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The 7th Column: Revelations
Posted By: Mainevent<billygoat359@netscape.net>
Date: 13 October 2003, 1:42 AM

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      Wilson's forehead was drenched with sweat as blood squelched freely from his wound. Randaford and Debrose moved slowly due to their "handicaps", and approached him with weapons raised. He was panting heavily, with pale skin and bloodshot eyes. Pleading silently for any help he could get, but secretly knowing he was dead. Darkness slowly overtook his eyes, and his heavy lids sank lower and lower. He watched Randaford and Debrose stare at him expressionless before finally succumbing to the overwhelming urge to sleep.

Upon becoming concious

      The extremely bright overhead examination lamps burned his eyes as he awoke from his slumber. He winced in pain and squeezed them closed. Straps on his wrists restrained him from covering his eyes with his palms, which he so wished he could. The light still shone opaquely through his thin eyelids much to his displeasure.

      "Looks like he's awake, turn off the overheads. Give him thirty cc's of Metafine or Remalex and then remove his straps. Check his blood pressure and heart rate, then wheel him down to recovery."

      An unseen figure welcomly turned off the overheads, and Wilson opened his eyes. His vision was blurred to say the least, and he was only able to make out the shadowy outline of a man near his bed. The chirp, beep, flutter, and stutter of machines slowly became clearer as his senses returned. The high amount of medication and powerful painkillers he had been kept on were wearing off just in time.

      A cool liquid seeped into his bloodstream through the IV drip already jammed into his arm, and he shivered slightly at it's burn. Sloppy unintelligible words slobbered from his numb lips as he tried to make out a sentence, but nothing he could do lessened his plight. The figure payed no attention to him, and the shaking of his bed told Wilson that he was being moved.

      It seemed like forever before the hallway ended and his bed stopped rolling. By this time his medication had almost fully dissipated, and he could make out reasonably understandable words.

"Wer an I?" He muttered.

      "Your at Fort Peck Condor." The seemingly tall, gray haired man replied with a smile. "Open wide." He took out a small probe and inspected Wilson's mouth, followed by an eye and ear exam. "No signs of infection, you'll live. General Condor wants a word with you as soon as your up and about, give that leg twenty four hours though."

      Confusing sentiments echoed through Dreskin's mind. Why were they being so nice to a supposed traitor? How come they didn't kill him as he suspected they wanted to so eagerly before? He wasn't sure, but that mattered little now. All that mattered was that he was still alive to find out. He had apparently been given more medication, as his eyes began slowly drifting closed again until finally he was asleep.

Twenty four hours later

      As he awoke yet again, his surroundings were once more changed. The light and comfortable matress he had been pinned to earlier had been replaced with a stiff and unsupportive cot. Olive green sheets rested loosely on his almost-naked body. He wasn't sure if they were originally the olive color, or if years of use had slowly turned them the dull shade.

      The room he was in was adorned with cots, lining every wall and the center of the room, and three stories high, this facility was well equipped for any battle that might require the usage of large-scale sleeping habitats. Only three dull red lights lit the room, a single door the apparent entrance and exit to his location.

      Tossing the sheets onto the floor and swinging his legs around the side, he only now realised the stint covering his leg. It's protective gel support took the brunt of his steps, and the small container latched to the side was able to keep a fresh supply of bio-foam and anti-biotics circulating his wound.

      A thin pair of Microsafe boxers were his only clothing, but a full battle dress uniform was folded on the cot next to him. He dressed as quickly as possible, making sure his clothes were secured and in tip-top shape. He limped from the dark room into a surprisingly long corridor, and stared down both directions. The hallways branching through the Fort, especially this one, were emaculate.

      Neigh a single Pantra bulb (a lightbulb that required no filaments, and instead used a liquid medium to provide light) was out during the expansive length of the hall. The metallic floor was mopped clean and waxed, with the walls being stainless and solid white. Wilson had never seen anything as clean and orderly as this before.

      He criss-crossed his way through the large complex, moving between the long lines of militants going to or returning from drills, and weaving about the hundreds of other personnel roaming the walkways. He had never been to Fort Peck Condor, but it was a massive place.

      At first he assumed it was an old bunker nestled far underground somewhere, and he was partially right. As he crossed an open-glass bridge the realization that they were hidden deep inside of two massive mountains became more evident. Their beautiful snow-capped peaks sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight, the dense jungle several hundred feet below providing a dark-green backdrop for the scenic fortress outpost.

      A dark-brown mountain-side stood supportingly on both sides of the bridge, and the thick river that snaked through the valley and into a large lake several miles downspin gave a picturesque view that he couldn't help but stare at for several minutes. Two F-67 Hell Vultures (early predecessors to the SkyHawk model fighter planes) ripped from the belly of the eastern mountain from an unseen launch bay and skimmed the treetops until finally disappearing over the horizon.

      A group of three marines loud banter awoke him from his stunned moment of tranquility and he returned on his trip to see General Condor. It wasn't too much longer before a commanding royal-blue sign that read "General Peck J. Condor" entered his view. He buzzed the small ringer on beside the door, and waited for the massive entry to open, which they finally did.

      The General had a quite impressive office established, with a view of a large bay only a half-kilometer or so from the mountain's bulbous base. Two fishing boats swayed happily on the near-calm water below them. The General was facing the gargantuan windows overlooking the spectacle as Wilson stood at attention in front of his desk.

      Several minutes passed as dusk set on the bay, sending dark oranges and passionate reds cascading along the rolling waves before they finally foamed as they crested and crashed on the rocky shore. Wilson couldn't complain at having to wait, as he enjoyed the view as much as the General.

      "At ease. Please have a seat." The General passed his hand across his desk, and Wilson took a seat in one of the four oversized and very comfortable plush chairs in the room. "I understand you were the victim of an unfortunate series of events that spiraled out of hand. I partially blame myself for the deaths of your comrades, and your own wound, and am beyond grief for the loss of Commandant Georgio."

"I'm sorry sir, but I don't know what you mean."

"I know you don't, so I'll explain. I.I.S. (Imperial Intelligence Services) agents working for the 7th Column under my command came under information recently."

"Such as?"

"Information that directly linked your partner Travis with UNSC C.I.A. members. Several recorded visits between him and UNSC operatives further settled the dispute, and I gave the order for Randaford, Rogers, and Debrose to eliminate the two."

"The two? I'm not a spy."

"I know you're not, and very sorry you had to become entangled in this whole mess. Travis' partner, Stetson, was the other operative. We successfully eliminated Stetson before the plan went to hell, and that's where you came in. You should've been informed ahead of time, but secrecy was key. If two of our best scientists could be spies, there was no telling who else was."

"I see. So what do we do now."

"He has the Excalibur, the weapon we were sure could bring the UNSC to it's knees if implemented in vast numbers. The fusion reactor incident got their attention, and the government complex proved that we were dead serious. We have to have that weapon back. If they UNSC get's their hands on it, we're doomed. Everything we've worked for will go down the drain."

"I will warn you, I have observed his technique, and he is very skilled. You should send only the best you have."

"I fully agree, and as such I have decided to let you accompany the team on their search for him."

"But I'm only a grunt sir, and a wounded one at that. I doubt I could match any of our special forces."

"But you have one thing they don't, you've spent time with him. You know how he works, and you know where he'll be likely to head. So you're on the team."

"But-" Wilson was cut off by the General's heavy words.

"This isn't voluntary Wilson. You'll leave in two days. Get some rest, relax, and prep. That is all."

"Yes sir." Wilson braced himself on the arms of the chair, stood up, saluted, and left the room solemnly.