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A Marine Named Peters: The Finale, Part Two: Karls' View
Posted By: GLADIATRRR3000<gladiatrrr3000@hotmail.com>
Date: 7 May 2004, 5:42 AM

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       Karls' head was spinning. Black was all around him, consuming his mind and thoughts. His eyelids were shut tight, closed due to both the utter exhaustion and the subconscious horror.
       Karls didn't know it, but since he had passed out due to blood loss, he had been dragged throughout the Covenant warship by the creatures known as the Flood, lain down in a pile of corpses, both Human and Covenant, and readied to be infested by the Flood.
       Karls' brain was desperately trying to prevent the inevitable. Hundreds upon hundreds of years of evolution were kicking in. His brain was scabbing over minor cuts, and shutting down entire body parts almost entirely. Spiking small amounts of adrenaline into his tired and beaten system, trying to stir some sort of energy spike, causing him to wake up.
       Karls felt less tired now. Although pain was taking over, he was now more-or-less in control of what happened to him. He was still half asleep, but he was remembering how he had passed out. The battle, being stabbed by a hideous creature, carried into the depths of the ship.... Karls jumped up.
       He looked down at the ground. Limbs and blood covered the ground, making the ground look like an abstract piece of art. He was covered in blood, purple, red, and green, and was missing both his rifle and his sidearm. He had no idea where he was until several Flood creatures walked in.
       They didn't seem to notice him at first. They were sorting through bodies, picking out their weapons and ammunition, pulling usable bodies out of the pile and ignoring the useless, twisted bodies of others. They seemed to be learning more and more at a surprising rate. They would pick up a rifle, stare at it for several seconds, then remove the magazine, study it as well, then load the rifle again.
       Karls tried to turn and walk away, but the immense pain caused him to gasp. The Flood warriors turned, realized that one of the Humans were not yet dead, then ran towards him.
       Karls picked up an Elite's helmet from the ground and swung it at the nearest Flood. It smacked into its head with a wet sound, tore it off, and caused a fountain of green blood to spray out. Karls grabbed the Flood's MA5B, tore it out of its decaying hands, and shoved it into the thing's chest. The bullets tore through the creature with ease, spraying the flesh over the walls.
       The other Flood warriors charged. Karls rammed the butt of his rifle into the torso of one, popping the infection form inside of it, causing the body to go limp. He picked one off that was charging at him with several well-aimed shots. The others he just mowed down with automatic fire.
       Karls policed any magazines he could find from the corpses. He felt bad stealing from the dead, but shook off the regret. "It's not like they'll be needing it." He muttered to himself. "Besides, if they don't want me to take it, let's see them stop me."
       He picked up an M6D, a Plasma Pistol, and several magazines for his MA5B. As he walked out of the room, he heard slurping sounds to his left. He looked and saw several infection forms fighting over an Elite's corpse, trying to be the first to take over its spinal cords. He walked over, smashed them all under his boot, and left.
       He knew that taking over the entire ship would be futile. For everything he killed, there would undoubtedly be several more things ready to take his place. His only options were to A, find the rest of his squad, or B, find the Covenant and hope they'll help out again.
       Choice A sounded much better.
       It wasn't that hard to find out where his squad was heading. He just had to follow the trail of re-killed Flood, bullet holes, and empty shells. The problem was the Flood was following them, as well. They were infecting several bodies that he passed, which he immediately eradicated. He was able to pick off several Warriors, along with countless infection forms. After several minutes of jogging, he came across a section of ship that had its power knocked out. Without a flashlight, he was forced to lean against the wall and feel his way through the hallways.
       He passed a dead Jackal, and noticed that his cracked Plasma Pistol was glowing, creating a green light. He pulled out his Plasma Pistol and held down the trigger. The overcharging plasma illuminated the hallway with a bright green hue. He held it above his head and started walking down the hall.
       The echoing sounds of guns and yells started to reach his ears. Without him knowing it, Karls began to run faster. Eventually he was sprinting until he could hear voices he recognized. "Move towards the NAV point!" He heard Rodriguez yelling. "Quickly! Everyone!"
       Anything said after that was drowned out by long, automatic gunfire. He turned the corner, ducked, and jumped back around as he saw dozens of Floods being cut down with armor piercing bullets. He saw green blood spraying around the corner, and bullets pinging off the walls. "Better find a different way." He said to himself.
       He doubled back, making sure not to get lost, and turned around a different corner. He ran down a long hallway, which brought him around the fighting, and near the back of his allies. "Hurry! We need to lock this door!" He heard Rodriguez yelling.
       He turned a corner, and his hearts lifted to see Rodriguez and Peters alive and fighting, along with several other marines. Peters was desperately trying to close a large door, Rodriguez was helping. They would never make it on their own, so Karls ran up and helped them. Peters looked up at him, gasped, and spoke. "Karls? I thought you were..."
       Peters fell back as a bullet tore through his rib cage. Karls closed the door, and sat down next to him. The next minutes were agonizing. It's hard enough to die yourself, but the pain is even worse to lose a friend to death. Although he could not remember much of the conversation, he remembered Peters' last request. "Don't let me become one of them."
       Karls sat there for a second, everything else meaning nothing. For several seconds, he forgot that certain death was being delayed by a thin metal door, but Rodriguez screaming at him was enough to snap him out of it.
       Karls stood up, grabbed Peters' body, and held him over his shoulders. "What in God's name are you doing?" She asked. "He's dead, for God's sake."
       "I'm going to get him out of here. Dead or alive, Peters will see Earth one more time." Karls said.
       "Goddamn it, Karls! This isn't a goddamn Disney movie! Just put his Goddamn body on the Goddamn floor and get the Hell out of here!" She yelled, running away.
       Karls watched her run out of sight, set Peters down, and grabbed a rifle drenched in blood. "There's no way we're going to make it out of here alive." Karls said, and then he laughed. "Well, you know that already, don't you? I have survived many battles with Humans, with Covenant, and a couple battles with these creatures. Not one of them did I flee from the battlegrounds. This is no different. Outnumbered, out gunned, tired, beaten, and dying. My kind of odds."
       "I'm a goddamn army of one, assholes. Come and get me."