The Mission Never Given (Pt.1)
Posted By: Frensa Geran<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 21 February 2004, 7:35 AM
September 14th, 2551. Possibly a day in which I may never forget. A day I will cherish, wherever I go in the waning days of my life. Returning home, both an experience and a state of mind. As I sat in that Pelican as it lowered itself on the runway, I sat quietly. I could see outside the unapparant bliss in which all these people lived. They would never know war.
No, that's is but a dream. War is coming. Anyone, any Soldier out there in the cosmos knows it. There will come I time, I think, when the sky will turn black and orange on a sunset. The last sunset. The Apocolypse. But on that day, I had experienced many Apocolypse. Every day I ever sat in a wet, dirty ditch on a world no one has ever heard of, that was Apocolypse. It only matters how you stand up to it. My beliefs anyway.
But now I was home, Earth. My Pelican was greeted by a flock of seagulls, flying in formation, welcoming me back. I tried to smile whenever I could, did whatever I could to end conversation. I had no wanting to talk of my wantings. I didn't want to talk of war.
Though that is exactly why I was where I was. The President of the UNSC, whos name I cannot recall in my old age, wanted to speak with me. Though I was not informed on the subject matter, I knew what it was about. I wasn't stupid.
"Corporal!" A Private said, saluting as I unbuckled from the back. " I have orders to escort you to hangar 4!" He shouted over the now dying engines. I nodded, grabbed my helmet and walked briskly with him.
I cannot describe what I felt as I got into the open air. Such life, such warmth. In our present time we take all of this for granted, but how beautiful everything is compared to the terror and bleak darkness of the galaxy. I never wanted to leave. I named the leaves of a palm.
The hangar doors of #4 opened like a million mice squealing, finally the rumble stopped, and before me lied a single Pelican, covered in dust and wires. Somehow I could relate to this dying machine. It was obvious it had seen war more times than it wanted, it wished to be put into a little hole and live out its life there, content. I rubbed the plasma scars of its bow.
The Private followed me in, saluting away saying the President was in the back of the Pelican. Confused, I walked to the dimly lit end of the hangar, and peeked into the aft hold. There he was, sitting at the far seat to the left, smoking a pipe. He was a weathered old man, wisdom and death stenched from his smoke.
"Corporal." He said, nodding. He extended a hand, which I shook immediatly, saluting all the while. I had never been in such company. It was a sobering experience. "Sit down." He said, pointing to the seat across from his. As I sat in, I half anticipated the engines to start up. A sign of my own disallusion and tired of mind.
"Sir, I..." I began, lost for words.
"What happened?" He asked calmly, puffing on his pipe.
"Sir?" I asked quietly.
"What happened? You know what I mean. What happened?"
Of course I knew, but it was something (as I have said) something I wished never to remember, let alone casually tell. I layed down my green helmet, and sighed.
"It was all in my report sir, if you could just read that you would..."
"Corporal! I have read your report. A stich of lies, full of holes. What really happened that day? What did you tell them?"
I could see there was no diswaying this man. I was out of my league. I had to tell him the story.
"It all began on the morning of January 3rd. We were camped out in the middle of a desert, awaiting further orders from Command on how to proceed. My team consisted of 4. Myself, Jane, Nick, and John. Jane was the Sniper, though she was brought on the mission as Support. Nick was the Demolition Expert, he was the critical man for the job. John was there as Communications and Support."
"And yourself?" The President asked.
"I was the Leader." I said, emphasizing. "Anything that went wrong would be layed onto me."
"And something did go wrong." The President responded quickly, a bit more stern.
"The morning came quickly, and the heat did so as well. We suited up, and became a bit cooler. We got the call around noon, from Command."
"But it wasn't really command, was it?" Mr. President began to be agitated.
"We were ordered to move onto the Covenant base, using a system of underground pipes. The defenses had been taken down by Air Strikes over night. So we packed up and moved to our designated coordinates."
I sat there wondering if the President wanted to hear more. It had already seemed he knew everything.
"Those coordinates, the transmittion, all a trap. And you fell for it." The President said. "But where I'm a bit hazy is where we lose 3 experienced officers, and how YOU return home to have this little chat." At that time he activated an audio recorder.
To Be Continued...