Chapter 1: Pre-military
Episode 2: Contact Harvest
Entry- 7, Date not set yet. -Please set the date and time for reference in future entries. (Please consort the manual or contact the Pear customer support service if you are having trouble setting certain settings.)
''Yeah, so, Pear customer support isn’t really being supportive at the moment. I have set the time and date on this thing a dozen times now but it just won’t save them. Each time I start recording, the time and date are set back to ‘Unknown’.
Right now I’m making a few extra recordings to see if that will help. I don’t know how that would help, this software is a mystery to me, but who knows?
Duty calls, I gotta go.''
-End of Entry.
‘’Dammit woman, I’m busy.’’ I said jokingly as I picked up my phone. The display had already told me it was Maria.
‘’John, listen to me, and listen carefully.’’ She said. She spoke fast, I knew something was wrong by her tone.
‘’What’s wrong?’’ I asked, sounding panicked, which I was.
‘’Get to my bedroom.’’ She said and I immediately got up and made my way through the hall, doing what she said.
‘’On the nightstand is a key, take it and use it to open the footlocker underneath my bed.’’
Again I did as she said. The footlocker was heavy and I was sure I scratched the wooden floor of her room by dragging it from underneath her bed.
I unlocked the thing and was amazed at the contents of the locker; her dog tags, lots of military supplies and a gun, a pistol.
‘’It’s open.’’ I said once I had found my phone in the sheets of her bed.
‘’John, take the pistol, the gray envelopes and head downstairs.’’ She said. I could hear a car horn on the background.
‘’I’m almost home, John. Just head downstairs and watch the news for me, will you?’’
I didn’t reply, I just did what I was being told.
I took all the gray envelopes I could find, the pistol, which was much heavier than I expected, and headed downstairs to switch on the TV.
Once it was on I saw nothing but destruction and felt an anxiety creep up and down my spine.
I was stunned, silenced in disbelief by what I was seeing; a world set ablaze, flames and pillars of smoke all across its surface.
‘’For all the viewers who just tuned in; these are images made by the crew of an unknown freighter, the images are now confirmed to be of the planet Harvest, in the Epsilon Indi system.’’
‘’Fuck.’’ I said, really not knowing what else there was to say.
‘’The UNSC has not yet released a statement on what has happened at Harvest but speculations are that a series of terrorist acts have been committed by Insurrectionist terrorist forces.’’
The front door flew open, Maria ran towards the living room and grabbed the remote control from my hands.
She turned up the volume.
‘’What did they say? What’s going on?’’
‘’Harvest got hit hard.’’ I replied hastily. ‘’They think the rebels did it.’’
‘’Fuck.’’ Maria said shocked. ‘’A whole planet?!’’
Maria moved her hands through her hair as if she was looking for a solution.
‘’Did you get my stuff?’’ She finally asked.
I kept my eyes fixed on the screen and pointed to the coffee table behind me.
Maria picked up the envelopes and the pistol and slipped them in her purse.
‘’Maria, what are you doing?’’ I asked her.
She was going through some messages on her phone and strode around the living room before she even closed the front door.
I noticed she had turned down the television volume after a news bulletin that a force of marines was being assembled to investigate what had happened at Harvest. Was her unit part of that task force?
‘’Maria!’’ I said, louder this time, and she seemed to snap out of her trance.
‘’John, last time the Innies did something big they struck again shortly after, making things worse when people thought it couldn’t get any worse.’’ Maria told me.
Then I understood, she was afraid the Insurrectionists would strike again, maybe even on Earth, maybe in New Rotterdam…
It was a large port, both for space faring craft and ordinary ships, it also had a large UNSC recruiting center and two ONI offices.
New Rotterdam was a better target for a terrorist strike than most other cities.
Then again, what were the odds?
I knew it was ridiculous to expect a terrorist attack to occur nearby, yet I felt a certain anxiety, a fear which had nestled itself in the back of my mind, ready to grow.
I walked to the kitchen.
‘’Where are you going?’’ Maria asked me while biting a nail.
‘’I’m going to make some tea.’’ I said, realizing I was on auto-pilot.
I couldn’t see Maria’s reaction but I always imagined it to be a nervous chuckle which would make her look like she was about to burst out in tears.
‘’Why is this happening, John?’’ Maria asked me from the living room. Her voice slightly raised to get over the sound of the water running from the tap. ‘’Why can’t they just leave us alone?’’
I had thought about that several times, sometimes even hours straight and I always came to the same conclusion; Because they see it differently.
‘’You had history as a subject throughout high school,’’ I said. ‘’You know how it has been for millennia now; One party wants one thing, the other wants something else.’’
‘’You’d think we’d learn from our past.’’ Maria sighed.
‘’We’re a doomed species.’’ I said, immediately regretting the words.
‘’Don’t say that, John!’’ Maria said annoyed. ‘’Whether you mean it or not, now is definitely not the time to say that sort of thing.’’
I agreed with her, but I also meant what I said…