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    Origins: Final Hour

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 11th 2018, 3:03 am

    "Alright children, settle down." Dawn said as she sat lightly on the edge of her desk at the front of the room. "I know you're all very excited to meet one of the last surviving Spartans from the Covenant Human war, but we have to remember that they are very old now."

    The classroom of children sat attentively as they stared at their teacher in anticipation. The occasional snicker from the class clown or rebel rousing student was expected and echoed in the otherwise now silent room. Dawn smiled as she glanced over each of them, their bright eyes filled with such hope.

    Ever since the end of the ensuing war that her twin sister and her had only been children during, Humanity had found peace with the other intelligent races in the system. She was far from surprised to see the few Sangheili and San Shyuum students visibly dampen their mood at the mention of the war.

    "Remember class that our lessons about this war is not to separate our union of trust and peace. It is a reminder of mistakes made in the past, to maintain our hope for the future." Dawn smiled, as she walked in between the rows. "Our special guest isn't here yet, so while we wait, I want to ask you all a few questions regarding your text books."

    "What was the turning point of the war?" Dawn asked, as she glanced around the room. A young Sangheili, a female in their species, raised her hand, waving it expectantly. "Very good, Ms. I'bort?"

    "There were many turning points in the war, ma'am. Most notably, however, was the discovery and eventual destruction of a Halo Ring. An assault led by the legendary Spartan, the Master Chief."

    "Yes, that is one of the turning points." Dawn smiled. "Fantastic work. Anyone else? How about you, Mercy?"

    The young San Shyuum raised his hands, the little dangly bits of flesh on the side of his head swinging too and fro as a result of his energy. "The Grand Schism, where the corrupt San Shyuum Prophets cast aside the Sangheili warriors in favor of the Jiralhanae. Thus leading to the uprising of what would be known as the Separatists, or the Swords of Sanghelios."

    "Good work Mercy." Dawn nodded. "Yes, it is true that the actions of the Halo Ring's explosion, matched with the Prophet's increasing corruption, lead to the Schism that tore the foundation of the Covenant in two."

    Dawn circled her way back to the front of the room. As she glanced over the mixed student body in front of her, she began to wonder how her father would feel about this. Would he be pleased to see what were once his enemies sitting together with Humanity? Or would he be disgusted that Humanity was so willing to allow them to congregate with their community?

    She glanced her head out the window taking notice of the giant bronzed statue of a man standing to attention. A helmet in the crook of his arm, with a pair of young girls hugging his legs. Tears formed in her eyes as she recalled the day the picture was made, and the day her and Dusk were both asked to pose with a hologram of him so the statue could be built.

    "Mrs. Harlowe?" one of the kids asked with concern. "Are you okay?"

    "Yes dear, thank you for asking." she said, as she gently wiped the tear from her eye, as a knock rang from the door beside her. "That must be our guest. Before I welcome them inside, I have one final question."

    "Can anyone name that man depicted in the statue?" Dawn asked, as the young boy in the front row stood up, onyx black hair and deep blue eyes glancing back at her. "Yes, Angus?"

    "Blaine Angus Harlowe. Spartan One Fifteen. He was also known as the Guardian of Reach, the Beacon of Humanity's Future, and was my grandfather." he said proudly, puffing his chest out.

    Dawn smiled at her son, as her bottom lip quivered. "Yes. That's exactly correct. I'm sure he would say otherwise if he were here."

    "Did you know him?" one of the more curious members of the classroom asked, raising her hand.

    "Of course I did." Dawn smiled, as the tears freely flowed. "I'm the little girl on his right, not even taller than his knee."

    There was chatter between the students as they looked among each other with grins and smiles abundant. She knew they would react this way, as she had done this with every generation of kids since she started teaching ten years back. ONI had loosened it's regulations, and as such she fully intended to disclose everything about the Spartans she had gotten to meet in her childhood, including her father.

    The door knocked again, a lot louder and sharper. With a smile and a bit of a sigh, Dawn mentally scolded her sister's lack of patience. As she walked towards the door, Dawn noticed as her son, Angus, stood at attention. The other kids, while it was not required, decided to join the ensemble, standing to the firmest salute they could. Even more miraculously, and made her heart soar, were the Sangheilis and San Shyuum students that also participated in it.

    "I see you've already decided to show your utmost respect." Dawn said, as she disengaged the lock.

    She smiled as her sister stood over the wheel chair ridden woman, scars lining her body from head to toe. The woman's bright green eyes smiled up at her, as Dawn took a knee and gently wrapped her arms around her mother. Lorelei's hands feebly wrapped themselves around her, before they disengaged. Dawn gently brushed her mother's distinguished white hair out of her eyes.

    "Children, this is Lorelei Harlowe. Spartan One hundred two." Dawn stepped into the classroom, as Dusk pushed the wheel chair towards the center of the floor at the front of the room. "Before anyone asks, yes, this is my mother. This is Dusk, my sister."

    "Hi Ms. Harlowe's." the class responded in kind, taking their seats.

    "My my." Lorelei smiled warmly, adjusting the blanket on her lap. "Such well disciplined students you have here, Dawn."

    "Very much so." Dawn said. "You may ask her some questions, one at a time. However, if she gets tired of answering, we'll have to have her back another day."

    "Grandma!" Angus smiled as he stood and gently wrapped his arms around her.

    "There you are sonny." Lorelei chuckled, giving him a deep hug. "My how you've grown."

    "Ma'am, is it true you were present at the battle of Reach?" L'usk I'bort asked, raising her hand.

    "Ah yes. You must be Anch's second generation." Lorelei nodded. "Yes, it is true. That is where my husband and your 'grandfather' first encountered each other."

    "Is it true they were once enemies?" L'usk continued, as Lorelei solemnly nodded.

    "Yes, indeed, it is true." Lorelei frowned. "However, after that battle they became fond allies, one might even call them friends."

    The students once again riled up as many of them attempted to stand from their desks, waving their hands like mad. Lorelei called on a young girl in the middle of the room. "Yes, you there with the beautiful hair?"

    "Thank you ma'am. My name is Lucinda Sanders Grafton. My grandmother told me stories of the Guardian of Reach. If he is your husband, I was wondering if you could tell me the bits of the story she didn't know about?"

    Lorelei nodded her head as Dusk and Dawn looked at each other. Their hearts filled with sorrow. There was always that one student every year that wanted to hear his story, from beginning to end. Every year, it pained them to see their mother recite it to them, remembering his final moments.

    "I'm afraid I've told the story too many times." Lorelei sighed, shaking her head. "Of course, why don't you ask his daughters? I've told them the story several times, and I have no doubt they kept it to heart."

    Dawn glanced at Dusk, who shook her head, the white bangs of hair on her head bobbing. A splitting image of their mother in their younger years, Dusk wasn't a very talkative person, never really had been. In their younger years, many people thought she was a mute, but Dawn had heard her speak, at least a few times.

    "You do it sis." Dusk smiled, wheeling Lorelei backwards. "You always tell it best anyways."

    Dawn nodded, as she gently sat herself on her desk at the front of the room once more. As she sat down, her eyes once again fell to the statue of her, her sister, and her father, overlooking the aptly named Harlowe School of Learning.

    As her eyes met with the well crafted eyes of the statue, the early morning clouds broke, and a single beam of light from the Sun flashed her eyes. Momentarily blinded, she gathered herself with a bitter-sweet smile, before turning to her students.

    "Everything you will hear from me is from his personal AI, Lily. She told us his story, as she had experienced most of it first hand, the rest were personal retellings that he gave my mother. For obvious reasons, I'll leave out some parts of the story, as you aren't yet old enough for that." Dawn said. "So instead, I'll tell you about his early life, how he became a Spartan, and would go on to be a hero."

    Angus returned to his seat, as the children shuffled to get comfortable, but attentive. Clearing her throat, Dawn smiled as she glanced over each and every one of them. "Our story begins in the small city of New Alexandria, Eposz, Planet Reach. In a little Orphanage, towards the center of town...-"


    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on April 18th 2018, 1:19 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Manny
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    Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Manny on April 17th 2018, 1:19 am

    This was... A fitting end. I really did enjoy it and I actually feel a sense of closure; I really feel like this is it! I'd actually be pissed if you rebooted Blaine again because I loved this version.

    I do have a couple of points, as per usual. I can't end this without some points... For old time's sake.

    Great portrayal of Manuel. He was fairly quiet and didn't use Spanish slang out of nowhere (I tend to not mix my languages in real life). I like how his actions, regardless of how cold/cruel they may be, where done out of a sense of duty rather than blood lust. He aimed his rifle at Blaine's family to protect War and his suggestion to shoot down the Pelican was more security measure. Neither was done because Manuel felt the need to "destroy his enemies". Manuel, with Humans, can be very cold blooded killing out of a sense of necessity but never blood lust or enjoyment.

    Onto other points; I had no issues with ALALA here. This was the big finale so it was deserving of something special. I didn't like it so much against the Warden because, in retrospect, it seemed more like a get out jail card in that particular situation.

    However, I'm glad you acknowledge it the ending was kinda rushed; it means you're aware of its flaws at least. There definitely could have been more build up as there are a ton of questions (besides Pantheon stuff which you may or may not address later). How did Death get an alien army? Why are the Warden Eternal and Cortana not dealing with Death directly? Death is still a human, isn't it better that he control the Guardians instead of Cortana (unless Diadact's corruption means Death has no loyalty to Humanity)?

    However I imagine you could always go back and polish up that chapter if you ever decide to. It won't change anything but it'll make the climax a little bit nicer. Almost like a "director's cut" with "deleted scenes" included to use movie lingo.

    That "epilogue" in the future was also fantastic. I like how Dawn points out that the history lesson is supposed to be about learning from mistakes rather than pointing fingers. It's a very good lesson and very applicable to real life. What I liked the most though is that Blaine lives on through his family... Which I think is the most fitting "end" for him. I don't know if you saw the Lion King 2 but the song "He lives in you" comes to mind.

    All in all its kinda hard to believe this is it for Blaine's story. Its been a lot of years but am I glad I finally got to see the end! I'm still working away at my stuff, school got in the way but I have a 4 month break coming up. Seeing how this all came together, after all these years, motivates me more make real the vision I had for my story all those years ago. Not only have you given me motivation but also a great story to read.

    Thanks for everything Morgan, its been both a pleasure and an honour :')
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 18th 2018, 1:06 am

    Thank you Manuel, and while I would like to go through your quote and pick it a part and give you some of the answers you crave. You mentioned that I'll likely revise the ending, and I promise you that I will. It may still seem a bit rushed, but I can assure you that most of your questions will be answered.

    One thing I will be answering here because the revised ending likely won't change in this regard. The Covenant fighting the Prometheans was left over from when Blaine and the others were on Genesis last. The Pantheon's Covenant are the aliens we see fighting the Prometheans, not Death's army. Blaine made the assumption that someone as high ranking as Death would need an army, however, if you noticed from his powers alone, he didn't need one.

    I like to think that each of the Horsemen possess an overwhelming amount of power that, in of themselves, make them about as lethal as a sizeable army. He could reduce his form into a cloud of smoke (think Reaper from Overwatch), and produce deadly spikes of necrotic energy that sap away at a user's life force.

    I thought about making his touch kill someone instantaneously, but I felt that would really rush the fight between them (not to mention as an ONI figure-head he's likely shaked some people's hands). Also, Warden and Cortana (and I guess this wasn't clear) were dealing with Osiris at the top of the spire.

    I could have described it better, but if you are aware of Halo 5's final mission, when Spartan Locke removes Cortana's control over Genesis? THAT was happening while Blaine and Lorelei were en route to the Spire. It's why the Prometheans fizzled out of existence when the three armies were separating.

    And of course there is always the chance I'll bring up the Pantheon. A lot of my issue as I stated is Halo's writing has kind of killed my love for where it's going. Gameplay is fun, but the story, looking back on it, was really lacking and felt less like Halo, and something entirely different. If Halo 6 presents itself in a better manner and it's writing makes me feel inspired to write Halo again, I have an entire fireteam of Spartan IVs, and a trio of Spartan IIs at my disposal.

    Anyways, thank you for your continued support and reading over the years of Blaine's story. Hard to believe that this iteration started production little over a year ago today. I look forward to writing new and interesting stories, some within established lore and others of my own creation. More importantly I look forward to returning the favor and reading your own story.


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    Re: Origins: Final Hour

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