|Delta Team: Mightnight Sakura|
St. Takayama Ukon Hospital
Karakura Town, The Greater Ark (Installation Zero)
“So why are we here Bacon,” asked Spartan Willmore following Commander Hamm onto the hospital level, “and in our Dress Blacks like someone has passed away.”
“What do you mean,” responded Commander Roy Hamm trying to act naïve. He search the room, unlike the rest of Karakura Town the hospital level had several other species besides humans there, This was not surprising to the Commander as he knew that ONI pretty much owned this area of the Ukon Hospital.
“Why are we here, instead of going on those expeditions,” asked Willmore trying to pick his words carefully amongst the civilians, as the Forerunner portal and all related projects and materials were stilled classified.
“Because I have Jack and Ava doing the work, they are highly capable Spartans,” answered Hamm not really answering Alan's true question, “I trust they will get the job done.”
“No, don’t go sounding like Buck,” said Alan not buying Roy’s stalling, “Why are we on hospital detail, instead of going on those stargate missions or working with Lau to get a new ship.”
“Because we are here to visit Miranda,” said Roy, “besides Jack and Ava are going on a local patrol, not on any sort of expedition.”
“What? Miranda is the assets handler,” Alan said surprised that one of Delta Team’s former founders was here.
“Yes, who else would they have watch her,” said Roy.
“But why are we dressed in our Blacks,” asked Alan.
“Because no one really questions someone dressed like a they are going to a funeral,” answered Roy, “Two Spartans walking around here in any sort of duty uniforms looks suspicious, and in civies it's worst.”
“Why are we trying to keep our head down,” questioned Alan, “We aren't the only Spartans here.”
“We are the only Spartan's that are going to visit you know who,” responded Roy as he went up to the visitor desk and submitted his personal identification card to pick up a visitor pass for the two of them.
“Who,” asked Alan not entirely sure on what was going on.
“You know who,” responded Roy.
UNSC Forerunner Asset Research Center
Karakura Town, The Greater Ark (Installation Zero)
“Spartan O’Connor and Cephon,” greeted Technical Sergeant Walters, “I am sorry that we just have basic armor for you.”
“We are flexible Sergeant,” said Jacqueline O’Connor trying to relieve the Sergeant’s embarrassment.
“This is top of the line though,” said Ava as she picked up one of the combat helmets and checked its systems.
“That’s the latest from Misriah Armory,” said Sergeant Walters who was beginning to feel less embarrassed and more proud of his inventory, “We and a few other special operations unit have them, it's based on the ODST VISR software, but they were about to put it into a smaller package.”
“These will do nicely,” said Ava, “They are more then enough. Thank you Sergeant.”
“Your welcome,” said the Sergeant as he excused himself from the locker room.
“So it’s us and Fireteam Team FP-3,” asked Spartan Ava as she put on the helmet and grabbed a Marine Model M6H2 pistol and loaded an extended magazine into it and pulled the slide back to load a round into the chamber. She then pulled the magazine out again and placed another round into it, giving her one in the chamber and twelve in the stack.
“So do you think he was nervous because he couldn’t supply us with power armor or because he was in the girl's locker room,” joked Jacqueline.
Ava let out small laugh, which put a big smile on Jacqueline’s face, “You know, I think that is the first time I’ve seen you truly smile.”
“Come on let’s finish getting ready,” said Jacqueline not wanting Ava to question the moment and refocus on the task at hand.
Jacqueline grabbed herself a M6H2 pistol and placed it on her thighs armor, and then moved towards the rifle locker. The locker had a variety of different rifles, including some older models that were still favored by some units.
“Is that a BR55,” asked Ava as she grabbed an MA5D off the shelf.
“It is,” said Jacqueline as she grabbed the Rifle and looked at it, “They phased them out for the BR85 when I entered the service, never got to fire one.”
“Sadly as this is not the time to take it, especially into a possible battlefield,” said Jacqueline as she placed the the rifle back on its racked and grabbed a more modern BR85N equipped with a COG sight.
“Why do some prefer the old Battle Rifle over the new one,” asked Ava as she linked her MA5D to her helmets targeting system and then flipped up the rifle’s integrated backup sights to make sure they were still functioning. While most soldiers relied on Smart Link systems for aiming, some still preferred to keep current with traditional siting systems.
“The BR55 with its burst mode has high combat efficiency at mid ranges, but suffers at longer ranges,” answered Jacqueline as she prepped her newer BR85 for service, “Additionally its balance and length made it less effective at closer rangers. It's a more focused weapon as opposed to a well rounded one.”
“And now anyone who needs a more specialized weapon like that would favor some sort of DMR, wouldn't they,” added Ava.
“Yes, but some still like how the BR55 shot,” said Jacqueline, “still tempting, maybe when we get back from this patrol mission.”
“Do you think it's odd,” asked Ava as she loaded up the last of her gear.
“That they are asking Spartans and a Special Operations Unit to conduct a simple patrol mission,” said Jacqueline, “Kinda.”
“Do you think that they believe that the threat is more dangerous then they say,” asked Ava.
“That or, that there is something here that is worth protecting,” said Jacqueline as she open the door to the locker room.
“Like the portal,” asked Ava, “Or do you believe that there is something else here.”
“I don't know Ava, but we got a job to do,” said Jacqueline as she held the door open for Ava.
St. Takayama Ukon Hospital
Karakura Town, The Greater Ark (Installation Zero)
“They don't trust me, do they,” said Cortana who was still in her bed.
“Not much reason for us to do so,” said Commander Hamm, “This is the first time we have seen a digital being assume a biological form. And with these powers that you have been manifesting, you have a lot of us worried.”
“That's a pretty delicate way of putting it Commander,” said Cortana looking down at the blanket that was keeping her warm, “I believe the head of the Air Force was calling me a monster that should be destroyed.”
“Well she is a bit of an uptight..,” began Commander Hamm, but realizing that everything was under surveillance decided to switch topics, “What can you tell me about your ability to do that.”
“Why should I trust you Commander, when you don't trust me,” said Cortana, looking the Commander in the eyes.
“Fair enough, Miranda would you vouch for me,” asked Commander Hamm.
“Commander Hamm was part of the special Spartan Unit that Captain Mark Jones and Admiral Jun set up,” commented Miranda trying address Cortana's concern.
“And he has a history of distrust against AI's,” added Cortana not convince by the Commander's military record.
“If you know my record, you'll know that that caution is will warranted,” said Roy as he leaned against the wall, “I understand that most AI are an asset, but I tend to reserve my judgment till that AI proves itself, just like a person.”
“Yes, I know your past Commander, but not all AIs are like that,” said Cortana.
“But you can understand my reservations of them,” asked Commander Hamm.
“Yes I can Commander,” said Cortana beginning to trust the Commander, “My abilities are limited and takes a great deal of concentration.”
“I noticed some of that,” said the Commander.
“The farther away the information, the more concentration is needed,” said Cortana, “additionally the less clear it is.”
“So to clearly access something, you need to be in close proximity to it,” asked Alan who had been sitting quietly next to Commander Hamm.
“Yes, Lieutenant Commander,” answered Cortana, “additionally I am only able to observe data.”
“So you can't open doors or override anything,” asked Commander Hamm trying to probe to see how much of a security risk Cortana was,
“Not anymore then you can Commander,” answered Cortana.
“So why are you here Commander,” asked Cortana who was done answering questions.
“We are your security detail mama,” answered Roy.
“Security for me, or for you all,” asked Cortana.
“Depends how things play out,” answered Roy.
END OF CHAPTER
Delta Team’s Temporary Townhosue
Karakura Town, The Greater Ark (Installation Zero)
Alan Willmore heard a knock at the door right before it opened. Alan, who was sitting on the couch watching the vid screen leaned over and gave a shout, “Bacon, is that you?”
“Yeah, its me,” responded Roy, “Lau is with me too.”
“Oh hey Lau,” said Alan with a cheerful greeting, “Are you still staying at that fancy hotel in the downtown area?”
“Yeah, family is already there,” responded Lau.
“Do you have plans on how to get back,” asked Alan, “Emily didn’t make arrangements for a vehicle for us.”
“There is a local public transit line here,” answered Lau, “Our local TranSys passes should work on it.”
“Ah, never thought of that,” said Alan as he rolled his eyes on his oversight, “Guess I have been space side too long.”
“Or on duty too long,” said Hamm, “We are one of the most active units out there.”
“True, which is why this R&R and is going to be so nice,” said Alan as he leaned backed against the couch.
“I got some bad news on that,” said Roy as he looked around for his other two teammates.
“Jack and Ava are at the gym,” answered Alan knowing why Roy was looking around, “and what’s this bad news Bacon?”
“Talked with Buck,” said Roy looking for a place to put his stuff down.
“Buck, as in Gunny Buck,” asked Alan for clarification.
“Yes, Councilman Edward Buck,” said Roy as he sat down on the couch.
“Tea is on the kettle in the kitchen,” said Alan noticing that Lau was walking into the kitchen. Alan then turned his attention back to Roy, “So Buck said he had a mission for us, didn’t he?”
“Several actually, one that will keep us busy for some time too, but that won’t be for a little while.”
“Okay, does he have something for us now,” asked Alan.
“Yes, they moved that Portal Device to one of the facilities here,” said Roy.
“You mean that Stargate looking thing?”
“Yep, that one. They are going to be sending expeditions through it to explore more of the galaxy. We are number one pick for it and they are going to pay handsomely for it.”
“Well handsomely with MRCs,” said Lau joining the conversation with a cup of Oolong Tea.
“MRCs,” asked Alan not knowing what the acronym stood for.
“Mission Resource Credits,” filled in Lau, “We can use it exclusively to purchase supplies and equipment from Republic, both UNSC and allied alien species like the Swords of Sanghelios.”
“Anything else we have to buy with normal credits or trade with normal supplies like any other independent trader,” added Roy.
“Interesting,” said Alan as his face got slightly concerned, “Bacon not wanting to spoil it all, but…”
“Yeah, I have the same fear of how this could lead to corruption,” finished Roy, “But apparently Brass and leaders of our society believe the current safe guards are good enough.”
“Still..,” said Alan not entirely convinced.
‘You’re preaching to the choir,” said Roy as he pulled out his small computer to check his messages.
“Honestly from a moralistic standpoint, it's better that Delta-Team is part of the Guardian program,” said Lau, “If one of the Guardian Team’s goes rogue, we can take them out.”
“Don’t think I like the sound of that anymore,” said Alan staring out into space, as he thought of the scenario, “Don’t like the idea of taking out other Spartans or allied Sangheili outside of the holotank.”
“Me neither,” said Hamm as he looked at this messages. One message from HIGH COM caught his attention. A please looked fell upon the Commander’s face, “Good we got him.”
“Paul,” asked Lau.
“Yes, he is back with Delta,” said Roy.
Alan gave Roy a confused look, “But isn’t Paul the commander of the..?”
“Unfortunately, the project was going too well, and they want a Sangheili Shipmaster to lead the Master of Olympus.”
“That sucks,” answered Alan, “So he is going to be serving as Serenity’s Shipmaster?”
As soon as Alan asked the question, which both Roy and Lau gave each other significant glances at each other with uneasy smile, a priority message came through Alan’s personal communication device. The message came from Flight Lieutenant Sanders, which simply read: What the HELL IS GOING ON?!?
“Ah,” said Alan, “I got a strange text from Sanders.”
Alan’s communication device began to ring and buzz, as Sander’s was trying to get a direct line of communication to him.
“Transfer to the link to vid screen there,” said Roy, “I best be the one to answer this.”
“What’s going on Bacon,” said Alan as he transferred to the vid call to the screen located in the room.
“LC, oh good Commander you are here,” said Sanders who was obviously furious, “How was your meeting with the higher ups?”
“It could have been better,” said Hamm dreading on how the conversation was going to play out.
“I bet it could have been, who did you piss off,” asked Sanders.
“No one,” said Alan who was still not aware that Serenity was transferred to another unit, “Our team made Guardian status, so the whole crew should be part of the Guardian teams too.”
“He is right,” said Hamm, “Unfortunately we don’t have a ship.”
Stunned by the delivery of the news Alan looked at Roy, “What?”
“Navy believes that the ship should go to a research unit, due to its history of damage,” answered Roy trying not to make eye contact with either Sanders or Alan.
“We are getting another ship though,” said Lau trying to save the situation.
Thankfully for the Commander, Jacqueline O’Connor and Ava Cephon walked into the room to break the tension. Roy quickly ended the transmission with Sanders to greet his two Spartans.
“Hey Commander, what’s up,” said Jack in a cheerful and relaxed mood, which was very uncharacteristic of most Spartans. Yet it was this uncharacteristic nature of the Delta Team Spartans that made them different from other units, better or for worst.
“Bacon lost Serenity,” dropped Alan.
“What? How,” asked Jacqueline confused what was going on.
“Did you crash it trying to pilot it out of space dock,” joked Ava.
“The ship is fine,” said Roy who was getting annoyed, “She was just reassigned to a scientific team.”
“So how are we going to get around,” asked Alan curious about the future of the team.
“Well, Paul and I are going to figure things out,” reassured Roy, “Besides our next series of missions aren’t going require us to have one.”
“Excuse me Hamm,” interrupted Jacqueline, “Aren’t we suppose to be standby for ONI with Cortana being here?”
“Yes, which is why the team is going to be split between those two missions,” answered Roy, “At least two of us will be stay in Karakura on security detail, while at least two others members will be lead expeditions through the portal that was recently brought here.”
“How long are the portal expeditions suppose to last,” asked Alan curious how long the duty shifts would be.
“Four to six hours,” said Roy as he handed out several data pads to his teammates with more details, “of course sometimes those missions could last longer.”
“Damn,” cursed Jacqueline over a small detail in the mission orders, “duty days we are required to wear training BDUs regardless of deployment.”
“They originally wanted us to wear full BDUs or our undersuits,” said Roy, “but I convinced the operational commander to relax the requirement with us being slightly on R&R.”
“Are they shipping our armor to us,” asked Ava, “Or are we operating light?”
Roy checked his communication device, “They are suppose to be shipping them to us, but we can expect to go light if need be.”
“Suppose to be shipping,” asked Alan who was concern tone in his voice.
Lau quickly grabbed his communication device to see what the hold up was, “Armor was suppose to depart an hour ago and arrive later this evening with Liyet.”
Suddenly several wave message came through to all the Spartans, upon reading it Roy let out a sigh, “Well that explains the hold up on our armor.”
“I just got a wave from Liyet,” said Lau, “Odd, there seems to be some sort of communication black out, we are just now getting our messages in.”
“That's odd,” said Alan as he looked more carefully at his messages, “wonder what cause that.”
“Commander, have you read message about our armor,” said Jacqueline as she looked at Roy and then at Ava, “Didn’t you get the message?”
“No, what does it say,” asked Ava. Jacqueline handed her, her communication device to read the message:
Dear Spartan Participants,
Thanks you for your participation in the Mark VII testing program. As you know the MVII was the most advance GEN1 MJOLNIR system in the UNSC Inventory. Even with its high maintenance and cost, the lessons learned from your use and testing of the armor has helped bring huge leaps in developmental technology. We hope you found the armor to be highly effective, but unfortunately we will have repossess your armor for final evaluations and later decommissioned. As our way of saying thank you, we will be rewarding all Spartans with the opportunity to acquire the GEN2.8 MJOLNIR armor undern suits, which are; stronger, faster, more protective, and slightly lighter then both GEN2 and MKVII.
Again thank you for your participation in the program,
“Well that is unfortunate,” said Ava, “I didn’t get the message cause I have GEN2.5.”
“Well aren’t you special,” snapped Alan who was greatly frustrated how the team’s situation was deteriorating, “When are we suppose to get fitted for our new armor.”
“They are sending a team to us in two weeks,” said Lau, “So pretty much when our time here is done, I’ll make some contacts to see if we can speed this up.”
“Thanks Lau,” said Roy, “I am getting a call from Karakura’s base commander.”
Roy placed the call on the video screen in the room, just like he did with Flight Lieutenant Sander's call. Two high level officers appeared on the screen, Commander Hamm and the rest of Delta Team straighten up their posture to loosely resemble military appearance in their mix of civilian attire and military uniforms. Roy then greeted the two officers “Commander Hamm here, as well as some of Delta Team.”
“Commander Hamm, I am Major Lang of the UNSC Karakura base and this is Captain Henderson of the UNSC Navy’s expedition forces.”
“I hear your armor is slightly delayed for the time being Commander,” said Captain Henderson, “Will your Spartans be ready for the missions through the portal?”
“Aye, sir,” responded Commander Hamm, “It’s the person, not the armor that makes a Spartan. We can operate effectively without our MJOLNIR armor.”
“Good Commander,” said Captain Henderson, “Major Lang has some armor that should be able to fit your Spartans for the missions.”
“Thank You, Major,” thanked Roy.
“You can thank me Commander by helping me out with something,” said Major Lang.
“Just say the word,” said Commander Roy.
Captain Henderson gave Major Lang a nod of approval to use the Spartan team that was assigned to him and walked off the screen.
“If you hadn’t notice, we experience a communication blackout for a few hours,” said Major Lang, “We believe that it was intentionally caused.”
“By who,” asked Alan.
“It appears to have been caused by some sort of jamming signal, we are still sorting through the data to figure out who it might be, but we are thinking it might be the Covenant.”
“Well that could be anyone,” said Alan as he looked around the room to see his teammates reaction, “Pirates, splinter groups from the Covenant, mercenaries…”
“Or worst the Covenant Empire,” said Roy.
“Not really their style,” said Ava, “Is it Commander?”
“Well we are on Forerunner installation,” replied Commander Hamm, “It’s not uncommon for Zealot teams to be deployed on scouting missions to find Forerunner artifacts, and then signal an assault force later.”
“Just like Reach,” added Alan.
“Our team can be ready in ten minutes,” reported Roy,”just need a pickup.”
“No need to rush Commander, we have no idea where to deploy you,” said Major Lang, “Just get a two man team together, ready to go by four hundred hours.”
“Roger that, you can expect Lieutenant O’Connor and Cephon to report to you at four hundred hours,” replied Roy.
“Thank you Commander, we really appreciate it,” said Major Lang as he ended the transmission.
“Yeah thank you Commander,” said Jacqueline with some annoyance, “four hours asleep before an unknown duty duration, maybe we need to contact someone with standard Type-A augmentations, they can operate with a few hours of sleep per forty-eight hours.”
“Four hours is double what you need per twenty four hours,” replied Roy. The Type-D augmentations that most of Delta Team had, required more sleep compared to other augmentations. Advantageously the Type-D augmentations was accompanied by less stringent medical oversight and physical training to maintain proper health. Many considered the Type-D augmentations to be too much of a sacrifice while others believed it was the superior of the augmentations, as Spartans got almost all the positive benefits with minimal amount of negative side effects and maintenance. It’s lack of popularity was due to that not all Spartan IV candidates were genetically eligible and its high cost, but the number of individuals that have Type-D augmentations had been increasing steadily.
“Plus I need you two to do it,” further explained Roy, “Alan and I are going to report to Cortana’s caretaker in the morning to brief with her, and then I need Lau to start making contacts to see if we can get a new ship.”
“Gotcha Commander, but you owe us both,” said Jacqueline accepting the orders.
“Thanks Jack,” said Roy, “okay everyone, we should all hit the sacks we all need to start to settle down for the night.”
“A bit early, isn’t it Bacon,” asked Alan.
“We all have been working hard for these last few months, we all could benefit from some extra sleep,” said Roy, “Apparently we still are working part time on our R&R.”
“It seems so,” said Jacqueline as she followed Ava upstairs to prepare for her rest, “But I guess we get out of STO 11.6 since we are deployed.”
“I doubt it,” yelled Roy from below, “You’re probably not going to be deployed long enough.”
“I hate you Commander,” yelled Jacqueline like a teenager.
Previous Chapter: www.deviantart.com/halodarkage…
St. Takayama Ukon Hospital
Karakura Town, The Greater Ark (Installation Zero)
The room was quiet inside the hospital, although the sounds of the busy medical personal outside could be heard outside. The hospital was busy, but had a serene and efficient motion to the way all the personal moved. The top section of the hospital was far away from any of the emergency rooms that were located on the bottom and very top level of the building, but even those sections had a peace to them.
Several ONI security officers then walked by the room that caught Miranda’s eye, what are they doing here? Are they here for us or someone else?
Miranda then got out of her chair and walked out of the room into the main area to see what the commotion was about. Miranda could see across the building and several floors of the hospital both up and down. Like most humans she couldn’t help to look down to see the lobby floor several stories down to help grasp how high she was.
About two floors above and across from her she noticed several more ONI security personal in full body armor both holding MA5D Assault Rifles equipped with M301 grenade launchers. Medical personal were going in and out of the room, as well what were clearly ONI officials.
“What’s going on in there,” said Miranda softly to herself as she walked back into the room where Cortana was sleeping.
Miranda sat back down in her chair and grabbed her datapad to continue reading her novel, but was interrupted when she saw Cortana move in her bed. The former UNSC AI woke up and began looking around the room, still confused by her human body.
“Commander Keyes,” said Cortana as her vision came to focus.
“So it really is you,” said Miranda with a warm greeting, “I am actually retired now.”
“Yes,” said Cortana as she stared into the ceiling, “Retired at the rank of Captain, with ONI.”
“Well, I always considered myself Navy,” replied Miranda, “But my last assignment was with an ONI project with Captain Mark Jones .”
“Yes, a Spartan IV group,” said Cortana, “Delta Six group, N division. Not the normal Delta Six consort of assassins though.”
“ONI wanted a group of Spartans that were more flexible,” said Miranda, “How do you do it?”
“Access that information,” asked Miranda, “At first I thought it was just you accessing your former memories, but you just access current information. Information that you didn’t have access to when you were an AI. You were kept off-grid when you and the Chief were found.”
“I don’t know, I am just able to access computer systems like I was still linked to them,” responded Cortana.
“Can you tell me what’s going over there,” said Miranda as she pointed behind her at the group of security guards.
“It’s Kadmon,” said Cortana.
“You’ll need to be more specific, it’s a popular surname,” responded Miranda, “There’s John Kadmon the actor, there is like half a dozen singers with that name.”
Miranda then paused to think about more individuals with the surname, ”We had Vash Kadmon on Delta Team, hell even the leader of the Septagon Empire is Lord Kadmon.”
“They are the same,” said Cortana.
“Excuse me,” said Miranda surprised by response.
“Vash Kadmon and Lord Kadmon were the same person,” said Cortana as things became more clear to her, “Spartan Kadmon was taken over by the Primordial.”
“The Primordial,” said Miranda having never heard the name.
“The Precursors, they created the Flood and they now control the Empire,” said Cortana beginning to get overwhelmed, “We are all in great danger.”
Cortana began to tire and fell back asleep, tired from using her unique ability to access computers systems like an AI. The bio monitors beeped steadily as the room feel silent again.
Miranda pulled out her Com device, “Emily what’s going?”
DS-054 Civilian Transport
Greater Ark (Installation 0)
“I can’t believe it,” said Roy as he sat back down in his seat.
“They don’t have any real Cha Siu,” responded Lau as he pulled out the small food table. Even though the flight was only two hours to their destination, the two Spartans had not had an opportunity for several hours to eat and were wanting to something to snack on. While the augmentations that Hamm and Lau had, gave them a greater flexibility in their diet, it also required them to consume food more frequently.
“No they have real meat in this one,” said Hamm as he handed his fellow Spartan the container filled with pork, followed by another container filled with rice.
“Good, I am tired of eating that synthetic protein food,” replied Lau, “Don’t get me wrong, it taste pretty good and we get all the nutrient that we need from it, but nothing beats real meat.”
“Agreed,” said Hamm as he pulled out a pair of cheaply made chopsticks and broke them apart and removed the splinters from them.
“Have you ever wonder why all the data we have on the Greater Ark,” asked Lau starting up a conversation, “that it doesn’t match how the Ark looks now.”
“Not really,” said Hamm as he put a piece of pork in his mouth, “I assumed it happened when it repaired itself in slipspace.”
“That would make sense,” said Lau, “It would explain why the resource moon was mostly depleted too.”
“It would,” said Hamm who was still irritated by the latest news, “But seriously why did HIGH COM do this.”
“I know, it’s upsetting for me too,” responded Lau, “That ship was my project.”
“It’s like the verse can’t decided if they want us to keep Serenity or not,” vented Roy, “first it was damaged and then now brass.”
“I thought those voices sounded familiar,” said a voice behind Roy.
“Captain Elders,” greeted Lau as the former Delta Team Spartan walked up to the seating area. Half the upper deck was reserved for military personal so they could talk more freely. Of the military reserved area, another smaller section was reserved for ONI and high ranking personal.
“Please have seat William,” said Roy as he patted the seat next to him.
Captain Elders sat with his meal in hand, “I would congratulate you on your new Guardian status, if there weren’t standing orders not to.”
“And I would express my gratitude if you were able to,” said Hamm who then noticed Elder’s meal, “Really, we are groundside now.”
“Technically we are on a Forerunner installation,” rebuttal Elders as he opened his meal’s container.
“Yes, but there are farms and real meat here,” said Hamm as placed another piece of pork in his mouth and waited for Elder’s response.
“I like the synthesized stuff and it meets my strict nutritional requirements,” said Elders.
“I never understood why you went with traditional augmentations,” responded Hamm referring to Captain Elder's Spartan IV augmentations.
“Well it might be my last time to be able to eat it,” responded Captain Elders who began to slightly tear in the face.
“What’s wrong Paul,” asked Lau concern by the sudden change of mood in the Spartan.
“You know how I was assigned to the Master of Olympus,” said Paul with a slight sniffle.
“Yes, did something go wrong with the multi-species crew,” asked Lau concerned about the project, which held a great deal future diplomatic weight.
“Oh, no nothing went wrong,” said Paul, “the problem is that it went too well.”
“They promoted your Sangheili XO didn’t they,” said Hamm making a highly accurate educated guess.
“Yes,” said Paul, “They want to to see how humans will do serving under an alien species.”
“Well, I am sorry to hear that Paul,” said Hamm, “Where are they going to send you now.”
“It’s unknown HIGH COMM doesn’t know where to stick me,” responded Paul.
“Well we are in a similar boat as you,” said Hamm leaning back against his chair.
“We lost Serenity, HIGH COMM is reassigning her to a research group,” answered Hamm.
“Well she was a prototype and you boys need a more hardy-combat proven ship,” said Paul.
“True,” said Hamm admitting that Paul was right.
“She was quick, but her range was short,” added Lau, “also the history of structural damage doesn’t make her prime for combat, but she will do well with a research team.”
“But hasn’t HIGH COMM given you another ship,” asked Paul.
“No, not yet, if is kinda weird how the Guardian teams and ships work,” said Lau.
“Actually Paul is familiar with a the arrangement already,” said Hamm, “Delta Team’s arrangement was the basis for how the Guardian team’s work with ship.”
“Hey Paul,” said Hamm with a sudden thought in his head, “Have you thought about rejoining Delta Team, as our Ship Commander.”
“Yes and this may be away to coax NAVCOM to get us a new ship,” said Lau, “Admiral O’Neil has always liked us.”
“That is true,” said Paul who was beginning to look less depressed, “Although we will struggle to get anything nice like a cruiser.”
“Probably a Frigate, if we are luck maybe an Anlace-Class,” said Lau.
“Honestly an older Paris-Class Frigate with some refits on it would be work out very nice,” said Hamm, “It’s probably one of the most tried and tested designs, then modernize it would free up a lot of extra room. Hell we may each get our own cabins.”
“I hate to bring it up, but we might even look at a civilian vessel,” said Lau reluctantly, “We would need to bring the armor and weapons up to spec, but they are very fast and have some versatility that we just can’t find elsewhere.”
“I will consider it,” said Hamm, “But that sounds like it might cost a pretty penny, and I won’t let you buy it with your own money either.”
“Well it is something to consider,” said Lau.
“By the way Paul,” said Hamm changing the subject. The Spartan Commander was so worked up about the sudden changes in the team, that he didn’t notice why Captain Elders was coming down with them to Karakura.
“Yes,” responded Captain Elders as he started to chow down on his food.
“What are you doing here,” asked Roy, “Karakura is a pretty remote area.”
[previous chapter: www.deviantart.com/halodarkage… ]
Delta Team's Temporary Townhosue
Karakura Town, Greater Ark (Installation 0)
“So when do you think the Commander and Agent Lau will get here,” asked Jacqueline as she searched the empty refrigerator and freezer.
“Probably not till tomorrow, I’d imagine that they are going to spend sometime with their families before joining us,” replied Alan as he set his duffel bags down and scanned the small house, “What’s in the in the fridge?”
“Nothing,” replied Jacqueline, “We will need to run to the store tonight at least for beer for tonight.”
“Figures, there most be a local food delivery for some food, pizza or Chinese,” said Alan as he began to look around the house. At the bottom floor, Alan could tell that there was a small living space up front and as he made his way to the rear, a small laundry room with a toilet, kitchen, and one bedroom. As he made his way upstairs he found a large common bathroom that was broken up into a separate rooms each housing a toilet, bath, and shower. Additionally there were three small bedrooms upstairs.
“Well we are short a bedroom,” said Alan as he came downstairs, “I don’t mind sleeping on the couch for our R&R.”
“Are you sure LC,” said Jacqueline as she was searching her personal communication device for a nearby store, “Looks like their is a store just five blocks from here and small restaurant that is open as well.”
“Yeah, I don’t mind,” said Alan as search for the remote to the TV that was in the room, “I used to prefer it back in my youth.”
“What type of food is at the restaurant Lieutenant O’Connor,” asked Ava as she put down her things and sat on the couch.
“Just call me Jack,” replied Jacqueline, “It say’s Japanese comfort food,”
“A bit vague, do they publish a menu,” said Alan as he pulled a sweater out of his bag, he then thought a second, “You know I won't need this, I like the cold.”
“Nope,” said Jacqueline as she put her comm device in her pocket and pulled out her leather jacket from her bag, “The temperature sure did drop here.”
“Yeah, says its fifteen degrees outside now, not too bad though” said Alan as he went around the house turning off the lights that he had turned on.
“House has a central control unit LC,” said Jacqueline as she headed towards the door, “house should turn itself off on its own.”
“Oh thanks,” said Alan as he joined Jacqueline at the door and gestured towards Ava to join them.
The three off-duty Spartans locked the house and headed out on towards their destination.
“LC, why doesn’t the Commander and Agent Lau bring their family along,” asked Ava who was still trying to get used to the team dynamic.
“They like to keep their family and professional life separate,” said Alan, “But I heard that Lau has a pending petition to take his family on board Serenity.”
“What about the Commander?”
“His wife works for ONI Section One and Zero,” replied Alan, “She stays on board every once and awhile. The both of them are always in and out, but always luck in on meeting up after missions.”
“And the Commander also has two dogs and two cats,” added Jacqueline, “But his wife usually travels with one of the dogs and both cats.”
“Yeah, you’ll often see a German Shepherd on board the ship,” said Alan as he checked his location on his Comm, “Looks like a right up here.”
“Surprised those two are able to have family,” said Ava.
“Yeah, its hard to have one as Spartan, but you can make it work,” said Jacqueline with skip in her step.
“Always the optimist Jack,” said Alan with a hearty chuckle.
“I assume that we will eat first, then go the small convenience store next door,” asked Ava.
“Yeah that sounds like the plan,” said Alan who was just enjoying the fresh air, or as fresh as you could get on an artificial structure like the Ark.
“Hey, there it is,” said Jack who was pointing at small restaurant sign. The small commercial area in the district was only composed of half a dozen stores. Karakura Town was funded by the Murasame Corporation which originated from Kyushu of Earth’s Japan. While the Kakura Town had a wide variety of Ethnic cultures and people, the town at its heart had a strong Japanese influence and structure.
Three Spartans walk into the small restaurant that looked to be no larger then a four by four meter room. In the middle stood a Chef who was surrounded by a U-shaped bar with seating all around him.
“Konbanwa,” said the chef with a slight bow towards his customers, “UNSC?”
“Yes,” replied Jack quickly out of hunger.
“Anglo,” said the Chef confirming the language of choice of his customers, “No, problem I speak it very well.”
“Sorry, my Japanese is not that good,” said Jack as she grabbed a seat at the side of the bar.
“Scoot down Jack,” said Alan, “I am the oldest here, Spartan Cephon you should sit to the left of Jack.”
The Spartans arranged themselves in the proper sitting order, but struggled due to their large size in the small room. Eventually they all sat down and ordered their drinks and food. While they waited they discussed what they needed get at the nearby store.
“Excuse me LC,” interrupted Ava wanting to ask a question.
“Shoot,” said Alan as he took a drink from his beer.
“I noticed that I had received my grade of Lieutenant again from my time in the Army,” asked Ava, “I thought Spartans all held the same grade in the Spartan Branch.”
“We are a bit of an exception due to our teams integration nature with regular units,” answered Alan.
“Even though we are classified as Delta-6 unit, we are the spiritual successor of Noble Team,” continued Alan. As the Spartan Deputy Commander finished answering the question, the Chef began to bring out the food to the Spartans. The Spartans thanked the chef for the food, and grabbed the supplied chopsticks.
But before anyone could begin to eat, Ava asked another question, “Is that what the ‘N’ stands for?”
“Excuse me,” said Alan as placed his chopsticks down. Even though he could hear her perfectly, he wanted to clarify what she was asking.
“We are the N-Cell, does the N stand for Noble Team,” asked Ava.
“Actually I never thought about what the N stands for,” said Alan who never really knew what it stood for. Of the three to four Delta-6 teams that were in the UNSC, they all had different names that never really followed a set pattern. This was intentionally done by SOCCOM to keep the total number of Delta-6 units ambiguous. It was so ambiguous that even members within Delta-6 never really knew how many units were out there.
“Yet, none of the other Delta-6 units wear traditional ranks do they,” asked Jack as she picked around her food looking for a certain food that she favored.
“No, I think we are the only ones,” said Alan as he finished chewing his food. Realizing that there was food still in his mouth he quickly apologized to the chef for his rudeness.
“Don’t worry about it,” said the chef, “We are not very strict on formalities here, we have a diverse human population here. If we were so formal, we would always be offended.”
“Thank You,” said Alan for the generosity and hospitality of the Chef.
“So why is it that Karakura is pretty much only human,” asked Ava looking around, “Avalon City had a large variety of humans and aliens.”
“Well technically we are all aliens to this place,” said Alan as put some rice in his mouth.
“That’s right you haven’t been ground side here have you,” said Jack, “Three settlements on Installation Zero have multi-species populations: Avalon, Cardiff, and New Port.”
“Technically, Salvation’s Rest is too, but it’s pretty small,” added Alan.
“All settlements answer to our alliance head quarters on Avalon,” explained Jack, “But those settlements are all governor independently by different species who are members of the Republic.”
“Actually I think only the Sangheili, Unnggoy, and Jirlhanae have settlements here,” said Alan who was enjoying his meal and letting Jacqueline do most of the talking.
“So where do the Kig Yar and other species live,” said Ava continuing to inquire about life on The Greater Ark. Jack continued to explain that most of the former Covenant species would usually settle in Sangheili or Jirlhanae settlements. While the Unggoy had their own settlements that they didn’t share with others, many would travel to other settlements for employment. Many would even still still choose live with along side their former Covenant masters.
“So what about these new species that we have been running across, like the Asari,” asked Jack.
“Many have a residence permit to live here, but aren’t citizens,” said Alan who had finished his meal. Alan then took over the impromptu lesson on the social and governmental state of the Installation Zero, explaining about the resident species on the station who were not citizens of the new Republic of Free Planets.
When the conversation finally answered all of Spartan Cephon’s questions and the beer had run out, the Spartans thank their host once again and left the restaurant for the small market store to pick up supplies for their stay.
The Spartans carried their supplies back to their small house and spent the rest of the evening catching up on several vid sitcoms that they had missed due to deployment.
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