Chapter 12

21 July, 2554, 0630 Hours, Settlement 3B, Harvest System, Planet Harvest

For two whole seconds, Kelly stared at John.

John stared back.

Kelly threw herself on John, grabbed him and pressed her face into his shirt, dimly feeling the tears running down her face. She felt the burns up and down her sides, but disregarded them.

John, caught in the awkward situation, had no option but to recitify it - he hugged her back, tentatively.

Kelly pulled back, repeating his name over again. John resisted her briefly.

"Kelly...! It's all right," he consoled her, as tears trickled down her face.

Finally she stopped and sat down again staring at him.

"Kelly," John began, but suddenly Asher stepped in. John turned to face him, expecting a frown, he met a humored grin.

John turned back and faced Kelly. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he pushed her back before she bubbled over again.

"John," she repeated. "What - how..."

Asher rolled his eyes. "Here we go again..."

John and Kelly were still talking, Asher thought, as he walked downstairs again. It had been... At least an hour.

No, John was coming out now...

As John left the room, he ran into Asher, who was still smirking.

"You were saying a few days ago," Asher grinned.

John frowned. "...?"

"Spartans are asexual. Spartans can't feature in a romance. Come on, John, what were you thinking?"

Shaking his head, John replied, "Same as I am now. Kelly has been my best friend since before... Before you were born."

A dark look crossed Asher's face briefly, then passed. "Can't you tell, John, she likes you."

John laughed to himself. "Who do you think us SPARTANs are? Actors? Stars?"

"Fine! Don't believe me, then," Asher said as he entered Kelly's room.

John considered what Asher had said, then disregarded it. He was wrong - he had to be wrong. Kelly was... Kelly. Not a romantic... John wasn't sure. Kelly had changed, and thta troubled him.

"So-so," Asher said, spreading out a map of Harvest out. "You have an AI onboard Gray Wolf, right?"

Kelly nodded.

"Then it'll keep the ship in orbit... How did... Would the ship have been captured?"

Kelly snagged Asher's PDA off the table and punched in a few codes, the a well remembered algorithm.

"Huh. Cheap," she muttered, as the UNSC simple codebreaker slipped into the Insurrectionist network.

Scrolling through a few somethings, she frowned, "There's a report, but it looks like the ship has gone. Disappeared, maybe back to Earth."

John turned to Asher. "Do you have any transport ships here?"

Asher shook his head. "Not that I know of. But I've lived here since I was small, so I don't know about the other settlements. But there will be a few transport Pelicans and military Pelicans in Settlement 1A."

Kelly frowned. "Which is where?"

John shrugged. "Probably in the middle. Semi-unglassed part of the UNSC settlements, I guess?"

Asher nodded. "Well, partially. The groundside MAC Cannon-" (this caught their attention) "And main living is on the surface. Military underground."

John exchanged a worried glance with Kelly. "This... Place is more sophsticated than I thought," he said, looking worried. "Who will we have to fight?"

Waving a nonchalant hand, Asher dismissed the thought. "All the same, MA5's, Plasma Pistols... Old junk."

John nodded, slightly comforted.

Kelly looked worried. "What about the rest of them? Blue Team?"

John paled. "They're here?"

(A/N: Please do not read if you get grossed out/horrified easily)

Tom stared at Lucy sadly, then rattled his chains.

No use communicating, we'll only get beaten.

Tom nodded.

"And," began the man again. "We will kill you and your planets, and wipe you out. We will become the humans. And we begin."

He waved the Forerunner weapon in his hands. "We are the reclaimers."

He aimed the gun, by chance at Tom. "And you are either with us or without us. I'll make an example of you.

Tom locked eyes with him, and lashed out with his foot, aiming for the insurrectionist's stomach.

With a sarcastic laugh, the man easily sidestepped, and fired his gun.

A flash of green light, and a spear of light hit Tom in the chest, becoming coherent with an ugly crack. Tom cried out in shock and pain, and was smashed against the wall.

"Stage one," growled the man in satisfaction. "Infection."

The light switched off. A beige, green, moldy wound dripped from Tom's torso.

In a matter of seconds, Tom changed. Screaming, he bent double, coughing and spluttering.

"Stage two," continued the rebel. "Internal liquification."

Tom's chest exploded, and he began coughing, and transformed. Flood appendages riped their way out of his head, arms, and torso.

"Step three," finished the man. "Death and hosting of infection."

Tearing his chains off the wall, along with one of his arms, the flood that had been Tom charged forward, and attacked the insurrectionist. With another spear of coherent light, the man pushed the ex-SPARTAN III into Lucy, who was sitting, shocked.

There was a roar from Tom, a scream from Lucy's mutilated vocal chords, and then a shot, taking the Flood form.

Lucy lay on the ground, blood dripping from two deadly wounds.

"...Tom..." she managed to croak, and died.

Fred stood, shocked. Tom had slumped to the floor, and an infection form was running around the room.

With a quick spear of light, it exploded.

The gun waved at Fred, Linda, Ash, Mark and Oliva, and ushered them back into their cells.

The five SPARTAN's ran back in... They could have killed him, but not before he had infected one of them... Killing all six.

"That," whispered Fred, "Is seriously screwed."

Ash looked around. "Where's Kelly?

Sorry if I get some characters personalitites wrong, I haven't read Ghosts of Onyx. Please R&R.

Kimjel, out.