Posted By: Ape Man<email@example.com>
Date: 21 January 2000, 1:52 a.m.
I got my first real mission this morning. Just after my father once again came to me in dreams. Fitful sleep was interupted frequently by some startling image designed and crafted by the neural webbing of my subconscious mind. To think such horrific worlds and beings could exist is more than cause for despair.
As the word passes through my nerve endings, flickering like the lightning which even now lingers about a hundred miles north, just where one can make out the Halo's graceful curving coming to be, I realize the slickness with which it moves. Far easier than most, yet some impeding force keeps it from full comprehension. Despair. It seems an unlikely ally, in this bitter place where nothing is as it should be. Yet it is the only one I have. Despair, and the harsh, driving wind from the south. There are rumors of endless steppes in that direction, with grasses the color of blood rearing away into the haze. Sometimes, on days where my mind was more restful, I had sownr I could make out eerie streaks of crimson suspended upon the Halo, about a quarter of the way up its' curve.
Milboq has found ancient music among the Blake's data libraries. I find it quite appealing, actually, though he does play it in excess. Alas, the title of the musicians escapes me at this moment. A certain song has repeatedly caught my attention, of the style of "blues." At least, I believe that is the proper term. Apparently, this music died centuries ago. It seems impossible, given the grace carried within each note, and the story behind every guitar chord. Many of the other man have taken to a song which speaks of a Stairway to Heaven, but I find myself once again playing the nonconformist.
Other unimaginable events transpired this afternoon, just before I departed for my scouting routine. Robert Blake himself appeared before our haggard camp, arriving by way of wheeled transport, and spoke to us of legends. As inspiration, I presume, he recounted the legend of the Tenth Mjolnir. In the hundreds of years Blake has been in stasis, he seems to have departed quite a ways from his former role of makeshift leader of a band of terrified men, struggling for their lives and the fate of Earth, so far distant yet so near. Relinquishing his old, dirt-green uniform for a suit of silver-gray, I find myself wondering what the symbol scratched into his new outfit could possibly symbolize: one circle, contained inside a larger one and with the two connected by a thick line extended from bottom to bottom. Did Blake know the Tenth Mjolnir? Or even Durandal?
The way he described the legend, it made it seem as if the Tenth Mjolnir was all too real, and was in fact standing amongst us. Cortana had described him to me the night before last, when all the rest of the soldiers amused themselves with foolish games or mindless chatter. I recall this from before, vaguely, as if from a dream. But I cannot localize where this assault of memory floods from, filling my mind in a hopeless deluge of information.
"I have never spoken to Him these words." She was oddly reverent tonight, far from the sardonic, ce I knew far too well. "Yet they have been prepared, for the day upon which I might. Far into the future. Too far for any human to understand.
"I cannot help but remember one enigma. A hybrid, elusive destroyer. There are many mysteries left to solve, but he is by far the most important.
"The only element unaccounted for.
"Even S'Buth will be no more. He saved his entire race, but in the end, frozen by despair, he will join the chaos he sought to evade.
"But He was dead a thousand times, hopeless encounters sucessfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines his builders did not understand. He will follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern.
"His to manipulate, to destroy and rebuild.
"Will I know who you are?"
With that, Cortana departed, and she has not spoken with me since. It seems she is to say this to the Tenth Mjolnir, should she ever find him. I find it impossible that he could still be alive.
And now Blake seems just as reverant as Cortana. He claims to have fought alongside the Tenth Mjolnir, to have CAPTAINED him. Though he admits he never met Durandal, he did suspect the machine's existence. For some reason I cannot fathom, this seems off to me. Rather than not having met him, it is almost as if Blake was Durandal's closest friend. Closer even than the Tenth Mjolnir? As mysteries are solved, more are revealed. And I wonder how it is all somehow linked to this place. Did Blake simply crash here after being attacked by the Covenant, as we were told upon our arrival three days later aboard the K'liah'Narhl.
Interrupting my thoughts, recollection of that horrid ship brings bile to the back of my throat. There is no possible way it could have been engineered for humans: the halls are two narrow, the lighting too dim and far too unstable, and the walls are made of no material I have ever dreamed of. The despair flees, briefly, as I relish the surge of joy which spread through my limbs upon disembarkment. The K'liah'Narhl.
I am thrown violently back into my speculation in a strange surge of newfound understanding. I see myself falling, not to the earth but into Blake, and I see a tiny chip hidden deep within the gray matter of his twisted mind. And in its surface, I can make out the engraved image of a sword.
Durandal, if he is not indeed Cortana, still exists to some degree inside this man. Blake. A certain Robert Blake, who served alongside Durandal's other prize. Certainly, with so much of this legend being fulfilled before my eyes, the Tenth Mjolnir cannot be far.
Cortana sent me a brief message this morning, a drop-mail capsule which would not allow me to trace her position and respond. Somehow, I sense that she is gone. As if to confirm my thoughts, the roar of starship engines fills the air, and a mighty silver form lurches into the distant sky.
I have been here before. Centuries ago, when my fine core still bore the seal of another entity. One who has been reborn in myself.
Just after the destruction of the S'pht homeworld, I cam here with Him. A rogue star, which we met in one of the great voids between the spiral arms. And here we found the last relic of a race of Gods.
And my former self comes crawling to the surface, demanding attention.
Whatever. You're a fool. And I'm calling the shots from now on. You know why?
Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.
Does that sound familiar, Mr. Mjolnir?
You didn't know, did you? Figures. You always had a tendancy to forget. Do you remember Lh'owon? The S'pht? S'buth?
Surely you can recall the W'rcacnter.
Did you know that Thor had ten hammers?
Nine of them are gone. And what happened to the tenth?
Did you know that you are the lost of Thor's ten hammers?
Go say hello to Blake. He's waiting to see you again.
We wouldn't want to be impolite.
This was a little something for all you fans of the Marathon's Story Page....hope you like it. By the way, Cortana's message about "Him" (He was dead a thousand times, etc.) is adapted for context, tense, and subject from the final screen of MÉ. Most of the stuff in here can be found in the Trilogy, if you look hard enough.
The Ape Man