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Chapter 1: Unyielding Hierophant, through an Oracle Scope.

 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:55 pm    Post subject: Chapter 1: Unyielding Hierophant, through an Oracle Scope. Reply with quote

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Chapter 1: Unyielding Hierophant, through an Oracle Scope.
Posted by Havoc_legionnaire (Havoc_legionnaire@Yahoo.com)
6 December 2005, 8:59 pm

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Havoc_legion1206052059491.html
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Jenkins
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just gonna start by saying two words "the code."

Many of the members here might shy away from your story because of the lack of code. You seemed to focus more on getting the story done than putting in the extra effort that tends to win readers. You need to do a good proof-reading of the story to deal with that massive number of spelling errors. If your going to divide your paragraphs by putting a space in between them then you need to focus on putting the space in between topics rather than random places throughout the story.

You need to get some facts straight about the storyline too. I'm assuming you've read First Strike due to the beginning of your story, so there are a few tid-bits that need to be fixed. The glass did not break away until it was hit by the banshees themselves. John has his own code of conduct. Despite subtle shows of emotion, the Chief is not a happy-go-lucky teenage type that chats with his spartans like a giggly school girl.

Oops! GTG!

I'll finish my post later.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenkins... I haven't seen you around in ages. Welcome back to the present HBOFF. It's good indeed to see an old member back posting again. Hope you're not just visiting.


Anyway. To the story. I don't want to be rude and neglect the author.

To address what has already been... There actually was coding in there, Jenkins. Though, I think I know what you speak of. You were getting at formatting. Yeah, times have changed indeed.

Jenkins wasn't telling you that you had no Code in your fic. The header at the beginning tells us that you can use it. What he spoke of are indents. I'm starting to get a bit more lenient with this particular subject, but I still advocate newer writers to use indents in their work.

They are not absolutely necessary -- you did space our your paragraphs, after all -- but they do look very nice and work well in pulling the paragraphs away from the side of the page. Though, if you really like the style of no-indent-just-paragraph-spacing, I won't try to stop you. Chuckles uses that to very good effect. Even still, it wouldn't hurt to add in some indentation.


And relating to the storyline, particularly the glass breaking away: Actually, to my understanding, the glass broke away just before John's Banshee would have impacted onto it. There wasn't much of a time margin, but it was not the craft hitting the glass that made it break. It gave into the pressure of the atmosphere pushing against its compromised surface.

And just as a backup to my word alone:

Eric Nylund wrote:
John was thirty meters from the surface -- he'd have to veer off now, or impact upon it. He gritted his teeth and braced himself.

Ten meters.

The window's smooth surface flashed into a jigsaw mosaic. The squealing of glass over glass filled the air. It shattered.

The entire length of crumbled and instantly blasted into the vacuum of space -- swept out by the pressurized atmosphere filling the interior of the station.


The way I take what is written is that the glass shattered and was blasted out just a few meters before the nose of John's Banshee would have otherwise impacted upon it. Just how I took that particular section.


An Author's Note. I would discourage the use of them. Unless you have something to say about material in your story that will be important to all readers, notes such as that are best left posted here on the forums. Sometimes what you have to say is important, but it makes the piece look more professional, I think.

Common happening, though.


GPS. That was the main problem I spotted in your writing. A few run-ons, some misspellings, etc. Those really do have an impact on the story. Naturally, it makes it less pleasant to read over when there are mistakes that are hard to ignore in the piece.

Everyone does it, but some mistakes are more severe than others. Some of yours hindered the flow and so made it harder and less fun to read. You want the experience to be the best possible for the reader. Work your hardest to accomplish that.


You wrote:
To risk one Spartan to save another that was pinned behind what could be hundreds of thousands of Covenant went completely against everything CPO Mendez taught.


I don't know about that. Mendez put a heavy focus on teamwork. And I know that the current military stresses "leave no man behind." I think that is important. Especially when dealing with two Spartans; their bonds are like that of siblings. So they would be reluctant at best to leave a teammate -- a family member, a brother or sister -- behind. John, being the team leader, most of all.

Though the contrast is important... Make sure the wording is right.


You wrote:
She lost the sniper rifle on the drop, but at this point, it won't help them anymore.


There's just one example of a mistake a good proofreading should have caught. I'll let you find it -- I think its bloody obvious -- if not for one reason: It'll be you who really has to find the mistakes in your writing in the future. Might as well practice with what you've already written.

Additionally, this was just one of many similar mistakes. You switched tenses in the whole area of the story. Not a good thing. For one, it was the wrong tense for the situation. Secondly, you want to remain consistent throughout your work, regardless. Watch out for that.


Oh yeah, and "ODST" stands for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. A small difference. But an important one. To some of us, anyway.



Overall, this was pretty good. The tense switches drug down the story a lot, but the material was actually good stuff. The presentation was the problem. Just work on what has been and will be pointed out to you, and you'll do fine.

Keep it up. And good luck.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MC's Cousin & Jenkin's :I thank you both for your thoughts. To be perfectly honest, this is my first real fiction. With the consideration of that I am an Amateur, please go easy on me. But I am surprised that you guys were able to review it that quickly!

As for the window scene error, I apologize for that, but I was writing that part at 3 am in the morning. Next time, I'll be sure to write every part of it when I am more conscious.

As for the Rifle part, I was considering the readers that are in the middle of SAT nightmare and college paperwork right now. You know who I mean, the people that are currently brainfried and attention-shot from the recent acedemic stress and having only five hours of sleep a day. I know I'm one of them (and trust me, Hot Green Tea really helps). That was also the reason why I had no time to proofread it. But don't worry. Now that's all over, I can take my time with my next installment.

As for the leaving people behind, "the no one left behind" idea is a romantic notion that is rarely applicable in a war of this ferocity and magnitude. That is a popular myth as modern western armies rarely lacked the ability to implement that doctrine. But that is not so in Halo. The Human-Covenant war is a war that is as ugly as it gets, and soldiers must choose the greater good. The Spartans themselves are invaluable assets, and to risk one to chance a rescue of another that was trapped behind a massive body of enemy troops that was in enemy territory was against any good military doctrine. Spartans are miracle workers, but also pragmatists. As a leader, John must save as many Spartans as he realistically can, and that meant leaving Linda behind. As Whitcomb said; "To be a great commander, you have to be willing to destroy that which you love." CPO Mendez would have taught them that (Lives spent/Lives wasted). I was gunning for realism.

In any case, my story focuses on Humanity in the idealistic sense. The Spartan's rediscovery of the entirety of their humanity is one of the main theme. That scene is is a demonstration of hope and faith, which I defined as the tenacity of human stubborness despite the impossible odds and logic of the situation. As for the other yet unshown theme, it invovles the Arbiter.

But seriously, "Giddy School Girl" and "Happy-Go-Lucky". Was it THAT bad?

As for indentation, I didn't know you could indent here. I had so much trouble with it, I didn't think it was possible. Can someone show me how.

Oh, and I'll work on the use of "They" and "Them" and the rest of the grammatical mishaps. And what exactly is code anyway (Sorry, I've only been here since the middle of last month)?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me help you out:

The Code is simply the text effects, indents, and horizontal rules you can add into your work. Indents are easy. Simply write [indent] where ever you wish there to be one. Simple.


As for writing parts in the wee hours of the morning and not having time to proofread: That's not an excuse. You aren't on any time table here. There should be no rush to get this out the next day. So don't use the excuse that you didn't have the time.

You have all the time you need. Don't release it until it is ready. If it takes a week, so be it. Dave Luck takes four months! I'm not telling you to take four months, but to take some time out to make your work the best it can be. Don't neglect it.


I understand the "Leave No Man Behind" argument. I know all too well it's not one-hundred percent. And in Halo times you are correct in that some people may not be saved. However, for a Spartan, leaving behind someone that he greatly cares for, like a sister... I hope you see the reasoning behind my comment.

John isn't gonna just ditch a woman whom he's trained with his whole life. Especially not since he very nearly lost her so recently before this time. He would have gotten her at all costs. I believe so, anyway.



Now, as for being able to review it that quickly... I used to go through ten or more fics a day. I think I can handle yours Very Happy

Keep up the work.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the advice of Wado, I have decided to post here an edited version of Chapter 1. I tried to indent here, but for some reason it won't let me. Sorry!

1820 Hours, September 13, 2552 (Revised Date, Military Calendar)\ Aboard Covenant Battle Station Unyielding Hierophant .




"Get out of here, John” the seven foot tall, blood red hair Spartan Linda-058 muttered under her breath. Hanging on a rope under a bridge and hidden by a brilliant white light, she did her best to cover her fellow Spartans with her SRS99C Sniper Rifle. She was shooting with just her right hand, her left holding on to the rope. The station was on full alert now, and it was only a matter of time before the Covenant zeroed in on her location. It didn’t mattered, though, as she could tell by the shaking of the entire station that blue team had done their job, overload the reactor and set the station to blow the station to blunt the Covenant offensive against Earth. The entire Covenant army in the station was on search and destroy, but blue team was near the airlock and escape. They’ll have to leave her behind as their chances of saving her was, at best, slim to nil. Linda took solace in the mission’s success, the billions of lives on Earth saved, and John, Fred, and Will’s survival. Like before on Gamma Station near Reach, she was ready to meet her fate.

That was, before the Master Chief, John-117, made other plans for her. Linda took aim at yet another banshee. As she zoomed in on the cockpit, she saw the distinctive reflective visor that can only belong to a Spartan. Against all the odds, John was coming back for her! John had always walked the fine line between tactical brilliance and lunacy, but this was completely insane! To risk one Spartan to save another that was pinned behind what could be hundreds of thousands of Covenant went completely against everything CPO Mendez taught.

John and two banshees slipped into a dogfight. Two more bullets flew from Linda‘s rifle, and two more Elite pilots was shot out of their Banshees. Both rounds sent shockwaves through her injured body. Linda was still recovering from her death at Gamma Station, and the subsequent surgery on the Gettysburg where Doctor Halsey revived her. After covering her teammates for over eleven hours, the awkward position and repeated rifle recoil had taken its toll on her. Linda could feel the wounds on her chest tearing at itself with the last shot. She ignored the pain and concentrated on covering John. The Chief still hadn’t found her. The Spartan sniper slapped in her second to last full magazine and kept radio silence, hoping the chief would see the fleet of Banshees closing, come to his senses, and leave her.

“Position report, Linda. That’s a direct order!” John yelled through the comm.

Damn you, John, Linda thought. What choice does she have now. In a short range data burst, she sent her coordinates and the Spartan six note song “Oly Oly Oxen Free” as confirmation. The chief finally spotted her outline against the light, and put the banshee several meters under her. Linda dropped in behind the chief, denting her armor against his. The concussive force sent her gasping in pain and coughing up blood, as she grabbed on to the chief.

The two sped off in the overloaded banshee, the cowling up to make room for them both. They was headed straight for the shuttle bay where a meter thick wall of some unknown translucent material prevented decompression or, for them, escape. She hopes the lotus mines that Fred planted was enough. Linda took a look behind, and nearly froze when she saw the largest fleet of ghosts and banshees that she ever saw at extreme range closing fast. They weren’t in range, but they’ve already opened fire on them. Potshots of plasma managed to hit them, but the range weakened the burst enough that it only scratched the hull. Fred and Will took up wingmen position, forming a flying delta.

The clock was ticking, less than eight minutes left before the station core detonates. What is left of the Cortana copies opened the bay doors, and Fred detonated the Lotus mines. Grunts and floating Engineers tried to run away as they were sucked out into the vacuum, along with everything else that was bolted down. But the glassy wall still stood when it should have vaporized. The three banshees fired on the wall with everything the Banshees had left.

The wall finally shattered ten meters before them, and with it came explosive decompression. Linda and the Chief was thrown out of the Banshee and tossed about the hangar bay. The Spartans crashed into the bay walls and flying debris. With each high speed impact, agonizing pain shot through every part of Linda’s body. She felt her wounds starting to bleed again, each limbs had gone completely numb. Blood soaked into her already blood-red hair. Even her suit’s comm array took some damage. She spotted John, Fred, and Will, being toss around just like her.

Finally, they were drifting in Zero G, and the team climbed aboard a nearby Harbinger Dropship. They took one more look a the Covenant Fleet. Linda couldn’t see her teams’ faces from her position, but she knew exactly what they were thinking.

Is this it? Did we stop the Covenant?

Most of the Covenant Fleet was still in station keeping around Unyielding Hierophant. The overload should destroy the balance of the fleet. With Admiral Whitcomb’s warning, Earth’s Orbital Defense Grid should be able to give the rest of the Covenant a run for their money. Still, a battle like that would claim thousands more of human lives. But what more can they do?

“Where to, Chief?” Linda said as she took the pilot’s seat, skillfully masking her pain from her voice. The Chief had enough to worry about.

“Away” The Chief replied with a slight sense of relief. “Take us into the moon’s shadow, But slow. Try not to attract any attention.”

“Roger that” Linda push the ship into half-throttle. Another minute passed before Fred found something on the comm system.

“Sir, if this translation program is working, that’s the E-Band. That’s one of ours” Fred said as he activated the comm squawk. A six tone song played.

Oly Oly Oxen Free









1850 hours, September 13, 2552 (Revised Date, Military Calendar)\Aboard UNSC Frigate Gettysburg, in Slipspace en route to Sol System





It’s over. We won. Linda thought to herself as she manned the NAV station on the bridge of the Gettysburg. The price of victory was heavy, Grace was killed by Brutes on Unyielding Hierophant. Lt Haverson and Admiral Whitcomb sacrificed themselves to lure almost the entire Covenant fleet into the station’s blast radius. It was worth it, though, Earth is safe. John, Fred, Will, Sergeant Johnson, and Cortana was still with her.

Her vision was starting to blur, and she was turning lightheaded. Linda knew what it was, the blood lost from the battle. She would have to get to the med bay and patch herself up. It won’t be complicated, just some biofoam and a unit of blood. Nothing John needed to worry about.

“Chief” Linda said with all her focus, hiding her weakening condition. “With your permission, I’d like to go to the med bay.”

“What’s wrong?” Were you hit?” Linda noted the very visible touch of concern in his voice.

“Just a scratch, Sir. I’ll be back in fifthteen minutes.”

“Take Your Time, Linda. We still got about one and a half day to Earth anyway. Don’t forget to take a look at your comm unit.”

“Yes, Sir” Linda struggled to keep her composure as she left for the elevator. Maybe I should have told him, Linda thought to herself. No, I got this. On her way down, she felt chills from her forehead to her toes. When the elevator decelerated, she nearly collapsed. This is bad. Must have lost more than I thought. If a Spartan is falling apart like this, its got to be bad. The valves on the suit was starting to leak out blood, pumping out the pool building inside to stop her from drowning. When the elevator finally arrived at med deck and opened its doors, the Spartan dropped to the ground, unconscious and barely breathing.





The Chief had taken his helmet off and was staring into the nothingness of slipspace. This was the first moment of peace he had after almost 24 hours of near continuous heavy combat. Still, there is no rest for the wicked. They were finishing up some basic repairs, trying to hold the Gettysburg together long enough to get to Sol. Fred was focused entirely on the maneuvering thrusters. John updated his casualties list. He wanted to stop there, but there is one more thing he has to do before they arrive at Sol. John remember the four that didn’t made it for their original mission before Reach fell. Thomas, Mikhail, and Ahkeem was in the Chi Eden system, a one month trip to Reach, and Cassandra was still recovering from severe injuries at M2SL medical station at Earth orbit.

“Yo, Chief.” Johnson said as he approached him from behind. “I’m no psychic, but I can tell when something’s buggin a man, What’s up?”

“It’s nothing. Well, nothing you can help me with.”

“Chief, I’m a man of many talents. Being God on a battlefield is just one of them. So, try me. People always tell me I’m wise beyond my years.”

“Alright, if you must.” The chief may had been initially suspicious of the sergeant considering how the man survive the flood, but after seeing the man fight and Dr. Halsey’s analysis, John trusts him as much as his Spartans

“As you know, I lost most of my squad at Reach. But myself, Fred, Will, Kelly, and Linda are not the only Spartans left. There are still four more Spartans left, probably waiting on Earth right now.”

“Ahhh, So you worried about what you gonna say to them when you get back.”

“What can I say? How do I tell them that we are all that’s left?”

“Well, Chief. You and I both know there’s no way of getting around that.“, Johnson said as he took a seat near the chief and started chewing on his old cigar stub. “Let me give you some advice, son. You ever heard of Paris IV”

John bristled at that name. He remembered that planet from Dr. Halsey’s explanation of Johnson’s immunity to the flood. “Yes. As I recalled, you held up an entire company of Covenant by yourself and won a commendation for bravery.”

“Damn, Chief. You must of read a lot. Well, what’s important about this story didn’t make the press, thanks to ONI section 2. Yes, I held that pass that day, but I lost my entire squad doing it and got some wacky condition called Boren Syndrome. Everyone of the boys that I lost that day had family in the UNSC. I spent 27 weeks tracking them down to talk to them myself. I had the same problem you have right now, and let me tell you, trying to think of something to say before they’re right in front of you isn’t worth shit. In the end, I just told them everything. It didn’t made it all better, but it helped. And that’s what matters.”

“I‘ll have to try that.” I’ll just have to tell them everything, and hope that they can forgive me. “Thanks for the help, Sergeant”

“Call me AJ. Only my friends call me that, and believe me, the Spartans definitely make that list!”





Something was nagging on John, and he just caught it. It’s been 18 minutes since Linda left for the med bay, and she is never late. She might need a hand with her repairs to the armor, even though she’s rarely ever needed any help from anyone. Still, after everything they’ve been through in the last few days, he couldn’t blame himself for wanting to check in on her.

John put his helmet back on and tap the comm. “Linda, report.” No answer. She could be repairing suit’s comm array right now, so the chief called the med bay via intraship comm. Still no response.

“Cortana, find Linda and have her radio in.”

“Alright, chief. Give me a moment.” the multi-colored hologram had a facial expression of warm confidence as she search for the missing Spartan. The expression quickly changed into shock.

“Chief, med deck, now. No time to explain, GO.” the AI sounded as if Linda was under attack. The Chief ran out of the bridge and into the elevator, and grabbed a battle rifle and a few clips.

Something extremely bad must have happened to Linda. Maybe camouflaged Elites snuck aboard the Gettysburg from the Ascendant Justice, or perhaps a radiation leak incapacitated her. Possibilities raced through John’s mind as he descended to the med deck. When the door opened, John saw Linda on the ground, barely breathing and surrounded by a pool of blood.

“Fred, Will, Sweep the ship. We may have boarders.” Their replies came instantaneously. John swept the hall, then took her helmet off to help her breathe. A quick inspection show no additional damage on the armor that wasn’t already there went they left the Unyielding Hierophant cataclysm. Linda must have purposely understated her injuries to him.

“Damn you, Linda“, the Chief whispered as he heft her to the med bay. He may not be a surgeon, but all Spartans have medical training. If he’s quick enough, he can save her.










0350 hours, September 14, 2552 (Revised Date, Military Calendar)\Aboard UNSC Frigate Gettysburg, in Slipspace en route to Sol System.




Linda woke up, though the grogginess is slow to dissipate. She looked around and saw that she was in med bay, on a recovery bed, with a unit of blood dripping into her artery. She was in a medical gown, her armor in its components next to her left.

“About time you woke up!” Linda instantly recognized John’s voice. The grogginess, however, made it seemed as though the Chief’s voice was coming from all direction. A hand fell into Linda’s right palm, she turned to see the Chief with a report pad on his other hand. John had his helmet and gloves off, and was wearing one of his very rare smile. He put down the pad. Thanks to his rank as the Spartans’ commander, she can barely remember the last time that showed any emotional outburst.

“How long was I out?”, Linda ask with a weak voice.

“Thirty three hours, we’re only a few minutes before entering Sol system”, John replied.

“I’m sorry, Sir. I should have told you. I didn’t think my injuries was this bad.” Linda said as she dropped her head in shame.

“It wasn’t that hard to patch you up. Just some biofoam and two units of blood. Don’t take it out on yourself that hard. You’re still with us, that’s what matter’s.” John’s hand move to her face, straightening one of her stray locks of blood red hair.

There was that soft look of benevolence and concern in his deep, brown eyes and a genuine smile. Linda knew that look well, it was the look that every injured Spartan first saw when they wake up in a recovery room. She herself first saw that look during a training exercise at Reach when they were all still just teenagers, when a stun grenade detonated right in front of her. When she woke up in the hospital, John was next to her, with that same look that he is wearing right now. John was always the one to lift her spirit. She was glad that that part of him hadn’t died over the years. Linda met his gaze with her emerald green eyes, and returned his smile with her equally rare one.

“I guess I owe you another one” Linda said through her smile. “How many does that make it.”

“About as many time as you saved my life with your rifle.”

“Which was as many times you purposely blew your cover, so I could keep mine” A few moments of peaceful silence passed before Cortana appeared.

“Chief, we’re leaving slipspace in ten minutes. You should get to the bridge. The slipspace probes have probably already spotted us. The boys at Earth ODG should be jumpy when they see the supposedly destroyed Gettysburg. I‘ve slowed down a bit to give them some time to breathe, though”

“Right, I’ll be there in a few minutes. Linda, let’s get you suited up.”





John help Linda out of the bed. She should be able to move a lot easier once she is in her armor. He couldn’t help but smile as Linda disrobed to suit up. He wasn’t aroused, the augmentation would continue to suppress his sex drive for quite a while longer. He was trying to suppress a burst of laughter. The memory of that tech on Reach whose face turned completely red at the sight and shear pace of the Spartans getting out of their uniform to get into the Mark V’s flushed back to John as he help Linda put on the components.

“You washed it” Linda said referring to her fresh smelling, spotless armor. “You shouldn’t have.” She put on her helmet, a perfect fit despite the longer than permit hair.

“Actually, I had Will and Fred do it. They said they have a score to settle with the both of us now.” They both gave a small chuckle. The Mjolnir was not made with consideration giving to those who had to clean it up.





They made their way to the bridge, taking a slower than normal pace for a Spartan. John was in a bit of shock, he had just realized how loose he became in front of Linda. For a few minutes, he had lost his self-control and let his emotions loose. This hadn’t happened in years, John though. The last few weeks most have gotten to me more than I thought. He remembered when he nearly lost his temper on the Longsword. No matter, I‘ll be fine when we get to Earth.

When they arrived on the bridge, Cortana had just dropped them out of slipspace. As expected, an entire UNSC battle group of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and an entire flight of Longswords was waiting, with all their weapons locked on them. Finally, after a few tense seconds, Johnson spoke up.

“Chief, them boys on that frigate are hailing us”, the Sergeant said

“Patch it through.” John replied.

A hostile female voice came through the speakers. “Unidentified Vessel, you have ten seconds to transmit ID and confirmation codes or we will open fire!”

“This is Spartan-117 aboard the Gettysburg, we are transmitting our ID and Confirmation codes right now.” Suddenly, the comm traffic between that destroyer and the battle group and the ODG tripled. It didn’t surprised anyone on the bridge, though. FLEETCOM probably had the Gettysburg and all the Spartans written off.

Gettysburg”, the voice sounded a little less hostile. “This is In Amber Clad, we are sending a boarding party to confirm your claim. Hold position and take no further action.” In five minutes, a pelican came out of In Amber Clad’s launch bay and headed straight for them. Everyone wondered what to do next, until Johnson spoke up. “Come on, Chief. Let’s give them a big welcome.” They all left the bridge without saying another word.





They were all in the Gettysburg’s small launch bay control room, even Cortana’s hologram was there. All of them were unarmed. The Chief didn’t want to give the incoming marines any reason to fire on them. When the pelican touched down and the bay depressurized, the Spartans and Johnson headed out to greet their guests. When they were in the launch bay and the doors shut behind them, an entire platoon of ODSTs came out from behind the various crates and debris lying around, with their BR55 Battle Rifles trained on them. After a second, all the ODSTs lowered their weapons, but the marines kept their hostile look. No one was surprised by this, though, for the ODSTs always had a bone to pick with the Spartans.

One of the ODSTs took off his helmet and approached him. He was middle aged, had dark hair, and deep brown eyes. John could help but feel a sense of familiarity with a this man. He must of met him before, but even with his enhanced memory John couldn‘t pin it down. When the ODST was just a meter in front of John, he finally spoke.

“I am Sergeant Mark Solon of the In Amber Clad.” Even the voice sounded familiar to John. “I assume that you are the Master Chief Spartan-117, am I correct?”

“Yes” John replied curtly.

The man’s expression warmed up, he actually seemed friendly. “Sorry for the hot reception, we’ve been told that you were all dead.” Solon turned to his mike. “Commander Keyes, LZ is clear, no hostiles for now. There are friendlies on board. Send in the others. Marines, secure the ship. I want a full sweep in twenty minutes.” All the ODSTs except Solon left the bay with weapons ready.

Commander Keyes, I didn’t know the Captain had family in the UNSC, John thought to himself. Looking at Johnson, he could see that they both were thinking the exact same thing. Then, it occurred to John that he’ll have to explain the Captain’s death at the hands of the flood to whoever this Commander Keyes is. That is, if FLEETCOM is willing to let him divulge such sensitive information to this commander.

“Chief” Solon said as the other Pelicans were landing. “I have orders to bring your squad to the Cairo Orbital Defense Station. Admiral Hood wants to see all of you. I am to escort you there.”

“Alright, Sergeant.” John and the team took one last look at the Gettysburg. In a way, he was sorry to leave a ship that had seen them through so much. “Alright. Everybody on the Pelican. We’re going to the Cairo.” he said aloud. John took a moment to download Cortana back into his armor before he joined his team on the dropship. John saw in his Spartans the little signs of relief. Johnson, though, was not about to join their silent revelry.

“Finally, let’s see those navy nurses.”

The Spartans couldn’t help but chuckle, and Solon join them. Who is he, John thought to himself. He’ll have to have Cortana find out for him. The Pelican left the Gettysburg and headed straight for Earth. They vectored towards the Cairo once they were in high orbit above North Africa. John went to the cockpit to take his first ever look at Earth. So this is what we’ve been fighting to protect. He wished that Grace, Haveson, the Admiral was here to see the fruit of their sacrifice.

“Everyone,” Will said with his helmet off. “Looking at North Africa just reminded of a question that I’ve been dying to get answered. Who would win in hand-to-hand combat, a grunt or an orangutan?“

Everyone let loose a decent chuckle. Even John smiled, not at the joke, but over Will and the fact that his long lost sense of humor seemed to be returning. Cortana stepped in to this conversation. “I could run a probability analysis, but do you really want to know?” John was relieved to see that everybody was finally starting to unwind.


He turned and saw Linda place her hand on his shoulder. “You did good, John. Chief Mendez would have been proud.” John took her hand in his. He kept looking out the window at Earth, remembering the Chief’s words.










1700 hours, July 12, 2519 (Military Calendar)/ Epsilon Eridani System, Planet Reach, Camp Hathcock.




“Trainee-117, come walk with me” Chief Mendez said.

It had been a big day for John. He had just managed to get all 74 of his fellow Spartans home without having to leave anyone behind in that frozen wilderness. John expected to get grilled for stealing the Pelican. But instead, Dr. Halsey and Chief Mendez made him squad leader. John was proud, but confused. When the Chief told John to walk with him, he had no idea what to expect. Another test, Maybe, John thought. The possibilities raced through his mind.

They were outside, walking in the snow. This time, however, John had a coat on. They were about a quarter kilometer away from the camp when Mendez started talking.

“John, I know you don’t understand this right now, but there is a very good reason why I agreed to Dr. Halsey’s suggestion to promote you.”

John was in shock. This was the first time the Chief used his name since he first arrived on Reach. “Sir?”, he asked with curiosity.

“Just bear with me, John. I’ll explain it to you” the Chief said in an almost fatherly tone. “Let me share a secret with you, one that not many people know. There are always three types of commanders. There are the common ones that can marshal his men and take them into battle. Then there are the special ones, the ones that can lead his men to victory against impossible odds.”

“Am I one of these special commanders?” John asked with great enthusiasm. “I mean, I always win”.

“No John, you’re not either one of those. You’re something even more special. I agreed with the Doctor because the Spartans must have a commander that is of the highest caliber, the rarest of them all. Today, you proved that you are one of them.”

“What kind of commanders could that be, Chief. I mean, if you win, what else is there?”

“John, the greatest of commanders are those that can lead his men into battle against impossible odds, who can bring them victory, and then bring them home.”




ODG - Orbital Defense Grid
ODST - Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Shock Troop branch of UNSC Marine Corps


Last edited by Havoc_legionnaire on Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:39 am; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I won't review that.

But okay. That's the first time I've ever seen that done, though.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a problem with tense switching there; beware of switching tenses in the same sentence. That can throw you off quite a bit. She says, she said. She did, she does.

Quote:
Her vision was beginning to blur, and she was losing concentration. Linda knew what it was, she had lost a lot of blood in the battle. She'll have to get to the med bay and patch herself up. It won't be complicated, just some biofoam and a unit of blood. Nothing to have John worry about.


Stuff like that can net major penalties. Beware of things like that.

I liked Sargeant Johnson, how he is portrayed. A toughened kind of sargeant; but he's got another side. In the video games we see him bawling, shouting, saying stuff like, "In my day we had two sticks and a rock! - And we had to share the rock!" It shows that there's more to Sargey than just some battle-hardened guy with a hat and a rifle.

Good there, alright. Some of the things the Chief said didn't sit well with me, but you can figure that out easily enough.

Good luck!

- Dave.
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"When in doubt, empty your magazine." - Murphy's first law of combat operations.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
along with everything else that was bolted down.


Um...did you mean anything that wasn't bolted down?
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Jenkins
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confused Well I was going to say somethin about changing tenses but if I did I guess it would just be repetitive. Schooling is a very time-controlled setting but I agree with MCC: your not on a time-table here. Take some time to reread your own material. Doing this will decrease your mistakes and make your story more appealing to the reader. Oh, and I wasn't saying that you completely neglected the code but simply noting the indentation part. Sorry if my first comment sounded like I was chastizing you.

Sad As for reading your story again: I can't. If I read your story again it would feel more like proofing a Senior Project paper *cringes* for the second time. Very Happy My main purpose for reading a story is for the storyline.

Good luck in your future writings and I hope to read some more of your material.
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Mark25
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, I did like this despite its mistakes, I would comment further (usually I go quite in-depth but timewise, I'm short, sorry, it involves blank walls, paste, wallpaper and manual labour). But:

Quote:
“Take us into the moon’s shadow, But slow. Try not to attract any attention.”


What moon?

Every moon has a name, even our own in some circles I'm sure. If it's not our moon, which moon is it?

Past and present tense are for me: overall joiners, if I can read without breaking train of thought of that which I read I'm doing okay. Like Dave mentioned they do occasionally stick out, quite unusually aswell but since you are British-Chinese and know of 3 languages (as far as I know) you are forgiven where others are not (God my hypocrisy sometimes gets me down). If you should ever need an objective critic (yeah, I can do that) just pm me and I'll run through it for you.

I understand and appreciate both points that you and MCC brought up concerning 'leave no man behind', bone of contention if you like, politically, emotionally, and without forgetting, personnally. It is a divider and I'd love to read fiction that delved deeper into the subject. I, like the MCC, favour the emotional over the political (or in this case: the insanely lost! But proved not to be the case, your moral centre, not mine Havoc).

Quote:
In any case, my story focuses on Humanity in the idealistic sense. The Spartan's rediscovery of the entirety of their humanity is one of the main themes. That scene is is a demonstration of hope and faith, which I defined as the tenacity of human stubborness despite the impossible odds and logic of the situation.


Dude! Beautiful, just beautiful, now throw that into your fiction but tone down what 'some' consider your giddy school girl happy-go-lucky (personally I consider it enthusiasm and love but hey) attitude and slam it home with some serious definition of what your good at: clinical anaylses. If you can dissect a species merely from small tidbits (hunters), I imagine you can positively glow when it comes to the same with characters that have an aspect removed from them (i.e. Spartans). Loved that synopsis though, seriously!..

Onto my next point, overuse! Yep I'll post a little poem I recognised some parts of, when I came across it!:


Quote:
Sentences start with a Capital letter,
So as to make your writing better.
Use a full stop to mark the end.
It closes every sentence penned.
Insert a comma for short pauses and breaks,
And also for lists the writer makes.
Dashes --like these-- are for thoughts.
They provide additional information (so do brackets, of course).
These two dots are colons: they pause to compare.
They also do this: list, explain and prepare.
The semicolon makes a break; followed by a clause.
It does the job of words that link; it's also a short pause.
An apostrophe shows the owner of anyone's things,
It's quite useful for shortenings.
I'm glad! He's mad! Don't walk on the grass!
To show strong feelings use an exclamation mark!
A question mark follows Where? When? Why? What? and How?
Can I? Do you? Shall we? Tell us now!
"Quotation marks" enclose what is said.
Which is why they are often called 'speech marks' instead.

1) Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2) Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3) And don't start a sentence with a conjuction.
4) It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5) Avoid clichés like the plague.
6) Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
7) Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
8 ) Be more or less specific.
9) Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
10) No sentence fragments.
11) Contractions aren't necessary, and shouldn't be used.
12) One should never generalise.
13) Don't use no double negatives.
14) Eschew ampersands & abbreviations etc.
15) Eliminate commas, that are not necessary.
16) Never use a big word when a diminutive one suffice.
17) Kill all exclamations!!!
18 ) Use words correctly, irregardles of how others use them.
19) Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
20) Puns are for children, not for groan readers.
21) Proofread carefully to see if you any worlds out.
22) One-word sentences? Eliminate.
23) The passive voice is to be ignored.
24) Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
25) Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.


Overuse of the exclamation mark can be detrimental! Dammit! (joking but still serious). I like you, and at the minute that is a good thing for all the right reasons.

Schooling doesn't/Shouldn't end when you have left school! (! for no benefit at all lol)

Will someone please explain to me the 'blood red hair' thing, not just to you Havoc, others have used it aswell (a poem by a one Kathryne something no less, which was actually great, used crimson which I attempted to redress for her and now I realise I've made a mistake but for blood red hair I say no, no, unless it's in the metaphorical or 'fantasised'!). You can't have 'blood red hair without a dye (so says my Goddess, she's a hairdresser!)! lol, gotta love those !

Anyway, I've said enough without actually venturing into anything at all. Back soon hopefully. Getting beered now, hopefully not alone, enjoy.

Btw this is from the thread version not the post, sorry dude, didn't actually turn up early enough to get round to that and even if I had I wouldn't have got round to it.

It can take a lifetime to understand a minute, it can take a lifetime to live that minute.

Loving you at the minute dude, but, that minute can change...

I'll have a full breakdown sometime next week hopefully, if not, Merry Christ's Mass everybody. Hope you all have great experiences at this wonderful time of the year.
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I raise my gun and my torchlight fumbles in the darkness of the sewers, seeking out my assailant.
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