Project Myrmidon- Prologue, Part 1
Posted By: spartan shot<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 1 December 2009, 9:53 pm
My first story for non-video game purposes. Please comment.
March 4, 2532 10:32 A.M. Interior: UNSC Halcyon-class Cruiser, Black Widow.
Ackerson watched the recordings over and over again. He watched as the final defenses of Harvest were torn to shreds. The snow covered region was dotted with explosion craters, destroyed vehicles, and bodies of both factions.
"How did this happen?" he thought to himself.
He was alone in a COMM room. He watched several times how the battle was lost. How Jacob B. Mutter's helmet cam survived after it's user had been brutally killed. He watched as hundreds of Covenant left their tracks in the snow and went about, drunk with victory, laughing and desecrating the bodies of countless marines.
The most insulting thing he saw, the one thing that made his blood boil, was how one of the Elites, one in golden armor, picked up a living marine and tortured him. The alien threw him around. The others formed a circle around the two like kids on the playground, chanting and mocking the marine. The human attempted to fight back only to have his knees crushed in by the Elite's boot. He had something clutched in his hand. Something which he clung to with his very life. The Elite saw him trying to hide it. It walked up to him and pried it from his fingers. It was a crucifix.
"Your pathetic superstitions will not save you!" said the Elite.
He tossed the chain and pendant into a fire that burned just outside of the circle. The marine could not walk but he stayed defiant. He crawled over to the Elite and grabbed it's leg. He used all of his strength to climb up the alien's body. The other Covenant giggled and laughed at this desperate move. He was grabbed by the throat and tossed near the blaze. The marine just lay there, staring at the flames. The Elite walked up behind him and grabbed him by the back of the neck. It slowly pushed him towards the fire.
"This fate awaits the rest of your worthless race" it said.
The marine reached into the flame and pulled something out. He then grabbed the Elite's other hand and pressed the searing hot object into it's palm. The alien yelled in pain.
"SEMPER FI MOTHER FUCKER!" the marine yelled defiantly.
The Elite then snapped his neck in it's hand. Ackerson then paused and zoomed in on the small object. It was the crucifix. He then zoomed in on the Elite's hand. The symbol of one of humanities dominant religions was now permanently burned into the flesh of the Covenant warrior. Ackerson then hit play and the Elite ran from view with shame. He could not watch anymore. He stopped the recording.
Ackerson then looked at several satellite photos taken before the battle ended. He saw a battlefield covered in snow. It had dots of fire and wreckage. One thing stood out above all. The ruins of a Scarab sat at the base of a small mountain. Ackerson thought about this weapon. How it kills and terrifies thousands. He wanted a weapon like that for the UNSC. Something that would instill fear in the hearts of the Covenant. Something that would prevent situations like the one he just saw. He then scrolled around the photo observing further chaos. He looked around patiently until he saw something that gave him an idea. He looked at a destroyed Cyclops laying on it's back next to the barrel of a wrecked Scorpion Tank. He smiled.
December 25, 2543 6:12 A.M. Planet Reach.
Ackerson had called a surprise meeting one week ago.
"This better be important" I thought.
Of course it was. We were one hundred and fifty stories beneath Menachite Mountain. CASTLE Base was the last place I wanted to be on Christmas. I was gonna get hell from Leila for not being home to open presents with the kids. But ONI brass would skin me if I had refused to attend. Looking back on it, I never should've left New York. I never should've left Earth. I never should've accepted this God forsaken position. But I had no choice. My time on the front lines was over. I was with ONI now. I was a spook.
I had enlisted when I was sixteen back in 2518. My father was the only family I had and he was killed fighting Insurrectionists. I put whatever dream I had aside indefinitely to get some payback. I had gone on several ops against the rebels with an old friend of mine from boot camp. If only he could see me now. He wouldn't believe the position I had landed. Then again, John Forge wouldn't have believed most of what's been going on since he disappeared. Last I heard, he was on the Spirit of Fire and was supposedly dead when we lost that ship twelve years ago.
I walked down the hall and towards the theater. I saw only one person in front of me. Whoever it was, they entered the theatre. I followed. As I entered the lobby area, I was stopped by two marines. Two more stood up against the wall on each side of the room. All four of them were in black uniforms and carried MA5C Assault Rifles. One of the two at the door asked me for identification.
"Lieutenant Colonel Andrew DeCorzo. I'm here for Ackerson's meeting" I said.
The door slid open.
"Happy Holidays marines" I said as I walked in.
Upon entering the large room, I saw it about half full with other ONI brass. All of them old and grizzled. I was one of the few in the crowd below the age of fifty. I walked down to the first few rows and sat next to another young officer, the one whom had entered before me. I wanted to ask what this was all about, but no one would respond. Either they knew as much as I did or they were not allowed to say anything. After ten minutes of sitting, Colonel Ackerson walked on the stage and stood at the podium.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have called you here today with good news. Perhaps it is fit that today is Christmas. For I am about to give you all the gift of the century. A way to end the Covenant genocide" he said with a large smile.
There was a pause. The others among the crowd began to whisper. The shrilled voice of an old woman echoed through the room.
"This had better be good Ackerson. I'm missing Christmas with my grandchildren."
The voice was that of Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky. The coldest woman in the UNSC. She was somewhere in her nineties. How she was alive, and still on duty, was beyond me. What surprised me even more was that she had grandchildren. I can't imagine having her as a grandmother, or even as a mother for that matter. I pitied those children. Ackerson continued.
"Of course Vice Admiral. I assure all of you that this is worth your time."
"Let us be the judges of that" said Parangosky.
"The Covenant have been picking us off one planet at a time. Human lives are being taken on and off of the battlefield. But I have discovered a way to end this problem" said Ackerson.
The crowd again began to whisper. I stayed silent.
"We have had a breakthrough in the robotics programs and have forged the ultimate weapon. So without further ado
." he pushed a button on the podium and blue pixels began to flicker on the stage in massive formations. "I give you Project Myrmidon!"
The pixels formed a detailed image of a large robot resembling a Cyclops exoskeleton. It was the same size, but somewhat sleeker and more advanced. The crowd had escalated their whispers to louder speech. Some in anger.
"Colonel Ackerson, I don't know if you've noticed but we don't use Cyclops' on wide scale anymore" said a random officer.
"This is not a Cyclops" said Ackerson.
The hologram of the robot rotated to it's left. It then looked as if it was cut in half and revealed an interior of wires and mechanics.
"As you can see, it requires no human to pilot it."
"Then who would pilot it?" another officer asked.
"That's the best part" said Ackerson.
The hologram of the robot shrank and moved to the upper right corner of the stage.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Achilles!" said Ackerson with a large smile.
A man entered stage right. He was wearing ancient Greek armor. Blonde hair crept out from underneath the back of his dark bronze helmet. His chest plate was made of the same dark bronze. They almost looked golden. In his right hand he held a spear. A shield was strapped on his left. The crowd was silent now.
"He is the first generation of our new Warrior AI" said Ackerson. The crowd began to speak loudly.
"Colonel, we don't even have enough AI's for our ships. Are you proposing that we put an AI in each one of these robots?" asked Parangosky.
"Yes and no, Vice Admiral. What's special about Achilles is that he can be present in all of the Myrmidons at once."
The crowd fell silent.
"He is omnipresent within these mecha-warriors, controlling all of them at once" said Ackerson.
"This must've come at a great price Colonel. What have you sacrificed in this AI to give it such capability?" a random officer asked.
"Well, he is only given the capability to fight and respond to orders. He cannot learn like most AI's."
"That's insane!" said Parangosky. "You want to put a dumb AI in the field?"
"No Vice Admiral" said Ackerson. "There is a video feed inside each mecha-warrior. If there is any critical information on the enemy, we will be able to retrieve it. However, Achilles will be able to obtain tactical data on the battlefield. Say a Seraph was about to bomb the area, Achilles is able to recognize the threat and either avoid it or take it out."
"How will the AI be controlling the robots all at once?" another officer asked.
"There will be a transmitter in and with a nearby ship, base, or mobilized team. The transmission will be on a super encrypted signal that only the receivers inside the Myrmidons can pick up."
"So what happens when the transmitter is destroyed? I mean we are not doing so well in space combat, and anything on the ground can be taken out by orbital bombardment" said another officer.
"That brings me to my next point" said Ackerson. Achilles vanished into thin air and the hologram of the robot was brought back into it's full size. " The Myrmidon can be retrofitted with a wide assortment of weapons and tools. It can take out a threat before it is in real danger."
The hologram began displaying what weapons and tools would be used on the robot. Such things included .50cal machine guns and GAUSS cannons on the forearms, shoulder mounted 90 millimeter cannons, shoulder mounted rocket pods, back mounted jet boosters for space combat and boarding missions, wrist mounted tools such as welders and saws, and an extendable wrist mounted bar for destruction purposes as seen on the Cyclops.
The crowd had gone from angry and impatient to curious and interested. Ackerson had their attention. He sure as hell had mine. But one thought ran through my mind: the SPARTAN-II Project. Colonel Ackerson had always been trying to upstage Dr. Halsey and her Spartans. This new project seemed to do just that. It had incredible possibilities and even the name would upstage the Spartans. The Myrmidons in ancient history were loyal soldiers who the warrior Achilles commanded in the Trojan War.
Ackerson was about to beat Dr. Halsey. I didn't like it one bit. He had been using things like the Spartan-III Project to do this. Ackerson was about to burry Halsey and the Spartans right under ONI's nose. I couldn't hold my tongue anymore, I stood up.
"I'm sorry Colonel, but is this just another attempt to upstage Dr. Halsey and the Spartan-II Project?" I said fearlessly.
The whole room looked at me.
"Identify yourself" Ackerson barked.
"Lieutenant Colonel Andrew DeCorzo, sir"
"Ah yes. DeCorzo" said Ackerson. "I figured you of all people would bring up my little rivalry with Halsey."
"I know all about your Spartan friend. Fhajad-084 right? He washed out didn't he? Now you want to make me look bad because of your buddy. Am I right?" said Ackerson
"Don't get me wrong sir. This project has incredible possibilities. I'm just pointing out the shear fact that Halsey has been beating you for funds on such projects. I do recommend that we look into this project a little deeper before mobilizing units. I say this because these mecha-warriors lack the one thing that the Spartans have: human intuition."
Everyone in the crowd looked at me. They knew I was right. Those of them who had served on the battlefield knew you couldn't rely on machines for everything. If you put too much reliance on them, when they fail you fail.
"Of course, we shall test them to the UNSC standards. The Myrmidon is very reliable. I assure you" said Ackerson.
"That is yet to be seen Colonel" I said.
I sat down.
"They are currently in the testing phase and will be operational very soon" said Ackerson. "All in favor of pushing Project Myrmidon forward?"
Half the room raised their hands. Including Parangosky. She was very skeptical about this whole thing at first but I knew she liked Halsey just as much as Ackerson. Halsey was the only person to have ever crossed her and live to tell about it. My guess is that she wanted to see her put down, regardless of how effective the Spartans were.
"Good. If testing permits it, we shall mobilize one battalion of Myrmidons within the next year. Happy Holidays everyone" said Ackerson.
Everyone stood. I left the theatre before anyone else. I had to tell Dr. Halsey about this. She may see this project as something helpful to humanity, or threatening to her. Who knew how she'd react. Either way, I could not reach her. I had no idea where she was.
I walked down the hall and towards the elevator. I should've left for home but I had to see someone else first. Since Halsey was nowhere to be found, I would go to one of her pupils. Fhajad was on planet somewhere. I had to find him.