Ramp UpMature

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Logan whirled about. He recognized the Master Chief that Sergeant Carter had been talking to earlier was now staring him down.

"I asked you a question soldier, what are you doing?"

Logan looked down at the painting he had just finished and back to the Master Chief. "Ugh... she didn't have a name sir, so we thought we'd remedy that."

"So you're telling me you're trying to christen this pile of scrap?"

"Yes sir, I guess I am."

"No, you're not."

"Then, I guess I'm not."

The Master Chief smiled. "Not without a bottle of Champaign." he said. "Of which I just happen to have."

Andrew sighed. "Oh thank God, I thought we were in so much shit."

Logan laughed. "So how's this done?"

"Just before the maiden voyage, you sacrifice a fine bottle of spirits against the hull." he said. "Zephyr. Not a bad choice."

Andrew nodded. "Yeah, I think it sounds pretty cool."

"Cool? Do you even know what it means?" asked the Master Chief.

Andrew nodded awkwardly. "Oh... yeah of course."

Cody was walking by with a garbage bag, the others in tow. "It means a gentle breeze, or a gust of wind." He said as they all stopped and looked at the decal of the female angel.

"Nice tits."

Logan smiled. "Thanks."

Sergeant Carter came down the ramp and stood beside the Master Chief. "What're you all looking at?"

"Tits!" Chase exclaimed.

Carter nodded. "You're a talented artist Logan."

"I studied well."

"I guess that explains why you didn't paint her lower half." Rob pointed out.

Laughter burst out in the hangar.

The Master Chief turned to Carter. "Sergeant, I'll be sure to have the Zephyr added to the logs as the ship commanded by Alpha Delta."

"Thank you Dave, it‘s nice to know that at least one of you is watching our backs. I wish there was a way to repay you."

The Master Chief smiled through his gray beard. "No need for repayment. It's been a pleasure. I'm sorry that you've had such an abrasive experience on the Halifax, we're usually good company."

"It's the young ones and their rivalries." Carter said.

"Some of the old ones still subscribe to those rivalries too John, you know that."

Carter smiled. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

A navy lieutenant walked briskly into the hangar. "Sir, the Bethesda's in formation and ready for departure."

The Master Chief nodded and turned to Carter. "Looks like it's time for you to go."

Carter nodded, "Alright dogs. Mount up."

"What about that Champaign?"

The Master Chief put his hand up. "Don't worry about that boy, I've got it under control."

"Alright." Logan said, making his way up the ramp. "Thanks again."

"Sergeant Carter." said the Master Chief as he firmly shook his hand.

"Dave, come on. You know to call me John."

Dave smiled. "Take care."

"You too."

The men parted ways and John moved up to the top of the ramp and keyed the InterCom "Ramp up."

Logan‘s voice scratched through the speakers *Roger Sarge.*

The Master Chief saluted as the ramp rose.

Sergeant Carter returned the salute just as he fell out of view.

The End

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