A Spartan III from Gamma Company managed to survive one of ONI's suicidal missions only to discover they didn't expect her to and had no plan for bringing her back. Now she's stranded far behind enemy lines and must work with her former enemies if she wants to get back home. This chapter just introduces the character.
For whoever may find this someday, my name is Jaimie G127. I am a Spartan III from Gamma company., the third company of Spartan IIIs to be trained after Alpha and Beta companies. Currently me and the remaining survivors of Gamma company are stranded far behind enemy lines in a badly damaged Covenant corvette class warship. Without a working slip space drive it'll take this ship a few hundred years to travel back to UNSC space, even at maximum impulse power but...
"Spartan G127, please, you must join the rest of Gamma company in cryogenic sleep. There is nothing you can do to change our situation by staying awake. I will look after the ship and make sure the Covenant won't find us and I will wake all of you up should the need arise," the artificial female voice of Io came from the speakers interrupting Jaimie as she wrote. "Trust me, you are in good hands."
"I hate cryo," Jaimie complained. She was the only member of Gamma company that was still awake. She spent her time talking to the company's very own A.I., Io, who kept nagging her to go into cryo.
"I am aware that many humans experience physical discomfort when undergoing the process, however, it is the only way you can prevent your body from aging and since there is no telling when the UNSC will come for us..."
"They're not going to come for us, Io," Jaimie interrupted the A.I. "We already discussed this. We're just gonna have to make our own way back. Even if it takes a few hundred years without a slip space drive..."
"Well then, all the more reason for you to..."
"Those pods aren't even meant for humans!" Jaimie protested.
"Based on the data in this ship's main computer the freezing process is exactly the same for humans and Elites. The cryogenic chambers might be a little big but you'll be fine G127."
"Look, I know I'm gonna have to do it eventually. I'm just trying to delay it as much as possible."
"I...cannot see the logic in that," said the confused A.I. "If you know you have to do it eventually and there's nothing else for you to do in the meantime..."
"I'm writing this aren't I?" Jaimie said feeling a little annoyed by Io's persistence.
"Spartan G127, you know what you are writing is classified information," Io reminded her. "And just who do you intend for that to be read by?"
Jaimie rolled her eyes and said, "Oh come on, Io. What are they gonna do? Demote me? They already left me to die."
...even if the UNSC knew about our predicament, there is nothing they can do to help us. We're way too deep in Covenant territory, and with Reach gone, all the remaining ships are protecting Earth. They probably won't sacrifice any ships to come rescue us. ONI didn't even expect us to survive this mission so they don't have a plan to bring us back either. All they care about is whether or not we destroyed their high value target. We did. We destroyed a massive Covenant's refit station and more than a hundred of their ships with a NOVA bomb. We waited for them at the extraction point for days but they never came. Finally we had to hijack a Covenant corvette. To prevent us from escaping the crew sabotaged the slip space drive before we killed them. We lost plenty of good Spartans in this mission but ONI was expecting all of us to die. We didn't because CPO Mendez, Tom, Lucy, and the rest of the drill instructors did an awesome job training us. But to ONI we have served our purpose and they no longer care about us.
Spartan IIIs are sent on suicidal missions to destroy high value targets which they succeed in doing only to be killed by an overwhelming pissed off Covenant right after. These missions are so difficult that even the best ODSTs have no chance of completing them. As for Spartan II's they're deemed far too valuable to send on suicide missions. So that's where we come in. We're not valuable, we're expendable super soldiers. If we die, like ONI expects us to, it doesn't really matter as long as we completed the mission. They'll simply replace us by training a whole new company of Spartan IIIs. That's what they did when Alpha company was completely wiped out in Operation PROMETHEUS and Beta company had only two survivors after Operation TORPEDO. Spartan IIIs are much easier to replace than Spartan II's. We're cheaper to train and equip and there's plenty of orphans in the colonies who would love to...
"Oh dear. ONI will not be happy with you for revealing all this information," Io interrupted her in her monotone voice causing Jaimie to snap.
"ONI is full of shit! ONI sends kids on suicide missions! ONI knew that Alpha was going to get massacred at operation PROMETHEUS! They knew the same thing might happen to Beta at operation TORPEDO but they sent them anyway because to them it was worth it! Tom and Lucy were only twelve when they saw their entire company get wiped out. That's why we're stuck out here in Covenant space. They don't have a plan to bring us back because they weren't even expecting us to survive! There's no way the UNSC would use their regular troops like this but because ONI are the only ones who know we even exist, no one says anything!
"Well let me tell you something, Io. I volunteered to become a Spartan so I could avenge my family, not to become ONI's expendable pawn. Got it?" she growled. She immediately felt embarrassed by her emotional outburst. Definitely not Spartan like. CPO Mendez taught her better than that.
"I know it seems extremely unethical to sacrifice soldiers, let alone children on missions such as these. But please bear in mind that there is a very real possibility that your species will become extinct before this decade is over. In the face of such a threat, ONI has no choice but to use such controversial tactics." As she said this her voice was completely devoid of any emotion or sympathy. Just what Jaimie expected from an A.I.
"So you agree with them? That's what you're saying? I'm just a pawn to you?" Jaimie asked angrily. She shook her head and sighed. "Of course you do. You're their A.I. You believe what they program you to believe. Right?"
"That's not true G127. In the past few days I have learned a great deal about you from our conversations. You are much more than a simple pawn. I have actually come to enjoy your company. I believe you are the first human that I consider a friend."
"Hmm. I didn't know 'dumb' A.I.s were capable of enjoying conversations and making friends," Jaimie said.
"I prefer the term, third generation, Spartan G127," the A.I replied.
"Aw, did I hurt your artificial feelings?" Jaimie mischievously teased. "And I prefer to be called Jaimie."
"You know I have no feelings, Jaimie."
"Yeah well, consider yourself very lucky," Jaimie told her. "You don't feel like total shit when you lose someone you care about. I personally witnessed my family die. Not once but twice." As she said this she sadly looked at the rest of Gamma company who were sleeping in the oversize cryo pods that were meant for Elites. Many of them were severely wounded and half the company was did not make it. Jaimie was the only Spartan that came out completely unharmed.
"I am very sorry about your team mates, Jaimie. They are truly heroes. And you are right, I do consider myself lucky in that respect."
Jaimie didn't say anything and went back to writing.
Since there's really nothing else for me to do except go into cryo with the hope that someone will eventually find us, I guess I'll use this time to write a little bit about myself. Yes, some of this material might be classified, as the ship's A.I. Io has already pointed out, but right now I really don't care about protecting ONI's secrets when they sent us on this mission with no plan for bringing us back.
Once again my name is Jaimie G127. I don't even remember the last name I used to have. I'm fifteen years old. Some of us in Gamma company are only thirteen and they'll still kick the crap out of any hardcore ODST thanks to their augmentations. And we all have a burning hatred of the Covenant for glassing our planet. So no, we don't think we're too young to fight. I volunteered to become a Spartan eight years ago when my home world Miridem was glassed by the Covenant. I will never forget the day they arrived on my planet.
I was seven. My best friend Amanda and her younger brother Todd were at my house. Since both their parents worked, and we were neighbors, they often stayed at my house until their parents came to pick them up later that evening. This one particular day though, we heard people screaming outside my house. So the three of us looked out and saw people looking up at the sky. So we looked too. That was the first time I ever saw a Covenant ship. Even though it was in space, it was so huge that I could still make out it's insect like shape.
"It was probably an assault carrier," Io commented. "They are more than five kilometers long."
I actually wasn't even scared. I didn't know what was about to happen. I didn't know that the aliens had glassed entire planets and killed billions of civilians. At seven, all I knew was that they were the 'bad guys' that we humans were fighting a war against. "Mom, Dad, look it's the aliens!" I shouted. The next thing I knew, my parents were rushing us into the car yelling at us the whole time to hurry up and not take anything with us.
I looked up at the sky and saw several streaks falling to the planet which looked just like shooting stars. Like a typical seven year old, I actually believed that if you saw a shooting star you could make a wish and it'll come true. So I wished that the UNSC fleet would 'kick the aliens butt.' It turned out those 'shooting stars' were actually orbital drop pods. They began landing Covenant ground forces all over town. As we drove I saw the aliens for the first time. Grunts and Jackals were firing indiscriminately at any man, woman, child, and vehicle they saw. Dead bodies were all over the streets including some of kids. It was the first time I actually saw dead people. I'd never even been to a funeral before.
All of a sudden I heard my mother scream, "Jaimie get down!"
I immediately complied as did Amanda and Todd. I heard the windshield shattering and my parents screaming as the Covenant opened fire on our car. Needle rifle projectiles can easily penetrate thin metal and glass. My dad must have died with his foot on the pedal because our car kept moving until we hit something, probably another car, and flipped over.
Everything after that is a little foggy. I do clearly remember Todd crying, begging his sister to wake up. I remember doing the same and to my parents too. But I don't remember even hearing the huge firefight going on outside between UNSC troopers and Covenant ground forces. Me and Todd just stayed their in the upside down car crying until after the battle was over when a trooper suck his head through the shattered window and saw that the two of us were still alive. He told us that there was nothing we could do for the other three and that if we wanted to live we needed to get off this planet fast. As he helped us out I was surprised to see so many dead bodies of Grunts and Jackals. Apparently the troopers had won this one. But it still didn't bring back my parents or Amanda. Amanda was only seven. Whatever was the Covenant's beef with humanity, she did not deserve to pay for it and neither did any of the other kids that were killed by the Covenant when their planets were glassed.
The troopers put me and Todd on a convoy carrying many other civilians. I held his hand tightly the whole time so we wouldn't get separated. As the convoy made it's way towards the last evacuation transports on Miridem we looked out the window and saw UNSC forces battling the Covenant. Several civilians began cheering and yelling in support of the marines and troopers that were giving their lives to buy us time to escape.
"The army and marines did put up an impressive fight on Miridem," Io remarked. "Ultimately, the Covenant was forced to retreat back to their ships and glass the planet from orbit."
"At least they got to deny the Covenant their pleasure of executing the people in person," Jaimie said bitterly.
As the civilian transports began taking off from the planet I had lived on my whole life, Todd looked at me with teary eyes and said he wanted his parents.
"Maybe they're on another ship," I told him optimistically.
After a series of random slip space jumps in accordance with the Cole Protocol, we finally landed in New Alexandria on Reach. There we watched as all the other civilians began finding and reuniting with their families who were on other transports. But no one was there for me and Todd. His parents did not make it off the planet.
"All we have left is each other," I said as I hugged him and we both cried. "I'll take care of you from now on, I promise."
"But what if the aliens come here too?" he asked.
"We'll go somewhere else then," I told him. But I didn't want to run away. I wanted to fight.
"Jaimie, I miss Amanda," the five year old sobbed. I told him I did too.
"This wouldn't be the same Todd as Spartan G128, would it?" Io asked suddenly.
Jaimie smiled and nodded. "Todd and I joined at the same time. That's why his Spartan number is 128 and mine is 127. Todd and I go way back." Every Spartan in Gamma company was her brother and sister but she was especially grateful that Todd didn't die in the last mission. He did get wounded though.
We spent the next month in an orphanage for children whose planets had been glassed. There were so many of them. I tried my best to protect Todd from being bullied by the older kids but sometimes I would get pushed around myself. Then one day a man came up to me. He told me that he was with the Navy. He asked me if I wanted to pay the Covenant back for everything they had taken away from me.
"You mean join the military?" I asked. "Isn't that only for adults?"
"Well, yeah. But if you want we can start training you right away. We can make you one of the best soldiers in the UNSC. You'll be so good, the Covenant's gonna be scared of you. You're gonna win the war for us. And you're gonna pay them back for killing your family. That's what you want right?"
This ONI slime-ball knew all the right buttons to push.
"There you go again with the ONI bashing."
"Io, enough! Can I please write my story without you interrupting?"
"But what about Todd?" I asked. "I'm all he has left. Who's gonna take care of him with me gone?"
"Wait, I want to be a soldier too!" Todd immediately pipped up.
"Todd, be quiet!" I snapped at him. But the guy from ONI asked him what his name was and to spell it. He then looked through his palm pad at the five year old's medical files.
"20/20 vision...good physical health...no medical problems, alright I think you'll do," he said with a smile. He obviously had a quota to meet and the more the merrier.
"But, but...he can't be a soldier!" I protested. "What if he dies? No! I won't let him!" I was a little loud and some of the social workers at the orphanage began looking at the man suspiciously.
The man sighed and got down on one knee so our height was equal. "Alright kid I'll tell you a little secret. But you have to promise me that you won't tell anyone. Otherwise we won't take you and you'll lose your chance. You're gonna keep your mouth shut about this right?" He looked at me warningly.
I nodded my head. He smiled and whispered in my ear, "We're gonna make you...into Spartans. You know what Spartans are right?"
I had heard of them before. In an effort to boost morale, the UNSC revealed the Spartan II's to the public and widely publicized their impressive record against the Covenant. But as a seven year old girl, I didn't really understand what they were, just that they were really good at killing Covenant.
"Aren't they like really good soldiers or something?"
The ONI laughed and said, "Oh they're much more than that, kid. Much more. You see, Spartans are...superhuman."
"Superhuman?" I asked confused.
"That's right. They can run really, really, fast. Much faster than any football player. And they're so strong they don't even need a weapon to kill the Covenant with. They can kill an Elite with their bare hands. You know what an Elite is right?"
I nodded. "The really tall aliens!"
"That's right. You're a smart little girl, aren't ya? And Elites are really strong too. Way stronger than a normal human. But not as strong a Spartan. But you know what the best part about being a Spartan is?"
I shook my head. He smiled even more creepily and said, "Spartans never die. They're just way too good. And you two can become just like them. The Covenant is terrified of Spartans because they've lost so many of their alien buddies to them. But of course, it's all up to you. I'm not gonna force you into anything you don't want to do."
I was skeptical. How could someone not die at all? "You promise?" I asked naively.
"I promise," he said trying his best to look sincere. "Spartans...never...die."
And that is how me and Todd became part of the Spartan III program at the ages of seven and five.
Jaimie put down palm pad and electronic pen.
"I'm sorry you had to experience all that at such a young age," Io said in her monotone voice.
Jaimie sadly nodded but didn't say anything.
"But I don't know why you would believe such a ridiculous lie."
"Because I was only seven," Jaimie replied. "Give me a break."
"Oh dear," Io said suddenly.
"What's wrong?" Jaimie asked.
"Slip space rupture detected."
Yeah she doesn't act very Spartan like but that's only because her superiors aren't around and the she's only talking to an AI. Kind of like how the Master Chief is very informal with Cortana. Also she's only fifteen which is the age most Gamma Company Spartans were when they graduated from Camp Currahee. Next chapter she meets the Arbiter.