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


    Whispers in the Dark.

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

    Posts : 1190
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 22

    Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 3rd 2015, 5:31 am

    "Hello, and welcome to the World of Pokemon!" the elderly man said. "My name is Oak. I'm a Professor, more precisely, I'm a Pokemon Professo-"

    "Pfft, you still playing that shit?" Grant Bigsby, my childhood friend, sneered from behind me.

    Sighing, I turned my attention to the hologram of the elderly man in front of me. The hologram of the video game character paused in place, in his hand was a crimson red and white sphere. My holographic remake of Pokemon Hallowed Gold was my absolute favorite game to play, especially on days I was stressed.

    "So what if I am." I scoffed, lazing back in my chair.

    "You're a grown ass man." I could feel Grant's disapproval, sensing his shake of the head. "Those games were designed for little kids, dude."

    "You've got Jessica to blow off steam," I grit my teeth. "I have my video games."

    "You should be playing shit like Call of Duty 2000 or something." Grant replied, I winced as he punched my shoulder. "-and Jessica blows my dick, nothing more, nothing less."

    "You're a fucking pig." I growl, rubbing my arm. "You'll miss her when she inevitably leaves you."

    "As if." Grant sneered, turning his nose up. "What are you so stressed about anyways? You always play this dumb kid shit when you're stressed."

    "You ever work Security, Grant? Watching those cameras in the middle of the night, in a dark factory? That shit sends chills down my spine."

    "Okay, and how long have you been working Security?" Grant chuckled. "Since High School, yeah? What's the matter, been playing too much Five Nights at Freddy's? Yet another old game from the twenty first century bro, you need some new age shit."

    "I do play Five Nights at Freddy's, but that isn't very scary." I sigh. "It's what happened last night."

    "Okay, and what was that?"

    "I shot a man." I said, staring at the hologram. "I killed a man."

    "Yoooo." Grant said, whistling. "That's more hardcore than anything I could do in CoD man, c'mon, give me the deets!"

    I frowned, turning my head away from my friend's piercing gaze. My eyes scanned the walls in front of me, the metallic walls shifting into the dusty walls of the factory I worked at.

    "It was around three AM." I said, standing from my chair in front of the cameras. "It had been a usual night, no intrusions within the factory."

    Stretching, my hand clasped the handle for the miniature fridge I had brought in. Pulling out a slender can of energy drink, I popped the tab, taking a mighty swig. Returning to my chair, my eyes scanned over the holographic views of the cameras in front of me. Swiping my hand across them, they shifted, allowing me to swap cameras.

    My eyes widened when the camera on the bottom floor had refused to pop up. Placing my hands on opposite corners of the hologram, I pulled in opposite directions to enhance the image, or lack there of. In my erratic movements, the can of energy drink fell to the ground.

    "This is Security Officer Archie Branson." I said into the radio on my hip. "Camera 2 is down on Sub level C."

    "Understood, we're sending in a team immediately."

    "-but sir I-"

    "-You have your orders, Guardsman, stay where you are."

    Returning to my chair, my monitors returned into the space in front of me. Cycling through them rapidly, my eyes fell upon the one adjacent to Camera 2. There had been three of them, all in sleek black outfits, skin tight outfits.

    "I guess they must've seen my camera activity, because I watched one of them nod their head towards the elevator. Then he turned his gun on the camera I was watching them through, and he shot."

    Panicked, I flipped through my monitors to the one right outside of my office. Surely enough, the off branching intruder stood beside the door, pistol at the ready. My eyes widened, he had planned to kill me. Quickly, my eyes scanned the room. Quickly, I stood, planting myself on the wall opposite of him. When the door eventually slammed open,  I saw the pistol come first.

    Taking my moment, I grabbed the barrel of the silenced pistol, kicking my foot around the corner and into the man's groin. Pushing on the pistol, I was able to force the pistol away from me in time for the man to fire away from me. Pulling him closer, I pitched my head back for a headbutt.

    I groaned, my vision blurring from the impact. To my relief, the man groaned as well, stunned just enough for me to take advantage. Pulling on the pistol, the man strangely let go. Over reacting, I found myself falling onto my rear end, the pistol scattering to the far corner.

    Scrambling to my feet, my right hand went to the pistol on my hip. Holding it up, the man had disappeared from view. My eyes widened, as I slowly approached the door, my pistol at the ready. It was then that I saw a shimmer to my left. Time seemed to slow for me for a moment, as my chair came towards my face.

    Ducking to the floor, I rolled to the side, watching the shimmer scramble to the corner with the pistol. Holding my pistol, I fired two rounds. One struck the wall just beyond the shimmer, the other seemed to hit it's mark. With one last shimmer, the cloak around the man's sleek suit disappeared.

    He clutched his shoulder, as I breathed heavily. Holding the pistol up, the man froze.

    "Don't you move." I warned. "I don't want to shoot you."

    "Or what, will you shoot me?" the man asked, his voice youthful.

    "I must do what I must to protect this facility." I shook my head. "If that means shooting you, I will."

    There was an uncomfortable silence between the both of us, the man looking down at the pistol, and back at me.

    "We're all dead anyways." he sighed, diving for the pistol.

    I don't exactly recall entirely what happened next, all I remember was the smell of gunpowder, and the sound of liquid splashing against the wall. Around me, the room returned to the familiar setting of my room.

    "All I remember after that was the strike team I had called showed up, and escorted me out of the facility." I shook my head. "They brought me to my boss, who had been outside. He thanked me for my years of service, and told me that my final check would be on the way this week."

    "Dude, they fired you?" Grant scoffed. "Shitty, dude."

    "I think he did it more for my sake. I mean, it's in the job to shoot when needed." I sighed, lazing back in the chair. "However, I don't think I should go back anyways, or else I'd see that guy again."

    "Well, you okay?" Grant asked, kneeling beside me.

    I felt his hand on my shoulder in a reassuring way, turning, I could see his legitimate look of concern. Nodding my head, he stood.

    "I guess I shouldn't let you play your games then."

    "-and why's that?" I asked, looking up to him, as he turned off my game.

    "Because what you need right now is human interaction." Grant said, turning to me. "If I leave you here to brood, you'll start regretting your actions."

    "I DO regret my actions." I shook my head. "The kid was just eighteen."

    "-and he decided that he wanted to waste his life snooping around in business that wasn't his." Grant scoffed. "You were doing your job, and he was trying to kill you."

    "What is the cost to save my life, though?" I shook my head. "How many do I have to kill to deserve my right to live?"

    "As many as it takes." Grant said, placing a hand on my shoulder. "In this world, it's killed or be killed. If someone threatens your life, and you kill them, it's justified. They automatically lose their right to live when they intend to kill another."

    "-but, by your logic. Doesn't that mean I need to be killed now?"

    The door to our apartment slid open. I didn't need to turn around to see whom it was, because I could already tell. Jessica Sanders, Grant's girlfriend.

    "Hey guys, what's up?"

    "Long story, not now." Grant said, walking over towards her.

    I stood, stretching, before turning towards her. She had really spent time at the mall, four designer bags full of merchandise hanging from her arms. It annoyed me to no end how much crap she bought on the daily, only to strew about our apartment. Of course, she would always argue that I didn't complain when she paid for the rent.

    It was true, an apartment this nice, in the heart of New Alexandra, was impossible to afford, unless your family had connections. Jessica had that, money and connections. Taking quick notice of her face, I realized that, due to the amount of makeup she was wearing, Grant and her were due for a date tonight.

    "Something happen, boo?" she asked, pouting.

    "Yes, but not with me." Grant said, his eyes flicking over towards me. "It's his story though, and if he wants to tell it, fine."

    The glare I received, however, didn't help my mood anymore. I always knew Jessica didn't care for me, even in High School she had been rather shitty to me. Then again, it was all a clash of the niches. She was the rich popular girl, in my opinion 'the town bicycle', and I was the virgin poor boy.

    The only real reason why Grant and I were friends was our common interest in gaming. Though he saved my ass in school a few times, which only helped strengthen our bond. When Jessica asked him to prom, he originally denied, saying he wouldn't go if I didn't.

    I opted to sit out, but told him to go on without me. He had praised Jessica like a goddess, and I knew it was his dream to hook up with her. Despite my mutual annoyance with her, I wasn't going to ruin my friend's chances with his dream girl. When they got an apartment, and with my parents dead, he practically begged her to let me in.

    "Oh." she sneered. "You're not cancelling our date, are you?"

    "Nonono!" Grant said. "I just want him to come with us tonight."

    "No." Jessica glared. "This night was supposed to be about the two of us. Not the two and a half of us."

    It disgusted me how Grant seemed to melt in her presence. Whenever she wasn't near, he was always gloating, but he and I knew full well that she had him by the gonads.

    "Listen here, I don't care if some stupid game's coming out. Tonight, it's Grant and I, got it?"

    "It wasn't his idea, boo." Grant said. "He just needs company tonight."

    "Why?!" she groaned. "Did he get rejected by that boy down the street?"

    "He's not gay and you know it." Grant sighed.

    "Well than what?!" Jessica said. "What's so damn important about this prick that he needs to invade our private night? Did he kill a man or something."

    "Actually, yes." I said, stepping towards her, fists clenched. "Believe me, lady. The last thing I wanted after killing a man today was to listen to your valley girl droning, or even spend time with you."

    "Bro." Grant said.

    "No, Grant." I said, glaring at him. "This bitch has done nothing but given me shit throughout my entire life. I'm glad she's your dream gal, and I'm glad you're happy with her. Fact of the matter is, I've finally had it. Rich bitch has the cash, and I'm the farmer's boy."

    "Now hold on-" she said.

    "You still have parents to rely on!" I growled, pointing at her. "Must be REAL nice to come home with a thousand credits worth of CLOTHING every fucking day. Y'know what I do- what I did? I had to work for my paycheck. I KILLED a man, just so that I could bring in food this week."

    "If you spent a little less time going to the beach, getting sand in your vagina, and spent more time getting to know me instead of hating on me, maybe you and I could have actually gotten along!" I snapped, brushing past the two of them towards the door.

    "Y-your parents are dead?" she asked with a frown.

    "Oh look, another thing you may have noticed, had you actually gotten to know me." I said, clenching the door frame. "Grant, have fun with her. I'll send for my things later."

    "W-wait!" she said, as I started through the door. "I-I'm sorry."

    That last phrase I heard through the door. Taking a moment to breathe, I walked hurriedly down the hall to the elevator. Behind me, I could hear the both of them bounding after me. Pressing a button on the hologram, I felt the sudden shift in the pit of my stomach.

    "Good evening! It is the Fifth of September, in the year 3023. The rest of the day appears to be sunny with a slight chance of rain in the Eposz region later tonight." the AI appeared beside me.

    I met her once when I first moved into the complex, she went by the name of Candace, from what I had gathered. Very nice, if you could break her loop long enough for small talk.

    "In other news, a young teenager was found dead at the UNSC facility earlier this morning. Tyler Freed was discovered shortly after three AM, where officials stated that Freed assaulted the Security Officer on watch." Candace continued, as I winced. "Officials will not reveal the name of the Security detail at this time, but have said that he was not harmed."

    "Candace." I pleaded. "Please, don't continue that story."

    "I'm sorry." she asked. "Was Freed a friend of yours?"

    "Er, yes." I nodded, as I felt the elevator stop.

    "I can sense your heartbeat, Mr. Branson. Please don't lie to me."

    "I-I was the Security Guard, Candace." I sighed, knowing Candace wouldn't resume the ride until I told her. "I really don't want to talk about it."

    "I see." Candace's hologram appeared beside me. "My apologies. Resuming Elevator. Shall I offer you any more news?"

    "I'm set, thank you." I say, the doors opening on the bottom floor.

    Walking towards the entrance, I wasn't surprised to see Grant charging at me. It was the sight of Jessica that confused me, her makeup on her face had drizzled downwards. Before I could move another step, she was on me. Wrapping her arms around me, she placed her head on my shoulder.

    "I'm sorry, Archie." she cried. "I-I didn't know. I always thought you hated me, I-I never thought you went through all of that, and I'm sorry I never bothered to try."

    "It wasn't your place." I said calmly. "I tend to keep my skeletons in my closet. Which, y'know, your stuff is invading."

    At my words, I could feel a chuckle rising from her sobs. Grant gave me a look, before turning to her, who roared into laughter.

    "Grant always told me you had a sense of humor." she said, detaching herself. "I guess I was just too stuck in my ways to notice, and I'm sorry."

    "Don't." I said. "Go and have fun. I just need some air, and alone time."

    "No." Grant shook his head. "You need company, you want air, fine, but I'm coming with you."

    "I cope better alone. If I think it out, I'll eventually come to terms with the issue."

    "This is different than that, Arch." Grant said sternly. "You can't just think these things through. What happened happened, and you need to get your mind off of it and move on."

    Jessica's hand latched out, placing hers in mine. She stared at me intently with her green eyes, almost pleading me.

    "I was harsh earlier, please, join Grant and I. We'll keep it PG for you, but you shouldn't be alone." she said. "Grant told me the story."

    "Thanks, but I'd really just like to take a walk." I said, with a slight smile. "The three of us can hang out later, right now, I really just need some time."

    "Fine." Grant said. "You need anything, you contact us on the holo-transceiver.

    Nodding, I turned on my heels and walked out the door. Glancing at the reflection of the window on the front door, I could see Jessica standing there, staring after me. Grant moved beside her, wrapping his arms around her.

    Walking through the door, I took a moment to breath in the fresh air. It was said once, that Reach had actually been uninhabitable. The exact reasoning was lost in time, though Humanity was able to reform it. In front of me, the Halsey Memorial Apartments' sign reflected a great deal of the evening sun into my face.

    Grunting, I covered my eyes, brushing past the sign. On my walk, I took notice of the multitude of couples walking up and down the sidewalks. Who could resist the view? In the distance, the ocean could be seen. Trudging up the concrete walkway, I passed an ice cream stand.

    Digging into my pockets, I sighed as I realized I had no credits left to my name, not until my check was cashed. Placing my hands firmly back into my pockets, I continued my casual stroll. On my way, I stopped once more.

    Before me, a gigantic metal statue loomed above me. Depicted was a soldier in extremely bulky armor. In his hands, an old style UNSC DMR was firmly grasped. I had passed the statue numerous times on my way to and from the UNSC facility I worked, but I had never actually taken the time to look at it.

    Groaning with annoyance, I watched a man covered head to toe in dirt and grime casually pull up his pants, a wet stain on the base of the statue.

    "Useless, so-called heroes." the man sputtered, as I approached him.

    "How can you be so rude?" I asked. "Did you know the man in the statue?"

    "Old UNSC." the old hobo spouted. "Just as useless then as they are today."

    Brushing past me, I thanked god I didn't have to smell the old bag's putrid odor any more. I still felt bad for his living condition, though such blatant disrespect to the UNSC was probably why he was living the way he was.

    Walking closer to the statue, I crouched low enough to look at the plate. I couldn't make out much, as age and the weather had slightly eroded the plate.

    "Guardian of Reach." I mused, looking back up at the colossal soldier in front of me.

    "He was more than just that." a feminine voice said from behind me. "That man was a living legend."

    "Wait, you knew this man?" I asked, turning to her.

    The woman in front of me was elderly yet not frail. Her cool blue eyes seemed to calm my spirits, yet also pierce into my soul. I was both intimidated by her, and relaxed. It was a strange sensation, to say the least, like a cat lover being stared down by a lion.

    "Knew him?" she chuckled. "I was related to him!"

    "You were?" I asked, curious. "Who was he? Who are you?"

    "My name is Alyssa, Great-Great Granddaughter to Dawn Harlowe, this man's daughter."

    "So, you're his Great-Great-Great Granddaughter?" I asked.

    "Indeed." Alyssa nodded. "The man you see before you is Admiral Blaine Harlowe."

    "He was known best as the Guardian of Reach, during a War five hundred years ago." she said, as my gaze returned to him. "He was a legendary soldier, known as a Spartan."

    "Wait, he wasn't a Marine?"

    "Nor was he an ODST, dearie." Alyssa smiled. "Nope, this man was a super soldier. He, and thirty others, fought for Reach in that War long ago. Their enemies were numerous and ruthless, and actually had Humanity pinned to a corner."

    "It was this same enemy that had made several of our worlds uninhabitable, like Reach."

    "B-but, if Reach became uninhabitable, then why is he famous for being it's Guardian."

    "It was because of his battle here, in New Alexandria." she smiled, cocking her head back in the direction of the ocean.

    I followed alongside her, despite her age, she walked with vigor non-befitting a woman of her age. She stopped just before the rail, her gaze focused at the beachfront in front of us.

    "There." she said, pointing one of her fingers at the Life-Guard's hut. "That building is where he became a legend."

    "How's that?"

    "It was the place where he, single-handedly, saved thousands of lives. During the enemy's attack on this beach, one of their ships loomed over the center of the city. Any civilian transports that attempted to lift off were destroyed by the vehicle." Alyssa continued, as I tried to picture her words.

    "Where that Life-Guard station now resides, was a beach-head for the UNSC at the time of the battle for New Alexandria. Blaine Harlowe, or Spartan 115 at the time, fired the missile systems that had once been attached to the building to destroy the ship."

    "So the transports were able to get away?" I asked, turning to her.

    She chuckled, placing a hand firmly on my shoulder.

    "Yessir. In fact, he saved at least fifty-thousand lives in this one battle alone."

    "Well, what happened to him?"

    "When Reach became a losing battle, he fought to his last breath." Alyssa said, as my eyes cast down. "His fellow Spartans, however, refused to let him die that easily."

    "He went on to defend Earth from our enemies, alongside the legendary Spartan 117, Master Chief." Alyssa smiled. "Together, they located a Forerunner stronghold, exactly what our enemies were after. They destroyed the facility, and killed our enemy's spiritual leaders, effectively disassembling our foes."

    "After that, Spartan 117 went missing for a few years, while Blaine Harlowe was promoted to his rank of High Fleet Admiral, or Lord Harlowe." Alyssa grinned. "Sometime around then, his future wife and him had my great-great Grandmother, Dawn Harlowe."

    "When Dawn was four, the UNSC Infinity, a prototype ship that we see more commonly today, had relocated Master Chief. Lord Harlowe was on the seen, as were several new age Spartans. There, they found a living Forerunner."

    "No way." I shook my head. "I thought they were extinct?"

    "So did they." Alyssa chuckled. "Blaine went with Infinity to warn the Earth Defense council, against his wishes, while Master Chief hunted the Forerunner."

    "Unfortunately, the Earth Defense Council did not heed Blaine's warnings, so when the Forerunner showed up with the Master Chief close behind, they weren't ready." Alyssa frowned.

    "The Didact, that Forerunner, he fired a weapon on New Phoenix, Arizona. There were total losses for the city."

    "No kidding." I stammered.

    "Master Chief and his Spartan Blue team were able to kill the Didact shortly after the attacks, while Blaine immediately went to the aid of the people of Earth."

    "Anything after that?"

    "Things began to settle, and as the years went more peacefully, he slowly retired. Spending more time with his family. A fun fact for us to end on; Blaine Harlowe fostered some fifty children, who went on to become the first wave of Spartan Fours."

    "Wow." I said. "What became of them?"

    "They grew up and had kids of their own. Blaine had been so kind, he actually set several millions of credits aside throughout his career, buying each and every single one of those kids, even my great-great grandmother a home and a college tuition for THEIR kids."

    "Seemed like a pretty nice man."

    "He had his moments, from the stories passed down in my family. Though I've heard that he wasn't always a nice fellow, that he could be rather cruel at times. Though, you really had to aggravate him to get there."

    Sighing, the elderly lady turned to me, a smile seemingly plastered on her face. Bringing a hand to my chin, she gently lifted.

    "You seem down about something?" she asked. "If you are ever feeling down, I insist you think of one thing."

    "What's that?"

    "Blaine Harlowe was an orphan boy, born in this City. He had nothing, but in the end, he had everything." Alyssa smiled. "Whatever you're going through now, whatever pain you are suffering. Know that anything is possible."

    With that, she folded her arms behind her back, walking away.

    "Wait, ma'am." I said, as she turned.

    "Yes?" she asked.

    "Thank you."

    "For what?" Alyssa smiled. "I've done nothing. Now hurry along, child. Someone out there that is younger and much more lively than I probably needs your attention now."

    Nodding, I walked back in the direction of the statue. I wasn't going to tell her I was a single man, there was no reason for it. It was something that Grant always teased me about for the longest while. Here I was, twenty-three years old, and still single. His numerous attempts to get me hooked up with women either resulted in me getting smacked on the cheek, or straight up abandoned.

    Of course, that was the least of my problems now. As I walked past the statue, my mind was filled with the thought of that Freed kid. He was four years younger than I am, probably was a Freshman in the same High School as I was.

    Clenching my fist, I shook my head, and grit my teeth. Why was it that I should live, while he should die? Grant said that it was a dog eat dog world, and I shouldn't forget his loss, but to be thankful I'm alive. How could I be thankful for ending another's life?

    "I don't think the decision should be that hard." another feminine voice giggled from in front of me.

    Looking up, my eyes widened as I jumped backwards. In my thought processes, I had completely forgotten where I had been walking. In fact, I was a little confused as to where I was. The area around me was a complete difference from the beach-head I had just been at.

    Shaking my head, I looked at the woman who had just addressed me. She was standing there, one arm gently draped in front of her. The other was placed firmly on her hip. Black hair cascaded down her head, headed way down past her shoulders. Brilliant green eyes stared back at me, in a mixture of confusion and shyness.

    "Um, you gonna say something, or keep staring at me?" she asked, somewhat shyly.

    "I'm sorry." I said, rubbing my arm. "I lost track of where I've been walking."

    "Oh, you weren't going to run into me." she giggled, pointing at the nearby tree. "I was more concerned of you walking into that tree."

    Following her finger, a lonely Russian Maple loomed overhead. Laughing sheepishly, I rubbed the back of my head.

    "Oh, the only tree in New Alexandria. Wouldn't it be my luck that I would run into the only tree in the City?"

    "Actually, considering how you must have crossed several lanes of traffic to get here, it's extremely lucky." she smiled. "I'm Aurora. Aurora Mathews."

    "I'm Archie. Archie Branson." I smile. "Did I disturb you?"

    "I was just investigating this tree." she said. "It sounds stupid, but the tree has some huge history within New Alexandria. It was the only surviving thing when Reach was made uninhabitable."

    I stared wide eyed at the tree, confused as to how such a thing could be possible.

    "It's miraculous how it happened, but it's the oldest living thing on Reach right now." Aurora said. "I really shouldn't be saying this, but I think you might like to hear it."

    "This tree is the one where Spartan 115, the man depicted in the statue, resided for a while." Aurora said, dragging me to the trunk of the tree. "Now look at this."

    Remembering Blaine Harlowe, Spartan 115. Loving Father, Carine Husband.

    "Was he buried here, do you know?" I asked.

    "I would assume so, but here's my favorite thing." she said, pointing to the bottom of the enscribed eulogy.

    "That says Dawn Harlowe." she said. "My grandmother was good friends with Old Lady Alyssa, and when my mother gave birth to me, she named me after Dawn, who apparently was their hero."

    "Er, Dawn and Aurora aren't the same name." I said shyly, as she shook her head.

    "Aurora is Gaelic for Dawn, silly!" she smiled, before looking up at the sky. "Ugh, it's getting late. I should probably head home. Um, you want to meet up here tomorrow?"

    "Sure. I've been learning a lot about the City's history tonight, and it's really cool. Too bad they never taught us anything like this in High School." I shook my head. "Do you have a time you're free?"

    "I prefer early morning." she said. "- but I can wait until noon."

    "Early morning's fine. We can stop for breakfast somewhere, if you want." I said, as she walked away.

    "Alright then." she beamed. "See you tomorrow."

    Author's Notes

    And so begins a Halo tale set WAAAAY after the events of Valkyrie's Ascent. As you may have been able to tell from this prologue of sorts, this takes place so far in the future that people have slowly forgotten about the Great War.

    As the UNSC began to feel much and much more secure, the numbers of Spartan augmentations reduced completely. Blaine Harlowe and his family is nothing more than a myth and legends told among people on the street.

    But what kind of Halo story would this be if there wasn't some Aliens to share it with? Oh, I imagine we'll find out very soon, and just who were those people at the Facility Archie worked at?

    Also, I'm going to attempt this story in the first person. It's been a while since I've done anything in the first, and I'd like to get practice in a bit. I apologize if it does skip at points, it's a tense I'm not entirely used to.

    All that said, I do hope you enjoy this story. I cannot guarantee it's length, but I'm shooting for it to be one of my longest. No promises.

    Thanks for reading!


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Impanther

    Posts : 235
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Age : 25

    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Impanther on November 3rd 2015, 3:36 pm

    I honestly cried
    avatar
    I_IRONMAN_I

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-02-21
    Age : 21
    Location : Stark Tower

    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 3rd 2015, 4:44 pm

    I didn't cry (at all, though culture shock may have set in) so much as my brain was overloaded with speculations and questions.

    What has the UNSC become? How far have they gone?

    What are our Spartans to the new era soldiers?

    With five-hundred years to mingle with Forerunner technology and the former Covenant, what has become of the universe?

    Will the Forerunners return in great force? Or will the Precursors return to give humanity the test?

    What has become the infamous character? Their legacy? Their deaths?

    What of the Sangheili? What of Thel's legacy?

    I can't wait for more, Shadow, keep up the good work!
    avatar
    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

    Posts : 1190
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 22

    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 4th 2015, 12:08 am

    "There you are, Arch!" Grant smirked, wrapping one arm around my shoulder. "You've been gone for hours, bro!"

    I nodding, still trying to process the events of my not-so-small walk. Jessica stood there, her gaze down at her feet.

    "How are you feeling?" she asked, as I smiled.

    "Much better, actually." I said, the three of us walking towards the Elevator.

    Jessica pressed the button on the elevator, the shift in weight still causing the strange sensation in the pit of my stomach. One thing about me that Grant always knew, I hated heights, and I suffered from Vertigo like no other.

    "So what happened, where'd you go?" Grant asked, glancing over towards me.

    "I took a stroll past the beach-head, towards that old statue."

    "The Guardian of Reach? Duuuude, that was like, ten kilometers from here." Grant mused.

    "Did you hear about the Guardian of Reach?"

    "Nah dude, they never taught us about that statue in school. In fact, I even recall asking Mr. Mahogany III for a lesson. I remember he avoided my question, for some odd reason, like the statue was taboo."

    I stood there in confusion. From the story Alyssa told me, Blaine Harlowe had become a hero. His story, from what I gathered, had devolved into a thing of legends, a myth. Why would Mr. Mahogany III try and avoid that story?

    "Some elderly lady, Alyssa was her name-"

    "Wait, you met crazy Ally?!" Jessica asked. "Archie, that old woman is bad news. Rumor on the street is she killed some intruder in her house, using only her thumbs."

    "She seemed pretty nice when I talked to her." I shrugged. "She told me about the Guardian of Reach. He was an Admiral in the UNSC, and he fought in the Great War of 2552."

    "That's neat, so you spent your time talking to a crazy old lady then." Grant chuckled. "Dude, you really are messed up."

    Shrugging him off, I shook my head. The way she had spoke did not come off as deranged, or clinically insane. She seemed trusting, honest. Perhaps my damaged soul was looking for connections to the story, hoping to find some common ground.

    "She didn't seem crazy." I grit my teeth. "Anyways, after I got done talking to her, I continued my walk. I found my way to that old Russian Maple."

    "Good lord man." Grant chuckled. "They really built you Security Guards up, didn't they?"

    "Why do you say that?" I asked.

    "That ol' piece of lumber is about thirty kilos from here." Grant said. "No wonder you took so long."

    "Anyways." I said, ignoring his previous statement. "I met someone at the tree."

    "Ooh lala!" Jessica squeaked from beside me. "What's her name?"

    I stood there, giving Jessica a look of confusion. How had she known that I met Aurora?

    "Er, it's Aurora. How did you know?" I asked, as she giggled.

    "Because when you mentioned you met someone, your face lit up like a Christmas tree!" Jessica smirked, her eyes squinting in a teasing fashion. "You have a date with her tomorrow, don't you?"

    "You sly dog!" Grant said, bashing his fist against my shoulder. "Give me the deets, bro!"

    "She's also fascinated by the history of Blaine Harlowe." I said. "That Russian Maple is where he spent a decent time in his childhood. She apparently knew of his family, and I'm eager to hear more about him. So I'm going to meet her there tomorrow, hear what she knows."

    "Only you would make a history lesson into a date, bro." Grant shook his head, chuckling. "-but hey, at least you got someone, eh?"

    "It's not like that." I shrugged. "Sure, she's pretty, but I-I don't have the feelings."

    "Those come later, dip-head." Jessica said, gently placing her hands on my shoulder. "You two doing anything special tomorrow?"

    "Er, I figured we'd hang out by the tree. Perhaps go to breakfast."

    Grant and Jessica took the moment to look me over, both of them having unsure looks on their face. I gave them both a confused glance, before Jessica clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

    "You're not doing anything tomorrow without some cash." she frowned.

    My eyes widened, I forgot entirely that I had no credits on me, my final check was still pending in the bank. How could I go to breakfast, and not even be able to pay for it?!

    "I got you." she smiled, handing me a credit chit. "Consider it a gift of good faith, to apologize for my ways."

    "Y'know." I said. "I said some pretty nasty things to you, I should really be the one apologizing."

    "Not at all." she said, pressing the chit against me. "You opened my eyes. I really have been a spoiled bitch, and I never once took into consideration that you were a roommate, let alone my boyfriend's bestie."

    The doors to the elevator dinged to an opening, the three of us stepping out into the hall. My eyes widened, however, as the three of us noticed our door was left swung wide open. Quickly, yet quietly, the three of us worked our way to the door.

    "That prick had to be here somewhere." one of the voices said. "He killed Thomas."

    "We'll worry about him later, have a listen to this."

    I quietly peeked my head through the doorway, my eyes focusing in on the duo with skin tight black suits. It was them, the ones from earlier this morning. One of them, the Leader I assumed, pressed the button on our room's courtesy phone.

    "Um, hi Archie. It's Aurora. I'm calling because you left your Holo-Transciever here. I'll hold on to it until tomorrow. I'll be waiting under the tree. I also just learned some more juicy information on Blaine Harlowe, so I can't wait to share that with you. So, um, see you tomorrow."

    "Sounds like a cutie." one of them said. "Too bad. It's a priority shift. We'll get that bastard later, she's our top priority."

    "Sir?" the other operative asked, my heart skipping a beat.

    "She's learning about Blaine Harlowe. That cannot be permitted. She needs to be silenced, or exterminated. Find what you can about our friend, and let's move out."

    Grant tapped my shoulder, causing me to jump suddenly. Nodding his head towards the elevator, Jessica and him had already moved on. Quickly, we clambered into the elevator, pressing the button down. Just as the door closed, however, my heart sank.

    "Who are you? What are you doing here?" I heard our neighbor, Mr. Wordsly, ask.

    He was a kind soul, and wasn't capable of hating anyone. It was when I heard him crumple to the floor, that I realized these two were out for blood. My blood, and now, Aurora's blood.

    "That was Mr. Wordsly." Grant shook his head. "Those fuckers killed him."

    Candace appeared, crossing her arms.

    "Your queries for the bottom floor have been noticed. Hurried pressing of the button will not get you there any faster, Ms. Sanders." Candace said.

    "We're in danger, Candace, please?" I said, moving up to the violet avatar of the AI.

    "Those two men in black, yes." Candace nodded. "They seem awfully shady, I will try my hardest to keep you three safe, then."

    The Elevator shifted our weights at a much swifter pace, as I felt the car descending the chute much faster than usual. Within mere seconds, the doors dinged, as Grant and Jessica sprinted out. There was a violet glow from behind me, as Candace appeared, at a to scaled size.

    "Go." she said. "Thanks for treating me like a person, not a machine."

    I nodded with a frown, when I heard the alarm bells in the facility go off. The stair case was sealed shut by an energy field, the Elevator itself locked up. Turning, I sprinted for the doors, which were slowly starting to shut themselves. Sprinting for everything I was worth, I dove for the door, my feet narrowly clearing the gap.

    "There!" Grant said, pointing at the jet black vehicle in front of us. "It's a Warthog, think they'll mind if we borrow it?"

    Jessica hopped into the passenger seat without hesitation, as I clambered into the back. Grant slid across the hood of the vehicle, jumping into the driver's seat. I heard the engine roar to life, before feeling my weight shifting once more. Rubber squealed on pavement, the smell of exhaust and burnt rubber filling my nose.

    "Y'know, if these guys are using a scout hog this color, they aren't normal mercenaries, right?!" I yelled to the front, as Grant nodded.

    "My Dad was an ODST, this type of car was reserved for ONI." Grant nodded, his eyes peering at the rear view mirror. "They probably have tracking on this thing. We'll have to ditch it soon, find me something back there I can put on the throttle!"

    My eyes frantically searched for something, anything with enough weight to pin up against the pedal. There was one object in front of me, a giant tube like thing of sorts. Holding it up, Jessica shrieked in fear.

    "Dude, no!" Grant said. "That is, unless you want to blow us all up!"

    "Well, what the fuck is it?!" I yelled.

    "A SPNKr Rocket Launcher dude!" Grant said. "Try NOT to find a gun, yeah?!"

    "What kind of spies have a Rocket Launcher anyways?" I grumble, returning to my search, gently placing the launcher down.

    Scrambling to find another object, my eyes settle on an old assault rifle. Holding it, I remember seeing one in the history museum. It was an MA5D Assault Rifle, something used at the end of the Great War, from what I read.

    "That'll do, hurry!" Grant said, holding one hand up.

    Handing him the rifle, he lodged it firmly down on the pedal. Placing a hand gently on Jessica's shoulder. I stood on the same side as Grant, preparing to jump.

    "I know you're not gonna like this, boo, but you gotta jump!" Grant said.

    "I can't!" she shook her head.

    "Um, guys!" I yelled, my eyes focusing back the way we came.

    Fire erupted into the sky, our Apartment complex was completely destroyed. Knowing my better judgement, I figured those spies were likely the cause, and unscathed. I had done that, my actions this morning, the boy I killed had caused all of this.

    "I think we're being followed!" I continued.

    "You heard him, Jess." Grant said. "Now or never. I'd prefer now!"

    Jumping from the vehicle, Grant rolled along the dirt, scrambling to the nearest bush he could. I turned, as Jessica shivered in fear.

    "Tuck and roll." I said. "I used to do this kind of thing all the time in High School, but we need to go, NOW!"

    Jumping off the back of the Warthog, I tucked myself in, allowing myself to roll to a stop. I could hear her land beside me, rolling herself. When we both stopped, we crawled into the nearest bush. Sure enough, my suspicions were correct. A two person ATV roared past our bush some time later, following our unmanned Warthog.

    Poking my head out of the brush, I turned my attention to my left, Grant was sticking out, waving us over. Turning to Jessica, I silently nodded, as the both of us sprinted down the road to his bush.

    "You guys need to find a place to hide. As far away from me as you can." I said. "They're after me."

    "Hell nah, bro." Grant said. "I'm not leaving you behind."

    "I'm with him." Jessica smiled. "I can't fight, but I can pay for us to get off world."

    "Aurora." I said. "They'll go looking for her tomorrow, you heard them. We can't leave until she's off world with us."

    Grant nodded curtly, pointing in the direction of the City.

    "We need to go further into the City, as silly as it sounds. Once they catch up with that Warthog, they'll come back this way. I heard of an old building in the City that survived the Great War, we can go there." Grant said. "We can whole up there, and it's close by the tree, so we can get your lady friend too."

    "She's no-"

    "Whatever, stud." Grant grunted, standing "On my go, we run."

    Poking his head out of the bush, he waved his hand forward, as the three of us dead sprinted towards the City. We passed the statue, as we did so, we gave it a quick glance. What about that Spartan had made these spies so eager on killing Aurora and I?

    In my distraction, I realized that I had far outran Grant and Jessica, who both continued to huff, trying to keep up. Slowing my pace, I felt my heart beating within my chest. They looked ragged, but I was fine. Grant silently pointed towards the nearest building, the three of us hurried inside without delay.

    I glanced around the dark, dusty room. With the sun just barely setting within the distance, it was very difficult to see. Looking around, I was able to find a very primitive flashlight. Surprisingly, the flashlight actually worked. It took a moment to ignite, the light flickering for a moment.

    The room itself was the stuff of nightmares. Dried blood hung on the walls, and even bits of the carpet. Strange burn marks scarred the decor, and most strange was the giant, burnt gash on the chalkboard at the end of the room. Focusing my light on it, my gaze fell to the floor, where a skeleton waited. It's head and shoulders had been detached, but not far.

    The skull and shoulders in question lay on the floor, not even a few meters from the body. Dried blood from centuries past pooled around the corpse. My heart sank as I continued to scan the room. Childrens toys, books, and bags littered the floor.

    "My god." Jessica gasped, looking around. "Was this a school."

    "Doubtful." I frowned, looking at the desk.

    Pulling up a document from the desk, I could barely make out the faded text of the header.

    "New Alexandria Children's Orphanage." I read. "2552."

    "What could have caused these burns?" Grant asked, running his hand along one of the holes bored into the wall. "The UNSC doesn't have weapons like this in their arsenal."

    "Our enemies did, though." I said, remembering what Alyssa had told me earlier. "This was during the Great War. Whatever our enemies were, they had weapons that could do this."

    "H-hey guys, look at this!" Jessica called out, pulling out an old Hologram chip.

    "Oh man, an old recording from the Great War." Grant said. "There has to be something around here we can play it on."

    Frowning, I was more focused on making sure we were safe from those spies, than to watch the fate of an Orphanage. Sighing, I searched the desk for something useful. One drawer, however, was locked, a heart sticker placed on it, just beside the lock.

    Glancing at the skeleton beside me, I noticed a singular key on the floor, just underneath their skull. Lowering my head with respect, I gingerly removed the key, placing it within the lock. Turning it, my heart fluttered when I heard the click. Opening the drawer, a singular tablet was all that remained.

    Pulling it out, I quickly turned it on. The old electronic device, through all of these years, still worked. Shaking my head in disbelief, I grit my teeth.

    "It needs a passcode." I sighed. "Six digits."

    "How about 010315?" Jessica asked, as I quickly typed it in.

    My eyes widened as the machine accepted the code. I looked at her with confusion, as she pointed to the chalkboard behind me. An arrow pointed down at the skeleton, with the numbers hastily written.

    Returning my attention to the tablet, my eye immediately fell upon a folder. Pressing my finger on the hologram, a file suddenly appeared.

    "To whomever it may concern,

    My name is not important, what is important is my sincerest regrets. It was my neglect that caused that young boy to run away from our facility, those many years ago. I had held it under wraps for all of these years, but the guilt finally was to much.

    It wasn't the boy's fault. I hated the UNSC, and when he was first brought to us, with his father all clad in UNSC armor. Something about that boy just lit a fire within me. I didn't stop them from bullying him, I just wanted him gone.

    Within this folder is all of the messages his father sent, and within my cubbie in the corner, is the holo-chip I used to record his stay here with us.

    God forgive me, I forsaken the life of an innocent boy.

    Tasha Lowry." I read the letter, Jessica and Grant walked over.

    "Dude, read some more." Grant said. "There ain't much else to do here."

    I looked to the two of them, holding my hand out. I accepted the chip. Before placing it in the tablet, however, I pressed on the tenth of ten documents. The other nine had been corrupted.

    "To whoever the fuck is in charge,

    My name is Morgan Harlowe. Ten years ago, I dropped my son off at your Orphanage in the hope that he could live a lively, prosperous life. I stopped in yesterday to see how my son, Blaine, was doing, only to find out that you miserable sacks of shit MISPLACED HIM!

    If you hadn't known previously, I've visited this Orphanage for these past ten years to at least see my little boy grow up. What I find strangest of all, is your inability to get him ADOPTED! Sure, I would have been devastated, but it is what I wanted for him, after all. Now, I have NO idea where he is, and I can NEVER know his life.

    I suggest you find him, and quick. Because if I find out that he's gone for good, I WILL make you all miserable. If this was YOUR kid, perhaps things would have been different, yeah?

    Get your shit together, FIND. MY. SON!

    A very pissed father,

    Sgt. Morgan Harlowe, 21st ODST Division."

    "Bro." Grant said. "Blaine Harlowe, isn't that the Guardian you were telling us about?"

    "Yeah." I said, confused. "Alyssa told me he was an orphan. Clearly he wasn't."

    Looking down at the chip, my curiosity got the better of me. Placing it within the pad, the tablet whirred to life, before projecting the room around us.

    "Alright kids, settle down now." a feminine voice said from within me.

    I stood, a hologram of a woman sitting in the chair I had just been sitting in appeared. She was a young woman, with dark skin. Her hair was bunned behind her head, though I couldn't quite make out the color. On the floor in front of us, children of all ages played together, as the door suddenly opened, holograpically, of course.

    A man stood there, his face down-trodden, with a loss of hope I couldn't quite describe. I could make out his blue eyes, which were sullen and full of grief. His onyx black hair had been shaved down, to about an inch in length, maybe shorter. In his arms, a bundle messily wrapped in a towel.

    "I don't have time, my name is Morgan. I need my son admitted here, pronto." the man, Morgan, said.

    "Er, this is a little unexpected sir." the woman said.

    "Can I ask your name, ma'am?" the man said.

    "Tasha, Tasha Lowry." she replied, her glare intent on his face.

    "Well, Ms. Lowry, I just lost my wife a half hour ago, and I'm not in the best of moods. I'm being called to my station, and I have no-one to watch my child."

    "This isn't a day-care-"

    "I KNOW!" Morgan barked. "I can't care for my child, this War is taking all of my time, and I'm still technically on tour. I want you to take him, and find him a better home than I can give him."

    The woman paused for a moment, the children stirred from their play to stare up at the man in armor. The woman's assistant stood beside her, a bright hint of rose to her pale white skin.

    "We'll take the cutie in." she said. "What's his name."

    "Blaine, Blaine Angus Harlowe." Morgan said, looking down at the bundle in his arms. "She would have loved him."

    "I'm terribly sorry for your loss, sir." the woman said. "I'm Agatha. I'll make sure your son is well taken care of. I'll even keep you updated of his time here."

    "Thank ye, lassie." Morgan said, holding the bundle close. "I'll never forget ye, laddie. I'll visit often as I can. Don't make the same mistakes yer father did."

    The video seemingly fast forwarded, the three of us watching the kids growing older by what seemed by the day. Some left with new parents, others remained until they were old enough to be out on their own.

    I watched, with morbid curiosity, as one kid aged in the corner. Tasha, the woman from behind the desk, never once in the time skip, interact with him in a positive manner. Agatha, on the other hand, had always been nice to him, from what I witnessed. Jessica turned to Grant and I, tears welling in her eyes, as she watched the other kids avoid Blaine.

    The kid was practically a giant by the age of ten, his head already up to my hip, and I was no shorty at my age. That was when the video slowed, returning to a normal play cycle. I watched as the hologram of Blaine walked through my legs to the middle of the floor, where this cute little girl had been sitting alone.

    Gingerly, he offered her his platter of apples and peanut butter, before returning to his corner. She gazed down at the treat, before smiling. Standing she walked back over towards him, giving him a quick hug. The two sat there for a moment, sharing an apple.

    "Lucy." Tasha warned, looming above them. "Just because Lady Agatha isn't here, doesn't mean you need to be spending time around this one."

    "He's my friend." the girl, Lucy, replied.

    "It's okay." the boy said. "You're not supposed to be here."

    Passing her the apples, Blaine sighed as she walked away. Tasha took the apples from Lucy, practically throwing them at Blaine. Taking Lucy to the far corner, Tasha placed her on a stool.

    "You're to remain here until the end of playtime, missy. No-one is to interact with him, do you understand."

    "No ma'am. Why are you so mean to him?!" Lucy was practically crying now. "He's really nice, and he doesn't hurt anybody!"

    "You're right." Tasha growled. "Kids, we're gonna play a new game today- King of the Hill."

    Most of the boys in the group stood up, intrigued, while the girls all shook their heads, returning to their projects.

    "How do you play? Ms. Lowry?" one of the boys asked.

    "It's simple." she smiled, pointing towards Blaine.

    My heart sank, Grant and I used to tag team King of the Hill when we were Blaine's age. If you didn't go home with at least one broken bone, or gash, you weren't playing hard enough.

    "Blaine's table is the hill. Only one of you can be the King of the Hill. You fight each other to see whose the King." Tasha said. "Don't go easy on Blaine, though. He's a King of the Hill pro."

    "What a bitch." Grant shook his head in annoyance. "I hope he kicks all of their asses."

    So did I. In truth, I wished I could reach through the Hologram and wrap my hands snugly around her windpipe until she stopped moving. This wasn't an Orphanage, it was a prison. Kids were favorited, mistreated, and even abused. Blaine seemed to be the main target, however.

    "I can't watch." Jessica sobbed, turning away, Lucy sitting on the stool.

    Grant and I, on the other hand, couldn't look away. Blaine sat there, his eyes just as sullen as his father's had been, ten years before. He shook his head, as the older, stronger boys moved in first.

    Blaine whined as the two largest kids secured his wrists, while the smaller of the trio jumped onto his chest, beating his face with his fists. Blaine screamed to high heaven, his face bludgeoned and bleeding from the barrage. He struggled beneath them, despite his size.

    "He's not fighting back." I said, mortified. "He refused to, because he though he'd hurt them."

    "STOP IT!" Lucy screamed from the corner, as Tasha walked over, slapping her across the cheek.

    At the sound of Lucy, however, something changed within Blaine. Lashing his right leg upwards, he actually caught the slim boy in the back of his head. Whipping his head up, he cracked the kid's nose on his way down. Twisting himself just right, he tossed the slim boy onto one of his restrainers. With one hand free, Blaine balled his hand into a fist.

    Slamming it into one of the boy's eye sockets, the boy screamed to high heaven. Blaine punched him there, again and again, fire in his eyes. Grabbing the boy by the collar of his shirt, Blaine sent punch after punch into the kid's face, breaking his nose and causing it to bleed madly.

    "You little devil!" Tasha roared, as Blaine threw the boy at her.

    "Holy shit." Grant said. "Kid was fucking strong."

    The slim boy tackled Blaine to the ground, as the two rolled along. Their holograms rolling towards Lowry's skeleton by the chalkboard. Blaine kneed his adversary in the groin, pitching his skull into the boy's forehead. Clutching both of his hands on the boy's throat, Blaine grit his teeth, holding his grasp until the kid didn't move anymore.

    Lowry stood, knocking the boy off of her. Walking around her desk, she stared, wide-eyed, at Blaine and the still boy on the floor.

    "My god."

    "Bitch, you don't even know." the boy growled, red in his eyes.

    Charging at her, his small frame had just enough force to knock her to her feet. Balling his right hand into a fist, Blaine struck, punch after punch into her face, stunning her, time and time again.

    "KIDS. ARE. NOT. STRESS. TOYS!" he roared, continuing his assault.

    "Wait, how the hell did he know what stress toys are?" Grant asked. "He speaks better English than you or I."

    I looked at Grant for a moment, before returning my gaze to the kid, mercilessly punching the woman in the face in front of me. I watched Lucy hop off of the stool, she ran over towards him, wrapping her arms gently around him.

    "Please stop." she sobbed. "You're a good boy, Blaine."

    At her touch, his assault stopped, Ms. Lowry dazed out of her mind. Staring down at his hands, his body shuddered, as he climbed off of the woman. Returning the hug, he rubbed the back of her hair.

    "Thank you." Blaine said. "In thirty years, go to the beach."

    My eyes widened, as I stared at the kid. My hand instictfully reached for the tablet, pausing the video.

    "What is it?" Grant asked.

    "You heard what he just said, yeah?" I asked, pointing to Blaine. "He just told her that, in thirty years, she needed to go to the beach."

    "Yeah, so?" Grant asked. "He planned to survive long enough, and wanted to meet her there."

    "The year of this video is Twenty-five twenty-one. This is ten years after he was born, and thirty years later would be the time Reach became uninhabitable."

    "Okay, so what does that have to do with anything?" Jessica asked.

    "It was the battle where Blaine saved several civilians as a Spartan." I said, nodding my head. "He knew, somehow. He warned her to be at the beach, because that was where the civilians would be led off Planet."

    "Woah." Grant said. "Kid could tell the future?"

    "I dunno." I shrugged, playing the video again.

    "W-what?" Lucy asked.

    "Trust me." Blaine said, "Thirty years, the beach."

    With that, Grant, Jessica and I watched the ten year old boy walk out of the building. The woman, Lowry, stood shakily, as Agatha entered.

    "I'm sorry I'm late, I had a- oh my god." Agatha said, holding a hand up to her mouth. "What's happened."

    "H-he's gone." Lowry said, her eyes wide, staring at the young boy crumpled beneath the blackboard.

    "What happened, Tasha?!" Agatha said, as Lowry shyly turned to her.

    "I created a monster." Tasha said.

    "Where's Blaine?!"

    "He's gone."

    "Ms. Lowry and the boys were hitting Blaine, and Blaine hit them back." Lucy said with a frown, tears in her eyes. "He left a little while ago. Ms. Sanders, is Blaine going to be okay?"

    Grant and I turned to Jessica, who stared wide eyed at Agatha. She had a look of confusion on her face, which only brought questions to my mind. Was Jessica related to this woman? Or had it just been coincidence?

    "He will be once I find him." Agatha stated. "BLAINE?! BLAINE?!"

    Scampering out the door, we watched as the hologram advanced to several hours later. Once more, the man from the beginning of the recording, Morgan, appeared in the doorway. Lucy, who must have recognized him, walked over, tugging on his pants.

    "What is it, lassie?" he asked, as she pointed to Blaine's corner.

    I had watched during the time-skip, Lucy had frequented her time over there. Grant, Jessica and I walked over, crouching down to the table, where she had gently scratched the wood.

    In the form of a heart, she had printed the words Blaine and Lucy. Morgan's bottom lip quivered, as he gently patted her head. She wrapped her arms around the man, who returned the gesture.

    "Don't be sad, sir. I'm sure Blaine will be okay. Ms. Sanders said so."

    "My son." the man mourned, turning to Tasha. "What have you done with my son?!"

    "There was a fight, and he ran off." Tasha spat. "You're UNSC, get your men to look for him."

    "If you want, I'll have them search a SHALLOW GRAVE for you!" He said, pointing a finger at her. "I know your type, damn Insurrectionist supporter scum! You brought your inhibitions against me out on my son!"

    "You're the irresponsible parent that left him here." she growled. "Oh well."

    "I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"

    "Scotch, it ain't worth it man." another man, almost identical to Morgan, stepped in.

    "Not now, Craig." Morgan sneered, glancing at her face. "My boy clocked you good, bitch. Maybe I should join him, eh?"

    "Scotch, let's go." the man said, tugging on Morgan's arm. "Josh and Phil will help us search. We can deal with this scum later."

    Morgan growled in annoyance, before storming out the door. Craig remained there, sighing as he watched Morgan walk out the door.

    "Listen here, and listen good." Craig sighed, calmly. "We're going to go look for my nephew. Whether or not we find him, you will be hearing from our lawyers. If you try and run, however, God help you. Am I understood?"

    She glared at the ODST, as he fiddled with the helmet in his hands.

    "Listen, my brother likes to go off, half cocked." He said, his cool blue eyes flicking towards her. "I, on the other hand, am much more level headed. So I'm not exactly the kind of guy you want to piss off, understood?"

    "Yes." she said, quietly.

    "No, I really don't think you should. For your sake, you'd better hope we find that kid." he said. "Or it's your head."

    As he walked out, the pace of the video skipped ahead once more. We watched as the kids, yet again, either continued to grow within the Orphanage, which was now run primarily by Agatha, or they were adopted. With heavy hearts, we watched Lucy remain as one of the few children from Blaine's time.

    The room, however, did not look pleasant. In fact, everything about the holograms seemed to practically phased with things in the real time. Some back packs were strewn in different places, and certain windows were still whole. The burns on the wall weren't there. Lucy, now grown up and assisting Agatha, whom had grown old in age, looked out the window.

    "It's hell on Earth out there, mom." Lucy turned to Agatha, who frowned. "Sorry kids, I swore just then. I'm sorry."

    "This is my punishment." Tasha said, clutching the back of her head.

    "What on Earth do you mean, Tasha?" Agatha said.

    "I can't tell you." Tasha shook her head, her eyes wide with horror.

    Standing suddenly, she pulled the chalk from the board, and began to write the very same numbers I could see on the board now. As she was beginning the arrows, we heard a very earthy thumping just outside of the door.

    Lucy's eyes widened, as the children all flocked towards her and Agatha. The noises began to become much clearer, like massive footfalls landing on concrete. Lucy stood in front of all of them, some of the other helpers closing the blinds around them.

    There was a sizzle, as the door suddenly had a pair of glowing prongs sticking out of it. With a mighty crash, the wooden door exploded into bits and pieces. One massive beast towered through the door, a sword in one hand, and an alien weapon in it's other hand.

    Without hesitation, the beast sprayed blue bolts of something at two of the helpers, their blood splashing onto the floor. Some of the stray rounds scattered across the wall, burning it. Lucy and the kids cowered, as the beast walked towards Tasha, who mindlessly continued to scribble on the wall.

    With one deft swing, the woman's head and shoulders were removed from the rest of her body, blood pooling around her. The kids and Lucy screamed, as the beast turned to them. Even though it was a hologram, I stood in front of them, my arms wide.

    Of course, that hadn't been necessary, Jessica flinched again, as Grant and I watched an armored figure appear in the door. He whistled, the beast's attention turned towards him.

    "Hey boyo." the soldier said. "Ever play King of the Hill?"

    "GRAAAAUUUUUGH!" the monster roared, piercing my ears.

    Charging towards the beast, his rifle at the ready, the soldier ducked under a mighty swing of the blade, sliding on his knees. Standing at a speed I almost couldn't follow, his boot slammed into the back of it's crooked knee. Jessica yelped as it roared in pain, four mandibles on it's face opening horrifically.

    "You must not be very good at this. Try again." the soldier taunted.

    Ducking the incoming swing, the soldier swung the butt of his rifle against the beast's face, cracking it's armor. In that same swing, his rifle went on his back, latching magnetically. Both hands wrapped onto the beast's wrists, as he kicked it in the shin. Wrenching the sword from it's hand, the soldier tossed it away from the kids, out the nearby window.

    Swinging a mighty right hook, the soldier met purchase on the alien's cheek. Swinging back upwards with both of his fists, the soldier tackled the monster to the ground.

    "Go. Beach. NOW!" he barked, as Lucy paused for a moment.

    "B-Blaine?" she asked.

    "NOW!"

    The monster kicked upwards, launching Blaine off of it. Blaine skidded across the floor, moving the bags in the holograms into their final positions. Standing, he produced a rather large knife from his chest armor. Flipping it expertly in his hand, he tossed it back and forth.

    "Ain't the first time I killed here." Blaine growled. "Wanna try your luck, split lips? I'm one to one right now!"

    Sprinting at the beast, Blaine hopped off of his right boot, launching himself through the air at the gargantuan beast. In one movement, his knife sank into it's neck. Using his momentum, he flipped himself around it's back, his blade dragging the entire way. Landing just before the beast, he pulled his knife from it's neck. The monster growled, clutching his neck, purple blood spewing from the wound.

    Planting his boot on it's chest, he kicked the monster out the door. I assumed that the maneuver he had just performed had killed the beast. Turning to the kids, he walked over, kneeling to their levels.

    "It's okay, you're safe now. Everyone, follow me to the beach!" he said, as Lucy walked up to him.

    "Is it you?"

    "Depends on who you think I am." he said, cryptically. "You could mean anyone. I could be anyone."

    "Blaine?" Lucy asked, as the soldier stood rigid. "Is you name Blaine?"

    "It's classified." the soldier said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Though I knew a Blaine, if that brings you comfort, ma'am."

    "Why do you have to be so cryptic?" she asked. "They looked everywhere for you, you know?"

    "There you are with 'you' again, ma'am." the soldier said.

    "I waited for you, just like you told me too." she said, holding her ring finger up. "I'm married now."

    "Then let's get you safe, so you and your husband can live well together, yeah?" Blaine said.

    Blaine paused for a moment, as one of the kids tugged at his leg armor. It didn't budge, as far as I could see, though it did gather his attention. The three of us watched as the kid held up a tray of apples and peanut butter.

    "Thanks mister!" the little girl said.

    Sighing, the man removed his helmet from his head. I watched as a solid, semi squared face appeared from the helmet. Inch long onyx hair, and eyes that rivaled his father looked down at the little girl. Scars adorned his face, implying he had seen some crazy stuff in his time.

    Lucy held a hand to her mouth, as Blaine kneeled to the girl's level. Patting her gently on the head, he dipped one slice of apple into the peanut butter, before taking half of it in a single bite. Finishing the apple, he smiled, standing once more.

    "One of my personal favorites." he said with a grin.

    "You bastard." Lucy growled, punching him on the shoulder.

    "I mean, it's the whole reason I was brought here, isn't it?" Blaine sighed, placing his helmet back on. "It's complicated, and I can't tell you the details. Just, follow me to the ship, okay? I'm going to get you all off world."

    In that instant, the recording ended. Funnily enough, I was left with more questions than answers. Why had this man's name become a taboo? What ever became of his father? Why was this man grounds for Aurora and I to be hunted by spies? The same spies that would try and break into a UNSC facility?

    We took a moment to gather our thoughts, we still hadn't discovered any answers to our barrage of questions, but at least we knew a bit more about Blaine Harlowe's childhood. Maybe, if we picked together the pieces, one day we'd have our answers. At that moment, however, I was bushed from the day. Walking over towards the table, my eyes cast upon the table in the corner. Sure enough, beneath hundreds of years of dust, the same inscription remained.

    "I guess some things can withstand the strain of time." I said, frowning.

    Alyssa had told me this man lived prosperously from what she had heard. I wondered how much of that was true, and why did his life suddenly apply to mine?


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    I_IRONMAN_I

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 4th 2015, 12:51 am

    Shocked

    Holy crap! ONI's back it again eh? Trying to rewrite history :l
    From what the video scene, it looks like the UNSC or ONI has washed away the memories of the ancient past.

    Fun chappy, can't wait for the next!
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 4th 2015, 11:17 pm

    "Yo Archie!" Grant said, calling me over.

    It was the middle of the night, and I couldn't sleep. The day had gotten progressively worse as time continued it's course. How could I sleep? Candace, although a computer program, was dead, and anyone else inside of those apartments were dead.

    Why was I suddenly such a target of interest? Was it because of my involvement in the factory last night? Sighing, I hoisted myself off of the cold, metallic floor. It was bad enough with the thoughts of all the people my actions had indirectly screwed over constantly barraging my sub conscious. Now I was sharing the floor with three skeletons from the past.

    Apparently, Jessica couldn't sleep either, her legs crossed, she sat in the middle of the room, just beside Grant. Crouching down, I gently placed myself on the foam rug.

    "Guys," I said, my gaze turning from them. "I never intended for any of this."

    "You couldn't possibly have known." Jessica said. "You are experiencing a bad case of 'Wrong place, Wrong time.'"

    "I still put you both in danger with my actions, let alone Candace and the other residents of the Apartment complex."

    "Y'know, my Great-Great-Great Grandfather worked alongside one of the last few Spartans in history." Grant glared at me. "Something that one of the first age Spartans had always told the newer age Spartans was there was a difference between Spent lives, and Wasted lives."

    "They didn't have a chance to fight back, though." I argued. "That makes them Wasted."

    "You know I'm not really a spiritual guy, Arch." Grant said. "Whatever the hell's going on in the world right now, it's something big. For whatever reason, you've suddenly become the wild card. This isn't a coincidence, every person that meets their unfortunate end is not a Waste."

    "How can you say that?!" I asked. "Each life is precious."

    "You're right. Remember what I told you before, though? It's kill or be killed. Those people that died tonight? It's your job to find the ones responsible, and make them pay for it." Grant said. "Their lives aren't Wasted, unless you MAKE them so."

    "I agree with Grant. Whatever's happening, innocent people are going to die anyways. If we're already marked for death, than perhaps we should use what time we have left to fight back."

    "Are you guys listening to yourselves?!" I asked, pretty violently. "You're suggesting we give up our lives, and for what? Tin foil hats and conspiracies?"

    Grant stood, before quickly lobbing a straight jab at my shoulder.

    "You're a smart guy, Archie." Grant growled, standing over me. "Sometimes, I wonder if you shut that fucking brain of yours off years ago! The facts are here, whatever those spies are, they're going to hunt us until we're dead."

    "They're not ONI, it's impossible." Grant shook his head. "You said these were the same guys that assaulted the UNSC Facility you guarded years ago."

    "Yeah?"

    "Than why did that kid tell you 'we're all dead anyways'?" Grant asked. "Why would ONI stand to invade their own bases?"

    I pondered it for a moment, ONI and the UNSC were pretty interconnected in this day and age. There were some political arguments between the two branches, but overall they were on the same footing.

    "Something big's coming." Grant sighed. "Something bigger than any one of us could imagine."

    "That's the most ridiculous thing you've ever said." I spat. "Where in the hell did you get that? One of your cheesy assed Action Movies?"

    "Dawn of the Golden Hearted, to be exact." Grant growled. "It's a classic and I actually enjoy the tale it tells."

    "Alright then, how do you imagine three young adults are going to combat whatever this 'big event' is?"

    "That's the part I haven't planned on yet." Grant sighed, rubbing the back of his head. "All I can say is it sure as hell beats sleeping in a dusty, mold infested Orphanage vaguely similar to a prison of old."

    "Hey man, it was your idea to hold up in this place to begin with." I shrugged. "Besides, we're only staying here till morning. That tree isn't far from here, we need to warn that girl, Aurora, before those spies kill her."

    "-and then?" Grant asked. "A life full of running?"

    "If necessary, yes."

    "I may be loaded, but my funds can be frozen by my parents at any point if I do TOO many extreme spendatures." Jessica said. "Interplanetary travel is extremely expensive, even for my family."

    Groaning with annoyance, I stood quickly. Placing my head in my hands, I began to pace around. There was no way in hell we could escape whatever this hell was. Sticking my hands in my pocket, I winced as my right hand jabbed down on a rigid object in my pocket.

    "Son of a-!" I growled, nursing my hand. "It's nothing serious, just jammed my damn work keys into my-"

    My work keys! My boss had never asked me to return them! Pulling the metallic objects out of my pocket, I held them up, jingling them slightly.

    "There a reason you're laughing at jingling keys?" Jessica asked, giving me a confused look.

    "My work keys!"

    "We have worse things to worry about than you forgetting to return the keys." Grant shook his head.

    "Nononono!" I said quickly. "What time is it?"

    "I don't dare use my holo-transceiver." Grant shifted in place. "If those spies are ONI, I don't want anything to do with them. I turn my thing on, it might green-light them here, especially if they're tracking us."

    "Knowledge." I said, the pair of them giving me a look. "Hear me out. Those three broke in last night, looking for something on Sub level C. I've never been allowed on Sub level C, ever. In fact, not even my superior, who handed me the keys years ago was."

    "I guess I'm more confused as to why keys are still being used in the thirtieth century?" Jessica asked.

    "It was a choice of security genius. Instead of using hyper advanced technology, something as simple as a lock and key are almost unseen. In fact, from what I saw in the camera, they had no idea how to pick a lock."

    "Okay, so what does snooping around your old work-place do to help us here?"

    "We find out what those spies were after, and use it against them." I said, my eyes flicking towards Grant with determination. "If we go just after eleven, the night guard on shift will likely be sleeping."

    "How do you know?" Jessica asked.

    "Because Bryce is a lazy prick." I sighed. "Reading those damn hero comics until he falls asleep."

    "Do you think those spies are searching right now?" Grant asked.

    "Possible, or they're staking out the tree." I frown. "We should see if there is a back door to this place, and get out of here."

    Tapping the flashlight with my hand, it flickered back to life. Shining the cone of light towards the office room door, right beside Blaine's childhood corner, I tried to open it.

    "Locked." I growl.

    "Fuck it, step aside." Grant said, planting his boot firmly on the area just below the lock.

    The old wooden door shattered. Grant shrieked, however, as bats poured out of the room, fluttering out the broken windows and into the night.

    "Ew." Jessica winced.

    "Bats. After all of these years? There must be an exit of some kind, if bats could live in here since the rebuilding of Reach."

    "Next door's on you, Arch." Grant growled.

    Looming my flashlight throughout the room, besides the obscene amount of guano layering the room, it was surprisingly well maintained. Something glinted in my eye, as I focused on it.

    "Another chip." I mused, reaching for it.

    "Okay, ew." Jessica cringed. "You're not going to do that, are you?"

    "Relax," I chuckled. "The guano didn't even touch it."

    I pulled the tablet out from the back of my pants, pressing the new chip into it's slot. Suddenly, the room ignited again with the liveliness of a recording.

    Where Jessica was standing, Lucy frowned, glancing around the room.

    "It's too bad you didn't live long enough to see this miracle, Mrs. Sanders." Lucy shook her head, a man and a small girl appearing behind her. "Lucy, we have to go now. I know you have history here, but it's getting late, and Blair needs her sleep."

    "Sure, just- just give me a second, okay?" Lucy asked, as the man, whom I assumed was her husband, nodded.

    As the man and the woman left, I watched as Lucy stepped to where I was standing. On the shelf in front of me, her holographic hand reached for a lone article of cloth.

    "I'm glad I got to see you again, even if it was only once." Lucy said, holding the cloth. "You saved all of us, despite how cruel we were to you. Part of me actually regrets accepting that apple, because I was the reason you left."

    "On the flip side, I'm also kind of glad I did." Lucy said, practically hugging the cloth. "-because you ended up being a hero to us all. I'll never forget you, Blaine Harlowe. This cloth will become my most precious heirloom of yours."

    With that, the hologram message stopped abruptly. Nodding, I turned to my left, a weathered old wooden door remained. To me, I was still amazed that the door had remained intact all these years. Planting my boot on it, I busted it down. Jessica, grossed out by the bat den, hurried past me and out into the alleyway. Grant was next, hurrying to catch up with her.

    I, however, lagged behind. Taking one last look around, I felt the corner of my mouth crack into a smile. Even though the place had caused so much pain and drama, I was also deeply inspired by what I had witnessed. I still had many questions, but at least I still had some proof to the words Alyssa shared with me before.

    "Don't worry, I intend to find out why you were forgotten." I said, before stepping out into the night.

    Turning my attention to the street, my eyes widened with fear as a pair of hazel eyes glared into my soul. Flinching, I fell backwards, stunned by fear.

    "You enjoy busting down doors, boy?" the man asked me.

    I recognized this man, it was the same hobo that had been defecating on the side of the statue earlier. Standing, I brushed some excess dust off of my shoulder.

    "Not particularly. Do you enjoy scaring younger people?"

    "No. I do, however, enjoy hurting home intruders." the hobo cracked his knuckles.

    "Home intruders?" I asked. "You lived in this place?"

    "Yeah, and it looks like you stole my nightly movies."

    I stared at him with confusion, as he pointed towards the tablet I now possessed. Grabbing it firmly, I fastened it into the back of my pants once more.

    "I'm sorry, but this stuff is really important right now. I'm also really sorry about the doors. We didn't think the keys actually still existed, let alone the notion anyone lived here."

    "Really? How do you think I've survived so long. Y'know guano-"

    "Okay, ew!" Jessica shook her hands, dry heaving behind a dumpster.

    "Spare the details." I said, holding a hand up.

    "You owe me a new home, or some new material." the hobo growled.

    Backing away from the hobo, I heard my keys jingle in my pocket once more. My eyes widened, bright with a fresh idea.

    "My friends here and I were going to go check out a really cool place. It's pretty dangerous, but if we find something interesting, we can bring it back for you?"

    "You kids cat burglers?" he asked.

    "Um, no." I shook my head.

    "Damn right, you wouldn't know the first thing about sneaking into a joint." he chuckled.

    "Hey, I can sneak in to places just fine-"

    "With the grace and silence of a diseased, dysentery infected elephant, I'm sure." the man shrugged. "Tell you what, because I gots nothing better to do, I'll go with you on your little journey. In return for helping you sneak into the joint, I'll take what I want."

    "I don-" I started, as Grant covered my mouth.

    "We accept." Grant said, as my eyes darted towards him.

    "Great!" the man said, holding out his dirt encrusted hand to me. "Name's Frankie. Call me Frank, and I'll knock a few teeth out and add them to my collection."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 5th 2015, 1:35 am

    All the walk to the UNSC Facility, I could hear Jessica still gagging from the idea of traveling with a bat shit crazy, bat shit eating hobo. Personally, I couldn't blame her, the man's very existence put goosebumps all the way up my arm. His stench was indescribable.

    To put it simply, he smelt like rotten eggs, rancid sickly crap in a mellowed, mold infested toilet, festering in a hot summer's sun. To add insult to injury, I was fairly certain the man had soiled himself on the walk, so I could add that smell to the list as well.

    Looking past all that, however, Frankie didn't seem too bad. Mentally unstable, sure, but he wasn't a bad man. I could see it in his eyes.

    "You're taking us to an old UNSC base on Menachite Mountain?" Frankie asked. "Kids these days and their suicidal wishes."

    "Hasn't stopped you from following us, Frankie."

    "Hey, I ain't got nothing to live for." Frankie shrugged. "I used to be a janitor, related to THE Sean Beamish, shit all ended when they realized my head weren't screwed on right. You kids though? You got your whole lives ahead of you, you can be whomever you want to be."

    "You'd like to think that." Grant sighed. "We're being hunted by spies in black clothing."

    With that, Frankie stopped moving, I stopped just beside him.

    "Black, skin tight clothing?" Frankie asked.

    "Yeah," I said. "Do you know them?"

    "ONI spooks if I ever heard it. Or people trained by ONI, gone rogue." Frankie said. "My brother used to be ONI. Key word there is used."

    "What happened?" I asked.

    "He was never seen again. Kept telling me these tin foil hat conspiracies, things that would endanger ONI's good name." Frankie spouted. "Drake Klouder was his name. Disappeared without a trace."

    "So he was a confliction of interest for the Office." Grant said, rubbing his chin. "Still doesn't explain why these people are trying to break into a ONI-"

    Grant stopped, as Frankie turned his head, giving a creepy stare at him.

    "The Office does what it wants. Whether these are rogue agents or not, the UNSC has tried it's damndest to keep some things secret." Frankie said. "Guess I should've said, I used to be janitor for the Head Office of the UNSC."

    "So... you're not bat shit insane?" Grant asked.

    "Not by medical standards." Frankie grumbled. "The Office deemed me as such, after I gathered some intel for my brother whilst cleaning Lord Vicker's office. My usefulness for them was up."

    "So, were you a spy, or a janitor?"

    Frankie chuckled, ignoring my question. Though I could see a little of the light within his eyes start to disappear. Bowing my head in respect, I could smell his hand on my shoulder. Yes, his odor was that bad.

    "Don't you dare feel bad for me, kid. I never fought back when I had the chance. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. I had the intel that could've had ONI backtracking in my hands. I could've spared my brother's life and given it to the UNSC." Frankie sighed. "Just listen to my advice, if you have the chance to fight back, do it. We're all dead anyways."

    My eyes widened as he said that, Frankie continuing his pace.

    "What do you mean by that?!" I asked.

    "It's a mad world kid. Humanity dropped ties with our old allies in the stars. If they don't come to get us, you either die from disease, old age, or your own government. In the end, the King and the Pawns all go in the same box."

    "I don't think you're using that quote correctly." Jessica said from the back.

    "A dead man doesn't give a shit." Frankie growled.

    For the remainder of the walk, we walked in quiet. Luckily for us, the size of New Alexandria had doubled from the Great War. Menachite Mountain had only been several miles from the center of the city. The night was still pretty young, considering. Usually, I would take a Pelican to work each and every night. The station being near the statue of the Guardian.

    When we got in range for the facility, I stopped the group.

    "Alright, so, did anyone bring some lockpicks?" Frankie asked, as we looked amongst each other in confusion. "You planned on breaking into a facility known for using keys, and you didn't bring any damn lockpicks?!"

    Reaching into my pockets, I jingled the keys, as he stared, wide eyed, at the metal.

    "Hot damn, kid. I didn't give you enough credit." Frankie chuckled. "Humor me though, how's a kid like you get these keys?"

    "I worked here." I sigh. "If you heard the news story, I was the guy that-"

    "That killed that teen." Frankie nodded. "It also explains why those Spooks are after you. You killed one of them in an in-and-out Op."

    "Those things act like family, hell, some of them ARE family." Frankie shook his head. "It's likely blood for blood."

    I gulped in fright, as he grit his teeth. Never once did I consider my nostril hairs to be alive, but at this moment, I knew they wanted to commit suicide. Pinching my nose, I listened to what the bated breathed man had to say.

    "Breaking into this place will be a cinch." Frankie grinned. "Alls I need is some floss, and the location of the guard's quarters... no offense."

    "No." I shook my head. "Bryce is a lazy prick, we don't need to kill him."

    Frankie nodded, casting his eyes up at the front door, then back to us three.

    "Either of you know a thing about computers?" he asked.

    "Yeah?" I asked. "I worked here, I should know a bunch of the goings on here."

    "Alright, anyone with a metallic object that ISN'T the keys?" he asked, as Jessica hurriedly removed her ear rings.

    "Solid gold." she said. "Worth hundreds of thousands of credits, but dead women don't give a shit, right? What do you need them for?"

    "Finally, I need an electronics expert." Frankie said, looking amongst us.

    "I don't know my head from my ass about electronics entirely, except for turning them on and off."

    "You know anything about wires?" Frankie asked.

    "Kinda."

    "Kid." Frankie brushed me. "Where's the nearest junction box?"

    "Around that corner." I pointed. "Actually, it's just outside the guard's room. I could just join him."

    "Alright." Frankie nodded. "The chick and I will wait in these bushes until you get that door open. We'll meet up on the floor yous kids are trying to break into."

    "Sub level C." I said, waving for Grant to follow me.

    Tapping me on the shoulder, I turned to Grant, who offered me a ski mask.

    "Where in the hell did you?"

    "It's Autumn bro." Grant chuckled. "I grabbed one for the three of us when Jess and I came looking for you."

    It felt like forever ago since I had first taken that walk. The thought itself sent a bit of culture shock down my spine. My life had changed almost completely in the span of less than twenty four hours. Placing the ski mask on my head, the two of us walked quietly and quickly around the corner of the building.

    Grant stood at the junction box, which was just beneath the guard's room window. Grunting with all of his might, Grant was able to open the door. Holding the ear rings up, he looked at me.

    "You'll have to connect the rings, positive to negative." I said.

    Before I could continue, however, Grant's hair stood on edge, as he foamed from the mouth. Launching backwards, I watched as the lights in the room above us flickered for a moment. That momentary flicker was just what we needed for the video feed. Walking over, I chuckled as I helped Grant to his feet.

    Nodding my head towards the window, Grant grumbled some obscenity to me, before cupping his hands. Placing my foot in his hand, I was hoisted up to the window's level. Glancing in, surely enough, Bryce was sleeping in the chair, reading his Psycicle comics.

    The narcissistic bastard only liked those comics because he shared the same first name with the main character. Personally, I had never been a fan of the story. It seemed way too much like Iron Man meets Ice Man meets Professor Xavier.

    Then again, Grant's brother, Drake was a big fan of the Destiny fan novellas written by the same creator for the exact same reason. Shaking the thought out of my head, I slithered into the room like a snake. Standing, I winced as Bryce's big mouth opened for a massive snore.

    Quietly walking around him, my fingers went to work on the monitors he had stupidly left unguarded. Sadly, I had been so bored on nights of my own shift, that I had actually practiced looping the feed. With my goal completed, something interesting popped up in the corner of my eye. Turning the display in a three-sixty, I saw the two other spies violently kill the extraction team.

    My eyes widened with horror, as I slowly backed away. In the vision in front of me, a man in dark clothing walked up to them, a pair of glasses resting gently on the bridge of his nose. I didn't dare turn on the volume, but I definitely saw him pull out a orange envelope. On the top of the envelope was a picture, but not just any picture.

    It was mine.

    The worst part was, when the man turned around. I recognized whom it was. It was my old mentor, Duke McDowell. To my horror, I felt something metal against my forehead.

    "Hello again, Archie." Duke said in my ear.

    "Duke, why?"

    "Believe me, had you not called in my little team last night, we wouldn't be having this conversation." he sneered.

    "I was doing my job, the same job you gave ME." I said, as I heard Bryce snore back awake.

    "Whuzzat?" he asked, as my right ear began to ring.

    Duke had fired the pistol off, blasting Bryce's brains out the side of his head.

    "Useless fool anyways. I should have given him your shift. Oh well, Hindsight's twenty-twenty."

    "What is your plan, huh?" I asked. "You kill me? Whose the finger going to be pointed at?"

    "You, of course. The Facility's rogue guardsman." Duke snickered. "I kill you now. Bryce can't handle the guilt of murdering an ex-co-worker, and he shoots himself in the head."

    "Hey prick!" Frankie yelled from the door, throwing a rock at Duke's face.

    Duke grumbled in annoyance, turning the pistol on Frankie. I heard the pistol firing again, clipping my hobo friend in the shoulder. I watched as the blood splattered on the far wall. My eyes widened with horror, as I elbowed Duke in the ribs.

    Grunting, Duke doubled over, my knee lifting up and into his face. Grabbing for the pistol, I bit down on his wrist, hard. Growling in pain and anger, Duke dropped the pistol to the floor, which I kicked aside. I dunno what came over me, but the feeling of betrayal, Bryce being murdered beside me, and seeing Frankie hurt, I snapped.

    Slugging him at the corner of his jaw, I felt the skin on my knuckles split from impact, but I didn't care. Planting my boot in his chest, I watched Duke stumble backwards into the wall. Punching him with my left fist, I roared out in anger and defiance. Lashing fist after fist into his face, I grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, tossing him towards the window.

    Everything was moving so fast, and yet, it felt right. Duke stumbled to the windowsill his arms attempting to hold him steadfast. Charging at him, I shoved my shoulder into his chest. His head fell through the window, as I heard Grant yell from outside. Instinctively, my hand grasped at the top of the window. Swinging it down as fast as I could, I heard Duke's nose break, blood splattering over the window.

    Duke growled, kicking me off of him. Opening the window, he reached into his back pocket, producing a baton. Electricity arched from the tip of it, as he waved it in front of me, menacingly. Turning to Bryce's lifeless form, I took the nightstick from his person. Roaring, Duke charged at me, thrusting the baton at my midsection. Batting it aside with my nightstick, I swung my left fist at his face.

    Kicking him in the side, my foot stomped down on his left foot. He grunted, blood trickling from his face. Duke's eyes pierced my own, as sweat beaded down his forehead. Cracking his neck, he lunged again. I faked a block with my stick, grabbing the baton with my spare hand.

    Wailing him in the face with the think club in my hand, I could hear his jaw breaking. Wrenching the item from his grasp, I smashed him on the other cheek, Duke crashing to the floor. I dropped the nightstick, staring with shock at the carnage. Duke groaned, standing, albeit shakily.

    He slowly made for me, blood trickling down his forehead, into his right eye. His face had been swollen from the insane beating I had just given him. Standing my ground, I flipped the baton in my hand, pressing it into his stomach.

    Foam appeared at the corner of his mouth, his body convulsing from the military grade taser. Removing the baton from his stomach, my right hand wrapped around his throat. I stared him coldly in the eye, this man had placed a hit out on me, a man I thought I could trust. Roaring in his face, I pitched my head back, smashing him in the nose, a bit of his blood splattering on my face.

    I just didn't care anymore, it was kill or be killed. Duke made the decision, when he decided to try and fuck me over, that he was going to be killed. Punching him as hard as I could, my strength turned the man around, as I plunged his head through the now open window. Holding him down, I could feel his futile motions to struggle beneath my weight.

    "It's kill or be killed, Duke." I growled into his ear. "You chose to be killed."

    Pulling the window pane downwards, I heard his neck snap from the force of the closing window. His struggling stopped almost instantly, as I lifted the window pane. His lifeless body slumped to the floor, his neck now bent in a strange manner. Kicking his lifeless corpse, I roared in annoyance, until Grant's arms fell upon my shoulders.

    "Namaste." Grant said, staring at me. "I dunno what the hell you just did just now, but that was cool as fuck. You straight murdered that fuck. "

    My anger stopped for a second, before I unleashed the contents of my stomach onto Duke's corpse. Grant took a step backwards, before patting me on the shoulder.

    "Gross dude." Grant said. "We better hurry, before your replacement gets here."

    "Frankie." I gasped for air. "What about Frankie?"

    "I'm fine, kid." Frankie said. "Go, do your thing."

    I looked over, Frankie stood with a mop bucket, with an assortment of chemicals alongside it.

    "The hell are you doing?"

    "Cleaning up your mess, kid." Frankie said. "You left fingerprints all over this room, and that bile on the floor is just begging to point to you."

    "That's suicide! They'll blame you!" I said, shaking my head. "You'll be killed!"

    "A dead man just doesn't give a shit." Frankie smirked. "I have nothing left in the Universe to live for, but I can die ensuring someone else does. You three kids have your entire lives ahead of you."

    "Listen," Frankie said. "I have no idea what crazy shit's going on nowadays, but I think you have what it takes to save the Universe."

    I frowned, my head head falling to Bryce. As much as it aggravated me that he had never done his job, I felt guilty. I came tonight, and it got him killed.

    "That's a Wasted life, Bryce." I said, as Frankie shook his head.

    "It's a shame, yes." Frankie said. "You didn't waste his life, though. Had he actually done his job, he would probably still be alive now. This is not your fault. Now hurry along before I ditch and leave your asses to rot."

    Grant nodded, as the two of us passed Frankie. Jessica stood by the massive door on sub level C. Funnily enough, it was the largest door in the facility, but had the smallest lock. Fiddling through the keys, I found the one I assumed opened the hanger door.

    "Where's Frankie?" Jessica said, before looking at my face. "Oh my god, are you okay?"

    "You should see the other fucker." I growled, furiously placing the key into the slot.

    "Killer here fucked some dude up. Guy was the whole reason why Archie is being hunted, I bet." Grant said. "Asshole even killed his own Security Guard."

    "Well, what about Frankie? He's not dead too, is he?"

    "No." Grant said, as him and I locked glances. "He's going to remove the evidence that Archie was involved."

    "The amount of time that'll take, he's-"

    "He's taking the fall." I frowned.

    Slowly, the door groaned open. The three of us remained silent, before we realized that the door wasn't going all the way up. Sliding underneath, Jessica whistled, the noise echoing.

    Grant and I exchanged confused glances, before rolling under the door. The view was fantastic, we were inside of an old cave system, by the look of it. The walkway had been metallic, like the rest of the facility. Granted, it looked older than on the other side of the door. Dust littered the floor, confusing all of us. If this place was restricted, than why was there so much dust?

    Thankfully we went when we had, as the door closed behind us. I turned, my eyes wide. I banged my fist on the wall.

    "SHIT!" I yelled, my voice echoing in the tunnel.

    "Quiet in there!" I heard Frankie yell. "Your dead friend's comm. is alight with chatter. Search that compound, find what you're looking for. This is an old ONI base from the Great War, you should find another way out."

    "Frankie!" I yell.

    "It's for your safety, kid." Frankie replied through the door. "See you on the other side."

    Turning back, I frowned at Jessica and Grant, who nodded their heads in respect. We trudged through the tunnel, dust particles hovering in the air from the age of the place. We were the first people in five hundred years to set foot in here.

    The worst part of the place was the atmosphere, just walking in this tunnel brought a chill down my spine, like I was being watched. Most of the many exits in the tunnels had been collapsed for quite some time. Others we did not dare to try, as they looked unstable as well.

    There was one door, however, that we eventually entered. Grant, Jessica, and I gasped as we stared at the room. In several different columns, a strange amount of dusty bunk beds were aligned. Walking through the room, we noticed how each bed had been neatly made.

    What creeped us out, however, was the numbers in front of each of them. It was as if the people sleeping in these beds were numbered, like a serial code of sorts. We passed by several of them, 052 and 115 coming to our immediate attention.

    "Check this out." Grant said, pointing to the top bunk. "Anyone here know Hungarian?"

    "My mother taught me a bit, let me look." Jessica said. "Megsakad sviem."

    "Do you know what it means?" I asked, as she turned, a tear rolling down her cheek.

    "It breaks my heart."

    "I'm sorry, but we need a translation." Grant said, as she glared at him.

    "'It breaks my heart' IS the translation." she sighed.

    I looked around the room, listing off each number as I saw them. Something about this room made chills run down my spine. Glancing at the bottom bunk, my eyes fell upon an inscription on the wall behind the head rest.

    "Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo." I read, my eyes widening.

    Falling onto my rear, I scooted away from the bed, the others staring at me with concern. I pointed to the inscription, as they both looked at it. Reading over it a couple of times, they finally made the connection.

    "Archie, old lady Alyssa told you about the Guardian of Reach. What did she say he was called?"

    "Admiral Blaine Harlowe, or Spartan 115." I said, as Grant nodded.

    "This was where he ended up, after that Orphanage thing." Grant said, as Jessica began to cry.

    "That means he never got found by his family. He was put into the military, probably by force." Jessica sobbed.

    "Look around." I said, shivers creeping down my spine. "He's not the only one."

    "Alyssa mentioned another Legendary hero. Master Chief." I said, walking over towards the bunk boasting the numbers 117. "There's an inscription here, too."

    "Eagle, Head." I read, confused. "The hell does that mean?"

    Shaking my head, I frowned, if Blaine had been ten when he was brought here, what about the other beds? Were these all kids too? Did they come from orphanages? Did they get abducted? How long had the UNSC, or even ONI been so secretive with their people?


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

    avatar
    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

    Posts : 1190
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 22

    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 5th 2015, 3:46 am

    Author's Notes:
    Looks like you get a triple feature tonight, gents. Thanks for reading, as always!

    "They were kids." Jessica said, a haunting tone in her voice. "Spartans were KIDS!"

    I frowned, she was right. Brought into the military, they were likely trained and raised here, on this mountain, to serve the UNSC. What other horrid secrets did this place have in store for us? Part of me didn't want to find out, but on the other hand, those spies wanted what was here.

    "There's a door, just over here." Grant said from the far room.

    Trotting over towards him, the three of us peeked one last glance at the barracks. Walking through the door, we were surprised that the place had still managed to be powered. In front of us was what appeared to be a lab of some sort. The door we had just passed through said 'Authorized Personnel Only', so I assumed this is where some freaky shit went down.

    We were not wrong. The room had been circular. Throughout the room, in two circles, one in the center, and one along the edges of the walls, were what appeared to be enclosed beds. Walking alongside them, we saw a multitude of needles, scalpels, and strange machines we didn't want to know the purpose of. Just like the previous room, each and every enclosed bed had a number.

    "Greetings." a feminine voice called from my right. "My name is Deja"

    I jumped a few feet into the air, as a small, white figure robed in what appeared to be a Greek Toga smiled, waving.

    "Deja Who?" Grant snickered, as Jessica slapped him behind the head.

    "My apologies, but do you have proper clearance? CASTLE Base is strictly off limits for people beneath a Tier 3 clearance level."

    "Um." I stammered, as the AI looked at me, calmly. "We're here by order of Blaine Harlowe. Spartan 115?"

    "Authorization passphrase pending." the AI replied, tilting her head to the side.

    "Um." I said, my eyes scanning back and forth. "Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo?"

    Deja seemed to stare at me with confusion, pursing her lips for a moment.

    "You are not cleared to be here." Deja replied, as my heart sank. "You do, however, know of Spartan 115. I have been cut off from the world for a very, very long time."

    "Wait, you're an AI!" Jessica asked. "I thought AI went rampant after seven years, how are you still around?!"

    "There is no reason to be so hyped up, ma'am." Deja turned to her. "I am but a copy of the actual Deja model. Rebuilt using a technology that far exceeds Human capabilities. It is true that Rampancy is inevitable, but my lifespan is increased, one hundred-fold."

    "So, you aren't going to kick us out?" I asked.

    "I must, protocol states so. However, I fear the knowledge within this base, and myself, will be lost to time. With no further outlets, I run the risk of data retrieval by Covenant Forces. Protocol also states that this is completely unacceptable." Deja frowned. "So long as you are willing to learn, and listen to my words. You may stay for now."

    "Tell us about Subject 115." I inquire.

    "Please proceed to the staircase to your left. I have unlocked the office door."

    Turning, we watched a staircase form in a spiral around the room. Ascending it, we opened the door. Inside, the lights began to flicker. In front of us, Deja appeared on a hologram table, her arms neatly folded down in front of her dress.

    "Spartan 115. Real Name: Blaine Angus Harlowe. Race: Caucasian. Gender: Male. Eyes: Blue. Age: 10. Enlisted: September 12th, 2521. Deja said, preparing a holographic image of Blaine.

    Sure enough, the kid floating in front of us was the very same one from the orphanage. Deja noticed our morbid curiosity, snapping her fingers. His hologram was replaced by a short video, taken just by the tree.

    "Jacob, turn that damned thing off!" I heard a woman growl, placing her hand over the lens.

    "If I did that, ma'am, the world wouldn't get to admire your beautiful smile, Katherine." the man, Jacob, chuckled.

    "H-hey, is that a kid in that tree there?" the woman asked, pointing out the window.

    "Yes, indeed it is." Jacob said, his voice instantly becoming serious. "This wasn't a date, was it? You wanted to enlist that boy."

    "Not so loud." Katharine sighed. "No, but, he looks malnourished. The way he's sleeping in that tree, my god. Is he homeless?"

    "New Alexandria's a big city, homeless kids is an unfortunate thing that happens." Jacob replied.

    "We need to go see him."

    I watched with wide eyes, as I noticed that the boy in the tree was, in fact, Blaine Harlowe. Was this what Aurora meant when she said the Russian Maple had been a big part of his childhood? The video seemed to fast forward to the couple opening the door. Katharine gasped as the door opened on the child.

    "I'm sorry, child. Are you hurt?"

    "No ma'am. I'm fine." he said, as his stomach gurgled.

    "That doesn't sound fine to me." Katharine frowned. "Where are your parents?"

    "My mama's dead." Blaine said.

    I had already known of his mother's fate, due to the words of his father. The fact that he knew at that young age was devastating to me. I turned to my right to see Jessica bawling, Grant wrapping an arm around her.

    "Your father?"

    "He's a soldier." Blaine frowned. "He visited me at the Orphanage."

    "Katharine, a word?" Jacob asked, as the woman turned to him. "I know it's your project, but I see that look in your eye."

    "He needs the program."

    "He NEEDS to go back to where he belongs." Jacob growled. "When is enough enough, Katharine? We already have seventy-four on the list."

    "This is my program, and I choose who and who doesn't get admitted."

    "May I remind you, Doctor, that there is a very good chance this child could die?!" Jacob snarled. "I won't have that on my conscious."

    "You have seventy-four others, what's one more?" Katharine glared. "He needs a home, and the program can give him that. He'll die out here anyways."

    "Excuse me?" Blaine asked, as the two of them looked at him. "I didn't make you mad, did I?"

    "No, child." Katharine frowned. "What's your name?"

    "Blaine. Blaine Harlowe." he replied.

    "Would you come with us?" she asked, holding a hand out. "You'll have a home, and food."

    "Okay." Blaine smiled.

    The video stopped, the both of us staring with gaped mouths. He could tell the future before, but he couldn't during one of the most pivotal parts of his life? Something wasn't right here.

    "Deja?" I asked, as the figure in white appeared again. "Can you offer us a detailed report on Spartan One-One-Five?"

    "The report hasn't been updated for [Five Hundred] years. Will this suffice?" she asked.

    "Yes." I nodded, as yet another video appeared.

    Before it played, however, Deja appeared, her arms behind her back. She glanced at the three of us, her face still alight with a gentle smile.

    "Spartan Blaine One-One-Five fought in numerous decisive battles over the course of his career. His kill count enumerates the several hundreds of thousands, if not a straight million." Deja said, as Grant whistled, our eyes wide. "Of the several thousands of operations he partook in, Spartan One-One-Five withheld an impressive ninety-eight percent success rating."

    I couldn't believe it! This one man had ended the lives of countless thousands of enemies, and had been successful in ninety-eight percent of the missions he was in. The others seemed to be just as interested as I was.

    "One such notable battle was the battle for New Alexandria, where Captain Blaine Harlowe had single handedly saved tens of thousands of lives. His actions destroyed countless Covenant enemies, the total destruction of a Covenant Corvette, containing several thousand enemies, was also destroyed." Deja smiled, seeming to enjoy teaching us these things.

    "When Reach fell to the Covenant Empire, he returned to Earth. He lead a defense force within the city of New Mombasa, before engaging a Covenant Super Carrier on board the In Amber Clad. There, he discovered an alien ring-world classified as Halo. With the combined efforts of his squad, and the efforts of Spartan One-One-Seven, they were successful in denying the ring-world to the Covenant."

    "Wait." I said. "About Reach. What happened?"

    "As was expected, the Covenant Fleet, upon their successful victory over UNSC forces, fired upon Reach with their glassing beams. Spartan casualties rang high."

    "Spartan casualties?!" Jessica's eyes widened with horror. "I thought Spartans never died?!"

    "That is propaganda used by the Office of Naval Intelligence to instill morale in the hearts of the civilians and the troops. The notion that Dr. Halsey's Spartans were immortal are quite impossible."

    "Deja." I said, looking at the others. "How many Spartans in this facility died in that battle?"

    "Of the thirty-eight survivors from the augmentations, only eight are known to have survived."

    My heart sank, as I took a step back. Jessica's eyes welled up with tears again, as Grant clenched a fist, bowing his head.

    "Thirty-eight?" I asked in disbelief. "What happened to the others?"

    "Twelve of the 'drop-outs' were reenlisted into ONI to serve as desk workers. One of which, Serin Osman, became Director of ONI. The other twenty five 'drop-outs' were pronounced KIA, and jettisoned out into space."

    "They didn't even get buried." Jessica cried.

    "Deja, I want to see the Spartan Training Processes." I declared, as Deja nodded.

    The video she had prepared popped up. It showed Blaine laying in the very bunk bed we had seen two room over.

    "Oh, well wouldja lookie here?!" one man walked over, pouting his lips. "We have a late riser!"

    I watched with horror as the man prepared a baton, not unlike the one Duke had tried to use on me some time ago. Jabbing it into the boy's chest, the kid convulsed in his bed.

    "Beauty sleep's over, maggot!" the man growled. "NOW WAKE UP, BUTTERCUP!"

    Blaine sat up, a certain hatred in his eyes, as the man prepared another strike.

    "You best stop giving me that look, boy, and get you ass outside."

    "Deja." Jessica said. "Please skip forward, I don't want to see this."

    Deja nodded, as the video fast forwarded to the next viable point.

    To our horror, a group of kids were locked in a small room. There was a window just large enough for one of them to squeeze through. We thought it was cruel enough that the children had been locked in the room as is, but it seemed like something was going on.

    The door opened, a lone man stood, a metal chair under his arm. Sitting one of the girls down on the chair, I watched as one of the other kids had cowered behind. The man pressed a baton to her stomach. The three of us watched, mortified, as the girl began to shriek, her muscles spasming from the electricity.

    Jessica groaned as she watched the poor girl wet herself, only attributing further to her torture. With that, the man unceremoniously pushed her to the ground, before closing the wet chair, and walking out of the room. We watched a boy and a girl help the poor victim to her feet.

    The boy that had cowered before had a fist jabbed square to his nose, blood spurting out.

    "Hey, what was that for?!" he barked, as the siren went off in the room again.

    We watched as the soldier returned with the chair, reforming it. Again, the marine picked up one of the girls, who kicked and screamed. I watched as Blaine shook his head, ramming his shoulder into the back of the soldier's leg.

    "Me next." he growled. "Or are you just that into little girls, freak?!"

    With that, the marine dropped the girl, turning to Blaine. Grabbing him by the throat, he threw the kid into the wet chair. Turning the voltage up on the prod, he pressed it to the boy's chest. Jessica held a hand up to her mouth, as Grant and I watched in a numb stupor.

    The others in his group yelled for the soldier to stop, but the man had seemed to not listen. Eventually, the others tackled the man to the floor, holding him down. Blaine continued to convulse for a time, but to my surprise, he slowly came back to.

    Jumping off of the chair onto the man's chest, he swung fist after fist into the man's jaw, before reaching a hand out for the baton.

    "Deja." Jessica said. "Another time, please?"

    Once more, the video transitioned to the room we had just been in, with the enclosed beds.

    "Deja?" we heard Katharine's voice. "Begin the augmentation."

    "They're just ten!" Jessica screamed.

    Yet, we watched. Of the seventy-five kids in that room, we watched those machines inject something into their skin. They were sliced open, metallic grafts being placed in their flesh, on their bones. I turned away at the sight of their eyes being worked on. Horrifically, we watched several of the kids convulse on their beds, their spines, or even their arms snapping under the sudden changes.

    "Oh my god." Jessica shook her head. "OH MY GOD!"

    "Deja, that will be enough. Can you show us something else?" I said quickly.

    "There is only one recent recording I can offer, besides the dossiers of the other Spartan IIs." Deja nodded. "Would you care to see it, I understand your friend is distressed. I assure you, it does not contain graphic material."

    "Show us." I said with a curt nod.

    Instead of a recording, the entire room became a hologram. The door behind me opened, two massive soldiers standing behind me. Behind them, of course, was one of those beasts from that recording we had seen at the Orphanage.

    However, neither of the soldiers seemed distressed, confusing me. In fact, one opted to take off their helmet. I frowned at the look of Blaine, as his helmet came off.

    "Some good memories in this place." he grunted, walking forward. "Some shitty ones too."

    The other soldier removed their helmet. Jessica smiled at the look of the woman in front of us. The woman looked about our age, long black hair falling out of her helmet. A pair of intense blue eyes beamed brightly, as the beast behind them moved around.

    "So," the beast said, their voice oddly higher pitched. "This is where the Demons of your kind were born."

    "Yes, Lasp." Blaine nodded. "Hate to bring you here, kiddo, but I needed to prep Deja for a hard transfer."

    "Whose Deja, daddy?" she asked, as the three of us looked at one another.

    "She was my mentor when I was here, taught me everything about history I know." Blaine smirked. "Found some Forerunner tech recently, I wanted to see if I could find any remnants of her here, upgrade her."

    "Why?" the girl asked.

    "Dawn, I have a very important mission I need to go on. After Blue Team disappeared without a trace, and with your Uncle Darryl off doing his thing, I'm the only in service Spartan II." Blaine said, walking over towards her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "If something happens to me, I need SOMETHING to recall everything that happened in this place."

    "Why would that be?" the beast, Lasp, asked.

    "If ONI gets their way, they will erase every notion that Spartan IIs existed. They are guilty for what they did to us. When ONI is guilty, they get scared, when they're scared, they get desperate." Blaine growled. "Your mother was nice enough to bide us this time, under the radar."

    "So, am I supposed to wait here until she's done?" Dawn asked.

    "No." Blaine chuckled. "We're only here to upgrade and give the order. She will take the time to transfer the files into a chip. I'll send someone here later on to receive it."

    "Then why am I here?" Lasp asked. "I am not involved."

    "You are Anch's daughter." Blaine said. "You can continue to hold our peace treaty in my absence.  I brought you here, in good faith that your race NEVER performs acts this barbaric again."

    The video stuttered for a moment, before shutting down altogether. Deja stood there, her head bowed, her arms across the front of her dress again.

    "Admiral Harlowe, my mission is complete. You will find the chip in the console beneath you, ma'am." Deja said. "It contains data on the entire Spartan II program. Including dossiers, reports, medical records, everything. Do not let our enemies get a hold of it."

    "What of you?" I asked.

    "That's what I wanted to bring up next." Deja frowned for the first time since we met her. "I cannot be allowed to live."

    "Why?" Grant asked.

    "Earlier this morning, this facility was nearly breached. Capture of an AI of my knowledge is unacceptable." Deja sighed. "I had finished my objective several hundred years ago, awaiting someone to take it. In truth, you are the only ones I can trust."

    "Come with us, then." Jessica said, as the AI shook her head.

    "More of them come. They know someone is in here. I will lead you off of the mountain to safety, but then I will be forced to detonate this place."

    The door on the far side of the room opened, as we heard the door to the barracks open behind us. My eyes widened as I quickly peeked through the window. It wasn't the same black suited spies from before, but these people didn't look exactly friendly either.

    Pointing for the far door, we sprinted through. Deja was kind enough to shut and lock the door behind us. Her avatar appeared along the halls, pointing us through the catacombs of endless hallways. Finally, at the end of our sprint, an old fashioned Pelican waited for us.

    "How do we know if that fucking thing can fly?!" Grant asked, as Deja appeared.

    "What else was I supposed to do for years on end?" she smirked. "When you get in range of the City, it will initiate auto-pilot. All you need to do is get it to lift off."

    We piled in, Jessica and Grant sitting down. They looked at me, expectantly, as I shook my head in disbelief. Looking at the console, I saw a miniature avatar of Deja appear beside me. She pointed at the several buttons I needed to press.

    Behind me, I could hear the troop bay close up. Next, the engines roared to life, and finally, the thrusters. Pulling up on the stick, as instructed, I saw her wave pitifully. Frowning, I waved back, before lifting the Pelican up and out of the vertical tunnel it was in. Pushing forwards on one of the thrusters, the Pelican raced towards New Alexandria.

    I didn't know much about what was going on still, but one thing was for certain, I had a lot more of Blaine's life in my head. I was going to help the world remember, but I needed to get off planet first. Most importantly to me, however, was getting Aurora to safety too.

    Behind the Pelican, I felt a shockwave cause the drop-ship to shake uneasily. I knew in that moment that the base, CASTLE, had finally detonated completely. I didn't know how Menachite Mountain looked at this point, I did, however, know that it wasn't two pronged anymore.

    "Hey, you good?" Grant asked, poking his head into the cock-pit.

    "Little shaky, but I'm okay." I nodded. "How about Jessica? That was pretty fucked up."

    "Yeah." Grant said. "She won't speak for right now. We need to get people to remember, dude. After what we just saw, this is a disservice to those kids. Lost and forgotten, nothing but whispers in the dark."

    In front of us, the sun began to rise on a new day. My eyes widened, I don't know just how early morning Aurora had planned to be there, but I did know that those spies were likely waiting. Pressing forward on the thrusters, the Pelican increased in speed. The walk we had completed the night before was soon completed in less than five minutes, just through flight.

    "Good Morning, New Alexandria." a disembodied female voice said. "Shocking news this morning, as we're just getting it now."

    "Menachite Mountain, and the Facility reported on yesterday, have mysteriously erupted into a devastating explosion. Officials are asking everyone to remain calm, and to keep an eye out for any suspicious personnel."

    The Pelican began to slow down automatically, shuttering at the change in velocity. Coming to a complete stop, it began to lower gently to the Pelican stop. Jumping from the Pilot's seat, I stepped through the door. Jessica and Grant must have both felt it too, at the ready. Pulling the cord just before the troop bay, the door began to open. The three of us jumped out.

    Thankfully for me, Aurora had been sitting there, reading a book peacefully  by the tree. Considering the night I just had, I must have looked a bit shaken. She heard the Pelican land, her eyes popping up from the book, long enough for her to see us. She stood, waving, as I waved her to keep her arms down.

    Trotting over towards her, she smiled.

    "Um, hi!" she shrugged, a little shy.

    "Aurora." I said. "You'll never believe the night we just had. Er, but we gotta go, like, right now!"

    "I'm confused, what do you mean?" she asked, tilting her head. "Weren't we going to talk about the Guardian of Reach, maybe catch some breakfast? Also, who are these two?"

    "My roommates." I sigh. "Grant and Jessica. We lived in that Apartment complex that exploded yesterday."

    "Wait, your complex exploded?" she asked.

    "Yeah, it wasn't on the news?" I asked, as she shook her head.

    They were covering up anything that had to do with us. I shuttered, all of those dead people, forgotten, wiped clean to preserve ONI. Before I could get another word in, however, the Pelican we had just been in was struck by something, exploding behind us. I stumbled forward, toppling over her.

    "Ugh." I said, shaking my head, before realizing where I was. "Sorry, oh Jesus!"

    "What was that?!" she asked, looking over to her right. "Um. Those men have a rocket launcher!"

    My eyes widened, the spies! I hadn't forgotten about them, but it had been exactly as I feared. Jessica and Grant turned to see them approaching as well.

    "We need to go, now!" I said. "They're hunting us!"

    "Why?" she asked.

    "NO TIME!" I yelled, grabbing her hand.

    The two of us sprinted away, Grant and Jessica just behind us. I turned back in time to see a rocket strike up against the tree, blasting away the tree bark, fire erupting over it's leaves.

    Author's Second Note:

    Still so many questions, though some have been answered. One question, why is Archie so important in the great scheme of things? Other than being cursed by Protagonist syndrome?

    Who are those Spies?

    Where did Blue Team, and the other remaining Spartan II's go?

    Why is ONI a bunch of fresh asshats?

    Why did the Sanghieli people disappear from Human interaction?

    What else could possibly go wrong?

    What is Hybrid pie?


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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Doctor Jensen on November 5th 2015, 1:12 pm

    Dang man, how do you pump this many stories out?
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 5th 2015, 2:39 pm

    An unhealthy amount of free-time, my friend. Where I live, there ain't much to do in your free time, unless you want to go to a bar. 'Course, only in 'murica can you not have a beer legally until 21 Razz

    All of my friends moved out of State, and my job search is not turning up well.

    For your sake, I'll just say that the movies I watch, the games I play, and the events of my every day life are great inspirations for stories.

    If it's too much, I can slow down if you need.


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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Doctor Jensen on November 5th 2015, 6:25 pm

    No, by all means, keep on writing. That's probably better.
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    Impanther

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Impanther on November 5th 2015, 7:34 pm

    Three answers in order of question asked:

    3: nothing new there
    4: O.N.I
    6: pie made from the unholy offspring of the O.N.I agent called Death and a very willing Sangheili who loves to torture Death. Blade is currently raising a farm of them lol.

    By the way, which paragraph referenced hybrid pie?
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 5th 2015, 8:33 pm

    Impanther wrote:Three answers in order of question asked:

    3: nothing new there
    4: O.N.I
    6: pie made from the unholy offspring of the O.N.I agent called Death and a very willing Sangheili who loves to torture Death. Blade is currently raising a farm of them lol.

    By the way, which paragraph referenced hybrid pie?

    Most of those were hypothetical questions to instill thought into you, the reader Razz .

    Number Six was me just making a general reference/Easter egg, it wasn't mentioned elsewhere in the story.

    Though, now that I'm aware of what Hybrid pie is, I'm going to have to warn John to seriously NOT eat it.

    Doctor Jensen wrote:No, by all means, keep on writing. That's probably better.

    I understand. Thanks for reading, all of you. Corny as it sounds, it's the acknowledgement that someone, anyone reading my stories, which allows me to post so rapidly.

    It really sucks when you write something, and then don't get the satisfaction of knowing whether or not someone reads your work. It's actually pretty discouraging.


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    Impanther

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Impanther on November 5th 2015, 9:30 pm

    Shad0wChas3r wrote:
    Impanther wrote:Three answers in order of question asked:

    3: nothing new there
    4: O.N.I
    6: pie made from the unholy offspring of the O.N.I agent called Death and a very willing Sangheili who loves to torture Death. Blade is currently raising a farm of them lol.

    By the way, which paragraph referenced hybrid pie?

    Most of those were hypothetical questions to instill thought into you, the reader Razz .

    Number Six was me just making a general reference/Easter egg, it wasn't mentioned elsewhere in the story.

    Though, now that I'm aware of what Hybrid pie is, I'm going to have to warn John to seriously NOT eat it.

    Doctor Jensen wrote:No, by all means, keep on writing. That's probably better.

    I understand. Thanks for reading, all of you. Corny as it sounds, it's the acknowledgement that someone, anyone reading my stories, which allows me to post so rapidly.

    It really sucks when you write something, and then don't get the satisfaction of knowing whether or not someone reads your work. It's actually pretty discouraging.

    You already knew what it was, we all had fun throwing Death into that room with the Elite in the old mess hall.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 5th 2015, 9:54 pm

    Impanther wrote:
    Shad0wChas3r wrote:
    Impanther wrote:Three answers in order of question asked:

    3: nothing new there
    4: O.N.I
    6: pie made from the unholy offspring of the O.N.I agent called Death and a very willing Sangheili who loves to torture Death. Blade is currently raising a farm of them lol.

    By the way, which paragraph referenced hybrid pie?

    Most of those were hypothetical questions to instill thought into you, the reader Razz .

    Number Six was me just making a general reference/Easter egg, it wasn't mentioned elsewhere in the story.

    Though, now that I'm aware of what Hybrid pie is, I'm going to have to warn John to seriously NOT eat it.

    Doctor Jensen wrote:No, by all means, keep on writing. That's probably better.

    I understand. Thanks for reading, all of you. Corny as it sounds, it's the acknowledgement that someone, anyone reading my stories, which allows me to post so rapidly.

    It really sucks when you write something, and then don't get the satisfaction of knowing whether or not someone reads your work. It's actually pretty discouraging.

    You already knew what it was, we all had fun throwing Death into that room with the Elite in the old mess hall.

    There are some things that were meant to be forgotten though, and I feel this was one of them Razz .


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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Impanther on November 5th 2015, 10:52 pm

    Shad0wChas3r wrote:
    Impanther wrote:
    Shad0wChas3r wrote:
    Impanther wrote:Three answers in order of question asked:

    3: nothing new there
    4: O.N.I
    6: pie made from the unholy offspring of the O.N.I agent called Death and a very willing Sangheili who loves to torture Death. Blade is currently raising a farm of them lol.

    By the way, which paragraph referenced hybrid pie?

    Most of those were hypothetical questions to instill thought into you, the reader Razz .

    Number Six was me just making a general reference/Easter egg, it wasn't mentioned elsewhere in the story.

    Though, now that I'm aware of what Hybrid pie is, I'm going to have to warn John to seriously NOT eat it.

    Doctor Jensen wrote:No, by all means, keep on writing. That's probably better.

    I understand. Thanks for reading, all of you. Corny as it sounds, it's the acknowledgement that someone, anyone reading my stories, which allows me to post so rapidly.

    It really sucks when you write something, and then don't get the satisfaction of knowing whether or not someone reads your work. It's actually pretty discouraging.

    You already knew what it was, we all had fun throwing Death into that room with the Elite in the old mess hall.

    There are some things that were meant to be forgotten though, and I feel this was one of them Razz .

    Might want to read the trailer for the newly renamed Raptor series.
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    I_IRONMAN_I

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 5th 2015, 11:43 pm

    You wanna what's the perfect hashtag for this story?

    #HunttheTruth

    This story's already more riveting than Halo 5's!
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    Impanther

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Impanther on November 5th 2015, 11:56 pm

    I_IRONMAN_I wrote:You wanna what's the perfect hashtag for this story?

    #HunttheTruth

    This story's already more riveting than Halo 5's!

    I think he based it on Hunt The Truth.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 6th 2015, 1:48 am

    The four of us were locked into a dead sprint. The smell of burning wood and diesel filled the air. I never dared to look back, though I could occasionally see Aurora peer back, total fear emblazoned on her face.

    "GET THEM!" one of the men yelled.

    My heart skipped a beat, however, when I heard a Warthog roar up behind us. It was in that moment that my attention turned to them. The Scout Warthog we had ditched yesterday was quickly catching us. Realizing that Aurora was slowly falling behind, I pulled her forward. Lifting upwards, my right arm ended up on the underside of her knees.

    "What are you doing?!" she asked, as my eyes flicked towards her.

    "Taking a shortcut." I said. "RIGHT!"

    Turning sharply to my right, I managed to squeak through the broken down door of the Orphanage. I could hear Jessica and Grant's footfalls behind me, which brought a bit of relief to me. Ducking back through the store room, I dashed to the left, down the alleyway. To our horror, we heard walls crumbling behind us.

    "Archie!" Grant roared. "Those assholes ran through the Orphanage!"

    In my sprint, my eyes glanced to the right. A pair of blinding headlights hurtled towards me from one of the off branching alleys. Jumping off of a nearby dumpster, Aurora stared at me with horror. Beneath me, the other Warthog approached. Grant and Jessica managed to clear the jump too.

    I flinched, however, at the sound of metal hitting metal behind us. Turning my gaze backwards, I saw Alyssa step out of a Warthog. She smiled at me, before turning towards the now totaled spy's Warthog.

    "Go ahead, kiddo!" she smirked, waving. "I'll keep these two's attention! DO MY FAMILY JUSTICE! Before you get off Planet, stop by my house!"

    Ducking around the corner, now back on the main street, Aurora frowned.

    "That was old lady Alyssa." she mused.

    "Yeah." I grunted, still sprinting for all my worth. "One of the last remaining relatives of Blaine Harlowe. You know where she lived?"

    "Just around the corner, yellow house!" Aurora said.

    As we turned the bend, I slowed my jog. My heart was pounding in my chest, but I was okay. Turning back, Jessica and Grant struggled for breath. Aurora squirmed for a moment, as I placed her down.

    "I'm sorry." I said. "We needed to move, and-"

    "Thank you." she said, lightly hugging me. "I don't know what we're looking for, but we'd better be quick."

    The four of us hurried inside the old woman's home. I felt bad for barging through her door, but I also knew that she would want us to use our time wisely. Grant sprinted up the stairs, while I made a bee-line for the basement. It took some searching, but I finally found the stairs down and into the basement.

    Clambering down the stairs, I could hear someone behind me. Taking the second to glance, I noticed it was Aurora. As we cleared the stairs, we looked around the room. It seemed that nothing was out of the ordinary in this place.

    There was a slam, up the stair from us. My heart stopped, as I heard Alyssa yell throughout the house, beckoning the others down to the basement. Soon enough, the three of them appeared. Alyssa ran, despite her age, over towards me.

    "What happened?" I asked. "Are you okay?"

    "I'm fine. Unfortunately, so are those two spies." she grimaced. "They ducked away before I could finish them. They could have followed me, so we don't have time."

    "Well, what's the plan?!" Grant asked, his eyes anxiously peering towards the top of the stairs.

    "You four are getting on that Space Elevator, and getting off of Reach." she said. "You stay here, and you're dead. We can't have that, you are too important."

    "How? ONI will likely have every street covered, if that's who those spies are."

    She smiled, placing a hand on my cheek, before pressing her hand to the cold concrete wall beside me. A scanner ran over her hand, before a previously unseen gap in the wall formed, opening a doorway.

    "I suppose it's a good thing our friend Blaine Harlowe frequented this house, eh?" she said.

    "He did?!" Aurora asked, flabbergasted, by the look.

    "Well yes, it was the house he and his family owned on Reach, after it was rebuilt." she chuckled. "I wish I could tell you more, Archie. I really do. This passage will contain some things for you, it will also lead you to the Space Elevator safely."

    "You're not coming?" I asked, as she lightly shook her head.

    "I'm going to be keeping those two off of your backs, in case they followed me." she said. "They won't find you in there."

    Looking into the newly formed entryway, I glanced at my three companions, before walking inside. Behind us, I could hear her front door shatter, the door she had opened immediately began to close.

    "Goodbye, child." she waved. "Live well."

    Together, the four of us wasted no time quietly walking through the somewhat narrow corridor. If Blaine Harlowe had walked down these halls, it must have been that much more cramped for him too. Finally, after a moment, the tunnel opened up into a room.

    "Alright, we have a moment to breathe." Aurora said. "What is going on?"

    "You heard the news about that facility? A boy that was killed?" I asked, as she nodded. "I-I was the guard."

    She looked at me solemnly, her eyes darting around the room.

    "He and those two men had infiltrated the UNSC Facility on Menachite Mountain, and when he tried to kill me... I protected myself." I sighed. "They've been hunting me in particular ever since."

    "Then why did you drag me into this?!" she asked.

    "When you and I talked yesterday, and you called my apartment, you mentioned Blaine Harlowe." I frowned. "Apparently, that name is Taboo nowadays, because they had heard your message, and put a hit out on you too."

    She looked to the others, who nodded, agreeing with my story. That was when I could tell tears were forming in her eyes.

    "Last night, the three of us hid inside of the Old New Alexandria Orphanage, where Blaine Harlowe lived, prior to the tree." I said. "We found videos there, from his admittance, to the day he left."

    "Then, late last night, we went to my old place of work to find out just what these guys are after."  I continued. "You'll never believe what we saw."

    She looked at me with curiousity, the other two giving me a look of sadness.

    "We found the Spartan II facility, hidden deep in that UNSC base." Aurora looked at me with mild curiosity. "We even found a working AI, who somehow had survived all these years to offer us the ENTIRETY of her known databanks, as ordered by Blaine Harlowe five hundred years ago."

    "You're lying." she shook her head.

    "Archie's a good bullshitter, lady." Grant said, nodding towards me. "You can't fabricate this stuff. He speaks the truth."

    "Blaine, the Master Chief, all of these Spartans. All of their histories, their fates. Lost through the ages, and clearly, ONI wanted it gone." I coughed, catching my breath. "They want people to forget the Spartans for some reason."

    "Because people might start putting these things together." Aurora nodded, rubbing her chin. "I always wondered how an orphan boy survived long enough to become a soldier of that status."

    "Not just a soldier." I shook my head. "Spartans were augmented, Super soldiers, if you will. He, and all seventy-five others were abducted by ONI."

    "Blaine and maybe six others survived past the Great War, but they all mysteriously disappeared." Jessica quipped.

    There was a bang at the far end of the tunnel we had just exited. They were likely going to catch up to us at this pace. Before we could leave, however, something caught my eye. Turning my attention to my left, I glanced at a picture on the desk.

    There was a young boy sitting there, a man and a woman on both sides. Alyssa stood behind the two of them, her beaming smile broke my heart, knowing she was gone now. In the picture, she looked young and alive, most importantly, she looked happy.

    The man and the woman looked familiar, but most confusing was the little boy in the picture. I know I saw that face somewhere, hell, I see that face every single day.

    "What the hell?" I said, staring at the picture.

    "Sup bro?" Grant asked, walking up to me. "Yo, ain't that you and your parents?"

    "Yeah." I frowned. "Alyssa's there too. This must've been taken just before they died."

    Aurora gasped from behind me, as I slowly turned to look at her. Tears beaded in her eyes, as she quickly wrapped her arms around my throat.

    "Hey." I said. "It's alright, I'm over it. This just- it doesn't make sense."

    Pulling the back off of the wooden frame, I pulled the picture out. Flipping it over, I looked at the writing on the back of the picture.

    "I don't know the exact term for him, but I'll call him my Great-Great Nephew; Archie, and my cousin's great grand daughter and husband" I read.

    I was so confused, I was related to Alyssa somehow? I needed further answers, and thankfully, Jessica was willing to bring them. She placed a hand on my shoulder, as I pocketed the photo in my hands. Placing a giant family tree down in front of me, she pointed at the top.

    "Look familiar?" she asked, as I gulped.

    At the top of the tree had been the names Blaine Harlowe and Autumn Harlowe. A level beneath that, Dawn Harlowe, and besides that, with an asterick, was David Harlowe. My eyes quickly glanced down Dawn's side of the tree, as Alyssa had told me that she was related to her side.

    I was only more confused, however, Alyssa's name wasn't there. Starting from the top again, I followed down David, and his spouse, Naomi's, side of the tree. Surely enough, after three steps, I found her. Alyssa Kratenski was her full name.

    "Why would she lie, saying she was related to Dawn?" I asked, as Jessica and Aurora shrugged.

    "Maybe she messed up, bro, look." Grant said, pointing four steps down from Dawn's side.

    There, by his finger tip, was Spring Branson, my mother. My eyes widened, as I stepped back a bit. I was related to Blaine Harlowe too? It answered so many questions, but like everything else about this adventure, it left me with so many more.

    It explained why Duke had set me up to fall, somehow he had been informed of my relation to the Spartan. It also partially explained why my parents disappeared when I was younger. Clenching my fist, I banged it up against the wall.

    "They killed my parents." I growled, banging my fist on the wall again. "ONI, or whoever the hell's pulling the strings around here. They killed my Parents, and anyone related to, or with knowledge on Spartan IIs."

    Tears began to well up in my eyes, a hole forming in my heart. Everything about my life, the departure of my parents, the set-up at the Facility, Deja giving me the data. It was all because of that one Family tree. With my back against the wall, I slowly slid down, covering my eyes.

    Beside me, I could hear Grant and Aurora crouching down to my level. Jessica began to pace, I could hear her now worn down sneakers clicking on the floor. Grant placed a hand on my shoulder, while Aurora rubbed my cheek.

    "You're related to a hero." Aurora smiled. "We need to give that data you got at Menachite to Lord Kranske. He's the only one that can make this public to the people. ONI will be known for their ways, and be tried for what they've done."

    "Not yet." I said, slowly standing. "There's much more out there, if we bring this stuff to Kranske immediately, without knowing the whole truth, it'll be for nothing. We need to ensure there is NO way ONI can weasel out of this."

    "I also need to gather more intel on the Great War." I clenched my fist. "People today forgot this stuff, that our race was on the verge of extinction. That the Spartans, my ancestor, gave their everything so we could be here today. The people need to know that ONI is trying to make us forget."

    "If that's the case, maybe you'd like this?" Jessica said, holding the handle of something to my face.

    Gently taking the handle, I realized it was a knife. It had definitely seen some combat, and some years, considering the condition of the grip at it's base. My eyes brightened, however, as I looked at the inscription on the blade.

    "Remember Reach." I read one side, before flipping it over. "Never Forget."

    Along with the blade, she had an adjustable hip holster for the blade, which she helped fasten to my waist. Placing the blade back into it's sheath, I nodded. The bang resounded once more, louder this time. If we didn't hurry, they would end up getting caught.

    Sprinting out of the room, into the far tunnel. We hurriedly climbed the ladder that waited for us on the wall. Pushing up on the manhole cover, I climbed into the station. Due to the explosion this morning, I was not surprised with the lack of people roaming about. Aurora was next, followed by Grant, and finally Jessica.

    Replacing the man-hole, we hurriedly walked to the nearby auto-dispenser for tickets. Quickly, I pressed Jessica's credit chit gift from yesterday into the slot, four tickets spilling out into the bowl just beneath it.

    We hurried through the turnstiles, speeding our way up the stairs to the open side of the Space Elevator. Had this been five hundred years ago, there would have been an operator for the Elevator. In these times, it was completely automatic. We bolted for the door, the Elevator's AI beeped a confirmation, the Elevator beginning to rise.

    "The doors aren't closed!" I yell.

    It was bad enough that I hated heights, it was worse that the doors of the Elevator, especially one that went into the void of space, didn't close. Grant placed a hand on my shoulder, as the Elevator began to climb. In the distance, I watched as the man-hole cover slid out of the way, our two friends standing there. One of them pointed in our direction, but thankfully, they weren't going to catch up to us.

    Taking a breather, Aurora and Grant began looking for ways for the Elevator doors to close manually. They began searching the walls of the circular room. One of the panels came off, a lone military grade jetpack, along with parachute function, sat there.

    "They never restock these damn things?!" Grant growled. "Good news is, I found th- WOAH!"

    The Elevator around us shook, causing both Grant and Aurora to lose their footing. I stood, albeit shakily, just in time to see a Pelican looming there. Rockets struck the 'tracks' the Elevator was suspended on, just beneath us. Aurora screamed as the Elevator tilted. Jessica, Grant and I all latched on to the handles, but she had not been so fortunate.

    Sliding out the open door, my eyes widened. Clenching my fist, I turned to the jetpack. Grant gave me a stare, implying he would go. I shook my head, I couldn't let her die. He needed to stay with Jessica.

    "Find a place to hide, the Pelican's after me." I said. "If we're not up in an hour, go elsewhere. You have the data?"

    Jessica nodded, which was the only confirmation I needed. Taking a deep breath, I stupidly sidling my way along the wall, as the Elevator normalized itself. Grabbing the Jetpack off of the wall, I fastened it around me.

    "Fuck today." I growled, sprinting for the open door.

    Diving out the door, the wind screamed in my ears, blowing my hair too and fro. To my right, the Pelican must have caught sight of me, turning it's attention away from the Elevator. I must have looked pretty silly, considering I was tumbling through the air.

    The sadistic thing about the Pelican, was that it seemed to want to watch me cascade to my death below, as the Pilot did not whir up the weapon's system. Beneath me, I could see Aurora, several feet down, screaming and kicking. I didn't know much about this kind of thing, but I did pay attention in science class. If I straightened out my form, I could fall much faster than if I laid flat.

    Pointing my head down, I tucked my arms and legs in, shooting through the air like an arrow. My heart thumped within my chest, and quite honestly, my aerophobia started kicking in rapidly. I felt panicky, like my heart was going to explode.

    Shaking my head, if I was going to die anyways, I was going to ensure that Aurora, who had no reason being in this situation, was going to live. Continuing my dive, I waited until I was really close to her, splaying my arms and legs wide. The wind caught, but the vertigo kicked in. My vision faded for a moment, but I shook myself awake.

    Grabbing her hand, she stared over at me, terrified.

    "DO THIS!" I yelled, showing her my splayed limbs. "DON'T LET GO!"

    She clasped onto my hands, before following my lead. Together, we floated somewhat slower than before. The impending death waiting for us below still existed, but for now, it wasn't quite as imminent. Looking down, even though I hated to, I could see the Pelican still descending.

    "HE'S WAITING FOR US TO LAND!" I said, as she stared, mortified. "I'M GONNA DO SOMETHING THAT MIGHT UPSET YOU!"

    Wrapping my arms around her, I pulled her close, the both of us now falling, feet first to hell. She got the idea, keeping her arms locked around my waste. Grabbing the two handles of the jetpack, I activated their thrusters. The sudden shift in direction caused my stomach to churn, but I held it in.

    Leaning forward, I pitched our two heads down towards the ground, activating the thrusters once more. We shot through the air like an arrow, our hair fluttering through the wind. The Pelican was ever close now. Flipping once more, I activated the thrusters again, slowing our descent. Of course, knowing my luck, the fuel was empty.

    Growling with annoyance, I fumbled for the parachute string. My hand met with it, as I gave it a sharp tug. Behind me, a massive cloth parachute formed, the two of us gently descending. I knew it was much too soon to pull, but I wasn't planning on landing on the ground, with those spies.

    My feet touched the Pelican's roof, Aurora releasing her grasp so I could take the parachute off. The Pilot must have heard us land on the roof, swiveling quickly to try and shake us off. Aurora shrieked as she fell onto her stomach, sliding down the Pelican's hull.

    Sprinting towards her, I instinctively pulled my new knife from it's sheath. Diving, my hand grasped hers, my other hand plunging the knife into the hull of the Pelican. We slid for a time, before my knife dug in deep, stopping us altogether.

    "DO YOU SEE A BUTTON ON THE SIDE?" I asked, looking down, she nodded. "PRESS IT!"

    She tried to reach with her foot, but couldn't. Groaning, I wasn't used to this kind of physical labor before, and I could feel the sweat on my right hand cause the knife to begin to slip.

    "I'M GOING TO SWING YOU!" I said, nodding towards the ramp. "WHEN YOU PRESS THE BUTTON, I'LL SWING YOU INSIDE!"

    Shifting my weight back and forth, I could also feel her hand slowly losing grasp. With one good swing, her foot lashed out and kicked the button. Alarms rang from the back of the Pelican, as a giant ramp began to unfold from the back. Grasping her tighter, I pulled her up enough to allow the ramp to go. Swinging once more, I could feel my grasp on the knife begin to give once more.

    Throwing her with all my might, she landed on the ramp, rolling upwards. I grunted, pulling my knife out. Luckily for me, the Pelican had not been moving horizontally. I landed, unceremoniously on the ramp. Because I hadn't been swung, like her, however, I rolled down the ramp.

    In my roll, I holstered my knife. I had only one chance to grab that ramp. Relieved, my hands grasped on the ramp. The downside, however, was the Pilot was closing the ramp. Using it to my advantage, I hoisted one leg up over the threshold. Once the ramp had lifted enough, all I had to do was slide down and into the troop bay.

    Standing, she quickly wrapped her arms around me. I could feel the warmth of her tears running down my shirt, as I pat her on the back.

    "Thank you." she sobbed. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

    "I wouldn't thank him yet, lady." I heard the hammer of a pistol clicking into place. "You forget where you are."

    "Shoot me, then." I said, placing her behind me. "I'm the man you want. She's done nothing."

    "Heroics." the man hissed. "Pathetic."

    "You're not my first choice for a villain either, point-dexter." I growled, the man subconsciously situating the glasses on his nose.

    "Being a smart ass is a good way to be shot, kid." he cracked his neck. "I'm not those barbarians on the ground, my people want your alive, those rogue fools down there want you dead."

    "Pretty funny, considering you just tried to kill me by shooting the Elevator!" I spat.

    "If you remember, I shot beneath the Elevator. I was hoping to stall it. In the end, I guess it worked out well for me."

    "Who are 'your people' anyways?"

    "ONI, of course." he chuckled.

    "And those two spy types down there?"

    "Rogues from the Office. They are old ONI, wanting to follow the ways of life back in the time of the Great War." the man shook his head. "Foolish Neanderthals, they fear a great Galactic danger. They split from us, planning to destroy all evidence of their time as ONI."

    "So what exactly does your ONI gain by taking me in?"

    "We protect you from these Rogues, and those morons at the helm of the UNSC. We plan to keep the people ignorant of the Great War, because this is a time of peace and order. We do not have time for trivial thoughts of doomsday and anarchy."

    "Why me, though?" I asked. "Because of my relation to Blaine Harlowe?"

    "Spartan 115 was a very curious man. He stood for neither order, nor anarchy." the man replied, his pistol still held firm. "He knew that without a 'balance' it would be the end of days for Humanity. Your ancestor was a fool."

    "He was a hero, and you deny the people the right to know him and his colleague's stories."

    "Ignorance is bliss, Ignorance is Order."

    "You mean Control!" I spat. "You seek utter Control of the people."

    The man sighed, before holding the pistol to my forehead.

    "Can't say I didn't try to bring you in alive." he clicked his tongue to the roof of his mouth. "I think you would've been a valuable asset to the Office."

    Batting the pistol away, everyone flinched at the sound of a gunshot in an enclosed space. I felt something hot strike my left shoulder, but I didn't care. Grasping the base of the pistol, I stomped my right foot into his shin. The man flinched, swinging a nasty left jab into my chin.  Holding the pistol up, I watched as Aurora kicked the back of his legs. In his pain, his aim was brought up, and yet again, we all flinched from the sound.

    Unsheathing my knife, I stabbed it deep into his right wrist, twisting. Roaring in pain, the man dropped his piece onto the floor. Growling, he back handed me in the nose. I felt blood trickle down over my mouth, but I couldn't stop. He swung again, this time, I caught his fist. Squeezing, my eyes stared deep into his, as I could hear the sound of his knuckles popping.

    Throwing his fist to the side, I pitched my head forward, smashing my forehead against the bridge of his nose. He stumbled backwards, as I pulled my knife from his wrist. Kicking him in the ribs, my left fist lashed out, slamming him in the side of the head. Swinging my knife wildly, I slashed him across his chest. He grabbed at the wound, kicking me in the chest.

    Aurora yelled, swinging what appeared to be a medkit across his face. The man stood back, stunned, as I approached again. Smashing my right fist across his cheek, I slashed on my way back, a giant gash forming on his right cheek, all the way across his nose to his other cheek.

    Pinning him to the wall with my left arm, I stuck my knife into his throat, dead center. Glaring at him, I twisted, his eyes widening with horror and pain. A sickening gargling noise echoed out of his mouth, his eyes rolling back into his skull. Falling limp, Aurora screamed in fright.

    Flicking the blood off of the knife, I stuck it back into my holster. God I felt like shit, not because I killed the bastard, but the beating I took last night, today, and the lack of sleep was finally catching up to me. Pressing the button on the wall, to my right, I dragged his body to the ramp. When it opened, I planted a boot on his shoulder, and kicked him out.

    Pressing the button again, I winced as my left shoulder began to feel as if it was on fire. Looking over, I could see an insane amount of blood oozing out of my shoulder.

    "No shit." I chuckled, feeling faint.

    "Oh no!" she said, opening the medkit. "I've never treated a bullet wound before, but... did it go all the way through?"

    "I, grr, I dunno." I winced, trying to move my shoulder.

    She walked over, glancing at the back of my shoulder. Lifting my shirt over my head, she sighed in relief.

    "Good news, the bullet went all the way through." she said. "So this should be pretty easy. It'll hurt, a lot, but it should work until I have the time to properly suture it."

    I clenched my fist as I heard a hissing in my left ear. Was that bio-foam? That stuff had stopped being manufactured centuries ago! Modern medicine had made bio-foam almost completely obsolete. However, in this moment, the instant numbification was all I could ask for.

    "I just thought..." Aurora said. "Whose Piloting this thing?"

    My eyes widened, as I hurried over towards the cock-pit. To my relief, the Pelican was not moving upwards, nor was it moving downwards. I glanced over the console, taking note that the auto-pilot was on. However, due to the lack of a destination, it wasn't moving.

    I turned to the console to my right, using only my right hand to type directions to the station above us. Epsilon Station was a station formed after the Great War as a super advanced orbital defense platform. I didn't know the specifics, due to my civilian status. However, I had heard about it on the news a few years back.

    The Space Elevator was attached to Epsilon Station, which also doubled as a junction for ships travelling abroad to board people. A transit station of sorts. With my directions, the Pelican began to raise, floating up and through the atmosphere.

    "Wait a second, Pelicans aren't rated for space travel!" Aurora said.

    "Thankfully for us, this isn't a Pelican." I said, pointing towards the console. "It's a Golden Eagle. More advanced, and actually rated for Slip-space travel."

    "You know how to pilot these things?" she asked.

    "Not a damn clue. The one I piloted earlier, I had that AI help me with." I said. "Perhaps Grant would be better suited for this, he loves to play video games with vehicles."

    "So, how are we going to land, let alone pick the others up?" she asked. "This is an ONI ship. It's probably being tracked."

    "That's why we're ditching it once we get out of system." I said. "Scary thing is, I have no idea where we need to go next."

    "Anywhere but here is a good start." she smiled. "Archie, was it? Thank you. I can't say it enough, but thank you."

    "I got you mixed into this." I shook my head. "How you can't hate me right now, confuses me more than anything we're dealing with right now."

    "It's an adventure." she placed a hand on my shoulder. "I've always loved history, and this trip has already taught me more than any ONI approved literature ever could or would."

    "Sure, I could do less with the shooting and falling through the air nonsense." she chuckled. "-but you've saved me, every step of the way."

    I smiled, as I felt her gently plant a kiss on my cheek, before climbing up to the second seat above me. The Golden Eagle shifted it's course, slowing to a suitable landing speed. I saw Grant and Jessica standing there, confused and anxious. Once they saw the Golden Eagle, however, they froze. I stepped into the back, waving them in.

    "C'mon!" I yelled, as they looked amongst each other, before trotting over.

    "Arch?!" Grant said, wrapping his arms around me. "You jacked a Pelican dude?!"

    "It's actually a Golden Eagle." I said, rubbing the back of my head. "I guess you could say I jacked it."

    "Is it safe?" Jessica asked, peering in.

    "Unless Aurora's not telling us something, yes." I said, ushering them in.

    "Wait wait wait." Grant said, turning. "What's that?"

    Nonchalantly, he pointed to my left shoulder, I had since replaced my shirt, and the blood had soaked into the shirt.

    "You got fucking shot?!" Jessica said, wide eyed.

    "Yeah..." I said. "You should see the other guy."

    "No thanks." Grant said with a chuckle. "You piloting this thing?"

    "I figured you'd be more suitable. Reach has been my entire life, I don't know anything off world." I shrugged.

    "I've landed Pelicans in video games, dude." Grant said. "Real life is different."

    Walking to the cock-pit, I noticed Aurora had since moved from inside to the chair just beside the door. Jessica sat next to her, while Grant and I walked inside. Grant, taking notice of my condition, climbed to the top seat, while I sat in the other seat.

    "This is Epsilon Control, you have landed without permission. Identify yourselves immediately."

    I stared at the comm. with wide eyes. Pressing a button, I heard radio static.

    "My name is Drake Stratus." I said, shifting my eyes left and right. "Novice pilot, I was picking up my friends. Sorry for the inconvenience, I'm still learning the ropes."

    "Er, sure. Mr. Stratus. You're being asked to please leave the station immediately. Otherwise, you will be boarded by security, and whatever license you may possess will be taken, permanently."

    "Affirmative, Control." I said. "I was just on my way out."

    "Make sure you are. Happy flying."

    Sighing with relief, I put my hand on the stick. Activating the thrusters gently, I pulled back on the stick in front of me. The Golden Eagle lifted accordingly. Pulling back on the thruster to my right, I felt the Pelican begin to back up, a back up camera of sorts appearing in the display in front of me.

    Simultaneously, I tilted the stick to the left and right to turn the ship around mid descent. Grant chuckled, I must have looked nervous as hell. In truth, I was. I didn't know who I could trust, save the people in the Golden Eagle with me. One wrong move, and this adventure could end before it even began.

    "Slip-space compatible?" Grant asked, as I nodded. "Hey Jessica!"

    "Yeah?!"

    "Do you happen to know the coordinates for Io station?" Grant asked.

    "Um, it's a bit confusing." she said, poking her head in. "Let me see a console, I watched my mother type it in several times before."

    I leaned back, allowing her to access the console in front of me. She frowned, however, as the code blinked, claiming it to be invalid.

    "It's not working."

    "Mind if I have a shot?" Aurora asked, as Jessica backed off. "My father was a navigator for a UNSC ship years ago. He taught me how to use coordinates for Slip-space jumps."

    Typing a few commands into the console, we watched as a localized blue sphere formed just in front of our vessel. When it reached it's maximum size, Aurora pushed the throttle forwards, jetting us into Slip-space.

    Standing from the chair, I allowed Aurora to take the helm. She knew what she was doing when it came to navigation, and I knew Grant was just afraid to try. Stumbling into the back, I felt Jessica's hand gingerly fall on my shoulder.

    "Hey?" she asked, her voice suddenly muffled. "You okay?"

    My vision became blurry, I stumbled for a seat, any seat. Darkness formed on the edges of my vision, I felt my muscles betraying me, sapped of all their energy. The last thing I saw, was the cold, hard metal of the floor. Then, blackness.


    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on November 6th 2015, 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 6th 2015, 1:50 am

    I_IRONMAN_I wrote:You wanna what's the perfect hashtag for this story?

    #HunttheTruth

    This story's already more riveting than Halo 5's!

    Impanther wrote:I think he based it on Hunt The Truth.

    Hunt the Truth was definitely an inspiration to this story. However, I assure you that this is not just going to be a ONI vs. the Protagonist story. This is just scratching the surface of what I have planned.

    The latest chapter, assuming you've read it *this was posted after I posted my latest, obviously* might hint a bit more at the plot.

    Thanks for reading, as always!


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    Manny
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Manny on November 6th 2015, 3:14 pm

    So I just caught up with this.

    For starters, I am also glad that other people are reading your stories. I know that feeling of elation when you see someone has posted in your story thread. I was starting to fear you were going to lose that excitement after seeing my name countless times.

    ANYWAYS, I like this. I personally think you write first person better than third person. Perhaps because you focus on very emotional themes (e.g. family, friendship, etc), and these things might be easier to portray from a first person point of view. After all, we experience these things from a first person point of view in our daily lives.

    As for the plot itself... it seems pretty solid. ONI is pretty shady, so I can see them trying to execute people. No real huge plot plot or massive questions that need to be answered... with the exception of two.

    How do you hide the explosion of an apartment complex? I know it happened during the night, before they saw Aurora, but it's something to think about later on. Covering it up as something else (e.g. terrorist attack, gas leak, etc) might be better than totally "hiding" it.

    Secondly... why does ONI want the world to forget the Great War? It's good propaganda for the military, and would give the UEG good reason to not cut back on military funding if they feel that the could be threatened at any time. Canada, Costa Rica, and Switzerland are all peaceful countries in very different locations. All of them have pretty small militaries because they have no large scale conflicts. Would a military organization want to promote peace, or a state of readiness?

    Fascism was very much about "order". They did this be uniting people against some kind of common enemy and emphasizing the similarities among citizens (i.e. national identity). Keeping Humanity ignorant of the Covenant could set us back to a pre-contact mindset... where all we have to fight is ourselves. Just food for thought. Then again... that new ONI fellow could be sorely mistaken and not have thought any of this through.
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 6th 2015, 3:49 pm

    Manny wrote:So I just caught up with this.

    For starters, I am also glad that other people are reading your stories. I know that feeling of elation when you see someone has posted in your story thread. I was starting to fear you were going to lose that excitement after seeing my name countless times.

    Don't get me wrong, just having one person posting is still better than none. I wouldn't have been sick of seeing your name, 'cause at least it proved SOMEONE was reading Very Happy .

    Manny wrote: ANYWAYS, I like this. I personally think you write first person better than third person. Perhaps because you focus on very emotional themes (e.g. family, friendship, etc), and these things might be easier to portray from a first person point of view. After all, we experience these things from a first person point of view in our daily lives.

    I've always been told my first person has been so much better than the third. Which is funny, considering I always feel strange writing in the first. It's not an unpleasant phenomenon, just unusual.

    Is... is this feeling? Razz

    Manny wrote:
    How do you hide the explosion of an apartment complex? I know it happened during the night, before they saw Aurora, but it's something to think about later on. Covering it up as something else (e.g. terrorist attack, gas leak, etc) might be better than totally "hiding" it.

    That was actually going to be touched on in the next installment. I won't say exactly what, but this isn't just a 'disappearing act'. My characters were just too focused on not getting killed that they didn't bother to listen fully to the news.

    Manny wrote:Secondly... why does ONI want the world to forget the Great War? It's good propaganda for the military, and would give the UEG good reason to not cut back on military funding if they feel that the could be threatened at any time. Canada, Costa Rica, and Switzerland are all peaceful countries in very different locations. All of them have pretty small militaries because they have no large scale conflicts. Would a military organization want to promote peace, or a state of readiness?

    As you may have read, this is a VERY different ONI than we've seen in the past. The spies that are chasing the Protagonists are the ONI we've seen. They don't want to forget the Great War, but they don't want ONI's biggest, darkest secret out either. There might be something extra there too.

    The new ONI in this story has a different motive, and funding from the UEG is not their concern, that much I'll share.

    Thank you for your constant support and feedback.


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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 6th 2015, 8:59 pm

    Awesome chapter, once more!

    Although...
    Unsheathing my pistol, I stabbed it deep into his right wrist, twisting. Roaring in pain, the man dropped his piece onto the floor.

    Unless it's a Knifstol, I'm sure a pistol isn't supposed to do that. Razz
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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on November 7th 2015, 12:14 am

    I groaned, grasping my forehead. My head felt like someone had taken a rail-road pike and drove it in with a jackhammer. Gritting my teeth, it took all of my strength to stand. Rubbing the bridge of my nose, I winced.

    My face was extremely sore, so sore that I had nearly forgotten the sensation of wetness across my back. Removing my hand, my eyes focused into the dark, night ambiance. To my right, I could hear the plodding of water, someone was walking towards me.

    "What are you doing out here?" a feminine voice asked. "What were you just doing in the water?"

    "Don't worry about me." I coughed, but my voice was not my own. "No-one else seems to."

    "What do you mean?" she asked. "I've already proved you wrong!"

    My eyes widened, without my instruction to do so. I glanced down at the water, a squarish face staring back at me. Brown stubble worked it's way along my jawline, a pair of icy blue eyes staring back at me. This wasn't my face.

    "What's your name?" she asked, as I continued to stare at the water.

    Like that, time seemed to freeze, and I was removed from the body I had previously inhabited. Glancing downwards, I noticed that I was, in fact, in my actual body.

    "Morgan." the body I once occupied said, staring at his reflection.

    "From the ocean." the girl smirked, placing a hand on her hip. "Gaelic in origin. A great name. I'm Sonya."

    Morgan stood, trudging through the water to the grass. She walked alongside him, going so far as to pull her shoes and socks off. Morgan sat in the grass, while she joined him. I walked over, but it was apparent to me that they weren't going to notice me.

    "What happened to your face?" she asked, frowning.

    "I got jumped by some people I thought were my friends." Morgan said, gritting his teeth.

    "That's terrible?" she said. "Did they throw you into the lake?"

    "No." Morgan said, his eyes casting down to the earth beneath his feet. "I did that."

    I flinched as I felt a hand land on my shoulder. Turning my attention to the other person, I noticed the same man sitting before me, only now he was beside me.

    "Not my proudest moment." he shook his head. "I was at my lowest when this happened. My friend had taken the one person I cared for from me. When I called him on it..."

    I heard his knuckles crack, his spare hand clenching into a fist.

    "Who are you, why am I here?" I asked, as he smirked.

    "I'm Morgan, weren't you listening?" Morgan chuckled. "My friends, my real friends, call me Shadow."

    "Still doesn't answer why I'm here..." I grumbled, before shrugging him off. "I didn't die, did I?!"

    "If you were dead, you wouldn't be experiencing visions of someone else." Morgan smirked. "No, you're here to have an epiphany."

    I rolled my eyes, as he snapped his fingers, staring at me with a sudden coldness I couldn't comprehend.

    "I'm serious. You're not in a good sort, and you need to have this epiphany before you can wake back up." Morgan stepped at me, his finger prodding my chest. "My life, prior to this scene, had been devoid of much meaning."

    "I woke up on the daily, feeling worthless, alone, and ignored." Morgan said, holding his open hand towards his frozen, sitting form. "I only had one light in the dark back then, one release."

    "She was taken from me, by someone I trusted dearly." I watched his eyes slowly sink. "He took her to the City."

    "Women aren't property, dude." I told him, and I could swear smoke rose from his ears.

    "I REALIZE this." he growled, marching at me. "I didn't think of her like a possession. When he whisked her away, my contact with her was completely forbidden."

    "When he returned to our hometown for a week, I wanted to discuss it with him. I ended up with two black eyes, and my will to live lower than the stones at the bottom of this lake." Morgan pointed towards the water. "Then this kind lady came along, and told me something I would never forget."

    "It doesn't matter who or what you are." Sonya smiled, seemingly resuming. "You matter to someone. It may not be seen publically, but deep down, somewhere, someone cares about you."

    "If you died. Think of everyone you think hate you. Would they mourn for you? Could you possibly have wronged them so badly that they wouldn't miss you?" she continued. "I have a friend from this town. He was in the Drama Club with you."

    "Yeah, what about him?"

    "He meets people every day, asking him if he knows you outside of Drama Club. People that want to see you, people that care about you and your future." she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Life is like a book. If something doesn't go write in one chapter, it's time to try again in a new chapter."

    "What I mean to say is, if someone or something caused you problems now. Try your hardest to avoid people or events like that to make your future better." Sonya beamed, rubbing his back. "He told me about your love of writing. You have the power to change your life."

    "Also." she pointed at him. "Don't wait for help to come. No matter how much of a super hero you think you are, don't go it alone. Life is about togetherness. What's the point of living if you're always going alone, with no-one to share it with?"

    "I get the feeling that you're the kind of guy who would sacrifice your life to save another. That's fine, it's a noble trait to have; but don't be so stoic as to refuse someone else's help."

    The Morgan standing behind me removed his hand from my shoulder, walking away from the scene. Naturally, being the only guy that I could interact with, I followed him.

    "In most of my writing, I've always had the main character saving a damsel in distress." Morgan said, arms behind his back. "It was the stoic, super hero style persona I gave myself. On this day, I was the one that was saved."

    "While I was still alone, while I still felt worthless and ignored, I used my imagination to believe that somewhere out there, I was known, and I was worth someone's time." Morgan smiled. "Shortly after this, Sonya left for college. We still talked, but as time went on, she found a boyfriend, and I'm still alone."

    I frowned for a bit. Everything about the place I was standing at seemed... out of time. What I mean to say, is that there weren't Pelicans in the sky. As I walked alongside Morgan, I even saw a strange vehicle that kind of resembled an old model Warthog.

    "What year is it?" I asked. "This vision, I mean."

    "It's irrelevant to your epiphany." Morgan sighed. "The year this event took place, was 2013."

    2013?! That was nearly a thousand years ago! Why was my visions brought to this time? Who was this guy, and why was it connected.

    "I know what you're thinking." Morgan stopped, turning to me. "I know it, because I- nevermind. It's a long story. I'll tell you what, if you can give me an idea of what your epiphany is supposed to be, I'll give you part of an answer."

    "Don't let go of the ones you care about?" I asked, as he shrugged.

    "That's part of it, I suppose." Morgan smirked. "Blaine Harlowe, the man you're seeking, is related to me."

    Wait... how did this guy know Blaine, if Blaine didn't exist until 2552?

    "Genealogically speaking, he's about the same level of relatedness to me, as you are to him. About four generations? Perhaps more?" Morgan put his arms behind his back. "In that, we have a common relation."

    "So how am I here, living in your memories?" I asked.

    "Uh uh uh!" he waggled a finger at me. "Give your epiphany another guess."

    Shaking my head in disbelief, I couldn't believe it. Usually, Epiphany's were quizzes formed from the mind, not quizzes from an ancestor you're not even remotely related to.

    "Keep you mind clear of all distractions? Or more people will be hurt?" I asked, as he shrugged.

    "Closer. Though it's still not it." Morgan said. "You're here in my memories, because we're linked genetically. You ever play Assassin's Creed? They explained it perfectly."

    "Yeah, I did." I pondered it. "Blaine is more than that, isn't he?"

    "He's a figment of my imagination." Morgan chuckled. "A future me, someone I aspire to be. From my time, I can't possibly see the future, but my generation always looked to the stars. In fact, we cursed ourselves. We were too late to explore Earth, but much too early to explore Space."

    I couldn't possibly fathom the thought of being on Earth prior to having space travel. What was life back then? To be stranded on a Planet, with that many people? It must have been tense.

    "Time is limited." Morgan said. "You need to guess."

    "Family matters. Family isn't measured by the blood in your vein, it's who you choose to interact with. Do everything for the people you care about, but also don't forget to allow them to help you when you need it?"

    Morgan grinned, placing a hand on my shoulder. His eyes cast to the lake, his eyes uncertain.

    "I've written numerous different futures for the characters of my stories." Morgan kept his eyes on the lake. "Seen many different paths for them to take. The future is uncertain, but that's what makes it an adventure, no?"

    "Some parting advice, friend?" Morgan said, as I glanced at his eyes. "Don't ever let them go, you got that? Your friends? That chick you met? Also, you're no good to them dead, so don't be stupid."

    Turning, I saw a blinding white light. It looked completely foreign to the area, like a portal to somewhere else. Walking towards it, I turned back, Morgan was gone. However, him and the young woman accompanying him still sat at the beach of the lake, just talking.

    Turning my attention back to the portal, I slowly walked towards it. When I got within range of it, it flashed. There was only whiteness, Morgan's voice echoing throughout the void.

    "Vermont...."

    I gasped for air, sitting up. My vision was blurry, and I could feel a pair of hands wrapped around both of my arms, dragging me across the floor. My head was spinning, and my vision continued to fade in and out.

    "Get... him... Arch-..." I heard the muffled voices of my friends say.

    Why was I being dragged, did something happen while I was out? There was a sharp pain in my right cheek, and I felt my head turn to the left. It still wasn't enough to pull me out of my trance.

    "Who... you?" I heard in my right ear.

    "Friend..." a silhouette stepped in front of me. "Doesn't... good... I.... help."

    Attempting my hardest to look upwards, just the motion made me uneasy. What the hell was going on with me? I could move, but only slightly. Every motion sent my muscles aflame, they protested. My vision would not clear, and the noises around me echoed, yet were muffled.

    "Archie!" I heard one of them call out, before I blacked out once more.

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

    When I next came to, I could feel softness beneath my arms, and my head. I stretched, rubbing my face. In my stretch, I felt my hand brush up against something to my right. Shaking my head, to waken myself, I smacked my lips. Opening my eyes, I was surprised to find that I was in a bedroom of sorts.

    Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I took a moment to scan my surroundings. Glancing to my right, I could see what my hand had brushed up against. Sitting next to the bed in a comfy looking chair was Aurora. She seemed to have sunk into the chair, her head rested on her shoulder.

    Smiling, I quietly pulled myself off of the bed. Turning towards her, I pulled the comforter off of the bed, gently draping it over her. Once that was finished, I made for the door. Standing before it, the door hissed open,  and I stepped out. Hanging on the wall beside me was the holster and the knife.

    The hallway in front of me was vaguely familiar, not so in the fact that I had been here before, moreso that I had seen it somewhere. Thinking further into it, I realized this was a luxury yacht. A ship developed for inter-space travel for some incredibly rich folks. Walking forward, I saw a door to my right. It slid open as I passed, Jessica sleeping in a bed as well.

    Sitting next to her was Grant, who looked up in time to see me. His eyes flickered with life, as he quickly stood. His motions, however, had woken Jessica, who slowly sat up.

    "Whuh?" she mumbled, rubbing her eyes. "What's going on?"

    "He's up, boo!" Grant bellowed, running over towards me.

    Suddenly, his arms were around me, and he practically lifted me off of my feet. Grunting as he did so, he placed me back down.

    "You had us all scared, bro!" Grant said. "The hell you think you're doing, passing out from exhaustion?"

    "That's it?" I stammered. "That's what happened?"

    "Yeah dude. We jumped into slip-space, and you fell like a sack of bricks. Broke your damn nose." Grant chuckled. "We made it to Io, but we also knew that Golden Eagle was made. So Aurora and I dragged you as far away as we could."

    "Okay. How'd we get in this luxury yacht, then?" I said, my eyes widening. "The chip, do you have it?"

    "Yes." Grant nodded, pointing to a hidden compartment in his jacket. "I'll explain how we got here in a second, but there's something you should know."

    He placed a hand on my shoulder, looking me in the eyes.

    "Alyssa was found killed in her basement. ONI is trying to cover up our Apartments and CASTLE Base. They listed her as the main suspect."

    My fists clenched, as he bowed his head. My parents had died at a young age, and I went into foster care, opting to keep my name. I have an idea that Alyssa, being one of my few remaining family members, had been watching out for me. I couldn't even offer her it in return.

    "I'll kill those damn spies." I growled, fire building in my chest. "I'll spread them from one corner of this Universe to the next. Then THEIR allies can go on a blind hunt trying to pick up THEIR pieces."

    "I like the way this one thinks." I heard from my left, a man towered over me. "So this is the descendant of Blaine Harlowe?"

    "Yeah." I nodded. "How'd you know him?"

    "Let's say... I have my sources." the man chuckled. "I'll be happy to introduce myself later, but when I heard that you were awake, I wondered if you had a moment?"

    I turned my attention to Grant and Jessica, who nodded. Turning to the man, I nodded my head. Placing his massive hand behind my back, he urged me forward, to the door at the end of the hall.

    "I am aware of your mission. ONI has been going nuts ever since you killed that Renegade member." the man said. "The Great War is not an event that should ever be forgotten. It's entirety was ghastly, and should be viewed as a reminder of Humanity's most impressive moment."

    "You're not ONI, are you?" I asked, as he bellowed with rare laughter.

    "Heavens no. My organization once jointed with the Office of old, but once the Office turned itself on Humanity's best interests, and started focusing more heavily on it's own, I pulled my organization at once."

    Before me was the controls for the yacht around us. One man, with pale skin sat behind the controls, grumbling as he did so.

    "This man is Daniel Krieg." the man gestured with his open hand. "He is one of my top generals."

    The man's hand replaced itself on my back, as we approached Mr. Krieg. The man was unfazed by our arrival, continuing to steer the ship, even though we were deep in Slip-space.

    "You will tell Daniel where it is you need to go. For the remainder of this mission, he, and this ship, will be your base of operations." the man said from beside me. "Consider it an act of good faith, from me to your family."

    "Why are you doing this?" I asked, as the man, whose face remained solid, nodded curtly.

    "I have a lot of respect for Blaine Harlowe and his work. Though he and I butt heads quite a lot, I will admit that his unique charisma rivaled my own."

    This man had met Blaine? How could that have been possible? Sure, he looked like he was in his mid fifties at best, but he wasn't THAT old, was he?

    "You just get out of cryo-tube?"

    "It's classified." the man snapped, yet his face remained unfazed. "If you know where you are headed, tell Daniel now."

    I thought for a moment, back to the dream I had just woken up from. I remembered the lake, the trees. How it seemed to be completely isolated, like a small town area in the forest. His voice echoed through my thoughts.

    Vermont....

    "Vermont. Wherever that is?"

    "Quaint little patch of land." the man said. "I've always meant to try 'skiing' there. You'd better get cozy, child, we're headed for Earth."

    "My name is Archie. Archie Branson." I said, offering a hand, as he took it.

    "Walter." he grinned, and I could swear I saw his eyes faintly glow read. "Walter A. Law."

    Urgent Author's Notes:

    This one is short, but there are a few things I'm going to share with you right now. So please hold off on commenting until you've read this!

    1. Yes, the woman I was referencing in the flashback was Katie.

    2. Yes, I did confront my friend, who ended up sweeping her off of her feet, even though he knew full well I had feelings for her.

    3. Yes, I actually did get into a fist fight with him and his other friends as a result. I wanted to talk peacefully, he decided he couldn't talk to me like a man, and gathered some friends. I still put a pretty damn good fight though.

    4. NO, I did NOT actually attempt on my life in a lake. That was just something for the story. Never once have I ever had the thought to take my life, nor will I ever *I hope*!

    5. I have moments where I'm sad and feel worthless and hopeless. Do not misconstrue this as depression. The feeling has died down considerably over the past couple of years.

    6. Sonya really did meet me at the local lake gathering spot, and we did speak the night I was beaten by my 'friend' and his thugs. She and I do talk occasionally, but she has a boyfriend, so I try to keep it to a minimum so he can sleep happily.

    7. This was not a pity post, so I don't want pity in the comments, if you were planning on posting it. It's actually relevant to the story, later on.

    With all that said and out of the way. Yes, Walter A. Law is a part of this story, and with him comes his Legion. Daniel, if you didn't realize already, is Death. Unlike Panther's rendition of our frail, pale little friend, he will NOT be useless in this story.

    What does Walter, a business man, plan to get out of helping Archie and the others? Only time will tell. What will the Protagonists find in my home state? Perhaps another clue? Or will they find their fates?

    Thanks again for reading and your constant support. The more you guys post, the more inspired I am!


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    I_IRONMAN_I

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-02-21
    Age : 21
    Location : Stark Tower

    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

    Post  I_IRONMAN_I on November 7th 2015, 12:33 am

    Walter A. LLAAAWW
    Been waiting for the day Death can be Death.

    Good job on the first half by the way, and thanks for relieving my concerns with the author's notes.

    Overall, 10/10, would read again and again!

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    Re: Whispers in the Dark.

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