Saturday, August 14, 2010


"Chief? Are you okay? Can you hear me? Can you move?"

Cortana's voice rouses me and I open my eyes, briefly wondering how often I forget to move. I quickly grasp hold of my situation.

"Shut up now, Cortana. We seem to have a situation here." I say, still looking around.

I am standing in the crashed life-boat, amid a pile of the lifeless corpses everyone left behind when they died. Cortana is quick to inform me that "All the rest of the crew appears to be dead."

"Yes, Cortana, I know that. I used my eyes to observe the pile of bodies wearing Space Marine outfits and came to that conclusion myself. Thank you though." I move out of the craft and a thought strikes me: I was the ships sole survivor. I, who did not take a seat or buckle up, survived, while the Marines who actually followed correct procedures for the "safety" craft, did not? When I turn around and more closely examine the lifeboat, I realize it is the exact thing that whoever invented the word "deathtrap" was describing.

It's made out of two layers of tinfoil

I assume that my fellow crew recognized me as a superior being and shielded my hard, metal exoskeleton with their soft, fleshy ones. I shed a few tears as I loot their bodies for ammo and health.

Soon, a large vessel appears on the horizon, and Cortana tells me that "Immediate evasion is recommended."

"We-e-ell! If the all-knowing Cortana recommends it, I ought to do it. Thank you, O Knowledgeable One." She seems to completely disregard my comment. Anyway, "immediate evasion" is set in motion, and I watch safely from a distance as loads of Covenant offload from the transport ship. I blow them all away with one of the mechanical afterbirths that are called "weapons" in this terrifying future and continue frolicking through a lush valley landscape.

Hardened killer, Experienced frolicker

Eventually, I stumble upon another lifeboat, and, again, the whole crew has perished. I would understand if these crafts were just steel canisters hurled from ship to ground by some sort of catapult system. But there were pilots to maneuver these things. Someone was specially trained to fly it to safety, and not even that could save it.

Slightly put out by that discovery, I stood solemnly where I was for thirteen hours, mourning the loss of such good men and women.

I awoke in my beautiful, comfortable, fantastic chair I bought from Ikea (by the way, Ikea, if you need advertising, I could use a sponsor...) to find that I had fallen asleep with my Xbox on. I jump right back into the game by turning my controller back on and suppressing the urges to eat, pee, drink, and cry simultaneously.

I continue on my way over this strange and distant planet, and find something Cortana can only identify ominously as a "facilities." I begin to move toward it, and fire madly at the blur of motion sprinting from it toward me.


"Oh... Goodness me, you're right... I'm sorry, bro. My bad." I say to the Marine who, seconds earlier, looked exactly like a Covenant guard.


"Look, man, what's done is done. Lets just let bygones be bygones, ok? Forgive and forget, right?"

He looks at me, with a most unpleasant expression on his face, which I suspect is due to the pain of having eight bullets in his gut. "Fine. But I'm gonna die...-" He beckons me in closer, and he whispers something hotly in my ear, ", if you get out of this, will you find my family, back on Earth, and give them this?" He hands me an envelope.



"Nuh-uh. I'm not gonna do that."

"Please? You did kill me..."

"Fine. Why are you such a whiner, though?"

He doesn't answer, and, on closer inspection, he has fallen asleep. What a jerk, huh? I continue toward the "facilities" and found a small group of survivors from one of the lifeboats. A new objective appeared on my display. It read "Protect Marine Survivors." Not "Help Marine Survivors" or even "Save Marine Survivors." Nope, these Marines need protecting.

So I did just that; defended a group of marines atop the roof of the mysterious "facilities" from Covenant while they shouted things like "Yeah" and "Now we're talking." Soon enough, a Marine transport touched down and dropped some sort of Humvee called a Warthog before it landed to take us to safety. The driver talked to me over the radio, "Thanks Chief."

I'm all, "Oh, no prob. Let's just get out of he-" when Cortana interrupts me.

"No trouble. Me and the Chief will stay here and locate the rest of the survivors." She says to the pilot.

"No, Cortana. Just no. You do not make decisions for me like that. I am the one who gets hurt, you are a chip in my head and your existence doesn't depend on me surviving. I am at risk; you are not."

"Get in the Warthog," she commands. I do so in an angry manner, and the passenger and gunner seat are immediately filled with those Marines that needed so much "protecting" ten minutes ago.

We drove on, searching diligently for more survivors, and, shockingly, met some. A few were standing outside a smallish building on the edge of a very tall and very kill-y looking cliff. I get out to go make friends, and I off-handedly remember the sleepy Marine from earlier. What did he want me to do? Oh, well. It must not have been that important..

These Marines are mostly Space Cadets, the lowly cannon fodder of the Space Marine operation. I help them out of their current situation by shooting the two grunts twenty feet away and they coo their thanks to me. I grow tired of them and bash my magnum on three of their skulls. The others stop talking, apparently able to take a subtle hint such as that.

The remainder of the level is spent driving around and searching for more survivors that we can defend until a transport ship arrives. Eventually, my crew and, more importantly, myself is allowed to take off in one of the transport ships, and the level fades out.

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