honestly, i don’t know anymore.
sometimes i get really sad about post-halo 4 master chief because i know that the new spartans only had three weeks of surgeries, and they still look like your average marine or odst, and they can still laugh and joke and live happily
and here’s chief as a relic from a point in human history that no one wants to remember, when it was ok to kidnap kids and brainwash em and perform experimental augmentation surgeries on them, and he may be a war hero but he’s also a nearly-7-foot-tall super soldier with hardly any skills outside of combat and there’s no place for him anymore
He sits in the observation deck and watches the refracted light of the earth play on the dulled silver of Cortana’s chip. Infinity's engines a distant celestial hum. Hardly more than white noise. He fiddles with the chain he's looped through the empty crystal frame in the center of the chip.
His hands are scarred, and rightly so: forty years of combat tend to leave you scarred and weathered and pale, like some sort of human variant who just can’t get back into the run of things. Fingernails trimmed short, short enough that the scratches and the jagged edges in them are gone. Knuckles and fingers like gnarled tree roots, hardly a scrap of fat on them, but plenty of wrinkles at the joints; carving deep rivulets through his palm like the cartographical scan from a planet’s orbit. Old lines from his surgeries are still there on the back of his hands, racing up his forearm to his elbow. Not as bad as they were when he got them.
He thinks about the men he killed when he was in training, how he slaughtered them with his bare hands, even as a kid. He thinks about all those times he choked unggoy to death and of the sangheili necks he’s snapped. He traces the scars on his hands and on his knuckles and on his fingers and he remembers the stories belonging to each of them.
He holds her chip as carefully as he can manage even though war has given him reason not to. It sits in the palm of his hand amidst the scars and the old bruises. Lifeless as ever.
John had never considered himself the sentimental type.