They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Christmas on the Frontlines
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 22 December 2002, 4:18 pm

Read/Post Comments

      The snowflakes fell and settled to the ground before me, falling as our hope descended at an equal rate. I sat in the trenches in a chair, my breath forming a portentous cloud before me, dissipating quickly as I could only hope our front lines wouldn't. I held my rifle across my chest, the valve grease creating a black stain on my thick winter coat, though I knew I was glad that it was not a red stain. I wore a hat rather than my helmet, favoring my comfort over the safety being that if I were to be shot in the head it would hardly matter if I lived much longer. My tight leather gloves were not the best at keeping the cold of winter out, however they allowed for full flexibility in battle and gave me enough movement to reload the gun and to shoot, all they were required to do by the UNSC. It was Christmas today, and no one seemed too much happier, despite that we should be in such a time. I sat near a fire, which had been started in our camp to keep us warm though we had to thin the smoke so that the Covenant wouldn't see it. After an hour or so of fanning the smoke to scatter it, we halted as the blizzard began. We couldn't see any better than they could, and we could hardly see more than score feet, or at most a dozen yards. Our trench was the longest that we knew of that was still standing, and held a mile of Marines, all lined up waiting to die when the covenant decided to crush us. They had swarmed our planet, which continued to show in the sky occasionally through the clouds in the sky above us. We were on Nepike, the smaller of the moons of Lunar 4, and the one that is continually covered in sheets of ice. The thin atmosphere was affecting all of us, though we had many years to adapt to it. The Covenant had advanced across the moon, and decided to kill us without a formal glassing because the moon, which was coated in ice, would make the glassing last much longer than is usual. Off in the distance I heard the sharp, crisp noise of whistling as a joyful Christmas tune was chirped. I could not see the man, and knew that he would not be within my sight for at least a half minute, I still turned. His footstep echoed down the trench as he walked by. He stopped in front of me, his red beard covered in a thin layer of snow. The man was rather plump, and carried himself with grace that no front line soldier could manage to create. He was dressed in a grey coat, nothing too special, and smiled. His whistling stopped as he stared at me.
      "You look sad, anything you want for Christmas?"
      "Who do you think you are, Santa Claus? You can't do that."
      "So quick to leave my offer dismissed as something that I had made up. Really, an once of kindness goes a long way. All the others wanted something."
      "Who else?" I was curious to know who was so childish in such a time as to want to celebrate Christmas.
      "Everyone I have visited, a man on Lunar 4, I believe his name was Jacob John something. Johnson, Johnston? I don't remember. Another guy, this one a green beret, a little before yesterday."
      "Ok, so what is it you do?"
      "Well, I bring tidings of Christmas to people, and bring hope to where it is needed."
      "You think that we need hope here? Right on target fool, look at us, waiting in the cold to die."
      "So what is it you desire?"
      "Well, you can't et me out of here, so how about a ration, I'm hungry. Let's see you make that."
      He resumed whistling and walked away continuing down the trenches, his whistling disappearing in a second. I chuckled, a little hope where it was need I thought, right. Suddenly my friend stepped into view, his helmet atop his head, and as a result his ears were reddened from some mild frostbite. He had his rifle hanging loosely from his neck and carried happily despite that his face was clearly disgruntled by the cold. "So, how ya doing man?"
      "Ah, ok, did you see that nut?"
      "What nut?"
      "He just walked by a minute ago, you must have seen him, he walked right by you as you came!"
      "Well it is a blizzard type storm here now, I could have walked into him without noticing."
      "Ah, he was whistling, did you hear him?"
      "Um, no. But guess what we just got in?"
      I pondered the man's disappearance for a second before deciding that he had probably clamored out of the trenches. "Oh, I don't know, some more guns?"
      "Nope, a truck of rations, here, I took one for you."
      "He tossed it to me, and I caught it quickly in my right hand."
      "You know, that man who I mentioned, he promised me a ration."
      "Are you sure that you weren't hallucinating, the cold can do that to you."
      "No! He was real! I swear!"
      "What did he look like?"
      "Well, he was about your height, he had a red beard, and he was a big guy, kinda fat."
      "Right, a fat guy on Nepike, half the time we starve here."
      "He did say that he had come from Lunar 4."
      "Why would anyone come here?"
      "Maybe he got transferred."
      "Whatever, I'll talk later."

      Three hours later my trench was pinned down, an enemy shelling was commenced, and explosions filled the battlefield, snow and fire meeting each other in the sky and the ground much as we had, only the mirror results. I held a locket with my picture and my wife's in it, and thought of my last moments with her before Nepike was attacked. I had said that I would be back, though it wasn't seeming that way. Suddenly off in the distance I heard whistling, as through the shelling, I could hear footsteps and the accompanying whistling coming closer to me. Stopping just within my vision was a familiarly plump man, who carried with him a jolly tune.
      "GET DOWN, WHAT ARE YOU, SUICIDAL?" I yelled at him, a shell flying over his head and exploding behind the trenches, some of the snow on the wall caving in. H ducked down and waved to me, "So, how ya feeling man?" "What is it this time?"
      "Is your stomach not full?" he asked, I actually wasn't too hungry, "Do you have no good faith in mankind?"
      "You did that? Did you get me that ration?"
      "Well, I didn't but my boss did."
      "What are you, a supply depot officer? You shouldn't be out on the front lines like this!"
      "Sort of, I don't exactly work for the military though. You were wrong though, I don't come from Lunar 4. I come from Earth. Actually a place a lot like this. Cold year round, not the nicest place conceived by mankind, but home nonetheless."
      "From Earth? You can never go back though! The Cole protocol forbids it, why would you leave?" I asked
      "I can go back whenever I like, I just did before you got your rations."
      "It may actually be better that you never ask, it is a secret of my business."
      "Oh. What exactly do you do?"
      "Well, I told you before, I bring good tidings and hope to places where it is needed. I see almost no place more fit than this."
      "That crap again, why are you really here?"
      "That was my reason. I don't blame you for not believing though, few people do anymore. Most dismiss me as fake."
      "What are you?"
      "I am like you, one of the good guys."

      I lie wounded in the trenches. A large piece of shrapnel had hit me in the side. I could hear the voices of my comrades scrambling around to try to prevent a breach of the front lines. I lay moaning on the ground. Suddenly in the distance a familiar whistling began as the roar of screams and gunfire disappeared giving way to the chirps of a distant Christmas carol. The words seemed to float fluently with the musical whistling. We wish you a merry Christmas. Yeah right. We wish you a merry Christmas. It was mocking now. We wish you a merry Christmas, We wish you a merry Christmas. It repeated for what seemed like an eternity as my red lifeblood melted the ice beneath my side. And a happy new year. The carol ended in a dramatic fashion. I wouldn't live to see another new year. A familiar plump man appeared and propped my head up on the wall of the trench.
      "Anything you want?"
      "Yes." I said weakly grabbing my mildly bloodstained locket. "Take this. Give it to my wife. And tell her. Tell her that I will see her in Heaven soon." I died, and I did.

       The End and Merry Christmas