Listen to while listening
Human Time: 1750 hours/ 5:50 pm
Writer: The Examiner
Saving Michael Vey’s family known as the Electroclan with the help of the Ion brothers and the Crimson Cowl was one of the many things that will be sealed into my mind for the rest of my life. What happened then is what began my journey to discover who I was. Throughout my life on Nar Shaddaa, I never discovered what I was. Records of parents I may have had didn’t exist, and most of what I know now was self taught. One very important thing that I have learned was that whatever my kind was learned how to be incredibly adaptive.
If anyone of my kind fully becomes comfortable with a certain race or culture, they will change the structure of their DNA, and become something else entirely. The list can go on. Humans, Sangheili, Twi'leks, Vortigaunts, and others. Even if I discovered what my kind were any sooner, any living members would have became something else. It’s an evolutionary tactic to survive in any environment. It’s like puberty for most races. But I never experienced it. Now I never will either. I still held a humanoid shape, but my grey skin and yellow eyes stayed.
This was when the dimensions really began to connect. Timelines were merging, and new faces were introducing themselves. If there’s anything left to say about it, it would be that it wasn’t what I was expecting.
I comfortably sat in a passenger seat of a pelican while the rest of us waited for the mission to commence. The objective was simple. Raid the fortress of Dwarka, rescue the Electroclan as well as anyone else imprisoned there, and extract any information salvageable. Others were sent on this mission beside me. Vey and the Ion step brothers rode along with me. However, it was the others on the other pelicans caught my attention.
After meeting the Crimson Cowl in person, I have learned both the Cowl and the Programmer had a shared history. They were almost like siblings in a way. Well, the Programmer and the Cowl’s sister were… close to be precise. Meaning that this mission wasn’t just reconnaissance. It was personal. I also agreed to this mission for two reasons.
The first being that if I’m going to meet this Programmer very often, I wanted to know as much about him as possible. Even if it was info that I didn’t think the Cowl deserved to know. The second reason was that doing this would give the Cowl no choice but to help the Master Chief on Requiem. I was just crossing my fingers, hoping that He was going to hold his end of the bargain.
Two other human UNSC pelicans accompanied us aside from our modified police pelican. Each one contained effective fighters from different Earth’s that the Crimson Cowl had under his control. One pelican held fighters from Earth Psi. This included people named Cait, Codsworth, Paladin Danse, Deacon, Dogmeat, John Hancock, Robert Macready, Nick Valentine, Piper Wright, Preston Garvey, Strong, and X6-88.
The second pelican held a group that hailed from an alternate version of the UNSC from Earth Xi. Some of them are very serious, while the majority of them constantly idiotically bicker. Despite that all, they somehow get things done. These include Colonial Sarge, Lavernius Tucker, Richard Simmons, Michael Caboose, Dexter Grif, Freckles, Franklin Donut, Droid #01011331123/Lopez, Carolina Church, David Washington, Vanessa Kimball, Charles Palomo, John Andersmith, Frank DuFresne, Antoine Bitters, and Emily grey.
One candidate from Earth Psi volunteered to remain in our ship. Mostly because she was incredibly intrigued by how different we were from “normal” beings that she was familiar with. This candidate, who was placed into an early model of what Earth Psi called Synths. Her name was Curie. She was rather….interesting. She spoke in a very heavy French Human dialect, and had a deep fascination in the medical field. Despite being mechanical, she valued the physicality of organic beings above all else. She was going over her medicinal notes before Felix called out to us.
Felix Ion: Thank you for riding Ion airlines. We have reached destination of complete insanity. Please keep your arms and legs inside the pelican until we position ourselves in the proper place. Thank you.
Pepe Ion: You’re not a stuartest, Felix. We’re on a serious mission.
Felix Ion: Why not have a little fun on our little adventure?
Pepe Ion: A veces me pregunto si estoy en secreto la mayor.
Felix Ion: Quit yer belly achin, Pepe. How many missions have I been on as a cop?
Pepe didn’t want to answer, because knew that Felix was going to rub it in his face.
Pepe Ion: You’ve been on over twenty five missions.
Felix Ion: And how many have you been on?
Pepe Ion: …. Thirteen.
Michael Vey: We’re going to infiltrate a facility that belongs to someone that owns the Human race to save my family, and you two are having a dick measuring contest?
Felix Ion: What’s the matter? Jealous?
Michael Vey: I can still shock your ass, and remind you of what a taser feels like.
Curie: Perhaps I should conduct mental experiments to test their intelligence levels, and make sure that they are ready for this mission.
Frank West: Hey, lady. You didn’t have to come with us on this mission.
Curie: I want to see what medicinal advancements this Programmer kept from us so I can save countless lives. Imagine what we could do.
Michael Vey: So we have two Mobians that hardly count as cops, a journalist, a doctor, a freak of nature, a hacker, and that… thing. Something tells me that you’re not exactly prepared for a mission like this.
Pepe Ion: For your information, we’ve dealt with people trying to kill us every day. Have you ever been to Mexico City?
Michael Vey: I’ve been to Mexico. I know it works.
Pepe Ion: Not the same thing.
Curie: What do think about this, Vlado? You haven’t said a word the whole trip.
Me: Whoever this Programmer is only expects soldiers to break in his facility. What better way to infiltrate than with a group of people that hardly classify as such?
Frank West: That’s not exactly reassuring.
Me: It’s not supposed to be reassuring. It’s simply the truth. One that no one wants to hear.
Felix Ion: Are you saying that we can take whatever will be thrown at us in there?
Me: If we work together, I’m sure we might.
Unknown: Teamwork always pulls a group out of any situation. All we have to do is make sure we all make it back.
Another passenger in the ship with us was someone that The Programmer wouldn’t have expected. A passenger that was one of his own. One of his would be pawns if it was found by the wrong people. A Terminator. During his quest of gathering potential assets, some Terminators were repurposed to serve a Human resistance that was fighting the mechanical threat on a parallel Earth. Once The Programmer discovered it, he easily destroyed the last of the resistance, took control of the A.I. known as Skynet, and took all of the Terminators off world. While following The Programmer’s tracks, The Crimson Cowl found the destroyed parallel world.
When there, he found a Terminator that was hidden under The Programmer’s sight. One that was designed to protect Human life. As it served under the cowl, it kept records of every single weapon it ever used. The machine became a useful tool to killing things like itself. A perfect symbol of fighting fire with fire. As time went on, it eventually learned emotion, became nearly Human, and adopted the name Arnold.
Me: Precisely, if we stop complaining and start focusing, we will make it through this.
Pepe Ion: How are we even going to get inside without being noticed by the security?
Me: That brings me the finest chance to try my latest creation.
I pulled out a metallic disc like device with a green button in the center out of my armour. I pressed the center button, and the device separated into parallel segments.
Frank West: What’s that?
Me: This is an experimental teleportation device.
Michael Vey: Doesn’t the UNSC have those already?
Me: This one is a little less obvious than a glowing green door. All I have to do is place the home plate here, and send the others on a flight path to a desired location. Once there, we just waltz on the home plate, and we’re there.
Frank West: Did you test it to see if it even works?
Pepe Ion: Will it even work at all?
Me: You mean you don’t trust me?
Everyone stared at me looking unamused.
Me: If no one hurts it, it’ll be fine.
Curie: But that is merely a prototype. What will happen if it malfunctions?
I pulled up a holographic screen on my arm gauntlet to input destinations in the facility.
Me: If the teleporter fails to do what it’s supposed to do, chances are that every single one of our molecules will be separated from our bodies, and will be scattered across time and space.
Everyone was then flushed with horrified looks.
Me: Relax. I’m only joking. Somewhat.
Pepe Ion: What are the chances of that happening?
Arnold: The chances of us dying of teleportation failure is a sixty nine point four two percent.
Michael Vey: Good to know that the numbers are on our side.
Me: Worst comes to worse? We ditch all of this, and never speak of it again.
Frank West: Agreed.
Giving everybody confidence slightly eased the tension. As the pelican entered the atmosphere, the hatch began to open. Felix called out to me.
Felix Ion: Alright! Time to test out your new toy! We are far from the facility’s weapon range! Once you find what you’re looking for, you have to find your own way out! The Psi and Xi pelicans will only provide so much of a distraction for you! I’ll be able to help you as you leave!
Pepe Ion: Don’t sound too heroic, Felix! You’re only holding the bird because you’re too lazy to help us in the facility!
Felix Ion: You know me too well, Pepe!
I activated the teleporter for me and my team.
Me: Everyone activate your cloaking devices, and jump in.
--------listen to www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-_RPE…
while reading ---
The group walked into the teleporter, dividing the group into separate segments. Curie, Arnold, and I set course to the control room, while the others went to the prison and armory. I jumped in after everyone else.
Passing through a teleporter can feel very strange if you’re not used to it. As quantum physics decides to take ahold of your body, and defies what we perceive what is possible or not. The feeling of briefly not existing. It can feel exciting. Or maybe it’ll feel terrifying. It differs per person. If you’re comfortable with the thought of every molecule of you body being split apart, feel comfortable fantasizing over it. But if the thought scares you, it’s best not to think about it too much.
The teleporters that the Humans of the UNSC developed may seem impossible, but they are merely micro slipspace portals. The ones that I developed are a little more complex. Transferring every atom of multiple beings would normally require digital storage space stretching out through multiple universes. But thanks to a force imbued kyber crystal that I got by outsmarting the Invisible Market acting as a power source, things became a little easier when making mine.
My friends and I made it to our scheduled locations. The feeling of being re atomized made me feel a little sick. Like my organs weren’t in the proper place. I think I may have forgotten to carry the three. As we entered the facility, dozens of Terminator guards were blocking the door to the control room. Making it nearly impossible to enter. We just had to wait for our cue.
After waiting for what felt like an hour, an explosion could be heard could be heard off in the distance. Our cue. Most of the guards left to investigate. Four of them stayed behind. To deal with them, I threw another one of my contraptions at one of the guards, and spider like legs sprung out to latch onto one of them. As it grabbed ahold of the guards, the other three jolted to life, and aimed their plasma rifles in my direction. Before they could fire, bolts of electricity shot out of the first guard, and entered the other three. Their eyes flashed from red to green. I turned off my cloaking device to see if my hacker drone worked.
Terminators may seem like stubbornly durable tanks that don’t ever die. But they have a glaring weakness. They’re quickly mass produced. Making them easily turnable to any side. One of the guards walked up to me, awaiting an order. I looked to the control room’s entrance.
Curie: Vlado! What are you doing?!
Me: Making new friends.
Arnold: Will they now help us?
Me: Only one way to find out.
We all turned our cloaks off, knowing that the guards wouldn’t attack. I began to speak to one of them.
Me: May you please open the door for us?
The Terminator looked at the other guards. They all nodded to each other. They approached the door, sunk all their fingers in a gap in the center, and pried the door open. They opened the door enough for a person to fit through, but the door was too damaged to close again. I was glad to later realize that there was more than one set of doors.
Me: Everyone in.
Curie went in first. But before Arnold and I went in, I noticed something in the corner of my eye. I looked and saw someone standing at the end of the hall over one hundred feet away. It wasn’t even mechanical in any way. It was… Human.
The Human wore a green and yellow stripped shirt coupled with what looked like dark brown khakis, and red eyes. It looked more feminine than not, and it hardly looked like a young adult for it’s size. At first I assumed it was an illusion. But then she began to speak.
Chara Dreemurr: I should have known that the explosion wasn’t an accident.
The Human neared closer, and pulled a bloodstained worn dagger from a sheath on her thigh.
Chara Dreemurr: You don’t belong here.
Me: I should say the same for you.
Chara Dreemurr: Get out before I make you wish you never came here.
Preposterous I thought. Not feeling at all intimidated by the Human’s presence, I aimed my double barreled pistol at the Human, and fired. The bullets flew toward the Human, but she was not hit. In fact, she reacted to the bullets so fast, she slashed her dagger through them. This did not give her an advantage, however. She had actually fell into my trap. The bullets she sliced held manganese in them. Cutting them in half caused them to explode like flashbang grenades. Blinding her for a few moments. She cupped one of her hands over her eyes, and grunted in annoyance.
Chara Dreemurr: It’s gonna take a lot more than that to take me down!
Growing tired of the Human’s shenanigans, Arnold pulled a grenade launcher from his back, aimed at her direction, and fired. To react, all the Human did was cover herself with her arms, and prepared to be hit. The grenade’s impact responded with a blinding flash, and tongues of fire engulfing her. The explosion blew both of her arms off, left a hole in her abdomen, and gruesomely scarred her face. That was that. I had thought that the potential threat was dealt with. I was mistaken. We were about to walk into the door. But I instead saw something unsettling.
Arnold and I looked to where the Human was to hear a constant shuffling sound. The Human began to stand as a dark, oil like liquid began to gush profusely from her body. The ooze covered her wounds, reshaped and took on shape to replace her organs and limbs. When her body fully reconstructed itself, she wiped the soot from her face, and patted it off her shirt. She picked up her now burnt dagger, and pointed it in our direction.
Chara Dreemurr: I wasn’t joking when I told you to leave.
I looked over at the Terminators that I had under my influence.
All four of them looked at me.
Me: Attack the threat, and cover us!
Listen to www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8xjkV…
The guards nodded their heads, aimed their plasma rifles at the Human, and fired while nearing closer to her. She successfully dodged and sliced through many of the bolts, but quickly became overwhelmed.
Arnold rushed inside the broken door, and I wasn’t far behind. I opened a holo screen, entered a series of codes, and activated a pair of blast doors behind the regular doors. Afterword, I turned around to see a more interesting sight.
Screens. Screens of data regarding the galaxy holding the Halos, as well as others. The fountains of data was irresistible. I grabbed a flash drive like device out of my pocket, and plugged it into the mainframe. I quickly adapted to the keys, and filtered through any valuable information. The result payed off rather well.
There were documents about other facilities that the Programmer had in his possession, and their exact locations, documents about the other dimensions that the Programmer was manipulating at the time, and the massive otherworldly naval fleets in his possession. I downloaded all the documents, and enabled a killswitch in the power system. One document in particular described the betrayal of a former UNSC marine named Alex Mason.
The document said that he was on a plane that was destroyed by Human insurrectionists. Mason was also recently affiliated with a man named Vennettilli before the plane was destroyed. The terrorists in question didn’t have any previous rebellion involvement. *Ahem* Sorry. It feels strange saying that with a bad context. And according to the document, Vennettilli and the Programmer used to be business partners.
After they reached an disagreement in something, Vennettilli threatened the Programmer by exposing information about him to the whole galaxy. The Programmer sent agents to kill him off. Mason was the only one that survived the crash. His codename after his cybernetic implantations was named “Slasher”.
Upon further analysis, he was not the only one either. There were apparently multiple Slashers. Well experienced Human fighters that suffered horrible accidents, and were transformed into abominations. Mechanical husks that would blindly accept his orders. Until now that is.
I wondered what the Slashers would do if they learned the truth. I sent those specific documents to them. Wherever they were. Mason was on a gas giant’s moon. The others were in a holding facility far from where we were. I disabled the facility to let them freely roam the vast universe. Whether or not it was the right choice was for time to tell. I also placed one of my patented THVs (Tarantula Hawk Virus) into the mainframe for a safety measure.
After successfully downloading everything I wanted to know, I removed the drive from the mainframe. I activated my comlink and pistol expecting trouble.
Me: Pepe. Come in. We’ve secured the data we need, and disabled a security to the prison. Where are you?
Pepe Ion: We’re on much thicker ice thanks to you, Vlado. We released all of the prisoners, and Michael found his precious clan. We’re arming them now, and let me tell you. There’s quite a chorros of cool shit here. We’ll be leaving from the main exit.
Me: Negative. The entire guard force is there. I have an easier way of getting you all to the pelicans.
Pepe Ion: Please don’t tell me it’s using the teleporter again. Because going through it gave me dolor de estómago masivo.
Me: Don’t be a baby. Time isn’t on our side, and I’m not asking. Oh. And stomach pains are just a minor side effect. But if it continues, you may get collin issues later.
Pepe Ion: Voy a patearte el culo cuando volvamo--
Pepe was cut off, and was sent to the pelicans with the others. Arnold, Curie, and I were the last ones.
Curie: Splendid! We have everything we need! I can hardly contain myself with the thought of the rigorous experiments that I will conduct.
I tapped buttons on my holoscreen to send them one there way. But then I heard something. Something deep in my mind was speaking to me with a strong, yet calming voice.
Calming voice: Look to your right.
I looked, and saw an object in the center of the room that we never took the time to look at. A bright yellow glowing heart shaped gemstone trapped in a tube shaped vial plugged into large cables. Some documents briefly touched on it, but I wasn’t going to believe anything until I got a closer look at it.
Curie: Vlado? What on earth are you doing? We need to leave!
Me: First of all, we’re not on Earth. Secondly, I saw something that may help us a great deal. I’m going to investigate.
Curie: This is ludicrous! We must leave!
I gave Curie the drive.
Me: Take this, and bring it to the Cowl. I’ll be right behind you.
Curie: Don’t take long.
Me: I won’t.
I inputted the coordinates, and Curie and Arnold disappeared. I approached the gemstone. It spoke to me as I grew closer. It asked me if I wanted to bring Justice to whoever was doing this. I told it if it was what it said it was, I would allow it to help me. It told me that the Programmer was harvesting it as a power source, and there were six others like it. Possibly more.
I punched through the vile to grab the stone, but the alarms didn’t go off. I pulled the stone to my chest, and I felt something exhilarating. When I grabbed the stone, it’s power flooded into me. All of my senses were enhanced, and every cell in my body tingled with the beautiful sensation. The power made me feel more alive than I ever did in years before.
The stone tried to go the extra mile, and merge itself into my very being. I still wonder to this day why I refused. The stone’s power had given me the unnaturally high dopamine levels that I have always craved. I would I reject the offer? Perhaps it was the fact that these feelings were not my own. Perhaps it was the possible eventuality that I would become too dependent on it to feel for me.
My teleporter would have to cool down if I didn’t want it to reach critical failure. Especially after sending every prisoner to the dropships that were picking us up. I tried to look for a place to hide until it cooled off. But then I realized something. The sound of the guards’ plasma rifles stopped. The jolting sound of a hard thud made me jump. I quickly looked behind myself. The burnt dagger stabbed through the blast door.
As a circular hole began to be carved out, the gem glew with it’s power, and a yellow energy revolver resonated in my hand adjacent to my double-barrel pistol hand. The gem told me that the energy gun was the only thing that could heart her. By the time the small hole was cut, the Human’s glowing red eye poked through.
Chara Dreemurr: KNOCK KNOCK, FUCKERS! MAMA’S HERE!
I aimed the energy gun in the hole, and fired several rounds.
Me: Nobody’s home.
I run out of a door near the terminals, and went off to one of the hangars. The door I used to leave the terminals forcefully locked itself, which began to concern me. It was there! The hangar I thought. But right before I reached it, a massive door slammed itself in front of me.
I pulled up a holoscreen to disable it, but something was forcing me out of the system. As if another hacker was in it, and was trying to keep me inside. I ran the opposite direction to find another way out. But as I gained enough distance, another door slammed shut in front of me.
Growing furious, I activated another holoscreen. I activated my THV that I placed in the system, and power to the entire facility shut down. Unfortunately, I only doomed myself.
Turning everything off was exactly what he wanted. For once in my life, I was the one being played. I had had unknowingly set a trap for myself. The door lost it’s grip, and sprung open. When the door opened, my heart sunk to my groin, and I wished that it was still closed.
For the first time ever, I had meet him. I had come face to face with the Programmer himself. His body shimmered silver with six large arms. His face looked like the shifting faceplate of a helmet. The worst of it was his eyes. His gaze felt like it burned a hole in my soul. It was blood red with dark pupils that glew brighter than the Human’s. But this encounter took a turn.
When the Programmer looked at me, he wasn’t even angry. It looked more like a feeling of gladness and relief. As if we had met at some point before. His arms opened in a frighteningly unexpected welcoming gesture.
The Programmer: Ah! Vlado! It is so nice to finally meet you again after all this time!
(Author’s note): I do not own the attributes to any film, or video game industries, or any form of internet media that will be introduced, mentioned, or referenced throughout The Unity. Any material that didn’t originate from any electronic or written media, whether it’d be from film, internet, or otherwise was thought up by me, thus is owned by me.