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In Search of Paradise (Inactive)

Game Master Tirq

Based on Halo: Combat Evolved

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Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar goes to see what Ram'Dain is up to in the lab. "Hey Ram'Dain what have you there?" Mar asks in referance to the object Ram has been working on.

Male Sang'heili Elite Forerunner Scientist (Wizard)/2

After a moment of silence, Ram'Dain finally notices Mar's presence. He looks up from his microscope and tools. "Oh, sorry, I tend to get caught up in my work."

Ram'Dain points to a small blueprint of what looks like a land mine, but has about four times the amount of tech in it. "I'm making a device that can work like a Forerunner artifact I ran across in my studies. See, it was able to, for lack of a better term, recycle the same piece of fuel in an energy weapon. I believe I've worked out how to make it work with any piece of weaponry, and make it portable."

He leans back down to his microscope. "If you'll excuse me, I still have to finish adding the final touches," and he proceeds to work as though Mar was never there. A few sparks fly from under the microscope as he works.

Whoo! Second page! Also, I'm assuming this takes place as Ram'Dain is making the device and not after.

Alright, if everybody is ready..

At 0900, you all meet in the command room. The room looks a little cleaner than before, but the place is still covered with papers on all the computers. Colonel Hanson says "I'm glad all of you are here. Ram'Dain and Batista, you are going to stay here and do intellegence operations here. I want the two of you to meet me in the armory at 1300. Dismissed."

The Rest of You:
"Lets head down to the hanger." Because of the conversion of the Elites and the Humans, Teleporters are in most main sections of the ship. As soon as you head into the hanger, you see a piece of junk of a ship.

"This is the USS Gorgon. A simple Supply ship that is regestered as holding enough food for a year. A tempting loot for a bunch of pirates, right? Well, it doesn't actually have a whole lot of food in it. Just 4 expertly trained Soldiers who have a proglem with stow-aways. You're flying close to Paradise, because no one else should be going near it. There is an online mechanical pilot, so you won't have to do anything except wait for the enemy. Good luck. I'll give you an extra hour in case you forgot to bring something, but leave ASAP."

For Batista and Ram'Dain, roll any and all skills to count as intellegence operations, and give me a good reason for it. I'll let you know if you succeed any of the checks. You will be given an amount of experiance for each you make, while the rest of the party fight off a few pirates. By the way, your starting EXP is 2000, and we are in the medium advancement.

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar looks at the General, " You mean to tell me if we get into any kind of trouble the mechanical pilot is our only means of flying that boat of rust? Sir, No disrespect but I you're a fool for not having the ship manned with a pilot."

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

Charlotte looks to Colonel Hanson letting off a strong "Yes Sir" as she puts her helmet on ready for whatever happens on the little rust bucket of a ship. She does not think it looks good but who is she to undermine a commanding officer unlike Mar'Gonee.

"This ship is piloted by a computer. The ship you came here on? It was piloted by a computer. The only reason we would resort to using a live person is if there are people in danger. This is a recon information mission. Supply ships are also manned by computers or low tech AI purely because human resources would be wasted doing such a lowly task. If pirates do attack your ship, then they'll look to see if people are on it. Do not question my authority. You are replace-able."

After Charlotte says "Yes Sir," the Colonel says "I'm not done yet. Mid-way through you'll stop and trigger your emergency signal. We'll be watching through the surveillance cameras, so you should be ok."

Male Sang'heili Elite Forerunner Scientist (Wizard)/2

Before the field team leaves, Ram'Dain takes Brian off to the side.

"I thought you might need a little extra support against those pirates, so I managed to throw something together for you." He takes out his PDA and opens the small storage slot on the side, taking out the AA Device, handing it to Brian. It's about the size and weight of a quarter, and it glows with a dull green light around the center button.

"Simply place this on the magazine of the weapon you wish to use it on, and press the button in the center. It will make you reuse the shot or shots you've already fired within the last 6 seconds, refilling your magazine. However, I was only able to make it work for 2 minutes, so be careful. Once it's used up, it will fall off the magazine and vaporize itself so there's no trace of it."

He pats the Spartan on the shoulder, "Good luck," then heads for the armory as per the Colonel's orders.

Lieutenant - HP 14 | AC 19 | T 13 | FF 16 | CMD 18 | F +6 | R +2 | W +0 | Init +5 | Per +5

Elwood listens quietly to the instructions, standing at rigid attention. When the Colonel is finished he snaps off a parade ground salute and heads off to the Gorgon. Once inside he turns to Brian, "Where do you want me sir?" he asks.

Male Human (Earth, Canadian) Sniper (Gunslinger) 2

Sir! Brendan snapped off a salute then headed into the Gorgon, sitting along the wall silently. Looking down at his weapon, he started to breathe in and out in a controlled fashion, as he started to become more aware of his surroundings.

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar growls and walks towards the thing the General claims to be a ship. Under his breath he mumbles about not making it back and being stuck in space due to lack of proper equipment.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

"Sir," Brian begins, but Mar'Gonee interrupts. Despite the insolent tone the Sang'heili uses, he can't help but agree by a little bit. Still, the MCPO holds his silence until the Colonel has finished. He's about to speak up when Ram'Dain, the other Elite, pulls him aside.

Brian looks at the small device in fascination. "How...?" He looks up at Ram'Dain. "This looks like Forerunner tech! How did you manage it?" Then Brian shakes his head. "Know what, never mind. It's incredible, and I'll leave it at that. Thank you, Ram."

The SPARTAN heads back to the Colonel before boarding the Gorgon. "Sir," he says, removing his helmet, "I can't help but worry about this situation. Taking a clunker ship into unexplored territory on auto-pilot? I get that this is just a sting op, so it shouldn't be too dangerous, but even so. Does the mech pilot at least have an override option? I'd like to know we have some way to save ourselves."

After the Colonel gives his reply, Brian salutes, replaces his helmet, and is about to board the ship when he suddenly spins and jogs off, running to the armory to grab some extra weapons before departing.

Purchasing handaxe and combat knife (dagger) for 8 credits, no haggling.

Upon returning, the SPARTAN boards the ship. Turning to Elwood, he says, "We'll have to see once we get further out. I'm gonna want you right up near the action."

male Human Cav lev 2

Batista stood there in just a pair of sweat pants, no armor, no weapons and a serious case of bedhead as he isnt the "morning" in space person but is always awake and high functioning enough to help. He didnt look particularly strong, but looked as if he had more of a swimmers build. He takes a look at the "Forerunner tech" and gives a pfft before speeking again. Thats just something he whipped together last night...your missing a few pieces for it to be forerunner crap. As soon as Batista hears that the part about the auto-pilot. do realize...that that auto pilot has caused the death of more of our flyboys..ME INCLUDED IN A FEW CONDITIONS! then when I had full control of the bird meself!? He places his hands on his father figures sholders and shakes him ever so slightly as he speeks, starting right after saying Gaffer, both out of the tired frustration of waking up in the morning and the sheer fact he hated the stupid auto-pilot.

"Batista, you'll be given a Pelican for retrieval when the mission is done. I want both you and Ram'Dain on board to ensure that nothing bad happens. Both teams will have closed coms, but it would be advised that, due to it being a sting operation, speaking should be in an emergency only."

"Needless to say, if something bad were to happen, destroy the blackbox so that military secrets remain secret." the Colonel says to Brian before he heads into the ship.

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

She enters the Gorgon when he is finished with a small sigh before muttering silently to herself, "Nothing like a ship on auto pilot to crash land us onto an unknown planet" once she is inside.

Male Sang'heili Elite Forerunner Scientist (Wizard)/2

After hearing the rest of the group argue about how the AI is going to kill them on the ship, he makes one note for everyone.

"Don't worry about the shipboard AI. As long as the piloting subroutines are updated--which the Colonel assured me when I asked him earlier--you'll be fine. Good luck boys!"

And with that, he's off to the armory.

I asked GM Tirq in private. Yes, the shipboard AI is more than capable of getting you guys there and back.

Think of it like this: It has a +20 Ride while in space, and a +10 in atmosphere. In case you were wondering, the Pelican's is the exact opposite where it has a +20 autopilot in atmosphere and a +10 in space.

Male Human (Earth, Canadian) Sniper (Gunslinger) 2

"Ooh-rah" Brendan said in response to Ram'Dain as the Sang'heili left the ship.

"Well, at least we won't be smashing into the ground with this rust-bucket because of an auto-pilot failure. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid, just I'd rather die during a drop rather than a damned crash-landing."

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

Brian still isn't thrilled about the idea of relying on autopilot, but he resigns himself to the fact and tries to get a comfortable position on the Gorgon. He sharpens the knife and handaxe he's procured, considers reading the magazine from the armory, but decides to hold onto that until the team is closer to the destination-- that'll be the really boring time. He checks and double-checks his weapons, field-stripping each gun to check the individual parts, then putting them back together. Finally, he activates the energy swords, their glow lighting up the inside of the ship, then puts them away.

"Set," he says to the Colonel. "I'm ready to go when you are."

Then he turns to Elwood. "Care to spar while we wait?" the SPARTAN asks, grinning.

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

Charlotte finds herself a place to sit as she looks over her pistols making sure her ammo is in good supply.

Lieutenant - HP 14 | AC 19 | T 13 | FF 16 | CMD 18 | F +6 | R +2 | W +0 | Init +5 | Per +5

"No offense Sir, but I'd rather save my energy. We can spar after the mission is complete." Elwood sits quietly with his eyes closed, waiting for the action to begin.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

"Right, right, makes sense. No offense taken." Brian sits still for a moment, then stands and begins pacing. After a while he tries to relax against a wall, but it doesn't last long, and you hear him exclaim, "God, I hate waiting..." under his breath.

male Human Cav lev 2

He begins walking over to the intelegence room intelegent my ass.... Once there he accesses a communications terminal and connects to the communications systems within the away teams helmets so he could hear what was going on around them* This is KK4JCJ Testing communications systems. HELLO!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

"I hear you KK4JCJ loud and clear" Mar responds.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

"OW!" Brian yelps at the crackle and noise in his helmet. "Jesus, Major, not so loud!" The SPARTAN shakes his head, trying to relax and calm down once again. "I read you, KK4JCJ."

With that, Brian begins pacing once again, finally going over to where Brendan's standing. "How about you, Corporal? You ready for this mission? After all, excluding the Elites, you're the lowest ranking member here, if memory serves. You must have something special to make it so high, so fast." The SPARTAN says this all offhandedly and without menace; in fact, he himself seems nervous and in need of reassurance.

Male Human (Earth, Canadian) Sniper (Gunslinger) 2

"Sir, I'm ready. As for how I got here? Well, the brass doesn't like me much. I keep getting told that if I turn the snark down I'd probably get promotions, but I never do, so they keep me at corporal. Honestly, I don't know if I could handle that much responsibility." Brendan shrugged his shoulders uneasily, Anyway, the brass thought that this team could use a sniper and I made the short list. Throw in a letter of recommendation from my captain- I'm sure he was ecstatic to be rid of me- and here I am."

Brendan looked at the SPARTAN standing over him, noting the uneasiness in the large man.

"If you're looking for a way to relax, try basic awareness meditation. It's what I do every time before a drop, a trick I learned from my old swim coach back in high school. Just breathe in and out evenly, one second inhale, and a long exhale, keep your arms circling, once you get into a pattern, close your eyes, be aware of where your hands are, where your feet are, what your entire body is doing. Keep breathing. Keep it even, just in and out, in and out, and keep your arms circling. Clear your mind, put away the stress and worry, keep calm"

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

Charlotte took a deep breath in and out as she hears Grave speak, I hear you loud and clear KK4JCJ" She replied calmly. She continues to clean and look over her pistols making sure everything is in working order.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

"Haha, snark's fine by me, so long as you're getting the job done." Brian nods. "The responsibility is the toughest part. It's one thing to go out there giving it your all. It's another entirely to go out there, knowing if you screw up, if one little thing gets #$&%ed..." The SPARTAN trails off, looking into the middle distance.

Then he snaps his eyes back to the corporal. "Huh." The MCPO appears to think about this, then nods again. "Sounds good. At least, sounds better than the yoga and--if you can believe it--tai chi some of the other SPARTANS have recommended to me." Brian rolls his eyes before replacing his helmet. "SPARTAN life... Jeez, but we ain't as hard as we look. Anyway, thanks, Corporal."

Then he steps away from the others and, slowly but gracefully, begins to circle his arms as Brendan suggested.

male Human Cav lev 2

"In my humble opinion the jumpy one should not be leading the mission, just saying. Would you like me to find you a Priest to pray for you people before you leave? Hell I could do that myself but only if you ask nicely." He snickers to himself as he hears Brian jump at his sudden scream over the comlink and he is happy that the coms at least work. "You know what im going to pray for you people anyway....LORD!...DON'T LET THEM F**K UP!" A laugh can be heard over the coms Spartan you think way too much...go your a ride home...thats the end of that Air cav will be dispached at the callsign of "Rising Sun" its gonna take some time so if you think your getting close dont be afraid to call for help alright sweetheart? He smirks as he waits for the responce.

Lieutenant - HP 14 | AC 19 | T 13 | FF 16 | CMD 18 | F +6 | R +2 | W +0 | Init +5 | Per +5

"Show some respect b*tch. You might be irish (intentional insult) but that won't stop me from puttin' my peckerwood boot straight up yer 'arse' when we get back iffin you don't curb that tongue of yours." Elwood growls into the comm.

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar growls back at Graves"Major will you stop taunting everyone else since you did not get picked to come. This signal needs to stay open for official communication."

male Human Cav lev 2

One, Cudley....IM a son of a scott born on a warship. And I don't think you wish to be calling your DRIVER a b%%*&! Ill be more then happy to leave your sorry ass wherever the hell you set foot on in a heartbeat. Secondly this is a CLOSED comms opp so the only time you get on the coms is when your calling for me to pick you people up. and Mar. I don't care if I was picked for the field job or not ive been in this crap a hell of a lot longer then you people and I know when I say I'd rather be here then where you people are going. ungrateful bastards.... Oviously these comments just add to the fact that the only one he will listen too is Gaffer. Marine, ODST, Spartan, it didnt matter to him, he would butt heads with anyone who made him angry. You do your job and I may do mine... if you beg nicely.

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar growls and mumbles"Fine MAJOR we'll run things you're way. I just hope like hell you do actually know how to fly and if smart mouth over there doesn't learn to shut up, I'm going to make him. Then you will have a mess on your hands." After this Mar sit quietly eying Elwood and attempts to keep silent.

male Human Cav lev 2

Oh....I can fly alright...I can... He stops and sits down next to the coms station and pulls out a large handfull of paperwork that he starts doing while waiting for the mission to require him to actually do something important or not.

Male Human (Earth, Canadian) Sniper (Gunslinger) 2

Turning off his comm, Brendan looked at the rest of the group.

"Anyone want to explain to me how the f*** he managed to make it to major? Last time I pulled something even close to that I was almost thrown out for insubordinance."

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

Charlotte turns her comm off as well, "More then likely if you noticed he looks up to Colonel like a father and is on his good side for the most part. I could really care less about anything as long as we get in and out in one piece."

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Mar continues to sit and tries to refrain from saying anything else about the Major. This however doesn't last very long. "If I ever get the change I'm going to show that arrogant arse of a man how to command troops. Thinking he can do what ever he please. If he was a Elite he would have been striped of his rank faster than I can shoot." Mar snarls in disapproval.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

Brian doesn't even bother responding to Grave's comments; he just switches the comm off and removes his helmet again. "Let's not trash talk our Air cav, everyone." Brian looks at them and begins to snicker, though. "Arrogant arse..." you hear him chuckle, turning away after Mar'Gonee's snarl.

"We're ready to go," the SPARTAN says into the comlink, which he only turns on long enough to speak into before switching it off again.

male Human Cav lev 2

Alright Gaffer, away team is set to go...this is your show its only fitting you to play the first hand He turns to the shipwide com and turns it on, the old navy wistle blowing throughout the ship. This is Major Graves cheif Intelegence officer, all stations please refrain from using communications systems at this time, radar stations also be on guard. We can't see too well out the your the trusted eyes. Weapons crews be at stations ready for high alert. We know what were going up against but not how they are going to react once the guns start blazing so be ready. Lets get to work Ladies and Gentlemen. He does this as customary on the combat vessel as a quick "makeshift breafing" before the landing parties departure then taps into Brian's comlink again and speeks in a slightly quiet, humble voice that conpleatly contrasted his previous statements. God speed...all of you. There will be a drink waiting on you guys when you get back.

You hear a low hum as The Gorgon's engines start up. The dim blue lights turn on, telling you that the ship computers are requesting lift off. The lights suddenly turn green as the ship starts lifting itself up. You feel a lurch as suddenly The Gorgon shoots out of the hanger, as the lights fade away until all that is left are dim white lites. It will take three days to get to the specified location.

I want to know what you guys plan on doing the three days. General overviews for each day will do fine. The food supply is packed for a ship twice as big, and the facilities are spotless. The main room is large enough for the four of you to sit on one wall, or two of you on the wall while the other two spar.

Ram'Dain and Batista, you can start giving me those skill checks. Tell me what you plan to do with any skill you find necessary. Batista, don't bother with Ride, you'll use that in the retrieval. Ram'Dain, you may attempt to aid during that time, if you feel it to be necessary. You will recieve experiance for each succesful check. You will recieve more depending on if the reason makes sense and if the apropriate check is used.

Male Sang'heili Elite Forerunner Scientist (Wizard)/2

Around ten minutes after the Gorgon left, Ram'Dain finds himself just a little bit bored, and a little more curious.

Paradise...what a name for a planet we know nothing about...perhaps I can shed a little light onto this matter. He heads to the engineering bay, first getting a good look around at the technology, then calling out the name of the ship's AI, a small hologram appearing on the nearby holodisplay.

Greetings Daniel, I have an idea of something we can do while the fireteam gets into position. No one has ever been to Paradise, so why not we send something there instead?

Over the next few hours, Ram'Dain and a few members of the engineering crew start to build a probe that, when shot from a missile pod, will land on the planet's surface and begin scanning for life, what kind, atmospheric and terrestrial conditions, as well as Forerunner tech, if any.

That is what I'll be doing over the next few days. Building the probe and collecting data from it.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

That's not bad. What'll that get me?

Male Human (Earth, Canadian) Sniper (Gunslinger) 2

Brendan pulled out a pack of cards.

Poker anyone? the corporal asked the group, pulling out the jokers and shuffling the deck, "I mean, it's not like we have much else to do here."

The sniper put the shuffled deck on the ground, grabbing an apple, cutting it in two and checking the interior before beginning to eat it.

Routine: Eat, sleep, exercise, cards/talk with other team members, tune up his gear, explore the nooks and crannies of the ship, looking for chokepoints, and getting a general layout of the ship.

Lieutenant - HP 14 | AC 19 | T 13 | FF 16 | CMD 18 | F +6 | R +2 | W +0 | Init +5 | Per +5

Three days!?

Day 1:

"Guess we can spar after all" Elwood says to Brian, happily obliging him in as many bouts as he'd like. Other than that he listens to music and relaxes.

Day 2:

Familiarizes himself with the layout of the ship including all the maintenance passageways. Does his daily workout.

Day 3:

Does his morning workout and makes sure all his gear is in top shape. Around lunch time he'll approach Charlotte, "Hey Charlotte. How's it goin? I reckon it won't be too much longer now."

male Human Cav lev 2

He puts his paperwork to the side and begins interacting with the intelegence terminal and begins looking up information on the pirates that they are going after. Firstly trying to figure out what faction they are by the history of previous attacks of a similer nature.
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11

Female Human Rogue 2/ Warrent Officer

day 1:

Mostly tune up weapons, eat, sleep, exercise and get look around the ship

day 2:

Same thing pretty much maybe join Brendan in a game of cards

Day 3:

Makes sure she has everything in order since they are close and does not want to be caught off guard. She looks over the Elwood with a small nod before she speaks, "Aye, and the sooner we get this over with the better. I had a vacation planned to head on home and see my mother."

male Human Cav lev 2

While waiting for any infromation the super computer could give him and also to take a break from the mounds of useless information he gets through the very minimal important information he takes a trip down to the engi bay as he had caught wiff that a certain alian was makin a certain something* Hmm...OOH a probe! my good man however did you learn to build one of these! It took me almost a year to even hear about these things...mostly because of the lack of good information on the subject.....aaaanyway if my memory serves me correctly these particular items of question require stick pilots. You willing to let a joitstick jocky like me take her to paradise under your supervision? 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15 diplomacy dont fail meh now...

Male Sang'heili Elite Forerunner Scientist (Wizard)/2

Looking up from one of the sensors, Ram'Dain looks over at Grave. "It was originally going to by auto-piloted, but if you wish to fly it in, I don't see a reason not to. Besides, it'll give us less work having to program an AI to pilot it."

He continues on with his work, getting the sensors in place, the piloting conditions sets, and designing Grave a joystick to fly the probe with.

Would I be able to say that this is like working on another magical device so that I can put Detect Magic (forerunner), Detect Poison (atmosphere), Breeze (guiding the probe in using small pushes of air), and Message (radio)?

male Human Cav lev 2

Batista does a happy dance in his head which spills out into reality as he exits the engie room giving off a Han Solo HAHOO! at hearing he gets to fly forerunner tech.

Male Sang'heili Elite Ranger (Paladin)/2

Day 1: Mar checks out the ship and makes up his bunk. Also cleans and gets his guns ready for battle.

Day 2: Works out and polishes his armor. Works on reading the book he has started.

Day 3: Works out and continues to read his book.

Everything looks good for now. Ram'Dain, your score lets you configure 3 0-level spells of your choice.

During the second day, you notice the Gorgon is going through a lot of dangerous territory. The sheer amount of Asteroids is startling, but the ship's computer is compitent enough to lead you through unscathed. By the third day, you'll notice a dark green planet, with bloches of blue and orange everywhere, and white bits up at the top. The star this planet is circuling is a bright yellow, not unlike earth's Sun.

Batista and Ram'Dain, I suggest you figure out some other skills to apply, you're not gonna get as much experiance this way unless you do something. As soon as you guys think you're done, I'll continue with this part of the mission.

Male Human (SPARTAN Augmentation) Warlord 2 | HP 25/25 | AC 18, touch 15, FF 13, CMD 18 | Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 | Init +7, Perception +5

Brian happily spars with Elwood on the first day, building up a good sweat. "That was good," the SPARTAN says afterward. "You're stronger than I expected; been a while... since I fought someone... with your power. Honestly, it's been a while since I used these at all." Brian gestures at his swords, now clipped back at his waist.

That night, the MCPO makes up his bunk and gets a little more rest.

On the second day, the other team members get to witness Brian's full workout schedule throughout the day: aerobics, pushups, situps, crunches, pullups at a makeshift bar, handstands, acrobatics, and more, both with and without his armor. He also engages in small talk with the other team members, plays cards with Brendan, and goes over his armor and weapons.

On the third day, in place of the workout, Brian does weapons exercises to the fullest extent available. He goes through the motions of slashes, jabs, parries, and maneuvers with his energy swords first, then with the new axe and knife he picked up in the armory. If he can convince anyone to run these drills with him, he does so; the SPARTAN practices disarms and other techniques, perhaps giving pointers to those who express interest. None of these exercises are too demanding or tiring, though; you can tell he's beginning to conserve energy for the actual mission.

Before heading to sleep, he field strips all his armor and weapons, checking individual parts to make sure they're working fine, then meticulously putting them back together.

"I'm damn glad this part's over," the SPARTAN says before the team falls to sleep.

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