About a few months ago, I've watched this new anime and some of the manga. My reaction: "HOLY CRAP! This is amazing work!" Then, a lightbulb appeared. "Hey, why don't I make a crossover between this and my favorite video game series, Halo." This is the result.
AN: I don't own any Halo or Gate - Jietal Kare no chi nite, Kaku Tatakeri content. They belong to their respective owners.
The Rising Autumn
Date: [September 19, 2552] [01:00 UNSC Standard Time]
In the middle of deep space, a lone Halcyon-class cruiser drifted in an unbothered journey through the void.
Its massive fusion drives, modified for a different purpose, pushed the vessel at a leisurely pace. Although placid in motion, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn was by no means defenseless. Secondary weapons systems covered every section of the ship, idle but ready to fill anything up close with hot 50 mm lead and Archer missiles. The MAC gun, fitted with enhanced boosters and improved rounds, was prepared to pound any capital ship into fields of scrap. Repurposed from Covenant technology, human-made energy shields complemented the already resilient honeycomb infrastructure of the UNSC vessel.
The cautious warship wasn't going to be shot down anytime soon.
A lone man stood in the bridge, watching the crew around him carry out their respective duties. The man, Captain Jacob Keyes, watched them all with a pleased expression. Turning around, Keyes thoughtlessly looked out into the darkness of space. His hand tapped on his grandfather's pipe, occasionally chewing on the tip for concentration. His gaze and body language held a calm and confident presence, giving the crew a much needed moral boost.
Well, not that he would blame them. The recent failure at Reach was something that would even take away his own spirit. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the Autumn's Longsword fighters fly past the viewport, giving his ship a small form of escort.
Despite their presence, his nerves weren't eased in the slightest.
"Cortana, all I need to know is did we lose them?" Keyes spoke up.
A hologram of a woman appeared on a holotank next to him. The A.I's blue color and the geometric patterns that scrolled all over her body gave her a unique and exotic appearance. A witty expression was plastered on her beautiful face.
"I believe we both know the answer to that, Captain." Cortana smirked and crossed her arms.
Keyes sighed, rubbing his tired eyes.
"Now is not the time for jokes, Cortana. I need to know if the Covenant are able to track us from Reach," He barked sternly.
Cortana pouted, her mouth curling into a frown, "No need for concern, Captain. If they've managed to track us through slip-space, we would have been swarmed with plasma fire long ago," She noted thoughtfully.
Keyes couldn't help but clench the pipe in his hand tightly. Plasma, graceful as it was, shouldn't be what a person had to physically experience firsthand. He had the scars to prove it.
"Their ships have always been faster, but the fact that they haven't arrived yet is very surprising." Cortana continued on, a contemplative look on her features.
Keyes nodded his agreement, eyes narrowing in thought.
As much as he hated to admit it, there was no secret that Covenant vessels were far greater to that of the UNSC. Their superior weaponry, maneuverability, and the constant usage of energy shielding easily outmatched any human ships in space combat, even when outnumbered by a three-to-one odd. This lead to many defeats for the UNSC navy and eventual glassing of numeruous UEG colonies, including the one the Autumn was recently forced to abandon despite its augmented capabilities.
The fact that there wasn't a stampede of Covenant ships following them out of slip-space was a fortunate stroke of luck.
"So, we've made a blind jump, in the middle of nowhere with the Covenant possibly following our trail." The Captain said.
His fingers drummed around the wooden pipe in his hand nervously, "And, by sheer coincidence or not, we've managed to stumble upon an uncharted world."
He gestured towards the planet in front of the cruiser.
Keyes's worries weren't entirely unfounded. When the Pillar of Autumn transitioned to normal space a few hours ago, the crew had been initially caught off-guard by a sight they did not expect: an uncharted planet. It was a vibrant, beautiful world, to say the least.
From what the Autumn's Clarion spy drones were able to gather, it was a planet very similar to Earth. Atmosphere, oceans, continents, the wildlife, it was practically a garden world left uncontested. Surprisingly, it even had civilizations, albeit in very primitive stages. The circumstance reminded Keyes of the countless planets Humanity had found before they were colonized.
Also, the fact that it was quite the breathtaking sight didn't hurt either.
Cortana smirked, "Well, that's one of putting it, but at least we have a moment to breathe the air and stretch our limbs." She demonstrated by reaching out to the ceiling with her hands.
The Captain had an amused glint in his eyes and relaxed his shoulders slightly, "As worried as I am at the moment, I have to agree."
He brought the cigar pipe to his mouth, lighting it before inhaling.
A brief breeze of smoke exited from his mouth and disappeared into the stale atmosphere of the bridge. The officer felt the tobacco calm his anxiety and bent his head to the side. Keyes repeated the process on the opposite direction, producing loud cracks from the cranial bones inside his neck. Letting out a sigh of relief, he began to feel a hair better than he did moments prior.
"So where do we stand?" Keyes asked, feeling slightly refreshed.
Cortana shrugged in response, "Our fighters are mopping up the last of their recon now. They've detected no contacts, so we're in the clear for now."
The Captain nodded at the good news, "That means we have time to-"
Before Keyes could continue, Cortana cut him off. All form of humor that radiated off of her had suddenly disappeared. Keyes felt his heart stop for a moment, and he gripped on his pipe tightly.
Had the Covenant finally caught up to them?
"Captain, I've intercepted a radio signal down on the planet's surface," She reported.
That had definitely taken Keyes completely by surprise, and he felt his mind instantly go into overdrive. With the exception of the few civilizations and the lack of electric-based technology, it was assumed that the planet was left uninhabited. Apparently, someone got there before they did, and Keyes wanted to find out who they were.
"Are you able to identify the source?" He asked.
The officer only received a defeated sigh.
"Unfortunately no, the signal is very old for me to decipher clearly." Cortana shook her head, "I'm counting centuries wise, possibly equivalent to Cold War level."
The A.I frowned, confused as much as the Captain listening attentively. "Whoever's down there is using outdated technology, very outdated technology."
With that in mind, Keyes pondered silently as he repeatedly tapped on his pipe.
No group of UNSC origin could be out this far into unknown territory. If there were any in the first place, the Autumn's sensors would have immediately alerted him. He knew for sure it wouldn't be Covenant either, but it was possible that they have entered a First Contact scenario. Maybe, it could be a cut-off element of humanity that had been separated from the rest of the UNSC.
Either way, it wouldn't hurt to be certain though.
"If that's the case, we have an unknown entity that can present a threat to this ship and its crew," Keyes commented, walking to one of the bridge's stations.
He inspected the crew-member's work before nodding in satisfaction, calmly walking back to the central holotank.
"Get me Colonel Holland, and bring the ship to combat alert Alpha," He ordered. "I want everyone at their stations." Alarms went off immediately, causing the Bridge's personnel to scramble back and forth to get to their respective posts.
Cortana smiled, "Everyone, Sir?"
The Captain nodded in response, "Everyone."
She set out to work, but Keyes turned around and suddenly interrupted her.
The A.I stopped, looking at the officer with a questioning gaze, "Hmmm?"
For the first time since he had been given the privilege to command the Autumn, Captain Keyes let out a genuine smile.
"Let's give our old friend a warm welcome."
It was time for a certain super-soldier to come into play.
Cortana's smile was even wider than his own. "I've already begun."
Rory Mercury let out a giggle, the bandit within her halberd's grasp whimpering in fear and terror.
Then, with a simple flick of her wrist, the man's head fell from his shoulders, his body following shortly after. It was like cutting wheat in a bountiful harvest. With a sigh, the Apostle flicked her oversized tool repeatedly, cleaning off the blood that had stained her sacred weapon. All around her, numerous bodies of different men lay on the ground, mutilated beyond recognition while some were decapitated like her last victim.
These vermin, who the demigoddess had stumbled upon by accident, have plotted to ambush a convoy of refugees from a nearby village. That was something that she could not allow. So, she slaughtered them all, without any pang of guilt or remorse. Their cries of mercy fell upon deaf ears, and she thrived on the feeling of the bandits' fallen souls flowing through her petite body.
It was completely cathartic.
Rory heard faint panting, and she turned to see a lone bandit running away in fear and panic. She grinned, walking after the survivor in a casual pace.
"What is an Apostle of Emroy..." The bandit panted, "...doing here!"
He cried out in surprise when he fell into a ditch, staining himself with mud and feces.
The bandit nearly gritted his teeth to dust, "Shit! What the fuck do I—"
"Well, you enjoyed all the fun." A cheerful voice interrupted him, and the frightened man turned around to see Rory stalking towards him.
The Apostle leisurely took her time, as if she was a predator toying with its prey. The cold, unforgiving eyes greatly contrasted with her young, delicate appearance, and the bandit shivered when those same eyes bore into him with a malevolent gaze. They studied him, watching for even the slightest of his movements.
"Killing and raping, with the other men, right?" The Apostle bore her halberd into the dirt, cracking the ground with little effort. The bandit screeched, crawling away from Rory in sheer terror.
"I-I didn't...yet..." He stuttered, his fatigued arms barely moved him an inch, "I'm new...to this..."
Rory stopped, her eyes narrowing in brief contemplation. "Hmm..."
The bandit dragged himself a few good inches when a hand suddenly grabbed him by the collar, hoisting him up without trouble. He yelped in surprise, and Rory let out playful grin. She effortlessly tossed him in the air, causing the bandit to scream by the sudden flight.
It was only for a few moments until gravity eventually took hold, and the man quickly fell back down to the ground. He grunted when his body met the dirt, and he heard a crack of a rib breaking from the force of the fall. Painfully bringing his head up, he was met with a sight that brought chilling dread to his heart.
Spread out before him were the bruised, naked bodies of a young girl and her mother. The same ones that his late comrades had their way with before they murdered the pair in cold blood. He hadn't taken part in the act himself, but the lifeless eyes of the dead women nonetheless sent unnerving chills up his spine.
"Everyone's done it, why don't you too, before you die?" He turned to see Rory smirking at him humorlessly, "I'll ask them, which one?"
She frowned at the bodies, her eyes softening, "Oh that's not good. They've passed away."
The Apostle bent down, gently closing the eyes of the deceased daughter in a surprising mix of sorrow, kindness, and respect.
"Sorry I couldn't be here sooner." She sent a quick prayer before her head snapped to the stunned bandit.
"But..." Her smile returned, but it was full of a happiness that didn't fit quite right with her tone. It was evident that she was simply toying with him, "...why don't you do it anyway?"
The gaping bandit was on his knees at this point, "Spare me! I didn't do this! I swear!"
Fear and desperation took over any rational thought, and the man's sense of dignity disappeared along with his bowel control.
"I only joined the bandits to survive! My family was poor." Tears began to form in his eyes, and he brought his hands together.
"I'll reform! I'll work hard. So please not my life—" He was cut off by a dismissive wave from the indifferent Apostle.
"Disgraceful, you could have been a beggar if you didn't want to kill." Rory glared at the bandit with a disgusted sneer. "Instead you joined a band of disgusting cretins and became less of a man as a result."
She gestured to the women and a dead man not too far off, "Dig graves for these three."
Despite his fearful state, the bandit openly balked at the Apostle's "request". He looked at Rory, then to the bodies. "Dig? But a shovel—"
A menacing shadow draped over Rory's eyes, and she glared at him in disapproval. "You have hands. Given to you by your mother. Use them."
A subtle threat in the form of her halberd reminded the bandit that he was in no position to complain. Given enough incentive, the bandit immediately changed his mind and began the process of digging up the graves.
"My hands," He grimaced and brought his hands up to reveal bloody, calloused skin. "Damn!"
"Keep them going."
The horrifying noise of Rory's halberd hitting the ground made the man work with more vigor, hell bent on completing the task. His mind tuned out everything in the process, but by then, hours had passed and the morning sun began to rise from the mountains. The working bandit sighed as he placed a large stone on the last grave.
He turned around to see the Apostle kneeling in prayer, the sunlight making her almost omnipotent. For a moment, the stunned bandit was mesmerized by the Apostle, forgetting the fact that she had terrorized him mere hours ago. A second later, Rory stood up. She grabbed her weapon, confusing the bandit.
His confusion immediately turned into terror when the Apostle's intentions were made clear.
"He—hey!" He backed away in fear, "I did what I was told! I did it!"
The man's words did little to deter the demigoddess' advance. In fact, it seemed to encourage her further. Rory let out a predatory grin as she viciously brought her halberd down to her target.
"Help! Please don't do this!" The screams were cut off by a sickening squelch and the dark color of crimson began to flow everywhere.
Everything became silent. Rory huffed, wiping the offending liquid from her face and body with annoyance.
Done with her task, she sat on a boulder, rocking her legs back and forth. The Apostle of Emroy gazed at her handiwork, drumming four fingers on the handle of her massive halberd. Had anyone else witnessed the exchange, they would have seen it as a one-sided massacre.
So much blood was shed, but Rory didn't mind. Any feeling of remorse was long since dulled by the countless centuries of killing. Whether it would be corrupt soldiers or bandits like the ones she had encountered moments prior, all of them died the same way: letting out cries of mercy before falling to the blade of her halberd. She had even earned a reputation for herself.
Rory the Reaper.
She liked the ring to it.
Satisfied, Rory sat up and dusted herself off before looking up at the morning sky. The stars haven't completely disappeared yet, so she was greeted by a beautiful sight of different constellations, one she admittedly enjoyed watching from time to time. From the corner of her eyes, she saw one particular star that quickly caught her attention.
It was blinking at her, as if the Goddess of the Celestial Night herself were greeting her from the vast darkness of the sky. She smiled, waving at the star. A feeling of premonition washed over her and the Apostle couldn't help but lick her lips in anticipation.
Things were going to change and Rory the Reaper will be there when it begins to happen.
A childish giggle echoed throughout the silent valley.
CTN 0452-9's report on the [UNSC Pillar of Autumn]
Manufacturer: Reyes-McLees Shipyards
Class: Halcyon-class light cruiser (*Refitted)
Length: 1,171 meters (3,840 ft)
Width: 352 meters (1,150 ft)
Height: 398 meters (1,310 ft)
Engine: Experimental reactor set (One primary, two secondary)
R7 couplings (Discarded)
Slipspace drive: Series V CODEN/SFTE
Hull: Titanium-A battleplate (Two meters thick)
Armament: Mark ll, Light Coil - 56A2D4/MAC (*Modified) (1)
Shiva-class nuclear missiles mounting 30 megaton HAVOK warheads (4)
HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons (3)
M58 Archer missile pods (300 pods x 26 missiles)
50mm M910 Rampart point-defense guns (18)
Mark 33 Spitfire naval coil gun batteries (8)
M66 Sentry auto cannon turrets (6)
Targeting systems: Shipboard A.I
Sensor systems: Radar, Spectroscopes
Countermeasures: Emergency thrusters (Port & starboard)
Complement: GA-TL1 Longsword Interceptors (1 squadron)
D77-TC Pelican Drop-ships (15) (*1 Modified)
D96-TCE Albatrosses (3)
AV-14 Hornets (10+) (*2 in repair)
AV-22 Hawks (6+) (*1 in repair)
UH-144 Falcons (7+)
EV-44 Nightingales (7+)
AC-220 Vulture (2) (*1 in repair)
M808B Scorpion Tanks (20+)
M850 Grizzly Tanks (2)
M9 Wolverines (5+)
SP42 Cobras (3+)
M400 Kodiaks (2) (*1 in repair)
M12 Warthogs (60+)
HRUNTING Mark III [B] Cyclops (10+)
M8823 SOEIV Drop pods (216+)
Class-3 Bumblebee lifeboats (18+)
Clarion Spy drones (4) (*1 in repair)
Crew: 1,000 Naval Personnel
1,500 Marines, 2 Battalions (79th Infantry Battalion)
400 ODSTs (1 Battalion)
600 Army Troopers (*Transferred from UNSC colony Reach)
2 SPARTAN IIs (1 MIA)
300 Civilians (*Transferred from UNSC colony Reach)
150 Medical personnel
Commanders: Captain Jacob Keyes, Colonel Urban Holland
Launch: December 1, 2510 (Refitted in 2550)
Last sighted: September XX, 25XX
End of CTN 0452-9's report on the [UNSC Pillar of Autumn]
Hope you guys enjoyed the prologue! Review to share your opinions!