Sunday, December 28, 2008
I was browsing DA when I came across this wonderful fanfiction by clueless132. Enjoy!
Rachel screamed as a wave of plasma hit the street, vaporizing everything it its path. The buildings to either side were in flames or completely gone. Dead bodies covered the ground and the air was thick with smoke. The Covenant’s attack had been sudden and caught the citizens off guard. On the street chaos reigned. Covenant troops were dropping to the ground from the countless dropships that filled the sky while people were running, yelling desperately as they tried to escape the merciless slaughter. Sydney was slowly being overrun.
The girl gagged as the foul smell of burning flesh filled her nostrils. Her eyes watered and she struggled to breath through the smoke that hung heavy in the once clear air. Terror overwhelmed her mind when she saw a person nearby fall to his knees as an Elite rounded the corner, plasma rifle in hand. Rachel could do nothing but watch as the warrior fired its weapon, killing the man with a well placed shot to the head. Tearing her eyes from the horrid sight, Rachel gathered her wits together and forced her legs to carry her away to safety – wherever that was.
She ran to the closest house, hoping to find cover there. The house was now in ruins, as were the surrounding buildings, but even though the front had been destroyed by a stream of plasma, there was still a chance for her to seek refuge there. Behind her, she heard an alien cry and threw a quick glance over her shoulder. It had spotted her and seemed to be gesturing toward her with the hand that held the rifle while looking back the way it had come, shouting something in its own tongue. A fresh wave of fear swept threw her as she saw two more Elites join the other, also talking. With great effort, Rachel mustered a new wave of energy and once again ran for the only shelter within sight. She blindly made her way through the smoky street to the house. Still, she could hear the shouts and clicks of the Covenant troops behind her and forced herself to run faster than she ever had before.
Once inside the remains of the house, Rachel frantically searched for a place where she could hide herself. Finally she wrenched open a scorched door to a closet and, closing it behind herself, huddled into a ball in the corner. Outside, she could hear the dull clunk that was gradually growing louder. The soft mumble of an Elite joined the steady thump of their hooves hitting the arid floors of the house. Another replied but this time it sounded… excited? Did they think it was some sort of game? To land on a planet inhabited by humans and kill them all? Rachel shuddered with disgust at the thought but was quickly brought back to reality when another unfamiliar noise filtered through the air. It sounded like laughter. More low growls and clicks followed. The girl shivered with horror as she saw a shadow loom closer toward the closet through the crack between the door and floor. Suddenly there was a groaning sound and the door was torn from its hinges. Rachel cowered there in the corner, dread filled her mind, knowing that this was the end for her.
I don’t want to die, she thought despairingly. I’m only fifteen.
The three plasma rifles aimed at her were the only things she could see. She closed her eyes, her body shaking uncontrollably. Death never came.
Slightly opening her eyes again, Rachel saw that the three aliens were talking again, but they still kept their icy gaze directed at her. They seemed to be arguing. It was only then when the girl realized just how big these Covenant warriors were. They stood at least 8 feet tall and their form was menacing; their arms looked lean but powerful, and the legs were long and were capable of carrying heavy weights over a long distance at a great speed. She could she her tear-streaked, terrified face reflecting back in the blue armour that covered their bodies. While their threatening stance was obvious, they were also cunning and quick thinkers much unlike the Brutes, who were still savage fighters but they didn’t tend to stop and consider things in battles – they simply went forth and destroyed everything that opposed it or died trying.
Rachel’s panic grew as the minutes went by yet still the Elites argued. It finally came to a point where she couldn’t bear it anymore and with a cry, jumped up and ran between the surprised troops. She sprinted as fast as her legs could carry her through the remains of the house and back onto the street again. While she was running at her fastest, it couldn’t compare to the speed of which the Elites could manage. It only took them a second before they snapped out of their daze and started after her. Despite the fact that they were in pursue of the girl, they didn’t fire their weapons. Rachel took note of this as she stumbled into an alleyway and continued.
She was exhausted, it was plain to see but still she was driven forward by repeating the simple phrase over and over in her mind; I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die.
But it as she reached the end of the alley, she could hear the sound of gunfire as well as plasma. Hope flickered within her heart as she peered around the corner to see human soldiers quickly moving to set up defences and secure the area. But what hope she had vanished when she heard the yells of the Elites behind her.
For a moment her wits went on strike and she stood there, frozen to the spot. If she ran out onto the street then it would be more than likely that she would be caught up in the crossfire. But if she simply stood there, then the Elites would get her. Either way her chances of survival looked bleak. Even if she wanted to run onto the road, she couldn’t get her legs to move so instead she screamed.
“Help! Help me!”
But her voice was drowned out by the explosions and shouts that rang through the street. When the Elites reached her one knocked her to the ground and pinned her down its large hoof. The girl let out a cry of pain as her back hit the pavement but even as she did so the breath was knocked from her lungs. She tried to scream again but only managed a small whimper of despair.
“Don’t make a sound, human,” snarled the Elite that held her down. The fact that it suddenly spoke her own language only contributed to Rachel’s fear and confusion. Why hadn’t they killed her yet?
Nonetheless, she reluctantly stopped squirming beneath its hoof and remained silent, watching the three aliens above her with frightened eyes. One of the Elites said something in a low voice to its supposed leader, while keeping its rifle trained at her head. The leader nodded and again spoke to Rachel.
“If you do as I say, then you won’t be harmed, girl.”
Rachel stared back up at the Elite. Why didn’t they just kill her? From what she knew, the Covenant never took prisoners. And was it even worth staying alive if the Elites wanted her for something?
Rachel tried to say that she’d rather die then let them take her but no words came out of her mouth. She was in too much shock. The Elite seemed to mistake her silence as an agreement because it then motioned with its hands and the other two moved back down the alley to check to see if the passage was clear.
But as the Elite lifted its giant hoof off of her, Rachel regained her senses and she instantly jumped up and made a break for it, running out onto the road. The gunfire had ceased so she was able to hear the surprised yells of the Marines that had cleared the street of any Covenant troops. She turned to the group and saw some of the men suddenly raise their assault rifles so she swirled around to see that the Elite had quickly reacted to her abrupt getaway.
“Help-” Rachel’s cry was cut off by the Elite’s hand coming into contact with the side of her head. The blow sent her tumbling to the ground. Her vision blurred and she felt something trickling down her cheek. Moaning as the pain intensified, she brought her hand up to her head and felt the blood mixing in with her blonde-brown hair. Trying to keep her eyes focused, she was just able to make out the shape of the Elite towering over her. It seemed to bend over and Rachel felt a large, four-fingered hand seize her arm and begin to pull her up.
“We’ve got hostiles!”
“Go, go, go!”
The voices sounded distant to the girl as she was thrown over the Elite’s shoulder. Rachel’s eyes drooped shut as exhaustion swept through her, but she could still hear the gunfire that followed. Forcing her eyes open, she saw that the other two Elites had stepped onto the street and were returning fire. She could also hear the pounding of the Elites heavy footsteps as it ran back up the road and up the alleyway again.
Rachel’s sight was slowly returning to her and she began to beat at the Elites armour hopelessly but was repelled by the shields that protected the warrior. Yet still she struggled, refusing to give up without a fight.
Popping out from the alley, the Elite took a moment to carefully overlook the area for enemies. Seeing none, the Elite emerged from its cover.
“Let… let me go,” Rachel groaned. She was suddenly ashamed of herself – ashamed that she wasn’t strong enough to put up a fight. But she was tired, confused and in pain.
The Elite seemed to smirk. “You’re wasting your energy, girl. Your struggles are useless.”
Rachel let out a sob. The Elite was right – she was pathetic. The tears finally streamed down her grimy cheeks. She could do nothing but hang there and let the Elite take her away. She didn’t know where she was or where the alien was taking her – the only thing she was aware of was the repetitive thuds as the Elite ran and the sound of the dropships that streamed across the murky sky.
Rachel shrieked as she was unexpectedly dumped on the ground behind an overturned car. She landed on her rear – painfully. She looked up to see the Elite crouching down beside her. It snarled softly as it gazed out across the street. It turned to the girl.
“Don’t move and don’t make a sound. If I come back and find you gone then make no mistake – I’ll hunt you down and punish you for your disobedience,” it said in a cold tone as it reached for the plasma rifle, clipped to its waist. Again it peered around the shelter the car provided and sprang out with such speed, Rachel almost missed it. The Elite fired and she heard a burst of gunfire being returned. The Elites shields flickered as it dived into a nearby building. A yell followed; “C’mon, let’s take that bastard out!”
On her hands and knees, Rachel crawled out to see a group of four Marines moving cautiously up to the building the Elite had disappeared into. As she looked out over the scene, she felt a large hand grab her arm roughly. She spun and let out another cry as she was hauled off the ground. It was another Elite – probably one from before. She was slightly winded as she was once again thrown over its shoulder like a rag doll.
“No! Let me go!” she shouted desperately as tears welled up in her eyes. “Put me down! I’d rather die than have you take me away.” Letting out a strangled sob, she beat at the armour but either the Elite ignored her or didn’t hear her at all because it turned and ran off with her in the direction that they had come. Straining her neck, she saw that the Marines had vanished. Letting the tears flow freely down her face once more, she continued to struggle and thrash about on the Elites shoulder.
“Human, there’s no point in resisting,” snapped the Elite that held her, clicking its mandibles as it spoke. Rachel didn’t listen and kept hammering at the armour. Suddenly, she felt the Elite come to a halt. The large fist coming at her face was last thing she saw.
Rachel woke. However, her eyes remained shut. Moaning, she rolled over and opening her eyes, she realised that she was on the ground.
As she sat up the throbbing in her head grew worse. Clenching her teeth together to stop herself from crying out in pain, Rachel slowly took a look around. She was still outside on the street and as expected, the apartment buildings on both sides were aflame or in smoking ruins. She inhaled sharply when her eyes landed on a mangled corpse beside her on the road. It was the Elite that had been carrying her. What happened? The girl frowned as she tried to remember. Giving up, she stood and rubbed her temples. How did the Elite die? An explosion, perhaps? She pushed these thoughts away as the pain in her head deepened. She didn’t care about the Elite – all she wanted was to get out of there and find someone that could help her.
Walking down the street, she glanced absently to either side from time to time. She had a feeling that somebody was nearby although she wasn’t sure if it was a friend. Looking to the sky, she saw that there were still many Covenant dropships but she also spotted a few human Pelicans flying through the air.
She was interrupted from her thoughts as she heard a new sound – this one sounded like low grunts and barks. Again, seeking cover behind the remains of a Covenant ship that had been shot to the ground, Rachel vigilantly gazed around the corner and saw exactly what she had heard – five Covenant Grunts moving carefully through the debris of the dropship. In their hands they a plasma pistol but while four wore orange armour, the fifth’s was a bright red. Although the surprising part was that they weren’t speaking their own language.
“Why Prophet send our squad out to look for human?”
“Didn’t say – he just said to bring one back and make sure it alive.”
Rachel’s breathing quicken as she listened – was this way the Elites earlier hadn’t killed her? There wasn’t really any other explanation for it. Who were these ‘Prophets’? And why would they even want a human brought back to them? Rachel tensed as she saw one of the Grunts pause and sniff the air.
“What is it?” another Grunt asked.
“I smell human.”
Rachel’s breathing quickened as she heard the footsteps of the Covenant troops as they warily shuffled closer. Her panic grew as she searched the area fruitlessly for somewhere else she could hide herself. Seeing nothing, she did the only thing she could do – she leapt out of her position with a shrill scream and ran through the pack of Grunts, knocking one clean off its feet. As she ran off down the road, she heard the surprised yelps behind her. But the girl did her best to ignore everything around her and concentrated on getting away from everything… but there wasn’t anywhere to go. The entire city was in ruins. The Covenant were everywhere, killing anybody they saw.
As she ran, Rachel suddenly tripped and fell forward. She lay there, clutching her side as the pain increased and her body shook with exhausted sobs.
There’s no point in me running, she thought miserably. My parents and friends are dead. I have nothing left to live for.
She shuddered as she thought back. When the Covenant dropships were first sighted in the sky, she was walking with her friends into town. A building close by had exploded and the blast knocked her out. When she woke up, she saw that her friends had all been killed. She rushed back to her apartment, alone and frightened. But to her horror, she found that the Covenant had beaten her there. Nearby on the path, she saw her parents bodies, covered in plasma burns. They died trying to find her. Hot tears filled her eyes again. Sadness was the only thing she felt. Her body ached and so she curled up into a ball and cried with both pain and grief. She simply lay there in the middle of the street for a few minutes and when the tears stopped, she sat up and drying her cheeks with her worn jacket sleeve. Looking back, she frowned. Where were those Grunts?
“Hey, what are you doing all the way out here?”
The voice cut into Rachel’s thoughts, making her jump. She turned and the relief she felt chased away all the pain and sorrow that had plagued her. She climbed to her feet and with trembling legs, made her way to the Marine that had called out. The soldier jogged down toward her. As he reached the terrified girl, her hand darted out and grabbed his arm.
“They… they tried to t-take me!” she cried, falling to her knees once more.
The Marine looked at her in confusion. “Who? The Covenant?”
Nodding vigorously, she threw a quick glimpse over shoulder back down the direction she had come from. “They grabbed me,” she went on. “Carried me away. I tried to make them let go of me but they didn’t listen.”
“Look, it’s gonna be ok,” the Marine said, glancing about. “C’mon, I’ll take you to the nearest Evac point.” Pulling her up, the man then led her away through the remains of a truck. Rachel let the soldier lead her away. Fatigue consumed her and she had trouble thinking straight – so she just went where the Marine took her.
The Marine swore suddenly and dragged the girl into another alley. Rachel looked around, perplexed.
“What is it?”
The soldier put a finger to his lips. “Be as quiet as you can,” he whispered.
Nodding dumbly, Rachel shrank back into the shadows behind a few garbage cans and tried to ignore the stench they produced. The Marine peered carefully around the corner and waited. Finally, after a few minutes, he stood and took one last look over the area before moving back to the girl.
“Alright, let’s get going.”
Standing, Rachel followed the Marine further down the dark alleyway. “What was all that about?”
“Just saw a group of Grunts walking by,” was the curt reply. A few more moments of silence went by as they walked until the Marine spoke.
“What’s your name?” The question surprised the girl and she took a couple of seconds before she answered.
“Rachel,” she said quietly.
“You said that the Covenant tried to take you? What do you mean?”
“Well one of those tall ones… an Elite caught me and threw me over his shoulder. Then… well I can’t remember much more because I was knocked unconscious. But it’s weird – I thought the Covenant never took in prisoners.”
The Marine nodded slowly as he listened. “It is strange. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone to be taken by them and come back alive.”
As they came to end of the alley, the Marine slowed and once again paused and checked to see if the area was secure before emerging from the cover with the girl following closely behind. But as they stepped out of the dark, Rachel froze and the Marine instantly had his weapon directed at the threat that had seemingly appeared from nowhere. Rachel stared at the two huge beasts with a mixture of awe and fear. They stood at least two and a half metres tall and both were covered in blue-grey armour. She could see bright orange and yellow highlights in the few patches of exposed skin. They had only slits where the girl supposed their eyes should be and had long, razor sharp spines producing from their backs. On one arm they carried a thick, heavy shield made from some sort of alloy and on the other they held a cannon.
One of the creatures raised its arm, pointing the cannon straight at the two humans.
“Move!” The Marine’s voice cut through Rachel’s head and a split second later she dived to the left while he leapt to right. They moved just in time – the creature fired its weapon and Rachel was blinded a bright light for a moment. However, even though the shot missed her, the heated air around it had still burned her arm. She felt light-headed as her arm seared with pain. She heard a scream… was that her?
Her vision returned slowly and she saw that one of the aliens was preparing another shot. Panic washed through her tired body and she desperately tried to move her legs but they didn’t respond. The girl turned onto her side and began to push herself up from the ground although her injured arm collapsed under the weight, leaving Rachel lying there, completely helpless. So she simply waited for death to take her as it should have long ago. She turned away from the advancing enemies and closed her eyes. Where had that Marine gone? Was he dead?
However, as she lay there, she heard more shouts coming from the way she and the Marine had come. Rachel opened her eyes and saw a pair of boots right beside her face and she was abruptly lifted up and held close to an armoured body. Moaning, the girl brought her hands up to cover her ears as the sound on gunfire erupted close by. Then looking up, she saw that her rescuer wore a strange murky green coloured armour that covered his – or maybe her – entire body. Although, the helmet visor was golden and obscured the soldier’s face.
Rachel’s eyes drooped shut but the ringing sound of gunfire continued to echo in her ears. Her world faded to black and the last thing she remembered was the soldier carrying her away….
Waking, Rachel groggily rolled over but her eyes snapped open when she felt someone wrapping a cloth around her arm. A large hand gently came down on her shoulder.
“Try no to move – it’ll hurt for a while but it should heal over time.”
The deep male voice calmed her but it also the same time as when the throbbing pain settled in. Looking up, Rachel saw that it was the soldier with the strange armour that had taken her away.
“Where am I?” Rachel asked, her voice hoarse.
“Still in Sydney.”
Rachel nodded slowly and looked around. They were still out on the street but she had a feeling that it was… safe. She also spotted a few more injured Marines lying close by being treated by medics.
The soldier beside her rose to his feet and said, “When you get out of here, ask someone for a proper bandage. That cloth won’t last long.”
Rachel looked up and stared intently at the visor, trying to make out his face.
“Thanks,” she whispered and leaned back against the wall of the building. The soldier nodded once, then walked off, weapon in hand.
Sighing, Rachel turned her eyes towards the sky and saw that there were no longer any enemy dropships flying about. She couldn’t hear any gunfire or sounds of battle – was it over? No, something was telling her that it hadn’t ended… not yet. She shivered as she thought back to the events that had happened earlier. Rachel knew that she could never forget this day – that it would haunt her for the rest of her life. She had lost her family and friends, so what could she do now? Where would she go?
Rachel, however, shoved these thoughts away. Right now, all she wanted to do was rest and to stop thinking about her worries and doubts. Closing her eyes, she let herself drift away from reality. Who knows? Maybe she’ll wake and find that this was nothing but a dream… nothing more than a nightmare… but there was one thing that she knew for certain – that when she woke, she would continue her life and keep moving forwards.
After all, why give up?