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Long Time Gone Part 4
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 14 November 2003, 6:10 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 4: The Choice

Alison turned the dead corpse over; the man's face was a mix of pain and anger, his gazed frozen in time as a grim reminder for all those who wished to look. Alison removed the MA5B assault rifle from his stiff fingers, the ammo counter read '00' showing he had gone down fighting, a true Marine, a tear ran down Alison face, men and women were dying and for what? A war on Earth that is slowly killing off its soldiers who should be fighting the Covenant, not fellow humans. Alison looked around the base, it was a mess, men lay dead or dying (meaning the medics couldn't do anything for them) even wounded Rebels were receiving treatment. Alison removed the rifles clip and threw the rifle and magazine to two different piles of weapons and ammo, Alison searched the dead man's pouches removing DP HE grenades and 7.62mm FMJ packets. She had been doing this for nearly an hour, it had been 4 days since McAllen and Chambers had been sent to the hospital for treatment, Alison and the other Marines had been doing this all the time in shifts, Alison only had another hour of this until her shift was over.

30 minutes passed until Alison came across the soldier, his eyes were closed, his mouth barred wide frozen in the middle of a cry, most probably for help, his rifle lay by his side, the ammo counter read '00' and he had a M6D 12.7mm x 99mm HEAP pistol in his hand, the slide flung back in the empty position, the magazine was missing, she checked his left had, it was curled up into a fist, she opened his hand reveling the empty magazine, he had died reloading in battle, the time when a soldier is most vulnerable and undefended. She removed the pistol and was about to throw it on the pile, but stopped, drew her new USP and compared it, the USP was smaller but held 3 more bullets but lacked the smart link scope of the M6D and the M6D had a bigger round. Alison put both weapons in under her Guillie Suit in separate pouches along with a 12.7mm x 99mm ammo packet. Hmm Chris might like this she thought.

Alison stood up and looked around again, men were loading the bodies onto the back of flat bed trucks and LAC (Light Attack Carrier) basically it was a normal Warthog but with a flatbed tray instead of the LAAG 12.7mm Machine gun. The trucks were heading for the local graveyard and non-Coalition personal corpses were being thrown in a mass grave whilst Coalition dead were being buried with the 21 gun salute. Soon Alison's shift was over and she could wash up along with the other troops, by the end of the day the compound was free of corpses and the Combat Engineers had finished rebuilding most barracks and the Command buildings including a new radio tower.

Chris sat back in his hospital bed, it was hard like a rock and the anesthetic smell made him nauseous, his left side was bandaged up, the bandage was soaked in blood, his wound was worse than they thought at first, as soon as they stopped the bleeding it began to heal the next day but split open again this time the stitches were stronger. But the cheap bastards didn't change his bandage, they said since the attack everything has begun to disappear and had to be rationed. Chris looked about the pure white recovery room, how dull, he thought looking at the bareness of the room, he looked to his right and there was Chambers, fast asleep with his hand over his hip were he had been shot. Chris and Chambers had become good friends in hospital, Chambers said he would take Chris to a night club and show him around town, and Chris liked that. Chris started to think about Alice, even though he had just met her a few weeks ago, it had felt like he had knew her his whole life. Just his luck he finally met the right woman and it was already 30 light years to late, that's when Chris referred to the piece of paper again.

Dear Private C. McAllen,

It has come to our attention that your recent actions under Commander James Walters you have been transferred to the 1st Shock Troop Brigade stationed at the planet Reach, you will report to your Commanding Officer as soon as you get back from leave, he will give you the information of where to go next and also your two Stripes, congratulations Corporal C. McAllen, we know you will serve your country, planet and race well.

Brigadier General Matthew Hue, Commander of Earth's Armed Forces (EAF)

Short, brief and straight to the point, just like the 'Hard Ass Brass', Chris sighed loudly, this could only mean that humanity was ready to attack the Covenant Home world. Chambers awoke to the sigh,
"You still awake buddy?" asked Chambers not really asking for a reply as he could see Chris was still awake, Chris showed Chambers the orders, he quickly skimmed read it and begun to laugh, pulling a similar document from under his pillow the only difference was the name. Chris looked at Chambers who was chuckling softly, Chris started to laugh as well but then his sides started to ache, laughter is not always the best medicine!

The last 3 days passed without any more incidents Chris and Chambers were now in 'Civvie' clothing with military duffle bags over their shoulders, they walked out of the hospital with there 2 day pass papers in their pockets, when they heard a loud motor approaching, it went straight passed them, they couldn't see who it was then suddenly it stopped with a loud squelch. Then begun to bag up very fast, the vehicle was now clear to be seen, a LRV M12 'Warthog' assault jeep, the machine gun had been removed and instead of the green Military paint it was painted a slick red and black. Someone hopped out of the vehicle as soon as it stopped, it was Alison, dressed in 'Civvie' clothes and her light sandy brown hair was dangling loosely as she walked. But there were two strange shapes seen under her shirt behind her back, she stopped, and put her hand behind your back,
"I have a surprise for you, Chris" she said slowly moving her hand back in view, Chris saw the silver glint first then he knew what it was, he tackled Chambers out of the way before grabbing Alison arm and removing the weapon form her grasp and he relieved her of her other gun.
"What the fuck are you doing?" She said as Chris held her hand tightly, his eyes gripped with panic, "it's a gift for Christ sakes!" suddenly Chris face broke in a broad smile,
"Ah sorry about that" he replied scratching the back of his head his smile became a grin, a cheeky grin. Chris let go of her arm and knelt down to pick up the two weapons, he handed them both over then Alison gave the M6D back,
"Here have this" She said as he took hold of the pistol, "sorry but Sarge wouldn't let me get you any lead for it until your next action"
"Thanks any way though" Chris replied "I really thought you were going to shoot me!"
"She won't but I will if you do that again with my hip!" Yelled Chambers as he stood back up brushing the dirt off his clothes, Chris' face started to turn red, he really felt like a idiot,
"Let's just leave this in the dark, huh?" he asked placing his new found pistol down the back of his pants. Alison and Chambers nodded their heads.

Suddenly laughter broke out, its source the back of the LRV,
"You're a fucking hero McAllen!" Miller Reeve raised his head with a beer in his hand, "I can see the headlines now, 'Aussie Soldier almost kills sniper for offering him a gun!'"
"Enough of that Miller" said Alison putting her arm around Chris' shoulders, "you should be congratulating him, good work Corporal!" Hmm it seems people know about my promotion, I wonder if they know about Chambers and my transfer Chris thought as he enjoyed Alison grasp around his shoulders.
"Ah, yeah thanks, Alison" he said looking around, it was a Saturday night and the place was deserted, but Chris didn't really seem to notice, "Miller! Chuck us a brewskie!" Miller nodded, throwing Chris and Chambers a beer from the eskie. Chris and Chambers both skulled the drinks in under 4 gulps, then threw the bottles in the trash can a few metres away.

"How 'bout we go to the local pub?" insisted Miller, obviously drunk and needed some more booze to drown his sorrows. They all agreed and they all hoped in the slick looking M12 and went full pelt down the 'main drag' towards the nearest bar. They went inside the bar and it was packed full of off-duty marines and NCOs there was even a fair amount of locals in there. This must be where all the locals have gotten too, Chris thought as he looked around. The soldiers danced with local girls as Alison and a couple of her friends from other squads sat down and talked most o0f the night away, Chambers caught one Chris' glances at Alison. Chambers walked up behind the soldier he was downing another shot of local alcohol, Chambers had tasted it before it was the locals solution to tequila and vodka in one, shit taste but it could get you pretty darned hammered. Chambers sat down at the bar next to Chris, Chambers ordered himself a beer and what ever Chris wanted, Chris got the same. Chambers raised his glass, "a toast, to freedom!" Chris did the same and they both chanted at the same time, "May our days be long and lazy!" They drank fast but stopped half way leaving near empty glasses in their hands, Chambers put his arm over Chris' shoulder and whispered "I know ya' like Alison McAllen, so quick bitchin' and tell her!" Chris thought about it but then replied, "but we're both going to be leaving for Reach in a few days, why bother over spilt milk?" Chambers knew it was the alcohol talking, Chris' was enticed by Parker, just then Alison returned a glance at Chris and winked, Chambers' jaw dropped, Alison was flirting with McAllen! But then Alison raised her USP by the barrel and winked again, Chris drew his M6D and returned the wink. Alison raised her hand as she returned the USP to its holster, Alison hand waved at Chris to come over and sit down, Chris holstered his weapon, finished his beer and said softly to Chambers "I'm going in!"

And that's the end of that chapter! Sorry it took so long... again... Well anyway next part should be in next week, tell me what you think.