Frontline 1: Just call me Angry

Posted May 9th 2004

This is Radio WRKX broadcasting, and in today's instalment from the ringworld Halo, intrepid reporter Suzie Hoffenblatt finds herself special guest onboard an enemy ship. An alarmingly muscular blue-headed monster is with our girl, ready and waiting for primetime airing. Get all the inside stories, here on Radio WRKX. Take it away Suzie…

Suzie: Mr Elite, first can I say, thank you for inviting me onto the ship and talking to us.

Mr E: WORT WORT WORT! Ha ha, no only kidding Suzie, couldn't resist it. Gosh you should see the Marines run when I do that. Vooom! You gotta love it.

Suzie: Indeed, although I think the Marines may disagree. But let me start by clearing up the matter of your name. I gather that I'm not quite right in addressing you as Mr Elite, am I.

Mr E: Arrrr! Yes, actually my full name translates to something like Mr Elite Squid-Chops Angry-Boots Mc Nasty, but my friends just call me Angry.

Suzie: That's touching. But in any case I'm thinking that since you're so awfully keen on wiping us out and everything, I should probably just stick to "Mr Elite" after all.

Mr E: Nicely put Suzie. Yes, we do go in for a lot of this 'wiping out' business; keeps us busy, I like to think. But don't worry, you're safe here. True, my Grunts were last seen in a rather excited state, polishing up their needlers and making fresh room in the amalgamation unit of the ceremonial food nipple; but if they try anything on your way out I suggest a few well-placed whacks to the nozzle. That'll sort 'em out. Run screaming they will, the little critters. I tell you Suzie, we really hit the booby prize when we signed that planet up to the alliance! But that's another story.

Suzie: And one I'm sure we can discuss another time, assuming I can avoid the inside of that amalgamation unit. But one thing that many of our listeners will want to know is: why us? Just what is it about us you hate so much?

Mr E: To be honest Suzie, there's nothing we particularly hate about you. It's more a general policy of loathing dictated from on high, and we just kind of toe the party line. Oh don't get me wrong, I can work up a pretty good case of loathing when I need to. But just between you and me, it's more for the sake of appearances than anything. I'm just as happy to loathe any other race frankly - we're nothing if not fair - but just at the moment admin's pushing this anti-human thing with a pretty major marketing campaign. 'Lot of advertising and stuff; PR work etcetera, you know the drill. They're really into it. Going quite well actually.

Suzie: Yes, so I gather. But still, not quite the human-hating fanatics we thought then.

Mr E: By no means. Actually a couple of the guys plan to open a pizza place down your way once the whole shebang is over. Not sure there's going to be any humans left to actually buy the stuff, but still, there's always the Grunts. They'll eat anything. Really pack it in they do, the little snorters. So no, we're not really all-out human haters as such. It's not like you're all scum or anything. In fact, on a personal note, may I say that's a delightful number you're wearing Suzie. Quite super.

Suzie: Why thank-you.

Mr E: Don't mention it. Yes, it'll be a real shame to have to wipe you out as well. But I'm afraid you're on the list, so there's really not much we can do about it.

Suzie: No I quite understand. Admin would never budge on something like that.

Mr E: 'Fraid not Suzie. They're rather strict, as a rule.

Suzie: And tell me, do you have plans yourself, once you've wiped us out and so on?

Mr E: Me? Oh, I'll probably pop back to the homeworld for a bit of r 'n r before we start loathing someone else and it all kicks off again. Nothing too strenuous. All this running around planetside really takes it out of an eight-footer like myself you know. And you wouldn't believe the chaffing I get from this armour.

Suzie: I can imagine. But perhaps you could tell us more about what a typical day is like, in the life of an Elite such as yourself.

Mr E: Oh it's no great mystery Suzie. I usually get up around nine, gobble down a good-sized multilegged herbivore of some description in the ship's canteen, wash it down with a flagon or two of blood-ale from the homeworld, and then it's pretty much a case of going out for a spot of blasting with the old plasma rifle. Or one of those funny needlers, just for a change. I like the colours, you know. Very mellow and relaxing.

Suzie: Yes, "mellow and relaxing" indeed, though I'm reliably informed that when you're on the other end of it, it's more a case of "splintery and stingy", occasionally veering towards "ow, in-the-severest-sense-of-the-word-y".

Mr E: Ain't that the truth honey! Yeah I've taken the odd clip or two from some green bozo that keeps popping up, but mostly it's me "doin' the business" as we say. I tell you, we have some wonderful fun with those Marines of yours. Boom! As my Grunts like to say.

Suzie: Er, quite. And this blasting of yours; are you told where to go and suchlike?

Mr E: Well, we usually get a vague sort of directive from admin. It'll be something like "Enemy escape pods seen landing on weird doughnut thingy; eliminate survivors" or "Green devil seen heading east at beach outpost 1; search and destroy", or "Shots fired, underground level 4; hunt down intruder and administer death with extreme prejudice". After that, we pretty much go on instinct. And smell. That's one place those grunty little idiots come in handy. Have to give 'em credit, they can pick up the whiff of a bipedal insurgent before I've seen a damn thing.

Suzie: You mentioned a "green devil". Rumour has it that you've come up against somebody or something a bit too tricky to handle on a couple of occasions.

Mr E: Arrrr… ROBOMAN! Yes, he's a real pest I can tell you. Friend of mine winged him once, but damned if his armour didn't just soak it up! And then out he comes from cover again, popping away like the blazes with some form of primitive mechanical catapult and anything else he could get his hands on. It was a pretty close shave for my friend. Lucky to get away with lightly toasted mandibles; but I can tell you now, that's gonna smart!

Suzie: I believe you. So, not all going your own way then.

Mr E: Too true. When we got into this thing, admin never said the enemy would have rechargeable armour too. It's unreasonable, that's what it is. Goes against the natural order. Still, we're bound to get him sooner or later, right?

Suzie: I couldn't possibly comment. But I'm wondering if you're deliberately avoiding talking about a rather more personal encounter you once had.

Mr E: Now look, Suzie, when I agreed to do this interview I distinctly remember saying, do NOT talk about the Banshee incident. How the hell was I supposed to know he had a ruddy great bazooka down there in the snow? I was only minding my own business halfway up that cliff, when next thing I know, BOOM! Whole damn place was shaking. I pop my head out the door, and blow me if the Banshee hasn't done a disappearing act. The tin-plated swine nicked it, that's what he did! There, I said it: are you happy now?

Suzie: Oh, I think that a warm glow of satisfaction should be spreading through quite a few of our listeners by now, Mr Elite-Face Squidgy-Boots. But I'm wondering how you managed to explain it to admin.

Mr E: This is off the record, right? Actually I put "Terminal power loss" on the form; which was technically correct from my point of view. No way I was gonna get power outta that baby any more. Anyway I think they bought it, because I got reposted to another Banshee further down the line. Right on top of this enormous column that went up into the mist. Ruddy freezing up there it was, no heating or anything. Hmmm… maybe they didn't completely buy it.

Suzie: Dear me. And you didn't lose that one as well did you?

Mr E: You know Suzie, I'm starting to wonder if those Grunts have the right idea with that amalgamation unit after all…

Suzie: Ah. The proverbial 'step too far'. And on that note I thank you for your time and bid you a fairly swift farewell whilst edging deftly backwards towards the exit.

Mr E: Arrrrr…