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

    What binds us...


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    Post  Maxim_O'Donnovan on January 21st 2016, 11:24 pm

    [The story I want to write for the board is still in it'd development cycle. However, because I want to stretch my writing out and warm up a bit, I decided to write this short story. It'll only be a couple of installments long, but hopefully should help you understand what kind of author I am.

    I really hope you enjoy!

    "Now I lay me down to sleep-" Joseph's voice whispered in the dark.

    It had been a very quiet day on the UNSC Infinity. Besides the daily routine of all Spartan recruits, nothing was really different from when Brent was an ODST. It was all PT runs at dawn and dusk, fitness exercises in the Gym, and having a superior breathing down their neck the entire time. For Brent, however, this was easy. Being an ODST, that was a challenge.

    Smoke would fill your nostrils, the whining of Plasma bolts racing through the air around you. You didn't have any fancy armor, just you; your MA5, and the support of your teammates. Admiral Harlowe had mentioned that the Spartans in Brent's regiment were like a brotherhood. He knew nothing of brotherhood, not like Brent. Orbital Drop Shock Troopers were a brotherhood. They died for each other.

    Spartans? They didn't die for each other, no, they mocked the ODSTs with their supposed 'superior reflexes', or their 'superior combat skills'. ODSTs knew how to fight, and they were the best of the god damned best. If someone was going to die, they always made sure that the others made it out alive.

    "What the hell are you saying, Watterson?" Brent muttered, turning in his cot to the man across from him.

    "A nightly prayer." Joseph turned to face Brent, his winning smile visible in the otherwise blackness of the room.

    Brent had to hand it to Joseph, the kid had balls. He had been transferred onto Brent's ODST team towards the end of the Covenant-Human War in 2552. Greener than grass into the ODST ranks, he was a very quick learner. However, there was a lot that Joseph had yet to learn. Especially if he was going to be a Spartan IV.

    "Why are you saying a prayer?" Brent sighed, turning his back to Joseph.

    "I would like the Lord to give me good luck in the days ahead, so I pray." Joseph said, his voice full of confidence.

    "That's a silly prospect kid." Brent scoffed, waving off Joseph's carefree attitude. "God won't save you, me, or anyone. When we're on the battlefield, the only 'salvation' we're getting is in the form of bullets in our magazines, and our enemies full of lead."

    At the young age of twenty-three, Joseph was just about as innocent as a puppy. Despite all the combat he had seen, he was always seen with his hand wrapped around the rosarie on his neck. Brent, of course, could remember a time where he believed in the prospect of a higher being.


    August 25th, 2516
    New Alexandria, Espoz, Reach

    "C'mon son, eat your oatmeal." Brent's father smiled, crunching down on his toast.

    At first, Brent could never understand why his father enjoyed his toast to be so black that it could snap. However, as time went on, he too had gained a strange affinity to the burnt toast. Frowning at his dad, he was pretty sick of oatmeal. It was the same routine every morning; wake up at oh-six-hundred hours, eat oatmeal and bananas by oh-seven-hundred hours, and go on a morning run.

    Today, however, had been different.

    "I'm sick of oatmeal." Brent said, pushing the bowl away from himself, crossing his arms.

    "*sigh*Buddy, if you don't eat the oatmeal, you won't grow up big and strong." his father said. "Big, strong men can catch fish really easily."

    At the word fish, Brent snapped directly to attention. His father was a soldier in the UNSC Marine Corps. There was little time when his dad was actually around, and the times that he was, they almost never did anything besides the usual schedule. Only very rarely did his dad ever take him fishing, or anything fun for that matter.

    Pulling the bowl over to him, Brent scarfed the remainder of the soupy, grain enriched meal, before dispatching the remnants of his banana in one fell swoop. With a chuckle, Brent's dad rustled the hair on the top of his head.

    "Atta boy!" his dad smirked, before hoisting him onto his shoulders. "Now, let's go catch us some bass, yeah?!"

    Brent cheered ecstatically, holding his arms out straight. Brent imitated the sounds of an air-plane, his father running about the room.

    Next thing Brent knew, they were on a boat off the shores of New Alexandria. His father looked ridiculous in that fishing cap, smiling cheekily at his son. Brent beamed, holding the pole in his hand with a fierce determination. It was pretty quiet on the water, all things considered. The occasional slapping sound of water tapping the sides of the boat was very relaxing to Brent.

    With little warning, the rod in Brent's hand jostled too and fro. Holding it tightly, he had never actually caught anything before. His father jumped into action, maneuvering himself behind his son.

    "Alright buddy, just give it a swift tug, then slowly reel her in." Brent did so, feeling an extra weight on the pole. "Atta boy, nice and easy now."

    Pulling his net out, Brent's dad held it out over the water in preparation. Brent leaned backwards, instinctively using the side of the boat to brace his feet. It was a game of tug of war, one he was intent on winning. With one last tug, Brent flew backwards in the boat, causing it to rock. The fishing pole in his hand clattered to his side, while the massive smallmouth bass flew gracefully through the air.

    Brent chuckled as his father stood quickly, catching the fish in his net. With a beaming smile on his face, his father placed the rather large scaly creature in the container behind him. Brent grinned from ear to ear, hearing the fish slosh around in the container.

    Beep... Beep... Beep.

    "Damn." his father muttered under his breath. "Yeah? Speaking, who else?"

    Brent was all to familiar to his father's 'beeping machine'. It meant that his work was calling, and he would disappear again for another few months, or even years. With his mother long since gone with the wind, Brent was forced to reside at the local orphanage.

    "I see. Yeah, I'll be there in the morning." Brent's dad sighed. "Tell the Sarge to keep his boots on- why?! I'm trying to spend the damn day with my son!"

    "Yeah! He just caught a friggin' whopper! Thing must weigh at least thirty, if not forty pounds." his father said. "Proud? That doesn't even begin to describe it! *Sigh* I'll ship out in the morning. The Innies can wait a damn minute."

    With a click, the cellphone clicked into a closed position. Looking down at it, his father's fists clenched around the cellular device, his knuckles turning white. In one swift motion, he threw the device into the ocean, before sitting there. Placing his head in his hands, Brent leaned forward, gently wrapping his arms around his father's neck.

    "You're leaving again, aren't you?" Brent asked, his father quivering in his grasp.

    "Yeah buddy. Duty calls." his father replied, placing a hand on his shoulder. "We still have the entire rest of the day together. Let's go get your picture taken with this monster, and then I'll treat you to some Moa Burgers and Ice-cream, deal?"

    Later in that day, Brent and his father walked down the boardwalk. Brent held the strawberry ice-cream up to his mouth, enjoying the frozen dairy treat. His father smirked at him, before staring at the setting sun in the distance. In his spare hand, his father held the picture of the two of them standing on the beach. The two of them held the since dead bass with a wide smile on both of their faces.

    Smiling at the photo, his father folded it into quarters, before placing it in the band of his hat. Taking the fishing cap off of his head, he placed it on Brent's head.

    "I want you to have this to remember me by." his father said. "I'll want it back, so you can give it to me when I return."


    September 21st, 2521
    New Alexandria Children's Orphanage
    New Alexandria, Espoz, Reach.

    Brent had been five years old when his father left him for the second time. Granted, he hadn't been aware of the first time, considering how he had only been one when he left. Since then, he had been a resident in the Orphanage. It was a pretty sad existence, considering how he had no chance of being adopted.

    "You're listed as a 'claimed child'." Mrs Agatha had said to him.

    Brent didn't really understand what that meant, other than he wasn't going to have any new parents. Not that he wanted any, he had waited five years for his dad to return, keeping his hat and picture safe after all of these years.

    "Isn't this sad?" one boy, Charlie, snorted.

    Brent watched as the others went back into their usual torment of Blaine. They would push him around, beat him, and spit on him whenever they got the inclination. Blaine was a ten year old, just like Brent, unlike Brent, however, Blaine had never met his father.

    "Your daddy left you here!" Charlie sneered. "Your daddy don't love you, Blen!"

    Blaine however, was a quiet kid. He usually sat in the corner of the orphanage, keeping to himself. As per the usual, however, the others decided to make trouble. Of course, they always waited until Mrs. Agatha left before they started, knowing that Mrs. Tasha would let them get away with it.

    "Stop it!" a young girl, Lucy, piped up. "Leave him alone for once!"

    "Oh, Lucy likes the tool!" Robert, one of Charlie's cronies, replied.

    Pulling down the skin below his right eye, he stuck his tongue out, before turning his attention back to Blaine. Brent couldn't believe them, those three were always jerks to Blaine. Potential adopters would see how rotten they were, and leave. It was no surprise why they were always so angry, however, he didn't know why Blaine was the target.

    "You two gonna kiss?" Charlie squared his shoulders up. "Maybe I like Lucy, you ever think of that?"

    "C'mon Brent!" Lucy turned to Brent. "You know what Blaine's going through, please help!"

    "Oh yeah!" Zach grinned maliciously. "I forgot about Brent, who doesn't get the hint!"

    Brent fiddled with the hat on his head, keeping to himself. Zach, however, made a motion towards him. Before he could continue too far, however, Blaine's arm lashed out and grasped him.

    "Leave him alone." Blaine warned. "You guys want to pick on him, pick on me."

    Zach turned on his heel, thrusting a mighty hook into Blaine's right cheek. Falling backwards, Blaine nursed the wound, as the three boys practically jumped on top of him. Brent fumed, Blaine had stood up for him, and here he was, being a wimp.

    Brent made a bee-line for Zach, kicking his boot up and into Zach's chin. The force behind the kick caused the boy to roll across the floor. Brent grasped Charlie by the scruff of his shirt, punching him across the fist. Charlie grabbed him by the throat. Coughing, Brent placed his hands on the inside of Charlie's grasp.

    With Charlie's forearm within reach, Brent bit down onto Charlie's flesh. Roaring with pain, Charlie recoiled. At that moment, Mrs. Agatha stormed into the room. The woman was kind, but very stern when it came to fighting. She stared at the two of them for a moment, before pulling Blaine and Brent into the storage room.

    "You two shouldn't be fighting-"

    "Charlie started it." Brent grumbled.

    "I know." Agatha smiled. "Still, I'm keeping you guys separated for now. I'll bring your pillows and blankets in, and you two can sleep in here tonight."


    "You're not being punished." Agatha rubbed her hand across their cheeks. "Charlie and his friends are pre-teens, and I don't trust you sleeping in the same room as them anymore."

    After she left, Blaine and Brent looked at each other. Brent rubbed the back of his head, as Blaine nodded with a smile.

    "Sorry I got you in trouble, Brent." Blaine said, sitting in front of a shelf.

    "Hey," Brent said. "Those jerks shouldn't be bullying you anyways. Their parents didn't want them either."

    "-I'm sorry." Brent stopped himself quickly. "That's not what I-"

    "My dad visits every year." Blaine said suddenly. "He fights bad people."

    "Yeah?" Brent asked. "Mine too."

    Sitting beside Blaine, Brent pulled the folded picture from his hat, before unfolding it. Blaine stared at the image, Brent and his father standing there with the bass, a pair of unbreakable smiles on their face.

    "We'll see them again some day." Blaine nodded, staring at the ceiling. "I believe it."

    "Yeah." Brent smiled, before yawning.

    Resting his head against the shelf, Brent closed his eyes.

    "Now I lay me down to sleep." Brent said. "I pray the Lord my soul to keep."

    "Should I die, before I wake." Brent continued. "I pray the Lord my soul to take."

    "What's that?" Blaine asked, turning to him.

    "It's a nightly prayer." Brent smiled. "My dad used to say it with me every night, bring us good luck."


    Present Day
    Spartan IV Quarters, UNSC Infinity

    It wasn't long after that day that Blaine fled the orphanage. Brent remembered there being a search party, and Charlie dying by Blaine's hand. Lucy was devastated, so Brent stayed with her. After many months, they had given up all hope in finding him. After eight years, neither of them were adopted. As legal adults, however, they weren't able to live there anymore.

    Lucy stayed to volunteer at the Orphanage, while Brent enlisted into the UNSC. His father never came back for him, but he was determined to find his father. Of course, it throttled him, when he was pulled aside in Basic.

    "Recruit, I have some bad news." his drill sergeant had said. "You're father, Travis J. Abrams, was killed in the line of duty today. He was stationed on Planet Harvest for the past thirteen years. He saved many lives, and the UNSC lost one of it's best. You're dismissed for the day. If you need anything, stop by my office. I'm sorry, son. "

    Ever since then, Brent had been rather cold. He had repeated that prayer nightly, hoping that one morning, he could wake up to his father again. They could eat their oatmeal and bananas, they could go for their PT runs.

    "Sarge?" Joseph asked, Brent's sobs filling the room. "Are you alright, sir?"

    "What?" Brent asked, before shaking his head. "I'm fine, continue your prayer if you must."

    "Now I lay me down to sleep," Joseph repeated. "I pray the Lord my soul to keep."

    "If I should live another day," Brent interrupted. "I pray the Lord to guide my way."

    "Amen." Joseph nodded. "Sir- do you have any regrets?"

    Brent scoffed for a moment, before glancing at the worn down fishing cap on the dresser beside his bed. Propped up against it was the folded image of a young boy and his father.

    "Are you a soldier or a priest?"

    "I did want to be an ordained minister, sir." Joseph replied meekly. "I suppose the Lord had something else in mind."

    "Yeah, kid." Brent sighed. "Too many to count. Most of them come from my days as a Marine, and an ODST. Remind me tomorrow during downtime. I'll be happy to discuss them then."

    "Lord as my witness though," Brent continued. "If you so much as treat it as a confession, I WILL strike you down with divine intervention."

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    Post  Maxim_O'Donnovan on January 21st 2016, 11:25 pm

    This will probably be a two or three part short story. I hope that the first part was interesting enough for you. Also, a huge thanks to Shad0wchas3r for giving me permission to use Blaine, and the Orphanage as a base for my character.
    Bad John
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    Post  Bad John on January 22nd 2016, 2:37 pm

    Good start. Crossovers and character cameos are a staple of this board, so you're certainly on the right track. Lol.

    I look forward to more, holmes.
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    Post  Manny on January 29th 2016, 11:47 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. I also liked the way you portrayed Brent and his dad, seemed pretty real and down to Earth. Sure, they could fit right into the 21rst century with their "American soldier" mannerisms (which I liked) but no one really knows how people in the future will act. It's not like Halo itself has done much in that regard.

    I look forward to more.

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