Reach looked down at the one city that held so many memories for her. The memories she had when she was a little girl flowed through her mind as she sat inside of a pelican on its way to meet up with Carter. She wanted to fight back these bittersweet memories and fighting back the tears filling up in her eyes but she couldn't help it anymore. The multi-color of red, grey, orange, blue, purple, and black maw of burning buildings, weapon fire, banshees and other assorted air vehicles filled the city she once saw with her family. She closed her eyes, sobbed quietly, and let those happier days flow as she and Noble Six were on their way to their destination point.
"Wow look daddy isn't that amazing?" Young Reach said looking at the beautiful landscape from an observation deck.
"Yes dear, those mountains hold a wonderment of natural beauty; it's almost like a painting." Austria said patting young Reach on her head making her red bow crooked.
Reach gave Austria a big ear to ear smile as she fixed her bow. She ran off with her arms spread out, giggling and twirling around her favorite sky blue dress, black shoes, and light purple high knee socks.
"The city is pretty daddy I wish I could stay here forever!" She shouted that was followed with a giggle.
Austria scooped her up then placed her on his shoulders and took off as Reach squealed with the sounds of innocent, joyful, carefree youth. They met up with Hungary who had Arcadia cradled in her arms as Harvest leaned on a wall with a sour look on his face. Harvest was wearing a yellow shirt and overalls, green and black sneakers, his hair was brown, messy and yet neat and he had freckles on his nose and a mole under his right eye. Reach jumped down from her father and skipped over to Harvest with her young amber eyes looking deeply into his with curiosity about his unhappy expression.
"What's wrong big brother? Did you do something bad?"
"No!" Harvest said with such a fuss. "I didn't do anything wrong!"
"Then what's with that meanie look big brother?"
"What are you talking about? This how the cool guys look. Cousin America told me so."
"Well I think cousin America is wrong Harvest. You look like the grown-ups when they get all mean." Said Reach filled with such innocents.
"He is never wrong Reach, he is so cool. Don't act like such a dummy." He said as he teasingly bopped her on the head.
"Hey that hurt Harvest!" She said while rubbing her head and fixing her bow.
Reach then jabbed Harvest in the arm as he playfully returned the jab back. The children were consumed in a playful non-violent brawl, both giggling and laughing and both enjoyed being with each other. After that the family had ice cream. Reach bit off more than she eat and a cold surge running from her sweet tooth up to her brain that felt like lightning rushing through her body. She also wiggled around in her chair with delight and pain as she licked her ice cream faster.
"Owie my brain hurts!"
"Ha that's what happens when you eat it too fast, you dummy." Harvest chuckled at his sister's delightful pain.
As he went to go bite into his ice cream he felt the same rush and pain.
"Ah, brain feels funny!" He said rocking his head back and forth causing a baseball cap he was wearing to fall off.
"Ha, ha! Now who's the dummy now?!"She said mocking her brother.
During this, little Arcadia licked off the tiny remains of Reach's ice cream and she giggled in youthful, toddler delight.
"Looks like someone wants to be like her older sister. Right Arcadia?" Hungary asked in a playful manor as she rested her head on Austria's shoulder as the coupled smiled at the children's Tom-foolery.
The memory was cut short when Noble Six told that it was time to go. The pelican landed on top of a skyscraper as rain pounded their armor as if the black void of the war torn night sky was crying just as much as Reach is. They saw Carter in front of two falcons waiting for the other two to show up.
"It's good to see the two of you in one piece." Carter said walking over to the two Spartans.
"Sorry if we came here by ourselves." Noble Six commented back.
"Make him proud."
Reach and Noble Six stop in front of a falcon as Carter walked away.
"Let me fly Six." Said Reach in a confirming voice while trying to hide her depression.
Noble Six's expression inside his helmet was shock and smirking. He knows that Reach is a terrible pilot and she couldn't fly a pelican to save her life. He started to chuckle lightly at her offer.
"I think it will best for me to fly you're not in the best moods right now."
The two stared at each other's visors until Reach decided to be the mature one and sat on the gunner seat. When she walked away from Noble Six she stuck her tongue out in defiance inside her helmet. She climbed onto the gunner seat which was wet from the tears of the sky and the cold metallic firearm dripped with rain water as the propellers hummed to life and darted off into the blackness. As they flew over the crumbling city Reach had more flashbacks of happier days that flowed through her mind like a river. However it was cut short when banshees came flying in blasting their cannons at the falcon. Reach squeezed the triggers as hard as she could let the bullets do their job. A banshee explodes causing it to crash into another banshee sending both into a purple and blue fireball sending the two down to the clouds that covered the skyscrapers like an ocean.
"We are approaching our destination Reach!" Noble Six shouted as the hospital was in their sights.
The banshees kept firing at the falcon while Reach and another marine returned fire trying to shake off their attackers. When they finally landed the tears of the sky pounded them as the howling alien aircraft zoomed passed them. The two Spartans quickly ran inside the hospital to get out of the drenching rain. Inside the hospital Sanghelios slumped in a corner with an energy sword hilt in his hand was sleeping not knowing who was in the hospital. Balaho was snuggled next to him without his knowing snorting as he slept next to his comrade. Reach and Noble Six went in separate directions for a pincer maneuver planed for their guests. Reach saw Huragok floating up in the air looking at hospital equipment. She then saw other covenant troops cloaked in a deep purple over shield as they trotted around the facility patrolling for humans. Noble Six signaled Reach to leave the engineer to him and keep taking out the troops. She quietly crept around the alien soldiers and assassinated each of them by breaking their neck and slitting their throats. As she was making her rounds she noticed a sliding door sliced opened and some snorts coming from the back of the room. Reach silently sneaked in the room with her knife in hand ready to kill who or whatever is in there. The air was tense around Reach, she could practically cut it if she wanted to, her breathing became less and less as she walked in.
She slowly turned the corner ready to stab the alien until she caught a glimpse of it or of him. Her eyes widened to find a sleeping elite officer with a grunt sleeping next to him with a needler in hand; she saw the scar on his side and instantly recognized him as Sanghelios; being in his presence made her heart pounding, and her face rushing with warm blood as she turned red. She moved in close to look get a closer look at him, her heart was racing faster and faster until her helmet was lightly touching his. Balaho woke up since he was scheduled to go and patrol. He was stunned to see the female Spartan that close to him and his superior officer! He noticed her rather large busty appearance and knew it was Reach, Reach saw this and wave her index finger at him telling silently not to ruin the mood.
He understood what she meant and respected her wish as he calmly got up and walked out of the room. She wanted to rest with him and let the war melt away while she curled up next to him even for a minute or two but she knew she had a job to do and she couldn't. She kneeled on all fours putting her hands just inches away from his, waiting for a response. She closed her eyes and let this seemed like an eternal moment last, she heard him talking in his sleep she knew from his voice that he was having a nightmare.
"M-M-Mother, please wake up! It's me Thel! I came to see you! Please hang on mother! Don't go mother please don't go! Father wait! Don't go I will be a good son I promise! I will become the best Arbiter and follow your footsteps! You will see, you will see! If you want to hear me beg you will not hear from me! I follow my father!"
She saw his face cringe as he tossed and turned his head side to side as he clenched his fists in this imaginary pain. She couldn't bear to see this anymore and laid her hands on top of his hoping that his pain will go away. It brought him comfort and tears down his closed eyes.
"Reach." He called out in his sleep.
This made her shocked when she heard him call out her name. She didn't whether he knew she was there or not but kept tuning in.
"Reach. Don't leave me please! I'm scared, the light in my dark journey please don't fade! You are the prize of my journey never leave Reach please! Wrap me in your warmth and don't let go as I will never let you go!"
Reach cried hearing this and whispered to the sleeping elite.
"I will never leave you, Sanghelios. I will stay here with you no matter what happens. Even if its till the end of time, I will stay with you. "
She takes off hers and his helmet and lets her forehead rest on his. Her hair brushed against his mandibles as he felt warmth that was comforting as he slept in peace. To Reach, this felt like the happiest eternity she has ever felt of her life. She didn't want this to end but she had to go back and help Noble Six. She tucked her helmet under her arm as she lightly kissed Sanghelios on his forehead. She walked out to see Balaho pointing his gun at her. She sweetly smiled and took off to help Noble Six putting on her helmet as she ran. She jumped down to find the corpses of a brute, dozens of grunts, and a few jackals with Huragok cowering in a corner afraid of the two Spartans. Reach didn't see him for she was too busy running to get to Noble Six.
She finds Noble Six pinned down by a mob of brutes that pinned down a squad of marines who were trying to destroy a jammer. Reach silently readied her assault rifle and fired on some of the brutes. Meanwhile back in the corner Sanghelios woke up from the sound of gun fire. His goldenrod eyes opened as fast as a bullet left the chamber of the Spartan's weapons. He felt dizzy, "Must have been from those nightmares." He thought to himself. His senses came back to him when he picked up his…helmet? He thought to himself knowing he had it on before he dozed off. Sanghelios remembered his nightmare then shook his head trying to get all those horrible memories out of his mind. Until he remembered what Reach whispered to him as he slept.
He then smelt the aroma of lavenders and cherry blossoms that seemed to be all over the room but in reality the stench was all over him. He remembered that scent, that comforting scent, Reach's scent. As he let out a yawn that stretched all four of his mandibles as he grabbed his sword hilts and walked out of the room.
"Good evening Sanghelios." Balaho politely commented.
"Whatever runt!" He snapped at the grunt. "Good evening." He said under his breathe slightly blushing.
"No, not really, but yes at the same time. I had a dream where that human female came to me and told me something."
"Oh, well, um that wasn't a, um." Balaho tried to find the words to tell Sanghelios about what had happened.
"Spit it out runt!" Sanghelios demanded.
Balaho said nothing but pointed to the next room where Sanghelios heard gun fire. He nodded and pushed Balaho out of the way and crept slowly into the next room with his swords drawn. He saw the two Spartans laying waste to the brutes. He quickly darted between pillars and stair ramps watching, waiting for the right moment to strike. After they destroyed the jammer Reach turned her attention to the rest of building that was decorated with the bodies of fallen brutes. Her visor locked contact at Sanghelios's eyes. He could feel his two hearts race rapidly. In that split second which felt like an hour's worth of staring he knew who she was. He wanted to run over to her and embrace her knowing that she stands in top condition but the thought of them being on opposite sides of this war made him duck behind a fountain. He closed his eyes as he heard her footsteps coming closer to his location.
"By the gods she's coming closer!" He thought to himself.
His fantasy was cut by the sounds of thruster packs and as he looked up he saw elites clad in armor that is meant for fight in the vacuum of the dark howling cold maw of space. The domed helmets shimmered in each other's exhausts from their jet packs as they hovered about the room firing their weapons. Sanghelios saw as the opportunity to run and this caught in the sights of Reach. She ran for Sanghelios while Noble Six and the marines covered her. Sanghelios grabbed Balaho and ran passed an ultra and several jackals and skirmisher sharpshooters. Reach saw the ultra and the sharp shooters and took aim at the sharpshooters which dropped like rocks. The elite ultra fired his concussion rifle which Reach dodged and Noble Six finished it off. The two Spartans ran for their falcon…well that's what was on Noble Six's mind anyway,
Reach wanted to pursue Sanghelios. As Sanghelios got on to the platform he and Balaho snuck around the gunner marine who was too busy looking at the night sky. Sanghelios managed to get to his Banshee as he signaled a passing by spirit to pick up Balaho. He then zoomed off to a night club were Te and Doisac were assigned to be at. Meanwhile at that night club Doisac kicked around couches and various bottles of alcohols.
"These sinners, why must they pleasure themselves in such filth!?" He shouted to Te and another pair of hunters.
Te said nothing as they tried to ignore their shouting leader. They were too busy being on guard duty with the other pair. Doisac sat himself down on a couch as he pulled a whole crate of various liquor and beer. He smashed the tops off and drank the crate as if he never drank anything in days!
"These filthy sinners maybe soiling the glorious name of Forerunner but these liquids are not too bad." He said while drinking the alcohol.
By the 5th or 8th bottle Doisac felt like the whole club was spinning and his vision became hazy. He staggered to his feet and tried his best to walk but was unable to. Sanghelios burst through the doors to find his comrades doing alright; they even waved to him happy to see him as well. He then walked outside and was ready for whatever was going to come his way; but he prayed it was Reach.
"I hope these marines will be safe!" Reach shouted to Noble Six as they saw a platoon of marines being rescued by a pelican.
Their flacon roared off towards the night club for their next mission. They then heard a loud bang and crack in the sky. It was a covenant battle cruiser roaring into the battle torn skies over the major part of New Alexandria. Reach then saw a small orange bead appear from the bottom of the giant ship, it then morphed into a hideous orange pillar of light as it made a cracking sound when it touched the buildings over yonder. She saw the buildings disappear under it leaving nothing but a glow of burning streets and worse of all burning people under its light. She felt angry seeing the glassing of the city but she didn't scream she kept her composer as she readied her turret as they approached the night club.
They were greeted by a hail storm of AA shade turret fire as well as small arms fire. Sanghelios drew out his swords and waited to see if they will make land fall. Noble Six squeezed the trigger for front mounted gun which belched out bullets in three rapid fire burst landing their marks on turrets and troops alike. Which one fell before the bullets and the turrets exploded in a gorgeous display of blue and white. Reach jumped out of the falcon and landed semi-gracefully. She ran for the entrance but was clotheslined by a jab from Sanghelios.
"Six run I will handle this destroy the jammer!"
"Yes Ma'am." He said firmly as he ran passed them.
"So Reach we meet again." Sanghelios said filled with joy.
"I'm so happy to see you again Sanghelios." Reach commented back with the same amount of joy.
"Shall we dance?" Sanghelios said readying himself in a fighting position.
"In the rain, with you? I will be delighted to." She sarcastically said drawing a combat knife ready for his attack.
Sanghelios ran for Reach jabbing a sword at her which she gracefully spun around and tried to land a punch which he block. She delivered a kick to his stomach causing him to step back on the slippery landing deck. Reach threw several jabs to his stomach followed with an attempt to gore him in the stomach; Sanghelios caught this and threw the knife away sending it off the building and into the sea of clouds. Sanghelios kicked Reach in her stomach while she chopped one of the swords out of his hands. He landed swift hard blows to her helmet and chest. The two spun, blocked, kicked, punched, and dodged each other's moves in a waltz that both really seemed to enjoy. Deep inside both of them they loved this moment and didn't want it to end. This happy moment was cut drastically short when Reach made a fatal error. She went go and charge Sanghelios but she didn't realize how slippery the deck was and she slid off the tower…almost did. She held on as tight as her Spartan strength but she could feel her fingers slip on the slippery surface.
"Sanghelios!" She shouted with fear of falling in her voice.
"Hang on! I'm coming to get you!" He shouted as he ran across the slippery deck.
Just as he reached to where the frightened Spartan was dangling hundreds of feet above the war in the streets below Reach's grip weakened and she started to plummet from the tower. Not wanting to let her end like this Sanghelios jumped after her not knowing what he could possibly do but he knew if she and him were going to die he wanted the both of the to die together. Meanwhile in the night club Noble Six just stood in front of the drunken brute that was just spitting out vulgar drunken words to the Spartan with his helmet backwards and crooked.
"Now-now hold s-s-still!" the inebriated brute belched. "The great and mighty Doisac will slaughter you! All twelve of you!" he shouted to Noble Six and the doppelgängers that his
drunken mind hallucinated for him.
He swung his hammer everywhere like a mad man trying to hit the non-existing targets as he grunted and groaned with intoxication. Noble Six dodged every blow with boredom thinking that this is not even worth his time. He just walked away leaving the drunken brute to handle the false Spartans as he walked towards Te who he previously knocked out as well as the other pair of dead hunters which he killed without a sweat. Back outside Sanghelios and Reach found themselves dangling on the side of the tower by a quick and smart action from Sanghelios. He used his energy sword as a hold as he grabbed Reach's hand who screamed in fear of dying. She saw her savior and felt like she was on cloud nine as the rain pounded their armor.
"Reach don't let go!" Sanghelios shouted in fear of losing her.
"I will never let go Sanghelios! I will never let go of you!" She shouted in a mix of fear and comfort hoping to make him less afraid.
"And I will never let you go either Reach! You're too important to loose! Now try to climb up my arm and hold on!"
Reach nodded and tries her best to climb up his arm. It caused him a little bit of pain but he wanted to get her somewhere safe and on something she could stand on. She finally wrapped her arms around his neck. She almost chocked him in horror and overwhelming happiness, she felt so safe being close to him and now that she's on top of him she felt like the happiest woman and the safest woman in the whole universe. Sanghelios felt the same way, even though they were supposed to be enemies he felt like he could be himself, he hadn't felt like this in such a long time and he felt proud like he truly meant this. He was even more determined to climb up the side of the tower and deliver her to solid ground. He drew out his energy dagger and started to work his way up the tower, one hand the other pulled up, dagger in sword out, sword in dagger out, left right, right left. Was the pattern as he pulled him and Reach up. After 20 minutes of climbing they finally reached the platform! Noble Six was sitting in the Falcons cockpit waiting for her. He saw an orange lump and a green lump pull them up. He quickly jumped out of the Falcon with a D.M.R ready for whatever it was. Sanghelios ordered the Spartan not to shoot as he settled Reach down.
"She's a little shaken up but she will be fine." He said with confidence in his tone assuring the Spartan that she's alright.
Sanghelios quickly ran off to the club and pulled his banshee out of hiding and flew off before Reach could say anything else.
"Reach are you ok?"
"Y-Yeah I'm alright Six." She said as she staggered to the Falcon and sat inside of it instead at the turret seat.
Noble Six said nothing else after that but climbed into the Falcon and flew off to help more marines and to destroy the last jammer. After hours and hours of shooting Banshees from the sky and assisting marine platoons they finally made their way to a large building with a hologram projection of a U.N.S.C frigate in the front of a landing pad. Like the other times they were greeted by heavy fire and small arms fire. Noble Six quickly disposed the turrets as Reach jumped down and took out the grunt soldiers who were armed with fuel rod guns. She laughed at their dying pleads as she kicked one in the face and broke another's neck. She then heard the sound of needles flying at her. She looked up to find a jackal sharpshooter firing a needle rifle and a jackal sniper firing a focused rifle at her. She dodged the pink shower of needles and the beam of orange and purple until she got a clear shot of both of them. As she lined her sights up she was violently interrupted by several brute captains armed with concussion rifles blasting at the ground she stood on. She dodged the blasts as best as she could but took a blow of one in her stomach causing her to fall to her knees. Noble Six assassinated one of the brutes and took the alien rifle away from its cold beefy hands and blasted the other brutes to save his mother in arms.
"Thanks Six." She said as she stood back up.
Noble Six said nothing but ran into an elevator with Reach going into the one next to it. As they were heading up to the final jammer Kat briefed them on what is currently going on. The elevators finally dinged as they made their way into a spectacular room! Wood furnishings, small manmade waterfalls, a very oriental atmosphere filled this room and dead center was a giant hologram of the planet. Reach remembered this place clearly now. She had another memory coming back to her. She could remember Japan and China always hung around here when she was a little girl.
"Hey grandpa China?" asked little Reach looking at the view this place got of the monstrous sized skyscrapers.
"Reach I have told like I told your siblings many times now don't call me gramps or grandpa I'm not that old."
"But that's what mommy and daddy told me. They told me you're older than dirt." She said with complete childhood bliss.
"Reach, if you keep calling me that I'm going to punish you." China said with annoyance in his smirk.
"No you won't. You would never hit a cute girl like me would you?"
Knowing she was right China just sighed, rubbing his eyebrows in frustration.
"I wish your parents would just hurry up and finish that meeting they have with Japan. Watching the three of you is hard enough."
"But I'm a little angel I don't cause trouble I only make them smile." She finished the statement with a big ear to ear smile.
China chuckled at this and couldn't help him but smile just as big as hers was. Reach held onto his hand as they walked away from the viewing area.
"Let's play ball China!" She giggled.
"Sure and maybe some lunch afterwards."
The two then started to walk down to where the koi pond was as the memory faded out. Leaving alone to walk about the place and remember the good times she had before the nasty war had shown its ugly head. She could remember every bit of it as she walked. The laughs, the cries, the giggles of childhood bliss, and the laughter and talks of adulthood and her family. She then came upon what looked like a beetle, a stag beetle sleeping upside down like a bat. Reach stood there pondering if this was a local fauna or a member of the covenant. She closer to it scratching the back of her head in curiosity. Little does she know that the sleeping beetle is actually Palamok resting with her sisters after a nights work. When Noble Six finally destroyed the jammer Palamok woke up and was a little bit cranky from this sudden awaken. She saw Reach and said in a hissy male-like voice.
"So you must the human Sanghelios talks so much about!"
"How do you know me? This is the first time we have met bug."
"Before I dozed off with my sisters who are probably after your friend right now. I heard Sanghelios brag and praise you plus it wasn't too hard to hack in cameras at the night club."
Reach had to think about something to regroup with Noble Six and find a way to get around the bug-like alien.
"I don't care for names let alone a pleasant talk, I don't like you, I don't like how close you are with Sanghelios, I must obey the queen, we are enemies hence forth I'm going to kill you." Palamok said with a series of bug-like clicks and chirps.
Palamok flown up in the air and fired her needler at Reach which she returned fire with a D.M.R. Palamok buzzed around every shot and proceeded to fire back, but due to her just recently waking up her line of sight isn't all that great. Reach saw this opening and ran below her but Palamok picked Reach up and accidently threw her at the elevator, the exact place where Reach wanted to go. Reach crawled into the elevator flipping off Palamok for her stupidity as the door closed.
"Shit!" Palamok shouted. "I almost had her! What does Sanghelios see in that heretic slut anyways?!" Palamok shouted more in an almost jealous-like rage as she fell down to the ground and went to sleep.
"Was he jealous of me and Sanghelios?" Reach pondered as she stood up with a very confused look on her face.
The two ran back to the Falcon and were ready to meet up with the rest of Noble team. Along their way they saw more and more covenant battle cruisers roaring out of slip-space and making the main part of the city a giant horrific canvas of blazing oranges, purples, blues, and reds. Reach didn't cry at this site. She felt like she had to but couldn't, she cried out all the tears she could muster when Jorge died and when she saw that shuttle of doomed civilians go down into the water back in the city. She slipped into a depression; the feeling of uselessness grew stronger as the distant inferno grew. They then heard on their coms that a group of AA shade turrets are positioned on several towers and are blocking a pelican's way of getting out of there. Reach swung the turret around but before she could fire she saw a banshee fly in and destroy half of the turrets before shooting off before they could figure out who was in it. Reach then heard a voice she knew all too well saying "you're welcome."
As it zoomed into the darkness. Reach then turned her attention on the remaining turrets and fired on them. Each one made a beautiful explosion and by the last one a phantom which stood idle during the firefight silently flew away into the darkened skies. The pelican finally took off leaving the landing pad ready for the two Spartan's arrival. When they got inside they saw Carter, Kat, Emile, and Jun looking through a pair binoculars at the crumbling city.
"Just look at yourself Reach you use to be the crown jewel." Said Jun with a depressed voice.
"That's not true!" She snapped back him. "I'm still in my prime! Do you have any idea
what I went through recently?! I lost so many of my children but most of all I lost Jorge so I would shut your mouth if I were you Jun!"
"We have all had some lost Reach but don't go and take it out on others!" Carter snapped at Reach.
"I have every right to say this because none of you understand anything for what I have been through!"
Kat having enough of the Reach's invalid bickering stomps over to her and slaps her on her face trying to get her to snap out of the mood she is in.
"Reach we all understand you have lost something dear but do you know how we have felt when you took us from our homes to be in the program!"
The air grew silent as the two Spartan women stared at each other with heavy tension. Kat finally left Reach's gaze and went back to work on a small electronic device and handed it to Carter. As they were talking Jun got a reading of something rapidly closing in on their position. As soon as the call between Carter and Holland was cut a banshee was crashed into the building and the Spartans staggered to their feet and some put the helmets back on as they went inside an elevator. When the elevator pinged Reach dashed out before anyone of them and they followed her with Kat and Six tagging behind. While Kat was complaining about one of their newest orders which were going back to sword base she was interrupted by a needle lodged in her head. As her limp lifeless body dropped to the ground Reach pulled out her assault rifle and unloaded the magazine along with the other Spartans at a phantom that hovered above them revealing an elite field marshal as the doors closed and it zoomed off. Reach screamed in anger at the sight of the fallen Spartan and started to hit the floor in uncontrollable anger.
They had to pull her away from the floor as Carter carried Kat's corpse while Jun popped a red flare hoping someone would pick them up. After an hour of waiting and sulking Germany picked up the signal and was ready to pick them up in his Pelican. Reach then finally found the tears that she so desperately need and cried and scream until she couldn't no more as they flew off to the now enemy controlled O.N.I Sword Base.