"-orry" Mark said as he tumbled down the hall.
"Stop being sorry and get your ass down here!" A voice said resonating through the hallway.
"Ok" Mark said jumbling his papers in nervousness. The captain never wanted him, he was a lowly private.
"Ok sir, private." A very unamused captains voice lofted
"Yes sir" Mark said as he nervously walked down the faded grey hallway, which made him even more nervous.
Two years after the covenant, now the aliens called themselves The Remaining Coven for god knows why. Private Mark Caulfeild never actual participated in battle with the covenant, so he was constantly made fun of. For his first year of service, he was good. The problem with gaining ranks was, the war had already given them. You get promoted when you deserve it and they have a spot for you, not many spots to go around though.
Now might be his lucky break, but in people to people relations he had never been that good. Let hope for the best, Mark thought as he plunged into the room.
"Private, you are the only one on this ship, do you know why?" The captain asked before Mark could even completely enter the room.
"Depends sir" Mark said while at attention. This was Mark's problem, he was to smart for his own good and gave the correct answer, not the one the people wanted.
"Relax, give me the word you would say if you were not so nervous, the smart ones. I dont want the washed up answer people normally give." The Captain seemed pleased with Mark, for reasons he couldn't fathom.
Stuttering, Mark said "I think that all of the promotions have gone to all of the people who fought in the war, because they did some silly heroic deed." The words blurted out of his mouth.
Mark, now looking at the floor in embarrassment was not reprimand, which surprised him.
The Captain, who went by the name captain, looked at Mark and chuckled "See Solie, the effort paid of. We finally got a soldier with some brains." The captain said to the now forming AI.
Mark was surprised, embarrassed and happy with the complement. "Captain, can we just get to the point," said an upset AI. Mark thought to himself, They had a bet.
"Private, you are going to go solo, why? Well 'cause all the other crew are g******ed stupid, and we cant lose another hundred men to a trap again. Solie will be with you, other than that its just your rifle."
True, a few weeks ago there was a distress signal that was just some jackals wanting vengeance. "Another signal sir?" Mark said giving it a guess.
This time Solie answered. "Yes, but this one is odd and heavily encrypted. We are still waiting from the codes to come from the top brass, like the people who command everything to send them. Because we dont want to wait for a few years, we are sending you in"
Mark felt dejected, at first he was being praised, but now he was scrap. "Permission to speak freely sit?"
"Granted" The captain said eyeing the private.
"So basically I am being sent on a mission because I am expendable, and you praise me into thinking I am not." Mark said, upset. This was met bye silence from the AI, and a dumbfounded captain.
"Oh" was all he could say.
Solie decided to be nice. "Hah! I won the bet. Told you it wouldn't work."
Mark guessed that Solie had bet something along the lines of he would figure out how much exactly the captain thought of him. "Well private, you got me. The only thing is, your still going on the mission."
"Fine sir" Mark was now feeling a bit better now that he had the ships AI on his side.
"be in the docking bay in 3 hours, ready to go. Ready to suit up" The captain gave his orders, and it was time to move.
Time to go. Mark said, as he slithered out of the room with Solie giving him happy looks. Odd, he thought to himself.
"Chief! Chief!" Cortana said worriedly.
Looking around John said, "Were still in space."
"No duh Chief! Now I need you to let me control you armour to put in upgrades to my system! Six years and 355 days old! I only need a few seconds! I already figured it out."
Surprised, John got out of the Cryo bay and stretched his muscle while saying "Fine".
Taking control of his armour, Cortana manoeuvred his hand around a computer console and withdrew some chip thing. John had no clue what it was. After some serious meddling with the computer, Cortana was done. "Good, now lets deal with the ship coming to us."
"What!" was the only reply.
Moving himself along the ship he grabbed the transmitter, and Cortana said "It broke, I have a better idea. Put me in your armour chief."
"Yanking" John said as he pulled out Cortana's chip from the computer and put it in his helmet.
"Back in the good 'ol armour eh chief" Cortana asked smugly.
"Guess so," Was Johns unemotional response. "Lets move."
"Wait, sit down. using your armour's generator to broadcast." Cortana said, looking at him in an odd way john did not understand. Looks like Halsey's motherish look, Johns thoughts began to wonder.
"This is Cortana, any UNSC personell on your ship?" Cortana said from the armour.
"Cortana? The AI with Master Chief?" A rumbling laughter came through the link. "You have no Idea how many people have claimed to be her missy, but-"
The voice was interrupted "Cortana, state your status and personell with your pass code." A female AI said.
"Solie?" Cortana asked hopefully.
"The one and only sister, you have the chief?" Solie said, cheerful to speak with another AI.
"Yep, can you send a transport? Chief's Oxygen supply is low." Cortana said, speaking for chief. She was better at interacting then him.
"Su-" Interrupted "Solie, just because your an AI doesn't mean you can replace me when speaking!" A very angry captain said.
Smugly Cortana said "Rank and name soldier"
"Just cause you should know, I go by the name C-a-p-t-a-i-n so dont call me anything other. Right of a captain." Said an annoyed captains voice.
"Just so you should know, I go by the name C-o-r-t-a-n-a so dont call me anything other. Right of a Two star general." Said a very smug and amused AI. Never mess with Cortana.
"Actually honorary four star!" Solie burst in, laughing her head off. Well artificial one anyway. The joys of being a smart clone AI.
"So soldier, send a ship." Cortana paused, to inspect her nails, Why? "Also, If Solie is not given the same respect as me, you will be in deep shit." Cortana said this in a tone saying, give me bullshit and you die.
"Yes ma'am" A now enraged captain said to a very smug general. Cutting the connection, the captain muttered "F***ing b****"
"I heard that!" shrieked Solie, "To bad Cortana will know!" Solie proceeded to send Cortana the details into Chiefs helm.
"Mark, Me and sis just completely enraged the Captain, I have the protection of a four star general! Now get to the dead ship, while Mr. Capy gets the crew ready to meet Chief and Cortana!" A very excited AI blurted loudly into Mark's com.
"Ow, ok I will hurry up! I am just moving to the ship." Clang! Ouch, that would hurt the ship. Locking the cockpit to make it Airtight he said to Solie "Get them on!"
"Ok!" Solie was seriously excited. "There on"
Without waiting any longer Mark said, "Sealing, Autopilot to home." After hitting the right buttons on the Pelican he went back to the Chief.