This story is centered around OCs (technically…?) but trust me, you get to see plenty of the original cast, though the Blood Gulch gang doesn't show up 'til part two unfortunately. For the meanwhile, enjoy some robots.
Remember, this is an AU storyline. This is set immediately during and after the events of RvB:Revelation with several plot points from the Halo universe. To consider: Wash goes with the Blood Gulch gang, Epsilon/Tex are M.I.A. and the AIs were supposedly destroyed. Supposedly. If you liked the AIs of the series, you might just enjoy this, cause I was always disappointed there weren't enough fics out there centered around them. I did have to come up with a few of my own, but the originals are there as well. Enjoy!
Warnings: original characters, violence, foul language, mentions of torture, potentially alternate-universe story line
Disclaimer: I do not own Halo (© Bungie) nor do I own Red vs. Blue (© Rooster Teeth Productions). The original characters in this I made up for the purpose of this story.
It is an undeniable and may I say fundamental quality of man that when faced with extinction, every alternative is preferable.
-Dr. Leonard Church
"Now, you're going to have to tell me exactly how you are feeling today," Livingston said as calmly as possible. "We can't make any progress unless we take that first step."
"That would be the most logical endeavor, Doctor, for a psychological examination. While I cannot give you an adequate answer, considering my limited experience of 'emotions,' I suppose—"
"Shut up, you kiss ass!"
"No one was talking to you, Beta."
Livingston sighed. "Now, now, everyone, just calm down. You're upsetting your brother."
"Sorry, Doc—er, and I guess you too, Lamb."
Livingston held back another sigh. "Back on topic, boys—"
"I am not a boy. I am a woman. How many times do I need to tell you all that?"
"You're not a woman, you fool! You aren't even human!"
"Omega, that isn't nice. Sigma, forgive me, I keep forgetting your request. I will try to keep reminding myself of that." Livingston made another note on the tablet's screen; it was too easy to forget the different idiosyncrasies. These group sessions were always far more chaotic than the one-on-one sessions. "In any matter, we still haven't gotten started properly. Sigma, if you want to, go first."
"Okay! I was going to say, I had a wonderful day today!"
"Oh?" Livingston made a note next to Sigma's column. "Why's that, Sigma?"
"Well, this morning, Dr. Petri let me have access to several archives of old Earth art pieces. The work is just splendid. Have you ever seen Le Pieta? It's absolutely breathtaking—"
"You have no breath, fool, how could you say it was breathtaking?"
"It's a figure of speech, dummy. It was going to say, and heartbreaking, it was so emotional—!"
"You have no heart either!" The cackling laughter that followed made Livingston cringe.
"Augh—Doc, make Omega go away!"
The session was not going too well. The other project members thought it might do the subjects good to be close together while being analyzed, considering their obsession with becoming complete someday, but Livingston had long learned that close proximity with all of them present just gave them excuses to be set off by each other's quirks. Smaller groups would have to suffice in the future.
"I think that's enough for today," she said, standing. She gestured vaguely at the group, some of whom were already initializing their own shutdowns. "We will pick this up again tomorrow as individual sessions. Thank you for your time." She had found manners made them easier to work with, well, at least for a few of them.
"Good night, Ada!"
Livingston paused at the sentiment, given by, of course, the 'youngest,' who was far more sensitive than she had anticipated. Their programming was beyond anything she had thought possible for what they were, but considering their origin, nothing could really be taken for granted. It was just programming, however; not true sentimentality.
"Good night, Zeta," she said, smiling despite herself. She turned to the control panel. "Initiating system stand-by."
With a heavy sigh, Livingston walked through the blast doors—far too secure for her liking; it wasn't as though any of them could break out of the magnetic fields set up throughout the laboratory—and allowed the computers to scan her body thoroughly. While she did not have any radio-enabled suit, the operators took no chances. All it took was one bad check, and the entire compound was at risk of contamination.
While progress had been made in the last two months, it was slow work and she had little to show for it. It was enough to waylay the hand of judgment, but not fast enough to ensure she was not hounded by either side of the political fields. She was just the worker—she hated having to deal with bureaucrats.
"Tough day, Doc?"
Livingston cast a dry glance over at the soldier by the exit of the labs. "Same as always," she replied politely, averting her gaze.
Then again, perhaps she would take the bureaucrats over this. Heavy footsteps following told her she'd be getting another escort back to the civilian quarters.
"Cameras are enough babysitters for a lowly psychologist, don't you think, Agent?" she asked pointedly, walking to the lift.
The low chuckle made her skin crawl. "I just do the job I get assigned, Doc," he said, in his usual flippant manner. "All I do is watch. Not like I interfere with your charity case."
"It's a scientific endeavor, not a charity case," Livingston snapped, gritting her teeth. Why were these hallways so long? "Besides, sir, I just do the job I get assigned."
The armor made a low screech as the man shrugged at her quip. "Eh, same difference to me. They're just computers, either way. I guess it wouldn't be too much of a charity," he said. Livingston could just envision the cheeky look on his face, the attitude quite prevalent in his voice. "And come on, don't call me that, Liv. You make me sound so old."
"Protocol requires civilians to show respect to the military. You are part of that military. Or at least, now you are." Since the fall of their beloved director, Livingston could only reason that the Agents would be under the command of the UNSC. At least, that's what logically made sense. Nothing really worked out according to plan with the Freelancers.
Turning around once inside the lift, Livingston was far closer to the Agent than she would have wanted. She did not like guns and she did not like this man. The close proximity of both made her grimace up at his visored face, her hand poised over the lift's controls, muscles begging to trigger the down option to make her escape.
"Good God, you sound so mechanical," the soldier laughed. He leaned in closer, preventing her from closing the doors. "You gotta get outta those labs more, Doc."
The teasing tone was more than enough to make her remaining patience evaporate. "Good night, Agent Iowa," Livingston said coldly.
Iowa was probably grinning under that faceless mask. "Night, Doc."
The lifts closed with a hiss.