Green Plants and Dinner
Posted By: Dispraiser<email@example.com>
Date: 11 February 2003, 2:31 am
"So the question. It still remains." Said Captain D.
"I don't know how many times I have to tell you! It's cannibalism dammit!"
"It doesn't know though!" The monitor flickered as the conversation escalated.
"Well, I think it's just doing this to look tuff. We can't give in! Someone go in and... Rough it up..."
"How do you rough up a plant! It can't feel!"
"We must establish a legion of elite warriors to deal with this threat! The plants must be eliminated!"
"No one wants to do that! Damn, if only ONI could see where it's funding goes!"
The captain jumped with excitement, "Look it's doing it again!" The small monitor displayed and empty room with a "Aright, next hit wins. Go!" a pair of children with squirt guns began to run around the hotel, letting loose random streams of gunfire in an attempt to eliminate each other in this war-game. Suddenly a blur whipped towards one of the two boys, who was stalking the other. Before the child could even scream the Spartan had disarmed him and spun the rifle around, ready to deliver three lethal headshots. He fired a burst of gunfire to no avail, and questioning the inefficiency of his weapon, snapped the child's neck before retreating to the woods again.
I stepped around the corner of the West hotel and saw an alternating red and blue glow. Fully alert I pressed my back against the wall and crept to the edge of the wall, peering around carefully. There was a police car parked in the parking lot of the hotel, sirens activated, though the sound was disabled because it was not trying to alert anyone to get out of the way. A cop stood by his car, leaning against it smoking, as if he had been standing there for some time, judging also by that his cigar was no longer than his thumb.
I spun around the corner and walked o the back of the building. A cop sitting in front of the building, why? Had they found my rifle? It didn't appear that they had, otherwise they would not still be standing around in front of the building, they would have taken it to get it dusted for fingerprints, and find mine. I circled around the building to the other side and stepped casually around the corner, careful to maintain a low profile, walking on the sidewalk. I cocked a quizzical head at the cops, to act natural and walked up to him. He didn't see my approach, so I tapped on the hood of his car. He spun around, brown uniform and badge in tow. He was uniformed as any normal state guard for this area and carried the signature Berretta pistol, which I saw resting on his leg. "What's going on here?" I asked.
"A murder. Some kid died, and we are here. End of story." He was keeping a press style profile in regards to the crime. He wouldn't tell me anything that he didn't need to, and would do so until told otherwise, and in regards to my profile, it would be much smarter if I were to not become too nosey.
"A kid? The times now days, when children are killed." I replied, trying to sound as if I cared.
"Yeah, who would kill a defenseless child? What could a kid ever do to deserve something like that?" He flicked his cigar again, a warm red glow unveiled as the flakes of burnt cigar fell from the end and to the ground, where the wind instantly swept them towards the open farm fields, where it could roam freely.
"Only a true monster officer, only a true monster could."
"Right." He replied, "So I assume that means you believe in the Chupacabra myth going around right now, blaming all your problems on a monster." He said, almost breathing that he was a nonbeliever.
"I do. I just found out about it recently, a day or two ago." I lied.
"Well, you can drop all your hopes of something higher to believe in, it's probably just some city slicker vandals on a road trip deciding to come here and scare the locals. So, what are you doing here, stranger?" he made very certain to insert the title at the end of his sentence, I was a stranger, and there was a murder and a strange series of events, all o which I was probably the suspect for only because of my arrivals proximity to the dates of the crimes.
"What am I doing here? Visiting my family, the Martinez." I extended a hand to shake his, though I got a stiff cold shoulder, with no return to my gesture. I slipped my hand back to my side, continuing to talk, "Scott Martinez, Construction Worker."
"Ah, yeah, I think they talked about you coming a week or so ago. So, a long lost relative huh?"
"Yeah, I had to search pretty hard to find these guys."
"Why would you do that? You don't know any of them besides that the same blood runs through your veins."
"They're the last I've got. All the rest of my family is gone, killed on the front lines near Harvest."
"Oh, sorry to hear that, here, want a cigar?" he said, probably trying to change the subject from the inconvenient one, death. It was amazing how one attempted to ignore the topic of death as if it would prolong it's mirror, life.
"No thanks, these things will kill you, you should quit." I replied. Besides that, having an open flame near my face may begin to deteriorate the plastic in my artificial face, and ruin my disguise.
"I will never quit, it's too late for me." He grinned as if he had acknowledged his fate, nailing his casket with every breath he took with a cigar in his mouth, "I will be smoking one of these until the day I die. I'm no lamb of the media propagandists, these cigars are better for you than they know." He flicked the cigar again because of our reference to it, not because of necessity and an unnoticeable amount of ash drifted lazily to the ground.
"Nice to see that someone still has free will in this age. Good luck on the murder case, and catch that sick bastard. The streets are a lot better of a place when people like him are gone." I nodded friendlily and paced off to head for the local market. I knew that a retreat back to the house would look as if I were fleeing from the police, and make me into a suspect, and continuing onwards towards a false destination, but a believable one. I walked towards the store at a normal pace, though thoughts raced through my mind, a murder in the town was a large snag in the mission. I stepped towards the supermarket, stopping at a reasonable distance and ducking into the alley to ponder what to do next. I noticed the leg of something run around the corner and instinctively ran to chase it. I ran to the end of the alley and looked outwards towards the emerald green woods. A band of brown tree trunks crossed the green of the treetops and grass as a band of bark and occasional patched of leaves. A man in fatigues with a rifle ran towards the woods, away form me. He had a sniping type rifle, not a civilian model. It could be a farmer who thought he saw "Chupacabra", or it could be another Marine drop team. Those damn creeps at ONI were always breathing down our backs, maybe the three days I took were too long, or maybe this man had been here long than I had.
I quickly decided to follow his movements and shuffled from bush to bush, checking for any Marine Corps or ODST insignia on him, finding none. Of course, anyone who saw me now would believe that I was a normal civilian dressed in hunting fatigues, and bird hunting was large game on Lunar 4. The stepped into the woods, and I followed from a safe distance.
The man seemed to be following the Spartan, judging by that he continually surveyed the horizon with binoculars and moved very much like a veteran, and used more than enough cover to deal with anything. I followed him for at least three miles until suddenly, he stopped. He lie prone on the ground, rifle pointing off a ridge and his set of binoculars pressed firmly against his face, which was covered in a ski mask. He flipped the binoculars shut and pulled out the rifle, firing a volley of four shots. I pulled out my binoculars and followed the bullet contrails to the point of impact and saw a shimmer of something moving. Another series of shots fired at a target, one which I did not see. Some birds flew form the nearby trees and made excessive noise, giving me the cover to slide behind the sniper. Another four shots rained down upon the ground, where I had given up looking for the target of his sniping. I leaned slowly towards him and put my forearm firmly on the back of its neck. "Roll over! Drop the gun!" I shouted suddenly as the man got time to react. He spun over slowly, pushing the rifle away. "Mask off, now!" The black mask slid off to reveal a woman, with blonde hair. "A woman? What are you doing out here? And how did you get that rifle?"
"I suppose you are here for you 'El Chupacabra'." She said.
"I ask the questions, why are you here?"
"I am here to uphold my part of the bargain."
"The bargain?" I asked.
"Have fun among the fallen!" she snapped a pistol from the side of her leg, one that I had not seen and stuck my along the bottom of my chin with it's handle. I wavered woozily for a second before falling unconscious. Venus fly trap in it. Some water sprinkled down onto the plant from a fire sprinkler. "Do you think that means something? I don't remember paying for that along with the plant."
"Well... Captain.. The ALARM above us also means something. I assume. Should we make an announcement to the crew?"
"Well, generally red lights, fire sprinklers and--"
"The time is now! We must form the legion! Mercury," he gestured to the light, "the messenger of the gods has come to alert me! The time is now! Gather the crewmen! We must ascend! It's the end for all those who are among the fallen!"
The radar operator, who had lain five dollars onto the table that the plant wouldn't eat another plant was now serious, the ship was on fire. He clutched his head, the Captains idiocy only bearing the tip of the iceberg that was his lack of general common sense. He had lost interest in the ship, and the war years ago. "Alright... Damn insubordination... If I had my free will..."
"What is that radar boy!"
"Nothing sir, just commenting on how serious the threat this inanimate plant poses is."
"Don't end your sentences like that."
"And the problem is?"
"Ep! You just did it! Don't do that!"
"Never mind. Send Private Walters in to... Rough up the plant..."
"You can't hurt a plant!"
"Yes you can... Tell him I want him to bring in a big stack of paper... And to get a garbage bin and a recycling bin along with a newspaper... I have a plan..."
The radar operator, ready to kill the Captain picked up the intercom system, "Private Wallace, proceed to holding cell six with a garbage can, a recycling bin and a stack of newspaper." The captain gestured to a paper on the desk, "And some paper. The CAPTAIN wants you to rough the prisoner up."
The cell door hissed open on the small monitor as private Wallace slid in and set down the heap of stuff he had. He kicked the plants pot over and a small piece of the stem of a plant rolled out of it's mouth. He talked some and suddenly becamse angry with the plan, taking one of the newspapers and holding it up. He held it over the recycling bin, and showed the plant. Suddenly he turned and dropped it into the garbage, supposedly hurting the plant's feelings.
The door hissed open behind the Captain as a man ran in, covered in ashes and franticly breathing, clearly battling a fire. "Captain, the fire is out of control!"
"Yeah! The alarms just started going off and we all ran to our battle station, but the fire! It hit the artillery compartments, and, oh, it's horrible!"
"See radar boy! This is our reason! This is clearly the work of the plant! I order it's immediate execution!"
"Um, sir. The fire..."
"Yeah, what about it?"
"Well, I think it came from this..." the radar boy switched the camera on the main screen to show the distant reaches of space, a blue planet before them and a few purple blobs. "The Covenant! Remember, the aliens that we have been fighting for a quarter century! Killed billions, etcetera?"
"Aliens? What do you think this is, the SciFi movie marathon? There's no such thing as an alien!"
Suddenly a new face appeared on the viewscreen, big, blue, and toting a horrible and portentous omen. "Attention Earth slaves. Bow down before us and detonate your ship or face immediate punishment."
"And you are?" asked the Captain..
"Well... I am Kelsorg of the Elites..." announced the Elite.
"Elites?" asked the Commander.
"Um... The... The ones that kill humans! Prepare for death Earth scum!" replied the Elite, who seemed confused.
"And... What did we do?"
"We can't tell you."
"Why! Is it some secret?"
"Um... Yes. It has something to do with the Prophets. And probably Halo."
"Halo?" asked the Captain.
"Oh, sorry, forgot, you haven't been there." replied the Elite.
"Get over yourself."
"You heard me, get over yourself!"
"Yeah yeah, yeah... How do I do that? If I climb up, I will be up, and I can never get over myself."
"Um, let me rephrase this. You suck, you're blue. I mean, I'll bet those horrible pincers on our face help you pick up chicks."
"Um... What are these 'chicks' you refer to? Why would I want to pick up poultry?" the Elite asked, almost as baffled as he was referring to Halo.
"Let me ask you this, you seem pretty smart. Is it cannibalism for a Venus flytrap to eat a rose stem?"
"It depends. Was the rose red or purple?"
"Purple?" the Elite replied, sinking into the chasm of confusion that was the crew's life under the Captains reign.
"I'm sick of this show, change the channel." Said the Captain, losing interest in the war once again.
The radar boy shrugged and hit a switch. Suddenly the interrogation of the plant popped onto the screen. The garbage can was full of newspaper and some shredded paper lie on the floor. He had on a set of brass knuckles and a set of leaves lie on the ground. The plan also had the majority of it's dirt removed. "Captain, the fire!" yelled the crewman behind us.
A female voice crackled over the intercom, the ship's voice. "Fire levels critical, hull integrity 25%, vented atmosphere on decks one through twelve. Sir, half of the ship is missing."
"GREAT!!! First the fires from that damn plant and now this..."
"I know, it's horrible, one hundred human lives, gone."
"All gone from their posts! Get em up here!"
"Sir, gone as in, dead gone. Gone forever."
"Like the damn slaves... Why did they have to unionize too! Damn strikes! Aright, get the plant, it needs to pay for it's sins. Radar boy, you are the first member of the legion! Your first goal is to prove your worthiness by killing Mercury."
"Aright." The radar boy flipped a toggle switch on the control panel and suddenly 'Mercury', the alarm light, faded from existence.
There was a long, inconvenient pause after he defeated Mercury with such ease. "So..."
"Gravity failing!" the AI barked over the intercom as the ship rocked an the gravity, and lights flickered. The lights recovered, but not the gravity. The man who was interrogating the plant began to float, the plant bumping into him.
The Captain yelled, "Good god, it's killing him!"
"No captain, that's something else."
"Well, incase you haven't noticed, we're all about to die."
Suddenly the camera sparked with life in the room with the plant. The plant swallowed the man whole and spun to the camera and shouted, "Your destruction! Is the will of the gods!"