The Boring Part: To the Last Man Pt. 1 Chap. 2
Posted By: John Gurule, Jr.<Einstienyounger@aol.com>
Date: 19 July 2004, 1:50 AM
He shook violently, trying to control his grip on his mug of coffee. He knew that something like this shouldn't shake his iron-strong will and discipline, but something about this one event disturbed him more than it should have. It wasn't the horrible mutilation of his friends. He had seen that before, on his excursion to Eclipse. It was something deeper, an intense fear of a dark, mysterious aura hiding in the shadows.
He looked up to investigate his environment again. It wasn't much different from any other small room on the base. It was cramped, dark, smoky and had two marines guarding the door. If it didn't have a table lit by a dangling lamp and a security camera whirring in the upper corner, it could have been called a closet
"All we really need to know," the sergeant.sitting across from him began, "is if anybody followed you."
"There's a minimum chance that they may have tracked me from there, but there were a lot of lifeboats and escape ships launching and they didn't seem to mind them. The Covenant STBs were content destroying the larger ships and their fighters were mainly after ours. It was almost like they wanted us to leave."
"Uh huh, exactly. Was there a possibility that a location tracking device was fired onto your ship?"
"No, there wasn't enough time for them to get one on. I got out of there as soon as I could. There's no way that they could've attached one in four seconds unless I saw it or the ones who launched it. It would be activated in a few milliseconds and no one could miss the energy signature on their sensors for the short time after it activates. So there's really no way."
"Okay, thanks for your time. See ya," was all the sergeant replied.
Though the indiscriminate clanging of his boots on the metal floor was all too common in the military life, he thought it was very irritating at that one moment walking down the halls. He never thought of it before, and never again.
"Sir, the General has been expecting you, Sir! His office is right behind the blast door." After he spoke, the marine oriented his raised thumb in the way of the large door behind him.
The colonel took one step in the direction of the door and it shot open suddenly, startling him.
"Relax. Nothing to fear here, except maybe Edgar's coffee," he joked. "Come in, have a drink. Make yourself at home."
"So, what do you want to talk about?"
"Oh, nothing. Just the encroaching Covenant armada."
"How did they find us here? They never planted a tracking device on that Pelican!"
"We have reasons to believe that they may have used different methods . . ." A few moments passed as the two stared at each other. The colonel tilted his head toward the general.
"Like what?" The general gave no answer. He looked lost in his head. "Uh, General? Can you hear me?" The general stalled for a few seconds and then snapped out of it.
"As I was saying, they may be using dissimilar methods of tracking than ours. Eccentric devices have been found by several weapons intelligence officers on Eclipse before you landed there. They said it was an amplifier of some sorts. We have gathered enough Intel to lead us to believe that the Covenants Prophets use these devices to amplify their brain waves and the brain waves of other sentient beings. But the problem is that Prophets hardly ever leave the surface, and the communication jamming devices on the surface would make these devices useless because they don't use the same kind of frequency the other Covenant devices use. So they would have to leave the planet on some sort of small craft, because the Covenant let loose on their battle net that protocol was Prophets had to leave on heavily guarded ships, with most of their attention on shields. This would mean a shape like a triangle or a sphere, because shields cover their forms better than any other shape. The problem is that the usual Covenant design pattern has a shape wholly different from either one of those to fit more weapons. In that case we're looking for a prototype ship from which Prophets can command their fleets."
"If I can interrupt this ramble of yours, General," the Colonel started, "Then I may have a clue."
"Permission granted," the General said as soon as the Colonel finished
"During my voyage to the Covenant held star-system, I overheard a peculiar transmission from our recon post 424. They said that they were attacked by a prototype similar in shape to the ones you were describing. They were immediately destroyed by it though. But it was a relatively small ship, even they described it as 'big.' It was really only two kilometers in length, so I don't understand why they would say it was large." They both meditated on this for the next ten minutes.
Twelve kilometers to the South of the General's office stood a small long distance ship detection facility. Inside of its dull silver walls, a distortion on the screen of a long distance infrared telescope alerted an intelligence agent.
"Hey, Dennis! Come look at this!" he said, pointing to his screen.
"Are you sure it's not a drip from your MRE?" Dennis inquired as he twirled around in his chair.
"No man, it's the real deal this time! Come quick!" Dennis rolled his wheeled desk chair over next to the man's char.
"OK, where is it?"
"Right here," he said as he pointed to a yellow spot on the screen, "Do you see it?" Dennis was alarmed for the first time in a while. This was no joke. "It was twenty -two thousand miles away yesterday, so I just thought it was a group of asteroids, right? Now they're only six thousand miles away, and heading right for us."
"At that rate they'll be here in five hours! We've got to get this to the Commander General! Come on!" They rushed out of the room and pulled the alarm switch.
The alarm drew the two out of their trance. The General stood up and said, "I knew it was a bad idea bringing you here. "Listen, make yourself useful and man an AA turret. Now get out of my face."
"Yes, sir," the colonel replied. He strolled to the door as if having a massive Covenant flotilla breathing down his neck was as normal as breathing.
"HURRY YOUR SORRY ASS UP, SOLDIER, OR YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE MY BOOT UP IT!" the General screamed across the room.
"Yes sir!" the Colonel said half - heartedly as he sped out of there.
In the dark interior of a Covenant ship, an Elite Commander's golden armor glistened as he kneeled to the creature seated in a throne located in the darkest corner of the room.
"Master, what is it you ask of me?" the elite asked the form in the dark side of the room.
"I ask that you give no quarter to the humans on the surface. The one exception is their commander, whom we shall torture until he gives us the location of their home world. I will then give you the pleasure of killing him."