CHAPTER 1: IN THE BEGINNING AND THE END
There wasn’t anything I could have done to change the past or the future, what was about to come. It had happened. The purpose in my life was gone now, nothing to live for. But in this exact moment, I didn’t feel anything at all but I knew for some reason I was running, I was still trying, but I didn’t know why. I don’t know if it was my will to live or something else was carrying me today because I certainly didn’t want to carry on. I heard the bombs dropping, the head rattling of the machine gun fire, and I heard the screams and saw the death of people that I cared most for, but still I kept running as if I had something to return to, something to accomplish, something that needed to be done. This moment in my life, this time, this space, this indescribable feat seemed surreal, But first let me tell you what was happening and how this happened from the beginning…
Well first I should probably introduce myself, my name is Leonidas and ya I had a history of war in my life. my father was a Spartan II, one of the most respected I might add, he taught me from a very young age how to fight, how to defend myself in the world. ‘When the world gets tough you have to get tougher’, that was his famous slogan that he always told me, whenever I felt down he said that and he’d give me a slap on the back. By the time I was seven I had started training for something my father wanted me to be, I didn’t understand at the time, but knowing what it is now I wouldn’t have wanted to do it, what it entailed, what kind of sacrifices you have to make. But I didn’t know so I kept training without knowing what for. Of course my mother was against it. What mother would be for it, going into war that is. I didn’t do anything wrong and neither did my father, we just wanted what was best for me. But neither of us knew what this would lead too…
By the time I was ten I had the military training of a marine, which was a pretty incredible feat taking into consideration that most Spartans have only been training for around 4 years and I was around a year ahead of training. My father was still good to us, he provided food and a home but he wasn’t around much and he was getting more and more battle wounds from the insurrectionists but we just called them the rebels because that’s all that I thought they were. When you were in battle you didn’t even stop to consider that they’re just as human as you are your just fighting for two different things that you both think are right, but that’s my view on it.
I was getting to my late teens now, around sixteen or seventeen I almost stopped keeping count of my birthday then I had no need. I didn’t have any friends my own age, didn’t have a squad yet and my dad wouldn’t let my socialization get in the way of my training. I didn’t like it, but I guessed it was for the best, the only friend I actually had was another Spartan he went by the name Trigs cause he always seemed to have his finger on the trigger in battle. Being five years older than myself he already was assigned to a squad called Hell Raisers. They were a special type of Spartan squad not like the rest. They were more like ODST Spartans if there ever were any. They dropped down in the same pods but for missions and fast deployment not for strategy like the actual ODST’s. They had a well put together group all of them Spartan II’s so I knew that Trigs was in good hands. They had a sniper, a pilot, a strategist, a heavy arms specialist, a few other infantry units, and he was the squad leader.
I rarely got to see him because he was always on missions but he was the closest thing that I had to a friend in my childhood. I remember looking out my window to see his every mission launch that I could, whenever I looked up at his pod I knew he was looking back down at me. One day I remember sneaking out of my house to go see him at the bar it was after my curfew but it was after one of his three month missions so I couldn’t miss seeing him. I wasn’t old enough to get into the bar yet but he snuck me in through the bathroom window, he did stuff like that for me a lot. So when I got there we must have sat there and talked for hours it seemed, I kept asking stupid questions about his mission, but at the time I think he was too drunk to understand me or the answers that he was giving me back. Then out of nowhere I heard his head smack the table and he fell on the floor. So I got up and turned around and it was one of the top Spartans in our division most people called him BA for Bad Ass he was a Tank of a Spartan, nobody messed with him, he had most rebel kills out of anyone and he was very good at what he did, and that was kill. He stood a good half a foot taller than me at around 6’7”, but for some reason I was so blinded by rage about what he did to Trigs that I almost didn’t notice how much I was looking up at him when I turned around.
“What the hell was that for” I yelled in his face.
“That bastard stole my squads mission and this is how he celebrates after one of his missions by drinking his face off” said BA in a fit of rage.
I didn’t have much to defend myself with. “Well why didn’t you get the mission BA? Is it cause you’re the general thought you were too big a baby to handle it? Cause that’s what I hear” I said mockingly.
Something told me he didn’t like my tone of voice when he threw that first punch. I had been punched before in training but never this hard, for a second after the punch I blacked out, but then came to when he was warming up for a second. I dodged to the right with his fist just missing my face again. I had the taste of my own blood in my mouth and a sharp pain coming from the right side of my face where I took the first blow. The third time he hit me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me and I fell to the ground on my knees. Then I was just like a punching bad for him. I was taking blow after blow from him, left, right, left, right, every hit made me loose more and more consciousness. Then he stopped for some reason, but I didn’t know why because I was so stunned I didn’t know what was happening. Then I realized that Trigs had a magnum to his head.
“Put your fists away BA before someone gets hurt,” Trigs said.
“C’mon Trigs shoot me I’ve got nothing to lose,” BA said with a smirk.
“Don’t do it Trigs he’s just trying to pull on your strings, he's not worth it” I told him.
Trigs put the magnum away on his belt where it was in the first place, now all sobered up I might add. But that’s what Trigs and I did, we looked out for each other, we were like the brothers we never had.
We had a favorite hang out spot when Trigs wasn’t in battle. We called it our island sanctuary. it was out in the middle of a lake that was close to our homes. It was big enough to put a house on but they didn’t want to put one there because of transporting issues. But we didn’t care that was like a get away from everyday life, a nice break from my training and his mission work. A place where you could just ‘be’. We would sit there for hours, usually at night because my father didn’t let me out much during the day.
I remember one of his stories that he told me about one of the fire fights that he had been in, he said that it had lasted at least twelve hours. He said that the bullets just never stopped coming. Around ten hours into the battle he got hit in the right shoulder, he said that he killed around one hundred rebels that day but his squad got pinned down for that time. He said that they lost 3 of their Spartans that day, but of course they were all reported missing in action for moral purposes. But he got his shoulder all fixed up and they came back, but with three less men. He said he didn’t really want to talk about it, and I could understand that so I backed off the subject.
We spent almost every moment together when he was there and when I wasn’t still training. Training then was taking a lot out of me but I didn’t know why, maybe my dad was pushing me a little harder or maybe I was coming to the end of my training.
Well, I was right. My dad said that I was at the end of my training, but there was only one thing that needed to be done. So the next day he took me into the training arena as usual, but then instead of going to the training room we went into a room that I hadn’t noticed before, I guess because I had never needed to know what that room was for. When I stepped into the room in the center there was a table that my dad was standing beside.
“Alright you might not like the procedure that comes next, leo” my dad said with a low tone of voice.
“What is the procedure?” I asked.
“Well I hate to do this to my son, but only around 40% of Spartans who enter this procedure will be successful in the procedure.” my dad said.
“What happens to the other 60%” I asked almost not wanting to know the answer.
“Well, around 75% are killed in the operation and 25% are crippled for life…”
When those words came out of his mouth I went into shock and I tried to run but I was blinded by the fact that I could die in the next two weeks without even being in battle. After a couple of seconds I had blacked out, and the last thing I remembered was a bright light in my face and a needle in my arm, then nothing…
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