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Fan Fiction

Falling Star
Posted By: Sterfrye36<Sterfrye36@yahoo.com>
Date: 23 March 2007, 4:14 am

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      The stars are so beautiful out in space. Yeah, yeah, I know every pilot says that, but no one really knows what it's like to see these celestial bodies in all their glory, to be able to just relax and pick out the constellations from the nearly indistinguishable mass. You know, when you're zipping around in your bird—a Falcata, a modified Chiroptera-class ship in my case—they just sort of blur together, streaks of white with hints or red, blue, orange, and yellow, a magnificent robe for space in all of her vacant majesty. But the robe is not greater than the sum of its parts. When they are woven into dull clothing by my speed, the stars lose their individuality, and their individuality, even when they are grouped together in a mixture, is what makes them so wonderful. One star weaker or stronger than another, one slightly tinted into a different color, but many of them long, long gone before I was even born.
      It's funny. When I look at them, it seems like I could reach out and touch them, brush them aside like so many marbles or gather them together like a billion diminutive fireflies, feel them giving off their soft glow, gently warming my body. Oh, yeah, it's a little bit chilly here, but I don't really mind; the Falcata's always had a warm cockpit with all the equipment that they packed into that sardine can. The sensors, the radar, the controls…the flight suit can barely keep one cool. Besides, how warm the flight suit keeps me won't really matter in a few minutes. I'll have plenty of heat by then.
      I can see Earth from here, too. I can see from God's perspective, make out rivers or mountains in her spotty globe as Milton once wrote. Heh. Even with all this beauty sitting right here before my eyes, I'm still quoting Paradise Lost. I've always loved that thing, though I don't really know why. It's not like I find it especially wonderful. It just seems like it's a bit of a metaphor for my situation right now. Lucifer was the brightest angel in Heaven. I was the best pilot in the squadron. Both of us fell. Or, rather, I will fall at this rate. I can already begin to feel some friction with the air. It's going to be bumpy.
      He was a sneaky little bastard, that one. Managed to catch me as I was making the transition to slipspace, and then nailed me. I should have chosen a random vector, too, but noooooo, I just had to reflexively tell the computer to set course for Midway. Man, if any Covenant noticed the vector I was heading for…Midway may be screwed, the whole operation could be blown to bits because of my stupidity. Maybe that's why I've been sentenced to die like this.
      When I felt the plasma hit my ship and the alarms begin to shriek, I immediately punched out, of course. Falcatas are fragile birds, and it only took a well aimed burst from that Seraph's plasma cannons to bring me down. I should've been more careful, gotten further away from the battle before trying to jump out and deliver my info to Midway, all the stuff about the new cloaked Covenant ship, the brilliant captain of the Maverick using that old battlefield maneuver to blunt the Covenant attack… Ah, well, lessons learned, though it's not like I'll be able to use this information in the future. Besides, Winchell and English have the info, too, so it's not like my sacrifice means anything in the long run. Nice to know that I'm expendable.
      Winchell and English were lucky that I was there, really. Had I not distracted that bastard by trying to go to slipspace, they would've been toast. Should have gotten further away, then jumped…
      Anyways, that pilot's safe now. We got real lucky on him, too; his oxygen had almost run out by the time we got to him. Winchell and English had only just pulled him inside when the Seraph limped away from the battle and went after the Prowler. Honestly, it seems a little bit unfair that he should live and I die. After all, I was the one who risked my life by pulling that little stunt to save him. For all I know, once he gets aboard the Valkyrie, he'll just sit around doing nothing more than laying in the sick bay. Then again, the Colonel might just up and assign him to the new squad of F-602s…then again, he might not. But if he does get assigned to that squad, I really envy him. The Sabre's the hottest bird I know. She's weaker than a Longsword, but it more than makes up for that with its ACES system. Right before the Covie fighters slammed into the human fleet like flies against a windshield the ACES system let the Sabres get behind them and open up. Threw all of the Covie birds into a huge confusion. Of course, that one squadron that met the attack head on definitely helped, VF-thirty-something-or-other if I remember right.
      Man, I would trade just about anything for a chance to fly those Sabres, though. It's definitely a hell of a smoother ride than what I've got going right now. I'm getting tossed around like I'm in a dryer. It sort of feels like my arms limbs are about to get torn out of—
      Ah, yes, just felt my right arm pop out of its socket. I banged my knee up by slamming it into my elbow. Really, everything hurts. A lot. And I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be able to see my backside of my legs like that, either.
      Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, stars, Bright in their majesty and all that stuff. Actually, it's sort of exciting to think that I'll be my own little star soon. Sure, the dying part'll suck, but at least it'll be kind of cool; not many people die like I will. Honestly, I used to have dreams like this all the time when I was a kid: I would always be falling through the sky for some reason; perhaps I had jumped out the back of an airplane or been knocked out of a hot air balloon. At any rate, the fall actually lasted quite some time, the wind rushing through my hair as I fell through the clouds and toward me continually panicking and praying and peeing myself because I never realized it was a dream. Then finally, I'd get to about treetop level and WHAM! I'd be back in bed, shaking from the adrenaline rush. The irony is that, even though I had that dream all the time, practicing for that impact, I'll never get that far
      You know, normally I'd want my parents to know how I'd died, but in this case, I'm glad they don't. Falling through a planet's atmosphere, while awesome and cool in a bizarre sense, still sounds terrible and painful, which I am actively finding out. I don't think I'll feel anything actually being burnt off, actually; the g-forces will knock me out long before I burst into flame.
      You know, part of me wonders if I'd have even lasted this long had I not joined the UNSC Navy. I was shipped out only a week before the Covenant glassed my planet, my family, my home; fortunately, I never had a girlfriend there…Still, I literally don't know if my parents made it off alive, but I'd have to assume not. The Covenant are thorough little…bastards. They'd leave nothing behind, not even an outhouse. Maybe I'll be joining my parents soon. Maybe not. I really dunno…
      Now it's getting…difficult to maintain consciousness, so I guess I'll just go ahead and wrap…it up. I wish I had something more…profound, I suppose, but…nothing comes to mind. If…I'm really lucky, I'll end up as a footnote in history in some textbook. But in order for there…to be any future, everything depends on what… happens at Midway. If they manage to put the Abilene…group together and PRAIRIE FIRE gets…underway…then we may have a…chance…
      It all comes down to what happens…at Midway...