Part I: Stolen Childhood Edit
“Oh, come on, Jackson! We just want to play some games with you.” The oldest of the three orphans yelled out.
Jackson knew they were lying. They had tried this same exact tactic the first time he had run away from them. Except that time, he had thought they were telling the truth. When he had shown himself, they quickly brought him to the ground and started hitting him. They had broken his nose that day.
“I wouldn’t step any closer if I were you.” Jackson called out. “Really, now?” Marcus, the oldest orphan, said mockingly. “What are you going to do to me?”
Now, what Marcus didn’t know was that Jackson was very cunning, and had many talents. Even as they spoke, the three older boys were falling right into his trap.
“Just go away and I promise you wont get hurt” Jackson said. Marcus Laughed a little. “Do you really think you could scare us?” he asked. “There are three of us and only one of you. Plus, we are all bigger than you are. There is no way you can hurt us!” As he said this, he motioned for the other two to follow him quietly. They were heading to where Jackson’s voice was coming from.
“Please, I don’t want to fight anybody! Leave me alone!” Jackson yelled.
The older boys were nearing the bush that Jackson’s voice had been emanating from this whole time. Marcus quickly grabbed the bush and pulled it back. “Aha!” He exclaimed.
But all he found was a recorder. “Recording stopped.” It said. Marcus picked it up and smashed it on the ground, realizing he had been tricked.
Fortunately for Jackson, Marcus didn’t turn around. He just kept walking forward, looking for the young boy. You see, while the older boys had been searching for Jackson, he had been sneaking around them so he could escape.
“Did you see that?” the General asked. He and his Lieutenant were standing a few clicks away from where Jackson was. They were watching through high powered military binoculars.
“Yes, Sir. But he didn’t do anything to them. He could be too weak to kill anything. The soldiers we want have to be ruthless.” the Lieutenant said.
“Yeah, but I’m sure we can break Jackson in the training program. After we break him, we’ll just rebuild him the way we want him.” the General said as they watched Jackson walk away from the older boys.
Jackson awoke, startled. He had been having a nightmare. He was most familiar with this nightmare, seeing as he had had it almost every day since his family had been killed.
He checked his watch. It was 2:00 a.m. He wondered what could have woke him up. That’s when he heard something walking along the floor. It seemed to be heading toward his bed. Suddenly someone grabbed his legs. Right as he was about to scream, a hand covered in a rag closed over his mouth. The rag smelled terrible. He felt very tired all of a sudden.
The rag! The fumes from the rag must be making him sleepy! As his vision faded, he felt himself being carried out of his room. Then everything went black.
When he came to, he felt extremely exhausted. He tried to stand up, but his hands and feet were tied to the seat he was in. Then he realized he was in a moving vehicle. He tried to yell out but couldn’t muster up the strength. Then he passed out again.
When he woke up, he found himself lying in a bed. He got up and tried to open the door, but it was locked from the outside. He checked for some of the things he had before he was taken, and realized it was all gone. The room was windowless. The only things in it were the bed, which couldn’t really be considered a bed since it was only a mattress on the floor, and a toilet in the corner.
It looked like the only thing he could do was wait for someone to come get him. So, he sat on his bed and tried to remember his family. The only ones he could really remember were his 2 older sisters, his younger brother, and his parents. He couldn’t remember anything about his older brother because he left home when Jackson was 2 years old to join the UNSC.
After reminiscing for a while, nature started to call. He didn’t fell that comfortable using the toilet in the corner, seeing as it was out in the open. But, he didn’t know how long he was going to be locked in the room. So, he just did his business.
Sometime later someone knocked on the door. He stood up and waited for it to open. A man walked in. He was in a military uniform. It was decorated with a lot of badges.
“Hey, I remember you!” Jackson said.
“What are you talking about? We’ve never met.” The soldier replied.
“You’re one of the men that was standing on the hill the other day, at my Orphanage. Is the other guy here to?” Jackson asked.
The General was astonished. “Did you really see us from that far away?”
“Yes.” Jackson said. “You and your friend had binoculars. Were you bird watching, or something?”
“Amazing!” the General exclaimed. He just couldn’t believe this boy could see that far away without any mechanical aid. “And in response to your question, no. We weren’t watching birds. We were watching you.”
Jackson looked confused. “Why were you guys watching me? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, you didn’t do anything wrong.” the General told him. “Let me tell you why you’re here. As you probably all ready know, I am from the UNSC.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Jackson retorted. “Why am I here?”
“I’m getting to that. Now, do you know that we are at war with creatures called the Covenant?”
“Yeah, I heard about that on the radio. What’s the problem.?” Jackson asked.
“Well, the war isn’t going too well for us. So, the UNSC decided to start work on a project to make Super-Soldiers. It’s code named SPARTAN - II.” the General explained.
“What does this have to do with me?”
“Well, SPARTAN - II needs test subjects who are young because they need to grow with the medical enhancements so that they get used to them and don’t kill themselves when they move their hands. We tested on adults, but since they weren’t used to being able to move extremely fast, they broke their hands when they tried saluting.” the General told him.
“So, you want me to be part of SPARTAN - II so I can become a Super-Soldier and help win the war with the Covenant? Will I be the only one?” Jackson asked.
“You will not be the only one. 149 other children have been taken to this location to be trained for SPARTAN - II.”
“When will training for SPARTAN - II begin?”
“The day after tomorrow. For now go get some dinner and meet the rest of the children.”
The General seemed pleased that the boy had taken to the idea so quickly. He had expected the conversation to have gone differently.
As the General walked away, Jackson sat down for a few moments. He knew that if he had declined, they would have forced him to do it. Might as well do it willingly.
A New Friend Edit
As Jackson entered the Mess Hall, he quickly took a head count and found that all of the other children were there, all ready eating. He got a tray of food from the counter and headed for an open seat. After he sat down, he looked at the other kids at the table. Most of them were bigger than him. A couple of them looked nervous, while others seemed excited. He looked to his right and the boy sitting next to him was flipping a coin over and over again.
"Hi, my name is Jackson." he said to the boy.
"Hello. My name is John."
"Where did you get that coin from?" Jackson asked. As he looked around, he noticed none of the other kids had anything other than what they had gotten from their tray.
"I won it from the lady that took me here. When we got here, the guards stated taking everything out of my pockets. When they got the coin, the lady that I won it from said to let me keep it. We came on a UNSC transport truck. How
did you get here?"
"I don't remember." Jackson responded.
"Oh. Well, do you have any idea what they are going to do to us? I know we are supposed to be training to become Super-Soldiers, but what kind of training are we supposed to do?"
"I'm not sure, but I think it's going to be long and painful."
Just then, the General walked in. "Okay, everybody. Time to get to bed. Let's go."
The children all got up and left to their rooms.
Jackson woke up to knocking. The door opened and a soldier came in with army fatigues, a towel, a pair of boots, and a bar of soap. "Okay son. Take these and follow me."
Jackson followed the soldier down a few hallways. "What time is it?" he asked.
"0600 Hours" the soldier responded.
Well, nothing better than starting the day early.
They reached the shower room. The soldier stood at attention on the side of the door. "You have 15 minutes to take a shower and get dressed."
Jackson went in and took his shower.
Later in the day, most of the children were outside, watching the soldiers running the obstacle course. Jackson was standing next to John.
"Hey," John said, "you think we could do that?"
"Yeah, except the wall. I'm not that good at climbing." Jackson responded.
"I'm not so good at climbing either. I'll give you a boost when we get there, and then you pull me up. Deal?"
"All right, let's go."
As they neared the obstacle course, a soldier stopped them. "Where do you think you're going?"
Just then the General came outside. "Let them go Mendoza. If they want to run the course, then they can."
"That's an order soldier."
"Yes, Sir." Mendoza responded as he stepped to the side.
The 2 boys neared the front of the course.
"All right, when I blow the whistle, you boys run the course. Just try to finish." A soldier with a clipboard and
Jackson and John readied themselves. The soldier blew the whistle, and the boys were off. They were flying through
most of the obstacles with ease.
Then they reached the wall.
John was ahead, so when Jackson got there, he was all ready crouched down next to it with his hands out. Without missing a beat, Jackson stepped onto his hands, John pushed up, Jack jumped, and he was on top of the wall. He then reached down and pulled John up. They jumped down.
It had only taken 4 seconds.
They then finished the course. Everyone was applauding them when they got back to the front.
"Nice job boys!" the General said. "It would seem that you finished the course in 1:03. The best time we've ever had was 0:52. The worst is 1:23. I believe Mendoza holds the worst record. Isn't that right, Mendoza?"
"Yes, Sir." he said with a sigh.
The General looked at the boys. "Why did you help each other up the wall?" he asked.
"Well, Sir, we both have some trouble with climbing," John said, "so we decided to help each other up the wall."
The General smiled. "All right, everybody. It's almost time for bed. Go get some dinner. Training starts tomorrow at 0900 Hours. We'll start with a brisk jog, and then go a couple times through the obstacle course. Have a good night."
With that said, everyone headed inside.
As Jackson headed to his room, he thought about how bad this could really be. He had a friend, he was getting 3 square meals a day, and he would be training to become a Super-Soldier. This was all ready turning out to be better than the Orphanage.
Spartan Training Edit
It had been 6 months since the kids had started their training. 2 months in, they had been called to a special breifing where they were told about the medical enhancements they were going to be put through.