Chapter the Seventh: Making Friends
A/N: I'm going to try to write it from to people in the first person perspective from now on. Hope you don't get too angry at me.Chapter the Seventh: Making Friends
Awareness came in a rush of pain and information.
My name was Allyson Tex, AKA Shego. I was a famous thief who'd joined her archenemy-turned-friend (even though it was I who turned) in the fight to keep humanity around.
Old lessons boiled to the forefront of my mind, information tried to settle into place but only made a bigger mess of than there'd been before, and lives and lies somehow cooperated to give me a purpose: "Survive. Survive until you can rescue Church."
She opened her eyes, her marvelous green eyes, and her mind quieted.
She was human, through and through.
I smirked, which soon grew to be a full-on face-splitting grin. The Covenant would never know what the hell hit them.
I sat up, swung my feet over the edge, and walked over to a mirror. I hummed a tune as I examined myself. I looked nice in the uniform they'd provided me with. My waist-length green-black hair was tied into a ponytail and covered by a small hat. I twisted, and smiled. The uniform was felt good, and allowed for a free range of movement. There wasn't much decorating the grey civilian uniform, which was fine with me. I knew I'd have to prove myself if I wanted anything bigger than a pistol, and that was just fine with me too.
I looked at the small table next to the bed. On it was a service pistol for civilian use when on a military boat. I went over and hefted it. It felt right in my hand. I pulled back on the slide, testing the gun for any sort of damage, dirt, or dangerous imperfections. I then ejected the magazine and pushed out the bullets, counting them. When I finished, I smiled, and began putting them back in. 12 bullets a clip. Good. Better than only 6 or 9.
I put the mag back in the gun, clicked on the safety, and slid it into the pocket that was probably designed for the weapon. Then I went over to the door and pressed the top button of the keypad next to it, assuming correctly that that was how to open it, and left the room, simply exploring the ship.
It was fun to watch the marines going about the ship, blending in like I was just another face in the crowd. It'd been years since I'd been able to do that so easily, and it felt wonderful.
I heaved a sigh. If only Church was here.
A woman paused, and went over to her. "Are you okay?" She asked, worried at the melancholy on my face.
I put on a brave face and said, "Yeah, just missing my friend." I read the name tag. "So how's your day been miss Randson?"
She smiled. "It's been fine."
My stomach growled loudly, startling us both. I looked right in her eyes, serious look etched onto my face as if it'd been made of granite and said in a deadpan tone, "I just realized, I'm hungry enough to eat an entire Spartan."
She tried. She really tried. But the image of me, some 5'8" woman with a tiny waist, eating a 6'10" hunk of meat surrounded by metal in one go was obviously too much. She laughed and I smiled.
When she'd stopped laughing quite so hard, she wiped the tears off her face and said, "Let's go to the mess hall."
I nodded, neglecting to mention that I didn't know where it was from here.
I followed her to the mess hall and into the lines, grabbed some food, and went to a table where a few others were waiting. She'd stared at my plate after I'd piled it with food until it was bigger than hers, and she was a big eater. I'd smiled and shrugged.
When we were 5 feet away, one of the guys in the group, probably her unit, popped his head up and grinned. "Hey Rand. You brought a friend for tonight?"
She scoffed, but her smile held easily. She was obviously used to his innuendos. "Nope. I just took pity on her." She sat down opposite him and I sat next to her.
"Well then, pretty lady." I looked at the speaker's tag. It read "Floyd". "Have you heard? The Rigs is crazy."
I shook my head. "Actually, I hadn't heard that particular rumor. Is it true?" I smiled at him, just for the heck of it, and because the fourth person at our section of the table had a tag reading "Rigs"."
"Hell yes it's true." Rigs said, smiling the Devil's own grin. "But I bet you haven't heard the latest Shego rumor."
I raised my eyebrows. There was an entire set of rumors about my name? Really? I pretended to think and answered honestly. "Nope, don't think so."
"Well, here's how I heard it." He came in close, and whispered to us, "I heard that she killed over 10 Zealot-class Elites by herself in less than a day."
"Oh, bullshit!" That was the first guy, the innuendo guy. I couldn't quite read his tag. "There is no way someone would be able to kill that many that fast. Maybe if she had a tank and they all sat still." He said scornfully.
"No, I'm serious about this TJ!" Rigs sounded a little offended at his friend's off-handed dismissal. "She really did!"
"Yeah, and she can zap a field of grunts with her eyes and sprout plasma out her ass." Floyd said sarcastically. I laughed at that. "Not even a so-called Spartan can kill two
Zealot-class Elites by themselves Rigs. Just let it go."
I headed off the potentially violent argument with "Well, she seems to be quite the William Wallace kind of person, and I've only heard two rumors about her so far."
They looked at me and the looks on their faces battled between confusion and incredulity. I could guess just from that. They didn't know who William Wallace was. That was the confusion.
"How can you not know who Shego is?" Rand asked.
I shrugged apologetically and said, "I was in cryosleep for a long time, so sue me."
"How long, exactly?" Rand asked.
"Too damn long." I said honestly. "That's why I'm so hungry today." All five of us looked down at my plate, and I was a little surprised. I had decimated half my plate when I wasn't looking.
"Damn." Rand exclaimed. My sentiments exactly. She looked at me and asked, "Where'd you pack all that, your damn leg?"
I smiled and took a moment to examine them closely before I answered. They were a close knit group. They've gone through some tough fights, but they love each other in that "Semper Fidelis" way that most soldiers get, especially with those from their units. Well, scratch that. It wasn't simply Semper Fi, it was also like they were a family, one that they had made themselves with each other.
"I honestly have no idea. Maybe I have a higher metabolism than I should." I shrugged. I thought about my next move. A lightbulb flashed over my head, and I smiled. "I just realized something. Nobody has asked me my name, and it isn't on my uniform."
"So what's your name?" TJ asked me the simple question like he was trying to ask me out on a date that night.
I rolled my eyes at the innuendo in his voice and said, "My name is Allyson 'Tex' Texas, and I'm already spoken for."
If TJ was surprised by this, he didn't show it. "If you're spoken for, then where's the lucky guy?"
I smiled and waited for him to begin drinking before saying, "Who says it's not some 'lucky girl'?" I grinned when he spit out his drink, coughing.
"I'm joking." I assured him. "Truth to tell, I don't know. Probably still in cryosleep somewhere." My smile faded a little as I thought about him, not knowing where he is. It would be unlikely for him to be on the ship, otherwise, we'd've woken up together, when it was safe. I shook my head of such melancholy thoughts and went back to the conversation. "So, what else is there to be heard about this 'Shego' person?"
The cheer returned to their faces and they began gossiping with me like I was an old friend. The things I learned in the next hour were astonishing. Apparently, I had been a Spartan-I, a Spartan-II, and
a Spartan-III (though I don't think the third exists yet), as well as an impossibly talented ONI agent (which is like their version of the CIA); that I have multicolored skin that prefers an acid green color; that I once took out an entire CCS-Class Covenant Heavy Battle Cruiser all by myself; that I went toe-to-toe with 3 Spartan-I's and lived; and that I also once took out 5 Hunters by myself all at once.
Oh, and that I once killed an Elite by ripping out his spine, which I then used to kill 10 grunts.
By reading between the lines, I could tell that the Spartan-I project was hushed up and disavowed, that many marines, mostly in the Orbital Drop Shock Trooper squadrons, have a deep-seated dislike of Spartans, and that the idea
of me is even scarier than the idea of facing 2 Spartans-II's in single unarmed combat to some people.
When they subtly froze, I noticed, and turned around. Behind me was a taller white man with a kind face and a gray uniform decorated with a few things, including a medal that looked suspiciously homemade. I plastered a polite smile on my face and took a guess. "May I help you captain?"
I saw the surprise in his eyes and inwardly applauded the man for not letting it show on his face. "Can we speak in private?"
I nodded and said, "Yes sir. May I clear my place at the table first?" I motioned towards my now-empty plate to let him know what I was talking about.
He nodded, and I stood. I turned back to the group and said my goodbyes, brought my plate over to where the dirty plates go for washing, and went to follow the captain.
We walked in silence for awhile before he cleared his throat. "So, I saw that you were having a good time with those marines."
I nodded. "Yep. I never knew that so many different rumors about me existed. I mean, did you know that I once killed a Wraith tank by just walking up and glaring at it?"
He shook his head at the information, clearly just as amazed as me. "I did not know that." After a moment, he said, "Cortana didn't want to leave until you'd woken up, but the Master Chief took her out to explore an old ruin."
"Uh-huh." I nodded slowly. "Well..." I paused, thinking this through. "How bad has she been?"
He looked at me, eyebrow raised.
"Tell me. How off center has she been recently, starting from when I first showed up?"
He thought back, and said, "Bad."
I grimaced. "Bad.", in his tone of voice, means "Almost to the point of insanity, but that cliff is nowhere in sight." "That's bad." I shrugged. "Well, I know a few ways we can bring her closer to her previous balance."
"How?" He asked as we took a turn into a conference room.
"Simple. Enlist me."
He looked at me like I was the craziest thing he'd ever seen.
"If she knows that I can take care of myself, and I prove it to her directly, it should take the edge off and let her figure out how to recenter herself. With that help, she might be able to do her job again. Properly, at least."
He thought that over. After a few minutes he said, "Well, it appears that I don't have much of a choice." He sat down at the table, pulled a small digital/holographic pad (probably containing information) from a pocket, and slid it across the table towards me. I raised my eyebrow at him a little, picked it up, and read as my eyebrows reached for the sky.
Height: 5'8" or 172.72 cm
Weight: 110 lbs or 49.896 kg
Rank: ONI: Special Agent; UNSC: Master Chief Petty Officer; Freelancer
Serial Number: SH3G0-07TEX
Pelican callsign: Echo318
Battles and missions of note: Classified.
Notes: Shego has the power to commandeer any UNSC ship that she sees fit to use and if she gives you an order, no matter how outrageous it may be, every member of UNSC personel are to follow it.
The picture next to the name was me, but green like I had been. I looked up at him incredulously. "Are you fuckin' kidding me?"
He shook his head seriously.
The whole picture (me, standing there, holding my own heavily redacted file, him, shaking his head seriously in that particular way), it was almost too much. I had to work to keep from bursting out laughing. As it was, a small chortle came out anyway. I swallowed it, and said, "Well, that doesn't mean that I can't enlist."
He was close to laughing too, especially from the way he lifted his eyebrows so comically. Well, it was probably more evident from the way his neck went thick, but it could
have been his eyebrows.
I decided to elaborate for his convenience. "I introduced myself to that group as Allyson Tex, so if I 'enlist' as Allyson Tex, then I'll still be able to stick around, and it will be legal for me to shoot a gun without tipping my, our, hand. 'Shego' is a wild card, an ace in the hole, and if nobody knows you have it, then it will surprise everyone, probably ourselves included, when we pull it out." I paused, taking a deep breath to keep my laughter at bay, and asked him a question. "Did she leave a subroutine to record everything that's happening?"
He nodded. He probably doesn't trust himself to speak at the moment.
"Well, all we need now is a skull that says 'Jimmy wuz here.'"
That was all it took. Within seconds, the two humans in the room were struggling to keep on their feet as they laughed their brains out. When Cortana showed up, asking, almost nonchalantly how things were going, they just laughed harder.
A/N: What do you think? Do you have questions or comments?
Did you know that sometimes, oftentimes, when readers don't review a writer's works, it feels like the writer's works are unloved, and sometimes end up being undernourished? Well, reviews are brainfood, and with your help, I may actually make a new chapter within a week! (I know that that's pushing it a little for me, but it's possible)