This article is part of the The Blue Stripe Logs series.

4.7.2179.GREEN

Mr. Shitballs.I flagged this log green, but I wish I had flagged it red. I feel dirty, like I've got greasy Company slime sticking to my fingers, all because I helped out that shitheel Burke.

He came down to cryotech again, but this time he had a mission. The USS Sulaco was docked at Gateway and he was pulling strings to get some marines mustered for a mission. The Company lost contact with some shake-and-bake colony at the edge of inhabited space and Burke was going to check it out.

That by itself is weird. A suit flying out to a colony with a bunch of marines doesn't happen every day. I was thinking a rebellion or something. No point asking a weasel like Burke, he'd just lie anyway.

Now, Sulaco is a pretty new ship, no need for an overhaul, but Burke wanted me to have a look at the ship's hypersleep chambers. I did what I was told, even though what I was being told to do raised even more flags.

The Sulaco mounted some slightly outdated SF-26s, pretty much like the 29s but the failsafe measures aren't as, you know, failsafe. When I told Burke this his eyes lit up like he just saw a bowl of dicks.

"How would you go about sabotaging one of the hypersleep capsules?" The shitbag asked me with a girly wave of his hand.

So I told him. I showed him on one of our junkers in refurb. I cracked the hood and explained exactly how you could loosen the secondary coolant line so that when the capsule enters its second cycle the line will pop out. Then you just pull the fuse for the emergency thaw computer and the person will come out of hypersleep too slow to wake up and hit the hood release. They'll suffocate in their sleep.

Someone on the Sulaco has a bad freeze ahead of them.You think that's the sort of info I want to be giving to a suit about to deploy with a team of marines? Look, I don't think the marines are amazing patriots like some people, but I got friends from Detroit that joined the marines. Good guys out there. Hell, maybe even some of them in the unit.

I couldn't help it, I had to ask.

"So why do you need to know all this shit?"

Burke was all polite all through me talking shop and explaining shit to him. All of the sudden he cops a major attitude.

"That's not your business," he said to me.

And then he did this sneer thing with his upper lip. Like a gay Jewish Elvis. Honest-to-god sneered in my face.

"When I get back we'll have a little talk about your insubordination," he continued.

I just started walking towards the can, because if he kept going I was gonna leave an impression of my knuckles in his jaw. Burke was yelling for me to come back, like I wasn't doing him a favor by turning the other cheek and all. Fuck him. He eventually must have got the message, because after I got done deploying my brown dropship to H-20 he was gone.

That was about two years ago and that was the last I ever heard of Burke, Ripley, the marines, hell, I never even heard anything about the Sulaco. There is still an epilogue to my little story you picked out there, it's just not about any of those things.

You mind if I light this up? Thanks.

Like I was saying, an epilogue. About six months later I'm playing Bug Hunt 4 with Ramón in the common area of our quarters. He's a mean sonuvabitch with the smart gun, but I can usually get the jump on him as the evil android. When I drop down out of a vent and break his neck he always throws the controller at the wall like a fucking baby.

Anyway, we're sitting there playing the game and I'm creeping up on him all silent. The tension is really high. And then BANG! the door flies open and in runs Castle.

Think about retiring: it's the only way to be sure you never will."Dude!" He shouts and we both start throwing shit at him.

"Cut it out," he says swatting at the empty cans and shit we're throwing. "Yo, Washington, didn't you say that buddy of yours was on Acheron?"

"Yeah, so?" I replied, still pissed he screwed over our game.

"Turn on channel 8552! The USCM is blowing the Christ out of your dipshit friend! "

So we switch over to the video feed and find the live news. Sure enough, it's footage from a marine ship raining hell down on Acheron. Nukes are blowing up left and right on the little rockball.

You should know the rest. I guess it was all a big uprising there or something. The dumb colonists, my friend included, went apeshit. The Company called in the marines, the marines got bogged down in fighting, lots of guerrilla warfare and shit, so they nuked the crap out of the place from orbit. No survivors.

And there went my retirement plan.

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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