Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters/locations in the Halo universe. I only own my original characters and places.
Chapter 1 Survival
Jenkins watched with relief as McKay pulled the pin from one of the grenades strapped to her waist. He was finally going to die, the nightmare was finally over. He sighed as the grenade exploded and he felt himself being torn into millions of pieces. Surrounded by pure white light, Jenkins felt that he was leaving hell at last and ascending towards heaven.
Searing pain ripped through his mind as his fragmented body began to reassemble as the light vanished into the darkness. Jenkins tried to scream as he was yanked back into hell, but all that escaped his mouth was a series of moans and screeches. As the nightmare continued, he was vaguely aware that he was surrounded by covenant in strange uniforms, before he retreated into the darkest corners of his mind to escape the horrors of his existence. He was unaware of anything for a long time as he let the icy consciousness inside take over.
Duramee snorted in contempt as he peered at the monstrosity on the table before him. This creature, this thing, was a fusion of the two things Duramee despised most, the vermin race of humans and the parasite. Still, he felt a pang of pity for the creature before him. He wouldn't wish the flood on anyone or anything, not even a filthy human.
The straps automatically tightened as the monstrosity struggled and fought against the restraints. Duramee clutch his carbine tightly, longing to end this creature's misery, not out of compassion, but out of disgust. The fact that he had express orders from the Oracle was all that stayed his hand. The Oracle had saved this one from the destruction of the Sacred Ring. Apparently, this one was special to the Oracle. Indeed, this specimen was unique; the flood had not fully infected the host. The internal organs had not liquefied and even though the chest and one of the arms were badly mutated, the rest of the host body remained nearly uninfected. The sight made Duramee shudder as he realized that the host's mind was most likely still functioning, trapped inside its own rotten body. Duramee gave one last shudder as he stepped out of the room and another elite took his place beside the monster, he was not going to sleep well tonight.
Jenkins despaired, he had come so close to ending it all, and yet he was still alive, if this torment could be considered living. He watched as an elite marched out of the chamber and another replaced him. Jenkins had long ago relinquished his body to the icy hungry presence inside of him. His eyes and his mind were the only things that he retained control of. He felt nothing but despair as the consciousness inside of him fought against the restraints. The elite watching him seemed amused at the desperate struggle to escape, clutching his plasma rifles.
The elite Gurgamee turned and raised his dual plasma rifles as the door behind him opened. He quickly lowered them and saluted as the Oracle appeared, humming cheerfully.
"It is time, we must begin the procedure" 343 Guilty Spark stated matter of factly.
"Yes, Holy Oracle" Gurgamee said respectfully, kneeling on one knee. "I will make the necessary preparations."
Gurgamee stood and walked to the console next to the specimen. After a moment, he began to attach a number of superconducting wires to the specimen's neural implants and announced that neural scanning and download was in progress. Gurgamee made one last bow to the Oracle and left the room.
Jenkins resigned himself to his fate as the elite hooked him up like a lab rat and left. He watched as a number of sentinels entered the room behind the blinking blue construct. The sentinels began circling him, sweeping his body with concentrated beams of red light as the construct hummed and directed the sentinels from one task to another.
"Wonderful, we can now begin the dissection process," the strange construct said to no one in particular. "His unique anatomy will no doubt prove very interesting."
Jenkins' eyes light up as he heard the construct talking to itself. Maybe, just maybe, the horror would end here.
343 Guilty Spark cheerfully directed the sentinels to prearranged positions around the specimen. He hummed as their dissection beams started to charge and was about to begin the procedure when he was interrupted by a group of elites who entered the small room.
"What is the meaning of this intrusion?" Sparky demanded.
"Holy Oracle," Gurgamee said as the group of elites knelt, "this facility is under attack and we have suffered numerous containment breaches. We were ordered to take you to safety."
As if to emphasize the point, the entire station groaned and listed to one side.
"That blasted Arbiter is cutting the cables. Retrieve the Oracle and meet me in the main hangar!" a voice commanded in Gurgamee's earpiece.
"Please Oracle," he shouted over the creaking and snapping metal, "we must hurry!" as the station lurched beneath his feet.
343 paused and replied sadly "Very well, it is a pity. His dissection and classification would have been most enjoyable." Turning towards his sentinels he added in a careless tone "dispose of the specimen and proceed to containment protocols."
343 left the room with his entourage of elites as the sentinels turned their single eyes toward Jenkins in unison. Their lasers began to charge once more and Jenkins knew the end was close.
The sentinels paused as the station gave a huge lurch ad leveled out. Everything went silent. The sentinels were about to return to their bloody work when the sounds of metal twisting and fragmenting filled the air. With tremendous roar, the station lurched into freefall. The sentinels, caught by surprise, exploded as the ceiling rushed down to meet them. The sentinel nearest Jenkins released a small electromagnetic burst that accompanied its destruction. Jenkins screamed as the data stream in his head reversed course, filing his head with so much data, it felt as if his head would explode. The restraints that were holding him clicked open as the computers went berserk. Jenkins continued screaming as his implants began to overload, the power to the station, however, failed just before the implants did. Jenkins passed out from the pain in his head, but the parasite did not.
Weakened by the attack, but still in control, the flood dragged Jenkins' body out of the small room. The battle raged on around it, but the infection in Jenkins did not have the strength to fight, it's only goal was to survive. Weakly, it carried Jenkins through the winding passages of the doomed station. Eventually, Jenkins' body came upon a covenant specter being fiercely contested by both the Covenant and the flood. The Covenant currently had control of the small ship, but they could not leave until they had purged it of the flood. The icy presence inside Jenkins watched with satisfaction as one by one, the Covenant fell, regretting that it was too weak to help. As the flood wiped out the last of the Covenant, Jenkins' body crawled inside along with other combat and infection forms. A command form took control of the ship and they were able to undock seconds before the section that they had been on burned away in the ever thickening atmosphere.
Jenkins was jolted back into consciousness as the ship rocked back and form, struggling to evade plasma fire. He found himself surrounded by flood, but didn't particularly care. He didn't particularly care about anything. All he wanted was to die. This however, was quickly proving impossible. His regenerative abilities prevented him from committing suicide and every time death seemed near, Jenkins would be saved by a mere fluke.
The ship rocked as plasma fire racked across its bow. Jenkins could tell that the infection inside his chest was weakening; possibly dying because of the shock he had received in the lab.
I just hope it takes me with it was all he could think as the ship, in a desperate gamble to survive, made a blind jump into space.