Alan dragged himself out of his bunk at some unidentified time in the mid-morning. Not feeling any better, but he knew he had to get up.
He shuffled like a zombie through Broken Destiny's stark metal corridors, trying to find his way to the Engineering bay, he really needed the smell of oil to clear his head.
"Alright then, I shall be off." Jastis spoke as he stood up from his seat. The Quarian's did the same and began to converse amongst themselves. "Nice talking with all of you."
He left the group and headed towards the craft that would fly him to the UNSC Broken Destiny which was still sitting around the Citadel.
Above the Colony of Ronokis.
"Alright, the plan is starting now. I already got our agent in the Citadel working so that the UNSC Broken Destiny will be the ones to land here. So we need to take out any civilians and set up shop."
"Yes sir!" Spoke his men.
Unknown Agent inside the Citadel
When it happened, she was quickly sent the information so they would have no doubts that Ronokis was being attacked. She called over to her leading officer. "Sir, the colony of Ronokis appears to be under attack, look at this data." The data began to show images of unknown forces of mix races attacking the colony.
"Alright, we shall send one of our teams..." He spoke as he began to use his Omi-Tool to get into contact with his own officer.
"May I suggest we use the UNSC Broken Destiny? Send them to Ronokis for their first assignment?"
"Hm... they did just get allied with the Citadel. Alright, I will talk to the council and see their opinions on this." He proceeded to send the information to the council.
Quintus worked at suppressing a grin, having found out that he was being sent as a representative of the entire Turian species to serve upon the newest council vessel, the UNSC Broken Destiny. He figured that he would probably end up missing the crew of the Defiant, but right now he was swept up in events, without much time for pause or second guessing.
He then went through one last equipment check, going through his kit bag to make absolutely certain that he hadn't forgotten anything. Confident that head everything he needed, he went down to the mess, to procure some dextro-amino MREs, confident that the newcomers wouldn't have any compatible foods.
Quintus strolled across the docking bay, towards the Broken Destiny, staring up at the alien design of the hull. Approaching the two soldiers standing guard at the entrance, he saluted, "Lt. Quintus Arctus, reporting to the UNSC Broken Destiny as assigned." One of the soldiers checked something on a device, and returned the salute. "Right this way sir. Welcome to the Destiny."
With that, Quintus walked aboard the new ship.
Murphy wandered the quarters, not finding the officer, but plenty of strange looks.
Just my luck he thought to himself as he left. He needed to get down to the engineer bay anyways, they had a rappelling drill there in a half hour.
Back in the SF quarters Murphy put on his combat gear, khaki pants, a dark brown t-shirt, tactical vest, knee and elbow pads, and a black ball cap with the Rockies logo on it. He laced his jump boots tight. They were an older pair, broken in and comfortable, the dirt of countless missions caught in the cracks.
When Murphy reached the engineer bay he saw the engineer from the night before. A proper introduction was in order, so Murphy walked over to him, holding out his hand in greeting. It was a bit risky, as engineers typically didn't like the presence of SF getting in their way, especially those holding loaded, fully automatic weapons, but Murphy figured it was worth a shot at the very least.
"Goddess, what a ship!" Athame said to an echo as she set foot aboard the UNSC vessel. She didn't know a lot about starships but she knew that this was one of the most advanced ones that she had seen. Yet so primitive in other ways. Sort of like if you had a planet destroying laser as the main weapon but a gaping big exhaust port at the back that could blow up the entire station should a stray asteroid or laser in a firefight enter it.
Athame realised that there was something wrong. There wasn't a person in sight. It looked like everyone had just upped and left in the middle of what they were doing for a little over a week without any particular reason for doing so.
Maybe everyone has been called to gather due to some urgent assignment she pondered.
"Hello?" She called out hoping that someone would respond.
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
After seeing several alien races board the ship, Kenneth marched into the ship, wondering that could type of technologies these new races had.
Looking around the halls of the ship, he raised an eyebrow. I would how good this ship will do against boarding action. he thought.
Sighing, he found the armory, seeing his own specialized equipment awaiting him. He smiled. I think I'll use Amy's moves as well... Terrible thing to let them go to waste...Amy
He slowly got himself ready.
Quintus meandered through the ship, hoping to familiarize himself with it, to little avail. He had spent time aboard ships from a wide variety o races, but this one was the first ship to feel truly alien. He spent time tryin to orient himself, but only succeeded in getting lost, and getting more that a few stares from the crew he encountered. Eventually he found his way back to where he had come from, and encountered an Asari who looked almost as lost a he felt, and so hoping to make the best of a confusing situation, he walked over to introduce himself, "Afternoon, I'm Quintus Arctus, one of the council representatives, and yourself?"
"My name is Athame and it's a pleasure to meet you. I was invited by Luna to be part of a joint species team representing our dimension aboard this vessel. I'm a doctor, so with that in mind I hope I won't be seeing you too often."
"Do you have any idea what is going on? There was a call for our team and the UNSC crew to assemble here but I have no idea why. It did sound urgent."
"Well, I appreciate your concern. As for what we've been summoned for I can't say, but I'm certain that someone around here will know, maybe the bridge crew, if you want to help me try to find them, so far this ship has been a bit of a maze. However, if we wander long enough, we're certain to do d someone who knows the way." Looking out at the corridors before him, Quintus tried to remember the way to any of the ships central areas, "Well, I think it may be this way, so if you would care to join me..." he gestured down the halls, inviting Athame to accompany him.
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Adjusting his helmet to polarize, Kenneth quickly placed his classic Mattock assault rifle and Eviscerator custom shotgun in their slots on his armor. Nodding with satisfaction, he got himself out of the armory, and started wandering around the Broken Destiny carefully scanning over the people around, seeing if other Biotic soldiers were dragged into this as well.
Just as he extended his hand, the engineer was called away. By the sound of the activity, they were prepping for launch.
That's odd, we just docked. Now we're going out. Well, that's the Navy for you. He thought to himself as he joined the other Marines climbing the ladders to rappel down to the deck.
After about an hour of constant climbing and rappelling, Murphy's communicator buzzed.
"Report to briefing." It read in friendly blue letters.
Finally, something fun. Murphy was still a bit upset about not being allowed to fight last night. He quickly wrapped ropes in neat bundles, then set off to the main briefing room, still dripping with sweat, and fully dressed for combat.
Athame and Quintus walked down the corridor, and then another, and then another, and then one which looked like one that they'd already walked down but it actually turned out they hadn't which they only realised after doubling back for 5 minutes.
This is a big ship, who uses this much space just for corridors? And a signpost or two would come in handy
She brought out her small model Thessia and set it in orbit around her in her biotic field to try and alleviate some of the boredom. It bounced off walls, the floor, the ceiling as they wound their way through the labyrinth of corridors and finally, as they rounded yet another corner, into the hand of a short blond man with a scar on his right cheek. He was fully dressed for combat and looked like he was walking with purpose.
"Oh I'm sorry about that, it's a habit of mine. I'm afraid we're a little lost. I'm Athame, and this is Quintus, we're part of a joint species team that the council assembled to be posted on your ship. Would you mind lending us a hand?"
"All right, guys, pack up, we're heading back to the ship."
She and her marines met up and escorted the Spartan and Captain Nassa back to the ship. They passed more than a few of the strange aliens, who looked back with bored stares, though a few looked with an interest at their weapons and armor.
They arrived back on the ship and Crown went directly to the armory, where she found her specialized ODST armor, there was no reason to don it beyond a slight apprehension about how trusting the Captain and the Spartan had quickly become. Something just didn't feel right about this whole venture.
Alpha and a dozen other Geth were chosen to be the face of his race. They packed a large transport full of everything they would need, repair supplies, extra processors should they need them, anything that the Platforms needed to continue working,and weapons. the Consensus had spared no expense. The schematics of the ship had already been changed to fit their technology and needs. The design had already been determined and Platforms were being assembled for the engineers in the Consensus to begin the building of a working model.
Alpha and the same two Platforms as before found the Captain and began asking for some small space to store their equipment and a place to power down when they were not needed. A cargo bay, and engine room privileges, if she would grant them.
Murphy caught the tiny ball whizzing towards his face out of reflex. Upon closer examination, it was a tiny planet, green and blue, much like his earth. The sight of it reminded him just how long it had been since he had seen earth. That was the only thing that ever truly made Murphy pause. He missed the mountains.
Suddenly, the thought occurred to him that he might be holding a tiny biosphere, and his touch became very gentle, just barely grasping the sphere. Murphy looked up and saw two figures standing in the corridor. One looked like the blue girl he had talked to in the bar, the other was a wholly alien race to him, tall, with a face that looked like it had an exoskeleton. The girl addressed him, introducing herself as Athame, and the tall one as Quintus. They needed to know where to report to.
"Well," he said, still holding the sphere, "Interspecies typically reports to an ensign on the bridge, that's your best bet. I'm headed that way, you can follow me."
Murphy smiled when he realized that they were staring at his combat gear. "Oh, don't worry, I'm not out to shoot anyone, we just had training this morning. I probably smell pretty bad."
He grinned sheepishly, this probably wasn't the best first impression you could give. He held out the sphere tenderly, "You'll probably want this back. My name's Murphy, by the way. Staff Sergeant Murphy, but just call me Murphy."
Shaking his head at being so tongue-tied Murphy gestured for them to follow.
As Athame followed Murphy down the corridor with Quintus in tow she started brimming with questions again, as she had with Mee. Murphy seemed both relaxed and at ease as well as being highly tense and eager to do what he enlisted for at the same time. It would be interesting to sit him down and talk to him about his past, he certainly seemed to pause for thought when he held Thessia so carefully. Human tourists had often remarked how similar earth was to it, and it doesn't take hundreds of years of experience to realise that most soldiers are struck by some sort of homesickness at one point or another.
He looked so old for someone so young. His mannerisms and reactions to others seemed to contradict each other. On one hand he looked ready to duck around a couple of corners and leave the two newcomers there as a joke, whilst on the other he walked with the conviction and prowess of a Krogan battlemaster. His eyes constantly flickered around and wandered as if formulating schemes and japes for future use with a slight curl of his mouth, but on the other side of his face Athame could see pain, and sacrifice. His pupils had a world weariness in them, as if he had been wronged, taken his revenge, and been faced with the emptiness and numbness that so often follows.
Athame suddenly realised that she was at the heart of the military again, no more civilian first world problems, just the grim reality that everyone you meet has been through hell and back, having to say goodbye to some people early and never given the chance to say goodbye to some others at all. But she knew that she was in her most useful place, she knew that there were few others who could help as she could.
Had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong
She thought to herself remembering the mantra that daniel often used when facing stress which he said that he had learned from an old Salarian friend.
As she approached the bridge Athame plucked the planet out of the air as she noticed it was wavering. She was tiring, what with all the walking, being up all night, and sustaining her field, however small it may be.
She really hoped they had some good quality lacto free cheese aboard the ship. Preferably Elcor. Though she wasn't too hopeful.
Quintus paced along behind Athame and Murphy, still wondering about the new humans, and their strange ship. He could see that Athame, not unlike himself, was brimming with questions, but he opted to hold them for the time being. As the trio made their way to the bridge, he found himself looking at the peculiar collection of gear carried by the man named Murphy. All of the gear seemed to be of a practical nature, and it was without question combat gear, but it seemed to be a bizarre fusion of archaic and modern gear. Quintus resolved to discover more about these weapons and armor, but that would have to wait, for they found themselves entering a room that was immediately identifiable as the bridge of a warship.
As Murphy walked onto the bridge his shield of sarcasm and wisecracks went up at once. Murphy, in his t-shirt and ballcap clashed with other Marines, and looked positively foreign in contrast to the pristine uniforms of the officers, some of whom seemed aghast that a sweaty, scarred SF soldier had just tracked into their quiet abode. Add the fact that he was flanked by two aliens, and Murphy might as well have been from another planet himself. With all the eyes staring at the trio, Murphy certainly got the feeling he didn't belong, and didn't want to stay.
"Well shit, I know I'm sexy, but I didn't mean to stop you with my amazing self." That at least got a chuckle from some of the crew. With the ice broken, he carried on "Where's Ensign Kline? We have some interspecies who need to check."
A young female Lieutenant walked over to them. "He's sick" she said, "got some bad food in the town last night and has been puking all morning. I'll get them checked in."
The check-in was an easy process, and while Quintus and Athame were filling out the forms, Murphy's comm buzzed.
Briefing delayed until further notice. Murphy decided to shrug it off, he was getting hungry anyways. Seeing that Quintus and Athame had successfully become crewmembers of the Broken Destiny, Murphy turned to them holding his arms out in welcome.
"Welcome aboard." His expression turned deadly serious. "Who's up for lunch? My meeting was cancelled, and I'm hungry."
"I was meaning to ask about that, I don't suppose you have any lacto free dairy onboard. See Asari Vorcha offspring have an allergy to dairy and my father was a vorcha who..."
Athame caught herself midsentence. This guy didn't want to know her life story. She could always have a tuna sandwich, an fish native to earth that she was quite fond of.
"Don't worry, I'll just have some tuna instead."
Why send for urgent response and then cancel... seems strange, though this is a whole other dimention come to think of it. Athame thought as she followed Murphy off to the mess.
When they arrived at the mess hall, there weren't many people around. Probably a good thing for the strange trio. Murphy pointedly ignored the screen that indicated that Quintus should go to Officer's Mess, and instead directed the group down the line of food being served that day.
"Athame, you're in luck" he said, pointing to some sandwiches on the bar, "tuna."
As soon as their plates were filled, they sat down at one of the tables, resting on hard benches. Murphy looked at his two guests.
"A doctor and an officer." He surveyed them with a rare seriousness. "What's your story?"
Sierra Crown stood in the armory, feeling both stupid and justified in her actions. On one hand, the aliens were on their ship, not the other way around, but the Geth and Asari, as they called themselves, just rubbed her the wrong way. She paced a few more minutes before coming to the conclusion that wearing the armor was both pointless and had more chance of causing an uproar than simply wearing her service clothes and sidearm.
She stripped out of the armor and placed it back in her locker, and hooked her shotgun into the side of the door as she always did. You never knew when the Covenant were going to attack and it was better to be safe and not need it than the other way around, in her experience anyways. She had her predecessor to thank for that, Lt. Conway, the man had ingrained that into her and her men after the final time the Prophets and their ilk had broken through the battery surrounding Earth. Too bad he'd died on some forgotten planet to a shot that went through the rock he had been taking cover behind from one of those Brute weapons. It went in at such angle as to puncture both lungs, his jerk immediately following and tearing open both and his aorta, he'd bled out in seconds. She had no intention of being killed because of an accident like that, and resolved to make friends with as many of the new "recruits" as she could.
Crown headed to the mess, it was time for lunch, and maybe sitting down with these guys could offer some insight into what they could expect in this gala-alternate universe, she was still having trouble adjusting since the jump. She arrived at the mess, and found both Meeks and Chagerben still in their line for food. She tapped the two of them on the shoulder and told the two of them to sit with different groups of the Citadel aliens that had boarded with them.
Chagerben smiled and pouted her lips,Crown still couldn't figure out how she could do both at the same time,"I get the frog guys, Meeks. You can do any of the others."
Meeks, ever the military man, responded the same he'd always done, regulations first,"Lt., the... Turians, I think they are, seem to be up my alley."
"Thanks, both of you. I want as much information on their societies, culture, weapons, military strength... none of us wants another Covenant, and I'm not ready to trust them all on blind faith just yet. And watch for the Geth, they still give me the creeps for some reason. If you see Leppy, tell him to start interacting with them, he's a computer genius, he has the best chance of communicating with them, somehow."
She went to the officer's line, a much shorter line, better food, and slightly more agitated. She took a burger, rare, and with a small slice of some kind of bitter and spicy cheese they'd picked up on the station. Along with it, she took a helping of asparagus. The next step was to find a place she could sit. She saw a place near that engineer she'd helped out on the Citadel and sat across from him, with two of the Asari sitting with him.
"Mind if I sit here?" She said as she placed her aluminum tray and sat down on the seat welded to the floor of the mess.
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Kenneth's stomach grumbled as he walked around the ship. Well, I DID miss breakfast to get over here... Let's see what they got.
Kenneth arrived at the mess hall, and got himself a sandwich, a little turkey sandwich. As he sat down by himself, he noticed the man from the bar yesterday, SSG Murphy.
Oh great, he's here as well?... We'll see how good he is in combat soon enough... What's a HellJumper anyways?
Quintus leaned back in his seat. "Well, who am I? Bit of a long story, so I'll try to keep it short. Raised on Palaven, enlisted at fifteen for my compulsory public service. After fifteen years of that, I didn't know what else to do so I stuck with it. After that, the whole galaxy started going to pieces, we had civil war on some of the colonies, a campaign against the Geth, then finally the Reapers showed up. In the Reaper war there were so many dead or wounded, I was promoted to fill the gaps..." He paused for a moment, caught in the memories. "After the war, it was just rebuilding, getting the more distant worlds back in line, occasionally someone trying to take advantage of the chaos. So, how about yourselves?"
He looked around the room, seeing the assortment of individuals entering the mess. Even after all the years, the prospect of a new mission, a new ship and a new crew still managed to get his blood pumping just a little bit, with all the possibilities stretching out before him.
Something Quintus said struck something in Murphy.
"Wait" he said, taken aback, "you enlisted at fifteen?" Just as he said this, Murphy realized that to Quintus' people, fifteen would be like a human eighteen.
"I enlisted just out of high school. The Human/Covenant War was already underway when I joined up. I grew up in the mountains, that helped a lot when it came to training. Especially with all the shenanigans my brothers and I pulled growing up."
Now it was Murphy's turn to lean back in contemplation. The middle of three brothers, the oldest an engineer, married with three children. The youngest, KIA in some battle that remained classified. He quickly regained his footing, however, and carried on.
"I was a scout/sniper before volunteering for ODST. Now I'm a member of an SF strike force within ODST. It has its perks." He gestured to his loose interpretation of a uniform. "So that's my story." He said, very matter of-factly.
He was back on the ship and headed to the bridge with Nassa was, when he arrived she was sending a message to the Geth, it stated that they could use one of the lower level cargo bays to set up shop. "The new races settling in?" Asked Jastis
Nassa nodded her head, and then she received a message from the Citadel.
Once the Turian's engineers help you with our drives, you're to report to the colony of Ronokis which is under attack by an unknown faction of enemies. This shall be your first mission and a sort of trial for you to completely be accepted into this universe.
"Alright, when will the new drive be done?" Asked Nassa.
One of her crewmates responded. "Less than an hour, they're working fast."
"Good, once they're done, have one of them come up to the bridge and he will guide us through the relay. Don't want to make an error." Nassa ordered.
Jastis wasn't so sure about this mission, already one and they just arrived, seems to be putting a lot of faith into an unknown entity so to speak. "You sure we should do this? Some of our soldiers could die just to be accepted? I am more than willing to go..."
Nassa agreed but then at the same time. "I think this is necessary, I don't plan on losing any soldiers, but we can't just back down on a first mission. If we want to be accepted we can't do this only partially but all together. We don't know when we will get back to our dimension, so we must make the best of things here."
"Yeah, fifteen. It's a cultural thing, in exchange for full citizenship, everyone in the Hierarchy does fifteen years of public service. I ended up in the infantry, used to do some strike force stuff myself, but that's mostly in the past now."
He turned back to Athame, "So Doctor, care to share your story?"
Alan couldn't help but feel like he had been away from the Engineering bay for a long time....
In reality it could only have been at max a day, minimum a dozen hours. What with the discovery of a bunch of new alien species, a space station the size of a Brute's testicle, so many new avenues of technology to explore, a new universes history to learn and a whole new universe with so many ripe opportunities to make jokes about testicles; Alan's life had been rather hectic as of late.
He pushed his rough hands through his thick white hair, before picking his mechanics belt off the wall and strapping it around his waist. He had the feeling that the exploration of a new universe would mean a lot of vehicle repairs.
He was back, and ready to kick ass.... and repair broken transmission shafts....
Like a boss.
Before Athame could tell her story, an alarm on Murphy's communicator buzzed. Murphy sighed and silenced it, knowing exactly what it said.
"I've got to head off and do more training. I'm headed to the engineering bay to pick up a Warthog." He leaned in, "The engineers aren't big fans of SF because we're really hard on the hogs." He confessed.
Murphy gave the pair directions to the engineering bay, then headed off, stuffing protein and fiber bars in his pockets as he left the mess hall.
Murphy took the halls at a jog, knowing that he needed to be warmed for whatever was coming his way in the form of training. He was curious to see how the interspecies teams performed, and was curious to get his hands on some of their equipment and see how fast he could wreck it.
The smell of grease and gasoline hit Murphy before he even reached the door. He wondered how someone could work in this all day. It would drive him insane. He walked over to the log and started checking to see what hogs were available. One was open, so Murphy walked over to it and tried to start it, only hear clicking.
"Damn it". He muttered, climbing out to unlatch the hood. "Just my luck."
Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi
Seeing Murphy walking away, Kenneth decides to get up as well, carrying his tray over as well. Its about damned time I figured out what is going on this ship.
He approaches the Asari, and Turian.
"I'm glad to see some familiar races on this ship. Sorry, where are my manners? Mind if I join you two?"
"Ow!! Blistering Brute testicles deep fried in marmalade and drowned in crumpets," Alan swore at length, rubbing the developing bruise on the top of his head. He had been working on one of the Grisly heavy tanks, fitting some of the space-age equipment that this new universe had to offer, when he heard the scream of a engine unfit for running. The sound was so horrible to his engineers ears that he flinched, and cracked his head on the Grisly's Titanium-A plating.
He spotted one of those troublesome marines who always insisted on taking his vehicles away and getting them all shot up in battles. "Oi! What do you think you are doing! That's warthog's marked as out of order!"
At the sound of shouting, Murphy turned to see a very angry engineer stalking towards him. This is why Murphy preferred walking.
"Well, it's marked as open on the log. I just need to take one out for training." Suddenly it hit Murphy. "You're the engineer who got into a fight last night." He held out his hand, "Name's Murphy."
Murphy genuinely hoped that in some way his drunken actions of the previous night would help to calm the engineer down. He seemed strong and angry, and Murphy wasn't a fan of fighting members of his own crew unless it was in training. But this kind of fight wouldn't be training. So Murphy held out his hand and hoped for the best.
Alan bypassed Murphy's outstretched hand, and passed the man by completely; heading for the log-book. "That hog was marked as out of service! I did it myself!" Alan picked the book up and stared at the small box for the warthog that Murphy had just brutalized.
"What the...." Alan muttered, scrubbing his thumb over the small tick and his signature; as if hoping they would rub off. "Oh," he mumbled, scratching the back of his silver-haired head. "I must be going as mad as a box of pickled brute balls." After crossing out the tick and confirming in the book that the warthog was indeed out of service, he turned to Murphy and shook his hand apologetically.
"Sorry for shouting at you, the old noggin' isn't working as well as it used to. If you want a warthog that's actually working, follow me, i'll show you one. As long as i can remember myself," he added ruefully, beckoning for Murphy to follow him.
Murphy laughed, relieved that he wasn't in trouble. At least not too much anyways. He followed the engineer down a long row of hogs, Murphy was always impressed at just how many they could cram into the hold.
"Alan" Murphy blurted out as the engineer turned in bewilderment, "You told me your name at the bar, and I just now remembered it. Sorry." Murphy shut up and kept walking.
Quintus glanced up at the approaching human, apparently from this galaxy. "Sure, feel free to sit wih us." Extnding a hand he introduced himself, "Lt. Quintus Arctus, one of the Heirarchy representatives, and would it be safe to say you're here to represent the Alliance?"
Kenneth scratched his head. "Technically I guess. Lieutenant Kenneth Senshi, Biotic Company." Kenneth reaches out and shakes Quintus' hand before sitting down.
"I heard about the new aliens species and whatnot, but I found it to be a bit jarring. Mind explaining the story alittle bit more?"
"Oh.... It's Murphy? Right? My recollection of that night isn't too good. All i seem to remember is the taste of strawberries," Alan commented with a rueful smile, while he waited as Murphy climbed into the warthog. "Now don't be damaging my girl too much. Sophie here has had a difficult life, and it's a miracle she's still in one piece," Alan said, patting the windshield pillar affectionately. "So don't you go putting dents in her, otherwise i'll be putting dents in you."