So here it is, the second, rewritten addiction* of Spartan Vacation! Thanks to all you guys that have followed and faved this story, I hope I can continue to make you laugh or at least think about smiling! Arigatou very much to Cmdr. Gen. Marasco for all your help!
* I was editing this and saw that typo. . .WHICH I AM SURE YOU ALL NOTICED. I laugh at my own mistakes.
The red van slid, skidding across the snow and ice covered road and into the mountainside. Clumps of snow fell and thudded on the hood and ceiling of the van, denting the red vehicle. Emile swore, rolled down his window, and leaned out of it, trying to observe the damage. Shrugging, he sat back down, put the van in reverse, and laid on the gas. The wheels turned and whirred, but the car didn't budge. "Jorge. We're stuck. Again.", Emile called back to the larger Spartan, who was wedged in the very back of the van, among everyone's luggage. That was the only place he could fit.
Jorge sighed, thrust open the back door of the van, and climbed out for the third time. He braced his feet, digging into the ice with his heels. Before closing the back of the van, he said, "Carter, you're the best driver here, and I don't know why Kat isn't navigating." Kat and Carter both sighed simultaneously. They had been trying to avoid their leadership roles since they were on vacation, but it looked like that was just not going to happen.
Carter and Kat exited the van, walked up to the front doors, and threw them open. Carter jerked his thumb backwards, ordering, "Okay, you two, get in the back. Kat and I are taking over." Emile scowled, glaring at Carter, but he stepped out of the van. Before he loaded into the middle row of seats, he gave Carter the 'I'm watching you' sign for no particular reason.
With Carter behind the wheel and Kat operating the GPS, all of Noble could finally relax. Emile and Jun sat in the middle row of the van, their legs crowded behind the front seats. Thom and Rosenda sat in the back seats, watching the movie that was playing on the fold-down screen in the front—Soul Surfer, about a girl who lost her arm and was trying to get back into surfing. "I admire her perseverance.", was all Rosenda said about it.
Behind the van, Jorge shut the door, slamming it down a little harder than he meant to, making the whole car rattle. He grabbed the underside of the car, and pulled as hard as he could. With a sudden lurch, the van came unstuck, and Jorge rolled it back onto the road, letting go and leaving the rest to Carter, who turned and got the van facing in the right direction.
The engine revved and Carter tore down the road, leaving Jorge in the snowy dust thrown up by the wheels. Jorge swore, then cried, waving his hands in the air, "Commander! Where are you going?! I'm not in yet!"
He concentrated all his power and concentration on running and not falling. In the review mirror Carter saw Jorge racing towards the van, "He's gaining on us!"
"Lay on the speed, Commander!", Jun yelped fearfully.
"Petal to the metal, sir!", Emile yelled.
"Okay, okay, that's enough. We're never going to get to Seattle at this rate.", Carter sighed and slowed down the van, just enough that Jorge could catch up. He opened the back of the van, and climbed in, banging his head on the ceiling.
"Heh. Thought you were gonna leave me back there.", Jorge said good-naturedly, shifting the luggage around so he could fit better.
The GPS said, "Keep to the right. . ."
"Keep to the right. . ."
"Keep to the right. . ."
"Shut up, lady.", Carter snapped, taking the exit right.
"Are we there yet?", Jun moaned, carsick. In his hand he held a paper bag, feeling like vomiting every time Carter turned. "And I thought I was gonna die when Emile was driving."
"Want to play cards?", Jorge offered, his shoulders sticking far above the back seat, "It will take your mind off it."
"How about a gun? And a bullet. Right here.", Jun poked himself between the eyes.
Jorge shrugged, "Guess I'll play solitaire."
Carter pulled up next to a pay station. For the last hour the trees had been disappearing, slowly being replaced with houses and stores. While the area they were in now was very urban, trees still dotted the city.
"Alright. . .I need a ferry ticket.", Carter spoke with the man in the pay station, and after getting his ticket he drove up and got into the line of cars for the ferry.
"It's about another hour across the water.", Kat told them, looking up from her data pad, "Hmmm. Several hundred years ago there was a ferry called the 'Walla Walla'. Its engines blew up."
"That instills confidence.", Thom piped up.
Dusk was falling, and LED lights came on, blinding the Spartans augmented eyes. "Augh! It's like an anti-Spartan weapon!", Jun cried.
After a few minutes, the Spartans followed the other cars, and parked in a line on the ferry. They were on the bottom deck, closest to the water. Across the water, glittering and beautiful, sat the city Seattle. A huge ferris wheel flashed with emerald green lights, and the patterns were reflected in the water, rippling and changing. Noble Team stood there, just watching the wheel's colors and patterns changed.
"Well, while you guys are out here staring at stuff like a crow at tin foil, I'm going inside.", Emile waved his hand in the air, turning away and walking up the thin stairs.
"Let's go then.", Carter led Noble to the same stairs, and they proceeded up, one at a time. Jorge came in last, and banged his head on the top of the door frame.
"Ouch." Jorge said calmly, rubbing his forehead. He tried to go through the door again, but he was to wide. Sighing, he turned sideways and proceeded up the stairs like a crab. When he finally got to the top, he nearly hit the ceiling with his head.
"JORGE!", Jorge turned in the direction of the voice, "JO~RGE! Come here, quick!" Thom yelled, frantically waving his hands in the motion that meant 'Come quick!'. Jorge went into action—zooming up to Thom, surveying the area. . .there didn't seem to be anything wrong.
Puzzled, Jorge looked down at the smaller Spartan, "What's wrong?"
"There's a snack bar!", Thom cried excitedly, "Come on! My future is coming on!", Thom rubbed his hands, grabbing a tray and stepping in line.
"Not hungry, L.T.?", Emile asked, sitting down on the bench next to Kat.
"No. Interesting. I've hacked the city's records. . .Looks like that wheel you like so much used to be called 'The Great Wheel'."
Emile munched on some chips, "That's stupid.", then, looking at a chip, "These things taste like everything I have ever eaten in an MRE prepared, mixed together, then freeze dried and salted."
Kat nodded, taking one for herself, "Without all the nutrients."
Carter sat down next to Kat, but there wasn't enough room for all the Spartans at the table, so Jorge, Rosenda and Thom sat at a table adjacent to them. Jorge's legs wouldn't fit under the table without it lifting up a foot, so he decided to go to the bow and look at the water.
Jun and Thom debated what was the best, least-nutritious civilian food they were eating, and Rosenda sipped a coffee.
On his side of the bow, Jorge was alone. There were two arms of the bow that people could stand on, the only connection the inside of the ship. Jorge walked back inside, and went through the other double doors (Thank goodness I can fit—OUCH!) to speak with whoever was on that side of the bow.
"Hullo.", Jorge leaned on the railing next to the girl. She was tall—for normal people. But Jorge towered over her, and she was startled that when she turned to see him where his face would normally have been was his abs.
"Uhm, hello.", she said nervously.
"You live here?", Jorge tried to start a conversation.
"Um, only for a little more than a year. But I've been here before."
"You like it here?"
"Yeah.", the girl answered. She looked older than she probably was, with hair cropped short around her head and strong legs.
"You must be cold.", Jorge motioned to her legs, she was wearing shorts.
"No, not really. I'm used to it. You?"
"Hm. It is even colder where I came from. I guess I'm used to it too.", Jorge smiled at her, scratching his beard.
"'Came from'? You don't live here then?", she asked.
"Nope. I came from the planet Reach.", Jorge answered woefully, somewhat homesick.
"Oh, that military planet. Um, what's your name, again?"
"Jorge.", Jorge introduced himself, "What about you?"
She seemed to hesitate, but after a moment she said, "Yume." Jorge grabbed her hand, gripping it too hard and shaking it a little quickly.
"Nice to meetcha. Why don't we go inside and get something to drink? We can talk a bit.", Jorge offered.
"Um, that's nice of you, but I can't afford to get anything.", Yume said shyly.
"Then I'll pay for you.", Jorge grabbed her shoulder and steered her towards the double doors that spilled light onto the deck.
Yume and Jorge sat at a table together, Jorge sitting sideways on the bench so he would fit. "You are really tall. . .", Yume observed. Not only that but he was incredibly muscular, even though his hair was graying.
Jorge nodded. "I'm a Spartan II." Jorge didn't see much wrong with sharing the information. This poor young girl that couldn't but her own drink couldn't even touch the tip of his nose if she stood on her toes. She wasn't that small—he was that big.
Yume scoffed, and replied, "Yeah, and Robert Downey Junior was a virgin." Jorge looked hurt, and as Yume got a better look at him—the scars, his muscles, his tired face—she decided it was possible. "Oh, really? Please don't kill anyone."
"Spartans don't kill their own."
Jorge scratched his beard. "Do you know the city well, Yume?"
"Well enough. Actually, yes. I know it like the palm of my hand.", she answered seriously.
"Me and my team are here for a while for a—leave. We've never been here on earth, so what if we paid ya to lead us 'round a bit?", Jorge offered.
Yume pointed to herself, "Me? You sure?"
Jorge nodded, then stood and led her to the rest of Noble Team.
"You're all so. . .big."
So what did you think? I am open to suggestions and criticism.