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Starjacked Part 3
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 8 January 2003, 12:29 am

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      I looked at them in awe, each must have been eight feet tall. A golden visor crossed over each ones face, along with a tiny black thing jutting out of the top of the helmets. Beneath the helmets lie some suits, camouflaged in color. Drab green, tan and brown the suits carried different builds. One was heavier than the rest, and housed many extra components. Another seemed armed for aerial purposes, carrying stubs of wings and what appeared to be a jetpack, though from my angle I couldn’t tell. Another one was hardly more than a paper thin armor, and had many vision enhancing attachments. It had a long rifle in hand, clearly a sharp shooter model. I was shocked, surprised that this crew was actually carrying the thing that was the armor for these ‘Spartans’. Other models dotted the long crate, which rotated idly. I watched as Kelly silently surveyed the crate, amazed at the contents. I don’t think even she truly believed in the Spartan project, that is until the hiss of depressurization revealed there to be another truth. She turned to the Italian man, excited. “With this Marco, guess what I can do.”
      “We can hinder the Spartan 3 project on Lunar 4!” he stated with excessive zeal, as if he had been waiting to answer that question for his whole life. I was sick of hearing this statement.
      “Something like that. We can have Lunar 4. Do you know what these do?”
      “They help the evil clones?” it sounded more like a question than anything else.
      “No, they make you faster, smarter, stronger, everything. It can make anyone into a super soldier. Someone like me, or you. I could take the Spartan facility on my own with one of these.” She said. Was she going to steal one?
      “Well, I suppose taking one would also hinder their cause. But Kelly, if you get in that thing it’ll rip you apart. Why not just blast it out the airlock?”
      “Well, they all have an AI computer within them, and if we blast it out the airlock, we will kill them. And killing is wrong, right?” Kelly was trying to get one, I was wondering if this was the only reason she had tagged along on this little religious expedition. I wondered if she was just playing these idiots and wasn’t even a zealot at all.
      “You’re right, we have to steal them and properly decommission the suits. Let’s fly this ship to HQ and we can--”
      “Can what? Try to be the good guys? Shut these all down? No, I want one of these! It would help our cause, to have them all loaded up and ready on our docking ship. I have prepared for this moment for the past five years… And you won’t stand in my way. I will have one of these armors, and you will either help me, or leave in a body bag.” She waved a rifle at him. “I have endured so much for this moment. I trained myself so hard, I wanted to be a Spartan, but nothing would get them to even acknowledge to me that they existed. Now I will become a Spartan!”
      “No, now you will become dead. That armor will rip you to pieces.”
      “Besides training, I have gotten many surgeries. I have greater strength in my bones than even what I believe is a Spartan 1. We found it’s body some time ago, and copied what technology we could.”
      “Still, isn’t that wrong all in itself? I mean, aren’t we campaigning against those very things?”
      “Come on, we deserve it. Just get in one. You know what? You get a tech demo. Go wake up the prisoners while I suit up. Tell them that you are working against us, and that you are going to free them all to give them one last chance to escape. Give each a rifle. Then I want you to get the hell out of there. I will get em all, just watch me.” I gasped, those were my friends, and she was willing to expend their live as if they were guinea pigs or rats. Speaking of rats, Peneke drifted in front of the vent, squirming, confused by his lack of weight. On his back however remained the set of blaster caps I had tied onto him. He drifted out of my vision quickly. I watched as the Italian man, Marco moved to the prisoners. Kelly pressed the center off the jetpack suit and watched satisfied as it opened to reveal a slimy inside. Due to the lack of gravity, the slime stayed suspended, so Kelly turned around and pushed into the suit. She slid her arms into the sides of the suit. Instantly the front of the suit slammed shut. The suit was too large for Kelly, and I was still banking on that she couldn’t use it and I would be safe. Suddenly every piece of the suit compacted itself. Some of the goo floated out of the suit as it appeared to crush Kelly. But instead it shrunk to her size. She fired the thrusters and flew out of the room, heading out the side opposite me. Marco cut free one of the four prisoners. I pushed myself out of the vent, stopping myself silently at the floor behind Marco.
      “And so here’s the deal. I am an agent for the UNSC, and I am here to help you. I’m gonna cut you free and give you all guns, but one of my crewmates is still out there, so be care--” his neck suddenly snapped, my arm the probably cause. Holding his heck for a second more I checked his pulse, dead. I pushed the body aside. The crewmate who he was talking to, a woman named Samantha stared up at me.
      “Why did you just kill him! He was an agent!”
      “No, he wasn’t,” I cut the rope holding her, “he was an enemy. He was freeing you to use as cannon fodder.” I cut Red’s binds, “You see, they had these things, I don’t know if they are Spartans or just their suits, but they make them stronger, and you were test subjects.”
      “Bull shit.” Read muttered, rubbing his sore wrists.
      “You don’t believe me?” I grabbed Marco’s body and threw it at the crate. It spun around after he impacted it to reveal the armors. “Now do you believe me?”
      “That was supposed to be a crate of EVA suits. They lied to us.” Samantha said.
      “Alright, now we are going to go and try to take their craft, so go get a rifle as soon as possible after I cut you free. We stick together, and we will make it out.” I cut free Jim, the third prisoner.

      Samantha waved the gun around, “I’ve never touched one before, how does it work?” I cut free the fourth prisoner and pushed over to help her.
      “Well, first you turn off the safety,” I grabbed a gun and flipped off the safety to the rifle. “Then you just point and click. But don’t waste ammunition. It’s not the ammo that’s so important though, we just don’t want to draw the Spartan near.
      Red grabbed a gun, “I’m on my own, one of you will fire a gun, no doubt get me killed, what port is their ship docked at?”
      “Starboard. Have fun.” I lied to him.

      “Aright, Jim, you have military history, right?” I asked.
      “3 years active duty.”
      “So you know how these work.”
      He nodded, “and you, Nick, right?”
      Weakley, he floated to the table. He had cuts on his face, and was badly dehydrated from what I could tell. “Yeah, I’m Nick.”
      “You weren’t in the military, right?”
      “Right, I don’t have any history with them.”
      “Ok, can you work a--” he flipped up one of the larger rifles and popped out the chamber quickly checking it. Slapping it back in he raised the rifle and checked the scope.
      “Hunting trips.” I nodded.
      “Alright, I’ll take point--” I said.
      Samantha replied, “What’s that?”
      “Oh. Right, sorry. I’ll be the front guy. You all follow me, right? And Jim, you’re a veteran, cover our six.”
      Jim nodded. A distant scream sounded, “NO!!! KEEP BACK!!!” I heard three gunshots and three pings of bullets impacting metal. Suddenly the screams stopped.
      “We’d better hurry.” I said.

      STELLULATE 42            LUNAR 4 ETA – 4 HOURS 22 MINUTES
      We moved swiftly through the hallways, careful to make very little noise. We had made it to the side of the ship and were now moving towards the front. Along the sides of our vessel were three docks, and they had to be in one of them. We drifted down the dark hallway. One of the lights was out, so we passed through a shadow. I stepped out, followed by two people. Samantha and Jim. Nick had vanished, no clues as to where he went, though we all had the gut feeling. Samantha broke down in tears, knowing what had just happened. “What’s wrong?” I asked inconveniently. I knew that she was sad over his death, but why?
      “Because,” she sniffled, “He was my boyfriend.” She continued weeping.
      “I had no idea. Sorry, if it means anything, but we have to go before it gets another one of us.”
      “We can’t leave him behind! We have to find him!” she yelled.
      “Calm down, we can’t save him, he’s gone.”
      “No! He can’t be!”
      “He is. Sorry, but we have to go unless you would like to join him.”
      She hit me, “you army types! I thought your motto was to never leave a man behind!”
      “This is probably an exception, he must be dead.”
      “We don’t know that!”
      “Here, we have to go, come on! You know what, grab on. Jim, you too.”
      “Me?” he hesitated, “Alright, but you can’t tell anyone.”
      “What?” I fired a shot down the hallway propelling us forward.
      “Oh, I see, it wasn’t what I expected.”
      “And what did you expect?”
      “Um… That we would have to carry you like a sultan…”
      “Right…” I fired another shot don the hallway and stopped as we arrived at the second dock. Outside the airlock I could see a ship docked, a tiny one. I pushed off the wall and hit the airlock control button. Both doors hissed open, the craft now exposed. Samantha and Jim drifted inside. I stepped inside the airlock and stuck a hand inside their craft. I pressed a familiar red button, disengage.
      “What are you doing!?!”
      “I finish what I start,” I grinned, “and I never leave a man behind.” The two layers of doors, their airlock door and mine snapped shut. Jim looked at me solemnly, and saluted as their ship launched into the distance of space. I raised the machine gun. I leaned around the corner checking the hallway for anything. No sign of anyone. I quickly bounced down to the third gate and turned to the left, inwards to the center of the ship. In a storage closet there was a set of lockers, each containing an EVA jetpack spacesuit. I quickly slid the suit on and used some of the thruster fuel to propel myself into the main hallway again. I was greeted with pain. A hand extended from seemingly nowhere and grabbed my throat. A body drifted out of the darkness though it was masked with the green layers of armor, signature of the Spartans.

      “Quite a specimen, aren’t we?” she asked.
      I gave a weak nod, the strangle hold she had impressive.
      “Intelligent.” I weakly nodded, “Strong” again I nodded “Resourceful” again I wiggled, the best I could do for a nod. “You have many great traits. You killed all of my crew. How did you do it? Are you a Spartan?”
      She released the chokehold a little, “Ma’am, I am no Spartan.” She resumed her grip as I choked out, “I am a hero.” I raised my rifle and pointed it underneath her armpit. “And I always win.” I fired off one shot. The bullet whirred down the hallway and to the window no more than twenty feet away. It impacted the window and deflected down the hallway. The window had a small area spider-webbed. A cracking noise arose as the window slowly became more fragile. She however did not see this.

      “You missed me!” she laughed. She released her chokehold on me, throwing my body down the hallway. I pointed behind her, smug with victory. She spun around and saw the glass, which was about to shatter. She turned around to face me. I waved weakly and clipped on my helmet. Suddenly the glass hit it’s breaking point, and exploded into the vacuum of space. Air hissed outwards, sucking up Kelly and hurling her out into space. After pressure was lost in this room, I had three seconds to get out the next before the blast doors sealed. This area would not be safe at our reentry. The friction from the atmosphere would melt this room. I fired off my remaining 57 rounds down the hallway and shot around the corner. I hit my head on the wall pretty hard, though the pain was not a factor, the thick padding saving my skull. However, I saw a fine line run down the Helmet. I had little time left. I hit the EVA pack’s thruster button and launched myself around the corner. One second remaining till the room was depressurized. I hit the second button of the custom EVA unit, which activated another thruster and propelled me down the hallway towards the blast door. Suddenly the wind stopped, the room was depressurized. I saw the line on my protective glass split down a little more. However with no wind resistance my speed accelerated infinitely. I flew down the rest of the hallway as fast as a bullet and flew into the next safe room. The blast door slammed shut behind me, almost crushing my feet. I rolled to a stop in the room, hitting off two walls. My right arm hung loosely, broken in at least on place, and I could feel that a few of my ribs had snapped. The helmets glass suddenly split open, sliding off and exposing me to the thin atmosphere of the room, which was being pressurized. I passed out from the thin air and collapsed in a heap.

      I awoke in a room with a bright white light glaring down at me. Closing my eyes to mere slits I rolled over onto my left side. A doctor, or rather surgeon stared down at me. “Welcome home” he said. I rolled onto my back and yelled “YES!!!” followed by an assortment of bodacious victory cries!
      “There, there he is!” a reporter shouted upon my exiting the building. The horde of media reporters charged at me encircling me completely. “Mr. Anderson, what happened to the Stellulate 42?” “Sir, are rumors that the Covenant boarded your ship true?” “Anderson! Are you the only survivor?” Shouts followed me away as men in black suits pushed the crowd away from me.
      “Sir, something went wrong, a MJOLNIR Mark II was intercepted. Should we call off the projects(Authors note: Plural…)?”
      The elect stared at the TV for a second, watching the news report. A female news anchor spoke, “This just in. It appears as though the Stellulate 42, a civilian freighter was boarded by pirates. The survivors numbers are unknown. Only one survivors has been seen so far, a man by the name Jack Anderson, a Marine Corps veteran who was rushed into an LFC plane shortly after his arrival. The Stellulate itself was quickly hidden as well though it appeared to have heavy damage to the hull. As of now, most of what we have heard is from reliable sources, however no one of the UNSC or Stellulate has commented on this event though there is much speculation. It is currently unknown what cargo, if any was taken…”
      “Let’s keep it that way…”
      “Does that mean another kill to chalk up for the project?”
      “Possibly. In due time Major, in due time. Launch the scapegoat project. Feed it to the media as if it were a leak.”
      “Yes sir.”