Mission to Mount Kilimanjaro

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Mission to Mount Kilimanjaro

Conflict:

Post-Covenant War conflicts

Date:

September 1, 2557

Location:

Mount Kilimanjaro, East African Protectorate, Earth

Outcome:

Decisive strategic Ace of Spades crew victory

  • Successful meeting of 343 Guilty Spark and the Librarian
  • The Librarian's imprint travels to the Absolute Record
  • Successful escape from ONI forces
  • Spark gains access to ONI's data on Catalog
  • Spark joins the crew of Ace of Spades full time as the shipboard AI

Minor ONI tactical victory

Belligerents

Crew of the Ace of Spades

ONI

Commanders

Captain Rion Forge

Strength
Casualties

None

None

 

The Mission to Mount Kilimanjaro was a mission undertaken by the crew of the salvager ship Ace of Spades to Mount Kilimanjaro in order to help 343 Guilty Spark meet with the Librarian.

Prelude[edit]

After being recovered by the UNSC Rubicon, 343 Guilty Spark, the former Monitor of Installation 04, became determined to locate the Forerunner known as the Librarian whom he claimed was still alive. Spark hijacked the Rubicon and put the crew into cryo to search for the Librarian.[1] However, the ship crashed on Geranos-a in 2554, leaving the crew dead. Spark survived the crash by transferring himself into an armiger made out of parts salvaged by the Rubicon from Installation 00 and activated a distress signal which was eventually picked up by a cargo ship in 2557 and relayed to ONI.[2]

In 2557, the salvager ship Ace of Spades captained by Rion Forge undertook a salvage operation to what turned out to be the wreckage of the UNSC Roman Blue, the Halcyon-class light cruiser that was supposed to have retrieved the log buoy of the long lost UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Battle for Arcadia in 2531. Their search eventually led them to the debris field of the shield world Etran Harborage and the AI fragment Little Bit who provided the crew with projections of where the Spirit of Fire may have gone and video recordings from the ship's time on the shield world.[3] However, the Ace of Spades was later captured by ONI and all of the crew's possessions, salvage and data taken. The information ultimately led the UNSC to the Etran Harborage debris field which was briefly explored by Fireteam Apollo and then later destroyed by a massive UNSC fleet.

In an attempt to force ONI to return everything to them, the Ace of Spades crew traveled to Geranos-a where they recovered Spark. After Spark revealed himself, he offered to help with the crew's efforts to get back their property if they would help him find the Librarian, a deal that they agreed to. Spark took the ship to Triniel to get an upgrade seed and slipspace flake that allowed him to upgrade the ship's capabilities which they were able to use to retrieve their property from ONI on Binterall while also leaving ONI with a data core that contained a fragment of Spark which ONI believed to be the whole AI. With Spark having upheld his end of the deal, the Ace of Spades headed to Earth to help him find the Librarian as promised.[2]

The mission[edit]

On September 1, 2557, the Ace of Spades arrived at Earth with the cloaking technology from the upgrade seed making the ship completely undetected on approach. The ship landed at Mount Kilimanjaro while Spark used his fragment to infect and shut down the ONI facility at the Voi while also using his fragment to search for data on Catalog who had been hounding ONI since 2552. Before turning herself in for review, the AI Thea happened to detect the Ace of Spades and sent a quick warning seconds before the facility completely shut down. The AR team and Fireteam Apollo managed to blow their way out of Hanger One and headed for Kilimanjaro to stop the crew and Spark.[4][5]

Spark led the Ace of Spades crew into Mawenzi where Rion's touch as a Reclaimer allowed them access into a Forerunner installation inside of the mountain where Rion deactivated a hard light barrier protecting a Lifeworker pod on a platform and activated a hard light bridge to the platform. Before Rion could deactivate the barrier around the pod, Spark finally admitted the truth to her: that her father had died sacrificing himself to destroy the Etran Harborage. Enraged at Spark keeping the truth from her, Rion attacked the armiger before she decided to deactivate the barrier and end their deal and alliance. However, before the crew could leave, Agent Hahn, Fireteam Apollo and the AR team arrived in the facility and blocked their exit. Spark deactivated the light bridge on Rion's request before he entered the column of light surrounding the Lifeworker pod, but the Ace of Spades crew were left outnumbered and with no means of escape as the ONI forces worked to bring the light bridge back online.

Spark's entry into the column awakened a personality imprint of the Librarian stored within the pod. The Librarian greeted Spark by his original human name of Chakas and expressed regret for the pain she had caused him and marvel over the being he had evolved into. The Librarian revealed to Spark the awakening of both her imprint and the Didact at Requiem, but wouldn't go further into details about it. Spark expressed his desire to bring his friends Riser and Vinnevra back, but the Librarian reminded him of what Spark had gone through as Chakas, bearing the essence of Forthencho, Lord of Admirals. The Librarian revealed to Spark that his friends were at peace, their gene song quiet and cautioned him against going to the Domain to be with them as he would only find echoes of them. The Librarian refused to join Spark using an armiger and instead helped him understand that he had found the friends he had been searching for for so long amongst the Ace of Spades crew.

The Librarian announced that she would join her other imprints at the Absolute Record while humanity had to be given the tools to uphold the Mantle of Responsibility and the knowledge to maintain the Domain. The Librarian offered Spark a choice: to join her at the Absolute Record or to remain behind with his friends. The Librarian offered Spark a small etched box in case he chose to remain and ordered him to "find what is missing. Fix the path. Right what my kind has turned wrong." Spark chose to remain with his friends and the two promised to meet again.

As Spark and the Librarian met, the ONI forces managed to reactivate the hard light bridge while no sign of a way out was discovered. While the crew tried to figure out their options, the Librarian departed to the Absolute Record blinding everyone in the cavern. Before her departure, all of the humans in the cavern beheld the Librarian briefly and she communicated a message to Rion at least which ordered her to take care of Spark, calling Spark more fragile and important than she could ever know. Spark shifted his armiger into a combat configuration and formed a hard light rifle to face off with ONI forces who opened fire as the Ace of Spades crew took cover. Spark then used his light rifle to bring down rocks onto the light bridge which forced the ONI team and Spartans to retreat after which Spark shut it down and smashed the terminal in an effort to prevent it from being reactivated.

Using the translocation pad in the platform, Spark teleported the Ace of Spades crew to just below the summit of Mawenzi and remote-piloted the Ace of Spades to pick them up. Though military drones swept the area before the ship arrived, Spark was able to cloak the crew until they were gone. After getting what he wanted from the ONI facility, Spark pulled his fragment out as well. Several hundred people witnessed the light from the Lifeworker pod departing the Earth's atmosphere.[6]

Aftermath[edit]

ONI was left to examine the Forerunner installation which they realized had most likely contained a personality imprint of the Librarian, all of their forces inside of the facility having witnessed two humanoid figures in the hard light beam before the pod launch.[2]

Following the escape from Mount Kilimanjaro, Spark revealed to Rion that he knew of John Forge's fate because, during his time with the UNSC and ONI during the conclusion of the Human-Covenant War, he had gained access to many sources of data. From one, Spark had discovered one or more recovered preprogramed maintenance sheds and data drops left behind by the UNSC Spirit of Fire in hopes of leaving a trail. The data included a message to Rion from her father and left as part of a promise by Serina and Captain James Cutter. Spark provided Rion with the message, her father's final goodbye to his daughter.

A week after the mission, the crew held a ritual goodbye at Spark's request to honor those that they had lost. During it, Spark let go of his past and all that he had lost and accepted his new future with the crew, singing for all that he and his friends had lost along the way and writing their names on a nearby stone ledge. Spark admitted to Rion that his intention all along had been to access the Domain with the Librarian's help to find the ghosts of his friends and either bring them back as geas or join them. Spark revealed that the Librarian had given him a coordinate key for a safe place, but refused to elaborate further. Promising that there would be no more lies, Spark offered his services as the shipboard AI of the Ace of Spades.

On September 7, the Ace of Spades departed Earth undetected by the Home Fleet. The crew was left to ponder what their next move would be as both Gek 'Lhar and ONI would be after them. Rion announced that they needed to get the bounty off of their heads while showing that they weren't the enemy of the UNSC and ONI. She decided that they would finish what they started and find the Spirit of Fire and all the people aboard who her father's sacrifice had saved with Spark expressing confidence that they would succeed. Rion suggested that afterwards, with the salvage from Triniel leaving them in a position where they would never lack for credits or resources again and the Ace of Spades upgrades, they had the luxury of choosing what they would do next.[2]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]