Note: It has come to my attention that Lopez's lines should be readable in English. I humbly apologize, and have rectified this.


"You wanted to see me, Dr. Halsey?"

"Yes. I need you to look into something for me. One of my associates, a Dr. Church, has been developing his own line of soldiers; likely as a counteraction against the Spartan program. He calls this team 'Freelancer.'"


"A squad of super soldiers; each specialized to a certain skill. But that's not what I'm concerned about."

"It isn't?"

"No. I'm more worried about his method of training. He's pulling soldiers away from the military-those with low test scores and subpar skills-and using them for target practice. He has several instillations set up to house these soldiers, and I've located one."

"You want me to go in and help those soldiers?"

"To be more precise: I want you to intercept the next Freelancer that enters the field, neutralize him, and find out Dr. Church's plans for the project."


"And take Cortana with you. I'm certain she'll want to go back to work with you after how long you've been out."


"Sarge!" Simmons called.

"What? Whadda you want?" Sarge replied.

"Just wanted to let you know the jeep's fixed. Lopez just needed to change the oil!"

"[Yes. I changed the oil, and the tires needed to be replaced,]" Lopez confirmed monotonously.

"Well, hot damn! Good work, Lopez!"



Tucker joined his cobalt companion on the cliff. "Whatcha doing?"

"Recon," Church replied, watching the Reds through the scope of his rifle.

"Right… So, what are they up to now?"

"Looks like their fixing their jeep. Not much else."

"Didn't think so."

"Then why the fuck did you ask?"


"You sure this is the place?"

"These are the coordinates."

"Then where are the soldiers?"

"I don't know. We'll have to go over and investigate; we might be too late."

"I told you to go with the Battle Rifle, but you were too picky."

"I needed the firepower."



"Hey, why don't I ever get the sniper?" Tucker asked.

"Because," Church stated, "you suck almost as bad as I do with it. Plus, you got a sword, remember?"

"…Eh, I guess you're right."

"Church, are you there?" Caboose called over the radio.

The blue sniper sighed. "What is it this time, Caboose?"

"Um… There's a big, scary guy and a mean lady over here and they're telling me we're in danger. I thought if you have nothing better to do, then you could maybe get them to leave? Maybe?"

"Caboose I'm trying to conduct important…" He paused and looked through his scope again, learning that Sarge was simply kicking the tar out of Grif. "…Fuck it; I'll be there in five."


Caboose returned to the door, hoping the large individual was gone. He retreated when he learned he was still there. I hope Church gets here soon… he thought.

"I'll ask again," the man said. "Can I speak to your leader?"

"Yeah, um," Caboose replied, "he's not here right now, but if you'd leave a message, I'll make sure he gets it."

"It's urgent. We need to speak with him right now!"

"AGH!" he crouched into the fetal position. "Church said he'd be here in five minutes!"

"…Church?" the woman asked.

"Yeah, Church gives the orders. I just listen!"

"As in Dr. Church?"

Caboose was confused now. He didn't know Church was a doctor. "If Church is a doctor, then why did we call that horrible medic who fed my blood to Junior?"

"…That is probably going to be the only time I hear that particular sentence."


Church walked back to Blue base and saw a behemoth dressed in green armor standing next to a rather small woman outside the bunker. The giant himself seemed to be shouting into the base; presumably to Caboose. Church approached the duo. "Hey!"

The mountainous man turned, facing the de facto leader of Blue team. "Are you the one in charge here?"

"Yeah, that's me. Why, you looking for me or something?"

"You're Dr. Church, then?"

"Doctor? Look, pal, if I was a doctor of anything, I'd be a better one than the guy we've got now. Name's Leonard Church, Private First Class."

The living Hercules pointed his assault rifle at the trooper. "Leonard Church, we're going to ask you a few questions."


"I'm not so sure that's him," Cortana stated. "I think we've got the wrong Church."

"We were sent here to locate a Dr. Leonard Church, as clarified by Halsey," Chief replied.

"Yes, but this one claims he's only a Private. This can't be the same guy."

"Halsey?" The trooper in blue thought a moment. "I think I remember that name." He then noticed the armor Chief was wearing, "Say, you're not one of those Freelancer guys, right?"

"We're asking the questions here," Chief asserted.

"Because, if you are," the cobalt soldier continued, "then you should probably remember Tex."

"Who is Tex?" Cortana asked.

"Agent Texas. She's a Freelancer agent who was originally called in as backup for us."

"You mean to tell us there's already one here?" Chief interrogated.

"Yeah. You didn't get the memo mister big… green… um..?"

"Sierra One-One-Seven, Master Chief Petty Officer."

"'Sierra?' Dude, that's-"

"We know," Cortana interrupted. "We've been told."


Tucker watched from the cliff as Church was held at gunpoint by what appeared to be the Incredible Hulk with an assault rifle. "This is not going to end well… I guess I should help him." He drew his sword and headed down, ready to slice-and-dice.

As he got closer, the conversation being held became clearer and clearer. "So," Church said, "you're not Freelancers?"

"No," came a female voice, which Tucker hoped came from behind the skyscraper with the automatic gun, "we're not."

"Well, I'm only asking because Goliath here's wearing about the same model armor they do."

"Not surprising," Goliath said, "theirs is based on the same technology."

"No kidding?"

"None," the female voice confirmed.

"Well, whoever you guys are, I need to know why you're yelling at my guys."

"Well," the giant said, "the short version is that you're all in danger."

"Yeah, that's some big fuckin' news alright."

"I beg your pardon?"

"We've been in danger of everything from allergy season to the apocalypse; I don't think anything you can say right now is going to be any surprise."

"Oh really," the woman said, approaching Church. Tucker felt his armor grow tight in the crotch at the sight of the female interrogator. "How about the fact that Project Freelancer is using everything in this canyon for live ammo training? That me and Chief, here, are planning an assault on their headquarters? Or maybe, my personal favorite-"

The green commando adjusted his aim, now pointing at Tucker. "Come out with your weapons away and your hands up."

"What the fuck?" Tucker then realized how close to the conversation he actually was: he had put himself next to a boulder literally three feet away from the monster known as Chief. "Oh…" He sheathed his sword, shuffling over next to Church. "What's up?"

"Nothing much," Church replied, "We're getting interrogated."


"State your name and rank, soldier," the woman stated.

"Lavernius Tucker, Private First Class."

"Huh… That's the same rank as your friend, here."

"Yeah. We used to have a Captain, but he had a heart attack a while back. Then Church took the reins over here."

"We didn't ask for your life story, Private," Chief stated.

"Don't care, man. You got it anyway."

"Is the big man gone?" Caboose asked from the base.

"…Yes, Caboose," Church answered. "The big guy is gone. Why don't you come out here and see?"

"Okay." He exited, "I was worried for a second that he was going to eat me, because I had a nightmare one time-," as he talked, he saw that Chief was, in fact, not gone, and so turned and reentered the base, rambling about a random dream he had.

"He's not too bright, is he?" The woman asked.

"No, not really," Church replied.