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~Chapter 3: Epilogue~ “You know. We could help you. All you have to do is come with us.” The woman in the said to the boy. “I don’t know! I killed my best friend! I’m not sure I want to even live anymore. I hate my guts.” The boy said. Tears rolled down his eyes, it reminded a woman of a storm that once came through this town. A tropical storm to be exact. His tears resembled the rain that day. Heavy and just kept pouring. “We’re not making this a choice. You’re coming with us.” The woman said. “Okay, but what about my family?” The boy asked. “Don’t worry about it, they said it was okay for you to come. They were very dissappointed with your behavior, but they said it was alright. Just come on. It’s alright, your mom and I are freinds. I used to baby-sit her when she was little. Just like you!” The woman said with a smile on her face. The boy wiped his tears off his face, “Alright. I suppose if my mom said I should.” The boy got up off his knees and walked over to the woman and got in the vehicle. -------------------------------------- “Alright. I’m ready to kill whatever I see. Even if it’s just a worm.” Runner hopped out of the Pelican. Feet first. Runner, Junior, Zeff, and Ash were assigned to the desert. Their compass pointed to an enclave of a building of some sort, about forty-clicks from their currrent position. The reason for the so distant landing was because it was in the dark zone. Plus, if there was any Covenant around, they didn’t want to get caught. “Alright, since I’m driving. I’ll let you know who’s going where.” Junior got out of the Pelican after he turned the thrusters off and shut it down. “I’m going to be driving, of course. Zeff takes shotgun, literally. Runner gets flamethrower. Ash, you’ll use both turrets. However, stick to the one you prefer. If we get engaged. We’ll need you to switch back and forth as needed. Is that clear?” They all nodded their head yes. “Dexter do you come in?” Ash opened up the communications with Firestorm. “Yes, loud and clear. What’s up?” Dexter replied. “We’re in the desert. Pelican’s landed, and ready to head out.” Ash told him. “That’s great. Look, we have bad news.” Dexter said. “What is it?” Ash was concerned. Dexter flipped through some things. “Umm. Pelican 2, whom was supposed to reach the island, has gone off the map. It seems they have crashed or something has happened. We’re going to have to pull you out of the desert and sense you all over to investigate.” Dexter finally found the file, he pulled it up on Pelican 3’s visors. They saw Pelican 1 land at their destination, a few clicks from their destination, the cave. “So, we’re going to need you to go to the island. We believe it’s the Installation’s Silent Cartographer, so that’ll be fun.” “Alright, Dexter. We’ll go. Only because their vital to this team and we need them with us.” Ash said. She looked at the others. Junior already had the Warthog reattached to the Pelican. Everyone else was loaded. Ash loaded up. “Alright. Here are the coordinates. Let me know how things go. If you need anything, we’ll be here for orbital support. UNSC Warlord has MAC rounds if anything gets too out of hand. Dexter out.” Dexter broke off the communications. “Well, you heard the man. Let’s go check on our friends.” Zeff said. The Pelican rose. A bunch of something came right after them, they ran at full speed. They were too far for any of them to see what they were. Covenant or Flood? No matter, plasma rounds were being shot at them. Junior punched the thrusters. ETA was one hour. -------------------------------- “You know. This cave doesn’t look too bad after all.” Bek said. She walked in the entrance. “Hello!” She yelled. The only reply she got was an echo, followed by a screech of some sort she had never heard before. “Looks like we’re good to go in. Nothing’s in there.” “Uh, no. I heard a screech. I don’t feel safe going in there.” Caboose said. “Nah, that’s just my tummy.” Bek said. “I’m kinda hungry.” Caboose looked out her like she was an idiot. “That makes no sense.” Was all he had to say. “Look guys. Let’s just take the tank; mount up, then go look for any clues.” Joseph said. Reaper unmounted the tank. Joseph got in the pilot seat, Caboose took the machine gun turret. Bek rode on the side; a rocket launcher and ammunitions laid there for her if she needed it. “Hey guys, hold on just one sec. There’s something in front of the Pelican. I want to check it out.” Reaper walked over to the front of the pelican. “Hey, guys. Wanna come here for a sec?” Reaper said, fright in his voice. Joseph moved the cannon of the tank over to Reaper. Who faced the other side of the Pelican; out of range. “Reaper, I can’t see what you’re looking at from here. What is it?” “I don’t know, let me check.” Reaper dissapeared behind the Pelican. “What is it?’ Bek asked, impatiently. Nothing. A few seconds later, they heard a frightened yell. “Ahh! Get it off me! Get it off me!” Reaper came from the other side of the Pelican. Two flood combat forms jumped on top of him, they broke his visor and lashed at him. Joseph and Caboose revved up their machine gun turrets and took out the flood. “Ah, thanks you guys. Although, I know longer have a helmet. I should be fine.” Reaper stood up, he walked over and bent down to pick up his gun which laid in front of the Pelicans mounted nose gun. Reaper went to turn around and walked over to the Scorpion. Except, instead his head started to get bigger and bigger really fast. “Reaper. What’s wrong with your face? It’s getting....” That was all Bek could say before Reapers head was in Bek’s lap. She screamed. Joseph shot the cannon. “Woah. What happened? Bek’s over here screaming like a twelve year old girl.” Caboose asked Joseph. “Well it appears there was a flood tank form on the other side of the pelican. Reaper was stupid and didn’t pay attention, so it swung it’s scythe looking arm thing at Reapers head, and cut it clean off.” Joseph explaine to them. “Huh. That’s weird.” Caboose said. “Anyways. We need to move. We can’t keep getting stalled like Reaper did. We need to push forward.” Joseph said. The Scorpion entered the massive cave. It was dark outside, but boy was it dark inside. Joseph kicked up the extra set of lights, which included the one that was mounted underneath Michael’s turret. They pushed through the cave. No flood in site nor Covenant. ~End of Chapter 3~
~Chapter 3: Again~ “Let’s go! We’re almost out of here! We just need to contact Warlord and let them know where we’re at. We don’t have much longer down here.” Jackson kept at a push for the tunnel’s exit. He grabbed Dexter, who was completely exhausted, and threw him over his shoulders. Archangel matched his pace with Jackson, “Sir! Mind you, Warlord has left this planet. There’s nothing here, just Covenant ships and that robot! You’re not going to get anywhere. It’s not even worth trying. We’re better off finding an outpost where we can take refuge until they come back.” Jackson looked at him, Archangel couldn’t see through his helmet but he knew he could feel anger. “You mean, if they come back.” Jackson kept his gaze on him with a dead beat. Archangel lowered his pace back to the group. Ashamed and feeling threatened by their only available Commander. Jackson stood at the exit as he waited for everyone. Back turned, Dexter passed out on his shoulder, and quiet. A little too quiet. Frank approached him first. “Jackson?” No response. Frank turned his eyes his way. It was an exit alright. Not the kind they wanted either. Everyone else walked up and saw it too. There was no where to go. A bronze metal platform stood at the end. Blue decal was in the center, unknown identity to any of them. The only way they could go was forward, and climb down, or to go back underground and join Michael in his grave. “You guy’s wait here, I’m going to go up and check things out. See what I can find.” Jackson stated. He laid Dexter on the ground, nice and easy as to not wake him. He carefully removed Dexter’s helmet and set it on his lap. He then proceeded to put him in a restful position. The others watched him as he cared for the poor soldier. After Jackson finished with Dexter, he walked forward towards the platform. The team felt as if an ominous breeze rushed over them. Although none of them paid any attention to it. They all just watched Jackson proceed forward to the dead end. Jackson approached the bronze metal platform, the was something on it. He picked it up, it looked like a wrist band. He put it on his armor. To his surprise, the wristband expanded and tightened. A small dish like object projected from the wristband. Jackson questioned it. He took a quick glance at it. He couldn’t figure it out. He had no idea what it did. He held it in the sky, maybe it was some sort of beacon? Nope. He lowered the weapon then tried again. Nothing, still. He lowered the weapon again, quicker this time, then thrusted it into the sky. A yellow ball flew out of the dish. It looked like a fuel rod gun, but was as fast as a rocket launcher. The ammunition for it looked simply as if it must be like the Spartan Laser, no consumption. Jackson looked around. There was no where to go. Maybe this weapon could help him defeat the robot down in the cave? Jackson started to head back for the others who all sat on top of the hill and watched him as he walked over the platform and back to them. Except he didn’t. “Jackson!” He heard Archangel scream. Too late. Jackson looked around confused. The ground trembled and was shaky. He had a sudden urge to make a run for it. His hesitance failed him. The platform began to float away from the cliff. “JACKSON!” He heard the entire team scream. The platform continued off in the distance. “Jackson...” He could hear a faint scream of the team. He was all alone, the only one able to make it out alive. He just stared at the sky, he knew he failed his mission. The platform stopped. Jackson looked back down. There was no where to get off, this enormous platform took him to the middle of nowhere! He had no way out! “God damn it! I’m separated from my team and there’s no way for them to get to me!” Jackson was furious and angry. He punched the platform in rage and cursed everything he saw. The wristband, his choices, the platform. Everything. Finally he came to a stop. Jackson turned around, he forgot about behind him. He stopped. Fear went through him. His eyes widened, his arms drop, his legs gave out. He was down on his knees. Jackson looked up again to see if it was still there. It was. Another robot. Except, this one was even larger. About six times the size of the last one. This one looked as if it was seventy-four meters tall. It held different technology as well. Which scared Jackson. There was something on the eye, a cannon like object on one arm, the other arm completely replaced with a giant gun of some sort, something on its chest, and a launcher of some sort on the backside of the shoulder. Jackson felt his life’s countdown tick away. The robot spoke, “I have you now.” The thing on its eye lit up. A blue laser powered up and was aimed directly at Jackson. ~End of Chapter 3~