Category Archives: Storytime

There is… No value to human life. – Titanfall 2.

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Now that I have your attention. . . 


I have been playing Titanfall 2 for the last few hours before I was astonished by a complete change of pace, a change of pace that isn’t exactly exhibited in many games today.

And that change of pace is, Effect and Cause.

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A clever little mission that is the massive standout of this game, and I thought that it warranted my fullest, undivided attention. So here we are, writing, or in the case of you – the reader – reading my piece about this magnificent mission that I think we can all agree that is a massive standout.

Both in storytelling, and gameplay wise. It is clever, entirely clever.

The mission allows you – Shortly after some… Pseudo-platforming – to manipulate space and time continuum, in such a way that it makes you feel both empowered and like your actions matter in both present and past.

There’s nothing more satisfying than to listen in to the radio chatter and hearing your enemies frantically looking for you and wondering what the hell is happening, however, they stand absolutely no chance of getting to you, they’re dealing with the unknown. And that unknown is you.

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But that’s not what makes this mission so great – To me – after a bit of exploring, I found these audio logs that were interesting at first, some speaking about certain things of the past and the things that happened as you arrived.

They were merely interesting until I hit the jackpot, a 5-minute recording from General Marder, that shows more than just a little bit of information, but more so it is a crucial part of the information that is entirely amazing.

I found myself. . . Agreeing with the course of action that Marder had thought of. Something that doesn’t happen so often in video games these days.

grey side to a conflict, and an entirely logical purpose behind their actions.


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I will quote the entire speech by Marder, below.

I would like to spend some time today to talk about the value of human life. There is… no value to human life.

Now that I have your attention…

To be more precise; human life, to a certain limit, is expendable.

We are self perpetuating, yet self destructive.

Adaptable, yet flawed.

And always, always, resource intensive. We are endless consumers of resources.

But most relevant to our research here is one undeniable fact: that human life is abundant. Overpopulation of any colonized world is a given. Through the lens of cold objectivity, it is irresponsible to say that all individuals on such worlds are actually indispensable. Millions of humans die across the colonized worlds every day by any number of causes. Human life is… expendable.

Now our problem is twofold; On the one hand, we are faced with a hostile frontier populace opposed to our commercial pursuits for the greater good. And on the other hand, there is a never ending cry for natural resources demanded of us by the greater populations of the core systems.

We must have order on the frontier if we are the achieve true progress, but the Militia, in its provincial myopic lack of vision refuses to accept this.

Thus, we are at war.

Now the bitter truth; Reinforcements from the core systems will not arrive for several more years. The militia gains strength day by day, taking back one planet after another. Our choices are limited, drastic action must be taken.

Again, I remind you all of one simple truth: That human life is abundant. And, as distasteful as it may sound, human life is, in truth, expendable. And so that brings us to this planet typhon, where we have discovered a gift; a machine that will do more than change the tide.

Call it fate,

Call it evolution,

Call it what you will.

The truth is we have discovered our resolution, and in it lies a weapon with a powerful ability to fold space and time. We don’t know who built it, but we do know that is it quite old. And most importantly we have learned enough to bring it to life.

As we use this fold weapon, we will manipulate space time targeting anything we desire, sundering entire planets. Our restoration efforts in the mountains are nearly complete, but one task remains. We must complete a small scale test here first. To tune the power source, or the “Ark”, as our colleagues tend to call it.

Once we have accomplished this, we will transfer the power source, the Ark, to the full scale site and destroy one populated Militia planet and then another, until they capitulate. We will open an Einstein-Rosen bridge sending through thousands of concentrated gravitational waves. This will rip apart and sunder every molecule, every atom, and every living thing we target. Resulting in… total loss of life.

But lest we lose sight of the bigger picture, remember those losses are ultimately replaceable by the inexorable march of human reproduction. By decisively neutralizing the militia forces, we will in fact safeguard the existence of the human race, extending its reach and power towards a prosperous and bright future.

You can also listen to it, as I hyperlinked it before.


But take a moment to take all of this in, what does this mean, is he mad? Or is he entirely right in all he says? That’s entirely objective.

For someone fighting for the Militia, that means that it is personal, your home, and everything you fight for, threatened in an instant.

For the IMC? You are nothing but a terrorist, you’re destabilising the system with your revolts and pointless struggle if only you’d. . . Submit. They wouldn’t have to resort to such depths in their actions. Strong, immoral, maybe. But entirely, and completely, reasonable.

Think about it, the core worlds depend on The Frontier’s handiwork and resources, what happens when the Militia continue taking worlds that the IMC needs to help their core worlds. You destabilise Earth and the rest.

And as someone who sees both sides, I can’t help but agree with everything Marder is saying. It’s a strong handed decision that someone needs to take, the Militia needs to secede.

But, as I said, this is subjective, everyone will see this conflict differently, and that’s the beauty of it. Once you create a world and conflict with real intentions and issues, the lines become non-existent.

And I believe that’s the real gem of Titanfall 2. Real purpose.

And from now on, I will wait eagerly for everything Titanfall related. And hope for more like this.


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Now, let’s mention something else I wanted to talk about, in this short, but sweet post I have prepared for you all.

The dialogue options, and how clever it is to truly make you the character of this story while still retaining the personality of Rifleman, J. Cooper. And I can’t help but think that every FPS should innovate in this if we hope for the FPS genre to become a true and tried storytelling format that allows immersion and enjoyment of the story.

Halo 4 comes to mind in this regard, a true masterpiece of storytelling, that indeed sacrificed some of its immersion for some people to accommodate storytelling.

Imagine if we had these options in future Halo titles, and just like Titanfall 2, allow the time to run out between choices, allows you time to either respond or remain quiet. And that is very clever in what could be a great Halo title with storytelling such as Titanfall 2.

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There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in this regard. And if Halo should borrow anything from Titanfall 2, it should be exactly this. And only this.


Author’s Notes:

However, I believe that’s all I should talk about this for now. If you wish to see more thorough thoughts from me in regards to the story of Titanfall 2 once I finish the game, please express your interest in it.

I am still, however, undergoing my journey through Destiny, but collecting enough notes, needless to say, my reception and thoughts of the story aren’t the best, though, I do have several good thoughts about it, and I am in the middle of reading through Grimoire to both benefit my understanding. . . And benefit you in how much the game is missing lore wise.

I am also, of course playing through BiA as well, I have plenty of thoughts about it and praise that I can’t wait to dump on you all.

But that’ll be all for today, and as always, live a good life, play Halo, and be safe.

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Reimagining the Fall – A Halo: Reach Retcon.

 

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You know the end, this is the beginning.


Now, I know what you’re saying, we’ve been over this whole thing a thousand times over, what can you bring to the table this time over?

Well, my answer is simple, I’m not aiming to yell at you how this is a piece of trash that needs to be removed from existence, rather the opposite actually, I want this story to remain with us for the years to come, I want it to become better than it is, and having watched Rogue One literally yesterday, I seem to have a new appreciation for this game’s story and desire for it to be the better game in the series.

But how do we do that? Well, the short answer is that we must retcon this story or portions of it, redo this from scratch, that way it fits in the overarching story of the universe and makes sense.

Now, I am not yearning for a retcon of Noble Team, actually, I want them to be the best characters we’ve had to date, how do we do that, though? We expand their characters in-game, and we make Levi’s bloody comic canon for god’s sake. 

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We build on the characters that Levi built, the way Levi wrote Noble Team is ten times better than anything Bungie did with this game, which I seem to recall a certain cave scene in the middle of the first arc of the game, which I don’t really see much wrong with it, it just needed more character in there, more development, about as close as it gets to being genuine is through Jorge-052, our gentle giant.

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Now, let’s retcon most of the first half. Let’s start our story elsewhere, through the eyes of SPARTAN-B312, a first mission before we get thrown into the howling dark of Reach and its impending doom.

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Our new story starts here, with Noble Six, in the middle of an ongoing strike operation against an HVT (High-Valuable Target.) We don’t play it at first rather instead we see the sheer skill of Six through a silent, first cutscene where he sneaks into an insurrectionist camp in an outer colony, we’ve got nothing but an M6C/SOCOM in our hands, the game gives us control and we move through the retrofitted UNSC base with URF logos painted over the once scratched UNSC logos.

We mow through the Innies, killing them one by one, or striking them head-on, however, you’d like to proceed with the mission, and we meet up with our HVT, cut to black, cutscene start playing and we see the true nature of Six in this moment, the lone wolf hunting his prey, this moment the man frantic and scared, reaches for the nearest weapon to him, raises and fires at Six, which is deflected by the energy shield.

To which Six responds with raising his pistol and putting a bullet in between his target’s eyes without any hint of remorse as he then clips his magnum into his magnetic holster and proceeds to leave the scene, and here we cut to black once more and we begin to listen to a certain familiar melody, we hear the drums hitting hard, as the screen shows us “Reach” written on it on a white background, and yet another image of Six’s helmet in his own hands as he stares at it on a warthog, the driver attempts to do some small talk that gets quickly shrugged off by six as everything we see we see it through his eyes.

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“Awful big fish needing a glorified cab all the way out here, sir” The marine beside six speaks and six stares at him for a few seconds before pulling on his helmet and the HUD booting up around his visor. “We’re coming in, sir.” 

Two fly birds fly low ahead as Six looks up and the screen changes view, as we see those two falcons flying by as we see the scene with the warthog that we know and love, heading straight for that base which we actually see on the horizon.

It doesn’t take long as we cut to another scene where we see the fly birds landing by the parked warthog, seeing plenty of UNSC Army troopers jogging about the base and Six walks past two landed Falcons, one of which harboured Jun sitting inside it loading his weapon. And we enter a room full of Spartans next, our first team, and we’re being transferred here.

From lone wolf to a team player. 

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I guess you can see where I am going here, subtle changes, enhancing the experience, etcetera. These characters don’t have to be removed, the story doesn’t have to go away. We just need to find a way to fix it and this is the best way I can go about it.

So, welcome, to the new Halo: Reach. Get some coffee, sit down, boot up Overture from the Halo: Reach soundtrack and read.

Reimagining the fall. . .

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At first glance there’s quite a bit wrong with this game, at least, if you know stuff from The Fall of Reach, or any other piece of media set on this beautiful rock called Reach and at a first glance you could think I hate this story too, but the truth is that I don’t I have probably spent more hours on this game than Halo 3, though less than ODST that’s for sure.

I remember the first time I played through Tip of the Spear, the music, the setting, the warthogs ready for battle followed closely by a small contingent of falcons and as that battle ensued you could see the Paris-class frigates dropping in, long story short, it was fairly amazing.

So, what I am seeing is that there’s not much we need to change, and why is that? Because most of it is already perfect, from the sabres to the ONI Sword Base, it was amazing.

What we need to change, however, is the run of the game, how long certain things last, the character development, etcetera. We need more character in this game where most of them quite frankly feel like a piece of bland cookie, their deaths don’t leave anything to most of us and whether we like them or not is left entirely to subjection, and subjectiveness is a two-way blade if used wrong. This entire story and the game uses this wrong.

Mistakes we need to correct:

  • Ignoring The Fall of Reach
  • Characters lacking every sense of development and personality.
  • Lacking explanations on several occasions.
  • Disconnection from the overarching story of the Halo Universe in the long run
  • Start and End cutscenes of the planet glassed and the planet terraformed.
  • The Pillar of Autumn’s presence at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now, how do we fix these? Well, for the most part, it is easy, let’s give the characters more dialogue, give them good, solid dialogue, something very genuine, we know Emile had an older brother that sacrificed himself for Emile, play with that card a little, give the strong, stoic man a moment of softness, don’t just let him follow the badass trope, give him a genuine characterisation. “I’m ready! How ’bout you!

Jorge, he’s a bloody Spartan-II, take a card from Aiken, make him wiser, but very twisted in mind, caring for those in his world and his everlasting attachment to it due to something he did to someone, maybe he experienced the sight of a mourning child after he himself executed the parent who was a target and a known Innie. “Reach has been good to me, It’s time to return the favour.

Kat, She’s strong, confident, smart, but she’s an insecure little girl, whose confidence boost is knowing things, getting everything she can from different uplinks either covenant or UNSC because she can, she’s frightened by the Covenant and Glassings, build up on that. “I know we’re losing, I want to know if we’ve lost.

Carter, he’s easy going, smart, the best tactician around, he trusts his team and his team trusts him, give him human moments, insecure about orders, let him be wise but caring of his team like any leader is. Not just be ready to go to battle after every single mission. Give him something meaningful to fight after, aspirations that he obtained after he stood there in front of his future armour fresh out of augmentation. “You’re on your own Noble, Carter out.”

Jun, the quiet, smart, caring human of the group, he grows attached to his targets not through love but by compassion, but he still pulls the trigger, he is ever vigilant, attentive, recognises patterns. Perhaps suffers from PTSD from combat against the Covenant. Build upon him with the little seeds spattered across his character from his newest appearances on Initiation and more. “I kill the enemy, but do not hate them.”

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Build up on them throughout the game, either gameplay or cutscenes, this is where I think ‘idle’ missions or lowered weapons missions could work out perfectly if done the right way, alleviates some of the weight from cutscenes and provides a special moment for characters to be built upon before the next mission, and there’s plenty of missions in Reach that could work with these, three of them at the least, the one after Exodus, before Exodus itself, it would have been a great moment to develop Six, the lone wolf lost in the middle of nowhere after he fell from space and saw the loss of Jorge firsthand, first lane to the disappearance of half a bloody ship. That’s a great moment for a mission very much a-la Uncharted 3 with the Sahara Desert.

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Carter’s death, how did he get wounded? Explain this, show the plasma bolts hitting him. Emile’s death is perfect as is, develop him more, make his words carry even more weight you can develop him when he and Six are the last ones standing from the Noble Contingent.

Here we have fixed two main issues, lack of characterisation and lack of explanation, easy fixes, make some of these cutscenes longer, provide more dialogue, etc.

Now, how do we connect to TFoR? Easy, acknowledge the events more, acknowledge Red Team heading down to the generator, acknowledge the fall of Gamma Station, etc, you can easily do this through radio chatter and making the one cutscene at the end of Long Night of Solace longer, showing us the start of the engagement in orbit. Acknowledge the events up until Long Night of Solace happen before TFoR’s engagements.

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That makes it four issues straight out of the way, what’s next? The Intro and Outro cutscenes, don’t show them. Show them at the end of the credits connecting both cutscenes together showing us the glassed and terraformed landscape of Reach, along with Halsey’s speech, give us that sense of hope, after you have taken it all from us in the game, you know the end, this is the beginning remember your own catchphrase? Yeah. Use it literally.

So that leaves one last issue, and this one is a big one, as it can lead and make the story much better and even more memorable.


The Pillar Of Autumn.

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You can argue many things about this point and time in the game, yeah, it is badass, yeah, it is a plot hole, etc.

But the one thing we all fail to see is the sole purpose as to why it was there in the first place, this was Bungie’s sendoff to the series, they wanted that last bit of nostalgia and they wanted us to see such a gracious ship to give us that last sense of goosebumps they could take from us, while still taking more from us at the end of the game, letting us see the Installation 04 and the PoA approaching it slowly as we listen to the original theme once again,

“Cortana all I need to know, is did we lose them.” 

“I think we both know the answer to that.”

As the mood slowly builds up back to Reach’s theme.

This entire moment, was there to serve as a massive sendoff and goodbye from Bungie that quite frankly didn’t work and they ignored their own lore in the process. Though, what if I could tell you that they could’ve made this better and they could’ve made it fit, you’d believe me? Because I have the perfect way to close this game.

Alright, remember this?

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The UNSC Andraste, what if we could use it to make this whole thing better, let’s give it a try.

Instead of the giant bird on the ground, the modified Halcyon-class that we all know and love, what if this was the one bird waiting for us, it is rated for atmosphere, it is quick and it certainly doesn’t interfere with the canon, so let’s do this.

Nothing is changed, we proceed to make a run for the shipyard and graveyard, you race Emile in that last moment as Emile speaks over the radio with you about him, how his brother saved him, etc, something about being alone has made his obsidian armour crack. He’s laughing about some stuff, you listen to him, Six replies a few times and you hear his voice inside your helmet.

But this comes to a stop as you find yourself coming closer to your objective and Emile gets back to business, the closer you get the more enemies you find, Yamn’ee, Unggoy, Sangheili, Jiralhanae, etc.

You reach the launch pad and final destination, you have to help the marines clear it as Emile head up and to the Onager on the platform above, you finish the engagements, a pelican comes down and you’re greeted by an old, worn scruffy officer.

The dialogue plays out the same, there are no changes, only that it isn’t Keyes meeting you there. As Keyes would be fending off the Covenant on orbit and making time for John to return and the Frigate to get up there.

Officer: “Good to see you Spartan, Halsey assured me I could count on you”

Six: “Not just me, sir.”

Officer: “They’ll be remembered…” 

Officer: “Cruiser! Adjusting heading for the Andraste, Noble Four I need fire on that cruiser or we’re not getting out of here! Do you copy?”

Emile: “You’ll have your window sir..” 

Officer: “Bridge. This is the Captain we have the package, returning to the autumn, over.”

This is where we’re forced to watch Emile get taken out by the Sangheili sneaking up on the Onager through the Phantom that Emile missed, and we hear the always remembered last words of Emile and Six then going

“Negative, I have the gun.” 

To which the officer replies with “Good luck to you… Spartan.” 

Keyes or not, this takes nothing away from the weight of the scene, only that sense of nostalgia we get seeing the behemoth of a man that is Keyes standing there. Saying his last goodbyes to this group of valiant Spartans.

We all know what happens here, though, we get on the gun, we shoot down a few phantoms in sheer badassery and then we fire at the cruiser’s beam as it prepares to fire and we let the ship escape, the only thing though is that this time it was the Paris-class heavy cruiser, UNSC Andraste 

The ship gets loose from the couplings on the launch station, takes off and it is quickly followed by a small escort of frigates and longswords that took off from the same shipyard as the cruiser moves away, you quickly lose sight of the frigates and we’re left alone, on Reach awaiting impending doom that comes to both you and the planet. Here the screen cuts to black.

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We get another cutscene, we see the frigates run past a blockage of Covenant ships, one instantly goes boom as it rams a covenant cruiser, we see a group of UNSC ships still fighting in the horizon and our objective The Pillar of Autumn fending off a group of Covenant squatters as the cutscene cuts and we are placed in the cockpit of a Longsword fighter commandeering it as a simple Army pilot as the original theme of the Autumn plays in the background and you’re tasked with the defence of the ships, you see them blow up substantially one by one except for the Andraste as it links up with the Autumn a pelican being immediately dispatched once they’re in close enough proximity with the package, and you’re tasked with escorting it as you then see the Andraste blow up in your rear view.

The Pelican makes it to the Autumn’s hangar deck, safely as your pilot yells to the autumn “Autumn, break off! I say again, break off!-” To which is cut short and all you see is a ball of fire as your fighter goes up in flames and your pilot gets ejected straight out of the Longsword’s window and we see the autumn breaking off from orbit and running away from the planet as it started a random jump sequence and we see it jump as your pilot slowly dies and you see everything through his eyes drifting in space among wreckage and cold corpses.

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Thus, we cut back to Noble Six, walking into this big place, looking at the bodies of fellow Spartans scattered across the field as he moves across it slowly paying attention to each and every one of them in a cutscene as he crouches down and checks on the gear of one of them, searching for any identification just to know who laid before him and they were the Spartans of Gauntlet whose last resting place was the same place of their last stand against the Covenant after finishing their mission and staying behind.

Six continues on as he walks upon a platform and looks up into the sky and looks around him as all he can see is red and incoming Covenant forces. hreach_-_lone_wolf_opening

And with no other thing to do, Six performs his last task of business among his brothers and sisters.

Objective: Survive. 

Some glimmer of hope, of survival as you get placed on Six’s boots, grab your weapon and start fending off against unlimited hordes of Covenant forces one by one you drop them as your visor slowly starts to break before you until it finally gives in and you leave your helmet behind as the cutscene starts playing.

And subsequently, Six ends up giving his own life. Dying in battle.

Thus, the screen cuts to black, and we see a last glance into the game, we see a calm sight of Installation 04 and a very familiar sight as we see a Class-3 Bumblebee falling from the sky and crashing nearby, followed by the sight of the Autumn crashing in shortly after. Cut to black with the Halo theme sounding in the background ever so gently. 

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Here’s where we get the credits, connecting directly to Halo: Combat Evolved & Halo: The Fall of Reach perfectly honouring new characters and being the massive send off that Bungie wanted it to be.

It achieves to tell a new story, it achieves to be open to all players and it achieves at being, quite frankly what could be one of the best Halo games by far.

So, where do the outro and intro cutscenes fit? At the end of the credits of the game, albeit much movie-like, but it achieves to feel right at home in my opinion if you merge both cutscenes together and Halsey’s speech as well as that sense of emotion that will be incremented by ten through seeing Six’s helmet at the end of everything. It feels right at home, serves its purpose and thus, finishes Bungie’s last submission to the franchise like a huge explosion of nostalgia, emotion and amazing story coupled with amazing missions.

And this, however, is only but one man’s dream and his perfect Halo: Reach. One that never happened, and probably will never happen.

But one can dream, right?


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And this is the end of this chapter, reimagining the Fall, of Reach.

It was quite a ride writing this one, feel free to correct me in some stuff you see worth correcting and feel free to disagree.

But this is my perfect Halo: Reach, and I am sure many can agree that this could be their perfect Reach as well.

And as always, be good, live your life and play Halo all the time, boys.

A Reflection of John-117 – An Incredible Life and a Possible Death.

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We’ve all known the story of John, maybe no the full story in the case of some, as the claims that he was originally birthed as a husk, an empty being, a vessel. Throughout Halo CE, 2 and 3, we only saw but a glimpse of the major character he composes in the universe.

John has been entirely built for the mainstream media with the entire believe that he is this badass being, this demigod, someone who will not die in any way or form, he’s bigger than the world and he’s bigger than the galaxy.

Having defeated countless enemies singlehandedly in the games, we’re led to believe that he’s all that stood between our total annihilation and our victory, that he is the sole reason we won, he and only he.

But that’s not all that he is, and he is so much more than just a soldier behind a mask. He is many things.

The Hero, the Saviour, the Child, the Abductee, the Warrior, the Soldier, the Friend.

From his early beginnings, he’s struggled in his life to overcome hardships, even since he was a kid in that circle he stood on testing his ground and fending off any odds that would come to his doorstep, fighting his way through life, through pain and hardship.

It is at that point that he becomes the man we needed him to be, the warrior. Which would bring him on, to endure many other hardships in the future

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From his first day in boot camp, he knew what to do, when to do it and how to do it, although it would take him some getting used to, he would still endure anything that would be thrown at him, in any way he needed. He would come to become a leader, the rightful alpha of the Spartan-II Program.

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And from his first day, he also knew pain and fear. And as such, Spartans were trained to know pain, and so, to endure it all. Anything that would come their way.

But in all of this, John was forged from incredible hardship, becoming close to the members of a team of the greatest soldiers alive, that only he would lead, and so he did, learning early on what is the cost of sacrifice. The difference between spent lives and those wasted.

Mendez stared at John with his impenetrable black eyes. He glanced at the squad, then back to John. “Walk with me.” He led John to the view screen. He stood and watched as the last of the canisters vanished into the darkness.
“A leader must be ready to send the soldiers under his command to their deaths,” Mendez said without turning to face John. “You do this because your duty to the UNSC supersedes your duty to yourself or even your crew.”
John looked away from the view screen. He couldn’t look at the emptiness anymore. He didn’t want to think of his teammates—friends who were like brothers and sisters to him—forever lost.
“It is acceptable,” Mendez said, “to spend their lives if necessary.” He finally turned and meet John’s gaze. “It is not acceptable, however, to waste those lives. Do you understand the difference?”
“I . . . believe I understand, sir,” John said. “But which was it on this last mission? Lives spent? Or lives wasted?”
Mendez turned back toward the blackness of space and didn’t answer.

Though he would never obtain an answer from Mendez as it was objective at the time, as time passed life answered his own question. The difference between a wasted life and a life spent. This would come with a slap in the face, however, more than the gentle caress of a lover.

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As his best friend, Samuel-034, ultimately sacrificed his own life after his MJOLNIR Mark IV suit was breached by plasma fire. He understood then, what he hadn’t before as his best friend fell to the HAVOK Nuke they had installed just minutes before after boarding an enemy craft.

He would come to endure many hardships of this kind, he knew he would, and so he did, losing almost his entire Company throughout the war, from augmentation, those who became stranded, it is no wonder that John has the weight of the world on his shoulders, as broad as they may be, he’s endured many losses. He carries the weight of every death in his shoulders.

He is broken, immensely so, but yet he remains ever stoic, he remains a husk from his own emotions by choice as he feels his job is greater than anything, but his job is to safeguard his friends, his family, not only acting as the main line of defense to whatever odd comes to the doorstep of humanity.

His life has been entirely given to the service of humanity, of the greater good, and to his family, whatever is left of it. He’s chosen this life that was chosen for him, and he will see it through to the end. Whatever the cost.

“Last time we were here, I asked Sam to trust me to take us home. To follow me. Will you trust me now, will you follow me?”

screenshot-363And as we see, he’s back with Blue Team, his friends, his family, whatever is left of it. Just four people and he stood there, asking if they will follow him once again, a question which we obviously know the answer of; but what of the outcome? What would it be of John? To what measures will he go, to protect the last remainder of his family.

And the answer is simple, he’ll exhaust everything he has in his repertoire, including his life. No matter how lucky, no matter how hard it will be.

And as we’ve seen, he’s endured everything life has thrown at him, everything, whether it was luck, an unwillingness to go quietly into the night, or skill, is debatable. What is for certain is that he did it for them, he saw everything through in the name of his brothers and sisters, those who gave their lives, those who he had forced to be spent, those who were still around, those wasted and those missing.

He gave his everything because he wasn’t ready to die, not in Installation 04, not in Mombasa, not even in the Ark as Thel stood beside him creating a friendship out of the asunder and ashes of the word that Thel bore in his mind as he stood back-to-back with this Sangheili whom John called friend.

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He found that he was not ready to die each and every time, but it wasn’t until he fought the Didact the last time, that he truly realised this in his own mind, he knew it, he wasn’t ready to die. After having lost Cortana, after having lost almost everything.

“I knew someday I would die in battle, but now that it is here… Now that it is my time to die… I find, I am not ready.”

He wasn’t, not at all, especially not with the last remainder of his family in danger of dying to the very same aggressor that held him so tight. But of course something had broken in him, even if he had continued fighting on after this through every odd, he was still, of course, broken and he knew it.

His days would be numbered from this point forward. And a very possible death would set its path onwards from this point, and how do you bring such a behemoth of a character to his final resting place? On a blaze of glory, you’d think. But no, not this way, not in a million years. It would go against everything his character showcases.

He would not want to be elevated above anyone else, given that special death, it would ultimately break his character and the true perception of it. How so? Well, we know it in a narrative that has been pushed all throughout.

“The queen doesn’t sacrifice herself to collect a pawn!”

“At the end of the game, the queen and the pawn go in the same box…”

It has always been there, in plain sight, from Cortana’s birth which these were the following words she uttered when she was activated in Italian.

From this sole quote, said by John after he took the bullet for Sam when they went after Watts. I know the exact death I would give him, and I know, I know this might sound like some kind of heresy or blasphemy. But think about it, it is true, you know it so.

The death I would give to John, and the death he deserves and would want is to die like a dog, in the middle of the battlefield. Just another strategic casualty. Among corpses, his death unknown to everyone and living on as a legend with just his legacy to be simply marked as ‘MIA’ as just another corpse in the wet dirt, covered in plasma, ionised particles and gunpowder residue, a last grand battle for humanity of epic proportions which will be eventually forgotten by history.

In John’s eyes, I believe this would be the rightful death if it meant saving his family… Or be laid to rest among them.

And that is the incredible life and a very possible death Of John-117.


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The Hero, the Saviour, the Child, the Abductee, the Warrior, the Soldier, the Friend… The Dog of War. 

On a last note, before we bring this reflection to a close, he doesn’t need a badass-being-badass death, he doesn’t need to die in blaze of glory of immense proportions alone and surrounded a la Noble Six, because what ultimately makes him badass is his legacy, his complex character, the depth of his emotions that are so scarcely thrown into the screen.

He will live through in his actions as a badass to all of us, his legacy is what makes him badass.

He does not need a death to cement what is already cemented. Both in-universe and out of it, he deserves to live on as a legend and as a monument to his actions through an unfortunate and slow death on the battlefield amongst rattled corpses. As a reminder that war isn’t fair.

And I simply cannot think of a better example, than a real life figure of heroism and valour. who died in battle at Iwo Jima on February the 19th, 1945. Sergeant John Basilone.

Basilone’s Death as Depicted in The Pacific

And on that note, I shall bring this to a close, for any of you to decide whether you support this idea or not. Either way, it is just the thoughts of a man, on a screen about what he thinks would be best for a character so beloved.

As always, keep on keeping on, see you next time. Possibly with a new story.

Cheers!

Homeri Carmina Nostra

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Homeri Carmina Nostra – A Poem Dedicated to the Domus Diaspora.

First Posted on Halo Archive

11/20/2016


Overpopulation of our Earth and Wars to come would wake a new era,

Leaving our home planet of Earth, we sought out new frontiers, beyond our bright blue skies,

New beginnings rose from the dirt, as we began to look up to the stars, and wonder,

Wonder what it had in store for us, and went out to venture into those same stars that we saw in the night sky,

Luna, our first new world, would rise from the dark void, as we journeyed there beyond centuries ago, 

Our feet stood on the pale lustrous soil of the moon, and when we did, we dared look up,

Tiny dots scattered across the dark sky, all the opportunities for us and it were all up for grabs,

We felt like we deserved the universe as our feet stood beyond our green soil on that pale moon again,

So we ventured deeper into our solar system, taking a hold of what was ours, our worlds,

What became of this endeavour for humanity, however, slowly became a gamble of war, 

Our worlds fell to conquest and asunder as we fought each other for territory and land, 

Koslovics and Friedens at each other’s throats, knife held deep, lacerating flesh,

War, that would leave many shattered and broken, 

From our soil in Earth to the farthest reaches of our Solar system, 

With our enemies destroyed, a treaty would sign peace,

But a new threat would lurk in the dark, after our conflicts,

Our colonies would be subjected to overpopulation and famine, 

But once more, light would be shed in our darkest moments, 

In our refusal to give out, humanity’s best would achieve salvation, 

Granting us the possibility to look past our star, and expand beyond our cluster,

A diaspora, the greatest diaspora would arise from our chaos,

As we embarked far too deeply, defiant into that howling dark, 

And dared the skies to swallow us whole, as we wagered towards our new worlds, 

Worlds that awaited us beyond our home, and worlds we would dare call home as well, 

Our destiny would be clear, as we set sail for the greatest incursion of all,

Not with weapons, or death, but with hope and aspirations for the future,

Our greatest odyssey, enterprising into our new worlds, 

Leaving our past and history behind, as our blue planet would be farther and farther away, 

The greatest leap for mankind, begins with all but peace, taking a small step forward each time. 

From the Arrow to the Shield [PREVIEW]

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PROLOGUE

August 23rd, 2554

Maginot Line “Jat-Krula Sphere.”, Unknown Location.

Sometimes the world blows up in your face, for many reasons and many of them alike, for the most of us, it was the Covenant’s arrival and the glassing of Harvest. For others? It was the Insurrection and their grizzly attacks to our many colonies… But you know what they say; one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. As much as I’d like to believe that either side was wrong, there’s some that held much of that blame grasped tightly that even in death they’d hold it still. For me, however? It was a little bit of both; I think I am here because of the necessity of the situation, hectic tends to turn the best side of us into a hollow shell that shall remain incarcerated in a chasm. That was Halsey with her SPARTANs, the SPARTAN-IIs, made only to quell rebellion and now, saviours of humanity and everyone’s poster boys, that’s us. Halsey’s SPARTANs, we learned to live with it even if many of us didn’t make it past ‘Graduation Day’, in other words, the Augmentations.

Despite that all though I learned that the end doesn’t justify the means, most of all I learned that all conflict does not come without hardship, loss, saviours, martyrs and heroes. Hardship however constitutes about ninety percent of what war is, and War is Hell. Let us however not forget, that we journey into a dark void, but we remember those who were left behind and never to return, those we left for dead, those that stayed behind to make sure we’d make it here, but war is hell after all, the dead will plague our memories like a bad rash and there’s nothing we can do about it. It is an inevitable truth that we can’t save everybody, but at least we can safeguard humanity to guarantee another day to fight. But most of all, we must not forget our purpose as SPARTANs. We will remember those of us that did not make it to this day, for death does not diminish Duty, Honour and Self-Sacrifice in a soldier. Nor does friendship and loyalty… That’s the part that Mendez always forgot, the bond created in the battlefield and out of it, after all they always treated us as equipment, but we’re a damn good surgical knife if nothing more, precise and concise, deadly and thoughtful.

Our duty is clear, however, be the hunter or the hunted, the Grim Reaper or the dead, The Demons that Humanity needs… Demons and only Demons we shall be as the damned Covenant called us, it’s all we’ll be in the defence of humanity, protect everyone whatever the cost may be so they can live another day. Through life or death; through hell and back. Every day we spend in hell, is just another day in the office that no one can do except for us. Spartan Group Epsilon. “In scutum, gladium in aeternum.” We can continue to do this. I can continue to do this because I have my family, my friends, my loved ones and the only family I’ll ever have with me, right here beside me as we go to hell and straight back. The only family I will ever have, and the family I will die beside to.

Some may say that Orbital Drop Shock Troopers do the entire dirty job, that hell is their office. While it may be true, for the most part, it’s us who get things done; we’re the surgical knife in the operation and the brunt in the United Nations Space Command’s repertory of heroes and valiant, gallant personnel.

For we are SPARTANs, bringers of unity, bringers of death, the wolves that hunt alone and the wolves that hunt in a pack, children of the gods and children of the great 300 Spartans and the Great King Leonidas of Sparta.

We acknowledge however that was done to us was horrible, but it became a choice, our lives were shaped like this in the sake of the greater good, our new family had been formed in the wake of our own hardship too. We were the only thing that stood between life and total extinction and when the time came, we were ready for what was to come, all of us, ready to do what was needed to defend Earth and all her colonies from a fate much like Harvest’s, Jericho VII, Madrigal, Biko, Bliss, Circinus IV, and many others that we lost.. We became the sword and the shield of humanity, and eventually we became their heroes, their saviours, their spark of hope that we just might live another day. I’m of course not proud of many things I may have done in the process however, from the slightest mistake that may have cost someone’s life to the bigger ones, I am the shield that transitions into the arrow, from a shield to an arrow I shall always be, I am Epsilon’s Bow and Arrow, I am the shield, I am the eye in the sky. I had a duty to keep my head in the game at all times no matter what came our way, the odds are just numbers, numbers can be decreased depending on the stakes. And our stakes are higher.

Though, I did not know what true pain was, even after all these years I did not know pain, even with everything we had been through, the sacrifices, the injuries. We had always been together through it all. Whatever the odds. I did not know what pain was, the kind of pain that tears you apart from the inside with fear that you don’t feel anything else other than a sheer feeling of helplessness, you can’t do anything but watch as everything you have fought so hard for to keep safe is taken away in a span of mere seconds something that for a Spartan feels like a lifetime, colloquially dubbed “Spartan Time” you’re forced to see every detail as your mind remains thinking of every possible scenario only to find out that all your efforts are useless in that situation, you can’t do anything and that’s how it would stay not knowing what will happen next as those seconds that seem like a lifetime pass.

Fear, the worst part of it is that we all knew we’d encounter it in our lives, fear, pain, sorrow, helplessness, the list goes on… Like SCPO Mendez had told us once, we were trained for this, all of us. Trained to know pain, to know fear, to know how to counteract it.

In your lives you will encounter fear, you will encounter pain, but the key to survival in those moments is to not let fear nor pain dominate us, take over your whole being to the point that all you want to do is sit down and cry, sit down and just close your eyes tight and pray that everything is a dream, that dream that we will wake up from and we will be in our parent’s embrace once again, but that’s not possible, and it will never be because this is a dream that we will never wake up from, a dream that is our lives that mostly becomes a nightmare, but you can’t break down, you can’t sit down and cry let it out, you can’t do any of it because your brothers and sisters need you, they need to know that you are at your best that you are operational and ready to do what needs to be done, it’s funny how two four-syllable words can overcome you, can take over you so easily, but the right way to do things has never been the easy way.

It was the way that you’ll encounter the most pain in your lives, we all crossed that path because it is our path, our destiny. It is the path that humanity needed us to take.

 


 

CHAPTER 1

July 22nd, 2552

Onboard the UNSC Uno Momento, Unknown Crash Landing Location.

There was only darkness that’s all that could be seen inside the MJOLNIR Mark IV [S], SPARTAN-157 Gavin knocked right on the ground and he thought his gear had been malfunctioning, it wasn’t until his visor began to be filled by stars that Gavin realized that the suit wasn’t the one that had been malfunctioning, it was him. It only took him some time before he started to distinguish some voices as his head looked from one side to the other, trying to distinguish what had happened, he could see a few spots of light glistening in the air around him- sparks flying all around him, all around him and the other Spartan that laid beside him, completely immobile to his view it wasn’t long before Gavin had sat down slowly crawling closer to the Spartan in a MJOLNIR Mark IV Operator system configuration, SPARTAN-115 Sage who laid immobile and limp as Gavin wrapped his prosthetic arm around the back of her neck and gently lifted her limp body, it was a gentle movement despite of the motions of the MJOLNIR-clad, intensifying his movements ten-fold he wouldn’t have done that unless he meant it, though she still had a pulse as evident in biomonitor in his HUD.

“Sage, wake up,” Gavin said, as his hearing was slowly returning to him, whatever had hit them, it hit them hard. “Sage… god dammit.”

“Gavin, pick-up the damn COMs and tell me your status, that’s an order.” could be heard on the other end of the TEAMCOM channel, SPARTAN-055 Andre. “Gavin, sit-rep.”

“Sage is down, I’m operational,” Gavin said as a cold calm took over, the job wasn’t over, it never really was. “Barely. . .”

Andre had sighed audibly into the COMs, both in relief and disgust towards the situation. “I’ll send Jena down, for you.”

Gavin looked around him, he was sending SPARTAN-054 Jena for them, he decided otherwise to this, however, he figured she was needed elsewhere, there were sparks and malfunctioning screens everywhere, they were just outside the cargo hold and his SRS99-AM “Lupus” lying just a few metres away from him and Sage beside her, was her M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, Gavin stood, his prosthetic arm being removed from Sage as he looked around, devising the situation and it was bad there was damage everywhere around him, some halls were collapsed and others had malfunctioning blast doors, he picked up his weapon from the ground and clicked his flashlight on, illuminating the area around him as he pulled the rifle onto his back, crouching down once again to lift Sage in his arms cradling her close against his chest as he began to move away in the dark room that had an eventual flicker of light from the sparks and the ship’s malfunctioning lighting system, whatever had hit them had made quite the damage, but they were still alive, which suggested something; whatever it was that hit them or whatever weapon hit them missed any vital parts of the ship by just a small pint of luck. Maybe their luck was still holding on, all of this however happened only minutes after that last conversation.

“Negative sir, I’m making my way to you,” Gavin asked over the SQUADCOMs, relaying his voice to Epsilon. “Do we know anything about what hit us.”

“Copy, make your way to Hangar Deck 3, Jena will treat Sage.” There was a short pause as Andre looked from Jena going from one side to the other, treating whoever she could of the wounded and injured crew, before he looked away light shining into his visor as he looked out from the open blast doors of the Hangar Deck, there were a few engineers working on the vehicles that had been damaged in the crash and the blast that ripped through the east side of the hull. “We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

There was a short pause as Andre looked from Jena going from one side to the other, treating whoever she could of the wounded and injured crew, before he looked away light shining into his visor as he looked out from the open blast doors of the Hangar Deck, there were a few engineers working on the vehicles that had been damaged in the crash and the blast that ripped through the east side of the hull. “We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

“We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

Andre had cut the COM then, looking away as he picked up his MA5D that he bore in his hands, his fingers tapping the rifle as he then pulled it over his shoulder, watching a few Marines that were still operational patrol the open blast doors and some looking out into the distance at the large edifications that moved in the water, they fired an array of light into the sky of the colour of gold, that completely enlightened Andre’s crimson coloured polarized visor of his MJOLNIR Mark IV with a prototype Mark VI-looking helmet one of the first few prototypes, however, he turned away to walk around the deck, pulling the rifle onto his back holstering it as engineers slowly made a few repairs here and there in the hull and the halls, he started towards the bridge.n the path they had already cleared to get from the Hangar Decks where some of the crew were being treated to the bridge, where the now acting Captain; James Rivera and his now acting Commander. Connal Allard stood on the flickering holo-table running scan surveys on the area, Connal couldn’t had been older than 18 he was young but he was also capable in Andre’s mind.

In the path, they had already cleared to get from the Hangar Decks where some of the crew were being treated to the bridge, where the now acting Captain; James Rivera and his now acting Commander. Connal Allard stood on the flickering holo-table running scan surveys on the area, Connal couldn’t have been older than 18 he was young but he was also capable in Andre’s mind.

“Sir,” Andre had gone crisply into attention the moment the Captain casted a glance towards the 6’8” all titanium-a clad SPARTAN-II. 7’3” tall armoured clad Spartan-II that stood beside him.

“At ease, 055.” Andre would pose on a relaxed stance of attention after he was given the command, the Spartan however had a question, he always had questions, more concerned on his team than on himself. “Sir,” He began to speak as the man looked at the flickering holo table that showcased a map of the area around them that had been slowly gathered through surface scans of the still operational scanning systems. “Any indications of where we landed, sir?”

James shook his head, straightening up as he leaned away from the holo-table before him as he fixed his uniform. “Without any assistance from Adimen as her core is still inactive after the blast, there’s no saying where, when or how we’ll get out of here.”

Connal, the kid beside the newly formed Captain of the ship seemed a little agitated at the mention of never getting out of here, Andre seemed calm however, his body posture completely void of emotions as he stared at the Captain through his crimson visor, a signature of Spartan Group Epsilon meant to inert fear into their enemies, that and their sigil that rested illustrated on his right pauldron, a skull resting on a shield where an arrow would go straight through said skull sideways with an uppercase E on the skull’s forehead that stood for the greek letter of Epsilon.

“I’ll see what Epsilon can do for you, sir.” Andre nodded his head just slightly, the kid beside the Captain had been staring intently into the Spartan’s visor, this was something he was used to.

The stares, every Spartan was used to those stares that felt cold on the skin almost as if every eye in the room was judging them or just plainly scared or just in awe of the piece of equipment they were. But as far as it went, that’s what Spartans were to these people. Equipment and Machines. Andre regained his thoughts however, his eyes fixated on the Captain as he continues to speak.

“We’ll have Adimen operational in no time, sir.” With that, the Spartan-II doubled over courtly and walked out of the room leaving the two of them behind, while there was still a lot to do, figuring out what happened to Adimen was a priority and they couldn’t do this without Sage. The moment he stepped a foot outside the bridge he shut off the outer communications from his helmet so he could speak freely through the TEAMCOMs “Jena, sitrep.”

There was just silence for a while before he asked again. “Jena, Sitrep.” he could hear fiddling on the other end, Jena had taken off her helmet, there was a continuous sound of slight static until Jena’s voice could be heard on the other end and she sounded… Concerned, maybe startled. “Gavin is here, it’s bad, Sage’s not waking up and I cannot figure out why with this makeshift equipment, it’s like everything is going downhill here, there’s wounded ever-” She was abruptly cut off by Andre in the middle of her heated rambling “Jena.” was the only thing that was heard on the other end and she fell silent for a few seconds as she took in a breath and calmed down. “We need Sage if we want to have a chance of getting back into the fight, Jena. Adimen is offline, the only experts are either dead, wounded or missing on the ship.” He spoke calmly, almost as if it was nothing. Andre had always had a way of maintaining his edge when the situation turned to worst.

“Jena, Sitrep.” he could hear fiddling on the other end, Jena had taken off her helmet, there was a continuous sound of slight static until Jena’s voice could be heard on the other end and she sounded… Concerned, maybe startled. “Gavin is here, it’s bad, Sage’s not waking up and I cannot figure out why with this makeshift equipment, it’s like everything is going downhill here, there’s wounded ever-” She was abruptly cut off by Andre in the middle of her heated rambling “Jena.” was the only thing that was heard on the other end and she fell silent for a few seconds as she took in a breath and calmed down.

“We need Sage if we want to have a chance of getting back into the fight, Jena. Adimen is offline, the only experts are either dead, wounded or missing on the ship.” He spoke calmly, almost as if it was nothing. Andre had always had a way of maintaining his edge when the situation turned to worst.

“Roger that…” Jena would say as she stepped closer to Sage and begun to work as more nurses worked around her on the clock treating the other wounded. Seven consecutive acknowledgement blinks could be seen on her HUD as she treated Sage, something that only the two of them knew as Andre proceeded to Open a channel with Gavin this time.

“Gavin, I need you at my pos.” there was a short pause as Gavin instantly started heading out of the Hangar bay. “Oscar-Mike. Paint the way.” The moment he said that a marker lit up on his HUD, a few hallways down as he moved closer to Andre, before he knew it, however, he was there with Andre. “Sir,” Gavin said as he adopted a firm posture out of respect to his commanding officer and friend. “We’re moving down on the medbays scour everything that’s still relatively useful to us, get it back to the hanger bays and then we’ll move down on the A.I. Core room.” Gavin’s brow rose under his Scout helmet, hid by his crimson visor but his head visibly tilted to the side at this order. “The A.I. Core?”

“I trust you have watched Sage work A.I.s before, right?” Andre stared directly at Gavin as he asked, there was a pause in all communications from the two armoured men before

Gavin nodded slowly. “Yes, Chief,” Gavin replied at the inquiry.

Andre nodded once before he began moving down the nearest and darkest hall, their helmet’s torches switching on in their command as they walk down that path that was illuminated by the eventual flicker of the hallway lighting systems and the MJOLNIR’s torches.

“You want me to reset Adimen?” Gavin asked as he glanced over at the Spartan beside him, looking to his right eventually to find a fuse box on the hallway column, he’d punch the lid open and tinker with the fuses, as the hallway came to life shortly after.

“I want you to do whatever’s necessary to make her operational, Gavin.” Andre stopped beside him, the moment the lights came to life down the hallways with the eventual flicker of light down the road he turned off his torch and patted Gavin’s shoulder. “I trust you can do this?”

“That’s gonna be a little difficult,” Gavin said, he felt the pat on his shoulder and resumed movement down the hall.

Looking down on his TACPAD as the brought up the ship’s schematics on it, he had the base schematics of some of the UNSC ships in service, luckily, the Valiant class super-heavy cruiser was one of them, schematics native to the UNSC Valiant.

“But you can do this?” Andre insisted.

“Yes,” Gavin responded quickly. “But it’s not gonna be a piece of cake for me, I’m not Sage.”

Andre looked at Gavin, his hand always hovering close to the holstered M6C on his magnetic holstered just in case. “You’re the next best thing.”

“Still,” Gavin retorted.

“Too late to back out.” Andre said, as they took a left down the hallways, they had to find a way around to the core room as the main accessing hallway was collapsed.

“Down this way,”

Gavin said as he led the way to the dark mess hall before them, their torches sparking up to life once again as they made their way into the hall, there were a three to five corpses still lying around on the hall, it seems not a lot of people had made it past a certain position of the ship except for Gavin and Sage it seemed, perhaps there were more stuck behind collapsed hallways or doors.

Gavin said as he led the way to the dark mess hall before them, their torches sparking up to life once again as they made their way into the hall, there were a three to five corpses still lying around on the hall, it seems not a lot of people had made it past a certain position of the ship except for Gavin and Sage it seemed, perhaps there were more stuck behind collapsed hallways or doors.

“Prioritize; A.I. Core, Search and Rescue is secondary.” Andre abruptly changed the orders of the game and Gavin nodded in acknowledgement. “We won’t leave anyone behind, but getting Adimen operational is priority.”

“Understood.” Gavin knew that without Adimen they would be as good as dead in this hellhole, he also wouldn’t protest to orders either, specially from him. Their friendship going way back to the first day of Boot Camp.

Andre nodded, he proceeded forward as they rounded closer to their destination on the tight hallways, Gavin never did like these tight hallways for combat, they were treacherous and the conditions they had made it even worse.

“Any covie survivors among the wreckage?” Gavin asked as he glanced for the slimmest of seconds towards the SPARTAN beside him as he took each step forward towards the ship’s AI core.

“Unknown.” Andre, spoke as they traversed the dark hallways of the ship.


To be continued. . .

Hope you enjoyed this short preview of what I have been working on the last few months, expect more of this as I continue it.

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Ancient, Lost Pride.

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A figure enters the desolate plains of a structure, with long days past as the light of Urs shines through the cracks, the cloaked figure stood in the middle of the entrance of the structure, looking around as he raised his arms and pulled the cloak off his shoulders, the Sangheili’s mandibles twitching slightly as he proceeded to walk further into the silent plains of the temple, coming up to the shattered and decayed temple grounds as the light of the sun Urs becomes clearer through the giant hole in the roof, he looks up at the hole and his mandibles separated just at the slightest as he stared around him in disbelief of their sacred temple, everything he could hear was a silence that echoed amongst the temple grounds where once wisdom echoed through its halls, but now only ghosts roam the grounds; a silent mausoleum deserted after their service to the San’Shyuum’s Covenant after being lied to with slander and false hope for years, their great journey which was a fate full of lies on their way. A weapon which would terminate all life in the Galaxy.

The Sangheili looked around the temple grounds in its desolate slumber, ghost roaming around its halls and silent echoes of wisdom as warriors came to receive wisdom, where their true intentions flourished, where hope was in the air, the man huffed a handful of air, his mandibles slightly moving as he breathed in before he began to walk forward, sitting in a circle paved on the ground, where the Urs shined upon directly, before he set the cloak aside on the ground and began to slowly crouch down, his legs folding upon the other as his hands were placed on his knees. . . Once again exhaling before his eyes slowly closed, around him the silence slowly became a song of its own, situating itself on the surrounding atmosphere as the gentle breeze of the Sangheili air caressed his skin, his chest rising and falling as he became one with the gentle slumber of the dormant, abandoned mausoleum. As his mind takes over, his imagination begins to fly the gentle sound of the breeze slowly becomes the gentle sound of voices, the cracking of the structure into footsteps, he slowly furrows his brows as the temple begins to sound more alive, covered in people like it once was. Men and women looking for the wisdom that this temple would give out. But then in an unmistakable act the sound of fire waving moves across him and his eyes peel open as he looked around, and what he would see is the temple in its greatest encounter, Sangheili wandering around its halls, the ornaments and the structure completely pristine, the light of the night filling the rooms as torches lit the temple grounds.

The Sangheili baffled stood, slowly from where he sat looking around as his mandibles positioned lightly in a slight smile as what he saw was an act of providence, an act of the gods, the temple at its peak. Everyone wandering its halls as it was filled with knowledge, wisdom and hope, it felt real, everything felt real but then the sound of a sudden crack and a heavy boulder falling on the dirt covered ground upon him woke the man from his slanderous imagination, and his hazel eyes peeled open as he glanced around, the sound of silence and Urs fell to dusk and orange covered the day as the plains became darker inside the temple with the gentle shade of a crimson orange; once again the Temple laid shattered, decadent of wisdom and people, abandoned and torn into million little pieces lost to time. It was a silent slumber, where every sound became a remnant of what it once was, a monument to their lost pride. . . Their honour barren and forgotten as their ways became poisoned by lies.

The Sangheili proceeded to pick up his cloak that he had cast off to the side, and proceeded to stand on the temple ground with a gentle sigh, he pulled his cloak over his shoulders and his hand gently took a hold of his hood, and with one last glance at the ruins of the once great temple; he pulled the hood over his head and turned around to depart from the temple. And so, once again, the temple became silent and undisturbed, an abandoned mausoleum that once meant more than an ancient sense of pride, where wisdom was sought out by the great, where wars were planned by the many, but now it is but rubble and dust. . . A silent remnant of what once was.

The War Found Me

o_d_s_t_by_amirzand-d4whclp

Date: 21st of August, 2557.

Location: New Moponos, Quadrant Valley.

The Staff Sergeant traversed the frozen alpines of the valley, looking around him as his rifle rested against his gut, slung around his shoulder and clipped to his ODST suit, the silenced M932 Designated Marksman Rifle dangled against his chest lightly as he moved, four other ODSTs following close behind him as he came to a stop across the alpine, looking straight down over the edge of the ridge as he then turned to his team, nodding as he settled down by a rock providing enough cover for the night and protection, his helmet being removed right before he un-clipped the rifle from his chest piece and set it aside.

“Status?” The man asked as he looked at the four ODSTs, who were already active and alert to their surroundings as they had ever been, one of them spoke up as the leader demanded, “Seven tangos on defensive posts, looks pretty tight. Nothing we cannot handle, however.” The trooper was cocky, but he was right they were ODSTs, they were the best there was; at least if you did not count the SPARTANs.

The man moved closer to the ridge, and took a short glance down, crouching down beside the dark-suited ODST, before he took the binoculars from him looking through to see an abandoned UNSC outpost, painted in several colours, at least in what seemed to be a pitiful attempt to hide the UNSC markings all over the outpost, it looked damaged as well, heavily as they seemed to have refurbished some of the bases to make it operational.

“There,” The man said, painting a marker on the HUDs with the touch of a button on the side of the binos, it was a generator that laid uncovered on the side. “That’s our entry ticket, we turn it off and we go straight in.” he moved the binos away from his face and held it beside him, to the ODST who had been using them before, “Mack, Rogers, you’re together; Hogans with me.” the three men acknowledged the order as Mack and Rogers, stood from the white hued ground and went their way, before that, the Staff Sergeant; Taylor Egerton moved back to his rifle and helmet that laid on the same snow blanketed soil, pulled his helmet on and clipped his rifle back to his armour piece. Then they both began moving down the valley towards the base, double timing it.

Though it wasn’t long before the two teams of two arrived at their destination, VISRs on, the light of the twin moons above illuminating the ground as Taylor took cover on the nearest wall.

He tapped his SQDCOM as he spoke to his team, “On one. . .”

He positioned himself, peeking over the steel wall of the old outpost, looking over as he distinguished two insurrectionist troopers standing guard at the main entrance of the outpost, only that he didn’t expect an M12 FAV Warthog to drive out of the main entrance, he quickly pulled himself back from the line of sight and let it drive past, once the warthog was far away enough he positioned himself against the wall, aiming forth towards the two troopers, his rifle resting against the wall as his grip tightened.

“One. . .”

“Two. Go, go, go!”

The sound of silenced fire fills the night sky for less than a second as two perfect shots land where they’re supposed to, the two teams being on opposite sides moved quickly towards the entrance as they paced themselves in, once inside there was only but a bright flash. Followed by a deafening whistle then nothing more.


This is me, Orbital Drop Shock Trooper; Taylor Egerton, Staff Sergeant of Gamma-November, belonging to the 501st Xeno-Materials Exploitation Battalion, I guess you could say I am indeed interrupting something here, something that seems important what is it? What’s going to happen? I guess you could say all that but I think that we need to go back, so you can understand where I’m going; first you have to understand where I come from.

I never wanted to be a Marine or any kind of trooper, Colonial Military, let alone an ODST, I grew up in New Hampton, a fairly small city close to one of those big lakes where they had machinery and big boats and fishes all about, I remember my first day fishing, as well as I, remember my first kill in the battlefield, I was seven it was on December I remember, the weather was nice not too hot, not too hot.. It was on one of those huge industrial speedboats my father worked in my first catch that day too; guess it ran in the family and I got the skill necessary, even if it only was one of those catfishes carried over from Earth on the days shortly after Colonisation by the incoming fleets, the ship operators dumped them into the sea and lakes after arrival as they had been part of what was deemed as contraband by the regulations, guess it was an infestation of the ecological system back then, now we fish them and had become one of the biggest exporters of catfishes, some said that it had quite a taste coming from Crystal, however I wanted to return with my father every single day after that whether it was to fish one of those huge Paelosurs, it was also a plus that we lived not too far inland from the lake as the job needed my father close by every morning, he loved his job and it was a family run business. I was expected to run in line just like everybody else, even my grandfather wanted me to follow the lineage and he was quite proud of me that day, I am not gonna lie I loved fishing, the thrill, the wind in my face as the boat sped off from the Marina, the adrenaline of not knowing if you’re gonna actually catch the goddamn fish or not.. And I did follow down that path, for a while at least.

I was born on January 25th, 2525, I didn’t know, nothing but the threat of a war coming on the horizon, we all knew so, so it shifted my train of thought when a system close by to Crystal; just roughly three jumps away was glassed in April 28th, 2545, I decided to enlist in the Colonial Military Authority, I was 20 at the time, and obviously eligible for enlistment, so I decided to let go of what I loved to do what I had to, defend my soil, my dirt, my lands as these sons-of-bitches aspired to burn every single piece of land we had, and I wasn’t about to sit idly by and watch them do so. . .

Then at sunrise, first thing in the morning I walked into a small recruiting center on my own and walked straight towards a vaguely annoyed looking man in uniform as he sat on his desk, his insignias testified that he was a Sergeant, so once I stood before him I handed him my papers and he reviewed them, eyeing me carefully before he eyed back the papers.

“Welcome, to the Colonial Military.” Was all he said, as he passed my papers in.

By that evening, though, I had barely learnt a thing, only how to traverse my way through mud, as the Drill Sergeant yelled his face off at me and everybody else that was with me, I was however by the end of a couple weeks; Sergeant. Taylor Egerton, of the Colonial Military Authority, but of course the CMA’s boot camp was a joke, unlike the UNSC’s they only taught you how to use your – shitty – weapon, march, salute and how to operate the M12 FAV Warthogs.

But unlike the other recruits, I actually had a sense of duty, and I knew how to shoot, my uncle had taught me how to shoot back when I was thirteen, he was a hard-arsed marine that didn’t give a shit about anything; unlike me, however, he was part of the UNSC. I guess that’s why I was booted up to Sergeant, however, it was a welcome change from only being a recruit.

However fast forward a few weeks, graduated from boot with the rank of Sergeant, but in a sudden change of pace reality hit us right in the face; hard, command appointed the regiment I was in – the 103rd Rifleman Regiment – our first deployment to aid in the evacuation of Actium, we arrived aboard the CMA Archipelago, old, battered piece of shit it was, a Halcyon-class first generation; I was surprised the thing was still standing, let alone on duty but hey, it was the CMA…  

So, The Battle of Actium was my first deployment on duty, remember that one planet where the powerful and popular speech by Colonel. Akono Menteith was given? Our generation was born to fight the Covenant, and you, my fellow soldiers – were born for this very day. Today the enemy will hear the roar of humanity. And they will fear us.” Nothing but pretty words of empty hope, but at the time it was needed, and it showed that it did what it was intended to do; at least before Actium fell and so did the 53rd Armoured Division with it. The CMA did its job, we did our job as cannon fodder so the UNSC Army could carry out the evacuation, in the end my fireteam remained, half of our division deceased while me and a few other fireteams made it to the transports, I stayed out the ramp waiting for everybody to board, silly mistake as I realised when a stray flash of deeply infused plasma hit my shoulder and I fell flat on the ramp as I could feel how the plasma ate to my skin like a bug.. It burned deeply, stung, incapacitated you and all your thoughts became that stray flash on your shoulder, I had been burned with plasma before, on that battle, they rose my skin at most. . . But a direct hit, it was my first. It did not help that the CMA’s gear was an utter piece of shit, Interplanetary Wars stuff, it wasn’t treated for this. Hell not even fully treated for bullets, so I forced myself up, with the help of one of the privates under my command and one of the Army guys, took my gun an old, battle tested MA2B and I ordered everybody to board the transport with a hiss of pain as I was hurled inside with the help of the two troopers as evacuation orders blared through COMs ‘Bloody arrow’ was all that was issued as the pilots of the crafts became desperate to leave as plasma rained overhead on the horizon with a giant pulse of red, fiery fire from the cruisers above; My first glassing too on this battle.. And the last glance at the planet that was as we started fleeing a lost battle, luckily the last ships on the sector defended our escape before they became a fiery ball that quickly subsided on the midst of zero-g. . . As we were successful on our escape aboard the civilian transport ships followed by a limping Halcyon-class, the UNSC Guardian of Peace as we jumped into slip-space out to our latest destination and rendezvous point with the UNSC, following certain jump patterns to confuse the enemy like we always did while departing a battle, it was Cole Protocol that mandated confusing patterns before we arrived at our destination before arriving.

Colony world of Sargasso; our final destination. This is where I lost some part of me. . . That part that makes you want to love, to feel, I guess if you could embody all that in one celestial body, this would be it.

First day in that world, I woke up in a bunk bed, light coming straight through the window that was beside me as I eyed outside, squinting at the light as birds could be heard through the open window, I slowly got up with a slight grunt as my shoulder hurt like you could never imagine, plasma was something special. . . However a hand was gently placed on my arm and I looked beside me and there she was, 5’7” ft tall, red fiery strands of hair and a thin, freckled ball of sass mixed with an attitude.

“Please, do not get up.” She said, sternly as her dark eyes eyed Taylor as she scolded him, trying to push him back on the bed. “Where am I?” I asked with a groan as I refused to let her push me back “You’re on the State Hospital Number 17, operating as a UNSC Hospital, please do not get up, you must rest, that’s a plasma burn you’ve got right there a nasty one.” I finally allowed her to put me back as I laid back down on the bed. “And. . .  Who are you?” He said, looking over at her as he laid there, moving his arm to a more comfortable position with a slight grimace at the slightest hint of pain. “Alicia.” She said.

And so, was born something that I would regret for the rest of my life, and words not said that I would regret as well, I would recover from my burns, my skin would heal just enough and I would move on from that, but there was something that I would not move on just as easily as my burns, just as easily as a pitiful injury or physical pain, both go away, feelings don’t feelings remain inside, creeping up on you and when you least expect it they hit you in the face with a butcher’s mace, the only difference is the physicality, you don’t feel it physically but mentally and it’s even worse however it would be my first day out of the hospital, which I had memorised by now after a couple of months, September 30th, 2545, was the date I was released from the hospital and met with two MPs at the door, Alicia was talking to me as I did and the moment she saw the men all colour drained from her face when they directed themselves to me, anyone would grow uneasy with a pair of Military Police officers. . . Even me, which I admit I could’ve peed my pants.

“You must come with us,” They bore UNSC insignias, they weren’t CMA which meant I had no idea what was up with that, I simply cast a short glance at Alicia then accompanied the men. “What is this?” I asked as I looked at the men, raising a brow, I wasn’t exactly guilty of anything, or perhaps I may have been. I didn’t exactly know.

The men escorted me out of the Hospital complex as I left Alicia behind, when I did I was led towards as small UNSC FOB – Forward Operating Base – not too far from the hospital as they had been working in conjoint operation, the hospital was better equipped than any field hospital the UNSC could build in a short amount of time, when we arrived at the base I was escorted directly to the CO’s main office in the base, and I was left alone by the men who escorted me once we walked inside, and I was led in.

A man who sat in front of a carefully organised 21st Century-looking desk, his eyes on a datapad reviewing information as we entered, the man was old, seasoned, probably a few centuries older than Taylor and a few centuries wiser. “Dismissed.” He said at the par of MPs as they proceeded to leave through the door behind me and close it. “Taylor Egerton, hm?” The man spoke again as he placed the datapad flat on the desk and his eyes proceeded to look at the man in the OD uniform and CMA insignias. “What’s a poor bastard like you doing with a proper transfer order to the UNSC?” Then it all dawned on me obviously, I didn’t do anything wrong, I was being transferred? “Excuse me, sir?” The man chuckled and relaxed his posture as he laid back, staring at Taylor up and down. “Well, I assumed you had heard the news, Welcome to the United Nations Space Command, son, you’re late for a proper training from what the people in the CMA taught you.” He properly stood from the cushioned seat he was on, tidying his uniform as he approached Taylor and carefully took a hold of the OD BDU he wore, specifically where the Colonial Military Authority logo had been “Get rid of the Colonial look. It does not fit you. You’ll be led to Camp Bouze, not far from here. Dismissed.”

Taylor stood in attention and firmly snapped a tight salute at the man before him

“Sir!”

And so I was led to Camp Bouze, – a small CMA outpost being utilised by the UNSC in the planet – firstly being lead to the pelican landing strips on the FOB, then led there; long story short however it was a whole lot of proper yelling, hardened training, combat training, on my first training simulation  my team and I were coupled against a group of ODSTs who had been training us, I, and a friend that I had actually met throughout the time in boot; Diego, managed to actually surprise three of them, on a flanking route while everybody else went straight in, though I would be neutralised with Diego by a third hidden trooper and the simulation would end, we would’ve caught the eye of command, and it wasn’t long before we graduated; this time as ODSTs having been deemed worthy for it, so we were offered a chance to go the extra mile. . . Though I would obtain the rank of Staff Sergeant, it wasn’t too different from the CMA days, only this was more complex and more organised, incompetence wasn’t as abundant, chain-of-command was clear, though it would be the same, it was definitely better. So we did what we did best, we went to a bar, and we got drunk to celebrate a few days after our proper UNSC graduation and I obviously invited Alicia to come with me, and she did. I’ll always remember that night, especially what I said to her that day. I was too drunk for my own good and too in love with her.

“I love you”, I had told her as we stood outside of the bar where everybody celebrated our graduation with chants and cheers and stories about who would get to beat the hell out of an Elite with their bare hands, her face however dumbstruck as if she had seen a ghost, and so it made me sober up as quickly as the punch of a SPARTAN would make my skull be shattered into pieces. . . There was no response and there came nothing from me either.

A response came only short, of silence, but more of action; she just what you would say ‘jumped at me’, she carefully embraced me and our lips merged together like only lips could, pressing against one another as the softness of her lips was all he thought about, happiest night of my life. But sadly, it was all going to be short lived, that morning I woke up in a room I didn’t remember, with Alicia beside me covered by the blankets as we carefully remained close together, our bodies carefully embraced as we remained against each other, our flesh touching together in a place in time where it all seemed to have stopped; the war, the worry, the desperation. . . The fear. But reality had a funny way to remind you that it exists, like a wrecking ball that bubble of perfection busted entirely as Military Police came in the room, busting the door open so loudly that my ears had mistaken it for a gunshot I came rolling down off the bed instantly and onto the floor and once I saw what it was I instantly stood not bothering to cover myself as Alicia did the same with the blankets as she stared at me and the marines, her eyes wide and big, filled with fear.

“What is this!?” Taylor exclaimed, obviously he outranked the two Sergeants before him and only by a little, but still, he demanded to know why. So the Marines told him. “Sir, briefing, is called, Tango-Bravo must report on duty, ASAP.” So all colour drained from Taylor’s face, duty called; reality called, bubble busted and perfection shattered, he glanced back at Alicia, who was still confused and frightened and he mouthed an I’m sorry to her.

Taylor quickly gathered his uniform, dressed, fixed himself and exited through the door with the troopers essentially leaving Alicia behind, confused and now both afraid for Taylor and filled with anger. And it was obvious, once they were in the briefing room, the images of New Lanelli being attacked were shown to the troopers as then, the CO of the UNSC forces in Sargasso – Colonel. Matthew Stratton – began to speak.

“This is New Lanelli, I’m sure some of you may have heard about it, for those who didn’t it doesn’t matter, this is one of our homes, one of our planets, human dirt under conquest and we know what kind of conquest is that. . . We cannot let them burn off one more of our god forsaken planets. So, gear up boys, you’re going down to hell.”

And so it was official, we were leaving Sargasso and only one thing was left for me to do; that night, before our departure I went to see Alicia, she was angry at me, properly tossed everything her home had at me she even hit a couple shots on me, maybe she could’ve been a good shot if she tried, but she kept repeating I hate you! And I don’t want to see you again! So I just did what I had to do, and I left through the door, I didn’t think that. . . That was going to be the last time I saw her.


And so we left, with destination plotted, course figured on the star charts, and so we entered the cryo tubes and commenced the long suspension of reality as my thoughts and dreams were of her, everything there was, was a reddish hue that moved with the wind, her hair the most beautiful thing that would distinguish everything in my dreams, it was the main plate and discussion of my thoughts. Until we were awakened by the shipboard AI of the Marathon-class heavy cruiser, UNSC Long is the Night, only to see that the planet was already covered in fire and an empty lifeless volcano in the middle of space, there was nothing here, not even the Covenant, no transmissions coming in or out, just ghosts and echoes; millions dead and for what? Some empty sense of faith? We however, mourned, and moved on once again heading into the long sleep, suspending ourselves in the Cryo-chambers from all reality.

Until we were awakened again, above the colony of Ballast, dated January 21st, 2547 only to heard the news on orbit, just as we awaken and we see the lists of planets attacked and deceased during our suspension and there it was. . . I almost fainted, I almost cried as I lost all strength from my feet as my gut felt like it had been ripped out and my heart shattered into million little pieces; that if Diego hadn’t been there I would have fallen to the ground easily.

“No. . .  Alicia, please, no. . .” Sargasso attacked only but a few months prior, her name resided in the grand list of deceased of the colony, a giant sense of regret fell on me, it was overwhelming. “I shouldn’t have just left. . .” was all that I could manage.


November 2nd, 2552, 0540 Hours; We found ourselves fighting tirelessly for the planet of Tribute fighting for seven days straight in firefights that never seemed to end we encountered ourselves in the city of Casbah, on the main spaceport as we fought Jiralhanae by incrementing waves and grand amounts of Sangheili and standard Covenant cannon fodder, the remainder of Gamma-November being entirely just me and three others as well a small remainder of Spartan-IIIs and E4/BAG/2/8’s, Diego had died just a couple hours ago, as well as a huge portion of my team and I just refused to let this tire me, to exceed my mark and just sit down and cry in a corner – that’s what my body wanted – but I didn’t cave in, these bastards had taken so much from us and I wasn’t going to let them take this planet either as long as I drew breath, as long as I held a rifle in my hand and as long as just one speck of soil remained in the world, I was going to fight until a stray flash of plasma says otherwise, until a stray flash of plasma pierced through my skull and melted my face entirely, until death delivered me to absent friends and love.

“I’m on my last mag!” Alberto would scream on the field just outside the spaceport, covered only by debris and wreckage. “Me too!” Fernando would yell from across him. “It doesn’t matter! We fight! Even if we have to use sticks and stones against the poor bastards! We will fight!”

We only continued fighting, giving them everything we had until suddenly, everything became slow, everything paced down to a minimum as I saw a glimpse of something weird. . . A Jiralhanae Chieftain impaling a Sangheili straight through with his hammer, it started like a domino effect, confusion ran haywire as we fought, it was a war on many fronts and everything was a target.

“Push forward! Push, push them back!” Taylor barked across the COMs as they got out of cover. Pushing forward, weapons aimed high as every shot hit something or someone.

Spartans and Marines fought along with us, many of them falling along with us it was slaughter but it wasn’t long until I saw something, a bright flash of green, at the last second coming straight towards us, there was nothing I could do, I only tossed myself to the side and hoped for the best – but the sheer force of the explosion sent me flying to the side, being covered all over by that green, molten fuel that composed those fiery green rods, I hit myself against the nearest piece of debris planted in the ground, a piece of concrete wall as my head landed right against it, I then fell on the ground with a loud thud and I took a few last glances at the fight that raged on around me as everything became blurry, everything became cloudy lights flying across my sight then. . . Everything went pitch black.


21st of August, 2557

Light slowly came back to me, consciousness still wavering as I laid on the black, dusty dirt covered in snow which had been contaminated of its beautiful colour with colours of red and black, it had been a trap and they were lured straight into it by the New Colonial Alliance, Mack and Rogers dead their bodies roasting with amok and smoke as Egerton groaned Hogans not far from him entirely motionless; he figured he had suffered the same fate as his two other teammates, there was, however, a sharp pain in his body as he tried to move, the explosion had been so close to him and he laid motionless there as he only emitted sounds through his helmet, his eyes moving around frantically as he regained consciousness, enough to slowly move and begin to drag himself away in the dirt, his arms in pain just as much as the remainder of his body; but one thing bothered him more of everything else that could possibly bother him in this moment, right now.

 

He couldn’t feel his legs. . . So he continued to drag himself in a futile attempt of an escapade, as he began hearing other voices, laughter, even wheezing as the very thing that the CMA had taught him he put in practice; to drag himself across the dirt like a pig, he did not dare look behind him, he didn’t want to put much thought on his legs, everything that surrounded him until a figure approached him slowly, he could hear the steps on the dirt as he continued to drag himself away he only but intended to go faster despite the pain this caused him until at the very last second he felt a kick in his gut which caused him to turn over his helmet’s visor cracked entirely, alerts all over his HUD painted in reddish hue, there was still a massive amount of pain that spiked here and so he screamed in pain as his voice was muffled by the helmet he wore. He felt as if his gut had shot out of his body and his ribs were totalled.

“Looking for this?” The woman who stood before him spoke with a sneer of disgust towards the man who dragged himself before her, a large pool of blood that led to him before him being created solely by a funny fact, a funny fact that this woman held in her hand; an armoured leg that had been entirely severed from someone’s body. . . He didn’t know whose leg that was. . . But then he looked down slowly and everything he saw was that trail of blood that led to him, and his missing leg while the other was entirely shattered and dismembered, thus pain spiked through his body as the realisation came and the adrenaline wore off as the man began to scream in pain.

The woman unclipped her M6C magnum amidst screams and whine, aimed the gun straight at the man’s head and squeezed the trigger as the loud bang overcame everything there was, which silenced everything in the surroundings for what seemed an eternity and then the birds flew away flapping their wings and another shot followed, then another.

“Disgusting..” The woman spoke with a sneer as she spat on the dirt nonchalantly, then aimed the gun at Hogans and finished him off as well with a single shot to the head from where she stood, then she casts a glance to everyone else who stood there watching, and raised a brow. “Are we not gonna clean this?” She said nonchalantly.

She clipped her Magnum pistol onto her holster on her thigh and began to walk away from the bodies, as she left everything that they had done behind her, those bodies lying in the dirt as everything returned to a sense of normality around the location, not hesitating to leave behind these bodies as a remnant of forgotten history, as a remnant of a war fought, as an apathetic monument of hell. So were they called Helljumpers.

I guess the war had finally caught up to me. . . I had been destined for this all along because the war found me.