Memoirs of an ODST ~ Book 2 (Prologue)
Posted By: Wolverfrog<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 November 2009, 11:25 pm
I know, I know. I've never even posted book 1 on this site, never mind book 2. And I know I also have a reputation here as a rather bad writer, which I hope to overcome. But this will be written so as to explain what happens in the first book. You won't feel confused after a few parts, although the prologue may confuse you a tiny bit. If you do want to read the first book for whatever reason, there's a link you can hit below.
"It's been five years since the first battle on Harvest, where we lost many friends close to us. And things aren't looking much better for humanity. The Covenant are sweeping us aside, with little or no resistance on our part. We all know it's just a matter of time before we're all killed. However, me and my squad of ODSTs; we're gonna buy humanity as much of that time as possible. And perhaps a miracle will happen. Perhaps, somehow, we'll all make it through this."
"Is something wrong sir?"
There was a pause at the dinner table as the General mulled it over.
"That man. He keeps glancing over at me."
Colonel Darrell looked over to where the General was indicating, and saw a young man of around 20 years old, sitting at a table under the patio, reading a paperback and sipping a beer. The man seemed harmless. Just another tourist enjoying the sunset on the colony world Serenity.
"I'm sure it's nothing General." the Colonel assured, relaxing into his seat a little. Darrell's superior didn't seem to be put at ease though.
"Maybe we should leave." the General murmured, beginning to grab his thick winter coat, rising out of his chair as he did so. Darrell sighed.
"General Roberts sir, you do this all the time. If you don't mind me saying so sir, there's no need for it. We're completely safe, the UNSC don't give a damn about what happens on Serenity; it's too far out from the inner colonies." the Colonel assured. The older man paused, before nodding slowly, sitting down again.
"I suppose I am being a little paranoid." the General mumbled, returning to his Martini. Colonel Darrell gave a satisfied smile, nodding in relief.
"You are sir."
That was when the sniper bullet hit the Colonel in the temple, knocking his head from his shoulders. Darrell's lifeless head rolled under the mahogany table, a smile still on his face.
General Roberts swore, immediately diving under the table. He looked to the side and saw the Colonel's head, smiling eerily at him. With a cry of horror, Roberts tossed the head away. The General's hand was exposed for a mere second as he did so, and a bullet came inches within striking it. The frightened General brought an encrypted radio to his mouth.
"I'm under attack! Sniper in an unknown location, killed the Colonel. I need an extract now!" Roberts shouted. Outside the table he cowered beneath, dozens of panicking civilians were fleeing the bar, hands over heads as if that would stop a sniper bullet. Still, the turmoil would be useful. After a view seconds, the General's chief of security replied.
"Roger that General, we're Oscar Mike sir. Stay out of the sniper's line of fire."
A little hard to do that when you don't know where the sniper is. Roberts thought to himself, but out loud merely shouted 'hurry', and gave a vague threat involving execution if something happened to him.
As a particularly large crowed of screaming people ran by the table, the General joined them, staying in the middle of the mob and likewise crying out for help. Hiding in plain site.
Roberts stole a look over at the table where the young man looking over before had been sitting. The chair was now empty, the paperback calmly rested on the table, even with a bookmark in between. The beer had been drank with a few dollars of change left beside it, and the chair was tucked underneath the table. Those weren't the actions of a fleeing man. The General's blood ran cold, and for the first time in years, he was truly afraid.
Still, Roberts kept running, taking the time to reload the M6D at his side as he did so. He was out of the sniper's view, and so he was safe.
He saw an alleyway, and quickly dove into it, breathing heavily. He rose the radio to his mouth once again, and spoke over the encrypted channel.
"Where the hell are you Jerome?" the General demanded to the man on the other side, who replied back calmly.
"Keep your cool sir, we will get you out of this. There's a chance that the sniper had been ordered to take out the Colonel and only the Colonel." Roberts' chief of security, a burly, Zen like man named Jerome explained back.
"Yeah, and my Granddad was an Elite. Just get your ass over here." the General instructed, as he ran along the backstreet, heart beating a mile a minute. At the rate he was going, if the sniper didn't get him, his heart problem would.
"India one is en route sir. Where exactly are you?" Jerome questioned, and Roberts stopped for a moment to think.
"North of the bar, down a little chain of alleyways." the General informed to chief of security, who grunted.
"Roger that, thanks."
"No mate, I should be the one giving thanks." an unknown voice spoke over the channel.
Roberts' blood ran cold.
"Who are you?" Jerome demanded over the channel, his voice breaking slightly mid sentence. There was no response. Jerome growled.
"Sir, your position has been compromised. I recommend you get out of there, ASAP."
There was no argument from Roberts' end. He ran faster than he had ever ran before, clipping the radio to his collar.
"How did that person hear us? This channel's encrypted!" Roberts cried out to Jerome as he was sprinting, vaulting over a crate a few seconds later. A dog barked viciously at him as he ran passed an iron fence. The General nearly had a heart attack then and then.
"I don't know sir, India one has a lock onto you. Just keep moving, they're nearly--" Jerome began to call back, when suddenly his voice cut off. Roberts' heart turned to ice, and his eyes widened.
"Jerome? Jerome!" the General cried out nervously.
"Sorry about that sir, radio slipped out of my hands. Like I said, keep moving, we've got a Pelican ready and waiting for--"
The voice cut off again. The General couldn't believe it, what a clumsy fool!
"Jerome you butter fingered moron, keep hold of that radio or get someone to tape it to your hands dammit!" Roberts barked over the channel angrily. A few moments later there was a response, but not one the General had been expected.
"I'm terribly sorry General, but Jerome is no longer with us. It was quick, don't worry." the creepily calm voice mocked. Roberts froze, forgetting to run. He looked around him, tall, shabby buildings rising around three stories each surrounded him in the dimly lit alley. In the distance, the sun of Osiris VII was all but set.
"Who--who are you? Jerome, if this is some kind of joke--"
"Dead men don't joke Roberts. Otherwise they wouldn't be dead would they?" the voice said over the channel. "You may as well give it up, we've got a whole team converging in on you. And that rescue team, India one? Lying face down in a ditch. Now their deaths, they weren't quick. One of them offered to tell me where you were in exchange for his life. I denied. I do enjoy a good chase, don't you?"
This was bad, very bad. The General was alone with no rescue, no contact. Nothing but a weak side arm and rusty training from his days in service.
"Listen, I'm a wealthy man. I can make you rich, just don't do anything hasty." Roberts attempted to persuade, but his bribe was met with a vindictive laugh.
"I have no need for money you scum. I'll speak to you in person shortly."
The channel clicked dead, leaving Roberts to stand in silence. He recovered from the shock soon enough though, and carried on moving. He'd reach the nearest space port, charter a ship, paid for with his card. Everything would be fine then.
Light glared a few hundreds yard down the alleyway. In the distance, the General could hear the faint roar of ships. The space port wasn't too far off! Roberts blindly ran for the exit of the close quarters dim chase, eager to put this horrible ordeal behind him.
Only fifty yard down though, he ran into a big surprise. A figure stepped out from behind a wall, small smile on face and arms folded. The General jumped back, raising his pistol.
"Nice to see you too General." the man spoke, a warm, greeting smile on his face. Roberts frowned for a few moments, before facial recognition kicked in. The General sighed in relief, lowering the pistol.
"Commander, I haven't seen you in years. We thought you'd died at Harvest." Roberts exclaimed, collapsing against the wall happily, breathing shallow breaths.
"Part of me did," the Commander replied ambiguously, staring straight at the General, wearing a big smile. Almost a little too big.
"What do you mean Mains?" Roberts asked uncertainly, frowning slightly. Commander Mains chuckled, before bringing out his own gun, aiming it squarely between Roberts' eyes. Mains wore a very serious expression now. The General slowly rose his hands.
"Quiet, you low life. I'm not your Commander any more," Mains replied aggressively, digging the rusty steel end of the pistol into Roberts' forehead, which was lined with beads of sweat.
"Then what--" the General then looked down at the Commander's uncovered shoulder. There was a familiar tattoo there which he had seen before, Roberts knew Mains had once been an ODST. Yet something was wrong. The tattoo wasn't faded.
"You've switched sides. You're an ODST again." the General breathed, staring into Mains' eyes, the horrible realisation dawning upon him.
"I was never on your side, murderer." the traitor Mains spat in Roberts' face. The General automatically recoiled away in disgust, looking down at the floor for a moment.
"Good work Mains, you got him," a new voice congratulated from the end of the alleyway, walking towards Roberts. Except it wasn't new; Roberts had heard it before over the radio. And the face belonged to the paperback reading young man back at the bar.
Two other men stepped out of the shadow's, guns levelled at Roberts' torso. Four men, four bullets. The General's vest wouldn't be able to withstand that.
"What do you want from me?" the General demanded angrily. He heard the sound of four pistols cocking themselves to fire. The youngest of the four held up a hand, walking forward, staring Roberts right in the eyes.
"Why'd you do it, you Innie bastard?" the young man questioned, his voice a hoarse whisper. Roberts' eyes grew wide. They know. How do they know?
"I don't know what you're talking about," the General spat back, a little too hastily. He received a punch in the jaw for that, which sent him crashing into the rough brick of the house he was backed up against.
"Don't play stupid with me! We know! Did you think doing it would save you? Did you think, by helping them, the Covenant would allow you and your little asteroid operation to survive?" the young man demanded, and from the tattoo on his shoulder, Roberts guessed he was an ODST too. He seemed too young for it.
"I--" the General began to explain, before being shouted down by the young ODST.
"Ten million people lived on that colony. Ten. Million. What does it feel like Roberts, to have the blood of ten million on your hands? Tell me."
Roberts' eyes flared.
"I did not kill those people." he growled back at the ODST, who gave a mocking laugh, shaking his head.
"Oh really now? Selling out the co-ordinates of Eridanus II to the Covenant, just to buy your little asteroid cluster a bit of safety? You killed them Insurrectionist, don't tell yourself otherwise."
The General felt his eyes well up with tears. He had never told himself otherwise. Ever since Eridanus II had been attacked -- because of him --, Roberts had known only sleepless nights. He wished he could go back, undo would he had done. But although they may be able to travel faster than light, humanity could not travel back in time.
"I didn't know--they told me they would just occupy the planet. They didn't say they would--" the General began to protest weakly.
"Glass the planet? You didn't know they would glass the planet? You're a fool then Roberts, and a dangerous, sick, twisted one at that." the young ODST accused. The General had no response.
"Please, I don't want to die." Roberts pleaded, shaking his head. He couldn't die. He had too much to do. Too much money to make. And perhaps, one day, he would be able to do what the UNSC couldn't; wouldn't. Perhaps he'd find a way to make peace with the Covenant. No, Roberts couldn't die. Not here, not now. And not like this.
"I've got good news and bad news for you General. The good news is that the UNSC told me to bring you in alive," the young ODST with the dark hair told Roberts, whose heart soared. He had contacts in the justice system, he wouldn't stay in any prison for long.
"And the bad news?" the General asked tentatively, too relieved to feel worried about whatever the ODST would say. The young man chuckled to himself, raising his pistol.
"I'm not prepared to comply with that order. Have a nice time in hell General."
The ODST fired the pistol, a direct shot at Roberts' stomach. The General's eyes widened, his mouth opening.
"No! Not like this!" Roberts screamed out, collapsing to the ground in agony. His vision was already beginning to dim, the flame of his frail human life extinguishing.
"Good call Arch." one of the ODSTs said to the youngest as the group turned away. Roberts reached after them, screaming a silent scream. They didn't look back as they walked away slowly, talking as if nothing had happened.
"Bastards like that don't deserve the luxury of prison. And may I say Switch, that was some fancy hacking on that channel. And you Rook, good job on wiping out that India one team." the young ODST said back, his voice growing quieter and quieter in the General's ears.
"Feels wrong to be killing humans, after fighting the Covenant." the one named Rook replied, his voice a mere whisper to the General now.
"Those weren't humans Rook. They were monsters."
Roberts' senses disabled, and he was alone in the dark with his dying thoughts.
Not like this. Not like this...