Chapter 19

22 July, 2554, 3029 Hours, Spirit of Fire Crash Site, Harvest System, Planet Harvest

"Great," Linda spat. She raised her MA5 defensively. "Graveminds and infection forms and insurrectionists. Now I've seen everything."

There was a roar of chain-gun fire, and the SPARTANs dropped to the ground as the Pelican swooped overhead. Fred fired an M6D, but the bullet ricocheted off the heavy armour.

"Get into the wreckage," Linda shouted. "I'll handle the Pelican!"

The Pelican swooped again, and Linda saw that they weren't going for a standard drop. They were raking the area with bullets. All the more reason to get behind cover.

Asher raised a plasma pistol and squeezed the trigger, and fired a concentrated gob of charged energy. The large ball of plasma slashed across the cockpit and sizzled by an engine. Asher grumbled under his breath.

"Don't waste your ammo," Linda shouted. "Get into the wreckage. Behind cover!"

Asher obediently followed the rest of the SPARTANs through the flames.

There was a burst of MA5 and M90 fire from the back of the Pelican: five armoured heavy insurrectionist guards waiting for dropoff. One tossed a grenade out.

Linda's bullet stopped the grenade even before it dropped a meter. There was a flame and shrapnel streaked through the air.

Mark fired another sniper round into the Pelican's engines. Linda followed suit, backing into the wreckage.

Fred coughed and got to his feet. "I've got two active FOFs in the ship!"

"Flood," Asher responded snippily, trying to fire rounds into the Pelican blood tray.

Ash stopped Fred from falling. "No... Don't flood kill their host? Or..."

He left the other option away. It was too horrible to voice.

Asher shrugged. "Alive or no, what are you going to do?"

Olivia shrugged back. "Rescue them."

Keichii piloted excellently. He swooped through the streets, while John mowed combat forms down in the streets. Kelly watched in satisfaction.

"So," Keichii said, "They took out my FOF implants so I can't find the other SPARTANs. Can you guide me there?"

John mentally pinpointed the active FOFs. "The crash site."

Keichii frowned at that. "What crashed, I'd like to know."

John shrugged. "I guess it's Covenant, judging by those plasma explosions. But it's too burnt out to see."

Kelly stabbed a finger at an item on a viewscreen. "I've got two active FOFs in the crash site and a few more out of it. There are hundreds of inactive FOFs... UNSC servicemen."

She reached into John's pocket, found nothing, the growled a curse. "John, where's Cortana?"

John frowned. "We got captured... I hope Asher has her."

Kelly frowned slightly at the use of a 'her' for an AI. But she didn't comment.

"Hope," Keiichi grumbled as he spun the Pelican through a cloud of whirling snow, "Is what you do when you're just about to die."

Kelly shot a glance at him, but didn't speak. John however, did.

"Keiichi, may I remind you that hope was the single thing that got us through the war, Covenant and Flood?"

"Hope... And faith," Kelly added.

Keiichi nodded slowly. "And you'd better be right," he whispered.

Jerome kicked the flood form. Hard.

It spattered into a puddle of ichor and splattered itself on the ground. He shot it twice for good measure.

He turned to look at Malcolm, and gave him a signal.


Malcolm returned a thumbs up.

The two SPARTANs where in the cryobay, surrounded by their dead team-mates, including Captain Cutter. The infected Serina/Gravemind thing had been beaten back by the flames... For now.

Jerome eyed the flames. "On the count of three."




The two SPARTANs launched into action. Jerome hit a det tab he was holding, and one tonne of UNSC A-Grade explosives went off simultaneously, blowing most of the ship to pieces. Meanwhile, Malcolm jumped into the air, let himself be carried by the shockwave, and landed in a run, firing everything that wasn't dead. Planting a grenade into the middle of Serina's core, he jumped backwards in time for the explosion.

Flames shot out of the Gravemind, and it roared in pain as most of its processing power was destroyed. Angrily, it swiped at Malcolm.

"Jerome!" Malcolm shouted

Jerome turned tail and fired into the Gravemind, not enough to kill, or even wound seriously. Just to annoy it. Annoy it a lot.

The Gravemind grumbled unhappily and withdrew its tentacles. Then it growled at the two SPARTANs.

"Showtime," Malcolm whispered.

Sorry for the veeeeeeeeeery late update. I've been living a life out of Halo for a bit. Oh well. And short chapter too. I hope I can pull my act together soon.