Chapter 5: Intruder Alert
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|Chapter 5: Intruder Alert|
|“||A mysterious and unexpected encounter alters the course of the mission.||”|
Chapter 5: Intruder Alert is the fifth chapter of Halo Infinite: Memory Agent.
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Note: For the sake of the transcript. "The Lieutenant" is referred to as their actual name "Parisa".
- Narrator: "Halo Infinite: Memory Agent, part 5."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Hey, Oliver, how long am I going to have to wait? I've been sitting here for half an hour waiting for you to convince me to turn around and stay on course and complete the mission."
- Oliver: "You already know this detour is in direct opposition to our mission parameters. You made the decision to abort and acted upon it. I do not believe I can change your mind."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "It's almost worse that Oliver isn't giving me a hard time about bailing. The truth is, he could probably change my mind."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "How about we just get on the comms right now and tell them I'm AWOL? Let's just get this over with."
- Oliver: "Mission parameters dictate radio silence until your memory expires. Or you expire."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Honestly, I'd like to get my hands on whatever stuffed-shirt bureaucrat conscripted me into this ridiculous position!"
- Oliver: "But Lieutenant, you volunteered."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "What? Explain, Oliver!"
- Oliver: "I do not have any further details? Perhaps there was something you wanted to get away from."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "Is he trying to offer me clues within the confines of his programming? Or is he just trying to wear me down..."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "How many hours until we return to a UNSC-controlled sector and I can turn myself in?"
- Oliver: "Roughly the same length of time it took to get here. Not including our detour on the gaseous planet. Approximately 5 hours and 23 minutes."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "I know bailing won't come without... some fallout. I'll take my lumps. I do feel bad for whichever future version of me ends up paying the price for my desertion, though. Who knows how many generations removed from this version of me will be the one to get court-martialed."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Well, I guess there nothing about being court-martialed in the Master Chief's archives, huh?"
- Oliver: "Accessing-"
- Lieutenant Parisa: "No, no, I wasn't being serious."
- Oliver: "Playing testimony from Colum McGinnis Private First Class, UNSC Court Martial proceedings."
- Judge: "Colum McGinnis. I must remind you that you do not have to make this statement. You've entered the not guilty pledge to assaulting your superior officer Colonel Roshambo, and by the Military Justice Code you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself."
- Colum McGinnis: "I want this on the record. In my own words."
- Judge: "Alright Private, if you insist."
- Colum McGinnis: "Look, I didn't plan on decking the Colonel that day. I had planned... on deserting."
Whispers in the audience.
- Colum McGinnis: "I tried to tough out my doubt. But... that morning on the outskirts of Voi... I just plain had enough. I was... I was trying to come up with how to get medicaled out of the corps. An-an errant shot would take out some fingers. Step off of the second floor of some bombed-out building and break a leg. I'm done! But then, the Flood came. They crashed an infested Covenant ship into a Traxus building near where my battalion was deployed. And... fighting the Covies? Even the worst of it just... couldn't prepare me for what came next. The Flood started taking over the corpses! Human, Covenant, it didn't matter! Then their spores came for the living. They hit my platoon-"
- Judge: "We've all read the reports."
- Colum McGinnis: "If that's all you've seen..... you don't know a damn thing! Here, I brought my helmet recording, I'm just gonna-"
Audio playback of roaring Flood Combat Forms and Marine cries.
- Judge: "Turn that off. I've heard enough."
- Colum McGinnis: "It's not easy to listen to, huh? Yeah, my buddies would come wobbling towards me, reaching out, looking like they needed help, and you know what, they did. They really did need help! I lost it... Panicked. I... I scrambled over a K-rail and made a beeline for a Warthog, destination anywhere but here. I know I left them, I left my own squadmates to the Flood! I-I should have stayed and fought! But I was long gone before I could even breathe! I had to slow down to squeeze between a makeshift barricade, but I wasn't alone on the other side. HE steps into the road right in front of me. He put his hand on the front end of the Hog and nearly stops it himself! Jesus, man-then the Master Chief just says to me: 'You're going the wrong way, and I need a ride.' The last thing I wanted was to go back to the fight. Back to where the Flood were, but you don't tell the Master Chief 'no'. As I'm driving him back to the frontlines I'm thinking 'At least he didn't say anything about me deserting. The Chief doesn't know I'm a coward.' Right... as we pulled into the combat zone, the Chief said: 'Mistakes happen, but they don't have to stay mistakes, not while you have a chance to make things right. Then, stay low! And watch my back!' And he launched into the Flood as if he was shot out of a cannon. Together we fought like demons man, I mean it! I wish you could have seen us! Haha! After we moped up the last of them, the Chief told me to reconnect with my unit, any unit that was still left, and he ran off to the next firefight. So when I finally found the command post and Colonel broken nose kept talking about the Chief like he was a tank or a dropship, just some piece of hardware owned by the UNSC, I let him know that Chief was a person-and now my friend-speaking the international language of the knuckle sandwich."
Agitation in the audience, the judge strikes with his gavel.
- Judge: "Private, you've now admitted twice to committing the actions you pledged not guilty to. Do you want to explain that?"
- Colum McGinnis: "I'm not denying what I did! This just seems like the easiest way for you to agree with me and drop this joke of a charge because it would be a waste to lock me up in the brig when I could make a hell of a lot more good getting back into the fight."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Son of a bitch... How long would it take to the rendezvous if we turned back now?"
- Oliver: "57 minutes, Lieutenant."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "How long until my memory resets?"
- Oliver: "It would be a new record if you could make it longer than 43 minutes. However, I should let you know this detour has increased the risk factors. If we resume course to our rendezvous, there would be a 71% chance of encountering enemy squadrons, most certainly now aware we did not burn up in the atmosphere of the gas giant."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "So really, what's the point?"
- Oliver: "Curious. It's an alert from a UNSC vessel at the rendezvous location on an open channel."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Did the Master Chief just broadcast his position for anyone to see?"
- Oliver: "It appears he did."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "Why would he do that? 'They don't have to stay mistakes...'"
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Oliver, resume course to the rendezvous. Actually, I'll take the helm."
Reactors fire up.
- Lieutenant Parisa: "There has to be a reason the Master Chief did that."
- Oliver: "It could be a trap."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "It could."
- Oliver: "I should remind you time is running short on your memory cycle."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "It is."
- Oliver: "We might not make it in time."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Oliver, I'm going to give you the encryption key in case I-"
- Oliver: "You cannot do that! There are Cole Protocol safeguards in place that would corrupt my program and destroy the ship if you impart the intelligence to me. You must try to hold on."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "Yet another piece of the puzzle. This intel is a time bomb if it leaves my mouth."
- Lieutenant Parisa (Internal monologue): "It's been almost an hour of silence. Is all of her nervous? I still have the code memorized, but every time I think about it, check on it, it feels like trying to remember a dream. The more you try, the less you remember. The stream, the moon, and the wind... No, not now. Focus on the code, focus on... What time is it? I can't keep my eyes open. Maybe if I just rest them for a few moments..."
Hits on the hull.
- Oliver: "Something is intercepting our shuttle. We are being boarded. I advise you to take your pistol."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "What am I supposed to do with this pistol?"
- Oliver: "Prepare to use it, the intruder has reached the airlock."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "I'm not sure I..."
- Oliver: "Protect yourself, Lieutenant, now!"
Heavy steps approaching.
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Stop! Hold your position or I will fire on you!"
The steps continue.
- Lieutenant Parisa: "I said stop!"
Shot and hissing of gas leaking from a pipe.
- Master Chief: "Not necessary, Lieutenant."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Who- Who- Who are you?"
- Master Chief: "You can call me Master Chief."
- Lieutenant Parisa: "Who is... the Master Chief?"
- ^ a b Twitter, Jeff Easterling (@GrimBrotherOne): "Had a blast crafting this story with @thefelders [Josh Feldman]. Give it a listen if you haven't checked it out already" (Retrieved on Dec 12, 2021) [archive]