Posted By: Maszimo<email@example.com>
Date: 23 February 2001, 10:47 am
It was a very nice day, and I was increasingly aware of how much I hated
war. Sure, there were moments of excitement, even occasionally a primal
sort of enjoyment that accompanied the act of killing, but overall
things sucked. Not that dropship pilots really did a lot of close and
personal killing well, they weren't supposed to anyway but for my own
part, I kept finding myself stuck places I didn't want to be. Like
facing the enemy with my bare hands after surviving my second crash in a
month thanks to the inequities of a certain incompetent dropship
co-pilot but that's not really what I had in mind. For the
moment, the ship sailed smoothly through the clear skies of the Halo,
and I was cheered by the fact that we were not supposed to fly within 55
klicks of any known mountains or other large things which we had a track
record of crashing into. My moronic co-pilot, Bob, was humming a tune I
for once enjoyed, and our mission appeared to be, for once, going along
smoothly. We were instructed to insert a team of Marines and a Warthog
jeep and then await confirmation of their mission success, then we'd
swoop in and pick them up. We had already dropped off the grunts, and
were currently orbiting a wide lake, awaiting the signal which would
bring us running. We had plenty of fuel, our holding pattern was
steady, and there was nothing larger than a fly in danger of hitting our
windshield. And so I let my mind wander.
This is never a good thing, as my mind wandering inevitably turned into
I remembered back to the days before Halo. Back then, on the Pillar of
Autumn, my life had been comfortable, enjoyable, and pleasant. The
worst things I'd had to deal with were coming up with new ways to beat
the card-sharks in the officers' lounge and chasing enough women to keep
Then came the Covenant.
Sneaky blue bastards, I have to say. On one hand you really had to hand
it to them. There we were, us humans, getting all fat and soft as we
peacefully extended ourselves and colonized new worlds, and then, here
they came, all full of cryptic radio communications and super deadly
military technology. Good story. Classic even. It might even make a
good computer game. However, the fact that it was the increasingly
bleak reality with which I was faced with every day leached a lot of the
enjoyment out of it for me.
I mean, I knew I wasn't the only human on the Halo who had it rough. A
lot of the troops actually thought I had it better than them, what with
flying dropships and not actually fighting anything. And I suppose if
it weren't for Bob, that might actually have been true. As it was,
being in a dropship only made me a larger target, and I was becoming
increasingly convinced that one out of every five Covenant were secretly
hunting me, and that they would stop at nothing to make sure by the time
they left Halo I would be good and dead.
That might not make any sense to you, but then again, War doesn't make
much sense to me. A bunch of strangers all armed to the teeth and
trying to shoot holes into each other, that's all war was. I really
wasn't cut out for it. I'd done my share, killed me some Covenant, and
I was just about ready to pack it in. Yeah. Yeah! No more fighting!
Enough was enough. I was going to lay down my arms and become strictly
pacifistic. From here on out, Humanity, The Covenant, all of them
could go fight somewhere else. The Halo was huge. I was sure, certain
even, that I could find a place all to myself. A place bereft of war.
And right then the signal came through. Our marines had accomplished
their mission, but were under fire and had a hot LZ. I sighed and
looked over at Bob, who was already serenely banking the ship into a
gut-wrenching turn to bring us on course. "Bob?" I asked, not certain
if I really wanted to know the answer, "Do you ever get tired of all
the fighting? DO you ever want to do something else?" Bob stoped
whistling and glanced over at me before he answered. "Sure." He said
"but really, where else is there to go? I mean, at least it's a sunny day."
I blinked. He had a point. War was and probably always would be. It
was one of the few constants in human history, right up alongside of
death and taxes. Apparently that held true to species other than man.
That was comforting. Then I realized that Bob, whom I personally felt
was in cahoots with the Covenant to kill me, had just comforted me. I
shot a nervous glance over to him and said simply "Bob, I think I might
be going mad."
At this he just smiled, the sun glinting off his visor and his round face
pursed grotesquely as he began whistling another tune. I tightened my
harness and readied myself to go again into combat as the Sergeant of
the Marine squad came blasting back onto the channel to ask where the
hell we were. I didn't really have anything else to do, and it really
was a very nice day.