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Long Time Gone Part 34
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 11 January 2005, 1:41 PM

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Authors note - Yeah, made a quick recovery and after a bit of a debate with myself I finally think this part has been polished to the best of my ability but some of the stuff still seems 'wrong' too me but its how I pictured it happened...

Long Time Gone Part 34: Can't Beat Them; Join Them

January 15th, 2551, Reach, Outpost Bravo-Zulu-Foxtrot, 15 km south of Camp Hathcock, 1903 Hours

       It was only now that reports of the attack were coming in on the planet. The anti-air crew from the battery just down the road came back to find the scene of death and destruction.

       The twelve Orbital Drop Shock Trooper pods were a tell tale sign of who was responsible or at least who command should question on what had happened here.
But that would never happen as command was the ONI and they would just put this down as a training mission gone to hell.

       The AA crew members searched the base whilst they waited for reinforcements, and a medical team to remove all the bodies, they had failed to find a single survivor.
The attackers; who ever they were had done a good job finishing off any wounded and making sure that the dead were indeed dead.

       Alison opened her eyes. She went to move her arms to wipe her eyes but it hurt to move, instead she waited for her eyes to naturally clear.

Eventually she got the view of the scene. She looked down at her breast plate; ten training rounds were imbedded in her armour. A partially full training magazine for a weapon she had no idea of, was placed next to her body.

       Soon Alison had the energy to get up, just as several AA crew members stumbled upon her. She checked down her shirt and saw the burn marks the training rounds had left her with.

"Are you ok?" Asked one of the crew members, "Where are you hit?"

"Err," said Alison feeling confused, "I haven't been hit, hit ; I got shot with stun rounds..." Alison held the ten projectiles in her hand.

"That's weird," said one of the crew members, "who slaughters an entire detail but leaves one person; an Officer especially, alive?"

"I don't think they meant too..." She said trying to remember what had happened. All she could think about was Chris; somehow he fitted into this puzzle.

"Where's my gear?" She asked no one in particular, she found her rifle and webbing, it didn't take her long to notice that her, Chris', old USP was missing "So he was here..." she breathed.

"Who was here?" Asked one the crew members.

"No one, no one. Hey did you find any of their dead? I know two of them went down, I got one myself..." Said Alison shouldering her rifle, she gasped in pain and stumbled for a second as the sling dug into her shoulder.

"We got to get you some help, ma'am," said a Trooper taking her gear off her and the others helped her down to the first story.

"Wait, my Captain, where is he?" She asked. Then she remembered they had killed him, "I have to know where he is, or at least his body."

       Alison directed the AA gunners to the main office, they opened the door and found Captain Todd William's corpse on the ground, a bullet hole in his forehead; his blood soaked the carpet.

"Now I wish I hadn't found him," she said. A small tear formed in the bottom of her eye. This was crazy, humans killing humans, again! How could they fight the Covenant when they had to worry wether they would be brutally assassinated by fellow humans...

"This was an assassination," she said in a calm voice, and then looked at the Sargeant, "what was so important he had to die for..."

"I have no idea ma'am," said the Sargeant, "but I do know you need to see a doctor and pronto."

January 16th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, ONI Debriefing, 0023 Hours

       "... And that's when I called in the extraction, sir." Said Major Newman. He and the remaining members of the platoon that had done the mission were standing at attention in front of the board.

Chris stood somewhat more to the side than the rest of the men; he was their officer after all.

"Very good work, Major," said the one in charge from the shadows, "good work to all of you, and sorry to hear about the two casualties, but they have brought us more time; their deaths were not in vain."

"So, sir," asked Newman, "can we go now? I'm sure my men agree with me that we could use the rest..."

"Yes, yes of course, Major," said the man, "oh, but can Lieutenant McAllen stay back, please."

"Of course," said Newman turning to McAllen, "Lieutenant, stay here until ordered otherwise, I'll see you when you're finished, and I owe you a drink for a job bloody well done..."

"Good evening, Lieutenant," said the voice, "please take a seat." For the first time in his entirety of being here he had been offered a chair, well he wasn't really offered; they wanted him to be seated.

"You did very well today according to your Commanding Officer, Lieutenant," stated a voice.

"Thank you, sir" said Chris, he was glad he had his armour on with the visor down.

"Please, raise the visor, soldier" asked the authority figure.

"Yes, sir." Said Chris raising the visor.

"But this," said one of board members, an image appeared for the floors holographic projection system. It was of Alison being helped into an ambulance, "this is a great outrage."

"Yes, you disobeyed orders, son" said a voice, "What do you have to say for this?"

"But, I shot her!" Said Chris, "I really did! Point blank burst from one of those little M7 things." Chris' eyes started to welt at the thought of what he did.

"You're sure of this?" Asked another.

"I saw the look in her eyes, alright! I pulled the trigger to kill the person I loved, how can you not believe me?" Pleaded Chris, he smacked down on the table.

"We cannot believe you because of that image," said the authority figure, "we know you shot her with stun rounds on purpose so drop the act Lieutenant." The imaged changed to where Alison had been found; empty training rounds and the partially full magazine were at an area saying 'where Lt. Alison Parker was found, alive'.

"Yes, sir..." said Chris; he bowed his head, ashamed that he lied to the ONI, what would become of him...

"Just tell us why, why one woman is worth your career with the ONI, Lieutenant?" Asked a female voice.

"I love her, haven't you ever loved someone?" Asked Chris, his face was twisted; he didn't know how to feel.

"But love cannot save the Human Race, Lieutenant McAllen, you must surely see that, we will now have to have her killed or get her join the ONI..." The voice paused, "how does the later sound to you, Lieutenant?"

       Chris' face changed to his first readable expression, happiness.

"It's music to my ears, sir" said Chris, "I was going to ask you about replacements for Herman and Groener anyhow..."

"Well, IF she decides to join us, we'll make sure she is in your squad, but do not lie to us again or there will be hell to pay, I hope the next time I see you, is under more forgiving circumstances." The scuffing of a chair being pushed back signaled that the hearing was over.

"Could I be the one to ask her to join?" Said Chris over the din of the chairs.

"Of course, Captain, what we need is more men like you," said the voice, "good luck."

"What!?" Said Chris surprised again, this was getting too much to handle. He disobeyed orders and he gets: forgiven, the girl and now he's a Captain... The ONI worked in mysterious ways...

       Then Newman's quote on the way back from their mission entered his head, "the ONI pays its people well so what ever comes your way you've earned it..."

       Chris walked out of the debriefing with a little more spring in his step than usual.

January 16th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock medical centre, Officer's Ward, 1134 hours.

       Chris wore his old Fallschirmjäger fatigues and new Captain's bars to see Alison. He asked an orderly and found out she was in the Officer's Ward.

       Alison was in her own room and sitting on her bed. She was looking out a window; her face was blank of expression; she was in deep thought.

"Hey you," he said surprising her with a warm smile; he walked straight over to her bed.

"You," she said, her face was still blank for a moment then it turned into that of anger, "bastard!" Alison punched Chris in the jaw; he fell to the floor, getting up slowly, spitting some blood onto the cold, sterilized hospital floor.

"OK, I deserved that..." He said just as she hit him again, once again he hit the floor, "one day I'll hit back, so stop it!"

"You killed him, didn't you?" She said sitting back down on the bed when Chris stood back up to full height. He had a split lip in two places.

"Yeah it's great to see you too, you know," said Chris looking at Alison.

"Didn't you?" She repeated, her eyes stared into his.

"No, not me," said Chris sitting down on the bed next to her, "to tell the truth I'm here to offer you a job."

"What?" Exclaimed Alison, surprised.

"Offer you a job," he repeated standing up again; feeling uncomfortable sitting next to her.

"With those bastards you were with yesterday?"

"Yes," said Chris, "and I'm under instructions too."

"What instructions?" Alison shifted herself on the bed.

"If you don't join I have to shoot you, real bullets this time so please don't make this any harder..." Chris' hand washed past his newly reacquired H&K USP and crossed his arms across his chest, covering up the Fallschirmjäger Insignia.

"You'd shoot me?" Asked Alison looking deeply into his eyes.

"After yesterday I believe I could do it agaain," the glazed over, confused look in his eyes made it hard for Alison to know whether he was lying or telling the truth.

"I don't have much choice do I?" Alison stood up, she was only wearing a medical blouse; her gear was on the chair, "pass me my pants, please... Captain."

       Chris passed Alison her clothes and turned his back to her.

"Why don't you just leave the room altogether?" She said getting changed.

"Because the guards outside are ordered to come in here and shoot you if you are not in my company when I leave," Chris sighed, "you are one of people ONI wants dead most if you don't join their ranks, they told us we wouldn't have to do what I did yesterday often, Alison. It's all for the greater good, if the ONI falls, Earth falls, simple as that..."

       Chris turned back around to face her; she was just putting her shirt on. She looked at his eyes when her top was down; she couldn't see any love in them, she suddenly felt cold despite the hatred of him she felt.

"Come on, say it, I need to hear it, please..." She pleaded embracing him. He didn't comply; he kept his arms crossed over his chest.

"I've got nothing else to say until you've been debriefed, don't worry about your gear, someone will grab it when we leave..." Chris stood at the door and motioned for her to go.

       The guards brought their weapons up as soon as she left the room, Chris then came into view and gave them a look; they lowered their weapons.

January 16th, 2551, Reach, Camp Hathcock, ONI Debriefing, 1203 Hours

       Chris waited outside the briefing chamber waiting for Alison; Chambers was with him.

"So what happened yesterday?" Asked Chambers, he didn't get to go yesterday because Major Newman had taken his place.

"A lot of things, you're lucky you weren't there" said Chris taking a seat.

"Someone said you killed Marines?" Rumors of an ONI Death Squad had spread across the planet like wild fire.

"Yes, I killed my fair share," Chris hated himself for how he acted at the Medical Centre.

"You think Alison will join us?" Asked Chambers. Chris responded in a dazed, emotionless voice.

"She knows that if she doesn't, she dies..." Chris' voice didn't change, "she wanted to know whether I still loved her today," said Chris, he turned to face Chambers in his seat.

"What did you tell her?" Asked Chambers.

"I didn't say anything, I didn't want to say anything," Chris didn't understand why he felt this way.

"Well if we're in the same unit you better get your shit together, you have to lead us into battle, against who next, is anyone's guess but we have to be ready..." Chambers always knew what to say to get Chris thinking.

"Any word on the other replacement?" Chris changed the subject. Chambers was staring blankly at the wall in front of them.

"We're getting a grenadier from some existing ODST unit, they volunteered for it too. Maybe they have a grudge against Marines?" Chris snuffed at the comment.

"More likely it will end up one of the men or women I killed yesterday was his brother or sister..." Chambers turned to face Chris with a smirk on his face.

"Who said it was a he..." Chambers gave Chris a knowing look.

"What about Susan?" Asked Chris.

"She got posted off planet, I forgot to tell you before yesterday, she said don't bother having a long distance relationship, just find someone else, I think it will be hard to find someone better than her," Chambers didn't sound too upset about it.

"It'll be ok; tonight we'll go and scout the game around the camp, just you and me..." Just then the door slid open; Alison walked out, she had a smile on her face but it vanished as soon as she saw Chris.

       They got on the elevator without a word and headed for the surface.

"What the fuck is your problem?" Chris demanded after Alison stood on the opposite side of the vast platform; looking in his general direction but not into his eyes.

"Isn't it obvious?" She snapped, "it s you!"

"What have I done?" Chris smacked himself in the back of head, remembering he had shot her and threatened to do it again.

"Why did you join these, these monsters?" She said walking slowly toward him.

"I wanted to fight for my race, I wanted to make a difference, and this is one of the few places where I can make a difference," Chris stayed back, he didn't move.

"You could have made a difference as a normal Shock Troop," Alison stopped her advance in the centre of the platform.

"Not as big a difference as I can make here," Chambers stood back from Chris.

"Oh yes, killing some of our finest Troops to protect some balding fat ass' job. That's a real big difference," she snapped.

"At least I'm making a fucking difference!" Chris hated her there and then; he couldn't help it, the look on her face, the tone of her voice, even the way she stood.

"And now I've been dragged into this mess thanks to you," Alison folded her arms over her chest in annoyance, "you can be such a cunt at times."

"I could have always shot you with real bullets, you fucking bitch," Chris could feel the tears coming from what he was saying in anger.

"Why don't you know then? You've got your gun, come on, shoot me, I dare you..." Alison put her arms out with her palms facing up and walked towards him, "come on 'mister I make a difference,' make another difference, kill the person you once loved..."

       Chris froze for a second, chilled to the core by what she had said, he slumped against the wall of the elevator and dropped uncontrollably down to the deck, head bowed.

"I still love you," he stated as he started to cry.

       Chambers went to his aid.

"Just stay back Alison," he said putting a hand up to her. The first thing Chambers did was remove the pistol, "I think this is yours," he said tossing it across the platform.

       Alison checked the pistol; it wasn't loaded; it hadn't been loaded since it had been in her possession.

       There was a moment of silence between the three; Chambers knelt next to Chris with a hand on his shoulder as Chris tried to stop crying.
       Alison stared blankly at the gun, recalling the events of the day.

"You weren't going to shoot me back at the Medical Centre, were you?" She said looking at Chris, his blubbering eyes finally showed the affection she had been looking for.

"No, it was all an act, I just didn't want them to hurt you," Chris didn't know what to do, "if I didn't get you to come with me the guys outside the door were going to come in and shoot you..."

"I really thought you were going to shoot me!" She exclaimed in a surprised voice, trying to lighten his spirit, she waved her hands at Chambers to play along.

"Yeah, you had me fooled..." Said Chambers going along with Alison.

"Just forget it," he said struggling to get up; Chambers gave him a hand up, Chris was starting to feel the pain from his jaw and split lips, "damn you hit hard..." Alison's smile became a wry grin.

"Good to know all those self defense drills paid off then," she gave him a wink and moved closer, her arms outstretched.

       Chris walked slowly towards her and gripped her tightly as they embraced. And whispered into her ear;

"I won't let anything separate us again..." Alison started to cry as well, she believed him; she forgot what had just happened, she just loved him so much...

"So does this mean I got to take orders from you now?" She chuckled as the elevator reached the surface, "they told me you disobeyed direct orders by not killing me..." She looked at Chris, "thanks."

Chris didn't say anything, he gave her a knowing look and lead Chambers and her back to the quarters.