Chapter 24 - The Reunion

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***** "Well, well, well...," I muttered.

"Shut up and get on!"

"What's happening back there? Get them on ASAP, we can't hold any longer," the pilot of the craft exclaimed.

"We'll have a nice chat when we're back at HQ."

"Wa...?" Before Joseph could ask anything, the three of us were pulled into the aircraft.

"Let's get out of here!"

"Roger that!"

The hangar bay door closed and the pilot fired up the Pelican's main engines to maximum speed.

"This is Zeus, we've got them! We've got the three lightning bolts!" the pilot exclaimed.

"Hell yeah!" a voice on the radio shouted as cheers could be heard through the COMs system. Back in the cargo bay of the Pelican, there was confusion spawning from the new arrivals.

"So, anyone cares to explain?" I asked.

"Well, firstly, it's nice to have you guys back," Daniel said as he joined the other guys.

"You guys are all alive, huh?" Joseph muttered.

"Anything you three want to say?" Alex asked.

"I'm just shocked," I murmured. "I kinda thought you were all dead for a while."

"Can't blame you, even I thought I was dead too!" Atlas chuckled.

"Wait, what about those Phoenicia? She got hit by the pods. Did they survive?" I asked.

"She's well and good," Daniel assured me.

"How?" I exclaimed.

"Well, the pods were fundamentally drop-pods that have different purposes," Daniel explained. "They have an opening at the bottom in order to trap their targets. In order to minimize casualties caused by getting hit by the sides of the pod, the opening on the pod functions more like a mouth, being able to widen or contract to fit the size of its target."

"Is that even possible?" Joseph questioned.

"Well, that's all I know," Daniel shrugged. "Ask Lindsey or Katherine for more info."

"Still, it's good to see you," I murmured, hugging Daniel tightly.

"This is Alpha-209, request landing on UNN Victorious," the pilot said through the Comms.

"Request granted, welcome home boys," the operator replied.

"Let's give these guys a view," Daniel said to the loadmaster.

"Roger that, opening hangar bay," the loadmaster replied with a chuckle.

"What the..." I said in awe as the hangar bay lowered.

"What in the damn world is that?" Joseph asked.

"The UNN Victorious, a ship built with the cooperation of the UNSC and the UN," Joseph explained. "Using our technology, they were able to build this. They themselves, of course, designed and built this mostly without our help."

"That explains why it looks so weird," I murmured as Pelican Alpha-209 gently lands on the flight deck.

"It's windy up here," Emilia groaned.

"Of course, we're about six thousand feet above sea level," the pilot replied.

"A VTOL supercarrier, huh?" Joseph said.

"Yes, it uses four fusion-driven plasma engines. With five flight decks and multiple hangars, the ability to travel in space, and a hefty amount of anti-air and anti-ground batteries, I would say this ship even rivals our major capital ships," a voice said as we exited the Pelican.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"I guess I can't blame you for not remembering," the old man said warmly. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Fleet Admiral John Harper, commander of the UNSC Luna Fleet."

"Nice to meet you, sir," I stated as I saluted to him.

"I guess he doesn't remember," Daniel said with a chuckle.

"With all due respect, sir," the fleet admiral said as he saluted me.

"What?" I asked in confusion.

"Well I don't expect you to know, but you are the commander of the whole UNSC and its operations," Daniel said quickly.

"We'll patch you with some information and a small EMP burst on your body," Lindsey said as a few medical officers came up to the three of us.

"You'll be in good care," one of the officers said as he led Joseph, Emilia, and I into the inside of the carrier.

"Meet us at the bridge later," Daniel yelled after us.

"What's the EMP for?" Joseph asked.

"After some X-ray scans on your friends, we realize the Unknowns inputted a chip in your brain that alters your memories. The EMP burst should destroy it, and we could do a surgery to remove it completely. We can give you some time if you want after the burst, it can take its toll sometimes," the officer replied.

"No, have someone bring the info on a data-pad once we're finished," I ordered.

"Yes sir, now if you would lie down here," the officer replied as he pointed at three machines.

"Should we be prepared for anything?" I asked as I lied down on one of the beds.

"Just close your eyes and it'll be over in just a second," the officer replied with a smile.

"Close my eyes huh," I muttered as the machine loomed over my head. "I should get a quick nap."

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