Wolves among the Stars
"Forty-eight, forty-nine,fifty." Emile counted as he pulled himself up once more using the bar above his head. The exercise facility on the Hopeful had practically been his home for the last couple of days. He had at first focused on the physical therapy of his legs, but now he sought to push his strength to it's limit. Tough times were ahead and he would need to be prepared for whatever Kat and ONI had planned for Noble Team. "Excuse me?" Came a voice from the door. Emile paused between reps. There was a young lady in the doorway to the weight room looking very out of place among the training soldiers. Emile could tell she was nervous. Civilians were always awed or terrified of spartans, and his actions in the field did plenty of both. She was young had to be about sixteen. He felt like he had seen her before.
"Do I know you?" Emile asked somewhat rudely.
"I was at Visegrad." she stated recalling the memory. That was where Emile recognized her from."Sara, right?" He asked.
She was the daughter of the dead scientist from Visegrad relay. He started a new set of pull ups. "What are you doing here?" He asked a little annoyed from her interruption.
"I was looking for Jorge."She said. Emile paused briefly at the mention of his dead comrade. "Well he ain't here." he said motioning around him. "Is...Is he dead?" She asked nervously.
No shit sherlock... is what he wanted to say, but as he thought of his dead comrade. He thought of the oath he made after Jorges death. "I'll honor him my own way." he remembered "He uh..." Emile started. "He was good the last time I saw him."
"Oh," She said expecting a different answer. She pulled a letter out of her coat. "If you see him again. Could you give this to him." She extended the envelope and Emile had half a thought to tear it up in front of her. He was a spartan, not her personal delivery boy. But Emile sighed and took the envelope. "Sure," He said taking the note. "I'll get it to him."
"Thank you...For everything." She said gratefully before taking her leave.
He played with the envelope in his hands for a few moments, while he watched her leave the gym. When he was finally content that she was gone. He tore open the side of the letter. "Hope you don't mind big man." he said Jokingly to himself. He unfolded the letter amused at first as he read it's contents. Then thoughtful as he reached the middle. Finally deeply troubled as he came to the end. That's is why she was on the Hopeful. Emile dropped the letter and dashed out the door looking for the girl he wanted rid of only minutes ago. He had to stop her before it was too late...
"This is amazing Kat." Six said in awe examining the modifications to the ship. "You co-opted tech from Gungnir?" She smiled smugly. "It was nothing really. Just a few tweaks to the power supply and finding a place to mount it..." Six snickered a little. "It's funny, I don't even know the name of this thing and I can't wait to fly her."
"Her name is secret ONI project theta" Kat said trying(but clearly failing) not to brag. "But I like to call her Hrunting. Now stop drooling over her and get suited up."
"Hrunting? Where'd you get that?" Six inquired. While he started to put on his Mjolner leggings.
"In Norse mythology it was the sword that the epic hero Beowulf used to slay the monster Grendel." Kat replied.
"Clever." he commented putting on each of the 150 lb boots. When he went to put on his parafoil chest piece he saw something in the pile of armor on the floor.
"By the way," Six said handing Kat her magnum. "You dropped this back in New Alexandria."
"From when I-"She began to speak.
"Yeah." He cut her off, giving his full attention to attaching jump jet mjolnir sholders to his armor. He clearly wanted to avoid the subject.
"Thanks." She said holstering the pistol
"Anytime." he said plainly.
"Hey Six, can I ask you a question?" She inquired out of the blue.
"Sure." He replied attaching a navpad to his wrist
"What's your name?" She asked curiously.
"My name?" Six was caught off guard by the question.
"Yeah," Kat said. "Is it that hard of a question?"
"Well...no." Six started a little embarrassed. "But i'm not allowed to tell anyone my name, orders from ONI."
"Is ONI that paranoid?" She asked. "Or do you tell all the ladies that?" She joked.
"Well..," Six laughed nervously "let's just say there's a reason for all that black ink on my file"
"Come on. I won't tell" She berated him batting her eyes in a way that made Six chuckle.
"No." Six said amused by her persistence. "What's wrong with Six?"
"Nothing," She said. "I'm just curious."
"Well then," He paused to put on his CQB helmet. "Why ruin the mystery?".
This time it was her turn to laugh at that very cheesy line. "Ah well, I guess hyper lethal vectors have no names... just handsome faces." If her question caught him off guard, then that comment just sent him out of the airlock. "I, uh...what?" He had no idea in hell how he was supposed to respond to that.
Thankfully, he wouldn't have to.
"Kat this is Jeromi, we're set in the bridge, are you ready?" The voice came from the radio in the cockpit of Hrunting. Kat quickly answered the radio.
"Roger that Vice admiral we're ready to begin." She replied
"Alright spartans you are clear for take off." Jeromi acknowledged.
"Alright six, let's give Jeromi a good show." Kat said from the cockpit.
"Engaging thrusters." Six said.
Six pulled up on the throttle and Hrunting hovered above the ground sliding forward out of the gate. This was the moment he had been waiting for since he first saw this ship. He was so excited he was practically shaking.
"It's gonna take some time for you to get used to the controls Six," Kat said. "Try and take it-"
She was about to finish that sentence when her helmet slammed against the console in front of her. Six jerked Hrunting straight up before spiraling the ship down. Without waiting for her instruction he turned back towards the Hopeful eager to show off his skills. He swerved up and down the sides of the hopeful looping around and through the station displaying his tremendous skill as a pilot. "What was that about taking 'some time' to get used to the controls?" he yelled back to his co pilot.
"Glad, you're enjoying yourself Six, But how about you knock it off before you get us killed." Kat said clearly annoyed.
"Or damage my ship." Jeromi's voice piped over the intercom also very annoyed.
"Uh...sorry, it won't happen again sir." Six said a little embarrassed.
"Now let's get back to-" Kat started
"Please tell me this is a joke Kat." Six said suddenly and very alarmed.
"What are you talking about?" She asked. She looked over her console to find what he was talking about. On Noble Six's screen flashed four very large, very alarming words.
SLIP-SPACE RUPTURE DETECTED
"Vice-admiral are you seeing this." Kat's voice was dead-serious.
Jeromi's voice came over the radio. "Looks like you've got a bug in your software." Jeromi dismissed the message of imminent danger.
"I ran diagnostics before we took off." Kat countered "It's not a bug."
"It has to be." The Vice-Admiral argued. "The odds of a covenant ship jumping to our exact coordinates are astronomical."
"Sir, even if it is a bug I recommend the Hopeful ready weapons." Six suggested.
What Jeromi said next made his heart drop.
"This is a medical ship. We don't have any weapons."
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Emile yelled across the hallway at Sara.
"Walking..." She said confused.
"Shut up," He closed the gap between them. "I read your letter." He confronted her. The look on her face went from shock to anger.
"Seggfej," She tried to slap him but he caught her hand before it connected. "that was between me and Jorge!" She struggled against his grip but he wouldn't yield.
"Listen, if you were anyone else you wouldn't be breathing right now." He threatened. "Now answer my question! What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I want to become a spartan!" She burst out loud. "My father died for Reach, Jorge fought for Reach, this is the least I can do to honor them."
"Don't be stupid" Emile snarled at her. "Your not honoring them your pissin' on everything they died for."
There was a strange moment of silence."So you lied to me..." She realized. "Jorge is really-" She tried to choke back her tears but her eyes refused to stop the liquid from running down her face. Damn it He didn't mean to tell her that but he couldn't let up on her now.
"Stop cryin' and look at me" He demanded. "You're not good enough to be a spartan. You never will be. You can only honor your father and Jorge by getting somewhere safe and trying to live a normal life. Do you get that?"
She nodded utterly defeated.
"Do you have family that can take you in?" He more demanded than asked.
"Then the next time we dock get the hell off this ship and go to them." He commanded her. "If I see you on this ship after that. I will throw you out the airlock."
He turned to leave.
"It should have been you!" The words were thrust at his back like a dagger. He parried with a cold stare and she opted to retreat exhausted.
He wanted to hit something. Instead he just resolved himself to staring out of the window. "I'm sorry big man," He said seemingly to no one. "I've got to be evil to do good." He continued to stare off into space. When a fighter ship came dangerously close to the window he was standing in front of. He recoiled away. "The hell?" He said to himself. He watched as the ship pulled away from the station. He could tell it was UNSC but he hadn't seen this type of ship before.
Wait didn't Kat say something about a prototype she was testing? Before he could finish that thought a covenant cruiser jumped out of slip-space right in front of his eyes.
"Oh shit." Emile said aloud.
"Oh shit." Six said in the cockpit.
(Ok, it's been a while since I last updated. Sorry about that. I have been working on some other projects as well as this one. Just in case you don't know Sara (pronounced shara) is the girl Jorge found hiding in Winter Contigency. Her father was killed by the covenant. Which makes her a candidate for the spartan-III program. I would like to thank everyone for their reviews and support. No current ETA on the next chapter. But I can promise it's going to get intense. Hope you come along for the ride.)