Chapter 1 Rewrite
A/N: Okay guys, this is the rewrite of Chapter one [Nah DUH!]
To OneEyedAvenger, ouch dude or dudette, ouch. You could've worded that review a bit more gently and formal.
On another note, I won't have the Spartan's of Onyx join just yet, I'll include them, well later in the story, but there will be someone appearing, very, very soon, someone sooooo unexpected. If you can guess who, you get a cookie.
Hint: The guy died in space… (well, that's not much of a hint because a lot of Halo characters died in Space)
/ is Cortana's input into a Command prompt
\- is they system's response/reply
In the depths of uncharted space, the husk of a UNSC Frigate which aimlessly floated, the Forward Unto Dawn, and within its holds was the one of the finest soldiers produced by the UNSC; Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan John-117.
Within the cyrochamber holds the super soldier lay dormant; the chamber was dark, and obviously very cold. It had been a long time since the ship's heaters were online; long enough that there were thick layers of condensation to make the chamber look like a winter wonderland.
In front of the Master Chief's pod was a holoprojector which flickered to life. An avatar appeared on it, Cortana. The AI had teetered on the precipice of rampancy when she was at the mercy of the Gravemind, she was only pulled back by the hand of a Spartan. Now with that Spartan no longer watching over her, she drifted towards rampancy once more.
"Do you think there will be a time when warriors are no longer needed? Never, there will always be wars. All you had been through, all that you have given, fate should have been kinder towards you," Cortana said to the dormant soldier, "but fate is never kind in war, or never shows its hand,"
The avatar flickered, and sound metals creaked and groaned echoed through the ship. The AI realised something was amiss and broke out of her brooding; she increased power outputs of the Frigate's undamaged auxiliary power units to acquire a system's readout.
…Command Prompt Log Start…
/ Increase output of auxiliary power units to 30%
\- Auxiliary power units' current output: 5%
\- Auxiliary power units' output is now raised to 30%
/ System report.
\- Lights; offline
\- Normal air pressure in Lifeboats Bay 02; Cryochambers; Armoury; Infirmary; Section 02
\- Section 5;9;10 are comprimised
\- External sensors activated
\- Life support, operating at 20% Capacity
\- Cryotube life support, operating at cruising capacity: Administering Bronchial Surfactant
\- External sensors online
\- Planetary object detected, range: 1000km
\- Estimated time of impact, 21mins
/ Increase power to life supports and lights, diver 5% power to external sensors
\- Power diverted to external sensors. Lights online, life support and maximum capacity.
/ Planetary object detected, reroute 5% power to Cyrostation, and engage thawing sequence
\- Power routed. Thawing sequence in progress, estimated time of completion, 5mins
\- Thawing process completed, Subject has been thawed successfully. Subject has successfully induced Bronchial Surfactant.
…Command Prompt Log End…
The Spartan's vitals came back to life; the cyrostasis pod began its thawing procedure.
John's eyes slowly opened, he felt that tingling sensation and it meant that he was coming out of cryostasis, and then there was also the taste of Bronchial Surfactant, what Captain Jacob Keyes stated that it tastes like lime-flavoured mucusor. No matter how many times the formula changed, no matter how many times the Spartan II had been in and out of Cryosleep, it was always a horrid yet somewhat pleasant flavour.
"JOHN!" Cried Cortana
As if on cue, John shoved the pod bay doors open, flinging off the snow like condensation that had formed.
"What is Cortana?" he asked.
"We have a problem Chief, Forward Unto Dawn is caught in a planet's gravity, estimation on time of impact, twenty minutes."
"We're going to crash into a planet," said the Spartan.
"Yes, we need to bail, there's an armoury in the next room, after we get some gear we need to make a run for the lifeboats, all dropods have been launched,"
The Chief climbed out of the cryotube and retrieved Cortana's crystal core within the holoprojector and reinserted it into his amrour. A tingling mercury sensation flooded the back of his head when the AI entered the MJOLNIR exoskeleton.
"Let's move Chief," urged Cortana, a NAV marker then appeared on the Spartan's HUD, pointing towards the door to his far left.
John grabbed onto an overhanging rung, and, propelled himself towards the door.
Vibrations and the sound of metal groaning was a strong pointer that the ship was being torn apart by the planet's gravity and the ship itself, due to its greatly weakened superstructure.
The Spartan glided through the hallways with grace and precision like an eagle he also had to dodge loose rebar and chunks of the deck as explosions ripped through the frigate.
"Fifteen minutes until impact," said Cortana
The Spartan reached the armour, and entered a key code into the security lock next to the doors. The system granted access and the dual doors flashed green and parted open. The super commando entered the room and eyed a weapons cache in the centre of the room.
John could feel the ship accelerate and rumble as the gravitational forces of the planet grew stronger.
The screech and groan of metal became evermore louder, it sounded like an entire fleet of trains screaming by.
The Chief opened a weapons cache and quickly took a M6 SOCOM pistol, a combat knife, MA5C IWCs, BR55HB SR and a couple of ammo packs. He then proceeded to attach the weapons to his armour's magnetic plates and the ammo packs around his waist. With the necessary task done, John engaged his suit's thrusters which propelled him back at the door he came in and towards the lifeboats.
He rounded through corridors and glided to the escape vessel.
The Spartan continued to follow the markings on the floor which would lead him to where the lifeboats are, he decided to give some more juice to the thrusters to give him an extra boost.
He rounded a few more corners and boosted down a couple of hallways until he saw the sign:
-Lifeboats Bay 02-
John retracted the thrusters back into his armour and engaged the magnetic soles on his boots.
/ Magnetic soles online\\
Appeared on his HUD, the magnets then pulled him towards the floor of the bay. He ran and checked to see if there were any Lifeboats left at their launch bays.
Launch bay 01, nothing.
An explosion tore through the hull next to the Master Chief; the shock waves caused him to stumble. Instinctively, John reached out and held onto a shaft. Regaining his balance he continued to look through the launch bays.
Another explosion, but not as violent, the Frigate was definitely tearing itself apart.
John sprinted to the far end of the launch bays, the ship began to tremble violently.
Ah, here's one thought the Spartan as he found a lifeboat still at its launching point.
John opened the hatch and entered the craft; he quickly tossed the spare ammo packs to one side and closed the airlock behind him.
"Thirteen minutes until impact Chief,"
Master Chief then settled himself into the pilot seat, it was an awkward fit since the chair wasn't designed to fit along the contours of the MJOLNIR, but he didn't care, so long as it held his weight it would be good enough.
Forward Unto Dawn shook violently as if it was some kind of giant baby rattle, the groan of metal and explosions filled the air.
John didn't want to linger any longer than he needed to, as soon as the lifeboat was operational, he gunned the engines and the craft blasted away from the Frigate, leaving behind a fiery trail.
"So long old girl," said Cortana
As the life boat accelerated away from the falling ship, John looked back at her; the vessel was engulfed in a red fiery ball, with a grey plume of smoke.
The Spartan steered the lifeboat away from Dawn's trajectory, but it wasn't enough. Dawn had suffered so much damage that its super structure was greatly weakened, which meant large chunks of the hull and various other sections were tearing off like an onion being peeled.
"We're coming in too fast Chief," cried Cortana
John gritted his teeth as he tried to smooth out the lifeboat's trajectory.
"Engaging airbrakes," said John as his fingers tapped a button on the console.
The Spartan lurched slightly forward as the lifeboat slowed down. He could see outside, the blackness of space dissipating into the blue skies, John and Cortana were entering the lower atmosphere of the unknown planet.
With the lifeboat slowing down and Dawn's continued acceleration, the frigate overtook the smaller craft, leaving behind a trail of smoke and falling debris in its wake. However the lifeboat was still moving faster than the fragments from Dawn, which meant that John had to weave around the debris, if he could.
The lifeboat was moving too fast, the Spartan had barely any control over the tiny vessel.
This greatly agitated the Spartan, and to add more salt to the wound, he couldn't break off his current trajectory, even if he wanted to. Obviously he had near zero control of the craft, lifeboat descents were always tricky, one wrong move and the lifeboat could plummet like a rock, and he was relying on his exceptionally good luck to get him this far, after all he couldn't see jack-all in the smoke.
"Incoming!' yelled Cortana as a huge chunk of the Frigate's hull was torn off the ship and was drifting in the path of the lifeboat.
John managed to veer away quickly, but the smoke obscured too much of the torn off hull, the debris then collided and scrapped along the lifeboat's hull. The small vessel was violently tossed into a dive by the impact. Dawn screeched overhead towards the planet's surface, the lifeboat and the Frigate were now on totally different trajectories.
The AI and John could see that most of the Frigate's hull was gone, revealing the superstructure which was glowing red and white hot due to the friction.
The alarms in the lifeboat started blaring. The Spartan glanced down on the console; two out of four airbrakes were torn off, and most of the manoeuvring thrusters on the left side were extensively damaged.
The lifeboat started to enter a tumbling dive as it was picked up by the strong air currents, John fought to keep the craft under control but it was too great for him.
"Why didn't you thaw me out earlier? Instead of twenty minutes before impact," said the Spartan, clearly annoyed by the close call.
"Chief, when you've got half of a much damaged ship and barely any power left, the sensors are going to be very, very glitch or slow," retorted the AI.
The stress of the tumbling craft and the air currents proved too much for the remaining two airbrakes, which then broke off. The lifeboat began to accelerate since there were no longer any airbrakes to slow its descent. Sensors indicated that the small craft eventually broke free off the air currents, but the alarms on the lifeboat continued to blare, as the boat was still out of control.
John's fingers danced across the console and engaged the remaining thrusters to manoeuvre the craft back into a safe trajectory. The lifeboat managed to level out but it was still accelerating. The Spartan thought of bailing with Cortana but there were no parachutes on board.
The lifeboat passed through a cloud, John and Cortana knew that they were nearing the ground.
"Now or never Chief, punch it," said Cortana with great urgency.
The Spartan engaged the reverse thrusters, the lifeboat shook violently. In the distance, Forward Unto Dawn had crashed into a mountain side, but that was not of John's concern, right now he was concentrating on landing the lifeboat into a blue-green forest below.
The reverse thrusters were burning out at full, and the lifeboat skimming across the tree tops while snapping off branches and searing some of the leaves as well.
"This is going to be messy," gritted John.
A high pitched scream came as the air rushed pass. The vessel came closer to the ground, the lifeboat crashed through the canopy and into the soil below. The small vessel burned and carved its way through the forest, knocking over trees and crushing small bushes in its path. John felt the impact of the crashlanding and heard the cacophony of the chaos that was happening; he was then thrown forward by the impact and smashed into the console. A wave of heat lapsed into him, and the Spartan felt his forearms blister.
John breathed heavily; his heart was thumping in his ears. The Spartan reorientated himself and pulled away from the crushed console, a wave of pain shot through his body.
He tasted blood in his mouth, and there was blood smeared all over the inside of his cracked visor. The alarm droned in his head which indicated his shields were fully depleted.
"Chief are you alright?" asked the AI with great concern.
"Why do you need to ask? You can read my status from the biofeed,"
"Touchy, but that's the problem, the crash fragged the armour pretty badly, so the biofeed is offline, your suit is breached and the med system is out. Good thing is, I'm online, the shields are online, the hydraulics systems are online, the motion sensors are online, and the com channels are working and….. I'm online." Said the AI trying to cheer up the Spartan.
No ordinary human should have survived that crash, not even an Elite or Brute or Hunter could have survived that crash, hell not even a Spartan II should have been able to survive that crash, but John did.
"Let's move," groaned John, thick with determination to live.
The Spartan looked around the lifeboat, some of the chairs were torn out and the airlock wide open.
He then pulled himself up, but his body screamed in protest. The Spartan gritted his teeth as he walked forward, placing one foot in front of the other, again, and again. His body's cries of protest only amplified, it demanded rest.
Outside John could see that the lifeboat had carved a straight trench through the forest and the soil, around him stood tall trees with leaves that were of gold and red. Probably Autumn here, John thought.
The Spartan grabbed his gear and walked a couple steps forward, but his adrenaline wore out, and his body was catching up to his mind. John slumped to the brown soil like a puppet with no strings and felt the embrace of the darkness.
He was in a darkened room, and by the looks of things, a beautifully decorated room. The walls were of a cream colour, accentuating the orangey yellow curtains, a couple of sofas and a glass table in the centre.
John woke up, and felt a tingling feeling across his body.
His senses then came back to him and the Spartan realised that he was no longer in his armour, he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and he was lying in a bed with thick blankets. If he wasn't so concerned with where he was, John would have to say, that they bed he was in, was pretty damn comfortable.
His eyes scanned the room, to give him a clue of where he was. The first thought that came to mind was that he was in a UNSC Infirmary, but he quickly ruled out that notion, mainly because that the medical wards don't have five-star style, luxurious rooms.
"Wakey, wakey sleepy head," smiled Cortana as she appeared on a nearby holo-projector.
"Where am I?" asked John groggily.
"Hmm, let's get some natural light in," said Cortana.
The curtains then opened and revealed a spectacular seaside view. John sat in his bed to take in the lovely scenery, there was a white sandy beach below, and along the coast, Forerunner structures dominated the landscape. Some were like glass pyramids with huge "steps" running along its length, apparently those are balconies, and on the balconies were plant life and birds. Other buildings were towering sky scrapers, with under glow and glyphs, and in the distance, was a Forerunner Citadel.
"Ah Reclaimer, I am 2388 Archivist," this voice sounded exactly the same as 343 Guilty Spark, "it is good to see you awake,"
The voice belonged to a monitor, but unlike Spark, this monitor didn't have a quirky personality, it was direct and reserved, behind the monitor, seven sentinels towed the most advance, sleek, fearsome armour John had ever seen.
"During your stay here, I have injected bio-Nano-bots into your body," the monitor said, cutting to the chase "these bio-nanites accelerate your body's healing process, boosts your immune system, increases your stamina, and they also prevent telomere degeneration and halt your ageing, allowing you to perform your duties indefinitely. An extra bonus to these bio-nanites is that in the event that you lose some, they can replenish their numbers by utilising the nutrients you consume,"
John looked down at his palms then back to the Monitor.
"While you were recovering, I had prepared a Forerunner Dreadnought Majestic, for your departure. Majestic has enough ordinances and information to return you to the domain of humans. Now I must leave, there are matters I must tend to; your construct here will inform you about your combat skin."
With that, the monitor left, and Cortana took over and briefed John on the techspecs of the new armour.
The armour had a combined look of the MJOLNIR Mark VI Commando Variant and a Forerunner Combat Skin. The helmet was UA/FC-I, and the Reactive Metal Liquid Crystal Layer was replaced by Reactive Metal Liquid Positronic Brain layer, this was due to Cortana's need for more leg room.
Hydrostatic gel had been greatly improved using Forerunner formula to increase its ability to absorb shock and cool the armour.
The plates were "interconnected" at the joints now, instead of being separated like the previous MJOLNIR versions. The plates were connected at the joints by hard point plates which slide over each other whenever the occupant moved. This was to reduce the number of chinks and grab on points on the armour. It also increased the durability of the armour at the joints and prevented the user from dislocating a limb during combat.
The power cells had been replaced by the more superior and advanced Forerunner version, a Next-Gen Fusion-Plasma Hybrid Power System. The reason for this being was that the armour now utilised two layers of energy shields and possessed active camouflage.
Double layer of energy shielding -of equal strength- meant that if one layer was completely drained, the second layer would kick in, become the primary shields and protect the user while the shield generators for the first layer replenished itself and become the secondary layer. In addition, the shields were now able to be manipulated to a very limited extent.
The active camouflage system is a phased array optic system, which projects a three-dimensional background around the wearer, effectively bending light. A good thing to note would be that the system would not be fully compromised if the user fired their weapons or hit by enemy fire, only a small section in the immediate effected area would fail, but recover quickly.
Both systems required a great deal of power, and only the Forerunner power cells could cut it.
Next feature was that the armour possessed atmospheric insertion capabilities, effectively removing the need for the Spartan to use a drop pod for high altitude insertions; this also means that the armour possesses Oxygen rebreathers, effectively removing the need for cumbersome oxygen tanks.
The final addition to the combat skin is self-repairing Nanites, which effectively reduces the need for armour repairs, allowing the suit to be used for longer periods of time.
John strode across the vast Forerunner ports with Archivist floating next to him, the background was dominated by the perfectly preserved skyline of the Forerunner city and in the foreground was hundreds if not thousands of docked ships of various classes.
It felt great to be back in armour again, the suit is impervious to most small-arms fire and could take a huge beating from heavy weapons before showing the slightest sign of buckling, if anyone wanted to kill him, they needed at least a couple of tanks. The Spartan liked the fact he could take a tank head-on in his armour, but he'd refrain from doing so, because being hit by a tungsten tipped shell is going to be fun at all. Another thing he liked about the suit was the greatly improved motion sensor which possessed sonar, this would allow him to track friend or foe alike and see their exact positions, as they would be outlined on his HUD.
"What is this place?" asked John
"This is planet G617e, known as Riverside to the common population," the monitor replied, "it is located near ground zero of the first Forerunner-Flood contact, which was at G617g, Seaward. Riverside acted as a research facility during the early days of the Forerunner-Flood War, when it was consumed by the Flood, the planet was bombarded. After the firing of the Halo Array, my instructions were to restore the planet and aid any humans that may come my way."
The Spartan boarded a gondola which dropped him off at Majestic's hangar bay. Inside the hangar bay were hundreds of docked aircrafts of various classes, tanks and warthog variants. And there were also numerous Onyx Sentinels and Engineers (Huragok) just floating around and tending to some of the vehicles.
In the centre was a lift which John used to take him to the command bridge.
Majestic is one helluva big ship, it dwarfed any other ships except for Covenant Supercarriers in which they dwarfed Majestic by far, however the Dreadnought would be more than capable of gutting any Covenant ship. Hell these warships can cause stellar collapses; destroying High Charity wouldn't be a difficult feat.
John then walked over to a nearby console and hovered his hand over the port, which allowed Cortana to jump from his suit, into Majestic's mainframe.
"It might be half of Ascendant Justice's size, but it sure has a lot of legroom and firepower,"
John just smiled, "take us home,"
"Aye, aye Chief,"
The Forerunner warship rumbled and took off; once they reached minimal safe distance they began to initiate a slipspace jump.
The alarms began to blare, and on screen the words began to scroll out…
\- Warning… Slipspace anomaly detected, Slipspace abnormality: Very High
…Command Prompt Start…
/ Abort Slipspace jump
\-Error, cannot abort Slipspace jump, vessel has already entered Slipspace.
…Command Prompt Log End…
The viewport monitors began to show Majestic entering slipspace, the vast expanses of the black space filled with shinning dots began to disappear from view and replaced by a shimmering blue glow.
A/N: You know how the Ironman suit looks? And how it looks like one solid/connected piece? Well the Chief's armour is like that, doesn't look like that, but is like that, i.e. You can't see the black body suit (reactive crystal/positronic brain layer) underneath because armour plates cover everything.
Now if you're wondering what happen to Miranda Keyes and Johnson, well I decided to remove them from the story. So, pretend that they never were revived.