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Spartans Never Die

A sea of plasma and white surrounded and encompassed the green-armored soldier known as Caleb-095, and yet oddly, he felt no pain. No, all he felt was remorse and resignation… For those that died before him, for those that would die after, for those he lost and whom he failed to keep. Memories of his life flashed before his eyes and before he could nail them down to grab hold of his faltering life, they faded away to ash.

Well, at least he gave them hell. A couple thousand dead Covenant makes for one monumental epitaph to his life and death as a Spartan. He did his duty and he supposed that would have to be good enough. The blackness seeped in around him and the blinding light faded away. His consciousness faltered and dimmed, and he was about to surrender to the end… Until…

Something grabbed hold of his mind and jolted him awake with the realization that he wasn’t dead. Hell, he wasn’t even atomized like he should have been. Something amiss was happening, and when he opened his eyes, he saw a part of what: The form of a faceless white silhouette of a man sat before him in stark contrast to the void surrounding them. What. In the fu- The entity spoke before he could finish his thought.

Quote:“My name is Omni. This is not the world you know. This is the Omniverse. You interest me, so I have made you part of it. The Omniverse is a place that reflects the wishes of those who are part of it. But! There are rules. I will explain them only once, so listen carefully.”

Omni hands you a glimmering orb in which all the colors of the rainbow coalesce. “This is Omnilium. It’s what ties the Omniverse together. Without it, you are nothing. With it, anything you desire can be yours. But you will need more than this. If you desire it enough, you will find it. You will find that using it comes naturally. Just think of what you desire most.

“You will not be alone in the Omniverse. There are others. Of course, they, too desire Omnilium. Do not fear death. For as long as you interest me, you will be reborn.

“That’s all you need to know right now. You’ll figure out the rest soon enough. I’ll be watching … and waiting.”

He jolted upward, flinging himself away from the trickling waters of a mossy stone fountain with a towering statue resembling that of the Colossus of Rhodes; broad, steadfast, intricately detailed, and made of solid bronze by the looks of it. All around him was a never-ending whiteness, with no trees, no plant life, no sky, no stars, and no sun. Just… white.

Well that tears it. I’m dead, God’s insane, and Heaven sucks.

Caleb performed a quick check on himself while he had the chance. He ran a diagnostic on his armor while he inspected his injuries and armor plating. There was some severe plasma scoring here and there; portions of his titanium armor were burned clean through, leaving black charred holes in his worn green armor. He had some bruises and minor burns that he could feel whenever he flexed his arms or legs, but nothing pressing. All in all, he wasn’t bad for having been recently incinerated by a Covenant glassing beam. After finishing his self-examination, he read off the diagnostics results from his helmet’s HUD after it had finished running through.

\>System Diagnostics complete!

!!Exterior Plating compromised!!
Shield Control System inoperable!
!!Shield System inoperable!!
Comms System inoperable!
Motion Tracker inoperable!
Thermal Vision inoperable!

I honestly expected it to tell me I was dead. This. Well, this isn't so bad... He commented.

He took a mental note of his armor’s internal systems and began analyzing his current combat ability. His supporting optics were basically fried, he had no way to call for help -not that he was sure anyone would hear him- and his shields were busted. Aside from that and some plasma scoring, burns, sprains, and bruising, he was still in one piece. He had his rifle magnetically clasped to his back, a couple of frag grenades on his waist, and the sword he stole off a dead Elite hanging off his hip. He was in good enough shape to fight if he had to, but without his shields, he thought it best if he avoided any Covenant invasion forces for a while. It would be smart not to try his luck twice in the same day with that. He can never be too certain God will throw him back into fountains the next time he dies either.

He looked around him and barely spotted what looked to be archways in the distance, large, imposing, and evenly spaced around him and the fountain in one massive circle. He gathered that it would be quite a walk to get there, but he could manage. That is, provided that his armor didn’t fall apart before he got there. He sighed mentally; he sorely wished he had a Warthog.

With it, anything you desire can be yours. He remembered the silhouette who called itself Omni had said. Caleb pondered on his fleeting vision for a moment. What if…

Forerunners have done crazier things, this wouldn’t be so absurd. He concluded, and then focused inward, trusting in his intuition.

Instantly he felt energy fluctuate within him. Was energy the right word? A force perhaps? Primal and yearning, whatever it was churned and then escaped from him and into the world. After a few minutes of this, he felt the flow trickle to a stop, and then he opened his eyes to what was in front of him.

He beheld the unmistakable faded military green of the sloped titanium chassis, the heavy, thick-walled tires, and the curved metal tusks on the grill of the vehicle now sitting where once was empty space; if ever there was something that was so ubiquitously UNSC, it was the M12 Warthog. The sight of the souped-up jeep made him feel more at home in this strange world.

If I can summon Warthogs whenever I want, maybe Heaven isn’t so bad after all.

He hopped into the driver's seat, the over-engineered shocks on the ‘Hog struggling in an attempt to account for the sudden additional ton of a man it had to account for. He keyed the engine and listened to it thrum to life, idly burning away hydrogen fuel. He revved it once and felt the reverberations of the engine through his armor. He honestly enjoyed the feeling of driving these jeeps, even if they didn't handle turns all too well. He revved up again and then took off towards the archway ahead of him, enjoying the blissfully smooth ride he’d never gotten on a ‘Hog before. At least the endless flat whiteness of this faux Heaven was good for something.

The Warthog skidded to a halt in front of the pristine white armored soldiers standing guard on either flank in front of the towering, seamlessly crafted, steel archway. Caleb regarded them and the portal held within the archway for a moment. He had previously ascertained that they weren’t hostile on the way over. If they were, he would have been shot at long before reaching them. The empty whiteness didn’t offer cover of any sort, so he would have been forced to close the distance as quickly and directly as possible. He was silently thankful that something wasn’t shooting at him on sight for once, though. It made for an interesting change of pace.

He went to step off, the vehicle bouncing back up as he did so, the struts relieved of the weight. His heavy plated boots thudded onto the ground, and he turned towards the troopers, then back to the ‘Hog. He idly wished he could bring the vehicle with him, and upon that wish, a thought occurred to him; He willed the Warthog back into the energy that he used to create it and watched as it dissipated into a prismatic orb. It returned to him in moments and he could feel the momentary rush run through him.

That could be a good hat trick. He hummed to himself before moving on towards the archway and the two white troopers waiting. To anyone else they, would be seen as watching with no discernable emotion being passed from their helmeted faces. They were rigid and diligent in their guardianship.

Of course, having practically lived in a suit of power armor his entire life, Caleb knew better. They were on edge. He could tell from the subtle shift of their stance, the slight twitch of their trigger finger resting carefully on the guard ahead of the hair trigger itself, and the ever so small tilt of their heads when they regarded the armored titan before them. One spoke softly to himself, muttering into his radio Caleb guessed. Something had set them on edge earlier, but they relaxed somewhat when Caleb got closer.

He chalked it up to him being a one-ton, well-armed, green armored giant. He was used to getting that kind of treatment. The only people that didn’t seem to be so afraid of him or view him as some alien creature were the ODSTs, who instead were always eager to pick a fight they knew they couldn’t win. These two? They weren't ODSTs.

Caleb decided to capitalize on it. He pointed to the archway and spoke in a low tone.

“What’s past there?” He queried, causing the guards to jump slightly. They were surprisingly high-strung in his presence, more than he expected or intended, which struck him as odd.

“This gate leads to Coruscant, Prime.” The radio clicked on and a modulated voice answered curtly.

Coruscant, he mused, so it’s a portal of some sort? And they called me a Prime. Or did they mistake me for someone called Prime? He turned to look down at one of the troopers. He thought he saw him flinch in response.

No, probably not. I’ll find out more in there, though. Maybe I'll find someone from the UNSC that can fix my armor, too. He stepped forward, past the two guards, and into the portal.

Behind him, after he passed beyond the event horizon, the two Stormtroopers relaxed, slumping against the archway and breathed heavy sighs of relief.

“Did you see that?!” One exclaimed, exaggeratedly pointing back at the portal the Spartan extradited through. “He was as big as a Space Marine!”

“Look, I’m just glad it wasn’t Doomguy like you thought it was!” The other shot back, “I'm not ready to get my head shot off!”

Quote:Transition to Coruscant.

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