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The Marine, the Rebel and the Sangheili: Excavation
Posted By: QuantumSheep<jasnash@optusnet.com.au>
Date: 18 October 2008, 8:00 am

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Excerpts from A History of Rebellions in the United Nations: From the 22nd Century to present day, written by Francis A. Hartford and published in 2522. The book is now used as a main textbook in most military history courses in military academies in the UN

Introduction: pages 2-3

From the earliest beginnings of humankind there have always been, and there always be, those that do not agree with the way things are, those that are against the people who lead them and those who decide that they will no longer follow whatever rules they believe are keeping them down. These people are commonly referred to as "rebels", although I do not mean those that you see on street corners, dressed in leather jackets, smoking cigarettes and mouthing off to police officers just to seem "tough" or "cool".

The rebels I mean are those that decide to get organized, those that decide to take action against whatever government/leaders and so forth are keeping them down, in their opinion. These are the types of people that many may consider "fanatics" or "lunatics". However, many more other people may believe in what these people are fighting for, prompting them to aid the rebels in any way possible.

A common misconception is that between the terms "rebellions" and "revolutions". Rebellions, on one hand, are often disorganized violent acts against a governing party and are very often failures, resulting in more harm than good. Revolutions, on the other hand, are often very organized and highly successful acts against a governing party and can involve large numbers of people. Those people could be from all sorts of backgrounds but all share the same beliefs in what they are fighting for. Often, rebellions and revolutions involve violence of some sort, although they do not need to.

Throughout history there have been rebellions and revolutions of all sorts, including the American revolution against the British in the latter half of the eighteenth century to the lesser known rebellions in small African countries in the twentieth century. As well there have been other types of rebellions, such as the French Indo-China war of the mid twentieth century in which the Viet Minh guerrillas rebelled against their French masters. This led to the agonizing defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu and eventually the Vietnam War, but that is another story altogether, having its fair share of books about it.

As has been mentioned, there are always those that disagree with governing parties and this can be for a multitude of reasons, many of the time being believable and understandable ones. Maybe the dictator's letting his country's population starve while he and his officer friends are living in luxury? Maybe the president incorporated a new set of laws which affect certain types of citizens (eg. Lower class, middle class, etc.)?

Anybody can dislike their leaders for any reason, whether it be direct (being made to starve, forced out of their home, to name a few) or are simply carried away in the flow of things, being dragged into a rebel group with everyone else and thus haven't much idea of what they're fighting for but like doing it anyway. The book that follows details well known rebellions/revolutions, rebel groups and the rebel leaders since 2200, this introduction making you, the reader, familiar with some of the things mentioned in this book. It is hard to cover just over four hundred years worth considering so much has happened in that time but I have tried my best and thus the book itself is quite heavy.

Maybe you, the reader, are familiar with some of the items in this bok. It would seem strange enough that a well seasoned citizen like yourself hasn't even vaguely heard of the Jovian conflicts of the 21st century in which Communist extremists following the teachings of Vladimir Koslov, a firm believer in Communism and the author of many works related to the subject, decided to try and usurp the UN government of the time, not so much on Earth but on the settled Jovian moons as well as Mars.

As well as these "Koslovics", the Fascist extremists known as the "Freidans" decided they would try and install a Fascist government on these worlds, much in the image of Benito Mussolini's fascist governments of 1930s-40s Italy and Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
These many conflicting points of view and groups led to a bloody and drawn out conflict which the UN only just pulled itself out of, mostly eradicating these Communist and Fascist extremist groups or forcing them underground. There is more on these groups and their leaders later on but I am certain you, the reader, has heard of them, even only just vaguely.

Now, to more recent affairs at the time of writing (the year being 2521 while I write this), it is safe to say that with the expansion of human civilization to once hard to reach worlds which are now easily accessible to anyone who decides to take a ride on a Slipspace equipped ship, more rebel groups have in turn appeared, almost on every colonized world in some way.

Take the Outer Colonies, for example. On many of these worlds it seems that particular rebel groups have managed to set up bases of operations and recruit followers in public or less discreet rallies. Many of the public rallies are shut down by UN police forces almost immediately but there are still the secret meetings, the men on street corners passing out flyers among other things.

It has also been proven that these rebel groups comb a world's records concerning university students, either approaching the more intelligent types for recruiting or merely forcing them into the group. The amount of times of this happening is only slightly decreasing due to UN efforts but it is still happening from time to time as the rebel groups get more and more organized…

"There's a bit about me in here somewhere," the Colonel said to himself, squinting in the light of his desk lamp, not quite sure what to think of the book. It had been enough for the Staff Sergeant to actually get him a copy just so the Colonel could satisfy his curiosity but now the forty-two year old felt obligated to find the section in the book written about him. He flicked back to the contents pages of the book and began trying to find his name or anything that had to do with his organization…

"A-ha!" He quietly exclaimed, finding his name listed under 'Rebel Leaders of recent times'. He recognized another name there, Colonel Robert Watts and remembered having met the man before, well, before they had decided to go their separate ways and get into the business of overthrowing UN control on the colonies…

Colonel Timothy Hanley
Born: 22nd January 2481
Current status: Operating a large and highly organized rebel group in the outer colonies region

Hanley, Timothy, born at about ten in the morning on the 22nd of January in 2481, was raised as an only child, his parents almost your typical outer colonies citizens. They lived on the world of Tribute, then a lesser known colony world which had been settled back in 2347.

Hanley, according to records, lived a rather normal life with his parents. His mother, Alicia Hanley, was a simple housewife, his father, Joseph Hanley, being the one to bring in the income, being a very successful freighter pilot. However, this meant that Hanley hardly ever saw his father who would often be off-world, either flying cargo from place to place who situated on another world.

Regardless, Hanley went through primary and secondary school, often with excellent grades in all but Mathematics. He was in university for about a year and working a part time job as a cargo loader at a nearby spaceport when his mother passed away from a now curable form of cancer.

This compelled his father to start on a downhill ride, if you don't mind the analogy. He started drinking, lost his job as a pilot and so Hanley was stuck with the task of keeping the money flowing in. Unexpectedly his father committed suicide although no one is actually sure whether suicide is the case seeing as his father died in questionable circumstances. Some believe that Timothy, who was eighteen at the time, killed his own father in his frustration at how miserable their lives had become.

Timothy Hanley, being released from custody after very little evidence was found to imply him in the killing of Joseph Hanley, went on to join the local UN Marine Corps, in the 32nd Colonial Marines division. It is believed Hanley did this to ensure that he would have a home and friends for years to come, which is close to what happened. Rather than simply having friends thanks to having joined the army, Hanley had risen through the ranks at such a rate due to his excellent grades and scores on physical activities (both individual and team, as well as either tactical or physical fitness) that he was a Staff Sergeant by the age of twenty-nine and had served fighting rebel groups on nearby worlds.

After this, records go somewhat shady. It is known that Hanley, by the age of thirty-nine, was a Colonel, speeding on up through the ranks with relative ease, but by the year 2519 records about him seem to cease to exist, purged from the databases on a request from ONI, who now keep all later records on Hanley confidential and I was unable to recover them, no matter how hard I tried.

My research, however, led me to other sources of information, including people who had known Hanley during his later time in the UN Marines. It seems that Hanley was sent to negotiate a treaty with rebels at their headquarters in the alpine forests of Tribute but was disillusioned to the United Nations when after the treaty had been set up, the UN Marines who had accompanied him had mercilessly slaughtered the rebel soldiers.

Hanley resigned after that. Now it is known amongst military sources that he is in charge of the well organized, well armed and large numbered Outer Colonies Peoples Liberation Front, known as the OCPLF for short.

The OCPLF is a fairly recently founded rebel group and so far has operated largely on a "full frontal assault" scheme. Unlike many other rebel groups, the OCPLF seems to pride itself on the fact that rather than simple hit-and-run tactics, they launch perfectly planned, timed, coordinated assaults on key UN targets across several Outer Colony worlds. So far they are responsible for the deaths of numerous UN personnel and the destruction of much UN property.

The UN, of course, has made sure that the public is given a much less threatening view of the rebel group despite the large scale the OCPLF has operated on. It was only up until recently that Hanley was discovered to be in charge of the group, gladly calling himself "Colonel" despite the fact that he is retired. Many believe the OCPLF is a combination of many other rebel groups which Hanley cleverly merged to form a large fighting force, a private army almost.

As well as their large numbers, the OCPLF uses some of the most advanced military technology and has access to several ships, including a few decommissioned military cruisers which the OCPLF have gotten hold of and renovated so that they can match or even outdo today's military cruisers. The OCPLF is considered a threat to UN security but to keep the public calm, especially in the Outer Colonies themselves, a less threatening view of the group is being created by the media.
Meanwhile, UN High Command dwells over what to do about this group and how they can apprehend the now rogue Colonel Hanley.

It is a simple enough thing the OCPLF is fighting for. They want the complete liberation of the Outer Colonies from the jurisdiction of the United Nations government, obviously meaning the Earth government which controlled the whole of the UN and its colonies. They want the Outer Colonies to form a whole a new independent government. This doesn't sound all that bad really but the UN knows they will suffer a large blow to their economy and financial state if this happens, leading much of the Earth's civilian population to believe that the UN has vested interests in the control of the Outer Colonies, swaying public opinion towards the OCPLF.

It all seems that for once, things are actually going well for these rebels…

Colonel Timothy Hanley chuckled quietly to himself, closing the textbook and pushing it across his desk to make room for anything that was more important to him, in this case a gold trimmed box of high quality cigars.

Hanley was in his early to mid forties, with greying hair which stood up and narrow sideburns, his eyes with a sort of bright look to them, which is why people called him "Bright Eyes" sometimes, although not often.
Hanley had bought himself the box and the cigars on an off world trip to the Epsilon system a few years back, while scouting for potential OCPLF soldiers and other types of personnel. Hanley had used fake credits, as he did with most things, to buy it. After all, these days money was all electronic, making it very easy to fake if you tweaked a few things in your debit card.

Tilting his small desk lamp in his direction, Hanley flicked open the locks on the box and lifted the lid. Out of the original forty inside, about twelve were left although he was intending on buying more. Taking one and using his cigar cutter to clip off the end, he put the end of the cigar into his mouth and used his silver lighter to light it. While puffing away on the cigar, he closed the box and took a look around his tent. It wasn't so much a tent as it was a temporary building, its mostly thick green fabric while the walls were a sort of strong but lightweight fibreglass, able to withstand even the toughest weather. That made it very useful in a desert environment such as that here on KV9-X7, especially in this region where strong sandstorms were a common occurrence.

Hanley, personally, didn't like the dull grey colour of the walls and the green ceiling which was lined with metal poles to keep it in place. He had done his best to make the tent a bit of a home away from home, putting up bookshelves and placing a few gun racks on the walls. Most of the racks lacked guns but they did do well to fill up empty wall space.

He carefully placed the box of cigars close to the corner of his desk, making sure his papers, datapads and other items were neatly laid out on the table for easy access. He was considered a neat-freak by most of his friends and associates, his tent very much squeaky clean save for the odd shroud of sand that found its way inside. Of course, nobody actually called him a neat-freak to his face.

After reading part of that book which had its very own section devoted to him (he felt slightly amused at the thought), he mulled over what it had said about him in his head. It seemed to imply that he was responsible for the death of his own father but Hanley knew that wasn't true. He had considered his father a drunken nobody sometime before he had died but would never kill a family member, unless of course, they tried to kill him. He would never resort to doing such a thing, although he knew a few people that would.

Most of the information was correct, including the part about the OCPLF winning public favour in the outer colonies. He was pleased with his organization's success although he doubted it would do much in the favour of their long time scheme to unite the people of the Outer Colonies under a new government, one that it is not run by the business minded United Nations but by a government that actually cares about its people. Hanley visioned himself as the leader of that government but he doubted he would be the one considering he doubted this unification would happen during his lifetime.

No, he was simply getting things started. It had been a simple matter to get involved with rebels in the first place; they were always looking for new recruits. Hanley had been no recruit; he had immediately taken charge of his group and successfully merged with many others to form the OCPLF as it is today. Thanks to funding from traitors in FLEETCOM and other various sources, Hanley and his organization was going from strength to strength.

Which reminded him: That jackass Watts had gotten himself captured, not that it worried Hanley too much. Watts had and his group had had very little to do with the OCPLF, preferring to operate as a separate entity. Now that entity would be ripe for Hanley to take control of and merge with the OCPLF now that Watts was out of the way.

He knew the man would give away everything he knew to his captors. The UNSC had a habit of brutally torturing its prisoners and Watts wasn't as strong as people made him out to be. Hanley, on the other hand, would never talk. There was a slight worry in the Colonel that Watts would end up rooting out some of their benefactors in FLEETCOM, but then again they always had more where they came from. Not everyone in the UN disliked rebel groups.

It had been nearly two years since he and a large part of his organization had moved to this planet. They had their reasons, partially because it was secluded and insignificant. More so because of what the planet offered in ancient treasures, none of which were human in origin.

One thing Hanley had been interested in had been conspiracies about governments finding alien artefacts and technology, all that somewhat unbelievable stuff that many dismissed. As he had climbed the ranks of the army, Hanley had heard rumours of what the Office of Naval Intelligence kept secret in its many warehouses and laboratories.

There was also something the textbook didn't mention: how a particular ONI warehouse was raided by rebels back in 2520 and how they escaped with all sorts of confidential items. Hanley had been one of those rebels and he had been surprised at the time at how lax the security there had been.

Now here he was, with some of his most elite soldiers and personnel on one of the least interesting planets in charted space. It wasn't at all interesting to those who knew what secrets it held and Hanley knew it held secrets; this very tent was positioned at a camp located close to one of these secrets.

Hanley was in a heavily guarded compound which surrounded a large excavation site where heavy digging machinery, most of it operated manually to ensure complete control, dug around and down into the surface, going down at least a hundred metres or so to reveal an ancient alien temple and a vast network of underground tunnels. They were still in the process of exploring these tunnels, most of which were blocked by cave-ins and so forth, but even so they had found their fair share of goodies hidden inside the temple.

One particular man, a certain Major Bill Carson, was in charge of taking care of these "goodies" and getting their hired experts on working out what they did and what they were for. You see, Hanley had major plans for his organization, plans which would ensure that no one in the UN saw the OCPLF as a mere minor rebel operation. The UN would grow to fear the OCPLF and what it would become if all went according to plan.

Hanley tried to distance himself from being a bit of a megalomaniac, noticing how some of his men (and women, not all his soldiers were male) had started talking behind his back but nearly always in earshot about how they thought he was becoming a bit crazy, almost like an old style villain from a bad movie. Hanley didn't consider himself one, but then again, those in the said bad movies often didn't consider themselves one even if they were.

The Colonel puffed on his cigar a little more, picked up a small narrow shaft and pulled out the plastic sheet from within the shaft, laying it out on the desk and switching on the device. A colourful computerized map then appeared on the sheet for his easy reference. The wonders of modern technology, he thought to himself.

It had been a while since their last skirmish with the marines stationed on the world. Ever since then they had hardly heard from the annoying UN marines, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. Good since Hanley and his troops could easily get on with their job, bad since it probably meant the UN marines were planning something big. If that was the case, the OCPLF work here should be finished as soon as possible. Once they had found what they were looking for they would be off this world in double quick time.

The map was using both orbital probe scans and rebel scout records. The marines didn't have any idea that they were being watched from above by probes built by the UN which Hanley's experts had rewired to work for the OCPLF. The marine base was a fairly large compound with a landing strip and a few hangars, although he doubted they had many aircraft. It seemed to him that the UN marines were low on numbers and equipment, which would explain why they were hardly a nuisance.

The map cleverly marked the known "frontlines" in the region. They weren't really frontlines, just an indicator of marine controlled territory and OCPLF territory. He could see little had changed since last week when he had checked, but it was good to know anyway.

He was about to switch off the map when the door to the tent opened, a younger, brown haired and blue-eyed man in the typical armour plating and blue uniform of the OCPLF entered. The Colonel looked up from the map, frowning.

"Ah, Lukas, I was just about to look for you. You see, those damn marines still have Hell's Passage," Hanley said, shaking his head and holding his cigar between two fingers of his right hand, "didn't we send someone there to scout it out a few hours ago?"

"Hell's Passage?" Corporal Lukas Wilhelm frowned. He didn't seem to know what the Colonel was talking about. "I don't know about any sort of 'Hell's Passage', sir…"

Hanley rolled his eyes.

"It's also called Valley 189, if you want to get less imaginative about it," Hanley said, "It's the most direct route to the marine base. It's likely they know that too and have it guarded, but we have to know to what extent."

Lukas nodded, although the Colonel doubted he was really interested. Rather, Lukas had come in to see the Colonel for another reason.

"We can, uh…we can talk about this later, sir," Lukas said, taking a datapad from his pocket and placing it on the desk, "I just came in to tell you about the status of our excavation, as you requested last night…"

Hanley nodded, remembering the meeting last night. He wasn't too sure on how successful their excavation was at the moment but as far as he could tell they were making some progress. Lukas had been the prime candidate to gather information on the subject since he did that kind of thing so well that the Colonel had made the young man his main aide.

Hanley picked up the datapad and skimmed through all the information that was stored on it. He nodded and he read parts of it more thoroughly, pleased to see things were coming away nicely.

"There's information concerning what we've found so far," Lukas said, Hanley looking back at him, "but you never specified what you were looking for and so we've just been pulling out anything that isn't bolted down."

"I'll tell you soon enough," Hanley said. All in due time, Lukas, he wasn't about to spoil everything now.

"Some of the items we've found so far are quite interesting, and I've got details on them saved on the datapad," Lukas said. He tugged at his collar in his usual fashion, a bit of a habit he had formed over the years, usually implying he wasn't sure on what to say. "Major Carson seems very interested in some of them…especially, the one…ah; I can't remember it too well…"

Hanley brought up the photo stored on the datapad and flashed it to Lukas. He nodded and Hanley took a good look at it himself. It was a rather small, cylindrical item, engraved with all sorts of strange symbols, their meanings unknown to them but obviously had once been known to someone.

"You say Carson's interested in this one in particular?"

"Yes sir," Lukas nodded, "he keeps that one and a bunch of the more odd items in a crate in his tent. That crate is kept shut with a keypad lock that only he knows the code for. He spends hours every night trying to work out what they do and what they're for, but I'm not sure whether he's been successful or not…"

Hanley simply puffed on his cigar some more, finding it strange who possessive Carson had become over these items. The man was an expert on ancient items and an excellent soldier, but Hanley had begun to find that this obsession with these important items was getting a bit out of hand. He would have to speak to Bill the next time he saw him about all of this.

"I'll fix Bill up," Hanley said, "He's obviously just gotten a bit carried away with all of this. I wouldn't worry too much about it."

"Whatever suits you, sir," Lukas said. He paused for a moment, thinking about what else he had to tell the Colonel but really couldn't think of much.

"Has our scout reported in yet?" Hanley asked. The last thing they needed was a dead scout, although it would prove that the marines did indeed guard Hell's Passage. Lukas shook his head, obviously not knowing the answer to that question.

"He's taking a damn long time," Hanley replied. He paused, taking another puff on his cigar, taking it out of his mouth a few seconds later and looking straight at Lukas.

"Is there any other news?"

"Now that you mention it sir, there has been something…slightly negative but worth noting anyway," Lukas said, "it appears that three of our benefactors in FLEETCOM have been arrested for treason. We have plenty more but…I, well…I think that we may have to cut down on our spending a little…"

Hanley nodded. He knew something like this would happen, he just hadn't known when. It was most likely all Colonel Watts' fault, after all, he shouldn't of let himself get captured.

"It was probably Colonel Watts, sir," Lukas said, obviously thinking along the same lines as Hanley.

The uncaptured Colonel chuckled as he remembered a little incident that had occurred a few months before. Lukas didn't know why he was laughing and so gave him an uncertain expression, trying to work out what the Colonel was thinking.

"What's so funny, sir?"

Hanley ceased laughing and cleared his throat. When he thought about it, the more satisfying the incident had seemed. Five elite soldiers, dead, all because of him, which was a good thing since they were trying to pull another capture mission, this time on him rather than Watts.

"Did I ever tell you about what happened over on Tribute one time, late last year?" Hanley asked, although he knew Lukas had no idea what he was talking about.

"No, sir, I don't believe you have…"

Hanley nodded, seeing as he might as well tell this little story of his. After all, the Corporal was a very reliable man and he and Hanley were good friends.

"You know what happened to Watts, back on that crappy asteroid base of his?" Hanley asked, "How he was ambushed in his office by a bunch of surprisingly good soldiers dressed in engineer's uniforms?"

Lukas knew about all this, nearly everyone in the OCPLF knew about it. Hanley had made sure everybody knew so that if anything did happen to him, they would be prepared.

"It's common knowledge to everyone here. He was subdued and captured, even the surveillance tapes show this," Lukas said, frowning, "what's your point, sir?"

Well, he may as well get on with it. After all, it was his idea to tell the story.

"I was down on Tribute late last year, about December, just on a routine visit to see how our forces there were going," the Colonel said, the memories flowing back to him. It wasn't like he hadn't wanted to remember them; he just had trouble remembering things sometimes, especially since he was a busy man.

"Turns out that the same people who pulled that stunt on Watts decided to organize another one once my identity had been confirmed. This time it was an attempt to capture my ass and throw it to ONI for interrogation." Hanley laughed to himself, once again Lukas wasn't sure whether he should laugh to or not.

"You know what they did? They ruined a damn good dinner, that's what they did. I was just sitting inside an Asian themed restaurant, just enjoying myself and talking with a couple of friends. There were guards out the front, guards out the back and guards inside, just for security purposes…"


Next half to be posted soon enough.

Note: This chapter's ending may be a bit abrupt, that's because this is the first half of a chapter that looked a little too long to me, so I split it in half. Which may explain why the second half (yet to be posted) isn't a recommended read until you've read this half. So, ah…hope you liked it!