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Default 06-05-2014
  #15
Naked Crook
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Vixen looked at Tye, as Tye made eye contact with her. Vixen could see dried blood on Tye’s body. She saw that both of his eyes had been blackened from the beating, and he had dozens of bruises on his body from his Interrogation.

Tyber: I see you did not waste any time coming down here.

Vixen: No…I didn’t.

Vixen frowned at Tye, in an effort to keep her distance from him. However, she felt a sense of guilt looking at him.

Vixen: What do you want?

Tyber: To talk…about Spender…about The Trust. I want to talk about what I know. You can say that I am ready to come clean about EVERYTHING!

Vixen folded her arms in skepticism.

Vixen: What has pre-empted this? Have you had enough? Can’t take any more interrogation?

Tyber: Are you kidding? If this is your best…your best won’t do. The truth is…I want to tell you everything. I am certainly not caving to your “methods”.

Vixen: I don’t understand. Why talk if we can’t make you talk?

Tyber: The truth is…these past few days have really given me time to think about a lot of things. For the first time in quite a while…my head has been clearer than it ever has been. It is almost as if a lot of what has been going on has taken on a new perspective. I almost feel as if…talking…is the right thing to do.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Upon thinking back on everything…I think about Draco III…I think about The Nemesis…I think about The Excalibur…I think about my training…I think about Black Team…I think about Spender…I think about Novak…none of it sits well with me. I remember it all, clear as day…and it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about the things I did.

Vixen: I see…

Tyber: I guess you could call it a confession…or you can consider it my way of trying to atone for the things I did…and my way of trying to figure out what the hell happened to me and how I managed to do such horrible things. The things I did…it wasn’t me. I did not feel right in hindsight. I know it sounds weird…but it wasn’t me doing these things. I am not the kind of person who just…guns down civilians. I know I pulled the trigger…but it wasn’t what I wanted. It was like I could see it happening…but I could not stop myself.

The other Insurrectionists scoffed. One of them even used their Assault Rifle to strike Tye on the face.

Insurrectionist: This guy is fucking nuts. He sounds like he is on the breaking point. I think we can get this guy before the day is out.

Tye spit a bit of blood out of his mouth as he looked back at Vixen.

Tyber: Let me go…I will tell you everything I know…

Vixen was very skeptical about what Tye was saying. She could relate most of what he was saying to what she had read from the intel she managed to steal from The Ulterior Motive. However, part of her felt like this was some kind of elaborate deception.

Vixen: If you want to tell me everything you know…you can start now. I am not going to risk letting you out of here. You are far too dangerous to let free.

Tyber: Please…believe me when I say I am not going to try anything.

One of the Insurrectionists struck Tye again. Tye spit out more blood, as he looked back at Vixen.

Vixen: I’m sorry…you stay here. I am not going to risk letting you out. I cannot endanger this ship based solely on your word.

Tye sighed.

Tyber: I don’t blame you. I really don’t. Honestly though…I mean every word when I say I won’t try to escape, I am not going to try and kill everyone on the ship. I don’t know what else I can say to try and prove it to you.

Vixen: There is very little you can say. Your word literally means nothing to me without some kind of proof.

Tyber: Proof? You want proof that I am being honest when I say I won’t try to escape or try to kill everyone on this ship?

Vixen cocked any eyebrow. Just as she did, Tye pulled his arms down, as he literally pulled the chains right out of the ceiling. In one fast and fluid motion, Tye reached to his left and grabbed the Assault Rifle out of the hands of one of the Insurrection, as he swung the Assault Rifle to the right, and smacked it across the face of another Insurrectionist, knocking him across the room. Tye then swung the Assault Rifle to the left, and knocked out the other Insurrectionists. Vixen began to back up, as Tye aimed the Assault Rifle down and shot the chains that were attached to his ankle restraints.

Tye then walked towards Vixen, still holding the Assault Rifle in his hands. He glared at her in the eyes, as he winced his eyes.

Tyber: I have been working on that escape plan for the past 5 days now. Once I realized the structural flaw in the restrings…it was simply a matter of slowly compromising their integrity…just enough to yank them right out of the wall.

Tye held out the Assault Rifle, and handed it to Vixen.

Tyber: I literally could have escaped at any time. I could have killed you just now. I could walk off this ship, and leave a trail of dead bodies the likes of which you have never seen…but I didn’t do that. I am not the same man that I was a few days ago.

Tye scoffed.

Tyber: I don’t want to escape. I don’t want to kill anyone. All I want…is a pair of pants…and something to eat. Is that really too much to ask?

Tye grinned, as he laughed a bit.

Tyber: Is it?

Vixen folded her arms, as she looked at Tye.

Vixen: After what I have seen…it is a lot to ask.

Tyber: And…what exactly have you seen that makes “giving me a pair of pants” a bad idea hmm?

Vixen scoffed.

Vixen: That is not remotely what I meant…

Tyber: It sounded like it though. You have to admit that.

Tye turned his head when he heard one of the Insurrectionists shuffling behind him. Tye turned as he saw The Insurrectionist trying to get back to his feet. However, before the Insurrectionist got back to his feet, Vixen stepped forward. She looked at the Insurrectionist.

Vixen: Stand down. The prisoner is not a threat. He had his chance to kill me, and everyone in this room, and make a break for it. From what I can tell…we have overestimated the danger.

The Insurrectionist looked at Vixen with a hint of skepticism, but he obliged, as he got to his feet and stepped back. Vixen continued to look at the Insurrectionist, as she pointed to the other Insurrectionist that had been knocked out.

Vixen: Get him out of here…and…bring a pair of cloths.

The Insurrectionist nodded, as he carried out Vixen’s orders. It was not long before Vixen and Tye were left alone. Vixen folded her arms and looked at Tye.

Vixen: So…what do I call you? Obviosuly “Black 6” won’t do anymore

Tyber: I guess not…all things considered. My name is Lieutenant Tyber Vernette. UNSC Special Operations…well…used to be UNSC Special Operations. I doubt I am with UNSC Special Operations anymore.

Vixen: Well, I don’t think that matters one way or the other.

Tyber: I guess that is true. Now that I think about it.

Vixen: Well, we can worry about the details later. First thing is first…

Vixen turned away and walked out of the cell. As she did, an Insurrectionist had returned with a set of cloths.

Vixen: Do me a favor…and get changed.

Vixen grabbed the cloths and threw them at Tye.

Vixen: Nothing overly snazzy. Just same basic cloths to get you by until we can find you something better. For now, it will due. Once you are ready, I will show you to the guest quarters. I am not sure if you have noticed…but six days in here have really done a number to your hygiene. I would prefer to give you the chance to rejoin the civilized world…as opposed to unleashing you on the world as you are.

Tye caught threw cloths as he watched Vixen speak. He gave a skeptical look.

Tyber: The civilized world…right.

Tye laughed, as he began to dress himself. Vixen, on the other hand, left the brig and waited outside. Vixen leaned on the wall outside the door to the brig, as she waited for Tye. After several minutes, Tye walked out of the brig. As he did, he looked at Vixen with a smirk on his face. The two then started to walk, with Vixen slightly leading the way.

Vixen: What is so funny?

Tye shook his head.

Tyber: Nothing…nothing.

Tye laughed again.

Vixen: Something must be amusing.

Tyber: I was just thinking about how you must be kicking yourself for letting me put cloths on.

Tye began to laugh, but Vixen scoffed.

Tyber: You have to admit…I am a work of art.

Vixen: Well…you are free to delude yourself all you want Mr. Vernette. I refuse to comment.

Tyber: You don’t have to comment. I am pretty sure I know who gave the order to…strip search…if you catch my drift.

Vixen: That was a tactical decision. Nothing more.

Tyber: Well…you are free to delude yourself all you want…Kathryn…was it?

Vixen stopped as she glared at Tye.

Vixen: I have never given anyone the permission to EVER address me by my name. I will be damned if you are the first. Don’t get too comfortable with me. I am not someone who is easy to get along with.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Let me make one thing clear Vernette…I am friends with nobody on this ship. I am the commander of this ship. I lead these people. I am never questioned, and I am not considered a friend to anyone here. I rule with an iron fist, not with an open hand. Nobody here has ever been allowed to address me as anything more than their leader and their commander. You will be given no special privileges to do so just because you are not one of my people.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I prefer to keep distance between myself and the people I fight with. It is nothing personal. I just prefer to stay alone.

Tye looked at Vixen and cocked an eyebrow.

Tyber: That is no way to live.

Vixen: It is how I choose to live. It is much easier that way.

Tyber: That is a pretty crappy way to live.

Vixen shrugged, as she resumed walking. Tye followed behind her.

Vixen: Don’t get me wrong…being in the Insurrection is a hell of a lot less stressful than being in the military. There are no rules about conduct, fraternization, or any of that stuck up bullshit. When we have to blow off steam with someone…we do it in the best manner possible without having to worry about rules and regulations. However…I choose to keep my distance. I cannot afford the distractions…or the baggage.

Tye nodded.

Tyber: I can appreciate that.

Tye paused.

Tyber: To be so singularly focused on something that…nothing else really matters. I know exactly how that feels.

Vixen stopped in front of a room, as she turned to face Tye.

Tyber: Perhaps there are some things we have in common.

Vixen: There is only one thing I want in common with people; the insatiable desire to kill my father. If you have that desire…then we will get along just fine. That is all we really need.

Vixen paused. She then sighed as she looked at the door she had stopped in front of.

Vixen: These are your private quarters. Get yourself cleaned up. You should find something more…formidable looking waiting for you in there.

Tyber: If it is all the same to you…I would prefer to get my BDU back.

Vixen: No…not at this time. We are not going to give it back until you and I have a much more in-depth conversation about what you were doing on my Father’s ship. That BDU is his technology. I want to know more about it before I give it back to you.

Vixen grinned.

Vixen: Consider it my personal prerogative.

Tye folded his arms, as he looked at Vixen.

Tyber: Very well. However…don’t try and keep it from me. The armor belongs to me…nobody else. I expect it back.

Tye walked towards the door, as he used his index finger to press a small wall panel. As he did this, the door to his room opened.

Tyber: So…how should I get in contact with you once I get myself cleaned up?

Vixen: Just use the comm system to page me. Just browse through the comm directory and you will find me eventually. I think I am near the bottom of the list. I will come and find you. If you want my advice, don’t try and roam the corridors by yourself. You are an unknown face…and you may get shot if someone with an itchy finger sees you.

Tye laughed.

Tyber: Lady…I have been shot a few times already. A few more times won't kill me.

Vixen suddenly remembered that Tye had not been treated for his injuries since they captured him.

Vixen: Oh my God...you were ever treated for your injuries.

Tyber: I don't need to seek treatment. I can handle it myself. Just get me a pair of pliers...and some bandage.

Vixen was taken aback by what Tye said.

Vixen: That is disgusting! No...I insist you report to the medical bay.

Tye entered his room, as he turned to face Vixen. He shook his head.

Tyber: No more Doctors. I am done with Doctors.

Vixen: Well...there is a first aid kit under the sink. If you pass out...we will figure it out eventually.

Tyber: Thank you.

Tye frowned, as he used the control pad on the wall to close the door. Vixen was taken aback again by Tye's stubbornness and resolve.

Vixen: I do not want to picture what he is going to do to himself.

Vixen walked off, shuddering as she considered what Tye was about to subject himself to.

As Vixen walked off, Tye looked around his quarters. He had to admit that the quarters he was just given were certainly better than the ones on The Ulterior Motive. Tye sighed, as he rubbed his chin, feeling the bear that had started to grow over the past week. Tye looked around, and spotted the bathroom. He began to walk toward the bathroom, pulling his shirt off, and tossing it aside. As he stood in the bathroom, he looked at himself in the mirror. He examined his wounds and his injuries closely. He ran his hands over the bullet wounds, but he didn't even flinch.

Tyber: It does not even hurt. I can barely feel it.

Tye frowned.

Tyber: These injuries would have killed a lesser man. I am still alive, however. Whatever Novak did to me...I am a hell of a lot more durable and capable than the typical run-of-the-mill soldier.

Tye began to remember what Eli had told him about being augmented. He recalled the details Eli had given about soldier who had joined the Orion Project.

Tyber: I can see why they call it augmentation.

Tye flexed one of his arms in front of his chest. His eyes widened.

Tyber: I am a lot bigger than I used to be. I am built like a fucking tank. I am stronger, faster, more durable, more tactically aware than I ever was. They engineering a perfect soldier...with nothing more than a test tube and a syringe.

Tye hung his head.

Tyber: They created a better soldier. They took a good soldier, and made him a perfect one. I am no longer the same man I used to be. I...have been improved. They gave me everything I needed to be unstoppable. They gave me everything I needed to bet the best of the best.

Tye paused again. He found himself wrestling with his own identity.

Tyber: Am I still the same man I was two months ago?

Tye looked at himself closely in the mirror. His mind started to wander, as he thought back to Draco III, thinking back to the people he had killed in the coldest of blood. A shiver went down Tye's back, as if Death himself had just brushed against him.

Tyber: I murdered all those people...in cold blood. I didn't even stop to think about it. I just took aim, and pulled the trigger. Why don't I feel anything? Where is the remorse? Where is the guilt? Why can't I feel it? There is no way that I have allowed myself to become this cold...this disconnected. Where the hell is my Humanity? Why can't I feel anything?

Tye paused.

Tyber: I know I felt something before.

Tye paused again. He closed his eyes as he began to think back.

Tyber: All those people I killed on The Excalibur...it was all for nothing. Their blood is on my hands, and I cannot find the capacity to care.

Tye paused again, as he opened his eyes. He looked himself in the eyes. All he could see was a distant coldness.

Tyber: I have done monstrous things...things I will live with for the rest of my life. But...none of this bothers me. I cannot feel any sort of guilt! Why!?

Tye was starting to get frustrated. However, he quickly stopped himself. He took deep breahs as he got himself back under control.

Tyber: Relax Tye...relax. Getting irritated will not solve anything.

Tye frowned at himself.

Tyber: I have no idea how to feel things like guilt and remorse...but I can find my anger and my rage all too easily. What the fuck did The Trust do to me?

Tye could see the fire in his own eyes. The thought of being manipulated, engineered, tampered with, and changed enraged him. He felt used.

Tyber: They used me to do their dirty work. They used me to commit atrocities.

Tye took a deep breath, but he exhaled and scoffed.

Tyber: Novak...Spender...those bastards are going to PAY for what they did to me!

Tye grinned.

Tyber: They are going to rue the day they EVER recruited me. I am going to make them pay for every second that I spent doing their dirty work.

Tye sighed. He stepped back, and walked towards the shower. Tye stepped into the shower, and activated the dial, turning the temperature down to cold. Tye felt the cold water hit his skin, as it jolted him to life. Ye’s eyes went wide, as a shiver went down his spine. The cold water had shaken all of the fatigue and the stiffness out of his bones as he felt himself fully attentive and awake. Tye began to clean himself up, scrubbing the dried up blood off of his skin. It did not take Tye long to get himself fully cleaned up to the point where he would be presentable to polite society.

Tye stepped out of the shower, and once again approached the sink. Tye knelt down, as he looked in a cabinet under the sink, and grabbed the first aid kit that was inside. Tye stood up again, and placed the first aid kit on the counter. Tye opened the med kit, and looked at the utensils inside. He grabbed a needle nose medical plied out of the case, and held it in one hand, as he grabbed some antiseptic in his other hand. Once Tye had ensured that the pliers were sanitized, he used the pliers to dig into his bullet wounds, as he began to extract the slugs. Once by one, he pulled the slugs out, and dropped the bloody pieces of metal into the sink. Tye barely flinched as he pulled each bullet out.

It was not long before Tye had removed half a dozen slugs from his torso. Each of his wounds were bleeding a bit, but it was nothing he could not handle. Tye applied more antiseptic to his wounds and proceeded to stitched himself up. Tye placed bandages over his wounds to finish his own first aid.

Tyber: Much better. Much, much better.

Tye walked back to the living area of his quarters as he began to dig through the drawers. Tye found an assortment of civilian clothing inside of the drawers, and he picked something that best suited him. It was not long before Tye was fully dressed, cleaned up, patched up, and ready to present himself. He recalled what Vixen had said to him, about contacting her via the comm. system when he was ready to talk with her further. Tye looked around and saw that there was a small touch screen device mounted on his wall. He approached the device, and accessed the ship’s directory. He looked through the directory, and paged Vixen.

Tye stepped back from the control panel, as he turned to sit down on a chair in the corner of his room. Tye began to think about where he was going to go from here. He had no intention of going back to The Trust, now that he was thinking much more clearly, but sticking around with The Insurrection was something, as a UNSC Officer, could not do. These people, despite their intentions, were criminals and enemies of the UNSC. There was no way that Tye would work with The Insurrection in any matter that directly opposed The UNSC...but he was willing to entertain a partnership in order to stop The Trust, but only if the opportunity presented itself. Tye had no intention of being held against his will on this ship.

As Tye considered his situation, he watched as Vixen walked into his room. She looked over to him, and looked at him head to toe.

Vixen: You look much more civilized now.

Tyber: So it seems.

Tye stood up and walked towards Vixen. Vixen stepped back a bit, which in turn, caused Tye to stop in his tracks.

Tyber: Is there a problem?

Vixen: No...it was just...reflex. Last time you walked towards me like that...I got more bruises than I bargained for.

Tye didn't respond.

Vixen: But that is behind us...hopefully...

Tyber: Hopefully.

Vixen gestured her head, as she invited Tye to walk with her. Tye nodded, as he began to follow behind Vixen, following her out of his quarters. As they walked, Vixen began to speak.

Vixen: So...I took the liberty of quickly looking up your UNSC service profile. You have quite a few impressive credentials. You seem like a smart guy, you are tactically capable, and you tough as nails. I like people like that; they are dependable.

Tyber: Well, for what it is worth...I am a lot better than I was before. I am tougher than tough as nails, much more tactically adept, and, well, I am still just as smart as I was before.

Vixen: I realize that.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: The fact is...the price you paid for being better...was far too high. I think the price was higher than you realize.

Tyber: Why do you say that?

Vixen: Well...I can't explain it...at least I cannot do it any sort of justice.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I want to know something Tye...how much do you actually know about your "training"?

Tyber: What do you mean?

Vixen: It is my understanding that during your time on my Father's ship...you underwent numerous training simulations.

Tye stopped. Vixen saw Tye stop, and she stopped as well, turning to face him.

Tyber: How do you know that?

Vixen: Apart from it being a reasonable supposition?

Vixen paused.

Vixen: During our attack on The Ulterior Motive...we managed to steal a lot of intel from the main computer. Some of it is incomplete, mind you, but there was enough there to keep me busy this past week. I got to know you, ODST Black Team, and Dr. Novak quite well. I even learned a few things about my father.

Tye glared at Vixen.

Tyber: That does not answer my question entirely.

Vixen: The intel I stole...was, in large part, Dr. Novak's research notes. From his musings to his theories, and everything in between. I could tell you things that you may not know. We also got bits and pieces of my father's personal logs, a few fractured navigational logs, and even crew reports. I even got my hands on the classified Dossiers for ODST Black Team.

Tye stepped forward towards Vixen.

Tyber: I want to see this information. I want to see all of it!

Vixen: I gathered as much. I somehow knew that you would be interested in a bit of sordid and morbid reading. Come on...let me show you.

Tye nodded, as he once again started following Vixen. After taking a few steps however, Tye began to think. He then realized something.

Tyber: Where is my armor!?

Vixen: We locked it away.

Tyber: I need to see it! There is something I need to get.

Vixen: Easier said than done.

Tye stopped. He grabbed Vixen by her arm, and stopped her in her tracks. Vixen turned and frowned at Tye, who promptly released her.

Tyber: You don't understand. I MAY have more intel for you. Believe me...you will like that I have. However...the only way I can get to it, is if you give me access to my BDU.

Vixen looked at Tye, and cocked an eyebrow.

Vixen: Humor me Mr. Vernette; what reason do I have to trust you at your word when you say there is more intel? For all I know, this is a rouse to get your armor back. God knows what you would do at that point.

Tye stammered.

Tyber: Well...ummm...

Tye sighed.

Tyber: The fact that you are not already dead is a pretty good reason to trust me at my word.

Vixen: Perhaps. Perhaps not. The fact is, I saw firsthand what you did with that armor. We had a hell of a time taking you down. Do you really think I want to run the risk of letting you get your hands on it, before such time you have proven your loyalty?

Tyber: I don't need my BDU to raise hell on this ship. I don't even need it to go after The Trust. However, that will never change the fact that my BDU is far too valuable of an asset to lose. I won't let you keep it, and I won't let you keep me from it. If I wanted it back bad enough...I would find it and take it, and I would leave a trail of bodies the likes of which you have never seen. However, I am not going to do that for the simple reason that you and I, have one very vital thing in common; we both want to find Spender...and we want to kill him.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I want to make Spender, and by extension The Trust, pay for what they did to me. I am sure you want to make your fatther pay for what he did to you as well. I am singularly focused on getting my hands on Spender and The Trust, and I am not interested in anyone on this ship. I don't care about killing anyone here. All I want...is a shot at The Trust.

Tye paused. He looked at Vixen.

Tyber: I have a feeling that is what you want as well. There is nothing you want more than to launch a ruthlessly successful assault on your father, and bury him, and his draconian organization, one and for all. In that respect, you and I are very similar. I have been trained, twice over, to form alliances with like-minded people to achieve a common goal. As easily as I could walk through this ship and reclaim what belongs to me, I am not going to do that...because you, and this crew, are the best candidates for potential allies right now. I am trained not to jeopardize assets like that.

Tye paused.

Tyber: And...the truth is...in a way...I owe you my life.

Vixen was taken aback by this.

Vixen: Oh?

Tyber: Whether it was inadvertent or not, and I am going to assume that it was the former just based on how thing played out, by capturing me and holding me here...you rescued me from The Trust. Had I not have been here, I would more than likely be on The Ulterior Motive right now, being manipulated by The Trust.

Tye paused.

Tyber: So...I owe you one.

Tye shrugged.

Tyber: If that is not enough...then...well...I have nothing left to say to argue my case. All I can say is that, for the time being, I have every intention of going after The Trust...so I may as well help you do it.

Vixen: Hmmm...

Vixen looked at Tye, and thought about what he had said.

Vixen: Alright Mr. Vernette...I believe you. Part of me thinks that this is still a bad idea. However, I have become pretty good at sensing when people are sincere or not. You strike me as more sincere than anything else.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: However...I do have one condition.

Tyber: Name it.

Vixen: When the time comes to go after my father...I will give you back your equipment. However, until then, or until we are faced with an emergency, let's just keep it locked up...alright?

Vixen paused. She reached into her pocket, and pulled out a keycard. She handed it to Tye.

Vixen: That card will unlock the storage locker where your BDU is being kept. I am going to trust you with this. Just...please...leave it where it is for now. Alright?

Tyber: Fair enough. However, I do need to get access to it. There is something I need to get.

Vixen nodded.

Vixen: Alright...follow me.

Vixen led Tye down the corridor, as she brought him towards an elevator. Vixen pressed the button on the wall, and waited for the elevator. As they waited, Tye looked at her.

Tyber: So...what is the full story between you and...your father? What exactly happened between the two of you?

Vixen sighed. She closed her eyes, and looked away.

Tyber: Vixen?

Vixen: It is...complicated.

Tyber: Most things like this are complicated.

Vixen: Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I prefer not to talk about it. It is something that I have difficulty talking about. I have spent a long time trying to bury the pain of the memories.

Vixen paused when the elevator door opened. She walked in, and Tye followed her. Vixen looked at the control panel in the elevator and pressed one of the buttons. The door closed and the elvator began to move.

Tyber: Fair enough. If it bothers you, we don't have to talk about it.

Vixen looked at Tye with a curious look.

Vixen: That sounds strange, coming from you.

Tyber: How so?

Vixen: I remember the last time I had an in-depth conversation with you...you nearly killed me. You had every intention of bringing me back to my father so HE could kill me. You may not remember...

Tyber: I remember...

Tye looked forward, and put his hands behind his back.

Tyber: I am not proud of what I did. I am not proud of how I acted. Everything I did...was unbecoming of an office of my...stature. I betrayed everything I have ever believed in...almost.

Tye looked at Vixen.

Tyber: No offense...but The Insurrection is the enemy of the UEG.

Vixen grinned.

Vixen: No offense taken...Mr. Vernette.

Tyber: It is Lt. Vernette...and...call me Tye. Tye is what my friends call me.

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: Vixen: So now we are friends?

Tyber: Well...not in the strictest definition.

Vixen: Mmm...hmmm....

Vixen looked away.

Vixen: Honestly...Tye...you are a lot more charming than I first assumed. Evil and moody does not suit you. It does not do you justice.

Tye looked at Vixen again and raised an eyebrow.

Vixen: I think friendly is more your shtick.

Tye laughed.

Tyber: Well...hmmm...

Tye looked away. He felt troubled still. His thoughts drifted to his actions on Draco III and The Excalibur. He remembered all of the innocent men and women he had killed for little to no good reason. Tye had trouble believing that he was "friendly" in any sense of the word. The only words he could think of was confused and lost. Tye felt like he was trapped, lost, somewhere between the man he was and the man The Trust had turned him into.

Tyber: Well…friendly is not the word I would use. In fact…that is the last word I would use to describe myself.

Vixen looked at Tye with a hint of curiosity, but she decided not to prod. Despite this, before she could change the subject, the elevator stopped, and the door opened. Vixen stepped off the elevator, as she walked down the corridor. Tye followed behind her as she walked.

Vixen: So…what kind of intel do you have?

Tyber: Detailed records on your father’s activities leading up to my recruitment. They are basically personal logs from one of his colleagues.

Vixen: Who exactly was it?

Tyber: His name was Commodore Davidov. He was the antithesis of your father…to a degree. Davidov didn’t believe in what your father was trying to do; namely, plant Trust operatives in the UNSC military so as to have greater control over military matters. Your father often spoke of how it was his responsibility to ensure the survival of and preservation of Human society.

Vixen: I am familiar with those words.

Tyber: Well, thoise words led him to attempt his current military power play. Not only is he trying to put Trust sleeper agents in the UEG and UNSC…he is trying to now take over The Trust. After people like Davidov opposed him, he began to eliminate them one by one. We managed to kill two of the three other leaders of The Trust…leaving only Spender…and Rear Admiral Hoffman.

Vixen listened intently to what Tye was saying.

Tyber: he is going full on coup d’eta…and it is within his reach. I can only image what he will do if he takes over full control of The Trust.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Nothing good will come out of it…and I am pretty sure the first thing he will do is make you target number one.

Vixen: Agreed. We have to stop him. We cannot allow him to succeed. But…at the same time…a chance to destroy The Trust is also very tempting. We could kill, both my father, and the entire leadership of The Trust…in one fell swoop.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Hopefully…this intel can point us in the right direction…or give us something that we do not know.

Vixen and Tye stopped outside of a large door with the word ARMORY above it. Vixen looked at Tye, and nodded, as Tye used the keycard he was given to unlock the door. A light above the door turned green, as the door opened.

Vixen: Your BDU is in locker 45-Gamma.

Tye took the lead, as Vixen followed behind him. Tye walked towards the locker where his BDU was stored. When he had found it, he stood in front of the locker, and used his keycard to open his locker. Tye opened the locker, ands he looked at the BDU. He stepped back, as the BDU reminded him of some of the atrocities that he had committed. He recalled the moments when he shot down those civilians on Draco III. He recalled the faces of every soldier he had killed on The Excalibur. He found himself deeply troubled by the memories. Tye seized up, as the sounds the the screaming, the moaning, and the pain echoed in his head.

Vixen looked at Tye and nudged him to try and break him out of his trance.

Vixen: Hey…ye?

Tye started to breath heavily, as he raised his hand and slammed the locker door. He backed away, trying to catch his breath.

Vixen: Are you alright? You look like you have seen a ghost.

Tye looked at Vixen, as he tried to find his words.

Tyber: I…uhhh…

Tye fell silent.

Vixen: What happened?

Tyber: I don’t know. Seeing that armor…it froze me. All I could think about was...I felt…tense. I had a flood of memories just hit me like I had never been hit before. They were vivid. Almost terrifying.

Tye stopped himself. Vixen looked on with a hint of concern.

Vixen: If I had to guess, I would call that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Tye looked at Vixen with a look of concern.

Vixen: That is typically not a good thing.

Tye shook his head.

Vixen: Are you alright?

Tyber: No…I am not alright. I am the furthest thing from alright. For the past day or so…I have been…struggling. Certain things, smells, words, ideas, even sounds have been setting me off into panic attacks…high anxiety frames of mind. It has been happening with more and more frequency.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I have been thinking about some of the Ops I ran during my very brief time with The Trust. The past day or two have been especially bad. I have been getting flashbacks of some of the stuff I did. It unsettles me to a degree which I cannot fully explain.

Tye paused.

Tyber: The strange part is…I don’t feel remorse, sadness, or guilt about any of it…but when something triggers the memories…it frightens me, overwhelms me. It paralyzes me. It is very odd and very unsettling. Not but a minute ago, when I saw that Black BDU, it unsettled me. I was overcome with images in my head, clear as day, recalling in perfect details brief moments of some of my ops…stuff I would not be proud of. It only lasted a moment…but I literally froze. I couldn’t think of anything else. It usually only lasts a moment…then it passes.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Just last night…when I fell asleep, I slept through the entire night, reliving those ops, in perfect detail, remembering each kill, each order, each move. I knew I was dreaming…but…it was like a nightmare that I could not wake up from. It frightened the hell out of me.

Vixen: Defiantly sounds like PTSD. It would make sense.

Tyber: What do you mean by that?

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: I can explain in more detail later, but, in brief, based on what I read in Novak’s research notes and documentation…I think this is a normal side effect. I can explain more later. For now…

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: In the mean time…you need to face this. You need to face what you have done. You can’t let memories and flashbacks rule your life. You need to get a hold of yourself.

Tye looked at Vixen. He knew she was right.

Tyber: Right…right…

Tye sighed, as he walked back towards the locker, and opened it. He looked at the armor hanging in the locker, and he looked at the helmet. He once again was flooded with memoires of the things that he had done while wearing that armor. However, Tye took a deep breath, and reached towards the body armor, as he dug through the pockets. After a moment, Tye pulled out a data chip. As soon as he had the data chip in his hands, he recoiled, stepped back, and slammed the locker door.

Tyber: Oh God…

Tye was breathing heavily.

Tyber: That was…very unpleasant.

Vixen walked towards Tye.

Vixen: Perhaps…but…

Vixen grabbed the data chip from Tye’s hands. Tye simply watched Vixen, and allowed her to take it. Tye was too concerned with his own state of mind and well being.

Vixen: We can now review this intel.

Tye closed his eyes and shook his head. He blanked his mind, desperately trying to bury his run-away thoughts.

Tyber: Yes…we can review the intel. I have already looked at it…but…you might get a kick out of it.

Vixen looked at Tye. She knew full well that he was struggling at the moment. She nudged him.

Vixen: Tye…relax…clear your head. Focus on my voice. Focus on the here and now. Focus on the future. Don’t dwell on the past.

Vixen stepped in front of Tye and looked him in the eyes.

Vixen: Look at me…

Tye looked at Vixen. The look in his eyes screamed stress.

Vixen: Don’t let it control you. Focus! Find something else to think about. Think about something that calms you down.

Tye closed his eyes as he began to breathe heavily, After a moment, his breathing slowed, and he opened his eyes.

Tyber: Alright…alright…I think I am better now. It has passed.

Vixen nodded.

Vixen: Good. Whatever you thought about about…keep it in mind when you find yourself in a panic attack like that. If you feel the anxiety build…just take a moment, ground yourself…and think. Take as much time as you need.

Tye nodded. He grinned. He then began to laugh.

Tyber: It…is…unbelievable…

Tye shook his head.

Tyber: The fact that I can cripple myself with nothing more than a memory…it is embarrassing.

Vixen shook her head.

Vixen: Not at all. I have a pretty good idea how you are feeling right now. I know how difficult it must be for you.

Tye looked at Vixen. He then sighed and hung his head.

Tyber: I am not used to feeling that level of fear or paranoia. I have never experienced anything like this before.

Tye paused.

Tyber: It feels debilitating.

Vixen: I know...but the best you can do is try and face it and overcome it. It is clear that you are dealing with a form of PTSD. The only way to beat it, is to face it.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I realize that you did some pretty horrible things when you were working for my father. I saw some of your handy work first hand. However...I don't think that is who you really were, and I think you know that as well. However...you seem to be having trouble living with the memories of what you did. THis is normal and it is something you can overcome by accepting the reality of what you did, and ensuring that it never happens again.

Tyber: It sounds so simple...but...

Tye paused.

Tyber: I have no idea how to face this. It just seems so...overwhelming. I can't find the courage to face it and accept what I have done.

Vixen: The moment you face your past, and accept what you have done...is the moment you can begin to move past your current difficulties. You have to face what you have done and you have to accept that nothing you do will ever change the past...but your future is not set in stone. You strike me as a good and honorable man. You may not believe it deep down...but I am sure that you are.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I can prove it. I can prove that you are a good person, above all else. Come with me...I want to show you something.

Vixen patted Tye on the shoulder, as she led him out of the armory. Tye walked beside her, keeping silent. Vixen could tell that Tye was under a lot of stress at the moment. She had to admit that she felt a great deal of sympathy for what Tye was going through. However, Vixen knew that she had to keep her distance from Tye. Despite the difficulties that she knew he was going through, this was someone who could still potentially be a real threat to both herself and her crew. However, despite this, Vixen was intent on showing Tye what he needed to see.

Vixen led Tye all the way to her office, however, she did not proceed inside. Instead, she stopped and looked at Tye.

Vixen: Tye...before we go any further...I need to tell you something.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Six days ago...when we assaulted The Ulterior Motive...we managed to steal a great deal of intel from my father's ship.

Tyber: Yeah...you told me this already. You got research notes, etc, etc, etc.

Vixen: Not just any research notes. I have the nearly complete and unabridged dossier concerning the training and augmentation of ODST Black Team. This Dossier contains everything...even things that you do not know. There were aspects of your training...that if described as "morally bankrupt" and "monstrous"...would be the greatest understatement in the history of mankind.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I fear the repercussions of showing you this intel. I worry about how you will handle it. Sometimes...it is best not to know...but the choice is yours, and this is all my opinion.

Tye looked at Vixen. He thought about hat she said. Despite her warnings, he could not fathom anything that could possibly be much worse than what he had already done.

Tyber: I appreciate you looking out for me...and trying to protect me. However...if there are aspects of my life that are being hidden from me...I cannot allow that. I need to know what my life entails.

Vixen: Tye...are you sure?

Tyber: I am sure. Please...whatever was kept from me...I need to know.

Vixen nodded, as she looked down. Vixen turned to face the control panel next to the door. She raised her hand to open the door, but Tye stopped her before she could do anything.

Tyber: Wait...

Vixen looked at Tye.

Tyber: I need to know something else first...

Tye paused. Vixen simply looked at Tye.

Vixen: What is it?

Tyber: What is your motivation in all of this? It was only 2 hours ago that I was in your brig. Why so much transparency, and trust, and compassion, and kindness?

Vixen: Honestly?

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I am not...comfortable...talking about that.

Tye looked at Vixen.

Tyber: Fair enough. I won't prod. Can I at least know if you are sincerely genuine in...everything you are doing?

Vixen nodded.

Tyber: Say it.

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: Yes...I am. I have always been sincere when I needed to be. Right now...you need sincerity. After all the lies you were told...a bit of sincerity is what you need.

Tye shrugged, and nodded.

Tyber: Alright. Thanks. That is all I really need to hear.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Alright...do your thing...

Vixen nodded. She once again raised her hand, and used the control panel to unlock the door to her office. Once the door was unlocked, Vixen walked in, and Tye followed behind her. Vixen walked over to her desk, and sat down, as she began to type on a laptop that was sitting on her desk.

Vixen: Alright...some of it is split into written notes...and we also have some audio logs. All of it is recorded by Dr. Robert Novak.

Tyber: Let's hear the audio logs. I can read the written stuff later.

Vixen nodded, as she started the first audio log she had.

Novak: Chief Medical Officer's log - January 10th 2515. Live human experimentation of the Cognitive Reevaluation Formula has begun. The results have been very disappointing, but very informative. At first, there were very promising results. My readings indicated that there was a clear increase in physiological levels across the board. However...test subjects quickly devolved and gave into...violent and uncontrollable behavior - turning into dangerous sociopathic threats. Test subjects were terminated immediately. Results of autopsy suggests that the CRF causer catastrophic brain damage in the livestock. It seems I will be going back to the drawing board.

The audio log ended. Tye shrugged as he looked at Vixen.

Tyber: I am fully aware that Novak was experimenting on people. He started with low level marines and soldiers...but eventually started to experiment on civilians so as to reduce the loss of Trust personnel. This is nothing new. That intel I gave you contains Davidov's espionage on Spender - and there is much reference to what Novak was doing. If I recall correctly, Novak was working on brainwashing people for combat and military applications. He was basically trying to manufacture soldiers using drugs. Skip ahead. I don't need to hear what I already know.

Vixen nodded. She began to skip ahead.

Novak: Chief Medical Officer's log - February 15th 2515. Spender has voiced disapproval of the amount of Trust soldiers I have killed in my multiple failures to perfect the CRF. However, I was informed that I would be permitted to use civilians in the course of my experimentation. While I am relieved that I can continue my experiments...I feel that the results of what I am trying to accomplish will be tainted by the fact that I will not be experimenting on trained military personnel. There will defiantly be changes in the expected results that I will have to account for.

Tyber: I am also aware that he was experimenting on civilians. This is nothing new.

Vixen: Alright...skipping ahead. I think this is where we are going to get into unfamiliar territory in terms of what you do and do not know.

Vixen began to skip ahead, skipping several audio logs, until she reached the desired log.

Novak: Chief Medical Officer's log - April 18th 2515. This afternoon...ODST Black Team will be running Warehouse Simulation 13. They have done very well up until this point. They have had no difficulty getting through the tactical application exercises and the assessment simulations to gauge their baseline performance. Warehouse Simulation 13, and all simulations after this, is where their training starts to get a bit more...interesting. From this point forward...ODST Black Team will be fighting real people in the simulation deck. These "people" are...were colonists that I had left over during my initial testing of the earlier CRF revisions. While these civilians were not administered the current CRF formula, they have been dosed with massive levels of various psychotropic agents, including a few to make them VERY sensitive to a bit of subliminal conditioning. These civilians were then dropped into the simulation deck, briefed on what they are here for, and armed. These people have no idea who they are or where they are. The only thing they are aware of...is the fact that they are here to kill ODST Black Team. I just hope they stick to that. and not go off the rails Whatever happens today...this will be a very interesting display. Even now, as I sit here, watching these civilians pace around the warehouse from the observation deck above...I feel anxious. There is so much going on here today. New frontiers of science are being explored today. I am on the verge of a breakthrough on so many fronts, that I can barely keep track of them. I will be observing the convergence of my life's work today. I will see how the CRF has improved ODST Black Team's performance. I will see how well I was able to turn average civilians into dedicated, bloodthirsty, and loyal soldiers. I dare say...I am an artist. I am creating the future of training combat personnel.

Tye listened to Novak's audio log in total disbelief. He could not believe what he was hearing.

Tyber: He was...he was...he was...

Tye could not finish what he was trying to say.

Vixen: Those training simulations you ran...were against innocent people who had been...abducted, drugged, poisoned, and brainwashed into being nothing more than cannon fodder to hone your skills. You were in live fire against civilians.

Vixen paused.

Tye had a look of horror across his face, as his breathing became more labored.

Vixen: The next several audio logs all run along the same theme. Each log details the simulation you ran, drugs used on the civilians, and the expected results.

Vixen played the next audio log.

Novak: Chief Medical Officer's log - April 19th 2515. I have to admit...I have outdone myself with ODST Black Team. While I remain cautiously optimistic about certain aspects of ODST Black Team, such as the longevity of Black 6, I cannot help but feel that we are on the right path in terms of pushing the fundamental limit of combat personnel training. Today...I am going to be running a very special kind of simulation...something that I came up with a few days ago. It will defiantly be an excellent test to see how FAR ODST Black Team has come. I have created a new team of ODSTs called ODST Grey Team. Of course, I have used real people for their opponents...but ODST Grey Team is special. ODST Grey Team...are clones of ODST Black Team. I flash cloned them, using DNA I salvaged from them when they first came aboard. I cloned them specially for the purpose of creating single use, hyper lethal opponents for ODST Black Team. Each Clone is genetically identical to each respective member of ODST Black Team, with the exception of the fact that I have used the same psychotropic agents on Grey Team, that I used on the previous civilian cannon fodder before. It could be argued that ODST Grey Team is better, stronger, and faster than ODST Black Team is currently. While the chances of ODST Black Team being killed are quite real today...it is the only way to push them beyond their limits and see if they will rise to any challenge on any occasion. I will be especially interested in seeing how Black 6 does and how far he pushed himself. Black 6 is proving to be a very...VERY...interesting test subject. He has a LOT of potential and Spender is very keen on taking control of this potential and turning it loose on his enemies. Time to put these men to the test to see if they were worth the effort.

Novak paused.

Novak: I just hope that all of the covert experiments I have been doing on ODST Black Team pay off...and prove to be worthwhile.

A look of anger shot across Tye's face. Knowing that he had been cloned without his consent enraged him, but the thought that Spender had taken an interest in his potential enraged him even more. This was damning evidence that Spender truly only cared about the theoretical maximum amount of damage and death that ODST Black Team could shell out, and that his interest in the people was clearly non-existent.

Tyber: We were weapons. That is all we were to him. We were custom tailored killing machines.

Vixen sighed and nodded.

Vixen: It appears so. The Trust had no interest in you. They only cared about what they could use you for.

Vixen began to skip ahead in the audio logs.

Vixen: There is another audio log here...specifically about you. This one, in my opinion, is the worst of them all. I would understand if you didn't want to hear it.

Tye scoffed.

Tyber: Play it. I need to see this through.

Vixen was hesitant, but she nodded. She played the audio log in question. Tye took a deep breath and sighed, as he heard Novak's voice in the audio recording.

Novak: Chief Medical Officer's log - April 28th 2515. It has been a few days since I had started the Orion augmentation procedure on Black 6. From what I can tell, he is responding quite well to treatment, and he is ahead of projected scheduling. This bodes well for him. The sooner he can make it through this augmentation procedure, the sooner I can get him on parity with the rest of ODST Black Team in terms of their...psychological and physiological reconditioning. I will admit, I should have started the Orion augmentation process with Black 6 from day one. That was a short-sighted mistake that is going to complicate the time table. I would prefer to have all six men progress at the same rate, to try and keep some parity...but I cannot halt my work with the rest of ODST Black Team, for fear of compromising my work in progress. I will defiantly have the rest of Black Team running more simulations, and I will continue my ongoing psychological and physiological conditioning with them as well. Hopefully nothing gets too screwed up. On that note...I have managed to make another breakthrough; it is no secret that Black 6 was the most successful non-Orion candidate that has undergone this process to date, despite the fact that I had to trim down on some of the treatments he was getting. However, his resiliency amazed me to no end. His tenacity revived my interest in experimenting on the base CRF Formula, to try and make it work with non-Orions. I believe, thanks to Black 6, I was able to perfect the formula. As it turns out…Black 6 was the key to the solution the entire time.

Novak paused.

Novak: To put it into context, in the year 2500...ONI Section 0 finalized the Class 0 Augmentation Drug. this was largely responsible for creating the Class 0 Spartan IIs in 2506...the super soldiers that eventually replaced the soldiers that were created as a result of the Orion Project. At the conclusion of Class 0 augmentations, ONI Section 0 destroyed a very important protein strain in the drug, which was singularly responsible for various important physiological improvements which essentially allowed Class 0 Spartan IIs to be augmented with 100% success. The protein strain in question worked miracles on the human body. It bolstered our muscle and skeletal structures to allow for enhanced durability and resiliency in the face of surgical improvements. It mitigated immune rejection of artificially created compounds. It gave our DNA the hardening it needed to be able to withstand the most intrusive levels of genetic manipulation. It made our brain and body chemistry more compliant to rapid and radical changes. It was the key to everything concerning Humanity’s super soldier programs. As such, this protein strain must have been destroyed by ONI Section 0 as a means of control or to maintain tactical superiority over the rest of the military. I can see why Section 0 chose to destroy this protein strain. It would be unwise to let such information fall into hostile hands.

Novak paused.

Novak: With all that said…I believe I have found something very similar in Black 6 to the protien strain used in the Class 0 cocktail. I dare say that this is a naturally occurring variation of the protein strain that was used by ONI Section 0 to create the Class 0 cocktail. It is a reasonable guess that ONI Section 0 found people with a similar protein strains in their DNA, and based their work on the Class 0 cocktail on this protein strain. To be frank…my information on what Section 0 had is woefully incomplete…but there are correlations between what I do have and what I see in the protein strain I found in Black 6. I don’t fully understand the full extent of what I have found in Black 6…but if my hypothesis is correct…this single protein strain in Black 6’s DNA may be exactly what I need to begin perfecting the CRF. If I can duplicate or even partially recreate the protein strain that was the vital component to the Class 0 cocktail…it will be all I need to perfect the CRF. If all goes according to plan…I could begin manufacturing cheap combat soldiers using nothing more than colonists and farmers. I could run them through basic training and indoctrination, and create entire platoons in relatively no time at all.

The audio recording of Novak stopped. Tye was taken aback by what he had heard. The very thought of his genetic material being used as a template for some twisted conscription infuriated him.

Tyber: I don't believe it...I refuse to accept this...

Vixen: From what I could gather Tye...you have a unique piece of genetic code which seems to be of great value to The Trust. I don’t know what Novak was referring to when he said “Class 0”…but I am pretty sure I know what a super soldier is.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: That is what you are now…right? You are a super soldier?

Tyber: I…I don’t know…

Tye began to pace back and forth.

Tyber: I don’t know what I am. I don’t know anymore…

Tye clenched his fists.

Tyber: I was a soldier…a loyal soldier…in service to the UNSC. I joined the Trust…and now…I am just some…laboratory experiment. I was engineered to be some…killing machine.

Tye was becoming visibly frustrated.

Tyber: I was manipulated…I was lied to…I was used. Now…I find out that I have contributed, in some way, to enhancing the scope of Novak’s…experiments. It is bad enough that I was killing civilians en-masse under false pretenses…I am now directly responsible for enabling The Trust to do what they did to me, on a much larger scale.

Tye was furious. He was simmering with rage. He could no longer find the words to express himself. His mind was clouded and he couldn’t think straight.

Tyber: I want off this ship! I want to find these pricks! I need to kill them…

Tye glared at Vixen.

Tyber: I want off this ship…now!

Tye turned. as he stormed out of Vixen's office. Vixen began to follow him down the corrdidors. Tye had started to backtrack, heading back towards the armory. Vixen looked at Tye. She kept her composure, but on the inside, she was terrified. She knew full well what Tye was capable of when he became confrontational, and she knew she had to be careful.

Vixen: Tye…please…please calm down.

Vixen approached Tye. However, Tye stopped, turned and took a hostile step towards her, making it very clear that he was ready to lash out. Vixen quickly began to step back. Tye then turned again as he continued to head back towards The Barracks. Vixen continued to follow.

Vixen: I cannot begin to understand what they have done to you. I will never understand how you must feel at this moment. But…Tye…please…calm down.

Tye didn't stop

Vixen: If you calm down…we can work together to find my father. We will find him! We can figure this out! We can fix this! We can get through this!

Tye stopped again and looked at Vixen.

Tyber: I can find him myself…I don’t need anyone’s help! I know what I get when I accept help from other people! I know what comes my way when I trust people! I have been monstrously manipulated once! I will not allow YOU or anyone else to do it again!

Vixen: Tye…I am not The Trust. I am not here to use you or betray you. I want to help you. Please...Tye...give me that chance!

Tye turned and continued onwards to the Barracks. He began to slow down, but his body language was still very clear. However, As angry as Tye was, he found himself to be confused as well. He had so many ideas going through his head. Ever so slowly, he found himself breaking down more and more. Minute by minute Tye felt like he was losing his mind. Tye was losing control of himself and his world. Tye’s emotions were all jumbled. He could no longer figure out how he felt. He was losing his ability to focus under all of the pressure he was enduring. He was in a free fall of a nervous breakdown and he could not stop himself. Tye began to lose control. He began to ramble on, almost incoherently, his ideas not following any sort of pattern or logic.

Tyber: I tossed away everything I ever believed in…I murder civilians…I murder unarmed women…I murder children…I murder unarmed…defenseless…people. I Allow the trust to turn me into some…deranges maniac…a psychotic murderous…deranged…insane…sociopath.

Tye approached the door to the armory. He still had the keycard in his hands from before, as he used the card to open the door.

Vixen: Tye…stop! Stop right now!

Tye ignored Vixen. He walked past a small desk with some equipment spread out on it. Tye walked past the desk, but not without grabbing the edge and flipping it to the side in anger. Vixen watched as the desk flipped through the air, and all of its contents flew off in different directions

Vixen knew that Tye was losing control. She reached to her side and grabbed her PDA. She quickly located the manifest control on her PDA, and revoked the access codes for locker 45-Gamma.

Tye didn't see Vixen do this, as he approached locker 45-Gamma and tried to use the card to open the locker. However, the locker did not open. Tye frowned, scoffing in anger. He tossed the key aside, as he raised his fist and punched the locker as hard as he could.

Tyber: I can’t feel anything for the people I took so much fucking GOD DAMN pleasure in killing. I can’t feel anything!

Tye continued to slam his fist into the locker door, denting it and breaking it off little by little.

Tyber: I cannot feel anything...I cannot feel the guilt...I cannot feel the grief. I know I should be able to...but I can't! I cannot feel anything...

Tye continued to slam his fist into the locker. The entire door was close to breaking off.

Tyber: What the fuck is wrong with me!?

Tye stopped flamming his fist into the locker, as he turned away, pacing around, as he began to breathe heavily. His head was killing him. He had reached such an elevated point of anger and frustration that he started to bleed from his nose. His eyes had gone totally bloodshot, and he felt lightheaded. His right fist was bleeding from punching the locker, but he could barely feel any of this with his emotions running so high.

Tye then looked back at the locker, then at Vixen. He saw Vixen's sidearm, still holstered. In a flash, he charged Vixen, and grabbed her side arm right out of her holster.

Vixen: Damnit...TYE!

Tye had grabbed the weapon, as he took the safety off. However, he didn't take aim at the locker. Instead, he began to pace back and forth, but he soon tripped over himself as he fell to the ground. Tye felt light headed and disorientated, as he struggled with his thoughts.

Tyber: Oh God…Oh God…I can’t live with it. I can’t live with what I have done. I cannot live with what I have done. I don’t know what to do…

Tye began to break down.

Tyber: What did I do to deserve this? What did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong? Why did this happen to me?

Tye ran his left hand through his hair as he gripped the gun with his right.

Tyber: I didn't deserve this...I didn't deserve to be a pawn for The Trust.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I have betrayed everything I have ever believed in.

Tye paused again.

Tyber: I have done unspeakable things for them. I have given them more than I could ever take away from them. I have enabled them to escalate their evil to unprecedented new levels.

Tye shook his head.

Tyber: I will never live this down. I will never be able to live with what I have done. I can never undo what I have done...what I have helped THEM do...

Tye sighed. He felt the life drain out of him. Knowing all that he knew now, he felt lifeless and drained.

Tyber: I...I don't know what to do...

Tye fell silent. His mind filled with everything he had just heard. It all began to blend with the terrible memories of what he did as a member of The Trust. He could not reconcile with himself. He could find no room to forgive himself, nor could he find any way to find any solace in any consolation.

Tye then looked down at the gun.

Tyber: Perhaps I do know what I have to do.

Tye scoffed, as he put the barrel of the gun under his chin. He pressed as hard as he could, lifting his head up a bit.

Tyber: This...will fix everything...

Vixen looked at Tye as a look of panic shot across her face.

Vixen: Tye…please…for the love of God...PLEASE...put the gun down.

Vixen began to step back to try and give him some more room, to try and calm him down.

Vixen: I cannot imagine what you are going through right now Tye. I cannot begin to understand how you must feel. I doubt I ever will.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: But...I want to Try. I want to try and help you. For reasons I cannot understand...I feel compelled to help you.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Please...Tye...don't shut me out. Let me help you. Don't pull the trigger. Please...put it down...please...

Tye looked at Vixen.

Tyber: No...this is the only way. You can't help me. You have no idea how to help me. What are you going to do anyway?

Vixen: I don't know Tye. I don't know what I am going to do...but...I want to figure it out. You are right about the fact that you did not deserve this. When I first met you...we met as enemies. However, there was one thing that was very obvious; you were a man of integrity and principle. You were a good man. You still are. You may not believe it now...but...you still are that man. I want to help you realize that. I want to help you rediscover that

Vixen stepped closer, as she saw Tye's hand relax a bit. She could also see that he was not pressing the gun against the bottom of his chin as hard as he was before.

Vixen: Don't let The Trust win. Don't let them win. Don't let Novak win.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Don't let my father win. Don't let him get the best of you. Don't let them keep a good man down.

Tye looked at Vixen as she spoke.

Vixen: Something tells me that you are a fighter Tye. I seriously doubt you would just quit…no matter what you were faced with. I don’t believe for a second that you are going to give up because of what you went through.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Yes…what The Trust did to you was terrible, it was immoral, and it was unethical. However…there is nothing they should be able to do that can destroy you as a person. You have to realize, that despite everything that you did and went through…your life still has value…and it still has meaning.

Tye looked at Vixen. He sighed.

Tyber: I have no idea how I am ever going to get my life back together. Knowing that I have betrayed everything I have ever believed in…it is difficult to go on.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Part of me…just wants to end it…end the suffering…end the torment. I don’t want this suffering. I don’t want this torment. I don’t want these memories. I don’t want the reminders, the flashbacks, the terror of knowing that I am, and always will be, capable of great sadism and cruelty. I don't want a future where I spend the rest of my life dwelling on the atrocities that I had committed. I don't want that future!

Tye fell silent for a moment. He caught his breath, as he tried to regain some of his composure.

Tyber: I will never be the man I was. I just want to end it...

Vixen: Yes...you will be a changed man. However...not all change is bad Tye.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: There are positives to this. There are positives to all of this.

Tye looked at Vixen with a look of confusion.

Tyber: Name one...

Vixen: Well...for starters...you have been given the best training and the best resources possible to make you a brilliant soldier.

Vixen took another step forward, as she knelt down, slowly.

Vixen: Let's be honest Tye...in terms of your fighting capabilities...you have exceeded you previous potential. What others struggle with, you do as second nature.

Tyber: But unlike those who struggle...I never had to work for it or earn it. My skill and capabilities were thrusted upon me! I didn't earn any of it!

Vixen: I disagree. You have already paid a very high price for what you now have. You have paid a price higher than any man I have ever met. You have earned this. You have earned it through blood and sweat.


Tye looked at Vixen as she spoke.

Vixen: You no longer take your humanity for granted. You had your humanity ripped from you, and you are now struggling to find it again. You will get it back...and when you do...you will value it, and everything it stands for, more than anyone else. This struggle will keep you honest...it will keep you moral...it will keep you just. You have experienced the desires of insatiable evil...and you have repudiated them. There is no question about where you stand. You may not believe it...but I see it. Trust me...take my word for it...I see a good man...not an evil one. I see a man whose soul is damaged...but it is still intact. I see a man whose soul is not for sale...it is not for barter...and it is off the table.

Tye continued to look at Vixen. A small grin appeared on his face.

Vixen: You have so much potential Tye. I know that you have the strength and the courage to face your future. I know it seems like a daunting task. I know it seems terrifying. I know it seems monumental. Don't give up on your life because the future seems uncertain or difficult. Life is a lesson in difficulty and hardship. It is what defines us.

Vixen placed her hand out in front of Tye.

Vixen: If you can find the courage...to put that gun in my hand...I swear to you...I will spend the rest of my life, if need be, helping you regain what you have lost.

Vixen looked Tye in the eye.

Vixen: Tye...be strong...give me the gun.

Tye lowered the gun, as he slowly placed it in Vixen's hand. However, he did not release the gun.

Vixen: Let it go.

Tye released the gun. As soon as he did, Vixen pulled it away, and ejected the clip. She then set the weapon aside, and looked back to Tye. Vixen sat with Tye for about 20 minutes before Tye said anything.

Tyber: I...I don't know what to say...

Tye hung his head as he spoke softly.

Tyber: I have never been...so...

Tye placed his hand on his forehead.

Tyber: So...destitute.

Vixen looked at Tye. She gave a reassuring grin.

Vixen: It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. We are all Human. In the end...we are all just as fragile on the inside.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: We all find ourselves in that spot at some point or another. We all experience that moment of complete helplessness. Some of us get hit harder than others. Some of us struggle more than others.

Vixen shrugged.

Vixen: In the end...we all get past it. I got past it...and so will you.

Vixen paused again. She took a deep breath and sighed.

Vixen: Even I have had my difficult times Tye. There is a lot I don't talk about...a lot I do not think about....a lot I try to forget.

Tye looked at Vixen.

Vixen: Do you know why I hate my father so much?

Tye shrugged.

Tyber: I think I can guess; he killed your mother...his wife.

Vixen: How did you know?

Tyber: He told me. There was no remorse over it. He took great satisfaction in it.

Vixen: That sounds like him.

Vixen shook her head. She sighed.

Vixen: My father is an evil bastard. He does not know what remorse or guilt is. He is malevolent.

Vixen pinched the bridge of her noes. She was clearly upset about the topic at hand.

Tyber: We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. You have made it clear that it upsets you.

Vixen: It does upset me. Just thinking about it troubles me. However...I think you are one of the only people who wound understand. I think you are the only person I know who can relate to how truly evil my father is.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: You are the only person I could ever see talking about it with.

Vixen, however, shook her head.

Vixen: But...this is not about me. This is about you. My focus...is you. I said I was going to help you...I said I was going to do whatever I can to help you piece your life back together. That is what I am going to do.

Vixen nodded to Tye, as she stood up.

Vixen: On your feet.

Tye looked up at Vixen. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then got back to his feet.

Vixen: We will get through this. I promise.

Tye nodded.

Tyber: Yeah...we will...

Tye paused.

Tyber: Just...do me one favor Vixen...

Tye paused.

Tyber: Let's keep all of this...between you and I.

Vixen: Absolutely...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: As long as...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: As long as you call me Kathryn...hmmm?

Tye looked at Vixen with a look of curiosity.

Tyber: I thought...

Tye paused. He saw Vixen grin.

Vixen: Let's just see how it works out for now. There is no harm in trying something new...

Tyber: Honestly...I prefer Vixen. That name has grown on me.

Vixen grinned.

Vixen: Alright...Vixen it is then.

Vixen gestured her head, as she turned and led Tye out of the armory.

STB Breaking Point


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UNSC Phoenix Class - The Hades Eclipse - Vixen's Office - Current Location in UNSC Patrolled Space - 0100 hours - June 25th 2515.
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Vixen was in her office. The lights in the room were off. The window shutter was open, and a screen mounted on the wall was tuned to a digital fireplace. The room had a distinct orange and inconsistent glow. She was sitting at her desk, holding a tablet in her left hand, as she used her right hand to swipe across the screen. She was looking at a series of photos. She had a smile on her face as she looked through the photos. Most of the photos were of a Woman. Some of them had been cropped and resized, while others remained largely intact and unaltered.

As Vixen shifted through the photos, she heard her door chime go off. When she did, she looked at the door, and lowered the tablet.

Vixen: Enter!

A moment after Vixen had said this, the door opened, and Tye walked in. He looked at Vixen.

Tyber: Hi.

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: Hi.

Tye and Vixen exchanged looks. Tye grinned, and chuckled.

Tyber: What are you doing?

Vixen: Nothing much. I am simply...reminiscing.

Tye walked forward.

Tyber: I see. Anything in particular?

Vixen: Well...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: No.

Tyber: Surely it must be something.

Vixen looked at Tye for a moment, and kept silent. She gave her answer some thought before giving it.

Vixen: I'm...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I'm remembering someone. I often keep it to myself.

Tye walked towards the desk, and sat down in a chair at the other side of the desk. He continued to look at Vixen.

Vixen: It is personal.

Tyber: I guess it is nothing you want to share?

Vixen grinned. She shrugged.

Vixen: I don't know. Part me of me wants to. Part of me wants to open up about it...but...I just never had anyone to talk to.

Tye leaned back, as he put his right ankle on top of his left knee, crossing his legs.

Tyber: Until now. Surely after how much you and I have got to know each other...one would think we could share a bit more.

Tye chuckled.

Tyber: I opened up to you. I told you more about myself than I have ever told anyone. Surely...you can do the same for me.

Vixen gave an uncertain shake of her head.

Vixen: I have never been too comfortable talking too much about myself. I am so used to just...keeping everything to myself. I wish it wasn't the case...but...it is.

Vixen shrugged.

Vixen: As a result of being so...closed...there are some things I just don't know how to talk about.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Things I have never spoke about.

Tye leaned forward, putting his arms on the desk.

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