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Worth Fighting For; CH 3: Onboard
Posted By: DevilsInjector<mj-power@hotmail.com>
Date: 22 December 2008, 7:37 pm

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I just want to wish everyone on HBO a very merry christmas and a VERY happy new year.

0930, November 17, 2545 (Military Calendar)

      Arther had refused Cryogenic Sleep for the first week of transit; he wanted to walk around a bit. The only other recruits who refused, were Charlie and Ashley, who overheard Arther refuse, and decided to tag along. Arther rolled off the cot and looked over at Charlie. "I'm hungry, want to go grab a bite?" Charlie looked over from his magazine and nodded. They got up and headed towards the door.
      Ashley stepped in just as they got to the door. "Where are you two going?" Charlie glanced over and in the gruffest voice possible stated, "Getting some chow." Arther rolled his eyes, four days on this ship and Charlie was already speaking with Marine mannerisms. Ashley turned through the door with them and followed.
      Arther felt awkward walking through this ship, he preferred ground beneath his feet, and knowing that this thing could lose power at any time, bugged him. Ground couldn't lose power, so it was comfortable for him. Ashley and Charlie on the other hand, came from families where all they did was drive freighters around, so they felt as at home on a ship as they did on solid ground. Charlie was even considering "Zero Gravity Training" when they got to Reach. Arther had heard about Reach, it was one of the largest UNSC off planet military command posts. That's where they'd train, where they'd learn to be killers.
      They pushed through the crowd into the mess hall. Charlie was yet again, the first to dart to the food line. Arther struggled through the crowd, and Ashley followed behind him. Charlie got a burger, again. Arther got a garden salad, a chicken burger and a soda, while Ashley got two burgers and a beer.
      Arther liked Ashley, she wasn't your normal everyday girl, and she didn't take anything from anyone. One Marine walked up and grabbed her ass once; she turned and punched him in the face. Knocked out a couple teeth. The guy got a write up on his personal record for harassment, but it was one of Major Silva's boys, so there was no real charge.
      Charlie was your happy go lucky guy, and Arther liked that. Charlie was the one to crack a joke at the most silent times and break tension. But he wasn't using that to hide anything; he wasn't a wimp, though he did look it. He proved them wrong though. When in the gym one day, a Marine – An ODST to be exact – challenged Charlie to a boxing match. To sum it up, the ODST still has the bandages. When Charlie bragged about Golden Gloves, he wasn't lying. After they ate, they went back to the troops quarters.

      Charlie stood and walked off towards the showers, "I'll be right back, don't go anywhere without me." Arther grunted and looked over towards the door. "Hey, Arther!" He turned in the direction of Ashley's voice. "Yeah?" She stood and strolled over to his bunk, and sat down on the corner.
      "I've been looking over our squad's roster, and we have a pretty bad-ass sergeant looking over us."
      Arther sat up, "We haven't even trained, and they've put us in a squad already?"
      "Yeah, they want us doing immediate squad training once we get planet side."
      "Oh, alright. So what about this sergeant?"
      "Sergeant Isak J. Howe, AKA "Howitzer"… that doesn't sound to good. He's been serving since the Harvest campaign, was one of the first to participate in a search and destroy on a Covenant general during the battle of Paris IV, and served alongside a Sergeant Avery Johnson during said campaign as well. Helped capture a crate of plasma grenades, used 'em all."

      Arther whistled, long and low. "Sounds bad-ass." Ashley nodded and stood. "Well Arty, I'm going to the gym, I'll see you later." She walked around his bunk, and he turned to watch her leave. His eyes followed her out the door.
      Charlie walked out of the bathroom, dressed in his fatigues. He looked at Arther. "Did she just call you…Arty?" Arther slowly nodded. Charlie shuffled over and leaned down next to Arther's face, "Your in love." Arther stood and looked at him, his face pained, "No…" Charlie laughed and turned, "Why so defensive, Arty?" Arther laughed and sat down on his bunk. He pulled his boots out from under the bed, and started to lace them up. "Y'know something Charles, I'm not in love, and it will be mighty hard for me to fall in love again." Charlie turned and eyed Arther, furrowing his brow. "Why buddy?"
      Arther stood and walked to the door. "I don't know you that well, I can't trust you with it." The door slide open and he left. "C'mon Charlie, time to go get Cryoed."

      He was somewhere, but he couldn't tell where. Somewhere in between. A far away place, where nothing seemed to matter.

      A face, someone pretty. The smell of barbequed ribs, and perfume. A woman in a wide brimmed straw hat, and a man in a wrinkled short sleeve shirt and loose jeans.

USER COMMAND= Purge Cryo Tank(s) 70-80
LOG INSERT= 78k#23k#

      A wind, forces the diners inside. The woman runs clutching her sundress and her hat, while the young boy and older man rush to get the food and napkins inside. A candle falls, and catches fire to wallpaper. The drapes on the doors burn, preventing escape. A scream, the sound of sirens and the smell of burning flesh.


      Arther struggled up out of the tube, and started to cough. He coughed until he could spit the phlegm onto the deck; it tasted like lime-flavored mucus.
He looked to his right, then to his left. Charlie tried to stand, but shakily sat back down.
      Glancing to his right again, saw her pull herself out of the tube. Sure, he'd seen woman naked before, but for some odd reason, looking at her standing there, didn't seem right. She smiled at him and he smiled back. She turned and walked past him. He watched her turn to the door leading to the showers. Charlie sat back on one arm, and looked at him. "You are too in love."
      Arther stood and shook his head. It hurt; it felt as if someone had filled his head full of helium. He squeezed he neck muscles, helping the sensation pass. "Give it up Charlie." He walked off to the showers without another word to his friend.

      He emerged from the change room, freshly washed, shaved and clothed. The fatigues had been pressed, and the creases showed nicely. He look down towards the benches and noticed a green duffel bag, with his name stenciled in white along the side. He hurried to pick it up, and then ran to catch up with the group, currently heading towards the general direction of the hanger. He placed his hands on the shoulders of Charlie and Ashley, "So, how'd you enjoy your little nap?"
      Charlie sighed and looked at Arther. "I forgot to take off a bandage, and now its all raw and whatnot." Ashley laughed at him, "That's why you remember to take it off." Charlie scowled at her, but that quickly turned to a laugh as he stepped through the door to the hanger bay.       Arther glanced at the two Pelicans lined up. On each side, painted in white paint, were the signatures "A1" and "A2", their respective squads.
      Arther threw his duffel onto the Pelican, and looked at his four new squad mates. To add to the three (Arther Conlin, Ashley Peterson and Charlie Mitchell), there was Peter King, Timothy Ranke, Raphael DeMonte, and Andrew Brightling. Arther nodded, and hoped that none of these men were assholes. He hardly knew any of the four except for Raphael, who he'd bumped into at The Dead End a few times. He walked up the ramp into the Pelican, and strapped in. Charlie sat to his right, and Ashley to his left. "Alright folks," it was the same voice from before, "Get strapped in, next stop Reach." Arther held on, as the Pelican broke free from the pull of the ship, and looked out a side window. He caught his first glimpse of the place he'd be calling home for the next 5 months. REACH.