Posted By: Mr Bill Jr V<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 29 December 2001 1:38 am
"You must have hope, Spirit."
"No, Damuis. There is no hope. We are lost, nothing can change that."
The Marine fell. Fell into the abyss; he could not understand. What was this world? Eternal darkness shrouded the Marine's body. He welcomed it. Like a fine cloth, it poured over him. The Marine fell onwards, deeper into the abyss, the darkness engulfing his form. And without reason, without time, the Marine knew mercy. It came together, a puzzle with infinite pieces, solved before his eyes. And the darkness fled from the Marine's body. Light struck from the edges of the world, wrapping around the Marine, pulling at him. The Marine was too weak to resist. The light was blinding the Marine's mind, he could not focus his thoughts. The world was becoming clear, but slowly, too slowly. And with a final gust of light, the Marine awoke.
The Marine's hand fell from the pedestal's surface, the endless glow reseeded silently. A rolling cloud, sweeping across the cathedral's floor, sinking into the pedestal. Light shown through the stained glass windows, showering the Marine. Slowly, with considerable effort, the Marine turned to observe the room. Ancient monolithic pillars protruded about the cathedral. The vaults stretched into the heavens, having no apparent end. The floor was coated by a thin film of dust, which billowed about the Marine. The last of the glow, slunk into the pedestal. The Marine could not recall this place. He strained his mind; searching for any recollection of the cathedral, but he found none. He searched the cathedral with his eyes, he could feel another presence, on he could not explain. Something was here, watching the Marine. He needed to escape its presence, free himself from this thing. A large pair of wooden doors adorned the opening of the cathedral. The Marine forced himself to move, his mind still spinning, towards the doors.
Clouds, rolled and formed. Spray pounded off the cliff walls, the ocean swirling below. Wind twisted the trees, throwing them astray. The sun shown brightly across the windswept sands. An engine roared. Voices.
"God dam, mud."
"Its sand, sir."
The overpowered assault jeep blasted the sands apart, tires ripping the ocean waves. Exhaust trailed the jeep, tire tracks rolling into the distance. Gyrostabilizers clicked and hummed attempting to steady the triple barrel machine cannon, mounted on the jeep's rear. The jeep slid up onto two wheels as it rounded a cliff wall.
"Watch it- sir?. Sir!"
"You wanna drive?"
"Then shut it..."
Rolling ever onward, the jeep pulled off the beach. A slight inclined cut back, led the jeep to the cliff tops. Sand turned to soil, fine dust and stones, billowing around the jeep's tires. Trees now, more of them. The driver sought out a path through the trees, and finding one, he jolted the jeep towards it. The jeep took a small jump, wheels wiping, and bounced back onto the ground. The driver veered, twisting the jeep, to avoid a tree.
"Cutting it a little close, sir."
"I'll cut you a little close..."
A warning lit up on the machine cannon's dash board. A simple beep, repeating.
"Oh, shit. SOBs: three, four of them."
The driver slammed the brakes, the jeep pulled sideways, skidding to a halt. The gunner grabbed the chain ammo feed. Reaching forward, he pulled the locking mechanism back. The driver slammed the gas, the jeep's back wheels squealing. The jeep shot forward, racing towards the radar's bleeping.
"I have visual, four covenant skimmers, dead ahead."
Looking over the bouncing dashboard, the diver could easily see the four vehicles. Dark blue, blended with twisting shadows, as their engines displaced the air. They flew high, shooting across the tree tops. The high pitched whine of anti-gravity engines was deafening. The aliens, had yet to notice the jeep's practically silent approach. The gunner saw his opportunity. He pressed the swivel mount release, allowing the gun to rotate. Heaving the weapon to face the first skimmer, the gunner braced himself. Sparks erupted across the vehicles side, massive bullets blasting holes through the fine meshed armor. The alien driver was pulped, bullets exploding across his torso. The entire vehicle burst into flame, vaporizing mere seconds after the shooting began.
"Yah! Fuck you!"
The reaming skimmers jaunted aside, pulling higher, away from the lethal stream of bullets. The slick crafts shot past the jeep, leaving displacement waves in their wake. The gunner traced backwards, blazing away with fury. Emptied casing flew in every direction, glinting off the sunlight. The driver pulled the jeep aside, reversing direction. The chase was on. Wheels grinded the earth, the jeep lurching forward. The skimmers began to split up, curving gracefully away from eachother. The air burned as the vehicles flew, the trees swayed as they moved. The first skimmer suddenly came to stop; the jeep racing past it. The gunner swept his weapon, bringing it around to face the alien. The skimmer's front lit up, as twin pulse lasers ignited. The first shot tore a tree in half, scorching the ground. The driver jolted the jeep, dodging the deadly lasers. The gunner aimed the half ton, gyrostabilized weapon, and depressed the trigger. The alien was quicker. A laser bolt tore a hole in the ground, and blew a large piece of the right rear wheel apart. The jeep skidded to a halt, but was not finished. Bullets ripped the skimmer into threads of metal. Flame engulfed the alien, his skimmer exploding. The covenant flew through the air, colliding with a tree. Arching low, the two remaining skimmers raced through the woods, closing on the immobilized jeep.
"Lets get out of here!"
The driver produced a mark III automatic, and tossed a second to the gunner. The two men dropped from the jeep, rushing into the woods.
"Make for that building!"
A massive stone cathedral, built with a odd gothic style, lay slightly to the gunner's left. The cathedral reached into the sky, as if it wished to smite the very heavens themselves. He made for structure, loading a clip into his riffle. The two skimmers converged on the abandoned jeep, lasers blasting it into shards of metal, and armor. The explosion tossed the two men to ground. Burning pieces of debris sailed through he air, landing all around. The gunner got to his feet, and continued to run. The driver was just behind him, running firing widely at the aliens. They slaughtered him. Pulses of blue lighting ripping his body apart. Two giant wooden doors marked the entrance to the cathedral. They swung open, a single Marine standing at the entrance. The gunner dove inside, sliding across the ancient stone floor. With their unnatural howl, the skimmers shot overhead. The gunner was perplexed. That Marine, just standing at the door, it was as if he had never seen sun light. He stood, staring into the brightness, his eyes adjusting. The gunner jumped to his feet, and ran to the Marine.
"Close the door!"
The Marine stood, still staring. His gaze fixed in the sky.
The skimmers, returned bringing fury with them. Lasers punctured the center of the cathedral, destroying the wooden roof, and blasting the vast stone pillars. The gunner dove to the ground, as stone fell from the sky, great chunks of it crashing against the floor. Dust spilled across the room, a pillar collapsed. The Marine was unchanged. His eyes suddenly darted to face the first skimmer. They where glowing. The marine's face had been wiped away, a twisted smile replacing his mouth. Large red eyes dominated his features, the pupil's gone. Energy, a pure glow of light, began to burst from his armor. It devoured the marine, showering him in energy. He raised his hand, as it to pluck one of the skimmers from the sky. Red lighting exploded from his eyes, dancing around the vehicle. It vaporized. The Marine fixed his gaze on the second skimmer, the lightning tracing across the sky. The skimmer exploded, smashing into the ground. Shattered fragments scattered across the soil. The lightning reseeded into the Marine's eyes, disappearing. The energy vanished, the light reseeding. The Marine collapsed.
When he awoke all was made clear. It was the spirit. It had done this. Another marine hid in the shadow of a still standing pillar. The Marine stood, and approached him.
"What are you?"
The gunner sat, shaking. It took all his energy just to ask the question.
"I'm bringing the spirit to find captain Damuis. It wants to help fight the aliens; it wants revenge for what they did to Damuis."
The gunner stood, still shaking. He dropped his gun, to weak to possibly carry it.
"I'll go with you."
The Marine nodded his thanks, and turned to face the doors. The Marine embraced the light.