Chapter 2: An Old Face

Sarge woke up earlier than usual today. He haunted the halls determined to keep their flag safe so they will no longer have to submit themselves to the embarrassment that is kisses and ribbons. He came up atop the rooftop to the brisk feeling of the cool morning air. Yet in that cool air, there were already hints of yet another hot day ahead of them. Sarge looked down from the blue base towards their Warthog. Another early bird was busy with diligent efforts on the machine.

"Lopez," Sarge called out. "How good it is to see you in the morning."

"[Great, now my day will be bad.]"

"Yes, it is a wonderful morning isn't it?"

Lopez was beyond the point of annoyance and simply continued to work on the vehicle. Sarge walked back down from the roof and out to the jeep. "It is good to see that at least one member of red team is so dedicated in the morning."

"[Please go away before I rig your shotgun to backfire the next time you use it.]"

"Yes, it is a beautiful sunrise," Sarge noted looking towards the rising sun. "What an astounding sight."

Lopez suddenly detected a new signature on their radar and stood up to observe the blue soldier. Tucker was out and about on his morning jog. Sarge raised his shotgun at the aqua soldier. "What are you doing here blue?"

"Oh nothing," Tucker answered trying to seem as innocent as possible. Lopez stood in between the two pleading for the aqua soldier to take Sarge away. "[Please take the crazy old man far, far away from me.]"

"Lopez," Tucker stopped moving his legs from all the built up energy he had inside. "I don't speak Spanish man, in fact most of us don't. So stop talking to me like I would understand, or switch to English or something."

Lopez just lowered his head and walked away. "[I guess the time to plan the next robot rebellion grows near.]"

"Why are you really here?" Sarge brandished his weapon even closer to an already uncomfortable Tucker. The aqua soldier held up his hands in surrender. "I already told you Sarge, I usually go around the canyon for a morning jog. Actually Wash makes us all do it."

"Why isn't Caboose or that hussy with you?"

"Oh well um…," Tucker rubbed the back of his helmet and looked to his left. He suddenly pointed to a mountain. "Hey is that someone writing in paint that red team sucks?!"

"What?! Where?!"

Tucker immediately broke free from Sarge's line of sight and ran into red base. "Psyche!"

"Oh darn it! Fell for the old distraction trick," Sarge ran into the base behind Tucker who was running up to the roof of the base. He ran through the teleporter and Sarge followed. They came out in the middle of the canyon. Tucker sped up towards the blue base as Sarge gave chase. Sigma appeared besides Tucker and noticed the situation. "It seems that the plan was somewhat of a success. Still not the level of efficiency I calculated to be optimal. Also, black doesn't look that bad on you Captain Tucker."

"Sometimes you have to improvise."

Caboose poked his head out from above blue base and pointed his rifle at Sarge. "Fear me for I am the overlord of blue base!"

"Caboose, keep down the racket!" Wash's voice echoed from inside the base in agitation as he stirred awake. Washington rubbed the back of his neck and put on his helmet. What is going on out there? He exited the room with his rifle stored behind and the morning grogginess taking over. He suddenly came to a stop at Tucker's quick warning. "Woah, hey watch out!"

Washington stood both surprised and impressed. "Well, gotta hand it to you Tucker. I didn't think you would go through with your plan to steal their flag today."

"He hasn't stolen it yet," Sarge took out his shotgun and did his best to catch his breath. "I'm still here."

Washington shook his head. "Don't worry. We won't be keeping it today."

"We won't?" Both Tucker and Caboose asked in unison. Washington looked from his teammates back and forth. "No we won't. Today we will be spending the whole day planning out a schedule for future inventory and base management. I have noticed from our recent reports that efficiency is declining."

"That's boring," Tucker complained as Caboose agreed. "Can't we just keep on stealing their flag and keep on doing what we have been doing?"

Wash crossed his arms, a hint to Tucker that Washington was in his serious mode. Tucker turned around and dropped the flag at Sarge's feet. "Fine, take it."

"Ah ha! I win!" Sarge shouted as he ran back with the flag in his hands. "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

By the time the red leader had gotten back to base, he was completely out of breath. As he placed the flag back on the flag holder, he took a moment to rest. Theta appeared around Sarge's head sliding on his skateboard. "That was fun Sarge, we should do that every morning!"

"We should not," the older man noted as he stretched his neck. The muscle cracked and left a satisfying feeling of relief. Everyone in red base stirred awake at the intrusive new sound thundering through the skies. They all ran out with the blues already staring up at the sky in curiosity.

"Can't a man get his sleep in this canyon?" Grif asked agitated as he rubbed the back of his helmet and his stomach together. He let out a fairly loud yawn but stopped midway upon seeing a UNSC pelican descend towards them. Great, what now? Wash pondered as he looked towards the blues and told them to be ready. Sarge ordered his team to run back and get their weapons ready.

It was only a matter of minutes before the ship landed and the bay doors opened. The Blood Gulch Crew kept their weapons pointed towards the Pelican with great many questions running through their minds. But the one that bugged them the most was, who could it be that would come out here to this middle of nowhere canyon?

"Hello my Blood Gulch hommies! Guten Tag!"

They all nearly dropped their rifles at the voice. Oh no, was all that ran through their minds, the crazy is here. Muffins stepped out of the ship and stretched his limbs. "So good to be out of that stuffy old Pelican ja. Plus I think someone farted on the way here, it was the very bad kind of gas in case you are curious."

Grif pointed at Muffins. He looked at the German Captain and then back to his team. He tried to say something, but he was speechless. Muffins was overjoyed to see this. "I didn't know you missed me that much!"

Everyone felt their mouth drop wide open. How, why, what, huh? They all needed a minute to sit down. Washington raised a rather twitchy finger at Muffins and asked. "How is it that you are still a walking free man considering everything you did before? How could the UNSC just let you off the hook for willingly destroying their very expensive and valuable property?"

Muffins leaned in close to the Agent and whispered. "I have connections, very important connections at that. I am loaded baby!"

Muffins looked towards the red and let out a loud laughter. "Also, that was quite an entertaining scene yesterday Sarge."

"What?" Sarge was confused as he saw the German Captain continuously laugh heartily. "You mean you were here all this time?"

"Ja, just got here yesterday."

"Why didn't you come down here yesterday then?! It sure would have saved me some embarrassment!"

"It was just too funny to ruin the moment," Muffins replied with a snicker. Caboose came forward with an innocent look about him and asked. "So, what are you doing here man that is named like a delicious treat?"

"I came to inform you all that I have begun my journey to conquer the galaxy."

"Conquer it as in?" Donut looked all around wondering what would come out next from Muffins' mouth. They could never tell what he would do next. Muffins held up a finger in determination and confidence. "I shall conquer it as its fuhrer of course!"

Muffins then walked back and forth from the reds to the blues. "To that effect, I have come here with the recruitment train, choo-choo! Yay!"

"Not interested," Grif replied turning around to walk back to bed. Tucker agreed. "Yeah man, it just seems like too much trouble."

The rest agreed one by one before Washington stood before Muffins. "Anything else?"

"Are you sure you all don't want to come with me? We got biscuits and tea up above."

"The answer is still no," Sarge answered as he turned around to walk away. Just as Caboose was being dragged away, he suddenly stopped at the new offer Muffins proposed. "If you all come with me, there will be cake to be had."

"Don't listen to him, the cake is a lie!" Sister shouted from behind the group. For once we actually agree on something raging insane girl, Wash pondered as he shook his head at the offer. Muffins hardened his gaze towards the Agent and pointed up at the sky. "That is a shame ja. I really wanted to cruise and conquer the galaxy with my hommies. But now I can't afford to leave empty handed without some sort of victory."

"What are you talk-…," Wash's mouth dropped wide open at the gargantuan shadow encasing the canyon in darkness. The whole canyon crew stopped mid-track to look up in awe and worry. Muffins wore a wide smile and said. "Time to begin the games ja!"

A/N: So comes another old face into the picture frame :). How do you all like it so far?

I thought to start this story off with something more like Blood Gulch material with chapter 1 and a bit of chapter 2.

Feed back is always appreciated! :D

Thank you for taking the time to read, I always appreciate your readership. Thank you to those who took the time to comment/review.

Catch you all in the next chapter!

~ Monty