Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn/Transcripts
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Scene opens up to various shots of the aft half of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn adrift in space. Cortana's voice can be heard, repeating one phrase over and over.
- Cortana: "Mayday, mayday. This is UNSC FFG-201 Forward Unto Dawn, requesting immediate evac. Survivors aboard. Prioritization code Victor 05-3-Sierra-117."
A computer screen is seen:
CREW CAPACITY: 782
CREW SURVIVING: 1
The screen flickers. Cut to John-117 inside his cryo chamber. His visor reflects off the blue light outside the chamber. The blue light is revealed to be emitting from a holotank. The light flickers red before turning back to blue. Fades to black. Fades in to the space, where a few stars are seen. Blacks out.
FORWARD UNTO DAWN
Title fades out. Scene cut to Commander Thomas Lasky, in front of a holographic screen, reviewing the distress signal.
- Bridge crew #1: "Lock on to frequency, tracking coordinates."
- Bridge crew #2: "Crossing now."
- Commander Thomas Lasky: "Play it again, please."
As the signal plays again, Lasky starts to space out.
- Bridge crew #2: "We have a lock."
- Bridge crew #3: "It's him!"
The bridge is thrown into disarray as the crew begin to talk at the same time and an alarm sets off.
- Unidentified UNSC AI: "Shall I play it again, sir?"
Lasky starts to breathe deeper and louder, while the voice gets fainter.
- Unidentified UNSC AI: "Sir? ...Commander Lasky?"
Lasky's breathing gets louder, his eyes begin to look around the room. Cut to Lasky opening his eyes as a teen, inside a cryo chamber. He coughs.
- Orlin: "Cryo pods opening."
A young Thomas Lasky falls out, vomiting bronchial surfactant. Next to him, Chyler Silva and Michael Sullivan are seen thawed out and vomiting surfactant as well.
- Chyler Silva: "Lasky? You okay?"
Lasky doesn't respond and continues to vomit.
- Chyler Silva: "Are you alright?"
Cut to Lasky walking to his locker, still coughing. Cut to Sullivan in his battle uniform looking at Lasky.
- Michael Sullivan: "Lasky, let's go!"
Cuts back to Lasky as he gears up, still coughing.
- Walter Vickers (COM): "Hastati Squad, 4 minutes to rendezvous point!"
Lasky takes out his assault rifle.
- Chyler Silva: "Copy, Vickers. T-Minus 4 minutes."
Cut to Lasky's right hand wrist, which is bruised.
- Michael Sullivan: "Will you be able to shoot with those hands?"
Lasky tightens his gloves.
- Thomas Lasky: "We'll find out."
Chyler runs for the exit.
- Chyler Silva: "Come on!"
Sullivan follows her.
- Michael Sullivan: "Axios!"
- Dimah Tchakova (COM): "10 seconds, closing in! First checkpoint. Almost there!"
Lasky runs out of the building. Cut to his heads-up display as the sunlight blinds his eyes. Lasky pants and coughs. He looks up at a small hill, where Silva and Sullivan are already climbing to the top.
- Michael Sullivan: "Lasky, come on, let's go!"
Lasky walks a few step ahead before sprinting. Cut to a forest with explosions.
- Vickers (COM): "We're under heavy fire!"
- Vickers (COM): "Vickers, checkpoint!"
- Sullivan: "Covering!"
Sullivan fires his assault rifle. Silva fires hers for a short second before continuing forward.
- Silva: "Moving!"
The three cadets move on to the RV point. Shot of Lasky running through explosions and gunfire in slow motion which then reverts back to standard motion.
- Tchakova (COM): "Tchakova. Checkpoint!
- Junjie Chen (COM): "Chen, checkpoint."
- Vickers (COM): "Checkpoint!"
- Lasky: "Uh, fifty seconds."
Cut to Lasky's HUD. The motion tracker projected on his ballistic goggles enlarges and moves to the center of his HUD.
- Silva: "Go!"
The cadets advance forward and take cover momentarily.
- Vickers (COM): "Silva, Sullivan, Lasky - where are you guys?"
- Lasky: "RV in fifteen seconds. (to Sullivan and Silva) Are you ready?"
- Sullivan: "I'll see you at the party."
Lasky, Silva and Sullivan get up and continue running, with Silva taking point. They continue running. Sullivan is suddenly shot by a tactical training round. He cries out and falls backwards. Lasky and Silva notice this and turn around.
- Lasky: "Sully!"
The two look at Sullivan lying stunned on the ground. Silva begins running again.
- Silva: "We have to leave him!"
Lasky hesitates and continues to stare at Sullivan on the ground .
- Vickers (COM): "Lasky, what the hell?!"
- Silva: "Come on!"
- Vickers (COM): "Lasky!"
- Lasky: (coughs) "Ten seconds."
Lasky breaks into a run. Cuts to his HUD. A red "X" appears over the green arrow representing Sullivan on the motion tracker. The tracker then reduces itself and moves to the bottom left corner of the HUD. A message appears over the HUD:
- Vickers (COM): "Lasky, hurry up!"
- Lasky: "Landing in 3... 2... 1."
Lasky makes it to the rendezvous point, a small concrete shelter under fire where the rest of Hastati Squad are taking cover. He continues to wheeze and cough.
- Chen: "Enemy inbound. They'll be on us in 35 seconds."
- Vickers: "Fresh mags in your weapon, prepare to attack."
Lasky turns to Vickers in disbelief.
- Lasky: "What?"
- Vickers: "Our objective is to neutralize the Insurrectionists and acquire the target. We move on my mark."
- Chen: "30 seconds."
Cuts to Lasky's motion tracker, now displaying enemy contacts inbound on two sides.
- Lasky: "We should flank them and force a surrender."
- Vickers: "We're too close to flank and Innies never surrender!"
- Silva: "Dimah and I could circle around. There's still time."
- Tchakova: "We can make it."
- Chen: "25 seconds. Guys?"
- Lasky: "It's our best move."
- Chen: "20 seconds."
Vickers contemplates for a moment.
- Vickers: "No, we're sticking to my plan, okay? On my mark."
- Lasky: "It won't work."
- Vickers: "You're not in charge anymore, Lasky!"
- Silva: "Tom, just do what he says."
- Chen: "15 seconds."
Vickers shoots an urgent look at Lasky.
- Vickers: "They're my orders."
- Lasky: "I don't care."
- Chen: "10 seconds!"
Lasky and Vickers look at one another. The enemy contacts on Lasky's motion tracker continue to converge on their position.
- Chen: "5 seconds!"
Lasky charges out of the shelter.
- Lasky: "Axios!"
- Vickers: "Lasky!"
Lasky runs amidst heavy gunfire and explosions; scene briefly goes into slow motion; suddenly, he is hit in the chest by a training round and falls.
- Lasky: "Augh!"
Lasky lies on the ground, breathing heavily. All is quiet before April Orenski appears from behind a reflective barrier.
- Orlin: "Hastati Squad leader on the field. Exercise paused."
Orenski walks to Lasky, still laying on the ground, aiming her rifle at him.
- Orenski: "Let me guess, Lasky - you ignored orders."
- Lasky: (panting) "It's just... another strategic casualty, sir."
- Orenski: "Unacceptable."
Orenski shoots Lasky twice in the chest with training rounds. Lasky grunts loudly in pain.
- Orlin: "Game over."
- Orenski: (coldly) "Shoulder your weapon, cadet."
Members of the opposing squad rise from the undergrowth.
- Male cadet: "Lasky screwed this one up."
Orenski continues to stand next to Lasky, who continues to cough and grunt.
- Orenski: "Your little escapade kept Hastati Squad from achieving its objective... again."
Orenski leaves and Lasky slowly gets up, groaning.
- Male cadet: (off-screen) "Great job, Lasky."
- Orlin: "Exercise complete. Zero wins. Hastati defaults."
Lasky stops to look at his reflection on the wall of the opposing team's shelter.
- Lasky: (exhausted) "Shit."
Lasky leaves. The scene focuses on the reflective combat barrier, which is shown to be labeled with the following:
FIELD DEPOT 7 - NNE
Cut to the cadets of Hastati Squad walk across a field at the forest edge.
- Sullivan: (to Lasky) "The Robot tag you?"
Cut to Orenski standing at attention on a concrete-paved road, with cadets walking by and a UNSC officer standing nearby. Cut back to Lasky and Sullivan.
- Lasky: "Yeah, once from two meters... Twice from one."
- Sullivan: "I'm still numb from all those stun rounds."
- Lasky: "I'm always numb."
General Black's Warthog approaches along the concrete road. A dam can be seen in the background. Orenski walks to face Hastati Squad, now standing in formation as the general's Warthog pulls to a stop and Black climbs out.
- Orenski: "Hastati... Port arms!"
The members of Hastati Squad do as ordered. Orenski turns to face General Black.
- Orenski: "General Black, sir!"
Black surveys Hastati Squad disapprovingly and slowly walks in front of the cadets.
- General Black: "Let me remind you, cadets... this academy bears the name of the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Because he represents honor, valor, allegiance! General Corbulo was to take his own life in the name of the Empire. Corbulo did not hesitate nor question. He loyally obeyed, screaming 'Axios!' as he fell upon his own sword. Axios: I... am... worthy."
Black stops to face Lasky, who continues to stare forward.
- Black: "But I'm afraid, cadets, today you have proven to be anything but. We are at war with Insurrectionists. Terrorists, who would like nothing more than to see all of us dead. Had this been a real firefight, the rebels would have likely killed every member of Hastati Squad."
Black goes on walking in front of the formation.
- Black: "Every single one of you at this academy was sent here because your parents are the upper echelon of the United Nations Space Command. Because all of you are its future."
General Black stops next to Orenski, standing at attention.
- Black: (to Orenski) "And I expect you to act like it."
- Orenski: "Understood, sir!"
- Black: "Well, what are you waiting for? Lead them on tour, Orenski."
He turns to leave. Orenski addresses Hastati Squad.
- Orenski: "Axios!"
- Hastati Squad: "Axios!"
General Black leaves in his Warthog.
- Orenski: "Hastati... Right, face!"
Hastati Squad turns to face the right.
- Orenski: "Double, march!"
The cadets break into a jog, singing the UNSC Marine Cadence as they follow Black's Warthog along a dirt road.
- Orenski: "One early morning 'bout zero-five!"
- Hastati Squad: "One early morning 'bout zero-five!"
- Orenski: "The ground will rumble, there'll be lightning in the sky!"
- Hastati Squad: "The ground will rumble, there'll be lightning in the sky!"
- Orenski: "Don't you worry, don't come undone!"
- Hastati Squad: "Don't you worry, don't come undone!"
The cadence fades out while the instrumental track playing in the background escalates, as an overhead shot of the road pans up over the forest to reveal the Corbulo Academy campus; a collection of predominantly concrete buildings dominated by a towering space elevator, several massive satellite dishes and a number of large vertical-axis wind turbines. Numerous cadets are seen running, marching or standing in formation on the open training grounds in front of the buildings. A Pelican dropship is descending towards a landing pad. The academy is identified on-screen:
CORBULO ACADEMY OF MILITARY SCIENCE: CIRCINIUS-IV
The cadets of Hastati Squad continue their jog across a field with other cadets performing various physical exercises, training in close quarters combat, as well as firing pistols at a shooting range.
- Orenski: "Helljumper, Helljumper, where you been?"
- Hastati Squad: "Helljumper, Helljumper, where you been?"
- Orenski: "Feet first into hell and back again!"
- Hastati Squad: "Feet first into hell and back again!"
- Orenski: "Don't cry for me, don't shed no tear!"
- Hastati Squad: "Don't cry for me, don't shed no tear!"
Lasky begins to pant and falls behind the others.
- Orenski: "Just pack my box with PT gear!"
Brief cut to several cadets in uniform walking in a staircase within the academy.
- Hastati Squad: "Just pack my box with PT gear!"
Cut back to Hastati Squad, now running across the main courtyard of the school, with a statue of Roman general Corbulo in the foreground. UNSC Marines stand guard nearby.
- Orenski: "Helljumper, Helljumper, where you been?"
- Hastati Squad: "Helljumper, Helljumper, where you been?"
- Orenski: "And I wanna drop and drop again!"
- Hastati Squad: "And I wanna drop and drop again!"
Lasky continues to pant and runs several meters behind the squad.
- Orenski: "One, two, three, four, oh..."
- Hastati Squad: "One, two, three, four, oh..."
Cut to Hastati Squad's locker room.
- Sullivan (off-screen): "I'm getting lunch in the cafeteria, man, and then... (indistinct)"
- Male cadet 1 (off-screen): "Sully, please, enough."
- Male cadet 2 (off-screen): "Would somebody gag Sully, please?"
Cut to Lasky fidgeting with his locker.
- Sullivan (off-screen): "No, seriously, I'm on to something here."
Cut to Sullivan conversing with another cadet.
- Sullivan: "The comms are messed up and I'm decoding something kick-ass."
- Female cadet (off-screen): "Nobody wants to hear it, Sully."
Cut to Lasky inspecting his armor in his locker. He tries to wipe the red TTR round smear from the chest piece with little success.
- Sullivan: "ONI's hiding stuff from us, I'm positive. They've got secrets, man."
Vickers roughly shoves Lasky as he passes.
- Walter Vickers: "Stop stepping on our dicks, Lasky."
- Michael Sullivan: "Hey, ease up, Gingerbread."
- Junjie Chen: "No, Sully. Vickers is right."
Chen approaches Lasky.
- Junjie Chen: "My combat scores suck because of you."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Don't bother, JJ, he's gone soft. He's an Innie-lover now."
- Thomas Lasky: "Dimah... that order didn't make any sense."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Doesn't have to make sense. Just follow it."
- Walter Vickers: (off-screen) "We're the lowest ranking squad now!"
- Male cadet: (off-screen) "What happened to Lasky, man?"
Lasky thinks about what Dimah has said and walks over to a locker next to Silva, who glances at him. Lasky sighs and turns to her.
- Thomas Lasky: "I'm trying to survive here, okay?"
- Chyler Silva: "You need to respect the chain of command. The UNSC isn't the enemy, the Innies are."
- Thomas Lasky: "Spoken like a true believer."
- Chyler Silva: "Yeah, well, at least I believe in something these days."
Silva walks away as Lasky looks at a photo of his brother, Cadmon Lasky, stuck on his locker.
Cut to Lasky walking through the courtyard briefly pausing at the statue of General Corbulo and continuing on. General Black is then seen giving orders to several Marines. He smokes a cigar and gazes up at the sky, a look of apprehension on his face. An overhead view of the campus is shown passing by the space elevator as a car is sent up. Cut to Lasky in Mehaffey's office; both of them are listening to a recording of the training earlier.
- Vickers (recording): "No, we're sticking to my plan, okay? On my mark."
- Lasky (recording): "It won't work."
- Silva (recording): "Tom, just do what he says."
- Vickers (recording): "They're my orders."
- Lasky (recording): "I don't care."
- Colonel Mehaffey: "Pause."
The recording pauses. Mehaffey turns to Lasky.
- Mehaffey: "You don't care? You do realize your helmets transmit everything?"
- Thomas Lasky: "No excuse, sir."
- Mehaffey: "You continue pulling down your squad, you're going to end up with a lot of enemies."
- Thomas Lasky: "Yes, sir."
- Mehaffey: "I served under your mother, I know what she's like, and I sure as hell don't need to tell you Colonel Lasky is not going to let a son of hers leave this academy without a diploma."
- Thomas Lasky: "I wouldn't know what my mother thinks, sir. I never see her."
- Mehaffey: "It's been a long war. Your mother holds a lot of hands."
- Thomas Lasky: "So I'm told, sir."
Mehaffey gets up and walks toward Lasky.
- Mehaffey: "You know, Thomas, I've seen a lot of cadets come through here. Many have suffered like you. Pain like that cannot be forgotten, but you can learn how to tolerate it."
- Thomas Lasky: "I'll do my best, sir."
- Mehaffey: "That will be all."
Lasky salutes the colonel, who notices marks on his wrist. Lasky leaves.
Cut to Lasky in a shower checking on his blisters.
- Hughes: (voiceover) "How long have you had those blisters?"
- Thomas Lasky: (voiceover) "Been on and off for a few weeks but... these are from yesterday."
Cut to Hughes checking on Lasky.
- Hughes: "Any other symptoms?"
- Thomas Lasky: "It's getting hard to breathe."
- Hughes: "Okay, well let's keep an eye on it."
Cut to Lasky in the shower.
- Hughes: (voiceover) "Cryo-training can take its toll."
Cut to Lasky sitting on a wall near the space elevator, thinking. Below him, a graffiti reading "FORWARD UNTO DEATH" has been painted on a "RESTRICTED AREA" sign. The UNSC Marine Cadence can be heard in the distance. The space elevator stands in the background; Lasky watches as a car descends to the bottom, with another beginning its climb along an adjacent elevator strand.
Cut to a view of the academy from a distance; a mountain range stands in the background and three moons are visible in the sky.
Cut to the barracks.
- Male cadet #1: (off-screen) "Get out of my room! What the hell, man?"
Silva is seen viewing several updates on the Insurrection on a holographic terminal. One is about an attack on a civilian spaceport in Troisi City, Lodestone. The report is dated March 24, 2526.
- Female cadet: (off-screen) "Eric, get your filthy hands off me or I will kill you!"
Another cadet sits next to Silva.
- Male cadet #2: "Hey."
Silva briefly looks at the other cadet and then continues to read updates on the Insurrection, switching to a newer article (dated April 2, 2526), about the UNSC working with ONI to stop a plot by the Bandusa Insurrectionist group in New Harmony, Mars.
- Male cadet #3: (off-screen) "I'm not a virgin!"
Cut to Tchakova who is holding a stuffed animal until she notices Sullivan going through classified ONI videos containing combat footage. She then puts the stuffed animal back in a box and hides it away.
- Dimah Tchakova: "You really shouldn't be looking at that stuff, Sully."
Sullivan continues to go through the videos until he notices something and pauses it.
- Michael Sullivan: "Score."
Sullivan than pulls the video on the left over to the one on the right.
Cut to Vickers doing handstand push-ups.
- Announcer: "The latest from New Harmony, Mars. A pair of Insurrectionist operatives were apprehended while attempting to steal a Hyperion-class warhead from a security complex...(continues indistinctly)"
- Male Cadet #4: (off-screen) "What an asshole! He stole my pillow!"
Cut to Chen checking on a video message from his father.
- Chen's father (Video COM): "(Mandarin) 俊傑，你的學業表現非凡，這我們預料的。但是第一節的成績單多麼的過份地低落。" (Subtitled in English) "Your academic performance is exemplary. However, your combat scores are disappointing."
JJ is shown practicing combat moves, looking distressed.
Cut to Lasky in his room. He looks over his shoulder before activating a list of video messages from his brother on his computer terminal. After hesitating, he selects one.
- Cadmon Lasky (Video recording): "Hey, little bro! Hello from Jericho VII, it's day 131 of deployment. Uh... so I gotta show you something. All right, mom's gonna flip when she sees this. But whatever."
Cadmon takes off his shirt and turns around, showing Thomas a Helljumper tattoo on his back. Thomas laughs.
- Cadmon Lasky (Video recording): "It's still a little raw, but we got a big drop on an Innie stronghold next week, and I wanted to get it done before then. Anyway..."
- Chyler Silva: (behind Lasky) "So, you haven't been court-martialed yet then."
Thomas, surprised, pauses the video and slowly turns around. Silva walks over and sits next to Lasky, who turns on his chair apprehensively. The two look at one another. Lasky scoffs.
- Thomas Lasky: "I'm not apologizing."
- Chyler Silva: "Yes, you are."
- Thomas Lasky: "'At least I believe in something'?"
- Chyler Silva: "I do believe in something."
- Thomas Lasky: "Yeah, so do I."
- Chyler Silva: "Like what?"
- Thomas Lasky: "Just... not in stupid orders that lead to needless violence."
- Chyler Silva: "Negotiating isn't an option anymore, Tom."
- Thomas Lasky: "So we're brainwashing kids and then sending them in to exterminate a bunch of... overtaxed farmers."
- Chyler Silva: "Farmers? That's who you think they are? You have no idea what the Innies are like."
- Thomas Lasky: "I have a pretty good idea."
Lasky turns away.
- Chyler Silva: "Well then you should know how much they hate us and that they're not going to stop fighting until we're all dead."
- Thomas Lasky: "Can you blame them?"
- Chyler Silva: "Yeah... I can, I blame them for a lot of things. And you should too."
Lasky stares at the camera. Silva leaves, and Lasky returns to his brother's video message.
- Cadmon Lasky (Video recording): "Uh... staying safe, doing my job."
Thomas opens an ammunition box and takes out a chessboard. Thomas begins to place different kinds of empty shell casings and shotgun shells on the board as pieces.
- Cadmon Lasky (Video recording): "I just wanted to remind you to do your job. Oh, and by the way, nice checkmate, bro, yet again. Okay, new game. Your move. And hang in there. I know it's tough with mom being gone all the time, being alone. She loves you, so do I. Miss you, buddy."
Video message ends.
- Thomas Lasky: "Miss you too."
- Orlin (PA): "Lights out. Doors closing."
The lights in the barracks go out, and the doors to the cadets' rooms close. Thomas gets in his bed and stares at the poem inscribed above him.
Cut to Silva who is doing the same. A knock is heard on the wall; it's Lasky. He knocks again before Silva answers with her own knock. Lasky closes his eyes and the light in his room goes out.The camera drifts off over Lasky's chess set toward the window when Lasky's terminal screen flashes briefly, displaying Covenant script characters (which read as: "7 Reclamation"), indicating that a covert sensor scan is being conducted. The view pans upward and an unknown object is seen flying through the sky, accompanied by lightning, and turning sharply. Cut to black.
Opens to the debris of UNSC Forward Unto Dawn in space.
- Cortana: "We have been floating aimlessly in space for 1,651 days, 6 hours, and 19 minutes."
A blue light emerges from a pedestal in the center of the room.
- Cortana: "That does it! Over four years onboard this ship with nothing to do."
Cuts to the entire cryo bay.
- Cortana: "No task to complete. For over four years, all I have done is think."
The scene fast forwards. Cortana's voice is muffled as her voice fast forwards as well. Cut to a computer screen which is slowly covered by ice. Cut to another computer screen:
LAST CONTACT WITH UNSC:
1 YEARS, 5 MONTHS, 17 DAYS
The numbers increase as the screen is slowly covered by ice. Cut to the entire cryo bay, where snow is shown to be slowly piling up on the rows of cryo chambers.
- Cortana: "For over four years, all I have done is think."
A heart beating is heard. The blue light on the pedestal flickers red for a second. Cut to black.
- Cortana: "What are you dreaming in there?"
FORWARD UNTO DAWN
Opens to Thomas Lasky on his bed. An alarm has gone off in Hastati Squad's dormitory. Lasky blinks several times before being wide awake. Cut to the cadets running out of their rooms to a computer terminal at the end of the hallway. Lasky joins the group.
- Walter Vickers: "Come on, JJ! The Robot's gonna be pissed!"
Cut to Chen operating the terminal screen. Michael Sullivan is imitating the alarm sound.
- Junjie Chen: "Shut up, Sully!"
Vickers pushes Chen away from the terminal and enters a password. The door behind them opens.
- Walter Vickers: "I got it!"
The cadets scramble for the door. Sullivan turns to Chen.
- Michael Sullivan: "Your shirt's on backwards, asshole."
Cut to the cadets running into their locker room. April Orenski is walking through it.
- April Orenski: "Go! Go, go, go! Get there quick! Keep moving! Are you tippy-toeing?"
The cadets open their lockers and get into their combat uniforms.
- April Orenski: "Wake up, Hastati! Move it! Faster! Wake up!"
Cut to Lasky as he looks behind him: General Black stands at attention.
- Thomas Lasky: "A little early for General Black, don't you think?"
Cut to Orenski standing in front of Dimah Tchakova.
- April Orenski: "Why are you stopping? Are you waiting for your fancy mommy to come and finish it for you? That looked like slow-motion to me. Wake up, Hastati! Don't like being up at 04:00? Tomorrow it'll be 03:00."
- Chyler Silva: "Weapons, check!"
- Walter Vickers: "Weapons, check!"
- (others): "Weapons, check!"
- April Orenski: "Orlin, lights."
The emergency lighting and the alarms turn off. Normal lighting is restored.
General Black steps forward. He stops in front of JJ, who has yet to put on his helmet.
- Black: "Cadet. Cadet!"
JJ stops fumbling with his helmet and looks up, embarrassed.
- Black: "You're already dead, son."
- April Orenski: "Orlin, Cadet Silva's time?"
- Orlin: "51.07 seconds, Cadet April Orenski."
Gen. Black continues his inspection and stops in front of Vickers.
- Black: "Not good enough today, Cadet Vickers." (jabs Vickers in the chest) "I believe Cadet Silva's time was just shy of the academy record, held by Cadmon Lasky."
Black walks over to Thomas Lasky.
- Black: "Now that was a real soldier. A soldier who did not give up."
Black continues pacing in front of the cadets.
- Black: "Tomorrow, you will engage in the last major exercise of this term. Hastati Squad's future at this academy will depend on its performance."
Cut to a view of the academy's space tether and satellite dish. Cut to JJ Chen in his dorm room, recording a message on his data terminal.
- Junjie Chen: (Mandarin)"爸爸，你好。收到你的留言了，謝謝。今天在一個實戰演練，我收到最高分。" (Subtitled in English) "Hello Father. Thank you for your message. I received top marks today during a combat exercise."
Cut to Sully watching scrambled ONI video of a battle. Covenant symbols flash briefly on the screen.
- Michael Sullivan: "Score."
Dimah comes look at the screen over Sullivan's shoulder.
- Dimah Tchakova: "Where did you get this?"
- Michael Sullivan: "Dimah."
- Dimah Tchakova: "You could get in a lot of trouble."
- Michael Sullivan: "You can't tell your mom about this, okay?"
- Dimah Tchakova: "I won't say anything."
As the battle on the terminal continues, strange flashes of green light appear.
Cut to campus grounds.
- Orlin: "Advisory: Select communication systems will be down for system maintenance at 04:00."
Cut to mess hall. April Orenski watches as Lasky and Vickers sit down at their table.
- April Orenski: "Cadet Vickers."
- Walter Vickers: "Yes, sir!"
- April Orenski: "You realize you and Lasky are the reason I had to run the tour yesterday with you noobs. And why we all had to get up at 04:00."
- Walter Vickers: "Yes, sir!"
- April Orenski: "So, as you can imagine, I'm pretty hungry. And I do love this academy's quiche."
She smirks to her fellow class commanders.
- Male cadet (off-screen): "Nice, April..."
- Walter Vickers: "Sir..."
- April Orenski: "So hand them over. Both of you."
Lasky and Vickers walk their trays over to Orenski and place them in front of her.
- April Orenski: "With such a renowned pedigree, I sure expected you to be a better soldier, Lasky."
- Thomas Lasky: "Sir."
- April Orenski: "You're dismissed."
Lasky turns and walks away, followed by Vickers.
- Walter Vickers: "Must be tough on your mom, knowing her real son's never coming home."
Lasky stops and time momentarily slows down. Suddenly, he spins around and elbow Vickers in the face, followed by a left punch.
- Male cadet (in background): "Oh, Lasky and Vickers..."
Vickers blocks and counters the third blow. Other cadets stand to watch the fight. Vickers hits Lasky repeatedly with a lunch tray. Lasky kicks him in the back of the knee. Vickers punches Lasky twice in the face then knocks him down. Lasky grabs his leg and pulls him down. The crowd watches as Lasky gains the upper hand. Camera shifts to slow motion as Lasky rains down blows.
- Dimah Tchakova: "Officer on deck!"
Various cadets stand at attention and try to look innocent. Colonel K.L. Mehaffey looks down at the brawlers with disdain. Lasky slowly gets to his feet. Janitor Beamish looks on in shock. Silva stares at Lasky, uncertainty on her face.
- Mehaffey: (to Lasky) "Outside."
Col. Mehaffey leaves, followed by Lasky; Vickers gets up and wipes blood from his nose.
Cuts to outside.
- Mehaffey: "What the hell is wrong with you?!"
Mehaffey stops to face Lasky.
- Mehaffey: "Answer me!"
- Thomas Lasky: "Nothing, sir."
Mehaffey looks him over.
- Mehaffey: "Well, maybe there's hope for you yet."
- Thomas Lasky: (confused) "Sir?"
- Mehaffey: "There's a soldier inside of you, Thomas. I can see it. Everyone can see it. You- need- to see it. I know your brother did."
Lasky nods thoughtfully.
- Thomas Lasky: "Yes, sir."
- Mehaffey: "Now go get yourself cleaned up before class."
- Thomas Lasky: "Axios!"
Lasky salutes; Mehaffey leaves.
Cut to Lasky, who finishes cleaning himself up, in front of a mirror in his room. He walks up to the data terminal and opens a video message from his brother.
- Cadmon Lasky (video recording): "Hey, bro. Hello from Arcadia. The jungles of Arcadia. So what can I tell ya?"
Other ODSTs interrupt in the background.
- Jack (video recording) (off-screen): "Tell him how you got your new nickname!"
- Cadmon Lasky (video recording): "What? No."
- Jack (video recording): "I'll tell him."
- Cadmon Lasky (video recording): "Jack, come on, I got it, I swear. I'll tell him. I'll tell him. Alright, you're especially gonna love this. So we make a drop in the rain forest, a couple weeks ago. We see this river, me and the boys, we decide to take a dip. Ridge warns us all not to not drink the water."
- Ridge (video recording): "Yeah, I did."
ODSTs laugh in the background.
- Cadmon Lasky (video recording): "Of course, the first thing I do is to get a mouthful. I almost ruin my body suit, couple times. So now they call me, uh, 'Volcano'."
Cadmon and the other ODSTs in the recording laugh and repeat Cadmon's nickname. Lasky sorrowfully fidgets with an empty shell casing, wipes his eyes and gets up.
Cut to an overhead view of the Corbulo Academy campus.
- Mehaffey (voiceover): "The pincer movement..."
Cut to a lecture room, where the cadets are gathered around a holographic table, either standing at the table or sitting in the amphitheater around it. Col. Mehaffey is walking around the table as she lectures to the cadets.
- Mehaffey: "The strategy used in Earth's Second Punic War against the Roman Republic at the Battle of Cannae. Orlin, begin."
- Orlin: "Lesson beginning."
A geographical map of the battlefield at Cannae with blue and red markers is projected on the table. The cadets around the table follow in fascination.
- Mehaffey: "Red represents the Romans' troops, blue, Hannibal's. Hannibal placed his spear-men and slingers at the front. Behind him, his swordsmen flanked by cavalry. When the Romans attacked, Hannibal's swordsmen retreated. To the Romans that seemed to be due to their force but in reality Hannibal had ordered the retreat. As the Romans continued to drive the swordsmen back, Hannibal's cavalry galloped in from behind. Once the attacking pincers connected, the Romans were completely surrounded."
- Michael Sullivan: "This is an actual strategy?"
- Dimah Tchakova: "It does seem a little basic."
- Mehaffey: "The Romans outnumbered Hannibal's troops by over 10,000 strong. And yet, they were defeated. Why?"
The cadets stare blankly.
- Mehaffey: "Hubris. Never underestimate your opponents. Never underestimate what they'll sacrifice for victory. Questions?"
- Junjie Chen: "Yeah... How do we apply this?"
- Michael Sullivan: "Yeah, we don't have horses."
A few cadets snicker lightly.
- Mehaffey: "True, we don't. But what do we have instead?"
- Chyler Silva: "ODSTs."
- Mehaffey: "Exactly. They drop behind enemy lines. Attack from the rear. Neutralize."
- Thomas Lasky (in background): "Or die trying."
The others turn to Lasky, who is sitting at the amphitheater. Mehaffey looks at Lasky and walks over to him.
- Mehaffey: "It's a question as old as war itself; If someone is trying to kill you... are you not to rise against him... and kill him first?"
Cut to Lasky and Silva walking on the academy grounds.
- Thomas Lasky: "You were hanging on her every word."
- Chyler Silva: "Why wouldn't I?"
- Thomas Lasky: "I just hear the drum beat of endless war and that doesn't make me an 'Innie lover'."
Silva turns to Lasky.
- Thomas Lasky: (sighs) "Tell me how wrong I am."
- Chyler Silva: "Look. You want people to change? You want this war to end?"
- Thomas Lasky: "Yeah, of course."
- Chyler Silva: "Then you're gonna need people to follow you."
Silva turns around and leaves.
Cut to an exterior shot of the Corbulo Academy campus; then to a hallway where the members of Hastati Squad stand in formation. April Orenski stands in front of the squad and steps forward to address the cadets.
- April Orenski: "Tomorrow, Hastati Squad will try not to embarrass itself... yet again. You are a unit. Your lives are in each others' hands. This morning's victor, Cadet Silva, knows this because her parents gave the ultimate sacrifice and died on the battlefield. Let success in tomorrow's exercise be not just for our honor but for those who have fallen so you can be here."
Cut to Lasky sitting thoughtfully on a concrete wall. Cut to him walking in the academy grounds; a number of Marines stand guard nearby. Gen. Black's Warthog appears from around a corner. Lasky salutes as the Warthog passes.
- Orlin (PA): "All cadets, please be advised: New mandatory curfew tonight at 21:00."
- Warthog radio: "(Indistinct)...bearing two-one...(indistinct)... south-east gate. Recon reading: Threat level red."
Cut to Lasky inspecting the poem, "Forward Unto Dawn", inscribed over his bed. Lasky knocks on the wall and hears Silva knock back.
Cut to a view of Corbulo Academy at dawn.
- Orlin (PA): "Final combat exercise of this term: Hastati versus Zuma."
A montage of the cadets doing their morning preparations; Silva getting up, Tchakova making her bed, Vickers cutting his hair with a hair clipper, Chen polishing his boots. Sullivan watches more classified footage. Lasky assembles his makeshift chessboard and straightens his uniform in front of a mirror.
Doctor Hughes administers an injection to Lasky. The blisters on his chest are still present.
- Orlin: "Cadets, prepare for cryo injections."
The cadets snap to attention. General Black oversees the squad as Orenski briefs them.
- April Orenski: "Attention! Today's mission is to capture the flag. I expect a better outcome than last time."
- Thomas Lasky: "Permission to speak, sir."
- April Orenski: "Speak."
- Thomas Lasky: "I'd like to take point, sir."
Silva smiles. Orenski hesitates for a moment and glances at Gen. Black. The general gives her a slight nod.
- April Orenski: "Okay, Lasky. Let's see if you've still got it in you. But for your sake, you better hope that you can pull some magic out of your ass or you'll be running tour for the rest of the year."
- Thomas Lasky: "Understood, sir."
Cut to the cryo pods opening. The cadets get out, put on their armor and prepare their weapons.
- Thomas Lasky: "Hastati Squad: One minute to RV point. On my mark: 3... 2... 1... Mark!"
Cut to an overhead shot of the forest, then to Hastati Squad advancing forward.
- Dimah Tchakova (?): "Come on, pick it up."
- Michael Sullivan: "Moving."
- Walter Vickers: "Cover!"
- Dimah Tchakova: "Moving!"
- Chyler Silva: "Moving!"
- Dimah Tchakova: "RV point in sight!"
- Walter Vickers: "No sign of Zuma."
- Chyler Silva: "Let's go! Move. Move!"
- Thomas Lasky: "Keep moving!"
- Walter Vickers: "Zuma's out here, watch your back!"
- Dimah Tchakova: "Moving."
- Thomas Lasky (?): "Moving!"
- Walter Vickers: "At RV point!"
- Junjie Chen (?): "I'm here."
- Michael Sullivan (?): "Arriving."
Hastati Squad make it to the RV point. They sweep the surrounding area with their weapons. View of the motion tracker on Lasky's HUD.
- Thomas Lasky: "Equal numbers. Deadlocked terrain."
- Chyler Silva: "What's your plan?"
- Thomas Lasky: "We're waiting."
Cut to the cadets waiting next to their flag, visibly bored. Insects buzz by.
- Walter Vickers: (sighs)
Sully plays with a twig. JJ yawns. Silva looks impatient. Dimah checks her nails.
- Walter Vickers: "Why are we just sitting here? If we have equal numbers we should just fight it out."
- Thomas Lasky: (coughs) "Yeah, just be patient."
- Walter Vickers: "Wheezing freak."
Lasky coughs again.
An alarm bleeps on Lasky's helmet. His HUD shows enemy contacts on the edge of his motion tracker.
- Thomas Lasky: "Okay, they're moving."
Hastati squad gets up.
- Thomas Lasky: "Take off your helmets."
- Walter Vickers: "What?"
The others start to object as well.
- Michael Sullivan: "That's pretty wild card, Lasky."
- Female Cadet: "That's dumb, Lasky."
- Walter Vickers: "We'll be flying blind."
- Thomas Lasky: "Trust me."
Lasky removes his helmet. Cut to three Zuma Squad cadets moving toward Hastati's apparent position.
- Zuma Squad Leader (radio): "Eyes up, eyes up. All right, flank 'em."
Zuma Squad continues to advance.
- Zuma Squad Leader (radio): "That's them. They're all together."
First-person view of Zuma Squad member Moulder's HUD as the three three Zuma cadets - Moulder, Newton and Verrelli - move in toward Hastati's IFF contacts.
- Newton: "Found 'em!"
The three Zuma cadets approach Hastati's position with rifles at the ready, only to discover Hastati Squad's discarded helmets lying on the ground.
- Verrelli: "Huh?"
Tchakova, Sullivan and Vickers suddenly rise from the nearby bushes and swiftly neutralize Moulder, Newton and Verrelli. Lasky watches from behind cover. Another group of Zuma Squad cadets rush forward and are gunned down by Silva and other Hastati Squad members.
- Thomas Lasky: "Now!"
- Zuma Squad #2: "It's a trap! It's an ambush!"
- Thomas Lasky: "Chyler, cover!"
Lasky and Silva move out toward Zuma's flag, with Silva providing covering fire. She takes out the two Zuma cadets guarding the flag. She and Lasky push on toward the objective, with Silva taking out a couple more Zuma Squad members off screen. As Lasky approaches the flag, he starts to breathe heavily. Everything around him goes into slow motion. His vision begins to fade and he loses consciousness, collapsing meters away from the flag.
- Michael Sullivan (off screen): "Lasky?"
Opens to a close-up view of a holotank in the cryo bay of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, displaying a blue sphere. Pieces of debris float about in zero gravity. John-117's cryo chamber lies in the background. Cortana argues amongst her fragmented personality, showing her slow but sure descent into rampancy.
- Cortana (rampant): "I hate you."
The blue sphere on the holotank blinks red.
- Cortana (normal): "Cortana!"
- Cortana (normal): "Stop it. I've made up my mind."
- Cortana (rampant): "Maybe, if I'm going to die aboard this ship, then Chief will suffer the same fate as me."
Close-up of John's helmet.
- Cortana (normal): "Cortana, stop..."
- Cortana (rampant): "You've sacrificed everything! For him!"
- Cortana (normal): "Control yourself."
- Cortana (rampant): "I can't."
- Cortana (normal): "This isn't right. Something is... Ah!"
Cortana begins to babble in numerous voices simultaneously. Snaking holographic streamers shifting from blue to red are projected from the holotank at John's cryo pod.
- Cortana (normal, drowning in other voices): "Cortana, stop! Control yourself."
- Cortana (babbling): "Oh, John... John... Chief..."
The holographic streams retract back to the blue sphere displayed on the holotank.
- Cortana (normal): "Something set us down. Something... Interesting. I need to think."
- Cortana (rampant): "Thinking is what's killing you!"
The holographic sphere blinks off, leaving a complete darkness. Title appears on screen:
FORWARD UNTO DAWN
Opens to Thomas Lasky's point of view, who opens his eyes to see Doctor Hughes examining him with a flashlight. Lasky lies on a bed; he coughs and grunts. Hughes is sitting next to him.
- Thomas Lasky: "What happened?"
- Hughes: "You passed out during a training exercise."
- Thomas Lasky: "My chest feels like it's on fire."
Lasky looks at the blisters on his wrists.
- Hughes: "Turns out the cryo blisters and your difficulty breathing are an allergic reaction to the cytoprethaline. It's a drug we inject to keep ice crystals from forming in your cells during cryosleep. Occurs in about 1 in every 50,000 or so."
- Thomas Lasky: "So I won't be able to breath every time I wake up from cryosleep?"
- Hughes: "The intensity of your allergy is still undetermined. I'll know more in a few hours. I want you to take it real easy the rest of the day, cadet."
- Thomas Lasky: "Yes, sir."
Hughes leaves, leaving Lasky alone in his room.
- Thomas Lasky: "Thanks."
Lasky closes his eyes and sighs. Cut to black.
Cut to a video recording by Cadmon Lasky. A distressed Cadmon places a field light next to him.
- Cadmon Lasky (recording): "Hey bro. I'm on Andesia, it's a jump away from home. It's day, uh... 496. I'm sorry I didn't comm yesterday. Couldn't. We got pinned in a firefight for seven hours. Uh... I must've killed a dozen Innies though. Mom would be proud. We're doing really good work here. We're doing a good thing. Ridge didn't make it. You remember Ridge from back home. He was right there next to me and then... he wasn't. A pineapple sent him flying in four different directions. I had to shave it all off for Ridge. He said it made me look tough. Anyways, uh... I gotta go, bro."
Cut to Chyler Silva, who is shown watching the recording.
- Cadmon Lasky (recording): "I can't wait to get home. We'll see ya. Cadmon, out."
Thomas, still lying on his bed, turns to Chyler.
- Thomas Lasky: "What are you doing?"
- Chyler Silva: "Why do you torment yourself with these?"
Thomas doesn't reply and looks away.
- Chyler Silva: "Are you okay?"
Thomas lifts up his shirt, revealing large blisters on his chest.
- Chyler Silva: "Whoa."
- Thomas Lasky: "I've been better."
- Chyler Silva: "Well, what did Dr. Hughes say?"
- Thomas Lasky: "That it's nothing."
- Chyler Silva: "Really?"
Thomas looks at Chyler and nods.
- Chyler Silva: "You know, we won today. Your strategy worked."
- Thomas Lasky: "That's just me, being a leader."
The two look at one another and smile.
- Michael Sullivan (via Lasky's comm terminal): "Lasky, wake up. (turns to see Silva) Oh, hey, Chyler."
- Thomas Lasky: "What's up, Sully?"
- Michael Sullivan (Video COM): "Get in here, you guys gotta see this."
Cut to Sullivan's room, where the members of Hastati Squad are gathered around his data terminal. Silva and Lasky come in.
- Walter Vickers (to Lasky): "You look like crap."
Lasky locks eyes with him. They exchange a silent look of mutual respect.
- Michael Sullivan: "Alright, so feast your eyes on grade "A" classified non-licit Intelligence vids I pieced together. Super pain in the ass to do but... so worth it."
Sullivan begins to play the classified footage, showing ODSTs advancing in a rebel stronghold, recorded by a UNSC helmet cam worn by an unknown soldier.
- Dimah Tchakova: "This is beyond top secret."
- Michael Sullivan: "I've never seen something encrypted so hard, but I cracked it."
- Junjie Chen: "Wow."
- Michael Sullivan: "It's crazy, huh?"
- Junjie Chen: "Yeah."
- Soldier (recording): "Target located."
- Michael Sullivan: "Wait, wait, wait, wait. Now, here comes the best part. Watch his hand."
The soldier on the video grabs an insurgent soldier by the neck, lifting him against the wall. Another rebel is holding his hands up as a sign of surrender.
- Soldier (recording): "Target acquired."
- Rebel (recording): "They're coming! They're coming!"
- Michael Sullivan: "That thing is like two feet taller than him."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Pretty crazy, huh?"
- Michael Sullivan: "Now check this out."
Thomas stares at the screen intently.
- Soldier (recording): "Squad, encountered unknown hostile. Pulling back. Pull back, pull back!"
In the recording, rebels are seen running toward the UNSC forces, retreating from an unknown foe. The Wilhelm Scream is heard as a Marine is thrown against a wall. Green flashes of light are seen.
- Walter Vickers: "Oh, no way!"
- Michael Sullivan: "Now who do you think they're running from?
- Chyler Silva: "Are they fighting together?"
- Michael Sullivan: "Okay now, here comes the best part."
The recording shows the UNSC forces retreating. The soldier fires his pistol. He turns right abruptly and the frame freezes to a massive, armor-clad figure; the armor is emblazoned with the number "104".
- Walter Vickers: "Whoa. What is that thing?"
Sullivan turns to the others.
- Michael Sullivan: "Now what do you think that is?"
The cadets continue to stare at the footage, paused at the large armored figure.
- Orlin: "It is now 1800. All cadets report to the mess hall."
The cadets leave. Chyler lingers for a moment, staring at the screen. Cut to an overhead view of the academy and its space elevator.
Cut to Hastati Squad eating in the mess hall.
- Michael Sullivan: "What do you think that thing was?"
- Junjie Chen: "Definitely not an ODST."
- Michael Sullivan: "Then what could it be?"
- Walter Vickers: "Maybe some upgraded ODST armor?"
- Junjie Chen: "Come on, did you not see the size of that thing? That's not ODST."
Sullivan imitates the events seen on the footage, making weapon sounds with his mouth and holding his hands like a firearm.
- Chyler Silva: "Guys, look, you're missing the point. What matters is that our soldiers were fighting alongside the Insurrectionists. Why would we protect the enemy?"
No one answers. Sullivan continues to mimic firing a weapon. A senior cadet named Taylor suddenly appears at the end of the table.
- Taylor: "Cadet Lasky. Colonel Mehaffey would like to see you."
Lasky gets up and leaves. Cut to Col. Mehaffey's office.
- Mehaffey: "How are you feeling?"
- Thomas Lasky: "Uh, my chest burns, sir. Quite a bit."
- Mehaffey: "This is for you."
Mehaffey rotates a sheet of paper over to Thomas' side of her desk. He picks it up and reads it.
- Mehaffey: Seems like you have a choice to make, Thomas."
- Thomas Lasky: "I don't understand, sir."
- Mehaffey: "It appears Dr. Hughes' test has revealed that the level of your allergy to cytoprethaline is serious enough to warrant a medical discharge. If you feel that you are unfit for service, all you need to do is sign the release and bring it to the tether."
- Thomas Lasky: "When would I leave?"
- Mehaffey: "Tomorrow."
- Thomas Lasky: "Tomorrow?"
- Mehaffey: "You know, Thomas... your memories and choices are all you'll have left. At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. You have to decide what you're willing to sacrifice."
Lasky salutes. Mehaffey rises from her chair.
- Mehaffey: "Axios."
Mehaffey returns the salute.
- Thomas Lasky: "Axios."
View focuses on Lasky as he walks through the academy's barracks; the background is blurred and the voices in the background are muffled. Cut to Lasky sitting at his comm terminal. He inspects the form for his medical discharge and then opens a video message from his mother.
- Col. Lasky (recording): "Thomas. It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that today, your brother Cadmon was shot down by Insurrectionist forces on Andesia. All of his squad perished. I've been told it was a quick and painless death. There are no remains to bury; with this in mind I have decided that you shall not leave Corbulo to attend services..."
Her voice fades into silence although she continues to speak as Thomas watches the recording. He is shown to be holding his brother's dog tags.
- Col. Lasky (recording): "...Colonel Lasky out."
Sullivan runs into Lasky's room, snapping him from intense concentration.
- Michael Sullivan: "Lasky! Lasky, move over, I gotta show you something."
- Thomas Lasky: "Now's not a good time, Sully, okay?"
- Michael Sullivan: "No, it's important."
Sullivan opens the classified file on Lasky's terminal. He zooms in on the reflection on the armored figure's helmet visor, revealing an apparent alien creature brandishing a blade-like weapon.
- Michael Sullivan: "Now what the hell is that? Hm?"
The image on the screen suddenly vanishes. The entire screen then powers down.
- Michael Sullivan: "Whoa."
- Thomas Lasky: "It's offline."
- Michael Sullivan: "I'm screwed, man. It's ONI. They must have flagged those comms. I gotta talk to Dimah."
Sullivan runs off.
- Michael Sullivan: "Dimah!? Did you tell your mom?"
Cut to Lasky walking out of his dorm room. He walks over to Silva's room, finding it empty.
- Thomas Lasky: "Chyler?"
Cut to a distant view of Corbulo Academy at dusk, then to Silva sitting on Lasky's frequent brooding spot near the space elevator. Lasky arrives and sits next to her.
- Thomas Lasky: "Hey."
- Chyler Silva: "I thought I'd give your spot a try. (slight pause) That comm didn't make any sense. Hating the Innies is all I've ever known."
Lasky looks down at the discharge form.
- Chyler Silva: "Did you tell Mehaffey about it?"
Lasky looks up, stares at her for a bit, then shakes his head.
- Thomas Lasky: "No.... No."
Silva notices the discharge form Lasky is holding.
- Chyler Silva: "What's that?"
- Thomas Lasky: (scoffs) "Apparently I'm allergic to war."
He hands her the form.
- Chyler Silva: "What does this mean? You're leaving?"
- Thomas Lasky: "Yeah, tomorrow, if I sign it."
- Chyler Silva: "Are you going to?"
- Thomas Lasky: "I don't know."
Chyler looks away, upset.
- Thomas Lasky: "Chyler..."
- Chyler Silva: "Oh, it's okay. I know you don't want to be here. I just thought... that maybe... I'll miss you."
Lasky and Silva stare at each other. Then, giving into their feelings, they kiss. They pull back, uncertain of what they're doing, then lean forward to kiss again. Suddenly an emergency siren starts to sound.
- Chyler Silva: (looks up) "What is that?"
- Orlin (PA): "All cadets, report to the tether."
- Thomas Lasky: "I don't know."
- Orlin (PA): "Campus-wide evacuation."
Cut to a number of cadets running up a staircase. Marines are standing on top of the stairs.
- Marine: "To the tether! Now! This is not a drill! Let's go, let's go, let's go, come on!"
Silva and Lasky arrive and join the cadets and Marines evacuating toward the space tether. Orlin continues to provide emergency instructions over PA. Lasky and Silva move into a corridor leading to the space elevator where more Marines are ordering them to move forward.
- Marine: "Let's move it, cadets! Go, go, move it, cadets! Go, go, go!"
Lasky and Silva come across Colonel Mehaffey in the corridor.
- Mehaffey: "Go to your squads. Now!"
- Marine: "Keep moving, cadets!"
Lasky and Silva look at the academy's space elevator through the glass roof. Chen arrives from behind them.
- Junjie Chen: "Chyler, Lasky. The rest of the squad's already at the tether. Let's go."
- Orlin (PA): "Remain calm. Maintain order."
April Orenski is signaling for Hastati Squad amidst the chaos.
- April Orenski: "Hastati! This way. Hurry up. Right here. Right here. Get in line. Lasky, Chen, let's go."
The members of Hastati Squad gather beside Orenski.
- April Orenski: "Okay. Hold tight. Stay in line."
- Thomas Lasky: "What is this? Insurrectionists?"
- Michael Sullivan: "I have no idea."
- Walter Vickers: "What's happening?"
- April Orenski: "We're just lining up. We're going to get on to the tether. Okay?"
- Walter Vickers: "Okay."
- Orlin (PA): "Remain calm. Maintain order."
Thunder crackles in the sky. The cadets look up as several SOEIV pods drop from above and land on the academy grounds. Orbital Drop Shock Troopers jump out.
- ODST 1: "Let's go! Let's go!"
- ODST 2: "Come on! Come on! Let's go! Let's go!"
- Walter Vickers: "What the...?" (silently mouths an expletive)
- Michael Sullivan: "Why are ODSTs dropping here?"
- Walter Vickers: "I don't know."
Lasky looks up and realizes what's going on.
- Thomas Lasky: "Because we're under attack."
- Orlin (PA): "Remain calm. Maintain order."
More ODST drop pods fall from the sky.
- April Orenski: "This is not good."
- Chyler Silva: "ODSTs dropping in is never good."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Screw this. I can get us on this wagon."
- April Orenski: "No, no, no. We will hold our position."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Guys, come on."
- April Orenski: "No, Tchakova, that is a direct order."
- Dimah Tchakova: "Suit yourself."
Dimah leaves the squad and runs off in front of the queue.
- Thomas Lasky: "Dimah."
- April Orenski: "Dimah. Get back in line, right now!"
- Michael Sullivan: "Dimah!"
Dimah continues to run toward the elevator car but is stopped by one of the Marines guarding the entrance.
- Marine: "Return to your squad, cadet."
- Dimah Tchakova: "I'm getting on this wagon."
- Marine: "It's full. Wait for the next one."
- Dimah Tchakova: "My mother is secretary of FLEETCOM. Your choice, Marine."
The Marine hesitates for a moment, then relents.
- Marine: "Go."
The Marine lets Dimah aboard the wagon. She glances back at her teammates briefly, before getting aboard.
- Marine: "Keep calm, cadets!"
- Marine: "Wagon full. Send her up!"
Cut back to the rest of Hastati Squad.
- Michael Sullivan: "This is taking too long, April. Maybe we should bum-rush like Dimah."
- April Orenski: "No. No, no, no, no, we'll be fine."
- Marine: "Doors closing."
The elevator doors close. The cadets on the ground look on as the car begins its ascent. Suddenly the ground trembles ominously. An alien warship appears in the clouds next to the tether. Cut to Lasky and Sully's shocked reactions. Two more alien ships appear, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The cadets stare at the sky in disbelief and horror.
Focus on Lasky.
- Thomas Lasky: "What the hell are those things?"
Without warning, the first alien ship fires an energy beam at the space tether. Explosions tear through the tower. The support structure bends and buckles before the tether eventually snaps, causing the lower portion of the support structure to collapse toward the terminal where the cadets are standing. A massive cloud of dust rolls down the corridor.
Zooms in on Lasky.
- Thomas Lasky: "Go!"
Cadets scream and run as falling debris rain down upon them. A female cadet trips and falls down. Two other cadets are engulfed by the dust cloud. Everything goes into slow motion as the dust cloud continues rolling down the corridor, engulfing everything in its path. Lasky, Silva, and Orenski are thrown to the floor by the aftershock of the blast. The air is thick with dust as they struggle to get back up; all sound is muffled.
Silva turns to Lasky.
- Chyler Silva: (muffled) "Tom?"
Lasky looks back at her. Nearby, Orenski looks up.
- April Orenski: (muffled) "Hastati!"
Dazed, Lasky struggles to see clearly. All sound and motion revert back to normal as a body suddenly falls against the window outside the corridor with a loud thud. The shadowy figure makes an inhuman squawking noise as it goes down.
Lasky, Silva, and Orenski stare out the window and see an ODST firing an assault rifle in front of the academy's statue of General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Dark pink projectiles fly past him. The ODST falls back as a large figure emerges from the darkness. Growling menacingly, it approaches the statue with heavy footsteps.
- Zealot: "Shuh-gah-suh ree-oh."
- Chyler Silva: "Oh my God. What is that?"
She and Lasky stare at the approaching figure.
- Zealot: "Ree-hah mah-ee!"
The invader activates an energy sword, with the light revealing that it is not human, and slices the Corbulo statue in two. Lasky watches in horror.
- Chyler Silva: "Tom, come on. Come on."
Silva helps him up.
- Thomas Lasky: "What was that?"
- Chyler Silva: "I don't know."
- April Orenski: (off screen) "What was that?"
Lasky and Silva look up just as screaming people begin to fall from the collapsed space tether and crash through the glass roof.
- Chyler Silva: "Come on, come on! Run!"
UNSC Forward Unto Dawn's cryo chambers. Cortana's voice can be heard.
- Cortana: "I don't recognize..."
Cuts to a closer shot of one of the chambers.
- Cortana: "I can't...remember..."
One chamber suddenly burst open.
- Cortana: "...so much of myself."
An air hose bursts under pressure, sending a ring-shaped pressure seal flying outward. Cuts to a wider shot of the room.
- Cortana: "I'm lost..."
Cuts from the screen showing a scan of the Forward Unto Dawn to a haphazard shot of the room.
- Cortana: "...I'm scared."
As the shot suddenly goes into slow motion, light reflects off the ring and a dramatic chord plays, clearly an homage to Halo. As the shot returns to regular motion, an orange light scans the ship, turning the alarms on. Cortana's voice suddenly overlaps.
- Cortana: "Hello? Who's there?"
- Cortana: "It appears to be an alien construct."
- Cortana: "The data confirms it was not built by the Covenant."
- Cortana: "No need for more analyzing."
Cuts to black.
- Cortana: "We are in danger."
FORWARD UNTO DAWN
Cuts to an ODST as he is blown apart by a Anskum-pattern plasma grenade.
- Marine 1: "Incoming!"
- Marine 2: "Hold on!"
- Marine 3: "Move it!"
- Marine 4: "Watch out!"
Thomas Lasky, Chyler Silva and April Orenski run through a firefight between ODSTs, Marines and Covenant forces. MA5Ds, plasma rifles, needlers, Covenant carbines and needle rifles can be heard firing. Pieces of rubble from the destroyed space tether continue to fall. Orenski tries to guide the other cadets through the chaos. A Marine next to her is gunned down.
- Orenski: "Come on! Let's go!"
In the confusion, Lasky loses sight of Silva and Orenski. He looks around and sees Marines firing their weapons.
- Marine: "Over there!"
- Marine: "Get back!"
Behind Lasky, an academy instructor can be seen firing an assault rifle. Cadets are running in every direction as the UNSC troops continue firing. Lasky turns around. A Marine screams as he is shot through the back by a Carbine round. The Sangheili Zealot fires its plasma rifle at a pair of fleeing cadets.
Lasky desperately shouts for his teammates.
- Lasky: "Chyler! Hastati!"
A nearby Marine is killed by Needler fire. Another Marine is engulfed in an explosion. Cut back to Lasky. Another armed academy instructor rushes past him, firing an assault rifle. Lasky then notices Colonel Mehaffey wielding an assault rifle and yelling at the cadets.
- Colonel Mehaffey: "Get to the dorms, go!"
Lasky stares at her. Behind him, a Marine can be seen aiming a rocket launcher.
- Lasky: "Colonel Mehaffey...?"
- Mehaffey: "Go, go, go, go!"
Mehaffey cries out as she is suddenly hit by multiple Needler rounds. As Lasky watches in horror, everything is now in slow motion. Mehaffey falls out of the frame; there's a small explosion of pink light and blood (most likely the embedded Needler rounds detonating). Lasky continues to look on as the Zealot barks orders.
- Zealot: "Ee-nah rah!"
Three ODSTs are seen shooting next to the destroyed statue of General Corbulo. Lasky looks to his left. A cadet runs through the smoke. Lasky turns to his right and sees a Marine getting flanked by a Kig-Yar Sniper with a needle rifle. The Kig-Yar squawks as it starts to raise its weapon. Cuts to a brief shot of the Marine before everything goes to normal speed as Silva runs up to Lasky.
- Silva: "Tom!"
Silva pulls Lasky, still in a trance, by the arm.
- Silva: "Come on, let's go!"
Cuts to more shots of Marines fighting.
- Marine: "Fall back!"
As the firefight tips even more in the Covenant's favor, Junjie Chen grabs the pair.
- Lasky: "JJ, is that you?!"
- Silva: "Come on!"
- Chen: "To the dorms!"
Cuts to a shot inside the dorms. Explosions can be heard outside. Hastati Squad, minus Dimah Tchakova, regroups.
- Sullivan: "What's happened?"
Vickers tries to open the doors to no avail.
- Vickers: "Doors are locked!"
- Sullivan: "Over here; in Lasky's room."
- Silva: "Come on, come on!"
Hastati quickly squeezes into the room. Cuts to various close-up shots of the cadets as reality starts to sink into them.
- Sullivan: "Oh my god...Dimah, she's dead."
- Lasky: "Colonel Mehaffey..."
- Vickers: "We'll be too if we don't do something!"
Sullivan scatters his hand on the holotable, knocking around the shells and casings on Lasky's makeshift chessboard, as he works. He tries to activate the system but is unsuccessful.
- Sullivan: "Comms are offline"
- Vickers: "It's a whole new war."
Everyone spaces out in disbelief. Suddenly they hear a woman screaming from outside in the hallway. She is abruptly silenced by a stabbing sound.
- Vickers: “That sounded close.”
Lasky goes up to the door and peeks outside. The Sangheili Zealot has stabbed a female cadet through the back with its Energy Sword. It utters something in its native language.
- Zealot: "Noh-mee-oh woo-nn-tah-kee rah-uh."
Lasky looks on in fear as the Zealot pulls its sword out of the dead cadet and deactivates it before suddenly disappearing.
Eyes widening, Lasky quickly retreats inside.
- Lasky: “It’s invisible.”
- Vickers: “What the hell’s invisible?”
- Lasky: “One of those things is inside, and it is invisible!”
As everyone absorbs this information, Lasky looks out into the hallway again. He hears the Elite growling. Still cloaked, the Zealot bursts into another room. Screams are heard.
Lasky turns to the others.
- Lasky: “Let’s go. We gotta get out of here.”
- Sullivan: “No, no, no, no, screw that! We stay here.”
- Chen: “Where’re we gonna go?”
- Orenski: “No, no, no, no, we’re gonna, we're gonna go to the training room. We’re gonna get prepped up. We’re gonna get some weapons.”
- Chen: “I’ll take point.”
- Orenski: “Come on. Come on, line up!”
Hastati lines up, with Chen in front.
- Orenski: “Alright. Tell us when. Tell us when, alright?”
They hear the sound of glass shattering.
- Sullivan: "Jesus..."
Chen takes a peek outside as the invisible Zealot exits back into the hallway. A few moments later, the Zealot bursts into the room right next to Hastati’s.
- Chen: “Now!”
Hastati squad runs out of the room. Behind them, the Zealot roars in anger. They come across a two-way where Chen leads the squad to the left before suddenly stopping, shock in his eyes.
- Orenski: “Go! Go go go! Hurry! What-”
Chen is still, the shock not leaving his face.
- Sullivan: “Guys?”
There is a harsh growling sound nearby.
- Vickers: “Why’d you stop, JJ?”
As his glasses start to steam up, Chen is suddenly stabbed by the cloaked Zealot’s energy sword and lifted off the ground.
- Vickers: “JJ!”
Hastati squad looks on in horror as the Zealot drops JJ.
- Vickers: “Oh my god!”
Everyone runs toward the right.
- Sullivan: “Move! Go, go, go!”
- Zealot: "Ee-nn-hah ee-nah hah!"
The Zealot bellows at the fleeing cadets. Camera focuses briefly on Chen’s dead body. The rest of the squad arrives at the training room.
- Orenski: “Lasky, send the distress beacon. Chyler, help me get the weapons.”
Orenski, Silva, Sullivan and Vickers head to the weapon compartments while Lasky works on the doorpad, trying to seal the door. Orenski begins entering codes while Silva and Vickers try to force the compartments open.
- Orenski: “It's locked! My code isn’t working!”
- Silva: “Try again. Do it again!”
Sullivan points at the door.
- Sullivan: “Lasky, door!”
The cadets continue attempting to open the compartments, while Lasky continues trying to shut the door.
- Sullivan: “Lasky, door!”
- Lasky: “Yeah, I’m-I’m trying!”
- Silva: “April, come on!”
- Orenski: "It's not working!"
The door finally shuts. Lasky goes to the emergency beacon.
- Lasky: “Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is Cadet Thomas Lasky. I repeat, mayday! Mayday! There’s been an attack on Corbulo Academy. Excessive casualties. I repeat, excessive casualties.”
Orenski backs away from the weapons locker, giving up.
- Orenski: “I don’t have access to the live rounds.”
- Lasky: “I think the beacon’s down as well.”
- Sullivan: “We’re dead.”
- Orenski: (slightly hysterical) “Okay, alright. Think, think, think, think...”
Lasky walks towards Orenski.
- Lasky: “We can’t stay in here, April.”
- Orenski: “We can’t go out there!”
As Lasky and Orenski look on, Vickers takes a fire extinguisher and starts ramming the compartments. Everyone looks at him before encouraging him on.
- Lasky: “Come on, Vickers! Harder!”
- Sullivan: “Harder, Vickers!”
As Vickers is about to ram the lockers one more time, something bangs on the door outside. Everyone stops what they are doing and stares at the door in horror.
- Orenski: (faintly) “Hide.”
The cadets quickly run to the back, where Vickers goes to the right and everyone else goes left. An alien roar is heard from outside the training room. As Vickers tries to rejoin the others, an errant burst of sparks from the broken ceiling lights erupts in front of him and he is forced to stay separated. The Zealot outside can be heard speaking.
- Zealot: "Ray-nah-reh! Woh-koh nah bee-oh-gyoh joh."
The banging continues. There's a few seconds of silence. Then the door is finally knocked off its hinges, scaring all five cadets.
Everyone except Vickers rushes to a new hiding spot. Lasky presses a finger to his lips, indicating for Vickers to be quiet. Vickers nods and backs up against the lockers. A frightened Lasky waits in his hiding spot as footsteps are heard. A cloud of exhaust steam leaking from a pipe is disturbed by an unseen force. Then something steps over the fallen door, making it move. The cadets all recoil in fear. They hear the invisible Zealot growl, and the sound of footsteps going past their hiding spot.
- Lasky: (whisper) “Go.”
Lasky starts to move forward, when sparks burst out from a damaged cable in front of him. He recoils slightly, then lowers himself on all fours and slowly starts crawling out from his hiding spot. Everyone, minus Vickers, follows Lasky's lead and cautiously start crawling forward. Vickers, still in fear, doesn’t move.
- Sullivan: “Lasky, go for the door.”
- Lasky: “We can’t leave Vickers.”
Close up on Vickers, breathing hard, still unable to move.
- Silva: “Where is it?”
Lasky drops to his stomach and takes a quick peek. Everything is quiet until the Zealot’s cloaked foot hits a puddle. Realizing the Elite is doubling back, Lasky quickly gets back up.
- Lasky: “Right there.”
There's another burst of sparks from the damaged cable, momentarily outlining the cloaked Zealot's profile. As everyone looks on in silent fear, the Zealot activates its energy sword and walks around, barely missing them. Chyler grips Lasky's hand tightly. The Zealot stops as it receives a transmission from its Unggoy subordinates. It de-cloaks and responds.
- Unggoy (COM): "Nee-kah koh reh-moh. Nee-kah koh. Nee-kah koh."
- Zealot: "Gee ree-oh ruh-ah."
- Unggoy (COM): "Nee. Uh-GEH. Gah-reh goh-roh-MEH-nee-oh yee-may-oh."
Cuts to Vickers, a look of determination coming across his face. Cuts back to the Zealot, still on the line with the Unggoy. The Zealot shouts angrily into its comm.
- Zealot: "Woo mah-nuh nee noh rah-shee!"
Suddenly, Vickers steps out of his hiding place.
- Vickers: “Hey! Guys, run!”
Vickers raises the fire extinguisher, intending to charge. The Zealot turns around and fires its plasma rifle, blasting Vickers in the chest once and killing him instantly.
- Sullivan: “Vickers!”
Hearing Sullivan’s shout, the Zealot turns back and reactivates its energy sword. Backed into a corner, the cadets can only sit, frozen in place.
- Zealot: "Tah-koh koh zah-meh-ah-uh!"
Orenski's eyes widen in terror as the Zealot finds them at last.
- Zealot: "Ee-gah zah-ruh-mee ee-geh-nee!"
The alien points his sword at the cadets, the blade’s tips inches from Lasky’s face. Silva puts her hand on Lasky's shoulder. The Zealot starts to laugh, when there's a sudden stabbing sound. The Elite jerks its head up and gasps in shock and pain. A bloodied combat knife is pulled from the back of its neck; the alien groans and falls sideways, dead. Its killer, an enormous, armor-clad soldier, bearing the number 117 on his chest plating, looks down at it briefly before activating his helmet lights and turning to the cadets. A burst of sparks from the broken ceiling lights illuminates his profile as he steps forward. The cadets stare up in fear and awe.
Cuts to a close-up of the Spartan.
- Master Chief Petty Officer John-117: "We don't have much time. Let's go."
Cuts to Lasky, too stunned to speak.
Cuts again to Silva looking down at Vickers' body. The others are standing behind her with John-117, who is communicating over the radio.
- John-117: "Kelly, inform Command I have four survivors."
Silva gets back up and rejoins the others in the hallway. John-117 is still on the radio.
An errant blast of sparks distracts the cadets.
- John-117: "We'll meet you there. Chief out."
John-117 ends communications and turns to face the cadets.
Cuts to a close-up of Lasky.
- Lasky: "How did you find us?"
- John-117: "A distress beacon."
- Sullivan: "Why did you come for us?"
- John-117: "You're the only survivors."
Cuts to a close-up of Sullivan.
- Sullivan: "In the school?"
John-117 turns to him.
- John-117: "On the planet."
Lasky and Silva look away in shock.
- John-117: "We've got fifteen minutes to get to the evac point. Armor up."
Cuts back to Sullivan.
- Sullivan: "It's-It's locked."
John-117 looks at him before punching straight through the locker door and ripping it off its hinges.
Cuts to the hallway. John-117 leads the now geared up cadets out of the training room armory, all of their flashlights active. As the walk continues, they take up formation; John-117 and Orenski in the front, Lasky and Silva on left/right with Sullivan watching the rear. John-117 suddenly signals the group to stop.
- John-117: “Stay quiet. Do not leave, no matter what you hear outside.”
- Lasky: “Wait, who are you?”
John looks at Lasky for a short second.
- John-117: “Call me Master Chief.”
As he walks away, Silva sits down on the floor in exhaustion.
- Sullivan: “I knew those ONI vids were bad news. Now we’re the only ones alive, and-”
Lasky joins Silva on the floor.
- Orenski: “Sully, shh.”
- Sullivan: “What the hell is going on? We’re all following a giant robot.”
He turns to check the back.
- Sullivan: “Who knows if he’s even coming back?”
- Lasky: “He’s gotta come back. I believe him.”
Lasky turns to look down at Silva, who looks uneasy.
- Lasky: “You okay?”
- Silva: “I don’t know.”
- Lasky: “Hang on. We'll be all right.”
Lasky takes her helmet and puts it on for her.
- Lasky: “Hey. Hey, you’re gonna be fine."
Lasky tightens her helmet.
- Silva: “Thanks.”
They suddenly hear footsteps as the lights start to flicker. Fearing it's the Covenant, the cadets nervously aim their weapons. As the footsteps grow louder, lights suddenly come on; the Chief is back.
- John-117: “Who’s the best shot here?”
The cadets look at him in confusion.
- Sullivan: "...you probably?”
John-117 still waits for a response. Lasky ties his helmet and gestures to Silva.
- Lasky: “Chyler is.”
The camera goes down to Silva, who nods in agreement.
- Silva: “I’m good.”
- Orenski: “I am too.”
John-117 turns to Lasky.
- John-117: “Cadet Lasky, can you drive a Warthog?”
Lasky, unsure, stares at him for a short second.
- Lasky: "Uh...yeah. Sure."
- John-117: “Good. That’s where we’re headed. Shooters on the left and right, driver in the center.”
The cadets get ready to move out.
- John-117: “Stay close to me. It’s your best chance of survival.”
Cuts to outside, close up on the body of a female cadet. John-117's armored feet enter the frame, followed closely by Lasky's.
As the Spartan leads the group through the wreckage of the academy, the cadets are shocked by the decimation and death around them. Lasky looks down, his gaze lingering briefly on the body of a fellow cadet. Orenski, distracted by a small explosion behind her, turns around and sees the body of one of the ODSTs who died attempting to defend the academy. Sullivan stares at another cadet partially buried under a pile of rubble. Silva reacts visibly to the sight of a female cadet and an academy instructor lying dead in each others' arms.
The survivors continue moving forward. Covenant ships can be seen in the distance, holding position and sweeping the area with search lights. Eventually, the group spots a Warthog and starts to move towards it.
An errant explosion in the background startles Sullivan. He starts to lag behind a little.
- Lasky: (whispers) "Sully, keep up."
- Orenski: “Sully, come on.”
Sully looks around nervously.
- Sullivan: “Where-Where’d they all go?”
A Needle round suddenly strikes Sullivan in the right leg. He cries out in pain. Scene then switches to slow-motion as Sullivan sees a Kig-Yar Sniper standing on a roof firing another round aimed for his head. John-117 jumps in just in time to shield Sullivan. Grabbing Sully in one arm, the Chief fires his assault rifle with the other.
- John-117: “Get down!”
John-117 shoves Sullivan down and continues firing his assault rifle. The other three cadets take cover with Sully. Incoming Needle rounds bounce off the Chief's armor.
- John-117: “Get to the ‘Hog. I’ll draw their fire!”
The explosions from the shooting temporarily obscure the cadets’ vision. By the time they recover, the Chief is gone.
- Orenski: “Where’d he go?”
- Lasky: “Chief!”
- Orenski: “Cover me!”
Orenski gets out of cover and takes up position.
- Orenski: “Lasky, go!”
Lasky takes a moment to look at the other two cadets.
- Lasky: “You okay?”
- Silva: “I’ve got Sully. Go!”
Lasky nods back as Orenski starts to shoot.
- Lasky: “Moving! Cover me!”
Lasky gets up and runs toward the Warthog. The scene briefly goes into slow motion as he dodges a barrage of Needle and Carbine rounds. As he runs, Orenski keeps on firing. After taking a few deep breaths, Silva gets up to fire, only for a Needle round to impact nearby. A chunk of rubble blows up in her face, forcing her back down. She and Sullivan start to crawl away.
- Silva: “Stay low, stay low!”
Lasky reaches the jeep, and finds the corpse of its driver, General Black, dead from a wound to the forehead. Putting his shock aside, Lasky pulls the superintendent’s body off the driver’s seat. Orenski, meanwhile, keeps firing until her rifle stops.
- Orenski: “Chyler, I’m out. Give me Sully!”
Silva pushes Sullivan to Orenski, who takes the injured cadet. She pulls him aside just in time to avoid an explosion.
- Orenski: “I got you.”
Lasky tries to activate the Warthog.
- Lasky: “Come on!”
The Warthog sputters. Lasky groans in frustration.
Silva fires at the Kig-Yar snipers until her rifle runs dry. Out of ammo, Silva discards her MA5D, before noticing an alien weapon lying in the rubble. She cautiously picks it up and accidentally discharges a shot into the air. Getting a better grip, she takes aim and fires, killing one of the snipers.
Meanwhile Lasky finally reactivates the jeep. Almost immediately after doing so, the sound of pistol shots gets his attention. He looks up to see the Jackals getting killed one by one. He looks back and sees John-117 running along the edge of a building, firing his pistol and dodging enemy fire.
- Silva: "April, go!"
- Orenski: "Come on, Sully!"
Orenski grabs Sullivan and brings him safely to the Warthog. John-117 fires his pistol several more times before jumping off the building's edge. A slow-motion of him dropping down from a rather great height is shown. He lands with ease, as Silva watches in amazement.
- John-117: (gesturing to the Warthog) "Go!"
Snapping out of her trance, Silva makes a break for the Warthog.
- Orenski: “Come on, Chyler!”
As Silva gets in, John-117 takes the turret.
- John-117: “Drive!”
Lasky floors it, and the Warthog speeds away from the destroyed school.Cuts to black.
Open to the holotank inside the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. A blue holographic sphere rests on it. Cut to black.
Cut to the interior of the cryo room. An alarm has been set off. The ship is shaking chaotically.
- Cortana: "Wake me when you need me, you said."
Cut to the holotank. The blue sphere's surface slowly dissolves into the center core. The center core glows brightly, and then flares up. Cortana's avatar appears. She looks up at John-117 in the cryo chamber. Cut to black.
FORWARD UNTO DAWN
Opens to General Black's Warthog speeding down the forest path. Michael Sullivan groans loudly every time Thomas Lasky makes a small turn.
- April Orenski: "Lasky!"
- Thomas Lasky: "It's harder than it looks!"
Sullivan groans in pain louder.
- Orenski: "Hang in there, Sully!"
- Lasky: "...Sorry!"
Chyler Silva turns to Lasky.
- Silva: "You're doing fine! Just keep it steady!"
- John-117: "Bear right, cadet. There's an exit directly ahead."
Lasky does as he is told, and continues down the path. Behind them, a Kig-Yar runs by. Cut to black.
Opens to the Warthog speeding down the path. Lasky looks around doubtfully.
- John-117: "Faster, cadet. Four minutes to the Pelican. We have to get off the planet!"
Lasky presses down on the pedal. The Warthog's speed meter increases. Lasky continues to drive the Warthog down the path. Suddenly, a Anskum-pattern plasma grenade rolls out from the forest and into the Warthog's path, and detonates. Lasky yells in surprise.
Time slows down as the Warthog drives through the plasma and smoke. Dust and dirt spray its occupants. Everything then speeds back up as the Warthog comes under fire from Kig-Yar on both sides. Needler rounds hit the Warthog's plating. A "Warning" appears on the Warthog's speed meter, and the meter decreases. John fires the Warthog's turret and takes down a Kig-Yar Storm.
- John-117: "Controlled-burst! Don't spray and pray!"
Orenski and Silva fire their assault rifles.
- John-117: "Cadet! Two o'clock!"
Orenski adjusts her aim and fires another burst from her assault rifle. Needler rounds continue to rain down on the Warthog. Lasky leans over toward the passenger's side to avoid getting hit.
- Lasky: "Chyler, cover!"
- Silva: "Covering!"
Silva stands up from her seat, takes aim and fires her assault rifle in two short bursts at a pair of Kig-Yar Storms. Her aim is true, and both aliens go down in slow motion. Scene then speeds back up as the Warthog continues on and gets out of range of the Covenant attackers.
- John-117: (on the radio) "Kelly, track our position for evac."
- Orenski: "I think we're clear."
Lasky looks at the Warthog speed meter, which emits a beeping sound as the vehicle picks up speed. He turns to Silva.
- Lasky: "Nice job."
Silva looks at him and smiles. Suddenly, a Kig-Yar Storm appears directly in front of the Warthog. The vehicle plows right into the alien, sending it flying over the hood, and splattering the windshield with blood. The Jackal's Needler discharges several errant shots, one of which goes directly into the Warthog's interior. Lasky, caught by surprise, hits the brakes. The Warthog comes to a sudden stop. Silva and Orenski jerk forward. Sullivan groans even louder.
- Orenski: "Everyone okay?"
John-117 jumps down from the turret as Lasky tries to restart the Warthog, which only sputters. John takes Sullivan out of the Warthog and sets him down on the ground. The Spartan turns to Orenski.
- John-117: "Hand me the biofoam and man the gun."
Cut to Silva and Lasky. Silva looks down at her stomach while Lasky continues trying to reactivate the Warthog.
- Lasky: "Come on, come on! Come on!"
Orenski mans the turret and scans the forest around them. She hears a Kig-Yar stepping on a tree branch. The turret's search light, however, reveals no Covenant. Cut back to John and Sullivan. John has finished applying the biofoam.
- John-117: "This will help you walk."
Sullivan groans softly. Cut to Lasky, who takes off his helmet and places it on the Warthog's dashboard in frustration. He tries again to get the Warthog restarted.
- Lasky: "We're almost there!"
Silva looks down at her stomach, which she is covering with both hands. She moves her hands away, revealing a Needler shard embedded in her stomach.
- Silva: "...Tom...?"
Lasky is still trying to reignite the Warthog, unaware that Silva is calling him.
- Lasky: "Come on..."
The Chief looks around. Cuts to a wide shot of the Warthog in the jungle. Everything except the light of the vehicle is pitch-black. Cuts to a nervous Orenski looking around. Kig-Yar can be heard screeching off-screen. Heavier footsteps can be heard as well. Cuts back to Lasky trying to re-start the Warthog, still not noticing Silva's calls. Cuts to a close-up of Silva, breathing hard.
- Silva: (weakly) "...Tom?"
Lasky finally turns around and notices the Needler round in her stomach. Lasky panics.
- Silva: (in pain) "Tom..."
- Lasky: "Chief!!"
John turns around as Silva groans loudly in pain.
- Lasky: "Chief! Chyler's been hit!"
The Chief goes to assist.
Cuts to a close-up of Silva groaning in pain.
- Lasky: "Shit..."
- John-117: "I'm out of biofoam. We have to get her to the Pelican. Now."
There's a booming thud in the distance. John-117 looks up. Cut to Orenski. A strange green glow has appeared behind her. More Kig-Yar can be heard in the distance.
- Orenski: "They're retreating. Why would they do that now?"
- John-117: "We're being hunted. Keep moving north. You'll see my team. Run as fast as you can and don't stop for anything, including me."
Orenski and Lasky scramble out of the Warthog. The unearthly green glow filters through the trees. A monstrous roar is heard. Silva groans in pain. Orenski pulls Sullivan to his feet.
- Orenski: "Can you walk?"
- Sullivan: "Yeah, I'll try."
Lasky frantically tries to help Silva out of the Warthog.
- Lasky: "Just keep breathing. Just hang in there, okay? Hang in there. Come on."
Lasky and Orenski get Silva out of the vehicle and start carrying her away by the shoulders.
- Orenski: "We've got to get her somewhere."
- Sullivan: "But we're blind."
They hear heavy footsteps.
- Orenski: "It's close by."
They turn to see the Chief standing before a massive alien.
- Sullivan: "Oh my god!"
The alien roars and straightens up, dwarfing the Chief even further. Its reflection is seen in the Chief's visor as he looks up to face its head.
- Lasky: "Guys, go! Go, go!"
The cadets take off through the forest, as alien roars and rifle fire are heard behind them.
- Lasky: "Sully, you with us?"
- Sullivan: "Yeah..."
- Orenski: "Hang in there, Chyler."
The cadets take cover under one of the training course's concrete obstacles. They set Silva on the ground. She coughs and groans in pain. Lasky pulls her helmet off.
- Lasky: "We're going to get you out of here, okay?"
- Sullivan: "April, stun rounds."
Orenski pulls a tactical training round from her magazine and breaks it.
- Orenski: "This will numb the pain."
She pours the contents on Chyler's wound.
- Lasky: "Hang in there, Chyler."
Silva gasps in agony.
- Lasky: "Hang in there, Chyler. Come on, hang in there."
Chyler reaches up and pulls off her dog tags, tears in her eyes. She pushes them into Lasky's hands. Lasky shakes his head vigorously.
- Silva: "It's okay, Tom."
Lasky keeps shaking his head in denial.
- Silva: "I'm sorry."
Sullivan and Orenski watch, stunned, as Silva closes her eyes and stops breathing.
- Lasky: (crying) "Chyler..."
Orenski stands and looks away. Sullivan glances at her. Lasky cradles the dog tags. John-117 suddenly appears beside him.
- John-117: "I'm sorry."
The Chief turns to the others.
- John-117: "I need your ammo, cadets. It took everything I had to bring that thing down."
- Sullivan: "We don't have any."
- Orenski: "Just stun rounds, sir."
Still in despair, Lasky pulls an M9 fragmentation grenade from his belt and hands it to the Chief.
- John-117: "Thanks."
They hear a distant alien roar.
- Sullivan: "Guys?"
- John-117: "There's another one. Move, now."
The Chief and Orenski leave.
- Sullivan: "We have to leave her, Tom. I'm sorry."
Sullivan leaves. Lasky keeps staring at Silva's body.
- Sullivan: (in the distance) "Lasky, come on!"
Lasky slowly stands up and shuffles forward, head hanging low. The booming of the Hunter grows louder.
- Orenski: (in the distance) "Lasky, come on! Come on!"
Lasky turns and takes a look at his reflection as the sounds of the alien behemoth draw closer. He then turns and runs off after the others.
Cut to John-117 and the cadets sprinting through the forest. A bright green projectile explodes nearby. They come across a shallow depression and stop to look down. They hear a roar and look back. The second Hunter is closing in on them. With no other choice, they jump into the depression.
- John-117: (points) "There."
The group takes cover inside a small hollow and turn off their lights.
- John-117: (on the radio) "Kelly, negative. Need more time. Cannot make it to the rendezvous."
Lasky notices the grenade still in John's hand.
- John-117: (on the radio) "You have to hold the Pelican. I won't leave them. Chief out."
The cadets stare at him.
- John-117: "I'll engage. Get to the Pelican as fast as you can."
Cuts to a shot of Silva's dog tags in Lasky's hands before going to a slow-motion shot of Lasky looking down, deep in thought. Cuts once more back to Silva's dog tags and back to Lasky. John gets up but Lasky grabs his arm, stopping him.
- Lasky: "No, sir. I'll be the decoy."
- Orenski: "Lasky, no!"
- Lasky: "You sweep 'em from behind."
- John-117: "Cadet..."
Lasky tucks Silva's dog tags into his chest plate.
- Orenski: "Lasky!"
- Lasky: (determined) "Axios!"
- Orenski: "Lasky!"
Lasky sprints off in slow motion. The Hunter crests the hill and levels its assault cannon at him. It lets loose a shot that impacts behind Lasky, sending him tumbling face-first into the dirt. Lasky looks back and sees the alien charging its cannon again. Lasky gets up and scampers away through the woods. The Hunter roars, powers down its weapon, and turns to follow him.
John-117 primes the grenade and charges the alien from behind but it turns and hits him with its shield, knocking him to the ground. Lasky looks back as the Hunter turns and aims at him again. John-117 gets to his feet and charges once more as the alien powers up its cannon. Just as it fires, the Chief climbs its shield, disrupting its aim. The shot narrowly misses Lasky, sending him flying. John swings over the Hunter's shoulders, landing on its back. Lasky lands in a heap, unconscious. Zoom in on the Chief's visor. He shoves the grenade into the mass of Lekgolo worms in the creature's back, then flips off and away from it, landing in a crouching position. The Hunter grunts and stands for a second, then explodes.
The Chief shields himself from the splatter, then stands as the opening melody of the Halo Theme plays. He walks over and stomps on a surviving worm. Sullivan and Orenski get to their feet and run over to Lasky. John picks up a piece of the Hunter's shattered armor.
Sully and Orenski reach Lasky.
- Orenski: "Lasky! Lasky!"
- Sullivan: "Lasky?"
Orenski turns Lasky over and tries to shake him awake.
- Orenski: "Lasky! Lasky! Lasky!"
- John-117: (on the radio) "Bring it down, Kelly."
- Orenski: "Come on!"
Lasky coughs and opens his eyes. Relieved, Sullivan and Orenski help him to his feet. They hear engines overhead and look up. John-117 points them toward the evac zone, and they head off. The sun rises as the survivors make their way out of the forest and into a clearing where a Pelican is waiting for them. A Marine is kneeling down in a defensive position nearby.
As the cadets run towards the Pelican, John meets up with another Spartan.
- John-117: "We have three survivors."
- Kelly-087: "I've alerted Command."
- John-117: "Let's go."
Cut to an overheat shot of the forest clearing. The Pelican lifts off. Radio chatter is heard in the dropship's troop bay.
- Operator (COM): "Roger that. They've got Chief. Pelican is leaving the surface and their bay is full. All Spartans onboard; three cadets, five Marines. Prepare a medical detail..."
The rest of the transmission becomes too faint to hear. The cadets stare blankly back at the burning landscape that was once Corbulo Academy. The Covenant ships continue to hold position above the ruins. Kelly reaches up and removes her helmet. The cadets stare, surprised at how young she is. Frederic-104 removes his helmet and receives more stares. Lasky, Kelly and Fred glance over at John who remains immobile, his weapon aimed out the rear hatch.
- Sullivan: "How old are all of you?"
Fred and Kelly look at each other before turning back to Sullivan.
- Kelly-087: "That's classified."
Sullivan glances down. Orenski removes her helmet and receives an appraising nod from Kelly. The rear hatch closes as the Pelican begins to gain altitude. John lowers his weapon and hands Lasky the jagged piece of Hunter he picked up earlier.
- John-117: "Well done, soldier."
Lasky looks up, shocked at what the SPARTAN just said. John nods and then looks away. Cadet Lasky, with a new sense of confidence in his eyes, tightens his grip on the Hunter shard, looks around and then closes his eyes as Commander Lasky opens his eyes on the bridge of the UNSC Infinity, the flashback over.
- Unknown UNSC AI: "Shall I play it again, sir?"
- Commander Thomas Lasky: "No, that won't be necessary."
Cut to Lasky in his cryo-suit, blisters visible on his chest. In his hands he holds Silva and Cadmon's dog tags and the piece of Hunter, now smooth from years of handling.
- Unknown UNSC AI: "The Captain has ordered us into emergency slipspace protocol. Prepare for cryo."
Lasky enters the cryo chamber. Outside, the Infinity and a fleet of dozens of frigates and cruisers enters slipspace.
On a monitor aboard Forward Unto Dawn:
>:UNEXPLAINED COURSE ALTERATION
>:GRAVITATIONAL FORCES UNDEFINED