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.
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.
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.
The End and Merry Christmas