Date: 6 April 2006, 7:55 pm
Ch. 1: "Must've been those sleeping pills
0800 Hours, September 30, 2552 (Military Calendar)/
O.N.I Medical Facility Kilo-Three
Sidney, Australia, Earth
Spartan-104 Frederic opened his eyes and stared at the over-head lights in the operation wing of the medical facility. Fear immediately swept over him. He had no clue where he was, or why he was there. He wasn't wearing his armor and he felt extremely vulnerable.
The operating table was cold as ice. He stirred uncomfortably. Fred looked around and noticed a female nurse watching him from a distance. She had blonde hair, smooth features, and hazel eyes-Fred's augmented sight allowed him to see that in detail.
Fred tried to lift himself up from the table but his arms felt incredibly weak. He fell back down and winced in pain. The female nurse walked over toward Fred.
"Spartan-104, please lay down. You need your rest." She said with a soothing voice. She smiled and wiped her hands on the white uniform she wore.
"Why am I here?" Fred asked.
"Severe plasma burns to your abdomen-your armor was destroyed."
That last comment made Fred angry. His armor was trashed and he didn't even know why.
"Well, how did I get that severe plasma burn?"
The nurse's demeanor changed, she suddenly became more serious. "You were on an operation. You, three other Spartans, and Sergeant Johnson destroyed a Covenant command center. After you destroyed the station [I]Unyielding Hierophant[/I], you left toward the Sol system aboard the UNSC vessel [I]Gettysburg[/I]. A group of Elites were hidden, they ambushed the bridge-you were hurt very badly. A hit from a high-impact fuel rod cannon send you into a coma. You held out for thirty hours and made it here. You've been in a coma for quite a while. I'm sorry to say, one of your friends died while battling the Covenant sweeper team."
Fred didn't remember any of the events that the young nurse had spoke of. He must have gotten really hurt to be sent into a coma.
"Rest while the I.V re-hydrates your body. You should be able to move in an hour." She said. "By the way, I'm Claire."
Fred gently pressed two fingers over the needle that was connected deep in his skin. "Nice to meet you, Claire..."
0900 Hours, September 30, 2552 (Military Calendar)/
O.N.I Medical Facility Kilo-Three
Sidney, Australia, Earth
Fred quickly gobbled up his breakfast-or was it lunch? Fred sat alone in the cafeteria. He thought that the meal was the best he had in a long time. Sasuage and eggs, with a glass of cool orange juice.
Fred had woke, dressed himself in the patient attire, and strode off to the cafeteria.
Fred wondered which one of the Spartans died. They were his family since a young age. Ever since they had been kidnapped they had been close. All the Spartans were a family.
"I wonder..." Fred whispered to himself as he drank a swig of orange juice.
"What do you wonder?" A voice asked. The mysterious male voice grew closer.
An older man came into view. Fred instantly recognized him. Colonel James Ackerson, an enemy in Fred's eyes. The man sat down in front of Fred, he also snatched a stick of sausage from his tray.
The man ate the spicy food quickly and spoke softly but assertively. "Hello, Spartan-104. Or should I say? Fred."
The colonel had disliked Dr. Catherine Halsey, who was the equivalent to the Spartan's mother. So naturally, Fred hated him with a passion. Both sides of a rivalry usually have a different motivation-Colonel Ackerson dispised the Spartan Program, Dr. Halsey, and all the Spartans, as well as they despised him.
"With all due respect," Fred started, "What are you doing here?"
The colonel wore his dress blues, the uniform was covered with campaign ribbons and awards. "You. You are the reason why I am here."
Fred wondered why the hell that was.
"Okay, so what it is it?" Fred spoke, "Sir..."
For an odd reason the colonel smiled a sly grin. "Four words; Section Three, Top Secret."
Colonel Ackerson stood up and grabbed another sausage. "I cannot speak of it aloud, so I'll send you a message to your new armor. Go to the armory, Master Gunnery Sergeant Von Tross will get you suited up."
The colonel walked away and Fred sighed. Fred finished the meal, picked up the empty tray, and placed it on the conveyor belt which led to a washroom.
Dozens of sponge baths...I could use a real one. Fred thought to himself. He walked toward the lavatory facilities.
Fred entered the small room. It was empty. Fred wondered where everyone was. There were two rows of showers against a wall, each individual shower area was encased behind a tangerine curtain.
Fred stripped the blue medical robe off his body and stepped into one of the showers. Fred twisted a knob that was directly in front of him. Warm water washed the sweat off Fred's skin. He relaxed and enjoyed the shower. After Fred was content that he was clean, he got out of the shower and changed back into the robe.
The Spartan felt very good. He left the lavatory and walked into a T-corridor. He turned right toward the monorail system that obviously traveled though the facility. Fred walked up to the single cart. He stepped inside and grabbed hold of a support bar.
The human-like voice of an A.I spoke. "Hello."
"I need to go to the armory." Fred said.
"Yes, sir." The A.I replied. "I still don't understand why a medical facility needs an armory..."
Fred knew that an A.I could babble on and on for hours. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." The A.I said as the cart started to move. The cart traveled past multiple sights. Fred stared out at mountains and rolling hills from a view screen.
The cart finally reached it's destination. The doors slid open, and Fred stepped out. Fred walked forward and looked down. A sign behind a set of blast doors read: Armory. Fred walked up to doors, they slid open, and the Spartan walked inside.
"Hey chief!" Sergeant Von Tross yelled. "Over here!"
Fred walked over to the master gunnery sergeant and nodded. "I'm getting new armor?"
The sergeant let out a long high-pitched whistle. "Hey Dudders! Corporal Dudders, bring in the chief's early Christmas present."
The corporal entered the room. He pushed a cart laden with the parts of green MJOLNIR armor. "Just came in from Songnam, Korea. Hope you like it, sir." The corporal departed from the room.
Fred pulled the cart closer to him.
"I know you know how to put it on. Right?" Sergeant Von Tross asked smiling. "Mark Six, hope you treat her better than your last armor."
"Well next time we host a picnic with the Covenant, you talk to them about that." Fred said. He actually smiled for the first time in what felt like ages.
Sergeant Von Tross left the room. Fred removed his patient robe and started to slip on the components of the new armor. Fred placed on the breast plate, the hand gauntlets, and finally the helmet. The helmet had an orange reflective visor. The armor's systems started to integrate to Fred neural interface. The sergeant walked back into the room.
Sergeant Von Tross pushed the cart behind a steel table. "Step into the yellow square." He said pointing to the recharge station.
Fred followed the orders and stepped into the armor recharge station. "Okay, place your hand into the red mold please." Fred did and the recharge system started. Three bars rotated around the Spartan. Golden streaks of energy consumed Fred."
"Alright, your shield is done recharging." Sergeant Von Tross said.
Fred stepped out of the machine and looked around.
"Take it easy. You HUD is calibrating." Von Tross said.
Fred's noticed that the head's up display was different from his older armor. The shield's energy level increased as the blue bar on the bottom right of the display filled. The characteristic warning audible whined loudly.
"Alright, it's all good." Fred said. Health biometers, status checks, and multiple other systems started.
"You're good to go." Sergeant Von Tross said. "Refractive coating, layers of form-fitting gel, the capability to house a ship-grade A.I, I wish I had that kind of protection."
"Yeah. Well anyway, thanks sergeant." Fred said as he walked out of the room.
The Spartan neared the monorail system and suddenly remembered Colonel Ackerson's message...
Fred opened up his message boards and read the file that was simply called: Operation Disarray.
Fred opened the file.
PLNB Priority Transmission. XX-104F-XX
Encryption Code: Tango
Public Key: N/A
From: Colonel J. Ackerson, Office of Naval Intelligence
To: Spartan-104, Chief Petty Officer
Subject: Operation Disarray
Classification: EYES ONLY, TOP SECRET (SECTION-III X-RAY DIRECTIVE)
Spartan-104, you are needed for a top secret operation dubbed Operation: Disarray. HighCom has intercepted a Covenant message that says that there is some sort of Covenant encampment on Jericho VII, in the Lambda Serpentis system. Jericho VII was glassed by the Covenant in 2535, but now they have re-built some important infrastructures that were once there. The Covenant are using these grounds for a shipyard, training grounds, and a command center. You and a team of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers will board the frigate Pythagorean and leave for the Lambda Serpentis system. You will plant a nuke, which will destroy the Covenant forces and their little command center. You'll then high-tail it back to Earth for further orders. The Covenant have found the coordinates for Earth-but we still must follow protocol. The ship must not take a direct route to Earth, but a random course.
You will receive further information on this op. This mission requires secrecy on your part and mine. If you slip, I am afraid we cannot simply let it slide.
Failure to comply with these measures will lead to immediate court marshal and further actions. UNSC General Order 546618-Z-6 ("Subornation Issue".)
Fred frowned. He had a bad feeling about the whole thing. But orders were orders. He might as well get back into action-considering he had served in more land engagements then he could remember. Fred stepped into the cart and spoke to the A.I. "Please take me to the ship bay."
"Acknowledged, sir." The A.I said.
The cart reached it's destination.
Fred left the cart and stepped into the large bay. A dozen D77-TC "Pelicans", Longsword Interceptors, two frigates, dozens of M12 LRV "Warthogs", and three "Scorpion" MBT's filled the room. About fifty ODSTs poured into one of the frigates. Three Pelicans ascended into the air, and boarded the ship through it's open launch bay. Fred started to walk toward the vacated ship-that was his ride.
A ODST jogged up to Fred. The Spartan checked the trooper's rank. "Yes, sergeant."
"Sir, we are Tango Company. We will assist you on your operation. I am Company Commander Daniel Carter." The marine said. The commander smartly saluted Fred and Fred did the same. The higher-ranking Spartan dropped his saluted and the pair walked toward the ship.
A trio of Warthogs accelerated up a boarding ramp. Fred and Sergeant Carter followed behind them. "Don't get comfortable chief..." Sergeant Carter said smiling. He pushed up his dark sunglasses and chuckled. "Damn, I need a vacation."
Fred smiled inside his armor. "You're telling me."
The frigate slowly drifted out of the medical facility's ship bay. It arose into the sky and exited Earth's atmosphere. The vessel shook suddenly, it re-stabalized and appeared in space a few minutes later.
Captain Andrew Colm watched all this happen through the view screen in his ship's bridge. "Goodbye Earth..." he whispered to himself.
"Ensign Wilson, please call the Spartan to the bridge." Captain Colm said.
The ensign who sat at the COM station replied, "Aye, aye, sir." Ensign Wilson pressed the COM button and spoke. "Spartan-104, you are needed on the bridge. The captain needs to speak to you." His voice blurted out over the ship's speaker system.
A few heartbeats later Fred appeared. He saluted the captain and nodded. "Spartan-104, reporting for duty, sir."
"At ease. Hello Spartan-104. You are obviously have received the basic details of the operation-and that's enough." The captain's face told a story. He had obviously been through a lot. Humanity in general had been through a lot.
"Elapsed time of arrival is one-hundred and forty hours sir. We are entering slipspace now." The female voice of the ship's A.I said.
Fred stared out at the strange phenomena of slipspace.
"Son, you tired? Go get some sleep." The captain said sincerely.
"No, I think I've gotten enough sleep." Fred answered back.
"What ever you say chief." Captain Colm said with a raised eyebrow.
"I was in a coma..."
"You were?" The captain asked. "What happened?"
"Must of been those sleeping pills..."