(Scene begins in the middle of a deep trench. A large dropship hovers overhead as three alien Wraith tanks are dropped outside the base. Tanks begin firing at the base, as several alien and UNSC soldiers descend from the dropship and begin to launch an assault on the base)
UNSC Soldier: Move up!
(Scene cuts to inside trench base. Innes and the Green squad are sitting ducks at the end of a long, dusty cavern hallway as Larry, the alien Construct, is busy extracting the data on the alien artifacts to an external memory unit)
Larry: 8 minutes remaining…
Innes: What do we do? The enemies are closing in on us and we’re trapped.
Orion: Not to worry. We have the tactical advantage.
Innes: What do you mean?
Orion: We’ve got this entire hallway. Once they turn the corner, we’ll pick them off one by one. We need to keep our guns locked in that direction. (points to end of hallway)
(Another explosion is heard outside, as the cavern hallway begins to rumble and spray dust)
Duncan: If we don’t get out of here, the cavern’s going to collapse on us! We need a better plan!
Digit: Does this plan involve a rocket launcher?
Innes / Orion / Duncan: NO!
Digit: I thought it was a better plan…
Orion: No explosives. We just need to pick them off with carefully timed shots.
Larry: 6 minutes remaining…
Orion: How much ammo do you got?
Innes: 15 bullets in my pistol, and two more magazines.
Duncan: A couple of frags, and two magazines for my rifle.
Digit: I brought the rock that looks like Simba.
Orion: Weapon check, Digit!
Digit: Oh, right. My weapon’s fully loaded, and Simba has never been rougher on my fingers.
Innes: That really is an impressive stone.
Duncan: You could say that again.
(Another massive explosion at the end of the hall, as the cavern rumbles and sprays more dust)
UNSC Soldier (off-camera, possibly around the corner): This way, I heard voices!
Orion: Fuck! We’re running out of time. Weapons ready, take aim!
(Green squad raises their weapons toward the end of the hall)
Larry: 3 minutes remaining…
(Another large blast rips a hole through the cavern wall, as an array of dust and light clouds the Green squad’s vision like a flashbang)
Innes: I can’t see anything!
Digit: Simba! Where did you go?
Duncan: Larry, can you tell us where they are?
Orion: Weapons hot, open fire on anything that moves!
(Through the thick veil of dust, a half dozen UNSC soldiers comes rushing down the path, as the Green squad begins to open fire. The camera rotates to zoom in closer to the Green squad, who have already begun to open fire. The camera zooms in past the soldiers and does a cross fade to the next scene)
(Scene cross fades to reveal Ruby, as the camera zooms out from her visor to reveal she is seated in the Watchtower of Squadron 1268)
(McCloud and Santos are seated on both sides of Ruby, as the combined forces of Squadron’s 1268 and 1337 enter the mission room)
Ruby: Thank you all for coming.
Leeroy: Did we have much of a choice?
Leeroy: Right, sorry.
Ruby: I’ve been meaning to arrange this meeting for quite some time. After I caught wind of Grady’s re-appearance, I knew we had to act fast.
Higgins: Act fast…why?
Ruby: It won’t be too long before Grady finds out where we are. I know he’s been tracking down former associates. Santos fled New Alexandria and came here, and now Grady’s practically flushed you all out of your homes.
Leeroy: Yeah, but what’s he after? He has to be hunting us down for more than simply us getting the jump on him the first time round.
Santos: Grady’s had a personal vendetta with the three of us going back at least 10 years. He was reassigned to a new base just before we had all been promoted. He was given only a few foot soldiers, and in the span of five years, he’s managed to get his slimy hands on many more.
Lincoln: Doesn’t sound like a heck of a lot of manpower.
Ruby: We’ve known for a while that Grady’s been gathering an army for a full scale attack.
McCloud: It was Ruby’s intel that helped me to determine when Grady would be descending on New Alexandria in our last encounter.
Higgins: Right, when I knocked him dead!
Rose: But you said you hadn’t spoken to Ruby in years?
McCloud: I know it wouldn’t have made a difference, but I didn’t want you all to know too much too soon.
Leeroy: Sounds a little shady, Captain.
Lincoln: Yeah, why keep us out of the loop for so long? You’d been sending us out on these random assault missions for months.
McCloud: The Zealot and Ivory Tower missions shared one thing in common.
Ruby: Both bases were occupied by alien forces.
Lincoln: Yeah, so?
McCloud: Grady’s building an army…and from what I gather, he’s managed to recruit several UNSC and Elite alien soldiers.
Webb: Wait, how can that be? The aliens don’t follow the orders of humans.
McCloud: That’s true. But if you’re in possession of an alien artifact, you’re practically a Prophet to the Elites.
Rose: So Grady’s in possession of one of these alien artifacts?
Ruby: We think so, and we think he’s building an army to find the other artifacts.
Johnny: There’s more than one?
Santos: Dude, there’s practically hundreds – maybe even thousands of these alien artifacts. You just have to know where to look.
Franklin: I suppose there’s a point to this whole story…
Ruby: It’s pretty simple. For the time being, Squadrons 1337 and 1268 will now merge under one unit: Watchtower.
Dex: Oooh, I like that name!
Reed: I’m so excited!
Arden: This is going to be great. I love working with new people.
McCloud: The Red and Blue squads will merge their teams under the leadership of newly promoted Lieutenants Lincoln and Leeroy.
Lincoln: Wait…so does that mean?
McCloud: I’m lifting your suspension, yes.
Lincoln: Thank you, sir.
Franklin: This is bullshit…why do I have to take orders from this tool? (motions to Lincoln)
Ruby: I could just put you on garbage disposal duty for the remainder of this war. You think you can scrub feces off the inside of a compactor?
Franklin: (grunts) No…
Ruby: Well good. The rest of you are dismissed. Lincoln, Leeroy, can you two stay back for a minute?
Dex: Congratulations guys! I’m going to throw you a surprise party to celebrate!
Leeroy: I think it defeats the purpose by giving away the element of surprise.
Dex (inches closer to Leeroy’s face): But you’ll never see it coming.
Leeroy: Uh…okay, goodbye Dex.
Dex: Bye everyone! (waves to group, and runs off excitedly)
Santos: That boy is something else.
Leeroy: What did you want to speak to us about?
McCloud: We noticed there’s been some tension-
Lincoln: Yeah, Franklin’s a bit of an ass.
McCloud: Personal feelings aside. We think it may be a good idea for the two of you to put your heads together and come up with a new training regime to help motivate the troops.
(Lincoln and Leeroy turn to each other, and look back at McCloud)
Leeroy: Uh, isn’t that kind of your thing?
Lincoln: Yeah, not to be THAT guy, but how are we supposed to do that?
Ruby: You’ll find a way. You already have a good rapport with most of the troops, and they look up to you. They’ll listen to you, and they need guidance. Some more than others, of course. And some will need a swift kick in the ass-
Santos: What she’s saying, is that Franklin will come around. He’s not a big fan of change, and while he may despise the idea of working with you now, he’ll grow to hate working with you less and less as time goes on.
Lincoln: Gee thanks.
McCloud: You can still come to us with any concerns you may have, but we want to try to make this as much of a hands-off process on our ends as possible. I certainly don’t want to be hand-holding you guys as much as I did back on Squadron 1337.
Leeroy: What if we wanted to whip out a game of checkers…would you still want to play?
Lincoln: Or perhaps toss the ol’ baseball around?
McCloud: Perhaps. Let’s just take this one step at a time.
(Suddenly, a spark and flash of light from the large computer monitor behind Santos, Ruby and McCloud erupts, as Gordon Grady appears on the screen in front of a pale grey wall, accompanied by a UNSC soldier and Elite soldier)
Grady: Well, well, well. The gang’s all here.
McCloud: Gordon Grady.
(Ruby turns to look at another UNSC soldier)
Ruby: Trace the call, now!
UNSC Soldier: On it, m’am. (soldier runs out of the mission room)
Grady: I must say, I’m glad to see everyone together again. Santos, you’ve put on some weight…a little too much cooking, perhaps?
Santos: Not even close. This body’s at least 93 per cent muscle.
McCloud (to Santos): Good save.
Grady: Still a comedian, I see. (sees Lincoln and Leeroy) Well I’m glad to see a representative of the Reds and Blues a part of this little pow-wow.
Ruby: What do you want?
Grady: The same thing that I’ve always wanted. Revenge, power and control.
Lincoln: Typical evil genius stuff.
Grady: I’m flattered that you think of me as a genius, Lincoln. That doesn’t get you any extra brownie points.
Ruby: Grady, answer the question. What do you want?
Grady: I already did, Ruby. Revenge, power and control. But I want more, and that’s why I’m hunting for the alien artifacts. In fact, I seem to have acquired one right now in a raid. Wanna see?
(Grady grabs the camera, turning it to reveal Innes, Orion, Duncan and Digit, all tied up, with Innes’ sword holstered in his grip. The Elite soldiers manage to pry the sword from Innes’ grasp, and hand it to Grady)
Lincoln: N-no, it can’t be.
Grady: I believe you may know this soldier, don’t you, McCloud? He’s one of your own. Well I’m offering you up a trade. I want one of you three (referring to McCloud, Ruby and Santos) in exchange for Innes and this despicable squad he’s been working with. Oh, and did I fail to mention that I now have possession of a map depicting the location of every alien artifact in the galaxy? I guess I should’ve led with that bit of information.
Grady: You have 72 hours to make your decision. I’m sending you the coordinates to our meeting. If you don’t come, they will die.
(The camera cuts to black, as the soldiers in the mission room stand in silence)
END OF EPISODE 20 / END OF SEASON 1