What's the Armor Class of a MJOLNIR Mk VI, anyway?
Halo: Finishing the Fight is a crossover styled story taking place in an alternate ending to Halo 3, where the remaining members of the Forward Unto Dawn's crew (The Master Chief, Cortana, Commander Keyes, Sergeant Major Johnson, and the Arbiter) escape the destruction of the Halo array with their lives, only to get sucked through a Negative Space Wedgie in the process, and wind up literally crash-landing into the Forgotten Realms universe (sometime between The Icewind Dale Trilogy and the Legacy of the Drow Series).Before long, the crew meets the natives of Faerun, and find themselves drawn ever deeper into the conflicts of the local world. As tensions mount, and armies are mustered, the Dawn's crew is forced to pick a side and make their stand, while trying to make sense of who brought them to this strange world, and more importantly, why?Halo: Finishing the Fight is, as the author put it, "the result of what started as a series of postulated "what ifs" among the author and his friends after a night spent consuming too much root beer while playing games, and listening to far too much Immediate Music to possibly be healthy." It has since grown to a 700+ page work of fanfiction involving (the author hopes at least) passable attempts at blending military science fiction with high fantasy, alternating between the two different elements trying to understand one another and Orcs and Dark Elves being shot in the face with 26th century assault weaponry. The story was completed on 19th of January, 2011, and is available on two major sites. The first is at the Creative Writing Forum of Spacebattles.com with the full forty-six chapters, while a slightly more polished and proofread version can be found at Fanfiction.net, which currently has thirty-eight chapters.
Aliens Speaking English: Averted, none of the Forgotten Realms characters understand English, or French, German, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Latin, and Old English for that matter. Cortana manages to decipher it, allowing them to communicate. She later does the same for the Neo-Covenant, and they later act as translators when the UNSC shows up.
Anti-Magic: One of the new toys Cortana creates is a grenade that releases this.
Armor Is Useless: Played with. UNSC armor is resistant to the Forgotten Realms' weaponry. The medieval armor however, offers no protection from bullets.
Arm Cannon: The Golems created by Cortana have a 30mm cannon attached to the left forearm and a flamethrower on the right.
Also, the Hunters in canon have these, so the ones in this story have them too.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: Averted. The characters all take great care with their weapons. During the Extended Disarming (see below), the Master Chief turns on the safety, ejects the magazine and bullet, and then shows the guards that the gun is empty. The Arbiter even takes the power cell out of his plasma cannon just to be safe.
Also when Keyes and Johnson take out the weapons of mass destruction, Johnson comments:
Johnson: "You will not trigger these things by banging, dropping, or otherwise manhandling them." He closed the second case. "Nevertheless, and I want everyone to hear me very carefully here, you treat this shit as if it were armed, and the slightest jostle could set it off. You treat it, as if the very second you stop respecting it for what it is, that it will kill you."
Gazap the Grunt commander has been in the army for 30 years, and survived 3 engagements with Spartans (both are incredible achievements by Unggoy standards). He even states that he is considered "Ancient" by his kind.
Boss In Mooks Clothing: The Balor, Wedonnai the Corruptor. Extremely powerful, it takes the Master Chief quite a bit of effort to defeat. He was also quite clever (something the Chief himself noted) using both armor and a spell to augment his protection.
Bring It On: After Mendicant Bias offers to let the Foreunner fleet surrender, Admiral Dulianus tells Offensive Bias to give their response: "I think I speak for us all, Sir, when I tell my brother than he and his 'Master' can both go to Oblivion, and rot in the endless void. Come, Mendicant, let us see if you and your master can triumph over us. We will not go quietly to our ends!
Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Most of the Chief's initial attacks on Demogorgon really just make him angry. While he does eventually hurt the demon, those wounds heal quickly as well and now he's pissed. Finally killing Demogorgon nearly kills the Chief, and virtually destroys the suit.
Bullet Time: One of the powers of the Forerunner suits is controlled time dilation. Spartan time and haste spells also create this effect.
Canon Immigrant: Numerous characters from all over the Forgotten Realms' expanded universe make appearances, not least of whom are Neeshka and Drizzt, who share main character status with Chief and the crew.
Clarke's Third Law: Played with. Miranda Keyes is initially assumed to be a powerful sorceress who controls two golems (Master Chief and Johnson in their armor) and a demon (the Arbiter). Other times, the weapons are sometimes confused with wands of some kind, and many technological innovations (the intercom system, self-powered vehicles (like the Mongoose and warthogs)) are also assumed to be magic, but other times the weapons are recognized as descendants of primitive gunpowder weapons.
Helm even states that there is a way to combine science and magic, and that it is how he became a god.
Then Cortana starts creating her own bags of holding, golems, and magic-infused weapons...
Click Hello: Inverted. The UNSC and Neo Covenant are pretty jumpy when it comes to people teleporting into or off of their ship. Mephasm and Helm learn this first hand.
Johnson: "The next person who teleports in here is getting a belly full of uranium."
It's also implied that Miranda Keyes was tortured by Tartarus on Installation 5. That she survived it, and then continued to fight is what truly made the Chief respect her and entrust her with his name.
This actually comes from the fifth Drizzt book, where he lays out many of the same problems regarding the idea of guns becoming widespread. Ironically, said book occurs before this story comes in.
Which is ironic, considering the need for repetitive drill, that the arquebus made necessary. His concerns there were valid, and even in Real Life it still took five centuries for firearms to completely replace melee weapons as a main weapon in warfare.
Do with Him as You Will: Chief does this to the captured leader of a Luskan raiding party, handing him off to the barbarians whose loved ones the raiders took for slaves.
Dungeon Bypass: It wasn't exactly a dungeon per say, but the UNSC raids Luskan's Hosttower from the top down by blowing off the top third of the tower with one shot from a Rhino'sMAC cannon.
Easily Forgiven: Averted. The Master Chief tells the Arbiter not to apologize for nearly destroying humanity, but to prove himself by saving what's left of it. At the end, while some of the UNSC may still hold grudges, he tells the Arbiter that he has his forgiveness.
Elves Versus Dwarves: A pretty epic example, when Corellon threatens Helm/Didact's children (the Halo crew) Moradin makes it known that he will send EVERY Dwarf at whoever dares try it and tells Corellon to watch his tongue.
God of Evil: Several, but Lolth and Demogorgon are the most prominent.
Extended Disarming: Chief, Arbiter, Keyes, and Johnson take a while to fully disarm before meeting Lord Nasher. The table ends up being buried in their weapons, and the assembled guards are rather unsettled by the quantity of weapons. The only thing Johnson keeps is a mini-shovel. Which of course he uses, in the following fight.
Throughout all of this, proper gun safety is displayed, as well as showing off how much these weapons are cared for.
Fix Fic: Somewhat minor. Keyes and Johnson survived, and Guilty Spark was saner in this story's version of Halo 3's events.
The author's dislike for the Drow however is palpable as he subjects them to every kind of overkill imaginable (he admits as much in one OOC post).
Foe-Tossing Charge: A squad of Elites do this in one battle, drawing their plasma swords and wading into an entire battalion of enemies.
Gangsta Style: From the 21st chapter: "Nekar, stop holding that pistol sideways, you are not here to show off!"
Genre Blind: The UNSC characters meet various elves and dwarves, and not one of them ever thinks of Lord of the Rings or Santa Claus and his elf helpers.
Goomba Stomp: Chief does this to a Tundra Yeti in the fic's first fight scene.
Good Cop/Bad Cop: Keyes and Drizzt do a fairly spectacular version when interrogating Luskan prisoners, though Bad Cop Psychotic Cop might be a better description. Drizzt has Guen drag a prisoner into another room, makes him scream once before knocking him out, and then plays recordings of the scream, and throws in random bouts of maniacal laughter. Keyes threatens the other prisoners both with him, and with a truth serum that might "melt their brains."
Groin Attack: "Pwent retaliated with a spiked gauntlet, smashing the Elf at about eye level. The Master Chief almost winced as he realized both where the Gutbuster had struck his foe, and that his opponent happened to be a male. The Dark Elven warrior screamed in agony as blood went everywhere."
"Twinkle punched through the mail, through the padding underneath, and down until it emerged from the Elf's groin."
The Chief's epic takedown of a Glabrezu.
The Spartan's fist connected with the bronze codpiece that it wore, and a resounding 'gong' echoed through the room. The Tiefling's mouth dropped open as the piece of protective equipment crumpled inward and collapsed under the fury of the blow. The Glabrezu stumbled backwards, its eyes crossing slightly. It collapsed to its knees, its lower arms clutching at its wound. Then it howled in agony as its brain finally finished processing what had happened to it. It was a scream, Neeshka noted with a smirk, which was quite a few octaves higher than she believed the wolf demons were capable of. This was followed a by a moment of whimpering, before the Spartan turned his weapon upon the creature.
Also, in a more literal meaning, the Master Chief uses a slipspace portal to fire all of his weapons into the inside of the Demogorgon. Literally, an arsenal sent through hyperspace.
I Shall Taunt You: Johnson uses this on the drow when they assault Mithril Hall, working them to a frenzy. Helm also uses this to great effect on Lolth, causing her attacks to become more crazed, and distracting her from the surface battle. The crowner though, is probably when Mias Tarkimee insults Triel Baenre so that she focuses on him and his men can escape. "Turn and face me, you misbegotten servant of a spider bitch!"
Invincible Hero: Swings back and forth. Whenever Chief is facing something that can't possibly hurt him or even penetrate his armor, it's usually balanced out by him trying to fulfill some other objective, like protecting a much squishier character. He does however blaze through golems, demons, and wizards without stopping. It takes the Matriarch of the Dark Elf race to cause him trouble.
The UNSC as a whole however play this trope much straighter. Most of their opponents can't touch them (for obvious reasons), and any potentially clever tactics they come up with to turn the tables such as ambushing with summoned demons, or secret tunnels in the attack on the Dwarf city always seem to get undone within minutes.
It's Quiet... Too Quiet: A variation. As the Master Chief is sneaking up on the reindeer herd, he senses something is off. As he starts scanning, he notes that the only thing in the trees are birds, which are silent. He then realizes that birds shouldn't be silent, and muses something is definitely amiss.
Large Ham: The Arbiter is as over the top as ever, as are the rest of the Elites. Johnson however has toned it down.
The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Averted, as while little the Drow have can seriously dent MC's shields or those of the Sangheili, he isn't standing around letting them have free hits either.
Magic from Technology: Literally. Cortana is having a field day devising new uses for Faerun's local magical artifacts (the above-mentioned Bags of Holding, for instance), and the author has indicated that her ungodly INT and WIS scores (the only real requirements to use magic in D&D) could make her one of the most powerful spellcasters in the entire setting.
A running bet on Spacebattles had it that by the end of the fic, or the sequel, she'd become a new goddess of technology and firepower. She almost made it.
Mr. Exposition: Usually Cortana or Johnson explaining to the natives how modern weapons work. Often doubles as Shown Their Work as Aratech has clearly made the effort to research the weapons he describes.
Mythology Gag: Johnson making a joke about Miranda NOT trying to attack Truth on foot, which was what led to her death in canon.
And, seeing how it's based on Halo, a Bungie property, there are multiple references to the number seven.
Johnson plays the Mjolnir Mix version of the Halo Theme over his speakers to ease pre-fight tension.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Demogorgon gives a particularly vicious one to the Chief. But since he's the Chief, he manages to win anyway.
Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Played with. While the Halo characters tend to be fairly unusual, even in their own universe (Johnson, A SPARTAN-I and ODST, the Master Chief, a SPARTAN-II, and Orna Fulsam'ee, an Arbiter/Acstetic), the "normal" level technology of the UNSC is a massive force multiplier for those fighting the Drow.
No Sell: One of Demogorgon's Death Knights easily stops a spell that supposedly can damage even the strongest demi-liches. Also, the full power of the deities can shrug off spells that would shred their avatars.
Not So Different: The Arbiter Ascetic notes how the drow are similar to what the Covenant used to be.
Miranda Keyes has to choose between forcibly abducting an entire generation of Drow children from Menzobarranzan, or the potential loss of the entire Dark Elf race by nuclear fire. This situation is uncannily similar to the one her mother (Dr. Halsey) found herself in trying to justify the SPARTAN-II project.
Person of Mass Destruction: The Chief/Cortana in Didact's Class 20 power-armor. Full stop. They even mention that he could probably take down an entire Covenant fleet single-handedly with it. Unfortunately, they're fighting the Demogorgon.
Precision F-Strike: In chapter 33 Matron Baenre teleports away just as the Chief initiates the decapitation strike. His reaction? "Shit!"
In the epilogue, the Chief corrects the assumption that there were hundreds of Spartans by clarifying there were actually 33. After a stunned silence, all an ODST can say is "No fucking way."
Rank Up: The Arbiter is promoted to Acstetic, which is more symbolic than anything else; the only real difference is that "Arbiter" is supposed to be a martyr. At the end Admiral Hood promotes Keyes to Rear Admiral, in recognition of her work, and because her new assignment requires a higher rank.
Redemption Quest: Invoked. The Master Chief tells the Arbiter that if he truly wants to atone for his role in the genocide of humanity, to help save whatever is left of humanity. Later when the Arbiter tells the Covenant Separatists that humanity are the descendants of the Forerunners (which the Prophets knew), he also tells them to redeem themselves by fighting for the humans here.
Ret Gone: A spell used by one of Demogorgon's Death Knights does this, so thoroughly killing a pair of elves that Corellon cannot remember them.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What the surviving member of a Hunter pair goes into after their Bond-Brother is killed. Dwarves also do this.
Also rather amusingly inverted on one occasion, where Briza Do'urden is barely halfway through gloating about her newly summoned Earth Elemental before it gets annihilated by a Spartan Laser.
Rousing Speech: Johnson broadcasts one to pretty much all of the allied forces as they're gearing up for the final battle.
Running Gag: The locals keep mistaking the Arbiter for a demon. Same goes for the Covenant Separatists.
Johnson: The irony here is thick enough to cut with my combat knife.
Science Vs Magic: Played with... somewhat. while the technology of the UNSC does carry a lot of the plot, the heroes tend to use a blend of science and magic, particularly in the later chapters. For example, Chief uses a bag of holding for his weapons while he is under a haste spell. However, it is stated by Helm that he deliberately cut off the Halo-Earth from magic so that they wouldn't take "the Easy way" and force them to learn science and technology. Though he does state that one of his goals is to teach humanity how to become supremely powerful by combining science and magic...
Sequel Hook: The UNSC will be establishing a colony on Faerun's moon. Helm is going to deal with the remnants of the Covenant Loyalists. Triel Baenre is still out there.
In addition to all of this, the Tribes of the Plains are starting to see social upheaval, and Lady Alicia is now working to teach magic to the UNSC. There's also a group of Drow Children who will grow up outside the influence of the main drow community.
Ship Tease: If you squint, you can see traces of Chief/Neeshka sometimes.
From Neeshka maybe, but having known nothing but war for his entire life Chief is very much a Chaste Hero.
Not to mention the fact that the Chief ultimately sees her as a sister (much like his fellow Spartans)
Also, Chief and other Spartans had implants that lessened their ability to feel sexual arousal, so there's that...
Although there is Cortana to remember...
There are also small, but noticeable teases between Drizzt and Dove.
Shoulder Cannon: The Golems created by Cortana have a Gauss Cannon mounted on their left shoulders.
Gravemind:There will be no more hate! No more envy! No more strife! No more fear! No more prejudice! No more—
Didact:Shut! Up! (fires the Halo rings)
Smoking Is Cool: Played with. Johnson still enjoys Sweet William Cigars, but Miranda Keyes mentions that he's "burned through several sets of lungs" with his smoking. When he offers her one, she comments she'd rather not burn through her lungs as well.
Storming the Castle: The Drow attempt this at the battle of Mithril Hall, though they have the numbers to do it. Pity the defenders were using much better weapons.
A straight, but well thought out and justified, version occurs at the end when Sword team storms the Drow fortress. It's justified in that it is a very large strike force, is backed by the tanks and Hunters, and Miranda can give them artillery support. Also, this is just a diversion.
Sword and Gun: The Arbiter Ascetic uses both a SMG, later a needler, and a plasma sword to fight a Balor.
Take That: One thrown at the source material. Johnson and Keyes reminiscence about her rescuing him from the Prophet of Truth, and both share a laugh about how Keyes was sensible enough not to make the very mistake that got her killed in the actual game.
Tank Goodness: The Scorpion, and the new Rhino. The New-Covenant are apparently terrified of the Rhino, having heard stories about them.
Tempting Fate: In chapter 8, Briza mentions to Drizzt as they fight that her Earth Elemental is tearing through his friends and that nothing they have can stop it. Cue the Master Chief and a Spartan Laser...
Drizzt: Yes, Sister, you were saying?
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Tanks, gunships, white phosphorus, and a whole army of Covenant separatists. Later on, they are talking about using nerve gas.
Scratch that, it's now been used against the Drow. Bring on the squick.
Hell, the only reason they haven't nuked Menzobarrenzan yet is because they need to get Neeshka and some Drow children out. Of course, once that was done, then they nuked it. Collapsed the whole cavern in on itself, made a massive depression in the landscape, and the pressure wave incinerated almost anything living in the tunnels for miles in all directions.
Master Chief finishes off kills destroysannihilates Demongorgon by opening a one-way Slipspace portal inside of his body, then firing everything he has left into it. The interaction of the portal and the firepower exposes Demongorgon to energies that are in the same league as the Big Bang itself.
In a more literal case, the "Antioch Grenade" homes in on, and attaches itself to a target (usually aiming for the face on Humanoid targets), unleashes a disintegrate spell point-blank, then explodes with enough force to level a small house.
Time Marches On: Unfortunately for this otherwise well-written story, the Halo Canon has moved on slightly. The Arbiter's name is revealed not to be Orna Fulsamee, but Thel 'Vadamee in the novel Halo: The Cole Protocol. The history of the Forerunners is revealed in The Forerunner Saga, where the Forerunners are revealed to be a separate species from humanity, invalidating pretty much all of Diadect/Helm's awesome backstory. Also, SPARTAN-III's were known by military higher-ups by the Fall of Reach, as all members of NOBLE Team but Jorge, a Spartan-II, were SPARTAN-III's. And guess what? Didact was actually the bad guy of Halo 4, and had almost exactly the opposite opinion of his Helm incarnation here, and believes that humanity needs to be wiped out!
Villain Teleportation: Some of the enemies use teleportation to get into the defences of Mithril Hall. Including an attempted decapitation strike at Lord Nasher and the command group.
War Is Hell: The description of the carnage on Azure Twelve is horrifying, both in- and out-of-story.
We Have Reserves/Zerg Rush: The drow employ this in their assault on Mithril Hall, and how! Casualties mount in the millions before long. Later, the demons use this too.
Helm: "I was born more than a hundred thousand years ago, on a planet long since blasted to ash and dust… There, on that day, at that time, I was given the name Arias Didact."
What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted with Lady Alicia who after the group meets Master Chief and sees their 'spelljammer' disappears only to show up in the epilogue apparently having been captured during the battle at Luskan
Her actual capture is shown too, at the end of the Luskan battle. She's also shown being interrogated by Miranda and Drizzt.
She's offered a job teaching the UNSC about magic.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: "One of the first lessons that Lek'golo were taught in combat came to mind: nothing is indestructible if you apply enough force."
On a similar note, whenever the UNSC and their allies encounter an enemy that creates a magical barrier that can stop attacks, they simply continue to shoot the barrier until it collapses. This does make sense, as that's how they take down Covenant shields, so they're consistent, at least.
Where Did They Get Those Weapons Of Horrific Destruction?: Many of the weapons that are so horrific to the Faerun inhabitants come from standard UNSC stocks aboard the Forward Unto Dawn. Cortana also makes a few weapons using onboard fabrication equipment, and when one of the Sangheli asks why they didn't use the Rhino Tank, which could have turned the tide of the Battle of the Ark, it is rationalized away by it being too tempting a target for the enemy ships in orbit.
A number of them even ask what kind of a world would need weapons like this. The Master Chief and Johnson respond by showing videos showing just how horrific the war against the Covenant and the Flood were.