Story-Jay the Ghost

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It surprised me when I saw Charles walk into my quarters some time later after the failure of a group evaluation. He seemed to be in a bad sort-his eyes seemed to have that defeated look in them again. Frowning, I got up from my spot on my bed, where I had been thinking of what to do for now. I assumed Deadeye would have been back sooner, probably to do more hellsome training, but then Charles told me what had happened.

“Deadeye has been suspended from his teaching duties for now,” Charles said, something like a happy note to his voice. “The Headmaster finally saw that you needed a bit of rest…and that Deadeye had been a bit too hard on you.”

I frowned. “He hasn’t been too hard on me Charles, I keep trying to tell you tha-“ He interrupted me.

“Jay,” He said, his eyes looking sad, “I know you’re trying to impress him, but Deadeye isn’t one to be impressed by those ranking under him. I don’t know if you’ll ever make it to his standards,” He shook his head, “But that’s besides the point. You need more rest, look at you-you look more tired than you woke from your coma.”

I sighed. “I’m perfectly fine…”

“In any case, you’re getting a break for a few days.” He said, his eyes looking at me in a concerned way. “The Headmaster is going to trust you can train by yourself for these next few days.”

I frowned again. “Speaking of training…why haven’t you come to give me lessons? Deadeye never gave me a straight answer…” He had been rather cheeky these last few days about that. He just sort of gave me a smirk when I asked, and said something about people needing to worry about themselves…oh.

“Well…I got suspended as well,” Charles said, looking a bit sad again. “The Headmaster was going to lift my suspension, but then he thought better of it. Deadeye would see it as favoritism, and Vincent would like to make it appear that it was strictly his choice to suspend him, not my meddling in with him…”

“Charles,” I said, my frown still present. “You need to stop angering him…it isn’t a good habit, and might get you in serious trouble.”

Charles looked at me for some time. “Jay, like you, I can take care of myself just fine.”

I sighed. “I know Charles…”

Charles looked at me with that glint of sadness in his eyes again. “I’m afraid you can’t call me that anymore Jay.”

I looked up at him, a bit confused. “Why?”

“The Headmaster,” Charles said, sighing. “He said it is time you start calling me Professor Nemisi-like all the other students do. It isn’t befitting of a Ghost Operative in training to call their higher officers by their first name.”

“That’s silly, I mean,” I said, furrowing my eyebrows. “What difference would it make? I mean, yes, I realize kind of what he’s saying, but…”

“I’m sorry Jay,” Charles said, sadness heavy in his expression. “It would seem he would also wish me to stop coming to visit you so often-and he doesn’t want us acting as ‘friends’ anymore either. It isn’t fair, yes, I know, but it is necessary for you to be able to grow into the soldier you are someday meant to be.”

He paused, then added, “This is all under Vincent’s orders, and his word is law here.”

I slumped back down to sit on my bed. Even more things to screw up how I had things? I mean, yes, change was fine-but so much of it at once, no…this was getting ridiculous. Now life seemed to be trying to eliminate everything good about it-and it just ended with Charles. Or at least, I hoped it did…

Charles seemed to notice me thinking. He started to walk over, but stopped himself. It would be him to try and comfort me, but now that he was ordered by Vincent not to even act as a friend, he couldn’t.

Silence enveloped us for quite some time, until Charles broke the silence.

“Jay, I also came to bring you down to the medbay.” He said, sadness still present in his voice. “I think you need to get checked out-at least just this once. If you want to be fully recovered for when Deadeye is unsuspended, I suggest I take you down there.”

With a heavy sigh, I looked up at him. “Alright, Professor.”

Charles then gestured to follow him, and side by side we walked down to the medbay. Thoughts buzzed in my head like bees, all needing my attention. The biggest one of them all though, was the question-

How much longer could I put up with all this?

Edited by Mockingjay on 6/28/2012 6:55 AM PDT
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Hmmmmmmmm I wonder. Does this make us rival authors now Jay?
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Drop it, Changeling. You're comparing champagne to piss right now, and you know it.
Comparatively speaking. Your story still rocks.
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Lol, I dunno Hbrb, mine's reaching up to be 40,000 words pretty soon, :P


(We’re going back in time here, but only a little, :P)

Boarding that dropship this morning was a complete pain. I had been utterly exhausted from the night before. It took a damn long time to get to the facility, and for some reason the trip back to base seemed much longer…perhaps I was subconsciously slowing myself, trying to stay as close for as long as possible. It had only dawned on me how much I’d actually miss Jay as I had been walking away from the facility, leaving her hanging up in the window.

This feeling only grew when I was walking out the door of my quarters one last time. I had my duffle bag packed up from the night before, but just as I was about to walk out the door, I heard a clattering on the floor. Something must have fallen from my bag, I thought. I quickly turned around to snatch up what I’d dropped only to freeze for a moment. It had been Jay’s psi knife-the small silver handle shined back up at me from the floor.

It took me a while to wake myself from that stupor. I had just about forgotten about the special knife Jay had traded with me. I must have also spaced off my own thought of it as I had packed it in my duffle the day before. It surprised me how attached I was to this knife too, as I picked it up. Instead of returning it to my duffle, I fastened the knife hilt to my equipment belt.

Not a moment too soon, and Brash walked past my door after I had made sure the knife was secure. He seemed tired himself, it didn’t really occur to me until later that he mustn’t have slept well. He maybe wasn’t going to miss it around here for the same reasons I would, but he would miss it here too-it had been his home ever since he enlisted to the Raiders after his colony was liberated from the Dominion.

“Hey,” he said, a groggy tone to his voice.

I only nodded, not sure of what to say. I adjusted my duffle a bit to hide where I put the psi knife.

He looked me up and down, and chuckled slightly. “All packed up and ready to go then?”

“…Yeah,” I said, gazing back at what used to be my quarters.

Brash followed my gaze, and subtly put his hand on my shoulder. “We’ll be back, I’m sure.”

I nodded again, frowning. It would be a long time before we’d come back, that was for certain. Getting rid of Zerg was something easier said than done. If this planet was truthfully infested, the operation could take months-maybe even years. It all depended on how much time the Zerg had to settle…and how much time it took to start pushing them out again.

…and if things went wrong, we probably wouldn’t come back at all.

I shivered at this thought. The thought of dying was something I didn’t care to think about. It only brought anxiety, worry. Both were enough to screw up my head enough to make me unfocused and clumsy, two things that definitely weren’t good for a Ghost on the field.

Brash squeezed my shoulder. “Let’s get going. Echo Squad is probably waiting for us.”

I shook my head, clearing my mind. I turned to face Brash, and gave him a nervous smile. With that, Brash returned it, and we both headed up the stairs and out the metal double doors of the building.

Just across the field sat a drop ship, but there was something a bit off about it. A large device was stationed on the vehicle’s top, something that appeared to be struggling to stay attached to the ship. It seemed like a fussy thing, for it let out a bit of steam once in a while, the parts of it moving every once in a while.

I frowned at the ship. “What did they do to it?”

Brash pointed. “That device is made to hide the ship when coming in and out of the planet’s atmosphere. That Dominion Facility has some strong sensors for detecting ships, but ships with this device added onto them can’t be detected by the Dominion’s sensors. Think of it as an oversized cloaking emitter-that’s pretty much what it is.”

I stared. “…Why does it look like it’s about to fall off?”

“It will, actually.” Brash said, his gaze following mine. “You see, these emitters are very similar to what we put in banshees these days. Banshees though are quite a bit smaller than these drop ships we got here, so the cloaking emitter we make for the ship needs to be considerably bigger to give a big enough cloaking field. Sadly, the device can’t fit within the ship, so they have to put it on the outside. Half the time, these things fall off when they’ve been used too many times-It’s from entering and exiting the atmosphere all the time, something banshees don’t do-this one appears to be on one of its last flights.”

“Huh,” I said, taking in the device a bit more.

We finally reached the door to the drop ship. A marine looking pretty grim stood just at the end of the ramp leading into the side port. His armor was scratched considerably, creating silver stripes where blue would normally appear. He had a similar scratch down the side of his face, looking pinkish and fresh-he must have just come from the planet we were going to.

“Sgt. Brash and Pvt.-“ The marine started to say.

“Shadow.” I finished.

“Right,” He said, looking between us two. “Echo squad’s already good to go. I suggest you two also get on in and ready for liftoff.”

I nodded briskly with Brash, and we both tromped up the ramp and down a narrow hallway. There were two doors, one of them open. We went into the open one, and packed our bags in a compartment just by the door. The room consisted of a bench that lined the walls, and a single window. Brash settled himself down on a seat by the door, and lied down.

“Wake me up if I fall asleep for too long, I could use just a bit of rest.” He said, grogginess still detectable in his voice.

I smirked slightly, but nodded. I myself took a seat at the window, looking out it. There stretched the entire encampment-buildings, people, and all. I could hear the hum of the ship’s engine overtake the noise outside subtly as they readied the ship for takeoff. A few soldiers, some I even recognized as those who me and Brash sometimes played poker with late at night, stopped for a while and waved as we started to hover slowly into the air.

A mechanized voice sounded through the ship’s comm system. “Estimated time until course completetion-13 hours.”

I groaned slightly. I never really cared much for space travel-at least not in such a small ship. And being stranded on one for thirteen hours really didn’t appeal to me…
It wasn’t long until the base was below us. Soon we were flying skyward, clouds blocking most of my view outside for quite some time. It wasn’t too long until we broke through the cloud layers and started reaching the upper atmosphere. It got darker and the stars appeared, as if waiting for us. We were now floating just out of the planet’s orbit, and I couldn’t help but stare.

The planet was very green, the exception being the blue oceans, lakes, and rivers that also shared the planet’s surface. Clouds wisped around the sphere, like huge white patches. I smiled as I could just hardly make out the dot that was the base we just came from with the help of my suit’s eyepiece. Not far from it, I also found the dot of the Dominion Facility…

I frowned. It dawned on me how much Jay would have enjoyed seeing the planet. She probably hadn’t seen it yet-unless she saw it when she first came to the facility. That was quite unlikely though, we knew they stored the recruits in stasis until they were brought within the facility. The planet was so pretty…too bad I couldn’t have taken a picture to get to her when we got back.

I sighed and sunk down in my seat, lying down in the same fashion as Brash. It was silly of me to think of her still…I started thinking again. How long would it be until we got back? Would we come back? If we are successful, would the base still be there for us to go back to? Would the Dominion discover it before we’d get back? Would it be just fine? If we came back-what would I do? Would Jay still be there-it hit me finally.

Jay would certainly be completed with her training by the time we got back. She said she had been fourteen the last time I asked her, though she couldn’t remember her birthday. It had been a few months since I first saw her, so currently she was either halfway or nearly fifteen. It only took someone to get to seventeen to be able to enlist into the Dominion’s army-only two more years for her.

I knew with a horrible sinking feeling that it would probably take a long damn time to flush out the zerg…what if it did turn to be years? And if so, how many? Would we be able to get back, for me to be able to see her again before she’d be off and enlisted into the army? What would become of her-

With a start, I realized Jay wouldn’t be Jay when we got back…even if we did make it in time. She had just gotten plenty adjusted to the facility-it was about time they would start treating her more like a soldier rather than just child sense. They would try to change her, and as much as I hated to admit it-they would probably be successful. They would make her tough, emotionless. The expressive, innocent, kind and energetic Jay would be locked away and never even thought of again as soon as they got her to that stiff, stone-cold way most Dominion Ghosts portrayed.

I found myself grasping where I put Jay’s knife only a while ago. I unhooked it from its place on my belt and played with it for a moment. This was the last piece of the real Jay I would have…

I stared at the ceiling for a very long time, just thinking. Later, my thoughts finally slowed and my mind found itself tired. Sleepiness now taking its toll, I finally let myself rest.

Edited by Mockingjay on 7/28/2012 5:15 PM PDT
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And did you see how many views this thread has gained.
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Wow Drac, I never thought you'd be so meeeeeean.
You just broke both of my black hearts.

EDIT: Wow, seriously, joking |D

EDIT 2: NEVER take anything I say seriously. Have you all learned NOTHING!?
Edited by HowBabysRBrn on 6/27/2012 11:11 AM PDT
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Hey, I may be an antisocial pyromaniac with a penchant for knowing everything, but there's more than that to why I can't hold a friend/GF for more than 2 days.

Yeah, it's pretty damned sad, but you know what? I'm cool with it.
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///Shadow/// (NEW!)

“Estimated time to destination, 20 minutes.” said a computer voice over the loudspeaker. I jerked awake at the noise, resulting in my hitting my head on the window port above me.

“OUCH!” I croaked, rubbing my head.

Brash then jerked awake himself, but he fortunately didn’t hit his head. He looked around for a moment, as if he couldn’t remember where we were. Probably dreamed we were still back at base…back at home…It didn’t take him too long though to realize where he was, and to take the chance to laugh at me.

“Ought to be careful Shadow-wouldn’t want to rattle your brains too much before we land.” He chuckled, stretching, “The zerg will do that plenty.”

Rolling my eyes, I yawned, and gazed at the planet that now grew into view. It was a dark planet, yet it somehow had a soft blue glow. Patches of dark blue dotted the surface-countless little lakes spread all around. There wasn’t a lick of green to be spoken of-that meant that either the planet was devoid of vegetation…or perhaps they had a different arrangement of plant species on the surface all together.

“Brash, what’s this place called?” I asked curiously, still peering out the window.

“Eh, I don’t quite remember…the report was very brief.” He said, yawning.

We came into orbit, and then I began to notice a large purple patch of ground on the planet. It took me a moment to realize it was where the zerg were probably colonizing. As the ship began to descend, I could just make out the outline of a central hive, and some other structures. Then, out of nowhere, I saw a strange purple-green cloud…

Sirens immediately started sounding in the ship, a red light flooding in our room of the ship. The mechanized ship computer voice began to speak again.

“Zerg Bio signs within a range of 100 meters--- Bio sign identified---Zerg Scourge swarm en route.”

“Well,” I said, staring out the window. “They’ve certainly prepared a nice welcome gift…”

Brash looked over his shoulder, and his eyes widened. “Damn…”

The door behind us flew open, and when I turned around, I was surprised to see who opened it. A tall girl perhaps a bit older than me stood in the doorway, a worried expression stuck to her face. Her dark purple eyes flickered with concern and disbelief, and her ponytail of dark black hair bounced as she came up to the window and peered out it. She gaped when she saw the cloud.

“Jesus…so much for a safe landing.” She swore under her breath, only audible to my ears because I had been so close to her.

I heard Brash shift behind me, and when I turned around I saw him staring at the other figure standing in the doorway. It was another girl-only perhaps not really a “girl”, for she appeared to be at the very least in her early twenties. Her short brown nearly hid her similarly purple eyes to the girl next to me, the only difference was that hers were a lighter hue. I glanced sideways at Brash as he was still staring at her.

Oh god…not this again…

Before I could say anything, the woman in the doorway spoke.

“Shroud, you know it’s impolite not to knock.” She said, amusement to her voice.
The girl beside me turned around, and looked between Brash and I. “Oh, sorry.” She said, and I thought I could detect a hint of a blush when she looked my way. Wait…?

She got up again, and went over to the woman’s side.

“So wait…” I said, getting up from the bench. I peered out the door and noticed that the other one in the hallway was also opened. “You’re…Echo Squad?”

The woman nodded a slight smirk to her face. “Not that hard to guess, I’d think. I’m Mystic, and this is Shroud.” She said, glancing sideways at Brash. “and you’re Beta squad?”

Brash was then subconscious of his staring, and he stuttered in reply. “Ah w-well, yeah. This h-here is Shadow and I’m B-Brash.” He said, blushing plain as day.

The woman seemed to take no notice in it though, and instead replied. “W-well then, n-n-nice to meet you.” The girl she called Shroud laughed when I did, and she looked at me with a smile that sent a shiver down my back. What on Tarsonis...?

Finally the red lights in the room suddenly became apparent again as the computer voice spoke again. “An emergency drop must be performed-Zerg Scourge within 50 meters. Ship Boosters have failed.”

The pilot came down the hall-the marine we met at base just before we boarded the ship. He paused before all of us. “Well, sorry to interrupt your little party here…but we need to get our asses moving…To the drop pods.”

Echo squad nodded while Brash and I groaned. We didn’t have a very good history when it came to drop pods...things never went the way they were supposed to.

“Quit your whining, unless you want to become a puddle o’ slime floating in deep space, WE NEED TO MOVE.” The pilot said, and ran down the hall. Us and the other squad followed closely behind until we came to the drop pod room. Eight Drop pods were set into the wall, and the pilot had already settled himself into one. Mystic took one next to him, and Shroud the one next to her. I took the pod on the opposite side of Shroud, and Brash took the one left over next to me.

After making sure all my straps kept me settled in place, I stole a glance sideways at Shroud though the pod’s side screen to see her quickly stare forward again. Had she been looking at me…?

“Alright guys,” said the pilot’s voice over the drop pod’s comm. system. “We should land relatively close together-we’ll need to regroup once we touch the surface. Depending on where we land, we might be facing a few Zerg before we can start trekking to the main base. I’ll see you all on the surface-Goodluck.”

Then, all of a sudden, the pods began to drop. The pilot’s was first, I could hear it leave the ship with a hiss on my right. Mystic must have gone just a few seconds next, because I heard the same hiss again. I looked sideways again at Shroud just before she dropped too. She was looking in my direction again, and her eyes were as wide as moons (Though whether it was from the sudden drop, or from her realizing I noticed her looking at me again, I wouldn’t know). I glanced sideways at Brash and gave him a thumbs up just as I too began to drop towards the surface.

Dropping to the surface of a planet from space is probably ten times worse than a rollercoaster ride. Imagine that weightless feeling when you go down the first drop-only increase the time by minutes, and add the fear of not making it safely to the ground again. Though, as much as it was a scary experience-it was also very thrilling.

The heads-up display at the front of the pod flickered before my face. There was a large number decreasing rapidly-my altitude. I felt the pod jerk around and heat up as the number decreased more and more-the pod was breaking through layers of the planet’s atmosphere. When the number was in the low thousands, the jerking stopped though the pod still felt pretty warm.

Wiping sweat from my face, stared at the display. I’d gotten through the first scary part of a pod drop-back when we all were trained in boot camp they’d always share horror stories of how drop pods would sometimes break in the atmosphere. Now the only thing I needed to worry about was not becoming a pancake when I landed. I closed my eyes just as the display read 900 feet…

I opened my eyes to see the display at 500 feet-but it was now slowing a little bit. That meant the brake thrusters had activated. I could feel the pod slow down as it reached the lower 300’s then to the lower 200’s. Not too long after, I felt the pod dig into the ground with a satisfying THUNK. The pod quivered a bit, but stayed together.

I let myself take a deep breath. The display blinked green, and the straps that kept me secure in the pod became loose and fell off. The pod didn’t split open yet-it wouldn’t until all the pods had dropped to the surface and had time to cool down. That probably meant I had a minute or two. I took advantage of the time and checked my equipment.

I tried reaching behind my back for my rifle but then realized it was still up on the ship-along with all of our bags full of the equipment we had brought with us. I ran both of my hands through my hair and kicked the side of the pod-that meant all my other crap was still up there too. I did a quick check of what I did have with me, then felt the smooth plating of Jay’s psi-knife within a pouch in my belt.

I took it out carefully, looking over it. It was perfectly fine, not even a scratch on it from the rough descent. It dawned on me that only those few hours ago before we left it had fell out of my duffle bag. It was a damn good thing it had-otherwise it too would still be up in the ship. At least I still had the one thing that mattered…a rifle and a few shredder grenades could certainly be replaced. My one piece of Jay and home-that couldn’t.

I returned the knife to its pocket and then found that I at least had my pistol. I even had a few extra magazines with me, so I wasn’t completely out of luck. We’d just have to hope we wouldn’t run into much for zerg when the time came to it…

Just then, the pod split open, and the natural light of the planet greeted me. I looked around to find large fungi-like plants around me, lots of them having light blue spots that seemed to glow softly. The sky was dark from what I could tell, but the light all the plants around provided, it was at least easy to see everything.

But glancing around again, I found that I couldn’t see any other pods. All I could hear was the soft sounds of the large fungi swaying in the breeze, and the chirr of animals…or perhaps creatures…I couldn’t even see.

Edited by Mockingjay on 7/28/2012 7:16 PM PDT
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Deep ocean blue.
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Green? Blue? Brown? Orange? Green? Green?
Edited by ShadowFury on 6/27/2012 3:24 PM PDT
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*Also reserved for next Chapter

Annnnnd a question i need answered: What color should Shadow's eyes be?
I'm going to say a dark grey-blue. Sort of a sea grey, but slightly darker and more blue. I'll see if I can get an approximate RGB value for what it would be, I don't think I described it very well.
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Got it:

R: 60
G: 95
B: 110

Tell me what you think.
Edited by Owlfeathers on 6/27/2012 4:10 PM PDT
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Hrrrrrm, green is tempting-it would be the same color as what Natalia's eyes were, and the origional idea I had been playing with.

But I do like that color you produced Owlfeathers~it would be quite suiting,

Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrm...welp, once I get the next chapters done, their color will be revealed in the text, :3
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Great story as it to late to help with the eye color? Green, Green, Blue, Grey, Brown, Blue, Black, Red, Orange, Brown, Grey, Green.

Dark Green? Light Green?

R: 30
G: 155
B: 25

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Great story. Can't wait for more. *Hungry light reappears*
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Keep... writing...
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Shameless bump.
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*Reserved for next Chapter
Edited by Mockingjay on 7/28/2012 7:20 PM PDT
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How many times must I say it, Nick- there is no shame in bumping this thread.
Spell check is unnecessary when your spelling is impeccable naturally.
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07/08/2012 06:01 PMPosted by Draconus
Spell check is unnecessary when your spelling is impeccable naturally.

Every one who knows how to spell every word in the English Language correctly raise their hand!
*Keeps hand down*

Without spell check, I would not have learned that remember is not spelled rember. (I am very smart, but spelling continues to defeat me daily) Hooray for spell check!
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