Patriot-112: Hello Everyone! Patriot-112 here along with 117Jorn giving you another fic, this time in the Halo Universe.
117Jorn: Yeah! Its gonna be similar to our 'New Blood' fic that's on my profile, however instead of the Star Wars universe, its Halo!
Patriot-112: That's right! And to start things off we head to Afghanistan.
117Jorn: Yeah...wait, Afghanistan-?
Chapter 1: Reclaimers
August 14th 2012 AD
It was just a normal for the Marines of the 1st Marine Division in the Middle East country of Afghanistan. Unless of course if you can consider an RPG attack, followed by small arms fire from the Taliban, normal.
The Marines were on a routine patrol of the Hindu Kush mountains that formed as the border between Afghanistan and it's southern Neighbor, Pakistan. Even with the death of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al-Qaeda Terrorist group, last year, said organization was still strong, along with their Taliban Allies.
"RPG! Duck!" A Marine shouted as the eight man squad ducked under another RPG fired at where they were dug in, a short series of old Trenches. The Rocket Propelled Grenade flew over them and impacted the area behind them.
"Son of a Bitch, where did these guys come from!" Shouted a dark skinned man who wore a sleeveless Dark Green MARPAT Utility uniform, holding a M249 light machine gun.
"Like I'd know!" Shouted back another Marine who had reddish brown eyes wearing a full MARPAT Uniform, who rose from his cover for a few seconds to fire a few bursts from his F2000.
Another Marine, this one a woman with black ear length hair and green eyes also wearing a full Desert MARPAT Uniform, stood up and fired her Benelli M4 shotgun.
"Now I know how the Russians felt when they invaded this fucked up country!," she said, "These guys are everywhere! There's no end to them!"
"Why didn't we just nuke these guys in the first place!" Shouted a younger voice, a blue eyed 19 year old who had a Radio out. "It would have been easier that way!"
"Not now Fanboy!" The F2000 user, Nathan 'Fox' Welkin said, "Hows that air support coming?"
"I've got nothing!" Alphonse 'Fanboy' Williams reported, "I can't get a signal through! Ya think they could be jamming us?"
"These are Guerillas Fanboy," said a 21 year man, with light brown hair, amber colored eyes behind his protective goggles, and wearing the desert MARPAT, with the Lance Corporal rank patch on his uniform, as he fired his M39 EMR, with a calm look on his face, "I doubt these guys have that kind of tech. And even if they did, they would need someone who knows how to operate it, which I doubt they have," as he said this, Daryl M. Frost, aka "Stone Face" fired another round from his EMR, taking out a Taliban armed with an RPG.
"Roy, where are they coming from?" Daryl asked too his left, where there was another Marine who had a XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, looking through the scopes.
"Ahead of us, five RPG Troopers left in dug in holes." Roy Hertland, aka 'Predator' reported. "Several other guys with them with AK-47's." He then paused for a moment as his finger twitched on the trigger and fired a single shot "Make that four RPG Troopers."
"Nice, but how the hell are we gonna get the others-GAH!" Shouted a 28 year old man with green eyes and a MARPAT uniform, only wearing a classic cowboy hat. Another Marine was treating a leg wound, said marine being a woman with blond hair tied into a short ponytail and blue eyes. "Doc, take it easy, will ya?" Thomas Owen, aka 'Cowboy' said as the woman wrapped up the wound.
"Quit being a baby! It's your fault you got hit in the first place!" said the Navy Corpsman, Sarah Collin as she tightened the tourniquet around the wounded marine's leg, "You're lucky the bullet didn't hit an artery,"
The Cowboy hat wearing marine just rolled his eyes, "Yeah, yeah, whatever darlin'," he said, only to wince as he felt the hand of the Corpsman adding pressure to the wound.
The M249 wielding Marine, Richard 'Boomer' Clank, just shook his head as he turned to the team's commander. "Sarge, what's your orders?" He asked.
Gunnery Sergeant Derek Ingram, a man who looked in his 30's or 40's who stood at 5'1, had light brown slightly greying crew cut hair, dull dark eyes and a 5 o'clock shadow beard, looked over from the cover. "Boomer, you still have your launcher?" he asked.
Boomer nodded as he readied his AT4 Anti-Tank Missile launcher "Fanboy, launch your M203 on my mark with Boomer's missile, Target the RPG sights. Megan, use Cowboy's M1A1 M203 and do the same!"
Megan 'Gearbox' Harper nodded as she picked up Thomas's Rifle and entered a grenade into the launcher.
"Grenade loaded and ready, Sarge!" said Fanboy, with Gearbox saying the same.
"AT-4 ready, Sarge," Boomer said as he prepared to aim the missile launcher.
The Gunnery Sergeant peaked over at the positions of the Taliban Fighters. They were using a few trees for cover, and they had slightly higher ground than they did, and were dug in a bit into the mountain. However these fighters were sloppy in setting up their emplacements, and most of them were rather bunched up.
"Fire at those positions on my mark," He ordered, "MARK!"
The Marines nodded as they rose from their cover, Boomer fired his Anti-Tank missile while Al and Megan fired their grenades. The Explosive weapons soared up into the Taliban positions, and in a short display of fireworks several of the Taliban RPG positions were blown to smithereens.
"HA! Owned!" Alphonse shouted, "Semper Fi!"
"They're falling back!" said Nathan as they saw some Taliban head back into the mountain.
"Let's move! Stone Face, Predator, you're on point!," Derek and he and the other Marines got up and headed after the retreating insurgents, with Daryl slinging his EMR across his back and taking up his FN SCAR-L with a EOTech-5 holographic sight.
Sarah helped Thomas back onto his feet "Alright you're good," she said as Megan handed him back his rifle "Just don't get shot in the leg again, and try to take it easy, will ya?"
"Yeah Yeah, don't worry." Cowboy said as he followed his team to pursue the Taliban. Sarah sighed as she moved to follow them.
A few minutes later, the Squad tracked the Taliban Forces towards a somewhat large cave opening, which seemed to go deeper into the mountain. Looking inside they could barely see anything inside since it was so dark.
"So...who wants to go into the dark and spooky cave first?" Al said, causing the others gave him a deadpanned look, "What!? It was a legitimate question!"
They rolled their eyes as Daryl took a pair of MNVD goggles and placed them on the carrier of his MICH-TC-2000 combat helmet, and proceeded to walk into the cave, Assault Rifle raised.
"That answer your question?" Megan asked as she placed on her own MNVD goggles and proceeded inside with her Shotgun. Soon, one by one the Marines entered the Cave, with Fanboy bringing up the rear.
For a few minutes, the Marines slowly made their way into the caves, proceeding with extra caution. Yet there was no sign of the Taliban Forces inside. "Sarge, I just checked the Radio." Alphonse whispered, "Whatever that interference that's keeping us from contacting Command is, its getting stronger the more we move in this cave."
Derek frowned at that as they continued further inside, "Whatever it is we better find it and shut it down," he said.
"Sarge, I see light up ahead," Daryl said as they kept advancing toward in the winding tunnel, until at last they came upon a cavern that could fit an Nimitz-class Carrier in it. But it was not the cavern itself that surprised them, it was what was inside the cavern that made that made them go slack-jawed for a minute.
"What. The. Fuck?" Boomer said.
The walls and ceilings were covered in silver geometric structures and walls, many which had a white or blue glow to them. The entire cave seemed to be illuminating itself.
"I...don't think the Taliban built this..." Thomas said, looking around.
"Wait...it couldn't..." Fanboy said as he stepped in front of the others, looking at the area with wide eyes. "The walls...everything...it can't be..."
The others looked at the youngest member of their group with raised eyebrows.
"Uhh, Fanboy? What's up?" said Cowboy as he tipped his hat up a bit.
The young radio man turned back to them.
"Guys...don't you know what this is?" he said. "Doesn't any of this look slightly familiar to any of you?"
"Uhh...no..." Sarah said, looking around "I don't think any of us have seen anything like this..."
"Wait a sec..." Daryl as he looked around as well "Hang on...it couldn't really be..." he then looked at Alphonse "You think this is Forerunner?"
Fanboy nodded "Yeah, it looks just like the ruins in the games..." he said.
"Wait, what the hell are you two talking about?" Boomer stated. "Do you know something we don't?"
"These Ruins, me and Daryl have seen them before," Fanboy said, "We've seen them in a game we've played...Halo."
The other six members of the squad blinked before their eyes widened "Halo? You're kidding, right?"
Thomas nearly shouted, "You mean that game you're all hot for?"
Alphonse didn't even glare at the southern Marine "Yeah, check this out." He said as he reached into his pack, and pulled out an I-Pad. He then flipped through a few commands, and then showed everyone in the squad what was on the screen. "These are Gamer pics of a Forerunner Installation in Halo 4," he said, "Look Familiar?"
The Marines looked at the image and their eyes widened at the similarities.
"Holy shit," Said Nathan as he looked at the images and the ruins, "They're right! Their Identical!"
"How the hell can Alien Ruins from a Videogame be in Afghanistan?" Derek demanded.
Both Alphonse and Daryl shrugged "You're asking the wrong people," Daryl said, "But if there's one thing I know, its that we can't let Taliban get their hands on technology belonging to the Forerunners, trust us on that one."
Derek nodded at that, knowing that any type of Alien technology, including weaponry, could prove to be very dangerous.
"Agreed, let's find the insurgents that ran in here, and secure the area," he said, and the other Marines nodded until they heard gunshots, screams, and shouts in Arabic, making them go on guard.
"What the hell?" said Roy.
"I think someone or something found them for us," Cowboy said and Sarah glared at him.
"No shit Sherlock," she snapped.
"Move!" Derek said as he signalled the others forward, and the Marines rushed forward further into the facility. All the while Alphonse was praying in his mind that those Taliban forces didn't find something they shouldn't have. 'Please for the love of god tell me they didn't unleash a Flood Outbreak...' he thought.
As they moved further into the facility, they then came across another large room, though not as large as the one they found before. There was a single Forerunner Catwalk ahead of them with what looked like a Holographic Terminal at the end. However they also quickly noticed the five dead Taliban on the ground, shell casings for their AK-47's lied everywhere around them.
"Oh shit," said Roy as he looked at the dead Taliban Guerrillas. Derek too was shocked as he looked at the wounds on the bodies.
"Who took these guys out?" he said, as Sarah moved toward one of the bodies.
"Sarge, who or whatever killed these assholes hit them with something that burns, and I'm not talking about hot shrapnel or powder burns," she said as she looked at the wounds on the body.
Derek's eyes squinted at that as the others kept their guard up. They then heard whimpering and followed where the sound was coming from, which was behind the Holo-Tank. Daryl was there first and kept his SCAR-L ready for anything that might attack. He looked around, and saw it was a Taliban soldier, he had seemed to have lost his primary weapon, but he still had a Makarov Pistol held closely to him. The Taliban also seemed to had have wounds similar to what killed the other insurgents.
The Taliban soldier glanced up at Daryl as he turned around the corner. He tried to raise his pistol to bear on the American, however Daryl caught the pistol in his hands and yanked it out of his grasp "I wouldn't do that if I were you." he said in Arabic.
The Taliban soldier backed against the wall, all the while having a look that Daryl could recognize as a mix between fear, and hatred as the insurgent spoke.
"Y-You set them upon us infidel! You set your soulless machines upon us to kill us all!" he shouted.
Daryl blinked at that, "What the hell are you talking about?" he asked, "What Machines?"
As the little Interrogation scene went on, Fanboy was with the others as they investigated the bodies. Alphonse picked up a damaged AK-47, which had a hole melted into it.
"I've never seen anything like this," Sarah said as she inspected the bodies, "Their burn marks, but their too precise to be from something like a Flamethrower or a grenade." She looked up at Fanboy "You have any idea what did this?" she asked, "If these really are Forerunner Ruins from that game you and Daryl play, you know anything that could do this?"
"I have a good idea..." Alphonse said as he set the rifle down, "I doubt there are any Prometheans here, so that only leaves one option: Sentinels."
Megan blinked "What the hell is a Sentinel?" she asked.
Just as she said that, a humming sound was heard, one that Daryl and Alphonse recognized and caused their eyes to widen.
"You're about to find out!" Fanboy said as he prepared his assault rifle. Then, emerging from somewhere in the ceiling, descended several objects. They were colored grayish white in color, and had two arm-like appendages with two grapple fixtures at the end of each arm, along with a central "head" and a curved undercarriage.
"Holy mother of...," said Megan said as she saw the Sentinels observing them.
"Fanboy, Stone Face tell us what to do," Derek said, his grip on his M4A1 tightening.
"Don't do anything to provoke them!" Fanboy said urgently, "They won't attack us unless we attack them!"
The Sentinels approached the team of Marines, they had their weapons lowered but still at hand as one of them approached Fanboy, who was getting very nervous as the Sentinel approached his face.
"Uhh...Hi?" Alphonse said too the Sentinel. "We Come in Peace?"
The Sentinel said nothing, it just continued to eye Alphonse as it was practically in his face, making a few mechanical noises.
Then, the Sentinel began to back up from the group. This confused the Marines for a moment, before they heard another sound of humming. They looked up, and Alphonse's eyes widened seeing the familiar spherical shaped machine with a glowing purple eye. The Machine stopped in front of the Marines, looking at them for a few moments.
"Greetings Reclaimers!" The Machine said, in a synthesized female voice, surprising the others "I am 6812 Incentive Apex, I am the Monitor for Installation 1194, otherwise known as the Conduit! Apologies for being delayed, for I needed to conduct some repairs to myself and to the installation when the previous hostile reclaimers attacked me and my Sentinels."
Daryl then spoke up as he pushed the currently bound and gagged Taliban Fighter forward, while holding the Makarov Pistol, "And that wouldn't happen to be one of these guys would it?"
The Monitor turned and looked at the currently detained Insurgent, who was struggling and trying to get loose.
"Ah yes! That is one of the Hostile Reclaimers," Incentive Apex said. "The moment I presented myself to them, they immediately attacked, and I was forced to defend myself."
"Uhh, you think you could explain to us why you're here?" Derek asked, still unsure about the floating light bulb before them. "And explain to us what the heck you are?"
"She's a Monitor," Alphonse explained, "Their Artificial constructs the Forerunners left behind to maintain their facilities after they fired the Halo Array to wipe out the Flood."
"That is correct," Apex said as she floated next to Fanboy "I see you are knowledgeable about my creators young Reclaimer."
Alphonse chuckled a bit nervously "I...have my sources." he said, "But there's still a lot I don't understand...like what this facility is doing here in the first place?"
"Ah, of course." Apex said. "This Installation, known to my Creators as 'The Conduit' was one of the installations constructed by my Creators as a fail safe in the event our galaxy was lost to the Flood. My creators had managed to discover the secrets to inter-universal travel, allowing them to travel from one universe to another, in hopes to survive the activating of the Ring Installations."
"The Halo's..." Daryl muttered, before he spoke up "What happened to the Forerunners who came here?"
"In time, they and the Reclaimers they had brought with them, died through causes I am not aware of." Apex answered, "However, they left this installation to begin establishing the first civilizations on this planet. They had tasked me in the defense of this installation, to be sure no one should misuse the technology of my creators."
The others were surprised by that.
"And when was this exactly?," Roy asked.
"About two thousand of your Earth Years ago," she said, and Alphonse blinked in confusion at that.
'Wait a minute, that's not right' he thought, 'The Halo Game's didn't come out until 10 years ago, hell games didn't exist back then! Two thousand years ago would put us around the time Jesus Christ was...wait...' Alphonse's eyes widened 'Wait one damn minute here! Could Jesus of been...' Fanboy blinked before he shook his head 'Nah, no way. No way he could have been a Forerunner ...right? ...right?'
Before any of the Marines could say anything more, the distant sound of AK-47 Fire and Arabic shouting could be heard, causing them to look down the hallway.
"Da hell is that?" Megan shouted as she pumped her shotgun.
"It appears there are more Hostile Reclaimers entering this facility," Apex said, "But in much larger numbers than before."
"Shit," Thomas muttered, "'must of followed us in, and called for backup!"
"Ya think!" Boomer said as he prepped his M240.
"We can't let the Taliban have control of this facility!" Daryl said as he knocked the prisoner out with a pistol whip, "If they get their hands on the Forerunner technology it could prove disastrous for not just us and Afghanistan, but the whole region and all of Asia as well,"
Apex 'nodded' in agreement "I agree," she said, "From the Hostile Reclaimer's previous actions, it would be most likely they would misuse the technology here. I will begin preparations to activate the station's failsafe, and to have the Sentinel units hold off the Taliban for as long as they can."
"Uhh...what's the Failsafe?" Sarah asked, a bit uneasy about what that would entitle.
"This station is equipped with a Slipstream Detonation device," Apex explained, "Once activated, it will spread in an area reaching 40 Kilometers wide in diameter, taking anything in the blast zone to oblivion. More than enough to wipe out these 'Taliban' Reclaimers you speak of, and this facility."
"But...we're in the facility!" Boomer practically shouted, "How the hell are we suppose to get out of here!"
"You cannot escape this facility through standard means, both with Taliban forces nearby, and the distance you would need to cross to escape the blast radius." Apex said rather calmly. "However, there is an alternative."
The others looked at the Monitor with anxious looks.
"And that would be?" said Roy.
"I will activate a portal which would take you to my Creator's Universe," she said, much to the shock of the Marines. Fanboy was the first to speak.
"Excuse me?" he said. "Y-Your Creator's universe?"
"Yes," Apex said, "However, I must warn you: Time passes in different rates in our two universes. My Creator's universe progresses somewhat quickly, what was 2,000 years here, could possibly be over 50,000 years back there, if not longer. And I have had little contact with the other universe since my creators first arrived here."
"Well, wherever we end up its better than staying here and getting blown to Slipspace." Al said, before turning to his superior "Sir, I suggest we do as she says." he said, "Trust me when I say I know what's gonna happen, and there's no way else we're surviving this."
Derek sighed, as much as he hated to admit it, Fanboy was right. "Alright...do it." he said. "Get us out of here."
The Monitor 'nodded' again, "Alright, one of the Sentinels will lead you to the Portal Room," she said and the marines nodded.
"What about Apex?" Daryl asked.
"I will stay here and prepare a few things," she said, "After I'm done, I will join you,"
Derek nodded, "Alright Marines, move out!" He said, just as a Sentinel appeared before them, and lead them away from the room.
As the squad of Marines rushed out of the room, Derek turned to Fanboy "You have any idea what to expect in that universe?" He asked, and Fanboy shrugged.
"Depends on when and where we end up," he answered. "I may have a lot of knowledge on Halo, but there are things even I can't tell you since I'm almost as in the dark as you guys."
Derek sighed at that, "At least tell us what we should expect there that we need to beware of," he said.
"Well, two major things we need to watch out for, the Covenant and/or the Flood," he said, "The Covenant are the main enemies in the games, and are a Religious Empire made up of different Alien Species who want the extermination of the human race. The Flood are parasitic alien lifeforms that feed on Sentient life in order to live and gain knowledge,"
"Well, that's comforting," said Megan.
"We also need to be cautious around the UNSC as well, especially ONI, the Office of Naval Intelligence." Daryl added, "In Halo, they're like the CIA. I can name a few people in there that would want nothing more than to interrogate us for everything we know, and then kill us to cover it all up."
"Don't need to tell us twice about that," Cowboy grumbled, "Do we have any allies there?" "One, possibly." Alphonse said, "Doctor Catherine Halsey, founder of the Spartan Project. If anyone can help us, its her."
"Let's hope so," said Derek as they continued to follow the Sentinels to the Portal Chamber for another few minutes until arriving. The others looked at the ring shaped in the room, that reminded Al of the Stargate from SG: Atlantis. Except this one was big enough to allow a couple Abrams Tanks to fit through.
"Definitely not what I expected," said Daryl as he still had the prisoner, whom he had in a fireman's carry.
"Me neither," said Al, "But it sure as hell looks Forerunner."
Then the Portal began to spark to life, as the ring light up in blue light, and in the center emerged a large black and purple hole.
"I think that's our bus out of here!" Roy said, "So we just...jump in?"
Al however, was grinning "I'll go first!" He said, "I always wanted to live the dream of Halo...so let's do this! BANZAI!" He then rushed right forward towards the portal, and in he went disappearing.
The other Marines sweatdropped at what their comrade did. Daryl sighed, as he fixed his grip on the prisoner and ran forward before jumping in. Soon the others followed as well until it was just Derek himself. It was at this moment that Apex arrived.
"The failsafe has been activated," the Monitor said, "We must leave now,"
Derek nodded and ran into the Portal with Apex right behind him.
Twenty seconds after they entered the portal, the entire facility and the Taliban Fighters that invaded were engulfed in a flash of light as the entire area in a 40 kilometer diameter went up in a explosion, leaving a Mushroom cloud that could be seen for miles.
Two Weeks Later
"It has been two weeks since the mysterious explosion near the Afghan-Pakistani Border, which left both Governments and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan stumped with confusion and more rising tensions in the Middle East and Asia," said a female CNN Reporter who with a picture showing a mushroom cloud, "The explosion left a crater 40 kilometers in diameter and unconfirmed reports of a squad of United States Marines that were in the area at the time have continued to arise. Military Officials are refusing to give details, but are not denying or accepting the reports,"
Watching this news report on an IPhone sitting in the side seat of a Chevy Silverado was a 19 year old young man who had short brown hair and brown eyes who watched this with a bit of interest. He was wearing an old U.S Army Battle Dress Uniform which was in a woodland camo pattern with black boots and gloves, which was completed by a dark green boonie hat.
"What ya watching Jordan?" The driver of the pickup truck said, a man who looked a year older than him with longer brown colored hair and brown eyes, wearing a pair of camo Cargo Jeans, a Hunting Vest and gloves.
"Ah, nothing," Jordan said, shaking his head putting the IPhone away "Just watching that CNN News Report."
"Again?" The Driver said a bit incredulously. "That's like the fifth time! What's so important about it to you?"
"I don't know, it just seems interesting I guess." Jordan said with a shrug. "Anyways, when are we gonna get there Matt?"
Matthew smiled as he drove the truck across a dirt path "Almost there," he said, "You're gonna love this place Bro, I went hunting out back here with Colton and Hunter, its perfect!"
Jordan Tackett smiled and nodded "I can't wait to see it," he said, "And thanks for the gift Matt...where did you get it at though? I doubt you got it at Walmart."
Matthew chuckled "You'd be surprise what you could find at Walmart," he said, "I once found them selling Bushmaster Patrolman's M4A3 Carbine Rifles, which I purchased one for myself of course. But either way, that's not where I got your little 'present' from. Getting the civilian variant was easy, but tracking down and adding all those little military upgrades was damn hard, but worth it!"
"And I'm grateful!" Jordan said smiling "I love it Matt, probably the best Birthday Present you've ever gotten me!"
"Better than the time I took you to the Club?" Matt said with a grin, causing Jordan's cheeks to darken a bit. "You did get that one girl's number, right?"
"Are we there yet?" Jordan said, trying to change the subject. Matthew sighed as he looked ahead and grinned "Yeah, we're here!" He said.
The Silverado drove up to what looked like a small makeshift campsite, set up around a few trees and made of some tarp, and wooden planks. Not the most nicest looking campsite, but it looked like it could get the job done.
Matthew and Jordan exited the Silverado "Nice, right?" Matt said, "Come on, let's get the stuff out of the back."
Jordan nodded as he moved to the back and began helping his brother unload all of the Camping gear out of the bed of the truck. As Matthew unloaded the tents, Jordan moved to the back and entered the combination for the safe, and once the locks came off, he opened it.
Inside there were several weapons inside, including a Bushmaster Patrolman's M4A3 Carbine Rifle TA01NSN ACOG Sight and a Vertical Forward Grip, and a Mossberg 500 20-Gauge Shotgun. However Jordan's eyes fell to one weapon in particular as he grinned as he picked it out.
A Single Black Mark 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, customized with a standard Telescopic Sight, and a Red Dot Sight built in front of it. It also had a Vertical Forward Grip, and a tripod. ( : / / www . sithtoys Mk14Mod0sm . jpg).
The Rifle was a birthday gift given to Jordan by his Older Brother Matthew, along with his Hunting License. It use to be an average civilian variant MK14 Mod 0 type SEI, however his brother had gone to extreme lengths to bring the rifle up to the same standards of a Military-Grade variant, and from the few times he had the chance to fire it, the time it took to bring it up too these standards were well worth it.
Taking the Rifle and the Ammo Clips with it, he put them next to the Truck and proceeded to help his brother unpack.
About an hour or two later, and their little Camping area was finally set up with two tents, a small fire area, and their supplies stored safely away so wildlife wouldn't get to it. "Finally, done!" Matthew said with a sigh. He then looked at his watch, seeing it was still rather early in the morning, he turned to Jordan "Ready to do some hunting?" He asked with a grin.
Jordan in return grinned himself "I've been waiting for this a long time Matt." He said as he picked up his Mark 14.
In the Forest
After getting their ammo and supplies together, the two brothers set out into the woods with their weapons in hand. It started out as a general hike through the woods, Matthew leading his brother further into the woods, being sure to leave markings to help them get back to camp should they get lost.
"So, we just look for Deer tracks and stuff like that?" Jordan asked, and Matthew nodded "Yeah, anything that can point us in the right direction." he said, "Tracks, Droppings, Markings, anything. Just keep your eyes out for anything."
Jordan nodded "Right," he said before he chuckled a bit "Its a lot different from that Cabela Deer Hunting game, hu?"
Matthew laughed a bit as well "True," he said, "But you need to remember: this isn't a video game anymore, these are live bullets were using." he gestured to the M4A3 Rifle he had. "And you also have to be careful, since there are some things in the woods that could be hunting us, even though its highly improbably, but there are Wolves and Bears you should look out for."
"Yeah, i know." Jordan said, however at that moment both of them heard a very loud 'Yelp!' which sounded rather close by, which was soon followed by a long painful howl.
"What...was that?" Jordan asked, and Matthew's eyes narrowed a bit. "Only one way to find out," he said as the two rushed off to find the source of the sound.
The two brothers followed the sound of the yelping for five minutes until they came upon a small clearing. And in the clearing they saw a sight that made them want to hurt the person who done the deed that they're seeing, very badly.
In the middle of the clearing was a single Grey wolf, something of an amazing sight in itself. However what made them angry was that its left hind leg was caught in what appeared to be a rusty old bear trap, and there was signs of blood coming out of said leg.
"Poor guy must of got caught in the trap," Matthew whispered, "Damn, I like hunting, but even I draw the line when it comes to hunting something as amazing as a Wolf."
"Maybe the Trap was just left here and forgotten?" Jordan said with a shrug "Doesn't really matter, either way that wolf got trapped...what should we do?"
"Well," Matt said, a bit of uncertainty in his voice "First, we could put it out of its misery, easier that way...or, we could try to free it, and run the risk of it attacking us or just running away."
"I'm not killing a defenseless wolf," Jordan said as he began walking towards the trapped animal. The Wolf quickly took note of two humans quickly, and it bared its teeth and let out a loud growl, also letting out a few barks for good measure. This caused both of them to stop.
'It thinks we're trying to hurt it...' Jordan thought, before he tried to speak to it "Hey, we're not here to hurt ya." he said, "We're gonna help ya. See?" He picked up his rifle and set it down a few feet away from him. He raised his hands in a surrender pose. "See? Not here to hurt you."
The Wolf still had his Teeth barred for a good few seconds, however shortly after it gained a more calm look. It was still glaring at the two, but at least it was a good sign. Jordan then began to slowly approach the Wolf, once he was close enough he knelt down and slowly inspected the Bear Trap.
'Looks old, really old.' he thought as he touched the area that the Bear Trap had the wolf in, causing the Wolf to whimper a bit. "Its alright, its alright," Jordan said as he stroked the Wolf's fur "I'll have you out of here in just a second."
He then moved his hands too the Trap itself, grabbing the trap by its 'jaws' "Alright, when I move this, you move your leg out of it, right?" He asked the Wolf. Of course it said nothing, however it just continued to stare at Jordan. "Alright, 3...2...1..."
Jordan then began to pull the Trap apart, the jagged teeth of the trap separated and exited the Wolf's wound. The Wolf whimpered a bit more before it saw its chance as it hopped out of the Trap, free as Jordan let go of the trap which closed right back up with a loud CLANK.
Jordan then turned to the wolf, who was now staring right into his eyes, his ears erect and his neck arched, slightly growling. Matthew watched this with slight worry as he held his M4A3, preparing to shoot the Wolf should it attack his brother.
Then, too the surprise of Matthew and even too Jordan, the Wolf's ears lowered and his neck lowered. He then slowly walked towards Jordan until he was nearly face-to-face with him, and sat on his hind legs, tilting its head to the side.
"You alright?" Jordan asked the Wolf, once again of course it didn't respond verbally. However it then let its tongue out of his mouth, and began to lick Jordan's face "H-H-Hey, Quit it!" Jordan said, laughing a bit at the grateful wolf.
To the side, Matthew sighed as he shook his head, lowering his rifle "Now this is a story the guys back home will never believe," he said as he approached Jordan. "Come on bro, we gotta go."
Jordan nodded as he petted the wolf one last time before he stood up and moved to leave with his Brother. However as they proceeded walking, they heard the sound of something behind them, and looked to see the Wolf was following them.
"Wha...dude, you're free now!" Matthew said, "Don't you have like, a pack or a family to go back to?" The Wolf whined a bit as it lowered its head, almost appearing shameful. "I...don't think he does Matt." Jordan said, as he walked up towards the wolf, "You don't have any family, hu?"
The Wolf said nothing, just raised his head a little, that was all the answer Jordan needed. Then an idea entered his mind, and he grinned "Well...how would you like a new family?" He asked.
Hearing that, the Wolf immediately perked up and barked once happily. Matthew could see where Jordan's was going with this, and his eyes widened "Jordan, are you kidding me?" He asked, "You want to keep a Wolf as a Pet?"
"I wouldn't say Pet," Jordan said with a shrug, "I'd say new addition to the family. Besides, I've been asking mom and dad for a new Dog after Hainse died, and this is even better!"
"Jordan, he's a Wolf," Matt said, "A Wild Wolf! Mom and Dad would never take care of-"
"Then I'll take care of him myself," Jordan said, "I can't leave him out here! Come on, Please?"
Jordan then began giving Matthew the infamous Puppy-Eyes technique, at first he was able to resist it but then the Wolf began to participate as well.
At last, Matthew succumbed "Alright, fine." he said, "We'll keep him, but you're gonna have to talk to mom and dad about this!"
"Sweet!" Jordan cheered as the Wolf Barked happily. "Well now, you're gonna need a Name now, right?"
He hummed in thought as he looked at the Wolf, trying to think of a good name for him "How about...Balto?"
Matthew blinked at that, "Balto? The famous sled dog of Alaska?" he said, curious. Jordan shrugged as he looked at the now named Balto.
"I like it! Besides he's reminds me of him," he said and looked at the Wolf who was wagging, "Don't you agree?"
The now named Balto wolfed happily, and Matthew could just sigh. "Alright, Balto." he said, "Let's get going you two, we got a whole day of hunting ahead of us." With that, the two brothers plus Balto began walking away from the clearing, and out further into the forest.
Much of the day passed by, and the trio had not found any deer on their first day of the hunt. The Sun was slowly beginning to come down, and the three were now back at their campsite, Matt was making some Hot Dogs, while Jordan sat to the side with Balto lying down next to him, watching the fire. They had bandaged up Balto's wounded leg to help it heal faster.
"I wonder what everyone's reaction will be when they meet Balto?" Jordan said, while Matt thought up the meeting in his head.
"I know Mom would freak out. Kelly will be the same. Todd...well he'll definitely love him. I don't know about Dad," he said, "I know your friends will be somewhat jealous of you,"
Jordan chuckled at that, "Yeah they would," he said, "Especially Josh and Dennis, those two will be going crazy. Too bad my pals online will probably never believe me."
"Ryu and that Patriot guy?" Matt asked, and Jordan nodded "Yeah," he said. "I always took Patriot as a guy who likes Wolves," he chuckled a bit "If he found out I had a Wolf in the family now..."
Matthew laughed "Yeah, that would be interesting." He said, as he got one of the Hot Dogs. He glanced at Balto for a moment, who looked up at him. He smiled as he broke off a part of the Hot dog and tossed it at Balto, who quickly caught it in his mouth. "Its gonna be interesting having him around now though, that's for sure."
Jordan was about to reply to that, however Balto's head suddenly rose as he got back to his feet, and growled lightly as he stared up into the sky.
"Balto? What is it?" Jordan asked, in concern. His hand subconsciously going for his Mark 14, as Balto's growling increased in volume. Matt knowing a Wolf's senses were better than a human's reached for his own M4A3.
Just as they grabbed their weapons, Balto began to bark threateningly at whatever was coming. That was when they saw it, a shimmer of light which would appear from heat, but they both knew that was impossible as they raised their guns. However two beams of light emerged from the shimmer, which took their guns from them. "Da shit?" Jordan shouted in surprise.
Then, emerging from the shimmering light, appeared a metal silver and grey Machine. Seeing the Machine, Balto began to back up a bit, but still holding his ground as he stood between Jordan, Matthew and the Machine, which Jordan quickly recognized with wide eyes. "Holy Shit...a Sentinel?"
"Sentinel?" Matthew asked, "What the hell is a Sentinel?"
"Its...its something from Halo!" Jordan said, "Wha...but these shouldn't exist!"
Then, an orange light came out of the 'lightbulb' part of the Sentinel and flashed over the trio, which reminded Jordan of the 'Scanning' from the Didact on Requiem in Halo 4. "Suitable Retainers found," A mechanical voice stated "Activating transportation grid."
"Wait, Transport wha-" Jordan began, before a series of golden rings surrounded the trio, and they vanished in a flash of light. The Sentinel stayed for a few moments longer, putting out the fire with an extinguisher, before disappearing with Active Camo once again.
In a forested area in the Sierra Nevada Region of Northern California, a couple of young men who were in their mid-twenties were traversing the woods dressed in multicam ACU fatigues, and modified RBA vests in MARPAT camo, with one wearing a boonie hat, and the other wearing a cap.
"Man Daniel, I knew you wanted to bring me up here to try the new stuff you got, but you have to get this far up the mountain!?" the one with the cap, who was 6 foot even, had dark brown hair, and brown eyes.
The one with the Boonie hat chuckled, "Well, we have to be far from civilization to try out your new toy, Drew," he said motioning to the AK-type rifle in his companion's hands.
"Yeah, I know. Stupid gun-laws," grumbled the companion, Drew Joseph Cobb, aka D.J. as he looked at his older brother Daniel John Cobb, "I still can't believe you managed to get a AK-12, a civilian version, nonetheless," he said, as he fixed the position of said rifle on his shoulder.
Daniel chuckled "It wasn't easy," he said, "Not to mention I had to hunt down all of the military grade upgrades it had to make it even better. But you will find the extra time I put into it will be well worth it." "It better!" D.J said with a laugh as he checked out his sidearm, a Para-Ordnance P14-45 M1911. "I look forward to seeing who's aim is better, at long last."
His brother chuckled at that, "Hey, I'm the militarily trained one here, and I have two tours of duty under my belt. You're still the rookie," he said only to receive a pine cone thrown at him by his younger brother who glared at him.
"Ass," D.J. said, "At least they're not sending you back there to that shithole again," he said, "Especially with that mini-Hiroshima that happened there,"
"True," Daniel said, as they made it to a clearing, "Well, this is a nice spot to set up camp," he said as he placed his Mossberg 590A1 shotgun against a log, while his brother does the same. They then removed their packs and placed them down next to their guns.
"I like being up here in summer," Said D.J. as he laid against the log, "Much better than being in the fucking foothills or the valley where it's a insane 103 degrees!,"
Daniel rolled his eyes at his brother's dislike of hot summer heatwaves.
"You and your-," he said, but then stopped as he spotted something. Military instincts kicking in he grabbed his shotgun causing his brother to worry.
"Daniel? What's up?" he said as he grabbed his AK-12.
"Shh, quiet! There's something there," he said, raising his Shotgun too where he saw the movement. D.J did the same as he brought up his AK-12. That was when they heard a rather loud humming noise coming from behind them. The two quickly twirled around with their weapons aimed at a strange shimmer, only for blue beams of light to emerge from the Shimmer and confiscated their weapons.
"What the fuck?" D.J shouted in shock, as the shimmering light began to take the form of a rather familiar machine.
"A...A Sentinel!?" Daniel said, remembering the robots from the Halo games.
"That's impossible! These things are not suppose to exist!" D.J. said as another appeared as it deactivated it's Active Camo. The machine then activated a orange beam of light that scanned the two brothers.
"Suitable Retainers found, activating transport grid," said a metallic voice, and before the two could say anything, they and their packs vanished in a golden light.
100 Miles away from Phoenix , Arizona
"-talking about..." Jordan said as the golden rings disappeared, and suddenly he, Matthew and Balto found themselves in a very different surrounding than the woods of South Carolina, and were now surrounded by familiar silver and blue geometric structures. "The Fuck?"
"Who, what, huh?" Matthew said as he whirled around, "Where the hell are we?" Balto was whimpering a bit, obviously confused and frightened after the sudden transportation to a place he had never seen before.
"Its alright Balto," Jordan said as he stroked the Wolf's fur. "Just...just keep calm, alright? "
His actions seemed to calm the grey wolf somewhat, as Jordan and his brother looked around.
"Where the hell are we?" said Matthew as he looked around at the corridors.
"Unless I'm going crazy, we're in some sort of Forerunner Installation," Jordan said completely shocked at what he was seeing.
"That is correct Reclaimer!" said a synthesized voice and the two brothers looked up and Jordan's eyes widened saw at what he was seeing. A glowing spherical machine which appeared to be glowing with an orange color.
"Oh shit...a Monitor..." Jordan muttered.
"Indeed!" The Monitor said, "I am 4775 Serene Fire, I am the monitor of Installation 6599. I must say, its quite welcoming to see Reclaimers within this facility once again! I haven't had the pleasure of any true company here in over 2,000 years! When Incentive Apex informed me of your arrival, I was nearly overjoyed!"
"Uhh...Okay..." Jordan said, "but...why are we here?"
"Please, be patient," Serene said, "We must wait for two more arrivals, since I would prefer not to explain more than once."
The two blinked at that, but before they could the Monitor what he meant by that a flash of light caught their attention and the sound of two bodies hitting the floor.
"Ow," said a couple of voices, and Jordan could swear he heard the Monitor 'sigh' in irritation.
"Not again," said the Forerunner AI, "I just had it fixed, oh well it has been a very long time since I have used the Teleportation Grid, there was bound to be a few glitches."
"Wait, wha-" One of the newcomers, who was wearing a rather military-like attire said as he looked up, and his eyes widened seeing the Monitor "Ah SHIT! Its a Monitor like Guilty Spark!"
"Damn, where the hell did our weapons go?" The older one said, as he searched himself for weapons.
"Your weapons will be returned to you in due time, Reclaimers." The Monitor said, "I apologize if you were startled,"
The younger one looked at the Monitor with an incredulous look.
"Startled? STARTLED!?" the younger one shouted, "That's what you have to say!? Where the hell are we!?"
"Your questions will be answered soon, Reclaimer. If you would please follow me to the Control Room, I will explain everything,"
The Monitor just began to float away towards a doorway. The two groups blinked before sighing and following the Monitor. "So...how did you guys end up here?" The older of the group spoke up. Jordan shrugged "I was with my brother here on a Hunting Trip," he said, "When we called it a night, one of those Sentinels showed up and next thing we knew...we were here. You?"
"Same story really," The youngest said, with a sigh "My bro here just got me an AK-12, and we were going up the mountains to do some shooting and then we ended up here!"
"Wow, you don't say," said Jordan as they continued on, "Nice get up by the way,"
"Thanks, the RBA was a pain to find. You can thank my brother since he's in the Army," he said, "My name's Drew by the way. Drew Joseph Cobb,"
Jordan blinked at that, "Wait? Patriot-112?" he said causing D.J. to blink.
"How did you know my Fanfiction User name?" he asked.
"Aside from the fact your name is on your profile?" Jordan said with a bit of a grin, "Its me! Jordan Tackett! Remember? 117Jorn!"
D.J blinked in surprise, "Well I'll be damned," he said, "It really is you!"
"Yeah," Jordan said, with a bit of a smile "I was wondering if we'd ever meet in person."
"Uhh, Jordan? Who's this?" Matthew asked, "You know him?"
"Online, yeah." Jordan said, "He's Patriot-112, he's a co-author who I work with when it comes to writing stuff on Fanfiction, like my Gundam SEED stuff."
"You must be his older Brother, Matthew, right?" D.J asked, smiling "Nice to meet you, Jordan tends to speak highly of you."
Matthew turned to his younger brother and grinned as he ruffled his hair, "Yeah, that he does," he said as Jordan glared at him.
"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up," Jordan said as he looked at D.J.'s brother.
"You're D.J.'s brother right? Daniel?" he said and said brother nodded.
"Yeah that's right," he said, "And you're one of Drew's Online Buddies?"
Jordan nodded, "Yeah, that's right," he said, as the four continued to follow the Monitor.
D.J. then looked down as he felt something licking his fingers, due to wearing fingerless gloves, and saw Balto giving him a curious but friendly glance. At first glance, he looked like a Siberian Husky. "Say, that your dog Jordan?" He asked, "Looks like a Siberian Husky."
Jordan grinned when he said that "Yeah, he's mine." he said, "But he's not a Siberian Husky." D.J raised an eyebrow "Really?" He asked, "What Breed is he then?" Jordan just grinned more.
"Gray Wolf." He said, and the reaction from D.J. was priceless as said person blinked owlishly.
"You heard me. He's a bonafide, 100% Gray Wolf," Jordan said, and D.J. looked back down at the wolf, and if he was seeing things, he could've sworn it was grinning mischievously.
"Holy shit," said D.J. while Jordan laughed. "How the hell did you get a Gray Wolf?"
"Found him just recently actually," Jordan said, as he stopped laughing "Earlier today actually, Balto got caught in an old Bear Trap and I got him out. Afterwards, he just kept following me and Matthew so we decided to keep him around."
"Balto?" Daniel asked, "You named him after that Siberian Husky sled dog from Alaska?"
Jordan shrugged "Seemed like a good name," he said, "Besides, I couldn't think of anything better at the time, and he likes it." Balto barked once, signifying he agreed.
"Heh, smart wolf," D.J. said, as he gave Balto a scratch behind the ears.
The group continued onward until they arrived at the Control Room which reminded D.J. and Jordan of the Control Room found on the Halos, the hologram that usually displayed the halo ring surrounding it was replaced by a large holographic representation of Earth.
"Ah! We have arrived!" said Fire as the Monitor headed to a control panel. "Please wait a moment as I contact Incentive Apex."
Hearing that caused the group to raise their eyebrows as Fire shot a few streams of electricity at the console.
In Canada, 1 mile north of Cold Lake Alberta
"Yeah, this was a great idea," A male looking to be in his early twenties grumbled, his dark brown hair was cut short and covered by a blue Toronto Maple Leafs hat with his dark brown eyes covered by a pair of tinted glasses, He was dressed in a dark brown heavy duty coat over top a red sweatshirt and a pair of worn blue jeans with the hem of the jeans tucked into a pair of hiking boots, his hands were covered by a pair of tough climbing gloves, on his back was a hiking backpack and slung over his shoulder was a C14 Timberwolf MRSWS Sniper Rifle for his own personal protection against the local wildlife "Me, the guys who hates the cold, going out to explore the area around a place called Cold Lake. God I must subconsciously hate myself."
He looked around the area he was in, he had started hiking in the morning and now the sun was hanging over top of him giving off just enough heat for the Canadian to feel comfortable in a fall outfit. Sighing again he looked up at the cliff he was scaling before grumbling and continued the climb to the top. He was close to the border of the Northwestern Territories of Canada and just couldn't bring himself to leave before trying to get a good view of the true Great White North.
Finally he grabbed the edge for the top of the cliff and with a grunt he pulled himself up and swung his legs over the edge and rolled away from it "Finally," He sighed as he sat up and climbed to his feet and looked out at the scenery around him "Worth it though." He said content as he looked out around him before turning north and seeing the Northwest Territories sprawled out before him "Man the prairies have nothing on this," He said to himself as he looked at the sprawling untamed wilderness before him "And now I want to go out there, goddamn what is wrong with me I'm always wanting to do the hardest stuff imaginable?"
With a sigh he took off the rifle and backpack he was wearing and opened it up his pack to pull out the lunch he had packed for himself and started munching down on a sandwich his eyes constantly sweeping the scenery, not only taking in the magnificent view, but looking for any threats to him. Taking a brief look at his weapon he couldn't help but smirk in pride at the rifle that he had purchased than later modified from civilian standard up to military standard using military surplus parts that had taken him a good year to track down legally "Worth every penny and second." He muttered to himself remembering the kick of the rifle when he first shot it at his Dad's farm in Southern Ontario.
He paused as he heard a distant scream behind him, dropping his sandwich he picked up his rifle and looked out at the wilderness below him scanning for the source of the scream praying it wasn't too far for him to help. His eyes settled on a blur of movement, he saw a tan skinned woman with light brown hair wearing a white coat/vest over a black long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans running from something. Moving quickly he unfolded the bipod mounted on his rifle and laid prone on the ground and sighted down his scope scanning the area behind the woman, he quickly spotted it, a large black blur of an angry black bear as it charged after the woman. Cursing the man slid the bolt of his rifle back loading the first .338 Lapua Magnum round of his magazine into the barrel.
Making a quick estimate on the wind velocity which was surprisingly low that day he aimed ahead of the head of the angry beast making sure to lead the target and took in a breath for gently releasing half of it and ever so gently squeezed the trigger.
The shot echoed out through the forest and the man held his breath until the bear's head blossomed with blood spraying out. He let out a relieved sigh thankful that he not only brought the rifle with him but practiced firing it in various weather conditions until he had an 80% average accuracy rating.
The woman who heard the shot looked over her shoulder to see the bear crashing into the ground as it's forward momentum was no longer supported by it's legs. She stopped her running as she stared in awe at the fallen bear before she heard a shout "Hey! Up here!" Following the sound she looked up to a cliffside to see a man standing at the top holding a rifle and waving at her, obviously the one who had saved her.
Panting and exhausted she made her way over to the man who had hammered a peg into the ground and tied off a piece of rope to aid the woman in her climb up "Are you alright?" The man asked in concern as he helped her up over the edge taking a closer look at her, the woman's dark brown eyes shone with gratefulness she suddenly hugged the man.
"Thank you, thank you so much!" She sobbed out as her near death experience rushed to her as the adrenaline drained away from her body "Thank god you were here!"
"Easy, easy," The man soothed patting her back gently letting her get the emotions out "You're alright now, you must be thirsty after that run."
The woman took a deep breath to settle her nerves as she pulled back and nodded accepting the bottle of water the man dug out of his pack and drank greedily "Thank you," She said again, more calmly this time "My name is Kaiya Taylor, I owe you my life."
"No worries," The man said with a smile as he held out his hand "I just happened to be in the area, the name's Thomas Johnston by the way, just call me Tom though."
Kaiya smiled even as her cheeks darkened slightly but accepted his hand and shook it "A pleasure to meet you," She replied honestly "That was an impressive shot you made too, what was it? Couple hundred meters?"
Tom shrugged "The product of a shit-ton of practice," He assured "I think I spent more on bullets than I did on the rifle with the amount I fired. Although I have to say I am impressed that you were able to outrun a bear, that is not easy."
Kaiya laughed hollowed "Thank god for cross country running huh?" She joked as they sat down on a nearby rock "Not that I'm complaining, but what are you doing out here?"
Tom jerked his head towards the north "The view," He informed with a grin "I didn't come all this way north to not get a view of the Great White North. How bout you? What got the bear so pissed at you." Kaiya's cheeks darkened again as she ducked her head to the side "I was camping with some friends and ended up getting separated from them and lost," She explained embarrassed "I think I might of passed too close to it's territory and pissed it off somehow."
"Well, I can get you to Cold Lake at the very least," Tom assured as he took the time to study the woman, her shoulder blade length hair was a bit frazzled and clung to the back of her neck, but he could see she obviously put a lot of effort into it, she had delicate cheekbones and a rather cute button nose with pouty lips, her figure was definitely that of a runner with a slight hourglass figure from what he could see, he snapped his eyes back up to hers once he got the once over in only to see her doing the same to him "Let me know when you're up to it and we can head out."
Kaiya's eyes snapped up to his own as she smiled slightly with a nod "Just give me a minute to catch my breath and give my legs a rest," She said "I can easily jog a mile, but sprint any more than a couple dozen meters and I'm bushed."
Tom chuckled "I'm the same way only with walking, I can go for days only taking breaks to sleep, but running, forget it!" He said laughing with Kaiya "Are you from around here?"
"Nah, I'm from BC," She said "Vancouver actually, you?"
"I live in Southern Ontario," He answered "And I swear when you get to our neck of the woods, you start hearing the banjo from Deliverance."
Kaiya giggled as his words covering her mouth with her hand "Ontarian Hillbillies?" She asked in amusement "That's new."
Tom's grin falter as he spotted the air above Kaiya that seemed to shimmer like there were waves of heat, only, there was no way as the weather was only in the single digits and not hot enough for that particular weather phenomenon. He stood quickly getting a surprised look from Kaiya as he picked up his rifle and aimed it at the shimmer only for a beam or blue light to shoot out yanking the gun from his grasp "The hell?" He shouted eyes wide as at the shimmering point emerged a floating machine
"Oh my god," Kaiya breathed out as Tom moved her behind him "What is that thing?"
"Something that shouldn't exist," Tom informed studying the machine "It looks like a Sentinel from the Halo games."
Before Kaiya could reply to him a orange light came out of the 'lightbulb' part of the Sentinel and flashed over the pair "Suitable Retainers found," A mechanical voice stated making the pair blink in surprise "Activating transportation grid."
"Wait... Wha-" Tom started but was cut off as rings of gold surrounded the pair before they vanished in a flash of light as the Sentinel activated its Active Camouflage once again.
Northwest Territories, Near the Arctic Circle
"at" Tom finished as the pair appeared in a flash of golden light in a futuristic looking facility "The Hell... what the Hell?"
"W-What happened. where are we?" Kaiya asked as she gripped Tom's arm looking around nervously "What is this place?"
"This is Installation 1199 near the Northern Arctic Circle," A synthetic feminine voice stated causing the pair to whirl around to face what could only be described as a floating lightbulb with a metal shell "And I am 6812 Incentive Apex, Welcome Reclaimers."
"I say again, what the fucking hell?" Tom growled his eyes narrowing "And what the fuck are things from a goddamn video game doing in real life; this can't be fucking possible."
Apex floated there and seemed to study the Canadian inquisitively "Your surprise is understandable Reclaimer," She said as she seemed to nod "And the truth is, I created the video game Halo, that you are referring to, as a way to help smooth any contact with Forerunner technology in the event that I need to summon any Reclaimers descending from the original Forerunner colonists."
"Why?" Kaiya asked "Why did you do it?"
"Simple, I knew a time would come, where one of the Installations or Relays would be discovered," Apex explained bobbing slightly as she moved over to what seemed to be a console "And with a group of what you call 'Marines' finding one of the Installations I had to activate the self-destruct in order to prevent it from falling into hostile Reclaimer hands."
"The explosion in the middle east," Tom stated remembering the news reports "That's what you're talking about."
"Yes, that is correct," Apex informed "But before I activated the Installations self-destruct the Marines chose to use the station for its true purpose, to travel to the Creators dimension."
Kaiya blinked in confusion as Tom's eyes widened slightly "Multi-dimensional theory?" He questioned getting a surprised looked from Kaiya "There truly are other dimensions?"
"Yes," Apex confirmed "The creators were fighting a losing battle against an enemy and the only option left to them was to try and ensure some of their species survived, so to that end, they studied how to cross dimensions. As you can see they succeeded in their endeavour and created six installations and two relays containing the technology to travel to other dimensions."
A beeping on the console caught Apex's attention "It appears that my counterpart Serene Fire has found Other suitable Retainers as well," She announced before pausing "Before I forget, I believe that this is yours."
Apex turned to the two and in a beam of blue Tom's C14 appeared floating before him, something Tom quickly snatched out of the air with a grateful smile. Kaiya looked at him oddly as he whispered 'My precious' to his rifle stroking it and inched away slightly from the Ontarian.
As Apex pressed a button on the control panel an image of another Monitor, along with four people and what looked like a wolf.
"Inceptive Apex! I see you were successful with gathering Retainers?" Serene Fire said, as she greeted her counterpart.
"Indeed I have Serene Fire. Well, I was successful in acquiring only two," the Forerunner AI said. "One was by accident, but she shows signs of being a capable retainer. Though it seems you were more successful."
"Indeed!" Fire said, "Four very capable ones at that, along with an indigenous creature that was with them. I have yet to explain to them why I had them arrive here however."
Apex floated over the holographic form of one of the boys, who appeared to be the youngest and standing next to the wolf. "Greetings to you, Reclaimers." She said, "I am 6812 Incentive Apex, I apologize for how I and my colleague here had summoned you, however the situation is somewhat dire."
"Yeah well, maybe you can start explaining how the hell you exist in the first place!" The boy nearly shouted, "And why did you call for us of all people?"
Apex bobbed her head "An understandable concern Reclaimer," she said, "As I had just finished telling the Reclaimers I have gathered, the Installations we are in presently are some of the several installations that my creators emplaced around your planet when they arrived 2,000 local years ago." The four people were surprised by that.
"2,000 years!?" D.J. said, "How did you manage to keep yourselves hidden after all this time?"
The Monitor answered, "We stayed away from local settlements, and our installations were placed in remote areas where it will be hard, but not impossible for your Race to find us," she said. "A few of your Marines and Taliban Forces found one of these such facilities in the middle east."
"That Crater in Afghanistan..." Daniel said, "You mean, you caused that?"
"Yes," Apex said, "The Hostile Reclaimers you call the Taliban found the facility after following a Marine Squad inside. I had to destroy the facility or risk Forerunner Technology falling into their hands. As the the Marine Squad, in order to save their lives, I had them sent to the Universe of my Creators, which you know as the Halo Universe."
The four figures all stiffened upon hearing that "Y-You know about...?" Jordan asked, and Apex 'nodded'.
"Yes," she said. "In truth, you could say I had a hand in the creation of the games and books. I did so that when the day comes for your civilization to discover our technology, it might come at less as a shock."
"Umm...alright..?" Matthew said, "But...about the games...do you know...the future or something?"
"My guess it has to do with the Librarian," Tom stated getting everyone's attention as he frowned in thought "With the proper knowledge in human psychology and knowledge of the past it could be quite viable to predict how the future plays out, but that's not for certain, my guess is that you want us, Reclaimers, to go to your home dimension to ensure that it plays out in a way similar to what was predicted."
"Yes...that is exactly what the Librarian told us," Apex said, "But she also instructed us to tell you to save as many lives as you can,"
The others blinked at that, "Save as many as we can?" Kaiya said.
"Yes," Apex said. "More specifically during the Human-Covenant war. As you know, billions of lives were lost in that war, and will be lost. It was the Librarian's wish that when the time came, that those who held the correct Genetic Traits that were labels out by her would be sent back, and to correct the wrongs that were meant to be done in her home. All of you possess these said marks, extremely rare marks."
"But what can we do?" Jordan asked, "What can six people and a bunch of Marines do to change the events of an entire galaxy at war?"
"You would be surprised, Reclaimer." Apex said, "Sometimes, the smallest of things can have the largest of impacts over time."
"The Butterfly Effect," Tom said with a sigh as he rubbed his temples "It's all well and good, but for one thing: why should we? We have no connections to that dimension, we know no one there, everyone and their grandmother will be out to get us when the fact that we know about future events and highly classified military secrets, such as the SPARTAN program or even the Infinity. So, why should we put our necks on the line, because I for one have a little thing called 'self-preservation instinct'."
"Did you not put yourself at risk when you saved Kaiya here from a charging bear?" Apex asked curiously, Tom swore that if Apex had a face the expression would be one of amused curiosity.
"Different situations, not only did I have an advantage of being at a high elevation for my shot, but it was happening right in front of me," Tom answered with a frown "But this is entirely different dimensions we're talking about. So I asked again: Why should we?"
"Well...he sorta has a point...I guess." Jordan admitted, drawing the attention of all of the others. "I don't know what happened between you and that girl...Kaiya, right?" The girl nodded that he got her name right "Well, it's sorta the same thing. The high elevation could be our knowledge on the Halo Universe, which gives us a distinct advantage over pretty much everyone else there. And in this case, it all really is happening right in front of us." he then shook his head "And I...well, I just can't turn away from people who need help. If we have the chance to actually make a difference in the Halo Universe, no matter how small it is...maybe it could build up into something bigger?"
Matthew sighed "As much as I hate to admit it, but he's right." he said, "This is bigger than us, and we have the power, no matter how small it might be, to change something. Like I said, hate to admit it, but Jordan's right."
"I have to agree as well," D.J. said getting a surprised look from his brother, "Not only will we be changing major events, like saving Spartans who had been killed, like Daisy-023 and Cal-141. And besides, I'm 23 years old and I got nothing to do with my life here, instead of being a disappointment to my mother and most of my family,"
"Drew...," Daniel said in concern for his younger brother.
"And I'm NOT doing this to have a pity-party or anything. I just wanna use this one chance to prove to my family, and most importantly, myself, that I'm not a disappointment...," After he finished, a hand rested on D.J.'s shoulder, causing the Californian to look up and see Jordan giving him a knowing smile.
"It's okay, Patriot," he said.
Tom frowned as he heard that and looked at them more closely "Patriot-112?" He asked getting a surprised look "Jesus, my luck would be great if one of you is 117Jorn," Seeing the surprised look on the one who placed his hand on Patriot's shoulder he sighed again "Story of my life, one strange thing after another, DragonKnightRyu, At your service."
"Ryu?" Both Jordan and D.J asked at the same time, before Jordan said "Holy shit...never thought I'd see you in person!...'Course, I said the same thing about meeting Patriot here." he chuckled a bit.
"I'll say," D.J said with a chuckle, before he looked at Kaiya, "But who's that? You never told us you had a girlfriend." He added with a grin.
Tom groaned as he rubbed his eyes and Kaiya blushed lightly "Get your head out of the gutter Patriot," He sighed "She's the one I save from a charging bear, now if she wants to date I'll be happy to."
Kaiya's blushed skyrocketed as she tried to curl up in on herself "S-Shut up please!" She stuttered out desperately "W-we just met not even a half hour ago!"
"That doesn't change much," Matthew said with a shrug "Lot of people teased me back when I first met Kelsey about dating her, and now we're married!"
"Matt, leave the poor girl alone," Jordan said rolling his eyes "You can see her blush through the Holograms, cut her some slack."
Matt chuckled at that, as Kaiya tried to hide her self, "Okay, okay, I'm sorry," he said, "But I gotta say, you know how to save the right person,"
"Shut it, will ya!" Tom yelled causing people to laugh.
"So how many other installations are there, and what happened to the Marines you helped escape?" Jordan asked Apex.
"On Earth, there are six other installations spread out across the world." She answered, "Along with two Relay Installations. As for the Marines, I sent them too my Creators' universe. Where I do not know exactly, however I do know the when: It should be approximately at the year 2530 AD."
"That's about five years after when the Covenant attack Harvest in 2525," Tom said with a sigh as he rubbed his eyes "This is going to be troublesome, we somehow need to find a person in a position of power who would be willing to listen to us without either A) throwing us to the dogs, or B) tossing us in an Asylum before we run into a Covenant Army, if you place us in the middle of one, I'm coming back to haunt you."
"So, does that mean you are agreeing to cooperate with us?" Apex asked, and Tom sighed a bit, and was silent.
"...Ah, Hell, might as well." He said, shaking his head, before he turned to Kaiya "Well, what do you say Kaiya?" he asked with a bit of a grin, "Wanna give this whole thing a shot?"
At first, Kaiya was tempted to just say no, and go home. But...before she said anything, something told her deep inside that if she didn't go, she was going to spend the rest of her life regretting that she turned down the opportunity to go with these guys into another dimension.
She then took a deep breath "Well...might as well," she said, "After all this, I don't think I could go back home and live normally now."
That info popped into D.J.'s mind, "Wait, now that you mentioned it, what would happen when our family's find we gone missing?" he said and everyone became concerned at that, and D.J. turned to his brother.
"And not to mention you need to back at the Army base in a week, Daniel!," he said, and Apex spoke up.
"That problem has been taken care of," the Monitor said, causing the others to blink in confusion.
"What? How?" Tom said, confused as to how they can do that.
"When our Sentinels scanned you, they did not just search for Genetic Markers," Serene said, "They copied your memories and almost everything else about you. Using that, we created biological Androids that behave like Normal Humans. While you are absent, they will take your place in your normal lives. Your friends and Family will never know the difference."
The others all blinked in surprise at that "Well...that's one problem solved." Jordan said with a sigh, "My mom goes crazy if I'm late coming home by just a few minutes, if I didn't come home for years she'd lose her marbles."
"Yes, Reclaimer," said Apex, "We don't want that. Also, you six are not the only ones heading to our Creators' Universe. During the last two weeks we have been gathering other potential Retainers from around the planet," she said surprising them, "With you included, that makes...14,"
The others were surprised at this.
"Well at least we won't be alone," Daniel said. "Where are they now? Are they already at the Halo Universe?"
"No, but they soon will be." Apex said, "They are at the Relay node at Antarctica, I gathered and informed them earlier this week, and they will join you at one point after you enter my creator's universe as well."
"Well, we're not going to get anything done just standing here," Jordan said as he cracked his knuckles.
"When do we leave?"
If the two Monitors could, they would've smiled.
"Tomorrow afternoon, you will be brought to the Relay Node in the Sahara Desert in Africa," Apex said,
"From there, you will be teleported to our Creators' Universe. But, first...," she said just as everyone felt a sharp prick at the back of their necks.
"Ah! What the!?" Tom shouted as he rubbed the back of his neck as everyone else did the same thing as Small Sentinels the size of basketballs, were floating away.
"Before you ask, we gave you a serum our Creators' invented, called Combat Nanomachines," Apex said,
"They are compatible with both Humans and Forerunners. They can enhance the healing factor, strength, focus, and ingenuity of an average human by a factor of 5 times, enhanced vision, and they also decrease your standard aging process by a factor of ten, roughly adding 600 years to your lives."
"In other words," Serene said, "You have the strength to take on a Sangheili Warrior in a fair fight and win. And that's without wearing any advance combat skin."
This immediately perked the others interest, and Jordan began to grin. Matthew saw this, and he immediately caught on that Jordan was beginning his 'Planning Phase'.
"Sweeeeeeeet!" Jordan said, looking forward to seeing how these Combat Nanomachines worked, "I can't wait to try them out!"
"If you think that's amazing, these Nanomachines are also programmed with Combat Tutorials which contain all your planet's martial arts, including the ones called Kung Fu, and Karate," the AI said, causing the others eyes to widen.
"I think I'm in love..." Jordan whispered. "Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting~,"
The others all sweat-dropped as Jordan did a quick little 'dance' so to say.
"Okay, if Jordan is done with his dancing...," D.J. said, "Does anybody feel sleepy?"
"That will be a side effect of the Nanomachines bonding with your body. I suggest you get some sleep before you pass out on the floor," Apex advised, and on cue, Everyone began yawning.
"We have proper sleep chambers that you can use," Serene said, "We will have some of our Sentinels guide you there." Again on cue, a Sentinel appeared next to Jordan's side of the Comm, and another one appearing next to Tom and Kaiya.
"Alright, I guess we'd better hit the sack." Matt said, "We've got one hell of a busy day tomorrow." "Yeah..." D.J said, "See ya tomorrow Ryu, Kaiya." and with that, the Sentinel guided their holographic figures out of sight. It was the same as Tom and Kaiya followed their own Sentinel to their quarters. It was now just the two Monitors as they turned to each other.
"Do you think they will succeed?" Serene asked.
"The Librarian had confidence that they will," Apex said, "And I'm willing to trust her...she was right, and the Didact was wrong...humanity is a truly amazing species. If anyone should succeed them in upholding the Mantle, it is them. All we can do is help them find the path, it is their job to walk it." Serene nodded his 'head'. "Will you go with them?" The A.I asked.
"Yes," Apex said, "Though they have much knowledge, there is still much they do not understand, much that they must learn and accomplish that they cannot do alone. They will need as much help as they can get until the time comes."
Serene nodded in understanding, before a thought hit her.
"Do you plan on taking them to Shield 1441?," he asked, and Apex nodded.
"Yes, it will be the perfect place for a base," the A.I. said, "Not to mention 1441 has facilities that will aid in the war,"
Serene nodded in agreement at that. "True," the A.I said, "While you are there however, I will continue to search for more Reclaimers who retain the correct genetic patterns. I believe they will need all the help they can get."
Apex nodded "Yes...yes they will." She said, before the holograms disappeared, and the Forerunner Monitor floated away from the room.
Patriot-112: And that's the Prologue chapter of our new fic! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much we enjoyed writing it.
117Jorn: Yeah, it was actually kinda fun, and quick. We'll be sure to get on the next chapter ASAP!
DragonKnightRyu: *Staggers in carrying a bottle of whiskey* Huh? Am I late? Sorry, I found this bottle of whiskey on the road and I just couldn't just leave it there!
117Jorn: *Sweat-drops* I should have known...
DragonKnightRyu: *HIccups before falling face first into the grounds and starts snoring*
Patriot-112: *Sighs* Same old Ryu...Well, we leave this chapter to you, and we'll back with another soon. Until then...
All: See ya later!