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The Dead Man's Story: or, The Militia
Posted By: SeverianofUrth<residentpark@aol.com>
Date: 11 May 2004, 12:54 AM

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      It was a cold, cold day. Rain poured from the skies, flecked with green acid, melting wood into little slags of steaming-organic-piles of plant-material. I sat beside a balding man of twenty, who grasped his antique Springfield with a primitive telescopic sight mounted on top nervously as we bumped along the jagged road.
      "So, heh- good day, huh?" The balding man asks me. Not to be rude, although it is raining acid outside, I say, "Yeah, it really is."
      "Um- Gonna kill us some aliens, right?" He asks.
      "Ah- eh, what's your name, anyways um fella?"
      "Carlos. Hathcock." He laughs when I say that. In my mind I already marked him as a retard.
      "Ah, sorry there, um fella. But when you said Hascock-" He prattles on, but I ignore him, choosing instead to look at the scenary. I stop after a while; it's too damn depressing.
      The beloved city of Springfield was reduced mostly to slag. Most of the military were gone, replaced with the ever-present, ever-patriotic militia. Largely useless except for body-shields, we militiamen must make do with what we can; I currently hold a slightly misshapen plasma rifle, scavenged from the field of battle.
      "Approaching destination." The comm. speaker says. I wait, occasionally nodding along to the balding man next to me.

      "Go go go!" The balding man leaps out, surprisingly agile; then I realize that it was just a show, as he cringes when on the ground. I land on the ground with a thud, along with twenty other men. A soldier runs up to greet us.
      "Oy! You people the militia?" He is young, maybe sixteen, clutching a assault rifle in his pudgy hands.
      "Huh- um fella, good soldier, I'm the leader here." The balding man says. Some raise cries of protest. The soldier seemingly does not care.
      "Right. Well, make your way down to the center plaza, beneath a red sign. You can meet up with the rest of you fellows there." He hurries away.
      "Right, let's go, men!" The balding man cries, and starts walking smartly towards the road. We follow without protest.

      On the road, there is nothing much; it is as if the Covenant have banished utterly, leaving only smoking buildings and bloated corpses behind. Blood had painted and dried on the pavements.
      A man runs up to us. He seems desperate, arms flailing wildly, as he yells, "Run! Run for your lives- agh... Run!" Some of the men try to stop him, but he runs on anyways, slapping aside their hands as he runs on. A moment later a sharp sound of explosion comes up.
      "He tripped a mine." I say. Most nod along.

      We make our way to the plaza without any incidents, and finally are greeted by a smallish man of fifty. He hails us, then lets us in; I fancied that I saw a gleam in his eyes, but I left that out to my own paranoia working desperately to block the sudden wave of fear that is kicking me in the chest.

      I wish I trusted my instincts then.

      We enter, and the door suddenly shuts behind us. I look around, and the small man is gone. Then I notice the stink; the stink of cadaver. I raise my weapon up, and the others do so also. Someone lights their flash, and we all gasp.
      Piled around the room are corpses, all bloated yellow, sprouting tentacles and tendrils of flesh.

      The balding man pounds on the door, pleading to get out; and as he does so, something flashes out of the dark, and he falls down, jaw ripped off. I swivel, and blast something that was behind me; a walking, faceless blob of a corpse. Then I hear pattering footsteps of soft, fleshy feet, and suddenly the room is filled with the sounds of gunfire and screams of dying men.

      I shoot, taking out another with super-heated bolts of energy. The balding man I see attempting to get up, blood streaming out of where his jaw used to be; something smashes him across the face, and his head is crushed against the door. Screams of butchery fill the air, as men are smashed, ripped, and struck, until at last me and three other men form a ring, and blast all that comes near. Then, something patters out of the shades, and the men next to me went down; and something pulled me down, and inserted it's sharp arm down my throat and into my bowels, as I wriggled in pure terror and pain. I was dying- painfully.

      I woke up afterwards, my chest full of fire. I couldn't move; I couldn't see; I couldn't speak. But I could smell, and I could feel; flesh rubbed against flesh, and I realized that there were corpses piled all on top and around me.
      It took quite a while to realize that I was a corpse too.

      So I am dead. Something sprouts out of my back, pushes out of my cheeks, my arm falls off in decay. I can smell the rotting corpses- somehow that makes me feel hunger- and occasionally the ones on top get up, and leave. More gets piled.

      Where the hell is heaven?

(It all ties in with what I'm going to do with my other story, the one about the orphan.}