Some Halo snippet that's been kicking around on my Google Drive. It was meant to be a bigger fic, but that's just not happening.“Should have figured you would be here.” Palmer’s voice carried across the open room.
John stood in the front of the holographic console, not turning to face the commander. “I’m just following orders, ma’am.”
Palmer stood at the doorway, not walking any further in the room. Whether she didn’t want to know what John was doing in case it was classified or if she didn’t want to bother wasting her time looking at “egghead stuff”, he didn’t know.
“How is it being Osman’s personal lackey?”
A flip remark was on the tip of John’s tongue. Again, the human beneath the armor was threatening to break through. He forced himself to count to three before responding. “If those are my orders, then I will follow them.”
John was in constant contact with ONI, constantly receiving new and updated objective based on the intel that the Infinity or any other UNSC ship managed to find. John moved with the efficiency of a Spartan from one objective to another, but everything he did seemed automatic.
Like a machine.
“I don’t suppose you could use a hand here.”
“I’ll be fine.”
She muttered something that sounded like, “Yeah, right.” but John ignored it and focused on his task at hand. According to the intel that he had received from Osman, this particular installation had information that would allow them to gain partial access into the Domain.
To his surprise, Palmer didn’t walk away to look for the other fireteams. He wondered if Lasky had anything to do with her uncharacteristic behavior. As the year anniversary of his return to earth -- and Cortana’s death-- approached, the captain had seemed more concerned about him.
In the long hours of the night, when his subconscious was seeking a voice that had been silenced, he wondered if Lasky was right to worry.
But, now, in the midst of a mission, he allowed himself no such thinking. Cortana had done what any soldier would have been proud to do: give her life to save others.
He accessed the data as quickly as he could; he knew the Prometheans were aware of their presence on the Installation. His armor had been upgraded with data infiltration software but he had been adamant in his refusal to have another AI work in tandem with his MJOLNIR armor.
He had made a promise to Cortana on the Ivanoff Station and he intended to keep it.
Several windows appeared on his HUD. He found the root file that Osman had told him to look for and allowed the program to work.
Palmer shifted her weight from one foot to another. Even with her helmet on, John knew she was growing impatient.
“You don’t have to be here, Commander.”
“You have no idea how concerned Tom is, do you?” Frustration seeped into her voice. “You think that you have to do everything alone--”
Her sentence was cut off when John’s radar detected several hostiles on his radar. It would take another two minutes for the decryption process to be complete. He reached around and grabbed the assault rifle from his behind him. Palmer already had her weapon, pointed in the direction of the incoming enemies.
He could almost see her rolling her eyes at him. “We can’t take you anywhere, can we?”