1462: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Six

Title: Love of a Spartan
Author:  AshleyBudrick
Media: Video Game
Topic: HALO
Genre:  Sci-Fi/Romance
URL: No Longer Available Online
Critiqued by Admiral Sakai, Gul, and the Arbiter

Hello hello, everyone, and welcome back to Love of a Spartan, the thrilling tale of a group of UNSC Marines going nowhere and not really doing much of anything. Last time… actually a whole lot of stuff happened, it was just that none of it made terribly much sense.

Covenant Shipmaster Loonie decided to board the UNSC Hercules instead of just blowing it up like a sensible person would, resulting in a not-terrible firefight in the corridors and more bashing of poor Lieutenant Troy Fisher. Renee Kilburn got cornered and strangled into unconsciousness by this one freakish, giant Elite, and the Master Chief somehow brought her back to life by performing mouth-to-mouth. That last bit, sadly, was not the most sexually-charged thing to happen in the chapter.

Oh, and also the unknown-classed cruiser that seems to have made up the entirety of the Assault Carrier Domination‘s fleet got dun blowed up for no real reason, leaving the Freakish Giant Elite hiding on the Hercules. This, apparently, is All Part Of The Plan.

Terrible Troy Counter: 18 and hating every minute of it.

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 14

Halight Counter: 6

Fortunately, Chapter 7 (“Aftermath”) is a bit shorter, but unfortunately it’s also absolutely filled with nothing.”

Chapter Six

[March 9, 2535 – Halcyon Class Hercules – Space]

Thomsen, Dr. Halsey and Keira watched as the battle cruiser exploded. They all held their breath afterwards, instantly looking from the floating debris to the Assault Carrier, which was almost still against the black backdrop of glittering stars.

“Target destroyed,” Keira said quietly, “Now it’s their move.”

Not really. You know you can keep maneuvering while the enemy acts, this isn’t a turn-based game.”

We should really come up with a term for when authors write a story about a video game and assume the limitations of a game engine still apply.

Dr. Halsey and Thomsen exchanged glances and they both glowered down at the A.I. Keira folded her arms, narrowing her eyes, dismissing their glares by turning her back.

“I’m not being pessimistic, if that’s what you’re thinking,” she snorted, “It’s just that it’s a great possibility that their next move could be…” she trailed off, as boarding craft were seen flying up to the underbelly of the Carrier – the survivors from the explosion, “Unexpected,” she finished, putting her hand up to her chin, watching the unfolding scene with curiosity.

Unexpected is putting it mildly…

“What’s unexpected?” Dr. Halsey asked, leaning in to the A.I, “I wish I could see what you can, hear what you can. It’d be fascinating… sometimes, although I think the information would be overwhelming.”

“Too overwhelming for you, Doctor,” Keira retorted, “Besides, you have a body. Be thankful for that. Hmm… why… how confusing… surprising…”

So… are we going to talk about the fact that the ship AI is now demonstrating many, many telltale signs of rampancy, or no?

She began mumbling to herself too quickly for anyone to understand as a new wave of information from the Covenant battle net entered her “mind”.

“Are they planning an attack?” Thomsen asked, seeming impatient, but the little A.I didn’t even look at him, and continued in her self-conversation for a minute or two, until she whipped around on her holographic panel to face the Captain and Dr. Halsey.

Yep, definitely rampant.

After reading that last chapter, I can sympathize.”

“Perhaps your plan wasn’t dangerous… it… worked! Or at least I think it did,” Keira announced, looking relatively happy, “Surprisingly, you’re not going to believe this, I didn’t really at first, but they’re retreating! They’re planning to enter Slipspace in approximately fifteen seconds and counting, not counting the milliseconds of course. If I could touch you, I’d give you a pat on the back, Blake.”

You know, usually when the Covenant leaves it’s because they have found a less direct way to make the enemy blow up– this is not the time for pats on the hump, this is the time to order your fireteams to search for bombs.”

Thomsen raised an eyebrow and smirked, upon the A.I calling him by his first name.

“Ladies?”

“Ladies?”

 

“Did I hear you correctly?” he asked, “They’re entering Slipspa…”

Suddenly they were all distracted as suddenly the Assault Carrier zoomed out of view,

And from behind, in the backwards direction!

*ALARM SUDDENLY BLARES*

Unworthy of my blades!” *Draws dual plasma rifles*

Oh my god it smells like fried chicken out there.

and they all whipped around to try and catch a peek at it.

“Don’t get whiplash now,” Keira said calmly, “The Domination is looping around, and has calculated to be entering the Slipspace void in… 10… 9… 8…”

“We don’t need a countdown, Keira,” Thomsen interrupted.

“Sorry,” The AI folded her arms on her chest.

Thrill as a ship’s senior officers bother each other!

The Domination came back into view, moving at a slower speed, and suddenly a white void opened at the bow, and the large bulbous bow of the ship entered the Slipspace void, and the rest of the ship was sucked in like a vacuum.

… and legolas ran down the hall.”

The void closed, and the ship was gone, leaving a shockwave that went through space and shook the Hercules.

“There you go,” Keira announced, “Entered Slipspace and long gone. Now, you two have any ideas as to why? Last time I checked, ‘cowardice’ doesn’t go in the same sentence with Covenant.”

Nothing to impugn the fic (for once) since it is a thing that people say, but that expression always bothered me. By saying it, you are in fact creating a sentence where the two words are together, completely undercutting the point.

“They were testing us,” Dr. Halsey declared, her brow furrowed. She turned and dropped into a nearby chair, “That was a test. If they had wanted to destroy us, they easily could have, that’s how they’re winning this war after all.

Yes, generally one does win wars by destroying the enemy…

Actually, considering the behavior of the Covenant and the UNSC thus far, I may actually need to explain that.

They sent in their boarding craft, only to leave minutes later… then they allowed us to destroy that cruiser, without even firing a returning shot in our direction. This is odd, but it strangely makes sense,

“No. It does not.”

if they were looking for what I think they were looking for,” Dr. Halsey got a distant look in her eyes, and was silent for a moment, staring at nothing. She then snapped her fingers, and looked up to Thomsen, “Call John here please.”

“John?” Thomsen repeated, cocking an eyebrow.

“Master Chief,” Dr. Halsey replied softly.

“Oh, of course,” Thomsen nodded, “Yes, ma’am.”

John was there in minutes, a record time.

That’s really kind of sad.”

He had run from the other end of the ship, and when he walked into the quiet atmosphere of the bridge, he realized the Covenant had left.

“Then the Demon must be fantastically unobservant.”

As he came up to Thomsen, Dr. Halsey, who was still seated in her chair, and Keira, he saluted.

“You wanted to see me, sir?” John looked to Thomsen.

“The Doctor did, Chief,” Thomsen gave a nod towards Dr. Halsey, and John turned to face her, giving her a fresh salute.

“Ma’am?” John asked, straightening to attention. Dr. Halsey looked unusually calm, the creases in her forehead that had been etched there from years of worrying didn’t look so visible at the moment.

“At ease, John,” she said quietly, “And you can take off your helmet. Our threat is gone. I prefer to see your face anyway.”

Creeeeepy.

John relaxed, and let his shoulders round slightly. He reached up, unsurely at first, but removed his helmet, and tucked it beneath his arm. He let out a deep breath, and saw Dr. Halsey smile.

“You look tired,” Dr. Halsey declared, “You have darkness under your eyes. Tell me, have you slept?”

No, he just went Goth.

John raised his eyebrow ever so slightly. With years of practice, he could control his facial expressions like a puppeteer could their puppet. Every movement was carefully done in order to look professional.

Which is an odd thing for him to have learned considering that he is supposedly unused to social interaction.”

He was raising his eyebrow out of confusion. Dr. Halsey had called him here to talk about sleep? He doubted it.

Knowing this ‘fic, I wouldn’t be surprised.

“Yes ma’am,” he answered.

“Very well?”

“Ye… not really, ma’am,” John stopped himself from telling a lie. He mind-as-well tell her the truth,

He what now?

and even if he lied, she would have seen through it anyway.

“It’s the bed, isn’t it?” Dr. Halsey asked rhetorically, “My apologies, John. I’ll see to it you get placed in one of the finer rooms with the bigger beds, and I don’t want any objections.

Why does an active warship have “finer rooms”?”

Why does the Chief need to be treated like he’s on a luxury cruise?

Now, onto the real reason I called you here. The Covenant,” she folded her hands on her lap, “As you can see, they’re gone. They called their boarding craft back, we were able to destroy their battle cruiser, and they just went back into Slipspace… without even firing a single shot.”

“Really?” John asked. It was a common reply he didn’t normally use.

A common reply… that he didn’t normally use. Sure.

*With a deafening whump of displaced air, a large, olive-drab cylinder appears, featureless save for the inscription {Φ, ¬ Φ} ├ ψ*

“What in the name of the Forerunners is-”

Logic bomb. Don’t think about it too hard, or it might go off.

“We’ve got about fifty more stashed in the back room from Crappypasta Hour- try not to think about those, either.”

“What happens if it goes off?”

Bad things. Now be quiet.

He instantly felt stupid for saying such a thing. He instantly knew why it had slipped out, spending time with Amy and Renee and listening to their conversations.

Oh, Spirits, he’s becoming dumb through osmosis!”

He watched as Dr. Halsey narrowed her eyes slightly, a little half-smile appearing on her face, but she didn’t say anything about it.

That looks… dangerously close to a smirk.

Instead, she continued as if he hadn’t said anything.

“I called you here, not just because we want to know how about what happened onboard, but… I think you are the reason why the Covenant followed us,” Dr. Halsey announced, looking kind of proud.

“Me, ma’am?”

“Yes,” Dr. Halsey replied, “I mean, they could have easily destroyed this entire ship with a few plasma torpedoes, instead of bothering sending in the boarding craft. The only reason that comes to mind as why they came and left so quickly, was that they were looking for something, that something, or should I say, someone, is you. It makes sense, after all.

It really doesn’t.”

You’re one of the Spartans, and very few Covenant have seen you or your fellow soldiers and lived to tell about it. Someone at Capricornia must have, because I believe they heard news of you being on the planet, and when we left, they followed us to find out.”

“Which is all the more reason to destroy his vessel when they had the chance!”

“Why not just…” John started, but he stopped himself midsentence, “My apologies ma’am.”

“You don’t need to apologize, John,” Dr. Halsey looked slightly confused, “Continue what you were going to say. I’d love to hear your input.”

“What would they want with me?”

“Yes, good question,” Keira interjected, “The Covenant view our technology as being very primitive. It’s interesting as to why they would even be … wait… the suit… I bet they were seeing about your armor, John. Perhaps they’re worried that we’re going to give all Humans the suits.”

“Impossible, I’m afraid,” Dr. Halsey answered her, “Although it would be good, not everyone would be of age or have the correct physical features the Spartan program demands. That’s why there’s so few of them,”

That, and she made them out of young children, but the UNSC doesn’t like to talk about that.”

and she turned to John, “Anyway, whatever the Covenant wanted, I suppose they will be back.”

“Yes,” Thomsen agreed.

“So keep alert, but don’t forget to relax,” Dr. Halsey noted to John.

So, that logic bomb…”

I thought I told you not to think about that!”

But now it is ticking.”

“Ma’am,” John saluted, “Will that be all?”

“Yes,” Dr. Halsey nodded, “Get out of your armor, and help round up the wounded.

Oh, right, because you have yet to sweep the ship for any remaining Covenant or do any sort of damage control. Which is a problem, because I doubt the Covenant were polite enough to re-seal the hatches their boarding craft blew open before they left.”

We’ll be re-entering Slipspace soon, and I’ll see to it that you’re assigned to your new room by tonight at the latest.”

“Yes, ma’am,” John replied, “Thank you, ma’am.”

Can they even actually jump with hull breaches and empty boarding craft still attached? Slipspace seems to be pretty easy to get in and out of compared to other faster-than-light solutions, but that still just sounds really unsafe.


“I don’t need to go see anybody!” Amy was protesting, with her hand firmly clapped over the gash on her forehead. The blood had dried and there was a crusty streak of it down the side of her face, but her protesting did little to persuade Renee, who was dragging her down the hallway towards the medical center.”Yes you do,” her friend replied, looking back over her shoulder at her disapprovingly, “You probably need stitches.”

“No I don’t!

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 15

I’m fine, it’s just a little scrape! I don’t need any stitches; it’s stopped bleeding already!”

“Stop whining and just accept the truth,” Renee scoffed.

“That stupid, split-chinned, squid-headed bastard!” Amy was on a roll, If he hadn’t come around the corner and totally wacked me one, I’d be fine!”

Yes, that’s generally how hand-to-hand works.”

A thoughtful pause, “At least I wasn’t nearly strangled to death.”

“I’m probably going to have a bruise on my neck,” Renee replied,

Oh, the horror!

trusting her friend enough to stop pulling her down the hallway.

“You can say it’s a hickey,” Amy laughed, nudging her friend in the arm, but Renee narrowed her eyes and glared.

Hmm, I don’t think the other Marines would buy it.”

What with the mandibles and all.

Amy tended to have a really obnoxious laugh when she found something particularly funny.

And really obnoxious dialogue at all other times.

“Not funny at all,” Renee said flatly, brushing a piece of her hair out of her eyes.

“Troy’d be jealous. You should totally say it was John!” Amy bit back laughter and it came out as a snort, “He practically kissed you today so it’d fit in nicely.”

“Jesus, what on earth are you talking about?” Renee demanded, her face contorting into one of confusion.

“He gave you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, have you know,” Amy said matter-of-factly, “If it hadn’t been scary at the time, I think I might’ve said something, buut considering you were unconscious and practically dead, I didn’t really think about it then. Now, however, I can gush all about it!”

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 16

Renee felt her cheeks grow warm, but she kept her face stern.

“You’re strange,” she declared, “John saved my life, and I thanked him for that. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is a form of revival.

No, it really isn’t.”

It wasn’t a kiss! Anyone would’ve done the same! It just so happened to be him.”

“Ooh,” Amy narrowed her eyes with a smile, “Hit a nerve there,” and she looked ahead of her, and then her smile grew, “Speak of the devil. Look who it is.”

John was walking out of an adjacent hallway ahead of them, back to wearing a casual uniform. He turned their way, and Amy waved, and quickly ran up to meet him. Renee sighed and hurried to catch up with her friend – although not too fast, feeling her ribs beginning to smart. She’d need to take another pill soon.

Actually, she should just take all of them, and put herself out of our misery.

“Hey!” Amy was saying to John, quite casually, “What’s up?”

“The ceiling.”

Amy guffawed at this.

Only the best playground comedy will suffice!

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 17

“I meant, what are you doing?”

“I was just going to…” John began, but Amy cut him off.

“RenRen tells me I should go to the medical center,” she blabbed, pointing to the gash on her forehead, “Whaddya think? Should I?”

“Yes. My guess is that you’d need stitches. You’re feeling alright, are you? No dizziness or feeling faint?”

“No.”

“You should have it seen to just in case. I’ll walk you there. Let’s go.”

You know, I’ve noticed that there seems to be an alarming lack of actual combat medics onboard the Hercules– the Marines come in for treatment only when they decide they need it and not after the squad medic checks everybody over at the end of a firefight, and when they do decide they need medical attention even very minor first aid cannot be done in the field.”

They all turned and started walking towards the direction of the medical center, John in-between the two girls. Craning her neck to glance up to him, Renee felt suddenly really small in comparison.

At that moment, John looked down at her.

“How are you feeling, RenRen?” John said, quirking his mouth into a wry smile.

Renee’s eyes widened in surprise upon John calling her by her nickname. Troy and Amy were the only ones who used it – and Troy had abandoned the nickname a long time ago,

And for good reason- as far as nicknames go, that is approximately the worst.

leaving Amy to be its primary user. Amy watched her friend’s face contort and she laughed. John smiled fully at this, and Renee noticed he had a small gap between his two front teeth – but other than that, a very nice smile.

“Sorry,” John apologized, wiping the smile off his face and it went back to the usual calm expression, “I should have asked before calling you…”

“No it’s fine,” Renee interjected quickly, “That’s what Amy calls me, and what Troy – I mean, Lieutenant Fisher, calls me… well he used to…”

“Do you have a nickname?” John asked Amy.

“Not really,” she answered, “Well Troy used to call me Smythy,

Which is somehow even worse that RenRen.

but that was a while ago.

Just call me Amy, it’ll do more than fine.” She leaned ahead to peek across John’s chest to Renee, who was walking with her head down.

“RenRen’s all embarrassed!” giggled Amy, nudging John with her arm, before diving into a more lengthy explanation of their childhood nicknames and adventures.

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 18

Renee quickened her pace and walked ahead of Amy and John. She didn’t like hearing about the past – especially the way things were now.

Because as everyone knows, the way things are now is, indeed, a subset of the past.”

I guess temporal mechanics can now join tactics, basic psychology, and medicine as subjects Love of a Spartan simply does not understand.

It was no use talking about Troy and remembering how humorous he was, when now he was possibly one of the most impossible people she’d ever met.

Terrible Troy Counter: 19

Feeling suddenly warm in her battle-gear, She reached up and tore off her helmet and slung it under her arm. Pausing thoughtfully, she pivoted to face John and Amy once more. They looked at her curiously.

“You know, I don’t even know why I’m walking to the medical center,” she shrugged, “I’m not injured – just sore and exhausted and in desperate need of time to myself. I need to get out of my battle gear, take a shower, and then go ponder the fact that I was almost killed today.”

“Jesus, what’s got you so irritable all of a sudden?” Amy inquired as her friend walked past her and John back the way they’d initially come.

“This day, Amy; this whole lovely fuck-up of a day.”

“Private Kilburn!” John suddenly snapped authoritatively, stopping Renee in her tracks. She glanced over her shoulder at John, well aware of his higher rank – her features softened slightly.

“Sir?”

“I want you to get a hold of yourself. Accompany your friend to the medical bay; a walk will do you good before you resort to brooding. That’s an order.”

Because how dare she process the tension of the day’s events in a normal fashion!”

Halight Counter: 7!

Renee stared at him for a moment, her expression challenging; however, she shrugged and walked up beside him, drumming her fingers on her helmet slung under her arm:

“You win, Master Chief.”

“I always do,” John replied,

“Always have.”

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

And improperly formatted, let’s not forget that.”

Blah blah blah, they drop Amy off at the medical center and we are mercifully freed of her chatter, then Renee goes for a walk with the Chief for no real adequately-explained reason and they spend an alarming amount of words talking about nothing at all.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Ask.”

“Did you give me CPR?”

“Mouth to mouth resuscitation,” John interjected, “I figured it would be the most accurate, because of your injured rib.”

Considering the state of medicine in this ‘fic, I doubt ‘accurate’ is even a possibility.”

So, Amy had been telling the truth, after all. It wasn’t a big deal; it was just a life saving tactic, Renee told herself, trying to ignore the embarrassment ebbing through her. She shouldn’t feel embarrassed.

“Why?” he asked after a beat, raising his eyebrow slightly, altering the common expression ever so little.

“Because the plot demanded it?”

“Amy was just saying,” Renee shrugged, “I was just making sure she wasn’t telling any stories. Amy does tell a lot of stories, you know. Don’t always believe them, because mostly their false accusations or facts she makes up about other people.”

“Much like this tale’s treatment of Lieutenant Fisher.”

“I see,” John looked slightly amused, “You’re a good friend, saying those things behind her back. Shame on you, Private.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean it in a hostile way!”

A smirk came to John’s lips.

“I know.”

“Why did you call me RenRen back there?” she suddenly asked, “Amy put you up to it, didn’t she?”

“No. It was my own doing.”

“Either you’re learning from Amy, or you’re really not what you seem.”

“What do you mean?” John raised a brow, stopping and looking at her curiously. Renee took a couple of steps before realizing he stopped, and stopped herself.

“You’re acting different,” Renee declared, “I mean, you’re a Spartan. In battle, everyone looks up to you and you’re so serious, so composed. And here you are off duty, joking around and hanging out with a couple of Privates. Isn’t that a little unprofessional?”

Yes.”

Yes.

YES!”

“Some may view it as such,” John replied, “However, I act like this because I feel like I can. You and Amy aren’t like the others; you don’t avoid me or act like I’m some barbarian who’d rip your head off as soon as you look at me the wrong way.”

John and the Dragon Rider notwithstanding.

“No one thinks that!”

“You’d be surprised.”

See John and the Dragon Rider, supra.”

“You’re not that different, you know. You’re still human.”

“Thanks,” John’s expression softened upon her words, his mouth forming into a tight-lipped smile.

Renee caught movement out of the corner of her eye, and when she glanced ahead down the hallway, and her stomach did a little flip as she saw Lieutenant Fisher walking towards them.

Both she and John watched him approach, growing silent.

“Master Chief,” Troy addressed him. John, held in place by rank, saluted him as he came to a stop in front of him. Troy was easily six feet tall, but John still towered over him, Renee noted.

Is that even a thing with Edward?

I don’t know, he is substantially taller than most of the other people in the promotional materials… but then again, height is just in general considered an attractive feature in humans whether or not they sparkle.”

Halight Counter: Still 7

“Lieutenant,” John addressed Troy accordingly.

“I was told by Dr. Halsey to show you to your new room,” Troy didn’t look particularly thrilled, nor was he looking angry. It was the mood that was delicately balanced on the border of being happy and being miserable, a common one since Troy had became Lieutenant.

Terrible Troy Counter: Gosh, I wonder why

“Yes sir,” John replied, looking slightly surprised.

“You know your way around, I’m assuming,” Troy raised an eyebrow as he turned to lead John down the hallway.

“Yes, sir,” John answered, and he began to follow Troy. He glanced back over his shoulder at Renee, who hadn’t made a move to follow them – she hadn’t been addressed and must’ve seen it fit to not bother following. Troy noticed this.

“You can come if you want, Kilburn,” Troy said flatly, looking at her with an odd expression, “I’m surprised you’re not with Smythe.”

“She’s in the infirmary receiving stitches,” Renee replied, jogging to catch up with them, her dog-tags jingling, “They aren’t allowing anybody without an injury to stick around, so John and I…”

“John?” Troy echoed, stopping and turning around to her, looking aggravated, “Jeus Christ, Marine, do you remember any of your training, or did being asphyxiated earlier screw with your memory? Let me give you a quick refresher course. You’re a Private – you salute anything that moves because chances are it’s of higher standing! For Christ’s sake, you don’t go calling a higher-ranking officer by their first name! You say ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ or address them by their rank and surname! Wake up! He’s Master Chief to you; sir to you, and that’s it!”

Hell yeah! Tell it like it is!

HEAR! HEAR!”

“But he said I…” Renee started, but Troy cut her off

“Where’s your mind! Don’t talk back to me, Private – unless you want to be assigned floor-scrubbing duty! There’s quite a bit of blood and brains left to be cleaned up from today’s battle.”

“Sorry, sir,” her arm automatically snapped to a salute.

Troy turned back around and kept walking, shaking his head in disbelief. John glanced back at Renee, whose face was red with aggravation or embarrassment, he wasn’t sure which.

“Finally, someone talking sense!”

Hell. Fucking. Yes.

Lieutenant Fisher was incredibly harsh, and since Amy had told him that he and Renee had been friends since they were children, he found it even more out of place.

… Well, it was good while it lasted.

Terrible Troy Counter: 20

John had known his fellow Spartans, Kelly, Linda, Will, and James since they were kids, and he didn’t treat them like they were just pawns for him to command. He valued each of them as companions as well.

Which is a completely nonsensical comparison as John was never actually any of the other Spartans’ superior to begin with. Also, that “treating them like pawns for him to command” is what’s going to keep them moving and alive instead of pondering and dead the next time the Covenant comes calling.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 21

The rest of the walk to John’s new room was quiet. When they finally reached the designated room, Troy stopped, and gestured to a door.

“That’s it,” he said simply, “I’m next door, as are a lot of higher ranking officers, so you’re getting pretty good housing, Spartan.

How is a field lieutenant a higher-ranking officer?

Less, a lieutenant whose unit appears to consist of two other soldiers?”

You better appreciate it. Dr. Halsey has already gotten someone to move your belongings here.”

“Thank you, sir,” John answered.

“Don’t thank me,” Troy scoffed.

John turned to Renee.

“I’m going to go in my room, for a while, Private,” John said, making sure to not call her by her name in front of Troy, “Private Smythe should be out of medical soon, so I’ll see you around.”

“See you, sir,” Renee gave him a salute, following the same gimmick of not using his name.

John walked into his room, and as soon as the door was closed, Renee let out a sigh. She braced herself, because Troy was still standing there. She knew he would have something to say.

“I have a question, RenRen,” Troy snapped, putting heavy sarcasm on her nickname, “What the hell are you and Amy doing hanging around with him?”

Being puerile and obnoxious, mostly.”

“It’s amazing how you can call us by our names now, LT,” Renee leaned against the wall, folding her arms across her chest.

“You didn’t answer my question,” Troy narrowed his blue eyes, which were blazing.

Then he had best put them out.”

“Is there a rule against that too?” Renee raised her eyebrow, “Are you going to start telling me now who I can and cannot talk to now, is that it? Because if you are, I don’t wanna hear it.”

No, only Master Chief Petty Officer Edward-117 gets to do that.

She turned and went to walk away, but Troy grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back around to face him.

“Did I dismiss you?” Troy asked rhetorically.

Renee jerked her arm free of his grip, meeting his glare with an equally strong one.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she said lowly through clenched teeth, “You’re not the same! It all started when I joined the UNSC, and now you’ve become a Lieutenant and you’re a total asshole to everyone who has a lower rank than you do!”

“I have a responsibility now,” Troy replied, narrowing his eyes, “Unlike you and Amy, I don’t have time to go around chattering, gossiping and being a fool anymore. School was the time for that, and I’ve long since ironed out the immaturity. Where do you think I’d be right now if I went to the Academy with the same attitude I had during school? You think my jokes earned me this position? We’re fighting a war, and I wish you would grow the hell up and realize I’m not going to act like the kid you knew in high school. People change.”

Forerunners be praised! He speaks the truth!

I like this one. He’s Homeguard material, make no mistake.”

“Yes, I’m quite aware of that,” Renee snapped, “I can accept change, for the most part. But when you start treating your childhood friends like they’re nobodies, devoting your life to your rank and not even having the slightest humor to laugh at a god damned joke, it’s pretty hard to get used to.”

With that, she turned on her heel and left Troy standing there, who had a rather dumbstruck look on his face. He momentarily thought reprimanding her, but was glad to see her go. He cursed to himself and then walked off in the opposite direction.

Terrible Troy Counter: 22

In his new room, John was laying on his large bed – that could now occupy him entirely – his arms folded behind his head. He was looking up at the ceiling, with his eyebrows crumpled in concentration, showing that he was deep in thought.

Yes, that is indeed what concentration means…”

He had just heard every word of Troy and Renee’s argument. That was one part of the Spartans probably most people weren’t aware of, his advanced hearing. He could hear things most people weren’t able to, including conversations outside in the hallway through a closed door.

Not quite mind reading, but it’s close enough.

Halight Counter: 8

Now, John had a much better understanding of Renee’s frustration with Troy Fisher. For the most part, after hearing their conversation, he agreed with Renee. Yes, Troy was expected to act responsibly, be strict on duty, but off duty, he was just as much of a stiff.

“This is the middle of the war! He is always on duty!

Terrible Troy Counter: 23

Yes, the situation with Troy, Renee and Amy had just been made a lot clearer for him, but not crystal clear. He was certain there was some things he didn’t know, but now he had the basics.

Troy had been poisoned in some way, somehow something must have occurred that made him suddenly so harsh, sarcastic and rude.

Yes. The thing in question being the Human-Covenant War.

He wasn’t even very nice to him, let alone Renee or Amy, but John didn’t really care. Troy wasn’t the first person to treat him like that, in fact, there had been many.

That’s why John was glad he had people like Renee, Amy, and Dr. Halsey. People who treated him like he was normal, ignored his abnormalities, his height, his strength and his other features that struck mostly fear and intimidation to people he met.

Oh, cry me a river.

Then drown in it.”

For a moment, John felt a disruption in the air above him, like a breeze, but there wasn’t any breeze on a space ship. John narrowed his eyes, and sat up, suddenly cautious. He looked around the room, and sat there, unmoving for several minutes, watching for anything that may be suspicious.

Is… is this supposed to be that Elite? If so… how the flippety fuck is he active and moving around? Elite active camo is good enough to hide the wearer in the heat of battle, but it’s not perfect– in areas with little other motion, regular patterns on the walls, and hundreds of Marines with nothing better to do than stare at things he’s going to show up almost immediately; that’s even assuming that his camo can work for more than a few minutes at a time without running out of power or needing a reboot or whatever… And that’s not even considering any sort of internal sensors the Hercules might have to pick up intruders…

Actually, for that matter, how come John’s superior vampSpartan hearing is sensitive enough to pick up conversations through the cabin bulkhead, but not an unnaturally large, hoofed alien wandering around in his room? For that matter, what is this Elite eating– surely the galley would notice food disappearing! What does he drink? Where does he go when he needs to sleep? HOW DOES HE GET THROUGH THE DOORS???

But when nothing happened, John assumed it was just his mind, after the Covenant attack today, he had been a little on the jumpy side. He laid back down, and decided it would be best to have a little rest. So he closed his eyes, and surprisingly went to sleep in less than a minute.

And died with a Covenant energy sword through his abdomen. THE END.

Oh, don’t I wish…”

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16 Comments on “1462: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Six”

  1. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    And for good reason- as far as nicknames go, that is approximately the worst.

    Idk

    My XCOM squad named their MEC ‘Ass Reaper’

  2. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    HOW DOES HE GET THROUGH THE DOORS???

    His collision-box is still the size of a regular hunched over Elite so he just kinda clips through them

  3. BatJamags says:

    If I could touch you, I’d give you a pat on the back, Blake.

    Huh. Maybe that hat he’s wearing is to cover up the cat ears.

  4. BatJamags says:

    “It’s the bed, isn’t it?” Dr. Halsey asked rhetorically, “My apologies, John. I’ll see to it you get placed in one of the finer rooms with the bigger beds, and I don’t want any objections.

    “Why does an active warship have “finer rooms”?”

    Why does the Chief need to be treated like he’s on a luxury cruise?

    And more importantly, why do we care about Master Chief’s sleeping arrangements?

  5. BatJamags says:

    “I don’t need to go see anybody!” Amy was protesting, with her hand firmly clapped over the gash on her forehead. The blood had dried and there was a crusty streak of it down the side of her face, but her protesting did little to persuade Renee, who was dragging her down the hallway towards the medical center.”Yes you do,” her friend replied, looking back over her shoulder at her disapprovingly, “You probably need stitches.”

    “No I don’t! I’m fine, it’s just a little scrape! I don’t need any stitches; it’s stopped bleeding already!”

    But MOOOOOOOOM! I don’t wanna go to the doctor!

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      You know, this passage brings up another thing that’s been bothering me about this ‘fic- when the main characters get hurt (which is alarmingly frequent) they always get treated with bandages and stitches and not much else, when what we see of UNSC medicine in canon is super, super sophisticated and has all sorts of regenerative treatments.

      • DasCheesenBorgir says:

        like strange little white octagonal packages that can phase through armor and clothing and magically mend wounds underneath in an instant upon contact?

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      You know, as I read back over this I realize that for all of her protests, Amy never once mentions the very real possibilities that she’s still in good enough shape to help out a damage control team, or that there might be other soldiers in the medbay who need even a few seconds of a doctor’s attention a lot more than she does- it’s all just Amy, Amy, Amy.

      As this ‘fic goes on, I’m seeing more and more clearly that Amy Smythe isn’t just a miserable excuse for a soldier, she’s also simply a horrible person in or out of uniform.

  6. Swenia says:

    and the large bulbous bow of the ship entered the Slipspace void

    Welp, I’ll be in my bunk.

  7. Swenia says:

    “It’s the bed, isn’t it?” Dr. Halsey asked rhetorically, “My apologies, John. I’ll see to it you get placed in one of the finer rooms with the bigger beds, and I don’t want any objections.

    Oh for God’s sake, he’s a Spartan! He should be pretty well used to sleeping in his armor leaning against a tree or wall! Forgiving the fact that a nice room has no business being on a military ship, if anything the larger bed would make him less comfortable.

    Tell him to try sleeping on the floor or something.

  8. Swenia says:

    “You can say it’s a hickey,” Amy laughed, nudging her friend in the arm, but Renee narrowed her eyes and glared.

    Because if there’s something soldiers definitely don’t like doing, it’s comparing battle injuries. Yup, much better to hide it by pretending you had somebody sucking on your bits.

    Actually, come to think of it, that’s a bit of a lateral move. We used to spend quite a bit of our downtime telling stories about sex. You get a little pent-up when out on patrol.

  9. Swenia says:

    just sore and exhausted and in desperate need of time to myself

    Probably should lock the door, dear; Crunchy doesn’t knock.

    And hanging something on the knob tends to end with Syl barging in and asking if she can help.

  10. Swenia says:

    Troy didn’t look particularly thrilled, nor was he looking angry. It was the mood that was delicately balanced on the border of being happy and being miserable, a common one since Troy had became Lieutenant.

    It’s called not being emotionally involved in executing your orders. Also known as being professional.

    Are we dragging Troy out of this one? I volunteer for handling his orientation.

    • Swenia says:

      We’re fighting a war, and I wish you would grow the hell up and realize I’m not going to act like the kid you knew in high school.

      Seriously, I’ll even pay you in commas if I get to handle his orientation.

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