On the Brink

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HTfS - Mammoth.png

On the Brink is one of several stories in Halo: Tales from Slipspace. Written by Duffy Boudreau and illustrated by Jonathan Wayshak, it follows a mission undertaken by Blue Team in 2558, months before the events on Halo 5: Guardians.

Plot synopsis[edit]

In the months following Spartan Blue Team's reunion, Master Chief John-117 leads his squad on numerous operations on the frontlines of human-controlled space. By 2558, Blue Team continues to encounter strong resistance and attacks from hostile Covenant remnants. Although exhausted, Kelly-087 draws the strength to continue fighting from John's leadership and his unshakable concentration.

While the Spartans are stationed at a construction site for a new ONI research facility, the site comes under assault by Covenant fanatics. During the initial strike, the hostiles managed to commandeer an M510 Mammoth, disable its governor, and drive it down a steep hillside toward the direction of the site's main fusion reactor. With time running out, Blue Team follows in pursuit in a Warthog to prevent the collision. Once in range, John, Kelly, and Linda-058 eject from their Warthog and successfully board the Mammoth. As Linda and Kelly dispatch the alien hijackers above and inside the colossal vehicle, the Chief manages to clear out the control room and get hold of the wheel. Upon discovering that the brakes had been disabled, John plans to steer the Mammoth off of a ridge to stop the hulking machine. However, Kelly immediately informs him that she found a UNSC science team hiding within the vessel. In order to avoid a fatal crash landing, the Chief then resolves to continue the course to the fusion reactor base where they narrowly miss hitting the reactor. Although the disaster is averted, the near miss still results in the destruction of fabricated material and equipment around the site.

After the Mammoth slows to a stop and the scientists leave unscathed, a director of the reactor base confronts Blue Team and demands to know who is to blame for crashing into his site. John claims responsibility for his risky call and notes the reactor wasn't hit. When the man accuses the Master Chief of thinking he could get away with anything because of his status as a hero, Frederic-104 loses his demeanor and steps in to reprimand the ungrateful man. As tempers begin to flare among both men, John intervenes and calms the situation. He then directs the team to return to a nearby airstrip to undertake another mission. Kelly doesn't fault Fred for not maintaining his composure, taking into account the hard and chaotic state of their fringe operations. Although the Chief's discipline has once again assured victory, Kelly wonders if, like Fred, John will eventually crack under pressure from a new hostile galaxy.