Vancouver HQ, the only suitable place for the Alliance to host its self before London is restored to its former condition and to become the new location of Alliance HQ. Though the clean up progress has been slow the Alliance has been going though a state of evacuation since the fall of the reapers. Most people (Alliance Soldiers) criticized the Alliance Navy for its case of eagerness and always had its own agenda for preparing to leave so fast. These comments were mostly spoken among fellow soldiers rather to there superior officers. Even though the stress of the reaper war was lifted the Alliance still kept the "Red tape" collared around the neck of morale, though this risked putting troops under pressure for they all wanted shore leave early and did not want to come between Alliance at its strained period. The Alliance was having none of it.
Though non of this was ever a concern or at least a thought in Marks mind as he had his own problems that the Alliance call "Duty's". He was already the one man who earned a reputation of having "dumb luck" due to him being consistently able to enter any hell hole or battlefield and come out un-dead. Though he always thought they meant come out un-fazed, but he never got a yes or any kind of indication of that notion. He wasn't surprised, ever since he joined up with the Alliance Navy he was always look upon by both the drill instructors and fellow recruits, the looks that voiced the hidden (but true) thoughts that their mouths failed to do. The look that always seem to say with a hint of humor "He's gonna die".
However how hard the boot camp was Mark still came through with hard work "luck" he passed with average marks and so started the weird and boring career of Mark Saturn, the Alliance joker and all round jackass.
Though that didn't matter as Mark was flying over Vancouver in a transport shuttle hoping to arrive soon to begin he's assignment as the Alliance set him even though he didn't know exactly what that was. All he was told was that he was being relocated to Vancouver to perform a task that he would find out when he fully registered at the Alliance base there. That was not the strangest part, at least not to him. He was more surprised that the Alliance would ask him to carry it out at all. Marks track record was at best describe as being un-remarkable and his level of overall performance was just about average. To top it off he was not the best person to follow orders, as the previous Superior officer was evident to the contrary.
Mark recalled one time when he was ordered to carry supplies from a bunker in London and deliver them to a shuttle awaiting lift off. Not only was he two hours late but he was caught having a poker game in the bunker drinking the bottles of alcohol that he found in one of the crates. He should have been kicked out for that but the number of Alliance officers in London was low so they discharge him for two months. Mark didn't know if to take it as a punishment or to celebrate, that didn't matter as he could not go anywhere but the confines of his room and his room alone. That was a boring two months.
As the shuttle came to a halt, Mark pick up his bag and awaited for the doors of the shuttle to open. The shuttle doors opened and Mark shivered. He forgot the weather was so much colder compared to the London climate and regretted coming in just his Alliance shirt. He would have put on a jacket but he lost his jacket at the beginning of the war and considering the Reapers were blowing up half the galaxy he didn't make much of a fuss about losing it. As Mark step out into the cold and snowy Vancouver night he realized something that he completely overlooked, It was the 25th of December, Christmas day. Mark could not remember the last time he celebrated it and this put him in a lonely mood. The lonely feeling he understood was not because of his lack of relationships or the lack of a partner in equal measure. It was the fact that he had't or even spent the holidays with anyone for four years since joining the Alliance. He didn't think to dwell on it as it had no part in what he was doing now.
With that in mind he walked towards a nearby building that from his understanding and guess it was the Vancouver HQ. Though he was unaware that the building had the Alliance logo printed on the side of the building. Mark just shrugged and walked through the main glass doors into a white marbled floor lobby that from his first observations look like it was still under the rebuilding process. He took a second to take in his surroundings and noted down a few things before he went to get registered.
The place was not busy as he had thought but that was surely because of the officers most probably would have had the day off or half a day off due to Christmas, the only people around were the receptionist and a few other officers who Mark identified as the "Ass-kissers" people who did anything to get into the Alliance's bed sheets. The walls look like they had took bullet holes but they were covered up. another thing that stood out was a solitary individual sat in a seat a few feet away. Mark would have thought it nothing were it not for the fact that this person was staring right at him, Creepy came to mind but this seemed more like this person was watching him. Like a cat stalking its prey.
Mark took this as a indication to get himself signed in to his new post. He walked up to the counter and put his bag down. The receptionist was a woman in her early twenty's with a slim but muscular body and Blonde hair that lay on the woman's shoulders like a dead snake. Mark thought about how to approach this woman without coming off weird and creepy but at the same time serious. He had to admit that the serous part was a joke even to himself but better get off to a good start. He cough to get the woman's attention and straightened up.
She looked up and studied the man with tired and annoyed eyes that seem to piece together a mental sentence in her head that seemed patronizing . She looked back down to pick up a book and started reading. Mark was about to say something in till she said.
"Are you gonna say anything or keep standing there like a dead leaf"? She declared with a hint of sarcasm.
Well that was a surprise. Okay time to make a conversation and find out what the hell i'm doing here.
"You could have used ice you know" He said waiting for a answer.
"I could have used ice for what"? she questioned with a grumpy but curious tone.
"As a substitute for leaf in your question slash joke you made just now". he replied with a smug look.
" Does it matter?
Well no but i like to think a joke should have a relevance to its circumstance, hence the ice as there is plenty around and...
He stopped when he noticed her face was not amused. So he decided not to try a smart- ass approach and went with being blunt.
"OK, maybe your not one for smart ass comments so I will be blunt" I am here to register in and hoping to see if any orders had come through regarding me in particular" he finished hoping some of the woman's looks would loosen up a bit.
She stop looking stern and retreated to a more casual but annoyed face as Mark was familiar to prior. She put down her book and rolled her chair towards her computer. Once she was seated her hands were typing faster than Mark could see. It gave him a head ache and so he drifted his attention else where towards the back board behind the Receptionist. It mostly was covered with bits of news papers articles and post stick notes. They seemed unremarkable and boring in till he saw something that caught his eye. A headline that read out in bold letters that said.
ALLIANCE HOUSING PROBLEMS.
Mark couldn't help but wonder what it meant.
Was the Alliance having trouble housing officers in Vancouver? If that's the case why am I being transferred to a area that is having trouble housing troops and doesn't seem to be improving? Maybe as a joke to get back at me for the other times i was being a pain in the ass. Though this seems to be out of the Alliances league of practical jokes. Any how lets see what this "Happy" person has to say.
Mark brought his attention to the receptionist and waited. It didn't take long for her to find what she was looking for.
"Name and registration number?" she demanded with a dull tone.
"Corporal Mark Winston Saturn with the Alliance Navy Corp. Registration number is 554677" Mark declared in a clear but other wise lazy voice. She didn't pull away from her computer, she didn't even raise a eye. Mark guessed she had no good impression of him but he couldn't care less. He just wanted his orders and get straight to doing them without any further hassle.
She was typing away again and found what she needed almost effortlessly. She turned to Mark and gave him a package that from the looks of it had been kept in tip top condition. The package seemed untouched and absolutely dust free. He picked it up and scanned it for about a minute before putting it in his pocket.
"Well corporal your transfer is finalized and your orders are in your package. you are required to report at 0700 hours tomorrow and the commander will wish to speak with you one-on-one to get you familiarized to your surroundings. Also it is advised that you do not open the package that you have been received in till the instructions on this note are followed through. In the mean time you are required to meet with this contact that will drive you to the location of your sleeping arrangements. Also the contact's number has been entered in your omni-tool. Your contact should be outside now"
Mark was about to leave when she called out. "Welcome to Vancouver!". He heard her laugh as he walked out of the building and he muttered under his breath "That's the only funny thing you've said all night".
Mark prepared himself as he went back out into the freezing weather of Vancouver and looked around for his contact that was suppose to pick him up. This seemed stupid and utterly pointless just waiting for a contact that he knows nothing about in the freezing cold with nothing but a shirt on. This was indeed a situation that was turning into more and more into a cruel joke. The more time went by the more Mark's idea of this whole situation being a practical joke was starting to look possible, though his main focus was on the cold rather then his thoughts. Just as he was about to go back in side when he heard a sky car come flying down and land just out side the building. The side door opened and Mark did not hesitate to get inside with his bag tightly grasped in his hand.
Once he was inside the sky car, the driver without a hint just drove and took off into the night sky without so much as a hi. The journey didn't take long as the driver put the sky car down outside of a big house that looked like it had been kept care of for a long time and gave off a presence of power that most powerful people would have killed for. That was Marks opinion at first observation. Though it was becoming to be proven wrong by the sight of the gates that look to be bionic prove. Which is weird and also smart at the same time. He thought this was not the place in till the driver got out of the sky car and Mark came to the conclusion that this was indeed the location of his staying arrangements.Or the driver was about to throw him out. either way he was getting out on his own accord.
Once he got out of the sky car he realized he had not seen the drivers face or heard anything from the cloaked figure ever since he was pick up from outside the Alliance building. The more he thought about it the more he started to remember the cloaked figure in the lobby that was sitting in a corner staring at him. Of course at the time it seem weird and not worth noting but even that action was turning out to be stupid and thoughtlessly thought through. The reason showing that if he were to be kidnapped he would have no clue how to describe the person in question to his fellow officers (Not counting the difficulty of telling the story due to the officers almost certain laughter that would follow in pursuit of the news) when he got his omni-tool running, if the kidnapper hadn't already sabotage it first. So he took this moment to document the individual as there seemed to be any chance of another opportunity to spring up.
A black helmet dominated the entire face area so he could not tell what the gender was. The rest of the body was fashioned in a black armor that looked to be either mercenary or private security judging from the material that was molded from priceless metals. The best armor in his opinion. Though it had accessory's such as gantlets and boots. Again heavy metals.
From what he could tell the driver was far from just a driver and seemed to be muscle hired to protect him, yes it does seem unlikely that any one would go through all the trouble of hiring the best (probably intimidating judging from the patterns on the front of the helmet,giving it a sort of ghost look to it) to transport a soldier of no importance whats so ever to a big house to carry out Alliance work.
The driver turned to Mark and signaled him with a finger to follow him, Mark followed with no hint of hesitation hoping to not piss off the scary looking metal man. They walked up to the front gates and waited. The driver had to punch in a few digits to gain access to the property. Mark guess the driver was a person who regularly visited the place or it was given to the interloper to gain access to the place. That thought gave Mark the shivers.
Soon enough the gates opened and then the duo set off towards the front doors in a gentle pace until they came to the front doors. Mark thought about knocking until he noticed a doorbell, the driver was already ahead of him. The driver pressed the doorbell in effect sounding off a bell which ringed with a harmonious tune. While waiting his eye caught something , a plaque of wood with writing on it. Mark look at the plaque closely and saw the words in graved in the wood that seemed to be done a long time ago.