The ride into Ponyville was a quiet one. The Chief would occasionally glance in Twilight's direction. Though the two just met, the Chief couldn't help but be concerned for her. Twilight was obviously shaken by the event. 'She probably hasn't been through anything like that. Still so innocent.' The Chief thought to himself. In his past, he has seen stuff like this, when people would have their innocence crushed by war and death. And there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. Eventually, she spoke up.
"Thanks..." she said quietly.
"Huh?" The Chief asked.
"Thank you. You're right, if it wasn't for you, me and Spike would be dead right now. So... for what it's worth... thanks." Twilight said.
"You're welcome, just remember you owe me one when the time comes." The Chief said. Twilight smiled and nodded at him. The Warthog screeched to a halt outside of a building carved out of a large tree.
"This is it! Ponyville Library." Twilight said excitedly, seemingly forgetting about the manticore and picking up a now asleep Spike with her magic. The Chief went to the back of the warthog and picked up his bags, following Twilight into the Library. He had to duck to get through the door. "Make yourself comfortable!" Twilight called from upstairs.
"Aren't you going to thank the mare?" Cortana asked.
"Mare?" The Chief asked, confused.
"I'm guessing they refer to their females as mares, since we refer to horse females as mares."
"I will when I get the chance." The Chief assured Cortana. He sat down on a large couch and unzipped the larger duffel bag and took out the battle rifle, then loaded a magazine into it, and leaned against the couch. 'Never can be too careful.' The Chief thought to himself. He slouched on the couch and looked around the room. He thought back to the fight with the manticore, and Twilight mentioning the other dangers, such as Hydras and Dragons. He sighed. "I'm going to need heavier firepower." The Chief said to himself, standing up and grabbing his battle rifle. Twilight walked down the stairs as the Chief was preparing to leave.
"And just where do you think you are going?" Twilight asked.
"I'm going back. I need to get some stuff." The Chief responded, walking out the door. "I'll be back."
Twilight was about to protest, but she knew it would be useless. She hopped in the passenger seat.
"Where do you think you're going?" The Chief asked as he got in the front seat.
"With you." Twilight said.
"It's probably too dangerous, sorry, but you will have to stay here."
"But-" Twilight started.
"No buts. Out of the car!" he ordered. Twilight sighed, defeated, and jumped out of the warthog. "I'll be back." he promised before driving away.
"Cortana, any life signs in the area?" The Chief asked as he dismounted from his warthog, about a mile away from the Forward Onto Dawn.
"Yes, there is a large life form nearby the Dawn. Larger than the manticore was too. Don't get yourself killed, Chief." Cortana warned. The Chief slowly walked forward, looking around for potential threats, looking at his motion tracker every so often. A patch of grass rustled as the Spartan walked past. He spun to face it, aiming his battle rifle in the general direction. There was no blip on the motion tracker and the thought entered his mind that it could have stopped working. As the grass rustled again, he tightened his finger on the trigger, ready for anything. A white rabbit jumped into view. Upon seeing the tall figure, it ran for dear life. The Chief breathed a sigh of release and continued on. He soon came across the corpse of the manticore he had killed earlier. There were several wolves nearby, devouring the corpse. They turned towards the Chief and snarled at him. He aimed his battle rifle at them, hoping they would just back away. Luck wasn't on his side this time, as one of the wolves pounced at him. He fired two bursts at it, and it fell down to the ground, dead. This didn't discourage the other wolves, only enraged them. Two more of them charged at the Spartan. He fired a burst at one and aimed his battle rifle at the other. When he pulled the trigger, he heard a distinctive click. 'Jammed?!.' The Chief thought to himself. The wolf tackled the Chief, somehow managing to knock him over. The Chief grabbed it by its neck and snapped it, then threw the corpse at another wolf, who was attempting to flank him. The Chief reached for his M6D and fired 2 shots at the wolf, killing it. He turned back to the other wolves, who were starting to back away from the Spartan. One of them make the mistake of starting to walk forward, because that was met with three shots from the Chiefs magnum. At this, the remaining two ran off. The Spartan loaded a new clip into his magnum and continued forward. As he approached the Dawn, he heard something snoring on the other end of the Frigate. He peaked around a corner of the Frigate to see giant creature of reptilian nature. It had 5 heads with long necks, and told the Chief all he needed to know. 'A hydra, fan-fucking-tastic.' he thought to himself as he climbed into the Dawn, careful not to make any noise. He walked into the elevator and inserted Cortana's chip into the holotank.
"Armory." he silently ordered.
"On it." Cortana said as the elevator ascended to the Armory. Once inside, he quickly ran inside, picking up two rockets and loading them into a rocket launcher.
"Cortana, how much fire power do you think I will need to take out a hydra?" The Chief asked, just as a loud roar shook the Dawn. Cortana simply pointed towards where a couple Missile Pods. He picked up one and set it aside. Then took a rocket launcher and spartan laser and holstered both to his back. He then hoisted up the rocket pod and walked into the elevator. "Let's do this." he said mostly to himself.
"Lieutenant!" Captain Cole shouted, "Where are we?!"
"I dunno, sir." A crewman replied. "We're a good distance away from any known planets, especially any controlled by the U.N.S.C."
"Then what is that supposed to be, Lieutenant?!" Cole demanded, pointing at the planet.
"I dunno Captain, it's not on any of the star maps."
"Alright, we will chart this later. Warm up the slipspace dr-"
"Sir!" another crewman called out, interrupting the Captain. "Sorry about the interruption sir, but you may want to come over here and take a look at this." Captain Cole sighed and walked over to the Commander.
"What is it, son?" Cole asked.
"Sir, it's a beacon. The Forward Onto Down." the crewman said.
"Isn't that-" Cole began.
"Yes sir! We found him." the crewman said excitedly.
Captain Cole paused for a few minutes, absorbing this new information. "Alright!" Cole said, clasping his hands together. "Get me Edward Buck. In the meantime, get me Admiral Hood on the horn."
"Yes sir!" the crew of the U.N.S.C. Frigate Gettysburg called out. Captain Cole walked across the deck and up to main screen, where Hood's face appeared.
"What is it, Captain?" Admiral Hood asked in his usual serious tone.
"Sir, we found him." Cole said excitedly.
"Found who, Captain?" Hood asked.
"The Chief, we found the beacon of the Forward Onto Dawn on an uncharted planet." the Captain said.
"That's the first time in a very long time I have heard any good news, Cole, you better be right." Admiral Hood warned.
"I will have an O.D.S.T. squad going down to the surface by the end of the hour to make sure, Admiral." Cole reassured.
"Very well, I will have a few ships come to your current position to give you a little back up, just in case. I'm sure you have heard about the Covenant popping back up." Hood said.
"Yes sir, grave mistake on their part."
"Make us proud, Captain."
"You would have made your father proud." and with that, Hood's face disappeared off the main screen. Cole allowed himself to smile as he sat down in his chair.
On the other side of the planet, a Covenant stealth frigate exited slipspace.
"Are you sure you are reading this right?" a Brute Chieftain asked a Brute Captain, who was looking at some sort of computer system. On it was a read out of the planet, and a red dot on a point of interest.
"Yes sire. It appears the ship that was holding the demon has crashed here. Scans of the area show that the crash was recent, there is reason to believe he is still alive." the Captain said.
"Prepare the troops! We will rip the demon apart with our bare hands!" the Chieftain proclaimed as the crew broke out in cheers and roars of pride. The Chieftain returned to his seat and overlooked the planet in front of him.
"Commander!" he called out. A brute in cyan armor got up and ran up to the Chieftain.
"Yes, sire?" he asked.
"Hail the Matriarch, I have a feeling we will need more troops." the Chieftain ordered.
"Yes, sire." the Commander said, before walking back to his station.
Buck and Veronica waited in front of their squads drop pods for the rest of their squad, who were awoken with news of the mission. The Rookie was the first to arrive, sitting down on a flight of stairs nearby. Mickey and Dutch arrived next, chatting each other up and complaining about the fact they never get any time to sleep around here. Last to arrive was Romeo, who stumbled in sleepily, yawning heavily.
"What is it, Gunny?" Romeo said, leaning against a railing. Dutch and Mickey stopped talking and awaited the Gunny's briefing.
"Alright, at 1900 hours, our Frigate entered a random slipspace jump to evade a Covenant class carrier that was patrolling in system. The jump sent us halfway across the galaxy, with us ending up on the edge of the galaxy. We ran into an uncharted planet, and as we were about to jump, one of the crewman discovered a beacon on the planet below us, the Forward Onto Dawn."
"I assume you know who was on board the Forward Onto Dawn, right?" Veronica asked the squad.
"That massive Elite? The leader of the Covenant Separatist forces?" Dutch asked.
"Technically correct, but who else was on board that Frigate." Veronica asked.
No one answered, besides The Rookie, who answered with a shrug.
"Then I'll tell you. When the Frigate was discovered, it was cut in half. The Arbiter was in that half. In the other, was no other than Spartan-117, the Master Chief. It is likely The Chief is here on this planet, dead or alive. We're going down to see if he is."
"Is that understood?" Buck asked the squad.
"Yes sir!" the majority of them replied. The Rookie simply nodded.
"Alright, arm up, and get in your pods, we launch in 10." Buck said, as the squad walked towards the armory.
Authors note - I have to cut this chapter short, because if I keep going, I will give away too much information. Sorry, but I digress. I'm sure that you will notice with the U.N.S.C. and the Covenant arriving, there will be much more action in the coming chapters? Do you know what that means? Longer chapters! Go celebrate. Woo!
As for the controversy surrounding the Chief's decision to go with Twilight, here's why. When you are facing creatures like dragons, manticores, and hydras in a place you have never been to and is no where near any other settlements/colonies, and you are being offered shelter somewhere safe by a creature that looks like it couldn't hurt a fly, let alone a Spartan II Super Soldier, what are you going to do? I would probably go with Twilight.
Lastly, if you have any criticism, advice, ideas, or praise you want to share with me, feel free to PM me. I will gladly spend the better part of the day talking with you, as long as you're not being rude or anything. I enjoy criticism, and I love being involved with my readers.