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Kevin Gregory
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
Status: Welp
Current Residence: New York (Not the city, dummies)
Favourite genre of music: Groove/ Thrash metal (Pantera, Exhorder, Exodus, etc)
Operating System: Windows 8.1
Current MP3 player: iPod nano(6th gen)
Skin of choice: Anything sharp, rough edged, and shexy ... Like a Turian or Sangheili... :3
Personal Quote: "Im not rasist, im just an asshole!"~ me
Favorite Quote: "Getcha Pull!" ~Darrel "Dimebag" Abbot.


Fate Twister (Redux Edition)

Act I

Chapter II
“The Ashes in the Wake”

It had grown quite dark for me.  After I had fallen unconscious I found myself in a strange state of limbo; it was a niche in between the great mortal divide, where one is not necessarily dead but you know you're not quite alive.  Unfortunately, there seemed to be no light to look up to from the darkness. Time had no meaning here as there only seemed to be the blanket of the void around me.  My body failed to respond to any sort of motion I attempted as if I had been paralyzed from the neck down.  The only thing that I really could hear was the sound of my constricted breath.  The fact that I could not keep track of time was probably the most frightening part of the experience.  It caused everything to fade together as I was wallowed in the darkness.

Eventually, after the ‘brisk’ eternity of nothingness dissipated, visions and feelings of every memory of pain and discomfort that I had ever experienced began to project before me at, what seemed like, a thousand miles per hour.  These painful mementos started to surface from the earliest corners of my childhood.  Everything from throwing up from the flu to the feeling every time that my mother’s hand graced my ass in discipline.  Once these had played out, then came my teen years.  Past all of the scrapes and breaks and fractures from playing football, and onto the vivid pains of my adulthood.  Two that stuck out in the montage of hell were the times in which I had taken a round from an AK-47, right through the meat of my left thigh and when I had received a concussion from falling two stories off the drop rope of a UH 60 Blackhawk in the Marines.  Luckily, once these had run their course through the filter that was my memory, the pleasantries of more desirable times began to play before me.  They seemed to be mainly of those who had been close to me in my life.

I always had the fondest memories with my father.  He had always been quite stern on teaching the lessons of life to me.  Yet, despite this, there was always a sense of deviance to him that would allow much fun to be had.  To best describe him would be that he was one of those guys who would race the muscle cars from the 1970s around the streets, while blasting early Exodus and Metallica tapes.  He was very supportive of most of the decisions I made in my life; from the basic interests I had as a child, even up into my enlistment into the military.  As much as I could not really tell him about my post military life, we still had kept close; if he wasn’t at my house working on a car, I was at his spending time with him and my mother.

One time in particular that stuck out to was our most recent project car, a 1969 Plymouth GTX that they had purchased from a farmer in a neighboring town.  It was quite the extensive project, needing full restoration and a huge level of replacement parts from the decades of sitting in a corn field.  The most ironic part of the project was towards the end when it had nearly reached completion.  We had just replaced the engine with a totally rebuilt, 440 Six Pack, and had thrown it in perfectly only to find out the hard way that the fuel rails had not been fastened.  This wonderfully stupid mistake resulted in a gasoline fire that almost took down the whole garage… I had never heard my father curse so much in his entire life.

Of course he never cursed around my mother; for she was a well-mannered and a firm stay at home woman who took literally no amount of shit from anyone, though she always meant well with an overly optimistic outlook on life.  No matter how many times she had to scream our full name across the property or how many times she had to exert her authority, she would punish and send Mike and myself down the right direction on being well behaved and gentlemanly.  It was what we needed.  What I received from them was a good outlook on life and a strong work ethic.  One of the greatest times I had with my mother was seeing how much she lost her head over seeing Morgan and myself off to senior prom.  It is such a weird transition period in which a parent realizes that their child has now blossomed into an adult.  I knew my mother felt this as I looked in the rearview to see her standing in the doorway of our home crying in the arms of my father as we left for the evening all dressed up in my father’s Chevelle.

Morgan was an amazing woman from Winnemucca that I had come to know through a football game in her junior year of high school.  She was at the game rooting for the Winnemucca team; after they had won the game, she had approached me she to simply ask to borrow a dollar for a bag of popcorn.  I of course offered to just buy the popcorn for her and we ended up talking for quite the extensive amount of time; little did I know this woman would become the love of my life.  She had stuck with me faithfully through my tour in the Marines and through all of the time that Mike and I had spent away from home on our ‘security sale’ rounds around the world.  It was quite saddening to me to now know that our trip home had been halted.  I was planning to get engaged to her.

The instances that were running through my mind were not all pleasant.  One that heavily sparked my attention was one scenario from his tour of duty with the USMC in 2010; it was of first serious firefight I had ever been through.  It was here where I would learn that, in combat, no one has time to grieve the dead and dying.  In the later parts of that year, Mike and I had been placed into a Company that was located in Afghanistan.  One day there was to be quite a high value of altitude sensitive material to be transferred from our base to another.  With a convoy made up of six Humvees, a pair of M1120 HEMMTs, and a single LAV-AT, we were heavily defended for our moderate trek.  I had been set up with my M240L in the third Humvee of the three leading the train.  Behind us was the LAV followed by another Humvee.  After the fourth Humvee was the two HEMMTs with the remaining two Humvees bringing up the rear.

Though the temperature was blazing compared to what most Americans were used too, I don’t remember it being as hot as it would normally be.  To be fair, it was always hot in Afghanistan and that was even with shade and a fresh supply of water.  For what it was worth, the scenery made up for the somewhat hellish climate that seemed to stay as a constant.  Even from the thick window of the back seat of a Humvee, the mountain ranges gave quite a view; it sort of reminded me of home.

“So… This isn’t all that hot for you, is it?”  The Marine in the seat next to me asked.  

He was a fellow leatherneck hailing from Idaho named Nikolai Garstrov.  He was quite the interesting character to say the least; due to the fact of his near stereotypical Russian name without portraying even the slightest accent led me to dub him with the fond nickname of the “Pseudo-Ruskie.”  Nikolai had always been easy to get along with as he was a good fit for the usual bullshit that Mike would throw my way.

“It is, kinda…”

“Really?” He gawked as if he was surprised with me.  “I haven’t heard you complain about it yet.”

“I don’t like to complain.” I responded with a slight shrug before looking back out the window.

“Well, I know that…  It seems like you like what you are doing here, though.” He pointed out.

“I do.” I answered with yet another shrug.

“Are you going to be a Lifer?” Nikolai questioned.

Before I could answer, our driver, Chad, spoke up.  “I bet you both one hundred bucks that he is!” He laughed towards the other passenger, James, and Nikolai.

“Nah man!  Have you seen his lady back home?  He ain’t staying in the corps away from that.”

I just smiled and shook my head from such antics; all of this made the time go by.

As we passed through a town on the route, our conversation would soon be cut short as the deafening sound of an explosion from behind shook our Humvee.  The startling sound sent everyone into a panic as we tried to figure out what the hell had just happened.  We would soon piece together that an improvised explosive device, that had been set in the middle of the street we were passing through, detonated just between the middle Humvee and the first HEMMT, causing crippling damage to each of the vehicles.  In our attempts to collectively piece together the situation, we failed to notice a rocket sailing its way directly at our vehicle from the roof of a nearby building.

The rocket slammed into the hood of our Humvee, causing a deafening force of concussion to tear throughout the cabin as the front of the truck was split open like an anchovy can.  Even though my ears took a beating and my consciousness was quite shunted from reality, it was obvious that Chad and James had been killed from the explosive’s force on the front of the truck.  The next moments were blurred heavily and I was rendered solidly numb until Nicolai desperately was shaking my shoulder in attempts to bring me back to clarity.

“Don!”  He screamed, terrified.  “Get the fuck up, man!  C’mon!  Don’t die on me!”

To give him some sort of answer, I gave him a quick wave as I sluggishly began to check myself for any damage.  Happily, there was none, I was fine.

“We need to get the fuck out of the truck!  The convoy stopped!”

I could barely hear him to begin with, but I could just faintly make out the sounds of a firefight building quickly.  He was right though; we could not stay here.  I popped open the door and got out as fast as I could in my still heavily dazed state.  Once my boots hit the sand I found that it was somewhat difficult to stand for a moment.  To counter this, I had to rest my weight briefly against the rear wheel well of the Humvee as I secured my M240L.  There was hardly time to even gain my thoughts as it would seem, for I looked up just in time to see a trio of insurgence members turn down the alleyway that was right next to our, now, destroyed truck.  With hardly a questioning second, I raised the weight of my light machine gun with the trigger held.  Despite my weapon making quick work of the insurgents, seeing them die was devastating to me.  These were my first kills.  

Dissociation is key; they tried to kill you and so you acted.  It is only natural.

As their bodies fell in shambles, I felt my nerves numb and my veins race as the need to act was quickly becoming apparent.  My hearing was met with the sounds of nearly endless weapons fire with the occasional shouting.  Nikolai soon came to my side of the Humvee as several rounds from enemy fire pinged off of the rear of the truck.  Both of our heads ducked down behind our cover as we looked back in time to see the LAV roll forward as its rotary 20mm began to spray at whatever contact it had towards the enemy.  Back with the convoy, one of the transports had been hit with a rocket in the front grill and had come to a stop at an angle that nearly blocked the entire street the convoy was going through.  The other Humvees had moved around to form a sort of brace line before the transports.  Sgt. Stacker, the head guy of the convoy, could be heard over the radio for Don and Nikolai to fall back to them.

With the cover of the light armor and the suppressing fire of the convoy’s blockade, we ducked our heads down and frantically ran toward the others.  Miraculously, Nikolai and I somehow avoided the enemy fire that would occasionally strike the sand besides us. To our relief, we eventually found ourselves sliding into the safety of the Humvees of the blockade.  With the mass of steel and armor, it would take a lot of luck on the insurgency’s part to get a direct hit on anyone still alive in the convoy.  We hardly got a second’s rest before the Sergeant began to bark out orders to us.  It was to be expected; if we were to both ward off the insurgence and survive the attack, we would need to act accordingly.

“Caster!  Get that ‘Pig’ up on something and fucking help suppress those bastards!” The Sergeant yelled as he pulled himself down into cover from firing his M4A1 over the sloped rear of one of the Humvees.

I yelled back quickly to confirm his order before I moved with haste to the other side of the Humvee that I was currently behind.  I swiftly extended the bipod of my M240L before setting it up on the hood.  My lungs hurt; my breathing was desperate and panicky.  I had never seen combat like this in my life, it was all so new to me.  Despite this, I did what I had been trained to do as I did my best to get any hits, or suppress the enemy.  It didn’t help that there seemed to be a never ending supply of them.  I knew that our cargo was fairly important, but the insurgents seemed to want it a bit too much.  Nevertheless, the blockade was not going anywhere.

Several minutes passed in a frantic blur.  Of course this seemed like an eternity to me.  Nikolai provided me ammo belts in between reloads so that the weapons could remain free and of use.  The .50 M2 machine guns on the Humvees were essential to our effort as we waited for both reinforcements or for the end of the fight to come.  As much help as the LAV had provided earlier on, it ended up not aiding us for very long as it was destroyed after a few long moments by several rockets from the insurgents.  To great fortune, we were very soon after joined by a pair of M1127 Stryker Recon Vehicles and a single M1128 Mobile 105mm gun that were on a nearby patrol and had responded to our convoy’s call to arms.  It was a surprising amount of mobile armor to just roll into our fight, but as we saw the trio of Strykers slam through a stone wall off to the right side of the roadway just in front of us, our spirits were greatly lifted.
Fate Continuum
Act IV
Chapter III
“The Return to The Fleet”
H.D. 2:26 p.m. September 21th, 2552

After the whole emotional debacle that was their previous mission, the Phantom had been ordered to go to one of the three ships that were close above the ring.  According to the Covenant Battlenet, the Parasite had gotten off the Sacred Ring and onto an agricultural ship of the fleet.  The ship, the now ill-fated Infinite Succor, was boarded by a Lance of Special Operations who retook control of the ship and sent into the sun of the solar system.  After that instance, the fleet had designated three ships nearest to the Ring that had been immobilized by the Human Ship that crashed on the surface.  

Those three ships were now serving as a quarantine for all of the troops that were desperately fleeing the parasite.  The security was quite tightly knit and very precise; there were no weapons allowed off the transports and showers were mandatory whether a warrior was covered in gore or not.  Clad with white covered Ranger class armor, they had led everyone coming onboard the ships off of their transport and to where the majority of the warriors were staying until the quarantine was lifted.  It was done with great distinction and effectiveness that even Sig was impressed.  Though at this point he would be impressed by a poorly made cup of creamed coffee; anything was better in contrast to the parasite.  As the situation currently stood, the ship that the Lance had fled to was undergoing the process of being stripped of its materials.  The materials could be easily seen in stacks of individual panes on the furthest side of the Hangar.
Once they had cleared through the security Sig led them what was left of the Lance towards the mess hall section of the ship.  There was bound to be no food there, but it was the most spacious section of the ship still intact, save for the hangars.  Most of the ship had been hollowed out from the stripping.  In fact, there were sections of the ship that one could see almost clearly to the other side of the shell.  He was quite persistent on finding a place for his Warriors that was a bit more secluded from the rest of quarantined warriors.  Eventually they came upon an observation deck just outside of a non-operational N’vek’s diner.  There were several settings of seating that the Lance quickly moved to huddle around in the corner of the deck.  Everyone sat heavily and silently.  With the exception of the group of Kig Yar who were very quietly squawking to one another, the three remaining Sangheili were wordless.  The Pilot of the Phantom was emotionlessly looking out of the projected window into space at Threshold and the Minor Sangheili was still trying his damnedest to hide the fact he was still crying.  Sig sighed empathetically for the youth.  He too had shed his terrified tears on the Phantom ride up, but the tears of the Minor were of loss.
Sig sighed heavily as he took his helmet off and dropped it between his hooves.  “Minor…” He looked up towards the young Sangheili after a moment of rubbing his eyes.
The Minor picked up his head and sniffled sharply to swallow his tears. “Yes sir?” He straightened up as he choked slightly on his words.

“What is your name?” Sig asked him softly.

“My name…” He whimpered slightly.  “My name is Cazo Malkamee, sir.”

Sig smiled slightly as he began to try to distract Cazo and himself from the situation.  “It is nice to meet you.” Sig smiled politely.

Cazo got quiet for a moment while giving Sig a slightly confused look.

“Where are you from?”

Cazo swallowed again after he wiped his face.  “Cleveatte…. I uh…” He paused for a moment. “I am from Cleveatte.”

“Oh very nice.  They have a nice network of fishing piers.”  Sig nodded slightly.  

“Yeah… I guess.” Cazo looked down as he nodded slightly.

“They had great food there.” Sig was happy to see that he could recourse the conversation.

Cazo paused briefly. “I don’t think it was as good as the Varo seaside though.”

“Maybe not in terms of value or quantity,” Sig sighed softly.  “but... it has a certain quaintness that I just love.”

“You’re right…” The youth got quiet.  “Kosa and I used to go there all of the time as children…”  Cazo’s throat struggled slightly. “We…  In our early we would collect the stones that the fishermen would remove from the belly of the large fish they would bring in.  He and I would take them to the waterfront and attempt to build great ‘water walls’ with the stones to save a crudely made sand fortress...”  He looked down quietly as a tear fell from his mandible tips.

“What was his name, Cazo?” Sig asked softly.

“Kosa… Kosa Nadamee.”

Sig’s smile faded slightly.  “Coza.  When we return home I want you to tell me when and where his service will be… For I shall pass on word of his honor myself.”

Cazo and the Pilot both looked sharply at him as if surprised.  

“Sir?” Cazo questioned with a sniffle.

“Sig.  My name is Sig.”

Cazo just stared in complete disbelief.  “You would do that?”

“Yes, I promise that I will if you’d allow me too.”

“...It would be an honor to his name, Valhamee.”

Sig simply nodded in response.

“You impress me, Major.” The Pilot noted suddenly.

“Why?” Sig asked.

“You seem to be unsure on how to play the role you have been given, yet you act upon your duties with the grace and care that not even the most experienced Ultras would provide.”

“Is that because I legitimately care for my warriors?”

“In a matter of speaking…” He sat forward with a sigh.

“I vowed to act on my followers as my leaders cared for me.”

“You show it well.”

“I am delighted to give such a presentation.” Sig said with a sense of pride.

Now with Cazo more calm than he had been, the group was left in silence for a good long while.  There was not much to pass the time for the most of them.  The Kig Yar were either sleeping or quietly having a conversation with each other.  The Pilot silently watched the Ring through the projection pane as he had been, Cazo had found himself asleep after a little while, and Sig had been distracting himself with numerous extensive cooking recipes that he had saved on his data pad.  If his mind was ever riddled with unrest he would sometimes read recipes and try to imagine the taste of the resulting food.

“Have you any children waiting for you back home?” The Pilot asked to once again break the silence.

“No…  I do not.” Sig sighed with his gaze still at his data pad.

“May I ask why not?” He asked Sig as he sat forward, interested.

“Well…” Sig set down his data pad.  “I just have not found anyone to match who I am.”

“Oh…” He shifted slightly.  “I did not mean to pry, however I noticed that earlier when Major Quetanee were exchanging stories you were silent… I noticed the Far Beyond Provocation emblem on your armor.”

“Oh… That is nothing really.”

“Do not play me for a fool, Valhamee…” He crossed his arms.  “I have been a transport pilot for almost 67 years.  I have heard a good number of tales of that kill team.”

Sig chuckled very slightly.  “Maybe in a little bit, sir.  I’ll have to think of whether what I could tell you is allowed for your ears.”

The Pilot snorted and smiled slightly.  “How did you get the emblem?”

“I am one of the founding members.” Sig smiled a bit.

“Really… You do not look hardly old enough for such a feat.”

“Ah, but it is true.”

“If you still you have their colors painted on your armor, then why are you not with them now?”

“The kill team is currently unassigned.  Two key members are currently not present for duty.” Sig sighed as he looked down.

“Well… That is a simple enough reason.” He nodded and sat back against the wall and looked back out into space, leaving the conversation quiet.

Eventually one of the Kig Yar, the T’vaoan Sig had pulled into the Phantom earlier, broke his silence as he complained in his own native language about the lack of food in his belly.  

“You know… they must have some sort of food on this ship.  Why not you and I go find some for the rest of the Lance.”  Sig offered.

As Sig looked at the T’vaoan curiously, he received quite the surprised collection of glares from the entire group of Kig Yar.  They all seemed to tilt their heads at the Sangheili could just openly understand their species’ language.

“I am multilingual… Come now… Gawking at my knowledge of speech will not help us find provisions.”  Sig stood with a slight smile.

Sig waited for a moment while the T’vaoan got up from his seat before heading from the observation deck for the mess hall.  With the time that they had been there it had seemed like a great amount of troops had arrived from the Ring.  The mess hall was quite tightly packed with all species alike.  He thought there could be many things that could go wrong with how everyone was in one place; while it would be much easier for the security forces to keep an eye on everyone if they were all in one place, but if there was an outbreak, they would stand absolutely no chance against such a seemingly instantaneously spreading parasite.  Despite this setup, there was a near full staff of security workers who were quickly distributing food and water rations to the warriors in the mess hall.  The Security officers had called that only Majors and other Leaders come forward for their Lance’s provision.  Given this, Sig and the Kig Yar two ended up waiting in a lengthy line for said provisions.

“What other languages can you speak, sir?” The T’vaoan asked from beside Sig.

“Well…  I can speak, read, and write the languages of every major Covenant species.  This includes Jiralhanae, Unggoy, San Shyuum…” Sig paused briefly to think.  “and though I cannot speak it for the lack of a beak, I quite fluently understand the Kig Yar language.” He nodded slightly.

“Intriguing…” The T’vaoan hummed softly.  “Are their other languages you understand?”

“Plenty.  I also Understand Forerunner, Human, a bit of Yamne’e” Sig shook his head slightly as his mind wandered slightly.  “I also speak ‘blatant sarcasm’ if the situation calls for it…” he sighed delightfully; he greatly missed K’an.

“You like to read it seems.”

“Very much so!” Sig crossed his arms.

“Why not be with the Science Division then?  If you enjoy it so much?”

“I would have…  However, when I joined the military, that division was not really as popular as it is now and even that isn’t much.  I just stuck with where I was placed and did the best I could.”

“I see…”

Sig hummed.  “What is your name?”

“Your species would pronounce it ‘Fal’Tahn” He smiled.

“Nice to meet you, Fal.” Sig smiled back as the two shook hands.

“Either way...I think you have done well for yourself…  Your kill team has been around a long time.  It’s an honor to be besides someone with such a history to him.” The T’vaoan admired.

“I honestly would not like to reflect on it.  I do not like war, but it is what I’m good at.” Sig sighed.  “I may as well see this war through and just mark our last operation as a failure…”

Fal gave a frown.  “I would not call our last mission a total failure…”

“What would you call it then?” Sig uncrossed his arms.

“Well…  Yes, it was a failure.  The objective was not completed and we retreated.”

Sig gave a slight grunt in response.

“However…  A decent number of us survived because of you giving the order to retreat.”

“I guess so…”

“I once was in a similar position, Sig.  At one time I held the rank of Champion.  I lead my Lances into battle as well as anyone else could…”

“What happened?” Sig looked down at Fal with concern.

“We ran into a trio of Demons as we were patrolling some mountain side routes on the last Human planet the fleet invaded.”

“Oh my… How bad were the casualties?”

“Everyone besides myself....” Fal sighed heavily.  “I should have made a call for shelter or fleeing, but I did not.  We stuck to our ground and tried to make an attempt at slaying the Demons.”

“...I assume that did not go well.”

“No.  The Demons were using a vehicle to simply run over us like a simple nuisance.  What is worse is that they turned around and made several bounds through the Lance with the vehicle.” He paused a moment to give a growl of distaste.  “I know you Sangheili have a strange sense of respect of the Demons, but we Kig Yar fail to share that outlook on them.  What they did was quite lacking in honor; there is nothing noble about simply running over your opposition with a vehicle that is the third weight of a Wrath.”

The two were silent for a moment.

“Adding an insult to my name, I was demoted and rendered unable to be placed in a leadership position of troops.”  He grimaced.

Sig put a supportive hand on Fal’s shoulder.  “Well… if I continue to lead troops and you stay with my Lance, I will put you in charge of the rest of the Kig Yar.”  he gave a slight smile of assurance.

A slight warble escaped Fal’s beak.  “What of the hierarchs?”

“If they have an issue with it, they can fondle my stones.” Sig smiled widely.

Fal huffed in amusement.  “You must have some heavy stones if you are open to publicly disagreeing to the words of the Prophets.”  Sig had never seen a Kig Yar smile so widely before in his life.

“Oh… They are not that heavy, I assure you.” Sig replied with a slight blush.

Fal got a good chuckle from that comment.  

It wasn’t before long that it was their turn to receive rations.  Sig gave a count of how many were left in his Lance and the Fleet Security officers handed him the right amount of rations.  With an appropriate supply of provisions for the Lance, the two quickly made their way back to the observation deck.  The rations were well received and quickly eaten by all.  Once their bellies were filled, they all returned to their resting position and waiting for the quarantine to be called off.

Unfortunately, most of the time spent waiting was drawn out.  The Lance had been on the ship for about 14 hours before the quarantine had been lifted.  After a little bit more waiting after they had eaten, the quarantine had been called off and now the security forces were giving out directions towards the appropriate of one of numerous hangar.  For each hangar there were several transports that would take the troops to several ships in the fleet.  Direction to which craft was going to which fleet was provided once the Lances arrived at the hangar.  At the far end of hangar that they had arrived at, there was a pair of Phantoms heading to the Leveling Strength.  Outside of the Phantoms were several bins that contained all of their gear that had clearly been ran through a steam decontamination spray.  Despite the dampness of their gear, the Lance gathered their gear and entered the surprisingly empty transports.

“Were we the only ones from our ship on the Ring to return?” Cazo asked softly as the Lance began to get themselves settled on their Phantom.

“I certainly hope not…” Sig frowned slightly.

To the group’s surprise, the sounds of more people climbing onto the ramp side door of the transport could be heard.  The group grew silent as they curiously turned to see that the ones joining them were none other than Naki and Ryau.

“By the gods!  Ryau! Naki!” Sig exclaimed delightfully. “We thought you had perished in the tunnels below!”

“It was quite difficult to make it to the surface, but we managed to get out intact.” Naki answered as she entered the troop bay with her group. “They are not something that should be engaged in close quarters.”

“I would not imagine…” Sig paused as he lightly shook his head.  He couldn’t imagine fighting those creatures in hand to hand combat.  There was too many of them.  “We barely had made an escape and we were on the surface!  I have never seen anything like those… things.” He felt his smile fade as his mind was taken back to the surface of the ring.

“They are… meant to be a challenge for those that find the Sacred Rings. It is something that has been overlooked on many accounts,” Naki sighed.

Sig had analyzed the holy texts much like every other book he read, and with her mention, he remembered that minor detail that was never really expanded upon in sermon.  “Yes…  The ‘Flood’ as they were called… I had forgotten such a minor detail.” He sighed heavily as the words ‘curse the Forerunners’ escaped his hushed yet upset breath.

With all the members of the Leveling Strength that had survived accounted for, the pilot of the Phantom entered the craft and shut the ramp door.  “Warriors.” The Pilot spoke loud enough for them all to hear him.  “I would secure yourself in the seats of the craft.  The Fleet Security has been disassembling all engine components of the transport crafts and throwing them into space.
I fear there may be quite the amount of debris because of this.  You have a minute or so to secure yourselves before we disembark.” He gave a nod before heading into the cabin of the transport.

Sig sighed softly and left his two friends to make sure that his Lance were able to get themselves situated before the craft took off.  Once they had all been secured in their seats, he returned to Naki and Ryau.  

“I suppose we’re headed back to our ship, finally gonna be safe.” Ryau hoped as leaned back into a seat.

“One can only hope so…” Sig sighed as he pulled his plasma repeater from his back before sitting next to Ryau.  

Sig looked down at his weapon to inspect it.  It felt damp as if it had been thrown into water.  Though this was not something that would cause great concern, it was clear that, as he inspected the internals of the gun for condensation, that the weapon had been steam washed by the security of the ship.  He hoped silently that whatever they had done was enough to combat the parasite.

Ryau gave a shrug. “I’m quite confident in saying that things will be coming to a conclusion, very soon.”

“Well…” Sig chuckled quite slightly as he pressed the heat cover release button to close the sides of the weapon. “Would it be cliché to say that I think this might only be the beginning of what we faced?”

“For us,” Naki looked to Sig around Ryau. “I do hope that it isn't.”

“Well…  This was only one Ring…” Sig pointed out as he remembered the Holy Texts stating that there were multiple Rings.  The implication was truly terrifying.

“And I don’t want to be anywhere near the next, if the Covenant finds another.” Ryau chipped in. “I know for a fact, that I am not going down to this one again.”

“I second that notion.”  Sig nods slightly.  “However, it would be best to stay far from D’rok, K’an, and I if that is your goal.  Such situational luck seems to follow us.”

“What? I’m not going to anywhere else. I’ve already grown use to you and K`an’s sense of humor.” Ryau chuckled slightly.

Sig leaned back heavily against the side of the Phantom with a pleasant smile.  “I am glad you have… You and Naki make for good company.”

“How did you handle leading a group, Sig?” Naki asked after a brief moment of silence.

Sig had actually put a lot of thought into that.  This was the first time he was experiencing some time as an Officer.  From what the Lance was saying he was doing quite well, save for the unavoidable deaths on the past mission.  “I seem to be doing an alright job… though I would prefer a less stressful situation next time.”

“Wouldn’t we all…” She sighed.

The trip rest of the trip had been silent.  Of course the length from the quarantine ship to the fleet had not been that long of a journey, at the most it had 20 minutes or so.  It was a good change of pace from all of the recent landings and takeoffs that Sig had been through in recent times.  The Phantom lightly braked and settled peacefully into a landing pad in one of the hangar bays of the Leveling Strength.  Once the craft had come to a resting halt.  Sig undid his harness and went over to his Lance.

“Well Warriors… I guess this is where we depart.” Sig nodded slightly to them as they too released themselves from their own harnesses.

“It is a shame that it is, Valhamee.” The Pilot sighed

“It really is…”  Sig’s shoulders sagged slightly.

“Do you think you will lead again?” The Pilot smiled slightly.

“I just might…  and I can guarantee that I shall need an aged and well experienced pilot, sir.” Sig smiled at him.

“Grekan…” The Pilot corrected. “Grekan Vorkamee, 502nd Phantom graduate division

“It is an honor, Vorkamee” Sig bowed his head respectably.

“Likewise, Valhamee”

“So what now, Sig?” Fal asked Sig with the slight tilt of his head.

“You are no longer under my command… However, I plan to go the bar later this day... and I would like to buy you all drinks if you will let me.”  Sig offered with a smile.

“Of course” Fal nodded “You already have our contact information.”

“Then I shall tell you all when I am heading to whichever bar.” Sig smiled.  “Farewell.”

They all nodded back in respect.

With a sigh, Sig returned to Naki and Ryau as they were getting off the Phantom.  No one really was vocal on the way back to the barracks. There wasn’t all that much to be said that had not already been discussed. They were all just tired and they wanted to sleep it off as heavily as they could. Eventually they had reached the barracks. Ryau, being the first one to the barracks doorway, opened it only to receive a hot barrage of K’an’s seemingly excited remarks.

“My gods!” K’an exclaimed loudly at him as the door had just finished opening. “It took you long enough to get back here!” He seemed quite annoyed.

“Ah, well if it isn't the cripple.” Ryau said starkly as he walked fully through the doorway and towards the bunk section of the barracks.

“Ha ha, funny.” K’an seemed uninterested in jesting now as he began to stand from his resting position with the help of his newly fixed leg brace. “What the fuck is happening out there?” He demanded.

Sig sighed and shook his head at the demand. They had all just lived through that nightmare and spent hours trying to forget it only to have some pompous jerk demand they mentally relive it once again.  Sig had not the patience to deal with it, yet he felt for Naki and Ryau’s sake that he could not leave.  Being as this was, he just would do his best to ignore K’an by laying down on his bed that he so craved.

“It was the Parasite…” Naki said as she decided to take the plunge in answering K’an.

“What does that even mean?!” K’an pried with a sense of entitled agitation.  “I have spent the last eight hours trying to figure this shit out!  The security on the ship has been jumpy and frantic as hell, everyone is evacuating the ring, and all anyone has mentioned is a very sparsely heard ‘oh it is the Parasite.’  What the fuck is this parasite!?” K’an wobbled slightly with a cringe as he waved his arms a bit with his speech

“K’an, have you never read about the Halo Rings?” She continued in annoyance. “The Parasite, the Flood.”

“Read those inflated and bastardization of the holy texts they give to the public??  HA!  Too hell with reading that dry shit!”  K’an mocked loudly.

“K’an… Lighten off it.” Sig pleaded with a sigh as he sat on his bunk heavily; he was only trying to ease the situation.

“And why the hell should I do such a thing?!” K’an demanded in retort.

“Maybe we would not wish to speak of what happened.” Sig tried to leave a heavy hint for K’an.

“Sig!” K’an pointed at Sig with a slight growl of annoyance.  “Shut your fucking mouth and let the grownups talk.”  He looked back to Ryau and Naki.  “I’ll ask again.  What the fuck are is going on?!”

“Look up the Flood, K`an.” Naki said. “I don’t want to go around explaining them and throwing up.”

K’an stared at Naki in total disbelief.  “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Sig unclenched his jaws from distaste as he stood from his bed to defend himself. “K’an.  Stop it.” He spoke with as much abrasion as he could as he balled his fists at his sides.  He would not allow K’an to continue speaking that way too him.

“Absolutely not!  Sig!  You need to quit being a little dyke!” K’an shouted violently at Sig.

As those harsh words hit Sig’s ears, his pupils constricted drastically as his mind was taken back to a time far before in his life; such words were the lines of hate and disrespect that his bastard of a father used to throw to him when he was a child.  It had not been a mere once or twice, but rather a vocal opinion that was a form of emotional harassment.  It was the reason he left his parents as soon as he was old enough too.  Back then he was too small and fearful to strike back, but now was different.

K’an looked away to continue firing his mouth at Naki and Ryau.  Unluckily for him, he had pushed Sig off the deep end without even knowing.  Sig, with his fists tightened as firmly as he could, took a single stride at K’an.  With as hard of a swing as Sig could, he drove his fist into K’an’s jaws.  K’an, being completely taken off guard and unready for such an attack, toppled over onto the floor.  Sig, leaving no chance for any retaliation, delivered several follow up strikes to the down Sangheili.  He did not stop until he was absolutely satisfied with what he delivered.  When he did stop, K’an was frozen in place as he held his hands up to protect himself from Sig’s assault.

“What the fuck…”  He gasped quietly as he stared frozen at the legs of the table next to him.  “Sig?”

“I told you to stop it you bigoted, womanizing piece of shit!” Sig growled aggressively as he stood over the stunned K’an.  “None of us wish to relive what happened on that disgusting ring!  And you are too insistent to pry!”

“Alright…” K’an lowered his hands slightly. “Calm down.”

“No!”  Sig yelled as overbearingly as he could.  “You do not call someone something like that and expect them to be just fine with it!” he paused for a few moments as he panted slightly from anger. “Now you stay there and think about how much of a dick you are!”

With that, Sig gave a displeased grunt as he took a step over K’an and made his way for the door of the barracks.  He dropped his weapons on the floor besides him and pressed his hand on the door controls.  Before leaving he stopped and looked at two others in the room.  “Naki?  Ryau? I am heading to the tavern to drink myself to oblivion with my previous Warriors.  Would you two like to join me?”

“Sure,” Ryau said as he got up from his bunk.

“I actually need to check on my Lance…” Naki answered as she stood herself.  “They told me they would be down in the one of the old lab bays.”

“Very well.  I promise not to get Ryau too drunk for you.” Sig nodded before leaving down the corridor for the Tavern.  With data pad in hand, and Ryau besides him, Sig was going to cash in on one of the few times he actually would attend himself to alcohol with the intent of total intoxication.
Fate Twister (Redux Edition)

Act I
“A Familiar Insertion”

Chapter I
“The Beginning”

Date: 2:12 P.M. August 5th, 2015

Home; a distant memory of what was one of the few peaceful segments that still lived on in my mind.  Deep within the horrific scars that make up most of my mind, hides a tender, young and optimistic individual.  Donald Harold Castor, a teen, or even more appropriately, a very young adult who had held a decent lifestyle at his home; a young and calmer tempered version of myself; a far more naive, uninformed, and much unprepared version of who I am today.  In that era of my life I had an entire road paved before me.  I had great grades, I was one of the most valued assets to my home town’s football team, I had a full scholarship to college, I even had a very steady relationship with a beautiful girl named Morgan Chase. Along with the grace of a car mechanic of a father and my stay at home mother.  I found myself however, using my abilities of advanced math and language skills, as well as my natural learning curve, physique, and intuition, not to get into some university, but instead to join the United States Marine Corps much like my father before me.  This is obviously held with no disrespect to the men and women in uniform, but I would soon come to realize that my decision to join had led to, easily, the least favored period of my entire life.  Nothing that my school teachers, the local Marine recruiter, or even the many stories of glory and hardship my father had shared with my family in the dark next to our fireplace could have prepared me for where the future would take me.  If I had to sum up the downward spiral quickly, and if it were at all be possible, it would most likely start around the year 2010.

In the middle of this year my lifelong friend, Michael Brook, and I both decided that after our final year of high school, we were to go through the ‘true American journey’ and join the military.  Within a few months of training for the physicals involved with the recruiter’s evaluation, we found ourselves walking into the local UMSC recruitment office located in one of the neighboring towns.  By this point we had become physically fit and were quite intelligent individuals, so we were enlisted with flying colors and were quite welcomed by the recruiter in result.  Once we had been enlisted it was only just a matter of waiting to ship out to basic.  The news and plan had already been fairly celebrated by my family, and many rounds of alcohol were passed about and consumed by everyone.  My father made promises of a getting me a, realistically, achievable car of my own if, and only if, we actually returned from our first tour of duty.  After this, goodbyes were the only thing shared before the two of us left to for Basic.
We did exceptionally well in basic training.  In fact, there wasn’t much that we found to be even considered as lackluster.  We simply handled everything that anyone threw at us with great performance and distinction.  Mike was clearly becoming quite the range man, though despite the both of us performing well with each other on an even level, I seemed to be the most well rounded of the two.  This trend continued on for us as we slipped into advanced training.  The only thing that seemed to hinder us was the excitement of finally getting assigned to a platoon and seeing some action.  We didn’t have to wait that long as we were quickly taken into the ranks and sent to Afghanistan.

After a little more than a year, we had made quite the name for ourselves.  Through several instances of seriously saving some lives in horrid situations, we had received the attention of some higher ups, and even some ‘privatized’ agencies.  Interestingly enough, we eventually found ourselves being pulled into a meeting with one of these agency representatives.  The representative informed us that we had been under evaluation ever since we were placed in advanced training. That the organization he was representing wished to offer us both positions of employment as mercenaries.  We were also informed that if we decided to accept the positions, they would wait for us to finish up the year of service in the military before we would be assigned for any sort of “job”.  With little thought of what we might face and the notion of being paid, and quite well at that, it didn’t take long before Mike and I accepted their proposition.

The few years to follow were all but slow paced.  We found ourselves bounding all around the world as private sector mercenaries for Skylark, the agency that had sought us out while still in training.  Through our many contracts and jobs, we had grown quite notorious as operatives; if there was anything serious that needed to be handled, we were on the top of the request list for many of our service’s clients.  Due to many high profile jobs, funded by some of the world’s most powerful companies and organizations I might add, we had racked up quite a profit over the years.  Sure, we had spent quite a decent chunk of it on our gear and traveling expenses, the rest went into a saving which we would split up evenly on occasion.  In the time that we were not on the other side of the planet, we spent it at home, in the same quiet area that we had been raised in.  Mike had his small house that was well adequate for whatever lady friend he would bring home.  I had my own place that I shared with my dog, Morgan, and a few restoration cars that my father and I would work on.  It was far from what we originally had wanted to do with our lives, but it was a decent living.


Their story would truly continue in the busy summer of 2015.  The two were currently seated on a homebound flight, on a Skylark owned Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, that was but a few minutes from landing at Papago Airfield in Phoenix, Arizona.  They had just finished up a lengthy ‘Hunter’ assignment and were heading home.  The flight had left Japan the morning before after an unsuccessful contract that had the two trying to catch a pair of targets from western Texas all the way to Seattle, Washington. Then eventually to the country of Japan.  It was grudgingly painful to admit that the two had willingly ended the hunt right before they would have achieved success.  It had been quite the expensive chase and would, in the end, be incredibly detrimental to their ratings within the company, as they were the main individuals on the contract.  The two weren't overly happy about it, but with a sense of tiredness and hungry bellies, they only wanted to rest in the comfort of their own homes.

Don was suddenly woken from his sleep by a painful smack on his shoulder.  He quickly looked over with a grimace only to see Mike pulling his hand back into his seat with a large shit-eating grin fit only for the finest jester.  To add insult to the injury, he was snorting loudly as he was doing his best to not laugh at such an action.

"Wake up, Don.” He spoke softly, still huffing softly as he struggled to keep himself from laughing. “It's time to get up and get ready school."

Don groaned loudly as he grimaced towards his accomplice.  “What the fuck, Mike… c’mon.” He sighed heavily before stretching back to check and make sure that his bag had remained untouched .

“Aww… Do you need five more minutes, honey?” Mike chuckled slightly as he gave his best impersonation of a woman’s voice.

“No… I need you to get off my ass about waking up.”

“How dare you!” Mike leaned away as if he was greatly offended.

“Mike.  Stop it.”

“That is no way to speak to your mother!” Mike proclaimed as the gag continued

“I swear to god I will break your fucking face.” Don glared at him.  As much as he hated Mike’s constant mouth, it was easily the most effective way to wake him up.

“Oh, calm your tits, fat ass.  Don’t get your panties in a fucking bunch.” Mike laughed loudly as he broke character.

Don just nodded as he rubbed his face in annoyance.

“Hey… Come on.  I will always be your hotdog, Don.” Mike gimmicked with a smile.

“Dude… I called you ‘Oscar Mayer’ once.  One fucking time!  That is it!”

“It only takes once to become a beef frank.”

“That doesn’t even make sense!”

“Neither does your face.”

“Fuck my life…”

“Maybe later… I have a very busy schedule with lots of shit to take care of first.” Mike stated as he looked at his smartphone as if he was swiping through such a schedule.

“What the hell do you have to do?”

“Well let’s see…” Mike hummed.  “I have three women planned for tonight, two bars to be kicked out of tomorrow, and then I have to join you with your family for the cliché ‘oh welcome home, baby boy’ picnic. He answered jokingly.

“You sound quite busy…” Don looked out the window of the plane at the sandy mountain scape of Arizona that seemed to slowly draw closer.

“Yeah!  I am!  Hell, I wish I could make that my job though…” Mike sighed.

“That job already exists…”

“Oh yeah?”

“It’s called being a porn star.” Don looked back, this time with a grin of his own.
Mike stopped for a moment to adjust himself.  “A star, huh?”

“Yes… a porn star.”

“Why not a rock star?  I could play guitar or something!”

“No… You can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because an M82 is not an instrument.”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“What it means is…” Don looked forward briefly to see a few other mercs in the plane watching the exchange as the plane shook as it began its landing pattern.  “Is I am saying you are a talentless fuck.”

Mike just shot a quick glare at Don.  “Yeah, well you’re gay.” He proclaimed, having no further valid argument.

“I am still not as gay as your neck tattoo.” Don chuckled.

“Hey!  It wraps up onto the front of my chin and shit.  It’s badass!”

“Yeah…  Badass if you were a prison bitch.”

Conversations like this were quite common between the two as they had been the best of friends since they were about two years of age.  The two had a weird stint of a relationship that could only be described best as non-legal step brothers.  This was mostly due to the fact that Don’s parents had practically raised Mike in the same household.  Unfortunately, that situation was caused to form when Mike’s mother had been killed in a car accident when he was at the age of five.  His father was nowhere to be found.  With no extended family willing to take him in, Don’s parents stood up to the plate and took care of him, without the legal system getting involved.  Supporting someone else’s child all the way through high school without even an extra penny or tax break was really an extensive gesture for even the best hearted people; it had really painted a clairvoyant image at how decent and loving the Castor family could really be.

Just a few minutes later the pair were walking down the rear ramp of the C17.  Before the two had even left the shade of the plane, Don put the pair of aviator cop glasses that he had in his backpack.  This of course was mocked immediately by Mike, but such apparel was nearly mandatory on such a day like it was in Phoenix.  Once they had left the plane, they took a quick shuttle into the small agency hangar nearby.  They turned in all of their weapons and bags so that all the contract sensitive material was stripped of their belongings before their things were returned.  After they got their things were returned, they left the hangar through the offices that were attached on the other side of the building.  From the offices they went over a small sky bridge into a several story parking garage.  When they were just about to get onto the elevator to reach where Don’s car was, his phone began to ring.

“Who is that?”  Mike asked, surprised as he had not even seen Don turn off the airplane mode.

“I don’t know…” He sighed as he pulled out his phone.  “It’s Morgan…”  He answered the call quickly. “Hello?”

“Oh, shit!  Hi babe!” Morgan said happily over the phone.

“Hi honey.” Don smiled, he always enjoyed hearing her voice.

“I didn’t think you’d be on the ground yet, but I was just checking in case you were.”

“Of course…We just got to Phoenix and I’m heading out to the car now.”

“Did Mike bug the shit out of you?”

“You know he did.” Don looked over to flip Mike off as the elevator dinged as it reached their floor.

“Oh well… We all know him I guess.” She giggled.

“Yeah… He has always been unbearable.” He chuckled back.

“Hey!  Fuck you, Don!” Mike yelled out next to him in protest.  “Oh and tell her I said hi!”

Don just shook his head.

“What am I going to do with you two?” She sighed.

“We will discuss that later tonight, alright?”  Don gave a sly smile.

“If you say so…” She paused briefly.  “Did Mr. Japan say ok?  Did you guys make the sale?”   Don and Mike had never mentioned anything about the mercenary work to her or anyone else outside of the industry, for obvious reasons.  To everyone else they were security consultants and salesmen.  It was kind of a far-fetched cover, but it worked well enough.

“Unfortunately…  It was a no go.”

“Well…  Sorry babe.  You were on the road for a while so you two must have sold at least some things right?”  She asked.

“Yeah…  We made some.  But that Japanese guy was the biggest account we had on this run.”

“That’s not good.”

“Nope… But hey, I’m gonna get on the road soon so I gotta let you go, sweetheart.”  He said as they got closer to the car.

“Ok.  How long will it be before you get here?”  She asked.

“Probably about… 12 hours.”

“Ok!  Call me if anything comes up.”

“Of course, darling.”

“I love you.”  She said softly.  “Please drive safe.”

“Oh I will… I love you too.  Bye.”

“Don, I love you too.” Mike teased as the phone conversation ended.

Don ignored Mike’s banter as they turned the corner of the parking garage to see a blackened 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500; aka, Don’s car.  The beastly machine was the result of what he and his father had built together the year before.  While his dad had already given him a 2008 Dodge Challenger after Don had returned from his first tour of duty with the UMSC, he had a mutual bucket list entry of working on a racing Mustang.  With just a small amount of searching, Don was able to get a good deal on one that had already been mildly damaged.  Once they had it taken to his father’s garage, they would remove the engine and build a replacement one piece by piece.  Of course, they had done several other things to it, like the addition of dual straight pipes and upgrading all of the intake, fuel, and ignition systems.  The last things that were added were the metallic paint job and the set of darkened 20” Bullitt rims that fit quite nicely with the sports radials that were wrapped around them.  With a definite set of dark red stripes that ran along the sides and the top of the car, the machine held quite the menacing look.  Don smiled at the sight of his car.  With a smooth sense of motion, he drew his set of keys out of his pocket before catching the button dongle after spinning it around his finger.  He unlocked the trunk of the car before carefully placing his duffle bag inside.  Mike gave him a weird look.

“You’re putting the guns in the trunk?”  He tilted his head curiously.

“Uh, yeah.  They are full auto assault rifles, so of course I’m putting them in the fucking trunk.”

“Good point.” Mike shrugged.

Don closed the trunk before unlocking the doors to the car.  Before the two got in, they both set their backpacks in the back seat of the car.  Once in, Don spent a few minutes to make sure everything was where it had been when he had left; The Colt M1911 was stuck in a holster on the side of the center console, the pair of black fuzzy dice were still hanging from the mirror, and the seats had not even been moved from how they had been left as.  It was not that the agency’s security could not to be trusted, it was just the basic checklist to fulfil before inserting the keys.  With a moment to let the electronic systems to give their “all clear” on the dash, he turned the keys in the ignition.  With permission from its operator, the engine turned over before giving a loud growl that could be felt even in the protection of the enclosed cabin.  This voluminous bellow was softened as the engine calmed down to a soothing idle; its rumbling engine note could still be easily heard, but this was much more bearable in an enclosed parking garage.
He checked his mirrors before turning around to look out the rear window as he began to back out of the parking spot.  Once out of the snuggled resting place the car had been in, Don drove through the several levels of the garage before stopping at the security booths on the ground floor.  It only took a minute or so to clear through security.  As soon as Don had rolled several car lengths away from the booth, he stamped the accelerator down to the floor.  The tires spun as exhaust resonated madly throughout the parking garage.

“Tunnel bomb!” Mike hollered in excitement.

Don smiled; he always missed his car.

Before they hit the main roads to home, the duo made a quick stop at a gas station to fill up and inflate the tires to where Don wanted them.  The car, only sitting for a month, needed very little, and so they quickly were on their way to their hometown of Winnemucca, Nevada.  Most of the trip would be on US 95N, so with the GPS set, and the discography of Don’s mp3 player, the two relaxed in their seats and enjoyed the ride.

Later that evening, the trip had gone as expected.  They had made only a single stop just before Las Vegas to fill up once again and to get food.  They were making good time, and surprisingly, Mike had been quiet for the most of the trip as he had not hardly slept on the plane.  The clock now read 9:27 P.M. and the sun had set just two hours prior, and with only the small sliver of light from the new moon, this left the car’s headlights as the only light that was of any real significance to them.  There also was a somewhat lacking of other vehicles on the road.  It was not such a surprise to either of them though, it was a Wednesday night after all.

“You know what I don’t get?” Mike spoke up suddenly over the volume of the music.

“What is it?” Don asked as he turned the music down slightly.

“I don’t understand why we just let the two go…” Mike was referring to the last assignment that they had failed.

“We have been over this.” Don really did not want to discuss it again.

“Yeah, but still!” Mike sighed heavily.  “Dude… they were looking down the barrel of your gun!  Why the fuck did you just call it off then.”

“Because they were just kids, Mike.  What was I supposed to do?”

“He was a kid, that HIS Interceptor was not.”

“You know very well she was too.”

“Nope!  I am not going to that realm of mind fuckery!” Mike exclaimed. “That ‘she’ was a rogue autonomous Interceptor run by a rogue artificial intelligence… Jesus I’d never think I would say that!”

“Mike! Come on!” Don was getting a bit upset with this.

“Don’t you cmon me, you son of a bitch!  We chased a fucking robocar from Texas to Japan and then you just give up with it right in front of you!  What the fuck?!”

“You were in the air, jackass!  You were not the one with the gun on them, so you do not get to make that call!” Arguments like this, just like their joking, was another common attribute shared between the two.

“Quit referring to them as ‘them.’ It was just the guy and the Interceptor.  The car isn’t a her…”

“Her name was Mia.”

“I wouldn’t give a fuck if it called itself the ‘mystical, magical, amazing dildo printer machine!’” Mike proclaimed loudly.  “That thing was a computer thingy and you know it.”

“Why would a fucking AI grow attached to a regular guy then?!” Don challenged heavily.  “Why would it include the breathing of a distraught and scared woman?”

“I do not fucking know.  Who died and made you the fucking Socrates of Psychological Labeling?!”

“Hey!  at least I passed that class in school!” Don shot a glance at Mike.

Mike grumbled heavily; Don had delivered a hefty blow.  “It was the only class I failed in high school!”

“Yeah?  So what?!  You probably don’t even know who Socrates is!”

“Yes I do!” Mike struggled with this argument.

“Name one thing he did.”

“Oh go fuck yourself, Don!  You bring that fucking class up one more time I will seriously rip your guts out of your ass with a plastic spork!”  Mike admitted defeat.

“Whatever…” Don sighed. “The point is that the two were on the run together for a reason.  I saw their desperation and did what I would want if I was in their position.  Alright?”

“Fine.” Mike said tautly.

“Thank you…” Don exhaled as he now focused on the road again. The trip grew quiet for another few minutes.

“Ugh…” Mike grunted from the passenger seat.

“What?”  Don exhaled slowly.

“I hate this stretch of road.  We might even be home in an hour if you weren’t going so fucking slow!”

“I’m going the speed limit.”

“So??  You drove a Corvette at almost 200 just recently.  Balls up, big boy!  Let’s go!”  Mike exclaimed, once again referring to the previous assignment.

“No.  End of story.” Don did not feel like getting a speeding ticket.

“Why not?  Are you afraid this piece of shit can’t go that fast?”

“I bet it would.”

“You’re a fucking liar.”

“I am not fucking speeding!  So shut your trap and go back to sleep!”

Mike huffed.  “Why can’t you be let us have fun like we were having two weeks ago?”

“You are only saying that because you were flying a helicopter!” Don grumbled.

“You bet your ass I was!  And it was not just any helicopter!”

Don gritted his teeth.  “Yes… an Apache Long Bow.”

“A god damned Apache Mother Fucking Long Bow!  That is abso-fucking-lutely correct!” Mike answered immediately; as one could tell, he had always had been a huge fan of helicopters and flying in general.

Don did not give a response to this.

“Come on!  Let’s go, Speed Racer!


“You reminded me Knight Rider.  Cmon!  Let’s get this KITT mobile going!”

“No.” Don answered without hesitation.

“Holy shit!  You are such a pussy!” Mike hollered.  “If you get into any trouble I will pay for it 100% in full; bail and all!”

Don, knowing full well that Mike would simply never give up, quickly downshifted into second as he slammed the gas pedal to the floor.  The rear tires squealed briefly at the sudden increase of horsepower and torque getting transferred to the road.  They quickly regained traction just before he shifted into third gear, effectively setting the both of them back in their seats as the engine began to tear through the gears.  Mike yelled in excitement as he was pressed harshly against the seat and Don smiled widely as he realized that the experience was as is just how he had always remembered it as.  The adrenaline from driving the needle towards one hundred and fifty miles per hour; the satisfying whine of the Whipple supercharger; it was all part of a dreamy experience that most would never get the chance to experience in their lifetime.  The experience was soon cut short as the car began to suddenly shutter as it swayed heavily to the left as it had nearly reached the one hundred and seventy-five mark on the speedometer.  Despite the seemingly random jarring of the vehicle’s mass, Don swerved slightly before regaining stability of the vehicle.

"Don!?  What the hell?!” Mike looked over sharply as Don began to slow down while returning to the middle of the road.

“I don’t know…” Don answered confused.

“Did we hit something?!”

As Don was going to answer, the Mustang lurched yet again.  This time, however, the engine screamed wildly as the two were yet again shoved back in their seats.  He cursed loudly in surprise as the car began to accelerate without him even touching either of the pedals.  The thought that the throttle cable had snapped quickly entered his mind as he attempted to hold down the clutch in efforts to end the acceleration.  For whatever reason, the clutch pedal would not depress to the floor even slightly.  A sense of fear quickly washed over him as he found that, much like the clutch pedal, the brake pedal, too had stiffened so much that it was stuck.  As the speedometer rapidly rose, he began to panic as he tried finally to rip the key from the ignition.

“Ok, Don!  You can stop now!” Mike shouted nervously over the screaming engine.

“I’m not fucking doing anything!”  Don yelled back fearfully before the head of the key broke off from the shaft.

Don’s gut sank as he looked at the key piece in his hand before looking over to see the needle bury against the speedometer’s maximum measurement of two hundred and twenty miles per hour.  He dropped the key and took a tight hold on the steering wheel as the Mustang continued to somehow accelerate well past what it had been built for.  Suddenly a supernaturally disk shape, basically, what could only be described as a rippling black hole, appeared ahead of the vehicle.  Before he had even a moment to try to turn the car from it, the Mustang barreled right into it.  As the vehicle raced through the aperture, a deafening explosion sounded out that left the two dazed and with pained ears.

They barely had a moment to regain some of their senses as the windshield was enveloped in complete and utter whiteness.  As their hearing began to return and their eyes somewhat adjusted, the could instantly feel the weightlessness of the car and themselves as there was a clear lacking of any surface under the wheels.  The two began to scream as the car seemed to nose dive towards an abyss of black below the current plane of existence that they had entered.  As the car freely fell into the abyss, all forms of noise and visual sense seemed to fade drastically to a numb nothingness for Don.  Their screams had been pulled from their throats and their sight had been hidden from their retinas.  The only thing to be felt was the chill of his body heat being sapped by the void.

After what seemed like an hour to his perception of time, he felt a growing burning within himself.  As strange as it was to describe it, he could hear himself shiver from this through his mental realm.  The shiver was followed by his own breathing that quickly became quite labored as the pain swiftly began to grow in intensity as it started to feel as if his skin was beginning to crawl in place.  A series of audible snaps sounded out, each shooting an extremely spike of pain throughout his body.  The snapping sounds went on for several moments, each leading to him convulsing heavily as he cried out in pain and agony from the experience.

The pain abruptly stopped as another flash revealed another light disk that appeared in the distance in front of the car.  There seemed to be a sudden ripple that roared through him.  As the concussive wave tore through his body, the cabin of the Mustang was illuminated in reddish light.  His vision was quickly blurred and his hearing had partially returned as he was once again shoved back into the seat as the car rocketed off towards the distant disk.  From the forces being exerted on his body and the lack of clear sense of vision, he could not begin to try figure how fast the car was traveling.  As the disk grew closer and closer, his nerves became stiff with fear as Mike began to scream next to him.

The next thing that the two could gather from their senses was that the car had once again entered a physical realm.  With their vision still quite out of focus and the car still traveling well over controllable speeds, the two were far from relieved.  Too much of his luck, Don could feel the pedals were once again able to be used.  Knowing this, he quickly stamped the brake to the floor.  This caused the tires to lock up and leave the car decelerating slowly from whatever speed it was traveling.  While the locked tires were working efficiently to slow the vehicle down, but it led to another complication as the car began to turn and sway.  He did his best to keep the car straight, but his arms felt weird and useless.  The right rear quarter panel of the car hit something solid as the car slide back in forth.  The impact sent the car swiftly towards the other direction and into a sideways roll as it continued on with its direction of momentum it had previously.  With their world spinning wildly, the two were completely at the whim of the forces until it decided to stop rolling.  The last thing Don could piece together was the quick passing view at an approaching wall that the car would soon slam against harshly.
Fate Twister Redux ActI ChI
So I am rewriting now.  :D  Enjoy this good stuff.

The Fate Twister Definitive Version.

Note:  This is a character insert story.  It may seem totally irrelevant to Halo now, but wait for a few more chapters.  This is all back story stuff.

Fate Continuum

Act IV
Chapter II
“Sig’s Island II ‘The Owners Return’”

H.D. 1:30p.m. September 21th, 2552

Sig stirred from his sleep as the sounds of a pair of Unggoy that were restless in the night could be heard a few meters from where he was.  He had not wanted to sleep while on this mission, but with the planet blocking the solar system’s sun, he could not have prevented himself nod off with his back against one of the supply crates near the camp.  Before the night had come, the Lance had set up their main portion of camp on the top of the cliff next to the parked Phantom transport.  The Lance had designated those who would patrol and who would sleep in terms throughout the day so that there was not just the motion detectors and radar systems on the lookout.  

Throughout the rest of the daylight, the Lance, with Naki’s permission of course, had explored more of the top level of the Forerunner facilities.  While the one facility entrance on the other side of the island was sadly sealed from some mechanical issue, there was still much to see within the one that Naki and her group had entered.  Sig even had the chance to surprise Naki with his knowledge of the Forerunner language.  He had learned the language from the text of the many books on such scientific things that teased his interest.  In fact, he had spent the majority of the afternoon reading the texts around the facility as his forces casually patrolled the Island.

The only other thing of excitement was the exchange that Sig had the pleasure to have with the mission handler.  After the Humans attacked the other island they soon left it for no apparent reason.  In case the Humans were to return, he had requested more equipment and troops to protect the island.  They denied this request only to grant the request partway after some arguments had taken place.  The mission handler decided to allot two Type – 26 Anti-Vehicle Stationary turrets to the Lance.  This was barely changed until Naki had her own heated exchange with the handler as well; it seemed like she and her team had discovered a maintenance way and needed more troops to accompany them.  By the end of it, everyone was given the bear minimum of what they had wanted.  Sig received the two Shades and Naki received only half of her requested reinforcements.

The Lance had set the two Shades on either side of their encampment as this was the only place Sig could think to put them for the moment.  Naki took her fresh group of Warriors onto the Spirit only to fly the transport into the Forerunner ground access that was in the middle of the canyon of the island.  After Naki and her team left the day was nearly over and the planet soon blocked the solar system’s sun from the sacred ring.  With them absent, Sig had joined the Pilot and the two Majors up at the camp to exchange war stories over the small camp fire they had built.  Sig, having sat against one of the crates, had dozed off just briefly after he had begun to get into one of the Major’s tales.

“Major Valhamee.” One of the Majors shook him from his sleep.

“What?” Sig groaned “What is it?”

“The motion sensors are seemingly quite active.”


“It is easier to just see than explain…”

“Fine.” Sig groaned as he got up slowly from the ground.  “Show me.”

The Major quickly took Sig over to a screen that was sticking out of one of the electronics crates.  The screen, being set to show every sort of movement that was being made within nearly a kilometer of the island, was being brightly lit up under most of the span of the island.  There were so many red dots in places that they formed into solid forms of the color.

“Could it be a malfunction?” Sig asked immediately.

“No.” He answered.  “I sent the other Major to check on the sensors; they are all working correctly.

“Could we have set the aerial sensors too high?” Sig asked nervously.

“No…  The signatures first appeared underground about 15 minutes ago.”

“And they have stayed there?”

“Yes, leader.” He nodded before watching for Sig’s direction.

Sig quivered slightly before he turned to put his finger to his ear.  “Warriors.  I want all of you to make your way to the open Forerunner site.  Set the light stands facing into the entrance; we may have visitors.”  He lowered his hand and looked back at the Major besides him.  “Come with me.”

Sig picked up his Plasma Repeater before walking off towards the other side of the clifftop.  With the Major in tow, he was looking to get to the bottom of whatever was preventing him from sleeping, no matter how weird or dangerous it may be.  The fact that he had never seen such a display of color on any motion screen did bother him quite so however.

“Could it be Humans?” Sig asked quickly.

“I greatly doubt… The signatures are moving too fast and are too numerous to be Humans.”

“Then it must be some sort of animal.” Sig helplessly suggested.

“I hope…”

“We will know certain soon enough.”

By the time the two had made it too the entrance of the Forerunner structure, most of the troops had already gotten there and had turned the light stands at the entrance.  The others were soon to join just after Sig and the Major had reached the rest of them.  Everyone seemed on the edge of their nerved.  The suddenness of the call to arms during such a quiet and peaceful night was enough to have such effect.  However, it was not until a loud, distant wail cried from within the facility that the Warriors were truly stricken at the nerves.

“Be at the ready, Warriors.” Sig called out in the chilled air nervously as he raised his weapon towards the door.  

The amount of signatures on Sig’s motion tracker increased swiftly with every passing moment.  Sounds of many rushed footsteps from within the facility’s open doors grew slowly from the silence.  With those approaching sounds grew the noises of wailing growls and shrieks that would chill the most abrasive warriors to the bones.  Sig’s knuckles were pale and his arms were shaking as he tightly clutched his Plasma Repeater; whatever was coming up from down below was not Human.

With the sinister unnatural wail of evil, a sudden massing of freakish gurgling creatures began to come from the entrance.  The creatures easily had caught the Lance by shock and managed to charge their flailing forms several bounds from the entrance before anyone had even fired their weapons.  Once the first bolts of plasma had been sent towards the freakish creatures, the rest of the Warriors held no regard for their line of fire as they began to dump all their arsenal could give at the monsters.  Too much of their misfortunes, their weapons hardly seemed to make much of an impact on the horde.  The creatures could even somehow handle the powerful particle bolt of a Beam Rifle.  The shots would just go straight through their torsos and do seemingly nothing too them in the process.  The creatures continued to charge on as they went for the closest things they could wrap their flailing limbs around.  It was hard to even describe the creatures with all of the flood lights and the bolts of plasma and the speed at which they moved.  It was like watching a horror film rendition of several species mutated almost to beyond recognition.  In between the large creatures were small, nearly squid-like creatures that would bounce lightly about towards the nearest non-monstrous thing.  The Unggoy were quick to fall from the larger forms of the mutants, two of the three of the Kig Yars were rendered incapacitated as the smaller squid-like creatures latched onto their bodies; with each one that would attach, the Kig Yars would seem to begin to scream as their own body would begin to shift and contort in unnatural ways.  

“Retreat!” Sig screamed at the top of his deathly frightened lungs to the rest of the still fighting Lance.  “Get back to the Phantom!!”

Despite such a dishonorable command, he remaining three Sangheili, Kig Yar, and Unggoys needed not be told a second time for such an order.  The still living turned swiftly and broke into flee mode as they sprinted as fast as they could for the incline that would lead to the clifftop above.  With their feet on the rise towards the cliff top, the Sangheili and Kig Yar did their best to provide suppression behind them so that the few Unggoy behind a slight chance of escape, the creatures were proving to be too fast to even begin to hinder from the sluggish Warriors.  They were doomed to fall.  Realizing this, Sig made an off-the-cuff decision.

“Leave them!” He shrieked in terror over his hot weapon.  “We need more time and they will slow them down!”  He discharged the heat of his Repeater before continuing his shooting.  “Pilot!  Start the Phantom now!!”

The rest of the Warriors finally reached the top of the incline.  Even as they began to sprint across the top of the plateau, the would regrettably realize that the Unggoy had hardly slowed the creatures.  Sig ordered the Warriors to all throw their grenades down the path in hopes to add even more time to their swift evacuation.  This proved to be more effective than leaving the Unggoy to suffer.  Given this slight cushion of time, the Warriors focused on sprinting still Phantom that was already beginning to warm up from its cold engines.  They reached the transport where the rest of the Lance had run too at the sound of the retreat.  Now with all four Sangheili and the five remaining Kig Yars regrouped with him and as firm as they could be now, Sig would attempt to lead his small force to holding off the creatures long enough for the transport to take off.

As two of the Sangheili manned the duo of heavy shades on either side of the camp, Sig watched as the horde of mutants breached the top of the incline to the plateau.  The moment that they were visible, the air was yet again pierced by the sounds of a small arsenal being fired off wildly.  The two Shades and the combination of many Beam Rifles helped keep the horde back much better than before.  Sig had hardly even noticed that one of the Sangheili Majors had taken a Fuel Rod Canon from inside of the Phantom as the other manned the bayside turret.  It was quite a lot of ordinance being used by such a small group of Warriors, and Sig was quite thankful for the extra turrets that he had requested from the fleet.

Despite the larger and more efficient weapons, they still were not enough to completely stop the horde from streaming onto the clifftop.  They just seemed to be endlessly fed from down below and even if the weapons were enough, they would be depleted of ammunition as time would burn on.  With such a supply of creatures, the horde eventually pushed on and began to push closer and closer to the transport.

The Phantom was finally the thing to break their bad streak of luck as it had warmed up quite quicker than it should have.  As soon as the engines gave the welcoming blast of escape, Sig yelled that everyone needed to get onto the transport.  Everyone on the ground began to get onto the transport as the two Sangheili dismounted the Shade turrets.  As Sig and the closest Warriors boarded, they turned to see that the creatures had, due to the absence of the Shade bolts and a few less Beam Rifles being fired at them, advanced much quicker than moments before.  By the time that the creatures reached just a few bounds from the transport, there was still the two Sangheili who were trying to make it from the Shade turrets and a single Kig Yar who was trying his heroic best to provide suppression.

“Take off now!” Sig yelled for the Pilot.

The Phantom’s engines jolted harshly as the craft began to lift.  In a grave attempt to save at least one more Warrior, Sig had reached out and gripped the lone Kig Yar, a T’vaoan, by the cuff of his armor only to snag him forcefully into the troop bay.  The transport lifted sharply, leaving the two Sangheili screaming for just one more moment to get on.  Sig, who was still at the ready at the troop bay, watched as the Major on the ground quickly accept his fate as he activated his Energy Sword to fight off the creatures; the Minor was had been at just the side of the transport and had jumped only to get his bare grasp on the edge of the troop bay.  

Sig was quick to move and grip the Minor’s arm to try to pull him in against the excessive gravitational forces brought on by the lifting Phantom.  The Minor struggled as he took tight hold of Sig’s arms.  Too much his dismay, several of the squid creatures had latched onto the Minor’s back just as he had jumped.  The Sangheili began to scream as the creatures dug into his flesh through his skinsuit and even his armor.  His limbs began to twitch and his skin began to turn patchy and discolored as his screams began to shift and match the tone of the creatures below.  Sig watched in horror as several tentacles began to swiftly protrude out of the Minor’s body.  The Minor’s eyes shifted slowly from the panicked, terrified eyes he had as he had worn for several moments, into dark, ghastly beads that coldly glared into Sig’s lifelessly.   With a quivering sense of personal morals, Sig let go of the Minor, letting the shifting form to fatally fall to the ground below; He was a Sangheili no more.

Sit sat there on the cold floor of the interior of the Phantom as it continued on its speedy path from the island.  He was at a loss; he had never seen such an event before, and this scared him dearly.  He was brought to tears by the fact that even after his many decades in the military, and after many years with D’rok and K’an, nothing had been as horrifyingly terrorizing as whatever had come up from the depths of that facility.  It was then that Sig realized that the promises that the Prophets had told the Covenant were quite possibly too good to be true.  None of his reading and listening had ever said anything about this.  Even as the side hatches of the transport closed and hissed loudly as they sealed closed, he felt no safety here; this holy ring was far from sacred.
  • Listening to: The American Education System
  • Reading: The Text on This Text Box
  • Watching: The Screen
  • Playing: Life
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Eh, Had a Peach Tea Earlier... Yeah it Was Great.
So I feel really stupid.  I just finished a chapter of Fate Continuum and got on to post it... I was like... "Why the hell does it say the last chapter was posted in november 28?!  I finished chapter 4 on dec 20th?!"  Then it hit me... I finished chapter 4 and did not even post the damn thing!  So GUESS WHAT!!!  DoublePost time!

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GroupTree24 Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the favorites. :)
sgtlegendkiller Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Student Writer
Of course!
Dragunalb Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fave on =)
Thel and Kaeli by Dragunalb
sgtlegendkiller Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Student Writer
Anytime, Dragunalb!  You know I simply adore your art!
Dragunalb Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Indeed! That's why I thought it's about time for me to say thanks for your support on your profile for once. Oh man, I hope my watchers don't think I'm trying to suck up to them now XD
But really, I do appreciate your support!
sgtlegendkiller Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016  Student Writer
Well... i've been on D-art for over five years now and i've supported you since I first saw your ODST lady.  You've always been really chill and I really love your style.  Your Sangheili are amazing!
(1 Reply)
BlackDonner Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for faving, my friend.
:blamblam:NaNoEmo - Day 1 - Who's Number 1? SUPPRESSIVE FIREla-minator Salute Emoticon II AK aim and firela-minator NaNoEmo - Day 1 - Who's Number 1? :blamblam:
sgtlegendkiller Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015  Student Writer
As always, you're welcome!
gingerdove Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015
Thanks for the favorite!
sgtlegendkiller Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015  Student Writer
Anytime.  Its good to see some other people drawing Sangheili.  :D
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