Prometheus stared at the AI blankly. He felt no shock or any emotion whatsoever, unlike his fellow Spartan, Arkady, who's mouth was hanging open like an idiot. Prometheus shifted his glance from the Spartan, to one of the elites, who seemed absolutely stunned to see the AI sitting plainly in front of them.
The room was dead silent. The only audible sound was the quiet crackling of the AI's hologram as it stood freely, wavering about.
Prometheus almost spoke, but couldn't find the words.
Fal 'Vadum broke the silence. "Turn it off, Spartan."
Arkady turned and stared at Fal 'Vadum. "Why?"
"That's an order, Spartan," Fal 'Vadum said, his tone harsh and raspy.
Prometheus frowned. Something didn't seem right about this situation.
Arkady rubbed his helmet, probably sharing the same feeling. "I don't like your tone."
Fal 'Vadum stepped forward. "I'll do it myself!!" he yelled angrily.
Prometheus side-stepped in the way. "Back up," he ordered loudly.
Fal 'Vadum's face seemed to cringe. He obeyed and took three steps back. Prometheus watched him suspiciously, not allowing his gaze to wander. He lifted his grenade launcher to chest level to show that he meant business.
"Prometheus," Arkady said from behind him.
Prometheus turned slowly. Arkady was staring at the AI. "It's not saying anything," he said with bewilderment in his voice.
"It needs an authorization code before it can open up any information to us," Prometheus responded. "But an older generation AI such as this has a lousy security system. You can use a short and simple override code to access any information you want."
"And what would that override code be?"
"AI, deactivate security systems and open up system data."
"Access denied," the AI said back.
"Hmm...I suppose the AI isn't as old as I thought," Prometheus said slowly.
Fal 'Vadum spoke up. "This is taking too long! Let's take it back to our ship so we can hack it."
"No," Arkady barked.
"Very well," Fal 'Vadum said, glancing at his Elite comrades.
Prometheus turned. "Why would we take it back to your ship? After all, it's UNSC property."
Fal 'Vadum seemed to smile. "Give me the AI," he said.
Time seemed to freeze. "What do you mean?" Arkady asked, turning to look him in the eye.
"You heard me. Give me the AI or we'll take it from you."
The dark room was suddenly illuminated by white energy swords. About ten by the looks of it.
"You guys aren't Elites," Arkady said with a frown.
Suddenly, Fal 'Vadum's appearance faded and for a split second, a Brute's face was visible among the darkness.
"They're wearing some sort of suit that disguises them," Prometheus said bluntly, lifting his gun. "They're Brutes."
Arkady pulled his Battle Rifle off of his back and aimed it carefully at the Brutes, that were now revealing their true appearance. "We can do this the easy way, or the hard way."
"The hard way is much more fun," the leader said with a laugh.