Posted By: skavenger_s7 Date: 3/10/06 10:13 a.m.
My eyes began to focus, my head dialed in. "Blue base, I am inside blue base" My armor was tight, health was full and shields up. I quickly grabbed a shotgun and headed to the front door. Nobody could have gotten here this quick so I didn't need to be ultra careful yet. I stood at the corner ready to turn. With just a peek I could see nothing. So I slowly walked out of the darkness to the light. At the entrance I switched to my pistol and looked around. All was quiet. Not a sign of anyone. "Snipers. They must be going for position." I switched back to my shotgun and ran to the back door. Right or left I am still exposed, I ran to the top of the base and behind the first pillar. With a great leap I had the sniper and then back inside. Around to the back door crouching down. ................................ Not a sound yet. Nothing. With my pistol leading me I scurried around to the right and then made a mad dash to the dark side of the cliffs. This run always makes me cringe, I just know I am going to take a cheap shot to the back. A small knoll and a tree are almost tempting to stop and drop but that rock pillar is so close up on top and I know I am safe there. So with barely a glance back down from where I came I stop and kneel. My SR loaded as I peer around the rock. Nothing. Still not a sound. No respawning, no movement..... nothing. I break to the cave entrance. The room is lit. After all these years I still have no idea what these yellow light looking patches on the walls are. Well, I stay left. Man, I really hate this turn. I mean, I NEED to be able to lay down here. My legs get exposed long before I can see anyone else. If they are scoping this position I am dead. I decide to wait. A noise whips me around switching to pistol for close combat. .. Nothing. Man I hate that. Every now and then I just get this feeling to turn around. Like I have been doing good for too long and I am about to get whacked. I holster the pistol and shoulder my rifle again. Time to go. I hold my breath, zoom once and strafe right. I scan the horizon. Nothing yet. Man these guys are good. Leaning against the right wall I see my next stretch along a very exposed ledge. I can't make it. I need to drop down and keep behind the big grassy hill. Funny, as I get ready to leap out of here I can't recall even my last kill. But I can remember with great detail every head shot I took while jumping like I am about to do. .............. I go for it. Jumping down draws no fire. I don't feel right being here, this is a bad place I need to move. I run as fast as I can to the small incline to the far darkness behind the red warp exit. I turn and run backwards near the end, again fearing that easy shot that always happens as they let you get really close to your cover, then BANG! A vapor trail and the laughing "Oh no you don't" spins your body to the ground. But I made it. ........... "No". I can hear a tank rolling closer. Switch to pistol and stand eyes barely above the left corner of this boulder. I can see the rocket launcher but no way will I get there. The rumble is getting louder. I know I won't last long here. I jump to the right side and look from where I came. Nothing again. "Where the hell is it?" I am panicking now. I toss a grenade right, jump left... toss another to the red exit hoping to catch him as he corners and dart to the cave opening. Knowing that i will be feeling that canon blast any second and praying I live through it. The noise is so loud echoing this tunnel as I run he must be right on me.......... I dive for the over shield and pull up against the wall grenade ready to trigger.......................................................... My heart pounding subsides and there is silence. Not a sound. Just the sound of my footsteps as I walk up slowly. I enter the next well lit room half cautious and half careless. I am scared, but also drained from anticipation. You ever get to where you just want the fight over? One way or another? I walk to the mouth of this cavern and stare out. I pull out the sniper and jump up to the little ledge behind a big rock. I scope slowly to the red base. Then way up behind it and to the cliff across the way. I even sweep along the dark cliff base, you know.......... the least used area in this canyon? Still nothing. I sling my SR and walk down. Even getting shot once would be better than this.
I see nothing. Not even a flicker of life. Just the sweet interruption of fowl is heard, but never seen. "Is anybody here?" I yelled............ "Hello"......... The red base is emptied out. There are no vehicles to be seen. I see and hear no one and nothing. I am alone.
I sit one day on the edge of the big cliff. Legs dangling over I have lunch and lookout over this canyon floor. Seems like I can remember every event if I try. Times when there were men running all over in disorganized combat. Kids speaking every language trying to control the middle. I think it brought out the best and worst in all of us. If you have never had kids of your own, you will never have anything to compare the excuses for failure you hear in this very small outpost in the middle of nowhere. It was truly amazing. This place has a lot of memories for me. Getting close to 5 years I guess. 5 years of the valley floor filled with rockets, sniper trails and from time to time Texas film crews battling the heat to finish on time and under budget. I would guess this place had become a household name, a second home to a lot of us. But what happened? Where has everyone gone? Why has no one returned?
I have now been here for longer than I care to remember. Alone. I have combed and explored every inch. Shined my flashlight into every crevice I can find. There truly is no way out. Eventually I find my way above the cliffs. I can get so far up that the canyon feels like it will simply fall right into the sea of white sand in which it lays.
I realize I simply have nowhere left to go. I have nothing to do here. I am truly alone.
Sometime I wake up startled and grab my gun. I hear gunshots. I hear commands being screamed.... directions being thrown all around. For a place that used to be filled with so much smoke and confusion, I find this silence more deafening than all. What about you? Have you ever been here alone? Have you ever walked around by yourself here? Have you ever stood on the grassy knoll and smiled remembering all the memories you have had here? I guess one day they will close this place. I think this slice of nature should be a national park. I hope that restaurants like the Hi-lo cafe in Weed, California on highway 97 would hang pictures of this place along with those Ansel Adams pics of Yosemite.
I guess for now this will be my home. A place I feel comfortable with. Even if everyone has moved on to new places, new canyons and worlds to explore, I still find favor with this place. I will never forget one stone, one hill or one blade of grass. I can tell you where every line of sight is. Remember this place, this small corner of the galaxy where you spent so many hours of enjoyment and frustration.
And if you ever choose to return to this left behind monument, look me up. I'll most likely still be here wandering around in nostalgia.
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