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3 Spartans, too far away to be easily recalled....
Posted By: Ryan Tucker<adeadguy4life@hotmail.com>
Date: 30 January 2006, 3:37 am

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0700 hours, September 23, 2552

Chief Petty Officer McKenzie ran through the hallways of the Paladin's Shield. The communiqué he had just received was something he needed to report to Commander Riley. Immediately. The ship was in orbit around a gas giant in one of the Outer Rim systems. But McKenzie knew that after the Commander received this news, that they wouldn't be there for much longer. Even the 3 Spartans that were on board would want to hear this. When he reached the entrance to the bridge, the guard on each side of the door stood at attention, rifles held ready, just in case.
McKenzie rushed onto the bridge, slightly out of breath he began to give the Commander the bad news. "Sir, We've just received a communiqué over SATCOM, on a secure UNSC frequency."
"Verification codes?"
"Yes, Sir. Everything checks out, the message was sent by Admiral Whitcomb himself."
"Whitcomb?! What does it say?"
"Sir… Reach has fallen…"

"We knew they were under attack, but I would have never thought…. Reach, it doesn't seem possible…". The Commander seemed lost in thought. Spartans Shane-150, Ryan-071, and Anthony-033 were standing in the briefing room, around a small table with Commander Riley. He had just given them the news, Reach had fallen. The Covenant were already glassing the planet. The Commander had placed McKenzie back on duty right away, they were still receiving a few scattered transmissions, and he didn't want to miss anything related to Reach.
"Maybe we shouldn't have stayed…. Maybe we should have gone back to help…"
Shane-150 spoke up, "Sir, with all due respect, we would never have made it back in time. We would have just been one more ship to add to the Covenants kill list."
"Your right, one more ship wouldn't have made a difference."
The Spartans were feeling a little uneasy, very rarely did an Officer ever show any second-thoughts. It was very unusual behavior for the Commander. But, the Spartans felt like they got the easy way out. They knew that their mission had been important too, but they're brothers and sisters had been on Reach. Reach was their home, the place they had been trained for most of their lives. The 3 Spartans all felt a tinge of regret for not being there to fight.
There was a knock at the door, "Come in."
An attendant rushed in, but stopped short and stared in awe at the sight of the 3 Spartans. Even without their armor, they were very imposing figures. At a distance, they could be mistaken for marines. But once you got closer, you could tell they were something much more. Most Spartans stood at least a few inches taller than the average marine, not to mention, their muscular structure was almost perfectly defined. Their armor just made them look bigger and stronger, and that much more imposing.
"What is it son?"
"Uh… Sir, Chief Petty Officer McKenzie has something more to report. He says he's received more garbled transmissions, but there is one that he can make out clearly. A six note signal, that just repeats over and over again. He didn't think it was anything important, because it didn't originate anywhere near Reach, but you told him to report everything, no matter what."
Ryan-071 was the first to speak, "Sir, may we hear that signal? It might just be important."
"Of course. I'm not sure what you have in mind, Son, but you Spartans seem to know your stuff."
"Thank you, Sir."

The 3 Spartans followed the attendant down to the COM station. It was a long walk, but all three Spartans were very eager to hear this signal. They knew what it could mean, if they were right. They walked into the room with Chief Petty Officer McKenzie. He stood at attention as soon as he saw the Spartans.
"Sirs, I was told you wanted to see me?"
Shane-051 replied, "Yes, we would like to hear that signal you received, the one you just reported to Commander Riley."
"Yes Sir." He reached over to flick a switch, and a six-note melody played across the speakers. "I don't think its anything, its probably an automated response from a satellite. This signal isn't coming from the Reach, but from another system near here."
The Spartans all exchanged looks, "Anthony, get the Commander on the COM, tell him we need to head to that signal. When he asks why, tell him there are Spartans there."
"Yes Sir."
McKenzie had a look of utter confusion on his face, "Spartans? How do you know?"
Shane looked at Ryan, and he grinned. "Because Chief, that's our signal."