The Blood Gulch Gig (Part 1)
Posted By: Jillybean<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 March 2004, 4:38 PM
The Blood Gulch Gig
AN: Before Stuntmutt gets stressed about my long authors notes I do have some things to say.
Firstly, this was inspired by EAD Clan and their fabulous video [http://halo.bungie.org/oldnews.html?item=9041]
Secondly, this is going to be funny, if you're into my kinda humour . . . let's say it's sort of funny. In fact, scratch the funny. It's mildly amusing.
Thirdly, H&R will be completed. Promise.
It started out a pretty ordinary day. Like momma always said, be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.
An ordinary day in the Gulch is sunny, warm and kinda . . . well . . . boring. That's the thing about being posted out here, the first week is pretty cool, after that you just start inspecting your lint. There's only so many times you can take the 'hog for a drive around the bases, waiting for new recruits to train, sniping the clouds . . .
And that's when she arrived.
Janice Helen Gardenson, my angel. She sank to earth in a Pelican and started unloading the newest recruits. In slow motion, with the sun bouncing off ebony skin and dancing off curls, she turned her head in my direction.
Snap to attention, give her that rogue smile that never fails. "Yes, ma'am!"
"Where's your superior?" Ah, a career woman, eh?
"SPARTAN-210 is over on Blue Base, ma'am."
"Thanks. Dismissed, soldier."
And thus, Janice Helen Gardenson sashayed off into the distance.
"Pick your jaw up." Chris smirked at me, hauling a crate over to the modified 'Hog.
I flipped him the finger, called him a wanker, and started to shift the crates.
That fine red head sitting opposite me with a plate of fries in the canteen was Sherry, we call her Sherbet. She's not exactly 'one of the guys' per se, but the recruits insist she has a pin-up of Cortana in her locker door. I've never had the nerve to ask.
"Hey," I say. The underground canteens in Blood Gulch aren't the creme de la creme of the UNSC, but they sure do good fries. Sherbet slapped my hand away, just a fraction of a second too late. Still, when a tough little SPARTAN belts you over the wrist you don't just wince.
"Where's Chris?" Sherbet, delightful as she is, is by no means house-trained. She was stuffing greasy fries into her mouth as she spoke, licking her fingers with relish.
"Still unpacking the shipment, I think." I poked my 'steak' with less than enthusiasm.
Sherbet raised an eyebrow. "I thought we only had recruits coming in today."
"No there were a couple of big crates there too. Lieutenant Gardenson was the pilot. She's going to be my wife, you ought to meet her."
Sherbet laughed at me. Cow.
The tabletop flickered and a six inch version of Glory stood before me. The AI was our secondary tactical, which meant he devised the training exercises for our recruits. He was a good AI, if . . . rampant.
"Looks good." He sniffed his long elegant nose, though I had no idea if he could actually smell or not.
"Indeed," Glory replied airily. He sat on a pepper shaker and crossed his arms, giving me the silent treatment.
"You have gossip," Sherbet deduced.
Glory, unable to contain himself, leapt to his feet and clapped his yellow holographic hands.
"How do you do that?" I asked.
"What? Enthusiasm?" Glory retorted. I gave him one of my patented 'Killer' looks. Glory sniggered.
"Women and AIs have gossip radar," Sherbet informed, just the right hint of Halsey in her tone.
"Yeah, sure they do."
Glory turned his back on me, quite deliberately, and continued. "I know something you don't know."
"Ooh! Tell!" Sherbet demanded, as if this was news.
"Lieutenant Gardenson brought something with her. Something . . . expensive." Glory gave me a snide glance over his shoulder. "That means it's worth money, SPARTAN 007."
"I'm going to introduce you to Mister Magnet."
"Oh I am quaking in my holographic feet."
"Boys," Sherbet snapped. She slapped the table eagerly. "What kind of something?"
Glory looked blank. "How would I know? They don't trust me with information like that." (They were the Gulch's other two AIs. Honour and Justice.)
"Wonder why?" I muttered and got kicked.
"You proposed to your new girlfriend yet?" Chris was pacing the canyon ridge, watching his recruits. He winced as one marine slipped on a dummy grenade. The damn paint grenades were slippery.
Removing the binoculars from my eyes I glared at him. "She's not my girlfriend, ass."
"Sherbet get there first? Heh heh- ow!"
I glowered. "Don't you have recruits to train, SPARTAN?"
Chris waited maybe all of five seconds before continuing. "Do you want to know what was in that special package that Mrs SPARTAN 007 brought?"
He elbowed my silence encouragingly.
"Come on, you know you do . . ."
"You know exactly where to go."
"It's cool . . ."
"Nothing about this god-forsaken canyon is bloody cool. Except maybe the coffee. We get cold coffee, rubber food, eccentric AI and the only hot chicks appear for three hours and fly away again."
"It's called the Gem of Durandal."
". . . cool."
The Gem of Durandal was one of the very large diamonds retrieved from the Space Pirates. The kind of thing the remaining Space Pirates would take off your hands for a very reasonable sum. The kind of thing that wealthy businessmen liked flashing around at private parties.
"That was the one with the estimated going price of . . ."
". . . Fifteen million credits," Chris finished for me. He stared at the recruits. "Interesting. Isn't it."
"Yeah." I swallowed deeply. Why would the brass tank this thing out here? "The Gala's in a few weeks, isn't it?" I began, casual like.
"It is, now that you mention it," Chris replied.
"I imagine the big shots would like to show that thing off. The kind of thing that the SPARTANs are retrieving and stuff."
"I imagine it would be," Chris continued, quite neutral.
"Probably under a lot of heavy security."
"Oh. Yeah. The best."
"Of the best."
"The absolute finest."
"Want to . . . ?"
And so the Blood Gulch Gig was born. Me and Chris were gonna steal the Gem of Durandal. All we had to do was breach the Blue basement perimeter, without being noticed; get past the security protocols; the web of lasers; out the front door with the Gem and off the planet without getting caught.
On the plus side I'd never eat rubber steak again.