"How very kind of you Mee, I..."
A voice from Mee's armour interupted her.
"Mee, this is Sergeant Murphy. I don't know if you're on comms, but if you are, start heading towards the beacon that's about to go up. Over."
The beacon seemed to be pointing at a shady part of zakera ward.
"We can do the medical later, right now we need to find out why this distress beacon has been activated. Daniel, we need you car." said Athame starting up her customary biotic field again and sucking a few medigel packs as well as Daniels keys into it.
"Let's go Mee!"
Luna saw the rest of the humans arriving and decided it would be best not to have a full scale military conflict going on. The Biotic commando moved to higher ground before jumping down inbetween the two groups."I don't want a full on military fight here. If both sides leave and back down, i'll consider this never happened." She said.
Mee nodded but paused when Luna's voice came though. "Wait... isn't that luna? The commando assigned to my ship?" she said putting on her gauntlets just in case.
"Then let us sit down." He looked around and saw a table, and headed over to it. He tested it out to see if it could handle his weight and he was surprised when it did. Sitting down the Quarian's and Turian sat down. Thinking about it, there was no reason to hide anything.
He breathed in and then out. "This may be hard to believe me, but stick with me. I am not from this dimension. Where I come from, Asari, Quarian's, Turian's, and all of your races, don't exist. Neither do the Protheans I have heard about. Instead Humanity had developed all of the technology you have own its own, and when we finally made contact with aliens in 2525, it wasn't pretty. For the next 27 years, Humanity fought against the Covenant, a collective of alien species under a banner of a false religion. They were told that humanity was heretics, and that they must be eliminated. During this war, hundreds of Human Colonies were glassed, billions of humans, soldiers and civilians perished...You all keeping up?"
The Quarian's didn't know how to respond, this was all... So different than what they had expected.
Kenneth had wandered around the ward from the bar. He wasn't really in the mood to deal with the getting back to his apartment. Walking around, he noticed the man that approached him at the bar being surrounded by Batarians.
Calmly, Kenneth walked up behind the group and said. "I hope you boys aren't going to do something rash..."
Kenneth already started gathering dark energy for a shock nova if necessary....
Quintus paused for a moment as he took in the mass of information that had been presented to him. "Yes... that's impressive. If you want, I can tell you something of the universe here, but if you would prefer to continue, I'm most intrigued."
It looked like it was about to turn into a full riot, so Murphy closed his knife, picked up the bottle of booze, and walked in between the Batarians and slung his arm around the engineer, offering him a drink. Murphy addressed the crowd.
"There's a good bar not too far from here, and I was halfway to being shitfaced, and do not want some streetfight to stop my descent into drunken buffoonery." Murphy started walking in the direction of the bar, leading Alan with him. "You are all welcome to join me. So fall in if you're coming with me."
And with that he started walking, half dragging the engineer to the bar.
Alan had just been readying himself for a fight, cracking his knuckles and pulling his heavy wrench out of the back of his pants. He always kept a wrench on his person, just for emergencies, you understand.
Just as the shit was about to hit the fan, a very drunk UNSC soldier sidled into this little piece of heaven, and without a care in the gorram world, walked drunkenly passed the Batarians and slung a arm over Alan's shoulder. He explained his state of inebriation, and steered Alan away from the group of ugly Batarians.
"Follow me to this rather splendid.... bar, that I found," the drunk UNSC soldier, said, slightly slurred. "A quick question : Do you like Strawberries?"
Alan could only blink in confusion.
What the hell had just happened, and what had strawberries got to do with anything?
Kenneth raised an eyebrow as he watched the drunken marine drag away another one of his friends away from the fight. At least there wasn't a major fight... he thought, allowing the dark energy to dissipate.
Getting on a local cab, Kenneth traveled back to his rented apartment back on Shin Akiba....
That name rang a bell. A formidable biotic commando high up in the Asari military. Athame was sure that she had patched her up on at least one occasion. She must be the one tailing the new arrivals to make sure they didn't cause exactly the sort of incident that it sounded like they were causing.
"Luna, come in. This is Athame from huerta memorial hospital. I'm with Mee from the UNSC ship. What exactly is the situation down there and is there a need for any kind of medical attention?"
Luna sighed as everyone dispersed. Thats when her omni tool beeped. The voice sounded sounded familiar until the name was put in to puzzle. "Athame? the one who patched me up from that krogan tussle? wait, we can catch up later. The only thing you may need to take care of is a few cases of alcohol poisoning in a couple of hours. The situation diffused and the lot of them went to a bar. Any chance i can drop by?"
He continued on then. "Now to explain, their religion was based on the old dead civilization known as the Forerunners, who 100,000 years ago ruled the galaxy but then were killed off but I will explain that more into detail soon. Well, near the end of the war, the ship known as the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, escaped the planet Reach as the Covenant glassed it to hell. A month later they came out of slip space and they were outside a giant ring world known as Installation 04, or Halo. A giant Forerunner structure which is exactly 10,000 kilometers wide. Quite large..."
Nisat stopped him. "10,000 KM!? Nothing in this universe has ever been created that is that size... The Forerunners must have been extremely advanced."
"They were... In fact there is Seven Known Halo's of the original 12. But I will get onto that later. So on with the story, they land on this ring world where the Covenant also landed. Another Spartan, known as The Master Chief, landed and began to fight his way through Covenant soldiers. Until something happened no one expected. A team of Marines went into an underground facility, and found a door locked by the covenant, but then the marines opened it... All hell broke out then. The Flood had escaped."
Fastina looked confused. "The Flood? What's that?
He didn't really want to talk about it but he decided to anyway. "The Flood are a parasitic race that assimilates all organic life. When there is enough flood, they build a Gravemind which acts as a hive mind and controls the flood. With each assimilation, they gain the memories and knowledge of that person. They casted over the Halo Ring, and the Master Chief were tricked into almost activating the ring by a Forerunner AI, 343 Guilty Sparks. Well less tricked, more so ill informed, which his fault wasn't. He was told that the Halo ring would stop the flood, but his AI, Cortana who was in the Ring's system stopped the activation and told him the truth. The Halo Rings didn't stop the flood, it did, but not in the way he expected. The Ring instead kills all organic life in a 25,000 Light Years radius. They learned that the Forerunners were too late to stop the flood, and built the Rings to kill their food source, so then they would die out. Now before I continue, thoughts so far?"
Alan sat at the bar next to the severally drunk SSG Murphy, who was slurring something about a nice blue drink. It arrived, and Alan sat down to enjoy a peculiar strawberry flavored drink, which packed the punch of vodka.
Generally, Murphy had a very high alcohol tolerance, and was able to get hammered and still have a few of his wits about him. But this alien liquor was something his body had never encountered and was reeling like a kid who was at his first college party.
The squadmate who had introduced him to the girl came back over, more drunk than before.
"Don't mess with this fucker" the squadmate told Alan, gesturing to Murphy, "He's killed elites with his bare hands. Do not piss him off."
Murphy laughed and shoved him away. He turned to Alan.
"How do you like your drink?"
"Why of course, it's been a while. Good to hear that everyone's unharmed."
Athame let out a sigh of relief and put Daniels car keys and the medigel back where she found them. She turned to see Daniel going through the medical with Mee. Mee looked restless, and Daniel was working slowly.
"Or we could come to you instead Luna? Mee's medical is almost done, I would like to meet the rest of the crew and I know that I'd rather have you watching over our newcomers than anyone else being called in."
"A few years ago, I would've said that's impossible, but after the what I've seen the past few years, that no longer seems beyond the realms of possiblility. Besides, what you've said could change the Galaxy. But I have to ask, without the using the Halos, did you eliminate the Flood, or should we be worried that they might follow you here?"
Quintus signaled a server, he had a feeling that they might be here for a while.
Alan looked at the Murphy, the short staff Sergent glared at him with a pair of eyes that sent shudders down Alan's spine. They were the eyes of a old man, the sort of eyes that Alan's granddad possessed. They didn't belong on a man as young as Murphy.
For such a short man, Murphy sure could seem to drink a lot before passing out.
"er, right. I'll have whatever you're drinking. Ice, lots of it."
"Sure Athame, they went to a bar, i'll send you the location... now." Luna said as she entered the bar. "See you in a bit." she finished, walking up to the bar and ordering a drink. I wonder what happened to that krogan... she thought to herself while sipping on her drink.
Athame walked into the bar with Mee. It was crowded and noisy. Not Athame's usual environment, but she was excited, eager to meet the new arrivals as well as catch up with Luna.
She saw Luna sat by herself on a barstool keeping an eye on the UNSC uniformed conga line.
She shook her head. The very first thing that I would do on my first interdimentional voyage would be drink as many of the strange beverages as possible too. she thought sarcastically, although she couldn't blame them.
It must seem strange to suddenly be in a universe with such diverse and unusual life casually walking about or dancing like a robot (literally in the case of the geth) and the familiarity of a bar could help ease some of the stress and awkwardness between the species of the two separate dimensions and besides, they were only human.
Athame chuckled to herself. I wonder if they are yet to move on to the Ryncol she pondered, searching for any of the bright green glasses as she pulled up a stool.
"Hi, Luna. Goddess bless you, the last time I saw you, you could barely walk after your encounter with that Krogan warlord... sorry, that came out wrong. How have you been?"
"Decent so far. I met up with that warlord again and have his head-plate mounted on my wall currently. Not that much of a trophy taker, but the Goddess was smiling on me that day. Other than that i've been working for Councilor Tevos, sorting out many different issues. How has your life been so far?" Luna asked.
Mee Walked up to the others and found Murphy. "Told you i'd be here. Now whats there to drink?" she asked Him.
Murphy turned to see Mee as she walked up to him. He smiled and gave her a hug. Murphy usually wasn't a hugger, but he was drunk so it didn't matter to him.
"What's there to drink?" Mee asked.
Murphy smiled again and thrust a bottle of blue liquid at her.
"Strawberries" he said with a grin.
"Nothing could have followed us. Now, after learning this, the Master Chief decided to blow up the ring, which he was successful in. After escaping, and a great many events happened, he finally got back to Earth. That's when it began, during a ceremony, the Covenant attacked Earth. I took part in the Battle of Earth. But anyway, after a ruthless battle, the Covenant ship with the Prophet of Truth, one of the Covenants leaders, broke through. The Solemn Penance, was the ships name. Well after a ruthless battle over the City of New Mombasa, the Solemn Penance went into slip space right in the middle of the city. The UNSC Frigate with the Master Chief on it, the In Amber Clad, followed the ship through the portal and found, another Halo Ring, Installation 05. In this battle, the Sangheili, discovered the truth about Halo, and how it wouldn't ascend them to God Hood, and with Truth's betrayal, the Sangheili broke off from the Covenant and allied themselves with the UNSC in the last months of the war.
"On the Installation, the Master Chief met the Gravemind, essentially the hivemind of the flood. He was then transported to the Forerunner City of High Charity to kill Truth. He was unsuccessful, as Truth got away, but the flood got into High Charity. While this happened, the Arbiter, an Elite who was also captured by the Gravemind got teleported to another part of Halo where he had to stop a Brute, from activating Halo. He allied himself with Sargent Johnson, and Commander Miranda Keyes. They were successful in stopping the Halo activation, with help from 343 Guilty Sparks, who seemed to have finally got his senses together and realized he should just help us. After this, the Master Chief boarded a Forerunner Dreadnaught in the middle of High Charity, but not without leaving Cortana who had to stay back to stop the Gravemind. Truth had gotten on dreadnaught and it went through slip space to Earth. Over the Earth's atmosphere, the Master Chief jumped out of the dreadnaught and he free fell through the atmosphere and landed on Earth nearly unscathed. Now allied with the Sangheili, they fought their way through Covenant soldiers en masse, until they reached The Portal. A massive Forerunner structure built on Earth. They activated this portal, and the Forerunner Dreadnaught went through it.
"Then the Flood who had commandeered a Covenant Vessel, landed on Earth, and the Sangheili were forced to glass half the continent to contain the flood. After much discussion, Miranda Keyes, Master Chief, Sergeant Johnson, and some marines left with the Sangheili through the portal. That's when they found the Ark that they had learned about. A Massive 127,530 KM structure outside the galaxy. Which if activated would activate all the Halo arrays. During this battle, they cashed after truth, until they eventually found him. He had captured Sergeant Johnson and was forcing him to activate the Halo Array's, as only Humanity could do it. Miranda on a pelican flew into the room and crashed, getting out she killed an Brute trying to save Johnson, but was then killed herself by Truth. Soon after The Master Chief and Arbiter arrived, and the Arbiter killed truth and stopped the activation. It was then the Gravemind time to shine as the Villain, and while Sergeant Johnson got away in the pelican, it was hit before it could fully leave by the Gravemind and the Master Chief and Arbiter fell off, forcing to have to fight their way out. After going through countless hordes of flood, they saw Installation 04, in the matter of Months, a replacement for the one the Master Chief destroyed, was already almost complete. They knew what they had to do, activate the Halo, with it being incomplete it would destroy the Ark. But they needed Cortana who had the index, so they went to High Charity which had crashed on to the Ark and saved Cortana who had almost descended into Rampancy because of the Gravemind.
"After retrieving Cortana they got onto the replacement Halo ring and activated it, not without Sergeant Johnson, losing his life to 343 Guilty Sparks who went rampant. The Master Chief destroyed the Forerunner AI, and then together with the Arbiter they escaped the Ring as it blew up and got aboard the UNSC Ship, Forward Unto Dawn but only part of the ship made it through the Portal before it closed, only the Arbiter made it back. Now the war was over, but the Master Chief... We don't know what happened to him, whether or not he is alive or killed. We may never know. But now onto some other details, recently some discovers have been quite interesting and why it's ironic that they deemed us heretics to the Covenants religion. 100,000 years ago, the Forerunners declared us Reclaimers because we were favored by the Librarian a Forerunner. We don't know exactly why they did make us Reclaimers. So when they activated the Halo Rings, which they made sure all the races could be reseeded, we were the ones that were chosen to be their successors. So it's a b it ironic, we were declared heretics, but we were the closest ones to their supposed gods."
The Spartan had to take a break, he had been talking for an extremely long time... The Quarian's were dumbfounded by the story, it was much different than what they had experienced in the past 5 years. "Your story it's... Much different than ours, we fought the Reapers who wished to destroy all Organic life."
"The Reapers? Who are they?" asked the Spartan.
Alan's right ear was itchy : this meant that somewhere a really long explanation of past events worthy of a history teacher was underway.
He decided this had little to do with him, so he returned to his strawberry flavored alcoholic beverage. He still yearned for a nice cup of English Breakfast tea though.
Quintus sat in awe, he had thought that the war with the Reapers was unique, but it seemed that massive conflict was the natural state of being for any galactic civilization. "Well, the Reapers, and the War is a long story, so I hope you're comfortable. I'll start at the beginning.
Nearly a decade ago, a lone member of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Group, or Spectres went rogue, and with the help of the Geth and a Reaper flagship, dubbed Sovereign, attacked the Citadel, but they were foiled by the action of Commander Shepard, another Spectre and soldier of the Systems Alliance. This was dismissed as an isolated incident.
Three years later, the Reapers, a race of synthetic machines attacked the Galaxy with overwhelming force. They wiped out the Batarians, and moved on the the Earth, and the Turian homeworld, Palaven. They used overwhelming force, and galactic unity was on the verge of complete collapse, with each race focusing on their own problems.
The Reapers took advantage of this confusion to crush most organized resistance in their genocidal campaign. This changed when Commander Shepard was able to broker a peace deal with the Turian Hierarchy and the Krogan Clans. That allowed the combined forces to secured the Krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, and were able to end the stranglehold on Palaven. After that, and stopping an attempted coup by Cerberus, a human terrorist organization, Shepard went to unite the Geth and Quarians, who had gone back to war after 300 years of uneasy almost war. To the great surprise of most of the galaxy, Shepard was able to resolve three centuries of history, although I suppose after uniting the Krogan and Turians, with all the bitterness from the Rebellions, it wasn't an impossible task.
Shepard went on to unite most of the Races of the Galaxy, and was able to take the fight to the Reapers on Earth. The Combined fleets attacked the Reapers, while Ground teams supported Shepard. Shepard was able to activate the Crucible destroying the Reapers, at the cost of many of the active Mass Relays.
Since then, more Relays have been activated, while others have been built, and civilization is moving back towards normality. As for the truth behind the Reapers, they are quite a mystery, and Scientists are still working towards finding out what they were, or where they came from, but they were unquestionably ancient, massively powerful genocide machines.
So both of our universes had to face a genocidal war? Anyone got peace?
"Commander Shepard, sounds like an interesting fellow. Your universes Master Chief, at least in terms of accomplishments. Well then we seemed to be more acquainted with each other, is there anything you wish to further discuss?" asked Jastis.
The Quarian's nodded. "So how did you get here?"
Jastis simply shrugged. "We were going through slip space when suddenly our ship began to shake and we had to exit out of slips-space and we landed here."
"Strange..." Spoke Nisat.
"Sir, have you heard of the reports? Of that new ship?" A man spoke turning his chair around.
"What are we going to do about it?"
A large man sitting in his chair above all the rest sat there thinking about it. "We have to get ahold of their technology. If it's more advanced or not, it could provide insight. They have AI that can be held in small storages. We need that technology, and they're different than ours."
"How do you plan to do this?" Asked the other man.
The leader once more spoke. "We're going to attack the colony Ronokis, a simple agricultural colony. We will make sure it is their first mission."
Alan belched loud enough to make a Krogan jump out of their testicles.... He wasn't entirely sure how that would work. Oh well, when you're drunk not many things make sense. One of the positives of being drunk.
He stood up, swiping the credit chip he had been supplied with across the scanner. It bleeped merrily, and displayed a alarmingly large number. He sighed, and stumbled out of the bar.
His head was all fuzzy, and his mouth felt like carpet rolled in caramel. Time to head back to the ship, for a little R&R, and maybe some hangover tablets.
Alan just hoped tomorrow would be a quiet one, but for some strange reason, he knew it wouldn't be.
Athame wondered about how she could sum up the past events to Luna in a brief sentence. In a lot of ways not much had changed, she still had a gift with the healing effects of biotics and an open mind towards all races and creeds.
But this mantra of unadulterated passion for the glory of life had been tainted by the reaper invasion. Doubts and worries about the sanctity of freedom, the ability for races from all planets to live in harmony had been muddied by the horrors of indoctrination. She hated her new suspicion, her anxieies that these new arrivals would bring about even more pain and conflict.
She thought back to her father's fate, how the C-sec of old had failed her and her family. How her mother had fought tooth and nail for the rights of Vorcha and other non council species on the citadel after the incident. I suppose that's where I get it from she thought, as she expertly used her biotic field to tilt her glass to her mouth.
"I've been holding up fine, well, as well as its possible for one to. What do you make of our new arrivals?" she asked.
Murphy jumped, startled by the loudness of Alan's belching. He laughed when he realized what it was. Turning back to the bar he fumbled around and pulled out the money to pay the bill. Murphy looked at Mee.
"I think it's about time to head back to the ship." And with that Murphy began to teeteringly make his way back to the ship.
Kenneth woke up several hours later from drinking at the bar. In his hand were his tags and Amy.
Well, enough of this... Kenneth got himself dressed, his bars of Lieutenant-rank shinning from the artificial light of the apartment.
Kenneth left his apartment and headed towards the ship via Cab
She went on the COM Channel and responded to all UNSC soldiers. "It's time to return to the ship. All UNSC Soldiers I repeat, return to the ship."
While at the same time Marsiani finally decided to send the Geth the information on their history, she did although black ink some things and omitted them for secure reasons. But she sent a basic outline to them. After that, together with Nassa they left and headed towards the ship.
Once aboard she went up to the main deck where she was greeted by her fellow peers and then began to explain over the ships com's everything that had happened. Once that was finished she began to sit and ponder.
He heard the com channel and knew he had to leave but then spoke. "Turian, do you still have any questions before I leave?
The next morning, Murphy awoke with a familiar pounding in his head.
We can travel through slipspace, but there's still no cure for the hangover. He though to himself as he took some painkillers. After cleaning up, Murphy donned his fatigues and headed to the SF armory to see if the trainer rounds were in yet. They weren't.
With a sigh of frustration, Murphy took the long walk down to the main armory. The SF groups were only 3 days away from live-fire drills. Murphy remembered seeing an ODST Lieutenant at the fight, he would see if he could hunt her down and see if she knew anything about the issue. Murphy diverted his course from the armory to the ODST quarters.
Murphy wasn't sure how he felt about going to the ODST quarters. He hadn't been back since transferring to a sub-group two years ago. Since then, he and and the other SF operators had been squirreled away, cleaning up messes and splinter groups from the Human-Covenant War. Most of operators were like him, transfers from ODST, with a few exceptions from other Marine units.
With a bit of apprehension, Murphy approached the door and scanned his CAC card. The light blinked green, and Murphy walked through, into his old stomping grounds.
Something that Alan had discovered as a Engineer was that nothing cleared a almighty hangover like the harsh smell of engine oil. Of course, this required you to get out of bed and to the engineering bay. That in itself required getting out of bed, something which he wasn't entirely sure he could do right now.
"Sweet, Jesus, marmalade smothered Krogan balls. My head feels like it has got a death metal gig going on inside of it," He mumbled, bleary eyed. He was in full dress fatigues, sprawled on his bunk. Not under the whisper-thin sheets, just lying on top of them.
Alan simply lay their for a time, trying to muster up the shear will-power to get up.
"Oh, sod it. I'm too old for this shit," he finally mumbled, falling back unconscious on his bunk.
"I've been holding up fine, well, as well as its possible for one to. What do you make of our new arrivals?" she asked.
"Not sure." Luna said after a long time of thinking. She wasn't sure what to make of them, they seemed like standard human infantry when drinking but not when sober.
Mee's comms went off, she had a sip of what they were drinking but didn't like the taste. After hearing the announcement, she said good bye and made her way back to the ship.
Luna heard the announcement too and paid her bill. "I have to be with them most of the time, and now its time to get going. Want to come along? i need to assemble a joint species team to take aboard with me and a Doctor is a good place to start. You'd be able to help out with any injuries sustained by them by our universe's weapons." The asari asked.
"I would be honoured." Athame replied following Luna out of the club.
Kenneth stepped out of the cab, eyeing the ship. Huh, interesting...
He waited outside, seeing if other Biotic soldiers were boarding as well. He really didn't understand the whole situation with that man "Murphy" but he decided to see if any other soldiers, Krogan, Asari, whatever was joining these..."Helljumpers" was the battalion?
Kenneth couldn't remember
"No, that's all for now, and I suppose that I should report back to my own CO. Maybe I'll see you around sometime." Quintus stood and nodded to the tall spartan. "Best of luck."