Edit: fixed some obvious grammar mistake as well as misspelling the Sangheili race (Elites). I accidentally named them Jangheili ^^

First of; apologies for the extreme delay I was just not in the mood lately to write a chapter, I tried, god know i did :P but even then what i wrote was horrible so i deleted it and started over again :P.

Second: there's a small part about translight engines etc. And i'll tell you now, i don't know shit about that. I researched as best i could but i just couldn't find anything that would properly explain it to me.

So bear with me on that and if there's an expert on Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engines than by all means contact me and i'll make adjustments!

Also normally i adress the wonderful Reviewers who took their time to write me a message with either compliments or constructive criticism but my friends are waiting at the bar and i didn't want to keep you guys and gals waiting another day!

If there were any questions i didnt answer please send me a pm and i'll gladly answer them for you!

Reviewers:

Edboy4926, Forget the rest, Harbinger of Kaos, Wallsofmine, Ramenknight, Shaggybear32, Korten, Kira Kyuu, Devinewhisper16, saddas74, Knightwolf1875, Phoenixbat, MASTER-OF-SURPRISE (yes caps is required for epic names like that), Major wallace, Jprice410, Perseus, Guest 12/3/12, Masshalo, Karinx10, Furionknight, Guest12/21/12, Guest 1/7/13, RBCyphonic, Guest 1/11/13

Holy J! A lot of reviewers and i love you all for it :)

Oh and because Twalyer is such a lovely person I'll bold this text. for you, i'd like to sincerely thank your constructive criticism! It just kept me up all night thinking about what you said and i finally was able to fall asleep when i realized something...I don't give jack shit about what you or any other flamers might say ;) i accept constructive criticism, no flamers! But thanks for upping my review count though! Some people on only look for high review count stories (even though every story in it's own right is great on this site) so yeah thanks, and to the readers on this story please browse to the reviews to read his wonderful comment on this story!

Haters gonna hate ^^

I'd also like to apologize for the spoilers I added in the summary when this story started, I deeply apologize and I'll make sure it never happens again!

One more thing, some might say that i've been a bit harsh on Halsey but what you have to understand is that the Chief is slowly becoming more of a human being instead of the killer machine he used to be.

As for MC/Cortana pairing...Yes this will most likely end that way, but not anywhere in the near future! If I'd have to give an estimation i'd say at the very least nothing until the end of ME2.

That also means i'm going to dive into the ME3 story with this...eventually.

Also Shepard has a slightly larger part in this chapter but that will change with the next chapter!

Disclaimer: I don't own Halo or mass effect they respectively belong to 343 Industries/Bungie and Bioware…ugh Beaware…


Chapter Three - All or nothing!

The Master Chief stepped aboard the UNSC Burton after a rather successful retrieval mission on Requiem. The entire second fleet had departed from Earth after the intel they received from the Infinity.

Initially his request to accompany the Second fleet was rejected, but after meeting with an old acquaintance things had gone in his favor..

John stood at attention in lord Hood's office, with him sitting behind his desk.

Terrence slowly stood up. "uh at ease, John.." he said awkwardly. He smiled and nodded. "It's good to see you again, son."

John relaxed, though barely noticeable through his armor. "Likewise, sir."

Lord Hood suppressed a smile. He hadn't changed that much, he was still as much a talker as he was in the past.

"even though it's good to see you again, i doubt your here on a social visit."

The Chief nodded. "I request permission to join the fleet that's heading for Requiem."

Terrence raised his eyebrow in surprise before smiling. "In the past it was either Cortana or Johnson," his smile faltered. "But who delivers that information now?"

"I...Have my ways." He slowly said.

Lord hood inwardly smiled, he walked over and reached out with his hand.

John looked at his hand for a moment before shaking it.

"You have made me proud, I owe you and the least i can do is grant you this favor, is there anything else?"

"one more request sir, when we arrive at requiem there are data-caches that could contain pieces of Cortana's data."

His superior nodded. "I'll make it happen. It's good to have you back." And for once he saluted John instead of the other way around.

At first he didn't know how to respond but after a couple of awkward seconds he returned the gesture.

xXx

John walked through the corridor that lead to Engineering. He had talked to Dr. Ellen Trate and she said that she had indeed found data traces of Cortana.

He had asked her if it was she could put all the data in a chip. When she had said that it was indeed possible he had handed her Cortana's old one.

The Spartan reached the doors and as they slid open he already heard her talking. "Bry Bry how's data cache five?"

'Bry Bry' furrowed his brows. " still half an hour to go, there's some data corruption but I think i can make it work." He shoved his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

"What's in the data?" John asked the male specialist.

"Mostly memories of the AI, almost ever data cache has her memories but what we need is a piece of her brain, once we have that we can start thinking on how to recreate the rest."

John gave a slight nod and turned back to Ellen. "the remains of the Didact's ship has there been any data?"

Ellen looked confused for a moment before she widened her eyes in realization, "You mean the ship that got destroyed when it reached Earth?"

Another nod was her asnwer.

"They have found quite a bit, not sure if it contains anything of the AI though."

"her name's Cortana, and where have they stored her data?"

It's on a non combat ship, it's en-route to Requiem and should meet up with us in a couple of hours. They intend to compare their findings with ours."

"Keep me updated, Doctor." The Chief said and left them to their work.

Even though their fleet size was big enough to withstand an attack, he couldn't help but wonder to where the Covenant had gone too. Did they leave the moment the Didact did? Or were they still lurking around?

And what was worse was that the Covenant who had an alliance with them were unable or unwilling to respond to any form of communication.

Rumors where whispering that perhaps the peace between them and the Covenant wasn't peace after all but more along the lines of a temporary truce.

He shrugged his thoughts off only to drift back to Cortana. 'damn'

xXx

"Commander Shepard, enter the password and receive a free gift!" a female voice said which originated from the advertisement holo.

Jane initially wanted to ignore the routine advertisement which common sight at the Citadel was. But her gut told her that it wouldn't hurt to check it out so she walked over.

She stepped in front of the holo screen and a female appeared, her face mostly covered by a black hood. "...Silence is golden" she said feeling a bit odd to be talking to an apparent advertisement, even though she knew this was Kasumi's way of contacting her clients.

"Good to finally meet you Commander Shepard, Kasumi Goto. I'm a fan!" The woman on the holo screen replied.

Shepard suppressed a smirk, she was somewhat relieved that her new companion wasn't as stuck up as Miranda or as violent as Grunt. "Has Cerberus filled you in on the mission?"

"Honestly i'm shocked they didn't come to see me sooner. "She answered with a bit of a cocky tone in her voice.

"Cocky eh? Well anyways, what's with the password and sneaking around in the engineering sector, are you in trouble or something?"

"And here I thought I was actually well hidden," Goto shrugged. "I'm the best thief in the business, not the most famous. I need to watch my step to keep it that way. Besides, Cerberus is an illusive group, I wasn't quite sure if this was legit."

"Satisfied?" Shepard asked with crossed arms across her chest.

"I have no doubts anymore. You're the real commander Shepard." The thief answered with a small smile.

The commander looked at her with a bit of skeptisicm. "what makes you so sure?"

"There's a certain...aura about you, like you've seen things, no one else has. Even without knowing what you looked like i knew it was you."

"I stand by what i said earlier,Cocky. But i guess that's a good thing."

Kasumi gave another shrug. "It works for me."

Jane decided to switch to another subject . "What brought you to Cerberus?"

"That's a bit of a story. Short version, they were looking for me, so i trailed them to find out why. Turns out they were looking for someone to join you on an 'important mission' and were offering a serious signing bonus. I also have a thing i needed help with that's why i made them a deal."

"I assume this deal is something i should know about?" Shepard asked, annoyed by the fact that Cerberus had kept her in the dark.

"Yeah i guessed it slipped their minds..."

"Right...that must be it..." she said sarcastically.

Kasumi chuckled. "I'm looking for my old partner's gray-box. A man named Donovan Hock took it, and i'm planning to take it back."

"If that's what Cerberus has promised you, we'll get it done." Jane answered, giving a single nod.

"It'll be fun! And if we're lucky you won't even have to draw your gun." Kasumi said with a smile. She then activated her omni tool and shut down the advertisement.

Shepard turned around and looked at the catwalk above the ceiling where the thief was standing.

"we should probably wrap this up. You look pretty silly, standing there talking to an advertisement," she placed one hand on her hip. "I'll see you on the ship shepard!" and with that she walked away.

Shepard grinned as she walked back to the rapid transport station. She was definitely going to like this one.

xXx

John walked aboard the research ship called Ichilion. All the data of Cortana had been compiled and put into the data chip he requested.

With that out of the way he intended to head back to the hangar to take a pelican back to the Burton once they had jumped back to Earth where he hopefully would be able to find someone that could reconstruct Cortana.

Most of the fleet had already jumped only Ichilion and a small escort was accompanying them.

All was quiet and well until...

"all crew, man your stations we got enemy contact incoming at 1100 km at our starboard!"

The Chief inwardly cursed and turned around and sprinted towards the bridge.

He dodged the marines who were sprinting towards the armory or their station preparing for the possibilty of a boarding party.

He rounded a corner and then through a double door that lead to the Bridge. He saw the Captain and walked over. "Sir" already standing at attention

The balding male Captain turned around and gave a nod to the spartan. "Chief, what can i help you with?"

"I'd like to know the fleet size of the enemy, sir." He stated.

The Captain turned his eyes back to the incoming ships that were easily seen through the ship's window from the cockpit where the two pilots were sitting. "18 Standard Covenant cruisers along with 4 CCS-class battlecruisers. We already recalled our pelicans but their still 15 minutes out."

"and we're with four frigates?" knowing the amount of escorts that were required for a high priority research ship as this.

The Captain nodded. "That's right, I've already contacted the other Captains and they are setting up a defensive line trying to slow their advance but with that amount of ships it won't matter much."

"What's so important on this ship that they're willing to sacrifice their lives for us?"

"Not for your AI if that's what your wondering. Our recon team has recovered an forerunner item that could give our technology a breakthrough."

"What is it?" the spartan asked.

"some sort of EMP device but they believe that it can be used as a long range weapon like our MAC guns"

"So one shot could disable an entire ship?"

"They don't know yet but if that's possible it could be a huge advantage," The Captain said resolute "And if the Covenant decides to start a war again this could turn the tide."

John already visualized in his mind exactly what the Captain said. One shot could for example take out a supercarrier's ship and a MAC round or two could tear the entire ship apart. This was technology that they had to have. "does the Covenant know we have this?"

The Captain widened his eyes. "it is possible. Our ground team which consisted of two squads of marines and two spartans raided a Covenant outpost and retrieved the device. So it could be that they sent out a distress signal."

"That would mean that with the defensive set up you and the Captains agree on already told the Covenant everything they needed to know."

The Captain nodded his eyes closed at the realization of their mistake. "that at least gives us some extra time," he tore his eyes away from the fight that happened hundreds of kilometers away or rather massacre. "Head to the armory, Spartan. If they indeed intend to board us then I want you protecting that device."

John nodded and turned around and exited the bridge.

"Captain Tvolka message from the Burton!" a communications officer shouted across the bridge.

"put it through" Tvolka ordered.

"Capta..Tvo...this is ..Com- Our sh...down...ram...cru..."

"Can anyone clear that up?!" the Captain barked.

"Negative sir, it must be because of the damage of the ship."

"give me a close up of the battle."

He turned to the screen which showed him what he asked. He sighed when he saw that the UNSC Burton was ramming into one of the cruisers that was unfortunately too close to maneuver out of the way.

"How far out is our ground team?" he asked his XO.

The Commander looked at the screen. "four minutes."

"Sir we got incoming!" an ensign shouted.

"Evasive actions!" he shouted towards the pilots but it was already too late.

Two cruisers had broken through the defenses and fired right away.

One beam lowered the shields while the other one hit the engines. The ship shook but remained otherwise intact.

"Damage report!"

"One Primary fusion drive is destroyed!"

Another bright blue beam hit its, target taking out one of the smaller engines leaving the ship vulnerable since it's maneuverability was severly reduced

The Captain cursed. This was a research ship not a battleship. "ready the archer missiles! Is the Mac cannon ready?"

"Yes sir, but this is an old ship we'd have to face the target." His XO stated the obvious fact.

"if they keep shooting at us like this it won't matter for much longer!" The Captain already knew that by taking out one of the primary fusion drives it would take the translight engine much longer to spin up and finally make the jump to slipspace.

He looked at the screen and then at the crew who were anxiously awaiting orders. He straightened his back and narrowed his eyes. "Turn the ship around, we have to cover the engines if we want any chance of escape. As soon as you have a firing solution, fire the MAC cannon and follow up with Archer missiles!"

He received acknowledgements and gave a small smile. If this was it then he would take out as many of those bastards with him as he could.

xXx

Sierra-117 reached one of the three armories on the ship and stepped inside. Inside it there were a dozen marines gearing up and checking their teammates equipment.

"Where are you headed, sir?" a random marine asked, hoping it would be at the location he was stationed at.

"Observation deck" was all he said.

The marine cursed and kept himself occupied by double checking his Ma5D assault rifle. "This is completely fucked up man! We don't stand a chance, we're going to get massacred!"

"Ryan shut the fuck up before i decide to help you, boy! If those ugly alien freaks want to kill us we'll give them one helluva fight!" the Sergeant roared and pulled Ryan to his feet, he patted him on the shoulder before he motioned for his squad to follow him.

John grabbed a M45D Shotgun and attached on his back. He then grabbed M6H pistol and clipped it on his thigh. Lastly he reached for an assault rifle and walked out the armory.

The ship shook when it took another direct hit. The lights flickered and he knew they were running out of time. He rounded a corner when he heard Tvolka's voice through the speakers.

"Boarding parties are 20 seconds out, most likely heading for the observation deck"

The Spartan sprinted the last meters and when he reached the observation deck he could see through the large glass windows on both sides that phantoms were incoming. He noticed that they had set up two automatic turrets at the doors he stepped through seconds ago.

He gripped the handle tightly and decided to guard the left side of the room. He walked over and noticed the marines relax slightly, knowing they had a Spartan on their side.

He noticed the phantom's attaching to the window.

"This is it boys!" the squad leader shouted and peered through his scope that was attached on his BR85 Battle rifle.

Before they could utter another word the glass that was in front of the phantom's docking system got blown away and revealed two Sangheili and at least two dozen Unggoys.

"Open fire!"

All at once everyone opened fire and the grunts were killed off easily, only the two Sangheili were stubborn to die. They sprinted out off the tube only to die moments later because of the relentless gunfire.

The Spartan glanced at the gun's display and knew he had about ten bullets left in the mag.

More phantoms attached themselves to the ship and they quickly opened fire again.

"Don't give them an inch!" the squad leader shouted over the roars of gunfire.

However this time the Covenant were prepared and had Kig-Yar with plasma shields on front. Behind them were at least a dozen Sangheili with their weapons aimed at the defense force.

Countless of bolts of blue plasma flew through the air and managed to score a few hits, before one of the elites threw a plasma grenade into the fray, causing the marines to scatter.

Taking the opportunity the first Covenant finally left the small confines of the tubes they were stuck in and immediately dove for cover, firing as they went.

John quickly reloaded and threw a grenade afterwards, knowing that the Sangheili would have to break cover in order to survive.

And so the Elite did and the Chief easily riddled him with bullets before moving to his next target with apparent ease.

He could hear the machine guns at the entrance spinning up and he knew that the covenant were taking ground. He fired his gun again and the two Jackals fell to the ground.

John was about to turn around when he noticed something from the corner of his eyes and quickly dove out of the way, narrowly dodging the plasma blade that was aimed for his head.

"Demon!" The Sangheili roared and he tried to pierce the Spartan again.

John dodged again, dropping his rifle as he did followed up by grabbing the Elite by the throat and wringing his blade out of his claw before stabbing his opponent through the chest with it

He then threw it towards a passing Elite and killed him instantly. He reached for his rifle and used it right away, killing off a couple of grunts.

"Hangar B has fallen, surviving marines are to pull back to corridor 2E and hold position with fith squad." The Captain's voice rumbled through the observation room.

He looked to his left and saw the marine behind one of the turrets drop dead to the ground with a purple needle sticking out of his left eyesocket.

He looked to the rest of the large room and saw that slowly but surely more and more Covenant boarded the ship, far out numbering the defense force.

He didn't let up and stepped in line with three other marines who were side by side firing their B85 Battle rifles and MA5D assault rifle. Dead at their feet lay the squad leader who had motivated his squad earlier.

More Sangheili entered the room and John's eyes widened slightly behind his visor when he saw Zealots amongst them.

He sharply turned around when he no longer heard the remaining Machine gun firing or spinning for that matter.

The soldiers at the door were dead, leaving only five left standing in the room. One of them stumbled backwards. "W-we have to pull back!"

The Spartan nodded firing off a couple more shots before following in their footsteps, but not before grabbing a grenade in both hands and threw them at the feet of the nearby grunts.

He turned around and ran for the door, slamming a lower class Elite against the wall who tried to take him down. As he ran through the door he quickly slammed the panel to close it behind him, locking it shut.

Two men stepped forward and welded it shut, hopefully buying time. A third set up an explosive device as a booby trap.

"Captain, this is the Master Chief. We have lost the Observation deck, how far out are the recon teams?"

"One Pelican remained but they have the device and are bringing it aboard, we're preparing slipspace jump. I want you to head to Engineering and make sure we hold onto the device."

"Copy, sir," he turned to the marines who had just been reinforced by two more squads and were setting up defenses at the end of the hall. "Don't let them through" was all he said.

"Hoorah!" the marines shouted before they locked and loaded their weapons.

He ran past them and headed for engineering. He wasn't an idiot, he knew that their forces were dwindling fast. This was Research ship and only had a handful or marines and no ODST as back up. But from what he heard the EMP device was escorted by a squad of ODST and two Spartans so hopefully that would be enough to stall the enemy's advances.

He reached for the data chip and peered at it. His chest constricted painfully and his breathing became somewhat shallow. 'Cortana...I could really use your help right now.' He swallowed the lump in his throat.

"Sierra-117, we have a problem, Zealot class Elites have found our escort team and they're pinned down at the corridor that leads to Hangar A. Rendezvous with them and retrieve the device!"

"Understood, Sir" he shut off his comm and took a left turn only to walk straight into a firefight.

'Damn' he mentally cursed before attaching his rifle to his back and grabbed the Shotgun instead.

xXx

Everyone was dead. Bodies were lying everywhere and only a few parts of the ship remained in their control and even then it were the Bridge, Engineering and the Engine room that were still hostile free.

Most of the other areas were under Covenant control, only a few were still under heavy fighting.

Master Chief stood up, his armor had numerous scratches and one small crack had appeared in the corner of his visor. Dead at his feet lay a pair of Hunters, a dozen Sangheili and numerous Unggoy.

He dropped the shotgun to the ground and grabbed his assault rifle again.

He continued his trek towards the Hangar, he knew he had to be close.

"Master Chief, we have lost contact with Recon. Double time it!"

"Understood sir, almost there"

He ran through a double door and came to an abrupt halt.

Lying on the ground in front of him was the Recon team tasked with defending the device. They were all dead, at least he assumed they were.

He carefully stepped over their limbs hoping to find the device,

"Master C-Chief, sir" a voice croaked behind him.

He turned around and saw one of the Spartans, clad in white slowly moving. He crouched down and tried to asses his wounds. "How bad is it?" he asked.

"bad, i-i'm not gonna make it...The Covenant took t-the d...device to the Engine room."

"why? And how do you know?"

"Don't know but w-we have translators embedded in our helmets."

John gave him a nod. "Can you stand? I'm going to bring you to a safe spot."

When he received no reply he sighed. He stood back up and turned around and started sprinting towards his new destination. "Captain, this is Sierra-117, The EMP device is at our engine room, send all available personnel there."

"I'm pulling out a squad of marines from Engineering. They can't activate the device, if that happens we'll lose our mac cannon!"

John couldn't see the significance of it but he followed the order anyway.

"Demon!"

The Spartan twirled around and fired his entire mag on the first Sangheili who came into his vision.

The Elite's shield dropped and he fell to his knee, he retaliated with firing his storm rifle that hit the Chief in his chest, dropping his shield as well.

John ran for cover while firing his rifle until he heard the clicking sound which meant his gun was empty. He dropped it to the ground and as another plasma bolt hit him in the shoulder, which managed to pierce through a weak spot.

He reached for his pistol and started firing back and felt satisfaction when he heard the Elite roar in pain.

He peered around the corner and saw that the Elite was holding his side. When he finally saw his shield regenerate he wasted no time and swapped his weapon with the shotgun on his back and charged straight in.

His opponent roared in anger and shot narrowly missing the Chief. When he saw that the Sangheili was taking proper aim he made a dive to the ground, shooting off one shell at the same time.

He smiled when he saw the Elite drop to the ground. His victory was short lived when he saw that in his moment of despair the Elite had dropped a plasma to the ground, a couple of feet away from the Chief.

'Shit!' he tried to scramble to his feet but it was too late and got slammed against the wall and slumped to the ground.

He could hear the warning sounds of his shield, indicating that they were completely gone. 'Gotta get up...GET UP!' he mentally shouted to himself.

With aching legs and a swimming vision he got to his feet and continued down the hall, grabbing the shotgun from the floor along the way.

When he finally found the engine room at the end of the corridor he double checked his equipment. He had one grenade left, three pistol mags and 17 Shotgun shells.

He carefully approached the big double doors, surprised that there weren't any guards stationed.

His unspoken question was answered shortly after when he heard screams and gunfire inside.

Wasting not another second he burst through the door and straight into a war zone.

It was complete chaos. Marines and the Covenant were everywhere, no proper cover no sides, the fight was everywhere.

He saw one of the soldiers fire a couple of rounds into a fallen Sangheili only to be pierced by a blade seconds later.

The Zealot class wielding the sword was shot down seconds later by a heavily wounded marine who had managed to fire a shot despite him missing his right arm.

"It's the Chief!" a female shouted and the marines cheered, their morale had been nearly crushed when the Covenant arrived. But with the arrival of the Chief they remembered what they were fighting for.

Earth.

John stood there and had only one thought in his mind.'For Cortana' and with that he jumped into the fray, slamming an Jackal to the ground and stomped his head.

xXx

John looked straight into the eyes of what could quite possibly be his executioner. His armor was riddled with dents and the damage that was already present on the armor had increased dramatically. He had a wound to his side which was caused by an energy sword, a through and through.

All the marines were dead, they had gone out while trying to hold off the Covenant, only to have failed miserably.

The Sangheili roared and with one final attack he slammed his blade into John's chest.

Having expected this he turned his body ever so slightly, hopefully causing the blade to miss his heart. With one final effort he shot his shotgun at pointblank range into the Jangheili's abdomen.

Spartan-117 fell to the ground and felt like he was slowly suffocating, dark spots appeared in his vision and he knew he was losing consciouness.. 'relax...have to relax, breath deeply...exhale...take another deep breath and let it out.He calmed ony slightly and felt he could breathe slightly easier. 'look at your surroundings, focus on a particular object and don't lose sight of it.

He looked at the first object he saw and and immediately recognized it as Forerunner tech.

It was glowing dark blue.

It was activated.

If that thing was set off he knew that every means of escape would get squashed under the Covenant's feet.

He suppressed a groan and reached for the nearest weapon which was his trusted shotgun. 'Now or never!'

He pushed himself to his feet and rammed a grunt out of the way and shot one of the few Elites left in the back of his disgusted head.

"Kill him before he reaches our holy R'tak!" one Zealot screamed, his lips parted, visualizing his rage.

John had no idea what the Zealot meant but it didn't matter. He dodged one of the mad swipes and barely dodged a plasma grenade which landed right next to the device. 'No!'

"Initiating Slipspace jump, in three...two..."

John-117 desperately reached for the device and pulled it away from the engines but it was already to late. the moment the ship jumped the plasma grenade went off as well as the activation of the device.

"one...here we go!" the Captain said, relief clearly heard in his voice.

The device let out a blinding light and everything went dark, no sound nothing.

He could faintly here the shuffling of feet nearby, indicating the covenant were still here. Ignoring them for a second he opened his comm "Captain?" he received no reply. "Captain do you read?" again no response and he feared the worst.

He could hear the Elite trying to activate his blade but failed.

He grabbed an assault rifle from a nearby corpse and looked at the display, only to acknowledge what he already feared. The EMP device had shut down every electric device on the ship, as well as the Covenant's.

It was time to finish this, one way or another.


And that´s chapter three! Once again i´m sorry for the delay but that´s how it sometime is.

I can´t give an update because i have to update my other story as well so i´ll try my very best to post ASAP!

Favorite quote of all time: "Didn't you know? Spartans never die, they just go missing in actions"

ah and I'm sorry for any spelling or grammar errors!

I may have exaggerated John's injuries a bit...ah well!