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Of Fire and the Void:Orphan's Introduction to Soldiery(part 2)
Posted By: SeverianofUrth<residentpark@aol.com>
Date: 24 May 2004, 4:42 PM

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      Nothing much, after the soldiers left. Just Francis, his ears gone, slumped against the wall, Boss, crying madly as he sat in a pool of piss, and just about everyone else either dead or hurt, or maybe just crying and pissing.
      The light swayed back and forth from the ceiling, bullet-marks having grazed it's near-indestructible plasteel surface. I got up, found my limbs sticking, struggled up with my right foot still asleep, and limped over to the stairs, climbed up to the door whilst ignoring Boss's staccato cries of despair and fear, and opened the door now slick with alien blood. Henry's blood.
      Outside, troops and medics flitted about, setting up a emergency camp. A pair of army nurses were busy setting up medpaks. Their eyes widened dramatically as I stumbled out.
      "Help." I squeaked.

      "My god! Are they shooting kids now? This witchhunt has been going on enough." A dark, rather tall and imposing man dressed in the standard white lab coat, said. One of the nurses replied.
      "Just ricochet fire. You know how those shieldings repel lead. And besides, they actually got one. A Elite, they say."
      "Really?" The doctor said, as he began stripping the shirt off of me. "Oh well... I still can't forgive those damn witchhunting squads for putting me in a cell for two damn weeks. Me, A Covenant! Hah!"
      "What do you mean?" One of the nurses asked.
      "They thought I was one of those Covenant units with the hologuisers. Hmph, put me in a cell for two weeks, all the while petting their goddamn rifles. Ah, here you go." He petted my chest in a comradely fashion.
"As good as new. Well, nothing wrong with it in the first place, but it should do."
      "Wish we could say the same for the other kids, though..." Murmered one of the nurses. I grabbed her arm somehow, and she flinched back.
      "Lady, please, can you tell me what-"
      "No, not now, young man." The doctor ushered me away. "A good night's sleep first."

      I spent a restless night, trying to go to sleep but failing utterly to do so. I couldn't rid myself of Henry, the ranky boy who helped through when my parents were gone, was a Covenant...

      They never actually told me what happened to the rest of the boys. I think they tried to save some that they could; but they probably failed. "Acceptable casualties of war."

      And me? I got sent to military school. That is, they don't really teach you anything. They feed you, give you a roof over your head, and then when your of age send you to die with a little training. A good deal, really.
      And so I spent three years there. I was always called James, even though fifty-eight other James there were called Jim, Jimmy, or Jimi. Maybe it was my experiences already with death, but everyone stayed away from me. So I ate alone, ran alone, and played solitaire and a pocket gameplayer. It was better this way. Two of the fifty-eight James turned out to be Covenant.

      Now, a little explanation, before I tell you the real story, of Antartica, of Yucatan, and of the war that raged there. A little explanation as to why the Covenant were employing the hologuisers.
      After a brief, fierce period of fighting, the Covenant took complete control of the American continents, and of... Antartica. What we had of the satellites showed them building- of what we did not know, as they already had enough power to crush us ten times over.
      And hologuisers, Elites under holographic-hallucinatory-refractory disguises, began appearing. The first one was Adam Franks, the now-infamous researcher at the ONI International Headquarters. There appeared to be no sabotage done by him, nor information transmitted to the Covenant bases; only transcripts of human behavior, and the ominous phrase,
      "They are ready for the upbringing."
      And so, after the accidental discovery of Franks, the witchhunts began. Comprised of elite soldiers, mostly ODSTs, they hunted down Covenants. And they DID catch quite a few; however, the amount of innocents they imprisoned or killed were more numerous in number. Far more numerous.
      And after a while, a theory was thought up, of why the Covenant weren't pursuing victory.
      "...It can be assumed, that the Covenant certainly had the means, and the power to destroy the planet of Earth utterly without any serious consequences... It was only their mysterius agendas, propagated by their Prophets, the ruling caste, that stayed their hand. After two years of fighting, it was assumed that for some reason the Covenant needed the planet relatively undamaged; and after they claimed the Americas and the Antartica, and fortified them (especially the Yucatan), we began to guess that they were after something there, some mysterious artifact from the elusive Forerunners, of whom we have no guesses but the ONI may do..."

(part 3 coming.) (my hand hurts.)