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Fan Fiction

Legend Hunting Part four
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 28 February 2003, 11:51 pm

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      I awoke and rolled onto my back. As the first few moments of tranquility faded from my mind, as I remembered where I was, I sprung up, looking around for he sniper. She was nowhere to be found, and I was no longer at the cliff edge. I looked around, seeing the usual rainforest visuals, trees, and a cliff, probably the one she had sniped from. My arms were bound behind my back, and I wondered why I was still alive. I stood up as best I could with my arms bound and lifted my legs over the arm bindings to get my arms in front of me. I heard something rustle in the bushes and lifted my head, gazing intently at the bush, no higher than a few feet. It wiggled unnaturally, and a trail of leaves, lifted from the ground by some wind stretched to another bush. The leaves settled as I tried to clam myself and run. The woman had probably left me alive to hunt as sport. The first, and almost only thing that I could do would be to get deeper into the treeline to hide form any sniper gunfire and try not to draw attention. My first priority was to get back to the town, I still had to blend in, and I had to get these binds off my wrists before then, a man running into the town with his wrists bound would seem rather suspicious. I ran faster though, moving forward from where I had lain. A blur of motion whirred in front of me as a vaguely human form ran by. I tried to follow it’s movements but thick foliage made it’s disappearance as fluid as it’s shape as it was nothing more than a blur to me. I stood for a second in fear before running of the same emotion. I looked behind me as I ran, a little child in fatigues, the Spartan. It stared at me, wanting to have nothing to do with me. It may have figured that the enemy of its enemy, whoever that sniper was, was it’s friend. I was just happy to get away with my life though, as it probably was, it appeared to be covered im small bite marks and tears in its fatigues accompanied with plentiful bloodstains, showing that it had lost a lot of blood or taken it. It appeared to be afraid. I had no idea a beast such as itself could feel any emotions. I continued running until I got to the town slightly after the nighttime sunblocker slid into place and used one of the farming tools to cut my bindings free. I then ran to the Martinez house and slid inwards silently, not to awaken them from their slumber.

      I awoke the next morning to the usual, lazily rung cowbell that signaled the workers in the field to come and gather their lunch. I had slept in very late, perhaps I was drugged by the sniper when she left me in the woods. I pondered why she had let me live and decided to call up Mission Control with a summary of my status, hoping that they could shed some light on this situation. I hardly even knew what the situation was though...

      “Master Control, this is Warner, I have some updates on the mission.” I said into the radio quietly once I was certain that everyone was gone to work in the fields.

      “Go ahead Warner, we are listening.”

      “Last night I had a run in with someone who was hunting the Spatan. No major wounds, but she hit me and knocked me out and left me in the woods. She was sniping at something, the Spartan I think. I saw the Spartan as I left the woods as well, it didn’t try to hurt me though.”

      “Can you report the condition of the Spartan?”

      “Yes, it was covered is small cuts and wounds. Why? And who was the sniper? Was she ONI? Or Marine Corps? Did you send in another agent?” I asked.

      “So wait, the Spartan’s wounds, did they appear to be of uniform size and shape? Like the same thing cut it?”

      “What! I don’t know, I was knocked out and just barely managed to stumble out of the woods, you think that I remember! But what are you not telling me! Who was the sniper?”

      “We’ll look into this sniper claim, the best thing that you can do is hold down and wait, it sounds like things are escalating, we are sending you reinforcements. We will send you one of the best techs we have employed, he is to be called your sales assistant. You are interested in purchasing a plot of land nearby and need to stay in Melo. He will help you get an ID on the sniper. Meet our operative at the hotel at 1600. Be early, we want it to look like you care about this.”

      “Wait, first check with ONI on this, from what I can understand they aren’t to fond of anything the Marines do, could they have sent in a hit man to kill the Spartan?”

      “That is all Mr. Warner. Dress formally to meet the contact.”

      “What the hell! You can’t leave me like this, I don’t even know who my enemies are!”

      A voice sounded behind me, “Who your enemies are?” I spun around, seeing Grandma Martinez. “I came to give you some food, you skipped your breakfast. Who are you, Mr. Warner?”

      I stuttered, having no idea of what to do. This was a difficult situation, an innocent old lady. A life standing between the Government and the Spartan, something would be done. “I am here to catch the Chupacabra. I want it to put in the Zoo.”

      “What is the Spartan?”

      “A Spartan?”

      “You referred to it a few times in your conversation. What is a Spartan?”

      “Oh, our name for the Chupacabra. You know that Chupacabra is a name of the local vernacular, we call it a Spartan in the city.”

      “If you say so, but I’ll have my eye on you. I want you to leave this house, now. Don’t ever come back. An awful lot of strange things have been happening since your arrival, and I hope that this can be your alibi.”

      “Alright Mrs. Martinez, I’ll pack my bag and leave. I thank you for the pleasant stay, and I will give you a thousand credits to not talk about this and to smooth over my expenses from staying here.”

      “That won’t be necessary Mr. Warner. Just get out. That will be payment enough.” I looked down. This was a snag in the mission...

      An hour and 15 credits later I was standing before the hotel, a suitcase in my hand and a businesslike suit on. The crime scene nearby was covered with a tarp and wrapped with some police tape as a minor lawful warning, but probably more of a threat that your neighbors would disrespect you it you crossed it. The hotel sat, reflecting the golden sun in it’s windows, and I stood in awe. Such a small town harbored an amazing variety of people, from traditional people like the Martinez who relied heavily on family decency and values, and all the way on the other side of the personality continuum, the modern. People who were just hollow shells of people with no being inside, only a life form concerned with finances and the latest stock quotes. I wondered which one I was. I didn’t know who I was any more, my identity erase after years of taking others. I suppose, though I lived and won all my battles, in a way I still lost, because now I am not me.

      I stepped into the familiar lobby to see a different attendant. This one was clearly the day shift, and actually seemed to be doing some work, unlike the other man I had seen. He snapped his neck up sharply as the automatic door slid open, before the bell had even rung. I continued to walk up to the clerk’s desk, noticing that two new security camera’s were installed. There were a multitude of reasons that could have led to them installing more security measures, the murder outside their lobby, the Chupacabra, or some other thing. “Can I help you sir?” asked the clerk. I noted that he seemed to be very orthodox in his speech and his greeting, he failed to use the local vernacular of Melo, using instead a language native to the cities and northern Fourite states. If he were to be a resident of this town he would have at least picked up the accent of the community.

      “Yeah, I need a room, don’t know how long I will be staying, it depends how long it will take to work out the deal.” I replied, trying to advertise that I had a reason to stay.

      “Aright sir, are you gonna pay when you leave or now?” he trusted me, as a local of this area would, but he wasn’t like the other man who was behind the desk when I had first arrived, he was seeming to be completely orthodox.

      “I’ll pay for a week now, when I leave take away or add on whatever you need.” I slid him my L4ID card and waited for him to total up the sum that I owed. He finished quickly and handed me back my L4ID card. As he handed me the card I noticed that he had a small tattoo on his wrist. I glanced at it quickly, mentally recording what it was. The picture was a blue star, a quarter inch high, and a fist raised in front of it with a light seeping from behind it, clearly meant to make it look to be a divine picture. I doubted that a tattoo artist was a resident of this town, and doubted that this man could have tattooed himself. It was slightly swollen, the tattoo bulging outwards, an elevated plateau on his arm, and given that it was no coincidence, meant that he had received it recently. I grabbed the card as he used his other hand to toss me a set of keys, which jingles as they flopped to my waiting hands. I inspected the number on the key, 117. “Where is this room?”

      The man looked upwards at a map behind him and read it, looking for 117. “Um... Floor two, room seven on the left.” He replied. He had no idea what he was doing. If this was an honest employee of this hotel this was his first day. He seemed to be a foreigner to Melo, bearing none of the speech formats that the general populace did, nor the personality, ethics or knowledge. I walked casually to the elevator and stepped in, the elevator music flooding into my ears almost as if to flush my curiosity about the clerk out of my mind. The doors slid shut quickly and the elevator quickly lifted itself to the second floor. I walked down the hallway listening to the soft echo of my footsteps in the strangely silent hotel. It seemed to be continually vacant aside from my entry, and all things considering, they should have taken the money that I had when I first arrived. There was no way that with so few of customers they could possibly have great enough of income to stay afloat.

      I stepped up to room 117, sliding the key in and turning the golden item, unlocking the door and revealing another generic room. The same bed, TV and bathroom awaited me with the drab curtains and window of a conformal hotel room. I set my bag on the bed and drew a sketch of the man’s tattoo before I left to for the lobby again to meet the operative. I stepped out of the room and turned to my left, walking towards the elevator. I pressed the down button, signaling it to pick me up though it took an unorthodox minute to pick me up. The door slid open to unveil the empty elevator and classic elevator music. I stepped inside as the doors closed behind me and paced around, watching the light indicating what floor I was on shift from two to lobby. It seemed like a long elevator ride. The bell that signaled my arrival to the lobby rung, however, in a very orthodox fashion, and the doors slid open revealing the lobby with a pasty nerd standing in the center, a laptop and briefcase in his two arms. My backup. I muttered a thanks to the genius that sent a tech to the frontlines for me and continued forward, acting excited to see him. I greeted him formally for arriving on such a short notice and continued on with some statement about how nice the property I was going to buy was. I moved to the elevator with him and mentioned something about the Martinez family, continuing to say nonsensical statements as we stepped into the elevator. As the doors slid shut I stopped talking and shook his hand again, this time the real greeting. “I suppose you are the tech they sent me, right?”

      “Yeah, Major Samuels, here to make sure that when you get the Spartan you take good care of it so we can check out what went wrong.”

      “Well, I was hoping that you could tell me what went wrong with this mission.”

      “Something went wrong with this mission?” he asked.

      “Yeah, a lot did. Some kid died, could be a coincidence--” the elevator hit the second floor and I was forced to change my conversation, “And you wouldn’t believe it, the property is perfect farmland, nice irrigation and all flat, really nice.” I opened the door, “The only problem is that there is that damn monster running loose around here.” I shut the door. “The real problem here is that they probably think that I did it. I showed up at night and arrived in the town the next day, the genius cover story you guys gave me sucks, just puts innocent lives at stake, and there is someone else hunting the Spartan. Not to mention that there is not one person in this town that seems in place. The clerk down there had nothing in common with anyone from this town, another clerk gave me a free room, the Martinez are a simpleton farming family, the sheriff is impossible to read, and that sniper was using a military grade rifle to hunt the Spartan.” I looked over at the tech who was setting up his computer on the bed. I realized it was too small for two people. “I hope you got yourself a room.”

      He looked up at me, “Why?”

      I raised an eyebrow and gestured to the Single bed. The tech looked at the bed as I sighed, not only had the mission control completely botched all setups, rushed me and put me into a freakish town, they had also sent me a tech who could be described as slow.

      “Well, as for your sniper, you were able to identify the rifle, and we tried to figure out who might have cone into control of one, unfortunately, the black market situation in Sighp has hindered this process because over the last few years over a million have slipped into the hands of the Sighpians. We could narrow it down for you based on the description, but no further than twenty or thirty thousand people.”

      “I hate you.”

      “Already? Well, control said as much about you. Anyway--” he continued.

      “What did they say about me?” I asked, I honestly thought that command liked me after they recommended for this mission...

      “Well, they gave me a profile of you. It said that you had a staunch disrespect for all Nonmilitary people, it said that you would hate me, if not because of that but because of the fact that you are a Pisces, that your parents died when you were young at the hands of Sighp police, that you had a general disrespect for authority--.”

      “Okay, stop, but did they say anything good about me?” I asked. The last thing I needed was to hate the UNSC too, if I did I was as good as one of those Sighp scumbags.

      The tech scanned his memory for any good things that they had said about me. He hesitated, “They said you liked Sushi.” An inconvenient pause followed as he opened up his briefcase. It had an AK and a pistol inside it within padded foam, custom shaped for the two of them. He pulled them out revealing a few spare magazines of ammo and a holster for the pistol. He set them on the bed and looked up, making sure that the window shades were closed. He pulled out the foam that supported the rifles and took out some other accessories, namely two silencers and a digital camera. I thought briefly about testing one on him, but realized that he had been sent to help. He handed me the gun and I holstered it in the jacket of my suit. “Anyway, moving on, we have no idea who the sniper was. ONI says they have no operatives in this area, and though they have reason to lie to us if we did find one I am willing to take their word for it. Anyway, no one in the town matched your description either and we are almost certain that they are not in the hotel, we have had round the clock watches from the peeper network and no woman has entered the hotel. She might have just come into the town that once, or she might have skipped out. Funny thing is, that she let you live. Myself I have no idea why she would do that, if you were an enemy, and you held her up I know I would have killed you.”

      “Well, whatever the circumstances I am glad to be alive. I’m going to get some ice, it’s too warm in here.” I turned and left the room, waiting for no authorization from the Major. I spun the dial on the thermometer as I left, lowering the temperature of the room three degrees and stepped out of the door. The empty hallway greeted me, perfectly uniform. I walked towards the end of the hallway where I had seen an ice machine and assuring myself that I was taking my time. This was my first vacation away from that nerd, and loved the time that I got to relax. As I reached the end of the hallway I stepped off to the left of the elevator and sloppily set the brown plastic container into the ice machine. The roar of the ice chopping neutralized all noise for a few moments as it filled with the frigid and crisp material. I noticed that the ice was in a ring shape, and looked a lot like a halo. As the ice stopped it’s grinding the hallway again neared to silent, bar the noise of an elevator car coming up from the lobby. I looked above the door to the number representing what floor it was on, floor one, though it was nearing two. I ducked off near the ice vendor, fearing ONI, not many people visited this town, and watched as the tiny chirp of the arriving elevator sounded. From the elevator stepped a familiar figure. She appeared taller this time, at least three inches taller than me, and she appeared more beautiful than before. Her blonde hair still hung loose, and seemed to wave in the wind though we were inside. She didn’t see me, and progressed down the hallway. I watched from the ice machine as she slid the walnut door shut behind her. I quickly, yet silently shuffled down the hallway to the end, and scanned the doors for the swinging “Do Not Disturb” sign, a sign that the door had recently been opened. I couldn’t see which door she had entered from my former angle but soon found that she was residing in room 127. I ran back to the room to tell the Major the good news.

      “Where’s the ice?” I slammed a palm against my forehead, frustrated with myself and him. As I ran my hand through my hair I tried to explain to him again.

      “The damn ice doesn’t matter, the girl was here, the sniper!” I said, maintaining a relative low volume as to not scare her away if she overheard us from the hallway.

      “Are you sure?” the nerd said. He was too conservative. If I followed my instincts I would have already kicked over the door and held her up at gunpoint demanding information, but I couldn’t do that without gaining credit for every misfortune this town has had in the past week or so.

      “Yeah, I’m sure. If I get a picture of her would you believe me?” I asked.

      “And how do you propose we get a picture of her?” he replied trying to shoot down my plan.

      I grabbed a fake beard out of my suitcase and grabbed his laptop. “Could you make it look like her water valve broke?”

      An hour later I was standing in front of her room, a stolen janitor’s jacket donned and a toolbox in hand, a thick beard plastered to my face. Within my ear sat an earpiece so that I could hear his instructions.

      “Alright, your first mission priority is to infiltrate the room and to make your arrival noticed, which shouldn’t be that hard. Just knock on the door,” I acutely hit the door three times and withdrew my hand, “and let the Janitor image do the rest. Explain to her that the water is out in her room. Make sure to have a lot of courtesy, also, disguise your voice, she might recognize you.”

      “Hello?”, the woman answered the door. She had a Siberian accent and must have come from Sighpian controlled zones.

      “Yeah, janitorial services, I was told to come up here and fix a faulty water valve.”

      “Oh, yeah, I was wondering when they would send someone up. If this will take a while I would be fine with moving to another room for my stay.” She replied tryig to be helpful.

      “Oh no, that won’t be needed, sorry for this inconvenience, ma’am, this hotel has been breaking down recently.” I replied, masking my voice.

      “Okay, well, go fix what you need to to fix this problem, quickly.” She was clearly slightly annoyed with the problem, her subtle aggression showed vividly to me. I stepped inside and watched as she left the room to go get some ice or something, or maybe she just despised mechanics. Either way, she had left me alone in the room, and was walking down the hallway from what I could hear through the door.

      “Fix the water Samuels.”

      “And so he said 'let there be water’”, the faucet suddenly spurted with a quick waterflow, “and there was. I love this job.”

      “Can I leave your camera in the vent and let it transmit you video?”

      “Just get a picture of her, the vent has nothing to do with the water, she’ll get suspicious if you are working on the vent.”

      “She left, will it live if I put it in there and let it send your laptop a remote feed?”

      “Well, I would rather use a sentry camera that I brought with me, but I suppose it’ll do. Make sure it has a clear view though.”

      I pulled the vent cover off and wiped some of the dust off of it, dust which was very thick, unusually thick. It was as if this hotel was abandoned. I set the camera down and slid the vent cover back on. “Got a visual?”

      “Yeah, it’s a little blocked out by the bars but I should be able to get a complete face shot sometime, and the main reason to keep this room under watch is to figure out where she is from, so audio is our main interest. Just get out of there, find the woman and explain to her what was wrong with some made up terms and stuff, tell her it’s fixed and not to worry.” He replied. He loved to order around militral people, I could tell based on his attitude while he instructed me. Nevertheless, he was in control for now, and I was in no place to tell him otherwise. I stepped out of the room, the sink still running and toolbox in hand. The Blonde down the hallway spotted me, and I waved her an accented thumbs up, a signal that her water was fixed. She nodded and turned to continue the process of gathering ice as I turned away from her and walked towards the opposite elevator. If I moved in close there was a chance that she would recognize me, and if I could, I would avoid any encounters. The elevator was already on the floor, so it was a quick journey to the third floor. I didn’t want to go to the lobby because the attendant would clearly realize that I wasn’t staff and get suspicious; the third floor was the only other alternative.

      I whispered into the microphone that was concealed within my shirt. “Tell me when she returns to her room, also, once she goes back I want you to watch the hallway, warn me of any people that enter or if the elevator moves, right?”

      “I copy that.” I also noticed that as much as he liked to boss around military personnel, he clearly also wanted to be one, and his speech only accented that desire.

      I decided to play along; he might as well have some fun, “Roger.”

      I stepped out of the elevator and stepped off to the side of the hallway, taking off the fake beard and janitorial outfit and throwing them both into the garbage chute. I wore a T Shirt and Jeans beneath them, and was back to normal society, should anyone be looking though was the question. The hallway, which was host to the usual, standardized appearance of the hotel hallways stretched onwards to the other elevator, which I had decided to enter rather than the one that I had just come from so that I wouldn’t spend as much time in the hallway when walking to my room, should the sniper come out to grab something. I paced at a slow rate down the rest of the hallway till I reached the other elevator and leaned up against the ice machine of this floor. An out of order sign that decorated it was the only thing in this hallway that was not in perfect conformity with all the other things. A tiny vent above me blew frigid air down my back, though it was nice to feel something cool in such a small, tropical town. After five minutes of waiting I decided to radio in to the Major and see what was going on. “Major, you there?” I asked quietly.

      “Oh, yeah, sorry, she went back to the room.” I sighed heavily, he would pay for this. “She was eager to use that water...”

      I silently opened the door, and without a noise crept behind the tech. I pulled the small microphone he had given me and carefully slid it towards his ear. Suddenly a sharp, high pitch noise emitted from his earpiece as it picked up the noise that it was making again and again. He shrieked and fell to the floor as I laughed. Revenge is sweet. I looked at the computer screen, “Whoa.”

      The next day our surveillance paid off, at around 3 in the Morning she got a phone call. She was awake before, however, waiting for it.

      “Hello?” she said into the phone, pausing, clearly for a response, “Niklin?” another pause, undoubtedly while someone else talked, “No, I don’t have it’s head, it got away. You know that you have me after a kid, don’t you?” Niklin, where had I heard that name before... “I know that it isn’t ordinary, but I don’t kill kids.” I could hear the quiet muttering of the phone as it gave her it’s response, “It didn’t look like a monster.” Another reply, “So you are telling me that these things are called SPARTANs, and they are not people?” she waited for a reply, “Well, this one bled blood and looked pretty humanoid.” There was a reply, “Whatever you say, I’ll have you the head by Friday.” a reply came as she turned and began to walk across the room while talking, “Well, no, no problems, but did you send another operative down here? I ran into a man in the forest.” She waited while a lengthy explanation ensued, “Well, he wasn’t UNSC or ONI, no markings. Probably just one of the simpletons of this town. Well, in any case, I tied him up and left him for the monster.” Another reply, this one longer than the others, “I know, I can’t kill unnecessary civilians, but this one was in my way, he held me up!” a reply, “Yeah, that’s right, he held me up.” A reply soon came, but she clearly cut it short, “Don’t worry, I can still get the monster.” A reply, and a grunt that sounded something like sir on our side of the phone from the woman, and she hung up the phone.

      As the next morning settled Samuels and myself decided that it was time to give this Niklin a call. We had no idea what his phone number was, and the only person who could know was the clerk at the desk, or his computer. It controlled the phone network, Samuels had determined with his computer, tracing all the rooms in this building for a computer and finding only it. And if it were the only computer, it was our only chance to find Niklin’s phone number, and find out what is going on.

      “Ah...” Samuels rolled onto his chest on the floor, squinting in pain and rubbing his back, clearly, the floor was not the best place to sleep. He walked a little crooked, but I was fine with it, his loss. As a part of this operation we had to lure the guard away from the desk, and I had a plan.

      I stepped into the lobby after hitting the two button within the elevator to send it away. The clerk wasn’t too alert and wouldn’t notice that I had hit the button if I were lucky. I walked towards the clerk and alerted him to my presence.

      “Um, could use a little first aid kit, my neighbor got cut.” I said. My plans are great...

      “Don’t worry, it’s just a little cut. I just need to get it so that a bandaid won’t fix it,” I had said just a few minutes ago to Samuels, “besides that, you are here to help, aren’t you?”

      “He got cut!?!” the clerk asked, knowing that one of the cheap lawsuits from an instance like this one would win, and probably hurt the hotel to the extent of forcing them into bankruptcy. “How bad?”

      “Damn it! You almost cut my whole arm off you moron! Look at this, there is blood everywhere, on the floor, dammit!” Samuels had replied once my cut was created.

      I love my plans. “Well, he’s bleeding a lot, not a hospital worth cut, but do you have a first aide kit handy?”

      “Stop being a wuss, just go out in the hallway and start walking around acting like a disgruntled wounded guy.” I replied.

      “Yeah, I have one right here, I’ll go up to help him. You sure I shouldn’t call the hospital?” I love my plans. The clerk bolted to the elevator and pressed it.

      “I am a disgruntled wounded guy! I hate your plans.” He replied.

      “Yeah, if it were lethal he would be dead by the time they got here anyway. The nearest hospital is what, 200 miles away?” the clerk was gone by the time I finished my reasoning. He stood waiting for the elevator, though I knew that it was on floor two with a garbage can in the door so that it couldn’t come down.

      “Damn elevator, never works...” the clerk muttered before running to the other elevator to go to floor two. I stepped around the desk and stood behind it, overlooking the large lobby. I pulled a data stick out of my pocket and slid it into the computer. A series of text boxes appeared on the screen flashing text faster than I could read as it uploaded every file on the computer for our later review. The screen then displayed a loading bar as the green line slowly crossed the screen, uploading a virus to the computer to make sure that no traces of our invasion would be left over. The computer screen stopped flashing text a minute later, and I ejected the data stick and closed the window htat contained the download prompt when I noticed something, the hotel had security cameras. The 16 displays were spaced out evenly across the screen, though I knew that there were more than I was seeing. I clicked on a few and cycled through them, most of generic empty rooms, one mine, another the computer techs, a few of the lobby (and me...) and one of a room that was at least twice the size of all the others. It was dark, and had the figured of at least six people in it. I thought I could identify a large map that they had on the wall as a topographical map of this area and its forests, but there was no way to be sure. I heard the elevator coming and looked over; it still said two, luckily. I quickly jumped over the desk and landed firmly on the other side, where I then stood as if nothing had happened.

      “Your friend is alright, and because he claims to have been cut by the glass door on one of our showers, we’ll let you stay free fir the rest of your stay, up to a week.” The man replied, his shirt with a few tiny splotched of blood on it and a half spent canister of biofoam in his hand. He had probably left Samuels with the rest of the first aide kit to patch himself up later.

      “Gotta have the small print in this offer too I see.” I said, referring to his 'up to a week’ comment. Guess he couldn’t have someone permanently move in though.

      “Yeah, well, we’re really sorry about his, if you think you need to register a complaint with management, feel free to--”

      “Nah, I don’t need to, staying here for free is quite enough, it’s a nice place.” I replied.

      “Yeah, probably would get a five star rating if there was anyone who visited this town. The Chupacabra myth has been bringing some people, people who are Legend Hunting. As a matter of a fact, we have three people visiting now, just about the most this hotel has ever had.” He replied. Funny, though he referred to the Chupacabra as a myth he seemed to believe in it. This town was an odd place, it seems like everyone in it was a completely different type of person with no common background, and for a farming district it was very small. I hate it here.

      Samuels sat in a chair, lazily leaning while fumbling with the scab of his large cut. There would be a sizeable scar, but I had my revenge, and I was happy if no one else, and to me, that was all that mattered. His scab was at least two inches long and a centimeter across, though the gaping hole between our possible cooperation within this operation was much larger. We were both working almost independent of each other, and we each had our own vendetta. He wanted to prove himself in the field so that he could leave the windowless basement that he worked in before, and I wanted to prove myself to myself. I wanted to defend the UNSC.

      “What next?” I asked. We had been sitting for over a day now, and I was bored. Our surveillance had changed nothing, and the data files that were found were near to irrelevant, though we had only searched a little over a quarter of them, any one that we thought might pertain to Niklin. As it happens, he called from a payphone and was impossible to trace, peeper images of the area showing no activity around the payphone during the times that Niklin could have called leading us to believe that the call may have been rerouted through it. A call to HQ shed no new light on the situation, though the name Niklin was also familiar to them, the name of the dead Czar of the former Sighp. I still felt that there was something else that I knew about the name besides just that.

      “Well, I was thinking of sending you out to the forest to find the monster and we could just call in an evac from there and get the hell out of here. I hate it here, too confusing.” Surprising he felt the same way about the town as I did, but at the same time not. This was no ordinary town, as my last few days had revealed, and it had no likeable tenancies at all, that is unless you like to be confused, angered and knocked out routinely.

      “Revenge for the cut?” I replied. He was as mad as I was happy about the injury. Shows that I truly did get my revenge, I suppose.

      “Sorta. I would have sent you on it had we come up with another plan, but I have to admit, should it break all of your ribs I would be fine with it.” He replied lazily.

      “Good. I didn’t want a suicide mission particularly.” I replied, laying the sarcasm on pretty thick.

      “I figured as much, you Marines are all talk, no action.” He replied trying to provoke me to go on the mission. I was planning to anyway, but I was fine with him making statements that I could laugh at when I come back with a Spartan slumped over my shoulder.

      I was too tired to reply, so I lazily waved a middle finger at him. It had been more than a day and a half since I had slept, and I was in no mood to be messed with or working. He was angering me. “You want me to make you bleed again?”

      He swallowed and muttered a quiet no as I stood up and grabbed my backpack. I swallowed a cup of coffee to wake myself up. I stepped over to the bed and grabbed an AK and the Pistol, both silenced, sliding both into the backpack I carried. Samuels watched me from his chair, still reclining. I was sick of his apathy, and began to walk past him, suddenly lunging and causing him to tip over, landing on his back in the chair. He scowled at me as I grinned and turned away. He was awake now and stood, rising to a height probably only an inch or two short of mine. He grunted for me to wait and grabbed a set of safety goggles and handed them to me. I looked up to him, “What are these for?” I asked.

      “Well, look at the right side a little right of the lens.” he replied. I did and found a tiny little black circle, a camera. “Those are mine, don’t break them, they cost a lot.” I considered not breaking them, briefly.