ODSS Chapter 6
Posted By: Firerwolf<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 August 2011, 1:34 am
The whole bar smelled of smoke and Kathleen hated it. She'd never liked the smell, even when Chief Mendez had smoked. From the frown and slightly sick look on David's face she'd guess he didn't like it either. Edward seemed fine, as though he couldn't even smell it at all.
The only reason they were there was because they were waiting for Matthew. This mission was like nothing they'd really ever expected to be doing. They'd come to the planet on a commercial ship dressed as civilians. They'd had to smuggle their equipment in, making Kathleen feel like they weren't here to protect the people. It felt more like they were hiding from them, something ODST did not do. It all bothered Kathleen.
They were used to, and trained in, a more forward approach, but here they were waiting for Matthew to bring them their informant. Of course, the man didn't know that he was an informant. She and her team were playing the part of former soldiers that were looking to join the local rebels. If they knew that they were active soldiers trying to infiltrate the rebel forces to take down their leader he would never talk to them.
Kathleen would prefer to take the guy in a back room and interrogate him but they'd been working for several weeks to build up the credit to even get the guy to talk to them. The UNSC had crafted names and back stories including dishonorable discharges for weapons sales for each of them and she wasn't about to destroy all that work when the guy might not even know anything.
Matthew finally returned, sliding into a seat across from Kathleen. She had to admit that without the military fatigues her troops easily passed for normal. Matthew had been their choice to lure the man in because he had the ability to look the least threatening. His blond hair, green eyes, and charming smile just screamed that he loved puppies and would never hurt another soul, though she knew that wasn't true. Edward was able to look cool and natural but there was a hint of who he really was. His blue eyes were ice with a bit of human warmth to them but she knew from experience that it was just a way of hiding what was under. What was under was an Aryan race demon, a person that liked the job of killing. David seemed a bit between though. Somewhere between the harmless Matthew and the ice cold Edward, like a corporal that you can joke with at lunch but when you get to the battle he's all business.
A nervous-looking man took a seat beside Matthew, not even looking at the group. He checked over the entire room before he finally turned his attention to the soldiers. He sat in silence, stunned by the sight of the Spartan. He finally snapped out of it, looking at the others.
"So, you guys want to join the rebels?" He tried to play it casual as though he hadn't just been staring at one of them.
The man obviously didn't know how to be subtle. Any smart man would have been less forward and looked less scared. It would figure though that only the low on the latter would be willing to try to deal with ex-soldiers. Most likely the man thought it would raise him in the ranks of the rebels if he could get soldiers to become rebels.
To Kathleen all people that weren't soldiers were selfish at heart. They had their own desires and even if they hid it as trying to do what was right for the people, they were really in it for themselves.
"Got that right." Edward was playing the part of the leader as he was the best actor and the most able to pass off as normal.
"Your friend here tells me you were all soldiers. Why would you go against the UNSC?" The man leaned forward on the table. They'd thought of that question a long time ago.
"Being a soldier's a job like any other. Just because we worked for them doesn't mean we agree with them." Edward frowned, leaning back in his seat. "We've fought rebels and they were just normal people, and when you listen to them they really just want freedom. As people that were slaves to the military, forced to harm innocents, we can understand that want and want to help you gain that freedom. You can also say it's a bit of an apology for the past actions against the rebels."
He was a better actor than Kathleen had expected. Sure, he could walk the walk, but he could also talk the talk and make it believable. She knew he loved the UNSC and the freedom to kill. On top of that he'd made it clear before that he believed that the rebels were not innocent and deserved what they got. Despite that here he sat, and if she didn't know better, she would think he meant it.
"So what can you offer us? You know, weapons, what kind of training?" The man picked at his nails, sounding unsure if they would be of use.
"We're former ODST. Doesn't get better than us." Edward pulled up his right sleeve enough so that the man could see the flaming skull tattoo on his shoulder. It was one of the two that he'd gotten when the team had decided they needed tattoos.
Kathleen personally liked the other one better. It was a simple scythe between his shoulders with the words 'I am' above it and the word 'death' below it. It was better than the one that Emily had gotten. She'd gotten a cross on her left wrist with the word 'executioner' below it. It had never made since to Kathleen as Emily had no sort of faith but the ODSS had insisted it was an inside joke. It must have been one that was outside of the ODSS because no one else but Edward seemed to get it.
"All right, meet me at this address tomorrow night at nine." The man sliding a piece of paper toward Edward. He left without another word, leaving the bar trying, but failing, to look casual.
Matthew turned to Kathleen as Edward slid the paper toward her. "What do you think? Think we can trust him?"
She paused to think over the question. "We go for it and be ready for it to be a trap. There's nothing more we can do. If we don't show they'll think us weak and if we do and it's a trap we kill them."
They paid their tab leaving the bar to return to their hotel. The six solders that had come were staying in two hotel rooms in one of the more run-down hotels. They didn't really mind though, it kept up with the soldiers-scorned-by-the-UNSC appearance they were going for. They were small rooms with two beds and a couch, enough room for three people each. The dusty white walls and gold carpet seemed tacky to Kathleen but she wasn't expecting to like the room. A soldier never really liked the fox hole they were sleeping in either, but it was somewhere safe and somewhere to keep their stuff.
"How'd it go?" Emily looked up from the battle rifle she was cleaning. She'd been watching the news from the looks of it and the fuzzy news channel she was watching on the small TV that was in the room.
"We're meeting him again tomorrow night. We're not sure if it's a trap, so we'll have to be ready for anything." Kathleen took a seat on one of the beds. "You two will tail us. If shit gets bad we'll need the help. We can't afford to let this guy get away." Emily and Max nodded. "I want you two to scout out the location. Just pass it, I want to know what kind of area we're dealing with." She passed the address over to Max.
"You got it, Sarge." Max took the paper and looked it over. The two left and the room fell into silence with only the sound of the newscaster's voice informing them of the most recent case of an animal saving a human's life. The solders fell into their routine checking over their side arms until the others returned.
Matthew and David both lay one on the beds. Edward sat down on the edge of the bed that David was laying on and continued the cleaning of the battle rifle that Emily had been doing earlier. "You mess with her equipment, she'll kill you." Matthew looked over at him chuckling slightly at the idea.
"She won't kill him, she might threaten him but she won't kill him. They like to work together, remember?" David lay back on the bed, pillowing his head on his hands. He crossed his legs and took a deep breath relaxing. "It would be like Luke killing Peter."
"Well, now that would never happen." Matthew chuckled to himself at the idea of the best friends killing each other. "She might actually punch him. I'd like to see that, just to find out how it all plays out."
"I don't think I'd want to find out mainly because I think how it would end would scar me forever and I wouldn't be able to look at them without feeling shame," David sat up grabbing his knee when Edward slammed his fist down on David's shin.
David gave him a non-threatening grin, trying to calm down the killer marine. "This is your only warning, the next time you make a crack like that I'll hit you hard enough that you'll lose some teeth." Edward turned away from him and back to his task.
"I hear you loud and clear, good buddy," David sighed, glad that he had gotten away with a warning hit.
Kathleen was ignoring them, used to the soldiers fighting with each other, even more in close quarters while they had to wait for something. She instead was watching the news, a bit entertained by it. The current story was one of a science fair that had happened at a local school. The people all seemed so happy with the simple little event in their life. They acted as though it was a big event that would change the course of history. She sometimes forgot how mundane the lives of civilians were. Compared to their life it seemed so boring.
The room's door opened and Edward had the battle rifle pointed at it, only relaxing when Emily and Max walked into the room. Emily stormed over to him, snatching the rifle from his hands. "Who said that you could touch my weapon?" She clenched her fists, obviously struggling not to hit him.
"So, do tell. What's the place look like?" David holstered his weapon as soon as Max shut the door.
"It is just an old warehouse. I guess an ideal place to have a meeting, though it seems a bit old-school to me." Emily shrugged as she sat down next to Edward on the bed. "No real signs that it's being used for anything. Sign out front though said it used to be automations factory."
"Any signs there was anyone there when you passed it?" Kathleen leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. "How many levels?"
"No signs of life, three levels." Emily looked up at the ceiling, drawing on her memories. "Though the higher levels look like they might not be stable."
"You could still fit a lot of people in there. We don't know how big these forces are or how well-armed they are." Kathleen looked down to the floor, mind going to work.
"I'm sure no matter how many there are we can take them. I'm sure they don't want to start a fight in the middle of town where people could hear and call the cops." Edward leaned against Emily, using her to prop himself up.
"Maybe they'll be nice enough to take us out to the country where we can kill them and no one will hear them scream," Emily leaned a bit with the man's weight against her. She had an oddly sweet smile that just made her look crazy.
"So are we not going to go? I mean it's still a really big risk of being caught." Matthew lay back looking up at the ceiling.
"No, we're going. We just have to be ready for this to get bad real fast. Let's all just be glad our orders are to kill not capture the guy." Kathleen looked up from the floor. "Now get some shut-eye. We'll have to be well-rested for tomorrow." The ODSS had a quick fight over who got what bed and who was sleeping on the floor they settled in for the night.