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    Origins: Reclamation

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 23rd 2016, 12:48 pm

    Author's Note:

    About to begin typing the next update for the story. While I work on it, however, I'd like to ask the readers a couple of questions. I know it's still a bit early on to tell, but here are the questions.

    From the limited time we've seen them, who is your favorite member of Orange Team?

    Blaine? Jorge? Katherine? Lorelei?

    I know I haven't delved too much into the latter two of Orange Team, which is something I'll be working on very soon. I'm just curious as to who you like the most on the team this early on in the story. Which leads to my next question.

    From the few occasions they've appeared, who is your favorite member of Cobalt Squad? Who is your least favorite?

    Morgan, Craig, Josh, Phil, Amber, or Richard?

    I don't expect many Amber or Richard answers, as they were very small roles in comparison to the remaining four members. Still, I felt they should be included.

    The answers you offer won't have any major impact on the story, so don't feel hesitant to say. I just am curious to know which characters you like to see.

    Thank you for reading, and I'm looking forward to seeing your answers.


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    Manny
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Manny on March 23rd 2016, 5:32 pm

    My favourite member so far has to be Blaine, mostly because he represents what I think a leader should acts like. One thing I'd like to address about female characters is that they always seem to giggle, and rarely do they simply laugh. Giggle, at least to me, gives off a high school girl vibe.

    My favourite member of Cobalt Squad is probably Craig. He seems pretty cool and collected, but he's got a twisted side to him (i.e. lying to Tasha's face and sending her to Midnight). All in all, he seems to most professional of the bunch.

    My least favourite member of Cobalt Squad is Josh, but mostly because of the way he acts. It's just that I don't like him as a person, not that he's poorly written.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 23rd 2016, 6:29 pm

    Manny wrote:My favourite member so far has to be Blaine, mostly because he represents what I think a leader should act like. One thing I'd like to address about female characters is that they always seem to giggle, and rarely do they simply laugh. Giggle, at least to me, gives off a high school girl vibe.

    My favourite member of Cobalt Squad is probably Craig. He seems pretty cool and collected, but he's got a twisted side to him (i.e. lying to Tasha's face and sending her to Midnight). All in all, he seems to most professional of the bunch.

    My least favourite member of Cobalt Squad is Josh, but mostly because of the way he acts. It's just that I don't like him as a person, not that he's poorly written.

    The giggling is mostly because of the fact that most of the females in this story are young still, but I'll definitely keep that in mind though for the future.

    Blaine is definitely my favorite member of Orange Team as well. This new concept I've given him just sits right with me. He feels more like a person and less like a side-show superhero. Doesn't mean he can't be an absolute badass, it just means he has to remember to become Clark Kent at the end of the day, unlike old Blaine.

    However, if I want to choose a NEW member of Orange Team as a favorite, it would probably be Lorelei. Katherine, although not a new character, has been in Blaine's past iteration stories before. Even though she's being revamped alongside him, I really like who I picture Lorelei to be in my head. Lorelei is probably the Phil of Orange Team, while Jorge is a severely toned down Josh in that he generally speaks his mind.

    Craig is definitely supposed to be the anchor for the crew. Morgan has the tactical brilliance and know how to get stuff done. Craig, on the other hand, is the group's primary strategist, and as such, also knows his way around people and places.

    He's what I consider to be the shining example of what an ONI spook should be. He's direct and compassionate towards his fellow Human. However, the moment you've reached the point of no return, Craig will not hesitate to place you in the ninth circle of hell. Tasha Lowry not only tortured and authorized the systematic harassment of his nephew, she was an Insurrectionist to boot, so he gave her what she deserved.

    He wasn't going to kill her outright, because he's not an animal. However, he was going to make her know just how badly she fucked up. So I agree with you, Craig is one of my favorite members on Cobalt Squad. Even though Morgan shares my namesake, the actions and personality I've given him don't resemble me in any fashion. I like Morgan as I've interpreted in this story however.

    He acts like a man who's lost everything. He does his duty because he needs something to keep him going.  It brings up the age old question; Who fights harder? A man with everything to lose? Or a man with nothing to lose, but wants to survive?

    As for Josh, I've decided to ramp up his nasty factor. Before, I made him a snob only to Blaine when they were in a team together. Now, I've decided that Josh is the sarcastic, overly proud, hot-tempered stereotypical ODST. He dislikes Spartans for taking his thunder, and he holds himself on a pedestal that he feels should make him God.

    The only redeeming quality I've decided to give Josh is the fact that he's as loyal as they come. Once he trusts you and treats you as one of his own, he'll follow you to the grave without question. Before Spartans, he was an ODST that you really didn't want to piss off.

    Anyways, thanks for answering the questions! The next update should be available soon. In the meanwhile, if you had any questions regarding the story, feel free to ask!


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 23rd 2016, 6:35 pm

    "I must admit Spartan, this is quite the mystery." Doctor Halsey shook her head.

    Her eyes scanned over the biological results on the monitor in front of her. Blaine and the others had noticed ever since augmentation, four months prior, that something was going on with Lorelei. The once chestnut haired girl had, as time went on, slowly grown silver hair in the place of her usual reddish-brown locks.

    Lorelei had suggested that she was fine, but Blaine insisted that she go to see Doctor Halsey. He wanted irrefutable proof that she was actually alright, and not sick. Sitting just on the other side of Halsey's desk, Lorelei sat straight in her chair, arms resting in her lap.

    "You're body is just as healthy as any of the other members of your team." Halsey mused, glancing over the report again. "On that, I can confirm that you are still combat ready, with no immediate health risks."

    "I told them I would be fine, ma'am." Lorelei spoke calmly. "They wouldn't believe me."

    "One-one-five is a good leader." Halsey replied. "He cares for each of you in his own unique way. I'm sure he wanted to make sure you were okay for certain."

    "Yes ma'am." Lorelei nodded. "What do you think it is, ma'am? Vitamin deficiency?"

    "No." Halsey shook her head. "You're B32 levels are at a normal range, and there is no sign of a deficiency anywhere. All your levels across the board are right in the perfect spot."

    "You said you started noticing this a few weeks post augmentation?" Halsey asked.

    "Yes ma'am." Lorelei sat straighter in her chair.

    "Than my only remaining guess would be that this was an unpredicted side effect of the augmentation. It's not stress induced aging, you look as young as ever, Spartan." Halsey placed a finger to her chin in thought. "Perhaps it's likely the same mutation that caused some of your fellow Spartan's eyes to turn blue, only it affected your hair. In any case, one-zero-two, I'll need a blood sample every week for the next couple of weeks, just so we can be certain."

    "Understood, ma'am." Lorelei stood, and with a salute, left the room.

    As she left, Katherine waited for her, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed.

    "How'd it go?" Katherine asked.

    "About as well as anyone could expect, I guess." Lorelei shrugged. "Doctor Halsey said that it wasn't any kind of indicator. She thinks it might just be the mutation that turned some of the other's eyes blue, except it stripped my hair of color."

    Katherine nodded, the two Spartans walked through the hallway together and back to their barracks. As Lorelei had figured, Blaine and Jorge weren't around when they returned. Clear of the public eye, she and Katherine took to removing the Mjolnir suits. Pulling her helmet off of her head, Lorelei glanced in the mirror. Surely enough, the short silver hair that had lead to the concern of the other members bobbed as she did so.

    Unlike some of her Spartan brethren, however, Lorelei's emerald green eyes had not been affected by the augmentation. Rolling her shoulders, Lorelei frowned. When they first brought it up, she hadn't been worried about it. She didn't feel any different.

    "We just care about you, Lorelei." Katherine smiled from the corner. "You hardly ever tell us when something's wrong, so we never know when you're good or not."

    "I'm sure Blaine knows it's nothing." Katherine continued. "He just- he worries for all of us, you know? If it was a health thing, and I don't think it is, he wants to be absolutely sure."

    Lorelei smiled a bit at the thought. She knew that they cared about her, but she didn't want them to have to worry about her. Even if she was rather outspoken.

    "Besides," Katherine approached. "I think it suits you. Silver hair and green eyes seems to fit you."

    That definitely helped raise Lorelei's mood. She feared that, if nothing else, people would mistaken her as old for the hair color. It was why she was really glad that she wore a helmet most of the time nowadays.

    "Speaking of Blaine." Katherine said. "Have you seen him anywhere?"

    "He wasn't at the gym?" Lorelei asked, as Katherine silently shook her head. "He didn't say anything to me. Halsey certainly doesn't have him."

    "Mendez." they both said, nearly in unison.

    It had been nearing afternoon Mess, and they knew that the Mess hall would be cleared in time for their lunch period. Together, Lorelei and Katherine left their barracks, and made their way to the Mess Hall. Surprisingly, neither of them could see Blaine or Jorge in the room.

    They grabbed their trays, headed down the line, and stood in the center of the room. In the corner of their eye, they could see Fred, Linda, and Kelly sitting not to far from them.

    "These seats taken?" Katherine asked, the three members of Blue Team turning to look at her.

    "Not at all." Kelly smiled. "Unless these two object?"

    Fred stoically shook his head, while Linda merely smiled. Katherine and Lorelei placed their trays down on the table, taking their seats. Katherine next to Fred, and Lorelei next to Kelly.

    "We weren't interrupting anything, were we?" Katherine asked, to which the other members of Blue Team shook their heads.

    "Nope." Fred replied. "Only curious as to what Squad Leader's up to. Mendez pulled him, Jorge, and Blaine aside for something."

    "A little transparency would be nice." Linda sighed, playing with the food on her tray.

    "That explains a lot. We hadn't seen Blaine or Jorge since our morning exercises." Katherine replied. "I wonder what's up."

    "I've got a good feeling we'll know when the time is right." Fred shrugged. "John and Blaine are good guys, they'll make sure we're informed."

    "Still, why Jorge?" Kelly asked. "Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy. I just don't know why he went as well. I get Squad Leader and Blaine, being the leaders and all."

    "Maybe Jorge is being recognized for something?" Lorelei spoke up. "Perhaps they think he's a rising leader too, like Fred or Kurt."

    "Thanks." Fred smirked. "Always nice to be appreciated every once in a while."

    Fred flinched as Kelly kicked him under the table.

    "Having fun?" Blaine asked, as the Spartans turned to face him, John, and Jorge.

    "We were wondering where you went, Blaine." Katherine smiled. "Is everything okay?"

    "Suit up, Spartans." John stepped forward, clenching his fists. "We're being deployed on Harvest."

    Katherine's eyes widened, they were going to her home planet. She stood swiftly, leaving her tray on the table. Blaine and Jorge had attempted to stop her, but she had gone in such a hurry. Lorelei slowly stood, taking her and Katherine's trays to the receptacle.

    "She's not going to be happy about this." Jorge sighed, turning to Blaine. "When she finds out it's just asset denial."

    "I know." Blaine shook his head.

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

    "Our mission is the same as it's always been." Blaine spoke through the comm. "While Blue Team goes behind enemy lines to defeat our enemies, we'll be the ones fighting the enemy head on."

    "Jorge, show them the feed."

    The Pelican that Orange Team had been committed to rumbled as it began to broke atmosphere. As it had been the first recorded Outer Colony to have Covenant presence, Blaine wasn't surprised at the ships attacking their vessel.

    Jorge nodded, passing a video recording to all of the members of Orange Team. It crackled to life in the corner of their visors, showing a grainy film of a bulbous purple ship descending into the capital city of Cornucopia.

    "At first, our superiors thought that the Covenant were only about the genocide of Humanity." Blaine continued. "As you can clearly see, they're looking for something. Whatever it is, it can't be good."

    "Our orders are to fight these Covenant on both ends. Blue Team from behind, while we attack from the front." Blaine cleared his throat. "We hold position for as long as we can until an extraction can be made. Whatever the Covenant is after, ONI wants it."

    "This is an extraction mission?" Katherine asked, her voice stern.

    "Yes." Blaine sighed. "We don't have much intelligence to go off of. Blue Team suggested that the Covenant's ground forces consist of little aliens, and bigger aliens."

    "Some of them have energy shielding, physically or all encompassing. So check your fire, and we'll all get through this."

    "Petty Officer, we've got five minutes until insertion. It's going to be hot. I see a building not too far away from the insertion point, suggest making your way there for cover."

    "Acknowledged." Blaine replied. "Any further questions?"

    When Orange Team shook their heads, they readied their weapons and grouped up behind Blaine. Blaine's fist struck the troop bay door's release mechanism, opening it up.

    "What are you doing?"

    "Buying you time, pilot." Blaine replied, before diving out of the back of the Pelican.

    The others in Orange Team followed suit, splaying their arms out to increase their wind resistance. Flipping in air, they put their feet down, the thrusters on the back of their suits activated, slowing their descent.

    Upon landing, a cloud of dust formed around the Spartans, before they stood. Blaine readied the MA5B in his hands, scoping the immediate area. Jorge took up the rear, scanning his assault rifle. Lorelei clutched the SMG in her hand, while Katherine held her shotgun at the ready.

    Above them, a smaller bulbous purple ship loomed above. The sounds of it's engines, which appeared to be located on the slender fins of the machine's frame, gave off an unpleasant wailing noise. It turned to face them, instead of focusing on the Pelican that floated away.

    Jorge, Blaine, and Lorelei focused fire on the Pelican, while Katherine pulled her pistol, shooting at it's engines. Energy shielding across the machine's hull seemed to absorb their bullets, before the aircraft returned it's own salvo of fire.

    The gun on the front of the craft whined, as a steady stream of blue spherical orbs rained down on them, alternating. The Spartans dove to the side, the orbs splashed against the concrete beneath them. Sizzling the concrete, the super heated metal proceeded to melt the road.

    "Weaponized plasma?" Lorelei asked.

    "Move to cover, go go go!" Blaine barked, pointing to the nearest sky-scraper.

    The four Spartans sprinted for the building, the whining of the plasma cannons on the front of the aircraft echoed behind them. The Spartans bobbed and weaved to make the targeting for the craft difficult. Lorelei was the first inside the double glass doors, followed by Katherine and Jorge.

    Blaine turned to take a few more pot shots at the aircraft. The fronts of the barrels on the aircraft were glowing white hot. Blaine was curious if they had overheated and needed to cool? Firing half of his clip into it's hull, the shielding finally popped. He mentally cheered, until the front of the two barrels glowed green. His eyes widened, they weren't cooling down, they were charging!

    "Down, now!" Blaine barked.

    Sprinting through the glass doors, Blaine and the other Spartans hit the deck, while a football sized glob of green plasma splashed where Blaine had just been standing. There was a massive explosion following, shattering the glass walls of the sky scraper they resided in.

    When the debris' finally came to a halt, the Spartans stood. Jorge brushed a sticky note off of his shoulder plate. The Spartans looked at one another to make sure that everyone was alright. When content, Blaine stepped out into the doorway. The vehicle had rounded back, and he knew that it was clearly going to make another pass.

    "It's coming back." Blaine said, taking notice at the shimmering shield on the machine. "It has recharging energy shields. Our arms just aren't penetrating."

    "Suggestions?" Blaine asked, turning to the others.

    "We should keep moving, move from building to building." Katherine said. "When it fires at us again, we take cover, when it rounds back, we run."

    "What about when we get to the extraction zone?" Jorge asked. "It's an outdoors museum. We'll be sitting ducks when we get there. We need to take it out."

    Out of the corner of Blaine's eye, he could see the aircraft on it's way back. Katherine and Jorge were both right. Running would only make the vehicle more likely to attack them and Blue Team during the extraction. However, if they didn't run, they were dead anyways.

    "Then we do both." Blaine resolved. "Lorelei, take your sniper to the second floor. Jorge, Katherine and I will run to the next building over. When we're in position, I need you to distract it as it's chasing the rest of us down."

    "Sir." Lorelei nodded, before sprinting to the nearby staircase.

    "You have a plan for this?" Jorge asked.

    "Trust me. It's risky, but it's our only shot." Blaine said, turning to the aircraft. "Cover, now!"

    The remaining three Spartans dove away as yet another of the green plasma bombs struck just inside the door. Recovering to their feet, the Spartans waited for the aircraft to turn around to make another pass. When it did, they bolted out the door and down the street.

    "Lorelei here, I'm clear and in position, sir."

    "Acknowledged. Don't fire until I give the signal."

    A green light flickered in his HUD, as the three of them crashed into the glass doors of the skyscraper down the road. Blaine pointed left and right to some support pillars they could use as cover. Jorge and Katherine nodded before sprinting to take cover behind them. Blaine bolted up the stairs, thanking the UEG for it's structural similarities.

    "It's inbound, sir. Jorge said. "Whatever plan you got, now is the time!"

    "Lorelei, fire at will." Blaine took a deep breath in.

    He could see the ship directly in front of him through the large glass window in front of him. It was focused on his two team-mates a floor beneath him. Clipping his assault rifle to his back, Blaine began to sprint in the direction of the aircraft.

    He watched as one of Lorelei's bullets struck the hull of the aircraft, shattering it's energy shield with a single shot. The pilot of the craft noticed as well, performing a tight turn to retaliate against Lorelei. Bounding off of his right foot, Blaine dove out of the glass window, just as the aircraft span beneath him.

    Landing on top of it, Blaine growled, using his right leg to kick at the right side engine of the machine. The metal of the aircraft's frame crunched, as he sent kick after kick into the small cylindrical engine. The aircraft beeped from beneath him, alerting the pilot of the damage he had inflicted on the engine.

    With the engine failing, the aircraft lacked proper stability and began to spin around uncontrollably. Bracing himself, the aircraft took a sudden nosedive. Producing a grenade from his pouch, Blaine pulled the pin with his thumb, before punching it into the metal of the aircraft.

    Jumping off, Blaine watched as the aircraft crashed into the nearest skyscraper, his grenade detonated, taking the pilot and the vehicle out of commission. Blaine slid across the concrete, trying to remain on his feet and stick the landing. When he finally came to a halt, he put his hands on his knees and took a moment to breath.

    Blaine began to chuckle, before breaking out into full blown laughter. The others met up with him, as Blaine continued to laugh heartily.

    "Hell yeah!" Blaine cheered, raising his fist in the air, before pointing at the wreckage. "That was for Sam!"

    Even if he was a soldier, Blaine couldn't help himself in moments of raw emotion. The adrenaline from his actions made everything exceptionally slow for him, and he couldn't help but celebrate it.

    "Sir." Lorelei tapped him on the shoulder. "That was pretty awesome."

    "It was reckless." Katherine shook her head. "-but I gotta admit, it was pretty sweet."

    Containing himself, Blaine pulled his assault rifle off of his back. Here they were in the middle of the street, gawking at the blue and purple fire dancing over the broken Covenant aircraft. Blaine quickly pulled a map of the local area up on his HUD.

    "Let's move, Orange Team." Blaine cleared his throat. "It's ten kilometers due north. Longer we take, the longer the Covenant have to take that artifact."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 24th 2016, 4:48 am

    The Spartans quickly took position behind a pair of concrete pillars. The open aired exhibit involving ancient ruins was directly in front of them. Blaine sneaked a quick peek at the opposition they were about to face. Several bipedal creatures stood towards the center of the exhibit.

    Their massive legs trailed down from their hips. Unlike a normal human leg, however, the midsection between the knee and their ankles bent backwards. Remembering his classes during Spartan training, the legs almost reminded him of a faun from Greek Mythology. The armor on it's body shined with a bright, glossy dark blue.

    Compared to the smaller creatures, who had stubby legs and giant cumbersome harnesses on their backs, the saurian creatures were monsters. Blaine, who stood at an impressive six foot nine inches in imperial measurements, actually felt small in comparison.

    Accompanying the creatures was a hulking, hair covered primate. That wasn't just an insult, the creature actually resembled an bipedal ape, that didn't walk along it's fists. Strangely enough, the ape like creature snorted in semi-disgust at the saurian creature, before climbing into a massive two pronged purple ship.

    "These creatures really like their purple, huh?" Jorge quietly joked over comm.

    "I wear it better." Lorelei grumbled.

    "You two can share criticisms after we've killed them." Katherine said from beside Blaine.

    Blaine watched as the doors on the side of the ship closed, before the machine itself ascended into the sky. Two of the blue armored reptiles marched along. Blaine took a short video recording using his HUD, for later examination.

    "Blue Leader to Orange Leader, what's your status?" John asked in his ear.

    "In position sir. It appears they haven't found what they're after just yet." Blaine reported. "I think I see snipers on the roof. Ominous red glow coming from the roof to the west of your pos."

    "Understood. Linda, I want you up there. We'll need your eyes." John ordered. "Fred, go with her. You'll act as her spotter."

    "Lorelei, I want you to find a vantage point and help out." Blaine ordered. "Jorge, you'll be her guard. The remainder of us will hold the position in that time."

    Green acknowledgement lights flickered, as Jorge and Lorelei peeled themselves from cover and began to job into the nearest building. Thankfully for the Spartans on the ground, the Covenant troops hadn't noticed them.

    Blaine glanced over to Katherine, who clutched her shotgun in a ready stance. They were expected to start the attack the moment the snipers were on the roof. His assault rifle still had thirty rounds in the clip, so he didn't bother to swap it out for a fresh one.

    "Blue Three and Four in position." Linda reported over the joint comm. "I have eyes on Orange Two and Four."

    Blaine gave the acknowledgement light, before holding a hand flat up. As every second ticked down, he closed a finger. When only his thumb remained, he turned the corner of the pillar. The closest targets to him were a few of the stubby little creatures.

    He opened fire on the nearest one, a splash of neon blue blood spurting out of it's chest. With a squeak and a bark, the creature collapsed to the concrete. Noticing this, the others wailed for their fallen brethren, before pulling their weapons on Blaine.

    Blaine snapped his aim to the second closest of the small creatures, firing a quick salvo into it's chest. With a sharp pitched bark and a grunt, the creature fell to the ground. He knew that the Covenant had the UNSC in a standstill in aerial engagements. However, these creatures didn't share the same viciousness.

    With maybe ten rounds left in his clip, he fired the remainder into one of the last few small creatures. In that time, Katherine had done an amazing job closing the gap between herself and the saurian creatures standing in the center of the reverse elevated exhibit. Thankfully for Blaine, the inverted pyramid design of the exhibit made it easy to shoot the Covenant, as they lacked any cover.

    Unfortunately for the Spartans, it left them wide open for retaliation. Dropping his old clip, Blaine slapped a fresh one in. Linda and Lorelei's synchronized marksmanship helped eliminate some of the smaller, stubbier creatures. Poking his head out, he watched as a group of four lithe creatures, no taller than the stubby creatures, shamble out of the doorway.

    According to the layout of the museum, the designers of this exhibit had placed a door to the actual ruins from which the artifacts in the exhibit came from. The reptile like creatures appeared to have avian like feathers, which confused Blaine. In their left hands, a strangely shaped energy shield sat.

    In their opposite hand, the same green arms as the smaller, stubbier creatures were their weapons of choice. Katherine stopped her advance as the four creatures stood side by side, using their shields to form a psuedo phalanx.

    Releasing a controlled burst at the reptilian beasts, his bullets bounced off of the shields, proving to have no effect. Katherine dove to her right, as a hail of small orbs of plasma splashed where she had just been standing.

    John and Kelly seemed to be having their own issues on the far side, a swarm of the stubby creatures and the shielded reptiles. Lorelei and Linda had opted to helping the other two out, as they were in the most danger. Pulling a grenade from his belt, Blaine tossed it to the front of the creatures.

    They chattered upon inspection of the frag grenade, before it detonated at their feet. Body parts and purple blood rained down on the stairs, their shields flying through the air, their wrists still intact. Katherine plucked one out of the air, clipping her shotgun to her back. Pulling one of her SMGs from her hip, she charged the imposing saurian creatures in the middle of the compound.

    Blaine peppered them with bullets from cover, while Katherine advanced with her new shield and SMG combo. The creatures roared, and it was the first time Blaine had noticed their hinge like mandibles, counting four in total, they spread out in the creature's anger filled roar.

    Both of the saurian beasts produced bulbous blue weapons. On the front of the weapon, a spire of what he had originally thought was a faint current of electricity, resided. Both opened fire at Katherine, who blocked the oncoming onslaught of blue plasma bolts with the shield.

    To both Blaine and her horror, however, the shield collapsed under the rapid fire of plasma energy. Time began to slow for Blaine, as he thought about it. His ballistics had been rather ineffective against the shield she had just been using, but plasma had rendered it useless in mere seconds.

    Katherine clipped the SMG to her side, doubling back at just the right moment to avoid a salvo of plasma. Pulling the shotgun off of her back, she was going to try to close the gap. Blaine went to fire his assault rifle, before realizing the clip was emptied. Shaking his head, he sprinted down the nearest stairs.

    Rolling over his shoulder, Blaine scooped up one of the alien weapons. Holding it in both of his hands, his finger tried desperately to locate the trigger and fire. In that time, Katherine closed the gap between her and one of the beasts. Firing a shell into it's chest from an arm's length away, the shields flickered on the monster, but held.

    Blaine growled as he tried to find the firing mechanism on the weapon. In his frustration, his hand's grip on the weapon had tightened drastically. The plasma on the front of the weapon began to glow bright, the orb of plasma inflating until it was the size of a baseball.

    Confused to how he had managed to do it, Blaine's grip on the weapon slacked. As he did so, the weapon in his hand whined, the massive bolt of plasma soared through the air. Instantly, the gloves in his hand felt incredibly hot for a moment, causing him to drop the weapon in surprise.

    Thankfully, the Mjolnir had adjusted the internal temperature to counteract the heat. The bolt itself, however, struck one of the saurian creatures in it's midriff. With a pop and a crack, the shields around the monster broke. Katherine took this moment to fire into it's chest again, using Blaine as her distraction.

    The pellets from her shotgun's shell hit their target cleanly in his midsection, blowing a chunk of his armor and blue colored blood into the air. It splashed across Katherine's armor, and with a howl of pain, the monster slumped to the ground.

    The other monster, garbed in red armor, tossed it's weapon to the ground. As Katherine drew close, it's four fingered hand balled into a fist, striking the shotgun from her hand. In another swift motion, the monster wrapped it's hand around her throat, just under her helmet.

    It's opposite hand reached for it's hip, producing what appeared to be a simple set of knuckle covers. Instead, however, it flicked it's wrist. A blade of blue light extended from the hilt down. Katherine grunted as she struck her left leg out.

    It met with the beast's shin. It snarled in disgust, clenching it's hand harder around her neck. Blaine's heart sank, as he could hear her choking underneath her helmet. Firstly, the creature had to be immensely strong to lift her several inches off of the ground, especially in a ton of armor.

    It also wasn't a rookie, that much was for certain. Pitching his shoulder forward, Blaine rammed himself into the monster. It roared in rage as Blaine tackled it to the ground. Smashing fist after fist into it's face, it shoved him off with it's hand. Blaine yelped in surprise as the force of the push actually sent him skidding backwards a few feet.

    To his right, Katherine began to crawl backwards, attempting to catch her breath. Blaine reached back for his assault rifle, even if it didn't pop the creature's shields, it would distract him long enough for her to run. His heart sank, however, as the assault rifle wasn't there.

    Just before him, the monster snarled, wiping it's mandibles of the blue blood he had drawn with it's spare hand. Looking down at the blood on it's hand, it's mandibles spread wide in what he could only identify as a war cry. Directly in front of it was his assault rifle, which he had assumed had unhitched when he skidded away.

    The monster took a step forward, it's massive hoof stepping on the assault rifle. The weight of the creature was more than enough to bend the barrel and render the weapon useless. Blaine clenched his fists and grit his teeth. If this was going to be the end, he was going to at least give Katherine the time to escape.

    It's spare hand went to it's hip, grabbing one of the blue spheres from it's belt. It clicked the button, as it did so, the sphere glowed a very bright light blue in it's hand. Time once again slowed for Blaine as the object was hurled straight at his face. Leaning his head backwards, he watched as the sphere narrowly escaped his visor by an inch.

    Turning his head, he watched as the blue sphere landed on the corpse of one of the stubby creatures. He watched in despair as it adheised itself to the creature's armor, before exploding violently in a sphere of light blue.

    "Plasma grenades?" Blaine groaned. "You're killing me man."

    Shaking his head, he readied himself for a fight. Katherine continued to cough, which reminded the monster of it's previous prey. It turned to face her, and Blaine made his move. It attempted to stab down at her, as Blaine's mighty right hand gripped it's forearm. It's lizard like eye turned to him, glaring in disdain, a film wiping over the eye.

    Blaine jumped backwards, as it attempted to swipe at him with the sword. Katherine looked up at the two of them, her hands still on her throat. The monster and Blaine stared each other down, before Blaine made his move. The monster swung a mighty punch across Blaine's head, causing him to stumble backwards a bit.

    However, with his improved reflexes, he was able to duck under the follow up swing of the sword. Blaine recovered, putting both hands on the elbow of the creature's sword arm and pushing it away. Blaine ducked under the counter swing from the monster's opposite hand, his left fist grazing the beast's armored ribs.

    He attempted to follow up with a swift right uppercut to the creature's abdomen, but it's spare hand had caught his fist. The monster pulled him forward, uttering an alien version of a chuckle, before lifting Blaine's fist up and smashing it up and back against Blaine's helmet, effectively making Blaine punch himself.

    Blaine grunted as he rolled across the ground. The monster advanced slowly, Blaine assumed it was an act of mockery, but he had other ideas. Standing quickly, Blaine planted his right knee into it's lower chest. He kept on the pressure, smashing his leg full tilt into the monster's chest.

    It stumbled backwards, grumbling in it's deep alien tongue. Blaine growled as he approached to follow up. The monster's spare hand lashed out and grabbed him by the helmet, before lifting Blaine and tossing him behind it. Preparing it's sword, it struck it down, right where Blaine's head had been.

    Blaine, however, rolled to his left to avoid the strike. While the beast was recovering, Blaine's left foot snapped upwards and kicked the monster directly in the eye. Blueish purple blood trickled, as the beast stumbled backwards from the devastating blow. It roared, it's right eye was a total loss, Blaine's kick had collapsed it's eye socket.

    Standing to his feet, his eyes met with the beasts as he sprinted forward. Using his arms to keep it's sword arm braced, Blaine rammed his knee full speed into it's chest. Using his momentum and weight to his advantage, Blaine delivered a solid right cross to the beast's head, nearly doubling himself over in the process. Swinging his right fist back across it's opposite cheek, the monster span around, it's blade narrowly avoiding Blaine.

    Taking a knee, Blaine panted as he heard it snarl. It's blood continuing to trickle onto the concrete in front of him. Katherine stood, albeit shakily, clenching her fists. Blaine held out a hand, requesting her to hold off. He didn't want her getting involved, instead, he pointed towards the door leading to the underground access.

    The monster stood and turned to Blaine. The beast charged Blaine, feigning a sword's strike, and instead grabbing him by the neck. Snarling in it's tongues, it made the motion to impale him with it's sword.

    Blaine grit his teeth, using his index finger to gouge it's already destroyed eyes' socket. The beast roared in pain, tossing Blaine to the side. Blaine grunted as his helmet struck one of the stairs, his armor and force of impact causing it to crumble upon arrival. His vision was blurry, and he ached all over.

    Immediately, he was beginning to eat his words in regards to the Covenant. They were no joke, on the ground or in space. To his surprise, however, Katherine stood in front of him, fists clenched. Their opponent snarled, producing another one of those indigo spheres. Clicking it on, Katherine and the beast tensed.

    "Get out of here." Blaine groaned, clutching his chest, attempting to stand. "I'll distract it. Help the others, get the artifact, and get the hell out of here."

    "Then what? You die here?" Katherine scoffed, glaring at the beast. "You're not going to lay another hand on him, split-lips."

    The monster growled in response, before it took a hasty step forward, the glowing blue orb in it's hand was still waiting to be thrown, as it appeared not to activate immediately. The monster lunged it's grenade outright towards her chest plate. Katherine's right hand gripped it's wrist, preventing it from sticking her with the grenade.

    Holding it out just enough to keep the grenade at bay, Katherine pulled the monster's face in close, striking her right fist across it's face again. With the back swing, the saurian warrior grunted in pain. Again, it made another attempt to stick her with the grenade, the force of her last punch causing it to drop it's sword, which deactivated the moment it left the it's wielder's hands.

    Using both of her hands, Katherine pulled the grenade hand to her right side, leaving the saurian creature wide open. She smashed her left knee into it's ribs once, hearing the metal plating dent as a result. The monster broke free of her grip for a moment, nearly sticking her with the grenade.

    Katherine back stepped just enough to avoid the swing, before smashing her left elbow into it's face again. Locking her arms against the beast, she was actually struggling to maintain dominance in the battle of strength. Blaine couldn't see her eyes, but he knew she was glaring into the beast's eyes beneath her helmet, the monster's grenade nearly touching her.

    Pushing back just enough, Katherine roared as she smashed her helmet against it's face. The act alone caused the beast to flinch, giving her the advantage she needed. Grabbing the wrist of the hand that held the grenade, Katherine thrust the creature's own hand into it's chest.

    The grenade took the motion as an activation, bonding to both the creature's palm and it's chest armor. Planting her boot into it's abdomen, the monster stumbled backwards. The grenade began to glow a brilliant blue, as it attempted to dive towards her.

    Blaine, however, threw a broken piece of the stair at it's face. The act caused the saurian beast to stumble once more. Katherine took the moment to dodge out of the way, as the beast exploded in a mixture of blood, limbs, and metal pieces. Katherine chuckled as she turned to him. Offering Blaine a hand, she helped him to his feet.

    He was still a bit dizzy from his fist-fight with the creature, but they were both alive, and that was all that was important to him. Before Blaine could react, she wrapped her arms tightly around him, beginning to sob beneath her helmet.

    "I'm so glad you're okay." she said.

    "Thank you. I'm glad you're okay too." Blaine returned the sentiment, hugging her back. "I owe you one."

    "No, sir." Katherine removed herself, shaking her head. "Consider us even."

    Blaine wanted to know exactly what that meant, but now was neither the time or the place. Blaine lifted one of the blue weapons that the saurian creatures had been using, while Katherine found the shield she had used before.

    "Blue Leader to Orange Leader, sitrep!" John barked.

    "We're green, Squad Leader." Blaine said. "Killed one of those big guys though. Needless to say, I think I'll pass on the weight room tonight."

    "Area's clear, sir." Lorelei reported. "Blue Three?"

    "All clear." Linda replied. "New orders?"

    "Orange Leader and Three will be joining Blue Four and I in the underground access. If the artifact wasn't out here, it's gotta be in there." John deduced. "Maintain your vantage points, hail us only if there is heavy reinforcements."

    With two more acknowledgement lights, Blaine and Katherine waited for John and Kelly to join them at the bottom of the stairs. Blaine took a moment, now that there wasn't any immediate danger, to tinker with the weapon he had picked up.

    He discovered that by the level of pressure his hand had on the grip of the weapon, depended on it's rate of fire. A light squeeze would prompt a single bolt to fire. A slightly hard squeeze gave a pulse of four bolts. A tense squeeze allowed a longer pulse to fire. Finally, a firm grip, like you would give during a handshake, allowed the weapon to fire full auto.

    However, he also discovered that full auto for too long caused the weapon to overheat in his hand. To be safe, he proceeded to take the red saurian's blue weapon, which it had cast aside in the beginning, for ONI to study.

    Together, the four Spartans walked into the doorway. John lead the pack, while Blaine took the rear. Blaine didn't know what these creatures were after, but after what they had done to Harvest months ago, and what they had just put him and Katherine through, he was certain that they weren't going to put their hands on it.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 26th 2016, 11:05 pm

    Orange Team

    Next update's coming soon, but I thought a visualization of Orange Team would be nice to have.


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 27th 2016, 9:44 pm

    September 24th, 2504

    Glascow, Scotland, Earth.


    "So," a stern feminine voice echoed from behind Morgan. "Yer off to join the war, aren'tcha?"

    Morgan stopped dead in his tracks. The front door to the family's modest three bedroom home had been left ajar, following the argument that had taken place several minutes before.

    "I'm going to get my brother back." Morgan rested his fist on the door frame, placing his chin on it. "After that, I plan on doin' whatever the hell I want in my life."

    Camille Harlowe had always been an emotional woman. She was a victim of culture shock, and never rightfully felt like she belonged anywhere. Frozen in a prototype cryogenic pod by Morgan's own father, she had been transported from the time of the Rainforest Wars to the year 2486, where she had given birth to both Morgan and Craig.

    Most of the time, her twin boys always looked out for her. She provided them with food and a shelter (with some help from ONI), and in turn they did their best to keep her happy. In school, the twins had always read about one of the heroes of the Rainforest Wars: Angus Harlowe; their dad.

    Ever since then, the twins had determined that they would follow their father's footsteps. They would join the UNSC, they would protect the freedoms of people that were under the UEG's influence, and in doing so would protect their mother.

    Their mother, however, was adamant. Going so far as to calling Craig a mistake child. The argument lasted for several minutes, before Craig stormed out, taking their mother's car to go sign up for the UNSC.

    "We signed up for this, because we wanted to protect you." Morgan turned.

    "As a parent, I am sworn to protect and guide you." Camille stepped forward, reaching out for him. "If you and Craig join the UNSC, you'll end up like your father. I've lost one of the most important men in my life. Please, PLEASE, don't make me lose the last two."

    "Craig begs to differ." Morgan sighed. "I'll be back when boot camp ends, and I'll bring Craig with me."

    "I love you, son. Both of you." Camille started to cry, Morgan paused, turning just enough to see her in his peripherals.

    "Then prove it." Morgan said. "Three weeks, and I'll bring Craig too."

    With that, Morgan left his childhood home, to pursue his life-long dream of being a war-hero, just as his father had before him.

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

    [December 12th, 2510]

    "I'm not going in there." Craig shook his head. "I told you, I was done with her. She's not my mother. She made that abundantly clear when she straight up called me a mistake."

    "Mistakes are miracles, Craig." Amber smiled. "Besides, when she finds out the news, I'm certain she'll be ecstatic."

    "You're not doing this for her." Morgan nodded, hands on the wheel. "I need you by my side, 'cause I promised her that when I next saw her, I was bringing you too. Us Harlowe's hold our promises, right? Don't make me break a promise."

    "I won't break a promise." Craig growled, clenching his fists.

    Morgan sighed in defeat. It was an unfortunate turn of events for them, following Boot Camp. They hadn't known that they were being watched by one of ONI's top scientific minds. They hadn't known that the three of them would be inducted into a highly top-secret project. Immediately after which, the three would go directly into combat with their own squad, formed by their own hands.

    To Morgan, family meant everything. Not everyone had to be blood related, but they had to feel pain when you felt pain. They had to cry when you cried. Family, to Morgan, meant so much more than genetics, it was a principle, an advanced version of basic Human compassion.

    In that regard, he wasn't about to leave his mother out of the loop. He had promised that he would see her again, and he aimed to keep it. Pulling up to their childhood home, Morgan signaled for the others to stay seated, before knocking on the door.

    There was silence for a moment, before he knocked again. When there was no answer, a look of worry struck his face. Jostling the handle, the door opened right up. He knew she would always lock the door when she left.

    "Ma?!" Morgan yelled, prying the door open.

    Craig, who stayed in the car with Amber, quickly pulled himself out of the vehicle. Rushing up to the door, he joined in brother in search of their mother. They checked the master bedroom, they checked the bathroom.

    Finally, the two stopped in front of their rooms. Morgan and Craig took a quick look to each other, before opening the doors to their own rooms. To their surprise, the rooms had recently been cleaned, but maintained in the same manner as the two had left them.

    "Hello?" a man's voice echoed throughout the house. "Ye can't just be intrudin' on someone's home! Step out before I shoot ya."

    Craig and Morgan exited their rooms, walking out into the living room. A portly man, dressed in a kilt and a polo shirt stood there, a shotgun in his hands.

    "Calm down." Craig said. "This is a friend of our's house."

    "Sure, laddie." the man growled. "-an' whose this friend of yours?"

    "Her name is Camille Harlowe." Morgan growled, glaring at Craig. "We're her sons. Morgan and Craig."

    The man's eyes widened, before he lowered the shotgun. Wiping some sweat from his brow, he patted the couch.

    "I doubt you two lugs remember me. Tis aye, Boris, from 'ighschool?"

    "Boris!" Morgan cheered, offering his hand, to which Boris took it. "How're you, ye sheep fuckin' primate?"

    "Better than you two lightweights." Boris nodded with a grin. "I tend to yer mother's lawn. Y'know, ye plum broke her heart when ye up and left her without a goodbye."

    "We had a heated argument." Morgan shook his head. "I meant to come and visit... but I promised her I'd bring Craig back. He's the one that had an issue with her, not that I could blame him."

    "Speaking of her, where is she?" Craig asked.

    "Oh." Boris frowned. "I thought ye had heard the news."

    The twin brothers stole a glance at one another, before turning back to Boris.

    "She-" Morgan shook his head.

    "She's in the hospital. I'm sorry to say, lads, but I doubt she's gonna make it." Boris shook his head. "You lads need a ride? I saw a car out in the drive, 'ad an expectin' woman in it."

    "That's our ride." Morgan nodded. "Thanks for the head's up Boris. Sorry we couldn't have met again under better circumstances."

    "Don't apologize to me, lad." Boris replied sternly. "That woman slaved to keep yer rooms the exact same as you left 'em. She expected you to show after three weeks, but ye never came. You should apologize to 'er. God only knows what you'll feel if you don't."

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

    "You can't just walk in there-!" the doctor exclaimed, as Morgan and Craig burst into the room.

    Camille rested her head in the small hospital bed, her eyes shut soundly.

    "I told you once." Morgan turned to the doctor. "We're her sons. You can do your background checks in a bit, but I want to see her before she's gone."

    "Sir, until we can confirm you're identity, we-"

    "It's alright, doctor." Camille smiled from the bed. "I've been expecting them."

    "So you know these two?" the doctor asked.

    "Their my sons." Camille carefully sat up, as Morgan offered her a hand, her soft eyes fell upon Craig. "Both of them."

    The doctor nodded curtly, leaving the room for a moment. Amber, who had struggled to walk to the room by herself, set herself down in one of the visitor's chairs.

    "Don't know who you are, though." Camille said, as Amber took in a deep breath. "Calm down, love. You'll hurt the baby stressin' yourself out like that."

    "Ma." Morgan said. "I'm sorry I took so long to get to you. They-"

    Camille's hand gently landed on his cheek, as she rubbed it gingerly.

    "I know." Camille smiled. "You're just like your father. You two always kept your promises, and for the ones you break, you make up for them. I knew you'd come."

    Her attention turned to Craig, who leaned himself up against the wall at the end of the room. His arms were crossed, as he glared out the window, averting her gaze.

    "If anyone deserves an apology here, it's Craig." Camille frowned. "I was so scared of losing you two, like I had lost your father. I didn't even once think that by denying you your dreams, that I'd just push you away."

    "Were you so scared that you decided to call me a mistake, too?" Craig grit his teeth, glaring at her.

    "I have no excuses." Camille shook her head. "I was upset, I saw too much of Angus in you. I was still mad at him for leaving me, and I always thought that he was leaving me again."

    "I can say this." Camille replied weakly. "In art, mistakes are opportunities. You were no mistake, Craig. You were another opportunity."

    Craig's hardened stare began to soften, as his arms slacked a bit. His gaze fell upon the floor, as he tapped his right toe on the floor.

    "You were both named, in some regard, after your father." Camille continued. "Morgan was his name before he and I were put into witness protection. Craig, however, was the name he wanted to give his son."

    "I chose you, Craig." Camille smiled, holding her hand out to him.

    Craig grit his teeth, attempting to mask the tears in his eyes. Wiping them clear, he slowly walked over and took her hand, before gently kneeling down and wrapping his arms around her.

    "Ma." Craig said. "I was a foolish teen, I was selfish."

    "No." Camille shook her head, patting his back. "Like your father, you were a dreamer. You aspired to do great things in your life, and look at you. If you're happy with where you're at, I'm happy for you."

    The two sat there for a time, as Morgan walked over to Amber, placing his hand over hers. Amber wanted to be introduced to Camille, but she also knew that Camille was short of time, and Craig needed the closure first.

    When the two did separate, Morgan helped Amber to her feet, before leading her over to the bed.

    "Ma. This is Amber." Morgan smiled. "I met her at Boot Camp. We got married a few years back, and-"

    "This is your grandson, Mrs. Harlowe." Amber stepped forward, placing a hand on her stomach.

    "How delightful!" Camille smiled, before coughing violently into her hand. "Sorry, I shouldn't get myself so worked up. When is the baby due?"

    "January." Amber replied, as Morgan placed a chair behind her for her to sit. "He's due in January."

    "Hmm." Camille mused. "Hopefully you'll have better luck than I did, eh?"

    "You did a fine job raising these two, ma'am." Amber chuckled, patting Morgan on the shoulder.

    "Well." Camille nodded. "I have some advice, for the both of you. Boys tend to grow much faster than girls. If you don't pay attention, they'll slip you by."

    Her eyes turned to Craig, as she rested her hand on his cheek.

    "You'll love them, no matter where they go." Camille nodded, as she began to nestle back down into the bed. "'Cause that's what being a parent is about."

    The three young adults jumped as a loud whine entered the room. It was almost like a nonstop string of sirens. Morgan's eyes glanced up at the heart-rate monitor above them. The droning was definitely emanating from that, as a singular line continued to move forward.

    Amber covered her mouth, as Craig clenched his fists and shook his head. Standing quickly, Craig stepped out into the hallway.

    "DOCTOR! I NEED A DOCTOR!" he yelled. "SOMEONE, PLEASE! HELP MY MOTHER!"

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

    [Present Day

    "You were right about one thing, Ma."

    Morgan stood in the middle of a cemetery to the northern part of Glascow. Directly in front of him was a headstone that both he and Craig had paid for, their mother and father's names etched into the marble.

    "They sure do slip through your fingers, don't they?" Morgan sighed, resting his hand on the stone. "I'm really sorry you didn't get to meet Blaine."

    "It ain't easy." Morgan began to choke up. "Bein' a parent, I mean. Though I guess I'm a shit parent anyways."

    "I couldn't keep him in my sights, and now he's gone." Morgan clenched his fists. "I failed you, and I failed Amber."

    Craig shuddered, standing behind Morgan. Even though he had had his issues with their mother, he at least got to have closure with her. Morgan, who had always been the apple in her eye, had a solid stance with her when she finally passed.

    Him on the other hand, he was still uncertain. He had forgiven her, but only because she had been dying at the time. In his heart, he wasn't sure if he could, though he did feel a lot better after he had given her the satisfaction.

    Still, this moment wasn't about his and her relationship. He was standing here with Morgan, because he needed to tell his brother the truth of what he knew. Phil was skeptical, but Craig and Morgan were tightly knit brothers. Craig never held anything from Morgan, and Morgan would never hold anything from Craig.

    "He's not gone." Craig placed a hand on Morgan's shoulder.

    "I appreciate your optimism." Morgan sighed. "It's time I faced facts. Blaine's dead, or he's out there happy and he's not looking for me."

    "It's not words to try and bring your spirits up." Craig sighed. "I've been thinking for a bit, since we interrogated that Crow guy."

    Morgan turned to Craig, giving his twin brother a confused look.

    "Shortly after Phil and I escorted the man back to his home, I went to work fact checking his claims." Craig said. "Crow said that his intern who went missing had contact with that Charlie kid, right?"

    "Yeah." Morgan nodded, crossing his arms in interest.

    "You don't just forget the face of a person you despise, right?" Craig asked. "The Crow told us that that Charlie had see Blaine alive in the City, right?"

    "Yeah." Morgan began to take on a look of suspicion.

    "Phil and I took a quick trip to the Orphanage. 'Cause if Blaine HAD been there, he would have at least stopped in to tell Ms. Sanders that he was okay, right?"

    Morgan nodded curtly, his eyes scanning in front of him.

    "Phil and I went to see her, and she seemed awfully happy to see us." Craig continued. "She even asked me how Blaine was."

    Morgan's eyes widened, as he turned to face his brother.

    "I told her I didn't know. I still hadn't seen him in the past nine or so years." Craig crossed his arms. "She gave me an awfully confused look, before telling me that he had visited them a while back. Same day Simon DeWinter was apprehended."

    "One of the orphans, that Lucy girl? She said that he couldn't take a picture with her." Craig continued, while Morgan pondered. "They claimed to be college students at Ganymede University."

    "Morgan." Craig placed a hand on Morgan's shoulder. "Ganymede University was shut down by ONI months ago because of relations to Insurrectionist movements."

    "I know I know." Morgan shook his head. "So, you're saying that my son was in New Alexandria on the same day that Simon DeWinter was apprehended, and managed to convince everyone that a fourteen year old boy such as himself, was a college student?"

    "Yeah." Craig sighed, placing a finger on his cheek. "You also recall a few months back, when we ran into that cadet in the hallway? That woman, Doctor Halsey, seemed awfully hasty to-"

    "Separate us from the cadet." Morgan nodded his head, before clenching his fist. "You're saying that the cadet, that Spartan, is my boy?"

    "I don't know for a fact." Craig shook his head, before placing his hands firmly on Morgan's shoulders. "However, it makes the most sense."

    "The UNSC took my son. It wasn't satisfied with my wife or my brother-in-law, or even our mother." Morgan growled. "They took my god-damn son!"

    "Calm down." Craig said, pulling Morgan in close. "Even if it's the truth, ONI has that shit covered in so much black ink that all the papers underneath it are stained. You even voice a concern about it, and ONI will condemn each and every one of us."

    "Besides." Craig continued. "New Alexandria is filled with homeless children. If that soldier is Blaine, than you can at least know that he's had a roof over his head, he's been fed, and he was taught manners and discipline."

    "Bro." Craig looked Morgan in the eyes. "You said it yourself, that any knowledge that your son was alive and living well, you would be happy. You even thought, when we met that cadet, that he had Amber's eyes."

    Morgan pushed Craig off of himself, as he began to think about it for a time.

    "You know I don't hold secrets from you, Morgan." Craig said, as Morgan turned to face him. "Please, please for the love of God don't make me regret telling you."

    Morgan nodded, before walking up and quickly wrapping his arms around Craig's torso. The two brothers hugged it out for a moment, before separating.

    "You're right." Morgan nodded. "If that's my boy, I should be happy that he's at least alive. Better the UNSC raised him than a damn Insurrectionist."

    "Still." Morgan cracked his fists. "I see that Doctor Halsey bitch again, I'm going to deck her."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 28th 2016, 1:23 am

    "You two good?" John asked, as the four Spartans combed the underground exhibit where the ruins had been located.

    "I'm a bit bruised up, but I'll manage." Blaine replied, clutching his left arm. "Katherine?"

    "I'm good, sir." Katherine nodded. "Let's get this over with."

    "Blue Leader to Watch Tower." John reported. "Blue and Orange Team have secured the relic site."

    "Acknowledge, Blue Leader." Mendez reported. "Is extraction possible, Senior Petty Officer?

    Blaine walked up to the flawless metal wall directly in front of them. Strange symbols seemed to glow on the metal, which glistened in the artificial light the exhibit provided. He looked around for something to precisely cut the symbol covered slab out with. His hand instinctively went to the plasma weapon in his hand.

    It was a barbaric effort, attempting to cut the metal wall with the plasma weapon. However, it proved ineffective against the flawless metal. He attempted to dent the unimportant part of the metal, though his strikes seemed to do nothing against the wall.

    "Negative sir." John shook his head. "Suggest changing mission priority from retrieval to asset denial, sir."

    "Damn. A Pelican is inbound, Spartans." Mendez replied. "With it is a Sheiva. Blow that exhibit to bits, then get the hell outta there!"

    "Sir, understood." John replied. "Blaine, Katherine, are you combat ready?"

    "Sir." Blaine said. "I'll gladly kick their teeth in."

    "Same, sir." Katherine nodded.

    "Kelly and I will stay here and defend the target. I'll need you two outside for when the Pelican arrives. We've all been trained with nukes, Spartans, so I'll expect it charged and primed when it gets here."

    Katherine and Blaine nodded their heads, before headed back out the way they had come. Thankfully, the others in their teams had not seen any Covenant ships inbound. That didn't mean there wouldn't be, it just meant that for the moment, they were clear.

    The two Spartans stepped out into the open, their weapons at the ready. They didn't care if the coast was clear or not, they weren't about to leave themselves open. After a quick scan through Lorelei and Linda's blind spots, the two Spartans waited for the Pelican to arrive.

    Blaine's right ear perked up, however, when he heard a screech not to far from them. Katherine looked over towards him, she had clearly heard it as well. They didn't know if a civilian was in trouble or not. Blaine began to move, as she placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

    "We need to focus on the mission, sir." Katherine said.

    "Only one of us needs to get that nuke. We need to wait for the others to get down here for extraction anyways." Blaine replied. "I'll be fine. Give me five minutes."

    Sprinting up the stairs to the top of the crest, he tried to think of where the distress had originated from. Directly in front of him, he could see one of those saurian creatures lumber after what appeared to be a shadow. A pair of the stubby little creatures waddled behind the beast.

    Blaine began to give chase, as the aliens rounded the corner into the alleyway the shadow had gone. His blue plasma weapon was at the ready when he did round the corner. He saw the two stubby creatures, but not the large saurian monster.

    Down the same alleyway, he could hear the dumpster thudding a bit on the inside. Sprinting down the alleyway, he fired his weapon in short controlled bursts at the stubby creatures. They grunted and barked, falling to the ground, the blue bolts of plasma melting their skin.

    The sun had set just right in the alleyway, that the other half directly in front of him had been pitch black. To his right had been the dumpster, which was cracked a bit. He couldn't make out much about what was inside, only that it was a human. In Blaine's distraction, he had nearly missed the shimmering air to his left.

    Jumping backwards, Blaine began to fire the blue weapon into the air beside the dumpster. The air shimmered like the shield of one of the saurian creatures. With each bolt he fired, the more visible the beast became.

    "Oh, now you're invisible." Blaine sighed. "It's never easy with you, is it?"

    Even the sword it was holding had refracted the light, explaining why the front of the plasma weapon had been slagged in half. What hadn't been invisible, however, was the cobalt sphere in it's hand. Blaine ducked back around the corner as the sphere landed at his feet.

    "Maaan!" Blaine groaned..

    He quickly glanced around, before realizing that he was standing in front of a large front window to a restaurant. Thrusting his right elbow back, he leaned backwards, using the wall as cover from the modestly sized explosion. If memory had served him, there was a door leading to the alleyway, just beside the dumpster.

    Standing quickly, Blaine vaulted over the front counter of the restaurant, and ducked his way into the kitchen. On his way through, he just so happened to notice a skeleton holding a butcher's cleaver. Taking it from the skeleton's hand, he charged through the door. He heard a grunt from the saurian beast, the door thudding, as it stumbled to the other side of the alleyway.

    Blaine took his moment to approach, swinging the cleaver at the base of the creature's neck from the side. It garbled, his left boot pinning it's sword hand to the ground. He continued to hack away, until the beast's motions stopped outright.

    Turning his attention to the dumpster, he watched as the lid shut suddenly. Whoever was inside was intent on hiding from him, even if the aliens were gone. Sighing, Blaine lifted the top of the dumpster, as a girl rose from the garbage.

    She struck him across the helmet with the skeletal remains of some small animal. Blaine's head barely turned, as he shook his head.

    "You good?" he asked, as she screamed.

    Quickly, he placed a hand over her mouth. Putting his helmet's visor close to her face.

    "Yikes!" Blaine hissed. "You're gonna wake the neighbors!"

    "Mmmph, mmmph, mmmph!" she screamed into his glove.

    "Listen." Blaine sighed. "I heard you screaming for help earlier, can you please make this a little easier and just come with me?"

    "I'm not supposed to go with strangers." she said, Blaine removing his grasp on her mouth.

    "Alright then." he shrugged, stepping away. "I guess you'll make good friends with Split lips and his dead friends."

    "Wait!" she called after him, attempting to clamber out of the garbage. "I'm stuck!"

    "Oh, now you want my help?" Blaine chuckled, helping her out of the bin. "Just a moment ago, you were happy with screaming in my face."

    "I thought you were an alien." she growled, brushing a rotten banana peel off of her shoulder.

    "Ouch." Blaine rubbed the back of his helmet.

    His ears picked up the nearby sounds of more Covenant troops on approach. He didn't have a proper weapon to take on many of them, so the sooner they left, the better. Without hesitation, Blaine hoisted the girl over his shoulder.

    "H-hey!" she growled, floundering on his shoulder. "Don't touch me there!"

    Blaine didn't think anything of the fact that his hand had been placed under her butt, instead, his attention was focused on the Covenant around the corner. The two ducked inside of the restaurant, as he scrambled to the front of the building.

    He quickly took a glance at his motion tracker, which bleeped at the hostile targets just around the corner. He took a knee quickly, hiding both of them just beneath the windowsill, as the mighty footsteps from one of the beasts neared.

    The girl, who had struggled in his grasp before, silenced at the sound of the monster nearing them. Blaine crouched lower, as it stood just above the closed window. His hand gripped the pistol on his hip. His other hand kept the girl's mouth closed, now that she was sitting against the windowsill.

    The beast above them growled from deep within it's throat. Blaine knew they were just moments from being spotted. Looking up, the beast's head peered into the window, the creature sniffing the air.

    Blaine stood suddenly, placing his pistol in the space between it's four mandibles. Staring into it's reptilian eyes, Blaine fired the last three rounds of the pistol directly into it's brain. Reaching down, Blaine hoisted the girl into his arms, before vaulting out of the window and to the left.

    "Blue Leader to Orange Leader, nuke is in position. How copy?" John asked.

    "Solid copy, sir." Blaine grunted, sprinting for all he was worth. "I had to take a bit of a detour, but I'm en route now."

    "Pelican is here, Squad Leader." Lorelei reported. "Orange Two and I are inbound."

    "Blue Two and Four on the way." Fred replied.

    Blaine groaned, feeling something sharp embed itself into his right side. Despite the sharp pain in his side, he kept sprinting. His head turned for only a moment, to see a flurry of purple needles floating through the air towards him.

    Directly in front of him, he could make out the Pelican and Katherine. Katherine seemed to notice him, probably by the waypoint he had above his head. She prepared an SMG, clipping her shotgun to her back.

    "Trade!" Blaine yelled, tossing the girl down to Katherine's position.

    Simultaneously, Katherine tossed a fully loaded SMG up to Blaine. He snatched out of the air, dipping behind one of the concrete columns. The needles that had chased him seemed to swerve their course in mid-air, before impacting the pillar.

    "Blaine's hit!" Katherine reported over comm.

    "I'm fine!" Blaine barked. "I'll hold them off, get that nuke in position!"

    Blaine held the other blue weapon he had been keeping for ONI's personal study in his left hand, while Katherine's SMG remained in his right hand. Stepping out from behind cover, he bared his teeth beneath his helmet, opening fire on the stubby creatures that had chased him all this way.

    Small caliber bullets and plasma bolts quickly overtook the legion of five or so of the short creatures. It was then he noticed the warm feeling of blood oozing down his side. There was heat along his back, as he groaned in pain.

    Turning back, two of the shielded creatures barked in victory, their bullets peppering his back. Luckily for him, the plasma didn't fuse his armor to him. Turning back, he growled as the SMG in his right hand clicked.

    The glass doors to his right shattered open, Jorge roared as he stomped towards the beasts. Grabbing them by their slender, bird-like throats, he smashed their heads together. Walking over, Jorge offered him a hand. Blaine grit his teeth, but took it. Lorelei, Fred, and Linda stood beside the Pelican, their weapons trained in all directions.

    Blaine felt the ground beneath his feet quaking, as he turned his head to his left. A pair of lumbering, massive creatures in deep blue armor bounded towards them. Their right arms glowed green with a massive plasma weapon of some sort, while their left arms were plated with a thick slab of the same armor on their bodies, made to look like shields.

    "Sheiva's armed!" Katherine reported.

    "We've got company out here!" Jorge replied. "We need to get out, now!"

    Jorge helped lift Blaine into the Pelican, the girl from earlier sat in the farthest corner, ducking as low as she could. The pain along his back was astronomical, the burning sensation had past, but it reminded him of a really bad sunburn he had succumbed to during the early days of training.

    Any motion with his right side, just below the ribs, was torture. He had been shot by live rounds during training. The feeling he was experiencing now had been no different to the time that a bullet had remained inside of the wound. Turning his gaze towards it, one of the purple needles had stuck inside his right side.

    "I wouldn't touch that." Jorge warned. "We'll have Katherine take a look at it when we're up and away, yeah?"

    John, Kelly, and Katherine stepped out of the cave, as the rest of the Spartans piled into the Pelican. Jorge pulled down the fifty caliber turret from the roof of the Pelican. The two lumbering monsters stood their ground, their right arms glowing menacingly with green energy.

    Jorge opened fire, the flood of armor piercing rounds seemingly bounced off of the armor. Blaine's eyes widened at the thought, those rounds were enough to cut through a Scorpion's armor with relative ease. How were they ineffective against these things?

    There was no visual sign of energy shielding, like the four mouthed monsters. Blaine's mind was taken off of that, as Katherine took a close look at the intruder in his side.

    "Plasma scoring all the way up your back." Katherine shook her head. "Some biofoam will help the bleeding, though I imagine burns like this will hurt a lot. Won't heal nicely either."

    The Pelican lifted up and into the air, the two lumbering monsters rushing for cover as it turned around, firing missiles in their general direction. When they were no longer an immediate threat, the Pelican ascended into the atmosphere, while the troop bay closed.

    "Where did you even go?" John asked.

    Blaine knew the tone that John had taken with him. Blaine had gotten hurt in the midst of the mission. Blaine knew he was blaming himself for Blaine's injuries, even though he had nothing to do with them.

    Blaine's head silently tilted towards the girl in the corner, who curled up. Blaine hadn't noticed before, but she appeared to be around the same age as him. Before, he had only been concerned with getting her to safety.

    "You risked the mission for one person?" Fred asked.

    "There was no risk in the mission." Blaine groaned, as the biofoam Katherine had injected began to do it's work. "The area was secure, and Katherine was awaiting the Pelican for the nuke and pick-up. I was maybe ten meters away, so in the event of an issue, I could return in a heart-beat."

    At that, there had been a resounding explosion. They couldn't see what had happened, but every Spartan in the Pelican knew that the nuke had leveled half of the city.

    "Would you have preferred if I left her to die by the Covenant's hands?" Blaine sat up shakily. "We vowed to protect Earth and all of her colonies. That means we save as many people as we can, right?"

    "It was risky." John replied curtly.

    "Which reminds me." Jorge said, walking over to the corner. "Don't be afraid. I want to ask you a quick question, if you don't mind."

    "O-okay." she said, peering up at him.

    "How'd you survive the orbital bombs?" Jorge asked, blunt and to the point.

    "My parents owned shelter, built underground." she said. "Before the aliens arrived, they scurried me inside. They thought the Insurrection was coming, going to nuke us all."

    "My father didn't make it to the shelter." she continued. "One of those purple ships shot him with that green stuff."

    "My mother locked me inside, before distracting those things away from the shelter." she began to cry. "I used up all the food in the past few months, a-and I was really hungry."

    "I thought it was all over with, so I came out to find some food." she shook her head, resting her forehead on her fists. "They were all dead, everyone."

    "Those things saw me, and I ran." she sobbed, before looking towards Blaine. "Then, that one saved me."

    "Did you get hit with anything?" Jorge asked, as she shook her head. "Alright then. Just calm down, you're safe now."

    The weight in the Pelican shifted, as it set down inside of the Atlas' vehicle bay. Katherine and Jorge helped Blaine to his feet, offering him a shoulder to stand on each. Lorelei, on the other hand, helped escort the girl off of the Pelican.

    Blaine's vision was getting very blurry, with spots of white and black popping up every few seconds. He was holding on though, for all that he was worth, he was holding on. Mendez walked towards them, Doctor Halsey by his side. At the sight of Blaine, Halsey quickly ran over.

    "What's happened?"

    "I was hit, ma'am." Blaine spoke, albeit a bit delirious.

    "He's going into shock. Quickly, Spartans, to my lab!" Halsey said. "I don't know who she is, but she'll wait here. One-oh-two, you'll be in charge of watching her."

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

    Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

    With each beep that filled the room, not only did the heart-rate monitor above Blaine's cot create a bump, but Katherine's heart went with it. Halsey took careful notice of the needle stuck in Blaine's side.

    "Thanks to one-one-seven's work on securing some of the alien's weapons above Chi Ceti IV, I know a little bit about the properties of their weaponry." Halsey mused to herself. "Homing projectiles that splinter when handled directly. They embed themselves within the target, and react with direct physical contact afterwards."

    "So, the point of the ammo is to cause further harm if someone tries to pull it out, ma'am?" Katherine asked.

    "Precisely. It's cruel, barbaric even. Though, it's exceedingly clever." Halsey pondered it for a moment. "Which makes removing it without damaging one-one-five further nearly impossible."

    "Would attempting kill him, ma'am?" Katherine asked.

    "Possibly." Halsey frowned. "It's embedded itself just above his liver. Based on tests using ballistic gel, the fragments of this crystal are long, tiny slivers that serrate themselves further into the flesh."

    "So tiny, in fact, that even with the most powerful of microscopes, and the most skilled of hands, you would be powerless to remove them without damaging the tissue around it." Halsey sighed. "If that thing fragments and most of the parts go into his liver..."

    "I understand, ma'am." Katherine frowned. "Is there anything we can do?"

    "You? No, zero-seven-six." Halsey shook her head. "I, on the other hand, will be attempting to remove the needle by another means."

    "Ma'am?" Katherine asked.

    "If I remove the affected area without touching the needle itself in too swift of a motion, I should be able to extract the intrusion without setting it off." Halsey replied. "If you can stand by with a can of biofoam, some surgical gauze, and some surgical thread, that would be most helpful."

    Katherine carefully assembled the provisions that Halsey requested, standing with enough distance to allow the doctor to do her work. Katherine watched as Halsey pulled a welder's mask over her face.

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

    "It's out." Halsey reported, carefully placing the chunk of flesh and the needle onto the tray beside her.

    Miraculously, the action hadn't triggered the needle. Katherine handed Halsey the biofoam, which was used to seal up Blaine's wound just long enough for the actual suture to begin. Katherine handed the doctor the thread and suture itself for the process.

    Expertly, Halsey slid the thread through Blaine's skin, sealing the once massive wound up. Using the gauze, she wrapped it snugly around Blaine, before sighing in relief. Pulling her gloves off, Halsey walked over towards the sink and began to wash her hands.

    "How is one-one-five's numbers?" Halsey asked, as Katherine took a quick peak at the monitor.

    "Rising and maintaining across the board, ma'am." Katherine smiled beneath her helmet.

    "Excellent." Halsey nodded, before taking the tray over towards the incinerator.

    Gently, she placed the entire tray in, closing the door afterwards. Igniting the tray and it's contents, she walked back over to Katherine.

    "He's going to make it, Spartan." Halsey said. "He needs to rest now, though. It will be a few days before those plasma wounds on his back will heal. In the meanwhile, I'll have to tend to those burns, and you won't want to be here for that."

    Katherine cringed at the thought of heat blisters that would form on Blaine's back as a result of the burns. Nodding quietly, she excused herself from the room. In a funny deja vu moment, Lorelei waited just outside of the lab, with the civilian by her side.

    "He good?" Jorge asked, standing beside Lorelei.

    "He's got really bad burns on his back, but the needle's out." Katherine smiled beneath her helmet. "She says he'll be off of his feet for a few days. It's gonna drive him crazy, but I want him to fully heal."

    "Gotcha." Jorge nodded. "Listen, I'll take the girl here to the Mess Hall, see to it she gets fed. You should take a break, I watched that fight you had with split-lips down there. Gave that one a beatin' he'll remember in hell, that's for sure."

    "Can I see him?" the girl asked, nervously avoiding their gazes.

    "Sorry." Jorge shook his head. "We'll see about it later, but not right now."

    With that, Jorge and the girl walked off in the direction of the Mess Hall. Katherine had been so upset because of the last mission that she didn't want to eat.

    "While you were in there, I was watching over your mission recording." Lorelei spoke softly beside her. "Those things are no joke. I mean, death has been looming over our heads for years now. These things, these Covenant soldiers, they're a real threat."

    "They actually made me fearful for our lives." Lorelei shivered. "I'm just glad you two made it out of there."

    "Blaine, that stubborn guy." Katherine shook her head. "He nearly died twice today, but I bet you when he wakes up later, he's going to shrug it all off like nothing even happened."

    "He does what he can for us." Lorelei replied. "I get the feeling that he thinks we are motivated by him. If he doesn't show pain, then I think that he thinks we'll do better on the mission."

    "Remember when he fist fought that handler before augmentation?" Lorelei continued. "The man broke his nose, but Blaine kept going? All because that handler was shocking you with the baton?"

    "I don't think Mendez was any prouder of Blaine after that." Katherine chuckled. "That was one fine ass-kicking, recruit. Keep that up and one day, you might just beat me!"

    "Every one of us seemed to improve after that. You ran faster than you ever had before, Jorge mastered climbing over obstacles-"

    "You murdered those training dummies." Katherine laughed.

    "Yeah." Lorelei chuckled. "Yeah I did."

    The two made their way into their barracks. They helped each other out of their armor, before sitting on their respective cots.

    "Today was the first day where I've actually feared for our lives." Lorelei sighed. "You two had me really scared."

    "We're not going anywhere any time soon." Katherine nodded. "I promise."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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

    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 29th 2016, 2:42 am

    Sunlight filtered through street, granules of dust rising from the beams of light. Katherine stood there, shotgun across her chest and at the ready. She marched forward, eyes scanning the alleyways to her left and to her right.

    "Katherine." a familiar voice called from behind her.

    Katherine turned to face the voice, but no-one was there. Her eyes scanned quickly to the motion tracker in the bottom left corner of her HUD. It hadn't pinged recently, but she knew she had heard the voice.

    "My, just look at you." another voice, yet still familiar, echoed behind her.

    Gripping the shotgun, she aimed it behind her. Yet again, nothing stood there. Sighing in frustration, she held her shotgun at carry, her eyes scanning possible exit points.

    "Such a good little girl, where did you we go wrong?" the first voice choked up.

    Katherine plucked an SMG from her hip, using the shotgun in her left hand, and the SMG in her right. She circled the street, looking for the sources of these voices.

    "Now you're a killing machine. You're not even human."

    "Who are you?!" Katherine called out into the street, her voice carrying on the wind.

    "A better question to ask is who are you?" the second voice replied.

    In the corner of her right eye, she saw a shadow moving down an adjacent alleyway. She fired a quick salvo of her SMG at the shadow, before moving in to chase. Placing the SMG back on her hip, she replaced it with the shotgun.

    She brought the shotgun up, aiming at the darkened alleyway.

    "Poor little Katherine, sad and alone." the first voice taunted. "Even with all of your training, all of your changes, you still can't save anyone."

    "I saved Blaine today!" Katherine growled, moving cautiously forward.

    "What about your other friend?" the second voice sneered.

    As Katherine moved through the alleyway, it became frigid in the air. Despite her Mjolnir armor, she could feel the chill of sub-zero temperatures. At the end of her alleyway was a lone tree. Confused, she turned around to see nothing but a forest blanketed with snow.

    Directly in front of her was the cliff from years ago. Butch's face was a mixture of fright and uncertainty. His left hand was held by Blaine, who stared down at him with determination and concern. Blaine was slipping, his foot caught in a loose foothold.

    She rushed over to Blaine, landing on her knees. She tugged on his leg to try and help him back up. Despite her augments, she couldn't seem to pull either of the two up.

    "You chose Blaine. Who was in no threat of death." the first voice hissed. "You let Butch die."

    "I thought that Blaine and I could pull Butch up. Blaine was on ice, if I didn't keep him anchored, he would have slipped off after Butch."

    "Is that true? Or is that a lie you tell yourself to justify killing Butch?"

    "I would NEVER hurt one of my friends!" Katherine shook her head.

    Closing her eyes, she dipped her head as she heard Blaine call out for Butch directly beside her. Clenching her fists, she felt the tears welling up in her eyes, as she grit her teeth.

    "I tried to save them. I want to protect them." Katherine sobbed. "I will always put them before myself!"

    "Is that so?" the second voice growled.

    Katherine stood, the sound of wind rustling through the buildings echoed around her. Turning back, she saw Blaine leaned up against the stairs of the inverted pyramid. Blood pooled underneath his torso, which had been lined by the pink needles, and numerous plasma burns.

    "You barely saved Blaine today." the first voice mocked. "Had you stepped in sooner, he may not have gotten so hurt."

    "I couldn't breath. I couldn't move!" Katherine shouted, falling to her knees beside Blaine.

    "Excuses, excuses." the voices said simultaneously. "The Covenant know no mercy. Look at what they did to us."

    Katherine turned, to see a pair of silhouettes standing to the center of the inverted pyramid, a man and a woman. She couldn't see their faces, as she hadn't seen them in over nine years.

    "Mom, Dad?" she asked, as the shadows stood statically.

    "Perhaps, once upon a time." the female shadow spoke. "Yet you disobeyed, you ran further than I told you to. You left your father and I."

    "You are not our daughter. You are an abomination, a number!" the male shadow barked.

    "Don't say that, please!" Katherine shook her head. "I missed you every single day, please don't say that."

    "You FORGOT about us!" the man yelled. "Just like you forgot about Butch!"

    "STOP IT!" Katherine yelled.

    "Harvest burned, because you did nothing to stop them." her mother's shadow continued. "I wonder if that Blaine fellow will forget about you, when you die?"

    With one last mighty gust of wind, the dusty silhouettes of her parents disappeared. Katherine sat beside Blaine's body, curling her knees up to her chin, wrapping her arms around them. Tears began to flow down her cheek, as things became eerily silent.

    "Relax." Blaine said from her left, as she felt a hand resting on her shoulder. "It'll all be fine."

    Sniffling, Katherine jumped as she was lifted into the air. The saurian creature that she and Blaine had fought earlier stood there. It's four mandibles clicked together, as it produced a throaty growl. There was a hiss, as one of their glowing swords appeared at it's hip. Bringing the sword up to her chin, the beast roared in her face, the four mandibles opening wide horrifically.

    "AUUUUUUUUUUGH!" Katherine yelled, before sitting up in her cot.

    Lorelei practically jumped out of her bed, thudding to the ground with a grunt. Groaning in pain, Lorelei rubbed her face, pistol at the ready. She scanned the room, until she deemed it clear. Placing the pistol back on her bedside table, she stretched before walking over towards Katherine.

    "Bad dream?" Lorelei asked, sitting beside her.

    "Horrible dream." Katherine said, her body shaking. "I've been such a fool."

    "What do you mean?" Lorelei frowned, peering into her eyes.

    "I let Butch die. Instead of taking his hand and helping Blaine pull him up, I was too focused on keeping Blaine anchored."

    "That wasn't your fault." Lorelei sighed. "Butch was planning on leaving anyways. Knowing Mendez, Butch would have likely died either way."

    "What about my parents?" Katherine cried. "They died wondering where I was. All because I decided to run out of their sight."

    "You couldn't have known what was going to happen, Kathy." Lorelei wrapped her arms around Katherine's shoulders.

    "Well what about Blaine, huh?" Katherine tried to pry Lorelei off. "He nearly died today, all while I sat there and watched."

    "Jorge said that the beast had choked you good." Lorelei shook her head. "You can't really fight when you're suffocating. Blaine knew that, and tried to keep it's attention or kill it."

    "Look." Lorelei shifted on the bed. "I've had my fair share of bad dreams lately too. It's our nerves. We're all on edge because of everything that's going on."

    "The best thing to keep in mind is that, no matter how far apart we are." Lorelei continued. "-the rest of Orange Team will remain with us. We care for each other, and we're not about to forget anyone in our ranks."

    Katherine sighed, as she took in a deep breath. She attempted some meditation to help her heart rate and breathing relax, before standing up. She moved to her armor station, using the machine to slowly, yet methodically assemble her armor.

    "Where are you going?" Lorelei asked.

    "I need to get stronger." Katherine said.

    "What do you mean by that?" Lorelei shook her head in disbelief. "You can hoist the front end of a Warthog above your head with no sweat."

    "Then I need to lift the entire 'Hog over my head." Katherine said, as the armor finished assembling.

    Reaching down, she grabbed her helmet, before placing it on her head. Lorelei sighed, as she moved to her own armor station. They were bulky things, and Katherine knew it would take Lorelei some time to get armored up.

    Right now, she needed to be alone. Stepping out into the hallway, she summoned the current time. It was right before Evening Mess, at least six hours after they had finished their previous mission. She made her way swiftly towards Halsey's lab. Unsurprisingly, Jorge and the girl from earlier stood there.

    "Ah good." Jorge nodded. "I was wonderin' if you took a nap or not."

    "How can you tell?" Katherine asked.

    "It's in the way you move." Jorge chuckled. "You're always sluggish when you just woke up. Say, do a guy a favor and watch over this one for me?"

    "Go ahead." Katherine sighed.

    She knew Jorge was likely starving. Neither of the Spartans had felt like eating after that last mission, though Jorge had escorted the girl now under Katherine's supervision to the Lunch Mess. It was only fair that the babysitter get some food.

    "Are all of you soldiers really tall?" the girl asked.

    "I guess." Katherine shrugged. "Never really occurred to me."

    "You talk so formal." the girl shook her head. "All of you. Don't you guys ever have fun?"

    "Not much fun to have right now." Katherine sighed. "I'm surprised someone hasn't come for you yet."

    "That lady in there, the doctor." the girl said. "She said that they were going to wait for the guy that saved me to wake up before talking to us."

    "That guy is my friend." Katherine hissed, causing the girl to flinch.

    There was silence for a moment, before the girl rubbed her foot on the ground in a circular motion.

    "I'm sorry, I didn't mean any offense." the girl asked.

    Katherine could hear Lorelei's footfalls coming down the hallway. Leaning against the wall, Katherine watched as Lorelei walked up to her.

    "I had a feeling you'd be here." Lorelei said with a nod. "Get babysitting duty again?"

    "I'm not a baby!" the girl replied.

    "No, but you are a liability." Halsey murmured behind her. "Zero-seven-six, one-oh-two, he's awake now. He should only have one visitor at a time."

    "Thank you ma'am." Katherine nodded, crossing her arms. "Lorelei, you're up."

    "You go first." Lorelei shook her head. "It's clear you need to talk to him more than me. I'll watch this one."

    "Hey, wait!" the girl hesitated. "Can't I thank him for helping me?"

    "Not now." Lorelei said in a harsh tone.

    Katherine followed Halsey in, as the door slid close and locked behind them. Pulling her helmet off of her head, she slung it by her side. Blaine laid in the bed, arms at his side, a distant stare in his eyes.

    "It's from the sedation." Halsey said. "It'll clear soon."

    Halsey left the room, as the door closed and locked behind her. Katherine stepped forward. She looked down at him with watery eyes for a moment, before scanning the monitor beside him. Several large burns covered his back entirely.

    "Sleep well?" she asked.

    "No thanks to Halsey's prodding, yes." Blaine nodded. "How about you? Did you get some rest?"

    "Not much." Katherine sighed. "Blaine, I'm sorry."

    "About?" Blaine groaned, shifting himself.

    "Everything." Katherine shook her head, taking a seat beside him. "Butch, the beast from earli-"

    "Stop." Blaine shook his head. "None of that was your fault. We've discussed Butch numerous times. I feel responsible for his fall, but had he just listened, he'd still be here."

    "As for the beast, we weren't trained to combat them. We were trained to fight Humans, not four lipped monsters." Blaine chuckled, groaning as he did so. "If anything, I should apologize to you. I could have killed that thing three times over. You shouldn't have had to fight it, period."

    "Is everyone else okay?" Blaine continued, as Katherine silently nodded. "I, uh, can't tell. My vision's a little blurry right now, are you nodding?"

    "Yes." Katherine chuckled, as Blaine smiled.

    He knew that would cheer her up. Holding his hand out, he took hers carefully.

    "What about the civilian we saved?"

    "The girl you saved is out in the hall." Katherine said. "You nearly died today, Blaine. Stop acting like everything's okay!"

    "Ah ha." Blaine chuckled. "-but I didn't die, and no-one else got hurt? Seems like everything's a-okay to me."

    "Well it's not, okay?!" Katherine shook her head, causing Blaine to cringe. "I lost Butch, I lost my parents, and the world I was born on is practically uninhabitable! I almost lost you, and you're acting like nothing's the matter!"

    Blaine grunted as he leaned forward, placing a hand softly on her armored shoulder.

    "Well, I'm not planning on leaving just yet." Blaine grinned. "-and together, we're going to destroy the Covenant, in the name of everyone we've lost. Deal?"

    The mission really must have done a number on Katherine, Blaine deduced. Death had been looming over his team's head for quite some time now, and it had seeped it's way into Katherine's personal life. Even if she had been separated from them years before, Blaine knew better than anyone what it was like to miss family.

    He could only dread what would happen if Reach was found by the Covenant and glassed. He hoped to never feel the same pain Katherine was experiencing. With a sigh, he gave his shoulders a quick stretch, a motion he regretted almost immediately.

    "Deal." Katherine chuckled softly, a single tear running down her cheek.

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

    Blaine grit his teeth as he raised the weights above his head. Jorge sat as his spotter, while Katherine and Lorelei kept watch at the two doors leading into the gym. Orange Team had sneaked him out of Halsey's lab and escorted him to the gym so that he could get his workout's done.

    His Mjolnir was in the midst of being repaired, so he had little to mask his identity to the public. It was an annoying prospect, in Blaine's eyes. Spartans weren't allowed to let civilians or non authorized personnel see them outside of their armor anymore.

    Halsey had mentioned something about a 'potential security breach' that could arise if someone recognized the Spartans. That being said, his visits to the Gym during peak times for Marines made it increasingly difficult to be able to train without armor. He didn't mind training in his armor, he just wanted more of a challenge, so as not to rely too heavily on it.

    It had been a day since their mission on Harvest, and Blaine was really impressed by his body's ability to heal so quickly. Since augmentation, he and his team hadn't sustained notable injuries, so in a way, Blaine was happy that he was the guinea pig. With a sigh, Blaine hoisted the weights back onto the rack above his head.

    Sitting up, he carefully rolled his shoulders. His plasma burns on his back had healed considerably, but still stung with every motion. It was something he was hoping that the exercise would help alleviate. Standing, Blaine took his water bottle and began to chug it's contents. As he did so, Jorge grinned from ear to ear.

    "You just toppled your old record just then." Jorge nodded. "Even with those burns, that's pretty impressive."

    "Maybe we should burn you?" Blaine chuckled. "Get you motivated?"

    "Then I wouldn't be as cool as you, oh holy one." Jorge tapped Blaine's shoulder.

    He immediately regretted the decision, however, as Blaine flinched. The burning sensation on his back stimulated the moment his body made any upper body motions whatsoever.

    "Sorry."

    Blaine waved him off with a grin, before standing.

    "I'm gonna hit the showers." Blaine said. "Anyone know if the restroom's clear?"

    "We've been watching the door." Lorelei shrugged. "Just keep your face hidden and get to the showers, I dunno."

    Blaine nodded, before walking past Lorelei, wrapping a towel around his face. He mimed the motion of wiping his face with the towel, before walking down the hall to the restrooms. As he was turning into the restroom, he felt something strike his abdomen. It didn't hurt other than the slight motions his back took on.

    Taking a peek, he saw that the girl from the day before had fallen onto her rear. Bending down, he took to covering his face with the towel, before offering her a hand up.

    "Hey!" she whined. "Watch where you're walking!"

    "Sorry." Blaine muttered, as she refused his hand.

    The girl seemed a bit confused at the sound of his voice, before standing to her feet. Blaine hadn't realized it, but the shock of his collision with her had caused his towel cover to fall off.

    "Y-you're that guy from yesterday, that saved me." she said. "I-I'm sorry, I'm such a klutz."

    Blaine scrambled to find the towel, but sighed as he knew it was already too late.

    "Don't worry about it." Blaine stood, his eyes searching the hallways. "You okay?"

    "You don't sound as old without your armor on." she said, scrunching her forehead up. "How old are you?"

    "I can't tell you." Blaine said quickly, trying to get past her and avoid the conversation.

    "I'm fourteen." she said. "You look to be about the same age, even if you are a giant."

    Blaine froze as she said that last sentence. He was in some real deep trouble with Mendez and Halsey for sure now.

    "Oh my god." she said. "You're a child soldier."

    "Don't be ridiculous." Blaine said, attempting to avoid her. "I just look young."

    "You're not fooling me." she chuckled. "You act just like my friend Charli-"

    The girl paused for a moment, for what, Blaine could only guess. He turned to see tears form in her eyes, as she sank down the wall. With a frown, his eyes cast to the floor.

    "What's your name?" Blaine asked, sitting beside her.

    "Autumn Stroud." she wiped her eyes, turning to him. "What about you?"

    "I, uh, can't tell you." Blaine shuffled for a second. "Everything is going to be fine, Autumn. You don't have to worry anymore, okay?"

    Blaine groaned as he stood once again, the prickles of heat on his back running along his shoulders and down the mid of his back.

    "Also, you didn't see me. Okay?" Blaine said. "Tell no-one about what happened here, or we'll both get in a heap of trouble."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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

    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2016, 12:24 am

    "Good to see you up and about." Mendez said, causing Blaine to jump.

    Well, at least Blaine tried to cover his tracks. Turning around, he snapped into a quick salute.

    "CPO Mendez, sir! I was just hitting the showers, sir."

    "That'll have to wait, one-one-five." Mendez replied. "Suit up, Orange Team needs to be debriefed from yesterday's mission."

    "Yes sir." Blaine replied, before hurriedly returning to his and Jorge's barracks.

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

    "Petty Officer, I want you to explain exactly why that young girl is sitting out in that lobby." Mendez spoke, arms folded behind his back. "In full detail."

    "Sir. Directly after your orders to neutralize the target site, I heard a yell of distress." Blaine reported, standing rigid. "Spartan zero-seven-six was in full control of the immediate area, with friendly snipers to bolster her defenses, sir."

    "I couldn't ignore a blatant cry for help sir."

    "It was not within your orders, Spartan." Mendez growled.

    "Sir, permission to speak?" Katherine asked, stepping forward.

    "Denied."

    "Sir, with all due respect, protecting that young girl was in the realm of my orders, sir." Blaine replied. "We are sworn to protect Earth and all of her colonies, sir. That includes any and all humans that are loyal to the UEG government, sir."

    "Hmm." Mendez nodded, thinking for a moment. "Your actions nearly got you killed, one-one-five."

    "Sir, I have stated time and time again that I would rather die protecting someone, than die for making a mistake."

    "Noble qualities, Petty Officer. You are lucky today, your actions did not cause issues within the mission, and you did save a civilian's life." Mendez paused for a moment. "However, there is one last matter to attend to. Spartans zero-seven-six and one-zero-two, you are dismissed."

    "Sir." Lorelei and Katherine replied, before saluting and exiting the room.

    Blaine was torn. He was relieved that Mendez wasn't going to punish him. However, he was a little confused as to why the others had been dismissed during a debriefing. Mendez removed his cap and began to gently rub his now balding head. Their trainer and mentor paced back and forth, with Doctor Halsey standing directly behind him.

    Mendez had always been a beacon of strength to the Spartans, and Blaine had, in many instances, thought of him like a second dad. Upon seeing Mendez' face, however, Blaine started to see through the facade.

    "Sir?" Blaine asked, causing Mendez to pause.

    "You've grown to be an astounding soldier, one-one-five." Mendez nodded. "Hell, I'm proud of you. So proud, that words couldn't begin to describe it."

    Blaine was expecting the 'but' to follow Mendez' statement, and yet it never came. He began to ponder if he was going to be court marshaled, or worse. He knew Spartans weren't going to just be allowed a normal civilian life, especially with all they knew. Blaine came to the conclusion that he was either going to be imprisoned, or killed.

    The mere thought alone of being killed here and now sent a shiver up Blaine's spine. Had his actions really caused that much grief for Mendez and Doctor Halsey? Bowing his head, he waited for Mendez to continue.

    "Long have Doctor Halsey and I acknowledged your leadership potential. You and a handful of other Spartans have risen up within your ranks to prove yourselves as capable leaders on the battle field." Mendez said. "Orange Team has been quite the example."

    "Spartans, this is Colonel Hackett." Mendez stepped aside, saluting the man beside him. "Sir."

    Both Jorge and Blaine snapped into a firm salute, as the man returned the gesture.

    "I've heard great things, Spartans." Colonel Hackett said, a grin on his face. "Astounding things, to be honest with you."

    Blaine and Jorge turned to each other. They knew they were being debriefed, but this man looked as though he was about to brief them onto some other mission.

    "Truth be told, the Office of Naval Intelligence could really use your skill sets." Hackett cleared his throat, folding his arms behind his back. "That being said, I'm here to issue you new orders."

    "Sir?" Blaine asked, stepping forward. "I don't believe I understand?"

    "Then I will explain, Spartan." Hackett nodded curtly. "You and Spartan zero-five-two are being transferred from the main group to my division."

    "Starting today, you and the Spartan beside you will become members of ONI's elite SCORE directive." Hackett continued. "I would take the other members of your team, but I don't have the resources currently to sustain four of you."

    "Sir, those are my squadmates." Blaine stepped forward. "I can't be expected to abandon my men, sir."

    "You can, and you will, Spartan." Hackett replied with a growl. "If the need arises, I will consider transferring the other two in time. You and zero-five-two have exemplary combat records so far, and I have a personal recommendation from one of my top teams for your transferal."

    "You will be boarding UNSC Prowler Evangelical for further briefing, Spartans." Hackett nodded. "I will give you the time to say farewell to your squad-mates."

    Hackett began to walk away, before turning back, staring deep into Blaine's visor.

    "Also, bring the girl. ONI will want to talk with her."

    Hackett might as well have ripped out Blaine's heart. His eyes narrowed, as a burning frustration began to form at the pit of his stomach, and at the base of his beating heart. Blaine grit his teeth beneath his helmet, his eyes stinging with anger and concern. He clenched his fists, as Jorge held his shoulders.

    "I'll take good care of the others, Blaine." Mendez nodded solemnly. "You have my word."

    The words had little effect, as Blaine tried his best not to vault over the holographic table in the center of the room and chase down Hackett. For the second time in his life, Blaine was being forced away from his family. The first time hadn't been so hard, because he hardly knew them.

    This was like stripping him of his brothers and sisters, and he began to feel that same frustration and anger that Katherine had had the night before. Jorge held Blaine still, staring visor to visor with Blaine for a moment. Blaine's entire being shook with a mixture of rage and frustration.

    "They can't do this." Blaine growled. "Not now."

    "Everything'll work out, baratom." Jorge grunted, struggling to keep him back. "Just roll with it for now. Dammit, it's not goodbye forever!"

    For Blaine, it might as well have been. His Spartans of Orange Team weren't just family to him, they were his everything. He held deep respect for the other Spartans, just as he had with Mendez and Halsey. His Spartans, however, were the only ones that understood him.

    The door opened behind them, as Katherine and Lorelei stepped in, Autumn by their sides. Blaine fell to his knees, striking the side of his fist against the carpet.

    "What's happened?" Katherine asked, as Lorelei walked over.

    "Did you get demoted, sir?" Lorelei asked, crouching beside Blaine.

    Blaine shook his head, staring at the floor directly in front of him with pure malice. Lorelei attempted to shake his shoulders, as Blaine fell forward, placing his hands flat on the rug, holding himself up. He shook all over, the tears beginning to well up in his eyes.

    He grit his teeth, Spartans weren't supposed to cry. He certainly didn't want his last encounter with the other two to be him crying. Clenching his fists, Blaine couldn't stand.

    "We're being reassigned." Jorge sighed. "Blaine's not taking it well."

    "What?!" Katherine said, stepping backwards. "What do you mean reassigned? They're disbanding Orange Team?"

    "They may as well be." Blaine stood shakily, with some help from Lorelei. "Jorge and I aren't going to be around the rest of you guys much longer."

    "Sir, that's bogus." Lorelei frowned beneath her helmet. "Why would they split the team up? Don't we have enough of a combat effectiveness ratio to maintain our standing?"

    "It's because of our combat effectiveness, apparently." Jorge sighed. "Colonel Hackett, Blaine and I's new handler, said that he may request for you two in time. Time is a funny thing though. Never specified when, if ever."

    "Mendez and Halsey would never let that happen, though." Katherine said.

    "They already did." Blaine sighed.

    Katherine stood rigid for a moment, before wrapping her arms around him. Thankfully, the armor helped keep the stinging sensation of the burns under wraps. Returning the gesture, he noticed Lorelei doing the same thing with Jorge.

    "Take care of yourself and Lorelei, that's my final order." Blaine said.

    "You best take care of yourself, sir." Katherine sobbed. "Or I'll kick your butt from Reach to Earth and back."

    "Deal." Blaine smirked beneath his helmet.

    The Spartans transitioned to the opposite Spartan and said their goodbyes. Lorelei and Katherine followed Blaine and Jorge, who escorted Autumn to the vehicle bay. Colonel Hackett stood on the loading ramp for the Prowler class stealth ship.

    Autumn looked back at Blaine, who stared straight forward. She reached her hand out for his, but hesitated for a moment. If he didn't know any better, she was likely just as nervous as he was in that moment. Hackett nodded curtly, before stepping further into the massive ship.

    Jorge took Autumn by the hand and gently helped her load into the troop bay, which had a similar layout to a typical Pelican. Blaine stopped for a moment, turning back to Lorelei and Katherine, who had unsurprisingly hailed the rest of the Spartans to see them off.

    John stepped forward, saluting Blaine, who smiled beneath his helmet. The other Spartans, following their leader's motions, saw Blaine off with a crisp salute. Blaine stood at attention to his Spartan brothers and sisters, relishing the moment with them, before turning back and entering the Prowler's troop bay.

    The engines for the Prowler roared to life, as the ramp closed, locking in the oxygen. Jorge sat beside Autumn, as Hackett stood at the door leading further into the Prowler. Hackett waited for Blaine to follow, as the Spartan cleared the door.

    "I know it wasn't easy, Spartan." Hackett sighed. "I've lost many soldiers in my time. While I may not be attached on the same level as you, son, I can only hope that you'll understand that I didn't do this to be your enemy."

    "Sir." Blaine replied, albeit a bit cold.

    "If I had the proper funding from the Office, I would have gladly taken in the entirety of your team. Ask any of the soldiers under my command, they'll tell you my word is the equivalent of the most previous of diamonds." Hackett continued, as the two walked down the hall. "After reading all of your files, I knew that the decision would be hard for me to choose who to reassign."

    "As a fellow superior to his men, I knew that you would have been more upset if I had taken one of the others over you. Not because you thought you were better, son, but because you would worry about them dearly. Moreso than you are right now."

    Hackett stopped, turning to Blaine, who had calmed down considerably as Hackett explained himself.

    "To be honest with you, my decision swayed from one of my top teams, as I told you earlier. You've met with them once before; Cobalt Squad?"

    "We've met, sir." Blaine nodded.

    "I won't lie to you Spartan, mostly for fear that you'll rip my throat out." Hackett chuckled. "Spartan zero-five-two is being placed in a separate division to SCORE. I don't know the specifics, but you'll be happy to know that he'll be in very good hands."

    "As for you, I want you to head the new Fireteam I'm starting." Hackett cleared his throat. "Fireteam Lance. Formed from some of the best soldiers the UNSC and ONI could provide."

    "It would seem like such a waste not to put your leadership skills and combat effectiveness to work properly." Hackett continued. "In keeping with your Naval background, you will hereby be referred to as a Lieutenant Junior Grade."

    Under normal circumstances, Blaine would have happily accepted the promotion. Especially because of how significant of a jump it was from his old rank. Effectively placing him as the first Spartan to reach an enlisted commissioned officer's rank.

    "Thank you, sir." Blaine said, as Hackett reached up and placed a hand on his shoulder.

    "You'll come around, Spartan." Hackett nodded. "For now, let's get you reacquainted with your new squad."

    They turned the corner, as the metallic door slid open. Blaine took notice as four grown men were displaced around the barracks. Two of them had their cots pushed together, using what appeared to be playing cards to play a game. One of them sat at his desk, holding a combat knife between his right index finger and thumb, aiming at a target on the far end of the room.

    The last man, however, sat on his cot, arms crossed and staring at the ceiling. His gaze was devoid of any emotion or life. Blaine recognized the man from their capture of Terrence Fletcher.

    "What the fuck is this nonsense?!" Hackett yelled from beside Blaine. "To your feet, you lazy pricks!"

    The man with the knife was the first to stand to attention, while the two playing with cards joined him. The final ODST, however, laid on his bed and barely seemed to move.

    "Harlowe, to your damn feet!" Hackett growled.

    The man on the cot sneered, showing the first emotion in the time that Blaine had been in the room. Sluggishly, the ODST fell in line beside the other three. This was the new Fireteam Blaine was going to be heading? They traded out his well trained Spartans for these guys?

    For the first time in Blaine's life, he wished that the Covenant had killed him the day before.

    "You again?!" Blaine recognized the ODST's voice immediately as Tongue. "Hackett said we were getting a new leader, not a damn cyborg!"

    "Stow the belly aching." Hackett growled back. "This is Spartan One-One-Five. He's the newest member of the SCORE directive. He is also now your superior, so you will treat him better than you treat me."

    "Good save there." Hyde nodded with a chuckle. "Almost had to call you out on that, Colonel."

    "Especially because I'm authorizing his means of discipline, whichever he chooses to enforce." Hackett warned. "You've seen what he can do on the field, don't make him turn that on you."

    "So, he's our new leader?" Brain asked. "I thought Morgan had founded Cobalt Squad, why is he being ousted?"

    "He's not." Hackett nodded. "Cobalt Squad is merging with this Spartan's new Fireteam; Fireteam Lance. The Lieutenant Junior Grade here will be Fireteam Lance's superior."

    "Maaan!" Tongue groaned. "This is bogus."

    Blaine remembered just how badly Tongue had insulted his other Spartans during their last mission together. Tongue had been some lucky that Blaine wasn't around, because it wouldn't be the first time a Spartan 'accidentally' killed an ODST. Here, however, there was no distance Blaine wouldn't go.

    "Enough." Blaine barked, as Hackett stepped backward. "What's your name?"

    "After you, smartass!" Tongue snarled. "Where the hell are the rest of your freaks anyway?"

    In a flash, much faster than the ODSTs could react, Blaine held Tongue's arm stiff in a standing arm bar. Tongue's face turned red as he growled in disgust. The fire in Blaine's stomach ignited again, and this time, he was going to say a few things, even if they were out of line.

    "Let's get something straight here." Blaine growled into his ear, beneath his helmet. "You can say what you want about me, I couldn't care less what you of all people have to say about me. Talk about my brothers and sisters, though? I'll break you, in ways you didn't even think was possible. Understood?!"

    "Fuck-gah!" Tongue yelped, as his arm began to bend in an awkward direction. "Alright, I cave, I CAVE!"

    "First, I want your damn name." Blaine snarled.

    "Corporal Joshua Durgin! 21st ODST division. SCORE directive!"

    "Alright, Josh." Blaine growled. "You don't like me, and I sure don't like you. However, so long as I'm in charge, you'll do as I say, when I say! Understood?!"

    "Yes, yes dammit!" Josh groaned, his face beginning to turn a shade of blue and purple.

    "Damn fine work Spartan." Hackett said. "You'll whip that one into shape in no time. Though, don't let your new rank get to you."

    Blaine released his grasp on Josh, pushing him back towards the cots. Before Josh or the others could respond, Blaine's magnum was at the ready. Behind him, Hackett had already left the room, giving him the time to say what was really on his mind.

    "I'm not here to be your enemy." Blaine said. "In fact, I'm not here by choice, just like you four."

    "We don't have to like each other." Blaine continued, turning his gaze towards Josh. "However, if we're going to be a team, we're going to work like one. Anyone that falls out of line will know what us Spartans had to go through."

    The man that Blaine recognized as Scotch stepped forwards. He gave Blaine a suspicious look, before crossing his arms.

    "Not to question your leadership, sir." Scotch turned to the others for support. "However, I feel that in order for a team to work properly, a level of trust needs to be maintained. Don't you agree?"

    Blaine's first thought that came to mind was the other members of Orange Team. Each and every one of them trusted their lives to one another. If one fell, they would all fall just to fight their way out of hell together.

    "Agreed. What's your name?" Blaine nodded, stopping himself from nearly saying 'sir'.

    "Chief Warrant Officer Fourth Grade Morgan Harlowe, sir." Morgan saluted. "21st ODST Division and former leader of Cobalt Squad."

    "Chief Warrant Officer Third Grade Craig Harlowe." the man beside Morgan said.

    "Staff Sergeant Phillip Durgin." Phil said, standing beside Josh.

    Blaine lowered the pistol back to his hip, before saluting the lot of them. Confused, only Craig and Morgan returned the salute.

    "Petty- Er. Lieutenant Junior Grade Spartan-115."

    "You've got to have a name, Spartan." Craig stepped forward. "You can't just be a number."

    "Remember what Morgan said about trust?" Craig continued. "That means no more helmet, no more number. If we're going to trust you, we need a name to call you, and a face to fight alongside."

    Blaine stood rigid. Mendez and Halsey had ordered the Spartans following their receiving of Mjolnir, to always wear the armor in the public's eyes. They weren't to remove their helmet under any circumstances, unless strictly told otherwise.

    With a mental sigh, Blaine also realized that Mendez and Halsey's orders no longer applied to him. If he was going to get Lorelei and Katherine to join him in this new SCORE directive, he was going to have to prove to his new leadership that he could handle any team. If he stood in good standings with them, perhaps the others would be allowed to rejoin him.

    Blaine reached up for his helmet, disengaging the air-tight locks. With a little turn, he lifted the head-piece off of his head and slung it under his arm.

    "Lieutenant Junior Grade, Blaine-115." Blaine spoke loudly and clear. "Assuming command of Fireteam Lance. Fall in, soldiers."

    Phil's eyes widened, as his jaw dropped almost instantly. He and Josh sneaked a glance at each other, before Phil and Craig's eyes met. Craig smirked smugly, as the ODSTs eyes all turned to Morgan, who took a step back.

    "They weren't kiddin'." Morgan shook his head, taking a step back. "It's really you."

    "I pulled some strings, bro." Craig smirked. "Turns out that dick-head Agent Sol owed me a favor. Though, I tried to get his whole squad."

    "You mean to say that you're the one that personally suggested me for this team?" Blaine turned to Craig, who nodded.

    "Yep." Craig smirked. "Like I said, I tried to bring your entire squad through, but there was nothing doing. Some other ONI hotshot had their eyes on your friend out in the other room."

    Craig stepped forward, before turning to face Morgan.

    "Before I continue. Lieutenant, were you in New Alexandria's Orphanage as a young kid?"

    Blaine's eyes widened, as he was taken aback by the question. He didn't know entirely where this was going, but he decided to answer the question. Trust was earned through honesty, after all.

    "Yeah. I was." Blaine nodded, suspicious, as Josh and Phil shook their head.

    Blaine was confused by the smug smiles on their face, as Craig turned back to Morgan.

    "Lieutenant. I wanna reintroduce you to someone whose been looking for you for a very, very long time." Craig smiled, holding his hand out to Morgan. "You might remember him as the cake man, or Mr. Harlowe?"

    It was then that Blaine recalled where he had heard the name Harlowe from. His mind raced back to his time in the Orphanage, when he had just turned five. He couldn't remember what Mr. Harlowe had looked like, but he remembered the cake that he had been brought.

    He also remembered that the whole reason he had been enlisted into the Spartan Program was because he was looking for Mr. Harlowe, a goal that had once seemed impossible.

    "You see Josh. You're right, there is no other person fit to run Cobalt Squad. It was founded by a pair of Harlowe's, so it should be run by a Harlowe." Craig smiled, turning to Blaine. "Blaine, we're not just your new squad, kiddo. We're your family."

    Blaine stood completely motionless, as his brain tried to handle all of the information so quickly. He was hurt that Halsey had lied to him as a kid, and forced him to follow the charade that his family was dead. At the same time, though, he would have never met Lorelei and Katherine, or any of the other Spartans for that matter.

    Morgan, however, was the first to step forward, a tear running down his right cheek. Looking up at Blaine, he chuckled, before breaking out into full laughter.

    "It took you long enough." Morgan laughed, his eyes staring up at the ceiling. "God knows I looked everywhere for you."

    "So." Blaine shook his head. "That means you're-"

    "I'm your father." Morgan said, wrapping his arms around Blaine. "I've waited forever just to do that, boyo."

    Blaine stared straight ahead, he didn't really know what to think. He had always wanted to ask his real dad why he left him in that Orphanage. He wanted to know why he didn't come to adopt him. More importantly, he wanted to know if he still loved him.

    After all of these years, he forgot the questions entirely, because he felt they would never be answered. He had a mixture of relief and frustration. Did this man abandon him on purpose? If he was looking for him, why hadn't he come sooner?

    "Why?" Blaine asked, as Morgan unhinged himself.

    "Why did I leave you there?" Morgan sighed. "Why did I leave you in that Orphanage?"

    "Because I loved you, son." Morgan continued. "I was a soldier, and I had to do my duty. I wanted to keep you on site, your mother and I both."

    "She died the day you were born, Blaine." Morgan began to cry. "Without her, we couldn't have a kid on the base. It was too dangerous for a kid. I told those people in the Orphanage to hold on to your until I could either retire, or relocate you to a more suitable place."

    "But that bitch Lowry." Morgan growled, clenching his fists. "She brought her aggression towards the UNSC out on you, because of my affiliation."

    "The day I was coming to get you back, it was the day you disappeared." Morgan shook his head.

    Blaine's eyes began to water as he thought about it. Had he stayed at the Orphanage a little longer, he could have gone with his dad?

    "After that day, I didn't stop searching for you. Even if I couldn't physically search, I used my access in ONI Section I's records to look for anything pertaining to a missing kid." Morgan continued. "Then you and your fellow Spartans got that Simon DeWinter, and you visited that Orphanage."

    "Your Uncle Craig here put the pieces together, and he brought you here to me." Morgan sighed. "I don't expect you to forgive your old man. I'm just happy I got to know you're safe."

    "It's a lot to take in." Blaine nodded. "I'll need to think on it. For now, I want everyone here to clean this room. It's filthy, and a soldier's room should be neat and tidy, as a representation of the soldier themselves."

    "Gee." Josh shook his head. "Guess we know who he got that from."

    Phil smacked the back of Josh's head, as the four ODSTs set off to do the cleaning. Morgan was a bit hesitant, mostly because he wasn't expecting Blaine's response. Craig escorted Morgan away, as Blaine brought his helmet back to his head. Jorge was still here, and he needed desperately to talk to someone he knew he could trust.

    Stepping back out into the hallway, Blaine saw Jorge exit the room on the far side.

    "Rumor has it you got stuck with those morons in Cobalt Squad." Jorge crossed his arms. "Made you the leader of that sideshow circus?"

    "Nothing gets past you." Blaine sighed.

    "Well, you could always strip that Tongue guy of his nickname and actual tongue." Jorge shrugged with a chuckle.

    "Can we speak, in private?" Blaine asked, as he opened a private comm. "You'll never believe this. They're related to me."

    "Comedy really isn't your specialty barat." Jorge replied.

    "I'm serious. Remember that Mr. Harlowe and his ODSTs I used to tell you about during our early days?" Blaine asked.

    "Yeah. You always thought Mr. Harlowe was your dad or something?"

    "Well, it's Mr. Harlowe and his ODSTs." Blaine shrugged.

    "That's messed up." Jorge shook his head. "They transferred you and I away from the others, just to put you with your father? Sounds like the plot to one of those corny books Halsey likes to read."

    "Yeah, but the writer's our age." Blaine chuckled, before shrugging. "I don't really know how to react. I'm angry that he abandoned me in the first place, but the whole reason I'm a Spartan is because I went looking for him."

    "That can be both a good thing, and a bad thing." Jorge nodded. "Good because of the life and friends you made, bad because of what we had to go through."

    "If you want my opinion, Blaine. Did he greet you with tears of joy, or was he standoffish?"

    "When he found out who I was, he seemed happy." Blaine shrugged.

    "There's your answer." Jorge replied, placing a hand on Blaine's shoulder. "You and I were trained to be tough, Blaine. Don't let this be the thing that breaks you.


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2016, 11:54 pm

    "Um, Blaine?" Autumn asked, stepping up to them.

    Blaine cringed, as Jorge turned his helmet to Blaine. Jorge crossed his arms, before leaning back against the wall.

    "Everyone knows you, don't they?" Jorge chuckled.

    "She ran into me earlier, when I was going to shower."

    "So you got pressured into telling her your name?" Jorge chuckled, shaking his head. "I think you found a natural spook here."

    "I'm no ghost!" Autumn placed her fists on her hips, sticking her tongue out.

    "That's not what he meant." Blaine replied. "Did you need something?"

    Autumn paused for a moment, before clamming back up. She turned her gaze from them for a moment, before turning back.

    "That man, Mr. Mendez?" she said softly. "He said that ONI wanted to talk to me. My dad always said that ONI's chats didn't end well. They made people disappear."

    Blaine felt a pang of regret at the bottom of his heart. He didn't know much about ONI, other than the Spartan program was funded and kept secret by them. What he did know, however, was that ONI was not the people you wanted to go up against in a negative light.

    "Yes." Blaine nodded. "I was told to escort you to ONI HQ."

    "Are they going to hurt me?" Autumn said. "I swore I'd never tell your secret!"

    Blaine didn't know for certain how to respond. He couldn't promise her that ONI wouldn't do anything to her, because he didn't know what all they were capable of. At the same time, he couldn't leave her to despair.

    "If they'll allow me to speak, I'll do what I can." Blaine shrugged. "Don't worry about it."


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

    The transit to Earth from the Atlas' last known position had taken a considerable amount of time. Blaine didn't quite know to what heading the Prowler had been taking, only that it had entered and exited Slip-space a total of six times.

    Jorge, Autumn, and Blaine stepped up to the observation deck window. Directly in front of them, a cobalt blue and green planet loomed in the otherwise black void of space. Blaine had only seen images of Earth during his training. It was a bizarre feeling, knowing that Humanity had once solely inhabited that planet.

    A testament to how Humanity had grown, UNSC ships of all shapes and sizes loomed around the orbit of the planet. On top of the three Orbital MAC stations. Impressive anti-vehicular cannons, Blaine had always thought. They had easily the power of five normal MAC turrets bundled into one ship destroying piece of artillery.

    "Woah." Autumn said, eating the view right up. "I've never seen Earth before. It's really pretty."

    "Yeah." Jorge nodded. "That's quite a view, that."

    "I bet the other two would've loved to have seen it." Blaine placed his right hand on the glass.

    "Yeah. Well, maybe not Lorelei." Jorge shrugged. "She's never one to observe really, she's more analytical."

    "Yeah." Blaine chuckled, before turning to Jorge. "I take it Hackett briefed you?"

    "Yeah. I've been told I'm going lone wolf." Jorge shrugged. "It's gonna be different without you or the others there, sir."

    "We all make it sooner or later." Blaine sighed, placing a hand on Jorge's shoulder. "Take care of yourself, Spartan."

    "You too sir." Jorge nodded. "An' please kick in someone's skull a little harder just for me, yeah?"

    "Deal." Blaine said, before the two Spartans met for a quick bro-hug.

    With one final salute, Blaine watched as Jorge turned away and marched down the hallway. The Prowler had been host to a pair of Pelican drop-ships, one of which was for Jorge. The other was for him, Autumn, and Fireteam Lance.

    "I did this, didn't I?" Autumn asked, as Blaine turned to face her.

    "Er, no. It's not your fault. Whether or not we had run into you, he and I'd still be here." Blaine said. "You'd better come with me. We'll be heading planet side in five minutes."

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

    "Lieutenant Junior Grade, Spartan One-One-Five." one man in a crisp black suit said, walking up to Blaine. "Agent Stratus, ONI Section III's in house Director. Commander Stratus, if it's easier for you."

    "Sir." Blaine saluted him. "I was instructed to escort this civilian to you, sir."

    Agent Stratus returned the salute, before turning his attention to Autumn. The front office of ONI looked like any other public office building, which was all the more reason to make her skin crawl. It felt too normal, and it gave off the unsettling feeling of a million eyes staring at them.

    "Excellent, Lieutenant. I believe one of my subordinates have your team's next assignment for you. You'll find him down the hall and to the right."

    Taking Autumn by the hand, Stratus began to walk away, as Blaine remained there. Autumn turned back to face him, tears in her eyes.

    "Sir, permission to speak?" Blaine asked, causing Stratus to turn.

    "Granted, son." Stratus grinned. "I've been meaning to pick one of you guy's brains anyways."

    "I'd like to stand by as a witness in this young lady's hearing, sir." Blaine stood rigid. "I know of the reason why ONI wishes to address her, and I would like to have a chance to defend her."

    Stratus looked at Blaine with a mote of curiosity, before exploding into wild laughter, going so far as to slap his right knee. Blaine didn't understand what he had said was so funny, but decided to remain still.

    "I like you, son." Stratus smirked. "You've got a very dry sense of humor. Dismissed, Lieutenant."

    Turning back, Stratus attempted to drag Autumn. Autumn, however, refused to budge.

    "Sir." Blaine pried. "The whole incident was my fault, sir. Any breach of security is my fault. All I ask is that you give me a chance to explain, so that you might find her innocent, sir. She's done nothing wrong, except becoming a victim of circumstance."

    Stratus sighed heavily, rubbing his eyes and the bridge of his nose. Baring his teeth, he groaned in a mixture of annoyance and compassion.

    "Very well then. You may follow us into the hearing. Both you and the girl here will have a chance to state the happenings of yesterday's violation." Stratus said. "Be warned, Lieutenant. This is liable to place you into very hot water as well."

    Blaine nodded, before following Stratus and Autumn into the elevator. It was a bit crowded, due to the size and heft of Blaine's Mjolnir systems. The elevator began to play a soft tune, while the three stood there, staring up at the display above.

    After descending three floors, the three individuals disembarked from the elevator and down the adjacent hall. Blaine's eyes scanned around, where people in white lab coats and blue dust masks bustled about like worker ants.

    Stratus punched a few numbers into a number pad on the door, before pressing his hand onto the display above it. In this time, Autumn took a moment to look up to Blaine, an apologetic frown on her face. Blaine nodded his head, producing a thumbs up for her.

    The room itself was nearly pitch black. Blaine, thanks to his augments, could see the lens flare glowing off of a pair of glasses in the distance. Upon their entrance, lights flickered on above the heads of five individuals, each elevated into a higher level than the next.

    "This hearing involves only ONI and the accused." one of the adjudicators, a middle aged woman, sneered.

    "Board of Directors, the Spartan standing before you is just as much involved with this case as the accused." Stroud reported. "He requested to be present, on the grounds that he wished to defend the accused of an error within communication."

    "So be it." the woman replied. "The accused will both stand."

    Blaine and Autumn stood up to separate podiums. Blaine folded his arms behind his back. In the corner of his eye, however, he could see her shivering like a dog. He had to admit, he was pretty nervous too. However, he wasn't about to let someone else suffer because of him.

    "Address yourselves."

    "Ma'am. Lieutenant Junior Grade, Spartan Blaine-115, ma'am." Blaine said. "I was the Spartan that this young woman supposedly 'violated' ONI security on, ma'am."

    "I-I'm Autumn Stroud." Autumn said.

    "How old are you?" the woman replied coldly.

    "F-Fourteen, ma'am." Autumn shook nervously.

    "Autumn Stroud, Spartan One-One-Five. You are both accused for the heinous, egregious crime of violating ONI sensitive material under marshal law sub-section E01643-B." one of the 'judges' spoke beside the woman. "How do you plea?"

    "Sir, the situation at large was a misunderstanding, sir." Blaine spoke firmly. "We both plea guilty, with the defense of a mere accident, sir."

    "Spartan, I will ask Ms. Stroud to present her side of the story first. You are asked to step out into the hallway."

    Blaine saluted the men and women behind the stand, before stepping back out into the hall. Stratus opened the door for him. Blaine rolled his neck, waiting for his moment to reenter the room. He hoped that the girl wouldn't become so nervous that she was delirious. He knew Spartans were to keep their identities secured, for fear of public backlash.

    However, he also thought nothing of the fact of a orphaned fourteen year old snitching to random people about seeing child soldiers. Still, he remembered hearing that ONI were ruthless when it came to securing and locking down these forms of cultural intelligence.

    The door opened up behind him, Blaine returning to his podium. Folding his arms behind his back, he waited to be addressed. To his right, Autumn shook like a cold kitten in the middle of a dark street.

    "Lieutenant. Ms. Stroud claims to be one of the sole survivors of Justice, Harvest. A city you and your team were in at 15:00 hours yesterday?" the man asked.

    "Affirmative, sir." Blaine nodded. "I cannot offer the specifics of my team's mission within Justice. I can, however, say that the event in question took place during a routine asset denial operation."

    "My team was awaiting a Pelican with enough ordinance to deny our enemy's a key strategic location filled with objects of unknown origin. In the time we were waiting, sir, I heard Ms. Stroud cry out for assistance."

    Blaine's eyes scanned between the members of the board, who seemed to whisper in and among themselves. He could make out only a few of their words, deciding to spend his thought processes on carefully crafting his story, their defense.

    "My orders, from when I was first inducted into service under the UNSC's and UEG's banner was to protect Earth and all of her colonies." Blaine stood firm. "It was my understanding, sir, that civilians like Ms. Stroud fall into that category."

    "Ms. Stroud had been under attack by a new enemy unlike anything the UNSC has ever seen before. I was successful in neutralizing the hostiles, and proceeded to evacuate a helpless civilian. On my way out, however, I was heavily wounded by the enemy." Blaine continued. "My superior, Doctor Halsey, immediately tended to my wounds upon my return to the Atlas."

    "I was instructed to take regular showers to help heal the burns I had sustained on my back, sir." Blaine continued. "It is impossible to properly bathe in these suits, sir. The Atlas' restrooms are unisex, and when I had been out of my armor, Ms. Stroud ran into me."

    "The only reason she recognized me, to my knowledge, was that she knew I had been severely burned on my back. The scars of which she would have noticed immediately, as I wasn't wearing a shirt." Blaine continued. "Or perhaps she recognized my voice without the filter of the helmet. Either way, ladies and gentlemen, neither Ms. Stroud or I purposefully meant to violate any security within ONI's marshal law."

    "Be that as it may, Spartan." the woman continued. "We cannot properly allow a civilian that knows sensitive ONI material to walk free."

    "Madam Director, if I may suggest something?" the man sitting beside her stood. "If ONI has already committed to recruiting children to join the UNSC's fight. Perhaps it would be wise to put her to use within the Office?"

    "You are suggesting inducting this girl into the Office of Naval Intelligence?" the woman turned to her colleague. "Without proper training, discipline, or known connections?"

    "Ma'am, I will sponsor her." the man stood. "I will train her to be an Agent. She can be my student. A fourteen year old being sent to MIDNIGHT just doesn't sit right with me, ma'am."

    "If you believe you can properly acclimate her, and she doesn't whistle-blow any of the knowledge she learns, then fine." the woman scoffed. "However, if I suspect any act of sabotage or espionage from Ms. Stroud, MIDNIGHT will the be the least of your issues, Agent."

    "I won't let you down, Madam Director." the man nodded. "This hearing is hereby adjourned. "

    Stratus nodded, before leaving the room. The man descended from the back of his stand, before walking back around to where Blaine and Autumn were standing. In her excitement, Autumn had sprinted over towards Blaine and practically jumped into his arms, hugging him tightly.

    The bulk of his armor, however, prevented her from doing so, as she cascaded to the floor. Blaine reached a hand down and gently helped her to her feet, as the man approached.

    "That was a strong defense you dealt there, Spartan. the man stepped forward, as Blaine saluted him. "It needs some work, but it was enough to get Parangosky off of your case for now. Not many people have been able to do that."

    "I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself." the man said. "Captain Daniel Krieg, Co-director of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Many refer to me by my code-name: Agent Death."

    "That's, um, charming." Autumn scratched the back of her head. "Thank you very much, sir, for believing us."

    "Don't thank me yet. I'm still on the fence about this whole ordeal. I would much rather take a risk and give you another chance, than to condemn you if you were right." Daniel replied. "Don't think I won't throw you to the wolves just because I spared you now."

    "What will you do now, sir?"

    "As I said. Ms. Stroud will be taken under my wing. I will teach her the basics of being an Agent for the Office. Depending on her abilities, she may either escalate to a head on the board like myself, or she'll eventually become a field agent." Daniel replied. "It will not be easy, and you'll learn a lot of things that may shock you. However, if you do as I say how I say, and you'll wipe your slate clean in no time."

    "Thank you, sir." Blaine nodded. "I couldn't stand the thought of sending her to the wolves, especially after all I went through to save her."

    "Yes, well." Daniel said. "You would be wise to keep your identity better hidden. Between you and me, I know exactly why you were transferred, and you're extremely lucky that I don't report it to Parangosky."

    "Luckily for you, though, I have major respect for your father and his father before him." Daniel continued. "Speaking of them, I will take the liberty of having your briefing sent to your suit. Return to your Fireteam, Lieutenant."

    Autumn held out a hand, as Blaine looked down at it. With a smile, he gently shook her hand, before placing his spare hand on her shoulder.

    "Don't waste this." Blaine smirked beneath his helmet.

    "I won't, you'll see." Autumn smiled, waving to him as Blaine left the room.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 2nd 2016, 11:15 pm

    "Spartan, do you read me?"

    "Loud and clear, sir." Blaine replied. "I'm boarding the Evangelical now for briefing."

    "Excellent, though I regret to inform you there's been a shift in priorities. You'll have to brief your Fireteam upon your arrival."

    "Sir?" Blaine asked.

    The Pelican rocked beneath Blaine's feet as it dropped him off in the Prowler's vehicle bay. Tapping the side of the machinery, he moved past a group of gawking mechanics and scientists. Even if they were affiliated with ONI, Blaine knew they knew nothing about him or the Spartan program. The ambiguity he gave off was, in many ways, a relief.

    After Autumn and his Fireteam had learned his identity, Blaine had been feeling out of place again. A feeling he hadn't quite experienced since the days of the Orphanage. He remembered just how much he had hated it. Passing the threshold leading further into the Prowler, he half expected Lorelei, Katherine, and Jorge to be waiting for him. His heart skipped a beat when he realized that neither of them were there.

    "It's the current President of the UEG. He was off planet attending what we could only assume was a potential peace summit in Casbah, on Tribute." Hackett replied. "With the growing concern over the alleged 'alien attacks' taking place in the Outer Colonies, President Kawahara set out for Tribute a week ago."

    "Sir, we sent the UEG's President to the Epsilon Eridani System, knowing full well that the Insurrection flourished there?" Blaine shook his head.

    Strategically, it would have been wiser to send both parties to neutral territories. Blaine had learned about Operation: TREBUCHET during training. Casbah was thought to be one of the biggest Insurrectionist strongholds in the bordering Colonies, and as such had been the longest lasting battles in UNSC history. Perhaps this peace summit could have been a seeming end to conflict between the UNSC and the Insurrection, had the location been more thought out.

    "Communications ended at about 03:00 hours this morning." Hackett reported. "Effective immediately, the Admiralty sent UNSC teams to the surface of Tribute to locate the President. As such, the UNSC has also surged UEG space into a time of Marshal law."

    "Fireteam Lance is responsible with escorting the President off world. I needn't remind you how vital this operation is, Spartan." Hackett warned. "Hackett out."

    Blaine nodded as the comm. died. As a force of habit, Blaine found himself inside of the armory. Again, he expected to see Orange Team right beside him, prepping for the coming mission. Instead, he found the armory was emptied. He only knew the ODSTs slightly after their previous engagements, and figured they were probably in their quarters goofing around.

    His hand reached for a DMR inside of a weapon's rack, before pulling an Assault Rifle off as well. Clipping the MA5B to his back thanks to the magnetic field, Blaine began to fill his ammo pouch with pre-filled magazines. He clipped a pair of fragmentation grenades to his hip, before turning back down the hall and to his team's quarters.

    The door slid open, three of the ODSTs turning their attention to him. It was still surreal not being saluted by the ODSTs, as he had been accustomed to by his fellow Spartans. Blaine began to explain the mission statement to the ODSTs.

    "We can't hear you." Josh snickered. "Dumbass."

    Blaine sighed, he was still used to Orange Team having their comm. open at all times. Unlike Spartans, he forgot that the ODSTs weren't forced to wear their armor all the time. Disengaging the comm. channel, Blaine opened the exterior speaker system on his helmet.

    "Prep for combat." Blaine turned his visor to Josh. "This is an important one."

    "How important?" Phil asked, sitting up.

    "The President of the UEG is stuck in hostile territory. Communications with him ended at 03:00 hours this morning." Blaine reported. "We'll be dropping into Casbah, Tribute in a search and rescue type op. Don't expect long range engagements."

    "You heard the boy, move it out!" Morgan barked.

    "You gonna be an asshole every time he speaks now?" Josh growled, as Phil smacked him upside the head. "AND WOULD YOU STOP FUCKING DOING THAT!"

    "Only when you stop being a spoiled asshat." Phil said, turning to Blaine. "We'll get it done Spartan. Where shall we rendezvous? "

    "Vehicle bay, a Falcon will be waiting for us."


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2016, 7:55 pm

    It had been several hours since the Evangelical entered orbit above Tribute. The large planet glowed a soft blue, like the shell of a robin's egg. From what Blaine had learned from Déjà's class, Tribute was a planet from pole to pole in snow and ice.

    "President Kawahara has been located." Blaine reported, standing in front of the Falcon air-ship. "He's been spotted to the northern end of Casbah, in an abandoned Lethbridge Industrial factory. Expect some heavy resistance."

    The ODSTs seemingly took in the information. Though Blaine still didn't know them well enough. Even still, Blaine wasn't sure if he really wanted to. It was still awkward, knowing that his own father was in front of him.

    "Warrant Officer Harlowe, I want you and Craig on me when we land." Blaine ordered. "Staff Sergeant and Corporal Durgin, you'll be in charge of covering the Falcon."

    "Any further questions?" Blaine stood rigid, when none of the ODSTs answered, he moved for the pilot's seat. "Mount up, then."

    Blaine opened the hatch and crammed himself into the pilot's seat. It wasn't entirely comfortable, considering the cumbersome armor he was wearing. It closed above his helmet, but still didn't offer much in the way of head-space.

    There wasn't much to expect from a new model of machinery. He hoped that the UNSC would roll out more with better head-space in the future, but he would have to make deal with it for now. Activating the start-up protocols, his HUD modified itself to take on the typical HUD of an aircraft.

    Green acknowledgement lights flickered in his vision, as he pulled gently on the controls. The Falcon lifted into the air, hovering out of the troop bay and out into the open air of Tribute. In a twist of luck, there was a snow storm that would mask their approach. Of course, it would also make flying much more difficult for Blaine.

    The ODSTs, on the other hand, sat in the back of the Falcon, weapons at the ready. Morgan was the only one of them who opted to stand, hand on the stabilizer bar in the corner.

    "Look, I know he's Morgan's son and all." Josh growled, crossing his arms. "Am I the only sane one left in this squad?! We're taking orders from a god-damn PRE-TEEN!"

    "It's fucked, sure." Craig sighed. "Think of it from a different perspective, at least Morgan knows Blaine's alive."

    "Still man." Phil shook his head. "Blaine doesn't really seem to want to be here. Remember what I said?"

    "Answer me this," Craig leaned forward. "If Josh had a kid, and Josh's child went missing one day. Wouldn't Josh go nuts worried about him?"

    "Josh? Having a heart?" Phil chuckled. "Yeah, I suppose he'd be rather upset."

    Craig replied slyly. "Josh is already known for being annoying, so imagine how much more of a burden you'd have to put up with if that were the case."

    "As his brother, you would do anything to help him out, wouldn't you?" Craig asked. "I hated watching my brother slowly lose himself these past nine years. So I used a very LARGE favor to bring him and his son together."

    Josh slacked his arms, before leaning forward. "I'm glad you did what you did for Morgan. Fact of the matter is, though, you've possibly painted a giant target on our backs."

    "How do you figure?" Craig scoffed, shaking his head.

    "Spartans are ONI's pet project, that's obvious. We know Blaine is a pre-teenager, but a better soldier than ONI's BEST combined. Josh said sternly. "We know from experience that ONI has their thumb in EVERYONE'S pie. Don't you think it'd be strange if an ONI higher up just out of the blue asks for a specific top-secret unit that shouldn't technically be known?"

    "We're the only UNSC troops that know the Spartans exist, except for authorized personnel. It narrows down ONI's all-viewing eye to one group, right?" Josh turned to Phil. "It's not that I'm pissed I'm taking orders from Morgan's kid or anything. I'm on edge that ONI's going to send us all to MIDNIGHT for this."

    "They can try." Morgan growled, turning back to the others. "Blaine's just confused is all. I don't blame him. He met me when he was five, and that Sanders broad said that he always asked her why he was left there."

    "I don't know, Morgan." Phil sighed. "If he disappeared when he was five, and all of those other kids were in the same scenario as he was, he's grown with them for nine years."

    "You think we're tightly-knit after all of our combat scenarios?" Josh continued. "Who knows when Blaine had his first taste of combat-?"

    Morgan snapped, wrapping his hand around Josh's throat, just underneath his helmet.

    "Don't you fucking dare finish that thought!" Morgan snarled.

    "I don't like the thought of it either, Scotch." Phil said, pulling Morgan off of him. "Still, you can't deny that he probably thought of his fellow Spartans as his family."

    "I don't understand what your point is." Craig shook his head.

    "We're saying that we've taken an unnecessary risk in bringing Blaine into our team." Josh growled. "I'm sorry Morgan, but it's the truth. He's not happy to be here, and ONI is going to be watching all of us VERY carefully now."

    "You say that like we have something to hide." Craig shrugged. "We just can't let the news that Blaine is Morgan's kid get to our heads. We continue doing our thing as ONI's personal Grim Reapers, and no-one will know the wiser."

    "Craig, he hesitated to take off his fucking helmet." Josh growled. "He addressed himself as a number! He may have Morgan's DNA, but that isn't his son, not anymore."

    "So what?" Craig scoffed. "Another robot theory?"

    "He's not human anymore, that's for certain." Josh crossed his arms. "How many fourteen year old kids do you know who are pushing six feet ten inches?"

    "Well, it doesn't matter what you think. If we send him back, ONI will really become suspect.  I suggest you both suck it up and do your job."

    Morgan returned to the stabilizer above his head. He understood that the others wanted to make him happy. Finding out Blaine was alive was certainly a plus, however, was Blaine actually living? Forced to be a soldier from a young age, go through knows what kinds of conditions, and treated like a serial number, not a person.

    As a parent, he was happy to know his son wasn't lost or dead. However, he also wanted Blaine to be happy, and if he wasn't happy here, why force him? Shaking his head, Morgan knew that all parenting decisions went out the window when he put Blaine in that Orphanage for five years.

    It would take some getting used to, but for the safety of Blaine, they would have to work it out. Blaine wouldn't be happy, but he was a part of this Fireteam now, and sending him back would likely only make the situation worse.

    "If it's really too hard for you to take orders from him." Morgan sighed. "I'll relay everything he says, and you can follow my orders."

    "As his father, you're saying you're okay with the fact that we-"

    "To be honest, Josh, I'm not happy about any of it. I'm relieved to know he's okay, but I'm not happy with how I found out." Morgan shook his head. "I'm not happy because I don't  know what brought him to this point. I'm not happy, because if he truly was better off with the others, my irresponsibility that put him in this position in the first place, just took him away from the place where he was happier."

    "He's my son. No matter what he went through. I'd much rather see him safe with us. However, if he's not happy here, I don't want him feeling any less comfortable with us." Morgan turned to face them. "Craig said he tried to get his hands on the other members of Blaine's old team. I'd be happier if they were here too, so he wouldn't be so confused and upset."

    "Either way, I'm enforcing every word he says." Morgan crossed his arms. "If you don't like it, there's always an out. Either you're still with me, or you're not."

    Josh and Phil turned to each other, before returning their gaze to Morgan. Nodding their heads, they would never abandon Morgan. After everything they had been through, they may as well go the distance together.

    What none of them had realized, however, was that they had been in the team's comm. channel. Blaine had muted his external communications, but heard every word they had said. There was no more confusion, Morgan was certainly his father, and his arrival to the Fireteam affected everyone in some way.

    Thankfully, he was able to clear the thought from his mind when the capital of Tribute, Casbah, loomed in the distance. Blaine's enhanced eyesight allowed him to pick up a trail of smoke ascending from the tallest skyscrapers, which pierced the clouds above.

    As the Falcon drew nearer, he could see several squads of Marines and ODSTs taking cover behind whatever they could. Insurrectionist troops laid blankets of bullets down, keeping the UNSC soldiers pinned.

    "Prepare for an abrupt landing!" Blaine barked in the comm.

    Swiveling the Falcon's hind end around, it drastically reduced the velocity the machine was running. Activating the front cannon on the Falcon, he fired salvos of three explosive rounds down on the Insurrectionists. He watched as Insurrectionists scrambled for cover, while some of their unlucky companions were blown to pieces.

    Placing the Falcon on the roof of a small apartment complex, Blaine opened the top hatch. Clambering out of the machine, his DMR scanned the roof they were on, before he turned his attention to the roof on the opposite side of the street. He was glad that he had, turning on his boots, he took a crouching stance, firing a single round towards the shimmering light glaring at him.

    "We moving to assist?" Morgan asked, hopping out of the Falcon with the other ODSTs, who swept the roof.

    "Negative." Blaine shook his head. "Our priority is the President."

    "Hey! UNSC lives are at stake down there, we need to assist them!" Josh turned to walk to the edge of the roof. "I dunno about you, but we take care of our own!"

    Blaine stood there, his grip tightening on the DMR. Josh remained firm, as Morgan stepped forward.

    "You heard the Lieutenant, ODST." Morgan replied. "You're to stay here and defend the Falcon while Craig and I join him in the retrieval of the package."

    Blaine turned his vision to the nearest set of stairs, the ODSTs and himself would need a way down to the street level. Sprinting towards it, his motion tracker showed Morgan and Craig's blips slowly following him. Planting his shoulder firmly through the door, the metal door crumpled and broke from it's hinges. Clipping his DMR to his back, he pulled his MA5B Assault Rifle to bear.

    His helmet activated it's flashlight function, as he swept his vision down the stairs. He kept a close eye on the motion tracker, waiting for any red dots to appear. This continued down the five flights of stairs to the ground level. Pulling up a bird's eye map of the area in his HUD, he discovered that the door at the bottom of the stairs would lead them to an adjacent alleyway.

    "Y' mind slowin' down a bit." Morgan huffed. "We're not as young as we used to be, sir."

    "Every second we waste is another second the President could be killed, or taken off world. Chances of locating him again afterwards is unlikely." Blaine reported. "Stay here, I'll clear us a path to the factory."

    "I'll go with you." Morgan shook his head.

    "No." Blaine replied coldly, placing a firm hand on Morgan's chest. "Stay here."

    Turning around the corner, Blaine held his rifle to bear. Insurrectionist troops were too preoccupied by the ODST and Marine squadrons that they hadn't noticed him, despite his Falcon firing on them just minutes before. Pulsing his rounds, the newly outfitted armor piercing rounds shredded the Insurrectionist's armor, as his targets stumbled to the ground.

    Sprinting into the middle of the street, Blaine saw a Warthog approaching from around the far corner. Painted pitch black, it had a flaming red skull emblazoned on the front of it's hood. Insurrectionist soldiers garbed in ODST armor, painted to match the Warthog, cheered inside their helmets, firing their weapons into the air at the anarchy.

    The scout vehicle's pilot revved the engine, as the 'tusks' flashed in the light of the sun. On the back of the vehicle was a fifty caliber machine gun, belt-fed from somewhere behind the driver's seat. Blaine pulled the pin from one of his frag grenades, tossing it just in front of the Warthog.

    The driver backed up to avoid the ensuing explosion, causing the aim of the gunner to skew severely. Blaine took this moment to take cover behind an abandoned car on the street. The vehicle had been heavily modified to suit this group of Insurrectionist's needs. He needed a way to clear it off of the street to make a path for his men to move up.

    Grenades weren't going to cut it either, the driver was on top of that, and Blaine couldn't get a shot with his DMR if he tried. The windshield had metal bars across it, thick enough to absorb any bullets he fired at it. Marines and ODSTs, although confused by his appearance, were pinned down by the erratic shooting of the gunner.

    "Lieutenant B-115 broadcasting on all channels, respond!" Blaine barked.

    "Sergeant Ramos, sir. Fireteam Cinder. 108th ODST." he heard in the comm, as an ODST in the far corner offered a thumbs up. "That's the weirdest fucking armor I've ever seen, but I guess that's not important now. We've been pinned down for hours now, President Kawahara is being held just inside the building at the far end of the street."

    "Ramos, I need you and your men to gather the 'hog's attention." Blaine peeked around the corner, as the gunner seemed to notice, firing back on his position. "Focus on the gunner, our rounds can't penetrate the armor on the front of the Warthog."

    "Wilco, sir." Ramos replied. "Focus fire on the Warthog's gunner boys!"

    The ODSTs and Marines stepped out of their hiding spots, taking pot shots at the gunner of the Warthog. Blaine watched with sorrow as a few men took a few grazing rounds to their sides, while other unlucky soldiers took a full blown salvo to the chest.

    It was as Mendez had taught him and John. A Leader had to be willing to send his men to their deaths. There was a difference between a wasted life, and a spent one. He was aiming to make sure these men and women were spent, not wasted. To his right, he saw a man-hole cover that had been propped up.

    Sprinting towards it, Blaine dove for it, snatching it up in his hands. The HUD of his Mjolnir armor couldn't identify the weapon, but he didn't need to worry for long. Taking a knee, Blaine threw the man-hole cover like a frisbee at the gunner of the Warthog, who had been distracted by the UNSC soldiers.

    The heavy iron plate of metal smashed the man in the visor, embedding itself in the man's face. The force of impact was more than enough to kill the soldier, and sent his body tumbling off the back of the Warthog. The driver growled, revving the engines again, as the man in the passenger's seat began to move towards the back gun.

    Blaine raised his rifle, firing into the other man's back as he tried climbing onto the gun. The rounds shredded into the soldier's back, causing him to tumble off. Blaine hunched low, he was going to have to get close if he wanted a shot at that driver. Even without a gunner, the Warthog was just as deadly for ramming into things and people.

    The driver knew this, before throttling the vehicle forward. Blaine knew this was bound to be a game of chicken, one he intended on winning. Stopping his sprint, Blaine planted his feet, spreading his arms wide. The ODSTs and Marines stared in awe, many of which flinched at the sight.

    Blaine waited for the right moment, grunting as the Warthog made contact with him. Halsey had boasted that a Spartan out of his armor could lift easily up to three times their body weight. Blaine rounded out at about three hundred and fifty five pounds of pure muscle. The Mjolnir armor he was wearing, Halsey had also boasted, increased the Spartan's normal strength up to a multitude of five.

    He had never once thought of staring down a Warthog that was barreling towards him, nor had he ever considered the idea of stopping one in it's tracks. Blaine, however, had managed to do just that. The driver stomped on the pedal, causing the rear wheels to burn out, as Blaine hefted the front axel of the Warthog off the ground.

    "I've had just about enough of you goddamn INNIES!" Blaine roared, before hefting the vehicle off of the ground completely.

    The ODSTs and Marines stared in absolute shock as Blaine turned on his boots, slamming the Warthog topside down onto the street behind him like spiking a lawn dart. The driver inside screamed in terror, locked inside of his own modified death machine, as it's roof crumpled from the force, killing him instantly.

    Picking his Assault Rifle up off of the street, Blaine clipped it to his back, before producing his DMR from it's magnetic clip. Craig and Morgan watched the event happen from around the corner, Craig shook his head in disbelief.

    "Yep, he's a Harlowe." Craig mused.

    "Jesus fucking Christ!" Josh's voice echoed through their comm. "I have no words... for once."

    "I don't know about you, but I think 'sorry' comes to mind, bro." Phil chuckled in the comm. "You stared that down, remember?"

    "Shut up."

    Blaine activated the red acknowledgement light, a signal informing Fireteam Lance that he wanted them to quick the chatter. Josh and Phil stammered to a silence, before Blaine made a motion towards Morgan and Craig.

    "All units in the immediate area, I want all exits covered. We're taking the President with us." Blaine pointed to the ODSTs and Marines, whom were too busy cleaning their jaws off of the floor. "Lance-Two and Three, you're with me. Move up!"

    Craig and Morgan jogged along down the sidewalk, as Blaine moved up the center of the street with his DMR at the ready. Craig tapped Morgan on the shoulder, as the twins glanced at each other. Craig started a private channel, looking Morgan dead in the visor.

    "Damn. I'm not sure if Amber would be proud or terrified."

    "If Amber were here, that statement wouldn't matter." Morgan growled.


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Manny
    Freelancer Operative

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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Manny on April 5th 2016, 11:08 pm

    Keep going Morgan! I'm totally swamped with school work right now, but you can bet I'll binge read this when I'm done.
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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 9th 2016, 5:12 pm

    Blaine pressed his back against the metallic wall of the old Lethbridge Industrial factory. The ODSTs and Marines from the street hustled quickly to the various edges of the building. Morgan and Craig stood directly on the opposite wall as him.

    "Be advised, we've got Insurrectionist reinforcements coming in from the North." Phil reported. "I'm counting two- make that three- hostile Pelicans inbound."

    "There's no doubt about it then." Blaine replied. "The Insurrection is trying to relocate the package. Warrant Officer, you and Lance Three move in and assist Fireteam Cinder in clearing the building."

    Blaine's eyes scanned the outer edge of the factory. By the looks of it, the factory was in the middle of some renovations before it was abandoned. A lone scaffold stood against the front wall of the factory, just a few meters from his current position. By the looks of it, it could bring him up to the fourth floor, likely across from the foreman's office.

    "What about you?" Morgan asked, turning to him.

    Coldly, Blaine turned his back to Morgan and Craig. "Don't worry about me."

    Blaine's grip on his DMR tightened, before he began to slowly trudge his way up the construction scaffold. Hurriedly, he motioned for Fireteam Cinder to begin their assault. The Marines hurried to the different exits, placing breaching charges on the doors. With a few muffled pops, the assault began.

    Nearing the top of the scaffold, Blaine took a knee, aiming down the scope of his DMR into the Foreman's office. It hung aloft above the factory. Insurrection soldiers littered the inside of the factory, hiding behind bare chassis' of Warthog Scout Vehicles and normal Civilian rigs. From his vantage point, the waypoints for Morgan and Craig showed them taking cover behind the shell of a Warthog.

    Morgan stood, firing his Assault Rifle at a trio of Insurrectionist soldiers, who found themselves preoccupied by a group of Marines in the corner. Morgan's pulses ripped through their armor, blood splattering the wall.

    Craig seemed to reach out for him, as Morgan vaulted onto the top of the roof. Blaine watched in disbelief as the man stomped forward through the chaotic firefight, his bullets expertly shredding his foes down. When his clip emptied, he snapped a fresh one in it's place, never hesitating in his movements.

    Blaine's eyes briefly turned to the Foreman's office. The President was being dragged out of the room to a rooftop access stairwell. The leader of this particular branch of the Insurrection seemed to be dragged alongside him.

    Upon further inspection, the soldiers in the room weren't wearing rehashed UNSC armor, like the Insurrection had been known to do. Their armor was bright white, almost like snow. On their chest plates, a singular golden star was emblazoned.

    Blaine couldn't get a shot off on the target, whom appeared to be leading these white armored men. The target in question wore similar armor to the others, but had a golden trim on his armor's shoulders and legs, in the form of tree branches.

    "Sir, those Pelicans I mentioned are approaching your roof, their going to land!"

    "Phil, those aren't just any Pelicans. Don't you recognize them? That star?"

    "Never mind who they are, get our Falcon ready for immediate chase." Blaine replied.

    "Come again?!" Josh stammered. "You plan on chasing the White Solaris?"

    Ignoring the previous statement, his eyes once again trailed down into the factory. Morgan continued his advance to the stairway leading to the Foreman's office. Blaine watched as a couple dozen of the white armored soldiers from the Foreman's office poured out into the stairwell, firing on the UNSC troops.

    Morgan seemed to tense up at the sight of the troops, as they took the advantage. One bullet struck Morgan square in the lower left side of his hip, tossing him to the floor. Craig stood and returned covering fire.

    Blaine was conflicted, he knew the President was the mission. Mendez had always taught him the importance of the mission. However, Mendez had also taught him the importance of cooperation with the team. No matter what wrongs Morgan did to Blaine, he wasn't sure he could just leave him to die.

    "Do you two have eyes on the President?" Blaine asked.

    "Affirmative. They're loading him into one of the Pelicans now. Insurrectionist leader in the other, and what appears to be one of their higher ups in the third.."

    "Keep an eye on the President's Pelican. Meet us on the roof with the Falcon."

    "Wilco, Brains out."

    Taking a few steps back, Blaine knew that no matter what he chose, Mendez would have likely scolded him for it. In this instance, however, he chose his team. Sprinting towards the glass, Blaine pitched his shoulder, shattering it completely.

    As he descended, his left hand went for the magnum on his hip. Bringing it up, he fired a trio of rounds at the troops looming over Morgan. Clipping the DMR to his back, Blaine braced himself as he landed, striking his right fist on the concrete floor.

    Morgan groaned to Blaine's left, clutching the wound. Gritting his teeth, he lifted his own magnum, pointing it towards the Insurrection reinforcments. Blaine stood, cracking his knuckles. The Insurrectionist soldiers, and even the white armored men stood in awe at the size of Blaine.

    Pulling his magnum faster than their eyes could follow, his aim snapped to the heads of the Insurrectionist soldiers. With a cheer from his fellow UNSC troops, Blaine finished the last couple of rebel soldiers. The white armored soldiers fired on Blaine, who had since dragged Morgan around to the other side of the nearest Warthog shell.

    Craig sprinted over, a can of biofoam in his hand.

    "What about the President?" Morgan asked.

    "No time. You two stay here." Blaine pat Morgan's shoulder. "Focus on not dying, yeah? Leave me again, and I'll never forgive you."

    "What if I don't?" Morgan asked with a cough.

    "You'll make it."

    Standing, Blaine vaulted over the Warthog's shell, DMR ablaze. The white armored soldiers took cover behind whatever they could muster, Blaine's repetitive yet accurate rounds pinning them into cover. One set followed the suit of the UNSC troops, hiding behind a civilian car.

    Sliding on his knees behind the car, the soldiers on the other side stood to fire on his position. What they didn't realize, however, was Blaine's hands had fallen upon the undercarriage of the vehicle. Using his mighty, he growled as he flipped it onto them. Jumping onto the side of it, he heard a satisfying crunch underneath the car at his feet.

    Three other white armored soldiers stood at the base of the stairs to his right. Jumping behind the car once more, he planted his foot firmly on the undercarriage, before kicking it forward. Metal scraping across concrete echoed throughout the factory, as a crimson streak of blood and entrails from the crushed corpses painted the car's path.

    The three soldiers attempted to dive out of the way, however they were too late. With a scream of terror from each of them, they joined their deceased allies in death by vehicle. Scaling over the side of it, Blaine ascended the stairs to the Foreman's office. One last soldier stood at the rooftop access, welding a steel bar across it to prevent it from being used.

    Notice Blaine, the man pulled his magnum and began to fire on Blaine's position. Using his enhanced reflexes, Blaine dove behind the desk. Loading a fresh clip into his own magnum, he remembered this soldier as being the one that had shot Morgan. Standing from his cover, he fired a few rounds, forcing the soldier to duck into the nearby alcove.

    Vaulting over the desk, Blaine continued firing on the man's position, pinning him in cover. Approaching, the man had pulled a knife to attempt to fight Blaine. Grabbing the man's wrist, he twisted just so, hearing the man's arm shatter from the pressure. The man raised his magnum in an attempt to shoot him, as Blaine batted it out of his hand.

    Wrapping his hand around his throat, Blaine lifted the man into the air. Instinctively, the soldier reached his remaining good hand up to try and peel Blaine's hand off of his throat.

    "W-what are you?!" the man asked, coughing as he spoke.

    "It's not who I am that matters." Blaine sneered. "It's what I'm going to DO to you."

    "I surrender! Please, don't kill me!"

    Pulling the man to his helmet, Blaine stared into the man's eyes.

    "You had your chance to surrender." Blaine's grip tightened. "Now? Now I should rip your fucking heart out."

    The man yelped as Blaine feigned punching the man's chest cavity with his spare hand. Instead he turned and threw the man head first towards the Foreman's window. Glass shattered, as the man screamed, falling several meters to the concrete floor below.

    "Lieutenant, we're on the roof. Where are you?!" Phil's voice echoed in his comm. "President's Pelican is headed due North. I've contacted Evangelical to get a read on it for you."

    Turning to the rooftop access, Blaine wrapped his hands over the thick plate of steel. With a single grunt, the steel groaned and bent in his strength, before he peeled it off of the wall. Hurriedly, Blaine ascended the stairs. Josh stepped out of the Falcon.

    "Help the others." Blaine ordered, rushing past Josh, jumping into the back of the Falcon. "Up, pilot. After that Pelican."

    "I've only flied these things a few times, Lieutenant. No promises on steadiness."

    As the Falcon ascended, Phil also pitched the nose downwards, turning on maximum thruster. Normally, a Falcon couldn't out-speed a Pelican. Blaine, however, knew that a pilot in panic wouldn't likely be going max speed. Especially when they were locked on a planet with no external vessel to escort them.

    Blaine took this time to think about the situation. He didn't quite understand what was going on. The Insurrection had met with the UNSC to unify against the threats that the Covenant posed. However, a third party, this White Solaris, showed up and crashed it. What exactly was the goal?

    More importantly, why did the Insurrectionists attack UNSC troops when it all went south? Had the White Solaris appeared as things started to sour between the two factions? Did the Insurrections fear retaliation, and decided to shoot first?

    Either way, if he had Orange Team here with him, the President and the other two leaders wouldn't have left the Foreman's office. This time of silence would have been spent talking with people he actually knew, people he cared about. He'd be able to see his brothers and sisters after this.

    In the distance, he could see the Pelican in question. It had a pure white finish, similar to the troops of the White Solaris faction's armor.  Much like their armor, a singular golden star was painted on the side, just under the wing.

    "I thought these bastards disbanded fourteen years ago." Josh growled.

    "Stow it." Blaine replied. "Get me in close. We can worry about the past later."

    The Falcon loomed closer to the Pelican, which attempted to duck into a nearby alleyway in between a pair of buildings. To Blaine's right was yet another of the UEG's infamous glass skyscrapers. Diving out at just the right moment, Blaine crashed through the glass.

    "Try and make the pilot turn right." Blaine barked, as civilians screamed from their cubicles. "Everybody calm down, I'm UNSC. Remain where you are!"

    Sprinting through one of the aisles, Josh had done just as Blaine had asked. The pilot of the Pelican veered right, it's right wing narrowly avoiding clipping the side of the skyscraper. Blaine jumped over one civilian, rolling over his shoulder, before bolting in the direction the Pelican was now flying in.

    Diving through the glass window, the pilot of the Pelican didn't have enough time to veer away from him. Crashing onto the glass of the cockpit, Blaine watched as the co-pilot reached for his magnum. Rolling to his right, Blaine's hand snagged onto the barrel of the bird's front turret.

    The pilot attempted to capitalize on Blaine's position, listing the Pelican closer to the skyscraper to scrape him off. Climbing swiftly, he felt the Pelican shudder at the sudden impact with the skyscraper, the pilot having been too overzealous to calculate for his bird's wingspan.

    Blaine sat on the cracked glass of the Pelican again, which now began to spin uncontrollably, having lost it's right side engine. Blaine smirked beneath his helmet, before silently waving at the pilots. Pulling his magnum off of his hip, he fired a round into the co-pilot's helmet, killing the man instantly.

    Piercing the glass of the cockpit with his fist, Blaine tore the glass panel off entirely. Jumping inside, Blaine's hand reached for the pilot's throat. Pulling him out of the seat, Blaine tossed him out and to the street below.

    There was no saving the Pelican, as it continued to spin uncontrollably. Using the dead man's corpse as a brace, Blaine pulled the stick upwards to keep it vertically stable. Opening the back hatch, he was unsurprised to have a few rounds ding off of the wall beside him.

    Tossing a flashbang into the back of the troop bay, he nodded as he heard two people grunt. Turning the corner, he grabbed the soldier's DMR, bending it's barrel down with a single motion. Slugging the man across the face with a wicked right cross, he heard the man's jaw break.

    The man groaned, rolling across the floor of the Pelican. Blaine smacked the door opening protocol on the Pelican. The man screamed before the rolling out the back of the open troop bay and to his death below.

    "President Kawahara, are you harmed, sir?" Blaine asked, turning to the President.

    "No, son. A little rustled up, sure, but I'm fine. Thank you." Kawahara said. "Just how exactly are we supposed to get out of this?"

    "Trust me Mr. President, this isn't the first time I've been in this situation." Blaine nodded. "Sergeant, bring the Falcon as close as you can."

    The Pelican was still spinning uncontrollably, but remained aloft several hundred meters above the street. Phil's Falcon maintained a possible distance, while Blaine and the President stood towards the back of the Pelican's bay.

    "We're not going to jump that, are we?"

    "Unfortunately so, Mr. President." Blaine replied. "Sorry about this, sir."

    Hoisting the man into his arms, Phil brought the Falcon closer, turning it's flank just enough that Blaine could throw the President into the back of it. Stomping towards the back, Blaine had never actually attempted something like this before. However, he remembered in class about learning Physics.

    He didn't have the time to crunch the numbers, for once, he had to make like John and rely on dumb luck. Waiting for an opportune time, Blaine gently tossed the President across the gap between the two machines.

    The President rolled for a second, before reaching a hand out and gripping the bottom of one of the chairs. The man's feet dangled slightly out the other side of the Falcon, but he managed to pull himself back in.

    "Welcome aboard sir. Sit tight, I'm bringing you straight to the Evangelical, Mr. President." Blaine heard Phil say in the auxiliary speaker to the back of the Falcon. "Lieutenant, you coming?"

    "This bird's low on fuel. If I let it continue this way, it's going to fall on someone's head. Gonna try and take her down in a nearby field or something." Blaine replied. "Get the President out of here."

    "Understood. By the way, I think the President's pretty pissed at you." Phil chuckled. "Something about being man-handled really brings out the anger in a man."

    Blaine ignored the last statement, working his way back to the cockpit once more. As soon as his hands gripped the directional stick, his HUD filled with diagnostics in the Pelican. Like he had thought, there was total lateral loss coming from the right engine, which had been slagged off completely by the impact of the skyscraper.

    He pushed the accelerator control forward, using the spin of the Pelican to launch himself in a wide arch away from the city-scape. It was difficult, having the ship continually turning to the right, more importantly, it was time consuming. However, Blaine was going to take as much time was necessary, if only to ensure that it would never fall on the civilians below.

    After several minutes of repeating the slingshot maneuver, he was content that the Pelican was well outside of the city limits. Once again, he used the dead co-pilot's body as a brace. This time, however, the man's body held the stick downwards. Despite it's constant spiraling, Blaine made his way back to the troop bay. Sprinting up the incline the ship now made, Blaine's gaze turned to the clearing the Pelican was about to land in.

    He rarely had the chance to test how durable his new bone structure was. He wasn't entirely keen on ever testing. However, in this moment, he really had no choice. Jumping out of the back of the Pelican, Blaine braced himself as he landed from several meters up. Surprisingly, despite the sudden change in momentum, he hadn't broken.

    Standing, he turned back to see the Pelican smash left wing first into the ground. It bounced along, before dragging itself through the ground, crating a massive trench in it's wake. Fire erupted along it's side, before it flipped onto it's head.

    "Spartan One-one-five to Fireteam Lance, status?" Blaine asked.

    "Inbound on your position with Fireteam Cinder, sir." Craig replied. "What of the President?"

    "The Package has been secured." Colonel Hackett announced through the comm. "Come on home, men. That was some damn fine work."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 17th 2016, 6:46 pm

    Working on the next update for this. In the meantime, here's a list of the main characters in Blaine's life up to this point and the themes from various sources that I feel match them most.

    These are the songs I generally play when I'm writing a scene with the characters involved.

    Blaine- This Glittering Band *Halo 2*

    Many of you will recognize this theme from Halo 2 and Halo 3. This theme played in Halo 2 as you were crossing the lakes to kill the Prophet of Regret, and again in Halo 3 when you were flying the Hornet across the Ocean on your way to Truth's location.

    I chose this theme for Blaine because it has a mixture of what I like to imagine Blaine as when it comes to his personality on and off the battlefield. He has a bold, proud air to him that I feel this song highlights nicely with the drums and horns. The strings also pay some homage to Blaine's playful side, when he's off duty.


    Jorge- Long Night of Solace

    Pretty self explanatory, the theme itself is what I've always pictured with Jorge as a character. Depressed at the inevitable fall of Reach when it occurs, it also highlights his aggressive, bold side.

    Katherine- Unforgotten Memories *Halo 2 Anniversary*

    As a remake of Never Forget from Halo 2 and 3, this theme fits Katherine in a perfect way. She was one of the few trainees in this story that actually missed her old life. The trainee that embraced her fate as a Spartan II, in hopes that she could protect the people she was taken from.

    This song signifies, however, that some things can't be helped. She brings the memories she had of Harvest, and her family, everywhere she goes. A powerful piece that suggests Katherine is strong, but also wary of the future.


    Lorelei- Halo Canticles *Halo 5: Guardians*

    I chose this theme for Lorelei for the exact purpose that she is very quiet and mysterious; much like the feeling the Halo rings gave Halo players in CE. I chose this variation of the traditional Halo theme for her, however, because it also gives me the vibe of a person in distress.

    Lorelei isn't helpess perse, however, she does have some personal issues that she'll likely want to work out at some point down the line.


    Orange Team (As a whole)- Arise in Valor *Halo 2 Anniversary* ALT-Sacred Icon Suite II *Halo Legends OST*

    I chose this to be the theme of Orange Team during a combat scenario, because each of the members have had their own unique past. Despite whatever their past had done to them, they would always do what it took to get the mission done. This theme shows a military side, with a hint of regret.

    It's not quite as powerful as Blue Team's theme in Halo 5, however, I don't have the musical genius to compose my own music to truly convey the theme I've thought of for these guys. This song is the closest thing I could come up with.

    As a variation, I also tend to listen to Sacred Icon Suite II from Halo Legends when I write Orange Team together. It's still not as good as the Blue Team theme from Halo 5, but it definitely gets the job done in my opinion.


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

    Morgan- ASGORE *Undertale OST*

    Much like the character that the theme was originally made for, Morgan has lost everything that he cared about, seemingly in one day. This theme shows his family's pride, his own personal regret for his actions, and that family matters above all else.

    The theme gives off a bold powerful vibe that I feel fits Morgan's hot-tempered attitude perfectly. Prior to reuniting with Blaine, although it's still rather shaky, this choice in theme is meant to show to what levels Morgan is willing to go for his family.


    Amber- Sound of Silence *Cover of Simon and Garfunkel's song*

    I'll admit that I was recently introduced to this song. The first variation I've heard was the Disturbed cover to the song, and I loved it immediately (I have since listened to the original by Simon and Garfunkel). Though the lyrics don't match, this particular cover *which is a cover of Disturbed's cover* is exactly what I'd expect from Amber.

    Though she was only seen briefly in the beginning, Blaine's mother was a kind nurturing woman who sought only to help others. It's the reason why she became the squad's medic, training herself above and beyond to the point of practically owning a doctorate. My interpretation of the song that Simon and Garfunkel wrote was originally intended to show how the world was changing for the worse, and they were hapless to stop it.

    That's why I chose this for Amber. She wants to help, but in the end she knew that she couldn't save them all. It wouldn't hurt to try, however.


    Craig (Split)- Megalovania *Electric Swing Cover of Undertale OST*Megalovania *Orchestral Remix of Undertale OST*

    Craig, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, can be a really sick individual. The psychological trauma that he endured from his fight with his mother has caused Craig to develop a very unique form of disassociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. For this reason, his colleagues call him Hyde.

    As you may or may not have noticed, Craig is two entirely different people when he's angered and when he's relaxed. It's why he referred to himself as Good and Bad Craig during his interrogation with Ms Lowry. For this reason, Craig's theme *Megalovania- Undertale OST* was split into two entirely different remixes of the same song to show this.

    The Electric Swing version represents Craig when he's relaxed or otherwise 'happy'. He can still be stressed, but not to the point where he'll torture people. I like this version for Craig, because I originally conceptualized him in this story to act as the team's main intelligence gather, like a Private Investigator hired on by the Office of Naval Intelligence. What better way to show this than give him a classy theme?

    On the flip side, the song becomes much less classy and much more impulsive and bold with the Orchestral remix to show just how vivid his emotions could change. If you've chosen to listen to these two songs, hopefully it can convince you on how drastically different Craig can be when it comes to his emotions.

    Morgan, as Craig said, is known to go off half-cocked, and can do some pretty messed up things. When Craig goes off, however, it's down right terrifying, and this second theme is meant to show that. Morgan can physically beat you down, Craig will unscrew your mind and tinker with it until you're left thinking you're a chicken.


    Phil/Josh- Bonetrousle *Remix of Undertale OST*

    I couldn't decide which of the two twins this song fit more, but I knew it had to fit at least one of them. After some deep thought, I realized the theme when I listened to it whilst writing the two of them, that I hadn't differentiated away from it. Thus, the theme fits both of them.

    To me, I sense a bit of Gypsy/Polka in the original version of Bonetrousle, which fits Phil's very laid-back attitude. He's to the book, but that doesn't mean he can't have a good time while he's out. Meanwhile, the remix portion to this song fits Josh, who I designed to be loud and imposing.

    Every time I picture the twins, because they are still young and in their prime, I imagine them at the club during their time off, dancing to this song with other people. Phil has a much more classic vibe, while Josh is futuristic and bombastic.

    This theme, in my opinion, matches their combined, playful attitudes perfectly.


    Cobalt Squad- Free Falling

    Were you honestly expecting anything else? C'mon now, it's been with these guys since I first wrote Uprising nearly eight/nine years ago!

    Fireteam Lance- Scavengers *Halo 5:Guardians OST*

    Trust still has yet to be earned between Blaine and the residual members of Cobalt Squad. Even if he is the son of Morgan, Blaine is still the pet-project of the institution they work directly for. Morgan is willing to do whatever it takes to have Blaine forgive him, while Blaine himself is conflicted.

    However, both sides of the spectrum know how important their missions are. They settle their differences, if only for a moment, to band together to get the job done. It's uneasy going at first, as the tone of the song shows.

    Eventually, the team will come to a basic understanding. When the team trusts everyone inside without question, they are could be an unstoppable force, as the last crescendo in the song is meant to imply.


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!


    Doctor Jensen
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Doctor Jensen on April 18th 2016, 1:24 pm

    Hey man, I haven't read all of this. Just beginning in fact because I'm busy. But it's pretty good, so don't stop, buddy.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 2nd 2016, 3:10 am

    "Craig, you got a moment?" Blaine asked, knocking on the wall to Craig's personal office space.

    "Uh, yeah. I guess I've got a sec." Craig shrugged, motioning for them to leave the room.

    It had been a couple of hours since they had been debriefed from their previous mission. Morgan, Phil, and Josh had all gone to the Mess Hall to partake in some celebratory measures, while Blaine and Craig had gone separate ways. In that time, Blaine had pondered the grand scheme of everything in his life up to this point.

    He was looking for guidance, and usually his go to was his superior. Even though he outranked every member in Fireteam Lance's roster, he had a level of respect for Craig that he didn't necessarily hold for the others. Blaine had seen how Craig presented himself, and always modestly seemed to know everything.

    "I had a few questions to run past you, if you had a moment to answer them?" Blaine asked.

    "I bet you do, Blaine." Craig nodded, leaning backwards as he walked. "Sixteen years worth to be exact."

    The two made their way into the weight room, so Blaine could lift weights while they talked. The action always brought a level of calmness to Blaine, gave him a clear mind. Setting himself down on the bench, Craig watched as Blaine lifted the weights to an inhuman level.

    "I don't think I'll be able to spot that, sir." Craig said, crossing his arms.

    "Its weird when you say that." Blaine shook his head, lifting the weights with relative ease above his head. "Every one of you is so much older than me, more experienced. Just- just call me Blaine when we're off mission, okay?"

    "Oh, uh- sure." Craig shrugged.

    "Anyways." Blaine changed the subject. "I want to know what the SCORE initiative is. Frankly, I also want to know what the hell this White Solaris is too."

    "Good questions, both." Craig nodded, taking a seat beside Blaine. "SCORE was formed a couple of years before you were born, actually. It stands for Special Combat Ordinance Retrieval and Evacuation."

    "The SCORE initiative was instated by ONI and the UEG Government as a result of Insurrectionist Bio-terrorism in the Outer Colonies. Cobalt Squad and several other teams were deployed with the singular goal of ordinance retrieval, mission intelligence gathering, and evacuation of high priority individuals."

    "I assume your Spartan program was labeled Spartan II?" Craig asked, causing Blaine to pause.

    "Yes." Blaine replied, giving Craig a confused glance.

    "In 2491, the UNSC re instituted an old program from the Rain Forest Wars entitled Project: ORION. Morgan, your mother, and I were all subjects in the original ORION program. Much like your Spartans, we were biologically and mentally augmented, putting us a slight cut above the typical soldier." Craig said. "After Operation: CHARLEMANGE in 2496, we were relocated to work directly for ONI. This was the earliest stage of the SCORE initiative."

    "Some of the other Spartans, which I guess are categorized as Spartan I's now, formed together to form a private military corporation. They became known as the White Solaris, offering their services to ONI for a price."

    "ONI attempted to send forces to silence them, in fear that they would spill valuable information by being a neutral force. However, none of the soldiers sent in returned, except three."

    Blaine placed the weights back on their rack, taking a moment to rest, as he turned his attention to Craig. So, Blaine's mother, Morgan, and Craig had been Spartans too?

    "You mother, father, and myself were those three members." Craig sighed. "We didn't kill anyone, however. We merely talked them down, and explained their importance to ONI and the UNSC. They had been our friends for so many years, they knew and trusted us."

    Clenching his fists, Blaine instantly knew that something went wrong. Craig's face had it painted all over him.

    "We worked alongside those cock-suckers for so many years." Craig's body shook. "2491 to 2511, when they betrayed the UNSC, ONI, and us."

    Blaine watched as Craig stood suddenly, working his way over to the nearest punching bag. Swinging fist after fist into the mesh bag, the muffled impacts echoed throughout the room. Blaine stood, walking over towards Craig.

    Blaine knew very little about the year he was born, but he did remember his days in the Orphanage. Only that Charlie consistently taunted that he was left there as a baby, and that his mother was killed.

    "Wait." Blaine held onto the punching bag, stopping Craig. "2511?"

    "Yeah." Craig nodded. "We had lost contact with the whole unit a couple of days before you were born. When you were in that Orphanage, do you remember hearing about a raid in New Alexandria?"

    "I read the article about it during training." Blaine replied.

    "The raid started in your father's house, just on the other side of the City from the Orphanage. It was a joint op between Insurrectionists and White Solaris troops."

    "Your father and the rest of us evacuated via Pelican. Your mother, on the other hand, she didn't make it." Craig growled. "Cowardice bastards, used us to get the information they wanted, then attacked us when we were least expecting it."

    Blaine was taken aback by this information. He had known she was dead for quite some time now. The truth behind her passing, however, was what hit him like a truck. In Spartan training, loyalty was the very first thing they were taught. To think that the White Solaris, mostly members of the previous Spartan generation, could so wantonly betray the UNSC.

    The pain was doubled by the thought that these same people killed his mother too. He almost didn't regret what he had done to them earlier, as a result.

    "Listen Blaine, I wanted to clear something up with you about Morgan." Craig cracked his neck, working his way over to the water fountain. "The reason he left you in that Orphanage is because he couldn't just leave the military, ONI would have hunted the two of you down if he had. He also couldn't keep you with him on base, due to the nature of the SCORE initiative."

    "All Morgan wants is to be the father he never could be to you. I know you're untrusting of him, but perhaps you could lighten up on him a bit?" Craig took a quick swig from the fountain. "I'm a firm believer of Family is chosen, not blood, you can ask anyone. Still, Morgan's your father and he always will be."

    Blaine seemingly ignored the statement, crossing his arms and turning his helmet the other direction. Against the wall was the typical UNSC propaganda poster.

    "Listen." Craig said. "I know what it's like more than anyone to hate a parent, alright?"

    "I hated your grandmother with all of my being from the time I was your age, to the day she died, several months before you were born." Craig sighed. "I still regret it. Despite everything, she's still my mother. She wasn't entirely unkind to me, and I was a fool to hate her for the trivial reasons I did. I can never see her again, to apologize for my attitude. Don't do the same thing with Morgan. You don't have to like him, hell, you don't even got to call him Dad."

    "Just- don't ignore his existence. You are the only thing he's got left in this world, and he's been through hell and back just looking for you."

    Suddenly, the doors leading to the weight room opened, with Josh and Phil standing there.

    "Orders from Hackett." Phil reported. "Got a mission ahead, he wants us to freeze ourselves for the ride."

    It was very rare for cryo-tubes to be utilized, Blaine knew, it served only for months of travel through slip-space. He had received training outside of the suit during his time with Mendez and his fellow Spartans, but never with it.

    Following the twins down the hall to the cryo-bay, Morgan waited for them with the attendant. As the team approached, the attendant took to the time to run them through the steps. He first injected them with the standard Cytoprethaline drug. As he moved to Blaine, the man cocked his head.

    "Sir, you can't enter the tube with armor on."

    "Special armor, cryo resistant." Blaine replied.

    In truth, he didn't actually know this. He just couldn't take his armor off in front of an unclassified individual. It was a big risk, but rules were rules. Instead, he used the suit's built in injection rig to put the drug in manually, and climbed into his tube.

    "Hey, get freezer burn. See if I care." the man scoffed. "What the fuck do I know, I'm just a professional."

    "Oh blow it out yer ass." Morgan spat. "They had body suits specialized for cyro sleep, it's not entirely hard to believe armor exists for it too."

    Unlike Blaine, the others had to enter the chamber completely unclothed to prevent the blistering and raw skin ailments that were known to happen to clothed occupants.

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

    Planet Celeste, Proto-Gamma System
    Outer Colonies.


    "Spartan, this mission is going to be unlike anything you've ever done before." Hackett said, leaning down on a holo-table in front of him.

    "I beg to differ sir, I've done just about every type of op under the sun, sir." Blaine replied.

    "I bet you have." the Colonel nodded curtly. "This operation is different, however, because you won't be wearing armor of any sort for it."

    Blaine looked with a mixture of shock and confusion to his superior's claims. They were sending him into an op without armor? At his young age and adult like physique, people would know something was up.

    "Instead, you'll be wearing this." Hackett turned to show what appeared to be a suit of medieval knight's armor. "It's only a model, and won't offer you much in protection, but it'll help you blend in perfectly."

    "Sir, permission to speak freely?" Blaine asked, saluting Hackett.

    "Granted, Lieutenant."

    "Why in the world am I wearing that?"

    "We have reports of White Solaris sightings on this planet. It's not surprising that they are after the same target we are planetside." Hackett said. "The target of this operation is a young kid, around fourteen, who can apparently hack anything and everything."

    "Kid's become so bold with his hacking that he's gotten sloppy and left a paper trail." Hackett continued. "It just so happens that there is a famous Expo taking place in Moonlight City this weekend. Nerds and other scum of the Universe arise from their cold, damp basements to attend this event. There is no doubt in my mind that he'll be hiding there."

    "This suit is the best our engineers could come up with to help you fit in better. You'll be taking the role of one of these nerds, playing a video game hero from the Bleak Spirits series."

    Blaine shook his head in disbelief, staring at the well made, yet ridiculous armor. Actual leather pieces came together on the metal suit. It wouldn't be a trouble to put on, but it looked so cramped that his maneuverability might be hindered. It did have a less revealing helmet, however, than what he was originally expecting.

    "You're way younger than the other members of your squad, so you'll fit in a bit more." Hackett replied. "Your primary objective is to extract this kid and bring them here. If White Solaris does show up, we've taken the liberty of hiding some weapons on the premises, disguised as video game replicas."

    Blaine stepped over towards the armor rack and shook his head. Hackett knew that he wasn't authorized to see Blaine out of armor, saluted him, and left the room. Blaine locked the access to the room, before quickly assembling the armor. As he feared, the designers had made it for an average sized man. Blaine was just slightly taller than the average man, and built a little heavier than the suit was designed.

    It wasn't going to give him much mobility, but it was definitely enough to pass. It wasn't entirely uncomfortable either, it just felt off. His Mjolnir armor was replaced on the rack, as he hefted the massive suit into his quarters. Approaching the other's quarters, he knocked on their door.

    It opened without hesitation, as the four ODSTs turned their attention to him. Phil and Craig stifled a laugh, while Josh blurted out with laughter. Morgan gave a look of utter confusion, shaking his head.

    "Er, what's up, sir?" Craig asked. "You-uh-"

    "Shut up." Blaine growled. "We've got an op ahead, and this is the best disguise they could offer me."

    "Wait!" Josh said, eyes widened. "We're going to PACX, aren't you."

    "What in t' fuck is PACX?" Morgan leered at Josh, whose gaze roamed about the room.

    "It's only the holy land of the hollowed! The pilgrimage of the pre-marital! The Mecca of the Mastur-"

    "Alright!" Craig growled, cutting Josh off. "It's a nerd convention, that's all you needed to say."

    "You uncultured swine!" Josh hissed, staring daggers at Craig. "It's sooo much more than a 'nerd convention'. It is a place of worship for Gamers, Nerds, and Virgins alike!"

    "So, you're prepared to be labeled as all three then?" Morgan chuckled.

    "I'm serious, man!" Josh said. "This Expo is a hell of a lot of fun, and I've always wanted to go. I never thought that my JOB would put me there! I, Phalusthor of Lordran, shall prepare at once!"

    The room silenced, Phil placing his head in his hands as Josh stood, in his undies, pointing off into the ceiling. Blaine's gaze turned to Phil, Morgan, and finally to Craig, who all shared similar looks to himself.

    "Come, Phaloki!" Josh cried, tapping Phil's shoulder. "We must go, post haste!"

    Dragging Phil by the hand, Phil motioned for Blaine to kill them both, before being removed from the room altogether. It was silent once again, as Blaine, Craig, and Morgan sat in complete quiet, pondering what had just happened.

    "So," Morgan broke the silence, turning to Craig. "You sure he's not a virgin?"

    "Even I don't know the answer to that one." Craig sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "God help us."

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

    "Josh, you listening?" Phil growled. "This is pretty fucking important what Blaine's-"

    "A Knight such as myself doesn't dishonor himself by listening to the the hapless cries of a humble peasant!" Josh said, fixing the crude duct tape cardboard shoulder pauldron on his right shoulder.

    "Does he listen to broken bones?" Blaine asked. "I may not be in my usual armor, but that doesn't stop me from throwing you out of this Pelican and hoping the replacement 'Knight' is much better all around."

    Everything in the helmet echoed, while the outside ambiance was muffled. Still, Blaine's inhuman sense of hearing allowed him to distinguish what Josh had said. Josh notably silenced, attempting to keep his nerd in check.

    "From the top. Morgan is posing as my dad bringing me to this Expo. Craig will be acting as my Uncle. You two are just being yourselves. We're not here to play any games, we're here for the kid and we're out."

    "Seeings how I'm supposed to be the nerdy kid, I'm taking the role of a hero from the Bleak Souls-"

    "It's Bleak Spirits, thank you." Josh retorted angrily. "I'm a big fan of that game series. Don't fucking make mistakes like that again, or you're toast."

    "Please." Morgan spat. "These nerds can barely lift their stroke bound asses off of their sleazy couches, they won't touch Blaine."

    "Don't underestimate the power of the nerds. Space Fights fans once killed a man for spoiling the latest movie, where one of the main character dies-"

    "Gee, thanks!" Phil blurted, slapping Josh on the back of the head. "I was going to finally watch that this week."

    Blaine sighed and shook his head. They had used a Pelican to land on one of the Hotels. They stuffed themselves into one of the elevators. The Expo was located on the ground floor of the building. When the doors opened, Blaine was astonished by the sheer number of civilians that had appeared.

    Josh hadn't lied, it was a meeting place for everything doing with video games and nerds galore. Big colorful signs advertised the gaming industry's latest games. Passing one booth, Blaine scoffed at the foolish character staring back at him.

    Olive green armor adorned the soldier with a dull golden visor on his helmet. He held an obviously ripped off MA5B in his hand, with a Christian cross located behind the man, Jesus Christ himself pointing his fingers in a uncharacteristic fashion towards him.

    "Bible: Combat Unleashed?" Morgan spat. "What a load of crock."

    "*snort* You watch your tongue heretic!" a young man with a red face said, small circular red glasses on the bridge of his nose.

    His thin orange hair parted in two separate directions, just about as far as the gap in his front teeth. White acne was spread liberally across the young man's face, as he sniffed in a mixture of allergies and asthma.

    "Bible ish the besht game around! Mashter Lieutenant Petty Captain ish badassh and doeshn't afraid of anything!"

    "Is that so." Craig said, stepping forward, bringing his face close to the young man's. "I can make YOU afraid of a LOT of things."

    With a flick of his wrist, a potent mist of pepper spray ejected from a device on the nerd's wrist. Craig growled in anger as he rubbed at his now burning eyes.

    "Avasht, evil doer!" the young man replied with a lisp. "Behold the aweshome power of Fat Man!"

    "That's a real accurate hero name kid." Josh stepped forward. "Why don't you go somewhere else and crank it to some Japanese cartoons, alright? Be a disappointment to your parents elsewhere, before I school your ass in Chant of 'Murica: Infinite Sleaze Warfare 32; We're Not Stopping Now Edition?"

    "Oh ho ho! Sho an oldie thinksh he can sherve thish?" the fat kid replied, heavily suggesting his obesity in a single wave of his hand.

    "Yeah, a nice salad for once. Jesus Christ." Morgan scoffed, before turning to the mural beside him. "No offense."

    "Thish doesn't conshern you, shitizen!"

    "This motherfucker just called me a shit citizen!" Morgan growled, clenching his fists.

    "You called him a motherfucker just now." Josh taunted. "He'd be lucky if that was all he got."

    Blaine watched in slight amusement as the nerdy young man seemed to show a chink in his armor, softening his demeanor at Josh's taunt. The young man turned to Blaine, his eyes pleading for help.

    "Assist me, noble Knight. Cast away these villainous beasts before my eyes."

    Blaine, unsure how to respond, merely shrugged.

    "A Knight such as myself does not concern himself with the affairs of.. er.. peasants."

    "How can you claim to be a Knight, when you have no regard for the well-being of others?" the young man replied snidely.

    "Because I actually have friends. Friends I care about." Blaine snarled back. "Unlike you, who waste the life given to you, I actually have people I care about. I'd die protecting each and every one of them, while you would die with your next cheeseburger."

    Blaine nodded his head to the others by his side.

    "I won't show you compassion, because you assaulted my Uncle, insulted my Dad, and have been nothing but rude to my friends." Blaine growled. "Do yourself a favor and do something productive with your life, instead of coming to places like these and lording yourself over others like the up-tight jackass you are."

    Tears began to well up in the corners of the young man's eyes, as he wobbled away. The other four stared at Blaine for a second, as he quickly stared down at his hands. He wasn't sure entirely what had come over him just then, but it reminded him of how Charlie used to treat him.

    It left a nasty taste in his mouth, even more worse than the suffocant that was produced during a cryo-sleep.

    "Damn, Blaine." Josh smirked. "You slayed that noob."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 10th 2016, 10:55 pm

    "Stow it." Blaine turned to Josh. "I'd rather not draw anymore attention to ourselves than necessary."

    "Son of a bitch." Craig mumbled, resisting the urge to further rub his sore eyes. "I thought Bear-Spray was illegal to civilians?"

    Morgan's eyes focused as the young teenage boy began to waddle away. The crowd in the aisle was thick and unmoving, filled with various amounts of people in costumes taking pictures with their favorite video game characters.

    "It is." Morgan growled. "I think that kid's got some connection to our guy."

    The five soldiers moved up to the crowd. Unlike the kid before them, they could not seem to make a dent in the dense congregation of mingling nerds. Morgan huffed in frustration, as Blaine kept his vision focused on the boy, who seemed to be around his age.

    "Dammit!" Morgan huffed. "Get out of our way!"

    "Buzz off pops!" one man sneered, pulling his right cheek down to reveal under his eye. "We've been waiting in line all day!"

    "I'm not trying to-" Morgan growled, before shaking his head. "Y'know what? Fuck it."

    Morgan clenched his fist, moving to swing, before Josh held the man's hand back.

    "I've got a better idea." Josh replied, staring into Morgan's eyes. "Yo everyone, listen up! You've heard of Phalusthor of Londor? The man who single-handedly fought through every Bleak Spirits game without dying once?"

    Blaine flinched as Josh raised his hand up high.

    "Here he is!" Josh roared.

    The crowd of numerous individuals turned to face Blaine, who began to back away slowly. He had never interacted with crowds that large before, except on the battlefield. The only difference was that he could easily kill this crowd in a similar scenario. The fact was, he didn't want anything to do with it.

    "KILL THE NOOB!" someone roared over the crowd, pointing towards Blaine.

    "Well." Josh smacked his lips, turning to Blaine. "That definitely was not the reaction I was expecting. You might wanna run."

    "When this is over..." Blaine growled, as the mass of people started for him.

    In his normal suit, Blaine would have easily outrun the primarily overweight group of individuals, and even the ones that were within normal weight. As it stood, however, he wasn't in his real armor. Metal pieces of his legs pinched his inner thigh, causing him radical amounts of pain. Thankfully, he had prepared for this in training camp.

    Though, he wasn't sure how Mendez or the other Spartan recruits would have reacted upon seeing him use his training against a horde of angered, blood thirsty gaming nerds. Would Mendez have laughed? Would Mendez have demoted him?

    It was moments like these that he truly missed the company of his Spartans, they would've just shoved through the crowd without remorse. If the one nerd had an actual connection to their mark, they'd have gotten the information from him in no time at all, and they'd have been done a long time ago.

    His thoughts came to a halt, however, as the amalgamous crowd of pizza loving parasites seemed to swarm in from all angles. Due to the fact that he didn't actually want to cause physical harm to these people, he was limited in options. If he continued his course, he'd be pincer maneuvered, and likely crushed by the weight of early onset childhood obesity.

    Glancing to his left, he could see what appeared to be a hovering couch. A lone man was laying across the couch, his eyes fixated on a television screen in front of him. The couch rotated and bucked, much like the bulls that Blaine had seen in Spartan training's class. Despite the bulk of the armor on him and the uncomfortable pinch it caused him, he turned left sharply, clambering to the top of the wildly shaking piece of furniture.

    As it tilted to the right, he ran up the incline, diving for one of the many hanging fluorescent lights on the ceiling. With a grunt, Blaine climbed up onto the narrow light. It was wide enough to hold his feet, but not much else.

    "Come on down, cheater! We'll gladly teach you the true ways of Bleak Spirits!"

    Before Blaine could even make an attempt to retort, the windows in the convention center shattered on both sides. To his immediate right, a duo of pitch black armored individuals broke through the window, flash-bangs marking their arrival.

    On his left, several white armored ODSTs with stars emblazoned on their chest-pieces breached the windows. The crowd that had congregated beneath Blaine, and the remaining convention goers, all panicked as they were temporarily blinded and deafened.

    Blaine, however, had been conditioned to not be affected. The side effects of the flash-bangs still sucked, but didn't bother his senses quite as harshly. There was a moment of stillness from the black armored soldiers and the white armored soldiers.

    Blaine's heart skipped a beat, as a smile cracked along his jaw. Golden visors adorned the black armored soldier's helmets, the two lithe soldiers stood with their weapons of choice at the ready.

    His Spartans were there.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 14th 2016, 5:28 am

    With the sudden breach from all angles, the people in the convention center began to panic, scurrying around the massive building like a collective of headless chickens. It only worsened when the small arms fire began to echo throughout the room.

    Blaine watched as his two fellow Spartans moved for cover, taking pot shots at the White Solaris soldiers on the other side of the room. The Spartans' fire was calculated and accurate, avoiding the civilians as best as they could.

    The White Solaris troops, on the other hand, had no qualms with shooting into the masses. In the distance, he could see the other members of his fire team chasing down the young man from earlier in hopes of getting their mark. The White Solaris kept the Spartans pinned, while a handful of their troops made their way towards the back of the conference hall.

    The numerous White Solaris troops swarmed through the window, keeping the two Spartans pinned. From Blaine's angle, he was at a bit of a disadvantage, despite neither of the troops noticing him. His eyes scanned the convention center, looking for anything to assist the clearly outnumbered Spartans.

    His eyes fell upon a vendor's kiosk in the main aisle. His enhanced sight allowed him to read the sign of the weapon vendor's booth. A lone sword, easily the length of him at standing height was hung on the wall of the booth.

    He took a moment to calculate his plan of attack, he could drop down from the light fixture with little damage thanks to his augments. However, do to the restrictive nature of the armor, he feared the suit would damage him more than the fall would.

    Still, those two Spartans were his family. He would take any amount of pain to ensure they got through the battle. Shaking his head in disbelief, Blaine rolled off of the light fixture towards the nearest White Solaris soldier.

    Blaine grunted as he landed on the man's shoulders, breaking both of his victims legs and his spine. The man screamed in pain, his ally right behind Blaine turning to fire on him. Blaine rolled to his right, standing up as quickly as he could.

    Blaine batted the rifle in the man's hands aside, sending it sliding across the floor. Balling his right hand into a fist, Blaine struck the man in his lower abdomen, just below the chest. The thud from the blow echoed in the immediate vicinity, the soldier's stomach voiding into the cloth covering his mouth.

    Keeping the momentum strong, Blaine and his victim crashed to the floor, Blaine's hand grabbing the man's throat. With a grit of his teeth and a flick of his wrist, he heard and felt the man's neck snap in his grasp

    "What the-?!" one of the White Solaris soldiers yelled. "You'll pay for that!"

    Blaine sprinted down the aisle, the crowd of people having since dispersed. As he approached the kiosk, he noticed a man standing inside of it, his arms crossed. His gruff face was accentuated by a thick mustache, peppered white and black, a sign of aging.

    "I need that sword." Blaine said, as the man grunted.

    "I'm aferd not, young 'un." the man said. "This Dragonslayer Sword replica from the Bleak Souls. It's an actual weapon, made with the same kind of alloy a weapon like this would be crafted with."

    "I don't have time for this." Blaine sighed, vaulting over the counter.

    The old man didn't entirely refuse his movements, instead, he stepped backwards to give Blaine enough room to move. His arms never unfolded, as he shook his head.

    "That thing took four men to lift onto that rack. You ain't gonna lift it."

    "Watch me." Blaine grunted, as he lifted the weapon off of the rack.

    It was a bit of a challenge indeed, but it was doable. The man, who had a toothpick resting on his lip, gaped his mouth at the spectacle he was witnessing. The weapon, for the most part, appeared to be a massive pole with a guillotine's blade fashioned into the hard-wood.

    The old man pressed himself against the wall of his kiosk, as Blaine rested the massive weapon onto his right shoulder. As Blaine expected, one of the soldiers had given chase. The old man ducked down as Blaine swung the mighty weapon with both hands. The weighty weapon struck the soldier's side, blood spurting out of the wound.

    "Gah!"

    The man groaned as Blaine pulled the weapon out of the man's side, vaulting over the counter once more. He swung the weapon down heavily on the man's shoulder, shattering the man's bones upon impact. Planting his right boot on the man's chest, Blaine kicked him down.

    "Muh- I..urf." the man babbled, still living.

    Despite the fact that this man had no qualms with shooting innocent people, Blaine couldn't stand to see the man suffering. He had hoped that the first strike had done the man in. Standing tall, Blaine raised the mighty weapon above his head, as the soldier reached up towards him.

    Closing his eyes, Blaine brought the weapon down on the man's head with a sickening squish and crunch. Anyone still within the conference center, attendant or soldier, all stared in a mixture of shock and disgust, as Blaine recomposed himself. Lifting the weapon from the man's head, Blaine rested the weapon back on his shoulder.

    The Spartans, however, did not seem too occupied by Blaine's stunt, taking this moment to pick off as many of the White Solaris as they could. The weapon pressed heavily against his shoulder, and he cursed the fact he was stuck wearing this disguise instead of his usual suit. In his Mjolnir, he'd definitely have been able to handle this weapon.

    "Get down!" one of the Spartans called to him, though he couldn't recognize who it was.

    Taking their hint, he dove to his left, narrowly avoiding a SPNKr ballistic missile. There was a slight pinch in his armor from the maneuver, but he would gladly take it over a SPNKr rocket point blank any day of the week.

    To his immediate left was the rifle of the first man that Blaine had killed. Blaine set the massive bladed weapon on the ground beside him, before graciously taking the rifle. Crouching low, he fired a small salvo at the nearest White Solaris troop.

    The man clutched at his chest, as the four members of Blaine's squad finally appeared with their mark. Armed with absurdly disguised UNSC firearms, Josh, Morgan, and Phil fired on the White Solaris troops while Craig held the young man from earlier behind cover.

    With himself, the two Spartans, and three of his fire-team members firing in conjunction with one another, the number of White Solaris troops in the conference hall was drastically lowered. When Blaine was satisfied that the conflict had ended, he lifted the weapon and began to pass it to the old man.

    "Er, no." he shook his hands nervously. "You keep it. Can't go around selling something that killed a man."

    Blaine shrugged, the weapon's design was pretty cool, despite what he had done with it. The two Spartans turned to his Fireteam, weapons trained on the young man from earlier. Blaine could tell by the way they gripped the weapons that they were likely here to kill the man, or to take him in.

    Turning to them, Blaine whistled Oly Oly Oxen Free. The two Spartans stood rigid, looked at each other, and turned to him. Their weapons lowered, as Blaine met them halfway down the aisle.

    "How do you know that signal?" Blaine recognized the boy's voice immediately as Randall-037.

    "Lieutenant Junior Grade Blaine. Spartan One-One-Five." Blaine stood rigid, as the two saluted him.

    "Get an armor downgrade, sir?" one of the other Spartans asked with a chuckle, if he didn't know any better, her name was Carol-057.

    "Undercover. My squad and I are here to capture a known hacker."

    "Same, sir." Randall nodded. "Er, I just got done seeing Lorelei and Katherine."

    "I've been gone for months. You didn't notice?" Blaine asked, rolling his neck.

    "Negative, sir. Been on and off the battlefield for the past few months." Randall nodded.

    "We weren't briefed that other UNSC personnel were here." Carol said with a curt nod. "I take it those are your men?"

    "Affirmative."

    "I see, well." Randall replied. "What do we tell Mendez?"

    "115 took care of it." Blaine nodded. "If you see Katherine and Lorelei, please say hi for me."

    "Yes sir."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 18th 2016, 11:25 pm

    WARNING! This chapter contains some VERY heavy topics that are dark and may be considered highly disturbing. This is the true cost of war.

    "Spartan, good work on your team's latest mission." Autumn said, as Blaine leaned against the wall of her cubical. "There were no civilian losses, despite the odds."

    "Yeah." Blaine replied quickly.

    It had been several months since his team's return from the Outer Colonies. Dylan Gumble was their target, a boy about Blaine's age who had the wherewithal to hack into some of ONI's most top secret files and elude them.

    "Not much of a talker, are you?"

    "Spartans talk through action, not our voices." Blaine recited Deja's mantra.

    "Riiiight." Autumn chuckled. "I seem to forget the Spartan handbook. If I ask Death nicely, he might lend me his copy."

    Almost as if cued in, Death stepped into the room. His gaze immediately turned to Blaine, as he marched up the row to their position. Upon the Captain's arrival, Blaine stood firmly, snapping into a crisp salute.

    "Captain, sir."

    "At ease, Spartan." Daniel replied. "I need to speak with you in my office, now."

    "Sir, should I-?" Autumn asked, as Daniel held a hand out to stop her.

    "Negative Corporal. I need reports on that Caitlyn Meyers case. She's a real bitch, that one."

    Autumn nodded solemnly, before turning her gaze to Blaine. He wasn't used to reading facial tells, but the look of sympathy on her face made him believe that something wasn't right in the world. Daniel led Blaine down the aisle to the elevator. Holding a key card up to the reader, a tiny green circle with a smiley face appeared, followed by a two toned chime.

    "Welcome Agent Death and guest. Proceeding to [redacted] sector. Keep it clean!"

    Blaine climbed into the elevator with Daniel, as the doors closed and the weight shifted. Daniel sighed, removing the square glasses that rested on the tip of his nose to rub his face.

    "You're a phenomenal soldier, one-one-five. I want you to know this."

    "Thank you sir." Blaine replied with a nod. "I aim to please."

    "That's a good trait to have, son." Daniel crossed his arms behind his back. "I feel obligated to let you know that your Spartans are still doing well. I know all too well the feeling of being separated from people you care about."

    "I appreciate the concern, sir. I'm fine though."

    Daniel turned his gaze up to Blaine for a moment, before staring at the elevator doors in front of him. Blaine observed the thousand year stare that was plastered all over the ONI Co-Director's face.

    "It is of no consequence to me if you are fine or not Spartan." Daniel replied curtly and professionally. "Morale is low, especially here in the Office. It's good to keep the spirit's high."

    "I agree, sir." Blaine nodded, as the elevator came to a stop.

    The underground tunnel they arrive in was magnificent. Glass tunnels reinforced with high grade titanium allowed a spectacular view of the Earth's Mantle. Crystals were seen sprawling from the different rock formations, the lights of the lab reflected off of the refracted crystals to give an ominous shimmering effect in the tunnel.

    Blaine had never been to this portion of the Office before, so he figured that everything and anything down here was so secret that not even one percent of ONI had an idea of it's existence. Either that, or it was a glorified hallway to Death's office.

    "Helluva view, isn't it?" Daniel asked, as Blaine turned to him with a nod. "It definitely helps me come to terms with the monstrosities I've committed. Please, come in."

    As Blaine had suspected, the hallway had just been a glorified entrance to Death's personal office. The room had the same radiant glow of the refracted light from the crystals. Daniel held a chair out for Blaine, who gently lowered himself into it.

    "I have no doubt in my mind that you're confused why I brought you here." Daniel said, placing himself behind his desk. "I'll get to that in due time, however, can I offer you something to drink? Something to take the nerve off?"

    "Sir, I'm-"

    "Law's be damned here." Daniel interrupted. "You're a child soldier, if you can risk your life for the people of the UEG, you can have a damn drink."

    "I was just going to say I'm good, thank you, sir." Blaine said, remaining stiff in the chair. "With all due respect sir, what is this about?"

    "It's about the truth, son." Daniel sighed. "The whole truth."

    Daniel took a whiskey glass from a corner of his desk and poured a couple of inches into it. Offering it to Blaine, Blaine shook his head respectively, before Daniel pulled it to himself.

    "I guess I should start by saying that it is no surprise that you've found out that the Warrant Officer is your father." Daniel took a sip of the whiskey.

    "Yes sir. I thought we had already cleared that?"

    "We did, that's not the point I'm making." Daniel replied.

    "Do you know what SCORE is?" Daniel asked, as Blaine nodded. "It's all a lie."

    "SCORE was in fact created by ONI for the remaining members of the ORION project. However, it was less of a special forces unit and more of a monitoring program."

    "Many of the candidates of the ORION project had some adverse effects on their psychology at the end of their tours. Many of them were emotionally unstable, and were known to cause chaos in their general vicinity."

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

    "Jesus, Blaine's still in debrief?" Phil asked, Josh sharpening the large weapon that Blaine had brought back from the convention.

    "Hell if I know." Josh replied, staring intently at the sheen the weapon's blade was giving off. "I definitely owe him one, this thing is fucking cool!"

    Craig remained silent, turning his attention to Morgan, who stared at the picture in his hands. Morgan was thinking about Amber, and knowing Morgan, loathing himself for Blaine's current conditions.

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

    "Warrant Officer Morgan Harlowe was one of the soldiers that fit the bill. He wasn't unstable enough to cause concern or cause for termination."

    "In the past sixteen years alone, his squad and himself, the members of your Fireteam, have committed several counts of war crimes including extortion, murder, espionage, and general actions that go against ONI and UNSC protocol."

    "They used connections within the Office to learn of the origins of your Spartans, and as such have been labeled as possible whistle-blowers."

    Daniel took a drink of his whiskey, giving Blaine time to soak up everything he had to say. Running his hand through his hair, Death rubbed the back of his neck.

    "In recent psyche evaluations, Joshua and Phillip Durgin, along with Craig Harlowe, scored within safe parameters."

    "Morgan Harlowe, on the other hand, scored way below safety protocol levels." Daniel sighed. "Director Parangosky firmly believes that Warrant Officer Harlowe is a liability, as he has not yet healed from the loss of Amber Harlowe and your disappearance."

    Daniel reached for the glass once more, before downing the rest of the glass. He placed it upside down on his desk, before resting further back into the chair.

    "That being said, she has instructed me to deal with it." Daniel sighed. "It's why my call-sign is Death, after all."

    "Sir." Blaine leaned forward. "You brought me down here to tell me you're going to have my father killed?"

    "I thought you might say that." Daniel frowned, as a hologram projector appeared from the floor in front of Blaine. "This is data that was recorded during an OP Cobalt Squad took part in eleven years ago."

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

    "I don't believe that bitch." Morgan growled. "I think she smuggled my son off world somehow."

    "If the story is true, Blaine whooped her ass good and fled. We'll find him." Craig tapped Morgan's shoulder.

    "On that-" Morgan snarled, ripping Craig's hand off of his shoulder. "-we can agree on."

    Morgan turned to Josh and Phil, who shifted nervously in their boots.

    "This the place?" Morgan asked.

    "Affirmative." Josh nodded. "We gonna light these Innie's up?"

    "No. You three stand guard here, I'll go have a chat with the nice people."

    "Morgan." Craig grabbed his brother's shoulder. "Don't do this. This isn't you, and it's not what Amber would have wanted."

    "I've already failed her. Now let go of me."

    Morgan pushed Craig off of him, before kicking the front door down of the residential home. His visor scanned across the room, as a lone girl, no older than three, sat on the floor. She was playing with alphabetical blocks.

    She jumped as Morgan kicked the door down, screaming with fear as he trained his weapon on her. Morgan could hear footsteps coming from up stairs. Taking a knee, the ODST took aim in the general vicinity of an adult's knee caps.

    Surely enough, a man came lumbering down the stairs with a double barrel shotgun. Morgan fired a single armor piercing round, which shredded into the man's right knee cap. The sudden pain caused the man's legs to lock up, as he tumbled down the stairs.

    "Are you Harold Lowry?"

    "Fuck you." the man spat, as Morgan stomped on his shattered knee cap. "AUGH! YES, yes I'm Harold!"

    "Where's my son, you cock sucking mother fucker?!"

    "What?! I- I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!" Harold groaned as Morgan pressed even harder on the wound.

    "Don't give me that bullshit. You're wife tormented my son because I am with the UNSC. She had a grudge against us for a marine shooting your son."

    "Good." the man snickered. "You UNSC pigs all deserve- AUGH!"

    "Your wife kidnapped my son to get back at me. WHERE. IS. MY. SON?!"

    "Just another abuse of p-OWER!"

    Morgan, who had since grown impatient, fired on the man's other knee. The man groaned, his jaw clenching against the pain. Saliva frothed at the corners of his mouth as he tried to endure the pain.

    "I'm not kidding, asshole!" Morgan snarled. "Tell me where your fucking wife sent my son!"

    "Why, so you can send my daughter and I to wherever the hell it is you UNSC dirtbags send us common folk?!"

    Morgan grit his teeth, pressing the still warm barrel of the rifle to the man's cheek. There was a sizzling noise, as the man screamed in pain.

    "The only common thing about you Insurrectionist fucks is your disregard for good people's lives."

    "That's cute." the man spat. "Coming from the lap dog who came bounding in through the door. I don't have your fucking son, and even if I did, I wouldn't waste my breath on him.

    "I haven't seen my wife since she 'disappeared' off of Reach's surface a few months ago." Harold growled. "So even if she would have told me, I can't contact her!"

    "You're lying, I know you are."

    "Are you fucking mental?! I just said I don't know where your fucking kid is!"

    Morgan's visor turned to the frightened young girl at the end of the hallway. He stepped off of the man's broken knees, and pointed the rifle directly at her.

    "You lost one child to a Marine. Don't make the same mistake twice." Morgan hissed.

    "She didn't do anything to you!"

    "MY SON DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO YOUR WIFE!" Morgan shouted. "WHERE. IS. MY. SON?!"

    "How can I prove to you that I'm not lying?!"

    Morgan paused for just a moment, taking deep breaths in and out, as he stared at the frightened young child. Bowing his head for a moment, the heart rate monitor at the top of his visor began to escalate.

    "There is one way." Morgan replied coldly, pulling the trigger.

    "AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!" the man screamed in his immobile position. "YOU MOTHERFUCKER! I'LL KILL YOU!"

    Morgan turned to the man, placing the fresh hot barrel to the man's left eye. There was a sizzling noise, the man's tortured screams echoing throughout the entire residential home. His arms flailed, as his damaged legs jerked in response to the new pain.

    "Where is my son?" Morgan knelt down, resting his rifle over his knee. "You got no reason to lie anymore."

    "Kill me." the man spat. "Just fucking kill me, because even if I did know, I wouldn't tell a murderer like you!"

    "That means you wouldn't get to suffer like I have." Morgan shook his head. "No, in fact, I'm going to let you live, but first."

    Pulling his knife out of it's sheath, Morgan wrenched his hand into the man's mouth. The man tried defiantly to bite on Morgan's hand, as Morgan stabbed him in the groin. Pulling Harold's tongue out of his mouth, Morgan gave it a quick slice, before standing.

    "Things would be so much easier if you Insurrectionist scum learned to stay under your fucking rocks." Morgan spat, throwing the man's tongue at his face. "You will suffer as I did.


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

    Blaine bowed his head as the hologram came to an abrupt end. He had spent his entire childhood waiting to find this man. The same man who ruthlessly killed dozens of innocent people in his search for Blaine. It made Blaine feel sick to his stomach, knowing that he had been the cause of numerous deaths, especially for that young girl.

    "I'm sorry, Spartan." Daniel sighed. "He knows too much ONI related data. He's a hazard to himself and the people around him. He's a danger to society. He can't be allowed to walk freely."

    "It's not fair, and I'm sorry to put this on your shoulders." Daniel frowned. "I mean, you did just meet him. However, I thought it only made sense that you choose his fate."

    "This is a human being we're talking about, not an animal, sir." Blaine replied.

    "Son, I know you're not blind. Those actions were way out of line, and  that's only the tip of the iceberg.  He either needs to go to Midnight... or- y'know."

    Blaine's attention had gone elsewhere. Memories of his past began to creep up on him. He remembered sitting in that Orphanage, wishing to meet his parents. It was the very reason why he attacked Charlie and Tasha Lowry that day. It was the reason he was kidnapped and became a Spartan.

    The hell that was his Spartan training, the death of Butch in that desolate forest, the countless Spartans that died during augmentation,  his separation from Orange Team. All this led him to his father, and not even six months into finally meeting him, and his father had to leave him again.

    Blaine remembered how he had killed that kid in the Orphanage, or the handler in the forest. When he came to the realization of the choices he had made, he had felt a sickening twist in his stomach. Morgan was unstable, killing children all in an attempt to find Blaine. That knowledge wasn't flattering, it was depressing. In that moment, he wished Mendez was there for guidance.

    Normally, the choice would have been obvious to send Morgan to Midnight. However, the place was a prison of the highest security. Blaine had heard the horror stories in passing from Craig and the others. Likewise, however, Blaine didn't want to kill his dad.

    "Sir." Blaine stood slowly, bowing his head. "There must be some other way. Give me a chance to whip him back into shape. I've been with him for six months now. Grant me the chance to-"

    "Spartan, he killed children." Daniel replied sternly. "I don't like it either, I have massive amounts of respect for your grandfather and your father."

    Blaine remembered back to Spartan training, where John had rushed through the obstacle course, his actions making his team go hungry that night. Blaine imagined the same scenario here, only Morgan was John, and the others in the Fireteam were Kelly, Sam, Fred, and Linda.

    "Yet you would have his own son kill him, sir?" Blaine clenched his fists. "To what end, sir? Warrant Officer Morgan Harlowe's psychology is off because of severe trauma. His blatant murder of a known Insurrectionist and his daughter is unforgivable, yes. Punishment is in order, yes, but isn't this extreme, sir?"

    "I don't disagree, Spartan." Daniel sighed. "However, the UNSC and agents of ONI have a strict set of rules and regulations that must be followed. If word of this incident had broken out, the Insurrection would have had the massive push they so desperately need. Taking the Warrant Officer off of the playing field decreases the chance of this happening again."

    "Sir, you have me there to regulate him now." Blaine retorted. "He's not the one in command anymore. Sir, call me biased, but I have always been one to look for another solution in the shadows."

    "I'm not asking you to clean his slate. I'm asking you to give me a chance to put him right. If I fail, I will do what needs to be done." Blaine saluted. "I bet my rank on it."

    Daniel paused for a moment, before looking inquisitively at Blaine's posture. "You really care for him, don't you."

    "Sir, he's not the only one that's fought to reunite with his family." Blaine nodded. "Give me this one chance, and if it doesn't pan out, I'll do as you ordered, please sir."

    Daniel drummed his fingers along the desk. Parangosky was out of the picture after she passed the duty off to him. Clicking his tongue to the roof of his mouth, Daniel gave it some deep thought.

    "One chance, Spartan. You have one month to improve his psychology report. If he's in a safety regulation standard zone, he can remain in active duty. If he falls short, I'm flipping a coin, and you're either pulling the trigger or escorting him to Midnight, am I clear?"'

    "Sir, yes sir."

    For once in Blaine's short career as a soldier, he had never been happier to say those three words.


    _________________


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    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 19th 2016, 11:31 pm

    It wasn't until Blaine was standing just outside of the barracks on the Evangelical before the truth had finally hit him. Morgan was a murderer, and worst yet, he had done it all in Blaine's name. He raised his right fist, as if to knock on the door, but hesitated for a moment. He had seen some grizzly stuff during training, many things of which he had since been desensitized to. The one he could never get over, let alone forgive, was the death of children.

    Instead, Blaine opted to turn around and go to the weight room. As he turned, however, he heard the door behind him open. Blaine stared ahead, attempting to avoid whoever it was that had opened the door.

    "Lieutenant." Phil said behind him. "How'd the debrief go?"

    "The subject was brought in to ONI, they're not taking well to his illegal accessing of ONI's black ink." Blaine replied with an air of professionalism.

    "Damn, such a young kid too." Phil frowned, shaking his head. "I guess that's what he gets for tampering with something he shouldn't have."

    Blaine froze as Phil said that, turning to face him. Phil looked up to Blaine's helmet with a look of confusion. In that moment, Blaine was glad the visor hid his face, as he had a look of worry plastered all over it.

    "Did something else happen?" Phil asked with a tilt of his head.

    "No. I'm headed to the gym." Blaine replied.

    "I'll come with you. I haven't been in a while." Phil replied, patting Blaine on the shoulder.

    Blaine winced at this motion, but couldn't disagree with Phil. Even as his superior, Blaine couldn't tell him whether he could use the weight room or not. As the two approached, the door to the weight room opened, as Josh and Craig stepped out.

    "Oh, you're back." Craig smiled. "How'd the debrief go?"

    "Business as usual."

    "Yeah, those spooks like to keep it professional." Craig nodded. " Say Phil, you seen Morgan?"

    "No. He left a half hour ago or so." Phil shrugged. "Never said where he was going though."

    Blaine stood there for a moment as the three ODSTs talked in and among themselves. He began to wonder what their reactions were to the actions Morgan had made in the past. However, they hadn't yet gotten to trust him yet, and he didn't want to cause anything unnecessary.

    "Craig, may I have a second?" Blaine asked, interrupting their conversation.

    "Uh, sure." Craig nodded, as the two walked down the hall and towards the "Mess Hall".

    "Do you actually know where Morgan is?" Blaine asked, direct.

    "There's a good chance I do." Craig stopped, turning to Blaine. "Or I don't."

    Blaine paused at Craig's sudden change of tone. He turned to face Craig, who crossed his arms over his chest.

    "You aren't the only one to go into Death's office, boyo." Craig said with malice. "Death's only where he is in the Office because of his own connections. As an intelligence officer, he's actually quite shit."

    So Craig had bugged Death's office, and spied on one of the heads of spies. The more Blaine was introduced to this backwards group, the more he began to miss the simplicity of being a Spartan with his fellow Spartans.

    "I didn't have you transferred to this team to assassinate your father, kid." Craig growled. "He's made some mistakes over the years, but he did it out of pain and love."

    "He killed a kid, Craig." Blaine replied bluntly. "The kid was no threat to him, and he used her as bait in an unorthodox interrogation."

    "He did it for YOU!" Craig growled, poking Blaine's armor. "Has nothing I've told you about him sunk in?! He didn't just lose your mother the day we were raided, he lost his LIFE!"

    "So did that helpless little girl." Blaine said, shoving Craig's hand off of his chest. "Where's HER chance!"

    "She was the daughter of an Insurrectionist, he didn't have to kill her, sure, but he saved her in the long run."

    "Why?!" Blaine shook his head in disbelief. "Because her father had a differing perspective?"

    "What? You sympathize with the bastards that killed your mother?" Craig scoffed.

    "I SYMPATHIZE WITH INNOCENT PEOPLE!" Blaine shouted, for probably the first time in his life. "My Spartans and I are sworn to protect Humanity and all of her Colonies! That little girl was barely old enough to count, or even say her alphabet!"

    "-and your father wasn't innocent?" Craig shrugged.

    "Not when he wantonly takes a child's life for the sake that he did."

    "Are you saying you wish he hadn't found you?" Craig snorted.

    "YES, actually!" Blaine growled. "I was happy with my fellow Spartans. They were-ARE my family! Morgan's selfish actions led to innocent people getting attacked or killed, just for the sake of wrenching me away from the place I was happiest!"

    "I spent my entire Spartan training hoping that one day I'd get to meet my father." Blaine stared down at his right fist. "THAT was not the man I was expecting to find!"

    "We are soldiers." Craig said sternly. "Our only purpose in this life, regrettably, is to undo God's work. I didn't condone your father's actions, in fact, I sympathize with your disgust."

    "The only thing a man's got in this life is his family. Cars, Houses, material things? Those are temporary, they can be lost without a care. A man's family is the only thing that leaves the most lasting impression on him." Craig sighed. "Your Spartans are your family, so you can attest to that feeling of kinship."

    "Yes, it was selfish to pull you away from your Spartans." Craig continued. "I still feel bad every time I see you moping around the weight room. If I could have had your other Spartans transferred, I would have in a heart beat."

    Craig continued walking, Blaine following alongside him. As they walked, Craig stared down at the floor directly in front of him.

    "You have no idea what it's like." Craig shook his head. "No idea what it's like to see someone you're close to deteriorate slowly. Family has meant everything to Morgan."

    "Shortly before you were born, our mother passed away. Follow that with your mother's death, and having to give you up?" Craig began to shake. "I watched my brother, my inspiration, my hero- decline into something beyond insanity. How do you respond to that?"

    "How do you help someone with their problems, when you haven't been in that position before?" Craig asked. "Morgan and I have been by each other's sides, literally, since birth. Whenever he feels pain, I feel it too."

    Craig stopped again, turning to Blaine.

    "I sent Morgan away for a while, told him to wait until I had a chat with you." Craig crossed his arms. "Because I needed to know where you stand. Your father has committed atrocities, the likes of which he'll likely never atone for."

    "However, as his brother and trusted friend, I cannot allow his own son to take his life." Craig eyed Blaine's visor. "I need to know where you stand, because if you want him, you've got to go through me."

    Blaine stood there, conflicted once more. The level of respect and trust between the other ODSTs in the Fireteam were much too strong to be broken. If he sided against Morgan, he sided against the entire squad. If he took out Craig now, he'd have to account for Phil, Josh, and eventually Morgan.

    He would have five confirmed UNSC kills under his belt, a statistic he really didn't want. The Marine he had killed in the forest during training still haunted him to this day.

    "Do you know that Morgan cried for two days straight when he brought you that cake, in that Orphanage?" Craig asked. "It took him hours just to get the courage to show his face to you, because he was afraid you would hate him."

    "What Death also didn't tell you, is that Morgan laid the girl to rest. Paid for her funeral and everything, because he regretted what he did."

    "That doesn't change the fact that he killed her." Blaine growled. "That'd be like a rapist paying his victim for an abortion."

    "So you mean to kill Morgan?" Craig tensed.

    "You wouldn't be able to stop me, even if I did." Blaine said. "No, I'm not going to kill Morgan, and I'm not sending him to Midnight."

    "Had you listened to Death and I's conversation to it's fullest, you would have noted that I specifically did everything I could to get Death to leave Morgan's fate in my hands." Blaine said. "I want him to have a chance to make things right. He's going to have to score well on the next personality assessment, or something has to happen."

    Craig paused for a moment to analyze what Blaine had said.

    "I just met Morgan, and despite what I know about him now, I want to at least give him a chance." Blaine continued. "However, from now on we're doing things by the book. No more connections, no more off the record interrogations without my say-so, no more assaulting innocent people."

    Craig smiled, reaching his hand up to Blaine's shoulder.

    "Good to hear."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 21st 2016, 5:57 pm

    UNSC Space Calendar
    May 5th, 2528
    04:00 Hours

    UNSC Evangelical
    In Orbit above Phobos, Mar's Moon.


    "Feckin' hell." Morgan growled, rubbing his forehead. "I'm checking."

    Blaine stood in the corner of the barracks, arms crossed across his chest. As he had thought, Morgan's attitude had improved as he and Blaine interacted more over the past year. Blaine still couldn't get over the heinous acts that Morgan had committed, but the past was behind them, and Blaine was always taught to never dwell on it.

    Gathered around Morgan in the barracks were Col. Hackett, Josh, Phil, and of course, Craig. The four had opted to play poker, while waiting for any sign of White Solaris in the area. Ever since the assault on the Convention nearly a year and a half back, the White Solaris had increased their assaults. SCORE had been officially reassigned to deal with these pests.

    With their combined efforts, the separate divisions of SCORE had managed to pin-point heavy White Solaris traffic heading to and from Phobos. If classes with Deja had taught Blaine anything, it was that the heavy traffic was a good tell that some kind of operation was being run there.

    "You bluffing old bastard." Col. Hackett sneered, slamming his cards onto the table. "I fold. Spartan, you want my seat?"

    "Negative, sir." Blaine replied, his gaze focused deeply on the contents of his HUD.

    "Even the all knowing walking calculator doesn't like your odds Colonel." Josh chuckled.

    "I don't know, son. My seat does get a straight on view of your ugly ass mug." Hackett replied, lighting a cigar. "Next hand, I deal."

    Blaine paused for a moment, as an irregularity appeared on his HUD. For the past several hands, Blaine had been monitoring the Prowler's motion tracker, along with the surface scan logs. The beautiful aspect of the protoype upgrades to the typical ONI Prowler, was that this machine was on auto-pilot, and as the squad who inhabits it's leader, he had full control of it remotely from his suit.

    What concerned him was the immediate stillness that the planetary scans offered them. It was then that the Prowler began to shake around them, metal groaning. Blaine checked the Prowler's external cameras, only to witness a Mining Frigate scrap up against their ship.

    Blaine would have thought nothing of the matter, considering how the Prowler was in stealth mode. However, he noticed the familiar White Solaris star painted crudely on the port side of the ship. The ramming was deliberate, and they had the technology to spot even the stealth ship.

    Even worse was the fact that the Prowler's motion tracker had not pinged the Mining Frigate. Was it possible that the ship's controls were breached? Was their motion tracker tampered with?

    "That game might just have to wait, sir." Blaine stepped forward. "We're under attack."

    Instinctively, Blaine escorted the Colonel to the bridge of the Prowler while his ODSTs prepped for battle. Blaine stepped inside, returning remote control of the Prowler to the Colonel.

    "I need a Pelican, sir."

    "I respect your cahones, Spartan." Hackett replied. "A Pelican hasn't got enough fire-power, even if that is just a Mining Frigate."

    "It's not the Pelican that's the weapon, sir." Blaine crossed his arms. "It's what's inside that is. Every Pelican comes standard with a nuclear fusion coil."

    "My men and I escort it to the Frigate's fuselage, prepare it for remote detonation, and get out before the White Solaris' dreams of becoming a luminous sun come true."

    "That's a risky operation, Spartan." Hackett sighed. "Your fire-team is a major asset to ONI."

    "Sir, with all due respect." Blaine shook his head. "That thing was able to detect and track us even within stealth mode. If we try and run, we're dead anyways."

    Hackett nodded curtly after weighing the options, before waving his hand to silently dismiss Blaine. Hurriedly, Blaine trotted out of the bridge and down the hall. As he passed the barracks, Phil, Josh, Morgan, and Craig poured out behind him, marching towards the vehicle bay.

    "What's the plan?" Morgan asked.

    "We're boarding the Mining Frigate." Blaine grunted as he climbed into the back of the Pelican. "Phil, you're piloting this bird."

    Phil saluted Blaine, before shimmying himself into the cockpit. Blaine pressed a four digit code onto one of the wall panels, as a HAVOK class nuclear device ejected from one of the Pelican's internal storage compartments.

    "That's a real big 'Fuck You', son." Morgan crossed his arms. "What'd they do to piss you off?"

    Blaine ignored the question, magnetically placing the nuke on the small of his back. The Pelican roared to life, as Phil navigated it out of the Evangelical.

    "Josh, you, Morgan, and Craig are going to guard the Pelican." Blaine ordered. "Meanwhile, I'll escort the HAVOK to the ship's thermo-nuclear core. If I'm not back in five minutes from insertion, you'll leave without me."

    "Like fuck I will." Morgan shook his head. "An' I sure as hell ain't letting you go by yourself. These aren't just your average Insurrectionists, boyo. These are some of ONI's former finest."

    "I'm no average Marine either." Blaine replied swiftly.

    Blaine winced as Morgan's hand settled on his shoulder.

    "That's because you're a Harlowe." Morgan nodded. "I'm going with you."

    Blaine and Morgan stared each other down for a moment, before they felt the Pelican settle. Blaine brought the fifty caliber turret down from the roof of the bay. Josh eagerly jumped onto it's control, as Blaine opened the bay's door.

    Josh yelled as he fired the armor piercing rounds into the hostile Frigate's open vehicle bay. White Solaris troops took cover behind whatever they could muster, while Blaine and Morgan advanced forward, picking off anyone that Josh couldn't get with their marksmen rifles.

    Behind them, Phil joined Craig and Josh in the suppressing fire. Morgan turned to fire on any remaining troops as Blaine clipped his rifle to his back. Plunging his fingers into the seam of one of the locked doors, Blaine grunted as he forced the doors to open. Morgan stepped in quickly, sweeping the hallway before whistling to Blaine.

    The two soldiers made their way down the winding corridor, taking out any White Solaris troops that were foolish enough to stand in their way.

    "Auuuuugh!" Blaine heard behind him, as someone dived at him, a sharpened Kukri in his knife.

    Blaine heard the blade scrape against the back of his armor, but it hadn't punctured. Blaine grabbed the man by his throat, before slamming him head first into one of the metal walls. There was a sickening crunch, as Morgan continued to fire on their remaining foes.

    Morgan's eyes quickly turned to the HAVOK on Blaine's back, which had suffered the worst of the overly sharp knife. His gaze went up to Blaine's visor, his son's DMR's scope lined perfectly with the visor. Blaine rarely showed his face to the ODSTs, but the few times he had definitely made Morgan see a lot of himself in his son.

    As the two made their way into the ship's engine room, the thermo-nuclear generator was the first object they saw. Morgan scanned the room, while Blaine planted the nuke onto the generator. Blaine growled with frustration, as Morgan confirmed the room was clear.

    "Dammit!" Blaine snarled. "I can't configure the nuke to my suit."

    "Blaine." Morgan said, his weapon trained on the door behind them.

    The door they had come through began to spark as the White Solaris on the other side attempted to weld their way inside. Blaine didn't seem to hear Morgan, as the welding reached about halfway down the door.

    "Not now." Blaine said, attempting to punch in another code.

    Morgan's hand rested on Blaine's for a moment, causing the Spartan to look up at him. Morgan's helmet was now off of his head, as a cocky grin stretched the length of his face.

    "I just realized that the last time I actually touched you-" Morgan said. "Was when I held you, the morning you were born."

    "This isn't the time." Blaine shook his off. "We can talk about whatever's bothering you later."

    Blaine's eyes widened as Morgan's arms wrapped themselves around Blaine's shoulders.

    "This isn't your fight, son." Morgan whispered. "This is between me and them."

    Blaine stared at the nuke in front of him, as he felt his heart pounding in his chest. Tears began to well in his eyes, as visions of the Orphanage began to seep to the forefront of his mind. His grasp on the nuke softened, as he began to understand what Morgan was getting at.

    The bomb had to be ignited manually.

    "Your mother and I didn't bring you in this world, just for you to die by our old friend's hands." Morgan growled. "Five minutes, this whole ship is going supernova."

    Blaine shook his head, attempting to tap in another four digit code.

    "You get your stubborness from your mother." Morgan snickered, typing in the four digit code for manual detonation.

    With Blaine's light grip on the nuke, Morgan was able to wrench it from his hands. Blaine moved towards him, as Morgan pulled the primer.

    "Go, live you life!" Morgan yelled. "It's what your mother would have wanted. Me? I'm just a shell of the man I used to be."

    "We haven't been together even a year, and you're leaving me again?!" Blaine yelled, as the door behind them burst open.

    "I never wanted it to be this way." Morgan sighed. "Do you're old man a promise, boyo?"

    Blaine turned, firing on the White Solaris troops with his DMR. Keeping the ever increasing mass of soldiers at bay. Morgan smiled as his son handled the rifle almost as expertly as his mother had, once upon a time.

    "Don't talk like that!" Blaine growled. "I'll hold them off long enough for us to find a solution."

    "Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo!" Morgan yelled, before sprinting with the nuke farther into the room.

    Any White Solaris troops that Blaine had managed to miss took cover behind the various other parts in the room. He could chase Morgan down to stop him from sacrificing himself. However, every second he spent doing that was another second the Evangelical was susceptible to further damage.

    Mendez had once taught him and John the difference between a wasted life, and a spent life. A group of tears raced down his right cheek, as he began to ponder which this would fall under. Despite everything wrong Morgan had done in his pursuit for Blaine, Blaine finally began to realize why Morgan had done what he had. It wasn't about what was right or wrong, Morgan was just making sure Blaine was safe.

    It wasn't selfish reasoning that drove Morgan to do what he did, it was all in the name of confirming Blaine was safe. Sacrificing himself here was the ultimate way of knowing Blaine was safe. Safe from the White Solaris who had taken his mother, Morgan's wife. Safe from the pressure ONI had on him for Morgan's past actions.

    Blaine marched towards the White Solaris troops that still continued to pour through the door. His DMR began to run low on ammo, as he cast it aside and drew his pistol. Each bullet sent signified the anger and frustration he had had for Morgan over the span of his life.

    When his ammunition had fully depleted, he scooped up the dead soldiers' weapons, using their clips before lifting the next up. At the door, Blaine paused to turn back to the massive engine room. With a silent nod of respect, he began to sprint down the hall and to the Vehicle bay.

    A trove of dead White Solaris soldiers littered the bay, painting the otherwise steel colored flooring red. The ODSTs noticed Blaine, as Craig approached.

    "Several Life-boats have attached and-" Craig said, before leaning over to look behind Blaine. "Where's Morgan?"

    "He-" Blaine said, turning back the way they had come.

    "No." Craig shook his head. "You killed him, didn't you. A year later, and you killed him."

    "I didn't kill him." Blaine growled. "The nuke sustained heavy damage to it's circuitry. I opted to stay with the bomb, but he snatched it from me."

    "He said he's going to blow this place in five minutes, whether or not we've left." Blaine said. "You can stay and die with the White Solaris on board if you'd like, or you can come with me and kill the bastards on Phobos. Either way, Morgan's chosen to die. You're choice."

    Craig sighed angrily, as the four of them piled into the Pelican on a return trip to the Evangelical. Phil navigated through space, as Craig and Josh both stared at Blaine, whose gaze faced in the general direction of the Mining Frigate. There was a rumble in the Pelican, as they were just outside of the explosion radius.

    Suddenly, the Pelican and Blaine's HUD darkened. The ensuing EMP from the nuclear detonation caused a wipeout for his suit's power and the Pelican itself. Thankfully for him, the Mjolnir had a back-up power source built into it, and his HUD was back online.

    At that moment, however, he didn't care about his suit's power. On the other side of that EMP field was the molten remains of the ship where Morgan Harlowe, the man Blaine had been chasing his entire life, had perished.

    In a literal flash, Blaine was right back to being an orphan. Craig's fist lashed out at the nearest wall, as Josh began to pace back and forth. Blaine on the other hand, stared at the far wall, a look of despair and shock on his face. He pulled his helmet off of his head, the two ODSTs turning to see his face. Blaine sank to his knees, as his helmet clattered to the floor.

    It was so much more than him just losing his father. He lost his sense of identity. He was first the orphan boy from New Alexandria, who had become a Spartan. He was taken from his Spartans to be with his father, who sacrificed himself. It reminded him of his time in the Orphanage once again, the isolation, a sense of not belonging anywhere.

    Craig, one of the only sensible members left on the team, noticed this and walked over. Placing a hand on Blaine's shoulder, Craig frowned, staring into his nephew's eyes.

    "It wasn't your fault. I'm sorry that I over-reacted." Craig said. "If it brings you any comfort, know that I will continue to follow by your sides to the gates of Hell itself."

    "He's right." Josh nodded curtly. "I give you a lot of shit, Blaine, but you're Morgan's son. This squad was his and your mothers."

    "It's your birth-right." Craig continued. "Us three? We'll follow you until Ragnarok and beyond."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 26th 2016, 5:01 am

    Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Doctor Halsey, thank you for coming." Daniel said, pacing around the room. "Whiskey?"

    Doctor Halsey sat on one side of the table. Her right leg crossed daintily over her left, as both of her hands rested on her lap. Her ever curious gaze began to scan the room, and Daniel knew quite well that she was looking for the cameras and other devices scattered about the room.

    "Cut the antics, every second I waste sitting here with you is another valuable second with my project." Halsey replied with a huff, turning her head from him.

    "I'm well aware about Project: Orion V2." Daniel rested his hands on the table, leaning down on them to glare directly in her face. "Who do you think helped convince Margaret to pass it?"

    "You want me to cut to the chase, Doctor?" Daniel began to pace, folding his arms behind his back. "You can begin by giving me a proper psyche report on one of your Spartans."

    "I have many Spartans, Daniel." Halsey tipped her nose upwards. "You'll have to be more specific."

    Daniel had his back to her, staring at the crystalline formations outside of his office window. His face reflected off of the refracted surface of the crystal. He gently rubbed his inner cheek against his teeth, as he began to think.

    "You know damn well which one I'm talking about." Daniel didn't turn, opting to stare at the crystal. "One-one-five."

    Halsey stiffened at the mentioning of Blaine's service number. Daniel noticed this from the corner of his eye, using this moment to get the information he needed.

    "What about One-One-Five?" Halsey turned her icy glare to meet his.

    "You indoctrinated and augmented a murderer, Doctor Halsey." Daniel said, slapping an old newspaper onto the table in front of him. "Does this ring any bells? Spartan One-One-Five was enlisted shortly after this event."

    "He was a young kid, psychological tests proved to place him at a normal level."

    "We had several entry level breaches within our systems, Doctor." Daniel said. "All queries came from the same source, the boy's father."

    "How does this apply?"

    "Spartan One-One-Five killed and assaulted members of his Orphanage when he had finally met his limit, Doctor Halsey. Such an incident could reoccur, and One-One-Five would be less of an asset and more of a problem."

    "He showed loyalty, compassion, and empathy with his fellow Spartans. In a way, he felt responsible for each and every one of them." Halsey reported. "What have you done with him?"

    "Regrettably, in the interest of keeping a potential breach from occurring, ONI transferred One-One-Five to serve in a Fire-team with his own father and uncle."

    "You what?!" Halsey stood, appalled. "Spartans were never meant to meet their parents. They were to be under the illusion that their parents had forgotten about them or abandoned them."

    "At 04:00 Hours this morning, we received word from Colonel Hackett, the Fire-Team's primary handler, that subject One-One-Five's father perished in a skirmish with White Solaris troops." Daniel sighed. "Spartan One-One-Five has since exhibited abnormal silence."

    "Where is my Spartan?" Halsey asked, resting both of her hands on the table. "Where is Blaine?"

    "On the surface of Phobos." Daniel rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I'm afraid that the Spartan II program will be loosed to the public sooner than previously anticipated."

    "You fools!" Halsey shook her head. "His father was everything he had."

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

    Hours Prior

    "We're not taking the Pelican to the surface?" Josh asked, as Blaine brushed past him.

    "Arm up." Blaine barked, pointing in the direction of the armory. "Craig, I need you on the bridge."

    Josh and Phil glanced at one another, before huffing it to the armory. Craig followed behind Blaine, slapping a fresh clip into his rifle. Upon entering the bridge, Hackett turned to the two of them. Blaine offered a crisp salute to the Colonel, before turning to Craig.

    "What is this?" Craig growled, as Blaine blocked the exit.

    "You know the name of the guy who runs this group." Blaine pointed to the console. "I don't care how you do it, just get me a name and location."

    Blaine began to turn back the way he had come, but stopped as Craig's fist slammed the counter in front of him.

    "While what? You go down there and get yourself killed?" Craig sneered. "This isn't your fight!"

    "They took my mom." Blaine clenched both of his fists. "Now they've taken my dad. It just became my fight."

    Blaine exited the room, as Hackett scratched his head in confusion.

    "Did my ears deceive me?" Hackett shrugged his shoulders. "Did he just-"

    "Sir, with all due respect." Craig turned to him. "Shut the fuck up."

    Blaine stomped down the hallway, as he passed by the armory door. With a quick swipe of his hand, he engaged the locking mechanism on the armory. On the other side of the door, he could hear Josh or Phil banging on the door.

    "Hey! What are you doing?!"

    Blaine reached the SOEIV pod bay. It was risky going down in a Pelican, at least with the pod he could try and mask his approach using Mars' shadow. Latching his father's rifle onto the mechanism, Blaine rested back against it, pulling the hatch down.

    "Something I've been waiting sixteen long years to do." Blaine grit his teeth. "I'm fighting back."

    As soon as the hatch had hissed, Blaine disengaged the magnetic tethers keeping his pod in the Evangelical. The pod began to rumble, as he quickly approached the artificial atmosphere of the Martian moon.

    His vision wasn't focused on landing, however, it was on the floatsam that remained of the mining vessel. It reminded him solely of what he had gained because of Morgan, and what he had lost because of himself. For the longest time, he blamed Morgan for all of his problems, when in reality it was his fault that he had gotten to this point.

    Had he not left that Orphanage, no matter how cruel, he could have been with his father. Morgan would have focused solely on the eradication of Insurrectionists and White Solaris across the stars, and they could've been a family. Instead, he was selfish and left, he joined Halsey, and in the long run he had inadvertently killed his dad.

    Then he pictured Butch, he pictured Katherine, Lorelai, Jorge, the other Spartan IIs that he had trained alongside. The journey was no cake walk, but they were his family, as they always had been. Blaine had to come to terms with who he was now. He was a Spartan, and he was One-One-Five.

    He engaged the parachute on the pod, allowing it to slow it's descent down to a relatively safe speed. With one final glance at the floatsam, he silently apologized to his deceased parents, acknowledging what was always meant to be.

    For that... someone was going to burn.

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

    "Hey! Get your lazy asses off of the curb and report back to the boss!"

    Three White Solaris troops were just outside of a Watershed company skyscraper. Two of them sat lazily on the curb just down the stairs from the main entrance to the building.

    "Everyone on Phobos is working hard as it is, sir." one of the two sitting soldiers replied. "You can only appreciate one of these solar eclipses every so often."

    "Ya, daily you nimrod." his partner snickered. "The UNSC wouldn't be foolish to come here. We know they're tricks, alright? Relax. The boss can wait a bit."

    "Tell that to the crew of the Iron Lung." the standing soldier spat. "It's been blown out of the sky, literally!"

    The two sitting White Solaris soldiers stood suddenly, looks of shock on their face. Sure, the rig was just a mining vessel, but it was their main incognito transport off of Phobos.

    "They expecting a Moon-wide invasion?"

    "No."

    "Then what's the worry? We have the AA systems in place, and a couple of thousand followers across the surface."

    There was a resounding boom, followed by a crash and the sound of broken glass. The three soldiers turned to the skyscraper behind them, just in time to witness the giant steel teardrop hurtle towards them.

    Their screams were instantly overpowered by the sound of impact.

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

    Blaine sat there as the SOEIV pod ran automatic landing diagnostics. With a sigh of impatience, Blaine pressed his right boot flat against the door, hearing the metal groaning from the pressure. With one last twitch of his foot, the door sailed off.

    Grabbing Morgan's MA5B, Blaine swept the immediate courtyard. White Solaris troops littered the streets and poured out of the skyscraper he had just come through. They all trained their weapons on him, while any civilians in the area scrambled for sanctuary.

    Just between you and me, lad?

    Blaine lowered his head for a second as at least twenty White Solaris soldiers approached him, weapons trained on him. The remainder of the troops remained where they were, keeping eyes on him.

    Don't be afraid to stand up for yerself every once in a while.

    Blaine smiled beneath his helmet, his grip on the weapon tightening.

    "Don't move or you will be fired upon!" one of the Solaris members scowled. "Identify yourself."

    "Does Harlowe ring a bell?" Blaine asked. "'Cause it's the last time you're gonna hear it."

    The troops all paused, giving Blaine the moment he needed, as he opened fire.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Daniel's mobile hologram projector whirred to life, presenting a real-time image of the UEG television program. The screen flickered red with the words; 'Emergency Broadcast!' flashing brightly on the screen.

    "We interrupt your usual Waypoint broadcast to bring you this special news bulletin." Tim Robinson, the news anchor for the UEG Night News, spoke diligently.

    "Havoc is the only word that can be described for the Martian moon of Phobos today as officials have reported live munitions fire on the streets of Gaia Square in uptown Bridgeton earlier this morning. "

    The visual changed to a singular security camera on top of one of the skyscrapers focus in on a singular SOEIV pod as it descended to the moon's surface. The video changed to one closer to ground level, witnessing a trio of white armored individuals being crushed beneath it.

    "At precisely 5:30 this morning, this unidentified craft plummeted into Gaia Square. Promptly afterwards, members of the PMC White Solaris began to fire upon the occupant of the craft."

    "Civilians were allegedly NOT fired upon by the lone gunman, their target seemingly only being members of the White Solaris PMC. The attack lasted for several hours, ending with the lone gunman allegedly using a transport Pelican for escape."

    Images flashed across the screen as several hundred, if not thousands of White Solaris dead bodies littered the streets on the otherwise tiny celestial body's surface.

    "Doctor Halsey." Daniel spoke up, pausing the broadcast. "Do you know of the White Solaris' origins?"

    "I had nothing to do with the original Orion project." Halsey said. "Though I did hear the rumors that the White Solaris were excommunicated members of the revamped Orion project."

    "For the longest time, One-One-Five's parents both served in the White Solaris." Daniel replied. "Care to explain why your Spartan went postal on these people, and why he almost single handedly whistle blew the entire Orion V2 Project?"

    "My father was a close friend of the Harlowe family." Halsey turned to look at the broadcast. "The family works by a sense of family pride. Bestial at best, they work under the pretense of blood for blood."

    Daniel nodded, lowering himself down onto the table.

    "My men have thankfully removed all visual evidence of him and his armor, even those saved on people's tablets. Subject One-One-Five reported for duty an hour ago." Daniel snarled. "I owe his family a favor, so I'm willing to drop any court marshal that comes his way."

    "I'm going to resume this broadcast. I want you to know that your Spartans are a huge success, but you need to tighten the reigns on them." Daniel crossed his arms. "Another security breach like this, and we may have to discharge the Spartan."

    The broadcast resumed, showing street camera footage of dead soldiers lining the streets. Civilians stared out their windows in a mixture of fear and relief.

    "The lone gunman's identity at this moment is completely unknown, though several eye witnesses describe the gunman to be almost seven feet in height and in some unidentifiable armor. We'll let you in on more as we continue this investigation. Thank you for tuning in, this is Tim Robinson, UEG Nightly News."

    "If he's an issue, you can always give him back to us." Halsey gently tapped her fingers along the table.

    "Can't be done." Daniel shook his head. "If he told even a single Spartan that he had located his father, they would all be suspicious. One-One-Five seems to continue showing unbending loyalty to the UNSC, but will be heavily monitored in the time to come. Interaction with his fellow Spartans will from henceforth be denied, am I understood?"

    "I've known Blaine for quite some time." Halsey stood, glaring Daniel in the eyes. "He's strong, intelligent, determined. He will get the job done, no matter what."

    "Answer my question."

    "I can tell you anything you want to hear, Captain." Halsey smirked. "The fact of the matter is, One-One-Five is the Spartan you want fighting on your side."

    [End of Arc 1]


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on May 26th 2016, 5:24 am

    Author's Note:

    So here we are. The end of the very first arc within Blaine's story. We've seen his childhood, and we've seen his and his father's struggles in their lives.

    Unfortunately, the decision to end Morgan was one that took me some time to decide. For one thing, Morgan's actions have been entirely out of line for the many years he's been searching for Blaine.

    Those actions in any real scenario would have gotten him court marshaled very easily. Some of them, even the blatant murder of a young child, should have/would have meant death.

    The other reason is that Morgan has been the one character that I could never properly send off correctly in any of his previous iterations. If you recall the very first time I killed him off *the mere mention of times I've done it is absurd as is*, Morgan was on Harvest during the final legs of the Harvest Campaign and got shot in the face by a Jackal Sniper.

    That first scenario is way too much of a discredit to an ODST character. ODSTs are reckless, but they aren't stupid. That death, imo, was stupid for Morgan. Other deaths included self sacrifice in scenarios that didn't quite call for it. The latest death, even before this one, was suicide because of a medical condition.

    Neither of those were a sign of heroism, which is what I wanted for Morgan's death. That's why I chose this one. Morgan had sinned over the past seventeen years he was looking for Blaine. He was beginning to focus solely on himself, and not on the world around him.

    By sacrificing himself to detonate the damaged nuke and destroy the White Solaris' primary 'incognito' express off of Phobos, Morgan attempted to atone for the sins he had committed against himself, his family, and the people he hurt along the way.

    That, in my opinion, is the most heroic death of all.

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

    Along with the return of many old characters, I briefly introduced and built up some more characters that Blaine's interactions with will influence him as a character. Butch had a total recall on his character, instead of being the raving unguided antagonist, I wanted him to be the one Spartan to question the methods of the training.

    His death was the toughest thing Blaine had to witness, as he could have literally saved Butch, had he not forced the situation. Katherine also changed, being much more outgoing and motherly to the members of Orange Team.

    Orange Team was also my first attempt at an almost all OC Spartan team that tried to shy away from the main story. It's pretty unescapable when you're writing Spartan IIs, but I thought that Orange Team's interaction with the set in stone universe was somewhat unique and refreshing.

    Lorelai was the newest character that I developed, being the silent, level headed marksman of the team. Yes, she borrows a lot of similarities with Linda, however, her personality isn't quite as cold and inclusive as Linda is known to be.

    Mendez, even though he was the instructor in a highly morally questionable program to indoctrinate child soldiers, was actually given a chance to defend himself, instead of my old tactic of writing him as a psychopath.

    All in all, I could review the rest of the first arc and make reading the story completely unnecessary, but there's no point in wasting all that time spent. I'm pretty happy with the way the characters and plot came out with this story so far.

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

    For the first time since I've joined the Database, I am hereby announcing that this thread will be the host of the ENTIRE Blaine Harlowe remastered saga, instead of splitting it up into so many cumbersome threads that will just gather dust.

    Each arc in this story is going to represent a portion of Blaine's life story. We've just completed Origins Arc 1: Uprising.

    I know this remaster is a little shorter than the original Uprising, however, I was merely building up some characters and possible enemies for the future. Anyone that's read my past versions of Blaine's saga will know what comes next. The meat of Blaine's life is coming pretty damn soon.

    Thank you for your continued support and time taken to read this story. The first chapter of Blaine's revisited life may have ended, but the most important part is coming soon.

    Origins Arc 2: Homecoming


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!


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      Current date/time is November 18th 2017, 8:13 pm