Battle of Echo Base
Disclaimer: Obviously I have no ownership to the rights of Halo if Bungie lacks the rights themselves.
With the Covenant breaking through the lines of defenses amongst the UNSC Navy under the command of Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood, most of the UNSC marine corps and other ground troops were shipped out to random parts of the globe and were soon finding themselves under attack from other parts of the country. Master Chief was also experiencing some of the inadequate organization as he was shipped out of his way of where he planned to be stationed in, the defenses of a Mambassa, Kenya, he was sent to a small base in Kenya that was set up for the purpose of reconnaissance. The person in charge of the service was a former Navy captain who had been discredited due to his annoying habits of putting weapons design before command, but if put under fire could be a very competent and daring leader. As a captain of a ship, Marine Colonel Dalton Blackfield was a daring man who had often won many skirmishes so as not to give the UNSC another terrible lost like the ones it had been experiencing. His idea of fighting was to strike whenever there was likely to be the least amount of risk involved and take calculated gains while sometimes pulling off some of the most daring bluffs.
Now Master Chief was watching that very same officer tinkering away at a shotgun that was the very same thing he had been working on before. A beard had now formed on the Colonel's face that had been clean shaven the last time he and the Chief had met during one of the initial fights of the war. His course black hair was no longer the same short length that it was, but instead it was long and only kept a bit. Dalton did not take his order to "sit down and shut up" very well as apparent in the way he talked about the current politics with disdain and the manner in which he treated the place of his command as a slap in the face. Master Chief could sympathize in some way with the man for Dalton had been a superb captain, but now a Marine Colonel he was put into a branch that he hadn't studied for and even though he was at a physical peak, wasn't experienced enough for command in. Even though he had so much going against him he had managed to keep the base afloat and some of his earlier assessments for defense were proving fairly adequate in repelling the Covenant forces.
"Even if your defenses are keeping up with standards you still have no ability to defend yourself from the entirety of the force," said Master Chief as he looked at the Colonel who was looking out the window. There was a burn scar on the Colonel's face received from one of the toughest fights he had ever come into contact with and would have died there had he not been rescued by the Chief.
"Yes I know that, Chief, and I have no intentions of trying to even keep this place permanently with the troops I have," replied Black as he pulled a cigarette from his front pocket and lit it up, adding a bit more light to the dimly lit officer's quarters in which Black worked from. "What I do plan to do is keep those Covenant at bay long enough for my civilians to get out and for the encryption of the coded messages that we have been picking up. These messages are large contain some useless information and are very complex, some of the technology used to make the message is no doubt Forerunner technology. I'll need to ask Cortana if she could translate this for me and see if she is familiar with some of the symbols and phrases I've picked up."
"Oh I see that you have brought a challenge for me as well as the Master Chief," said the very sophisticated and eloquent voice of Cortana over Master Chief's vocal speakers. "So I see that weaponry isn't the only thing that you have been keeping yourself occupied with these days."
"Well I've only been looking into it as soon as it arrived yesterday, but I don't have the time to encrypt it myself," laughed the marine colonel as he sat back and looked out his window at the defenses that were being set up. "I thought you could do it while the Chief and I see to the preparations that will hold them off for the time."
"Just how prepared are you to fight against the Covenant," asked Master Chief as he looked at the Colonel putting together a handgun right in front of him with his eyes checking the tactical sighting. It was the handgun that he had used on Halo, but the gun itself was modified for extra ammo and the ammunition it used as added with armor piercing capabilities. "From what I saw you have one scorpion tank and only three wharthogs while the Covenant will becoming with everything they have at their disposal."
"And that is where there greatest folly lies for there are some things that can be one just because the enemy has superior forces," replied Black as he started tinkering with the special shotgun that he had been making. "I have the terrain that just begs to be used by defense and have enough turrets to keep them at bay for some time, maybe two days before they send in the hunters and then we have to use some of the rocket launchers we have. I have a few that you are use to and others that I picked out of a museum, literally this bunker used to be a museum for weaponry until I took over. This area I live in was once a storage facility for old battle armor and the rocket launchers we took from there were used when you were a child. Ammo for them is a bit stocky, but I think we can make up for them with the right use. I've also managed to put in some anti-aircraft guns that will do well to take our Phantoms while the marines have some good weaponry. Luckily the shipment of assault rifles was backtracked here a few days ago as a present for my commission and a thank you for making a few new weapons for them."
"What type of assault rifles do you have," asked Master Chief as he picked up the handgun and took a look at the work the Colonel had done to it. On the grip of it was an emblem of the UNSC Navy embedded in gold with his initials under it.
"I have both the new BR55 Battle Rifle and the MA5B rifles, some having been corrected since the Corp found them less effective in battle due to inaccuracy. I have made them more accurate and
powerful than before but at the expense of the ammo count being depleted to 32 and rate of fire has been decreased, though it still provides great suppressing fire. We have SMG's and handguns, though none as special as the one I carry, but still good. I'd like you and your fellow Spartan to help me as well with the testing of my guns."
"Well it seems as if you are prepared for any attack that may befall you," chimed Cortana as her holo-image form lit up on a display screen.
"Well it seems someone I have been waiting to see for a long time has arrived," said a voice from behind the colonel and a form appeared that was dressed in ancient Japanese samurai armor without the helmet on to reveal a human face that was lit up with blue and had red eyes to it.
"My it has been so long Abhorson," said Cortana as she looked at the familiar form and face of the other "smart" AI that was something given to Colonel Black when he was still a Captain in the Navy for his help with the Spartan II Project. "I thought you would be jumping at the chance to get to translate this code if you were put in charge of this place."
"I did, but I found that some of the symbols were ones of too foreign a nature to be encrypted right away," replied Abhorson as he held out a data crystal and then let it become pixilated dust as a showing of the data transfer. "I give you this in the hopes that you may be able to decipher it while you're with the Master Chief."
"Thank you, is there any word on that body you were planning to build," asked Cortana as she turned to the colonel looking out the window and Master Chief could see a smile on his face.
"I'm working on it, but it's hard to get the right people to work on it who won't report my research to ONI, who still think you are military property," replied Black leaving Master Chief with a question that would have to wait due to the sound of plasma cannons lit up the area and the resounding
crash shook the base a bit. "Sorry to cut this short, but I need every man right to their proper place and someone find me Captain Miller!"
"I'm on it sir," replied a female marine officer whose name tag read Lucille Darphan. She immediately exited the room while the Master Chief pulled Cortana out of the slot and took the rifle that Colonel Black was holding out.
"Be careful Chief, I've lost too many acquaintances and friends in this war already," said Black before he ran out the room with his handgun in his holster to give the weapons diagnostic to the Spartan downstairs.
"You two Colonel, we've already lost too many great leaders," said Master Chief, but Black was nowhere near to hear it.
"Okay we're going to make this weapon diagnostic quick because we have to get you into battle," said the marine technician as he handed the Spartan the shotgun in question. It was the same design for M90 Tactical Shotgun except the top case of the stock of the gun looked like it could pop up and one the side of the shotgun was a separate slide for ejecting spent casings with the original slide for shotgun shells. "Now this may look like your average shotgun, but it's not your average shotgun because it is not really a shotgun. It is a light assault rifle with a shotgun attachment for close range and an assault rifle for long range fighting, but not as much as the Battle Rifle."
"Is there any problems with this weapon that I need to know," asked Spatan-117 Dante (he is not in the video games so don't waste your time looking it up) as he aimed his new weapon.
"The gun might jam and if it does just slam the slide on the side, the extra one and the thing will slide out," replied the marine technician as he started going to handing the Spartan clips to the gun and then sent the Spartan on his way.
The front lines of the base was booming with the sound of gunfire and mass slaughter as Covenant tried to fight their way through the front defenses of the base, but so far they were being cut down by the Heavy Machine Gun fire. The elites were taking the biggest pounding as they charged right before their grunt subordinates and found that their shields weren't strong enough to keep up with the rapid fire. To try and provide a covering fire for the elites to get close, two squad's of jackal started firing at all turrets on the first level. The captain of the marines decided it was high time to take his sniping squad to take out all jackals as he hoisted his sniper rifle over his back and lined his men up. The captain wasn't in control of that many squads, but he was in charge of all long range squads.
"Alright men you are going to embark on a short ass quest to kill the jackals who are targeting our men," barked Captain Terrance Miller as he fired on the jackals. "What the hell are you all standing around for let's move it marines!"
"Yes sir," was the reply from every marine as they fired onto the jackals, taking down most of the group while the others moved around to try and escape fire.
"Captain," cried a female corporal as she ran under the retaliatory fire from the grunts and the elites. "Colonel Black wants to see you at the main cannon controls!"
"Okay men, I want you all to keep firing at any snipers and elites," said the captain as he ran with the corporal leading the way. "What does the Colonel have on his mind, Lucille?"
"I don't know what scheme he has but it involves you I know that much," replied Lucille as she turned one corner and saw a Covenant Phantom fast approaching them. Following it were two other Phantoms all firing at the turrets. "I hope those are the only ones that are here, we don't have enough cannons to take down a hell of a lot."
The first two drop ships were hit by the main cannons before they could do much damage, but the last one managed to take out enough turrets to let the Elites and other Covenant soldiers. The two soldiers looked back to see the marine line falling back with his sniper team taking back and picking off any leaders. He ran as fast as he could to get to the Main Cannon Controls to find many marines running to random stations as he saw Colonel Black talking to the legendary Master Chief. From the map of the base he could see that the Covenant had also used drop pods to insert troops around the base. As soon as he had turned to the Colonel there was another pod crash into the medical center where his girlfriend Shelia was.
"Okay Captain I want you and the Chief to get in there and clear out all Covenant in the base," barked Black as he walked over to a cabinet with the keys in hand and unlocked his armor cabinet with the rifle right in it. "When you're done with that I have other jobs I need you two to do so don't die on me! This is the time gentlemen, the time when we show them what kind of beast they woke up here!"
Spartan-117 or Master Chief as he was called on the battlefield walked down to the medic bay which was where Captain Miller had taken him to. As soon as he passed the doors he could hear the medical beads being moved while the other marines who were in fighting condition fired their assault rifles at the Covenant that were walking through. Checking the corner of the first corridor, Master Chief ran out with his gun aimed and ready for the first thing that popped out in front of him while Miller covered behind them. The door opened to reveal an Elite stepping right out of the door to point its rifle at them, but Master Chief fired three short bursts of his Battle Rifle that diminished took out the energy shield with the first two bursts aimed at the chest while the last burst was aimed at the head, splattering the Elite's brains over the wall. Behind the door he could hear the sound of grunts screaming and he pulled out MA5C that he had been given and fired out of the corner of the door, splattering their green blood over the room as they fired blindly in retaliation. Miller jumped right through the door, plasma bolts shooting right past him while he brought down his gun and fired at the pack of grunts that were running away. A glowing blue ball flew right past his head and he scrambled over to a safe distance to get away from the blast of the plasma grenade. A piece of metal shot right past his arm cutting it a bit, but not too bad. He rose to his feet and started firing at the Elites and Grunts with every single blood cell screaming .
"That's enough firing, their already dead," said Chief calmly as he put his hand on his shoulder, but the marine only came to when he heard the repeated clicking of the gun. "Come on, we don't have time to waste, there are people down there who need to get out right now."
"Right," said Miller as he ran down to the medic bay through very empty corridors, hoping that Sheila was dead.
One disadvantage to his speed was that he wasn't even bother to take any cover so if there was a force of Covenant there he would have been lit up with plasma before he got halfway. The other was that he wasn't paying attention to what was to his side so when he ran into an Elite he didn't know what it was until he was pulled back and then slammed into the ground by the Elite. He stared at the plasma pistol that was pointed at his face and then looked up to see that Elite was glaring at him with his jaws wide open before a quick burst of bullets flew right into his open jaw, creating holes in it. The glaring Elite was replaced by the orange tinted visor of Master Chief's helmet as he helped Miller up and sent him on.
He's every bit as reckless as the Colonel said, thought Master Chief as he took point and looked back to see the marine captain staring at the Elite. How the hell did he ever make captain? Master Chief kicked open the broken door that was opened slightly and fired his weapon at the two Elites standing there. Their shields lit up after and dissipated under the machine gun fire of the assault rifle while Captain Miller raised his Battle Rifle and shot the two jackals that were shooting at them.
As soon as they started to walk they could see grunts running from a group of marines that were shooting at them before they turned to salute the captain and Master Chief. From the observation of them they seemed to be made of the same toughness that he had seen in the men under the command of Captain Keyes on the Pillar of Autumn. One was a Caucasian with a dirty blond short beard that was average height while the other was an African-American with a mustache. The two both stood on either side of the Chief as he walked down to the medical bay and saw the other marines fighting off the grunts and Elite that were still left. The explosion of a grenade lifted a few of the grunts up while giving Master Chief enough time to run over and get a good flanking position on the group. He fired a short burst right down to the middle of the group at the Elite there, catching it square in the chest with its shield down and then he placed careful one shots with the Battle Rifle at any grunts that were still left.
"Chief, are you there," called the voice of Cortana over the speaker with a voice of urgency.
"Yeah I'm still alive," answered Master Chief over the communicator interlock. "What is it?"
"The Covenant that got inside has amassed in the armory and we're going to need ammo real soon. I need you to come up and get me so that I can navigate you through the base to infiltrate the armory through the ventilation shaft."
"Okay then I'm on my way," said the Master Chief before turning to the marines that were getting ready to go to the next rooms. "Half of you need to get these medics to the evacuation barracks while the others go to the armory! I need this done now!"
"Master Chief, though I am a Marine captain I still outrank you and should know where you are going," demanded Captain Miller as he looked at the Chief. Abhorson appeared on the hollow-communicator as soon as the words had left the captain's mouth.
"Men you are to follow the order of Master Chief to the letter, even you Captain miller, Chief has been given tactical Major-status by order of the Colonel," said the AI as he looked at them and disappeared.
"You heard him, now get moving," ordered Master Chief before he ran off to get Cortana. He ran into a stray grunt on his way that he beat to death with the butt of his gun.
When Master Chief arrived at the command center the entire place was in a daze as the men tried to run to each new spot of Covenant troops with the Spartan he had came with at the front line of defense clearing out the impact craters in front of the base. So far it had been pretty light with only a few casualties, but Master Chief knew that there would be more, the five hundred marines were going to be drastically reduced in numbers before the whole affair was said and done. Cortana was already back in her chip in the hands of the Colonel when Chief reached the control computer and he immediately slipped the chip into its slot, feeling that all familiar rush of mercury into his brain that he had gotten use to.
"Okay then we should take the route down to the boiler room," said Cortana in his head and he could feel her there inside of his mind wandering around. It felt weird as hell, but over time he had come accustomed to it and sometimes he found that he was more at peace when he felt her there.
"Roger that," said Master Chief as he ran right to the boiler room, ducking under the plasma bolts that were flying around and then shot down a stray jackal on his way to the boiler room.
The door was open already as there were marines taking cover in it so all he had to do was run right past them and into the direction that Cortana had highlighted on his HUD radar. Pipes ran along the wall with steam blowing slightly out of the small holes in it and the large containers of water were also blowing a bit of steam as they kept the pressure in the vents at full speed. The base had originally been constructed a long time ago and some of the old technology was still being used. In the other room were the Covenant that were keeping the armory under lock and keep, aware that the intial attack on the outside had died down for the moment and there was sounds of anxiety brewing up in the group. He prepped his grenade for detonation and threw it in through a busted pipe that still slid down the wall right next to the room. The explosion sent bricks and shrapnel flying right out of the wall and killing a few of the grunts while scarring the head Elite. Master Chief kicked down the door and opened up a thin line of fire on the group, moving his gun slowly so that he could still aim at them. The remaining survivors ran out of the room and were gunned down by the marines that were waiting for them.
"Alright that does it for the Covenant here," cheered a marine before he saw how the Colonel was looking at him.
"Don't get cocky you stupid son of a bitch this is only the beginning," warned Colonel Black as he started looking at the list of the wounded and dead before he started giving orders for tightening defenses.