1481: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Seven

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, your favorite unnaturally-prolonged secondary-school drama dressed up like military science fiction.

Last time… well, actually, I’m having a hard time thinking of anything that happened. Can we just end the recap here?”

Well, Renee and Amy got in a fight with Troy and the narrative censured him for basically just trying to do his job…

But that happens every time the three of them are in the same section of the Formless Void together, and his remarks never manage to make an impression.”

Renee and the Chief spent dozens of paragraphs talking about absolutely nothing…

See ‘every time they are in the same section of the Formless Void together’, above.”

Amy got sent to Medical for her head wound…

Which the opening narration at the beginning of this chapter will tell us anyway…”

Oh, yeah, and there’s still that Elite wandering around!

Yes, but he never does anything either!”

Ok, so, writing tip of the day, everyone! If you can remove an entire chapter from your story without in any way affecting the narrative… you should probably remove that chapter.

Terrible Troy Counter: 23

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 18

Halight Counter: 8

“Sadly, Chapter Seven/Eight (‘Ice Breaker’) promises… still more of the same.”

[March 10th, 2535 – Halcyon Class Hercules – Slipspace]

It was past midnight when Amy got out of the medical center. Her wound was considered “minor”, and she was one of the last to be seen to. She wasn’t particularly fond of having to wait over five hours for medical treatment, only to find out her wound hadn’t been that serious after all.

Because how dare they treat the guy with an energy sword in his lung before our pwecious pwincess!

She had needed three stitches, and then she was good to go. No concussion, no fractured skull, nothing serious.

Scans revealed a large, empty space where her brain was supposed to be, but according to her service record it had probably always been that way.

Amy stormed quickly down the hallway, her hand over the bandage on her forehead. It was slightly throbbing, but it might not just be the wound, it could be her anger. She was angry at Renee for making her go to the medical center in the first place, but the further she got down the hallway away from that place, the sooner her anger seemed to cool down. She couldn’t hold a grudge long against her best friend anyway; Renee had just been concerned, like any good friend would have been.

Also, Amy is a moron.”

As she was walking, a small smile came onto her thin lips. She wondered what John and Renee might have done in those five hours they had been without her. The things her brain automatically cooked up were too absurd for them to have done, Amy knew it. But it was funny to think of that Spartan and her best friend alone with each other. It must have been awkward, she decided, unbearably awkward, and if she could have been a fly on the wall it would have been without a doubt – hilarious.

No, actually, it was at times mildly infuriating and mostly unimaginably dull.”

Now she had to try and find them. She decided to drop by the cafeteria first, which was the closest commonplace area in the direction she was heading. She just had to peek into the room to find out they weren’t in there. There were only a few marines clustered at a back table, playing a game of cards. On a double take, Amy spotted Troy Fisher, among his other friends, Josh, Kirkland, Blaine, and other marines she didn’t know.

Weird how one of them only has a first name, one only has a last name, and one is 50/50…

Maybe they might have seen Renee or John.

Amy was feeling brave – she usually did, and she entered the cafeteria. The men didn’t pay any attention to her until she had walked up to the head of the table and cleared her throat. Everyone, including Troy, turned to look at her, their expressions ranging from perturbed to amused.

Troy certainly picked a good crowd, they were all higher ranks, and most of them were Sergeants, one even being another Junior Lieutenant. These guys, like Troy, found the Privates amusing and looked down on them like one would look down on a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of their shoe.

Huh, maybe they’re riffing the story too!

Troy exchanged glances with his friends closest to him, and then he looked to Amy, cocking an eyebrow.

“Yes, Private Smythe?”

“Have you seen Renee anywhere?” Amy asked, feeling mocking eyes on her from the others at the table.

“Yes, matter of fact I did,” Troy answered, his expression almost looked as if he was talking about someone repulsive,

That’s because he is talking about someone repulsive.”

“A while ago, around 1900 hours… and she was with the Spartan.”

“Freaky, that one,” Blaine remarked lowly to Josh, although Amy heard it.

“That’s being awfully specific,” Amy said sarcastically to Troy, ignoring Blaine’s comment. She folded her arms on her chest impatiently.

What other arms does she have?

Never mind, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know.

“I was ordered by Dr. Halsey,” Troy dully remarked, looking to his hand of cards contemplatively, “To show Spartan to his new room in the officers’ quarters, apparently his old one wasn’t good enough for him,” this got a few snickers from his friends, “And Kilburn was with him. However, he retired to his new room for a nap I believe; Kilburn and I exchanged a few words, she was her usual disrespectful self and stormed off, and that’s…” Troy slapped down a card, and then looked up to Amy, “The last I saw of her.”

“You know, we should just have Troy do the chapter summaries.”

“What’d you do to piss her off this time, Troy?”

Terrible Troy Counter: 24

“I didn’t do a thing,” Troy sighed as if this conversation was exhausting him,

Well, it’s certainly exhausting us

“Once again she brought up the same stupid story of how I’ve supposedly ‘changed’, and she shot off to me and left – nothing new. Now if you’d excuse us, Smythe, I’ve told you what you wanted to know. As you can see my friends and I are in the middle of a game. You’re dismissed.”

“Asshole,” Amy muttered asshe turned on her heel and began striding to the nearest doorway.

Terrible Troy Counter: 25

“It’s Lieutenant Fisher, to you.”

Amy felt the veins throbbing in her temples, which hurt her stitches worse. She whipped around, and flashed Troy two middle fingers – but his expression changed none as he threatened her calmly:

“I could put you on deck-scrubbing duty for that disrespect, Private.”

… Please?

“Do it, LT, dare ya,” she snapped, leaving the room before he could say anything more.

When she walked out into the quiet of the hallway, she sighed, and actually felt a little better.

She also realized how tired she was, so she decided it would be a lot easier to find Renee in the morning. She was probably in her room anyway.

Eight Hours Later

Oh, and while they don’t carry over into the Library’s format, it’s worth noting that AB seemed to have finally discovered the “<hr>” tag about this time- scene transitions now have a proper separator.

John slowly drifted into consciousness, from a surprisingly dreamless and good sleep. To his surprise, as well, he awoke this time, in the bed instead of on the cold floor. He was curled up cozily, lying diagonally across the wide bed; his head nestled on the comfortable down pillow.

“Meanwhile, in the infirmary, injured Marines are lying on fold-up portable cots, reliving the Wraith bombardment that wiped out half their unit every time they close their eyes…”

Oh if the Covenant could see him now, he mused in the sleepy semi-conscious state. He blinked a few times, and stretched, but made no sudden move to get up. He looked to the alarm clock on the bedside table – a luxury item absent from his previous sleeping quarters – and saw it read 600 hours. Early in the morning, but it was not a surprising time to John. Ever since he could remember he had woken up fairly early, sometimes before anyone else. But also, 600 hours was the required time he had been expected to wake when he had been in boot, and his body seemed accustomed to that schedule, when he did sleep that is. These two weeks in Slipspace would be a real treat when it came to rest, for when he was out in battle, he couldn’t afford to sleep, and if the rare opportunity arose that it was possible, it was only a few hours, four at the most.

Well, the ‘fic is definitely putting me to sleep…

John’s mind flickered back to the previous day, in the last hour he’d been awake with Renee. He remembered hearing Troy’s grueling lecture through the door, and for a moment, despised the Junior Lieutenant.

Terrible Troy Counter: 26. And the feeling is mutual.

He had only come across a couple of officers with Troy’s attitude, but Troy took the cake on being the worst he’d seen so far. Renee didn’t deserve to be treated like that,

Nay. She deserves far worse!”

but John knew she couldn’t really do anything about it, for her lowly rank permitted her not even the right to speak unless spoken to.

I do not think that is how it works.”

Private wasn’t necessarily a bad rank, it was just the lowest on the scale, and therefore, no matter the person carrying it, whether they were good, bad or otherwise, would be treated accordingly, by their rank.

I don’t know quite what that means, but sure.

John was actually surprised Renee had gotten away with the final word last night, for if Troy had wanted to, he could have gotten her in a lot of hot water.

And he really should have, too…”

Either Troy got amusement out of angering her, or he couldn’t be bothered reporting her – even though he had the authority to deliver the adequate discipline himself – whatever it might be. John wasn’t about to ponder, he was only grateful that Troy had given her some slack.

Hopefully just enough to hang herself with.

How ridiculous it was, though; here they all were, fighting a war against the Covenant, and Troy had the mentality to go picking fights with one of his own.

I love it when the ‘fic preemptively undercuts its own points.”

The word stupid came to mind, and John briefly smirked to himself. Yes, he decided, stupid being the harshest word to describe it.

What, the story? I can think of worse.

Maybe the ‘Junior’ part in Troy’s rank was an underlying piece of evidence indicating the immaturity of his attitude.

Terrible Troy Counter: 27. And maybe you’re not the best one to be saying that.

John sighed, and reluctantly got of bed, striding over to the locker in the corner of the room, but was suddenly startled when he saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. He whipped around, and for a moment was surprised. He hadn’t noticed it before, but it was a mirror hanging on the far wall. An object that wasn’t in his other room, an object that he hadn’t looked in since forever, it seemed.

Oh, shit, he found the two-way mirror!

He walked over to the mirror, and stared at the ghostly pale, dark haired man, the unseen face of an “unfathomable hero”. This man stared right back at him with a serious, almost mean expression. He realized that was the expression he carried on his face all the time. Maybe that explained why half of the people he saw looked so intimidated. He quirked his lips up into a smirk, and saw even that looked like it had been chiseled out of stone.

What was it you said before about literally being made from marble?”

Fine.

Halight Counter: 9

“You’re too damn serious,” John muttered to the reflection in the mirror,

No, your problem is that you’re nowhere near serious enough.

and he leaned in to examine the faint prickly evidence of his facial hair growing back. He’d need to shave again soon.

John suddenly felt the urge to tear the mirror from the wall and chuck it under the bed –

He looked right at us!”

No way…

but he decided against it. He simply turned away and went to get his things from the locker. His small bag of toiletries, and a fresh pair of clothes, and without another glance to the mocking mirror, he left the room to take a shower.

“…”

the mocking mirror

He can see us!”

Renee awoke abruptly, shooting up from her pillow, her forehead covered in sweat and she was gasping for air. She had yet another bad dream. As she looked around the somewhat comforting surroundings of her bedroom, she was relieved that no longer did she have to be plagued with the frightening reality of the dream.

Terrifying.

Terrifying.

Also,

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 19

Of course, as dreams usually were, it had been inspired by the previous day’s events, the Covenant attack and that Elite…

The scene had almost repeated itself in her mind as a dream,

But it actually… what, exactly?

it was the same, frightening ordeal, but it had been different.

Ok, that's it. We are all officially horrible people.

Ok, that’s it. We are all officially horrible people.

Instead of hitting Amy, the Elite had shot her,

Oh.

“As a sensible warrior would…”

and of course, Renee had tried to scream, but her voice wouldn’t come. After seeing her friend drop to the floor in a bloody heap, Renee was plucked up off the ground and was strangled – and then Renee woke up when she passed out in the dream.

It was horrible, even though it was just a dream, Renee wanted to run to Amy’s room and hug her – make sure she hadn’t been shot and killed.

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 20

We’d best not show this girl Sonic.exe… she’d break the screen trying to shoot at the demonic hedgehog.”

Renee remembered, she hadn’t even gone to see if Amy had gotten out of the medical center last night. After the argument with Troy, she just went to bed, angry and tired, without even bothering to take a shower or anything. Damn Troy, the memories of the argument flooded into her mind; he was such an asshole.

Terrible Troy Counter: 28

Hard to believe she wasted almost five years of her life in a relationship with him.

…”

…”

Terrible Troy Counter: Well that came right the fuck out of nowhere.

Despite being angry last night, Renee couldn’t help but feel a little heartbroken as well. Not because she still loved him or anything – that was ridiculous thought –

No, that was Tarzan grammar.

but because it was truly made apparent that her childhood friend Troy Fisher, the one she cared about and had been so close to, had been swallowed up by a stranger. That’s what he was to her now, a stranger.

Last night, that hadn’t been the Troy she knew.

Terrible Troy Counter: 29 And good riddance.

Renee felt stupid, for she had shed a few tears last night, over something so dumb. It was dumb, there was no need to cry, besides, she wasn’t meant to cry. She was a marine now, no longer some hopeful romantic high school student.

“No, she is not.”

Middle school is being generous!

That was long behind her.

Renee let out a deep sigh,

“See how her broken rib has mysteriously vanished. I was unaware humans possessed such regeneration!”

Although I for one am not really sure if any of them qualify as human...”

and vowed she wouldn’t cry again over the matter.

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 21

Troy was gone, deal with it, she told herself plainly. She ran her fingers through her hair and climbed out of bed, feeling almost nostalgic as she opened her locker, retrieved her things needed for a morning shower – her hair was getting to look greasy – and without another thought about the horrid dream or last night’s events, she left the room.

She made her way down the hallway, pausing for a moment at Amy’s door, pondering the idea whether she should poke her head in if Amy was awake and say hello, but there could never just be a “hello” spoken between them, it never was one word. A conversation always followed,

For very limited definitions of “conversation”, anyway…

so Renee decided she might drop by later, or perhaps just meet her in the cafeteria.

Renee hurried to the showers, and when she walked in it was empty except for one. The shower in the far left corner of the room was in use. She quickly set her things down on the nearest bench, got a couple of fresh towels, laid them down just outside of the shower for an easy reach, and quickly got out of her clothes, throwing them over onto the bench. Her toss was clumsy – maybe it was the sleepy mood she was in – and her clothes half landed on the bench, some of them falling to the floor. She sighed but went into the shower.

It was quick, yet refreshing, and Renee felt a little more awake. After she washed her hair and her body, she just stood there and just enjoyed the hot water, until of course, she reached her time limit and the shower automatically shut off.

Wow, what a thrilling rendition of a random Marine’s morning routine!

Can we please have the Covenant come back?”

“I would not wish such a fate on the Prophet himself.”

“Damn,” Renee said quietly, but she bent down and reached out of the curtain and grabbed the towels, wrapped herself up in them, and slid back the curtain and stepped out.

That’s when her mood changed entirely.

Standing just outside of the shower in that back corner, fully naked, was John.

Oh.

Oh dear.

Renee and John realized each other were there at the exact same time, their eyes met for a second, and then Renee whirled around away from him.

“Sorry!” Renee cried, feeling her face turning red, “So sorry!”

John, who was utterly as surprised as she was, at first was lost for words.

“Its fine,” he said quickly, backing up, not looking at her. He quickly swiped a towel off the bench and wrapped it around his waist. Not often was he one to get embarrassed, but for the first time in a long time, he felt it.

So, remember how back in Chapter 4 when I asked how these people ever actually managed to shower?”

“Aye?”

I really wasn’t expecting to get an answer.”

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 22

Renee stood there, frozen. She wasn’t sure what to do, what to say, anything. She could hear John moving around, probably getting some clothes on, and that made her self-conscious of her standing there in a little towel.

“I’m decent,” John said awkwardly,

Well, no, but at least he’s dressed.”

looking for the right choice of words.

He had pulled on some clothes for his lower half. Renee was still turned away from him, and she didn’t move.

John felt the awkwardness in the air; it was so thick he could cut it with a knife.

Slowly but surely, Renee turned around to face him. She peeked over her shoulder at first nervously, to make sure, and then she turned around fully. Her red cheeks were really visible, and John knew it wasn’t because of the humidity of the room.

She bravely looked up into his eyes, although at first he saw her glance at his bare chest.

“I’m really sorry! I wasn’t expecting…”

I’m just glad that there’s no involved, purple description of Spartan junk.

“It’s fine, really,” John assured her; fumbling with his shirt he held in his hands. He went to smirk, but remembered that chiseled like expression from the mirror, so he allowed his face muscles to relax and surprisingly his mouth spread into an honest smile; he couldn’t see it, but he knew it was a natural looking smile.

I am imagining it looking something like this:

Yep. Natural as can be.

Yep. Natural as can be.

“I’m going to get dressed,” Renee said. She shuffled over to the bench, swiped up her clothes, and hurried to the nearest changing room.

Because those are definitely a thing on warships…”

When she had closed the door, John let out a big sigh, and looked down to his shirt in his hands, which he had twisted into an almost painful looking contortion.

“Much like this scene.”

He quickly shook it free and shrugged it on. The embarrassment he had been feeling was still there and he was kind of thrown off by his oddly warm cheeks.

Renee emerged from the changing room a couple of minutes later, dressed in the plain uniform, and she smiled sheepishly at him, her cheeks still a little pink, and she made her way back over to the bench, where she sat her dirty uniform and the towels beside her bag of toiletries.

“I can’t apologize enough,” she spoke, as she began rummaging through the bag of toiletries,

What, for the story?

No, you really can’t apologize enough for this.”

“I’m sorry.”

John gathered up his things from the bench and walked over to her, and sat on the end of her bench. With him sitting and her standing, they were almost at eye-level. It kind of felt nice, John noted, instead of looking down on her as he usually did.

“It was what you would call an icebreaker, I guess,” John answered with a smirk.

Please oh please don’t be talking about your dick…

They gabble on for a while about- of all things- Renee’s hair, then some other Marines step into the showers with the presumable intention of actually using the facilities for their intended purpose and so the two imbeciles fall back to the cafeteria.”

When Renee reached the cafeteria, John was already there waiting for her. He handed her a tray, and they walked into the line together. Renee felt her stomach flip when she saw Troy, and two of his friends, Josh and Blaine approaching them. Grabbing trays, hey got in line behind her and John. She instantly grew rigid and turned her back to them. The last person she wanted to see at the moment was Troy and his asshole friends.

Terrible Troy Counter: 30

And they are, in fact, multiple people. Learn to grammar already!

“The Private’s tagging along with the Spartan. How odd,” she heard one of Troy’s friends whisper.

Renee glanced over her shoulder, and saw Josh, Blaine, and Troy looking at her with amused expressions on their faces.

Are you sure these gentlemen don’t have any riffing experience?”

Acting indifferent, she just turned back around and did her best to ignore them. As she was getting her food, she heard more chatter from the trio behind her. If John was hearing it, he didn’t let on. He was just once again piling his plate high full of food.

She felt relieved when they finished going through the line-up and she and John quickly went to their table. Renee had their talking go to her, and she didn’t even wait until she was seated to express her frustration.

It’s like the grammar is slowly dissolving or something.

“Did you hear what they were saying?”

“Yes,” John answered calmly, meanwhile putting jam on his toast, “Let them talk. In my honest opinion, I find it hard to believe that Troy got to the rank of Junior Lieutenant.”

I agree. The man has the patience of the ancestors, he should have been made at least a full Lieutenant by now.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 31. And I’m flattered.

Renee paused for a moment, looking thoughtfully at John.

“You know, it’s true. What’s strange is, Amy once told me that I could be a Lieutenant.”

“If you were a determined leader, with a diligent mind and tactical skills that would keep you and your men alive, I agree.” John replied truthfully, a serious look on his face.

But you’re none of the above, so instead you’ll continue to serve as a fleshy plasma absorber for the proper soldiers.”

“It was only a joke,” Renee said in surprise, “I wouldn’t know what to do if I were a Lieutenant.”

“Maybe not that high of a rank, then,” John took a bite of toast, “Anything besides a Private. Both you and Amy are talented enough to carry something better than Private.”

Both you and Amy were lucky to make it out of boot camp.

Renee paused with her fork halfway to her mouth, and she smiled slightly.

“Thank you,” she said quietly, but John didn’t get a chance to respond.

“There you are!”

A loud familiar female voice rung out from the crowd, catching not just the attention of John and Renee but everyone else at the table. Sure enough, Amy was hurrying over to them.

Oh, shit. Not her again…

She reached the table in seconds and set her tray down and sat beside Renee. She looked at John, then at her best friend.

“Now tell me, how was it?” she asked, a smile spreading across her face.

“How was what?”

“Last evening without me,” Amy folded her hands beneath her chin and looked from John to Renee again anxiously, “What did I miss?”

“Nothing worth telling, I’m afraid.”

“You haven’t any idea how right you are.”

And yet we get told it all anyway.

“John, she’s being reluctant, tell me!” Amy looked to him instead.

“She’s telling the truth.”

“I heard you got into another scrap with Troy,” Amy looked over to Renee, who paused with her milk-carton halfway to her lips.

“Who told you that?” she asked, seeming kind of upset.

“The son of a bitch himself,” Amy announced, gesturing over to Troy, sitting at the same table he had been the night before, “I was looking for you guys last night, and I asked him, not that he gave me much clues as to where you were, so I went to bed afterwards.”

“I see.”

“I flipped him off last night,” Amy declared proudly, a smile coming across her face, “He was there with his bunch of boyfriends and was rude to me, so…”

“Amy,” John said flatly, giving her a look of disapproval, “That’s what Troy wants, and doing those type of things makes you just as good as he is.”

No.

You don’t deserve the honor of being as good as Troy Fisher.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 32. And… thanks?

“Sorry. I couldn’t really resist, though. It’s kind of a reflex of mine.”

“Find a new one.”

“Yes sir,” Amy smiled, raising an eyebrow and making a sloppy salute, and she looked to Renee and gave her a wink..

“What a pathetic excuse for a Marine.”

Don’t we have a counter for that?

“Good point.”

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 23

“How’s the head?” Renee asked, changing the subject.

“… still absolutely empty. Yours?”

“Oh, right,” Amy reached up and lightly touched her stitches, “Pretty good, the Doc said I can get them out in a week’s time, maybe less, depending on how fast I heal.”

As Amy and Renee continued their small talk, nibbling at their breakfast as they did, John quickly finished his own breakfast, wolfing it down in a matter of minutes. He never had been used to having time to enjoy his food, and even now when he actually could, he still felt compelled to eat it quickly –

And get as far away from these two nattering nincompoops as he can.

as if something would come up that would need for him to abandon it. Tossing his napkin, forks and empty carton of milk onto his tray, John stood. This caught the two girls’ attention, for they stopped talking and turned to look at him.

“If you’d excuse me,” John said, “I don’t mean to eat and run, but I have to go to the armory; I never got a chance to clean my armor from yesterday’s battles.”

And that’s a bullshit excuse if I ever saw one…

Not that we’re complaining.”

“Oh alright then,” Amy answered for her and Renee.

“I’ll see you two later,” John looked to Amy, and then fixed his gaze on Renee, who surprisingly didn’t look away. He smiled slightly, and decided to do what he had seen Amy do several times. He gave her a quick wink, which only could be seen if one was truly paying attention, due to his quick reflexes. Renee was indeed paying attention however, and she saw it, and looked at him with a somewhat bewildered expression. The wink got past Amy – she didn’t even notice.

GAG.

He then turned on his heel and left without any further ado.

Renee let out a sigh, watching him weave through the crowd, a head above everyone else, until he exited the room and was gone. She turned to Amy, who looked to be lost in her thoughts, her fork tapping against her chin.

“He just winked at me,” Renee declared lowly.

“I didn’t see it,” Amy replied curtly, as if only what passed her eyes counted, “I think you’re imagining things.”

“No. He’s mimicking you,” Renee hissed, “He winked at me and I saw it. I know what I saw.”

“He probably doesn’t even know what a wink means,” Amy waved her hand, “Don’t get your panties in a knot about it.”

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 24?

“I never got a chance to tell you this earlier, since John was here, but you wouldn’t guess who I ran into in the showers this morning.”

“Hm?” Amy was half paying attention, her eyes pointed in the direction of Troy’s table, no doubt nosy as to what might be happening with them today.

“Well, I went in this morning and there had been one shower in use. So I took my shower, grabbed my towel, got out, but I turned around and who did I see standing butt naked in front of me? John.”

Amy’s eyes tore away from Troy’s table and met her friend’s gaze, her expression instantly changing. She let out a snort, a grin crawling across her face

You know, one of these days I’m going to find that ambulatory smile and kill it once and for all.

and eyebrows rising in surprise.

“You’re lying!” she gasped, not willing to believe it.

“No. I’m serious – I never felt so embarrassed! He didn’t seem to mind as much as I, but, oh how embarrassing!”

Yes. But not for you. For the entire UNSC.”

Also, the dialogue is back to partying like it’s 1889.

“Did you get a good look at him?” Renee could’ve predicted this would be Amy’s primary concern.

“No, there was quite a bit of steam from the showers…”

Renee tried to keep her face serious, but when she saw Amy’s smile get bigger; she couldn’t help but smile too. They both erupted into a fit of laughter.

Mommy’s Little Marines Counter: 25

‘Kolsamee stood against the wall of the cafeteria, having just watched the whole scene at the table with the Demon and his two female companions. He was invisible, of course, and now he was watching the Demon as he made his way through the crowd, put away his tray and left the room.

“He was then reduced to pulp by the sidearms of dozens of Marines and Navy personnel as the faint distortion surrounding his outline gave his location away.”

Making sure no one was looking in his direction, ‘Kolsamee then darted out after him, and began following the Demon down the hallway, sticking close to the walls as possible.

He followed him all the way to the ship’s armory, where he went over to the suit, the interesting piece of technology that had gotten ‘Kolsamee to investigate him in the first place.

“But which he has opted not to investigate in favor of two childlings who are unlikely to survive the next combat engagement.”

Also, have fun sharing a confined space with a supersoldier who has hyper-acute senses…”

So few pronouns, so little time…

John walked over to his suit, standing back for a moment to observe the job ahead of him. It wasn’t that bad. The suit, disassembled in pieces, was splattered in blood, both Elite and Grunt, a mixture of dark purple and light blue. Also, he was pretty sure there was some dried brain matter stuck to it as well, from when he had stuck that grenade to the Elite’s head. After observing this, he went around the room, getting the correct things to clean his MJOLNIR armor.

Wait, that wasn’t a bullshit excuse? He actually doesn’t have technicians who can do that or anything?

Also, why are we suddenly in John’s narration? There was a line break up above when we all left the cafeteria, but nothing at all here.”

John was just about to start wiping down the chest plates with a rag, when suddenly, he heard a slight noise. He whipped around, scanning the room, but saw nothing. He turned his head to the right, as he heard another noise. John narrowed his eyes, and then grabbed a pistol from the table.

The Demon really is fantastically unobservant.”

‘Kolsamee, who was frozen against the right wall of the armory, had accidentally run into a small box of ammo that had been left on the floor,

“Well that’s just hideously unsafe…”

OSHA VIOLATION TIMES TWO COMBO!!!!

and now he eyed the Demon, who was now beginning to scour the room, with a pistol in hand.

Oh, and did we mention this was happening now?

*ALARM BLARES*

“So… where are the DRD?”

[Are you crazy? We’re not going in there, there’s still live ammunition rolling around on the floor!]

He realized that if the Demon found him, a shot to the head from the pistol would easily take down his shields and kill him – his shields were not as strong as other Elites were, due to the fact he was stealth.

BUT IF ‘KOLSAMEE WAS STEALTH THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

Hold up. Crappypasta Hour isn’t for another chapter or two.”

He began moving slowly, towards the exit, and John began coming in his direction.

Ew.

‘Kolsamee noticed he was kicking at the air, so he realized the Demon wasn’t as stupid as he thought. He was assuming Stealth Elite… not bad.

Not sure why kicking is a better idea than waving his arms around, or just looking for the distortion, but OK?

Just as the Demon turned his back to him, ‘Kolsamee bolted out of the room and down the hallway without looking back. He darted into the nearest broom closet, and tapped his helmet furiously to try and connect with ‘Malnoonee.

Chicken.

His headset buzzed with static, and ‘Kolsamee cursed in his alien tongue. Well, he might not be able to contact ‘Malnoonee at the moment, but when he could, he had some very nice information to pass on.

And I suppose that John then… forgets about the whole affair or something, because no alert is ever called and nobody actually goes out searching for the intruder…”

The Demon, he discovered, seemed to be good friends with those two human girls, the one with the dark hair in particular. The one he had tried to strangle. No wonder he was so quick to try and save her the day before.

♪Pronouns, pronouns, dangly tangly pronouns…♪

“After that shower scene, I don’t want to think about dangling anything.

Although I do quite like the image of the Master Chief discovering that he is friends with the Privates, then strangling one of them himself so that he can immediately ‘save’ her.”

Yes, this was very interesting information, and ‘Malnoonee would be pleased to hear about it.

Perhaps, they could make use of this human girl, as bait.

“OR PERHAPS YOU COULD JUST KILL HIM NOW, WHILE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE!”

I think we’re done for today.

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57 Comments on “1481: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Seven”

  1. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    John slowly drifted into consciousness, from a surprisingly dreamless and good sleep.

    Wish I could say the same thing just happened to me :(

    Been lapsing into sleep paralysis so often on the weekends these days it’s become kind of a dreaded part of the routine lol

  2. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    He quirked his lips up into a smirk

  3. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    “Can we please have the Covenant come back?”

    You sure you want that happening in the middle of a shower scene? :P

    I’m sure I can dig up the NSFW version of that image if you wanted…

  4. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    Please oh please don’t be talking about your dick…

    Well he’s gotta get out of cryo somehow, right?

  5. BatJamags says:

    Huh, maybe they’re riffing the story too!

    Hey, I’d read it.

  6. BatJamags says:

    “I could put you on deck-scrubbing duty for that disrespect, Private.”

    See, I read this and all that occurs to me is the fact that he isn’t, which seems like he’s trying to put up with Amy’s stupidity because she’s supposed to be his friend.

    Troy is still my favorite character here.

    • "Lyle" says:

      I think we need a Sucktastic Award for “Favorite Character that we were Supposed to Hate”

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Oh, Troy Fisher has not even begun to show the depths of his commitment, professionalism, and general good sense… and the story has not even begun to show the depths to which it will sink to try to bash him.

        I’m extremely confident that Love of a Spartan is going to have next year’s Worst Bashing award tied up with a pretty red bow, so why make a special category just for it?

        Seriously, Troy Fisher makes the Nazis from A Jedi’s Destiny look like… well, actual Nazis.

      • But there’s also other stuff that could compete. Just from trollfics I’ve reviewed, we have around 80% of all villains in Garfield Effect, Teen Fortress 2, and Marissa Games.

  7. BatJamags says:

    Oh if the Covenant could see him now, he mused in the sleepy semi-conscious state. He blinked a few times, and stretched, but made no sudden move to get up. He looked to the alarm clock on the bedside table – a luxury item absent from his previous sleeping quarters – and saw it read 600 hours. Early in the morning, but it was not a surprising time to John. Ever since he could remember he had woken up fairly early, sometimes before anyone else. But also, 600 hours was the required time he had been expected to wake when he had been in boot, and his body seemed accustomed to that schedule, when he did sleep that is. These two weeks in Slipspace would be a real treat when it came to rest, for when he was out in battle, he couldn’t afford to sleep, and if the rare opportunity arose that it was possible, it was only a few hours, four at the most.

    In other news, we still don’t need to know this much information about Master Chief’s sleeping arrangements.

  8. BatJamags says:

    for her lowly rank permitted her not even the right to speak unless spoken to.

    Wow, the writing got all Elizabethan there.

  9. BatJamags says:

    John sighed, and reluctantly got of bed, striding over to the locker in the corner of the room, but was suddenly startled when he saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. He whipped around, and for a moment was surprised. He hadn’t noticed it before, but it was a mirror hanging on the far wall. An object that wasn’t in his other room, an object that he hadn’t looked in since forever, it seemed.

    Alright, alright. That was a decent fakeout. I expected this to be our Elite friend. Now, the question is whether the author did it intentionally, or was just purpling up her description of John looking at a mirror.

  10. BatJamags says:

    somewhat comforting surroundings of her bedroom

    And why is she in a bedroom and not a proper barracks?

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      I…

      honestly have no idea.

      At first I thought it was so that she and the Chief could fuck more easily, but not only does this story turn out to have less sex in it than my master’s thesis, they also spend all their time in the Chief‘s quarters, which considering his importance I could actually reasonably see as being a private room.

  11. BatJamags says:

    *Elite picture*

    Well, that’s disturbing. Tell me, is the brain bleach Jacuzzi occupied?

  12. BatJamags says:

    The shower in the far left corner of the room was in use.

    It’s either John or Troy. Possibly Amy. My money’s on John, though.

  13. BatJamags says:

    So, quick question here:

    In most shared living situations, the bathrooms and showers are gendered. Is this not the case in the military? I mean, it’s kind of an antiquated concept regardless, but it would avert this stupid cliche of a scene.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      I dunno, I always thought of the UNSC as having moved beyond that regardless of what the current situation is.

      My freshman and sophomore years (the only times I actually lived in a dorm as opposed to renting my own apartment (which is closer to campus, cheaper, and much more spacious than university housing)) the bathrooms were not segregated, but I have no idea whether that is a widely adopted thing or even if the university still does it now that North Carolina is a thing.

    • Most fiction doesn’t have military with gendered stuff, and I’m pretty sure the UNSC is the same way. The Spartans definitely didn’t, but then again, they’re basically siblings who’ve been raised as weapons.

    • AshleyBudrick says:

      Presently, the Canadian army has gendered bathrooms and showers. US is the same way. We’re actually pretty strict with it, too. The shacks are usually co-gender, but I’ve seen both men and women get jacked up for even walking to/from their shower wrapped in their towel.
      The weirdest shit that happens in military showers are people joking to get rid of the awkwardness. I’ve walked past the guys’ showers during training and heard plenty of strange things being yelled in there. Dick comments and so forth…
      I guess I figured that 500 years in the future when humanity is at war with an superior alien race, professional solders accidentally catching a glimpse of male or female junk in the shower is probably the least of their concern…. but then decided to make it a huge childish deal anyway… *shakes head* Ah, my sixteen year old mind at the time…
      But the way society’s moving nowadays anyway in terms of gender fluidity, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few decades male/female washrooms cease to be a thing, anyway.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I… would not have guessed that. I guess there’s a mitigating factor in that the dorm showers were basically mini-rooms in their own right with lockable doors, but still, I’m not used to the Land of Trump actually being ahead of you guys in something. Yay, I guess.

        Also, I have to ask- were you actually planning to ship anyone with that Elite, or am I just so corrupted by exposure to Halo fanfiction (and fanfiction in general) that I see “A New Covenant” around every corner?

      • AshleyBudrick says:

        Oh God no. I’ve seen a few fics of those kind kicking around the Halo section of FF.net and they creeped me the fuck out. The Elites are enemies for now, and of course follow the games and become allies post 2552. That’s mostly in the sequel, if I remember correctly.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        It creeps me the fuck out, too, but then again so does the John-Renee ‘ship, and so does pretty much every other ‘ship featured here- if they were normal, they wouldn’t be in the Library.

        Also, if that conversation between the Elite and Amy in Chapter 15 isn’t a sterling example of blackrom, I don’t know what is.

  14. BatJamags says:

    I’m just glad that there’s no involved, purple description of Spartan junk.

    Sakai, don’t say that! Now you know we’re going to get an involved, purple description of Spartan junk.

  15. BatJamags says:

    making a sloppy salute

    I think that, y’know, being a marine, she’d know how to salute properly.

  16. BatJamags says:

    as if something would come up that would need for him to abandon it.

    OK, really? I mean, really. Why does every badfic have sentences like this? Is it so hard to write like a normal human being?

  17. BatJamags says:

    I never felt so embarrassed! He didn’t seem to mind as much as I, but, oh how embarrassing!

    Yes, I say! It was simply scandalous!

  18. BatJamags says:

    “No, there was quite a bit of steam from the showers…”

    If the steam was that thick, John and Renee should probably be dead.

  19. BatJamags says:

    and now he eyed the Demon, who was now beginning to scour the room, with a pistol in hand.

    Oh, and did we mention this was happening now?

    Now chicka now now.

    John began coming in his direction.

    I DIDN’T MEAN IT!

  20. AdmiralSakai says:

    You know, I’ve been kicking this question around for a while and, since I finally have an answer for it (sort of), I’m just going to post it in the comments section rather than wait four months for an up-to-date review segment to roll around.

    A long time ago, I brought up the possibility of rewriting LOAS, and whether it would be a futile effort or not, and I said it needed more typing space to answer. Well, now I have more typing space, and the answer is still “I don’t know”. Not only do I not know, but I don’t even know if I feel qualified to make any sort of pronouncement one way or another.

    Obviously the story could be made better. Kilburn and Smythe could be made into actual soldiers, the Covenant could be made into a serious threat, and the Chief could be made into not Edward Cullen. But at the core of all of this, there’s still the fact that a conventional romantic/sexual relationship with a Spartan-II… kind of doesn’t work.

    I don’t know, maybe it would be possible to write the Chief developing the capability for one through long-term/ character development, without it sounding contrived or forced… but I don’t know if I’d ever “buy” it, and more to the point I have no idea if I’m right to be so skeptical or not.

    I don’t like romance. As a genre. Full stop. The thing is, I have a similar, if somewhat less intense opinion of horror as a genre, and I’m slowly becoming able to look past that and realize that some elements of the genre are well-written even if I don’t personally like them. Is that the case here?

    Back during the early parts of When You’re Strange, HerrWozzek and I disagreed pretty substantially over whether the relationship portrayed therein was “good” or not- he liked it, I didn’t. I thought I had good reasons then, and I still think mine are better, but at the same time I have zero personal experience with romantic relationships, nor have I studied the psychology involved, and the people with that experience are the ones signing off on the sort of interpretation I’d object to.

    So no, I could never accept Love of a Spartan in any form, even if every other element of it was literarily perfect, simply because it’s a romance with a Spartan. But I have no idea if I’d be right to do so. Maybe, as I continue to improve as a critic I’ll be able to say yes or no with confidence, or at least be confident in my lack of confidence, but at the moment it’s an open question in the second derivative.

    • AshleyBudrick says:

      I actually agree with you. There is a lot of room for possible improvements but the huge problem lies with the actual love story itself.
      When I first posted this years ago to FF.net, the idea of a romance between Chief and someone (other than another Spartan) received a lot of flak in reviews. In fact most of the negative ones were from Halo fans who didn’t buy the idea that the Spartans could love. And really, when you look at Chief’s personality in the games and novels, the most emotion he shows is towards Cortana. It’s been a while since I read Halo: Fall of Reach, but I don’t even recall there being too much emotion displayed when he loses the majority of his fellow Spartans when Reach is destroyed.
      So to suddenly rewind the clock back to his youth and make him fall in love with a childish, terribly-flawed, poor excuse for a marine is a huge stretch of the imagination.
      I personally like writing romance, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – and I totally get why. A lot of the time in fiction it can be terribly unrealistic, especially compared to most people’s personal experiences. This story being one of them for sure…
      It is almost tempting, however, to change a chapter or two and see how things flow: add description. Rewrite Renee and Amy to be believable soldiers who aren’t insubordinate, giggling twats. Stop using Lt Fisher as a scapegoat for.. well… everything. Delete a metric fuckton of boring conversation or inner-monologues…. Include dialogue that would be fitting to marines… The “fuck” word count realistically would be in the 50s within the first chapter…. so on and so forth.
      There’s tons of stuff that can be improved. But I don’t know if it’s worth it to even try, because at the end of the day, the story will still be about Master Chief falling in love with a marine – and a lot of people simply don’t buy it.
      It would be a lot of work. I don’t know, either!

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I… again, I really don’t know. For my own selfish reasons I am reluctant to encourage you to write a story that I wouldn’t really be interested in reading, but I still feel like you’re being unnecessarily hard on it- it’s very possible that otherwise good writing could go a long way to cover that central premise, especially since it’s possible to have characterization that isn’t exactly canon but rather a reinterpretation of canon that is still well-thought-out and reasonable.

        Again, I’m probably not the best person to give this sort of advice, but the one thing that jumps out to me (I actually make a comparison to it later on, in a completely different context) is something similar to the Garrus/Shepard romance option in Mass Effect 2. It’s not exactly conventional- indeed, the reason why it’s damn near the only romance arc that I’m actually fond of is because it’s not conventional (that and I’m a massive turian fanboy)- but it fits very well in a military setting, and keeps the hyperemotional stuff to an absolute minimum.

        On a completely unrelated note, you make a very good point about the “fuck” count being a tiny sliver of the Twilight-reference counter, to say nothing of the bashing counter or the unprofessional behavior counter. I’m going to have to bring that up later on.

      • AshleyBudrick says:

        It would really depend on how much free time I have (and want to spend). I might try editing the first chapter and decide from there. The length of it is the main deterrent. My own original works have never come close to hitting that size of a word count. Although if I cut quite a bit of shit it might help downsize it.
        I know when I took the original down off FF.net I got a frantic array of confused messages from people who enjoyed it or were still continuing reading it. So uploading a new revamped version would please those who liked the original (or maybe attract new readers), I guess.
        I’ve just moved away from fan fiction so it would be strange to get back into. However I just finished the first draft of a novel and I’m playing the tedious waiting game of sending queries to literary agents, so who knows, I might be bored enough to find the original doc. If I do end up eventually rewriting it, I’ll definitely drop a link here for anyone who’s curious.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I really would advise you to keep at it, not necessarily with LOAS specifically but with fanfiction in general- Lord knows we need as many competent writers as we can get.

        I’d also like to re-extend the Library’s collective invitation to the rest of the site. If it seems like we’re aggressively recruiting it’s because, well, we’re aggressively recruiting- most of the current regular commentors are various different types of egghead, which leaves us sometimes a little confused about how the real world actually works.

      • AshleyBudrick says:

        I’d definitely be interested in becoming part of the team. I couldn’t guarantee at this point how often I’d be around, but I would try my best. Any particular guidelines you follow?

        • GhostCat says:

          Most of us follow a typical “blockquote from fic, followed by deconstruction of blockquote” format, but other than that it’s extremely open to interpretation. Some of us like to solo riff, or use an ensemble cast, or have only one minion, but it’s all a matter of personal choice.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        Well, yes and no.

        People typically spend some time in the comments section as “regulars” before starting guest reviews, both so that we know who they are and so they know the format and in-jokes and things, but it’s in no way necessary. Really, all you need to do is send a riff in some accessible format (she likes Google Docs) to Lyle, the one who actually runs the site. Her site email address (literarytravesty@gmail.com) is also on the “About” page, and she can tell you more about the process much more clearly than I can.

      • "Lyle" says:

        Google Doc or word
        .doc or .docx preferred. Barring that, you can copy-pasta into the email body but that sometimes leads to funky formatting issues.

        If you use Google doc or word, you can do all your own bold in etc. Just somehow indicate what is quoted text (either put [blockquote] tags around it, or one guest makes it a different color on a doc file).

        And please include the following in the email: your riffing name and the url to the original fic.

        …I really need to update the submission blurb.

      • "Lyle" says:

        I created a new page at the top for submissions, with guidelines and stuff! Go me :P So if you’re still or ever interested, there ya go!

    • Lyle, why are you scapegoating Gnomes again? We all know Gremlins are to blame.

  21. TacoMagic says:

    The word stupid came to mind, and John briefly smirked to himself.

    He quirked his lips up into a smirk

    He went to smirk

    John answered with a smirk.

    *GONG*

    *The Hercules starts to list to the side as oxygen vents through the huge gash in the hull. Moments later, the entire ship explodes.*

    WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!?

    Baaaaa?

  22. TacoMagic says:

    “You know, it’s true. What’s strange is, Amy once told me that I could be a Lieutenant.”

    Which is fair. Amy is indeed stupid enough to say something like that.

  23. "Lyle" says:

    ♪Pronouns, pronouns, dangly tangly pronouns…♪

    “After that shower scene, I don’t want to think about dangling anything.”

    *snort-giggle*


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