Chapter three is here after 4 hours of solid typing. Bring it on.

I would like to inform you of the fact that I don't own the Halo franchise, Halo characters or the content of my own head. I do own this story, my xbox, and these OOC characters.

And it isn't going well

"Listen up, Noble Team. We're looking at a downed relay outpost, fifty klicks from Visegrad. We're going to introduce ourselves to whoever took it out, then Kat's going to get it back online."

"Just get me under the hood, Commander."

Locke looked at Kat. He hadn't seen her since training, she was different, years of combat do that to people, but underneath she was still the same.

"Commander, we just lost our signal with HQ." Kat said suddenly.

"Backup channels?" Carter reasoned quickly

"Searching...nada. Can't say what's jamming us."

"You heard her. Dead zone confirmed. Command will not be keeping us company this trip."

"I'm lonely already." Emile was quick to say.

Soon after the falcon had dropped off most of noble team, they came across an emergency beacon that Kat easily identified as military, but not who or what it was assigned to.

"Hey boss, smoke coming from that set of buildings ahead." Emile reported over the coms.

Jun swiftly cut in. "Heat signatures inside, One. Possible insurgent activity."

"Double time noble."

After trekking up the cliff side a large series of buildings came into view. One large door opened to reveal several farmers speaking Hungarian.

"Kat, take Locke and investigate the area. Me, Jorge and Emile will stay and interrogate these farmers."

Locke and Kat could get to far Jun started to report over the com "Commander, be advised. I'm reading heat signatures at the structure directly east from your position. Over."

"Copy that. Get them back inside. Noble, move out. Locke you're on point."

Locke sprinted ahead of the others. He burst into the entrance of a small group of buildings and stopped when he saw what was inside. Two troopers were hung up on spikes. One had an arm missing and a gash across his stomach that caused his guts to fall out. The other was a young private that looked barely out of boot. She wasn't dead yet, even though there was a hole in her throat and blood flowed from one eye that was clamped shut.

"Commander, I've found two of the troopers."

"I'm here Six. Looks like they were interrogated. Brutally." Carter mumbled with a depressed look in his eyes.

Locke pointed to the private, "She's still alive."

Carter turned around to face the private.

"Can you tell us who did this to you?" Nod. "Who?" All the trooper could manage was a choked gurgle and to weakly raise a hand to her throat and touch it slightly. The hand went down to her holster and drew her pistol, before handing it to Locke. He looked at the pistol and tried to give it back to her, but she refused weakly. Her lips made out two words. The first they couldn't recognize and the other

'please'

As she was pointing at the pistol, it was very clear what she wanted Locke to do, but they had already known what she wanted the moment she had drawn her pistol.

"I'm sorry." Locke ground out. Before firing a single shot into her chest, directly into her heart. She died smiling at Locke.

Kat walked up behind Locke and grabbed his hand. "You did a good thing for her."

Emile spoke up suddenly. "Who ever did this must be close, sir. The blood hasn't dried yet and the girl had only just realized she couldn't speak."

Locke reached out and took a dog tag from both of the troopers.

Emile led the group through the compound as everyone could see that their newest member wasn't quite up to the task in his current state. Locke was jerked out of his musings when Carter cried out "Movement. Watch your trackers."

The red dots moved off the small screen on their HUDs causing the Spartans to move quicker through the complex.

"Targets on the other side of this wall, sir" Jorge reported.

"Jun, report." Carter requested.

"One moment One, Falcon is coming around. Targets identified. Oh…"

"Jun? What's up?" Carter and Jorge both looked out of the window at the same time.

"Damn it! Carter cursed at the same time Jorge called "Covenant!"

Locke looked around the door frame he was crouched behind. Outside were around 10 or so Grunts, 4 Jackals, a pair of Skirmishers and a trio of Elites.

"On my mark engage. Jorge, provide cover as Six and Emile advance. Then Kat and I will follow." Locke took out the pistol he had taken from the trooper he had euthanized. He hadn't reloaded it and his HUD flashed with the missing bullet.

"Mark!"

Locke and Emile both ran towards the group as Jorge started to pound the Grunts. Locke didn't hear the sound of Emile's shotgun firing, or Jorge's machine gun. He didn't notice Carter and Kat begin engaging. He didn't realize that he was in the open.

Two of the Elites had blood on the front of their armor, and one held a standard issue marine helmet. These were the ones that had killed the troopers. These were the ones that caused him to have to kill another innocent person. He remembered the girls face as he ended her pain, and then the two dog tags on his chain started to feel warm under his armor.

With a roar he ran directly at the Elites. The first he slammed into, shoulder first. A sit stumbled back he raised the pistol and first a single round into its mouth and through its brain.

Upon seeing one of their comrades killed the other two roared. Under his helmet Locke smiled. These two actually had the blood on them. Elite number two fell as a knife was thrown into its throat. Locke ran up and pulled it out, the serrated edge tearing out thick muscle, before plunging it into the Elites eye. He finished it with a round to the brain.

He turned to the last Elite and ran towards it.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

He dodged to one side and lashed out with his foot at the Elites leg, crushing the bone. Its scream of pain was cut short by another two shots.

"Nice Six. Really showed them who's boss." Emile's voice cut through Locke's inner turmoil.

Kat marched up to Locke and punched him in the arm. "Be more careful Locke. I don't want to loose another brother."

"I hate to interrupt this celebration of our newest member being a jackass and nearly being killed, but you have incoming drop ships." Jun's voice was slightly crackly this time.

After several minutes of hard, uphill fighting, Locke dropped a pair of Grunts that had attempted to flank Carter. Turning round to find new targets he saw an Elite with an energy sword out, moving slowly up behind Kat. Instantly he was on his feet, running at the Elite. Just as it was about to impale Kat on the two pronged blade Locke slammed into the Elite's side, causing the sword to miss and go into the rock she was crouched behind. With one hand he snapped the offending Elite's neck.

Kat saw the two pronged piece of death next to he head and turning around saw Locke, offering her his hand to pull her up.

"Be more careful Kat. I don't want to loose another sister."

"Stand down, Noble, stand down. Contacts neutralized." Carter was quick to order the team.

Jorge was very angry about something. "Contacts? It's the damn Covenant!"

Emile was quick to console him, "Cheer up, big man: this whole valley just turned into a free-fire zone."

"Kat, we've got to warn Holland. I need you at that relay outpost now."

"Affirmative commander. Noble Three requesting pickup."

"Emile; go with her. We'll clear the way."

Locke, Carter, and Jorge ran over to a flatbed truck, Carter climbed into the passenger seat as Jorge set up his machine gun on the back. Locke simply got into the drivers position and instantly had to adjust the seat, mumbling about "bloody people with short legs" and how "has to so this every time" whilst cursing the manufacturers "who didn't think about Spartans whilst designing civilian transport."

After driving a short distance Jun picked up an emergency signal.

"Mayday! 3 Charlie Six, does anyone read? We were attacked by Covenant forces. The Covenant is on Reach. I repeat: the Covenant is on Reach."

"Find the source of that transmission Locke." Carter ordered.

"No disrespect, but don't we have better things to do than round up strays?" Jun's voice came over the radio.

"We don't leave people behind. You see those troopers, you let me know."

Jun mumbled his reply, "Seems like a waste of Spartan resources."

Locke pressed his foot onto the brake. "You're a waste of Spartan resources."

"What did you say?" Jun asked disbelievingly.

"I said that you are a waste of Spartan resources. You haven't fired a single shot. You don't seem to want to save human lives. In fact all you have done is bitch all mission about how badly we are doing, why don't you come down here fight for a bit, and then criticize our performance."

"Commander, are you hearing this? I'm being shouted at by the F.N.G. I want him court marshaled for verbal assault on a superior officer! Sir."

"I'm afraid not Warrant Officer. I agree with the Lieutenant Commander. Dismissed."

"Oh! You got owned!" Emile shouted over the com.

After driving around the countryside for nearly half an hour the trio came across the missing marines. There were only three left in the small outpost where they had holed up.

"Spartans? Am I glad to see you." A corporal ran out of the bunker to greet them. "We've lost contact with command and the rest of our squad."

Carter looked at Locke as he spoke. "That's why we are here. To get Visegrad Relay online. We found two marines; both had been interrogated by the Covenant."

"Oh, god!"

Locke pulled out the dog tags and put them into the limp hand of the corporal.

"Remember them." The marine nodded.

Before anyone could say anything else a low whine filled the air signifying the approach of a covenant drop ship. After 10 minutes of constant fighting the unyielding waves no more enemies came, so Carter signaled for evac.

Locke was so engrossed with his thoughts that he didn't notice Carter shouting at him to get out of the Falcon, as it happened Jorge had to physically pull him out.

"Locke? Come on buddy, time to work." Locke barely recognized the big mans voice, but he was snapped out by Jun's muttering about 'useless replacements.'

"…told you Commander; he's a liability."

Locke launched himself out of Jorge's grip and into action, his anger at zoning out in front of his new team, and looking like a shell-shocked greenie, translating into an incredible focus on the battlefield.

"Ok door's open, everyone inside." Kat called. "Inside now"

The team rushed in through the open bulkhead, before Kat and Jorge slammed it shut. Once inside the emergency lighting came on, revealing a corridor that they followed to the main control room.

On the floor there was the body of an elderly man, with bruises forming on his neck, but no other signs of physical harm. Aside from the fact he was dead. In one hand he held a memory chip that Locke was quick to spot.

"I found something."

Emile took it out of his hand and only managed a quick look before Kat snatched it away saying "I'll take that Emile. Not your domain."

On the other side of the room Jorge was talking to a girl he had found, when suddenly he stiffened.

Three Elites dropped into the room. Jorge barely avoided an energy sword as he tried to protect the girl.

Jun decided to speak up at that moment. "Noble One what is going on?"

"We've been engaged!" Carter shouted back over the com.

Locke pushed Kat over, before opening fire on the offending Elite. Once its shield fell it dashed out of the room, knocking Carter over. The final zealot, one running off and the other receiving a shotgun blast to the face, courtesy of Emile, dove onto Carter, a miniature energy sword coming out of its gauntlet, before it could do anything other than snarl at Carter Locke had shoulder barged the Sanghelli off him and began to brawl with the alien. Eventually gaining the upper hand he squeezed his arm around its throat, constricting it's airways and choking it.

Locke offered a hand to Carter pulling him up.

"Thanks Six."

"Got your back, sir." Locke replied nonchalantly.

"Two get working on repairing this relay. Four check the perimeter. Five and Six, clear the hole."

Jorge and Locke ran down the passageway, stopping only to kill straggling Covenant forces. In a maintenance room a large force of Grunts stood between the Spartans and the final Elite zealot. Jorge began firing openly on the Grunts whilst Locke decided to sneak up on the Elite.

"Behind you, Six."

Locke barely moved in time. If he hadn't been a Spartan, his reactions wouldn't have been good enough to avoid dying. Actually he would have died from that stab, and on many other occasions, if his father hadn't pumped him full of extra Spartan enhancements. Something he was actually thankful to the man for.

"Thanks Jorge." He calmly stated, before moving onto the attack. The zealot barely managed to dodge the swings of Locke's knives, never mind reply with an attack of his own. He fell for a feint that caused him to stumble. The last thin the Elite saw was a heavily armored Spartan boot about to stamp on his head.

"Six, Kat says that you need to reset a junction. Please do, she's complaining a lot and Emile looks pretty murderous."

"Done, sir."

"How long, Kat?" Carter asked leaning over Kat.

"Question of my life. If the question is when will this station be back online, two weeks, earliest. This is plasma damage. All major uplink components are fried." Kat replied.

Jorge was attempting to console the girl. And failing. They had started speaking Hungarian, if Locke was any judge. But they had turned to English lately.

"I'm sorry."

"Why would you be?" This stumped Jorge and he tried to make a sentence, but all he did was make himself look like a fish out of water.

Emile spoke directly to Locke. "Big man forgets what he is sometimes."

Jorge turned to Emile and said coldly, "She just lost her father, it pays to play nice with people."

Carter stormed over. "Lock it down, both of you."

Kat chose this moment to speak up. "Commander the signals there, but it's weak."

"I'll take it."

"Don't touch anything. You don't want to ground anything."

"Sir?"

"Holland here. Speak to me Commander."

"There are no rebels. The Covenant is on Reach."

"Repeat that please Commander. There was a burst of static and I could have swore that you said Covenant is on Reach."

"I did sir, it's the Winter Contingency."

"May God help us all."

Author's notes:

Whoo-hoo another chapter done.

Please rate and review so I know how you feel about this story.

Next time:

Action

Locke was finishing using the bathroom when he pulled the zipper up over…himself.

Drama

"Oh god! It hurts so much! Won't somebody help me?"

Romance

Kat walked in at that particular moment.

"Hey Six! I can see your thingy!"

Not really what will happen, but something on those lines.