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Firestarter Squad: Chapter 3 (The End)
Posted By: Iden
Date: 16 January 2001, 2:47 am

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"... Your Mom."

    The thought lingered, but only for a moment as the humming in the tankincreased as the covenant inside began to turn itself towards the others,having to turn around the long way, nearly two-hundred-seventy degrees. Thehumming of the tank began to grow louder in it's slight pause before firing,but the tank's operator wasn't given much of a chance. Alex's habit offreezing seemed to be fading now as his finger squeezed the trigger, flamebelching out of the front of it. Whatever sensors that were on the front ofthe tank were either melted or interfered with. Jerry wasn't idle however,two more of his grenades were unpinned and with a leap as Alex's napalm wascut off he planted them on the crook that resulted where the Barrel and thetank met.
    To say the least the explosion was phenomenal, the barrel even becameunattached and spun forward like some sort of toy hurled in a hurricane. End over end it bounced, right past Alex and into the wreckage of human tankdismantled by the repeated hits of a plasma cannon.
    Jerry's arm moved up to gently wipe at his brow, a slight grin sent to Alexwho stood once again, paralyzed, looking at the wreckage they had just tookplace in. His mouth hung open slightly and for once the nozzle of thethrower was let loose, the weapon dangling a few inches from the ground.
    "Boy, always hold your weapon. Christ the enemy is never far awa-..."Jerry began. His voice dropped away to almost a whisper as through thesmoke came a second tank. Maybe they had been careless and never saw itcoming. Maybe it had been hiding around the armory.
    Maybe they were screwed after all.
    "Hit the deck!" Jerry's throat convulsed as the energy that seared the airfrom a near blast paralyzed almost anything in near vicinity. The blue beamhad passed right over his head and destroyed what was left of the alreadypulverized tank the barrel of the other tank had gone through.
    Neither had actually hit the deck, too shocked by the sudden apprehensionthat they had a good chance of never seeing home again, let alone the nextten seconds. Jerry's hand lashed out to grab Alex by the shoulder and beganto drag him towards the Armory doors. The other needed no encouragement foronce and the two broke into a sprint, the one best gamble being that itwouldn't destroy the ammo depot over two lousy humans.
    They were right, the tank simply seemed to be trying to cut them off andrun them down. There were stories of how those things worked, how theystayed up, but simply said those that went under didn't get up. Alexquickly realized the futility of trying to outrun the tank and he began tomove back towards the graveyard of wreckage. Again. Futile. The tankwould simply outrun them in almost any direction and their indecision costthem. Simply put...
    "Down!" Jerry screamed, jumping Alex from his thoughts. Jerry yanked himdown as from the muzzle of the tank Jing had rescued screamed a shot. Itwas over for the hover tank, it simply wasn't protected in the rear. Theshot almost went through before exploding, shrapnel was sent askew, the twosides of the tank falling apart, so typical of those machines. The momentumwas still there however and as the engines were cut off the whole thing,split in half or not, crashed into the ground, and -slid- forward. Alex andJerry scrambled backwards as the whole shell of the tank just ripped downinto the ground, sliding forward another eight to ten feet and coming torest, a foot from where they had been. Alex of course now started breathingagain.
    "Christ that was close Jing!" Jerry yelled towards the tank that hadfinally lurched up and out of the trench. The machine gun on the turrentwas madly damaged the part of the hatch had been gouged away. Other thanthat the rest of it wasn't -too- bad.
    "You look hurt.", came the other replied.
    "Frig man...." Alex gasped as he stood up, "I'll fucking kill you when youget out of there..."
    "You boys done?" came the gentle inquiry.
    "Eh?" Jerry and Alex chimed in to glance towards the armory, more correctlyone of the alien's heavy ships landed on the ground to serve as such. Intypical Marine dress code there stood a female pilot, pistol drawn andmeager squad covering her sides. Unusual was to say the least, this wasonly a site when..., but Alex was interrupted in his thought.
    "Got your ship shot to shit? Didn't ya?" Jerry grinned.
    "Phff, if you only knew ape... if the racket you've made hasn't drawnCovenant command here we should best all get inside and trash this thingwhile we can...", there was no beautiful hair displayed, hanging down to hershoulders like in the movies, merely a helmet upon most likely a shavedhead. Horribly beautiful blue eyes though, gorgeous skylight blues.
    "How the hell did you start on the door, anyway?" Alex finally chipped hisown two cents in.
    "... it's not hard to sneak past the thing when it takes a minute to turnaround." she replied, the corner of her lips tucking upwards slightly in asmirk.
    "Yeah.... well frig, one less one of them around..." Jerry shook his headscowled, "No lectures needed here Ma'am. Lets get going before covenantcommand comes on to this tea party."
    The pilot nodded and in addition for her five grunts Alex and Jerry joinedin, Jing stayed behind to guard the enterance. The small charged placed onthe door having already blown let them merely walk right in to the 'kitchencupboard and mouse traps' as Jerry mumbled, even though Alex didn't have aclue of what he was saying.
    As the pilot made to move into a room, striding purposely almost Jerrycaught her arm and yanked her back, "Are you nuts lady? Don't you ever walkinto a room like that..."
    "We already fragged the place with at least three shrapnel grenades,anything in here stopped twitching long ago." she retorted, the petty likesmirked still displayed upon two thin lines posing as lips.
    "Heh, your ass lady... not mine." Jerry laughed softly and stepped back asthe others entered, Alex followed with Jerry last, assault rifle drawn andfinger on trigger.
    Alex leaned his head back to glance at the other and whisper, "Should I frythem?"
    "Fry who?" Jerry replied.
    "Them..." Alex gestured lightly with his flamethrower towards the six orseven bodies of covenant laying in a heap that came close to their path.
    "Naw, you'll be wasting fuel, the pilot's right, most likely nothingsurvi-" the sentence was cut short as one arm on a Covenant warrior shot upfrom the ground, energy sword in hand to spear one of the five other marinesin the gullet, as it slid out it cauterized the wound on the edges, but theinnards still spilled out. Startled the other marines fall back and beginto pull at their arming mechanisms, but it's too late as the covenantwarrior was already on it's feet with miracle reflexes and another marinecries out in pain, his arm lopped off, the one holding his own weapon. Theothers finally manage to open fire, catching the second marine in the crossfire, finishing him off. The covenant warrior with it's last effortstruggles forward against the gunfire to slam it's sword into the chest ofanother shocked marine, dragging him down with it.
    Jerry and the pilot stood shocked, looking at the carnage, the last twomarines emptying their clips into the creature, yelling obscenities thatwould of killed the covenant anyway. A moment of silence was taken, therest bowing their heads, but Alex instead pulling his trigger and theremaining covenant in the pile were eaten up in flames of wrath.
    "Frig..." the pilot sighed.
    "Yeah?" Jerry glanced up, his brow furrowing, "I don't like the sound ofthat."
    "We're past our time limit... Covenant coming soon. You..." she pointed atAlex who glanced up startled, letting go of the trigger. "Help the other twowith this satchel charge and place it in the next room, put it on thesecondary core."
    "The wha...?"
    "The big green thing..."
    Alex snatches the charge from the charge from the other two marines andthey make off to the other room, Jerry glancing over at the pilot whoglanced back. A finger was placed on her lip and a button undone.

    "Hey! Pilot! Can you hear me? The door's jammed! We won't set the timeron the satchel until you guys can open it! Hey! Can you hear me!?" Alexbanged on the door a few more times and sighed softly, glancing back over atthe other two.
    "You know... I bet they did this on purpose.... son of a bi-" Alex startedranting again, and as usual, interrupted as the door slid up with adisheveled looking Jerry.
    "Come on kid... let's go." he barked and the others jumped to follow suit.
    Alex quickly ran back in to set the timer before racing like hell back tojoin the others, his thrower dropped for an extra sidearm, burrowing apistol from one of the other two marines he tucked them into the back of hispants and practiced 'fast draw' on their way to the exit. Jerry merelyrolled his eyes, muttering softly.

    Jerry squinted in the daylight that had finally bloomed, the one that hadbeen out all morning but covered with dust and smoke. Another squint and hecould make out Jing's tank coming back over the trench, 'though it lookedfunny. Jerry winced as he knew what was wrong, the 'click' of the barrelsounding as the cannon went off, whizzing past him, the pilot and Alex. Yetthe two marines that were inside looting the weapons didn't have much luck. The explosion probably killed them instantly, if it didn't their satchelcharge would in a few minutes. A second 'click' was heard, following by...nothing.
    "Well fuck... if that doesn't beat all..." Jerry almost laughed, "Its outof ammo..."
    Yet just as dangerous, the tank began to roll forward, stop and rollforward again. The creature inside apparently wasn't used to the controlsthe humans used.
    For Alex it was a sickening sight, Jing's body was laying half in and halfout of the hatch on the top of the tank, rocking back and forth as the tanklurched again and again. With a cry of bitter pain he snatched a secondarycharge from Jerry's backpack.
    "I'll kill you, you sons of a bitches! God damn, I'll send you straight tohell!" he screamed, running forward and jumping to cling to the gun turrent.
    Alex slowly inched his way down the barrel, satchel charge strap in histeeth he reached up and set the timer for a half minute before flinging itinto the open hatch when he was close enough. A little smirk crept up ontohis lips and he began to edge backwards, swearing at the covenant inside howhe 'got you suckers now!'. He was interrupted again though, for the lasttime, he heard the sound but didn't feel a thing as the machine guns setupon the front of the turrent opened fire, ripping through his right side,causing him to fall down onto the front of the tank. It all got reallyblurry after that, red was beginning to dim his vision and the explosion wasdeafening, yet unheard. Maybe it was more felt. The machine gun finallywent silent, the covenant inside liquified now, if not something worse. Alex smiled slightly, his eyes slowly closing and the last sound he heardwas a shell falling from the gun to hit the tank beside his ear, the soundso crystal clear...


((Well everyone, this is the last installment in this series, I'll be stillsubmitting though. I hope to see a little support for us fan-fictionwriters on the board though!))