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Derailed Part 4
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 17 September 2003, 2:02 AM

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       "So, tired of sleeping I see." Warner's voice echoed behind me. Surprised I wiped the droplet of my weakness from my face.

      "Tired as hell." I replied, throwing on a gritty voice.

      "Then you should get some rest."

      "Not gonna happen. You know as well as I do that we're all dead within three days, and I don't want to waste any more of my life sleeping. Besides that, we have lots to plan for."

      "Sir, hope is all we have left. Our dropship has been shot down, our brakes destroyed, our planet taken, our families missing, possibly dead... All we have it hope."

      "Well, hope isn't a plan." The silence of the train was eerie. A brief flash ensued in the train as an explosion lit the faceless distance. "Hope is a borderline sign of weakness. It is nothing more than an excuse for the weak, to believe that somehow they will make it through tough situations, despite all pathetic characteristics. You are an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, and I will not tolerate with weakness. I know that you passed brutal training, and a trial at the hands of enemy soldiers and I know you are not weak. Hold yourself together, keep your hands on your rifle and we will survive to fight the Covenant."

      "Spoken like a zealot sir. I can't say I agree with you, but you are right. Our strength will probably help as much as any luck. Sorry for shaming the ODST program." Warner looked down at the ground with a solemn, but fake remorse. I saw through his action instantly.

       "Stand proud Marine," He raised his head, "I need a status update on the train's position and any updates in the Awwek situation."

       "Well, ground based orbital cannons are holding em up in orbit, but the wall is pretty much rubble and their ground forces will soon rush into the city. All sea based assaults have been repelled. Rumors have also been spreading that 4 of the Mathean islands have fallen. As a result we've seen increased troop movements around the area, including a large armored battalion moving across the tracks a minute or so up track. A few dozen troop transports, though they are pulling out of combat, so they probably carry either wounded or dead soldiers for the most part. With luck-" I showed my instinctual dismay and he corrected himself, "-With faith, sir, we'll miss them and make it to the city. To be honest with you sir, I don't understand how crashing in the city is any less lethal and crashing out here, but I would rather not end up in the middle of the Covenant lines."

       I replied in my silence, nothing that I said would matter. This discomforted Warner, who nodded that his report was completed to make sure I knew, and promptly left. I sat in my seat and raised one of my hands. For a second I stared at it, wondering what would happen. The hand of god created humans in his own image. The Covenant's existence is almost open defiance of god's ability to control Human fate. To think that we are perfect is to fail to see humanity for what it is. We are, in our very nature flawed. With power we fall to corruption, and yet an all powerful god somehow has no flaws, but more power than conceivable by man. Corrupt leaders draw millions to zealous deaths, most in the name of the same god. Countless thousands of innocent lives have been sacrifices for a god that has remained essentially the same. I couldn't help but realize that the only thing that motivated anyone to do anything was one sign of weakness. It was hope. Perhaps humans are weak beings. Maybe we are fighting a losing battle? I hoped not, realizing that in a few short minutes the train would crash, and a few hundred would be tested.

       I sat back, and prepared to enjoy the final moments I had on this train. A lance of plasma fire traced a jagged path outside the train, missing horribly. The convoy of Covenant ahead of us crossed the train tracks, one by one.

       "Passengers and designated guards, ready your rifles and prepare for impact! Impact in 3..." the intercom cackled manically. For a fleeting moment I felt a warmth from the inner core of my being. "2!" suddenly the train was ripped from the tracks. The vehicles that it had hit was instantly destroyed as a train dropped hundreds of miles an hours worth of speed upon impact. The energy of the impact threw the front end of the train off the tracks, and ripped through the rest of the cars within moments as a fleeting shockwave. The car twisted off the side of the track, the rest of the cars following. Within the train every cavity had filled with a gel cushion. The cars of the train off the tracks began to strike trees and boulders, and the ones still on the track faced growing flames from the friction. The train skidded to a violent stop, it's tail end flipping in the opposite direction and crushing six of the enemy transports. Eventually the vehicle began to roll facing completely perpendicular to the rail. Around a minute later the trail rolled to a stop. I hung from the new ceiling of the train and unstrapped my seatbelt, which had thrown itself into place at the first signs of a collision. Immediately gravity reacted dragging me to a violent impact on the floor. The gel was still puddle on the floor, though most had drained from the train in the crash. Around me several others unstrapped. I looked up to make sure none of the unconscious were left in the train. I noticed that two dead bodies hang from the ceiling, each horribly mangled. One of them was a civilian that we had designated as a rifleman. Though missing the wall to his right and half his torso, he still had dead fingers wrapped around the plasma rifle and grenades, salvaged from our Elite victims. I smashed a window and climbing to my freedom. As soon as I stepped from the train I noted the path of destruction the train had paved. Along either side of the track there was a strip of missing trees, at least 500 feet on either side and halfway to the horizon in our wake. I hoped that the Covenant didn't spot us, but couldn't help but chuckle at the very thought though.