Gob
Again, Keep It Clean... 
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Folder of Fortune
So is this just for Halo or can it be fan-fics from other series/creative writing for original stories?
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Keep it clean

You ask the impossible.
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Gob
So is this just for Halo or can it be fan-fics from other series/creative writing for original stories?

You ask the impossible.


Implied to be mostly Halo but we're not gonna arrest people for posting original works. 
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Quirel
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The Qwis-109* Parhelia is a mid-tonnage civilian freighter, formerly the property of Umtalla merchant clan.

She came into being when Quantol Mercantile Concerns contracted the Aanrar shipyards to construct seventeen Timely Sirocco-class freighters. The Quantol clan was audited not long after by the secular government of their homeworld, and the resulting fines nearly bankrupted the clan. The Aanrar shipbuilders halted construction on the Quantol order, and when it was clear that further payments would not be received from Q-M-C, all but one of the airframes was scrapped. The last one, nearly completed, languished in a corner of the shipyard for six years (Sanghelios calendar) before it caught the eye of a scion of the Umtalla clan.

An apt epithet for the Umtalla clan would be "merchant princes", and Rael 'Umtalla was no exception. He was, in fact, an exemplar. He had a heart full of wanderlust and a love for fine living unmatched by most of his kin. He loved sports more than he loved profits; a hunter, a racer, and a diver. It was only his talent for bringing home more profit than he'd spent that saved him from the clan elders' censure. And in the abandoned airframe, Rael saw the potential for something unconventional.

Due to their open-frame design, Timely Sirocco-class freighters weigh only an eighth of the lightship tonnage typical for a vessel of their length and beam. Yet they can mount engines larger than would be typical of their tonnage. This marriage of light weight and powerful engines makes the Timely Sirocco class a popular choice for blockade runners, and Rael resolved to build a runner par excellence.

At his direction, the Aanrar shipbuilders trimmed the airframe, lengthened it, and then laid it into a very robust keel. He acquired the best engines and the finest reactor that money could buy in the twentieth Age of Discovery. Better than that even; it's not known for sure how Rael 'Umtalla got his hands on engines meant for a Ministry courrier ship, but his paperwork was evidently in order and the artisans of Aanrar dutifully installed them. The Parhelia was to be a very fast vessel indeed.

When it came to armament and defense, Rael was faced with hard decisions. It is utterly unthinkable for a Sangheili noble to travel unarmed, but Rael loathe to install the four batteries of fleet but heavy plasma cannons typical of the Timely Sirocco vessels owned by the Umtalla clan. Instead, he opted for a pair of plasma cannons designed for bomber craft. These are well-suited for fending off strike craft and blasting apart incoming asteroids, passable for a mid-sized freighter in a well-policed region of the Covenant empire, but laughably inadequate for the personal vessel of an Umtalla scion. Rael's heirs would later mount the weapons on a retractable armature, reasoning that the Parhelia would be better off apparently disarmed instead of conspicuously underarmed.

Rael was less sanguine about the shield systems. He knew that any compromise in weight would be a compromise in the shield's strength or the structural integrity of the mounts. He also planned to race the Parhelia in the Grand Cup of the Rhything Fjords, a low-atmosphere airship race on Skagit known for its foul weather and precarious rock formations. Any sacrifice of shield strength was out of the question. And what good is a strong shield if the hullplate beneath it will buckle from the first impact?

The final piece was taken from Rael's past. It was a slipspace engine taken from the heart of The Pugilist, a pirate ship that had plagued the Umtalla's freighters. The pirates' fortunes came to an end the day they attacked Rael's convoy, though it took all of Rael's considerable skill to run the pirates to ground in his convoy escort. To his dying days, he would tell anyone who listened of the harrowing chase through the rocky plains of a lifeless world, and the spectacular crash when the pirates, in desperation, swung their ship around to bring their weapons to bear on their pursuer and plowed into a cliff. There was only one survivor: the second mate who crawled from the wreckage and challenged Rael to a duel. It was a good chase, he remembered, and a good fight.

The consternation of the Umtalla elders cannot be overstated when he returned from Sanghelios with a racing yacht instead of a proper freighter, but Rael had paid for the construction with his own account, and with the Parhelia's considerable cargo space, his expeditions could conceivably be written off as business trips. Rael 'Umtalla was soon winning one race after another in the Parhelia, which is no small feat considering that it was often the largest contender. To this day, the rust-red Timely Sirocco is legendary in the racing circles of the Kantuon Edict Primary Domain, and to this day a number of racers attempt to recreate the Parhelia's success. Such freighters-turned-racers are colloquially known as "Secondhand-Sundogs".

Rael 'Umtalla's long life utterly defies any expectations one might draw from his lifestyle or his love of near-death experiences, but with him died the Parhelia's winning streak. The freighter is a beast to handle at high speeds, and the engine booms tend to wobble during tight turns. Rael spent years of effort to master the Parhelia, and he eventually learned how to squeeze even more agility out of the flexing airframe. But he was alone in this endeavor, and to this day he is the only one to race the Parhelia in atmosphere. His heirs were content to drive it in deep space races, but eventually they moved on to other ships. The Parhelia spent much of its time in storage aboard High Charity, waiting for a scion to unlock its potential or for a buyer to meet the Umtalla clan's high demands.

But the legend lives on. The Parhelia should have been lost with High Charity at the outbreak of the Great Schism, when the Parasite took the mendicant city and corrupted it to the core. But several years later, the old racer limped down the Pleiades Corridor and returned to the territory of the Covenant empire. It was battered and worn, captained by a common-born Kig-Yar shipmaster who commands the most unlikely assortment of the lower castes. How this came to happen, and why the Umtalla clan have not reclaimed their property, is as yet a mystery.
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Tacit Axiom

So, I was in a cartographic mood and started working on another star map. This one was originally going to be just a very simple and rough internal document for my own use to make it easier to figure out where things were in relation to one another, but as it usually happens I started getting a bit more in-depth and realized I might actually turn this into something worth showing.

 

That's not yet, though. Right now, all I have is this draft:

https://orig00.deviantart.net/cc31/f/2018/296/1/6/siakar_expanse_context_map_wip3_by_the_chronothaur-dcq5gpp.png


I decided to do something I don't usually do with my stuff and post this for review and feedback as I work on it. I always end up tweaking my work after the fact, either because I have new ideas or due to mistakes I missed, but this might be a decent way of eliminating some of that from the get-go. At the moment, I guess this mostly appeals to the incredibly narrow demographic that are the people who follow my deeper fanon lore since most it does is contextualize some of my earlier writing.

 

The initial purpose of the map was to make a basic outline of the Covenant Primary Domains (more on those here) in this area of space, but I quickly started tacking on more stuff.

 

Something I realized working on this was that it offered a neat chance to figure out at least the general outline of the Maginot Sphere. It's probably not perfectly spherical, and there's probably a ton of installations in between the boundary lines I've drafted, but it's still interesting to think about. Note that the red lines don't mean there are active installations throughout the entire radius, they just mark the overall perimeter where they can be expected to be found. We know there are at least two or three in the human sphere or at least close by (yet Earth is apparently outside the line), so the furthest perimeter must reach pretty far out from the Orion Complex.

 

Something that's been invaluable as a resource for this are Stephen Loftus' Halo Astronomy slides. Even though I'm not quite as rigorous about real-world astronomy (I take liberties in regards to the placements of Harvest and Eayn in particular), they were particularly useful in nailing down the human sector system and the rough shape of the human sphere (which I hadn't really thought of in too much detail before) and the locations of the various nebulae and star clusters. There were actually a couple of clusters I could fit very neatly into some of the Covenant place names I had come up with earlier.

 

Warfleet's galaxy map puts Shield 0459 somewhere in the Cygnus Arm which, while possible given the Covenant's trips to Installation 05 for instance, isn't really necessary and doesn't serve the narrative, so I just put it a bit closer.

 

I also ran into something of a dilemma regarding the placement of the Orion Nebula, or the Forerunners' Orion Complex, which is quite close to some of my fanon locales like the Siakar Expanse and more or less neatly in the way of the Covenant's expansion front. Then again, I do also imply the Covenant is vast but also spread very thin, and not always perfectly logical in its colonization or exploration efforts (e.g. past conflicts in the Ispik Barrens and neighboring domains could've impoverished those regions so much they basically became unable to mount effective concerted expansion for centuries). I do think the Covenant would probably have an idea they were encroaching on the Forerunners' core, and would have been actively pushing into the region, but there are a lot of stars and only so many ships and crews to spare- and the Covenant ran out of time.

 

Another issue were the Pleiades. For a while now I've called the main slipspace lane to the Siakar Expanse the Pleiades Corridor, with the implication that the route runs through or right past the cluster, but as it turns out that if we draw a more or less straight line between Siakar and the human sphere, the Pleiades are left a bit off that line. Luckily, straight lines don't always matter in slipspace, and the Pleiades don't end up being too far off for them to have plausibly served as the route's namesake, especially given how historically well-known they are. The Hyades cluster would've probably been a better choice for the name, though.

 

I didn't want to ignore the relative proximity of Zhoist to the human sphere in Silent Storm, but I did my best to solve this by having it placed in one of a series of narrow expanses, with the implication that slipspace travel is unusually difficult in the region outside of the designated routes, which would have slowed outward expansion in the region for centuries - allowing Zhoist to become as famed and ancient as it is implied to be. It does somewhat fit with the idea that the Covenant territory is vast, but also spread very thin (especially in comparison to the human sphere), and sometimes worlds are just far apart because they can be.

 

As for why the Pleiades Corridor is seen as a more viable route than the Bhadra Passage or some of the others, there are several explanations. For one, the distance or number of jumps don't necessarily mean much if the passage is otherwise smoother. Second, the post-war political situation in the Umbral Crest is much more unstable, and there is less functioning infrastructure, at least under the control of parties willing to service travelers. The relatively robust network of harbors and fuel stations in the Siakar Expanse and beyond - combined with the region's comparative stability in relation to the coreward domains - all make the Pleiades Corridor a more attractive option for most spacers.

 

As said, this is just a draft and expect a lot of things to change. For one, I'll probably tweak the borders a bit, make the human sphere a bit more detailed and give Covenant names to the various star clusters. The final version will also come with more lore on how things like Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Domains work, how they came to being, and how this related to technological changes in e.g. communication (I have the basic gist written up, but I might still tweak it a bit, possibly fitting the discoveries on Zhoist into it).

halo
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Gob
Great stuff Tacit! 
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Quirel
Wow!

Eayn is in a Mercatorial District- is that like a Special Economic Zone?

Right now, the only question I have is where Pegasi Delta would be on the map. If I had to guess, I would say that it's where the Pleiades Corridor forks out toward UNSC Sector Four and Sector One, and Operation Torpedo prevented the Corridor from being useful for well over a decade.
Come to think of it, what we know from Silent Storm makes Operation Torpedo more viable. The whole concept of a supply route dependant on a single fuel refinery pretty much requires Slipspace lanes to exist.

And the Covenant couldn't just rebuild the refinery. The Covenant could easily scrounge up the capital to build another refinery, but they went to great lengths to protect the previous refinery, and the UNSC destroyed it in Operation Silent Storm 2: Electric Boogaloo. The Pleiades Corridor was probably closed for years until the Covenant could guarantee security.
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Tacit Axiom
Quirel wrote:
Wow!

Eayn is in a Mercatorial District- is that like a Special Economic Zone?


Something like that, yeah. I haven't really thought in detail how the specifics would work, and I was actually wondering if I should include it since I won't be listing every single component realm anyway, but thought it might be neat for flavor's sake and seemed to fit the overall character of the Kig-Yar.

Quirel wrote:
Right now, the only question I have is where Pegasi Delta would be on the map. If I had to guess, I would say that it's where the Pleiades Corridor forks out toward UNSC Sector Four and Sector One, and Operation Torpedo prevented the Corridor from being useful for well over a decade.

And the Covenant couldn't just rebuild the refinery. The Covenant could easily scrounge up the capital to build another refinery, but they went to great lengths to protect the previous refinery, and the UNSC destroyed it in Operation Silent Storm 2: Electric Boogaloo. The Pleiades Corridor was probably closed for years until the Covenant could guarantee security.


It would actually be well within the boundaries of the human sphere (though ostensibly not in a human-colonized system), considering 51 Pegasi is just 50 LY from Earth and I have the furthest borders of the human sphere at somewhere around 100 LY (though really most colonies would be within the 50 LY bubble).

I actually tried finding the exact direction of the star on my usual sources but they came up empty. However, extrapolating from where the Pegasus constellation is in the sky, I'd say 51 Pegasi would probably be somewhere where the "Sector 4" text is on the map, or possibly above it. A bit weird of a placement but not impossible to justify, especially if the refinery was built to sustain campaigns deeper in the human sphere.

Anyway, I assume they could rebuild the refinery, but it would take some time, resources and manpower, and would slow the Covenant down. We don't know how long it took for them to erect the Pegasi Delta one, but since it was destroyed pretty late into the war it could've been some time.

Quirel wrote:
Come to think of it, what we know from Silent Storm makes Operation Torpedo more viable. The whole concept of a supply route dependant on a single fuel refinery pretty much requires Slipspace lanes to exist.


Yeah. My whole idea with the Pleiades Corridor (at least at the moment) is that it was charted somewhere mid-war to complement the sliplanes running into Sector 2 - both to easier carry out campaigns on the other side of the human sphere, and because the Siakar Expanse already had high-volume slipspace superhighways running into it from the inner Covenant empire. And with the destruction of Zhoist's shipyards, the existing support infrastructure in those regions started to wear thin for an extended campaign; I kind of think of Zhoist as almost an island - not isolated, but kind of in the middle of nowhere by Covenant standards. I put Glyke in the same neighborhood for similar reasons; I felt there had to be some kind of rationale why the Sangheili would seek refuge in the former human sphere rather than anywhere else. In this case proximity is one thing, but also the Umbral Crest's remoteness and possible instability post-war.

In regards to the Covenant being reliant on supply routes, there are a few instances in the canon that inevitably force you to come up with some creative justifications for supply lines mattering, like when Regret's carrier or High Charity jump tens of thousands of LYs to Installation 05. I think the best explanation is that there is not just considerable variance in Covenant slipspace drives (with the instances we see being the best-in-class given that they're Prophets' personal ships or the Holy City), but also their navigators as well as the slipspace charts available to them. Using Forerunner charts or otherwise efficient routes can allow you to access more efficient layers of slipspace, but without a skilled enough navigator, or fine-tuned enough drive technology, you risk going too "deep" to be able to surface back into normal space, and may be lost forever in higher-dimensional feedback loops.

In fact, because of the Covenant's AI ban, and the blend of religion and science, it might be interesting to delve a bit deeper into this idea of navigators. Maybe even go as far as to rip off Dune and have them be special guilds of people who get dosed up on space meth to enter a trance-like reverie or "slow time" to constantly perform calculations and adjustments on the drive to optimize its performance and keep it on course, especially on long or off-charts journeys.
halo
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Quirel
Tacit Axiom wrote:
In fact, because of the Covenant's AI ban, and the blend of religion and science, it might be interesting to delve a bit deeper into this idea of navigators. Maybe even go as far as to rip off Dune and have them be special guilds of people who get dosed up on space meth to enter a trance-like reverie or "slow time" to constantly perform calculations and adjustments on the drive to optimize its performance and keep it on course, especially on long or off-charts journeys.

Well, in Not All Who Wander, the navigator for the Libation was an ordinary member of the crew. He was sponsored by a merchant union and trained by the Y'Deio Port Authority, but there wasn't much special about him. He was just obligated to work for the merchant union for a decade after his apprenticeship was over, after which he was free to hire on with another organization. 

His education, however, was mostly focused on the established routes of the Long March and the immediate vicinity of Y'Deio. What little he knew about trailblazing was picked up from other spacers and honed by experience. If the ship misjumped and landed where it wasn't supposed to be, he could find the way back. As for entirely new routes to uncharted locations, he didn't have a hope and didn't care about exploration anyway.

For the journey to High Charity, the Libation needed a special navigator, who worked for a specific Ministry. This navigator was empowered to inspect the ship within and without and to interrogate the crew to weed out dissidents and malcontents. Only after his suspicions were satisfied would he lead the ship to High Charity. Fortunately, his inspection was brief and perfunctory.

The Libation could have jumped directly to High Charity, as the station's location is usually an open secret outside of times of crisis, but jumping into High Charity's inner perimeter will see you either standing in a brig or standing in the rapidly expanding cloud of metal that used to be your ship.

Later in the story, there's going to be a monastic order of sessile lekgolo computer-forms whose entire job is to contemplate the pathways through a particularly convoluted region of slipspace and guide travelers from one star to the next. They do good work, but occasionally you get one with a bright idea, and it won't tell you that it's trying something new until you've reached your destination, if you do.

There are rumors that the order knows more than it lets on, and that they have navigated to the heart of the Shoal, and conspired with the local Archkaidon to conceal the Forerunner reliquary within from the Covenant empire. There is no proof, only rumors, and since the computer-forms will unmake themselves rather than submit to torture, nobody will ever know for sure.
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Gob
If you feel that project could use its own thread, feel free to make one for it! 
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Distant Tide

Welp. I'm new to the Archive and decided to give it a shot since the Discord is going down...whenever it's going down.

I'll probably hang around here mostly.

With Fanfiction.Net under another problem of viruses and hackers, I've been turning my focus of Halo Fanfiction to Halo Fanon. At this time, I'm knee deep in life's messes but I can offer up my current Halo Fanfiction Project that updates as it grows in my free time. I'm not sure how interested people will be in reading this story, especially with my slow updating schedule and my style of writing.

The story I speak of is my own, "Halo: Corporeal Delta."

A mix of an anthology, slice-of-life, and political thriller style writing, it follows the events of SPARTAN-III Delta Company in the post-Onyx Milky Way galaxy and explores how this unit of child soldiers could still exist even after the SPARTAN-III Program was dissolved by ONI.

I welcome criticism and questions if anyone wants to give their thoughts on the work. And thank you to the Archive for having me.

"Undesirables"
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Distant Tide

Another story, but this one is an anthology. It's been posted on Fanfiction.Net but I went ahead and reproduced it here. I would appreciate any criticism and opinions I can get from others, they help me improve my work as I've said before. There is a certain degree of "telling" rather than "showing" as the short references a character and her past without actually expositing on it because the narrative is part of a bigger project I've been working on. Roxanne-D107, the Spartan who is present in this short is also seen in my other novel, Halo: Corporeal Delta, from my previous post. I hope you guys enjoy.

Some context for this short is that it takes place at the same time as the prologue to the animated adaption of Halo: The Fall of Reach where Blue Team went to Reach at an undisclosed point between 2557 and 2558. The story focuses on the Spartan team from the view of an onlooker arriving on a Reach orbital habitat not unlike the arrival of Fireteam Osiris at Meridian Station in Halo 5, though, on much warmer circumstances.

"Face in the Crowd"

...

It'd been five years since Roxanne had bothered calling that dusty rock below "Home." Back then, it had been lush, green and covered in water. Vibrant but rugged, Reach was where she was born. However, that was a different life entirely. The last time Reach had been her home, aliens set her village ablaze, her parents' bodies lay gunned down on the patio, and alien Jackals were scouring her house for her older brothers. Roxanne hid in the storm cellar hoping they would not smell her.

She waited, two days, for a sign that it was safe to come out. It never arrived; there was gunfire and then silence for hours on end. Sometime later, an Army squad came through her house. They burst down the cellar door and found Roxanne, hungry, freezing, and very scared.

One moment a combat medic was hugging Roxanne as she wrapped her in a warm blanket, then seemingly the next, Roxanne was heading to SPARTAN-III training along with several hundred other children. Now, here she was back again; not on Reach, but floating, living aboard an off-world habitat installed where one of Reach's space elevators once proudly stood. She glanced out the window behind her looking at "home." She caught a glimpse of a lighting bolt dancing through turbulent storm clouds just as a massive hangar door zipped open and the crowd behind Roxanne snapped into wild cheering as the "Saviors of Humanity" marched through those doors into the living habitat's main lobby. Roxanne's eyes snapped back to the crowd all the same and clapped ferociously like she was concentrated on them the entire time.

Spartans.

In their blue, green, and grey MJOLNIR power armor, they stood over the crowd like superheroes, born from a different crop. Easily seven feet tall or more. Roxanne knew every single one of them, not personally, but by reputation. In addition, more than just the propaganda fed to the tired working souls that called Reach and this orbiting habitat home, but on a career level. Roxanne was just like those superheroes in their titanium exoskeletons and decked out in dozens of weapons and top-of-the-line tech gadgets. These were no ordinary Spartans though; this was the Blue Team. The Master Chief and his childhood companions, legends on the battlefield, Saviors of Humanity, Demons to the Covenant.

Roxanne could distinguish the individual SPARTAN-II operators by his or her armor, their weapons, their quirks, and gimmicks. She went through Spartan training just like them; she studied them specifically as part of her induction to become just like them.

John-117, the Master Chief, marched briskly forward at the head of his four-Spartan fireteam. His armor was iconic, the legendary, original drab-green Mark VI, recognizable anywhere. He didn't pay a single glance to the crowd around them, marching forward without pause.

Kelly-087, John's best friend in training. She was the fastest Spartan alive and her golden fishbowl helmet was a staple of her equipment. A rabbit emblem appeared faint on her breastplate in a place only Roxanne's sharp Spartan eyes could pick out. She seemed to brisk close to the crowd but showed no sign of recognizing them.

Linda-058, the team's sharpshooter. The lens array on her helmet was purpose-built specifically for her, allowing her to see into any visual spectrum with unparalleled battlespace awareness. Roxanne remembered the Office of Naval Intelligence called the helmet ARGUS or something along those lines.

In addition, there was Fredric-104, the highest-ranking member on the team as a Lieutenant in the Navy. He had a reputation among Spartans as a nasty close quarters fighter with a deadly pension for blades. He was also the most charitable of the group, and outgoing. He waved at the crowd in a seemingly friendly motion even if you could see nothing past his golden helmet visor.

Roxanne knew more about these SPARTAN-IIs than anyone in the crowd around her did, well, with maybe exception to the ONI officers that flanked the legendary Spartan team on either side, keeping the crowd between themselves and the super soldiers. Roxanne knew how the Office of Naval Intelligence and abducted the SPARTAN-IIs at the age of six and conscripted them into a dangerous government project called the SPARTAN-II Program. Many of their friends died in the augmentation process, a process Roxanne also experienced as a SPARTAN-III, though without the dead comrades. No one but Roxanne was privy to that secret because no one in this crowd but Roxanne was a Spartan.

Or rather, she used to be a Spartan. According to the Office of Naval Intelligence anyway. According to her former friends too. Probably.

She decided to leave that life behind when her team leader presented a rogue Smart AI and a cryptic warning that Earth was to become the center of a great tragedy that would shake the galaxy to its core. Now, Roxanne was a skeptic but the original owner of the AI and the signs put forward by the AI painted a dark and terrible picture. Unseen forces were maneuvering in the background of Human space and politics. Therefore, Roxanne ran "home." To the one place, she could feel comfortable while hiding out in preparation for what was likely to be the end times. She was scared, she would admit it. At least to herself. She ran because she was scared.

However, this wasn't her home only. Roxanne stared down the Master Chief in particular. Those SPARTAN-IIs, they were never born on Reach, but they grew up there, trained there for most of their childhoods. There wasn't much of a difference when it came down to it. She felt a strange sense of comradery with them, these solemn fighting machines grafted onto the fragile template of toddlers. She'd been through that too, she knew what it was like. However, she also wasn't like them at all. She gave it all up.

The Master Chief's helmet twitched and turned toward the crowd, giving them a glance over. The crowd's cheers and shouts grew more frantic and joyous as they assumed their savior was giving them recognition like rabid fans to a Waypoint celebrity. Roxanne doubted it but she wondered what was passing through the man's head as he skimmed the crowd's with his ghostly-golden visor. She froze when her eyes met that golden visor and it felt like time seemed to slow to a standstill.

She couldn't see his eyes but she imagined seeing her own reflection in that menacing golden glare. Her own fearful-wide eyes staring back at her from across the hangar.

Roxanne's first instinct was to run. The second instinct was to charge the Master Chief and to fight him and his team. The third instinct was to shrink down and hide. She was a fugitive, a rogue Spartan. Classification: STOLEN GAUNTLET. If they knew Roxanne was a Spartan, they would certainly gun her down on the spot, or, they'd seize and detain her. She thought back to her armor and weapons buried on Reach's inhospitable surface beneath a bombed-out building. She had no means to fight off such a possibility. She also had no means of escape in this crowded atrium.

All Roxanne could do was stare unblinkingly into the Master Chief's golden visor, hoping he would not recognize her wide-blue eyes. Her golden-blond hair. Her five-foot-nine stature. All the identifiable features present in her Career Service Vitae file, her CSV. The same one every military personnel was provided. Her mind raced back to thoughts of shrinking herself into nothing, how he'd recognize her face instantly, how she already looked suspicious, and how her strong like-an-ox build would give her away with how badly it mixed with the youthful face she was graced with as a Spartan who never knew the horrors of the Human-Covenant War firsthand.

Roxanne gave off a quiet, involuntary whimper in fear as the legendary Master Chief made eye contact with her and then turned away, all the same, not paying any mind to the rogue Spartan staring back at him in the crowd. Maybe he saw something else, maybe the glassed surface of Reach behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief but also one of nostalgia and sadness.

Roxanne gave up that life. In many ways, she still missed it. Being a legendary supersoldier and a hero to Humanity even though her name was not to be in the history books like that of Blue Team. She missed her team and all their good times and bad times. She missed that sense of comradery that the Spartans had. What she saw in Blue Team now, total, cool confidence and trust in one another as they marched along in silence. They were a family, and Roxanne had thrown hers away. Roxanne missed her family, not her biological one.

Her Spartan family from SPARTAN-III Delta Company, the one she fought tooth and nail through training with and the one that dragged themselves through the slums of Rio de Janeiro to stop a Sangheili extremist from detonating a portable nuke, the family that wandered through the junkyards of New Phoenix examining what remained of a city wiped clean by a Forerunner superweapon.

She was now just a bystander, another face in the crowd. No one special, no one with a destiny or purpose any longer. She was like smoke in the wind. Unseen, unnoticed, without presence. She was no Master Chief, and certainly not a Spartan to them. It was best she just remained that bystander then. Another face in the crowd.

"Undesirables"
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