Date: September 12, 2552
Time: 10:23 P.M.
"Run! Run, **** it, run! Get to the drop zone! Now!" George Brooks yelled as he ran. He and his squad had been ambushed in this swamp by a lot of tiny, parasitic creatures. They had tried to hold them off, but when Perry, Olander, and Mercius bought the farm, the rest of Alpha "Death's Head" Squad ran for their lives. They only needed to hold out a few more minutes until they could reach the drop zone. The marine heard Sergeant Powell fall into the mud, screaming as the infection forms swarmed over his body. No time to help him. He had to run.
Run. His teammates were falling all around him. Should he stop? No. No time. Run, the voice in his head told him again. They were closing in. Faster, **** it, the voice whispered. Finally, George made it. The drop zone. He saw the "Hell's Angel" swoop in, sputtering. It had been hit hard. If only it would touch down. He stopped to wait, then they were on him. He screamed, swamp water streaming into his lungs. He saw and felt an infection form jump down his throat, and burrow into his skull. NO, the voice said, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He struggled and squirmed, but they had him. He was no longer in control of his body. He was theirs. After an hour of hard running, he was theirs. Slowly, everything went black.
An hour later, George Brooks got up, and staggered in the mud. He looked at himself, and was horrified. His skin was warped and torn, and his organs were clearly displayed. He had tentacles and bones ejecting from his flesh at odd angles. He stumbled forwards, his mind attempting to wake up.
"I...am alive!" he stammered. He forced a slight smile. "They don't have me yet!"
BUT WE WILL SOON. This voice was a new one, cold, black, and evil. It was the voice of the collective. The voice of the Flood.
"No," he replied, "You will never have me. I am my own man. I fight for earth!"
WE WILL HAVE YOU! YOU WILL BE OURS COMPLETELY SOON! YOU WILL FIGHT FOR THE FLOOD, FOR THE GOOD OF THE COLLECTIVE! YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED, AND THEN YOU WILL ASSIMILATE!
"No, I won't. You can't have me. I won't help you!"
YES, YOU WILL. ALREADY, YOUR MIND IS WEAKENING. YOU WILL HELP US. YOU WILL LIVE FOR THE FLOOD!
George began to shake. How could this be happening? He felt a cold wave come over his mind, slowly, but steadily. It was winning. He must fight it. He had to fight it. Then, the small, human voice came back.
Do not fight it. You cannot win as a human. Live for the Flood. What have your fellow marines done for you lately?
The soldier could think of nothing that they had done. Suddenly, and to his horror, the solicitation of the voice made sense. Just to let himself go, become one of them. Yes. He'd just let go.
George went back the way he came, and found more like him. More Flood troopers. But none of them seemed to be resistant. They seemed at peace. Again, he told himself to let go.
Greetings, the thought filled his head, We shall fight together, yes? We are Flood. We must assimilate all. George thought for a moment. It seemed to be the one that used to be the sergeant was talking to him by planting thoughts in his mind.
Affirmative, the Flood voice in his head said, We will fight. We know of more humans and Covenant over the next ridge. Let us go to battle!
Humans? Another strike force, perhaps? He couldn't kill people of his own race. Again, he started to fight.
DO NOT RESIST, YOU INSOLENT HOST! YOU ARE MINE! YOU WILL DO THE WILL OF THE FLOOD!
George felt his legs moving through the mud, the other flood creatures beside him. He only had control of a few conscious thoughts. He had to hold on to them. He had to.
FIGHT NO LONGER, FOOL! YOU ARE MINE!
The ex-marine's conscious human thoughts melted away. He now had only one purpose. Kill and assimilate.
The following battle was gruesome. They ran into Covenant, and blood was spilled. A few Flood went down, but the Covenant were in full retreat. Now, for the humans. The marines never stood a chance. They ploughed through the foes, destroying all in their path. George was going to destroy the last, when one thing stopped him. He looked down, and saw the face of his brother, Andrew. His face was caked with mud, blood, and tears began to roll down his cheeks.
"Please," the marine pleaded, "Don't kill me. Please..." He began to sob.
KILL HIM! KILL HIM! The flood voice demanded. It was then that George's human side came back. "NO! No, I will not kill you, brother," he said. He turned on the other Flood troopers. He fired his assault rifle into them, blowing off heads and limbs. The shocked troopers never had time to react.
FOOL! YOU HAVE KILLED YOUR FELLOWS! YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!
To his horror, the soldier's arm turned towards his brother, and his trigger finger tightened.
"NO," he screamed, "I will not let you kill my own flesh and blood!"
STOP RESISTING, FOOL! YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
"I understand everything! I will not sit idly by while you kill my brother!" He turned the assault rifle around, slowly. It was difficult. The flood part of his mind was fighting him. That just made him try harder. He managed to point the assault rifle in the center of his forehead.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
"I cannot let you live!"
BUT YOU WILL DIE, TOO.
"I don't care. This battle ends NOW!" He pulled the trigger, sending lead through his skull, ending his life instantly. It was over. The battle within was over.