Mist: Chapter 2
Posted By: Winters<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 11 January 2005, 9:07 AM
AU: As a quick note, future chapters will not be quite as short, as I will be combining chapters together and adding on to them in the future. Now, with that aside, back the fanfic.
Chapter 2: The Dead Can Walk, Or So They Say
Two Hours Later
Two hours later, Wellings and her platoon were already on the road. Her orders were to scout a suspected Covenant position, dangerously near one of the remote UNSC installations that were set up around the region. The only problem was, they had no idea how many Covvies were out there, or if there were any at all. But right now, she was distracted by thoughts about her little sister, Sam, or Samantha. Last time Karla had seen her sister in person, it was when she was boarding the transport to Reach to attend the UNSC Officer Training Academy. The last time she heard from her was a letter from Sam informing her that she had managed to get into the Marines and was on the way to basic training. Karla had heard Sam's unit was also on Aeolus, and had hoped to stay long enough in Kenwood to locate her. But the brass had different plans though.
Karla's discontent for this mission was universally shared by the rest of her platoon. Even though it was UNSC regulation to maintain comm silence, most Marines ignored it, as the Covenant usually didn't notice, or completely disregarded Human comm traffic, and constantly filled the comm-bands with personal chatter.
Karla recognized that voice. It was Sgt. Williams, the squad leader for second squad.
"Yeah, sergeant?" She replied.
"Let me go through this again." Williams failed to keep the annoyance out of his voice. " Command wants us to go scout a totally unknown and unmapped section of forest, for an undetermined amount of Covvies? Do we even know how many there are?"
Karla smiled, and replied with a painfully whimsical answer.
"The Captain said their intel was 'sketchy and fairly reliable."
"Great." Williams muttered. " They have no freaking idea what's out there, but they're sending us in anyways."
"Yeah, that's the same thing I told them." Karla said. She was about say something else when another voice cut in.
"Holy shit, you mean to tell me we actually have intel on this?"
"That's right, Johns." She replied, " But only for today."
A chorus of grunts and acknowledgments filled the comm.
An hour later, the sixteen Warthogs pulled into yet another town. Their last stop to civilization. Wellings took a look at the sign.
Welcome to Molino
Karla frowned. She had been to Molino before, and she knew from personal experience that the people who lived around here were as superstitious as they were paranoid, and there was plenty of both to go around in this town.
"Cobbs, Peterson, I want you to take two Hogs through town. See if anybody knows the surrounding area and is willing to be a guide."
"Yes ma'am!" Shouted both men as they gunned their Warthog's engines.
Karla watched the two men drive off into the mist. She seriously doubted that they would succeed. The townspeople in Molino were deathly afraid to leave town, much less their own homes. The believed all sorts of strange and evil creatures and spirits were waiting in the mist and surrounding forest, waiting to leap at them and drag them away.
I wonder why the hell they even moved here in the first place. She thought.
Twenty minutes later, both men returned, with a civilian vehicle in tow. Karla was thoroughly surprised.
"Hey, you finally got someone to come with us?"
"Not exactly, El-Tee." Cobbs pointed to the man behind him. " This guy says he's here to warn us."
The civilian vehicle in the rear stopped, and a very elderly man staggered out of the driver's seat.
"No... turn back, please."
Karla glared at Cobbs and said in a very flat voice, "Cobbs, explain."
The young private hesitated.
"Well, we've been asking around, but everybody was too scared to even face us. This guy came up and just told us to bring him to you. Said the mountains were dangerous."
Karla rolled her eyes at the words.
"And so are the Covenant." She retorted. " So, old man," She said, turning back around to face him, " are you going to be helping us, or do we have to tear up that mountain ourselves?"
The old man merely shook his head.
"I'm sorry, I can't help you. Even I don't know what's out here." He said sadly.
"What?" Karla knew that if she lost this guy, nobody was coming with them. " But you live here. Shouldn't you know the surrounding area?"
The old man now looked throughly frightened.
"No, you don't understand! Nobody goes up there. Ever." He craned his head forward as if to emphasize his point. " Nobody."
"And why is that?"
The old man took a look around, as if he were searching for any evil spirits that might've been eavesdropping. He then carefully walked up to Wellings and whispered in her hear.
"Because that's where the dead can walk..."
Thirty Minutes Later
"Hey El-Tee, are you sure we should be up here? I mean, that guy seemed really scared."
Karla merely snorted at the remark and replied, "Williams, are you going to take the word of some crazy old guy who lives in a town full of them? Seriously, the 'walking dead'?"
"You sure?" This time, instead of annoyance, Williams couldn't keep the anxiousness out of his voice. " I mean, with zombies, I'd go up against the Covvies any day."
"Williams, you've been watching waaay too many of those 20th century horror flicks. I told you those things were bad for you. Besides, the last reported sightings of those 'zombies' were more than six decades ago. I'm surprised those old coots still remember it." Desperately wanting to change the subject, however, Karla keyed her comm to another frequency. " Ryan! Tighten it up back there, the fog starts getting really thick up here!"
Three Kilometers Away
Zazat rushed up to try to find his Field Master, Raka Melazee. Zazat wished that he wouldn't have to be the one to report to the Elite about the bad news, but he lost the draw this time. The little grunt was now scared for his life. Melazee was known for his brutality on the battlefield, and that same brutality often extended to grunts as well. With his legs shaking and teeth chattering, Zazat reached the command post. He gulped and stepped inside.
The moment he got inside, Zazat shouted, "Field Master!"
Melazee, who was busy studying reports about the local human activity, did not even bother to turn and face the grunt.
"What is it, grunt?" He grumbled, still sifting though reports.
"I h-have a report from t-the dig teams, Field Master!" Zazat stammered.
This time, Melazee turned around.
"W-well, progress i-i-is going well, b-but-"
Melazee was starting to get impatient.
"WHAT!?" He shouted.
Wanting to get it over with, Zazat squealed very quickly, "The teams accidentally released some of the creatures within the structure!"
It took every ounce of Raka's composure as an Elite to keep from throttling the poor little grunt, and he merely stood there, his kill-hand twitching.
"And what have you done about this?' He growled.
"T-they've eliminated all of the creatures! Um... Except for one..."
Melazee roared in rage and started swiping reports, weapons, and all sorts of items from the tables. Zazat feared that soon it was going to be him flying through the air.
Melazee regained enough to control to grab the grunt by the neck and growl, "Then find it."