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Apollo Team: Chapter 1
Posted By: Alex L (Greek Elite)
Date: 4 November 2006, 5:51 am

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AN: Well, it's been a while since I've done any fan fic writing, mainly because I sort of gave up the direction I was going in with Alien Brethren (even though I still love the thought of Ebak and his father). The plot's direction was sort of twisted and difficult for me to work with, so I kind of gave up on it...but I'll possibly return to it after Halo 3 (and then take them through that plotline). In the mean time, I was tempted to start something new...and I'm hoping that this will go off well with my previous readers/fans. So here's what I came up with...
I hope you all enjoy!

Chapter 1: Origin

      A young, newly recruited Marine, whom had been enjoying his leave until this moment, had come crashing to the floor from a wrathful fist that had been fueled by a drunken fury. The marine on the ground had been dressed in a less formal, yet still very official Marine khakis. His face had been fair and shaped by a handsome youth, which contradicted harshly with a new red fist mark upon his left cheek. Despite his hardened composure from months of training and astute stare, his body still appeared to be rather frail and weak.
       "So much for a welcome back handshake," groaned the Marine as he began to recover and get back to his feet.
       "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING, COMING BACK HERE, YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING, SON OF A BITCH!" Roared a mid-aged, washed up man standing over the Marine, aggressively.
       "Just thought I'd see if anything changed in this lonely house of yours," the Marine replied calmly, glancing around at a ravaged living room scene. "And by the looks of it, nothing has."
       "PISS OFF!" The man spat violently "Why don't you just get the hell out of my house and go die by those fucking aliens!"
       "Maybe I will, dad," the Marine replied, "And maybe that way, when you see my coffin, you can bend right over so the Covenant can fuck you over too!"
      A deep, hellish fire burned within the aged man's eyes now as he gritted his crooked teeth and lunged his body forward at the soldier. The soldier quickly sidestepped from the abrupt offense, swirled around the man, and locked the man's body with his arms to keep him from moving any further.
       "You know what dad?" The soldier said, his lips right at the man's ears, "You're damn lucky I'm in the Marines. Because I'd kick your scrawny ass in a heartbeat if you weren't a civilian."
      The old man's restraints had been finally broken with a light shove from the Marine, which had been enough to make the drunken old man stumble on his feet and crash clumsily to the ground. The old-man remained mostly still, panting aggressively upon the floor, drowning in his own seething temper.
       "Who are you trying to kid, going to the Marines? You're nothing....worthless...weak..."
      The soldier now leveled himself near his old, cripple, inebriated father, knees bent and eyes fixed upon the bloodshot, ovals that glared back at him. The soldier smirked, finding the true nature of the man and the irony of what he'd just said.
       "No dad. You're the one whose weak. You have to find strength from the bottle...from beating your son...from abusing your wife." He now stood at full height, glaring down at his sad excuse for a father. "I joined the Marines so I could get out of this shitty life that you put me and to make something of myself...to fight for bums like you who don't have any hope for a happy, peaceful life." The Marine headed over to a limp, dirty armchair, where a trusty SRS99C-S2 AM Sniper Rifle had lay peacefully for him. He smiled as he ran his hand across the polished barrel, "You know, dad, I hope the Covenant do you a favor...and destroy you completely like they did to Reach."
      The Marine then began making his way to the front door, which had been resting uncomfortably on one broken hinge. He left the house with no regrets, feeling somewhat complete for having been able to face his father and tell him off the way he did; of course feeling disappointed al the same for failing to have see anything change as far as his father or his home.
      As he returned outside, in the cool Chicago streets, he found waiting for him on the sidewalk a young, beautiful blond-haired beauty.
       "Sounds like you showed him," she said, with a small smile upon her sweet, gentle face.
      The Marine smiled back and embraced his love tightly, "I love you, Hailey."
       "I love you too, John," Hailey replied. They continued to hold one another for a moment longer, wallowing in one another's love. "So, are you ready to head off to the airport?"
      Before John could reply, the crashing sound of the old broken door coming apart from it's final hinges echoed through the cold air, and standing in the doorway was John's father.
       "John," he said, "Take care of yourself, all right?"
      John just stared at his father for a moment, confused to hear those words come from his mouth. He finally replied by shaking his head subtly...
       "It's not John anymore, dad," he said, "Its Private Baxter."

       Celebrated cheers of joy and merriness echoed through the warm, beautiful night at Zanzibar-Windmill Military Installation. The drunken, merry cheers had originated from an elevated post, most commonly used as a look-out post or sniping position, where a small team of Marines celebrated in the night with booze and a small camp fire.
       One Marine in particular, whom seemed to stick out from the rest, had been the center of attention at this moment as he began downing a bottle of beer in one whole swig. An eruption cheers took place as he finished the whole thing and tossed it gleefully into the fire.
       "Damn, dude. How many beers was that now?"
       The marine whom had chugged the beer bottle had possessed many features unlike his fellow infantry men. Upon his head had been an outrageous, obnoxious fro that curled playfully upon his cranium, while his face maintained a stern, bland, and serious status upon his face, contradicting his hair-cut completely.
       "That had to of been three," he hiccupped, "And at that, my final one. Because tomorrow morning...I'm going to have one hell of a hangover."
       "Gee...we would have thought your hair would have saturated all that alcohol, not your head!"
       An outburst of laughter roared through the night at the remark, and even the man with the fro joined in a humoring chorus.
       "So tell me again," hiccupped another Marine, "How come they let you keep your fro?"
       "I won an arm wrestle with one of the drill sergeants," he bragged.
       "OH HAIL THE MIGHTY FROMAN!" Cried out another drunken Marine, whom began humoring the Marine, nicknamed Froman, with his drunken praising and bowing.
       Froman chuckled, "Wow, I really have to stop partying with you guys...Froman...that's got a nice ring to it. Hey, hand me that combat knife over there!"
       One of his fellow comrades had tossed him the knife, and he caught it easily despite his impaired judgment. He twirled the knife in his fingers a few times as he got up and headed over to a nearby wall. He smiled to himself and began carving into the wall with his knife. Everyone watched closely as he inscribed and once he was finished they all burst out into laughter, sides splitting.
       "I hereby declare this post...Camp Froman," he declared proudly, with a drunken grin upon his face.
       "Oh man, that's hilarious!"
       "HAHA! Yea! Brilliant man! Camp Froman! Oh, if only Schafer were around to see this!"
       Froman began scanning the dark horizon, in search of the lost Marine, Schafer. "Say, where is he?" He asked.

       Past the sea wall of the Zanzibar base had been a nearly abandoned beach, which brought in a soft midnight tide upon the coastline. There on the beach, had been a lonesome soldier, whom sat upon the beach gazing out at the endless, starry horizon. The Marine had hair as light and bright as the sand he sat upon, while his eyes contradicted with a dark, hollow, and lost appearance. He had a stiff jaw, and a bland expression on his face, bringing a more distasteful look to his image.
       He just sat there, staring out at the sea, allowing the cold grasp of loneliness to bind and crush his spirits into dark matter. He pondered about his training, about his new life, about the war, and about the Covenant.
       The Covenant. A bunch of cold, soulless bastards, is what they were...and that's exactly what they had turned him into. He spoke to no one in his platoon. He allowed no humor or joy take place within his heart. All he could think about was his training: how he was trained to kill those bastards. But killing them wasn't enough, for him. No, each one of them had to be granted a slow death...a brutal death...a disgraceful death...a tormenting one.
       He gazed back up at the cosmos, dropping most of his hate while letting a cool sorrow seep back into his soul, remembering why he hated them so much...and he let frigid tears fall upon the dry, rough sand.

       A crack of sunlight escaped a draped window in a five-star hotel room and fell upon the tossed sheets of the king size bed. Accompanying the large, messy bed had been an open bottle of champagne across the room, clothes strewn all about the floor between it and the bed.
       Upon the calamitous looking bed had been a pair of bodies, one embracing the other tightly while the other welcomed the other's love and stared thoughtfully up at the ceiling. The one embracing her other love had been a fair looking girl in her youthful 20s. Her chestnut hair flowed gracefully upon her pillow and across her love's chest while her innocent eyes remained fixed around him.
       He, however, was a fit man with a sly yet bold look to his face. His smile had remained subtle upon his face, having still been carved into the strong man that he was now. His wavy brown hair had grown to quite long ever since his last mandatory hair cut.
       "I love you," the woman in bed whispered to him, and following up with a kiss.
       "I love you too, Theresa."
       "Then why do you have to go?" She asked, squeezing even more tightly onto her love.
       "We've been over this before, honey," he answered, exhaling a long, troubled sigh after he spoke, "I signed up into the service for you, for me, and for humanity. To protect you from the Covenant and do my duty to serve humanity."
       Theresa frowned and dug her head into his chest, troubled and confused, "Brian, if you were doing this for me you wouldn't just leave me here, alone by myself, having me to wonder every day if you'll come back alive."
       Brian's arms straightened Theresa up so that she was now eye level with him. His cool, serious eyes almost looked as confused as hers, however bore more a dire dedication all the same. "I'm not leaving you..."
       "You're going to go fight a war with an enemy out in space. What do you call that?"
       Brian sighed and avoided her glance, searching for the right words to soothe her rigorous emotions. "I'm not leaving you...because I'll always be thinking about you...and I know you'll always be thinking about me."
       A faint smile crossed her troubled expression as his words had managed to subdue half of her worries. Brian smiled as well and shared one more kiss with her.
       Brian glanced at his watch and quickly jumped out of bed, dressing himself back into his Marine Corps. Uniform.
       "Awe, you have to leave already?" Theresa whined.
       "If I want to make it to the Terminal in time, yes," he replied, hurrying himself as fast as he could. It took him little more then another minute to finish dressing himself and to perfect his uniform's avatar as well.
       "Brian, you didn't forget what today was, did you?" Theresa blurted out, almost randomly.
       Brian froze as he finished doing the last button on his uniform as those words shocked him like a bucket of cold water. He turned back to her and smiled, "Of course not, Theresa. I slipped your birthday present in your jean pocket last night when you dozed off." Theresa's jaw went slack and she immediately jumped out of bed to search for her jeans among the cluster of clothes upon the floor while Brian grabbed his suitcase and headed for the door. "I hope you like it. But don't open it until I leave."
       While Brian headed for the door Theresa had finally found her jeans and extracted a small box from the front pocket that had been wrapped up in golden gift-wrap with a tag that read "To: Theresa, my shining star".
       Just as his hand had clasped around the door handle he stopped as she blurted out, "WAIT!"
       He froze and turned to see Theresa hastily running up to seize him by the arm and force his fingers open so his palm visible to her. Her eyes were wide with fear, on the brink of tears.
       "Please, Brian. You can't go."
       "I-I can't let you...not now. I can't bear the thought of you dieing out there."
       "I promise I won't die, Theresa," he reassured, now holding her close.
       "You promise?" She sniffled, as her tears became almost impossible to hold back now.
       Brian's eyes bore deep into hers and they collided powerfully with contradicting emotions: fear and hope.
       "Thereasa, I promise you, I will come back."
       Theresa stood there, staring into his eyes, letting his words soothe her mind as best as they could. Despite his strong words, and his reassuring gaze, it wasn't enough to settle her heart that he'd be ok...and then a thought occurred, a thought that would put her mind to rest.
       "Take it," Theresa demanded, as she thrust her gift into the open palm of his hand and closed his fingers around it.
       "What? No! This is yours! Your supposed to..."
       "I know," Theresa said, cutting him off, "And I'll open it when you come back."
       "Brian," Theresa interrupted once more, "You promised me that you'd come back..."
       Brian frowned and took in a deep breath, feeling her own fear take down his hopes as well, but when he glanced back at her eyes that he had adored so much, a sweep of hope and fortune swept over him and he smiled, "I will come back. And then, you can finally open your present."
       "I love you, Brian."
       "And I'd do anything for you, Theresa."
       "...don't say anything..."

       "Colonel Procter, he's ready to see you."

       A bold man of years of military experience glanced up from his messy piles of paperwork upon his desk. Colonel Procter had an unforgettable face, complete with a heavy brow, dark eyes, a thick mustache, and a prominent jaw. He gave an approving glance at his reporting secretary and told him, "Bring him in, then."

       A moment later, the Colonel's secretary returned to his office with a burly soldier with a stiff, short blonde haircut. The soldier had been a Marine, whom bared a brand-new patch upon his uniform, granting him the newly gained position of Sergeant. The man's face was stern and disturbed at the same time while his eyes screamed with scarred memories and a ruthless hunger for vengeance.

       The Marine quickly saluted and the Colonel returned his salute while replying, "At ease, soldier." The Colonel waited in a moment of silence until his secretary departed from his simple office. "I trust your return to Earth was a pleasant one, Sergeant."

       "The ride was comfortable," he replied stiffly, "Couldn't sleep a wink, though."

       The Colonel frowned at the remark, hoping the Sergeant's previous mission wouldn't effect his work too much, "There's nothing more that you, I, or any UNSC forces could have done about it, Sergeant. The planet's gone...and we must accept it's fate now."

       The soldier restrained from any replies and simply waited for the Colonel to carry on.

       "You're probably wondering why I called you here, son."

       "Actually, I'm even more curious as to why I wasn't glassed with the rest of my platoon."

       The Colonel, surprisingly, smiled, rather finding confidence in the soldier's rude ambition rather then taking offense to it.

       "You've got some guts, kid," Procter admitted.

       "All do respects sir," the soldier snapped, "I don't appreciate being referred to as, kid."

       Procter smirked, "Fair enough."

       "So do you mind telling me why you asked me to come down here, sir?"

       "Right to the point: I like that Woodword," Colonel Procter complimented, "Now, the reason why I asked to see you was to propose an offer that I don't think you'll want to pass up."

       "Really? And what's that?"

       "To be able to lead your very own squad of talented Marines for an assortment of special missions."

       "Special missions?" The soldier named Woodword chuckled, "If they're so special why don't you just send your damned Hell Jumpers to do it for you?"

       "We've considered doing such," Procter admitted, "But looking at this decision in greater detail we've realized the strengths and flaws in both the Marines and Hell Jumpers."

       "And what would that be, Colonel?"

       "While the Hell Jumpers have been trained even more brutal then you Marines, are specialized to handle intense scenarios of dispatch, and have been trained for elite forms of combat, they lack something that you Marines have. And that thing is teamwork, determination, and the ability to improvise in extreme scenarios."

       "I guess I should be flattered," Woodword muttered, "But you've failed to capture my own interest in these so-called 'special missions'."

       "That's because I haven't told you yet about the opportunity of revenge, Woodword."

       Woodword's eyes grew a bit larger in interest and he cocked an eyebrow in amusement, "Revenge, sir?"

       "Do you remember the name of the Covenant ship that took part in the glassing of reach?"

       Woodword paused for a moment, recalling the name of the ship that he'd grown to hate, "Destiny's Grasp

       Colonel Procter smirked, "What if I told you that you'd have not only the opportunity to command a fine, talented group of Marines in these special missions, but that you'd also have the opportunity to take on the Destiny's Grasp itself...as a search, rescue, and demolition mission?"

       Woodword thought about the sweet taste of revenge, the thought of being able to obliterate the same ship that had assisted in Reach's demise. The fiery explosion that would engulf the enemy behemoth...the beauty of it's catastrophic eruption...the bloodlust for eradicating every Covenant aboard that ship...

       "Go on..."