• Published 6th Jun 2012
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Halo:Trapped In A Wonderland - SuperIntendant



Spartan A-042 finds himself on a mission gone wrong when he winds up in a land of talking ponies

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Chapter 12: Buried Bones

Chapter 12: Buried Bones

'What lurkes in the dark isn't always your enemy.' ~ Lord Hood's final words.

War was never a simple thing. It was always changing, evolving. Those who did not adapt died. Humanity knew this fact all too well. After all. War was all humanity knew anymore. The same could be said for one A-042, otherwise known as 42, or Aidan to his friends. War followed him relentlessly through his life. Born during the Human-Covenant war he had never known a time of peace until the Prophets were brought to their knees. By then he was a man, yet as ever the case war had already taken its costly toll.

All soldiers had their own story. A harrowing event which turned them into who they were now. The loss of a friend. Watching a world burn around you from orbital bombardment. Aidan's had been something different alltogether. That wasn't to say the experiences of others weren't scary, just logical. The fear experienced by Aidan and those who survived with him were very much more primal.

The ancient caveman did not wake to fear his world would immolate around him. Nor did he fear the loss of a kin. Such things were the course of nature. What ancient man did fear was what wasn't obvious and what couldn't be seen. Those monsters that lurked in the dark never truly left the human mind and now took many forms buth physical and metaphorical as humanity had blossomed from simple primate to master of the atom and even further. 42 had experienced something which would forever keep his mind open to this woes and fears of barbaric nature. They had saved him many times before yet also haunted him. It was both a blessing and a curse, further enhanced by his Spartan training and augmentation.

At the time of the event, Aidan was nothing more than a simple Corporal of the Marines. Attatched to the fleet known as Einstein's Promise, the current goal was to help drive off a Covenant incursion from the Dejar system which was home to one rock world and a triplet of gas giants. The fleet was to drop Marine and ODST forces onto the rocky planet named Dejar, after the archaic internet langauge taken from the planets home star known as D-3j4r. While the grounds forces secured the surface the fleet would simultaneously engage the Covenant cruisers in orbit.

Dejar was of great importance to the UNSC. It was a world roughly 5% larger than Earth and had an incredibly high metal and mineral deposite across its entire body, one of the most common metals being Iron which attributed to its Mars like appearance before Earth's neighboor was terraformed into the fertile jungle world it is now. There was something both odd and fascinating about this world. The planet rotated on its axis at a pace almost identical to the speed at which it orbited its local star. Seeing as the 378 Earth day orbit was at pace with the rotation, the planet had days much longer than years to an extremem amount even so. One side had been facing the central star since the UNSC had first arrived on this world 82 years ago and was estimated to take 4,017 years to move from midday to midnight. This lead to there being no ecosystem on thw world despite residing within the habital zone of the system. It also meant that the onyl way to liv eon this half cooked, half froozen wastleand of a planet was in vast domes with amazing cities and artificial habitats built within by UNSC contractors. The domes were more or less completely sealed from the outside world and even opted to use advanced lighting systems to emulate day and night within the domes themselves. 23 domes were spread across the day side of this planet and were linked to one another by a large underground train system so supplies and personell may be ferried around. Miners mostly lived on this world though a few other citizen careers were used to help assist the maintanance of the domes.

The invading Covenant fleet was deemed much too small for a target of this much value and they also refused to glass the world below them as was tradition among the alien collective. many ONI officials had concluded at a later date that the Covenant were nothing more than a recon fleet who had stumbled upon this system by chance and upon discovering Forerunner relics - which had been dug up by the miners - then refused to glass anything of potential value to them and also refused to leave the sytem because of their stubborn pride and unwillingness to leave such holy items in the hands of humans.

Einstein's Promise outnumbered the Covenant fleet 6 to 1 initially but faced increasing odds as more Covenant scouts arrived to assist the small alien fleet. Ships continued to arrive one after another within 30 minute intervals for hours but their method of arriving one at a time did little to help. The ensuing battle lasted nearly 3 days of non-stop crossfire with Einstein's promis loosing half their initial fleet and almost completely draining all ammunition reserves. These events had also left the men of the surface of the world without naval support for those 3 days and therefore without transport or reinforcments.

While Covenant troops had been deployed in all 23 domes, they had not the numbers to deal with a full military campaign against them on the red world. Corporal J. Moore was deployed in dome 10 along with the rest of Delta company. Of the 164 brave men and women deployed only 31 remained after dealing with the initial Covenant threat. It wasn't long before they had discovered that the alien fanatics had not forgone the use of a contigency plan. As the final Covenant bastion fell in Ngasaki plaza several hundred fusion cores were detonated across the entirety of dome 10 by the last standing Elite Zealot whos last words were a butchered English sentence.

"I hope she remembers her manners."

The surviving 31 assumed he had attempted to crack the dome and depressaurise the inside, killing all within. Since they were not choking to death it was assumed a failure and all remianing forces pulled back the airlocks for pickup. It wasn't long until the they discovered the Zealot's true use of the explosives.

During the instense firefights of dome 10, it was noticed that the Covenant had an unusually high number of Yanme'e drones to support them. It was chalked up to random troop deployment when in reality the Covenant had deployed much more sinister to the catacombs below dome 10. A hive queen had been dormant below and the vast array of exploding fusion cores caused a small seismic event awakening her. Not only had the explosion awoken a hive of Yanme'e proverbially kicking the hornets nest, it had also crashed the local data frame for the dome's Super Intendant locking all means of escape to the outside world and jamming the dome in a permanent state of darkness. Only 9 soldiers made it out of there alive. With no Covenant overlords to guide them the drones quickly turned feral and the whole ordeal was desribed as nightmare fuel with a splash of aliens the film by one plucky ODST who was lucky enough to survive.

Those hours of freakish tortue had left 42 a stronger person and some may argue that was what allowed him to become a Spartan IV. He wasn't so sure of that though he told many who asked that the only thing that kept him going down there was the steady and rythmic 'thump thump thump' of his 60 bullet mag MA5B. He referred to it as a second heartbeat and always appreciated a chance to fire of an old and outdated model.

This time however 42 had no such luxury. The steady thumping was now replced by something only desribable as spitting electricity. Another green bolt of energy whizzed by his visor as he turned to face his black carapaced foe before melting half of its face with a burst from his Storm Rifle. These 'Changelings' as Twilight had named them were proving to be a real pain in the ass. Their bolts of energy proved to be no more dangerous than a plasma pistol to the blue clad Spartan. The issue was that the same principle applied to the 6 ponies and 1 dragon following him. Pinkie Pie had already taken a blast to her left thigh and was in serious danger of bleeding out. Twilight had erected a small force field to keep them off of her pink friend and the others while Rarity attempted to heal Pinkie Pie with her magic and some aid from 42's bio-foam injector. These bug eyed freaks had nothing of the Yanme'e but were proving to be almost as annoying nonetheless. Beings were going to die if he didn't do something fast.

"42 I don't suppose you have a plan?" Twilight called from across the barrier with sweat pouring down her forehead from the effort of holding the barrier up for such a long time under this onslaught. These changelings were much more viscios than the ones who had stormed Canterlot castle not too long ago. It was possible that these one had lost their minds and had become feral after Queen Chrysalis's banishment from the province via the shock-wave produced by her brother and his wife Princess Cadance. Shifting her attention back to the now she received a grunt from the blue behemoth in front of her as he unleashed another salvo from one of his strange devices into the flying swarms dropping another dozen of them to the ground as they screeched in pain during their death throws from melting limbs and the like.

Twilight wasn't exactly unaware of death. She had read plenty on Equestria's somewhat controversial history and everyone knew of the three pony tribes, yet seeing it in person made her feel sick to her stomach. How Shiny could ever tolerate this as his job she would never understand.

When the changelings had first ambushed them 42 had reacted as though he already knew of their presence mere moments before, as though he had a sixth sense giving him an omniscient presence. Perhaps humans could do that, she would have to ask him later. For now, she needed something to distract her from the growing headache developing above her temples caused by the continuous use of such a strong spell. While Twilight was a very gifted unicorn, she had nowhere near the same level of training in defensive and offensive spells as any royal guard may have had. She kept this one up through brute strength and determination rather than calculated efficiency as those who dabbled in these practices may have had.

Twilight decided to focus on the alien device in 42's claws... err hands. It was weird, even for the alien. While he and his other items all seemed built to be practical and robust, this device was different. It was sleek and curvy in all manner of places rather than a series of jagged edges welded to one another. The goal of this weapon seemed to be maintain efficiency while expressing finesses towards the enemy as they were cut down like blades of grass before a lawnmower. Plenty of, what she could only describe as runes, were engraved into the weapons purple metallic skin and the construction of the weapon put a lot of emphasis on detail down to the tiniest inscription. Why was it purple rather than the blacks and greys she had seen on his other devices. Perhaps it was an item forged by those menacing creatures she had seen on the moving projection 42 had shown them. The handle shape and projectile type seemed to match up though Twilight couldn't really tell for sure.

Unlike the others 42 had opted to stay outside the dome and thin the enemies numbers. Twilight had declined but did not have much choice in the matter as he jumped well out of her operational range before she could activate it. At first she had worried for him and how he was going to survive very numerous and very lethal projectiles emanated from the horde of the changelings though her fears were quickly put to rest as some personalised forcefield wreathed 42 and protected him from the green projectiles.

Bodies had begun to trail behind them as 42 cleared a path deeper into the bowels of the cave. Fluttershy was having a rough time of it as she attempted to hold the contents of her stomach in each time a corpse passed through the mobile forcefield. Applejack had Pinkie strewn over her back as Rarity worked as much magic into her a possible for her limited medical experience. Twilight wished she could heal Pinkie herself but knew Rarity was not even remotely capable of such a forcefield herself. It was the very tough realisation that she would have to risk Pinkie of risk everypony. Difficult to deal with for sure but she knew where her loyalties lay. Rainbow Dash was pressed right up against the front end of the forcefield and making threatening gazes to any changeling who came close. She wanted in on the action outside the dome but Twilight had flat out refused to let her fight. 42 was a trained warrior who no doubt had countless experiences of battle judging from what she had seen. Rainbow. Had none.

"Hey! Big, blue and lanky." Rainbow called through the barrier gaining a margin of 42's attention. "Why're we heading deeper into the cave?" Indeed it was a good question. Twilight yet again gained that feeling that 42 knew something they didn't. This was only fortified in her beliefs when he replied.

"Reclamation and salvation." As he said this the weapon in his hand spluttered and coughed before giving out. Twilight could hear him curse under his breath before slinging the purple machine on his back and pulling out the smaller white and grey device from his hip and began letting off much louder 'bang' sounds instead of the old sizzling that came from the previous device though changeling bodies dropped all the same. Twilight had begun to wonder what this strange riddle meant but before she could ask another sound permeated the dense air of the cave. A strange humming. They were very far underground by this point and Twilight could not even begin to fathom who would sanely live down here. What perplexed her even more was that 42 tensed even more than she though possible and heard him mutter something.

"It's about damn time." He fired off another shot from his device and dropped a small, long cuboid from the handle before inserting a new one and pulling the top part of the device backward and letting go. He took aim at another creatures face but was beaten to the punch as a thin graceful beam of orange energy pierced the changeling's skull and shot out the other end. The humming grew louder and louder with each passing second as more and more orange and sometimes blue beams shot out from hidden locations in the cave walls, each beam hitting their mark and dropping another foul creature.

Before long their assailants began to thin immensely though more always arrived to assist the primary bulk and the ponies saviour or saviours finally revealed themselves. Small metal creatures floated into view and all the ponies bar Pinkie began looking around the cave roof to take in the dozens upon dozens of odd metal insects that wafted through the air above them. One of the new bugs lowered itself to Twilight's level and passed through the forcefield with no trouble at all. Rainbow prepared to strike but was waved of by Twilight with her left hoof. The bug, or rather machine now that she had a closer look, was most definitely a strange sight. It bobbed up and down before her before cocking to the side slightly as though confused. Twilight subconsciously mimicked the action as she too tried to suss the nature of these new beings.

Peering past the machine she spotted 42 walking towards the bubble now that the changeling threat had been subdued. Twilight took this as her cue to drop the forcefield and immediately bolted to Pinkie in order to do all she could to save her. Examining her injured form Twilight discovered that though the attack had been devastating to the pink mare, there were no shrapnel wounds or anything of the sort thanks to the nature of energy based magical projectiles. A simple yet large spell would be all that was required to stabilize Pinkie and it would require a fair sum of concentration. Concentration she did not have as the humming became even more intense as though it were right behind her. Close to breaking point Twilight spun round with fire in her eyes and was about to yell in the face of whatever was so rude as to disrupt her but never got the chance as whatever had been humming cut into her moment with a short and equally perplexing statement for such a simple subject.

"Oh hello."

Author's Note:

Oh man. I feel like I could die from embarrassment at this point. Tis quite the late update. Oh well. Enjoy and I shall take a not very well earned break.

"Warning! Hitch-hikers may be escaped convicts." ~ Super Intendant

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