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New Man Runnin': Chapter One
Posted By: hunter_that_dances
Date: 3 May 2005, 3:47 AM

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New Man Runnin', Chapter One

     I was running

     The cold mud adhered and cooled my bare face, like a second skin. My rifle's cold Titanium-A barrel glistened with a wet sheen in the dim sunlight, as the rain pelted my helmet, sounding like miniature HEV pods. They were after me, and they wouldn't stop till I was one of Them.

     I had been on Tau Chi Ceti for a couple weeks now. My squad had just been rotated here when They attacked. The planet FLEETCOM center was hit first, decimating the command crew. Myself and the rest of platoon 3073 barely managed to escape the bunks in a rusted-out Pelican, held together by spit and prayers.

     My name is Mac Qin, Sergeant, service number # 28184-86427-MQ, Platoon 3073. I have dark hair, black eyes, and a heck of a bad demeanor when ticked off-which usually results in: a. the perpetrator getting a punch in the face, or b. a shotgun shell to the head.

     I sat down, and wiped the sweat off my forehead with a damp cloth. The sun was just rising over the shoreline, as the city of San Francisco, my hometown, started to turn on. My hood strings swayed gently in the breeze, as I stared into the beautiful dawn sun. I had just finished my six mile run, and was relaxing a little bit, enjoying the sea breeze.

     The sunlight quivered as I saw another MAC shell ram into a Covenant frigate. The fleet had been mopping up the last of the invasion force. What didn't get away was captured or obliterated. The loot those eggheads at ONI got from the captured ships was amazing; some of the remaining cruisers and carriers were already being fitted with gravity technology, plasma weaponry, and even shields.

     I sighed and took out my music player. The sun was shining brightly as I began walking home, flip music banging into my eardrums. My hood covered my face, as I felt the sea breeze whip by my face.

     It was good to be me.

     I was climbing up the stairs to my apartment, when I smelled deodorant-Indian Spice. I sighed, and opened the door to my apartment.

     Sure enough, old El-Tee Rogers was there, and the look on his face gave me the idea that it was gonna be a long time until I got my degree.

     "Mac, I'd hate to say it, but you're coming back to the Corps. ONI needs you for a special mission. Those darned spooks won't let me tell you exactly-but you're due in the old club tomorrow."

     I grinned, and asked:

     "What if I refuse?"

     Rogers sat emotionless, and replied

     "Well, let's just say you'll have an appointment with a memory wiper."

     I sighed and sat down, flashbacks of previous battles flashing through my mind. My first kill, the Master Chief, and O'Connell dying in my arms, each was a testimony to the horrors of my war.

     "Count me in."

     Rogers finally smiled.

     "I can see you've still got it in you. Oh, and you'll meet up with an old friend of yours. But let's just say your assignment is going to be...unpleasant, even for you."

     He got up, and walked out the door, leaving me to think.

     Do I really want to see friends die again?

     The next day was rather normal-all except me going to the headquarters of the Office of Naval Intelligence. The main lobby was still the same, palm trees swaying, and the receptionist simply pointing me to the auditorium.

     By the looks of it, it was pretty cagey-the retinal, voice, and DNA scanners were al open. Normally the auditorium was free and open, but today...well, today was a little unusual. But what day wasn't unusual in the Old Club?

     I placed my eye next to the retinal scanner, and spoke the keyword in a clear voice, all being wrapped up by a needle jabbing into my finger for a DNA analysis.

     But as I walked down the aisle to find a seat, I saw an old buddy of mine.

     "Kevin, you little rascal, what are you doing here?" I said as I gave him a friendly punch to the shoulder.

     "Man, Mac, you put on some weight when we saw each other at your housewarming party. Do you eat, like, ten pizzas a day?"

     He laughed as he punched me back. "Chris is here to, along with Brian and Shane. Looks like all of 3073 is back together."

     I grinned, and sat down next to him as the briefing began. Admiral Stone was giving the briefing, and the first words were the ones every man hated to hear.

     "You're all dead men, folks"

Note: No indents, because I'm too lazy.