Chapter 51: A Lament for Felixs Platoon
Date: November 26, 3007
It was her that first noticed the shrieking bearing down upon them. It was her that first saw it rush at them from the sky like a meteor. It was Caleio who tried to shout out to her captain, to warn her, but it was already too late.
The explosion from the shell was deafening, the shockwave throwing her down into the ground. An atrocious ringing filled her ears, as if her brains had just turned into the Liberty Bell back on Earth. Crying out in pain and holding her hands clamped to her ears, Caleio stumbled through the smoke, trying desperately to find Felix.
As the dust cleared, though, she saw him, screaming something at Michael who was laying with his back propped up against the low wall separating them from the infinite sky. It took her a while, but suddenly, Caleio realized she was in the middle of a bloody mess. Blood trickled down from her forehead, but it was not her own.
And then, a crackling sound filled the air, muffling the ringing for a few moments. A figure appeared from out of the blue right in front of Felix, and it pointed a rifle directly on his forehead. Nova uncloaked right in the middle of the group, her blonde ponytail bobbing up and down as she materialized in the unknown wind.
Nova! Damiver suddenly exclaimed. Novas head jerked towards Damivers. Caleio was sure she was staring straight at him through her night vision goggles. But when she didnt react to Damivers voice, Caleio suddenly pieced the puzzle together.
It all made sense now. Nova couldnt see in the middle of the day wearing night vision goggles. Her mind was guiding her through the city. Whatever the Dominion was trying to do to her, it made Caleio sick, making her feel an ounce of pity before realizing Nova had her S-36 pointed at Felixs forehead.
Nova, dont do this! Damiver shouted pleadingly. A chunk of the wall exploded as a stream of bullets met the marble, making Damiver duck. Nova
Nova whipped around, taking the muzzle of her rifle off of Felixs head. As Caleio looked on from the other side of the bridge, it seemed as if Nova was confused. But then, she realized Nova was in agony as she stumbled to her knees, her hands clawing at her head. Whatever it was, Caleio would never find out, for Felix had sprinted across the bridge once more to her side.
Cal, keep firing! he panted in exhaustion, They must not take the bridge!
But what about Nova Caleio replied in exasperation.
Never mind her. Youre still my sergeant. Now hold them off! Felix snapped irritably and reloaded his own S-16. Caleio swore under her breath and let out a stream of white hot bullets over the bridge. A few screams punctured her eardrums, making her smile once more. She had almost forgot how fun this used to be.
A grenade suddenly landed on her lap. Immediately, Caleio dropped her rifle and grabbed the grenade. Beside her, Zannas eyes dilated in horror as Caleio straightened up. Without hesitating, she pulled her arm back and launched the bomb back in the Dominions direction. A bullet whizzed by, grazing her cheek. As Caleio dropped back down to the ground, she heard the explosion tear through the Dominions lines, followed by hellish screams of agony. But the humanoid voices were quickly drowned out again by the persistent gunfire.
Nice throw, Cal! Zanna shouted over the chatter of automatic weapons.
Thanks Zanna! Caleio replied graciously. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eyes, she realized the Dominion was already half way across the bridge. She looked from the advancing footmen to Zanna, and felt a lump rise in her throat.
Zanna, suit up, Caleio shouted as she emptied the remaining bullets in her clip. Reaching down to her pack, her hands grasped one, and only one magazine. Cursing profusely, she jammed the clip home into her S-16 and locked and loaded. Then, she turned to Zanna, who had strapped on her DR-14 Dark Ritual Flamethrower.
Zanna I have to ask you to do something, Caleio shouted, trying to keep her emotions in check.
Anything, Sergeant! Zanna screamed back, readying the plasma fuel cells on her back.
I I dont know how to say this, but the Dominion is getting through, and but Caleio was cut off.
Cal, Zanna said firmly, I just wanna tell you. Youre the biggest bi*** Ive ever met in my entire life. A slight grin etched itself across her grimy and sweaty face, Thank you.
And with that, Zanna emerged from cover, readying both of her wrist nozzles out in front of her. Screaming furiously at the top of her lungs, she charged forwards and squeezed the palm triggers.
Two streams of blue-white flames charged forwards, incinerating everything in their paths. Dual snakes of fire whipped around, swallowing up the entire front row of Dominion soldiers. From behind her wall, Caleio could see only Zannas figure, silhouetted by the towering infernos.
Suddenly, Caleio saw her left knee collapse to the ground. The streams of fire ceased for a split second, before firing up again. Zanna was far in front of the bridge now, kneeling amidst a road full of charred and blackened bodies. Caleio winced as she saw another bullet hit Zanna in the stomach. Amazingly, she was still going; Caleio knew she wasnt about to go down without a fight.
Cal, what in the f*** is that?! Felix roared in shock as he pointed towards Zannas two jets of flames.
Zannas last stand Caleio whispered back and the two of them looked on as Zannas progress slowed, another bullet hitting her body. Caleio felt tears welling up in her eyes, and she blindly grasped out at Felixs hand. She felt him give her a tight squeeze.
Then, the twin streams of flame ceased, permanently. Caleio watched in horror as Zannas head snapped back, bring her body sprawling to the floor like a rag doll. Felix swallowed once, trying to hold back his own tears, and then took aim with his S-16. The instant he squeezed the trigger, a massive explosion ravaged the street once more. His bullet imbedded itself into Zannas fuel cells before exploding a fraction of a second later. Shielding her eyes, Caleio saw a piercing white light rush out from Zannas body, blowing hundreds of the Dominions soldiers into the sky.
As the flames faded to smoldering ashes, Zanna Harding had left her final mark upon the world.
SON OF A BI***! Maldran roared as a towering inferno rose from the Dominions side of the bridge. He hunkered down, covering his head with his hands. All around him, he could hear shards and fragments of the street raining down upon him, showering him with stone and marble.
As the ground stopped shaking, he looked back up at Damiver and Nova. Whatever was happening, seemed too surreal to be true.
She was on the ground, shaking in agony, and Damiver was on top of her, trying to pry her head set off. The scene might have been comical if a thousand men werent shooting at them, their only purpose to destroy their lives.
Nova! Theyre doing this to you! Damiver shouted as he tore at the goggles. You have to get these off, Fenris is AAARRRRRGGGHHHHHH! Maldran watched in bewilderment as Damiver was sent flying backwards, landing with a dull thud right next to him. Swearing under his breath, Damiver straightened up, but Nova was already on top of him.
SHUT UP! SHUT UP GODDAMIT! MAKE IT STOP! Nova screamed. Her voice felt like a thousand hot knives sticking into Maldrans brain. He could feel his mind go haywire. The part that was holding on to reality realized Novas aggression inhibitors were about to overload.
Nova! Nova stop! Damiver pleaded hoarsely as he tried to keep Novas hands from strangling him. Maldran, however, could hear his voice being cut; Nova was about to blindly suffocate her love, and she wouldnt even know it.
Without warning, Caleio dashed up and rammed right into Nova, sending the two of them sprawling to the ground. She took her pistol from her holster and pressed it firmly on Novas head. Before Damiver could scream, a single gunshot rang through the air, and Nova stopped moving.
NNNNOOOOOOOOO! Damiver shrieked in vehemence, and lunged at Caleios neck. But Felixs powerful hands pried the insane Damiver off of Caleio, making him stumble over Novas motionless body.
However, when Maldran looked again, he noticed Nova was still breathing, and her headset was on the ground, shot cleanly in two.
Damiver! Hold on shes alive! Maldran shouted and crawled over to Novas fallen body. Both of them reached her at the same time, and she groggily opened her eyes, revealing two sparkling emeralds.
Damiver she groaned weakly, my head is killing me
Its ok, everythings fine, youre safe now, Damiver cried, now with tears of joy and relief.
Maldran scoffed at his empty lies. The odds of them surviving this assault were slim to none. You didnt have to be a Shadow to see through that futile lie.
Novas eyes suddenly dilated in horror. She scrambled up with a newfound energy and brought the realities back home. Sh**! Weve gotta get out of here.
Zannas sacrifice had held them at bay long enough for the remaining people in the group to refocus, but now, the Dominions soldiers were advancing forwards, unchecked by return fire.
Dammit, theyre all wearing Telepathy-Screens, Nova cursed as she whipped around to face them. Her cold-expressioned face had returned, leaving no marks of the temporary insanity they had just been through. Come on, lets go!
Maldran staggered up and started to run, but suddenly crashed into something. Dazed, he scanned the area for anything solid, but the way ahead was clear. Was he hallucinating?
The irony of the scene sickened him, as Fenris uncloaked directly in front of him. Maldran recoiled back; at the same time, Felix gave a shout of terror as Fenris pointed both of his Dual S-32 Sai Automatic pistols at the group. The firing from the Dominions army ceased at once, leaving the clearing dreadfully quiet.
Ive had enough of this sh**! Fenris growled in a very wolf-like manner. In the blink of an eye, he had vanished and reappeared behind Maldran, right next to Caleio.
No! Felix and Maldran screamed at the same time.
Fenris gave them a jeering sneer, then raised one of his pistols to Caleios head, Shall I do it?
Immediately, Maldran and Felix started to spew out replies, for him to take them instead, to shoot them and spare Caleio. Fenris grin just grew wider and wider; hearing people beg sounded like heavens trumpets right before he slaughtered them all.
Alright, you guys can have her, Fenris chuckled and threw Caleio back. Maldran caught her in his arms just as she fell. For a moment, their eyes met, and he felt a surge of emotion arise from within his heart, something he had not felt in a long time. He longed to kiss her on the lips one last time.
But her condition? Well thats for me to decide, Fenris laughed casually, and he pulled the trigger, punctuating the immobile air with a single bang.
A warm burst of blood splattered all over Maldrans hands. His eyes never left Caleios but that feeling deep down had been wiped away for the last time. Though his mouth screamed no, stubbornly resisting the realities of life, his heart slowly began to realize he would never have another chance. Her arms would never be wrapped around him again; her lips would never be warm against his again. Maldrans physical tears melded with hers, as Caleio Somus cried with him as she ascended the white stairs to heavens golden gates.
Tears blinded Maldrans eyes, falling lightly onto Caleios broken body. It felt like the end of all things, the Armageddon. He sat there, absentmindedly cradling his love, oblivious to the realities around him. In the back of his mind, Maldran knew now that she was gone, Felixs entire platoon was wiped out. His tears continued to silently land on Caleios silver hair.
Suddenly, a huge bellow reverberated through the crumbling city. Maldrans head jerked up and he saw Fenris back away uncertainly. Then, emerging from behind Maldran, a lone figure advanced through the swirling mists. He proceeded forwards; every step he took seemed to rumble the ground. As his face surfaced from within the shadows, Maldrans heart gave an unexpected turn.
Behind Mikhail Shales triumphant countenance, his last 100 men stormed out of the shadows, their weapons trained on the Dominion. Heya bro, miss me?