In-Flight Instructions is the first episode of The Ghosts. It premiered on January 15, 2012.
James slowly opened his slightly bloodshot eyes. He could see Jacob Carpenter and Eve McLain sprawled out in their respective bunks. Turning his head ever so slightly to the left, James could see Evan Myers, Maria Diaz, and Lucas Gordon sitting down at the table enjoying breakfast. James clumsily rolled out of his bunk, almost spilling a bottle of vodka sitting on the ground. Lumbering over to the table, he nearly face-planted into Lucas's cereal bowl before grabbing himself a seat.
James groaned. "What in the hell happened last night?" the 28 year old asked, rubbing his eyes as his vision began to clear.
Evan cracked a grin. "Well, let's run through the events of last night. First, we discussed the operation we're going to be undertaking. Secondly, we played poker. And finally, you drank half a bottle of vodka, and started reciting quotes from old 22nd century TV shows until you vomited and fell into unconsciousness." Maria and Lucas continued eating their breakfast, grinning ear to ear.
"I see," said James, "I guess I shouldn't be too suprised. 4 months of working as an engineer and drinking nothing but coffee must have made me less than tolerant torwards alchohol."
Maria took a sip of coffee. "You never really told us much about your life before joining us," she said in her unmistakable Spanish accent. Lucas nodded in agreement.
"There's not much to really say on it. I worked with my father aboard the UNSC colony ship Tower of Spring for about 4 months. It was a 20 day in a 7 day week working aboard that place. It got pretty exausting, plus I just lost interest in putting things together. I wanted to start making things explode. So, I handed in a letter of resignation to my old man and signed up for the military. What about you, Lucas?"
"I was born in Italy, but grew up in a small town in Russia. My dad always used to take me out hunting," replied Lucas. "I always used to climb up into trees, waiting until the animals came by, then," Lucas started making stabbing motions with his cereal spoon, making Evan, Maria and James slightly flinch.
"And what kind of animals did you hunt exactly?" asked Maria.
"You know, the usual, like wolves, boars, and bears," answered Lucas.
Evan had a shocked look on his face. "You mean to tell us that as a child, you hunted bears, with a knife?"
"Well, I only started hunting bears at 16 years old. One thing that I learned: If you're jump down from a tree and stab a bear cub, do try to make sure the mother bear isn't in close proximity."
Maria sat her coffee down. "This just goes to show why you're the team's assassin, Lucas." The others nodded.
"Yes, and my father told me that I could have a great career in the military, so I said "What the hell?" and signed up."
"So," said James, pouring himself a cup of coffee, "What exactly was the mission again? The details from last night are still a little blurry."
Evan pulled his knife out of it's sheath and began sharpening it. "It's simple really. We've got an Insurrectionist facility approximately 300 feet below the surface of the planet. The facility serves several purposes, including weapons and vehicle construction, troop training, and a barracks housing approximately 10,000 troops. Our job is to enter the facility, destabilize the reactor core powering it, and watch the fireworks."
"UNSC can't just bombard the place from orbit?" asked James.
Lucas took a bite out of an apple. "They've got a network of shields surrounding the place. Aerial bombardment would be about as effective as taking a BB gun to a rhino. Besides, where's the fun in taking the simple way out?"
James smiled, "You've got a point there, Lucas. Whether or not that's a good thing coming from someone who hunted bears with a knife has yet to be determined."
"Just be ready to go. We'll be arriving at a forest just 2.5 miles outside of the entrance at around 12 at night, when most of the soldiers should be asleep." James looked at the time on his watch, 11:42 A.M., just a little over 12 hours to go. "And when we get there, they're going to be in for a rude awakening."
"I like the sound of that," muttered Jacob, still asleep. The others didn't know whether he was responding to them, or to some dream of his, but decided that he would be better off letting him rest. After all, they were going to have a big night ahead of them.