1630: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Fourteen

Title: Love of a Spartan
Author:  AshleyBudrick
Media: Video Game
Topic: HALO
Genre:  Sci-Fi/Romance
URL:  Saved to this Archive
Critiqued by Admiral Sakai, Gul, and the Arbiter

-WARNING-

This section of the riff contains potential flamebait in the form of military sexual assault. An actual assault this time, too. Yay

Hello hello all you patrons!

We’re back with more Love of a Spartan, and it looks like after making it all the way through the good bit, the boring bit, the Sangheilomantic bit, and the enraging bit we’re well and truly stuck in the stupid bit.

After the mind-rotting idiocy of Renee’s fall from the Pelican at the beginning of Chapter 13, the second half had refreshingly little actually happen in it. Everyone onboard the transport itself was discovered to have survived the crash-landing in fighting condition, and since they had coincidentally landed not far from where base camp was supposed to be anyway they all just decided to walk it. This rendered the entire crash and fall drama completely irrelevant.

There were also a few more instances of John-117 trying to usurp Troy Fisher’s rightful rank and command, but at this point that’s effectively equivalent to saying that both characters were in the same scene for more than a paragraph. As we left off, Kilburn and Smythe were being introduced to the Chief’s fellow Spartans Kelly and James, and the assembled group started angsting about Renee’s mating preferences for no readily comprehensible reason.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 81

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 60

Fucking Halight Counter: 24

Sadly, Chapter 14/Thirteen (“Making Camp”) promises nothing but the same old inanity.”

[March 11, 2535 – Marine Base Camp – Outskirts of Lacerta’s Main City – Lacerta]

And would this “main city” by any chance have, you know, a name?

Maybe that is the name, and the Lacertan colonists are just really, really unimaginative. They did name their planet after an IAU constellation, after all.”

Renee wasn’t sure what to do. She stood there motionless, letting several seconds tick lazily by, her heart pounding in her ears.

And this is different from her usual behavior on the battlefield… how, exactly?”

Why on earth would Amy say that to Kelly? Say that to anyone?

Because she’s a first-class scumbag as well as a babbling moron?

She thought Amy had it understood that her and John’s relationship was meant to be kept secret, not blurted out to everyone on their team and worst of all to two of John’s fellow Spartans! What would they think?

I don’t know, narrator. Why don’t you show us the answers to some of these questions, instead of trying to build cheap tension into the romance plot nobody cares about to begin with?

Hey, I care!”
You do?

Wanting everybody involved to die long, agonizing, messy deaths counts as caring, right?”

Kelly and James had known John since they were six. Renee had only met him a few days ago; she was just a mere marine. Kelly and James had trained with John, fought alongside John, knew him probably ten times better than she did. What on earth would they think of her, a mere Private of the Marine Corps, a grunt, inexperienced and not even close to having the talent and lethality of a Spartan, being in a relationship with John?

If they had anything resembling brains, they’d probably think the whole thing was pretty fucked-up.

Blah blah blah, everyone stares each other down in really unnecessary detail (we now know more about Kelly’s facial expression than we do about the planet Lacerta), the other Marines don’t do anything because I think the author forgot about them even though they never left and so should logically still be standing around while all of this is happening, and Kelly breaks the stalemate up by saying that “the flies are getting bad” even though she’s in sealed armor and in the previous chapter’s tramping through the jungle there was only one mention of any kind of insect life (a solitary mosquito).

That leaves Renee and Amy to do what they do best- stand around and talk about their relationship problems while they should really be contributing to the war effort.”

“Why did you say that?” she said finally, not looking away from the ground .

“I’m sorry!” Amy exclaimed, a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “I had no idea; what’s the big problem anyway? People were going to find out eventually! Kelly was hitting on John;

No, she was just literally hitting him. Not the same thing, at least not in most human courtships.”

Seriously, why would Amy even think that?

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 61

I figured I should just tell her about you guys so she’d know not to-”

“Kelly is John’s friend and teammate,” Renee snapped her head up to look at Amy; “She’s known him long before I have! They were just fooling around! You didn’t need to tell her anything; she had every right to do what she wanted. You just succeeded in creating an unnecessary problem.”

“What the hell? How, Renee?”

By being in Love of a Spartan, mostly.”

Also, “You just succeeded in creating an unnecessary problem”? Why are the Marines suddenly talking like engineers?

Anyway, the Chief shows up to tell them to calm down, and apparently they won’t be engaging the Covenant until daylight because in 2535 the UNSC has apparently forgotten how to manufacture night-vision goggles. He, of course, has perfect night vision, it’s only dangerous for the females non-Sparklepires Marines to do it.”

Fucking Halight Counter: 25

Troy then makes an appearance and, probably sensing that one of his men has just been through a particularly rough combat drop decides decides to have a quick chat about what happened to her.

You know, like a proper officer does…”

They go on about the sunset for all of one line (which, considering Lacerta’s insane day-night cycle, is probably as long as the event actually takes), then, inevitably, the conversation turns back to Renee’s homicidal Spartanpire boyfriend.

Terrible Troy Counter: 82

Troy warns her that she’s just going to get hurt in the end- I can only assume that he meant physically– and actually fucking explains why he didn’t want Renee and Amy to join the UNSC with him:

“I left for the UNSC… I didn’t want you to be home worrying, then you and Smythe joined up.. a stupid decision, a stupid, stupid decision. Then, it made things impossible to work for us.. see, how well do you think I would’ve been able to carry myself properly if I allowed myself to love? There’s no place for it. Today, when you fell out of the Pelican, I got scared; scared for the first time because I thought you were dead. That’s why I never wanted you to follow me into the UNSC, because something like that could happen. It did, and it’s only because Spartan jumped out and saved you that you’re here sitting beside me now.”

… well, that was an incoherent mess.”

But you know what? I still like it. Not everybody has the opportunity to go back and edit what they’re saying from the heart so that it’s clear and well-structured. In fact, that’s a lot of what psychotherapy is– helping people who are confused about how they feel about things put them into some sort of rational order. Watching Troy break down like this shows a lot about how he’s conflicted between wanting his friends to stay safe and recognizing that they’re individuals who have as much of a responsibility to fight for humanity as he does; how he’s still worried about lingering fondness for Renee compromising his tactical objectivity while at the same time fearing he has become too much of a hardass and is treating her unnecessarily harshly to compensate. Seeing him babble on like this makes him look human, more so than any other character in this shitheap… especially Edward-117.

“Then be thankful for his presence.”

“That’s not the point I’m making.”

“You wouldn’t thank him even if you were paid, would you?”

“I have no fucking reason to.”

“Don’t get sour.”

Terrible Troy Counter: I have every fucking reason to. 83.

“Renee, ” Troy sighed, “Those Spartans, they fight, they kill, until one day their luck runs out and they get killed in action. Don’t believe those rumors about them being indestructible, you know just as well as I that they can die. They get sent on these ridiculous missions, and if they get killed, well, then they get called heroes, get their name slapped on a cenotaph and it’s all well; died for a good cause, fighting for Humanity. Disposable soldiers, is all they are.”

Pretty much, yes.”

“Don’t say that,” she snapped, “They’re just as disposable as any one of us.

Actually, you’re a lot more disposable than they are. Why do you think there’s millions of you and only a hundred or so of them?”

That’s what we do, fight and die protecting our race. They’re still people, they have emotions.

This is also true. Violent, extremely erratic, absolutely uncontrollable emotions, sure, but still emotions.

Terrible Troy Counter: 84

“You’re wasting your time with him!” Troy raised his voice a little, “He doesn’t know what love is, he thinks he does, but he doesn’t know jack shit about anything beside what he was made to do… and that’s to kill. All of them are the same; they care about fighting and nothing else.

From what we’ve seen so far, that does indeed seem pretty accurate.”

He’s just using you as a comfort object when he’s not out in the field. Didn’t you see him when he met up with Kelly and James? It’s like he was reunited with long lost family! He hardly paid attention to you!

You know, I hadn’t really considered that element of the wrongness surrounding Edward and Renee’s mating, but now that I think about it I realize that the good Lieutenant really does make a pretty compelling point.”

They keep talking for a while after that, and seem to warm up to each other again as the topic of the titular loving Spartan is forgotten. Troy brings up some idiotic story from their junior prom– why can’t your species just have something normal like Enlistment Day to celebrate your coming-of-age?- where he jumped in front of Renee to block some water that a passing car splashed at them and ruined his tuxedo.”

God, if that‘s the best high-school story he can come up with, these two must have had an even more boring adolescence than I did- at least I got to pull the old “replace- the- desktop- background- with- a- screenshot- of- itself- and- then- delete- all- the- icons” trick a couple of times in the computer labs…

It’s back to the subject of the Chief after that. In addition to everything else, Renee Kilburn seems completely incapable of picking a topic to argue about and then sticking to it for more than three lines.”

“What’s so different about him? It’s not like he has two heads or six eyes or something! You’d think he’s a fucking alien by the way you act!”

Honestly, at this point, fucking the aliens would be an improvement.

“What’s so different?” Troy echoed, raising his eyebrows in surprise, “Oh, he’s just seven feet tall, unnaturally strong… he’s pretty much the Hulk for Christ’s sake! He’s dangerous! You were there; you saw how easily he threw me around! Think about it, all you need to do is get him pissed off and he’ll snap your neck!”

Pretty much.

“No he wouldn’t!” Renee stood up, snatching her assault rifle off the ground and glowering down at Troy, “He’s been nothing but gentle with me.”

That’s because when he decides not to be, you won’t be around any more to tell the tale.”

Troy stood up too, now looking down on her.

“You’re going to start that gentle giant shit with me are ya?” Troy snapped, narrowing his eyes. Renee could see the old Troy being pushed back inside every passing second,

Terrible Troy Counter: 85. And good riddance.

“Oh, he’s gentle, he’s this, and he’s that! He’s a freak, that’s what he is! They all are! I don’t know what the hell happened to you and where you’re intelligence went, but you’re definitely not using an ounce of it!”

I don’t think she had an ounce of intelligence to begin with.

Oh, hey! Imperial units!”

*twitches*

“I love him.”

 

Terrible Troy Counter: That line might’ve worked on Proffessor Snap, but it’s not gonna fly against anybody who’s still got two brain cells to rub together. 86!

“Oh you love him, but he doesn’t love you,” Troy said with a sneer,

“I loved you ten times more than he could ever imagine loving you! If you weren’t so stupid, I’d think about giving us another try once this war is over, if it ever is.

Terrible Troy Counter: But you are so stupid, so I think I’m just gonna go see if any of the Elites are interested.

But that’s fine, if you choose the freak, cool.  He probably doesn’t even have any balls! They probably mutated him with a bunch of alien DNA or some type of shit!”

You know, I probably should be dinging Troy for unprofessional behavior here, but quite honestly Renee Kilburn is just so goddamn aggravating that I really cannot blame him for losing his temper like this- especially since Edward’s behavior is indeed a threat to Renee (along with pretty much everyone else) and he’s just admitted that deep down he does still worry for her safety.

Although I for one never really understood the appeal of external testicles.

Ugh.”

Then this happens:

“Why can’t you leave him alone?” Renee cried, her voice growing high-pitched. She tried to shove Troy away from her, but he grabbed her wrists, and shoved her roughly backwards, behind one of the tents, shadowing them both in darkness.

“Why?” Troy echoed, his hands clamped tightly about her wrists. She struggled against him, looking bewildered.

“Let go of me,” she said icily.

“Why?” he said again, “This is why.”

Then his lips were over hers in a kiss that made her stomach flop. He still had her wrists in his grip, she tried to struggle, but she couldn’t. She wasn’t able to break the kiss, she was under Troy’s control. Her heart pounded furiously in her ears, anger overwhelming her, and with a surge of force, she shoved him with all her strength, and he went stumbling back several feet.

…”

Once again, Love of a Spartan pulls the rape card right the fuck out of nowhere.

And you know what? The story can’t even make it fucking stick.

Troy Fisher has a character. Where everyone else in Love of a Spartan- with one notable exceptionhas all the personality of a senior-project chatbot that mindlessly repeats its dictionary of four thousand constructed sentences, he stands out as a person with emotions and motivations and reasons for doing the things that he does. By looking at his actions so far, I can build to use a very scientific, computational phrase- a model of his behavior and predict what he is and is not likely to do in the future.

And looking at that model, which we’ve actually expanded a fair bit with his revelations up above- looking at Troy’s devotion to duty as a Marine and the very real conflict between that devotion to duty and his concern for his friends, looking at his concerns about Renee’s lack of intelligence, his (entirely justified) worries about her relationship with the Master Chief- I simply cannot conceive of Troy Fisher as being psychologically capable of sexual assault.

So we’re left with contradictory evidence. And, being a scientist at heart, my first impulse is to look at how science handles contradictions. One fluke, one outlier, doesn’t mean that your whole theory needs to be thrown out. Sometimes weird things happen, especially in a fictional narrative that isn’t exactly logically self-consistent. A good scientific rule of thumb is Occam’s Razor: “The simplest explanation (here, the one with the least internal contradictions) is the most likely to be true.” And quite honestly, the simplest explanation for me isn’t that Troy did this of his own free will, but that he suffers from some kind of undiagnosed brain injury inflicted when he fell off the Warthog that occasionally causes him to make these sort of movements without any conscious desire, like an intermittent, full-body version of anarchic hand syndrome.

I’ll of course discuss the actual ramifications of Troy’s “assault” as they get brought up in the ‘fic, but for now… well, remember that “one exception” I mentioned? It’s our old pal Edward-117, and he’s got a character all right- he’s controlling, greedy, unnecessarily violent, and in his own way quite manipulative, just like his Sparklepire namesake. I don’t think Lieutenant Fisher’s at all capable of sexual assault, but I’d say this mutant version of the Chief would be fine with doing that and much worse besides.

Terrible Troy Counter: 87.

So. Umm… there’s still half the chapter to go, and we have wordcount to spare. Shall we go on?”

Sure.

They do another stare-down, and Renee punches Troy in the nose. So I suppose this scene does have a redeeming quality in that she isn’t affected by whatever bizarre wasting disease targets females in human-derived media and robs them of any ability to defend themselves hand-to-hand. After that, it’s back to Edward-117 and the other Spartans.”

John located the designated tent Kelly had mentioned, and peeked in through the flap and saw his two fellow Spartans, already out of their armor and dressed in plain muscle shirts and camo pants.

Well that‘s kind of a stupid thing to do! MJOLNIR armor is a complicated device that takes time and technicians in order to get in or out of, and the Spartans should be more than used to sleeping in it. They have no reason to get out of it here, and by doing so they’re giving the Covenant a lot of extra time to run around and cause mayhem in the camp should there be an attack.

There’s a pointless scene as the Chief angsts about what to tell his fellows vis a vis Kilburn, then refuses to go to sleep because he doesn’t have a change of clothes (?!) .”

You know, it really says something about Love of a Spartan that its depiction of front-line military life makes being a grad student look grueling by comparison.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 62

Then it’s back to the issue of Renee. LoaS seems to do that a lot- have characters discuss some important issue, go into an odd digression about something or another extremely stupid, and then go back to resolve the original issue like nothing had changed. The only real purpose it serves is to make the dialogue scenes longer… and who in their right mind would want that?

“Bad move,” James said with a sigh.

Yes. Yes it is.”

Oh hey! These two are back to making sense!

“Don’t hurt yourself,” Kelly told John sternly, “You remember how much it hurt us when Sam was killed? And he was a friend. Imagine how much it’ll hurt when that girl dies on you. She doesn’t have the armor we do, plasma burns through the marine’s armor like its paper, you know that.”

Well, actually, in both the games and the expanded materials, Marine armor can actually take a fair amount of punishment- they are actually much more likely to die from heavy weapons like grenades or energy swords that they’re too slow to avoid than they are to be worn down by plasma rifles or pistols.

“I won’t let her die,” John declared determinedly.

It’s not your decision to make.”

Fucking Halight Counter: 26

Actually, I’m not so sure that Renee‘s death is even the one he needs to worry about. Even disregarding the applicants who didn’t make it through their training or augmentations, Spartan-IIs ended up with pretty much a single-digit survival rate; in World War II, the bloodiest IRL conflict in modern history, the military death rate for regular ground troops ranged from around thirty to twenty percent depending on country. Granted, that number is cut somewhat by including rear-guards and support personnel who never went face-to-face with the enemy, but then again Kilburn and Smythe aren’t exactly ODSTs either.

“You can’t glue her to your back,” James was quick to retort,

As much as you tried at the start of last chapter…

“What will happen the next time Dr. Halsey assigns us on a Spartan-only mission? When you’re no longer associated with the Hercules or even that same squad of marines? Don’t do this to yourself. It’s unnecessary stress.”

Those are… actually very good points. Let’s see how the Chief responds to them.

“I know.” John clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles turned white, “I’ve told myself that so many times. I can’t help it; I can’t help what I feel! Have either of you felt love yet? No, obviously not, or you wouldn’t be ridiculing me. I’m in love with her. I’ll protect her, and it’s not going to change. Understand?”

Why, with tantrums and intimidation, of course!

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 63

Kelly and James exchanged weary glances, but didn’t make any objections.

More’s the pity.

Hey, maybe they’ll take their concerns to Troy Fisher in the morning, and the forces of reason will finally prevail.”

“So, I don’t know about you, but,” John continued, “I’m going on guard for the night. I think it’ll be a little easier if there were three of us guarding the camp’s perimeter.”

So, apparently securing the perimeter is something random personnel in camp just decide to do whenever they feel like it. Doesn’t have to be, you know, organized or anything, right?

“It’ll be one of those nights, then, hmm?” Kelly asked, a small smile coming on her lips, and she rolled her eyes, “You never like to sleep, do you?”

“I do, but in moderation,” John replied smugly, “I stay awake when I know lots of lives of depending on me. You two can get suited up, and I’ll wait outside.”

“Yes, sir,” Kelly saluted him playfully.

Why do the Chief and Kelly seem to fit together so much more naturally as a mated pair than the Chief and his actual mate?”

John turned and left the tent, and he slipped his helmet on his head, and his HUD blinked to life. It was filled with almost a hundred yellow dots of his fellow soldiers, and not a single enemy showed on radar.

Not a blink, not a flicker.

He turned to his left and saw Troy Fisher walking hurriedly in his direction. His hand was clamped over his nose, and even in the dim light, John could see blood trickling through his fingers. The first thought that came into John’s mind was a Covenant attack, but he realized that an alien would give him more than just a bloody nose.

Actually, in this ‘fic they’d be lucky to even do that.

“Lieutenant, ” John took a few steps towards Troy as he approached, “Are you alright?”

“No I’m not alright!” Troy snapped irritably,

and then John said”they bet you up and raped you also the Dark lord gave you the posion”!

Wow. That was… really in rather poor taste, considering.”

Tell me you weren’t thinking the exact same thing, though.

“My nose is fucked!”

Troy tried to sidestep him, but John stepped right in front of him and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“I can help,” John offered,

No, you really can’t.”

The Chief wants to know what happened, and in between a lot of directionless ranting Troy admits that Renee punched him in the nose. He doesn’t make any mention of the events leading up thereto, but that still doesn’t conflict with my nerve-damage theory- people suffering from alien-hand syndrome sometimes lose proprioception and aren’t aware of what the affected limb is doing if they aren’t looking at it, so since it happened very quickly and in the dark Troy could very easily have perceived the “incident” as Renee suddenly charging at him and then pushing him back for no reason!

Ktao ‘Kolsamee sat beneath one of the larger trees surrounding the human base camp, leaning up against the wide trunk.

Oh. Great. And now this guy is back.”

Wait- how the flying fuck did he get off the Hercules?! We haven’t seen hide-nor-hair of the Covenant since that one assault, much less had them attach boarding pods that he could ride back; the crew would notice immediately if he stole a craft of his own; and he’s the size of a Hunter so he couldn’t fit on the Pelicans the Marines rode down.

His long legs were stretched out in front of him, and his plasma rifle lay on the grass beside him, and his deactivated energy sword was in his other hand. He had his invisibility cloaking activated of course, for if he hadn’t, one of the Spartans or perhaps even a marine would see him in the shadows.

Meaning that his gun, which is outside of the cloaking effect, is still visible.

Idiot.

He had seen the other two Spartans, and from what his translators had caught, the female one that went by the name of Kelly, seemed to be a little more jumpy and carefree than the other. The one named James was similar to John, but all of them looked the same with the helmets on, and were surely as equally talented.

Actually, they both seem to be blowing away the Chief so far when it comes to basic intelligence.”

‘Kolsamee hadn’t received any specific orders about what to do with the other two, but ‘Malnoonee had told him to kill whoever else got in his way of his mission of slaughtering the Demon and Renee. He just hoped that those other two Spartans would happen to get in his way. He would enjoy that immensely, to slaughter not one, but three of Humanity’s special super-soldiers.

Does this guy really think he can take on three Spartans at once and walk away?

Well, he’s an Elite- of course he does! If so many of those things didn’t charge blindly into battle against clearly superior enemies, Sangheilios would literally be covered in them.”

He moved one four-fingered hand up to his stomach, which was grumbling in hunger. He hadn’t eaten in a long time, since earlier the other day aboard the Hercules, where he had snatched a half of what humans called a “sandwich” off one of the cafeteria tables when no one was looking.

And in this entire time he’s been onboard, nobody has noticed all of this food disappearing?

I mean, I’d believe that of Kilburn and Smythe, no question, but you’d think at least Troy would realize something was up…”

Human food was odd. It was hard for him to chew, pieces of it got stuck on his teeth and it was even more difficult to try and swallow. However, it didn’t taste too bad.

Why is it that every Halo ‘fic we read here has a section where an Elite tries to eat human food? What’s the appeal of that, exactly?”

‘Kolsamee had had worse, like the time he had to eat some food a group of Kig-Yar had been sharing.

Ok, why? Seriously, why would he ever get the idea to do that? There’s no small amount of animosity between Jackals and Elites, and it’s not like the Covenant doesn’t produce species-appropriate rations for everyone.

He couldn’t wait until his mission was over, until the Demon and his love interest were slaughtered,

And, just like that, we have established more common ground with the Giant Freakish Elite than we have with any other character in this trash heap… aside from Lieutenant Fisher, of course.”

and he could join back with his own species and eat Sangheili food again.

But aside from that, ‘Kolsamee had just watched a very interesting scene from his seat beneath the tree.

Wait, there was an interesting scene somewhere in this?

This is the first I’ve heard about it…”

Renee had gotten in an argument with another human, whose name ‘Kolsamee had understood to be Troy.

He had almost laughed when he saw the little female punch Troy in the face. She obviously must have some sort of strength, ‘Kolsamee decided.

Some sort, yeah, I guess.

Why hadn’t she tried to punch him in the face when she had run into him around the corner aboard the Hercules? Oh, he reminded himself, because humans spooked easily.

Huh. And here I thought it was just the initiative-sapping effect of proximity to Master Chief Petty Officer Edward-117.”

They were scared, wimpy creatures, who were nothing without their guns. Sometimes, they were nothing with guns, too.

Well, as far as the two main characters are concerned, he’s pretty much right.

They were just plain amusing, how they set up their little tents, how they wouldn’t dare venture out at night, knowing they would be easy prey. Sangheili and the other species of Covenant didn’t set up little tents; they slept on the ground, if they had time to sleep at all.

Ok, research fail time- The Fall of Reach specifically mentions the Sangheili setting up a temporary camp with “odd, hexagonal tents”.

He just sits there and watches a while longer while the Spartans head out, twirling his nonexistant moustache the whole time.”

‘Kolsamee was relieved there wasn’t one to head in his direction- he wasn’t in the mood for killing tonight.

“Us, on the other hand…”

He sat there in silence, letting minutes tick by, as it got darker outside, and the last few lights inside the tents flicked off. He realized, the Spartans must be guarding the camp’s perimeter… but they were foolish, for they were oblivious that a huge threat- that could easily slaughter everyone in the area- was seated under a tree not twenty feet away from the nearest tent.

What huge, threat? William… Shatner?

Now that the Spartans had left the camp unattended,

Because apparently other than the Spartans (who are only there because they felt like it), this base camp populated by eight Pelicans’ worth of Marines has no other perimeter guards.”

‘Kolsamee’s stomach seemed to grumble louder and louder. His hunger became more persistent, and his conscience began to urge him to go into the camp and look for something to satisfy it.

So, if his conscience urges him to eat when he’s hungry, does his Id make him feel guilty for doing so?

‘Kolsamee decided that he would go and try to find some food. He quietly rose to full height, stretched, and then he slunk down, hunching his back so he stood at about six and a half feet tall. Even though he was invisible, he felt more secure when he had this sneaky posture.

Great, now even the Elite is five years old.

He slunk into the perimeter of the camp, ducking against the tent Renee and Troy had fought behind not long ago, and he craned his long neck around the corner to see any movement, but didn’t see any. So he wandered further into the camp, following his nose, sniffing for any scents that might be human food.

Since, apparently, given unrestricted access to a major Marine encampment, sabotaging the Pelicans or planting a bomb in the command center is still a secondary tactical priority to the procurement of sandwiches. I’d be amazed the Covenant was winning the war, but then again I have seen their opposition.”

Strangely, a large cluster of supply boxes, towards the center of the camp caught his eye. There was a faint smell wafting out of them that smelled like food. He crept over to the nearest box, and studied it for a moment to try and figure out the quietest way to get into the contents. If he shot his plasma rifle, the plasma would easily burn through the box, but the sound would awake someone or get those Spartans rushing back to camp. ‘Kolsamee looked down to the deactivated energy sword in his hand, and decided this would be the best way. It would slice through the box, and only make a slight hissing noise, which shouldn’t wake anyone.

Or, you know, you could open the lid

‘Kolsamee swung out his arm, activating the sword, and it glimmered to life with a hiss, the blue-white of it doubling as a flashlight.

Which, generally, is not something you want with you if you are sneaking into the middle of an enemy fortification at night and can already see perfectly well in the dark anyway.”

Seriously, why couldn’t he just open the goddamn lid?

With a well aimed swing, the top of the box was cut cleanly off, the wood landing onto the ground with a dull thump.

Something else that could wake any nearby Marines… seriously, how the flippety fuck did this moron manage to survive onboard a UNSC frigate?!

Also, UNSC supply crates are typically made of metal, not wood.”

He was just about to peer into the box, when suddenly he sensed a presence behind him, and whipped around, only to see a human girl, with fiery red hair, looking right at him. He realized in a split second it was Renee’s companion, Amy.

He deactivated his invisibility cloak, and brandished his sword challengingly, and took a warning step towards her.

Ok, once again, why? Now you’ve given her a chance to yell and summon yet more Marines, when you could have just cut her in half as soon as you were aware of her and still had a decent shot at staying silent.”

Can we please still just cut Amy Smythe in half anyway?

Amy stared in horror at the black armor-clad Elite, realizing this was the same one that had been aboard the Hercules, the one that had hit her, the one that had almost killed Renee.

But didn’t for… some arcane reason.

She hadn’t been asleep when she heard rustling outside, and had she decided to come and see who it was. And she had neglected to think about bringing a weapon with her.




Really?

I’m not even-

This is just-”

Well, I guess it’s true, then. We are well and truly in the stupid part.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 64

‘Kolsamee’s burning yellow eyes seemed to glow in the dark as he stared at her, unblinking. She glanced momentarily to the box he had sliced open with his energy sword. What was in the box that would be of any interest to an Elite?

For a moment, Amy considered sounding the alarm, but realized this alien could kill her instantly before she would even be able to say the first word. So she met his eyes challengingly,

Which is not a word…”

And which, to my infinite amusement, the autocorrect suggests should have been “enchantingly”.

and recalled that she had heard from others that the Elites could in fact speak English. So she took a deep breath, and said quietly,

“What are you doing?”

‘Kolsamee understood her words with help from his in-helmet translator, though he was confused. Why didn’t she make any move to try and call for help?

Because she’s an idiot?”

… Makes sense to me!

“It doesn’t matter to you, human scum,” ‘Kolsamee said in English, despising the language, “Tell me, how would you like to die tonight?” He chuckled after this.

We’d like her to die tonight, does that count?

“I wouldn’t,” Amy replied, her voice unsteady as she took a step backwards, “There are three Spartans in this camp. You kill me and they’ll be right on your sorry ass.”

“They’ve gone to guard the perimeter, human,” ‘Kolsamee hissed in his deep voice, “They wouldn’t hear if I were to slice your head from your shoulders.”

“You wouldn’t kill me,” Amy challenged, “I know you wouldn’t.”

“What makes you think that, you pathetic creature?” ‘Kolsamee growled, tightening his grip on his energy sword, “I hit you once, though apparently not hard enough to crush your skull.”

Not that that would stop her from talking…

“You remember me, ” she whispered.

“I trust you must remember me as well,” ‘Kolsamee chuckled with a sneer, “Dead afraid you were, and that friend of yours. You’re afraid of me now. I can sense your fear, oh, how I enjoy it.”

Ok, seriously, why does this sound so much more like caliginous sexual tension than the actual romance arc?

Come on, we all know they deserve each other…”

“You’re a sick bastard,” she was quick to snap.

“In your terms, I may be,” ‘Kolsamee replied, “But I am only following orders, just as you are.”

“Your orders are to kill your enemies, why haven’t you killed me?”

“You’re not on my list, human, unless you get in my way. My name is Ktao ‘Kolsamee.”

“I don’t give a shit what your name is,” Amy said. She was beginning to get fed up with this Elite’s attitude, “Your name could be Fuck-shit, and it’d make no difference to me.”

Hmmm… I like it! I actually like it! Henceforth, “Ktao ‘Kolsamee” the Freakish Giant Elite shall forever be known as Fuck-shit the Freakish Giant Elite!

So, anyway, he grabs his ration pack and runs off, leaving Amy behind. Then, out of fear of “getting John and the other Spartans in trouble for letting an Elite in the camp”-

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 65

-she actually decides to hide the evidence and not to tell anyone that Fuck-shit was there! Ladies and Gentlebeings, Amy Smythe is now officially dumb enough to be a creepypasta character.

Amy reached the edge of the woods, and was surprised to see ‘Kolsamee again. She saw his eyes first, but they weren’t where she expected them to be. They were close to the ground. As her eyes adjusted to the shadows, she saw ‘Kolsamee was seated on the ground like a common human would be. He had torn open the ration pack, and was trying his best to chew on a piece of pepperoni, though pieces of it fell out of his mouth.

“…
leaving behind even more physical evidence that he was there, which in the cramped environment of the Hercules would have quickly revealed his presence.

For the Spirits’ sake, even the story acknowledges that the only reason Fuck-shit hasn’t been found out yet is because he’s seduced intimidated a Marine into covering for him!”

She shot him a weird look, but didn’t say anything. This was too weird. Amy prayed that she’d wake up, and it would be just a dream. This wasn’t normal. Elites didn’t talk to Humans, they didn’t steal ration packs, they didn’t run into a Human and let them live.

Amy walked past him, to the edge of the woods, feeling his eyes following her.

“Hiding the evidence?” ‘Kolsamee ‘s low growly voice inquired. She glared at him over her shoulder and tossed the top of the box far into the forest. She heard a dull thud as it collided with a tree and fell to the ground.

She didn’t answer, but just turned around and started walking back into the camp, feeling shivers run down her spine. Behind her, she heard ‘Kolsamee chuckle softly to himself in the darkness.

… And the shippers rejoiced.”

Come back next time to see the Master Chief at his worst yet, as Love of a Spartan attempts to get serious.

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50 Comments on “1630: Love of a Spartan – Chapter Fourteen”

  1. BatJamags says:

    This section of the riff contains potential flamebait in the form of military sexual assault. An actual assault this time, too. Yay

    *Sigh*

    I was kind of hoping AB wouldn’t sink this low.

  2. BatJamags says:

    “Maybe that is the name, and the Lacertan colonists are just really, really unimaginative. They did name their planet after an IAU constellation, after all.”

    They could’ve at least gone with established city-naming conventions and called it Lacerta City.

  3. BatJamags says:

    in the previous chapter’s tramping through the jungle there was only one mention of any kind of insect life (a solitary mosquito).

    Which leads me to wonder: why would they have mosquitos on an alien planet?

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      I imagine they’d have something similar enough to be mistaken for one. The fact that only one bug was mentioned in the jungle actually kind of makes sense- they don’t recognize human scent as edible, but some still occasionally collide out of pure luck.

  4. BatJamags says:

    God, if that‘s the best high-school story he can come up with, these two must have had an even more boring adolescence than I did- at least I got to pull the old “replace- the- desktop- background- with- a- screenshot- of- itself- and- then- delete- all- the- icons” trick a couple of times in the computer labs…

    You maniac.

    Now I wish I’d gone to a regular high school so I could’ve done that…

  5. BatJamags says:

    “Why?” he said again, “This is why.”

    I know this shouldn’t be my main concern with this scene, but…

    Why would that be why?! That has nothing to do with her question!

  6. BatJamags says:

    You know, it really says something about Love of a Spartan that its depiction of front-line military life makes being a grad student look grueling by comparison.

    Are you kidding? It makes being a high school student look grueling. Y’know, since they’re all clearly middle-school-aged.

  7. BatJamags says:

    I’ll protect her, and it’s not going to change. Understand?”

    The part of Edward-117 will be played by Edward (no relation) G. Robinson.

    “I’ll protect her, see? And that’s not going to change, you understand? Now get to work, youse mugs.”

  8. BatJamags says:

    mission of slaughtering the Demon and Renee.

    *Raises hand*

    Question: Why is Renee at all relevant to his mission?

  9. BatJamags says:

    So, if his conscience urges him to eat when he’s hungry, does his Id make him feel guilty for doing so?

    I was going to say that Freud would have a field day, but honestly he’d probably just have a heart attack.

  10. BatJamags says:

    Even though he was invisible, he felt more secure when he had this sneaky posture.

    Nice job with the sneaking, Caboose.

  11. BatJamags says:

    “I trust you must remember me as well,” ‘Kolsamee chuckled with a sneer, “Dead afraid you were, and that friend of yours. You’re afraid of me now. I can sense your fear, oh, how I enjoy it.”

    I’m confused, is he evil?

  12. BatJamags says:

    -she actually decides to hide the evidence and not to tell anyone that Fuck-shit was there!

  13. Leider Hosen says:

    This section of the riff contains potential flamebait in the form of military sexual assault. An actual assault this time, too. Yay…

    *sigh* All aboard the fun train! *waves tiny flag*

  14. Leider Hosen says:

    Anyway, the Chief shows up to tell them to calm down, and apparently they won’t be engaging the Covenant until daylight because in 2535 the UNSC has apparently forgotten how to manufacture night-vision goggles.

    What do you expect from a military that communicates via post-its and pigeons?

  15. Leider Hosen says:

    But you know what? I still like it. Not everybody has the opportunity to go back and edit what they’re saying from the heart so that it’s clear and well-structured. In fact, that’s a lot of what psychotherapy is– helping people who are confused about how they feel about things put them into some sort of rational order. Watching Troy break down like this shows a lot about how he’s conflicted between wanting his friends to stay safe and recognizing that they’re individuals who have as much of a responsibility to fight for humanity as he does; how he’s still worried about lingering fondness for Renee compromising his tactical objectivity while at the same time fearing he has become too much of a hardass and is treating her unnecessarily harshly to compensate. Seeing him babble on like this makes him look human, more so than any other character in this shitheap… especially Edward-117.

    Can we switch main protagonist? I vote we switch main protagonist.

  16. Leider Hosen says:

    You know, I probably should be dinging Troy for unprofessional behavior here, but quite honestly Renee Kilburn is just so goddamn aggravating that I really cannot blame him for losing his temper like this- especially since Edward’s behavior is indeed a threat to Renee (along with pretty much everyone else) and he’s just admitted that deep down he does still worry for her safety.

    Yes! It’s so obvious he’s doing all of this out of jealousy since it’s so OOC for him to be acting so selfish and emotional. Edward-117 has been defying his orders, hostile and violent to his CO, and has shown very little in the form of emotional investment in Renee. Troy is absolutely right to be questioning Renee’s safety in John’s hands.

    Troy is so fucking right! I mean, love makes you irrational so he isn’t wording his argument well, but his jealousy and genuine love are so apparent. Why does the bash fodder have so much more going for him than the actual OTP?

    Abrelepine: I’ll go help him break the ice with his new extraterrestrial mates, I happen to have some experience in trans-species relations. It’s the least I can do to help.

    • Leider Hosen says:

      “Why can’t you leave him alone?” Renee cried, her voice growing high-pitched. She tried to shove Troy away from her, but he grabbed her wrists, and shoved her roughly backwards, behind one of the tents, shadowing them both in darkness.

      “Why?” Troy echoed, his hands clamped tightly about her wrists. She struggled against him, looking bewildered.

      “Let go of me,” she said icily.

      “Why?” he said again, “This is why.”

      Then his lips were over hers in a kiss that made her stomach flop. He still had her wrists in his grip, she tried to struggle, but she couldn’t. She wasn’t able to break the kiss, she was under Troy’s control. Her heart pounded furiously in her ears, anger overwhelming her, and with a surge of force, she shoved him with all her strength, and he went stumbling back several feet.

      …Did you just take the one likable, standout character in this fiction, give him a good, believable relationship, than just piss it away three seconds later… heh….hahahahahaahahahaha I’m sur3 yuO diDn’T becaus3 If Y0u d1D…

      -Abrelepine hides in the corner as Hosen’s rage raises-

    • BatJamags says:

      I love how we’ve got an OC who was created to be bashed and is not only much more likable than the actual main characters, but is actually better developed than they are. Half the reason this fic is so interesting is trying to figure out the logistics of how that even happened.

  17. Leider Hosen says:

    “Why do the Chief and Kelly seem to fit together so much more naturally as a mated pair than the Chief and his actual mate?”

    Why is Troy, the antagonist of the story, 10x more likable and relatable than the actual main character?

  18. Leider Hosen says:

    Kolsamee decided that he would go and try to find some food. He quietly rose to full height, stretched, and then he slunk down, hunching his back so he stood at about six and a half feet tall. Even though he was invisible, he felt more secure when he had this sneaky posture.

    Abrelepine: I like this one. He’s adorable in a pathetic sort of way.

  19. Leider Hosen says:

    And which, to my infinite amusement, the autocorrect suggests should have been “enchantingly”.

    Abrelepine: *snerk* Would she be trying to mind-control the brute or seduce him?

  20. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    “Actually, you’re a lot more disposable than they are. Why do you think there’s millions of you and only a hundred or so of them?”

    Which of course totally explains why Spartans always seem to end up in these super dumb last stand situations to save their Marine buddies…

    How very *Noble* of them

    I guess it’s no surprise that one point I could remember Master Chief being referred to as the ‘Last Spartan’ on the back of Halo 3’s game case

  21. agigabyte says:

    Also, “You just succeeded in creating an unnecessary problem”? Why are the Marines suddenly talking like engineers?

    I mean, I speak like that.

  22. agigabyte says:

    He couldn’t wait until his mission was over, until the Demon and his love interest were slaughtered,

    Who thinks the words “love interest” instead of “romantic partner” or something? I mean, I do, but I’m me. Kolsamee is an Elite!

  23. agigabyte says:

    “Because apparently other than the Spartans (who are only there because they felt like it), this base camp populated by eight Pelicans’ worth of Marines has no other perimeter guards.”

    *DuFresne appears, wearing loose-fitting shorts and a shirt*

    DuFresne: You know, I- *Yawns* have a perfectly comfortable onesie, but I’ve stopped wearing it because I keep getting teleported here in the middle of the night, and Syl keeps taking pictures.

    Cain: When is the night for you, anyway?

    DuFresne: Whenever it’s narratively convenient.

    Cain: Ah. My sympathies.

  24. AmyXFuckShitOTP says:

    What huge, threat?

    HIS GIANT, VEINY, CSS BATTLECRUISER


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