Combatant and Non-Combatant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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“stars burn and stars fade, yet their light shines eternally in the imaginations of the young”
- me

I used "Shaping the Story" by author Mark Baechtel to help guide my writing process for a couple of months as I started my blog, and this tidbit of a chapter 1 is one of the results.

FAN-FICTION DISCLAIMER
I do not own any rights to the Halo Universe or any of its stories, characters, and settings. The Halo: Combat Evolved Universe and all related stories, characters, and settings is the property of (originators) Bungie Inc, (rebooted) 343 Industries, and (greedy) Microsoft, and are not my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.

This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the Halo Universe, which is trademarked by 343 Industries. The mention of Master Chief, Sergeant Avery Johnson, Cortana, Spartans, Covenant, the Flood, ODST, headlight fluid, Insurrectionists, UNSC, Forerunners, Halo, 343 Guilty Spark, Arbiter, Halo Array, and any of the other Halo Universe factions or species, and any supporting characters, are all proprietary concepts created by Bungie Studios and owned by 343 Industries. Though this story concept is of my invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of the Halo Universe story canon, I do not claim any ownership over them or any of the Halo Universe. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of any official story line. I am very grateful to Bungie Inc for this vast and wonderful universe that has crossed all media. This universe consisting of god-like Spartans, feisty A.I. constructs, the relentless Flood, and the zealous Covenant, is immense and spectacular. And without the Halo games, novels, comics, and films my story would not exist. Thank you Bungie.

ODST Marine Malcolm Jarrett always found it awkward to watch an AI Construct converse with the elite Spartan soldiers that seemed to be assigned the most hazardous missions as of late.
On the one hand, you have a vibrantly shimmering hologram, designed to look and sound like a person. This transparent figure often displayed characteristics of real people, including emotions, and Jarrett often wondered how the advanced computing persona knew which facial expressions and body postures to imitate. But he never questioned ONI wisdom or practices too much.
Then, there were the larger than life armored Spartans with their reflective visor which masked their identities. It never helped that their voices were altered as well, that is, if they ever spoke. How was Jarrett to trust a man who he couldn’t look in the eyes? At least the beady eyes of the alien enemy could be seen on fiery battlefields.
At the moment, Jarrett watched a Spartan and AI in a conversation, but with the overly expressive motions of the tiny holographic construct it seemed more like an argument. The Spartan remained idle as the AI circled the holographic light panel, their arms waving wildly at some points, or their foot stomping down hard on the disc of light that gave them their life. It was strange that the Spartan never moved, yet the AI seemed to be explosively responding to whatever the two disagreed upon. Jarrett obviously knew that the AI and Spartan communicated on a secure ONI signal but he wanted desperately to know what was being said.
After three minutes the ODST Marine decided to get a closer look. As he walked over to the AI display, the Spartan slammed down their fist unto the hologram console, turned, and then walked away. As the armored Spartan left the room, the AI morphed into a fiery orange version of itself, as in actual flames that floated off their curvaceous form. Orange amber and cherry flames engulfed the AI, and it shrieked, then flickered into nothingness. “Oh damn, that thing is pissed!” Jarret exclaimed.

*

“113, what the hell were you thinking,” Caissa asks. Her arms stretch out and jerk in frustration. She shakes her head as she hears no response. “You will answer me,” she commands. At only seven inches in height it is odd that the toughest marines and officials in the UNSC find her aggression threatening. Nonetheless, she demands respect of her authority and she gets it. Caissa is an AI that should not be fooled with.
Her brilliant cerulean color mesmerizes most who look at her for too long. Even if being scolded, a soldier or ONI Official would often get lost in her entrancing appearance. With a form derived from depictions of ancient Aztec princesses, and a voice soft like feathers it is a wonder how any could be upset with her. For Spartan 113, none of this matters.
“I saw an opportunity and I seized it,” Spartan 113 replies. She stands at nearly three meters tall and probably weighs at least three hundred pounds. Built like a tank and stronger than any livestock, 113 has often been mistaken for a man. It is something she has learned to ignore.
“An opportunity that could have cost the lives of our forces,” Caissa snaps back.
113 does not move, she only stares Caissa down as she responds without any remorse or regret, “they are marines, they know the risks.”
Caissa is flabergasted. She shakes her head in disbelief, “you heartless fiend. They are your comrades and you would sacrifice them so easily?”
“You’re the heartless one. I’m an opportunist.”
Caissa morphs from her usual cool blue to an intense crimson, a benefit of being a computing construct: her outer appearance could always reflect inner mood. “Listen, you insensitive prick! Sacrificing your fellow soldiers to achieve a goal is never an option.” At this point Caissa begins circling the holo-pad light that allows her to display a physical form rather than being an autonomous voice from a speaker on the ship.
“Mankind can only survive this war,” she continued, “if they continue to band together and fight as a solitary unit. We must all value life. It is precious and needs to be protected. If a waste of skill and talent like yourself cannot grasp that then it is hopeless.”
Caissa stops pacing and stares Spartan 113 down. When 113 responds with their utter silence Caissa compensates with a warning, “ever go off mission like that again and I’ll have you demoted to cleaning the gunk off the battlefield.”
Behind the gold plated visor 113 smiles, “Look at little Caissa getting all defensive and aggressive. Better be careful or they’d think you’re losing your wit.” 113 stands at attention, slowly moving their hand to gesture at a nearby Interstellar calendar. Looking down at the A.I construct she whispers, “Seven years is almost up, right?”
Caissa waves a fist at the Spartan and declares vengeance if they continue with their tone. The uncharacteristically smug Spartan replies, with a glint of cheer in their voice, “really? What can you do? You’re a figment of imagination and engineering that I could undo with a magnet.”
Caissa allows a twisted grin to spread across its delicate, digital facial structure, “well 113, you are nothing more than a product of bioengineering and extensive training. You’re as much an ONI creation as I am. Except, I am far more intelligent.”
113 slams her fist down, nearly destroying the console, “at least I am organic and will outlive you and your damn seven year lifespan.” 113 turns and walks away, leaving Caissa fuming in pain and rage.


Submitted: September 01, 2022

© Copyright 2022 CENTAURI ADAMS. All rights reserved.

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