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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am


    Valkryie's Ascent

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 28th 2015, 7:27 pm

    "Hey Autumn, you got a sec?" Phil asked, trotting over to Autumn.

    Josh accompanied his brother, as Doctor Bailey and Autumn turned to them. It had been the get-together Autumn had suggested Blaine have for Morgan. Darryl, the twins, and many of Morgan's still living friends had been invited. Doctor Bailey, as a close friend to Autumn and Blaine, was asked to attend as well.

    "Um, sure." Autumn said, turning to Bailey. "We'll have to continue that story later."

    "Indeed." Bailey smiled, beginning to walk away.

    "Actually Doc, we were hoping you could talk too." Josh said, gingerly placing a hand on her shoulder.

    Bailey stopped, nodding her head. Josh and Phil began to scan the party, sure enough, Blaine and Dawn stood at the grill. Blaine had offered to be the grill master, and they all knew why. He remembered Morgan fondly, but they knew he didn't want to think about it too much, and grilling had been something Blaine found was a good distraction.

    "We've noticed something's not right with the big guy for a while now." Phil sighed. "We were let in on the Morgan situation a couple years back too. Autumn, you're his wife, do you know anything?"

    "Well, we've been trying to give Dawn a normal, civilian life for some time. I originally thought it may have been the stress." Autumn shook her head. "-I think it runs a little deeper than that."

    "I have a feeling it's minute PTSD." Bailey shook her head. "When soldiers under that much stress find some free time, they get to thinking. When they get thinking, they start regretting. Not all cases of PTSD involve loud explosions as triggers. Literally anything can trigger someone suffering the disorder."

    "Oh man." Josh said, poking a glance at Blaine.

    "It's not set in stone." Bailey placed a hand on her shoulder. "It's also very likely he's having a crisis. With Morgan out of his life, he's feeling lost and alone. Something he once told me he felt during Spartan boot camp."

    "Yeah, he told me that too." Autumn shook her head. "It must've been hell."

    "The stress of trying to give Dawn a proper life likely isn't helping. The assault on that ODST was probably some sort of anxiety attack, 'caused by an overwhelming feeling of... dare I say; failure."

    "Failure?" Phil asked.

    "Spartan IIs were drilled into their minds that failure was not an acceptable option. If they faced failure, they were taught to do whatever was necessary to tilt the odds in their favor." Bailey sighed. "I remember one incident he shared with me, where if his team failed an exercise, they didn't eat that night."

    "Jesus." Josh shook his head. "All these years, I joked about him being a Spartan II. Now I feel like I've been a contributor to his current behavior."

    "On top of feeling like he failed Dawn, I think it's some underlying thought that he wants to prove to Morgan that he's a good father." Bailey nodded. "Even though Morgan's gone now, Blaine wants to prove to himself, and Morgan, that he can raise Dawn right. Something Morgan never got the chance to do."

    "That still doesn't explain his acts of arrogance. I've heard some of the things he's said to people. Blaine started pulling rank the other day, he almost NEVER does that. We all know him, he's highly informal. It's what makes him so charismatic." Autumn frowned. "He's been acting gruffer, more threatening to people. It's not the man I've met."

    "Psychological issues don't pertain to one isolated issue." Bailey shook her head. "It's a melting pot, and for a Spartan II, who now is without an outlet, it's dangerous."

    "You're saying Blaine is a ticking time bomb?" Josh shook his head in disbelief.

    "It's not my favorite thing to discuss, but yes. I'm afraid if Blaine doesn't come to terms with whatever's been eating at him... he may snap." Bailey frowned.

    "There has to be more to it." Autumn frowned. "Most of these things he's already confirmed to me. He fears failing Dawn, and he was concerned about his fathering. There has to be another piece of the puzzle."

    "Perhaps asking would be the better option." Blaine said bluntly, walking up to the group. "Perhaps the twins forgot that I've become accustomed to their mannerisms when they're talking about me behind my back?"

    Autumn stepped forward, placing herself between Blaine and the twins. Placing both of her hands on his chest, she looked up into his mildly annoyed eyes.

    "We're just concerned Blaine. You haven't been yourself recently." Autumn said, her eyes watering. "I don't want to lose you, not yet."

    Blaine sighed, as he wrapped his arms around her.

    "You want to know what's troubling me, amongst all the things I'm sure you've come to deduce so far?" Blaine sighed. "I'm not getting any younger. I'm fifty years old, and I only just started feeling like a human, not a machine."

    "So, you're having a mid-life crisis?" Josh asked. "Y'know, Phil and I both bought something during our crisis. Not make some guy our punching bag in a Principal's office."

    "That's enough Josh." Phil shook his head. "We're not trying to make Blaine feel worse."

    "Perhaps there is a solution to this conundrum." Bailey snapped her fingers. "Dawn is the centrifugal part to your psyche being out of whack. You're mind has been so preoccupied about everything happening in your life so far, you've been so busy."

    "Yeah, what about this?" Blaine asked.

    "You might be suffering a disconnect from your daughter. You two were inseparable when you weren't on the field years ago. With all that's happened with Morgan, and you attempting to get her into school, I think you're subconsciously missing your daughter on a personal level." Bailey said.

    "You've focused on keeping her educated, and disciplined, but when have you and her just gone fishing? Or played tag outside?" Bailey continued. "You have the free time, Admiral, when you're not at work. Instead of constantly worrying for Dawn, spend quality time with her and realize that there is no need to worry."

    'Bailey was right. In the past three years, I had prepared Dawn for a life for school. I would bring her to work with me, so that he could practice formal speaking. I hadn't had a chance to visit her, and truly appreciate how she was growing.

    When I assaulted Kyle that day, I wasn't assaulting him. I was assaulting myself too. I had become too serious, something Mendez would probably admire about me now. Hopefully, that bastard isn't waiting in Valhalla, even Lord Odin wouldn't be able to stop me.'

    Blaine's attention turned to Dawn, who was receiving a shower of hugs from Morgan's old buddies. The horde of old people nearly blocked her from his vision, but he saw her looking back at him, with a concerned look on her face.

    "If not for yourself, do it for her." Autumn said. "Don't make our daughter fear for you... or worse... fear you."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Monday Morning

    Blaine smiled as Dawn walked beside him. He used the magnetic hinges on his armor to lift the display weapons for her, while she carried the hand outs he would offer the kids that day.

    "It's not the most fun thing." Blaine rubbed the back of his head with his free hand. "-but at least we're spending time together again, yeah?"

    "Yep!" Dawn smiled too, placing a hand on his lower back. "It was nice to meet new people, but I missed spending time with you daddy."

    "Me two, sweetie." Blaine smirked, as he placed them in a line on the table in front of him. "Are you excited to see the others again? Or do you want me to branch Sona away so you can visit with her?"

    "I want to see them again." Dawn smiled. "I just hope Mr. Mahogany isn't mad."

    "Oh, he's not." Blaine smiled, placing a hand on her shoulder. "In fact, he told me you were his best student. He loved having you in his class."

    The tac-pad on his right wrist blinked, as a holographic video burst upwards.

    "Golden Eagle in bound, sir. An Alfred Mahogany and Maria Mayflower are asking permission to land?" the Golden Eagle's pilot asked, nodding his head to the troop bay.

    "Permission granted, pilot. I'll be waiting in troop bay alpha." the green acknowledgement light popped up from his pad. "Dawn, do you want to come with me to greet your classmates, or do you want to wait here?"

    "I'll follow you." Dawn smiled, as he rustled her hair.

    The two walked down the hall to the troop bay, Blaine's hand on her right shoulder, and her left hand on his lower back. The door opened, as the two walked through together. The Golden Eagle roared to life as it entered the troop bay. Blaine had offered his daughter a respirator for the vacuum, while his helmet formed around his face once more.

    Turning in the air, the shield protecting the people inside of the bay from the vacuum closed, with a mighty hiss. The beast of a machine slowly began to descend, as Blaine and Dawn approached. The back of the Golden Eagle's ramp began to descend, the students inside clutching everything for what they were worth.

    "Recruits, welcome to the Aura of Armaggedon." Blaine said, his grip on Dawn's shoulder relaxing slightly. "I'm sure you've all met this young lady before."

    "Indeed we have!" Mr. Mahogany piped up, wiping his brow with his kerchief. "Please excuse my attire, sir. The ride was quite bumpy."

    "I'm sorry the accommodations weren't any better." Blaine replied with a nod. "I suppose your students could view it like a real life, Marine drop?"

    "Most certainly!" Mr. Mahogany smiled. "Children, you all remember Dawn?"

    "Hi Dawn!" a couple of the kids replied with a wave, as Dawn beamed, returning the wave.

    "I am Dawn's Dad." Blaine spoke.

    "Woah," one of the boys said. "Dawn, your Dad is a Spartan?! That's so cool!"

    Dawn smiled shyly, as she shuffled her feet. Patting her on the shoulder, he stepped forward.

    "My name is Admiral Blaine, Spartan One-One-Five." Blaine saluted the kids, as the boys returned the gesture.

    "He, children, is not only a Spartan. He is known as the Guardian of Reach." Mahogany grinned from ear to ear. "May I just say, that it is still of the utmost pleasure to meet you, Mr. Harlowe."

    "There's no need to view me like that." Blaine waved his hand. "It was my job, nothing more, nothing less. It was kind of the people to give me the title, but I try not to let it cloud my judgement."

    A lot of the kids all looked at Blaine with marvel, some of their eyes trailing to Dawn, who stood beside him. Blaine hadn't noticed it, but in the time he had been talking, Dawn was slowly adopting a similar posture as him.

    "Wait, you're Admiral Harlowe?!" one of the girls asked. "My Mom said that you're the leader of the UNSC?"

    "Affirmative." Blaine nodded. "I am the current head of the UNSC, and all of it's branches, minus the Office of Naval Intelligence. However, in the sake of time. Shall we proceed with the tour? I have quite a few special occasions planned for you all today."

    "You're not going to recruit us, are you sir?" one of the girls asked, to which Blaine chuckled.

    "Of course not!" Blaine laughed, as the kids were filed out of the Golden Eagle by Mahogany and his extra chaperone, Ms. Mayflower. "Maria, it's good to see you again."

    "Likewise, Admiral." she smiled.

    "Which reminds me." Blaine said, as the kids all turned to face him. "For the duration of this trip, you may call me Blaine, Admiral, or even One-One-Five if you'd prefer."

    "Can we call you Lord Harlowe, sir?" another boy asked.

    "I suppose I don't mind. I love my position, but I try not to, much like my other titles, let it control me." Blaine smiled, as his helmet disassembled itself. "Please, follow me, and do not deter from our path. We are in a time of peace, but every crew man on my ship is still very busy. If they have time, I will gladly ask them to answer any questions you have."

    "-to add on." Ms. Mayflower continued. "Please do not touch anything without the Admiral's permission. It's only polite, and you have no idea if it could be something dangerous."

    "I have protections in place, in case someone does get curious." Blaine smirked. "For starters, welcome to the vehicle bay. Here, our military vehicles are prepped for insertion of ground battles. You may notice that it is still rather busy in here. That is because we always keep maintenance of our equipment, so everything is in pristine condition, should something drastic happen."

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    "This is my briefing room. This is where I generally discuss battle plans with my soldiers before sending them out on their missions. There is a hologram table in the center of the room, where I can give three dimensional images of whatever I want to show them." Blaine smiled. "For now, I have a guest who would like to address you all."

    From the center of the room, an enlarged hologram of a man with long white hair appeared before them. An unknown gust swirled around him, blustering his white toga back and forth. In one hand, a shield with Medusa's head rested upon it, while a bolt of lightning rested in the other.

    "Zeus!" Dawn said, waving, as the man smiled.

    "Hello there, m'lady." Zeus performed a bow. "I see you have brought other guests upon my ship."

    "My name is Zeus, I am an artificial intelligence assigned to Admiral Harlowe. Typically, I remain on the Aura of Armaggedon to help relay orders from the Admiral to his crew when he's fighting on the ground." Zeus smirked, turning to Blaine. "Though I suppose I'm nothing more than a tour guide now, right, mortal?"

    "Riiight." Blaine chuckled. "I believe you had something you wanted to share with the students, Zeus?"

    "Ah yes." Zeus nodded. "What you students are about to witness are actual combat scenarios recorded by Admiral Harlowe during the Covenant War. I was under the impression that everyone here had permission to witness graphic content. However, I must warn you now, if you have an uneasy stomach, you may not wish to view this."

    The room around them exploded in light. No matter what angle they stood at, the room perfectly mirrored everything Blaine would have seen out of his visor. His DMR stood at the ready, as he began to trot through a barren cityscape.

    "Captain, this is Carter. What's your sit-rep, sir?"

    "I'm green, Commander." Blaine's voice echoed throughout the room. "Working my way through New Alexandria now."

    The hologram fast forwarded, Blaine was standing on a terrace, as a Brute jumped in front of him. Slobber dripped off of his visor, as his right fist lashed out, smashing the Brute square in the jaw, shattering one of it's fangs. Remarkably to Blaine, all of the kids, especially Dawn, seemed to be watching with curiosity. Even Ms. Mayflower, whom he knew was against war, watched with moderate interest.

    "This was the point in the battle for Reach where I had activated a missile system." Blaine said. "A Covenant ship loomed above the city, and a bunch of innocent men and women were trapped in escape shuttles. As you will see, I and my team were able to activate the system."

    Blaine's fist slammed on the big red button, the camera in his helmet glancing up at the crimson rockets fired from the facility around him. The camera shook as the building around him began to quake from the force. The rockets swirled in air, splashing the side of the Corvette.

    As it exploded in red and violet fire, four transport ships flew off into the horizon, hoping to get off planet. Something Blaine then confirmed to the students.

    "It was this particular action, that earned me the title of Guardian of Reach." Blaine said with a nod. "Like I said, I had just been doing my job, I didn't need, and at the time, didn't think I deserved, the title."

    "Shall I resume, mortal?" Zeus asked, as Blaine shook his head.

    The room around them darkened as the hologram disappeared. Many of the students appeared to want more action, something Blaine admired.

    "Aw." a few of the kids groaned.

    "Oh, you won't be disappointed for long." Blaine smiled, placing a hand on Dawn's shoulder. "This is where I must split for a moment. Dawn here will be leading you to the next part of the tour. I'll see you there."

    With that, Blaine excused himself from the room. Mahogany and Mayflower looked slightly confused, as Dawn smiled. Standing tall and straight, she put her hands behind her back.

    "Admiral Harlowe is preparing the next part of the tour, and has asked me to bring you there. Please follow me." she smiled, as Sona grinned.

    Mayflower and Mahogany looked at each other, before relaying the order to the kids. Following Dawn through the hallway, the students began to ask questions.

    "So I heard you beat up Kent, good." one of the girls said, placing a hand on Dawn's shoulder. "He's always such a jerk. I'm sorry you're not coming back, though."

    "Yeah." one of the boys huffed. "Had I known he was such a jerk to you, I would've beat him up myself!"

    "Mr. Mahogany said this trip was your idea." Sona smiled. "That's really nice of you Dawn. I hope we're still friends?"

    "Of course we are!" Dawn smiled, as Sona wrapped her arms around Dawn.

    "Thank you." was all she said.

    Dawn and the group were stopped, however, as a crew-man stood before them, arms crossed.

    "Kids, where are you going?" he asked bluntly, as Mahogany and Mayflower approached.

    "We had a tour with the Admiral. He told us to follow Dawn."

    "I see that." the crew-man said. "You recruits fresh outta boot camp?! You can't be going in there without your gear!"

    With that, a Marine trotted past them, pushing a cart filled with miniature sets of armor, and the display guns Blaine had carried earlier.

    "Suit up, soldiers." the man said. "Admiral Harlowe will be briefing you inside."

    With his and the Marine's help, all the students were outfitted with their own little sets of Marine armor. Complete with comm. and visors.

    "We're going to go over a few rules here, so listen up." the crew-man said. "These display guns will NOT actually fire. Even so, you will NOT point your weapon at anyone here. Otherwise, you will be escorted out and watched until the end of the tour."

    "Secondly, you will listen to everything the Admiral or any adult says to you, this includes you teachers." the crew-man continued.

    "Thirdly, do not panic! Everything following the tour will NOT be real. These are all holograms, and they cannot actually hurt you!"

    "Lastly, you will all notice a button on the side of your helmets. Press this five times now."

    At the man's command, the kids and adults pressed the buttons. There was a slight crackle in their right ears, as their visors came to life. It produced a fake ammo counter for them, along with everyone's name. In the top right corner of their visors, the crew-man's face appeared.

    "Everyone should be hearing me closely in their helmets, and should see me in their visors at the top right. If you can, blink twice."

    At that, green lights flooded the crew-man's wrist pad. Smiling, he counted the children and teachers, including Dawn. All had been accounted for.

    "If you wish to speak, in the military we ask the commanding officer; Permission to speak, followed by their rank or sir." the man said in their comm. "Please standby for new orders, and step through this door. Welcome... to the Simulation Room."

    Dawn smiled as the crew-man opened the door for them. She had only heard about this room a couple of times from her father. Now, she had the chance to enter it. The other kids looked amongst themselves, as the Teachers stood with uncertainty.

    "Dawn, what is this place?" Mahogany asked.

    "This, everyone, is a real life look into the Fall of Reach." Blaine said over the comm. "Like the crew-man outside the door said, do not be alarmed. This is just a simulation. I've set it so that your armors will not be picked up by the AI. You will NOT be attacked unless you attack the enemies first."

    "This room is used to train new Spartans or Soldiers different combat scenarios to prepare them for practically anything, without actually endangering them. Your suits do have pain sensors within, which can and will simulate the pain you receive from the enemy." Blaine continued.

    "As an added precaution, you will not feel pain in this simulation unless, again, you attack the enemy. At this moment, you may notice the weapons in your hands may feel a little more weightier than before. In this simulation, we do not bring live weapons in here."

    "As such, these are not toys. Do NOT let me or any of the other chaperones catch you pointing your weapons at anyone else. If we catch you acting in this way, I will disable your simulation suit, and you will be escorted out of the room by the crewman." Blaine said.

    "If any of you have played laser tag, like Dawn and I have, think of this like an educational game of laser tag. One last thing to mention, if one of you brave students DO attack the AI, you do face simulated death. Do not worry, you will return in five seconds. Keep in mind, however, this is not the case in real life."

    "Before we continue, is there anyone here that is not comfortable with participating?" Blaine asked. "Blink twice if you want to stay, three times if you want to go.

    Thankfully enough, everyone, including Mayflower, blinked twice. Blaine smiled as he stood before them. At the moment, the room was pitch black, almost endless. They could see everyone in front of them, and they appeared to be standing on infinite blackness.

    "Students, while you may think this is fun. Please try to keep your attention to the lesson this is trying to teach about Reach? That doesn't mean I don't want you to have fun, but I would definitely appreciate it if you had a willingness to learn."

    With that, two more Spartans appeared at Blaine's side. Their display weapons formed into that of a DMR and BR respectively. Dawn recognized them instantly, running over.

    "David, Naomi!" she said, as she hugged both of them.

    "Heya sis." David said, placing a hand on her helmet. "Looking good sunshine."

    "You are pretty cute in that armor, sis." Naomi smiled, the students and teachers all watching in disbelief.

    "Everyone, this is Lieutenant David Harlowe, and Staff Sergeant Naomi Harlowe. Yes, they are also my kids, and yes, they are also Spartans. They will be joining us in this simulation, as we're borrowing their training time to be doing this."

    With that, Blaine turned his back to the students, while David and Naomi led Dawn back to the other students. Subtly, the sound of a Pelican's engines began to roar in their ears. Around them, the darkness molded into that of a Pelican troop bay. It wasn't quite as spacious as the Golden Eagle they had been in before, but many of these students were used to them.

    They carefully placed themselves in their own seats, Mayflower and Mahogany buckling the kids up, with the help of David and Naomi. Even though it wasn't entirely kosher to the experience, they valued the kid's own sense of safety over the realistic feel. After all, the point of the simulation was not to scare them, but to give them an experience, a lesson.

    Blaine's left hand clutched a bar hanging from the newly formed roof of the Pelican they were now inhabiting. Naomi and David stood there, to either side of him, as they heard a knock from the Pelican's pilot hatch.

    "That knock means we're landing soon." Blaine said. "Naomi, David, and I will be your escorts, kids. Please do as we say and try not to get split up. You can actually get lost in these sims, you won't be lost for good, of course, but you'll miss out on the experience."

    The weight in the troop bay shifted as the Pelican bay doors opened, revealing a city scape. Fire rose to the heavens, as Covenant Banshees and UNSC Falcons clashed in the air above them. Dawn and her old classmates looked in and amongst each other. They were all interested to see what lay ahead, but Dawn, she couldn't wait.

    She was going to witness her father in action.


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 28th 2015, 10:43 pm

    "Something you should all know about this simulation." Blaine said. "There will be no Sangheili warriors. I'm not sure of what Mr. Mahogany told you, but towards this time in the battle, the Sangheili were rarely seen."

    "I'm going on ahead. David, Naomi, make sure they are all properly helped out when you land." Blaine nodded curtly as, suddenly, he jumped out the back of the Pelican.

    Dawn and the other students watched with concern as the Spartan disappeared from view. Dawn unbuckled her seat, running to the back. David and Naomi stopped her, as she watched her father shoot towards the ground like an arrow. Flipping, he engaged the jet-pack on his back, slowing his descent. In the corner of her eye, she could make out everything her father could see, thanks to his screen share.

    Grunts chittered as the Spartan smashed into the ground at their feet. There were a few muffled pops, as the two Grunts fell onto their backs, unmoving.

    "Out of respect for you kids, the Admiral has turned off the mature features of the simulation. You may expect there to be a bunch of blood and stuff in War, and there is." David said, turning to the kids, after helping Dawn back into a chair. "However, this isn't war, and we don't need you kids getting nightmares, alright?"

    "Thank you." Mayflower nodded.

    "We'll be landing soon. The second David waves his hand, like so." Naomi said, as David swung his hand down in a veritical motion. "You will unbuckle and follow us off of the Pelican. Remember, you are invisible to the computer's enemies until you instigate them."

    Within a couple of minutes, the Pelican descended closer to the ground. David swung his arm down, as Naomi and the two teachers began assisting kids with their buckles. Dawn was already done, standing by David's side.

    "Eager for this, are we?" he chuckled.

    "I've always heard what Dad does for a living." Dawn said. "Now I get a chance to see it."

    There was another tap on the door, as David tapped the side of the bird. With a wave of his hand, he trotted out of the Pelican, the kids and the teachers behind him. Naomi took up the rear. Within seconds, David's weapon chittered to life above their heads, the Grunts approaching them were slowly falling.

    "Woah." many of the kids were saying, while Mahogany nervously stayed near the Pelican.

    "Mr. Mahogany, it's leaving." Sona chuckled, as the man removed his death grip from the bird.

    Sure enough, it lifted into the air, blasting off in some undesignated direction. For the most part, the kids kept their display weapons down. Some of them were curious, aiming away from their friends, just to see how they worked.

    There was a gutteral growl, as a giant, muscular creature turned it's attention towards David. The beast was covered from head to toe with fur, it's elongated fangs nearly piercing it's upper lip. The weapon in it's hand flashed to life, as giant molten spikes raced towards them. David stood in front of the kids, allowing the rounds to bounce off of his shields.

    As they deflected the bullets, the shields slowly deteriorated. Naomi and David continued to fire on the beast, as it only roared in annoyance. The students, and even their teachers, flinched as the beast threw it's weapon to the ground, charging at them on all fours.

    In a flash, a blur of red and blue tackled the creature to the side. They rolled for a time, exchanging blow for blow. The students watched as Blaine's fists came down like sledgehammers on the Jiralhanae's face. Roaring at Blaine, the beast kicked him off. Dawn tensed, but remained back.

    She was worried, but also, she was amazed by everything she was witnessing. Blaine growled, his hands grabbing the side of the Brute's head. Thrusting his helmet into the beast's forehead, the beast was momentarily stunned. Thrusting a massive punch into it's chest, the force caused the muscles in it's chest to ripple. Launching backwards, the Brute scrambled to it's feet. Diving at Blaine, the Spartan's knife came up and into it's neck.

    The Jiralhanae shuddered for a moment, before falling limp to the floor. To the students, there was no visual sign of a knife mark. Standing, he pulled his DMR off of his back. Trotting over to them, David and Naomi put their weapons down.

    "How's everyone doing?" Blaine asked, as the kids all used their green lights. "You guys are fast learners. Well done."

    A trio of Pelicans descended from above, not bothering to stop as they dropped their cargo. Three vehicles cascaded from above, the kids and the teachers moving appropriately. Two of the vehicles had six seats on the back, while one had a turret.

    "These are Warthogs. I know you guys have seen civilian versions of these bad boys. We use them in the military as our primary means of transport. These two transport hogs will be your ride through this simulation. Six of you will go with David, six of you will go with Naomi." Blaine said, pointing to the two vehicles. "Which reminds me, heads up!"

    From the back of one of the Pelicans, a violet armored Spartan crashed onto the ground beside Blaine. The Spartan II stood, unfazed, as the Spartan slowly began to stand.

    "Kids, this is my wife. Admiral Autumn Harlowe." Blaine said. "She will be joining us in the simulation as well today."

    "Mom!" Dawn said, running over towards Autumn, who hugged her.

    "I couldn't let your Dad have all the fun today, could I?" Autumn smiled. "Hello everyone. You can call me Autumn, or even Dawn's Mom if you want."

    "Permission to speak sir?" one of the kids asked, raising her hands.

    "Permission granted, state your name?"

    "Hillary, sir." she waved, as he waved back. "There isn't enough room for all of us students on the Transport, sir."

    "Ah yes." Blaine nodded. "Dawn will be riding with her mother and I."

    "Aw man, I'm jealous!" one of the boys said, patting Dawn on the shoulder. "Lucky!"

    Blaine and Autumn looked amongst each other, smiling beneath their visors at the kids commending Dawn. With David and Naomi's help, Mahogany and Mayflower got the kids seated in the Warthogs.

    "There are no seatbelts kids." David warned. "Do not stand up, and more importantly, do NOT lean forward. Treat this like any car you've gotten into."

    To be certain of this, Mahogany and Mayflower each took a seat in the back of their respective Warthogs, while one kid from each took the passenger seat. Clearly, someone had paused the simulation so they weren't attacked, as there had been no sign of any aliens in the time it took them to prepare.

    Blaine offered a hand to Dawn to help her into the passenger seat, as she clambered up the side, sitting in the passenger seat. Blaine sat there, amazed at her knowledge of Warthogs. Autumn smiled, climbing onto the turret behind them. Blaine jumped into the driver seat, turning his head to David and Naomi, as they turned on their machines.

    The boys in the back of the two transport hogs began cheering at the meaty roar the machines gave off, while the girls jumped a little in surprise.

    "David, your hog has point. Naomi, you'll be running flank. Coordinate in the event of tailers, copy?"

    With the green acknowledgement lights, Blaine's shifter clicked beside him, his foot smashing down on the accelerator. Dawn leaned back in the chair, her Assault Rifle resting between her legs. Lightly tapping her on the shoulder, Blaine used one hand to show her how to properly hold it in the vehicle.

    Smiling brightly beneath her helmet, she was really happy she was able to see her father doing what she had only heard of doing. Tapping her on the shoulder once more, he lightly tapped the side of his helmet, held up three fingers, and pointed his thumb back to Autumn.

    Taking the hint, Dawn pressed the button on the side of her helmet three times, as the small trickle of static reappeared.

    "Dawn, you hear me?" Blaine asked, as she blinked twice. "Good, Autumn?"

    "Loud and clear, hun. You okay kiddo?"

    "Yeah, it's been really fun so far."

    "We're glad you're having a good time. Are you learning anything?" Blaine asked, turning his head towards her. "Remember, this is still technically a lesson."

    "Yeah! Dawn said. "It's just like Mr. Mahogany taught in class."

    "Well, I'm sure it's not entirely." he said. "There is a lot I had left out of the programming. This is a battle we lost, Dawn."

    "Oh." Dawn said, looking around. "Even with you on the field, Daddy?"

    "Yeah kiddo." Blaine said with a sigh. "Even with your old man, but we put up a big fight too. We lost, but we definitely had a few major wins too."

    "This simulation is one of the biggest wins of the battle." Blaine nodded. "You siblings, your mother and I, will be escorting your class to one of the biggest battles on the front lines. Other Spartan IIs will be there, but they are just computers."

    Dawn stopped for a moment, as Blaine said that last line. She could feel the sadness in his voice, as he shook his head, placing a hand on her shoulder. She could tell his eyes were still focused on the road ahead.

    "We were also thinking of inviting Sona over sometime in the near future. We figured you'd like some other company for a change." Blaine smiled. "You'll have to ask her before the trip is over, okay?"

    Dawn smiled, as her attention went out to the woods. Like her fight the other day, time began to slow down for her. In the distance, a purple fish shaped ship began to descend from above the tree-line. Her hand collided with Blaine's chest, as she pointed towards it.

    "Dang!" Blaine growled. "Banshee, fast and low, three o'clock!"

    Pressing the button on the side of her helmet five times, she was put back in the other comm. channel, as he mother and father followed suit. Autumn's turret roared to life, the bullets peppering the hull of the aircraft. Dawn tensed as a glob of green goop splashed under the right-front tire.

    The Warthog shook, as David tried to keep it on course. From her perspective, Dawn could see as the tire had been completely melted off.

    "Prepare kids, don't worry, you won't feel anything!" David growled, as the Warthog hit a boulder in the open landscape.

    Everyone was ejected, flung through the air and into the grass. Almost on cue, Grunts, short stubbly bird creatures, and more of the ape creatures appeared from the tree-line. Dawn watched as Sona landed at the feet of one of the ape creatures.

    The others, including Mahogany, landed with a thud beside David. The Warthog flipped on it's end. The ape beast growled, Sona's helmet had fallen off, tapping the beast on the foot. Dawn's eyes widened as the beast roared, staring down at her.

    "Fuck." Blaine whispered under his breath. "Autumn!"

    It was too late, however, Sona was lifted by the neck by the beast. Staring her in the eyes, the beast roared, it's fangs bared. Dawn jumped out of the passenger side, surprising Blaine and her mother. Sprinting across the field, she scaled above the over turned Warthog. Jumping towards the brute, she tackled the beast to the ground.

    Growling at the girl on it's chest, the beast attempted to swing upwards. Instinctively, Dawn's fist slammed into it's jaw, snapping it's head in the opposite direction. She, however, had not been lucky as it pushed her off. Like her father had said before, she actually couldn't feel the pain, just the feeling of something pushing her and landing on her rear.

    There was a roar, but it didn't come from the Brute. Almost like a blur, a red and blue flash smashed into the standing Brute with an overwhelming force. Rolling down the field head over heels, the Jiralhanae groaned as it's head hit anything from rocks, or even logs. Tumbling to a stop, the beast began to stand, before it fell onto it's back.

    Blaine stood there, smoke rising from the tip of his DMR. His helmet was disassembled, as he stared angrily in the direction of the beast. Breathing heavily, Blaine turned his attention to them. Dawn waved, as he smiled. She could see hints of gold in his iris', something that confused her slightly.

    Standing, she offered a hand to Sona, who shakily accepted it. Wrapping her arms around Dawn, Sona began to shiver.

    "That's twice now." Sona smiled. "Thank you."

    Dawn returned the hug, as a duo of Grunts and Jackals turned their attention towards her. Looking around, she couldn't find her assault rifle anywhere, not that she actually knew how to use it. Thankfully, Blaine had noticed this, with a few pops of his DMR, the Grunts and Jackals fell over.

    David helped the kids and teacher to their feet, as Blaine escorted Dawn and Sona back to the others. Flipping the Warthog back over with one hand, the kids watched in amazement. Snapping his fingers, the wheel on the Warthog reformed.

    "Normally, the wheel thing wouldn't happen." Blaine said to them. "You'd have to walk, but we're not hear to give you the FULL effect. Just a taste."

    "In the sake of time, however, we'll be advancing forward to the point we'd normally arrive." Blaine said, the environment around them changing.

    People ran like crazy in all directions, as Jiralhanae, Unngoy, and even Kig-Yar hunted them down. Blaine stood there, his helmet reassembling. Stepping forward, David began to follow, as Naomi and Autumn stopped him. Holding his arms out to his sides, Blaine walked towards the chaos, unflinching.

    Behind them, the kids could hear the familiar sound of numerous Pelicans hovering over their heads. Covering their faces, they watched as the troop bays opened, green armored giants spilling out of the back.

    They flipped in air, the jet packs on their backs engaging, as nearly thirty of them landed beside Blaine. Their weapons primed and at the ready. Dawn watched, as the Spartans trotted past him, ignoring his presence. The computer generated Spartan II's weapons came alive, as the Covenant forces slowly began to fall.

    The Students watched, however, as the Admiral stood there, watching it all happen. Clenching his right fist, he plucked the DMR back off of his back, charging into the fray.

    "Dawn?" Sona asked, turning towards her. "Why does you Dad seem so sad."

    "Those are his brothers and sisters, Sona." Dawn said, tears welling in her eyes. "I can't tell you why he's sad, though."

    So the students watched, even David, Naomi, and Autumn stood from the sidelines, acting as body guards in case the computers got too close. Dawn kept her eyes on Blaine, however, as he pummeled the aliens without remorse. Tapping the button on the side of her helmet three times, she heard Blaine's breathing.

    "Daddy? You okay?"

    "Never better kiddo." Blaine said, holding a thumbs up after punching a Jiralhanae in the face. "Sometimes it's nice, even if they don't talk to me, to feel like they're still here."

    Dawn nodded, confusing Sona. As the battle raged, the Spartan IIs numbers slowly dwindled, leaving Blaine and a handful left, having mopped up the last of the Covenant. Trotting back over towards them, the last of the Spartans evaporated. In fact, the environment around them became pitch black once more.

    Blaine, Autumn, David, and Naomi's helmets disassembled themselves, as the kids cheered. Dawn took her place in front of them, while they lead them out of the sim room. The Crew-man and the Marine, along with David and Naomi, helped everyone out of their suits.

    "So, how was your experience in the sim room?" Blaine asked, as the kids tried blinking. "Bwahahaha. You're not wearing the suits kids, but I got the answer."

    "I'm curious." Mr. Mahogany raised a hand politely. "I had never heard about that battle before, when did that take place?"

    "It was the last major battle for New Alexandria. All Spartan IIs that weren't in orbit were ordered to make a last stand while the escort ships I ended up helping were loaded." Blaine nodded. "After that battle, most of the Spartans you saw disappear in the sim actually disappeared, and still to this day haven't-"

    Blaine paused for a second, looking back towards the sim room.

    "-They haven't returned yet." Blaine said, looking at each of the kids for a second. "Can anyone tell me what they felt in there?"

    "I felt afraid." Sona said, raising her hand. "Not because of that big ape thing, though. I could see the fear in the people's eyes when they were being chased."

    "I felt hope." Dawn smiled. "Seeing how you and the others fought the enemy. No wonder Mr. Mahogany always told of the hope Spartans brought Humanity."

    As the kids gave their excited answers, the teachers smiled at the kids enthusiasm to learn. With that, the Marine and the Crew-man returned with a couple of little knick knacks for the kids to take home. Stickers of the UNSC insignia, pencils, erasers, and even flash drives for the more technically inclined.

    "Unfortunately, that's all the time I can offer you kids." Blaine smiled. "I hope you learned something today, on top of having a fun, interesting experience."

    "Let's thank the Admiral for taking the time out of his busy schedule to invite us here, huh?" Mr. Mahogany said.

    "Thank you Mr. Harlowe!" they said in unison, as Blaine smiled.

    "Don't thank me." Blaine shook his head, placing a hand on Dawn's shoulders. "It was Dawn's idea."

    "Very well then." Ms. Mayflower smiled. "Let's thank Dawn too. Along with the others for their time."

    "Thank you!" the kids cheered, clapping as Dawn smiled brightly.

    Sona walked over, as Dawn smiled. Sona once more hugged Dawn tightly, as tears flowed down her cheeks.

    "I'm sorry if I got you kicked out of school." Sona said. "I'm a terrible friend."

    "No, you're not." Dawn smiled. "It's not your fault."

    Blaine looked down at the exchange, smiling as his daughter addressed her friend. Autumn wrapped an arm around his back, as David and Naomi waved to the kids, returning to the sim room to complete their session.

    "Will I see you again?" Sona asked.

    "Actually," Dawn said, turning to her father. "My father says that you're always allowed to visit, if your parents want... if you want?"

    "I'll have to ask them." Sona said, looking up at Blaine. "Thank you sir."

    "Don't thank me." Blaine shook his head. "I should thank you for giving my daughter a friend."

    The other students came over, one by one, to actually hug Dawn, and thank her for the trip. As time carried on, however, Blaine, Autumn, and Dawn escorted them to the vehicle bay. The Golden Eagle revved, as the Students all waved, the ramp closing behind them. Blaine, Autumn, and Dawn waved as it fully closed, taking off into the distance, back down to Earth.

    Blaine and Autumn, however, frowned as they heard Dawn start to sob. Kneeling down, the two of them wrapped their arms around her shoulders, trying to calm her down.

    "You've got friends, kiddo." Blaine smiled. "They don't disappear. You'll see them all again one day."

    'Thinking back on it. That whole simulation hadn't just been a lesson for the kids. It was a lesson for me as well. I never ran sims of Reach, because I regretted that entire battle.

    But when I told my daughter they wouldn't disappear, I began thinking back on Valhalla. My friends were there, all of them, and one day; I'd see them again.'


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Doctor Jensen on August 29th 2015, 3:04 am

    I love hearing about all the Spartan IIs. They were the best. I felt a lot of emotion when I read about them.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 29th 2015, 10:14 pm

    Chapter 3: Loyalties

    "Well, that was fun." Autumn smiled, as she wiped the clean dishes off.

    Blaine stood there, smiling as his hands, buried in sudsy water, washed the dishes. Turning his gaze to her, he gave the winning smirk he had been known for.

    "-You also seem to be a lot better. I'm glad." Autumn said, wrapping her arms around him.

    "I feel amazing." Blaine said. "I think that simulation was just what I needed. Seeing Dawn taking such an interest in my job was also pretty relieving."

    After he had finished the last dish, he handed it to Autumn, who wiped it down. Placing it in the dish rack, Blaine rinsed the suds off of his hands, grabbing his glass of water. The two walked over to the front door, opening the door. Their porch overlooked the vast countryside, with a swinging loveseat just under the canopy. Both of them sat there, Blaine placing his glass on the stand beside him.

    "She really had a blast, y'know." Blaine smiled. "After we got home, she couldn't stop telling me how cool the simulation was."

    "I could hear her excitement." Autumn sighed happily. "I'll be honest, the idea of putting kids in a simulated warzone seemed a little odd to me, but I guess it worked out well in the end."

    "Yeah, I'm just glad that Sona girl wasn't too spooked." Blaine nodded, staring at the stars above. "Y'know, thinking of it from a broader spectrum, I can see how that view can really bring hope to people."

    Autumn nodded silently, wrapping her right arm over his shoulder. The chilled late summer evening air billowed past them, causing Autumn to shiver a little. Blaine chuckled, as they stared at the stars. Suddenly, Blaine's wristband began to beep. Looking down, the holographic icon of his inbox appeared once more.

    "Ah, I was waiting for this." Blaine said. "It's Sona's mother."

    Accepting the message, a holographic appeared before them.

    "Mr. Harlowe, I hope it's not too late for you?" the woman's voice echoed.

    "Not at all, ma'am." Blaine said, tilting his head towards Autumn. "This is my wife, Autumn."

    "A pleasure, Mrs. Harlowe. I am Cynthia Skorske. Sona's mother."

    "As it is to meet you, Mrs. Skorske." Autumn smiled.

    Cynthia smiled, before nodding her head. Turning away for a moment, she nodded at some unseen thing, before turning back.

    "Many pardons, my husband was just asking me a question." she said. "He would introduce himself, but he's rather busy with work."

    "Ah, what does he do, if I may be so bold?" Blaine asked.

    "He's a writer." Cynthia said, rather quickly.

    "Very nice." Autumn smiled. "You must enjoy the stories he has to tell?"

    "Yes, but our daughter loves them most of all." Cynthia's eyes cast down to the desk in front of her. "Speaking of her, Sona wanted me to tell you both that she had a wonderful time. I'm so glad my daughter and yours became such good friends."

    "Sona couldn't stop telling me of the trouble the other students were giving Dawn. Had I known, I would have been there for the meetings and tried to-"

    "It's quite alright, Mrs. Skorske-"

    "Cynthia, please." she smiled.

    "-er Cynthia. Dawn enjoyed making friends and learning, but she understood that people just weren't going to like her there. We'll have to look elsewhere."

    "I see. Well, Sona also told me that you had been gracious enough to invite our Daughter to your house this weekend." Cynthia said. "Unfortunately, Sona is headed with us to visit Jupiter this weekend."

    "Of course, because we don't want to offend you or your daughter, we would like to invite Dawn to tag along!" Cynthia smiled. "We have a vacation home on one of Jupiter's moons."

    "Oh really?" Blaine said. "Ganymede or Io?"

    "Io. Of course." Cynthia said. "After the regrettable instance with Ganymede, no-one dares go there, even after all these years."

    Blaine and Autumn took a moment to glance back and forth at each other. Autumn had a look of uncertainty on her face, understandably so to Blaine. They would be allowing Dawn to go, alone, to Io with a group of strangers they didn't know. It was all a matter of risk taking, either they let her go with her friend, and risk danger, or deny her and risk causing Dawn's friend to leave her.

    "Please understand." Blaine cleared his throat. "We mean no disrespect, it's just our first time with Dawn's friends."

    "I understand." Cynthia smiled. "It's a lot to ask. In olden times, a stay-over was probably fifteen minutes away. This is several thousand miles. You have every right to be concerned. If you'd like, you can give me an answer by the end of the week. We head out on Friday, if you make up your mind."

    "Thank you." Autumn smiled. "We'll consider your offer."

    "Magnifico!" Cynthia smiled, kissing the palm of her hand. "I look forward to hearing from you. May you both have a wonderful evening, ciao!"

    With that, the line cut. Blaine and Autumn once more looked amongst each other, confused at what had transpired. On one side, they wanted Dawn to have friends, but on the other, this would be the furthest from them Dawn would be.

    "I don't know, what do you think?" Autumn asked, as Blaine stared to the stars.

    "I think we should do it." Blaine nodded with a smirk. "At some point, she'll have to spend some time away from us. If we're truly concerned, I can hire some ODSTs to go undercover and keep an eye out."

    "Isn't that a bit rude?" Autumn asked.

    "I would assume so. That's why I'm leaving the choice up to you." Blaine said. "You're better at covering these things than I am."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    The following Friday

    "I'm so glad you could make it!" Sona said, wrapping her arms around Dawn, who mimicked the motion.

    "Yes, we're more than happy to have you along." Cynthia said, smiling. "Thank you both for allowing her to come with us. Sona was very excited to hear Dawn was going to come."

    "Of course." Blaine grinned. "Who are we to deny our Daughter a chance to see the Universe. Though, I was hoping to meet your husband?"

    "He's already on Io, he headed out last night to prepare the place." Cynthia said. "Sorry about that."

    "It's fine." Blaine shook his head. "Perhaps some other time. Now, how much do I owe you?"

    "Sir?" Cynthia asked, tilting her head.

    Blaine held out a tablet, as Cynthia gently pushed it back towards him. Blaine tried to insist, as she pushed it back again.

    "It's not cheap flying to Jupiter." Blaine said. "Please, allow me to help pay Dawn's way."

    "We invited her as our guest, Mr. Harlowe. That includes paying her way." Cynthia said. "Though, I appreciate the gesture."

    There was the sound of an air-horn, as the civilian space transport roared to life. The wind from the engines blowing at the four individuals.

    "By the way, your wife isn't here to see your daughter off?" Cynthia asked, as Blaine shook his head.

    "Unfortunately, she had last minute work off planet." Blaine frowned, crouching low to Dawn's ear level. "If you need your mother or I, you'll have a tablet in your bag. Alpha Zulu Foxtrot Tango, it's written in a note. You're designation is Valkyrie, okay?"

    'It's true. When I set up the private channel for my wife, daughter and I, I was stumped. As my designation has become All-Father, and Autumn's was Freyja, it was only fair that our daughter would be Valkyrie.'

    "Yep." Dawn whispered, kissing him on the cheek. "Seeya later Daddy!"

    "Have fun kiddo." Blaine smiled, pecking her on the forehead. "I'll see you Sunday evening?"

    "Yep, we'll be back here around ten." Cynthia said, offering a hand. "Ciao!"

    "Buongiorno mia signora. *Farewell, m'lady*" Blaine took the hand, kissing her hand. "Viaggi sicuri *safe travels*."

    "You know Italian?" Cynthia asked with a smile. "come impressionante *how impressive*"

    "I had hoped my knowledge of Italian culture hasn't soured." Blaine said. "I've gotta go, and it looks like you should get on board too. Have a good time! You have my number if you need me."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Io, Jupiter's Moon.

    "Ah, welcome!" a man with a fluffy mustache said, rushing out to the Pelican.

    Sona and Dawn carried their bags, while Cynthia struggled with the rest. The man kissed Sona on the left cheek, followed by her right cheek. Turning to Dawn, he offered a hand, as Dawn shook it.

    "My name is Giovanni. I'm Sona's father. It's a pleasure to meet ya." he said. "You must be Dawn?"

    "Yes sir." Dawn nodded, as he smiled up to Cynthia. "Thank you for inviting me here."

    "So polite too!" Giovanni said. "Magnifico!"

    Offering to take Dawn's bags, Giovanni helped relieve some of Cynthia's overwhelming number of luggage bags. As they entered the building, Dawn's eyes widened at the decorations in the room. Fake grape vines dwindled down the draperies on the wall. Red wall paper, laced with what she assumed was gold, lined the walls. Candles were found practically everywhere she looked.

    To her right, she could see the dining room. A beautiful scarlet table cloth covered the table, the table itself seemed rather expensive, having special markings along the edge of it.

    "Welcome to our home away from home signora." Giovanni said. "I hope you won't mind staying in Sona's room for your stay?"

    "That won't be a problem, sir." Dawn said.

    "Please, call me Giovanni." he smirked. "We're all friends here."

    "I hope I'm not sounding rude." Giovanni said. "You are free to explore the house as you see fit, and to help yourself to whatever you find. All I ask is that you stay away from my basement. It is where I do my writing, and I need total silence when I write."

    "I will. Thank you, um, Mr. Skorske." Dawn said. "I'm sorry, it's strange for me to call people's parents by their first names. I don't mean to offend."

    "Not at all." Giovanni chuckled. "If you'd prefer to call me Mr. Skorske, I'm alright with that too."

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Io's Orbit, Io, Jupiter's Moon.

    "Freyja, how copy?" Blaine's familiar voice echoed, as Autumn frowned.

    "Solid copy, All-Father. They've touched down planet-side." Autumn replied.

    She had been in one of the Office's many stealth ships. Usually used during the Insurrectionist uprising to gather intel on Innies, they had all but been retired in the years since. However, as a special favor, she had been able to purchase the ship for her family's personal use.

    As both her and Blaine had been high ranking members of both major branches in the military, they needed transport that wasn't likely to draw attention to them. In this instance, however, she was using it to keep an eye on her daughter.

    Originally, she didn't feel right spying on them. However, as a member of the Office of Naval Intelligence, she also was extremely paranoid for her daughter's sake. The plan was supposed to be Blaine telling them that Autumn had work on Ganymede for the Office, so she wouldn't seem so far away. Autumn, however, feared that if these people were in fact malicious to Dawn, she could respond immediately.

    "Did you happen to see her husband, or a man that acted as her husband in your scan?" Blaine asked.

    "Affirmative, a man by the name of Giovanni Skorske. I actually ran his name through a search. So far, he has nothing to his name."

    "Alright, please let me know if anything turns up. I'll have David and Naomi on standby over the weekend, just in case. All-Father, over and out.."


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    Manny
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Manny on September 1st 2015, 2:00 pm

    God damn. I thought my parents were protective...
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 1st 2015, 4:11 pm

    First timers, and one of them is a Spartan II whose in the middle of mourning his dead father, and having a Mid-life crisis. Do these constitute this behavior? No, not particularly. A Spartan out of war is a very confused... 'person'. Blaine, finally having time to realize that he's not a war machine, is having the same epiphany that Master Chief was trying to have at the end of Halo 4.

    Besides, Blaine's always been super protective of the ones he loves. Moreso with Dawn, however. Touch his daughter, even on the shoulder, without her permission and he's likely to rip your fucking arm off and force feed it to you. You'll end up looking like a concept art for a Mortal Kombat Fatality.

    Anyways, next update should be up soon. Perhaps their overt protectiveness might prove useful? Or will Dawn have a grand old time with no worries?


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 4th 2015, 5:00 am

    I have not forgotten about this. However, I recently had a craving to paint something, so I did. My new avatar. There is a second half to the painting, if you'd like to see either-or, both, or what have you, post belowe!


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Manny on September 7th 2015, 9:42 pm

    I'd like to see the other half.

    However Blaine looks kinda skinny... For a Spartan.
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 8th 2015, 12:14 am

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Must've been during the resizing process. I'll try to fix it at a later time, in the meanwhile.

    Harlowes:

    Valkyrie:

    As you might have guessed, this story will actually have two different endings. Do note, however, that due to spoilers, the images do NOT represent the different endings entirely. In fact, one of them is only a placeholder.

    The next part will discuss this, which should be up tomorrow after I get home from work. What's likely to happen? I suppose that's up to you to find out Razz .

    Edit: For some reason, Blaine in the 'Harlowe's' image is still looking rather skinny, and Dawn in the other image has a weird janky leg thing going on.

    I'd also like to point out that these images poses where photo referenced. The painting was done by me, but the lines were made by others.


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 13th 2015, 11:05 pm

    Old Friends, New Problems

    "Blaine fucking Harlowe as I live and breath." a male voice called from behind Blaine.

    The Spartan, unsuspecting of the visitor, raised his pistol to the stranger. The young man sat in the office chair, smirking at the steel weapon in front of him.

    "My my, a bit edgy, aren't we?" the man shook his head, his shaggy brown hairy swishing back and forth. "When I say 'as I live and breath',  I also mean YOU."

    Blaine sighed as he recognized the visitor, placing the pistol back down on the desk in front of him. Shaking his head, the Spartan pressed a button on his desk. Standing, he approached the man. While small in comparison to the Spartan, the young man was not average in the slightest. Grasping the young man by the collar of his shirt, the Spartan hoisted him into the air, throwing him out the door.

    Closing it behind him, the Spartan breathed a sigh of relief, before turning back. Only to find the same young man sitting in his office chair.

    "Oh Blaine, I thought we were friends?"

    "Friends?" Blaine shook his head. "How can I be friends with the fucker that keeps sending me in endless loops?!"

    "Really? You're complaining that you get the one thing other people don't? How many people can say they get a second chance in their life? Or even a third, fourth, or fifth?" the young man smirked, leaning back.

    "There's a reason they shouldn't. Reliving the same thing over and over, especially the moments you can't change. It's a fucking nightmare!" Blaine growled, clenching his fist. "Whenever I see you, I want to rip your damn head from your shoulders, but I can't."

    "Tell me how you really feel, Harlowe." the man leaned forward on the desk, a cheshire smile appearing across his face. "Why can't you kill me, eh?"

    "I need to protect my family." Blaine shook his head. "I kill you, I don't have a family to protect."

    "Clever thinking. I knew you were a smart cookie, and I would hope so too, all things considered."

    "Is there a reason you're bugging me today?" Blaine groaned. "I have matters to attend to, matters I'm sure YOU'RE responsible for."

    The young man smirked, pulling his trusty old fashioned laptop from his bag. Placing it on the desk, the young man lightly tapped the cover, before opening it.

    "-Aaaand there goes the 'smart cookie' award." the man shook his head. "You should know by now that I'm involved with all events in your life, good or bad. I made you, after all."

    Blaine growled, staring at the young man ahead of him. He had only met Shadow in a couple of instances. While he didn't completely understand the whole concept, all he needed to know was this man was responsible for every event in his and his family's life.

    "Sorry for your father, by the way. I've had to do that to him so many damned times, people are starting to just laugh."

    Blaine's fist slammed on the desk, as his nostrils flared. Shadow sat there, frowning at Blaine's face.

    "Shut up."

    "Look, it's not my favorite event, but people don't live forever. You and I know this better than everyone. Face it, boyo, death surrounds us. What I suffer from, you do too." Shadow shrugged. "Besides, that bonding moment you had between yourself and Dawn was very crucial to her future. You do care about her future... don't you?"

    "Yes."

    "Than shut the fuck up and listen." Shadow growled, typing furiously into his computer. "Do to certain... events in my own life. It has caused me to go to some dark places. As a result, my world sculpting has changed drastically."

    "Why should I care?" Blaine growled, sitting in one of the guest chairs. "If you fuck up, it's not like I'll know that I'm gone."

    "Here's the thing. You and I, we're connected." Shadow tented his hands in front of him, glaring at the Spartan. "Like I said, what I feel, you feel. You've been too over protective lately. People you care about are getting worried. You are not yourself."

    "You hit someone you didn't know, but did so because they were connected to you in some way." Shadow continued. "Face it, Blaine. Farius is starting to show his ugly face again. You keep this shit up, everyone around you is going to pay."

    "You can fix this shit, why don't YOU do it." Blaine clenched his fists.

    "Because I suffer from the same demons, you shit stain." Morgan growled, actually intimidating the Spartan. "This isn't about me though, this is about Dawn."

    "What do you mean?!" Blaine sat forward, red beginning to form in his iris'.

    "My point exactly. You're too overly protective of Dawn. This is something I've come to deal with in my own life. You, on the other hand, still have yet to do something about it."

    Shadow began to type away on his laptop for a moment, before turning his attention back to the Spartan.

    "You've suddenly had an interest in Norse mythology. Greek mythology as well, am I incorrect? Actually, don't answer that, I already know." Shadow shook his head. "If you or I didn't know any better, you're starting to act a lot more like Hel than any of the other Norse gods I had in mind for you."

    Hel, Blaine recalled, was Daughter of Loki, God of Mischief. She was known to be exceptionally sweet to the people around her, or incomprehensibly cruel. Her mood swings were very akin to that of bi-polar disorder, or to the effect of Blaine; his curse.

    "This won't end well for you if you stay on this path. I cannot directly tell you which way is the correct path, I have to leave that to fate. You, however, can tip the scales in your favor if you work for it." Shadow continued. "You won't be the only one punished, however."

    Turning his monitor, Shadow pointed to a pair of moving images. On the left, Blaine could see Dawn smiling, her eyes focused happily on the camera. She seemed to be thinking happy thoughts. Concerning to him, however, was what he thought he had seen her wearing. Shaking his head, his vision turned to the image on the right.

    His eyes widened, however, as he could not see anything. The image, in fact, was pure black. He heard water dripping, along with the occasional screams of the damned. Worst still, was the ever spine chilling thump of an abnormal heartbeat.

    "IT'S COMING FOR US!" was all that could be heard, before Shadow closed the laptop.

    "You are an acolyte to Goldenheart. You have the ability to shift entire time-lines. What you should know, however, is this is your LAST loop, Blaine." Shadow shook his head. "I'm running out of ideas for you. You fuck something up here, it sticks. Worse still, after the events of your failure, you'll be aware of the other outcome, but will never attain it."

    With that, the young man faded in a veil of blue light. Blaine sat there, hand on his forehead. He wasn't quite sure as to what he had seen, other than it meant Dawn's entire future rested in his actions. Shadow had mentioned something about being over protective.

    Something he had recalled, when he attacked Kyle that day, was that his eyes had been red. That was generally the sign of Blackenheart's intervention. If Blackenheart continued to make himself known, would she be influenced? The day after he attacked Kyle, she had nearly broken Kyle and his friends.

    My mysterious benefactor had been correct. I was starting to act a lot less like Odin, the one Norse god I felt most connected to. Instead, I was starting to become bi-polar, my emotions running along the lines of Hel, keeper of the Underworld. What troubled me, was the thought that Valhalla was drawing further and further away.

    Perhaps, if I truly wanted to reach Valhalla, I would need to ensure Dawn had a good future. Perhaps, I just needed to stop babying her so much.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the events of Peace Talks

    I suppose it's fair to say that, as a host to a creature of Time. That the time shift between those days and today should have been expected. After her visit with Sona and their family, Dawn was extremely content, as were Autumn and I. Our daughter and Sona had continued to meet for many occasions following that.

    One day, however, Sona up and disappeared. Despite our efforts, we were never able to find her again. Dawn had been distraught, in fact, something changed within her. Was this what Shadow had warned me about? That day had been four months ago, and after going to that peace summit, we were happy that, once again, Dawn had found a friend.

    Dawn smiled as Lasp desperately attempted to eat the cone of frozen dairy in her hand. Chuckling, Dawn watched as the Sangheili all but pouted. Turning her saurian eyes towards Dawn, Dawn's tongue ran up the length of her ice cream cone.

    "Can't you lick it?" Dawn asked, as Lasp shook her head. "Perhaps you could try biting it?"

    Looking down at the cone, the Sangheili clasped her four mandibles around the frozen dairy. Her eyes widened, however, as chills ran along her mouth. Spitting it out, Dawn watched as Lasp shifted uncomfortably on the park bench.

    "Oh, sorry." Dawn frowned, as Lasp placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

    "It's unfortunate, yes, but it is no fault of yours." Lasp said.

    Dawn's eyes fell upon her father, who walked alongside Wyatt and Anch. It still amazed her how Anch had been Lasp's father, let alone the fact that she had never even met her father before.

    "Is there something on your mind? Friend?" Lasp asked, as Dawn turned towards her.

    "I wanted to ask you something, but... I don't want to offend you." Dawn frowned.

    "Ask away, I assure you, I'm not easily offended."

    Dawn glanced back at her father and the two accompanying him, over the years, she had watched as he changed. When she was really little, he had been known as one of the kindest, most laid back Admirals in existence. As she got older, however, she noticed he had gotten much more aggressive.

    "What's it like, not knowing your father?"

    "It was Sangheili culture. I knew no better. I say the mixture of emotions, having met my father, is overbearing, yes. However, I could not tell you of it. I like to think my Uncle raised me well, to be a fine and fair warrior." Lasp nodded. "Now let me ask you, how does it feel, having known your father."

    "To tell you the truth, Lasp, I don't know my father that well." Dawn frowned. "I love him to pieces, but he's a lot different than I remember of him."

    "Does he... hurt you?"

    "No, nothing like that." Dawn said, shaking her head. "I mean, he's just gotten more... aggressive to others. Especially when I'm around."

    "I know that, from what I've read of Human culture, Father's protect their daughters, moreso than they protect themselves. It is very possible that your father may have changed, as a way to adapt to protecting you." Lasp sighed. "I would not worry to heavily on it. I can tell that he loves you, very much."

    Dawn nodded her head in understanding. She was aware that her dad loved her, which is why he had always been there for her throughout the years. She, however, just didn't want his public image changed, especially for her.

    Dawn jumped, however, as an icon blipped on her data pad. Shortly after the events from the previous day, Blaine ensured she had one, so that she could communicate with him or her mother whenever was necessary. Her eyes widened, as she gazed upon the message in front of her.

    It was Sona.

    "Dawn! I'm sorry I've been out of contact for so long. I- I can't say much right now, you just have to get your Da- Oh no. What are you doing with that, get- AUUUUUGH! HELLLLLLP!"

    At the sound of a young woman's screams, Blaine, Wyatt, and even Anch tensed. Turning towards the source, the three sprinted towards Dawn's location, as she sat there, staring at the tablet.

    "Dawn!" Blaine said, sliding along his knees to her side. "What was that screaming all about?!"

    "I-I." Dawn said, as tears began to well up in her eyes.

    "What'd you do!" Wyatt growled, pointing a pistol at Lasp, as Anch snarled, grasping the weapon.

    "Do not cloud your vision. Lasp has done nothing wrong, my eye has been on her for the past few minutes." Anch growled at the Spartan. "Though, you may like to know that us Sangheili can only enjoy 'ice cream' if it is in a liquid state."

    Blaine placed a hand gingerly under Dawn's cheek, raising her vision to him. Crying, she glanced back down at the tablet, while Blaine held it up. Pressing the message inbox, he noticed a video message. Playing it, Wyatt and Anch tensed as the girl's shrieks took place again.

    "When did you receive this?" Blaine asked, standing rigid.

    "I-." Dawn shook her head in disbelief, as Lasp squeezed Dawn's shoulder for comfort.

    "It was roughly a unit ago." Lasp replied.

    "You'll have to be more specific. I'm still confused by the whole Sangheili 'Unit' measurement. You use it for literally fucking everything." Blaine shook his head.

    "I believe that translates to a 'minute', Human time." Anch replied.

    Hurriedly typing in a code on the data pad, Autumn's face appeared. She was still rather banged up and bruised from the day before, but she was alright.

    "Blaine, is everything okay?!"

    "For us, yes. You'll never believe whose come from the shadows again, though." Blaine shook his head. "I'm sending the message your way, see what you can gather on it."

    After a brief pause, Blaine could hear the video echo from Autumn's microphone, her eyes widening.

    "That's Sona, isn't it?" Autumn asked. "She has some nerve asking Dawn for help after straight leaving like that."

    "Now isn't the time, Autumn. She sounded like she was requesting for me. Besides, I couldn't help but notice a familiar face towards the end there."

    "Yeah. I could recognize that sleaze bag out of anywhere." Autumn shook her head.

    "I want to help." Dawn said, tears streaming off of her cheeks and onto the bench in front of her.

    "Abso-" Blaine started, as she turned her gaze up towards him.

    His eyes widened with legitimate fear, however, as red specks began to form in her iris'. Chills ran up his spine, as Blaine Harlowe, for the first time in the many cycles of life he had lived, was afraid.

    "I warned you, didn't I?" Shadow said, pacing beside Blaine.

    The environment around them had stopped, completely. Not even Blaine himself could move, only his eyes. Shadow placed a hand on the Spartan's shoulder.

    "You cannot prevent her from inheriting it." Shadow shook his head. "In fact, you actually have to ensure it. Goldenheart can only have one host in this Universe. If you don't... matters will be most unsatisfactory."

    "I don't want her in the military." Blaine growled.

    "I never said anything about that." Shadow shrugged. "You just have to make sure that she accepts Goldenheart, not the Heartless one."

    "Blackenheart has a new name?"

    "Yeah, I think I like Heartless more." Shadow nodded. "She turns the path of Heartless? Goldenheart's going to intervene. You DON'T want that."

    With that, Shadow disappeared from his side, as time began to come back to. Blaine stared, wide eyed, at his daughter. Her teeth were bared with anger, but her eyes were still predominately blue. His heart pounded in his chest, had he failed? Were her eyes supposed to be golden now, not red?

    That's when he understood, Dawn looks up to her. He had been allowing Heartless to seep further and further into his actions. He had been careless, and she was adopting that way of thinking. He should have known it from when she first attacked those kids at the school. Now, Heartless was likely settled in nicely, if he didn't play his cards right, she would become a conduit of overwhelming destruction.

    "Absolutely." Blaine sighed, as Autumn's eyes widened.

    "What?! No, we're not-"

    "Autumn. Trust me on this." Blaine shook his head, placing a hand on Dawn's shoulder.

    Sure enough, the red flecks in her iris' slowly began to disappear. Replaced by golden flecks, Blaine sighed in relief.

    "Guys, I need some time to talk to my daughter. Continue as you were, Dawn, we're headed back to Odin's Judgement."

    For years, I had always just imagined Valkyries. Taking the people I loved to Valhalla, while the others, when they didn't go to Freyja, found their way in Hel's hands. Never once did I ever expect this from Dawn, more importantly, I never expected her to become an actual Valkyrie. With Goldenheart, her job would be to protect the Universe, to choose who survived, and who didn't.

    If Heartless took control before Goldenheart... I would have no choice. Goldenheart wouldn't let me have that choice.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Author's Notes: Yep. I added Goldenheart and the newly coined Heartless to this story. Which reminds me, following this next chapter, YOU will have the power of Goldenheart.

    That is to say, there are THREE endings to this story. One is the best possible ending, one is moderately okay, and the third one is listed as the Bad ending. Because the choice system doesn't actually work on this site, especially how there are only two confirmed readers for this story, here is how it will work.

    Two chapters from now, you will be prompted to post an option for the characters. These choices will perform the butterfly effect, your actions will decide which ending you will be given. Because you will likely choose something different than the others, I will be writing the three endings, and the posts leading up to them, separately.

    When the time comes and they are completed, they will be posted in Spoiler tags, and you will be instructed which Spoiler tag to read. These endings will not be canonical unless you wish them to be.

    Also, Jensen. You were not here when I introduced Goldenheart to Blaine. The next chapter will explain literally everything about who he and Heartless are. Manny, you may even learn something new yourself, I dunno.

    Thanks for reading, as always! The end is drawing nearer.


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!


    Doctor Jensen
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Doctor Jensen on September 14th 2015, 12:05 am

    Good stuff considering I was confused about Heartless and Goldenheart, but I got the host of it. Waiting eagerly for the next part.
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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 21st 2015, 9:51 pm

    I haven't forgotten this, by the way! I've just become completely overwhelmed with stuff, it will be updated soon!


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Join date : 2013-01-16
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on September 30th 2015, 9:53 pm

    So, I know I said this story was going to have multiple endings. However, I had a spare moment the other day to go over the notes for the multiple different ways I wanted this story to end.

    In order to incorporate the system that would allow you guys to practically choose your own ending for the story, I would have had to come up with numerous different scenarios. Each scenario would either backtrack or progress the story, but perhaps into a different tangent. In the end, this would have involved waaaay to much work for me to handle. Perhaps one day I'll have the spare time and wherewithal to perform such a more interactive way of story telling, but for Valkyrie's Ascent, there will be no such thing.

    That being said, all of my efforts will be put into progressing this story into a single story tangent, and therefore the story will have only ONE ending, perhaps two if I find something alternative to mention. Please keep in mind that this time around, everything is permanent. I've said this to death, but for once in my 'career' of writing on the Database, this time it actually will be set in stone.

    Without further delay, I will continue where we left off. Please enjoy, and as always, feel free to leave some feedback; it's what keeps me interested in writing!

    "What is the essence of Heroism?" I always remembered Mendez spouting during Spartan training, back in Boot. At the time, the question almost seemingly lacked a proper answer. After all these years, all these second chances, I think the answer is becoming more and more noticeable.

    "You never agree to let me do things, especially this dangerous." Dawn shifted her feet nervously, as her and her father walked down the sidewalk to the nearest Pelican station. "Why the sudden change of heart, Dad?"

    Blaine walked alongside Dawn, his eyes glued to the cityscape just in front of him. Despite the battle having took place the day before, the fires from the destruction still raged in some areas. Blaine didn't seem to concerned, however, as he briefly shook his head, turning his attention to Dawn.

    "There are some things I need to tell you, about your old man." Blaine sighed, scratching the back of his head. "It'll be a lot to take in, and you may not believe everything I'm about to tell you, but for your sake; I need you to listen."

    "Of course." Dawn nodded, as the two of them stepped into the Pelican depot.

    Unsurprisingly, the number of people scurrying throughout the building was drastically reduced. Terrorist attacks of this caliber always seemed to keep people at home, or fleeing for the nearest safe colony. Besides the desk operators, there were few others in the building.

    "You remember those bed-time stories I used to tell you about? About the man who had the heart of gold?"

    "Vaguely." Dawn frowned, as the two of them approached the desk.

    "Hello, how may I-" the clerk said, as she suddenly gazed upon Blaine. "Y-you're Admiral Harlowe! It's an honor sir!"

    "Likewise, ma'am." Blaine nodded curtly. "Two for transport. I'll give the pilot instructions."

    "Yes sir. A pilot will page your comm. once they are available, in the meanwhile, please have a seat over there." the woman said, flattening her hand in a pointing motion. "Also, I'd like to personally thank you, y'know, for your service to the UNSC. It's not every day someone like me gets to meet a war hero, let alone a Spartan."

    "Anything for the UNSC and her colonies." Blaine nodded with a grin, as his daughter and him walked away.

    The two sat down, Blaine turning to Dawn. Placing a hand on her kneecap, he stared deep into his daughter's eyes.

    "It started with Angus Flannigan. He was a man whom had been raised by a man that was not his father. For his father and his mother had died shortly after he was born. Angus, after his surrogate father had fallen into heavy debt, fled into the Highlands of Scotland in seek of refuge, a new start."

    "In his travels, he stumbled upon a young woman and her escorts. She had gone to the wood in search of berries, to bake her sickly father a pie. Her escorts, however, had taken to the drink, and passed out in the field. Alone, the young woman accidentally trespassed on the turf of a mighty brown bear."

    "Angus took notice of this, and, with all the bravery he could muster, attacked the bear. At first, the battle was in the bear's favor, Angus could not match the strength of the behemoth. However, it was only when the young woman cried out in fear for him, that he was able to muster the strength to overwhelm the bear."

    "It had been almost miraculous, in his time of need, Angus' strength had tripled, even quadrupled. He killed the legendary bear with nothing but his fists. Using one of the young woman's guards' swords, Angus skinned the bear as a trophy. With Angus as her new escort, the young woman lead Angus to the nearest Village, where a sickly old King ruled."

    "This King had been the father of the young woman Angus had rescued. In return for his heroics, the King had offered his daughter's hand in marriage, as well as the entirety of the Kingdom. Soon enough, the Old King had passed, leaving Angus as the new King. In the Old King's passing, the several Provinces of Scotland had become filled with chaos and unrest."

    "Angus, as the new King, however, refused to send his troops to quelch such chaos. Instead, he used his troops to help the people with whatever grievances they may have had. These acts had granted Angus with the title of Angus; the Golden-Hearted King of Scotland."

    "On one fateful trip to Glascow, Angus encountered a cloaked entity. that spoke of doom and despair for his future. As an assurance, the cloaked entity offered Angus a source of power, said to have derived from God Him or Her-self. Angus, not greedy, refused the offer. The cloaked entity, however, sensed the compassion the King had for his expecting wife."

    "Using her as a means of bribing the King, the Scryer mentioned a bloodbath, starting with the King's wife and soon to be daughter. Angus, concerned for the safety of his beloved wife and expanding family, accepted the power."

    "It was at that moment that the cloaked entity revealed himself as Farius, the Arch-demon of Grief, Acolyte to Chaos. The power he had granted to Angus would permit Angus to be nearly invincible in combat, at the price of his emotions. Had he become too infuriated, his rage would consume him and bring about the skeletons of his past. His powers would intensify, but he would not be in control."

    "In order for these powers to aid him, however, he needed personal momentos, to keep his now unstable mind in check. Upon his return to his Kingdom, his wife embroidered her name upon his bear-skin cape that he had fashioned years prior. When his daughter was born, she branded his right arm with the name of their daughter."

    "When Scotland inevitably broke out into civil war, Angus the Golden-Hearted had no choice but to participate in the war. With power unlike anything seen by the Highlanders, Angus wielded a two-handed Great-sword as if it had been a one-handed Longsword. His foes watched as their slashes barely scraped his skin. It was a one-sided battle, and Angus had been untouchable."

    "Respectfully, Angus and his troops had buried their fallen allies, and enemies. It was a war that he had not wanted, and it was a War he intended on ending peacefully. However, the enemy faction was not so interested. For it had been that same day, when an assassin stormed Angus' castle, killing his wife in her bed, and stealing away his only child."

    "When news of this came to Angus, he returned to his castle to witness that, indeed, it had been true. Stricken with grief, Scotland was consumed by an unending downpour. Thunder clapped in the skies, winds reached velocities that tore down entire houses, and the seas raged. The Arch-Demon Farius approached in the shadows, binding himself with the angered King. With a mighty roar that belittled the cracks of thunder, Angus Flannigan died."

    "In his wake was Goldenheart, a being that stood for justice and truth. Controller of time, Goldenheart was aware of all that was, would be, and was current. His eyes glowed gold like the most magnificent of crowns, an aura of Hope seemingly radiating off of him. However, with his bear-skin cape damaged in the fight, his first momento had been destroyed, and his fragile mind was easily corrupted by Farius' malicious intentions. Where gold had once been in his iris', now a crimson hatred burned with the fires of a thousand dying suns."

    "From the shell that was to be Humanity's greatest protector, was now a husk, a being with the sole prospect of destroying everything. With a dark aura, the Heartless one rode out into the battlefield once more, where he encountered his troops and his foes. They drank to peace, something Goldenheart would have elated to. With his unbound rage, the Heartless one mercilessly slaughtered them all. Blood met fresh mud, friend, nor foe was spared."

    "It is said that the world would have ended that day, had his Daughter's uncle not stepped in. The Uncle had heard the invader enter the castle, slay the Queen, and make way for the Princess. The Uncle had successfully wounded the assassin, and snatched the Daughter away before more harm could befall her. Presenting her to the Heartless one, the shadows of his self loathing melted away, and Goldenheart once returned to this world."

    Blaine stopped, however, as a notification appeared in his visor. A pilot was ready and waiting to pick them up. Both of them stood, walking to the nearby elevator.

    "How does this relate to you... or me?" Dawn asked, majorly confused.

    "Understanding that his power was far to great for the world, Goldenheart split himself into three entities. Three Fragments of Goldenheart; One that represented his immeasurable Strength, One that represented his insurmountable Courage, and one that represented his unrivaled Wisdom. With his power, he split Farius apart as well. Each Fragment would be sent to a different plain of existence, and would keep a piece of Farius in check."

    "Do you happen to remember Walter A. Law?" Blaine asked, as Dawn stopped to think for a moment.

    "Yeah, isn't he the head of the Legion?" Dawn asked, as Blaine clasped a hand on her shoulder, smirking.

    "Yep. He held a fragment of Farius in him." Blaine nodded.

    "But wait." Dawn shook her head. "Wasn't this a fairy tale you used to tell me? To teach me the importance of family?"

    "It was a fairy tale, yes. Throughout the Harlowe famil-"

    "-and mine. You big lug." a man said from beside Dawn, causing the teenager to squeak. "You decided to tell her, eh? I can't say I'm not proud of you. I'm just curious why you deemed an Elevator to be the best place?"

    "W-who are you?" Dawn asked, as the man smirked, his cold blue eyes meeting hers.

    "I go by many alias. To your father, I am Shadow, a man who alters and creates worlds. To friends and family, however, I am Morgan. Before you ask, yes, I named your grandfather after myself. Aren't I just the little narcissist?" Shadow nodded. "You could say I brought the legend of my... er, our families to life."

    "This, like he just said, is Shadow. I'll spare the confusing details, he brought the fairy tale of Goldenheart to life. He was the one who made it much more than just a family myth." Blaine shrugged. "He's also a giant pain in my ass."

    "You're just words on a page, my friend." Shadow chuckled. "Anyways, don't let me continue to be an interruption, please, finish the story."

    Dawn shiftily stared at the strange man, before turning her attention back to Blaine, her eyes still peeking at the man from time to time.

    "Y'see. I knew Walter had a Fragment of Farius withing him, because I hold a Fragment of Goldenheart within me. I'm the one that stands for his strength. Perhaps one day you will meet Bryce and Drake, the Fragments of wisdom and courage, respectively." Blaine nodded, as Dawn shook her head in disbelief.

    "Okay, I really don't need jokes right now Dad. I'm concerned about Sona. Why is this strange man here, why are you telling me these things?!"

    "Because... there can only be one Fragment of Goldenheart at once in your Universe." Shadow said, leaning against the wall, a toothpick in between his teeth. "Being a direct descendant of your father, you are next in line to become a Fragment of Goldenheart, in fact, you practically already are."

    "W-what?" Dawn said, turning back to Shadow for a second. "D-daddy, I don't want to be a Fragment."

    "Nothing you can do to change it, kiddo." Shadow said, ruffling his hand in her hair. "You've been wondering why your old man's been acting differently? He's been through his life four or five times now. Each on had something much more drastic happen."

    "Fun fact: In just TWO of those 'Loops', Blaine had you. In previous Loops, Blaine was actually married to Katie, your mother was with Lasky, and your grandfather was dead well before the War ended." Shadow turned his attention to Blaine, who clenched his fists. "Must be hell living the same- gack!"

    Dawn shrieked as Blaine held the strange man by the throat, pinning him to the wall.

    "You're the asshole that did this to me. I don't want this for her. So DO something about it."

    "It's... already... set... in... stone." Shadow smirked. "Kill... me.... and... everything... you... know... goes... bye... bye..."

    Slamming the author's back into the wall, Blaine growled in annoyance, walking back to Dawn's side of the elevator. Shadow sat on his knees, grasping at his throat, as the air returned to his lungs.

    "Look, I ran through your life numerous different ways. So many times that my fellow Authors started getting annoyed every time I brought you back for another go. The only way that I could bring it all together, was if I introduced Goldenheart. That way, it would explain how you could possibly have had four different time-lines. You, your family, and your friends have died so many times, that even one of my fellow authors chuckled at the idea that your father died so many times."

    "You wanted it to end, after all these loops?" Shadow asked. "You get your reprieve, now Dawn takes up the mantra. When she has a kid, if she does, that kid will be next, if she doesn't, whichever closest blood relative to her will start the cycle."

    "I-I don't, I won't." Dawn shook her head.

    "Dawn. It's not bad, in fact, it's actually pretty good." Blaine said. "Do you remember that day you got into a fight? Your Spartan instincts kicked in, and time slowed? Do you also remember being so angry you could have almost killed those boys? That was your inner Heartless trying to resurface. If you don't accept Goldenheart, then you'll be stuck with Heartless, and you could kill literally everyone and anyone."

    "What about these loops? Doesn't that mean I'll have to relive my life over and over again? Can't I go insane from that?"

    "I almost thought I would, believe it or not." Blaine sighed. "-However, it also meant I could change my past mistakes.  In my last three Loops, Butch had actually been my enemy. He... he killed your mother in my last Loop. This Loop, I was actually able to prevent him from becoming evil. Besides, it meant I got to see you actually grow up."

    "What do you mean?"

    "A Loop ends when the Fragment of Goldenheart dies." Shadow said solemnly. "Blaine died in his last Loop saving your life, and before he started this one, he could only watch as you grew up."

    That had explained why Blaine was always so overly protective of her over the years. Blaine had lost her in his last Loop, he hadn't gotten a chance to raise her, because he had died in her earlier years. It was finally coming together, it also explained why his eyes had occasionally glowed gold when he was protective, or red when he was angered.

    "So, this means I'm unstable?" Dawn frowned.

    "It means that, so long as you have three items to remind yourself of who you are, you can accomplish almost anything." Shadow said. "They can be almost anything, as long as they are one your person at all times. However, if one of these mementos are destroyed or lost, and you become angry, you will succumb to the Heartless."

    "As a safety net, I've allowed you both to utilize Goldenheart, in the event that Heartless arises in one of you. It's an unfortunate precaution, as the only way to stop the Heartless one is to kill the Host."

    "Well... what are your mementos, Dad?"

    Blaine produced his left wrist pad, where he had inscribed the words; Never Forget: Reach, into the metal. Typing into the datapad on his right wrist, he produced an image of his right arm. There, he had tattooed the Spartan II Insignia , with the words Dawn Renee Harlowe underneath. Finally, tapped the side of his Collossus helmet.

    "Your mother and I concepted this helmet together. Means the world to me." Blaine smirked, as his helmet disassembled itself once more. 'You won't have to worry about it right now, but you should really take to thinking about things that make you who you are. Personal possessions you can carry with you."

    As the elevator came to a halt, Shadow stopped them from exiting for a moment. Where once, he held a cocky, unfazed face, now his face was filled with concern and seriousness.

    "If you have any further questions, you need to ask your dad. For now, I have to go. This is the last time we'll speak, Blaine. Farewell."

    Dawn's eyes blinked rapidly, as the man seemingly whisked away like a cloud of dust. Shaking her head, she glanced up at Blaine, who stared at where the man had been standing.

    "I don't want you in the military." Blaine said. "-but because you are going to be the next Goldenheart host, I want you to have your own Mjolnir armor. Goldenheart's powers are available to you or I for a limited time, otherwise we can do considerable damage to ourselves, you will need to learn how to fight and defend yourself without relying on it."

    "Ok." Dawn whispered quietly.

    "Like I said, it's a lot to take in." Blaine sighed. "Come on, I want to show you something."

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    UNSC Odin's Judgment

    "You remember this place?" Blaine asked, as Dawn nodded.

    "This is the simulation room. You brought my classmates and I here when I was younger to teach us about Reach."

    "Yes. Today, I'm going to demonstrate just how powerful Goldenheart really is, and why, when you take over for me, you should only use his power sparingly. Do you understand?"

    Dawn nodded, as Blaine helped her into a set of UNSC Marine gear. It was a little snug, as she had been tall like him, due to her double stack of Spartan genetics. Stepping into the onyx black room, Blaine stood dead center.

    "Simulation." Blaine spoke loud and clearly. "Single user, one spectator. Battle of Reach, Legendary Modifier."

    "Legendary?" Dawn asked.

    "We scale the toughness of the AI in the simulation on tiers. Easy is for new Spartans that need to get used to their augments. Normal is for novice Spartans that are slowly getting the hang of it. Heroic is the closest thing to real combat we can simulate, Legendary is scaled in the AI's favor, and Mythic is something we have yet to even touch." Blaine said.

    At Blaine's command, the room formed around them. The black floor beneath them molded into the uneasy landscape of a beach front. Within seconds, Covenant troops began appearing around them, Phantoms and Spirits loomed in the skies above, while a trio of Ghosts patrolled in the distance.

    Blaine held his DMR taut, before sprinting at the nearest band of Covenant soldiers. Firing three bursts, his DMR's bullets pierced the skulls of the trio of Grunts. Unclipping a frag grenade from his belt, he pulled the pin, before rolling it at the nearest Elite. The beast scrambled away, as shrapnel and a concussive blast dampened it's shields slightly.

    Blaine encroached on the Elite, smashing his fist in a twisting motion into it's naval, purple blood spewing out of it's mouth. Doubling over, Blaine's left fist performed a follow up, crumbling the Elite onto the floor as if it had been nothing. The trio of Ghosts spotted him, as two of them focused fire on him. His shields glimmered as the boiling hot plasma glanced off of them. Ducking behind a wall, Dawn watched as Blaine kicked up a plasma pistol. Charging it, he poked his head out from behind the wall.

    The bolt of overcharged plasma sailed towards the closest Ghost, electronics within it's system ruptured, stopping it in it's tracks. Charging at the EMP'd Ghost, Blaine ran up it's hood, smashing his right boot into the Grunt's face, denting it's skull, and launching it's dead body into the ocean.

    Jumping into the Pilot's seat, the other two Ghosts fired on him. Revving it's engines, Blaine boosted to the left to avoid the wall of Plasma, before returning his own salvos. Jamming the boosters on the Ghost, Blaine took a standing position, charging his new Plasma pistol again.

    Firing a bolt at the right hand Ghost, he jumped off of his Ghost, allowing it to ram into the EMP'd vehicle. Both Ghosts exploded, while Blaine landed on the hood of the left side Ghost. Grabbing the Ghost by it's throat, he squeezed until he heard a pathetic huff of methane, tossing it's corpse aside.

    "Simulation complete." Blaine said. "Prepare Espoz Docking yards, endless onslaught. Mythic modifier."

    "Confirm: Docking Yards, Mythic modifier?" Zeus's voice asked on the comm.

    "Confirmed."

    "Are you absolutely certain you wish to attempt Mythic, mortal? The pain registration is three hundred percent normal limits."

    "Do it, Zeus."

    "So be it. Don't come crying to me when your bones are reduced to dust."

    The room around them molded once more, this time taking on a barren landscape. Dust clouds filled the air, as destroyed Covenant ship remnants and UNSC floatsam littered the area. Dawn looked around, in the dust, she could make out hundreds, if not thousands of silhouettes. Somehow, she knew they were not friendly for her father.

    "Zeus, set the timer for ten minutes. Also, I need some music, surprise me."

    "Playing: Big Blast Sonic . I chose this song, of course, due to the vast fire in your heart you must have to be this suicidal."

    Blaine stood there as the music began to play, Sanghieili soliders of all ranks and sizes came charging towards him. Dawn, frightened as she was from the sheer impossibility of the simulation, was even moreso concerned that Blaine hadn't reached for his gun.

    Get down to rock, get up to BURN!
    Stand up with pride that burns for your desire!

    As the music crescendo-ed, the Elites had swarmed Blaine, almost enveloping him instantly. Zeus' avatar appeared beside Dawn, as he shook his head in disbelief. Preparing to snap his fingers and stop the simulation, both Dawn and Zeus were surprised when a flash of golden light erupted from the crowd.

    Standing there, Blaine held a single fist clenched, a barely noticeable aura of gold surrounding him. Within a flash, faster than Dawn could follow, Blaine was already on top of the nearest Major. Thrusting a blindingly fast punch into it's right arm, she watched as it shattered almost without effort, following up with a nasty left hook, it's chest armor crumbled, purple blood oozing from it.

    One day I noticed that my life was broken.
    It was not me who was controlling this body!
    Oh! I want, to know what's really real to me!
    Before we vanish like a wave!

    Within a second, Blaine was on the next victim, thrusting a succession of three devastating punches into it's body. Much like the first Sangheili, the second one crumpled into a broken form in less than a minute.

    Get down to rock!
    Get up to burn!
    Stand up with pride! I'll be the waste maker!
    You must have heard it!
    Grasp the truth!
    Hold it high!
    Raise your fists! That's what it's made to start with!
    You haven't heard it go!

    The simulation, calculating how easily Blaine was defeating these enemies, began to spawn Phantoms, Spirits, Ghosts, Wraiths, and even Banshees to also attack him.

    Don't be afraid to listen to your own heart!
    Big Blast Sonic!
    That's my heartbeat in you!

    Blaine stood there, as four massive globs of plasma rained down from the Wraith mortar tanks. Dawn flinched as they exploded, killing any Sanghieli warriors within the general vicinity. Dawn and Zeus watched as Blaine sprinted at the nearest Ghost. Grasping it under it's right wing, he span, throwing the machine at an airborne Banshee in one fluid motion. Both the vehicles and their operators exploding at the same time.

    One day I noticed that the world was broken.
    Spoiled as hell, we have ourselves in ——
    OH! I want, to see this whole world whole and blue.
    Not this place marshed in black Hell!

    Jumping into the air, Dawn and Zeus watched as her father landed on the top of a Phantom. Thrusting both of his boots down on it's hull, the massive dropship dropped from the air like a sack filled with bricks. Landing on top of the crowd of Sanghieili, Dawn shielded her eyes from the vibrant explosion of violet, cobalt, and crimson.

    Get up to rock!
    Get up to burn!
    Stand up with pride, I'll be the waste maker!
    You must have heard it!
    Grasp the truth!
    Hold it high!
    Rise to fight! That's how you start, and you say
    You must have heard it now?!

    Landing just as the machine exploded, Dawn waited until the dust settled to see her father standing there. As the music slowed, she could hear Blaine actually singing along with it. His helmet had actually disassembled, and his eyes met with hers. To his left, and to his right, two ghost like men walked with him towards her, the crowd of Elites behind her.

    "Our world is is filled with easy answers to swallow." she heard the man on his left, with spiky white hair, say.

    "Life is to gobble down the perfect time killer!" the man on Blaine's right continued, fire erupting from his right hand in the shape of a small hammer.

    "The truth is that you are the one being eaten." Blaine and the man to his right said in time with each other.

    "Don't need my answer to be written in the book!" Blaine and the two by his side continued.

    As he was saying this, a sphere of dust was forming around him. Pure blue, it almost reminded Dawn of a sapphire. For a second, a Golden Eagle was emblazoned on the side of it, before it shattered, revealing her father. He stood even taller, looked visibly buffer, and his eyes burned with golden fire.

    OH! I want, to keep my death for what it's worth!
    No use for passion down on Earth!
    Get up to rock!
    Get up to burn!
    Stand up with pride I'll be the waste maker!
    You must have heard it!
    Grasp the truth!
    Hold it high!
    Flash your fists! That's how you're supposed to use it!
    You must have heard it; GO!

    Dawn was unable to follow her father, as he crouched low, sprinting at them. The simulated earth beneath his feet buckled, as a shockwave overtook her, Blaine sprinting past her at the crowd behind her. Turning back to face the carnage, she could only watch as the Elites seemingly collapsed to invisible forces. Zeus stared in disbelief, as he slowed down the replay camera.

    The Sanghieli Captain that had fronted the crowd took Blaine's fist to it's throat, blowing it out completely. Turning on his boots, Blaine's right fist back handed another Elite in it's chest, shattering the armor and breaking all of it's chest bones, rupturing it's internal organs. The simulation continued to spawn in more difficult foes in an attempt to even damage Blaine. Hunters began to replace the Sangheili, their fuel rods at the ready.

    Blaine roared, his voice shattering the heavens, as he lifted one Hunter above his head, tearing it in half just by his own hands. With one final, mighty leap, Blaine grasped the hull of another Phantom, and threw it down on the group of Hunters, just as the timer hit zero. Landing, Blaine stifled to find his breath, as he shakily stood. Dawn ran to his side, as she wrapped her arms around him.

    "Are you okay?" she asked.

    "I'll be fine, I just over used it." Blaine coughed. "Let this be a lesson to you, when you do become the next Goldenheart host, don't become overzealous. We weren't intended for this kind of power. If we use it for any longer than ten minutes, we will literally tear ourselves apart."

    "Who were those two ghosts, by the way?" Dawn asked, as she helped Blaine to her feet.

    "Drake and Bryce, the other Fragments of Goldenheart. Guess they needed to Ascend themselves as well." Blaine chuckled. "I need to rest for a bit. We'll check up on your mother, see if she has any leads on where Sona is. Once we find her, I'll let you know."

    "Okay." Dawn said with a nod. "Um... Dad?"

    "Yep." Blaine grimaced as he cracked his neck.

    "W-what's it like to be in a Loop?"

    "At first, you don't realize you're in a new Loop. It's just there... in your subconscious. Shadow usually helps jog my memories." Blaine said. "Enough about Goldenheart for now. I'm not dying any time soon, so we'll return to the subject later. For now, let's get you fitted with some armor."

    Author's Notes: So there you have it. You may still have some questions, and I'll likely have some answers. You may be sitting there, wondering why I would possibly make my characters this intensely OP for no apparent reason. In all honesty, I hit a roadblock on all of my stories and I wanted to add something in that allowed me to have those over dramatic Dragonball esque fight scenes.

    After finding my family's old legend *yes, it's a story my family actually passed down*, I decided to incorporate it into my character's lives. I assure you, the whole Goldenheart thing is NOT going to be a driving point behind this story. This was mostly just to help people understand why Blaine's eyes would occasionally glow gold and red, as I'm sure you've read me write numerous times now, and also hint at some ideas for future stories.

    After this chapter, you won't hear of any more of Goldenheart for a while. Even then, he/she won't be battling. Everything will return to a normal, Halo style story. The search for Sona will continue, and yes, Dawn will be getting her own set of Mjonir armor. Will she end up joining the UNSC as a result? Will she follow her father's wishes and stay non-military? Will Josh and Phil ever show their damn faces again?

    You'll find out, in due time. For now, this is all I could muster. Next amount of free time I get, we'll delve further in. Hope you're enjoying so far!


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

    Posts : 1190
    Join date : 2013-01-16
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 5th 2015, 9:25 pm

    Blaine wrapped his left arm over Dawn's shoulder, as the father daughter duo worked their way down one of the many hallways that formed the Odin's Judgement. In a way, Blaine was upset, he and Autumn had always said that they would never let Dawn go into the Military to serve. Yet, here he was, with Dawn, preparing to give her some of the most expensive and advanced gear the UNSC had to offer.

    Had word gotten out that he had authorized his daughter be given Mjolnir on a whim, the flak sent to ONI would create a stunt so overwhelmingly newsbreaking, it could get him and his wife fired. However, there was no way in hell he would allow her to go into a potential combat zone without protection. He could just not permit her to go, but if he did that, he risked causing his daughter to separate from him.

    His only options were to conscript her into the military, or pray to whatever deity that was out there that the people at ONI wouldn't notice. Shaking his head, he knew damn well they were watching his every step. It was miraculous enough that he had been able to completely censor that previous session in the simulation room.

    "Something on your mind, Dad?" Dawn asked.

    Blaine smiled internally, it relieved him how well Dawn had been registering the news. It also pained him to realize just how much the whole situation was getting to him. Giving her his famous grin, he placed his hand on her head, gently rubbing back and forth.

    "I'm just thinking about everything." Blaine said, turning his eyes ahead. "I don't want you going into the military, but in order to ensure your safety, I want you to have a set of Mjolnir."

    "ONI would throw a fit, wouldn't they?" Dawn frowned. "Isn't there some way I can technically conscript without having to see combat?"

    "You'd have to be a recruiter." Blaine shook his head. "Or possibly a combat medic. Or, there is always the option of being an ONI spook. Personally, I think you'd be better off as a teacher, or a doctor."

    "He stole the words right out of my mouth." Bailey smirked, standing before them. "Apologies for eavesdropping, guys. I'm just curious, what's this I hear about Dawn being assigned Mjolnir?"

    "It's not a problem, Bailey." Blaine nodded curtly.

    "If you're giving your daughter Mjolnir, it's a problem." Bailey placed her hands on her hips. "I may not be Halsey, but I know you inside and out, Spartan."

    "Look, Dawn made a friend years back in middle school. Remember?"

    "Oh yes, that little bit-" Bailey stammered, as she looked at Dawn. "-Sona, right?"

    "Yes." Dawn nodded, turning her attention to Bailey. "She's in trouble, she needs Dad's help, but... I want to help too."

    "You definitely have your father's spirit inside you." Bailey smiled, placing a gentle hand on Dawn's shoulder.

    "You don't know the half of it." Blaine muttered beneath his breath.

    "Er, yes." Bailey sighed. "I have a solution, though, you cannot refute the knowledge that she'll potentially see combat."

    There was the plodding of footsteps behind Bailey, as Lucy and John rounded the corner, clearly discussing something. Knowing John, it was either about thornbeast, or his SMGs. He rarely deviated from those two topics.

    "She could be a member of the Freelancers." Bailey shrugged. "Jorge leads John and Lucy's squad. You would know she's in good hands. Besides, you've ran joint operations with the Freelancers before, if there was an operation she had to see combat in, you could always assign yourself in."

    Blaine stood there, staring blankly into the distance. Bringing his spare hand up to his face, he began to gently rub the bridge of his nose. It would save Autumn and him a whole bunch of hassle, but the Freelancers were still a military branch, in a secluded, almost black operations type of manner.

    "Daddy, I- I think it's a good idea." Dawn nodded with a faint smile. "I know you and Mom don't want me in the military, however, I can do good for the Universe. Something I'm going to have to do anyways, right?"

    "Say what now?" John asked, turning his attention to Dawn and Blaine, having almost completely ignored their presence. "Sorry Admiral, I've been pretty preoccupied. I'd love to stick around and share it, but I'm more interested in this 'Freelancer' affair?"

    "Dawn here has a friend in need. She's requested to help her out, but I have reason to suspect that some dangerous activities will be taking place as a result. After the events that took place yesterday, I'd feel much better granting her a set of Mjolnir armor. However, as one might expect, this could cause issues within ONI and the general public."

    "She's your daughter, sir." John said. "It's not entirely unbelievable that the current head of the UNSC wants to keep his daughter safe. Hell, I'm sure the President of the UEG's kid was capable of wearing Mjolnir, he'd issue an order for an immediate outfitting."

    "Therein lies the problem." Blaine shook his head. "The difference between the President's daughter and mine, is that the President's daughter is viewed as more important in the eyes of ONI personnel. Autumn, and a few of her co-workers are the only ones at the Office that would care if Dawn was injured. The vast majority, however, wouldn't bat a fuckin' eye."

    "Excuse me?" Dawn frowned, as the Spartans and the Doctor turned their attention towards her. "I don't want to be an issue to anyone."

    "No honey." Bailey shook her head. "We all just want a great future for you, with hopes that the military isn't the end game. Understand?"

    Dawn nodded, as Blaine brought her closer for a sideways hug.

    "As a member of the Freelancers, she would be allowed to leave after a certain prerequisite amount of duty." Bailey shrugged. "However, I see this as the only best outcome available. We can discuss it with Autumn later, if you'd prefer?"

    "Yeah." Blaine nodded with a sigh. "That sounds like the best course of action, gather whatever files are necessary. I'll get in touch with Autumn after the doctors give her the all-clear."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 7th 2015, 10:08 pm

    "You and I need to chat, NOW!" Autumn's voice appeared seemingly out of no-where.

    Blaine's eyes widened, however, as her grip on his spare arm was almost as intense as an Elite's in combat. Before anyone could truly know what had happened, Blaine and his wife had disappeared. Dawn stood there, eyes widened, as John and Lucy gazed after them.

    "I'm not the only one that saw that?" John glanced amongst the group. "
    'Cause I was really afraid I had overdone the Thornbeast cones again..."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Just what the hell do you think you're doing?!" Autumn growled, as she thrusted Blaine into the empty briefing room.

    Blaine, having regained his sense of self, cracked his neck before recomposing himself. Crossing his arms, he cleared his throat, Zeus appearing on the pedestal beside him.

    "Zeus, send for-"

    "Delay that order, Zeus." Autumn snapped. "Leave Admiral Harlowe and I for a moment, will you?"

    Zeus nodded for a moment, poking a quick glance at Blaine, a look of remorse on his face, before he disappeared. Autumn paced back and forth from the doorway.

    "Do you have ANY idea of what you could have just done?!" Autumn growled. "Do you happen to know who was by my SIDE when you started spouting about Mjolnir for Dawn?!"

    "I'm sure you'll likely tell me." Blaine scoffed. "You are an intelligence officer, after all."

    "-and clearly the only one in this relationship that has any." Autumn scowled. "Admiral Serin Osman, y'know, the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence? Perhaps, had you not been so rushed to get our daughter a suit of armor and a weapon, you'd have realized that you never turned your damn COM-PAD off!"

    Blaine took a step back, a flabbergasted look on his face. It had been exactly as he had feared.

    "How much did you hear?" Blaine asked, as Autumn clenched her fists.

    "Enough." Autumn grit her teeth, fire in her eyes. "I've got a load of questions, and you'll be answering them all one by one. For right now, let's stick to the most important; HAVE YOU GONE COMPLETELY INSANE?!"

    "I'm working on it, I guess." Blaine shrugged.

    "How can you be so non-chalant about this?! You of all people should realize the severity of the situation!"

    "I suggested the idea that we requisition for some armor for Dawn. It was a suggestion, therefore, because I haven't enacted it, I cannot be held accountable."

    "The office doesn't work like that, Blaine." Autumn shook her head. "She'll know something is up. If she, and I know she will, makes the connection that this potential requisition is linked to PERSONAL affairs, you could not only be ripped from your position, but you could also be held as a traitor to the UNSC."

    "When Ben died all those years ago, and we had to give his heart to Dawn- do you remember what happened?" Autumn's eyes began to well up. "It failed, she NEEDED the augmentation to survive. I was barely able to manage covering that from ONI's eyes. If she starts digging into our files, Serin will find that. They'll force Dawn into the UNSC as military hardware, and they will burn you down!"

    "Perhaps I deserve it." Blaine shrugged his shoulders. "I've been in this seat for a long time. Spartans belong on the ground, not behind a desk or in Space."

    "MY Spartan belongs at home, with his wife and his daughter!" Autumn screamed, pushing him on his chest. "Whatever personal demons you're fighting, they can damn well wait! Focus on your daughter's future!"

    "That's pretty damn funny." Blaine chuckled, red specks appearing in his eye. "Coming from the woman that NEARLY GOT OUR DAUGHTER KILLED TWICE YESTERDAY!"

    Autumn took a step back, as Blaine advanced, pointing his finger at her.

    "I've worried about Dawn's future from the day she was fucking born! I worried about her future long before she was, when you first told me I was going to be a Dad!" Blaine snarled. "I've worried about it, because I've LIVED IT! TWO FUCKING TIMES NOW!"

    "My first time around, I wasn't there for her when she needed me. You know what happened, Autumn?! YOU DIED! Do you know what happened after you died?! Dawn got KIDNAPPED! I died saving her!" Blaine tensed even further. "She spent that entire life span ALONE, with NO parents, because I wasn't there for her when she needed me!"

    "This time around, I wanted to be there with her. I wanted to be the rock that she could always rely on. Am I a bit too damn over protective?! YES! I'm a fucking nut-case when it comes to protecting her, but you know why that is? I ain't got nothing else!!" Blaine's left fist lashed out at the wall, denting the metal.

    "I've lost my daughter once, almost twice now. This is my last chance to have the life that I have dreamed FOUR lifetimes over. At first, I didn't know what I wanted, originally, I just wanted to be done with the military, get to know my father. Over four lives, I've discovered that I wanted nothing more than to have a family, a caring and loving wife, and a daughter who would be free to forge her own path."

    "New's flash, Autumn! The Universe is still a very unsafe place for Dawn. Sapien Sunrise is still out there, Covenant Remnants are still out there, shit, I'm sure the FLOOD is still looming out there too! By providing her with the skills to defend herself, I can ensure she has a better future!"

    "You complain because I rushed to conclusions?!" Blaine growled even harder. "IF YOU HAD WAITED A FUCKING SECOND, YOU'D HAVE REALIZED I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT! I SHOULD KNOW THE WAY ONI WORKS, THE MILITARY HAS ONLY BEEN MY LIFE FOR THE ENTIRETY OF MY EXISTENCE!!"

    "You, Bailey and I were going to discuss potentially conscripting Dawn into the Freelancers. I have enough good rep with Bailey to illicit a legal contract where Dawn could have her own set of Mjolnir, and the necessary training to properly introduce her to combat. We could save Sona, she could run a tour of duty with the Freelancers, and leave with Honorable discharge!"

    "With Mjolnir and the necessary training, I'd feel a whole lot better knowing the Dawn actually stands a chance in such a dangerous, ever changing Universe. As my wife and life partner, I'd hope that after all these fucking years, you'd have trusted my judgement!"

    "You think I don't know what you, Josh, Phil, and Bailey were saying at the family gathering after the old man died?!" Blaine shook his head, seething with rage. "You and the others suggested I was insane, that I was suffering from PTSD. In a way, you weren't wrong, what irritated me, however, was that you were unwilling to come to ME to ask me what was wrong!"

    Autumn backed up to the door, tears pouring down her cheeks like an unending torrent. Her bottom lip quivered, as she wrapped her arms around herself, sinking to the floor.

    "You know why I was in such a rush, just now?!" Blaine growled, towering over her. "I just found out that my Daughter is going to be stuck in the same hell I have been, that is, until she finally finds a 'proper' end to her existence. The thought that my daughter could die is torture enough for me; the thought that she'll die NUMEROUS times, and have to relive her life until the fates decide otherwise is something I can't even describe!"

    At this time, Autumn's crying was audible, as she sobbed, curling at the foot of the door. Blaine looked down at her, fire still in his eyes, as he sighed, running his hands along his hair. Turning back away from her, he rubbed the bridge of his nose, walking away far enough to give her some room.

    The two were silent for a time, as the alternative doorway opened. Standing there, Dawn's eyes were red and puffy, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her fists were clenched, as she glared at both of them for a brief moment.

    "You told me Ben was on a mission all these years." Dawn cried. "Now you're telling me that, not only did he die all those years ago, but his HEART is in my chest?!"

    Blaine and Autumn looked at one another, before turning their attention back at Dawn. Autumn shakily stood, holding out a hand, as Dawn's fists cracked.

    "Dawn, sweet-"

    "Don't give me that." Dawn growled, glaring at Autumn, before turning her attention to Blaine. "You had me augmented into a Spartan too?!"

    "It was to save your-"

    "Life?!" Dawn asked. "You call this a life?!"

    Splaying her arms out, Blaine and Autumn knew she was referring to the military setting around them.

    "I've lived on these ships my entire life. We occasionally lived in those houses, but predominately, I lived on UNSC ships my entire life." Dawn grit her teeth with a sob. "I didn't get to meet other kids, I couldn't go to school."

    "Let me guess, none of the several schools in the system would allow an augmented kid in?" Dawn asked, as Blaine hesitantly nodded. "Remind me how augmenting me saved my life, then?!"

    "Because you are my world. We've been over this." Blaine said, stepping forward.

    "You're world, you're everything! It always gotta be about YOU Dad?!" Dawn said, feigning a salute. "Or should I say Admiral, sir?!"

    "What about MY world? Huh? Just because YOU didn't get to have a childhood, doesn't mean you should have denied me MINE."

    "I DID THE BEST I COULD!"

    "YOU DID ONLY WHAT YOU KNEW!" Dawn yelled at Blaine, for the first time in her entire life. "I went through Mom's computer a while back, read up on Spartan II training. Part of me regrets actually feeling sorry for you."

    "Dawn..." Autumn shook her head, as she turned to Blaine.

    "You got me into that school." Dawn shook her head, ignoring Blaine's shocked look on his face. "But your damn pride got the better of you. Instead of letting me handle everything on my own, you had to play the game from the side-lines."

    "If I hadn't, you would have KILLED those kids, Dawn!" Blaine shouted. "You think that you're life was shitty up till now, you try spending some time in a jail cell, kiddo. I should know, that was MY childhood!"

    "Blaine."

    "No-no." Blaine shook his head, a smirk on his face. "Our little girl wants to talk like a grown up, now she's going to talk. Zeus, the door."

    Zeus awkwardly appeared in the middle of the room, nodding as the door behind Dawn shut with a clang, locking.

    "Sit down-" Blaine said, directing Dawn with a finger.

    Dawn refused to budge, as Blaine's fist crashed down on a metal table, crumpling it beneath his immense might.

    "NOW!"

    Dawn, despite her anger for her parents, was very intimidated by her father's erratic behavior. Rushing to the nearby seat, Dawn took a seat.

    "Dawn?" Blaine asked, turning his back to his daughter. "Are you aware this room doubles as a simulation room, when necessary?"

    Dawn silently shook her head, as Blaine's fist crashed down on another table.

    "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

    "No, Daddy."

    "SPEAK UP MAGGOT!"

    "Blaine-"

    "YOU SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN!" Blaine growled, pointing at Autumn to sit beside Dawn. "Zeus, I want you to provide me item serial code CP-0195. Simulation."

    "Sir, don't you think that's-?"

    "You ever been incinerated, Zeus?"

    "Right away."

    Within a second, a strange stick like item appeared before Blaine. Obviously, it had been a simulated item, and was not real. However, that did not prevent it from being used like one.

    "Everyone thinks they can relate to us Spartan IIs." Blaine shook his head, walking around the room at an eerie pace. "That they can even fathom to compare their childhood to ours. Zeus, provide me items FKN-00198 and MA5C."

    Placing the stick down on one of the remaining, intact tables before him. An assault rifle, along with a stuffed rabbit appeared in front of Blaine. Clasping the rabbit with his left hand, Blaine took the rifle in his right hand.

    Walking briskly over towards Dawn and Autumn, Blaine thrust out the rabbit, nearly shoving it in Dawn's face.

    "Sweetie, can you tell Daddy what this is?!"

    "It's a stuffed rabbit, in fact. I think it's Fluffykins."

    "You're damned right it's Fluffykins!" Blaine growled, hurtling the holographic rabbit at the nearby wall.

    "You got Fluffykins as a kid. You know what your old man got?!"

    Sitting before them, Blaine quickly took apart the MA5C assault rifle, piece by piece. Dawn and Autumn watched with wide eyes as Blaine did so, with his eyes closed. Showcasing the pieces on the table, Blaine turned in his seat, with his back turned to them. Reaching behind him, Blaine swiftly reassembled the weapon just as fast as he had disassembled it.

    Standing, Blaine turned the holographic weapon to the front of the room and fired a complete clip. When the clip was spent, the weapon dematerialized in his hands.

    "Can anyone tell me what the problem here is?!" Blaine asked, as they remained silent. "No?! I guess we should continue then."

    "Admiral, I really-"

    "Zeus, any word beside 'Yes sir', and I'll fragment you, and scatter you across the god damn Universe." Blaine clenched his fist. "Turn simulation mode into famine mode."

    Through technological advancements that even Blaine still couldn't fully comprehend, all three of the occupants in the room were left with the feeling of churning, empty stomachs.

    "Raise the simulation to physical exhaustion mode, as well."

    Adding to their unyielding stomach pains, the muscles all over their bodies flared with hours of relentless workouts and lack of rest. Before Blaine, a dinner consisting of meatloaf, potatoes, and a hot fudge sundae appeared.

    "Imagine, if you will." Blaine said, holding the dinner in front of their noses. "You've just ran hundreds of laps across the entire span of the Infinity without a single break. You were told, just before the run, that the teams that DIDN'T finish first, went without dinner that night."

    Pulling the dinner away, Blaine began to eat the potatoes right in front of them.

    "Too bad." Blaine shrugged. "You two just weren't fast enough. Oh my god, they put butter AND sour cream in these potatoes!"

    As the feeling of muscle weakness and famine disappeared, Dawn and Autumn visibly looked depressed. Yet, neither of them wanted to speak up. Blaine stood, capitalizing on their fears.

    "It's okay. Tell Daddy what's on your mind-"

    "Blain-"

    "DID I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO SPEAK, MAGGOT?!" Blaine turned, the stick weapon in his hand, electricity sparking from the tip of it.

    Autumn and Dawn jumped as the voltage of the weapon amped up, visibly arching electricity through the air.

    "If you talked out of turn in Spartan training, if you so much as disobeyed Mendez's words, you got this in your fucking stomach. Try being hungry for days on end, only to get this puppy jammed in there. You thought your stomachs hurt before, nah, you haven't felt an empty stomach spasm from electricity, it's like your stomach inverts itself."

    Blaine tossed the weapon away, before standing, pacing behind them. Both of them stared forward, as he crouched low behind them.

    "Y'know. I hate to see you two like this. However, I've REALLY needed to talk to someone about this. I would've loved to have done so in a more peaceful environment, but because Dawn decided to bring it up as a means of attacking me personally, I guess that's gone out the window."

    "Daddy, please."

    "No, honey." Blaine shook his head. "You've made your choice. You know why Mr. Mahogany and the others don't know where the Spartan IIs all went?"

    Dawn shook her head silently, as Blaine moved right in next to her ear, staring at the side of her head.

    "It's because they all died, kiddo. Chief, Fred, Linda, Kelly, Butch, Naomi, Jorge, Darryl and I are all that remains." Blaine said. "There were seventy-five of us."

    "That's right!" Blaine said, standing up. "Cat's outta the bag! We spent our childhoods learning how to fight and nothing else. We learned war tactics, we learned how to survive on less than suitable sustanance, we learned how to properly care for weapons."

    "We weren't humans anymore, we were MACHINES!" Blaine chuckled. "Our families mourned for us, because they were told we died to some unknown illness. When one of us died, the world wasn't allowed to know. All that hell we went through, all the sacrifices we made, and we were FORGOTTEN. When I eventually die, no-one will remember Blaine Harlowe, because he was a Spartan II."

    "Spartan's don't die, Dawn." Blaine turned to her. "We go missing in action. Spartan IVs, yeah, they can die, they can be mourned for. Spartan II's though? No, we're Legends. Gifts from some Universal god. We are incapable of aging, we are incapable of death. Though, some of us return to Valhalla before the war is over, never to be seen again."

    "The difference between your childhood and mine, the one thing you'll have that I can never have?" Blaine said, kneeling before the table Autumn and Dawn shared. "The same thing your Mother had that I didn't? You got to know your parents, you got to be RAISED by a mother and a father."

    "I've done a piss poor job, for sure." Blaine nodded. "-But I was there for you. Hate me after this or not, I'll ALWAYS be there for you. You know why? Because I never got that. Morgan and I were friends. He may have been my Dad, but I never looked at him like one."

    Standing, Blaine walked to the doorway, unmoving, fists clenched.

    "I'm not the perfect man, I'm not the perfect father. Hell, I'm not even much of a hero." Blaine shook his head. "But I'd give my life, HAVE given my life, to you both, and would gladly do so again. If you need me, I'll be tracking down Sona's location. Dismissed."

    With that, the door opened, and Blaine quietly stepped out of the room. Dawn and Autumn sat there for a moment, staring at the far wall. Autumn, who had been married to Blaine after all these years, knew not to bring up the days of Boot with Blaine. Dawn, on the other hand, shivered from fright as tears welled up in her eyes again.

    So many truths had been revealed to her, never once had she ever considered talking to her father or mother as she had. In fact, Dawn felt pretty damn terrible. Quivering from the mix of emotions, she turned away from her mother and, regrettably, released the contents of her lunch onto the floor.

    "Dawn." Autumn said, breaking the silence. "I'm-"

    "No." Dawn shook her head, as she began to cry, wrapping her arms around Autumn. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so upset. I should've trusted that you guys would've told me in time. Oh, Mom, I'm so sorry."

    "I know sweetie." Autumn said, rubbing the back of Dawn's hair. "I'm sure your Dad is feeling sorry too."

    "I-I didn't mean to make him- I didn't want to-"

    "Think of it as you will." Autumn said in a soothing voice. "I actually think you did your Dad a favor. He desperately needed to let that out, I wish he hadn't gone about it that way, but hopefully it can help him now."

    "He hates me."

    "He can never hate you, Dawn." Autumn said, placing a hand beneath Dawn's cheeks. "He's been by your side your entire life, he's seen you through good times and bad. If he decides to separate you from his life over this, he never really loved you. I can firmly say, however, that's not the case."

    "I want to go apologize." Dawn shook her head. "-But I don't want him to be mad anymore."

    "He won't be mad, I promise you. Your father has a long fuse, and a terrible temper when he goes off, but it's very short lived. In fact, if he hadn't mentioned tracking Sona, he'd probably be back in here apologizing profusely." Autumn said. "Go on. I need to go have a talk with Bailey."

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Blaine sighed as he sat behind his desk. Rubbing his face, Blaine felt embarrassed. Whatever he had done in that room wasn't him, and he knew it full well. How his Daughter could ever forgive him for such acts, he could never tell. In fact, he wanted her to hate him for it, he hated himself for it.

    "You know, you should really control that temper." Shadow said, appearing behind him.

    "So much for no more interference, huh?" Blaine groaned.

    "It's not so much 'interference' as 'life coaching'. I mean, I'm twenty years old, and single. Even I would never dream of doing that to my family, y'know, if I had one."

    "Thanks for the tip coach, you wanna throw me back into the game now?"

    "Save the sarcasm." Shadow said, placing a hand on Blaine's shoulder. "Look, these loops have been rough on you. I assure you, Dawn won't suffer the same fate when you pass the torch. It's the least I can offer you. However, the seeds have been sown and, I cannot change that."

    "So, I'm going to die then?" Blaine asked. "That's really cheerful news, especially after that last, great display."

    "Everyone dies Blaine, and no, I have no intentions of having you killed." Shadow shook his head. "Not now, anyways. Just, keep your cool, okay? Dawn's a good girl, and you have to trust that I have something big in mind for her. Y'know, something bigger than you can imagine."

    "Funny, now, do you mind?"

    "Those who don't matter mind, and those who matter won't mind." Shadow scoffed.

    "I think you just said you don't matter." Blaine shook his head.

    "I really don't, though." Shadow said, pondering for a moment, his disembodied voice continuing. "Anywho, I'll leave you to your thing. No more visits, promise."

    "Don't make a dude a promise, if you won't keep it." Blaine sighed, tapping away at the keyboard in front of him.

    Suddenly, the door in front of him opened, as Dawn stood there. Her right arm was crossed against her torso, gripping her left arm. She averted her gaze, but he could tell she was, yet again, on the verge of crying.

    "Daddy, I'm-"

    Blaine stood, walking over to her as she tensed in his presence. Wrapping his arms around her, the two of them sank to their knees, his right hand bracing her head gently.

    "No Dawn. I'm sorry." Blaine said. "I should have told you about Ben sooner, I should have told you about the augments sooner. I just, didn't know how. I also shouldn't have been so ruthless just now. It wasn't fair of me to push my past onto you."

    "You were right to be mad at me." Dawn cried into his shoulder. "I shouldn't have brought up your past. I was sad, angry, confused. Daddy, I'm so sorry."

    "Don't be. It's my fault, and mine alone." Blaine shook his head, holding her tighter. "Your mother and I have always wanted the best possible future for you. I suppose my efforts were a bit over the top, and for that, I inadvertently ruined any chances of a normal future for you."

    "No Dad." Dawn said. "I don't care about having normal people friends, I like being with you and Mom. I said what I did because I was upset, and I... I was trying to hurt you. I'm sorry. Besides, I have Lasp, and Doctor Bailey. John's pretty cool, Lucy's sweet. Maura's pretty fun to be around, though she creeps me out."

    "Well, we're going to get Sona back, and that's a promise. One I intend to keep. After that, we can see about trying again to get you a better life. You'll always have a home with your mother and I, we just want you to see the beauty in the Universe, something she and I have fought decades for."

    "-and I will." Dawn smiled, as she hugged him tightly. "Thanks to you... and your Spartan brothers and sisters."

    Author's Notes: This installment was pretty heavy. In fact, I'll even admit that I scared myself with it. I was on Halo Waypoint recently, having a rather heated discussion as to why Master Chief seemed so disconnected in the Blue Team introduction trailer for Halo 5.

    Someone didn't seem to grasp the concept of what Spartan II training was like, as interpreted by Author Eric Nylund. Using all of my knowledge from the book, along with Doctor Halsey's personal diary, I was finally able to convey why Master Chief is they way he is in Halo 5. It was so factual, that even a 343i employee quoted it and said: '^This'.

    I would link to the thread, but unfortunately it was taken down because someone flagged it for spoilers. Apparently some people didn't play Halo 4 after all these years and didn't realize the fate of Cortana.

    Needless to say, that conversation actually made me rethink Blaine's past. Perhaps he still, after all these Loops of his life, was still tormented about his past. When he was with Katie in Loop 2, he had common ground with her. They both went through that training, and could look past it. Loops 3 and 4, however, Autumn didn't know Spartan II training. She may have read it in her files, but she couldn't possibly understand it.

    Blaine's methods here may have been out of character, and harsh. However, a Spartan II is a very broken, socially awkward individual. They are, for the most part, incapable of properly displaying emotions. This is evident with Blaine resorting to calling them Maggots during his fit.

    This was symbolic of just how broken they [Spartans] were. He receeded into a time long forgotten, where he had only been called by his number, or maggot. I hope that, despite the fact that this in the real world would have resulted in a separation or worse, that it conveyed the proper message. Perhaps to give Blaine an extra depth as a character.

    With his past now out into the open, and his Daughter understanding just what it is that's been eating at them. Perhaps they can both grow a stronger bond, and perhaps, live the life that he's always dreamed.

    Thanks for reading, as always.


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    Doctor Jensen
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Doctor Jensen on October 8th 2015, 12:16 am

    Haven't been able to read the post or the one before that yet, but I read the Goldenheart chapter. Of course, you already know that it doesn't feel like Halo in that chapter (and I'm not complaining). Obviously you stepping out of the Halo comfort zone is a great thing. I thought it was good. And I'm sure you know, don't make Blaine too awesome. I like humans. Just my two cents.

    Of course, you also know I wouldn't keep reading the story if I wasn't a fan.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 8th 2015, 2:21 am

    Don't worry, Blaine keeps his old level of awesome. That whole Goldenheart phase was just that; a phase. I incorporate it here or there, but in all actuality, it doesn't have any effect on the plot.

    The only real effect it serves is making the reader aware that Blaine is in fact aware of his past renditions. The Blaine you read today remembers the time when I first wrote him, nearly five years ago. That's the only plot point Goldenheart is going to have.

    Beyond that, this is still a Halo story. You will NOT see any further Goldenheart action in this story *I tend to keep it to one shots or spin-offs*. The only reason I had it thus far was to introduce you to a plot device, nothing more, nothing less.

    Thanks for reading, it's always nice to receive feedback! Keeps me motivated!


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 8th 2015, 4:09 pm

    There was a sharp ding from Blaine's com-pad on the desk behind them. Standing, Blaine gave Dawn one last tight hug, before patting her on the head. Walking over towards his desk, Blaine took a seat, activating the notification. Dawn slowly walked behind him, peering over his shoulder at the pad.

    "No kidding." Blaine shook his head, anger seeping into his voice.

    "What is it?" Dawn asked.

    Blaine pointed towards the image on the screen before him. The silhouette of a human hand taunted him, the letters 'SS' etched into the hand print.

    "That's Sapien Sunrise. A human rebel group that is extremely xenophobic. We thought them quelched around the time the Guardians were unleashed, years ago. I guess we didn't clean them all up."

    There was a small blip beside the logo of the terrorist organization, as Blaine went to tap it, the door to his office opened once more. Standing there, Autumn cast her eyes to the floor, the com-pad held firmly in her hand.

    "Autumn-" Blaine said with a sigh. "It wasn't fair of me to say what I did, to do what I did."

    "I'll admit you went pretty overboard there, Blaine." Autumn nodded. "-But you aren't the only one at fault here. I should have trusted your judgement."

    "Let's put this behind us then, huh?" Dawn smiled at the two of them. "I mean, we are Harlowe's after all, right Dad?"

    Blaine nodded, smirking as he stood. Slowly, Blaine and Autumn stepped towards each other, clasping into an almost unbreakable hug. They stood there for a time, as Blaine gently ran his hand through her hair.

    "It's my duty as a soldier to protect Humanity, whatever the cost." Blaine said. "It's my duty, as a husband and a father, to protect you both, whatever the cost. I will not fail, I can't fail."

    "Family protects each other." Autumn smiled, tears rolling down her cheek. "That's what the Harlowe family stands for, right?"

    Blaine nodded, as he opened one of his arms, allowing for Dawn to join in. The three members of the family stood there, in a hug for a time, until Bailey cleared her throat. The family looked up, as she stood there, hands on her hips.

    "Lucky you." Bailey smirked. "I was able to talk to Serin before she did something you would all regret. Once she realized it was for Dawn's protection- well, in her own words-"

    "That won't be necessary, Doctor Bailey." Admiral Osman said, appearing beside her. "If I may request some time with the Admirals, alone?"

    Bailey nodded, ducking out back the way she came. Osman took a step forward, Blaine could tell the look on her face was rather disappointed. Crossing her arms, she motioned for all in attendance to take a seat.

    "I insist." she said, as Blaine placed himself behind his desk.

    Dawn and Autumn took their places in Blaine's two spare seats, as Osman paced about the room. Tension in the room was so thick, Blaine could cut it with his combat knife.

    "Fleet Admiral, Lord Blaine Harlowe. Spartan 115. You are aware that the authorization of Spartan augmentation, as well as requisition of Mjolnir powered armor without proper clearance from the board of ONI is strictly forbidden, yes?"

    "I am, ma'am." Blaine said, with a bit of a growl.

    "Yet, your daughter; Dawn Renee Harlowe, was augmented at a young age. She was not conscripted into the Spartan IV program, nor was she conscripted into the Freelancer fold." Osman said. "Fast forward a decade, and now you were planning on fashioning her a set of armor."

    "Do you understand that such underground acts could be viewed as plotting against the UNSC? That some may view this as an abuse of power?" Osman continued.

    "Yes, I am aware." Blaine clenched his right fist.

    "I could have the three of you sent to Midnight for these acts." Osman said. "You've been on the asteroid, Blaine, you know what the prison is like."

    "Yes."

    "Luckily for you, no-one else in the Office has noticed these acts, and I'll ensure they never do." Osman said, as Blaine looked at her in shock. "I'm not Margaret Parangosky. Consider this a personal favor, one Spartan II to another. Find the armor you want for Dawn, send it to me directly, and I'll approve it."

    "I will." Blaine nodded, as Osman began to walk out. "Wait, Serin."

    Osman stopped in her tracks, turning to Blaine, who sat behind the desk. His blue eyes met with hers, as she smirked.

    "Why did I decide to do this?" she asked, turning to face him. "Let's say I have a soft spot for kids. Especially the kids of my fellow Spartans. Spartans are there for each other, even when we can't be in combat."

    Holding her hand to her face, Serin performed the Spartan smile, as Blaine returned the favor. Standing, he walked over towards her. Serin smiled, offering a hand, as Blaine wrapped his arms around her in a hug.

    "You have no idea how much this means to me." Blaine said. "I will repay this kindness, I promise."

    "You had better, one-one-five." Serin chuckled. "Now let go of me."

    With that, the Director of ONI stepped out of the room, leaving the Harlowe's to themselves once more. Blaine stood there, casting his gaze down to the floor, a giant grin on his face. Clenching his fist, he turned to his wife and daughter.

    "She was a Spartan II?" Dawn asked, as Blaine nodded. "She didn't seem like she was augmented?"

    "Her body rejected the augments. She nearly died as a result. Halsey was able to keep her alive, and fix her, but she would never serve as a foot soldier. Instead, she was placed into ONI as a desk worker."

    Blaine stopped for a moment, remembering the notification on his com-pad. Something Autumn had just sent him. Opening it, he nodded his head in approval.

    "You got a location, good." flicking his hand through the file, Blaine scratched the back of his head. "Last spotted on Nyskor IV? That would be Sapien Sunrise turf, alright."

    Tapping a few buttons on his comm, Blaine hailed David and Naomi. There was a generic ringing noise, before eventually David answered.

    "Dad?" David said. "Everything okay with Mom?"

    "Yep, in fact, we're never better." Blaine nodded. "How long's it been since you've been in a sim?"

    "Couple of months, if I'm not mistaken. Been staking out that last job for quite some time, why do you ask?"

    "I have a newbie here that needs some simulation training."

    "Dad... you didn't?" Naomi asked, cutting in.

    "She insisted in helping find her friend, Sona. We'll be fighting Sapien Sunrise, nothing too over the top. However, I want her to have the basic knowledge to be able to defend herself, and the armor is a means of bolstering that defense."

    "Sapien Sunrise? Those xenophobic twats are still alive?" David growled. "Are you sure a Sim is the best place to train her?

    "It's the best thing we've got, besides the real thing. For her sake, I'd much rather it be simulated. We'd be performing Warzone level simulation, with AI opponents."

    "Alright, Naomi and I were just taking in the sights. We'll be on board the Judgement shortly."

    "It won't be for a while, David." Blaine shook his head. "Just make sure you're clear for the coming days."

    Author's Notes: Pretty short, this was only to help set up the next part. Don't worry, Blaine isn't ignoring the blatant hint where Sona's being held. You'll see more of why this is in the next installment.

    Also, we'll finally see Dawn get her set of armor, and the Sona arch come to an end.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 10th 2015, 10:00 pm

    Minutes later

    "So, word's going around the squad you're givin' my niece a set of armor." Darryl said, clasping a hand on Blaine's shoulder.

    Blaine turned to his half-brother with a curt nod, before focusing his attention back to the lab in front of him. Dawn stood on one of the armor rigs, once she was properly outfitted, they would have to run diagnostics to ensure the suit would work properly.

    "A sad necessity." Blaine shook his head. "She insisted on coming on this mission to help her friend Sona."

    "If she insisted on jumping off of a bridge, would you allow her?" Darryl shook his head. "Both options seem like suicide for her, to me."

    "It's not like tha-"

    "Famous last words." Darryl scoffed.

    "Look, I'm not going to argue my thought process here-"

    "-that's why you should be a Spartan, not a Lawyer."

    "Did you come here to antagonize me for a legit purpose, or do you just want me to kick your ass from the bow to the stern?" Blaine growled, crossing his arms.

    "I'm just saying-" Darryl raised his hands defensively. "It doesn't seem safe to give your untrained daughter a gun and the most expensive suit of armor the UNSC could muster freely."

    "That's why I'm going to be training her to defend herself, personally."

    "You're job won't allow you the free-time."

    "We're in a time of peace, Darryl. If we weren't, my ass would be glued to the back of a desk, and you'd be, in no doubt, putting some unlucky bastard through the receiving end of your shotgun." Blaine scoffed, once more. "Besides, the luxury of being Lord Harlowe is I can bring my job anywhere, thanks to being a Spartan II."

    "Look, she's all I got in this world, Blaine." Darryl said, placing his hands on Blaine's shoulders. "When you told me I was her Godfather, I swore to protect her."

    It was true, when Dawn was born, Darryl was assigned the role of Godfather for Dawn, in the event Blaine and Autumn perished. Blaine had figured that, considering Darryl had been a personal bodyguard for Halsey for years, perhaps it would rekindle his sense of self worth if he was Dawn's guardian.

    -and you've done a helluva job. Just because she's learning to defend herself doesn't mean she still won't need us." Blaine shook his head. "All that entails is I have more peace of mind, and she has the tools to help herself if our hands are in a bind. She's not going full military, Darryl, Serin made sure of that."

    "Wait, really? The head of ONI gave the OK to supply a civilian Mjolnir class armor, without conscription?"

    "As much as I hate to admit it, Dawn is far from a civilian. She hasn't had enough social interaction, or influence, to even be considered a civilian. She's a registered personnel for the population databanks, but her life has been spent surrounded by the military. She knows things, not even the average joe should know." Blaine's fist clenched. "Serin agreed to it, because I'm almost certain she'll want Dawn working for the Office. She can never be the non-militant young woman Autumn and I dreamed of. However, that doesn't mean she has to see combat."

    "She's the daughter of a couple of Spartans." Blaine whispered under his breath. "Her augments as a result already put her as an outcast to society. She stands taller than the average man, she's stronger than most professional weightlifters, and faster than olympic sprinters. It's the reason us Spartan IIs can't find jobs outside of the military; it'd be too damn awkward working with people who know you aren't 'normal'."

    "It's why school never worked out for her, her augments made her a liability; one the Office, the UNSC, and the Schoolboard itself couldn't continue risking." Blaine closed his eyes. "Whether Autumn or I like it, Dawn will be involved with the military. We just have to ensure that she won't be forced to see combat, but if she is, I want her ready."

    Darryl and Blaine stood there for a time, watching as the scientists, overseen by Bailey, adjusted and readjusted armor for Dawn. Blaine smiled as his daughter, while bored out of her mind, stood with patience.

    "Y'know, if he was still here-" Blaine chuckled. "He'd kick my ass for putting his Granddaughter in one of these suits. If she was still here... there'd be nothing left of me."

    Darryl stopped for a moment, as his eyes gazed at his boots for a moment. He knew Blaine had been talking about the Old man, and probably Blaine's mother. Blaine rarely spoke about either of them these days, perhaps for his own sake.

    "Y'know, Dawn actually tried to compare her childhood to ours the other day." Blaine stifled a slight chuckle, Darryl turning his head towards his half-brother. "Personally, I hope she never gets that feeling."

    "Did I ever tell you about the time before Boot?" Blaine asked, as Darryl shook his head. "It always makes me think about how different my life would be now."

    "He's as good as dead anyways, Jacob. If we enlist him, he'll have food, water, a shelter over his head. He'll have a life, a purpose."

    "The old man put me in an orphanage the day I was born. He told me that, after the day I was born, he feared he wouldn't have been a good father. He could have easily quit the military to raise me." Blaine sighed. "He was afraid, Darryl. Afraid that he couldn't give me the life he wanted for me. The life my mother wanted for me. If he raised me, he feared I'd join the military, to be like him."

    "Funny how life never works out the way you wanted it too."

    "In the orphanage, because of our family's inherent size, I was taller than all the other kids." Blaine's teeth grit. "As such, I was bullied, a lot. One day, when I was ten, I snapped. I left one kid critically wounded, two minorly injured, and..."

    Blaine stopped himself, tapping his fist against the glass.

    "I killed a kid." Blaine grinded his teeth. "I ran out of the Orphanage, out onto the street. I was young, confused, I didn't mean to do what I did."

    "I didn't know my parents, I wasn't happy at that Orphanage. I spent an entire week scrounging for food, begging people for whatever table scraps they could muster." Blaine said, sinking to his knees. "That's when I met Catherine and Jacob."

    Darryl stood there in shock, watching as his older brother vented.

    "It was my punishment, I killed that kid. Some force out there wanted me to do it forever, so that I could never live it down." Blaine actually sobbed, tears running down his cheeks. "Now my daughter compares her childhood to mine? What does that mean about me? Am I a failure? Was her childhood that terrible? Should I have given her away, like he did me?!"

    "You've taken your lumps, Blaine." Darryl said, reaching a hand out. "Dawn, Autumn, hell, every friend you've made on this journey we call a life? They are your reward, you've long atoned for killing that one kid."

    "She hasn't had a bad childhood, she's just confused and upset as you were when you were a kid." Darryl continued, as Blaine took his hand, hoisting himself back up. "Not to discredit the old man, but his fatal flaw was giving up on himself, giving up on you. It was his mistake."

    At that word, Blaine's eyes opened wide, as he turned to Darryl.

    Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo

    "Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo". That was the one line I could firmly remember from my young childhood. It was something that the augments kicked to the surface of my mind. It had been the phrase my father had said, before putting me in that Orphanage.

    For the majority of my Loops, I had always assumed it meant I shouldn't re-enter the military. After Darryl said what he had said, I realized that was only the half of it. Morgan Harlowe didn't want me to just stay out of the military, he wanted me to be the father he never was. He wanted me to have my own family, to father my own kids, to be there for the people that needed me most, to never give up on my dreams.

    All of these years, and it finally made sense.

    "That old bastard." Blaine growled, as Darryl dragged him in for a hug. "If he was still here, I'd-"

    "-Thank him?" Autumn asked, stepping around the corner. "Had it not been for him giving you to that orphanage, you wouldn't be standing here now."

    "In fact, you'd probably be another person dead on Reach right now." Autumn sulked. "That's why Morgan died happy for you. Because, inadvertently, he actually gave you the life they wanted for you. You're military, sure, but you can protect your family as a result."

    Darryl removed himself, as Autumn walked over, placing a hand on Blaine's chest, pulling him in for a hug. Pecking him on the cheek, she looked up at him.

    "He never truly gave up on you, you told me that yourself. He told you he kept going back to that Orphanage, even after they told him you ran off, hoping you'd come back. When you two were reunited, you could never truly be father/son, but you did bond." Autumn continued. "Dawn saw that bond when she was younger. It's why she's been glued to your hip all these years."

    "You've spent so much time mourning the past, that you've nearly forgotten the light that's come out of the dark." Autumn said. "You became blind to the future."

    Turning Blaine's attention to the glass, just on the other side, a helmet was fixated onto Dawn's head, her long black hair bunned up on the back of her head. From what Blaine could see, a smile of pride was burning on Dawn's face, as he stared in awe.

    "She chose that helmet." Autumn smirked. "Guess your little nickname had that much of an impact on her."

    Blaine looked at the strange helmet, to him, it reminded him of the old Pelican pilot helmet's during the war. With it's visor split into two bulbous 'goggles'. It had been a design that Blaine, Sarah Palmer, and Bailey had concepted together, but named by Blaine.

    "Valkyrie." Blaine smiled.

    As if on cue, Dawn's head, now clad with the helmet, turned to face him.

    Author's Notes: Had a brief moment of thought, this isn't how I wanted this post to turn out, originally. However, I decided after all of these years, that I would finally spill the beans on what 'Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo' actually meant.

    It means to never give up, on family, on yourself, on your dreams. Morgan Harlowe never followed that mantra, but he wanted Blaine Harlowe to succeed where he did not. It's the same phrase my own father said to me when I was younger, and god dammit, I plan on following it all the way. It took me the better part of fifteen years to figure it out, Blaine... waaaay longer.

    To progress the story, of course, I had Dawn outfitted with her armor finally. I recently watched a Halo 5 Guardians customization video not too long ago, and I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. One of the armor permutations for Halo 5 Guardians is actually called VALKYRIE.

    Needless to say, this is the armor that Dawn will be wearing. Unfortunately, because the game hasn't come out, and I'd have to unlock it, I had to resort to harvesting the image from the video.

    The Spartan modeling the armor is male, so use your imagination to picture something slimmer for Dawn. The sad truth is that by harvesting these images, the quality is a little lacking. If the armor isn't unlocked, it also becomes mildly transparent in the screen.

    However, I was able to compile the best visual image of the helmet, and the armor, and frankenstein them together. It's not a pretty sight, but the point is to see the helmet and the body armor, not to commend my photoshopping skills.



    I assure you, once Halo 5: Guardians comes out, and I unlock this armor after thousands of REQ Packs, I will be taking a better picture for reference. Also, her color scheme is a mix of Blaine's and Autumn's. She has a Violet primary (Autumn) and a Brick/Red secondary (Blaine). I cannot say for sure where the two colors change on this armor, which is why I didn't actually color it.

    For the time being, this is the only reference I can gather. In the next chapter, we'll learn a bit more about Sona's situation, and we'll see the goddamn Harlowe family *in it's entirety, well, besides Morgan* in action. You won't want to miss it.

    Thanks for reading, as always.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 11th 2015, 2:35 pm

    Sona's eyes snapped awake as she heard the ever echoing sounds of death all around her. From her short time in this recluse building, it had become a familiar noise, but still managed to shake her to the bone. She had been brought to this unfamiliar planet some time ago, and stuck in this room for the better part of a week.

    The room itself had been the most complete part of the entire building, and even then, the perpetual rain outside continued to cause leaks within the concrete roofing. One such raindrop cascaded from the roof, splashing on her leg. Just outside of her 'prison', she could hear the sounds of death finally stop. The screams were usually headed by an awfully, ear wrenching high pitched screech, followed by the blood curdling yells of men being torn to pieces, and gunfire echoing.

    Sona, bound to the rolling chair that her captors had readily available, rolled backwards in surprise as one man wrenched the door open. Blood covered his face, as he tried a futile attempt to crawl inside. Roaring in pain, he grit his teeth, his eyes wide in shock and pain. Suddenly, his mouth opened and he wretched bile and blood onto the concrete floor. Reaching a hand out, he was dragged back out into the darkness.

    Sona took this moment to turn her chair around, rolling towards the door. Closing the door with the back of her chair, she couldn't help but noticed something dropped on the floor. Using her right foot, she gently slid the item across the floor, pinning it against the wall. Quietly as she could, she attempted to slide the object up the wall. Once she had succeeded, she grabbed it with one of her bound hands, and quietly rolled back to the middle of the room, where a wooden table had remained.

    Placing the object on the table, she heard the ominous sound of the door being banged on. Turning her head with shock, there was the echoing sounds of gunshots again, followed by a high pitched scream, just outside of her door. Whatever had been on the other side of the door scurried away, likely to hunt the person firing their weapons. Sighing with relief, Sona, glanced over the com-pad in front of her.

    It had been a long time since she had seen Dawn, or even Dawn's father. The fact was, they probably hated her, Sona hated herself. Had it not been for the information she possessed, she would have likely just let the thing outside the door get her, but she couldn't. What she could remember of her time with Dawn, however, was Dawn's father's offer.

    "Here's my card, if you need to contact me for anything; let me know. If I can help you, I'll be there."

    "I don't deserve your help, Mr. Harlowe." Sona sobbed, as she used her nose to tap the com-pad. "I just need to get you this information, to testify."

    Opening the Waypoint servers, Sona typed in the last username she had Mr. Harlowe under. Typing furiously away with her nose, she sent a short, if not coherent message.

    "Notice," the com-pad's AI spoke up. "The individual you are trying to reach is a high ranking member of the UNSC. This call has been logged, and reviewed as seen fit by the Office of Naval Intelligence."

    "Shhhhh." Sona whispered, as the avatar of the AI shrugged. "Bad things are here, they're sensitive to sound."

    "Speaking now; Lord Harlowe." the AI said, as Sona's heart skipped a beat with relief.

    "I'm a little busy right now. You'll have to give me some time. What's the purpose of your call?"

    "I-it's me, Sona, M-Mr. Harlowe." Sona said

    "Sona. You've got a bit of explaining to do." Lord Harlowe said.

    "I will, sir. I promise. I dunno where I am, but I really need your help."

    "Luckily for you, we found it out from your first transmission. My wife and I have been tracking your com-pad for some time." Blaine said. "You're on Nyskor IV. A Planet that the UNSC attempted to populate some time ago. For reasons unbeknowest to ONI, our efforts failed. As such, I assure you we are on the way, but we need to prepare for anything."

    "S-Sir, there's something you should know-"

    BANG! Sona flinched as the com-pad in front of her exploded, turning away from the blast, she stared wide-eyed at the man wielding the silenced pistol. Smoke rose from the top of the suppressed barrel, his Mjolnir armor soaked in purple blood. Wearing everything but a helmet, the man's scowling face glared at her, a grin creeping up his face.

    "Don't ruin the surprise now, lassie." the man said, running his spare hand along his onyx black hair. "If he can brave the wild beasts out here, then he can earn the right to meet me, face to face."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Augh! Dammit!" Blaine growled, as he ripped his helmet off of his head.

    Autumn, Darryl, David, Naomi, and Dawn turned to face Blaine, as Autumn approached him.

    "You said Sona; did she contact you?" Autumn asked, Blaine nodded.

    "The situation's desperate." Blaine nodded. "The com-pad we've been using to track her is toast. She was trying to warn me about something, but I fear one of her captors got a hold of her."

    "Actually." Zeus said, in the other Spartan's comms. "I was contacted by that com-pad's AI. Ms. Skorske had told it that something sinister was afoot, sensitive to sound."

    "So it's not just Sapien Sunrise." Blaine shook his head. "They found something down there."

    "We need to go now, then." Dawn said.

    "No." Blaine shook his head, placing a hand on her shoulder. "You're not ready."

    "Sometimes you have to be burned by the Forge before you can learn to smith." Dawn said. "If we hold off any longer, Sona might not make it. You and I have spent time in the past firing BRs and DMRs at the range, and if things get hairy, I can just hide."

    Dawn's helmet disassembled itself, as her worried eyes glanced into his. Blaine sighed, he knew she was right. If he kept being so defensive of her, she would never be able to fend for herself in the event that he died. Mendez had trained him in the past, but most of everything he learned had actually been through trial and error.

    Placing a hand on her shoulder, Blaine nodded sternly.

    "Same rules as the Simulation Room." Blaine said, staring into her eyes. "Do as your siblings, your uncle, your mother or I say, understood?"

    Dawn brought her right hand up to her mouth, forming a smile. Blaine's heart sank, as he realized Dawn had learned the Spartan smile. Darryl grinned beneath his helmet, performing the act himself, as David, Naomi, and even Autumn followed suit. Looking down at the new model Recon helmet in his hand, he turned it around, before replacing it on his head.

    Turning to his rag-tag, family squad, Blaine stepped before them, performing the smile.

    "Harlowe family, mount up." Blaine barked in the comm. "Let's show Sapien Sunrise just how much of a threat a family of Spartans can be."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 12th 2015, 12:00 am

    "Tell me again why we're taking a Space Golden Eagle?" Dawn asked, holding her DMR tightly to her chest.

    "We don't want to alert anyone down on the Planet that we're coming, Dawn." Autumn replied, Blaine having been the designated pilot.

    "She's right, if they did find something down on the Planet, they'll be highly stressed as it is. A UNSC jumping blankly into orbit, and anyone they have imprisoned is as good as dead." Darryl said. "Sorry to be blunt, this is your friend we're talking about, after all."

    Dawn blinked twice, acknowledging their responses.

    "All the same though, if they did find something down there, that means our time is limited anyways. This is known as a blow-through OP, meaning we're taking down any unlucky bastard that bothers pointing a gun at us. Blaine's voice crackled in her comm. "Unfortunately, we lost our tracker due to the interference with the com-pad. Our best bet is to find the most complete building on the surface, and begin our search there."

    "We understand it's at the Northern Hemisphere of the Kyskor IV." Autumn nodded. "A failed UNSC colonization base, originally marked for construction in 2532, but was stopped for unknown reasons. The project was picked up once again in 2560, but attempts to continue the construction disappeared."

    "Great, disappearing platoons, ominous dark atmosphere. Y'know, this is really the best start for Dawn."

    "I'm landing the bird on the roof, the darkness of the atmosphere will be enough to cloak our ship. Autumn studied old UNSC base construction thoroughly, there is guaranteed to be a staircase there."

    "Auto-Pilot initiated." the on-board AI responded.

    With that, the door to the Pilot's cock-pit slid opened, Blaine ducked through the entrance, standing before the group of six Spartans. There was a brief shudder in the ship, causing everyone to tense. The troop bay hissed, the ramp leading down to the roof. Dawn began to move, as Blaine placed a hand on her shoulder.

    Before he could give orders, however, a high pitched screech filled the air, echoing through the complex. Blaine slid to the front of the group, walking down the ramp, he gazed into the compound beneath them. There was gunfire, but not towards them. He couldn't quite make out everything, the external power to the complex had failed at some point.

    One Sapien Sunrise foot soldier roared in defiance, firing his MA5D Assault Rifle blindly into the air. Screaming with fright, Blaine watched something swoop past the soldier's flashlight, the man's yells echoing as he soared off through the sky. His eyes opened wide as the side of the building in front of him began to quake. Turning on his suit's external flashlight, he peered over the side.

    To his horror, a giant, winged creature began to ascend the side of the building towards him. Backing away, the other five Spartans slowly walked out, training their weapons with their lights on. When they saw what Blaine focused on, they all tensed. Spreading it's wings outwards, the beast screeched in their ears.

    "What the FUCK is that?!" Darryl yelled, as it's head snapped towards him.

    Lunging forward, the beast screeched again as Blaine's might deftly swung up and into it's chest cavity. Holding it back with every inch of his strength, the beast's head had been just close enough to Darryl to snap at him. Darryl growled in annoyance, placing the barrel of his shotgun in it's mouth, firing. Dawn squeaked in surprised, as David and Naomi formed a wall in front of him.

    Blaine tossed it's lifeless body off of the roof, panting as he did so. He had no idea what the creature was, nor did he really give a damn. More screeches filled the air, therefore filling the Spartans with terror. Blaine motioned for the staircase, as all but Darryl sprinted for it.

    "We can't risk the bird, I'll be in orbit if you need me. Sorry team." Darryl said, firing the suppressed engines of the Golden Eagle.

    David and Naomi clambered down the steps first, while Autumn and Dawn followed suit. Blaine turned, pointing his DMR in a sweeping motion. He could make our four, maybe five of the behemoths coming their way.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    "Oh joyous day." the man smirked, placing a hand gently under Sona's chin. "Our way off this planet is here!"

    Sona shuffled uncomfortably, as the man drew his face to hers.

    "What's the matter, lil sis? You think I'd let these things hurt you?"

    "You're not my brother." Sona growled, spitting in his face.

    "You're right, I'm not." he grit his teeth, wiping the slobber away. "We happen to share the same father figure though."

    Standing, the man grinned fiendishly, as he reached into the closet, where a pair of foot soldiers lay crumpled, bullet wounds in their foreheads. Laying them beside Sona, her captor grabbed a syringe from his pocket, sticking the needle into her leg. Within a moment, she remained still, unconscious, but alive.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Blaine clenched harder onto his DMR than he probably ever had in his entire life. He had fought Covenant, he had fought Humans, he had even fought Prometheans. Never once in his entire existence, had he ever prepared himself to fight mythological beings.

    "We need to split up if we're going to find Sona quickly." Blaine sighed. "Dawn, you're with your Mother, check left side rooms. David and Naomi, you guys will search the right side rooms."

    "What about you?" Dawn asked, stepping closer.

    "It's not my first solo op, kiddo." Blaine smiled beneath his helmet, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I'm going to search the basement. The building is only two floors, this one and the basement."

    With that, Blaine branched off from the group, silently walking down the hallway. The only noise he produced was that of his footfalls, but even then they had been slightly muffled.

    "You believe this?" a disembodied voice appeared in Blaine's comm, as he swapped to a separate channel. "It's darker than the deepest crevices of hell out there, and you have no idea what to expect."

    "I thought you said no more visits?"

    "I meant no more physical visits. Truth be told, I enjoy our little chats."

    "Should I put the tea on?"

    "Funny, I like your style. Reminds me of- oh, right." Shadow said. "Look, there's a reason I brought you here, and there is a reason I'm talking to you now."

    Blaine stopped for a moment, as he heard chittering in the room to his right, flipping back to his previous channel to warn David and Naomi of one of those beasts' positions. Returning back to his private comm., Shadow did not sound enthused.

    "You did that on purpose; anyways, I should warn you about a little... discrepancy I left behind."

    "Hold that thought." Blaine said, as he quietly walked down the stairs to the basement.

    A half eaten torso of a man stared up at him with milky eyes, the only light in the entire building was through the door in front of him. Pressing his helmet gently to the door, he heard no noises. For this operation, he opted in bringing a jetpack, in case he needed to make a dive off of the building.

    Opening the door, Blaine's DMR stayed at the ready, as he stepped in, checking his corners. Directly in front of him, a young teenage girl was bound to a chair, a bruise on her right cheek. She was unconscious, as far as he could tell. What confused him was the armored man standing over her.

    "A Spartan?" Blaine said. "Designate yourself, or be fired upon."

    Using his focus, he was able to send a green acknowledgement light to everyone in his team, indicating he had found Sona.

    "Spartan Donald Harbinger, Wyvern Company." the Spartan turned. "I was on a top secret mission by Serin Osmin of the Office of Naval Intelligence to research the sudden disappearance of UNSC forces in the area."

    "Funny, she never mentioned that to me."

    "She had high hopes in me, Admiral." the Spartan replied. "Sent me and my Company in to scour the place for anything valuable we could dig up. One day, about a week ago, Sapien Sunrise showed up out of no-where."

    "The beasts on this world had already devastated my company, but I was the sole survivor." he said, casting his head downwards. "Sapien Sunrise fled into this building, with this young woman here. I figured they were up to no good with a captive, so I came here to help her. That's about the time you showed up, sir."

    Blaine glanced down at the dead bodies of what appeared to be average joes beside Sona's unconscious form. Behind him, Dawn and the others arrived. Blaine, still with his weapon trained on the Spartan, watched as Dawn sprinted for Sona. Autumn moved around, her weapon also trained on the Spartan.

    "What company are you from, Spartan?" Autumn asked.

    "You must be Agent Harlowe." the Spartan crisply saluted. "Donald Harbinger, Wyvern Company."

    "Wyvern Company... that's Serin's top Spartan black ops team besides Kilo-Six." Autumn turned to Blaine. "Where are the rest of your men?"

    "MIA, ma'am, if you catch my drift." the Spartan spoke up. "I was just telling Admiral Harlowe here about my finding of this young woman, and how I had been stranded here because of those hell-beasts out there."

    "If you are who you say you are, you'll back away from the captive, nice and slow." Blaine said, as the Spartan did as he was told.

    Naomi moved over to help Dawn unfasten Sona's bindings. After a moment, they were successful. Dawn, who had little training with weapons, opted to hoist Sona over her shoulder. With Sona in tow, the Spartans looked once more to the outsider.

    "Admiral Harlowe, I dunno what missive brought you to this place, besides the girl. However, if your squad is going to make it out of here, the crews from before made a detailed file on those creatures. If you have a moment, I'd like to share the files with you."

    Blaine turned his attention to the others, nodding firmly. Dawn hesitated for a moment, before the other four left the room, Sona in tow. Autumn hailed Darryl for an immediate extraction, while Blaine followed the Spartan to the other corner of the room, weapon still trained on him.

    "From what they've gathered, these things, ironically enough, are known as Wyverns. Y'know, like the dragons of legend. The perpetual night is the reason why they thrive on this world so well." the Spartan said. "The poison on the tips of their tail is enough to paralyze a Spartan for a good five minutes. Though, they rarely give you the chance to recover."

    "Why couldn't you have told me this on the way to the Golden Eagle, Spartan?" Blaine grunted.

    "Because that's not why I needed your attention." the Spartan said, turning instantly, crumpling the DMR in Blaine's hand.

    Blaine watched with anger burning in his eyes, as the DMR his father had given him years before, fell to the ground, never to fire again. Blaine grunted as a boot smashed him square in the chest, as he stumbled back over the table.

    "This is what the great Lord Harlowe is capable of?" the Spartan scoffed. "I never knew you to be this gullible. Sis always spoke so highly of you, though."

    "What are you talking about." Blaine growled, shakily standing to his feet.

    Something about this Spartan was off, he was much stronger than a four, and definitely more of a match than Blaine. Was he perhaps augmented with both.

    "How rude of me, I suppose I should actually give you my REAL name." the man said, as he removed his helmet.

    Blaine's eyes widened beneath his helmet, as he stared at the practical second image of himself, only younger, and a slightly different facial construction. Onyx black hair on his head, cobalt blue eyes that pierced his visor, and a cocky grin.

    "I'm Don Harlowe." the Spartan said. "All things considered... I'm your son."

    Blaine shook his head, standing, his fists clenched.

    "I didn't have twins. It's impossible for you to exist." Blaine grit his teeth.

    "Giovanni Skorske begs to differ." Don replied, stepping forward. "For you see, he was a high member of Sapien Sunrise in it's prime. That is, until you damned Spartans showed up."

    "When he heard from his wife that a Spartan's kid attended the same school as Sona did, he would enact his revenge." Don continued, marching forward. "Tell me, 'Daddy', do you recall sending 'me' to Io?"

    Blaine's eyes widened, he remembered that Autumn and him had sent Dawn to Io with the Skorske's for a weekend. It had gone off without a hitch, or so they had thought.

    "You're a man, you're not the Daughter I sent there."

    "You're right, I'm not." Don smirked. "I'm her clone. Of course, when you don't have the proper technology, things tend to get a little out of hand. One thing led to another, and instead of coming out as a girl, here I stand."

    "How many are there like you, do you really think Giovanni cares about you?"

    "HE DOESN'T HAVE TO!" Don roared, clutching Blaine by the throat. "He's not my father, and my real father was too busy dealing with his actual kid that he forgot about ME!"

    "How. could. I. forget. someone. I. didn't. know. existed?" Blaine said, gasping for breath.

    With a swift motion, Don removed Blaine's helmet from his head, rolling it along the ground.

    "Hey, is everything okay down there?"

    "We're met with heavy resistance, Admiral's comm. is down. We're still en route."

    "I'm coming down."

    "Dawn, kiddo." Don's voice almost perfectly mimicked Blaine. "Stay with your mother and the others. Donald and I've got this."

    When the comm. shut, Don snarled at Blaine, tossing him at the far wall. Don stomped towards Blaine, who stood, shakily due to his lack of oxygen.

    "Come on then." Don said, patting his cheek. "Hit yer 'kiddo'. I want you to punch your 'daughter' in the face!"

    "You remember that time you and Grandpa Morgan were out fishing, you remember when I had such a blast in that simulation room? Gosh Dad, I certainly do!"

    Blaine parried the punch that Don threw, but refused to strike back, as if some inhibition prevented him from doing so.

    "What's the matter, pops? Can't bring yourself to hitting your kid?" Don taunted, producing a syringe. "Don't worry, Valkyrie'll make it all better."

    Blaine attempted to parry another punch, as Don faked out, sticking the syringe in Blaine's neck. All of the sudden, Blaine felt all control of his limbs disappear, as he sank down the wall.

    "You'll still be the hero I always knew you to be, daddy." Don said. "Dying to ensure that some Spartan you never knew before, got off planet alive."

    Blaine was helpless to watch, as Don sprinted from the room. Beside Blaine, his recon helmet crackled to life with the comm.

    "The Admiral's... he sacrificed himself to save my life. If we have a window to get out, we need to go, NOW!"

    There was radio silence, as all Blaine could hear were the subtle sobs of his daughter, attempting to contain her emotions. To his right, he could hear the hissing of a Wyvern drawing ever closer to him. If the poison acted as a paralysis agent, perhaps it also doubled as a pheromone to draw them in.

    Trapped within his own body, Blaine was powerless to move. With a mental sigh, he felt the wetness of a single tear rolling down his cheek, as one of the scaly beasts crawled into the room to his right.

    "Ah, there's Chomper." Shadow's voice said from his left. "Such a good little pet. Loyal to a fault. They'd rather eat you so that you can be a part of them always, than let you die to anything else. Isn't that adorable?"

    Shadow paced in front of Blaine, looking down at him, Blaine's eyes following him as he walked.

    "Let me ask you something, if a Spartan dies in a building, and no-one's around to hear it... do they make a sound?" Shadow asked, leaning in for Blaine's answer. "Strong silent type today, eh? You sound like every first person shoot character in existence."

    "Tell you what, if you can hear me, blink once for yes." Blaine did so. "Ho-ho! Now we're getting somewhere with this, Blaine ol' boy!"

    Blaine's eyes darted towards the Wyvern in the doorway, the ominous sounds of it sniffing the floor.

    "So let's ask another question, this time, I want you to blink once for yes, and twice for no, understand?" yet again, Blaine blinked. "Do you believe a Spartan could run past this baby wyvern and get to that Golden Eagle in less than five minutes?"

    Blaine blinked once, staring up at Shadow with annoyance.

    "Or how about this. Do you think the acolyte of a time bending personality would be capable of breaking his paralysis, and get to the Golden Eagle on time?"

    Once more, Blaine blinked, as Shadow grinned.

    "Do you want to see your daughter, your family, again?" Shadow asked, standing stiffly, as Blaine blinked once. "Prove it."

    Within a flash, Shadow disappeared. As if on cue, the Wyvern's attention snapped towards Blaine, as it pounced. Time began to slow for Blaine, as he closed his eyes, meditating deeply. In his head, the repetitive echoes of deep church bells began to ring. Trumpets began to blast, as he slowly clenched his right fist, the paralysis beginning to fade much faster than it should have.

    When his eyes snapped awake, Blaine's right hand snapped outwards, seizing the dragon by it's neck. Giving it a firm squeeze, he smirked as he heard it snap. A golden glow emnated off of his right hand, before it faded. Scooping up his Recon helmet, Blaine realized that Goldenheart had only helped him cure his poison, everything else was on himself.

    Placing the helmet back on his head, Blaine sprinted up the stairs. More of the Wyverns began to shuffle, having invaded the previously searched rooms in search of fresh meat. Dashing past the rooms, he could hear the beasts scrambling out of their rooms after him. Charging up the stairs, he could see the Golden Eagle prepare it's takeoff.

    He attempted to hail the others, but his comm. system was failing. Growling he dove towards the Golden Eagle. Grasping onto one of it's wings, he grasped as hard as he could, as the machine sped off towards Orbit.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There was a thump on the hull of the Golden Eagle, causing the already emotionally distressed Spartans to jump. Don stood towards the back of the bay, he wasn't showing it, but he was smiling fiendishly, pleased with his acts.

    The others sat there, heads in their hands, as he marched past them. Opening the cock-pit door, Don stood there. Darryl attempted to pilot the Golden Eagle through the perpetual night.

    "Damn." Darryl growled. "First Blaine, now this."

    "What's the sit-rep?" Don asked, stepping forward.

    "What isn't on the list? My brother's dead, we're low on fuel, and we've got one of those things on our wing. In short, we're not jumping out of system any time soon."

    "You don't have a frigate in the system?"

    "No, but should be a refueling station. I might be able to place all remaining fuel sources into one last jump." Darryl said. "Get us to a refueling plant. Though, I dunno if that'll work."

    "UNSC Golden Eagle 1 to any nearby Frigates, how copy?"

    "UNSC Long Winter's Night responding, GE 1. Solid copy. What's your situation?"

    "Out of fuel and will be attempting one final jump. Mark my last in case of failure. Radio silence following this transmission."

    "Affirmative, we'll be sending a spare Golden Eagle to your last pos. Good luck GE 1, we've got your back."

    -------------------------------------------

    Blaine's eyes widened as the deep blue sphere began to form on the nose of the Golden Eagle. The ship was about to jump, and if he attempted to get inside now, everyone inside would be sucked out into the void.

    Sighing with defeat, Blaine really didn't want to be ripped to shreds in Slipspace. Instead, he would rather float in space endlessly, thinking of the life he lived. Pushing off, Blaine waved to the space craft, as it performed it's jump.

    It was in that moment, however, that Blaine truly felt his loneliest. Dawn wouldn't have him in her life anymore, and that Don bastard was clearly up to no good. Blaine still wasn't entirely sure why he hadn't engaged Don. It had been clear that, even though he was biologically Blaine and Autumn's son through cloning, that he was malicious.

    He had failed everyone, everyone at the UNSC that expected so much from him. He had failed Dawn, Autumn, David and Naomi. He had failed his family. He even failed himself.

    "Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo"

    Blaine thought that sentence over and over in his head, as his body continued to flip over itself. He wasn't ready to give up on himself, he wasn't ready to give up his family, or on his life. Clenching his fist, he lightly tapped the jetpack on his back, attempting to equal out his momentum. Considering the impossibility of it, he tapped it every now and again to atleast keep himself head's up.

    Sighing, Blaine realized that there was no point in panicking, his oxygen was going to slowly dwindle regardless. Closing his eyes, he heard a muffled pop behind him. Suddenly, something clasped onto his back, as his eyes snapped awake.

    "Y'know, you could do yourself a favor and lose a few pounds, one-one-five!"

    Blaine smirked beneath his helmet as Butch clasped his hand, dragging him back to a Golden Eagle. When both Spartans were inside, the ship immediately hissed, as the replacement oxygen tanks kicked in. Blaine sat there, on his knees as Butch crouched beside him.

    "So tell me this, why in the hell is the head of the UNSC floating in zero G's, and his family racing off to the nearest fuel depot?" Butch asked, offering Blaine a hand up. "I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know that your family would never do that to you."

    "It's a long story, I really need a lift onto their current coordinates." Blaine said.

    "Then buckle in, Blaine. Following their coordinates in five." Katie said, appearing in the pilot's cock-pit door. "Green team, back together again.


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    Manny
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Manny on October 17th 2015, 12:41 am

    ..The fact that Sona's father took DNA from Dawn at some point, without her realizing it, is pretty damn creepy.

    Did he like. cut her hair while she was sleeping? Keep a bloodied band aid from her? Collect her spit? WHAT WAS IT? They all sound so creepy!
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 17th 2015, 11:50 am

    It'll be explained in due time. But a pretty interesting plot device, don't you think?


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 17th 2015, 1:11 pm

    Darryl growled with annoyance as the Golden Eagle shook as it exited slip-space. Looking at the system diagnostics, whatever had jumped onto the left wing of the bird had damaged it.

    Thankfully, it was stable enough to steady down into Berlin Station, an Orbital defense platform orbiting Io. After the tragic events of Ganymede, the UNSC formed a miniature version of the Earth defense cluster around Io to prevent any Covenant Loyalists from performing the same events. Blaine had been the one to suggest the defense platforms be put up after the war ended, a few of his known allies having been born and raised on the moon.

    "For what it's worth." Don said, placing a hand on Darryl's shoulder. "I'm sorry for the Admiral. I'll remember his sacrifi-"

    "Don't." Darryl growled, as the Golden Eagle landed.

    Standing, the Spartan II and Don stood nearly at the same height. Pointing a finger to Don's chest, Darryl glared through his security helmet at the Spartan's.

    "ONI brass or not, you are a goddamn Spartan." Darryl snarled in annoyance. "I don't know the full story of what took place down in that hell-hole, but a Spartan does everything in his power to keep his fellow Spartans alive."

    "The Spartan that lost his life?!" Darryl continued. "He was the current head of the UNSC, he was my BROTHER, and he was a loving FATHER!"

    Don bowed his head, as Darryl continued to chew him out.

    "He was also a hero, Uncle Darryl." Dawn said, walking into the cock-pit. "Donald, my dad-"

    "He went quickly." Don nodded his head.

    "Fine." Darryl shook his head, barging past Don. "You're still finding your own damn ride off of this station. Dawn, you check on your friend. She's the whole reason we went to that place."

    "What're you going to do?" Dawn asked, as Darryl turned.

    "I have a knack for mechanical stuff." Darryl said. "I'm going to try and get the materials to repair this bird, get us back to the UNSC so they can do what they need to."

    "More importantly though, I'm going to get away from this fucker before I beat him within an inch of his life." Darryl said, pointing at Don.

    With that Darryl stomped out of the Golden Eagle, David, Naomi, and Autumn allowing him to pass without hesitation. They were all wracked with grief, but Autumn, David, and Naomi knew that Darryl would take the hit the hardest. Blaine was the only real family, besides Dawn, that Darryl had left in his blood-line. Josh and Phil were close, but they weren't directly related.

    "David. Naomi?" Autumn said. "I- uh. I've got to- to."

    David and Naomi nodded, both wrapping their arms around her shoulders. Autumn began to sob, David rubbing her back. Dawn turned to Donald, as her eyes cast to the floor.

    "I know you didn't do it." Dawn said beneath her helmet. "Uncle Darryl is just very loyal to our family. My Dad was the closest thing to a friend he had in Spartan boot camp."

    David and Naomi helped Autumn back up to her feet, they figured a walk throughout the station would be just what she needed. Sona sat in one of the chairs, still completely unconscious. Don sighed, taking a seat across from her.

    "I'll leave." Don said. "But first, we should get this girl to the med-bay."

    Dawn nodded, gently hoisting Sona over her left shoulder. Stepping outside of the Golden Eagle, Dawn looked out into the void of space. Something about the mixture of black, with the swirls of blue reminded her of her mixed emotions in this time. She felt unable to properly cry, perhaps because she couldn't grasp the reality of the situation.

    In the void, she could make out a Golden Eagle popping out of Slip-Space. However, she paid no mind to the rig, this was a UNSC space-station. UNSC vehicles always stopped here for pit-stops and R&R after time out in the void. Walking towards the exit of the bay, Don lagged just behind her, his focus also on the Golden Eagle.

    As they walked through the door, Dawn could feel Sona begin to stir in her grasp. She didn't want to put Sona down, however, in case she was too weak to walk. As they continued down the halls, however, the stirring became much more frequent, until suddenly, she heard Sona scream from over her shoulder.

    Dawn placed Sona down, as her childhood friend backed away, pointing at Don behind her. Turning back, Don's helmet was off, as Dawn's eyes widened.

    "You're not my Dad." she shook her head. "-but you look just like him."

    Don ran a hand through his short black hair, as he walked forward. Dawn stepped in front of Sona, holding her arms out.

    "That's because I'm you." Don said. "Well, a clone of you, but you nonetheless."

    "H-How is that even possible!" Dawn asked, as her and Sona continued to back away.

    "You remember our trip to Io? The details of my creation are a bit hazy, but perhaps you can ask your little friend here?"

    Dawn turned her head enough to Sona to listen to what she had to say, but kept her eyes on Don as he continued to approach.

    "My father... was a member of Sapien Sunrise, directly after the war ended." Sona said. "He was a high ranking scientist for the cult, and after the Master Chief stopped their assassination attempts, well before he fought off those Guardians, my father was excommunicated."

    "My father had been working on mock Spartan Augments, but they didn't work. That was why the Master Chief was able to stop Sapien Sunrise. Humiliated, my father despised the Spartans, and he moved his lab to Io to continue their work."

    "When he had first heard from me that you were coming to the school, and that you seemed different than the other kids, he figured you were the daughter of a Spartan." Sona said. "So when you came to visit us here, I was told to gather some of your hair. I had figured it was because he was going to do an art project at the time."

    Dawn stood there, confused and upset. Shaking her head, Don stopped his advance, crossing his arms.

    "There's more to the story, you little rat." he growled.

    "Then allow me to finish it." a voice sneered from behind Don, who turned.

    Within a blur of red and blue, a massive fist crashed in Don's face, blasting him down the hallway. Dawn cheered, as her father stood there, fist still clenched, behind him were another pair of Spartan IIs, IIs that she had never met before.

    "Sona must have sneaked into her father's laboratory, and seen you growing in a tube. I assume she was able to find out about all of her father's regrets from a journal he stashed on the top of the desk?"

    "Y-yes. B-But how did you know?"

    Blaine smirked beneath his helmet, as he cocked his head to the right. The massive Spartan in black and green armor pushed Giovanni Skorske forward, a massive black eye forming just above his broken nose.

    "Because I asked your old man myself." Blaine growled, as Don started to recover from the blow. "He told me you and his wife weren't involved, it was all his plot to get back at the UNSC for his humiliation."

    Blaine pointed at Don, who began to stand.

    "That abomination, who claims to be my biological son, was supposed to use his uncanny likeness, and a voice modulator installed in his throat, to pose as me and put the UNSC in disarray." Blaine growled. "I got news for you kid, I've got a damn reputation, what do you have?"

    Within a flash, Don was on Blaine, smashing his fist into the side of Blaine's head, knocking him back and into the two Spartan IIs behind him.

    "I've got all your Daughter's augments, mother fucker." Don spat. "That makes me stronger than a II, much. more. so."

    "-and when I'm done with you, I'll kill everyone you've ever known." Don continued. "To hell with throwing the UNSC in disarray, my entire scheme from the beginning was to put the Harlowe family UNDERGROUND!"

    "There's just one flaw in your plan-" Dawn said, as Don's head turned towards her. "-you didn't account for ME!"

    Once again, Don found himself sliding across the floor, as Dawn's mighty fist smashed into his face, shattering his cheekbone. Blaine attempted to stand, groaning as he did so, while Butch and Katie helped him up. Sona sprinted over towards them. Blaine watched as Dawn slowly began to march towards Don, her helmet disassembling.

    "I'm Dawn FUCKING Harlowe." she growled. "Daughter of Blaine Harlowe, Guardian of Reach. You think I'm just going to let you get away with hurting my daddy?"

    "Ooh, I like where this is going."

    "Oh, you shouldn't." a man's voice appeared from behind Don, who looked up at the man. "Go get 'im Dawn."

    Dawn nodded at Shadow, as Blaine watched a golden hue take over her iris'. Don's eyes widened as he began to scramble backwards.

    "Wh-what the hell is wrong with your eyes?!"

    "Family secret." Dawn smirked.

    With a mighty boot to the underside of his chin, Don was lifted off of the ground, and sent skidding down the hallway several feet. Marine response teams began to pour out of the rooms, as Blaine stood.

    "Stand down, Marines." Blaine barked. "The situation is under control, though, you can take this piece of shit to the brig."

    Placing a boot to Giovanni's rear end, Blaine kicked Skorske into the arms of a trio of Marines. Blaine turned to Butch and Katie, who nodded. They knew he wanted them to find Autumn and the others to ensure they were fine, he would stay with Dawn.

    Don scrambled to his feet, as Dawn continued to stomp towards him. Raising his arms to defend himself, his helmet reassembled. Her onslaught of punches, however, cracked his shields completely off. Ducking under a retaliation swing, Dawn hopped off of one foot, delivering a nasty in-air round house kick to the side of his head.

    "Something you should know about my family?" Dawn said, seizing the back of his neck with her right hand, lifting the Spartan with ease. "We don't kill innocents, we don't fight the disarmed."

    Raising Don into the air, she threw him down the hall once more, as he rolled over himself. Turning back towards Blaine, Blaine noticed her eyes were no longer gold. It had only been a spur of the moment event. Rushing to her side, Don growled as he stood.

    "There is one Harlowe tradition you can follow though." Blaine cracked his knuckles. "You won't be dying on a hospital bed, boyo."

    Author's Notes: Here we are, gents! While this might be a short installment, the next one is going to solely be the fight between Dawn/Blaine and Donald. Following that will be the epilogue.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on October 19th 2015, 2:38 pm

    So I was browsing Halo Waypoint due to the fact my hype for Halo 5 has exceeded all time highs. During my search, I found a neat link that 343 Industries left us to customize our Spartans prior to Halo 5's release.

    It only uses the items you have unlocked, which for many people will only be a few armor pieces. However, you are able to view the armor as intended. Taking advantage of my computer, I customized each and every Spartan in the Harlowe family tree, then took a snap of each of them.

    The end result?

    Harlowe Family Photo

    Dawn is in the middle, obviously. Blaine is to her left, Autumn to her right. Beside Blaine is David, beside Autumn is Naomi, and beside Naomi is Darryl.

    If you'd like to customize your own Halo 5 Guardian prior to the games release, the link will be below.

    Customize your Spartan


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    Re: Valkryie's Ascent

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