VanDread Halo: The Second Stage

Disclaimer: I do not own Bungie or GONZO so I don't own the anime and the game.

Chapter 9

Mother/Father to be

( ): Thoughts

In the Nirvana galley…

"Here you go Cortana, take care of Ezra for a moment."

Cortana nodded as she took the baby from Ezra as the young mother was busy stirring some of the milk in the pot for her daughter. The bridge officer was happy that the down time had allowed her to be with her daughter and she was more than pleased to know that she was not going to be the only mother on the Nirvana. As for Cortana, she held Kahlua gently and hoped that she was going to do all right with holding her friend's daughter.

Kahlua cooed and looked sleepily at Cortana and she could not help but feel a bit active as she tried to reach out to Cortana's face. The former A.I could not help herself as she allowed the little baby to touch her face, and she smiled a bit as Kahlua gave her a cheeky grin before moving to fall asleep. Ezra saw that and smiled at Cortana and spoke to her.

"Kahlua seems to be quite taken by you Cortana."

"Thanks, it's nice to know she's a very good judge of character."

Ezra smiled warmly as she looked at her supplies of clothing and some other things for Kahlua, it had been hard to find supplies since the Nirvana was not exactly a place for a baby to be born. So she was happy that the crew pitched with supplies and things that could make taking care of her first born daughter easier. It also made her smile as she could see that Cortana was quite taken with her child and the former A.I herself was soon to become a mother to be. The gentle bridge officer could see the soon to appear signs of pregnancy on her friend and sat down to take Kahlua back from Cortana. The baby gave a slight cry but soon settled back into her arms and she looked at Cortana once more as she spoke to her friend.

"Did your mother say when you would be giving birth to your first daughter?"

Cortana blushed a bit and shook her head.

"Not really…mother said that pediatrics was not her field of expertise, but since we both knew that a baby needs nine months to be fully ready to be born, I would say it might take a while. And I'm not so sure I will have a daughter Ezra, I mean, considering that I…uh…had a baby the old fashioned way with John, I might have a son."

Ezra was a bit surprised by that and replied.

"A son? You mean like a little boy?"

"Yeah, you see…I know about procreation between genders and I know that you usually have a fifty-fifty chance of having a girl. I could end up having a boy for my first born."

Ezra could not help but be curious about how things were going to be if Cortana actually gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The idea of a woman having a male baby would have really caused one hell of an uproar on Megele and would have been seen as an abomination. But the gentle hearted bridge officer could not see it that way. Cortana in both her human form and her A.I form, as well as John were valued members of the crew and she admired Cortana for being a good friend. Plus she was curious herself on what it would be like to have a male baby in the Nirvana.

"I think that it will all work out in the future, everyone in the Nirvana are actually very happy with the news that we got concerning your being a mother. The members of the Infantry Forces are utterly curious about the whole thing and have been asking me what I would do if Ezra had a new playmate onboard the ship."

Cortana looked at Ezra and smiled at the gentle brunette and was happy to count her as one of her friends in the Bridge crew.

"You would not believe how often Dita would come by and ask me when you were going to have a baby. And she even asked me if that means she can have a baby with Hibiki too."

Cortana was lucky that Kahlua was in her arms to remind her not to overreact, but she did look wide eyed at Ezra and made her surprise very clear.

"Dita actually said that?"

Ezra nodded and replied.

'She was not the only one as well, Jura began to come by more often and ask me advice on how to care for a baby. I think she's still got the idea of having a baby in mind though she seems more interested to have the baby for the sake of being a mother than famous. She might think of asking Hibiki to help her, or the other men on the ship as well. She might even try to ask John how he did it with you."

THAT Cortana could believe quite easily, she knew full well how eager Jura was to have children. But despite the fact that she was on cordial terms with the blonde Dread pilot, she was not going to start talking about what she and John did in private.

"I certainly hope not! What John and I did is private thank you very much!"

Ezra noted the utterly embarrassed look on the woman's face and the fact that she was blushing bright red was a bigger clue as to how embarrassed the former AI was on the subject. She could not help but be amused and soon took Kahlua from Cortana and she spoke again.

"Don't worry, I might not hang out with Jura a lot, but I can assure you that she would not be too forceful about it. Besides, despite her previous actions, she does know how important being a mother is and would be happy to one day have a child."

Cortana nodded and soon Ezra spoke once more as she moved Kahlua back and forth in her arms, allowing the gentle baby to sleep nicely.

"By the way, how is John handling the idea of being a father?"

Cortana was silent about it and shook her head a bit in amusement.

"I am not so sure, all I know is that the level of teasing heading in his direction as been rather interesting."

In the gym in the Nirvana's UNSC side…

John was currently lifting weights and he was doing it outside of his armor and only wearing a military grey colored muscle shirt and black pants as well as boots. His MJOLNIR was currently undergoing maintenance and checks in the Engineering Bay with Dr. Halsey and Parfait. He was eager to get himself into shape, keep his edge, and also try to relax as he was still running through the idea of being a father.

He was being teased about it by Kelly and even Fred and Linda would routinely tease him about his being a father and he could not help but shake his head at all of it. But truth be told, he was not bothered by it and did not have a negative thought on the whole affair. Truth be told, he was looking forward to it somewhat and while he was not sure about the whole idea of him being a father, that did not mean that he was going to turn his back on the responsibility of being a father. He recalled the conversation he and Cortana had during Christmas and wondered just how she would have reacted if she learned that she would be the mother of a child between him and her.

Dr. Halsey had been every supportive of the idea and she made it clear that they both had her support. And that was something that really mattered to him. Dr. Halsey was the closest person to a mother that he and the other Spartans had and the fact that she was happy with the idea meant to him that he was technically in the clear. As for Mendez, the Senior Chief Petty Officer was still as stony as ever, but he could sense that his former commanding officer, chief trainer, and father figure was not against it in the slightest.

As he placed the weights aside, he then decided to head to the showers and get cleaned up, as well as change into his military fatigues. As he went there, Fred was coming out and the two Spartans greeted one another.

"Squad Leader."

"Fred, how is everything with the Team?"

"Pretty good though to be honest sir, we're still busy getting used to the idea of working with a civilian group and pirates at that, not exactly standard issue in the training we had. But these Harvesters are a serious threat considering all the things that they have been doing to human colonies. I read the reports you gave after all and I am ready to fight the enemy, but it is still hard to believe that they are from Earth and used to be human like we are."

"I know, but they are the enemy, we cannot deny that no matter what happens."

"True, anyway I need to ask…are you ready for what is going to happen soon?"

John looked at Fred and he could see that despite his serious look, Fred was somewhat amused by what was going on with him and Cortana. He could not help but smile a bit at Fred and he replied.

"I am ready, it's surreal I'll give it that."

"True, but if you are dead set on this, you got my support every step of the way. Got to go and get some grub. See you Squad Leader."

John gave Fred a salute and the Spartan II left his fellow Spartan II to think once more about the situation he was in with Cortana. He did love Cortana and he was going to stay with her and their soon to be born child. He had no doubt that if this happened in the UNSC, then a lot of people were going to be surprised at the idea of a Spartan being a father. That was going to be made even more complex by the fact that Cortana, who was once an A.I was somehow made into a living being of flesh and blood who had been his long time friend was now the mother of his child with her.

John thought it over a few more times and decided to let time play it's hand, for now he would need to concern himself with getting his team ready for the next mission. Though he had no doubt that sooner or later there was going to be a lot more discussions between them.

He was soon greeted by Kelly and Linda as both his team members were busy coming back from their own training regimes, Linda checking her Sniper Rifle and making some new modifications and Kelly keeping herself busy with some drills with weights. Kelly gave him a slight smile of amusement and spoke to him.

"Hey there John, how is it being a father?"

John sighed a bit and gave a smile of his own which was well received by Kelly while Linda merely shrugged but it was clear to John through her body language alone that she was also amused by the current situation that her long time friend and fellow Spartan had found himself in and she soon spoke to offer her own opinion.

"You seem to be trying to get used to things John."

"Yeah, but I am going to stay with the whole thing to the end."

Both female Spartans could tell that John was very serious about this situation and it further convinced them that John had this situation in hand. And they have to admit that they were actually looking forward to the chance to see how their leader handled being a father. Plus they were actually interested to see just how John's son or daughter would react to them even though Linda was not going to comment all that much anyway to people.

All over the Nirvana, people were talking about the news that there was going to be a new baby to be born in the Nirvana. The Talvernians were very much supportive of the idea of having another little tyke in their midst since knowing that life prospered even in times like this was a serious morale boost to them and no doubt to the Nirvana as well. The women were all very eager at the idea of seeing just what sort of child John and Cortana were going to have once Cortana was going to give birth. They had been getting used to the situation they were in and a number of the men were also becoming rather attached to some of the Megele women pirates on the ship, though so far it was all touch and go.

Captain Harrison, one of the many leaders of the Talvernians was happy to speak about the whole situation between John and Cortana to some of his fellow Talvernians.

"Got to admit it's kind of hard to imagine him being a father, but if anyone in my mind deserves to have some happiness, it's the Chief thus far".

Another Talvernian, a woman by the name of Carrie spoke about her own thoughts on the matter.

"Yeah, I still find it hard to believe that his wife used to be an A.I who is now flesh and blood. Not that I don't trust her since she helped coordinate so many missions and helped keep us alive, but how did she become flesh and blood in the first place?"

"Not really sure, but there is nothing wrong with them being close to one another, since all I know is that they were very close to one another. All I can say is that at the very least we can be happy that life is still going on. One thing is sure to me though, if anything this news has given me hope and I am going to make the most of it."

His other companions nodded and it seemed to be business as usual for the Talvernians in the area they happened to be in. But on another side in the Nirvana's, one of the male Talvernians, one of their armorers who maintained their own gear was currently having a discussion with one of the Register Girls from Gascogne's place who had dropped by bringing in some new supplies that they needed for their weapons.

"How exactly did you ladies populate your world anyway?"

"We gather the egg of one of the women in the family who is willing to become a fahma and it's fertilized by the genes gained from the ohma and then is given to the fahma to raise to term. Why do you ask me that?"

The man was still not sure how to take that since he had been rather curious about how the women of Megele managed to populate their world. It was also here that the woman he was talking to asked him how they were able to have children. He explained just how they did so with women and needless to say, the woman he was speaking to was very much shocked by the idea of men and women having children.

However, the man in question, Trey Douglas then spoke to her about it.

"But keep in mind that Cortana is a woman, a flesh and blood woman and she got pregnant."

"I…suppose, but I have to ask

The all female members of the Nirvana Infantry forces were very eager to meet the child and many of them were actually entertaining ideas of being big sisters to the baby in question. They did not mind of the baby is going to be a boy or girl, they have already considered John as their fahma so they do not have any problems with him being a father. As they moved on with their regular duties in the Nirvana, they also began to chat about how they were going to act once they finally got home to their base near Megele.

Reina was relaxing in the galley and enjoying some juice before heading off to her other work in the Register, but was soon joined by Ally and Kaylee, both Dread Pilots and part of Team B. The two sat down and Reina smiled at them.

"Hey there, Ally Kaylee, who have you gals been?"

"Busy, Meia's been keeping us busy when we don't have anything else to do. It's tough and certainly is a lot harder than before now, but at least the training keeps us alive, and the new gear is certainly helpful."

"Yep, I wore that myself, the ODST gear is really interesting and very darn useful. I can see why the UNSC used gear like it and the Marine Body Armor that I used in the past and still do use. Anyway, how are you all dealing with the men on the ship?"

"Well…they are not so bad now that I got to get closer to them."

Ally said and Kaylee nodded as well.

"Yeah, I mean compared to the stories I heard as a young girl back on Megele, they're not all bad. Sure they act different and they certainly are not like us, but they are not inferior and barbaric, at least in the way the government used to show them. Anyway I am curious about how you and the others are taking the fact that your leader is about to be an ohma, or a father?"

Reina smiled a bit at that and replied.

"Well…me and the girls are very happy at the idea of the Master Chief being a father, and we'd consider the baby he and Cortana would have as our little sister or…brother as Misty would say it, We treat the Master Chief as our ohma so it would make sense that we would treat the soon to be born baby as one of our own."

The two women smiled at the meaning behind Reina's statements and they were also going to be curious just what a baby born from a man and a woman would look like. Reina herself was curious and she knew that the same sentiment was with the rest of the teams. All they could hope for was that the baby would be delivered safely and they would make sure that none of the Harvesters would get their metallic hands on the baby if they found Cortana.

In another section of the Nirvana…

Jura was currently working on her swordsmanship again in order to keep herself in good condition, she was still wearing her traditional garb and going through the motions that she learned from her fencing master. As she went through the motions, she also began to think about the news on how Cortana got pregnant and due to being with the Master Chief intimately. She had to accept the fact that she was very intrigued and was very curious about how such a feat was accomplished between them.

There was no doubt in her mind that John and Cortana were close to one another, not surprising the many things that they had dealt with in the past. And there was also the fact that both of them were always a team even though Cortana was not an A.I anymore. Still she was hoping to find out how it was done since the book that she had with her was not exactly very helpful in providing information on just HOW it was done. The only one who could answer that question was Cortana herself though when she brought up her desire to know how she did it, the former A.I was rather tight lipped about it.

She had no idea why that was the case herself but she decided already that she would not stop asking, she was still interested in asking Hibiki to give her his seed even if Dita and Misty would be against it. But if she could not have a baby with him, then she could try looking for other viable males. Sure the Talvernian males would be a good choice since they themselves knew how to have children with both genders, but she was still looking for one who was special.

As she thought about it a bit more, she turned to see none other than Fred who was not in his armor and was currently busy lifting weights. She had been so focused on her fencing and how to find a suitable seed donor that she had not noticed the arrival of the Spartan who was one of John's closest friends, brother, and second in command when he was among the Spartans who were in the same generation as he was. She continued with her fencing but could not help but see Fred move as he was not wearing a shirt.

She could not help but look at the man as he continued to move the weights up and down, allowing his body to move and ripple with each action. Something about seeing the man's body like this made her decide to put down her sword for a minute or two as she observed the man. Each action was fluid and precise, so much so that she like anyone could think that Fred was more machine than human, but she knew that he was flesh and blood and not some android that she had heard and seen in numerous movies back as a child on Megele.

As she looked on, she began to feel something stir in her as she looked at the Spartan a lot more than what a woman would normally do. Fred was not too tall or too short, he did not stand out and his black hair with grey streaks made him look older. But Jura had seen Fred in action and had sparred with him already so she had a fairly accurate idea that while he could blend in with a crowd well, he was not a regular man in any stretch of the imagination. She soon found herself moving closer for a better look at the man and could not help but admire his actions.

The stirring in her began to grow and a sudden rush of…warmth hit her senses at this point and she could not help but look on at the man.

As for Fred, he was well aware of Jura's presence in the immediate area but did not bother her as she was currently training as well as looking deep in thought. What it was he could not guess, nor did he want to as he decided to get to lifting weights and had removed his shirt which was still wet from his previous workout. Most would wonder why he would do this a lot, but he was doing it to keep himself in shape. Even when he noticed that she was staring at him, he ignored it and focused on doing his routines. After all, the last thing he wanted was to accidentally injure himself in training and compromise himself for a mission, Chief Mendez would chew him out for that like mad.

However, he did notice the way the blonde Dread pilot was staring at him ever since she stopped her workout just to look at him. He did not know why she would do that, but since she was not doing anything odd except the staring, he decided to ignore her staring. Truth be told, he was curious on what exactly was her reason to be in the Pirates. The Spartan II was no expert on civilian matters, but he felt that Jura did not look the least bit like the kind of woman who was set to be a pirate. Most men he knew of in the UNSC military forces would have thought different of the blonde woman, like he would. But he had seen her in action as pilot and while not exactly an ace, she was good as a pilot.

Not to mention that she was attractive…

Now that train of thought made Fred mentally frown since he was not sure why he would suddenly think that. He knew the mechanics of attraction when it came to human nature and reproduction, but he did not focus on it as it was just part of their education as Spartans back in each. Now however…things were different, they were with civilians and even the Nirvana's infantry teams were still civilians in his mind. He did not have anything against them, truth be told, he was impressed that despite not being professional soldiers, they knew how to fight and act as a team.

Still, he was not sure how to take being with civilians for a very long time. He did not dislike Jura, in fact despite their difference of weapons choice, he did find it nice to meet someone who had skill with weapons. Speaking of which, the Spartan decided to stop and get some Knife Combat training in. He stopped the routine and placed down the weights and soon headed to the mat but not before speaking to the blonde woman.

"How are you today Miss Elden?"

Jura sighed a bit and replied.

"You know that you can just call me Jura."

"Sorry, anyway, how are you doing?"

"Been good, and hoping to finish my fencing exercises…say, why don't you and I spar like last time?"

Fred thought it over and decided to take a shot at it since she was very much skilled in using, melee weapons and the others would be busy.

"All right then."

Unknown to them, Barnette had seen the same thing, she wondered just what Jura was seeing in these men, even more so now that she suspected that Jura was interested in this Spartan II. She hoped that Jura would give up the idea of having a baby with a man, but decided to hold her peace and see how this would turn out. Though she did have to admit that at least Fred was not at all like the men she had been raised to dislike since she and Jura were born.

However, there was the fact that she had been staring at the man who was out of his armor a lot longer like her blonde friend.

Ezra was currently feeding her baby as Lucy entered with the Spartan III out of her SPI Mark II Armor. The gentle hearted bridge officer smiled at the young woman and despite her stoic look, the young woman gave a nod and walked over to Ezra. She looked at Kahlua and then did some hand signals to Ezra, asking if Ezra needed anything to help take care of Kahlua.

She smiled at the mute Spartan III and replied with the same gestures as she had taken a language course in her younger days..

"I don't mind if you can bring me some spare cloth and my sewing kit, I need to make some new diapers for Kahlua. I have to breast feed her for a while."

Lucy replied that she would get it and left, it was not long before she came back with said clothing and Ezra then asked her a question via hand signals.

"Do you mind if you can hold Kahlua for a few minutes, I need to check my supplies to make sure that I have enough for that I need to do."

Lucy was shocked a that and it was here that Tom came in, also bare of his SPI Mark II Armor and he saw how nervous Lucy was. He did not need to ask what was going on as he was quick to make sense of what was going on. Tom walked over to his fellow Spartan III and spoke to her with hand signals.

"You'll be fine, Kahlua trusts you."

Lucy was not very sure about that but Tom's words were correct as Kahlua did not cry or panic while being in the arms of the Spartan III. Lucy began to relax somewhat and she soon held Kahlua. Tom was also there to help with the baby as he sat down next to Lucy and Ezra could not help but think that the two looked good together. She however decided not to bring it up since she felt that they should be the ones to find out about it on their own time and not from anyone else.

In the Medical Bay…

Halsey was currently working with Duero and running through a number of her personal studies as well as helping both Duero and Paiway. He thoughts on the two people in the Medical Bay were fairly balanced and while she was still somewhat unused to the demands of medical care, Halsey still felt that if given time and training, Paiway would do fine. Duero was a very shrewd young man and a lot of potential in him, and for which she was thankful. As she placed thoughts like those aside, she began to think about what was going to happen now that it was conformed that Cortana would soon be an expectant mother.

She had no doubt that people back in the UNSC would be demanding how it was possible that a former Smart AI had somehow become a living, breathing human. And even more so when they would learn that said former AI was now able to conceive children. And of course the idea that Duero had once asked her that remained in the back of her mind.

The idea in question was the possibility of the Spartans being able to have children with others of the respective opposite of their gender despite their suppressed sexual drive. It was not something that was wrong since all of the Spartan IIs including those who were crippled and those who had died were the results of the past gene therapy and intense selection process during the Colonization Era and the baseline biological enhancements given to the populace of the UNSC by the Spartan Is. What concerned her was how the baby was going to turn out once he or she was born. There was still the mystery of Cortana being a human woman, and while she was 100 percent healthy and very much human like her, the method on how she became one might have unseen and unexpected consequences to the child between her and John.

She was not thinking this to be pessimistic in view, she wanted Cortana who was in every respect her daughter to be happy and to be a mother. She wanted the child to be healthy, whole and strong without any possible flaws that could endanger the baby and Cortana. Even though childbirth was not as dangerous as before, the lessons learned from the past would not be forgotten so if and when Cortana had her baby, she was going to make sure that her 'daughter' and her 'grand-child was going to get all the advantages they needed to make their lives better.

"Excuse me Dr. Halsey?"

Catherine turned to see that Paiway was asking to speak to her, the young girl seemed somewhat pensive and this surprised Halsey as she decided to find out just what was getting the attention of the young girl.

"Yes Paiway, can I help you?"

"Um…can I ask you about what it's like back in your reality as a nurse?"

"Oh? Why do you ask me that?"

"Well…I am the only nurse here on the Nirvana right now and while I am not really the best, I do try a lot to be one. But it's really hard with all those injuries I have seen."

"I understand that, and truth be told, I am still surprised that you wish to stay on as one despite your age. The field of medicine, while not my specialty to be honest is not pretty nor is it nice for anyone who take the practice of medicine. But you should never forget that doctors and nurses are healers and they had to never forget that lives will depend on them so they must be ready for the worst."

Paiway nodded as she recalled the numbers of people who would come in with lots of injuries at times in the Sick Bay. She sighed a bit at how she sometimes froze up but she did what she could manage though she was now thinking of leaving the Sick Bay. But where did that leave her? She did not like the idea of doing nothing all the time, she could do what she normally did and that was to keep watch over people and taking notes. But that was not helpful and with things as they were, she needed to be helping her friends.

"I suppose you have a point Dr. Halsey, I'll take time to think about it all. But I would like to ask you about how you feel about Cortana being pregnant. I mean…she is genetically related to you right?"

"Yes…yes she is."

"Well are you pleased to know that she is pregnant and you will be a grandmother soon? I mean anyone would be pleased by such news, but still, I would like to know."

Catherine sighed and replied.

"I am happy, and perhaps, I can be a good parent to her and also a grand parent to my soon to be born grandson or grand-daughter. All I can hope for is that while we are here, we can do some good and help people as much as possible."

Paiway nodded at that and soon she decided to think hard on her reason to be a nurse. She did it for the fame, yet that faded when she saw the more bloody side of health care. But over time, she realized that now was not the right time to be squeamish if lives depended on her. It was not going to be easy but she wanted to do something than just stay in the sidelines forever. She soon moved towards Duero and spoke to him about her taking on more important duties as a nurse.

In one of the rooms…

Cortana was busy touching her stomach, feeling the growth of her first borne child in her body. She was still amazed by the fact that she was soon going to be a mother in a few months and she was hoping that she was going to be ready for the needs of being a mother. She was happy that at least she was not going to be alone when it concerns how to raise a baby since Ezra was here and she was taking care of her own baby so she will have to rely on her for tips on how to raise a child.

It was not long before she was soon greeted by none other than her friend Dita. The redhead could not help but smile as she walked over to Cortana and placed a large tray of food for her to have. And in turn Cortana smiled warmly at the redhead and spoke to her as she was curous just why she was bringing this much food with her.

"Hello Dita? May I ask why you are bringing this much food?"

The young woman smiled and replied.

"This food is for you actually Cortana, I want to help make sure that your baby gets all the best food. I made sure to select only healthy food since I know that eating good food means your baby will be born healthy."

The former AI smiled at that and began to eat the food and Dita could not help but smile at her friend and also at her now growing belly. She then looked at Cortana and spoke to her friend with as much respect and hopefulness as she could.

"Cortana, can I?"

Cortana nodded and Dita smiled as she began to run her hand over her friend's belly gently and she still could not help but be awed at the idea that a man and woman could actually have a baby together. It helped her in making sense the rumors she had heard from some of the Talvernians who were with them in the Nirvana and also what she had seen in the tape a few months to nearly a year ago. She could not help herself as she continued to rub her hands on Cortana's belly and even pressed her ear gently on her friend's belly, making Cortana laugh gently at her.

"Wow, I can't believe that soon we're going to have another baby here on the ship! I am sure that Ezra is going to love it that Kahlua is going to have a playmate soon."

Cortana smiled at that and replied.

"I have no doubt about that, and I am pleased that instead of being shocked by this, your other crew members are taking this very well."

Dita smiled and nodded as she spoke to Cortana.

"Everyone really wants to see just what sort of baby you and Mr. Green Alien are going to have Cortana! It's so exciting, do you think that I can have a baby like you as well with a man?"

If it hadn't been for the fact that she liked Dita a great deal, Cortana would have thought that she was biting off more than she could chew and would be asking for trouble. She sighed a bit and decided to talk to her young friend.

"I think that you can, but being a mother is not something that you can just become. And having a baby with a man is…a different experience to having a baby with a woman like what your people do."


"Yeah…John and I have been together long before we ever met you, and thus we know each other and have been very close friends. And while I did tease others about him and me in a relationship, I was well aware that as an A.I, I could not be with him. But I stood by him all the same, keeping my promise to protect him to the end without compromising my mission. But now…it's different, I do love that big lug, but to be a mother to our children is something I did not expect."

Dita listened to that and did not stop Cortana as she spoke also about how she felt being a human woman now. In this case a flesh and blood human woman now and all the things that came with it, both the good and bad things, such as emotions, thoughts, cravings, and desires. It made her take into account her own feelings and she soon spoke to Cortana now that she was done.

"So it's really that different having a child with a man Cortana?"

"Yeah…I'm no expert Dita but I think that before you decide to have a baby with a man, you have to ask yourself if you have what it takes to not just have a baby, but to have a baby with a man. And is the man you want to dedicate your life with and also accept him for him, flaws and all."

That made the young Megele girl stop and think about what her friend said, she thought about her desire to be a mother because of what Jura had done with Hibiki as well. She did like Hibiki and truth be told she had begun to feel certain things when it concerned Hibiki. At times when she thought of him, there was an ache that happens in her, it moved in three places. Her heart, then in her belly, and the last place where the ache would start would be that place where her woman-place would be. She then spoke to Cortana about those feelings she had when she was with Hibiki and she did not leave any details out.

Cortana could not help but listen to Dita and she could not help but think that perhaps Dita was now getting an idea of the feelings that women felt when it concerned the young Tarak apprentice of the Master Chief. She then spoke to her long time friend on the Nirvana and hoped that she could be able to see just how Dita understood her discussion.

"Dita, like I said, I am not expert on how this works, since I never thought I would be pregnant in this journey and have a baby. But if you want to have a baby with a man, make sure to do it for the right reasons. And I can say that if you have a baby with someone you really care about, then it is worth it."

Dita smiled at that and it seemed that Cortana's words had an effect on the young woman.

"Okay Cortana, thank you so much for the advice! By the way, I know this is kind of sudden, but do you have a name for your baby yet Cortana?"

The former A.I blushed at that and it told Dita that Cortana had not thought that far just yet.

"Not really sure yet, if it's a boy, then John and I will think of something, same if it is a girl."

It was at this point that the door opened and in walked John though he was only wearing the inner body suit of the MJOLNIR and not the full armor set at this time. The Spartan smiled a bit in greeting of the pair and soon moved forward to see how Cortana was doing. He also saw the food that Dita had brought for Cortana and he was happy that Dita was around to help Cortana. And he decided if he could talk to Ezra on asking her to help in teaching Cortana on how to handle being a mother since the only one who raised a baby that he and the others knew of on the Nirvana would be her.

"Thanks for helping Cortana Dita, do you mind if I speak to her in private?"

Dita smiled at John and soon left but not before saying that she had no doubt that John would make a very fine ohma.

"Sure thing Mr. Green Alien, and I think that you will make a fine ohma and also I want to say that you and Cortana are going to be a very good family together, anyway I have to go and check up on my Dread and hang out with Paiway. See you all soon!"

John could not help but smile a bit more than usual as Cortana spoke to him.

She is such a nice girl."

"Maybe you can ask her to be our child's nanny or big sister or something Cortana, I'm sure she would love that idea."

Cortana laughed a bit at that.

"I think I will do that, she will love the idea, and I can bet I can have her convince Paiway to help. And I think Kahlua would love to have a playmate when she is older. By the way John…we need to talk about what to do with ourselves when this war is over."

John nodded at that and he spoke first to her.

"What do you want Cortana?"

She sighed a bit and soon rubbed her now growing belly and thought about what she felt towards her growing child and the new enemy they faced. She thought about what she had learned and seen when the Covenant and the Flood was still their enemy respectively. She did not need to think for too long before she replied.

"I want to have our baby in a peaceful time John, I want to be able to give birth to him or her without having to worry about our home being attacked by anyone. If we do find a way back to the UNSC, I want to be able to settle down here and be able to have a family with you. And if we cannot go back to UNSC space, then this will be our home. And I want you to be around as often as you can afford to so you and I can raise our child together, and even our children if we have the chance and time to have more."

"Now that I am done telling you what I want, what about you, what do you want?"

John smiled a bit more and replied.

"About the same, I might not…know ,much about being a father for real, but I will do my best to be there for you and our child Cortana."

"Then that is a start."

John soon sat next to Cortana and she leaned her head on the man's shoulder and they relaxed. Both knew that this was uncharted territory for the both of them. Similar to how they had to deal with their growing attraction to one another ever since she had been transformed into a flesh and blood woman. But this time they were going to keep moving forward and make the most of their situation and it would not be just for themselves but also for their allies, friends, and family, as well as their own family to come in the near future. As long as they were together, then it did not matter to them where they were going to be staying.

To be continued…

Author's Notes:

Not much action and battles, might look boring, but this is needed as we are delving on how the people are reacting to the news that Cortana is pregnant and that John is now a father. Keep in mind that this a proverbial first since the only one thing that can come close to this was when Maria-062 retired and was married after she was Wounded In Action. That could have been a cover due to her status as a Spartan II and a member of ONI, but you'll never know.

Anyway, I wanted to try taking a break from all the fighting and show the lighter side of the whole universe and at least be on a more relaxed note. But like anything else, the peace is not going to last. Just like I wrote in the trailer, there will come the point where the Nirvana, the Ruby Rapier, and the Titan's Wrath are going to be caught in a situation that will test them all. And this will be also the point where we will have the UNSC/Reborn Covenant fleet arrive in the VanDread world.

Now to be fair, I will not have a large fleet join the Nirvana so I will be working on the details on what is the exact size of Battle Group Washington. Now I know that there are a lot of people who are telling me about naval tactics in regards to Battle Groups, but I have a lot on my mind so I will work on fixing those details when I can. I also hope that despite the delays, people can understand the fact that I do have a life outside of this stuff and I only do this in my free time, and this is not something I am being paid to do. And in these tough economic times, I have to sacrifice my time to help my family.

The next chapter will be about how the Nirvana will be caught in a situation where it, the Ruby Rapier, and the Titan's Wrath and their respective crews will be forced to work together near a world which is actually similar to the same planet where John's leadership in ground operations cemented him to lead the Nirvana's ground teams. I plan to have some key members of the crew be trapped on that world. It might be similar to what happened in GunDread Seed The Second Stage though I will do it my way and change it to make sure that it does not sound too similar to what happened the last time in the other story since some originality is needed..

If you are curious, this will include Hibiki and a few others, and might include some of the Spartans, namely the IIs and IIIs. This will take time for me to plan out so if you have questions, send to me via PM okay?

And lastly, this is the second the last Halo update I am making and soon all Halo stories will be on ice so stop asking me about when it will be updated again. I will make the announcement when the time comes and not before.

See you all soon!