They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Stories of Six by Firerwolf

New Harmony
Date: 28 September 2011, 2:04 am

Shar scooted a bit closer to her mother. She stared down at the photo album on her mother's lap. She smiled at the photo of her father in his military uniform. He stood tall in the picture, like the hero he'd been.

Her father had died a year ago when the Covenant killed him. She didn't remember much about her father, but her mother loved to tell her stories. She'd tell her stories of how he'd fought rebels in the outer colonies, saved civilians in the wake of insurrectionist attacks. The few memories that Shar had of her father were happy ones. Birthday parties, days at the park when he was on the planet.

Still, as she stared at the picture she felt that it wasn't fair. He'd been taken from her so early, before she'd really gotten a chance to know him as well as she wanted. She'd always figured that he would be there when she graduated from high school, when she started her career and found her way in the world, and when she got married. None of that could happen anymore. He was gone forever.

Shar pushed these thoughts from her head. Her father's death had haunted her since it had happened, keeping her up at night as her mind focused on her loss. She looked over to the next picture in the book. She didn't recognize the child in the picture. "Mom, who's that?"

Her mother frowned at the picture. "That was your cousin. She died when she was 6, long before you were born." She became silent and Shar looked up at her mother. The woman stared at the picture, her eyes unfocused as she was lost in the memory. Shar gripped her mother's arm a bit tighter and it snapped her out of her thoughts. She looked down at her daughter, smiling sadly. "I'm sorry dear. She was just such a sweet little girl. Her death was a tragedy."

Shar curled up against her mother. There seemed to be so many members of her family that were dead—cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. It almost seemed like there was nothing left of their family. Shar wondered if perhaps it was only a matter of time before she and her mother joined them, if there was any way to escape the fate of her family. Shar snapped up and looked out the window. Sirens rang through the air, sending a spike of fear through her. They could mean only one thing; the Covenant.

"Go pack a bag, sweetie. Only the essentials." Her mother forced her up and Shar ran through the house. She ran to her room where she pulled out the bag that she kept hidden away. Since her father's death her mother had made sure they would be ready for evacuations. They had drilled over and over what to do if the sirens went off, preparing for this day. She moved to her dresser and started to stuff her clothing into the bag. Her hand shook as she did, struggling to try to stay calm. Had fate finally caught up to her? Did they even really have a chance of escape? She stuffed the clothing in as tight as she could and zipped up the bag. Then she unzipped it, moving to her closet where she grabbed the kit that her mother has stored there. It had been her father's, a survival kit that included a knife, rations that wouldn't expire, and some medicines. Her father's words rang in her ears telling her that she never knew when the kit would come in handy. The six-year-old pulled her bag over her shoulder and ran out to the living room.

Shar looked out the window and could see the Covenant cruisers hanging in the sky outside. There were three of them, beautiful but deadly all at once. They were sleek like sharks and a looked to be shades of blue and purple. She'd never seen anything like the cruisers. Their lateral lines glowed with plasma and, although it sent fear through her veins, she stared in awe as the light spread forth, through space. Smaller phantoms descended toward the planet.

Shar's mother moved into the living room. "All right, honey, remember to stay close and don't stop running. We'll make it to the evacuating ships." Shar nodded and her mother grabbed her hand.

They ran out of the door and toward their car. Her mother stopped as a shadow passed overhead and Shar clung to her mother's arm. She looked up and for the first time saw a phantom up close. It wasn't as beautiful as the ships in the sky, more menacing than anything. Her mouth was wide open as she watched it move effortlessly through the air. Shar felt her mother's grip on her hand tighten and she was pulled toward the car with more force. The craft slowed and eased to a stop fifty meters away from them. A large tank was released from the craft, landing on the ground but hovering over the dirt. The wraith slid over the ground like oil over water. The cannon on the back rose up and glowed a soft blue.

Shar's mother turned and ran as fast as she could. The tank fired and Shar's world turned into a bright flash of light. She tumbled end over end until she came to a stop, five meters from where she'd started. Shar rolled onto her stomach and looked around. Her ears rang and her eyes hurt. She spotted her mother and crawled over to her, trying to ignore the pain from hitting the ground. Her eyes grew wide as she looked down on the vacant face of her mother. The light was gone from her eyes and the side of her face was burnt from the plasma. Shar felt tears well in her eyes and she shook her mother, trying to wake her. The skin was still a bit warm under her hand but it was growing colder by the second. "Mom? Mom, wake up!" She started to shout as she pleaded with her mother to wake up.

The tank moved, approaching the young girl. There were two large bangs and a pair of rockets sped through the air. They impacted the tank and it burst into a shower of blue fire and smoke. Shar turned, trying to figure out where the shots had come from. Long lines of smoke still hung in the air, marking their trail. She looked to the other end of the trails but found no one and nothing to have shot the rockets.

She was suddenly pulled up into the air and found herself in the arms of an armored figure. The person ran for cover and Shar clung to the olive green armor for dear life. It was hard to find a place on the cold metal to grip. Two more rockets sped through the air and impacted the side of the phantom, knocking it out of the sky.

Shar looked up at the figure that still held her in its arms. The sight of the MJOLNIR armor left her in complete shock. The golden visor shielded her from seeing the person's face, but she was pretty sure that it was a human. It wasn't a normal human, standing at seven feet—there was no way that a person could naturally be that tall. Another of the figures appeared in identical armor, though it had a set of scorch marks along the metal plates. The two were silent and Shar watched them, confused. She wondered why they were just staring at each other and not talking.

Finally, the figure that was holding her looked down at her. She stared up at the reflective faceplate, wondering what the person had in mind. It was a bit unnerving to her to not be able to see the person's face. "Are you unharmed?" The voice was gentle and feminine, not what Shar expected. This walking tank was a woman.

Shar nodded her head. "I'm all right." A third figure appeared and looked at Shar. It raised a hand in greeting, while it shouldered the rocket launcher. He must have been the one that destroyed the tank. Shar raised her own hand and waved to him. "Who are you?" The words slipped out of her mouth, though she was stuck by a sudden fear that they wouldn't like her asking questions. The last thing she wanted to do was anger any of them.

"We're soldiers. We're going to help you get to those evacuation transports," the female Spartan informed her. The calm tone of voice soothed over Shar's worries.

"Soldiers?" Shar felt much more at ease with that knowledge. She felt safe around soldiers—they would protect her. She smiled at them and nodded, clinging to the female Spartan.

"If you're done playing with the kids, can we continue? Let's get moving," the lead soldier said, his tone holding a hint of impatience.

"Be nice, John. She's just a kid, and she just lost her mother." The female soldier stood, turned, and started to walk toward the main town. It had been where Shar's mother was going to take her before the wraith had attacked them.

Shar was forced to hold onto the Spartan tightly as they took off at a full run. She didn't even know that people could run as fast as these three were. She watched as familiar scenes passed her—homes of friends, her school, stores that they visited. All of them had been attacked. Burn marks and cracks covered the walls where the aliens had come through and destroyed as much as they could. Shar wondered if it meant that all of her friends were gone, everyone she knew.

The soldiers didn't slow until they reached the edge of the city. As soon as they reached the buildings things went bad. They met a group of grunts that opened fire on them. The Spartan that was carrying Shar dodged to cover, away from the plasma. Shar heard the plasma crackle near her head and she shrunk in as close as she could to the protective grip of the Spartan.

The woman set Shar down in an alley, peeling her arms from the armor. "Stay here." The words were cold and forceful, and Shar knew that she shouldn't go against them. The Spartan then ran out, raising her rifle, and joining her fellow soldiers in combat. Shar heard the sounds of bullets flying and of grunts barking in rage and fear. She knelt down in the shadows and tried to remain hidden as she had been told. She could hear the sounds of more grunts and some bird like sounds of jackals down the street.

A shadow passed over and a grunt backed up toward her, trying to hide from the Spartans. The five-foot-tall orange-armored alien didn't even notice her. Here stood the enemy, the one that had taken her father and mother from her. The one that had taken her other serving relatives in the recent years, the ones that were trying to take her home. Her hand searched around on the ground and found a rock the size of an apple. She moved slightly forward and let her anger take control of her. She struck out with the rock, hitting the grunt's bent leg. The limb gave out and the alien fell to the ground with a surprised bark. Before it could react, Shar moved forward, smashing the rock into the alien's skull. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she thought of her lost family. Each hit echoed in her ears, imprinting into her mind. She hit the grunt until it stopped moving.

When the alien was dead, she stared down at the rock in her hand. It was splattered with bright blue blood. She dropped the stone from her hand and took a step away from the alien. She didn't feel any better. The grunt's death didn't bring back her father, or mother, though she liked to believe it might have saved another child's father or mother. She was cold toward the action. The grunt had deserved to die. She felt a weight in the pit of her stomach as she looked down at the caved-in skull of the grunt. She'd done…that…to another living creature. She wasn't even sure where it had come from. She'd never even killed an animal, always having fought to convince her mother to trap and release pest creatures rather than poisoning them or killing them.

A second grunt appeared, plasma pistol raised. Shar looked over at the alien. Her eyes closed and she waited for the shot to hit. It never came. Shar opened her eyes. A Spartan, armor splattered with alien blood, stood over the corpse. The butt of his assault rifle hit the alien's head, caving it in with ease. The figure looked at the child and then looked over as another Spartan arrived. "Kelly, keep an eye on that kid before she gets herself killed."

Kelly moved over to Shar and picked her up. She looked down at the dead grunt. "Did you kill that?" Shar nodded her head, her eyes unfocused, and she clung to the armor once more. "Nicely done, kid. I don't know what John's so worried about. Seems you can handle yourself." There was a cheery tone in the woman's voice that seemed odd to Shar. How could someone be happy about death? Still, something in her words set Shar at ease. This person saw what she did as a good thing, not a crime, not a terrible travesty. She didn't feel as bad about having taken the life.

The Spartans moved off, toward the space docks. They stopped 100 meters away from the transports that were taking civilians up to the waiting ships above. Marines tried to keep order as the women and children were moved ahead of others. The crowd filled the area and soldiers moved among the people, trying to grab children who clung to families. Mothers and fathers cried as they pushed their children away, toward the arms of marines, determined to see that their child survived.

Kelly knelt down and set Shar down on the ground. "Go join them." The Spartan motioned to the crowd. "They'll see that you get off the planet."

"What about you?" She looked at the three soldiers, wondering why they weren't going as well. She didn't want to leave them behind. They'd protected her, been so nice to her. She didn't want them to die as well.

"We have to stay. We're going to do everything that we can to keep the Covenant from taking New Harmony." Kelly looked at her fellow Spartans. "We have to stay and fight." The words were determined and Shar felt a pang of envy. She wished she could be that confident. Right now her world was shattered, and likely about to be glassed by the Covenant. She'd lost the last of her family and was all alone. She didn't know where she'd go or what the future would hold for her.

Shar wanted to stay, but she knew she couldn't. This planet was all that she had left and she didn't want to leave it to the Covenant. She didn't have the ability to fight like these Spartans did. They were big, strong, and had battle armor. She didn't have any of that. She nodded and moved over to Kelly, throwing her arms around the female Spartan's neck. She hugged her, then let go. "Thank you, Kelly."

"Any time, kid." Kelly stood up then took a step away from her. "Go on." She took a few steps back and stood next to the leader Spartan.

Shar hesitated, then look over at the lead soldier. "Thank you, John." She then looked at the final soldier. "Thank you, whatever your name is." She waved to them one last time and turned, running off toward the civilians.

"Cute kid." Fred commented.

Shar was swept up by the crowd and found herself lifted up by a soldier. She was moved to the front of the line with the other children. Shar ended up crammed into a shuttle next to another young girl with brown hair and blue eyes on one side and a black haired girl on her other side. They sat in the shuttle as it moved up to the ships above, just waiting to see if they would get blasted out of the sky. Somehow, they survived. The children were either reunited with their families or, if they were like Shar and had none, they were moved to an orphanage on one of the still UNSC controlled planets.

Shar had dreams of the three Spartans from that day forward. When the man had come to offer her a chance to get revenge on the Covenant, to become a soldier, she jumped at it. She was going to make the Covenant pay for each and every death that they'd caused, in her family and on all the planets they had glassed. When she'd seen Kurt, she recognized the armor right away. She knew that she was being given a chance to be like them. She was going to be like them, and stop the Covenant.

First Day
Date: 21 October 2011, 9:30 pm

Shar shoved and pushed the other kids away from her, trying to keep them from suffocating her. They were all crammed into the rear of a pelican with barely enough room. It had only been a few weeks since that man from the military had come to talk to her. He'd offered her a chance to get back at the Covenant—revenge for the death of her family on New Harmony.

Shar felt the deceleration, the shift in the ship's inertia, and the bump as they landed. The rear hatch opened and they flooded out. Shar stood near the back, watching as the other kids fought and threw sod at each other. She stayed back near the ships, trying to avoid their pointless fighting. Handlers forced them forward. That was when she saw him. The seven-foot-tall man in full MJOLNIR armor, reflective visor seeming to hide eyes that stared at them all.

A sound echoed through the field like thunder. It was followed by a man's voice over the PA. He introduced himself at Lieutenant Ambrose. Shar clenched her hands as he mentioned New Harmony, the reason why she had chosen to come. He then referred to himself as a Spartan. She froze when he said that 200 of them wouldn't be able to join the training. The next thing she knew they were being forced back onto the ships, and fitted with some gear.

The ships took off and Shar struggled to be able to secure they had given them in the cramped space. A man in navy gear stood at the back and barked at them to check their gear and report any looseness. Shar tugged at the straps, being sure that they were secure. The man then keyed a series of numbers into a pad and the rear of the ship opened. The kids all tried to crowd near the front of the pelican's bay. The navy man shouted something about how they would all jump and then showed them what cord they would have to pull. He must have been crazy. They were supposed to jump out of a moving pelican.

Shar froze as the man said that if they couldn't jump they couldn't be Spartans. Shar pushed at the kids in front of her until she reached the head of the pack. "I'll go," she volunteered.

The navy man nodded at her. "Good to hear. Go right to the edge, and hang on to the guild line."

Shar did as she was instructed and moved to the edge. She looked out at the passing ground below them and with a small leap, the wind took her. She tumbled through the air, every which way. She saw ground, then sky, then trees, followed by mountain. Her hand reached up, grabbing the red handle and pulling hard. She was suddenly snapped straight as her chute opened up behind her.

Her head spun and she grabbed the harness and looked down. The world was becoming larger under her, but it made her feel dizzy. She glanced up and saw more black cloth chutes above her. So others had gone.

She reached up, pulling on the straps, and it changed her angle. She dropped down toward the clearing where they had met up. She was going too far though and she knew she would pass it. Shar hit the ground a few meters away from the area where they had first seen the man in green armor. She hit the ground hard and her legs buckled under her. Pain shot through her legs and she collapsed to the ground. She felt a tug on her back as the wind caught the chute and pulled on her. Shar reached out instinctivly, grabbing a fence to try to keep herself in place. She wrapped her arms around part of the fence and her other hand pulled and tugged on her harness until it finally came loose. The harness was dragged away from her as the chute carried it off. She sat down on the ground and watched it move away across the ground. She stood, being sure she was steady on her feet, ignoring the pain in her legs. She walked back toward where they had started.

The man in armor was waiting and she walked past him, moving back to where they had been standing before. The other man, the one that had ordered them back onto the planes, moved over to her. "Made it to the ground in one piece?"

Shar nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Good to see it. But that was only the start." Mendez's face seemed carved in stone. His expression didn't give away any hint of emotion.

Shar nodded. "I'm ready."

"I hope you are." Mendez looked up as more of the children reached the ground.

Date: 5 November 2011, 11:24 pm

Shar looked out at the field where her team had already fallen. She had stayed back because something had felt wrong to her. She had told the others to stay back as well, but Brad had been so confident. She hadn't really understood why the rest of fireteam November followed him. The three others had all walked out into the field only to be cut down by machine gun fire. She knew that the team was only stunned, but that didn't change the fact they were no longer able to assist her.

Shar lay on the ground, slowly moving back into the cover of the trees. Her movements were slow and careful. She managed to get back behind a tree and stand up. She'd taken notice of what direction the shots had come from. Shar moved back deeper into the woods and toward where the fire had come from. There had been no sign of any Dis, so she doubted that she would run into any human enemies. Her problem instead was that she was running out of time. There were only 300 slots, and 418 candidates were still training to be Spartans. They'd been told to find and ring the bell, and if she didn't work quickly she would lose to the other teams who probably hadn't all been cut down to nothing.

Shar reached the tree that was her target. She looked up through the foliage and spotted the barrel of the machine gun. Shar quickly stretched and started to climb. She had done a bit of climbing back on New Harmony. No, she pushed that thought away. She wasn't a kid anymore. She wasn't the same child that was crammed into a ship and evacuated from her home. She was going to be a Spartan.

Shar reached the automated machine gun and quickly went to work. She unhooked the radar and automation equipment from the weapon. She then grabbed a length of vine from a nearby tree. Shar quickly tied up the machine gun and slung it over her shoulder. She hesitated, then quickly grabbed some extra vine from the tree. Shar then climbed up higher, maneuvering through the tree branches until she saw the second machine gun. She took a deep breath, ran, and jumped.

She felt branches smack against her, but it wasn't until her palms hit a solid branch that she was stopped. She grabbed a hold of the branch and was brought to a sudden stop. The branch creaked and, after a few seconds, snapped. Shar shifted the branch in her hand, moving it so she was wielding the broken limb as a weapon. As she fell past the gun she struck out, smacking the machine gun, tipping it over and sending it tumbling toward the ground. It hit the ground hard, breaking apart. Shar easily climbed down from the tree. She then made a sweep of the perimeter, making sure that there weren't any more guns.

Now she could focus fully on the bell. She'd checked on her team, but all of them were still unable to stand. They wouldn't be able to help her. Shar moved to the pole, looking up at the bell. She needed a way up to it but she didn't have anything to stand on. She was glad that she had grabbed the vine. Shar grabbed the vine and looped it around the pole. She used it to hold on tight as she climbed the pole. She struggled to make her way up the pole, the vine slipping against the smooth metal. She managed to reach the top, grabbing the bell and ringing it three times. It was one of the most glorious sounds she had ever heard. It meant they could continue to train to be Spartans.

Shar dropped down to the ground, moving over to her team. She dragged them, one by one, into the forest where there was cover. It would take time for the stun rounds to wear off so that they could move again. Shar stared out at the bell. It seemed a bit unfair. None of the other teams were going to have the same issues that she did. They were all getting off easy compared to her team. It irritated her a bit, but she supposed now it was just a race of who could find the bell first. For a little while Shar toyed with the idea of becoming the issue for the other trainees, but she decided that she'd rather get payback. She waited with her team, until she heard the whistle. She stayed low in the shadows, keeping her eyes peeled.

Shar spotted four soldiers in SPI armor creeping up. Their camouflage units hid them pretty well, but it didn't hide the rustle of branches as they passed or the way the grass moved as they walked over it. She waited until they were close enough, then opened fire. Rounds pelted the soldiers and after a few moments they fell to the ground. Shar quickly moved over, grabbing their rifles and pistols, along with all of their stun rounds. She then moved back to her team where she found that Elizabeth was already starting to move. Brad and Jeff were both still out of it. She gave the rifle to Elizabeth, taking the pistol and machine gun for herself. She then proceeded to strip the DIs of their SPI armor. She suited up and sat in wait.

She stayed out in the field, taking care of each wave of DIs that came after them. Three other teams joined Shar's, all arming themselves with armor and weapons. It would be almost dawn the next day before Kurt showed up on the scene with Mendez. The Chief ordered them all back to the barracks, and she didn't dare disobey him. She could swear as she walked past him that the Lieutenant was staring at her.


Kurt looked over the reports from the exercise the day before. "They truly have surprised us." He was fully willing to admit it. He was rather proud that they'd done so well.

"The first day was a great success. What are your feelings on the second group?" Mendez was staring down at the report, fingers lightly tapping the table as he reread the same part of the report over again.

"The trainees did well, though I don't feel that they were properly tested." He looked down at the report as well, frowning. He stared down at the picture of a kid. There was something about her... "You know, she kinds of reminds me of him." Kurt replayed the part of the footage where B312 fell from the tree smacking the machine gun with the branch. "She might even have his luck."

Mendez looked up from the report, he knew who Kurt was referring too. "So what do you want to do?"

Kurt stared at the picture. "I think we need to make her a team of her own." He tapped the data pad and the file of Spartan-B312 appeared. "Yes, I think she will do fine on her own." In all honesty he knew that she was one of them. One of those soldiers that they got, one that would have been part of the Spartan II program. He was sure that this was the right move.

No turning back
Date: 26 February 2012, 9:21 pm

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Mendez's features didn't give away his emotions. "You just pulled her off of the team. Do you think she'll be able to complete the mission?"

"That's particularly why we are doing this. It will prove if we've made the right choice for her." Kurt stared out the window at the forest around them. His voice held more conviction then he really felt. Really, he still wasn't sure about his choice.

"Either that or we'll be removing any chance of her ever rejoining November." Mendez moved over to a holotank. "Are all of the trainees ready?"

The holotank flickered to life. Snow swept across it and the figure of an old man with a snow cape appeared. "They are all in place, Senior Chief Petty Officer."

Mendez turned to Kurt, waiting silently. The Lieutenant Commander didn't do anything right away. This was a big thing to be doing. He had to be sure it was right. He knew from experience that B312 was determined and cold, sometimes too cold. An exercise like this could have unforeseen consequences. Kurt had to have faith that she would come through this all right. "Start it." Mendez nodded to Deep Winter and the AI vanished.

Shar moved slowly forward. Her SPI armor gave her some camouflage but if she moved too much it would fail. Something felt off about this mission. She had been told so little information. Maybe it was because November wasn't with her. That was another odd thing. A couple days ago she had been informed that she would no longer be working with her team. It hadn't been an emotional event for her, though her team had been upset they were losing a teammate. It struck an oddly lonely tone in her that they weren't upset she'd be gone, only that they'd be a man down in general.

It suited Shar just fine. She didn't have to okay her plan with anyone, just could do it. This mission would be her first time officially working on her own, and it felt great. She'd been given a task and no limitations how to do it. Get into the bunker and non-lethally neutralize the targets. She'd been given a pistol with stun rounds and a knife. She really didn't think she'd use either. A knife was hard to use without it being lethal, and a pistol would just be pointless in such a small area.

Shar reached the side of the bunker, wishing that she had different armor. The camouflage unit only lasted for a while before the shimmer created by movement became worse. She would just turn it off but the green color and dome reflective visor would just give her away. She had to move extremely carefully as she crept toward the only entrance. It was good she was moving slowly, as it gave her the time to notice three thing wires strung up, connected to flash bang grenades. Traps. So the soldiers inside were waiting for her.

Shar took a moment to think over what to do. Slowly and carefully Shar removed the flash bangs from the trap. She could use them to properly kick things off. Shar stood statue still beside the entrance. She armed the flash bangs and tossed them in through the doorway. The wall behind her shook and her ears rang from the sound. The point, though, was that she could still see, but they wouldn't.

Shar didn't waste a second of her time. She moved into the building and took in the situation. There were three SPI armored figures in the room, all confused and dazed. Before they could regain their senses, or even realize she was there, Shar moved toward the closest enemy. She struck the figure twice in the chest before slamming her fist into the foe's helmet. The figure stumbled back and Shar spotted an opening. Her foot struck out, kicking the figure in the side. The soldier crumpled to the ground.

By this time the other two had recovered from the grenades and set their sights on Shar. They attacked as one, though there was a variation in their rhythms. She dodged a hit and blocked a kick. The first's left punch was slow, and the second's stance was all wrong. It was so familiar but she couldn't place where she knew it from. That was when it hit her. These were things she'd often seen from her former teammates. This wasn't some group of random instructors; it was her team, November.

Shar shifted her strategy. This was November, she'd trained with them, knew their strengths, and their weaknesses. She had no qualm about using that information against them. After all, they were her enemies now. One of them moved forward, and from the way she lead with her right Shar knew it was Elizabeth. Shar blocked a few hits before she ducked and moved around the other female trainee. She punched Elizabeth twice in the side. She knew that Elizabeth had been injured there not long ago during an exercise. Elizabeth fell to one knee and Shar's elbow slammed into the back of her head. The SPI helmet slammed into the ground and the visor cracked a bit.

The last soldier moved toward her and from the way his punches and kicks were out of form she knew it was Brad. This would be easy. Her foot struck his left knee and it gave out. It had always been a weak point, and she'd always exploited it in their sparring matches. Her fist slammed into his helmet and he was stunned. There was really only one threat from Brad, and Shar would take care of it. She set her foot on his shoulder and pushed Brad down to he was lying on the ground. She grabbed his right arm and pulled it up so that it was sort of twisted behind him. Despite his lack of form, Brad had a powerful right hook that could even knock her flat on her back. Shar struck at Brad's elbow and she heard the rewarding crack. He screamed in pain as she broke the bone.

Shar let the arm drop. She turned her attention to the first person she'd attacked, Tony, just in time to see him running toward her. She hit him once in the stomach and then grabbed the front of his armor, spinning and launching Tony. Elizabeth had just been getting back up when Tony collided with her. The two fell to the ground in a heap.

Shar stood over the fallen trainees. Something was wrong. Not with the situation, but in her. She lifted up her hands and found that they were shaking, though she didn't understand why. She hadn't been hit, hadn't been injured, so why did she feel so bad? She turned her attention back to her fallen team. Something cold settled in her stomach as she truly took in what had happened. She had attacked what used to be her team. She could hear Brad groaning as he struggled on the ground, but he was too injured to do much of anything.

She pushed aside her emotions, buried them deep in her. She felt her body calm down and her hands stopped shaking. She grabbed their weapons which had all fallen to the floor at some point. It was a bit odd that she hadn't noticed them when things had first started, but they wouldn't have mattered. The flash bangs probably caused them to drop them so they didn't even have them when she struck. She collected them up and moved out of the bunker. As she moved through the forest she hid them in various spots, being sure that she had ways of knowing where they were. For all she knew they would come in handy some other time.

Shar stood in the Lieutenant Commander's office. She didn't know why she was here. She'd completed her mission just as she had been ordered. She felt awkward in this room. It was the first time she'd ever been in this office. She stood statue still before Kurt who was looking over her mission report.

Shar was starting to become nervous. Was she in trouble? Was she in trouble for having broken Brad's arm? The fact that Kurt still hadn't said anything and it was getting her worried. Finally Kurt looked up from the report and at Shar. "At ease." Shar relaxed just a little.

Kurt set the file to the side and didn't speak right away. Shar was wondering how long he was going to keep her in suspense when he spoke again. "You recognized the soldiers you were placed against? You even named them and gave their numbers in your report."

"That is correct, sir." Shar wasn't sure if that was what this was all about. Should she not have named them? "I recognized their fighting styles and flaws. They were easy to identify."

Kurt nodded at this information, but something seemed off about it. He didn't seem as pleased with it as he was trying to make it seem like his was. "And you showed no hesitation in attacking them, or restraint."

Shar frowned at his words. "Should I have, sir? They were my enemies. We are not to show enemies any weakness."

Kurt nodded, and turned away from her. There seemed to be something in his posture, which she'd seen in his face that made it seem he almost regretted what she was saying. "From now on you will be working on your own. Sometimes you will be placed in missions against instructors, sometimes against other fire teams. Do you have any issue with this?"

"No sir." Shar really didn't. She'd never been that close to any of the other trainees, besides maybe the girls out of the fact they were all female. She'd only really been close to November because it was necessary.

Kurt's head nodded. "Very well then, trainee. You are dismissed."

Shar left the office, feeling odd. It wasn't until she had reached the barracks. There was an odd feeling in the air when the others would look at her. Apparently she wasn't the only one who had recognized the other participants in the exercise. November had realized who she was, and they'd spread word of what she'd done in the exercise. Shar didn't understand it really. They all seemed so mad that she'd done what she'd been ordered to do, or maybe it was just because they used to be her team.

When she reached her bunk she found the bedding gone, her foot locker unlocked and some of her things on the floor. Someone had written 'traitor' on it and she stared at it for a few seconds before she did anything. Finally she left the barracks. She climbed onto the roof of the building and lay down to sleep. It wasn't particularly comfortable, but it was better than sleeping in the barracks that night. She stared up at the sky, watching the stars shine in the sky. It was obvious to her that she had already become something different to her fellow trainees, and that things weren't going to get better. She would be fighting them from then on, and each time they lost she knew they would hate her more and more.

Shar took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. No matter what she did in the future, there was no turning back now. She was a lone wolf.