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    Origins: Final Hour

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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 22nd 2016, 11:56 am

    "You think Craig's okay?" Phil asked, as Josh scoffed.

    "Is now really the time?!" Josh snarled. "If you didn't realize, we're kind of in a WAR?!"

    Phil nodded solemnly as Josh yelled at him. His gaze fell upon the MA5B in his grasp. Leaning over the jersey barrier the two used for cover, Phil opened fire on the small cluster of reinforcements. His armor penetrating rounds made quick work of the Grunts, while the focus fire from him, his brother, and their handful of remaining Marines riddled the Brutes down in a mess of gore and purple sludge.

    "Shit!" Phil growled, his rifle jamming. "Give me a sec!"

    "For fuck's sake bro, stop pussy footing and just SHOOT!"

    Phil growled in frustration, trying to work the jammed action back into place. It was so gummed up with gore from their latest skirmish, he knew it was toast. Tossing the rifle aside, he pulled his sidearm off of his hip. Peeking over the barrier, Phil fired a couple of rounds at some nearby Grunt units, watching the man sized creatures stumble backwards.

    With the last of the reinforcements cleaned up, Josh, Phil, and the other UNSC personnel cheered at their latest victory. Josh vaulted over the barrier to scavenge whatever he could from them. In their limited time with Blaine, Josh had learned how to fire Covenant Plasma weaponry. He glanced at one of the dead Brute's dead bodies, kneeling down to take whatever it possessed.

    He extracted a plasma pistol and what appeared to be a red plasma rifle. Grinning at his keep, Josh began to stand, kicking the dead Brute in the side of it's face. Behind him, towards where Phil had been standing, however, Josh heard a loud thud. Turning back, he saw a lone Brute in extremely ornate armor.

    The most notable visual on the Brute, however, was it's jaw seemed to be placed in a plasma muzzle. It stood from it's position, ignoring Phil completely. Turning it's attention to Josh, it kicked the jersey barrier they had been using for cover in half. A muffled roar emanated from the creature's muzzle, before it began to sprint at him.

    Phil, on the other hand, fired his sidearm into the Brute's back. The Brute stumbled as the bullets pierced it's thick armor and skin. Turning it's attention to Phil, the beast tried to shoulder charge the ODST. Diving to the right, Phil rolled onto his knee and took a few pot shots towards the Brute's helmet. The rounds dinged off of the plasma muzzle, as the Brute continued it's advance.

    Josh took a knee and began to fire with the red plasma rifle, but groaned as the heat sinks in the weapon dispensed plasma much quicker than the blue ones. Dropping the piping hot weapon into the sand, Josh grit his teeth, shaking his right hand from the burning sensation.

    The other Marines joined in on firing at the Brute, which began to glow an ominous yellow color. All the bullets the Marines fired dinged off of the Brute, completely ineffective. Phil attempted to dive out of the way of the beast's charge, but found himself unable to do so. The Brute growled as it's massive paw seized his throat. Phil, who was out of bullets in his pistol, pulled his knife from it's sheath.

    The yellow glow disappated from the Brute, as Phil stabbed the beast's exposed right eye. The beast growled, but it's grip remained in tact.

    "STAY AWAY FROM MY BROTHER!" Josh roared, but not before hearing the sickening crunch.

    Josh froze in the sand, staring as Phil slackened in the Brute's grasp. He could feel his heart beat echoing loudly in his helmet, as Phil was carelessly tossed in his direction. Phil rolled across the beach, his body tossing up sand, as he rolled to Josh's feet. Josh fell to his knees, gazing down at his younger twin's lifeless body. Gently, Josh shook Phil's shoulders.

    "Come on, moron." Josh said. "Wake up! WAKE UP AND FIGHT DAMMIT!"

    The Brute growled as it sickeningly pulled the knife from it's eye socket. Tossing Phil's knife aside, the Beast roared at him. Josh didn't care, however, as he continued to shake his brother's still shoulders.

    "COME ON PHILLIP!" Josh growled, smacking Phil's helmet, like his brother would do to him. "WAKE UP!"

    With each step the Brute made towards him, the sound of sand crunching beneath it's feet caused Josh's right eye to twitch. Tears began to form in his eyes, as he hugged his brother's corpse tightly.

    "Come on bro." Josh cried. "Don't leave me alone, man. You fucking asshole."

    Josh began to rock back and forth, holding his brother's corpse tightly, his gaze stuck on the sky above. The mid-afternoon sun beat down on him, the lens flare it produced momentarily blinding him.

    "We have to be strong." Josh cried. "We have to be strong for Mom, 'cause Dad's a piece of shit. Don't make me tell her, don't you fucking dare, Phil!"

    "I'm... sorry." Josh said, bowing his head. "I'm so, so sorry."

    The Brute took one last step, as Josh's head snapped to face it.

    "But not as sorry as YOU'RE GONNA BE!"

    Josh pulled the red plasma rifle to bear, firing at the massive Brute. The blood red orbs of plasma splashed against it's armor, singing and slightly melting the less durable metals. The Brute roared as the orbs splashed against it's chest, causing it to back away. Josh cast the weapon aside, before charging at the Brute.

    Sliding beneath it's legs, he pulled his knife out and plunged it into the beast's calf. The Brute grunted, taking a knee, as Josh jumped onto it's back. Wrapping his arm around it's throat, he pulled and pulled, attempting to choke it out. The Brute dropped it's hammer, reaching upwards to try and pull him off. However, Josh pulled his body weight backwards, pulling the Brute's chin up to further keep himself out of it's reach.

    The plan backfired as the Brute jumped backwards, landing full body on Josh. Josh groaned as the weight of the creature nearly crushed him, the action was more than enough to force him to release his grip. With the wind knocked out of him, Josh glared as the Brute reclaimed it's hammer. Stumbling towards him, the Brute's muffled laughs echoed in his ear. Holding the hammer's bladed end high above it's head, the Brute brought it down.

    Josh, however, rolled to his right. He wrenched his knife free of the Brute's calf, but also managed to take Phil's knife from the sand as well. Standing, his had two knives, one for each hand. Growling, Josh sprinted towards the Brute. Diving under a swing from the bladed hammer, Josh found a chink in it's armor to plunge his knife into it's achille's tendon.

    Once again, the Brute stumbled to it's knee. Flipping backwards, Josh's rear end landed on it's head, his legs wrapped around it's neck. The weight and force of the ODST forced the Brute to slam face first into the sand. Retrieving his knife, Josh flicked off the gore, turning as the Brute slowly began to stand.

    "It's a beautiful day outside." Josh taunted. "Birds are singing, flowers are blooming."

    Checking the durability of his knife, Josh's eyes flicked up to the Brute, which huffed angrily at him. "On days like these, beasts like you-"

    Pointing the knives at the Brute, Josh growled. "Should be burning in hell."

    "Turn around beast, it'd be a crime if I had to go back on the promise that I made for him." Josh snarled, dragging his foot across the sand. "So don't step over that line. Or else, pal, you're gonna have a bad time."

    Josh chuckled as the Brute took a step forward, daring him to continue.

    "But beasts like you don't play by the rules, and guys like me it ain't easy to be played for fools." Josh rolled the knives in his hand. "So let's go, let the sun get chiller."

    "Let's go; dirty brother killer."

    Josh stood there as the Brute closed the gap between them. With the bladed edge of it's hammer at the ready, the beast swung time after time at Josh, each one meant to maim, not kill. With each swing, however, Josh expertly dodged, grinning from ear to ear under his helmet.

    "Go on try to hit me if you're able!~" Josh sang in a mocking tone. "Guess you figured now that mercy's off the table."

    Ducking under one swing of the hammer, like a bull under the Luchadore's flag, Josh noticed as the Brute was visibly panting. Smirking, Josh crossed his arms cockily.

    "I can tell you're getting really sick of trying," Josh laughed. "But I think you're mad you keep missing."

    Jumping backwards, Josh avoided the follow up strike the Brute had attempted. Landing on his feet, Josh managed to keep his composure.

    "You're not gonna win, we'll be here together. Fighting on this Beach Front forever." Josh chuckled, leaning up against the side of the building, his fellow Marines all occupied on fixing the AA gun while he distracts it. "I know you'll get pissed each time I beat you, but I'll always be right here to meet ya."

    "I know you lack Loooooove, Loooooove, Looooooooove."

    Josh snickered as he continued to dodge in between the Brute's attacks. Annoyed by the ODST, the Brute used the gravity effect of the hammer to knock Josh backwards. The force of the blow caused him to flip backwards, landing face first into the sand. Standing with a groan, Josh's gaze fell to Phil's corpse at his feet.

    "Heh heh heh." Josh chuckled, staring angrily at his brother's body.

    The Brute jumped at him to close the gap, while Josh dove between it's legs. Turning around, he stabbed it in a crack between it's armor, slashing across it's back in the direction the crease went. The Brute howled in pain and anger, turning back to swing the hammer again.

    "This is where it stops." Josh dodged backwards. "This is where it ends!"

    Charging at the beast, Josh jumped and brought both of his boots into it's midsection in a nasty drop kick. The force of the blow was enough to knock the tired Brute onto it's back. Taking a knee, Josh relished in toying with the Brute, as it's heavy, angry breaths filled the air.

    "If you want to get past me than you'd better try again~." Josh growled, before stepping backwards.

    Yet again, the Brute stood, bleeding profusely from numerous orifices on it's body. Clutching it's hammer, it stood proud and ready to continue, no matter how tired both combatants were.

    "Yet no matter how I stab you, you don't give up your attack~!" Josh took a step forward, challenging. "Do you just like the feeling, of your blood trickling down your back?"

    Josh stood there, arms crossed as the Brute lazily brought it's hammer, blade side down, on his position. It was so pitiful, the Josh needed only to step to the right, before looking at the blade on the right. "Go ahead and try and hit me if you're able. Guess you figured now that mercy's off the table."

    The Brute huffed and puffed beneath it's muzzle. The lack of air circulating from the muzzle, on top of the beating sun and the blood loss caused the Brute to drop it's hammer to catch it's breath.

    "So you think you can spare me like I'm some pawn?" Josh growled, his attention turning to Phil's dead body. "Well you didn't spare my brother so get dunked on!"

    Diving towards the Brute, Josh plunged his knife deep into the Brute's last remaining eye. The beast roared, writhing from the pain. Josh used the hand hold of the knife to slam the beast's body down into the sand. With it's body in the sand, Josh slammed his boot into it's forehead, snapping it's head forward.

    "I know you made my brother disappear, but it's all he cared about is why I'm here." Josh crouched down. "I am his Mercy, I am his Vengeance, I am his RETRIBUTION."

    "I know you lack, luh uh uh uh ove, luh uh uh uh ove. Luh uh uh uh ove-!" Josh said, before plunging Phil's knife into it's neck, and stomping on it. "But I know I'm better than you."

    Stepping away from the Brute's corpse, Josh walked over to Phil's still form. Bending down, Josh grunted as he heaved Phil over his shoulder. Making his way towards the AA gun, Josh passed the Marines on guard, who had witnessed the spectacle.

    "That gun online yet?" Josh growled, acting as the current superior.

    "Negative sir." One of the Marine's stammered. "It's targeting data is all wonky. We need a new targeting chip, or someone with a pin point aim."

    "It'll have to wait again." One of the other Marines shouted from the door. "We got more covies in bound!"

    "Alright." Josh said, gently lowering Phil next to the AA gun. "Get tactical Marines. This is our last stand!"


    Blaine and Craig walked along the Beach Head, stepping over the various corpses of Covenant and Marine units. Above them, they could hear a Falcon's motors thumping. The two stopped as it dipped down from it's altitude, swerving wide to land right beside them.

    Blaine smiled underneath his helmet as the familiar gray armor of Noble Six became visible. The Spartan III jumped out of the Falcon, tapping the side before marching up to them.

    "Lieutenant." Blaine nodded. "Good to see you again. How's the big guy?"

    Noble Six tensed, causing Blaine's heart to stop in his tracks. Noble Six's head dipped, Blaine's eyes widened.

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "WHAT HAPPENED?!"

    "Operation: UPPERCUT happened." Noble Six sighed. "Sorry, Spartan. We bombed the Covenant Super Carrier with a Slipspace rig. Jorge stayed to ensure it detonated."

    Blaine's vision condensed, as his heart throbbed. Jorge wasn't just his team-mate, or like any of his other Spartan II brothers. No, Jorge was his blood brother, for all he cared. They weren't just really good friends that were raised together, Blaine would have died for him, and Jorge would have for Blaine.

    "I volunteered, but he-" Noble Six began, as Blaine held out a hand.

    "I know Jorge." Blaine said. "You don't need to explain it."

    Noble Six paused for a moment, before reaching for the dog tags on his neck. Pulling off Jorge's set, he held them out to Blaine.

    "I'm sorry, sir." Noble Six said. "He was a good friend."

    "An even better brother too." Blaine sighed. "Thanks kid."

    Craig bowed his head, as Blaine moved without another word forward, in the direction of the AA gun. Shaking his head, Craig turned to look at Noble Six, who also stood taller than him. Noble Six curtly nodded, before following after Blaine.

    "How much more can you take, I wonder?" Craig sighed, staring after Blaine. "I hope you never have to find out."

    As the trio made their way across the beach, Craig's gaze fell upon all of the Marine's who were scattered across the beach. He began to worry about the twins, though he didn't see any of them among the dead.

    "COME ON THEN!" they heard Josh roar. "Where is your best? HUH?!"

    Blaine and Craig's eyes met with each other, as Josh was standing at the door of the building housing the AA gun's targeting system. Grunts hobbled towards him, struck down with his rifle's fire. Numerous Brutes lay at his feet.

    Blaine scanned the beach, but was unable to locate and living Covenant. The three of them approached Josh, who tensed at their presence. Craig walked up to Josh, placing a hand on his shoulder.

    "Where's Phil?" Craig asked, as Josh's right fist lashed out and struck Craig in the face.

    "Don't you fucking dare say his name." Josh hissed. "I see you brought a pair of freaks with you."

    "Not in the mood for your shit Josh." Blaine growled.

    "Me either, fucker." Josh snarled. "I lost my brother, how about you?"

    "Same." Blaine sighed. "I'm sorry about Phil. He was a good man."

    "Yeah, well." Josh shook his head. "He died for fucking nothing. That AA gun is just about useless without someone to manually lock in the Corvette's coordinates."

    Blaine nodded towards Noble Six, who stepped inside. Josh moved to stop him, as Blaine held his shoulder. Tapping his helmet, Blaine turned to glance at the Corvette. He initiated the zoom function on his helmet, which gave him the coordinates of whatever object he was looking at.

    With the coordinates, he stepped past Josh and into the control room. Noble Six knelt down beside the dead ODST next to the terminal. Blaine tapped Six on the shoulder, before pointing out the door. When Six cleared the room, Blaine took his helmet off.

    "Hi Phil." Blaine frowned. "Say hi to everyone for Josh, Craig, and I, won't you?"

    With a quick nod in Phil's direction, Blaine punched the coordinates of the Corvette into the terminal manually. He waited for the Corvette to lower it's shields, before slamming the FIRE button. The building above him thudded, shaking as the gun directly a floor above him recoiled. His eyes fell upon the Corvette's shattered frame. As it descended into his birth City, he felt a sense of relief.

    He felt as if he had joined his parents in fighting off a threat to the City. Stepping outside, Noble Six held a blue flare above his head, waving it back and forth to hail a Falcon. Above their head, six transport ships sped off into the atmosphere to get off world and away from the Covenant threat.

    "Good work Spartans." one of the Pilots remarked. "You've saved a lot of lives today. Thank you."

    "I wish it were that easy." Noble Six sighed. "Jorge blew up one Super Carrier. I witnessed hundreds ducking in."

    Blaine knew exactly what Noble Six was implying, as they continued to watch the last of the Transport ships race into orbit. Reach was under heavy siege by the Covenant, and it was a battle they were sure to lose.

    "Josh, Craig." Blaine sighed, tapping a button on his wrist. "Get off world."

    "Hell fucking no." Josh growled. "I'm fighting these bastards until my last breath."

    From the sky, the ONI Prowler with Autumn on board dipped into view and hovered over the ocean. The troop bay began to open, as Blaine practically lifted the two ODSTs. Tossing them into the back, he tapped a button on his wrist to engage the closing procedure.

    "Blaine?" Autumn asked. "Aren't you getting on?"

    "Negative." Blaine said. "Get these two out of this system. Make your way to Earth, tell them what happened here."

    Placing a hand on Six's shoulder, Blaine began to walk back in the direction they had come from. He was going to try to link up with Katherine and Lorelei. If Orange Team was going to die, they were going to die together.

    And they were taking as many Covenant bastards out as they could.



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 9th 2016, 6:57 pm

    "Marine." Blaine marched up to the location he had last seen Katherine and Lorelei.

    The area was completely devoid of any life, especially with all of the dead Covenant troops littering the sand and sidewalks. There was a lone Marine, huddled over the corpses of his fallen Marine brethren. The Marine's attention turned from his comrades for a moment, so that he could address the Spartan walking up to him.

    "What happened to the Spartans stationed here?" Blaine asked, as the Marine stood.

    "Spartans?" the Marine asked. "What or who the hell are Spartans?"

    "I'm a Spartan." Blaine sighed. "I'm looking for two others in similar armor as mine."

    "Negative, er, Spartan." the Marine shrugged, clipping the dog tags of his fallen squadmates to his neck. "My squad and I were here to assist the evacuation of those ships. I would have known if I had seen soldiers as big and tall as you are."

    "What's your name?" Blaine asked.

    "Brent Abrams sir, Sergeant First Class." the Marine saluted.

    "Blaine. Spartan One-One-Five. Lieutenant, Second Grade."

    Returning the gesture, Blaine and the Marine began to comb over the battlefield in search of any survivors, human or Covenant. Regrettably, and yet unsurprising, there were no such signs.

    "You know." Brent said. "I knew a Blaine when I was younger."

    "Is that so?"

    "Yeah." Brent sighed. "Felt real bad for him. He was treated like shit by the supervisor and a handful of the students."

    Blaine remained silent, continuing his silent search for any sign of his fellow Spartans. As he searched, the Marine continue to stare at the waves crashing onto the shore.

    "My one regret was not being there for him." Brent shook his head. "He needed more support. If he had it, maybe things might've been different."

    "You could say that about a lot of scenarios." Blaine crouched, examining a boot mark in the sand, but deemed it too small to match Katherine or Lorelei's foot sizes. "We all make mistakes, but it's up to ourselves to learn from them and do better."

    "Yeah, I guess you're right." Brent clicked his tongue against his teeth. "The ironic part is the asshole that was the biggest dick to that other Blaine is now engaged to Blaine's best friend."

    "Were they involved with the group that just evacuated?" Blaine sighed, realizing his efforts were pointless.

    "Affirmative." Brent nodded. "Though, the woman looked like she had seen a ghost."

    "I escorted that crowd to this position last night. Her mother was killed in the heat of combat."

    "Ms. Sanders?" Brent shook his head. "Damn alien bastards, I'll kill them all."

    Blaine walked his way back over to Brent, who continued to stare out into the water. Blaine rested a hand on the man's shoulder, before looking down at him.

    "We all have a bone to pick with them. One day, mark my words-" Blaine growled. "The devil will get his due."

    The Spartan and the Marine flinched as a resounding BOOM echoed out throughout the center of town. As the sun was setting behind them, the clouds looming above the City flashed as the silhouette of a Covenant Super Carrier jumped into the airspace above them.

    "The more battles we fight with these religious nuts, the harder I find that to believe." Brent sighed. "Take care sir. I need to link up with my commander."

    "Be well, Sergeant." Blaine nodded, before his eyes rose back to the Super Carrier.

    Was he destined to die on this planet? Was this Life's giant finale planned for him. Born in the City, only to die in the City? Hell if he knew. Before he could even finish the thought, however, a lone Flacon descended behind him. Turning back, he noticed it was empty.

    "Are you slacking on me, Spartan?" Halsey's voice echoed in his comm., though it was littered with static.

    "Negative, ma'am." Blaine shook his head.

    "I've just discovered something of great importance. Something that might help us win this war." Halsey replied. "This Falcon will bring you back to Sword. I require your assistance."


    "The Hierarchs scoff your name in mockery, Field Marshal I'bortee." Supreme Commander Thel Vadamee snorted, his four hinged jaw clicking together in disgust. "They speak of you as a mere Lekgolo beneath their divine feet."

    "Rightfully so." Anch bowed his head. "I am not fit to wield the name of Warrior. I dishonor my Keep, and in so I dishonor myself."

    "You are from a lineage of Master Swordsmen." Thel's hand touched Anch's shoulders. "You must prove to the Hierarchs that you are their instrument once more. I see a respectable warrior in your eyes, one I would be almost humbled to be in the presence of."

    "That cursed.... Demon." Anch hissed. "I shall make him pay, a thousand deaths for every humiliation, every member of my Keep slain."

    "This Human is the one they seek. Bring them it's helmet, and your sins will be absolved." Thel bowed. "Leave my sight, for if you do not bring the item back, I will cut you down myself."

    Anch breathed heavily, bowing in respect to the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice. He was graced to be permitted on Thel Vadamee's illustrious, righteous ship. A mercy, no, a privilege that he did not deserve.

    "Mark my words human." Anch snarled, lighting his blade. "This day is your last. Or so may this be our final confrontation, and you grant me a Warrior's death."


    Sword Base, Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz

    August 28, 2552 24:28 Hours

    "Doctor Halsey?" Blaine asked, his eyes scanning the empty hallway in Sword Base. "Are you here?"

    "In a matter of speaking, Spartan. Are you alone?"


    Before Blaine could blink, the wall to his left began to open up. Walking inside, he stared in awe as the hidden ONI tunnel began to open up. He heard the door close behind him, following the path along onto a tram.

    "Ma'am? Where are we?"

    "You recall that I once mentioned a Lazlo Sorvad, correct?"

    "Yes, ma'am." Blaine said, pressing his hand to the tram's activation console. "Is this involved with his 'latchkey' discovery?"

    "Precisely, One-One-Five. However, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to this structure, and time is limited."

    Blaine began to notice as the tram was rolling down further into the tunnel, that he was beneath the Ice Shelf. More importantly was the mixture of flawless metal with the raw, natural stone and snow inside of the cave like area. It reminded him of the pyramid structure that he, Orange Team, and Blue Team had secured on Harvest years prior.

    "What is this place?" Blaine said. "Humanity hasn't colonized Reach nearly long enough to have built such a widespread facility. Is it Covenant in origin?"

    "Doubtful, Spartan." Halsey scoffed. "Were it of Covenant origin, they would be swarming this place."

    "Unless it was long forgotten." Blaine sighed quietly to himself, making sure his comm. was muted. "I will assist you in any way I can, ma'am. However, I'm curious as to what I can do to help?"

    "I may need your strength to help me force the door open." Halsey sighed.

    As the tram came to a halt, Blaine glanced down at the hill of snow separating himself and the waypoint Halsey had sent to his armor remotely. Trudging through the snow, he had his rifle at the ready. Approaching the waypoint, he saw Doctor Halsey hurriedly running the same data chip she had confiscated from the Spartan III the other day.

    "Hello again, Blaine." Halsey nodded. "We haven't much time. I'm beginning to wonder if the locking mechanism to this door is a two step process."

    "Point me in a direction and I'll walk, ma'am." Blaine said, shrugging his rifle.

    Halsey's right hand immediately shot up, as Blaine's attention fell upon a small room of sorts that appeared to be sticking in the upper wall. Trudging up the hill, Blaine approached the small alcove built into the wall. There was no console for him to run, well, that he could see. Turning on his suit's flashlight, he checked for any hostiles, before approaching the center of the room.

    Directly in front of him appeared to be what he could only assume was a piston of some sort. Approaching it, he ran his hand along the flawless white metal. There was no sign of any way to get the piston moving that seemed to stand out to him.

    "Grashnew manooh." Blaine heard behind him, along with the sound of an energy sword igniting.

    Turning around, the same Field Marshall that he had encountered on several occasions stood there. Blaine pointed his rifle at the Elite, who growled, it's warm breath causing a cloud of fog to rise.

    "Do you ever quit?" Blaine groaned.

    "Not until you're dead, rat."

    "Rat?" Blaine looked himself over. "I don't have a tail or buck teeth. You sure you don't need dino-prescriptions?"

    With a roar, the Elite charged him. Blaine opened fired, three rounds pegging the Elite square in the helmet. They glanced off of the energy shielding on the Elite, however, as it cleared the distance between them. Holding his rifle up, the Elite's sword slashed through his DMR, before delivering a sharp boot to his chest.

    Grunting, Blaine's back smashed against the piston behind him. Ducking under a follow up swing, Blaine turned on his boots and kicked the Elite in it's rear end, forcing it to slam face first into the piston. It's sword stuck into the piston, causing the ancient machine to hiss.

    "You caused me to damage a holy relic." the Elite turned. "I shall have your head on a trophy and feed it to the Kig-Yar when I tire of it!"

    "You'll have to come get it, split-jaw." Blaine patted the side of his helmet.

    Pulling it's sword free of the piston, a jet of steam vented from it, as it began to open. Turning to face the Spartan, the Elite snarled, charging him. Blaine dodged a swipe, clothes lining the beast. While the creature writhed on the ground, Blaine's eyes began to water.

    "That did it Spartan, though I keep hearing something?"

    "Affirmative, Doctor." Blaine sighed. "Get inside, I'll keep 'em off your back while you lock the door."

    "You will die by my hands." the Elite snarled, standing. "Then I shall flay that female slowly, relishing as she screams for mercy."

    Blaine's eyes sharpened on the Elite's. Jorge was already dead, and Reach was a total loss, but if this was where he was going to end, he wanted Halsey, one of the few adult influences in his life, to survive. Lashing his boot across the Elite's face, it tumbled along the floor, nearly falling inside the hole where the piston once stood.

    "Spartan One-One-Five." Blaine sighed. "Out."

    Sprinting towards the Elite, Blaine released a giant war-cry. Tackling the beast into the hole, the two snarled and swung at each other as they tumbled down the ventilation system. Groaning as they landed, Blaine noticed the Elite had been disarmed. Above him, however, he heard the sword clattering against the walls of the vent.

    The two combatants had been deposited into what appeared to be an empty room. Even with his helmet's flashlights, the better part of the room was dark and shrouded in mystery. The sword was the only thing beside's Blaine's flashlights that illuminated their general area. The two sprinted for the weapon, Blaine pitched his right fist back, slamming the Elite in the face.

    Attempting to grab the weapon, however, he felt the Elite tackle him with it's shoulder. Skidding across the floor, it wrenched the sword from the once flawless metallic floor. Slashing the weapon to regain the feeling, the Elite began to slowly advance. Blaine's lack of sleep was in fact beginning to wear on him, but he needed to prevail one last time.

    "This is what you Covenant bastards are after, isn't it." Blaine growled. "One way or another, one of us is dying here. So why don't you tell me why, why your race decided to declare war with us?"

    "You deserve no answer to that question." Anch snarled. "You deserve to whimper at him hooves while I press your filthy skull into the dirt."

    "However, you have led me directly to a holy site." Anch scoffed. "It was not my race that declared war with yours. It was our Hierarchs, the San Shyuum."

    "In our religion, the fathers of the past left the Galaxy in search of a Great Journey to find immortality, and ascend to god-hood." Anch replied, continuing his pace. "The San Shyuum believe you are false believers in the teachings of the allfathers. They believe you Humans would desecrate the Great Journey, and stop us from reaching the Path of Enlightenment."

    "A simple knock on Humanity's door with a pamphlet would suffice." Blaine sighed. "So instead they decided to commit mass genocide?"

    "Were the Sangheili is charge, we would have first offered Humanity a chance to join us. Your race, while feeble and weak, show great determination and a bloodlust that rivals that of the Sangheili. You, too, are a Warrior race."

    "However, that is enough talk." Anch growled. "Your life ends here, and I will gain my absolution."

    Blaine jumped backwards to avoid a slash to his gut, pulling his magnum from his hip. Firing a salvo at the Elite, it's shields flickered as the small slugs grazed Anch's helmet. Dodging a swing, Blaine continued to back away, firing as many rounds as he could into the Field Marshall. Finally the shields broke, but his ammo counter read zero.

    "Dammit." Blaine snarled, hucking the magnum at Anch's face.

    Recoiling from the force of the object, Anch growled and clicked his mandibles together. Blaine took a stance, as Anch held a hand up to the spot where the pistol had struck him. Purple blood gently oozed onto Anch's hand, as he stared at it. The two stared each other down, as Blaine crossed his arms across his chest.

    Unsheathing a knife from it's holster, Blaine stood at a ready position. He knew the knife wouldn't deflect the sword, but if he could get the Elite in a vulnerable position, he could kill it with the knife. Before either of them made a motion, Blaine could faintly see a glimmer in the corner of his vision. He didn't know what it was, but it was calling out to him.

    Anch was the first of the two to make a move. Charging towards Blaine, he slashed at the Spartan's midsection. Blaine back stepped, juking around the Elite and sprinting for the glint he noticed. The Spartan's hands fell upon the strange metallic object, when he noticed the all too familiar feeling of a trigger and a grip.

    Turning back to face Anch, Blaine smirked beneath his helmet, raising the new weapon. Sprinting at the Spartan again, Anch slashed, and yet again Blaine dodged backwards. However this time he swung his boot across Anch's face, sending the Elite tumbling into one of the walls.

    Growling, Anch charged at Blaine from across the room. Sprinting away from the Elite, Blaine still didn't entirely know how the weapon functioned. Was the safety on? Jumping off of a segment of metal under his feet, Blaine turned in time to see the Elite following him. Using the thruster pack on his back and boots, Blaine dodged backwards to avoid an aerial swing from Anch.

    He felt something grip his neck, however, as the two landed. The Elite's landing was less than graceful, while Blaine slid along his boots. He noticed almost immediately that the familiar jingle of Jorge's dog tags on his neck was gone. Using his flashlight, he saw them in Anch's spare hand. His pupils narrowed, as he sprinted at the Elite like a freight train. Before Anch could react, Blaine's boot slammed under Anch's jaw, propping him up and causing him to slide, on his rear, down the room.

    Picking up the dog tags, Blaine fixed them back to his neck. Once again, Anch sprinted at Blaine in the darkened room. Blaine sidestepped to the left this time, flipping his knife in his hands. As he bypassed Anch, he stabbed the blade into the small of Anch's back. The Elite howled in pain, before turning to slash Blaine in retaliation. However, Blaine had since moved. Turning back, Anch growled in pain as a orange beam of energy thrust into his midsection, popping his shields.

    Blaine stared dumbstruck, however, his helmet clattered to the floor. In Anch's retaliation swing, he had managed to pull Blaine's helmet off as the beam struck him. Now, he was back in the dark room that Mendez had set up for him back in training. Marine would attack him from all angles, and he would have to resort to hearing to locate teh Elite.

    Angrily, Blaine hoisted the new weapon to his hip level. His ears listened out for anything, the Elite having extinguished the sword to further hinder him. That was when he heard it behind him. Swiveling on his boots, Blaine's eyes stared daggers into the dark, firing the concentrated energy beam into the darkness. He could see a shimmer in the air, dodging expertly over the beam.

    "Hey, I didn't give you enough credit the last couple of times we've fought." Blaine sighed. "I underestimated you, I humiliated you. As a man I stand here and promise you this; when I kill you, I will give you a Warrior's death."

    "And I you." Blaine heard behind him, as he dove forward.

    Turning around, Blaine flicked his index finger up, pointing to where the Elite had just been behind him. He winked at the location, amused that the Elite had just tried to sneak attack him. The Elite's camo matrix failed, making him and his sword visible to Blaine. Charging the Spartan again, Anch growled as he pulled his sword back for a stabbing lunge.

    Blaine flipped backwards twice to gain distance from the Elite, before kicking up his helmet and into Anch's face. Growling in annoyance, Anch stared at Blaine, who readied the beam cannon. Anch jumped upwards on his powerful legs, using his own thrusters to raise himself. Blaine produced a trio of plasma grenades that he had confiscated on the beachfront the day before.

    Throwing the cobalt orbs at the Elite, Anch spiraled in the air, his sword battering the grenades away. The three explosives detonated, illuminating the room just enough for Blaine to dive forward and avoid Anch's aerial spiral attack. Rolling to his feet, Blaine turned and fired the beam three times. Of the attempts, one of them struck Anch, bursting the Elite's shields.

    Once again the Elite charged Blaine, who stood still this time. Firing the beam point blank into Anch's chest, he felt some purple blood splatter onto his face, as the Elite tumbled backwards across the floor. Huffing, Blaine was at his limit, he had only a few hours of sleep on the beachfront two days ago, but he hadn't slept properly in many weeks of constant fighting.

    Standing there, Blaine tried to fire again to finish off the Elite, but the weapon only clicked. Sighing, he tossed the weapon aside and began to catch his breath, try and focus on staying conscious. He stared as the Elite slowly began to stand. He knew the Elite was rather tired himself, the way he slowly trudged towards Blaine.

    Approaching the Spartan, Anch swung his sword in a slow, agitated motion. Blaine stumbled backwards, before shoving the Elite away. He had no fight left in him, and he knew the Elite was running low too. This happened twice more, before Blaine's body began to slowly shut down. His eyes began to creak closed, despite his mind protesting.

    Anch seemed to notice this, activating his stealth drive once more. Blaine began to doze off, before his eyes suddenly shot open. He scanned for the Elite, it was then that he heard it's hoof falls behind him. Turning around, Blaine gasped as the energy sword slashed diagonally across his chest. The burning sensation was sudden and fierce, though he felt no pain immediately afterwards.

    Shakily, Blaine fell to his knees. The Elite, on the other hand, dropped it's sword and began to chortle. Reaching down to his chest armor, Blaine's fingers ran along the slash across his torso, there was no blood, but he could feel his flesh. Not an undersuit, not Mjolnir, it was him, and him alone. Blaine's eyes nervously flickered back and forth between his index and middle fingers. His eyes began to twitch as the world around him began to darken, even with the sword discarded to the side.

    Anch fell to his own knees, the Spartan lurching forward towards the ground. His eyes scanned the Human, who laid flat on the floor before him. In a way, he pitied the Human, it had fought him on numerous battlegrounds, insulted him in every way imaginable, but had never once killed him.

    If he had had lips, Anch would have pursed them in thought. He began to ponder as to why that had been. In fact, it had been a question he had wanted answers to for a very long time. This Human had easily bested him on a multitude of occasions, but never once finished him off. Did, did the Human have a connection to him, as he had a connection to the Human?

    "No." Anch shook his head. "You are beneath me, vile creature. You were given a Warrior's death. I killed you from the front, you were witness to your downfall."

    Yet, Anch couldn't escape the idea that what he had done was wrong. This Human had granted him mercy, even when it was apparent that Anch had killed someone significant to it. The Human was too focused on saving it's young and feeble to finish him off. In his race, a Warrior ensured their enemies died with dignity and honor.

    However, Anch had struck this human down while it was tired. The weapon the Human had used, it belonged to the Forerunners. Were the Humans worthy of the Forerunner's possessions after all? Were the Hierarchs lying of Humanity's place in the grand scheme of the Great Journey.

    In all cases Anch had been present to, a Human had been taken prisoner to operate the machinery of the Covenant. Why would a so called demonic race be the only ones gifted the ability to utilize the holy machinery?

    As Anch continued to think the thoughts, he heard a loud mechanical groaning behind him. Standing, he prepared the sword in his hand. A blue light flickered a Forerunner symbol before him, before a giant mechanical ball, easily the size of a phantom, levitated before him. Four mechanical arms were at the face and rear of the mech, an audible droning echoing throughout the room.

    Lights flickered on from the ceiling above, as Anch stared face to face with the monstrous robot. A swarm of smaller, sleeker versions of the robot pouring out of the walls.

    "I am one of your loyal worshippers, holy constructs." Anch bowed to them. "I repent questioning my faith, it is renewed and invigorated. If it pleases the allfathers' creations, I offer this slain creature, though vile."

    The massive orb ran a blue scan over the still Spartan, before the blue light socket on it's face-plate turned red. As it turned red, so did the smaller drones floating by it.

    "I don't understand." Anch shook his head. "Did your creators... trust the Humans?"

    One of the drones splashed his chest with one of it's energy beams. Groaning from the pain, Anch stumbled backwards.


    "Where's your warrior spirit, One-One-Five?!" Mendez's voice echoed throughout the darkness of Blaine's mind.

    "Dead and gone, sir."

    Blaine's consciousness saw Mendez walking towards him, arms folded crisply behind his back, a sight Blaine saw many times during his years of training. Mendez's cold, rigid face continued to stare at him, a look of fury and disappointment in his eyes.

    "Really now?" Mendez hissed. "So you're giving up, Spartan?"

    "No sir. I'm dead."

    "Spartans don't die, son." Mendez growled. "I didn't train you to, remember? I trained you to fight."

    Walking over towards Blaine, Mendez stared up into Blaine's eyes. Suddenly, despite Blaine's augmentations, Mendez rammed an electric baton into his midsection, causing him to double over.

    "What did I teach you recruits about pain?!"

    "Pain means we're alive." Blaine growled.

    "So, are you gonna stand there and LIE to me, Spartan?!" Mendez growled.

    "Sir, no sir."

    "Get your foot out of your mouth and talk to me Spartan." Mendez snarled. "ARE YOU ALIVE?!"


    Anch took cover behind an outcrop of metal to avoid the incoming fire from the machines. In the distance, he saw the Spartan begin to move. Slowly, the Spartan began to pick himself up, taking a knee and a deep breath.

    "Sir." Blaine growled, gritting his teeth as he stood. "Yes sir."

    Gazing upwards, he saw a giant metal sphere with a red eye, surrounded by several smaller drones, all with red eyes. Behind him, he could see the Elite taking cover behind an outcrop. Standing, Blaine turned, his eyes narrowed at the Elite in hiding.

    "Get out from behind that thing!" Blaine taunted. "I don't know what these 'holy' relics of yours are, but they sure as hell don't look friendly."

    "They aren't." Anch called back.

    "Well then." Blaine sighed, glancing down at his destroyed helmet. "Let's work together. We can settle our differences without interruption."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 10th 2016, 11:38 pm

    "How is it you aren't dead yet?" Anch shook his head from behind cover. "I claimed your life, I mortally struck you!"

    "No, but you did make this fight for our lives a hell of a lot harder." Blaine growled, as one of the smaller drones raced down and to his head level.

    Lashing his right hand out, he grasped the moderately sized robot in his hand by the eye socket. With it in his grasp, he pulled with all of his might. He heard the metal forming the robot begin to creak, before snapping entirely. At his feet, one of the laser like weapons clattered, the shell of the robot in his hand crumbling.

    Turning on his boot, he fired the laser weapon at one of the drones like the one he had tore in half. The laser crashed against it's energy shield, causing it to fizzle and sputter. Continuing his fire on the robot, the hot beam slashed through it's body, rendering the weapon inside and the bot itself useless.

    "You coming or not?" Blaine growled.

    "I will NOT desecrate these holy constructs."

    "No, but they will desecrate both of us if you don't get off that high horse of yours."

    "Then it is the will of my gods."

    "No, it just sounds like you've justified giving up."

    Blaine smirked as the Elite's mandibles clicking together echoed throughout the room. With a sizzle and a flash, he heard the Elite's energy sword spark to life. Drawing the fire of the smaller mechs, the larger one stared at him with mild curiosity.

    Dodging the bot's retaliatory beam shots. Blaine grunted as the wound on his chest flared up. It was a horrible burning sensation, like when Mendez would put out cigars on his arm. Pulling the last of his confiscated plasma grenades off of his belt, Blaine ignited the small indigo sphere and tossed it in the direction of a cluster of the mechs.

    He heard the Elite run up to the larger bot in the middle of the room. The Elite jumped powerfully off of his left boot, slashing across the front of the mech. Before the sword made contact with it's metallic shell, however, a two parted energy shield, formed like a circle in front of the mech, appeared. It was split directly down the center of the circle, as if two halves of a circle came together to make it.

    The shield's appearance deflected the Elite and his sword, causing him to land by Blaine's side. The Elite skid backwards across the floor, just over Blaine's right shoulder. Blaine focused fire on the smaller drones, as the larger one turned to face him. Instead of continuing it's harmless scan, it's eye glowed red once more, as tiny orbs of what appeared to be tangible light formed above it's 'head'.

    Blaine watched as the orbs elongated to the size of several SPNKr sized rocket ballistics. His eyes widened as suddenly, without any sort of warning, they raced towards him. Sprinting as hard as he ever had in his life, Blaine dashed far away from both the robot and the Elite. Though he had no regard for the split-jaw's life, he knew he wasn't likely to survive the encounter without his unconventional ally.

    Jumping at the wall, Blaine's gravity tethers built into the boots initiated, as he sprinted up the wall. Jumping off with this thrusters, Blaine landed behind the homing light missiles. Before they could correct their course, they smashed into the wall, leaving several dents into the unidentified alloy.

    Turning back towards the larger mech, he could see that it's attention was focused on him. Turning his attention to the Elite, Blaine watched as the Elite charged the massive robot from the side. Plunging it's sword into the shell of the robot, the machine tried to shake him off.

    Blaine himself dashed towards the fray, jumping off of an extended piece of flooring. Pitching his right fist back, Blaine smashed it into the now exposed left side of the machine. The force of his punch caused several pieces of his adversary to fall to the ground, and the machine with it's occupant sent spinning. Stopping itself through means unknown to Blaine, the robot managed to fling the Elite off of it.

    Two of the remaining smaller drones floated down to finish the tired Elite. Taking a knee, Blaine fired his laser at the two of them, the energy beam crashing into the side of one. With one's attention, Blaine closed the distance between them, ducking under any beams and weaving between rockets fired from the massive robot.

    Bounding off of his right foot, Blaine reached up and grabbed the medium sized drone. Spinning on his feet, he threw the drone into it's 'friend'. Blaine smirked as a small cloud of crimson and orange erupted from the two exploding drones. Offering a hand down to the Elite, it hesitantly took it, before shoving him out of the way.

    Blaine stumbled backwards in time for the salvo of rockets to splash the floor where he had just been standing. Where the Elite was currently standing. Smoke from the explosion masked the Elite's fate from Blaine's sight. Suddenly, the Energy Sword slashed through the smokescreen, the Elite stepped forward.

    It's armor was slightly singed, and it's left arm looked severely wounded. However, as a whole, the saurian creature would survive. Blaine nodded towards the Elite, which huffed in disgust. Turning towards the robot, Blaine fired his beam cannon at the shield on the right side of the robot relative to him. The shield began to fade, as the Elite charged with an ignited Plasma Grenade.

    Blaine dropped his spent weapon, pitching his weight forward as he chased after the Elite. As the Elite jumped up to engage the robot, it tossed the sword upwards. Blaine, who jumped shortly thereafter, caught the weapon in his hand. Plunging it into the metal of the robot, Blaine propped his right boot onto it's shell, before backflipping off of it. While he did this, the Elite stuck the grenade into the hole Blaine had made.

    The two allies skidded along the ground as the Plasma Grenade detonated, the majority of the steaming hot plasma enveloping and evaporating the machine. As the explosion concluded, the two combatants huffed and puffed, staring at the husk of robotic metals lining the floor.

    Both of them stared at the crimson flame emanating from the large construct they had just worked together to kill. Neither of them said a word for the longest time, they only observed. It wasn't but a few minutes, before Blaine snickered once, before pitching his head back and laughing.

    "I find it hard to be amused." the Elite shook his head. "Especially after all you've been through."

    "I'm not laughing about this." Blaine sighed, finishing his laugh with one last chuckle, before wiping his eye. "I'm laughing because I was wrong about you Elites."

    "Elites?" Anch asked, turning towards him. "That is what you call us?"

    "Yeah." Blaine nodded, his eyes unmoving from the husk of a robot.

    "Despite all my race has done for you, you would show us respect?" Anch couldn't believe what he was hearing. "How we have slain countless innocents and young of your race?"

    "It's unforgivable what your kind did to mine." Blaine said, before turning to him. "But now I know that you aren't the ones calling the shots. You're a soldier, same as me. We don't want to do what we do, but we have to, for the ones we have left at home."

    Blaine paused as he said this. Technically, he didn't have a home anymore. Reach was a lost cause, and every UNSC soldier planet-side and beyond knew it. His family were being slaughtered as he spoke, not to mention he had no idea whether or not Autumn, Josh, and Craig made it out of system.

    "In fact, you're kind has assured that I don't anymore." Blaine crossed his arms. "However, Humanity respects your race. You're cunning, strong, and your race knows how to handle themselves with grace all while doing it."

    The two stood in silence, staring at their handiwork. As Blaine's eyes scanned the machines, his eyes would occasionally go to the Elite's, who looked at him with suspicion. "Say, what do your kind call us?"

    "We are not quite so respectful with our names." Anch spoke bluntly. "Humans are imps, spawn of evil. Your kind, however, you are Demons."

    "So an insult?" Blaine asked, turning to the Elite, who returned his gaze.

    "Yes, but one with a hint of mutual respect." Anch nodded. "Much as you admire the Sangheili, us 'Elites' in combat, we admire you Demons. Your tactics are cunning and strong, same as ours, yet you hold nothing back. You battle with the determination of an unholy Demon, striving to take all that is holy."

    Once again, Blaine caught Anch's gaze falling to the ignited energy sword in Blaine's hand. Looking down on it, Blaine had noticed many times how Elite's would squeeze the handle and flick their wrist to disengage the blade. Performing the gesture, the blade disengaged, as he tossed it to Anch.

    "Until we leave this place, we are not enemies." Blaine said. "Instead of calling me Demon, call me Blaine."

    "I hesitate to agree with you." Anch shook his head. "Though I have already broken my oath to the Covenant. I am Anch. Should we encounter each other again past this point, I shall call you what you are; a Warrior."

    Blaine glanced down at his broken, useless helmet on the floor. Holding it in his hands, he gave the helmet a once over, a frown on his face. It was his mask, it was the thing that kept him grounded, it helped him forget that he was a societal outcast, a nobody. This helmet was his identity for the longest time, as it had lasted since Halsey first put it on his head all those years ago.

    "Here." Blaine tossed the helmet to Anch. "You won't find anything of use on the Helmet, as it was destroyed when the helmet was. I doubt I'm making it off this planet alive anyways, so I won't need it."

    Anch stared down at the helmet, before shaking his head and tossing it to the side. Blaine nodded in respect, as he began to move towards the center of the room. In the time they had been talking, a pillar of a different type of metal had erected from the floor. As he approached the pillar, it lit up with his approach.

    Anch stared at the console with mystery, as Blaine stared at it with confusion. He felt oddly compelled to press it, as if it was silently instructing him to do so. Hesitantly, Blaine reached out to press his hand against the metal. He felt what he could only describe as the heaviest button he had ever pushed be depressed. As he did, there was a loud clanking noise, like a bowling ball being dropped into a metal trashcan.

    The room around them began to tremble, as the roof above them opened. Beneath them, a small square elevator lifted the Elite and the Spartan. The light above them was blinding, as Blaine covered his vision with his hand. Anch approached him to join him at his side.

    Blaine's lungs suddenly grasped for air as he smelt the sweet smell of fresh, mountainside air. Glancing around, he was appalled that they had ended up several hundred meters from Sword Base. In fact, if he didn't know any better, he would say the two were in the forests the Spartans once used for training.

    "Well, that'll work." Blaine chuckled. "Still freezing my ass off here, though."

    The two stood in silence, before Blaine turned to Anch. "So, what now? You kill me, run off laughing as you successfully deceived the pitiful Demon?"

    "I am not so dishonorable to kill you after you saved my life." Anch clicked his mandibles. "You are correct, we are still enemies. However, I've concluded I cannot return to the Covenant either. I have betrayed my Gods, I have temporarily allied myself with an enemy, and I have gone against the wishes of my Prophets."

    "So we're both stranded souls. Victims of a worthless, inescapable war." Blaine crossed his arms. "Some Homecoming this has been."

    "The Prophets clearly have mistranslated the scriptures of the old language. You Humans are clearly not our enemy, and we were wrong to attack you."

    "Politics." Blaine shook his head. "Fucking politics."

    "Look, I'm walking until I either get shot by one of your brethren or I'm rescued by mine. You can join me or you can go your own way."

    Blaine began to trudge through the snow through Menachite forest. Behind him, he could hear Anch clogging along at his pace.

    "If only there was a way I could convince the Hierarchs that this war is a farce. If we allied with you Humans, perhaps then we could all experience the Great Journey."

    "Immortality would be nice." Blaine shrugged. "Though, I think it'd be pretty boring if you had nothing to fear. What's living if you can't die? Does life become a chore?"

    The two stopped suddenly, standing before a tree. Blaine ran his hand along the bark as a tear began to form in the corner of his eye.

    "Butch wanted to go against the grain, Katie. If he survived that fall, and Mendez knew he was planning to desert us, Mendez would kill him."

    "Human symbolism confuses me." Anch huffed. "What is this strange symbol here?"

    "That is a heart, Anch." Blaine said.

    "I have seen a human heart, that is not their-"

    "It is a symbol of compassion, of love for one another." Blaine said. "My friends and I carved this when we were younger, after one of our friends, our brother, fell off of the cliff there."

    "Where are these friends now?" Anch asked. "Are they... like you?"

    "Yeah." Blaine nodded. "I don't know, hopefully kicking ass and- well, I hope their surviving, anyways."

    "You would not offend me." Anch shook his head. "The Sangheili sent on the front lines are little more than Helioskrill lurking for easy pray. They are noble warriors, but they are also bold and stupid. They are still new to combat."

    "That reminds me. Most encounters with, er, Sangheili I've had usually end with you speaking a different language. How can we communicate?"

    "We have translated your language... roughly. It is a work in progress." Anch shook his head. "Your measurements of time confuse me most."

    "What, hours, minutes, and seconds?"

    "Yes." Anch nodded. "We have units, cycles, rotations."

    "Yeah, and you lost me." Blaine shook his head. "It's surreal. Not many times in my life have I been able to just talk with something, instead of killing or maiming it."

    "I would agree. It is refreshing, rejuvinating even, to be able to speak my mind without fear of being called a Heretic." Anch sighed. "Everything about the Covenant is uptight, ordered. Act out in any way and suffer the wrath of the Prophets."

    "Sounds like ONI for me." Blaine chuckled. "'You didn't kill the target Spartan, how can we tell you're still loyal?' 'Where is my detailed report on the local flora?!'"

    Blaine turned to the tree again, before running his hand along the bark one last time. He knew that if Reach was going to end like Harvest, it would be glassed. Continuing on, he heard Anch's hooves crunch through the snow behind him.

    "You mentioned not having a family any more." Anch spoke up, surprising Blaine. "The Prophets, the ones I devoted my entire life to serving, has most assuredly killed my Keep."

    "Your 'Keep'?" Blaine slowing, as Anch passed him.

    "A Keep is a plot of land on the Sangheili homeworld. "It is our family land, where we breed and live the majority of ours lives. Every member shares the same name. I am from I'bortee Keep."

    "That's rough. They killed your entire family, for what?"

    "It is because you killed the High Priestess, the day you and I first encountered each other in combat."

    "Oh, that whiny bitch?" Blaine scoffed. "My translator could pick up her bullshit, spoiled screaming from the top of that ramp. I thought I did you a favor, well, besides the whole Keep wipe thing."

    "Indeed you had. I could have fed her to the Kig-Yar pirates and sang as they feasted on her." Anch clenched his fists, before stopping. "I have received a transmission from my fleet. What remains of yours is fleeing the Planet."

    "Remain unseen." Anch placed a hand on his chest. "They are sending me a ship. Though we are enemies, I will be the one to end your life, none other."

    "If circumstances change." Blaine said, nodding. "-and I some how manage to survive. I will continue to consider you an ally. Let us hope that the next time we meet, that is true."

    "Agreed. Be well, Warrior."

    "You as well, Anch." Blaine smirked. "I hope your Keep is well."

    Dipping behind a tree, Blaine could hear the tell-tale droning of a Covenant Phantom over head. Anch stepped out into the open as a purple beam of light showered over him. The Phantom loomed there for a second, before Blaine heard something crunch into the snow in front of him.

    After the Phantom left with his new acquaintance on board, Blaine crept through the snow to observe the new object. It was what appeared to be a needler, but in a rifle form. Hefting the weapon, Blaine smirked as he held it to bare. He was extremely vulnerable without his helmet or shields.

    However, he had been survived without them before. Now would be no different. Gripping the weapon tightly, Blaine stepped out into the open. The sight he saw nearly cast him to his knees. In the span of the day he had been gone, New Alexandria, any trace of his childhood, was wiped clean.

    Covenant Banshees loomed in the air above the molten crater that was once New Alexandria. In the sky, he could make out numerous Covenant Super Carriers. Every few seconds, the imposing ships would release a super heated beam of plasma which struck his home-world's surface, scarring the rock and scorching the earth.

    Suddenly, he heard something behind him. Glancing up, he saw a shimmer in the sky above him, as a UNSC Prowler swooped around, landing just beside him. The sheer size of the ship caused the wind to pick up and cause him to stumble backwards slightly.

    As the troop bay opened, Blaine saw Josh and Craig, along with Autumn herself, standing with weapons at the ready. They approached, making sure the site was clear, before trotting over to Blaine.

    "What the hell are you doing here?!" Blaine growled, staring angrily at Autumn.

    Blaine's eyes widened, however, as he felt her hand sharply smack across his cheek.

    "We came for YOU, asshole." Autumn growled. "The UNSC is getting as many people off world as we can, and ONI wants you as part of that."

    "Negative." Blaine shook his head. "I'm not abandoning Reach. This is my home."

    "Harvest was mine, but you and your Spartans dragged me from it." Autumn shook her head. "Now I'm doing the same."

    "She's right, Blaine." Craig walked up to him, his eyes meeting the Spartan's gaze. "Reach is gone. We need every last Spartan to come back to Earth."

    "Why, so I can die on a world I wasn't even born on?" Blaine shook his head.

    "No." Josh said quietly. "To protect Humanity in it's final stand."

    "Get in the Prowler." Autumn said. "Do it or we all die here with you."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 11th 2016, 12:24 am

    Author's Note: So much has happened since we swapped over to Origins Arc 2: Homecoming.

    We discovered the truth of Butch's fate. Yes, I brought him back as an antagonist, but not quite as galaxy spanning as previous iterations. The thought process here was to truly make Blaine question the morality of following the UNSC blindly. Despite being a known deserter, Butch, whom had mentally snapped in the forest, had become augmented.

    Escaping the Spartan Program, he envisioned helping the Insurrectionists take down the UNSC for destroying his life. He had no regard for Blaine or the other members of Orange Team, an apparent bitterness for their lack of searching for him.

    In this Arc, we were also heavily introduced into Blaine's encounters with the Covenant. How his years with ONI taking on so many black inked operations trained him for combat not only against the Rebels, but the Covenant themselves.

    We also go to reunite with our friend Anch I'bortee, another character who I am extremely excited to flesh out and interact with more. As we've seen, there was a rivalry between Blaine and this Sangheili warrior. Both sides of the coin fought for their beliefs, and in the end, realized they were two sides of a same sided coin.

    We also saw the death of yet another pre-existing character from Blaine's life. Painful as it was to see them go, I wanted the character's death to surprise you the reader. More importantly, I wanted to present how the other characters will respond to their death.

    Unlike the previous iteration of Homecoming, I've decided to end this Arc here. In the past, the Battle for Earth, Delta Halo, and the Ark were all included in Homecoming, making it easily one of the longest stories I've written on this board.

    That changes here. Homecoming ends here, because Blaine has returned to Reach, fought to preserve it, and ultimately watched everything crash and burn around him. His story is not yet finished however, and therefore, everything beyond this point is a now part of Origins Arc 3: Last Resort.

    Thank you all so much for reading this *even if you are being silent lurkers*. I hope that this story is at the very least feeling a bit refreshing and stand alone as opposed to the previous versions.



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 16th 2016, 10:04 pm

    There was silence in the troop bay of the Prowler. Before breaking atmosphere, Autumn had initiated the stealth drive, effectively allowing the ONI stealth reconnaissance ship to slip past the ever growing fleet of Covenant ships. Craig and Josh stood together, glancing at the dog-tags on their necks.

    Blaine stared out the window of the cloaked ship, glancing down at the burning Planet beneath them. After everything he had done, everything he and his Spartans had gone through. Every painful moment of training on Mount Menachite, every gruesome death of his brothers and sisters at the hands of both Insurrection and Covenant forces. It still wasn't enough.

    His hand went to the dog tags on his throat. Pulling them off, he gave them a quick inspection, noting four pairs among them. Three members of Orange Team, three members of his family. The last pair were of Morgans. They had been crafted posthumously to honor Morgan, but presented to Blaine as the squad leader.

    Gritting his teeth, Blaine felt the incoming urge to let his emotions loose. He wanted to scream, he wanted to yell. More importantly, he wanted to cry. He was forced for the second time in his life to abandon his Spartan brothers and sisters. Yet, he didn't. He couldn't.

    He couldn't show weakness, he couldn't show emotion. Spartans were supposed to be strong, they were supposed to be Humanity's saviors. They were Guardians of Mankind's future. He didn't have time to mourn for the fallen, he could only fight for their honor. Squeezing the tags gently in his hand, Blaine nodded a silent vow to the fallen, before returning them to his neck, just inside of the armor.

    Craig turned to Josh, before gently placing a hand on his shoulder. Passing by Josh, Craig slowly walked over to Blaine, patting the Spartan on the back.

    "We're going to win this war, Blaine." Craig said. "Even if the odds are stacked against us."

    "How can you be so sure?" Blaine asked, as Reach became little more than a speck in the distance.

    "We're Harlowe's." Craig nodded. "When we joined the Military, forced or not, we signed a silent vow to protect Humanity. Whether you consider yourself one or not, you are a Harlowe boyo."

    "Harlowe's keep their promises, Blaine." Craig said. "I promise you, we will win this war, and we'll avenge the fallen. A hundred for every one of our fallen."

    "A promise holds about as much weight as an empty threat." Blaine shook his head. "Mendez told me that."

    "Mendez must be a fucking moron who was distrustful, or betrayed several times in his life." Craig shook his head, before sighing. "An empty threat is only empty if you don't intend to keep it Blaine, same as a promise."

    "Your father had many promises he meant to keep." Craig frowned. "Promises that I have sworn to keep in his place."

    "My first and biggest priority is to keep you alive." Craig continued. "Make sure you grow up to potentially have a family or a life you want to lead."

    Blaine remained silent as Craig spoke. His gaze fell out into the abyss, as he thought about what the future would hold. Shaking his head silently, he walked towards the bridge. It would be a long while before they got back to Earth to report to ONI. He hadn't rested in a long while, and so he opted to get his sleep.


    "Were you successful in your mission, Field Marshal?" the Prophet of Truth asked, his hologram's graceful design hovering above the kneeling Sangheili.

    "The human is slain, noble Prophet of Truth." Anch partially lied, he knew the Spartan's fate, but could not confirm his death.

    Anch began to consider speaking of the Forerunner site that he and the Spartan had quarreled in. However, he knew of the dangers the constructs had on both himself, a devout believer, and the Human himself. Were the ancient scriptures of his religion wrong? Were the Forerunners merely a Warrior race that had no intention of allowing other species to ascend?

    "Word of your victory shall be paraded about the Holy City for many cycles to come, Warrior." Truth bowed his head, folding his fingers together in a triangle. "You will be known as a Hero to your fellow Sangheili, and an inspiration that all the Covenant will sing of."

    Anch tensed, however, as he heard a pair of footfalls stomp into the troop bay of the Phantom with him. A pair of Jiralhanae majors stood shoulder to shoulder, armed with their Gravity Hammers.

    "Your species always was so intriguing, Field Marshall. Your mantra of 'Warrior at Birth, a Warrior in Death', it appeals to me."

    "Noble Hierarch, what is the meaning of this?"

    "Destruction of any Forerunner constructs is the greatest of all Heresy's." Truth's eyes, though holographic, glared at Anch. "You are no holy warrior, you are a disgrace to all the Covenant. You are a Heretic."

    Anch's eyes widened as the Hologram of Truth turned towards the pair of Jiralhanae in front of him. How had Truth discovered his finding of the Forerunner structure under the Mountain? Had he sent a tracking drone with Anch?

    "The results of your scuffle with the human will be sung about through the City for the morale of the Covenant." Truth declared. "They will speak of your sacrifice against the human, and your discovery of the holy site. The Journey, however, has no room for heretics. Kill him.

    The hologram of Truth evaporated into nothing. Anch balled his hands into fists, the pair of Jiralhanae glaring at him, fangs bared. Growling, Anch lifted a Needle Rifle off of the rack to his left. Tossing it out the side of the Phantom to the ground below, it was at that moment that he realized that his religion was in fact false.

    Truth knew of the Machines and how they would kill anyone that was not Human and benign. Further more, the genocide of Humanity was solely so that he could master the Forerunner relics and be the one true god of the Covenant. Clicking his mandibles together, the Jiralhanaes stumbled towards him.

    Grabbing one of the staves of the hammers, Anch grunted as he used his weight to turn the ape he was fighting towards the other one. The beast he scuffled with's eyes opened wide, as it splattered purple and red blood into Anch's face. In it's death, the Jiralhanae's grasp on the hammer slackened just enough for Anch to wrestle it free.

    Spinning on his hooves, Anch ducked under one swing of the remaining Brute's hammer, while simultaneously swinging the blade end upwards. The blade struck the underside of the Brute's chin. Lifting with his might, Anch roared as he flipped the Brute over his shoulder, using the gravity function of the hammer to splatter the Brute's head like a watermelon.

    "The Warrior." Anch said, stepping into the bridge of the auto-piloted Phantom. "I must find him."

    Anch used the piloting camera as he hovered the ship above the forest in search of his unconventional ally. Nearing the edge of the tree line, Anch stared at the wreckage of the Human city in the distance. This was what the Spartan spoke of, what his kind was doing to theirs. Everything Anch had done, it was all fallacy. How many Humans had he unrighteously killed in his Campaign?

    He began to think of his own Keep back on Sanghelios. What if the tables had been turned, what if Humanity had proved to be more advanced than the Covenant, and had committed genocide on the Unggoy, the Kig-Yar, the Sangheili, the Jiralhanae, or even the San Shyu'umm races? What if it were his own Keep being killed. Sure, War was about blatant, unbiased killing of your foes, even potential Warriors.

    However, Anch began to realize just what cost their so called 'Holy' war was presenting against the Humans. Humanity had only wanted to prosper, with no intentions of even fighting the Covenant when they first encountered them. The thought of any of his offspring being killed while he was away, fighting the unjustified attackers, made his heart heavy with a mixture of grief and anger.

    This was why he had deep respect for Humanity, namely the Warrior Spartan. Despite everything his Covenant had done to the Spartan and his race, the Spartan still brought Anch mercy, time and time again. He could never atone for the sins he had committed against Humanity, but he knew he had to try.

    In the distance, he could make out the Spartan surrounded by other humans in a sizable ship. He could make out the Spartan refusing to enter the ship, before one human, a female, struck the Warrior across the cheek. After a time, well before he could get the Phantom there, the ship began to ascend towards the atmosphere.

    It was at that moment that Anch knew he had to follow this Spartan. Not as a hunter pursuing his prey, but rather as an enemy with a mutual hatred. An enemy of the Spartan's enemy, to me more precise. He knew his actions against the Covenant would put his Keep in danger, but if Truth was willing to betray him despite everything he had discovered and done, they were likely already dead.

    In that same manner, he couldn't just run from the Covenant. They would find and have him killed, with his entrails paraded about the City. Likewise, if he ran to Humanity, even with the Spartan as his voucher, he would likely be killed. Still, he wanted vengeance against the Prophets for making a mockery of him and all his Sangheili brethren, using them like instruments for a false prophecy.

    He ascended his Space Phantom after the Human ship. As it ascended through the atmosphere, he noticed the ship begin to disappear from sight. He was intrigued that the Humans had indeed learned how to stealthily hide their means of transport. As he continued his pursuit, he knew the Fleet of Particular Justice would likely spot him. If he was following the Humans that heavily, he would only endanger them further.

    He activated his own stealth drive and continued to follow behind what he could only hope was still the Human ship, despite it being completely gone from his vision. The further they got from the star system, the ship finally uncloaked in front of him. Remaining cloaked, Anch observed as the deep blue sphere of Slip-space appeared in front of the Human vessel.

    Increasing his forward thrust, he stuck his Phantom under the larger ship and joined them through their Slip-space stream. He realized shortly afterwards that the Human's means of slip-space travel was much slower and unconventional compared to that of the Covenant. It explained how they kept losing in aerial dog-fights, they were much slower.

    Sighing, he began to ponder how things would work out for him. He didn't expect it to go well either way, but for once in his life he decided to take matters into his own hands and trust his gut. If it got him killed, he was doomed to die either way.


    "How're you holding up, Ms. Stroud?" Craig asked, stepping into the bridge.

    "Not well." Autumn shook her head. "Seeing Reach of all places go through a similar fate to Harvest... it was like gazing at my own past."

    "I bet it was rough." Craig sighed, taking a seat beside her. "You look beat, you should go rest. It'll be a while before we exit Slip-space, and we'll need to jump again as soon as we do anyways."

    "I can't." Autumn shook her head. "I'm the only one on board who-"

    "-Knows how to pilot this bird?" Craig chuckled. "I may be missing an eye, lass, but I've been flying ONI ships since you were in diapers."

    "I can't sleep, either." Autumn shook her head. "If Blaine doesn't rest, neither can I."

    "Ah." Craig nodded. "That's what it is. Listen, Autumn, Blaine is a strong willed guy. He comes from a long lineage of hot-headed, get things done kinds of attitude men. His father and I were like that, his grandfather, and all the men before then too."

    "Even still, we need to take a break sometimes too." Craig said. "Blaine's resting, we all saw that wound on his chest. Cut clean through his armor, but he's still alive. He's a fighter, but he was at his limit."

    Autumn turned her head towards the barracks. She couldn't possibly imagine Blaine sleeping in one of the cots. For the past several months, he stuck himself in the cryo-chamber to be ready for combat at a moment's notice.

    "Go on." Craig nodded. "Go take a rest for a change. It'll be like old times, I'll be piloting the ship. Josh and Ph-"

    Craig paused, it wouldn't be like old times. Phil's death had only just registered with Craig. Morgan, Phil, Richard, Amber, they were all members of Cobalt Squad, taken from the rest of them too early. It troubled him that, despite after all they had been through, Josh and himself were the only two to live on.

    "Never mind." Craig shook his head. "If something comes up, I'll send Josh to come and get you."

    Autumn nodded her head hesitantly, before standing and allowing Craig to assume control of the bridge. As she silently slipped past him, he heard the door behind him open. Turning back, he watched as Autumn silently bowed her head, avoiding eye contact with Josh, before stepping out of the room.

    Josh turned back after her silently, before frowning himself. Walking over towards Craig, Josh sat in the chair beside him.

    "How'd it get to this point?" Josh sighed. "How come we're the ones left?"

    "Fate has a purpose for us-"

    "A fucked up way." Josh sneered, before leaning back, sighing and running a hand along his brown hair. "Always felt invisible with Phil by my side."

    "I know the feeling." Craig nodded. "Morgan and I were almost inseparable. Even when we got into arguments as a kid, we always apologized to each other and made sure the other was square before we put our differences aside."

    "Yeah." Josh chuckled uneasily. "Can I ask you something, as a fellow twin?"


    "Did you feel it, when Morgan died?" Josh asked, as Craig turned towards him.

    Josh's eyes were glazed over with liquid, as his very body shook, trying to suppress the raw emotion.

    "Did you feel his pain?" Josh asked, trembling.

    "No." Craig shook his head. "I felt it when I saw Blaine's face. It was the look of a young boy, losing his father for the second time."

    "It felt like my entire world crumbled down to my feet. Like the rubble of a destroyed building." Craig shook his head, focusing on the oddly colored phenomenon that was slip-space.

    "I did." Josh shook his head, gritting his teeth. "I felt his neck snap in that's Brute's hand. I felt as his life faded from him."

    "I was so pissed. Not because he died, but because I didn't stop it from happening." Josh clenched his teeth together. "I let him die."

    "No you didn't." Craig shook his head. "I know you twins, better than most. You wouldn't ever just let each other die. Maybe you were caught in the moment, but you didn't kill your brother. The Brute did, and if you killed the Brute, you avenged Phil."

    "Letting something kill your brother, was letting the bastard responsible get away." Craig shook his head. "Like that Butch bastard. He was the leader of the White Solaris/Silver Crescents, I fought him to avenge Morgan. That bastard took my eye, and I've never been able to live with the knowledge that I couldn't avenge my brother."

    "Instead of avenging Morgan, I've decided that I am going to protect his son." Craig said. "I don't care what protocols I have to break, I don't care if they gun my ass down. I'm going to make sure Blaine has the best life possible. It's what Cobalt Squad would want."

    "When you're one of us." Josh nodded. "We watch out for you, like you watch out for us. A sacred brotherhood between families, fighting for the betterment of our families back home."

    "Amber did have a way with words." Craig smiled. "Let's you and I make a deal right now. We're not allowed to die unless we're saving Blaine's life. Deal?"

    "As much as I despise the freak." Josh chuckled faintly. "Amber'd kick my ass from one end of heaven to the next if I didn't. Deal."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 20th 2016, 12:41 am

    "Shit." Craig shook his head. "We're out of fuel."

    "Seriously? Did Blaine and Autumn fail to refuel?"

    "Do I look like I was there?" Craig shook his head. "Gonna have to exit early."

    With expert speed and precision, Craig's hands flew over the controls to the Prowler's slip-space functionality. The twisted space around the ship normalized, as the stealth ship returned to normal space. In the foreseeable distance, they could make out a lone planet. Purple mixed with the blue in the atmosphere, but overall it looked as if it had been inhabited by Humans.

    "Woah woah." Josh shook his head. "This is still the Outer Colonies. You and I know how folks out here treat ONI."

    "With the threat of the Covenant looming overhead, we have to make due with what we can." Craig shook his head.

    "Unidentified vessel, slow your approach and identify yourself. If you refuse to do so, change your course and never return. Otherwise, you will be fired upon."

    "This is UNSC Prowler Alpha Tango Delta, requesting a simple refueling."

    "Should have known it'd be a goddamn Spook. We don't want you here, turn back now or be fired upon."

    "Listen here." Craig growled. "The Covenant have taken Reach."

    "Why should we care if you UNSC douchebags are getting your asses handed to you on a silver platter?"

    "Because we don't have enough fuel to jump out of system." Craig smirked. "If they followed our jump coordinates, they'll be on your doorstep if we don't get another jump in."

    "You're a little too late for that, assholes. The Covenant have troops on the ground down here already. We've been trying our best to get by with what we can, but it's a losing battle."

    "I'll tell you what, I'll get you a refuel. However, any and all troops on board your vessel will be held as collateral. You help us push back the scouting party, and we'll return the favor."

    Josh and Craig looked at each other. They knew that they couldn't leave the Prowler unattended. These Insurrectionist, sympathizers or not, would have no issues with taking it from them and stranding them here.

    "We have only one unit available." Craig shook his head.

    "I see. Guess we're all fucked, aren't we?"

    "Not necessarily." Craig nodded, as Josh's attention turned towards him. "We have a Spartan on board."

    "One of those so called boogeymen your Office supposedly concocted? Now I know you're fucking with me."

    "Give me coordinates on where to send him." Craig said. "He's got a bone to pick with some aliens."


    It had been far too long since Blaine had fought outside of his Mjolnir rig. He still wore the armor, though without the helmet it functioned little more than a small buffer for Plasma rounds. Planting his boot in the SOEIV pod's lower end, he pushed with all of his might, launching the door off.

    Stepping out with a pair of SMGs, Blaine saw exactly what the situation was. It had been just like Sword Base on Reach, a light Covenant incursion had shown up to gain information on the layout of the planet and population of humans. Though, after his talk with the Elite in that strange chamber, he also wondered if they were looking for more of their holy relics.

    Spraying the twin weapons at a patrol of five or so Grunts. The abandoned street in the barren City echoed every round he fired. Charging at the remnants of the patrol, a handful of Jackals and Skirmishers, Blaine wrapped his hand around a Jackal's throat. Turning on his heels, he used it's shield to deflect the incoming plasma.

    The Jackal chirped and snarled in his grasp, as the plasma peppered and seared it's flesh, the shield long since failing. Tossing the corpse at three of the Skirmishers, the force of the blow caused the bird like reptiles to tumble along the ground.

    There wasn't much left on the Prowler for arms, but Blaine had managed to find a magnum among them, along with the pair of SMGs he used. Bringing the magnum to bare, he squeezed the trigger three times, sprinting in a wide arch away from the Jackals that fired at him from behind.

    The Skirmishers chittered, grasping at their faces as the bullets penetrated their skulls, killing them instantly. Turning back towards the remaining Jackals, he squeezed off a few more rounds, killing them within seconds. With the patrol effectively dispatched, Blaine began to take in his surroundings.

    By the look of Human corpses and Covenant bodies lining the sidewalks and street, he could only figure it was a failed evacuation attempt. Even though the helmet wasn't compatible with his Mjolnir, Craig's ODST helmet did serve well as a contact with his temporary handlers.

    "Holy shit, they weren't kidding about you guys." Carlito, the man who had offered a refuel for his services, mused. "Listen, I think they've got an Anti-air cannon in the works of being set up at the old construction site. I've lost several good men out there, each of them attempting to deliver enough ordinance to vaporize the entire block."

    "Problem is, however, the Covenant has been proving too much to handle in that area. Though, that doesn't seem to be an issue for you, does it?"

    "I'll manage." Blaine grunted.

    The idea of working with Insurrectionists wasn't his first instinct, however, he knew that the civilians involved were just as innocent as UNSC supporters. Suddenly, a waypoint appeared on his visor, highlighting a construction zone on the typographical map of the City.

    "They got some of those big ape-like fucksticks watching the gun. One of them has this trippy hammer, none of my men could get close without being sent flying."

    "Focus on getting your people off world. Leave the demolition to me. More importantly, however, get that Prowler filled up." Blaine shook his head. "I'd be done by now if I didn't have you giving me the memoirs of your life every damn second."

    "Not very social, are we?" Carlito verbally shrugged. "Fine. Get it done, then get the hell off my planet."


    Marching towards the construction zone, all he saw besides the iron frame of a unfinished skyscraper, was dunes of sand. He never understood who would build a City in the middle of the desert, especially without a nearby water source, however, he wasn't there for architectural musings.

    "So, you might have wondered how I can see everything you're doing. I got cameras on every street corner, been monitoring this shit since the Covenant first arrived."

    "Good for you." Blaine replied coldly.

    Surely enough, a Covenant AA-Gun was on the verge of being built. However, the preparations for the gun seemed to be halted. Grunts and Jackals lazed up against the inside walls of the semi-built skyscraper. There still were no signs of any Elites, let alone any Brute contacts.

    Directly beside the skyscraper, on the other hand, was a wrecking ball of some sort. Blaine began to question why a half built skyscraper required the presence of a wrecking ball, unless they had messed up in the construction and needed to start from scratch. Either way, he contemplated using the barbaric iron ball to crash into the AA-Gun.

    Mulling over his choices, he opted to approach the wrecking ball. Hoping into the driver's seat, he searched over the controls. It wasn't much different to a fork-lift, of which he had a lot of experience driving during training. As expected, however, the keys to the rig were not in the ignition. Another good training point was hot-wiring.

    As the motor revved to life, Blaine knew any attempts at stealth he would have were out the window. Craning the ball to the right, he pitched it suddenly to the left, the iron ball using it's momentum to crash directly into the midsection of the half built AA-Gun. The Grunts, Jackals, and even a few Skirmishers stepped out into the Desert heat, firing their plasma weapons along the side of his rig.

    His attention was less on the cannon fodder races, and more on the creature that landed on the ground just in front of his rig. In bulky, red armor, the beast easily could have towered over Blaine. With a Gravity Hammer well within it's grasp, it swung the hammer at the wrecking ball.

    Blaine's eyes widened as the ball came hurtling towards him. Diving out to his right, he had enough cover between himself and the Cannon fodder races. The Brute roared in it's berserk rage, slamming the hammer down and killing any of it's allies in the process, within the blast radius.

    Blaine began to wonder about the bomb's location, before he noticed something on the Brute's back. It explained why Blaine hadn't found the ordinance before, and the worst part was that he couldn't use his firearms without clipping the explosive and taking himself and half of the City out with him.

    Jumping backwards from a lunge, Blaine began to think about what he could do to combat this Brute. The AA-Gun wasn't fully destroyed, but he also didn't really want to die here, on some Insurrectionist planet. Flipping backwards, Blaine cartwheeled along his hands and feet away from the Brute while he began to think of his options.

    Thankfully, the effects Mjolnir boosted to his already super human reflexes still worked, despite not having his helmet. Sprinting at the Brute, Blaine slid underneath it's legs. It was funny, he could count the number of times he had performed that evasive maneuver, and none of them ever seemed to expect it.

    On the other side of the Brute, Blaine sprinted towards the wrecking ball. Spray orbs of plasma had splashed onto the chain holding the giant sphere on the rig. Just enough so that it had sank into the sand, free from the rig itself. Blaine dashed over towards it. Planting his feet into the sand, Blaine used every inch of his remaining strength to hoist the thousand or so pound wrecking ball.

    With Mjolnir's help to his already supernatural strength, the feat was not as difficult as one might have assumed. The way he held the ball, however, reminded him of his class in training. Not only did they speak of the Spartans of Ancient Greece, but they also spoke heavily on the Crusaders during the Holy Wars, typically known as the Crusades.

    Ancient Paladins would use spiky balls on sticks, or maces, as a bludgeoning weapon that could easily dent armor and kill an opponent in close range. The chain connecting the ball and the stick could also be used to deadly effect, blocking a weapon's strike, or even just strangling them. To Blaine, holding this made him feel like one of those paladins, only he had a much more ludicrous sized mace.

    Holding the chain to give it enough slack, Blaine swung his right arm forward. Slightly slacking his grip with his left hand, the giant iron ball surged forward, crashing into one of the support legs to the AA-Gun. The Brute snarled as Blaine blatantly ignored their skirmish. Leaping at Blaine with the intention to kill, the Brute growled as the ball was tugged back into Blaine's reach, smashing into it's side.

    Bouncing along the ground, the Brute snarled as the explosive device it had confiscated was stripped off of his back. Also luckily for Blaine, it wasn't primed in the process. Reeling the makeshift weapon back with a quick tug, Blaine turned on his heels, extending the ball to the farthest he could muster.

    The Brute snarled as the massive ball struck it once more, crumpling the beast into a heap and crushing it. Blaine took a step towards the explosive. It was scratched to high hell, but the explosive would work as intended. Punching in a series of codes, Blaine brought the explosives to the battered and nearly destroyed AA-Gun. With a silent press of a button on his wrist, he waited for a few moments, before a Pelican swooped down to come pick him up.

    He wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. These Insurrectionists had everything ass backwards, and he was pretty tired. Hopefully the ship could be refueled soon.



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 9th 2016, 10:56 pm

    "Fuck!" the young man yelled as he pitched his entire body into a full sprint down the hallway.

    He could hear the aliens behind him, chattering in their foreign language. The whines of their alien weaponry echoed throughout the apartment complex, narrowly avoiding his lithe form. Ducking his head, he bolted down the carpeted halls, each of his footfalls echoing in his ears.

    All he had to do was keep going straight at the next four way intersection, and the emergency stairs would be right there. As he approached the intersection, however, he heard footfalls on the floor just above him. With a quake and a plume of dust, something large and intrusive crashed into the floor in front of him.


    Dipping left, he could hear the hooves of one of the larger aliens giving chase behind him. Screams of torture and fright echoed from every room on this floor, people whom he had been accustomed to, known for his entire life. The lights above his head flickered, adding only more to his anxiety. He had seen some pretty messed up shit in his time, but this took the cake.

    His eyes widened as one of the four jawed beasts kicked open a door to his right. It didn't seem to notice or care about his presence, proceeding instead to kick down the adjacent door across the hall. The inhabitants screeched at it's abrupt entrance, just as the young man continued his sprint.

    "Sebastian!" one man barked from in front of him. "Come on, we've got to get you-!"

    Sebastian watched as his family hired guardsman was grasped in the face by a cloaked alien. The man groaned, firing his pistol into the side of the energy shielded alien's face, the monster recoiling back into the stairwell with him. There was no way in hell he was going in there after that.

    Turning back, one of the four jawed aliens that had been chasing him clicked it's mandibles together. Taking a mighty step forward, Sebastian watched as it flicked it's right wrist, an energy based two pronged sword appeared. Sebastian took a step back, as the beast emitted a guttural growl.

    Nodding in defeat, Sebastian sighed, before charging at the alien. His only chance was to fake out the alien and get around it. As he was sprinting, however, the wall to his right, the alien's left, fragmented. Sebastian couldn't see entirely what had happened, other than a massive blur struck the alien in the side and tackled it through the opposite wall.

    As Sebastian continued to sprint, he watched as several more of the aliens stepped out of each of the respective apartments up and down the hallway in front of him. His eyes widened, his heart beating relentlessly in his chest. He felt a cold shiver run down his back, freezing in his spot at the sheer number of them.

    "Relax." Sebastian heard a muffled voice behind him. "Keep moving, I'll cover you."

    Sebastian gulped nervously, before clenching his fists. Nodding in agreement, Sebastian bounded off of his right foot. He could hear the footfalls of the thing behind him quickly gaining on him. He flinched as the sound of a firearm discharging exploded behind his left ear. The nearest alien to him growled, grasping at it's throat, before sliding down the wall, dead.

    Suddenly, Sebastian was passed by the mysterious presence. The red and blue armored man dashed past him, shoulder checking one alien into the wall, crumpling it as the two combatants crashed through. Following his instructions, Sebastian flinched as he drew nearer to the aliens, all of which fired their weapons at him. He ducked and weaved around the bolts of blue and green energy as best as he could.

    The wall to his left exploded, as the red and blue armored soldier raised his rifle at the aliens. Several shots resounded through the hall, but the remaining ten or so aliens fell. Avoiding his savior, Sebastian rounded the corner to make his way to the emergency stairs he was originally gunning for. Tackling the door open, Sebastian could feel his lungs and heart pleading him to stop, but he ignored them.

    Sprinting down the stairs as fast as he could, Sebastian found himself on the ground floor of his family run apartment/housing complex. Bursting through the door, however, Sebastian felt his heart sank. The lobby was littered with the visuals of slaughter, bodies of his family members, his neighbors, friends and relatives, lined the floor in careless piles. He stared at the small army of aliens guarding the door, readying to fire at any humans willing to escape through the front door.

    Sebastian flinched as he felt a hand gently land on his left shoulder. Glancing up at the mountain of a soldier, Sebastian watched as the anonymous soldier stepped forward, rifle at the ready. He admired the soldier's lack of fear, his audacity to stand before such a force. The one thing he did notice was the seemingly noticeable dip in the man's shoulders.

    Raising his rifle, the soldier indiscriminately began to fire on the aliens. Sebastian yelped as he dove behind the front desk, peering over only to see the fate of his savior. Sebastian heard the rifle click from an empty clip. The soldier clipped the weapon to his back, before pulling out one of the alien's weapons, peppering the remainder of them with blue bolts of energy.

    The remaining three aliens produced similar energy swords, rushing the monstrous soldier. The soldier dropped the alien's weapon, before grasping the first alien's sword arm. Kicking one of it's kneecaps, the force of the blow caused the leg to shatter at the midway point. Growling in pain, the alien struggled to outstrength the soldier. Sebastian smirked, however, as the soldier managed to win the tussle, spinning the alien into the path of one of it's colleagues swings.

    Distracted by the accidental killing of it's comrade, the alien was helpless as the soldier's frag grenade was shoved into it's open mouth and kicked away. The alien stumbled backwards, before being reduced to a fountain of gore and metal, it's lower half remaining entirely intact. With only one alien left on the field, Sebastian witnessed as the soldier turned it's head towards the last combatant.

    The soldier marched towards the alien, which in turn stepped backwards, clicking it's mandibles with uncertainty. The soldier stood there, staring down the alien, before his helmet began to swivel around, glancing at the carnage in the room around them.

    "Your kind is responsible for this massacre. That frightened look on your expression tells me you're the one who ordered this slaughter." the soldier snarled. "For that, I'm sending you straight to Hell. Humiliating your keep and it's honor forever."

    The alien took one last step back, clicking it's mandibles once more. The skin that acted as it's eyelids slid over it's reptilian eyes, it's grip on it's sword tightening.

    "Those insulting words amuse me, rat." the Alien spoke in English, surprising Sebastian. "Much like your species dying worlds, however, they are nothing more than empty voids."

    Silently, the soldier's head dipped for only a fraction of a second before he was on top of the alien. His left fist smashed deeply into the alien's lower abdomen, denting the metal plating covering it. Purple fluid that Sebastian could only imagine as blood sprayed out of the alien's mouth, it's eyes wider, it's pupils narrowed with a bloodlust that seemed unquenchable.

    The force of the soldier's blow was enough for the alien to drop it's sword, however, that did not stop the alien from retaliating. Swinging it's right arm for the soldier's helmet, the soldier expertly tilted his head to avoid the blow. As swiftly as the first swing had been swung, the alien thrust it's left fist to catch the soldier off guard. The soldier blocked the punch with his right forearm, before quickly launching the one-two, left-right punch combo of a typical boxer.

    Both of the swift jabs met their mark on the alien's face, the weight of the blows enough to cause it's head to snap backwards. The alien recovered, snarling before stepping forward with a mighty left haymaker. The soldier side-stepped the attack to his right, swinging his left leg into the alien's midsection, before jumping off of his right foot, arcing it in front of him, and striking the alien just under it's jaws.

    The alien slid backwards, it's hooves tearing up the carpeting as it tried to steady itself. When it came to a halt, the alien roared as the soldier tilted his head in a mocking, challenging fashion. The alien dove towards the soldier, swinging it's mighty hooves upwards, one after the other, attempting to clock the soldier in the head. The armored soldier seemingly expected this, avoiding the blows masterfully, dipping under the second kick and thrusting a mighty left jab into it's face.

    Following up with a right cross, a left jab, and a final right haymaker, the soldier snarled as his powerful left leg bent upwards, before striking the alien in the neck and sent it careening into the other side of the room. The alien cascaded through the wall, stopping just outside in the alleyway.

    Sebastian watched as the alien stubbornly stepped through the hole in the wall. It limped towards the soldier, who stood with his arms crossed. As the alien drew near, the soldier's mighty right fist struck the alien's temple at a downward's angle, before his left foot came up under it's jaw again. Gaining his footing again, the soldier struck a left cross, a right jab, and a nasty left uppercut into the alien's face and torso.

    The alien wobbled, his sure footing having long since depleted. With one last mighty hop off of his right foot, the soldier swung his right leg around in a full circle, before catching the alien in the side of the head, simultaneously snapping it's neck and launching it towards Sebastian. Sebastian gasped, before vaulting over the desk and diving out of the way.

    "Sorry about that." the soldier said, walking over towards him. "Can you walk?"

    "Y-yeah." Sebastian nodded.

    "Good, someone's looking for you."


    "Sebastian!" the portly old man opened his arms wide. "Gratsi mi amigo."

    Blaine watched as his latest civilian rescue ran to the elderly man, wrapping his arms tightly around his father. On his way back to the refueling zone, Blaine was unsurprised to hear that the Insurrection had confiscated the prowler and sent everyone on board planetside. As the pelican he had been riding was flying over the city, he threw the pilot out and took it for himself.

    Once he met up with Craig, Josh, and Autumn, they announced they were fine, except now they were stranded.

    "We had a deal." Blaine said. "Do you have the transport ship at the ready?"

    "My apologies." the old man shook his head. "I was mistaken, I thought you wanted my men to help you take back yours. You saved my son, and you've done a great service to my family."

    "The Tortiloni family is in your debt, and for that I will offer you all the men at my disposal." the old man turned his head towards the ten or so bulky men with military grade rifles.

    Blaine had heard of the mafia in class during his time in training, but he had never once figured he would have a connection to them. In this moment in time, however, he didn't have much choice. Besides, the Mafia owed him a favor, not the other way around.

    "All I ask is that you take my son and I with you when you go off-world." the old man sighed. "I know it's unbecoming to ask a favor while giving a favor, but my son, he is a good kid. He doesn't deserve dis."

    "I'll see what I can do. Josh, stay with Autumn and these two. Craig, you and these guys are with me." Blaine said, as Craig nodded.

    "So, we're going to take this Pelican up to the station, wipe out the Insurrectionist bastards on board, and take the Prowler back?" Craig asked. "Hell yeah, let's go."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 14th 2016, 8:29 pm

    "What's the status on that Prowler?" Carlito stood above the flight deck's console, two young men scrambling over the system.

    "I can't access the controls, sir." one of them stammered nervously. "Those ONI spooks must've locked it down and out when we cleared them out."

    "So it's nothing but dead weight to us?" Carlito shook his head. "Fine. Strip it for whatever you can salvage. If possible, I want it prepped for remote detonation. If the Covenant think that we're going down without a fight, they're more wrong than they've ever been."

    One of the young men nodded, before scrambling to his feet. As the first young man left, the other sat there, his eyes glued on the tablet in his hand. He stared over the image for a moment, pondering what was going on.

    "Carlito, sir. You're going to want to see this."

    "What? What is it?"

    Carlito leaned over the young man's shoulder, taking a moment to look over the Pelican dropship making it's way towards their position. Shaking his head with a scoff, Carlito slapped the man across the back of his head.

    "You waste my time, kid." Carlito huffed. "It's just Juan returning from dropping those Spooks off."

    "About that sir. Some unknown entity is on approach on the lower section of the station. Origin point leads to the Pelican."

    Almost as if it had been on cue, the station housing the Prowler shook around them. Carlito stumbled backwards, before falling onto his rear, his head harshly slamming against the control panel behind him.

    "Sir, we have a hull breach in section two!"

    "So they jacked a Pelican to get the Prowler back." Carlito said. "Kid, I want you to inform all available men and women to converge on this point. We are NOT letting them take this thing back."

    "Sir, I don't believe that's wise." the young man shook his head. "My family spoke of these Spartans in legend. My brother and I were saved by a pair of them back on Aegis VII five years ago."

    "Do as you are told, or I'll give you something to fear." Carlito snarled, brushing himself off as he stepped out of the room.

    "Fuck that." the kid shook his head. "I'm not dying to my fellow humans when the Covenant is the bigger threat."


    "Testing, testing. Can anyone hear me out there?" Autumn and Craig jumped as a young man's voice entered the external communications on the Pelican.

    "Depends." Craig leaned forward, staring maliciously at the speaker. "Who is speaking?"

    "A friend. I'm sitting in your ship right now." the youth's voice continued. "Carlito is prepping to stop you from reclaiming it. He's got everyone on board the station converging on this location to fortify the position."

    "Leave it to the damn Indies." Craig grunted in disgust. "They would rather fight against their own kind than focus on the looming threat."

    "What's your name, kid?"

    "I can't say right now, I think he's coming back. Tell your Spartan to expect heavy resistance."

    "Thanks for the intel boyo, find a place to hide, we'll come get you when the coast is clear." Craig said, before cutting the line. "Autumn, I need Josh, do you think you can handle things here on your own?"


    Craig nodded, before placing a hand gently on her shoulder. Walking into the troop bay, Craig watched as Josh sat beside a handful of the mafia troops. Blaine stood at the far back, hand resting on one of the stabilization holds. He smirked beneath his helmet, seeing a little bit of both his brother and sister-in-law in the Spartan's mannerisms.

    "Blaine." Craig said, as his nephew turned to face him. "Josh is coming with us. We're going to need every gun at our disposal for this one."

    "With you and the handful of other guns here, I think we'll manage." Blaine shook his head. "I need someone watching Autumn."

    "I'm fine!" Autumn spoke up from the cock-pit. "Sebastian and his father will be safe with me."

    "Blaine, we have an inside man with these indies." Craig said. "He warned us that Carlito is fortifying the Prowler's location. This station was once a fully functioning UNSC base before we lost it years ago. They'll have literally every piece of equipment they'll need to combat us."

    Blaine sighed for a second, the ODST helmet still fashioned tightly to his head. It was true, he had no overshields as a result of his temporary helmet being a mismatch. The damage the Mjolnir systems had taken wouldn't have allowed it anyways. Nodding silently, his fist crashed into the button holding the troop bay ramp up. As it unfolded behind him, Blaine turned to face the landing bay.

    Craig, Josh, and the Mafia men followed Blaine down the troop bay. Any insurrectionist soldiers that resisted or refused to surrender were easily put down by the hail of fire. Blaine's DMR lit up the visor of his helmet just enough for the Indies to see his stern blue eyes. As the group of seven or so moved forward, the insurrectionists retreated further back.

    "You three." Blaine pointed to a trio of the Mafiosos behind him. "Watch our flanks ahead. The UNSC is notorious for building hallways that intersect. I'll take point."

    As the door ahead of them opened, Blaine grunted as a trio of high caliber rounds struck his armor in the chest. It wasn't enough to penetrate the armor, but it hurt like hell. Backing out, Blaine growled, taking cover beside the door.

    "They're really dug in. They've got a fifty, and a pair of snipers from what I could see." Blaine said. "I'm out of grenades. Do we have anything that can flush them out?"

    "Nope." Josh shook his head, the mafia soldiers following suit.

    "Shit." Craig growled. "I used my last grenade on Reach."

    The group stopped however, as a heavily damaged Covenant Phantom crashed into the troop bay behind them. Turning their attention towards that, Blaine stood, DMR at the ready. The side flaps opened, as a lone Elite jumped out.

    "Hold your fire!" Blaine turned to them, holding his arms out and shaking his head.

    "Are you fucking crazy?!" Josh scoffed. "That's a COVENANT soldier! You know, the bastards that DESTROYED Reach?!"

    "This one is a friendly." Blaine said. "It might sound odd, but him and I got trapped in some alien ruins on Reach. We fought at first, sure, but then we both came to the realization that the Covenant leaders won't stop at Humanity."

    "The prophets betrayed me." the Elite stepped beside Blaine. "They would have me killed, as well as my family."

    "Ye, well your folk 'ave killed plenty of my folks." One of the mafioso stood up. "Why the hell should we care?"

    "I am not here for pity, or forgiveness for my species' crimes against yours." Anch said. "I am here because I am fueled by vengeance. I have sworn myself to fight against the Covenant until my dying breath."

    "You could say that an enemy of my enemy is my friend." Anch continued. "If your species would have me killed, I embrace my fate. I am doomed to die anyways."

    "Good." Craig held his rifle up to Anch. "You first then."

    "No." Blaine said. "He's got active camouflage. If he can slip past that turret and the snipers, he can flush them out and we can advance."

    "You want me to kill more of your kind?" Anch shook his head in disgust. "You humans are curious, strange creatures."

    "These individuals would do the same to us. They cannot be reasoned with." Blaine said with a sigh. "Do this for us, and I'll believe that you're on our side."

    "It shall be done."

    Activating the cloaking mechanism on his combat harness, Anch stepped for the door. Blaine and the others heard the turret firing as the door opened, standing to either side of the door to avoid any cross fire. After a moment, there were screams of pain as the turret stopped firing.

    "Well I'll be damned." Craig shrugged. "Split-lips can listen to reason."

    "He saved my life, and I saved his. If he truly is against the Covenant, he can be an extremely useful asset. He knows how they work, he could help us win this war."

    The group stepped into the door as Anch removed his sword from the back of the turret manning soldier. Blaine stepped forward with a curt nod, stepping over the sandbags and other miscellaneous cover the Insurrectionists had used for cover.

    "Good work, Anch." Blaine nodded, placing a right hand on the sangheili's shoulder. "Thanks for the assist."

    "I find no pleasure in killing your race." Anch hissed.

    "You've done it before, hopefully this will be the last." Blaine sighed. "Come on, our ride is just ahead."


    "Dios mio." Carlito's eyes widened, as he stood beside the young man with a tablet. "Is that what I think it is?!"

    "Yes sir." the young man shook his head. "The Spartan befriended a Covenant Elite."

    The tablet displayed the security camera just outside of their prowler. The vision was anything less than terrifying, a Covenant Elite sprinted at the Insurrectionist troops with it's signature energy sword, while the Spartan and the men at his disposal mopped up the rest.

    "We're really screwed son." Carlito shook in his boots. "Did you get everyone?!"

    "No sir." the young man said, pulling his pistol from his hip, pressing it to Carlito's forehead before squeezing the trigger. "Not everyone."

    Grunting, the young man dragged Carlito's body to the troop bay of the Prowler ship. Pulling up his tablet, he coughed for a moment, before hailing the Pelican again.

    "Hello, it's your friend again." the young man shook. "Carlito is dead, and your troops are clear. No reinforcements are inside with me."

    "Affirmative, putting the foot soldiers on the line."

    "Autumn, is there an emergency?" another man's voice entered the line.

    "Negative Craig. Our friend has dispatched Carlito and says the Prowler is clear."

    "That Covenant, he's not going to betray us, is he?"

    "Wait, you guys have a Covenant soldier fighting with you?"

    "Long story Autumn, later though. Blaine out.

    The troop bay in front of the young man hissed as it opened. Surely enough, the Spartan stood at the front of the pack, with the Covenant Elite by his side. The other troops checked their flanks and behind them, before stepping past the young man to breach and clear.

    "So you're the benefactor?" the Spartan stepped forward. "You're pretty young, kid. What's your name?"

    "Gaspar, sir." the young man nodded, though intimidated by the Spartan's presence. "You can bring the others here. I've locked the remaining Insurrectionists out of the main hallway leading here."

    "You hear that Autumn?" the Spartan barked.

    "Affirmative. Sebastian, you know how to handle a rifle? Good, you and I are escorting your father to the ship now."

    "See you soon. Josh, You and a pair of those Mafia folk go and support them just in case. Craig, you get the engine up and running on this thing."

    "Uh, I got some bad news, Spartan." Gaspar shook his head. "The Covenant Super Carrier is en route to this location. I guess they picked up your explosive ordinance striking on the hull."

    "We have anything that can damage that Super Carrier?" Blaine asked.

    "There's an orbital MAC on the top section of this station. It's still operational, but it would need to be remotely activated." Gaspar scratched his neck. "It'd be a bit of a space walk, though."

    "Craig, are there still any oxygen tanks on board the Prowler?"

    "Yeah, a couple."

    "Alright then. We're on borrowed time here. Autumn, keep that Pelican's engines hot."

    Blaine walked over towards the emergency oxygen tank dispenser, pulling it off the wall. The Oxygen would be useful in case his suit didn't hold enough for the space walk. Fixing it to his back with the magnetic locks, Blaine attached the nozzle to the bottom of the borrowed ODST helmet he was using.

    Sprinting out of the Prowler, Blaine darted past Josh, the Mafia troops and their escorts. Working his way into the Pelican, he sat in the pilot's seat, pulling the Pelican out of the troop bay and into the void of space.

    "When that Super Carrier is in range, it'll fire on the station." Blaine warned. "Craig, you will need to initiate the stealth drive and get clear when that happens. We cannot let that thing follow us."

    Parking the Pelican on the top of the station. Blaine stepped out of the Pelican. It had only been a few times in his life when he was on a space walk. The weightless feeling turned his stomach slightly, as he felt he could just float away at a moment's notice. Thankfully for him, though, he had magnetic locks on his boots that helped his boots maintain grip to the station's hull, as well as act like artificial gravity.

    He never understood why the UNSC would make manual seats for MAC guns, especially out in the void of space. However, at that moment he really didn't care. Jumping into the seat, Blaine cranked the handle to turn the cannon's pitch and yaw. Thankfully, the ODST helmet he wore was able to link up directly with the cannon, giving him the perfect angle to line up his shot.

    "Come on you dumb bastards." Blaine grunted, as the front of the Covenant Super Carrier's shields began to dissolve. "This is for Reach."

    He felt the cannon around him shudder as it took on the charge. Holding it in, he could feel the cannon begin to quake around him as he held it well beyond the safe charging limits. His helmet's monitor began to blink red for critical energy overload. He couldn't risk firing too soon, as he'd only be allowed one shot, and he wanted this shot to go clear through.

    His helmet felt a couple of pings as some of the bolts holding the cannon together began to drop onto it from above. Nearing two-hundred percent a normal MAC charge, Blaine finally released the magnetically accelerated slag of molten metal. The cannon around him jarred, the barrel pluming like a flower. He watched as the hull of the Super Carrier buckled as the round struck it's nose end. Miniature purple explosions rippled along the hull of the ship.

    That did not stop the ship from firing it's missiles, however. Blaine watched as the plasma torpedoes sped towards the Station beneath him. He growled as they struck the hull, causing it to quake and buckle beneath him. In the distance, he could see the Prowler pulling away from the station. It pulled a tight turn, making a path directly above his head.

    Blaine sprinted, feeling the Station crumple beneath his feet, the plasma torpedoes melting the support beams from the inside. Bounding off of his right foot, Blaine stared at the Prowler as it neared him. Using the thrusters on the back of his armor, he boosted himself above it's hull.

    The speed with which the Prowler was passing him, however, caused him to tumble along it's hull. Grunting, Blaine managed to plant his feet firmly into the Prowler's hull, the mag locks on his boots activating.

    "You good up there?" Craig asked.

    "Never better." Blaine sighed, watching as the Covenant Super Carrier went critical, it's proximity to the Station causing the ensuing explosion to envelope them both.

    Anch had a lick of truth to his statement. Despite the Covenant being a looming threat, the Insurrection was still willing to fight the UNSC, instead of working together to fight a common enemy. This was made apparent from the last few hours he spent here on this planet. He had some remorse for the men and women trapped planetside who weren't Insurrectionist affiliated.

    "Never worse, either." Blaine sighed, shaking his head.

    "What was that? I couldn't hear you. You broke up a bit there."

    "It was nothing." Blaine said.

    "Right, well get inside. We're jumping in a few minutes."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 22nd 2016, 12:31 am

    "Your species is very odd." Anch stood with his back against the wall, snorting in the direction of Blaine. "Your combat harness, it is not stuck to your body?"

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "It's all detachable. Why, is yours actually fused to your skin?"

    "No." Anch clicked his mandibles. "However, it is all interconnected for ease of access. A Sangheili that wastes time before combat dressing, is a Sangheili that is destined to die."

    "Spartan, a moment?" Autumn waved Blaine towards the cock-pit.

    Blaine nodded curtly to the others, stepping through the door with Autumn. The door barely shut before Autumn struck her fist against his chestpiece.

    "Are you insane?! Why is there a Covenant on board?!"

    "He and I saved each others lives on Reach. Right before you came for me, in fact."

    "Blaine, this is the COVENANT. They destroyed Harvest, they JUST destroyed Reach."

    "The Covenant did. He's not Covenant. Not anymore." Blaine shook his head.

    "You're really buying this?" Autumn held her hand out flat, gesturing to the door. "What if he has a tracker on his body, and he's having us lead him to Earth."

    "You have a point there." Blaine nodded. "Except he is actually bothering to speak English and cooperate. If he wasn't, he would have attacked by now, attempting to get to the data terminals in the control room."

    "You're so certain we can trust one of them?"

    "Trust? Hell no." Blaine shook his head. "Ally? Definitely. The Covenant Leadership killed his entire family."

    "So you think you're kindred spirits with a fucking alien, just because your actions caused his family to be killed."

    "There is no right side in war, Autumn." Blaine crossed his arms. "The leadership that tells their soldiers what to do, they are the ones at fault."

    "Now you're implying that a Covenant Elite is innocent of killing Humans?"

    "No. I am, however, implying that he was mislead by the same propoganda that the UNSC deploys for IT'S troops." Blaine said. "Listen, Anch told me that there are three Prophets in charge of the Covenant."

    "They are the mortar keeping the Covenant whole." Blaine continued. "These Prophets told the Covenant that us Humans are Heretics to their spiritual deities. Anch's race wanted to extend the olive branch to Humanity after we started to fight back, incorporate us into their ranks."

    "So, you want to join the Covenant?" Autumn shook her head. "You're not making a point here."

    "I'm saying that Anch is like literally any soldier in the UNSC. He was told to shoot, and instead of asking questions that would compromise his mission, he asked what direction." Blaine sighed. "Furthermore, his Prophets betrayed him and his family, killing everyone he's ever known and love, though he did everything they asked."

    "ONI did the same thing with us Spartan IIs." Blaine crossed his arms. "Took us from the Outer Colonies, and then turned us against our fellow Colonists, labeling them as 'Insurrectionists'."

    "Look, I'm just saying this is going to be really risky. There is a reason there is a 'No Prisoners' act in effect in the UNSC. If we take a Covenant troop prisoner and-"

    "I'm aware of the act. I'm gonna stop you there, though." Blaine shook his head. "He's not a prisoner. He's an ally. He was visibly hesitant when I asked him to clear a path forward for us."

    "He followed us from Reach." Autumn held her ground. "If he was truly your 'friend', where did he go when Craig, Josh, and I found you?"

    "He was trying to link back up with the Covenant." Blaine nodded. "He and I had a mutual agreement that one day we would hopefully see each other as allies, not enemies."

    "My guess is his Prophets wanted him dead, so he decided to try his luck allying with the UNSC to take down the Covenant in an act of revenge." Blaine shrugged. "You have so many questions about him, just go ask him. If it'll make you feel better, I'll keep him in check."


    "It's a simple question; do you, or do you not have a tracking device on your armor? Or have you installed one on the ship?"

    "No, human." Anch shook his head. "If there was a device in my combat harness that the Covenant would track, it was destroyed by the radiation when your warrior and I were fighting the holy constructs."

    "I didn't mention anything about your religion, monster." Autumn growled. "I asked if the Covenant could track you?"

    "To my knowledge, no." Anch clicked his mandibles. "It confuses me that you would allow a Female of your species to order you around, warrior."

    "What can I say-" Blaine said, placing a hand sternly on Autumn's shoulder. "Our customs are different. We allow our females to interact in our military."

    "A noble, yet foolish endeavor." Anch nodded. "This female does have a latent warrior's spirit, however. You are lucky to have such a mate."

    Autumn's face flushed as Anch said this, shrugging Blaine's hand off of her shoulder. Standing up, her fists clenched, as she glared at the Elite.

    "I am NOT his mate."

    "Yet you defend him like a Keep wife." Anch clicked his mandibles. "I smell your fear in my presence. You are afraid I will attack, that I may harm the warrior."

    Anch leaned forward, holding his hands on his knees, before slowly standing. Towering over Autumn, Anch gave her a quick once over, before his attention turned to Blaine.

    "If this is all meant in regards to protecting any remaining Human worlds, you should know I mean no malevolent intent. I serve to fight by your side, only because the Covenant is now my enemy."

    "We can't be too careful, Anch." Blaine said. "You've proven that you are capable of being a powerful ally, but our ranking officers. They would likely have you killed."

    "Then what would you have me do?" Anch asked.

    "I don't know for certain." Blaine sighed. "We can't just hand you over to ONI though. Likewise, we can't just have you fighting by our side without people asking questions."

    "Autumn." Blaine sighed. "Get Death on the line, he's the only one at ONI who has an open mind."

    "Woah woah woah, hold up." Josh shook his head. "You can't be serious about this. You're going to contact the Vice-Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence on a whim, and tell him we have a split-jaw in our midst?"

    "That's summing it up, yes." Blaine nodded.

    "I'm not the only one here that's still sane, right?" Josh pointed towards Autumn, who nodded, then to Gaspar, who shrugged. "This is insanity, we'll all be court-marshaled or blown up!"

    "Stow it." Blaine grunted, as Death's familiar face flickered onto the screen in front of Blaine.

    "One-One-Five. We've received word that Reach has fallen, and that you were in proximity." Daniel said. "It's good to hear from you. Do you have a situation report?"

    "Affirmative, but that's not the point of this contact, Vice-Director, sir." Blaine saluted. "I-"

    "Behind you Spartan!" Daniel said, as Blaine nodded.

    "That's the point of contacting you, sir." Blaine said. "This Sangheili approached me, completely unarmed."

    Blaine stretched the truth about the true events that occurred with Anch down in the ruins of the ancient civilization and on Reach. However, he didn't lie when he spoke of Anch's intentions to assist the UNSC fight the Covenant.

    "So, let me get this straight." Daniel rubbed the bridge of his nose. "You've triple checked with the alien to ensure he's not being tracked, and you want to formally have him fight by our side against the Covenant?"

    "Affirmative, sir." Blaine nodded. "He has vast intelligence on the Covenant's hierarchy, interacted with them personally. He knows how to reach them, and how to tear the Covenant from the inside out."

    "While I agree that this Elite would be a valuable asset, this would be one of the largest scandals in Human history. If I permitted you to allow that Elite to fight on our side, I would have my job, and we'd all be sitting in Midnight before the year was up."

    "With all due respect sir, we don't have much of a choice. The inner colonies are Humanity's last line of defense. If those fall and the Covenant get to Earth, it's not going to matter if he's on our side or not. People will die." Blaine shook his head. "I'm not paid to think, sir, but if we were to get this Sangheili to assist us, we might have a chance at this war."

    "Request denied, Spartan." Daniel said. "If you believe he has the knowledge to help us win this war, you are to get as much of it as you can. However, if you bring that ship within the bounds of the Inner Colonies, and that Sangheili is on board? You understand that you will be shot on sight."

    "Yes sir."

    "Good. Death out."

    Blaine sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. Had it been any other superior, Blaine likely would have been tracked, and the Prowler they were in destroyed. His name and number would be paraded through the streets as the attempted next big Benedict Arnold.

    "So, I take it that your Kaidons will not permit me to fight by your side?"

    "No." Blaine shook his head, trying to think. "However, that doesn't mean that you and I can't be allies."

    "You're seriously still on about this?" Josh growled. "Just put the Elite out of his misery."

    "That's not going to happen." Blaine replied. "Anch, with me."

    Blaine stepped out of the lounge room, with Anch following swiftly behind him. Josh, Autumn, and Gaspar looked at each other with confusion, while Sebastian, his father, and their guardsmen kept to themselves in the corner.

    Entering the lower section of the Prowler, there was a pair of Pelicans at their disposal. Blaine stepped up to one, releasing the ramp and stepping inside. Anch followed Blaine's lead, stepping inside.

    "I don't know if you are familiar with aircraft." Blaine said, running through the Pelican's data terminal and wiping everything he could. "I offer you this ride in good faith. It cannot make a slip-space jump, but it can get you someplace."

    "Should you need to contact me, there is a communications system here." Blaine said. "I've preset it so that you can contact me immediately. I want you to patrol this area in this Pelican, and at the first sight of Covenant, I want you to report it to me. Can you do this for me?"

    "I can, but why would I?" Anch asked with a click of the mandibles.

    "Because if you can warn me of a Covenant attack, I can inform my superiors in the nick of time." Blaine said. "Then I can inform the superior that I was just talking to that you were the one that informed me of the attack."

    "Would he not expect me to have communications with the Covenant?"

    "I will tell him that I had posted you up as a scout." Blaine said. "He's reasonable, if you can prove to him you can be an ally, it'll work."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 8th 2016, 4:42 pm

    "Unidentified vehicle, you are ordered by the United Earth Government and the United Nations Space Command to identify yourselves." a voice crackled into the ship's internal communications' system.

    "ONI Prolwer Alala's Retort reporting." Blaine said. "Spartan Blaine One Fifteen responding to your hail."

    "Understood Spartan, we've been instructed to send an armored Pelican to search your Prowler. You are advised for you and whatever passengers on board to be unarmed, or you will be fired upon."

    Blaine nodded silently as he unclipped his magnum from his hip, and removed the DMR from his back. Standing, he stepped over towards the nearest weapon's locker and firmly secured them inside. Behind him, Craig and Autumn did the same, placing their weapons in the locker.

    "I'll inform the others." Craig said.

    Blaine nodded before firmly placing Craig's ODST helmet on his head. Returning to the pilot's seat, Blaine activated the stabilizers on the Prowler, keeping the rig steady as the search party Pelican closed in on them.

    "Alala's Retort, Pelican Foxtrot-Gulf-Niner making our approach."

    "You're clear to land, Foxtrot-Gulf-Niner." Blaine replied. "I'll be down shortly to meet you."

    Standing, Blaine and Autumn stepped out of the Prowler's bridge and into the troop bay, where Josh, Craig, Gaspar, and the multitude of refugees stood silently. Stepping past them, Blaine approached the vehicle bay, where, surely enough, the Pelican's roaring engines extinguished.

    The door opened, as a handful of Marines armed to the teeth stepped forward. They trained their weapons on the group, as a lone man in sleek black suit clothes stepped forward. Blaine had never encountered this man before, but doubted he was ONI. Something about him was off.

    Dark chestnut hair was expertly combed to the side, a streak of gentle silver running from the back of his head to the front. Two piercing brown eyes scanned over Blaine's form, as a gentle smirk appeared at the corner of the man's mouth.

    "Spartan One-Fifteen, I presume?"

    "Affirmative." Blaine nodded. "You're not ONI."

    "Of course I'm not." the man smirked. "Come, I wish to speak with you privately. Men, escort the civilians back to the Pelican and bring them planet side."

    "Sir!" one of the Marines barked. "Alright, you heard the man. We'll get you all settled in to your new home planet."

    As the sound of boots resounded through the vehicle bay, the engine roared to life as the machine lifted out into the void of space once again. As soon as it had left, yet another Pelican approached and more Marines stepped out.

    Without the mysterious man having to say a word, the Marines escorted Autumn, Gaspar, Craig, and Josh out of the Prowler. Josh resisted, but inevitably followed their escort out and into the Pelican. Blaine and the man stepped into the bridge, as the man took control of the ship.

    "Where did you take them?" Blaine asked, clenching his fist.

    "I need you to relax, Spartan." the man said. "They are in good hands. They will be fed, your allies will be checked by the finest medical practitioners I can afford, and they will be given the break they so desperately deserve."

    The whole scenario seemed fishy to Blaine, he didn't know if he could trust the man. Something about his demeanor gave Blaine the idea the man was some sort of warmongering businessman. Regardless of his thoughts, Blaine kept his composure, for if the man truly was related to ONI, it likely wouldn't end well if he harmed him.

    "I will properly introduce myself to you once we've arrived at our destination." the man said, his eyes turning to peer at Blaine. "Your armor is heavily damaged, I will see to it that you are properly outfitted."

    As the Prowler descended down towards Earth's surface, Blaine made notice that the ship began to approach the North Eastern surface of the planet. If he remembered the topography of Earth from his classes, they were headed towards Russia. As they neared the continent, Blaine's enhanced vision began to pick up a multitude of snow encased cities.

    Before the vessel neared the surface completely, another Pelican approached. Unlike normal Pelicans, this one was painted a brick red, with black highlights. Emblazoned on the side of the ship was what Blaine could only assume was an animal's skull. The man stood as the door behind them opened. One man in dress uniform saluted the two of them before stepping into the room. Passing the Blaine, the man sat down in the pilot's seat, taking the reins of the ship.

    "Come, Spartan. There is much I wish to discuss with you."


    The compound Blaine found himself in was massive, sprawling even. Soldiers in oddly red colored armor performed PT runs, while the distance sound of firearms discharging echoed. The massive buildings surrounding the complex towered high over head, the peak of one in particular pierced the clouds above, the top floor of which was masked by stormy, grey clouds.

    On the side of the building, billowing in the harsh wind, was a massive banner yielding the same design as the Pelican Blaine had just been on board. Within a mere moment, a Warthog class scout vehicle bounded towards them, only this was a troop transport variant. Where the chaingun had been placed on a normal Warthog, this machine only had seven seats on the back. Three on each side, with one on the back facing out.

    "I know it is uncouth of me to request such a thing, but would you do the honors of taking the wheel?" the man turned to Blaine. "I will direct you where to go, I just know that those seats will not be accommodating to someone of your size."

    Without another word, the Marine jumped out of the driver's seat, pushing the seat back a bit for the larger Spartan to fit. Following this, the Marine hopped into the very back seat facing outwards. Blaine took a glance at the red colored Warthog, before clambering into the driver's seat. Firing the engine once more, he waited for the man to step into the passenger's seat, before driving towards the large building in the distance.

    As they neared their destination, a trio of soldiers stood just outside of what Blaine could only assume the parking garage would be. The man beside Blaine instructed him to stop the vehicle. Jumping out of the driver's seat, Blaine watched as the Marine jumped back into the seat and pulled away.

    "I know you have many questions, and I do intend to answer them all in time." the man nodded, approaching the three Marines. "He's a guest, see to it that he is treated as such. Spread the word if you must."

    The Marines saluted the man and Blaine as they passed. Following the man down the corridor to an elevator. Blaine hesitated for a moment as the man stepped inside.

    "It is a very long way to the top, Spartan." the man said with a curt nod. "I would like for you to get in the elevator."

    "What's the weight rating?" Blaine asked.

    "Don't fret, this elevator has the capacity of a normal construction service elevator."

    Blaine nodded before stepping inside. He folded his hands behind his back in a formal resting position, as the man beside him did so. As the numbers clicked by, the man beside Blaine sighed.

    "These things are always such a bore, wouldn't you agree?"

    "Uh, yes sir." Blaine nodded. "Elevators and I haven't gotten along in the past."

    "Indeed." the man scoffed. "For a device that is meant to assist Humanity, they seem more of a hindrance, yes?"

    "I would argue that it's in the eyes of the beholder." Blaine shook his head. "For us in the elevator, we are already en route to our destination. The hindrance is for the individuals that are waiting to use it."

    "Hmm." the man paused. "Yes. That is a fair stance. I suppose I never considered it like that before. Of course, I don't generally have to worry about such follies, as this is my own personal elevator."

    Blaine's head turned to the man who stared at the numbers flashing on the panel beside them. Just who exactly was this man, and what did he want from Blaine. The complex they currently were in was most definitely militaristic in nature, but it wasn't UNSC, or ONI for that matter.

    "Since we've arrived on campus, I've long since noticed your curious nature. You were correct before, I am not an employee or envoy of the Office." the man said. "This compound belongs to one of the most powerful Private Military Companies in UEG known space."

    The doors to the elevator opened as Blaine and the man stepped out. Turning the corner, the two encountered a massive pair of exotic wooden doors. It seemed old school to Blaine, who was used to the more high tech doors of the century, but it did seem to calm his nerves a bit. A pair of men in dress uniform saluted, before holding the door open for the two of them.

    The office inside was massive, with fancy Persian carpeting covering the majority of the floor. However, beneath their feet was a singular red strip of velvet carpet that lead to a single wooden desk in the center of the room. A massive swivel chair sat on the other side, currently unoccupied.

    As for the rest of the room, massive paintings of the man beside Blaine posing with bowls of fruit hung on the wall. Bookshelves that sprawled the height of the room trailed along the walls, except to Blaine's immediate left, where the bookshelves curved upwards to permit a fireplace, with a fire crackling within, to exist.

    On their side of the desk was a pair of chairs, though Blaine doubted they would support his weight. The man approached the rear of the desk, before pulling the chair back, placing himself within it. Holding his hand out flat, he gestured to one of the chairs.

    "Please. Do not fret if the chair creaks, I know it will hold." the man said. "There is also no need to be formal, Spartan, you may take the helmet off. You are my honored guest."


    "You fuckers!" Josh roared as he put the last rounds into the dead Marines.

    Autumn and Gaspar stared in terror at the piles of bodies lining the floor of the Pelican. Josh and Craig stood there, smoke piling out of the barrels of their confiscated Assault Rifles.

    "What the hell was that about?!" Autumn asked. "What if these guys were ONI?!"

    "You're ONI, we WERE ONI." Josh said. "These asshats aren't ONI. They're Legion."

    "Legion?" Gaspar asked.

    "Yeah." Craig nodded. "A Private Military Company that occasionally is hired by the UEG to assist UNSC assaults on Insurrectionist and Covenant compounds."

    "They're also the bastards that betrayed the White Solaris... back when the White Solaris was someone to be proud of fighting for." Josh growled. "Their head, Walks On Enemies or whatever, gave the order for the White Solaris to assault New Alexandria."

    "You know of Blaine's heritage, I assume?" Craig asked, as Autumn nodded. "That assault killed Blaine's mother and threw him into the Orphanage."

    "That fucker that boarded the Prowler?" Josh clenched his fists. "He's the one that gave the order. Blaine's mother's murderer, and I have no doubt he's going to try to recruit him."

    "He's intelligent enough." Craig said. "There's no way we're infiltrating that compound, they know us as ex. White Solaris. We wouldn't go five seconds without being located. So we have to trust he'll make the right choice."


    "Alright." Blaine said. "You'll understand why I won't take my helmet off, then."

    "If that is what you desire to feel comfortable, than I don't mind." the man said. "I will begin with introductions. I am very familiar with whom you are, Spartan. Your record, your deeds, they have spread far and wide. You are a vanguard to Humanity's survival."

    "Yet, whom is the man who pulled you all this way, just to chat your ear off?" the man said, producing a pair of small glass cups.

    The man pulled out a small bucket with an odd lid, using a pair of tongs, he reached in and grabbed a pair of ice cubes, before placing one in each glass. Replacing the bucket, he then produced a small square bottle with a cork lid.

    "I don't drink." Blaine stated, staring at the substance.

    "I would expect no less." the man nodded, before unceremoniously dumping one ice cube from one glass into the other, pouring himself half of a glass worth. "Don't drink this stuff anyways, it'll kill you."

    Blaine wasn't sure if he had gone insane or not, but at the mention of 'kill', the man's eyes appeared to have glowed a subtle red. As if the iris' brown coloration was merely a mask.

    "I'm sorry, I've been delaying." the man offered a hand. "I am Walter A. Law. I am the founder and proprietor of the Legion PMC."

    Blaine stared at the man's hand for a moment, before hesitantly taking it in a firm handshake. He felt something evil about the man, just from the brief moment of contact. Sitting back in his chair, Blaine waited for the man to continue.

    "The reason I have brought you here, was to discuss a business proposition with you." Walter said, taking a sip from his whiskey. "My Legion has graciously worked side by side with the UNSC and ONI for a considerable amount of time."

    "I have taken a great interest in your Office's pet project- or rather, their most successful project yet." Walter said, lazing back in his own chair, swizzling the remnants of his whiskey in his hand. "I am of course talking about Project Orion MK II."

    "The Spartan Program." Blaine said.

    "Precisely, Spartan." Walter said, before pressing his left hand onto a button on his desk. "General, I require your attention. Please report to my office."

    "Affirmative, sir. On my way."

    "The combat history I've seen from you Spartans, your rate of victory in your missions is honestly the most impressive thing I've ever seen." Walter said. "I could think of none so capable of being their leader as you, Spartan."

    "I was not the leader of the Spartans, sir." Blaine shook his head.

    "Come now, I would prefer if you call me Walter. We are equals in this after all. Hopefully soon to be business partners." Walter said.

    Before Walter could continue, the doors behind them opened, a shadow casting on the wall far behind Walter's chair of a lone individual. Loud boots stomped on the carpet, nearing their position.

    "Sir, you summoned me?" Blaine heard the General say beside him.

    Turning to face the soldier, the man was clad in easily recognizable MJOLNIR armor. It was red and black in color, with an ODST helmet serving as the piece de resistance. Blaine's eyes widened beneath his helmet at the sight of yet another Spartan II.

    "Yes, I did." Walter nodded. "I'd like to introduce you to our guest."

    "If I may be so frank-" Blaine stood. "I shouldn't need introduction to a fellow Spartan II. Olly Olly Oxen Free?"

    "What?" the General scoffed. "What kind of child do you take me for?"

    "General, I ask you to respect our honored guest." Walter hissed. "I can understand your confusion, Spartan. Manuel here is not a Spartan II from your group."

    "He is a child of the Legion. Augmented by our top scientists and fitted with the same armor systems." War said. "He is my greatest success."

    "Thank you sir." Manuel turned to War with a crisp salute. "My apologies, Spartan. I did not know of your purpose for being here, please excuse my rudeness."

    "Don't worry about it." Blaine nodded. "Nothing could compare to Mendez-"

    Blaine paused for a moment, the idea that there were other Spartans with the same augments as him that wasn't one of Halsey's Spartan II's messed with him. In a way, he felt as though this Walter individual had stolen Halsey's research data and illegally produced his own Spartans.

    "About that business transaction, as I'm sure you're very busy." Walter said. "I can have the assistant director of ONI on the line in a single call, and ask for your immediate transferal."

    "What?" Blaine turned to Walter.

    "I'll be straight with you, Spartan. My General is a highly decorated soldier, as are you. However, the Legion is an incredibly vast military that would require multiple strategic minds at it's helm. I would like to personally have you join Manuel's side and lead my troops on the battlefield."

    "I have heard of your so called 'misconduct' in the UNSC. How you have been threatened with court marshal for thinking outside of the box." Walter shook his head. "My Legion does not berate our troops for getting the job done. We only ask for loyalty where it counts."

    Blaine heavily considered his options. The UNSC had effectively screwed him over with the whole kidnapping ordeal. However, he also couldn't exactly escape the vibes Walter was giving him. On yet another hand, the Legion seemed to have Humanity as a whole's safety at it's attention.

    Resolving himself, Blaine glanced at Walter's outstretched hand. As he was slowly reaching for it, Blaine's eyes wandered to a file on Walter's desk. His eyes widened as he recognized the face on it, along with the insignia above it.

    A woman's gentle green eyes stared back at him, a gentle smile on her face. She had onyx black shoulder length hair, with a small but prominent nose. Blaine stared at the picture for a moment, holding his hand back as he stared at the White Solaris insignia.

    "Oh, I forgot that you helped deal with that pain in my side." Walter chuckled, covering the file. "The White Solaris was once an off branch of my PMC sanctioned by the UNSC for special operations. I funded their research and development."

    "About that woman?"

    "Ah yes, I knew her well." Walter said. "Amber Harlowe, one of the best field medics at my disposal, and a better soldier to boot. It was a shame to see her and her foolish husband go."

    "You were the one that sanctioned that assault on New Alexandria." Blaine said.

    "Yes. One of the finest acts of the Legion and White Solaris joint operations." Walter said. "It was good to see a traito- augh!"

    Blaine growled as his massive right hand grasped the man's throat. The General behind Blaine made a motion to stop him, as Blaine ducked out of the way. His left boot struck backwards, mule kicking Manuel in the gut.

    "You're the one that killed her, then." Blaine snarled.

    "Oh.... I see." Walter grinned, his eyes erupting in a red color.

    With a force Blaine had not been expecting, he was shoved by Walter back into the chair he had once occupied. The weight of Blaine's impact shattered the wooden chair into fragments, as Walter maintained his composure.

    "I had heard her son had survived the ordeal." Walter coughed, straightening his suit. "I did not expect him to become a hero to Humanity. If anything, I figured you'd turn out as worthless as your parents."

    "How dare you?!" Blaine growled making a motion for Walter again, as Manuel moved in.

    "I dare because I have power, Mr. Harlowe." Walter growled. "I greeted you as a guest in my compound, I expected you to have some semblance of civility. I would have made you great, a HERO to all of mankind."

    "What kind of a Hero takes orders from a murderer." Blaine growled.

    "A smart one." Walter said. "The deal is off. You would be wise to leave my compound now, while I still have my patience. You will find an escort at the bottom of the elevator to take you back to your Prowler."

    "You think I'm scared of you?!" Blaine roared. "I should KILL you for what you've done!"

    "You cannot touch me, Spartan." Walter said. "Remember, I have your friends in my men's custody. With one order, I can have them all executed. Leave now, while I still wish to be civil."

    Blaine snarled as Manuel approached to escort him. Huffing in the Spartans face, Blaine turned back towards the doors and marched away. As the doors closed behind him, Manuel crossed his arms.

    "Coño." Manuel spat, turning back to Walter. "Shall I send in medical personnel War?"

    "Negative." Walter said, pulling the file on Amber Harlowe up. "I'm fine. In fact, I'm perfect. Get Death on the line, the Horsemen must meet again."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 13th 2016, 12:08 am

    "Well, it's been a while since you rang."

    "Indeed it has been." Walter lazed back in his chair, forming a tent with his hands. "Too long, perhaps."

    "I see, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Daniel sighed. "In case you weren't aware, I'm busy keeping the Covenant away from Earth."

    "It has come to my attention that you have a...certain subordinate at your disposal." Walter's eyes flickered to the miniature display of Daniel's face at the corner of his desk. "You refer to him as Spartan One-Fifteen?"

    "That explains why his Prowler went straight for Earth without going through the proper channels." Daniel sighed. "Silvia, call off my last order, everything is in check."

    "The Spartan knows that the Legion played a role in the raid on New Alexandria, years ago." Walter said.

    "Do I detect fear in your voice?" Daniel smirked. "For the embodiment of War, you sound awfully scared."

    "Mock me if you must, this isn't the first time I've had a run in with an angered Harlowe." Walter sighed. "The family still holds some high influence in the military, it's almost like it's genetics."

    "Listen, I'm pretty damn busy right now. You never call to check on me, so what is it you need, exactly?"

    "Have you had any contact with Famine?" Walter asked.

    "Ugh." Daniel cringed, baring his teeth in disgust as he head his 'brother's' name. "Unfortunately, yes. Last time I saw him was a couple of years ago on Mars, stupid bastard has no idea I put a tracker behind one of his eyes."

    "You are aware he can regenerate, yes?"

    "I do. I'm also aware that he has a phobia of sharp things near his eye." Daniel smirked. "So I have no worries he'll gouge it out."

    "I see." Walter sighed. "Of course he couldn't be bothered to show himself. Then again, what need would I have for that nit-wit?"

    "My point exactly. Which reminds me, you still haven't told me why you've contacted me."

    Walter paused for a moment before grinning. The burning sensation in the back of his eyes flared up as he thought his next words out.

    "I wish to have Spartan One-Fifteen killed." Walter said. "In exchange, the UNSC will have full access to my Legion to do with as they please to ensure we win this war."

    "You're looking for my permission? To kill one of the greatest assets in UNSC history." Daniel shook his head. "You are aware I have obligations to the UNSC."

    "You serve me." Walter growled. "Do not forget that I planted you there for my purposes."

    "If you intend to kill the Spartan, you'd best do it while he's still on your property." Daniel sighed. "If he leaves that compound before you get the chance, that's it. After that, I cannot cover for the Legion."

    With that, the communications between the two of them severed. Walter glanced at his fresh glass of whiskey, swirling it a few times before downing the entire thing. Raising his right hand up to his mustache, Walter gave his salt and pepper hair a slight brush with his finger, before pressing another button.

    Next on the display was a man in a white lab coat. His skin was shriveled and pale, with a sickening mixture of greens and yellows. His piercing yellow eyes glared at the monitor, as his hand slicked back his dead white hair.

    "Vhat?! I am very busy at zis moment!"

    "Hello Klaus." Walter said. "Is your pet project almost finalized?"

    "Ze specimen is responding vell to ze treatments. Zo I vould like some more time vith him." Klaus replied. "Ve haven't even gotten a chance to even test ze specimen out. "

    "Well, now is your chance." Walter's eyes flickered in his direction. "There is an intruder on the compound, a Spartan. I want you to release your patient on him."

    "Oooh. I like it."


    "I can tell by the way you walk that you hate your boss." Blaine chimed in.

    "Be quiet. I'm supposed to escort you, not be your friend."

    "He is lording something over you, I know it." Blaine sighed.

    The compound remained as busy as ever, but there was no Warthog available to pick them up this time. Instead, the two Spartans were walking to the landing pad so Blaine could return to his Prowler.

    "If you wanted me to punch you in the face, that can be arranged." Manuel growled.

    "Listen, your boss is no hero. He initiated a raid on a perfectly innocent city decades ago." Blaine said. "How could you live with yourself if-"

    "We are soldiers." Manuel paused, turning to Blaine. "Our job is not to concern ourselves with moral compasses. If an innocent life must be spent to ensure the safety of Humanity, we take that life with gusto. No hesitations."

    "Not if you're competent." Blaine huffed, crossing his arms. "A real soldier that fights for Humanity fights for EVERYONE's right to live! We don't spend innocent lives to save everyone, we save as many people as we can. We don't abandon people."

    "One more word out of you, and you won't make it to the Pelican." Manuel growled.

    "I'm just saying, you're doing Humanity no good serving someone who would throw it all away for his own gain." Blaine crossed his arms behind his head. "I mean, Private Military Companies are the worst thing in the world. They have no allegiance except to the one that pays the most."

    "You suffer, while he gains." Blaine smirked beneath the ODST helmet. "At least in the UNSC, you know you're getting fucked over."

    "I'm saying these things because I believe you're being used." Blaine said. "You're a Spartan, you know what goes into the job. He's just not utilizing your potential correctly."

    Manuel paused for a moment to think about what Blaine had said. Blaine's attention stayed on Manuel's hands however, the second they balled into fists, he'd be ready. Fighting was the last thing he wanted to do, but he couldn't stand idly by as a fellow Spartan was abused.

    "Go to the damn Pelican." Manuel said. "You know where it is. Diverge from the path, and I'll kill you myself."

    Blaine sighed internally, he knew that Manuel wasn't going to be reasoned with. Anyone with functional eyes, augmented or not, would be able to see his predicament and feel sorry for him. Manuel on the other hand, clearly was too far gone.

    "Fine." Blaine said, turning to the landing pad in the distance. "At least think about what I've said though?"

    The Spartan didn't respond to Blaine, who shook his head. Approaching the landing zone, Blaine froze as the Pelican rose into the air, only, it wasn't from the machine's own power. His eyes widened beneath his helmet at the sight he was witnessing.

    "What the hell?!" Manuel growled. "Soldier, I order you to put that Pelican down!"

    The figure was massive, even in Blaine's standards. Though there was no mistaking the black and green Mjolnir armor underneath the Pelican's hull. Blaine took a step backwards, his mouth agape underneath his helmet.

    "Butch?!" Blaine yelled. "How?! I thought you died?!"

    "RAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" Butch snarled, his helmet turning towards Blaine.

    Disturbing enough to Blaine was the tubes extending from Butch's back, interfacing with his arms and his legs. A dark red fluid coursing through them. In a fluid motion, Butch threw the Pelican at Blaine and Manuel. The two Spartans dove to the side, in separate directions.

    "Go!" Blaine yelled to Manuel. "This bastard is mine!"

    "He just destroyed Legion equipment, I'll have his head for-" Manuel paused. "Sir? We're under attack right now, I-. I understand."

    Manuel stopped for a moment, before turning to Blaine. With a curt nod, he walked away. Blaine sighed in relief, even if Manuel had been helpful in the fight, he couldn't risk getting the Spartan killed. Butch stood there, his mighty breaths causing his enlarged torso to rise and fall.

    "How'd you get off that space station?" Blaine asked, disregarding the mangled Pelican beside him. "What happened to you."

    "You happened to me." Butch growled. "You impaled me on that door, and left me to die for the SECOND time. It was a mistake to actually think you cared about my well being!"

    "I did!" Blaine barked back. "You were the one who wanted to escape from the Spartan program. It's not my fault you kept rebelling against us!"

    "Now look at you!" Blaine said. "You're a monster!"

    Butch cracked his mighty neck, before sprinting directly at Blaine. Before Blaine could counter, Butch's massive hand gripped the front of Blaine's helmet. Blaine was a massive Spartan to begin with, but the strength of Butch was far more than enough to lift Blaine completely off the ground.

    Restricted only to the sight of Butch's palm, Blaine groaned as Butch jumped off of his right foot, maintaining the momentum from his sprint, before painfully thrusting Blaine head first into the concrete of the compound. Butch stepped backwards for only a moment, as Blaine laid in the trench his body had just dug up.

    "You know what, I deserved that." Blaine coughed, struggling to stand. "Of course, you know I hate cheap shots."

    Cracking his own neck, Blaine crossed his arms as Butch simmered. The two stared each other down. Blaine still couldn't forgive Butch for what he had done to Katherine and Lorelei, despite the fact that most of what he said had been a lie.

    "If you really want to throw down. I have no emotional attachment to this compound." Blaine shrugged. "It'll end poorly for you, however."


    "Anyone picking up this signal?"

    "Loud and clear, sir." Autumn said, sitting in the Pelican's pilot seat.

    "Lieutenant Stroud. Where are the Legion troops on board?"

    "They're napping, permanently." Josh scoffed. "Death, it's been a while."

    "Sergeant Durgin. I'd be lying if I said it was a pleasure to hear your voice again." Daniel sighed. "This matter is of the utmost importance. War is putting a hit out on Spartan One-Fifteen."

    The cockpit of the Pelican was silent for a moment, before the sound of Craig's gloves clenching echoed throughout, his teeth grinding. Josh, Autumn, and Gaspar turned to face the man, the light in his prosthetic eye lighting up.

    "First he kills Blaine's mother, now he's after the son." Craig snarled. "Over my dead body."

    Stepping over towards Autumn, Craig motioned for her to leave her seat. Taking control of the sticks, Craig turned the ship in the direction of Russia.

    "Don't start any unnecessary wars. Just get the Spartan and get out." Daniel said. "Consider this act a favor. You'll owe me in time."

    "Anyone here have a problem with us infiltrating a PMC compound to save Blaine?" Craig asked, turning to the others. "Didn't think so. Autumn, I'll need you on weapon systems. Josh, other kid, load up on Assault Rifle ammo, you're covering us when we land."


    "Gah!" Blaine grunted as his back struck one of the concrete pillars supporting the nearest building.

    "So smug, for someone who can't beat me without assistance." Butch snarled, before grabbing Blaine by his helmet again.

    Turning on his boot, Butch tossed Blaine back towards the Pelican. Blaine groaned as he slammed into the side of the craft, the metal behind him buckling from the weight and impact of the Spartan. Blaine's vision blurred for a moment, ringing persisting in his ears. Shaking his head, he saw Butch charging at him like a freight train.

    Clambering out of the man sized dent in the side of the Pelican, Blaine charged his old squadmate. Balling his own hand into a fist, he dipped low, swinging his fist into Butch's midsection. Blaine winced as his hand stopped outright, Butch's abdomen providing no give.

    "Is this seriously the best you could muster?" Butch shook his head. "I don't know what Mendez saw in you."

    Jumping backwards, Blaine narrowly avoided a sweep of Butch's legs. Blaine couldn't believe how insanely tough Butch was. Whatever happened between the last time they met and now had definitely changed him from super human to something else.

    It was then that Blaine got a closer look at the tubes linked directly into Butch's extremities. The liquid inside wasn't blood like he originally thought, it was Rumbledrugs. A cocktail of different pharmaceuticals that could enhance the strengths of a normal human, and increase their resistance to pain.

    "They put you on that stuff?" Blaine shook his head. "Don't they know it'll kill you?"

    "A normal human, perhaps." Butch snarled. "I on the other hand, thanks to Halsey and Mendez, am much more than just normal."

    Blaine had occasionally fought Insurrectionists that utilized the drugs. It put even the most common of office workers, who never trained a day of their lives, on a strength threshold similar to that of a common Spartan II.

    "I'll be honest with you." Blaine chuckled. "I really haven't been giving this whole fight my all. Distracted with more important issues than you."

    "You would mock me?" Butch craned his neck. "After I've beaten you into a corner like this?"

    "You think I'm lying?" Blaine chuckled. "I gave you all of these last few hits. That drug has increased your muscle mass, making you a lot heavier and more durable, sure, but it's hindered your speed."

    "Meaning?" Butch chuckled, crossing his arms.

    "Meaning that you will never land another finger on me." Blaine uncrossed his arms, standing in a ready stance.

    Butch roared, lashing out his arms and legs at a speed that a normal set of eyes couldn't see. Blaine's head tilted away from the blows, backing away from each and every one of them. During one rage infused punch, Butch over extended his arm, as Blaine side stepped, dropping his elbow down on the back of Butch's neck.

    Butch groaned as he fell to the ground. Blaine jumped backwards, anticipating the ankle grab. Butch hurried to his feet, clenching both of his fists, before charging at Blaine again. Once again, Butch launched a flurry of strikes at Blaine, who managed to dodge each of them, or deflect them with his body.

    "Sit still and just DIE already!" Butch growled.

    "You mad?" Blaine chuckled, flipping backwards, striking his boot into the bottom of Butch's helmet. "'Cause you sound mad."

    "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" Butch roared, before thrusting both of his bowling ball sized fists down on the concrete.

    The ground beneath Blaine's feet fragmented, the initial force causing massive chunks to jut out of the ground. Blaine jumped on top of one, before expertly jumping to the next. Positioning himself correctly, Blaine dove towards Butch, before turning his body, smashing the side of his boot into Butch's neck in a mighty roundhouse kick.

    Butch grunted as the blow sent him tumbling to Blaine's right. Blaine stood there, fists at his side, ready for Butch's next move. His rival began to stand, rubbing the side of his helmet. Butch's mighty breaths moved more of the drugs from the tubes into his extremities, fueling his blind rage only more.

    "RAAAAAAAAAUGH!" Butch grasped at his helmet, roaring in pain to the heavens.

    Turning towards Blaine, Butch's hands lowered to his side, forming fists. Butch tilted his neck, before snapping himself into a battle ready stance. The force Butch's feet impacted the concrete caused it to buckle and indent.

    Pitching himself forward, Butch's feet crushed the concrete beneath him as he sprinted in Blaine's position. Blaine nodded, before jumping. As he jumped forward, Blaine's hands positioned themselves on Butch's shoulders, as Blaine flipped over his target. When Blaine landed, however, he was shocked, Butch's hands gripped onto his helmet.

    Turning his head slightly, Blaine ducked out of the ODST helmet, diving out of the way. Turning back, Blaine watched as Butch glanced over the helmet. Blaine stood, frozen as Butch read the name engraved just inside.

    "Amber L. Harlowe." Butch smirked. "Oh isn't that adorable. This must be your mother's."

    "Butch." Blaine said. "If you do what I think you're going to do. Don't."

    Butch smirked beneath his helmet, before placing the helmet on the ground. Pressing his right boot to it, he slowly pushed his weight onto it, causing the metal to buckle. Blaine growled as Butch pressed all of his weight down at once, crushing the helmet entirely.

    For the first time in a very long while, Blaine could feel the fire in the pit of his stomach erupt. The last time this had occurred was when he and John had sparred in training, the night after John's couldn't eat. Blaine stared angrily at the crushed helmet, his fists clenching. He could feel his knuckles popping, one of his teeth piercing his lip with how hard he was gritting his teeth.

    "You..." Blaine grunted, straining to even say a word. "YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS!"

    Spreading his legs slightly farther apart, Blaine pitched his head back and roared to the heavens. The sound of his roar echoed so far that even the training Legionaries turned to look. In a flash, Blaine was on top of Butch. His right fist struck Butch's left kidney, the force of which causing the abomination to double over.

    Holding onto Butch's right shoulder with his left hand, Blaine struck another mighty blow into Butch's helmet, the force breaking the visor completely and denting the metal. Butch stumbled backwards, as Blaine stood there, arms crossed.

    "You break helmets good." Blaine smirked. "That's about as good as you're useful for. If you think differently; prove it."

    Butch roared, rushing at Blaine, his right arm pitched backwards. Blaine charged as well, his own fist prepped. When the two were within distance, they released their fists, the two arms connecting. The force of the punch caused the concrete beneath them to buckle and dent downwards.

    Blaine growled as he managed to overpower Butch, causing his rival to stumble backwards. Using that to his advantage, Blaine stepped forward, swinging his right fist across Butch's helmet. Again the metal dented, as Butch's head followed the punch, only to be met with Blaine's left fist. Butch stumbled backwards, as Blaine launched a mighty right uppercut under Butch's jaw.

    Butch attempted to retaliate with a punch, Blaine's left arm pushing the attack aside. Dipping low, Blaine struck to mighty right punches into Butch's left kidney again, before grabbing part of Butch's armor. With all of his strength, Blaine raised his adversary over his head with the one arm, turning on his boots, and planting Butch into the ground on his back.

    Roaring, Blaine lifted his left boot and planted it firmly into Butch's left arm, shattering the bone underneath and destroying one of the tubes fueling him with Rumbledrugs. Despite the drug's abilities to reduce pain, Butch roared in pain as his arm shattered. With his right foot, Blaine smashed the side of Butch's helmet.

    Blaine's eyes widened however, as Butch's right arm snatched his foot. With a yank, Blaine found himself on the ground, his bare head striking the concrete behind him. His vision blurred at the jarring strike, but he was alright for the most part. Butch stood, nursing his busted arm, before performing the unthinkable. Wrapping his mighty hand around the jutting bone, Butch set his own arm back into place, rolling his shoulder without any sign of a flinch.

    Blaine rolled backwards over his shoulder, jumping to his feet. Butch chuckled quietly before cracking his knuckles. Blaine smirked, before nodding and readying himself for another bout.


    "Remarkable." Walter nodded. "This gets the blood pumping."

    "Mein subject is performing admirably." Klaus nodded. "Ze title Pestilence suits me vell, ja?"

    "Indeed." Walter smirked. "Even without a functional suit of armor to help boost his strength, Spartan One-Fifteen is holding his own quite well."

    "Vait, you're rooting for ze enemy?"

    "He is no enemy of mine." Walter shook his head. "Initially, I was disappointed by his conduct at our meeting. However, after witnessing his fighting spirit in the face of insurmountable odds, he has impressed me beyond compare."

    "Have you succeeded in killing the Spartan? Or am I to expect his arrival?" Daniel scoffed form the display behind them.

    "Call off your monster, Pestilence." Walter said. "We know his limits and his weaknesses, and we can make him stronger yet. Death, you shall have your champion back."


    "HIYAH!" Blaine roared as his boot clobbered the side of Butch's head, causing the man to stumble.

    Blaine winced however as a blinding blue light enveloped Butch, and within a moment, he was gone. There was no scorch mark on the ground, so Blaine knew it wasn't a plasma grenade detonation. Likewise, besides the damage to the concrete and asphalt under his feet, along with the cuts and bruises on his face, there was little in the way of evidence that Butch had ever been there.

    Sighing slightly with relief, Blaine relaxed his shoulders, as the all to familiar sound of a Pelican descending on his position echoed in the distance. This one was the usual Marine green coloration, indicating to Blaine that it wasn't another Legion ship.

    It turned just above the landing pad as the anti-air weapons turned to fire on it. The back opened, as Blaine saw Josh and the kid from earlier beckoning him. Sprinting towards the Pelican, Blaine jumped up and grasped onto the ramp, before clambering up and inside. In a heartbeat, Blaine stood and tapped the side of the hull, as it pulled away from the compound.

    He wasn't entirely sure what games that Walter was trying to play, but he wasn't entirely willing to trust him. Especially given what he was doing to Butch. Unfortunately, Blaine had other issues to attend to. Firstly, he needed to see about a new set of armor, anything beyond that was on the back burner.



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 18th 2016, 1:50 am

    [Three Days Later]

    Craig's footsteps echoed softly through the narrow bustling halls of the UNSC Space Station, code-named: CAIRO. He snickered to himself when Daniel had first instructed them to board the craft. The last he had heard about CAIRO was several decades ago, when the construction for the Orbital Defense Platforms were merely a topic of discussion against an Insurrectionist raid on Earth.

    The idea that the station itself housed a massive Orbital MAC cannon capable of blasting a hole through a Covenant Capital ship boggled his mind. Especially how the weapons would have been very effective at the battle of Reach. The thought that Reach was nothing but ash and silence brought an unsettling fear to the back of his mind.

    With a UNSC stronghold world like Reach gone in a matter of a couple of days, he could only imagine what would happen if they reached Earth. With a pause in his step, Craig shook the thought from his mind. The last thing he wanted to think about at this moment was the loss of Humanity's final bastion, the species' point of origin.

    "Excuse me," Craig stepped forward, addressing a young woman attending the front desk of the medical bay. "I'd like to know the status of the soldier housed in 4-5C?"

    "No-one has given me any information to work with, sir." the woman spoke calmly, though he could sense a hint of annoyance in her words. "All I know is they had to get some specialized ONI doctor transferred over to run a casual check-up on the patient."

    "Is he a relative of yours?" the woman asked, peering at his face.

    "He's important to me, yes." Craig nodded.

    "Have a seat sir, if you are cleared to see him, I will inform him."

    Craig nodded, before slowly shifting on his heels. Shambling away from the desk, Craig's eyes scanned the floor. The shiny metallic floor of the hospital gave only a glance at his own reflection, staring back at him. In his younger years, there was a clear difference in appearance between himself and his twin brother.

    As he got on in years, however, Craig began to notice more and more how identical the two truly were. With a breathy sigh, Craig placed himself in one of the uncomfortable metal seats provided by the medical bay. Each of them on the Pelican were granted a few days leave for rest and re-cooperation, followed by a formal debrief of the events that took place on Reach.

    As for Blaine himself, he had suffered far more injuries than Craig, Autumn, Josh, or any of them had even considered. For starters, his entire left arm had been broken. Though Blaine had used it without anything in the way of pain conveyed on his face. Beyond that, he had several more additional plasma burns across his upper torso and along his back.

    The biggest thing Craig had noticed, however, was the massive scar running from Blaine's left shoulder down across his chest. The scar matched perfectly with the tear in the chest of his armor. Craig's thoughts came to an abrupt halt as Autumn of all people stood above him. Her hands were folded tightly in front of her, a frown plastered over her face.

    "How is he?" she asked.

    "I don't know, they won't allow me inside." Craig sighed. "ONI bullshit, of course."

    "C-Can I ask you a question?" Autumn said, approaching.

    Craig nodded curtly, before beckoning her to sit next to him. Though the seats were uncomfortable, the idea of her standing there only added to his nerves further. Slowly, Autumn eased herself into the chair across from him so that they could speak.

    "I was wondering something, ever since you and Josh were talking about that Walter individual." Autumn asked, rubbing her left shoulder with her opposite arm. "You mentioned his mother passing away in that White Solaris raid."

    "Yes." Craig said. "Amber was a lovely woman. She was smart, she had spunk. She could seal any wound with her eyes closed, and find a way to make it not hurt."

    "Her final breaths were taken ensuring Blaine survived." Craig's right hand clenched into a fist. "All because Morgan, Amber, and myself discharged ourselves from the White Solaris to incorporate ourselves into Cobalt Squad."

    "You don't cross Walter." Craig's eyes flickered up to him. "You either serve him, or you are an ally to him. His enemies end up dead, no matter what."

    Autumn and Craig sat in silence for a moment, before her eyes perked up to Craig once more. His mechanical eye whirred as it scanned the floor. With a frown, Autumn shuffled her feet.

    "I don't mean to pry, but I need to ask. I know Blaine is your nephew, but why are you always so worried about him?"

    Craig's attention immediately fell upon Autumn's face, as his brown eyes peered into her soft green ones. The look of fear that fell upon her painted a clear picture. With a sigh, Craig crossed his arms.

    "I loved Amber." Craig's eyes dismissively avoided hers. "Ever since Morgan and I met her in boot camp, I always had a heavy heart when I was around her."

    "I was always thought to be the cold and cunning, calculating bad ass in the squad, while Morgan had the guts, and Amber had the gauze. As a team, the three of us had a combat success rate of nearly ninety-eight point eight percent."

    Craig paused for a moment as the memories flooded into the forefront of his mind. His eyes scanned the fog in front of his eyes, searching the memories for any tidbits of hope he could find.

    "I'll never forget the day she broke the news to me." Craig said, as his eyes turned to her. "You see, her and I had always been close friends... but she loved Morgan more. I was more of her best friend than a love interest, really."

    Craig flinched as he felt a tear rolling down his right cheek. His hand went up to brush the liquid aside, as he continued to search the memories. Her bright, beaming smile when she called him on Waypoint, all the way from Glascow, Scotland.

    "Craig! Morgan just proposed to me!" he pictured her smile. "He wants you to be the best man!"

    "How could I say no?" Craig shrugged weakly. "The girl I loved wanted me to attend her wedding, and of course I was going to be there for my brother. In fact, I was there for both of them."

    Craig's mood noticeably slacked as a frown formed on his face, more tears running down his cheek. He saw her frowning face on Waypoint, crying to him.

    "I just got a call from Eusine Halsey." Amber cried. "Morgan's sterile. He'll be devastated that we can't build a family."

    Craig paused for a moment, the sounds of her muffled cries echoing in the forefront of his mind. His right eye was completely blurred, filled with tears, as the very memories of his past, his own sins, were finally revealed.

    "I... helped her." Craig said, avoiding Autumn's glance. "Morgan's and I's mother had an argument with me when we were teenagers. Morgan and I were twins as a result of cryogenic sleeping experimentation. The Doctor told her that at least one of us would have some sort of disorder as a result of the radiation in the tube."

    "She had always assumed it was me." Craig shook his head, gritting his teeth. "Little did she know it was actually Morgan that was the clone."

    Craig brought his right hand up to his face, attempting to hide his shame, as tears continued to stream down his right cheek. Gripping the bridge of his nose, he grit his teeth as the memories continued to flood in.

    "Blaine is my son." Craig said, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "The morning he was born, was the morning my life finally came crashing down."

    "Amber died saving his life, my son was placed in that Orphanage, and my brother went postal." Craig sighed, reigning himself in. "Whenever I saw Morgan interacting with Blaine, I was both angered and upset by it. Blaine has ever since thought that Morgan was his father, and has long since mourned for him."

    "I never told Morgan, Josh, or even Phil." Craig shook his head. "I will also never tell Blaine. He's had a hard enough life as it is, I don't need him getting attached to me any more than he may be currently. More importantly, I don't need him questioning his entire life. That's how I spent the majority of my life, I don't want him suffering the same."

    Autumn herself wiped some tears from her eyes as she silently nodded in agreement. In a way, she was relieved that Blaine's true father really wasn't dead, though she worried about when and if Blaine ever did discover the truth.



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 18th 2016, 3:19 am

    [Two days later]

    Several events had occurred since the fall of Reach, nearly seven days back. After having a couple of days to rest his muscles and eat some... decent food, Blaine was feeling fresh and ready to fight for Humanity once again.

    In his peripherals, he could make out several UNSC vessels jumping into the system. With every one that appeared, the more he anticipated a Covenant ship following them. Though the Malta, Cairo, and Athens station would more than suffice against one.

    "Spartan, I need you to pay attention." the Sergeant grunted, as Blaine snapped back into reality. "How does the suit feel?"

    "The suit feels secure." Blaine nodded.

    In the time he had been in Cairo, Blaine had been regrettably isolated into the Medical bay under watchful eye of ONI representatives, with a very select few individuals permitted for entry. He knew it was because of the helmet policy for all serving Spartans. Since then, he had been given a mask to properly cover his face.

    Which led him to this point in the armory, staring down a short, squat man with a wrench of all things in his mouth. With a nice new set of Mjolnir on his back, Blaine almost felt like he was back to his old self again.

    "To be honest, I'm surprised you made it here in one piece, son." the tech sergeant shook his head. "Your armor came back about as useful as the anchors holding this station in geosynchronous orbit with ol' blue."

    "Gel layer was completely sheered off, not to mention the giant gash in the chest armor." the Marine shook his head, baffled. "Not to mention you didn't even bring a helmet, so who knows what about the optics. Can't even talk about the power supply."

    "What power supply?" Blaine scoffed. "The last two encounters I've been in, the damn thing fragmented to pieces."

    "It's nuclear powered..." the Marine shook his head in disbelief again. "Never mind that, the helmet's right there. You'll find it's in a similar design to what we fitted you with last time."

    Blaine glanced down at the red and blue Recon class helmet resting on the table. It seemed like it had been ages since he had last seen the design, ever since he lost his helmet on Reach, and his mother's helmet just a few days ago.

    Reaching down, Blaine turned his back to the sergeant and unmasked himself, placing the disguise on the table and fitting the helmet to his head. With a slight twist, the machine hissed as the Mjolnir system began with a beep.

    "It's just as well anyways. That new set you've got on is a Mark VI, came up from Songnam this morning. It's a bit more advanced than the previous iteration, so try and take it easy until you get the hang of it."

    Turning to face the tech sergeant, Blaine was not surprised to see the man holding up a holo-chip with a red light on it. Holding it upwards, Blaine looked up and matched up the reticle on his armor with the light, turning it green. The two repeated this process for a time to calibrate his targeting system, which had definitely been upgraded from the Mark V set Blaine had previously been using.

    "I heard that Lord Hood wanted to speak with you privately, Lieutenant." the Marine said. "Best not to keep him waiting, besides, I've got another one of you guys due any minute now. Just keep in mind that your energy shields will charge a lot faster, you just need to find some cover until they completely fill."

    Blaine nodded curtly before stepping past the Sergeant and onto the service elevator behind him. Pressing a button to his left, Blaine was in awe with just how much more responsive the suit had been to his motions. Of course, thinking about the new set of armor brought his attention to what the Sergeant had just said about another Spartan being due for armor upgrades.

    The idea that one Spartan besides him made him happy beyond compare. However, the idea that the rest of his childhood brothers and sisters being gone forever left a permanent hole in his heart that he doubted would ever seal. He had grown up with them, ran literally through Hell and back.

    As the elevator came to a stop, Blaine stepped out and onto the tram that waited immediately in front of him. Stepping on board, he heard the door hiss shut behind him. Closing his eyes and allowing himself a deep breath, his eyes fell upon the giant blue planet in the distance. He was born and raised on Reach, so it was hard for him to imagine that Earth was where Humanity originated from, but the thought that any fight that could take place here was a fight for Humanity's history? That was the thought that inspired him the most.

    As the tram slowed to a halt, Blaine turned in time to see a group of Marines gathering around a trio of hover drones. Originally intended for stealth operations, these ones were clearly being repurposed for broadcasting. Some of the Marines bothered to stand and salute him, while the others bustled to repair the machine.

    "Dodge, get your ass back here and help me fix this thing. The awards ceremony is happening any moment now and we can't afford to have malfunctioning pieces of shit like this recording the footage." one Marine snarled. "No offense, Spartan."

    "None taken." Blaine nodded, sighing as the door to the bridge slowly opened.

    Two Marines by the door nodded curtly to him, as a pair of Marines intercepted him on the other side of the door. In the sprawling control room for Cairo station, hundreds of men and women sat at computers and separate navigational controls, monitoring incoming and outgoing UNSC transmissions within the fleet.

    At the end of the room, in front of a giant monitor and hologram table was a slender man in pure white clothing. Atop his otherwise shiny bald head was an officer's hat, with a crest of gold emblazoned upon it to describe the man's rank.

    "Lord Hood, sir." Blaine stepped forward, snapping into a crisp salute to the most powerful man in the UNSC military. "Spartan One-One-Five reporting for duty as requested, sir!"

    "At ease Spartan." Hood turned to face him, offering Blaine a salute in return. "We're lucky to have you back."

    "Doesn't feel that way, sir." Blaine said.

    "Reach was indeed a terrible loss." Hood said, placing a hand endearingly on his shoulders. "Humanity will remember this pain and return it to our enemies one thousand fold."

    "-and I think of very few better suited to honor in this time." Lord Hood smirked. "Your actions, along with others on Reach have lead to several thousand lives being spared in Reach's final hours. For that, I award you the Colonial Cross for your efforts in saving the people that matter most; our civilian families."

    "Along with this award, I would also like to formally congratulate you." Hood continued. "In recognition for your successful assassination of a Covenant figurehead, I award you the rank of Lieutenant Commander."

    "Thank you sir." Blaine saluted Hood, whom held up a single finger.

    "I haven't finished, Spartan." Hood continued. "In recognition for your upstanding devotion to serve the UNSC in a time of emotional and physical distress, and for saving the lives of countless thousands alone with your valiant heroism, I award you the formal rank of Captain."

    "You're time serving the Office of Naval intelligence is at an end, Spartan. The UNSC's military as a whole needs you Spartans now more than ever, and we're pulling as many of our assets as we can form all corners of the known Universe." Lord Hood continued. "As the Guardian of Reach, I expect that you will continue to inspire our troops, and continue to serve Humanity."

    "Sir, yes sir." Blaine saluted Hood, who returned the motion. "Thank you sir, I am beyond honored."

    "As am I, Captain." Hood smiled, patting his hand on Blaine's shoulder. "As am I. For your travels, I have taken the liberty of securing you a UNSC Frigate. The Aura of Armaggedon is solely at your command."

    "You will find her taking the necessary refueling actions on the lower section of the ship, hanger eight." Hood continued. "Do not worry, the Commander I've chosen for the crew will serve as the temporary Captain in your absence. I'm sure you've been acquainted."

    With one further salute, Blaine exited the bridge once more. As he passed the Marines, their drones hovered above, glancing at Blaine for a mere moment. Before Blaine could say anything, the tram hissed to a stop, a Spartan and a Marine in dress uniform stepping out.

    "Another Spartan." Blaine stepped forward with a curt nod. "Hard to say those words."

    "Harder to hear them, sir." the Spartan's recognizably deep voice responded.

    "John." Blaine smirked. "It's good to see you again."

    "Likewise Blaine." John offered a hand, to which Blaine took it firmly. "FoF is stating you're a Captain now. Congratulations, sir."

    "OFFICER ON DECK!" the Marine beside John barked, as the Marines that had previously worked on the drones snapped into a crisp salute.

    "Oye." Blaine shook his head, the feeling that being a superior gave him made him sick to his stomach. "At ease men. I'm sorry to cut this short but, I really must be going. It was good to see you again John."

    "You too, sir." John, always outspoken, curtly nodded as he and the Marine walked towards the door.

    "Yeah? I thought you were going to wear something nice!" the Marine grunted. "Folks need heroes Chief, give's 'em hope. Now smile, would ya? While we still got something to smile about."


    "The Captain will be here shortly." Autumn huffed.

    She was both angered and annoyed by the idea that she was pushed directly into the main branch of the Military. The thing she enjoyed about serving the UNSC as a result of her curiosity of Blaine was working directly with him.

    It was the two of them and that beat up old Prowler. Though she was generally safe in the Prowler, she missed the idea of the two of them being the only ones on board. With a sigh, Autumn turned her back to the Ensign, as one ODST stood by the door.

    "Lieutenant." she walked up to him, as the ODST crossed his arms.

    "Look, I respected you when you were just a Lieutenant tuts." Josh sighed. "Don't lord over me because you're a Lieutenant Commander now, okay? I've been at this shit a lot longer than you have."

    "Listen, I'm just trying to keep everyone in line. The crew is newly formed and everyone is antsy to finally meet the new Captain." Autumn sighed. "I swear I'm not trying to pull rank over you."

    "Sure sure." Josh waved her off. "I hear footsteps incoming."

    The door beside Josh hissed open as a massive man in blue and red Mjolnir armor stood feet above him. Autumn froze for a moment with a dopey smile on her face, as the crew all turned to look at the Spartan in the doorway.

    "It's about damn time Blaine." Josh shook his head, as the FoF radar in his helmet pinged. "You've gotta be shitting me. *Sigh* OFFICER ON DECK!"

    The crew shared one confused glance at one another, before turning to Blaine with a crisp salute. The Spartan froze in place for a moment, trying to gather his thoughts and emotions for only a second, before composing himself. With a snap of his right arm, he returned the symbol.

    "At ease everyone." Blaine said. "Where is the Lieutenant Commander?"

    Autumn stepped forward, holding her salute as she stood in front of him. Blaine's helmet looked down at her for a moment, as he silently nodded.

    "Autumn, congratulations."

    "Congrats yourself, sir." Autumn smiled. "Alright crew, let's get this bird out into the void!"

    "Aye aye ma'am. Beginning diagnostic checks." the Ensign called from behind her station. "Waiting on the Captain's go ahead."

    "Do it." Blaine turned to her with a nod.

    "Engine systems nominal. Weapon systems are fully functional. Atmospheric and environmental controls are live and operating correctly." the Ensign read off her list. "All hands on deck, we are ready to fly, sir."

    "Take us out for a test flight." Blaine folded his arms behind his back. "I want everyone comfortable with their controls. For the sake of maintaining our weapon systems, we will perform necessary weapon locks and checks, but will not discharge any ammunition."

    "Yes sir." the Ensign called. "Navigation team, easy about forty degrees down bubble."

    As the crew continued to call out their orders and confirm, the ship gently floated out into the void of space. Distancing themselves with the Cairo, the team took some time to perform some evasive maneuvers, along with fake 'weapon locks' to ensure the aim of the navigations and weapons crew were in sync.

    "Captain, we've received a hail from a Pelican on the edge of the system."

    Blaine's heart sank almost immediately as he heard this. Stepping forward to check the communication's terminal, a red dot pinged near the rings of Saturn.

    "Send it to my personal communications system, authorization code Alpha Charlie Tango Kappa." Blaine barked.

    His internal comm systems crackled to life as the familiar voice of Anch spoke clearly.

    "The heathens come. Your home-world is discovered."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 7th 2016, 1:41 am

    "Shit." Blaine said, feeling a twitch in his left eye.

    The bridge was silent as Blaine spoke to himself, his communications personnel glanced at him, waiting for a response. Autumn turned to him, arms folded professionally behind her back.

    "Sir?" Autumn asked, as Blaine stepped forward. "Didn't we-"


    "What do we do?" Autumn asked.

    "Give me a second." Blaine barked, pacing back and forth. "If it's true, we go out there and we die. If we stay here, however, he dies by himself."

    Blaine continued to pace for a moment. In any other normal circumstance, he would have had little remorse for the Elite's death. However, Anch had blindly devoted himself to assisting Blaine. For Blaine, that kind of devotion spoke to him in droves. No-one would drop everything and put one-hundred percent of everything they got into their new prerogative without some sort of compassion.

    Now he was stuck with the dilemma of owning and maintaining his own Frigate. He was responsible for the lives of everyone on the ship, and was he really willing to risk them all for a potential double agent? With the Covenant magically showing up shortly after them, he began to regret bringing Anch back with him. If Earth fell because of this, whether or not Anch was involved or not, it was his fault.

    "Nav, are you familiar with the Keyes Loop?" Blaine stepped forward, as the young man nervously saluted him.

    "Y-yes sir. With use of the ship's emergency thrusters, this ship is placed on a collision course with a Covenant ship after launching a nuclear warhead in an outlandish yet carefully calculated designated point." the young man replied.

    "I don't need the full run-down, son." Blaine stepped up to the Captain's seat. "I just need to know if we can replicate it."

    "Sir, ever since Captain Keye's first deployment of the maneuver, we've been properly trained and carefully dissected each part of the Keyes Loop to it's fullest." the Ensign piped in. "In short, sir, we can perform it."

    "Good." Blaine stood in front of the chair for a moment, crossing his arms. "I'd like a practice run, just to see how everyone works as a cohesive unit."

    "Sir?" the Ensign asked, as Autumn stood beside him.

    "You heard the man, Ensign." Autumn smirked. "Set course for Jupiter."

    "Ma'am, Lord Hood is hailing all ships to converge on Earth." the Ensign replied, shaking her head.

    "Lord Hood will understand if we need to stretch our wings and fly, especially if he's expecting a large scale battle with the Covenant." Blaine shrugged, his arms never once coming undone. "We'll go as far as Jupiter, slingshot back, and be ready before they know it."

    "We're detecting heavy Covenant presence in that area, sir." the logistics expert piped up. "Jesus Christ sir, they're here!"

    "Are you afraid soldier?" Blaine asked, stepping up to him. "I would be more fearful to stand with my back to the wall with a rifle I barely know how to use."

    "If we're going to stand up to the Covenant, we have to show them that we don't fear them." Blaine marched across his bridge, his eyes meeting with each of his new crew members. "We can't let them scare us, or they've already won. When Humanity finds something they're afraid of, have they ever run?"

    "No." Josh stepped forward. "Not the strong."

    "Exactly. Humanity met resistance head on, and if they found an obstacle they couldn't overcome, they created something to help them. We may not have our native instincts anymore, but we have something many other species don't; tools." Blaine continued to pace. "We have to show the Covenant that even the most immovable of objects can be fragmented and cleared. Am I clear?"

    There was silence in the bridge for a moment as the staff looked among each other for a moment to let his words sink in. As cringey as the speech made Blaine feel, he also knew he had to help these men and women get used to combat situations in the only way he knew how; direct contact.

    "That contact was a Pelican at the edge of the system, they informed me of the Covenant's arrival. If we move now, we can retrieve the Pelican and be back to Earth before they show up." Blaine nodded.

    "Aye aye sir." the navigator spoke up. "You heard the Captain, get those motors running! Full speed ahead to the friendly signature."

    "Lieutenant Commander, you've got the bridge." Blaine said. "I'll be down in the vehicle bay. Bring everyone up to Combat Alert Alpha."

    "Sir." Autumn nodded curtly. "Everyone to battle stations, this is not a drill. Repeat, not a drill."


    "Anch, can you still hear me?" Blaine asked. "I need to know, did you call them here?"

    "No, I would not summon those festering demon spawn here. No matter what my old affiliation was, I would never double cross. I remain loyal so long as I receive loyalty." Anch replied. "I do still have access to their communication systems, however, and I can safely say that they are not aware this is a Human system."

    "There is a motion sensor to your immediate right, do you see a green blip closing in on your position?" Blaine sighed, whether it was from relief or fear, he wasn't entirely sure.

    "It is a primitive device, but I do see a green shape with a point at the edge of the circle, yes."

    "Right, I showed you how to pilot the ship right? I need you to pilot the craft as close to that green shape as you can." Blaine replied. "I'm trusting you on this, don't make me regret it."

    "For this act of redemption, I will repay you a thousand times over."

    "Saddle up then, you'll be landing here. You'll need to utilize your stealth function."

    Blaine thought about how completely asinine this whole situation was. How exactly was he going to hide a nearly seven foot saurian creature from his crew without them calling him out? Even with active camo, he knew Anch was a living creature like any other, and more importantly would be a useful asset in the field of combat.

    He knew that despite his rank, his crew likely didn't entirely trust him, as he hadn't gotten the chance to properly be acquainted with them. So he couldn't expect them to blindly trust him. As the Aura of Armaggedon drew nearer to the giant gas planet Jupiter, Blaine could make out the small silhouette against the yellow planet that was Anch's Pelican.

    "There's a change of plans Autumn." Blaine sent the message to the bridge. "I'm not reading any signatures from the Pelican. I'm going to space walk and investigate."

    He knew the Frigate wouldn't have time to slingshot around Jupiter and back in the direction of Earth if it slowed down now. As Anch was his problem to deal with now, he knew he had to take the risk. Thanking his lucky stars for the hours of geometry he was forced to take as a child, Blaine calculated the proper trajectory, calculating as quickly as he could when and where to jump out.

    "Anch, turn the Pelican completely around and press the giant red button by your left leg." Blaine said. "I'm coming aboard, so try to keep her as steady as you can."

    "I will do my best, though I was not aware there was a female aboard?"

    Blaine smirked as Anch said this, but returned to a manner of focus. He waited for a moment, before hopping out of the Frigate and into the void. As he was propelled forward by his initial jump, he witnessed the Pelican's troop bay door beginning to open. Reaching his arms out, Blaine maneuvered himself just so to perfectly slip into the troop bay. Flipping his body, his boots pressed against the back wall.

    Using the lack of gravity to maneuver himself, Blaine pressed his feet against the metal, before closing the Pelican troop bay again. The Pelican hissed as it cycled more fresh oxygen in. His helmet hissed as it transferred to it's default breathing mode. Knocking on the pilot's door, he opened it as Anch turned to face him.

    "Your people will kill me." Anch said. "Is this where you kill me?"

    "I don't betray people I trust, Anch." Blaine said. "I have a plan. You might not like the plan, but it's best one I've got."

    "First, however, I need control of the ship." Blaine said as he hopped into the top most seat. "Let me do the talking, you go into the troop bay and use your active camo systems. Follow my lead as necessary."

    Blaine watched as Anch slowly stood himself up from the crowded seat. He stumbled past Blaine, stopping only to offer the Spartan a firm glance, followed by a nod. Blaine flipped a few switches, giving his seat full control of the Pelican. Luckily for him, and something he had actually never tried before, the Pelican linked directly up to his HUD as soon as his hands were placed on the controls.

    The view was incredible, everything from the front based camera located just beneath the primary pilot's glass window. He saw his Frigate perform the Keye's Loop, slingshotting around in Jupiter's gravitational pull. Thrusting the Pelican as fast as he could towards the trajectory he imagined the Frigate would take, he watched as the massive ship drew closer and closer to him.

    Holding his breath, he took a drastic turn to the left to snap the Pelican just beneath the Frigate's back engines. With the full emergency boosters of the Pelican, the small dropship closed the gap between itself and the Frigate's vehicle bay. Initiating the landing gear, Blaine knew this Pelican was likely never going to fly again with what was going to happen.

    "Hold on to something Anch!" Blaine barked as the Pelican immediately broke the threshold and into the Frigate.

    Whipping the controls to turn the Pelican an immediate one-hundred eighty degrees, Blaine growled as his head snapped to a side from the intense maneuver. Lowering the Pelican down to the landing pad, he head the landing gear squeal under them, as the craft slid slightly past where it should have. It was nothing major, but it definitely was not a pleasant noise or experience.

    Situating himself, Blaine silently congratulated himself on a mission well done. With a sigh, he slowly began to stand up. Working his way into the troop bay, he couldn't see Anch, but was aware he was there. With a nod, Blaine stepped up to the bay control button, pressing it. The ramp descended, as Blaine and Anch stepped out. Blaine could only assume Anch was still behind him, as Anch was trying his hardest to be as silent and unseen as he could.

    "Lieutenant Commander, I've received the Pelican." Blaine reported. "As for the inhabitants... there was no trace. I will be in my quarters, no-one is to disturb me for any reason."

    "The order has been received, Spartan." a disembodied voice spoke from his helmet, her voice softer than any he had ever heard. "I'm sorry I wasn't properly introduced to you. I am Lily, the AI assigned to you."

    Blaine's heart-rate stopped for a brief moment as the AI spoke to him. Not only had it been a long time since he had actually had communications with an AI besides Deja, or the occasional 'dumb' AI during his briefings at ONI.

    "I know you are alarmed, but I've done some extensive research on your file." Lily chuckled. "I know that's kind of prohibited, but if I was going to be assigned to you, I wanted to know what I was being thrust into- sorry, that was worded wrong."

    "Anyways, my point is that I know that you're the kind of soldier to get things done. You wouldn't order your men to do anything you wouldn't gladly do yourself. On top of this, you've never been one to follow the rules to the letter, you do whatever is necessary to get your job done." Lily continued. "Admirable traits, if I may say so. It will be a pleasure being your personal assistant from now on."

    "Uh, thank you Lily." Blaine said. "So you're aware of-"

    "The Guest?" Lily's voice turned a bit mischievous. "Of course, I can see everything you see, after all. However, I am not a tattle tale, Spartan. I'm here to assist you. I'd be failing my job if I sold you out."

    "Even if my actions could cause Humanity's extinction?" Blaine asked.

    "Deputy Director Krieg, also referred to as Death, seems to have high hopes in you. As he was the one who sanctioned my immediate transferal to you." Lily said. "Happy three day birthday to me, I get to work with a war-hero."

    Blaine almost smiled at the cheery attitude of the AI occupying his helmet. In a sense, he was extremely happy to have her by his side. With Autumn always being cooped up in the Prowler, he was generally alone on the battlefield. Headed towards the exit of the vehicle bay, Blaine made his way down the halls of his new Frigate, headed directly into an elevator.

    "Lily, are you in the ship right now?" Blaine asked.

    "I have a copy stored here for remote access, yes." Lily said. "I assume you want me to loop the elevator camera feed?"

    "It's four floors, it'll give him time to charge his active camo a bit longer." Blaine said.

    "Done." Lily said. "He's got until the elevator opens."

    Blaine nodded blankly, as Anch slowly appeared to his left. The Elite clicked his mandibles in dismay for only a moment, before crossing his arms.

    "What exactly is your plan?" Anch asked.

    "You'll be staying in my quarters until I think of some way to convince my military that you can be useful to us. Otherwise, I have to find some way to get you back to your Planet so I don't have to kill you." Blaine sighed. "For now, I'd recommend you just stay in there. I can order people to stay out of there. When I'm ready for you, I'll knock five times and open the door with my code."

    As the elevator dinged on the final floor, Blaine nodded curtly to Anch, as his stealth systems activated again. Blaine walked down the hall, with Anch hopefully directly behind him. As they drew near the door, he knew that the locking mechanism for the room wouldn't work until he set a code for it. With a few presses of a four digit code, that he hid of course, the door opened.

    When the two of them stepped inside, Blaine checked immediately for cameras. Lily took a moment to convince Blaine that the Captain's quarters would have no cameras, as there was no need of a Captain to spy on himself. With a sigh of relief, Blaine turned to Anch.

    "There is a very good chance the Covenant is going to breach our defenses and go planet-side. If that does, I'll make an announcement on the intercom that we're going top-side. When that happens, I need you to cloak and head back down to that vehicle bay." Blaine said. "If that's the case, it won't matter if we're seen together on the planet's surface, because we'll all be as good as dead anyways. Your kind has shown me that."

    "I wish I could convince my Sangheili brothers that the Prophets are false. There is but only one Sangheili they would listen to, and he is likely the one leading the fleet here." Anch clicked his mandibles. "He has high status, but a humble heart. He is wise, and is the only one that is not driven on blind faith alone."

    "Thel 'Vadumee." Blaine nodded. "I've heard the stories about him. I doubt we'd even have a chance to get to close to him, even if he would listen."




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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 7th 2016, 8:52 pm

    "Heh, look at you." Craig smirked as Blaine left his quarters.

    "Craig." Blaine nodded. "How are you holding up?"

    "Been better." Craig shrugged. "Though I guess that's what could be said about everyone lately."

    "So this whole ship is yours now, huh?" Craig asked, crossing his arms. "That's really great. I'm proud of you."

    "Yeah." Blaine rubbed his shoulder. "I need to return to the bridge, we'll talk later."

    "Yeah." Craig sighed. "Seeya around."

    Blaine stepped past Craig, distancing himself from the ODST. Craig watched the Spartan walk away, a heavy weight forming around his heart. There was so much he wanted to tell Blaine, but there were other things that he didn't have the heart to bring up. With a sigh, Craig turned on his boots and made his way to the gun range.

    Craig stepped inside, surprised to seeing the range completely devoid of company. He pulled an MA5B off of the wall and glanced the weapon over, with a satisfying click, the cartridge fit properly into place. Taking a knee in one of the stalls, Craig closed his good eye to allow his prosthetic eye a chance to shine.

    "You need to tell him." Craig heard a woman's voice behind him.

    Ignoring her words, Craig squeezed on the trigger ever harder, trying to drown out the voice with the sound. However, as the rounds continued to thud against the ballistic gel target in the back of the range, the louder the voice got.

    "He deserves to know."

    "It will devastate him more than ever." Craig sighed, replacing the rifle and running his hand along a Sub-machine gun. "He'll hate me more than he already does."

    Holding the tiny, sleek, recon-oriented weapon in his hands, Craig marched up to the stall once again and held the SMG with everything he had, before firing a full magazine. The ballistic gel in the background jiggled as the rounds pierced their targets.

    "What if he finds out on his own?" the woman replied. "That won't improve the situation any, and you know it. You used to be our tactician, remember? You got into the minds of the enemy to give us the proper battle strategy."

    Craig hesitated as she said this, gently lowering his weapon onto the stall's bench for a moment. Closing his eyes, he grit his teeth and silently shook his head. He jumped as a hand fell upon his shoulder, turning to face his guest, he was surprised to see Morgan standing there.

    "How're you? You died." Craig shook his head in disbelief. "We mourned for you, you were consumed in that nuclear blast!"

    "What are you talking about?" Blaine asked, as Craig took a step back, his lower spine pressing up against the stall. "I felt bad because I've given you a real rough time since we reunited. You've always been looking out for me, and I felt like I wasn't appreciating it enough."

    "Back in Spartan training, we were taught to work like a wolf pack. However, if there was ever a need for a Spartan to go solo, they would work just as well." Blaine said. "Ever since we went our separate ways, I've been accustomed to the feeling of isolation."

    "With you, Autumn, and Josh back with me, I don't feel so alone any more." Blaine shrugged. "Autumn even told me you waited for me during my recovery these past weeks. I mostly came here so that you knew that I appreciate you and everything you've done for me."

    "It's still odd, knowing we're family." Blaine continued. "Spartans will always feel more like family to me, but I want you to know that with the same fervor you've had for my protection, I will return to you ten-fold."

    Craig paused as Blaine said this, nodding his head silently. Beneath his ODST helmet, Craig smirked a proudly, before reaching up and resting his hand firmly on Blaine's shoulders. He picked up the SMG, before placing it back in the weapon's cubby.

    "Do you have a moment to speak, Blaine?" Craig asked, pulling a new model BR55 and an M392 DMR from the wall. "Figured we could both hone our aims for the coming days."

    "Autumn does still have the bridge." Blaine nodded. "Why not, I need to get used to the targeting system now anyways.

    "Especially with AI assisted aiming." Craig heard a woman's voice, not like the one he had heard previously, come from Blaine's helmet. "I'm Lily, by the way. Blaine's personal AI."

    "A pleasure. I'm Craig." Craig nodded, handing Blaine the DMR. "Let's see which of us is the better aim, yeah? I'm not a marksman like Josh, but I can still hold my own."

    "You're on." Blaine chuckled as he snatched the weapon up. "Full clip, tightest clusters?"

    "You know it." Craig smirked.

    The sound of echoing gunfire resounded throughout the weapon's range, as the ODST and Spartan fired their entire clips into the ballistic gel targets at the end of the field. As Blaine had shown several years before, when he was still a cadet, he easily beat Craig's clusters, although not by much.

    "Damn fine shooting." Craig said, glancing over Blaine's target. "Could have used your technique back in the squad."

    Craig paused for a moment as Blaine looked over their handy work. He took a moment to make sure that they were the only ones around, before pulling his helmet off of his head. Cradling it by his side, Craig sighed, the sound alone grabbing Blaine's attention.

    "Listen, Blaine." Craig said, pursing his lips in an uncomfortable fashion. "There are some things I want to tell you, especially if these are Humanity's final days. You might not like what you're going to hear, hell, you might even hate me."

    "However, these are things I've kept a secret for far too long, and I regret not letting them out sooner." Craig sighed, before looking up at Blaine's visor. "I was halfway truthful when I originally convinced you that Morgan and you were related."

    "Morgan and I are scientific anomalies, twins that shouldn't have existed." Craig continued. "Our mother, Camilles, was from the time of the Rainforest Wars, the wars your Grandfather fought in."

    "However, she was placed in experimental cryo-slumber in a double edged mission. The first of which was to avoid any enemies her husband, my father, had made in his campaign. The second was to test how long Human's could be sustained in cryo before freezer burn." Craig paused, his eyes scanning Blaine's visor. "ONI figured if she was going to die, it was better for her to die being a lab rat. Of course, the ONI you know today located her."

    "They weren't expecting her to be expecting children, but they sought help for her anyways, gave her a new identity, a new life." Craig said. "I was the child she was expecting, but Morgan, Morgan was the twin that was formed from the experimental chemicals. As such, he was physically incapable of having children."

    Blaine stood stiff as a board as Craig spoke. The ODST began to pace back and forth, he started, so he knew he couldn't stop, even if his heart desperately wanted to. Every other moment, Craig would turn to see if Blaine had left, or to see if Blaine was going to respond.

    "I never discovered this until your mother, Amber, told me in secrecy." Craig grit his teeth. "The truth is, I had feelings for her. However, she ultimately chose Morgan as her husband. I respected her choice, no matter how much it pained me so. I was always envious of Morgan, always thinking I was the unexpected twin."

    "However, that day that Morgan, your mother, and I said our goodbyes to my mother, she told me the truth." Craig paused, clenching his fist. "My entire life of suffering, living in my brother's shadow, it was all a lie."

    "When Amber came to me in a fit, I had originally assumed that it was because Morgan had beat her. She explained to me that her limited medical knowledge proved that he was sterile." Craig shook his head. "So she asked me to assist Morgan and her to have a kid."

    Blaine stood firm for a moment, as Craig flinched, the Spartan's gloved hands curling up into fists. Ashamed, Craig turned away, he couldn't stand to look at Blaine.

    "So Morgan isn't my father?" Blaine asked.

    "Biologically speaking, the DNA is technically there. Craig and his brother, being identical twins, would have very similar traits. Though you are correct, this Morgan individual is nothing more than a father by marriage."

    "That's a harsh way of putting it." Craig replied, refusing to face them. "Morgan lived his life believing that he was your father, and loved you like a father should. Don't throw that all away just because he's not biologically your father. Just like I don't expect you to forgive me for holding this secret for all of these years."

    "He killed people because he was led to believe I was his kid." Blaine shook his head. "Those actions caused one of my own Spartan brethren to go rogue when he discovered them. I have spent the past few years accepting and forgiving the man who isn't even who I thought he was for what he did."

    Craig nodded curtly, as he made for the door. Before he could get in range for it to open, however, he felt a heavy hand plant itself on his shoulder. He felt the Spartan behind him turn him, his visor depolarized and the piercing blue eyes behind it.

    "My words from earlier still apply, regardless of what you've said just now." Blaine said. "My Spartans feel more like a family to me than you ever will. However, I will do everything in my power to keep you and Josh alive and in my life. What you said is a large pill to swallow, but part of me is relieved that you told me. So, thank you."

    "Captain, you're needed on the bridge sir." Autumn's voice called over the intercom. "All stations, we are reentering Combat Alert Alpha. I repeat, Combat Alert Alpha."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 9th 2016, 4:32 am

    "Officer on deck, yadda yadda." Josh sighed as Blaine stepped in.

    "What's the sit rep?" Blaine marched to the front of the bridge, as Autumn sat in the Captain's chair.

    "Now that we've relinked with the rest of the fleet, Hood wants us on the defensive around the orbital MAC cannons." Autumn replied. "I have all systems ready for immediate combat, but I need final authorization from you."

    "Warm the MACs, ready Archer bays Alpha through Foxtrot. Gorgon silos Alpha through Charlie." Blaine stepped up to get a better view outside. "Gorgon and MAC rounds to damage the shields, Archers to land the killing blow only."

    "Sir. Warming the cannons." the Ensign called.

    "I'll be preparing for top-side combat." Blaine turned to the Ensign. "Lieutenant Commander Stroud has complete authorization in my absence, understood?"

    "Aye, Captain." the Ensign saluted. "The mic is all yours Captain, I assume you'll be assembling a ground strike team?"

    "Yes." Blaine nodded. "Pelicans in bay two, prepare for immediate departure to the planetary surface. The moment a Covenant Cruiser manages to get past the barricade, we'll be deploying to meet them on the ground."

    "Broadsword and Longsword fighters in bays Alpha-Epsilon, keep those engines burning to immediate interception of Covenant Space Banshees and Seraphs." Blaine ordered. "All available foot soldiers, meet at the vehicle bay."

    Blaine began to step out the door with a curt nod to Josh, before turning back to the Ensign.

    "Also, inform the ODSTs to prepare to drop." Blaine ordered, before exiting the bridge.

    Josh followed behind him, the two of them marching through the halls. All around them, Marines and various other soldiers scrambled to their respective posts, as the Spartan and his ODST companion cut through them. A few Marines turned to look with confusion at Blaine, but ultimately ignored these thoughts to ensure they were at their designated place.

    "Link up with Craig, I want you two with me." Blaine ordered, as Josh silently nodded, rushing past Blaine to locate Craig.

    Blaine passed his quarters, before quickly typing in the code. With five brisk knocks on the door, he heard the Elite inside his room jump to his boots. The door slid open, and his trained eyes just barely noticed the wisp of Anch's invisibility pass through the threshold. Stepping inside to pretend he was grabbing something, Blaine stepped back out and initiated the lock on his door.

    With Anch behind him, Blaine once again made for the elevator. He saw Anch's wisp follow him inside, before pressing for the bottom floor. The service elevator groaned to life, as Blaine and his Elite companion descended level after level. With no other Humans on board the elevator, Anch decided to break the silence.

    "They draw near I assume?"

    "Never make assumptions, Anch." Blaine sighed as he pulled the DMR off his back and loaded a fresh clip into it. "It'll get you killed."

    When the elevator made it to the bottom floor, he and his invisible ally made their way into the troop bay. Inside, four Pelican units, including the one he had just landed not even an hour prior, mobilized into position. Marines in small groups of eight or so jogged back and forth, in and out of each other to prepare for the usual drop off.

    For each Pelican, a Warthog class scout vehicle began to drive up to each of them. Blaine approached one driver with a whistle, causing the Warthog to stop in it's tracks.

    "I'll take this one, soldier." Blaine said. "Join up with your squad."

    "But suh?" the man spoke with an Austrailian accent. "Don't you need a gunnah?"

    "I'll worry about that later, Marine." Blaine said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Return to your squad."

    "Yes suh." the Marine nodded with a salute, before vaulting out the Warthog's driver seat.

    With the Marine out of the way, Blaine jumped into the seat. Nonchalantly, he tilted his head to the gunner turret behind him. Standing just enough to force the Warthog down, he waited for it's weight to shift slightly, allowing him to identify Anch was on board. Pulling forward, the flight marshal responsible for managing the flights of the aircraft stepped forward.

    "Spartan, we're hooking the Warthog to the underside of Pelican Bravo. I'll need you to pilot underneath it and jump out."

    "I'm taking the ride, Marshal." Blaine replied.

    "Now I know you Spartans are crazy sons of bitches, as you ain't the first I've met." the Marshal shook his head. "You do realize that this is the void of space we're talking about. If that Warthog you're currently in gets clipped, it's game over for you, right?"

    "I'll take my chances, thank you." Blaine said.

    "Right then, well, I'm not explaining to Lord Hood why the last Spartan died."

    The words bounced around in Blaine's head for a moment like a lone brick covered in rubber. The idea that he and John could very well be the only two Spartans in existence was always in the back of his mind, but he couldn't stand to believe it. There had to be more, he knew it. They weren't trained to die, they were trained to kill and only die once their duty was done.

    "You'll also have to explain to him why you didn't try to stop me." Blaine chuckled.

    The Frigate shuddered around them, a feeling he could identify anywhere; the MAC cannons had been fired. With the Covenant approaching, he felt his grip on the steering wheel intensify. As much as he wanted to be on the bridge offering directions, every Spartan knee their boots and minds were better suited for ground based engagements.

    He and the other men in the troop bay watched in horror as one by one, the Orbital MAC stations Malta and Athens were blown completely to bits by some unidentified force.

    "Admiral Hood, Captain Blaine One-Fifteen. What happened on the other stations, sir?"

    "With the help of Cortana and the Master Chief, we've deduced it was Covenant bombs. Each station was fitted with one in the cargo hold on the lower levels. Master Chief is currently hunting ours."

    "Affirmative, permission to go topside sir?"

    "Permission granted, Spartan. Godspeed"

    Blaine reached up and tapped the underside of the Pelican as the craft began to rumble. With a roar from the engines, the dropship shot through the atmospheric barrier and into the void just outside of Earth's atmosphere. It was dangerous to remain outside of the Pelican during atmospheric re-entry, but if a Warthog could survive without damage, so could he.

    As they traveled through the void, he also began to wonder how Anch would take the brunt of the re-entry. He was shielded by the craft from the flames for sure, but what about the lack of oxygen? He hoped that Anch at least held his breath for the short trek into the atmosphere.

    The abyss between the blue planet and the fleet was total chaos. UNSC Fighters clashed with Space Banshees and Covenant Seraphs. A massive, singular Flagship descended into the atmosphere just before the Pelican. To his right, Blaine could barely make out a relatively small figure silhouetted by a UNSC Frigate's engine lights as they sputtered out.

    Had he not known any better, he would have thought it was a Spartan carrying a large bulbous spiky thing. Before the Pelican broke atmosphere, Blaine felt and slightly heard a muffled thump coming in the direction of the figure. The Covenant Capital Ship parallel to the Pelican erupted into cobalt and violet flames, the fires engulfing the entire hull before exploding outright.

    One UNSC Cruiser floated past the Pelican, headed towards the Southern Hemisphere, following the Flagship from earlier. Emblazoned on the side of the Cruiser in big white letters was the name Forward Unto Dawn. The Pelican hovered close to the Cruiser to help shield from the Atmospheric forces.

    As the Pelican neared the closest landmass, an overwhelming amount of orange and brown began to flood into Blaine's visor. He polarized it to help against the sunlight reflecting off of the African sands. In the distance near the space elevator, the lone Covenant Flagship was stationed, a massive blue beam of light dispersing Covenant troops onto the ground.

    As the Pelican neared the closest highway, Blaine stepped his foot on the gas and tapped the Pelican. There was a sudden change in forces, as the Warthog descended onto the paved roadway. Above and behind Blaine was a trio of Pelicans. They roared over head, but generally kept up with him as he drove down the highway.

    He noticed that of the Covenant ships, the Flagship was the only one that broke through the barrier and made it's way down towards Earth's surface. Though in that time, he wasn't surprised to see countless destroyed buildings and cars all around him.

    "This new perspective brings great shame to me, Spartan." Anch said from behind him. "These humans had done nothing wrong. For every innocent killed here, I pledge to slice down ten."

    Blaine nodded at the thought, wondering if Anch truly did mean it. He figured that very shortly, he would have his answer regardless. As they continued down the highway, he could feel the Earth shaking, causing his tires to bounce. Ahead, a plume of dust and a mechanical groan could be heard as a massive yet narrow metal appendage stabbed directly into the asphalt several meters in front of him.

    "Scarab!" Anch growled, as the massive beetle shaped mech, which easily towered the nearby five story buildings, opened fire with a massive green beam from it's 'head'.

    Following the green beam of plasma with a salvo of typical red plasma bolts, Blaine watched as the green laser struck the middle Pelican just above him head-on, instantly killing the pilots. The remaining purple rounds struck the wings of the flanking Pelicans, sending one careening left and the other plummeting to his right.

    The middle Pelican came from his Frigate, so he had to check on his men. Stomping on the breaks, the Warthog twisted broadside to the Scarab's foot, as the Marines poured out of the Pelican. Several of them, however, were dragged out; unmoving. Thankfully, he watched as Josh grunted, Craig stepping out beside him.

    "Well that fucking sucked." Josh groaned, staring up at the Scarab. "Fucking bugs now? What is with these alien bastards?"

    "They're after something." Blaine mused. "You were connected with the other Pelicans' communications, right? A Prophet is here."

    "One of the big wigs?" Craig huffed. "Good shit, when can we kill 'em?"

    "After we crawl through the swarm." Blaine shook his head. "You and the rest of these Marines find some shelter, hunker down there, and request another Pelican for pick-up."

    "A UNSC outpost is forming at the dam at the far end of New Mombasa. All units are encouraged to converge on that location." Lily reported. "Sounds like that's where the all out offensive against the Flagship is going to take place."

    "I'll try to link up with the outpost and offer my assistance as necessary." Blaine continued. "Craig, Josh, you keep these men safe. I'll see you at the dam."



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 12th 2016, 1:37 am

    "Lily, what's the fastest route to the dam?" Blaine asked, the Warthog rumbling across the Highway.

    His Warthog had gathered the attention of the Scarab inadvertently, as he now found himself swerving left or right according to Anch's calls. Debris from the initial invasion was scattered across the road directly in their path. A segment of the roadway, which usually served as speed ramps for the local police force, were bent upwards.

    "Statistically speaking, this highway is the best course of action." Lily replied. "Though that's not accounting for a giant mechanized beetle. I've been troubleshooting the city-wide AI for orbital surveillance of the upcoming road, but either the AI is down or pre-occupied."

    "For a city-wide AI? I find that remarkably hard to believe." Blaine shook his head. "Let's assume the Covenant cut off the roadway, which exit is my best option?"

    "This one." Lily said, as Blaine sighed, annoyed.

    With a sharp turn of his wheel, the Warthog tipped onto it's left side wheels. Blaine grit his teeth as the rear quarter panel just lightly tapped the guard rail. The Warthog bounced slightly as the Scarab's front leg pierced the asphalt behind him. Punching the accelerator, Blaine checked behind him to make sure Anch was still on board. The Elite was no longer cloaked, but visibly irritated.

    "Captain, Lord Hood, do you read?"

    "Loud and clear sir, I'm currently occupied by a Covenant Scarab."

    "Then I'll make this brief. We believe the Covenant Prophet of Regret is on board that Flagship, and we need all available Spartans to converge on it's location."

    "Already on my way there sir." Blaine reported.

    "Excellent. The Master Chief's been notified and will be arriving hopefully soon."

    "Understood sir, One-one-five out."

    "A Prophet?" Anch snarled from behind Blaine. "One of those miserable weasels are here?!"

    "The Prophet of Regret, if the translation software is correct." Blaine said. "You know him?"

    "Know him? He's the vermin that sent me on the initial quest to protect his brood." Anch growled. "The insufferable wench you did me the pleasure of disposing of."

    "Tell you what, we get to him, I'll let you have him." Blaine said. "First though, we need to squash this bug. Otherwise, it'll run rampant throughout the damn City."

    "These mining platforms are only vulnerable from the inside, Spartan." Anch shook his head. "You would need to board it from above."

    Following the exit down to the detour, Blaine yet again found himself inside of a covered 'bridge' on the underside of the main highway. To his right, he could see the enormous Scarab tank walking alongside the bridge. From his location, Blaine could count the Grunts and Elites patrolling the top deck of the machine.

    What he almost missed, however, was the ominous green glow from the tips of the Grunt's plasma pistols. Swerving to the left, Blaine used a totaled freight truck as cover from the homing bolts of electromagnetic plasma. After the Warthog cleared the freighter, Blaine knew they were likely going to be pegged by plasma.

    "Left!" Lily spoke up suddenly.

    With a jerk of the wheel, the Warthog once again found itself balancing on two of it's wheels. Thankfully, however it managed to regain it's balance. Driving up the ramp and back onto the highway, Blaine turned in time to see the Scarab's front left leg jab into the asphalt just to the right of the front corner panel.

    He heard a whining noise above him that brought concern to him. Glancing up, he noticed that the front mining laser of the machine was pointed directly at them. With little options, Blaine's eyes scanned for something they could take shelter behind. Instead, he found a downed roadside billboard that had collapsed onto the highway.

    "Anch, when I say so, I need you to shift all of your weight to the left."

    "You can not be serious, Spartan." Anch shook his head.

    "I am." Blaine nodded, before swerving the Warthog towards the makeshift ramp.

    As the Warthog soared through the air, Blaine held up his right arm to warn Anch. With the two's weights shifted to the left, the Warthog began to rotate ninety degrees. The wheels of the Warthog stood out to the right, narrowing the target presented to the Scarab.

    Four loud pops echoed in Blaine's right ear as the beam narrowly avoided the entire bottom of the Warthog, the proximity itself causing the air in the Warthog's tires to expand and explode the rubber. The beam trailed past the Warthog, slamming directly into the broad side of an apartment building.

    Blaine grunted as the front left quarter panel of the Warthog slammed into the wooden floor of one of the apartments. With a tumble and a crash, the vehicle flipped end over end, completely demolishing dry wall as it crashed through. Blaine's vision blurred for a moment, before he shook the feeling off. When his vision cleared, he noticed that the Warthog's entire back end was hanging out of the building.

    A small trail of concrete and drywall filtered down from the bottom of the Warthog into the several story drop below. The Warthog itself was teetering on a fulcrum formed by one of the building's support beams.  Blaine searched for Anch everywhere, going so far as to call the Elite's name out.

    When he heard no response, Blaine felt a pang of sorrow. Though they had once been enemies, Anch had grown on him. He no longer even viewed him as a threat to humanity, as he once had been. He viewed him as an ally, like he would with any Marine or ODST. His eyes snapped open, and the thought was immediately ripped from his mind as he heard the support beam beneath him and the Warthog groan.

    Swiftly, Blaine stood up in the Warthog. The sudden change of force caused the Warthog to tip. Jumping onto the hood, he felt the entire scout vehicle begin to slip. Running along the front of the Warthog, Blaine reached out for the hole, jumping on his last step on the vehicle.

    Blaine's hand caught onto the edge of the building, as he heard the Warthog make contact with the ground far below him. With a muffled explosion, Blaine flinched as he felt his grip slipping. Grunting, Blaine tried to pull himself up. Reaching up with his left hand, Blaine felt the wooden board he was using to grasp onto snap, as his whole body lurched backwards.

    Blaine's heart stopped as he felt something snatch his left hand. Looking up, he saw Anch standing there. Droplets of purple blood splattered on Blaine's visor, as the Elite bled profusely from a cut on his face. Planting his feet on the building, Blaine regained a foothold and, with Anch's help, clambered up into the broken apartment.

    "Huh, so that's why you keep him around." Lily chuckled. "Can we keep him?"

    "Thank you." Blaine sighed as he dusted himself off. "I was afraid I lost you there."

    "It will take more than your pathetic driving skills to kill me, Spartan." Anch huffed.

    "Considering we're both in one piece, I'd say that was some decent driving." Blaine shrugged. "In my defense, I haven't drove a Warthog like that in almost fifteen years."

    It was then that Blaine's actual age began to dawn on him. Here he was, standing in this broken apartment with one of the aliens he had practically devoted his entire life to fighting, and he was legally forty-one. Where the years went, he wasn't entirely sure.

    "Well, the Warthog's a bust." Blaine stared out the hole. "Lily, what's our best bet?"

    "There's an elevator in this building, we take it to the bottom and try and get a Pelican to give us a lift the rest of the way." Lily replied, as Blaine shook his head.

    "The Prophet of Regret's not going to wait around. It's obvious now that the Covenant wasn't expecting this to be the Human home-world." Blaine said. "Despite their forces being able to make it to the surface, we have enough equipment and a large enough presence here to mop them up within a day or three."

    "Well I managed to link up with the city-wide AI. He seems... off, but he generally appears to be functional again, limited though." Lily reported. "The Scarab's headed in the direction of the dam anyways, so if you want to head him off, you'll need to find a Pelican within the next few minutes."

    "What about a Banshee?" Anch spoke up.

    "I mean, in theory with the boosters, a Banshee would be able to outspeed the Scarab." Lily said. "However, at that trajectory, the UNSC presence on the dam would have little warning before a pair of Covenant aircraft show up."

    "That's a chance we have to take." Blaine nodded. "You know where we can just find a pair? Or are you just being hopeful?"

    Anch tapped the side of his helmet with a curt nod, before pointing directly upwards. Blaine, for whatever reason, decided to look up, before realizing what Anch implied.

    "A patrol?"

    "Just landed." Anch nodded. "I have no weapon, though."

    "Welcome to Humanity, where literally anything can be a weapon." Blaine said, turning to a kitchen knife on the coffee table in the center of the room.

    Miraculously, the small oak table had certainly seen better days, but remained relatively intact. Lifting the blade, Blaine flipped it in his hand, before offering the handle to Anch.

    "You would entrust me with a weapon?" Anch asked.

    "You just saved my life." Blaine pulled the DMR off his back. "Any insecurities I had about you went with the Warthog."

    Together, the Spartan and the Elite stepped out of the abandoned apartment and into the main hall. The sight made Blaine nearly want to vomit, or at least it would have if he hadn't seen these things countless times before. Blood caked the walls of the hallway, with dead bodies of men, women, and children heaped up to the sides without a care.

    Blaine's heart practically dropped, however, when he heard a muffled sniffling. He turned back to Anch, who gave him an angered expression, before searching to locate the source of the noise. As he drew nearer to one of the larger piles, the whimpers began to become more noticeable.

    "Oh my god." Lily said. "There's someone alive in there."

    "Anch, cover me."

    The Elite nodded, activating his camouflage and sneaking down the hallway. Blaine's hands went to work carefully lifting and moving the dead bodies away. As the pile shifted, the yells inside grew ever more frantic and loud.

    "Relax in there, okay?" Blaine said. "I'll get you out in a moment!"

    After a few moments of digging, Blaine sighed in relief as one of the bodies inside moved. As he pulled the last few bodies off of the young figure, the young girl inside screamed, kicking at his helmet. Holding his head back to avoid it, he gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

    "I need you to calm down, okay? It's not safe here, and if you keep making noise, we'll be in big trouble." Blaine said. "I need you to be brave, okay?"

    The girl continued to sob quietly, but ultimately became more docile at his words. She had a massive cut along her forehead, with blood seeping down across her face. With the one eye that wasn't coated with blood, she stared up at him with big, watery brown eyes.

    She stared up at his helmet with fright and confusion, as Blaine's heart plummeted again. Who knew how many of the people in that pile were her relatives, let alone people she knew or trusted. He decided that rather than upset her further, he would get her to cheer up slightly.

    "What's your name?" Blaine asked, as she peered at his helmet with fright again.

    Slowly, Blaine reached up and gently twisted the helmet. It hissed for a moment, as he rested it under his left arm. As he did so, he looked at her with concern, his eyes meeting hers. "My name's Blaine."

    "N-Naomi." she said, as he nodded.

    "That's a very nice name, Naomi." Blaine said. "That's a bad cut you have on your head, do you have any others?"

    "No." she said, shaking her head. "This big hairy monkey showed up. It started beating people with a weird stick. My dad and my mom... they- they-"

    "Hey, hey." Blaine said as he carefully pulled her towards him. "It's okay now, you don't have to say anything more."

    Gently, he rested his arms around her, using his left arm to gently rub her back. He stared angrily into the pile of dead bodies he had uncovered her from. Countless corpses in the pile had massive bite marks in sections of their arms and legs.

    "I know where we can get you help." Blaine said. "I need you to be brave though, okay? It'll be scary, but I'll protect you."

    Standing, Blaine lifted her with his right arm. Using his left arm to refasten his helmet to his head, he transferred the girl to his left arm, lifting his DMR in his right. Placing the rifle on his back, he plucked his magnum off of his hip.

    "These things are really loud, so make sure you cover your ears when he holds it up at the bad guys, okay?" Lily said. "I'm his friend Lily, I'm an AI."

    Naomi nodded silently, holding her hands up to her ears. Blaine couldn't help but notice that the young girl seemed to be no older than he had been when he was taken in for Spartan training, give or take a year. Lily seemed to notice this too, or at least wanted to make her feel more comfortable. "How old are you, Naomi?"

    "Eleven." she said with a small smile. "My birthday was three days ago."

    "Then I'll have to order you a cake when we get back." Blaine said. "What flavor do you like?"

    "Chocolate!" the girl said excitedly. "With peanut butter frosting!"

    "Heh." Blaine smiled. "That's my favorite too. Hold on tight, okay? Close your eyes for a bit too."

    Walking down the hallway, Blaine watched as Anch reappeared in front of him. Anch nodded, as Blaine led the way into the emergency staircase. For his entire life, it always seemed like these stairs had always been the way to go, no matter what missions he undertook.

    "Naomi, I need you to be brave okay?" Blaine turned to her. "I have a friend, he's looks like one of the bad guys, but he's a good guy."

    Naomi opened her eyes to Anch, who stayed back a few feet to give the two of them some room. More importantly, he wanted to check their backs in case they were followed. Blaine felt her shift nervously in his left arm, but she remained some degree of calm. He was partially relieved, knowing that she hadn't gone face to face with an Elite in a negative fashion.

    At the top of the emergency stairs, Blaine quickly checked the window. Thankfully for them, the pair of Banshees were still parked there. The Elites standing outside appeared to be eating some rations of something, obviously on their break while another patrol took place.

    "You need to stay here for a second, okay?" Blaine asked, as he gently placed her against the wall. "This way you can be safe."

    "But- but I-." Naomi began to protest, as Anch stepped forward.

    "It would be wise to listen to your elder, child." Anch snorted.

    Blaine quietly opened the door, as Anch cloaked himself. Blaine silently pointed towards the one on the right, while Anch quietly made his way to the one on the left. Holding up his pistol, Naomi noticed this and quickly covered her ears. With three mighty slugs, the Elite on the right crumpled in a heap to the floor. The one on the left growled, clicking it's mandibles, as it raised a Plasma Rifle from it's hip.

    Before it could open fire on him, however, Blaine noticed it's hand was restrained from motion, and a geyser of purple blood erupted from it's neck. The Elite garbled the blood in it's throat for only a moment, before slumping down. Behind Blaine, however, he could hear the muffled sound of Naomi screaming. Sprinting at the door, Blaine rammed it open in time to see a Covenant Brute wielding a hammer towering over her.

    It's right eye was shut, with purple and red blood oozing out of the old wound. It's gnarled hair around it's mouth swayed as it's breath escaped through it's fangs. Blaine raised his right arm up, stopping the hammer via the handle.

    "Get lost, Curious George." Blaine growled, as he pitched his head forward, smashing his helmet against the Brute's face.

    The force caused the Brute to stumble backwards over the railing. There, it fell onto it's back a floor down. Blaine turned to check on Naomi, tears pouring down her cheeks. His left eye twitched as he turned back towards the Brute.

    "Human!" Anch yelled from behind him, before throwing him the hilt of an Energy Sword.

    Flicking his wrist, Blaine watched as the sword ignited at his side. The Brute a floor below him growled as it slowly stood to it's feet. Standing up on the railing, Blaine jumped down towards the Brute. The Brute rolled out of the way just as Blaine landed. It lashed out one of it's fists, but to no avail. Blaine caught the fist in his left hand. Squeezing with all of his might, he heard the Brute whimper as the bones in it's hand were slowly crushed one by one.

    With it's spare hand, the Brute swatted at his helmet with it's claws extended. Ducking his head backwards, Blaine held the sword up, the Brute's arm slashing cleanly down the middle from the force of the punch. Flipping backwards, Blaine's boot smashed the underside of the Brute's chin, propping it slightly into the air. Landing firmly on his feet, Blaine charged his right shoulder into the beast's chest.

    Ramming the two of them through the wall, Blaine slowed his sprint, as the Brute tumbled along the floor. The Brute shakily stood, holding it's two useless arms out by it's side. It roared in Blaine's direction, saliva and drool dribbling off of one of it's fangs. Despite it's broken hand, the Brute resorted to hunkering down, using it's remaining 'good' arm to run along the ground.

    Blaine maintained his position, waiting for the correct moment to strike. When his windowed appeared, Blaine swung his right leg across, smashing the Brute in the cheek and diverting it's path. The Brute did not halt it's assault however, jumping immediately towards Blaine. The Spartan, however, plunged the sword deep into it's chest, turned the both of them around, and planted his boot onto the hilt of the sword. Once again the Brute stumbled backwards over the rail.

    It's roars echoed for a time, before a muffled thud emanated from below. Satisfied, Blaine stepped back into the emergency stairway and ascended back up to Naomi's position. Gently, he lifted the girl into his left arm before ducking back through the exit door.

    "You're okay now." Blaine said. "You're gonna be okay."

    It was likely going to be cramped, but they had little choice. Too much time had been wasted already. The Scarab was likely already at the dam at that point, but Blaine couldn't just abandon the mission. Stepping up to one of the Banshees, Blaine couldn't help but notice Anch scarfing down the rations the Elites had previously been eating.

    "It's Helioskrill. A rare delicacy on my home-world." Anch replied. "That and I have not eaten a proper meal in some time."

    "It's fine. I need to find a way for Naomi and I to fit."

    "The securing hatch that usually rests on your back will apply enough pressure to secure you both." Anch said between chews. "I am unsure if it will cause the Human offspring discomfort, but that is the risk of safety."

    "Are you scared of heights?" Blaine turned to Naomi, who quietly nodded. "I'm sorry, but we're going to have to fly for a bit. Don't worry though, you'll be okay. Anch, you'll need to save it or scrap it."

    Anch clicked his mandibles in disgust, before throwing back the small ration into his mouth. Turning back towards the Banshee, Anch sank into the craft on his belly like it was second nature, the hatch closing firmly behind him. Blaine placed Naomi down, instructing her to wait until he was inside.

    "Alright, now I need you to lay on my back near my shoulders." Blaine said as she did so, wrapping her arms gently around his helmet.

    Behind them, the hatch secured. Naomi didn't make a peep, which was a relief to Blaine. That didn't last long, as the Banshee lurched forward. Naomi exclaimed a quick panicked yell, as Blaine assured her it would be fine.

    "You can't go anywhere, you're completely safe in here." Blaine said.

    While it wasn't entirely true, Naomi's last worry was falling out of the Banshee. However, he wasn't about to tell her anything that would cause a panic. Thankfully for Blaine, Naomi couldn't see the display that the Banshee could see.

    The Banshee began to speed up as Blaine initiated the boosters. There was a red blip to his left on his motion tracker, but he knew it was Anch's Banshee. As they began to approach the bridge linking the outskirts to inner New Mombasa, Blaine could make out a Scorpion tank rumbling across it.

    "Spartan One-One-Five across all channels, anyone reading me?"

    "Spartan One-One-Seven responding, loud and clear sir." the Master Chief replied.

    "The two Banshee's located several Klicks to your east flank are friendlies. If possible, can you make contact with the folks at the dam, let them know we're incoming?"

    "We'll inform the crew, Spartan. Happy hunting." a feminine voice responded.

    His interface lit up to identify the female voice as UNSC AI Serial Number CTN 0452-9, Cortana. With a stern nod, Blaine and Anch's Banshee's veered in the direction of the nearby Lethbridge Industrial Memorial Park. It was the only place separating the bridge the Master Chief was on from the dam.

    As they closed the distance to the dam, Blaine glanced below the Banshee at the sheer number of Covenant forces starting to dig in. Little did they know a Spartan in a Scorpion was about to roll in their direction. To the banshee's left, the Scarab from earlier began to scale the wall of the Memorial Park. Blaine and Anch both knew that they were likely out of the Covenant formation, which explained the Scarab's readiness to fire upon them.

    Snapping the control handles to the right, Blaine and Naomi groaned as the Banshee performed a quick barrel roll. Blaine's display lit up as the Scarab yet again prepared to fire on them. Pulling back on the handles, the Banshee spun in air in a wide loop. Initiating the boost, the two Banshees managed to evade the Scarab.

    "Spartan One-One-Five on all channels, anyone responding?"

    "We hear you, numbskull." Josh grunted. "The hell took you so long? We've been waiting for you."

    "We got caught up with something. Two Banshees inbound on your position, we're friendly. I have wounded on board." Blaine called.

    "Craig is the acting medic on site, we'll get them patched up." Josh replied. "See you when we see you."

    As the communication cut, Blaine, with the help of Lily, opened a separate line to Anch's Banshee.

    "Not really much I'll be able to do to keep them off of you. There's no way I can explain two Banshees arriving, with no pilot in one." Blaine sighed. "I'll vouch for you however I can, but I can't promise anything."

    "Then let me do the talking." Lily said. "You forget I'm an ONI assigned AI."

    The Banshees approached the two story water treatment plant that overlooked the dam. Approaching the landing zone, Blaine was unsurprised to see a pair of ODSTs, along with a handful of Marines, there to greet them. Slowing their descent, Blaine pulled the nose of the ship up to completely stop the machine. When the hatch opened, he heard Craig approach.

    "Oh my god." Craig said. "C'mere kiddo, we'll get you patched up."

    Blaine pulled himself out of the driver's seat, stretching his limbs as Anch's Banshee circled over head. Waving at the Elite, the Banshee hesitantly began it's descent. Josh walked over, as Blaine moved to the landing zone.

    "Blaine, whose in the Banshee?" Josh asked. "Blaine?!"

    As the Banshee landed, Blaine stood in front of the handful of Marines, who saluted him. With his arms still crossed, Blaine motioned for the Marines to lower their weapons. With a light tap on the Banshee's hull behind him, the hatch snapped open. The Marines stiffened, raising their weapons.

    "Weapons down dammit!" Blaine barked. "Hold your fire, he is not our enemy."

    "That thing is a part of the group that actively destroyed this town." one of the Marines said. "With all due respect sir, I'm going to put him in the ground."

    "Then you'll need to dig two graves." Blaine growled. "This Elite saved my life numerous times now. I have video evidence of the event."

    "ONI said we don't take prisoners." one of the other Marines said. "An' even if he ain't a prisoner, he's the enemy. No allies."

    "We don't have allies because we don't get any of the excommunicated in time." Lily spoke out of his external comm. " UNSC AI Serial Number LILY 0659-2, Lily. I, along with the Spartan in front of you, operate through ONI's best interests."

    "I'm also ONI." another man said, stepping forward. "On whose authority did we authorize this split-jaw to ally himself with us?"

    "Deputy Director Krieg authorized Spartan One-Fifteen to utilize any and all resources necessary to aid in this war." Lily replied. "This Elite has proven to be trustworthy, having spared Spartan One-Fifteen here's life when he could have very easily have killed him."

    "Would you gentlemen like to explain to the Deputy Director in person why you would go against his better judgement?" Lily asked. "The Captain and I have a close eye on our friend here, if he was ever to do something suspicious, the Captain would handle it."

    Anch began to stand, before snorting at the Marines in front of him. The four men looked at one another, then to Blaine, before returning to their previous posts. The ONI operative beside them stared for a moment, before pulling up his data tablet.

    "What do you want, Alistair?" Daniel's voice echoed across the rooftop. "We're kind of occupied here at the Office."

    "The Spartan, partnered with AI Lily. Are you aware he has a Covenant Elite at his side?"

    "Oh for fuck sakes." Daniel sighed. "Put the Spartan on the line."

    "Sir." Blaine spoke up.

    "Firstly, congrats on your promotion." Daniel said. "Secondly, didn't I instruct you not to bring that damned Elite here? That it would cause major issues for both of us?"

    "I retrieved the Elite after the Covenant showed up at the edge of the system. In fact, Anch was the one who warned me, and helped ping the sensors at Io to warn the fleet, sir." Blaine reported. "Lily informed me that you had given me authorization to operate however I saw fit to get the job done."

    "Yes, those were indeed my words. I wasn't expecting this, but as long as you can manage to keep the Elite in check, I'll be sure to inform Lord Hood and get the general message out." Daniel sighed. "Don't make me regret this. Alistair?"

    "Yes sir?" the ONI operative asked.

    "Nobody likes a tattle tale, you fucking deadweight." Daniel growled. "Next time, make sure it's a real fucking issue before you contact me directly. Death, over and out."

    Alistair shifted in his boots, before glaring at the Elite and Blaine. Turning around, Alistair began to walk away as Blaine stepped forward.

    "Alistair was it?" Blaine asked. "What's the sit-rep here?"

    "You've got it covered Spartan." the man hissed as he walked away.

    "Are all your superiors like serpents?" Anch turned to Blaine. "Gnashing at each other with fangs drenched in venom?"

    "Pfft. I wish." Josh scoffed. "That way we could clear a few of the assholes out. I'll spread the word that we have an Elite by our side. Listen well though, I won't hesitate to fill your gut full of lead if you even THINK of crossing us, understand?"

    "Had I wished to kill you or the Spartan, I could have ten times over." Anch clicked his mandibles. "I however, have reformed from my ignorant ways. I serve a brighter purpose- to liberate my Sangheili brothers from the clutches of the maniacal heathens that call themselves 'Prophets'."

    Josh turned away, following Alistair down the stairs. Blaine and Anch looked at each other. With a nod, the two made off in the same direction. Anch was going to need to be outfitted with some weapons and a way of marking him as an ally in FoF transceivers. With a brief moment of respite, Blaine decided to make his way to the makeshift medical wing.

    "How's she holding up?" Blaine asked as he approached Craig, who finished wrapping gauze around her forehead.

    "She was very well behaved. Only the minor scratches on the arms. The major gash on her forehead was stitched and patched up." Craig smiled, his ODST helmet on the tray beside her cot. "I guess that means she deserves some kind of a treat."

    Reaching into his medic kit, he produced a small bag of hard candy shelled chocolate drops. Producing a small handful, Craig poured them into Naomi's hands as she popped them into her mouth with a big smile.

    "Stay on this bed, okay?" Craig asked. "We'll be right back."

    As the two walked away from the girl's ear shot, Craig turned to him. With a look of concern, Craig scanned Blaine's helmet, knowing that Blaine couldn't truly take it off.

    "What happened?"

    "We were diverted off the road by the Scarab that shot down your Pelican." Blaine reported. "Crashed into the eleventh floor of a twelve floor apartment complex. Found her in a pile of dead bodies lazily tossed in a heap in the hallway."

    "I didn't ask her for much, but I've gathered that her entire family was killed." Blaine shook his head. "But I got the bastard Brute responsible for it. Her birthday was three days ago, she told me."

    "No shit." Craig huffed. "Poor kid. Guess she's lucky she ran into a big lug like you though, eh?"

    "I don't think 'lucky' really describes her week." Blaine crossed his arms. "I'm calling a Pelican to come get her. Is there any others here acting as Medics?"

    "Yeah." Craig nodded, furrowing his brow. "They got things locked down here. I assume you want me to escort her to the Aura?"

    "Sadly enough, it's the only safe place for her right now." Blaine sighed. "We don't have the time to locate a refuge camp."

    "Don't need to tell me twice, boyo." Craig nodded. "I'll get her all set to travel and inform the other acting Medics."

    The two went their separate ways, as Blaine moved to meet back up with Anch. As he walked through the water management building, he heard Lily pipe up.

    "I'm very glad you did what you did for Naomi." Lily spoke within the helmet. "Why, though? The time frame was slim for you to be able to get here before the Scarab."

    "I'd rather not go into the details, if you don't mind." Blaine replied. "I'll just say that I was once in a similar situation. Maybe not as horrific as hers has been, but I know what she's going through."

    "I see..." Lily said, her voice trailing off.

    "You wouldn't happen to be reading my file, would you?"

    "Maybe.." Lily sighed. "I need to know you if I'm going to work with you. If it makes you feel better, I'll ask; can I read your file if you don't want to talk about it?"

    "Fine." Blaine sighed. "I don't want to discuss what you read though, and don't say I didn't warn you."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 12th 2016, 10:15 pm

    Shortly after Anch's and Blaine's arrival, a lone Pelican dropship descended on their location. Blaine waved it down, as Craig ran up the ramp with Naomi on his shoulder. Craig turned to face Blaine, nodding sternly, as the young girl reached out to him.

    "You'll be safer up there." Blaine said. "Don't worry, I still owe you that cake."

    Stepping back away from the makeshift landing pad, the Pelican's engines flared as it ascended several feet above his head. With a wave of his hand, the Pelican dashed away with a loud crack of it's engines. Turning back towards the street below them, he was glad that they had managed to get Naomi out before it happened.

    Four Covenant Wraith mortar tanks swiveled around the corner. Covenant Elites were stationed in the gunner turrets located above the main hatch. In the skies above, a trio of Banshees cleared the tops of the buildings. Blaine watched as one of the Banshee's turned towards the exiting Pelican.

    Shouldering a SPNKr rocket launcher, Blaine's visor began to target the Banshee. With a squeeze of the trigger, the tube launcher on his shoulder shifted, a single rocket spiraling in the direction of the Banshee. Blaine's enhanced sight allowed him to notice the hull caving in on the side of the vehicle, denting one of the wings in an oblong direction.

    With a lack of a wing to steady itself, the Banshee veered as it's Fuel Rod blast dipped just below the Pelican. Out of control, the patrol vehicle slammed into one of it's two companions. In an eruption of cobalt and violet flames, the two ships fragmented into nothing, their pilots roasted to a crisp.

    With the second tube on the launcher, Blaine fired his second rocket. As before, the rocket that ejected from his launcher spiraled as it drew nearer to the Banshee. Dipping below it's hull, the rocket veered straight upwards, crumpling the very bottom of the ship. Without the proper lock, the Elite piloting the rig slid out of the machine, plummeting several feet to it's inevitable death.

    "Charlie Company, where the hell are the turrets?"

    "Toast Captain. one of the Marines reported. "We've got maybe three SPNKrs that are fully functional."

    "Get some suppressing fire on those mortars then!" Blaine barked. "We need to get a lock down on this dam to ensure we have a beachhead on their ship."

    "I've got a couple of hands a floor below you working on a fifty." Josh said. "If you can keep those Wraiths' attentions, we could have it up and ready in a couple of minutes.

    Anch ascended the stairs to Blaine's right, standing by the Spartan to overlook the street below. The two began to look for some weakness to exploit in the four Wraiths' formation.

    "We've got a Scorpion in bound, but there's no point in setting it down with these damn Wraiths breathing down our necks." Blaine rubbed the back of his helmet. "You used to fight with the bastards, any ideas?"

    "The Wraith's have a fatal flaw in their rear engines." Anch said. "However, I know you Humans were already aware of this. One of your companions below offered me this."

    Blaine turned to the SRS99-AM Sniper Rifle in Anch's clutches. With a brief nod, Blaine exchanged his SPNKr for the rifle. With the magnetic holsters on his hip, Blaine released a rocket pack for Anch. The Elite fumbled with the launcher for a moment, before releasing the ammunition hatch at the top, and placing the pack inside.

    "Aim in front of your target, in case it decides to move." Blaine said, as he took a knee. "After what I'm about to do, they'll be moving."

    Blaine lined his reticle over the beady head of the far back most Wraith gunner's head. With a slight breath in, he held his breath, breathing out as he pulled the trigger. The armor piercing round flew true, penetrating the metal harness on the Elite's head and splattering brain matter and droplets of blood against the purple hull of the Wraith.

    The other Wraiths seemed to respond to this, moving their formation just so to protect their gunner's from his fire. Blaine turned to Anch, pointing out a bridge that would take his ally to another rooftop for a better angle.

    "Keep the other Wraiths' attention for me." Blaine said.

    "What do you plan to do?" Anch asked, as Blaine turned towards him.

    "I'm gonna board one."

    Blaine had tested falls from high places several times over the years, and today was going to be no different. Vaulting over the side of the building, his suit locked up at the legs to help brace his legs from the trauma. Upon landing, he disengaged the lock, climbing out of the crater his impact had formed. Raising his rifle, he pegged one of the forward Wraith's gunner in the throat.

    Above him, he heard the sound of a SPNKr rocket releasing, striking the hull of one of the three other Wraiths. Sprinting towards the Wraith he had just cleared the gunner for, Blaine hopped up onto the hatch, sticking away from the mortar cannon on the top. Plunging his left hand into the hatch, Blaine ripped the metal upwards.

    Pointing the rifle inside, Blaine blasted the pilot Elite from the top of it's head down. Pulling the corpse out, he quickly clambered inside. Using the controls, which were very similar to a Banshee's, he turned the mortar tank around. With Lily's assistance, he found a firing solution that would splash across the top of one of his opposing Wraiths.

    Letting loose the globe of purple plasma, Blaine watched as it traveled down and collided with the hatch of it's target. The gunner of the Wraith garbled in it's native tongue as it's combat harness fused with it's skin. The plasma bubbled on the hull, dripping in on the pilot itself.

    The target Wraith skated around for a moment, before stopping outright. The internal damage to the Wraith's core caused it to go critical, and it exploded. Using the Wraith's boost, Blaine carefully avoided return fire, watching one last SPNKr round slam into the side of the same Wraith Anch had fired at before.

    Like the Wraith Blaine targeted, Anch's prey Wraith fell into a critical stage and exploded violently. Before he or Anch could continue, however, the final Wraith exploded, as an all too familiar olive green suit of Mjolnir turned it's attention towards him. Pulling himself out of the cockpit, Blaine knew that the Master Chief would be able to tag him with the FoF tag.

    "Good to see you again Chief." Blaine stepped out of the Wraith, with shuddered beside him in an unstable manner.

    "Likewise, Captain." the Master Chief nodded. "How are things here?"

    "Stable for now. Come on in, the Marines upstairs have been working on a choke point for that damn Scarab that's been terrorizing the City." Blaine tilted his head for the front door. "We take that thing down, we'll have free reign on that Prophet and his Flagship."

    Blaine and the Chief stepped inside the sliding glass doors. As the two Spartans began to ascend the stairs, the ground beneath their feet rumbled. As they continued their ascension to the top floor, they paused just at Josh's fifty cal. position. The Scarab finally scaled over the buildings and was meandering in their direction.

    The Scorpion that Blaine had requested sat firmly on one of the high rises in the middle of the street. With three brave canisters fired, the Scarab didn't even flinch. Instead, the green laser on the front of the giant mechanical bug ignited. Within a matter of seconds, the Scorpion was reduced to a puddle of molten metal, the unfortunate Marine in the pilot seat killed instantly.

    "Fuck." Josh shook his head. "There's no way in hell this fifty's taking out that Scarab. The hell's the plan?!"

    "We'll find a way." the Master Chief nodded, before turning to Blaine. "You said they had a choke point?"

    "The dam itself is the only thing blocking this Scarab from the Flagship above. The amount of noise we've been making here attracted it back to base." Blaine said. "The Scarab will have to pass through the canal to get a proper trajectory to get over the wall. There are two options, we board it from above as it passes through the canal, or we blow the dam and hope the rush of water will flood it."

    "That hardly sounds like fun." Cortana piped in.

    "I figured that's what one of you would say." Blaine said. "Josh, get everyone inside. There's no reason to get that Scarab's attention. Master Chief, follow me."

    The two Spartans picked up their pace, ascending the stairs back to the roof. Anch stood on the opposite roof, fidgeting with the SPNKr again to try and open it's hatch again. Blaine pointed the Master Chief in the direction of the canals, before beckoning Anch over.

    "Stay here, we're boarding that Scarab and taking it out. I need you here to warn the others down below in case reinforcements arrive." Blaine said, as Anch nodded.

    Chasing after the Master Chief, Blaine clipped the sniper to his back beside the DMR. Thankfully, one of the Marines had lazily placed their shotguns on one of the shipping crates filled with explosives. Confiscating the weapon, the Master Chief and him hid behind a pair of support beams as, surely enough, the Scarab rounded the corner.

    The ground beneath them quaked with each step it took, as the two Spartans perched themselves at the top. When it was within distance, Blaine pumped a fresh shell in, and rounded the corner, the two Spartans jumping onto the top of the ship.

    "I've got top floor." Blaine nodded. "Go go go!"

    Sprinting up to an Elite Major, Blaine pressed the barrel of his shotgun to it's cheek and pulled the trigger, blasting it's head clear off of it's shoulder. Pulling his magnum off of his hip, he began to fire slugs at the Grunts that chirped angrily at their presence.

    On the level below him, he could hear Battle Rifle fire and the subtle thumping of numerous frag grenades detonating. After a moment, the Scarab lurched beneath them, as cobalt flames billowed up in the hull by Blaine. With it effectively disabled, his attention turned to the Flagship in the distance.

    "Autumn, send the Pelicans. The assault on the Flagship is-"

    "Sir, it's moving. The Prophet on board is bugging out." Autumn replied.

    "Shit." Blaine shook his head as the Master Chief stood beside him. "Fine, Josh, is everyone ready for immediate extraction?"

    "We're all on the roof, even hinge head."

    "Autumn, the Pelicans."

    "En route."

    "Bring them back to the Aura." Blaine said. "We're going to try to intercept that Flagship before it can go."

    "Then jump on, sir." a Marine said with a smirk from the back of the Pelican picking up the Master Chief. "Any friend of this oaf is a friend of mine."

    In the distance, Blaine could see his Frigate moving into the City from Orbit above. Two Pelicans descended on their location to pick up the Marines and Anch. Climbing into the Pelican, he stood beside the Master Chief as the bay door closed behind him.

    Joining the Marine, the Chief, and the pilots in the cockpit of the Pelican, Blaine watched as they drew near to the In Amber Clad. As the ship was pulled into the Cruiser, Blaine opened the bay and stepped out into the Vehicle Bay.

    "Autumn, how are we looking?"

    "Right behind In Amber Clad." Autumn reported. "They're planning on jumping, but the Pelicans are on board safely."

    "Good, I'll see you on the other side then." Blaine replied. "God speed."

    With one last shudder, the In Amber Clad steadied. He hoped they had a successful piggy back of the Flagship into Slipspace, and more importantly his own ship did as well. With a Spartan smile to John, Blaine excused himself and decided to make his way to the bridge.

    As he crossed the threshold, a pair of ODSTs raised their weapons on him. When their FoF's pinged, the two snapped into a crisp salute, announcing his presence.

    "At ease." Blaine stepped into the bridge. "Thanks for the lift Commander, sorry for the surprise visit."

    "Another Spartan?" the woman in the Captain's chair swiveled to face him. "Welcome aboard sir, we're happy to have you. So I assume your Frigate is the one behind us?"

    "Yes." Blaine nodded. "Couldn't waste the chance to take out a Covenant Prophet."

    "Our thoughts exactly." the commander nodded. "My names Miranda, Miranda Keyes."

    "No kidding." Blaine said. "Any relation to Jacob Keyes?"

    "Father." she said quietly, as Blaine felt a pang of sorrow.

    Her face said it all, the Captain he had met as a young child and several other times throughout training as a Spartan was gone. In a way Captain Keyes had been like a second father figure to the Spartans, as Mendez had been to some.

    "I speak for many people when I say that he was a good man, and his loss is a heavy one." Blaine said. "You have my deepest apologies. I had the pleasure of serving under him many times."

    "Thank you." Keyes replied. "I-"

    Blaine knew that the Covenant exited Slipspace rather quickly, much faster in comparison to Human vessels, but he had not been expecting the sudden jolt, and nearly stumbled into one of the ODSTs by his side.

    "Report!" Keyes said, as one of the navigations experts spoke up.

    "Both engine cores spinning to zero, we're drifting ma'am."

    His partner who sat beside him turned back to face the Commander, as his screen flashed red. "Archer pods are cold, I'll have to re-key the system."

    "Do it." Keyes nodded before leaning back in her chair. "Then find out where we are."

    Blaine stepped forward as something began to form in the distance of his vision. He couldn't quite make out the object, as it was covered by the dark side of the grossly larger Planet it seemed to orbit around. Even with his enhanced vision, it blended well in the shadow of the Planet.

    Before he could bring attention to it, one of the navigators spoke up for him. "Ma'am, there's an object coming into view."

    As In Amber Clad drew nearer to the object Blaine had spotted, he felt a cold chill run down his spine. The object in question appeared to be a giant mechanical ring structure, and more importantly it appeared to have foliage and water, though the ring in of itself should not have been capable of maintaining such a biosystem.

    "Cortana, what exactly am I looking at?" Keyes asked.

    "That... is another Halo ring."

    "Halo?" Blaine asked himself. "We're dealing with Angels now?"

    "So this is what my father found..." Keyes said quietly. "If I'm not mistaken, Captain, Halo is some sort of super-weapon?"

    "It is." Cortana replied. "If activated this ring will cause destruction on a Galactic Scale."

    Blaine couldn't help but stare at the Halo with awe and concern. It was a marvel, and though what Cortana said about it was absolutely terrifying, he couldn't help but feel a bit enamored by it's design. It was a love hate relationship in his mind, something he couldn't entirely wrap his head around.

    "If I may interrupt, commander." Blaine stepped forward. "I believe it would be in our best interest to split our resources and make this a joint op."

    "I agree, sir." Miranda said. "Cortana, I need everything you've found on the first Halo ring, regardless of if I have the clearance or not."

    "Aye aye Ma'am." Cortana replied. "For you as well, Captain."

    "Now, where did that Flagship get to?" Miranda asked.

    "Stopped just above the ring, ma'am." the nav replied. "We'll pass right over it."

    "Perfect. With what we know about these rings, it's crucial that we capture the Prophet of Regret. Find out why he came to Earth- why he came here."

    "Captain, I'll have the Master Chief take the first platoon and clear a landing zone." Miranda turned to him.

    "Good plan. I'll ready a strike force of my own to help assist the Chief after he's cleared a zone." Blaine nodded. "Lily, process the information Cortana sent. Autumn, I'll need a Pelican."

    "I've got one with warm engines." she said.

    "Any ship related orders go to Commander Stroud on the Aura." Blaine turned to Keyes. "Thanks again for the ride."


    "Is this what your Covenant was after?" Blaine asked Anch, as the Pelican descended onto the ring-world below.

    "Yes. To see the rings now is majestic, were it not for the miserable slugs in control of the Covenant, the divine majesty of the rings would be shared by all."

    "What exactly is the appeal of these things?" Josh asked. "I mean, it's a ring. What the hell is it going to do?"

    "When activated, those that stand upon it's holy ground are ascended to god hood, to join the noble Creators in their ascension." Anch said. "Those that are deemed heretical will be left behind to suffer."

    "That's not what I'm reading here." Lily spoke up through Blaine's external comms. "Apparently Halo is a super-weapon capable of eradicating all known life in the Galaxy."

    "Yeah that's... reassuring." Josh sighed. "No wonder the Covenant has been hunting us all these years. They wanted it all for themselves."

    "No." Anch shook his head. "The Prophets believed your kind would stop the Great Journey, that you were once enemies of the Creators and for that Heresy you were cursed to stray from the path."

    "Listen, if the 'path' is total annihilation of all life in the Galaxy?" Craig scoffed. "That's some Kool-aid I'm not drinkin'."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on December 13th 2016, 4:49 am

    "Move move move!" one of the Marines barked to his squad as they piled out of the Pelican.

    The ancient looking courtyard they had used as a landing zone was also now a Covenant graveyard, with piles of Jackals, Grunts, and even Elite Majors being dragged by spare Marine forces. Blaine, Anch, Craig, and Josh jumped the short distance to the ground beneath them, as the Pelican they rode in shot back off into the atmosphere.

    Blaine found himself walking around the perimeter of the UNSC controlled courtyard. The foliage that grew among the cracks in the old stone buildings, which definitely showed their age with chips and weathering. Yet whenever he dared to look straight up into the sky, he could see yet another portion of the ring world they were currently on.

    It was surreal to think that this machine could host and sustain life. Lily ran her sensors to quickly categorize and analyze all the bits of wildlife she could, and then archived it.

    "Hard to believe this thing could be a super weapon." Craig shook his head, standing beside Blaine.

    "I know." Blaine sighed. "Anch, Josh, form up."

    The ODST and the Elite trotted their way over to Blaine, who stood at the outskirts of the courtyard, where a pair of Warthog tracks ran along the path. No doubt the Master Chief and his team of Marines had already been through there.

    "If we're going to locate this Prophet of Regret and capture him, we're going to need to get the lay of the land." Blaine said. "Master Chief and his men went down this path, but I could have sworn I saw another entrance back in those ruins during my perimeter sweep."

    "Understand that the Prophet is going to be heavily guarded. Watch each other's backs, and we'll get through this." Blaine said. "If all goes well, hopefully we'll have the Chief and his men for support."

    "The Prophet, cunning as he is, would not hide within the Ruins." Anch said. "He is a rat, scurrying in the shadows to hide from his predators. He will likely call for help from the other Prophets."

    "Then we rip out his vocal cords before he gets a chance to scream." Josh said, raising his rifle for emphasis.

    Blaine led the small squad back towards the stone ruins, there, he found a pair of black armored Elites laying in a heap just against a wall. He crouched down near them, as Lily ran her scan over them. Oddly enough, it was not firearms that killed the two of them.

    "I don't think we're alone with the Covenant on this ring." Blaine said. "These Elites aren't showing signs of Plasma burns or bullet penetration. It looks like they were strangled by something."

    "These are Spec-Ops Sangheili." Anch said. "They do the holy work of the Covenant by means of silent infiltration. My guess is they tried to break into this wall."

    "Not like a Field Marshal? Or a Zealot?" Blaine asked, as Anch shook his head.

    "Field Marshals, as I once was, commanded the Spec-Ops Sangheili." Anch said. "Zealots were our underlings, aspiring Field Marshals, but higher than mere Spec-Ops."

    Blaine nodded, as Josh stepped forward with an explosive charge. Craig motioned for Anch to join him on the right side of the wall, while Blaine and Josh took cover on the left. With a suppressed explosion, the ancient stone crumbled. The old ruins did in fact continue further into the earth.

    "Josh, you watch our backs. I've got point." Blaine said, as he raised his DMR, turning on his helmet's flashlights.

    Blaine led them down the corridor, sweeping his gun. He checked every nook and cranny of the crypt like structure. As he continued to walk, the ever present sound of squishing filled the air. The farther into the room they got, the louder the squishy noise filled the air. Either some water was slapping up against the stone, or something was sucking the stone for nourishment.

    Even further in, the walls to their left and right were replaced with glass. Upon peering out for a mere moment, Blaine could see what appeared to be the ocean floor. Wildlife darted through the water, living their normal lives as if nothing had ever happened. Though some of the creatures he had never seen before in his life.

    Focusing in, he saw a room sized box not too far from their location. Stepping up to it, a small console appeared to light up at his approach. Beckoning the others inside, Blaine had them examine every inch of the space.

    "If this giant thing is a weapon, it's activation button would be a lot more grandiose, right?" Blaine asked.

    "Based off of the architecture we've seen so far?" Lily replied. "It's a safe bet that this button isn't the control panel for the ring. My guess is it's some sort of way station, maybe we can find some logs?"

    Blaine shrugged, staring at the console in front of him. He felt compelled to press the button by some unknown, outside force. It was as if the console was reaching out to him, ushering him to do it. With a sigh of protest, he pressed his hand against what he could only assume was the activation button.

    The ODSTs and Anch jumped as the room around them lurched. The entrance to the room shut immediately, as the room shifted. Suddenly, they were going down a large shaft. Glancing outside of the windows that the room graciously offered, they noticed they were underwater. Stranger yet, the elevator like room around them moved without any type of guidance system.

    "Anyone else getting a feeling of intense claustrophobia? No, just me?" Josh groaned.

    "Not claustrophobic." Craig sighed. "I feel like holding my breath though."

    Once again the room lurched around them, as they found themselves in yet another stone shaft. With one last jolt from the room, they had resurfaced into an oddly similar room to the one they had just left. Unlike the other room, however, the sound of sloshing water wasn't as present.

    "Let's try and get back to the surface." Blaine suggested. "Try and gain our bearings."

    Once again the group carefully made their way up the many stone ramps of the ancient stone crypt and outside. Only this time, they found themselves in what appeared to be like an old style Roman forum. In the center of the social hall was a glowing hologram of a gangly goat like thing in a hover chair.

    Blaine had seen one of these creatures before. It was when he and Anch first met, his target was the High Priestess of the Covenant, apparently. The hologram's frail arms moved around as it spoke in song. The tune was catchy, but Blaine knew more than any of them that the words were full of bullshit.

    "ONI installed a translation module in me that should potentially allow me to translate the message." Lily said. "Get me close."

    Blaine held his left hand out, as a young woman in a white dress with a rather large white sun hat on the top of her head. Blonde hair trailed down past her shoulders, with a pair of full green eyes looking back at him.

    "This is your first time seeing me since we've met, huh?" she chuckled. "Well now you know. Anyways, I won't waste your time."

    Turning back to the hologram, she snapped her fingers, and the sound of a slightly raspy male voice echoed throughout the ancient forum. "I shall light this holy ring; release it's cleansing flame, and burn a path into the divine beyond!"

    "Catchy." Craig shrugged, before unloading a few rounds of his assault rifle into it, destroying the hologram. "Never was a fan of religion anyways, and this is precisely why."

    "Commander, I assume you've heard the news?" Blaine said.

    "Yes sir. We've established that the Prophet won't be able to fire the ring without some sort of key." Keyes replied. "Thanks to Cortana and the Chief's previous experience on a Halo ring, we've located the key."

    "Alright, just point us in the direction and-"

    "With all due respect Captain, I would rather you focus your attention on the Prophet, sir." Keyes replied. "Without him, it's likely the Covenant won't be inspired to activate the ring anyways. It can buy us some much needed time."

    "I understand." Blaine said. "Godspeed, Commander. One-one-five out."

    Blaine turned to his rag tag team, gesturing with his rifle for them to keep moving. As they marched out of the forum, they found themselves on the center of a massive lake. In the distance, Blaine could make out what appeared to be a water-bourne gondola ferrying something across the lake.

    On the far end, in the direction the gondola was headed, Blaine could make out plasma rounds firing on them. Instantly, he knew it was either the Master Chief in his Marines, or whatever had killed those Elites over there. His gut told him that it was the Chief, however.

    "There in the distance. Plasma fire, I'm willing to bet that's where the Prophet holed himself up."

    "This is a glorious day!" Anch cheered. "The heathen's radio is out of control. Regret is cowering in fear of your Demon, and the Prophets Truth and Mercy tell him this is his punishment."

    "So he jumped the gun, literally." Josh smirked. "If that isn't poetic justice, I don't know what else is."

    Several loud pops filled the air, however, a noise Blaine knew all too well thanks to the events that took place on Reach at least a month before. Glancing up into the sky, it started with a dozen, then double, triple, and finally quadruple the amounts of Covenant ships filled the sky above the ring world, along with a massive spherical shape.

    "High Charity." Anch's mouth gaped moreso than usual as he spoke. "Those heathens, Regret has summoned them."

    "That's the largest fleet I've ever seen." Josh said, dropping his rifle to the ground. "What the fuck?!"

    "I'm pretty sure that's the largest anyone's ever seen." Craig shook his head. "Anyone that's alive, that is."

    Blaine stood there for a moment and stared, before his eyes flickered on that building he had watched the Gondola head for. No plasma fire was visible from what he could see, but it wasn't long before one of the Super Carriers broke off from the fleet and swooped down over the large lake.

    "Uh, we need to find shelter." Josh said. "Now."

    Josh, Craig, and Anch trotted back into the forum from where they came previously. Blaine on the other hand pulled the sniper rifle from earlier off of his back. If the Master Chief was truly over there, there was no way a Pelican could safely come and pick his Spartan brother up.

    Blaine initiated the multiplied zoom, magnifying well enough to watch the Master Chief round the corner and vault over a railing. Running along a large stretch of stone walkway, the blue wisps of the glassing beam licked at John's boots, before the Spartan dove off of the far end of the walkway and into the lake.

    Blaine knew from personal experience that Mjolnir didn't have the capacity to work well under water, but grunted as the shockwave from the glassing beam finally met up with him, slamming his back hard against the stone wall behind him.


    "Blaine! BLAINE!" Craig yelled, as the Spartan's vision came too.

    Blaine groaned as he slowly began to stand up. Apparently the rock wall had been a lot stronger than it looked, having been capable of knocking his lights out. Shaking the fog from his eyes, he tossed away the bent sniper rifle, instead walking towards the edge of the railing.

    In the distance, he could see the remains of the building that once housed Regret and the Master Chief. His eyes searched for any sign of John, any one at all. Sinking to his knees, Blaine hung his head low, closing his eyes and gritting his teeth.

    "What happened?" Craig asked, Blaine remaining silent. "Please son, tell me what happened."

    "I can't." Blaine growled, as he slowly began to stand. "That's the one policy I can never break."

    "What policy?" Craig asked as Blaine walked away.

    "Can't tell you." Blaine said. "Breaks policy."

    Blaine pulled the Shotgun off of his back and began to descend the hill they were standing on. Behind him, he could hear Josh make some snarky remark, followed by a snort of disgust from Anch. With the others behind him, he turned once more to the burnt remnants of the building, before turning back to the path he had set for himself.

    "What's our next move?" Craig asked.

    "Commander Keyes and Cortana mentioned something about a key to this facility. It can be found at a place called the Library."

    "Is the AI calling you illiterate?" Josh asked.

    "Of course not, statistically speaking, Warrant Officer Harlowe has a much higher IQ score than you, Mr. Durgin. " Lily said.

    Blaine remained silent as Josh continued to bicker about Lily behind him. Once again they found themselves in another crypt like before. Like before, they found another small room in the center that could act as transport. When the four piled in, Blaine placed himself near one of the windows before pressing the button.

    The room shifted around them, before they splashed back into the ocean. As the room traversed just above the ocean floor, Blaine's eyes scanned for a Mjolnir suit. He knew the air filter granted John at least five minutes of oxygen before he would be in serious trouble.

    "Cap.. n d.. o.. ea... me?" Blaine heard static in his comms.

    "Lily, clean the signal if you can." Blaine said.

    "I imagine it will clear up on it's own as soon as this ride surfaces again." Lily replied. "I'll try my best though, no promises."

    "Captain... rea... e?"

    The voice was definitely more recognizable this time around. Autumn was trying to hail him, but thanks to the interference from being so far below the ocean floor, he knew he wasn't going to be able to respond. With a shudder, the room around them began to surface, and the system began to clear.

    "Try again Autumn, had some disturbance on comms." Blaine said.

    "Did you authorize the Marines at the landing zone to return to the Aura?"

    Blaine's brow furrowed in confusion at the odd question. Of course he didn't authorize the Marines to leave. They were to hold the spot until he gave the order otherwise.

    "Negative, I didn't give the order." Blaine said. "Why?"

    "A Pelican is approaching the Aura, but when we try to hail it, there is no answer." Autumn replied, worry in her tone. "All we get back is static and the occasional sloshing noise. Like something sucking on stone desperately, or like water slapping against stone."

    Josh, Craig, and even Anch looked at each other in confusion, before turning to Blaine. Blaine stood there for a moment, the description of the noise was oddly reminiscent of what they had heard in the crypt they had breached at the same landing zone that the Marines in question had been positioned at.

    "We heard that noise there too, Commander." Blaine said. "Do not, repeat, DO NOT allow that craft on board!"

    "Why? Did you find something down there?"

    "Not necessarily, but there were a couple of Elites that were DOA that did not die of natural, plasma, or even firearm related causes." Blaine replied. "Whatever did that obviously hid inside of the crypt as we passed, and ambushed those Marines and jacked their Pelican. Do NOT let it on board."

    "That doesn't make any damn sense." Josh shook his head. "I'm not paid to think, but we searched every damn corner conceivable in that crypt, how the hell did anything get past us?"

    "There were Spec-Ops Elites outside that door we uncovered." Craig said. "Maybe their technology got jacked?"

    "Autumn, listen to me very carefully." Blaine warned. "No Pelicans are permitted on board unless they respond to your hails. Even so, ensure that you do not hear the squishy noises first."

    "Any Pelicans that do dock are to be met by a squadron of Marines ready for anything." Blaine continued.

    Blaine and the others slowly worked their way through the latest crypt they had traveled through. Unlike the other, however, the travel time between the mid island one and here was easily triple as long. Most of the water had also been frozen, which was a bit concerning to Blaine.

    Upon reaching the surface, snow dwindled down from clouds that somehow had formed above them. No matter how long Blaine found himself standing on this ring, he was purely amazed at how the ecosystems could exist without interfering with the others. Unfortunately for the group however, the path forward to what Blaine could only hope was the Library was blocked off by a giant eroded crevice that seemed to have appeared over time.

    Instead, there was what appeared to be a high tech door to their right. It contrasted with the old stone like appearance they had seen before, as the metal was shiny and colder looking than the warmth of the honey colored sand. Passing through the door, Blaine heard a strange droning sound, as he and Anch turned to look at each other.

    "We've heard this before." Blaine said. "Or am I mistaken?"

    "No, we have definitely heard these noises before." Anch replied with a huff. "They were on your other world."

    "Reach?" Craig asked. "Reach is a planet, not a ring world."

    "Anch and I fought each other in a set of ruins almost exactly like this place." Blaine said. "These noises were drones floating above our heads."

    Surely enough, as they rounded the corner, Blaine nearly ran face to face into one of the relatively small sized robotic drones. The small blue eye on the front of it's frame scanned over him for a moment, as he resisted the urge to raise his weapon on it.

    After it's initial scan, the eye retained it's blue coloration, as it flew away. Blaine was confused, the ones they encountered on Reach weren't quite as docile, their eyes turning red when they decided to attack him. Then again, he did shoot at them after he and Anch held an alliance.

    "They're weird, but also kind of cool." Josh said.

    What bothered Blaine however was the continual sound of squishing echoing throughout the chamber. It appeared that the drone was also searching as well for the source. Were these crafts on the lookout for the creatures responsible for making the noise, assuming it was even a creature responsible?

    "Lily, you have the typography of the ring from Cortana's data. Is this even remotely close to the Library?" Blaine asked.

    "Not from what I'm noticing." Lily huffed. "Had we found a way across that gorge, maybe it would be a hike. This area seems to be some sort of laboratory."

    As they stepped through yet another door, a swarm of the drone hovered above their head. They did not seem to mind the new arrivals, or at least gave of the impression they didn't. Blaine once again found one of the console buttons, except this time it was attached to a screen.

    Pressing his hand against the blue hologram, Anch, Craig, and Josh moved to check the room as the screen flickered on. Blueprints for the Halo ring they were standing on flashed before him, before a mildly British sounding voice echoed throughout the room.

    "Twenty five thousand light years- twenty-five thousand light years. That is the effective range of this installation. According to the star charts, there is effectively one thousand, two hundred planets that could be inhabited by the Flood. the robotic voice said.

    "The Flood?" Blaine asked the voice.

    Either it didn't listen, or it was a recording, the robotic voice continued.

    "If the full array was cued and activated by Installation 00, that twenty-five thousand light year radius would magnify exponentially, cascading to every known star system." the robot continued. "-and that is only considering the firepower of a mere seven Halo Installations."

    "Had the twelve original rings survived to see use... sterilization would exceed further than most Forerunners feared we could reach." the robot seemed to say gleefully. "Still, with just seven rings, we had managed to decimate every sign of the Flood.. and every sentient creature along with it."

    That didn't make any sense to Blaine. This robot, was it speaking about projections for the ring's capabilities? The Master Chief and Cortana had proven that other Halos existed besides this one. If everything this robot said was possible, Humanity had an even bigger threat than the Covenant looming in the shadows.

    Still, how is it possible that the rings could have fired once before, but Humanity, the Elites, even the other races in the Covenant still existed? The robot had said that the rings decimated every sign of this 'Flood' and every sentient creature as well.

    "This victory was the will of our people. Even if it meant the realization of our own end as well. the robot said, before it's cheery personality faltered. "This victory paved the way for the Librarian's final plan. Still, I wonder if the Didact would have been more successful had we gone with his plan instead? After all, his brilliance was unsurpassed by all... except by- regardless."

    Blaine was curious what the end to that tangent of thought was. More importantly, who was the Librarian, or the Didact? Were they the ones that constructed these rings? Why did they do this? On what grounds did they feel they had the right to commit intergalactic genocide? With all of these thoughts racing through his mind, he waited for the robot to continue it's ramble.

    "Though he never got to execute his proposal." the robot continued. "The counsel saw to that... and if something were to go wrong with one of the Halos- our tools ever turned against us? Wrong plans indeed."

    With that, the terminal silenced and went completely dark. Blaine stepped away with it with more questions than he previously had, though it was apparent that the source of the squishing noises was definitely involved. Blaine turned towards the door leading further inside, as the squishing noise grew ever louder. Josh trained his weapon on the door, as it shot open.

    Josh unloaded his clip into the door, as inhuman snarls and roars echoed throughout the room. Blaine and the others trained their weapons, as Josh screamed in fear. Blaine looked at the ODSTs ankles, where a single tendril of what appeared to be rotten flesh wrapped around it.

    "It's got me!" Josh yelled. "SOMEONE SHOOT THE FUCKING THING!"

    Blaine and the others unloaded their current clips into the tendril, but it remained strong. Blaine charged over to assist, but before he could lay his hands on the tendril, it dragged Josh into the next room. The door slammed shut behind Josh, as screams of pain echoed from the next room. Blaine's fists slammed on the door as he tried desperately to force it open.

    "COME ON!" Blaine roared, bashing his massive fists against the metal, slightly denting it at most. "HOLD ON!"

    Backing off a bit, Blaine began to sprint at the door, ramming his shoulder powerfully into the door. It began to cave slightly, as he backed off again. With a second powerful ram, Blaine managed to fragment the door. The sound of Josh's assault rifle had silenced, and the screams faded.

    "Josh?" Blaine asked. "Josh, respond dammit!"

    His helmet's flashlights managed to find a silhouette in the middle of the room. It had a humanoid shape, and the ODST helmet was still fashioned on his head. Blaine began to approach, until he felt a shock in his right foot.

    "Blaine." Lily said in a warning tone. "We need to go. We need to go right now."

    "We can't leave Josh behind." Blaine said. "Josh, you okay? I've got a trauma kit."

    As Blaine stepped forward again, so too did another electric shock course through his left leg. For a moment, it caused him to flash back to his Spartan training days, when Mendez would shock the recruits randomly in the back of the legs during calisthenics to test their endurance under pressure.

    "Blaine." Lily insisted. "That's not Josh, we need to go."

    "What are you talking about?!" Blaine growled, pointing to his ODST helmet. "No-one else in this room besides Craig had one on."

    "Breaow." the humanoid in front of Blaine burbled, before turning to face him.

    The visage was grotesque at the most. Biomass had erupted out of Josh's left pectoral, bulging his left arm in an awkward direction. His head, which was the most terrifying thing Blaine had ever seen, was in a perpetual screaming motion. His lower jaw seemed to have fused with the biomass bulging out of his chest. The helmet on his shoulders where his head should have been had appeared to have been placed as a mere after thought.

    Josh's right arm seemed to have been elongated, the hand that would have been at the end either didn't exist or had been incorporated in the biomass that had spurted out. His arm was whip-like, swaying weightlessly as Josh's breathing became rigid. Blaine stared at Josh's eyes, which were slowly glossing over, but still searched endlessly across him.

    "What happened Josh?" Blaine asked, as Josh snarled at him in a strange, inhuman fashion.

    Blaine nearly missed the squirming in Josh's chest, as a strange squid like creature appeared to be bursting out of Josh like a white head fitting to burst. Three red antennae twitched outside of the chest cavity, seemingly sensing Blaine's position. Josh lurched at Blaine, who jumped backwards to avoid the whip-like appendage.

    "Blaine, we really need to go." Lily said. "Mercy him, and get us out of here. These things, this Flood? It eats people, turns them into mindless zombies."

    Blaine took a moment further to study as Josh shambled towards him. His leg which had previously been snatched by the tendril, had broken entirely. Despite this, the creature continued using it to slowly drag itself towards him like some hungry beast.

    "I'm sorry." Blaine said quietly, pulling a grenade off of his belt. "Say hi to the others for me."

    Without further hesitation, Blaine took a mighty step forward, plunging his fist into the chest cavity where the squid like thing with three red antennae was located. Pulling the pin inside, he kicked Josh away, pulling his arm free, as nasty green goo dripped from his glove.

    Josh's body stumbled backwards several feet, before exploding into a mixture of biomass, blood, and flesh. He turned to the others, Anch bowed his head with respect, while Craig stared at the pile.

    "He was a good man." Craig sighed. "At least he's with his brother."

    "Outside." Blaine said. "We'll get ourselves a Pelican if possible, go straight to the Library as necessary."

    "The parasite." Anch growled. "These fools have awakened it. I shall make them regret their ignorance."

    "I know the feeling." Blaine said. "Outside, now."

    The three remaining members of the group converged on the door. Craig and Anch stepped outside, before Blaine could exit, however, the door closed shut. He heard Craig and Anch bang on the door. Behind him, he heard the animal like growls and hisses of the creatures behind him.

    "Call for a Pelican, lock it down and get back to the Aura." Blaine ordered.

    "What about you?" Craig said. "You could bust down this door, you know?"

    "This has to lead to the Library or something." Blaine said. "Either way, the mission must continue. If the Covenant get their hands on that key, it won't matter if we make it back to the Aura or not."

    Turning back with his flashlight still on, Blaine pulled the shotgun off of his back again. Replacing his DMR onto his back, he began to work his way back into the room where Josh had died. To his amazement, the drones had managed to work their way into the room. They were still docile to his presence, but he was still wary. The sound was still all around him.

    Passing over the pile of stuff that was once his friend, Blaine said a silent farewell to Josh as he continued on his path.

    "Lily, we need a tunnel map or something. Can you find a path that leads us to the Library?"

    "As I said before, the Library is inaccessible from here." Lily sighed. "However, I believe there is a way to get to Halo's control room from here. It's a bit of a hike, and who knows how many countless Flood we'll encounter along the way."

    "Thank you." Blaine said. "Read up some more on these bastards. I want to know as much about them and this ring as I can."



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

    Posts : 1244
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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 1st 2017, 5:14 am

    "Hey, I-uh." Lily started softly, as Blaine continued to march down the dark, damp metal halls of the ancient research lab. "I'm sorry about your friend, Staff Sergeant Durgin. I hadn't gotten to read to the Flood part until you accessed that terminal. It's a poor excuse, but the terminal was exuding a strong string of codes that acted as some sort of indexing protocol."

    "Josh was a little rough around the edges, and it wouldn't be fair to say that he and I didn't have our moments of disagreement." Blaine said, his eyes focused on the path Lily laid out for him. "Deep inside all of that, he was a good man. He cared very deeply for his brother Phil, Warrant Officer Harlowe, Craig, and all of the members of Cobalt Squad."

    There was silence from both Blaine and Lily for a time, the only noises in the immediate area was the sound of Blaine's heavy boots striking the once flawless metal floor, and even the occasional hiss of air through the ventilation systems. Using the flashlights at the bottom of his helmet, Blaine had his weapon constantly trained, his eyes scanning the dark hallways for any signs of the mysterious parasite that had claimed Josh's life and body.

    "I know now may not be a good time, but I actually had a few questions regarding Cobalt Squad." Lily spoke up, breaking the tension.

    "Shoot." Blaine shrugged, poking his rifle around a corner, scanning the lower and upper walls.

    With the coast clear, Blaine rounded the corner and continued his march. Every few meters, he would turn around to make entirely sure that he wasn't being followed. His motion tracker hadn't pinged for quite some time, but these things had eluded it's system before, and he was certain it wouldn't be the last.

    "Before I was transferred to be your personal AI, I did have a brief moment to check both your dossier and Cobalt's." Lily said cautiously. "They're service history was extensive, and quite frankly their combat effectiveness rating had only seen rivalry from the Spartans you grew up with."

    "Now, I am aware that most of the members of Cobalt were Orion soldiers. Such as Warrant Officer Morgan Harlowe, Warrant Officer Craig Richard Harlowe, and Second Lieutenant Amber Harlowe." Lily reported. "My question is, how did you end up teamed with them?"

    Blaine paused for a moment as his memories raced to his years in the Orphanage, meeting Morgan for the first time. How he had left the place that had tormented him for years to seek out the man he believed to be his father. He thought about his first run in with Craig, Morgan, and even the twins when he was still just a Recruit. He remembered the face Morgan had given him when he sacrificed his life for the mission.

    "Clearly you didn't read much into the black ink." Blaine sighed, continuing his march. "Josh and Phil Durgin were Craig's first cousins thrice removed. Amber and Morgan, while married, are my mother and uncle respectively. Craig is my biological father."

    "I'll spare you the entire story, but Cobalt Squad in essence was a literal family. There is one member of the Squad you neglected to mention. Apparently, he was my mother's brother."

    There was silence on Lily's end again for a time. The longer Blaine remained in this hallway, the more time he had felt like he had to examine his past choices. He even began to think about what was going on at Earth. It had been a long time since training that he had felt Human.

    When he met with Naomi earlier the day before, he felt an overwhelming desire to protect her. He always wished to protect the innocent, but something about that girl had brought back his sense of duty that had long since been missing. Even if John had killed the Prophet today, would the war end if all of the Prophet's were gone? If the war ended, where would he find himself?

    At that moment, he truly felt his age. Born in twenty-five-eleven, and here it was in twenty-five-fifty-two and he was still just a soldier. He didn't have anyone in particular to fight for, he just went about his duty blindly, as Mendez had always taught him to.

    "Your heart rate has decreased, are you okay?" Lily asked, as Blaine silently nodded.

    Morgan fought for the last few years of his life to locate Blaine, it had been his driving force for all of his acts, heinous or not. As for Blaine, however, he didn't feel the same. Protecting Humanity had always been what he and his fellow Spartans were ordered to think. It was drilled into their conscious, but what was the drive?

    "Somethings on your mind." Lily said. "I'm here to help you."

    "After seeing what happened to Josh, it makes me wonder what the point is." Blaine sighed. "The Covenant has been Humanity's biggest threat for nearly thirty damn years, and now this ring and the creatures on it are appearing out of the woodwork."

    "You're not giving up on me, are you Spartan?" Lily asked.

    Blaine stopped at those words, before shaking his head. His eyes continued to scan the flawless walls, though he was definitely beginning to notice a ominous green fog billowing in the hall in front of him, with small green spores floating through it.

    "I wouldn't advise walking through that." Lily reported. "That's a Flood spore cloud. God only knows what will happen if you breath that stuff in."

    "We're not finding out." Blaine said, turning instead to the off branching path to his left. "Try and redirect us to the Control Room."

    "On it." Lily replied. "You never answered my question."

    "I won't give up until I die." Blaine sighed. "Still, many Marines fight for Humanity because they have families to go to. Most of my family died on Reach."

    "What about Craig? Commander Stroud, or even Naomi?" Lily said. "They all depend on you to come back. Whether you want to believe it or not, they are your family now, even if Naomi is only temporary."

    Blaine pondered the thought for a moment. He realized it was foolish of him to think that no-one back on Earth or even here on the Halo ring didn't depend on him to protect them. Though he still couldn't shake the feeling that things were only about to get worse, and that was the part that legitimately terrified him.

    When he was younger, and surrounded by his fellow Spartans, they felt invincible as they grew older. It was not that they began to believe it, but they fought to keep each other's backs. Now, Blaine was the only Spartan II left, with John MIA either confirmed dead or not.

    "Yeah, you're right." Blaine nodded. "Just getting harder to see it as the years pass. How far until we're at the Control Room?"

    "We're about halfway there." Lily said. "At this pace, assuming we don't have any more detours or obstacles in our path, ETA should be about an hour."


    "Pelican Tango Foxtrot Gulf Niner approaching Aura of Armaggedon at landing speed. I have three aboard, one friendly and what appears to be a captive bogey. Requesting landing vector, over?" Craig heard the pilot of their craft say.

    "We hear you Tango Foxtrot Gulf Niner. Have you reports of any bizarre activity from your passengers? Is there a presence of an enigmatic sound?"

    "Just burning jet fuel and your sweet voice Watch-Tower." the pilot smirked.

    "Flattery is not necessary pilot. You are cleared for landing, ensure your passengers are aware that a team of Marines will be meeting you upon landing."

    "Affirmative, over and out." the pilot nodded, before turning to Josh. "You heard the lady, you and your 'friend' will be searched upon landing. I don't know what the hell's going on down there, but I sure as hell hope you didn't bring it on my bird."

    "I've witnessed it." Craig shook his head solemnly. "If we brought it on board, everyone on board would be dead."

    "Explain that to the Commander and the Marines."

    As the Pelican approached the Aura of Armaggedon, Craig stepped into the troop bay, standing in front of Anch. As the door closed, the usual stack of six Marines waited for them, weapons trained on the ramp.

    "The Pelican's clean, Marines." Craig nodded. "The two of us here have witnessed why the Captain quarantined the ship for. Trust me, it's not pretty."

    "You'll understand if we check you over anyways? In case of potential contamination."

    "Go for it." Craig said. "Get me some fucking alcohol too, that'll help wash away the shit we've just witnessed."


    "Hey hey hey!" one of the ODSTs guarding the bridge growled. "You can't just-"

    "Shut it Sergeant." Craig spat. "Commander Stroud, ma'am."

    "Craig?" Autumn turned to him. "Is Josh or the Captain with you?"

    Craig paused at the mention of Josh's name, pursing his lips, he gently shook his head. His eyes scanned over Autumn's face, which had shifted from concern to absolute devastation.

    "Blaine is still top-side." Craig said. "Last I saw him, he was still alive. As for Josh... we found out what killed those Marines that attempted to get back to the ship."

    "Commander Keyes kindly gave me the data Cortana and the Master Chief had pulled from the first Halo ring." Autumn nodded. "So this Flood is a real threat huh?"

    "Unfortunately, yes." Craig said. "I was instructed by Blaine to return here and assist in whatever ways I can."

    "We have plenty of wounded in the medical bay. They've suffered dearly because of the Quarantine, so our medics are a bit overclocked. Perhaps you could assist them?"

    "On it. What about Anch?" Craig said, turning to the towering Elite behind him.

    "Are you aware of the Flood?" Autumn asked, turning to face the Elite.

    "The Parasite is known by all that worship the Covenant. They are a scourge of planets. Just one spore can eliminate a species in mere... 'days'." Anch said. "I have had several encounters with the scourge, and can boast that I have purified all of it."

    "Good, you can assist the Marines down in the Hanger." Autumn said. "I'll send word to them that you're coming."

    Craig and Anch nodded, before exiting the bridge. Had it been several months before, even before Reach fell, Autumn never once would have thought that an Elite would be on Humanity's side, let alone would it be permitted. As the door closed, she stepped forwards to face the on screen eagle eyed view of the snowy landscape that overlooked the Library.

    "It's been a few hours since the Captain's last hail." the Navigations officer stated. "Shall we try to reach him?"

    "Do it." Autumn said, her eyes scanning the screen. "Come on, big guy, where are you?"


    "Here we are." Lily said with chipper in her voice. "You Spartans are pretty amazing."

    "It's all part of the title." Blaine said, glancing down the ventilation shaft he had torn open with his bare hands. "You sure this vent leads down to the Control Room?"

    "The people that build this ring were obviously highly advanced. If they couldn't make a correct schematic for it, I'd be surprised." Lily chuckled. "Though, if you're afraid you could always toss something down there and wait for the thump."

    Behind Blaine, he could hear the sound of bare feet slapping against the hard metal. Turning back, he watched as what appeared to be an infected Elite charged at him. Jumping to the right, Blaine narrowly avoided the whip-like arm of the combat form Flood creature. His shields, however, had been struck, and he heard them pop from the impact.

    Ducking low to avoid a follow up strike, Blaine wrapped his mighty arms around it's waste, before tossing the creature down the ventilation shaft. Besides the expected tumbles of a body carelessly colliding with the inner vents, there was in fact a thump at the bottom, and fairly close down.

    "Well, that wasn't entirely what I meant." Lily verbally shrugged. "Though I guess it got the job done. After you."

    Blaine nodded and, with a final check behind him, jumped in without a second thought. As the Flood creature before him, Blaine bumped his way down through the vent, gaining momentum as he did. At the end of his descent, he could see the Flood creature struggling to stand. That mattered little, however, as Blaine's boots made contact with his chest, the Flood creature exploding similar to a water balloon filled with green gel.

    "Ew." Lily cringed. "Please tell me this isn't a common occurrence?"

    "Welcome to war, Lily." Blaine shook his head. "Nothing about it is clean."

    The room was massive and sprawling, with only a few features worth noting. The first of which was the small control panel that Blaine could see on the other side of the room. As Lily had suggested this definitely was the Control Room for Halo. The second feature that caught Blaine's attention was the multitude of platforms in the center of the room.

    He wasn't sure why the three layers had a massive hole in the center of it, except to perhaps hold the weapon's charge. Still, his eyes continued to scan the platforms, only to notice six pendulum like gyro pillars. They were stationary for the moment, but it didn't take much of a gun expert to understand that a energy weapon needed some sort of kinetic energy to charge. These were likely the source of that energy, like some sort of generator.

    One of the aforementioned pendulums were very close to his current position, however they had stopped just far enough away that he knew he could never get on. His eyes scanned around for a moment, before he noticed something in the corner of his eye. Red flags, six in total marched towards the control panel, each belonging to a group of shaggy, hair covered Brutes.

    The six Brutes followed the lead of a much larger Brute, it's fur covered in a grayish blue, with a pronounced mohawk hairdo on it's head. More importantly, the massive Brute held a very large and imposing hammer like weapon in one hand, with what Blaine could see as Commander Miranda Keyes in the other.

    "The Commander is captured?!" Lily asked. "She was going after the Index, Blaine, you have to stop them!"

    "I can't get a proper shot, not from this range with this." Blaine indicated to his shotgun, his DMR properly out of bullets. "There has to be some kind of path we can take, they wouldn't design this outcrop in the wall without some way of traversing here."

    "Come Human, it is easy. Take the Sacred Icon-" the blue Brute growled, slamming a small green object in it's fist on the terminal in front of them, while pressing the Commander's head onto the panel. "-and do as you are told!"

    "Please use caution." Blaine heard a light voice say beside the blue Brute, upon scanning, he realized the source was a small sphere with a blue light glancing around like an eyeball. "This Reclaimer is delicate-."

    "One more word, Oracle, and I'll rip your eye from it's socket!" the Brute snarled, before turning to the Commander. "Which is nothing compared to what I'll do to you."

    "Boy, he's a giant teddy bear, isn't he?" Lily replied sarcastically. "Mother didn't love him enough?"

    "Probably tried to eat him." Blaine shrugged. "Any luck?"

    "Nothing so far, I'll keep looking. Otherwise, you might just have to chance the jump. Either way, death is looking pretty likely."

    Blaine's attention turned back to the exchange at the panel. To his luck, the Brute with the key didn't appear to know how to activate the weapon, or perhaps couldn't without assistance. Blaine watched as an Elite in ornate silver armor began to approach the pack of Brutes from behind. Either they weren't aware of the Elite's presence or didn't seem to care.

    Regardless, the Elite spoke up. "Tartarus. Stop."

    Blaine felt a shiver down his spine as the Elite spoke in a deep, yet soothing voice. For one thing, he wondered if this Elite knew the truth about Halo, and to that end, if it was an ally of Humanity as a result, as Anch had been. Blaine could make out the Brute, Tartarus, mumble something to himself, before turning himself and Miranda around to face the Elite.

    "Put down the Icon." the Elite spoke intensely, but also with a hint of reason.

    "Put it down, and disobey the Hierarchs?!" Tartarus snarled.

    The Elite stood rigid, showing the typical sign of an Elite never backing down. With a shake of his saurian head, the Elite had it's hands by it's sides, seemingly locking eyes with the Brute.

    "There are things about Halo that event the Prophets do not understand."

    Blaine was elated to hear the Elite say those words. It seemed that Elites could in fact be reasoned with, and that Anch had not been a diamond in the rough. Tartarus, on the other hand, did not seem as impressed as the unseen Spartan. With their leader's displeasure, the group of Brutes began to step forward, before Tartarus stopped them with a snort and his hammered hand up.

    "Take care, Arbiter, what you speak of is Heresy." Tartarus said in a warning voice.

    "Is it?" the Arbiter replied with a shrug. "Oracle, what is Halo's purpose?"

    The blue sphere in one of the Brute's hands seemed to wriggle in excitement at the question it was prompted, the blue light that signified it's eye scanned over the Arbiter, Tartarus, and even Miranda. In the distance, Blaine could see a lone Marine with what appeared to be a Covenant Beam Rifle in his hands rounding the corner.

    "Collectively-" the orb started, before Tartarus threw Miranda aside, snatching it up in his hands and bringing the orb up to his face. "Not another word!"

    "Please." the familiar voice of Sergeant Johnson echoed throughout the room. "Don't shake the light bulb."

    With a snarl, a pair of Tartarus' Brutes began to advance, as Johnson trained his weapon on Tartarus' head. With a smirk and his notorious cigar in his mouth, Johnson spoke. "If you'd like to keep your brain inside your head, I'd tell those boys to chill."

    With once another snarl from Tartarus, his Brutes fell back into line as Johnson turned towards the Arbiter. "Go ahead, do your thang."

    "The Sacred Rings, what are they?" the Arbiter asked the orb, which looked nervously up at the Brute grasping it, before speaking.

    "Weapons of last resort, built by the Forerunners to eradicate potential Flood hosts- thereby rendering the parasite harmless."

    "-and those that made the Rings, what happened to the Forerunners?"

    The orb's eye light dipped for a moment solemnly, before returning to meet the Elite's gaze once again. "After exhausting every other strategic option, my creators activated the Rings. They and all sentient life within three radii of the Galactic Center died, as planned. Would... you like to see the relevant data? "

    The Elite took this knowledge in for a moment, his eyes scouring the floor in front of him for merely a moment before latching on to the Brute's eyes again. "Tartarus, the Prophets have betrayed us."

    The Brute growled as it stared down at the metallic sphere in it's hands, before tossing the sphere at Sergeant Johnson. The impact the orb made with Johnson was enough to push him off of his feet, maybe even knock him out cold for a moment.

    "NO ARBITER!" the Brute roared, turning around and slamming the key into the panel. "The Great Journey has begun, and it will be the Jiralhanae, not the Sangheili that will be the Prophet's escort!"

    With a toss of his hand, the Brute threw Miranda off of the edge of their platform, before wielding his shotgun in his hands. Blaine's attention turned first to the platform in the middle. With massive metallic rings throughout, the pendulums he had noticed before began to move, the lower half in a clockwise turn, while the top halves were counter clockwise.

    As the pendulums began to turn, a charge of blue energy formed in the center of the room. With a loud pop, the energy began to swell upwards towards the ceiling. Instead of sitting around to watch any further, Blaine jumped towards the nearest pendulum, rolling over his shoulder and laying on his stomach the moment he did so.

    He heard the massive upper pendulum pass over him, before standing up. The Arbiter, along with Sergeant Johnson, had made quick work of the Brutes with the flags. The Brute with the hammer, however was prepared to swing, as Blaine fired a shell into it's back as he passed. Tartarus snarled, turning as Blaine beckoned him, before jumping down onto the platform below.

    The massive Brute roared before sprinting towards the platform, clearing the gap down. Blaine jumped back just in time to avoid the strike of the hammer, before pumping another shell into Tartarus' chest. Behind the Brute, the Arbiter and a handful of Elites jumped down to join him in the fray.

    Blaine side-stepped as Tartarus over extended himself, avoiding what could very well have been a fatal gut swing from the Brute's hammer. Jumping backwards, a trio of the Elite reinforcements ignited their energy swords and proceeded to assault Tartarus.

    "There is another Demon?" the Arbiter asked. "No matter, leave Tartarus to me. You must not allow this Ring to activate."

    Blaine nodded before turning to face the platform where Johnson perched himself with his sniper. The control panel was no longer there. Instead, Blaine's eyes scanned for the Index. Finally, he found the olive green T shaped object floating in the blue energy mass. Unfortunately for the Spartan, it was on the level above them.

    "That's a negative on that." Blaine growled. "We can't reach it from here. Lily, I need a path."

    "Those platform pendulums are rotating way too fast now, there's no way you'd be able to safely climb on one."

    "I don't need excuses, I need answers." Blaine said.

    "In theory, you could- BEHIND YOU!"

    Blaine ducked, the gigantic rush of air passing uncomfortably close to his head where the hammer nearly missed. Landing on his hands, Blaine struck his boots out in a donkey kick, causing Tartarus to stumble backwards. Rolling forward and turning on his boots, Blaine pumped a trio of shells into Tartarus' chest again. The blue wispy shield covering Tartarus disappeared for a moment, as a single trail of precise plasma struck Tartarus in the side of the head.

    Unfortunately, the headshot from the sniper didn't seem to hold any effect to the imposing Brute. The Arbiter fired green projectiles from his rifle into Tartarus' back, gathering the Brute's attention for a moment. Blaine nodded in respect before dashing towards the nearest pendulum again. Clambering onto the side of one, he held on until a top one passed over. Lying on his stomach, he had to wait a few moments to count between passes. When he got the rhythm down, he jumped to his feet and jumped for the platform.

    Blaine grunted however, as he felt something grasp onto his boot. Desperately, Blaine tried to kick his assailant in the face, but to no avail. With the two of their weights combined, Blaine felt his grip slipping. The two tumbled down back onto the main platform, as Blaine tried to get his bearing, the Brute attempted to swing the hammer down on him.

    Rolling backwards, he avoided both the initial strike and the new shockwaves that came from it. Gritting his teeth, Blaine knew the beast wasn't about to just let him deactivate the ring. In the corner of his eye, however, he could see Miranda on one of the top pendulums, still moving but not conscious.

    "Fine then Gorilla man." Blaine snarled. "You've got my full attention."

    "Your kind destroyed one of the Sacred Rings." Tartarus bared his fangs. "I'll rip off your head and keep it as a trophy for the Great Beyond!"

    "Before you do that, how about you kiss my ass?" Blaine growled, taunting the ape with a one fingered salute.

    With his last shell, Blaine blasted Tartarus in the chest. Once again, the Brute's wispy blue energy shield evaporated into nothing. With his opening, Blaine closed the distance. Tartarus swung his hammer, Blaine grunted as he held off the assault. With a vicious swing of his knee into the Brute's groin, it was enough to stagger the Brute.

    Pulling his right arm as back as he could, Blaine delivered a devastating right haymaker across the Brute's left ribcage. The blow was muffled from the fur, but he felt a few ribs crack, even break from the strike. With a flurry of hard yet swift strikes from both his left and right fists, Blaine struck Tartarus with one final right upper cut, before hopping off of his right foot and striking it into the Brute's chest with a circle kick.

    Using his momentum, Blaine flipped backwards, lowered onto his haunches, and sprinted like a freight train towards the stunned Brute. Pulling his right arm back, Blaine used his speed and all of his weight to strike Tartarus square in the jaw. He watched as the largest of Tartarus' fangs broke clear off, the other piercing his upper lip, a small stream of purple and red blood pouring out of the fresh wound.

    Tartarus staggered backwards, as the Arbiter stepped in for his turn. The Arbiter first fired the remainder of his weapons 'clip' into the Brute's chest, as small beads of purple blood began to stream out. Rushing up to the Brute to close the distance, the Brute retaliated with a wild swing, as the Arbiter disappeared from their sight for merely a moment.

    Tartarus growled, speaking in his alien tongue at the Elite. Suddenly, Blaine watched a geyser of purple blood splash out of one of Tartarus' ankles. The wound was enough to put the Brute on his knees, as his chest lurched forward, another geyser of purple spraying out of the new wound. Appearing again, the Arbiter's energy blade glistened with purple blood, which slowly evaporated off of it's edge.

    Tartarus meekly attempted to retaliate, as the Arbiter slashed him across the chest. Every time Tartarus made a motion, the Arbiter sliced him, until finally the Brute stopped moving. With the threat out of the way, Blaine noticed what appeared to be an energy indicator beside the glowing mass nearing the top of it's gauge. He didn't have enough time to jump back up.

    Turning instead towards Commander Keyes, he watched as she jumped off of her platform, rolled over her shoulder on the level above them. Sprinting towards the Index, she clasped the object in her hand. The platform around them shook erratically, as the mass of blue energy discharged.

    "Are we too late?" Blaine asked.

    "I don't know." Lily said, as a chill went down Blaine's spine. "Either way, it's been an honor serving with you."

    From where Blaine was standing, he and the Arbiter stepped up enough to look where the mass of energy had been expelled. A purple gleam filled the sky, easily the size of a small moon in close proximity to them. As the blue mass struck the purple gleam, the mass of energy flurried in an almost beautiful, nearly blinding, nova of light.

    "Energy readings indicate that there was insufficient charge." Lily laughed in disbelief. "I won't tell you how much longer we had, but it was almost too damn close."

    "Thank you for your help." Blaine said, turning to the Arbiter. "I am Blaine. Though my men refer to me as Captain."

    "I am the Arbiter of the Covenant, though I suppose that is an empty title now." the Arbiter spoke. "You may refer to me as such, or my keep name, Thel Vadamee."

    "You." Blaine said. "You're the once Anch told me about. The one who would see reason."

    "So you are in fact the one he was hunting." the Arbiter suppressed a brief snort. "I see by the way you carry yourself in battle why even he had such a difficult task. Come, we must make sure that this place will not fire again."

    Blaine watched as the Arbiter stood in the hole where the beam of energy had once presided. Instead of falling through, however, he was boosted upwards to the level above. Blaine took a moment to look at the fallen Elites by his feet, all of which that could have been potential allies to the UNSC upon their return to Earth.

    With a final kick to Tartarus' corpse, Blaine followed the Elite's example and found himself on the next level. As he landed, so too did Johnson, who had used the orb of light to ferry him across the gap. Blaine turned his attention to what appeared to be some sort of terminal that appeared in front of Miranda. A group of six solid holograms of rings appeared, with but one of them fragmented and hollow.

    "What is that?" Blaine asked, as the Commander shrugged, turning to the ball of light.

    "A beacon." the ball said, his eye scouring the group of them that had congregated.

    "What's it doing?" Keyes followed up, as her and Johnson's eyes scanned the so called beacon.

    "Communicating at super luminal speeds with a frequency of-" the orb replied, as Keyes interrupted. "-Communicating with what?"

    "The other Installations."

    At these words, the beacon lit up beside them to expand further. As it did so, the seven rings became larger and much more easily distinguishable then previously. Blaine assumed that the broken ring had been the one John had discovered, knowing the Master Chief's wanton destruction.

    "In the event of unexpected shutdown, the entire system will move into Standby status. All remaining platforms are now ready for remote activation."

    "'Remote Activation?' From here?" Miranda asked, as Blaine crossed his arms, studying the beacon in silent as they exchanged questions and answers.

    "Don't be ridiculous-"

    "Listen Tinker Bell, don't make me-" Johnson growled, as Miranda gently placed a hand on his shoulder.

    "Where? Where would I go to activate the other Installations?" Blaine asked, causing the others to turn to face him, the ball of light most enthusiastic about it.

    "Why the Ark, of course."

    "and where, Oracle, is that?" the Arbiter asked, stepping behind both Johnson and Miranda, giving them both a noble glance.

    The orb of light mused to itself for a moment, the somewhat subtle whirring of its gravity nullifiers was the only noise in the room for a moment. With a quick glance of defeat, the metallic orb scanned it's eye towards each one of them.

    "I'm afraid I cannot say for sure. Though I do recall the Didact once informing the Librarian that the method of travel from Erde-Tyrene must be taken down." the orb replied. "I don't feel like he much cared for you Reclaimers."

    "We don't need semantics. Where is this Erde-Tyrene?"

    "Well, I believe you Humans call it... Earth?" the orb said, as Johnson, Blaine, and Miranda's eyes widened.

    "That explains what Regret was after." Blaine nodded. "Commander, what of the In Amber Clad?"

    "Crashed, sir."

    "How the hell is a Frigate 'crashed'?" Blaine asked.

    "Damn Flood got on board." Johnson growled. "Took the crew over and crashed it into the Covenant High Charity. In my opinion, makes that place look better than before. One of them Prophets were killed by the Flood before we got here. Saw the Chief for a millisecond, my guess is he's chasing the last Prophet."

    "We need to get to Earth." Miranda said. "Captain, please tell me your ship is intact."

    "As far as I'm aware, it is." Blaine nodded. "I owe you a ride anyway. Arbiter, can we count of the Sangheili to assist us in defeating the Covenant? We've had our differences over the years, sure, but if we're going to stop Truth from activating the Ark on Earth, we need to band together."

    "For his atrocities against our race, we will work with Humanity. We need only speak with your leadership."

    "I can make that happen." Blaine said. "For now, rally your troops in whatever way you need to. We'll need any ships you have for a quick jump back to Earth."



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 1st 2017, 5:56 pm

    "Officer on deck!" the ODST guard spoke loud and clearly, as Autumn turned.

    A smile crept up on her face as Blaine stood proudly just inside of the door to the bridge. Everyone on the bridge turned to salute the Spartan, as Blaine returned the favor. Stepping forward, Autumn backed away so that Blaine could resume his duty.

    "Welcome back Captain." the navigations officer said. "Is it over?"

    "I have the Index in my possession." Blaine tapped the green key on his hip. "This Halo Ring is officially inoperable."

    A cheer rained out from the crew, several of them hooting and pumping their fists in celebration. The celebrations ceased as one of the crewman turned to face Blaine.

    "Captain, we have a trio of Covenant CCS Battle Cruisers moving to position." the man said. "We're also receiving a mysterious hail."

    "Answer it." Anch said, stepping up from behind Blaine. "It is the Arbiter."

    "You heard him, isolate and connect with that signal." Blaine said.

    "Sir, I-"

    "That's an order. Do it." Blaine said, as the communications crewman patched them through.

    Surely enough, on the screen directly in front of Blaine, the silver armored Elite, along with several other Elite warriors, were the first things he noticed. It wasn't the first time he had seen the inside of a Covenant bridge, but it was the first time since they've been friendly.

    "Arbiter." Blaine nodded.

    "Captain, the Fleet of Retribution is with you. We have successfully managed to subdue the bastard Brutes, and are ready to make immediate travel to your Homeworld." the Arbiter said. "Anch Ibortee, it has been a while."

    "Indeed, Noble Vadamee Kaidon." Anch bowed. "We must make haste."

    "My thoughts exactly. Commander, is everyone aboard?" Blaine asked Miranda via his comm. link.

    "Any survivors from my crew are stowed on board, sir."

    Blaine nodded, as the Arbiter and his Elites set into motion. With his view of the void between the Ring's surface, he watched as a Fleet comprised of a few Covenant Cruisers began to hold blue spheres in front of their ships. With a simple command to navigations, the Aura quickly dipped below one of the ships, piggy backing through the precise jump hole.


    Everyone in the bridge lurched forward as they jumped back into known Human space. Blaine stood with his arms crossed as he gazed upon the terror in front of him. Most of Earth's defensive constructs had been destroyed, as well as the Home Fleet.

    "Admiral, we've got more CCS Battle Cruisers jumping in now."

    "Isolate and shoot to kill, son."

    "Lord Hood, this is Spartan One-One-Five aboard the Aura of Armaggedon. These CSS Battle Cruisers are not hostile, repeat, not hostile."

    "Captain? Did I hear you right, you said those Covenant ships aren't hostile?"

    "Affirmative sir. Commander Keyes and I will need to debrief with you. The Elites aboard these ships wish to ally with us." Blaine said. "A bigger threat is looming here on Earth, and you know better than anyone that we'll need all the help we can get, sir."

    There was a sigh as the visibly aged, bald man removed his cap and rubbed his head. Replacing the hat back onto his head, his eyes scanned the terminal Blaine was talking to him through, before his eyes met with Blaine's through his visor.

    "I expect you to supervise these Elites, Spartan." Hood replied.

    "It will be done." Blaine said, turning to Anch. "Get into contact with the Arbiter, have him come with the Shipmaster of his Fleet. Both are to come unarmed, you'll be joining us as well."

    "I will see to it." Anch bowed his head.


    Blaine stepped off of the Pelican with Miranda Keyes, Anch, the Arbiter, and some other white armored Elite with a missing mandible. The Marines awaiting them had their weapons trained, as Blaine held a hand up.

    "We're here to negotiate a treaty between the Sangheili and Humanity, men." Blaine said. "At ease."

    "Lord Hood ordered us to escort you, sir." the head Marine stepped forward.

    "Fine, but weapon discipline. I don't want you shooting anyone because they sneeze, understood?"

    "Understood, sir."

    Commander Keyes walked beside Blaine, with Anch and the other two Elites promptly behind them. The Marines, while nervous, kept their distance from the Elites with their weapons at the ready. As they approached the bridge of the UNSC Cairo Station, a pair of ODSTs nodded, stepping out of the way to let the group through the door.

    Blaine noticed on his motion tracker that the ODSTs had also followed them in, along with the handful of Marines. Lord Hood and a crowd of Marines along the walkways trained their weapons on the Elites. Lord Hood held his hand up, as the Marines relaxed and lowered their weapons.

    "Lord Hood sir, thank you for this time." Blaine saluted.

    "We don't have much left, Spartan." Hood replied swiftly. "We still have a war to fight."

    "The In Amber Clad and the Aura of Armaggedon followed the Prophet of Regret to another Halo Ring, sir." Blaine continued. "There, the Master Chief successfully neutralized the target. The Covenant came close to activating the Installation, but the efforts of Commander Keyes and her troops, they were able to stop the Covenant."

    "Though, most of the credit goes to the Arbiter and the Elites." Blaine turned to the Elites behind them. "They learned of Halo's true purpose, and split from the Covenant. They wish to help us, because apparently all of the Halo Rings currently functional can be activated from Earth, sir."

    These words caused the Marines in the room to shift nervously, each one glancing at one another. Lord Hood processed this information for a moment, before turning to the Commander.

    "This explains why the Covenant were so focused on New Mombasa and even Voi." Lord Hood said. "Commander, I want you to personally head to Crow's Nest base. It's the current base of operations for the ground team. Captain, you'll be joining her in helping to operate ground operations."

    "Sir, what about the Elites?" Commander Keyes asked.

    "Humanity has no reason to trust their kind." Hood said. "However, if it is true that we have a common enemy in the Covenant now, I will allow it. We are at our last stand, there is very little option left for us now. I'm trusting your judgement, Spartan, don't make me regret this."

    "Sir, you aren't the first, and you won't be the last." Blaine nodded. "Besides, I doubt if it comes down to it we'll live long enough to regret it."


    The old Rainforest Wars base was, for lack of a better word, crowded. At least for Blaine, anyways. With enough Marine, ODST, and UNSC presence in general to fill an entire UNSC Destroyer, things were almost literally shoulder to shoulder. Everyone was bustling around, preparing the base for further tactical operations against the Covenant through both covert and frontline engagements.

    "Benitez, why are you standing around?" Blaine asked, as one of the Marines jumped at his voice.

    "Uh sorry sir!" the Marine shook his head. "I-uh, gotta use the restroom."

    "For Christ's sake man, just go." Blaine shook his head.

    "The room's filled Captain."

    "We're surrounded by a jungle Marine, either stow the bellyaching or get it done." Blaine shook his head as the Marine bolted off.

    Blaine continued his patrol throughout the Crow's Nest base, finding himself in the Vehicle transport hall, where Warthogs entered and exited the base. Each one carrying various supplies and weapons to assist the troops inside. Approaching one, he stepped up to the driver, who handed him a PDA with a list of all the cargo on board.

    "You're a little on edge." Lily said. "Did you even sleep on the ride back to Earth?"

    "No. I have to focus on this. I'll sleep when the war's over, or when I'm dead." Blaine sighed. "You're clear, Marine, move along to Hanger 4B."

    The Marine saluted Blaine who returned the gesture. Continuing his walk throughout the base, he saw numerous Marines snickering about something. Either they didn't notice his approach, or didn't appear to care. Standing behind them, he listened in to what they were saying.

    "You guys see that Spartan?" one of the Marines boasted. "Fought alongside him on Reach. Guy couldn't even deal with a single Brute for Christ's sake."

    "I think you're memory is faltering, Marine." Blaine crossed his arms as the Marines jumped, snapping into a crisp salute. "While you were too busy cowering behind a jersey barrier crying to your mother, I had taken on four Brutes consecutively, and even disabled a Wraith with my bare fists. If you're going to boast to your mates, make sure you're an accurate story teller, otherwise you'll just look like a fool."

    "Shit Chris, the Captain roasted you." one of the Marine nudged him on the shoulder.

    "Enough lolly gagging, all of you." Blaine said. "I shouldn't have to remind you this is Humanity's final or finest hour. We don't take this serious, and there won't be a tomorrow."

    "Yes sir!" the Marines said, before trotting away nervously.

    "That's a good way to get acquainted with these men." Commander Keyes spoke from behind him. "Sir."

    "Please, call me Blaine." he replied, turning to her. "How is everything in the Ops Center?"

    "Everything is smooth so far. We had a couple of pings that I sent the Arbiter and Johnson to investigate out in the jungle." Miranda nodded. "There was a message for you, however. From one Doctor Bailey? Never met the lady myself, but apparently she's on board the Aura of Armaggedon and wishes to speak with you."

    "You got everything handled here, then?" Blaine asked, as the Commander nodded. "Alright then, if something happens, contact me."

    "Will do."


    Blaine stood with his arms crossed outside of his own Captain's Quarters. Beside him, a shorter Spartan in java brown armor shared his same pose. The Spartan had a very interesting sense of fashion, as what appeared to be a fishbowl inspired helmet rested snugly on his head.

    "You must be one of Bailey's Headhunters." Blaine said.

    "Yep." the Spartan replied quickly. "I thought you'd be taller."

    "Swear I could say the same to you." Blaine bellowed with laughter. "Planning on getting fish stickers for that thing on your head?"

    "Wouldn't you feel like a fool." the Spartan chuckled. "At least I'd look fabulous. Blue and Red? What the hell happened? You beat the shit out of a Smurf to the point it bled on you?"

    "I don't know what the hell that is." Blaine shrugged. "But yeah, I guess I did."

    "I'm John B694, though most people call me John." the Spartan offered a hand. "Call me Johnny, though, and I won't care how big you are, I'll fucking climb you if I have to."

    "Blaine-115. You can call me Blaine, though." Blaine took John's hand, shaking it lightly. "I may have to take you up on that offer, Nine."

    "Me climbing you? Or a fist-fight?"

    "A little sparring never hurt anyone." Blaine shrugged.

    "Not when I'm David and you're Goliath." John shook his head with a chuckle. "I mean, you could probably drop a Brute in three seconds flat with an arm tied behind your back and ten of me weighing you down."

    The door beside Blaine opened as Doctor Bailey stepped out with Lily's AI chip. Handing it to Blaine, she placed her hands delicately on her hips, glancing at the both of them like they were children.

    "You boys getting along good?"

    "The big man is bullying me." John pretended to whine.

    "He's like the annoying younger brother I never wanted." Blaine chuckled. "How's Lily?"

    "I gave her an upgrade that should help her processing speeds and increase her memory space." Bailey said. "I also made a slight modification to your helmet so that she could appear physically on your HUD to talk to you directly. Helps make her seem less like a voice in your head, and more like company."

    Bailey handed Blaine his helmet, as he quickly fastened it to his head with a hiss. When that was completed, he placed Lily's chip directly into the slot required. Along with a quick reboot of the system, surely enough a visual representation of Lily appeared to the top left of Blaine's HUD, just beneath his grenade counter.

    "This is pretty cool." Lily smiled. "Makes it a lot easier to talk to you and express myself more so than with just a voice."

    "My thoughts exactly, though please try not to blind my peripherals, there are two of us here, remember?"

    "Well, I can modify the opacity a bit so that I'm mostly transparent, that should assist you." Lily nodded. "Thank you Doctor Bailey."

    "It was my pleasure." Bailey smiled. "I won't waste any more of your time, Captain. I know Earth is in a time of great need, but I also knew that you'd need these upgrades to further improve your combat effectiveness. John, I'll remain on board here. We'll need you topside."

    "I'm on it. See you later color clash."

    "Smell you later coffee stain." Blaine stuck out his tongue beneath his helmet, before waving John away. "Doctor, feel free to make yourself comfortable as you see fit."

    "Blaine, we need you on the Bridge. It's important."

    "When isn't it nowadays." Blaine shrugged. "I'll be right there."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 4th 2017, 9:31 pm

    "Patching Lord Hood through now, Commander."

    "Thank you." Autumn said, saluting as Lord Hood's face appeared on the screen before her. "Admiral, sir."

    "Commander, what's the status on the Aura?"

    "Green, sir." Autumn said. "We're awaiting your orders to strike the Dreadnaught."

    "-and the Captain?"

    "Here, sir." Blaine replied hurriedly, trotting into the bridge while saluting the guards.

    "Crow's Nest has fallen, but most of the troops on site have since been evacuated." Lord Hood removed his cap, gently rubbing his scalp. "I need your ship for aerial bombardment against the Prophet's ship."

    "You don't need my permission to use a ship you gave me, sir." Blaine chuckled.

    "You are correct, Spartan. Formalities never hurt, anyways."

    "The Master Chief has been located and is mobilizing troops from the wreckage of Crow's Nest to the town of Voi." Lord Hood continued. "There is a total of three anti-air Wraiths that will prove troublesome for our Longswords and Pelicans. The Chief will see to their destruction."

    "There are a trio of anti-air cannons that are being assembled in the town. I'd like for you and whatever men you can muster to disable those guns." Hood turned to a Marine, a PDA in his hand. "Thank you, son. Captain, I shouldn't have to explain how crucial it is for those AA's to be eliminated."

    "Sir, consider it done." Blaine nodded.


    "Get yourselves some friends?" Blaine said, standing at the back of the pelican troop bay, a trio of Elites standing behind Anch and Craig.

    "These three are Rika Tor'unmee, Mota Carzanmee, and Eora Rantanmee." Anch turned to the three, pointing out the Elites to Blaine as he addressed them. "They were once Zealots of the Covenant, but have since renounced the Prophets' lies and sworn themselves to atone for the sins they have committed."

    "Field Marshal, we die by your side with hopes to regain what little honor our names held." Rika said.

    "Warrioress, your efforts will be recognized." Anch said. "We shall cut down any Jiralhanae scum that would stand in the way of our Retribution, and burn them with the intensity of Sangheilio's twin Suns!"

    A roar echoed throughout the pelican as the four Elites threw their heads back, their mandibles opening wide with a battle cry. Craig crossed his arms with a smirk, turning to Blaine. Though Blaine knew Craig couldn't see his face, they both mutually knew they couldn't be stood up by a group of Elites.

    "Hooah!" Blaine and Craig fist pumped into the air, the Elites glancing at them with curiosity and mutual respect.

    Blaine turned to the ramp release switch and pressed it. With a hiss, air began to rush into the bay. Several meters in the sky, everyone in the back of the Pelican could see the war-torn town in great detail. Crimson and Cobalt colored flames ascended like pillars towards the sky from several destroyed Covenant and UNSC vehicles. Craig stood beside Blaine, gently resting a hand on Blaine's back.

    "One day, Humanity will stand back up from this. We'll never forget what happened to us, but we'll come back stronger than ever." Craig said. "You've been fighting this war for your entire life, I want to see nothing more than for you to finally get the peace you deserve."

    Blaine nodded, before turning to the others behind him. "We'll be inserted in a stagger. Three teams of two, we'll rendezvous at that four way intersection."

    Blaine pointed down so the Elites behind him could see where he meant, as the Pelican slowly turned and descended to a lower level. Craig and Blaine approached the back of the ramp as the Pelican slowed it's forward momentum. The two jumped the three feet drop to the asphalt, before tapping the side.

    "Three AA guns is a bit much, don't you think?"

    "This is the Covenant we're talking about." Blaine said. "Truth has proven that he's a fanatic, and I'm beginning to believe he knows the truth about the Halo rings, that he just doesn't care."

    The two soldiers marched through the streets of Voi. Corpses of both Grunt, Jackal, and even civilians littered the street. Blaine pressed his back against the corner of a building, peeking around to the adjacent street, where a trio of Brutes in what appeared to be combat harnesses stomping along.

    Blaine rounded the corner with his DMR at the ready. Sprinting up to the one farther back, Blaine swung his arm into the back of it's head. The force of the blow cracked the power armor the beast was wearing, causing it to crumble into nothing. The shaved ape stared up at it's assailant, having flipped onto it's back. Before it could do much else, Blaine's boot had stomped it's skull into the asphalt, splitting the beast's head like a cantaloupe.

    "Kill the demon!" a red armored Brute snarled, before a lance of purple energy struck it square in the forehead.

    As it's body crumpled to the floor in a heap, Blaine looked around for the one responsible. He stopped his search as the third and final Brute approached him. Unsheathing the knife on his chest, Blaine stepped forward, bringing the blade up and into the gut of the Brute. It stumbled for a second, as Blaine pulled upwards.

    The Brute roared weakly, it's body's tough hide causing it's body to resist and go with the blade. Pushing the Brute off of him, Blaine fired a single round of his pistol into it's exposed face. He quickly placed a hand up to his neck where he had a scar from a Brute bite on Reach.

    "Ugly bastards, but pretty damn stupid." Craig snickered.

    "Yeah. At least the Elites didn't try to eat us though." Blaine shook his head. "Come on."


    "Rika, what's the status on the explosives?" Blaine asked, as his weapon trained on their immediate flanks.

    Corpses of various Covenant creatures littered the ground at Blaine's feet. Surprising for Blaine and those at his side, these bodies had already been waiting for them, with the AA gun itself left completely unguarded as a result.

    "Do not worry, Human." Rika replied. "I am being deliberate and methodical with these flares. We would not see ourselves dead because I rushed, would we?"

    "I'm with the female." Eora grunted. "Your race must learn patience."

    "Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury anymore." Blaine said. "After the Covenant pushed us this far back, Humanity has to fight tooth and nail just to make sure we can see a tomorrow."

    "Gruuta reshtarna klock na." Anch seemingly growled in his own tongue. "Ishta grubleck rakintha shneka."

    "Lily, what did he say?" Blaine asked quietly.

    "It's his race's native language, we don't have anything to go off of. The Covenant used a unified language among all of their people, that I can translate." Lily shrugged, her miniature avatar in his hud performing the motion.

    "Komala eraisilk quarat shul neshtik." Eora snarled back.

    "Greestik noosta balak quarat shul na." Anch clicked his mandibles. "Ust ilisi unatak Rantan Keep vrutak na?"

    "I don't have to translate that one to tell you it was a threat." Lily flinched.

    "Enough." Blaine stepped forward. "We don't need infighting, especially now of all times. I just wanted to know when we should get moving."

    "My task is complete, Warrior." Rika turned to him. "Pay no mind to the males. They have quarreled over me for some time now."

    "GRASTAH UBLEK NE SHAR KUME TALKAN RA!" Eora snarled, flicking his wrist and producing an Energy Sword.

    "Ishtabem." Rika stepped forward. "Eora grinta Anch eubro cortin na. Queste rentipla scret umen ka. Captain quarat shul Eora Rantan grinta Anch Ibort na."

    "I heard Captain." Blaine said. "Now that I'm involved, what are you saying?"

    "Rika is assuring Eora that Human/Sangheili relations are still shaky, but you Humans are in a dangerous position. If he or I continue to act us, she suggests you would kill us both." Anch turned to him with a bow.

    "I would prefer not to tarnish the alliance over a behavioral thing." Blaine turned to Eora. "Whatever issues with me you have, you can save it for after the war."

    "Now really isn't the time for All My Stars anyways." Craig gestured with his rifle. "We do have a ticking time bomb right fucking there. We should get moving to the next gun."

    Eora, Rika, Anch, and Mota sprinted alongside Blaine and Craig to clear the area, as the explosives finally went off with a powerful bang. Buildings around the area which had since been evacuated were reduced to little more than debris, as a giant cobalt fireball raced towards the sky, segments on the gun itself collapsing into nothing.

    "Lord Hood, one of the AA guns is down." Blaine said. "Requesting coordinates for the next."

    "That won't be necessary, Captain." Hood replied.

    How did that work? There was no way any of the UNSC ships were going to get anywhere close to the Dreadnaught unless those guns were down. Lily also seemed confused, her eyes meeting with Blaine's.

    "We have readings that the other AA gun is terminated, and the Master Chief is en route to the third." Hood said. "The second that weapon goes offline, we'll begin our assault. With that Dreadnaught destroyed, I'll want you and your team to locate the weapon here on Earth and neutralize it."

    "Understood, sir." Blaine nodded. "We're moving to the dig site now."

    With a tilt of his head, Blaine and the others continued to march through the practically destroyed town. In the distance, they could hear the muffled explosion of yet another of the Covenant AA guns. Overhead, the deafening sound of hundreds of Longsword and Greatsword class fighter jets passing echoed throughout the hollow buildings and empty streets.

    Following the hundreds of jets was the last of the UNSC Home Fleet, headed by the Aura itself. As they approached the dig site, they noticed more and more of the Home Fleet looming over head. For Blaine, it was easily the most impressive thing he had ever seen come from the UNSC Home Fleet.

    As he and his team found themselves at the outskirts of the town, his communications crackled to life. "All ships; Fire at will."

    For a moment, there was a deafening crash, as the remaining ships in the Fleet all spun up and fired their MAC rounds at the strange triangular shaped ship in the middle of the very massive hole the Covenant had been digging. Blaine smirked as the MAC rounds struck the side of the vehicle, hoping each one would jar the Prophet of Truth to the point where he just surrendered, if not melt him alive with how hot the ship would become.

    To his and likely every UNSC troop to witness the spectacle, however, the ship did not show any signs of damage from the bombardment. In fact, the metallic disk beneath the Dreadnaught, which appeared to be a part of the Earth's crust, sank further down, opening a giant hole in the planet.

    Metallic spires, Forerunner in origin, began to ascend from the ground. As they did so, the Dreadnaught descended into the hole beneath it for a moment. As it did so, a familiar blue presence emanated from the ship, forming a blue beacon of light into the sky. With a flash of blinding light, the beacon nearly tripled in size. A shock wave pulsed out from the Dreadnaught, effectively EMPing the UNSC ships.

    As the shock wave approached him and the Elites, Blaine braced himself. However, it was not enough, and he found himself painfully crashing into an old industrial crane service elevator. Blaine shakily stood, he was sore, but ultimately was not seriously injured. He struggled for a second, before finally standing to his feet. Far in the distance, Blaine could make out a giant blue sphere, seemingly anchored by the metal spires that had rose out of the ground.

    "What the hell just happened?" Hood coughed. "Did Truth just activate the rings?"

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "Not from what I heard about it."

    "Sorry Blaine, that one didn't go through." Lily said. "Your comm. system is pretty damaged. I'll see if I can patch it remotely from here."

    Blaine winced as his communications system crackled loudly in his already sensitive ears. There was a high pitched screech from interference for a moment, before finally stabilizing.

    "Sir! New contact slipping in!"

    The ever familiar sound of a Covenant ship breaching slip-space filled the air, and while Blaine couldn't see the source from his position, he knew it wasn't a part of Truth's fleet. Those ships had already willingly went into the blue sphere. Surely enough, the ship finally broke into his line of sight, descending on the world at an unsafe pace. Smoke covered it's sickly green and pale hull, as it sped off over their heads.

    "Oh no." Blaine said, his attention turning towards Craig. "They're here."

    "Who?" Rika stepped forward, confused.

    "The Flood."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 6th 2017, 9:07 pm

    The ground beneath the group's feet quaked intensely as the Covenant Cruiser finally collided with the planet. There was a flash of light as the ship partially exploded, producing a shockwave large enough to blast all of them off of their feet. Whatever had been left of the town of Voi was practically destroyed, as the force of the explosion caused the buildings throughout to crumble to nothing.

    Blaine shakily stood to his feet, offering a hand to Craig. Anch did the same, helping Mota, Rika, and even Eora up to their feet. As Blaine, Anch, and Craig had remembered from their brief time on the Halo Ring, the sound of inhumane growls and shrieks filled the air around them. Blaine placed his DMR on his back, deciding to favor the MA5C he had picked up at Crow's Nest.

    Together with the combined fire from Craig's BR55, Anch, Eora, and Mota's Plasma Rifles, and Rika's Carbine rounds, the squid like creatures numbers dwindled. Blaine watched with horror as large Flood forms sprung high above their heads, far higher than feasibly possible. When they landed in front of the group, Blaine could make out the heads of their previous bodies welded to the biomass on their chest.

    These Flood forms had taken over the bodies of Brutes, based off of the pained face of the Brute in it's biomass. With the combined arms of the five members of the group, the three Brute Forms fell, albeit without cost. Eora, who had run out of Plasma for his Rifle, switched to his sword to lance the Brute forms. One of the whip-like appendages from one of the Brute forms had cracked across his face, snapping his neck and ending his life immediately.

    A deep roar filled the air around them, as Blaine slapped a fresh magazine into his Assault Rifle. Turning to the source of the noise, he shouldered the rifle in a flash. A trio of hulking infection forms lumbered towards them. One of each of their arms resembled that of a shield, while the other acted as a lithe whip. Their waists were narrow, while their torsos were larger than even Blaine.

    Blaine opened fire, walking towards the trio. His fire focused on their narrow midsections, as he figured they were the creature's weak points. The target he fired upon moved it's shield arm into position to protect itself from the damage. The bullets splashed across it's rotten fleshy arm, but ultimately appeared to do no damage to the Pure Tank form.

    One of the other two picked up their pace, closing the distance between Blaine and them. Blaine made a motion to dive away, but was surprised as it's shield arm struck him in the midsection. Blaine groaned as the force of the blow sent him skidding several meters backwards into yet another service elevator for an industrial crane.

    "Blaine's pretty hurt." Craig heard Lily say with concern. "I'll do what I can, but you need to keep them off of us."

    Craig felt his left eye twitching, pins and needles traveling the length of his arms, down to his feet. He felt his teeth clench to the point where it almost hurt. More importantly, the sound of his heart beating filled his helmet. It was as if he could hear nothing else besides the sound of his own heart racing.

    In that moment, he knew exactly why his brother Morgan had done all of the things he had. In those times, Craig never thought of Blaine as his son to maintain his secret. However, in this moment, he felt exactly how it was to be a concerned father. The very thought that his son's life was at risk caused his blood to boil, and an unrivaled anger to overwhelm him.

    "ERAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Craig roared, pitching his entire body forward.

    Sprinting for Eora's body, his hand fell upon the grip of the Energy Sword. Rolling out of the way of one of the Tank Form's sweeps, Craig swung the sword down, activating the Sword as he had seen Eora perform moments before. One of the Tanks approached again, as Craig stood. When he had first encountered the Flood the day before, he was terrified, but in this moment, he tossed aside his inhibitions and stood proudly.

    It roared a beastly roar, before swinging it's meaty arm down on top of his head. Before the bludgeon could make contact, however, Craig slashed across, cutting the arm off at it's middle. With a quick step forward, Craig swung the blade across the beast's lower waist, separating the top half of the creature from it's bottom.

    The remaining two Tank Forms turned to Craig, sprinting towards him at their full speed. Anch, and Rika, however, managed to approach them with their weapons, causing the beasts to burble in pain, covering their faces with their shield arms. Craig felt numb in his forehead and the upper parts of his ears, the vein in his neck painfully throbbing with the increased adrenaline.

    With the other two distracted, Craig moved his way to the closest one. He sank his new blade into it's lower waist, ripping the blade upwards through the beast, cutting it in half vertically. The last beast seemed to notice this, turning to Craig.

    "Heh." Craig smirked. "-and you thought you were the monster? You haven't met a pissed Harlowe before, and I promise you; you never will again."

    Sprinting towards the Tank Form Flood, Craig jumped towards it. The creature, on the other hand, stomped both of it's feet primitively, thrusting both of it's arms out with a mighty roar. Craig stopped for a moment, however, as the beast's bones seemingly snapped. It's elongated torso soon condensed, shriveling down to little more than the size of a large beach ball. It's two arms shrank down to what appeared to be little suction covered hands.

    Yellow spikes like Needler ammunition began to form on it's torso, which elongated upwards like a skin flap. Craig stared at the creature with confusion, as the yellow spikes sank into it's skin, almost as if readying to be launched. Craig's eyes widened, before a dome of unknown orange/gold light formed around him. In a blur to his right of blue and red, Blaine was on top of the Spiker Form in a matter of seconds.

    Plunging his left boot into the squishy spot between it's main body, where the skin flap met it, Blaine ripped the skin flap off of the creature. It screeched in legitimate pain, before Blaine wrapped his massive hands around the three red tentacles sticking out of it's 'face'. With a massive tug, he heard the tentacles rip, giving the corpse beneath him a massive kick.

    "You guys all right?" Blaine asked, holding his hand to his chest.

    "Fuck that." Craig shook his head, stepping out of the golden bubble of energy. "What about you? Are you okay?"

    "I'll survive." Blaine said. "Had a piece of metal enter my arm, but I managed to extract it, and Lily used the suit's functionality to administer some biofoam."

    "Rusty metal?" Craig asked.

    "No." Blaine sighed. "Anch, I'm sorry about Eora."

    "He was no friend of mine." Anch shook his head. "He was a warrior in life, and a warrior in death. Though he and I had our conflicts, I will recognize his sacrifice with honor."

    The group froze as the communications systems crackled to life. It was the sound of a pair of women desperately calling for help. They were not screaming, as much as they were trying to get through whatever was jamming their radios.

    "Anyone... me? Sierra... lie and ... immediate assistance."

    "Come again soldier?" Blaine said. "You're breaking up, did you just say Sierra?"

    Sierra had been one of the code names for the Spartans from his generation when they were finally implemented fully into the military. He had overheard it during his recovery when he first returned to Earth after the Fall of Reach. Many of the doctors from ONI had referred to him as Sierra-115, which gave it all away to him.

    "Sierras.... assist.... swarmed!" the woman replied, though broken.

    "Peer to peer comms. are jammed by the interference from the ship." Blaine said. "What is your position?"

    "East... our....posit... 115."

    Blaine shook his head in disbelief. First the ones on the comms. mentioned Sierras, but they even knew his number? Were these soldiers fellow Spartans requesting assistance? Were him and the Chief not the only Spartans left?

    "Understood, I'm on my way." Blaine said. "Sit tight, I'll be there shortly."

    "What is this 'I' nonsense?" Craig asked, flicking his wrist and disarming the sword. "We're going with you."

    "No, I need you all to get to the Aura. This outbreak's going to get worse before it gets better, and you and I both know what happened to Josh."

    "How are we going to get back to the Aura, even if I wanted to go?" Craig asked. "There's no way we can contact the bridge for a Pelican."

    "No." Rika shook her head. "However, us Sangheili can contact the Shadow of Intent, they can send a Phantom for transport."

    "Good," Blaine nodded. "We still have to find out where Truth went, and whatever the hell that blue orb in the sky is. When you get back to the Aura, have Autumn send a Pelican for me."

    With that, Blaine sprinted off to the East. Craig stared after him for a time, as Anch stepped in his way with a silent shake of his head.


    Gunfire rang out from the utter wasteland that had once been the town of Voi. Screams of pain and the damned echoed throughout like some horrific biblical rendition of Hell. Flood forms jumped high into the air, as a mixture of Plasma and ballistic rounds entered the sky to shoot them down.

    "Sierra-115 acting on the previous hail, anyone respond?"

    "Thank god." one of the woman voices filled the mic. "We're picking up your IFF tag. I'm getting swarmed here, and I have wounded."

    "Where are you?" Blaine asked.

    "Can you see the lens flair?" the voice asked.

    Blaine glanced around for a moment to see what was miraculously the only building left standing following the explosion. Towards the top of the old airport watchtower, Blaine could make out a small lens flair, the dust from the Covenant Cruiser explosion limiting the amount of sunlight it could reflect.

    In that same instance, he watched a crimson fireball erupt into the side of the building, about midway down. With the trail from the ballistic, Blaine realized it was a Scorpion tank firing on their position.

    "Whoever is in that tank, hold your fire!"

    The Scorpion, however, did not seem to yield to his order, and fired again at the tower. He followed the trail this time to the source of the tungsten round, where the Scorpion found itself wedged between two collapsed buildings. The cannon at the top was free to turn as it pleased, but it's treads in it's entirety was completely covered.

    "Blaine! This building can't take another hit. Please, stop them!"

    How did the person know his name? Blaine assumed they were Spartans as well, but this practically confirmed it. Clearly the operator of the tank couldn't hear him, or didn't care. Sprinting over towards the tank, it seemed the operator picked him up on it's radar, turning the cannon to meet his approach.

    As it did, however, Blaine heard a crack from the sniper rifle in the tower. The armor piercing round struck the cannon, regaining the attention of the Scorpion pilot. Blaine continued his sprint towards the Scorpion, diving onto the top of the hull. Unsurprisingly, the pilot was in fact not friendly, biomass oozing out of the cockpit and across the top of the tank.

    The biomass on top was as hard as the metal that made up the Scorpion, which made Blaine wonder if the Flood were capable of adapting to their surroundings to survive. As a Parasite, it would make sense that it's one true goal was to survive while infecting all that it can to grow.

    His attention turned to the cannon above his head, the flood form itself may have made itself hard as metal, but that didn't mean it couldn't be destroyed. Reaching up to the cannon, Blaine used his strength to bend the cannon down on itself. He jumped backwards as he finished the bend, just in time for one of the shells from the tank exited the cannon's tube, smashing directly into the Scorpion's cockpit.

    The shell pierced the metal like skin of the Flood biomass, and exploded within, causing the Scorpion to erupt into a massive fireball. Blaine grunted as he smashed into the asphalt from the force the explosion emitted. Standing to his feet, Blaine brushed some dust off of himself, before trotting towards the tower.

    The inside of the airport watch tower was completely void of anything, as it had all been moved hastily to the front door as a blockade. The explosions that had riddled the building had thankfully destroyed the glass of the door, allowing Blaine to clamber through. Opting to ignore the likely broken elevator, Blaine quickly ascended the stairs leading up to the top of the tower.

    As he opened the door to the main lookout, he was greeted by a group of people, two Spartans and a handful of civilians. One of them, of course, walked up to Blaine, pointing his index finger towards him.

    "I'm beginning to think you're a bad omen. Everywhere you go, all hell breaks loose." Charlie growled. "I just got to Earth from Reach a few months ago, landed this job to help my growing family, and then you show back up and here comes the Covenant."

    "Consider it Karma then." Blaine said, stepping past him. "I heard there was wounded, how many?"

    "Not even a hello?" one of the Spartans said, turning to him. "Six, she's one of them."

    The Spartan turned her head to the other Spartan on the ground. Blaine took a knee beside the Spartan, before gently placing a hand on her shoulder. His eyes scanned over her armor for a moment, there were a couple of burn marks here and there, but ultimately it was nothing fatal from what he could see.

    "Lily, run a scan. Let me know the results." Blaine said. "Can everyone walk?"

    "It's not fatal." Lily said. "However, she'll need serious medical attention. Lieutenant Oh-seven-six, you'll be fine."

    "Katherine?' Blaine asked, as the Spartan on the floor slowly nodded.

    "Guess we're even now, eh?" Katherine replied with a Spartan smile.

    "Lorelei?" Blaine turned to the first Spartan, as she nodded.

    "It took you long enough." she chuckled. "Do we have a transport on the way?"

    "Yeah." Blaine said. "Lily, what's the ETA on those Pelicans?"

    "Five minutes tops." Lily spoke through his external microphone.

    "Alright then. Listen up everyone, get ready to move!" Lorelei spoke up, which was rare for her. "We're going to get you all to a safe shelter. Get everyone stabilized and on their feet. Time is of the essence people."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 7th 2017, 6:22 pm

    "Get Katherine to the medical wing." Blaine said, as Lorelei stood beside him. "We can talk after we've assured her survival."

    "Affirmative." Lorelei nodded, Katherine's arm wrapped around her shoulder. "Come on Kat, we can talk to him later."

    "So those are the Lorelei and Katherine from your old team roster." Lily mused. "Interesting, those two."

    Blaine snorted at Lily's muse, shaking his head. Of course Lily didn't know about them, considering she had never met him. To Blaine, however, they were his everything. He didn't sleep without thinking of them and Jorge. He didn't look at his armor without remembering the day all of the Spartans were first introduced to Mjolnir. They weren't just interesting, they were home.

    "That they are." Blaine said with a nod. "I'm just glad to see them alive."

    "I wish I could say the same." Lily frowned. "I am affected by death, but I cannot actually feel. It's a shitty existence... pardon my french."

    "I think you've been hanging around Craig too long." Blaine smirked. "Can you do a quick orbital scan of Earth, see how bad the infection has spread?"

    "I don't have to." Lily said. "Lord Hood authorized the use of the Elite's glassing technology to cauterize and quarantine Africa. In fact, we have an incoming hail from Lord Hood himself. Patching you through."

    "Lord Hood, sir." Blaine nodded.

    "What's your status, son?"

    "Green, sir." Blaine replied, pacing throughout the hall, just outside of the vehicle bay.

    "You were a part of the makeshift peace summit for the Elites and a representative of Human ground forces. I'm currently on board the Shadow of Intent and about to meet with the Elite leadership about the blue orb." Lord Hood sighed. "As such, I need your attendance, Spartan."

    "I'll get a Pelican fit to turn and burn sir, over and out."


    Blaine stood at the end of the table, just behind Lord Hood. The congregation of Elites and Humans met in the middle of the bridge for the Separatist faction's Flagship the Shadow of Intent. The floating blue eye ball hummed to himself as a beam of orange, white, and blue energy swirled from the eye towards what appeared to be a Covenant construct, or black box.

    The Master Chief and the Arbiter stood side by side, Chief of the Human side of the table, the Arbiter on the Elite side. At the far end of the table, an Elite in pure white armor sat in a graviton chair, hovering above the floor. One of his lower left mandibles was missing entirely. A handful of Elites stood behind the white Elite, serving as body guards, no doubt. Beside Lord Hood, but in front of Blaine, Commander Keyes stood with her arms diligently by her side.

    "Will it live, Oracle?" the white armored Elite asked. "Can it be saved?"

    The metallic sphere shook it's form with a mixture of delight and sorrow. The very action of which caused shivers to crawl down Blaine's back. This AI had very mixed emotions about just about any scenario that the mech found itself in.

    "Uncertain." Spark, as Blaine had overheard Keyes refer the mech, replied. "This storage device has suffered considerable trauma. It's internal matrices are suffering heavily, making them highly unstable."

    Lord Hood scoffed at the blue mech, turning his head in search of support from both Blaine and Keyes, before his eyes settled on the Elite at the end of the table. "Perhaps one of our technicians can-"

    "Believe you I, that will not be necessary." the Elite said.

    In a flash of blue, a miniature figure of Cortana appeared on the table. She called out to John, staring right at him. Blaine couldn't really see her face from his position, but he knew she was either alarmed or scared, considering the tone in her voice. Spark cheered to himself, shaking his form like a miniature dance of self approval.

    "High Charity, the Prophet's Holy City is on it's way to Earth." Cortana crossed her arms. "It's home to an army of Flood."

    "I don't have time to tell you everything, the Gravemind knows I'm in it's systems." Cortana said, her holographic avatar flickering like a glitch, almost seemingly paused.

    "It's just a message." John turned to the Shipmaster.

    "Let it play." the Elite said, rubbing it's neck in curiosity. "I am interested to know what the construct has to say."

    Spark turned to the message form of Cortana, and with another quick zap from it's energy beam, the message resumed.

    "-but it doesn't know about the portal on Earth- where it leads!" Cortana said, still walking towards John. "On the other side, there is a solution; a way to stop the Flood without activating the rings."

    Blaine cursed Mendez for teaching him proper protocol in that moment. There were many things that upset him, but there were none so frightening as the Flood. If there was a way on the other side of that blue portal that meant an end to the damnable space zombies without pulling the plug on every species ever, he was more inspired than ever to locate it. The urge to yell 'Hell Yeah' resonated within him, but as he had done for many years, he buried the urge.

    His will to cheer, however, died immediately when Cortana suddenly grabbed at her head and let loose a pained cry. Her avatar collapsed to her hip, as her right hand feebly reached out to Chief. Had the Gravemind located her? He didn't know exactly what a Gravemind was, but by it's title he assumed it was the de facto leader of the Flood in some way or another.

    "Hurry Chief, the Ark. There isn't much time."

    As Cortana finished speaking, her avatar continued to flicker. She was paused in an endless loop, her avatar glitching as it did so. Spark attempted to start the message again, but was unable to do anything. The message avatar continued to flicker, as Spark turned to the Shipmaster.

    "I am sorry, there is little more I can do."

    "That will suffice, Oracle." the Shipmaster said. "We have heard all we need. Our fight is through the Portal, against the Brutes and the bastard Truth!"

    The Elites within the bridge, with the exception of the Ship Master, Arbiter, or even Anch, cheered at the white Elite's words. Blaine crossed his arms, as Lord Hood and the other delegates at the table turned to watch the resounding war cry of the Elites. With a deep sigh, Lord Hood shrugged.

    "Fine. We'll stay here, hold out as long as we can."

    To Blaine, it sounded almost like Lord Hood was about to admit defeat. Committing the Home Fleet to defend against a Flood invasion was tactical, but without a proper fleet or defense platforms to shoot it out of the sky, it would end in disaster. If Humanity went with the Elites and found that solution Cortana had mentioned, however, they might stand a stronger chance.

    Blaine was not the only one to feel this way, as the Shipmaster leaned forward, with a slight hiss in his voice.

    "Did you not hear? Your world is doomed." the Shipmaster replied, his chair lowered, getting to his feet to stand directly in front of the table. "A Flood army, a Gravemind even, has you in it's sights. You've just barely survived a small contamination."

    "May I remind you, Shipmaster, than you just glassed half a continent?" Lord Hood scoffed. "Maybe the Flood isn't all I should be worried about."

    "Sir, with respect." Blaine approached. "Had they not glassed the continent, the entire planet would have been infected, and we'd be blaming them for not doing anything."

    "On that same note." the Shipmaster snarled. "A single Flood spore can devastate a species, were it not for the Arbiter and your Warrior's counseling, I would have gladly glassed this entire planet."

    Lord Hood tensed as he leaned forward on the table, fists clenched. Keyes however, turned to the Admiral, placing a hand delicately on his shoulder.

    "Sir. The Captain and the Elites are right. Cortana has a solution." Keyes nodded.

    "Cortana? Didn't you see the condition she was in? How much damage she sustained? It's highly possible she's been corrupted, or worse. For all we know, this could just be some elaborate Flood trap." Hood shook his head.

    "We should go through the Portal, find out for sure." Keyes said, glancing at Blaine, the Elites, and the Chief.

    "What we should do, Commander, is understand that this is Humanity's last chance at survival." Hood placed both of his hands gently on her shoulder. "If we go now, we risk every man, woman, hell, every child on Earth. If we stay, we might just stand a chance. Tell me, are you willing to risk everything for that?"

    "No." the Arbiter said, turning towards Hood. "If your construct is wrong, than the Flood has already won."

    "He's right, sir." Blaine said. "If we don't go, we'll be taking a huge risk. If we succeed, the war is over and Humanity is saved. If we fail, no-one will be left to blame us."

    "I'll find Cortana's solution." John said, his helmet scanning over Blaine and Hood. "-and I'll bring it back."

    "Not alone you won't." Blaine said. "The Aura and I'll go to support the operation."

    "Earth is all Humanity has left. Do you Spartans truly trust Cortana this much?"

    "Sir, yes sir." Blaine and John replied with a nod.

    "This is either the best decision you've made or the worst." Hood sighed, glancing between the Spartans. "I doubt if I'll live long enough to find out either way."

    Hood began to march away, a pair of ODST guards prepping as he approached. The Admiral stopped, however, in time to turn to Blaine, Keyes, and John.

    "Captain, Commander, this is your operation now. You're all alone on this, if you fail, no-one can come to help you." Hood sighed. "God speed. I'll pray the mission is a success, it's the only thing Humanity's got left."

    "We'll be back in time for supper, sir." Blaine said. "Commander, rally your men. Shipmaster, arm your Elites for large scale war. I don't care if we have to fight with missing limbs, we're going to tear that Prophet off of his throne, and we're ending this war- once and for all."



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    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Empty Re: Origins: Final Hour

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on January 7th 2017, 9:16 pm

    Blaine grunted as he hefted a pair of Covenant Ghosts, one under each arm. It was no small task, as both were insanely heavy, even for him, but he managed to make due. The idea was to arm both factions with enough guns and supplies so that neither group would be at a supreme disadvantage when they went through the Portal.

    That meant that the Humans would offer the Elites their weapons and enough ammo to cover them, and the Elites would reciprocate with weapons and vehicles. Blaine, being the large imposing Spartan he was, was tasked with transporting the vehicles between them. Meanwhile, Sergeant Major Johnson and even the Arbiter helped with the transportation.

    Unsurprisingly, Blaine watched several ODSTs and even Marines stand away from the Elites, who also sat around. Relations between them were still shaky as a result of decades of war, there was no doubt, but in that moment, he needed them to get a move on and work together. After dropping the Ghosts into the vehicle bay of the Aura, Blaine turned to the lazing group of factions with a harsh, ear piercing whistle.

    The Marines and ODSTs jumped to their feet, as Johnson and the Arbiter sweeped past them, carrying as many weapons and ammunition as they could. Even Guilty Spark was assisting however he could, floating above everyone's head and attempting to motivate them. When everyone was bustling, he was about to step back into the vehicle bay of his parked Frigate, when he turned to see the Chief and Miranda start to see Lord Hood off.

    Blaine himself had donated a Pelican for the Admiral to use to get back to where he was needed on Cairo. Detouring, he made his way to the ramp, standing beside the Chief and beside Miranda, as the ramp on the Pelican began to close, sealing the Admiral off.

    "Preparations are nearly complete." Blaine said. "If you need me, I'll be addressing my crew on the Aura. Commander, Master Chief."


    It had been an hour since the Aura followed the Forward Unto Dawn and the Shadow of Intent into the giant blue Portal. As Slipspace travel generally liked to work, some journeys lasted seconds, others lasted days. With time being of the utmost essence, it grated Blaine to the core that they were stuck in this timeless purgatory until it decided to regurgitate them.

    He laid in his Captain's quarters, opting to take a quick siesta before things hit the fan. What he was not expecting, however, was the door to his quarters to open. Jumping to a constant alert, Blaine was expecting the ship to be out of Slipspace. If that was the case, he would need to hurriedly put his armor on and prepare for combat operations.

    Instead, Lorelei stood in the door, arms folded gently across her chest. She was outside of her armor, which was odd considering the protocol that Spartans had to maintain, although now he considered the protocol was put in motion for when they were still children. Now, however, she was an adult. Much like Blaine, Lorelei had likely spent a lot of time in cryogenic sleep, which helped them both look and feel much younger than they legally were.

    Blaine was legally forty one, being born in 2511, though his body gave off the appearance of a man in his early to mid thirties. Lorelei, again, was of no exception. Blaine, when they were younger, had always seen his fellow Spartans in their black undersuits. However, that was when they were still young and abstinence was drilled in their mind.

    "So Captain now, eh?" Lorelei smirked. "You really went up in the world."

    "True as that may be. I'm still a Spartan, and I always will be." Blaine said. "I never forgot about you or Katherine."

    "We know."

    Lorelei walked over to the bed as Blaine sat up. He slid himself along the side of the bed to offer her enough room to sit beside him. With the invitation, she did so. The first thing she did, of course, was wrap her arms snugly around him in a tight hug.

    "We thought you were with the others." Lorelei's words were paused between silent sobs. "When they-"

    "It's okay." Blaine returned the hug. "I promised you back in training that I wasn't ever going to die on any of you. That still holds true to this day."

    "It's just us left." Lorelei buried her head in his shoulder. "You, Katherine, John, and I."

    "I doubt that." Blaine growled, his mind wandering to the freakish mutant Butch that was currently the pet of the Legion. "Spartans are more resilient than that. I take solace knowing that each and every Spartan that died on Reach died taking many Covenant bastards with them."

    There was silence between them for a moment, as Blaine desperately tried to get Lorelei's silvery hair out of his face. When he finally managed to do so, he gently ran his hand up and down the length of her back to encourage her.

    "Lily, keep the door locked strictly for emergencies." Blaine said. "No-one needs to see a Spartan cry. More importantly, unless we're about to go into combat, I'd like to catch up with an old friend."

    "It's locked." Lily said, a small avatar of her appearing by the door. "If you need me, you need only say my name. I'll be assisting the bridge crew until we're ready to mobilize."

    "Thank you." Blaine said. "Is Katherine okay too?"

    "Yeah." Lorelei smiled briefly. "She'll be combat ready by the time we need boots on the ground."

    "Good." Blaine sighed in relief. "We lost Jorge, we can't afford to lose anyone else."

    "I'm sorry." Lorelei frowned. "I know he was like a brother to you."

    "His memory is what helps me keep going." Blaine nodded with a smile. "That's all we can do for the fallen, remember them."

    Once again, silence fell in the Captain's Quarters. Lorelei and Blaine sat, having long since released from the hug. Suddenly, Lorelei broke out into a mixture of giggles and chuckles of laughter. Blaine stared at her with confusion, before she looked up at him with her striking emerald eyes.

    "You're a real card, you know that?" she chuckled, wiping a tear from her eye.

    "How so?" Blaine asked.

    "You're just so oblivious." Lorelei lightly slapped him on the shoulder. "In all of our years of knowing each other, you never got the hint, did you?"

    "What hint?" Blaine asked.

    He was legitimately curious. In most situations, Blaine could pick up on anything that was happening. In this instance, however, he was completely, as she said, oblivious to what she was implying. With nary a sign of warning, Lorelei wrapped her arms around his neck and proceeded to plant her lips on his.

    Blaine's eyes widened to the point where his left eye twitched. In his shock, his eyes scanned the back wall wildly, before settling back onto hers once more. She looked calm, almost at peace with herself from the act. Witnessing her peace brought some to himself, along with a warmth that traveled from his head down to his toes. Was this what love was like? For Blaine, the closest thing to mutual love he had ever felt was the kinship he shared with his Spartans and even the ODSTs Phil, Josh, Craig, and Morgan.

    This was on a scale far above anything Blaine had ever experienced before. Within a moment, however, it was over, as Lorelei shyly removed herself. As she started to stand, however, Blaine gently reached out and placed his hand gingerly on her arm.

    "Is this what you meant?" Blaine asked. "You wanted to kiss me?"

    "It's not just that, Blaine." Lorelei said, crossing her arms from her embarrassment. "Ever since the day Katherine and I met you and Jorge in training. You always seemed like someone cast to the side and neglected."

    "My parents died before I was two." Lorelei sighed. "I was forced to live with my Aunt Gertrude. She was a nasty bitch, so I always went to Katherine's house to get away from her. That was the night the UNSC kidnapped us both."

    "I felt some sort of personal connection to you, when we first met, I mean." Lorelei chuckled nervously. "I guess you could say I had a bit of a crush on you, Blaine."

    Blaine felt embarrassed for a moment, heat forming in his cheeks as the blood rushed to them. Though Morgan always viewed him as a son, and the truth that Craig was his father made it blatantly clear how much Craig actually cared for him, Blaine never truly felt 'loved' in this sense of the word.

    "I actually came to you because I had a question." Lorelei continued, avoiding his eyes. "If we're successful here, and the war is over. Well, I was just wondering, sir, if-"

    Blaine wasn't entirely sure what went through him in that moment, other than it felt right to do. Gently, but with a sense of firmness, Blaine pulled her close to him and surprised her with a kiss on the lips, just as she had done to him before. It lasted for a few seconds, before he gently pulled away.

    Her cheeks were bright red, as her emerald eyes scanned frantically. After a moment, her eyes met with his, as the two smiled gently.

    "That a good enough answer?" Blaine asked with a smirk. "I've never actually been good at these kinds of things, so, you know."

    "It was perfect." Lorelei grinned. "Shall we lie down?"

    Lily's avatar popped up at the door for just a moment to mention something. However, as she looked at the two Spartans, her eyes widened and her mouth gaped for a second before shaking her head desperately. In the same flash of light as she appeared, the AI was gone.


    Blaine snapped awake as he heard the ship around them shudder. To his right, he was surprised to see Lorelei still there. The events that had occurred before they fell asleep were... interesting, to say the least. However, he couldn't complain, the truth was, he had always taken a liking to Lorelei more than the others. He loved them all equally, but Lorelei was special to him in a way he previously couldn't describe.

    "Lily, what was that thump?" Blaine asked, as the AI appeared before him.

    "Slipspace pothole." Lily smirked devilishly. "Though we're assuming that the jump is ending in thirty minutes. That's enough time for another bout if you-"

    "Let's not bring that up." Blaine said. "You didn't watch, did you?"

    "When it started, I popped in to mention something. Not much talking with what your mouth was doing though." Lily said. "Yeesh."

    "Knock it off, that's an order." Blaine replied. "Look away while I dress."

    His eyes turned to the pair of black undersuits thrown hastily on the floor. Whatever had overcome him the 'night' before was either gone or suppressed, or at least he hoped so. Now was the time for focus, and he self berated himself for falling for such carnal things. Still, he couldn't help occasionally looking over towards Lorelei's sleeping form and smile a bit.

    When he was younger, in his teenage years, he had always sort of hoped that she liked him as much as he liked her. However, he was always so damned shy, even when he was the confident leader Orange Team was looking for, he never actually confessed. The events that took place here were more than what he had ever hoped for.

    Quickly, yet quietly, Blaine put on his under suit. He heard Lorelei rustle behind him, as he silently handed her the suit. She took the suit in her hands and, with speed, adorned it once more. With Blaine's help, the back of the suit was zipped up once more. She slid down the length of the bed, sitting on the bed with her knees, directly behind him.

    "Morning, Blaine."

    "Good 'morning'." Blaine yawned for a second, as she gently pressed her lips to his cheek.

    "God man, you need to shave a little bit." Lorelei chuckled. "You could scratch yourself with that scraggly beard."

    Blaine looked in the mirror, it had been quite some time since he was last outside of his suit long enough to notice. He had a bit of a beard growing, but lacked the necessary means to actually shave it. Standing, he moved to his suit rack in the corner, unsheathing the knife from it.

    He worked his way into the bathroom, running the water for a moment. He ran the blade gently, but to some degree swiftly across the beard. It wasn't enough to shave it entirely, but it did leave a nice five o'clock shadow across his jawline. He decided to opt out of shaving his mustache, leaving a circular goatee in it's place.

    When he returned to the main bedroom of his quarters, he noticed Lorelei staring at Lily's console with her arms crossed. It was rare to see Lorelei with an irritated expression.

    "What was that flash just now?" Lorelei asked.

    "Malfunction with the avatar system." Lily said, though Blaine doubted the legitimacy of the statement.

    "No, I think you just snapped my picture." Lorelei said. "Delete the picture."

    "Hey, you're important to Blaine." Lily said with the verbal equivalent of a shrug. "As his partner, I figured a picture of you would be the perfect moral booster whenever he's down."

    Lorelei fumed for a second, as Blaine cleared his throat. Both Lorelei and the now appeared avatar of Lily both turned to face him. Lily smiled at his new facial hair look, while Lorelei smirked. She walked over to him with a smile, before pecking him on the cheek again.

    "So this is pretty embarrassing, but could you go get my armor for me?" Lorelei asked. "The engineers on board needed to give it a quick update. They figured they'd be done within a couple of hours or so."

    "So we just barely become a couple, and you're already making me do chores?" Blaine chuckled.

    "That's the beauty of relationships, Captain." Lily chuckled. "Men do what the women want, and the women do what they want. It's the circle of life."

    With a silent nod, Blaine left his quarters and walked immediately down the hall to the engineering section of the ship. As expected, the second he walked inside, the several engineers all saluted him.

    "Captain, we honestly weren't expecting your company." one of them said. "Staff Sergeant Earl McKenzie, Head Engineer for the Aura. I'm the one you can count on to keep the ship operatin' correctly. To what do we owe the honor?"

    "Well met Staff Sergeant." Blaine returned the salute. "Though I don't know how I feel about you making it out to sound like I'm a king or something. Anyways, a Spartan came in here for a routine maintenance check up on their armor?"

    "The one with the rockin' tits and nice ass?" McKenzie nodded. "Yeah, she was through here."

    "That Spartan just so happens to be a good friend of mine, son." Blaine replied gruffly. "She's more than a sex symbol, understood?"

    The Sergeant took a step back with eyes widened, the toothpick resting on his lower lip dropping to the floor. "I'm sorry sir, didn't realizing you twos were a thing."

    "Just show some respect, there are other women aboard this ship." Blaine growled. "Armor."

    The tech Sergeant vigorously nodded his head, before beckoning Blaine to follow him. Rounding the corner, Lorelei and Katherine's sets of Mjolnir armor were rested on wheeled racks. Blaine took one rack, one to each hand, and with a little resistance at first, managed to get the two suits rolling.

    After leaving the Engineering wing, Blaine made his way back to his quarters. The door opened as Lily inspected his arrival, wheeling the racks inside, Blaine waited for Lorelei to put on her armor. When she finished, she turned to him.

    "I see you met my number one fan, based off of your stance."

    Blaine hadn't noticed it, but it was true. His fists were balled tightly into fists, and his feet spread just so that it looked more so that he was ready to throttle someone.

    "He made some comments deemed unsatisfactory." Blaine shrugged. "You catch him doing it again, I'll have him thrown in the brig for sexual harassment."


    "Furious." Blaine said.

    "Hi, I'm Lorelei." she smirked. "Relax. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll bring this armor to Katherine. We'll meet up at the armory, okay?"


    Blaine waited as Lorelei took her and Katherine's racks out of the room. When they were alone, he turned to Lily's avatar in the corner. She had her arms lightly folded behind her back, apparently whistling to herself, while bouncing on the tips of her toes.

    "Out with it." Blaine turned to her.

    "Wellll, since you asked so nicely." Lily smiled. "Passenger photos are taken after the ride. Five dollars at the front of the amusement park."

    "Very funny. How many did you take?"

    "Just the one." Lily said. "Transferring it to you now. By the way, message from the bridge. I think we're dropping back into normal space."

    Data received.... analyzing Loreleiisadorable.png file... loading... Done!
    Origins: Final Hour - Page 4 Lorele10
    Picture credit to my good friend Kayla. Deviantart: http://soriannaart.deviantart.com/

    "That's a great picture." Blaine nodded, transferring the file to another location in his suit's databanks. "Next time though, ask?"


    "How long ago did we arrive?" Blaine asked.

    "About an hour ago. Two maybe." Autumn replied. "Lily insisted you needed some rest, and we've had things pretty much covered. I figured you getting some rest would help you when you inevitably went top side."

    "The Master Chief inserted with a team of ODSTs in the desert region of the Ark. Commander Keyes and her crew were able to establish a foothold and locate the Ark's Cartographer. They've located Truth, but that's where you come in."

    The visual display of the bridge changed from the original blueprint of the Ark to a more topographical display of a forest covered region. In that region, and along the coast to the inlands, stood a trio of towers, each dispersed several kilometers apart.

    "The Prophet of Truth has holed himself in through an indestructible barrier. We have reason to believe he has isolated the location of the control room." Autumn sighed, running a hand through her hair. "That's why I instructed Lily to wake you, time is of the essence, and God know's we're running out. We located a power source for the Ark towards the southern most province of the main island, towards the center of this installation."

    "Aerial scans show that the area is snow covered, but a contingent of Brutes has been mobilized to prevent Humanity from stepping in and cutting the power on the Prophet's final heinous act." Autumn said. "It's come to my attention that the other Spartans of Orange Team are on board. We've sent Anch and his Elites to spear-head the operation to try and distract the Brutes guarding the power source."

    "If we can knock it out, it should buy the Commander's team some time to assassinate Truth and find Cortana's solution afterwards." Autumn sighed, catching her breath.

    "Needless to say, we lost contact with Anch and his team. There is a bit of a blizzard down there, so we'll be sending a piloted Pelican down to scout for you after the mission is complete. Priority is obviously to shut down the source of power, forcing the Ark to take on it's secondary generator. Secondary objective is to locate Anch, because I know you'll want to do that anyways."



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