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Betrayal in Nightmare, part One
Posted By: Harbringer352<nank4@digitalpath.net>
Date: 4 January 2010, 11:00 pm

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00:00 24-hour Time
Location: Prophase, Moon

-It was dark. I hardly heard my team move across the desolate plains. Prophase's twin moon – Metaphase – glowed a strange blood red. It bathed the plains with crimson.
-So many stars. Never seen so many, not even on Earth. We're so far from Earth.
-Somebody has linked with my private COM. Looks like David.

CH-David? What's the sitrep?
DF-Screwed, Sarge. Can't find hide nor tail of Delta Squad.
CH-Keep looking. I know they're out here somewhere.

-David was on the original Alpha company. Me and him both. We were good friends then. When the company got screwed over, we got switched. As luck would have it, we both ended up on Gamma Squad.
-We were sent here ten days ago to find a squad that had disappeared into the night. Prophase was a funny place; the orbit around this system's sun, Derelict, was irregular, so time was never the same.
-Used to be twelve of us. Now there was five. Seven of us disappeared into the night. Probably went to the same place as Delta Squad. Only me, David, Eliza, Sonny, and Harriet. We all knew Harriet worked for ONI. Specifically, Section 3.
-Can't see anything far as the eye can see. This moon has similar atmosphere to Earth, as well as similar gravity. If you didn't know better…

DF: Sarge?
CH: Here. Report.
DF: We just secured a CNI link with Lance Corporal Mick. Ten meters east.

-Inside my helmet I smiled. Mick was a good man – he would help sort out this madness.
-I alerted the team. We set off in the eastern direction. Directly under Metaphase.
-But…something was wrong. This plain was too wide, and the need to look over my shoulder like a bothersome itch. Eventually I turned, but I kept turning, paranoia leading me in a desperate search.
-Part of me was surprised to see nothing.

DF: Holiday, we found the CNI transponder.

-The tone of his voice set a worm of cold dread coiling in my gut.

CH: And?
DF: Eh…

-I followed his pointed finger. I bent down and picked up the helmet-
-Only to drop it in disgust. It was Mick.
-Specifically, his head. The rough tear was tinged with a strange green moldy substance. It wasn't a clean rip-
-Something had bit it off.

DF: What happened here, Carly?
CH: Hell if I know, Freeman.

-What the hell was going on here? The same paranoia that gripped me before made my extremities deaden. My head went tingly numb, like it always did before-

EG: ARRGGGHHHH!! Get it off, get it off!

-I whirled around in biting terror, my visor polarizing immediately. My rifle was in my hand and I found myself aiming at Eliza.
-Eliza had this thing, this nightmare, attaching itself and burrowing into her chest-

DF: Sarge! What the hell are those things?!
CH: How many times do I have to say this? Hell if I know! Now shoot the damn thing, David!

-We opened fire on the hapless Eliza. She jerked under the impact of the MA5B's armor-piercing rounds and crumpled to the ground.
-That was when I noticed Sonny had disappeared.

CH: David, find Sonny! Now!

-Sonny was the baby of the family. We kept him safe, because he was the youngest, and recruitment into UNSC wasn't his choice. We all knew what it was like to be new. It was scary. It was traumatizing.
-But we didn't find a trace. I was close to crying, but I held it in.
-Like I always did. Like I had to.
-Harriet was suddenly at my side, her cold, analytical tone sliding into my ears like a wet leech.

H-ONI: You won't find him.
CH: I'm going to try.
H-ONI: Doesn't matter. He's gone now.

-I froze in place. Depolarizing my visor, so I could look her in the eye, and assumed a defensive position.
-She didn't depolarize her visor. Cocky-

CH: What do you know that we don't?

-David stood behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him slowly withdraw a combat knife from his chest armor.
-The shine of the titanium alloy flickered across Harriet's visor. Her helmet moved a fraction of an inch, taking in the knife and my tightened grip on my assault rifle.

H-ONI: Plenty of things, Carly. I know you worked for a rebel organization in 2547. Assassin. You're the one that killed General Joseph Farley. You used a S2 AM silenced sniper rifle with an Oracle scope. You were born on-
CH: That's enough, spook. Being a smart-ass will get you shot.

-I interrupted Harriet when I saw David look sharply at me. What I did back then was my decision, and I'll admit, it wasn't smart.
-But now? I-

H-ONI: David Freeman. You're not so innocent, either. When you joined the ODST program, you accidently murdered a fellow man. No one would find out though, would they?
DF: Shut your hole, oni.
H-ONI: Really, David? You know as well as I do what's going on here, and why I'm here as well.

-I took a moment to glance back at David, who avoided my gaze.

CH: Why? What's going on here?
DF: Shut up, Holiday. This doesn't concern you.

-I resisted the urge to beat the crap out of him for talking to me like that. I didn't, and instead settled for glaring at him.

CH: What the hell? Of course this concerns me! We're on a freakin' desolate moon in a god-knows-where system, being attacked by, by, god knows what, and you tell me it doesn't concern me?!
DF: Shut up, Carly! Everyone, just be quiet!

-We were quiet. We listened. Nothing though, no wind. Some breathing…