Welcome to Hell

SPARTANs are trained to feel no fear, to never give up. It's what made them so famous, their courage and resolve. They beat impossible odds every battle, pushing back a grim and hopeless defeat for a just a little longer.

But sometimes, there come odds not even a SPARTAN can beat. As Noble Six, possibly the last standing member of his squad, stared down the face of a legion of covenant, he knew Reach had fallen, and he would die... But he fought anyway.

His guns blazed, with each flash and each boom an Unggoy or Kig-Yar fell, a clean shot through their head. Weapons reloaded, plasma grenades replenishing his spent fragmentation grenades, he took down a few of the Sangheili left standing. His shield dipped to red and he dived for cover as a plasma grenade landed precariously close to him.

The shrapnel cracked his silver Operator visor, part of his HUD suddenly disappeared. He could no longer see his ammunition, which was fine because he knew he was nearly out of ammo. Tucked in a lonely concrete building, he stared at the bodies of a few SPARTAN comrades. Rally Point Omega, indeed. He took these few seconds to catch his breath, as plasma and needles dug into the wall, melting and shattering the concrete. His shields were back up, and he dove back into the fight.

As time drug on, the Unggoy and Kig-Yar soldiers ceased to come, only their bodies remained. It was only the Sangheili, and their ranks were getting higher the more bodies were dropped. Six's ammunition was long spent, his assault rifle forsaken for a Sangheili plasma rifle. He took aim and dropped a charging white elite with it, using the last of it's energy. A golden elite rushed him with a sword, he threw the empty rifle at it to buy himself a little time. The strategy worked, and he rushed for another assault rifle he had just seen on the ground, but More Sangheili appeared. With his shields extinguished and plasma striking him from every angle, another crack formed in his visor, making it nearly impossible to see through. He removed the helmet and drew his side arm with the rifle.

Their was at least seven of them surrounding him, all of a high rank. Funny, that number. It always seemed to be popping up throughout his life. As his clips ran empty and the Sangheili surrounded him, he saw defeat in the cry of their spreading mandibles. As the sword rent his chest and the Zealots claimed their prize, Noble Six saw many things. He saw his family, his rugged Dad and his beautiful Mother, his little sister and his big brother. He saw them standing in church. He almost remembered the sermon- something about letting God have revenge, ironic considering how much of his life he spent seeking revenge for their death. He remembered Sunday afternoon donuts, the laughter they shared... He remembered the fall of his home world, looking at it from one of few escaping ships. He remembered the training, he remembered Beta company. He remembered when they took away his name and simply dubbed him SPARTAN-B312.

He remembered killing all those insurrectionists. He remembered fighting with Noble Team, and remembered each of them dying. He could still feel Jorge's tags around his neck, and he hoped somebody would remember him like he remembered them. But before he was completely gone, he remembered one final thing...

Spartans don't die. They just go to hell to regroup.

There was grass between his fingers and the wind smelled fresh. No smoke, no death, no exhaust fumes or plasma sparks. It was fresh air. A wind stirred his brown hair, and he opened his eyes to a new world. He was on a hill looking down at a huge lake, and everything was different. The sunshine was brighter, not blinding but somehow more happy. There were no clouds, and the grass was green and the water blue like a picture straight out of a kid's book. He still had his armor on, but his helmet was no where to be found. He stood up slowly, savoring it all, drawing the air into his lungs and letting the sun warm his skin.

He must have stood there for a year. He saw all the seasons, from the hazy summer to the golden autumn to the gentle winter. He had sat through soothing rain and the intoxicating lightning. He hadn't felt hungry or thirsty or tired or uncomfortably cold. This was Paradise. This was his reward. After the year had passed, he grew restless to see how far this world would go.

He turned and nearly fell over in surprise. Noble Team was sitting on the hill behind him. Carter, Kat, Emile, Jorge and Jun, all in their armor without their helmets. Jorge raised his hand, holding Six's silver visored Operator helmet wordlessly, and Six took it.

"How long?" He asked, breaking a year long silence.

"Ever since you got here." Jorge replied with a smile.

"I joined in about six months ago. Or maybe it was a year... It's hard to tell." Jun said.

Carter stood up and extended his hand.

"I had hoped you would have taken longer to get here Spartan."

"It wasn't easy after you left, sir." Six took the hand and shook it firmly.

Carter only smiled in reply.

"Are there others?"

"Other what?"


"We haven't been here long... So far it's just been us."

"What's the matter Six, you got somebody else to spent eternity with?" Kat asked, standing up and speaking to him for the first time since her death.

Six smiled.

"This your first death?" He asked, extending his right hand.

Kat extended her arm, no longer a prosthetic replacement, with a smile and a nod.

"Me too." Six concluded, laughing as he gave Kat's real right hand a shake.

Six turned to Jorge, taking his tags from his neck. "I believe these belong to you."

Jorge stared at them, and took them. "I suppose these will be useful in case my body needs to be identified." He let out a hearty laugh as he looked to the lake. Six turned to Emile, smirking."'I'm ready, how about you' huh? That was all you could think of?" Six saw Emile smile for the first time.

"Did the Autumn make it?" Emile asked.

"She made it." Six replied, nodding.

There was a brief silence as everyone soaked in each others company, then Jun started talking to Carter for the first time since their death.

"Hey, Six." Emile said. Six turned, Emile was walking away slowly, talking over his shoulder.

"Put your helmet on, I need to show you the best part."

Well the rest of Noble team conversed with their deceased sniper, Six put on his helmet and followed Emile around the hill, coming to a familiar place by the coast. Emile threw him an assault rifle, cocking his shotgun.

"What about the others?" Emile pointed over Six's shoulder.

Six turned and found them already there, helmets on. Jun braced his sniper rifle and looked over at Six, who shrugged in reply.

The sun was in the middle of setting, and the sky was exploding with orange, the moon nearly visible. Six settled into a firing stance, looking out at this Paradise he found himself in. A voice came from nowhere and spoke, with a voice that echoed across the land. The setting sun revealed a purple Phantom cruising towards them, and the words rang in Six's ears as the excitement in his stomach rose.

Firefight. Tough luck, on.