Halo: Elite Force Chapter 1
7 of 9 was standing watch in Astrometrics when the sensors began beeping at her. She brought it up on the display and watched as a ship...or rather half-a-ship drifted through. She analyzed the blue ripples. They were similar to a transwarp conduit but they appeared to operate on different principles. She tapped her combadge. "7 of 9 to Bridge. Captain Janeway will you come to the Astrometrics lab. I believe I've found something."
On the Bridge Janeway got up and headed for the turbolift. "I'm on my way 7. You have the bridge Commander."
A moment later she walked into Astrometrics and found 7 of 9 perform several different types of scans on a...derelict ship. "What is that?" she asked
"I believe it is a vessel Captain or at least it was. It came through a portal of some-kind similar to a transwarp conduit. But this may peak your interest more." said 7.
She tapped some controls and a portion of the hull magnified. On it was a small collection of numbers and letter Janeway recognized as English. "FFG-201? Forward unto Dawn? What's that mean?"
"I do not know Captain, but I am reading one lifesign aboard, possibly human."
"I'd say probably human judging by the script. All right we'll take a look. Janeway to bridge, Mr. Paris set a course for the coordinates 7 is transmitting to you and engage at maximum warp."
"Aye sir...ETA now three hours." replied Paris
Three hours later Voyager arrived at the derelict. "Harry, what can you tell us?"
"The hull is composed of a titanium alloy. I'm detecting several pods that could be missile or torpedo launchers. They don't appear to use any energy weapons at all. I am detecting a faint plasma weapon signature but the computer doesn't recognize it."
"One human and at least a dozen others of an unknown type. Most of the ship is exposed to space. Judging by the readings I'd say the human is in some sort of stasis."
"What about the others?"
"I can't make heads or tails of those readings. All I can tell you is that there is something biological over there besides the human. I recommend caution."
"Tuvok, take a security team and see what's over there."
Cortana was awakened by what was left of the Dawn's external sensors. It took a few minutes for her to become fully awake. But once she saw the vessel floating nearby and its human-style script she woke the Chief. The cryo chamber opened and a large man in a green armored suit floated out. He grabbed the weapon nearby and turned to Cortana. "How long?" he asked
Her hologram appeared on a pedestal nearby and she looked surprised. "Not long actually. A few hours. I thought we'd be here for awhile longer the chances of someone actually finding us are astronomical."
"What woke you up?"
"The Dawn's external sensors recorded this ship floating nearby. It hasn't hailed us or launched any craft. In fact- hold on. There is a strange energy signature appearing on the ship. It's similar to the Halo's transportation grid. Let me check internal sensors...This is interesting. Someone has found us but I don't think they're UNSC or Insurrectionist or Covenant for that matter. I can tell you that three of the four beings on board are human. But I can't say what the fourth is...Uh Chief this is not good. It appears we have some stowaways."
She showed him the image of the flood in one of the cargo bays. Then a schematic of the ship that showed a route to the nearest armory, the human/alien lifesigns and the Flood. "I'll remain in the system to monitor the Flood and the aliens."
Silently the Chief floated down a hall to the nearest armory. Which was conveniently located down the hall from the cryo-chamber. He restocked his assault rifle and slapped a fresh clip into it. He also grabbed a pair of pistols, submachine guns and a shotgun. Along with a bandolier of grenades and shotgun shells. He then headed for the Flood. "Chief the aliens are headed toward the Flood."
"I'd better get there first."
A few minutes later he heard a roar as the Flood attacked. Then he heard a new sound. Like an energy weapon but different from the Covenant. He moved quicker and came around a corner to see four people in space suits with strange looking rifles firing at Flood combat forms. The rifles spat out beams of energy at the Flood forms slicing them in half. Without hesitation the Chief jumped into the fray throwing a fragmentation grenade at the Flood. He watched the grenade take down two forms then mowed two more forms down with his assault rifle. A small clutch of infection forms jumped at the aliens in the space suits but the Chief was faster. In the blink of an eye he drew his pistol and fired. The round punctured the weak infection form and it popped. Two more minutes of intense fire and the Flood was gone. After one final check, the Chief lowered his weapon and turned to the four aliens. One of them stepped forward. "I'm Lieutenant Tuvok of the Federation starship Voyager."
"Master Chief SPARTAN John-117 United Nations Space Command. But you may call me John."
"John...who are you? Where do you come from?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
"We come from the planet Earth." said one of the humans
"So... the Covenant didn't destroy Earth?"
"Who or what is the Covenant?" asked Tuvok
"A collection of alien species bent on exterminating mankind."
"I know of no such collection. Earth is part of the United Federation of Planets. A
collection of species who have banded together for mutual trade and protection."
"What about the UN? The colonies?"
"Earth has several thriving colonies but the United Nations ceased to exists over three hundred years ago."
The Chief was shocked. The UNSC gone? "What year is it?"
"Impossible. The year should be 2553!"
Lt. Tuvok took out a tricorder and scanned the Chief. "I believe I have an explanation. Come with us to our ship and we will explain."
The Chief hesitated then nodded. "Very well. Let me grab something first. Cortana I think you should introduce yourself."
Cortana appeared on a nearby pedestal in holographic form. "Greetings I am Cortana. An artificial intelligence. Third generation Smart AI." She turned to the Chief "I'm packing right now...I'm ready...yank me."
The Chief pulled her chip out of the pedestal and inserted it into his helmet. A cold mercury feeling filled his head once again. Cortana was a familiar presence by now. She'd been with him since just before the battle for Reach. The UNSC's last major military installation before the Covenant got to Earth.
The four strangers straightened. "Tuvok to Voyager, five to beam up."
"Acknowledged...uh Tuvok I can't get a lock on your friend, some kind of shielding."
"It's ok, we'll take our Pelican. There's still one in the docking bay right Cortana?"
"Very well. Tuvok to Voyager, there is some sort of shuttle still docked here we will use it to return to Voyager."
"Understood we'll prepare the shuttle bay."
The five men made their way through what was left of the ship. On the way Cortana gave Tuvok a brief rundown of what happened to the Chief. From the Human-Covenant War all the way through the events of Halo, Earth, Delta Halo and finally the Ark. Finally they made it to the docking bay. It was a mess but the Pelican was intact. The Chief inserted Cortana into the system and she began the power-up sequence. "Chief, there's a problem, the docking clamps won't release us. They've been fused." said Cortana
"I believe we can be of some assistance. Ensign?" said Tuvok
One of the other security officers nodded and floated outside. He set his phaser to a cutting beam then sliced off the docking clamps. The Pelican hung there as he crawled back inside and Cortana dropped the ship and powered the engines and set a course for Voyager. "Cortana what is this vessel used for?" asked Tuvok
"This is a DH-177 Pelican dropship. It is the UNSC's premier dropship and inter-ship shuttle. Fast, maneuverable, some variants are even armed as gunships." she said as a technical schematics appeared on a display. "But they are vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire so the UNSC invested the time and money into developing another way to deploy troops. The Single Occupant Atmospheric Entry Vehicle or HEV. A ship can deploy these from low orbit, getting troops down to the planet faster than dropships. While computer-controlled artillery will get some of them, each destroyed pod will result in a single casualty instead of a dozen. The troops we use for those are called Orbital Drop Shock Troops or ODST, they prefer the name Helljumper. Their motto is 'feet first into hell'."
"We're on final approach to Voyager. It's a beautiful ship."
"It's the latest Federation design. But we will exchange more information once we're aboard."
Cortana took the dropship and flew it through the shuttle-bay forcefield. She was fascinated by their technology. She landed the dropship expertly and shut everything down. Then the Chief took her chip and put it back into his armor and walked down the ramp. Captain Janeway stepped forward. "Greetings Master Chief, I'm Captain Janeway. Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Voyager."
Before she could blink, the chief had snapped to attention and snapped a salute. She hesitated then returned the salute. They still taught saluting at the academy but it wasn't normal protocol.
"Thank you Captain. I am Master Chief SPARTAN John-117. My companion is Cortana a military artificial intelligence."
"Please follow me to Astrometrics. I believe we can answer some of your questions." she said. Then she turned and led the Chief and the security team out into a hallway and to a turbolift. They all couldn't fit so Tuvok dismissed the security team with the Chief's promise that he won't harm anyone. The turbolift groaned as it tried to lift the Chief's weight in addition to a human and vulcan but it got them to the right deck.
"I understand you're some kind of special operations soldier." she said as they exited the turbolift and headed toward Astrometrics. Several starfleet crewmen stared at the Chief but he was used to it. He got the same reactions from UNSC Marines and Sailors.
"With respect ma'am I'm not at liberty to say. My specific origins are classified. I can tell you I'm with the Office of Naval Intelligence. I can also confirm that I'm special forces. Beyond that you don't have the clearance."
"I understand." She lead him to Astrometrics and he had to duck to enter the room. "Seven of Nine this is Master Chief SPARTAN John-117. But you can call him John."
Seven nodded to him in greeting he nodded back. "I believe I know what has happened. Your ship passed through not only a portal through space but thought time and reality as well. I detected curious quantum-temporal anomalies when your ship appeared. You're not only from another time but another reality as well. Unfortunately, there is no way to send you back."
"Captain, I would like to examine those sensor logs." said Cortana.
"You want to interface with our computer?" Janeway asked
"I don't need to completely interface with it just let it transmit the logs to me."
The Captain nodded to Seven. A few minutes passed as Cortana analyzed the sensor logs. She checked it once, then twice, then a hundred times more. There was no doubt. There were stuck here. "Chief...they're right."