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<code>Boom. Yes, I know. I hate wiki formatting too.</code>
 
<code>Boom. Yes, I know. I hate wiki formatting too.</code>
 
{{Under_Construction}}
 
{{Under_Construction}}
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| Hari Stuff =
 
| Hari Stuff =
  +
== Naturally Formed ==
  +
"Hey! You guys think anyone's ever been out this far before?"
  +
  +
"Dunno."
  +
  +
"Well, I mean, it's - it's real pretty out here. Feels so - what's the word - fresh? Clear? You know what I mean, right?"
  +
  +
"Yeah."
  +
  +
Hari could tell just how tired her teammates were from their responses to Lysander's pestering - hell, just from the ''tone'' of their responses. She couldn't really blame them, truth be told; trudging through a shin-deep muddied stream hundreds of miles from "home" kind of put a damper on the beauty of Onyx's untouched wilderness. Still, the questions kept everyone's eyelids from sagging too heavily, kept them from noticing the sharpness of the morning chill through their fatigues - and at least ''she'' could tell that there was still at least a twinkling of wonder in his voice. She shortened her strides a little, dropping back to the rear of the group where the smallest of the five trainees trailed them. A light elbow in the arm caught his half-conscious attention, and with it she offered the best approximation of a smile she could manage under the circumstances.
  +
  +
"You managing alright, Ly?"
  +
  +
"Wh- hm? Oh, yeah, no, I'm - I'm all good."
  +
  +
"You're a terrible liar, you know that?" The fatigue on his dirt-streaked face had betrayed him, although Hari could hardly think that she was in much of a better shape either. She reached down with one hand - grabbing one of his, firmly pressing a stim-tab into his palm. Precious cargo, kept from ration packs used up and discarded days ago. Long, long days ago. "Keep it. You look shattered."
  +
  +
"I, uh - thanks." She watched him pack it away - clumsily, almost fumbling the small tablet as he slipped it into his jacket's sealed pouch - before clasping his hand again, holding onto it.
  +
  +
"For what it's worth, I think it's really cool here too." This time, her voice dropped conspiratorially, and she leaned down closer to him as they walked. "You think Annika realises not all of us are from the rural Outers yet? Me, I'm ''proud'' I wasn't out there shovelling Redfur shit."
  +
  +
A couple of heads turned around sharply to the two of them - whether because of the barb or just the unexpected vulgarity, it was clear that she hadn't been quiet ''enough.'' All that ''she'' had to offer in return was a laugh - a tired, hoarse one but a laugh nonetheless, and one that Lysander found himself joining in with too after half a moment.
  +
  +
 
== The Haunting of Block AC417-F ==
 
== The Haunting of Block AC417-F ==
 
Block AC417-F was haunted. Everyone knew that. Well, all of the rest of the Rats knew that, at least, and Harriet had never really gotten around to asking them how they knew. It was just a thing that was known, that was accepted, that was constant - like how the sun rose each day, how the tap water in her flat always tasted of metal, how her mam always dusted down the blank, empty holoframes every day, even though they had been dead as long as she could remember. Her family was just like any other on this dustball, at least as far as she knew - and the idea of worlds beyond this one were nothing more than far-off dreams, fairytales about how her parents had roamed between the stars once; how she had, too, for the first few precious years of her life.
 
Block AC417-F was haunted. Everyone knew that. Well, all of the rest of the Rats knew that, at least, and Harriet had never really gotten around to asking them how they knew. It was just a thing that was known, that was accepted, that was constant - like how the sun rose each day, how the tap water in her flat always tasted of metal, how her mam always dusted down the blank, empty holoframes every day, even though they had been dead as long as she could remember. Her family was just like any other on this dustball, at least as far as she knew - and the idea of worlds beyond this one were nothing more than far-off dreams, fairytales about how her parents had roamed between the stars once; how she had, too, for the first few precious years of her life.
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  +
== These are Not Your Skies ==
  +
High in the skies of Requiem, one iteration of Harriet McVey is about to have a ''very'' bad day.
  +
  +
-----
  +
  +
''"Opportunity Knocks,'' Sabercat 2-1 here. Strike package of three F-41 Echos checking in, fully loaded and ready for tasking." The pilot seats weren't just reinforced to withstand the weight of an armoured Spartan in the cockpit, they were ''designed'' for it, and aided by inertial compensators governed by an algorithm that was only ''slightly'' too dumb to be formally classed as an AI. Yet somehow, Hari always felt like there was the slightest of creaks whenever she pulled any hard turns. Hell, there probably was. She just didn't like thinking about it.
  +
  +
  +
<code>"Sabercat 2-1, ''Opportunity'' actual. You've been scrambled to provide cover for Fireteam Buckler and their support elements, around 30 klicks north of your position."</code> At the mention of directions, Hari's eyes flickered down to the cockpit tacmap, then back up again. COM was cracklier than usual, but nothing to really worry about. Probably. <code>"Buckler reports that Promethean forces are supported by CAS elements, specifically VTOLs of a type unknown at this time. How copy?"</code>
  +
  +
"Solid copy, ''Opportunity.'' Tell 'em we're flooring it, Sabercat out." With a little more pressure on the throttle, the Broadsword's engines rose from a rumble to a growl, and Hari felt a touch more acceleration pushing her back into that seat; only a fraction of what she should have experienced, but the compensators always let some of the G-forces through to provide some force-feedback. For the briefest of moments, she wondered how her wingmen were handling things - on one hand, their constitutions weren't anywhere near as tough as her own augmented biology, but they also didn't have half-ton titanium shells to lug around. Hell, why
   
   
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|homeworld=Miridem
 
|homeworld=Miridem
 
|gender=Female
 
|gender=Female
|height=6'8" (in armour)
+
|height=6'7" (in armour)
   
6'3" (out of armour)
+
6'1" (out of armour)
 
|weight=96 kg
 
|weight=96 kg
 
|hair=
 
|hair=
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|sigweapons=
 
|sigweapons=
 
|rank=
 
|rank=
|tag=
+
|tag=G055
 
|serviceno=
 
|serviceno=
 
|class=Spartan-III
 
|class=Spartan-III
  +
  +
(Gamma Company)
 
|branch=
 
|branch=
 
|unit=
 
|unit=
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|affiliation=UNSC
 
|affiliation=UNSC
 
|notable=
 
|notable=
|species=Human
 
 
|siblings=
 
|siblings=
 
}}
 
}}
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===Training===
 
===Training===
  +
{{main|Beneath Artificial Stars}}
  +
Upon arrival at Onyx, Hari was immediately
   
   
 
==Service History==
 
==Service History==
  +
* On deployment with OPERATION: NIGHTLIGHT during the Fall of Reach - while recalled, her and the remainder of Team Kalis were too late to assist and diverted to Earth’s defence en route.
  +
* Upon arrival at Earth, Kalis was assigned to Battlegroup Juliet, given responsible for the defence of the Asia-Pacific region.
  +
** '''OPERATION: GLASSWARE''' - the protection of Hanoi Station’s ground-based generators. Static defences were abandoned, and units reassigned to OPERATION: CORKBOARD, once it became clear that the Covenant were bypassing them and attacking the stations directly.
  +
** '''OPERATION: HANGING GARDENS''' - defence of vital SinoViet ground facilities during their evacuation. Teams Kalis, Dagger and Kukri specifically chosen due to urban warfare proficiency. Heavy casualties suffered due to slow and delicate nature of evac ops - two members of Kalis incapacitated, one other WIA but still combat-capable.
  +
** '''OPERATION: KEYSTONE''' - three remaining members of Team Kalis, as well as Team Scimitar, assigned to secure LZ for ODST drop, as part of a counter-offensive against the Covenant beachhead in Hong Kong. One member of Kalis dies from previous wounds.
  +
** Diverted from KEYSTONE clean-up for OPERATION: PORTCULLIS, an emergency defence of [REDACTED] - mission aborted en-route, due to Bloody Arrow signal and subsequent thermonuclear sterilization of area.
  +
** Remains of Fireteams Kalis, Gupta, Kukri and Dirk mid-withdrawal to Sydney as part of last-line defence of UNSC FLEETCOM when armistice announced.
  +
* '''Postwar: S-III Gamma Company dissolved, Team Kalis assigned to Spartan Operations'''
  +
* Subjected to heavy assessment by ONI and SpartOps, ostensibly due to concern over psychological trauma, but also to monitor extent and danger of Gamma augmentations.
  +
* Assigned as protection for UNSC Planetary Geology team sent to assess post-glassing Reach - a relatively “safe” assignment during which the monitoring would take place.
  +
* Took part in OPERATION: FOCUS LENS 2555 (simulated second Battle of Sol exercise) alongside other Spartan operators.
  +
* Temporarily assigned as a trainer for Spartan-IVs preparing for F-41E Broadsword certification, due to familiarity with prior versions of the fighter.
  +
* ''OPERATION: RUBBER BAND [PENDING]'' - concurrent with the New Phoenix Incident.
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
 
===Early Deployment===
 
===Early Deployment===
   
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IRONSIDE-class MJOLNIR
 
IRONSIDE-class MJOLNIR
   
  +
{{Quote
''Shapeable energy shields? Forerunner signature bafflers? Twelve fuckin' AIs? Look, boss, kick out all these crutches and a suit of armour still needs to be a suit of armour - and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you can’t hack a quarter-inch of Titanium-A."''
+
|Sculpted energy shields? Forerunner signature bafflers? Twelve fuckin' AIs? Look, boss, kick out all these crutches and a suit of armour still needs to be a suit of armour - and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you can’t hack a quarter-inch of Titanium-A. |[UNKNOWN]
  +
}}
   
 
IRONSIDE-class Mjolnir is a variant of MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour [GEN2] developed and produced by Hannibal Weapons Systems. Originally developed as a simpler, stripped-down design for ease of manufacturing and training, it later saw usage in contested electronic environments, where more sophisticated designs were hobbled by interference and jamming.
 
IRONSIDE-class Mjolnir is a variant of MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour [GEN2] developed and produced by Hannibal Weapons Systems. Originally developed as a simpler, stripped-down design for ease of manufacturing and training, it later saw usage in contested electronic environments, where more sophisticated designs were hobbled by interference and jamming.
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==Oops, Reality Machine Broke==
  +
  +
You know, you never really realise how much you take gravity for granted until it's swept out from underneath your feet.
  +
  +
In a moment, I was weightless; in two, I was starting to drift off the floor. Halfway through the third, instincts were beginning to kick in - I reached down, fumbling for the switch to magnetize my boots like I had practiced in a hundred training exercises dealing with loss of artigrav onboard a ship.
  +
  +
Except, of course, we weren't aboard a ship.
  +
Nobody ever expected gravity to fail when you were planetside.
  +
  +
By the fourth moment, panic gave way to planning - I reached out with one arm, hoping to push off the wall to my side and give Ollie some breathing room. Hoping we could orient ourselves and figure out what the hell we were gonna do with ourselves in zero-gee.
  +
  +
Of course, all of ''that'' evacuated our minds the second gravity returned to us. Then it was an unceremonious drop to the ground, the
   
   
 
|-|
 
|-|
 
| To-Do List:=
 
| To-Do List:=
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  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
  +
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</tabber>
 
</tabber>
   

Latest revision as of 21:32, 19 September 2020

Boom. Yes, I know. I hate wiki formatting too.

Help.png This article, LegendOfElTopo/sandbox, is currently under active construction.




Naturally Formed

"Hey! You guys think anyone's ever been out this far before?"

"Dunno."

"Well, I mean, it's - it's real pretty out here. Feels so - what's the word - fresh? Clear? You know what I mean, right?"

"Yeah."

Hari could tell just how tired her teammates were from their responses to Lysander's pestering - hell, just from the tone of their responses. She couldn't really blame them, truth be told; trudging through a shin-deep muddied stream hundreds of miles from "home" kind of put a damper on the beauty of Onyx's untouched wilderness. Still, the questions kept everyone's eyelids from sagging too heavily, kept them from noticing the sharpness of the morning chill through their fatigues - and at least she could tell that there was still at least a twinkling of wonder in his voice. She shortened her strides a little, dropping back to the rear of the group where the smallest of the five trainees trailed them. A light elbow in the arm caught his half-conscious attention, and with it she offered the best approximation of a smile she could manage under the circumstances.

"You managing alright, Ly?"

"Wh- hm? Oh, yeah, no, I'm - I'm all good."

"You're a terrible liar, you know that?" The fatigue on his dirt-streaked face had betrayed him, although Hari could hardly think that she was in much of a better shape either. She reached down with one hand - grabbing one of his, firmly pressing a stim-tab into his palm. Precious cargo, kept from ration packs used up and discarded days ago. Long, long days ago. "Keep it. You look shattered."

"I, uh - thanks." She watched him pack it away - clumsily, almost fumbling the small tablet as he slipped it into his jacket's sealed pouch - before clasping his hand again, holding onto it.

"For what it's worth, I think it's really cool here too." This time, her voice dropped conspiratorially, and she leaned down closer to him as they walked. "You think Annika realises not all of us are from the rural Outers yet? Me, I'm proud I wasn't out there shovelling Redfur shit."

A couple of heads turned around sharply to the two of them - whether because of the barb or just the unexpected vulgarity, it was clear that she hadn't been quiet enough. All that she had to offer in return was a laugh - a tired, hoarse one but a laugh nonetheless, and one that Lysander found himself joining in with too after half a moment.


The Haunting of Block AC417-F

Block AC417-F was haunted. Everyone knew that. Well, all of the rest of the Rats knew that, at least, and Harriet had never really gotten around to asking them how they knew. It was just a thing that was known, that was accepted, that was constant - like how the sun rose each day, how the tap water in her flat always tasted of metal, how her mam always dusted down the blank, empty holoframes every day, even though they had been dead as long as she could remember. Her family was just like any other on this dustball, at least as far as she knew - and the idea of worlds beyond this one were nothing more than far-off dreams, fairytales about how her parents had roamed between the stars once; how she had, too, for the first few precious years of her life.

She dismissed those stories as casually as she dismissed the laughter of the rest of the Rats when they thought she was out of earshot. Sure, she was a kid, but so what? She was just as good as any of the rest of them, and today was her chance to prove it. Plenty of them had talked about planning, trying to explore Four-Seventeen-F, but none of them had had the guts to do it so far! Well, that was hardly for want of trying. She knew that Jacks had been making plans to, or at least thinking about it - well, if he hadn't been, then she wouldn't have been able to pinch his makeshift grappler, would she? She wouldn't be scaling the side of the block, scampering between ledges, climbing rusted fire escapes and shaky scaffolding left behind from maintenance projects forgotten long ago. Here and there were she could still find scraps of the life the building had once held - toolboxes jammed shut with dirt, their mag-lock keypads cold and dead; ventilation units and security cameras still, silent, gummed up by dust and cobwebs. She wasn't particularly worried about the latter, though. They hadn't moved in the long hours it had taken her to get here and climb up this high



These are Not Your Skies

High in the skies of Requiem, one iteration of Harriet McVey is about to have a very bad day.


"Opportunity Knocks, Sabercat 2-1 here. Strike package of three F-41 Echos checking in, fully loaded and ready for tasking." The pilot seats weren't just reinforced to withstand the weight of an armoured Spartan in the cockpit, they were designed for it, and aided by inertial compensators governed by an algorithm that was only slightly too dumb to be formally classed as an AI. Yet somehow, Hari always felt like there was the slightest of creaks whenever she pulled any hard turns. Hell, there probably was. She just didn't like thinking about it.


"Sabercat 2-1, Opportunity actual. You've been scrambled to provide cover for Fireteam Buckler and their support elements, around 30 klicks north of your position." At the mention of directions, Hari's eyes flickered down to the cockpit tacmap, then back up again. COM was cracklier than usual, but nothing to really worry about. Probably. "Buckler reports that Promethean forces are supported by CAS elements, specifically VTOLs of a type unknown at this time. How copy?"

"Solid copy, Opportunity. Tell 'em we're flooring it, Sabercat out." With a little more pressure on the throttle, the Broadsword's engines rose from a rumble to a growl, and Hari felt a touch more acceleration pushing her back into that seat; only a fraction of what she should have experienced, but the compensators always let some of the G-forces through to provide some force-feedback. For the briefest of moments, she wondered how her wingmen were handling things - on one hand, their constitutions weren't anywhere near as tough as her own augmented biology, but they also didn't have half-ton titanium shells to lug around. Hell, why

Help.png This article, LegendOfElTopo/sandbox, is currently under active construction.
Terminal.png This article, LegendOfElTopo/sandbox, was written by LegendOfElTopo. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
Hari-G055
G055.png
Biographical Information

REAL NAME

Harriet McVey

ALIAS

"Moz" (Callsign)

DATE OF BIRTH

Jan 11, 2538

HOMEWORLD

Miridem

Physical Information

GENDER

Female

HEIGHT

6'7" (in armour)

6'1" (out of armour)

WEIGHT

96 kg

Political/Military Information

SPECIALTY

  • CQC
  • Urban Mobility, Reconnaisance
  • Piloting

SPARTAN TAG

G055

CLASS

Spartan-III

(Gamma Company)

UNIT

Team Kalis (former)

Team FORTUNE (current)

AFFILIATION

UNSC

[Source]

Harriet McVey, known primarily by her service tag Hari-G055, is a SPARTAN-III supersoldier of Gamma Company, who served in the final year of the Human-Covenant War and into the post-war years. While her promising individual performance in her early years marked her as a promising candidate for transfer to more specialised training, the competitive streak responsible for it was seen as a potential liability, and instead she continued training with the remainder of the Company. While deployed too late to see action in the Fall of Reach, Hari and her team, Kalis, were diverted towards Sol, arriving in time to see action in numerous battles in the Asia-Pacific theatre of the Battle of Earth, although this exacted a devastating toll on the still-green Spartan team.

Following the armistice and the end of the war, Kalis was disbanded, ostensibly due to the casualties suffered in the numerous battles towards the end of the previous year. While some of her surviving team members were swept up by ONI, Hari herself was bounced between a number of low-risk postings by Spartan Branch, before eventually being paired up with another former ally and transferred to the Category-II Spartan Team FORTUNE.


Biography

Childhood

Main article: The Haunting of Block AC417-F

Harriet McVey was born on the 11th of January, 2538, to a pair of relatively wealthy interstellar traders. Nominally resident on the major port world of Alluvion, the couple often drifted between worlds, delegating the day-to-day running of their company to others and dealing with the bigger picture from the bridge of the cargo ship they had used since the earliest years of their business. For the first few months after Harriet's birth, they were content to continue this practice; thoughts of when and where they would settle down were far off in the distance, and there was always one more run to be done before then.

However, this world of reasonable comfort came tumbling down within the year; the shipping company and its assets were seized under UNSC emergency law for use as troop and materiel transports, and with the token sum they were given the family were forced to settle down on the inner colony world of Meridem. With almost nothing left to the family name, Hari grew up on the densely packed streets as a city rat, soon picking up a particular talent for navigating her way around the walls and roofs of the run-down housing blocks. In spite of this skill she was still often derided as the runt of the group given her age - and in return, her resentment grew into a drive to prove herself to them, to be just as strong or fast or smart as the bigger kids. Unfortunately, this, too, would be denied to her - when a Covenant force arrived in the system, there was little her or her parents could do to get through the panicked, chaotic crowds surrounding the handful of UNSC evacuation transports available. Instead, a few contacts and final favours called in allowed her parents to secure her a seat on a small, barely slipspace-capable cargo hauler out of the system, and she would eventually be picked up by ONI at a refugee processing facility and acquired for the SPARTAN-III programme.


Training

Main article: Beneath Artificial Stars

Upon arrival at Onyx, Hari was immediately


Service History

  • On deployment with OPERATION: NIGHTLIGHT during the Fall of Reach - while recalled, her and the remainder of Team Kalis were too late to assist and diverted to Earth’s defence en route.
  • Upon arrival at Earth, Kalis was assigned to Battlegroup Juliet, given responsible for the defence of the Asia-Pacific region.
    • OPERATION: GLASSWARE - the protection of Hanoi Station’s ground-based generators. Static defences were abandoned, and units reassigned to OPERATION: CORKBOARD, once it became clear that the Covenant were bypassing them and attacking the stations directly.
    • OPERATION: HANGING GARDENS - defence of vital SinoViet ground facilities during their evacuation. Teams Kalis, Dagger and Kukri specifically chosen due to urban warfare proficiency. Heavy casualties suffered due to slow and delicate nature of evac ops - two members of Kalis incapacitated, one other WIA but still combat-capable.
    • OPERATION: KEYSTONE - three remaining members of Team Kalis, as well as Team Scimitar, assigned to secure LZ for ODST drop, as part of a counter-offensive against the Covenant beachhead in Hong Kong. One member of Kalis dies from previous wounds.
    • Diverted from KEYSTONE clean-up for OPERATION: PORTCULLIS, an emergency defence of [REDACTED] - mission aborted en-route, due to Bloody Arrow signal and subsequent thermonuclear sterilization of area.
    • Remains of Fireteams Kalis, Gupta, Kukri and Dirk mid-withdrawal to Sydney as part of last-line defence of UNSC FLEETCOM when armistice announced.
  • Postwar: S-III Gamma Company dissolved, Team Kalis assigned to Spartan Operations
  • Subjected to heavy assessment by ONI and SpartOps, ostensibly due to concern over psychological trauma, but also to monitor extent and danger of Gamma augmentations.
  • Assigned as protection for UNSC Planetary Geology team sent to assess post-glassing Reach - a relatively “safe” assignment during which the monitoring would take place.
  • Took part in OPERATION: FOCUS LENS 2555 (simulated second Battle of Sol exercise) alongside other Spartan operators.
  • Temporarily assigned as a trainer for Spartan-IVs preparing for F-41E Broadsword certification, due to familiarity with prior versions of the fighter.
  • OPERATION: RUBBER BAND [PENDING] - concurrent with the New Phoenix Incident.



Early Deployment

Battle for Earth

Main articles: Danger Close and Another Night on the Town

During

Post-War

Personality & Traits

Relationships

Physical Profile

IRONSIDE-class MJOLNIR

"Sculpted energy shields? Forerunner signature bafflers? Twelve fuckin' AIs? Look, boss, kick out all these crutches and a suit of armour still needs to be a suit of armour - and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you can’t hack a quarter-inch of Titanium-A. "
―[UNKNOWN]


IRONSIDE-class Mjolnir is a variant of MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour [GEN2] developed and produced by Hannibal Weapons Systems. Originally developed as a simpler, stripped-down design for ease of manufacturing and training, it later saw usage in contested electronic environments, where more sophisticated designs were hobbled by interference and jamming.

Development

Early Concepts

As the expanding Spartan-IV programme began to draw on more and more recruits, a logistical problem swiftly presented itself; much of the industrial capability and design expertise behind the existing GEN1 Mjolnir suits had been lost or destroyed in the Siege of the Inner Colonies, meaning that new Spartans were being augmented and trained without armor for them to wear.

In Which Alaska-013 Possibly, But Probably Doesn't, Die.

The mess hall was filled with ODSTs and Marines gathered around tables; eating, talking, resting. Through the din, one voice - old, worn, raspy - cut through the others.

"Well, you can call me an old bastard, but they don't make 'em like they used to." He gestured down at the reheated portion on his plate, pausing to let a laugh ripple around the table before he continued. "No, I mean it. Even Spartans, y'know? The first batch we all figured were freaks, probably grown in a tube in some ONI lab somewhere - but these lot are more... helljumpers with implants and titanium-A bones. They’re all hard talk and bravado, but I've seen more of a few of them getting tossed around like the rest of us. Don't mean to talk them down, but... well, you know, maybe the others are just a better vintage."

He glanced around, watching the young faces of his table-mates, and cleared his throat,

"Now, I know you’ve heard stories 'bout the first Spartans. If I had money, I’d bet you’ve all, at the very least, heard of the Chief - and if not, I’m gonna have to ask my CO when we started recruiting folks who lived under rocks. There's stories that've been going around longer than some of you lot have been alive, though. Some that stick with you more than others."


"So, how many of you kiddos have heard 'bout a certain Alaska?"




Spartan Ruiz cleared his throat - sounding a little hesitant, even awkward, over comm. "You, uh, you guys hear that?"

The other two members of Team Heads paused, instinctively; their weapons raised, their eyes scanning the burnt-out city around them for long, tense moments.

"Nothing." Yenko let out a sigh, eyes rolling behind his polarised visor. "You just hearing things, or should I go fetch a Grizzly to scare these Innie rats out of their-"

-and he froze. His suit did, at least - inside, all he could do he could do was glance down at the armour restraint attached firmly to the chest plate, locking him in place.

"Motherf-"




A sizeable group of ODSTs, Marines and even the odd brave sailor had gathered around the table where the scar-faced man sat, now listening intently to the tales being told.

"...hell, I think I still can't tell ya about most of what happened, but that’s probably for the better. Aleria, though? That was one helluva mess. Me, the rest of my team, we were dropped in to push back the split-lips, and we had about as much luck as there is air in space."

He paused for effect, watching the reactions of the younger troops around him, the faint outline of a wry smirk growing on his face as he watched them rapt with attention.

"We'd made a little progress, pushing down to the old spaceport, when this massive Brute Chieftain showed up. Must've been, what, ten feet tall? Twelve? However big he was, the bastard shrugged off MA5 rounds like rain - me, I thought we were dead men walking 'til something tackled the damn Kong, slammed it to the ground." Another pause, the veteran Helljumper gesturing as if coming around to the punchline of the joke. "Alaska, of course."




Oops, Reality Machine Broke

You know, you never really realise how much you take gravity for granted until it's swept out from underneath your feet.

In a moment, I was weightless; in two, I was starting to drift off the floor. Halfway through the third, instincts were beginning to kick in - I reached down, fumbling for the switch to magnetize my boots like I had practiced in a hundred training exercises dealing with loss of artigrav onboard a ship.

Except, of course, we weren't aboard a ship. Nobody ever expected gravity to fail when you were planetside.

By the fourth moment, panic gave way to planning - I reached out with one arm, hoping to push off the wall to my side and give Ollie some breathing room. Hoping we could orient ourselves and figure out what the hell we were gonna do with ourselves in zero-gee.

Of course, all of that evacuated our minds the second gravity returned to us. Then it was an unceremonious drop to the ground, the


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