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


    Origins: Reclamation

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 3rd 2016, 12:27 am

    0600 Hours, July 24,2551 (Military Calendar)/ Epsilon Eridani System, Planet Reach.

    "It's been twenty three years, Craig." Josh frowned, holding an umbrella over his squad mate's crouched form. "We all miss the old man, but we shouldn't dwell on it. It's time to move on."

    Directly in front of the three ODSTs was a singular marble tombstone, which stood out among the rows of granite. Inscribed on the white precious stone were the names of both Amber and Morgan Harlowe. As per ONI regulations, the stone was not permitted to have 'loving parents' inscribed on it's face.

    Rain drops splattered off of the rounded edge at the top of the tombstone, splashing against Craig's face. His gaze never faltered, despite the sensation of something rapidly approaching his eyes. Twenty three years had indeed passed since Morgan gave his life to prevent the White Solaris faction as a whole from escaping Phobos.

    It had also been the last time they had seen Blaine, who immediately requested a transfer from the squad. For Craig, the whole turn of events ate at his subconscious mind, and he found very little opportunities to sleep. His actions to get Blaine transferred to the squad were all meant as a means of reuniting a son and his father.

    He was the main strategist on Cobalt Squad's roster, his job was to maintain a sense of acknowledgement for his immediate surroundings and guide the squad with that knowledge. Still, he couldn't help but feel that he failed his brother and his nephew respectively. He didn't think his plan very well through.

    He should have known Blaine's troubled childhood would have led to some semblance of hatred for his father. He should have known, once he discovered Blaine's whereabouts, that he was likely happier there. On the flip side, he and Morgan had gone their entire lives without their father. Blaine didn't deserve a similar fate.

    No. Craig thought to himself. I actually made it worse.

    Craig wasn't sure if it was the self pity, or his calculated mind speaking, but whatever it was, it was right. Even if Blaine did get to meet his father, he was also present when Morgan died. He practically watched as his father sacrificed himself.

    "Look." Phil crouched beside Craig. "You gave the two of them closure. The events it led to were tragic, sure, but at least you gave Blaine and Morgan something they've always wanted."

    Craig turned his gaze to meet with Phil's, as the two took a moment to think. Blaine never did explain why he had requested an immediate transfer from the squad. Craig had always felt that it was because Blaine hated his guts. Craig had been so protective of Morgan, being the only blood relative he had left in the world. So protective, that he had stood against his own nephew, someone who needed guidance and companionship.

    He didn't blame Blaine for hating him, in fact, he still hated himself for the entire turn of events. Blaine didn't even show up for the wake that they held for Morgan. Mixed with the promotion to squad leader, the stress of maintaining the group's composure, and the irrational fear that his only blood relative left hated him, Craig had become a mess.

    "Colonel Hackett?" Phil stood, pressing a finger to his ear. "That bad huh? Yes sir. We'll get it done. Yes sir."

    "The hell does he want?" Craig asked, slowly standing.

    "Apparently Blaine didn't wipe out all of the White Solaris, which could only be expected with the way these PMCs function." Phil sighed with a defeated shrug. "They've adopted a new leader by the sounds of it. He wants us on the case for one Viktor Buisnichev."

    "Fine." Craig rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Let's get back to the Evangelical."

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

    Heavy footfalls echoed throughout the corridor. An armored hand reached for his weapon, producing a whetstone of sorts to sharpen his blade. As the footfalls approached, he clicked his mouth in distaste, before continuing to groom his weapon.

    With a technological beep, the door behind him opened. Three figures stood behind him, one towering above the others. The behemoth sized ape shouldered a hefty, bestial hammer over his shoulder. Silver fur and a lack of a combat harness allowed the warrior to recognize him anywhere.

    "The Hierarchs have summoned you." Tartarus snarled. "You would be wise to walk with haste, the Prophet of Regret, his noble name be praised, is growing impatient."

    "I grow impatient with you, Tartarus." the Sangheili retorted, clicking his mandibles together. "I shall seek out the Prophets immediately. I, unlike you, treat my equipment with the honor befitting a warrior's tools."

    "You? Honor? Hehehehe." the brute's hearty laugh rattled the room. "You know no honor. You are like a worm, groveling at anything that dares stand in your way. Writhing in the dirt, believing you would make a difference."

    "Savages such as yourself cannot know true honor." the Sangheili replied, placing the hilt to his sword on his hip. "The Prophets acknowledge what I do, Tartarus, when was the last time you've been commended by the Hierarchs?"

    With a snarl and a growl, Tartarus' pupils visibly narrowed, his grip on the hammer in his paws tightening. The two Jiralhanae troops on both sides of Tartarus tensed as well, before Tartarus regained his composure.

    "Do not delay yourself further, Prophet's Hand." Tartarus bowed slightly, before exiting the Sangheili's quarters. The warrior waited as their footfalls distanced themselves from his space, before leaving for himself.

    To him, the Jiralhanae were making motions that seemed to rival that of his Sangheili brethren. Born of noble blood, the Sangheili would not stand as creatures that relied as savage technology and tactics attempted to tell him what was honorable and what was not. His job, as the Prophet's Hand, was to gather relics from their holy religion and to slay the enemies of the Covenant with blessings from the Prophets.

    It was not quite like the role of an Arbiter, as the Prophet's Hand retained his family's honor, and had not committed acts of potential heresy against the Covenant. In fact, the last Arbiter had been Ripa Moramee, who had perished to a simple human some time before.

    Unggoy and Kig-Yar troops marched throughout the several halls within High Charity, the Holy City of their Covenant. One such Unggoy stood in his path, grunting with one of it's companions. They had both been so enthralled that they had not known that the Sangheili was behind them.

    With a singular growl of annoyance, and no further warning, the Sangheili snatched the closest Unggoy by the back of his head and threw him into the far wall. The other Unggoy shrieked in fear, beginning to quiver on it's stumpy legs, before chasing to check on it's friend.

    "Sniveling whelps." the Sangheili snarled, continuing his march to the Hierarch's chambers.

    He ascended the stairs, passing by a duo of Megalekgolo troops, and a small handful of T'Voan and Kig-Yar troops. They chittered at the sight of him, as he growled in response. There were none in the Covenant that he despised more than the Kig-Yar and T'Voan species. Unlike Unggoy, Kig-Yar and T'voan held themselves upon a pedestal, constantly attempting to outshine the Sangheili race.

    At least the Unggoy, as easily startled as they were, showed loyalty and respect to the Sangheili people. As one of the founding species of the Holy Covenant, the Sangheili deserved just as much respect from the other species as the San Shyuum.

    He approached the door leading to the Hierarch's quarters, lines of Sangheili Honor Guardsmen lined both sides of the walkway. He kept his eyes straight, knowing that the Honor Guard did not take kindly to eye contact. He was confident in his fighting ability, but he did not wish to cause any trouble.

    He began to ponder what his next mission was going to be. The Sangheili warrior had major respect for Humanity, as their limited engagements with the Covenant since First Contact had shown him how they hold themselves in combat.

    He almost saw some Sangheili traits within the Humans. They held valor and honor when they fought, even if they did grovel to survive in combat against his race. Very rarely did they retreat, but when they did, it worked to great effect here and there. He and other Sangheili had contemplated actually recruiting Humanity for the Covenant.

    However, the Prophet's disdain for the sapiens had made it abundantly clear that an alliance was not going to happen. Especially with how they treated relics of the Gods. He cleared his head as he approached the final door. As it opened, the three San Shyuum that formed the Covenant Hierarchs sat upon their Gravity Thrones.

    The Sangheili warrior stepped a modest distance into the room, before taking a knee before the holy Prophets of Truth, Mercy, and Regret. He crossed his right arm over his chest, keeping his mandibles closed so as not to offend the Hierarchs.

    "Noble Hierarchs, I came as quickly as I coul-"

    "Not quickly enough, Field Marshal." Regret turned to the Sangheili. "As a Hand of the Prophet's, it is within the realm of your duty to be punctual when it comes to our requests. To do otherwise is foolish and dishonorable."

    The Sangheili warrior bowed his head at the Prophet of Regret's cutting words, the disappointment within burning the sinews of his flesh with every emphasized word. Regret's rambling stopped however, as the warrior's gaze turned to Truth, who raised his hand.

    "Come now brother. The Field Marshal has been an exemplary asset to us in the absence of a serving Arbiter. Warrior I'Bortee has served us with impressive acts of distinction." Truth replied with a voice that soothed the warrior's stress. "Rise, Anch I'Bortee. You are welcomed."

    "I live to serve you, Noble Hierarchs." Anch bowed, before standing. "A warrior and his tools are united as one, my delay will not happen again."

    "Salvation is at hand, Noble warrior." Mercy spoke with his aged, raspy voice. "With modesty and humility, we asked our divine lords to guide us to another relic of the Forefathers. We were gifted with a divine blessing, and have since located an untouched site."

    Anch's eyes widened, as he felt his spirits lifting. It had been quite some time since the Covenant had discovered anything regarding their religion. Not a single relic in quite some time. The news rekindled his faith in the Covenant, and made him all the more eager to serve.

    "This relic, however, falls upon a Human controlled world." Regret spoke up. "The Fleet of Particular Justice arrived earlier today to neutralize the unholy creatures that desecrate the holy site."

    "As a Hand of the Prophets, you will be escorting our Priestess, Charity, to the site. The Priestess will then bless the site, and you will personally to her safety."

    Anch took a bow, avoiding eye contact with the hierarchs.

    "It will be done, Hierarchs."

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

    "How's it feel?" Autumn asked, crossing her arms.

    "Same as before, I guess." Blaine shrugged. "Maybe a little more responsive than the previous generation."

    Autumn chuckled as the Spartan maintained distance from her, pulling a short volley of punches to test out the new suit's limitations and sensitivity. It was an upgrade to the Mark IV MJOLNIR suit that Blaine and the other Spartan IIs had been given nearly twenty five years prior.

    "It's only a prototype, but Doctor Halsey insisted that you be the first to test it, being a lone wolf Spartan II." Autumn nodded. "Unfortunately, we don't have time to put you on an obstacle course."

    Blaine stopped his test punches to turn to Autumn. Since he had separated himself from Fireteam Lance, he had her as his primary handler. Whatever ONI needed done quickly and efficiently, they sent him in. Sure he missed having people to watch his back, but the idea that he wasn't putting anyone's lives in danger made it all worth it.

    Ever since his father died, twenty three years back, Blaine began to question his place as a squad leader. The mission against that mining rig could have gone a lot smoother. Still, he was a somewhat angsty teen then, and didn't quite understand the way of the world. In all of these years, he had time to think and come to terms with his predicament.

    Autumn was one of the few people Blaine actually interacted with anymore, as he rarely had to set foot in ONI headquarters. She had long since graduated from Daniel's tutelage and was granted the ability to be a field agent for ONI directly. Following a promotion to Lieutenant herself, she was granted a Prowler for use between him and her's combat operations.

    While he still did work under the S.C.O.R.E initiative, he was also granted missions that not even Cobalt Squad were cleared to deal with.

    "I take it we have a job to do then?" Blaine asked, as Autumn nodded.

    "A sizable Covenant fleet has jumped in over Magnolia in the Outer Colonies. It's no coincidence that they would show up after that major discovery that was made last week."

    "I appreciate the faith in my abilities, Autumn." Blaine chuckled, rolling his shoulders. "-but a Fleet versus me? May as well get the grave plot ready."

    "Look, we have intel that suggests a Covenant Holy leader will be in the area. You're job is to either capture or kill this individual. Capturing would be a much simpler thing, so we can attempt to negotiate peace with the Covenant."

    "I've dealt with those things in person." Blaine shook his head, remembering his last operation with Orange Team. "For a religious group, they don't seem to understand the notion of peace."

    "Then I suppose you're gonna have to teach them." Autumn smirked. "It's gonna be a while, best put yourself on ice. Don't worry, I'll thaw you out when we're getting close."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 6th 2016, 5:28 am

    "So that's Magnolia." Autumn mused, taking in the beautiful violet colored planet before them. "I wonder why it's named after a flower."

    Autumn turned to the cryo tube behind her, where Blaine had been frozen for the entirety of the trip. She had delayed to thaw him out, allowing him to rest. She knew this operation was going to be taxing on him, and she wanted him to take a breather.

    He had been doing missions non-stop for almost three decades, taking a mission right after the completion of the next ever since he had branched away from his old squad. Even if she was just his mission handler, she was worried that he was overworking himself.

    "You probably know the answer." she smiled. "You seem to have an answer to everything, don't you?"

    Shaking her head, she knew the futility of talking to someone in cryo sleep. It was literally like talking to a wall. Her gaze returned to the purple planet, where it's landmasses seemingly glowed in a yellow-green like hue.

    "I know you'll be mad when I unfreeze you." Autumn frowned. "You remind me of my Dad, quite a bunch, actually."

    "He was an ODST, fighting the Insurrection on practically every front." Autumn sighed. "I'd see him come home, and he always looked so exhausted."

    She clenched her right fist, gritting her teeth together as a single tear streamed down her cheek.

    "I lied when I told you he was killed by the Covenant. He ended his own life, years before Harvest was even attacked."

    She looked down at the console, where the command for initiating the thaw awaited her authorization. Numerous times she had sent him on missions, some times he came back unscathed, other times he came back with a new scar. She wasn't a soldier, she was forced into it to save her life.

    She had read numerous reports of Covenant attacks in the Outer Colonies, attacks that ONI had all blatantly ignored to preserve the troops for the immediate possibility of Inner Colony invasion. Each of the attacks, from what she read, ended in total losses for the UEG. Hell, she had narrowly survived during the attack on Harvest. Now she was throwing her savior back at them, time and time again from the safety of a stealth vehicle.

    Still, as a survivor she knew what it was like to feel hopeless. Counting every last minute or second someone had left in this pitiless existence. The moment of bliss when someone reaches out and saves them from the profaned darkness of death. Who was she to deny a possible survivor their chance?

    "Who am I kidding, you know all too well what loss is." Autumn sighed, typing in the command.

    The cryo-tube hissed behind her, as she delicately took a seat by the controls to the Prowler. Their model was much more slender and compact in comparison in reference to a typical Prowler model. However, this was due to the fact that this one only housed two individuals for prolonged time away from UNSC controlled space.

    Behind her, the pod opened, and she heard Blaine rustling in his slumber. It was a rushed thaw, yes, but she had delayed long enough. She heard muffled coughing, followed by the thud of one of Blaine's boots touching actual ground. She dared not turn to him, instead she mesmerized herself in the purple planet's beauty. The view breaker here was the multitude of Covenant ships looming enigmatically above the Planet's atmosphere.

    "You have to stop delaying."

    Stoic as ever, Blaine stood over Autumn's left shoulder. Behind his visor, she could tell he was looking down at her. Even if she called him a friend, Blaine intimidated her immensely.

    "I know how much you worry, but these delays are what cause some of our missions to go south." Blaine spoke bluntly. "How many civilians have died because of this?"

    "I'm sorry." Autumn replied quietly. "I just want you to take a breather every now and again. At the end of the day, you're still human."

    "-and as a human, my job is to protect my fellow humans." Blaine sighed. "Do we have a Pelican prepped at least?"

    "Hot and ready to fly." Autumn nodded, as Blaine placed a gloved hand gently on her shoulder.

    "Thank you." Blaine replied. "Maintain position and stealth. If necessary, use a light burn to avoid motion detection."

    "You know, you're like Orpheus going into the pits of Hell, just for one target, right?"

    "Hey, at least my story'll be continued through the ages, won't it?" Blaine chuckled, before leaving the room.

    As he left, Autumn sighed, running a hand gently through her hair.

    "Asshole."


    _________________


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    Thanks for Reading!

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 6th 2016, 12:20 pm

    "Who are you?" the Marine stammered, pointing his rifle directly at Blaine's chest.

    "Lieutenant Blaine, Spartan One-One-Five." Blaine stated, unfazed at the rifle pointed point blank at him.

    "S-Spartan?" the Marine shook his head. "What the hell does that mean?"

    "Don't bother." Blaine replied. "Watch my bird, will you?"

    "U-uh, y-yes sir!"

    Blaine marched past the Marine, hopping over the side of the relatively small building. The suit braced the fall, his augmented body completely unharmed. Standing, Blaine raised his DMR to bare, before motioning towards the outskirts of city. Purple Covenant ships loomed over the city, but he had a much more important prize waiting for him.

    Just in front of him a small patrol of the stalky, chubby creatures with pointed tanks on their backs chittered. He paused his forward momentum, firing a trio of shots just above their masks. With muffled yelps and chirps of pain, the aliens fell to the ground for good. Walking over them, he helped himself to a pair of the small blue spheres that they used as grenades.

    Above him, he could hear the droning of one of the Covenant's drop ships. Their plasma cannons could easily rip him to shreds if he didn't move fast. Swiftly, Blaine sprinted towards the nearest alleyway, peering upwards to follow the ship. This vehicle had been much different than the two pronged ones he had seen earlier. Perhaps that was his target's means of transport?

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

    "I require a cloaking matrix, Warrior I'Bortee."

    "Noble Priestess, I have no cloaking matrices to give you." Anch bowed respectfully, as the rarely known female San Shyuum shook her head.

    "Unacceptable! I am well on my way to becoming a Hierarch!" she snarled. "You will give me yours, and protect me with it."

    "My apologies, Priestess Charity, it is one with my combat harness, I cannot readily give you my cloaking matrix."

    The Phantom class vessel bumped with turbulence beneath his hooves. Usually in moments like this, Anch was prepping himself for the battle, not baby sitting an otherwise spoiled child. Still, the Priestess did hold a modicum of truth in her words, she would one day be a Hierarch. If he was to continue to be in the Hierarch's good favor, he would need to spoil her.

    It made the warrior blood in his veins boil with annoyance.

    "Why do we bother keeping your pathetic race around?!" Charity whined. "Worthless creatures, you Sangheili."

    Anch clicked his mandibles in disgust, trying his absolute hardest not to plunge his sword deep into Charity's torso. For a soon to be Hierarch, Charity knew no class, had no tact. It was for this reason that Anch was hopeful meant she wasn't going to be Hierarch in his lifetime.

    "How do you things even eat? You have no jaws!"

    "Actually, Noble one, I have four." Anch replied with a hint of venom. "I lack a lower, connecting jaw."

    He was lying to the Priestess when he said he had no equipment to give her. In truth, the Prophet of Mercy had requested that he did not grant the Priestess any items she requested. She was prone to incidents, by Mercy's recollection, and to give her anything potentially lethal would likely end in her killing herself, let alone the heretical enemies of the Covenant.

    "Prophet's Hand, we approach the holy site." the Pilot spoke.

    "Priestess, we are nearly there. You're Graviton Throne will serve you well enough." Anch bowed, readying his Carbine. "Say your holy words, bless this site, and we will return to the Hierarchs in a cycle's time."

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

    Blaine crouched beside a tree as the bulbous purple ship slowly turned ninety degrees, slowing it's descent to a stand still. The side doors opened, as a singular saurian beast hopped out. He was adorned in red and blue armor, with a pair of wispy horns just above his eyes that appeared like eyebrows.

    Blaine also watched as a goat-like creature in a floating chair gently flittered to the ground. More of the saurian creatures lined the old jungle ruins, wearing odd helmets with long spear like lances. The goat-like creature in the chair raised it's arms daintily above it's head, symbolizing that it was in dead one of their leaders.

    "Heh." Blaine smirked, sighting in his DMR. "You make this waaay too easy."

    To Blaine's annoyance, however, one of the guard like saurians stepped up to the dainty creature, blocking his shot while it addressed the creature. Sighing, that creature was his target, and he wasn't going to be able to get the clean headshot off from this angle. The floating ship soared off into the distance, relieving Blaine a little bit, the task had become a little bit less difficult.

    His attention immediately fell on a patrol of the two silver armored creatures with the energy lances. He knew he'd alert the mark, but it would be his only chance. Crouching on his haunches, he darted towards the nearest creature. He fired half of his clip from his DMR into the side of it's head, as the energy shielding on it's body shimmered.

    This action did not go unnoticed, as the two creatures stopped. Their hinged jaws opened wide with beastial roars, as the one he was shooting charged at him, spear at his gut's level. Firing the remainder of his shots into the creature's face, he was disappointed to see that it's shields continued to hold strong. Tossing the weapon up in his hands, he grasped the DMR by the barrel.

    Blaine stepped backwards to narrowly avoid the stab of the glaive, before smashing the beast across the face with his DMR like it was a club. The weapon splintered in his hand, but did break the monster's shields. Using it's moment of stagger, he smashed his right boot down on the handle of the weapon, forcefully dropping the weapon from it's wielder's hands.

    Swinging his right fist across it's face, the force of the blow turned the beast around, as he grabbed it's shoulders. The behemoth struggled, only for it's partner to stab it in the chest. Thankfully for Blaine, he was standing far enough back to not get skewered himself.

    He pushed the corpse towards his assailant, taking the moment to lift the deceased Elite's weapon. Spinning it in his hand, his second foe approached him with one of their iconic blue swords. He used the tip of his glaive to knock back the creature's sword, before stabbing forward with it. The heated plasma glaive seared the Elite's chest, as Blaine pushed it in further.

    The Elite garbled in pain, dropping it's sword in it's shock. With one last push forward, Blaine and the Elite went down to the ground, Blaine using the glaive to pin it into the earth. Thankfully for him, the beast also had a rifle on it's person, one that seemed to use the pink needles as ammunition.

    "Thanks. You served a good purpose today."

    Taking a knee, Blaine fired several of the needles at a pair of the approaching creatures. As he feared, the target and it's lone bodyguard retreated into the underground portion of the ruins. Tight quarters was bound to be difficult with these creatures, but at least it had no-where to run.

    The needles from his weapon had pierced their shields, and after a sufficient number had made contact with the Elites' flesh, they reacted explosively, chunking the Elites into unrecognizable balls of meat. Smirking beneath his helmet, he rather enjoyed the rifle.

    Unfortunately, based on the size of the needles on the top in comparison to what they had once been, he knew he was running low on ammo. Sighing, he tossed the weapon aside and pulled the lone SMG off of his hip.

    He sprinted towards yet another set of the guards. Jumping off of his right foot, his boot planted itself on the chest of the nearest Elite. As they were descending, Blaine fired the entire magazine point blank into it's chest. The direct impact of the bullets melted the creature's shield's like butter, the remainder of the clip beyond that tearing the flesh beneath.

    Standing quickly, Blaine brought his left hand up, palm facing upwards. As expected, the staff of the glaive landed in his hand. With a sudden push upwards, Blaine whipped his right foot around, smashing the other beast in it's ribs. In a flash, he dropped the SMG and plucked his knife from it's holster. In the same motion as his kick, he plunged the knife into the final guard's neck.

    It's reptilian eyes widened with shock, as Blaine pushed the blade in deeper. A film gently licked over it's eye, before the coloration inside of it's eye began to dull. Pulling the knife out of it's neck, Blaine flicked off some of the blood, before lifting his SMG once again. He ejected the spent magazine, reloading the weapon.

    "Split lips!" Blaine called to the wind. "Come out and play!"

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

    "What kind of guard are you?!" Charity sneered. "I can't bless this place properly unless I have a clear head!"

    "Enough!" Anch snarled. "Bless this site, so that the Hierarchs can begin the excavation!"

    "Are you deaf?!" Charity replied with venom. "I can't proceed without a clear mind."

    "You're head is already as clear as a Megalekgolo's armor before it inhabits it!" Anch growled back. "GO. NOW!"

    "The Hierarchs will hear of this." the Priestess mumbled, before floating off.

    Anch prepped a plasma grenade from his hip, activating the adhesive covered explosive. Throwing the weapon at the ramp that acted as their entrance, he heard the human on the other side mutter something. With a growl of satisfaction, he pulled his Carbine to bear. If there was one thing Anch prided himself in more than sword fighting, it was his accuracy with a Carbine. Numerous human soldiers were felled by his impeccable aim.

    It was then that Anch heard something sharp click, followed by a few echoed rings, like metal striking metal. Glancing down at his feet, a strangely shaped sphere with bumpy ridges on it's form rolled next to his right hoof. With a swift kick, Anch sent it soaring down the opposite side of the hallway.

    "Hey!" the human taunted. "Absolutely no returns! All sales final!"

    Anch readied his Carbine as the human rounded the corner. Red and blue armor almost identical of shades to Anch's combat harness was the first thing Anch noticed about this specimen. Was this perhaps a human Field Marshal, as Anch had been before his promotion?

    Regardless of what he thought, Anch fired a single round towards the human's head, but stammered as the bullet was absorbed by an energy shield. When did the human's gain that technology?! It was not only heretical to his grand Covenant, but also a direct insult to his Gods.

    Anch fired a trio more shots, as the energy shields shimmered, but held strong. In that time the human's primitive weapon peppered his own energy shields enough to cause Anch to retreat. Annoyed by the human's escalated sense of bravado, Anch decided to kick it up a notch. Activating his cloak matrix, he pulled out his energy sword, which also felt the effects of his cloak.

    Turning back around the corner, the human stood there, lying in wait. Anch opted to humiliate the human in it's last few seconds of life by sneaking his way around the human, making sure his footfalls were as silent as possible. As Anch approached to stab the human in the back, the human swiftly dodged to the left. Rolling over itself, the human turned to Anch, it's primitive weapon at the ready.

    The human began to fire on Anch, as he felt the tiny caliber rounds pinging off of his shield. They would hold long enough for him to do his thing. The human maintained fire, even as Anch performed a downward slash, the human ducking his upper body to the right to avoid the swing entirely.

    The human took a step back while Anch attempted to follow up with a horizontal slice. The tip of Anch's weapon, however, had slagged the front of the human's weapon off. However, this did not deter the human any. Instead, and quite unexpectedly, the human tackled Anch to the ground. The human swung fist after fist into Anch's face, causing the Sangheili warrior to grunt in annoyance and anger.

    Anch attempted to move his right arm, as the human back handed Anch's right side of his face, causing his head to swivel in the other direction. The human continued to take advantage of this, swinging fist after fist into Anch's face. Annoyed and in minor pain, Anch grabbed the human by it's overly large right shoulder armor and pulled it off of him. With the human on it's back, Anch landed a nasty punch onto the human's midsection.

    The human grunted, the wind likely knocked out of him. Anch began to stand, while the human slowly began to stand to it's feet. Anch denied the human it's chance to stand, grabbing it by the helmet. Using his full strength, Anch tossed the human into the metallic wall, hearing it's head echo off of the metal wall when they connected.

    The human, now annoyed in his own right, stood rather quickly. Much faster than Anch had anticipated. Before Anch knew it, a boot landed firmly on the left side of his face, causing his right side to slam into the wall. Anch growled as he recovered his energy sword. Anch went for the stab, as once again the human side stepped it, both of it's hands landing firmly on Anch's wrist.

    With the human's surprising level of strength, it pulled Anch close enough to deliver a nasty headbutt. Anch groaned as he was stunned by the devastating maneuver. In a flash, he saw the human fire a Needle Rifle round towards the Priestess of Charity.

    Anch's eyes followed the round, as it lodged itself deep within Charity's right eye, reacting as she attempted to pull it out. The ensuing explosion causing the Priestess' head to explode like the sulfur pits on the southern quadrant of Sanghelios. Anch's eyes widened as he stood, his attention turned back to the human, nay, the demon who killed his charge.

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

    "What's the matter, dino?" Blaine taunted. "Kill your friend?"

    The Elite growled in pure rage, pulling another one of it's swords out. It tossed the weapon to Blaine, who caught it by the hilt, activating it immediately once it landed in his hand. The Elite recovered it's other sword, assuming a stance.

    "Been a while since I fenced." Blaine nodded. "This should be interesting."

    "Blaine! I need help!" Autumn yelled in comm. "Covenant ships in bound!"

    "Damn." Blaine sighed, tossing the weapon aside. "I guess it'll have to wait till later."

    The Elite seemed to be even more angry with Blaine at this action. At the time, though, the Spartan didn't care. The Elite charged at him, as he back stepped every single slice and slash that the Elite threw at him. After the sixth or so, Blaine swung a nasty right hook across the beast's face, jarring it's head to the side.

    It staggered for a moment, just long enough for Blaine to plant his boot firmly on it's chest. The force of the kick was enough to send it tumbling onto it's back and slide down the hallway. The Elite wasn't dead, nor was he incapacitated, but it would give Blaine the time he needed to get clear before reinforcements showed up.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 8th 2016, 11:03 pm

    Blaine frequently checked behind him as he ducked through the forest. As expected, several Covenant ships began to move their location to the old jungle ruins that Blaine had just been at. In a standard operation, he'd have stayed to take back the location from the enemy. However, that wasn't his objective.

    He was there to kill the goat-thing and send a message to the Covenant that Humanity would not crawl quietly into the recesses of the dark. What bothered Blaine, however, is the lack of proper guards. The Elites were no joke in combat, as he had learned through several engagements with them. He had never seen those silver armored ones before, nor had he seen the red and blue kind.

    Were the Covenant unprepared? Did they not realize that Magnolia was a human world? Or had it been that the target he killed wasn't a leader of their race? Regardless of who the target was, his killing it definitely got the message across.

    His rampant thoughts came to an abrupt end when the smoldering remains of his Pelican landed on the street directly in front of him. The Marine screamed as he cascaded down beside the Pelican, landing on the asphalt with a sickening crunch. Blaine knelt down to the deceased Marine and pulled his tags.

    His gaze went up to the top of the building, where a single cobalt armored creature roared, smashing it's massive left appendage onto the corner of the building, crumbling the concrete. Blaine remembered these things from his last op with Orange Team on Harvest.

    Bullet proof armor, highly volatile plasma launchers, and an attitude. Although, he seemed to recall there being two. In the corner of his eye, he narrowly saw the encroaching swing of the other creature's shield appendage. Blaine rolled backwards, while the first creature dropped down from the roof, the impact of it's body causing the asphalt to crack and crater slightly.

    "Is insurance out of the picture then?" Blaine asked, raising the Needle Rifle. "Guess I'm just going to have to take it from you."

    The creatures didn't seem to understand what he was saying, but rather only were angered by it. The one that had just swung at him charged a giant green blob in it's fuel rod cannon. Time slowed for Blaine as he charged the beast, jumping just before the blob was released. Blaine planted both of his hands on the creature's shoulders, before flipping over it and landing just behind it. His momentum made him slide, before he turned, firing a trio of needles into it's lower back.

    Strangely enough, it was the only place on the creature that appeared to be exposed to the world. Like an Achilles heel. Before his projectiles could make their mark, however, the other creature's shield arm covered it's partner's back.

    "Really?!" Blaine stared down at his rifle, the pink needles inside completely disappeared. "Fine then, we'll do it the hard way."

    Ducking low, Blaine sprinted towards the creature that protected it's friend. It seemed to anticipate his flip, raising it's fuel rod upwards to account for him. Sinking onto his back, Blaine slid beneath the cannon entirely, and beneath the legs of the other one. Standing, he heard the beast just behind him groan in pain, a wave of heat rising from his back.

    Blaine peered over his right shoulder, and much to his surprise, the creature survived it's partner's explosive round. Nodding his head in annoyance, Blaine turned on his heels. The beast charged it's cannon again, Blaine gritting his teeth. Slamming his left boot into the cannon, the blob of green energy was misdirected, striking the totaled Pelican's hull behind him.

    Blaine sank low as the beast attempted to swipe across with it's shield. Recovering, Blaine swung his right fist across what appeared to be it's disproportionate head. His fist clashed against the metal, snapped it's head to the side. Sickeningly enough to Blaine, however, the motion caused one of the strange orange vein looking things on it's neck to snap in half.

    Or so he thought.

    With a high pitched shriek, the worm hissed at Blaine, who was taken aback by the revelation. The beast as a whole growled, attempting to swing it's shield down on his head in his stupor.

    "Oh hell no!" Blaine growled, catching the shield above his head. "I'm not dying to a bunch of WORMS."

    Pushing up on the shield, Blaine saw the glowing orb beside him grow to it's max size. Jumping up, Blaine planted both of his feet onto the hive mind's chest plate, using all of his force to distance himself from the monster. Flipping, Blaine narrowly landed on his feet, as the force of the jump caused him to skid backwards.

    Clenching his fists, the two beasts stood, practically unscathed. Worst yet, they seemed to be chuckling in mockery. Blaine grit his teeth, he was NOT going to be mocked by a bunch of dirt munching worms! Pressing off of his right boot, Blaine made a dead sprint towards one of the creatures, which prepared to fire it's cannon.

    Sliding on his boots again, he slid between it's legs. Recovering as quickly as he could, Blaine's right fist swung upwards beneath the chin of the second beast, right beneath it's helmet. The force of the punch sent the creature reeling onto it's back. Turning back, Blaine clambering onto the first giant's back, planting his right boot onto the mid of it's back.

    Jumping off, Blaine caused the creature to land on it's front with a garbled growled. Behind him, he could hear the first one standing. Turning around, Blaine charged the beast, planting his knee directly into it's chest. He heard the metal dent, followed by a screech and sickening squish of worms being sliced by their own armor.

    With his might, Blaine pushed the creature back down so that it could fester. Turning back, the first creature stood, turning around. In rage, it slammed it's shield rapidly against the ground. Blaine smirked, before charging at the beast.

    Instead of charging it's weapon, however, the monster fired several smaller rounds at Blaine. He dodged left for the first one, ducked the second, and jumped over the third. Landing on his feet, Blaine cocked his right fist backwards, thrusting all of his weight into it. The creature's cannon had overcharged, preventing it from firing on him.

    A circle of dust accumulated on the beast's dust flew off from the impact of the punch, sending the Hunter cascading into the side of the mutilated Pelican. Turning back, he just barely noticed the second beast's round coming towards him. Diving to his right, the explosive round struck the Pelican, causing it to explode.

    Orange blood splattered around them, followed by chunks of worm and blue armor. Blaine picked himself off of the ground wiping off his left and right arms. The dust settled, as he saw the remaining creature staring in the direction of the destroyed Pelican. With a meaty roar, the creature's shield slammed into the asphalt, an eerie green glow erupting from it's cannon and the 'eyes' on it's helmet.

    "Didn't know worms were capable of love." Blaine growled, cracking his knuckles. "Don't worry, you'll be with your friend soon enough."

    Blaine charged at the monster, as it reacted much faster than before. Blaine's eyes widened as the creature's shields clothes lined him, launching him into the forest. Blaine grunted as he crashed through a tree, smashing against a much sturdier one behind that.

    "You can come play with me if you want." Blaine heard a familiar voice say.

    Glancing to his right, he saw a small girl around the age of five with shoulder length blonde hair smiling at him. She didn't seem the least bit frightened by his size or armor.

    "We can play Doctor Dinosaur or something." the girl smiled, before handing him a plastic T-Rex.

    As he reached out for it, however, he recognized the scenario. He was back in the Orphanage on his fifth birthday. Lucy wanted to play with him after he had had his cake. Blaine smiled as he looked over the plastic toy.

    "Did you know the T-Rex is the King of the Dinosaurs?" Lucy asked him with a curious smile. "I read that in a book once."

    "Rawr." Blaine smiled at her, to which she reached out and hugged him.

    "You're my new best friend."

    In the distance, Blaine could see the beast from before stomping into the forest to ensure he was dead. His helmet was to his right, reaching out, he grabbed it and secured it to his head. Standing with a wince, Blaine glared at the monster.

    He had too many people relying on him to die here and now. Charging at the beast, it fired a rapid salvo of plasma globs at him. Blaine ducked and weaved through the rounds, his target was clear. Ducking low as it approaching the beast, Blaine landed a firm uppercut onto the bottom of it's helmet.

    The force of the blow propped the beast into the air, as Blaine's hand lashed out and grabbed it's shield. Gritting his teeth, Blaine used his strength to spin in a circle, keeping the beast at arm's length. At the apex of his speed, Blaine threw the creature several feet back towards the city.

    Following it up, Blaine chased after the skidding monster. It staggered to it's feet, only for Blaine's fist to strike the side of it's helmet. The force of the blow caused it to skid along the ground, tearing up asphalt as the beast attempted to maintain it's stature.

    The creature fired several more salvos at him. Blaine, on the other hand, had located the shield appendage of it's fallen friend. Charging at the creature with the shield blocking the explosive plasma bolts, Blaine swung the shield upside it's face, launching it into the nearby brick building.

    Running up to it, Blaine gripped onto it's cannon, tearing with all of his might to disarm the creature. He heard worms screech, and the beast itself moan in pain as the worms holding the cannon to the main body tore in half. With the cannon freed from the rest of the beast, Blaine tossed it aside.

    The monster attempted to swing it's shield arm, as he kicked it aside with his right foot. Snarling with his own rage, Blaine smashed his fist into the side of it's 'helmet', denting the metal and lacerating even more of the worms. Turning down to it's shield, he grabbed it and tore that off of it's body as well.

    With one last mighty roar of his own, Blaine turned the narrow edge of the shield down towards the monster's midsection, before plunging it down and into the belly of the beast. It's movements slowed to a crawl, before the worms that inhabited the armor stopped their movements. Clenching his fists, Blaine roared to the high heavens, kicking the beast's dead body over and over again.

    When his blood simmered down, Blaine began to chuckle. He was getting so worked up over nothing. Stretching his right arm, he began to walk away in search of a new ride off world. He still needed to get back to the Prowler.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 9th 2016, 12:11 am

    To Blaine's left, he heard a throaty growl. In the corner of his eye, he saw the blue and red armored Elite charging at him with a sword. Growling in annoyance, Blaine dove out of the way, standing.

    "Look I got places to be. You wanna die so badly? Go whimpering back to your leadership, tell them how easily I killed your friend." Blaine spat.

    "I cannot return to them, demon." the Elite snarled back. "Not until I've drained your blood, coward."

    Blaine's right eye twitched as the Elite taunted him. Clenching his right fist, Blaine smirked beneath his helmet.

    "Fine." Blaine smiled. "Come and get it."

    Standing firm, the Elite charged at him with the sword. Blaine back stepped from the slices and slashes the Elite threw at him. Sweeping out the Elite's left foot, Blaine struck his boot down where the Elite's head, however, the saurian creature rolled out of the way. Blaine jumped backwards to avoid the retaliation swing of the creature's sword.

    Sprinting at the Elite, Blaine planted the tip of his boot into the bottom of it's open jaw. The Elite garbled as it flopped onto it's back, the grip on it's sword loosening. Blaine watched as the sword got some huge air, crashing through an upper floor window.

    The Elite stood back up, growling at Blaine. Blaine cracked his neck, readying himself into a stance. The Elite snarled, charging him. Blaine thrust his left elbow out and into the creature's chest piece. The weight behind the blow caused the Elite to stagger, as Blaine swung a nasty uppercut under the Elite's helmet.

    The strength of the blow propped the Elite up, as Blaine pulled his right arm back. Swinging forward with all of his might, Blaine's nasty punch struck the Elite square in it's stomach, sending it skidding down the sidewalk. Blaine chased after the beast, as it quickly stood to it's feet.

    It activated one of the blue spheres on it's hip, tossing it at Blaine. Blaine dove to the left, but the beast was already on top of him. It swung it's right fist down on the top of his helmet, causing Blaine to grunt. It followed up with a swift and nasty right kick to the chest.

    Blaine grimaced as he slid down the sidewalk from the blow. Blaine jumped to his feet, before clapping his hands together.

    "That was good." Blaine snickered. "You got me there."

    The Elite did not respond, instead, it charged at him. Blaine pitched a nasty left cross, but stopped just short, faking out into a right jab into it's stomach. The Elite garbled in response, nearly doubling over. Standing, Blaine swung his right boot into the creature's opposite leg, using his momentum, he smashed his left elbow into the side of the creature's face.

    He continued the assault with a nasty right cross, before bicycling kicking up and under the Elite's 'chin'. Landing back on his feet, Blaine spiked the Elite downwards, the force of the blow knocking it several feet back.

    The Elite stood back up, as Blaine continued to lay pressure on the alien. He started with a swift right jab to the creature's midsection, grabbing it's helmet with his left, he smashed it's face into his right knee. With his right fist, he back handed the Elite an arms length away from him. Twisting his torso, and using the martial arts training he had been taught from a young age, Blaine swung his left elbow back around, and stiffly hit the Elite in the forehead.

    The Elite snarled at Blaine, moving onto the offensive. The Elite delivered a strong right haymaker to Blaine's midsection, the blow cracking some of Blaine's ribs and popping his shields. Stomping on it's off foot, the Elite struck him with a left jab directly to his helmet, knocking the Spartan's head back. The Elite took a step back, before smashing it's hoof directly into Blaine's chest.

    Blaine tumbled back down the road, groaning as he crashed into fire hydrants and street lights. Blaine jumped to his feet and sprinted towards the Elite, though his body began to scream in protest. The Elite prepared yet another of the blue grenades, tossing it at him.

    Blaine side stepped, laughing as the Elite played into his trap. As he expected, the Elite was hoping he'd fall for the same trick twice. Thrusting his right fist down on the top of the Elite's head, he heard the beast groan from the pain. Swiftly, Blaine recovered and swung a nasty right uppercut just at the center of the creature's throat.

    The attack popped the Elite up high enough for Blaine to swing his right boot around in a high arch, striking the creature towards the ground. The force of the blow allowed for the Elite to bounce off of the concrete, while Blaine rammed his right shoulder into the creature, launching it several feet away from him.

    "You know, I'm having a lot of fun for once." Blaine shrugged. "Autumn was right, I need to relax and just spar with someone."

    The Elite returned with a gravely snarl, pulling the Carbine off of his shoulder. The beast took a knee, firing a handful of the green projectiles at Blaine. Thankfully for him, his energy shields had since recharged. Turning to his right, he lifted an old fashioned metal mailbox for cover. He assumed it was for asthetics, not practicality.

    He threw the heavy metal box at the Elite, which struck it directly in the chest. Blaine took his chance to approach the Elite, which stood to resume the fist fight. The two parties swung blow after blow, countering and blocking each other's dangerous attacks.

    Blaine took a step back, thrusting all of his weight into a single right haymaker, which collided with the Elite's helmet, denting the oblonged metal. Blaine swung an immediate left hook, followed by a right cross, both blows connecting with the Elite's torso. With a left uppercut, Blaine followed with one last right uppercut.

    The force of the blow sent the Elite crashing through the brick wall behind it, as Blaine bounced from foot to foot. He swung some test punches, before policing the Elite's dropped rifle. He gave it a quick once-over, before holding it at the ready. He needed to get to a Pelican or some way off world to help Autumn and the Prowler, and he didn't have any more time to waste.

    "We'll call it a draw." Blaine winced at one of his broken ribs. "We meet again, we'll finish things then."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on June 14th 2016, 12:16 am

    "You needed us, Colonel?" Phil stepped forward, offering a crisp salute.

    "Indeed." Hackett nodded, placing a thick cigar in his mouth. "I've got a new assignment for Cobalt Squad."

    Phil noticed as Craig flinched behind him when their old squad name was spoken a loud. Josh nudged Craig's shoulder, before giving him a curt nod and a confident smile. Hackett also seemed to pick up on this, removing the cigar from his mouth, placing it in the crook between his ear.

    "Morgan's death resonated heavily throughout S.C.O.R.E. It certainly hasn't gotten easier over the past twenty three years." Hackett rubbed the back of his neck. "However, it's also precisely that. It's been two and a half decades, and the time has come for the lot of you to plan for retirement."

    "That's our assignment?" Josh scoffed. "Sir, with all due respect, you're not so young yourself either."

    "What I mean to say is, S.C.O.R.E as an initiative is slowly starting to become obsolete. With the Spartans taking all of our missions and completing them in record time, we're running low on jobs to take on." Hackett shrugged. "ONI has made it ubundantly clear that due to your 'experiences' under the S.C.O.R.E initiative has given you a treasure trove of dirt on ONI."

    "It's not easy to say, but this will be the last mission Cobalt Squad is taking on before we retire the lot of you. You'll be moved to a specialized locale that will keep you well taken care of until the day you all die."

    Craig scoffed, crossing his arms. New age technology, not to mention their repeated times in cryo tubes left the entirety of the squad with the bodies of men in their late thirties, despite actually being near their late fifties.

    "You had a job for us." Craig said. "What is it?"

    "Ah, right." Hackett grunted, glaring at Craig. "As you all know, White Solaris was all but eradicated by the Spartan in our team the day Morgan regrettably passed away."

    "Well, White Solaris has changed it's name to the Silver Crescents. Apparently getting your ass handed to you enough times makes worshippers of the Sun transfer to the Moon." Hackett shrugged. "Our intel suggests that their leader, Viktor Buisnichev, was assassinated last week."

    The three ODSTs tensed for a moment, staring at Hackett, who seemed to relish on their confusion. With a chuckle, he took the cigar off of his ear and put it back in his mouth. Hackett rolled his neck, delighted in the subtle pops his old joints made.

    "Before Josh opens his smartass mouth, yes, this would usually be good news. However, it's the killer whose the actual concern. After killing Buisnichev, the individual took absolute control of the Silver Crescents."

    Hackett turned his attention to the small remote on the right side of his desk. Pressing the play button, a small holographic image appeared in front of them. Craig stepped forward to get a better look, but he couldn't honestly tell whom was talking.

    "The UNSC has inflicted a great deal of hardships on myself and the people I am passionate about." the disembodied voice said, albeit with a muffled voice. "They shot me when I was weak, they cast me into the mud when I was sore."

    "Oh boo hoo." Josh scoffed, crossing his arms.

    "The heinous actions of your so called 'Righteous' military has caused several hundreds of thousands of people to suffer. You silence the enlightened, and reward the dimwitted." the voice continued. "The intentions of the Silver Crescent are not to be a private military corporation any longer. We will not be bought, we will not be negotiated with."

    "Retribution is coming, and I, the Dark Skull, shall bring it down upon the UNSC and anyone who sides with them. Even if it means I have to kill the people I care about."

    At the very last second, Craig noticed as the black filter over the video lifted, showing a pitch black glass visor staring back at him. Due to the distortion of the voice, he couldn't honestly tell whom had spoken to them. Was it someone he had known?

    "The strange part is that it was sent directly to Morgan's waypoint at the time Buisnichev was assassinated." Hackett pulled the cigar out of his mouth, tapping the ashes into a tray at the corner. "I don't care how you do it, I just want it done. The message was received from the orbital station above Jupiter."

    "The one that went dark a month ago?" Phil asked, as Hackett nodded.

    "The very one. It's believed to be a Silver Crescents' HQ, if not their new home base." Hackett nodded. "Let's prove to those Spartans that ODSTs know a thing or two about combat!"

    "Ooh rah!" Josh and Phil cheered, as Craig continued to ponder.

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

    "Y-You asked for me, sir?"

    "Yes." a voice echoed from the dark. "The damn light is broken, where is our engineering team?"

    "Dark Skull, sir, you killed them the other day, remember?"

    The lone Silver Crescent recruit shivered in his combat boots as he stared at the profaned shadow in front of him. Where the old maintainer of the space station once sat, the new leader of the Silver Crescents rested.

    The room felt eerily chilly to the young recruit, whose eyes scanned the shadow for the source of the voice. He had very rarely felt this level of fear, and why should he? He was serving alongside a considerable amount of Orion veterans.

    "Oh, right." the Dark Skull chuckled from the shadows.

    The recruit swallowed shakily, as he heard the sound of a knife gently scrape against metal. His eyes stared in horror at the tempered steel weapon, which occasionally glinted some ambient light back into his face. After a mere second, the recruit heard a squishing noise, as liquid splashed onto the floor.

    The recruit grimaced as it landed at his feet. Taking a step backwards, he began to tremble even more violently, staring at the red liquid in fear. There was a splat, as the head rolled out of the shadow and to his feet.

    "EEK!" the recruit yelped, kicking the head aside.

    "You kill enough people, and I guess you just lose track."

    From the sounds of it, the young recruit could have sworn he heard the man eating something, from the way his voice occasionally muffled. The recruit quivered, backing away for the door, as the knife implanted itself into the wall directly to the right of his cheek.

    The recruit felt something warm trickling down his face, as he reached up to feel a small stream of blood running down. His eyes turned to the shadow, as a deep, hearty laughter rumbled.

    "I didn't say you could leave, kid." the Dark Skull said. "As the new leader of the Silver Crescents, I want you to tell me the history of the White Solaris."

    "T-there are far more qualified personnel to handle the situation, s-sir." the recruit stammered.

    "No." the Dark Skull replied. "I chose you, dick-head. Get talking. Why did the White Solaris dwindle down and become what it is now?"

    "It started on our old base on Phobos, sir."

    "There really isn't much to say except the UNSC sent a single soldier down to fight us." the recruit growled. "I was just a little kid then. Watched as the soldier killed my dad."

    "That's rough, kid. You said one soldier was sent?"

    "Yes sir. The soldier was massive, easily towered above any six foot person in our ranks. His fighting style was uncanny, and few were able to get any shots off on him. Worse yet, my father did manage to shoot him, in the chest, and the man's weird armor seemed to deflect it."

    "Very interesting. That'll be all for now." the Dark Skull said. "I'll enjoy watching him break if he decides to come around here."


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 1st 2016, 8:56 pm

    "Alright boys, this is it." Craig paced in front of the two twins. "It's the three of us versus the whole hive."

    "We're ODSTs, dammit, and more importantly we're what remains of Cobalt Squad." Craig stopped to glance at the twins. "On the honor of Iceman, Scotch, and Doc. We will take these Traitors to the pits of hell where they belong."

    Phil and Josh looked to one another as Craig continued to pace, his face filled with complete uncertainty. Finally Craig came to a stop, his shoulders slacking, as he sighed uneasily. He brought his right hand up to his face, gently rubbing the bridge of his nose, gritting his teeth.

    "I know Hackett didn't make it abundantly clear, but it sounds like ONI is going to expect us to die on this mission." Craig turned to them, laxing slightly.

    "You're really shitty at motivational speeches, you know that?" Josh chuckled lightly. "At least Scotch pumped us all up to die."

    "Josh-"

    "No, he's right." Craig sighed, leaning against the wall. "Morgan, Amber and I were the three heads of the squad, Morgan was the fearless leader, Amber was the voice of reason, and I was the tactical mind. Now I'm trying to be all three, and it sucks."

    There was a silence as the three ODSTs took a moment to remember their fallen comrades. The truth was there, death loomed heavily over their heads. Whether ONI wanted them to die or not was the biggest question on their minds.

    "We should be nearing our destination, I'm taking the helm." Craig sighed suddenly. "You two make sure you're well prepared. Once we have boots on the station, that's the only chance you'll get."

    As Craig entered the cockpit for the Pelican transport, Phil turned to Josh, an expectant look on his mind.

    "You heard Hackett, right?" Phil asked. "The message we heard was sent to Morgan's waypoint."

    "Yeah. So it's someone we know running the Silver Crescents." Josh shook his head. "All I can say is the sorry bastard had better hope their men kills us all, because if either one of us gets their hands on him, they'll pay for it."

    "What if it's Morgan?" Phil asked. "Do you think Craig or yourself could take the shot?"

    "I doubt it's Scotch." Josh shook his head. "Surviving a nuclear explosion that big is really impossible, even for him."

    "We watched Amber and Caldwell die in front of us, though." Phil scratched his head. "It has to be someone who knows the fami-"

    There was a stiffness in the air as the two twins turned to each other, their eyes widened in genuine fear.

    "Blaine."

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

    "You should, ugh, have done as I said and performed a light burn." Blaine sighed in relief as he pushed the last Elite's corpse into the airlock.

    "Nothing showed up on the motion tracker. I never even de-cloaked." Autumn shrugged. "It's no excuse, but it's the truth."

    Blaine nodded curtly, he had managed to find an untouched Pelican in the City, which he used to return to the Prowler. As soon as he had boarded, he had been met with a trio of Elites and a handful of the stubby creatures with the pointy backs.

    Autumn had done well to hide inside of her quarters until he arrived, as she had almost zero combat training. Rolling his neck, Blaine was just glad he had shown up when he had, as the Elites had been busy trying to cut open the doors to her quarters.

    "Next time, just go without me." Blaine said. "I'll find a way."

    "That's not going to happen, Blaine." Autumn shook her head. "As your handler, your well being is in my hands."

    "Next time, you should focus on your own well being." Blaine took his helmet off, resting it in the crook in his arm. "Anyways, post mission report; the Covenant target has been neutralized, and the MK. V armor is a much better upgrade than originally anticipated."

    Blaine took a seat in the auxillary chair in the Prowler's bridge, a light began flashing on the console before him. Pressing on the hologram, the red light expanded into a window showing a black screen, though Blaine knew it was Captain Krieg.

    "Lieutenants, I assume everything has gone off without a hitch?" Daniel asked, to which Blaine firmly stood and saluted.

    "Sir, the target has been neutralized. I'm just about to re-arm myself and make my way planetside to-"

    "Negative, Spartan. You're needed elsewhere." Daniel interrupted. "Magnolia will be receiving reinforcements as soon as they can."

    "But sir-"

    "This one involves Cobalt Squad, I'm sure you remember them."

    "Sir, they're better off without-"

    "We lost contact with them several hours ago."

    "I'm not a member of their squad, sir. With all due respect, I should be focusing on the affairs of the civilians on Magnolia."

    "That squad is the best team ONI can afford outside of you and your fellow Spartans, Lieutenant. Gorgon Station, overlooking Jupiter."

    "I know the events that took place all those years ago aren't easy to forget, but this is the one chance you're ever going to get to put the White Solaris, or the Silver Crescents (as they're now calling themselves), down for good."

    Blaine pondered it for a moment, before an attachment window appeared beside Daniel's chat window. It was a picture of Morgan Harlowe's waypoint, with the message titled Olly Olly Oxen Free. He froze, did the leader of the Silver Crescents know him? He clenched his right hand into a fist, staring angrily at the screen.

    "I'll get it done."

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

    "Heh, you remember the time Morgan was on leave in Miami?" Phil chuckled, as he checked his MA5B over.

    "You mean the time he and Amber were going to the beach, and they found this hitchhiker?" Josh snickered.

    "Yeah. I remember he told us that this dude got in the car, Amber got in the back, so the hitchhiker was in the passenger seat." Phil shook his head with a massive grin.

    "They were chatting all friendly like, until the hitchhiker says; 'What if  someone were to mug you friendly folk?'" Josh smirked. "So Morgan reaches into his console, puts his Magnum to the dude's temple, and says; 'I'd shoot the fucker.'"

    The two twins prepared their weapons, as the back end of the Pelican opened. Their weapons were trained at the ready, as they docked onto Gorgon station. A pair of guards were the first thing they saw, as the twins opened fire. Dropping out of the back, the two ODSTs swept through the landing zone to make sure it was clear.

    Craig began to march out of the back, before taking a deep breath. This was going to be Cobalt's last mission, and he was going to ensure that it ended in a success. Phil pulled a flashbang from his pouch, releasing the pin and rolling it into the next room.

    There was a high pitched scream in the other room, as a muffled pop echoed. The two twins turned the corner, their MA5B's flashing in the smokey and dark room. Josh vaulted over a desk in the once UNSC controlled welcoming center for the Space Station. As he went, his aim held true, a trio of Silver Crescent soldiers grasping at their wounds before falling.

    "Right side!" Phil barked, taking a knee and releasing a pair of timed bursts at encroaching reinforcements.

    Josh turned his attention to the right side as well, helping his brother mow down the opposition, sinking behind one of the desks for cover from return fire.

    "Drop your weapons now boys, and we'll let you walk out of here free men!" Josh barked. "Otherwise, it's shrapnel surprise!"

    "There's some women in here too, jackass!" some woman screamed from the other side of the room.

    "Damn, why is it always the hot ones." Josh shook his head. "Fine, you asked for it!"

    Pulling the pin from one of his frag grenades, Josh held it in his hand for a few seconds before rolling it along the floor to the nearest SC soldier's position. Ducking back behind his cover, Josh momentarily flinched as the explosion rained debris, liquid, and the occasional gore down on their position.

    Peeking out, he realized that the room had been cleared. Standing, Josh motioned for Craig to move up. Craig had said that he wanted to take point after they had cleared the first room, even before they landed.

    "Are you all completely incompetent? Get in there and kill those bastards, or you'll have more to worry about than them!"

    The voice came over the intercom, and what sounded like an external microphone muffled the voice, making it severely unrecognizable. The three ODSTs moved together. Gorgon station was no different than any of the other UNSC space stations. They knew the direct path to the 'bridge', along with any and all auxillary routes.

    "Josh, Phil, go back and protect the Pelican." Craig said, turning to them. "Make sure we still have a ride out of here when this is all over."

    "No sir." Phil shook his head. "We're all in this together, and we're retiring after this anyways. You won't have me court marshalled, and we both know it."

    "This is my fight." Craig growled. "You two got people waiting for you on the other side."

    "So what? Is every fucking Harlowe a suicidal bastard?" Josh sneered. "We said we aren't leaving you."

    Craig snickered, before turning around and pushing both ODSTs back into the first room. He fired his rifle at the console on the wall to his left, initiating a failsafe that closed the door behind him.

    "Sorry boys, can't let you get in my way."

    "You stupid mother fucker!" Josh growled. "You can't take on that many soldiers on your own!"

    "Watch me." Craig whispered to himself, before sprinting down the hall.

    He raised the BR55 in his hands to a ready position. If there was ever a time where his special training in Orion came in handy, it was now. He wasn't fully augmented like Blaine had been, but he certainly wasn't useless. He fired round after round, his targets crumpling into heaps as the bullets met their mark.

    One soldier prepped a frag grenade to toss at him. He snapped his aim towards the explosive, firing a lone round into it and prematurely detonating it in the man's hand. The man only managed a pitiful yelp of pain, before he and his nearby allies were enveloped in a crimson-orange fireball.

    As he neared the bridge,  the number of enemies increased significantly. He took cover behind an old custodian's cart, before taking pot shots at the SC soldiers down the hall. When their numbers dwindled, he continued his advance. He took a moment to check his ammo count, he had maybe a clip and a half at his disposal.

    He didn't expect the bridge to be too entirely fortified, so he figured that would be enough ammunition to suit his needs. Whoever this Dark Skull was, they were going to know his wrath. Stepping up to the door, he held his BR at the ready, as the door slid open.

    The room was shrouded in a profane shadow that seemed endless. If it had not been for the experimental augments in his body, he might have been at a severe disadvantage. In the darkness, however, Craig could hear a muffled clap, coming from what he could only assume was the center of the room.

    "The Dark Skull, I presume?" Craig stepped inside, his rifle scanning the room.

    In the portions that were well lit, he could make out several bloodied corpses lining the ground. The majority of their flesh had been stripped off, and discarded without second thought.

    "You're quite knowledgeable. Though you weren't entirely whom I was expecting."

    "I could say the same thing as you." Craig's gun remained trained on the center of the room, but his eyes wandered the bridge, taking in the viscera all over the place.

    It was so horrid, that every step he made caused his boots to squelch in something that Craig honestly didn't want to know about.

    "That's far enough." the Dark Skull's muffled voice echoed throughout the room. "I can only presume that you got my message in error, I wasn't sending it to you."

    "No, you sent it to my brother." Craig growled. "Who the fuck are you anyways?"

    "Who am I?" Craig silently flinched as he heard a sickening sloshing noise from the center of the room. "I'm the guy that you can throw to the wolves, and tomorrow I'll come back leading the whole pack."

    Craig heard boots sloshing through more viscera, getting closer to his position.

    "The kind of guy that you can beat black and blue. Where every wound will shape me, but I'll still keep coming at you."

    "Blaine?" Craig asked, as a black and green suited individual stepped out of the shadows.

    "No, I'm not one-one-five." the Spartan snarled, gripping Craig by the throat. "Though you could say we were once allies."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 1st 2016, 10:50 pm

    "That fucking asshole!" Josh pounded on the door, as Phil kept his eyes peeled. "If we make it out of this, promise me we're not going to deal with any more Harlowes, even if they are our family."

    The two ODSTs jumped, however, as a massive thud resounded through the room. Josh froze, before turning to the door leading to the landing pad. A lone figure began to stand, as the two twins stared, dumbfounded.

    "I think you're shit out of luck on that, bro." Phil shook his head.

    The blue and red Spartan stood off of his knee, a DMR in his hands. His gaze turned to them, as he stepped into the room. Blaine had easily towered over the two ODSTs twenty years before, but now he was even larger now than ever.

    "Where's Craig?"

    "Being a fuckin' moron." Josh pointed at the door behind him. "A better question is, why the fuck are you here?"

    "For once, I'm with Josh on this one." Phil crossed his arms. "You disappeared after Phobos, and we haven't heard of you for twenty three years."

    "Duty called."

    "Bullshit." Josh snarled. "You didn't even show up for your father's funeral."

    "I'm not here to argue semantics with you. I want to know if Craig is in there, before I deal with this Dark Skull."

    "Yeah, he went in alone, told us to watch the bird." Josh snarled. "If you're good for something, how's about you go bring your Uncle back, asshole."

    "I'll take that as a compliment, goat fucker." Blaine growled, swatting Josh on the back of the head. "

    Blaine worked his way towards the locked door, as Josh fumed, clenching his fists.

    "Ooooh I hate that little shit."

    "Enough." Phil sighed. "There's no point."

    The metal of the door groaned as Blaine's armored fist dented it with a solid yet swift punch. Blaine continued to strike the door, deepening the dent further and further, before a solid kick shattered the metal and cleared the path.

    "I don't know about you two, but I don't want to see another member of Cobalt Squad die." Blaine turned to them. "You don't have to forgive me, but it would be nice to have an extra set of hands."

    Josh grimaced, as Phil laid a gentle hand on his brother's shoulder. Even though their visors were completely polarized, Josh could tell that Phil was giving him a look. Josh turned back to Blaine, who continued to look at them.

    With a sigh, Josh brushed off Phil's hand and stepped forward with a nod.

    "Fine. For now, Fireteam Lance is back in business."

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

    "Gah!" Craig snarled, as he thudded against the wall.

    Craig grit his teeth as he stared up at the armored individual in front of him. Clenching his fists, Craig stood and brought his rifle to bare. The rounds peppered his target's suit, but as he expected, they were absorbed by the first layer of the armor.

    "That's really cute. The UNSC has hurt me far worse than those worthless bullets ever could."

    "Heh." Craig smirked beneath his visor. "I know the feeling."

    "So why do you continue to fight for them?" the Spartan asked. "After everything they've done to you, why?"

    "Because I believe everyone deserves a second chance." Craig growled. "Do you think even the worst of people can change?"

    "There once was a time when I thought that." the Dark Skull replied. "That all ended when someone I know and trusted betrayed me."

    Craig dodged backwards, narrowly avoiding a gutbusting haymaker to his chest. His vision snapped up to the massive soldier lumbering above him. He ducked beneath another swing, backstepping a follow up. He swung a fake right, feigned a left hook, and instead kicked towards the beast of a man's left calf.

    The Spartan groaned as his foot slipped on the viscera, splaying his legs in an uncomfortable position. Craig took advantage of this moment to momentarily hop off of his left foot and smash his right boot across the Spartan's helmet.

    Slipping in the bloody pool at his feet, the Spartan tumbled to the floor. Craig gently bounced on his feet, fists clenched.

    "Still got a thing or two to learn from an ODST, boy." Craig spat. "You're fighting with pure malice. You gotta keep a cool top on your head."

    The Spartan roared, as Craig braced himself. Surely enough, the Spartan charged at him. Craig attempted to dive right, but the slick goo coating the ground at his feet caused him to slip. This left him completely vulnerable to the Spartan's attacks. Grabbing Craig by the helmet, the Spartan dove towards the ground, driving the back of Craig's head into the floor.

    Craig groaned, swinging swift kicks into the Spartan's groin plate. Finally, the Spartan caved, and Craig was able to roll out of the way. On his way up, he raced towards the Spartan, planting his boot under the armored man's chin.

    The Spartan flipped from the force of the kick, yet recovered fast enough to lash out and grab Craig's boot. With a swift yank, Craig yelped as he felt his ankle dislocate, and he landed flat onto his back. The Spartan crawled on the floor, ripping Craig's helmet off of his head. Craig heard the all too familiar sound of a knife being unsheathed, before a burning sensation flared in his right eye.

    "AUUUUUGH!" Craig yelled, the knife slicing into his right eye. "I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"

    Grunting, Craig put his boot firmly on the Spartan's chest, before pushing off with all his might. When he was freed, he quickly pulled the blade out. His vision may have been handicapped, but he wasn't out of this fight, not yet.

    Clenching his fists, his grip tightened on the knife in his right hand. He sprinted at the Spartan, who charged at him in kind. Laying his weight partially back, Craig slid in the viscera, ducking beneath the Spartan's punch.

    He plunged the knife into a chink in the Spartan's armor, where a black suit could easily be made out. Using his momentum, he swung around with the knife, dislodging himself and landing firmly on the Spartan's titanic back.

    "HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?!" Craig roared, plunging the knife into a crease on the Spartan's right shoulder three times.

    The Spartan reached up, as Craig squirmed out of the way, relying on only his left eye to avoid getting grabbed. Fast like a viper, Craig stabbed one of the Spartan's hands to his own shoulder.

    Jumping off, Craig spat blood that had been rolling down his cheek onto the already bloodied floor. The Spartan, however, pushed his pinned hand up, slicing it further. He pushed it enough that it dislodged, and the knife clattered to the floor.

    Craig yelped as he was grabbed by his right arm and thrown, over the Spartan's shoulder, onto the floor. His right arm was braced, and with his left eye, he could see the Spartan's boot prepping to stomp on his face.

    Craig knew this was the end, and waited for death. Instead, he felt the pressure on his right arm stop, along with the sound of a vehicle striking another. Opening his remaining eye, he saw a familiar blue and red armored Spartan tumble along the ground with the black and green Spartan he had just been fighting.

    "GO!" Blaine roared, pointing towards the exit. "I'll deal with this one!"

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

    Blaine grunted as the Spartan beneath him struggled. The idea of fighting one of his fellow Spartan IIs didn't really appeal to him, considering how he knew first hand what each of them were capable of, let alone that he viewed them all as family.

    "One-one-five." the Spartan chuckled. "I thought you might show up if I baited the trap."

    "Yeah, that was a mistake!" Blaine snarled, pushing the Spartan off of him. "I could have forgiven you for being a Silver Crescent, but I won't forgive you for what you've done to Craig."

    "Funny, because I'm the one here that should never forgive YOU!" the Spartan snarled, as the two stood.

    "Who the hell are you anyways?!" Blaine snarled, as the Spartan removed his helmet.

    "Who else?" the Spartan mocked, revealing a familiar face.

    A dead face.

    "Butch..." Blaine said. "Y-you're alive!"

    "Yeah, no thanks to you." Butch growled, resting his helmet in his hands. "The fall didn't kill me, and I spent numerous days in that forest waiting for it to finally happen."

    "I managed to climb back up that cliff, battered and broken. Unfortunately, you guys had already left before I got there. You just shrugged me off like I was nothing, an acceptable loss."

    "I honestly thought the fall killed you, I MOURNED for you!" Blaine shook his head in disbelief.

    "Very little in the forest was good enough to eat." Butch smirked. "However, you guys were kind enough to leave me something."

    "Those soldiers," Blaine paused. "Butch, you didn't-"

    "I did." Butch grinned from ear to ear. "In a way, it was only fitting that I ate the very people I despised. It gave me a feeling of closure, really."

    "THAT'S SICK!" Blaine roared, as Butch's face stiffened.

    "Is it?" Butch chuckled. "What was sickening was the fact that three days into the exercise, Mendez of all people located me. Because you never told him of my wishes to leave the program, they instead kept me a secret from the lot of you."

    "I was augmented with a dose much higher than any of you other mongrels in Orange Team got. I was even given a prototype of the MK. V before any others. I just had to deal with their bullshit long enough to find an opening, and then I left." Butch smirked. "Lorelei and Katherine tried to stop me, shortly after they discovered who I was."

    "What did you do to them?!" Blaine grit his teeth, his right eye twitching.

    "Oh, I seem to have struck a nerve." Butch smirked. "I know you had a fancy for that Katherine. She was a delicious treat indeed."

    Blaine chuckled softly, his world around him was crumbling swiftly. His friends in Orange Team were dead, Butch, whom he had mourned for, not only killed them, but he. Cracking his neck, Blaine stared at his old squad mate.

    "Fine then. If you truly believe I purposefully threw you off of that cliff-" Blaine cracked his knuckles. "I'll make sure you don't come back this time."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 2nd 2016, 11:38 pm

    There are a few links in this installment. These are recommended listenings to help set the mood. There are no lyrics, but I highly suggest you listen as you read. If the first is about to overlap the second, pause it and begin the second for best effect.

    "So you admit that you tried to kill me." Butch shook his head, replacing the helmet. "Entirely unfitting of a chronic liar like yourself."

    "You're just as stubborn as I remember." Blaine sighed. "At least you didn't change that much."

    Butch tensed, irritated by the remark. He charged at Blaine, who stood still, arms crossed. As Butch got within range, he thrusted a mighty right hook towards Blaine. Blaine smirked beneath his helmet, grabbing the fist and the arm attached to it, before flipping Butch over his shoulder.

    Butch slid in the viscera, as Blaine sighed once more. He refused to turn to Butch, he couldn't bare to look at what his old squad member had become.

    "I don't want it to be like this." Blaine said. "I'm not your enemy, neither were Katherine or Lorelei."

    Butch growled, swiftly standing to his feet. He charged at Blaine from behind, as Blaine side-stepped, tripping his fellow Spartan up.

    "We were like brothers, you and I." Blaine crossed his arms. "Anyone on Orange Team would have gladly died to save you."

    "Yet Katherine did NOTHING to help me up!" Butch snarled, clenching his fists. "You let me go!"

    "No, YOU let go!" Blaine barked back. "I promised to pull you up, and YOU let go of my hand!"

    "STOP LYING TO ME!" Butch gnashed his teeth, stomping his right foot down.

    The force of the strike caused the floor to dent upwards. Butch reached down at the propped up slab of metal, pulling with all of his might to free it. Electrical wires that had been underneath the slab sparked as they were frayed. Spinning in a circle, Butch tossed the slab at Blaine, before racing after it.

    Blaine kicked the metal aside, but was taken by surprise as Butch smashed his right fist across his visor.

    "You don't know the torture I had to endure!" Butch growled, as Blaine slid across the ground. "The pain I've suffered!"

    "You're not the only Spartan with skeletons in your closet!" Blaine jumped to his feet.

    "Yet you continue to fight for the people that put you in that position!" Butch growled. "You lost all rights to bitch when you decided to blindly follow them!"

    "I'm not blindly following shit!" Blaine shook his head. "The Insurrection is not a prime example of the rebel faction for the good of all. They are murderers and criminals."

    "More UNSC propaganda." Butch snickered. "You know, I had a chance to go through ONI's databanks before they shut Gorgon Station down remotely?"

    "I found my true identity." Butch chuckled. "Does the name Tasha Lowry ring any bells?"

    Blaine froze as the name seeped from the reserves in the back of his mind. Memories of his time in the Orphanage flooded back to the forefront of his mind. The torture she had put him through, the cruel and unusual treatment she gave him. The woman whom had forced him to run away, the woman who inadvertently caused him to be a Spartan.

    "I noticed you tensing just now." Butch growled. "So you do know about her. How your 'Mr. Harlowe' tortured, interrogated, and arrested her."

    "She got what she deserved." Craig hissed from the corner. "The cunt had no place torturing a child."

    "SHE WAS MY MOTHER!" Butch roared, charging towards Craig.

    Blaine snapped back into reality, tackling Butch into the wall. Thrusting a right uppercut into Butch's gut, Blaine tossed him over his shoulder, towards the center of the room.

    "She only had one son, and he was killed in a UNSC raid." Craig turned to Blaine. "That was why she hated you so much."

    "You're wrong." Butch growled. "The soldiers only shot me with tranquilizers. They put me on ice until this cursed program was set to proceed, and then they put me in with the others."

    "It gets better, Blaine." Butch walked out of the shadow towards Blaine. "'Mr. Harlowe' apparently led a raid on my father's house, and proceeded to murder my younger sister and my father, because he was looking for you."

    "If what you said about Mr. Harlowe being your father is true, than that means you're just as accountable for his actions as he is." Butch continued his slow advance towards Blaine. "After all, the sins of the father are passed to his son."

    "I don't honestly care about the cliff thing." Butch shook his head, holding his hands hands up and flat. "In truth, I'm just avenging my family. The family YOURS took from ME!"

    Butch stepped forward, swinging a mighty cross, Blaine ducked under, thrusting his left fist into the bottom of Butch's rib cage. Butch groaned, sliding backwards, as Blaine stood there, his head dipped.

    "Mrs. Lowry was a bitch to me, all because you were taken by the UNSC." Blaine stared down at his right hand. "I suffered five years of torture under her care, I became a Spartan.... all because of you."

    "No, because of the UNS-"

    "Enough." Blaine growled, rolling his right shoulder. "You've made it abundantly clear that his is no longer a fight of ideology. You killed my squad- no- my Family. This isn't a battle of the UNSC vs. the Insurrection, not anymore."

    "Now," Blaine snarled, smashing Butch across the helmet. "IT'S PERSONAL!"

    Butch groaned, maintaining his balance as he slid backwards. For a moment, the two Spartans stared each other down.

    "Had it been a few minutes ago, I would have asked you to come back to the UNSC." Blaine tilted his head to the right, his visor depolarizing. "Now? Now I'm going to beat you until there's nothing LEFT!"

    Butch tensed as Blaine charged at him. Standing firm, Butch coked his right fist in preparation. Leaning backwards, Blaine pushed Butch's extended fist to the side, throwing all of his weight into a nasty haymaker into the side of Butch's helmet. The force of the blow caused the dust and muck on the two Spartan's armor to expel itself.

    In that moment, Blaine felt all of his pent up rage, all of the moments he had been wronged from Mrs. Lowry, Mendez, and his Father, loose themselves into the fury behind his fists. Stepping forward, he smashed a mighty right hook. Faster than the three ODSTs could follow, Blaine's fists barraged Butch's helmet, left-right, left-right, each blow echoing through the halls of the abandoned station.

    To Blaine, he wasn't punching Butch anymore- he was punching Charlie, he was punching Mrs. Lowry, he was punching Mendez, and he was punching the leader of the Silver Crescents. More importantly, he was going to kill him.

    "Blaine." Craig whispered in the background, as his nephew brutalized his fellow Spartan.

    Butch stumbled backwards at the barrage, as Blaine stood there. His shoulders heaved up and down, as his anger influenced breaths were heard by all in the room. With his visor depolarized, Butch could make out the icy blue pair of eyes glaring at him. Any chance Butch had of reasoning with Blaine were officially out in the void of space.

    Butch took a step backwards as Blaine charged towards him. He groaned as Blaine's left fist smashed heavily on his right cheek.

    "You're not going anywhere." Blaine snarled.

    "Fine." Butch growled, stepping forward. "THEN DIE!"

    Blaine smirked as he back stepped Butch's attempts at retaliation. On his final punch, Butch over extended himself, as Blaine stepped in. With a mighty right uppercut, he knocked Butch up into the air and away from him.

    Phil and Josh, who had been busy attempting to help Craig leave, were frozen in fear at the exchange that the two titans were experiencing. Each strike was like a thunder-clap in the empty room. Blaine's breathes of anger echoed through the room, sounding not unlike a beast of nature's growls.

    Butch yet again attempted to swing a barrage at Blaine's face, as the Spartan back stepped and weaved between each blow, reading his nemesis like a book. With a quick left jab to Butch's chest, Blaine nailed Butch under the chin with a right uppercut. The force of the attack, yet again, left Butch sliding backwards.

    The two Spartans were locked on to each other, breathing heavily from their fight. The atmosphere around the ODSTs suddenly became ice cold, and they found themselves paralyzed in the heat of the moment.

    "RAAAAAAAAGH!" Blaine roared, charging Butch with his right arm pulled backwards.

    Butch prepared himself, but was taken surprised as Blaine launched a nasty left jab into his liver. The force of the blow caused Butch to groan and cough, raising his head just enough for Blaine's initial right hook to connect with Butch's visor. Fast as a viper, Blaine's left fist nailed Butch in the liver again, as Blaine heard Butch's cough expel some sort of liquid.

    With one last roar of defiance, Blaine smashed Butch in the cheek with his right fist again, the force of the blow spinning Butch around. Pressing his boot to Butch's back, Blaine kicked Butch away from himself. Slipping on the viscera at their feet, Butch crashed head first into the nearby wall.

    "What's the matter?" Blaine snickered as he stepped forward. "Not winning as easily as you'd have hoped?"

    "Fuck you." Butch groaned as he shakily stood to his feet.

    Blood soaked the inside of his visor, so he was forced to pull the helmet off and discard it. Blaine slowly walked towards Butch, who continued to shakily stand. Blaine stepped up to Butch, slapping his across his right and left cheek, all the while grinning like a fool beneath his helmet.

    "What's the matter, buddy?" Blaine smirked, leaning down towards Butch. "Are you feeling angry? Do you feel hurt, is that it?!"

    Holding Butch's head in his hands, Blaine brought Butch's gut down onto his knee. Butch groaned as another small pool of blood splattered out of his mouth and onto Blaine's armor.

    "Asshole!" Blaine growled, smashing his left fist into Butch's cheek. "YOU. DON'T. KNOW. WHAT. PAIN. IS!"

    With swiftness and power equivalent of a speeding train, Blaine smashed his fists and knees into Butch's nearly unconscious form. Stopping his assault, Butch fell to a knee as Blaine loomed over him.

    "Don't worry, I'll let you feel a taste of true suffering, as your family has caused me over these past three decades!" Blaine sneered. "I, a poor child, victim of circumstances I DIDN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND!"

    "I didn't have to be your enemy." Blaine growled, as Butch shakily looked up towards him. "You and I could have been better than the ones that wronged us, the ones to ignore our pasts and pave way towards a better future."

    "But like the rest, you decided to judge me without giving me the chance I deserved to show who I really am." Blaine clenched his fists. "You are no different to the people you despise. You killed the weak for the sake of your own sickening gains, and you automatically assumed I was your enemy because of my family name."

    Blaine grit his teeth, as tears flowed down his cheeks.

    "You killed my best friends, who I loved more than anyone else in this world." Blaine growled. "All because, like me, my father was a victim of circumstance."

    "I'm not just a blind follower of the UNSC." Blaine snarled, gripping Butch's throat and staring him in the eyes. "I do what I feel is right for the good of the people. I choose to be a Spartan that doesn't care what people think about me, so long as I'm doing what's necessary for the fate of humankind as a whole."

    "You and the rest of your Insurrectionist group are an endangerment to the future I dream for the UNSC." Blaine pulled Butch's face close to his visor. "If you're not with me, than you're against me."

    Butch smirked as he swung a twisting uppercut into Blaine's lower torso. Blaine coughed as he stepped backwards. As Blaine recoiled, Butch followed up with a right hook across Blaine's cheek, popping his overshields immediately. Stepping forward, Butch swung a left cross, continuing to knock Blaine backwards.

    Grabbing Blaine's shoulders, Butch swung fist after fist to Blaine's stomach, before kicking him in the chest and launching him towards the chair in the center of the room. In the pitch blackness of the center of the room, Butch carefully crept into it. Without his helmet's assistance, there was no way he'd be able to see.

    "Gotcha." Blaine snickered, as he pulled Butch into a full nelson.

    Twisting Butch in his arms, Blaine brought Butch's stomach down on his extended knee. Butch screamed in pain, as Blaine covered his mouth with his left hand, wrapping his right arm around Butch's throat.

    "I could kill you now." Blaine whispered in his ears. "However, I'm going to make you suffer for what you did to ORANGE TEAM!"

    Flipping backwards, Blaine slammed Butch's head down on the floor, hearing a subtle crack from his enemy. Rolling onto his feet, Blaine turned around and swung his right boot up and into Butch's chin, propping Butch up and into the air. Reaching up, he grasped both of Butch's ankles, swing his foe down, face first, onto the viscera covered ground.

    "Ugh." Butch groaned, splayed out on the ground.

    Blaine stood, turning his back to Butch once more. Crossing his arms, the Lieutenant stared at the far wall. The darkness surrounding the two Spartans was a perfect description of the thoughts running through his mind at the moment.

    "You and I, and the rest of Orange Team." Blaine started. "We could have worked our way up the ladder. We could have worked through the tyranny in the UNSC and ONI from the inside."

    "I'm sorry about Mrs. Lowry, and I'm sorry about your sister and father." Blaine continued. "I'm sorry that all this bad stuff happened to you, and I'm especially sorry about that day in the forest."

    "You were my brother." Blaine bowed his head. "If only you had just realized that, we could have changed the world."

    "So what." Butch grunted, struggling to stand. "What are you going to do? Kill me?"

    "At first, I didn't want to." Blaine stared at his right fist. "After you reminded me of Mrs. Lowry, and told me the fate of my squad-mates, I wanted to kill you."

    "The more I think about doing it, the more willing I am to do it." Blaine nodded. "Still, I want to prove that I'm better than that. I'm not the killing machine ONI wants me to be. I'm a person, just like everyone else. I don't kill wantonly and without remorse."

    "I'm not just a number." Blaine turned to Butch. "That's what people fail to understand."

    "You're not seriously going to let this sick freak walk away?!" Craig growled. "After what he did to us?"

    "If I killed him for crimes his family committed against ours, would I be any different than him?" Blaine called back. "Yes, he's committed bigger atrocities against me than his mother ever had against us. I, however, am not going to remain involved in this sick family feud."

    Turning back to Butch, Blaine knelt down.

    "Make sure you listen well, however." Blaine growled. "If I ever see your face again, I'll beat you until I can't recognize you. If you try to attack anyone I'm close to again, I will make you feel the pain only thirty plus years of torture can bring."

    Standing, Blaine turned towards Josh, Phil, and Craig. Walking towards them, he paused for a moment more.

    "You would also be wise to disband any remaining Silver Crescent troops you have at your disposal. If they choose to continue being Insurrectionists, fine, they'll die all the same." Blaine sighed. "Goodbye Butch, I hope you find a better future."

    "Heh." Butch chuckled as he began to stand behind Blaine. "You think I'll just accept your mercy? You think I'll stand to be humiliated by a fool such as yourself?!"

    "Mendez taught us to never give up, remember?!" Butch snarled, as Blaine turned towards him.

    Butch's right fist smashed against Blaine's helmet, the force of the attack sending him careening towards the three ODSTs. Josh and Phil dodged one way, pushing Craig in the opposite direction. Blaine groaned as he tumbled down the hall.

    On one of his flips, Blaine managed to land on his feet. Sliding across the metal, his face snapped upwards. The same murderous fire burning behind his eyes. He wanted to offer Butch a second chance. Clearly, Butch wasn't going to have any of it.

    "Fine then!" Blaine barked back at him.

    Launching off of his right boot, Blaine and Butch charged at one another, fists prepared to fly. The two Spartans swung their right fists, the blows connecting with the other's fist. The two Spartans threw a flurry of punches and kicks towards at each other, before landing a kick on each other's chests.

    The force of the blows pushed each other back a few feet. Both Spartans clenched their fists harder, before charging back into the fray again.

    "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" the two Spartans yelled, as they continued to match each other in speed an ferocity, block and dodging each other's blows.

    The three ODSTs couldn't help but watch, a certain sadness in their souls. They knew that the two fighters were once children, indoctrinated and trained to be child soldiers. Whatever bond they had as children was what caused them to fight with such ferocity. The one that had been hit the hardest was Craig, however, as he began to realize just what his actions had done to Blaine.

    Even twenty three years after the fact, his actions were causing two children, raised to be brothers, to fight. Instead of seeing Blaine and Butch fighting, he saw himself and Morgan, exchanging blows. It brought him back to the day he had his falling out with their mother. The two had fought it out in the barracks at boot camp.

    Blaine finally ducked under one of Butch's swings, thrusting his right fist up and into Butch's rib cage on the left side. Kicking out one of Butch's ankles, Blaine hopped off of his left boot and swung his right foot into Butch's torso, which had since been bent.

    The blow caused Butch to slide across the ground, as Blaine gave chase. Butch stood, ripping a pipe out of the wall. Swinging it at Blaine, Blaine narrowly back-stepped the assault, avoiding each consecutive swing. Finally, he began to throw his own punches in retaliation.

    Butch moved the pipe to block each blow, before holding it taut in front of him. Blaine roared, his right fist shattering the metal in half, the blow smashing Butch square in the nose. Butch growled as he skidded backwards.

    With a mighty roar, he charged towards Blaine, ducking beneath Blaine's attempt to stop him. Tackling Blaine to the floor, the two Spartans tumbled down the corridor. Blaine growled as he put his entire weight into the roll. Surely enough, he was the one on top.

    Swinging fist after fist into Butch's face, Blaine snarled, before Butch's right hand clouted him on the side of the head. The tables turned, and now Butch was on top. Snarling, the helmetless Spartan gnashed his teeth, ripping Blaine's helmet off of his suit. The helmet tumbled to the side, as Butch lashed down, clamping his fangs onto Blaine's left ear lobe.

    "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Blaine screamed, as his cannibalistic rival ripped the very tip of his ear off with his teeth.

    Pitching his head forward, Blaine's forehead cracked Butch's nose, further breaking the cartilage. Gritting his own teeth, Blaine pushed Butch off of him. Standing to his feet, he smashed his right boot up and into Butch's chin, snapping his old colleague's head upwards. Blaine continued his kicking assault, thrusting each boot into Butch's midsection.

    With each strike, he could hear Butch's ribs crack and break from the force. Hefting Butch up to his feet, Blaine smashed his right fist into Butch's jaw with enough force to dislocate it.

    "SPIT. ME. OUT. YOU. SICK. FUCK!" Blaine roared, punching in time with each word he uttered.

    Blood trickled out of Butch's now swollen, broken jaw, his nose and cheek puffing from his bruises. Deep green eyes peered at Blaine, as if daring him to continue. Blaine took the challenge, thrusting his knee up and into Butch's lower torso again, as Butch spat a mixture of blood and bile out onto his throat.

    Spinning the two around, Blaine grunted as he kicked Butch in the chest. Butch stumbled backwards, his eyes widening as a sickening squish filled the air. Blaine breathed heavily, his eyes on fire, for only a moment before he relaxed. His eyes grew heavy with sorrow, as he gazed at Butch's predicament. The door Blaine had burst open had several metal spikes protruding out of it from the side.

    Butch glanced down to see one such spike protruding from his mid-torso. Blood began to pour down the front of his suit of armor, a light chuckle bellowing from his lips. Butch looked up at Blaine, a grin forming.

    "Y-you." Butch chuckled, before laughing out right. "You killed me."

    With the last of his strength, Butch stepped forward, dislodging himself from the spike. Blaine watched as Butch stumbled towards him, right arm outstretched. In his last moments, Butch's eyes met Blaine's, a look of remorse held within them, before he fell to the ground, lifeless.

    Blaine collapsed to his knees, bowing his head. The three ODSTs at the end of the hall remained where they were, as Craig began to shake. Placing a hand gently on Butch's shoulder, Blaine began to shake as his emotions welled up.

    "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Blaine yelled to the heavens. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

    Blaine stood uneasily, walking over towards his helmet. Without a word, he lifted the hunk of metal and glass, glancing over it. In the reflection of his visor, he saw his eyes. They shared a mixture of sorrow, anger, and regret. Placing it back on his head with a satisfying pop, he turned his back to the ODSTs.

    "Blaine, wait." Craig called after him, as the Spartan walked away.

    However, Blaine continued to walk without hesitation. Craig sprinted after his nephew, despite not being able to see with his right eye. As Blaine drew nearer to the landing pad, however, he felt a hand grasp his left arm.

    "I know you don't want to hear what I have to say, but there is something you need to know." Craig said. "Because I might not have the chance to tell you in the future."

    "Don't blame your father for your life. Morgan isn't the reason why your life is in shambles." Craig sighed. "I am."

    "I was the one that forgot to file the papers that would've allowed your parents to have their parental leave." Craig continued, as Blaine actually stopped. "It was because of that mistake that your parents got found by the White Solaris. It was the reason why your mother was killed, and it's the reason you stand in that armor before me."

    "Don't blame your father's actions on him, because everything that's happened up till now is my fault. I was the one that gave the information to ONI that sent that raid team to Sigma Octanus IV, where your colleague was captured."

    "I'm the one who pulled your from your Spartans to be with your father, because I wanted to atone for my misdeeds. Yes, your father may have killed that man's younger sister and father, but I was the one who tortured and imprisoned his mother." Craig began to cry. "My mother was right, I could never do anything right. Everything I've ever done has been with the help of Morgan and your mother."

    Blaine took a moment to soak up the information, as Craig continued still to talk.

    "I was the one foolish enough to tell our friends in the White Solaris that you were going to be born." Craig growled. "The ones who betrayed your Father, Mother, and myself."

    "Enough."

    Craig stopped, as he heard Josh and Phil walk into the room behind him. Blaine wrenched Craig's hand off of his armor.

    "The past is behind us. The future is all I care about now." Blaine said. "I never blamed my father for a second. I didn't make his funeral because I didn't deserve to be there. I was the reason he died, and I had no place being in your presence."

    "I don't care what mistakes you made in the past, it's what you do now that should define you." Blaine turned to Craig. "I've learned that over the years. If you want my forgiveness, you'll help me in bringing a brighter future for everyone."

    Craig and the two ODSTs took a long glance at Blaine, who bowed his head.

    "I failed my old squad, I'm not going to fail yours." Blaine said. "If this is the final goodbye, I wish you all well. You should really get that eye checked out, Uncle."

    With that, Blaine stepped out into the landing pad, hopped into his own Pelican, and was gone before either of the ODSTs could register what was happening. Craig sank to his knees, grinning and laughing in between his sobs.

    Blaine was more like his father than he even knew.

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

    "How'd it go?" Autumn asked as Blaine brushed past her. "Uh, hello?"

    She followed the Spartan as he continued to walk through their personalized Prowler. Opening the weight room he had formally requested, she watched as he stepped out of his armor, allowing the pieces to be scattered along the floor. Pulling his helmet off, he dropped it to the floor, approaching the punching bag.

    She observed as he struck blow after muffled blow into the black leathery bag.

    She watched for six hours.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 5th 2016, 1:29 am

    "I want a report, Lieutenant Stroud." Daniel said. "Has the leader of the Silver Crescents been terminated or not?"

    "Sir." Autumn nodded. "The Leader of the Silver Crescents turned out to be none other than Spartan Zero-Six-One."

    "A Spartan?" Daniel looked at her, his face apparent with shock. "-and Lieutenant One-One-Five proceeded without hesitation?"

    Autumn paused for a moment, turning her head just enough to see the door leading out of the bridge in her peripherals. She had watched Blaine in the weight room continually brutalize the same punching bag for six consecutive hours without stopping. If that had been any sort of clue as to how the mission went, she could only imagine how he felt.

    She had once been in a Pelican with Blaine and a group of his Spartan allies. The thought that one of them had gone rogue shivered it's way down her spine. She was one of the few people in the known Universe who had been this close to the Spartans without being initially involved or their enemies.

    "The Lieutenant completed his mission admirably." Autumn resumed her report, pausing to think of what she wanted to say next. "Regardless of his thoughts in the moment, he dispatched the Silver Crescent's new leader and officially disbanded the group for good."

    "One of ONI's best ODST teams were also sent in. I was told they are on board your Prowler?"

    "Affirmative, sir." Autumn said. "Warrant Officer Craig Harlowe sustained a serious injury in his right eye. The other two have come back completely unscathed, minus some trauma from the experience."

    "Oh?" Daniel asked, rubbing his chin. "In what way was the event traumatic?"

    "Spartan Zero-Six-One apparently was a closet cannibal. I've reviewed the videos from the bridge over the past week, from the time Gorgon was initially taken, to yesterday." Autumn grimaced as she explained the hell-hole that the bridge had devolved into.

    She remembered watching Blaine enter the Prowler with his entire set, which had once been red and blue, covered in a matte, crusty layer of dried blood and viscera. Originally, she had speculated that he had killed everyone without remorse. When she was reviewing the tapes, however, the story presented itself.

    "Jesus." Daniel shook his head. "What of Spartan One-One-Five? Has he been acting differently as a result of the experience? Do you have any concerns for your well being?"

    Autumn began to speak, but hesitated before any words came out. She recalled the day she had first realized Blaine was a child soldier, how he had been so quiet and withdrawn. Over the past few years they had been working together, she had seen him come out of his shell. He was still stern and formal, but she knew he had a softer side, one usually lost to strangers.

    "The Lieutenant has been busy cleaning his armor, and patching a wound he had sustained on the field." Autumn said, carefully smithing her words to not attract attention. "I've no suspicions of him. Other than the typical depression of the death of an old ally, I don't suspect I'm in any danger, sir."

    "Very good." Daniel nodded. "Death, over and-"

    "Sir, wait." Autumn spoke up. "May I see the current roster?"

    "You have only one soldier in your roster, Ms. Stroud." Daniel looked quizzically at her.

    "No sir, I mean the Spartan Roster." Autumn stammered. "I know it's a bold ask, but if I'm going to be working with One-One-Five in a safe environment, I need to make sure there are no more surprises in the future."

    "You do understand that this is a Tier Black file you're requesting?" Daniel glared at her. "It belongs solely to the eyes of those involved with the project, Director Parangosky, and myself."

    The tone that Daniel took was much more sinister than she had been expecting. The way he spoke sent chills down her spine, and a certain coldness to the environment around her. She occasionally forgot that she was merely an ONI apprentice, and not a registered Agent.

    "Sir." Autumn nodded boldly, despite her fear. "I do. I only wish to-"

    "If you are concerned enough to view a Tier Black file, than clearly you are concerned for your life, am I mistaken?" Daniel's icy stared nearly penetrated her bluff. "Even if I were to let you view the roster, should the Lieutenant discover anything pertaining to his old roster, it would surely push him over the edge."

    "At that point, I'm doing you a favor by denying you access." Daniel sighed. "In the event that he does discover anything on the roster, you'll have plausible deniability."

    Autumn frowned as Daniel's eyes scanned her face. With a nod, Daniel leaned back in his chair, moving his face away from the camera.

    "If there is nothing else?"

    "Negative, Captain."

    "We'll be in touch, Ms. Stroud."

    Autumn sighed loudly as she leaned back in her own chair. The ODSTs kept to themselves, two of which made it a point to care for the one who had been missing his eye. She shook her head as she stared at the Waypoint screen in front of her. The symbol for the Office, a lone pyramid, two circle in it's center, remained in the center of her screen.

    Closing her eyes, she remembered the day she had met Blaine. On Harvest, how rude she had been to him initially. Here she was, two decades later, working by his side as his trusted mission handler. She cared for his safety, just as he had cared for her all those years ago. She even remembered sitting on that Pelican, scared for her life and surrounded by eight Spartans.

    Even though she only got to really know Blaine, her involvement in his life made her just as concerned for their well being as Blaine had. Sure, she still felt alienated by Blaine, and would assuredly be cast aside by the Spartans in a heartbeat, but she felt connected to them. She knew what it was like to be isolated, she knew despair. Sure, she never experienced anything close to what Blaine had described his childhood as, but she felt drawn to them.

    Autumn glared at the insignia for the Office. Daniel, or Death as he had been called around the Office, had once told her stories of his deliberate disobedience to certain orders. Hell, everyone in the Office knew that he was the only one who could say he went against Margaret Parangosky and 'won'. If she was going to make it in the Office, and ensure Blaine's mental and physical health, she was going to have to prove herself.

    She pulled up the ONI directory using sub routines that Daniel had taught her during her training. Soon, she found herself within the ONI Section II databanks. Still, she needed to go deeper. Daniel had taught her how to circumvent ONI's defense mechanisms due to her non-Agent rankings, so that she could work for him without proper clearance. Using that training, she back doored her way into ONI Section III's data stores, all the while keeping her visit within the site a total mystery.

    Once she ensured the connection was secured and could not be viewed by outside presences, she pulled up a query box. She typed 'Spartan Program' into the box, but no results were found. Puzzled, she furrowed her brow and continued to type other queries, such as; 'Subject One-One-Five' and 'SCORE'. SCORE yielded little results, only offering a roster from thirty six years before.

    Curious, she clicked on the roster, the names; Amber Lynn Harlowe, Morgan Angus Harlowe, Craig James Harlowe, Joshua Alan Durgin, Phillip Chase Durgin, and Richard Kyle Coldwell appeared before her, along with a picture taken by the crew. Autumn jumped, however, as a small chat box appeared beside the image.

    "What are you doing?"

    The message was cryptic, and there was no username attached to it. Autumn felt her world collapse around her, literally anyone could be behind that text box. Quickly, she continued on her path, ignoring the image on her screen, sending more inquiries.

    "It's rude to ignore someone when they're talking to you."

    "Fuck off." Autumn audibly said, letting her fingers fly across the board.

    If she took too long, she'd be located immediately. If she spoke back to them, she would be located immediately. Growling, she continued to type inquiries like Mjolnir, or Spartan II. Finally, she recalled something Blaine had once said, how his father, mother and uncle were all members of something known as the Orion project.

    Typing 'Orion' into the box finally did the trick, as detailed reports of numerous children appeared before her. The sheer volume of reports sped past her faster than her eyes could travel. Shaking her head, she watched with sheer horror as the faces of several hundred children and quick dossiers flashed past.

    For the ease of her search, she simply typed 'Orange Team' into the box. Five dossiers appeared, one of which was Blaine's, with two other boys and two girls. Three of the team members had been listed as M.I.A.

    "Ms. Stroud.

    Autumn's eyes widened, as she stared at the chat box in sheer horror. She had been made, and more importantly, she was caught reading Black Tier files, by illegally accessing ONI's private databanks. She was as good as dead, but she needed to know.

    "Did you really think I wouldn't know who this was? After all, I taught you how to get in this way."

    "Death." Autumn gently bit her bottom lip.

    "You were lucky it wasn't anyone else in the Office. I have connections, you do not." Daniel continued to type. "Understand that you've now signed a pact with the Office, Ms. Stroud."

    "What do you mean?" Autumn typed in the chat box, as the ellipses appeared, waiting for Daniel's response.

    In the meanwhile, Autumn's eyes were focused on the faces of Blaine's old team. A brown haired boy with green eyes stared back at him, the numbers Zero-Six-One embroidered on his suit. This was the boy that Blaine had just killed? She felt a single tear forming in her eyes, as she began to feel the weight of pain that she could only imagine was on Blaine's shoulders now.

    "Now that you've read these files, you are too valuable of an asset to ONI. You are no longer permitted to leave, as in doing so will end in your... termination." Daniel typed back. "Should these records ever go public, you will be heralded as ONI's scapegoat, and you'll be held just as liable as everyone involved."

    "Continue reading at your leisure, you'd better get well acquainted with these dossiers, because they're now the one thing keeping you alive." Daniel continued. "Do bear in mind that any attempt to copy these dossiers will usher in your immediate termination. You're on a Prowler with four loyal ONI soldiers. Do not make that mistake. Welcome to ONI, Agent Freyja.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 5th 2016, 9:02 pm

    1300 Hours, August 1st, 2551 (Military Calendar)/ Solar System, Planet Earth.

    "The surgery was a complete success, Lieutenant."

    Blaine stood to attention, turning to face the young, bright faced woman who had spoken to him. Blaine crossed his arms, heavily impressed at her calmness in his presence, even Autumn had her moments where she seemed nervous to be around him.

    "Is something on your mind?" she asked, as he chuckled.

    "No ma'am. I'm just amazed to have finally met someone that wasn't a direct superior whom wasn't intimidated by my presence these days. I've got to admit, it's a welcome change."

    "You'll find that I'm very comfortable around Spartans." she continued. "Oh, where are my manners? I'm Doctor Bailey, but you can call me Billy-Jean, or Bailey if you prefer."

    "Spartan One-One-Five. Lieutenant in the UNSC Navy." Blaine shook her hand. "I generally go by One-One-Five, Blaine, or my rank."

    The doctor smiled as she gently shook his hand in return. Brilliant green eyes seemed to scan his golden visor in search of some sort of response.

    "If you ever need anything, Blaine was it?" Blaine nodded. "Ask anytime, I've always been fascinated by the machinations of Halsey's Mjolnir armor."

    Blaine was interested how this woman was familiar with Doctor Halsey, but disregarded the thought. He was more concerned for the well being of Craig at the moment. With her escort, Blaine walked inside. Craig struggled to look up, as he had taken a rather nasty beating from... the leader of the Silver Crescents. A synthetic eye had been successfully implanted into Craig's socket, restoring his vision.

    "It's my own personal design." Bailey crossed her arms, puffing her chest out in pride. "I'm happy to announce that the systems are working nominally, and the Warrant Officer can see clearly once more."

    "Yes, it's phenomenal. Thank you Doctor." Craig said, before turning his gaze to Blaine. "Heya, boyo. How're you holding-?"

    "I'm fine." Blaine nodded. "Any discomfort?"

    "Nah." Craig shook his head. "Where're the twins."

    "Debriefing with Hackett." Blaine crossed his arms, leaning against the wall. "Heard about S.C.O.R.E. I used my good standings with Agent Death and delayed your retirement."

    Craig stared at Blaine, before lowering his gaze. Blaine knew that Craig and the others were still battle ready, and Craig had a sneaking suspicion that Blaine knew what an ONI retirement generally consisted of. With a slight smirk, Craig nodded in silent understanding.

    Sure, Craig and the twins were going to be shuffled into the normal ranks of the UNSC military, but it was better than being slowly poisoned in a five star hotel on some uncharted planet.

    "Thank you." Craig said.

    "No thanks are necessary." Blaine stood, turning to Bailey. "Thank the Doc here."

    With that, Blaine exited the room, Bailey walking out behind him. Turning right to walk down the corridor, he next had to be administered a psyche test to ensure that he wasn't going to fly off the handle. He was upset about what had happened with Butch, and he knew that it would haunt him for the rest of his days, but it was also necessary.

    "You know, I think you'd make good friends with one of my Spartans." Bailey said, as Blaine paused.

    Was that how Bailey knew Halsey? Did she sneak off more of Blaine's fellow Spartans for her own usage? Were Spartans all just luggage for this woman? Collector's items even?

    "I know that tension." Bailey smiled, seemingly reading his mind. "My Spartans aren't from Halsey's Spartan program, I can assure you. No, they are a different grade all of their own."

    "I head a division of Headhunters, using the newer generation of Spartans." Bailey said. "Don't be alarmed, your Spartans are not being replaced. The UNSC weighed the success of you Spartans, and invested on attempting to recreate it."

    "Oddly, the thought of more children going through what I did doesn't make that statement feel any better." Blaine sighed.

    "I can understand that." Bailey frowned. "I despise it just as much as any one else that's aware of the Spartans' creation. Still, I treat all of my Spartans with the care and attention they deserve. Perhaps, one day, when this war is over, you may even consider them to be friends."

    "Speaking of them, I should really return. I know you've got places you need to be, so I won't waste any more of your time."

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

    "Spartan One-One-Five, step forward."

    In the pitch blackness before him, Blaine could tell that the board of Admirals sitting elevated above him were glaring at him with expectant eyes. Each and every one of them wanted a reason to throw him to the wolves in hopes that he would feed the pack enough to sate them.

    "Do you know why you have been summoned on this day?"

    Blaine stood there, his eyes scanning the shadows, recognizing Margaret Parongosky's all to familiar voice.

    "Ma'am, I believe it has to do with the psychiatric report filed shortly after my last examination, ma'am." Blaine stood firmly, showing no signs of fear.

    "Indeed. We want a full report on the events of what took place on Gorgon Station, Lieutenant."

    Blaine's memories of the events splashed into the forefront of his mind like a tsunami of seaweed saturated water on a sandy beach. That is to say, it was littered with so much shit that he wished he could avoid or forget it, but was unable to accomplish it.

    "Admiralty, I arrived shortly after Cobalt Squad initially deployed. As was to be expected, most of the opposition had been dispatched by the members of Cobalt." Blaine recalled. "Upon my arrival, I was met with Warrant Officers Durgin and Durgin."

    As Blaine retold the events of the Station, his mind continued to flicker back to his days in boot camp. Butch always was quiet, almost rivaling Blaine in his isolation. Every time he thought of Butch then, to the Butch he had encountered a week prior, it sent his heart plummeting.

    "We want to speak with you in regards to the newest and last leader of the Silver Crescents." Death spoke up.

    Despite not being an Admiral, Death was permitted on the board for his connection to the case and the Spartan program to be a judge. Blaine also suspected it was due to his unyielding and calculatory mind.

    "Yes sir." Blaine hesitated for a moment, but continued to speak. "The newest and last head of the Silver Crescents faction was revealed to be Sierra Zero-Six-One, one of my colleagues from Spartan training, sir."

    "When you moved to dispatch Sierra Zero-Six-One, did you find yourself experiencing any sort of hesitation to perform your duty?"

    "Ma'am" Blaine nodded towards Admiral Parangosky. "During training, we Spartans were reminded that we were valuable assets to the UNSC and all of it's colonies it served, ma'am."

    "So are you saying you hesitated to do your duty, Spartan?" Margaret returned, a hint of venom.

    "What I'm saying, Ma'am, is that I did as I was always told to do." Blaine turned to face her. "I attempted to reason with Zero-Six-One, in an attempt to have him face his crimes and return to service for the UNSC."

    "When he declined, I engaged Zero-Six-One without further hesitation."

    "This led to you killing Zero-Six-One?" Death asked, as Blaine turned to face the source of the voice.

    "Regrettably, sir." Blaine nodded. "During our engagement, Butch- I mean, Zero-Six-One was knocked back into a hazardous metal spike that had been the result of me breaching the bridge. The wound was instantly fatal, having pierced his heart."

    "Your psyche report shows that you seem unfazed by the events that occurred." Margaret replied. "Are you about to tell this board that you have no remorse for killing one of the most expensive assets in UNSC history?"

    "Ma'am, I am fazed at the lost of a once dear friend." Blaine said. "However, Zero-Six-One made it abundantly clear that he was no longer willing to be allied with the UNSC, and rather be the UNSC's most expensive asset, he was on the road to being one of the UNSC's most expensive mistakes."

    Blaine winced as he realized he had called Butch a mistake, that hadn't been what he meant to say, but it was the truth. Had Blaine let Butch go without appealing to Butch, his old colleague could have easily proven to be a bigger problem in the future.

    "Well, the report does suggest that you are still combat-ready." Daniel reported. "-and you show no signs of emotional trauma that could result in issues for the UNSC. You are cleared to continue your duties, Spartan."


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    Manny
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Manny on July 12th 2016, 4:00 pm

    I'm trying to catch up with this Morgan, just got really busy with work and apartment hunting.

    Keep going though!
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 12th 2016, 8:53 pm

    I'm just taking a quick break to gather my thoughts for where I want to take the plot.

    Out of curiosity, how far are you?


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 17th 2016, 1:07 am

    "You call yourself a warrior?" the Prophet of Regret hissed at Anch, whose head bowed with the weight of a trillion shames. "You call yourself devoted?!"

    "You are nothing more than a sniveling, dishonorable wretch." Regret fumed. "Still you have the gall to show your wretched, shamed face in my very presence?!"

    "That will be enough for now, brother."

    "Noble Prophet of Truth, this- this heretic is the reason why my very kin, Charity, is slain by the hands of a human rat."

    With a wave of his hand, Truth dismissed his fellow Prophets of Regret and Mercy, leaving himself with the lone Sangheili warrior in their holy atrium. As soon as Truth was certain that Regret and Mercy had left his earshot, he turned his gravitational chair towards Anch, whose right arm was rigid against his torso.

    "It is a little known fact among even our closest observers that I, too, loathed the High Priestess with a passion that rivaled the Great Journey's own cleansing flame." Truth chuckled. "In a way, Field Marshal, you've done me a great service. Though the severity of your failure will be met with punishment, the decision rests solely on my shoulders."

    "I deserve to be bound and quartered in front of the Counsel, with my body paraded around the City."

    "The Counsel will not be involved, noble Sangheili." Truth folded his fingertips to form a triangle, pointing the triangle at the Sangheili. "The Fleet of Particular Justice, and it's Fleetmaster, Thel Vadamee, have done well to continue where you had failed."

    "I will discuss your punishment shortly." Truth spoke with clarity and grace. "I wish only to understand what took place down there."

    "It was one human, different than their normal ground troops."

    "Different?" Truth asked. "Rise Sangheili, and tell me about this human."

    "It moved with a fluidity and ferocity that could rival that of a Jiralhanae and Sangheili combined." Anch slowly began to rise to his feet, yet kept his head bowed. "Clad in red and blue armor, the human, nay, the Demon assaulted the holy site. Even the Ultras on guard duty stood a chance against it."

    "Yet the Sangheili have shown time and time again that they outmatch the Humans in terms of strength and tactics? How could one Human destroy so many with little issue."

    "Perhaps the Humans have been holding out on us." Anch snarled. "These new Humans could have been table changer."

    As much as Anch despised the Human responsible for putting him in this place, he was also moderately impressed by the creature's knowledge of combat. So impressed that he had actually wished he could spar with the human, if only one more time, not to cleanse his name, but to admire his opponent's actions.

    "If that is the case, we will need to tighten the regiments. I will send word to all available troops across all fleets to prepare for Humans that may prove to be a predicament." Truth nodded. "As per your punishment."

    "I could not entrust you with the survival of a future Hierarch. Therefore, I have ordered the execution of a member in your Keep."

    "Noble Hierarch!" Anch's eyes flicked open. "Surely you can show pity and instead have me killed?"

    "No." Truth shook his head. "For my order has already been carried out. Your punishment shall last as long as the Priestess Charity's killer still breaths. One member for every cycle that passes."

    "You're orders are to locate this demon and make an example of him." Truth hissed. "Tartarus, escort the Prophet's Hand to his personalized Phantom."

    The door behind them opened, as the imposing ape creature with a distinguishable mohawk stepped into the room. Resting a meaty paw on Anch's shoulder, Anch snarled, shrugging him off. The two began to leave, as the Prophet gathered Anch's attention once more.

    "Field Marshal. Should you return prior to that demon's demise, you will join the rest of your keep." Truth nodded. "Do not attempt to go to Sanghelios, as I have ordered all ships in the vicinity to shoot on sight."

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

    08:00 Hours, July 24th, 2552 (Military Calender)/Epsilon Eridani System, Planet Reach.

    Catherine Halsey sighed as she stared longingly at the computer screen. It had been several decades since Spartans One-One-Five and Zero-Five-Two, unique in their own ways, had been removed from her program. Since then, countless others had left by various other means. She stared at the roster of Spartan IIs who had survived the augmentation procedures and were still in active duty to this day.

    She took a sip of the coffee that was on her desk, but cringed as the bitter liquid, cold from an hour of neglect, slid down her throat. Slamming the cup on the table with annoyance, her thoughts returned to the screen directly in front of her. Though the thoughts of what she had done to the Spartan II's haunted her every waking moment, she couldn't have been prouder of what Blaine and the other Spartan Iis no longer part of the program had accomplished already.

    She smiled at the rough drawing she had scanned onto her computer from her personal journal. It had been an armor concept that she had originally wanted to gift Spartan One-One-Five upon his return for the UNSC's latest plan to stop the war with the Covenant. In a way, the design of the armor seemed to capture his very personality, something she had noticed the first day she had met him.

    While her heart had always been more connected with John, she couldn't help but admire One-One-Five's entirely different, yet similar, personality to John. He had always been a quiet boy, and none of his actions had been selfish. Blaine worked for others, sacrificed everything for others, and was truly a modern day Knight.

    "Doctor." Deja appeared beside her. "I've initialized contact with Agent Death from ONI. He has agreed to return Spartan One-One-Five to us for Operation: RED FLAG."

    "Excellent news. We'll need every Spartan we can get for this one." Halsey nodded, before hiding the image completely. "Was there anything else?"

    "Yes Doctor." Deja nodded. "Doctor Lazlo Sorvad hasn't replied to any of my hails regarding his 'Latchkey' discovery from the Babd Catha Ice Cliff, ma'am."

    "When did you last check?" Halsey asked, her eyes widening.

    "Approximately three hours, twenty minutes, and forty five seconds ago, Doctor."

    "Send whatever available unit you can to Visegrad then." Halsey shook her head, furiously trying to establish contact with the Visegrad Relay.

    Of all the times for an Insurrectionist attack, it had to be the day she was going to announce Operation: RED FLAG to her Spartans. He fingers flew across the keyboard furiously as she tried all stops to create a connection. When all possible routes were attempted, she sighed and slammed down the rest of the hour old coffee.

    "Doctor, I've established contact with Colonel Urban Holland." Deja bowed her avatar. "The Colonel has graciously sent Spartan Noble Team to investigate."

    "Spartans?!" Halsey shook her head. "Show me their roster."

    Deja waved her hand across Halsey's monitor. The typical ONI symbol floated in a holographic circle for a moment. Upon clearing, a number of profiles began to stack on the screen in front of her. She recognized none of the faces, except for one in particular.

    -Spartan A259, Carter. Designation: Noble One.

    -Spartan B320, Catherine. Designation: Noble Two.

    -Spartan A266, Jun. Designation: Noble Three.

    -Spartan A239, Emile. Designation: Noble Four.

    -Spartan 052, Jorge*. Designation: Noble Five.

    -Spartan B312, [REDACTED]. Designation: Noble Six.

    Halsey stared wildly at the roster before her. None of the six members of Noble Team, save Jorge, had been her Spartans. Had ONI used her Spartans' successes to justify stealing MORE children and training them?! The hundred or so candidates that she started off with, while a mutually successful group, would never live normal lives again.

    It began to make her wonder just how many Spartans that weren't hers that were out there, let alone how many more were being made at this very moment. The thought sickened her to no end, and Deja appeared to pick up on this.

    "Doctor, your heart rate is increasing at an alarming rate." Deja frowned. "Shall I request medical assitance?"

    "When their team has finished at Visegrad, I want to speak with them." Halsey replied coldly. "All of them."

    Deja nodded her avatar once more, before disappearing into thin air once more, likely to contact Colonel Holland once more. Her eyes continued to scan the roster, each time hoping to grasp answers to her questions. She was already doomed to be held liable should the truth of the Spartan II program get leaked to the general populace. Was she going to be held responsible for these knock offs as well?

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

    "Sleep well?" Autumn asked, not surprised when she didn't receive an answer. "No thanks to my driving?"

    "Yes." Blaine sighed, rolling his shoulders.

    He was always a bit agitated when put on ice really quickly to begin with, but usually he was told why he had been iced so quickly. To add fuel to his already sore attitude, he had been dethawed quickly too, and he absolutely despised the disorientation that came with it, and the undigested mucus of a 'supplement' that stayed in the back of his throat.

    "So you did miss me?"

    "Not the way I would have put it, but-" Blaine stopped as he finally noticed where in space they were.

    Autumn smiled for a moment, before she flinched with how quickly Blaine had made his way to the window. For a man who was technically forty years old, she could see something in him now that she hadn't seen in him in her many years of service with him.

    Blaine was actually smiling.

    Like a puppy standing on the windowsill staring out the door for it's owners to walk to the door, Blaine's eyes stared longingly at the surface of Reach. Ever since she had dared to look at the Roster, she had boldly read the entirety of the Spartan IIs files, knowing full well what would become of her should it become public.

    The Spartans, Blaine most certainly included, thought of Reach as their home. Many of the Spartans, in reports from the director Catherine Halsey, cared more about the well being of Reach than any other Human colonized world; including Earth.

    "You should have told me we were going to Reach." Blaine said, glancing at her.

    Then she saw it, his rare smile immediately returned to the natural frown that had seemingly glued itself onto his face for several decades. His piercing blue eyes, momentarily alight with new hope, were instantly dimmed and searching.

    "What's the matter?" she asked.

    "ONI just doesn't send me to Reach." Blaine said. "They know I miss my Spartan brethren. They know I have attachments beyond the Spartans here. So something must be up."

    "They didn't specify any mission specifics. Only that I was to send you to a top secret ONI facility located in Mena-"

    "Menachite Mountain." Blaine's grin returned to his face again. "They want me to go back with the Spartans!"

    Autumn felt a sharp pang in her chest as Blaine said that last sentence with such glee. Had she not been good enough company for him? How she had worried herself literally to the point of throwing up over his safety? Was she just a nuisance to him? Blaine seemed to notice this, as he frowned.

    "I didn't mean to insult you." Blaine said. "I've told you before, the Spartans are like brothers and sisters to me. I've been worried sick about each and every single one of them, and I just-"

    Blaine paused to take a moment, he remembered the fateful day he had fought and killed Butch. It was the last encounter with a Spartan II Blaine had been gifted in a long time. It was not his favorite experience, considering how Butch admitted to killing and eating several Spartan IIs on his way out the door.

    Over the years, he had realized that he was foolish for forgiving Butch so easily. Butch had been given the short end of the stick, yes, but he had also made the decision to leave as viscerally as he had. He could have easily subdued the others, and Blaine could still have had a chance to see the other members of Orange Team.

    "You're smile is a fucking unicorn, I swear." Autumn scoffed.

    "What do you mean?"

    "I mean, you get to see your old friends again. You smile, you think about something, you frown." Autumn shook her head, as he watched tears begin to form.

    "Oh boy."

    "Can't you just find happiness for once? Does everything with you have to be so gray? At least you can see your loved ones again." Autumn clenched her right fist, as a trio of tears dripped onto it. "Some of us don't get that luxury."

    "I'm s-"

    "Go." Autumn said curtly. "There's a Pelican ready to fly for you. If you come back, good. If not, it was a pleasure serving with you."


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 17th 2016, 2:12 am

    After some thought, I've decided to be a little more clever on the themes for each character in the story as of now. Everyone's changed a little bit, and some people are no longer with us.

    Keep in mind these are the songs I listen to the most when I'm writing with a particular character, and the theme represents their personalities through the use of song.

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

    Blaine Harlowe- Throne- Bring me the Horizon

    Autumn Stroud- Enemy Fire- Bea Miller

    Craig Harlowe- Anima I've Become- Three Doors Down.

    Josh Durgin- The Wanderer- Dion.

    Phil Durgin- Failure- Breaking Benjamin.

    Butch 061- 45- Shinedown

    Do Not Open For Three Posts Spoilers ahead:

    More will be added while I think about them.


    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on July 29th 2016, 12:54 am; edited 3 times in total


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Doctor Jensen on July 17th 2016, 8:31 pm

    Your characterization of Truth and Regret is impressive, to be honest. I'm always impressed by the way you can grasp characters from the game and mold them to your story while still keeping true to their original formula.
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 19th 2016, 11:00 am

    Doctor Jensen wrote:Your characterization of Truth and Regret is impressive, to be honest. I'm always impressed by the way you can grasp characters from the game and mold them to your story while still keeping true to their original formula.

    Sorry for the delayed response. I've been out of town for a funeral of a good friend of the family. Not to bog down your kind words with such a depressing tale, however, I thank you for your feedback.

    I've always thought that people should stick true to the characters, and I usually get very upset if I mess up in the slightest bit. So thank you for sharing your thoughts, I was honestly afraid I wasn't doing it correctly for those two.


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Manny on July 19th 2016, 10:47 pm

    Shad0wChas3r wrote:I'm just taking a quick break to gather my thoughts for where I want to take the plot.

    Out of curiosity, how far are you?

    Pretty far back actually. The last time I read this was five days ago, and I think I recall Morgan and Craig concluding that Blaine had been conscripted into the SPARTAN program.
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 20th 2016, 2:12 pm

    Manny wrote:
    Shad0wChas3r wrote:I'm just taking a quick break to gather my thoughts for where I want to take the plot.

    Out of curiosity, how far are you?

    Pretty far back actually. The last time I read this was five days ago, and I think I recall Morgan and Craig concluding that Blaine had been conscripted into the SPARTAN program.

    Jesus I guess so. You're still in Origins, when the story's now in Homecoming. Early Origins too.


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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 20th 2016, 6:40 pm

    "Spartans."

    The handful of Spartans following alongside John stopped as their indisputable leader turned to face them. As they stopped, they stood rigid, listening to his every word with the same respect they had given Mendez right on through.

    "We are the guardians of humanity and all of her colonies. Whatever it is that Halsey has in store for us, we must be ready to overcome any obstacles to ensure the survival of our people."

    Fred, Kelly, Linda, and a handful of other Spartans nodded boldly, before turning to look over John's shoulder. The Master Chief noticed their out of place behavior, before turning to follow their gaze. They had been standing in the hanger of Menachite Mountain's docking bay, having just returned from their latest operation.

    The rising sun in the horizon seemed to illuminate a lone Pelican, descending towards the hanger. None of the Spartans had left any of their members behind, and it was very rare to see a lone Pelican approaching the base at this hour.

    "Understood, Sierra." the Marine nearest John nodded. "Welcome to CASTLE."

    John turned his full body, as the Spartans behind him slowly approached the Pelican. It had a pure black coloration, with the UNSC letters emblazoned on the side. Along with the UNSC letters, the all too familiar symbol of a pyramid stood out.

    Was this new individual related to the operation they were about to take on? As it was lowering into the hanger, the Spartans watched the back hatch begin to open. Something John noticed as off, however, was that it was initiating automatic landing procedures, meaning the occupant was their own pilot. If they were an ONI Spook, they must have been rather tough not to require a small squadron, or at least a guard.

    The Spartans decided to greet this new individual to the base, especially if it was a high ranking officer that might have been new to the area. John lead the small group of Spartans to the Pelican, as it's ramp slowly began to decline. Inside, John's enhanced hearing could make out the clomping of heavy boots on metal.

    As the ramp opened, the six or so Spartan IIs stared with smiles beneath their visors as red and blue boots tread down the ramp. Stopping just before John, the red and blue Spartan paused, gazing over the Chief, who towered over even him.

    John smiled beneath his helmet, and could feel the other Spartans feeling the same thing. He had heard from Doctor Halsey time and time again of the feats Blaine had accomplished in the several years since Blaine had been taken from the group.

    "Spartans!" John barked, as they snapped into a salute. "Lieutenant on deck."

    "At ease, Chief." Blaine nodded, saluting the group back. "It's been a while, sir."

    "Too long." Fred grunted in the back. "So they pulled you out of ONI's grasp for this? Must be pretty serious."

    "I thought there was a catch." Blaine sighed. "Well, it's good to see you all anyways."

    Turning to the Marine closest to him, Blaine pointed at them.

    "Don't scratch the paint."

    "Uh, ye-yes sir!"

    Blaine followed the other Spartans through the halls of CASTLE base. As he passed through the familiar, yet distant halls, he was brought back to the days where he first traveled here. A confused, stupid five year old looking for his family. A man who, had he waited a little while, would have taken him to live with him.

    A man who, because of Blaine, was dead. Shaking the thought from his head, he was just happy that he was standing, once again, by the side of the people he grew up with. With his gaze being over the heads of some of his fellow Spartans, he could see amphitheater where they had first been inducted into the UNSC.

    "We, uh, heard about Butch." Fred said, walking to Blaine's right. "We had no idea."

    "It's alright." Blaine shook his head. "He wasn't pro UNSC anyways."

    "Still." Kelly piped up. "He was a squad member."

    "Yeah?" Blaine clenched his fist. "So was Lorelei, so was Katherine. He failed to realize that."

    The Spartans paused for a moment as Blaine brought up Lorelei and Katherine. Despite their stopping, Blaine kept walking. Fred turned to John and the others, who all shared looks among each other.

    "Halsey doesn't have all day." Blaine called after them.

    John nodded, the remaining Spartans following behind Blaine. Before they could catch up with him, however, Deja appeared from a projector installed on the wall.

    "Spartan One-One-Five. Welcome back." Deja bowed, as Blaine turned to her.

    "Deja. It's good to see you again." Blaine nodded.

    "Doctor Halsey would like to speak with you privately, Lieutenant. Spartan One-One-Seven? She would like you and the other Spartans to file into the amphitheater with the others."

    "I-" Blaine started, turning to face the others.

    It was just his luck. He was brought here to speak with Halsey personally, not to serve alongside his fellow Spartans. Chuckling, Blaine nodded towards them.

    "Understood. Buzz me in."

    The door hissed open, Blaine stepping back through the halls of his childhood. The place had been rather barren, by the looks. He could only imagine why, the Spartans had been busily on operation after operation for the past couple of decades since he'd left.

    Turning the corner, Blaine found Halsey's personal office. Deja appeared by the door, bowing to him before the door opened. With salt and pepper, shoulder length hair, he could see Halsey typing rapidly on her holographic computer.

    "Doctor Halsey, ma'am." Blaine stood behind her, the Doctor turning to face him.

    "My you've grown since the last time I've seen you." she mused, a slight smile forming at the corner of her mouth. "It's good to see you, Spartan."

    "Likewise, ma'am."

    Blaine wasn't entirely truthful with the remark, instead, he was rather bitter that she had lied to him about the fate of his family. However, he could use what she had given him to ensure no-one else had to suffer.

    "Earlier this morning, an associate of mine at Visegrad Relay went missing." Halsey span in her chair to face him completely. "Apparently, a team of Spartans has been sent to search for his condition and find out why the relay is down."

    "Spartans, ma'am?" Blaine puzzled, the rest of the Spartans had just been given orders to file into the amphitheater for further instruction.

    "Not your fellow Spartans, I'm afraid."

    Blaine froze for a moment. He had recalled that Doctor he had met a year prior, whom had mentioned she had Spartans at her disposal that were different from his Spartans. Were these that woman's Spartans?

    "It's an entirely new generation." Halsey said. "Jorge is with them."

    Blaine's heart beat a little faster. He was elated that just one member of Orange Team beside himself had survived after all of these years. The thought of Jorge working with Spartans that he was never trained with, however, brought a bit of anger to Blaine.

    Had they removed Jorge from the group to train this new breed? Shaking his head of the thought, Blaine nodded.

    "I assume you want me to follow them, ma'am."

    "Being one of ONI's top intelligence and headhunter units on the field, yes." Halsey smirked. "I've checked with their handler., they have yet to deploy. Something about waiting for their newest member to join their ranks. I want you to observe them, see if they are worthy of the name Spartan."

    "If they've got Jorge on their side, ma'am." Blaine chuckled. "I bet they've got him running all the hardest jobs, while they sit back."

    "My thoughts exactly." Halsey said, as Blaine turned to leave. "-and Spartan?"

    Blaine paused, turning back to face her. Her sad, wrinkled face was something he honestly wasn't expecting to see. She had stood, wrapping her arms around him.

    "It was never my intention to hurt you, Blaine."

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

    Blaine held the Pelican low beneath the treeline above the small farming village. He made out a pair of Falcons slowly descending at the top of one of the hills. He knew full well that a Pelican's engines would alert them to his location.

    Gently, he lowered the bird into the forest bed. Clambering out of it, Blaine held his rifle to bear. He wasn't expecting to fight any insurrectionists here in the boonies, but he knew Gueta's frequented these woods.

    Creeping through the woods, Blaine took a knee at the forest's edge. He observed as a group of armored individuals scanned their way down he hillside. Just as he had suspected, this was that Noble Team that Halsey was so upset about. One of them towered easily over the others, though Blaine couldn't recognize his armor. Unlike the ONI authorized modifications, the mods on this Spartans armor looked like they were made by a third party.

    There was no doubt in his mind, it was Jorge.

    The shorter Spartans gathered around a small object near the gated entrance to the village. For starters, Blaine was concerned why no villagers were out and about. One of them, Blaine could make out, had a skull carved into his otherwise fishbowl shaped helmet.

    Crouched down, the Spartan observed an item, before tossing it to a much more slender Spartan, with a robotic left arm. The very idea that a Spartan was permitted to fight with a prothetic rang several bells in Blaine's mind. What if the arm malfunctioned?

    Jorge was the only one who seemed to be scanning the area for hostiles, well, him and the gray armored Spartan beside him. The other four occupied themselves staring at one lone object. Blaine couldn't believe it. Sure, he may have been a little biased considering his Spartans were rigorously trained to be soldiers. He had no idea what these five had gone through, however.

    Shaking the thought from his mind, however, he noticed that Jorge appeared to be looking his way. Discretely, the large Spartan signaled something to him, a code only II's would understand. Using the power of Mjolnir, he changed the voice channel to the one Jorge had sent. Blaine smirked, as this was the same channel that Orange Team always used besides their normal team channels.

    "I thought I saw a friendly face, baratom." Jorge chuckled.

    "Looks like they've got you on baby sitting duty." Blaine replied with a laugh. "Thought you were pulled away for something actually important."

    "Served with ONI for some time, got transferred to Noble a couple years back." Jorge replied. "Radio silence for now. Though I take it Halsey sent you to check up on us?"

    Blaine offered a green acknowledgement light as Jorge popped off of the roster for the voice channel to rejoin his own. Blaine knew that Jorge could see him, but was uncertain of the other so called Spartans by his side. So he opted to very gently slide behind a decently wide tree, and waited for them to pass.

    He knew he'd have to wait a while, if they all had the same twenty-five meter spread on their motion trackers as he did. When they ticked off of his tracker, he decided to give it a couple of minutes before he followed their lead.

    "Scattered chat from this point on." Jorge suddenly popped up. "Just talked to a villager. Said something got his son in the field last night."

    "Wild Gueta's are extremely volatile." Blaine said. "Or maybe a rabid Moa?"

    "Dunno, just heard my squad leader mention something about plasma burns."

    Blaine tensed for a moment, not because of the plasma remark, though that did frighten him a bit too. At the moment, he was more confused how Jorge was serving under a newly coined Spartan? He decided to ignore that and take a moment to think about the plasma burn remark.

    The thought of the Covenant on Reach burned in his very soul. Reach was home to the Spartans, it wasn't just another planet to protect, it was their home. For Blaine, it had a much more personal meaning, it was his mother and father's place of residence. He was born in New Alexandria, and the Orphanage he had grown up for the first five years of his life in was on planet.

    "If the Covenant is here," Blaine growled. "We'll show them the error of their ways, coming here."

    "You're speaking my language, barat." Jorge chuckled. "We'll be sweeping the valley. If it is Covenant, they'll be making themselves known soon enough."

    Blaine stood up and made his way for the village. When he was in the Pelican, he knew that there was a hill from the village square that led up to the nearest barn. The valley was on the far side of that. What disturbed him about the thought of the Covenant on Reach, besides their statistics in successfully glassing every planet they find, was that he hadn't seen any evidence of a ship in orbit of the planet.

    Working his way around the corner and into the village square, he could see a certain emptiness to the village. To his left, one of the doors to the biggest building was cracked open, a pair of curious eyes checking him over.

    "Maradj bent. Ez nem biztonságos." Blaine held out a hand to the people, telling them to remain inside.

    "Blaine." Jorge said, his voice completely serious. "They're on Reach. Repeat. The Covenant is on Reach."

    Blaine's eyes widened as his gaze turned to the sound of humming Covenant engines. Surely enough, over the crest of a nearby mountain top, one of the bulbous purple Covenant ships descended into the field just on the other side of the barn.

    "I have to tell the others." Blaine said. "Stay safe."

    "You too, barat."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 20th 2016, 10:48 pm

    The flight to ONI Sword Base, located not too far from Menachite Mountain, was rather short for Blaine. Jorge had used the visor share feature to show a small clip of Covenant Elites and Grunts in the valley. After he had been briefed by Halsey, Blaine had been instructed to meet up with her at Sword Base to be caught up to speed with the other IIs.

    "Unidentified aircraft, identify yourself immediately or be fired upon."

    "Sierra One-One-Five, Lieutenant. Authorization Code; Foxtrot Delta Lima Golf Tango." Blaine barked back. "It's a matter of utmost emergency."

    "Acknowledged, you are authorized to land. Blaine didn't heard the distinguishable pop of a comm. closing. "Jesus Christ! Ramirez, put the base under lockdown! Covenant vessels incoming from the south!"

    As swiftly as Blaine could, he turned the Pelican around and lowered it into the heart of the otherwise tiny ONI facility. After parking the machine, he quickly stepped out of the Pelican, only to see a mass of Marines and other branches of UNSC military scurrying around.

    "You Sierra One-One-Five?" one man approached, his voice easily recognizable from just a moment before. "Colonel Urban Holland. I've been off my ship and I need a ride."

    Blaine stepped aside, gesturing towards the Pelican. The Colonel nodded curtly, before he and a trio of Marines stepped inside.

    "Sir, I recommend you wait until the immediate threat has been neutralized." Blaine said. "I have to ensure the Doctor's safety first, but I'll do what I can to clear the Covenant from the front of the base."

    "Understood. God speed, Spartan." the Colonel saluted him. "Thanks for the ride."

    Blaine offered him a brief salute back, before jogging his way further into the facility. Blaine had been here once before, when he was still in boot camp. This was the base where the Spartans had been taught the importance of intel/asset denial by Mendez using a scripted scenario.

    He was slightly familiar with the layout, and more importantly knew Halsey's secondary office's location. The crowd of Marines and Army Rangers began to pile up at the doors, reinforcing them with deployable sheets of steel cover.

    He hurried up the stairs to where he knew Halsey would likely be. As he was nearing her office, however, he heard a hiss in the wall to his right. Jumping backwards, there was a brief explosion, a trio of Covenant Elites stomping into the opening.

    Raising his DMR to bare, he fired on the lower tiered Elite Minors, their overshields popping fairly quickly. They gargled, the bullets from his rifle piercing their combat harness' helmets and destroying their brains. Pulling the pin to one of the frags on his hip, Blaine tossed it out into the hole the others had just come from.

    "HYANAHAGHAHA!" he heard a couple of high pitched screams, followed by a slightly muffled boom.

    Neon blue blood splattered on the far wall from the hole, assuring Blaine he had been successful in killing more potential intruders. Walking past the hole, Blaine swept it for a moment, before briefly walking backwards up the ramped hallway to her office.

    "Doctor Halsey!" Blaine barked, stepping into the room.

    "I'm here." Blaine heard her whisper from somewhere in the room.

    It was then that he could hear a heavy footstep, and a shimmer in the room. He tensed, there was an invisible Elite somewhere in this area. Raising his rifle Blaine took a trio of shots blindly into the air. To his luck, he managed to hit the shields of the Elite that was hiding. The slight disruption to it's guise allowed Blaine to follow up.

    He tensed as a red and blue armored Elite materialized. It snarled as it stared at him, pulling a Carbine off of it's back. Blaine growled as he pulled the trigger a few more times. This was definitely that same Elite from Magnolia a year ago. It returned fire, the bullets from it's weapon smashing into his shields.

    "I see you ran back to your leaders." Blaine taunted. "I'm surprised with how you monsters are, you weren't killed on the spot!"

    "They granted me mercy, in return for their offering, I am sworn to take your HEAD!"

    "It's a pretty big ask." Blaine smirked. "Sorry buddy, it's not for sale."

    Turning back around the corner, he wasn't surprised that the Elite was re-cloaked. He focused, hearing the sound of it's heavy footfalls towards the back of the office.

    "Doctor, stay down." Blaine barked.

    Blaine had maybe four shots left in the clip left, firing the lot of them into the air again. Thankfully, he clipped the beast's shields again. Clipping the rifle to his back, Blaine charged into the room, covering his helmet with his forearm as he closed the distance on the Elite.

    Vaulting over the desk, Blaine's right fist struck the side of the Elite's face, causing the massive beast to stumble backwards. Dipping backwards to avoid it's retaliation, Blaine stepped boldly forward, smashing a swift right uppercut into the Elite's chest. The Elite doubled over, Blaine growling as he used it's momentum to swing it's face down towards his knee.

    The Elite, however, put it's hands out and pushed his knee back down. Hopping up, it's broad shoulders smashed into his chest, knocking him backwards. In his stun, Blaine watched as the Elite plucked it's sword off of it's hip. Igniting the energy weapon, it began to swing at Blaine, who backstepped each swing.

    The backs of his legs rubbed up against Halsey's desk, however, as he realized he couldn't back up anymore. Growling, Blaine braced the Elite's wrist with the sword with his left hand, using his right hand to punch the Elite in the side of his face.

    The Elite stumbled backwards, Blaine lashing his right foot back into the desk, splintering the traditional wooden desk with the kick and sending it crashing backwards. Dashing forward, he threw his entire weight behind a nasty haymaker, the massive punch crashing into the side of the Elite's face.

    He followed up by removing the pistol from his hip. Pressing the Elite to the wall with his body, Blaine fired the pistol into the Elite's hand until it dropped the sword. Instead of reaching for it, however, he used his advantage to backhand the Elite.

    It snarled at him, kicking him away. Hefting a file cabinet with relative ease, it tossed the massive object at Blaine. Instead of taking the blow, Blaine pitched his feet, catching the item in his hand. Suddenly, his mind exploded back his days in the Orphanage, when Charlie would throw things at him to distract him before he punched him in the gut.

    Jumping backwards, Blaine raised the cabinet high above his head. His backward motion allowed him to avoid the sword and cause the Elite to over extend itself. Slamming the cabinet down on it's back, he heard the beast grunt. Taking a few steps back, Blaine charged forward and smashed his boot into the side of it's head.

    The force of the blow slightly dented it's helmet, purple blood oozing down the Elite's face as it rolled across the floor. Grasping the side of it's head, the Elite stared up with him. Blaine was taken aback at the gaze it gave, however, for it wasn't a look of anger, it was one of sorrow.

    Standing swiftly, the Elite produced a Plasma Grenade from it's hip. In a last ditch effort to surprise Blaine, the Spartan lifted a picture frame off the desk, tossing it at the lobbed blue grenade. The object adhered itself to the frame, before careening back towards the Elite. The Elite dipped out the large glass window overlooking the rest of the base, activating it's stealth cloak once more. Blaine pulled his DMR off of his back and loaded a fresh clip into it.

    However, the Elite had since gone completely invisible before it even landed. Firing a few rounds, he couldn't ascertain the target's location and growled in annoyance. The first time he had opted to let the Elite live was after he was certain it's leadership would kill it. Now it's sole purpose was to hunt him down.

    "Doctor?" Blaine asked, as he turned to see her crawl out from underneath one of the chairs in the far corner of the room.

    "I'm unharmed." Halsey stood, as Blaine immediately jogged to her side. "I have a panic room located in here, I couldn't activate it before that creature came through my roof."

    Halsey stepped past him and pressed a multitude of buttons on a hidden panel in the wall. The wall behind where her desk once sat opened with a hiss, revealing a new space.

    "Will you be safe in there?" Blaine asked.

    "I'm uncertain. Will you stay with me for a while? Colonel Holland will undoubtedly summon Noble Team here when he's safe."

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

    A lone Covenant Corvette loomed over Sword Base, seemingly the source of the Covenant in and around the base. Blaine, convinced Halsey's location was secure, had moved outside to assist the base's personnel and Noble team clear out as many of the Alien troops as possible.

    Towards the top of the base, a giant hole had been torn into the base, no doubt by Banshee and Corvette fire. The grey armored Spartan, much much shorter than both Blaine and Jorge, clenched his fists as he and the two Spartan twos watched a pair of Longsword class fighter jets approached the rapidly fleeing Covenant Corvette.

    "Beautiful, ain't it?" Jorge smirked, clasping a hand on the Spartan's shoulder.

    Blaine stood back while the two squad mates had a moment. In his short experience with Noble Team, he began to realize that these Spartans truly were befitting of the title they wore oh so proudly. The gray armored Spartan had put in just about as much work as Blaine or Jorge did easily. Though he wasn't too surprised that their other squad mates dragged their feet.

    The three Spartans watched as the two Longswords got within close proximity of the Corvette, dropping a beacon on it for a MAC round. Surely enough, after a moment, giving the Longswords a chance to break off, a single molten ball of tungsten pierced the rig in a magnificent explosion of violet and blue.

    "Someone should take a picture." Blaine grinned beneath his helmet.

    "Nice work, by the way." Jorge mused, tapping the gray spartan on the shoulder.

    "I aim to please." the Spartan nodded in response, staring at his handy work.

    Suddenly, Blaine could see Jorge put a pair of fingers up to his helmet. It was a nasty habit Jorge had when listening to his comms. Something he was surprised Jorge didn't do when he was talking with Blaine back at Visegrad Valley.

    "Repeat?" Jorge said, turning towards Blaine. "Sounded like you said Halsey?"

    The gray Spartan turned to Jorge, obviously confused as to why the name Halsey meant so much to the Spartan II. Blaine mentally scoffed, it was very rare for a Spartan NOT to react when the name Halsey was uttered. She was their everything, quite literally. No matter what atrocities she pulled on them, they were hers, and she was theirs.

    "Copy that. On our way." Jorge said, brushing past Blaine. "Don't need Command to tell me that. Been all hers half me life."

    "Amen brother." Blaine smirked, walking alongside them. "I'll escort you guys there."

    "Fancy." Jorge chuckled.

    "Don't get too used it it." Blaine tapped his friend's shoulder. "I may have to start charging."

    "Family discount?"

    "Maybe."

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

    Upon entering Halsey's panic room by way of an alternate entrance, Blaine, Noble Six, and Jorge piled into the room. Blaine was given stares from the other members of Jorge's team, but they immediately shrugged it off long enough to listen to Halsey's words.

    "I requested your assitance, Commander, and do not need a report on the events on my own doorstep." she hissed. "What I do require is a detailed report on your previous engage-"

    Halsey paused long enough to take notice of Blaine's return, and Jorge's arrival to the area.

    "Jorge." she suppressed a smile. "It's been too long."

    Jorge and Blaine both removed their helmets, holding them at their side.

    "Mom." Jorge nodded, a loose smile on the corner of his mouth.

    "What have you done with my armor?" she asked, a legitimate look of disgust on her face.

    As Blaine had previously noticed, Jorge's armor looked as if it had been modified by a third party, whereas Blaine had all ONI regulated modifications to make his armor unique. With a look of a berated child, Jorge's eyes scanned the floor.

    "Just some... modifications I've made."

    "Indeed." Halsey smirked, before turning to whom Blaine could only assume was the leader of this team of Spartans.

    "Visegrad Relay." she spoke bluntly. "It's data center was home to a colleague of mine, Doctor Lazlo Sorvad. Perhaps you could shed some light on his death?"

    "If he was a civilian male in his sixties. He died with a Covenant energy sword through his lower abdomen."

    As if to ignore what the Spartan had said, Halsey turned to Jorge and Blaine.

    "Elites then?"

    "They engaged us as well." Jorge nodded curtly. "It was, it was just after we found your scientist's daughter, mom, and uh-"

    Blaine took notice as a pair of the other Spartans looked among themselves, as if laughing mentally at Jorge's nervous report. Ever since Blaine could remember, Jorge had a little bit of trouble responding to authority figures that weren't his immediate squad mates.

    "Irrelevant." Halsey replied. "The Elites, tell me more about them."

    "Three. Zealot class." Jorge's response turned a crisp one-hundred and eighty degrees. "One got by us, the Leader, from the looks of him."

    "Elite Zealots." Halsey began to scan the air in front of her. "You're certain?"

    "The armor configuration matched-"

    "-Shield strength too." Noble Six piped in.

    Blaine was very impressed with Noble Six, having gone toe to toe with a handful of Elite Zealots. After his experience with the blue and red Elite, he came to the conclusion that it was either of the Zealot or Field Marshal class. Either one was extremely deadly and very rarely seen on the battlefield.

    The mere fact that Blaine had bested the same one twice was either from sheer luck, or the Elite was spoon fed it's position and didn't know how to fight worth a damn. Given the fact he didn't take the Covenant to give handouts, he guessed it was the prior.

    "I gave the order not to pursue." the leader of the Spartans spoke up again. "Our orders were to get the relay back online."

    Blaine watched as Halsey shook her head in disbelief. He knew as well as anyone else, especially from her previous assignment for him, just how much she distrusted this new batch of Spartans. Spartan IIs were trained to kill their enemies ruthlessly and without mercy, something Blaine regrettably was guilty of ignoring.

    "Your orders?" she scoffed. "Commander, are you a puppet or a Spartan?"

    Blaine wished in that moment he had his helmet on, because the very line she berated the leadership with was a very insult to anyone that would consider themselves a Spartan. He was grinning from ear to ear like a damn fool, and he couldn't stop himself from stifling a chuckle.

    The other Spartans heard this and, rightfully offended, tensed at Halsey's choice words.

    "Ma'am?" the Spartan replied.

    "There are those at ONI, myself included, who belief the Covenant are after something. That they dispatch Elite teams to harvest objects critical to their religion... and you let them get away?"

    "Data retrieval was not a command directive. Even had we known, we had other, more urgent matters, to attend to."

    Blaine did a fairly good job of hiding his sudden surge of anger. This arrogant piece of shit was not going to stand here and try to pass off his own short comings as a matter of 'orders'. A true Spartan wouldn't let any Covenant creature with access to important human data escape, even if it wasn't in their orders.

    A true Spartan did what was necessary to ensure another attack didn't happen elsewhere, as well as protect people from the battle now. He was biased in favor of Halsey because of his upbringing, sure, but he also wouldn't stand for a non Spartan II to so arrogantly place themselves above Doctor Halsey like she was a waste of space. The very armor on the Spartan's back was a design of Doctor Halsey herself, but clearly he didn't think about that.

    "Professor Sorvad mentioned something about a latchkey discovery. Latchkey. It's not a term he would use lightly." Halsey scanned his face. "So let's hope the data module your Lieutenant Commander stole contains it."

    Now these Spartans were stealing ONI related property off of a battlefield? What kind of Spartans were these? Fresh off the fucking lot? With every passing second, Blaine's respect for the Spartans, minus Noble Six or Jorge, quickly dwindled.

    "Before you ask, I was alerted the moment the Lieutenant Commander attempted to access the internal data." Halsey said, as the Spartan with the prothetic arm dropped the small data module into a receptacle. "That data is classified tier one. Not even Sierra One-One-Five over there has access to this data."

    All the Spartans eyes turned to Blaine as he stood there, his face stone cold.

    "I could send you to the brig for interfering with my work." Halsey hissed.

    "Maybe you'd like to join her." the Spartan's leader snapped in return.

    Blaine and Jorge's eyes flashed to each other as the Spartan IIs tensed. Halsey seemed to notice this, raising a hand to tell them to cool it. Any respect Blaine had left for this Spartan was thrown immediately out the window. He disliked Halsey for many things, but he would not stand for this outsider to speak of her in this manner.

    "Are you threatening me Commander?" she asked, pursing her lips with intrigue."

    "We're currently under the Winter Contingency." the leader smirked. "I'm sure you're aware of the punishments of Civilian interference with the deployment of Spartans?"

    "If you Spartan wannabees followed the damn regulations." Blaine spoke up, stepping forward. "You might have an actual point there, Commander. However, all I'd need to do is give word to my contacts in the Office, and this little rag-tag team of so-called Spartans will be little more than the dust beneath the boots of ACTUAL Spartans."

    "Excuse me, who are you?" the Commander asked, trying to size himself up to Blaine.

    "Someone whom you shouldn't piss off, bucko." Blaine sneered, putting his chest in the Spartans' face. "Do yourself and your squad a favor and continue chasing the curtails of ACTUAL heroes somewhere else."

    "Let's move Noble Team." the Spartan replied, brushing past Blaine.

    With that, four of the members of Noble, minus Jorge and Six, left the room. Leaving Blaine with them, and Doctor Halsey.

    "Mom." Jorge nodded, tapping Six's shoulder.

    "That'll be all Jorge." Halsey said, staring at the object in front of her.

    "Take it easy." Blaine said, patting Jorge on the shoulder. "Six, keep up the good work, boyo."

    "Yes sir."

    As the other two left the room, Halsey sighed. Blaine turned to face her, just in time to see her eyes scan his face. She smiled for the first time in the entire time he and the other Spartans were in her vicinity.

    "Thank you for stepping in." Halsey said. "It was reckless, but thank you."

    "The only one of them that is remotely Spartan material is the quietest of them." Blaine mused. "He reminds me a lot of Chief, actually."

    "Me too." Halsey said. "With the Covenant on Reach, our plans for Operation: RED FLAG are officially on hold. All Spartans have been deployed to critical locations along the planet's surface, fighting the Covenant on all fronts."

    "Spartans on the defensive." Blaine shook his head. "Got any suggestions?"

    "I've heard New Alexandria's reporting Covenant activity." Halsey turned to him. "You should try there."


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    Shad0wChas3r
    Database Director

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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 22nd 2016, 9:49 pm

    The feeling in the pit of Blaine's stomach was one of emptiness, like a hollow numbness that he couldn't begin to explain. New Alexandria was his city, it was the place where he had been born, where his mother had died. It held a very special place in his heart, because to him, it was his home. The city at the farthest possible distance from him. No matter how far her reached, he could never return there.

    Halsey had ordered a pilot to pick Blaine up in a Falcon. Falcons, while not as dynamically durable as a Pelican, was much more agile and adaptable to combat situations. Despite the otherwise roominess that the troop seating section should have offered, being the lone soldier on board, he still felt rather crammed.

    "Our destination is just over the crest, sir." the Pilot spoke.

    Blaine stood from his seat, his head nearly scraping the roof of the inner ship. Holding onto a handle with is left hand, his heart sank as ash filled smoke rose above the crest of the nearby hillside. To his right, the sun had began to sink below the far mountain range, signifying the approach of darkness.

    "The sun never sets in New Alexandria." Blaine recalled Ms. Sanders always saying to him.

    At first, the saying had always confused him. Of course the sun set in New Alexandria, how else would it be night time? It wasn't until much later, when he heard the same saying from Daniel in reference to New Mombasa. He had been told it meant that the heart of the City, no matter how dark the night, would always prevail. That the spirit would live on, so long as someone was there to carry it through the night.

    "It hasn't so far." Blaine clenched his right hand into a fist. "As long as I'm still breathing, it won't."

    "Come again, sir?" the pilot asked. "You're, uh, communication's a bit dicey."

    "Never mind." Blaine grunted.

    As soon as the Falcon peaked over the crest of the hill, Blaine could make out the state that the City was in. His heart sank to his ankles, and his eyes widened like a deer in headlights. His augmented sight allowed him to make out certain details that may not have been easily noticed by the pilot, such as the incoming plasma torpedo hurtling towards them.

    "EVASIVE MANEUVERS!" Blaine barked, before ducking back into the Falcon.

    The pilot attempted to swerve to avoid the torpedo, but unfortunately did not have the reflexes to accomplish the feat on time. Blaine heard only a muffled scream before the torpedo struck the cockpit head on. Grunting Blaine was ejected out of the side of the Falcon from the sudden change in direction. His eyes scanned his peripherals, his hands tucking into his chest.

    Like any other dead drop, he kept his arms tucked in, and allowed himself to roll down the side of the hill. Blaine groaned as the dust settled from his sudden stop. His right arm reached out, digging into the dirt and grass just at the edge of the city. Slowly, he made his way up to his feet. Glancing up, he could make out a Covenant Corvette hidden just above the cloudline, near the largest skyscrapers in the city.

    He held a quick moment of silence for the brave pilot whom had just barely lost his life. It wasn't every day that Blaine witnessed the death of a comrade, but each felt just as personal as one of his own men and women. With a growl, Blaine could feel a stinging, almost numb pain in his right shoulder.

    Reaching up with his left hand, he grasped his shoulder. It sent a sharp pain throughout his right arm as he snapped the arm back into place. Gritting his teeth, Blaine gently rolled his right shoulder. Surely enough, it was back in position. The motion sucked, pain wise, but he would make it. He'd been through far worse.

    Hopping up to the elevated rails of the city's perimeter, he clambered his way up and over. Upon rising to his feet, a handful of civilians stared at him with a mixture of fear and confusion. He heard a whining noise above him, casting his eyes to the sky. A trio of Covenant Banshees soared like speeding bullets, weaving between and through the many buildings with precision and skill.

    "Get inside. Now." Blaine barked to them, turning to a parked car to his right.

    He reached down towards the front end of the car, listening as the plasteel plating that made up the car's material groaned in his grasp. With a slight grunt, Blaine began to lift the car with some ease, above his head. He waited for them to make another pass, before throwing the car towards the Banshee on point.

    As the air vehicle was rounding back the other side of the building, the car Blaine had tossed met it's target head on. The force of the car slamming into the Banshee knocked one of the target's engines off, throwing the poorly made vehicle into chaos. With no right side acceleration to stabilize, the Banshee veered right, slamming into the Banshee directly behind it.

    The third Banshee, cleared of the wreckage from the other two, sped off to the North, before rounding back. Blaine's eyes scanned the area, the building the civilians had just run into were an apartment complex, meaning it was likely filled with innocent people.

    Instead, Blaine charged to his right, dashing down the street to lure the Banshee away from the apartments. To his dismay, several cars continued to speed down the street, obviously to get out of the City as fast as they possibly could. Turning back, he could see the Banshee was easily gaining on him, and just one fuel rod from the vehicle could easily decimate himself or anyone on the road.

    His eyes scanned for anything he could use to his advantage. He heard a scream behind him as he turned to see what was happening. A motorcycle headed straight towards him had attempted to swerve to avoid him, instead, the cyclist dumped out onto the asphalt, rolling painfully down the road alongside his bike.

    Right at Blaine's feet.

    "Sorry." Blaine said, lifting the motorcycle with ease.

    Throwing it over his head towards the Banshee, whom had only recently fired the fuel rod round. Before it could veer off in some random direction, the motorcycle met with the fuel rod blob in air, detonating directly in the Banshee's path. The explosion rippled over it's hull, but it remained almost entirely unfazed.

    "That was my bike, man!" Blaine turned back towards the man behind him.

    Of all people, Blaine couldn't believe he was staring at Charlie. Though the man seemed distant, as if something traumatic had happened to him. Blaine scoffed at the very thought that Charlie was part of the reason he was standing here, and here they were again.

    Perhaps there was a thing such as fate after all

    "Make it through this, I'll buy you a new one." Blaine said. "Can you walk?"

    "Gah, my right leg's not looking good. It'll hurt like a bitch, but I'll manage."

    Blaine nodded curtly. He would still have to deal with that damned Banshee, but he also needed to get Charlie out of the street. Hefting Charlie over his right shoulder, the man squirmed while Blaine quickly bolted in between the speeding vehicles.

    At the sidewalk, he placed Charlie down on a wall in the nearby alley. Pressing a hand gently on Charlie's shoulder, Blaine peered back around the corner at the Banshee, whom was rounding back for another pass. Sprinting to the nearest streetlamp, Blaine groaned as he ripped the giant steel pole from the ground. Holding it like a bat, Blaine waited for the Banshee to get within range, before swinging with all of his might.

    The head of the street lamp struck the side of the Banshee like a freight train, slamming it into the side of a traditional brick building. The impact took out both of the engines, sending it careening out of control. It headed for the street, as cars swerved to avoid the incoming vessel, which then exploded in brilliant lavender and cobalt fire.

    With the immediate threat out of the way, Blaine walked back over to Charlie, whom had begun trying to stand, bracing himself against the wall. Offering him some help to his feet, Blaine watched while Charlie brushed himself off.

    "I think I rolled my ankle, but I'll be fine." Charlie said, wincing as he limped down the alley way.

    "Hey." Blaine said. "Evacuations have to have started-"

    "Are you nuts?" Charlie shook his head, turning towards him. "With that big ass ship in the sky? No sane pilot should be within one hundred feet of this city."

    "Well, you should at least make your way to the evacuation zone." Blaine insisted.

    "I'm not going anywhere until I've finished my business in this damn city." Charlie growled. "First your ONI clowns put me in some damn prison for all of these years, and now these alien bastards are knocking on my city's doorstep."

    Charlie had been sent to prison? Blaine began to wonder how that could have happened, before he thought of the day he and Orange Team apprehended Simon DeWinter. Had the others at the Orphanage been put in prison as well?

    "Where is it you need to go?" Blaine asked. "I need to head towards the heart of New Alexandria myself."

    "I don't need an escort."

    "You're going to the Orphanage, right?" Blaine asked, causing Charlie to pause.

    "Yeah." he turned to face Blaine. "How the hell did you know about that?"

    "I have unfinished business there too." Blaine crossed his arms. "You're that Charlie kid."

    "Yeah." Charlie nodded. "Have we met before?"

    "On a couple of occasions." Blaine nodded. "It's me, Brent."

    Charlie turned his nose up for a moment, before relaxing.

    "Small world." Charlie smirked. "Good to see you, interesting that you chose to follow your dad's suit and suit up for the UNSC."

    "He had a big impact on my life." Blaine lied.

    "I mean, after separating him from you for so long, I'm surprised you didn't go Insurrection, to be honest."

    Charlie froze for a moment as he said this.

    "Well, maybe not. Why go with the people that killed him. I'm sorry." Charlie sighed. "Look, I'm flustered. Ms. Sanders is still kicking, and Lucy's her aid, has been for all these years."

    "Your right." Blaine nodded. "There's no time to lose. Stay close to me. If I tell you to get down, you get down."

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

    "Holy shit." Charlie said as he slowly stepped forward.

    The entire financial district, of which the Orphanage was the only odd one out, was barely touched. In fact, there was no sign of occupation from the Covenant or struggle from the UNSC. Though, unsurprisingly, not a single Civilian was out on the street.

    "Go to the Orphanage. We have no idea how quiet it'll stay." Blaine ordered. "Stay low, move fast. I'll try to cover you as best as I can. Tell them to get everyone together, we're going to get to the beach as quickly as we can."

    "Got it." Charlie nodded. "You know, I gave you and Blaine a lot of shit when we were kids. If something happens to me, just know I'm sorry."

    "Don't bother apologizing." Blaine said. "It's in the past."

    "I just needed to say it. If not for you, than for myself." Charlie sighed. "I saw Blaine once before they carted me off on some bullshit charges. He's the biggest thing weighing on me, I hope he's alright."

    "He was a strong kid." Blaine felt weird talking about himself in the third person. "I'm sure he's fine."

    With a sigh, Charlie ducked his head low and made a rush for the back door to the Orphanage. Blaine's eyes, however, scanned the streets and rooftops for any sign of Covenant forces. The threat of invisible Elites was always a plausibility, not one he wanted to potentially overlook.

    When he was sure the area was clear, he stepped out into the street. He took in the nostalgia that was slowly washing over him, like waves of regret and happiness simultaneously. His eyes continued to scan the rooftops, as he made his way towards the front door.

    Despite the lack of a threat, Blaine could feel his heart rate slowing, feeling each beat prominently in his chest. He wasn't afraid of an attack, he was afraid of the Orphanage. What he might find inside. After one last sweep of the rooftops, he turned towards the door.

    He put his hand gently on the handle, but hesitated. Despite wearing a glove that changed it's temperature based on his body's current temperature, the handle to the door was so cold that it actually burned him. He knew it was only a figment of his imagination, but he couldn't bring himself to open the door, to see Ms. Sanders or even Lucy.

    That was when the yellow dot popped up behind him. Dodging his head to the left, he could hear the sizzling of an Energy Sword melting the door. Thrusting his right foot back, he caught the Elite in it's midsection. Turning around, it was that Blue and Red Elite again. Growling, he knew it must have followed him. With it's sword still embedded in the door, it dipped low and tackled him through the double doors of his childhood.

    Children and women screams filled the air as the two combatants rolled across the floor, glass scattering around them. As they were brought to a stop, Blaine was on top, his magnum in the Elite's mouth.

    "Mess with me wherever you want." Blaine's eyes, beneath his visor, were on fire. "Just. Not. Here."

    The Elite snarled, batting his magnum to the side, before pitching it's head into his helmet. With Blaine dazed, it booted him off of it's chest. Tumbling on the floor, Blaine managed to stop himself before crushing one of the smaller children in the room.

    Hurrying up to his feet, he clenched his fists. The children, with none of the adults in sight, were frozen in place as two very strange monsters were standing in the middle of the room. The Elite charged at Blaine, who grabbed it's arms and kneed it in the midsection.

    "Kids, go play hide and seek with Mrs. Sanders!" Blaine yelled, as the children screamed, piling towards the back doors.

    He hated frightening the children, but had no other choice. The fight between these two would endanger any one of them. Growling at the Elite in his grasp, Blaine continued to knee the Elite in the midsection. Pitching his own head forward, Blaine knocked the Elite backwards. Charging after the Elite, Blaine grabbed the entirety of it's face with his right hand, diving forwards. The weight of Blaine diving forward caused the Elite to lose it's balance, as Blaine slammed it's head through the table that Blaine once was forced to sit at.

    Standing, Blaine bounced from foot to foot, as the Elite snarled, it's four mandibles spreading wide as it did. Jumping up to it's feet, the Elite engaged a miniature Energy Dagger on it's wrist. Stepping towards him, Blaine back stepped each swing from the weapon. Once, the Elite over extended himself as Blaine braced it's arm.

    With a swift kick to it's right leg, he felt it sink to a knee. Raising his left fist to smash across it's face, Blaine groaned as a boot smashed him in the chest. His back slammed into the wall, as he crashed into the back room. Once again, the children, and the women, even Charlie, screamed.

    Dust spilled off of Blaine's armor as he shakily tried to stand. Gritting his teeth beneath his visor, staring as a second Elite offered the first one a hand up. Looking back, he noticed that the rubble had pinned his left leg to the wall, and in between a wire shelf drilled into the drywall.

    "Figures." Blaine sneered. "Not the first time I've been ganged up on when I'm down."

    Blaine cursed himself as he tried to shake the rubble off of himself. Behind him, he could hear gentle footsteps working their way past the children. He could see on his motion tracker as the steps came around to his right. Turning his head, he saw a frail old woman with pure white hair up in a bun. She glanced down at him with soft green eyes, and a smile that formed wrinkles on his cheeks and at the corners of her mouth.

    Blaine's eyes widened as Ms. Sanders placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. Turning towards the approaching Elites, she spread her arms wide. Blaine growled, turning to pull off the rubble that pinned his leg. He was trying to be careful because of the kids, however, making his job much more difficult.

    "No!" Blaine yelled after her. "Get back!"

    "I will protect these children." she said to the Elites. "I failed the boy I would have liked to call my son. I will NOT fail these children."

    The two Elites chortled at the feeble old woman whom they towered over. The newest one to the fray stepped forward, flicking it's right hand. One of the large Energy Swords appeared, as the beast snarled at her.

    "Don't you do it!" Blaine growled, wrestling to free his leg from the rubble and the hole in the wall. "MS. SANDERS!"

    Blaine flinched, tears rolling immediately down his cheek as he heard the Elite lift her by the throat, impaling her immediately. His mind flashed vividly with memories of the woman's beaming smile towards him. During his childhood, she had been the only positive adult influence he had.

    She was the anchor to which he kept himself training, and the example he wanted to lead by. She was his world, and these bastards killed her like she was a common pest. Roaring with the intensity of a zoo full of lions, Blaine thrashed about until his pinned foot finally came clear.

    Once he was freed, Blaine stood and stared at the Elites. Neither the Spartan, the Elites, or the Civilians behind him moved a muscle. For that brief moment, all life in their general area ceased to move. Blaine stared at the lifeless corpse of Ms. Sanders, his hero. Stepping forward, the children behind him cowarded behind the chaperones in silent fear.

    On his way back through the hole, his teary right eye made out the broken table from which he had spent the first five years of his life. Where lovingly carved into the wood was his name, in beautiful cursive. Blaine stood there, as the two Elites chortled at their killing.

    "You." Blaine pointed towards the red and blue one. "If you have any honor. You will wait for me to avenge the fallen."

    The red and blue Elite froze for a moment, but nodded it's head. The Elite beside it snarled in disgust as it's brother backed away, but held it's sword ready nonetheless.

    "In her name, and all that she swore to protect." Blaine growled. "I will avenge Agatha Sanders, and protect the children she once cared for."

    "Say your prayers, to whatever filthy god you believe in." Blaine grit his teeth. "'Cause you'll be seeing them very soon."

    The Elite snickered in response, clicking it's mandibles together. Preparing itself in a battle ready pose, the Elite nodded curtly towards him.

    "Heh." Blaine snickered. "Y'know? They say the T-rex was the king of the dinosaurs."

    "So." Blaine got in a battle ready stance. "What the fuck does that say about you?"

    There was a moment of silence more, before the Elite made the first move. With the tip of it's sword pointed downwards, it's arm was held back, tipping the sword down, while it charged at Blaine. Blaine however, remained completely motionless. When the Elite got into range, however, he ducked under the blade, kicking out the back of it's right leg.

    The Elite growled as the force of the blow sent it tumbling to it's knees. Stomping on it's sword hand with his left boot, Blaine grit his teeth as it roared, it's middle fingers touching the tip of the blade as a result of his stomp. Smashing his right boot up and into it's chin, the Elite was knocked onto it's rear. Blaine turned to the Elite, which attempted to gain it's balance back.

    Stomping after it, Blaine seized it by the throat, raising it to his eye level. Depolarizing his visor, he allowed the Elite to stare him in the eyes, before tossing the beast over his shoulder and back at the table. The wood shattered ever more, splintering into any exposed places on the Elite's body.

    "Some warriors you are." Blaine snarled. "Attacking the old and frail, the youthful and defenseless."

    Wrapping his gargantuan paws on the Elite's combat harness' chest piece, he dragged the Elite across the wall, before throwing him into the nearest metal cabinet. Continuing his advance, Blaine snickered as the Elite, frustrated at Blaine's manhandling, jumped to it's feet.

    "You aren't warriors." Blaine gnashed his teeth. "You don't fight valiantly to protect, you fight for your own selfish gains."

    The Elite swung a fist at Blaine, who caught the fist in his hand, clenching on it. The Elite growled in anger, reduced to it's knee as Blaine broke the bones in it's fingers.

    "You grovel at the first sign of a disadvantage. You aren't protecting anything except for your own foolish prospect of honor."

    Bracing the Elite's arm, Blaine tossed the Elite over his shoulder, as it crashed into the bookshelf. Stomping his boot down on it's chest twice, he backed off to allow his opponent a chance to fight. After all, what was the point of killing them quickly?

    The Elite swung with it's good hand time and time again in an attempt to land a blow on Blaine. As Blaine had hoped, the red and blue Elite stood idle, allowing the two of them to continue their duel. As the Elite swung, Blaine back stepped, ducked under a few, and blocked with his forearms.

    The Elite panted, as Blaine's right fist struck it's abdomen like a speeding locomotive. The Elite gargled as the fist's bows reverberated through it's stomach, making it's muscles ripple. As fast as he Spartanly could, Blaine thrust five more similar strikes in the same place, purple blood splattering his helmet.

    Reaching his right fist all the way back, Blaine smashed the fist into the left side of it's head. The force of the blow actually inverted the top most mandible of it's mouth inwards. The Elite stumbled backwards, as Blaine moved in for the kill.

    "Don't mess with the quiet guy." Blaine snarled, wrapping his mighty arms around it's waist.

    Hefting the massive, squirming beast high above his head, Blaine roared to the heavens.

    "STOP SQUIRMING AND LET ME KILL YOU!"

    Jumping in the air, Blaine turned the Elite's head down towards the ground. Spiking the Elite similar to a lawn dart, Blaine watched as it's head snapped to one side, breaking it's neck effectively. The Elite's lifeless corpse's arms bent in strange directions, the body itself spasming. Strangely enough, the Elite's body remained this way for a moment, before crumpling into a heap at Blaine's feet.

    Slowly, Blaine's gaze turned from his victim to the Field Marshal class Elite in front of him. The Elite, impressed and slightly terrified at what it had just witnessed, began to turn and run away. Blaine, however, wasn't about to let him escape, not again.

    Grabbing the Elite by the shoulder, he flipped it around and onto it's back. Standing over the Elite, Blaine struck blow after heavy, swift blow into the Elite's face. The Elite raised it's fists to try to defend his face, but Blaine's blows were swifter and hard enough to daze the Elite proper.

    With the last of his immediate energy, Blaine grabbed the Elite by the collar of it's armor, lifted it up, and immediately slammed it's head to the ground with a mighty right hook. Whether or not it was dead did not concern Blaine in that moment. Instead, he turned towards the lifeless corpse of his old care-taker.

    "There's an evacuation setting up at the beach." Blaine said, dipping down and gently cradling her into his arms. "Kids. Stay behind the adults. Adults, listen to everything I say."

    "Is Ms. Sanders okay?" one of the youthful, innocent minds asked.

    "Ms. Sanders is a superhero, so she's fine." Blaine said, as tears rolled out of his eyes, unseen by the children. "She's just sleeping."


    _________________


    \\'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 July 30th 2016, 6:09 pm

    "You heard the nice soldier." one of the supervisors spoke softly. "Ms. Sanders is taking a nap, but we have to behave like she isn't."

    She turned to Blaine, her delicate green eyes scanning his visor. He knew exactly whom he was looking at, and although the very sight of her caused his heart to palpitate, he also knew they had no time left. The beach was easily an hour's walk from this location, but they were accompanied by children, and it was soon to be nightfall.

    "Okay kiddos, everyone hold hands and do as we say, alright?" she continued, the children shuffling their feet. "Remember what we practiced in case of emergency."

    "B-but Ms. Sanders, the cops aren't here yet." one of the little girls tugged on the woman's pants.

    "It's alright Samantha." Lucy knelt down, gently brushing the girls hair. "This nice man is a soldier, he's going to protect us."

    "Ms. Sanders is right." Charlie put his hand on her shoulders. "This nice man is going to bring everyone here to safety. So please, no more playing around."

    Blaine looked over the fifty or so children, some in their teenage years, others toddlers. More importantly to him though, they were kids down on their luck, just like he had been.

    "What's the plan, sir?" Lucy turned to him. "We've been informed by the UNSC to get everyone to the beach, but you know as well as I do that children don't have the energy to get there."

    "They could make it." Blaine nodded. "But it's night-time, and the Covenant will likely be looking for night groups. We should move from building to building."

    "We're in the middle of the street though." Charlie rubbed his chin. "No adjacent buildings."

    "That may be true." Blaine rubbed the back of his helmet. "However, the children are small enough that they can hide behind the cars lining the street."

    "I can keep the Covenant distracted while you all move." Blaine turned to Charlie. "You know how to fire a weapon?"

    "Hell yeah." Charlie clenched his fist, stepping towards Blaine with a cocky grin.

    Unhitching his M6D magnum from his hip, Blaine passed it to Charlie, along with a fistful of ammunition.

    "That's a gun." one of the littler kids spoke, as Blaine turned to her.

    "Don't worry, it's for everyone's protection." Blaine knelt down, gently placing his hand on her head. "It'll be loud though, so cover your ears when you hear the loud noises, okay?"

    The girl shakily nodded, as Blaine stood back up. The other supervisors ensured that the teenager orphans partnered up with the younger orphans, along with a roll call.

    "Everyone, we're going to be playing one huge game of hide and seek." Blaine spoke up to the children. "Only you hide until I call Olly Olly Oxen Free, okay?"

    With the kids all situated, Charlie moved with Blaine towards the door. Lucy was in charge of keeping the group and it's handlers together. Blaine peeked out the door, scanning the dusk skyline for any sign of snipers.

    "I'll cover you." Blaine said. "Move from car to car, head to the old corporate office down the way. We'll jump from building to building until we get to the beach."

    "You got it." Charlie smirked, placing a hand on Blaine's shoulder. "Stay safe, bro."

    "Don't worry about me." Blaine nodded. "I've been through far worse."

    Stepping out into the street, Blaine continued to scan for Covenant activity, while Lucy and one of the other handlers held the door for the children. Blaine had a bit of a struggle keeping his DMR level, with Mrs. Sanders corpse on his shoulder. One of the male supervisors noticed this, coming over to relinquish her from his grasp.

    "She'll be sorely missed." he said. "Though I also don't think she'd want to hinder you any."

    Blaine sighed as he passed her delicate form to him. Returning to the others, the man crouched behind one of the cars, taking up the rear of the group. Blaine continued to patrol down the street, following with them, keeping them in his peripherals.

    Blaine tensed as a church bell down the street rang out from his left. His eyes turned, as he used the smart-link in his suit to zoom in six times magnification. He could barely make out a silhouette of something running along the rooftops, though he wasn't sure if it was an Elite or a person.

    Either way, he didn't want them to be around to find out. Moving his way to the old corporate office, the very same one where he and his team had apprehended Simon DeWinter. He continued to scan around the area as the fifty plus civilians piled into the building. When he was certain they were all inside, he stepped inside.

    "How is everyone?" Blaine walked up to Charlie.

    "The kids are terrified, and many of the younger ones are tired out already." Charlie grit his teeth. "The alien bastards."

    "Don't worry, I'll make them pay for this." Blaine placed a hand on his shoulder. "The darker it gets, the more dangerous it's going to be to move these children."

    "I know." Charlie sighed. "But we have to get them all to the extraction place."

    "We will." Blaine nodded. "We need to cover as much ground as possible though, we can be there by morning if we can at least get to Traxus Corporation's former factory, on the outskirts of town."

    "By the Cafe?" Charlie said. "That's gonna be tricky."

    "Like I said, I've been through worse." Blaine said. "Let everyone rest for a moment, but get them ready to move."

    "You got it."

    "Keep everyone away from the windows and doors." Blaine pointed to a group of supervisors, who nodded.

    Sighing, Blaine held his left wrist up. The small computer screen on his wrist illuminated, before a holographic map of New Alexandria appeared on it. It was on the secure UNSC network, showing friendly placements, choke points, and potential No Man's Lands. The very concept of New Alexandria becoming a war zone brought his blood to a boil, not to mention the death of Mrs. Sanders.

    As he had feared, the path he originally had wanted to go down to get to the beach was a choke point for the UNSC. Meaning that the Covenant could attack at any moment, and put the children directly in the middle of the cross-fire. His eyes continued to scan over the map, as he peered at a grayed out portion of the map, due North of their position.

    "Charlie." Blaine called over, as Charlie hustled over. "What's this grayed out area?"

    "It's known as Harlowe street." Charlie crossed his arms. "Remember Blaine? How he was orphaned because of a raid on his family's home the morning he was born?"

    "I had only heard the stories." Blaine shrugged. "That's the street where it happened?"

    "Yep." Charlie nodded. "It was condemned by the City because of the blood shed."

    "I see." Blaine thought about it for a moment. "How high is the security?"

    "Not high, entering the place is taboo, though."

    "Why?" Blaine asked.

    "They say it's streets are lined by the haunting spirits of the souls involved in the massacre."

    Blaine scoffed at the thought. They had more dire threats than a couple of ghosts, if they actually existed.

    "If you look here, you'll see that my original idea is a no-go." Blaine growled. "However, if we cut across Harlowe Street, we can round back along the beach-front to the extraction zone. Ghosts can't harm us, the cross-fire of these zones, however, can."

    "There's an alternate back entrance to this building." Blaine said. "We'll take that, follow the alleyways to Harlowe Street. If the Covenant are there, we can use the buildings for shelter."

    Blaine stepped towards the back of the abandoned cubicles, his memories flashing back to when a couple of young teens infiltrated this building and took out a known Insurrectionist. Turning back to them, Blaine's eyes scanned over the fifty plus people.

    "I know everyone's tired, but we need to cover as much ground as possible. I promise we can rest at the next building we stop at."

    The children groaned as they rose to their feet. The children that had already fallen asleep, however, were lifted by supervisors. As a group, they followed Blaine to the emergency exit. Gently, he pushed the door open, peering out into the alleyway.

    When he was sure the coast was clear, he stepped out and scanned with his rifle. As he did so, Charlie hustled the group out of the building and down the alley. Working his way to the front, Blaine stepped back out onto the street and scanned while the group took turns cross the street by taking cover behind cars.

    Behind Blaine, he could hear a car groan under some weight. Turning, he raised his DMR to face it. Hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, as a Covenant Hunter stepped onto the hood of a car, the metal from the vehicle buckling under it's weight, the windshield shattering immediately.

    "MOVE!" Blaine yelled, firing at the Hunter and sprinting away from the children. "Don't stop for anything!"

    "Wait!" Lucy called after him, reaching out for him.

    However, Blaine wasn't planning on listening at that moment. He continued his mad dash to the far right of the Hunter to ensure it's plasma cannon didn't fire towards the children. The Hunter stomped forward, green lights at it's 'head' glowed vividly, the quills on it's back standing rigid.

    Ducking beneath a glob of it's plasma, Blaine fell into a dead sprint, clipping the DMR onto his back. Thrusting his weight backwards, Blaine slid across the asphalt towards it's car. He waved sheepishly to the Hunter as he slid beneath the car. Holding his left hand back, he managed to stop himself enough to stay underneath the car. pressing his knees to the bottom of the car, he used his weight to suddenly prop it up.

    The Hunter roared as it was dumped onto the asphalt. The car itself began to 'stand' on it's nose. Standing himself, Blaine drop kicked the bottom of the car, launching it towards the Hunter. It attempted to fire on the car, the plasma splashing on the top of the car. Due to it's close proximity, however, the car and the plasma exploded in the Hunter's face.

    Using this moment to his advantage, Blaine picked himself up off of the ground and sprinted towards the Hunter. The Hunter roared, pushing the destroyed remains of the vehicle aside, just in time for Blaine to tackle the bulky monstrosity to the ground. Blaine and the beast tumbled along the ground for some time.

    When they came to a stop, Blaine grit his teeth before plunging his fist into it's neck worms. With a sickening shlorp, Blaine's fist exited it's neck, as he swept his fist to the right. It thrashed beneath him, before slowing to nothing. Standing up, Blaine rolled his right shoulder, before turning his attention to the children.

    He could see Lucy staring at him in a mixture of fear and awe. He jogged over towards her, pulling his rifle off of his back. He knew where there was one of these creatures, a second wasn't far behind.

    "We need to keep moving." Blaine said, ushering her to keep walking.

    "H-how'd you do that?"

    "Don't worry about it." Blaine insisted. "Just keep moving."

    Far ahead of them, the group were spread evenly behind a multitude of cars. Though the difference in area was strickingly different. They had originally been on Main Street, but Harlowe Street was completely barren. In fact, it looked like something straight out of an apocalypse scenario.

    According to the map, it was the longest street in New Alexandria, spanning the entire Western half. The group moved through it, moving from house to house, resting for a few minutes between each one. Blaine told the crowd that they would rest come the final house on the street.

    As Blaine had suspected, not a single ghost had shown itself during their entire trip. Though the children were afraid, Blaine knew it was a load of bogus and wasn't about to ruin their chances of survival through taboo. Thankfully, the neighborhood seemed entirely untouched by the Covenant, but he didn't want to take any risks.

    Upon reaching the final house, the children all scrambled up the walkway, with their supervisors leading the way. Charlie, who was the only other member with a firearm, entered the house first. Blaine lagged behind, as the supervisor who had been carrying Mrs. Sanders walked up to him.

    "Sir, I don't think it's wise to keep carrying her around." he sighed. "The kids are under the impression she isn't just sleeping, but I don't want to upset them any further."

    "Yeah." Blaine sighed. "We'll bury her. That's the least of what I can do for her."

    Lucy also lagged behind the others, opting to stay by his side. The supervisor gently lowered Mrs. Sanders into the grass, before walking inside to ensure none of the children looked outside. Blaine walked around the side of the building, only to find a run down old shed. Stepping into it, he used his helmet's flashlights to search the rickety old place.

    He paused as something glinted back at him. Turning his attention towards the source, he was surprised to see a corkboard covered in an assortment of war time medals. A lone picture of a man and a woman on what appeared to be the Moon was the first thing his eyes settled on.

    Upon first glance, he thought the man was Morgan, until he saw the date the picture was taken. It was dated for the year of the Rainforest Wars, during the spark of the Insurrectionist uprising. Pulling the picture off of the corkboard, as gently as he could, Blaine turned it around.

    "Angus and Camille Harlowe." Blaine read the note. "Thought you'd like this rare picture of Mom and Dad together, bro. Craig."

    Blaine took a brief second to understand where he was, before it finally clicked. He was standing in his father's old shed, this was his parent's home. He looked along the corkboard at the multitude of medals and other commendations that lined it, all in the name of Angus Harlowe.

    "Charlie told me you were Brent." Lucy said idly beside him. "But that's not the truth, is it?"

    "N-no, I am." Blaine nodded.

    "You never were a good liar, Blaine." Lucy frowned. "Why didn't you ever come back to visit us?"

    "I couldn't." Blaine sighed. "I wanted nothing more than to see you all again, but I just couldn't."

    Lucy shifted on her feet for a second, before locating a rusty shovel propped up against the wall.

    "You know something?" Lucy said, with a hint of venom. "Mrs. Sanders told me that she was planning on adopting you, on the off chance your father never came back for you."

    "She thought of you as a son." Lucy shook her head, tears running down her cheek. "Why couldn't you return the feeling? Why did you have to go chasing shadows?"

    "Because I wasn't good enough for her." Blaine clenched his fist. "I didn't belong there, Charlie made that abundantly clear. I wasn't an orphan."

    "Neither was I." Lucy finished, before stepping out the door. "Now I am."

    Blaine stiffened as she said that last line. He recalled the children referring to her as Ms. Sanders. Had Mrs. Sanders had Lucy, and kept her in the Orphanage as a way of keeping her own kid cared for, along with caring for others?

    He glanced at the accolades for a moment more, before taking the photograph in his hands and placing it in one of his spare ammo pouches. With one last sigh, he stepped out of the shed. He saw Lucy plunge the spade into the ground, tears streaming down her cheek.

    Blaine walked over towards her, offering to take the spade.

    "You don't deserve to bury her." Lucy hissed. "You abandoned her. You abandoned me."

    "I didn't." Blaine shook his head. "I mean, when I was little, I needed answers. I didn't know she was actually your mom, and I didn't know that she wanted to adopt me if Morgan didn't."

    "Whose Morgan? Your Dad?" Lucy growled. "Where's he at now?"

    "He's dead." Blaine sighed. "Buried here in the City."

    "I'm sorry." Lucy shook her head. "I'm just all over the place right now."

    "I don't blame you." Blaine said, insisting on the shovel. "I didn't visit you, because I was trying to protect you all."

    "What do you mean?" she asked, passing him the shovel.

    "I mean." Blaine grunted, as he struck a rock. "Well, I can't tell you. It's part of the protecting thing."

    "I know it sounds confusing." Blaine continued to dig. "Just trust me when I tell you to not tell anyone who I am, okay?"

    "B-" Lucy tried to speak, as Blaine's helmet popped off of his head.

    Icy blue eyes peered at her, serious as they had ever been.

    "Please. I couldn't save your mother." Blaine said, his eyes peering over towards Mrs. Sanders. "I can save you and the others, and in order to do that, you have to pretend you don't know who I am."

    Reaching down, Blaine pulled his helmet back onto his head, before picking the shovel back up and continuing to dig the grave.

    "One day I might be able to tell you." Blaine sighed. "Just not today."

    When he finished digging the grave, he gently raised Mrs. Sanders back into his arms and lowered her into the hole. He knew that the area was still fairly dangerous, so he was slightly hurried to get it done. Lucy began to sob as the hole was filled, Blaine dipping his head low.

    Though she wasn't his real mother, he had always thought of the woman in the hole to be. When her body was completely covered, Blaine dropped the shovel, before bowing his head in respect. Lucy stepped over towards him, before hugging him tightly.

    "I loved you." she cried. "I dunno what it is you were protecting me from, but damn them. Damn them all."

    "I know." Blaine said, returning the hug. "We're still friends forever though, right?"

    Lucy gently nodded, her head pressed up into his armor. The two tensed, however, as one of the children in the house shrieked. Blaine snapped to it, ordering Lucy to hide in the shed for a moment. Sprinting up the stairs leading into the house, Blaine opened the door.

    He stared as an ethereal being stood at the base of the stairs. Onyx black hair unlike his own trailed down the pale woman's head and down to her shoulders. Brilliant brown eyes peered at him, before the form nodded, turning around and walking up the stairs.

    "Hey, who are you?!" Blaine barked after her. "When did you get here?"

    "'She' just showed up!" Charlie said. "Poof, out of thin air!"

    "Is she gonna hurt us?" one of the little girls asked.

    "No way. Ghosts aren't scary!" one of the boys scoffed.

    "She's really pretty." one of the other girls asked, as Blaine slowly stepped into the room.

    "Everyone, get to the other side of the room." Blaine ordered, as the kids nervously shifted to the other side of what appeared to be the living room.

    The figure stopped after the first couple of stairs, before turning her head towards Blaine. He felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on edge, and a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.

    "Sir." he heard one of the kids say from the other side of the room. "She wants you to go with her."

    Nodding, he turned back to the ghostly figure, who turned to walk up the stairs. Blaine slowly crept up the old wooden stairs, which creaked under the weight of his armor. As he walked, he noticed the signs of struggle embedded in the wood of the stairs.

    Continuing his way towards the stop of the staircase, he saw the skeletal remains of what he could only assume was a young man, a hole in the back of it's skull. Rusted armor with the White Solaris insignia was painted on it's chest armor.

    Blaine gazed around for a moment to locate the ethereal being, who had disappeared as quickly as she had arrived. Stepping over the dead body, Blaine glanced at the only door on the other side of the body, which was open, barely hanging off of it's last remaining hinge.

    Stepping into the bedroom, the tattered, musty sheets of the bed were strewn about, as if the occupant had been in a hurry upon exiting. The pale figure brushed past him, before pointing to the bed side stand.

    Blaine slowly made his way towards the stand, to see a pair of picture frames on top. He reached down to lift both, gazing upon each. One was of Morgan, a woman, and four other men. Morgan was on his knee, with the woman sitting upon it. A much younger Josh flexed his muscles, baring his teeth in a cocky smirk. Phil smiled with a toothy grin, his trusty assault rifle clutched tightly.

    Craig rested his hands on both Morgan and the woman's shoulders, beaming at the camera like a hyperactive child who was promised extra dessert. Blaine, however, did not recognize the other man in the image.

    Blaine's attention focused on the woman in the picture, however. Onyx black hair unlike his own cascaded well past her shoulders, with a pair of brilliant brown eyes glimmering with the hope of thousands of innocent children. Turning his attention to the other picture, Blaine saw Morgan and the woman sitting on a grassy hill, overlooking what he could only assume was an African plain.

    Running his hand along the picture, Blaine finally realized the identity of the ghostly figure in the house. Though it should have come to him sooner, his mind was all over the place. His only concern at the moment was to ensure the safety of those kids.

    "Mom." Blaine said, not turning around. "I never did get to meet you, did I? Consciously, I mean."

    "I hope you and Morgan are reunited and happy up there." Blaine's grip on the picture tensed. "Even if he did wrong, he was a good man. I only wish I had done right by him."

    With a quick wave of his hands, he cast the pictures to the ground. The glass of the frames shattered, leaving the pictures open to the world. Without the dust layering the glass, the photos looked much more crisp.

    Pulling them out of their wooden cages, he gently placed them in the same pouch as the last. Turning back, he saw the ethereal being walk up to him, before gently placing it's intangible hand on the cheek of his helmet. Though she did not speak, he saw her lips silently move.

    "That's my boy." she smiled as she finished the words.

    Blaine fell to his knees, placing both of his hands on his helmet. With a slight hiss, he pulled it off of his head and let it clatter to the floor. Despite being on his knees, he was easily at her height, his eyes meeting with hers.

    "I love you." she mimed with her mouth. "Always watching."

    "I'm sorry." Blaine shook his head. "I ran off. I was so stupid. I should have stayed, reunited with Morgan."

    She shook her head, placing the intangible hand on his shoulder, before miming a hug. When she pulled away, she frowned for a moment, casting her gaze away from him. When she did look him back in the eyes, he could see her eyes brightly radiate that same look as in the photo, before a smile formed at the corner of her mouth.

    "Hero." she mimed. "Save them. Lead them."

    With that, she faded away into nothing, leaving Blaine alone in the bedroom that he had been born in. Looking down at his helmet, the full moon illuminated the room, the lunar light reflecting off of the golden visor on his helmet. Reaching for it, Blaine raised the helmet to his head.

    With a hiss, it secured itself back into place. Standing to his feet, Blaine turned his head towards the corner of the room, where a full body mirror reflected himself in the mirror. He knew it was his mind playing tricks on him, but he didn't mind what he was seeing. Morgan and the woman, his mother, had their hands behind his back, beaming at the mirror.

    "I'm a Harlowe." Blaine spoke to himself. "I have a duty to protect these people, and the family name. I'll do you both proud."

    Stepping back out the door, he made his way down the stairs, where the children and adults looked at him with curiosity and fear.

    "It's alright." Blaine nodded. "She's gone. She won't hurt anyone."

    "We heard a lot of thumping up there." Charlie asked. "Everything okay?"

    "Yeah," Blaine put a hand on his shoulder, glancing up the stairs. "Everything's okay now."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on July 30th 2016, 9:59 pm

    After about an hour, the children had all nestled into one large conglomerate away from the windows, in the middle of the room. The adults opted to stay up, sitting with their backs to the children to stare in a separate direction.

    "Everyone okay?" Blaine walked up to Lucy. "-and I do mean everyone."

    "Yeah." Lucy nodded, pointing into the crowd. "See the girl with the blonde hair?"

    Blaine turned his attention to the pile of children, one little girl clutched a T-Rex toy. Her head was nestled against another girls, her mouth opening slightly only to breath in her slumber. Blaine smiled beneath his helmet as he saw a little bit of Lucy in her.

    "She's your daughter." Blaine turned to her, as Lucy nodded.

    "Well, mine too." Charlie said, walking over. "I'm sorry I wasn't honest from the start. I know you and Blaine both had your eyes on Lucy when we were younger."

    "We hooked up shortly after Blaine last came to visit." Charlie wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "Of course, we couldn't name her Blaine, for obvious reasons."

    "Instead, we opted to call her Blair." Lucy smiled. "It was the closest thing we could get to."

    Blaine turned his attention to the ten year old resting within the group. Just as her mother before her, she wasn't a true orphan, she was just put in with the group of children to mingle and be friendly while her mother ran the show.

    "I'm sure he'd be over joyous." Blaine nodded.

    "Yeah." Charlie smirked. "I'm sure he'll want to wring my neck out for this."

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "Blaine wouldn't do that to Lucy."

    "Yeah, I guess you're right." Charlie nodded. "Listen, Brent, I owe you one."

    "Don't mention it." Blaine turned to him. "Seriously, you mustn't tell anyone I'm here. I'm technically not supposed to be here, and you all are in grave danger if you tell anyone."

    "You got it." Charlie shuddered. "I was a prisoner of ONI for years. The released me about fifteen years ago, however. Think they screwed with my head a bit, but I can't recall anything about it."

    "I didn't mention ONI." Blaine paused, before remembering the branding on his armor. "Oh, right. Listen, this might be the last time I see you two. So you take good care of each other and your daughter, okay?"

    "You've got our-"

    RAAAAAAAAAAAUGHHHHH!

    Everyone sat rigid, including the children, who awoke from their slumber. The adults set quickly to calming the children to prevent them from making a noise. Blaine stood, DMR at the ready, as Charlie and Lucy made their way over towards the conglomerate of children.

    The front door of the house rocked as massive fists struck against it. Blaine stood in front of the group, his DMR pointed towards head level. Finally the frail wooden door splintered, as Blaine took a step backwards. A humanoid creature stood in the door, hairless, but almost ape-like, the creature was covered in steel like muscles.

    "You are one ugly son of a gun." Blaine spat.

    The creature snarled at his voice, it's massive clawed hands clutching a red variant of the Covenant Plasma Rifle. Behind him, Blaine heard the children and adults shuffle into the other room. The creature snarled, pointing it's rifle at them. Blaine hefted a lazy boy chair, tossing it at the brutish creature.

    The beast growled as the gun was knocked from it's hands, but the solid creature remained standing. It gnashed it's hideous fangs at him, the longest of the fangs actually piercing the skin of it's upper lip, causing purple blood to trickle down and into it's mouth. Beating it's fists to it's chest, it charged at him. Diving out of the way, Blaine began to fire his rifle at the beast. The bullets struck the muscular beast, but only seemed to irritate it further.

    Running along it's fists like an ape on all fours, it charged him again. Blaine backed away, retreated for the stairs, firing a few more rounds into the beast. Yet again, the rounds seemed to be otherwise ineffective to the monster. Growling himself, Blaine sprinted up the stairs, hearing it's massive footfalls clamber after him. Once in the upstairs bedroom, Blaine turned in time for the monster to tackle him.

    Grunting, Blaine planted his boots into the beast's guts and kicked it off of him. The force of the kick was enough to successfully push the beast off of him. On his feet, Blaine turned around in time for the monster to be withing kicking range. Whipping his left boot around in a wide arch, he smashed the beast in the side of the head.

    The force of the kick sent the beast cascading into the bed, shattering the bed frame. Blaine clenched his fists, angered that he had been so careless. Charging the Spartan again, the monster roared mightily. Blaine returned the cry of anger, wrapping his arms around it's chest. Throwing all of his weight back, he slammed the ape-like creature head first into the flooring.

    Years of lack of upkeep and rotting caused the floor to cave underneath them. Both combatants landed on the ground floor with a grunt, as the dust began to settle. Blaine stood and landed a solid punch on the beast's stomach. It's iron like muscles, however, stopped the punch, seemingly ignoring the weighty punch.

    It struck it's clawed hand against his helmet, sending Blaine recoiling backwards. Recovering, Blaine stomped his right foot down on it's left shin, hearing the bone underneath fracturing, though it did not seem to stop the beast. The kids screamed, observing the fight.

    "The kids are right." Blaine snarled as he used his hands to catch the beast's fists. "We should bring it outside, like man and beast."

    Flipping the monster over his shoulder, the creature broke through the kitchen window, rolling on the lawn. Vaulting over the kitchen counter, Blaine dove out of the window and onto the back lawn. Thankfully for Blaine, he had thrown the shovel after he had finished burying Mrs. Sanders.

    Grabbing it, he swung it across the beast's head, snapping it's head to one side. The beast groaned at the pain, the somewhat sharpened spade leaving a deep gash into it's cheek.

    "Grashnu, URACKNA!"

    "Gesundheit." Blaine spat, swinging the shovel again.

    Upon connecting with the monster's face, it shattered in his hand, the head embedded slightly into the beast's jaw. Diving out of the way from a potential follow up, Blaine groaned as the beast swung it's own foot into the side of his helmet as he was recovering. Rolling across the land, he crashed into the side of the shed.

    The rotten wood easily crumbled, as he tumbled into the shed itself. Groaning, Blaine shakily stood. A lack of sleep and the constant fighting all day was proving to be a bit taxing on himself. However, he wasn't about to let his efforts be put to waste. Glancing around, he saw something metal glimmer from the moonlight outside.

    He reached out for it, before turning the flashlight on his helmets on. He gazed over the almost untouched chainsaw, before running his hand alongside the engine.

    "Oh yeah, you'll do."

    Stepping outside of the shed, Blaine turned to the creature, which was trying to climb back in the window he had sent it tumbling out of. Reaching down to the cord, Blaine gave it a quick pull. The engine sputtered, but died. He remembered Mendez using a chainsaw to cut wood while he and his Spartans chopped their own, as an exercise on how to survive in the woods.

    Pumping the primer, he gave the cord another good pull, as the engine roared to life. The horrorific noise of the chainsaw revving caused the beast to turn it's attention away from the children and towards the Spartan, who held the tool above his head.

    Sprinting at the beast with it, Blaine roared as he brought it down. The beast used it's forearm as an attempt to block his weapon. Blaine thought the beast might have figured the saw was a sword, and used it's forearm to block it. However, Blaine only revved harder, pulling the trigger to initiate the blade.

    The creature roared in pain and anger as the chainsaw began to cut through it's forearm, splattering purple/red blood and bits of bone across Blaine's armor. Blaine roared himself as he continued to push, finally cutting free of the forearm.

    Pushing Blaine away with it's spare hand, the creature began to sprint away. Holding the saw above his head, Blaine revved it up once more. The creature's sprint was short lived as Blaine gave chase. Catching up to the beast relatively easy, Blaine ran the blade along it's back, slicing one of it's ankles in the process.

    The beast grunted, landing face first into the grass. Holding the saw above his head, Blaine revved the engine, before plunging it into the beast's mid-back. The beast roared, thrashing beneath him as he continued to pulse the trigger, scrambling the beasts insides with the blade.

    "You're no king, Kong." Blaine spat, leaving the saw embedded in it's back. "Thanks for the assist, pops."

    Walking back over to the back yard, Blaine saw the children and adults scrambling to exit the building. No doubt the thrashing around he and the creature had done caused the building's stability to falter. Blaine watched with a solemn heart as the building collapsed, the majority of it's foundation gone or ruined from his scrap.

    "Is everyone okay?" Blaine asked, to which the supervisors nodded. "Alright, we're gonna have to keep moving. There's one last place we can rest before we're there. It's a walk, but I'm confident we'll get there."

    The group began the long trudge away, finally off of Harlowe Street. Turning back, Blaine sighed as he stared at the fallen house. He silently said goodbye to Mrs. Sanders, and his parents, before following along behind the group.

    To say it was horrifying was an understatement. The battle for New Alexandria had certainly escalated since nightfall, the sound of Banshees and various other Covenant ships floating overhead. Their spotlights scanned the streets, while they dropped concussive blasts of plasma on anyone they spotted.

    Everywhere they went, the echoed screams of civilians scrambling in the dead of night for safety resounded throughout. Crimson, cobalt, and orange fires crackled, illuminating parts of the City, illuminating the pillars of smoke raising to the skies.

    Blaine continued a slow march beside the children, using the flashlight on his helmet to illuminate the path for them. He was careful not to illuminate the group themselves, using the night vision in his suit to see for himself.

    After at least a half hour of walking through the outskirts of town, they nestled behind an old surfboard rental shop. The children were prioritized, resting inside of the building, while the adults set themselves up outside to keep a lookout.

    Blaine glanced up to the sky, with Lucy and Charlie beside him. The sky was vivid, as was the norm for Reach nights. Purples, blues, and even some greens danced across the sky. Blaine frowned as he could barely make out Anchor Nine, the Orbital Platform and refueling station, going over head.

    He knew it was Anchor Nine because it was one of the few UNSC stations in orbit above Reach that actually acted like a true satellite. He watched as it zoomed across the night sky, yet his heart stopped as a brilliant cobalt sphere lit up the skyline. It was out in the void of space, and he could tell by the coloration that it was a Covenant Super Carrier exploding, as they were the only thing capable of an explosion that large.

    Was the battle over? When he had arrived at Reach, there had been no sign of Covenant ships period. Covenant cloaking devices did work relatively well, but the first thing the UNSC would have done upon hearing of the Covenant's appearance would be to uncloak and destroy any recon ships.

    "Was that a Covenant ship?" Lucy asked, as Blaine turned to face her.

    "I think so, they're the only ones that blow up blue or purple."

    "Good." she sighed.

    The trio continued to watch as fire began to dance across the sky, parts of the destroyed ship cascading to the planet. Blaine looked to the East. The ship was about to land on the far mountain top. From where he was standing, he could also make out some off shooting thing, on fire, cascading towards the fields not too far away from New Alexandria, just over the hill that he had arrived from.

    He wasn't lying to Lucy when he said it was a Covenant ship exploding. However, no ship in the history of the Covenant or Humanity had ever exploded with that coloration. The speed with which it appeared and disappated, there was no doubt, it was a Slip-Space bomb.

    He had heard of the technique being used one other time before, the whole act being inspired by a tragic accident that ripped a UNSC ship in twain, killing everyone inside or transporting them to where only God knows.

    His thought process was cut short, however, as red blobs of plasma struck his chest. His shields whined as they drew way too close to popping. Lucy and Charlie noticed this, ducking behind the wall, as Blaine pulled the DMR off of his back again. He pointed it at the approaching creatures, three of them, all the same as the one he had assaulted with the chainsaw earlier.

    "Someone let you jerks out of the zoo?" Blaine clicked his tongue. "This is hardly fair. Get like, four more of you and I'll be satisfied."

    Blaine roared as he fired a full clip into the chest of one of the beasts, sidestepping past their blobs to divert their fire away from his group of survivors. Pulling the pin off of one of his grenades, he rolled it at their feet.

    One of the beasts scoffed, kicking it towards the shack. Blaine's eyes widened as he dove for the pineapple grenade. Kicking it with all of his might, he flinched as it nearly exploded beside the building. The concussion of the grenade was enough to pop his shields, along with pop some ear drums.

    Turning towards the beasts, Blaine cast his rifle aside. Clenching his fists, he rushed towards the trio. Jumping just before the first one in the group, Blaine flipped over their heads, landing just behind them. Charging his shoulder into one's chest, he shoved the lot of them down to the ground. Though on the ground, the beasts trained their weapons on him, before firing. Diving to his right, Blaine groaned as a stray blob splashed against his ankle.

    "Blaine!" Lucy yelled, pulling the magnum from Charlie's hand.

    Charlie stared with confusion as she slid the magnum along the asphalt towards him. With a curt nod, Blaine scooped up the magnum and turned towards the trio. Despite the burning sensation on his ankle, he wasn't going to give up because of a little pain.

    Firing one round at the head creature's right hand, the heavy caliber magnum round tore through one of it's fingers, causing it to drop it's weapon. He prided himself in using the explosive rounds in his magnum, as it generally did the trick when a normal rifle couldn't.

    "I want it's flesh!" the leader snarled, the other two sprinting towards him.

    Despite his fighting, the two creatures braced his arms, holding his arms painfully apart. Blaine struggled in their grasp, groaning as he felt his arms get pulled even tighter. The leader stomped over, before grasping his helmet. Blaine heard the hiss and pop as the helmet was wrenched off of him.

    "Perhaps I should sear your flesh." the beast gnashed it's fangs. "It will make your meat sweeter. Your screams of torture will make it all the sweeter."

    "Kiss my ass, ape." Blaine spat into it's face.

    "RAAUUGH! SNRKT" the beast roared, ending with a rough snort, before grasping Blaine's throat.

    Once it had it's hand on his throat, Blaine roared in pain as it bit into his neck. Blaine's vision became fuzzy as the mixture of exhaustion and pain molded together to make a rather unpleasant sensation. He struggled, but the more he did, the more his captors restrained him.

    In the distance, he could heard the church bell ringing again. As this happened, he felt his right side captor crumple to the ground in a heap. With his right arm freed, Blaine instinctively reached for his knife, plunging it firmly into the beast on his neck's throat. It roared, releasing it's grip on his neck.

    Blaine was shaky from the blood loss, and was certain this would be his end. Before he went, however, he was going to ensure he saved as many lives as he could. Growling, he kept his left hand pressured on his throat, while he tackled the beast to the ground. Socking it square in the face, Blaine roared as he gripped it's right side fang.

    With a snap to the right, he broke the fang out of it's socket, before plunging it into the beast's left eye. The beast struggled for a moment, until it's fang plunged deep enough to deliver the killing blow.

    Shakily, Blaine attempted to stand, turning towards the last monster remaining. Before he could move, however, he felt weightless, stumbling back and forth. The beast capitalized on his anemia and moved in for the kill. There was a loud bang behind the creature, followed by the click of a shotgun pumping a new shell into place.

    Blaine smiled at the source of assistance, before falling onto his back.

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

    "Is he going to be okay?"

    "Listen, I know you're concerned, but this is UNSC official business." a disembodied female voice spoke gruffly. "Do not concern yourself, the Spartan will be fine. Just give us some space to work."

    ".... get some more biofoam, he's suffered a serious wound to the ankle too."

    "Affirmative."

    "Come on, One-One-Five!" Blaine felt a sharp slap on his cheek. "I know you're in there, come on back to us!"

    Blaine's vision was blurry, and many of the words spoken to him echoed from his mind's instability. He felt like the world was spinning around, him, but at the same time was standing still. To say he was nauseous was an understatement.

    He groaned as he saw a flashlight piercing the darkness. Closing his eyes to avoid the piercing light, he began to become aware of his surroundings. As best as he could, he snapped himself out of his stupor to focus on the one caring for him.

    Looking up, he saw a strange new helmet design. There was no doubt this was a Spartan II like him. He noticed her armor was black, with a bit of blue highlights. Groaning, Blaine sat up. As he did so, he saw his helmet to his right. Grasping it, he began to put it on, as his Spartan companion stopped him.

    "The biofoam hasn't set yet. It'll be a second before you put your helmet on."

    "The others." Blaine said.

    "They're fine. We're just outside of the beach head." the female Spartan said. "For right now, we're sitting tight. No bird is permitted to take off until that Corvette is dealt with."

    Blaine nodded, seeing Lucy and Charlie sitting beside him. Glancing around, Blaine figured they were inside of some sort of beach house, based on the fancy decor of the house. Suddenly, he heard the footsteps of yet another Spartan approaching.

    "Ma'am. The beach is rife with Covenant troops. The UNSC has assembled an anti-air system, but it was easily overtaken by those new Covenant species."

    "Damn Brutes." the Spartan beside him growled. "We're going to need to take that position back, and take out that damn Corvette."

    "Yes ma'am." the new Spartan said, before turning to him. "Sir, it's good to see you again."

    "Who?" Blaine asked, before turning to Lucy and Charlie. "Go check on the kids, I'm fine."

    "But-" Lucy started, as Charlie placed a hand gently on her shoulders.

    "Bigshot's got this." he snarled. "Let's go."

    Blaine sighed. He knew Charlie was likely going to be pissed if he ever found out Blaine wasn't actually Brent. Still, Blaine wanted to hold some semblance of protocol in the public eye. As it stood, he hadn't entirely violated it, the Brute, as the female Spartan had put it, did.

    When the two left, Blaine turned to hear the hissing of the two Spartan's helmet. The first thing he noticed was the standing Spartan's silver hair. His heart skipped a beat as he stood rapidly. Holding her helmet to her side, Lorelei smiled shyly.

    Blaine's eyes widened, before he wrapped his arms tightly around her shoulders.

    "Well." she chuckled. "It's good to see you too, Blaine."

    "Butch." Blaine shook his head. "Butch said-"

    "Butch is a lying asshole." the other Spartan spoke. "He no more killed us than a mouse killed a cat."

    Blaine turned to who he could only assume was Katherine, and brought her in for a hug as well. She didn't resist the gesture, but definitely stood more rigid than Lorelei had.

    "I thought for sure you guys were dead." Blaine shook his head. "I had seen the roster, it listed you guys as-"

    "MIA?" Lorelei smiled, stepping forward. "That's because Butch had in fact knocked us out of commission. Kill us, he did not."

    "That reminds me." Katherine said, pulling away from Blaine. "You mentioned that he talked about us?"

    "Yeah." Blaine nodded. "Butch was leading this Insurrectionist group of ORION soldiers, the project that predated us Spartans. They were originally known as White Solaris, though he called them the Silver Crescents under his reign."

    "I was sent to shut him down, when he revealed who he was." Blaine shook. "Bastard told me he killed and ate you two."

    "Ate us?" Lorelei cringed. "I knew he was insane, but I didn't know he was that far gone."

    "It's because of that night in the forest." Blaine shook his head. "He didn't die, obviously. Ate the two soldiers we all killed in the woods."

    "Sick bastard." Katherine said. "What did you do with him?"

    "I-" Blaine paused. "I killed him."

    The two Spartans stared wide eyed at Blaine, who bowed his head.

    "He and I got into a heated fight, there was a ruined door... and he got impaled." Blaine sighed. "He was still spewing anti UNSC none sense."

    "Anyways." Blaine said. "I can take back that anti-air station. Can I ask you two for one more favor?"

    "Favor nothing." Katherine smirked. "We're team-mates, forever. You can ask us anything."

    "I need you to escort this group to the extraction site and help keep it locked down until I can get that AA gun up and running."

    "Consider it done." Katherine nodded. "Rest a bit more, let the biofoam do it's thing first. The Covenant isn't going anywhere, and neither are we."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Origins: Reclamation

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on August 4th 2016, 2:28 am

    "How's the death ray coming Lazer Eyes?" one Marine mocked.

    "As soon as I get it, you'll be the first to know, Harrison." Craig spat, brushing past him. "Where the hell is the Lieutenant?"

    "Whatsa matter Spook? Your time with ONI take away any semblance of patience you got?"

    "Time taught me patience, holing myself up on a beach front with the Covenant baring down on us isn't my idea of a vacation." Craig shook his head. "Besides, I'm technically your superior."

    "Aw, ain't dat cute." one Marine scoffed in return. "Da Spook thinks he can pull rank. Welcome to the front lines, fuck face. You ain't ONI no more; yous on our turf."

    "Jesus Christ." Josh stepped forward, pushing the Marine away. "Someone punch you in the mouth as a baby? Your voice grates me."

    "Enough." a man walked in, a cigar stub in his mouth. "We got enough to worry about without you running your damn mouths."

    "Sorry, Sergeant Major." the Marine scratched the back of his head.

    "Not yet you're not Marine." the man's piercing hazel eyes scanned his men. "You will be when this whole thing blows over, though."

    Before he and the twins had been relocated to the front lines, he had taken the liberty in reading into which platoon they were getting into. Headed by the newly coined Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, the platoon had served several battle along the boundaries of the Outer Colonies.

    The twins and Craig had linked up with the platoon as they had transferred to Reach. It was just about then that the Covenant decided to rear it's ugly head, on their turf.

    "Listen, I've seen more cooperation between those ugly Grunt bastards than you all." Johnson scoffed. "Back in my day, the Marines were a proud, elite group of soldiers. When one of us fell, we mourned for them like they were our family, then, we'd kill a hundred sons of bitches in their stead."

    "You're the sorriest excuse for Marines I ever did see." Johnson huffed. "Before the day is through, however, you will prove to me that you are worthy to be a part of my beloved Corps."

    "Oooha!" the Marine cheered.

    "Warrant Officer Harlowe, a word?"

    Craig followed the Sergeant Major out of the facility. The morning sun crested over the horizon of the far ocean. A lone Covenant Corvette hovered just above the City, harassing any UNSC ships daring to come within it's firing range.

    "Sir?" Craig asked, as the Sergeant turned to him.

    Without saying a word, the Sergeant Major plucked his cigar out of his mouth, tapped it on the back of his armored wrist to let the ash fall off, before sticking it back in his mouth.

    "Son. I know it's hard adjusting to your new lifestyle. I used to be in a Militia on Harvest, before my induction into the UNSC." Johnson said. "Fact of the matter is, you're a full blooded Marine now. You aren't being coddled by the Spooks anymore."

    "I'm firmly aware of that sir."

    "That being said, you're combat record is very impressive." Johnson nodded. "I'd hate for such potential to go to waste. Now, I'm being transferred to some new assignment, being removed from my men. They don't have what it takes to lead, but you? You have what it takes to lead."

    "That's precisely what I want you to do." Johnson grunted, before waving a Falcon down. "I've already informed the others, but I wanted to talk with you privately."

    "Sir?"

    "I'm ORION." Johnson scratched the back of his head. "Served alongside you and your brother. Didn't go White Solaris like the rest of those rebellious bastards."

    "If you're anything like your brother, I believe you'll do my men justice." Johnson smirked, before tapping him on the shoulder. "Protect this beach head, don't let the Covenant get to that AA gun."

    "Done." Craig nodded.

    He had been in a considerable funk since Morgan had died some years back. However, Johnson had an heir of charisma to him that, even if just temporarily, gave Craig a huge boost in morale. As the Falcon lifted into the air, he began to realize that the Marines were right. His time at ONI had softened him up, even if the missions were a lot harder, he had more to work with.

    Morgan, Amber, the Twins, and himself had all been Marines on the front lines, then ODSTs beyond that. They had their roots in the Corps, just like every other member of their UNSC brethren. Even his father was a high ranking, highly decorated soldier during the Rainforest wars, yet refused to take anything beyond that.

    With a stiff nod, Craig noticed a Covenant Spirit hovering over the water. It was showtime.

    "Alright Marines." Craig walked back into the other room. "I know we had a rough start, but there's one thing we've got in common. We kick major alien ass. So, let's go out there and stomp some fugly heads in!"

    The Marines, hesitant at first, nodded curtly as they followed behind him. The beach-front cafeteria they had used as a rest stop for the night was in a very strategic place, built into the cliffside, it was impossible for them to have been flanked.

    However, the AA gun the UNSC was installing on the far side of the beach needed open space and a line of sight to keep the Corvette in range. The installation had regrettably come to a halt when the Covenant first assaulted it.

    For a time, it was a battle of attrition for the location, with the UNSC and the Covenant hosting a game of tug of war for the location. Rather than destroy the AA gun, however, it seemed the Covenant were attempting to study it. Of course, Craig figured this was so they knew how to properly counter them.

    The latest UNSC insurgence had reclaimed the site before they could sabotage it further. However, defenses were wearing thing. That was where this group of Marines and ODSTs came in. They were the flankers, to keep the Covenant's attention while the egg-heads got that gun online and running.

    As they rustled through the sand, they took up position underneath the board-walk for cover. Craig crouched low as Malone, the Marine who Josh had insulted, walked up to him.

    "The hell is that thing?" Malone asked, pointing towards the creature floating in the middle of the group.

    "Hell if I know." Craig shook his head. "It's Covenant for certain though, and that means it's going to die."

    "Hell yeah." Malone smirked. "Give the order, I'll pass it on."

    Craig observed the rag tag group of aliens. The usual Grunts were up front, followed by the shielded Jackals who acted as support. Behind them were an unidentified species that were ape-like in stature. Bulky, brutish beasts, some of them had hair as thick as a shag carpet, while the others were hairless and covered in strange marks.

    Finally, in the dead center of the group was the giant bulbous floating sack. To Craig, the creature appeared to be a squid of some sort, with it's blue appendages wiggling about the air freely. His curiosity in regards to the creature caused him to focus. One of the Grunts stumbled, before clutching it's throat and seizing.

    One of the ape-like creatures snarled at the small alien, grasping it by the conical shaped back obtrusion. Hefting the smaller creature to it's face, it roared. Craig was about to give the order, when the bulbous blue squid creature approached the ape and the Grunt. Two of it's appendages wriggled around the machine on the Grunt's back, followed by a subtle hiss and pop.

    "They are the engineers." Craig muttered to himself. "They're planning on sabotaging the cannon!"

    Turning to the Marines, he waved his hand forward, ushering them to open fire while the Covenant were distracted. The group of twenty or so Marines opened fire on the crowd of Covenant. The Grunts shrieked and barked as the armor piercing rounds shredded them like swiss cheese.

    The Jackals growled and barked, before holding their energy shields in front of them. An ominous glow surrounded the hand sized hole on the opposite side of their shields. Craig watched as one of the plasma bolts from the Jackals raced through the air. To his left, he could hear Harrison screaming in pain.

    Turning his attention to Harrison's position, he noticed the Marine grasping at his face, before stumbling backwards, motionless.

    "You heard what the Sergeant Major said, boys!" Craig barked. "A hundred of the bastards for every man down!"

    "Oorah!"

    The Marine held their backs to the boardwalk beams like glue while the Plasma flew. Craig watched with annoyance as a trio of the four ape-like creatures escorted the bulbous blue squid in the direction of the AA.

    "Marines, we need to advance!"

    Craig watched, however, as the last remaining ape-like creature reached for the staff on it's back. Pulling it off of it's back, the staff was revealed to be so much more than a simple stick, it appeared to be a giant hammer.

    Hunching down, the beast roared before jumping at them. The muscles in it's legs seemed to be more than enough for it to clear the gap, before it swung the hammer at Craig. Dodging backwards, Craig recovered, before standing and pulsing his rifle into it's midsection. The thickened hide of the creature, not to mention the golden armor it possessed, seemed to make his bullets ineffective.

    When his clip ran empty, he tossed the rifle away, jumping backwards to avoid yet another swing of the hammer. To his surprise and fear, the back of the hammer's head had a long, yet thin blade attached to it.

    "Damn Brute." Josh said, pulling his magnum off of his hip.

    Backing away, he sent slug after slug into the creature's face. It annoyed the beast, but the thick golden armor seemed to hold. With the Marines behind it, firing constantly into it's back, it shifted targets off of Craig and towards them.

    The twins had thankfully branched off with some of the Marines to hunt down the remnants and prevent them from getting to their target. Craig watched in horror as the beast sprinted on all fours towards the six or so Marines, Malone included.

    Swinging it's hammer down, Craig watched as his Marine allies were tossed in all separate directions, crashing into the concrete and metal pillars of the boardwalk. A pair of them groaned, their legs breaking from the force of the impact, while the remaining three crumpled into a heap, having snapped their necks upon impact.

    Running towards the beast with his Magnum ablaze, Craig roared, but was unable to save Malone and the other Marine from the follow up strike. Blood from his allies soaked him, as the Brute's hammer struck Malone square in the head, popping his head like a mature watermelon.

    "You." Craig growled, as the beast turned to him with a malicious grin. "YOU FUCKER!"

    It snorted in disgust at him, before taking a slow yet steady step towards him, it's hammer braced and at the ready. With his Magnum completely depleted, Craig cast the weapon aside, before cracking his knuckles.

    "Come on then." Craig wiped his face clean. "I've fought Humanity's best. I know I can take you on."

    Flipping the blade of it's hammer towards him, the ape made the first move. Charging at him, it swung time and time again at Craig. Craig, who was much smaller compared to the ape, had no trouble jumping away from the bladed swings. His plan was to retreat to the cafeteria and use the ordinance crate inside to blow the ape to hell.

    The ape seemed to notice this, before jumping over his head and behind Craig. Craig grit his teeth, before diving forward. Using the brief recovery that ape needed from over extending itself, he turned to face the monster.

    "That the best you got?"

    He wasn't at Blaine's level of heightened senses, but he definitely had a better reaction time than other Marines. He knew his only option was the fight the beast in close quarters, a blade would do what bullets couldn't. Charging the ape, Craig dove beneath it's wide spread legs.

    Rolling to his feet, he slashed the back of it's ankles with his blade, purple and red blood gushering out. Much like humans, the monster's Achilles tendon had been sliced, rendering it unable to walk. Hopping onto it's broad, massive back, he stabbed his knife into it's neck.

    In doing so, he remembered the day he had lost his eye. He had foolishly let his guard down, and paid the ultimate price for it. The mechanical right eye he had been gifted clicked as it sensed the ape's left hand reach over it's shoulder.

    Pushing himself off, Craig sprinted around the side of the beast, before planting his boot under it's chin. The force of the blow knocked the muscle covered creature's head up a slight bit, it's fangs piercing it's upper lip. Grasping the hammer it had dropped, Craig span on his ankles and lowered the hammer, bladed side down, on it's neck. The blade stuck inside of it's hide.

    He knew it wasn't going to be enough to kill the monster, but it definitely had paralyzed it. With a grunt, the ape fell forward into the sand. Craig walked over, a grin on his face, before pulling the pin off of one of his grenades. With every bit of his strength, he lifted it's head, placing the grenade underneath.

    Then, like a mad man, Craig sprinted in the direction of the boardwalk. Behind him, he could hear the explosion ring outwards, followed by the sickening sound of blood and gore raining down.

    Before he could get very far, however, another one of the creatures, cloaked by some sort of camouflage, appeared before him. Groaning, Craig was in trouble, as this monster had a rifle of it's own in it's hands.

    "Well, Orion taught me never to give up." Craig growled. "Come on the-"

    Craig watched as a blur landed on top of the ape creature. It struggled to get up, as the familiar blue and red armored gloves reached down to the beast's head and snapped it's neck. Craig watched as his help stood up.

    "Long time no see." the Spartan said. "Er, sorry."

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

    Blaine felt bad for having said that, for he was the reason why Craig had lost that eye. Had he arrived on the station sooner, he could have beaten Butch without anyone getting hurt. Instead, Craig smirked from ear to ear, shaking his head.

    "You're just like your dad." Craig chuckled. "Fucking dickhead."

    Blaine, unfazed, began to turn towards the carnage of Marines under the boardwalk.

    "It's good to see you though." Craig said behind him.

    "Josh and Phil?" Blaine asked.

    "At the AA gun. Listen, the Covenant got these weird squid things. They're really good at technology, like, they fixed one of those Grunt's methane tanks in a flash."

    "I see, probably trying to sabotage the AA gun." Blaine said. "What about the rest of your men?"

    "With the twins." Craig sighed. "The five were with me dealing with just one of the Brute bastards."

    Blaine nodded, before reaching into one of his pouches. Staring at the image of Cobalt Squad, he ran his thumb along the photo, before turning to Craig.

    "I stopped by my folks house last night." Blaine said. "Found this in the shed, along with a whole bunch of commendations."

    Holding it out to Craig, the ODST gave it a quick once over, before his eye welled with tears. His one biological eye scanned over the photograph, remembering each and every member captured within it.

    "You know, ancient natives used to say that these things stole peoples' souls." Craig smirked. "I like to think that it does, but for a much more positive reason."

    "Yeah, I think so too." Blaine said. "Get behind me, we're getting that gun online."


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!


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      Current date/time is November 19th 2017, 1:25 am