Posted By: Frensa Geran<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 October 2003, 4:23 AM
Breakfast the next morning was quieter than usual. I was drenched in sweat, even after my morning shower. My Grand Father looked at me oddly while he poured his usual gallon of syrup on his pancakes. My Grand mother was the first to ask me something.
"Is everything alright dear?" She asked, pouring me another glass of orange juice.
I couldn't answer. Was there something wrong, or was there something wrong with me? It all seemed so real. I had seen things my small imagination couldn't fathom. It wasn't everyday my mind made up the images of my town being ravaged by the Covenant.
"I'm... just tired." I said quietly, sipping my juice.
"Tired don't make yeah sweat." My Grandpa said, flipping the newspaper. "There's something else wrong Steven, I can read oyu like a book."
I couldn't help but smile a little. Maybe they'd understand, I thought.
"I... I had a nightmare." I said coldly.
"A nightmare?" My Grandma said, looking concerned as she cleaned the dishes. "What was it about?"
"The Covenant. I was a Marine, and I watched as the Covenant attacked New Mombasa. I woke up sweating, and I couldn't get back to sleep." I said.
My Grandpa mumbled angrily, lifting his newspaper over his head. My Grand Mother turned away. I knew it would be like that, that they'd never accept it. They'd just think it was another pathetic way to get into the Military.
My Grandpa pulled down the paper madly. "I don't care if you have a thousand nightmares, no excuse is getting you in the Military! I won't have it Steven!"
He ranted like for the rest of breakfast, until I was fed up and left, my backpack on one shoulder.
Outside it was a beautiful day, though the 100 story tall buildings blocked his full view. The new M10 Civilian Warthogs had now become a fashion trend, and almost every car was a yellow Warthog, speeding by way past the speed limit. I was stuck with my Grandpa's rickety old L12 HoverSpeed. The name was a huge lie, as it creaked along barely on land, let alone hover in the sky.
As I drove to school, the sign "Welcome to New Mombasa" passed overhead. Goose bumps appeared all over my body. I had never been this affected by a dream before, and it began to scare me.
New Mombasa Private High School was a sanctuary for me, where I wouldn't have to shut my mouth about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in the Marines, and I could say that openly here, not like home.
I hopped out of my car, my friend Mike waiting for me near my first class. He had a smug smile on his face, waving a piece of paper in front of his Varsity jacket.
"Just got something in the mail yesterday." He said, looking at the slip. "It would seem the Marines want me to join them." He gloated.
I grabbed the paper from his hand:
WE WANT YOU! WE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST TO JOIN OUR FORCES, AND YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED!
Meet: New Orleans, Louisiana
Where: Orleans Space Port
When: August 22, 2550
Bring this slip as proof of your acceptance.
I couldn't believe it. What I had so longed for just happened to my best friend, and my only friend. "August 22? That's only a week away!" I said, still shocked.
"That's right. By Friday I'll be long gone. They're shipping me to Reach, I'll be part of Alpha MAC Construction Team." He said, just realizing the look of awe and horror in my eyes.
"You've got your whole life ahead of you man, you'll get out of your Grand Parents house in a couple years. Look, I gotta go. See yeah!" He said, running to his first class.
I wanted to fall down and die. I had to leave, I had to run.
Earth- Uni-matrix 32333
Southern Galactic Band
Barring 1.58 by 33.42
We have received your request. Here are the coordinates. Gods be with you.
- A friend of a friend.
"He never showed up?" Mary, Steven's Grand Mother said, a phone in her ear.
"Well when was he last seen?"
"What about his car?"
"Gone? How... how do we find him? We can't? Destroyed?"
At that moment Greg, Steven's Grand Father entered, bags of groceries in his hands. "Honey, I couldn't find those sugar..." He began to say, before he saw his wife, her face covered in tears, and a dead phone in her hand.
I drove as fast as I could away from school, my car bouncing and shaking harder than ever before. If I hadn't wanted to be a Warthog driver, I probably would've crashed. I rolled down my window, feeling the cold morning air refresh my body. I was leaving my constraints forever, and went on to what I wanted to do.
"Computer, call John." I said, the computer responding with a click and a clack.
"Hello?" a cheery voice said.
"John, I need your help man!" I said, fear in my voice.
"Steve? Where the hell are you? Your grandparents called here a little while ago worried sick!"
"John! I need your help. Look, just tell my folks that I'm fine. I... I really need help!" I said, going faster and faster along the highway.
"Look, I got a client coming in, I'll call you later." John replied.
"No!" I said. John was a dentist, with ties to some people that could help me become a Marine illegally. "Forget your stupid client, we need to meet and discuss my situation."
"Look Steven..." He said, sighing. "Alright. Meet at the Mombasa Train Station at 7 tonight. I'll see who I can hook you up with." He said, and hung up the phone immediately.
I had made my decision long before any of this had happened to me. I loved my Grandparents, but I had to escape. The dream, the feelings, all led me to my path.
"We received the message about 2 time units ago. The source is unknown, but I believe the Prophets can give it a source, and a purpose." The Comm Grunt said to his Excellency.
"Earth." The overgrown Elite said slowly. "The coordinates would put it deep in Human territory."
It all came to him as he spoke. "Earth."
The night was colder than I had predicted, and my breath was easily visible in the dark alleyway. There were few lights from the train station, and the sounds of the blowing wind kept me company. John was late.
Then I heard footsteps from the other end of the alley. The silhouettes of many large men came towards me. I wanted to run, but I was stuck in place, unable to move, my eyes fixed on the shadows.
"Steven?" A deep voice said in the darkness.
"Y...Yes. Where's John?" I said quietly.
"His presence is not required. We have business. You need a new identity, yes?" The voice said easily.
"I need to join the military. But I'm only sixteen, and my Grandpa..."
"We know all about your situation. You have no money. John took care of that, so do not fear." Another voice, slightly higher, said.
Before I could react, a needle came from behind. The rest is blurry. When I awoke, they were gone, and I was in a cot, just a few feet away from where I stood the night before. A note was on the ground.
"Don't scratch." It said.
I looked at my hands. Dried blood was in the cracks of my fingers. I felt the edges of my eyes. Bloody. My wallet contained my an altered face, and a different name, and birth date.
It was as real as I could tell, and I didn't think the Marines would check to much in a time of war. They needed everyone.
"Preparations on Reach's destruction have finished. A few years and all will be in place. But, their home world still alludes us, yes?" Prophet Izahea said to the Council of Elites.
An overgrown Elite stood up from the his chair, looking to every Elite with a click of his lower mandible. "No your Excellency. At Listening Post 323, we received a message from an unknown source. It contained coordinates."
After the last word, grumbles and clicked reverberated off the walls. The moment the Prophet raised his arms, they quieted.
"Coordinates?" The Prophet said, intrigued.
"They are located deep past Reach, on the tip of the Lower Spiral Arm. It's called Earth. The Human HomeWorld."
To Be Continued.