7 is the Lonliest Number 
Posted By: Wasted Potential<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 May 2004, 7:44 PM
"Well, what do you want me to do about it? There is really nothing I can do about it, so basically you are screwed." The words echoed and repeated in Private Jack Alepino. He had just heard those words only a week ago, while he was stationed at the Delta Mental Institution, due to the fact that he had been framed. Framed. The word made him cringe, just that one word could have set him off. Whoever had done this to him would pay. They would pay dearly. He was charged with insanity, because he had been framed for the murders of 7 people. 4 of them were little children. He had allegedly used a meat cleaver to due this, but he knew if he had done this he wouldn't have used something so clunky and large. That last statement made him realize why he was thinking about that. He blocked it out of his mind, and turned his attention back to his newspaper.
A large front-page photo caught his attention. In the picture, there stood a large podium the UNSC symbol on the front, with the UNSC police chief standing a few feet to the left of the podium, and the UNSC Army Colonel standing to the right. They both stared up at a large figure, yes. He knew that large figure. The figure that wore green, the figure that was deemed invincible and untouchable, due to the numerous accusations flooding him. He had also been tried for many things. Blood money, bribery, taking money under the table and many more. Jack thought most were true, but he had figured out something worse than any of them. He had stumbled upon to a large conspiracy, with the Master Chief smack dab in the middle of it. Whether he wanted to be in it, or not Jack knew he was the connection.
Jack remembered bringing him in, on charges of bribery. He remembered those cold eyes, yet he could feel empathy, and understanding in them. He remembered the Master Chief impersonating a brick wall, not budging, except for that one moment, when he slipped on his words. Jack knew something was wrong, but he hadn't found the whole picture. For all he knew, he could have just chipped the block so far. But he knew what he had found was large, it must have been important. And yet, he somehow felt that this conspiracy was the cause for his framing. He knew he had to find out who. Who. Who had done this to him, and why they would.
Jack brought himself back into reality. At least, he thought, they let you back into the Army and dropped all charges, right? "WRONG!" Jack found himself screaming out, and slowly breathed in and out, releasing the tension little by little. He then realized he was sweating, and was breathing very hard still. He decided to lie down, and relax. He got up, stretching out his legs in the process. As he started to walk to his room, he realized he was still focusing all his attention to that picture. He thought Master Chief was supposed to be a hero. He wasn't any hero, he was a monster, at least in Jack's book.
Beep, beep, beep, beep! Jack's alarm had been going off for quite awhile. He finally opened his eyes, and slammed his closed fist onto the large button on top of his clock, stopping the noise. "God damn, I hate my life sometimes. I have too much of a mediocre life." Jack grabbed his uniform from his thinking chair, the chair he used to write in, and shuffled into the bathroom. He took a shower, dressed and ate. As he took one last look in the mirror, he suddenly noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a picture of the infamous Master Chief. "Of all people." He grabbed the picture and tore it into pieces, smiling. When he had finished, he held the many pieces in his hand, and his eyes squinted. He realized that it wasn't a picture of Master Chief. He, in a nervous wreck, threw all the pieces together trying to recreate the former picture. It was of his mother. "How could I have thought that... but, I," his words floated off, and he didn't finish. Okay, you are getting way too wrapped up in this. It is consuming your thoughts man, just relax. He never used to talk to himself. He must have picked it up from the asylum. "Dear God, I'm changing, and I don't like it, man. I don't like it at all." He walked out the door, grabbing his keys on the way.
"All right, now how can we make things here at UNSC better? Any suggestions?" The man up front, the 'teacher' was Sergeant Collins, a 'pretty mean piece of shit' in Jack's word. He held a large, metallic pointer. But he was known for using it for other purposes. The students were surprised he was still allowed to even make contact with other people because of his record. He especially didn't like late students, Jack's lucky day. Jack scrambled to class in the middle of it. Collins looked at him coldly, and twitched his head towards Jack's desk. Jack nodded and ran to it, and quickly sat down.
"Hey man, you know that Collins' isn't going to let this go. He is going to do something about it, come on you read his record," said Private James Simon, one of Jack's only friends. He talked a lot, but was usually right about things. And just as usual, and right on time, Sergeant Collins started his short march over to Jack and James' desk, a big smile pasted on his face. "Alright you two, what are you little girls gabbing about? HUH!" Sergeant Collins screamed to the class. "Now I want you all to make a note of this," he said as he turned to look at his students, "and I also want all of you to never, and I mean never be late again. Or else you will jog laps around the Deathball fields, from sunrise to sundown."
He stared down at James, who seemed to be snickering. "Did I say something funny, Mr. Simon. Well, come on. Tell me what I said that seems to amuse you." His expression started to change as James stayed silent. He let out a cry, and swung his pointer at James' head, connecting. James nearly flipped backward off his chair, and doubled onto the floor. Sergeant Collins, not missing a beat, jumped on top of him, coming out with a Full Nelson hold on James. "Anyone want to save him? Huh! Well, do any of you want to save him?" Collins looked up at Jack, "Well crazy boy, how about you. Don't you want to save your little fudge packer? Huh! Do you. Tell me boy, so I can kill him already." At that moment, Jack snapped. He was on top of Collins in a matter of seconds, hitting him with lefts and rights. A battered and bloody Collins slithered out of the fight, and went for his pistol. He grabbed it, cocked it, and held it up, aiming at Jack's head.
"Take one more step, fucker! Go ahead, I dare you. Come on you sorry piece of waste. Go on, so you can rot in that asylum forever this time!" Jack suddenly stopped. What had Collins just said? Did he just give me a clue? Jack stared into Collins eyes, so cold. He grabbed a slightly purple James, helped him up, and walked out of the room.
Jack sat at his desk, his cold, clammy hands on his forehead. He was in thought, going over the thing Sergeant Collins had said in his head, and all those names he had called him. His concentration was suddenly broken by his little intercom. "Private Alepino, you have someone here for you. A Master Chief. He is waiting in the lobby, says it is important, almost confidential." Jack's face turned pale, and he stood up, grabbing his pistol, and making sure it was loaded. He cocked it and walked into the lobby. Sure enough, Master Chief stood there, balancing a combat knife on his index finger. Without letting the knife drop, he turned his attention toward Jack, "Well hello Jack, nice to meet you!"
TO BE CONTINUED...