Herzog/Cranky: Hello? Hello, is anyone there?
Maria: Quartermaster's help desk, this is Maria speaking... can I help you?
Herzog/Cranky: I don't know, but you can sure as hell try. I was on a call with someone there - must've been an hour and a half or something - she kept putting me on hold, and then finally I'm talking to someone. Maybe it was the same girl, I don't know. And then the line goes dead and now I've gotta start all over again with the receipt and everything!
Maria: How can I help you, sir?
Herzog/Cranky: Yeah, okay. So the thing is, I'm sitting in my study - maybe I'm looking at some stuff on the computer, that's nobody's business but my own; I don't care what time of day, but especially if it's late at night - and all of the sudden these guys show up at the door and start taking my stuff!
Maria: I assume "these guys" were Navy personnel?
Herzog/Cranky: Yeah, right - Marines!
Maria (garbled): Where and when did this take place?
Herzog/Cranky: What? I can't hear a damn thing. First thing I do after this, I'm gonna call the CPA and complain about the sound quality today. First, all the bands go out, now I can hardly hear a word you're saying!
Maria (clearer): I'm sure the Chatter Protocol Authority would be happy to hear from you, sir.
Herzog/Cranky: Damn right they would! I pay my taxes - which are outrageous, let me tell you... Last year I had this little place in Hellespont -
Maria: Troy, sir?
Herzog/Cranky: What? Y-Yeah, Troy.
Maria (annoyed): So, these Navy personnel...?
Maria: This "Marine" incursion into your study occurred on Troy, sir?
Herzog/Cranky: Yeah, that's what I was just telling you!
So I'm in my house on Troy, it's the middle of the night, and all of a sudden a bunch of combat booted muscle-heads barge in and hustle me at gun-point - at gun-point mind you - on some kind of transport in my damn bath-robe. Well I had some papers. Very important family papers and I made them promise to ship them to me. I managed to hold the goons off long enough to write out a bill of lading, you know - a receipt. And finally I got this really rude marine to sign it, this 'Lance Corporal', and yet here I am, 3 months later and no sign of my paper - NO sign at all.
Maria: You're complaining, about evac'ing from Troy, sir...?
Herzog/Cranky: Well, I'm not saying there wasn't a reason for the whole thing... obviously, but the point is I have a receipt!
Maria: *sigh* Name on the receipt...?
Herzog/Cranky: Marine Lance Corporal Janet Adams, I was very careful to write that down.
Maria: One moment sir.
(chatter beeps off)
(knock on the door)
Herzog: Any data yet?
Lieutenant: A lot of chatter from the cable, sir. Looks like a ship dropped in, inside lunar orbit.
Herzog: A ship...
Lieutenant: One of ours. The Apocalypso.
Lieutenant: Sorry sir, I should have been more specific.
(chatter beeps on)
Maria: I'm sorry to say Corporal Adams was KIA almost 2 months ago, sir.
Cranky Old Man: Oh. But, I have a receipt!
Maria: *sigh* Alright. I'll pass this along to my superiors.
Cranky Old Man: Well I appreciate that. I know my family papers aren't probably the navy's first priority right now, but-
Maria: Very forbearing of you sir.
Cranky Old Man: --But they mean a lot to me. And I have a receipt.
Maria: Thank you sir, your request has been archived and information pertinent to this case will be sent to this CP Address.
Herzog/Cranky: Thanks so much. I really appreciate the--
Avi: Hey, you dry old man, they have very good pie here.
Herzog: Best in Boston.
Avi: Apple, Key Lime, French Silk, or Baklava. Although, the best Baklava is from Acco. One of those places everyone has been... Romans, Crusaders, people as old as you.
Herzog: You're older than I am.
Avi: That's how I know you're an old man.
Herzog: Key Lime then.
Avi: (snaps fingers) Two pieces of Key Lime, and coffee.
Waitress: Comin' up.
Avi: So, what happened?
Herzog: With the chatter net?
Avi: With everything.
Herzog: The ship, the one that crashed out of the slipstream inside lunar orbit...
Avi: The Apocalypso.
Avi: It wasn't just the ship?
Avi: It was one of ours, huh? Navy spy ship?
Herzog: Right again.
Avi: There's more... But either you don't know it or you can't tell me.
Herzog: You said you had a recruit.
Avi: - A candidate
Herzog: (skeptically) ...a candidate
Avi: *sigh* You should retire, old man.
Herzog: I have work to do. More work since some people left the business to take soft professor jobs.
Avi: I got too old for the game. And I was younger than you are now.
Herzog: You said you had a candidate...
Avi: On the house. You would never know she's there, she's a scholarship girl from some god-forsaken hick town. Although, the only way you can tell is her haircut. She's got the clothes alright, she just seems to have a blind spot about the hair.
Herzog: Good, good.
Avi: She looks at the things ordinary people do, like a scientist.
Herzog: ...like a detective.
Avi: Also persistent as hell. I'll send you her dossier next week.
Herzog: Ah, the famous pie.
Lieutenant: It's a little early for wine, isn't it sir?
Herzog: On the contrary, it's very nearly too late.
Herzog/COM: Do you know what you're sloshing around there youngster? That's a high-house alt-burgundy 22
Lieutenant: Uh please, sir, not the cranky old man.
Herzog/COM: And what's wrong with the cranky old man?
Lieutenant: It's excruciating to listen--
Herzog/COM: The old bastard's been very good to me over the years.
Lieutenant: I know sir.
Herzog/COM: Let's me shout--
(together) Without being noticed.
Lieutenant: I know sir.
Herzog: I guess you jumped for joy when you heard you'd been transferred to me, huh?
Lieutenant: I requested the posting sir.
Herzog: You did?
Lieutenant: Yes sir.
Lieutenant: It's hard to recall sir.
Herzog: All right, I deserve that.
Lieutenant: Yes sir. Here's your drink.
Herzog: Have you ever had an alt burgundy lieutenant?
Lieutenant: Um, no sir.
Herzog: You know why?
Lieutenant: I don't drink.
Herzog: They don't make it any more.
Lieutenant: Regrettable sir. Perhaps the scent - tar, is it sir? - was not to everyone's taste.
Herzog: They don't make it because alt burgundy comes from Jericho VII.
Lieutenant: I'm sorry sir.
Herzog: Ah hell, you weren't even born. Pour yourself a drink lieutenant.
Lieutenant: I don't... very well sir.
Herzog: Here's to Jericho that fell, and a Sigma Octanus IV that did not.
Lieutenant: Here-here, sir. (drinks, coughs)
Herzog: Well, it's not to everybody's taste...
Lieutenant: Uh, no sir.
Herzog: Shortly before they turned for home, the Apocalypso, heavily cloaked and posted deep in Covenant space, began experiencing some slight but troubling anomalies with their computer systems. Just as her captain decided to bring her home, long range sensors detected a curious object adrift in space.
Lieutenant: Where did you get this? I read the reports - none of this is in here.
Herzog: The object was roughly the size of a tire. A Covenant artifact of a completely new design unlike anything we've seen before, and frankly pretty inscrutible. I talked to the Apocalypso's captain, that's how.
Lieutenant: Where are the records?
Herzog: Well surely the blast that knocked the ship out of the slipstream and took down the whole planet's comm channels erased all the computer records.
Lieutenant: Except that's not what you think.
Herzog: Of course it is.
Lieutenant: You think the records have been erased.
Herzog: Not at all.
Lieutenant: By someone from Section 3. Someone like Standish.
Herzog: Perish the thought.
Lieutenant: We should talk to the captain again, sir. Get her to corroborate the official version.
Herzog: She's dead.
Herzog: Some accident involving a bus. Unluckiest thing in the world.
Lieutenant: You don't think... even if there was something important on the Apocalypso, something crucial to the war effort...
Herzog: Like a new piece of Covenant technology capable of crippling an entire solar system's C&C channels?
Lieutenant: Although if you're right about Troy -
Herzog: Then Harmony - Harmony is the instructive one.
Lieutenant: Oh... what are you going to do?
Herzog: Under the circumstances, I think I'll have another drink.
the_labyrinth Note: AXON CANCELLED
Herzog: Were you ever on Reach?
Lieutenant: No sir. You have me scheduled for a duty rotation, leaving for Reach December 15.
Herzog: Hmm, right.
Lieutenant: Sir? Have I somehow not performed to your requirements?
Herzog: What? Oh, no, boy. I'm sending you to the labyrinth. ONI's workshop is on Reach, where ONI elves build their toy soldiers.
Herzog: The place where children are the toys. That's where the Spartan 2.0's are from. All Dr.Halsey's pretty ones.
Lieutenant: Oh. I see, sir.
Herzog: Where, if you see anything you must not contact me. Of course. Since for the 6 months of your rotation there you will not be working for me. Of course. And would never let your loyalties to us, to human decency, to the protection of standards interfere with your work.
Lieutenant: Oh... Yes sir.
Herzog: Well look at it this way. It's probably the safest place in human inhabited space. How's your history?
Lieutenant: Well, fair, sir.
Herzog: How are you on World War II?
Lieutenant: Cressy - English Longbow against futile French Cavalry. Bloodbath, sir. Herzog: Very good. Except... that was the Hundred Years' War, World War II was 500 years later.
Lieutenant: I always get them mixed up. 30 Years War, and Hundred Years' War—Herzog: --The Germans were winning. They used an elaborate encryption scheme, the British cracked it, and then they had a problem.
Lieutenant: ...After they cracked the code...
Herzog: That's right. Now the Brits knew what the Germans meant to do, but if they acted on that knowledge--
Lieutenant: --The Germans would realize the code had been broken.
Herzog: Now what would you do if someone had cracked your code?
Lieutenant: I'd make a new one.
Herzog: Full marks!
Lieutenant: Thank you, sir.
Herzog: So they had to a terrible calculus. Had to decide how much they could use the intelligence, and how many times they would just have to stand there and watch a German operation they knew they could have stopped.
Lieutenant: A dilemma worthy of Solomon, sir.
Herzog: Yes. Have you been thinking about Harmony?
Lieutenant: Yes sir! Oh... oh my god... you mean Troy and Harmony are--
Herzog: --(cranky) I don't know. I'm stuck in a dusty old office and no one tells me anything!
odd_duck Note: AXON CANCELLED
Standish: Colonel Herzog.
Herzog: Don't call me that.
Standish: You're offline.
Herzog: But you don't know that, do you. So keep to protocol and avoid rank. Here have some bread, feed the ducks.
Standish: You're an odd duck to be lecturing on protocol.
Herzog: Wit, Standish? Is that wit you're straining at?
Standish: I lacked your old school pinache I'm afraid.
Herzog: You want anything?
Standish: What are you doing nosing around the Apocalypso?
Herzog: Hmm... getting ready to retire. I was looking to pick up an old yacht. Cheap.
Standish: You want an investigation, you investigate through channels, Herzog. Just like any other policeman.
Standish:But don't compromise my operations!
Herzog: Wetwork - such a strange word. Conjurs up the sound of a woman, being hit by a bus.
Standish: She wasn't hit by a bus! Her vehicle malfunctioned.
Herzog: I was being metaphorical, but... wetwork requires approval doesn't it?
Standish: Are you aware there's a war going on? Reach has fallen.
Herzog: No one knows how long until there are Covenant ships in our skies.
Standish: And you're worried about -procedures-.
Herzog: Do you want to go down in the history books as the man with the device, Standish?
Standish: The mysterious Covenant device... if you know of a Covenant device, I'm sure we'd be happy to hear about it.
Herzog: That device isn't going to win any battles if it sits in a Section-III lockdown lab where nobody but your team can study it.
Standish: If there was a device, it would be a very dangerous device. And dangerous devices would need special care.
Herzog: But you want to control it, don't you?
Standish: I want to win this war.
Herzog: I think it's going to take more than just you, Standish, to win this war.
Standish: I have reported everything to the Admiral, Herzog. If you have concerns about the way I run my department, you'll have to take it up with him.
Herzog: I respect the Admiral. Maybe we should talk about Troy then, and uh, Harmony.
Herzog: And code breakers.
Standish: Herzog, I demand to know your source.
Herzog: Yes, a security breach; that, major, is worrying isn't it? But it was just a supposition on my part.
Herzog: And some basic investigation a schoolgirl could do.
Standish: Who've you got working on this? One of your moles? Some low level parasite in someone else's department? Isn't that your standard operating procedure? Herzog: It's always useful to meet with you Standish.
Standish: At Chawla Base, right? A schoolgirl, Herzog?
Herzog: (to himself) Avi, old friend, you're right. I am too old for this.
Standish: I'm good at plugging leaks, old man.
Standish: Herzog, you just can't barge into a meeting--
Herzog: Admiral, I will turn this department upside down if I don't get some accountability for this.
Standish: Ensign, call security. Herzog, come on... you can't stomp into a meeting that's already taking place.
Admiral: Herzog, what's this all about?
Herzog: It was my understanding that wetwork required executive authorization.
Standish: Oh God... come on, not this again.
Admiral: Wetwork? I didn't authorize the termination. What are you talking about?
Herzog: I'm talking about a black op! On the roof, of a 22 year old analyst's apartment!
Standish: That's preposterous.
Admiral: What black op?
Herzog: The one that my security eliminated.
Standish: Heh, you've got no proof my friend.
Herzog: You want me to drop his smoking boots on the desk? Of course I've got proof!
Admiral: Standish, shut up. Herzog, sit down. Standish, you're dismissed.
Admiral: Close the door as you leave.
Admiral: Thank you Colonel. I'll look into this matter immediately. You're dismissed. And, send in Standish on your way out.
Herzog: Thank you Admiral.
Herzog: Standish, the Admiral wants to see you.
Standish: Herzog, this is a mistake.
Herzog: (face to face) No, Standish. The mistake was putting an assassin on a 22 year old girl's rooftop.
Standish: Even if there was an assassin--
Herzog: Because you put one there for political reasons. Because you were afraid of what an investigation might do to your career.
Standish: Oh, not my career Herzog. Oh, and before you go getting on your moral high horse, who is using that 22 year old girl?
Herzog: And who is hiding the most powerful object ever to fall into our hands?
Standish: There is a war going on my friend.
Herzog: For us to remain human, not slaves. For us to be free people.
Standish: My conscience doesn't keep me awake at night, Herzog.
Herzog: That's very frightening, Standish. Mine keeps me awake every night.
Admiral: (from the office) Standish...
Standish: Watch your back, Herzog. Because I'm not going to let you or anyone else lose this war.
Lieutenant: Sir? These are transfer orders?
Herzog: Yes. Initial that you've seen them, would you?
Lieutenant: I don't understand, sir.
Herzog/Cranky: What's not to understand?
Lieutenant: But, is there--
Herzog: --A diplomatic post in New Mombasa. Good for your career. That is all.
Herzog: What are you waiting for?
Lieutenant: Did I... Have I been... I know that I didn't always--
Herzog: No, no, I gave you a good eval. (cranky) Can't find'em hungry anymore, not like when I was coming up.
Lieutenant: I'm sorry if I wasn't up to standards.
Herzog: Fine, fine. You're dismissed.
Lieutenant: You're covering something. The cranky old man bit...
Herzog: Not at all, soldier. Routine transfer.
Herzog: It's a good posting - diplomatic. It'll do more for your career than this one would.
Lieutenant: (thinks) You need someone in New Mombasa.
Herzog: You were dismissed, soldier.
Lieutenant: You've already approved my transfer, kinda late to reprimand me.
Herzog: This is just the Navy, transfers happen. I've got work to do.
Lieutenant: I don't think that you want me there to work. Not if I'm officially attached to intel, that's too high profile. You like your moles small and innocuous.
Herzog: I will remind you that that information is not for idle speculation.
Lieutenant: Well, maybe you've got a new protege. The girl at Chawla?
Herzog: No, Rani's going to stay where she is. Now I have work to do, and you, I'm sure, need to make some arrangements.
Lieutenant: What are you up to?
Herzog: I am up to my adam's apple in paperwork, and you owe me quite a bit of it. Surveillance analysis on Callisto, since you mention it. So - dismissed.
Lieutenant: You know, my mother is ill. I could request compassionate dispensation to stay here, where I'm close to her.
Herzog: That's enough. I'll have you investigated for malingering if you even try such a stunt. Do you hear me?
Lieutenant: So, you want me out of here?
Herzog: I have enjoyed working with you, young man, but I am not sentimental, and don't think I won't eat you alive if you start playing games with me.
Lieutenant: Sentimental? You're... you're protecting me from something? Something political?
Herzog: Get out. I have work to do.
Herzog: Who is it?
Herzog: Is this connection secure?
Standish: I'm using a disposable line. Are you busy?
Herzog: Just catching up on paperwork while the car drives. What do you want?
Standish: Uh where are you?
Herzog: In a car, Standish.
Standish: Hey, you hear they're talking about dropping the speed on the belt-way again? From 350kph to 300. Yeah, they say the road-bed is so degraded, it isn't safe, and it's too expensive to upgrade.
Herzog: You called me to talk about construction on the belt-way?
Standish: No! Uh, your girl, the one at Chawla - you'll be pleased to know the Admiral has put no trespassing all over her.
Herzog: That was stupid Standish.
Standish: I know. They weren't supposed to kill her, just scare her.
Herzog: Spare me.
Standish: You're right, they were going to kill her.
Standish: She was a problem. But, she wasn't the real problem.
Herzog: No, the real problem was that you're a dictator and we live in a democracy.
Standish: The real problem is that you and I have always seen the world differently. I am willing to sacrifice principle for results.
Herzog: Principles are results they are ends in themselves.
Standish: No, results are results.
[Vehicle]: Switching from automatic guidance to manual.
Standish: Herzog. At the bottom of this hill, watch out for the bridge.
[Vehicle]: I'm sorry, manual breaking at this speed is not recommended. If you would like me to apply automatic deceleration, please--
(enormous crash, static)
Herzog: Rani, it's Herzog.
Rani: (on chatter) What do you want?
Herzog: I spoke to your tech a couple of weeks ago.
Rani: My tech?
Herzog: Tech Specialist Carmi. You wonder why she wasn't in her office?
Rani: Ya, she's on maternity leave.
Herzog: She's never going to be a mother, Rani, but before she disappeared, I got to talk to her.
Herzog: You were right about the artifact, it's counting down.
Rani: What happened to her?
Herzog: It doesn't matter, what matters is the artifact.
Rani: Look, I-I can't... Standish is watching me.
Herzog: Rani, you have to. What's going to happen when the device goes off?
Rani: Nobody knows.
Herzog: When it was activated, it sent a huge ripple through the slipstream. When it goes off, at the very least it's probably going to cause a disruption that the Covenant will notice.
Rani: I can't! You have to get someone else to do it. Do it yourself.
Herzog: I'm sorry, I can't. Standish thinks I'm dead right now. I should be dead right now.
Herzog: Standish arranged an accident. It's just luck that the car hit the water and skipped the way it did, allowing the safety system to do it's job.
Herzog: I'm ok. Compression fracture, and a couple of vertebra, broken ribs, a broken arm, but all things that will heal. And it's lucky that wh--
Herzog: As long as Standish thinks I'm dead, I've got a little breathing room. But Rani, you're all I've got.