Chapter 1 Introduction

The Spartans of Blue team, comprised of the Chief and the four Spartans from the Spirit of Fire's Red team, filed into the briefing room on a UNSC Cruiser. A Captain with ONI insignia stood up front.

"Spartans, this is an unusual mission." He started. A hologram appeared behind him and he turned to it. "This is the medical research facility at Pegasi Delta. We use it to conduct research on the most virulent and deadly of diseases. If you remember your history, there was an outbreak several hundred years ago on earth of a disease called 'Green Flu' that not only killed quickly but brought the dead back to life but not in a good way. It nearly wiped out the population of the eastern coast of what was the United States. Fortunately the disease died as quickly as it spread, running out of viable hosts too quickly. All of the bodies were destroyed but blood and tissue samples were kept in an underground facility for research. When we went into space these samples were taken as well."

The Spartans shifted uncomfortably in their seats. The mention of the dead coming back to life reminded them of the Flood too much.

Apparently able to read their minds the Captain continued "Unlike the Flood, the people who were infected turned into cannibals, attacking and eating non-infected. There were several different mutations as well, but we could never figure out if it was a different strain of the disease or factors from the infected individuals lifestyle." The hologram shifted to a common infected.

"These are common infected. The majority of people who caught the disease turned into these things. Individually, they are weak and susceptible to bullets. But they are attracted to lights and loud noises so try not to set off any alarms. If you do set one off however, listen for a distinctive shriek. That will warn you that a hoard is on the way." The hologram changed and played a video, a security cam by the looks of it, showing four people going through a street filled with old vehicles. One of them bumped a car and the alarm went off. A shriek was heard and dozens of common infected attacked the group.

Even though they appeared to be civilians, the Chief was impressed by their cohesiveness. They stuck to each other's backs, covering each other when someone had to reload. The older man in the video appeared to be a military veteran as his aim was the most accurate as was the way he held the old rifle.

The group fought off the hoard and continued down the street out of the camera's view.

"These are what some referred to as 'special infected'." Said the Captain as more holograms appeared.

"The Smoker, listen for loud, hacking coughs. And green spores around this thing. You will often find them in high places, they have a tongue that can lash out about thirty feet and draw a person to them." he said gesturing to the first hologram. "The Hunter, again listen for a loud shriek but it will be different from the hoard. The hunter will jump on a person and tear into their flesh. They can leapt higher than any human and cling to the sides of walls." The sound played as the hologram of the hunter showed a video of one jumping on a human and ripping into the person's chest and neck. "The Boomer, a fat thing that will either vomit on you, which attracts a hoard, or if you shoot it while its close enough will still cover you with its bile. Shove it at least five meters away before shooting one. A Jockey, characterized by a maniacal laugh will jump on the back of a person and pull them in all directions. A Charger will emit a loud howl before charging its victim into the first wall it finds, then will pound said victim into the ground with its large left arm. These last two are more typically referred to as 'boss' infected as they are extremely hard to kill." He gestured at a hologram of a girl sitting on the ground apparently crying. "The Witch, her cry can be heard long before you can see her. She hates loud noises and being approached, she can rip someone's chest apart with her claws if she is startled. If you see one, don't engage, turn off your lights and sneak by." He pointed at the last hologram "The Tank, obviously hard to take down with small arms so use heavy weapons when you find one of these. I'm transmitting more detailed information to your data pads. Your mission is this: get into the facility, download all research data, get one sample from each infected type and set the facility's auto destruct. You deploy in 48 hours. Dismissed."