Date: 5 October 2003, 1:47 AM
The sun was just coming up as the dream began. I did not look behind me, but gazed out onto the risen deck, with the grandiose view of the ocean, and seagulls flew overhead. Off in the distance the chiming of a clock-tower, and the sound of laughing children on the beach.
Had I known it was a dream, I would've jumped off the deck, and flew out into the ocean, soaring freely, unconstrained by the bounds of reality. But I knew nothing, and I sat on the deck, sipping ice cold lemonade, feeling the warmth of the rising sun heat my body. I closed my eyes.
I opened them, and the dream changed. I was sitting in a car, covered in light green clothes. It was dark out, and I couldn't see much from the smoke billowing all around me. I looked at my hands. A gun lay in them, with my fingers laying gently on the trigger. I began to recognize everything.
I was not in any car. It was the M12A Warthog. I looked behind me, and saw the massive triple-barreled rocket launcher, with an officer controlling it, waiting for action. I had a wallpaper of this in my room, and now there I was, sitting in the passenger side, holding an Battle Rifle tightly.
Where was I? I couldn't tell, but screams of all kinds began to reverberate off my ears. Woman were crying, after a concussion of what sounded like plasma. My body I was seeing through began to speak. It was faint:
"Sergeant, HQ wants us to fall back to secondary positions!" My body said.
"Damnit! We're not finished yet!" The voice to my left said.
"The enemy is closing in too fast, we have to move!" My body replied.
Moments later plasma scarring hit my bodies arm, and a shout of pain echoed through the wasteland we were in. The gunner was shot in the head, and his limp body fell to the ground. Seconds later the Driver was moving fast. I could see tall buildings around me, and the street was covered in damaged gravel.
I lifted my arm to cover my eyes from the billowing smoke, and shards of gravel being flung from exploding cars, and everything else in the city. During small segments, when both the dream, and the smoke was clear, everything seemed familiar.
I looked up at the sky, watching tiny purple dots orbit. I could see orange balls of fire being launched from them, and the now familiar rumble of destruction and death.
Gunner-less, we drove quickly and oddly past charred Warthogs, and broken Ghosts. I had never seen a Ghost before, yet there it was, lying in my subconscious.
From behind, a speedy Transport Warthog drove by, a bloodied body in the back, and a few Medics trying to patch him up. The drivers left eye was missing, and a dribble of blood soaked his uniform.
Seconds later, a low rumble became a loud one, jolting at my fast paced heart. A blue ball of fire struck the Transport, sending it into blue, then orange flames, charring all the occupants.
My eyes squeezed, and my stomach churned.
"Rest in Peace..." The driver said, dodging plasma bolts from behind.
I looked back, and a floating purple ship sped up, firing thick bolts of blue, making glowing dents in our fender. I fired a few shots out of my gun, but they merely dinged off the front. I couldn't see the driver, but I had a feeling I already knew what it was.
My body grabbed a bluish sphere, and pressed an orange button on the surface, sending it ablaze in blue mist. I chucked it, and it stuck to the front. Moments later, a blue flashed blinded me.
When I looked back again, the ship was gone. I smiled. We were going up a ramp, and a sign overhead made my heart sink and my blood freeze:
WELCOME TO NEW MOMBASA!
Seconds later, a shadowy figure jumped onto the car. Its hand lifted, and swiped me in the head.
I woke up in my bed, drenched in sweat. I breathed deeply, telling myself over and over it was a dream. I was back now, 16 years old, and living with my Grand Parents. I got out of my bed and looked out the window. The buildings rose high in the air, not smoking or on fire. The people walked happily. The sign off in the distance:
WELCOME TO NEW MOMBASA!
To Be Continued...
Date: 13 October 2003, 4:23 AM
Breakfast the next morning was quieter than usual. I was drenched in sweat, even after my morning shower. My Grand Father looked at me oddly while he poured his usual gallon of syrup on his pancakes. My Grand mother was the first to ask me something.
"Is everything alright dear?" She asked, pouring me another glass of orange juice.
I couldn't answer. Was there something wrong, or was there something wrong with me? It all seemed so real. I had seen things my small imagination couldn't fathom. It wasn't everyday my mind made up the images of my town being ravaged by the Covenant.
"I'm... just tired." I said quietly, sipping my juice.
"Tired don't make yeah sweat." My Grandpa said, flipping the newspaper. "There's something else wrong Steven, I can read oyu like a book."
I couldn't help but smile a little. Maybe they'd understand, I thought.
"I... I had a nightmare." I said coldly.
"A nightmare?" My Grandma said, looking concerned as she cleaned the dishes. "What was it about?"
"The Covenant. I was a Marine, and I watched as the Covenant attacked New Mombasa. I woke up sweating, and I couldn't get back to sleep." I said.
My Grandpa mumbled angrily, lifting his newspaper over his head. My Grand Mother turned away. I knew it would be like that, that they'd never accept it. They'd just think it was another pathetic way to get into the Military.
My Grandpa pulled down the paper madly. "I don't care if you have a thousand nightmares, no excuse is getting you in the Military! I won't have it Steven!"
He ranted like for the rest of breakfast, until I was fed up and left, my backpack on one shoulder.
Outside it was a beautiful day, though the 100 story tall buildings blocked his full view. The new M10 Civilian Warthogs had now become a fashion trend, and almost every car was a yellow Warthog, speeding by way past the speed limit. I was stuck with my Grandpa's rickety old L12 HoverSpeed. The name was a huge lie, as it creaked along barely on land, let alone hover in the sky.
As I drove to school, the sign "Welcome to New Mombasa" passed overhead. Goose bumps appeared all over my body. I had never been this affected by a dream before, and it began to scare me.
New Mombasa Private High School was a sanctuary for me, where I wouldn't have to shut my mouth about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in the Marines, and I could say that openly here, not like home.
I hopped out of my car, my friend Mike waiting for me near my first class. He had a smug smile on his face, waving a piece of paper in front of his Varsity jacket.
"Just got something in the mail yesterday." He said, looking at the slip. "It would seem the Marines want me to join them." He gloated.
I grabbed the paper from his hand:
WE WANT YOU! WE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST TO JOIN OUR FORCES, AND YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED!
Meet: New Orleans, Louisiana
Where: Orleans Space Port
When: August 22, 2550
Bring this slip as proof of your acceptance.
I couldn't believe it. What I had so longed for just happened to my best friend, and my only friend. "August 22? That's only a week away!" I said, still shocked.
"That's right. By Friday I'll be long gone. They're shipping me to Reach, I'll be part of Alpha MAC Construction Team." He said, just realizing the look of awe and horror in my eyes.
"You've got your whole life ahead of you man, you'll get out of your Grand Parents house in a couple years. Look, I gotta go. See yeah!" He said, running to his first class.
I wanted to fall down and die. I had to leave, I had to run.
Earth- Uni-matrix 32333
Southern Galactic Band
Barring 1.58 by 33.42
We have received your request. Here are the coordinates. Gods be with you.
- A friend of a friend.
"He never showed up?" Mary, Steven's Grand Mother said, a phone in her ear.
"Well when was he last seen?"
"What about his car?"
"Gone? How... how do we find him? We can't? Destroyed?"
At that moment Greg, Steven's Grand Father entered, bags of groceries in his hands. "Honey, I couldn't find those sugar..." He began to say, before he saw his wife, her face covered in tears, and a dead phone in her hand.
I drove as fast as I could away from school, my car bouncing and shaking harder than ever before. If I hadn't wanted to be a Warthog driver, I probably would've crashed. I rolled down my window, feeling the cold morning air refresh my body. I was leaving my constraints forever, and went on to what I wanted to do.
"Computer, call John." I said, the computer responding with a click and a clack.
"Hello?" a cheery voice said.
"John, I need your help man!" I said, fear in my voice.
"Steve? Where the hell are you? Your grandparents called here a little while ago worried sick!"
"John! I need your help. Look, just tell my folks that I'm fine. I... I really need help!" I said, going faster and faster along the highway.
"Look, I got a client coming in, I'll call you later." John replied.
"No!" I said. John was a dentist, with ties to some people that could help me become a Marine illegally. "Forget your stupid client, we need to meet and discuss my situation."
"Look Steven..." He said, sighing. "Alright. Meet at the Mombasa Train Station at 7 tonight. I'll see who I can hook you up with." He said, and hung up the phone immediately.
I had made my decision long before any of this had happened to me. I loved my Grandparents, but I had to escape. The dream, the feelings, all led me to my path.
"We received the message about 2 time units ago. The source is unknown, but I believe the Prophets can give it a source, and a purpose." The Comm Grunt said to his Excellency.
"Earth." The overgrown Elite said slowly. "The coordinates would put it deep in Human territory."
It all came to him as he spoke. "Earth."
The night was colder than I had predicted, and my breath was easily visible in the dark alleyway. There were few lights from the train station, and the sounds of the blowing wind kept me company. John was late.
Then I heard footsteps from the other end of the alley. The silhouettes of many large men came towards me. I wanted to run, but I was stuck in place, unable to move, my eyes fixed on the shadows.
"Steven?" A deep voice said in the darkness.
"Y...Yes. Where's John?" I said quietly.
"His presence is not required. We have business. You need a new identity, yes?" The voice said easily.
"I need to join the military. But I'm only sixteen, and my Grandpa..."
"We know all about your situation. You have no money. John took care of that, so do not fear." Another voice, slightly higher, said.
Before I could react, a needle came from behind. The rest is blurry. When I awoke, they were gone, and I was in a cot, just a few feet away from where I stood the night before. A note was on the ground.
"Don't scratch." It said.
I looked at my hands. Dried blood was in the cracks of my fingers. I felt the edges of my eyes. Bloody. My wallet contained my an altered face, and a different name, and birth date.
It was as real as I could tell, and I didn't think the Marines would check to much in a time of war. They needed everyone.
"Preparations on Reach's destruction have finished. A few years and all will be in place. But, their home world still alludes us, yes?" Prophet Izahea said to the Council of Elites.
An overgrown Elite stood up from the his chair, looking to every Elite with a click of his lower mandible. "No your Excellency. At Listening Post 323, we received a message from an unknown source. It contained coordinates."
After the last word, grumbles and clicked reverberated off the walls. The moment the Prophet raised his arms, they quieted.
"Coordinates?" The Prophet said, intrigued.
"They are located deep past Reach, on the tip of the Lower Spiral Arm. It's called Earth. The Human HomeWorld."
To Be Continued.