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Default 06-05-2014
  #16
Naked Crook
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Tyber: I understand.

Tye paused.

Tyber: You know...I respect your reasons. I am very much the same way. There are a lot of things I don't like to talk about either. However...if I have learned anything in the past 2 weeks, it would be that talking it over with someone you trust...can really help put things into perspective.

Tye grinned.

Tyber: Am I right?

Vixen looked at Tye with a hint of curiosity.

Vixen: If I didn't know better...I would guess that you are trying to turn the tables on me.

Tyber: I can't help myself. It is what I have been trained to do.

Vixen laughed.

Vixen: I guess that is true.

Vixen was still holding the tablet in her hand. She looked at it, reluctant to let it go. However, after a moment, she put the tablet down on the desk, and pushed it towards Tye. Tye reached out and grabbed the tablet, and picked it up. He looked at the picture on the tablet, but was unsure who he was looking at.

Tyber: I don't understand.

Vixen took a deep breath, and sighed.

Vixen: That was my mother.

A look of realization crossed Tye's face, as he began to piece the situation together.

Tyber: You still miss her?

Vixen: Not a day goes by that I don't think about her. She was taken far too soon because she didn’t conform to what my father believed in. He robber me of my childhood because he couldn’t understand that perhaps she, and I, wanted something different than what he wanted.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: My father was a tyrant, in so few words. If I had to pick one word to describe him…it would be tyrant. He never cared about anything other than what he wanted. He only cared for his outlook on things. He only cared about The Trust. He only cared about his duty and his obligation to “mankind”. His duty and his obligation to his family…didn’t even exist.

Tyber: What exactly happened? Why did he kill your mother?

Vixen: That is a long story…but I can try to nutshell it for you.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I was 10 years old when my father was recruited into The Trust.

Tyber: Let me guess…2500?

Vixen: Yeah…that was the exact year. How did you know?

Tyber: Davidov said they recruited Spender in 2500

Vixen: I see. Well, anyway, like I said, I was 10 years old. I lived an average life. My mother was…a civil servant…Government type. She was a sitting member of the UEG Parliament at the time. She was a Member of The UEG’s House of Representatives for The North American Union. She was very popular with her constituents…and with the rest of The House of Representatives. I remember hearing about how she could have easily…VERY easily moved her career far past Representative…if you know what I mean?

Tyber: I think I do.

Vixen: She was a strong believer in the rule of law and democracy. She believed that everyone was accountable to someone…no excuses. She did not believe in secret police, shadow groups, puppeteers…and she certainly would not believe in what The Trust stood for.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I can tell you that prior to 2500…my Father worked for The UNSC. I am not sure which branch…but I am sure it wasn’t something that was kept on the books. My father never enjoyed the spotlight. He enjoyed lurking in the shadows with the rest of the ill-begotten ideas that have ever emerged from the hearts of men.

Vixen paused. She took a moment to compose herself.

Vixen: I knew considerably little about what my father did. He was a very secretive man. His secrets had secrets. His lies told lies. He was a despicable man. There was nothing honest about him.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I will admit...I have learned a few things about my father that I never knew before simply by reading the musing of this Davidov guy you kill a while back. I only really learned that he joined The Trust back in the year 2500. I had no idea that he was a member of The Trust for so long.

Tyber: If I may make a supposition...am I to assume that you have only known about The Trust for a short while?

Vixen: I have known about The Trust for the past five years.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Five painful years.

Tyber: What happened? How did you find out?

Vixen: Fast forward to the year 2510. My mother's career had continued to gain momentum. He popularity skyrocketed. I was a young woman who had her heart set on the Military. I had the makings of a promising officer. I was unsure what direction I wanted to go...but at the time...I was thinking Navy. Our lives were going great...but my father had other ideas. My father tried to recruit my mother and I into the ranks of The Trust. He saw us as valuable assets. Like I said...my mother was not someone who would stand for such things. As for me...I had my eyes set on the UNSC. I wanted to serve our institution.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: At first...the idea of The Trust seemed tempting. I saw the allure. However...when I saw the virulent opposition from my mother...I knew something was wrong.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: I remember the shouting match they had...throwing their ideologies at each other...like two opposing Generals on the battlefield...franticly looking to route the other.

Vixen began to frown.

Vixen: My father was not the least bit impressed by our refusal to join The Trust. He was furious. I had never seen him so angry. He was acting like he had just been betrayed. The anger and the rage was palpable.

Tyber: He wanted the political power your mother had.

Vixen: That was exactly it. My father wanted control of that political leverage. My mother...she stood her ground. It cost her life.

Tyber: Do you know what happened?

Vixen: Yeah. I witnessed it. it was horrifying.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: He framed me for the murder of my own mother. That slick SOB blamed me for my mother's death.

Tyber: That's terrible!

Vixen: The way he did it...I will never forget it.

STB Breaking Point


Vixen: My father framed me for the murder of my own mother. She had a state funeral...however....because of my father, I could not even attend the funeral of my own mother.

Tyber: I am so sorry. I don't know what to say.

Vixen: I learned who my father really was that day. I saw evil in its purest form that day. I will never forget it and it will be with me for the rest of my days. He was...uncompromising. He...

Vixen began to struggle with her words. It was clear she was deeply disturbed by the topic.

Vixen: He had to have his way. He HAD to control our destiny. What he could not control...he destroyed...and he used the ruins of what he destroyed to further his own goals.

Vixen looked at Tye. Tye could see the redness in Vixen's eyes.

Vixen: If he cannot control you, Tye, he will destroy you as well. That thought...it terrifies me. You escaped his control with your life…but…he is going to come for you. He is going to try and destroy you like he has done so many before.

Vixen stood up from behind her desk, as she began to pace around the room. There was a look of worry and concern on her face that was very apparent and obvious. However, Tye knew that he could not simply leave her like this. Tye got up from his seat, as he approached Vixen, and he wrapped his arms around her.

Tyber: Vixen…relax…it is alright. Relax.

Vixen proceeded to wrap her arms around Tye’s torso, as she pressed her head against his chest.

Tyber: Your father is not going to kill me. He is not going to get me, and he is not going to destroy me. He will not beat me.

Vixen: How do you know?

Tyber: I know…because I know every tactic that he knows. He has no surprises that can fool me. I know everything there is to know about how he, and The Trust, operates. I have him in the bag.

Vixen: Are you sure?

Tyber: Of course I am sure. Of course I am. I promise Vixen…nothing is going to happen to me.

Vixen simply smiled, as she closed her eyes and rested her head against Tye’s chest.

Vixen: Not many men could promise that.

Tyber: Yeah, well, I am NOT most men. I am THE man. I have this situation under control. I have myself under control. I am not going to let your father hurt anyone else. He is going to pay for what he has done. I will make him pay for EVERYTHING…including your mother’s death. I swear it…he will pay for everything.

Vixen looked at Tye in the eye. She raised her head a bit, as they looked at each other.

Tyber: He has a lot to answer for...and I swear to you...he is not going to put me six feet under before I may him, and The Trust, pay for everything!

Vixen grinned. Tye's reassurance calmed her down.

Vixen: I just don't want anything happening to you. These past two weeks have...

Vixen hung her head, but Tye placed his hand under her chin and raised her again again.

Vixen: Have been...

Vixen grinned.

Vixen: Very memorable. I dare say that I...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: You and I...are...well...much more than friends.

Tyber: Truthfully...honestly...I like the sound of that.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I never said anything...I didn't want to admit it...but the moment...that I set foot on this ship, not as a POW, but as...a broken man...I knew there was something about you that I liked. I saw an intrinsic goodness in you. I heard it in your voice. I saw it in your actions.

Tye paused.

Tyber: You helped me get back on my feet. You got me started on my recovery. You are helping me come to terms with what I did. You helped me piece my life back together. You helped me rediscover who I really was...not what The Trust had turned me into. You helped me realize that I was still a man...a good man...not a weapon.

Tye embraced Vixen.

Tyber: I don't know about you Vixen...but I don't want to be just friends. I want something more...and I want it from you.

Vixen looked at Tye. She smiled as she kissed him. Vixen and Tye stood in front of the fireplace panel, as their shadows projected onto the wall. They both dragged out this moment as long as they could, neither of them regretting what they had both consented to.

After what felt like an eternity, Tye and Vixen broke the kiss, but Tye did not release VIxen from his embrace.

Tyber: I am guessing you want the same thing as I do?

Vixen: Yes...yes...

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Tye...I have never felt the embrace of a man before. I have spent my entire life...alone. I have been distant...I have been reserved...and I have been scared to get close to anyone. I always feared what others would think of my life and my background. I never wanted to be seen as vulnerable or weak.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: But you...you are different. You are different than all the others. You were unlike anyone I have ever met. I didn't have to worry about what you thought...because...in a way...we were...the same.

Tye looked down at Vixen, as she rested her head on his chest.

Vixen: This feels right.

Vixen closed her eyes as she began to relax. She simply fell silent, not saying a word. Tye listened to his surroundings, as he simply stood there, embracing Vixen. He could hear the slight hum of the engines, as well as some other ambient noise from the ship. Several minutes pass before Vixen spoke again.

Vixen: Tye?

Tyber: Yes?

Vixen: I don't want to be alone tonight. I am done being alone. I am done living alone. I am done sleeping alone. I need something more in my life. I want you in my life.

Tye grinned.

Tyber: There is nothing I would want more than to be a part of your life.

Vixen looked up, and grinned. She then broke free from Tye's embrace, as she walked back towards her desk. She reached over her desk, as she placed her hand on a small embedded control panel.

Vixen: Play music file 993 - "Here's to You - Orchestral"

Vixen removed her hand from the control, panel, as she turned to look at Tye.



Vixen: This was my mother's favorite song. She used to tell me that she derived much inspiration from it.

Tyber: How so?

Vixen: The story behind it is quite simple...two men were put to death...after an unfair trial in the courts. They were falsely accused of crimes they did not commit. They were executed under false pretenses.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: My mother always told me that without our system, without the rule of law, without democratic rule...we have no freedom and no liberty.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Our system failed these men because draconian men, like my father, had centralized power.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Whenever I doubt my own convictions or my own strength...I listen to this. It gives me purpose. it reminds me of what I want in my life. It keeps me balanced. It gives me focus. It reminds me of where I came from...and where I am going.

Tye grinned, and nodded.

Tyber: That is a good message.

Tye paused.

Tyber: There are times I wish I had something to remind me of where I am going...and what my purpose is.

Tye paused.

Tyber: Ever since my parents died when I was young...I had very little guidance in my life. My younger brother and I...we were bounced between foster homes...never really fitting in. I never had a childhood. I never knew the love of parents. There are times that I wonder what it would be like to have experienced the kind of childhood where I wasn't tossed between foster homes...where I didn't sleep on the streets when we didn't have a bed to rest upon.

Tye paused.

Tyber: There is so much that I never had. There are so many mistakes I have made.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I never reconciled with my brother. He is the old family I have…and the only thing I can think about is all the time we have wasted. I look back on why we drifted apart…and he was right…I did abandon him. I turned my back on him. Only now…after all this time…do I realize what I have done.

Tye paused.

Tyber: I miss him…but I don’t have the courage to find him and tell him how sorry I am.

Tye paused. He took a deep breath, as he swallowed hard.

Tyber: I often hear about his accomplishments, his endeavors, and his upstanding service…but I have never once congratulated him…or told him how proud I was of him. I let our differences and our disagreements push us apart…and I have no idea how to rectify it.

Tye sat down on the bed, as he ran his hands through his hair.

Tyber: I have so much baggage. I have so many regrets. I hate my past. It is a warzone of mistakes and errors.

Vixen sat next to Tye on the bed.

Vixen: Like I have said Tye…I will never fully understand the pain that you wrestle ‘with. However…I have also said that you must not beat yourself up on account of your past. We can’t change the past…but we can change the future.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Someday…you will either find the opportunity, the courage, or the chance to face your brother…and you will tell him what you need to tell him. It is something that you know you have to do…and it is something you know you will do.

Vixen paused.

Vixen: Like I said…don’t beat yourself up over your past. Focus on the future Tye. Focus on what you can change. Focus on the things that give you a reason to live. It is the only thing you can do. Just be strong.

Tye closed his eyes and nodded.

Tyber: You’re right. My past…it is what it is. There is no changing it. I have to live with it, as it is.

Tye paused.

Tyber: But…I cannot let my past destroy my future. My future isn’t written yet. My future isn’t set in stone. It is mine to do with as I please.

Tye thought for a moment.

Tyber: I don’t know when I will ever see him again. However, when I do see him again, I am going to set things right.

Tye turned and looked at Vixen.

Tyber: I will make things right. Everything that went wrong…I am going to make right.

Tye paused.

Tyber: And…I want you there…by my side…keeping me in one piece while I do it.

Tye grinned, as he tried to lighten the mood a bit with a bit of humor. However, his grin, slowly faded.

Vixen: I will be there Tye. I plan on being there…

Vixen kissed Tye once more. However, this time she pushed him back, slowly, onto the bed.

STB Breaking Point


==========================================================
UNSC Phoenix Class - The Hades Eclipse - Vixen's Office - Current Location in UNSC Patrolled Space - 1500 hours - July 9th 2515.
==========================================================

Tye and Vixen were sitting at a desk. They were both reviewing multiple PDAs, literally buried in intel and information. Neither of them had spoken to the other in several hours. However, eventually, the silence was broken by Vixen.

Vixen: Shit...

Tye looked up from the PDA he was reading.

Tyber: Excuse me?

Vixen looked at Tye.

Vixen: I think I found something useful. I think I found something VERY useful.

Tye stood up as he walked over to Vixen.

Tyber: What did you find?

Vixen handed Tye the PDA she was looking at.

///BEGIN NAVIGATIONAL MANIFEST
HHX8myPfx-Hy7JKu6t5m7u*4SYo4ntXjJfEsv#4WH695d'7E&b@i~KLSiL%peq3f
Rxw6pqZoQzVxiNQ3We6Hn2X'+sC5t#7Jr6X9neq"rH_gi#/h2Wxe'W29KNanfj=D
E9zht3^Q6CmD+gh9M8qWunK$gjUgj~6NN"`Vg%Rv~%77wJfSA^A$zU9K"wqq$*#X
///END NAVIGATIONAL MANIFEST

Tyber: I don't follow. What the hell is this?

Vixen: That is a compiled navigational log.

Tyber: Excuse me?

Vixen: Spatial coordinates. That is a destination. That is a place. That represents a destination solution after it has been compiled by a navigational computer. Our navigational computer can read that and know exactly where it points to.

Tyber: Alright. The question is...where IS THAT pointing to?

Vixen: I cannot say for certain. We would only know after we fed it into the navigational computer. This could take us anywhere.

Tyber: Where did this data come from? What is the source on this?

Vixen: Do you remember our attack on The Ulterior Motive? This was among some of the data we stole during the attack.

Tye rubbed his chin.

Tyber: Let's try running it through the navigation computer. Let's see where it points us.

Vixen nodded, as she placed the tablet on her desk. She then turned to a laptop on her desk, and issued a few commands. After a moment, she removed a data chip from her laptop, and then stood up.

Vixen: Let's get to the bridge.

Tye nodded, as he stood up, and followed Vixen out of her office. The two walked through the corridors, heading towards the bridge. They moved quickly, just shy of a full out sprint. The two of them had managed to make their way towards the bridge in very short order.

The moment that they had walked onto the ridge, Vixen wasted no time in issuing her orders.

Vixen: Ops!

Vixen approached one of the operations stations holding the data chip in her hand.

Vixen: Feed this data into the navigation computer...and give me the destination solution!

Ops Officer: Yes Ma'am!

The ops officer took the data chip, and inserted the chip into a serial port on his workstation. He then accessed navigational control.

Ops Officer: Accessing raw data...computing...stand by...

The ops office waited a moment while the data computer. He then transferred the read-out to the large display at the front of the bridge. Both Vixen and Tye turned to look at the display. They could see that the destination solution was well outside UNSC patrolled space.

Tyber: Vixen...that is in the middle of nowhere. That CANNOT be right! Do you have any idea how FAR that is? That is roughly 3 weeks from our current position!

Tye paused.

Tyber: How can we be sure that this is even the correct destination solution? For all we know...this is corrupted data.

The ops officer chimed in.

Ops Officer: Corrupted navigation data would not be capable of being parsed by the input stream of the navigation computer. The odds of corrupted data being correctly parsed with no errors like we just saw...is very improbable. There is an almost an absolute possibility that this destination solution is correct.

Tyber: Alright...so we know it is correct, and not flawed. The question now becomes...what is out there? What is at that destination?

Vixen: I have no clue. We have never been out that far. It is impossible to say what we will find. The only way we will know for sure...is if we go and actually look.

Tye sighed.

Tyber: Three weeks? Why not?

Vixen nodded and grinned. She then turned to the helm officer.

Vixen: Helm...take us about. Spin up our drive core to maximum. Access the navigational computer, and use the pre-set destination solution.

The helm officer carried out Vixen's orders. He had the destination solution locked in. His hand hovered over the final set of controls, as he waited.

Helm Officer: Ready on your mark Ma'am!

Vixen: Engage!

Tye looked over at Vixen, and grinned.

Tyber: Engage? Never heard THAT one before.

Vixen: I have always preferred "engage"...It just seems more...enterprising.

Tye grinned.

Tyber: It defiantly sounds better than "punch it" or "execute".

Tye shrugged.

Tyber: Anyway...I think I am going to go back and see if there was anything we missed. Are you coming back...or are you going to stay here?

Vixen: I may stay here, for now. I want to stay on top of our current operations. We can catch up later.

Tye nodded, as he turned and walked off the bridge. Tye returned to Vixen's quarters to continue reviewing all of the intel that was collected.

==========================================================
UNSC Marathon Class - The Ulterior Motive - Constantine Spender's Office - Currently in Slipstream Space en-route to The Apex - 1600 Hours - July 9th 2515
==========================================================

Constantine Spender was sitting in his office, behind his desk. He had been contemplating recent events, including, but not limited to, the loss of Black 6 and his current fight against The Trust. Spender found the loss of Black 6 to The Insurrection to be a very frustrating defeat. He disliked the fact that Black 6 had been bested by The Insurrection.

Spender had generally been in a very frustrated state of mind for the past 4 weeks. His inability to locate Black 6 was defiantly a setback.

Spender needed to calm his nerves. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a cigarette. He placed the cigarette in his mouth.

Spender: I need a fucking smoke in the worst way.

Spender began to search his pockets for his lighter.

Spender: Where is my fucking lighter?

Spender soon found his lighter in one of his coat pockets. He lit up the smoke, as he sighed in relief after taking the first drag.

Spender: Fucking brilliant.

Spender sat behind his desk, as he tried to calm himself down. However, his focus was broken when he heard the chime of his door.

Spender: Enter!

Spender sat up, as he watched his door open, and Novak enter the office. Spender could see that Novak was holding a tablet in his hands.

Novak: Sir...is this a bad time?

Spender: Yes...it is. It is a very bad time Robert.

Novak raised an eyebrow at Spender's choice of words. He had never been addressed as "Robert" by Spender.

Novak: Sir...is something wrong?

Spender: Yes...something is wrong. We lost Black 6. Why could we not find him? With all of our resources and intel...with all of the control I could strong-arm...why could I not find ONE ship!?

Novak sighed. He gave a shrug.

Novak: Sir...

Spender: There is no answer to that question! There was no excuse for our inability to find Black 6. We lost a considerably valuable asset, and we lost technology to The Insurrection. This is an unmitigated disaster. At this point...finding Black 6 means nothing.

Novak cleared his throat.

Novak: That MAY not be true...in hindsight.

Spender: Explain?

Novak: Well...you see...the thing is...Black 6 may have fully recovered from his ordeal...but he still poses a large degree of information that he should not have...given that he is not with The Trust.

Spender: What is your point?

Novak: Sir...

Novak placed the tablet down on Spender's desk.

Spender: What is this?

Spender reached for the tablet. he grabbed it and picked it up. He could see Tye's service profile, as well as information on his alias of Black 6.

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