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Halo: Stealth Combat Evolved: Part 1-Chapter 3
Posted By: Mind_Affecting_Parasite<pbplayer_24@yahoo.com>
Date: 3 August 2004, 4:58 PM

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       "So how did you end up getting into the ship?" questioned Dr. Schneider.
       "I was coming to that, sir," Michael replied. "We made our way towards the Covenant ship's gravity lift. That had been one of the original planned entry points.

       "Well guarded," commented Cassie. The woman's voice was full of an Australian accent, it had stayed with her through all the training and combat. Some had thought it was something Cassie did just to keep herself used to speaking in the fashion she had been accustomed too when she was "recruited" for the SPARTAN-II program. Her fellow Spartans had come to learn that her accent was a part of her that wasn't going to be done away with. "We'll need a diversion, or a disguise of some sort."
       The Team Leader nodded in agreement, looking on around the corner with the optical probe. Around the corner of the wall was an active Covenant gravity lift. Four Shades, with Elite gunners, were pointed outward, positioned at the corners of the grav lift base. Jackals and Grunts meandered around the perimeter, Elites walking in short, coordinated patrol paths. Ghosts too, three of them, but they were a good distance away, watching the streets. Two Wraith were stationed about twenty meters from the lift, keeping a good watch on the open expanse between the purple beam of energy and the buildings.
       The place where the Covenant ship hovered over used to be the city's Central Park. Now it was an unloading zone for the Covenant troops. The Spartan watching wasn't planning on surprising the aliens around the corner though, his teams plan of action would hopefully be achieved without even one of the enemy ground troops noticing. The lighting was to the Human team's advantage, it was midnight, and quiet. The Covenant wouldn't hopefully be planning on an incursion, only expecting the occasional full assault. The Covenant had put up portable lights, but only around the lift itself; the shadows elsewhere would come in handy.
       "Team Leader, I report an enemy transport approaching at nine o'clock," reported the team's Rifleman. Raul was second only to Linda in the entirety of the Spartans; except maybe for Fred, but Raul had beet his fellow Spartan in their last friendly contest. He wasn't as much of a "Lone Wolf" as Linda, Raul preferred to work with another Spartan. He was a natural choice to have on this team. The sniper was currently just on the other side of the building that the Spartans were using for cover. It was an outlet to the metro system of the city. From the amount of guards that had been guarding the interior, the Covenant weren't expecting any enemy forces to come out of the tunnels. Their mistake had cost them; two Jackals, three Grunts, and one Elite. The bodies had been easy to hide, dropped into the sewer system access openings.
       "Copy that, Red-Two," replied Michael, the TeamLeader.
       Michael used the binocular function of his goggle assembly and zoomed in on the Covenant transport. He had to activate his night vision to get a clear look. His enhanced retinas could compensate for darkness to a degree, but it didn't give him the clarity that the electronics could. John would have said not to rely fully on the equipment; it could break, but eyes wouldn't.
       Sure enough, just as Raul had reported it, two large grav carts, with crates atop, were headed steadily towards the well lit lift base. Michael took a brief second to assess the situation. If he and his team could reach the transport before it got into the light, they could hide in the crates until the transport stopped inside the ship.
       "Red-Two, hold position, that's our way in," Michael ordered the team sniper.
       "Copy," came the reply.
       Michael quietly, but quickly, raised himself from his prone position in the hedges surrounding the small building. Cassie was quick to follow, walking backwards to make sure their position hadn't been made. The pair stopped at the back of the building, making sure any Covenant hadn't moved up behind the building without the Spartans knowing. Michael nodded and started forward, crouched low to avoid the light spilling from the window, just inches above his head. They would have taken out the lights when they came up from the metro tunnels, but Raul had made a point that the absence of the lights in the opening would alert the Covenant to the Spartan team's presence. So the lights stayed on, casting lines of light through the horizontal bars across the window, onto the neatly mowed grass.
       Just over twenty-eight seconds after Red-Two had reported, Red-One and -Three materialized next to Raul. A quick gesture was all that was needed to get the already risen Raul and female team member moving forward. Michael took point, with Raul covering the teams six; Cassie was sandwiched in-between. The threesome, officially called "Away Team Alpha", moved quickly and smoothly over the grass. Thankfully it had rained that afternoon, and so the ground was wet, lowering the noise output from footfalls considerably.

       Thirty seconds later, the three Spartans were silently trailing the gravity cart. As the transport came to the edge of the grav lift's perimeter, and well lit ground, the cart stopped. The two Jackals who had been guiding the cart were seemingly asked for identification, or orders for the transport. While the Elite was busy looking over what one of the Jackals had handed him, Away Team Alpha moved up onto the back of the cart. The dark shadow cast by the crates on top provided proper visual cover from the three Jackals who had stopped the transport along with the Elite.
       Each of the Spartans chose one of the rearmost crates and opened the containers. The ones opened were all empty, probably coming back from the battlefield, and ready to be refilled with supplies. The Human soldiers slipped inside, unnoticed, and sealed the crates behind them.

       "So you infiltrated the ship in these crates?" interrupted Commander Roy Grant, not patient enough to wait for the continuation of the account.
       Michael was used to such questions. "Yes sir, the enemy transport was brought into the ship, with my team concealed within it, by means of the gravity lift. I waited until the grav cart had come to a final stop before I took action. I checked the room with my optical probe, and managed to observe the two Jackals who had been guiding the cart earlier, walk off into one of the side doors of the chamber. I guessed at the time that they had gone off to report their return."
       "How did you proceed from their?" asked Dr. Freeman.
       Michael began to speak again.

       Michael placed another charge on another one of the vertical beams of the room. He inserted the remote detonator into the C-12 plastic explosive, and checked it was functional and transmitting on his arm mounted tactical information display, or TID. The screen was small enough to be efficient but functional enough to be an addition to the small eye screen incorporated into the Spartans' headgear.
       "Red-Three to Red-One," reported Cassie from the grav lift room. "Charges are set and detonators activated."
       "Team Leader," Raul reported in a second later. "This is Red-Two reporting assembly room A and B charges are set and armed."
       "Copy that," replied Michael over the team freq. "Move back to Assembly Room C."
       Michael took a quick look around to assure that his charges were all still firmly set, and no enemy contacts had entered the room. Assured that the room was clear, the Team Leader moved quickly through the large doors, closing them as he passed through them, into the large passageway back to the grav lift chamber. The grav lift room was still dim; apparently the Covenant weren't planning on any activity in the area for a little while. Michael passed through the room quickly, closing the other set of large doors behind him, sealing the large hall he had just left. He noted that the two doors on the opposite side of the room were also closed, as has been Raul's orders.
       After closing the pair of doors from the hall into "Assembly Room C", Michael moved towards the designated meeting point. The designation "Assembly Room" was given due to the supposed purpose of the four rooms. They appeared to be used for the assembly of vehicles and troops before they went to the grav lift to be deployed. The designations "A", "B", "C" and "D" were given for the fact that their were four rooms, in a symmetrical layout. Assembly Room C was where the team had been brought in the crates when they had first infiltrated the ship.
       Raul and Cassie were waiting by the cart of empty crates when Michael approached.
       "Explosives are set," finalized Michael.
       Raul nodded in agreement.
       "Affirmative," Cassie vocally assured.
       "Observation cameras?" questioned Michael, he wanted to make sure everything was in place.
       Raul had been in charge of that. "Remote Observation Cameras are set and transmitting. The tow we placed to watch the bottom of the grav lift are still transmitting as well."
       "Good," responded Michael, taking a brief glance in all directions. "Time to get the party started."
       "We should probably set a grenade on a remote signal in or near the control room," suggested Raul.
       Cassie flashed over the sniper's face with her brown eyes. "A ship bay would be a good position to set off the alerting charge from," she added. "I could set the nuke on the exterior of the ship from there, too. Close enough to the ship bay so that the hull armor won't dampen the explosion."
       "There would probably be a dropship in there, our escape," Michael said. "We'll use this plan."
       Michael didn't like planning actions of a mission during the missions itself, but it was often needed in these types of operations. It accommodated for mission and location specific challenges and problems better than the most thought our briefing. Still, it added an extra level of danger and uncertainly to the Spartans' missions.
       "Let's move out," Michael motioned towards one of the doors. A different one than the two Jackals had gone down.
       Raul moved to one side, his back to the wall, while Cassie and Michael moved to the opposite side. They were all careful not to trigger the door's opening. Michael prepared his weapon, a MA3B MAWS, and nodded to Raul; Cassie crouched behind Michael, read to offer a covering position.
       With the Team Leader's signal, Raul swung his hand across the door's sensors, quickly withdrawing his appendage. The door flashed and slid open. Raul, pistol in hand, peaked around the corner, only exposing half of his covered face. He pulled his head back and motioned to Michael: all clear.
       Michael stuck his weapon around the corner first, looking into his eyepiece at the image coming from his weapon mounted camera. The passage was still clear, and so Michael swung his body around the corner and moved along the right wall of the short tunnel. He stopped just short of being able to see down the left side of the corridor; then leaned a couple inches over and zoomed his weapon. He checked on thermal before giving the "go ahead" to Raul. The other Spartan moved forward in a crouch, as Michael looked right, down the other side of the passage; Cassie had moved to take up Michael's former position. The hallways in at least this section were not fully lit, and only the running lights cast the little bit of illumination that there was. Apparently, the Covenant didn't waist electricity, and for this, the team of three Spartans were glad.
       With another gesture from the Team Leader, Cassie leap-frogged over her TL and moved quickly into the alcove across the hall. After a second of looking back down both directions of the hall, Michael moved forward into the main corridor, keeping his body pressed against the left side as he moved slowly forward. Cassie waited a few seconds before moving herself down the right side. Raul was quick to move up to Cassie's former position.

       Commander Grant took Michael's two second pause as an opportunity to speak again. "You went through with you plan of action to make a distraction in the command center of the Covenant vessel then?" he asked.
       "And used the hangar from which to escape?" Dr. Schneider added in question form.
       "My team proceeded until reaching a hangar on the port side of the Covenant ship, we decided we would use it in our escape," answered the Spartan. "There was a single dropship docked, and two Banshees on the floor of the room. We marked the room on our radar and continued on to reach the control room. I took advantage of the vent leading between one of the surrounding halls and the control room for setting the devices planned to be used for the distraction."
       "I'm curious," said Dr. Freeman. "What devices did you use?"
       Michael didn't even have to think about the question before he began to answer. "Spartan-108 set two smoke grenades in a position to direct the smoke through the vent and directly into the control room, as well as two Door Sensor Activation Devices to open the doors when the distraction was activated. Spartan-036 set three Live Fire Distraction Devices on each side of both doors, and I set an Automated Firing Assembly facing each of the doors."
       Cynthia Pick listened on without speaking. She had been a part of the creation of the devices that the lead Spartan had mentioned. The Door Sensor Activation Devices, or "Knockers", were designed to open a Covenant door without any team members having to be in close proximity to what might be on the other side. It could be triggered remotely, put on a timer, or even activated and thrown. They were used often as a lure to get the enemy to investigate an area and allow soldiers to pass undetected. Plus, the DSADs could be used and activated more than once.
       The Live Fire Distraction Devices, or "Distraction Gunners", were designed to be used to make the enemy think that a soldier was firing from a false position. They were simple metal, box-like, containers that contained two columns of six bullets. The two columns were on four different fuses, but connected to the same activation device; creating the illusion of four successive three-round automatic bursts. The way it sounded like the Spartans had set the devices up in this case had probably been to connect the three LFDDs on each side of the doors, so only one of the devices was going off in the group at a time. A good way to use the LFDDs, Cynthia thought. She had to give that to the Spartans; they were good soldiers.
       Automated Firing Assemblies, or "Remote Guns", were similar to LFDDs, except they were "smarter" and a bit more useful for taking out enemies. AFAs were light, compact firing assemblies with barrels. They ran off of magazines, and aimed by means of a motion detector. The things couldn't change magazines, but until the ammunition supply ran out, it could keep heads down.
       Cynthia continued listening to the report.
       "All of the elements of the distraction were connected to a remote activator, and we placed a Remote Observation Camera in the same hall; incase our equipment was discovered, it could be immediately set off," Michael went on. "My team made it back to the docking bay unopposed, as our opposition had been dealt with on our way. All the bodies were still hidden on our return trip. Spartan-108 immediately went to place and arm the Havok tactical nuclear device. I thought it time to activate the distraction, and draw troops away from our position, as well as into their own ship.

       "Enemies mobilizing," Raul reported from the live image of the ground-side ROC.
       Michael linked with his teammate and viewed the picture for himself. Sure enough, many Covenant troops were now riding the grav lift into the ship. The aliens were coming from all directions. After a few minutes, the rate of boarding slowed and stopped; a few enemies had remained to guard the grav lift area.
       "Activating gravity lift charges," informed the Team Leader, opening the COM to Cassie so she could hear.
       The feed from the grav lift room aboard the ship switched from rushing Covenant troops to no signal at all.
       "Charges have successfully been detonated," Michael reported for confirmation.
       "I'm getting contacts headed this way," informed Raul. He had set up laser traps in the main corridors coming into the docking bay, as well as in a couple places from the control room. Something was passing through that laser light, triggering a small alarm to the Spartans.
       "Hold bottom floor concealed position," directed Michael, referring to the pile of crates he and Raul were currently behind.
       The Rifleman nodded and positioned himself behind the crates. Michael carefully moved himself to a different location. He had run a rope to the second level, to provide quick access to the Covenant dropship. The Spartan quickly and smoothly climbed up the rope, entering the cockpit of the dropship three seconds later. He would have to wait for Cassie to take off, so hopefully the Covenant wouldn't take much interest in this hangar.
       Michael's hopes were not rewarded, however, and the squawking of a pair of entering Jackals alerted him that the hangar was now occupied.
       To confirm this new event, Raul reported over the COM, "Enemy forces entering docking bay."
       "Copy that, confirm an estimated body count," replied Michael.
       "I count four groups of six on my side, repeat, twenty-four total," Raul responded.
       Michael slid to the opening, looking into the port-side troop compartment. A group of Covenant was headed right his way. The Spartan slowly withdrew into the cockpit, pushing himself into the darkest corner there; but even then, there wasn't much room if someone was to come in. Which in two seconds, they did. A maroon armored Elite stepped hastily into the cockpit, quickly sitting down at the controls. The alien didn't even notice the black figure in the dimly lit corner.
       The Team Leader was quick to come up with a plan of action. The sound of the troop compartment door closing came quickly; followed by an accelerative motion. Michael drew his optical probe and pointed it, through the open cockpit door, and towards two Grunts and three Jackals. The Spartan activated his air filtering system, or simply put: his gas mask, primed and rolled a gas grenade in with the five smaller aliens. With one fluid motion, Michael activated the door control, sealing the cockpit off from the troop compartment, and brought his rifle from its resting place on his back, swinging the butt left and up. The Elite's shields must not have been on, because the rear of the MA3B met only the alien helmet. The creatures head snapped forward, and the body slumped at the controls.
       Michael was quick to pull the body onto the floor behind the seat and take the controls. The dropship was now falling through the air, with the pilot having been knocked out. It only took a few seconds, though, for Michael to get the craft under control. He then turned back towards the Covenant ship, which was now too far away for him to approach without causing suspicion.

       "Red-One to Red-Two," Raul heard his Team Leader call over his COM. Normally it would have alerted the troops around the bay to his presence, but the Spartan was the only body that could hear the voice. Each of the three Spartans had an implant located in their inner-ear that was used in communications. An earpiece was the accessory, not needed, but it improved the clarity of what came in over the radio, and could help to cancel out other noise if wanted. "Escape for you and Cassie by dropship is no longer available. Recommend an alternate means of escape."
       Responding vocally would alert the listening Covenant; however, and so Raul responded by activating his acknowlegement light. The Rifleman made sure his main weapon was secure and leaned out of the crates for a better look. Some of the Covenant had left, but there was still opposition present. An Elite stood behind either Banshee, Raul's second plan of escape. The Grunts in the area were waddling in the other direction, and the Jackals were squawking amongst each other in the far corner. One of the Elites was the only problem. It was looking at the face of the other Elite, which was in the direction of the single Human soldier.
       Raul whistled, directing the sound to bounce off of the wall at the back of the hangar. It worked, and the second Elite looked in that direction; it said something to the other Elite, which must have been to the effect of staying put, and walked toward where he thought the sound had come from. The watching Spartan waited until both Elites' backs were turned, and no other aliens were looking in his direction. Raul moved forward, slowly, in a crouch, not making a sound; he activated his Shield Frequency Disruption Module, attached to his belt as well. When the Spartan was but mere inches from the Elite, he sprung up and grabbed the blue-armored creature from behind. The SFDM, or "Shield Buster", rendered the Elites shields inert for a brief moment, but that moment was all that Raul needed to grab his opposition. The Human's right hand silently drew his pistol, a silenced M9D, and pressed the tip firmly into the Covenant soldier's neck, pushing it between the bottom of the blue helmet and collar of the blue torso piece; the Elite was kept from speaking as the left arm of his assailant had wedged itself below the alien's chin, and was now crushing the Elite's windpipe and larynx.
       By now the other Elite, who had previously been distracted, was not figuring that he probably hadn't heard anything, and was about to turn back around. Some of the Grunts were also beginning to head back in the Spartan's direction, having reached the end of their patrol routes. This required an immediate action my Raul; he wasn't in the dark anymore, so he would be easily seen.
       The barrel of the M9D dug deeper into the incapacitated Elite's neck. The tip of the barrel was quickly guided to the creatures spine by an opponent with an advantage. A short phft of air was the only noise the discharging weapon made, as it put a bullet through the Elite's spinal cord and down into the protective torso section of the armor. The blue clad body went immediately limp, but the Spartan kept the form held up with his, still squeezing, left arm.
       Now the other Elite was turned around, and could clearly see what was happening to his fellow warrior. It roared a challenge at the Spartan, and raised its plasma rifle. Raul, pulling the dead alien in front of him, backed into the rear end of the Banshee; aiming his weapon at the throat of the only living Elite present. A red dot confirmed the Spartan's aim. Apparently, the other alien wasn't concerned with damaging the dead body of his former comrade, and opened fire. Raul responded in kind, but this target still had active energy shields, bouncing the projectiles off with relative ease. If the pistol had been an M6D, it would have punched through the shields with around half a clip; but for stealthier operations, the higher caliber explosive rounds were not a smart thing to use. The rounds that were directed at the Elite were only semi-armor piercing, hardened tip, 5.72mm rounds. Good for Grunts and Jackals in the hands of an excellent marksman, but it only worked for Elites and Hunters under certain circumstances. This was not one of them.
       Raul quickly decided, after a solid two second stream of blue plasma hitting his organic shield, it would be a good time to leave. Not letting go of his once-living shield, now leaking dark purple blood and burnt pieces of assorted organs, he pulled himself into the Banshee's small cockpit and activated the vehicle. It rose and within seconds, was flying out one of the still-open docking bay doors. The Spartan let the dead Elite drop as he cleared the bay; it then became very clear the Covenant ship had obviously begun to rise. A quick look to his altimeter and Raul confirmed his altitude at over thirty-five-thousand feet; and the larger ship was still rising into the night sky.

       Meanwhile, Cassie had been busy on the exterior of the Covenant ship. She had decided that it would be best to place the nuke on the exterior of the ship, because of their plan of action, so that the device would not be discovered before it could be detonated. The woman had climbed, with the aid of detachable magnetic soles and specialized climbing gloves, out of the docking bay and onto the exterior of the large ship. Sidling across the outside surfaces to reach one of the parts where the armor didn't cover wasn't very hard, climbing was something Cassie enjoyed. It had been a lot less tense than walking through an alien ship's corridors.
       It had all been normal, until the ship started to rise rapidly up. Now the Spartan team's demolitions expert was riding the outside of the Covenant ship, trying to stick a nuke on the thing's belly.
       Cassie quickly removed the bonding strips, and placed the nuclear device on a flat section of exterior surfacing; the adhesive hardened to the surface. The Spartan glanced down at the earth that was getting farther and farther away. Her altimeter currently read twenty-five-thousand feet. A long way to fall if she made a mistake; but she wasn't in the least afraid of heights. Plus, she was prepared to make a high altitude jump, if the occasion required it. She refocused on her task at hand, pulling the detonator key from a secure compartment. The Spartan inserted the key into a small slot on the black half-sphere's face. Nothing occurred on the exterior of the nuclear device itself. Instead, a tiny message flashed across Cassie's HUD: HAVOK ARMED. AWAITING DETONATION SIGNAL. She slid the key back into its compartment and prepared to make her way back to the docking bay.
       Suddenly, a Banshee sped from the hangar, plasma at its tail. It must have been one of her fellow Spartans. Within seconds, another Banshee started in pursuit of the other. Cassie knew that it wouldn't be a problem though, Raul had planted charges on the bottom of both Banshees when they had secured the docking bay. If she would have listened in on a certain frequency, she would have heard Raul give the verbal detonation signal to the charge on the vehicle behind him. The enemy craft had barely cleared the ship when it burst into a hundred flaming pieces.
       Cassie's HUD displayed a team member designation over the remaining Banshee. It was Raul.
       "Raul, what is Red-One's location?" she asked over the COM.
       The reply came a short second later. "Team Leader is in captured Covenant dropship, and is en route to your position."
       Then, as if confirming Raul's answer, Michael's voice came in over the radio. "This is Red-One to Red-Three. I have your position and am on the scope."
       Cassie glanced at her altimeter, it read her altitude at forty-thousand feet.
       Michael must have been thinking along the same lines has his female teammate. "Recommend making a jump."
       The reasons were obvious. One, the Covenant ship couldn't be allowed to get much higher in the atmosphere, or the plan would not be very effective; that was an issue of time. Two Cassie needed to get as far away from the ship as possible before she set off the nuke; also an element of time.
       Cassie looked down to the end of her safety rope, thirty meters away. She checked her parachute harness, and her carabineer before pushing off the ship, and letting off all the friction from the long dangling climbimg impliment. She fell, the side of the ship flashing by; and within a few seconds, the black rope had reached it end and rose clear of the falling Spartan.
       She repositioned her body in a dive, trying to get to the surface as fast as possible. Then she saw a Covenant dropship bank in at her right side. Cassie again repositioned herself, manipulating her limbs and back to form a spread-eagle position, slowing her decent. The dropship, obviously piloted by Michael, nosed forward into a steep dive, putting a little vertical distance between the falling Spartan and itself.
       "Red-Three, prepare for pickup," the Team Leader said over Cassie's COM.
       "Copy, Red-One," Cassie replied.
       The dropship began to slow, matching the falling Spartan's speed, now opening the troop compartment doors. Then the craft began to decrease its rate of falling ever so slowly, moving towards the dropping figure. Cassie prepared herself to fall into the craft, pulling in her appendages and rotating her legs down. The dropship rolled to the side, presenting an open door to the Spartan. Within a few seconds, Cassie's feet touched the solid materials of the small ship below her.
       "I'm in," she put over the COM.
       The troop compartment doors closed shut, and the dropship rolled back onto its belly. The female Spartan had grabbed hold of a beam of some sort, and kept herself upright as she felt the decent begin to slow. After making sure she was still receiving a signal from the nuke, she moved forwards to the open cockpit door.
       "The nuke is in place," she reported.
       Michael acknowledged her with a nod. "Red-Two, what is you location?" Red-One asked. He already knew that the blip trailing behind him on his radar was the single friendly Banshee, but a confirmation was never a bad thing.
       "This is Red-Two to Team Leader," Raul's voice spoke over the radio. "I am trailing on your six and awaiting orders."
       "Good to see you Raul," admitted Michael. "Follow my craft to the extraction point, and keep an eye out for bogies."
       "Yes sir."
       "That ship is still rising," reminded Cassie.
       "Red-Two," he spoke again into the COM. "Nuclear device is being activated, lower your altitude."
       Raul's acknowledgement light winked on.
       "Red-Three: activate the nuke."
       "Havok detonation signal away," the demolitions specialist responded.
       A sun appeared overhead, blasting through the Covenant ship, and sending thousands of particles of glowing dust and debris into the atmosphere. When the explosion faded, all that was left of the once formidable Covenant vessel was a large chunk of charred and melted alien alloy, falling back to the planet's surface. All the Spartans watched, via their ships' sensors and viewing screen, as the chunk of metal stuck the center of the smoldering city below with the force of a small meteor. Every building within a three block radius was brought crumbling to the ground around central park.
       Michael reported to himself, his voice dry, "Target eliminated. Mission objective complete."

       The large Spartan stood still for a moment after briefly reviewing some of the details he had previously gone over. He tapped a few controls on the podium's computer, erasing the digital mission materials from the view screen. Michael looked at Commodore Ford for a moment, and received the reply he requested.
       "Please be seated Spartan-096," the Commodore said, rising to his feet.
       Michael nodded and walked off the small stage, finding his seat quickly.
       After a few more brief questions and answers, Ford decided to bring the meeting to a close. "I believe that sums up today's mission debriefing," he said. "Dismissed."
       The scientists had no reasons to stay for any longer than necessary, so they were all the first ones out. All of the ship commanders rose at once, breaking off into groups of two or three to leave the briefing room, taking up light conversations. Lieutenant Commander Williams let his steps lead him to Commodore Ford. The two men left in the room caught a glimpse of the Spartans actions. They quickly exchanged glances, sharing much more than could be understood by anyone outside of their elite organization, followed by short and precise gestures, obviously a type of unspoken language the three had learnt long ago. They didn't have helmets on, so they couldn't speak without being heard, but the Spartans were most certainly communicating amongst themselves, if not silently.