Death of Jorge
I stood motionless.
The barrel of my MA37 smoked, leaving tendrils of fading wisps in the air.
And I stood, barely making a sound.
Ever since the last of the Covenant forces in the hangar bay of the Covenant Corvette, The Ardent Prayer, everything's gone too quiet.
I barely made any sound, barely made any movement...
Nor I barely breathed...
I both watched my motion-tracker and the shadows of each and every corner that filled this hangar bay.
And I could feel the sweat crawling down my brow, and each and every part of my body has gone intense.
Because there is this one thing that always clicked in my mind:
I have a bad feeling about this.
But to my relief and surprise, I can hear my COM emitting some static before Jorge's voice ringed out, "Six, meet me back at the Pelican."
It was my only response.
I made one last sweep across the area and checking the motion-tracker before I can confirm myself that its all clear.
With that out of the way, I made my way back to the backside of the Pelican with Jorge.
As I approached him, he walked to the Slipspace bomb that we smuggled on-board, examining it.
While I watched him, the Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. Auntie Dot say in her calm, dry, articulate voice,
"Distance is closing on this vessel's refueling track with the Covenant Supercarrier. Seventy-six seconds to endpoint."
After hearing our A.I. explaining that the Supercarrier is on it's way to our location, I heard Jorge curse.
"Damn it... So, it's gonna be like that."
Out of his frustration, he smacks the timer of the bomb with the palm of his hand before turning and coming to my direction.
"Well, I got good news and bad news. This bird took some fire and her thruster gimbal is toast. Which it means the only way off this slag heap is gravity." he explained to me.
"And the good news?" I asked.
He paused and finally saying, "That was the good news."
"At current velocity, fifty-three seconds to endpoint," Auntie Dot reported the two Spartans.
Jorge sighed in annoyance, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
With that, he removed his helmet and let it fall onto the metallic flooring of the hangar bay with a clang.
The helmet rolled a bit towards his feet before coming to a complete stop.
And a thought went through my mind, something was clearly wrong and its affecting Jorge.
"Bad news is, the timer's fried. I'm gonna have to fire it manually," he finally said after a short pause.
My heart was racing.
And I know this feeling all too well, its like a departure sign...
But this departure sign means that he'll never be coming back... not alive at least.
After my moment's pause, "That's a one way trip."
And that was all that I could manage to say, nothing more.
"We all make it sooner or later. Better get going, Six, they're gonna need you down there."
He reached for his dogtags and ripped them off of his neck and extended his hand to me, and I hesitated.
"Listen, Reach has been good to me."
I slowly extended my hand towards his, enclosing mine in his.
But both in my mind and heart, it was screaming 'Don't do this! We can still make back on the surface with the other Noble Team. Please don't do this!'
I bet Jorge knew what I was thinking and said, "Time has come to return the favor."
He dragged me closer to him with my hand, still clasped in his and whispered to me, "Don't deny me this."
Then I felt a sudden change of weight before realizing that it was Jorge, lifting me off the metal floor.
With our hands still enclosed in on each other, he carried me from the back of the Pelican towards the hangar's shield door.
I didn't resist his grasp.
But somewhere in my heart...
I wanted to stop him from activating the Slipspace bomb.
As we got closer to the shield door, Jorge looked at me in the eye with a serious look.
But I knew somewhere deep down...
He doesn't like the idea, but someone has to do it.
With a firm voice, "Tell 'em to make it count."
Before I could say anything to him, he threw me through the shield door and I was drifting away from the Corvette.
I was drifting in space towards Reach.
I gritted my teeth, clearly not happy at all.
I looked at the dogtags that Jorge gave me and I could feel my eyes starting to water.
'I'm a Spartan, goddamn it! I shouldn't shed any tears at all, especially on a mission! But why the hell can I not stop?!'
I took a deep breath...
And with the dogtags in my right hand, I saluted.
'Jorge, you may be one tough SoB, but you're also kind-hearted. I will honor you and your wish.'
After watching Six drift off into space, I went back to the backside of the Pelican.
I took deep breaths.
'Damn it, why does this have to be so difficult?'
I shook the thoughts from my head and worked on the bomb's timing sequence.
Then after giving me a satisfying beeping sounds, I squeezed my eyes shut.
"I'm sorry Six... I'm sorry Noble Team... And I'm sorry..."
I could feel a lot amount of energy surrounding my entire body, engulfing me.
With my final words, I said, "I'm sorry... Mom."
And everything went blank.