Halo- Countdown to Zero
Author: AtinMando

Chapter 4
The Nightmare

Inside a UNSC Hospital

Atin, Kami, and Nikki all sat around Charlotte's hospital bed. She would be fine, but she was still unconscious. And worse, with the injuries she sustained, she would be out of action for a while.

“We need a new strategy.” Nikki said. “This isn't working. If we keep this up, Section Zero will accomplish what they want to do before we know what hit us.”

Atin held his hands up to his mouth. “I agree. We have to get to work. But I don't think we should leave Char here. We should take turns staying here.”

Kami nodded. “Ok. Atin, you want to take the first shift?”

“Sure. Ill stay for 6 hours, then Nikki, then you, Kami.”

Nikki and Kami stood. “Good luck. See you in 6 hours.”

“Bye.” Left with nothing to do, and with the sedatives still in Charlotte's system, Atin nodded off.

“Cover that side! Send reinforcements to the west bunker!”

“Hostiles reported in the city center! Hundreds of Brutes! They're murdering the civilian population!”

“Fires reported in all corridors! We can't hold the Command Post!”

“Fall back! Everybody fall back!”

“What the hell? Somethings going on with that artifact near Voi!”

“What? What's going on with it?”

“I don't know! The Forerunner ship shot a beam of light, and now there's a big portal or something! The ships are going through it.”

“That isn't important. Concentrate on the mission. That's all that matters-uhhh...ugg...ahh.

“LT? Shit! Brutes in the CP! Code Red! Code Re-Ahh!

“Fall back! Everybody fall back! LT? Lieutenant Atin! Come on!!”

“I'm gonna settle this score. Kill these Brutes. Will, hold them off for a couple more seconds. We can't let the Covenant take this CP, Jon. You know that. Ok, charges are set. Let's get out of here!”

Atin woke up with a jolt. “Damn. Not this again.” Will. He missed Will. Every time after a mission, he'd want to go into space just to stare at the stars. He loved space almost as much as Atin. He looked up at Char, and she stirred. Her eyes opened, and she looked around. “Welcome back.” He said. “We were worried about you.”

“What happened? The mission. It felt like I was hit with a frag grenade.”

“You were. It was human forces. An ambush.”

“But how? I didn't see them.”

“They used Active Camouflage Technology.”

“So it wasn't the Insurrection.”

“No. We are thinking it was Section Zero.”

“Huh. Wouldn't surprise me.”

A nurse entered, and, surprised to see Char awake, said, “You should be getting plenty of bed rest. You should be asleep right now.”

Atin nodded. “Yes,you should. The morphine you are on will wear off soon. I need to contact the rest of the squad.”

Charlotte didn't look content. “You should find another soldier to take my place until I get better. If this is Section Zero, you will need a full squad.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. You'll need all the help you can get. Ill be back in action in a few weeks.”

“All right. See you soon. Bye.”

Atin was at the end of his line. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, on Section Zero. The tech room was going as fast as it can, and even Solipsil couldn't find anything.

“Bingo! Gotcha!” Solipsil said with excitement!”

Atin looked up. “What did you find out?”

“Proof that this is Section Zero that attacked Trivert. I found the same routing code from the Covie station as the Prowler that attacked Trivert.”

“So we now know that it is Section Zero.”

“Exactly. So what now?”

“Well, we need a replacement squad member for a while. We'll start with that. And I know just the person.”

“Good. You do that, and we'll try to get some troops together to help us with Section Zero.”

Atin nodded and left.


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