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    Valkryie's Ascent

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    Valkryie's Ascent Empty Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 24th 2015, 2:01 am

    Hello and welcome to a story actually following Dawn for a change. At first, it may not seem entirely like a Halo story for obvious reasons. This is merely the prologue. As we go along, we're going to follow the life of Dawn Harlowe, a story I've been interested in writing for some time.

    There will be points, as I've said, that will not feel like Halo. That is because this story is less about the Halo side of things, and to further strengthen Blaine's humanity, and how his tutelage in Dawn's life, will shape her into the person you will see at the end of this story.

    This story will take place a few years after her birth, narrated by Blaine. It begins around the time of Spartan Ops, when she is five. That all said, please enjoy.
    February 16th, 2558

    One week after the Requiem Campaign begins.

    UNSC Aura of Armageddon.

    'The mythical creature of Death is much like the Valkyries of Norse Mythology. It decides who stays in this world, and those that move on to the next.'

    "I hope he's okay." Autumn sighed, sipping her glass of coffee.

    "Blaine?" the boisterous Doctor Bailey chuckled. "He'll be fine, he's got quite the track record."

    Dawn sat in the high chair beside the two women, bubbling as she mimicked her mother, sipping from a sippy cup filled with apple juice. Autumn smiled at her daughter, wiping up a slight amount of slobber on her daughter's chin.

    "So did many Spartan II's. People are lead to believe they are practically invincible, but he and I know full well that they aren't."

    "Ah, but that doesn't stop him, does it?" Bailey winked, turning her head towards Dawn. "You and I both know why that is. It's not just because of the Spartan II Oath to Order anymore."

    Dawn turned her attention to Bailey, producing a cute smile for the woman. Bailey returned the smile, patting Dawn on the top of the head. Autumn smiled briefly, before staring at her coffee.

    "That's what I'm afraid of." Autumn shook her head. "With her in his life now, he's been much more... aggressive."


    "Boots on the ground Spartans!" Blaine barked, hands gripped firmly around the S.A.W. in his hands. "Let's show these Forerunner assholes just who owns the Universe now!"

    Stomping out of the Golden Eagle's troop bay, Blaine's trigger clicked, the light machine gun in his hand unloading hell on the enemy's position. Forerunner Knights' face plates opened, revealing the luminescent orange skulls beneath.

    After New Phoenix... we got sloppy. Blaine growled mentally. We need to fight these bastards out here. Dawn and Autumn had been in the city the day before that attack.

    The bullets from his S.A.W rained down upon the hulls of Knight's bulky bodies. After a full clip, three Knights slowly evaporated into deep orange clouds of data. Unhooking his sidearm from his hip, he popped five rounds at the Watcher looming over head, the beast dropping to the ground in bits.

    The Spartans to his left and right took a knee, firing their various weapons at the encroaching Crawler enemies. One pounced David to his right, Blaine snatched the robotic beast by the neck, tossing it to the ground. Before it could scamper away, he placed a knee on it's back, ripping both of it's mandibles clean off.


    "When he was indoctrinated into the Spartan II program, he was led to believe that fighting for Earth and her colonies was all he had for a purpose." Bailey shook her head.

    "Virtues that you are told to believe in, and virtues that you believe in with your heart are entirely different. He may truly care for the sake of humanity, but coming from a childhood like that, Family may be the only anchor he has to his Humanity."

    Autumn frowned, clutching the cup a little tighter. She had heard the tortuous stories that had been the Spartan II training program. She couldn't imagine being ripped from your home, starved, beaten... broken. Just to have a gun shoved in your hands and forced to fight a battle that wasn't even yours.

    "Yeah, I guess that explains it." Autumn nodded.


    'In Spartan Boot Camp, Aiken once told me he believed in Valhalla, the afterlife of the Warrior.'

    Ben growled as his shotgun flared, the shot expanding outwards, shattering the shield of an Elite. Within a heartbeat, his knife plunged itself into the Sangheili's neck, kicking it's chest, Ben ripped his knife free. Turning on his boots, he flung the knife at the nearest Grunt.

    The Grunt cascaded to the ground in a heap, Ben pumped a fresh shell into his shotgun, as a pair of Jackals trotted in his direction. Turning to the Grunt's corpse, he claimed one of it's plasma grenades. Priming the blue sphere, he flung the grenade with precision towards the duo.

    'At the time, I had laughed at the idea, but he had been convinced.

    "They don't allow ONI into Valhalla", he had always said.'

    One of the Jackals primed it's Needler, firing the homing purple/pink needles at the Spartan. Ben flinched for a millisecond as the projectiles riddled his armor. David and Naomi turned as there was a violent explosion of purple. Naomi stood stunned, while David's grasp on his BR tightened.

    The Plasma Grenade Ben threw had stuck itself to the Jackal's needler, detonating the pair of bird-like creatures. More Grunts and Jackals encroached on Ben's prone body. His HUD indicated that Ben was in a critical condition, but he was alive. Thrusting his knee up and into a Grunt's chin, David roared as his BR chirped to life. Bursts of three bullets sprayed over the miniature horde.

    Naomi, however, sprinted towards Ben, sliding along the ground. Placing her DMR aside, she placed a hand on her older brother's shoulders. There was a cough beneath his helmet, as he snatched her pistol. Aiming it directly above her helmet, the round met purchase in a Crawler's face.

    Blaine took a knee near Ben's location, his fully reloaded S.A.W firing in bursts at enemies that attempted to approach them. Ben's hand clasped Naomi's, as another Golden Eagle descended on their location. With David holding the enemy's off, Blaine gently lifted Ben over his shoulder, Naomi lifting her rifle to help David. Shoulder carrying one of his adopted children, Blaine silently placed Ben in the troop bay.

    Whistling to the other two, David and Naomi finished the rest of the current wave of enemies. Trotting towards the troop bay, he motioned for them to get on. Tapping the side of the machine, Naomi and David shook their heads, as Blaine took Naomi's DMR from her possession.


    Autumn's eyes widened, however, as blood began to pour out of Dawn's nose. The once smiling girl frowned, her eyes slowly rolling to the back of her head. Screaming, Autumn pushed herself off of the table, as Bailey sprang to action. Cradling her toddler in her arms, Autumn and Bailey hustled to the medical bay of the Aura.

    Placing her on the table as gently as she could, Bailey placed a hand on Autumn's chest, pushing her back a ways. Leaning over the girl, Bailey began to call out for medication, the AI she used as an assistant used it's mechanical arm to collect the items for her.


    Blaine stomped forward, DMR across his chest, as Sangheili Warriors, Knights, and even Grunts roared at him. Standing there, he felt the wave of energy as the Eagle sped off. The enemies raised their weapons to the Spartan, whom just stood there, unfazed. The artificial sun produced by Requiem glinted off of his black Recon visor.

    Dashing forward, his shoulder crumpled the metal of one of the Knights. Smashing the butt of his DMR in it's face, he turned in one fluid motion, firing his DMR into the head of one of the Grunts's heads. The small alien chittered as blood squirted out of it's forehead, the Plasma Grenade it primed adhered itself to it's hand. Crawlers and Jackals near the alien were evaporated by the cobalt explosion that ensued.

    One Sangheili slashed with it's energy sword, Blaine backstepped, firing his DMR as he did so. Blue energy splashed across the Elite's chest as it's shields began to fail. Firing one last round into it's neck, the beast dropped it's blade. Once more, Blaine drove his shoulder into the beast, folding it over.

    Turning towards a Lancer Knight, Blaine held the DMR up, the super heated blade of the Lancer sliced through the weapon. Tossing the halves aside, he grabbed the base of it's blade, planting his boot in it's chest. With one mighty tug, the sword and the arm came clear off. The Knight responded by opening it's face plate, once again revealing the skull. Blaine's left fist shot out, fast as a viper, and smashed the orange skull.

    As time drew on, another Golden Eagle descended, this time with some other Spartan IVs. Trotting out of the troop bay, they Spartans covered the Spartan II as he entered the ship. Piling in after him, the Golden Eagle ascended to the heavens once more, as MAC rounds smashed the position.


    Bailey quivered for a moment, as she placed her right hand over her mouth. Autumn's eyes widened as she attempted to approach her daughter.

    "That's not wise, Mrs. Harlowe." the AI replied with a shake of her head. "Your Daughter is in critical condition, I would recommend placing her in cryo until more extensive work can be done."

    "She can be saved." Bailey nodded. "But we need her."

    "She's a war criminal." Autumn growled.

    "She's on the Infinity now. It's Dawn's only chance. We NEED Halsey."


    Blaine's helmet malfunctioned, the damage he had received during the fight had been too strenuous for the old model. Ripping it off of his head, he tossed it to the side, sprinting for the medical bay.

    David and Naomi stood over Ben, who had already been hooked into the machine. Palmer stood there, shaking her head lightly. Slight tears formed in her eyes, before she saluted Blaine, stepping out of the room. Blaine's fists clenched as he glanced at Ben, the Spartan's entire right side had been burned by the needler's explosion.

    David brushed his hand on Naomi's shoulder, before approaching Blaine. Escorting him out of the room, David sighed, his adoptive father staring down at him.

    "It's not good." David said. "Doctor's say they can try and vat grow his internal organs destroyed by the explosion, but they doubt he can wait that long. Cryo will likely kill him in this state too."

    "God dammit." Blaine shook his head. "-and Naomi?"

    "Devastated, as expected." David frowned, turning towards the closed door.

    It was then that Blaine's wrist pad blinked. Frowning, Blaine clicked the comm.

    "Blaine, a little occupied right now." Blaine shook his head.

    "Are you in battle?" Autumn asked.


    "We're coming aboard the Infinity."

    "This is an active warzone, Autumn. I told you to stay on the Aura for a reason. You're supposed to be caring for Dawn."

    "That's exactly it. We need Halsey."

    "I'm sorry, say again?" Blaine shook his head. "You need Doctor Halsey?"

    Autumn's voice fell silent on the other side of the comm. Suddenly, her face appeared on Blaine's wrist pad. The camera displayed Dawn in a cryo tube, her eyes closed peacefully.

    "What's the matter with Dawn?" David asked, his eyes widened and glued to the screen.

    "I couldn't tell for certain, I've never seen anything like this before." Bailey's face appeared. "Seeings how she's the daughter of a Spartan II, I think Halsey may have better odds of telling."

    Blaine growled, clenching his fists as David placed a hand on his shoulder.

    "She's just sick, she's not dead." David said. "Halsey's on board, isn't she? You have the clearance, we need her."

    Blaine sighed, as he walked in the direction of the brig. A pair of ONI operatives stood guard at the door, weapons primed and at the ready, but at carry.

    "Official business with the Doctor, soldiers." Blaine said.

    "Negative Admiral." one of the operatives shook his head. "Spartan II involvement with Halsey is forbidden without an escort."

    "Doctor Bailey will be arriving shortly, I just need to talk to Halsey." Blaine said, holding the wrist pad up. "Bailey, can you confirm?"

    "I confirm. I'm en route to the Infinity with Mrs. Harlowe now, on a Golden Eagle. ETA 5 minutes. This is the matter of life or death."

    The Operatives looked amongst each other, before peering at Blaine. They took notice that his helmet wasn't on his head, meaning his shields were not active.

    "Trust me lads, if I wanted to kill you and break her out, I would've done it already." Blaine shook his head. "Please, allow me to pass."

    Sighing, the Operatives opened the door with a number imput. Blaine nodded respectfully, as one of the Operatives kept his distance, weapon trained on Blaine's head.

    There Halsey sat, on a cot, staring inquisitively at the wall. Blaine stepped forward, as the elderly woman began to stand in her usual, bold stature.

    "One-One-Five." Halsey said, a faint smile on her lips. "It's good to see you Blaine."

    "Mum." Blaine nodded his head respectfully. "There's been an emergency, something only someone with your expertise can handle."

    "I'm afraid I'm a prisoner of war, Spartan." Halsey frowned, showing her shackled hands. "I'm not allowed out of these quarters."

    "You are not a prisoner of war, mum." Blaine said, clenching his fist. "You are a war criminal. There is a difference."

    "Not in my eyes, one-one-five." Halsey replied harshly.

    "I'm not here to argue semantics over the Spartan II program." Blaine's eyes cast down on the floor. "I'm here because... it's an emergency."

    Halsey's wrinkled face softened as she glanced at the desperate look in Blaine's eyes. The same desperation she had seen many decades before, when she had recruited him for the Spartan program.

    "What's happened?" Halsey said softly.

    "I had a daughter, mum." Blaine shook his head. "She's gotten sick, and Doctor Bailey can't determine what's making her so ill. I don't know the full logistics... but, if you truly interested in making amends, I need your expertise."

    "I thought I had told you Spartans about the suppressed sex drives?" Halsey sighed. "It's very likely that your augments passed on to her biologically. That can have.. bad.. consequences on her health. I would need to examine her in a lab."

    Turning to the Operatives, they both frowned. One of them produced a picture of her husband and kids, kissing the picture.

    "It's the matter of a little kid." the Operative smiled. "So long as you allow us to escort you both, I'll allow it."

    "You can't be serious!" the other Operative hissed. "She is a War criminal! I'm sorry for your daughter, Admiral, but we are not running the risk of this monster getting loose. Especially to deal to the health of a civilian."

    "This man has done so much for you." Halsey said, approaching the bars. "Countless years of selfless sacrifice, valor, and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds. Something I can guarantee you would never be able to repay. All he wants is a family of his own to go home to, grant him this."

    Blaine turned his attention to Halsey, who held her shackles up to the bars. A smile formed on her face, as tears actually began to well up in her eyes. For once, Blaine saw legitimate remorse in her. Placing his hand up to the bar, he placed the glove over her hand.

    "Man to man." Blaine said, looking the Operative in the eye. "Not soldier to soldier. Let me help my kid."

    With a shake of his head, the Operative punched the code into the door, opening the door. Blaine stood back, as the first Operative came around, putting his rifle to her back.

    "You're out until the kid is helped, then you're going right back in." the Operative growled, as his partner smirked.

    "Harold, you DO have a heart!~" the other operative cooed.

    Harold grunted, the group working their way hastily towards the Medical bay. Blaine opened the door, as Naomi, David, Bailey, and Autumn turned to them. Dawn lay in the bed directly next to Ben, who meekly glanced over towards her.

    "Yo Dad." Ben said quietly. "My sis gonna be okay?"

    Blaine walked over, placing a hand on Ben's good hand. Halsey was unshackled, as the two Operatives trained their weapons on her. Dawn lay there, coughing quietly, dried blood under her nose.

    "What can you tell me of the patient, Bailey?" Halsey asked, slipping on a pair of gloves.

    "Nose bleed, her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Seemed like a standard seizure. When I ran the bioscan, however, it didn't list it as a seizure."

    Halsey sighed, as she sat down in the chair. The Operatives flagged David and Naomi to stand on the other side of Ben, while Blaine, Autumn, and Bailey stood back. Rolling it along the floor, Halsey went to work. Pulling down a screen, she grabbed the screen, dragging it down the length of Dawn.

    "It's not Parkinson's, which was a side effect of Spartan II augments." she mumbled to herself. "It isn't pulmonary heart disease."

    Dawn's eyes shuttered open, as she smiled at Halsey, who didn't notice her.

    "Y-you're Doctow Hawsey." Dawn smiled.

    Halsey stopped her movements for a moment, as the girl addressed her. Looking down at the toddler, Halsey glanced into the deep blue eyes.

    "She's got your eyes." Halsey said, staring into Dawn's eyes.

    "A-are you my grammy?" Dawn asked, as Halsey gently placed a hand on the girl's cheek.

    "Yeah kiddo, I'm your grandmother." Halsey said with a slight smile. "Now, can you point to where you hurt?"

    Dawn weakly nodded, moving her arm to her chest. Halsey dragged the screen over, scanning. It was then that Halsey's eyes widened, thankfully something that Dawn couldn't see.

    "Rest now, kiddo." Halsey said. "You'll be good as new soon."

    Standing, the Operatives kept their weapons trained on her, as she slowly shuffled to Blaine.

    "It's not good." she whispered. "It's as I feared, the augments you received have become biologically grafted in her. Her bones hold the same density as yours, almost everything you have is also hers."

    "But?" Blaine asked, fist clenched.

    "Her heart isn't strong enough. The augments are slowly starting to take effect, and, unlike you, she is too young."

    "Is there a way we can treat her?" Blaine asked, his head drooping.

    "She'd need a new heart, one already augmented. It would also need to be the same blood type as hers." Halsey frowned. "If you can get that, Bailey would just need to due a standard heart transplant procedure."

    "You're hiding something." Blaine shook his head.

    "The rest of her body is also augmented, even if you gave her the augmented heart... her body wouldn't know what to do." Halsey shook her head. "She would need to be fully augmented, if she is to survive."

    "Augmentations are expensive." Blaine clenched his fist. "If I used UNSC funding on this, she'd have to be a Spartan, or people would get pretty damn angry."

    "Sir." Ben said quietly from the back of the room. "What's her blood type?"

    "O positive." Halsey replied.

    "Perfect." Ben smiled, pointing to his chest. "Give her mine. I'm as good as dead anyways."

    Blaine turned to Ben, who smirked. Placing a hand over Ben's, Blaine shook his head.

    "Are you sure that's what you want, Ben? The Doctor's said they could potentially help you out."

    "Absolutely, sir." Ben nodded. "It's to help my baby sis. I might die on a hospital bed, but at least she could live her life."

    "That's noble of you." Halsey frowned. "But that still wouldn't cover the cost of a Spartan IV augment."

    The door opened, as Sarah Palmer smiled, a pair of Spartan IVs behind her.

    "I suppose that's where we come in." Palmer grinned. "You eggheads always worry about cost. Don't worry Admiral, I can start a ship wide fundraiser. You've done so much for us, it's time we pay you back."

    Blaine stood there, smiling proudly, as for the first time in public, tears began to well up in his eyes. Taking the chair beside his daughter, Blaine pressed a light peck on her forehead, before placing his head on her's.

    "Daddy? Am I sick?"

    "Yeah kiddo. It's okay though, you're gonna feel better soon." Blaine smiled, rubbing his thumb on her cheek. "Sleep for now."


    Weeks Later.

    "She's recovering well." Bailey smiled. "No doubt she'll still be in pain, but all things considered, she's doing good. Actually, better than good. She's probably great."

    "Good, Dad will be happy to hear." Naomi said, tears welling up in her eyes. "I'm just glad that his heart is still beating, especially considering how it's keeping our sister alive."

    Naomi and David hugged one another, glancing at the bed before them. Dawn laid there, out like a light, oxygen mask over her mouth.

    'After my son sacrificed his life to save his baby sister. I realized something about what Aiken had said. He hadn't been wrong, Death was a Valkyrie, and Ben had found his way to Valhalla, so that Dawn could live.'


    Blaine stood there, arms wrapped around the elderly lady, as the Operatives continued to train their weapons on them. He hugged the woman that, while she had ruined his life, she had also granted him a new one.

    It hadn't been glamorous, but the ends had justified the means, and yet again, she had saved him. Halsey smiled warmly, as if she had been hugging one of her own kids.

    Yes, I'm your Grandmother.

    'He had been wrong, however, in my eyes. Some ONI were an exception, they deserved Valhalla as much as anyone else.'



    Thanks for Reading!

    Freelancer Operative

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    Post  Manny on August 24th 2015, 9:58 pm

    I have the feeling this is more of a "Golden Heart" story. Is that true?
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 24th 2015, 10:03 pm

    It depends on what you would determine as a 'Golden Heart' story. This is just a spin off from Blaine's arch, now following Dawn. None of the Golden Heart themes will take part in this story, as I understand the story for Golden Heart wasn't well received.

    I'm actually leaning away from the whole theme of Golden Heart as a result. I actually stopped the other story I was writing solely because of how it was received, in that, it wasn't read. Eventually, I'll just remove it from the board and, yet again, rewrite that part of Blaine's life.

    Instead, this is just Dawn's story. Originally, I wanted her to become a school teacher, but as time went on, I started to ponder other ideas for her. If you're interested, this story will show just what I have in store.



    Thanks for Reading!

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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 12:15 am

    Chapter One: Something Different.

    September 22nd, 2560

    "C'mon Dawn, you've got to pay attention." Autumn sighed, as her seven year old stared out the window.

    They had been staying at one of their many temporary homes. With her father and mother being extremely busy leaders in the Military, Dawn had never had a home to exactly settle down in. She, much like her parents, were constantly on the move. If anything, the Aura of Armaggedon had been the closest thing to a home she had.

    In these rare occasions where she found herself on a Planet, she couldn't tear her eyes off of anything. More importantly, she was watching her father sitting outside in a lawn chair, with her grandfather beside him. Both of them sat by a body of water, something her dad had called a pond. She had been with him at the pond before, performing an act known as fishing.

    "Daddy's out fishing with Grandpa though." Dawn pouted. "Can I please go out and join them, Momma?"

    Autumn smiled, before shaking her head.

    "I'm sorry sweetie, your studies are much more important right now. If you complete today's lesson, I'll allow you to go fishing with them."

    Considering they had always been on the move, Dawn had many different tutors. She never was permitted to go to a public school, so that she could be with them. Instead, her father, her mother, her uncles, and even her brother David and sister Naomi had opted to be her mentors.

    Dawn sighed, her eyes still glued to her grandfather and dad. The two of them chuckled, as Blaine reeled in a massive trout. Holding it up with a beaming smile, Morgan threw his pole into the pond, stomping away in a frump.

    "-Ucking cheater! M- ow- son!" she could barely hear the words he was yelling out there.

    "C'mon pops!" she could hear her dad's booming voice. "Whatever happened to 'the apple never falls far from the tree'?"

    Autumn sighed as she pushed herself away from the table, leaving Dawn with the tablet for a moment. Opening the front door, her mother stepped out on the deck.

    "OYE!" she yelled. "Keep it down out here, you're distracting Dawn!"

    Dawn continued to stare, as the two men glanced at each other. In an oddly comedic way, they pointed at each other, Blaine, in his surprise, dropped the fish back into the lake. Falling to his knees, Blaine hung his head, as Morgan fell onto his back, laughing as he kicked his legs.

    After a moment, Morgan's laughs stopped, as he sat there, eyes wide. Dawn watched as Blaine stood with a chuckle, walking over towards the old man. Offering him a hand up, he gently rubbed Morgan on the back. After a reassuring shoulder tap, her father strode into the pond, retrieving the old man's pole.

    "C'mon Dawn." Autumn sighed, turning Dawn's head towards the tablet. "The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can do what you want to."

    Dawn sighed as her eyes peered over the tablet. Frowning, she lifted the stylus, as she began to scribble. Autumn smiled, before turning towards the kitchen. Preparing herself a glass of water, she turned back to the table. Walking over, she pulled a chair up next to her daughter, glancing over her shoulder.

    What she had seen, however, caused her to nearly drop the glass.

    I wish I had some friends.


    "It was perfectly spelled, Blaine." Autumn said, nearly in tears. "All this time, I never even thought of how lonely she must be."

    "I see." Blaine said, staring at the tablet.

    Sure enough, the sentence had been written in perfect English. Shaking his head, Blaine sighed, placing it on the table. It had been some time after the struggle the Universe had suffered with the Guardians, and there had been some resounding peace in the Galaxy for once.

    As such, he found less and less time for ground ops. There were still meetings galore, but at least they were tethered to Earth for some time. Turning to Autumn, he shook his head.

    "Perhaps the best option for us all to get what we want... is to put her in Public School?" Blaine shrugged.

    His family was not too good for Public School, but with their constant moving, they couldn't commit in the past. Hence why they had resorted to their version of home schooling,

    "I considered it, so I inquired. Problem is, without any proper identification, we can't get her into any schools. Not to mention, with those augments, she'd likely be bullied."

    "She wants friends, Autumn. She won't find them hanging around us all the time. How long is the waiting list? Aren't there other options? Earth is a pretty decent sized Planet?"

    "The school that would accept her is pretty... inclusive. All other schools won't accept her because of her augments.  This one is the only one that would, but the waiting list is going to be a couple of years." Autumn shook her head. "I even looked for other schools in the Solar System. None of them would include her either."

    "That's really... uncouth." Blaine growled, clenching his fists. "It's the twenty sixth century, you'd think petty bias would be out by now."

    "You'd think. Especially after that whole debacle over Spartans always saving the day." Autumn sighed. "What will we do?"

    "We stay our course until a spot opens up." Blaine sighed with a shrug. "We can't stop her lessons though, but perhaps we can try an alternative means."


    Blaine sat on Dawn's bed, gently rustling her awake. His daughter's eyes slowly cracked open, as he smiled. She shook the sleepiness out of her eyes, sitting up.

    "Daddy?" she asked quietly, still half asleep.

    "Mornin' kiddo." Blaine said. "It's time for your lessons."

    Dawn turned her head to the window, where the stars glistened in the sky. Turning her head in confusion, her father placed his hand on the top of her head, patting her.

    "We're going star gazing!" he said. "We're going to teach you about some cool constellations!"

    Stepping out of the room, Blaine silently chuckled to himself as he heard his daughter scramble for her day clothes. After a few moments, the door cracked open, his daughter standing there at the ready. Holding up her sweatshirt, he helped her into it, before hoisting her up onto his shoulders; her favorite place.

    As they stepped outside, Autumn stood there in a heavy jacket. She still wasn't really accustomed to the chill that the night-time air in Vermont bolstered. Next to her, a strange metallic tube had been set up.

    "That's called a telescope." Blaine smiled, placing Dawn by it. "You look in the small end, and point for the stars."

    Dawn looked at the machine with curiousity, as she placed her eye a far enough distance from the lens. With her father's guidance, she stared at the luminescent sky with wonder.

    "That's space. That's where we always go whenever we need to go somewhere off of Earth." Blaine said. "If you can believe it, people hundreds of years ago rarely ever went there. Only a select few could. Pretty cool, huh?"

    "Yeah!" Dawn said, as she began to swivel the machine on her own accord.

    "So tonight's lesson will be about Constellations." Blaine said, pointing towards a cluster of stars. "Can you see my finger?"

    Pointing his finger towards the sky, in the way of her telescope, Dawn nodded. Following a path of stars, he instructed her to think of a dot to dot.

    "Can you guess what I'm drawing?" Blaine asked.

    "A horsey?" Dawn asked, removing her eye from the telescope for a second.

    "Close. It's actually a Goat." Blaine smiled, as Dawn giggled. "His name is Capricorn. He is a constellation. He actually has a story, would you like to hear it?"

    Dawn smiled, before nodding.

    "Very good. Long long ago, when even the Earth was young, there was a group of people. They believed in this group of immortal people. You've heard of God. These people believed in a lot of Gods. One in particular was named Zeus."

    "Like your robot?" Dawn asked, in reference to his personal AI.

    "Yes, like my AI Zeus." Blaine nodded. "Zeus was King of the Gods, and he lived on a mountain named Olympus. But before he had been the King, he had been a little kid like you."


    "Yep. Worse still, his father was not very nice to Zeus. In fact, he had eaten Zeus' brothers Poseidon and Hades."

    "That's not very nice." Dawn frowned.

    "Before his father, Cronos, could eat Zeus, however, he had been saved by his mother. His mother, in fear of Cronos, left Zeus in the care of Capricornus, a humble, very wise Goat. It was said that Cronos found Capricornus and Zeus, and Capricornus protected him, breaking one of her horns in the process."

    "Owie." Dawn frowned. "Was Capwicownus alright?"

    "Yes." Blaine smiled, "In fact, Capricornus had managed to scare off Cronos for a time. Her horn became a giant cornucopia, a hollowed out basket thing filled with fruits and vegetables for Zeus to eat. When Zeus grew up, he fought his Father and freed his brothers from Cronos' stomach."

    "Yay!" Dawn cheered.

    "Capricornus, for her services to the King, was gifted immortality. As a symbol of her wisdom, and caring service, she was placed in the night sky as a constellation. For all to thank." Blaine smiled. "I was born under Capricornus' sign."

    "Really?" Dawn asked, as Blaine chuckled with a nod.

    "Yep. Along with the legend, it is said that the planet Saturn gives Capricornians power." Blaine smiled. "Power for order, truth, and patience. We are known to be keepers of Karma."

    Dawn stood there, staring at the mental image of Capricorn for a moment, her eyes staring with wonder.

    "What about me?" Dawn asked. "What constellation was I born under?"

    Blaine smiled, as he instructed her to return to the telescope. Searching his eagle eyes across the sky. Frowning, he realized that Virgo wouldn't be noticeable at this time of year. Instead, he traced his fingers along as best as he could to make the shape of the Virgin.

    "That's Virgo." Blaine said, winking to Autumn, who nodded. "By that same group of people, Virgo was known as Demeter. The goddess of Agriculture and Lawfulness."

    "She was Zeus' younger sister." Blaine continued. "She was a kind Goddess, tending to the people of Earth. She brought them food, but she also presided over the laws of the world. She was the one that chose when it was time for someone to naturally..."

    "There I had gone again. I thought about what Aiken had said, about Valkyries and Death."

    "What's the matter Daddy?" Dawn asked, as Blaine had stopped. "She chose when it was time for someone to what?"

    Blaine paused, as he glanced to the earth for a moment.

    "She chose when people should live, or when it was time for them to go to Hades." Blaine sighed.

    "Who is Hades?" Dawn asked.

    "Her and Zeus' eldest brother. He was the god of the dead, sweetie."

    Dawn's eyes widened, as she shuffled her feet.

    "I don't want to be that." Dawn asked. "Can't I pick another one."

    "It's not a bad thing." Blaine smiled, crouching beside her, wrapping an arm around her neck. "She gave much more life and happiness people, than she killed. In fact, she didn't kill anyone."

    "Demeter is a good woman, just like you will be one day." Blaine smiled.

    With that, Dawn wrapped her arms around his neck. With a mighty yawn, she tugged, as if to ask to be picked up. Chuckling, Blaine hoisted her off of the ground.

    "Your right kiddo, that's enough lessons for one night." Blaine yawned himself. "Goodness, I'm getting as bad as the old man."



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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 25th 2015, 2:12 am

    I like the different feel that this story has. I also like the references back to Randall a lot as well, especially with the overarching theme. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. Keep it up man, I'm still reading.
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 2:23 am




    Thanks for Reading!

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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 25th 2015, 10:03 am

    Colonel Aiken is actually the Spartan Randall (as mentioned in Nightfall).
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 1:02 pm

    Yeah, I actually thought of that shortly after I posted my last. I forgot Spartan Randall-037 was his name. Anyways, thanks for reading so far!



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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 25th 2015, 3:09 pm

    I live to serve. Keep it up.
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 5:39 pm

    Chapter Two: Asgard Academy

    August 28th, 2563

    Dawn sat there, head down as her father yelled in the other room. She didn't like it when he was angry, she always felt that he should never be angry. Not because she feared him, he was never angry with her. She just felt that he didn't deserve to be angry.

    Over the years, she had become really good at hearing things. Moreso than most people she had known. She had always asked her dad if she was different, and he'd always freeze for a moment, ignoring the question if possible.

    "We WAITED for this moment for three FUCKING years!" she heard Blaine growl in the other room. "You were the only School in the entire UNIVERSE that would accept her, and now you're saying she's not good enough?! How dare you!"

    "Admiral, sir. It's not that we don't believe she's not good enough, it's quite the contrary. Your daughter is much too advanced for the standard third or fourth Grade courses we have available. We're not too good for her, she's too overtly qualified for us."

    "Bullshit! This isn't a fucking workplace, there is no over qualifications for school! I want her admitted in here, or I'll go to the board and tell them how you refused a child's education. That precious funding you get from them may suffer. You want that?!"

    Dawn's eyes began to well up with tears. Was it her? Did they just not like her? She had done what her father had said months prior, when she was interviewed to be in the school. She was trying to impress the woman, but also her father too.

    "No sir. We don't want to lose our funding. But facts are facts, if we place your daughter in with his grade group, it will cause complications for her, her fellow students, and even the faculty. It has nothing to do with her, we're just looking out for the students already in attendance."

    "Than you either will work for an alternative that gets her in this school, or I'd better get a fucking refund. I didn't pay you assholes in advanced for my daughter to be schooled, just so you could pocket it and deny her an education!" Blaine growled. "I'll have you know, I'm usually a very patient man. But I will not tolerate someone messing with my daughter, do I make myself clear?"

    There was a thump in the other room, causing Dawn to jump. Thankfully, she could tell it was just Blaine's fist hitting the woman's desk.


    "Y-yes sir." the woman replied shyly.

    "Good. Get your shit together, I want a clear answer within the week, or I'm coming for that refund." Blaine growled, walking out the door, slamming it behind him.

    Glass shattered, as Dawn flinched. Blaine stood there, fists clenched. Turning back towards the glass, her father yelled through the open door.

    "I'm not paying for that either!" he snarled. "C'mon Dawn, let's go home."

    Dawn stood up, as she walked alongside her father, who strode much faster than she could keep up with. When he realized he was moving too fast for her, he slowed his pace, before stopping altogether. Turning to her, he realized she was sobbing now. Sinking to a knee, he wrapped his arms around her.

    "It's me, isn't it?" Dawn cried. "I'm different from everyone."

    "No kiddo, it's not you." Blaine said, kissing the top of her head. "It's just people being dishonest, something I can't stand. You're not in trouble, and it's not your fault. I promise."

    It was then that they heard the footfalls of boots trotting down the halls. Blaine tensed, as he stood, standing in front of Dawn. Sure enough, a pair of guards in camo pants and black tee-shirts approached him. One of them grabbed Blaine's massive right forearm, while the other took his left.

    "You're being asked to leave the building sir, we've been told to use extreme force."

    "You Spartans?" Blaine smirked, as the two men ignored the question. "Are you Spartans?"

    "No sir. We're not those genetic freaks." One of them spat on Blaine's chest.

    "I see."

    Wrapping his right arm around, he was able to wrench the man off of his forearm. Using the crook of his arm to pin the guard's neck, meanwhile, he stomped his leg on the other man's shin, splintering his leg in half. The man shrieked in pain, as Blaine threw the man on his right into some lockers on the wall. Before the man on his left could respond, Blaine's boot smashed the bottom of his jaw, launching him into the opposite wall.

    "Here's something you should know about me, then." Blaine growled as the two men groaned. "Don't you ever fucking touch me when I'm pissed."

    Blaine sighed, as he turned towards Dawn. Hoisting her onto his shoulders, he stepped out of the building with her in tow. Stepping out into the light, the two of them covered their eyes from the Sun's blinding rays.

    "I'm sorry you had to see that, Dawn." Blaine shook his head. "You don't deserve that, I'm sorry."

    "Are they going to be okay?" Dawn asked, turning back towards the automatic door.

    "They won't fell good for a while, but they'll be okay." Blaine sighed. "Sorry Kiddo, but this school isn't the one I want for you."

    "Sir?" a man called out from the parking lot, trotting over.

    Dawn noticed as the man, whom was well dressed, stopped just before the two of them.

    "You must be Mr. Harlowe. I'm terribly sorry, I rushed the moment Agatha messaged me. I'm the Principal of this school. My name is Dean Harrison." Dean had replied. "I was supposed to attend the meeting today, but I got caught up in traffic. Please, let's come inside and discuss things. I understand you paid a considerable amount of credits in advanced to secure your Daughter a spot in the school."

    Pausing for a moment, Dean glanced up at her with a smile.

    "Ah, this must be Dawn. Hello there!" he waved, before offering up a hand.

    "Hands off, Mr. Harrison. I'm still not in the best of moods." Blaine warned, as Harrison's eyes widened.

    "Yes sir." Harrison replied with a shaky nod. "Shall we go inside? I'd like to work something out with you."

    "What's to work out? Your associate prinicpal made it quite clear she doesn't want Dawn to attend, and then she sent guards after us. Do you know what this has done to my daughter? She hates to see me when I'm angry, and right now, I'm above angry. I'm livid."

    "Understandably, sir." Dean said.  "I assure you, there will be no guards, and I will assure you that with everything in my power, Dawn will be able to attend this school."

    "Now this is progress." Blaine smirked. "Fine, let's go discuss. This time, I want Dawn in the room. She deserves to be a part of it, just like anyone else."

    "As long as you don't shatter my desk, like Agatha's, I see no reason why she shouldn't." Dean chuckled. "Right this way, Mr. Harlowe. Do not worry about the damages, I will see to it that they are paid for, at no cost to you."


    "Dean, this cannot be allowed." Agatha sighed, staring fearfully at Blaine. "She's much too overly qualified for the fourth grade course!"

    "We're a school." Dean shook his head with a sigh. "We don't turn away students for over qualification. It pains me enough when we turn students away for under qualification. Dawn Harlowe is a bright little girl, and we can make efforts to get her in the school."

    "I'm concerned that she'll risk bullying from the Faculty or the student body themselves." Agatha shrugged.

    "It's our job as leaders of the school, to deal with these cases, is it not?" Dean asked, his eyes brightening. "Mr. Harlowe is a war-hero, and wants his daughter to have a good life. Who are we, as civilians, to deny a hero such a dream?"

    "Irresponsible ones." Agatha hissed, before whispering in his ear. "She's not normal."

    Blaine began to stand, as Dean held out a hand, ushering him to please sit. Glaring angrily at his associate prinicipal, Dean growled, as the woman began to back away.

    "Mr. Harlowe, we ask that you please cover Dawn's ears." Dean sighed, as Blaine hesitantly did so. "Is she augmented, sir?"

    "Yes. She was augmented years ago because of health issues, without them, she would be dead." Blaine said, thinking about that fateful day. "She has no military training though, and she wouldn't hurt a fly. If you fear her augments would cause her to bully students, or to hurt students, I can assure you she won't."

    "I have no doubt that your daughter is very well behaved, however, it should be noted that she could pose a threat to the school body if she were to ever... snap." Dean sighed. "She's coming into her teenage years soon, I assume? Her emotions will be so mixed, anything could set her off. We don't have Spartans on campus to subdue her, if that should happen."

    "I'll grant you a team of Spartan IVs as guards, then. That way, they can keep an eye on her, and help out if something goes wrong. But I know my daughter, she wouldn't do anything of which you suggest."

    "It's all coverage, Mr. Harlowe. I hope you of all people would understand the importance of covering your basis." Dean nodded, as Blaine uncovered her ears. "That being said, the issue is also putting her in a class of her level. In our aptitude test, she exceeded with flying colors. Heck, she even knew the fabled origin of the constellation Capricorn."

    Ever since Blaine and Autumn had attempted the hands on approach to teaching Dawn, she had really retained the night of the constellations. It had almost been as if she believed the stories. Blaine had always found it cute, even going so far as to buying her a goat plushie, which she named Capricorn. Fluffykins, of course, was jealous as could be.

    "Her reading level is well above the grade school level, Mr. Harlowe. Impressive as this is, I believe starting her out in middle school may be your best bet."

    "She's ten." Blaine said in disbelief. "Doesn't middle school start with twelve and thirteen year olds?"

    "Indeed, but what's the harm?" Agatha shrugged, as Blaine glared at her.

    "The harm, Ms Wallowitz, is that my daughter's classmates would be pre-teens. Her age would likely get her bullied."

    "It's the best I can do, Mr. Harlowe. I'm terribly sorry." Dean shook his head. "If it brings you comfort, I will have my faculty keep an eye on her. If I have a chance, I will even keep an eye on her myself."

    "Fine," Blaine sighed. "But if I hear of one isolated incident, you'll be hearing from me."

    "Understood, Admiral." Dean smiled. "I'll do everything in my power to keep that from happening. If you and your wife would like, we can start her tomorrow. Does this work for you?"

    Blaine looked down to his right, where she had been standing. She beamed with excitement, as he grinned. Hugging her tightly, he turned his attention back to Dean.

    "That sounds perfect." Blaine nodded. "Thank you, Mr. Harrison."

    "Please, sir." Dean nodded. "Call me Dean."

    "Fair enough," Blaine stood, walking over to the desk, hand outstretched. "Blaine."

    "I'm glad we could work something out, Blaine." Dean nodded. "-and Dawn?"

    At the sound of her name, Dawn perked up, nervously walking over to the desk beside her father.

    "Yes, Mr. Harrison?" she asked.

    "We're very excited to have you join our school." he smiled. "Welcome to Asgard Academy."

    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on August 28th 2015, 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total



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    Post  Manny on August 25th 2015, 8:42 pm

    Shad0wChas3r wrote:It depends on what you would determine as a 'Golden Heart' story. This is just a spin off from Blaine's arch, now following Dawn. None of the Golden Heart themes will take part in this story, as I understand the story for Golden Heart wasn't well received.

    I'm actually leaning away from the whole theme of Golden Heart as a result. I actually stopped the other story I was writing solely because of how it was received, in that, it wasn't read. Eventually, I'll just remove it from the board and, yet again, rewrite that part of Blaine's life.

    Instead, this is just Dawn's story. Originally, I wanted her to become a school teacher, but as time went on, I started to ponder other ideas for her. If you're interested, this story will show just what I have in store.
    I assumed it was a Golden Heart story because you said it was going to be a little different.

    I am also not sure how you came to conclusion that Golden Heart wasn't liked. I read your story, during that long ass time where I didn't log in. During that same long ass time, no one else was reading other people's stories. I don't feel like anyone was avoiding Golden Heart in particular.

    ANYWAYS, I like where this story is going. I have one question though.

    In Ghosts of Onyx isn't it mentioned that the augmented Spartan IIIs. who are actually around 14, had the bodies of 18 year old Olympians... or something like that? So if Dawn was augmented, at a young age, wouldn't she look older?

    I assume the difference between Spartan III and IV augments isn't massive, considering both have 100% survival rates.

    Not sure on this one, since we have no solid evidence of Spartan IV augment side effects on children.
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 8:47 pm

    Don't worry, it's going to be addressed in following chapters. To Blaine, she's still pretty tiny, as one may assume. To her fellow classmates, she will most definitely be a little bigger than average ten year olds.

    As for the Golden Heart thing, I'll consider keeping it around.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 25th 2015, 10:29 pm

    The Following Day

    "Attention everyone!" the young, boisterous teacher smiled. "We have a new student joining us today."

    The twelve and thirteen year olds chuckled, throwing balls of paper and erasers at each other, as the woman gently beat her fist against the desk. After a moment, the students calmed down, before focusing on the teacher.

    "Her name is Dawn Harlowe, and we're going to do everything in our power to make her feel welcome, okay?" the teacher asked, as the students looked amongst each other.

    "Is she hot?" one of the boys in the back called.

    "Kent, that's enough." the teacher flashed him a look. "Come on in, Dawn."

    The class watched with bated breath as the door lifted, the small black haired girl walked in, head down. All of the boys in the class howled with laughter, as many of the girls squeaked.

    "That's enough!" the teacher said, hitting the desk again. "She's very shy, but we're going to make her feel welcome."

    "She's ten!" one of the boys yelled. "Shouldn't she be out in the sandbox?!"

    "That used to be you, Donald." one of the girls chuckled.

    "Amelia, thank you." the teacher said. "Dawn, my name is Ms. Mayflower. Why don't you introduce yourself to the class?"

    "I'm Dawn." Dawn turned, shuffling her feet. "I hope we can be friends."

    Mayflower smiled, as she placed a gentle hand on Dawn's shoulder. Odd enough to the woman, the ten year old stood nearly as tall as her other students. Her youth was mostly contained in her face.

    "Go ahead and pick a seat. If it doesn't work out, we can always move you."

    Glancing about the room, numerous of the boys all glared at her. Some of the girls gave her those same looks too, but when her eyes fell on a particularly friendly smile, she shuffled to the desk nearest her.

    "My name is Sona." the girl smiled, as Dawn nodded with a faint smile. "You must be pretty smart if you moved up to a middle school class, huh?"

    "I guess." Dawn said shyly. "It was the only way that Mr. Harrison would let me into the school."

    Ms. Mayflower cleared her throat, as a few of the class turned their attention towards her. On the wall behind her, Dawn recognized the image of a half snake, half woman. Snakes appeared to be slithering off the top of the woman's head, as if it had been hair.

    "Medusa." Dawn whispered to herself.

    "What was that, Dawn?" Mayflower asked, turning around. "Do you know who this is?"

    "Yes." Dawn shook her head, inciting laughter from the others in the class.

    "Yeah right! This isn't some fluffy pony named Charm Dash!" one of the boys sneered. "As if you would know."

    "Kent, one more warning and you're out of here." Mayflower warned. "Go on, Dawn. Who do you think this is, give it your best guess."

    "Medusa." Dawn spoke clearly. "The first Gorgon. She was a loyal follower of Athena, the warrior Goddess of wisdom. It was at one point, Poseidon, the God of land and sea, took Medusa's faith."

    "Athena cursed Medusa to have the body of a snake, and her gaze would set any onlooker to stone." Dawn finished. "She was killed by Perseus, and her head later placed upon Aegis, the shield of Zeus."

    Mayflower, not to mention her fellow classmates, stared at Dawn in shock. Dawn looked around, cowering as Sona stared as well.

    "Was I wrong?" she asked shyly, as Mayflower shook herself out of her shock.

    "Er, no." Mayflower shook her head. "In fact, you're spot on. This is Medusa, the first Gorgon. She had a couple of siblings-"

    "Stheno and Euryale." Damn smiled.

    "Yes, the immortal Gorgons. Dawn, that's incredible."

    "Dad used to tell me a lot of stories." Dawn smiled. "He knew it was how I learned best."

    "I see." Mayflower smiled back. "Stay after class, I'd like to talk to you a bit more. For now, can you hold off on answering, so the others have a chance?"

    Dawn bowed her head, fearing she had done wrong.

    "You're not in trouble sweet-heart." Mayflower said. "The others just don't know about Medusa like we do. I need to teach them too, okay?"

    Dawn nodded without another word, as Sona gave a confused look at the girl sitting beside her.


    "-And that's all the time we have for today, class. Enjoy your lunch." Mayflower smiled, as most of the students piled out of the classroom in a rush.

    Of those that slowly walked out, many of them peered at Dawn, who sat there attentively, giggling amongst themselves as they walked out. Sona delayed for a moment, waiting for Dawn to leave, but when she realized the girl wasn't going to, she left as well.

    "Ugh, teenagers." Mayflower sighed, plopping herself in her chair, a small white stick entering her mouth.

    "Those are bad for you, Ms. Mayflower." Dawn said.

    Mayflower's eyes widened as she spat the cigarette out of her mouth, turning her eyes towards the girl at the desk. Rubbing her face, she leaned back, returning the cigarette to her mouth.

    "Hey sweetie, what're you still doing here, it's lunch?" she asked, before attempting to light the cig.

    At the sight of Dawn, however, Mayflower removed the cigarette, returning it to the carton. Dawn continued to sit there, attentively.

    "I didn't bring a lunch." Dawn said with a frown. "But you also asked me to stay, didn't you?"

    "Oh sweetie." Mayflower said. "That's right, I guess I did. Hold on."

    Standing up, Mayflower opened the door to her right, which Dawn assumed was a closet. Out of the closet came a big brown bag, which had been rolled up rather neatly. With a wave of her hand, Mayflower beckoned Dawn over. The girl hesitantly stood, while her teacher prepared a seat for her.

    Mayflower opened the bag, pulling out a paper plate, a plastic fork, and a trio of white containers. Dawn could smell the food inside the boxes, causing her stomach to grumble a little bit.

    "I guess you are hungry, huh?" Mayflower giggled. "I have to warm this stuff up, but get comfortable. I'll be right back."

    Walking away with the containers, Mayflower disappeared towards the back of the room, where there had been an off branching, almost side room. Dawn could hear the tell-tale pop of a microwave opening, along with the buzz of it whirring to life.

    After a couple of minutes, Mayflower returned, this time with a second plate and fork. Placing them before Dawn, she returned to the microwave and retrieved the small white containers. Once she arrived once more, she opened the containers, doling out equal portions on both Dawn's plate, and her own.

    "Oh ma'am. I can't take this." Dawn shook her head. "That's your lunch."

    "A hungry kid can't learn, sweetie." Mayflower smiled. "Besides, I couldn't eat this much anyways. Mr. Wilford across the hall will have to scrounge for himself today."

    Dawn looked at the plate for a moment, then down to the fork with unease. Picking it up, she swirled her fork around in the noodles. It was chinese food, something that her family rarely had. Taking a bite, she remembered how much she had actually enjoyed the taste.

    "Thank you." Dawn said shyly.

    "No, thank you for restoring my faith in the student body." Mayflower smiled. "Before you came along, I feared that there were hardly any kids willing to learn."

    "Really?" Dawn asked.

    "Yeah. Most of the kids here had parents in the military that fought in the Human Covenant war. They are more interested in signing up for the Military than actual knowledge. I'm a conscientious objector, personally."

    "What's that?"

    "It means I don't believe in the military, and I don't want to fight for it." Mayflower said, glaring at her noodles as she spun it around. "It's how I lost my brother, and my grandfather."

    "I'm sorry." Dawn frowned, as she scooped more noodles into her mouth.

    "You have that knack for learning, something I was slowly thinking was disappearing." Mayflower smiled. "But what I wanted to keep you here for, is to ask you how you knew so much about Greek Mythology?"

    "My father loves it." Dawn smiles. "He taught me it through the stars, constellations."

    "So your Dad is an astrologist?" Mayflower asked, as she took a bite of rice.

    "No, he's a Spartan." Dawn said, as Mayflower spat her rice across the desk.

    Dawn glanced with confusion at Mayflower, as she turned to Dawn, a look of worry on her face. To Dawn, the red-head's already pale face had turned ashen.

    "Ms. Mayflower-?"

    "-Harlowe. It's not that common, I should've known." Mayflower said, turning to Dawn. "You're his daughter, aren't you? Spartan One-One-Five?"

    "I guess that's his number." Dawn said, as she scooped another mouthful of noodles into her mouth. "He says he's the leader of the UCNS or something."

    "UNSC." Mayflower said, staring off at the far wall. "They said your parents had military background too, but I wasn't expecting this."

    "You don't hate me, do you?" Dawn asked, as Mayflower turned to her.

    Instead of speaking, Mayflower wrapped her arms around Dawn in a hug.

    "No sweetie, I don't hate you. Your father... served with my brother on Requiem. When he died, your father visited my family personally to apologize for our loss. Something I had never expected from such a high ranking militant." Mayflower smiled, as she pulled herself off of Dawn. "Your father has always been a hero to my family, if anything, I'm honored to be your teacher."

    Dawn smiled, as Mayflower pat her on the head. There was a beeping noise, as a small icon appeared in the air, from Mayflower's bracelet.

    "Oh, sorry sweetie, I have to take this call. Go ahead and take your food, the cafeteria should be down the hall and to your right."

    Dawn smiled, as she gently lifted the plate off of the desk. Walking away, the door opened for her, as she walked out. Dawn, however, didn't get more than a few feet as the plate was smacked out of her hands.

    "You may have the teacher fooled, freak, but you don't fool me." the guy Mayflower had referred to as Kent growled. "So, you think we're all dumb, is that it?"

    "No." Dawn frowned, the food splattered on her clothes and the floor. "I don't think anyone is dumb."

    "You're damned right." Kent growled, placing his hand around Dawn's throat, pinning her to the wall. "I don't care if you're a super tall, super smart ten year old. You are not better than me, and you won't find any friends here, got it?!"

    Dawn began to cough as her wind pipe was pinched by his grip, tears flowing down her cheeks. In the corner of her eyes, she saw Sona walking by, a pair of girls at her side. Sona watched with concern, but turned away, her head bowed down.

    "You're not welcome here, no matter how much that stupid teacher says so." Kent growled, as a couple more boys from the class appeared beside him.

    Dropping her on the ground, Kent began to walk away with a cheeky smirk.

    "Give her the new kid welcome." he chuckled. "Don't hold back either."


    Dawn sniffled as she sat in the nurse's office, the woman looking over Dawn's bruises. The woman frowned as she pulled a lollipop from her desk, handing it to Dawn.

    "Do you know who did this to you, Dawn?" the nurse asked.

    "I think his name was Kent." Dawn cried, as the woman placed a hand on her shoulder.

    "I see." the nurse smiled. "It's okay Dawn, you're Dad is on the way to come and get you."

    "Nononononono." Dawn shook her head. "Dad'll get mad."

    "Your Dad... does he hit you?" the Nurse asked, her eyes widening.

    "No, I just hate seeing him be mad." Dawn shook her head. "Dad would never hurt me, but I don't like it when he gets mad. That's all."

    "I see." the nurse nodded. "I'll try and talk to him, then."


    Blaine sat there in his office, as it had been Dawn's first day, he had specially ordered his personal Golden Eagle to be prepped for flight all day. He had even offered the pilot a substantial raise for the day, for having to wait all day.

    What he had been hoping, however, was that he wouldn't be needed. Instead, he stared at the monitor in front of him, where the school's nurse had contacted his personal messaging inbox. As he glared over the images of his bruised up daughter, his fists clenched.

    Pressing a button on the side of his desk, Blaine called Autumn.

    "Autumn, I want you to pull some dossiers."


    "I need parents for Kent Savage, and known acquaintances." Blaine barked.

    "Alright... I'll see what I can- Blaine. He's a middle schooler, why are you-?"

    "The little bastard assaulted our daughter today." Blaine growled, eliciting silence from Autumn.

    "I got it. His parents are April and Kyle Savage, both ODSTs currently serving aboard the Yesterday's Tomorrow. Known friends of Kent, as per school records, are Shia Dent, Louis Kennedy, and Dirk Cloud."

    "Anything on the other three's parents?"

    "Marines aboard the Spirit of America, which has since been retired. They work as guides for the tours. The Spirit of America was one of the first ever Halcyon class cruisers." Autumn replied. "Shall I send the necessary data?

    "That won't be necessary." Blaine said. "I just needed names. Thanks honey."

    "W-wait, I can get off work and come too."

    "No, I'll deal with this. Someone's gotta actually work here." Blaine chuckled, before closing the line with Autumn, starting another one. "Dean?!"

    "Mr. Harlowe, I've just received the word from the school nurse. I'm just as livid as you are. I used the school's cameras to identify the kids, they are currently waiting in Agatha's office. Dawn is doing fine, from what I've heard. Is there anything I can do?"

    "Yeah, I want a meeting amongst us Parents. April and Kyle Savage, Larry Dent, Tyrone and Felicia Kennedy, and Hans Cloud." Blaine growled. "Your office, immediately. I'll have transport prepared to pick them up."


    The room was rather quiet, despite the occasional chatter. Six military parents sat in the chairs, sipping coffee whilst discussing their track records amongst each other. Dean sat at his desk, nervously tapping with a pencil.

    "Thank you all for coming." Dean said, gathering the attention of the adults, who turned to him.

    "What's the meaning of this?!" one of the ODSTs snapped. "I was ripped off of my post for some social interaction?!"

    "N-no. It's actually about an incident that happened here in the school, each of your children played a part in it."

    "Oh yeah, what'd Louis do?" Tyrone replied gruffly.

    "He assisted in the assault on a ten year old girl, the newest member of his class."

    "Then why hasn't their parents showed up yet? They don't have the balls, ja?! Probably some civvie that's lookin' for a fight!"

    The room fell silent, however, as heavy boots began to stomp their way to their door. Everyone sat there with eager grins, while Dean slowly sank into his seat. Within a moment, the door slammed open. The militant's eyes all opened wide, as they stood to a firm and crisp salute.

    "LORD HARLOWE, SIR!" they yelled in unison, as the Spartan, in full armor, stood before them.

    "Drop the shit, soldiers." Blaine growled, as Dawn scurried in behind him.

    "Welp, we're fucked." Dawn heard one woman whisper to her husband.

    "Look at all of you. Proud members of the UNSC." Blaine paced towards the middle of the room, Dean to his back. "So why is it that your children do not know discipline?"


    "DID I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO SPEAK, SERGEANT?!" Blaine's voice boomed, as Kyle Savage sank down in his chair. "For the remainder of this meeting, we stick to military formality, am I understood Marines?"

    "Sir yes sir!" they yelled.

    "As you all are so very aware of, I am the head of the UNSC branch of the military. As such, I move around a lot, as does my wife. My daughter is also subject to this. Because of this, she has very few friends, minus people within the military."

    "In this time of peace, my wife and I can stay around Earth for extended periods of time. With our daughter's best intentions in mind, we waited three years to enroll her in this school. Now, we understand that kids will be kids. What your kid does outside of your house is on them."

    "However, at this young age, your kids are an extension of you. If you are a member of the military, perhaps you would teach some discipline to your kids, am I wrong marines?"

    "Sir, no sir!" they replied.

    "Then why the FUCK, did I receive a message at twelve hundred hours from the school nurse?!" Blaine said, marching over towards one of the parents. "Corporal Cloud, perhaps you'd like to share?!"

    "Sir, I haven't ze faintest idea, sir!"

    Blaine's helmet deconstructed itself, as he glared the man in the eyes.

    "I'll tell you why then, maggot." Blaine snarled. "At twelve hundred hours this afternoon, the nurse messaged me that my daughter was assaulted by a group of young men. Who incidentally, are everyone present's kids."

    Dawn shuffled, as Blaine beckoned her over. Nervous as she was, Blaine gently pushed her in front of the young German man's view. Hans eyes widened as purple bruises covered her face, a black eye, a cut lip.

    "That's just her FACE!" Blaine roared at the man, who cowered in his chair. "The last time I saw marks like these, was in BOOT CAMP!"

    Lightly tapping her on the shoulder, Blaine indicated she should show the other parents her wounds.

    "Which leads me to believe that you did train your kids in some way." Blaine turned about the room. "Only, you didn't teach them discipline. Many of you taught them combat."

    "You may all think I'm angry, solely because it was my daughter. I love her very much, but had this been any other parent's kid, you likely would have shrugged it off. Bullying is a very severe issue nowadays." Blaine paced between them again. "I'm not just angry, I'm pissed. I want my daughter to live a life where she can meet some friends, and have fun."

    "I spent my life with a loaded gun in my hands, protecting this Universe so that my kids, and even YOUR kids, could have those luxuries. So when I want my daughter to live her life, and YOUR kids pull this shit, I feel slightly betrayed."

    The Parents looked amongst themselves, as the Spartan continued to pace. Finally, he stopped, taking a moment to glare over each and every one of them.

    "I am not the one who runs this school. The only affiliation I have is through my daughter. I'm an honest man, if there was substantial evidence that Dawn was the cause of this, I would not have dragged you all here. However, there was evidence that your children started this." Blaine nodded to Dean, who activated the hologram video of the incident.

    Dawn froze as she looked at the video, turning away in fright. Blaine leaned down, hugging her. His blue eyes fixated on the boy who pinned her to the wall with his hand. Holding a hand up, Dean paused the video, Blaine stood.

    "Dawn, I'd like you to please leave the room for a moment." Blaine smiled. "You can come back in a few minutes. Darryl's just outside, waiting for you."

    Dawn nodded shyly, as she exited the room. Blaine licked the corner of his mouth for a second, as he stood, staring at the hologram. His eyes glared at the visage of Kent. Looking about the room, he saw beads of sweat dripping down Kyle's face.

    Stomping over, Blaine towered over the man.

    "State your name, soldier." Blaine growled.

    "Kyle Savage, Lieutenant, ODST Pitbull division."

    "Is that your son, with his hand around my daughter's throat, choking her?!"

    "Sir- gack?!"

    Blaine's hand wrapped itself around Kyle's throat, as the Spartan pinned him to the wall, his deep blue eyes staring venomously into Kyle's. Squeezing harder, Kyle attempted to squirm, as Blaine continued to stare.

    "How does it feel? Huh? Someone you hardly know has you in a fucking CHOKEHOLD against the fucking WALL!" Blaine asked, gritting his teeth.

    "Sir, please!" April said. "Let him go!"

    "He can tell me himself. Just like my daughter could tell his son!" Blaine growled, as the man's face lost color. "Oh, you can't breath to tell me? Isn't that a shame?! My daughter couldn't breath as her face turned PURPLE!"

    Pulling himself beside Kyle's head, Blaine stared at the wall.

    "What if your son had killed my daughter this way. Do you know how frightened she would have been? You think I'm pissed now, you wouldn't even begin to fathom how fucked from Tuesday you'd be if I had to bury my daughter today."

    Releasing his grip on Kyle, the ODST slowly slid down the wall, clutching his throat, as air began to pile back into his lungs. Blaine stood there, as the crowd stared in fear. Cracking his neck, he began to march towards every father in the room, as they flinched.

    "Whatsa matter?!" Blaine smirked. "You taught your sons to protect themselves, can't you protect yourself from me?!"

    "Mr. Harlowe." Dean sighed.

    "Shut the fuck up, Harrison." Blaine growled, turning his attention to Dean, who stared wide eyed at the red iris' staring back at him. "I was assured that the faculty would be keeping an eye on my daughter today, but I guess I was a fool. Don't make me feel like a fool. It's a fatal error."

    "Like I said, I am not the director of this school. Everything here is to bring to your attention the way your children are behaving. You all just had the misfortune of ME being the one to teach it to you. I'm not demanding your kids be friends with mine, in fact, I'm warning you to make sure they stay the fuck away from her."

    "Because, if I have to come back to this school because of the kids bullying my daughter. I'LL punish them. They'll be running laps around this building so fast, and for so long that their feet will bleed. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!"

    The militants shakily nodded their heads, no longer able to speak.


    "Sir, yes sir!"


    "Sir, yes sir!"

    "That's discipline, teach it to your fucking delinquents, or I'll personally order each and every one of you to three rounds in the fucking RING, mano a mano! AM I RIGHT MARINES?!"

    "Sir, yes sir!"


    "Sir, yes sir!"

    "God damn fucking right I am." Blaine barked. "You are all dismissed from your duties for the rest of the night. Punish your children as you see fit, and teach them discipline! Now get the FUCK out of my face, double time!"

    At that order, the soldiers began to stand, scurrying for the door.

    "HEY MAGGOTS!" Blaine yelled, as they froze, turning to face him. "WHERE'S MY FUCKING SALUTE?!"

    Shakily, the soldiers all stood to attention, as he returned it. After that, the others sprinted out of the room, as Darryl and Dawn peered in.

    "One second, Darryl." Blaine said, signaling him to close the door. "YOU!"

    Blaine pointed towards Dean, as he stomped towards the desk.

    "I know the situation was out of your hands today. This had better not happen again, am I understood?"

    "Sir, yes sir." Dean nodded shakily.

    "Good, because if it does, I have connections. You might want to consider doing one of two things; one: you can rewrite the policy your staff has on blatantly ignoring bullying, or two: you can dust off your fucking resume. Got it?!"

    "Yes, sir." Dean gulped.

    "I trust you'll get it done, Harrison. I'm not a man you want to piss off." Blaine snarled, as he stomped out of the room.

    Pressing a button on his desk, Dean shakily sighed.

    "Agatha. I'm taking the rest of the day off. I need to shower and get on some fresh clothes."

    "He livid?"

    "Worse, pissed."


    Blaine crouched beside Dawn, as he wrapped his arms around her again. Rubbing his hand gently along her back, he ran his hand through her hair.

    "Damn, Blaine. I didn't know you had a mean bone in your body." Darryl smirked. "That was pretty awesome."

    "Still not in the best of moods, Darryl." Blaine growled, as Darryl raised his hands.

    "You're the boss." Darryl backed off.

    "I know you hurt, but are you okay? Like, you don't REALLY hurt, do you?" Blaine asked, giving her a quick peck on the forehead.

    "You're mad again." she said with a frown.

    "Yes, but not at you, kiddo." Blaine said, hugging her tightly. "I'm just upset that people can be so mean to a girl as sweet as you."

    "Dawn?!" a woman's voice called from behind Blaine, as the Spartan stood, glaring at her. "Oh my god, what's happened?!"

    "I'm okay, Ms. Mayflower." Dawn said. "I hurt a bit, but I'm okay."

    "Who did this to you, sweetie?" Mayflower asked, as she lowered herself, Blaine continuing to give her the death glare.

    "Ahem." Blaine growled, clenching his fists.

    "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm Ms. Mayflower, you must be Admiral Harlowe. I'm her second block Greek Mythology teacher."

    "She's really nice, Daddy." Dawn smiled. "She shared her lunch with me and everything."

    "Oh Dawn is such a sweetie. She's also very smart, sir. Why, if I wasn't there, she could practically teach the class."

    "Yeah, when she isn't being beaten to a pulp by your students." Blaine growled, as Mayflower's eyes widened.

    "Oh my god. It was Kent wasn't it?! I'm very sorry Dawn, and Mr. Harlowe." Mayflower frowned. "Where did it happen?!"

    "Just after I left your room." Dawn frowned, as Blaine's eyes widened, his fists clenching harder.

    "Where were you going, kiddo?" Blaine asked, as Mayflower stared shakily at the Spartan.

    "To the Cafeteria to eat my lunch, Daddy." Dawn said, before frowning. "You're mad again."

    "Why was she not escorted, did Dean not tell you that she needed to be? That she would likely be bullied?!" Blaine growled.

    "I-I'm sorry. I had just received the message from Dean a moment before. I had figured it was someone else." Mayflower said, tears welling up in her eyes. "I'm truly sorry about all of this, please forgive me."

    "I do." Dawn smiled, holding her father's fist. "Daddy, please don't be mad at her. She's very nice."

    Blaine sighed, as he rubbed Dawn's head lightly.

    "Alright. Ms. Mayflower was it? It's understandable that you weren't in the loop about Dawn's need of an escort. We're simple people, us Harlowe's. I don't want special treatment for her, but you should know by now why she needs the escort."

    "Yes sir. I've read up on everything, or as much as Dean was willing to declassify. I'll try my hardest to make sure Dawn is able to get her lunch at the Cafeteria. I'll even let her eat in my room, if she wants."

    "No smoking though, right Ms. Mayflower?" Dawn asked, as Mayflower giggled.

    "Yeah, I won't smoke either." she smiled. "Just for you sweetie."

    "Right then." Blaine nodded, placing a hand gently on Dawn's shoulder.  "How's about we get some ice cream, eh? Make up for the day? Sound good kiddo?"

    "Yeah!" Dawn cheered, as she scuttled past the two of them.

    "Kids." Blaine chuckled, as Darryl nodded, following swiftly after her. "I love my wife, but my daughter's the only real thing I've got that makes me feel human."

    "Your brother." Blaine continued, his eyes scanning her. "Was a brave Spartan. Always told me that you were his anchor to his humanity. You thought I forgot, didn't you?"

    "No sir." Mayflower said, as tears welled up in her eyes. "It means the world to me that you remember who I am, sir. I'll watch your daughter, just as you had watched for my brother."

    Blaine placed a hand on her shoulder, as she wrapped her arms around his torso, tears flowing down his armor. Patting her on the back, Blaine removed himself from her grip.

    "If anything happens." Blaine sighed. "Know that unless I have proof otherwise, I will not hold you responsible."



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    Valkryie's Ascent Empty Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 2:42 am

    "Oh good, you guys are home!" Autumn said, as Blaine chuckled, patting Dawn gently on the shoulder.

    Autumn froze as she took a look at Dawn's bruises and markings. Wrapping her arms around her daughter, Autumn shook as silent sobs convulsed through her.

    "Are you okay?"

    "I'm fine, Mom." Dawn smiled. "Dad even brought me to ice-cream to help me feel better."

    "That's awesome kiddo, I'm pretty jealous!" Autumn smiled. "Why don't you go up to your room and start on your homework, okay? I'll be right up to help you in a bit."

    Dawn nodded, as she scurried up the stairs to her room. As soon as she had passed the enhanced hearing threshold, Autumn glared at Blaine, fists on her hips.

    "Are you fucking insane?!"

    "I'm not going to have this discussion right now, Autumn." Blaine huffed, his mood instantly souring.

    "You assaulted a man! You can't do that, Blaine!" Autumn shook her head in disbelief. "This isn't a time of war, you can't just go hitting people when you're mad!"

    "You seem to forget everything I've gone through, Autumn." Blaine growled, taking a glass from the cupboard and filling it with water. "I was born, I lived on the fucking streets, and then when I thought I was finally going to live a normal life, I get a gun placed in my hands, augmented past the point of HUMANITY, AND..."

    Blaine paused, his eyes cast down to the water in his glass.

    "I'm one of the few survivors." Blaine said softly, shaking his head. "Jorge, Darryl, John, Kelly, Fred, Linda, Butch... myself. There were one hundred and fifty of us, Autumn. Now? There are eight, eight active duty Spartan II's."

    "We didn't get a normal childhood, you know what I got? I got tased, I didn't get bullied by my fellow Spartans, I got bullied by Mendez. We didn't get ice cream, we didn't get days at the park, we didn't get to play."

    "The only games we played were old fashioned war games. You fucked up during one of those scenarios, you got beaten, you got shot. When we were well out of our childhoods, we were given suits of armor, and told to fight a war we never wanted a part of."

    "I shot people, people Morgan later disclosed were friends of his. They turned Insurrection, because their kids had been abducted by ONI. In fact, I was told that I hated them. I didn't hate them, but I was told to."

    "Sans a couple of years, when I'm ripped away from the Spartan Program. Butch, Jorge, Katie and I are all put into S.C.O.R.E. I rarely see the other Spartans again. In fact, for that time in S.C.O.R.E, I didn't even know if Jorge, Butch, or Katie had made it out alive."

    "Sans to the fall of Reach, where it's us Spartans as the last line of defense against the Covenant. All those years of torture and degredation, and our time comes to shine. What happens? We died, the majority of those abducted kids gave their lives for a cause that, while they were to believe in, died thinking they meant something."

    "I have a title, I have a statue formed somewhere, because of my so called heroics during the Battle of Reach. What did I do that was so different from my brothers and sisters?!" Blaine began to shake, as his fist clenched around the glass. "Oh, that's right. I lived! They sacrificed everything, they pulled the ultimate sacrifice. They died like heroes, but I'm stuck with all the credit."

    "They didn't just die, they disappeared. Spartans don't die, they disappear. No-one would ever remember their sacrifice, except for those of us that survived them. When I and the remaining IIs are dead, who the hell will remember them?!"

    "Now, the war's been long over. It's a time of peace, or, temporary peace. You and I try to build the fractured pieces of my life into something a little more human. In fact, you and I were blessed by having a daughter. I spent that entire time confused. I've never been a father, hell, I had never been a HUMAN. I was a soldier, a MACHINE."

    "Each night I'd wake up, thinking of Dawn's future. What used to be me, sleeping in that Russian Maple, dreaming of a better future; was now me dreaming of Dawn in that same scenario. She's constantly traveling with us, and she's absorbing a bunch of military culture. She's even augmented; sure, it was to save her life, but she's there. She's one push away from a similar life to mine."

    Blaine's grasp tightened, as the glass shattered, causing Autumn to jump. Blaine's hand gripped his forehead, as he stared at the table beneath him.

    "You know me, Autumn. I don't get scared easily. I'm terrified for her. I don't want her to make the same mistakes I've made."

    "Where's the mistake?" Autumn said quietly, tears running down her cheek as she slowly approached the table. "You've said that phrase for years. Am I the mistake? Was Dawn the mistake? Was you surviving Reach the mistake?"

    "No, Autumn. That's not what I-"

    "You think you're the only one worried?" Autumn shook her head, tears streaming ever faster down her cheek. "Before I was augmented, I worried for you. I always thought that every battle you entered would be your last. Was that the mistake? Was I not supposed to believe in you, with all my heart? Was I supposed to abuse and abandon you, like everyone else had previously in your life?"

    "Or was I supposed to nurture you, to care for you? When no-one else would?" Autumn said, pulling a chair beside him. "When you were plucked off of Reach, with Darryl, and you were so heavily wounded. I tried my damndest to nurse you back to health. I was scared you'd die."

    "I don't think meeting you was a mistake, Autumn. It's been a gift, from whatever or whoever's been watching my back all these years." Blaine said, wrapping an arm around her. "I just look at Dawn, and I see myself when I was her age. Alone, scared, and uncertain about myself and my future."

    "I want the best for her, and this stuff that's been happening with the school isn't helping my anxiety." Blaine shook his head. "I did go overboard, I realize that now. It wasn't the parents fault entirely, and I shouldn't have pushed that on them. I just hope that this opened their eyes, so that they could put themselves in their kids lives a little more too."

    "I was really scared," Autumn said. "When the report came in to ONI today, mentioning a Spartan II had assaulted an ODST at a public school. Luckily for us all, I was able to get your name cleared, and Mr. Savage will be heavily compensated from YOUR paycheck. ONI is also warning them to keep their mouths shut, in return the others will be compensated as well."


    "I also received a personal email from the Principal, Mr. Harrison." Autumn sighed. "He wants Dawn to come in tomorrow, so they can try a new system just for her. If this trial period doesn't work out, he said he'll pay off our advances in full, plus interest. So long as we... pull her from the school."

    Lifting his head from the table, his eyes turned to the stairs, where Dawn's eyes had been widened. Autumn turned to see this, as she began to stand. Dawn sprinted up the stairs, as Blaine sighed, shaking his head.

    "Stay here, I'll go talk with her." Blaine said. "Thanks for doing that for me."

    "I'm here for you." Autumn smiled. "Always will be."


    Dawn lay on her bed, burrowed underneath the pillow. Capricorn and Fluffykins strewn to either side. It was then that she heard her father's footfalls in the door.

    "You know, it's impossible for you to be asleep already, kiddo." her father said, as he walked about her room. "Your shoes aren't off, and you've hardly had the time to lay down and relax."

    "You are mad at me." Dawn sobbed from under the pillow. "You and Mom were fighting about me."

    "We weren't fighting, Dawn." Blaine said calmly, sitting at the edge of the bed. "I was just explaining to her about what happened today. We weren't angry at each other, and more importantly, we're not angry at you. I mean, how could we be? An angel like you makes my day brighter. Come on out for a second, speak to Dad, eh?"

    Pulling herself out from beneath the pillow, Dawn slowly shuffled across the bed, her feet dangling off of the bed, nearly touching the floor.

    "Ten years old, and I'm still amazed by how big you've gotten." Blaine chuckled. "It's uncanny."

    "I'm not normal. Kent says so."

    "Kent is a moron." Blaine smiled, causing Dawn to giggle, before she frowned again.

    "He thought that I thought he was stupid." Dawn shook her head. "He's not, he's actually really smart. He's just mean."

    "If he was truly smart, he wouldn't judge you after only just meeting you." Blaine shook his head, placing a hand on her shoulder. "When I was your age, many people, even adults thought I was a freak."

    "You're a Spartan, Dad. Not a freak."

    "Exactly, back then. Being a Spartan was viewed as being a freak, but people actually like Spartans now." Blaine rubbed her shoulder. "Listen, you may seem different than the other kids, but that just means your special. The others, they may just be jealous. Never lose sight in who you are. They are all special in their own right, so you deserve to be special too."

    "Do you think I'm special?" Dawn asked, glancing down at the floor.

    "Do I think my daughter's special?" Blaine grinned, as he stood suddenly, lifting her off the bed into a big hug. "I would say she's so special, she's one of a kind, and I'm glad she's mine."

    Autumn stepped up to the doorway, watching as Blaine lifted his daughter into his arms, hugging her tightly. She giggled as he held her tightly.

    "I think she's so special, because she, like her mother, is my everything. I would be nothing without you both." Blaine whispered into her ear. "Blaine Harlowe's special gals."

    'As I looked back upon my life, thinking of how similar Dawn's life was becoming like mine. I began to ponder what Aiken used to say even more. Did I have a Valkyrie, watching over me? Was she guiding me through my life, until the day I went to Valhalla?'



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 2:47 am

    The Following Day

    Dawn sat there, in her Greek Mythology class once more. Sona sat beside her, quiet and with her attention off of her neighbor. When she had first entered the class today, she had noticed a large soldier escorting Dawn to the room.

    She must be really important. Must be nice. Sona had thought to herself.

    Worse still, the boys she had seen bullying her yesterday all seemed hesitant to even address her. Their faces paled at the moment Dawn looked at any of them, even if she smiled. Sona wondered how exactly everything could flip so drastically overnight.

    "I know this is a Greek Mythology class," Mayflower's voice pierced Sona's concentration. "But today I'd like to pick you guys' brains and see what other Mythology you'd like to discuss here. There is only so much Greek Mythology can teach."

    Almost on cue, Dawn's hand shot up like an arrow, not surprising to Sona.

    "What about Norse, Mr. Mayflower?" Dawn asked. "My Dad loves Norse mythology too."

    "Very nice suggestion, Dawn." Mayflower smiled, writing the word Asgard on the wall. "Besides being the name of the school, can anyone here tell me what this word means?"

    Sona took this moment to attempt to race Dawn to the answer, raising her hand as quickly as she could, her jaw dropped as Dawn's hand had already raised, much faster than hers.

    "It's one of the nice worlds. It is a Kingdom overseen by the All-Father Odin, and his wife Frigg." Dawn said clearly. "It boasts Valhalla, the place of the worthy warriors."

    "Very good, Dawn." Mayflower said. "Anyone else like to contribute? Ah, Sona?"

    "It is also home to Odin's many sons, to name a few are Loki and Thor-"

    "Actually, Loki was not the blood son of Odin, Sona." Mayflower shook her head. "-however, that was a fine guess. It was commonly believed that he was adopted by Odin, but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise."

    Sona frowned as she dipped her head. She froze, however, as a hand gently was placed on her shoulder.

    "I didn't know that either." Dawn smiled. "I guess my dad doesn't know either."

    Sona glared for a second, before turning her attention away from Dawn. Dawn frowned at this, glancing at her desk for a moment.

    "I'm sorry if I upset you." she whispered to Sona, who turned further away. "I didn't mean to, honest."

    Sona sighed, before turning back to Dawn, a faint smile on her face. How could she be mad at this girl? She was ten years old, two years younger than Sona herself. Obviously she wasn't trying to be devious, she was just being friendly.

    "Don't sweat it." Sona smiled, as the bell for class rung.

    With that, the class began to stand. Many of the boys hustled for the door, eager to go to lunch. A handful of them stayed back, however, as Mayflower watched, uneasy. Dawn sat there, rigid, as Kent and his buddies walked up to her.

    Sona, uneasy, decided she needed to stay. Standing, she stood before Dawn's desk, arms crossed.

    "You have some nerve." Sona growled. "I saw what you guys did yesterday. I didn't do anything then, but I'm gonna do something now."

    "We don't want trouble." Kent growled back. "We just need to talk to her."

    "Bull." Sona shook her head. "Ms. Mayflower and I won't let you lay your hands on her."

    "Kent ain't playing." Louis shook his head. "We need a moment to talk to her, please."

    "As her new friend, I'm not going to allow that." Sona shook her head. "Anything you want to say to her, you say while I'm here."

    "It's okay, Sona." Mayflower stepped up. "Dawn's uncle will be here any second, and I'm here to supervise. Run along to lunch now, and if you want, go ahead and bring it back here. Dawn and I will be eating here from now on."

    Sona glanced hesitantly up to her teacher, as she looked back to Dawn with a smile. Holding her hand out, Dawn gently took it.

    "I'll be back soon, Dawn." Sona smiled. "Seeya soon."

    With that, Sona began to walk out of the room. Leaving the others there. Mayflower stood there for a moment, arms crossed.

    "I'm not impressed, boys. I told you explicitly yesterday to make sure Dawn felt welcome, not frightened."

    "Teach, please. We got this!" Louis smirked. "We want no trouble."

    "Damned right you don't, kid." a voice growled from the door.

    The boys turned in time to see a dark brown armored man, with a oddly bulbous helmet stomp forward. Producing a tablet, a name and a number appeared in the form of a hologram before them.

    "Darryl One-One-Six, I'm Dawn's escort from now on. Any business you have with her, goes through me, understood?" Darryl replied gruffly, as Dawn smiled at her uncle. "Heck, you can call me Uncle Darryl, so I don't seem so intimidating."

    "Yo." Shia whispered, jabbing Dirk with his elbow. "It's a Spartan."

    "He's a Spartan." Darryl turned his attention to the young ginger boy. "I also just gave you a name. You wanna address me, you do it to my face, capisce?"

    "Look." Kent shook his head. "We want to apologize to Dawn. Our parents talked to us yesterday, and we're sorry."

    "I think you're full of it." Darryl said, lowering himself to the twelve year old's level. "You wouldn't have delayed saying that when the other girl was here if you meant that."

    "Instead, I think your parents got after you spoiled brats. You wanted revenge, without consequence." Darryl growled. "Too bad for you, I already chatted with your parents. I catch you with a finger on my niece, you lose the finger. You put your hand on her, I'll break it, and drag you to them with it."

    "Times are changing boys, bullying won't be accepted in this school anymore." Mayflower piped in. "Not just for Dawn, any kid that is bullied will be disciplined."

    "You want to prove to Dawn you'll behave? Stay the hell away from her, and I mean, right this second." Darryl said, pulling the tablet up. "Tick tock, boys."

    Grabbing a pencil, Darryl began tapping it against the desk in time with the ticking of the clock. One. Two. Three. Four.

    On the fifth click, he snapped the pencil like it had been nothing with the crook of his pinkie finger, faster than the eye could comprehend. At this, the boys sprinted out of the room, nearly running into Sona as they passed.

    Upon re-entering the room, she froze as she stared at the massive man in armor standing beside Dawn. Was that someone she knew? That wasn't like the soldier she had seen escorting her earlier?

    "Um, hi." Sona said, waving at the man.

    "You must be the girl that was just defending Dawn." the man smiled. "I'm Dawn's uncle Darryl. I'm sorry I didn't thank you sooner."

    With that, the man's helmet began to disengage, startling Mayflower for a second. Sona smiled as the man's neatly kept dirty blonde hair became visible.

    "I'm Sona Smith." she smiled, placing her food on her old desk, offering a hand.

    The Spartan gently extended his, taking hers in his with a mild shake.

    "-and I'm Maria Mayflower." Mayflower smiled, offering hers. "Dawn's Mythology teacher."

    "No kidding." Darryl shook his head. "Blaine and Aiken would love this class."

    "I'm sorry, who are they?" Sona asked.

    "Oh, Blaine's my Dad's name." Dawn smiled. "Aiken was a good friend of Dad and Darryl's when they were our age."

    "Did they go to this school?" Sona asked, sitting beside Dawn.

    "Bwahahahaha!" Darryl burst out laughing. "Naw, kid. We were raised on Reach."

    "Oh, cool!" Sona smiled. "I'm just learning about Reach in history class now."

    As the two girls began to make conversation, Darryl cocked his head towards Mayflower's desk, as the two adults walked over.

    "If it's not to much trouble, I've been asked to sit in during this class to keep Dawn safe, seeings how it's the only one she has with the tunnel snakes." Darryl said, popping his thumb towards the door.

    "Not at all." Mayflower shook her head. "Dean told me you would be coming. He's even offered you to stay in the teacher's lounge when you're not here?"

    "Affirmative." Darryl nodded.

    "Good, maybe I'll see you in there sometime." Mayflower shrugged, as she walked to the back of the room, where the microwave was stationed.

    "Um, yeah." Darryl shook his head, rolling his eyes. "'Cept the fact you're like, twenty six, and I'm like... not."

    "What was that?" she shouted from the back of the room.

    "Nothin'! Just admiring the view from your window."

    It was true, the forest surrounding the school still glistened from the morning's dew. The sun, which had since fully risen from the horizon, shined brightly on the leaves. It was a nice change of pace from the hell he had witnessed over the years.


    Later that Day
    Final Block

    "-And so, that is the history of Reach." Mr. Mahogany, Dawn's history teacher, nodded. "Any questions? Ah, yes, Ms. Donovan?"

    "Um, yes. Mr. Mahogany. I seem to have forgotten, why didn't we cover the Guardian of Reach?"

    At those words, Dawn's eyes widened, as she smiled.

    "I'll get to that in a moment, Ms. Donovan." Mahogany nodded. "Firstly, Ms., er Harlowe? You seem to be amused by something. Do you care to share?"

    Sona sat there, curious as to what had made Dawn so cheery all of the sudden. In fact, Dawn's face seemed to brighten when she mentioned the Guardian of Reach. Had her Uncle or her Father met him?

    "I've met the Guardian of Reach, Mr. Mahogany." Dawn nodded. "That's all."

    "Very interesting, I'd certainly like to hear the story after class." Mahogany shrugged. "As for you, Ms. Donovan. The reason I cut the Guardian from our lessons is the fact that I could not actually find much information on him. I've even tried to work out a way to get him to present himself to the class, so we could meet him."

    Once again, Dawn smiled knowingly about something, confusing Sona. Raising her hand, swiftly, Dawn waved, as Mahogany smiled, pointing to her with his ruler.

    "Yes, Ms. Harlowe."

    "I have a call on my inbox, it's from my dad. May I please be excused?"

    "Class is not the time for calls, Ms. Harlowe." Mahogany shook his head.

    "It's an emergency, please sir?"

    Mahogany nodded from the girl's pleading, as she quickly stepped out into the hall. The classes eyes all fell on her, as Sona began to be worried. What kind of Emergency was it? Once Dawn had stepped out, she pressed the button on the tablet her father had given her the night before.

    "Dawn?! Is everything alright?! her father's voice boomed in the open comm.

    "Everything's good Dad. I was just calling to check in with you."

    "That's great Dawn. I'm really happy to hear that, but Daddy's in a meeting right now. Could we please talk later?"

    "I just had a question, is all." Dawn said shyly.

    "Sorry about that Serin, I need to take this. I'll be back. there was the sound of a door sliding open and closed. "It'll have to be quick, kiddo. What did you need to ask me?"

    "My History class just finished learning about the battle of Reach, Daddy." Dawn smiled.

    "That's not a question kiddo. I'm sorry, but-"

    "My teacher didn't teach us about the Guardian of Reach. Didn't you say you knew him, Daddy?"

    "Know him?" Blaine chuckled. "Dawn, I'm the one people started calling the Guardian of Reach, remember?"

    "That's what I thought. My question was this; can you come to class tomorrow?"

    "I'm a very busy man, Dawn. I've missed a bunch of work because of the past couple of days. If they want to teach about me, they have my permission."

    "But Mr. Mahogany doesn't know anything about you." Dawn frowned.

    "I suppose that makes sense. I'll tell you what, when does your class end?"

    "About five minutes."

    "Alright, once your class ends. Put your teacher on the line. I'll finish my meeting up, and I'll talk to Mr. Mahogany, alright? I really don't think I need to be taught to students, unless they are asking for it?"

    "Numerous kids wanted to hear about it, Dad. One of the girls in my class was the only one to actually bring it up, though." Dawn said, as the door opened behind her.

    "Ms. Harlowe, do you need to be excused from class? Or is the emergency manageable?"

    "Oh Dawn, you told him it was an emergency. If you're hearing this, I'm terribly sorry. My daughter will not need to be excused, although, she tells me I should talk with you after class. Will that be an issue, Mister?"

    "Mahogany, Alfred Mahogany. Mr. Harlowe, I presume? I would be delighted to speak with one of my top pupil's fathers. But classtime is not the time, as I'm sure you would agree?"

    "My thoughts exactly. Dawn, I love ya kiddo. I'll talk with you both in a bit, okay?"

    "Love you Daddy." Dawn said. "Sorry about bothering you, and I'm sorry Mr. Mahogany."

    "We'll discuss it after class, Ms. Harlowe." Mahogany said, as the bell began to ring. "Oh bother. Well, I suppose I promised I would keep you after. Come on inside."

    As soon as they entered, the other students began to pile out, with the exception of Sona.

    "You coming Dawn? We can wait outside while our rides arrive?" Sona asked.

    "I'm actually going to talk with Mr. Mahogany about the lesson. Sorry Sona."

    "Don't sweat it." Sona smirked. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow!"

    "Seeya later!" Dawn smiled, waving after her.

    Darryl walked in the door, standing aside to allow Sona a chance to leave. Nodding his head away, Dawn shook her head.

    "Dad and I are going to talk to Mr. Mahogany about the lesson today." Dawn said. "I'll be out in a bit, Uncle Darryl."

    "You got it, kiddo." Darryl nodded. "I'll be in the restroom down the hall. Remember, if you need help, there's a whistle on the tablet Blaine gave you. Press the button and my suit'll alarm me."

    With that, Darryl began to leave. Mr. Mahogany stared dumbstruck, as Darryl left.

    "M-my word. Was that a Spartan that just left the room?" Mahogany blinked rapidly.

    "Yep! He's my Uncle." Dawn smiled proudly. "So's my dad."

    Mahogany's eyes widened at the thought that he had been so snobbish to a Spartan. Shivering slightly, he sank down into his office chair, blotting his nearly balding forehead with a kerchief.

    "What's the matter, Mr. Mahogany, are you feeling ill?"

    "No, child. I'm just... flustered is all."

    With that, Dawn's tablet began to ring. Pulling it from her backpack, the UNSC symbol appeared before her. To her, it had meant nothing, but to Mahogany, it made him sweat even more profusely.

    "You have selected a call from; The office of Lord Harlowe."

    "Y-you're father is Blaine Harlowe." Mahogany said. "T-the chairman of the UNSC?"

    "That's right, boyo. So, we wanted to discuss something? Is my daughter facing any issues in your class?"

    "N-no sir." Mahogany seemingly saluted the chat.

    "Relax, boyo." Blaine chuckled. "Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a gruff man. Dawn tells me that you weren't teaching about the Guardian of Reach, she mentioned that students were interested in learning about him?"

    "Y-yes sir. I haven't been able to learn much about him, other than he was a Spartan like yourself, sir." Mahogany stuttered as he spoke.

    "Blaine, or Mr. Harlowe, if you'd prefer. I really hate the whole 'sir' thing. You'll find I'm a little less formal than most military personnel, Mr. Mahogany." Blaine continued. "So, what is it about the Guardian that you don't know?"

    "Well, Mr. Harlowe... everything." Mahogany shook his head in disbelief. "For starters, I'd like to know his name?"

    "Bwahahahaha." Blaine chuckled, as Dawn grinned from ear to ear. "Who is it that you think yer talkin' too, lad?"

    On Blaine's end, all he could hear was a subtle thumping noise.

    "Mr. Mahogany?" he had heard Dawn whimper.


    "Alright then, Mr. Harlowe, sir." Mahogany said, after Dawn splashed him with water. "Er, um. I dunno what to say, other than it's an honor."

    "I appreciate it, but I don't need special praise over it."

    "Poppy cock! You're heroics saved tens, even hundreds of thousands of lives during the battle of New Alexandria."

    "You're forgetting the countless million that were saved by Red Team, who had kept the Covenant at a stand still long enough for the UNSC to be properly warned. They are the true heroes, here."

    "Mr. Harlowe, you mustn't sell yourself short. Just one man was capable of doing what you did. The Spartans of Red Team are indeed heroes, and it's a shame they went into hiding like that."

    "Yes... it is." Dawn frowned, as Blaine's voice noticibly softened. "So, I'll tell you what. I've already got Mr. Harrison on speed dial. How about I work something out with him, eh? We'll set a day next week, have your class get a field trip here on the Aura, and I'll spend the day meeting with your students, sound good?"

    "That sounds fantastic, Mr. Harlowe! Alas, the school would not have the funding for transport, civilian Pelicans are so gosh darn expensive."

    "Funding would not be an issue. The UNSC is always looking to invoke thought in today's youth. I'm certain they would not attest to funding a field trip such as this."

    "T-that would be most incredible, Mr. Harlowe! When would be a good time for you, sire?"

    "Originally, I was going to take the day off with Dawn on Monday. Why not do it then? As it was the anniversary of the battle for Reach anyways?" Blaine continued. "I've already sent Dean a message regarding this, and I've begun the necessary preparations. As it is Friday, you should send a flyer to the kid's parents about the trip. Be sure to tell them that I'll have something really cool in store for them, but will need parent's permission to participate."

    "I will see to it immediately, Mr. Harlowe. Cheers again!"

    "Aye, and a good day to you." Blaine said. "Seeya in a few, Dawn. Love ya sweetie."

    With that, the line hung up. Dawn continued to beam as Mahogany sat there, staring at the far wall. He absolutely couldn't believe the past five or so minutes, he had met two Spartans, and even gotten a chance to have the students of his class meet the Guardian of Reach.

    "Ms. Harlowe, this has been incredible."

    "So, I'm not in trouble for calling in class?"

    "While I'm still not entirely pleased of you tricking me, Ms. Harlowe. I  am most happy you did. Thank you, child. Now, you must be ready to enjoy your weekend. I shall see you Monday, perhaps at your Dad's frigate?"

    "Yep!" Dawn smiled. "Have a good weekend Mr. Mahogany!"

    With that, she sprinted out the door. Darryl hadn't been there, however. It confused Dawn, perhaps he really needed to go to the restroom? Down the hall, Dawn could make out the boys from the day previously, huddled around something. There was a meek cry for help, as Dawn's eyes widened.

    Sona. she said.

    Sprinting down the hall, she didn't care how these boys had treated her the night before. Without even thinking, her right hand balled into a fist. Thrusting with all of her might, she smashed Kent in the face. She heard something crack, as well as her skin on her knuckles scrape off of his face.

    Kent, with the force, tripped over Sona's prone form, smashing his forehead off of the wall. Louis, Dirk, and Shia all turned to her, their hands balling into fists.

    "Stay away from Sona." Dawn growled, as Sona's eyes widened.

    Something about Dawn seemed different. Instead of the hyper friendly, shy girl she had known over the past two days, she was now gruff, cold. Louis, Shia, and Dirk noticed this too, however, they stood their ground.

    "Don't have your body guard, bitch?" Dirk spat, as he chuckled.

    Before either of the three boys could react, one of Dawn's fists smashed into his rib cage. Yet again, her ears picked up the subtle sounds of something cracking. Dirk's lungs expunged whatever air remained, as he fell onto his back.

    "He wasn't just my body guard." Dawn growled.

    Louis cracked his neck, attempting to step into his strike zone. Lashing out a punch, Dawn watched as time seemed to slow for her. Louis' fist slowed almost completely to a stop. Reaching out with her left hand, she held it tightly. Time began to resume for a millisecond, as Dawn was gently pushed back from the punch, ultimately, however, it stopped.

    "That the best you can throw?" she taunted, her grip tightening, Louis' knuckles cracking from the pressure.

    Louis began to shriek as his hand continued to crack. Fast as a cobra, Dawn's right fist lashed out, punching him square int he throat. Coughing, Louis began to stumble backwards, as Dawn released her grip. Shia stood there, mortified, before sprinting down the hall. Dawn settled on her haunches, before sprinting after him.

    Shia, who had been known as the fastest runner on the middle school track team, shrieked as the ten year old girl slowly gained on him, a fire in his eyes. Had he not been chased, however, he would've chuckled in the fact that her iris' did indeed resemble wild fires.

    He felt something grab his coat, as he was pulled backwards with an abnormal force. Next thing he knew, he was on his back, Dawn now towering over him. Flinching, he covered his face, as she huffed. Kent began to stand, as he watched Dawn slowly trot over towards them. Clenching his fists, he wasn't about to be bested by the new girl.

    Within a blink of an eye, Dawn had her right hand wrapped around his throat, and him pinned up against the wall with nothing more than her own strength. Kent attempted to kick her, but nothing seemed to faze Dawn.

    "You may have them fooled, but I know who and what you are." Dawn growled. "You play the sweetheart with your parents, but you don't respect them. You think I'm a wimp?"

    "N-No." Kent coughed, as Dawn's grip tightened. "I-I don't think you're a wimp."

    "That's funny." Dawn chuckled. "Stupid me seems to remember a scenario just like this. I never thought I was better than anyone in this school, I didn't think, 'cause my dad is so popular, that I was better. I just wanted to be friends with people."

    "I don't care if I'm welcomed here." Dawn said, as tears began to well up in her eyes. "All I need is at least one person to like me. You're just a sad, little kid. Who doesn't get the love from his parents that I get from mine. In the end, I feel bad for you."

    Squeezing tighter, Dawn's eyes flared red once more, as Kent screamed. Mahogany began to exit his room, as Mayflower and Darryl turned the corner. All three adults could see what was transpiring at the end of the hall.

    "DAWN?!" the three of them yelled, sprinting towards them.

    Mayflower stopped at Louis, Dirk, and Sona, helping the three of them to their feet. Darryl put his hands on Dawn's shoulder, pinching just enough so that Dawn would release Kent, while Mahogany grabbed Kent by the ear lobe.

    "Please, don't be mad at her." Sona said, nursing her left arm. "She was trying to help me."

    "I'm not mad at her." Darryl said, as he wrapped his arms around Dawn. "Calm down kiddo, it's over now."

    "She's a damn freak." Kent coughed, as Mahogany squeezed on Kent's ear. "Nothing more!"

    "ENOUGH!" a booming voice echoed from the hallway to their right.



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

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    Valkryie's Ascent Empty Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 2:47 am

    All in attendance flinched at the voice, but Dawn, Darryl, Mayflower, and Mahogany's hearts began to sink. Blaine, in his civilian wear, stood there, fists clenched. Stomping forward, Blaine stopped short of Kent.

    "Kent Savage?" Blaine growled.

    "That's right asshole, who're you?!"

    "Blaine Harlowe." Blaine grit his teeth, crouching to Kent's level. "Dawn's father."

    Kent smirked, before spitting in Blaine's face. While Blaine was distracted, the kid whipped his head forward, slipping free of Mahogany's grip. Blaine, however, grabbed the kid's jaw with his hand, squeezing just so that it was uncomfortable.

    "That was cute." Blaine said, wiping the spittle off of his cheek. "You know who you just spit on, you little shit?"

    "A moron?" Kent smirked.

    "Your Dad's boss, was the correct answer." Kyle Savage said, standing with his arms crossed. "Did you learn NOTHING about our talks yesterday, son?!"

    "It's alright, Mr. Savage." Blaine said, squeezing a little harder. "I believe we made an agreement yesterday at the meeting?"

    "Yes sir." Savage saluted him. "I'll be sure to tell the other parents that their children will be late coming home tonight."

    "Well done." Blaine smirked devilishly into Kent's eyes. "Your father tells me you want to be a soldier. Today's your lucky day, shit-head."

    Slapping Kent on the cheek, Blaine stood, hand firmly pressing down on the kid's shoulder to prevent him from running.

    "Mr. Savage, I'd like to apologize."

    "Negative sir, you opened our eyes with that demonstration. I'm the one that should apologize. I had assumed my own son would be better than this. After all, it's as you said, he is an extension of myself."

    "You hear that, kid?" Blaine taunted. "Your Dad's disappointed in you. Maybe you should do better by him?"

    "Shut up." Kent growled.

    "I can't hear you maggot." Blaine growled. "Sergeant, please escort your son out front. I will be with you shortly. Darryl, if you would kindly do the same with the others."

    Sona bowed her head in respect, as a hand fell on her shoulder.

    "With the exception of this one." Blaine said with a smile. "Do you have a ride home, kiddo?"

    "Yes, I'm right behind you sir." a female's voice said. "What's happened?"

    "These four boys beat on your daughter, ma'am." Dawn said from Darryl's arms.

    "Oh really? Wait until I tell their-"

    "Already on it." Blaine said, looking down upon Sora. "Thank you for being with my daughter today, her Uncle's told me all about your kindness, and you ma'am. I'm terribly sorry this has happened."

    "Are you the father of one of these delinquents?" she asked, as Sora ran over to her.

    "No ma'am. My daughter is the one that alledgely helped your daughter out." Blaine said. "I'm still working out the story. My number will be in the phone book; Blaine Harlowe, should you need anything."

    With that, the woman and Sora left. Darryl released Dawn, as the four boys were escorted out by Mr. Savage and Darryl. Blaine stood there, Mahogany and Mayflower shuffling their feet awkwardly.

    "Mr Mahogany I presume?" Blaine asked, as the man nodded. "May I please have a moment with my daughter. Maria, you as well?"

    Dawn frowned, as her gaze fell to the floor once more. Blaine kneeled down, so that he was eye to eye with her. Dawn couldn't bring herself to look himself in the eyes, as he gently reached out for her hand. Dawn flinched, as his thumb went over her knuckles.

    "Dawn." Blaine said, causing Dawn to cry. "You can't do this kind of thing, you did good to protect your friend, but you could have really hurt those boys."

    "I'm sorry. Sora's my first friend, I-"

    "I get it. You're just like your Dad, after all." Blaine said, as he drew her in for a hug. "You want to protect people, you get that from me."

    "Are you mad at me?" she asked.

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "We've been over this. However, you do know that you can't be allowed to do this kind of stuff."

    Standing, Blaine towered over her, her gaze stayed on the floor, as he placed a hand on her shoulder. Escorting her out of the building, they watched the four boys lined up, Darryl standing beside them in a running stance.

    "Join them." Blaine said, as Dawn looked up at him hesitantly. "You can't be hitting people, so... you will be disciplined kiddo."

    "I'm sorry-"

    "I know you are. Get in line." Blaine said, as she joined them. "Boys, your parents may have raised you exceptionally well. I don't know, I haven't met you long enough. What I do know, is that you are troublemakers and nothing less."

    "As a result, your parents have turned to me for your lessons in discipline. You all wanted to be military, so today, you are unofficially under my order. You are all, unofficially, privates in the military. Everything I say, you will do, or you will be punished harder, and you will NOT be returning home until the sun rises tomorrow. Am I clear?"

    "Yes sir." Dawn said, as the other boys remained silent.

    "I CANNOT HEAR YOU?!" Blaine used his booming voice, the boys shaking their heads in disbelief. "It was originally twenty laps around the building, now it's twenty-five! You want more privates?!"

    "No sir." Dawn shook her head, while the other four began to mumble.

    "I CANNOT HEAR YOU! DO. YOU. WANT. ANOTHER. FIVE?!" Blaine barked.

    "No!" the four boys yelled.

    "NO, WHAT?!" Blaine barked.

    "No sir!" they yelled.


    "No, sir!"

    "Get that shit out of your throats and let me hear you!"

    "NO, SIR!"

    With a huff, Blaine joined them in the line, beside Dawn.

    "Listen up, and listen well maggots." Blaine growled. "Darryl and I will run these laps with you. If you even attempt to scatter, understand that we will catch you, and FORCE you to run these laps. If you are caught, and you will be, you will also give me fifty pushups. Am I clear?!"

    "Sir, yes sir!" the boys yelled.

    "I can't hear you recruits?!"

    "SIR, YES SIR!"


    With that, the boys sprinted in a straight line, Darryl on one end of the line, and Blaine now on the other side. He knew Dawn would stay to the course, but he did not trust the young boys between them. She turned her gaze to him, as he winked ten times, indicating she only had to run ten laps.

    As they approached the first turn of the rectangular building, they were to turn left. Dirk, however, had other plans. Attempting to slow up and go left, Darryl's hand lashed out and grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt.

    "It's going to be a long night for you punk." Darryl growled, as he pulled a plasma hand restraint from his pocket.

    Keeping in time with the run, he fastened it to Dirk's wrists, along with a McGuivered lead to follow it. Holding it taut, Dirk would now have to run the rest of the marathon, or risk breaking his wrists. Either way, he would run.

    "That's not his only pair." Blaine warned the others, who kept up with them. "Now then, I wanna give you boys the full experience. This is now an unofficial PT run. I'm going to chant, and you will chant what I say back. Anyone that misses a word gets five laps added on."

    There was a brief break, as the boys looked to Blaine, who stared straight forward.

    "Hell-jumper, Hell-jumper where ya been?!" He barked, as the boys flinched.

    "Hell-jumper, Hell-jumper where ya been?!" they chanted, even Dawn.

    "Feet first t' hell an' back again!"

    The children chanted the words again.

    "When I die please bury me deep!"

    Once more, they had flawlessly copied Blaine's words.

    "Place an MA5 down by my feet!"

    "Place an MA6 down by my feet!" Kent yelled louder than the others, who had perfected it.

    "Nope." Darryl chuckled.

    "Don't cry for me, don't shed no tear!" Blaine barked.

    More careful this time, Kent and the others flawlessly copied.

    "Just pack my box with PT gear!"

    "'Cause one early mornin' bout zero-five!"

    "The ground'll rumble, there'll be lightnin' in the sky."

    "The ground'll fumble, there'll be lightnin' in the sky!" the boys chanted, unlike Dawn, who had actually said Rumble.

    "Wrong again." Darryl shook his head.

    "Don't you worry, don't come undone!"

    Once again, they perfected it, just as they completed their first lap. Kyle stood there, acting as their start/finish line.

    "It's just my ghost on a PT run!" Blaine barked, as Kyle echoed it, along with the others.

    The laps continued like this for a while, until Dawn had completed her tenth. As promised, she had been allowed to break from the group. Standing beside Kyle, she actually felt good. She had assumed that the run would tire her out, but she felt unfazed by the run. As time went on, the other boys stumbled over, sitting on the opposite side of Kyle, nursing their legs.

    Finally, all that had been left was Kent. Kyle, on the other hand, began to supervise Dirk on his fifty pushups that he owed. Dawn stepped in as the start/finish line, just as Blaine, Darryl, and Kent finally passed for the last time. Kent began to wobble towards the sidewalk where the others sat. Blaine stood there, unfazed by the run, as Darryl crossed his arms.

    "Mr. Savage, your son spat in my face." Blaine said. "I'm not a pretentious man, but I'm sure you're aware of the hazard that could cause."

    "Yes, sir. Admiral." Kyle nodded. "What would you suggest?"

    "He wants to be military so bad. I've made him do a PT run. You could run him to the Pelican station, you could have him give fifty, whatever you think of. If you think he's had enough, that's fine too, I've taken my end of the bargain."

    "I got it." Kyle snapped his fingers. "No baseball this year."

    "What?!" Kent shook his head, eyes widened. "B-but I'm the star player!"

    "In the military, there is no star player. If you want to think of your class room as a baseball team. Treat every member of the class like you would a member of your team." Kyle started. "Instead of baseball, you and I will be doing what Admiral Harlowe just made you do."

    "That's bogus!"

    "No, what's bogus is your blatant disrespect for someone you hardly knew. I was born at night, but it wasn't last night, son. I've talked with Dawn here for the past half hour your guys have been running, and she is a very nice little lady." Kyle shook his head.

    "The fact that you could treat her so poorly is a discredit to your mother and I. We raised a son, not a demon. If you've decided you want to be our son, and be like how we raised you, you can do baseball next year." he continued. "Perhaps, if you had gotten to know her, you may have actually liked her. In fact, if you can sincerely man up and prove to her and I that you actually regret your decisions, I will allow you to play baseball this year, and find another punishment for you."

    "I'd rather die." Kent hissed. "I don't wanna play stupid baseball anyways."

    "So be it." Kyle sighed. "Sorry Admiral for all the trouble, and don't sweat yesterday. I was blinded, but now I see my son for what he is. I assure you, that will change swiftly. C'mon you guys, I'll pay all your fares."

    "Don't." Blaine shook his head. "Either their Parent's can, or they pay for their own. In fact, here. This is for you."

    Holding out a pre-paid tablet, it contained just enough credits for Kyle to get a single Pelican ride. Kyle shook his head, attempting to pass it back, as Blaine put his mammoth sized hand on it, pushing it back.

    "I insist, my treatment to you was no different than your son to my daughter. Allow me to make amends."

    Kyle nodded with a smile, bobbing the tablet in his hand. Grabbing Kent by the ear, he began to drag him off, the other three boys in tow. Dawn stood there, head bowed in shame again.

    "Dawn. You remember how Doctor Bailey told you that you had some Spartan inside of you?" Blaine said. "Had you really tried, you could have really hurt those kids. I did not punish you today because you stood up for yourself and your friend. I punished you, because I wanted you to know that you are a lot stronger than you know, and instead of hitting, you should just run laps."

    "It clears my head when I'm stressed, and I won't hurt anyone by doing it." Blaine smiled. "You're not in trouble, but please keep this in mind."

    "Mr. Harlowe. May we have a word?" Harrison said shyly from the door, as Blaine turned to Darryl.

    "Autumn will be worried enough as it is. Bring Dawn home, but don't tell her anything. I'll be with you shortly."


    "I'm sorry, Mr. Harlowe." Mayflower bowed her head. "Alfred and I tried everything in our power to keep this from happening."

    "I'm afraid my hands were tied as well." Dean flinched, somberly staring at the desk. "Agatha reported it to the police, and, the only settlement they can offer is if we..."

    "Don't." Blaine shook his head with a sigh, his eyes cast to the floor. "I understand. I'm sorry we've caused so much trouble for the school."

    "May I just say that Dawn was well received by many students, and the staff as well?" Mahogany quipped. "Many of my students were asking me about her, wanting to see if she was nice or mean. Oh, and Maria and I couldn't speak better about her in the lounge. Other teachers were just delighted to have her."

    "I'm really gonna miss her." Mayflower sobbed. "I've only known her for two days, but it feels like it's been a life-time. She even subconsciously has stopped me from smoking."

    Blaine silently stood, lifting the pen from the desk. Scribbling across the paper in front of him, the Spartan took a moment to glance at the three members of the room around him. With one last nod to each of them, he silently crept out the door, even gently closing it behind him.

    '"Some things never work out like you imagine." Aiken had said to me during one OP we were on.'

    Dean frowned as he glanced down at the expulsion notice. Mayflower, Mahogany, and even Dean, found themselves welling with pre-tears. It had only been two days, but that girl had already touched their hearts.

    ' He was convinced that, much like Greek and Norse Mythology, that everything was set in stone. Every action you took, good or bad, served a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

    After three years of waiting, Dawn's only chance at a real life had been extinguished in the span of two days. Was it to serve a better purpose in the grand scheme of things? Hell if I knew. Some things just never work out the way you imagine them to.'



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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 27th 2015, 8:14 pm

    I really liked these last couple of parts. Really good. I felt like I came to see Blaine as a far more complex character than hi expected. He did a lot of things I wouldn't have expected from him and really felt like he was a villain, or a person that wasn't always doing good things. Well done.
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 8:35 pm

    Awesome! I'm glad you thought something was definitely off with Blaine, because you're definitely right. This isn't who Blaine is usually, and no, it's no dopple ganger. In fact, in the next chapter, perhaps you'll find out what's making Blaine seem so... off.



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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 27th 2015, 9:07 pm

    Well It's good. Well done, looking forward to the next part.
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    Post  Manny on August 27th 2015, 10:19 pm

    I have to agree with Jensen.

    Blaine honestly seemed to emit this sense of sheer arrogance because he was "Lord Harlowe".
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 10:29 pm

    Like I said, the next chapter will actually give some relevance as to why Blaine is acting this way. You guys should know by now, Blaine never flaunts himself, he's usually very humble.

    Also, for those of you that have read Dark before Dawn, this story has been following the 'Dark Before Dawn' ending's continuity. It will all make sense soon.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 10:36 pm

    "Oh Blaine, there you are." Autumn said, as Blaine walked in the door, downcast. "Dawn's outside with Darryl, he wanted to talk to her about something. She seemed pretty distraught."

    "She's been expelled, Autumn." Blaine said, walking past his wife to the kitchen, where he grabbed a mug, filling it with water.

    Autumn, at this news, cusped her hand to her mouth. Looking out the screen door, she could see Dawn and Darryl sitting by the pond. Darryl had a grin on his face, while Dawn appeared to be chuckling. Blaine pulled a chair up to the table, burying his head into his hands.

    "What's happened?" Autumn asked. "Blaine, please!"

    "Those kids that bullied her yesterday? They attacked Dawn's newest friend-"

    "Wait, she got a friend?"

    "Yes." Blaine said, his head unmoving from it's position. "When Dawn saw her friend under attack, she went to defend her."

    "That's good, right?" Autumn said, sitting beside him. "She's standing up for herself?"

    "She broke a kid's arm. I didn't notice it until after I had them running laps around the school." Blaine sighed. "Mr. Harrison had received a call from the Police. They either would arrest Dawn, or even one of us, if we didn't pull her from the school.?"

    Autumn frowned, clasping her hands together, her gaze once more turning out the door. All they had wanted was for her to live a good childhood, make some friends, and learn something.

    "Still." Autumn turned back to him. "You've seemed different over the past couple of days. Why is that?"

    Blaine remained still, as quakes began to run down his body. Autumn's eyes widened, for one of the rarest times in her life, she watched her behemoth husband cry, quite openly.

    "He's not going to make it." Blaine shook his head, as Autumn stared, confused.

    Clenching his fist, Blaine brought it down on the table, not hard enough to shatter it, but hard enough to produce a loud banging noise. Covering his face with his hand, Blaine sat there, his face becoming red.

    "I wasn't at work the past couple of days, Autumn. I was at the Doctor's, with... Morgan." Blaine said, biting his lower lip, as his watery eyes glanced towards the ceiling. "He's got brain cancer. Bailey proposes it's from his mother's exposure to the experimental cryo-tube that brought her to this time period."

    Autumn began to cry, as her tears pinged off of the wooden table. Her hands wrapped around Blaine's, as she gently squeezed.

    "It's the same way Craig died." Blaine said. "Only now... it's my dad."

    "When him and I were fishing, three years ago, he told me just after you came back inside." he continued. "It's gotten worse over the past few years. Bailey and I checked with him yesterday. He won't last to the end of the month."

    Blaine sat there, his forehead pressing against the table top once more. His body began to quake some more, as he tried to repress his raw emotions.

    "I never got to know him as a kid. During war time, I never viewed him as my father. He was just another member of the squad. Now that peace is here... he's going to leave me again." Blaine shook his head, gritting his teeth. "Only this time, he's not coming back."

    "I've never thought myself cut out for parenting. I never was trained for this. I've only known how to kill, to HURT. I've never been trained to nurture and care. My father was a soldier too, and he tells me every day how much he regrets leaving me at that damned orphanage."

    Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo.

    "I found out what that meant three days ago. 'Don't make the same mistakes your father did.'" Blaine shook his fists. "It meant; don't give up on your chance for a family. Live the life I never had."

    "I can't live that life, I never will be able to." Blaine grit his teeth. "-Dawn, she's my only chance to fulfill that desire."

    "-And you are." Autumn smiled, hugging Blaine gently. "You have a loving wife, a daughter who idolizes you, a half-brother who respects you. Cousins who, while they bicker, always do as you ask."

    "You've got the family part, Blaine." Autumn continued, planting a kiss on his cheek, placing his head on her chest. "Morgan knows that, and you should too."

    "When I saw that Kent kid today, and his blatant disrespect to any adult, even his own father. I couldn't believe it. He takes the freedoms he's given for granted. He will never know the sacrifices I've made, what any of us Spartans have made."

    Blaine turned to the window, as Darryl and Dawn laughed about something. Blaine smiled, as tears began to stream down his cheek. Almost as if on cue, Dawn's gaze turned back to the house, and her eyes met him. She smiled, as she pointed towards him. Darryl nodded, the two of them standing.

    'Originally, I had planned to take Dawn to visit her Grandfather one last time that night. In fact, I'm sure he would have loved it.'

    Blaine smiled warmly as Dawn scrambled over towards him, he assumed she had calmed down considerably in the time it had taken for him to get home. Hugging her tightly, he rubbed her head, more tears running down his cheek.

    "Daddy, are you crying?" she asked, as Blaine squeezed a little tighter.

    "Tears of joy, Dawn." Blaine sobbed. "I'm just happy you're okay, that's all."

    "I'm okay, daddy." she smiled. "I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere."

    Blaine's eyes widened, as he flashed back to a time past.

    Blaine finished reading the note, as his ODSTs all stared at the occupied cot before them. Blaine's eyes downcast, a few tears welling their way there. Morgan, sat there, fists clenched, as his eyes searched the air for something, anything to say. Josh, for once, remained silent, while Phil shook his head in disbelief.

    "Craig..." Phil whispered.

    Morgan looked up to Blaine, who looked over to Morgan. The two exchanged a look of confusion, as the twins examined the both of them. Blaine stood, as Morgan did the same. Walking around to the edge of the bed, Blaine knelt down so Morgan could get a better look, and the more he looked into the 'old man's face, the more of himself he saw.

    Morgan held his arms out, as the two embraced in a hug.

    "So it wasn't just coincidence." Morgan said, tears rolling down his cheek. "You are my son."

    "Yes I am."

    "I never meant to abandon you. I never wanted to."

    "Well I'm here now, and I'm not going anywhere." Blaine said.


    Blaine stared out into space, before his eyes fell back to the table. Autumn smiled, taking this moment to detach her daughter. Hugging her as well, Autumn led her upstairs, giving Blaine and Darryl some time alone.

    "You aren't crying because of her." Darryl shook his head. "I guess she got kicked out?"

    "That's part of it." Blaine sighed, rubbing his eyes. "The old man's on his last legs, Darryl."

    "Bullshit." Darryl shook his head. "That old codger can't fuckin' die."

    Blaine placed a hand on Darryl's shoulder, as the two half-brothers glanced down at the table. Almost as if on cue, Blaine's message inbox beeped.

    'I couldn't bring my family to visit the old man. Because he died that night. Josh and Phil had gone to check on him. They found him in his bed, the video of my mother and him, where she sang for me was playing. His beloved bagpipes rested on the mattress beside him.

    Hours before

    Blaine, my son,

    After you had left to go get your little princess, Bailey gave me some rather unsavory news. It turned out that it was much more severe than we had thought, lad. She said I would slowly start to shut down as I got closer to death. The last thin' I want fer you was to be a burden. I've already wronged you before, I wouldn't wrong you again.

    You know us Harlowe's we don't die on a hospital bed. I'm laying here in this bed, wondering why I made those decisions that I did. As I watch yer mother singin' for the camera, I realize just how badly I fucked up. I should never have signed on with the Legion, I should've just stayed with the UNSC.

    You'd have had a mother, you'd of had a father. You would have had a life. My actions are what caused you to be where you're at. I look at Dawn, and I feel blessed because I actually could die as a Grandfather. I can never repay you for the kindness you gave yer old man, even after I had screwed you over so badly.

    Heh, you just kicked yer mother's stomach. These past few years, I've truly felt like a father, and I hope that, for the time, you felt like a son for once. I love you boyo, and you've got a beautiful family. Your mother would be proud. I've requested Bailey give me something to ease my pain... I just took it all at once.

    If it means anything to you, know that in my last moments; I'm extremely proud of you.

    See you tomorrow,

    Yer Ol' Man.

    Morgan's eyes watered as he finished typing the letter on his tablet. Tears began to flow down his cheeks, as the old scot placed it on the bed stand beside him. Looking at the beaming image of his wife, he smiled. Grabbing his bagpipes, he began to play her favorite song, until his vision became dark, and blurry.

    Placing them beside him, he covered himself with his blanket, rolling over in his sleep. Closing his eyes, Morgan smiled even harder at the life his son now had. With one last shallow breath, he faded into the darkness.


    The Following Day

    Dawn shuddered awake, as she heard her father pacing in the hallway. Sneaking out of her bed, she tipped toed her way to the door. Cracking it, she saw him pacing, hands behind his back. Tears were in his eyes, as his head stayed to the floor.

    "Daddy?" Dawn asked, as Blaine froze, turning his attention to her.

    "Hiya kiddo." Blaine sighed. "Did I wake you?"

    "Yeah." she said. "Are you okay, you seem sad?"

    "I am sad, Dawn." Blaine said. "Your grandpa's gone on a very long trip."

    "Oh." Dawn frowned. "He didn't say goodbye."

    "He wrote your daddy a note, kiddo." Blaine smiled. "He said he loved you with everything in him, and that he'd miss you."

    Dawn's eyes watered, as she glanced at her father's face. The last time she had seen that face was the day Ben disappeared, many years prior.

    "He died, didn't he." Dawn began to cry, as Blaine's eyes began to well up again.

    Walking softly over to her, he wrapped her arms around her. The two of them sat there for a time, crying on each other. Blaine rubbed her back, as she patted his.

    "I'm sorry, kiddo." Blaine said. "It was just his time."

    "I'm sorry too, daddy." she cried. "Now you don't have a daddy."

    Blaine nodded, as the two of them sat there, embraced. There was a certain silence about the room, before Dawn broke it.

    "I'm not going back to school, am I?" she asked, as Blaine shook his head. "Will I ever see Sona again?"

    "Her mother messaged me on the way home. She was wondering if Sona could visit some time. I have no problems against it, but we'll need to go over a few rules." Blaine smiled. "Not right now, though."

    "Oh." Dawn nodded. "Are you still going to do that field trip for my old history class?"

    "Well of course!" Blaine smiled. "Why punish your other friends because of the school's decision? Seeings how you'll be free Monday, you and I can set it up together, sound good?"

    "Yeah!" Dawn smiled.

    "Good. You should go back to bed, eh? It's a Saturday, no kid your age should be up at two in the morning."

    'I knew the old man. After my second cycle through this life, I discovered that Morgan actually did not want a funeral. Instead, I held a small get together with my closest friends and family, a day of rememberance for the old man. He was cremated later that evening, and I asked to press the button.

    If Aiken was right, I truly hoped Morgan was up in Valhalla, my mother being the Valkyrie that brought him there. I've been known to be a dreamer, and that night, it's what I dreamt.'



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    Post  Manny on August 27th 2015, 10:47 pm

    Morgan committed suicide? Damn. I realize he was going to die anyways but still...

    Of all Morgan's deaths (lol) I think this one tugged at me the most. It was the most... Human. Like that kind of death could happen to any of us.

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    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 27th 2015, 10:53 pm

    Wait he committed suicide? How did I not catch that? What the heck?! A brilliant part, but what the heck. Was it the pills?
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 27th 2015, 11:02 pm

    It was indeed the pills. Also, as you'll hear from Bailey herself in the next update, while it is very much suicide, she believes it was to prevent his family's views of him changing.

    Like he had said in the note, his body would have shut down slowly over the course of the month. He wouldn't be able to walk properly, talk properly, and he felt he'd be too much of a burden.

    Besides, Harlowe's don't die on hospital beds, but that doesn't mean they won't in their own.



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