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A Heroic Tale: Prologue
Posted By: Odin of SoS.
Date: 15 May 2005, 2:42 AM

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[Author's Note]It's been quite some time. I'm gonna write a few pieces to try and brush the rust off of me. Pleas just bear with me while you read this. All my work will probably be done on the Notepad, so if there's spelling or grammar mistakes, please forgive me. Thanks for reading[Odin of SoS.]

      First Sergeant daley romoved his cover as he stepped off of the transport and onto the Destroyer Independence. The First Sergeant was a man bristling with strength and experience. Daley had spent only seventeen years in the Marine Corps. and was just recently promoted from Gunnery Sergeant. hew was transferred from being Company Gunny in Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 1st ODSTs to Co. 1st Sgt. of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines.
      India Company and the rest of Third Battalion had just recently returned from planet side. They were tasked to defend a city from the Covenant assault. Ground operations were successful, but the space battles never reflected the ground. India Company's old First Sergeant was killed inside a Wraith mortar tank while providing covering fire for his men to extract the civilians. There was talk around the ship about him being recommended to be posthumously awarded a Medal of Valor. "Too many heroes." Daley thought out loud.
      The elevator was small and stuffy. Daley could feel his innards rise and fall as he passed through the decks without gravity. His stomach growled a bit as he passed by the chow hall. Smelled like salisbury steak for evening chow. Or maybe it was just gas. The elevator stopped and a rather large fellow stepped onto the elevator. He was Navy. His uniform was unkempt and his hair was far longer than regulation. He smelled like fish and tartar sauce. Daley hoped there was more salisbury steak at the chow hall when he got there. The elevator was more stuffy than before. The elevator stopped again and the sailor got off. Daley looked at the floor inicator and realized he was at his stop as well. He stepped off and looked around. The hall was the same as in any old stardard Navy ship. A sign hung from the ceiling pointing him in the direction of the bridge. Daley followed the signs, looking into open doors at Naval personnel "hard" at work behind their desks. He finally came to a short hall leading to the bridge.
      The bridge was the same as the rest of the ship. Standard. Sailors worked on their stations and talked to one another. Not much activity was going on. The Captain sat in a chair at the center of the bridge. He had a comic vid in his hands. A sure sign of boredom. Daley walked up to the Captain and snapped to attention.
      "First Sergeant Daley reporting for duty, sir." he said with a smirk. Captain Smedley Butler turned and smiled at is friend. They had known each other long before the UNSC. They planned on joining the Marine Corps. together, but Smedley went to college with his girlfriend. He caught her cheating on him a few months later. He finished out college and went to the Naval Officers Acadamey on Earth. Now they were together again after 17 years.
      Daley started to walk towards his buddy, but was cut short. A very young Navy Lieutenant stepped in front of him with a scowl. "Where's your salute Marine? I know you salute officers, especially the Captain of a ship."
      Daley leaned to his right, looked at his buddy and lifted a brow. Butler shrugged and smiled, then went back to his comic vid. The war worn 1st Sgt. leaned back and looked at the young officer's single Global Defense Service Ribbon on his chest. Then he looked at his own five rows of ribbons, including the Combat Action Ribbon with 3 stars. Daley looked into the Lt.s eyes and smiled. "How long have you been on active duty Lt.?"
      "Nine years now First Sergeant. Now are you going to answer my questions or not?" He said with more than a hint of frustration.
      "Well, sir, if you'd been in the service longer than one of my nut hairs, you might have learned that Marines do not salute without covers on. So excuse me sir, I have to talk to the Captain about how best to deploy my Marines against the Covenant."
      The green Lieutenant looked shocked and took an involutary step back. Daley was a master at telling officers to 'fuck off' without actually saying it. The Lt. thought of anything that he could have possibly said, but drew a blank. "Well, thank you for the information 1st Sgt. Carry on." He said it with such fake control it almost made Daley laugh. The officer turned on his heel and excused himself from the bridge. Daley watched the Lt. as he stepped into the elevator and turned around. He nodded to the Staff NCO and pressed a button for another floor. Daley turned to Butler and they both laughed. A rare occurance in such grim days, but Daley like keeping spirits high with comedy. He wiped an imaginary tear from his eye and shook the Captain's hand.
      "How ya doin Dan?" the officer said with a smile.
      "Well semd, I was having stomach problems. Thought it was a bug, turned out to be gas. Don't worry, I think I let it all out in the elevator ride up here." They both laughed again.
      "Glad to have you aboard Dan. Have you met with your staff yet?"
      "Yessir, I had a staff NCO meeting on the ride here over a vid. They're getting the men ready for formation after chow."
      The Captain sat in his chair, typed a few keys and stood again. "Lt. Fuller, take command while 1st Sgt. Daley and I get some chow."
      "Aye aye sir." Lt. Fuller stood and took the Captain's chair with a smile.

First Sergeant was right, salisbury steak. Dan and Smedley sat in the Officer/NCO section of the chow hall. The non NCO/officer section was loud, rowdy, and filled with Marines lusting for Covenant blood. He reflected on his days past.
      "SO Smed, what's the BC got planned for India Company?"
      "Starting next Monday, yall are doing a two month training package on Jeptus IV in the Nubian system. They've got a new Covenant familiarization course there. They teach better tactics for fighting the Covenant and everything we know about their new ground forces. The Brutes, the Drones, the..." the Captain tapped his lip in thought, "Oh yeah! The Knights. They also teach you how to operate Covenant vehicles and weapons. It's good shit." Butler took another bite of the mashed potatoes. Daley smiled with the plan.
      "Where we gonna use all of this knowledge though Smedley?" He washed down some corn with lemonade.
      "FLEETCOM has plans for the whole battalion to be forward deployed to the Calvin system. Covvies are predicted to be there in about three months. Evac's begun already. 3/7 will be deployed to protect any remaining citizens while they evac. Hell, Covenant might not even go there."
      Daley looked at him with a raised brow, and they laughed.