I know thee’s a few of you still out there, you know, the most hardcore of Halo vets who have somehow survived this long. This alternate timeline that I propose doesn’t fix the CoD-like multiplayer of Halo 4, or the poisonous microtransactions of Guardians, but this is for the campaign I feel 343 and Microsoft have no clue how to make. Should somebody higher up notice this, and get inspired to make a real Halo remake of 4, all I ask is for a small loan of a million dollars, which will be pennies if their marketing campaign for this should’ve-been game is half as good as the lies that came out of the marketing for 5’s campaign.
Master Chief is still snoozing on the Forward Unto Dawn, a UNSC frigate that looks the same way it did 3-4 years ago escaping the Arc (Yes I changed the duration, that corrupt Cortana BS can be saved for another trilogy). However, not all is well here in the vast emptiness of space, as Cortana, formally staying dormant to conserve operational lifespan and to keep from talking herself to insanity, awakens to a loud thud on the interior of the hull. Panicked, as the sensory array was knocked off during the slipspace jump along with the Arbiter, she wakes up the Chief. As Cortana is helping him stretch his legs, they hear an all-too familiar sound they hoped would never be heard again: the muddled scurrying of the Flood. Quickly, the Chief holsters his Magnum and grabs the assault rifle off the nearby gun rack, boldly venturing on through waves of Flood, eventually making his way towards the ship’s ripped bow, or the gaping hole left in it’s wake, to realize where these Flood have come from; a disabled Covenant destroyer almost entirely covered in Flood spores. The ship is still fully intact, so he runs off to the equipment locker to pick up a thruster pack. These exchanges could be lengthened out properly to deliver the first few missions.
Once his new gear is acquired, Master Chief gets Corana out of the Dawn’s systems, she currently unable to tell you to do anything due to a PTSD-type breakdown occurring from the Flood once again trying to wiggle themselves into her systems. For good measure, and a strange sense of nostalgia, Chief runs to the engine room to start a detonation of the Dawn. He runs just fast enough, mind you I don’t actually mean by sprinting, his jog is enough to make one of 343’s Spartan IVs weak in the knees, to get out of the blast radius, yet slow enough to conserve thruster pack fuel by basically letting the engine core meltdown boost him nearly all the way to the destroyer on it’s own, safe a few minor adjustments needed on the player’s part to avoid random debris and Flood in the void. Suspecting at least a Keyes-sized Gravemind aboard, the Chief thinks that he can just kill it along with the rest of the Flood that get in his way, restart the ship, and try to head home, to Earth. However, being asleep for so long has dulled his memory of the layout of such a ship, and he gets lost easily without Cortana’s guidance. He does, however, find a small surviving faction of mixed Covenant species, the apparent leader being a Brute chieftain. Before the player is allowed a single shot at them, the chieftain says something along the lines of “Halt, demon! We mean you no harm as long you stand firm with us against this parasite. You’ve fought your way in; now allow us to follow you on your way out.” As the Chief nods his head, the chieftain grins arrogantly, proud of himself for being able to calm down the one species whose bloodlust rivals his own. The grunts and jackals in the area also cheer, screaming “He’s finally on our side!” The Master Chief asks if it is possible to repair the ship, to which the chieftain replies a hesitant possibly. This is the half way point.
The next few missions involve the Chief and his unlikely new comrades fighting through more hoards of new and diverse Flood forms to the control room, where the Proto-Gravemind is slowly gathering mass, just like Keyes did. After wasting every round into it once the party gets there, the Chief has his own breakdown, collapsing after hitting the disgusting mass multiple times with the butt of his rifle. The chieftain tries to comfort him by placing his hand on the Chief’s shoulder, while the smaller Covenant races are dying one by one around them. The large Brute starts to whack the advancing Flood with his hammer, while Cortana of all things snaps the Chief out of his momentary depression, where he notices something; the dropped weapon of the poor Covenant soul used to create the Gravemind, his Needler. The Chief bursts out past his Brute companion, conserving very limited ammo while trying to escape to the hanger. Once there, the chieftain helps the Chief into one of the three parked Phantoms, and the remaining Covenant forces fit in as well. They all barely escape into hyperspace, after the Chief give the pilot coordinates to somewhere close enough to human-controlled space for him to call for a rescue, but not to an exact system for his loose team of seemingly Covenant rebels to accidentally leak information by using the Phantom.
From this point on, it’s the ending cutscene of the Chief co-piloting the Phantom and requesting a pick-up, casually. Leave it open ended so that in case the game flops, it cam be as well-accepted of an ending as Halo 3’s.
I have a loose idea of the Chief facing controversy for coming home with a Phantom full of Covenant soldiers for the start of Halo 5. That way, instead of some weird, confusing storyline about something that would never happen realistically, Locke is a bounty hunter hired by someone very upset personally by the Master Chief siding with the remnants of the Covenant.
Constructive criticism encouraged.
Already on the Halo 4 fourms, but I realized it might get more attention here.