August 30th 2552

Planet Reach

Noble 6 gazed into the crowded stormy sky, watching flashes of plasma and missiles crash against hulls and shields, knowing he had done all he could, taking out a multitude of dropships and a carrier with the MAC.

Six quickly hopped from his perch, the gun out of power as the auxiliary power to the shipyard finally gave out since the Autumn and her reactor was gone. The whine of covenant anti-gravity generators flew past Six overhead as dropships passed his position and circled around to drop off more troops.

"Let them come" Six grimly thought to himself, he knew he would fall, just as a long line of Spartans had before him, but he would take as many of those alien bastards as he could with him. He checked his DMR mag, just as an elite rounded the corner in front of him, the readout on the back of the gun read 6, he smirked to himself at the irony and socked the elite in the jaw, breaking its shield, then pulled the trigger and used one of his 6 rounds to blow the elite's brains out.

"That's for Four," He whispered to himself and the corpse of the elite, thinking back to before he did black ops for ONI.

Two more elites heard the sound of gunfire and came running, and Six threw a grenade, popping their shields and staggering them as they too rounded the corner into the shell of the building.

Six fired two more shots into two more heads, saying, "Jorge, Kat," as he did so. He took the plasma pistol off the hip of one of the elites and started charging it as he moved to the window, where three more elites were herding a pack of grunts, and he released the alien weapon's trigger, managing to pop two shields with the EMP blast since the elites were tightly packed.

He fired his DMR twice more, whispering, "Jun, Carter," as the two zealots dropped. The third in the trio roared in anger and charged, while Six loosed his final grenade at the pack of grunts, hearing the explosions of methane and screams just as he drew his knife and ran to meet the zealot just outside the door.

The zealot made the first move, swinging his energy sword at Six's neck. Six raised his left hand and punched forward, deflecting the blade with his left bracer, but losing his shields in the process. Six turned his shoulder toward the elite and dropped his arm, ramming his shoulder into the elite and stunning him long enough to sink the drawn blade deep into the Sangheli's stomach with a swift upward motion.

The warrior pushed on despite his injury, swinging his sword in a downward arc just as Six let his final DMR round fly, "Emile," he whispered as the final zealot dropped to the dirt covered floor.

Six holstered his now empty DMR on his back and drew his assault rifle, while simultaneously grabbing a spartan laser off a fallen GNJR spartan inside the building, then looking for the inevitable dropship that would be coming to deliver more covenant.

August 30th 2552

Planet Typhon

Final assault on the fold weapon

IMS Malta

Gates had just returned from cleaning the mess off the nose of the Malta from Cooper and Viper's scuffle, she had found two perfectly good batteries and some very expensive Northstar thruster parts and was taking them back to the main hold when Bear pinged her.

Bear called to Gates as she jumped back onto the bridge, "Commander we have a problem, but it's a good problem to have, still a problem though." He was hunched over a console and showed her the readings while playing back some SRS comms, in short the ark was spinning up to fire, but Cooper had done something and now it was exploding, they needed to leave the planet.

Gates turned to the assembled three 6-4 members, "The main bridge viewport is still broken open and there are various holes pockmarking the ship's armor, the Malta is far from space worthy, but it's too big a haul to pass up, we could sell it and nearly quintuple our pay for the mission. My suit is vacuum rated, I'll stay and get it to the rendezvous, you guys take a goblin and get out of the atmosphere."

Davis looked a little disappointed, "I don't feel good about leaving you commander."

Gates punched him lightly in the arm, "Good, that means you care, now get out of here and I'll see you soon."

Gates had strapped herself to the bridge's main control console so she wouldn't be thrown out of the ship from explosive decompression, and she activated the jump drive, heading for orbit just as the fold weapon exploded.

The last thing Gates saw before the ship entered warp drive was disruption that looked like the effects of an arc grenade, both on her helmet and the control console.

Gates's vision snapped back into place and she braced for the explosive decompression, gripping the controls, but it never came and she tentatively looked up. What she saw shocked her, the dusty surface of a planet, and she was heading directly for it.

Gates desperately yanked up on her dataknife in the control port, and managed to pull the Malta out of its suicidal dive as the bottom scraped the top of a few dilapidated buildings, and Gates winced at the grating noise.

Then came the second shocking sight, a flash of purple zipped past the viewport and Gates saw a banshee for the first time in years.

Planet Reach

Noble 6

Six was surprised to say the least when a ship almost the size of a frigate, but of distinctly human design materialized not far from him making a nose dive, which it promptly pulled out of, but not before smashing a pair of phantom dropships on its nose from the sudden entrance.

Six heard a sudden voice that felt as if it was not quite in his head, but not heard with his ears either, "Noble Six, I recommend hailing that ship and calling for extraction, I will open the channel as soon as you acknowledge,"

Six asked, "Dot is that you? Why are you in my armor?"

The AI's voice replied quickly, "I transferred myself to your armor fully right before Noble 1 became KIA, I recommend quickly hailing this ship before it flies out of range,"

"Right," Six said, "Open the channel."

"This is Noble Six of the UNSC, unidentified human vessel please acknowledge, identify yourself, and I am requesting pickup."

A slightly distorted voice of a woman with an accent that sounded British replied almost immediately, "I'm getting your coordinates now, I'll swing around and pick you up, but I have to stay moving and I'll open up a cargo ramp, you are going to have to hop on quick, there is a lot of covenant chasing me."

Six nodded reflexively, "Alright, see you soon," and holstered his weapons and prepared to jump onto the moving ship.

The ship started to pass over Six's head, blotting out the sky, even moving as slow as it was, it was blowing past him. Six looked to the back and spotted the forward facing ramp, and he waited, crouching.

Six jumped as it got close and simultaneously a grunt spotted him, and loosed a fuel rod cannon shot at him, which missed, the explosion dissipating against his shields, but throwing him into a spin in the air. Six felt himself hit the deck of the moving ship, then again, then the wall, then what was probably the ceiling, then the floor another few times.

He looked up once he came to a stop and saw he was inside the belly of the ship, "I'm in," he said over the comms, "But that hurt like hell,"

The ramp closed and the woman came over the comms again, "Are you vacuum sealed? This is very important."

Six was confused at the question, but answered anyways, "Yes, I should be good in a vacuum for 30-35 minutes, why?"

The woman answered, "Because, this bird is not sealed, grab something and brace for decompression,"

Six ran over to a wall and grabbed onto a pair of heavy bars meant for securing heavy cargo just as he felt the drop in his gut that meant they had transferred to slipspace, but a bit different, then he could feel the air rushing past him as it whistled out various holes in the hull. Six magnetized his boots and started heading quickly to where Dot told him where the bridge was

Six got to the bridge and saw that the entire front viewport was shattered, or at least just not there, and a woman about 5ft 6in in silver armor standing strapped to the main control panel by what looked like a grappling hook, a bungee, and some duct tape. The air current was much stronger here so Six had to move much slower.

"Are you the only one on this ship?" Six asked the woman.

"Yep," she said, turning to him, not stopping her hands flying over the controls, "Also what planet is this? The nav computer is a bit buggy right now."

Six answered matter of factly, "Reach,"

The woman looked back at the controls, "And the covenant are invading?"

Six nodded, "Yep."

The woman stopped working for a second, "Well shite,"

Six agreed but was interrupted by Dot broadcasting to both of them, "We have two covenant boarding phantoms coming our way, if you enter me into the console I can finish entering random jump coordinates and initiate the jump as per the Cole Protocol, I will also use this ships onboard energy shielding to create a sealed area in the hangar, then subsequently supply that area with life support. It should be noted that the hangar is the only area where I can do this"

Six asked the woman, "You ok with that?" She nodded and unhooked herself while drawing a scoped rifle from her back.

Six uploaded DOT and followed the woman out of the bridge and across a walkway that led to the hangar. They reached the balcony and saw the massive hangar doors open, with the shield being the only thing that separated them from space as they stood above the hangar. The woman glanced over at Six and said, "race ya down there," as she vaulted over the railing and into a close to 70 foot drop.

Six peeked over the railing and saw her stop about halfway down mid-air and get launched to the side by the love child of a jet pack and a fanny pack, then attach to a wall and start running along it before launching herself off that with grace and fly towards the center of the hangar, then a grappling hook shot out of her wrist and attached to a railing, then she flew towards the hook and slipped gracefully between the railing and the walkway, landing in a crouch behind a stack of crates and setting up her rifle to aim at the hangar doors.

Six was honestly surprised, he'd never seen anyone move like that, but he quickly shook it off and backed up, attaching his assault rifle to his back and sprinting towards the edge of the railing and jumping off, flying through the air and rolling right before he hit the ground, landing 20 feet from where the woman was set up with a colossal thud, then quickly covered the last bit of ground and slid behind the crates.

The woman scoffed, "you land like a titan,"

Six almost asked her what that meant, but he heard antigrav engines as two phantoms entered the hangar and turned to face the new arrivals.

The phantoms divulged their cargo of grunts and elites, then promptly turned tail and left the hangar, foregoing the covering fire they usually supplied to the troops they dropped off.

Gates mounted her DMR on the crate they were behind and said, "You go ahead and flank, I'll start popping elites as soon as you go loud."

Six nodded and ghosted away from the boxes and moved to the left of the grunts, and past the elites that were following them. Six emerged behind the group silently, rolling a grenade through the feet of an elite and into the pack of grunts. The elite looked down in surprise as the steel pineapple nutmegged him and six used the opportunity to jump up and plunge his knife into the back of the elite's neck, severing his spine and instantly killing the sangheili.

Just as the grenade exploded four shots spat out of a rifle in quick succession, dropping two elites to the floor.

The final elite turned to Six and roared a challenge, then charged, spraying plasma bolts as he went. Six grabbed a grunt from the pack, as the cannon fodder still had little idea what was going on, and used the diminutive alien as a shield.

Just as he reached the elite Six's alien cover was suddenly knocked away from him as the elite uppercutted the grunt into the air and started to wind up again.

Both warriors paused for a moment as Gates was suddenly flying above them, propelled by a grapple slingshot, she caught the grunt's corpse mid-air and stuck three plasma nades to its methane tank, then swung down from above and shoved the dead grunt onto the elite. The elite angrily tried to shove the grunt off his face, then froze when it realized why the corpse was stuck to him.

He attempted to jump towards Six in a last ditch Kamikaze attack, but the spartan rolled out of the way as the sangheili exploded into a blue soup.

The woman landed next to Six as he cautiously looked around, "tied in elites, but I think I've got a few more grunts than you there,"

Six simply nodded to her, then asked Dot; "how are we doing on that jump?"

Dot answered quickly, "this ship is a mess and I am unfamiliar with its design, we will jump in approximately 1 minute 30 seconds, I apologize for the inconvenience Noble Six."

Six barely nodded in response and he reloaded his rifle as Dot spoke again, "warning, one more phantom drop ship inbound,"

The alien ship was already in the bay as they turned to look for it, and the doors slid open, divulging a pair of hunters on each side.

The woman looked at Six, "Throw me," she said simply, and Six held out his hand as a place to set her foot. She stepped up and Six set his hand along her side, bringing her horizontal, then threw her like a javelin.

-Gates-B004-

Gates sailed through the air, thinking to herself that whoever this guy was, he had definitely thrown people before, and she wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. She prepped her final two throwing stars she had left from the assault on the Malta, one grav, and one incendiary.

Gates adjusted her course with her jump jets and flew right in-between the first hunter pair, whipping both shurikens into the exposed midsections of the two hunters.

One immediately caught fire and started melting, its armor starting to shudder as the colony charbroiled, the other started having the individual worms pulled into itself by the grav grenade, before an explosion sent them across the hangar bay a few seconds later. Neither of the mgalekgolo were pretty sights.

Gates turned to check on the random UNSC hitchhiker and saw him running from a hunter as its bond-brother lay decomposing on the floor.

Gates still had plenty of momentum so she grappled the drop ship and slingshotted around it, heading back towards the final hunter. She landed in front of the hitchhiker and they both turned to face the hunter, only to see two more pairs drop down around them.

Gates saw the hitchhiker ready himself for a fight and decided they should probably get away from the hunters before trying to engage, so she grappled the ceiling and grabbed him.

She didn't make as much progress as she hoped because she had not expected him to be as heavy as he was, but the massive weight on her arm wasn't there long as she felt the heat of multiple fuel rod discharges that sent both her and the hitchhiker flying.

Gates rolled onto he back and sat up, coughing up blood as she felt her suit's auto-Stim system get to work healing her. Gates wiped her brown hair out of her eyes and realized her helmet had been blown off so she didn't know the extent of the damage.

She saw the hunters start to shamble over menacingly and she turned to her helmet, shouting as loudly as she could, "VETTE GET YOUR SHINY ARSE IN HERE, I DON'T CARE IF YOU AREN'T DONE CHARGING,"

Almost immediately a large thud was heard off to Gate's right and she smiled as the hunters looked for the source of the noise. The thud was quickly followed by a massive set of doors being blown off their hinges and a 20 foot tall war machine stepping through.

The hunters growled and all fired at the titan, and the ion summoned a large blue shield from her left hand, catching the fuel rods and sending them back at the two closest hunters and blasting them across the hangar.

Just as that happened a large box popped over the robot's shoulder and shot a thin, concentrated laser into the neck of one of the hunters, simply vaporizing all of the organic matter contained in the armor. The ion quickly sprinted over as the final two hunters charged up their cannons a second time, but before they fired, the 30 ton ion chassis stepped on one and simply squished him, while the other was hit with a massive fist and turned into a similar meaty paste.

Gates sighed with relief and stood up to look for the hitchhiker, then, when she saw him only a few feet away, she walked over.

-Noble 6-

The woman's helmet had rolled over to him in the explosion, and his was another few feet away, and when he saw her walk over to him, he stood up to hand her back her helmet and looked her in the eyes.

He dropped the helmet, and as it clattered to the floor both their mouths were left hanging open in shock.

"Four?" Six said.

"Six?" Gates said.

Six shook his head in disbelief, "how in hell did you survive?"

Gates looked similarly amazed, "I got obscenely lucky and a random dropship found me. But what happened to you?" She gestured to his new armor.

Six pulled on his helmet, saying, "it's MJOLNIR, it enhances strength, has energy shielding, speeds up reaction time, and a million other…" Six trailed off as the titan walked up behind Gates, "and what...is that,"

Gates jumped backwards into the open cockpit, "this is just my titan, VT-8312. She's saved my life countless times, I call her Vette, and to be completely honest, I picked her because I missed you,"

Six rolled his eyes behind his helmet, "let me guess you also wrote me letters every day," he teased, but he was smiling.

Gates went flush and slammed on her helmet, then closed the titan's cockpit.

Dot interrupted, "jump drive ready and course plotted for random survivable world, jumping in 3, 2, 1…"