Author's Notes:

I received a request for one more chapter, and I was told that this story had a bad ending. I'm sorry, but that's the way I envisioned it, perhaps I wasn't as descriptive with my writing as I should've been. Here is an epilogue, written off the top of my head.


John scooped up Cortana's body in his arms. He carried her along the empty corridors, the seemingly endless hallways and to the main hangar. He placed her body there on the concrete floor. She looked stricken with grief. Lines crossed her brow, and her eyes were pinched shut. Her dark hair had lost its luster. He gave her a quick peck on the forehead and walked out of the hangar. Sealing the air lock, he opened the doors. All the oxygen was sucked out, pulling Cortana with it. She immediately disappeared into the blackness of space. John closed the doors and walked away. He ventured into one of the smaller hangars and found Longsword ready for launch. He opened a com-link with Commander Keyes, "Ma'am, permission to leave the station."

Miranda sat in her study, reading from a magazine. Her earpiece beeped and she heard the Master Chief ask for permission to leave. She quickly secured the channel, making sure it could not be intercepted. "Chief, weren't you maybe going to come to my room and we could…talk?"

John knew very well what she meant by "talk" and he wasn't in the mood. "Negative Commander, I wish to join in combat with the marine squadron leaving in five minutes."

Miranda frowned. She wanted to have sex, so sex was what she was going to get. "Permission denied, Chief, I order you to come to my room."

"Fuck you." John ended the link and walked up to Lt. Wilson, the leader of the squadron. "Permission for me to leave has been granted. Lets go." Lt. Wilson nodded. He and John walked up the ramp into the Longsword. As it took off, he looked out the large quartz windowpane. He saw in the control room for that hangar. The Commander had walked in and was yelling at the technicians. John smiled as she sped out of view.

Master Chief fired a rocket at the oncoming Brute Chopper. The rocket impacted between the large wheel and the outer armor, causing the Chopper to explode outward. The Brute was thrown into the air and as he fell, Master Chief jumped up to confront him. The Brute had no time to react as John slammed his fist into the Brute's windpipe. Master Chief landed and within a second, had ripped the heads off two grunts and hurtled them at a nearby Brute. The heads spewed blood as they flew. The Brute caught one but the other hit him squarely in the face. John was about to run off, when he heard whispering. He stood still and listened for a moment. Yup, whispering…in his visor? He shook his head. Then a voice cried from within his helmet, "Jump!" He jumped. A ghost roared underneath him, shooting past and out of view. He asked the voice, "Cortana?"

It answered, "No silly it's me, Zarah!"


"You're my daddy. Cortana is my mom."

"I'm your what!?"

"My daddy. Cortana wrote me two days ago. Technically I'm two days old, but I'm programmed to be thirteen. You're my dad. I'm your daughter."


"I love you daddy!"

"I love you too Zarah." Though he didn't know why, he felt as if he had raised Zarah. It was a strange feeling. He loved her more than anything else. He had a new AI to help him, and he had a daughter.