A Marine Named Peters: To Kill A Pegasus
Posted By: GLADIATRRR3000<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 25 July 2003, 8:41 PM
"What do you mean, trial?"
"I'm only the messenger, kid. I don't know any more." Said the medic. "They told me to tell you the time and place, nothing else." He paused for a moment. "Oh. Forgot to tell you the place. Blame old age. Anyway, it's onboard the Pegasus. Don't worry about the specific location, I'm sure the guards will help you find it."
"What the hell did I do wrong?" asked Peters.
"If you need a witness, just ask me." Said Karls. "I was there the whole time. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Why would they do it onboard the Pegasus? It's ten miles out of the stratosphere! Why couldn't they just give me the trial at Alpha Base or somewhere else planet side?"
"Beats me." Said the medic. "Maybe they think it's safer, or maybe they just like space. Either way, you'll have about three hours of sleep. This Pelican isn't the fastest, and it won't go much faster once we clear the atmosphere. I'd rest here, while you can."
"To hell with rest!" yelled Peters. "I want to know what the hell is going on!"
"Don't we all." Said the medic, slightly reclining and closing his eyes. "Now, please shut up so I can get some sleep."
Peters sighed, kicked the side of the Pelican, then massaged his toe. "Great. Now my foot hurts."
"Everyone sit down back there." Yelled a pilot from the front. "We're going up now."
Peters sat down, and almost immediately he felt the gravitational pull. Karls, who had not sat down in time, fell to the back of the Pelican, hit the airlock door, and swore loudly. He moved to the side, grabbed a seat, and began to pull himself up. Finally, he found the seat he wanted, tied the seatbelt around his waist, then turned himself to face Peters. "That sucked."
Peters fell asleep. He dreamt about flying, but his dream came to an abrupt stop when the Pelican slowed down drastically. Not being able to see what was happening, he called to the front. "Why are we slowing down?"
"We're approaching the Pegasus."
When they stopped, Karls untied his seatbelt and stood. "Why did they use a Pelican to get us here? Couldn't they have used a shuttle? It'd have been faster."
"Don't ask me." Said Peters.
As soon as Peters finished talking, the airlock opened and eight guards walked in. They pulled Peters out of the Pelican and took him to a small room. "You will stay here until your trial." Said one of the guards. He pointed to another room. "There is a shower in there. I suggest you take one. There is one of your extra uniforms from Alpha Base in the closet. You are not to try to contact anyone before the trial. Do not leave. Also, you will be watched by various cameras placed in this room." The guard took a breath. "You will only talk when talked to during the trial. You will ask no questions, and you will answer any questions they may have to the best of your abilities. Do you understand?"
"Yes." Peters said. "By the way, is there anything to eat here? I'm starving."
"There is a small cabinet filled with food to your right." Said the guard.
The guards left, and Peters flopped down on the floor. He took a quick little nap, then went to the shower. There was a video camera directly above the shower. Peters laughed, covered it with a towel, and took the shower. When he was done, he dried off and went to the closet. He took the uniform and put it on, noticing that it had tracer bugs all over it. "You already see me, do you need to know where I am even more?" he yelled at a camera. "What's with the tracers?" There was no answer.
He went to the cabinet, and just as the guard said, it was filled with food. "Not very APPITISING food!" Peters yelled. Inside were stale crackers, moldy bread, expired milk, and beer. He took the crackers and the beer and sat down. He had just finished eating when the guards came back in. "What's with all the bad food? You guys ever clean this place?"
"No, actually. This is the first time someone's been in here for a while." Said a guard. "Anyway, the trials about to start. You better hurry and get ready."
Peters stood up and wiped the crumbs off his uniform. He followed the guards to the door, and they immediately surrounded him. "Easy, easy." Peters said. "What, do you think I'm going to escape? WE'RE IN SPACE, YOU MORONS. I couldn't get very far!"
"Just shut up and keep walking." Said a guard behind him.
After five minutes, they reached the room where the trial was being held. As they walked inside, Peters tried to see who would be trying him, but the only light in the room was over a small chair. "You sit there." Said a guard. Peters walked over to the chair and sat down. It wasn't very comfortable.
"Are you Lieutenant Thomas Albert Peters, born in Oakland, California, United States Of America, Earth?" Asked a voice from the shadows.
"Yes, I am." Said Peters.
"Are you aware of why you are here?"
"No, I am not."
"You are being tried for aiding the deaths of Private Jacob Jones, Private Jaime Parker, and Private Carl Johnson."
"WHAT?!" yelled Peters. "I didn't kill them! The Covenant killed them!"
"But you sent them on a suicidal mission. You made them come with you towards Bravo Base, even though the area was covered in Covenant. You sent them to their deaths."
"I did nothing like that. I didn't choose my squad! They were assigned! We were told where to go and how to get there, and we went! We may have suffered casualties, but we completed the mission!" Peters yelled.
There was a slight pause. Peters could hear whispering in the shadows, which meant he may have convinced a few people of his innocence. After a minute, the same voice spoke again. "Very well. Although the mission was suicidal, you did do your best to accomplish it, and came out alive." Peters sighed. "But," Peters sat up again. "There is another matter to discuss. I have just learned that you were... friendly to a Covenant warrior."
"What?" Peters thought for a moment. "Oh, yeah. But I only did it so that we could receive information on the Covenant!"
"We have prisons for that, Lieutenant. What you did was unnecessary." He paused. "Ah, your... friend has told us what you have done during the mission. He seemed to be convinced of your innocence, but we have found a small detail. Before you reached Bravo Base, did you or did your not release a Covenant prisoner of war?"
"Wha..." Peters thought again. "I did. He followed through with his half of the deal, so I let him go."
"Are you aware that this event could have alerted the Covenant of the base's EXACT location, which could have allowed the Covenant to glass the area?"
"I could have, but..."
"Ah, so you admit it." There was again a pause, in which everyone in the shadows began to whisper. "We have decided that although there is no hard evidence to prove this, this is the only explanation we can find. As of tomorrow, you are demoted to Private and reassigned to the planet Draconis XI."
"But you have no evidence! You can't do that! It's illegal!" Yelled Peters. "And besides, Draconis XI is covered in Covenant!"
"Yes, we felt like we should reassign you to some place you could do some good. Private Karls will join you."
Peters was about to start yelling again, but a guard pulled him up and carried him out of the room. Peters tried to struggle, but just gave up after he realized the guard was too strong. The guard took him back to his room and told him he'd leave the next day. When the door closed, Peters tried to open it. He pulled with all his strength, but it wouldn't open. They had electronically locked his door. "Dammit." He slumped into a chair. "Great." Peters listen for movement outside his door for a few hours, then, bored, fell asleep.
Peters woke up. He thought he had heard a crashing noise. It almost sounded like the Pegasus had hit something. He shrugged it off, knowing that the crew would have it under control already. He tried to get back to sleep, but then he heard gunfire. He thought it may be space pirates looting the ship, but then he heard plasma fire. "Damn, damn, DAMN!" Peters was stuck in this room while the Covenant boarded. He was pretty much dead. The door was electronically locked, which meant that it could only be unlocked from outside the door or if the power went out. Just as he thought this, the lights turned off and the room turned black. "Excellent." He felt his way towards the door, and with all his strength, pulled it open.
He still couldn't see anything when he got into the hall. He started walking, touching the wall as he went to feel where he was going. After five minutes, he came to a corner. He turned, and instantly saw light. He ran towards it and saw that it was a flashlight. He picked it up looked around. The entire hall was covered in plasma burns. Suddenly, there was a sound behind him. He shone the flashlight on it, and saw that it was an injured marine. Peters ran up to him. "Oh, God. What the hell happened here?"
The marine gave a cough. "The... Covenant... they got past our radar and... boarded the ship. They're all over the place."
"Why didn't they just blow this ship up?"
"I- I don't know. They must be looking for something."
Peters instinctively felt his pocket, where the strange rock was hidden. Could this be what they were looking for? After all, he had found it in an area where the Covenant were searching for something. "Where's the nearest armory?"
"Down the hall to the left. The key-code to get inside is..." He coughed again, except this time he coughed up blood. "22452." As the marine finished, his arm fell limply to his side, and his eyes closed.
Peters stood up and began to run. Suddenly, a Grunt walked around the corner in front of him. Peters saw that he was alone, ran up to it, grabbed it's gun, and fired it five times into it's face. Now covered with neon blue blood, he was easier to see. He looked down the hall and saw three more Grunts chasing after him. He shot each one three times, and they all fell to the floor missing various limbs. He got to the armory and punched in the key-code.
The door opened and Peters walked inside. He grabbed a MA5B, a M6D pistol, and four grenades. He looked around for anything else that could help, and saw several medical kits. He took one and walked out the door. To his left were six Grunts, to his right, two Elites. Luckily for him, they were all facing out. He threw two grenades, one to each group, and ducked back into the armory. A second later he heard the explosions and stepped back out. There was only one survivor: An Elite with one arm missing. It was holding its plasma rifle in the other hand. It saw Peters and opened fire. Peters picked up the torso of a dead Grunt and used it as a shield. The plasma burned through the Grunt's armor quickly, then began to eat through the flesh. Peters threw the dead body at the Elite, which surprised it momentarily. He fired twenty rounds from his assault rifle towards the Elite, causing the energy shield to flicker and die. The Elite was stunned briefly, and in that time, Peters had ran up to it, pulled out a grenade, and shoved it down the Elites throat. Peters dived forward and hit the ground. He covered his head just as the grenade went off, showering the area in purple blood, bits of brain and bone, and shrapnel.
Peters stood and wiped brains off his uniform. He started walking again, not knowing where to go. After ten minutes of aimless walking, a man's voice came over the intercom. "All crew. This is Captain Frank Bryant. Everyone who is able to make it to a vehicle capable of space flight, I suggest you run. We are initiating Cole Protocol. I have set the self-destruct sequence for three minutes."
Peters stood still for a second, trying to process what the captain just said. Then something clicked. "HOLY CRAP!" He started to run. He turned, left, left, right, left, then went straight. " WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING?" he screamed.
Then he heard people yelling. He ran towards the voices and saw that people were piling into a Pelican. It was way overcrowded, but Peters jumped in before the airlock closed. Someone from the front cried, "Does anyone know how to fly a Pelican?"
There was silenced for a few seconds. Then Peters said, "I can try!"
"WELL, HURRY THE HELL UP! THIS PLACE IS BLOWING UP IN A FEW SECONDS!"
Peters climbed over several people to get to the front. HE sat down in the pilot's chair and pressed random buttons. The Pelican shot forward at full speed. Everyone was pulled to the back of the Pelican. Peters pressed another button and the Pelican slowed down. Everyone in the back shot to the front. "DAMMIT MAN! WE'RE HURTIN' BACK HERE!"
"Sorry!" Peters said. Suddenly, a huge explosion rocked the Pelican. Peters turned it around to see the explosion, and saw the Pegasus exploding. The middle of the ship was where the explosion originated, the spread out as other machines overloaded and exploded. Soon, all that was left of the Pegasus was bits of the hull. The small bits of the hull shot out into space everywhere, and several shot towards the Pelican that Peters was flying. Peters pressed more buttons and the Pelican sped up again, out of harms way.
Peters sighed and said over the intercom, "The Pegasus just 'sploded. We're out of harms way." Then he turned around and saw that his last statement wasn't true. Harms way was right in front of them.
**To Be Continued**