Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 13Chapter 13: And To All A Good NightOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 133 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Dr. Halsey took a deep breath and looked into her daughter's face, the face that so resembled her own yet had obvious traces of Jacob's in it. "I'm sorry," she said calmly, holding back her emotions; years of carefully maintaining a professional mask made it easy, but it was hard at the same time. "Sorry for not being a better mother; sorry for never being there when you needed me; sorry for well, a lot of things." She crossed her arms, mirroring Miranda's posture, and sighed. Suddenly she felt old.
"You make it sound so easy, being sorry," Miranda remarked, neither condemning nor accepting the apology. "What does 'sorry' mean when you say it, anyway?"
Halsey was quiet for a moment, then looked away. "It means I'm ashamed of myself, really," she said softly. "What is all I've done worth when I can't even face my own daughter without feeling like a failure?"
Miranda blinked rapidly. She uncrossed her arms, shifted her weight, then took a s
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 8Chapter Eight: Angst and an SOSOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 83 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Dude, we should so totally annoy Dare into letting us do this next year," Romeo whispered loudly, elbowing Mickey, who had his eyes shut and was breathing deeply. It would have looked like an ordinary calming exercise to any passerby, but Mickey's squadmates knew exactly what he was doing: inhaling the smell of food that hadn't been freeze-dried at some point in time.
"I heard that, Lance Corporal. And it's Captain Dare," the woman in question sneered, pushing past the grinning ODST. She was taking everything in with a look that was part disbelief, part amusement.
"I thought Spartans and ODSTs have a relationship that's, well er, touchy, if I may say so," Six said quietly, standing by Kat, who was watching as Dare's squad made themselves at home.
"That's true, but there is an old saying that says 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.' I think that applies to ODSTs as well," Kat replied, and Six smiled slightly.
The Rookie stood
Jingle Bells-- Halo 3 StyleRiding on a 'hogJingle Bells-- Halo 3 Style3 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Plowing through the fray
O'er hills we go
Fragging all the way
Needles 'round us ping
Making our shields bright
What fun it is to shoot and sing
Our slaying song tonight!
Jingle bells, Prophet smells
Jackal laid an egg
Hunter got annoyed at him
And tore off his leg
Jingle bells, shot gun shells
Hope it never ends
Oh what fun it is to fight
And kill all of your friends!
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon the Arbiter
Was seated by my side
The Warthog it was jacked
And then we both got shot
We plowed into a mass of Grunts
And then we got upsot!
Oh, jingle bells, Johnson yells
Throw all your grenades
Flood is gonna kill us all
In many gruesome ways
Jingle bells, though I fell
I'll respawn again
Oh what fun it is to fight
And kill all of your friends!
Operation CHRISTMAS part 1Chapter One: Oh, Christmas Tree...Operation CHRISTMAS part 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"But I don't see why we have to get a real tree," Jun said for the fifth time, dragging his feet in the snow. A normal human would have been bogged down by the eighteen inches of packed white flakes, but the Spartan-III moved easily, albeit reluctantly. "I mean, the folks back at Delta Base use their heads and go buy one from Uni-Mart. Where it's warm." He pulled the thick fur lining his white and gray park closer to his face to block the frigid wind. "And why are we walking when we could have just stolen a snowmobile?"
"Whiny sniper is whiny," Kat sighed. She had on a parka similar to Jun's, but hers had much more fur tacked on, and she wore a white balaclava over her face, with blue sunglasses to shield her eyes. Her boots were horrifyingly un-military, with little poofy furballs hanging on strings from the tops, just below her knees (they'll be much warmer than combat boots, she'd insisted to Carter when she picked them out at the mall in New Alexa
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 9Chapter 9: Winter WonderlandOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 93 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Aha, now this is more like it," Jun said gleefully, prancing through the deep snow like he was on top of the world. He lifted his arms, admiring the white and gray body armor that he and the other two members of the search-and-rescue party now wore. "Not as comfy as MJOLNIR, but hey, at least it has heating. And triple the insulation we'd get in those stupid parkas."
Six couldn't help agreeing with the sniper's statement. The weather had taken a nasty turn for the worse in the last fifteen minutes, and the snow was blowing so thick it obscured her natural vision. But the HUDs of their helmets, which aesthetically resembled a cross between ODST and CQC variants, picked up infrared and also possessed motion trackers. This armor was virtually useless in battle, but today it would serve the Spartans well. It lacked the liquid-crystal layer that augmented their movements, though, so it was a bit heavy. Nothing they couldn't deal with.
Jorge turned his head to t
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 10Chapter 10: Spartans vs. IceOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 103 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Hey," Jun groused, reeling from the massive wad of snow that had just graced the entire front of his suit. "Watch it, man."
Jorge looked at the sniper, shook his head, then turned to look at what he'd uncovered. The trio had made excellent progress in a few short minutes, hacking and shoveling a crater in the snow. Now he was looking at a flat vertical surface that had a prominent metal handle sticking out as well as several security devices. It was a door.
"All right, let's get this thing opened up andGAH!" Jun clamped his hand around the door handle and it sparked with electricity, shocking him even with the armor on. The sniper stepped back, muttering swear words, then something crackled and the orange lights on the security meters turned bright green.
"You'll have to excuse the automated emergency system. It has a few quirks," Halsey's voice said dryly
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 12Chapter 12: Dinner is ServedOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 123 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Can't you at least consider trying"
Jacob sighed and wondered which side of the family Miranda had gotten her stubbornness from, his or Halsey's. Though in this instance, he was pretty sure it was Catherine coming out in their daughter. She had her hands on her hips and was scowling darkly, daring her father to come up with one more suggestion on bonding with her estranged mother.
"You haven't spoken a single word to her in years, Miranda," Jacob said, trying to remedy the situation. "I know you resent her for a lot of things, but you have to understandshe's been involved in work that's turned the tide of the war. She gave up motherhood to save you. To save a lot of people."
"Quit telling me what I've already heard a hundred times," Miranda snapped. Then her expression softened and she sighed. "Dad, I'm sorry. I shouldn't be angry at you."
"It's all right. You've had a lot on your mind lately. We both have
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 2Chapter 2-- TO THE MALL!Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Carter sat on his bed, dressed in a dark gray uniform and black boots. He had a five o'clock shadow and his eyes looked tired. He was alone in the men's quarters and took the opportunity to pull a holographic photo out of his pocket. He stared at the photo with a blank expression, watching as a man and a woman smiled up at him. The chill in the air seemed to grow more pronounced, and the Spartan Commander shivered slightly.
He shoved the photo back into his pocket as Jun came bursting through the door. "Hot shower!" the sniper yelped, snatching a gray sweat suit and fleeing toward the shower area. Carter watched him go, a bit perplexed. "Must thaw face " Jun was saying, and it echoed down the hall.
Carter pulled the picture back out and resumed staring at it.
It was around holidays like this that he missed them the most.
Elsewhere inside Noble Base
Kat adjusted her clingy gray sweater and sighed. Everything the Spartans wore was ei
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 5Chapter Five: Got Your BackOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 53 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Emile slunk into the kitchen, where a worked-up Rosenda-344 was desperately trying to clean up the mess that GYSGT Stacker and his crew of dimwits had left. He was wearing his all-black dress uniform, complete with all the medals he'd won fighting the Covenant and Insurrectionists. Rosenda turned to look at him and her eyebrows rose slightly. "Wow. Who knew, you actually look sane," she said, smirking. Her shoulder-length brown hair was sweaty and trailed into her face as she cleaned up stains and put things back where they belonged.
"Got somethin' for ya," Emile announced, one hand behind his back.
Rosenda's head snapped up and she cocked an eyebrow. "Uh-huh, really. Look, you and I both know we can't stand each other 'cause I'm your replacement."
"So? No reason to be all huffy about it," Emile said. "Besides, it is Christmas "
He brought his hand out from behind his back, and to Rosenda's utter shock it was
A can of cranberry
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 11Chapter 11: Heating UpOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 113 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Those were Doctor Halsey's first words as she entered Noble Base, hastily removing her scarf and goggles so she could gawk at the decorations and the company. Upon her entry, Jacob Keyes had immediately ceased his conversation with Miranda and stood up, while Miranda remained seated and eyed Halsey with an icy, almost hostile demeanor.
Halsey looked around, taking in the sights and sounds, and her keen blue eyes flitted from the tree to the ODSTs to Kat's bright red velvet shirt. It took her a moment to accept that this was indeed reality, and she took a few more steps inside, snow sliding off her coat. Jacob Keyes walked straight toward her and held out both hands. "May I?" he asked, and she turned so he could pull off her snow-caked coat. He slung it over a nearby chair and then half-smiled, still handsome despite his years. "It's been too long, Catherine," he said, his voice, so used to giving orders, oddly gentle.
"Okay people, Spartans coming
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 3Chapter 3: Spartans Shouldn't ShopOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Oh. My. God."
Jun's words were drowned out by the intense level of noise present in the mall. Emile glared at the flashy lights and the throngs of people with suspicion, probably gauging whether or not there were terrorists present. The smell of exotic food hung in the air and music blared from stereo speakers hidden in the walls. People of all races, shapes and sizes milled around, window-shopping and hanging out. It would be no great feat for the Spartans to blend in as long as they didn't do anything out of the ordinary. "It's so big " Jun mumbled, tugging on Emile's arm.
"It's a mall, dummy," Emile growled, roughly shrugging him off. "It's supposed to be freakishly big and obnoxious."
"Like your face?" Jun retorted.
"Shut up," Emile hissed.
A group of teenagers passed by, chattering briskly in Hungarian, and Jorge perked up. "This won't be too bad," he suggested, but Emile just glowered at him. "Besides, the list is simple. And w
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 7Chapter 7: Party CrashersOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 73 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Noble Team my, it's good to see you in person instead of on a screen," Colonel Urban Holland mused, his hands clasped behind his back as all seven Noble personnel stood at attention. He eyed Kat and Six's non-military attire with surprise, but did not say anything about it. "I must say this is a rare and unusual treat, but after so many months in the field, a good meal at Christmastime sounds like something I can't afford to pass up."
"Sir. We're honored to have you with us, as always," Carter replied.
Holland indicated his three guests and they stepped forward. "I'd like you all to meet Commander Jacob Keyes and his daughter, Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes." The elder Keyes had salt-and-pepper hair trimmed very short and a thoughtful, almost sad look to his angular face. His daughter had regulation-length dark brown hair and keen green eyes that swept over the Spartans with interest.
Kat and Carter relaxed somewhat, since these individuals matched
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 4Chapter 4: Converting the CommanderOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"We're ba-a-ack!" Emile sang, after kicking in the door. He marched in, with Jun following, still wiping his red eyes and muttering about a newly developed fear of shopping malls. Jorge, of course, was stuck carrying all the trappings, which consisted of many boxes, bags and random packages.
"What the "
The place was clean. Sparkling. Scary clean. It even smelled like Pine Sol, which was odd, because Pine Sol had ceased production in the 23rd century. At any rate, it was slightly eerie, also because no one was bumming around like usual. The place had been wiped clean and squared away
and decked with holly?
"Ooh! It's like that old song! Deck the halls with boughs ofOW!" Jun screeched as Emile twisted his ear. "Don't interrupt my festive song! And let go of my ear!"
"Ah, you're back," Kat said, stepping out to greet them. Emile's jaw nearly detached itself from his face and fell to the ground. She was wearing a red velvet turtl
Remembering NobleIt wasn't an impending air raid, but it sure sounded like one. The girl moaned and rolled over in her bed, her eyes fluttering open unwillingly. She tried to reach for her alarm clock, but got tangled in her sheets and, in the ensuing struggle to get free, fell out of bed, taking her covers with her. She landed in a heap on the floor and made an "oof" sound, then extricated herself awkwardly and staggered to her feet, finally able to turn the hated device off.Remembering Noble3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was 6:00 in the morning, still a bit dark outside. The girl drew in a hasty breath as the chilly morning air nipped at her bare toes. She immediately attacked her chest of drawers, pulling out a black and yellow jogging suit and a black tank top, which she put on hastily. She glanced in the mirror and went over to her cabinet, where she took out a jar of hair gel and slicked back her short, wavy auburn hair. This done, she went back to the bureau and put on some socks, then running shoes. Then she exited her room, l
KnightJorge knelt down, squatting in the dirt, and very carefully lowered one grimy hand, fingers poised for deft action. He made sure he caught the centipede-like worm before it could burrow into the ground; he had been watching them for a few days and knew they could disappear in less than ten seconds. He picked up the worm and watched as it curled up into a ball, a protective mechanism. He was fascinated by how the worm's long, segmented body wiggled as it crawled across the ground; now he wanted it to crawl on his arm. So he gingerly lowered it down to his forearm, trying to get it to unroll. Slowly it uncurled and began to explore, tickling the small, fine hairs on his arm, its little clingy legs moving in ripples.Knight3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He was quite alone at the far end of the playground, but he didn't seem to mind. At six, he was four feet tall, much bigger than the other children in his class at school. In spite of the fact that he was as smart as most third-graders, his classmates tended to label him big
Operation CHRISTMAS pt. 6Chapter 6: Emile's Epic FailOperation CHRISTMAS pt. 63 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Carter looked up at the huge tree, resisting the urge to gape, while Kat chuckled and squeezed his hand. "See, we are capable of decorating without using alien blood and guts," she teased. "You can thank Jorge for the tree and Jun for the decorations. And Gunnery Sergeant Stacker's men for hanging all the ornaments."
"Always a pleasure to help out, ma'am," Stacker said coolly, from where he and his squad were resting. One of them was hopelessly tangled in string threaded with popcorn while two others were picking off the popcorn and eating it, seemingly oblivious to their comrade's discomfort.
"Man, you guys went all-out it brings back memories," Carter said, and Kat squeezed his hand again, reminding him of what she'd said earlier. "But what say you we spend tonight making some good ones, right?"
"I couldn't agree more," Kat said with a sly smile.
Jun trudged in, sniffling. He looked like he was having an allergy attack or something. "Ah, Co
RevelationI. TowardRevelation3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Noble Six's eyes narrowed as she scanned the path below for any threats. Seeing none, she jumped down from the rocky overhang, bits of shale and stone accompanying her in her descent. She landed with a grunt and broke into a sprint. It almost felt wrong, how tired she was; she'd lasted through battles much longer than this without getting weak, even on low rations and virtually no sleep. So why was she lagging now?
The answer was obvious to her. Losing the team had taken something from her, something she'd possessed when she came to Noble, but somehow let slip away in the past weeks. The first (and most likely the largest) chunk had been ripped out when Jorge threw her through the airlock of the Long Night of Solace and she had to watch as raw Slipspace whisked him away into oblivion, along with the despicable Covenant vessel's entire midsection. A hero's dea