Where Gaming's Best Stories Are Told
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Not only does SAVE FILE take a look at storylines, plot, canon, and much more in the gaming industry, but it is also home to pieces of original fiction from yours truly. Of course, I'll try to keep it gaming-related.
Today marks the release of the first chapter of a Halo-inspired mini-series called "Atop Mt. Typh". I'll be posting up chapters, which will most likely run to about a number around half a dozen or so, in no particular order in between regular blog entries.
But anyway, enjoy the first chapter!
Atop Mt. Typh
I calmly shoved the magazine back into my rifle. “Yeah, it has been some time, hasn't it?”
Ghost nodded. He pulled one last time on his cigarette before flicking it off to the side. Not much had changed in Ghost, it seemed. Certainly not his habits. He still had chipping paint on his helmet. No matter how many times he'd get a new coat on that thing, he couldn't resist picking at the new glossy surface he had at his disposal. Thankfully, however, I knew I could trust that if his small, petty habits were still around, his sharp shooting skills were likely to be intact, as well.
“You still in that shanty house on Hercot Ridge?” Ghost asked.
“Yeah. A few renovations here and there, but it's pretty much the same,” I said. I didn't feel it was worth noting that the renovations included moving to an entirely new house, much larger than my old one, and being not even remotely close to where I used to live. Being away from the job meant not having to live near it anymore.
Ghost began to slid downward against the wall, hoping to eventually plop down on the ground, but not before the doors across the room shuttered and started to open. Ghost shot up awkwardly. I couldn't help but laugh at his attempt to stand to attention. He shot me a glare, but I only caught the reflection of the overhead lights that created a glare against his visor.
Light poured into the room from outside the bunker. Out from the shadows came a rather empty room – besides myself and Ghost, the only other occupants were a few dusty monitors and a lonely table in the middle of the room. No one had used this facility, let alone this room, in a long time.
Ghost laid his rifle against the wall, his helmet on the floor, and began to walk towards the table. Through the door came four soldiers who also approached the table. I took the hint and followed, oddly more concerned with getting to the table rather than who was coming through the door.
“Welcome gentlemen,” one soldier said, “glad to have a full team this time around.” The insignia on his chest, a purely black flame with crossed swords, told me all I needed to know about this one's identity, but his voice was unmistakeable – Roosevelt was a tough man to forget. His raspy voice and bellowed grunting sealed the deal.
“I hear we've got a not-so-new recruit, mister “Beck”, is it?” Roosevelt took his helmet off, revealing a firm grin. “I have to admit it, I honestly didn't think you'd be back. Especially for a shit-hole like this.”
“Yeah, I really didn't expect myself here, either. But, well, here I am.” I said.
Roosevelt grunted in acknowledgment. He then turned to the rest of the team, who were still crowded around the table. “Everyone, this is Beck. Many of you know him as a former operative of Black Soul, if you don't, now you do. He'll be filling in as our sixth man today. You should all trust in his skills as much as I did, and still do, so we'll run this exactly how we would have on any other occasion. No mistakes, no re-dos, none of that. We're here to do a job, so let's get it done.”
Everyone nodded in agreement. Naturally, I did the same. It felt like old times again, it really did. Ghost and Roosevelt were both sights for sore eyes, as were Hennessy and Taz, both of which have been around just as long as anyone else.
But the fifth man was a new addition. He must've been added to the team after I retired. He was quick to establish himself at the table.
“Alright guys, all ears on me, all eyes on the table.” He pulled out a map from his satchel and unraveled it upon the table. I guess the UNSC really didn't mind the quality of the resources we had at our disposal.
“The Mt. Typh facilities are pretty much exactly how they used to be. The insurgents have nested in the abandoned bunkers, but data shows only top-side. The underground passages have not been accessed. We can assume they are unaware of them. Because the upper layer of the base has no reactor core, they has established a hurried core in a small bunker and are using that to power the base. That's where our only bomb goes.”
He pulled out what could only be described as a bulgy beach ball with a half-assed coat of paint applied in the blandest brown you can find. Standard issue for the UNSC.
“Hennessy, this is yours. Detonator is set to thirty seconds. Activation codes are preset and ready to fire,” he said. Hennessy casually scooped up the bomb and strapped it to his side. Raising his arm with a peace sign at hand, he turned on his heel and walked out the door.
“Along with Hennessy, Taz and myself will approach via Hornet drop. That means the captain, Ghost, and...”
"Beck. He's our new sixth,” Roosevelt said. Thanks, Captain.
“Right. You three will be accessing the underground passages on the southern side of the mountain. Once you've made it through, bust through and cause some mayhem. Give us the signal and we'll drop in on a flank. The power core is not that far from the underground entrance, so make a path for Hennessy so we can get that bomb planted and get ourselves out of there in record time.”
“Alright, Cav, that's all we need,” Roosevelt said. “You heard him, boys, lets do this as quick as possible. Get packed up everyone, the engines are starting up in a few.”
With that, Cav snatched up his map and hung close to Roosevelt's side as he left the room. Taz chuckled, “Guy's a little shit. His nose must reek of it.”
I was a pretty big soldier, with or without my armor, but Taz still cast a shadow over me that I could just not help notice. Taz made his way around the table and the lights above me were blotted out as he approached me.
“Glad to have you back, Beck. Ready to bring down the hammer? I've been itching to get back on the field with the team in a while. The squad hasn't been together in quite some time.” I shook his hand, contesting his concrete grip with my own.
“What happened with you guys since I left?” I asked.
“You know how much the team means to the captain. When we lost the contract with the UNSC, he pulled some strings to get us some bounty missions under the UNSC moniker, which we eventually got caught doing. We had to go to some hearings, but Roosevelt took all the blame. Served a year because of it.”
“Shit. Didn't know it was that bad.”
“Yeah huh? When he was serving time, we all did individual jobs or just didn't come back at all. Roosevelt finally got out and somehow convinced somebody to give us back our contract. He rounded all of us up, but not Janson. He was done with the service. We've had over a dozen sixths, none of them worked out. And now here we are. And here you are.”
An armored fist slammed against the wall. “Come on,” Roosevelt said, “Let's get a move on, people.”
I picked up my gear and headed toward the door. Ghost made his way out before us, unable to resist scratching at his helmet before putting it on as he walked out the door.
“It should be fun,” Taz said. “Nothing like a family reunion to kick off a new mission.”