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Cordero's Nightmare (III)
Posted By: Nosolee<crugg2005@gmail.com>
Date: 21 July 2006, 1:43 am

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1845 Hours, March 31, 2534 (Military Calendar)
12 Parlor Street, Perkston (Industrial City Suburban District)
Hephaestus, First Inhabited Planet of the Circinus Galaxy (Outer Colony: Established 2382

      Cordero's eyes fluttered twice and then shot open as he realized in dread where he was. A deep rumbling shook the entire pitch-darkness of the closet. The hangers holding the clothes all clattered together, some fell off onto the floor. The entire house creaked and shook violently while the deep, whirring engines of something large passed overhead. Cordero's mind raced in terror: This is it. They're going to glass me like everyone else. These are the last seconds of my life. Cordero couldn't contain himself, his heart pounded so hard in his chest he thought it would burst through his armor.I can't die like this…not in fear.
      Clutching the butter knife in his left hand Cordero slowly rose to his feet and cautiously opened the closet door. He peered out pensively, hoping against hope that the Jackal wasn't there. He silently sighed in anguish—it was. The creature's thinly armored back was to Cordero and it leaned against the side of an armoire, staring out of the window with its fiery, arrogant eyes, focused…oblivious.
      Creeping forward, Cordero tried to make as little noise as possible. He peered at the Jackal's large left eye as he crept out of the closet. It stared diligently out of the window. Cordero dared not take his own eyes off of the Jackal, not even to see what occupied its gaze. The loud rumbling and blazing drone of something overhead masked Cordero's footsteps as he approached the Jackal. Drawing closer, he cautiously raised the butter knife, heart relentlessly pounding in rage. He was now but a few feet from the Jackal. Please, please help me drive this home he prayed silently to himself.
      Taking a deep breath, he rose to his feet, the folds of his armor clanked softly. The hairs on the Jackal's head pricked up, but before it could turn Cordero had animalisticly swung the knife into the Jackal's orange eye. Deep purple blood sickly spurted from the wound and the alien let out a screech so foreign and terrible Cordero shuddered. Cordero was enraged now, the Jackal's scream had enticed him. With only one thing on his mind—survival—he attacked the avian creature as it restlessly pawed at its wound, perpetually screaming. He tackled it to the ground and stepped on its throat, turning it's screams into painful gargles. It tried to fight back, scratching at Cordero's leg and kicking its own hoofs in the air, but the pain was too much for it. Wrenching the knife out of the socket, Cordero pushed all of his weight onto the Jackal's neck with his left boot and stomped several times mercilessly on the Jackal's ankles with his right. The creature continued to kick out but eventually ceased and tried pushing Cordero off. It gripped his ankles with its delicate, claw-like hands.
      It pressed up, gurgling, but Cordero pushed back, gritting his teeth. Cordero bent to the ground and lifted the alien's long, silvery weapon that had fallen to the ground. Cordero had no idea how to use it properly just yet and so he simply used it as a bludgeon. He repeatedly bashed the Jackal on the area of its face where the upper mandible sloped into it's skull and two slits of nostrils were imbedded. The creature's screams became more and more desperate as it struggled against Cordero, who fought back with such unbeatable rage. He clenched his jaw tighter as his smashed the Jackal's head with the weapon and choked it with his boot. Cordero must have beaten the wretched creature to death, after the fifth strike it violently jerked and its limbs loosened, lifeless.
      Breathing deeply and his heart pounding Cordero eased off slowly. The adrenaline pumped through his body and his chest heaved within his armor. He soon blinked and realized that his face was spattered with the Jackal's ooze. He smeared it along his cheeks, thinking to himself I look like a primal warrior. This is the most… vicious, brutal thing I have ever done. He was immensely proud of himself. He reveled in the thought of the Jackal's anguish as it died, but none of the Jackal's pain could satisfy Cordero's own which had now transformed into bloodlust. His eyes had grown fiery with rage as they darted nervously in his sockets. Standing for a moment Cordero allowed his brutal act to sink in. He wanted to feel remorse for the creature, some kind of guilt for taking another's life, but he couldn't. The fear that had so oppressed him in the closet had now grown into rage. Cordero turned the alien weapon in his hands, gripping what he perceived as a handle at the end. He aimed the weapon over the body of the Jackal and squeezed the handle. A purple-white beam lanced out with a pheewp! and the Jackal's body jerked upward upon impact. A smoldering hole was left in its chest. Cordero felt defended now, strong. No longer did he have to cower with a butter knife. Scanning the Jackal's beaten body for more weapons he detached its energy shield and placed its plasma pistol in a large pouch in his fatigues.
      He rose, holding the beam rifle at his hip. Staring out of the window the Jackal had just moments ago he saw what held its gaze. A large Covenant cruiser positioned itself a few hundred feet away. He shuddered at the terrible sight as a purple tunnel descended from the belly of the cruiser. For a moment Cordero thought that it was a beam about to annihilate the surrounding area, but then realized what it truly was—a lift. I've gotta find survivors. He walked into a bathroom in the house and stared into the mirror. His tan face, smeared purple, looked bruised, tired and angry. Cordero liked it—he felt bruised, tired and very angry. He rubbed the Jackal blood under his eyes and along his cheeks; he wanted to bloodthirsty, primal. Indeed, That is what I am, no? That is what this Jackal's made me. That's what the Covenant have made us—animals...scrambling, scared animals. And so Cordero limped out of house and down the deserted cul-de-sac, cautiously searching for survivors.