G.I Joe Halo

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to G.I Joe or Halo, so I don't make money of out of this…shame really.

Chapter 15

The Templars…

( ): Thoughts

In Reach Montana…



The cheers that followed came from the employees of Halsey Pharmaceuticals as they were taking to celebrating their anniversary of their founding. The staff form all departments were there along with their families and it was a very happy but also reserved atmosphere as they also took the time to honor and remember those of their fellow employees who were killed in Cobra's attack on them. They were not alone as well as the townspeople were there with them, and they should be for this too would be the day of the founding of their home town

The large field was now hosting several large tents and inside the said tents were tables filled to the brim with good food and drink as everyone in the town pitched in to make this occasion truly one to remember

John mentally sighed and gave his speech to the people he trusted to run the company and keep it safe. They deserved that much at least and for them, this day was cause for celebration for all their hard work and sacrifices.

"It has already been a year and eight months since the founding of our company and the establishment of our town of Reach. And I am proud of what we have accomplished this day, we have done much to not only help develop new ways to heal our fellows all over the country and the world, but we have left our mark in history, whether it is small or large. When my adopted mother took me in after my parents died, she told me that we shou8ld never forget that we have but one life and we must live that life well. And she was right in that regard for we all have lived good lives and have made the most of what we have and what we gained with our own hands

John turned to look at the people of the town of Reach and noted several new faces, none of whom were from Reach, but were not enemies either. It was Cover Girl, Wet Suit, Duke, Road Block, Lady Jaye, Scarlett, and Flint. He gave them a smile and a salute as he spoke to the townspeople again.

"And we must also pay respects to the members of G.I Joe for their support in protecting our fellow workers and townspeople in that dark time. They are here now and we should not hesitate to show them the hospitality that they rightfully deserve."

The town's people, employees and their families all cheered the Joes and the Joes were happy for the praise they got. And the party was soon underway as the people of Reach Montana got their celebration underway. There was a lot of food, and drink, as well as parlor games, music, and dancing, all of that might have been expensive but all worth it in John's mind as these, in John's mind would help bring a good mood to all the people.

Besides, it began to do his heart good to know that they were all happy and care free even though there was some security out in the field to keep things in order. He also knew that the Joes were here to no doubt catch up on what they had tried to do before.


John was currently sitting on a nearby portable bench which thankfully did not break under his weight as it was custom made by him to handle his weight which was a lot easier since he was not in his MJOLNIR. Before him were Duke, Cover Girl, Wet Suit, Road Block, Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and Flint and they were there to ask if the surgery to help Snake Eyes was still going to work, he had expected them to come in at some point and he was willing to get things underway.

Cloning a new set of vocal cords for their comrade Snake Eyes was not too hard a job for him and the company as they had made good strides in that regard. All that was due to his staff of highly skilled and personally selected workers and the data that they had from Flash Cloning which served to build some of the foundations for their work in growing new organs for patients and even limbs to a level.

"All right, I believe we can have your friend Snake Eyes' surgery when he is willing to take it."

Duke then spoke.

"How do you plan to do the surgery?"

"We will need to gain several samples of his blood and we can use it to clone the organs he needs. Once we have done the basic tests which will include seeing if his body will not undergo the process known as tissue rejection, we can begin the process."

Lady Jaye then spoke to him as she was also interested to see how the process would go, though in her case, she was curious on how it would be after the whole process.

"How long will it take for Snake Eyes to recover?"

"That depends on a few things, namely on the extent of the injuries he had suffered from before, but considering his profession and medical records, he should be able to recover in at least five days. Mind you he will need to go back into speech therapy in order to develop his voice as having not spoken for years due to the injury might have stunted his ability to form words and sentences. It's similar to a patient who had been blind for nearly all of his life being given sight again so Snake Eyes will need to learn how to speak again bit by bit."

The Joes were a bit sad at that but they were willing to accept the limitations there before them when it concerned Snake Eyes' recovery and chance to speak again. Wet Suit then spoke next as there was something that he felt that they would have to deal with.

"How much will the surgery cost?"

John knew that they had more than ample reason to ask, but he felt that he had to thank them for what they had done when Cobra attacked the town and his company to get the data.

"For what your group did for my people here, the surgery will be free of charge and Snake Eyes will be given all the support and speech therapy he will need. All of that will also be free of charge so there is nothing for the Joes to worry about so there is no need for you to pool any money to pay for your friend's recovery."

That surprised the Joes a great deal, even more so since they felt that they should not take advantage of the man. Flint was the first to speak concerning the decision that John had just made pertaining to the surgery for his fellow Joe.

"Are you sure about that Mr. Mendez? Not that we're against the offer or anything since it is truly a good thing you are offering us, but isn't it kind of expensive for your company to allow such procedures free of charge?"

"No one can place a price on kindness, your people risked your lives to help protect the people of my company, and if helping your friend recover his ability to speak is the best way to show my thanks, then I will do it. Money can be obtained, but the ability to speak is something that should not be ignored. I will make sure that every procedure is done by the best doctors and professionals that are within my company."

Cover Girl smiled the most as she felt happy that John was willing to go this far for them and she spoke to him in a very pleased manner.

"You're really a good man Mr. Mendez, and we're not going to forget it for a while. And I have no doubt that Snake Eyes himself will also appreciate what you are doing for him."

John gave a slight but very genuine smile and replied.

"You are quite welcome Miss Krueger. Now let's go back and enjoy the rest of the party before you all will be called back to base to deal with any new threat that might come up."

It was a good affair and John was pleased with the results, but he was surprised when Cover Girl asked permission to be his dance partner when he was asked to dance in the ending of the party. John was not going to say no since he had to do his part, thankfully he was able to get the gist of how to dance and Courtney was more than willing to help him out on the moment he was going to make a mistake in the dance steps. Once it was over, John was now given the chance to be on his own and took a walk to a hill and see the rest of the town, but he was not alone in his movements as Cover Girl was with him.

He did not mind as he had a level of respect for the former model as she proved herself to be a more than skilled and talented soldier. There was also the fact that she had willingly stood by him when the Baroness had tried to kidnap him for their means, plans and needs. And truth be told, he could not help but feel something when he was with Cover Girl, which began when she became his escort in that social function that he had to attend months before. As the two of them sat there, the Spartan decided to look at Courtney as she cradled a glass of lemonade in her hand and enjoyed the feel of the cool breeze on her face and hair. The woman was attractive by any means and thoughts, no doubt due to her life as a former model, but even though she lost a slight portion of the beauty due to her life as a Joe, she still had the looks and the figure; at least that was what some people would say.

As they looked over the place, Cover Girl took the time to look at John and see what was on his mind, it was just something that she did out of curiosity.

"Are you sill thinking about what happened a few months ago Mr. Mendez?"

"Somewhat, I have already accepted the fact that those good people on my staff are not coming back, and I have done my best…to make sure that their families are well taken care of. But that does not mean that I will forget what happened."

Courtney nodded in agreement and she was hoping that then they had a chance, they would be able to get Cobra for the attack on the people of Reach.

John took the time to think about what had happened when Cobra went dark, he had a feeling that what they had done using the Crimson Bond as allies or expendable forces was for a reason. And he aimed to find out just what that reason was. But that was going to have to wait since they had been very silent for some time and considering his experiences and training, that was not a good thing.

Courtney once again spoke to the man as she was not aware of the exact direction of his thoughts.

"We'll make sure that what they did will not go unpunished Mr. Mendez, and we'll make sure that we will be thanking you for helping Snake Eyes."

John nodded and smiled a bit, though unlike most of his smiles, his was a bit more genuine, which was actually surprising to him. Most of his smiles to the public outside of Reach, Montana were usually for publicity work, but with Cover Girl, it felt more…natural in a way. John wondered about that feeling for a moment or two before deciding shelve that aside and focus on enjoying the moment of peace. There was no telling if and when he was going to be dragged back into battle again.

In the main base a few days later…

John was busy doing a lot of work on his weapons and also made sure to run some routine checks on his MJOLNIR Mark VI. At this time, he was taking apart his trademark MA5C ICWS Assault Rifle and doing the routine work of cleaning, checking for stress in each of the components. The whole process took only a few seconds due to his augmentations and his long experience with the weapon, and when he re-assembled the weapon, he moved to do the same with his M90A Shotgun. The company was currently being handled by the board and his secretary was handling the matters that he could not and routinely sending in messages, memos, and reports.

He was not a very good fan of paperwork and once more he could not help but wonder at how people were able to handle it. Dr. Halsey in his mind was possibly the only person he knew of who did paperwork and enjoyed it. The only difference was that she did all of her work on the computer and her work was focused on developing the technology he and the others needed to face off with the Covenant. The Spartan also decided that he could also do some regular work on the Slipspace Drive engine and do some needed checks on it.

He was not a capable engineer and technician when it came to Slipspace Drive maintenance as he had never dealt with it before, but he had the experience and Cortana was more than able to help him. One of the things he hoped for was the chance to work on the chance to make an operable ship for testing and also make a secondary Slipspace driver to serve as a test bed for what was to come.

When the Colonization Era as it was named began, the UNSC and the civilian community had created test ships that could be able to use the Slipspace Drives and see how they would work. This was needed at the time since the technology was still in it's infancy and was still fraught with dangers. And when it was deemed to be more than able to work, the Slipspace Drive became standard for all human build starships though some were usually not given one. Even though Slipspace Drives were normally used for transportation, John was aware of Black Ops programs that were focused on how to use Slipspace for offensive military operations and for combat.

Black Box rigged Slipspace Drives only known as Saddle-boxes were routinely used by the UNSC to test out Slipspace to see if there was more to it's use than just moving ships from one sector of space to the next.

And while he had not seen some of these same projects in action during the war with the Insurrection and the UNSC-Covenant War, he had heard of the progress of such technology. The reason why he needed to do that was not for warfare purposes, but to attempt to see if Slipspace could be utilized in this reality that he and Cortana were in.

That and also test if any ship that they might be able to develop in the future might prove to be able to handle the effects of Slipspace. Most space fairing ships in this timeline would not be able to stand up to the transition from normal space to Slipspace due to their technological inferiority to UNSC Ship construction so they were out of the question. The way of ship construction in the UNSC relied on several materials which at this point were not ready, and the Titanium supplies on Earth were woefully inadequate and the way to chemically transform the Titanium alloy to Titanium A was not yet present.

There was also the need for TR Steel and Vanadium Steel, the two steels that were the framework for any type of UNSC ship as well as civilian ships that were the size of freighters and larger transport ships, as well as even liners. Plus there was also the need for Lead Foil to counter radiation from the various celestial bodies that were there in space. Cherenkov radiation was the most dangerous form from Slipspace jumps and could kill people easily. His MJOLNIR might be hardened against radiation but not to the extent of surviving a massive dosage of the radiation. And the energy released by the event that could unleash such a high level of radiation could overpower the systems along with the Lead Foil.

The Lead Foil had to be of the highest quality and it had to be in a certain thickness to be effective in what it was needed to do. If it was not meeting those requirements then the risks of the crew being killed would hit the roof. All in all, the creation of a ship needed to test a way to use the technology that Cortana had been aiming for the open the possible barriers of realities t sent them home with the application of Slipspace was going to be horrendously expensive. He knew that until they were able to find a means in order to get those resources, that plan had to be shelved.

And of course they needed a shipyard for it and that was going to also be high risk low reward as the technological of space construction in this reality was going very low. The Spartan and his A.I companion had to plan this out a lot more and they also need to find the other things to make this all work. But if it did not work…well, he would just have to adapt here and make the most of his life and protect Earth from threats, namely terrorists, the core reason he was recruited and molded into a Spartan in the first place.

As he was done with the routine checks he moved to another station to check up on the executive board of his company to see how things were doing. And he also needed to check up on the bases that he had set up to make sure that they were not accidentally revealed. For now it seemed to be peaceful for him and while the peace was good, it was not something he got used to just yet to the point he would lower his guard.

It was here that Cortana appeared and spoke to him.

"You got an incoming call on your cell-phone."

"Any idea who?"

Cortana frowned at that and replied.

"The Baroness herself."

That got John into a serious mode as he had not expected that.

"How did that happen?"

"I believe they managed to get your contact number from one of our employees when they hit the place a few months before. No doubt our personal pilot since his cell-phone had been in their hands prior to our people rescuing him. They must have gotten a chance to copy it's memory files at the time."

"Can you trace the call?"

Cortana nodded a bit and spoke again.

"There might be a chance that they will try to mislead us by bouncing the signal off cell sites and try to track you down for another shot at locating and kidnapping you, but I think I can deal with that easily enough. Still not sure why she would call you though by cell and possibly expose herself, but be ready for anything John. This might also allow me to try and place a data bug in whatever device they have on hand."

John nodded as he took the nearby cell phone and spoke to it as Cortana began to track down the Cobra agent. This was a slip on their part as they had not taken the theft of John's number into account. However, they were going to remedy that once they got the chance, plus this might be a chance for Cortana to get her hands on whatever data she could about their next move.


And sure enough, it was the Baroness.

"Greetings Mister Mendez, it has been a while has it not?"

"You…the Baroness, how did you get this number?"

"Ah, that would be telling now would it Mister Mendez? But enough about chit chat for today, I am curious on how are you in your place of residence?"

"Why are you so curious?"

"Nothing, I am merely trying to find out how you are, I still remember how you managed to best me and my men when we raided your place of business. I have to admit…your skills in combat was quite…impressive, almost as impressive as your company's security measures. I must say that I did not expect you to be that skilled."

"I had a good teacher."

"I'm sure you have, you must have hired the best to be that skilled."

John knew honeyed tones when he heard it and was not in the mood for them.

"Cut the sugar coating Baroness, if you're here to try and track me down to convince me to part with secrets of my company, don't bother. I refuse to sell the technology to terrorists and this that."

"I see, perhaps when you and I meet again, I can change your mind."

"Let me wager a guess, drugs, truth serum, hypnosis, torture, seduction, bribery, threats?"

There was some laughter there and the Baroness spoke to him. Unaware of the fact that Cortana was already getting closer to tracking her and also moving closer to planting the data bug into the Cobra database. Cobra might have gone off the grid so to speak, but that did not mean that they were completely off of it.

"My, you really are eloquent Mr. Mendez, if it comes to such methods, then why not, though I think the third to the last option sounds more promising. Don't you agree?"

John turned and Cortana looked at him with a cheeky grin, showing that her trick worked, and Cobra apparently was none the wiser. That also meant that despite their attempts to track him down via the cell phone, they had not managed to fool Cortana and she had been able to filter out their tracking data streams. That to him was the signal. to cut the conversation short and truth be told, he was looking forward to putting the end to this conversation.

"Sorry, but I would rather be locked in the darkest prison imaginable and have the key thrown away for life than let you come near me. Good day!"

The Baroness fumed at that, and was less than pleased to discover that their attempts to home in on the location of Mr. Mendez had failed. Somehow their tracking software had not been able to locate him whereabouts, and therefore they could not launch their strike team to take him down in his place and make sure that he would be taken alive. Their soldiers were to be armed with traq-rifles to try and subdue the man alive. Despite her previous failure to take the man alive, she intended to bring him in and have him be convinced to give Cobra his secrets. That was due to the technology he had being quite interesting and would still be a major benefit to their forces.

Even Mindbender expressed interest in the technology which was enough to convince Cobra Commander and the others to deploy a strike team of some of their newly trained Vipers to try and capture the man. But without any idea on where he was living, the mission had to be scrapped.

The dark haired Cobra officer however did not let the loss bother her in the slightest as she had to admit that if they did catch him, it would be too easy. There was something…something about Mendez that got her attention and she did admit that the chance to finally outmatch him interested her. In fact, the new unit of female Cobra soldiers she was putting together would need to be tested, and the only way for that to happen was if they had a challenge when they were deployed.

But that was going to have to be for a much later date, as they were still being trained and given all the needed gear and attention. Soon her own cadre of Vipers would be deployed and they would make her proud. But for now, they were going to have to keep silent and deploy only expendable mercenaries to do their dirty work while they focused on gathering more funds and hiring only the best of the best.

And they were indeed hiring the best of the best, the ones of their original forces of Cobra Soldiers who remained loyal were sent through a more serious level of training o weed out the more exceptional soldiers and the regular ones were still placed to use in support, garrison and logistic roles. The ones who passed the more serious training/selection process were soon being sent through the courses that Cobra had outlined for the molding into much more skilled soldiers. The Crimson Guard who were not in base and in cover were also working hard to still provide funds and resources through legitimate channels and loopholes. And with their forces cut down to avoid detection, this left a massive amount of funds to send to the R&D labs.

They also began to focus only on those who had unique talents and experiences as well as seeking out only those who they knew hated the current system, desired money and power that they could get by any means. They also targeted people who were desperate and hungry for more and had felt that the world governments were nothing more than a collection of fat, lazy, and corrupt people who preyed on the weak. Gone was their focus of only gaining the lackluster troopers who did it only for money alone. And it worked well for their needs since despite the numbers being small at first, the numbers soon began to grow and once they were able to get enough, the intense and rigorous training began.

Destro, the Twins, Scrap Iron, and Storm Shadow also contributed to the training and began to select those who passed their own personal demands and requirements. These soldiers who passed were going to be working on fields that would be touched by them in the same way that the Baroness was going to train her own cadre of female agents who would soon be deployed in their own trial runs in battle.

This was a boon to be sure, but Cobra was always on the lookout for more ways increase their cash reserves for their still strong plans for world domination which they had no intent on giving up.

Time passed and John kept himself busy with what he could do while making sure to be ready for whatever scheme Cobra would be cooking up next. He was also able to be present for the surgery of Snake Eyes when the time came for the Joe to undergo the surgery. Naturally he had gone to the hospital that was able to use the technology that his company developed and he kept his word. He had brought in his company's best surgeons and specialists and paid the full amount of money needed for Snake Eyes' therapy in being able to recover the use of his voice.

That was something that the Joes were obviously very thankful for and they made it clear that regardless of the outcome, they were happy that someone was willing to help them. John did not mind the praise and reminded them that the real test would only come once the surgery was over and declared a success by his people.

The Joes naturally stayed with Snake Eyes to make sure that this surgery was going to proceed smoothly and John was also there since he left the board to handle the company while he oversaw the procedures himself. It took at least three days to complete the surgery since they not only had to grow the replacement organs from Snake Eyes' DNA but they also had to make sure that it was not going to be rejected easily and it would go well for him. They also took the time to reopen the area where he was given surgery when his vocal cords were damaged and removed the now ruined organs to have the new organs placed in. The process took a bit longer, but it was a lot safer and when it was over, it was reported by his company's specialists that the procedure was successful.

It would take some time, months at the most, but Snake Eyes was now able to speak out, letters were first, and then basic words. Sentences and higher level communication skills had to be placed away for a time since he had been reliant on sign language for a very long time and therefore, his verbal skills had severely deteriorated. Another issue was that he had to practice speaking in tones and volume due to not yet being used to his newly implanted vocal organs.

Snake Eyes however was smiling a bit as he did the exercises and the Joes were just as pleased, John also made sure to have Snake Eyes undergo a proper diet to allow him to have the energy to heal properly and build his strength in order to learn how to speak letters and words.

However, it was not going to be long before he would be called on to handle yet another one of Cobra's new missions being handed off to outside independent contractors. Cortana informed him that she had been able to hack into one of the Cobra bases and determined two things. Apparently the first was that Cobra had undergone a serious overhaul which would explain at leas to him why they went dark,. The second was that they were now after something that was of a nature that John and Cortana had not dealt with before and they were going to have to get some outside help. That part Cortana was dealing with already.

In one of the Albatross Dropships…

John checked out the MA5C that he was carrying with him along with an old friend of his, the MA2A Assault Carbine while Cortana was flying the much larger transport. He normally would not want to use this kind of transport, but considering where he was going, there was going to be a need for a more mobile base of operations, plus a source of supplies and firepower. The BATs that Cortana commanded were also with him, this time however they were wearing a variant of the UNSC Marine BDU for jungle warfare operations and carrying weapons suited for their design. Their faces were now covered with specially made cloth to hide the fact that they were machines along with their helmets with a more full face guard.

The MA2A was the same weapon he and his team used in their first mission as Spartans prior to both wearing the MJOLNIR Mark IV Power Armor and the war with the Covenant. And despite being older in comparison to other weapons, it was still a useful weapon in missions were they needed to have less ordnance and a lesser profile for missions. That was a good thing for him as he moved back into the massive cockpit and spoke to Cortana just as she appeared.

"Everything set and read to go?"

|"Yes, still, not really all that sure about the mission."

The A.I nodded at that and replied.

"Not surprising since this definitely was not in the training manual when we both started out huh?"

John smirked a bit at that as he took off his helmet and replied.

"Pretty much, what exactly are we dealing with?"

Cortana ran through the data again and revealed what she had been able to gather from the intercepted communiqué made by Cobra itself. Apparently the organization had decided to not only expand their experimentation with military technology, but also get their coffers filled again with treasures and more besides. They naturally decided to go for hiring a new force of free agents who were more than willing to take a shot at the targets they were after.

"How much do you know of the Knights Templar?"

"They were a military order founded during the Middle Ages, one of the most influential orders and organizations in the time. They were known for intense training, equipment, uncompromising beliefs in battle for the honor of God and the Church, and willingness to fight to the point that only when all flags fell did they leave. They eventually lost their military function after Saladin drove the Crusaders out and were eventually removed by the efforts of King Philip of France and the pope at the time Pope Clement."

"Exactly, the same can be said for the records we have on that same order in OUR reality, but there are some differences. Keep in mind that in our reality, the Knights Templar was rumored to have recovered a number of religious artifacts in the time of their founding in Jerusalem. All of which were recovered and were studied intensely by science, here on the other hand, it's a bit different. Like our reality's Knights Templar Order, who's storehouses hiding all the wealth they had which Philip targeted in the hope to take to replenish his coffers but were empty, the same happened here as well. And like our own reality's order, this reality's Knights Templar Order had also been suspected of finding a number of holy relics. The difference between the two is that according to what I dug up, they also dealt with relics of a LESS than Holy nature."

"What exactly are you getting at Cortana?"

"They dealt with relics that belonged to what we could guess to be pagan gods, or the devil if you want to get a bit more serious about it. I know it sounds out there John, and even I have a hard time picturing it myself, but it was written in the records that a detachment of this reality's Templars recovered a fairly large collection of relics used by cultists somewhere in the Middle East. No idea what they were, but it was stated in the records that Cobra got, that nearly all the Templars were slain and the only surviving members told the Order that they had been forced to bury the relics. They petitioned their Order to send a number of priests to try and cleanse the place and seal away the relics."


"The relics in question were still unknown, but it was dangerous enough to make the Order build a special case of gold with holy symbols to have it removed and you can guess that the case was spotted by this reality's Philip and he wanted it as well. That case was also taken from the storehouse by the Templars when they fled from the Inquisition forces sent to take them out. There is no idea just where the Templars hid their treasures and relics thus far, but the fact that Cobra is willing to pour this much money into looking for them is already a cause for concern."

"I understand, so who did they outsource this job to?"

"According to the data, they gave the contract to a mercenary army calling themselves the Blood Talons, in public they are the 'private security firm' with some legal protection, however they have a seriously bad track record if one were to look hard enough. Some of the reports stated that they had actually been contracted by corrupt businessmen from different corners of the world to protect their interests and have some friends up at Washington to cover for them. They are a collection of former military personnel and are being led by one James Ackerson."

That name got John's attention quickly as he looked at Cortana with a look of surprise, which was obvious not in his face due to him wearing his helmet.

"Ackerson? Are you serious?"

"As a heart attack, I guess there ARE some things in another reality that do match up with ours. This Ackerson being ne of them, former US Special Forces, made it to the rank of Colonel but was court-martialed for distributing illegal substances to several of the units he had been assigned to co-train and also for brutality. He managed to squirm his way out of that one but lost his commission as a Colonel. But instead of fading away, he became the co founder of the Blood Talons, no doubt the ones who helped him escape the law, thought he was too good to let rot away. This guy however does not have a brother and both parents died when he was at least ten so he was in foster care until he joined the military."

Cortana presented the man's file and John read it extensively and saw that while there were differences , this man was an exact mirror to the UNSC Army officer who was their organization's liaison with ONI. The similarities made him shiver in disgust as he placed it aside and decided that if this was the guy he was going to be dealing with, then he would be ready.

"So we're going to go in and take out the Blood Talons before they do their work?"

"Not just yet, recently I ran into a file pertaining to someone who might be able to help us in recovering any data on what Cobra wants. There is one person who has been known to be an expert on rare artifacts and ancient myths tied to said artifacts. One Lady Lara Croft from England and known to be one of the most skilled individuals thus far, I am pulling in her file now. It's a pretty extensive file to boot"

John looked it over and as he did so, he began to take in the details, as well as the picture there. The woman appeared to be mid to late twenties and was dark brunette and had features that could very well spell knockout at least that would be the way most men would call her. The stats she had also backed it up as well as the pictures when she was seen by the media. Born to members of the London elite, namely Lord Richard Croft and lady Amelia Croft, Lara was considered as one of the most recognized members of British society, even though her parents were gone and the family fortune was not as extensive in the past. This was due to her skills as a writer and maker of her own books that have allowed her to maintain a considerable financial power base and to fund her expeditions. In the file were a number of known artifacts that she had found, and John did raise his eyebrow as he saw that one such artifact was the Mjolnir itself.

But John was not interested in those details, he was more interested in her mental and physical capabilities, and what he saw thus far was rather impressive.

": Trained on horseback riding, weapons operation, archery, accomplished in the use of improvised weapons, hand to hand combat expert, skilled in the use of computers, gymnastics, accomplished swimmer and diver, skilled vehicle operator, runner. And she holds several doctorates in history, social sciences, archaeology, and ancient languages."

Cortana looked at her long time partner and smiled at him as she spoke.

"Like I said John, quite the resume, if she had been born in our reality, she would have made quite the Spartan."

"True, where is she now?"

Cortana activated the map and replied to said question.

"Currently doing an archaeological dig at some old ruins deep in South America, near the area where the Antarctic should be. The Blood Talons however have been contracted to find her and convince her to translate some of the files that Cobra sent them. Apparently Cobra is well aware of Lara's extensive experience with dead languages and ancient artifacts of legend."

"They did not try to ask her to help them?"

"Nope, apparently she is no fan of terrorists which is a good thing for us. But not so for Cobra, which was why they deployed the Blood Talons to retrieve her and convince her otherwise. She is quite capable of handling herself, but considering what we know of Cobra's growing abilities and the fact that they have gone dark, we should not take chances."

John agreed as he got himself into the battle mode that all Spartans were well known for.

"How long before we reach the target."

"At least two hours and ten minutes tops, no sense revealing the Albatross unless necessary. There are some Mongooses ready for the operation if you need them. The dig site is at least several kilometers from our LZ, and with the Blood Talons coming in, speed is critical. Once we are in position over the LZ, get ready to move while I get it away from prying eyes with one of my copies."

John nodded in agreement and decided to get things in his mind organized for what was to come. Once concern however cropped up in his mind when he and his BAT team were soon about to hit the dirt of their Landing Zone.

Just how was Miss Lara Croft going to being asked by him to help him stop a band of mercenaries hired by Cobra? She might hate Cobra for hat they do, but there was no telling how she would react working with him, Cortana, and the BATs under his command.

Well, there was only one way to find out it seemed.

To be continued…

Author's Notes:

There we go, not the part where John would meet up with Lara Croft, but it will do for the time being to get things underway. The meeting between the famous adventurer/scholar and the future era super soldier will be useful and while I can bet a lot of people would like to see what I can do with them.

But I am aware that since we are talking about the meeting of two icons of the gaming world, there will be a lot of people questioning me if I will make one outshine the other. This might cause a lot of friction and dislike so I will make sure to show both Lara and John at their best side by side. The BATs will provide support fire and also extra muscle as the Blood Talons will not be ordinary soldiers when they are seen in combat. Since the majority of them are former soldiers and some are former special forces, they can be a challenge and the fact that are armed with their own gear and some Cobra merchandise is telling.

The call made by the Baroness to John was something I decided to add for the sake of a plot device as this will allow John to even up the odds with Cobra going dark. Now I can't really say what was it that Cortana was able to do, but I can assure you that it will be a useful edge for the two to have when Cobra comes out full time.

Cobra will soon be deploying it's forces after the arc that has John and Lara working together, so you can bet that considering what they have been doing, they will not be the same as before. I have been in correspondence with Hang Tuah, who has been a very important partner of mine when it comes to brain storming tech ideas and more for stories.

I have thought of bringing in the canon Conquest Strike Fighters that were seen in the series, but I also have to think about several other fighter designs that can be useful. One such design is the Widow Maker, and also the next is the F-22 Raptor. There are also some very interesting ideas that Hang and I have discussed and I have decided to include these once I commit full time to all my Halo stories.

See you all soon on the next arc!