A Roman In Blue; Chapter 2 – A Halo Short Story



MAY 20TH, 2531

04:00 HOURS


There was a sharp breath, the hiss of compressed, cold air in the background as the Specialist fell from her cryo pod. Coughing out the last of the cryogenic gel in her system as she struggled to breathe. The man beside her looking at her worriedly as he stepped out of his own cryo pod, it was a usual occurrence with the petty officer, of which the man stepped by her crouching down and placing a hand on her back. The room darkened with the exception of a yellow light illuminating the room darkly.

“Calm it, Iz. . .” He said, “It will pass like always.” His voice was like a sweet to her ears, Specialist. Azila Bastila turned enough to take the man in her eyes and proceeded to speak through choked breaths as the effects of her allergy to cryo were ever present. “You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

His voice was like a sweet to her ears, Specialist. Azila Bastila turned enough to take the man in her eyes and proceeded to speak through choked breaths as the effects of her allergy to cryo were ever present. “You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

“You know it doesn’t pass. . . It only gets easier to get used to.” She coughed as she leant back, trying to take as much air as she could as her lungs felt compressed.

“Yeah, well. I still see you breathing, that’s always a good sign.” He said with a smirk, short of mockery. 

This was met with a punch to his shoulder and she spoke once more. “Asshole.”

Specialist Gavin Jameson stood, with an everlasting grin before lending a hand to the woman which she proceeded to take it. was obvious they both had feelings for each other, but they kept it strictly work whenever things went down on the ship, she pulled away those thoughts as she stared into his eyes, then looked at the hand on her own, and pulled herself off the ground as she reached down to grasp the latex, thin clothing that covered her body under her uniform overalls and pulled at it looking inside to see the rash in her body before she looked to her side and saw Lady standing on her data tank.

“Done smooching?” Lady said with a smile, Azi was always creeped out by those blindfolds, that even when it covered her face, she always managed to look straight at them.

“What do you need us for, Lady?” Azi asked looking at the AI in her tank, Gavin stepping directly behind her.

“We’ve got a few decks that need calibration on the systems, Specialist Gavin, that’s you. Specialist Azila, I’ll need you to run diagnostics on the core. After your tasks are done, report back to cryo deck and step back into your pods.”

Lady said with a smile, then a pair of dim lights illuminated the floor, one in green the other in blue. “Please get ready and report to your posts.” Lady then dimmed away from the tank and left the room alone, at least, in essence, she was everywhere in the ship. She was the ship.

Azi looked at Gavin then shrugged, though, it wasn’t long before they were ready and heading to their divided directions, Azi was deep in thought, a data pad in hand as she monitored the older diagnostics on the go from most systems as they slowly updated with new information from Lady, some duties required a human hand, she knew this. Though, Azi didn’t think that Lady liked to admit it that often that she couldn’t do everything on the ship.

Azi was led straight towards the core room of this old horse, nevertheless, it was state of the art with its honeycomb structure and bulky build. She looked around the empty, big room, there were a few cables littered on the ground still, repair tools placed on the desks from the engineers that ran repairs in the middle of the slipstream vortex, even if the ship was asleep Lady would still run people, giving them jobs as necessary throughout the duration of the trip.

Azi stepped closer to one of the many consoles in the room and plugged her datapad as she began coordinating the diagnostics from it and spoke. “Lady, can you tell the engineers to not leave so many cables littered around in this room, please?”

Lady spawned in a tank nearby her and looked at the woman working on the console. “Of course, though, I don’t think they really were all that attentive towards that aspect.”

Azi rolled her eyes, taking a deep breath that was still very ragged as result of her allergies and she coughed quickly. “Well, I know the lead technician likes making me irate. Either knowingly or not, it does.”

Lady stared at the woman before smiling. “I’m sure it is not on purpose, how are the diagnostics?”

“All systems seem to be running nominally, still running a few more checks just to be certain. I’ll check on the engines after.” She said, tapping on the data pad, a recognised pattern if anything, she then unplugged the pad and headed straight for the console beside her to do the same, only to check on the engines.

It was a quick run down of information. Everything was running normally as she proceeded to unplug the pad, and looked towards a room to her left, the blast door closed, but she approached it anyway; the Shaw-Fujikawa Slipstream-Drive room, she thought to herself as she opened the door and stepped in, the drive was purring like a kitten, pulsating almost, Lady appeared on the nearest tank to her as Azi stood there staring at it.

“How long till arrival?” Azi asked, rubbing her cheek as she did, then, fixing her hair into a bun. “57 days, tops.” Azi lifted her eyebrows and sighed audibly. “I hate these damn vortexes. Such a claustrophobic feeling.”

Lady smiled, of course, this damn thing was a coffin in the middle of a black void. “At least you’re not in the smallest room in the ship.” Lady joked.

Azi turned her head towards the AI, staring directly into the piece of cloth that blindfolded her eyes, the AI had taken the figure of that of the Lady Justice. She always thought it interesting, and creepy at the same time as her blindfolded eyes seemed to follow her everywhere she went, she didn’t know the reasons for her appearance, but she thought one of them was so that she could scare the living fuck out of people.

Azi then felt that of her allergies creeping up on her and she coughed, it slowly became difficult to breathe again as she placed her hand on her chest with a grimace. “Fuck being allergic to war,” she muttered lowly, but of course the AI beside her heard her.

“Do you need assistance?” She said, concerned of the woman beside her as her features became a frown, although, mostly hidden by the blindfold, the purse of the digitally generated lips wasn’t hard to see.

Azi waved her off okay, and coughed her way out of the room and back towards the engine room, through difficult breaths, but it would pass, didn’t stop her from hating it as she went back to the exit of the large engine room making her way back to Cryo. ‘Report back to cryo once the job is done’ Lady had said, she did so hesitantly she hated cryogenics. Azi would remain awake for the rest of the trip if it was up to her. But that wasn’t practical, conventional travel would be even worse, she guessed she should be thankful of this, but she wasn’t thankful for the tightness of her chest. 

In her musings, she didn’t realise when she was getting closer to the cryo deck and she didn’t realise she was itching at her entire torso, scratching at it, her chest would feel just as tight as before.

“You’re gonna rip out your clothes.” Gavin pitched in, entering the room, he had seen her on the hall scratching at her chest, near her neck and proceeded to take a Cytoprethaline injector and approached her as she spoke in return. “I fucking hate this.”

She protested as she rolled her sleeve back, revealing the tight latex-like suit below and Gavin would take her forearm in his hand, holding in gently as he approached the needle of the injector and stared at her for a few seconds, there were a few blisters in her wrist that he noted below the sleeve.

“You shouldn’t be around here in these conditions, Iz.” He spoke, concern clear in her voice as he squinted his eyes staring at her. “I don’t have a choice,” she hated the war, she hated cryo and what it did to her. But she hated the Covenant more and what they had done to her. “Not until this war is over.” 

Gavin sighed, but, he understood. “Please, report back to your chambers.” Came a voice suddenly, insisting them to get back into the pods.

Lady blossomed to life as her yellow light illuminated their faces and she stood there in her data tank staring at the crewmembers and Gavin proceeded to push the needle of the Cytoprethaline injector into the antecubital space of Azila’s arm, puncturing the suit just enough in the area so it would go through her flesh as well and injected the drugs into her system.

She grimaced at this but shrugged it off as she raised her arm and placed her free hand against the space and applied little pressure against it. Her pod opened, and she began to step towards it as Gavin watched her briefly then returned to getting himself ready for cryo. Azila stared at her pod before stepping on it and laying down against the gel bed and saw the pod’s door close down on her and her eyes finally closed as she drifted into the deep, elongated sleep. 

She wouldn’t know anything else after this point until awakened again.


Above A Home

Chapter 1 ← → Chapter 3

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