, and get to that city. It's our only chance-- it's Earth's only chance."
Thus, John and the other Marines began to search the station, clearing out the several Grunts that made up the guard here. When they neared the bridge, however, they heard gunfire: Human gunfire. They rushed into the room to find several Grunts fall to a hail of bullets. Several figures moved out of the darkness, and a voice spoke.
"John? Chief? Is that you?"
John was amazed to be greeted by Fred.
Out of the Frying Pan, and into the Crossfire
John was shocked as Fred, and his other team-mates Linda and Kelly, along with several Marines, step out of the shadows of the room.
"It is you! My God, John, we thought you were dead!"
Cortana began speaking immediately. "Ok, this doesn't make any sense. The other SPARTANs never disappeared, Earth is conquered, and Earth's been glassed. All this seems to have gone wrong after we left High Charity."
"Hold on, Cortana, are you saying you came here from High Charity?"
"John, we got a transmission from Commander Keyes 3 months ago. You died on High Charity."
With that, Fred explained everything that had happened, and Cortana began to realize that something was wrong. Very wrong.
"Ok, this is weird. I have no idea how, but when we went through that slipspace jump backwards, we didn't go through space, we went through entire dimensions."
"Ay Carumba, is that even possible?!" McCully asked.
"Apparently. Either way, all I know is, we have to find these last humans that Grunt was talking about. They might be able to help us figure out what's going on."
The Humans made their way to the Hangar, where they were lucky enough to find an Albatross dropship, and piloted it down into the atmosphere.
Several Phantom dropships streaked across the sky, using a cloaking device similar to the ones used by Sangheili. On them was the Grand Commander, Tartarus, and 40 SpecOps Sangheili and Jiralhanae. As they neared the base, the soldiers renewed their lifedebt and oath to protect the Covenant, as before every mission. Finally, they reached their destination. The soldiers quickly disembarked, and the Phantoms sped away. They split into 2 groups. One would be led by the Commander, gathering intelligence, while the other, led by Tartarus, would try to eliminate key targets, and generally cause chaos among the base.
The groups split up, and went to their destinations.
The Five units had passed, and the Covenant's mission had gone well. Tartarus' group cut many of the Human's supplies, including food, weapons, and ammunition. He also killed two Colonels, high ranking officers in the Human's armed forces. Meanwhile, the Commander's group had found out many of the Human's planned tactics for the upcoming battle, and sent them to their Commander, the High Prophet of Regret. Regret finally messaged them, telling them to initiate their assault. Tartarus and the Commander decided to split up again. The SpecOps groups would go in pairs among platoons of Humans and ambush them, while Tartarus would assault their CO. While this was happening, the Commander would go after this Lieutenant Johnsun...
As Pfc. Lopez Mencia's squad moved through the narrow streets of the city, they all were worried extremely. The Covenant had started the attack again, and the gate was nearly broken. A Scarab tank was assaulting the walls, and a in a matter of minutes would blow open the gate. As they passed a dumpster one of the Marines suddenly stopped, choking, and seemed to float into the air. Then, an Elite came out of it's cloaking, holding the Marine in a vicegrip, and dropped him to the ground, dead.
Lopez's squad opened fire, but a second Elite behind them appeared, energy sword drawn, and attacked them, killing another two Marines. Lopez ducked a blow from the sword and fired a full clip of MA5C Assault Rifle ammo into the Elite, killing it. The other killed his last two squadmates, and rose Lopez into the air, about to kill him. Just before the blow was struck, a round from a sniper rifle flew through the air and punched through the Elite's head, killing it. As it fell to the ground in a slump, he was attended to by a medic, who was accompanied by Hammer Team and Lieutenant Johnson.
"Soldier, get up. The SPARTANs and I got a call saying there was an Elite in the hangars. We need to go help out. Now."
With that, the group moved out towards the Commander, waiting.
Tartarus kicked down the door of the Command Post of the Human city, and Jiralhanae SpecOps stormed the room, killing almost two dozen armed guards, at the cost of all but three of their lives. A second door led to the General's office, where they found Carl Parkins, waiting with a shotgun.
One SpecOp Commando jumped through the air, but was gunned down by Parkins, while another went in with an energy sword, but was killed as well. The General then took two SMGs and gunned down the last Commando, leaving only him and Tartarus left.
"All right, Brute. You listen and you listen good. I'm standing on a button right here, and if I press it, both of us go sky-high. Now, you're going to take a few steps backwards, turn around, and walk away. And you're never going to come back. Got it?"
"Try me, ya Gorilla sonuvabitch."
After a very long time, Tartarus prepared to attack, but received a COMM transmission from the Commander.
"Tartarus, I need you. There are demons here. There are too many! Hurry--" Static.
Tartarus then moved out of the room, and made a mad dash for the hangar, where his master was in mortal danger.
The Commander made a leap for Johnson, sword drawn, but CJ was ready. He stepped in-between the two, grabbed the Elite, and wrestled him to the ground. However, the Elite kicked CJ away, and rose again. However, Allen made his first movement since the fight had begun. He quickly dashed forward faster than any other creature could, and kicked the Elite so hard he flew almost 100 feet before crashing into the wall, leaving an imprint where he had landed. The Elite was at least unconscious, maybe dead. But that didn't matter right now, for at that moment, a gigantic, hulking Brute, probably a chieftan, crashed through the hangar door, and used a giant hammer to knock away two Marines.
The Brute, Tartarus, then charged for Johnson, but CJ intervened again.
"Johnson, get up to that platform! He can't reach you there!"
CJ was then knocked away with a brutal blow, and Johnson dashed through the entrance to the second level. Tartarus tried to follow, but was stopped by Mark, who sniped him in the back. Tartarus smashed Mark with his hammer, who crumpled to the ground. Cody jumped onto his back and began shooting assault rifle rounds into the Brute's neck. Tartarus eventually shook him loose, and stomped on him, crushing his chest cavity. Donna then shot two rockets, wounding Tartarus further, but the Brute charged her. At the last second, CJ rammed Tartarus with all his strength, sending them both flying into the wall. Only Tartarus emerged, to find Allen, who pummeled him with a flurry of punches, kicks, and beatings with his rifle.
Eventually, though, the Brute finally got the better of Allen, sending the SPARTAN soaring across the room. Suddenly, though, four sniper round hit Tartarus, and he turned to see Johnson reloading his sniper rifle. The Brute charged him, running as fast as his feet would take him, but as he prepared to jump, he heard an aircraft quickly approaching...
Without warning, an Albatross Dropship crashed through the roof, straight into Tartarus, killing the Chieftan instantly. The continuing dropship dragged the corpse across the room, leaving a bloody trail behind. The Marines commented on the smell. The SPARTANS, Johnson, and the other Marines gathered around the ship as the hatch slowly opened...
I SAID Knock Knock!
The Scarab fired once more, it's beam crashing into the gate into the Human City "Last Hope". The gate buckled, but was not yet broken.
The Battle was going poorly for the Humans. The Commander's stealth attack had been a success, and many of the Humans were dedicated to eliminating the SpecOps Covenant in the city. The Humans left at the walls were hard-pressed to survive. The Jiralhanae and Sangheili had assaulted the walls so quickly the Humans were given no time to destroy the lifts. However, several high-ranking SpecOps humans had been spotted, and they were suspected to attack the Scarab. Thus, Rtas 'Vadumee and his platoon was placed in command of the walking Battlecruiser. Of course, soon enough, a dropship landed on top of the Scarab, and a dozen Marines scrambled out. The defenders up top-- Mostly low-ranking Kig'Yar and Sangheili -- were quickly disposed of, and the Humans moved to the lower level.
The first in was beheaded by Rtas' blade, but a flurry of grenades then flooded the interior, killing both the pilots, and half of Rtas' platoon. The Marines took their advantage, and swept in, wiping out every Sangheili, save for Rtas, who entered the code for the Scarab to fire once more, and escaped. The Scarab then fired, blasting the gate to pieces, and the Covenant army swarmed into the city.
The first part of the battle has been won. Rtas thought to himself. But the war is not yet over.
The hatch door opened, and four SPARTANS, and almost a dozen Marines stepped out. John surveyed the destruction of the hangar, and would have commented on it if his Albatross hadn't done most of the damage. He saw an Elite lying unconscious, the crushed arm of a Brute under his dropship, and several wounded Marines and SPARTANs, being tended to by medics. As they exited, one of two SPARTANs in moderate health greeted them.
"It's good to see some more SPARTANs. We could really use the help right now. Who are you, anyways?"
John could tell Allen was shocked.
"Sir! Please forgive my lack of respect. I did not recognize you, sir! I am Allen-118, sir!"
"At ease, Allen. We don't have time for this right now. First, I need to find out what's going on."
"You're going to need to see General Parkins about that. Soldiers, move out! We need to get to the General now! Mark, Cody, find a safe place for that Elite over there. He might come in handy later."
Painting the Town Red... With Blood
The carnage throughout Last Hope was unbelievable. Thousands on both sides were already dead, and everything that moved was shot. The Covenant had pushed in very far in the initial assault, but the Humans eventually stopped the Covenant in their tracks. Now, the Humans, receiving the news that reinforcements arrived, had new hope, and surged into the Covenant-controlled districts, wiping out any alien that dared get in their way.
John's group, along with CJ, Allen, and Donna finally reached the command center, hoping to find General Parkins. Instead, they found a wreck of a building with dead Marines littering the entire area. As they entered, an Elite and Brute jumped out, attacking the group, but were dealt with quickly. They moved inside to find Covenant swarming the building, but most of them were already dead.
"Well, these Marines may have lost, but they put up one helluva fight." CJ commented.
They finally reached the control room, where they finally found Marines. About 5 were still in fighting condition, and the wounded were being tended to by medics. John approached what appeared to be the CO and asked what had happened.
"It's hard to say, sir. It all happened so fast. Covenant swarmed the place, pushed us in here, and kept us holed up. One of our spotters reported in before he was killed. He said wherever they were going, they took Parkins with him."
"Where did they go?"
"To the north, sir."
"Further into the city?"
"Yessir, my guess is that they want to keep him hidden until they've taken control of the city, that or there's a hidden ship... somewhere... to take... him back... Oh shit!"
The Marine garrison ran outside, in the direction of Parkin's possible location, with John and the others following close behind.
A Race Against Time, and Plasma Fire
As the Brutes loaded Parkins into the Phantom, the General came to. He barely remembered the Covenant storming his office a second time, and being tacked before he could hit the panic button under his feet. He began to move, and a Brute kicked him. He slipped into a cloud of uncertainty and sleep once more...
The group of Humans reached the Phantom in time to see it take off. They watched helplessly as the General was taken to who-knows-where.
CJ was first to break the silence.
"There's no time to just sit here right now. The Covenant didn't kill him, so he should be fine for a while. Right now, we have to worry about the Covenant blasting through our defenses."
"True." Allen said. "If only there was some way to give us an advantage..."
"I think I know one." John replied. "Where's that Elite you captured?"
The Grand Commander slowly came to. He noticed that he was in a red-lighted metal room, with explosions rocking him every few seconds. He then noticed several Humans standing before him. He decided it would be best to comply with them... for now.
"What is it you want with me?" He spoke in their barbaric tongue.
"Nothing. We just want to let you in on a little secret." The tallest, whom he recognized as the demon who destroyed Halo, said. "Your Prophets are false. They lied to you."
"Never! Our noble Prophets brought the Covenant together, to make peace, and destroy you foul humans so we may begin the Great Journey!"
"I don't think you understand. Do you know of the Flood?"
"The one thing I despise more than Humans..."
"Halo is a weapon. Designed to combat the Flood."
"If it would destroy the Parasite, why not just let the Prophets activate the Sacred Rings?"
"Because, it doesn't destroy Flood. It destroys us."
"Yes, Humans, Grunts, Elites, Prophet, any intelligent being in the galaxy. It wipes them out so the Flood will have nothing to feed on, and starve."
"What makes you think I would believe such lies?"
"Oh, let's just say, a friend of your Prophets."
At that point, Lt. Patterson pulled out what appeared to be a floating red orb. It began to speak in an airy, almost annoying voice.
"Hello, there! I am 2401 Penitent Tangent, monitor of Installation 05."
"An Oracle!" The Commander exclaimed.
"Yes," the demon replied. "I believe you'll be interested in what he has to say about Halo."
Resistance: Fall of Brutes
Rtas 'Vadumee cut down yet another Human, as he an his SpecOps team fought in the main courtyard of the city. The Humans continued to fight, but the battle was assured to be a Covenant Victory. As the last Human fell in the area, a golden Phantom dropped from the sky, the transport of the High Prophet of Regret. The Prophet dropped down, flanked by Sangheili honor guards. Rtas bowed before the Prophet.
"O High Prophet, your work is nearly complete, the Humans fall before our might. Soon, there shall be none left."
"Very good. I have come here to give you good, and also grave news. Your friend, the Grand Commander, is dead."
Rtas did not believe Regret at first, but he soon realized that it must be true. He had not seen his friend or Tartarus since the battle had begun.
"However, the good news, is that you have been chosen... as his successor."
Rtas did not believe this either. He was ecstatic and in great pain at the same moment. He was about to speak when text rolled across his HUD.
"Rtas, it is I."
"Commander? Is it you?" He typed back.
"Yes. I have important news: The Prophets are false, Rtas. They have lied to us?"
"How do you know this?!"
"One of the Holy Oracles spoke of it to me."
"That... that can't be..."
"But, it was spoken by the Oracle."
"That cannot be, the oracle must be false!"
"But, if you say the holy oracles are false, you also say the Prophets are false. Either way, the Prophets have lied. Halo is a weapon that would kill us all if activated."
"What should I do?"
"Tell all Elites: 'This comes from the mouth of the Grand Commander: all Elites and Grunts are to attack the other Covenant at once, before the Humans are wiped out. We must assist them."
"Very well, Grand Commander." He sent the message to all Sangheili and Unggoy. "What am I to do?"
"You are... to kill the Prophet of Regret."
"That is going to far, my friend."
"But it is necessary. I would not lie to you, Rtas. It must be done."
Over a minute passed, before Rtas turned around. Looked into Regret's eyes... and cut him at the neck.
Sergeant Stacker and his Marines fought for their lives as they were surrounded by Covenant. With a burst of an Assault Rifle he brought down a Grunt, and ducked under a spike grenade as it missed his head by a mere inch. The explosion caught one of his Marines, who slumped over, dead. His other Marines threw grenades of their own, killing several of the Covenant. However, the Elites suddenly stopped, as if reading something. Then, without warning, they attacked the Brutes. Stacker watched in shock as several Grunts tore a Jackal to shreds, and an Elite Zealot do battle with a Brute Chieftan.
Bitter Rivals, To the End
Ssfa 'Jcoree hardly believed that the Prophets were capable of such betrayal, but he had gone with the orders given to him. His SpecOps unit was moving throughout the city, wiping out all of the Covenant Loyalists. Eventually, he came upon a skirmish. Several Unggoy were being torn apart by a Jackal. He had no time for this, though, and ordered the Unggoy to kill themselves and the Jackal with a Plasma Grenade. They did so.
No, Ssfa had much more trying matters to attend to.
Gargantua was a Brute Chieftan, and not a happy one. When Tartarus was killed, that put him in charge of the Brutes. For this, he was grateful, but he had retained some of his spite for the Elite his Friend and mentor was protecting. Now, however, that Elite had ordered his kind to begin annihilating his brothers and soldiers. Rage had filled him, but to win this battle, he needed a level head.
However, he knew that an old rival of his would be coming to finish him. By the end of the day, he might not have a head.
On cue, Ssfa crashed down the doors. Dozens of Elites and Grunts scattered across the room, killing all of the Brutes. Ssfa alone took the lift into Gargantua's control room.
"Gargantua," Ssfa spoke. "You cannot win. Surrender or die."
Gargantua turned to face him. Ssfa was different than the last time he saw him. It was hard to believe just ten years ago, Ssfa was a young, hotheaded Minor Domo leading a meager 5 Grunts. The same time Gargantua had begun his career the same way. But now, here was that Elite, much older, wiser, and one of the Most powerful Imperial Admirals in the entire Covenant. They were equal in rank, the two of them. They had also despised each other, and had attempted to outdo each other since the start of their careers.
Now, here they were, about to fight to the death. They began life as enemies, and would end it as the same. Gargantua laughed to himself at the bitter irony, and picked up his hammer.
"So, old friend. You have finally come. If I am to face my end here, I suppose I would rather die knowing which of us is superior. You--" He drew into a combat stance, as did Ssfa, wielding his two signature green swords. "Or I."
The two lunged, colliding with a resounding thud. Neither struck with their weapons, but a kick from Gargantua sent Ssfa soaring, eventually coming to a skidding halt on the other side of the room. Ssfa's shields held, but without them, the blow would have been fatal. Gargantua closed the gap between them with blinding speed, and brought his hammer down on Ssfa's head. However, the Elite was even faster.
Ssfa ducked under the blow, and slashed Gargantua across the face, drawing much blood. The Brute reached to get the blood away from his left eye, to discover it was gone. He roared in rage, and stomped on Ssfa, disabling his shield, and nearly crushing him. Ssfa used his one free arm to slash through Gargantua's leg armor and and cut through most of it. This gave him a moment to roll away. He jumped towards Gargantua, about to finish the fight, but the Brute was ready.
A massive swing of his hammer sent Ssfa flying, probably cracking/smashing most of his ribs. Gargantua relaxed, knowing the fight was his. He had won.
Then, Ssfa rolled through the air, when he should have been dead, and threw one of his swords, hurtling towards Gargantua's neck. The Brute laughed, this time out loud, at the irony that his fears were correct: at the end of this battle, he wouldn't have a head. He gladly accepted his fate, and the fact that his old rival truly was better than him.
Last Hope was in ruins. The once proud city that retained Earth's former glory was a wreck, with only 700 Marines left out of the 5,000. Only about 900 Militia and about 50,000 Civilians remained, as well. The Elites, now the Covenant Separatists, had taken similar casualties, with about 2,000 Elites and 8,000 Grunts remaining. The Loyalists, however, were completely wiped out. With the exception of about 20 Brutes to escape with General Parkins, the rest of the invasion force was dead. The Human-Elite alliance gathered in the town square, and commemorated their friends, and brothers, and sisters to die in this battle.
That night, a council was held between the Spartans, Rtas, the Grand Commander, and newly-promoted Lieutenant Colonel Avery Johnson.
"So," Rtas began. "The Brutes have been defeated, and the Loyalists have been driven away. The word has spread, and Humans and Separatists across the planet have risen up. In a matter of days, Earth will be under our control."
"And Parkins?" John asked.
"An Assault Carrier, the Final Judgment, probably the most powerful ship in the entire Covenant, left for High Charity. The General was on it. That leaves one obvious choice: We must invade High Charity."
Allen, now a Vice Admiral, stirred very slightly.
"Speak your mind, Admiral." Rtas commented.
"We can't attack yet." Allen said. "We're barely beating back the Brutes here. We wouldn't stand a chance against them on their home planet. I suggest we gather reinforcements first. What you see of the UNSC is all you'll get, however, I'm willing to bet once the rest of the Elites hear the Grand Commander, they'll be willing to assist us."
"A valid point," John added. "It would pay to gather Reinforcements before attacking the Covenant head-on."
"Then it's settled." Fred said. "We should refuel, gather supplies, and head out immediately."
"All in favor of this course of action, say "aye"."
"Aye." It was unanimous. In less than a week, the final battle would begin.
However, it would not be easy...
- All rights to Halo and the characters in this fanfic belong to Bungie and Microsoft.
- Comments plz. I want to make the sequel (yes, sequel) better.