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September 23rd, 2553
Unknown Sector of Space
UNSC Broken Destiny.
Jastis sat in his seat while he read over to the classified email he got from Parangosky, he hated reading it, normally he wouldn't mind reading over any other email, but when it came from Parangosky, it took it much longer. She was as Spook as you could possibly get with being ONI without being a ghost. While it may have been ONI who assigned the SPARTAN-II Project, Jastis found himself more aligning with the UNSC on most occasions. Granted, ONI and the UNSC were both part of the same overall organization, he didn't overly like the secrecy that was with ONI.
With how they reacted to the recent insurrections, and the Sangheili splinter groups, he wasn't too happy and he was finding it hard to come to the fact that he was ordering the UNSC Broken Destiny around. A Spartan leading more than just another team of Spartan's but also regular soldiers and even some Sangheili...
Then there was the Spartan IV's... How skeptical he was of them, recruited soldiers, and some Spartan III's who got converted over. He wanted to see he how they would react, and do in combat, but this was a simple mission back to Reach. His home, well second home. While most couldn't remember his original home world, he could, and it was Earth.
He began to read the email.
OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGANCE PRIORITY TRANSMISSION
ENCRYPTION CODE: OMEGA
SUBJECT: NEW MISSION
CLASSIFICATION: RESTRICTED (XXX-XD DIRECTIVE)
Your mission is to go to Reach and oversee the Renewal Operations there, and stop any insurgents that may attack due to the UNSC presence in the area. But most importantly, this is the test of the Broken Destiny's capabilities. As you know it is smaller than the Infinity and we hope that this will allow it to speed up construction if working properly.
As I disagree with the notion of a cross-species team, your team is crucial to your mission, we can't risk an international incident over the death of some Sangheili. Spartan, do your job correctly, or we will both pay for this. Halsey will hear the screams of her Spartan.
That last line made Jastis slams his hand against the table, being in his MJOLNIR armor, made a notable dent in it. "Damn, Parangosky that bitch."
He stood up, he couldn't fail, he knew the costs, even if it was a simple mission, Parangosky didn't like failure. But he was a Spartan; did she even see him as a human or just a tool? Shaking his head to try and get the thought out, he left his office.
Just walking in the hallways it was clear that this was new ship with new technology. The walls were sleek, and had a futuristic aura about them rather than the blocky look that they originally had and it was painted white as opposed to the standard grey. As he went down the hallway making his way to the main deck he saluted at marines and engineers as they went by.
"Going to the deck, Jastis?" Spoke a female voice in his helmet. It was the onboard AI, Marsiani, who looked like a reporter back in the 21st century and had glasses, which was sort of odd for an AI.
"Affirmative, going to meet with Captain Nassa, it's about time we get a start on this mission." Jastis responded back to the AI.
"So, the mission is to Reach?" She spoke, and Jastis stopped in place.
"How did you-"
"Know? I read it while you took your sweet time getting around to doing so."
Jastis shook his head. "Just like you Marsiani."
Eventually he made his way to the Main Deck, where Captain Nassa was commanding around the workers on deck. Nassa was a younger Captain, comparable to Miranda Keyes some would say. She noticed him walk in and she spun her chair around and faced him.
"This new deck is amazing, much better than our frigates. I actually can sit down."
Jastis wanted to laugh but he kept things professional. "We got our exact mission, we're to go to Reach and make sure the Renewal Project comes as planned."
Her eyes widened. "Reach? Haven't been there since it fell, though I wasn't a Captain at that time, still in training. Luckily I survived that battle..."
Despite his visor, she noticed he was glaring at her, then she realized why. A good amount of Spartans were lost there, such as Noble Team, and various marines. "Sorry, about that Spartan, I will get this moving soon. Should be able to move out in the hour, we just got some last checks to make."
He nodded and left the deck, where Nassa sighed as the door closed behind him. She always felt like she was saying the wrong things about Spartans when they're nearby, or anyone for that matter. A bad habit of hers. "Marsiani?" She spoke and the projection of the AI appeared over a small blue circle next to her chair.
"Yes, Captain Marsiani?" The AI spoke cheerfully.
Nassa tilted her head towards the AI. "Begin to run diagnostics, and begin prepping the new FTL drives, I want it to be primed on time and make the right calculations. I am still not trusting much of these new Forerunner FTL drives."
"I shall do that now." The AI said as they vanished.
The newly developed Forerunner FTL drives, they made portals similar to The Portal made on Earth during the war, it is supposed to be faster, and improved in all areas. But she was skeptical, and wanted to make sure that they had no incident to speak of during their time in slip-space. Hopefully nothing would go wrong.
Fastina nar Nushia
September 28th, 2191
Even after coming to the Citadel almost two years ago, she was still amazed by its size and structure. Unlike most Quarian's who went to live on Rannoch after the war with the Reapers, Fastina was an odd one out, she didn't care much for Rannoch. Instead she opted to move to the Citadel to experience other cultures and explore options.
After the war, the Quarian's gained a little of respect after the final battle to take back Earth, so they were just considered thieves anymore and didn't have to go around thinking someone was going to accuse them of something. It was relaxing to know that her race had not only achieved peace with the Geth, and gained back Rannoch, but that more people weren't looking down at them anymore. They had finally proved themselves.
There was also another odd part about her, she was technological impaired compared to her other Quarian's and could fix a gun, an engine, or even a sink to save her life. She only knew how to work things. Thus life on the flotilla and on Rannoch was surrounded by people mocking her, her parents tried to help but they didn't understand. Thus she ran, and she hadn't had contact with them in over two years.
Now she was looking for a job on the Citadel, but she hadn't yet found out what she was good for, and for the past two years all she had done was float around from one job to the next.She leaned across the Presidium Common's railing.
What was she to do?
A krogan was at the bar, laughing uproarously as another contender passed out from drunkeness. His sheer size seemed to amplify his rough voice.
"HAHAHAHAH! Looks like I win again! NOBODY can outmatch Urdnot Paynor, on OR off the battlefield!"
The small crowd around the huge red-armored beast with the black fringe started cheering and pumping their arms. One went to help the poor turian on the floor.
"Better luck next time, pal! HAHAH!"
The human bartender looks particularly happy as he began wiping down the bar. "So, Paynor, how many Rinkal bottles does that make?"
"Five! One bottle better than yesterday! And these poor bastards still think they can outdrink me! HAH!"
Even with all his bravado, Paynor's stance was wobbling just a tad. The crowd around him started dissipating, and Paynor was silently glad, partly because he didn't know how much longer he could go on, but mostly because he was starting to get bored. This was about the only sport he could get with any excitement. Shooting ranges just didn't do it for him, even if the targets were moving. There was just something about beating something that knew it lost, instead of just some flat pieces of he-didn't-care-what hanging from a hook in the ceiling.
"Just be careful you don't pass out, there," replied the barkeep with a smirk, "Not sure the bouncers could lift ya."
*Eaite' had been pretty bored for the most part. Granted, it wasn't bad, he just kinda found himself standing in a hallway, trying to look busy. That's the thing he found about ship work; it's mostly just looking busy. Having not seen anyone pass by quite awhile, he holsters his pistol, and pulls his helmet off. Clicking his mandibles in a sign of relief to be out of the metal hat, he exhales slowly, and blinks a few times, putting the helmet onto the back of his armor, where it stays stuck. With not much anything to do, he starts to sing a little tune he remembers finding a few weeks ago while studying up on humanity.*
Oh Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, bright blue are his jackets and his boots are yellow...
*There's no one there to hear his little song, so it pretty much went to waste.*
Mee was in the armory of the ship, finishing putting in the extended barrel on her sniper rifle. there were a few marines over in the corner, checking their equipment as well, but the were also discussing her.
"How old do you think split jaw is, over there?" marine one asked.
"Watch it, he might hear us." marine two said.
"Nah, they're supposed to have worse hearing than us." the first one said.
"Umm.. guys, he's looking right at us." the third marine said and the other two turned their heads to look at her.
"Three month's i've been here... THREE MONTHS! yet you still manage to call me a male!" she roared.
"Looks like somebody's on their p..." the first one managed to get out in a wisper to his friend, before his hat was pinned to the wall six feet away by a pen.
"Anymore jokes?" she asked. All three shook their heads no.
Luna was in a bar, the same one as Paynor. She was leaning against the bar a few feet away, and overheard the whole thing. "Don't worry, i could probably lift him." she said chuckling a bit from the idea.
Just by looking at the asari, you could tell she was a commando. On her back was the compressed assault rife, ever since the reaper invasion all trained commandos had been ordered to keep a weapon on themselves at all times. No matter what the council says, being put on a joint species team meant slitting around for a long time, waiting for something dangerous to happen.
"I also bet i could out drink you, when your sober." She said taking a look at Paynor."Right now, it looks like you would fall over if i tapped too hard. So whats your name big boy?" she asked, the alcohol already making her a bit more open.
Lt. Crown walked down to the armory, they weren't that far from Reach with the new drive and as such, she wanted to make sure her equipment was ready.
"Anymore jokes?" she asked. All three shook their heads no.
She walked in to see three marines huddled against the wall, two of them under her personal command, and one of the Elites on board looking as angry as she had ever seen them.
"What exactly is the meaning of this, Elite? I know you may a strange sense of honor, but aboard this ship you willnot injure or threaten my men,"She swiftly turned to the marines huddled against the wall,glaring and angry enough that her eyes took on the same demeanor as her Splaser did as it charged,"And you three, whatever you did to anger the Elite, apologize, that's an order privates."
As they all one by one apologized to the Elite, Sierra went to her locker and began checking ammo,charge on the Splaser, and making sure her armor was in good condition.
All it takes is one weak point for a piece of shrapnel to go through and end your career.
Platform 7Z walked the halls of the Citadel, unused to such open areas, and windows, a structural problem these organics found amusing.
They walked past the bar, but soon stopped and let their curiosity get the better of them as a piece of music he hadn't heard performed in centuries came out of the bar. Alpah avoided the Turian stumbling out of it and walked into it towards where their sensors approximated the source of the noise. Alpha collapsed into his drop position and simply listened. It was a piece his master had composed, this one was badly done, or their music had become corrupted through the years. He allowed the music to flow back to the Consensus, and all Geth in range, to hear what their Quarian masters and now neighbors had once made.
Paynor turns toward the blue alien and thumps his chest, making a proud face (not that any non-krogan could tell).
"I am Urdnot Paynor! I can outfight and outdrink ANYONE in this bar!"
He then teeters back a bit. "... After a nap. Rinkol hits me like an angry yahg. But later! You know my name, now tell me yours, commando!"
"I've been here for three months, yet still the continue to think i'm a male. Ontop of it they begin to make jokes about human anatomy." she complained, putting away her rifle.
Mee sat back down and finished polishing her helmet before turning to Lt. Crown. "Thank you Human, you did not need them to apologize. But you are wrong about one thing, i don't hold to the same traditions and ways the other elites do. thats the reason i'm here, instead of a male. You have my gratitudes Miss...?" Mee said, looking for a name.
"My name is Luna. I wouldn't doubt you could beat anyone in a fight, but beating me in drinking is something that'll be tough. alcohol was my friend for a while back. I still have the occasional drink, but i used to drain bars dry." She said with a smirk and a look in her eyes like she was remembering something long ago.
"Lieutenant Crown, Elite. I hold to my previous statement however,"She turned from loading her shotgun and held it pointed at the Elite, finger off the trigger,"You threaten my men again and you will regret it," She put her equipment back into her locker and put a half-smile on her face,"Now, what is you name, Elite?"
"My name is Mi'T'da, but i've found it easier for your species to call me 'Mee'. I'll gladly honor your request so long as they don't talk about me behind my back." Mee said checking the energy daggers in her wrist armor.
"Lets hope this voyage is uneventful. There's been enough conflict and death."
He heard clamor going on in the armory and decided to check it out, he saw the Sangheili Mee as he told them to call her, Lt. Crown, and three Marines, and it seemed like there was a hold off going with Lt. Crown having her shotgun out.
"What is going on here?" Asked Jastis.
"Nothing you need to worry about,sol-"She was about to say soldier, thinking it was simply another marine,but instead it was one of the Spartan's on board,"-Sir, nothing needing to be worried about, a minor disagreement is all."
"Sorry Spartan, just a disagreement, everything is resolved now. Its just a little of the pressure getting to me from being the only female elite serving in our military." Mee said. Even without the combat, she needed to take a small break from this, maybe a snack would do her some good.
Something told him that he needed to end this before it started up somewhere. "Everyone, we can't have disagreements and we can't have sexism on the Broken Destiny, we're all a team, so no more."
Alan James was suspended underneath the belly of a Grizzly heavy tank by a pair of straps and a uncomfortable trolley. He had always hated the access port on the bottom of the Grizzly's main chassis. In his humble engineers opinion, it was one of the main reasons that the Grizzly model had never been a reliable fixture on the front line. It was also the reason why the Grizzly had always been hated by engineers. Nothing was disliked more by engineers than have to hang under a enormous tank in what was essentially a jock strap, and perform complex maintenance work.
Especially when you had forgotten to bring your adjustable wrench. "Oh, deep frozen brute balls," Alan cursed as the oversized wrench slipped off the titanium nut for what must have been the eighth time. He dropped the wrench to the deck, 4 foot below, and searched for another wrench.
"Understood. I apologize, i'm used to fight tooth and nail for my position and to defend myself from gender discrimination. There won't be another issue from me." Mee said respectively. Yes, something to eat would definitely calm her nerves.
UNSC Broken Destiny.
Malco shifted his eyes around the table. Three marines were playing poker with him in one of the ships armories. "I raise twenty". He threw some chips out into the middle of the table.
"I call. What do you got"?
"Two pair, can you do any better"? Malco had a grin across his face.
"Indeed I can. Four of a kind"! The Marine laid down four kings. "You may be better at me in combat Malco, but when it comes to cards, I always win".
"That may be so, but we're betting in candy bars and gum so, I'm not to worried about the loss". Malco laid his losses down on the table and picked up his helmet. "I'm getting out of here before I lose my life savings to you. Latter guys". The three marines waved him off and tossed some joking comments.
*Eaite' strolls into the armor, half dancing, half walking. He waves a little, his helmet still off.*
*He stresses the O, so it sounds very undisciplined, and he's got the Sangheili equivalent of a smile on his face.*
Mee was at a loss for words when Eaite strolled in. She lowered her head into her palm and walked away in shame for even belonging to the same species. Deciding it better to eat and run, she grabbed something from the sangheili stores and left down to the garage, where she could at least admire the humans handy work.
Upon entering while chewing on something that was akin to a granola bar, she heard a wrench drop. Upon investigation of the source of the noise, she found a man hanging underneath the belly of a massive tank. "Need any help there?" she asked in a voice that seemed an octave higher than the normal sangheili's and less gargly.
Jastis was a loss of words. "Eaite, why're you dancing, this ship isn't for such."
Because the passion infects my soul sir.
*He does straighten up though, and tries his best to keep his huge grin under wraps.*
Her question was answered by a colourful collection of swearwords, many involving mentions to Jiralhanae testicles, and grunt nipples. None of which seemed to be aimed at her, but at the tank the mechanic was working on. It was only after his colourful collection of swearwords, that the mechanic responded to her query. "If you would. Any chance that you could you locate and hand me that tin of motor oil which is skulking around somewhere?"
Quintus ducked under the other Turians strike and retaliated, driving one fist into the others midsection. He tackled the other Turian to the floor, and inquired "Done?"
"Done." Affirmed the other, and they both stood, shook hands, and turned to leave the sparring floor as another pair took up positions.
Quintus left the gym and headed for the cruisers observation windows. He hadn't seen the citadel in person since before the Reaper war, and wanted to get a good look, before spending the next few days on it for mandatory R&R. He wasn't sure what he would do, but it was secretly nice to be back in a civilized part of the galaxy after a long stint patrolling the borders of Council space
Jastis sighed and left the armory leaving the Lt, and the Elite. Never before had he met an Elite like that, during their time on Earth when they helped after the Schism, they were all tough and able, none ever danced. Hopefully he wouldn't become a problem, though Mee seemed to be fine.
Suddenly he heard a buzz in his helmet. "Jastis, the FTL is ready to go."
"Good, tell Captain Nassa to inform everyone and then begin 5 minutes after."
Seconds later, Nassa went on the ships main COM so everyone could hear. "We're going to ignite FTL in just 5 minutes, remember to brace yourselves, this is a new FTL after all."
Fastina nar Nushia.
Deciding it was best not to mope around and actually do something, well something else. As she walked through the common's she spotted some other Quarian's which was odd since almost all of them were on Rannoch. She tried to stay out of their sights, but they spotted her. "Wait... Isn't that..?" One of them spoke.
"It is! Fastina!"
She walked out of the little cover she had. "Yes... It is me... Nisat."
*Eaite' watches the spartan leave. He turns to the Lt.*
He seems happy.
Mee left and was soon back, holing the tin out for him to take. "Here, hope i got the right thing. Your species technology has always captivate me. I'm no-where near as versed as you are in knowledge of it; but i've studied wrecks and captured technology during the war. I'm glad i can look at them without the need for conflict now." she said staring at the mammoth tank before her.
"Wrecks? Huh, makes sense. You Covenant sure did make wrecks of a lot of human vehicles. I know that we are all supposed to be friends and go waltzing off into the sunset together, and I appreciate that you splintered from the Covenant, but don't expect me to love you for it." Alan said, as he applied liberal amounts of thick, black oil to all of parts that needed it. He only wanted to wear this jock-strap once, he didn't want the Damn Grizzly to run dry again and for him to have to jock-strap up again.
"See, I spent many hours sweating, spilling blood and oil to get starships out into Space, and you destroyed them like they were little play-things. I must have serviced thousands of starships that got destroyed during the war, each one of them became like a child to me if i serviced them long enough. You need to appreciate that fact."
"I never expected you to sympathize with me, but i came down here because i enjoy your technology, i want to work with it. I want to know why the recoil from a rifle is so satisfying when blowing a Jiralhanea head off at what you call "a mile out". I want to know why my rifle woerks, can you teach me?" She asked.
"Oh.... good. I think the two of us can get along then. Now, just let me get out of this Denver jock-strap," Alan replied with a grunt, as he replaced the heavy armour plating that went over the access port. He used the adjustable wrench to screw in the nuts that secured the plating. After that he played with the straps that were securing him to the bottom of the Grizzly, slowly lowering himself down onto the cold metal deck.
He extricated himself from underneath the Grizzly and stood up, his face slightly red from all the blood running to it. His thick arms glistened with sweat, and his tank top was stained and rank from sweat. He did a double take when he saw Mee.
Standing in front of him was a Elite, only it wasn't like any Elite he had ever seen, or killed, or nearly been killed by. "Er.... why don't you look like a proper Elite? Is there something wrong with you?"
Mee sighed and took a few breaths. Just like the rest of them...
"I' take it you've never even seen a picture of a female sangheili." she said and didn't even wait for him to reply.
"i'm the first and only female serving in the military as of this time. I'm probably the only one you'll ever see. Before you even ask,i only entered active duty when i got my rifle from your species. I have never harmed or killed one of your kind, i only looked at the technology because i was the only one willing to." Mee finished then heard the announcement.
"We better get seated before we jump, you can lead the way." she said gesturing with her hand.
Alan led Mee to the shooting range, walking in a awkward silence. Alan didn't know how to treat Aliens, let alone a spunky female alien. They didn't enter the shooting range due to it being standard UNSC protocol not to be in the shooting range during entering or leaving slipspace. Who wants to be around a bunch of guns when random stuff starts to occur?
Just outside the shooting range's bulkhead, Alan sat down and strapped in, securing the four-belt across his broad chest. "So, have you ever been on-board a human ship when it's gone into slipspace?"
He made his way back up to the deck; he wanted to see how this new forerunner FTL drive worked. Nassa nodded to him as he arrived. "We're ready to go."
"Great, begin the drive." He said, noticing everyone else was buckling in.
"Spartan shouldn't you... Sit down?" She said just before activating the FTL drive.
He shrugged. "This armor almost weighs 1000 pounds, I will be fine."
"If you say so. Beginning FTL in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...!" Suddenly a small dot ran ahead, and then in seconds expanded into a giant ball that looked the same as the one that had appeared on Earth at The Portal. Suddenly there was tremendous force on the ship and then, bam, shot right through the Portal which shut behind them.
Now they were in slip space, he looked out the window and like all other times, it was nothing but blackness, but they were moving. One of the engineers spoke. "We're in slip space ma'am, no anomaly detected. We're in the safe."
"Good, Engineer Visut." She said as she unbuckled herself, the Spartan hadn't even flinched.
She got on the Ship's Com channel again. "We're in Slip space successfully; ETA to Reach is 5 days."
"Good," The Spartan spoke. "I will be in my quarters."
With that he left the Deck, and headed down the hallway to his quarters.
Fastina nar Nushia.
"Fastina... Interesting to see you here! Haven't seen you in two years. So this is where you have been hiding." Nisat spoke.
"You aren't going to report me my parents, right?" Fastina had to immediately ask.
One of the other Quarian's, Dorin, decided to speak. "You know, the thought just now had crossed my mind."
"No we will not Dorin, we must respect Fastina's wish to be left alone." The last Quarian spoke, Mashija.
"Thank you." Fastina said.
"Only to get here, but from what i've heard, this ship is using forerunner technology not unsc. I'm clueless as to how this will work. One more thing before i forget, thank you. You haven't called me split jaw or any of the other terms i've heard used for my species. It means allot." She said then sat down just before the jump.
After they were in slipspace, she got back up. "Not the most pleasant jump i've been on."
Alan let out a chuckle. "If you disliked that I would have loved your reaction to a proper UNSC slip-spaced jump. Compared to that this jump was as soft as cream. That forerunner tech sure is nice and shiny," Alan said, unlocking his belt and flexing his chest. He had done up his belt nice and tight in preparation for a traditional UNSC jump, it left a distinct red mark across his chest. Mee seemed less than fussed by her belt, although Alan sensed she had done her one up pretty tight too.
As Alan led Mee into the shooting range he explained. "I've never been one for calling people nasty nicknames, I got too much of it in primary education to ever indulge in it myself... and you seem the sort of person not to screw with, and calling you nick-names would only result in a hoof-shaped bruise on my ass."
Mee let out a little laugh. "Hehe, yeah, i tend to be a bit defensive of myself when it comes to things like that. I was looked down upon in the military when i joined and refused to use any of the covenant tech besides the armor, stealth systems and my energy blades. Though when i picked up a rifle, it was a perfect match. I'm best shot on this ship." Mee said and grabbed a rifle similar to her own off the wall.
" I just realized, we haven't introduced ourselves. My name is Mi'T'da, but you can call me Mee for short." she said.
Crown wasn't sure exactly how to respond to the Elite standing in front of her, his mandibles were wide, more that a little threatening from her point of view. She smiled at him somewhat nervously, she wasn't what you would call used to them.
She decided that this one was ok, if a bit unbalanced, compared to the few she'd seen up close, and more or less the opposite of Mee in every way.
"What is it you want Elite?"