"I've... never actually been in this fancy machine. I was trained with either non-lethals or live-fire." Eli said, scratching his head soon after. Everett looked around at the room they were in; it certainly appeared to be more advanced than the stuff he had seen before, but then again, this was built for SPARTAN soldiers; and no doubt the Citadel Races had a hand in modifying the technoology with stuff from their own.
"Pretty much the same here as well Eli, although I've done a bit of work in a VR room, its nothing on this level." Everett remarked, waiting for the moment when things would get started.
Jastis sighed and shook his head. "Eli, all Spartan IV's were ODST's like you, all veterans, you can't just become a Spartan IV. Everyone here has seen many battles in live fire." He spoke down to the ODST.
"Alright, here is the team order. Everett Red-Two, Lincoln Red-Three, and Kenneth Red-Four. Now for Blue team, Luna Blue-Two, Mee Blue-Three, Eli Blue-Four, and lastly Murphy Blue-Five."
Alan sat comfortably with his bag of popcorn and watched as the big Spartan divided all the players up into two teams. He waited for the game to begin, poised in pleasant anticipation.
Eli raised his arms "Calm down there, Sir, it was just inter-branch joking. I know you could all flick my head off by accident."
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Kenneth nodded at the Spartan's command and walked over to the rest of Red Team. 3 vs 4 eh? Well... Let's see what these guys got!
"Calm down there, Sir, it was just inter-branch joking. I know you could all flick my head off by accident."
Murphy walked over the ODST, laughing.
"Don't worry about it Eli, he's just mad the roids shrunk his balls." He grabbed Eli by the carry handle and guided him over to the rest of the Blues.
Murphy looked at the group, they seemed pretty confident. Eli did seem a bit shaken up and pissed from the exchange with Jastis. Looking at his fellow squadmates, Murphy realized that he was the senior NCO, so he walked over to the female Spartan and shook her hand.
"Ma'am, I'm Staff Sargent Murphy. Not that it means much in such a small group, but it looks like I'll be your NCO lead, so just put me where you need me."
He looked over his shoulder at the group, and realized why Sarah 127 was so unhappy. "Look, I know you don't like or trust the Covenant." Murphy gestured to his scar, "I have plenty of reasons to hate them too. But we can't be those people, ma'am. This is a new war with a new enemy. And Mee is here to help. And for what it's worth, I do trust her. Get your gameface on, your squad is depending on you to lead them."
Murphy whacked Sarah's shoulder, then turned to face the squad.
"HOORAH BLUE TEAM!!!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. "Just a heads up, Jastis is probably coming for me because there is a possibility that he woke up from cryosleep covered in flower stickers." Everyone laughed at this, it was a much-needed break from the intensity that preceded a battle. Murphy continued, "I'm not saying that I have any knowledge of this event, but there is a very good reason I never go into the fridge myself. It's called payback." Another round of laughter came, and Murphy stepped back to show Sarah.
"Can we get a hoorah for our fearless leader, Sarah 127?"
"Hoorah, now get on with the bloody fighting!" Alan heckled from his seat high up in the observation room. "I'm not sitting here, wasting valuable time that I could be doing something useful, like repairing broken transmission shafts, because I wanted to watch some touchy-feely bullcrap! I came here for the fisty-cuffs, now give me the bloodshed!!!" He roared, throwing a handful of popcorn into his mouth and waiting for the response.
"I hate to break it to everyone, but this isn't an versus simulation, well more so indirectly. Both our teams will have a score based on objectives completed, kills, and so on. The simulation will be split between our teams. We may do a versus in the future but only when we know everyone's skills. Just to get used to it..." Jastis stopped and looked up. "AI, begins simulate exercise 07-255, but pause it after."
Suddenly everything started to become pixelated but then became clear. They were now in a large refinery looking area with a dark sky with a planet, they were on a moon. But since it was a simulation there was no need for oxygen tanks. "Take a moment to get adjusted."
"Aww, no killing eachother? Well that sucks," Alan said sadly, as he heard most of his fun being taken away from him. "Oh well, at least I'll get to see them kill some holograms. Virtual Bloodshed may not be as good as real bloodshed, but it is a good supplement."
"Ma'am, I'm Staff Sargent Murphy. Not that it means much in such a small group, but it looks like I'll be your NCO lead, so just put me where you need me."
"good to have a few ODSTs on my team Staff Sargent" Sarah said shaking his hand back
"Look, I know you don't like or trust the Covenant." Murphy gestured to his scar, "I have plenty of reasons to hate them too. But we can't be those people, ma'am. This is a new war with a new enemy. And Mee is here to help. And for what it's worth, I do trust her. Get your gameface on, your squad is depending on you to lead them."
Sarah was taken aback a little "is it really that obvious? thought i was doing a better job hiding it .." she said before nodding in agreement as the room changed. Sarah looked around a bit
"i need a quick run down from you guys on your primary skill sets so i know what i have to work with" Sarah said to her team as more or less her first order
"I hate to break it to everyone, but this isn't an versus simulation, well more so indirectly. Both our teams will have a score based on objectives completed, kills, and so on. The simulation will be split between our teams. We may do a versus in the future but only when we know everyone's skills. Just to get used to it..."
Kenneth sighed slightly. Pity... Might have seen some better action.
Just when the VR room changed to the moon setting, Kenneth's eyes hardened. "Right, back to business..." he muttered under his breathe.
As the room changed Murphy shifted uneasily. Part of it was pre-mission jitters. Those never went away, no matter how many he'd been on. But the biggest part was this place brought back memories that Murphy had hoped to never relive. His jaw tensed as he cleared his head and got into mission mode.
"I need a quick run down from you guys on your primary skill sets so I know what I have to work with"
The voice of Sarah put Murphy in full combat zone.
"SOF, so I'm a little bit of everything, with a focus on dirty deeds done dirt cheap. Hence the different uniform, so you can deny that you ever knew me should I die."
Murphy caught the look on Eli's face, he was smiling nodding with understanding. "It's in your ODST contract that they can deny your presence on mission, and if you go into the dark world of SOF, every mission you go on will be officially denied. That's why my medal count is almost zero. Officially." Murphy jerked his head over to Eli. "I'd wager he doesn't even have one."
Murphy turned back to Sarah, "I'm mostly a breacher and close quarters combat guy though."
Murphy checked his weapon and put a round in the chamber. It was go time.
Eli started checking his weapons and grenades "I started as a marksman in the footsoldier infantry, got up to Spec. Ops and became a marksman/sniper, and in ODST I've continued to be a mid-to long range fighter, unless we're talking about hand-to-hand. My sniper trainer thought that was the second most important thing. I'm competent in all the weapons, though." Eli loaded a live mag and chambered his own round into his rifle.
Luna sounded off. "Mid to long range assault rifle with close to mid range biotic support. Need something cleared out of the way, just ask me." She said, unfolding her rifle. The asari glowed blue for a second, checking her biotic powers to make sure she was at full strength.
Mee "I have extreme long range capabilities and superb close range combat. My rifle and blades suit me just fine. I also have invisible capabilities thanks to active camo." The sangheili said to her team leader, fading out of view and then back in to demonstrate.
Everett looked around as the VR room began to change to a lunar setting, first everything looking grey and fuzzy; soon coming into focus. He soon began to take note of the other members of Red Team for this training session, looked like he had been paired up with the Geth platform who called itself Lincoln, and the man known as Kenneth Senshi, a Biotic Vanguard... whatever that was. Across the room, Blue Team was talking about skillset, which seemed like a smart thing to do.
"Whilst I may not be the leader of this team, it might be an idea if we discussed our own individual skillset, so we know who will be best with tackling what objective." Everett remarked, thinking that it seemed like the obvious thing to do.
"As for me personally, I'm a trained sharpshooter, doing my best work over long distances with this here sniper rifle; but that doesn't mean I can't handle a threat up close, thats were the other weapons come in. If a scenario calls for a stealth approach, I can render myself invisible due to active camouflage." He said to the others, briefly turning transparent, then fading into view again. He then turned to Senshi.
"Lieutenant Senshi, I'm curious, what exactly is a Biotic?" Everett asked, sounding intrigued by the term, as nothing like that existed back home.
"Alright, let's do that." And then Eevrett began to explain his own skillset and Jastis nodded and then turned to Kenneth as Eevrett asked the question. "I too would like to know what Biotics are."
Sarah chambered a round into her rifle as her squad filled her on on they're skill sets, she understood all of it, save one "whats a 'Biotic'?" as she thought about how best to utilize her squad
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Kenneth depolarized his visor to see Everett and Jastis asking the same question. Oh boy, here we go... I'm no teacher but... His face didn't a show a hint of what he was thinking.
"'Biotics' refer to any lifeform that has the ability to create Mass Effect Fields with their thoughts due to Element Zero exposure, the stuff that has helped our civilization and those that came before us thanks to the Reapers meddling. Asari are naturally gifted as Biotics as their entire race has the ability to generate Mass Effect Fields. As for myself, I had the experience of being exposed to Element Zero with an accident back home. Slightly painful."
Kenneth cleared his throat before continuing. "Biotics usually go into three categories: Adepts, Sentinels and Vanguards. Adepts rely alot on their powers of Mass Effect Field manipulation, however they have the ability of spawning singularities and have the most fun out their own powers."
"Sentinels rely slightly on the powers, but have different tech abilities like firing plasma or subatomic particles that snap freeze people."
"And finally the Vanguards, like myself." Kenneth said with alittle bit of some pride. "We are heavy-hitters and front-line attackers, charging directly into the heart of the enemy in a blitzkrieg type of way. We do have our powers, but nothing is better than having a rifle or shotgun at your side."
Kenneth sighed. "But enough of a brief summary about that, I for one, do hold the Vanguards usual 'gun-ho' charge, but I know that having that is simply not enough. That's why I always have my Mattock rifle at my side, fast and not a spray-n-pray rifle, I can still knock down targets when getting into close range is suicide."
"That is an adequate summary, Lieutenant Senshi." Lincoln stated after Kenneth explained what Biotics are. He removed his Sniper Rifle from his back and readied it, "I am a long to close range unit, Staff Sergeant Kerrigan, and like all Geth, have superior Tech skills." He explained. Looking around the refinery area, he decided to come up with a plausible strategy while they had time, "Staff Sergeant Kerrigan, If you can get an opportunity to get behind enemy lines with Active Camo then try it. Lieutenant Senshi, if it looks like up close might be feasible then you should be at the front attracting enemy fire and taking them out with your biotics, We will stay slightly behind and take out whatever we can but if you start having trouble then we will move up." Lincoln described.
Jastis nodded, it would be interesting to see how this 'biotic' works out. "My skill set is long ranged to close up, I will adapt to any given situation. That's all I can really say, I am a pretty good leader, but if you see something that can be done do it. Just tell me beforehand. Don't want a dictatorship squad running here." He then turned to the other squad and then called everyone together.
"When we begin, our paths will be split down the middle so we won't see each other, and we have no chance to hit each other. In this mission we will be fighting, Hunters, Jackals, Grunts, Sangheili, Brutes, Drones, and with an occasional Spartan in the mix," he did notice the slight irony in it that there would be a Spartan fighting alongside the covenant forces even if it was fake. "Hope you don't have a problem with that Mee, at least the Sangheili part. Your race are good fighters, won't be easy going up against them."
Fastina Nar Nusha
They had arrived at the Broken Destiny, and she was still hidden. UNSC soldiers and such began to take the pieces off and bring them to where they were needed. When they were looking she hopped out and stepped into the shadows and slowly began to make her way out of the hanger. When she did moved into the hallways, the ship was incredible, much better the flotilla ships, although they were getting better, much better since the end of the war.
She saw no in the hallway and then continued to move, but then felt a hand grab her shoulder and forced her to turn around. She was looking into the visor of a tall man in blue and black armor whose visor glowed red. "Well... Who do we have here?" Spoke the being which reminded her of the Spartan Jastis.
He began to speak again but not at her despite him looking straight at her. "Captain, this is Spartan-032 Raynor."
"Captain Nassa speaking, good to hear from you Spartan, did you just wake from Cryo?" Fastina could hear the Captains voice.
"No, just a couple of hours ago, but I was being caught up on current events and such. I was just coming to meet you when I found a Quarian, I believe its race is, walking around here. I looked at the list of personnel, there is no Quarian's on the list."
Just when she thought she was sneaky, she was caught. No doubt she would be thrown off the ship. "Bring them up here."
"Will do," He pulled out his magnum and poked her on the back, "Move." After a short walk, they arrived at the Deck, where the Captain was sitting waiting. He had not seen the Captain yet, only heard of her as they arrive on the Citadel. She was no different than any Human from this dimension.
"What is your name?" She asked.
Fastina gulped and cleared her throat. "Fastina Nar Nusha." The Captain inspected the Quarian and didn't seem to be angry.
"I will ask only once, why are you on my ship? I have no one on the list with that name. How did you get on?"
"Earlier I met with the Spartan you know as Jastis when he was on the Citadel. He told me much about you to me and my friends. I was really interested in learning more, but I knew I had no way of really getting on the ship through legal ways since I am really a loner. So I snuck in the storage along with the new pieces being brought to your ship. I just wanted to learn more, sorry for the trouble I caused you."
Nassa could tell there was honesty in her voice. "Alright Fastina, I will let you stay aboard my vessel but you will need to make yourself useful. What skills do you have?"
Fastina under her helmet smiled and was happy with the results. "I am not a good technician, but I am one of the very few biotic Quarian's. So I know how to fight."
The Captain nodded her head. "I read about biotics... That is sure interesting, something unique to your dimension. Spartan-032, escort Fastina down to the armory and give her an evaluation, test out her abilities."
Raynor saluted. "Yes Captain!"
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Kenneth nodded at the Geth known as Lincoln. "My point exactly. I've seen other Geth in action, you guys are definitely tough."
He turned back to Jastis and nodded. "Good enough. Shall we get started?"
Sarah listened on in Lt Kenneth's explanation of Biotic's "i see" then re directed her atention to her team "so ... magic then" she thought aloud "Luna, you and Eli will be pulling up the rear, Murphy and i will be on point, Mee" she started and paused, for a second, not entirely sure what to do with her given her skill set "your floating, back up who ever needs it" she then sighed an internal sigh 'well, least its something, and least its only training, so no one will get killed from me not knowing what I'm doing command wise' she thought
As the teams prepared for the VR sim, Quintus, lacking anything more productive to do, opted to try to get to know some of the other crew members of the ship he would be serving on. Approaching a serviceman, that had the look of an engineer, he found himself unsure as how to proceed, with doctrine and training for first contact scenarios rarely going beyond "try not to start a war". Hoping to break the silence that had descended, he inquired "So are contests like this common where you come from?"
Alan look up at the strange, armour-plated Alien with the plate-like face painted white and red. It had strange mandibles that clicked together, and very strange mouth. Even though Alan was sitting down, he could tell that the Alien was distinctly taller than he was, although looked rather skinny. Alan wasn't the best at fisticuffs, but he thought a marine could have taken this rather scrawny looking alien.
"Evenin' there," He said with a smile, and raising his bag of popcorn in greeting. "These sort of fights happen often in VR, sometimes in real-life we having boxing and sparring matches. But live-fire is never used in real life, we don't wanna go killing each other before we even see the enemy!" He said with a dark chuckle. There was a seat available for the strange Alien to sit in. "Here, have a seat. Do you eat popcorn?" He asked, offering the half-full bag of popcorn to the alien.
Everett listened to Kenneth's detailed explanation about what Biotic powers were, whilst giving examples of how they can be used; suffice to say he was impressed about what this universe had to offer, and couldn't wait to see these powers in action. Lincoln then followed up with its own set, plus a suggestion for a strategy that Red Team could use. Jastis then announced what exactly was going to happen in the training mission to everyone assembled.
"Looks like we're going to have some fun during this." He quietly thought to himself. Everett then turned to Lincoln.
"That's quite a clever strategy you thought up there Lincoln, I'm impressed." He remarked, complimenting the Geth on its idea before turning to Jastis.
"Will there be alternate paths that we could take throughout this mission aside from the one we start in sir? Or, is it a simple one way in, one way out?" Everett asked, wanting to know more about the layout.
"Ma'am" Murphy said, gesturing for Sarah to follow him away from the group.
When they were away from the group, Murphy began speaking. "I'm going to be blunt here. Your plan is good, don't change it. We have to stay together as a group or we will get chewed up in an urban scenario like this. We're going to be doing a lot of moving and breaching and if I go in a door and you're not right behind me driving your corner, I'm getting shot the hell up and so are you. The other guys are talking about active camouflage and sneaking around, but I'm going to be honest with you, that only works in a team that's been together for a very long time, and even then there are no solo soldiers."
He put his hand on Sarah's shoulder. He could see the look of concern on her face. "You've got this. I'll take point, put Eli as trunk monkey, and you've got two very experienced guns covering front and back. Mee will keep us covered and will give us sitreps, so you don't have to worry about that. Just trust your training. And if it all goes to shit, I'll take the blame for it. Just remember that I'm trusting you to drive your corner."
Murphy squeezed her shoulder, then stepped back and smiled. He had faith in Sarah. Leading a squad wasn't really a Spartan strong suit, but he knew that she could it. She just needed to trust herself and her squad. That was something Murphy learned the hard way, thankfully in training.
Eli smiled "Finally. Guns. What I'm good at, Murphy, think you can give me good shots?" Eli walked up and clapped the other soldier on the back "And Sir," Eli turned to Sarah "I couldn't have gotten much of a better plan without much more time myself. You're not making any glaringly fatal mistakes like just about every other new commander I've met in my career."
Quintus accepted the seat and sat next to the human, and looked dubiously at the popcorn. "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work with my biology." Glancing back at the VR room, the teams seemed to be finishing their preparations. Quintus wondered about the human who seemed utterly unperturbed by the alien sitting next to him, going so far as offering him some popcorn. "So, you don't seem at all phased by suddenly being here?" He inquired, gesturing vaguely around them.
"Well, you haven't tried to kill me yet, and funky Aliens are nothing new to me. I was down in the engineering bay and there were loads of aliens walking around, none of which tried to kill me so...." Alan shrugged, "Maybe I just adapt quick. I'm guessing some UNSC people won't be quite so welcoming. After all. the last Aliens we met did try and wipe humanity out.... so there's that." Alan lazily chucked a handful of popcorn into his mouth.
"I suppose," He said through a mouthful of popcorn, "I'm not a person to throw all aliens in the same boat. You're obviously not the same as the Covenant.... so why automatically assume you're going to act like them?"
"There are multiple paths, so we can even ambush them and so on. They won't come at us in hordes since they will all be idle as they won't know where here. Now just one final check, is everyone ready to begin?"
Sarah smiled under her helm "well we have a plan, crappy as it is" she said pulling Murphy and Eli in closer to Mee and Luna, and lower her voice so only her team could hear her "but since where here, and going against 'the old man' lets try and make to old model Spartan look bad eh" she said with a grin, though covered by her helm.
Kenneth polarized his helmet again. Though his face was less or more emotionless, anybody that could read him would say he was extremely determined. "Ready to go."
"lets try and make to old model Spartan look bad eh"
Murphy grinned and looked at the Spartan. "Easy day, Sarah." He looked around at the team, "Anybody want to watch some baseball after we're done?"
He turned to Eli, "Give you good shots? Man you're pulling trunk monkey in an urban scenario. You'll be busting balls all day, hope you're packing plenty of ammo."
"Well, I appreciate your that. Fair number of people here would have been happy to fire first, justify later. 'Course, there's about two thousand years precedent of starting a war with every possible first contact. Well, in the name of inter-species cooperation, we get to watch other people shoot stuff. Nice to know we can always reach common ground through violence against something else." Despite that, or possibly because of it, things seemed to be going considerably better than expected.