Halo belongs to Bungie and Microsoft. References to character names and events of the game itself belong to Bungie and Microsoft. Unwilling Hero's, Characters and events in this story (aside from the few references to game events) are products of the author's imagination. This disclaimer is only on the first chapter, but also applies to the remaining chapters.
I once was asked what had happened during an insertion on the planet Icenein. A squad of Elites, including myself, were sent in to rid an area of the Humans, while avoiding the large military installation that the planet was famous for. Well, maybe not famous, but it was still a threat. Any breathable atmosphere was good enough for a Human colony to start growing, and this one just happened to be military influenced. Our mission was simple; land 2000 miles away from a human colony, and approach the Human settlement via Banshee. When we got there, we had a good idea of what to expect, but planned for the worst. We all were briefed before hand, no information was hidden from us on this particular assignment, and I'm glad. The lands were quite savage. Cracks in the ground, steep cliffs, bad weather. Just our luck though, to arrive during a particularly hot, sunny day. Yes, we said the same thing. Apparently our superiors thought that using the daylight to sneak us in close to the settlement and then wait until nightfall to strike would be beneficial to our success. We had been dropped off so while we traveled, the sun would be to our backs, and stayed high so anyone looking would have been blinded by the sun. That plan indeed worked.
However, what we didn't count on, was the amount of security at this place. We perched for days, not hours. We couldn't just rush in, and time was constantly against us in this one. The more we waited, the more the Human threat started to grow. I was getting tired of hearing their drop ships coming and going. But I easily realized this place had more of a military presence than anything. It had me worried. This was supposed to be primarily a colony with some military influence, but from what I gathered, it was directly the opposite. Night time, however, we did manage to get a good look at the encampment. Large domes and antennae were situated in the middle. There seemed to be five smaller domes surrounding it, and it was only my guess that this encampment wasn't really an encampment at all. From my judging, and the amount of soldiers pouring into the simple radar facility, I guessed it as the size of a Human base, and like all good Human bases, extended under ground.
Our intelligence... was flawed.
But before we could have time to think of our misinformation, our time had come to strike. The Human element was low, and of the three moons, only one was shining. Our best cover yet. This was a stealth mission, so we moved like the shadows, sneaking up on our prey, our black armor blending us into the background quite easily. We stalked many of the Human soldiers, many of which we could sneak up directly behind, cup their mouths with our hands, and then yank the top of the head back, breaking their fragile necks. Human soldiers were dispatched, one at a time, their bodies hidden among shrubs so no one would be alerted to our presence. It's amazing, but for a squad of twenty Elites, not one of us were found out yet. The squad and I all moved closer, getting better looks at the facility. It still wasn't sitting right with me. Just what could this place be? It didn't look like any kind of critical structure. Still, we pressed on.
Jr'Krian, our leader, was the first to enter the building. We managed to get thirteen of us, including myself, into the facility before the alarms went off, and from there, it quickly became a fight to survive. Jr'Krian did manage to sabotage their generators though and backup systems. They were blind in the night, and their distress signals were soon silenced. I imagined that we didn't have a long time to stand around now.
We all fought bravely, even the Humans, given my distaste of them, but in the end, we prevailed. Not without our own casualties though. Seven of us remained, including my commander. I requested to gather information about this place, and upon being given permission, I was on my way. I quickly found out, to my complete surprise, this place was a refuge for Humans, where casualties of their ships had landed. This place was once a Human equipment storage, and now, families, terrified just from the sight of me, huddled together. I had to report this to my commander, as I'm sure distress calls had made it to Human ships by now.
When I arrived back outside, it was eerily quiet. The looks my comrades gave me didn't sit well with me, and I had to ponder if something terrible was about to happen. Just then, my commander spoke up. We all lined up at attention, awaiting our orders. We were to round up all of the humans, and place them outside in a group, which we did quite efficiently. I was wondering what we were going to do about them, and I took a long glance at all of them. They were scared. Almost to the point where it made them stupid.
My commander forced a few of the Humans to turn their generators back on, after a short amount of time for repairs. It seems they were going to send out a broadcast, under his Commanders orders. When that was done, he started examining the group of Humans, finding a pair of the least scared of the group. He pulled a male and female into the clearing, and drew his sword, holding it into the air before letting it hang by his side. He offered a human what looked like a note, and before if I wondered if the human could read it, he started to speak when a camera was operated.
"To the Human populace. We the Covenant," the male spoke, fear growing in his voice, having to swallow that fear into his gut, "have been threatened and killed by your kind far too long. The Gods have decreed your extinction from their perfect universe, and for all Covenant slain in our Holy Crusades, you will witness the extent of our mercy."
The commander took the note away, and immediately ran the male through. I had to turn away. I have to admit, I flinched when I heard the woman cry out in pain also, but what could I do? These were our orders, weren't they? Wait.... My orders weren't to kill the unarmed. This wasn't about destroying a critical facility, it was a statement. But the statement, was not with destroying this place. I realized the Humans themselves were the statement. Something stirred in me, and almost made me throw up. Then again, the Humans had to be wiped out eventually. Hmm... I just wished I didn't have to be around for this time.
Jr'Krian dragged the next bunch out. Three children, begging him not to go through with this, crying for their parents. The other Elites held the parents back, and I watched as they outstretched their hands, trying to clutch onto each other. The smallest one, not even knee high, scooted back when he saw my Commander lift the sword. I swear to the Gods, that sound will forever echo in my head. Not the scream of the child, but the scream of my commander. He slumped back, striking the ground, and if it wasn't for the helmet, I'd be able to see his shocked face and the burnt hole through it.
I lowered my pistol, the realization of what I had just done sinking in, and unfortunately, the realization came after that fact struck home with my comrades. They immediately turned on me, raising their weapons, and I was gone in a flash. I dived behind one of the domes, readying my weapon again, then sprung. Two more had fallen, bolts of colored energy soaring through the air, and striking their targets with a grim accuracy. I spun around, dodging a blast of plasma. The heat managed to obscure some of my vision, my helmet distorting in color slightly from the intense heat. Any closer, and I would be missing the right side of my face. I turned my weapon on my next victim, someone whom I thought was a friend, and watched his body crumple to the ground.
I don't know if it was the rush of the battle, or something else, but I suddenly couldn't concentrate. My moment of recklessness cost me dearly, as I felt a wave of heat strike my hand. I cried out, clutching my wrist, staring at burnt armor and the melting weapon landing by my feet. I moved to the left, circling around the building, and I could feel the remaining two Elites glaring at me, as though their eyes could stop my breathing.
I could have used my sword, I suppose, but given they had long range weapons, I was at a disadvantage. Today felt like it was the last day of my life. The whimpers of the humans didn't help either. And finally, one more problem came to the surface. A squad of Human gun ships, coming from the atmosphere. I had merely moments before I was swarmed by them. Footsteps again, and I bolted, running right past the cowering Humans, and suddenly tripping over one of their sniper rifles. I clutched at the barrel, shuffling behind a rock as I watched beams of light pass by over my head. I was panting, looking over the weapon, and recalling my days of studying humans in combat. I pull this lever here, and then press this here.... I was renewed with energy when the weapon was armed. I stood a bit of a chance now, but with Human weaponry....
My ex-comrades started to charge the rock. I stood. We stared at each other one last time before I managed to squeeze that tiny trigger. I struck one in the shoulder, the other, he managed to get closer. It was my ignorance of the weapon that caused his approach. I expected a fatal blow, but instead, watched as the unhurt Elite rushed to the humans, swiping his sword violently. I bolted, dropping what I thought was a useless piece of weaponry, and dived at the Elite. We both rolled, wrestling on the ground for the weapon, and I found myself on top, punching and clawing at the Elites head, until I was thrown off, rolling next to the three Human children. I suddenly made a horrible realization. The one I shot in the arm, was completely gone, and the last Elite, was bearing down at me with his sword. At least, I thought it was me. I moved.
I don't remember the events too clearly, but I do remember a very searing pain through my midsection, and I was blocking something, as though taking the blow for someone else. I quickly glanced, spotting the children behind me, and then frowned in confusion. Whatever the reason, it did give me the distance I needed, or didn't need, and I clutched the Elite's head. With a strong twist, I heard the bones of my Comrade's neck give way when it couldn't go any further, and he soon joined the other six bodies on the ground. Of twenty highly trained Elites, only I and the other, J'Kress, had lived to tell each others tale about this fateful night.
I started to get to my feet, pulling the plasma blade out of my mid section, and was glad for the most part, that the wound was sealed by the intense heat. But it was the least of my worries. I heard the ships start to land and the doors open. I clutched what Humans would mistake as the stomach, where my wound lay, and I started to limp off. As soon as the soldiers arrived, I was as good as dead anyway. Best to die on my own, than at the hands of a Human.
I thought I put some decent ground between the Human soldiers and I, but when I looked back, I saw them start to swarm the base, their guns raised and many of them converging on me. I had to hurry. Unfortunately, my wound said otherwise. I fell to my knees, grunting loudly, the battle high wearing off, and the pain flooded through my being. It was too much. I do remember hearing the sounds of weapons being cocked before I fell to the ground and blacked out.