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You Know My Name: 2 of 3: The Ark
Posted By: (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher<rabid_masterchief@hotmail.com>
Date: 18 January 2008, 5:45 am

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      "Zulu, Alpha, grid one three nineteen! Confirm shot location!"
      "Roger, Patrol Thirty. Shot order confirmed. Zulu, Alpha, grid one three nineteen. Shot, over."
      "Alright, boys! Artillery's incoming, so get your damn heads down!" In the midst of the skirmish a Marine Lieutenant bellowed an order as plasma fire danced above his head. Gunnery Sergeant William Reynolds cursed as he pulled the Lieutenant down to the ground, the incoming artillery shells heard with resonance across the small encampment.
      A large explosion kicked up desert sand, the beige colored dust mixing high into the air with the blood of Covenant foot soldiers: unlucky Brutes who were attempting to encircle the platoon, while the shields of dead or wounded Jackals slammed into the ground; without their owner the shields dropped like one ton weights. The artillery shelling intensified as shrills was heard long before their dust-flying impacts. Reynolds, in front of the large Forerunner behind a wall of concrete, kept himself over their newly assigned Lieutenant as Hell rained down upon them.
      The last shot, a Hellraiser round, came with a two second delay after the last normal artillery round. The round sounded heavier as it zoomed through the artificially created sky, the rest of the Marines pushing themselves as low to the ground as they could for this last shot. The Covenant, under the impression that it was going to be just the last normal artillery round, were rushing towards their position with their spike and plasma weapons blazing with life; the battle once again fully alive between them.
      That's when the Hellraiser hit.
      The round hit behind the fifteen Brute squadron, and then it grew. Flame expanded outwards from its center, almost immediately, and in a flat two seconds it grew from a two foot wide explosion of flame to a napalm bomb almost a football field long. The Covenant did not escape the napalm attack: every single Brute was caught within the flames.
      The battle was over.
      William stood himself up over the Lieutenant with a hand down. The Lieutenant nodded, grabbing it and pulling himself up with the rest of the squad shaking their head. Private Young was looking behind their makeshift concrete cover point, his head peaking on the side, before he turned around to face the rest of the squad and give a curt nod.
      "Alright, move out." Reynolds ordered, taking point as they walked out of the safety of the Forerunner structure. The large, towering safety point seemed unnaturally placed, half of it on the canyon wall and the rest descending below. The charred remains of a Scorpion tank littered the battlefield along with the numerous Brute bodies and one huge Scarab-class Battlewalker chassis. The artificial sun was high in the air, and with that came no wind. It was all fake, the weather and the sun and the sand, but Sergeant Reynolds was amazed by their advanced level of technology.
      "He's going to get us killed, Sergeant."
      "I know, Young. Just keep your head down and follow my lead. I'll make sure the rest of us see this 'Ark' thing through." Reynolds spoke with a little bit of worry; he was thinking the same thing too and it scared him. If he wasn't asked to stick on with them because of the lack of a Platoon Sergeant then he would of left the platoon awhile back, before this patrol.
      "Patrol Thirty, this is Falling Star. New orders. Assist the main strike force at the head of the Shield Barrier. VTOL extraction by Foxtrot Eight Three One in one. Roger, confirm?"
      "Roger, orders received and confirmed. Awaiting VTOL extraction." The Lieutenant tapped his ear receiver before he turned to face the rest of his now smaller platoon.
      "Heh, you hear that boys? We get to go kill more Covenant!"
      William inwardly groaned, turning his Assault Rifle up towards him as his eyes scanned his ammo reader. He nodded, he still had more than half of a clip within his weapon and he was content. He looked around him and saw that the rest of the soldiers were reloading and tending to themselves.
      "Two. Lee and Zanipolo."
      "How bad?"
      "Questionable on Zanipolo. Lee's got enough time to make it to a medical station, but I don't think they can save him."
      "Shit. Private Zanipolo, how bad off are you?" William turned to face the human soldier, his backside firmly on the ground with a hand on his abdomen. Marius looked up, giving William a good look at the Italian private. He had black hair, but his face was clean, as if hardly anything comes into contact with it. Nothing malicious.
      "I'm fine, sir. It got into fat. just bleeding a bit."
      "Alright. I think it's coming now. I'll check on Lee."
      "Sergeant, he's gone."
      A tense moment of silence passed as William turned his head to the soldier pressed against a rock, his head limp and his eyes closed. Next to his body was Corpsman Tara Gardner slamming a hand against a rock, before a long sigh followed as she packed up all of her nearby medical supplies into her butt pack; twisted around to her stomach so she could upload them easier. William shook his head and turned his head westwards, towards the image of an incoming Pelican.
      "Change of the POA, Patrol Thirty. You're being sent to Base Camp One for reassignment: The Master Chief's heading towards the third tower already and you'll do nothing to help."
      "Roger that, Falling Star."
      Suddenly, less static cut through the communication's box, a stronger signal cutting through the background.
      "Oscar Two Delta, this is Foxtrot Eight Three One, coming up on final approach."
      "Roger that, Foxtrot Eight Three One. Alright, you maggots! Get ready to get on the Pelican once it touches down!"
      "Oh, here we go again. Sergeant, would you cover for me if I fragged the Lieutenant?"
      And, unlike the past couple of weeks, Sergeant William James Reynolds actually smiled and laughed.

      Lieutenant Luke Henderson stopped his breathe, his lungs compressing the last remaining bits of carbon dioxide and oxygen into his chest, his hands steadying to a close perfection. Next to him, lying down in the prone position like his fellow soldier, was another black-clad, armored Spectre operative. Instead of the M99 Special Application Scoped Rifle that Wolf had in his hands he had a long-range, high powered magnification scope. His build was small, sprinter-like in appearance, with his body thin but tall. On his chest, on the upper right, gave the callsign of 'PEGASUS' as his only mark of identification outside administration files.
      The Master Chief was at the entrance to the first Forerunner Shield Tower, his Warthog already on the approach.
      "Wolf, I got a Wraith. Near the lake."
      "Copy. I see him. Switching to infra-red." Wolf's voice penetrated the communication's link between them, but neither of their bodies moved at all. A testament to their leader and their continuous training in all aspects. Wolf's breathing stopped again, squeezing down on his trigger. A loud boom escaped into the air, the gauss-like round blowing past the sound barrier and flying at an almost unbelievable speed.
      The Wraith was in mid-turn, coming about on the Chief's Warthog, before the projectile burst through the armor of the Wraith, cutting through the door's thick armor, the pilot himself, and then penetrating through the back. It cut through the stabilizers, and the pilot could not readjust. The Wraith, instead of doing a steady turn to set up for a shot, zoomed forward with its engine boost on full. The Brute Gunner screamed as the Wraith hit a rock with its front end, tipping it over fully onto its front side with the speed boost still activated. The Brute was first crushed, and then the angle of weight slamming down on him cut him in half, his blood exploding outwards.
      "Shade, on that hill by the structure. Copy?"
      "Negative, don't see it."
      "About forty yards from the Chief on his left, near the entrance."
      "Roger, confirmed. I got visual. Taking the shot.
      Another boom escaped into the air.
      A soft nearby wind picked up, right after the shot, but it did not affect the already long-gone propelled shot.
      "Nice shot. Chief's got positive entry with ODST Troop Nine. Orders, sir?"
      "We move. Get the Hornet pilot on the com, I'll wait until…"
      Luke stopped talking, the sound of Covenant engines piercing their ears with more and more promiximity. Luke turned his head to his left, and saw the odd violet-coloured hull of a Covenant Dropship slowly raise itself upward. Luke didn't even have to say anything; both Spectre commandos shot up from the ground and went into a dead sprint. The Phantom adjusted its speed, dipping its nose forward as it brought speed to its engines.
      Pegasus was already running full speed ahead of Luke, his speed carrying him faster than his commander. The seemingly pre-fabricated grassland area over the rocky wall offered no such cover, and their only hope was to run over the other, shorter side of the 'wall'. Luke felt plasma brush past him as he rapidly switched directions; his calves forcing out explosive force onto his big toe, allowing him to push off and continue his present speed.
      He heard the whine of a laser, and the burst of plasma, and he could not turn his head for fear of being hit. He forced his left foot down and pushed off, his body now turning back the way it was only moments before. He saw the Dropship turning, its keel facing the Lieutenant, before a red laser struck through its cockpit. He only saw the bright ray flash forward into the ship, and then saw the remaining explode out of the tophalf of the ship.
      "Shoot again!" He yelled to Pegasus, presently on his left knee some yards away from Luke, his Model 6 Galileian Nonlinear Rifle over his shoulder as he stood still. The Dropship lifted up its nose violently, pulling back harder than its gunner's suspected. One of the two Grunt gun operators fell out of the Dropship, hitting head first and collapsing. Pegasus' Galileian laser powered up again, the blood red sighting appearing once again on its keel. The Dropship tilted its nose forward towards the two SPECTRE operatives once more, in an attempt to ram them and end the engagement.
      Pegasus fired again.
      The beam burst through the cockpit, killing the Brute pilot in one hit, and it continued forward. It pierced the engine core of the ship, causing secondary explosions within the ship like wildfire. On its hull, blue plasma vented as it began a port-sided downward spiral. Before it hit the ground, the core exploded in one violent show of fire and plasma: causing Wolf and Pegasus to duck down.
      Pegasus whistled.
      "Nice shot, Chief." Luke said to Pegasus, nodding his head towards the Chief Petty Officer. Pegasus merely gave Luke a two-fingered salute, Luke knew that Pegasus was smiling behind his helmet, a trait that Luke picked up on from looking at his helmet for a long time.
      "Get Stryker on the com."
      "Aye, Lieutenant." He replied back, touching his left hand's index and middle finger to his helmet, pressing down on a small circular button before he started to talk. Luke turned his head towards the large Forerunner structure, towards the massive Shield Section that the mission called for to be taken down. He still held the M99 Special Application Scoped Rifle in his hands, before he watched as the shield flashed down. A few seconds later, the other shield that the Elite team was supposed to take down disappeared. The ODSTs and the Special Operations Elites completed their mission, and now all that Luke waited to see was the Marines complete theirs.
      "We need a pickup. Grid November, Uniform, Sierra. Eight, Two, Niner."
      The shield didn't go down.
      "Roger. Wolf, we got one minute 'til extraction."
      It still didn't go down.
      "Something's wrong. When Lieutenant Harrison gets here I'll order her to get us to that Third Tower."
      Something just tingled down his spine, and he knew something wrong was going to happen.
      He just didn't know when.

      "Commander Keyes, I don't think…"
      "Shut up, Private, and man that turret!" Keyes yelled back to Young, who was yelling from the Troop Bay at his station: the Repeating Machine Gun on the back of the Pelican. Around the Pelican, in the blue sky, Hornet danced the twirling five-step with Covenant Banshees, stray plasma and bullet rounds smacking across the surface of the Human Dropship. Young held down on the trigger, letting loose fiery death from his gun as if he was the Grim Reaper himself. A Banshee's wings were destroyed and cut off from its main hull completely; the unfortunate Brute pilot had let its Banshee into Young's path. The Banshee flew radically for a few moments before Young's fire cut through the armor and killed the Brute. The Banshee's remains flew into the ocean below.
      "Commander! Covenant Dropship, port bow!"
      "Young, can you do anything?!"
      "Negative, 'mam, out of my rotational ability!"
      "He's mine, Commander." A female voice came into Keyes' communication hub.
      A Hornet came into view, almost indifferent save for the two black-clad ODST troopers on the side. As they got closer, Young realized they weren't Orbital Shock Drop Troopers at all; they were those tall, black armored Special Operations troopers. He didn't know the name, only that they were tough. He saw them armed with what Reynolds called 'Spartan Lasers', and he smiled.
      They both fired, into the bow of the Phantom Dropship, through its keel. The Dropship hovered for a few seconds as secondary explosions erupted through its hull, before it expanded and then exploded; Brute bodies along with Jackal and Grunts flying out into the ocean below. Private Young hollered as he turned his head back to his Commanding Officer.
      "Commander, Phantom is down!"
      "We're moving ahead, 'mam. Colonel Gallagher sends his regards."
      Keyes smiled.
      "Chief, you got a way in?"
      "Young, Reynolds, we're breaking off. We're going to wait for the Chief to complete his mission."
      But, will we?

42 Green Street
Mary J. Reynolds
Priority Mail

      Dear Mary;

      I am about to leave on a great mission. This mission, unlike all of the other ones, will determine if humanity deserves to stand alone in the Galaxy, or be extinct. I go on a secret mission, but I have to send you this letter, to tie our own loose ends.
      When you left, I felt sadness, and hate. And you have haunted my dreams for a long time. Each time I closed my eyes at night, for a month, you were there, smiling, but then you screamed at me and told me I was a failure, someone who gave up your life because of a silly dream.
      I forgive you, Mary. I forgive a lot of things you said to me. And I regret saying anything to you that you found angry, or rageful. Anything of the sort, I am sorry. Deeply. And I regret taking this job, but I had to. And you understand that, too. I only hope that, if I return, we can work this out between you and me.
      I still love you, Mary. Always have, always will.


      The Chief had descended from up high.
      He had just left the large Forerunner building, standing outside with a whole squad of Elites and Marines, including the ODSTs and the three SPECTRE operatives who all stood to gaze at the legendary soldier. He had an Assault Rifle in his hands, and a Shotgun slung across his back. His helmet turned towards the soldiers, then the Special Operatives, and then the Elites, before he looked to the sky, towards Keyes' Pelican.
      "We all have our orders. Assault the main Tower. Hornet Flights will assist the Chief and the troopers into the fight. I'll stand up here and provide support. Are you ready, Master Chief?"
      "Yes 'mam."
      "[I]Alright then. Men, Elites…move out!"
      The men dispersed, most of the Marines heading for the M80BT Scorpion Tank while the ODST troopers jumped into a Warthog Troop Transport, the 'Battle Wagon' now holding five ODST Troopers and one Master Gunnery Sergeant Pete Stacker. Two of the three SPECTRE operatives ran over to the Gauss Warthog that was parked next to the Battle Wagon. The small cadre of Elites jumped into a Brute Prowler, all four of the Elites manning a station on the vehicle.
      The Chief chose the Gauss Warthog, where Luke and Pegasus had taken hold of.
      "You want to drive or shoot, Chief?"
      He took the driver's seat and started the engine.
      "Answers my question."
      Luke smiled at Pegasus as he manned the Gauss Turret on the back, Pegasus taking the side seat. A large cave led up to a large door, one that the Chief began his journey to. Pegasus, meanwhile, switched his weapon from the Spartan Laser to the SPNKr Rocket Launcher, with Wolf shaking his head at his fellow operative.
      "Sergeant, we're going in."

      The Chief was closing in onto the Tower. The small squadron of troopers were closing in on their final objective. Sergeant Reynolds and Commander Keyes were closing in upon their final absolution, their final victory. The Arbiter was closing in on his revenge. Truth was closing in on his Great Journey, and Spark was closing in on reclamation.
      The only thing that stopped all of them was a pair of Scarabs.
      "Dammit! We don't have enough firepower to take them out!"
      Young was sitting down, his eyes to the floor, as if he had seen too much too recently. He looked over to Sergeant Reynolds, who was manning the machine gun on the backside, and then over in Commander Keyes' direction. He stood up, his hand now gripping a support bar. He took hard steps over to Miranda's seat, her being the soul pilot within the Pelican.
      "A bit busy, Private!"
      "Land on that other Scarab."
      She turned her head around, a shocked look on her face.
      "What?! Are you crazy!? What do you plan to do, land on it and destroy it by yourself!?"
      A smile crept up on Young's face.
      "Yes, 'mam!"
      "And I thought ODSTs were crazy!" She said, turning her head back, facing the glass of the cockpit, before she lowered her Pelican down. The sun was setting in front of the large, ruinous-like Tower that led forth towards the Core. The main firing station. Banshee and Hornet fought against each other like gladiators in Ancient Earth history, a green Phantom Dropship giving cover to those humans who sought its help.
      Young turned and looked over at Reynolds, who heard the conversation.
      "Count me in, Private!"
      The Pelican was now mere feet off of the Scarab, the beastly thing's main cannon pointing away from the Pelican, but it was sharply turning to face the human Dropship. Reynolds and Young jumped off out of the troop bay and landed hard on the smooth upper surface of the Scarab. The Pelican immediately lifted its nose and turned starboard, laser blasts hitting in a slow arc: too slow against the Pelican's superior speed.
      Young took his Sniper Rifle and shot first against a golden armored Brute, who had turned towards them with a large Gravity Hammer in his hands. The shot took off the Brute's helmet, causing its anger to rise in consideration. Reynolds was now afraid: a normal Brute was easy to handle but those Chieftains were even more difficult to kill. It charged towards the Private, but he was charging too. Reynolds saw the aged soldier rushing towards the Brute, both screaming, both angry, both holding the hope of the Galaxy in their hands.
      Except, the Private was smarter.
      He pulled his Shotgun from his back, a concealed weapon, and thrusted the barrel of the M90 into the face of the Brute, as his Hammer was in the air in mid-swing. Young fired the shot into the Brute's open mouth, the shots slamming through the jaw and into the brain, and then out through the cranium. The Brute's head, for a lack of a better definition, exploded into a million pieces. However, the body still had forward motion, and the look on Young's face was almost comical as the Brute body fell on him.
      The Scarab lifted its leg, making the body slide off on its port side, Reynolds grabbing the Private's hand and lifting him up off of the surface. As he did this, Spiker fire flew over his head. William cursed as he brought his Assault Rifle to bear on the Brute who was firing at him. He squeezed down on the trigger, forcing his rifle down as he fired. He was not firing in bursts, and he only stopped after Young fired off a hip shot with his Sniper Rifle into the Brute's chest. The Brute slid sideways off of the Scarab as it turned, his screams only stopped after he hit the ground.
      "Jesus! Come on, let's hurry up! I got a demo charge right here!"
      Reynolds and Young hurried to the back end of the Scarab, all of the enemy attention on the other side of the pair of UNSC Marines. Sergeant Reynolds then took the square C7 demolition and inserted a metal rod, which lifted half of its length upright and the tip flashed red.
      "We got half a minute!"
      "This is Young, Bravo Company, 77th Marine Regiment, need evac, now!"
      "Copy that. Head to the front."
      Reynolds and Young ran up to the front as fast as they could, all of the Brutes now acquiring the pair as targets of vital importance. But, as they looked forward towards the snowy cliffside they watched the battle unfold, but their feet did not stop running. A Hornet suddenly zoomed into view, a black-armored pilot controlling it. Reynolds pulled Young down as missiles and gunfire erupted from the Hornet, cutting down the first few Brutes who were behind the pair, plus the Grunt Gunners and Jackals who were in support. Young jumped onto the Hornet first, his hand latching onto a metal bar for support.
      Reynolds was hit.
      A spike round flew into his shoulder, his left shoulder, and he yelped in pain. His rifle flew out of his hands and off onto the ground below. The pilot, who he recognized as a SPECTRE operative, snapped her head towards the soldier, and immediately turned her craft so Young was facing him. Reynolds crumbled onto the ground, on his knees, pain causing him to do this. But Young threw out his free hand, his shotgun falling down to the ground like a rock off a cliff.
      Reynolds, weakly grabbed it.
      Young did the rest.
      Lieutenant Rebecca Harrison, called Stryker by her fellow operatives, immediately pulled up and high away from the Scarab with a quick speed, lifting the pair of Marines off of the Battlewalker. Reynolds continued to hold on, and Young continued to support him, the true sign of battle brothers as they held on as long as they could. A few seconds later, the Hornet touched down away from combat, allowing Reynolds to fall to the ground along with Young, who knelt over him.
      Another few seconds later, the Scarab erupted in hellfire.
      "God damn, I'm going to bleed out…"
      "I have limited medical training." The Scottish pilot said, who was also over the wounded Sergeant.
      "Then save him!"
      "I'll try… Looks like it torn through some nerves. Old wound, too. I need to cauterize it because it torn through a major blood artery."
      "With what?"
      "You got a lighter?"
      William's eyes widened.
      Young slipped a hand under his armored plate and pulled out a silver lighter, with the UNSC emblem on one of the sides. Rebecca took off her helmet, revealing her semi-pale skin, but her brightly red hair. She seemed beautiful, but she did nothing to use it or even more. It was just there, and Reynolds noted this. She took the lighter and smiled, flipping it open.
      "I need clothe, Marine."
      Private Young nodded, ripping off part of his camouflaged clothe under the knee, already torn from plasma and spiker rounds flying past earlier on the Scarab. He actually began to notice the burns on his arm and the back of his legs, the adrenaline slowing down now. He looked over at Reynolds, then back at the pilot, who wrapped the clothe in a tight little cylinder-like ball.
      "Bite down, Marine."
      Reynolds nodded, opening his mouth as Rebecca placed the clothe in his mouth. He, as ordered, bit down hard as Rebecca flipped on the lighter.
      Reynolds screamed.
      His yells continued to become louder and louder, before Rebecca removed the lighter from Reynolds' wound, when his screams then slowly decreased as they became heightened moans of pain. She nodded, patting William on the opposite shoulder before she looked over at Young, who gave her a curt nod, before she made her way back to the Hornet.
      "I'll send a Pelican over."
      And, with that, her Hornet powered up and flew back into the fray.
      "Private Young?" He said through clenched teeth, the clothe spat out a few moments before.
      "Yes, Sergeant?"
      "What…what the hell did you do?"
      "I got that Lieutenant pilot there to…"
      "No, no. I mean…What did you do to be a…convict?"
      Young looked back over at the battlefield, before he looked back.
      "I thought that serving with the UNSC was bad, something that no human should do based on the fact of its controlling governments. So, I managed to hook up with some URF rebels near Eridanus, but my crew and I got captured by a Frigate. So, they sent me to prison with the rest of those backstabbin' assholes. And when the convicts were allowed to join up in the UNSC I didn't hesitate. That was, I think, a few months after the couple of first wave engagements."
      "Jesus. And you're still a Private?"
      "They don't promote convicts."
      Reynolds looked over to the other Scarab, the hulking figure scary in appearance and demeanor, as if it was hulking towards them. Suddenly, a large plasma explosion ripped through the Scarab, a piercing noise filling the sky as Reynolds winced. Pieces of it exploded outwards, and a distant voice was heard on Young's communication piece, with Keyes telling everyone to get inside.
      "Here it comes. SAR Pelican, in bound."
      Sergeant Reynolds was now anxious.


      Colonel Ackerson rubbed his chin, his pruny fingers rubbing from his lips down to the tip of his chin, a calculating scowl on his face. He sat in his chair leaning to one side, the one most supported, while his left hand pressed against his side. His brown hair, sharply cut into regulations, was uncovered by a combination cover, the green and the gold medals shining with a uniformed look. The datapad's blue hue shined onto his face in the dark room, the lines of intelligence surfacing into it from the Prowler stationed in Space OPA/AS-001.
      "Colonel, I got a message."
       "From who, Amanda?"
       "Vice Admiral Romanov."
      "Goddamit. I swear, Amanda, we need some more information on her. Send the message through."
      "Can't, sir. Data file, video."
      "Goddamit. Yeah, sure. Did ATSG scan it?"
      "Aye, sir."
      "Good then. It's okay to come in." James said, looking at the screen one more time before he clicked off a switch on the side of the square piece of technology. The doors to his office opened, and Amanda walked in with quickness. She had hair into a bun, and her Naval service dress uniform looked almost perfect. Her row of ribbons was slanted off upwards, but Ackerson didn't care. Her work was primarily admin, nothing else.
      "Here you go, sir."
      "Thanks, Amanda."
      She left quickly, and he turned around and activated the data-pad that was given to him only moments before. A blue screen appeared, the UNSCDF emblem appearing as bright as ever against the blue background. Then the face of the Russian admiral popped into view.
      "Colonel. I'll make this brief. I need to hear anything about any sort of Covenant or Elite movements in the Cerberus system, since we have reports of not only our ships but one or two Prowlers being lost out there. If you hear anything, I'd like to know. Hood would, too. End transmission."
      How the bloody fuck does she know about the Atalanta and the Achilles?
      "Amanda, cancel the meeting with President Williams. I have to take care of a problem in the Prowler Corps."

      Field Valley, Montana. Population 54,265. East side of the river

      "There is a reason. He wants something from you, hon. Don't do it." A woman spoke, her voice as loud as a set of large speakers on maximum, within the confides of a white house. The sun was setting over the house itself, blocking the horizon from anyone standing in front of the two-story home. A garage was on the house's right side, built into it by skilled hands, and the main door was a brown color. Windows were all around the house, built to be viewed, and the chimney coughed up black from within its throat.
      A star hanged on the window.
      The mailbox, written in cursive, read 'REYNOLDS'.
      "He never, never wrote me letters like this, Jane. He never did. Something's wrong."
      "I'm just saying, you two got into some very nasty fights. And he's been all over the galaxy for a long time now. Why would he want to come back to you?" The woman sitting across from another, her skin black, asked to her friend. The other woman sighed, shrugged her shoulders, and looked out at the window. It was some time since the invasion, but Montana wasn't hit, and she felt now it was safe thanks to not only her husband but the efforts of the Elites.
      "Because, Jane, I realized something."
      Jane, leaning forward, stared at her friend. She was now intrigued, waiting to hear her best friend describe her feelings on Bill to her.
      "He still loves me."