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

    Valkryie's Ascent

    Freelancer Operative

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    Post  Manny on October 23rd 2015, 6:50 pm

    Pretty damn cool photo!
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 1st 2015, 4:43 pm

    "No matter." Don growled, standing shakily. "So you have some supernatural abilities. You think that's going to stop me and my plans?!"

    Don chuckled as he produced a switch from his hip.

    "Just a fail-safe, in the off chance things didn't go my way."

    An explosion resounded from behind Blaine, Berlin Station shaking beneath their boots. Blaine braced himself, holding onto Sona to prevent her from falling. Dawn stumbled for a second, but regained her composure.

    Marines from all over sprinted for the vehicle bay, as Blaine turned his attention back to the bay. The door opened, as the Marines paused, their weapons trained on a figure, who crawled desperately towards Blaine in his Mjolnir armor.

    Dawn saw this, her attention returning to Don. Sora sprinted over towards the crawling Spartan, as Blaine walked over. Due to the explosion, the armor was completely charred, and he couldn't identify whom it was at the time.

    Walking over, Blaine crouched low, propping the Spartan's head up. With a press of a button on the side of the Spartan's helmet, the helmet disassembled itself. Blaine's heart sank, however, as Butch looked up at Blaine with a mixed look of confusion and sadness.

    "Found your wife and kids, 115." Butch chuckled, wheezing. "Katie escorted them to safety, I stayed to disarm the bomb."

    "Sneaky bastard detonated the Golden Eagle's fusion core." Butch coughed.

    Blaine sat there, nodding as his helmet came undone as well. Sona looked up at Blaine with teary eyes, as Butch stared intently at Blaine with his green ones.

    "You're gonna be fine." Blaine said. "We'll get you a combat medic."

    "Negative, Admiral." Butch shook his head. "I'm done for."

    Glancing down at Butch's torso, a giant piece of shrapnel from the Golden Eagle was lodged in Butch's chest. Blood cascaded out of the wound, pooling around him.

    "Listen, 115." Butch said. "You gave me the shadow of a doubt, believing in me, even where my own father did not. You helped me hitch up with Katie, and I had a family."

    "No matter what any pissant says, you're a remarkable pal." Butch coughed, as blood poured out of his mouth.

    "Green team sticks together." Blaine said, clenching his fist.

    "We did, 115." Butch chuckled. "-and we had some good fuckin' times too."

    "My mission was accomplished, sir." Butch said, his hand shakily forming a crisp salute over his right eyebrow. "Am I dismissed, sir?"

    Blaine's head cast down for a moment, as he brought his hand proudly up into a salute.

    "Lieutenant Butch Mendez, Spartan Green Team." Blaine said, his bottom lip quivering. "Dismissed from duty."

    "Thank you, Blaine." Butch said. "You really are an inspirati-"

    With that, Butch's face stiffened, his hand fluttering to the ground, unmoving. The door adjacent to Blaine opened, Autumn, David, Naomi, Katie, and Darryl standing there. Katie's eyes widened, while the others shook their head in disbelief.

    Darryl sprinted over, sliding on his knees. Gently tapping his hand against Butch's cheek, Darryl grit his teeth. The two brothers turned to one another, Darryl nodding his head towards Don.

    There was seventy-five of us. Now only ten of us remained.

    Blaine stood, fists clenched, as Don sneered.

    "Pathetic, these were the best the UNSC could offer?"

    "Seventy five of us." Blaine said coldly. "Ten of us remain."

    Dawn, David, Naomi, and Autumn's eyes watered as Blaine stood there, back turned to Don.

    "Seventy five of us, stripped from our homes, stripped from our LIVES. Where other kids were handed toys, we were given guns."

    "Where other kids played King of the Hill, we learned to kill. Where other kids were talked to, we were tased."

    Blaine shook his head, staring angrily at Butch's still form.

    "Butch Mendez was the worst victim of all of us. His own FATHER put him into the program without regret." Blaine's voice faltered for a second. "Misunderstood and confused, we did the government's bidding. We fought a War we never wanted."

    "You stand there and mock us." Blaine turned to Don, pointing angrily at him. "But you have your memories of your child hood. You got fluffykins, you got dessert, you got to play."

    "Seventy Five of us, only ten remain." Blaine growled. "We DIED to save this race, and they have done nothing but become ungrateful, spoiled brats that think they're immune."

    "In truth, Spartans truly NEVER die." Blaine shook his head. "Because the memory of our sacrifice will live vicariously through our families, and the soldier that fought alongside us."

    Blaine marched forward, Dawn marching beside him.

    "When all is said and done, and you find yourself dead and gone. WHO WILL MOURN FOR YOU?!"

    Swinging a mighty right cross, Don attempt to block it, Dawn's arm lashing out and bracing him. The fist connected, creating a gash in Don's forehead. Lashing his boot out, Don's hit connected, knocking Blaine back. Dawn swung her right boot up and into his neck, knocking Don aside.

    Blaine stood, ducking his head down and sprinting dead-long into Don's chest, bursting back into the Vehicle bay. The explosion had done considerable damage, regrettably evaporating any Marine in the room. The damage had been so severe that the emergency airlocks were in place to prevent a vacuum. Dawn followed suit, as Blaine released Don, letting him roll along the floor.

    Don smirked, producing a small disk from a satchel on his hip. Holding it between his thumb and forefinger, he tossed the disk at Blaine. Unsuspecting of the disk, Blaine advanced, as the disk attached to his armor.

    All of a sudden, he found himself unable to move. Grunting with annoyance, Blaine's armor was forced into lock-up, preventing any kind of locomotion.

    "Something I borrowed from one of your friends at ONI some time back." he chuckled. "Jameson Locke, I believe his name was? Totally thought I was you in different armor, took nothing fancy to trick that moron."

    "Stops Mjolnir from functioning, isn't it great?" Don chuckled, standing.

    Walking over towards Blaine, Don swung a massive right hook across Blaine's helmet, cracking the visor. Swinging his fist back and upwards, Blaine was unable to defend himself. Tackling the now Blaine statue to the ground, Don swung fist after fist into Blaine's helmet.

    Dawn charged, swinging her boot up and into his chin. Knocking Don backwards, she peeled the Medusa ring off of Blaine's chest. The Spartan II, however, was still unable to move. Holding the ring out to her side, Dawn glared at Don.

    "C'mon sis. I dare you to try something." he taunted.

    Advancing on him, Dawn swung the ring out, Don catching it. The two were locked in a pit of strength, trying to out maneuver the other. Dawn swung her left fist out, striking his helmet, before swinging back across. Taking the moment, she swung her knee into his hip, the two swing around each other.

    Behind Don, Blaine slowly stood, his helmet reassembling itself. Dawn took the hint and did so as well. Walking over towards the pressure release valve, Blaine stood at the ready. Lashing her head into Don's, Dawn took the brief moment of stun to press the Medusa ring onto Don's chest.

    "Something you should know about us Harlowes." she spat beneath her visor. "We don't fight dirty."

    Don grunted as his armor locked. Blaine pointed towards his wrist pad, pressing a trio of buttons. As he did so, the magnetic bonds on his boots activated. Dawn reached for Don's helmet, ripping it completely off of his head.

    "That doesn't mean we can't be cruel." she grinned.

    Performing the same motions as Blaine, Dawn nodded her head, while Blaine pulled the switch. The blast doors hissed open, as Don roared in defiance, attempting to move, but to no avail. With his armor effectively shut down, he slid along the metal floor, before being sucked out into the void.

    Dawn squeaked in surprise, however, as she began to slide along the floor as well, before her footing was lost entirely. Screaming in fear, Blaine tackled her through the vacuum. Wrapping his arms around her, he activated the thrusters on his back. With the momentum, he was successful in getting the both of them to the far wall.

    "I won't let you go, kiddo."

    Pressing the emergency blast shield door button beside him, the doors began to shut once more. When it sealed, Father and Daughter hugged, tighter than they ever had in their entire life.


    When Mendez asked us what the Essence of Heroism was, back in the day. I always thought it was to give it your all, to live to fight another day. I thought it meant to become a beacon by which people could stand behind, a pillar to inspire.

    His own son must have held the answer all these years, because in that one moment that he sacrificed his own safety for the good of the others, he had answered the age old question.

    "What is the Essence of Heroism?" Blaine spoke over the small group.

    "Is it loyalty to the cause and the team?" Darryl stood rigid, his BR at his side.

    "Is it compassion where there is little hope?" Autumn stood proudly.

    "Is it to stand up for others, when they need it?" Dawn shifted slightly.

    "For Lieutenant Butch Mendez, it was all of that, and more. The Essence of Heroism is to give your all, so that others may live, even if you have to pay the ultimate sacrifice." Blaine bowed his head in respect.

    "We've gathered at this Memorial on Mount Killamanjaro, to recognize the heroics that Lieutenant Butch-048 performed throughout his military career." Blaine said. "At one time, he and I never got along, but in time, I thought of him as a true friend. He was a loving father, a loyal team-mate, and a misunderstood soul."

    "His actions ennobled all of us, and he will forever be remembered."

    Darryl, David, Naomi, Dawn, and Autumn all raised their rifles, firing their blanks into the air while Blaine, Katie, and Jorge saluted. As the sigil ended, Dawn took her place beside Blaine, who stared at the Memorial.

    Some modifications had been made over the years, as war heroes from the Covenat-Human war passed on. Blaine gingerly wrapped an arm around Dawn's shoulder, Autumn appearing on her other shoulder.

    "This is your first time seeing the Monument, isn't it?" Blaine asked.

    "Yes." Dawn said, her eyes cast downwards. "These were all the soldiers that died in the War?"

    "No, not all of them." Blaine said, shaking his head. "A lot of them were key members for our victory, however.

    Blaine's eyes cast over the memorial. There he saw Sergeant Johnson, Miranda and Jacob Keyes, the Noble Team insignia he had carved. Beside Craig's picture, Blaine smiled at the image of his old man, the two brothers reunited once again.

    "This hunk of metal that makes the memorial? I ripped it off of the Forward Unto Dawn."

    "Forward Unto Dawn?"

    "The UNSC ship that led the assault on the Ark, during the final battle of the War." Blaine smiled, turning towards his Daughter. "The ship I named you after.

    Producing his knife, he flipped it around in his hand, holding the handle out to her.

    "This is the knife I used to carve 117's number into it, along with Noble Team's insignia." Blaine said. "This knife has been with me since the beginning, and I want you to be the one to do the honors."

    Dawn looked up to Blaine with minor confusion, before gently scratching the numbers zero-four-two into the memorial. Flipping the knife in her hands, albeit clumsily, she attempted to hand it back.

    "Keep it." Blaine smiled, staring at the memorial. "A memento of your father, eh?"

    Dawn looked down at the blade, the words Remember Reach, were inscribed into the blade, pretty recently by the looks. Smiling, she sheathed it in her suit's empty knife holster, before wrapping her arms around his waist.

    "I'll cherish is always, Daddy."

    "Just like I cherish you." Blaine said, kissing the top of her forehead. "Now c'mon, we're making Sona wait."

    Dawn released herself for a second, as Autumn walked away. Blaine began to walk away, Dawn directly behind him. She hesistated for a moment, turning back to the monument. Blaine stopped, his focus now on Dawn, who stared at the monument.

    As I gazed upon my Daughter, staring at the memorial, I remind myself of what I fought for. What all of these years of pain and loss had led to. My Valkyrie had already come, many years ago. Valhalla wasn't waiting for me.

    "Cause I'm already here." Blaine whispered to himself, as Dawn walked over, he wrapped his arm around her, the two of them catching up to Autumn.




    Thanks for Reading!


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    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 1st 2015, 8:25 pm

    Woah man. Talk about coming a long ways. NICE!

    Also, loved that ending Very Happy
    Freelancer Operative

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    Post  Manny on November 6th 2015, 6:15 pm


    Really liked how Butch went and his funeral even more so. I like how the memorial continues to grow as survivors of the Great War die off in service to the UNSC. It recognizes they were part of that as well, they simply weren't done when the war was.

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