Halo- Countdown to Zero
Author: AtinMando

Chapter 9

On board UNSC Supercruiser Stonewall

This was great. Atin now had a fleet to combat Section Zero with. Battlegroup Stonewall. Excellent. After they transitioned to slipspace, Atin switched on the intercom so all of the Battlegroup could hear. “Fleet, you have been chosen for a great honor. You will destroy a secret subcell of ONI that has gone rampant and are attacking the UNSC. If you are lucky, this mission will have never happened. No one will know that this went on. But you will know that you saved the UNSC. Good luck. Now, when we get to the planet, form a blockade around Zero's headquarters and start shelling the area around it from orbit. Zeta squad will infiltrate the complex and kill the leader, take the main data, and get out of there. After that, we will commence the Orbital Bombardment.”

“ETA to Tasur IV?”

Nikki, who was manning the NAV station, replied, “42 minutes to arrival. We should go down to the launch bay and load up. How are we getting down there?”

“The easy way. Dropship.”

In the launch bay, the squad was forming up next to a special prototype heavy attack gunship.

“Ok, everyone, grab your weapons and suit up. We go out there in 5.”

Jon looked at the gunship. “This thing looks powerful. What kind of weapons?”

Atin patted the ship approvingly. “Dual machine chin machine guns, unique pulse laser turrets, two on the body, two on the wings. And, finally, new energy shrouded missiles. The energy pierces armor, then the missile detonates inside. A major improvement. However, don't hold your breath about this replacing the Pelican. It's way too expensive, and a special variant has to be deployed in order to transport vehicles. So the trusty Pelican is still the standard.”

“We have arrived at the world of Tasur IV. Zeta squad, please launch. All ships, prepare for Orbital Bombardment.”

Atin stood and placed his BR on his back. “You ready, squad?”

The squad stood, and said, “Ready.”

“Then lets go.”

The dropship wasn't very cramped, but the pre-mission jitters still made Atin feel like the cabin was smaller than it was. When the dropship reached the facility, it skimmed the ceiling until it found a good landing spot close to the center. The squad jumped off the side and they reached the door. “Damn. Locked.” Nikki said. The dropship pilot spoke up. “Clear the area! I'm gonna blast the door!” When everyone was clear, the gunship shot a pair of missiles at the door. The door, along with the room behind it, was blasted to bits. “Much appreciated, pilot.” The squad sprinted into the totaled room and kicked the back door in. In the following hallway, there was a computer terminal. Atin inserted Solipsil's chip into the terminal. “All right, I'm in. But I can't reach the encrypted files. I have to be in the control room to do that. But I can close all doors except for the ones leading to the control room for you guys. Also, I can reroute all Section Zero forces to another part of the facility so they won't bother you. Come on, lets go to the control room. It's not far.” They continued along until they reached an elevator. “This should take us to the control room.” Kami said. “It's nice to finally have an easy mission. And no hostiles to boot. This'll be easy.”

Atin replied, “It's easy. Maybe too easy. A gunship coming in, and blowing a door is too hard to miss. They must have seen us. I don't like this. But we need to get the data we came for.” Atin took Solipsil out of the terminal and back into his helmet. They entered the elevator, and it went down. “Ok, squad, take positions. There are likely to be guards, but I don't think that they will use their Active Camo. Take positions, ready.” The door opened, and the squad ran out, killing the guards and the computer personnel. When the smoke had cleared, Atin put Solipsil's chip in the central computer system.

“Solipsil, see if you can uncover their plan. Find out what they're doing.”

Solipsil sounded frustrated. “There's a lot of kill systems raining down on me, hang on, I'll block their systems. Ok, lets see. Plan. Ok, got it. Its an encrypted file. Opening. What? They're not serious! They can't be! The war is over! Damn it!”

“Solipsil, what is going on in there? What is their plan?”

Solipsil sounded worried. “Section Zero is planning to activate Halo.”

Atin looked at the squad for a second. “Are you serious? Halo? Why?”

“Because they think that the Brutes will attack us again. So this is a kind of double-knockout. But this is crazy!”

“We have to stop them. Whatever it takes. Where are they now?”

Solipsil replied, “They already left, but they're going to take the whole Halo under their control before they fire it. That should buy us some time. Also, they are going to stop at another planet and uncover some supplies of some sort. I think we should go back to Earth, ask for a fleet from Lord Hood, and stop the firing of Halo once and for all.”

Kami shook her head. “But we don't even know what Halo they're going to.”

Atin said, “Yes we do. Delta Halo. Substance system. It's the only Halo that we know the Coordinates to. Solipsil, lets get out of here.” Atin retrieved the chip and inserted it into his armor. They sprinted to the busted door, and radioed the gunship. When they were picked up, they saw the ships in space destroy Section Zero's headquarters with multiple MAC shots.

“This is going to be a challenge.”


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