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#southct
buenosdiasblues · a month ago
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I think connie deserves two girlfriends. South and Tex are both Connie's girlfriend now.
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autisticblueteam · 2 months ago
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Chapter 27/27: Project Freelancer Audio Logs; Interrogation of Agents Following Case File 01.205//Level 2
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
Project Freelancer audio log 01072R-2, 1166. Interrogation of Agent South Dakota following assignment detailed in Case File 01.205//Level 2.
COUNSELOR: Agent South, would you care to take a seat?
(Clattering. Something heavy hits the floor.)
SOUTH DAKOTA: No.
(Silence.)
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 2 months ago
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Chapter 26/27: Alone
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
CT cursed as she crumpled back against the floor. Her third attempt to pull herself to her feet since Needles had dragged her into the escape pod whilst Texas and Carolina turned their attention to each other, too distracted to stop them.
The escape pod’s medical kit was barely over a metre above her. If she could just get some purchase, pull herself up far enough, then she could get to it. Open it. Get some biofoam and—
Gritting her teeth, she pressed her weight against the wall and tried to push herself up. Back against the blood-stained metal, all of her leverage in her legs, she pushed, even when her knees threatened to buckle.
Just a little further, just a little—
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 2 months ago
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Chapter 25/27: The Bitter End
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
“We’re ready.”
CT ejected the drive from the terminal she stood in front of and tucked it into her ammo compartment. Her duffel bag had already been loaded into an Albatross with crates full of equipment, ready to leave for Longshore Shipyards. Everything of value in their second-to-last stop on their journey through the galaxy had been packed up. There was nothing left to do but leave.
“Do you remember the plan?” Needles asked, as she turned to face him.
Leaning back against the terminal, she nodded. “Four transports. The Albatross leads and Rat rides shotgun. After we get confirmation they touched down, the first Falcon will go ahead. After that, it’s our turn. Then, one more ship will follow to disguise my arrival.”
“Good. We don’t know if they’ve found us, but we can prepare as if they have,” Needles said, a rhetoric she’d heard from him tens of times in the last two weeks.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 3 months ago
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Chapter 24/27: Keep Moving Forward
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
Two weeks were spent and wasted at Styx Station and then they were back on the Staff of Charon, travelling through slipspace, exactly on schedule. According to Obol, the trip would take somewhere between four and six days, bringing them out the other end at a small, groundside facility on a moon orbiting a planet that had only been partly colonised before the war began.
The Charon was still entirely too quiet, for a ship that never really slept. The scant personnel cycled through jobs and rounds in shifts, constantly active, but still it never really felt alive. None of these people had faces; they weren’t the bright, colourful agents who Connie had known either from interactions or their files, nor the Project’s cannon fodder soldiers who followed some of the agents around like overexcited fans.
It was strange, but CT would get used to it eventually. It wasn’t as if she had a choice.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 3 months ago
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Chapter 23/27: Free Bird
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
“You dropped a nuke on my teammates?!”
“They’re not your teammates anymore, Connie.”
CT let out a startled, disbelieving laugh. “They’re not my— really?! Really, Needles?! That’s the argument you’re going with here?! Are you kidding me?!”
The Staff of Charon was eerily silent as it carved a path through slipstream space. CT could count on two hands the people she had seen as they ferried her from the hangar bay to the bridge—and Rat and Needles were two of them.  The bridge itself was occupied by only her, Needles, Rat, and a couple of soldiers who were quickly backing away from the brewing argument.
Needles sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” he said.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 3 months ago
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Chapter 22/27: Countdown
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
Connie held back the tide as long as she could.
She dragged her feet in her investigation into the Scrapyard. Work that should have taken hours took a day; work that should have taken a day took three. She knew it was suspicious. If Connie had been who she was pretending to be, she’d have finished the work faster to make up for her ‘failure’ on the previous mission, but she wasn’t that person. Not anymore.
Even doing her worst work couldn’t delay the inevitable for long, however. Eventually, much sooner than she’d have liked, the UNSC Scrap Metal Recycling Station in the Cuuria system was confirmed as a site of ‘Insurrectionist’ activity. The moment she reported it, a thousand little things were set in motion. Dominoes, toppling one by one towards an outcome that had been looming on the horizon for far longer than she’d allowed herself to see it.
Acceptance felt like a weight being lifted from her shoulders and dropped into her gut.
Connie didn’t want to leave, but CT knew that she would have to.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 3 months ago
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Chapter 21/27: Keeping Up the Game
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
Sand whipped around CT’s ankles like it was dancing in the breeze, almost imperceptibly scuffing the recently repainted surface of her armour.
She was two klicks out from the target. The Mongoose she’d been dropped with had been left another two klicks behind her, in favour of a quieter approach. Not that they didn’t know she was coming, but it was in everyone’s best interest if she kept up appearances. This had to look legitimate; any odd behaviour could attract Command’s attention and, at this point, catching their eye at all could be fatal.
The landscape ahead of her was all sand and dry scrub, stretched out between red rock plateaus. Two suns burned brightly overhead, heat beating down upon her that was only mediated by her armour’s in-built temperature regulation. Sand was getting everywhere and there was no telling how much the armour could withstand before delicate, precisely tuned systems like that started to suffer for it, so she moved as quickly as she could.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 4 months ago
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Chapter 20/27: Lines Drawn Between
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
She didn’t remember pulling herself into bed, nor the sleepless hours that followed. Her pillow was stained with tears and she didn’t remember those, either. When her silent alarm rang out in the back of her mind, she forced herself to get up, flip over her pillow and make her bed as if she’d never slept in it.
Connie sat on the edge of South’s bed and kissed her forehead, then got up as if she’d been there the whole time. She wiped her face. She tapped her shrike three times. She brushed her teeth. She got dressed. She checked her schedule.
Go through the motions. Pretend that everything was fine. Let autopilot take control.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 4 months ago
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Chapter 19/27: Turned to Fear
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
“I am so, so sorry. I swear, I was doing everything I could and I still managed to stab him.”
“You didn’t even stab him; it was a slash. You should know that, mx. knife fucker.”
CT blinked. “That… just sounds painful.”
“I think that’s generally the point,” Rat said, shrugging. Their mask was pushed up so they could eat a sandwich that looked like it would probably fall apart if they let go of it for so much as a second.
Long-suffering Needles sighed. “It’s fine, Connie. You didn’t mean to and he was up on his feet the next day. It wasn’t serious.”
“Besides,” Rat said, swallowing and gesturing at her with their sandwich; a piece of pickle fell out and Rat 2 scampered to steal it, “he got stabbed by somebody actively trying not to stab him! It’s the exact opposite of your fault!”
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 4 months ago
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Chapter 18/27: Beta Test
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
The strangest part about doing what Connie was doing was waking up the morning after a major revelation feeling like everything was different, only for the world around her to remain functionally the same.
Agent Texas was an AI. That one fact changed everything and yet Connie still had to drag herself out of bed, chat idly with South and the people at her mess hall table, then get to work as if nothing was had changed at all.
After so long, she expected to become used to the dissonance, but, every time it happened, she found she hadn’t.
She spent the day working on the research facility intel, no longer able to keep pushing back the inevitable assault Alpha would be undertaking. In the evening, she warned Needles and Rat that they would be coming in a matter of days and then she told them about Texas, as frankly as she could.
Their disbelief was no surprise, but even they couldn’t deny the evidence she presented.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 5 months ago
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Chapter 16/27: Shadow of a Doubt
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
The viewing bay was stuffed to bursting. Two months had passed since the last AI was assigned, four since the last public display, and the sense of anticipation aboard the Invention had been building. News of the new assignment had spread quickly through the ranks via gossip, that only reached Alpha the same morning that the demonstration was due to take place.
“Wait, what the fuck do you mean Monty’s demonstrating their fucking AI today?” South had said, face scrunched in confusion, when they’d overhead Beta’s twins talking about it in the mess hall. “Since when did they have an AI? Or are you guys about to pull off some super fucking elaborate prank? Because if it’s that, I’ll actually be fucking impressed.”
Hawaii had giggled and California had raised an eyebrow.
“Not a prank, sorry to disappoint,” she’d said. “They had their implantation the other day. Xi was supposed to be Virginia’s, but…”
Apparently, Command had initially rated Virginia for Xi, but she had passed on the opportunity and told them to give the AI to the next best candidate. Connie had missed that; she’d been training on the floor the night that Xi’s file had been updated to include an agent and by the time she’d checked it again, it had already said Agent Montana. So, for once, the look of surprise on her face when she’d heard the news had been genuine.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 5 months ago
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Chapter 15/27: Voice in Your Head
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
“So, it’s like… this?” Connie said, sweeping one hand horizontally to lay on top of the other, just above her head.
Maine reached over and adjusted the position of her hands, just slightly, but nodded. They repeated the sign back at her and she copied it again, then nodded slowly.
“Alright, so that’s ‘cover me’… anything else you think I should know? We’ve done the basic finger-spelling, we’ve done sync, mark, all clear… a bunch of other boring, necessary stuff…”
She smiled and nudged them in the side, and they chuckled. The sound was raw, like gravel through a shredder, but it was reassuring regardless. Only a week ago, they couldn’t have made the sound if they’d tried.
Their final surgery had been completed only days previous. With it, they were no longer reliant on a machine to breathe. Their recovery would be quicker from there on out, to a point. The surface level damage would heal itself within days to weeks, but the physiotherapy needed to recover from not only the impact of their injury, but from the bedrest, would take much longer.
[Continue Reading on AO3.]
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autisticblueteam · 5 months ago
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Chapter 14/27: Trying to Keep Up
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
It wasn’t long before her time spent on the observation deck began to feel routine.
Every other night or so, Connie awoke with an internal alarm in the back of her head and CT made her way to the deck, where she retrieved Mass’s PC from the vent and sat down to work. Her mornings tasted of energy supplements and regret, but she kept at it. Soon enough, she could get through the day and her training on reduced sleep with minimal issue.
She’d deal with the consequences if she lived long enough for them to matter.
Not all of those nights were spent alone. After finally telling Needles and Rat that the Project had made an attempt on her life and killed Mass, Needles had insisted on extra check-ins. CT had argued it down to only once a week, the limit of what she felt would be safe, but the company was… nice. Better than being alone, in any case.
Most of the time, anyway.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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texas-hates-taxes-too · 5 months ago
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I just really want South and CT to be happy and gay together 😌😌
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autisticblueteam · 5 months ago
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Chapter 13/27: TURNCOAT
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
Dead. Mass was dead.
It happened again, she thought, swallowing the lump swelling in her throat. First her parents, then the Triplets, then her brother, and now…
The feeling of being dragged down fell away with the truth, but her knees threatened to crumple with it and it took all of her will to keep herself on her feet. To fall apart would be suspicious; as far as everyone else knew, Mass and Connie still hated each other.
“I only talked to zir a few days ago,” she said. Her mouth felt dry. “How did—?”
Virginia sighed, plucking a flask off her hip and taking a swig. “C’mere,” she said, gesturing over towards the couch. The liquid in the flask sloshed audibly with the motion. “Let’s sit down.”
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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autisticblueteam · 5 months ago
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If I Disappear, Will You Look For Me?
Chapter 12/27: Moving Too Fast
Rating: Mature Pairing: SouthCT, Background MaineWash Warnings: Major (Canonical) Character Death; Minor Character Death; Canonical Unhappy Ending, Canon-typical Violence, Angst (other tags on AO3)
Summary:  Project Freelancer was supposed to be a lot of things. A source of innovation in the field of AI science. An elite team of super soldiers. A magic bullet to end the war. For some, it was even supposed to be a second chance to make a difference.
Connie signed up for that second chance, but CT was the one that took it.
This is the story of Project Freelancer, told from the perspective of the agent that sent it crashing and burning into the ground.
(chapter cover by @artsilon)
“Congratulations, agents,” the Director said, layered in sarcasm and venom, “you not only barely achieved your primary objectives, but also alerted every member of the Insurrectionist command structure to our intentions in the process.”
Alpha Squad stood in a line, backs ramrod straight and heads held high. Only Maine and Wyoming had been excused from debriefing and the Director had seemed reluctant even then. Wyoming had only been permitted to leave when a particularly ballsy medic had argued with the Director. Similar arguments made in favour of Carolina and Connie had been shot down.
They could stand and they weren’t bleeding. The fact that Carolina was clearly only on her feet out of dogged determination didn’t seem to matter.
What minimal dose of painkillers Connie’s suit had given her had long since worn off. Her head was swimming and breathing was a painful endeavour that somehow seemed to leave her more lightheaded than she’d already felt.
The Director’s yelling certainly didn’t help.
[Continue Reading on AO3]
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