Author Note: I own none of the characters or locations other than the ones I have created. The others are all part of the Halo franchise and therefore not my own.
"So this is the Infinity." I glanced around the loading dock as I left the Pelican with my ODST squad, Echo-Nine, newly assigned as the Infinity's official ODST squad after the last ODST team had been killed during the little incident with an AI gone rogue, some Forerunner technology and the brief threat of the entire galaxy being ruled by computers. It was a crazy couple of months. I'd never been so thankful to have not been promoted as I was during that time period. I was completely fine with being promoted now, especially to the Infinity. Not only did they have two resident psychopaths, the aforementioned AI now afflicted with crippling rampancy and the mad scientist who decided to do human experimentation on a bunch of kids (who also created the aforementioned crazy AI, but that's none of my business), but Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris were currently on the ship too, for however brief a time. What a time to finally make it to ODST. No more crappy deep cover missions. Just dropping from space in pods into life threatening combat situations.
"Are you sure? We could potentially be on the wrong starship." Christy, who'd been with me in some way shape or form since basic training, mumbled sarcastically under her breath.
"Jamison, we're all trying to enjoy the moment here. Shut up." Major Eleanor Fabian, our team leader, clearly didn't appreciate what Christy thought was some brillian sarcasm.
"Sorry sir." Christy mumbled again.
Fabian shook her head and turned to the rest of us, all ten of us, who had gotten off the Pelican with her. "Alright, Echo-Nine. You're here on the Infinity. This is the most important star ship in the UNSC. Why? Because of the personnel we currently have on board. And that personnel doesn't include you."
Fabian thought herself a comedic genius, but her jokes were worse than Christy's most of the time. But she's the boss, so we have to laugh. She probably milks that for all its worth, since she never makes terrible jokes in front of people she's not in charge of.
"Right now, we've been assigned here to help if something comes up. We've had reports that the Servants of the Abiding Truth have started riling things up on Sanghelios again, so we may end up deployed if shit hits the fan there."
Those fuckers. Not again. I hated the Servants so much. They stirred up so much shit up back home, including trying to assassinate my Arbiter.
I grew up on Sanghelios. It's technically my home world.
Weird, fun fact about me: I'm only half human. I'm half human, half Sangheili. My mother was an ambassador from the UNSC sent to Sanghelios to keep up the whole alliance thing with the Arbiter. She ended up falling head over heels for one of The Arbiter's Swords of Sanghelios and thus, I, the ravishing little mutant was born. She still lives on Sanghelios with my father, who still fights with the Arbiter on the regular. They're close enough that the Arbiter took care of me when I was a kid, since Sangheili parents generally don't do that kind of stuff. It's the whole cool uncle raising the kid becase you generally don't know who your dad is because Elites of good bloodlines procreate with pretty much anyone, indiscriminately. I'm not sure if the Arbiter does that, but I never really wanted to find out the answer to that. I also never asked about whether my dad did that or not. Euughhh. Anyway. Out of all the little monsters being raised in Sangheili Daycare, the Arbiter picked me. Turns out all that military training from the moment I was able to stand up on my own gave me a huge advantage in the UNSC, which I decided to join at 18 years old on my mom's encouragement. I'm 24 years old and already ODST, which isn't typical. The Arbiter probably felt bad for enouraging interspecies procreation resulting in an ugly ass child. Seriously. My baby pictures are the worst. I was born with mandibles. My skin is this crazy pale greyish color. I have a strange muscle structure, which was great for the increased gravity on Sanghelios, but it means my ideal weight is about 200lbs. Thank god my mom had the foresight to put me through augmentation when I was still super little so I didn't grow up looking like this human/Elite test tube experiment. I look human. I look so human no one would ever guess I'm anything but. The augmentations left me with two tiny scars next to my mouth and that's the only physical sign that I had a metric fuckton of plastic surgery. Go mom.
"Adams. Are you fucking daydreaming?" Fabian was glaring at me.
"Yeah. About all the shit I'm going to do in the Infinity's training room. I heard it's fantastic, equipped just for the Spartans." I retorted.
Fabian's mouth twitched, and I could tell she was trying not to laugh. She liked me. We got along well. I was one of the few people who could get away with being sassy. Personally, I think she relished the back and forth. Most people were too terrified of her to try.
"Classy, Adams. Very classy." Fabian shook her head.
Did I mention my name is Kasey Adams? It's actually not, but my real name is classified on my mother's special request to Admiral Hood, who also had a role in getting me into the UNSC, because there's a lot of lingering resentment towards anything Sangheili. Turns out, if you're part of an extremist religion that tries to purge the galaxy of humanity, most humans have a hard time letting go of their negative feelings about that. Who knew?
My real name is Khase 'Nradaman. Which is pretty obviously Sangheili as fuck. So going around with 'Nradaman on my uniform would be pretty bad for me. So for the last 6 years, I've been Kasey Adams. Super average non-Sangheili human girl from New Mombasa. I've literally never even seen New Mombasa. Its great. I've made up an entire home life that happened somewhere I've never been.
"Come on, you assholes. We're going to be briefed by the Captain himself, so if you're not on your best behavior, I will skin you alive when he's done. Capiche?" Fabian glared at all of us and we all nodded, knowing that wasn't an idle threat.
Karl Ewing sidled up to me. "I've heard Lasky's a looker." He said, in a low voice, a gleam in his eye.
I turned and rolled my eyes at him. "You've seen photos of him. You think he's hot. Stop pretending we're gossiping girlfriends."
Karl laughed. "Okay, you got me. But seriously. I've been dying to see him in person."
"Finally get to meet your celebrity crush?"
"I hope I get to meet mine." Christy put a hand on her heart. "Frederic."
I rolled my eyes again. "You guys are pathetic. Seriously pathetic. The amount of pathetic in this four foot radius is killing me."
"I'd kill a man for a chance to look at that AI they have here." Greg Hart, our resident psychology and technology specialist bumped my shoulder with his.
"Okay, that I can get behind." I told him. "I'd be totally down to see what's up with the AI and why the rampancy suddenly came back in full force."
"I have a theory on that." Greg said, as our squad walked briskly out of the loading bay and into the maze of corridors that would eventually lead to a lift to take us up to the Infinity's bridge.
"Do tell, Mega Nerd."
Greg shot me a look before continuing. "The Forerunner technology can cure AI's of rampancy. Why couldn't it cause rampancy? Maybe they didn't like the idea of AI's ruling the galaxy so they hit her with rampancy so she couldn't control the Guardians anymore."
"Solid theory. I'm sure Dr. Halsey hadn't thought of that. You should tell her."
Greg sighed. "I hate you so much right now."
"Right now?" Major Fabian had apparently been eavesdropping. "I hate her from the moment I wake up and remember I haven't killed her yet."
I slapped my knee like that was the funniest thing I'd ever heard then mimicked her statement in a high pitched voice.
"If you pull that shit on Captain Lasky, that 'yet' thing won't be an issue anymore." Fabian warned me.
"Yes sir, Major Fabian, sir." I said brightly.
"Fuck off, Adams."