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A Grunt's Hope
Posted By: stan<rbibler01@hotmail.com>
Date: 14 August 2003, 2:06 AM

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TO: Captain Jacob Keyes
UNSC Pillar Of Autumn
From: Sgt. Stanley D. Radnick

      This is the transcript of a recording found by one of our marines after a successful raid of a covenant camp. The tape was addressed to you.

Grunt: This message is to the leader of your force; please see that he gets it.

      My name is Rckiliiiiiandddlof, the closest approximation in your language is "Francis", so I will for the duration of this message and any subsequent dialogue that may occur between us refer to myself as "frank". I am a member of the Covenant force; to be more specific I am what your forces have taken to calling a "grunt". I am a foot soldier. I am fodder for your guns, I am expendable, I am an inconsequential member of a mob formed to wipe you out through sheer force of numbers. If I die, there is no repercussion, I will not be missed, another of my kind will replace me and the mob will press on. That is how the leaders of my force regard me. Actually they do not regard me personally as anything. I am not an individual, I am merely a member of a subordinate race forced to accept the religion and dominance of my Covenant overlords. To my leaders I am merely a means to an end namely your full capitulation or, as it seems is the case, utter destruction.

      I am not sure how much of our, meaning the Covenants, history you are aware of and at present I do not have time to explain it. If circumstances allow, as I wish them to, there will be ample time to discuss this at length in the future. However now it will suffice to simply inform you that though there is in the Covenant force a certain system of castes, and though to my Covenant leaders my race is at the very bottom of that system, I, and many members of my race, do not consider ourselves any less important than the other members of the Covenant or in fact any race in the universe. In short, I have decided that I will no longer risk the lives of myself or others to further the agenda of a religious leadership that will never acknowledge my contribution to their cause or in fact even acknowledge my very life.

      And so I wish to surrender myself to you, and pledge my allegiance to your force. Currently I am recruiting others of my race to join me, and hope that our departure will be enough to swing the momentum of this war and rid the universe of this malignant tumor that infects it. I am confident that my defection will not be a problem mainly due to the fact that my leaders are so sure of the incompetence of my race that they would never even consider the possibility. To illustrate this, you may now be wondering how it is possible that a "grunt" could possibly have mastered your language in such a short time, especially since all you have heard from a grunt is "another coming" or "there he is" or "they're all around me". Well, I can tell you that members of my race are the only of the covenant force to even speak your language. The others feel that your race is so far below their's that they needn't even bother learning your language as it will doubtless be to primitive to be of any significance.

      Never mind that for now, it is not important. I need from you the assurance that if I do indeed defect I will be accepted into your force and protected from my former leaders. We must make arrangements to further discuss this matter, perhaps in person. I look forward to meeting... wait, there is a commotion outside the camp. Ah, it seems your marines have found our camp and are in the process of raiding it. I must seek a safer hiding place, I will attempt to ...

Voice of Unidentified Grunt: "Another here!"


Muffled explosion.

Unidentified Marine: "Take that you covenant bastard!"

Loud gunfire, close to source of recording.

Unidentified Marine heard earlier: "Hey Martinez, check this shit, this one's got hisself a tape recorder. I don't know about you but I'm in no mood to hear what this grunt asshole had to say."

Single Gunshot.

End of Recording.

      After a thorough search, we believe we've found the body of the grunt calling himself "Frank". He is dead.

Sgt. Stanley D. Radnick