27 Year old Sergeant with the UNSC. Son of UNSC General Carl Renner. Loyal to the fight, but has a problem with commanders who haven't seen a battle.
The office in which ODST recruits are selected is nothing remarkable from any other UNSC office. A front room with secretary, some offices, and a conference room. Simplicity was the call of the day. Major Haggrin was just about done accepting and rejecting personnel files of those trying to take the next step in their career. While Haggrin wasn’t the only one making these choices, he had the final say after other officer reviews. He never felt uncomfortable telling Marines “no” when it came to joining the shock troopers. He felt he was saving their lives.
Two mellow tones came from his desk. Pvt. Lopez, the front secretary, was paging him. “Yes, Ms. Lopez?”
“Sir, General McCord is here to see you. Shall I send him in?” As if someone had gut-checked him, his stomach sank. “Yes, please do.”
Haggrin quickly walked to the door to open it for the General. What the hell had he done to earn a visit from General McCord? Shit must have hit the fan somewhere. Saluting, “General! Good to see you again sir!” McCord returned the salute, and then offered a handshake “Mitchell, damn fine to see ya again, son.”
General Glenn McCord was an old Georgia boy. He never was quick to speak, but always listening and a sharp thinker. As a child, people thought he was slow. He used this to his advantage and always shocked those he overcame. All with a big smile on his face.
“Make yourself at home. So, what brings you to my small part of the world?” The General and Major took to their seats. “Oh, just thought I’m swing by, talk a little shop with ya. Now, it’s to my understadin you got a file on a certain young man, Collin Renner. Whatchu plannin on doin with him?”
“Yes, Sgt. Renner. I’ve already rejected his request to join the ODST. His recent indulgence in insubordination is not what we’re looking for here.” McCord had a small chuckle over that response. “Ha, yeah. Dem Yankees sure can get a hair across their ass, can’t they?” Haggrin wasn’t sure where this conversation was heading. “Uh, yes… sir. They can be a handful.”
The Generals tone started to change. “Well, I want you to do me a favor. I’m going to ask you to strongly reconsider. Let Mr. Renner into the ODST program. I think he has a lot to offer us and would make a fine leader.” Major Haggrin knew what “strongly recommend” meant. Rank be damned, who the hell was McCord thinking he was? Walking into the ODST and cherry picking his friends kid into the program? Mitchell Haggrin wasn’t going to stand for it.
“General, no disrespect, but I’m the one whom decides who moves on here. Not you. My staff and I have been doing this for over four years now. I think we got a hold of things.” The two men stared at each other for a moment; as if a war were about to begin. McCord, now smiling, knew this would be coming. “Mitchell, you’re a plain spoken man. I like that about you. Let me explain just what’s going on. Do you remember Stiletto 1?”
The Major did remember. It was all over the news net. Stiletto 1 was the code name given to a suspected female Inny spy. The rumor was she was engaged to a UNSC Sergeant who was also the son of General Carl Renner. He was also a major player in the roll of getting rid of the rebel forces. “I do remember. I don’t know how much of that story is true. But, either way, sir, just because he’s the son of a General doesn’t mean he’s cut out for this team. And his psyche profile screams he’s going to lose his mind any day now. I can’t have someone that unstable in one of my pods.”
“Major, lemme tell you what that boy did. You see, his Dad started to suspect that woman. Just had a bad feelin, ya know? He went to the ONI spooks to have her checked out. She came up clean. Still, he didn’t trust her. Every Thursday, the whole family, including Collins girlfriend, would have dinner at the Generals estate. Under ONI’s knowledge, he purposely left false documents, marked classified, on the desk. It was a false report on how the UNSC was setting up a listening outpost just outside a known Inny base. It gave coordinates, personnel numbers, everything. She grabbed some quick scans and sent them to her contacts. 2 days later, an Inny attack group showed up at the coordinates. But, they had a slight problem. They didn’t find a listening outpost. They found a battalion of Marines, Scorpions, Warthogs, and Hornets. “
Haggrin shifted in his seat “That’s great sir, but it still doesn’t tell me what he did.” General McCord replied with a cold stare. The Major knew the look was a silent way of saying ‘shut your damn mouth’. “Sorry, go on, sir.”
“Anyway. ONI picked up the Sergeant as the strike occurred. They explained, along with his father, who she was and what she had done. They had also given him a job. He was to approach her as if everything was fine and lead her back to some spooks. Only problem with that plan was she was much smarter and more connected than anyone knew. Someone had tipped her off from the Inny base that was close to the offencive. As they got to her apartment, she was already leaving. A small gunfight broke out. She escaped, but dropped some of her own intel in the process. Turns out she was using Collin to get to his father and assassinate him.”
The Major did not know this. But, it shed some light as to why a perfect Marine suddenly became a lunatic. Now his curiosity was churning. “Was she ever captured?”
“In a way, yes. The Sergeant was given orders from ONI if he ever saw her again, he was to pursue, no matter what, and bring her in alive. While doing some clean-up work on Hellas, he noticed a woman who looked a lot like her, but he wasn’t 100%. He grabbed two of his buddies and followed her on foot. When she looked back and saw them, she ran again. Taking no chances, he took aim with his rifle and shot her in the leg. When they got to her, the woman pulled her hoodie down and there she was. The woman he was supposed to marry. According to one of the Marines that went with him, they had a brief exchange. She said something like ‘I really did love you.” Or some such bullshit. He started to walk away. The two others thought he was going to ask them to restrain her and prep for transport. Instead, he pulled out his pistol and put all 12 rounds in her head and chest. The only thing to ID her was DNA. She no longer had a face.”
Haggrin sat with total disbelief. He saw now it wasn’t just a matter of a guy gone bad. This was a Marine who had tapped into a level of anger that the Major had never come close to. “You said ONI wanted her alive. He disobeyed a direct order.”
“True, but ONI really wasn’t expecting him to listen. They knew exactly what he was going to do. It was just a matter of covering their ass if it ever came up. Now, getting back to why I’m here. I think I’ve proven that Mr. Renner is a true patriot and willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to protect our way of life. Dontcha’ you think?”
Major Haggrin pulled a file folder from the stack on his desk. “Tell Sgt. Renner congratulations. He has a chance to go feet first into hell.”