Chapter 7: Save my Sanity

Now playing Message-022:

You know, I always thought about something that bugged me for the longest of times now. The director of Project Freelancer was a brilliant mind. I always wondered how easy it was for a man such as him to be broken down by memories. Then through that pain he went on to create me, only that I was nothing more than a slave at that time.

The director always had maintained some composure around everyone, but only at the end did I really get to see a man completely broken down to the core due to his suffering. In our last moments, he said something curious. These were his words, 'You were my greatest creation.'

Sounds kind of weird right?

But the weirder thing is that when I replied to that, he said he wasn't talking to me. Clearly the only other person in the room was Carolina. I didn't understand why he would say something like that at the time, but in my anger I left him to die alone.

It was only after spending a lot of time with sis, eh that's Carolina. After spending a lot of time with her, I began to understand why he would say that she was his greatest creation. Not only because of the capable soldier she is, but because of the strength she carries, which is very similar to that of her mother, both mentally and physically.

Just like Allison, Carolina is a strong and independent woman. But at the same time she carries that sense of compassion that Allison did. I guess she was part of the reason why the director did what he did even if it involved hurting her in the process. He might have just wanted for his daughter to be able to see her mother again, to talk to her somehow.

You know, when I left with Carolina on Chorus, I didn't know what was going to happen. I just left on a whim thinking that I could do some good with her. But I also learned that she can be quite reckless in her compassionate and good nature. To help those she believes deserve it, she will put herself in harm's way. She really is reckless, even for her own good.

The loss she has experienced and the pain she goes through with her own memories haunting her. I know them well enough from my time with her. Maybe you will get to know it as well, but just remember to not crush under that pressure and those feelings. Just take it all in strides.

I know you may not understand my relationship with sis just yet, but take care of her for me okay?

End of Recording.

Two-hundred and one, two-hundred and two, two-hundred and three…, Carolina gazed intently at the ground as she felt her body weaken over time from her push-ups routine. Many soldiers observed her and sister from the sidelines. However one got more attention than the others. Carolina lay on the mat feeling her arms turned to jelly.

She looked to her side to see Sister bending over and showing off her flexibility and a little bit of her armor cleavage. The men cheered her on just as they were about to get a nice view even if she was in her armor. Ugh, pigs, Carolina thought slowly standing up.

Carolina reached for her towel and wiped her forehead clean. She found a water bottle being offered to her, turning to her side she saw Washington. "Here."

"Thanks," she replied quickly twisting off the cap and drinking at least half of it in one go. Wash crossed his arms and shook his head staring at Sister. Carolina let out a sigh noticing Wash's fixated gaze. "Don't tell me she has you on the hooks to."

"What, Sister? Don't be ridiculous. I was just thinking about the face Grif would make if he were to see this."

"He would probably explode."

"Haha, yeah I guess he would," Wash mused noticing the orange soldier. What perfect timing, Wash wondered, and he closely studied the now increasingly agitated orange soldier. Grif ran into the view of many earning several remarks to get off the mat. "Get out of the way asshole!"

"Up yours buddy!" Grif shouted back as he took Sister by her hand and dragged her off. "What did I tell you about embarrassing the family?!"

"I was just showing them the moves mom taught me from the circus."

"You were showing them more than that," Grif replied shaking his head. Just how stupid is she? Dear lord why was I given such a stupid sister? He pondered face palming. "Now go to your room missy! Go write in your diary or do your nails or whatever it is you do away from other people!"

"Well I just get drunk and start visiting these interesting sites involving a camera and no clothes."

"I don't want to know," Grif shouted stomping off. Argh! Now I'm angry. Maybe food will help me calm my nerves. He walked off to the cafeteria deck leaving Sis to stroll on back to the men.

Are they seriously using this motherboard? Good thing they had a spare one lying around in storage with better specs, Simmons thoughts as he unhooked all the wiring from within the machine's frame. He unplugged the motherboard from the device and inserted the new one. There, now on to the software next.

After putting everything together, he powered up the machine. Simmons was quickly disgusted at the UI. Geez, what are they using, Windows 95 or something? This is getting deleted. It's a good thing I carry around an install copy of Windows 10 with me. With all the hardware upgrades it should rum buttery smooth.

Simmons restarted the machine and went into the BIOS. He picked the option to boot up from the USB he had inserted into a free port. There, now time to work the magic. Simmons restarted the machine seeing the expected screen pop up as the OS set itself up. Just as Simmons set up the admin account, a UNSC soldier walked in. "What are you doing in here? This area is off limits to passengers."

"Oh, sorry. But I noticed that you guys were using a really outdated OS, looked like the one my grandma would use. So I took the liberty of updating it to Windows 10. I can't believe the UNSC was so behind on tech upgrades this whole time. Not to mention, when I opened up the computer, I saw a whole lot of old tech in there. I updated that to, no need to thank me."

"Thank you?! That was standard UNSC equipment that you just messed with!"

"Oh…well at least you can get a shiny new interface in exchange."

"You said Windows 10?"

"Yeah, what about it?" Simmons inquired seeing the soldier becoming increasingly agitated. "You just installed a malware OS on our ship?! Just great!"

"I'm sure it's not all that b- ," Simmons froze to see the lights around them all go red. Oh, well fuck me! He thought as the soldier rushed to the computer. "This better not be related to your upgrades!"

I think I'm just going to squeeze on out of here, Simmons pondered slowly backing away while the soldier's back was turned to him.

"Sir please stop touching that," a UNSC soldier replied slowly walking towards Sarge. The red leader turned a screw on the engine ignoring the words of an authority figure. "Sir, if you don't stop. I will have to have you restrained!"

"What's this? Insubordination!" Sarge replied whacking the soldier with the butt of his shotgun. "Anyways, who designs such a quiet engine? It's almost like everyone has turned into a no good hippie."

"But it's good for the environment sir."

"You listen to me son, engines are supposed to be loud and harmful to the environment. What is this thing powered on?"


"See, there is one of many problems. If you use diesel on this baby, you will increase engine noise by at least three decibels. I swear, environmentalists take the fun out of everything."

"Sir, please don't touch that component!" the soldier asked trying to hold Sarge still. Sarge looked around all confused as he shook his head in disapproval. "What's got you so worked up? This engine isn't going to break under my care. This work of beauty deserves better care!"

Grif stood still before a hand that stopped him from entering. The soldier that shook his head planted his feet firmly on the ground. "Sorry sir, but upon Captain's orders I'm not allowed to let you into the cafeteria."

What?! This is some sick punishment for when I raided their cafeteria last time. Grif grumbled under his helmet and quickly did his best to push past the soldier. He was stopped in his efforts by several other UNSC soldiers from the behind. "Okay fine, I give up!"

"But there is a special area that was prepared just for you sir."

Special area that was prepared just for me? Grif pondered intrigued by the news. "Okay?"

"Follow me," the soldier announced with Grif following close. They walked down to one of the storage areas. The soldier unlocked the door and motioned inside. "This whole storage area has been stored with food upon the Captain's orders. As he said, 'let him pig out here'."

"Score," Grif exclaimed walking inside to food heaven. There was food all around him, one of his many dreams and now it was fulfilled. The door shut behind him and he rubbed his hands together in anticipation. What morsel shall I consume first?

"I spy with my little eye something shin-"

"Star," Doc replied before Donut could even finish.

"You are really good at this Doc, how did you guess?"

"Gee, I don't know. It's not like the only thing in space we normally see are stars and the black void."

"Good point, this game is getting boring. I bet if Caboose was here, he would have many games we could all play together."

"I guess," Doc replied doing his best to kill his boredom.

Captain Muffins stared at the prisoner who was quickly slumping over the table with every word Caboose uttered. "Someone please make him stop…"

I guess the blue man has the crazy effect on all, Muffins pondered as he turned from the prisoner soldier to Caboose. A glass of chill water rested gently on the desk. The prisoner slowly reached out for it with a numbed mind. If I stay here any longer, I feel like he will kill off all of my brain cells.

The prisoner saw Muffins move from his spot walking closer. The Captain shut Caboose earning some gratification from the prisoner. However that gratification quickly turned to fear when Muffins drew his gun. "Alright so here is what is happening. I'm tired of this blue man talk you go dumb dumb routine ja? So I just feel like shooting you now. Which knee do you choose?"

"Well if I had to choose, I would pick my right foot over a knee. But I don't want to be shot."

"Too bad, I am the captain of this ship. What I say goes."

"Find some compassion in your heart?" the prisoner asked in a squeamish voice only to hear Muffins disengage the safety. Mommy! The prisoner quickly raised his arms in front of him and began to speak in broken words. "P- Please, f- find yo- your heart!"

"Info or the bullet, your pick mumbling man," Muffins replied bringing the gun closer to the prisoner. The prisoner quickly nodded his head in submission. "Okay, um so the station specs, the base has several turret defenses on the surface. There are also a few energy cannon attachments. Most of the docks are protected by an energy shield on top of their physical defence."

"That's stupid, why not cover the whole station in the energy shield?" asked the Captain. The prisoner shook his head. "It doesn't work like that. We don't have enough energy and resources on the space station to power it for the whole base. So we only use it to protect the more vulnerable points."

"What more delicious words can you offer man of mumbles?" Caboose asked coming forward towards the table. The prisoner raised his arms in fear. "Please keep him away! My sanity hangs on by a thread, don't take it away from me!"

Now you know how I felt before, Muffins thought gently pushing Caboose back. The prisoner calmed a little defending himself. "L- Look, I already told you all that I know about the station's defenses."

"Ja it is appreciated," Muffins replied pulling out his gun again. Without hesitation, the good Captain shot the prisoner in his right knee. "Ow son of a bitch! And I said the right foot!"

"Knee, foot, same thing. Plus I be the Captain, so what I say goes," Muffins replied turning around to walk away. Caboose began to be freaked out at the sight of this grown man who was slowly breaking down into tears. "Y- Yeah I think I will just leave now as well."

"Captain," one of the ship mates called out just as he entered the ship's main deck. "The engines are ready to make the slip space jump. We only need the command."

"Fine, engage the portal engine thingy to make the jump!"

"Uh yes sir."

"Good good, now I believe I shall go have some sausage sauerkraut for a job well done. I love this job, shout random orders and eat food!" Muffins spoke to himself leaving the rest of the crew to wonder how he ever made it to the position of the Captain in the first place. Little did they know the terrible fate the last captain suffered at the hands of Muffins, and the dreaded lying cake, and death gas.