One of the iconic stories of the FFF, I think. Also very old. Anybody see where Wombat ran off to, out of curiousity?
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Amidst the terrifying sounds of the battle, he ran; ran as fast as his legs would allow, though his combat suit greatly limited his speed. He could hear the screams of the marines as they were being eaten alive, the commanders attempting to create order in the chaos known as survival. He could hear the continual patter of Gauss rifles, and smell the burning flesh of the Zerg.
”Zerg”. It was almost a completely new thing to his mind. He had signed up to fight Zerg, and got more than he bargained for. They looked like any other strange creature under glass, but he’d never seen them in action until now.
As he continued running in the darkness, he looked down at his Gauss rifle; it read thirty three. Thirty three was all the bullets he had left on his person. Thirty three. He’d need that thirty three soon. He could assure himself that.
He was loosing his footing. After stumbling and falling face first onto hard ground, he stayed motionless for a moment with his rifle tucked underneath him.
What was going on? Why was everything so quiet? Just moments ago the carnage could be heard loud and clear. Maybe there was a retreat, his mind told him. But then he’d hear the survivors running. Damn the open ground- he felt alone and unsafe; an uneasy nakedness that man can feel when exposed to an unseen foe. He had nowhere to hide beyond the field. He forced himself franticly to his feet and continued on across the dark field. He was almost at the end of the field, just a few more feet. Smack! He tripped on a something dark and went face first into hard ground.
He silently cursed under his breath.
After saying a short prayer to God he quickly rolled around on his back, rifle pointed up. His finger was already half pulling the trigger to release a precious burst of bullets. He breathed a sigh of relief as the word softly came from his lips.
Nothing was there, much to his liking. He still had some time to get some more ammo… if he was quick. Searching about in almost complete darkness he looked for bodies; if only his emergency light was still working.
What about what he tripped over? That could’ve been a body. Bodies sometimes held ammo.
He spun around on his hands and knees and groped about in the darkness until he came upon a hand. Finally!
“Hey buddy, are you ok? You wouldn’t have any ammo would you?” He asked the body.
He pulled the hand towards him as to bring the rest of the body, but all he held was a disembodied hand. He wretched in disgust as the smell of death drifted into his nostrils, for even in the dark, the corpse was revolting. But he had to get ammo. He threw the hand and aside and groped further until he came upon what felt like a combat suit.
What was that? He heard a noise; saw a shadow.
He frantically looked around, but saw nothing.
He had to hurry, but focus at the same time on his goal; ammo. Sure enough, he felt into the little compartment near the belt on his fallen comrade. One clip left. He slipped it into his belt compartment. Now, back to running. He pulled himself up on his feet and lunged forward.
But as his legs slowly accelerated him forward he stopped short. He could hear heavy breathing. Had his “corpse” actually been still alive? He froze in place. A quick glance behind him confirmed no movement from the handless marine.
A deep sense of dread flooded over him as he slowly realized that he wasn’t alone with the body.
He removed the almost empty clip and jammed the full clip to his gun. He coked it and leveled it at his waist. As he did this, he spun around screaming wildly and let fly a fury of bullets into the shadow that stood in front of him. Blood sprayed his visor as the loud hum of the gauss Rifle was drowned out by the terrifying roars that emitted from the creature before him.
His gun clicked. His eyes peered down at the rifle gage- it read “zero”. Had he really gone through a whole clip that fast? He wiped his mask clear of blood, but it didn’t help- he couldn’t see two feet in front of him. But it had to of died- the creature. He could still hear the animal writhing in pain, and hear the labored breathing as it gasped for air. But what he didn’t hear was the silent, sadistic purr of the creature behind him; its scythe like arm raised high, ready to strike- eager for the kill.
Another man breathed no more; a simple casualty of war.