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A whole hour passed before the shuttle pilot came on.
“Gentlemen, we will be docking aboard the Dragonfly for FTL travel.” Dwayne groaned,
“I hate faster than light travel.”
“Why? You can’t even tell the difference.” Johnson argued as the shuttle came to a complete halt and the ramp began to lower. Markus undid his restraints and stood up. He stretched and reached for the top of the shuttle before stepping down the ramp followed by Dwayne, followed by Johnson, then Ramey. They all stepped off and onto a three-pad shuttle hanger. Markus watched as two more shuttles flew through the air-field and landed. The hanger bay’s doors began to close as the shuttle’s engines cut.
The four Elites observed as the two shuttle’s ramps opened up and ten soldiers each came pouring out.
“Where did Ashley go? Wasn’t she coming with us?” Johnson looked around with Markus,
“The commander said she was going on a different shuttle, but I don’t see her.” A man dressed in a Separatist spacer uniform approached the four and shook all their hands.
“Greetings, my name is Dennio. I assume you are the Elites?”
“How’d you guess?” Ramey said with his deep rugged voice as he adjusted his rifle. Dennio chuckled nervously,
“Right this way, please.” He exited the hanger and all four of the Elites followed. They walked down corridors and through elevators until they finally came to what was obviously a residential area.
“All the rooms are exactly the same, you guys have one through four.” Dennio walked off leaving the four men looking at each other. They all randomly selected a room and walked in. Markus sighed when he saw the hard bed and metal dresser. He was now being treated like the average soldier. That is what he signed up for, after all. Markus looked around his room for a while longer before walking out. The others had apparently done the same. All four Elites stood in the hall looking at each other.
“Well this sucks.” Dwayne finally said.
“Don’t worry, it’s only for one night.” Johnson assured.
“Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking. We will be entering FTL travel momentarily.” Dwayne’s upper body muscles fell limp.
“Great.” Ramey began walking down the hall leaving the other three Elites staring at the back of his buzzed head. He walked for ten seconds before Dwayne spoke up.
“Hey, where you going?”
“To get this armor off.” He responded without looking back. Markus glanced at the other two and followed Ramey, leaving Johnson and Dwayne looking at each other. Dwayne hastily chased after Markus followed by Johnson.
Ramey got to the elevator first and hit the summon button. By the time the elevator doors cracked open, the four Elites had caught up to him. The four walked in the small room and awkwardly found a place to stand in the cramped elevator. Ramey hit a button and the doors slid closed. The elevator ride lasted thirty seconds. Nobody moved except Dwayne who glanced at the others every ten seconds. Ramey found himself slowly turning towards Dwayne with a blank stare before rolling his eyes.
“What?” Dwayne asked. Ramey didn’t flinch. The elevator doors opened and the four walked out. Two average soldiers hit the walls and saluted as they walked by. Markus lightly smirked after they passed. Eventually they made it to the armory. They used their Palm-comms to claim and unlock lockers where they took off their armor and stored it safely. After they were all in jumpsuits again, the three of them started to walk off without Markus. Johnson stopped and was going to wait for him.
“Go ahead, Johnson, I’ll catch up.” Markus assured as he struggled to pull off his boot. Johnson nodded and kept walking. The armory’s door closed and sealed leaving Markus in the cold room alone. He pulled his armored boot off easily and put it in his locker. Closing it, he collapsed on one of the many small benches in the middle of the armory. He rested his elbows on his knees and ran his hand through his brown medium-length hair.
How was he going to react if he actually found proof for his father’s guilt? What if he was put in command? This was his first mission, it was his time to shine, but for some reason he felt he would screw it up. A hunch more than a feeling, really. Markus stood up and shook his head. He just needed some rest. Yeah, that’s what he needed, rest. Exiting the armory, Markus walked back down the hall and to the elevator.
Just as soon as the Armory’s eastern door closed, the western one opened and in walked Ashley. She glanced around hopefully. If he could talk to Markus one last time… She sighed and stood in silence when she realized the room was empty. Her arms became week and she collapsed on the very same bench Markus was sitting on just moments ago. She needed to tell him, but what would she say? Maybe the time wasn’t right. Maybe it was better off this way anyways. Ashley pushed herself up and walked back out of the Armory and made a turn for the hangers. She closed her eyes and talked herself out of rushing to Markus’ dorm. She knew what needed to be done, but doing it was something different.
She knew it would crush Markus. The deciding factor was simply finding out what will crush him less. Maybe there was a third choice… Maybe… Just maybe…
Come to think of it, it probably won't be the next segment, but the one after that. Don't worry, I'll take my time.
I really, REALLY appreciate you taking the time to read along, by the way. You have no idea how encouraging it is to at least have one reader. At the same time, however, I don't want you to roll your eyes every time you see I posted here because you feel like I'd be offended or something stupid.
No problem, I like a good read... But just what are you talking about when you said this? (maybe I'm just tired, but this doesn't make any sense)
At the same time, however, I don't want you to roll your eyes every time you see I posted here because you feel like I'd be offended or something stupid.
But just what are you talking about when you said this? (maybe I'm just tired, but this doesn't make any sense)
Haha, no it's probably me, i'm tired too.
I just want you to know how much your reading is appreciated, but I want to make sure you feel like you don't HAVE to. I don't want you to dread reading the story just because I want you to :P
If that doesn't clear it up, just never mind xD
“Attention passengers, FTL speeds will be slowed to a halt in tee minus thirty seconds, I suggest you be on board the shuttles by then.”
Markus hit a button on his Palm-Comm and his convertible helmet wrapped around his face. Satisfied with the successful test, he hit it again and the helmet folded back into his back plates. Markus adjusted the rifle that hung behind his back and rolled his neck before stepping aboard the shuttle followed by Johnson, Dwayne and Ramey. They all sat down comfortably in the same seats they had last time.
They had been sitting still for nearly a minute before Markus spotted Ashley walking towards them. She walked up the ramp and joined Ramey on his side of the ship. She strapped in and glanced around at everyone who were all staring at her.
“Where’ve you been?” Dwayne finally asked, breaking the silence that had endured for ten seconds. She exhaled deeply and didn’t bother looking at Dwayne while she answered.
“I had a few things to take care of.”
“Like?” Dwayne pushed after a few seconds. Markus noticed Ramey had his eyes suspiciously glued to Ashley as if he was waiting to see how she would respond as well. He seemed like the type that just didn’t care. Maybe there was more to him than what met the eye. Ashley gritted her teeth in anger.
“Mind your own damn business, Dwayne.” Ashley was obviously on edge. Strange, Markus hadn’t seen her on edge ever since they met. Given, it was only a few days ago, but it felt like a lifetime. Ashley was the laidback for the most part. Her frustration, especially before the mission even started, was just a little odd. Johnson must have been thinking the same thing because both Markus and Johnson instantly locked eyes for a moment after Ashley had bitten Dwayne’s head off.
Johnson quickly broke the contact with Markus in fear of Ashley noticing. Markus saw his ploy and did the same. It was quite futile, Markus thought, as she was just as observant and witty as any good Elite.
The shuttle ride was relatively short. They lifted off the ground and out of the hanger with two other shuttles and began to descend to the planet below. Markus took a deep breath as anxiety passed over him like a wave in the ocean.
After nearly ten minutes of being shaken violently, the ride smoothed to a steady flight. The blast shields lowered, revealing one shuttle on each side of them and the ocean that surrounded all.
“Man, this place is beautiful!” Dwayne exclaimed, looking out the window beside him.
“I’m starting to get sick of the tropics.” Johnson admitted glumly. “Too peaceful.”
“Don’t worry,” Ramey began, pulling the slide back on his assault rifle, “That’ll change.”
Markus observed as Ashley lost herself in the ocean. The mainland was growing on the horizon. His time was coming. Markus was willing to do anything for the mission and the Separatists. He was sure he would die for them one day. Preferably not today, he thought, but if it was necessary, he wouldn’t hesitate. The thoughts naturally drove him to look at Ashley. When he slapped himself out of the stupor he realized Ramey took notice and smirked at him. When Markus returned the stare, Ramey winked and continued looking out the window.
Eventually, the three shuttles touched down on a large clearing. The shuttle’s ramp opened and the Elites unstrapped themselves. Ashley was the first to step foot on the field. She immediately began walking off to the command center, leaving the other four to watch the back of her head as she walked away.
“Something’s wrong with Ash.” Johnson said with squinted eyes and a hand over his eyebrows in an attempt to shade himself from the sun while he watched Ashley walk away with a determined feel about her.
“You think?” Dwayne remarked sarcastically, surveying the base of metal tents and small, easily portable buildings.
“Give her a break.” Ramey said, throwing his rifle over his shoulder after he assessed action wouldn’t come for some time. “She is the sergeant, a busy girl.”
“Yes, but she would normally be much more enthusiastic about the mission.” Johnson argued.
“This is the first time she hasn’t rushed off the shuttle and yelled, ‘move’ eighty thousand times as everyone ran off the shuttle.”
Dwayne scoffed, “That should go in the record books.” Johnson waited until the door to the command center closed off with Ashley on the other side.
“Something is terribly, terribly wrong.”
“So what? She’s a soldier, not a cheerleader.” Ramey said, throwing his hand at them in disregard as he made his way to the command center. Dwayne quickly followed. Johnson waited until the two were a good ten feet away before turning to Markus.
“You’ve been quiet too.” He said, searching for answers in Markus’ eyes.
“I’m fine.” Markus offered with an emotionless face as he followed the two. Johnson gave Markus a three step head start before he followed.
“Fine’ my hairy a-“ Johnson muttered under his breath. Markus didn’t catch the last part due to the shuttle’s engines revving to power and flying off, but he knew what he was going to say. It would be an interesting turn of events indeed.
I am EXTREMELY busy this week, but WILL NOT allow this to die. I will be posting more short segments from now on. I wish I would have done that sooner.
Questions to readers:
1. Any expectations regarding the mission?
2. Any expectations regarding Markus' father? What, at this point, are you thinking by the few hints that I've dropped?
3. Thoughts on all notable characters? What do you think the motives and personalities are of the following characters?
5. Rate 1-10 on the following items:
I like. Everybody's got their own unique views. We've got our hero, Markus. Kinda stereotypical but still realistic. Ashley, the heroine, with brains (thank you!) and she doesn't have the perfect relationship with Markus either. (+1 for realism) Then there's Ramey. The dude obviously has got some problems, assumably a stone cold killer. Dwayne, the dude. Friendly, social a direct counterpart to Ramey. And Johnson who seems to share a lot of Markus' views, possible best friend.
Keep up the good work.
I enjoy Johnson. He seems to be my kind of character.
He is suppose to be the guy everyone likes :D Glad I'm doing my job!
It gets kind of confusing, Markus Devroy's identity is "John Murphy." So when anyone says "John" They mean Markus :P
EDIT, Also, keep in mind his reason. He believes the killing of one innocent man to prevent a war is right. For example, assassinating a warlord, who hasn't done anything wrong, would be the right thing to do if he was planning a bloody war.
The Imperium would not approve.
You should start a RP of some sort with these guys the center of it^^ That'd be really cool, imo.
Thanks! Every post in this thread literally makes me a better writer.
Edited by ThaneKrios on 4/17/2013 5:27 PM PDT
Got caught up in Mass Effect RPing D: Man, it's hecka fun!
Safely expect the next segment this weekend. Whether it's short or long depends on the time available. I definitely have the motivation and inspiration, however, which is always the hardest part.
When Markus got to the command center’s ramp, the three of the five Elites were already in. Two Separatist sergeants, a Lieutenant and a Commander, all in full arms and armor, were standing around a terrain-table. All eyes were on Ashley as she finished stating her name rank. She finished off with “Reporting for duty.”
“Lt. Sanders” The young commander had clean cut jet black hair. “I’ve been anticipating your arrival. Your specialists are much needed.”
“I’ll say,” Ashley remarked with a grunt, “What’s the situation?”
“The pirate base is well fortified. Very well fortified. Now that reinforcements arrived we may have enough men for a direct assault.”
“Whoa, whoa,” The lieutenant spoke up, “With all due respect, we simply don’t have the firepower!” The young commander smirked charmingly.
“You’re right,” he zoomed in on the terrain-table to an enormous garage complex. “But they do.” A smile slowly spread on Ramey’s face.
“I like where this is going.” His deep, commanding voice coupled with his hard face and large scar caused people to stare at him for a bit before they reclaimed control of themselves. The commander locked eyes with him, then back at the terrain-table.
“Lt. Sanders, you and your squad will travel on foot up this mountain and back down, infiltrating the garage complex. Once inside, sabotage all but the five vehicles of your choosing. Then, hijack the other five and bust out of there. Markus thought of the inevitable before anyone else did.
“What about injuries?” He asked. Everyone in the room had his eyes fixed on Markus including Ashley. The commander had a blank stare.
“I take it you’re the rookie?” The Commander asked, his smile heard in his voice.
“We’re the Elites. We don’t take hits.” Ramey said plainly.
“When do we move out?” Ashley asked with impatience.
“In ten-hundred hours, just before the sun comes over the horizon.” The commander answered. “We have prepared a building for you all. It’s small, but it’s also temporary. Check the far east side of the base.”
“Much appreciated.” Johnson said with a nod and followed Ramey out the front door. Ashley, Markus and Dwayne followed him.
The five moved in natural formation to the eastern side of the camp. It was quiet. Soldiers and guards were busy doing work while the five had nothing to do for six hours. They easily found their little hut, since it was the only one in the residential area. There was the barracks, some tents, then the hut. It looked nice, for a portable building, that is.
Ramey approached the door and synched it with his Palm-Comm. The rest of the squad did the same. After that, the door glided open on its own. The five walked into the living room. A small coffee table with two couple’s couches around it facing the small television that hung on the wall. The rest of the room looked roomie enough. The bathroom door was behind the couches and the hallway led to five doors to the left hand side of the sofa. Plenty of weapon and armor racks were scattered throughout the living room.
“I could get used to this!” Dwayne said excitedly, tapping his Palm-Comm with his right hand, then slowly beginning to take his armor off and put it on a rack. Ashley started slowly walking to the bathroom. Johnson and Ramey to the bedrooms. Markus followed in Dwayne’s steps, starting to take off his armor and place it on a different rack.
Soon everyone was in their jumpsuits. The five small bedrooms provided some privacy for each Elite. A luxury in the Separatist ranks. Markus tried to retire to his room and get some sleep. Anxiety prevented it. It was only six o’ clock standard earth time.
He ended up cleaning his sidearm on the coffee table thirty minutes later. As the sun slowly fell out of the sky, a sunset emerged, creating an orange glow on the world. Ashley had left the house to go to the quartermaster and potentially get some food. That’s what she said, at least. Ramey wanted to scope the base out, he left shortly before Ashley did. Dwayne went to the mess hall. Markus wasn’t hungry. He usually wasn’t for some odd reason. He could usually be perfectly fine on two meals a day. Johnson had went to eat before everyone else.
Markus had the news on in the background of his gun cleaning. The name ‘Jacob Devroy’ caught his attention. He looked up at the television and caught only a glimpse before it suddenly turned off. Markus froze and looked around. Johnson stood beside him, plain as day. How Markus didn’t see him, or even notice him, was simply a miracle. Johnson either didn’t want to be detected, or Markus was deeper in thought then he realized.
Johnson dropped the remote onto the coffee table and it clambered before coming to a rest. Markus gazed up at him with open frustrated palms.
“You need to stay focused, John.”
“I am focused, Johnson, turn that back on!” He demanded. Johnson swore,
“No, John, you’re not! Neither is Ashley! I don’t know what’s going on, but both of you are going to get us all killed!” Markus sighed and continued scrubbing a piece of his weapon with a metal toothbrush. Johnson waited ten seconds before collapsing on the couch beside Markus.
“What about you, Johnson?” Markus turned his attention to the man rubbing the bridge of his nose, “Are you focused?” His arm fell into his lap,
“Most focused of the squad.”
“That’s still not very focused.”
“My point exactly.” Johnson waited until Markus wasn’t scrubbing metal to metal before speaking again,
“John,” He waited until Markus made eye contact, “What do you fight for?” The two held their stare for a long while before Markus answered.
“Justice.” Markus sustained his stare until he could think of another reason. He couldn’t think of one. Why did he fight? He was only mildly patriotic, it wasn’t for a sense of honor, what was it?
“What do you fight for?” Markus asked Johnson.
“Peace, safety, honor, pride.” Johnson was quick to answer. “My daddy was a marine, and his daddy, and his great granddaddy. I was the first to become an Elite.”
“Not really,” Johnson rubbed the back of his neck, “my whole family thinks I’m dead, I didn’t get a chance to tell her the truth.”
“Why not?” Johnson thought about it for a second. Markus could see from psychological training that a million bad memories flashed past his eyes. Wait, did he say “Her”? Thirty seconds passed before he answered,
“Because I did die that day.” He finally said with heavy words and a quivered voice. “And I’ve died every day since.” Markus didn’t dare say a word. He wasn’t stupid, he could connect the dots. It didn’t take long for the awkwardness to overcome Johnson. He stood up and began walking down the hall to his room.
“Sorry, just don’t like talking about it.” He continued mumbling even after he was out of ear shot. “Or thinking about it, or even mentioning it…” So there was a “her” in Johnson’s life. Interesting. Seemed as though Johnson wasn’t as focused as he though either. The team better get it together, or the mission would suffer greatly.
Markus took a deep breath and began reassembling his gun. He quickly rushed off to his quarters soon after. He needed… Isolation, more then sleep.
Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.
Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.