A Less Than Warm Welcome is the third chapter of Red vs. Blue: Strikedown.

A Less Than Warm WelcomeEdit

The Counselor stood up from his seat, setting his cup of coffee on the table. "I know that our last meeting was not exactly a pleasant one," said the Counselor, before being cut off by Iowa.

"Yeah, I guess that you could say that," muttered Iowa. He remembered that half-hour yelling match between him and the Counselor. He had been lucky that the room was sound-proof. If it hadn't been, guards would have been rushing in under the belief that a murder was occuring.

The Counselor looked at Iowa square in the eyes, nodded, and said, "However, we cannot let what happened to Hawaii compromise what we need you and California to do for us." For several minutes following this statement, Iowa and the Counselor proceeded to stare at each other, almost as if they were going for the title of the Intercontinental Staredown Champion. California slowly shifted her attention between the two, wondering who was going to be the one to break the silence.

Deciding that they were getting nowhere at this point, California asked, "Excuse me, but don't we have a mission to discuss?"

The Counselor shifted his focus from Iowa to California, nodded, and said, "I suppose you're right. Please, take a seat." Iowa's gaze never left the Counselor as he took his seat at the conference table. California could tell that this wasn't going to be the most pleasant of meetings. "I almost forgot," added the Counselor, "this just came in for you today, Iowa." The Counselor proceeded to walk over to the computer and pulled out a small storage device from the main port. Taking his place at the head of the table, the Counselor handed the device over to Iowa.

"Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd just assume this was a thumb drive. How have you been Psi?" asked Iowa. Psi's hologram appeared from the A.I. storage device, looking up at his old friend,and shrugged.

"Well Dan, I guess you could say I've been doing alright. It does get a little boring just sitting around in that thing and playing Sudoku by myself after awhile, so it's pretty good to see you again," answered Psi. Iowa smiled, placing the device into his wrist-pad. Psi's hologram materialized from the touchscreen of the device.

"It's great to see you too Psi. So, Counselor, you had something you needed to discuss with us?" inquired Iowa.

"Yes," said the Counselor. "Now, a week prior, a secret cache of experimental weaponry was stolen from researchers at our outpost on Phoendral. The party who made off with the weapons is, at this point in time, unknown. The weapons were tracked down to the nearby planet of Kallos 9. We need two trusted agents to head down to the base, recover the data files on the weapons, then blow the place sky high."

"Just what sort of weapons were stolen?" asked California.

"A number of different prototypes; a Gravity Rifle, an EMP Rifle, and a Plasma Beam just to name a few," said the Counselor. Iowa and California exchanged glances. These could prove to be very dangerous weapons in the wrong hands. It was clear now just what needed to be done. "So, can I count on you two to do this job? I wouldn't ask you two to do this if I didn't think you were the people to do it."

Glances shifted between Iowa and California again. They turned their attention back to the Counselor, and nodded. "We're in, when do we start?" asked California.

"We'll have a Pelican to take you to the Dawn of Victory tomorrow morning. You should arrive at Kallos 9 sometime within the day afterwards. If you have no more questions, you may head to your quarters." Iowa and California stood up from their seats and left the room, heading for their quarters at the base.

In the elevator to their room, California turned to Iowa. "Dan, do you really think we're up for this? If we fail, and these weapons get out to the Covenant, humanity can be in even bigger trouble than it already is."

Iowa put his arm around California's shoulder and pulled her closer. "I know we can do this. We cannot allow those weapons to fall into Covenant hands."

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