The Spartan Effect

Author's Note - 6/29/2018 Tweaks: Still not happy with my first batch of chapters, tweaking them again

Greetings and welcome to this particular rendition of the 'What if the Chief ended up in the ME universe' question. I hope within these words you can find something to enjoy and look forward to in the days to come. Best of luck, Gatekeeper

Disclaimer – I do not own mass effect or Halo or any of the characters within (Exciting because it's the first time I've gotten to write that.)

Prologue – Take a Breather

Darkness smothered him, encasing him in his own private world of gloom. He felt pain, it thrummed the deep dull strobe of wounds that would not be forgotten for some time if the had anything to say about it.

Pain, though, he could deal with pain, he knew that. It wasn't the first time, and if his questing senses to his limbs were coming back correctly, it wouldn't be his last time either.

He was… he was… he was the Master Chief Petty Officer, Spartan – 117. The designation floated back into his mind with a host of other thoughts as if a pot of water had suddenly decided to boil.

He could hear a voice calling to him, echoing into his mind like a desperate search within a pitch-black cave. He had to respond, he knew that noise. And, with no small effort, the supersoldier opened his eyes, the voice immediately growing loudly within his ears.

"Chief! Can you hear me?" called out Cortana from within his helmet, the words drawing him further and further back into the land of the living. With a thought, John turned on his suit's outer lights, illuminating the vacuum around him. "I thought I'd lost you too."

John smiled the ghost of a smile as he listened to the emergence of relief into his friend's voice, ignoring the dryness in his throat and the copper taste in his mouth.

But, just as soon as the expression grew onto his lips, it was gone again. Now was not the time for such things, they needed to assess. They needed to plan, needed to ignore the pain that wanted nothing more than to overwhelm him again.

The Spartan flexed his limbs experimentally, feeling as the small movements shifted his floating form within the ship. The gravity was out, it would have been one of the first systems to go with intermittent power. But, without another moment of hesitation, the Master Chief's hands found purchase on the cold metal around him and shoved off, drifting toward the opening into space.

"What happened?" he ventured numbly, as he positioned his body ever so precisely, careful not to cause any unexpected movement in the zero – g environment. Instinctively, he found himself moving to inspect the damage to the ship, but a small voice in the back of his mind was suggested he already knew the answer to that question.

"I'm not sure," replied Cortana in the kinds of tones that suggested a few guesses were incoming regardless. "When Halo fired, it shook itself to pieces… did a number on the Ark. The portal couldn't sustain itself. We made it through just as it collapsed…"

The super soldier gazed out on the vessel, at what was left of the great construct of metal and circuitry.

This… would be a problem.

"Some of us made it," continued the UNSC intelligence, the words coming harder and harder even for her.

The Spartan turned from the gaping wound upon the remnants of The Forward Unto Dawn, and, without a second thought, pushed off for one of the bays doorways. There was only one logical decision left, he just hoped he still had the opportunity to make it.

With his twin headlamps leading the way, the large human drifted along the empty hallway in silence. Debris were pushed absentmindedly out of the way as a one-track mind plagued by more than a few limbs looking for an immediate respite made for the cryo bay.

He let out a sigh of a relief as he reached the thankfully intact room. And, with only one more question left to be answered, he moved for the data terminal.

"But you did it. Truth and the Covenant... The Flood... It's finished," continued the artificial intelligence, finally electing to speak again if somewhat gravely.

He didn't blame her, but as her avatar flashed into being in front of him, despite the dire scenario around him, he couldn't help but be filled with a surge of hope.

"It's finished," he repeated softly as he moved towards the nearest cryo pod, its lit display providing all the answer he needed for his immediate future. And, as he locked his worn assault rifle into the nearest rack, he couldn't help but feel Cortana's pixilated gaze following him.

"I'll drop a beacon, but it will be awhile before anyone finds us… years even." Her words were starting to draw away again as his initial bout of adrenaline began to wash from his system. And, wordlessly, he obliged his ailing body, positioning himself within the pod for the long sleep.

He looked out at her as he settled, out at what may very well be his last remaining friend. He wished there was something else he could do for her.

"I'll miss you." She processed events hundreds if not thousands of times faster than him, years of idleness would not be kind.

All he could do was hope she'd be okay.

"Wake me, when you need me," he replied as reassuringly as he was able, the pod closing down into place in front of him and the frost beginning to build up along the tube.

And, as the darkness took the Spartan once more, Cortana's avatar remained atop her pedestal for only a few moments longer. Sub-routines flooded out into what remained of the ship's computer, preparing the beacon and taking what steps she could for hibernation.

"Sleep well," she said to her resting giant as she found her gaze drawn his way once more. Then, as if snuffing out a candle, her form flickered from the holo-deck, leaving only the lights from the cryo pods to illuminate the room.

It was quiet. Their mission was over, for now.