This Is My House - Chapter 2
Posted By: Odin of SoS.<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3 August 2005, 9:56 pm
The sun was still creeping out from behind the horizon as the Infinity GS convertible sped down the road. Surrounded by desert, the vehicle was a solitary being on the road. Sergeant David Fagalii and his wife Ashley prayed that the lack of traffic was just luck. The couple clung onto one another as they traversed rapidly toward Camp Killion.
David looked at the top of his wife's head. Her ear pressed firmly onto his shoulder, and her arms wrapped tightly around his, reluctant to let go. He looked again at the road, then to the sky. His eyes retracted back to the road and found a green sign in the distance. The gap was closed shortly as the vehicle came upon the sign. David slowed down enough to read aloud to his petrified wife.
"City limits, Sierra Barone, Camp Killion twenty-five miles." He looked down at his wife again, "Honey, we're almost there." His foot pressed firmly against the pedal as the vehicle picked up speed again.
The city was less than a shadow of it's former self. Shops and cafes we're rubble, offices and marts were craters. More than half of the city was leveled by plasma. Destroyed cars lined the streets, trash and debris cluttered the road. David slowed down signifigantly to maneuver around the obstacles. They traveled deep into the city, looking for any survivors. Less destroyed buildings began to appear. Soon they came across an area where the structures still had roofs, but that was not long lived. To see the city in such condition jerked tears from Ashley's eyes, and then came the bodies.
Along with more intact buildings, came their occupants. Piles of civilian corpses lined the sidewalk. The overcast morning only made the husks of structures appear even more gray, their imposing shadows falling over destroyed cars, twisted streetlights, buckled pavement, and corpses. Men, women, elderly, even children lay lifeless on the ground. Ashley buried her face into David's shoulder and wept. David placed his left hand on her cheek and kissed the top of her head.
They drove through the rest of the city and turned onto the long road leading to Camp Killion. Another green sign, "Camp Killion two miles", David stopped next to the sign. He could see the base from where he was, and the road leading all the way up to it was demolished. Vehicles, Covenant and Human alike, littered the path. The damage was complimented by even more bodies. Marines sprawled across the ground, some still strapped into their Warthogs. Elites' crumpled bodies accompanied them. Hulks of purple and green created a chlosterphobic atmosphere. The base itself trickled smoke into the sky, but no fire could be seen. Hope entered David's mind and he pressed on towards the base.
The gate was now just a crater in the earth, the guard shack was splintered in half, and the concrete stop blocks were rubble. David pulled the car off the road and into the foliage. He pulled out the M6D that was tucked into his trousers, chambered a round, and placed it on his lap. He wrapped his arms around his wife and looked deep into her eyes.
"I need you to hide honey, I'm going to look for help. Find a spot in the woods where you can see the gate, stay there until I get back. If you see anything or anyone besides myself, stay hidden. If I'm not back by morning, take the car and go to San Bara like that man said. You get there and you get off of this planet. Do not come looking for me, okay?"
His wife had tears streaming down her round face. She looked at the pistol on his lap and then back into his eyes and nodded. David leaned down and kissed his wife, then sqeezed as though he would never let go.
Two figures sat quietly in the brush twenty meters from a convertible parked along the road. Their black armor and urban fatigues didn't blend paticularly well with the environment, but the duo had attained good concealment nonetheless. They watched as the driver, a male in Marine cammies, revealed a pistol. He said something to the passenger, a female in civilian attire, and then the driver exited the car and moved down the road towards the base.
"We calling them in Sergeant?" Lance Corporal Urrutia said. "Black section moved two klicks closer, they're close enough for pick up."
"Go ahead and call it in, my helmet was crushed. Then we'll get the girl. I'm not so sure she's going to be coming with us willingly." Sergeant Carter looked at his Marine and could see he reflection in his visor. His face was covered with dirt, sweat, and blood. His hair had mud and sticks in it and his lip was bleeding, he smiled and looked back at the target.
"Black-two is on it's way to intercept the driver, how do you want to take her down?" Urrutia said after a short while.
"It's going to be easier than i thought. She's just sitting in the car staring up the road. We'll just move up and get her." They both stood up and moved towards her.
Lance Corporal Urrutia was the first to exit the brush, just fifteen meters in front of the car. Sergeant Carter emerged behind him. They both looked at the female, she didn't look up, just stared at her lap.
Urrutia started to move towards the driver side of the car. "Excuse me ma'am, don't panic, we're here to help you." She still didn't look up, he turned back to his Sergeant, who just shrugged his shoulders. "Ma'am are you okay?"
He moved closer and reached the front of the car. The female's eyes remained in her lap. Urrutia moved to the door to talk to the woman.
"Excuse me." He reached the door and the woman looked up.
Ashley stared into her lap at the Covenant plasma pistol that her husband had handed to her. He told her that the button on the inside was the trigger and which end the plasma came from. Pictures flashed through her mind, mothers holding their children, disembodied men, and the mangled face of an Elite. Something bumped into the car and snapped her from her daze. Ashley looked up to see the reflection of herself in the face of a black monster.
Ashely screamed and the monster took a step back. She raised the weapon her husband had given her, the monster raised his palms to her. More images flashed through her mind, a young girl just feet from her bicycle, wrapped around a fire hydrant. Ashley screamed again and pressed the trigger mechanism. A green blob of plasma shot from the weapon and impacted into the monster's chest. She fired again and again.
Sergeant Carter watched in horror as the female in the car shot Urrutia multiple times with a plasma weapon. Urrutia fell to the ground and remained motionless. Sergeant Carter shouted in confusion and anger. The female stood in the car and shot at him. Plasma whipped wildly all around Sergeant Carter, he quickly unslung his BR55 and sighted in through the scope. Her entire upper body filled the sights of his rifle. Tears ran down the woman's face, her hands wrapped tightly around the weapon. Carter placed the reticle over her chest and fired.
A three round burst penetrated the woman's chest, blood spurted from the holes. Her body recoiled backwards from the impacts, her face contorted with pain. She fell and her body sat down in it's seat. Sergeant Carter ran to the driver's side of the vehicle and looked at her corpse. Tears had run down her face and mixed with blood from her mouth. Her chest didn't rise or fall in the least, and her eyes stared blankly into the sky.
Tears began to form in Sergeant Carter's eyes. He had killed many Covenant in his tours, he had seen many men, women, and children killed, but never by his own hands. He quickly doubled over and held onto the door for support. Vomit ran from his intestines and onto the pavement. His eyes found Urrutia's body and he moved to his Marine's side. He gazed into his own eyes through Urrutia's visor. He removed the Marine's helmet and placed it onto his own head, his eyes then meeting Urrutia's.
Sergeant Carter chinned the mic, "Black-two this Nemesis-one, need pickup at the gate, over."
"Nemesis-one, we're on our way. Did you get the female?"
Carter looked at the womans body again, then back at Urrutia. "She's dead."