This Is My House-Chapter 2
Posted By: Odin of SoS.<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 December 2006, 2:14 am
Sergeant Carter stared blankly into the eyes of Lance Corporal Urrutia. He had just watched as the last Marine of his squad was killed by a female civilian. His eyes shifted from his Marine to the female in the car. Her face was pale from loss of blood and the area was starting to smell of feces. Carter's eyes caught a glint of the sunrise on her wedding band. He slowly pulled his left glove off and stared at his own wedding ring. New thoughts arose in his mind. What was he going to tell the other Marines? How was he going to explain this to that woman's husband? How was he going to live with himself?
The area was quiet with the new morning. The decimated front gate sat as a solemn monument of the past events. The two fresh corpses, now neatly staged next to each other on the ground, awaited transport. Sergeant Eric Allen Carter stared at the woman on the ground. He dug memories deep from the recesses of his mind, memories of his own wife. He remembered how he wasn't there for her or his kids as they were murdered by the Covenant. Echoes of promises long made reached his ears, promises failed to be kept. I'll never let them do anything to you. He failed them, he failed them all. His beautiful wife, his son who looked up to him with the utmost respect and awe, and his daughter,..I'll never let them do anything to you.
Tears streamed down the battle hardened Marines' face. Years of stress and physical and emotional strain came crashing down on him. This elite warrior for the human race was reduced to sobs and whimpers. Carter removed his helmet and threw it into the woods with anger. He hit his knees and his shoulders shuddered. It hurt so much. More and more memories, suppressed to keep his sanity, continued to emerge. Memories of his friends, family, fellow Marines, long dead, flooded his mind. His sanity was shattered. There was nothing left he could do to subdue his emotions anymore. Feelings of anger, sorrow, love, regret, and pain pulled him in all directions. His eyes darted back and forth looking for a release. The only thing they could fix on was his now dead Marine and the female civilian he had just killed. More tears burst from his eyes and he grabbed his head and screamed, trying to let it all out. His hands pulled on his short hair and then shot down to his bent knees.
Sergeant Carter's right hand slammed into something solid. He looked down and his eyes struck his M6C pistol in his drop holster attached to his leg. The tears suddenly stopped as his gaze fixated on his weapon. I'll never let them do anything to you. His hand darted to the pistol grip and jerked the pistol free from its holster. A tiny smile crept across his face as he continued to stare at the weapon.
"I'm so sorry..." Carter placed the weapon in his mouth and began to tear up again as he squeezed the trigger.
The five Warthogs of Black Section moved into a rolling herringbone formation when they sighted the convertible near the gate. Black-one called the halt one hundred and fifty meters short of the location. Lieutenant Hill picked up his handset again and keyed the mic.
"Nemesis-one, Nemesis-one, this is Black-one." He unkeyed the handset and awaited the response. His face filled with frustration as he turned to his driver. "What the fuck happened to him? His last transmission said the female was dead. Cart," he turned and looked back at his gunner, "pull out your binos and see if you can spot something."
Lance Corporal Cartagena nodded and reached down for the binos in his supply can at his feet. He grabbed the binos and the turret locking latch, releasing his gun to move freely. Cart grabbed the LAAG and shifted it slightly to his left, giving him full view of the red convertible. He brought the binos to his eyes and located the vehicle. With the car in view, Cart pressed the zoom button on his binos and raised it to twelve times zoom. The car was completely intact, with the drivers' side door open. It being empty didn't surprise him. He shifted his view to the tree line to the left of the car, searching for the two Orbital Drop Shock Troopers that were sent to retrieve the female.
"Sir, I don't see anyone out there." Cart said as he lowered his binos. He looked down at his platoon commander and shrugged. Lieutenant Hill shrugged back and picked up the handset again. Cart looked back up at the car, "Sure is a nice car though, don't you..." He cut his sentence short as he noticed something on the opposite side of the road from the car. "Sir, I think I see something!"
Cart raised his binos to his eyes again and zoomed in on the side of the road. He couldn't quite make out what it was. It looked like black bags of trash dumped off. His fingers reached for the zoom button again and increased it to twenty times magnification. His heart stopped as he made out the shapes of human beings.
"Sir! We've got Marines down up there! Twenty meters on the other side of the road!" Cartagena tossed his Lieutenant his binos and swung his LAAG back to the front, searching for possible enemies.
Lieutenant Hill grabbed the binos and zoomed on the location his gunner gave to him. He instantly dropped the binos and picked up the handset when he spotted the bodies. "All victors, we've got Marines one hundred meters to our twelve o'clock. Oscar Mike and set up a three-sixty around the objective point. Aid and litter team get to those Marines!" Hill dropped the handset and picked up his rifle as he turned to his driver, "Let's go! Pull up to that car!"
Lieutenant Hill's Warthog jerked forward as they maneuvered onto the casualty site. The four other Warthogs followed suit. Hill checked his ammo and picked up the handset again, switching to company tac. Titan, Titan, this is Black-one, over."
The radio operator at the Company HQ came over the net. "This is Titan. Send it Black-one."
"Titan, we have reached the site of the OP and have spotted Marines down. Now moving to asses and resecure the site. Request QRF for support in case of Covenant attack. This may be an ambush. Over." Lieutenant Hill looked at his driver across the 'Hog, "Huber, drop me off at the site and push out a hundred meters and take twelve o'clock."
Lance Corporal Huber gave him a thumbs up without looking and said, "Aye, sir. I'll transfer the company traffic to your helmet."
"Black-one, this is Titan." The Company tac was already coming through Hill's headset.
"Black-one, send it." Lieutenant Hill's truck stopped next to the car and he jumped out. Hill looked back as his 'Hog took off again. He ran towards the bodies, scanning his surroundings for a threat.
"Black-one," Company came through his helmet again, "we have no Covenant on our scanners, but we are deploying the Quick Reaction Force for you. ETA ten mikes. Standing by for Casevac transmission. Titan out."
Hill was only ten meters away when a high-back Warthog pulled up to the bodies. The gun had been removed and replaced with benches and armor for transportation. He quickly glanced around to see his other three gun trucks taking up the six, nine, and three o'clock positions. Five Marines and a Corpsman jumped out of the back of the troop transport Warthog. Another Marine jumped out of the passenger side of the front and started directing Marines to security positions. Hill and Doc Askew reached the bodies at the same time. Doc slid next to the nearest body and Lieutenant Hill followed action.
"I've got multiple plasma wounds to the chest over here sir! He's gone!" Doc Askew hopped over the body to the female nearby. "What've you got sir?"
Lieutenant Hill couldn't make out what he was seeing. "I've got a huge hole on the back of the head. He's gone. There's blood everywhere, couldn't have been a plasma wound. Maybe a Needler? Doc?"
Hill looked up at his platoon Corpsman who was cradling a woman. He looked at the blood covered shirt and the three obvious bullet wounds. Things just weren't adding up in his head. He couldn't think. They couldn't have fired on each other. His eye caught a glimpse of something shiny on the ground. He looked down to see a plasma pistol near the woman's body. His eyes shifted from the Marine with plasma wounds to the plasma pistol to the woman to the Marine at his feet as he slowly placed the pieces together.
The Company tac abruptly cut Lieutenant Hill's thought process short.
"Black-one. Do you have a sitrep?"
Hill chinned his mic, "Titan, we have three KIA. Two military, one civilian. We'll bring them back. Have Black-two tell that Marine we just picked up that his wife was killed," he let out a low sigh and looked at her body in Doc's arms, "by a Covenant patrol. Be advised there are no traces of Covenant in the area at this time. Site secure. Over."