Halo Origins: Prologue
Posted By: Enthrone Darkness Triumphant<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 28 July 2009, 7:27 am
SSC Orbital Station Novaya Petrograd
July 11, 2162
Major Sergei Andreyvich Novocelski held his breath as he stared through the massive window that held up his feet. Clad in his matte black stealth-intrusion battle armour, he gaped at the view and the marvel of engineering that prevented him from falling into the vacuum of space. Down below glimmered the lights of the Baltic cities, as the black nano-fibre tether that ran from the station disappeared to its eventual destination of Leningrad.
It had been a half century since the Union reformed to its old self and took the world by surprise.
"Everyone should have seen it coming," Sergei chuckled to himself as he reminisced about the reformation. "It wasn't like it was all hush, hush; I mean a nuclear war nearly happened."
Indeed the world was taken by surprise about the Soviet Union resurfacing nearly a century and a half after its collapse. It was the cascade of global events that accelerated what was basically an underground movement for some time.
The global economies had started to slump and the off planet colonies only drained national resources even further. America, China and India were the only nations to have colonies on extraterrestrial bodies that did not include the Moon and were also the largest consumers of raw materials, food, fuel and goods. After the hit and the knowledge of dwindling supplies, the three giants looked for replenishment and ease of material sans tariffs and trade agreements. Apart from the knowledge of dwindling agricultural output around the globe and lack lustre fuel supplies, the real spark to the wildfire was the lack of fresh water.
America with its vast armies and naval supremacy annexed Canada amidst global uproar and had complete control of the North-West Passage and the nation's vast fresh water reserves up north. India on the other hand started to invest heavily on reverse osmosis plants around its entire shore lines, successfully being able to quench the thirst of its two billion plus population.
China on the other hand was stuck in political turmoil and plight. The Chinese Communist Party was losing power because of the changing times and situations. When Deng had first opened the doors of Communist China to the world, corporations had flooded capital to harness the massive labour forces available in the fledging nation. Through the times, the nation had built up and modernized to the point that the cheap labour force was nullified by massive retirements and lack of replacement bodies. The new workers being more educated and in demand, formed powerful unions that made the original corporations lose money, so they shut down thereby forcing the government to lose capital at an exponential rate.
The markets started to crumble; the Asiatic nation could not afford the infrastructural costs of building the salt water treatment plants and saw an opportunity within Russia. Lake Baikal itself held forty percent of the global fresh water reserves and the Siberia as well could for the first time make China self sufficient in supplying its own energy.
So the war arose as the mighty military of the Peoples Republic took on with the lone Russian Division in the Far East. The world held its breath as it expected Russsia to capitulate rapidly as Canada did to the USA, however a sequence of events would turn the tables.
Attacking in winter, the PRC military drove straight to Baikal forcing the Far East Division to regroup at Chita, a small town in the Far East. Meanwhile, the Russia's European divisions were transported east with the combined efforts of the ground, air, and space forces. In one week an army had been mobilized at Irkutsk, the largest city in Siberia located on the shores of Baikal.
With the ingenuity of the generals and the stone cold tenacity of the Russian soldiers, they were able to execute a series of pincers that cut the entire PRC military in Russia off while the original force at Chita leapt straight towards Beijing.
Sensing that the dire situation at hand, the Chinese Politburo unanimously moved for a nuclear first strike, however the launched MIRV's were easily intercepted by the ABM and satellite defence mechanisms that protected the nation.
Both nations were in uproar over the launches, one wanting to retaliate with everything it had and the other nearly falling into an all out revolution. The situation dissolved when the former Russian President Fydrov calming his Generals and using his warm heart and common sense logic to sign a peace accord that in general annexed China with Russia. Fydrov with a charm and smile that could disarm foes that dared meet him decided to move on the dire global situation. One by one, the former republics began to join the Russian Federation as autonomous republics until the world woke up one day, two decades later to see the scarlet banner once again flutter above the Kremlin and the Red Army parade down its streets with pride.
Novocelski smiled at that thought, remembering the parade as a little toddler standing on his fathers shoulders to catch a glimpse of the passing soldiers. His smile faded as his cold blue eyes squinted past the window underneath him. He caught a glimpse of thin streaks heading underneath him, falling towards the Baltic's.
"Are those missiles?" the thought quickly processed through his mind, only to be verified as they turned to puffs by the automatic ABM defence mechanisms that came online. "Who wants to declare war on us now?" he couldn't help smiling as the pride swelled within him as his nation easily swatted the deadliest weapons known to mankind. His pride quickly turned to surprise as he shielded his eyes from a bright light that arose from the horizon like a second sun over the Soviet Far East.
The blaring klaxons and pulsing red lights gave a nasty migraine to Novocelski as he tried to make his way to the briefing hall. The sudden flash of light had caused him to lose sight momentarily and he still saw spots in his returning vision coinciding with a throbbing head therefore causing him to walk like he was under the influence of alcohol.
Finally he made it into the small room and the occupants rose to acknowledge his arrival. Proudly, they curled their right hands into fists and slammed them over their hearts; their own makeshift salute to their commander.
Yuri stood closest to him, the tall seven foot man from the Urals made of pure muscle and had tenacity that was hard as steel. Being the only one of his size in the group, he usually carried the heavy weaponries and was also a qualified demolitions expert and frogman.
Beside the Ural beast stood Hu; a five foot seven Asian man who hailed from Guangzhou. Even with his bulky componential black armour on, he still looked scrawny and did not blend in with commando group, but his skills made up for what he lacked in physical prowess. Novocelski had heard rumours that Hu's squad had been ambushed years back in the Hengduan Mountain Ranges by Maoist insurrectionists. He, by himself had apparently sniped majority of the attacking force while not sustaining a single wound plus his hacking abilities were legendary within the ranks of the Red Army.
Last in line stood Senior Lieutenant Kulwant Singh Sodhi, also known to the motley group as the lion of Punjab. The son of a diplomat, he moved to the Soviet Union when he was a toddler and after his fathers term was up, he decided to stay and got his citizenship. Nobody really talked to him as his ice cold glare was enough to send shivers down ones spine and his large white, bearded face showed lineage of Aryan descent. Kul as everyone called him was the stealth expert, even for his massive size nobody could hear him if he didn't want to be heard. He had slain more people with his personal blade than with any firearm he had rarely fired.
They were all part of the Spetsnaz Omega team, the black op commandos that only the Secretariat of the KGB and the people above her knew of its existence; thus, they all waited for her arrival to execute the briefing.
"Gentlemen!" a woman in her dress uniform supporting the rank of Colonel General addressed the room as she walked in while another woman in a white lab coat followed. The commandos moved to attention and snapped their hands to the formal military salute while they eyed the woman with the lab coat with suspicion. "I have some serious and depressing news to inform you of," General Petrov's hard hazel eyes started to fill mist. "The Union came under nuclear attack; Moscow and Leningrad's ABM sites were able to knock all incoming warheads out but our Far East missile defence grid was sabotaged."
Nobody spoke but the tension in the room started to rise as the general continued on. "Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk, and Khabarovsk were protected by the navy's strategic air defence cruisers but we lost Irkutsk since it relied on the sabotaged defence grid. The explosion verified a five megaton device; thereby majority of the two million residents will be dead."
"So why haven't we responded with everything we have?" Novocelski spoke up after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence. "We did learn to triangulate launch sites back in the twentieth century I believe."
"The reason we did not retaliate is because the launch sites were tracked to South America." Petrov responded as she stared out towards the planet. "It's a mess, since we tracked the launches from all over the Amazon which brings me to the topic of why all of you are here. Do any of you recognize this man?" Petrov inserted her portable drive to the projector which in turn displayed a photo of a bald Caucasian man in his late fifties.
"Secretary of State Bernard Dover of the American Empire," Hu answered as the picture came up. "What's up with him?"
"We have been tracking him to the SA continent for the past two years," The general loaded and executed another file which displayed all of the Intel and vitals on the man. "He travelled their under the guise of negotiating a treaty with the communist insurrectionists stationed there plus reinforce ties with the local governments to combat the illicit drug trafficking that has been on the increase over there."
"So how did the regional SA governments get nuclear weapons and how is this guy involved?"
"Well lieutenant, the KGB believes the Empire supplied the arms to the insurrectionists and planned to have us wage war with them, but for what reason I do not know of yet." The KGB secretariat smiled as she uploaded a map with a series of coordinates on the Brazilian portion of the rainforest. "Your mission is to capture Mr. Ben Dover and interrogate him for the reasons of this illicit arms trade and why the Empire desires us to wage war. Oh, and if he confesses about the Empires involvement, the Supreme Soviet will likely push for war against the Imperialists."
"So when do we go get this fuck?" Kul suddenly spoke up as he balanced his personal blade on his fore finger, the wrinkles on his forehead tensed as his eyes narrowed and locked with the generals. "I wouldn't mind giving that bastard some dental torture."
"Don't get too ahead of yourself, buddy guy," Yuri retorted with his voice filled with a thick Russian accent. "I have to break a few of his flimsy bones first, da."
"Gentlemen!" Petrov interrupted the conversation. "All of you can entertain yourselves with him after you extract and document the confession. By the way, the mission will be executed tonight therefore please give your undivided attention to Dr. Koralev who is going to brief you on how every one of you will enter restricted airspace."
The female in the lab coat took the podium and inserted her own data drive. Quickly retying her blonde hair into a ponytail she addressed the room as her file came online. "Good morning gentlemen, I am Valentina Koralev of NPO Saturn's jet propulsion and exo-atmospheric research division. The general has not told you yet but you will be dropping into the Empire's airspace to interrogate your package, therefore the usual drop by atmospheric craft will be futile."
"So are we just going to like waltz in or something," Yuri quipped back with a giant smirk on his face.
"Yuri, shut up!" Novocelski shot back as he turned to face the doctor. "My apologies please continue."
"Thank you Major," she gave curt nod and continued. "As I was saying, drops by atmospheric craft are not plausible due to the likelihood of being shot down; therefore NPO Saturn is willing to allow the Omega squad to use exo-atmospheric re-entry vehicles."
"You're going to drop us in from space!" Yuri shot up in surprise. "That's absurd, I mean we could land hundred of miles from our LZ with the technology we have today."
"Mr. Yuri, please calm down and let me finish for goodness sake," Koralev threw up her hands to calm the burly Russian down. "The re-entry vehicle will take you down to approximately fifty thousand feet as which you will eject and proceed to execute a high altitude low opening jump. I believe all of you are proficient at that, am I right?"
"You are correct madam, but please do elaborate on your trials with this contraption of yours," the doctor was taken aback as Novocelski questioned her.
"We have so far tested this so called 'contraption' with primates and we have had partial success with them," the doctor smiled as she motioned for the general to come back.
"Please doctor, describe this partial success," Sergei interrupted Koralev mid step. "My team and I either have missions executed with complete success of failure, nothing in between."
"Well major," the doctor began. "In the scientific community nothing completely goes right the first time around, so we like to think of the glass as half full even if their have been some hiccups."
"In this case are
.?" Novocelski fluttered his hand for the doctor to explain.
"Okay, you win," she huffed and began to explain. "The product that the NPO Saturn design team wants is an entry vehicle that can take the occupant all the way to the ground but it cannot behave like normal escape pods since they would be shot of the sky with ease. So these 'crafts' have to slow down in the stratosphere and then decelerate within a couple of hundred feet off the ground. When we tried to test the prototypes they ended up crashing because the reverse thrusters couldn't slow the craft down enough, hence the reason for the HALO jump."
"Thank you for your time doctor," Petrov jumped in as she took the podium. "Gentlemen, please review the Intel and meet myself and the doctor at the docking bay no later than 1500 hours. I will report the location of the secretary at that point, so meanwhile get something to eat and have your gear ready; dismissed."