“Chief!” cried Cortana. “Chief, wake up!”
Upon hearing the “soothing” voice of Cortana, Master Chief awoke from his small
“What is it?” he asked, tiredly. “And I hope there’re some aliens to kill, ‘cause waking up
was not on my agenda.”
Cortana projected her image out of his helmet cam. Chief looked at her sourly, although
“Sorry to wake you—“
“No you’re not,” interrupted Chief.
“—but,” she continued, bitterly, “I picked up something, and you and the Arbiter need to hear
“Is it bad?”
“Alright, then. But you still haven’t answered my question.”
“Fine, look up.”
Master Chief looked up… and what he saw made his jaw drop in his helmet. Still looking up,
mouth wide open, he kicked Arbiter in the side to wake him up.
“Ouch!” said the Arbiter. “Now why’d—oh…”
Above them was the largest fleet of Covenant ships that anyone (except Cortana) had ever
Chief turned to Cortana and looked at her with fiery eyes that, although hidden under his
helmet, burned through Cortana’s image. The Arbiter also looked at her with identical intensity.
“Cortana,” said Chief, pointing up towards the fleet, “what the fuck is
“That would be a fleet—"
“I know that, dammit! What in the hell are they doing here?”
“Oh," she said with a sly look."Now that you've asked me so politely, they’re getting ready
“War?” asked Arbiter. “With whom? The brutes have no reason to battle the Covenant. The
Heretics are dead. What is their reason for war?”
“The Flood is back.”
“Of course they are,” said Chief. “They’re always back.”
“But that’s not all. Apparently, the Flood has taken over this Halo.”
“The Halo we’re on,” said Cortana, spreading her arms, “is called Tartarus. We crashed landed
here. You were knocked out by the steering wheel when we hit hyper speed. There,” she pointed behind her, “is our ship.”
Chief looked over Cortana’s shoulder, and even though his face was hidden behind his helmet,
she knew his mouth was wide open.
Before them was amassive wreckage, consisting of metal shrapnel, glass, and a lot of
“How the hell did we survive that?!” said Chief, bewildered.
“When you got knocked out by the sudden jolt when we hit hyper speed,” replied Cortana, “you
fell on an overshield. It helped wonders.”
“How did I survive?” asked the Arbiter.
“Your armor protected you. It may be old, but its power is far beyond what you
The Arbiter examined his armor, then gave Cortana a doubtful look.
“See?” snickered Cortana. “‘Far beyond what you perceive!’”
The Arbiter frowned.
“I take that in offense, Cortana.”
“No you’re not,” interrupted Master Chief.
“Exactly how long do you plan on doing that?”
“A while,” he smiled. “So, what’s our status?”
“Two things: lucky to be alive, and in danger.”
“How are we in danger? The Flood are easy.”
"Do I have to remind you that they have evolved since the last time you've fought them? Plus, Gravemind is a lot stronger
since your 'death.' And when I say stronger, I mean his army is a lot larger."
"Do you have any ideas, Miss Point-Out-the-Obvious?"
“Here is an idea,” interjected the Arbiter. “IfTartarus is totally overwhelmed by Flood, why
don’t we listen for them? They are, as known by experience, very easy to detect. So, all we need to do is set some bait and be quiet.”
"I have some bait for them," said Cheif, taking out his knife, removing his left glove,
slitting his hand, and squeezing some blood onto the ground.
Everyone stood silent. Not a word was said; not a muscle was moved (not that Cortana has any
muscles); nobody did so much as twitch (except for Cortana, who, being a hologram, flickers frequently). At first, nothing came up for quite some time. Finally, a unique noise was
“Poppers at four-o’-clock,” said Cortana.
“Flood Elites at our seven,” said chief.
“Flood Marines coming in same direction.”
“Boomers,” (explosive Flood, not from Left4Dead), “at our six.”
"Aw, shit!" yelled Cheif. "Now we're surrounded! Got any more bright ideas,
“Let us set traps, Demon,” suggested the Arbiter.
"N....yes. That is a good idea. Damn, I didn't have time to rant about how much I really hate
Elites. Except for you of course," he quickly added as the Arbiter reached for his sheathed energy sword. "Hehe."
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