Part 2 - Mugged
"So how's the war going?"
exactly the perfect icebreaker at dinner. Still, if one word could be
used to describe Collin Hale, it would be blunt. I frowned.
won't butter it up; badly. Ignore what the tabloids and news stations
tell you, they're all edited to make it look like we're winning," I
informed Rook's father, who's eyes went wide.
"You mean we're not?"
ignorance of civilians in the inner colonies was astounding. ONI had
evidently created a huge blanket of lies; according to them, the
Covenant bastards were being beaten back by us 'fine boys' in the corps.
victories, here and there. But to be frank, I don't expect humanity to
survive another ten years," Rook chipped in, shaking his head grimly.
There was silence for a few moments, before I, seeing the horrified
looks on Susan and Collin's faces, decided to be an optimist.
be so certain Rook, the Covenant have no idea where Earth and most of
the colonies are, and we're reverse engineering their tech all the
time. I won't be surprised if we're ready to launch a counter attack
soon," I lied slightly, knowing that the speed at which the scientists
were discovering how Covenant technology worked was far too slow.
Still, it eased the tense mood at the dinner table, and conversation
turned to other, slightly related matters.
"So what are the
Covenant like to fight then?" Rook's mom questioned to us, and Switch
answered honestly, going into quite gory details at times. I cut him
off with some cheerier tales of small success as I realised he was
about to relay the anecdote about the time our squad had found a pile
of dead young children all heaped up in a house, with two Jackals
inside feasting on a few. We'd decided to give the Jackals a taste of
their own medicine, and had fed them to some stray dogs whilst they
were still alive. Monsters.
Susan and Collin Hale had to be two
of the nicest people I had ever met. Despite never even seeing me or
Mains in the past, we were immediately welcomed with open arms, and
introduced quite thoroughly. Susan had been quite upset when I told
them about Blade and Det's demise, apparently Rook hadn't got around to
telling his parents about them. Collin had also showed sympathy;
apparently he and Blade had hit it off the last time the squad had
visited, -- before I joined -- and the two had played Chess every
night. I'd been surprised to hear Blade had played Chess. Collin seemed
quite reserved though, as if he were unhappy underneath his smiling
After the usual welcomes and hellos, we'd all sat down
at the table, where all of us had been ladled out far too generous
servings of a Chicken Dinner. I ate ravenously; the food we ate whilst
on duty was terrible and scarce.
Before speaking about myself,
I'd asked Susan and Collin what they did for a living. She was a social
worker in the city, which was apparently how she and Collin had come
across a young, parent-less Rook, and he was a rather successful lawyer
who owned his own firm.
"How's business been lately?" I had asked Collin, who'd shrugged.
too good. With the threat of an alien genocide on the horizon, people
are suddenly a lot less concerned about suing the guy who caused them
to break their leg. I've been getting a lot of will work lately."
I nodded, empathetic, whilst at the same time stuffing my face with a roast potato; marvellous.
in the night, after Susan had decided to retire to bed, and after
everyone had had a few drinks, the atmosphere took a turn for the
worse, when Collin decided to try and persuade his son to leave the
"This war is dangerous Drew, and I don't want to have to
see you come home in a casket. Please, come work for me at my firm,
leave the fighting to others," Collin said to Rook, and I winced.
Whilst we were off duty, I hated it when someone called a squad member
by their real name. Evidently, Collin had either forgotten we were at
the table or simply didn't care in his drunken state. Rook's gaze
"Not now Dad." the ODST's tone was crisp and cautioning. Collin ignored Rook, still going on.
when son? When are you going to wake up and smell the music? You know I
hate you being in the UNSC, you know me and your mother want you home.
Where it's safe." The lawyer's tone had become desperate, and I
grimaced slightly, looking at Switch and Mains uneasily. Rook caught my
expression and scowled.
"For Christ's sake, you think you're
safe here Dad? No where is safe! The Covenant will come here
eventually, and will burn it to the ground!" he'd risen to his feet
now, as had Collin. The two exchanged heated words for around a minute,
before Rook decided he'd had enough.
"You never change do you?
Always the same, even around my friends! I knew coming here was a
mistake..." As Rook marched out of the room, and practically ripped his
coat off the hanger, I placed a hand on his shoulder.
you're drunk, and so's your Dad. You're both saying things you don't
mean, just go to sleep and you'll--" before I could finish, Rook had
shrugged me off and had gone out of the door into the street outside,
slamming the door behind him. I look back over my shoulder, and saw
Switch and Mains standing in the dining room doorway awkwardly. I could
hear the faint sobbing sound of Collin at the table.
I'm gonna go find him. Stay here," I told Switch and Mains, grabbing my
own coat. A few seconds later, I was out on the street, cursing as I
had no idea of which way Rook had gone.
turned right, hurrying down the near black street. A few moments later,
it began to rain; a heavy, constant stream drumming heavily on the back
of my coat.
"Rook? Rook!" I called out when I reached an intersection. A gang of teenagers nearby gave me an odd look, but I ignored them.
on by some unknown force, I decided to head down an alleyway. I
realised that now, not only had I lost Rook -- I was also lost in the
pitch black sprawling metropolis. Crap.
Ahead, further down the
alley I heard voices whispering, as well as movement. Could it be Rook?
Frowning, I moved forward, reaching down for my gun as I did so. I
nearly swore when I realised I'd left it back at the house.
I whispered harshly. Instantly, the voices stopped, and all was still.
Slightly nervous, I moved around the corner of the alleyway building...
something heavy hit me on the back of the head. Shouting out in pain, I
stumbled forward, crashing face first into the wall. I reached up with
a hand, gingerly feeling my nose. Bloodied and crooked. My eyesight was
Before I could right myself, I felt two pairs of arms
grab my by either shoulder, and throw me to the ground. Looking around,
I saw an old man cowering against the wall; a knife held to his throat.
Three other men stood, garbed in balaclavas. Two held me pinned down.
"You move, we cut the old man's throat," one of the
muggers threatened. I got the message, and nodded mutely, terrified.
Not terrified of dying, but terrified by the thought that I would no
longer be able to fight the Covenant if I was dead. Terrified that I
wouldn't be able to make a difference.
"Listen, just calm down
all right?" I attempted to placate as I was roughly pulled up to my
feet, and pushed against the wall. The same mugger who had spoken
before -- I assumed he was the leader-- screamed aggressively in my
"Shut up! We call the shots here. Search him."
tried to remain still as one of the muggers -- slightly shorter than
the others -- expertly began to turn my pockets and anywhere I could
conceal something of worth inside out. It wasn't long before he found
my wallet, tossing it to the leader, who brought out a torch, flicking
quickly through the black leather pouch and its compartments.
well, Master Sergeant eh? Keep an eye on him lads, he's probably got
training." The leader had evidently found my UNSC Identification card.
few moments later, he had taken the $115 cash I had on me, and held my
debit card in the light too. After a second or so of squinting at it,
he tossed it to one of his lackeys. Then, a pistol was aimed at my face.
"What's your pin?"
remained silent, managing to meet the masked face in the eyes with a
defiant stare. The mugger fired a warning shot above my head; I felt
the heat from the bullet as it passed.
"5225!" I blurted out, giving false information. The leader narrowed his eyes, before turning to one of his subordinates.
find the nearest ATM and check it out. If it ain't right, come back and
I'll chop this soldier boy's thumb off. That'll make him talk."
eyes grew wide. It would be awfully hard to hold a sniper without a
thumb. The mugger holding my card took his balaclava off; showing he
wasn't a complete professional. A smart person would never show his
face to the victim. I took a look at his face. A scar above his right
eyebrow, dirty blonde, long hair, a rough beard. About 30 years old,
maybe a bit older.
He'd find out that the pin wasn't correct.
And then he'd come back, and I'd lose a digit. Not good. If I was going
to act, it would have to be before he came back.
"You won't get
away with this! I called the police as soon as I saw you come towards
me! They'll be here any minute..." the old man crumpled in the corner
wheezed out, before coughing. The leader of the muggers stared down at
him in surprise, as if he had forgotten about his previous victim. The
mugger looked uncertain.
"You're lying..." the leader accused, biting his low lip. The old man gave a grim, painful smile.
"Willin' to take that chance?"
the moment I had been waiting for arrived. The leader wasn't looking at
me, and the lackey pinning me had loosened his grip slightly, nervous.
leg rose up and hit the lackey in the gut. The man's eyes went wide for
a moment, and he staggered back slightly. Before he could react, I
swung a fist, which connected straight with his jaw. The mugger went
sprawling down to the ground, where he connected with a metal rubbish
bin. Evidently he hit his head pretty hard, because a second later he
was out cold.
The leader had realised what was happening, and
fired a shot from his pistol at me. It missed as I dived out of the
way, and he cursed loudly, fumbling with the weapon. I laughed then --
the man hadn't even reloaded the pistol before aiming it at me!
Amateur. Still, it made me wonder just what the other bullets from the
clip had been used on.
Before the gun could be reloaded,
I tackled the man, driving him hard against the wall. The pistol went
flying out of his hand. He lashed out with a fist, which I caught
easily with a deft hand. The odds were easily in my advantage now. I
was a highly trained ODST -- he was a petty thief.
the wrong guy to mug ***," I growled at him, slamming another fist
into his face. That felt good. The feeling of elation vanished when a
knife was driven into my side.
The world swam before me, and I
tumbled to the ground, moaning. I looked down at my side, and surely
enough, there was the hilt of the felling weapon, wedged firmly within
The thug had drawn another knife from somewhere, and
now stood over me, ready to stab down. I tried to scurry out of the
way, but my entire body felt numb. I couldn't do anything.
a shining glint caught my eye. Lying a metre away was the mugger's lost
pistol. Desperately, I reached for it. Forgetting that it had seemed to
be out of bullets, I aimed it at the mugger, and pulled the trigger.
to my surprise, a shot rang through the alley. Smoke trailed from my
pistol. And the mugger collapsed to the ground, a bullet wedged firmly
between his eyes. Evidently, the pistol had been loaded, it must have just been jammed.
heavily for a few moments, I forced myself to get up. The mugger who
had run to the ATM was still out there. Grimacing, I looked at the
knife sticking out my side. Putting the collar of my coat in my mouth
so I wouldn't bite my tongue off, I yanked the knife out with a yowl.
spurted out of my side. Reaching down to the dead mugger, I striped him
of his jacket gingerly and put it under my coat, where it pressed hard
against the wound. It didn't entirely stop the blood flow, but it was
quite a small wound and would soon scab over.
old man, I looked down at him. His legs were bent at an unnatural
angle; those sick bastards had broken them. His eyes seemed to be shut,
and I was worried for a moment. I let out a difficult breath when I saw
his chest rise, then fall. He was just unconscious.
I then heard
a sound. Sirens. And they were drawing closer. Less than ten seconds
later, I was surrounded by police, all aiming guns at me and screaming
at me for some reason. I realised that I was still holding the pistol,
and dropped it. Instantly, a guy pounced on my from behind, knocking
the wind out of my lungs.
Apparently, the old man had been speaking the truth when he said he had phoned the police. If only they'd arrived sooner.
making a mistake. I'm not--" I began to protest as I was thrown face
first onto a car bonnet. As if I hadn't been smashed around enough
"I'm arresting you on suspicion of attempted robbery,
assault and actual murder. You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of
law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an
attorney, one will be appointed to you. If you are not a Charon VI
citizen, you may contact your colony's consulate prior to any
questioning. If said colony has been destroyed, you will merely be
tried as a UNSC citizen. Do you understand these rights as they have
been read to you?"
They thought I was the mugger! Idiots! I
tried not to despair -- everything would soon be sorted out. For now, I
decided to be cooperative.
"Yes. But listen--"
the police officer who had read recited to me my Miranda rights stated,
and before I knew it, I was thrust in the back of a police car. This
was all wrong.
Before I could try to appeal to the officer's
sitting at the front of the car, a hatch was shut and I was cut off
from them. The small space in the back was pitch black.
Why did these things always happen to me?
"This one has forgotten whether it's heatsink is over capacity. It wonders whether the criminal scum considers itself fortunate" ~ Blasto, the only Hanar Spectre.