Categories > Games > Halo > 'Safe and Sound

Dutch Courage

by coldthing 1 review

Captain Lem and Captain Ender contemplate their options

Category: Halo - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-05-26 - Updated: 2007-05-27 - 892 words

23.10.2554 7:43

Onboard SolidarnoÅ>Ä*

Med Bay Video Recording

Present: Captain Poitr Lem, Captain Ahmad Ender

Lem helped Captain Ender off his bed and into a wheel chair. His rank afforded Captain Ender the tiny medical bay†s lone private room. His had been once of the first cryo pods found, the medical personnel had spent an hour repairing the damage done by the uneven thawing process brought on by the crash. His legs were still immobilized by freezer burn and post-cryo paralysis.

Through the thin walls they could hear the voices of the crew as more survivors were brought up from the crash site.

Thankfully both Spartans from the /WaÅ'Ä sa /were intact, though one was in critical condition, but thankfully expected to survive. The other still under going cognitive tests to determine if it had suffered any brain damage from either the crash or the uneven thaw.

Lem brushed his fingers through his graying black hair and gave Ender†s wheelchair a sharp kick. Ender grabbed the back wheel†s handrails and tried to maneuver the wheel chair out of the way.

‽You†re a jackass Pete,” He said adjusting his still immobile legs in the wheelchair.

‽Just checking to see if you†re still living” Lem replied. The wry smile he flashed Ender was completely obscured by his obvious exhaustion. He rubbed his chin again, his fingers scraping against stubble.

Ender†s half smiled vanished and the Berber†s face was suddenly sober ‽ Funny Lem. Funny” he said and gave the hand rails of the wheel chair an experimental push. ‽ Get that stupid machine to seal the room.”

‽Chernobog, seal the room” Lem said.

‽Room sealed,” replied the /SolidarnoÅ>Ä*†s /primary AI in a voice that sounded like grinding machinery. The noise from outside the room abruptly stopped.

Lem rubbed his hands through his hair again, and rubbed his eyes. He sat back on the bed that Ender had just vacated his shoulders slumped. ‽The /WaÅ'Ä sa /is gone. We†re salvaging what we can of Belobog†s memory core for use in Chernobog ”
‽What about slipspace” Ender interrupted him. ‽ I don†t want to stay a sitting duck in Covenant space any longer than necessary”

‽The /SolidarnoÅ>Ä*†s /main drive is completely /kaput/. We can use the /WaÅ'Ä sa /as salvage, but even with a rebuilt drive manifold I doubt we†ll make it more that a few parsecs.” Lem rubbed at the stubble on his jaw again. Medical personnel had pulled him aside as he waited for Ender to be revived, patched the gash on his face and diagnosed him with a broken cheekbone. Biofoam oozed out from under the bandage and down his chin. ‽ We†re in a bad place.”

Ender and Lem shared a depressed private silence for a few minutes. Ender rubbed his immobile legs vigorously before Lem suddenly spoke again

‽ I want one of the Spartan†s to eyeball the manifold before we bring the salvage parts in though” He patted his pockets and pulled out a flask from an inner pocket in his service jacket. ‽My baptcha always said /wódka /was appropriate in these situations” He handed the flask over to Ender.

Ender unscrewed the cap ‽My mother called it Dutch courage” He took a swig and handed it back to Lem, who also took a swig before tucking it back into his service jacket.

They shared another moment of silence.

‽Excuse me, Captains” Chenobog†s grinding voice suddenly interrupted them. ‽Petty Officer Spartan 241 wishes to speak with you”

‽Speak of the devil.” Lem hopped off the medical bed. ‽He was supposed to be here hours ago. Let him in Chernobog”

The man that entered had to duck his head to get in because of his massive frame. He wore a rumbled slept-in looking service uniform; his nose was flattened and ruined against his cheeks. His scalp barely covered by a patchy goose down of red hair.

‽Spartan” Lem nodded to him.

Spartan 241 retuned with a sloppy salute ‽Captain Lem sir, Captain Ender”

‽I ordered you to report me to when you returned from the planet,” Lem said.

‽Yes sir” replied the Spartan.

‽And why didn†t you?” Lem gave the NCO a hard look

241 narrowed his eyes, his wide mouth twisting into a lopsided frown. ‽I didn†t want to sir” came the Spartan†s reply.

Lem opened his mouth, the closed it. ‽ You didn†t want to?” Spartan 241 was infamous for his dislike of authority figures. Something in his training never quite took Lem had his file, like he did for all the Spartan†s assigned to his strike force, a list of demerits and disciplinary actions a mile long. Only his unusual aptitude for mathematics and engineering had kept 241 from washing out of the Spartan Program. Lem opened his mouth again to reprimand the Spartan.

‽Eat shit and die sir” Said 241 before Lem had a chance to say anything.

Lem took a deep breath, he swallowed, 241 was deliberately trying to provoke him, stress and worry made the already prickly Spartan even harder to deal with. He knew how that felt, his own desire to slam 241†s head against a bulkhead was barely held in check ‽Go eyeball the slipspace drive and the salvage parts, I want a report in five hours”

There was resentment in the Spartan†s salute ‽Yes sir”
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