Halo Effect (Cross Over) Main Thread

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SSG Murphy

As the briefing was adjourned, Murphy saw Luna move to the back of the room. He took a deep breath and collected himself. This was not the type of conversation he wanted to be having, but it was necessary. Murphy's typical smile was replaced with a somber expression. The fact that he was still in his PT gear and flip flops gave sharp contrast to what was at hand, the sandals slapping against his feet as he approached the Asari. The walk felt like it took forever, and when he finally reached her, Murphy leaned against the wall, looking out across the briefing room.

"Luna, you understand that your..." Murphy struggled to find the right words, "tendency to go apeshit is not exactly the thing we really need on this mission. It's a big, complicated op, and a lot of things can go wrong as it is." He looked at her, his eyes showing his concern for both Luna and the operation. "Now, you're still green to go, because we need you out there. But I need to know just how bad it gets, and what sets it off."

"I'm inclined to agree, sending an untested ship and crew to rescue hostages... negligent at best." He casually saluted, "Lt. Quintus Arctus. Looks like I'm with you for green team."

Kenneth got himself up and returned to the salute. "Pleased to meet you Lieutenant. Now let us be off." He walked out of the Briefing Room and started heading down towards the Hanger to meet the rest of Green Team.

After the Captain left Sarah joined the rest of her squad, she to was interested in hear about what caused Luna to go berserk.

"Something that'll put me out quickly, but not keep me out for long if possible." Luna said in response to Everett's query, before she began talking to Murphy about the problems requiring tranquilizers in the first place.

"Right, will page Francis to get some of those delivered before we make the drop. It will be good working with you Miss Luna." Everett said with a smile under his helmet, as he gave a quick salute before leaving the meeting room. As he walked towards the hanger, he contacted Francis via headset communicator.

"Ah Everett, what seems to be the problem, I trust your armour is working well after your period in cryo-sleep?"

"Indeed it is Francis, movement between the pieces seems a lot smoother."

"That would be my doing. Since I still owed you for that poker game a while back, figured I would repay you by making some minor improvements to your armour. The power cell that allows your active camouflage to function properly, I was able to improve efficiency, granting it a 10% increased recharge rate, and a 20% increase in run time. After all, a few extra seconds can make the difference."

"Why thank you Francis, never expected you to do this. Anyway, my armour isn't the reason I called. One of the teammates that I will be working with for this mission, an Asari by the name of Luna, has requested some tranquilizer darts in case she gets a little out of hand."

"I see, well I'll see what I can find for you; I've also been ordered to resupply the ammunition of everyone taking part, so I'll include them as well."

"Thank you Francis." Everett said quickly as he disengaged the comm link, having arrived at the hangar.


He listened to the Sangheili reminisced, he remembered the Great Schism during the battle of Earth. Jastis even remembered how he fought alongside some Elites in Voi just before the Flood arrived. Back then it was hard to wrap his head around having to fight alongside those whom he literally was killing just days before. Even for a Spartan, they were the enemy and changing his mind wasn't that easy.

NOVEMBER 15, 2552 - SOL SYSTEM - EARTH - KENYA - VOI (Part 1 of Flashback)

The Spartan moved through the industrial cities streets, behind him a squad of Marines and even two Sangheili, one a minor and the other a Fleet Security Commando. From there he could see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance it towering in the skyline. They stopped at a destroyed building and moved up to the second floor, where they got the high ground on some brutes, grunts, and a couple of jackal's. There were some snipers perched up in some of the buildings above.

Tagging them on his HUD, they appeared on everyone's HUD, before they could kill the Brutes down below, it would be in their best interest to take out the Jackal snipers. "Lt. Duns, and Sergeant Gunths, take them out. Once they're down, everyone rain down on the Brutes and grunts below."

Everyone acknowledged, he wondered if the Elites were happy listening to his orders but he couldn't read their expressions. Either way they needed to reach the squadron of ODSTs that were stuck in a building surrounded. Duns and Gunths moved and got into position with their sniper rifles, there was silence until the sound of the snipers bullets ripped through the air and the Jackal Snipers heads exploded. In seconds the Spartan, the two Elites, and the rest of the squad overarched themselves over the buildings window slot and shot at the Brutes.

Lucky for them there was no Brute Chieftains in the group so they didn't have to deal with any with shields. Their mix of bullets and plasma tore through the group and the Brutes and Grunts laid dead. The Fleet Security Commando or Kos 'Kaisam formerly Kos 'Kaisamee, jumped through the window slot and landed on the ground, he moved at one of the brutes who still was breathing, a small energy sword appeared from the Elites arm and he stabbed the Brute in the neck, the Spartan and the rest of the squad arrived on ground level shortly after. Jastis simply looked at the Elite who nodded at him and Jastis nodded back.

They continued down to the ODST squad.


"Let's just hope they're useful when we get into a tough situation," he stated simply to Mee.

Luna sighed. "I can explain, or i could meld with you and Sarah to show you each my memories without taking up too much of our time." The asari said closing her eyes thinking deeply. If the would meld with her, she'd have the memories ready.

The Sangheili nodded. "In all honesty spartan, i wish never to have to use these weapons, no matter the fine craftsmanship. That means taking a life with your own actions, not the pull of a trigger and a few earth "klicks" in-between you and the target. But energy blade combat is something i have accepted to do and do so confidently with skill." she said, holstering the two handles. "If you ever want a pair of them spartan, let me know. I would be honored to train you in their use."

"This 'melding' thing is safe to use on non Asari?" Sarah asked, somewhat apprehensive about this 'mind melding' thing

"Oh yes, it is more than safe. It is how us asari reproduce. It may sound like a scientific and emotionless experience when i say we choose the best and or desirable traits of our partner and our self to pass on to the child, but we are just trying to further our culture and species as well as a child we can be proud of." She explained then quickly caught herself if the thought was taken the wrong way.

"Not saying that its only for reproduction purposes though! We can also see another's memories and deliver memories into other species head's. It is more that just mating. Sorry if it was taken the wrong way..." she said blushing and averting her eyes awkwardly.

Sarah smirked and elbowed Murphy "looks like you get that 3-way after all, but long as it safe and it'll save time, go for it i guess" She said, crossing her arms "Anything i need to do?"

I sense that somebody is talking about sex again... I don't know why... Kenneth thought to himself, checking over his weapons again.

When Luna started talking about reproduction, Murphy started sweating it a little. Sarah, thankfully, calmed him down with a quick jab and joke.

"Alright, let's do it." He said. "But if either of you get knocked up, I'm not claiming responsibility."

"Pleased to meet you Lieutenant. Now let us be off."

"Off course." He followed Kenneth through the hall down to the hangar. Inside the hangar, they found a group of soldiers amongst a group of large armored jeeps, all preparing for the coming operation.

Going through his own rituals, checking and rechecking every piece of gear, he approached Kenneth, "Something on your mind?"

"Something on your mind?" Lt. Quintus Arctus asked.

Kenneth looked back up, with his usual stoic face. "Hn? Oh, nothing important, I was just thinking of something. Pay me no heed."

Luna shook her head. "It might be a bit overwhelming at first, but keep your head clear and let me think for you." She said and walked a bit closer, placing her hands on the spartan's shoulders. She concentrated for a few seconds with her eyes closed.

When the asari opened her eyes again, they were solid black. "Embrace eternity." she said.

Sarah immediately felt all of Luna's senses as well as if they were her own. That however, was short lived as Luna's memories came to Sarah's mind.

Luna, 6 years old.

Today was Luna's first day at one of the prestigious asari only schools. She had walked into the building, smooth flowing and elegant walls lined the hallways as students bustled about. A group of students saw her and hear about rumors of her origins.

They stared evilly at her as Luna walked by, they young girl catching this and approaching them. "Hi there! I'm Luna, its my first day!" she said cheerily.

The group scuffed at her and payed no attention. "Ummm... hi?" she said nervously now.
"Go away pureblood." one said. "We don't need your worthlessness here." another commented. Luna tried to think of something to say, but wound up walking away defeated.

The girls began to pick on her later that day during lunch, eventually getting most of the kids around her to start chanting "pureblood, pureblood, pureblood miss worthless!" over and over again.

That day, the little sweet and nice asari girl went home in tears to her parents. "They kept making fun of me!" she sobbed into her "mother" Alicia's shoulder.

"Its ok dear... don't be sad. you're my strong little girl. i know you'll be fine. you're better than them and will grow up to find a nice person to be with, like i'm with your "father" Cesna." her mother said to her, referencing her other asari parent.

"Really?" Luna asked Alicia, sniffling and wiping away her tears.

"Yes, Really. now how about i sing to you your favorite nursery rhyme."

"Okies." she said to her mother, calming down a bit more, snuggling close to her.

"I'm a little teapot,
Short and stout,
Here is my handle,
Here is my spout,
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout,
Tip me up and pour me out!" Alicia sang to her, Cesna coming in and looking at the two of them concernedly.

Then the two asari parents sang the second verse together.
"I'm a clever teapot,
Yes, it's true,
Here's an example of what I can do,
I can turn my handle into a spout,
Tip me up and pour me out!" They finished.

It was an old earthen nursery rhyme, but Luna found it soothing and calming. Alicia then wispered into her ear.
"Whenever you are sad or frightened, just hum the rhyme to yourself." she said.

The next day, Luna would go through teasing again. But this time she stayed strong, humming the little tune to herself. The teasing was kept up for then next two years.

Luna, 8 years old.
As the children got older, they got worse. They found out more about purebloods and the insulting and taunting got far worse than ever. But then came the day when they took it too far.

"hah, look, its the girl who can make zombies!" the nasty girl shouted as Luna walked down the hall. She hummed to herself, but they took it another step further. "Tell your mothers i said thanks for making such a nice target to shoot at." Luna froze mid step.

"Maybe i could get her to sleep with me as well!"
"Which one?" another girl added in and the entire group laughed at luna. Something inside the still sweet and nice young girl snapped. Her biotics flared up to an extremely intense blue. She spun around and walked towards the group, who were laughing up until they noticed her.

"What are you looking at you blue fre-" she was about to say, but couldn't finish her sentence. The rest of the group was stunned as the lead bitch had her head torn from her body by Luna's biotics.
The group never got to scream as they were effortlessly cut down by luna.

The school's hallways ran red with blood as she slaughtered everyone in sight. All the meanwhile, she was singing a twisted and demented version of her favorite little rhyme.

"I'm a little teapot bloody and cut...
here is her head...
here is the slut..."she sang using limbs and bodies to take other asari out.
"When i get all fucked up
hear me shout,
tip me too far and you'll bleed out..." she continued leaving a trail of destruction.

"I'm a bloody teapot,
Yes, it's true,
Rip off your head and again with you...
I can turn your body inside out...
Tip me too far and no one hears you shout!" she finished, having left the school empty of a single soul besides herself.

An hour or two after she had lost it and finished with the school, teachers and all, A commando team tranquilized her and got the girl under control.

She awoke to find herself in a room with her "Mother" Alicia and "Father" Cesna, horribly worried and saddened. The rest was repressed witha blur of commando school training her to control herself.

Sarah Was back to herself and her own consciousness. The memories were straight from Luna's head and it had only taken a second to display everything. They were vivid, real, as if they had just taken place.

"I'm sorry if what you saw was gory and graphic, but that is the reason i don't like straining my biotic powers too much. ever since that day, i become unstable with high stress on my biotics and i loose it if i use them too much." Luna explained, her mood a bit saddened, but not hampered.
"I'll let you decide if you would be ok with me showing murphy what you just saw and experienced first hand."

Sarah recoiled a little from Luna, and it took her moment collect her self. "No, I don't think he'll need to see them" She said in a much less firm voice then she'd intended. "Go get ready to sortie, I'll make sure we'll be ready in case 'that' happens"

Murphy looked at the other two in his party. He was tempted to pull out the regulation book and force Luna off the mission, but he resisted.

"Luna, you're dismissed."

He watched as the Asari leave and turned to Sarah.

"What the fuck are you thinking?" He made no effort to hide his frustration. "You saw something that was pretty shitty, and then you tell the person who showed it to you that I don't need to see it?"

This was not the laughing, joking Murphy who was in the commons room watching baseball. This was the career soldier who was deadly serious.

"I'm going to be honest with you, the idea of someone not in control scares me shitless. I've had buddies - good friends - get infected with the Flood and turn into some fucking monster. You're still a rookie, you haven't seen that kind of shit yet. And I hope you never do. But having someone like Luna on this op makes it very possible that you will."

Murphy turned and left the briefing room quickly. He regretted going off on Sarah like that, but he couldn't shake the memories of his friends screaming in pain, then suddenly turning on him grotesque form.

Putting on his gear was a calming ritual. Pants, top, vest, primary, secondary, knife, grenades. He put on his Rockies baseball cap and looked at himself in the mirror. Some stubble was on his face from neglecting to shave as usual, and his scar seemed even more prominent than before. It always seemed to get that way before missions. In the background Murphy's few possessions, reminders of a home he barely remembered anymore.

The hall to the Spartan quarters seemed long. Murphy knocked on the door.

"Sarah, it's Murphy. I'm sorry about blowing up before."

There was no answer.

"Sarah, will you please let me in so we can talk?

Sarah just let Murphy vent, he was right anyway, she should have had Luna share with Murphy as well. She just wasn't expecting what she saw.

Sarah left shortly after Murphy, first to the armory to ensure her squad had the tranquilizer darts Luna requested, then back to her room.

she didn't hear the first knock, but heard Murphy. She got up and let him in though didn't actually say anything till he was in side, the room was dark, the only light coming from a holo-picture she had on her desk of her family. it was pretty clear from her over all expression that what she'd seen in Luna's head was still bothering her.



"I know how to use them, had many chances during the war, but never kept one. During the simulation I actually used one but was in a situation that didn't allow me to use it properly," he stated back to the Sangheili.

"If there is one thing I never saw during the war were female Sangheili, I must ask how does it feel to be one of the few I assume? I am not versed in Sangheili culture."

NOVEMBR 15th, 2552 - SOL SYSTEM - EARTH - KENYA - VOI (Flash back part 2)

On their way to the ODST squad they continued taking down simple Covenant soldiers along the way, so far no one had been injured or killed. While he knew the Elites could take care of themselves, he was hesitant to working with Marines, like other Spartans many times they considered them to be a liability rather than an asset but so far they had been the latter.
They reached just outside the location, they had moved up to a higher position to get a look down at the situation. Like the Intel said the ODSTs were stuck in the building and were in a constant fire fight with the Covies. Jastis opened his COMs to the ODST squad, "This is Magenta-One," he had been designated with Magenta-One as their whole squad was considered Green team, "Delta Two you read me?"

"This is Delta Two-One, We read you, now would you kindly help us out of this? Over."

Quickly Jastis signaled for the squad to split up and surround the Covenant, the other elite, Var 'Hasune, went with the squad while Kos stayed. In silence they made it over to the other side while the Covies kept their marks on the ODST squad. Their lights on their HUD flashed green that they were in position, "On my mark, throw your grenades down at the Covies."

They were all still with their hands on their grenades, "Mark!" And they all tossed them down at the Covies, some noticed and began to duck out of the way, but most didn't and they exploded, after that he signaled for the squads to shoot at any remaining alive. A couple of Drones then flew over them and Jastis took them out with his BR. When the dust settled from the mass amount of grenades, they checked and cleared. "Delta Two-One, the coast is clear."
Inside the building the ODST squad assembled and ran outside, Jastis' squad meet them, "Thank you for the assist, I'm Delta Two-One."

Jastis didn't indulge the ODST but opened channels to Command, "Spartan-015, Delta Squad is free, orders?"

"Spartan, your orders are now to move up and help take control of Tsavo as it has become over run. Coordinates have been sent. Out.

The Spartan relayed the orders to his squad and the ODSTs, and they moved out to Tsavo.


Sarah's greeting was soft, surprisingly so. Murphy glanced over at the hologram photo of Sarah's family. They all seemed so happy. Walking over to it, he examined their faces. They all seemed so happy, out of place in this world of chaos and death.

"I shouldn't have blown up like that." He said flatly. Another long pause followed as Murphy simply started at the photograph. "There are things about the war you won't understand. The Flood..."

He turned to Sarah, the light from the hologram casting a dim glow on both of their faces. Sarah was making no effort to hide that she had been disturbed by what she had seen earlier. Murphy took her hand and squeezed gently.

"We're gonna be okay." It was barely a whisper coming from his lips, but with it carried the gentleness of someone who understood what it was like to lose everything, haunted by what if?. His eyes met her, and he smiled reassuringly.

"We're gonna be okay."

Luna sighed and walked away from them. She had seen what had happened and could her as she walked down the hall what appeared to be Murphy venting on Sarah. She was saddened at what had happened, but someone on the ship had to know. If they didn't they might all be in danger. Luna was beginning to second guess what she had just did, however, she had already decided to try to apologize to Sarah.

Luna moved down to the hallway to the hanger, which they would have to go down. She decided upon waiting.

Mee chuckled. "We aren't as few as you humans believe." The sangheili said. "On my home planet, all of the females were given defensive training, far different that the male's training. Very subtle movements, precise and hidden most importantly. We're the only thing standing between our homes and the rest of the war if we were to loose the main military force. My family was a bit different, but as to how i feel actually being out in the field? hmmm...." the elite pondered.

"Proud, most of all. So far, the only female to be used in active military service. War is a gruesome thing, but at the time necessary. I do like being useful, some of the human technology we had to scavenge when the civil war broke out was examined by me to get into working condition. That and i was one of the best shots in the separatist forces." she explained, thinking of the missions she was sent on.
"It was fun to prove myself. So how does it feel? Good is a suffice answer."

"We're gonna be okay."

"I know, it's just pushing past what i saw ...." Sarah started then paused "And there's no reason to apologize, I should have had Luna show you as well. It's hardly an excuse but i was startled by what i saw, and wasn't thinking like i should have." She concluded, her expression hadn't changed much.

"How do you deal with the awful things you've seen?" Sarah asked after a moment

"How do you deal with the awful things you've seen?"

Murphy's eyes fell to the deck beneath their feet. When his finally returned to Sarah's they were full of both pain and compassion.

"I just try to keep living. I try to love life as best I can. I'm going to die one of these days, and I'd rather die with a smile than a frown. The biggest thing is to not dwell on it. What you've seen, what you've done."

He paused, a bit unsure of how to say the next part.

"Look, we're shooting humans on this op, and it's different than shooting Covenant. They look like you, they sound like you, they bleed like you. You can't think about it. Just squeeze off your shots and you'll be fine. And if you can't do it the first time... I understand."

Murphy looked at her in the low light. In this moment he wished that they weren't about to head on mission. It seemed that he was showing Sarah every side of personality in a very short order. The joker, the soldier, the man who knew what it was like to hurt.

Murphy turned back to the photograph.

"You have your mother's eyes."

His jaw quivered slightly, a deep pain suddenly hitting him like a punch in the stomach.

"I used to tell myself that I fought the war so that I could get on that big boat home. I could land and get off and smell the pines again, see the clouds, bury my hands in the fucking dirt. I just wanted to go home. But home doesn't exist anymore."

Murphy turned back and faced Sarah. In this moment he was more vulnerable than he had ever been. He suddenly realized that if there was no more home, then this was all he had. Chances to repeat the moment they were standing in were ten million to one.

So he took a chance, took Sarah's hands, and kissed her.

Sarah was taken totally off guard by Murphy's sudden advance, and for a few moments, she didn't know if she should shove him off her or let it continue, She decided to let it continue. "I guess, you are interested in me then" She said, the terrible images from Luna's mind getting pushed to the back, a bit of the Sarah he knew coming back.

Sarah took a step back, smiling a little "But ... we're going out soon, so no more for you till after, maybe" She said coyly, before stepping back up to him and planting a kiss on him "And thanks, for checking up on me" She said after she broke the kiss.

Murphy smiled as he looked at Sarah. They were still very close to one another, as if pulled by some magnetic force.

"And thanks, for checking up on me"

"Anytime." Was the reply. "We should get to the hangar. The war isn't going to fight itself."

He squeezed her hand once more and stepped back, his expression growing serious. Now, more than ever before, he had something to fight for.

"We will claim the territory in the name of the queen, by the power of ROCK AND ROLL!" he shouted, then instantly started laughing.

"Come on, let's go."

Murphy turned and started walking towards the door, checking to make sure Sarah was with him.

Today had just become a very good day.

"We will claim the territory in the name of the queen, by the power of ROCK AND ROLL!"

Sarah giggled "Believe it or not, I favor country music" she commented as she followed him to the hanger, helmet in hand.

" Pay me no heed."
Quintus nodded, and resumed pacing around the hangar, going through the same preparations he had gone through countless times before, seeking to maintain that degree of calmness. He'd long since given up pestering the marines by the warnings, and it seemed Kenneth was in no mood to talk, so he wandered aimlessly, losing himself in thoughts of his own.

As Murphy and Sarah arrived in the hangar, most of the assaulting force was already there. An ammo station had been set up in a corner, and Murphy went to get fresh mags. He wasn't entirely sure what had just happened between him and Sarah, but there wasn't enough time to focus on that. Right now, the mission had to be everything.

As soon as his mag pouches and assault pack were full, he walked over to Sarah.

"Let's grab a banshee and a pilot and go over the dismount a few times."

As the pair entered the hangar Sarah put her helmet on, and much like Murphy loaded up on ammo and grenades. She was thinking not on the mission, but on Murphy, and what had just happened.

"Let's grab a banshee and a pilot and go over the dismount a few times." Murphy's voice cutting threw her train of thought, which wasn't going anywhere anyway.

"sure" she said, following him over the one of the Banshees, snickering a little "aren't they in for a surprise"

Everett had been waiting in the hangar for a while now, watching technicians and engineers coming in and out making checks with regards to the equipment that the team would be using. Francis had dropped by earlier with an ammo station, setting it up over in the corner, and handed Everett a couple of magazines of tranquilizer rounds for Luna.

A little later, and Sarah and Murphy decided to enter, heading over to the Banshees. They were called that due to the wailing noise that the engines gave, which was synonymous with the wailing of the Banshee, a female spirit from Irish mythology which was related to death, or the near passing of someone. Seeing as though that they'll be using them, he figured it would be best to go over the procedures.

"Aren't they in for a surprise." Sarah said, snickering a little as he Everett arrived.

"That they are Sarah, that they are. Let's just hope that this universe doesn't have a similar sort of vehicle." Everett remarked as the two turned to face him.

"Good news for Luna, Francis has supplied us with some tranquilizer rounds."

"That they are Sarah, that they are. Let's just hope that this universe doesn't have a similar sort of vehicle." Everett said from behind her and Murphy

"well see i guess, but far as i know they didn't send anything other then personnel with us" Sarah said turning toward him

"Good news for Luna, Francis has supplied us with some tranquilizer rounds."

Sarah's mind flashed on the images Luna sent her "good, hopefully we won't need them" she said the motioned to the Banshee "good timing, we're gonna do a few practice runs for the dismount off these things"

Murphy waved a pilot over, a scrawny kid of about 19 with a nametape that read "Biggs". The Banshee was on a mount that made it level, so it was already in position to do dry runs. Murphy gave Biggs the rundown on what they were about to do and had him start getting prepped.

As he did this, Everett walked over and started talking with Sarah. Murphy approached them, in the back of his mind he was a bit worried that Everett would start putting the moves on Sarah, but he was in mission mode.

"Alright. It's pretty simple. Just sit on the runner, and when the Banshee stops, jump off and run to cover. So let's do it a couple of times with it stationary, then we'll do some touchdowns. Sound good?"

Sarah turned to Murphy as he began explaining what they where gonna be doing.

"Alright. It's pretty simple. Just sit on the runner, and when the Banshee stops, jump off and run to cover. So let's do it a couple of times with it stationary, then we'll do some touchdowns. Sound good?"

"Your right, does sound simple" She said as so walked up along side the craft "Lets get started shall we"

After they got into a good rhythm of jumping off the Banshee while it was parked, Murphy had Biggs take it up and they started doing short touchdowns.

Already being highly trained operators, Everett and Sarah picked up on the dismount easily. The first few times were a bit shaky, but nothing like some of the spills that Murphy had seen before. Soon enough, the pattern was as natural to them as anything else.

Murphy looked around at the strike teams gearing up and doing their own training. It was time. They were ready.


Over his helmet COMs opened up by the Captain, "It's time for you and your squad to move out."

"It's time to go," the Spartan moved away from the wall. The Broken Destiny had gone through the atmosphere like the plan stated. They would get into Banshee's and go underneath their radars and tags all of the targets and get a sight on the objective. Inside the Banshee's weapons and ammo were located in case they were needed.

He brought the armor ability that allowed him to go invisible; he wasn't fond of it and made sure to bring another. Compared to the Spartan-IV's he liked to be more direct and use the thruster pack which was in the Banshee. Once the mission actually began and all teams were on ground, he would switch to it.

Jastis opened a secure COM channel with Mee so they could coordinate, it would take a bit but they could reach the town in an hour or so. "Stay behind and mimic my movements," he told her over the COMs.

He stopped, "Just making sure, are you ready?"

Murphy looked over to see Jastis and Mee prepping to leave. The tension was mounting, as if it always did on a mission buildup. He noticed Sarah, who had moved to some crates off to the side and was alone, and made his way over to her.

"You know, I tend to block out everything that isn't mission related until I come home. That way I can focus on just doing my job so that I can come home. So I'm not trying to be rude or not pay attention to you, I just want to do my job, then get back on board the ship."

Murphy sat down on the crate beside Sarah.

"After we're done with the mission I'll focus on all of the romantic stuff like bringing you the fake flowers I stole from the officer's lounge. I promise."

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