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0431 Hours, October 24th, 2556

UNSC Da Vinci, unknown region of space

Second Lieutenant Michael Jankov lay in his bunk in his sealed cell aboard the UNSC Da Vinci. It wasn't necessarily his, he shared it with two more men, First Lieutenant Francis Viter, who was pacing back and forth in the isolated cell, fiddling with his watch or with the zippers on his flightsuit, and Second Lieutenant Karol Bani, who, like Jankov, was lying on his bunk, probably counting whatever little imperfections the ceiling had, but it didn't matter whose it was. They had all been there too damn long, and every day they hoped the cell door would open and they would get to finally return to Gilgamesh, or in the case of Bani, Victoria.

"Hey Bani." Jankov piped up, breaking the silence.

"Yeah, what's up?"

"What are you gonna do once you're out of here?"

"Who knows. Probably first go to Gilgamesh with you two, make a circuit of the best red-light districts. You'd know about that, wouldn't you Viter?"

Viter smiled slightly. "I can neither confirm nor deny that accusation, all I can say is to check the prices before you buy the products." he said. "Only good thing about the invasion you know? Afterwards, no one would accept our money for anything. And I mean no one."

"Yeah, can confirm that." Jankov responded. "Though us infantrymen had to work for our bread."

"Ah, go suck off an ONI agent." he responded.

"If it got us out of here, I think we all would." Jankov said. He raised his hand. "Wait. You hear that?"

"Hear what?" Bani said, sitting up on his bed.

"That. Sounds like it's coming from the vents. Like a hissing."

"Yeah, I hear it. The fuck is that?" Viter said as he looked up into one of the vents.

Suddenly, he dropped to the ground, convulsing, his mouth locked open. Jankov leapt to his feet and ran over to him. "Bani, get some help!" he screamed as he did so. Looking him up and down, he saw the pilot was foaming at the mouth, and suddenly, Jankov felt his own muscles spasming, and dropped to his knees, falling back. He tried to scream out for help, but nothing came, and soon after, he saw Bani drop as well.

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