Halo: Array - A Halo Novelisation

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction

"There will be no more sadness, no more anger, no more envy..."

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue: Dread Intrusion

Submitted: February 06, 2019

Reads: 464

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 06, 2019



Dread Intrusion


  Avery groaned as he hit the mud. Dirt splashed into his eyes as he crawled through the murky puddle, scrambling to get back to his feet as quickly as he could. He heard the deep growling and gurgling of the terrifying monsters close behind. His knees and elbows kept slipping as he struggled for a hold onto something amongst the thick sludge. Very little light pierced the canopy high above offering only a faint silvery glow over the heavy fog that surrounded him. Not even the bizarre luminescent plants glowing a dim green off-and-on could guide him through the darkness.

  The growling grew louder, followed by a chilling scream. The monsters were getting closer. Avery’s hand felt something long and firm. It was a wet dirt-covered tree root sticking out from the ground. He gripped it with both hands, pulled himself up onto his knees and then shakily but steadily rose to his feet. He tramped his boots lightly in through thick puddles around him until he found drier ground. It was still soft and damp but not flooded like the rest of the misty swampland he’d found himself trapped within. He took his chances and began treading through the black soil.

  Avery’s pace quickened as he heard the monsters grow nearer. He would have to start sprinting if her were to escape the horror… If he could escape the horror. Every man and woman in Avery’s platoon had fallen to these monsters. So far, he’d been lucky, but such luck could not last, not inside this nightmare. His eyes adjusted very slightly, allowing him to see only shadows and silhouettes amongst the gloom. He ran faster and faster, every now and then sliding momentarily in the muck before regaining his balance and continuing onwards. The branches and trunks of the trees around him only served to quicken his heartbeat as their twisted profiles reminded him of the threat that drew closer.

  Suddenly, Avery’s boot struck something solid metal. It clicked as it was knocked further into the mud. Avery bent over and swept the object up with his muddy hands. His fingers moved along its cold surface to explore its manufactured cast. It was an MA5B Assault Rifle, and it was still loaded. Avery hugged it tightly to his chest as he scurried further through the swamp.


  Goosebumps covered Avery’s skin, generated by the monsters’ intense cry. If they so much as touched him, he was gone. Suddenly, he tripped and fell to the ground again. The momentum caused him to roll over through the black water before leaping back up again. He turned to see what had tripped him, and saw the outline of a bloated, helmet-wearing corpse bobbing in the water. It was a cruel fate for a man to die out here, but an even crueller fate to subject him to the terror that awaited. Avery pointed the assault rifle at the soldier’s dead body and pulled the trigger. The sound would alert the monster, but he held no misconceptions that they didn’t already know his exact position.

  The rifle’s automatic fire thundered loudly while the muzzle flash lit up the swamp around Avery a bright yellow. The bullets tore the body apart and darkened the water even further. Avery turned and continued running, but he could not run forever. He glanced at the thick wooden trunks around him as he leapt forward through the dark. He pondered climbing the trees to their upper branches and perhaps escaping the darkness altogether, but then again, the monsters would likely follow, and he’d find himself at a dead end. His only hope was in contacting other survivors. Perhaps he still had friends out there who had not yet encountered this peril.

  Avery performed a sharp U-turn and sprinted back in the direction he had come. He raised the barrel of his MA5B at the moving shadows in the mist as he ran back. The awful shapes of his enemies grew to life as the assault rifle’s flash lit up the swamp once more. The closest shape stumbled back, followed by another monster closely behind it as Avery’s bullets hit their mark; but they did not appear to be harmed, only stunned. Avery’s boots hit the armour of the dead soldier. The puddle was a mess of sodden flesh and blood. Avery ignored it as he reached down and pulled the helmet from the dismembered head of his fallen ally. The rotting head fell out from the metal with a plop in the puddle as Avery turned and sprinted away again, placing the helmet over his head as he ran.

  This time, the dreadful cries from the monsters were followed by the hammering of fired human weapons; weapons stolen by the monsters. Bullets whizzed past Avery’s shoulders as he hurried away. He used the trees to shield himself the creatures’ firing, bending left and right around the trunks.

  Eventually the bullets stopped, allowing Avery to pause behind cover. His throat wheezed as he gasped for breath. Had the monsters already ran out of ammunition? Avery also noticed they’d stopped growling. He thought back to what he’d seen earlier in the underground structure. If these vile abominations had now stopped shooting at him, that could only mean one thing… And that boded much worse for Avery Johnson.

  Avery inhaled a cloud of fog before running further. He activated the communications device or com in his helmet and called out for help.

  “Mayday! Mayday! This is Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson. Can any UNSC personnel hear me? Please respond! Over.”

  His voice shook as he ran. There was no response. He tried again.

  “Mayday! This is a non-commissioned UNSC officer calling for assistance! I need help down here! Service number two-four-seven-“

  Avery stopped. He heard the buzzing of a replying com in his ears, but could not make out any of the words. The canopy was preventing the transmissions from making it through. He needed to find higher ground, but how? Then he realised. He kicked himself for being so stupid. He maneuverer his fingers around the assault rifle until he found what he was looking for; a torch located directly below the barrel. He flicked the switch.

  Avery’s heart leapt into his throat as the white light revealed one of the contorted, foul creatures directly ahead of him in the fog. He squeezed the trigger as tightly as he could and watched specks of rancid flesh fly off the monster before it fell. Like with the others he’d shot, Avery wasn’t foolish enough to assume he’d killed it. He changed direction and began running to his left. He ran holding the MA5B’s flashlight pointed ahead of him the entire time. Whether or not the light was on, the monsters would follow closely. It was only a matter of time before they would tear into him, mangling his body and turning him into food. He would do anything to prevent that.

  Soon Avery found an area of the ground that sloped upwards where the dirt got drier. He followed the slope as best as he could, stepping over roots and around shallower puddles of water. After a while of jogging up the slope, his strength began to wither. His adrenaline could only take him so far. He stopped and activated his com once more.

  “This is Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson. Can anybody hear me?!”

  “This is Echo Two-Oh-Five, Warrant Officer Polanski. We read you Sergeant, loud and clear. There’s a clearing about two hundred metres north-east of your position. Can you get there? Over.”

  “I’ll try!” Avery replied. “Over.”

  Not a second had passed after Avery finished his transmission before they were all over him. He shouted maniacally as he fired his assault rifle around the trees. Large fleshy, bulbous sacks launched at him from every direction. Monsters growled louder than ever as they closed in. His bullets stopped. A soft click was all that was heard from his MA5B after it ran out of ammunition. Avery began to swing the rifle like a club. He turned and pushed through the closing flesh as forcefully as he could, and sprinted toward the direction of the clearing. One monstrous blob remained attached to his chest as he ran. He ripped it off with a grunt. The knowledge of a nearby dropship pilot and a likely landing zone instilled newfound hope in the Staff Sergeant. Maybe, just maybe he could survive. Maybe he could find a way home and leave this nightmare behind. Maybe

© Copyright 2019 David Cameron. All rights reserved.


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