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Betrayal in Nightmare
Posted By: Harbringer352<nank4@digitalpath.net>
Date: 9 January 2010, 1:57 am

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And then…something animal screamed.

CH: What the-

David motioned for me to be quiet. We put our backs to each other, forming a sort of defensive triangle, while being assaulted from all sides by the primitive, hungering screams.
I'd never heard anything like it. People scream in pain…whatever it was out there, it screamed with hunger and need, with base instinct in mind: food.
A deep, guttural howl that you could hear tear out of the lungs and ripple through the throat like broken glass. The noise sent tremors through your legs. Just then, a voice broke through the screams for food.

DF: Flood.
CH: Flood? What are they?
DF: Just shut up and shoot, Sergeant!

They came in waves. They came in torrents of rotting bodies. More than Delta Squad and our lost squad put together.
I realized where the moon colony had gone.
They resembled humans, in a horrible, rotted sort of way. They looked like humans after you buried them in dirt for three weeks, dug them up, tossed them in peat, and put through a meat grinder. They lurched forward, gaining speed, leaning sideways and brandishing standard-issue MA5Bs. Some held wrenches and metal poles, waving them in shattered hands like they were profound and delicate. They shuffled slightly, gaining coordination in their new bodies. A three-tentacled thing that had attached itself to Eliza was in the chest of all these creatures, basking in new-found freedom.
They were…against nature.
One of them strayed too close. David shot it down while I recoiled in fear at the strange antler-like attachment to its arm. It groaned and cried in angry disappointment as it tumbled to the ground and fell apart, releasing a cloud of green spores in the air.
Three more took it's place. We shot for what seemed like hours, before the tide finally broke down. I finally broke down, tears cascading down my cheeks like a floodgate released.
I cried some more at that reference. I realized…some of the Flood I'd gunned down…were (relatively) innocent townsmen. And some…were children.
David sat besides me. I realized I'd fallen to the ground in shock.

DF: I'm- I'm sorry I yelled at you. But, this is just so-
CH: I killed a child.
DF: What?
CH: One of the Flood. She was a little girl. She still had her blonde hair tied in pig tails.

He was silent. I think he got up after a while.

H-ONI: Pelican inbound.

I wanted to kill her. She knew why we were here. But why was she here? I stood up, anger flowing through my veins. My limbs shook in fury.

CH: Why…why the hell are you here?

Her helmet depolarized. I saw her face for the first time. For some reason, I expected cold eyes, thin, frowning lips, and hard features.
Instead I saw a young woman with big, tired blue eyes. Her lips were full and edged with smile lines. The corners of her eyes were crinkled with smile lines. Her forehead was creased with worry lines.

H-ONI: Same as you. I have a history in the rebel line, and ONI saw me as a perfect agent. After all, I was the one who murdered the General.

I growled. This wasn't Harriet. This was Mallory Trip. This was my best friend from Cataclysm, the Rebel-controlled asteroid belt. We had trained together since we were twelve.
Things didn't match up. I knew as soon as I stepped on the Pelican…

DF: Here comes the Pelican.

I frowned and watched the drop ship drift down. It shifted irregularily, waggling the wings. The engines cut out, ten feet above ground, and the Pelican plummeted to the ground.
I watched the cockpit splatter with blood. Flood.
I checked my ammo counter: no rounds. I had no spares either.
I looked at David. He checked his rifle, then cast it away with a shake of his head. His visor polarized. He unsheathed his combat knife and held it at ready.
I looked at Mallory. She threw her rifle to the ground, same as David, and bent down, hefting a rock.

I knew there was no hope. Even if we got back to UNSC, we would be killed for what we saw. We would die here, at Prophase.

The moon bathed the plains in crimson.