1217: John and the Dragon Rider – Chapters Twenty and Twenty-One

Title: John and the Dragon Rider
Author: Silent Archangel
Media:  Video Games / Books
Topic: Halo / Eragon
Genre:  Adventure / Romance
URL: Chapter Twenty and Twenty One
Critiqued by AdmiralSakai and Gul

Hello, all of my loyal patrons! Last time on John and the Dragon Rider, we discovered to nobody’s real surprise that Arya was pregnant. Some angst happened, the Flood attacked yet again, and John-117… utterly transformed from a regular supersoldier into really just this unimaginable Stu. Now I know how Oppenheimer must have felt when he attended the test at White Sands, watching a new cosmic horror come into being right in front of him. Incredible.

Purple prose aside, we have, finally, reached the end of the ‘fic. After today, there will be no more losses of morale, no more gouts of Flood ichor, no more bringing a sword to a firefight and no more horrifying elf-on-Spartan matings. There will be no more John and the Dragon Rider, and there will be much rejoicing. So, without delay, let us plumb the depths of Chapter 20, ‘Means of Control’.”

Okay, so the last chapter wasn’t as great as you hoped,

Boy have you got that right…

but there will be the badassness mentioned in earlier chapters in this one.

Who ha what now?

“I’ve been reading through this entire slag pit of a story assuming that the author’s definition of “badassness” was the implausible action sequences. However, this author’s note appears to indicate that “badassness” refers to some singular event that has been delayed until now. Given what the non-”badass” combat sections were like, I doubt that’s a good thing.”

Still, let’s see if we can guess just where this mysterious event shall appear…

So yeah, enjoy.

“We won’t, don’t worry.”

00000

“Uh, your mom’s so fat that… uh… she can’t support her own weight.” Thel tried unsuccessfully. Kyle shook his head, “Dude, that was pitiful, you’ve never told a “your mom” joke?” Thel shook his head.

Ok, this is another passage that could be funny- it could even plausibly exist in a slightly more serious or realistic story, since Elites have no grasp of human culture, Marines do, and the two groups have only recently begun to talk out their differences.

“Okay, let me try… John, Arya is cheating on you. You know that, she is probably cheating on you right now and you don’t even know it. You think she loves you? Well think again!” John blushed in fury,

That was… actually pretty weak. Stuerra-117 is remarkably thin-plated.”

“Now that was just uncalled for.” Kyle smiled, “It worked, didn’t it?” “But I’m not mad enough.” Kyle was deep in thought, “What happened last time you lost it?” “I was stabbed through the chest.” John winced at the memory. “Great, now all we have to do is stab you with something.”

PLEASE!

John shook his head at his goofy brother.

Well, less “goofy” than acerbic and occasionally clever…

“Maybe we have to recreate a moment of intense pain.” Thel cut in. They both turned their heads toward him, “That could work…” John murmured.

Good. So if they read the last chapter of John and the Dragon Rider they should be set!”

“Alright, hit it.” John was tied to an electric bed, the one used to torture POVs.

I’m pretty sure that here at the Library, POVs are torture enough on their own.

And if the UNSC is now torturing prisoners of war… we have a major breakdown in discipline to deal with.”

Aww, couple grenades in the ammo dump and the problem’ll fuckin’ solve itself.”

“AAAHHHHH!” A wave of agony swept through his entire body as the electricity coursed through his flesh. Through all the pain, he could feel the anger rising in him. Kyle and Thel could see his eyes darken from an aquatic blue to a shade of crimson. John ripped through his bindings with his eyes violent red. A loud roar ripped through the Spartan’s lips.

Ummm…. woops.

“Whoa John, calm down. It’s me, Kyle.” John’s ruby eyes widened in puzzlement and confusion, then he relaxed and his eyes brightened back to the usual blue. “Alright, so my pain triggers this… so how did I melt that brute and that hunter?” “Both times, you were being crushed or were about to be crushed. So maybe you have to experience fear.” Thel reasoned.

Or maybe they should stuff him in the trash compactor.”

“Only one problem…” John took a deep breath. “How do we recreate that?” Thel shrugged. They both turned to Kyle as he cleared his throat. “I… might have the answer to that… theoretically.”

Kyle led the group to the middle of a small clearing. “So what exactly are we doing here?” Kyle turned to look at them, “He should arrive any moment now.” “Who exactly?” As if cued, a large dragon with shimmering blue scales arrived with a person riding on her back. “What’s he doing here?” John cried. “What is a suitable substitution to fear? Anger.

Not really, no.”

I mean it is in the sense that it induces an adrenal response, but at that point they may as well just try to get him sexually aroused.

No, thank you!”

And it seems like Eragon annoys you the most.” The Rider cast him a stony glare. “Now where’s my money?” Kyle rolled his eyes and reluctantly placed fifty dollars and a few golden coins into Eragon’s waiting hand.

Which is strange, as the UNSC uses credits.

The Rider turned to face the massive Spartan towering over him with Saphira standing by him. Eragon smiled and spat a barrage of the meanest insults he could muster. John clenched his fists as Eragon continued to insult his parents and his life. He didn’t notice that his fists were pulsating with a bright blue light.

And I guess… nope, we never actually get to hear what Eragon said.

01

I’ve been waiting to use one of these since the True Meaning of Christmas riff.

“Uh, Eragon, you might want to step away, I mean right now.” Kyle warned. But the Rider kept going now insulting Arya. John’s fists glowed brighter until he raised his palms to a tree and with an explosion of blue light and intense heat; the tree was blasted into nothing but smoking ashes. As soon as the smoke cleared, John fell to all fours panting in exhaustion.

“That could come in handy…” John mused as he stared at his hands in wonder.

What would, a way to easily exhaust an angsty Spartan?”

He grinned as he got to his feet and channeled his angry thoughts into a beam of searing heat that blew another tree into smoldering splinters. “Awesome.” Kyle muttered.

00000

Arya chewed her nails, a habit that she picked up lately. She was worried, about her future with John, and their child. She lay on the comfortable bed; Arya rubbed her enlarged belly, its size doubled since yesterday. The doctors predict that the fetus is developing twenty times faster than a human’s which means the child will be ready for delivery in a week’s time.

Eeeugh. Forget the biology, I’m relatively certain this violates the conservation of mass.”

You know, ever since I was about nine years old I’ve had an intense phobia of babies.

This is not helping.

‘How will we raise a child in a middle of a war?’ Arya sighed, only time will tell.

How about you adopt it out to a civilian family that is not in the middle of a war?

In the sparring arena, John was fighting Kyle. “You may have crazy awesome powers, but your still gonna lose this fight brother!” They both charged at each other, both of them collided in a flurry of punches, kicks, and actions too fast for the human eye to follow.

Yeah, I remember I spent half of my basic-training CQC course trying to master actions.”

The two Spartans blurred together in flashes of cobalt and dark green as they exchanged lightning fast blows and close dodges. In the midst of all the chaos, John managed to slip past his brother’s defense and score a powerful punch to his face. As Kyle faltered, John took the advantage to grab his brother’s neck and floor him, leaving a small crater in the ground. The Spartan in cobalt armor retaliated by using both of his feet to deliver a kick square in John’s chest, launching him across the arena to smash against the concrete wall.

I don’t know, ‘Stu versus Blue’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…”

As the two forces of nature prepared to clash again, John saw something out of his peripheral vision. Out of instinct, he tilted his head back a few centimeters to see a large arrow fly millimeters away from hitting his helmet.

Well that was a close call. If John’s shields had been down then, he might’ve had to paint over a scratch on his helmet.

The horror!”

While the arrow was still in the air, John caught it and hurled it back to the shooter, piercing his right leg. With a cry of pain, the shooter fell out of the tree he was perched in.

Isn’t this the exact tactic that the Arbiter tried in Chapter 2?”

And why are they fighting outside instead of the new training center they just built?

Varden soldiers rushed to apprehend the assassin, but it was too late, he had already stabbed himself in the heart with his dagger.

An entirely sensible reaction to finding oneself in John and the Dragon Rider.”

At least they never got the chance to torture him on the electric Point-Of-View bed…

00000

In the base’s command center, Rtas Vadum discussed battle strategies with Nasuada. “We can just glass them; the Separatists and the UNSC have already allowed the use of orbital bombardment.”

Given that you seem to have complete space superiority and the Flood is about, this sounds like an incredibly good idea.

Nasuada glared at him, “Where is the honor in that?” Rtas slammed his fist into the holo-projector, “Will you have more of your soldiers die because of your honor? What will you tell the weeping mothers and widows? That you failed to ensure their child’s or husband’s safe return because of your honor? These men have lives; they are not just pawns in your chess game.” Nasuada was stricken by Rtas’ small speech.

Hinge-head got a point.

Which is strange, considering that the Sangheili basically wrote the book on honor-before-reason combat in the Halo universe.”

“We all hate war, it is horrible, and we have a way to end it. It’s your choice, choose well.”

“… No.”

Rtas let out an exasperated sigh, “Very well, we will call upon our armies to purge their corruption.”

Why is a high-ranking Sangheili kowtowing to some shiny, backwards indigenous inbred? Surely Nasuada must realize that the Elites and their UNSC allies hold literally all the authority here…”

In the next few days, hundreds of vehicles, troops, and dropships gathered for the assault of Uru’baen.

Which, considering that it’s fortified occupied by a substantial force of Covenant, I don’t think hundreds is going to be enough

Our six heroes gathered at the front entrance to say their final goodbyes. John bent down and pressed his lips against Arya’s in a passionate kiss. “You come back to me John, if I see you anywhere near death; I will personally come and kick you out of it.”

Ok, that… wasn’t a terrible line, but the circumstances still make no sense…

The Spartan smiled as they shared another kiss. “I will come back, I promise.”

For the eightieth time, stop bolding random garbage!

Thel stood on a cliff staring out into the horizon. He noticed John coming to join him. “I wonder whatever happened to your construct.” John looked puzzled, “What construct?”

“You know, Cortana, your AI.”

…”

‘Holy shit.’ John had forgotten all about his artificial intelligence when he threw away his old armor. She is probably sitting in his helmet somewhere in a junkyard.

Meaning, of course, that the author forgot all about his artificial intelligence. Well before he replaced his armor.”

Which is a shame because, artificial or not, intelligence is in very short supply here.

“Uh, I’ll be right back.” John rushed towards the garbage disposal unit. Thankfully, the army personnel were too busy or lazy to dispose of the trash due to all the fighting.

Eew.

Reluctantly, John jumped into the pile of broken armor, malfunctioning equipment, and plastic wrappers.

Good place for him, I have to say.”

After a few hours of rummaging through the junk, he got a hold of his old helmet and pulled out the data chip from the back. The small containment unit pulsated with an angry and violent white. Preparing for the onslaught, John inserted the data chip into his new helmet.

“JUST WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING SPARTAN?” Cortana literally screamed at the top of her highest volume. “AFTER ALL THE TIMES I SAVED YOUR SORRY ASS, THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?”

… I really couldn’t have said it better myself.”

She then proceeded to dig into John’s memories, reviewing everything shehad missed. “Wait, the flood are here?” John clambered out of the small trash pit while Cortana continued to examine his memories. She mentally flinched when she saw Arya’s bloated belly.

Good for her.

“You lucky dog.” She muttered to herself while flipping through the Spartan’s recollection.

00000

WHEW finally another chapter done. So, sorry about cutting Cortana out for the most part. Looks like I just have no ‘scenes’ for her to be in until now.

Meaning, of course, you somehow forgot the second character ever introduced in the Halo series even existed.

So, yeah, see you next chapter.

And here it is- the next chapter, the last chapter of John and the Dragon Rider, Chapter 21- “The Final Battle”.

Gul, you ready for this?

I’ve been ready for this since Chapter 1.”

Teron?

That is a big fucking portal… Oh, yeah, right, locked and loaded boss!”

Then let’s begin.

So… this will be the final chapter of John and the Dragon Rider. Look out for the sequel though. Yes, there will be a sequel; I’m not giving up on John and the Dragon Rider so easily.

“Us, on the other hand…”

00000

John sighed as he put the Scorpion tank into drive. Thel was in the gunner’s seat reading from a holopad while Kyle was driving another tank alongside John’s. They’ve been driving for five hours now, and Uru’baen’s tall siege walls came into view.

Trailing the two lead tanks, hundreds of other scorpions, warthogs, and wraiths readied their weapons.

Wait, both of the crashed ships were frigates, carrying only a dozen or so tanks between them. Where did they get “hundreds”? Did they build them out of sword iron and potter’s ceramic?!

John opened a COMM line to all units, “Target spotted, all units, engage ground forces.” Hundreds of thousands of Empire and Loyalist soldiers rushed from the city’s entrance to face them. Suddenly a scorpion exploded into a piece of twisted metal as a fiery explosive smashed into it. “CATAPULTS!”

“Catapults? As opposed to the plasma mortars fired by Wraith tanks?”

Soon after the destruction of the first vehicle, the ground troops charged at the convoy at full tilt. Wraiths used their plasma mortars to fire over and behind the city’s siege walls, managing to take out some of the enemy support.

This really confused me for a while until I figured out that these are    supposed to be Sangheili Wraiths firing inward over the walls, not Covenant Wraiths hitting support vehicles to John’s rear.

Not entirely sure why the Sangheili would want to be doing that, actually. The city has limited infrastructure and the Covenant are already outside of it, so really all they’re doing is killing indigenous civilians for no real reason.”

A whole group of warthogs exploded as a colossal black dragon engulfed them in a scorching inferno. On his black dragon, Galbatorix raised a glowing hand and whispered a quick spell that destroyed three wraiths. The COMM line was in chaos everyone was shouting at once.

And that’s usually why we have dedicated sysops to prevent our soldiers from being drowned in irrelevant conversations. Perhaps all of the communications personnel died in the crash and the locals are still trying to figure out the volume controls?”

Almost half of John’s convoy had been destroyed by catapults or the King. Vehicles were trying desperately to keep the enemy infantry at bay while anti-armor picked them off one by one.

The pattern continues- that dragon is an enemy that, if they actually thought tactically, the protagonists could kill in an interesting battle. But since the protagonists, for the large part, are morons, it is able to run roughshod over their forces and kill countless good men and women.

The UNSC and Separatist infantry managed to survive for some time to keep the enemy troops at bay.

Good for them, I suppose?”

Slowly, the Empire’s soldiers began to pull back as the convoy continued to push hard. John and the others had abandoned their vehicles to attack on foot. Ghosts began to move in burning down any Empire forces that remained. The King continued to rain hell on what was left of the attack force.

You have tanks. And air support. He’s not that maneuverable. Just shoot him you idiots!!

The enduring warthogs and ghosts pushed in deeper into the city while infantry stayed behind to mop up what was left.

There should probably be a scene-break there since they didn’t just teleport through the city walls, but who honestly cares at this point?

John, Kyle and Thel rode on a warthog into the city along with the rest of     the remaining vehicles. Very few soldiers were left of what was once Galbatorix’s great army.

No surprise there, they’ve been food for the Flood and subjects of the Covenant for the last ██ days, I’m surprised there are any left!

The prophet of Redemption was surrounded by his seven brute bodyguards as he rode out to battle in his gravity throne. “In the name of the Great Journey, you shall be cleansed of your insolence!” The brutes with gravity hammers rushed forward and smashed what was left of the Separatist ghosts. “Hang on, this is going to be a rough ride!” John yelled as he splattered two of the brutes all over the street. “How does the bumper taste asshole?” Kyle shouted as he gunned down another brute with the LAAG turret.

Unless your turret actually fires bumpers, I don’t think that line quite makes sense.”

Thel jumped out to land on the Prophet’s gravity throne. “Unhand me, filthy heretic! Your defiance shall be silenced!” Thel activated his energy sword and with a mighty yell, he brought it down with all his might. The last of the Hierarchs was dead.

That’s great and all, but… Redemption wasn’t a Hierarch. He was just some kind of minor Prophet, of which there were many. Still, the Arbiter did manage to decapitate the leadership of the strictly hierarchical Covenant Loyalists, so the rest of the fight shouldn’t be quite as difficult.

“Hey, showoff, you mind? We have a castle to storm here!” Kyle yelled from the gunner seat. Disbanded grunts could be seen roaming the city, running around yelping in fear and disorder. All of them were gunned down mercilessly.

Panicking Grunts usually resume threatening behavior after they have had a chance to gather themselves, so the UNSC generally does shoot them even when they are attempting to retreat. The narration here, however, indicates that they are in fact doing this not because the enemy is still a threat, but because they are horrible people.

As usual.”

Outside of the city walls, what remained of the UNSC infantry forces looked to see another horde of flood charging at them in the distance. The battle hardened soldiers solemnly nodded to each other as they readied their weapons for their final stand. “TILL DEATH!” one marine cried as they readied their weapons and prepared for the inevitable.

That does not sound like the UNSCMC to me. Especially not against Flood. Their soldiers really are quite good at their jobs, but usually there’s a lot more backtalk and they aren’t prone to this sort of purplish war poetry. That’s really more the Sangheili’s forte.

Also, is it not usually spelled “ ’til death”? ‘Till death’ sounds like an order to make death suitable for agriculture. Which is, in of itself, more badass than anything we’ve seen so far.”

00000

The King growled, ‘The blasted Varden has breached the outer wall, the parasite will deal with the ones outside while I shall eliminate those three annoyances.’ The dragon growled in affirmative as it swooped down towards the unsuspecting warthog.

King McEvil Counter: 6

“Incoming!” Thel shouted as the massive black shadow of the dragon blotted out the sun. Kyle positioned the warthog turret and released a stream of superheated bullets which clattered harmlessly on the dragon’s rock-hard scales. The beast opened its monstrous jaws and unleashed a torrent of flames that the small vehicle narrowly dodged. Kyle squeezed down the trigger of the turret until it gave a very loud ‘click‘ “Oh for the love of…” The huge dragon spat another stream of flames at the three. The warthog’s wheels melted and deflated from the intense heat. The warthog careened and spun out of control as all four tires exploded. Our three heroes were sent flying out of their automobile as it flipped and turned down the street.

This was actually quite well-done (if a bit light on environmental description), but…”

Dude, don’t lean on the Fourth Wall like that.

The monstrous beast landed with a thundering crash. The Rider smiled cruelly as the dragon sent forth another jet of searing hellfire. Galbatorix laughed mercilessly as he saw Thel and Kyle collapsed under the intense heat.

Well, fuck.”

Don’t worry, Captain, I think I figured out how to work the control room’s regex finder- I wonder what bastard decided to program it to only accept expressions in Greibach normal form- and it’s telling me he appears later on in the chapter.”

That said, I do like seeing the effects of a glancing hit with dragonfire portrayed like this, but if they’d brought air support or used that LAAT gun for what it was designed for the UNSC team wouldn’t be having this problem.

But what he didn’t see was a lone drop pod streaking down at dangerous velocities. The small drop pod smashed into the dragon in a shower of blood, gore, and meat, effectively crushing its wards and killing it instantly.

…”

DROP PODS CANNOT BE AIMED THAT PRECISELY!!!!!!!!

The SOEIV hissed and its hatch blew off to reveal an African-American in ODST armor with a cigar in his mouth, “So who’s next?”

The use of the term “African-American” here immediately jumps out to me as horridly anachronistic, but that would be the correct modern-day term for a dark-skinned resident of Chicago.

“WellDon’t we have a counter for that?”

Good point.

Everyday Anachronism Counter: 29

John’s mouth dropped open in shock, “Sgt. Johnson? I thought you were dead.”

That is entirely true. Master Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson was killed in action at the end of Halo 3. Sadly, in fanfiction that never seems to stick.”

The marine let out a dry chuckle while he pulled out his shotgun, “Hell, Chief, it’ll take more than that flashy light bulb and an exploding hula hoop to take out Sergeant A.J. Johnson.” John grinned at that.

He’s forgetting the part where that explosion was caused by Installation 04B activating over the Ark.

No, I think these characters would be safe- remember, the Halo Array only targets intelligent life.”

It still doesn’t explain how in blazes he got off the Ark, through whatever translocative process sends people into the Eragonverse, and into an orbital drop pod without anybody knowing about it. I wonder who else might come back from the dead, authors who do that rarely stop at just one…

“You… you killed my dragon! How dare you defy my power!” Galbatorix rose from the remains of his dragon.

King McEvil Counter: 7

“Oh, I’m sorry, did I hurt your pet lizard? Well too bad!”

That’s… a bit racist, considering his current company.”

Well, at least now we know what he's so angry about.

Well, at least now we know what he’s so angry about.

Johnson taunted as John concentrated all of his angry thoughts into his powers. John released a shimmering beam of pure energy from his raised palms at Galbatorix who blocked it with his Rider’s sword. Thel and Johnson then joined in John’s assault with their own firepower. Kyle then rose to his feet with a rocket launcher in hand. “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” Galbatorix screamed in horror as the projectile sped towards him. Instead of exploding, the rocked bounced off of Galbatorix’s head with a dull ‘thunk.’    

“Kyle, what the hell was that?” John yelled as he tried to keep up his steady beam.

“That was a Nerf round, I had no idea what to do with it so…”

So you shot it at a high-value target instead of just disposing of it, and potentially doomed us all!”

“You idiot! Hit him with the real thing!” Johnson yelled. Kyle loaded the weapon with the deadly explosive and pulled the trigger. Galbatorix yelled in horror again as the rocket sped toward him and erupted into a massive explosion of concentrated energy. John collapsed as the attack drained him of his vitality. The Mad King was dead.

Which would be great, except for the part where he had been rendered entirely irrelevant by the arrival of the much better-equipped Flood and Covenant loyalists.”

Thel and Kyle sat on a pile of debris to catch their breaths while Johnson stayed standing.

Suddenly the ground started to rumble and shake. Massive tentacles burst from the ground and a mental voice boomed, ‘Opposition has been destroyed!

Except that, as I understand it, the bulk of the Covenant forces are still around. And if that’s not the case, why didn’t the Gravemind show up back when Redemption ate a sword?

Now, we shall destroy and consume the galaxy of flesh and mind and bone!”

John and the Dragon Rider seems to really like that one Gravemind quote for some reason.”

Dozens of flood combat forms leapt from the tall buildings. Frightened civilians rushed to and fro trying just to survive only to be taken down and transformed by the infection forms.

Wait, there’s still civilians around? Not only is it extremely unlikely that they, being defenseless humans, would have been able to survive ██ days of Covenant occupation, but the UNSC (which is usually very dedicated to preserving civilian life) seems to have completely ignored them when they were assaulting the city.

“Trade one villain for another.” Thel muttered as he activated both of his energy swords while Kyle raised his rocket launcher and John readied his Spartan Laser.

Oh for the love of all that is good and holy stop ripping off canon dialogue already!

More pelicans and phantoms arrived on the spot to drop off more troops and vehicles.

You know, it would have been nice to have those when you were getting your humps flayed raw by the Covenant back at the beginning of the chapter.”

The city was in shambles, a careless civilian left a torch burning at the base of a haystack that caught on fire and soon the inferno spread to most of the buildings.

Well, that’ll at least help slow down the Flood, at any rate.

The group of four ran along the crowded streets of Uru’baen blasting away at any flood they could see. At the entrance of the city, the group of brave marines valiantly fought off the oncoming horde of flood. They were joined by the four heroes, “Marine! What’s your status?” Johnson yelled over the chorus of screeches and gunfire. “We’re pinned, we’re outnumbered, and we’re totally screwed!”

Johnson smacked him over the head, “Pull it together fool!”

You know, Sergeant Johnson could often be hard on his men when the situation called for it, but I don’t think he was ever this openly abusive.”

“Pelican Foe Hammer, this is Cortana, requesting pickup and support.”

“Roger that ma’am Foe Hammer inbound.” A few moments later, pelican dropship came and unleashed a barrage of missiles that slowed the advance of the flood. “Hurry, get aboard!” The pilot yelled.

Wait, what the hell is Foehammer doing here? She died back in Halo: Combat Evolved!!

Maybe the disintegration of a Halo ring somehow revivifies and reequips those who were killed on it?”

Regardless, it’s nice to see her back since a lot of writers kind of forget about her, and not just that but to see her successfully doing her job with a minimum of perviness in a story that seems to have endured a bit too much attention from the Sexist Stick, but still– Stop. Reviving. Canon. Characters. For. No. Good. Reason!

A massive Separatist assault carrier hovered over the city and Shipmaster Rtas ‘Vadum’s voice rang out over the COMM, “All units, pull back. We shall glass the infestation into oblivion!”

Fuckin’ finally.”

Shouldn’t you be getting ready to ficdive right about now?”

Inside the pelican, the group watched as the rest of the pelicans and phantoms retreated to safety as a light originating from the Separatist ship grew brighter and more intense as the weapon of mass destruction turned the infested city into molten glass.

That’s… not even a run-on sentence. It’s more like two or three sentences, at least, all mushed up into a single limping blob.

Odd, I didn’t know the Flood could infect literature.”

“It’s over, it’s finally over.” John said as his mind drifted to other matters.

I’m sure his brain occasionally has to shut down all other cognition so that it has enough space to remind him to breathe.”

“What are you thinking about Chief?” Cortana suddenly asked. John muted his helmet speakers, “I’m about to become a father, how am I supposed to deal with that?”

“With a large amount of luck.” Cortana replied casually.

00000

*Six levels down in the Lambda Complex, a Pelican dropship phases into being atop the portal generator and disgorges a muddied, bloodied, and disturbingly cheerful female turian.*

Welp, job’s done. Got a little tense blastin’ through that command ship to get to the ugly one, but I don’t think any a’ the locals spotted me. Figured I’d grab the pilot, too, she seems all right an’ didn’t have much time to get ruined.”

And the Stu?”

Chucked him out the back of the dropship before your white coat brigade tele-zapped us all home. Don’t think I killed ‘im, sadly, even ‘fore he changed the fucker had a tendency to bounce. What are y’all gonna do with these guys, anyways?”

Well, I was thinking of adding them to the RIFFCON security team, but if I’d wanted them to die meaningless and entirely preventable deaths I could have just left them in the ‘fic. We’ll go with the original plan and resettle them somewhere in the multiverse where they could live relatively normal lives. Of course, it’s not like anybody would believe their story when we reinsert them, so they can also stay around here for as long as they want before we get them relocated. I’ll have the engineers see if they can do something about the Arbiter’s massive burn scarring before he regains consciousness and realizes we performed medicine on him…

Now be quiet, it’s ending.

“I present to you, Master Chief 117, the Prisoner of War Medal,

I have no idea if Prisoner of War medals are a real thing in human militaries, but if they are it sounds like saying that on the battlefield would be a delightfully backhanded way of informing an enemy soldier of their fate. I’ll have to remember that.”

for showing courage under captivity and torture. John took the medal and smiled.

Hey, where’s our medals?! We faced captivity and torture too!

The crowd burst into cheer as John stepped off of the stage to sit beside his friends. A messenger came to John and whispered into his ear, “Sir, you are needed at the hospital.” Kyle heard the message and nudged him forward when he was frozen in his seat.

All her life, Arya had never experienced so much pain.

I guess she’s never read a chapter of John and the Dragon Rider, then.”

She gave a shout of agony as the child forced its way out of her. Her hopes rose as John walked into the room. Arya screamed and pushed one last time and was rewarded with the sound of crying.

The crying was John’s and not her chick’s, but Arya decided she would take what she could get.”

“Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Sierra, it’s a boy.”

00000

Well, that wraps it up. I think John’s last name is Sierra, correct me if I’m wrong.

“You’re wrong. Sierra-117 is his callsign, you know, what with ‘Spartan’ beginning with ‘S’ and ‘Sierra’ representing ‘S’ in the NATO phonetic alphabet…

You know what, why do I even bother?”

“Fuck that, boss, I’m gonna go get a beer.”

“… do you mind if I tag along?”

See you next story!

Unfortunately.

Everyday Anachronism Counter: 29, which is pretty damned impressive for a 25 kiloword ‘fic.

King McEvil Counter: 7! Again impressive for a character who appeared maybe three or four times in a ‘fic that is itself only twice as long as some chapters of Palaven’s Dogs.

And so, ladies and Grunts, I’ll leave it up to the community. It’ll probably be some time before I can do another ‘fic what with college and all, but I do intend to do others and I have a number of options to choose from:

  1. The sequel to John and the Dragon Rider,
  2. Another Half-Jaw ‘fic featuring a whole ship full of cuddly Elites,
  3. The cringingly-titled, Raptor-and-I-esque Love of a Spartan.
  4. An Elder Scrolls ‘fic featuring the most useless Dragonborn ever.
  5. A Metroid trollfic, that is also a high-school AU, and also also just so happens to feature a certain Mr. T…

Which do you want to see?

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18 Comments on “1217: John and the Dragon Rider – Chapters Twenty and Twenty-One”

  1. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    DUUUUUUDE

    I FUCKING REMEMBER LOVE OF A SPARTAN

    THAT WAS MY FIRST GUILTY PLEASURE FIC ON THE WHOLE SITE

    DO IT DO IT DO IT

    (what’s dis Skyrim fic you’re looking at though?)

    • DasCheesenBorgir says:

      man, it’s really funny cuz I was just thinking about re-reading it a while ago but being worried about not being able to get over some of the undoubtedly cringy stuff now…

      I think having it go through a no-BS filter would be a wonderful way to re-experience my 13-year old giddiness once more!

    • DasCheesenBorgir says:

      just wanna make sure, this is the ‘Love of a Spartan’ you’re referring to right?

      https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4589589/2/Love-of-a-Spartan

      I STILL REMEMBER THEIR NAMES

      SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        really funny, cuz just a while ago I was bitching about characters exactly like this. It was prolly just the presence of the Chief that held me back way back when- if it was just them three filthy human fleshbags I’d say exterminate the entirety of fucking humanity to get rid of them.

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        yeah, fuck the Skyrim fic, do Love of a Spartan

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Yep, that’s the one. And I think the Skyrim ‘fic is out of the running, because I cannot locate the link I had to it.

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        Jesus Christ, you’re gonna need one helluva smirk counter for it :O

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        burn me at the stake for heresy if you must, but after seeing how the author writes Elites (silly bullshit like *drooling in combat* aside) I don’t think I’d mind as much if they made this one of them creepy inter-species fics…

        :S

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        *not* with that Panda over there you little shit >:(

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Well, we have an Arbiter now, so we could always expose him to it.

        “I do not like the sound of that.”

        Awww, quit your bellyachin’…

      • Garrus: This… doesn’t sound like the Arbiter will enjoy it.

        And another Alien race? How many do you have?

        Cain: Well, we have a Rockman, a Mantis, a Zoltan, an Engi, a Sangheilli, an anthropomorphic Lion, yourself, an anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus, and two anthropomorphic Raptors. Oh, and Goddess and Syl.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Technically three turians and two Sangheili, plus Officer Sura, whatever components of RIFFCON have achieved singularity, and any non-human personnel the DRD happens to employ, but other than that, yeah, that’s about the size of it.

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        People trying to flirt with a SPARTAN II ought to be put on trial for attempted sabotage of capital weaponry

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        People trying to flirt with a Spartan II can be left to expire naturally of their injuries.

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        know what, fuck it

        Next chance I get to do an XCOM playthrough I know exactly who I’m rushing into the Newfoundland Chryssalid nest

  2. TacoMagic says:

    “You idiot! Hit him with the real thing!” Johnson yelled. Kyle loaded the weapon with the deadly explosive and pulled the trigger. Galbatorix yelled in horror again as the rocket sped toward him and erupted into a massive explosion of concentrated energy.

    It was awfully nice of Galbatorix to wait patiently for Kyle to reload that thing. It’s a rocket launcher so it had to have taken a while. That’s just about maintaining those high standards of villainy.


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