Disclaimer: Hehe, whom am I kidding? I don't know why people posted this on their stories. I mean this is a Fanfiction site. It's not as if Disney, HBO, or JK Rowlings would come and start suing everyone, or if not, had the luxury posting their stories here.
We're doing this for fun as long as you follow the Guidelines, so please enjoy and don't forget to review. Oh, and please point out any grammatical errors. Constructive criticism and feedback are always welcome in my story.
BTW, this story sets two years before the Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 1 starts. Look up the summary, you'll understand why.
Again, ENJOY! (^v^)
"Cortana and John's private chat" or "Radio communication"
"Chief, can you hear me?"
John-117 was very much alive, awakened, floating in zero gravity in a debris-filled hallway on board the Dawn. As he opened his eyes, everything was slightly pitched black.
"I thought I'd lost you, too," Cortana said in relief when she noticed his vital signs stabilizing.
John-117 was silent for a moment as he turned on the flashlights from his helmet to survey his surroundings. He drifted to his assault rifle floating in front of him and holstered it. He then began to drift toward the end of the hallway.
"What happened?" he asked.
She explained, "I'm not sure. When Halo fired, it shook itself to pieces — did a number on the Ark. The portal couldn't sustain itself. We made it through just as it collapsed."
John-117 reached the end of the hallway, gazing out on what remained of the ship. The Forward Unto Dawn had been sheared in half by the closing portal, floating in a cloud of its owned debris, still red-hot from the sudden Slipspace slowdown.
"Well, some of us made it," she added.
The Dawn's remaining half continued to drift aimlessly in unknown space. John-117 understood what he needed to do, so he turned around and began to drift silently further inside the ship and found a room filled with a row of cryotubes, completed with a holotank.
"But you did it," she said solemnly. "Truth and the Covenant, the Flood..." John-117 plugged her data chip into the holotank, and she appeared in her avatar form. "It's finished."
"It's finished." He nodded before he turned off the flashlight on his helmet and placed his assault rifle in one of the rackets on the wall.
"I'll drop a beacon," she said as John-117 climbed into one of the cryotubes. "But it'll be a while before anyone finds us − years, even."
Once the cryotube closed, John-117 and Cortana looked at each other one last time.
"I'll miss you," she said with a hint of sadness in her voice.
"Wake me up when you need me," he replied.
Cortana smiled, nodding. The cryotube closed and sealed, freezing him into a deep sleep. Now alone, Cortana dropped her smile, looking downward in sadness. She then raised her hand and a screen floating in front of her, activating the distress beacon, and began the long wait for rescue.
There was a sudden jerk throughout the Dawn, alarming Cortana to look around. A screen popped up again and started investigating to what just happened using whatever left of the ship's navigation and sensor system. She reached a status report, showing an image of a blue planet. Surprised, she hadn't detected the planet before John-117 went to cryo-sleep or perhaps the ship's damaged sensors couldn't sense its existence even though it could still detect anything within nearly a million mile radius.
As the planet getting clearer and clearer, she realized that the Dawn got caught by its gravitational pull, and it was already picking up speed. Looking at the ship's viewpoint, she noticed its cloud formations, vast oceans, and three continents with hints of vegetation. It could only mean one thing — the planet was hospitable for human colonization.
Either the news was good or bad, she needed to wake up the Master Chief. She brought up the cryostasis control page. One of the sections showed John-117's Mjolnir armor. Cortana pressed the command to reactivate after some consideration. The status update with the red word "ACTIVE" came up.
She turned to his cryotube and whispered, "Wake up, Chief, I need you."
The frost quickly thawed out on the cryo-tube, slowly opening up, which Master Chief began to wake up.
"That didn't feel like a long nap?" he remarked as he stepped out and walked toward her holotank.
"Sorry for the rude awakening," she said. "But we got caught by the planet's gravitational pull."
"…Haven't you detected this before?"
"Either it just came out of the blue or the ship's systems were too damaged to notice it. What's worse, the remaining propulsions don't have enough power to escape its gravitational pull, so we only have 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 3 seconds before we reached the planet's surface."
Master Chief looked at the image of the planet's surface, hinting with life. "It looks hospitable."
"Well, there's a ninety-five percent chance you can breathe on it," she said. "Since I can't find any signal or traces of technological infrastructures, it's safe to assume it's uninhabitable. So what's the plan?"
He thought momentarily before asking, "Does this ship still a Plan Crusoe onboard?"
Cortana checked the ship's files and remaining inventories. "Yes, most of them are in the armory's deep levels."
"Good," he said. "Can we still maneuver this ship so we can land in one piece?"
She processed and calculated for a moment. "Yes, we can. I can still use the gravity controls and thrusters to angle its trajectory, giving it a nice landing. I'll use the power reserve to activate all the blast shields to protect the reactors and the rest of the internal system including the areas near the cut section from the re-entry. Once we land this baby, we'll have enough power to last more than a decade, approximately."
He finished, "And we have our very own base of operation. It's better to be down there than drifting here in space."
"Right." She nodded. "I already found the perfect spot for the Plan Crusoe, Chief. Once I program the computer for the re-entry, we better hop in one of the pods in case the Dawn doesn't survive the fall."
John-117 shook his head. "She'll make it, Cortana." He was referring to the Dawn. "We'll make it."
Jon Snow stood alone on the top on one of the towers of Winterfell, looking at the direction where The Wall was. He was now turning fourteen. He thought about his future since he had none here in Winterfell, his owned home.
Despite some had told him, he was more of a Stark. His lord father's wife, without uttering a single word, her deathly stare would always remind him he was a bastard, and bastards never got a chance to inherit anything since his lord father had five lawful children about three of them were his sons.
'There is no future for me here,' he thought.
Then he looked at the direction of The Wall once again. He thought about Night Watch, which Uncle Benjen joined. Every Northmen told that taking the black to serve on The Wall was the greatest honor and duty in the North, or perhaps the whole Westeros since knights, Southerners, those who prayed to any gods could join as much as any Northmen. Any man could join the Night's Watch and would treat as brothers and equals — perhaps there was future for a bastard like him there.
"What're you doing here, Jon?" His father, Eddard, appeared from behind and went toward him, joining him viewing the wilderness beyond Winterfell.
"Nothing, just admiring the view, father," Jon lied.
Eddard smiled. There was nothing to admire around Winterfell anymore since this was their home after all. "You can tell me, son. It's just the two of us here, and Lady Stark is in the hall."
Jon hesitated at first before revealing, "I was thinking about Uncle Benjen."
Eddard dropped his smile, understanding what was in Jon's thoughts. "Were you thinking about taking the black?"
His bastard son was surprised that he found out about it. "Father, please —"
"You have no idea what will you give up once you join the Night's Watch," his lord father exclaimed. "You are as Stark as any of us."
"I'm a Snow — there's no future for me here in Winterfell."
Eddard thought momentarily. If the Night's Watch was centuries ago, numbering ten thousand, most were noble and honorable men, perhaps he would let Jon joined. Alas, the Night's Watch was a shadow of its former glory, and he heard the mockery towards the Order from the Southern cunts.
"What about the South or the Free Cities?" Eddard said. "I can offer you enough gold dragons to live the life for yourself. Surely you'll prospect there."
Jon responded by shaking his head in disapproval. "I don't have any other trade aside from the sword in my hand, and I don't want to disgrace the House Stark of me becoming a sellsword. Besides, the North is my home. There's no greatest honor for a Northerner than joining the Night's Watch."
"Well — you could become a knight," Eddard suggested.
There was a long silence before the two burst into laughter, removing the depressing atmosphere.
"You wish me not to join the Night's Watch so be it," Jon said, "You can at least tell me about my mother. You never spoke to me about her and her name once."
Eddard thinned his lips, hesitating to reveal him everything. "Jon, I… did you hear that?"
"Hear what?" he asked. Soon, he picked up the strange sound that his father heard. At first, it sounded like there was an earthquake. Strangely, it felt like it was coming from the air.
They started to look up, and they found a flash of light, which was adjacent yet brighter than the sun shining in the North.
"Is that a shooting star?" Jon wondered.
"Perhaps," Eddard replied.
Their eyes began to widen as the star they staring at was getting bigger and bigger as if it was getting closer and closer.
"By the Old Gods…." Eddard gasped as the flames from the star started to extinguish, revealing a black metal monstrosity or perhaps a piece of the sky was falling fast toward Winterfell. The noise it gave sounded like the screams of women in terror, Jon feared for his life as he felt like the flaming object heading toward them. Eddard's fatherly instinct kicked in and quickly shielded Jon with his body, preparing for the worst, but only for the black object streaking and casting a shadow over the whole castle followed by the thundering gale, blowing every leaf and small objects in its path.
"That was a rough landing," Cortana joked. "We made it like you said."
John got up his feet and looked around. "How's the ship's condition?"
"Functional but no longer space-worthy, yet barely flight-worthy," she explained. "I've already turned off all the propulsion systems, gravity control, and some of the reactors to save power. Sensor and defense systems are seventy-two percent operational, but there are some in need of repairs. You need to check the ship for further assessment." John nodded in approval, and she asked, "So what's our first order of business?"
"Inventory update," he answered. "I want to know what we got left onboard."
"I suppose you would like me to look over the weapons first." She crossed her arms, knowing highly disciplined and lethal soldier like John, weapons checking were always their top priority.
He responded with a shrug and a meek smile she could see inside his helmet. It wasn't that Spartans followed military protocols, it was their uppermost survival. They didn't know what awaited them in this unknown world. Cortana understood this as she thought, 'Better be safe than sorry.'
It was only a few seconds for her to check every item and equipment on board, using the surveillance cameras, and sensors.
"Well, the armory's still intact," she began. "And we have enough weapons and ammunitions to arm an entire battalion, plus we got ourselves some Covenant caches courtesy to our Elite friends. We also have four M71 Anti-Aircraft Guns, four M8 Automated Defense Systems, a pair of M95 Lance Guided Missile Weapon Systems, and two dozens of LAU-65D/SGM-151s, half of them mounted on tripods." She paused for a moment, wondering how these powerful weapons got onboard on the Dawn. "Wow — with this much firepower, you can build an actual USNC fortress. Where did you get this hardware, John?"
He admitted, "Lord Hood was kind enough to provide them to us before we assaulted the Ark. They're supposed to be used to set up defense perimeter if we decided to build a base in case of a prolonged battle."
"UNSC always prepares for everything," Cortana impressed. "Okay, back to inventory. As for the remaining vehicles that survived the last battle, we have two Pelicans, one Albatross, one Scorpion tank, six Warthogs, two Hornets, and one Falcon. No need to worry about ammunition and spare parts — we got the ship's M3DMP for that."
The Mobile 3D Manufacturing Printer (M3DMP for short) was the answer to the logistics of every space naval vessel in deep interstellar voyages. The M3DMP was a smaller and portable version of a manufacturing plant and also a giant-sized version of a 3D printer. It was the size and shape of a shipping container with the midsection was half-glassed. Inside was a collection of robotic units equipped with high-precision lasers, paint spray, manipulating arms and tools, and 3D printing capability. Hence its name, the M3DMP could make and shape any items aside armor, weapons, or ammunition as long as materials were available whether metals, stones, plastics, or woods.
"And lastly for supplies," she continued. "You have enough food and non-food goods to last three months. That's plenty of time for us to build a farm."
"Good," John pleased to hear the Dawn's remaining inventory. "Guess that leaves checking the ship's condition as our next objective."
"Right," she agreed. "I got a huge list of things for you to repair. The important ones are near the cut section. It'll take probably few days to finish just the two of us."
Cortana smiled by his optimism. "Do you think someone in this rock might have noticed the Dawn?"
"You said yourself that there were no traces of advanced technology on this planet."
"Yeah, maybe you're right."
John pulled out her data crystal from the holotank, which her avatar disappeared and reappeared on his hand.
"Ready to get back to work?" he asked.
Cortana crossed her arms and smirked. "I thought you never asked.
Eddard Stark and a dozen horsemen rode deep in the Wolfswood. Four days ago, a flaming black object was passing over Winterfell, sending the whole castle and its winter town in panic. It took a while for the Stark guards to calm the smallfolks, who were some knelt and some went half-mad, thinking the world was about to end. Soon, Eddard decided to investigate the unknown object that fell in the biggest woods in the North, so he gathered a party including Theon, Robb, and Jon.
They were now in a large hilly clearing. Jory, the nephew of Master-at-Arms Rodrik Cassel, noticed three dozen horsemen coming out behind the biggest hill in sight.
"My lord," Jory called. "We've got companies."
Eddard went forward to recognize their banners, and then he turned to Robb, Jon, and Theon. "Can you identify whose sigils belong to?" He knew who these men were, but he decided to test the boys' knowledge as they rode forward to look at them.
"A black battle-axe on silver, House Cerwyn," Robb began.
"An armored silver fist on a scarlet field, House Glover of Deepwood Motte," Theon added.
Jon paused to identify the last sigil, and he answered, "A white ironwood tree on a black field with a black sword pointed downward, House Forrester. They're all your loyal bannermen, my lord." He said his title over calling him, father, out courtesy in public, especially for a bastard. "And I believe they're after the same thing as we are."
"Good, very good," Eddard pleased. "Let's go greet them."
In a moment, the two groups meet. Three highborn stood before the Lord Paramount of the North, respectfully greeted, "My Lord."
Eddard nodded in response before glancing at the Lord of House Cerywn. "Medger, long time…."
"Aye," he answered with a soft-spoken voice.
Eddard turned to the leader of the House Glover and noticed he wasn't Lord Glover, but his brother. "Good to see you again, Robett."
"Aye, Galbart couldn't leave Deepwood Motte undefended without his lord," he explained. "So I voluntarily rode out with my men."
And lastly, Eddard looked at the leader of House Forrester only it wasn't their Lord. He was young but older than Jon, Robb, and Theon. "And you are?"
"Rodrik Forrester, son of Gregor Forrester," the young highborn introduced himself.
"Rodrik," Eddard gasped. "By the Old Gods, you've become a man." The heir of House Forrester nodded in response. Eddard then glanced all of his bannermen. "I suppose you're all here because of the falling star."
"Aye, my lord," Robett replied. "Three of us had ridden out from our keeps, scouring every corner in these woods, until we met each other by chance."
"We met House Glenmore along the way," Rodrik interjected. "But they turned back since three companies on horses are sufficed to find this falling star."
"And now we are four," Eddard added. "Do you have any idea where it fell?"
"We rode every part of Wolfswood, my lord," Rodrick answered. "We believe it fell in the heart." He pointed at the direction where the middle of the Wolfswood located.
"So the heart of the woods we go," Eddard said as they began riding toward their destination.
Along the way, everyone conversed about whatever it fell from the sky. Like in Winterfell, their castles were in an uproar, haunted by the fiery memory of whatever it was. Some of them said it was a star, while others said it was a roof of the sky or perhaps a piece of it, but one of them said it might be one of the gods taking a shit. Everyone burst into laughter.
However, since Winterfell was the closest to see the unknown object, the bannermen shook to hear from their liege lord who happened to catch a glimpse of it. Eddard described it was black metal monstrosity with large furnaces blasting from its rear. It was bigger than any castle in Westeros except Harrenhal. The Stark men supported his claim since some of them saw it as well, but they couldn't fully identify what it was. They debated whether it was a flying castle or a dragon returning once more, but one of them still maintained it might be one of the gods taking a shit. Everyone burst into laughter once again.
Soon, they passed the last hill that bordered between the hilly clearings and the wilderness. Suddenly, in the far distance, they noticed a large man in green armor and a metal carriage with black wheels. He was sticking a sort of tripod on the ground. Strange to see a person and a carriage deep in the Wolfswood and without a horse in sight, they galloped to meet him.
"The soil's poor here too," Cortana said as she checked the result from the tripod device sticking on the ground. "Looks like another patch of potatoes in this area."
"Tell me why did you choose this location in the first place?" John began. "I'm not complaining about the cold, but the environment here is not very suitable for most crops we got."
"There's the biggest titanium deposit eighty miles west from the Dawn," she explained. "We need those metals in the long run. I know it's far, but we need to divide our strategic positions. We can't afford any possible hostile attack concentrating in a single location. Besides, the ship sits on the perfect strategic point."
"Alright, I'll trust you," he accepted.
"Well, it's better to be down here than drifting up in outer space."
John nodded to that. To be cryogenically frozen wasn't that bad for him as he did it countless times, but leaving Cortana alone without anyone to talk. It would be very lonely for her. She couldn't sleep or power down. Also, they could be risked colliding on some asteroids or drifting toward a star or a planet like this one. He understood that Cortana made the right decision to wake him up.
"We'll find a way to get back home," he said, knowing the beacon from the ship still active after their landing. "And when we do we'll…" He suddenly heard clattering on the ground. He readied his rifle as he knew someone or something coming behind them. When he turned around, both of them were shocked to see the natives of this world.
And to what even more shocking for both of them, they were humans riding on horses. As they got closer, John and Cortana were again surprised, they were medieval looking: armors, leather clothing, furs, spears, swords, shields, and banners.
The UEG discovered and colonized several hundreds of worlds filled with life. Each was one of its kinds from another but never had they ever found animals like horses that were natives of Earth on other colony worlds. Cortana told John that they couldn't be on Earth. She already scanned the planet before landing, so time-travel was crossed out. Cortana had to come up thousands of scenarios and explanation to their current situation, but that could wait when the riders approached John and had him surrounded including the Warthog next to him.
"Easy, big guy," Cortana said in radio communication to calm him down when she noticed his fingers tightened his grip on his rifle.
Seven riders approached him, three older men and four teenage boys, although one of the teenagers was older.
One of the older men stepped forward. He was probably between the age of thirties or forties, dark hair and beard and gray eyes, and had a large sword strapped to his back. He had the look of a battle-hardened veteran and gave out a regal vibe that John familiar.
Having served many military officers throughout his life, John felt that same regal vibe as Fleet Admiral Hood himself, the Supreme Commander of the UNSC, which he had the urge to give him a salute, recognizing the man was not just a leader of this group — this one was a military commander.
"I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North," he introduced himself, "identity yourself, stranger."
"He speaks English…?" Cortana baffled. "With an English accent? Knights, lords, horses? Things got stranger and stranger, John."
John agreed to that. Just what kind of planet did we landing on, he thought.
"You better introduce yourself, Chief," she suggested. "These feudal lords are technically military leaders, so it's alright to provide them non-classified information. And try to speak to them that we don't end up at the burning stake — if they could try."
John smirked at that last part. He directed his attention to the Lord of Winterfell. He lowered his rifle, straightened up in a military stance, and saluted him.
"Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan-117 of the UNSC Navy," he said with formal discipline. Unfortunately, this only seemed to confuse the riders, although bewildered by his introduction.
"Yu-Innis-Si...?" the first to spoke was the officer with banner bore an armored silver fist on a scarlet field.
"Master Chief…? The black scruffy-haired lad tried finished John's military rank but forgotten half of it.
"Spartan-117…? the Lord of Winterfell muttered.
From the perplexed looks exchanged between the riders, what John had learned was that they didn't recognize the UNSC, assuming they didn't recognize the United Earth Government as well.
"U-N-S-C," John corrected while maintaining his professionalism, "an acronym stands for United Nations Space Command. It is the military, exploratory, and scientific forces of the United Earth Government and her colonies that I served as a soldier. My rank and name in order are Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan-117, but you can call me Master Chief, Chief, or Spartan."
Most of the riders were once again shared bewildered looks by his introduction. His accent and some of his words were strange and foreign. The highborn lords realized that he must be a foreigner of their lands.
"V-very well, Master Chief," Eddard began. "What brings you to do the land of the North? Where did you come from?"
John was glancing at the Northmen and their banners before replying, "Judging by the numbers you brought and the different flags you carried, I assumed these are search parties looking for the object that crashed four days ago. Am I correct?"
"The fallen star," one of the soldiers gasped.
"We have scoured the Wolfswood for this giant object from our keeps," Eddard said. "We assumed it landed somewhere in the middle of this woods."
The Master Chief nodded. "That would be my ship."
The Northmen were surprised and unspoken for a moment.
"Your ship…?" the boy with an auburn hair and bright, blue eyes flabbergasted. "Your ship flies?"
"Flew to be exact," John replied. "My ship crashed on your lands, and I wasn't aware it was habitable."
"A mummer's farce so he must be one," the abrasive highborn lords spat, and most the riders burst into laughter. He was a leader of the riders that bore the banner of an armored silver fist on a scarlet field.
"Mummer…?" John whispered the word that was alien to him.
"He thinks you're a medieval stage actor," Cortana explained using her stored knowledge of Earth's histories.
Unaware for the A.I., John was gritting his teeth to contain his anger. He had been called Demon by his enemies, the Covenant, and a Freak by some of his own, but a Stage Actor — that hurt his pride as a soldier — a soldier that saved the galaxy twice and humanity from extinction many times.
"Can you take us to your ship?" Eddard asked in a serious tone that had his bannermen stopped laughing.
John turned to him. Surprisingly and strangely, he was one of the few who didn't laugh. He thought for a moment before glancing at the sky. "The sun will be down in three hours. The ship is half-day travel by horse from here. It'll be too dark if we arrive there. I suggest we'll rest overnight in my camp, and we'll press on tomorrow."
"He's right, milord. It'll be three hours till dusk," One of Eddard's soldiers looked at the sun to check the time. For thousands of years, since clocks had not yet invented, the people of Westeros had learned to measure time by looking at the sun and the moon in the sky, depending on the weather.
"Alright," Eddard agreed solemnly. "I'll take your words, Master Chief."
John again saluted out of respect for the Lord of Winterfell. He holstered his rifle on his back, pulled out the tripod device from the ground, and went toward the Warthog, placing it on the back.
Ignoring the strange gesture John made, the boy with a sandy brown hair and dark eyes said to his liege lord, "Do you honestly believed every word he said, my Lord?" Some nodded to agree with him.
"There's no harm finding that out, Theon," he explained. "We've been searching for that fallen star for four days, and this is our first sign so it might have saved us some great deal of time since he's going to take us there."
"If it's not, then our time is wasted all for nothing," that same abrasive highborn lord snarled.
"I suppose you have better ideas finding that star, Robett?" he asked which Robett couldn't think of an answer and was silent.
As John got in the Warthog, the riders looked around, assuming he had horses for the strange robust carriage.
"Um, Master Chief," the boy with the dark hair and gray eyes called. "Where are your horses?"
"No horses," he replied. "It got all the horsepower it needs."
"Horsepower...? How're you going to —" Robett said before he got cut off when the Warthog's engine started roaring, startling the riders and their horses to stride aback.
Then the Master Chief glared at them. "This thing's fast, so try to keep up." He slammed the pedal with his foot, and the Warthog sped off, leaving a trail of dust and the Northmen shocked with their mouths opened.
Looking at the rear-view mirror, John watched and smiled in his thoughts as they stood where they were, shocked by the moving Warthog at its cruising speed. It took a while for them to grasp what just happened before they galloped to catch up with him.
"We're going to have a lot of explaining to do once we get back to the camp," Cortana remarked. "And you're not much of a talker, John."
"Plenty of time for me to think of," he retorted.
"You know," she said, "we can still guide them to the Dawn at nightfall. The storm won't arrive until tomorrow noon."
It was true that they could reach the ship, using the Warthog's headlights to guide the Northmen there during the night. Recently, Cortana received the ship's report on the weather, and there would be a storm coming toward them. However, John had something in his mind.
"We are short on intel of these natives, Cortana," John explained. "We want to know who these people are and how long have been they living on this planet. And I want to be sure that they don't pose us a threat.
The last part made the A.I. smirked and rolled her virtual eyes. 'Better be safe than sorry.' She thought.
"You're right — maybe they could tell us about that weird tree back at the campsite.
"I'm sure they won't mind the samples we took."
Christmas is near, and I will be posting Chapter 2 by next year — which is next month.
I appreciate those who follow/favorite this story to wait so that we all can spend time with our families and friends for the holidays.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year