Posted By: David Riley<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 November 2013, 10:21 am
'Are you feeling any discomfort?' The doctor asked as he watched the full body scan in front of him.
'Negative sir.' came the deep female voice from the bed of the scanning machine. She did in fact have more than a little discomfort, but who she was and whom she was associated with, she would have seemed vulnerable to admit to such pain, she believed. She was trained to endure pain, survive it, but this wasn't typical, to her at least. She'd been bashed and burned and cut before, but this wasn't the same as anything she'd experienced. It confused her, as there was no reason she could fathom for it.
When you operate as a team for as long as she and her squad had, you learned the subtle nuances of the character of a person. You knew a persons habits and how they reacted, especially in heightened battle situations where emotions could run high. She'd been with her team since she was a mere six years old. She knew them intricately. Now, some eleven years later, she was more than just in tune with her squad mates, they were damn near telepathic. More than a band of brothers, she loved them and they loved her. But more important than that, they trusted her, and she them.
Numerous times she had put her life on the line to save members of her squad, and numerous times many of them had done the same. That love and trust, and knowing each other so consistently for so much of their lives brought them closer than any other squad in the whole war. Their service record was near perfect and attested to that. You almost couldn't train that. You had to live it.
So who was it that noticed the subtle changes in her? Who saw her move a little slower and languish ever so slightly? Who had suggested the brass check her out? Whom did she know not to trust as much as she had before?
The scanning bed slowly pulled her back from inside the scan tube and she swung her legs back down to the floor. She slouched, a sign that she wasn't in the tip-top condition she was meant to be in, but the doctor paid it no mind.
'I can't find anything wrong with you' he said 'I suggest you rest for the next couple of days and drink a lot of fluids. It should pass of its own accord.'
'Yes sir' she said as she stepped down off the bed 'Anything else doctor?' she asked.
The doctor looked up at her. He wasn't a small man himself, six foot, two inches, but he had to crane his neck upwards to keep eye contact. She was freakishly tall, six foot, nine inches, and pale. Like she had never spent a day in sunlight.
'N-no, that'll be all' he replied with slight hesitation as he grabbed her chart and walked off to the next room to examine it.
She stood there in the grey surgical gown, bare foot on the cold linoleum flooring for just a moment, wondering what that hesitation was about, before she turned and left.
Doctor Rappaport had found something. It was something he knew was meant to be impossible. He was there for the original augmentations that would cancel the female premenstrual cycle, and would block any possibility of this ever happening, and yet he was told to always include this search in the scans of the females anyway. Carla SPARTAN 192, was pregnant. He just couldn't tell her that, yet.
Few people had ever seen a Spartan laugh. Hell, no one could remember a Spartan even smiling. Anyone that had seen a Spartan in action never seemed to describe human traits. Even when they were not wearing the now famous Mjolnir armor. Words like "Efficient" and "Stoic" were used. They were trained to be that way, trained not to waste. Laughing consumed energy and as such was waste. As was unnecessary word usage and unnecessary movement. They just didn't do it. Doctor Halsey knew all of this, yet still expected regular updates of her Spartans behavior.
When Doctor Rappaport's handsome holographic face appeared on her desk she was interested to know what the man had to say. She had known him a long time, long enough to be considered friends, but only considered. Their relationship was completely professional, despite the doctor's obvious pleasant features.
'What can I do for you Bill?' Catherine asked with the slightest smile. She always enjoyed looking at his face, but today it was etched with concern.
'I need you to take a look at this.' he responded.
'Of course.' Catherine blinked twice and a beam from the holographic lens on her table shot directly into her left iris, through her glasses, to confirm her security clearance. Less than half a second later the file Dr. Rappaport had sent over displayed on the lens of her glasses. Bill waited as she read.
'Finally.' she said excitedly.
'Finally?' Rappaport responded 'I don't understand, you were expecting this to happen?'
'Of course,' she said 'I was expecting it three years ago. They have exercised incredible restraint.'
'Doctor, how did this happen? We put safeguards in place to stop this exact thing from happening.'
'I altered the programming for two of the female candidates.' Halsey responded.
'Two? Who's the other female?' He asked.
'That's classified.' She dismissed 'Listen your job now is to take her out of the rotation, but don't tell her why. Make up something, I don't care what. She doesn't know she's pregnant yet and I don't want to startle her. But she can't be in the field anymore. Make it happen.' With that she waved her hand over the holographic projector and Bill Rappaports face disappeared.
'They haven't seen the perfect soldier yet,' Catherine Halsey uttered to herself as she clasped her hands together 'I'm going to give it to them.'
Spartans don't do R&R, there was always another mission, and Carla had already been cleared for her next one. In the refit room she slipped on the last of her armor, her helmet, ignoring the doctors orders to rest. Joerg and Ramirez, the two other Spartans on her team, had helped her put her gear back on. Typically the Mjolnir armor took two techs up to fifteen minutes to assemble. Using Spartans who knew the armor well, to put it back on was much faster.
CPO Mendez, the man responsible for training the first two round of Spartans, entered the room. Had the man ever been seen without a Sweet Williams Cigar tucked in the corner of his mouth? He handed a data pad over to the largest of the three Spartans, Joerg
'Happy hunting fellas.' That was the extent of his idle chit-chat as he spun on his heels and marched back out of the room. The three Spartans nodded to each other and made their way to their Pelican dropship.
Bill ran because he knew by now that Spartans never listened to suggestions of rest and relaxation. He turned a corner in the sterile hallway and bounced shoulders with a tech he'd never seen before. Bill spun off him and kept on running.
He slid to a stop at the Spartans refit room and hit the button on the side of the door. The door slid into the wall opening the port and Dr. Bill Rappaport stepped inside. Unfortunately the room was empty with not a single Spartan in sight. He cursed to himself, turned and ran for the only place he knew the Spartans were likely to be, the hanger.
Carla jammed her trusty shotgun into the side space of the pilots chair of the Pelican. She didn't give the two Spartans with her time to strap in. She jolted the controls of the Pelican and it jostled into the air, sputtering dust outwards as it hovered for a moment. She hit the accelerator and the craft sped towards the exit.
Rappaport entered the wide expanse of a hanger just in time to see the Spartan Pelican flying off into the distance. He cursed to himself. He'd just let potentially the most valuable Spartan head off into what was sure to be another firefight. The brass weren't going to like this. Neither was Catherine Halsey.