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Legend Hunting Part Seven
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 22 March 2003, 11:34 PM

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      A little note... This is a LINEAR STORY. That means that Legend Hunting is one big part. These parts have been broken so that they will fit on the forum or so that I can submit parts as I work on them. If you have not read ALL OF THE PARTS you will become confused very quickly. In this part especially the past knowledge is required to understand it. I can't believe I have to post this note...


      As it happened I had more respect for the Speedstar than hate for Samuels, especially after my hefty toll paid for keying it earlier. It slid silently into pace as I saw the window shades in Samuels' room rustle, he had clearly been awaiting the return of his prized car. I stepped into the hotel lobby to find Roguriez at the desk, again sleeping, which almost seemed to be his job at the hotel. He awoke at my entry though, this time, and greeted me with an almost hateful stare. He was probably very mad, given that it must have taken him hours to register with the L4CG (Lunar 4 Commerce Guild) to allow him to actually accept any payment from me. The work of getting that done in under a week was amazing, but the workload of getting that done in a few days, was impressive, especially a non-legitimate business. He had reason to hate me, but I had reason to play the stupid tourist card and not notice.
       "Hey, um..." I paused. If I acted as if I knew his name it may draw suspicion, "Rogurin? No, Roguriez!"
      He tensed and sat up in his chair. I noticed that he was sticking a hand under the desk, probably reaching for a gun. "How do you know my name?"
       "What, you don't remember me?" I replied. He began to relax a little, but still kept a hand planted against the bottom of the desk. Knowing where that gun was would probably help me out later on, if only keeping the element of surprise away.
      He stared, his head cocked quizzically for a second before finally recognizing me, "Ah, Scott, Scot... Martinez, yeah, I remember you! A few weeks ago you came in here. To visit your family, right?"
       "Yeah." I noticed that he lowered his hand from the gun beneath the desk, he trusted me. Trusting me would be his last mistake, I would make sure of that.
       "So, enjoyed your stay?"
       "Yeah, service is good. This place seems so fresh and new when compared to the rest off the town." I looked at the polished floor and then up to the glass chandelier, realizing that I was standing atop their secret base. I stepped forward, heading left towards the elevator.
       "Glad to hear you like it here. But don't let these last few weeks get you to hating Melo, it is the first set of murders Melo has ever seen." He replied, though I could swear that I hear him say 'stranger' beneath his breath after finishing his sentence. However, it simply stated the town's emotions towards me, I was a stranger, and I was a reasonable scapegoat as to why the town was corrupting recently. I was at the center of half of the recent murders recently, though, so it may be for a good reason.
       "Yeah, well, keep up the good work. Talk to ya later."
       "Sure. Have a nice stay." I stepped into the elevator and watched the doors slid shut, the metallic door reflecting my face. I looked for a second, wondering who it was that was staring back at me before realizing that it was me though. I couldn't vividly remember my real face. Soon I was on the second floor and within my room, Samuels already waiting with a few sheets of paper before him. He held a clipboard and quickly greeted me, showing me his drawings. They were plans to attack the bunker beneath the hotel, and each carried a basic map of the hotel and simple lines telling me what to do. Not the military briefing I was accustomed to...
       "I think they have a pistol at the main desk, does that change anything?" I asked.
       "Nothing in any of my plans. Glasses." I pulled the sunglasses off and handed them to him so that he could analyze them.
       "Any ID signals on the guy?" I asked.
       "None the headset got. Probably means that there isn't an autocannon, though. Still, there could be something that he picks up or turns on to deactivate it, so it is still a reasonable threat. Anyway, here are a few plans that I drew up." He slid three sheets of paper across the table. "The first one is on the top. Anyway, as you can see, you go down the elevator, hold up the guy at the desk and get him to open the basement for you. You wing it from there."
       "Great, now I stumble into an unknown densely populated hostile area and 'wing it'. I hate your plans."
       "I suppose you could do better?"
       "Not yet. Let me see your other two plans."
       "Alright, the second one is one where you kill the guy and get a computer hack to open the shelter. It would eliminate the risk of the terrorist trying to rebel against you and would also prevent him from using some signal to alert the people in the basement while you get the shelter open. The bad, if there are two or more of them on the top floor it would get messy, fast."
       "Yeah, this plan's garbage too. Hope the thirds a lot better."
       "Right... The third is to tip off the police as to the terrorist cell in here. No idea what they would do." I looked at his picture. A primitive drawing a policeman lie, drawn with a crayon.
       "Spent some time on this one, didn't ya?"
      He quickly grabbed the papers back and neatly stacked them while occasionally glaring angrily at me. "Like I said, I suppose you can do better."
       "I can. I have a new plan. I grab the guy, hold him by his neck and beat him till he coughs up the code. From there I'll get the basement open, throw him down and with. As his other buddies gather around to see why their friend dropped dead I'll sneak in and shoot em all up. Sound good?"
       "Wow... Actually, that's pretty good... In the end though, it's your decision. Decided?"
       "I think so. First, though, I want to get HQ to hear this. Maybe they got some news on the Data Stick."
       "Sure. Calling em now." Samuels said, picking up the radio. Suddenly there was a loud knock at the door. I gestured for Samuels to put away the radio while walking to the door. I looked through the peephole and saw Roguriez standing at the door.
       "It's Roguriez!" I whispered as the door knocked again.
       "I have something to talk about with you Mr. Martinez!" he said through the door. Samuels quickly finished hiding everything beneath the bed and quickly slipped underneath. This was my room, not his, and he couldn't appear in it. He was fine with this plan though, he got to be safe.
       "Coming." I replied before opening the door. Roguriez pushed his way in and looked around the room.
       "I want the Spartan." He said.
       "The what?"
       "Don't play dumb, someone set off one of our traps in the woods." That was why he searched the rooms... "I searched your room while you were gone and I found an assault rifle and a pistol. You're here hunting for the UNSC, and I want my Spartan! Now, unless you want the police to hear about these, give me the Spartan."
       "I don't have the Spartan, Jada has it."
       "Yeah, the girl staying here. She was about 5' 6" and Siberian."
       "No time for games Mr. Martinez! Give me the Spartan!"
       "I swear to god, I don't have it."
       "Well, someone does, and I doubt that 'Jada' could have gotten it. You are from the UNSC, you have reason to want this Spartan."
       "And what do you want with the Spartan?"
       "We believe that the Spartans are the seeds of evil among our ranks, particularly the Spartan 3s. I need to take it to prove to the public one and for all that they exist."
       "Well, I was just bout to go look for it myself, so I don't think you need to worry about me having it."
       "I think we do. Where is it!"
       "I don't have the Spartan!"
       "What are you here for Mr. Martinez?"
       "I was here to catch the Spartan, but if you are a terrorist I suppose I have other actions that I should take."
       "I am no terrorist! You were here to get the Spartan and it suddenly dissapears from the woods and you claim that 'Jada' has it. Also our computers suddenly crash because of a virus and all of our files are stolen. Also, there are two murders in the town, and no one can explain any of this. And you arrive. You have the Spartan, where is it?"
       "I don't have the Spartan."
       "And you expect me to believe that after you lied to those Martinez and they trusted you, what can make me so sure that you aren't lying to me right now. And where's your nerdy friend?"
       "He died. He left here two days ago and never came back. Either he deserted or he died."
       "About the same time our Spartan Trap was set off... Well, too bad about your friend, but if you have the Spartan here, we will find it, and we will hunt you down. Jada though, who is that?"
       "My partner. I was hoping that he left because he had captured it, but it appears as though he left because he died." I replied, hoping that this lie would be believed.
       "I thought your partner was a man. You said that Jada was a Siberian female."
       "He was a.... Troubled... Male. With a wig and some lipstick he... Yeah... Kida a touchy subject..."
       "Hah... That's very sad..." Roguriez grunted at me after looking at my room for a second more and left promptly, slamming the door behind him. I waited for a full minute before calling Samuels out of hiding.
       "What the hell was that? What makes him think that if we were here looking for the Spartan a random inquisition would force us to reveal anything?" Samuels asked sarcastically, "And what was with the little comment there?"
       "Sorry about that, but it had to be done." I replied, already ignoring him and turning on the radio.
       "Couldn't you have come up with something else, maybe that you were following her thinking that she was a terrorist of the Matheans or something? Genderly challenged?"
       "Well, he believed it."
       "I rest my case." Samuels sat down on the bed, bouncing on it's fresh and almost unused springs.
       "I've been wondering about this place. Why not build a fake building that is smaller than a hotel. Would have cost them about a quarter as much and with these money strapped terrorists of today running around..."
       "Well," Samuels asked HQ for any progress and was greeted with a happy yes, "Open sesame. HQ, the updates?"
       "The Hotel you are staying in may be a terrorist hideout!" Samuels snorted.
       "WE ALREADY KNOW THAT!!!" I shouted. Thank god this hotel had such muffling walls... I hoped...
       "Oh... Well, in any case, we have a list of the terrorists. Well, anyway, we have one named Alan Roguriez."
       "We know him, he tried to yell at us..."
       "Oh... That compromises what we were about to ask you to do..."
       "What, the data stick wasn't enough?"
       "Well, that was good, but we wanted you to take him out..."
       "Why can't we... Never mind... Ok, the other three."
       "Ok, another, Charlie Morris." I instantly recognized that name (As should anyone who read the Fall of Lunar 4!!!), a swim buddy of mine in the SEAL training exercises. He hurt his leg and was forced from service just short of becoming a SEAL. "The next, Jaque Martinez, a local who probably joined to look cool." Jaque Martinez was another name I recognized. It was the eldest of the Martinez generation that is the second from most recent. "And the final in our little list, Alan Roguriez."
       "Um... You already said his name..."
       "Oh, my fault, things have been a little hectice with the AE te--"
       "The what?"
       "Meant AM. Early mornings. Anyway, the last name in the list, that we haven't mention, is Bernard Willace, a terrorist fill in as best we can understand. He has no criminal record and hardly appears to fit the terrorist profile at all. We actually would believe that he was a legit employee had he not been moved from Okra to Melo at the opening of the hotel, and had not bought a home in the area. The cell here never expected to ever see a UNSC team get sent here, though they may have been established for the sole purpose of capturing the Spartan before we did. The Neo Covenant have only one goal. They want to capture a Spartan 3. See, they were fine with the Spartan 2s, they were people, just trained to extremes. Spartan 3s on the other hand are not. They are genetically engineered. They are not human. The Neo Covenant believes this to be unholy and have waged a holy war against the UNSC for the past half dozen years in an attempt to get us to cough one up. However, their strikes have often left them more damaged than us, and have been insubstantial. Than they all decided to band together and form the Neo Covenant. Original name, wouldn't you say? Aliens, been mauling us for the past 15 years..."
       "Exactly what I told Samuels here..." I turned to Samuels who was glaring back at me attempting to hold back his growing dislike for me.
      I returned his glare with a smile that crossed my face from ear to ear. It was why I was so mean to him. To see him angered that is...
       "Heh, I figured as much. HQ claims that I am a practical personality clone to you. I even like Sushi." I heard Samuels chuckle. This was his victory, no matter how small. "Well, in any case, they have been trying more daring attacks, and taking much more blatant losses. So they moved to the deserts and now hijack armored columns. They are terrorists and cowards. But, in any case, they are a threat to the Spartan 3s and the security of Lunar 4. Their rogue activities almost lead to the discovery of Simus Octanus a few months ago."
       "Well, Samuels and me came up with a few plans for you."
      I heard Samuels mutter quietly in the background as he walked in the kitchenette in the hotel room. "Samuels and me. No... Samuels and I, yes. Take away the Samuels, me, and you have Me made some plans. No, ..." I turned and ignored his mutterings.
       "HQ..." I leaned towards the radio and whispered, "Can I please have a new tech?"
       "What's the matter? Not getting along with Samuels?" they asked. Apparently they didn't get that I was trying to be inconspicuous and stated their reply quite loud. The grammatical mutterings of Samuels stopped quickly and there was a short pause.
      Samuels turned to me, his frow wrinkled and bottom lip seemingly swollen, "You hate me?" I stared back before replying giving myself a second to think as to what the smartest reply was.
       "Ya think?" I replied sarcastically, "I have been laying it on pretty thick, wouldn't you say? The whole cutting you, hurting you car, insulting you, calling you a genderly challenged male, all that? Did you get it?"
      The radio cackled with laughter, "You called him genderaly challenged?" I quickly reached over and shut it off.
      Samuels cracked with laughter, "I figured. Did you get it? The whole sending you on suicide missions, making you pay for my car's damage, dipping you hands in warm water while you sleep..."
       "You didn't..."
       "You're right... I didn't, but I considered it..."
       "That's like kicking me in the crotch. With steel toe boots." Samuels winced at the thought and resumed muttering.
       "That could have been one sentence. That's like kicking me in the crotch with a steel toe boot," I noticed another pause while Samuels winced in pain from the thought, "He could have... He should have said that. I hate grammar errors..." I again began to ignore Samuels turning the radio back on.
       "Hello, HQ?"
       "Yeah, I think some technical troubles just cut us off, sorry about that." The man replied, whether he was lying or not I had no idea.
       "Anyway, you can't have a new partner. Do you wonder why you got Samuels? No one here wanted him stay with us... That car of his..."
       "Greed from the officials... No surprise. I mean, I am just on an important and botched mission with this nuisance. I am sick of it. I am here and ou are there. You can deal with him, I cannot."
      I heard Samuels mutter behind me, "Don't end your sentences with it. Just don't do it..."
       "See?" I asked into the radio.
       "Have any more animal crackers?" Samuels asked. I thought for a second while turning to see him with his whole hand in a jar of peanut butter, eating like a bear with honey. And this was my backup...
       "I had no idea we had any in the first place." I replied. I had eaten bacon and other basic things since I had arrived.
       "Good point..." he responded, dropping the jar of peanut butter he had onto the table and opening the cabinets. "But no, they have to be crackers," Samuels continued to mutter, "Crackers are usually salty, not... Cookielike. Call them wafers... A compromise. I mean, come on..." Samuels knocked a cup off of the shelf where it dropped to the ground and shattered. He stopped muttering very briefly before continuing again, unaffected that he was probably about to step on glass shards.
       "Help me... I have been shot 19 times, beaten by ninjas three, lit on fire twice, almost drown once, dropped from a small cliff once, but never have I put up with..." I turned to Samuels who was continuing his search for animal "crackers", "never have I had to put up with this. Know how I mentioned retiring before."
       "Not gonna happen."
       "Well, if that's not maybe a suicide will... Or maybe I should just run for my life. Or get locked up in a padded room talking about how the aliens took me... Oh wait... They could've... This place it too confusing. It has a four letter name... It is supposed to be a simple town... I hate it when places like this become my home... Places like Lunar 4 that is."
       "Yeah, whatever, finish the mission and we will consider your resignation. You are getting a little old..."
       "That does it, now I'm staying!"
       "Good..." I quickly caught my mistake... "So anyway, a recap on the Spartan. The HQ right now is a real mess, the old operator of this mission gone on some other Spartan hunt, considered your mission a failure already. I am new where and the reports that I got were sketchy at best. Fill me in."
       "Ok, as I arrived here I saw someone hunting the Spartan too. No... The back-story sucks. I have no idea why any of anything happened, I won't tell it to you, ask that jerk face who ran this place before what happened on your lunchbreak. Anyway, what happened now is that we have about four sides hunting the Spartan. The cops who want to stop the corruption of Melo, the bounty hunter Jada, who wants it for money and fun, the terrorists, who want it for their little holy war, and us. We want it to piss all of them off. Why do we even care? I mean, let them all fight over it... I just wanna go to wherever my home is."
       "We care because ONI does. As you hopefully know, they are not too fond of the Spartans. When the Three series began they were one of the few active resistances to it. They protested it's hive minds talking of the insanity that would develop. They were right. But if we admit that they will close the Spartan project. For good. They are using their own Spartan type things to hunt ours down, make us the laughingstock and let theirs seem better. I have no idea what they are, but I have a feeling that they are just Spartan 3s with a different mindset. However, we cannot let them have this victory, and if anyone finds out about the Spartan being captured by anything but us, it will be a negative blow to the project. Rather the finishing blow to the project."
       "Who the hell cares? Just let ONI take their place. If they are more powerful, they should have their project live. Darwinism at it's best."
       "ONI uses different means than us to make their things. They are not humans at all. They were. Now they are monsters."
       "Ah, whatever, an order's an order, right?"
       "Right. Next priority, get the Spartan. Now."
       "Next priority? Hasn't that always been it? Face it, the guy abandoned this mission, it's all over. Can I just go home?"
       "No. Find the Spartan. Do some dumpster diving where you found Jada."
       "Garbage days was a day or two back..."
       "No it wasn't..." Samuels said. I turned to him and glared at the man who did nothing to return my glare, just searched for more food. I wanted to go home...
       "Fine..." I sighed, "I'll go take care of the garbage... I would rather keep Samuels then.. Wait a second... I am a superior of..." I turned off the radio and looked over to Samuels.