My damn computer was a day ahead, Jesus, I almost fainted!
Oh I see, well looking forward to reading it, will it be out by the 25th?
And it all starts to go downhill from here...
Chapter 30: Can You Hear Me Running
Ellie, sweetheart…that’s not lady-like. Ellie?
An eight-year-old Eloise McNight shifted in her seat, swinging her legs a few inches above the floor, loathing the fact that her "mother" made her wear a dress today. It wasn't just embarrassing enough that she had to wear a dress, but a dress with white tights and glossy, strapped dress shoes to match the frills on the hinges of her formal garment. She sulked in her chair, knowing that there was no point arguing about her "unlady-like" behavior as she sat in-between her foster parents, a couple with some military prestige, summoned to a military recognition and memorial that day.
As the chairman wrapped up his speech concerning the commencement, the crowd of people in their chairs stood up and applauded, including her parents. Eloise made the initiative to stand as well, not for the sake of the speech, but to finally get out of her seat so she could scratch her rear from the itchy tights her mother made her wear. Hence the other reason she hated wearing tights, other than feeling like a "dork" for wearing them.
Moving through the crowd of people while holding her mother's hand her father turned to her as he smiled,
"You look pretty Ellie," he would say.
"My name is Raven, Daddy," she would correct him. He chuckled,
"Of course angel, but for the sake of formalities, you are Eloise."
Raven sulked, followed by a grumble that was always expected of her,
Captain McNight smiled at his defiant foster daughter, whom was trying to remember her manners.
"That's my girl," he would say as he patted her on the shoulder.
Her parents would often mingle during formal military functions, which would subject Eloise to have to socialize with the other "kids," from other military personnel. But she knew it was the same front that all the kids would put up every time Eloise would attempt to mix because rumor had it that she was one of those Feral kids…a label that infiltrated not only her school life but her church congregation as well as among the military personnel, and Eloise loathed it.
So Eloise would often slump behind her mother while still holding her hand, not wanting to be gawked at, especially in a stupid dress! In the array of conversations that blurred into audio slurs, one voice was clearly shot through the ballroom as her father turned around to be greeted by the host.
"Captain McNight…oh wait, my apologies, soon to be Major McNight, " the host greeted her father, along with a member of the cabinet and a Major. The three men of military prestige among other talents gathered as they talked with great respect for her father's promotion.
So daddy gets to be a bigger boss…whoopie…that means he gets to be away more, Raven groaned to herself. But at least it was another excuse to ask him for that solder she always wanted so she wouldn't have to keep borrowing his stuff to improve her bottle rockets.
"Ellie…would you come here please…" she could hear her father calling from the distance. Raven would turn to look up as her mother nodded and let her loose. She slowly walked over to the group of men, not quite sure what to make of it, otherwise, but one thing was for sure and that was she still felt dorky in her little get-up, which consequently was the first thing the host took notice of.
"Well, don't you look lovely," he said rather sincerely, not that it made her feel any better.
"Tha…thank you…sir," she squeaked out, trying to be courteous so that her mother would be pleased with her behavior to make up for her defiance from earlier. Although everybody knew she wasn't the McNight's "real" kid, on the outside, she looked liked any other little girl at the party with ribbons in her long black hair, pinned up into a elegant bun, wearing a "dorky" dress.
The endless clichÚ of adults admiring "Eloise's" attire was becoming tedious as she contemplated some way to escape the bombardment of complements of a dress she didn't even like.
"Ellie, you look so nice,"
"Your little Eloise is so pretty,"
"…birdie lady, wake up!"
The strain felt in the early morning as voices carried all around the room, was overwhelming for Raven as she woke from her drunken slumber. Peering with her groggy eyes, the sense of haste fills the room as movement was grazing all around her, the urgency that was happening in the room.
Delilah was still shaking her shoulder, trying to wake her up,
"C'mon, Birdie Lady…we have to go…the bad people have found us."
Bad people? Raven drifted in and out of her dazed state, as her eyes dropped back into her head, then suddenly she felt someone pulling her up on her feet, the voice stern and pressing,
"Rav…c'mon…" she could hear, until the hands that held her shook her back into the present, "…Feral…damnit, we gotta go…now!"
Baird tried to shake her into reason as he knelt down and picked up her pistols, loading them in her holsters. She looks around, trying to make sense of the commotion.
"Wha…who, what's…happening," she muttered trying to focus on the problem at hand, rubbing her eyes so she could see more clearly.
"We've been discovered…we gotta leave, right now!"
"What…how'd did…we," she groaned while Baird tried to get their equipment together.
"I don't have time to discuss this, just…let's go…you too kid!" Baird says, while pulling Raven along by her arm, out of the shelter, as Delilah followed close behind. She quickly noticed that the sun was not completely up as the darkness still hung over the sky while the horizon bled in an array of colors just ahead.
Billy and Jon had their horses saddled up while Sven and Cole, rummaged for some ammo in a nearby storage case. Abby came out with some supplies while Delilah was dressed up in a coat and hoodie, wrapped in a wool scarf.
"Come here sweety," Billy said to Delilah as she ran over to him, "…you're going with Abby for right now, do you understand?"
"But why can't I go with you daddy?" Delilah fretted as her gray eyes began to moisten.
"The bad men are coming," Billy explained as best as he could to the child, hoping that she would understand their plight, "…we have to fight them off or else they'll come and get you,"
The Gears changed out their cartridges, loading up on as much ammo as they could carry. Sven slapped a round in the chamber while he filled his pouch with rifle clips and shotgun rounds. Cole strapped another cartridge into his ammo belt as he loaded up his Lancer. Baird pulled out his pistol, checking to see if the clip was full. Afterwards, he grabbed some shotgun shells and loaded up his Gnasher, throwing it on his back, along with his Lancer. Raven stumbled at first, trying to remember where she put the ammo for her Gorgon pistol, if it hadn't been rummaged through already. It was then that Cole stood up and turned her around,
"Feral, baby, these are for you," he said as he hands her some ammo for her Boltok. She cautiously takes them and loads up her Boltok.
"Th…thank, you," she replied, trying to wake up to the dire circumstance at hand.
Meanwhile, Baird walked over to Billy as the scouts loaded up the last of their ammunition.
"You boys must go east of here…we'll take the north," Billy suggested to Baird, "they can't follow both groups at the same time without dividing their numbers…and they know better than to divide their forces."
Baird nodded as he looked over his shoulder and glances at his squad, and then turned to Billy,
"If you head north, try to avoid the west crossing…we have reason to believe that the Locusts may be gathering in the mine area," said Baird as Billy nodded, "…also, is there a shortcut to get to Fort Block from here?"
"Yea, but you'll have to go around Plantire to get there," said Billy.
"Understood," Baird said as he signaled to Cole.
Abby hopped up into the saddle while Billy picked up Delilah, giving her a kiss on the cheek and placing her on the horse, behind Abby. Abby placed her feet into the stirrups and moved forward to give Delilah some room near the cantle.
"You girls go ahead…we'll catch up when it's clear," Billy said to Abby.
"And if you don't come," Abby asked suspiciously.
"You know the way home…just do what the Corporal said, avoid the west."
Abby nodded as Delilah started to wave,
"Bye mister," she called out, staring at Baird as she waved her hand at him.
"Bye mister Cole Train," she yelled out again, waving at Cole.
Cole waved to the little girl, bumping Baird in the arm with his elbow to get Baird to wave too. Grudgingly, Baird picked up his hand and waved slightly, watching the girl return a smile back.
Abby, pulls the horse back as the beast turned around and began to gallop out of the woods, moving north. The prospectors watched the girls ride off, making sure their path was clear as they loaded up on their own horses. Billy pulled the shotgun strap over his shoulder as he hopped up on his horse.
Suddenly, they could here a rumbling engine in the distance.
"I'll check it out," Ashley yelled out as he turned his horse and went out towards the direction of the commotion nearby. The Gears had their ammo gathered and their weapons loaded and ready to go as Cole wrapped the blanket around his arms and Sven wrapped a sash around his head with his sniper goggles strapped to his forehead, just in case. Baird wrapped a scarf around his neck while tying a skirt sash around his waist that dangled down to his knees. Raven on the other hand was trying to wrap her custom Feral sash around her head, but she was too groggy to get it right so she just whirled it around her neck for the time being and placed her pistols back into their holsters.
As the noise became more audible, the Gears went up and behind the shelter, followed by Billy and Jon.
"Aw, crap…I think I recognize that engine," Baird grumbled.
"It's a Dill, idn't it," Jon asked in anticipation.
The men sat behind the shelter in patience, waiting on Ashley, as they heard a galloping horse making it's way towards them.
Ashley made it over the hill and near the back of the shelter as he came to an abrupt halt, yelling frantically,
"Four soldiers on horseback and an APC…we need to go…NOW!"
"F***," Jon blasted as he pulled out his shogun from his coat. Billy turned to the Gears, as the Gears turned to Raven. She looked up drearily, trying to muster the words to remedy the situation.
"We…must go into…the woods back, there," she points behind them, "there is a rocky ledge…the vehicle cannot follow us there."
"But the horseback riders can," Sven blurted out, impatiently.
"That, is true…" Raven replied, "…but at least we don't have to worry…about the APC."
Despite Raven's "hangover," her strategic skills where still lucid. Billy turned to the Gears,
"Take the route your Feral guide suggested…go quickly…we will go another way."
Baird turned to Billy as he looked at the old man saddled in his horse,
"Billy, these are trained Gears that you're dealing with, not incompetent Stranded…they will flank you, and take you out." Baird said gravely.
"Well then, Corporal…I guess you better wish us lots of luck," Billy responded as he pulled back his horse and signaled Ashley and Jon to move on.
"Get back to the Block, soldier," Billy saluted, and then turned the animal around and galloped away, following the others.
"C'mon Damon…we gotta go," Cole persisted as Baird turned to Cole and nodded, grabbing Raven by her arm and started to move her forward.
"Let's go Feral…suck it up and move," he urged her.
"I'm…working on it…I just have a really, bad headache," she griped.
Sven went ahead of the group while Cole stayed at the end, looking over his shoulder, while they meandered around the conifer trees, trying to find the ledge that Raven was talking about. As they swerved around the trees, trying to move as fast as their legs could take them before the sun reaches the sky, they could hear faint noises in the distance.
"S***…what was that?" said Cole.
"Hey…I found the ledge…" Sven yelled out as the other three tuned into Sven's voice.
"Wait there, Vinny…we're coming," Baird yelled ahead, trying to move quickly while dragging Raven by her arm. Cole picks up the pace, still listening to the racket that was still audible from a distance.
The sun was seeping into the forest, as it's rays of light glistened into the snow covered branches. With visibility becoming more prevalent, Sigma needed to move quickly before the Stranded picked up their trail.
"Vinny?" Baird yelled out again.
"Up here, Corporal," Sven yelled back, waiving his hands in the air from the top of an incline, next to some grounded boulders. Baird moved around the trees, pushing through the snow and foliage on the ground as Cole followed close behind. Baird gets to the top and turns around to grab Raven by her hands and pulls her up. Once on top, she braces her back next to a boulder and starts to lean her head over, coughing.
Cole moves up with Lancer in hand as he hears a familiar sound, coming from Raven's groaning.
"Aw, man…I thinks she's going to hurl," Cole blurts out as Baird moves over to Raven, whom was pushing up some dry heaves.
"C'mon Rav…let it all out," Baird teases, patting her on the back while Raven swings her arm to shoo Baird away.
"Hey, what are we," Sven griped until he sees Raven heaving and then vomits as she falls onto all fours, thrusting her body while she gags, "…ahh, gross."
Cole looks over shoulder, trying to keep an eye out while Raven continues to barf.
"Baird, we need to hurry this up," Cole says with persistence.
"You hear that, Feral…can you barf any faster, we need to move," Baird scoffs as he walks over to her and lends out his hand.
Raven finally stops heaving as she drearily looks up and carefully takes Baird's hand. He pulls her up while trying to avoid stepping in her pool of vomit and setting her back on her feet as she swayed slightly.
"I'm…fine," she says as she starts to point past them, "…that way…follow the ledge."
"Alright, you heard her, let's go! Vin, lead the way," Baird orders as he grabs Raven's arm and pulls it up over his shoulder, dragging her along while Cole pushes from behind.
The noise Cole heard earlier was becoming audible again as the four stopped in their tracks to tune in and listen.
"Ahhh…that sounded a lot like gunfire," Cole muttered.
"F***, it is," Baird said while Vinny grabbed his rifle and turned to the others,
"Wait here…I'll see if I can get a look."
"Try not to give away our position, kid," Baird reminded him.
"Yes sir," Sven responds while climbs up to the top of a boulder to lookout of the woods. He props his rifle up, carefully looking through the scope.
The three could hear the noise clearly now, the sounds of men shouting blended with gunfire and the scorching sounds of horses shrieking.
"S***," Sven blurted out as he starts to dismount from the rock.
"That didn't sound good Vin," Baird said.
"They just took out Jon!"
"What?" Cole blurted out while Raven pulled herself away from Baird's grip and started to move ahead.
"We must move now!" she insisted, even though she was still shaking from the heaving.
"S***," Cole stammered as he started to follow Raven, with Baird and Sven close behind. The four move along the ridge, carefully trying to avoid the edge while staying hidden in the woods, moving through the snow. By now, the sun was already shining down through the trees from above. The night sky can no longer conceal them anymore.
Raven pushed herself, panting as she swayed sometimes but then straightened herself out. Baird watched her carefully to make sure she didn't pass out or fall over as she picked up the pace while the noise from the Stranded was fading away. Sven moved ahead of Cole and Baird as he tried to catch up to Raven.
"Feral…wait," Sven yelled out as they approached the edge of the forest.
"Let me get a look before we get out," he suggested.
Raven stopped in her tracks as she leaned against a tree to catch her equilibrium, giving Sven a nod and gestured,
"Up there…" she pointed near a boulder, "is where you go to get to the plateau…you may be able to get a view near that boulder over there, but any further may expose us."
"Alright…give me a minute," Sven said as he carefully moved towards the boulder to get a look.
Baird and Cole catch up to Raven as they stop and wait.
"What's Vinny doing?" Cole asked as he could see Sven trying to look out with his scope from the woods.
"Don't…go out yet…let Vinny get a look to see if it's clear," Raven insisted as she slumped along the tree trunk, groaning. Baird moves over to her as he kneels down,
"You don't look so good, Rav."
"I don't feel good, Damon."
"Can't hold the rum down too well, can you…"
"Baird, I don't even drink…I don't do this, often,"
"Then why the hell did you try to get yourself plastered last night?"
"I…had to, Damon. There was too…many of you," Raven mumbled as she brought her hand over her mouth and turned to the side. Baird quickly knew that she was going to vomit again so he grabbed her by her waist and straightened her out as she leaned her head to the ground and started to heave.
Cole came up as he too knelt over,
"Man, this is so bad timing."
"Tell me about it, Gus, " Baird cringed as he could hear the vomit gush from her body, feeling her stomach convulsing as it pushed everything out of her system. Raven stopped to catch her breath as she started to lean back, gasping for air. Baird pulled her back as he sat her down away from her pile of barf.
"Geez, Rav…I haven't seen a hangover like that since…" Baird turned over to Cole, "…since Rojas got wasted celebrating his kid's birth, remember Cole?"
"Oh yea…that boy was plastered, hehe…and he was so sick the next morning, we just dumped his sick ass in the bathtub and left him there all day." Cole recalled.
"Oh yea, we did leave him in the bathroom, didn't we," said Baird.
Raven was able to catch her breath as she looked up at Baird,
"The plateau, I was telling you about…it's that direction."
"Ok…so why are you telling us this now?" he asked.
Suddenly, Sven roadie ran up to them as he jumped down,
"They're moving to the west…" said Sven as he looked at Raven.
"Then we need to move, now…to avoid detection," Raven suggested while Sven put up his rifle and helped Baird put her back on her feet.
"Let's get moving," Baird said as Cole took the lead while Baird and Sven pulled Raven along.
Suddenly, they heard a horse shriek from a distance, followed by the sound of a woman screaming.
The four turn their concentration towards the noise coming from the horse as Baird growled to himself,
"Agh, we can't just ignore it," he said, "…I'll go check it out…the rest of you go to the plateau."
"Wait Damon…" Raven blurted out, "I'll go."
"Feral, you're too hungover to go anywhere right now…"
"I know this area better than you, Damon…I know where to go and where to hide. I can still do this…trust me."
Raven looked directly into Baird's eyes as he could see the sincerity in her suggestion. He could tell she wasn't going to back off from this easily.
"If you have doubts, just get up to the plateau and look out through Vinny's scope." Raven suggested while Baird gave her a perplexed look, wondering if he should even consider her going out in her condition. But Raven was right, she knew where to go and how to get there, without being noticed.
"Alright, Rav…I'm giving you thirty minutes, not a minute more, you hear me?"
Raven nodded as Baird looked at Cole and Sven,
"Go ahead, I'll catch up in a minute…Gus, give me the bottle of ibuprofen, please."
"You got it, baby!"
Cole pulled out the bottle and handed it to Baird. Sven and Cole start to make there way to the trail that led to the top of the plateau while Baird turned to Raven as he took her hand and put the bottle in it.
"You're definitely going to need this," he said quietly. Raven took her journal out of her pack and handed it to Baird.
"What the hell is this for?" he demanded as she wiped the sweat from her face.
"There are some schematics of the area in the last few pages…just in case something happens between when I leave here to catch up to you. At this point, we don't know what to expect when I get to the horse and Abby."
Baird sighed as he looked up at her, but proceeds to put the journal into his pack with his.
"And just for the record, I don't like this," Baird scoffed.
"Well, what would you like, Damon?"
Baird turned his gaze back on Raven, caught off guard by her question as he noticed her sickly pale face, glistening like plastic from the sunlight.
"You need to give me another good reason why I should let you go," Baird stammered, trying to change the subject.
"Because, you're the better leader…Sigma needs you to guide them back to the Block…," Raven coughs in between sentences, "…we need you to guide us to Fort Block, so please…just…keep to the mission."
"We…?" he scoffed.
Raven sighed as she pulled something from around her neck that was buried under her chestplate. It was a leather string with trinkets of sorts dangling from it. Raven pulled out Baird's hand and placed her "necklace" in it. Baird quickly noticed a USB drive was among a bottle cap, some bone fragments, a locket, and a key that dangled from it.
"Hang on to this, for me…I'll come back for it…" Raven claimed.
Baird gazed at her for a moment and then nodded,
"I'm going to be watching, Feral," he said sternly.
"Yea, I heard you the first time," she groaned as she took a few steps back and started to make her way towards the commotion, yelling back as she turned over her shoulder, "…and try not to lose my memory card."
Baird stayed and watched Raven move through the woods until she was out of sight. He takes her necklace and places it around his neck while burying it under his chestplate along with his COG tags.
His trust in Raven was much stronger than it was five days ago, but the one thing that he couldn't push out of his head was the feeling of tribulation that was inevitable. Of all the decisions that he had to make during his military career, this was the one he started to fret the most.
This is good stuff Jonesy! Drifted smoothly throughout the flashbacks and the storytelling in the current. Real good stuff. So will when will we see the next chapter!? I 'late' suspense!
*Late: Hate and like/love suspense
I'm going to try posting once a week, if no calamity comes my way, like the power going out...again...(place expletive here)
When I was posting the Comedy Christmas Party, the power actually went out and I had to reset the computer and the water heater,
Typing and cold showers don't mix...wait...that didn't sound right...
Nice work, Jonsey. I have a forum-exclusive Phalanx Christmas Oneshot ready to post to the forum. Would you like to read it?
[Fan Fic Writers Support Group]
Blood, death, carnage? Sounds like heaven to me
Hahaha I think I jinxed you.... Damn I thought it was a joke.....
I don't want to be a jinx.....
Ok here's the next chapter...
Chapter 31: Captured
The agonizing noise coming from the horse started to dwindle as the animal laid on the ground, hopelessly immobile from its leg clamped into the bear trap. Abby was able to calm the animal down, but had no way to break it free from the heavy, iron clasp that held onto it’s broken ankle.
The horse apparently sprung the trap, not realizing it’s presence until it was too late, throwing Abby off while Delilah hung on but then jumped off before the horse crumpled to the ground from the immense pain in it’s leg. Delilah stood next to Abby as the two where at a loss as what to do next while Abby looked in dismay at the horse lying on it's side, huffing in pain
Suddenly, they could hear a noise, a brushing coming from in the woods as Abby held onto Delilah closer to her body as she steps backwards from their fallen horse. The sound of movement was becoming more audible and closer. They could hear the footsteps compacting the snow beneath them, slowly pushing though the thicket, enclosing on them. As they moved back, Abby reached into her holster in horror, realizing that her pistol was not there.
Damnit…it must have fallen out when I was thrown from Sheba!
Suddenly, several figures pushed through the snowy thicket. They where Stranded, armed with shotguns as they looked at the fallen horse in front of them. They then noticed Abby, moving backwards while holding Delilah close to her side. The two Stranded started to spread out around the fallen horse as they carefully flank the two girls.
“Don’t be scared…we won’t hurt ya,” one sneered as the other started to chuckle.
“Then stay back…” the woman snarled back, “or I’ll shoot.”
“She’s bluffing…she’s not armed.”
Abby sneered, “You don’t know that, asshole!”
“Oh yes I do…” the Stranded picked up a pistol that was strewn on the snowy floor nearby, and held it up to Abby’s attention. Oh, no.
Abby started to tremble while Delilah held her hand even tighter, pulling back behind Abby.
“Delilah,” Abby whispered, “go…just run.”
Delilah stood there for a moment as she gave the men another look. Suddenly, Delilah turned around and darted away into the woods.
“F***, get her,” one of the men roared as one started to approach Abby. Abby ran into him, pushing him away while the other darted past them, running through the woods after Delilah.
Abby tried to get up and chase after him but the Stranded she pushed down quickly got up and grabbed her with a bear hold, holding her back.
“Let go of me, you bastard,” she shouted as the Stranded picked her up and threw her to the ground. Abby rolled a few feet until she landed on her back, wincing from the fall. She tried to get up but she was quickly held down by the Stranded, holding her into place while she thrashed and yelled profanities at him.
"Get your meat hooks off of me," Abby snarled, wrestling under the Stranded's grip as he struggled to keep her still.
"Shut up b****!" he snapped back.
Suddenly, another figure stepped into the area. It was one of the soldiers, a former Gear, marching straight towards the wrestling match between Abby and the straggly Stranded. The ex-Gear grabbed the Stranded and yanked him off of her without effort.
“Get the f*** out of my way, Ren…” the ex-Gear barked as Ren got up and backed off. The massive Gear then grabbed Abby by the hair and pulled her up. She cringed from the pain as the Gear pulled her close to him,
“Where did those Gear pigs go?” he said sternly, grinding his teeth in fury as he tightened his fist around her scalp. His pale eyes glared heavily at her as his lip curled, watching her grimmace from the pain.
“She’s not going to say anything, Hogaus,” Ren sneered, “ if she’s like the others, she won’t say s***!”
The ex-Gear known as Hogaus turned around as he swung the back of his hand onto the side of Ren’s face, knocking him sideways.
“Shut the f***, up…stupid ass,” Hogaus snarled, realizing that Ren just gave away any collateral he may have had to entice his new prisoner to get her to talk. As Hogaus was barking at Ren, his grip loosened around Abby’s hair while she whipped underneath his arm and punched him in the groin.
"F***,” he growled as she swung out of his grip and started to run, while Hogaus continued to bark, “...f***ing ****!”
He pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Abby as she was running, pulling the trigger, watching Abby fall and plummet to the ground. Hogaus moved forward while still clutching his genitals, trying to succumb from the throbbing pain as he marches over to the woman, still trying to move on the ground.
Abby whimpered from the pain, trying to pull herself along the ground as the bullet wound in her leg bled profusely. Hogaus finally caught up to her, reaching down and grabbing her by her hair again as he knelt down and threw her on her back. Holding her down by her head, he points his pistol against her face.
“We’re going to try this again…where is Sigma One?”
With as much strength as she could muster, she cocked her head back and spat on him. Hogaus shook his head as he cocked the hammer back,
“Just another f***ing waste of ammo,” Hogaus sneered and pulled the trigger.
In the distance, Delilah stopped suddenly from the gunshot echoing in the woods, she looked back, still panting from running nonstop. Thoughts of Abby ran through her head, trying not to fear the worst, but the terror that pulsed through her veins was inevitable. The adrenaline fluttered through her little body as she picked up the sound of someone following her. Abby told me to run, and so she did.
The other Stranded pushed through the thicket as he caught a visual of the runaway girl.
“There you are,” he blurted out while moving as fast as he could. Delilah quickly turned around and tried to pick up her legs as the snow deepened the further she went. Although she had the energy to keep moving, she didn’t have the strength to push her little legs through the snow as her body started to fatigue. The Stranded was quickly catching up to her as she panted, pushing herself as best she could, until she tripped and fell over.
“I gotcha now, you little brat,” he sneered as he finally grabbed her by the leg. Delilah screamed, shaking her leg, trying to break free from his grip as he was pulling her out of the thicket.
“Let go, you meanie,” she sneered.
“Get over here so I can shut your piehole,” he barked, but before he could pull her out, something strikes against his head, knocking him sideways. Turning around wearily while trying to get up, a dark figure from behind him kicked him under the chin, knocking him backwards as the Stranded blacked out, letting out a faint moan from the blunt force.
Delilah tried to move away as she looked up towards the figure,
“Birdie Lady,” Delilah beamed in excitement as she ran over to Raven, wrapping her arms around her waist. Raven braced herself in between the trees, putting her Gorgon pistol back into her holster.
“Let’s go,” Raven whispered, “and try to stay quiet.”
“Ok,” Delilah said quietly, grabbing onto Raven’s hand. Raven tried to move around the trees subtly, trying to make as little sound as possible, but with Delilah in hand, she knew that it was not that feasible.
Ugh, I can’t have them follow us back to the plateau, she groaned, knowing that it would expose Sigma’s trail. Damn.
“C’mon, Delilah, we have to go another way.”
“But what about Abby?”
Raven turned to the child, knowing that Delilah was not as ignorant as some may believe her to be, just because she was a child. Raven knew better, from her past experience as a child, she wasn’t just some naive’ little girl either.
“Abby’s gone, Delilah…we need to go too or else we’re gone,” Raven tells her, watching Delilah nod as her gray eyes focused on her. Raven could see her reflection in the child's eyes, looking back at her as the weight of their survival was now placed on her shoulders, stirring a deep, quintessential instinct that goes beyond maternal. Raven didn't expect to uncover this.
Suddenly, a thunderous noise broke out from the thicket behind them,
“Get back here…you Feral b****!”
We’ve been spotted…damn. Raven quickly pulled Delilah by the hand as she raced through the trees.
By now, her hangover has subsided as the ibuprofen started to course through her system, subduing her splitting headache while her equilibrium was slowly coming to stabilization. She was moving more fluently than earlier, but poor Delilah was staggering behind. Raven started to slow down, realizing that something was hindering Delilah.
“I hurt, Birdie lady” Delilah complained, whimpering as Raven stopped and kneeled down. She could see the pain in Delilah's face, cringing from whatever it was that was ailing her. Raven had to think of something quick before the Stranded Gears catch up to them.
“Hurry…grab onto me,” Raven ordered as she pulled Delilah behind her, encouraging her to climb up on Raven’s back, wrapping her arms around her neck, while Raven picked up Delilah’s legs and stood up, giving Delilah a piggy-back ride.
Raven continued to hike, moving faster now while darting around the trees, picking up her legs as she galloped like a gazelle. Delilah, for the most part was pretty light so Raven was able to pick up the pace once she ran towards the edge of the forest. Raven looked out, scanning the area quickly before she darts out towards her destination.
After giving the area a brief scan, she moved forward, pushing through the snow while trying to move towards a bed of rocks fifty feet ahead of them.
“Hang on….” Raven said in between her panting, “we’re almost there.”
Delilah clung to Raven, clenching her tiny fists on Raven's shoulder guards while keeping her legs wrapped tightly around Raven's slender waist. Delilah could feel the breeze brushing along her cold, nipped face, leaning her head on Raven's shoulder as the sun beat down on them, offering some warmth.
Suddenly, she could hear it, the sound of horses galloping nearby. Raven whipped around, looking out, not seeing anything in sight, but she could hear it, the sounds of horses panting and snorting from a distance.
Please let that be the prospectors, but her gut feeling said otherwise. S***. She knew she was not going to outrun the horses, much less with Delilah on her back. This is not going to work...damnit. The Stranded have already discovered their tracks, leaving one other option if Raven was going to succeed getting Delilah to safety.
Raven carefully put Delilah down and turned to her,
“Listen to me…you see those rocks?”
“Ye...yea,” Delilah leaked out.
“Behind them is a trail…it will take you up to a big plateau, and there you will find the Gears…and you must find them, do you understand?”
Raven reached underneath her armor, zipping down a part of her fatigues, then reaching in, ripping a piece of her ceremonial garb and pulls it out, placing the torn piece into Delilah’s hands.
“Give this to the Gears when you find them, ok?”
“Ok…will you be alright, Birdie Lady?”
“Of course…I can fly, remember?" Raven reminded her, giving Delilah a warm smile, but slumps back into a frown as the noise of the horses become more audible.
She pushes Delilah along, "...now go, hurry…and don’t look back.”
Delilah gave Raven a smile as she turned around and started to run through the shallow snow. Raven then turned around and darted down the hill as she came across some scattered pine trees, moving through sparse forest until she came back out into the open again.
Raven stopped suddenly, catching sight of the Stranded on horseback. One of them was looking straight at her as he moved the animal to the side to get a better look at the object before him.
Oh my God…it’s him, Raven muttered as she stood there, petrified. She recognized the man on horseback as the Stranded she saw in the woods, the big one who was searching for them when they came across Gamma Four. But instead of turning back the way she came, she darted down the hill, pushing through the heel deep snow, hoping the incline would make it difficult for the horses to move quickly without straining their ankle joints.
The big stranded jumped off his horse as the others whom just caught glimpse of her running, turned their animals around and started after her, but they where having a hard time keeping them moving along the steep incline, just as Raven predicted.
The big Stranded, known as Morose was moving quickly, picking up his legs over the snow, yelling at the others,
“Go to the other side of the woods…now!”
As three of the Stranded took off down the hill towards the other side of the woods, one of them jumped off his horse and started to follow Morose. He too, moved quickly, nearly catching up to Morose as the two men followed the trail Raven intentionally left behind.
Raven made it into the thicket as she pushed through the twigs, brushing up against the branches, breaking the small limbs as much as she could, distracting the men from Delilah’s trail, praying that the girl will make it to Sigma without being detected. Dashing as fast as she could, she could still outrun the men, but she can’t outrun the horses. Her only advantage was the woods, that will slow both them and the horses down for sure.
Moving on through, Raven comes out into an open space in the thicket as she tries to kick up as much snow and foliage as she can to make her trail more readable. Suddenly, something snaps around her boot, halting her as the momentum from running through the woods wiplashes her backwards. Falling to the ground as a pain swelled around her ankle, causing a deep numbing sensation shooting up her leg to her spine, she lets out a yelp from the sharp pain. She turns over her shoulder and notices an iron clasp, caught on her boot, clamped around her ankle.
Raven hollered from the pain of the bear trap as she tries to turn over onto her back, but the pain from twisting her ankle into the clasp made any movement in her leg strenuous. Raven grimaced from the throbbing while lying on the ground, still panting from the running.
“S***, s*** S***…DAMNIT,” she yelled in aggravation, realizing that she had no other place to go as her optimism cuts short form the traps' tight grip, holding her by her ankle. She tried to slow her breathing, calming the palpitations in her heart as much as she could, but the noise of someone closing in, pushed the adrenaline through her body again. Pulling out her Boltok pistol, she reaches over to her other holster, but her Gorgon pistol was gone. Damnit…I must have lost it, brushing up against the branches…son of a b****!
Suddenly, a Stranded made his entrance into the open space,
“There you are...little b****,” he sneered, but before he could even take out his pistol, Raven tuned over her to side, aimed and pulled the trigger, shooting the scrawny man in the shoulder.
“F***," he screamed as he toppled backwards from the impact of her Bolter. Raven twisted back as she cringed in pain form the movement, watching over her shoulder the man she just shot, was the same man she kicked in the head a few moments earlier when she rescued Delilah from his clutches. He was on his back, cursing while wiggling on the ground like a snake with its head cut off, screaming in pain, bleeding profusely from the wound.
Raven looked up ahead of her to see another Stranded in Gear armor moving in. He quickly noticed that she was armed and tried to pull out his Gnasher, but she quickly reacted, shooting towards him, striking him in the jugular of his neck. He staggered backwards, clutching his neck as he gagged, slumping down to the ground, hemorrhaging. Her Boltok kicked back so hard, she lost grip of the thing as it thrusts her onto her back. Normally she could shoot the Boltok with one hand, anticipating the kick, but she has never had to shoot it from the ground before, lacking the equilibrium to withstand the force. She pulled herself up, trying to forget the pain, but every time she moved, the throbbing would send shockwaves into her back. She frantically started to look for her Boltok , but the noise coming from the dying men, mixed with her bewilderment from the pain, made her lose focus.
And then the worst was yet to come. Morose entered the woods, followed by what appeared to be another one of his fellow, disgruntled Gears. Raven looked up, watching the two men, carefully trying not to move too much. They walked casually in once they saw that she was trapped, literally. They first looked down at the one she shot in the neck, kneeling down next to him as his body stopped twitching. She could tell by their demeanor that he was dead.
Three more Stranded entered the area, looking around, noticing Morose and one of their own, wounded while still whining on the ground, clutching his shoulder. Raven looked around realizing that the Stranded where surrounding her, keeping their distance, despite that she was for the moment, unarmed. Apparently, her reputation as a Feral proceeded her, as they watched her carefully while Morose stood back up and looked directly at Raven. His hood hung over his eyes, peering at her as if he knew what she had been doing all along. The other Gear wore similar attire with a sash that also hung over his face except he was in full, gray armor. He too carried a Lancer, hung on his back along with a Gnasher. Judging by the way they moved, Raven guessed that the men worked from the same squad, prior to their mutiny.
“Are we taking her, or are we killin her?” a Stranded blurted out, still keeping a safe distance from the immobile Feral.
“We can’t take her…she’ll cut us in our sleep, we need to gut her, now,” another barked as he pulled out his pistol, “…just say the word!”
Morose quickly moved towards the Stranded with the pistol in hand and kicks him, ramming his boot into his shin, forcing the Stranded down as he collapsed onto his side. The other Stranded back off, watching their own trying to get up from the ground, but Morose quickly held his pistol toward him, aiming at the man’s head and shoots him. The skull caved in as the body dropped still into the snow, twitching every other second. The other Stranded didn’t say a word as they watched Morose taking the shotgun and ammo from the dead man. Morose stood up as he glared at the others,
“Nobody, and I mean nobody…is to touch her,” he lashed out. Raven’s heart raced, watching Morose move away from the body lying on the ground as he makes his way to her while the others back off. Raven started to panic as she grabbed her knife form her other boot, but Morose moved quickly as he kicked her on the side of her head, knocking her out. Everything went black for Raven as the strike put her out of consciousness, lying motionless on the ground.
“S*** Morose...why don’t you just knock her whole block off,” one of the men sneered.
“Shut up, Trey…she could still cut you in half, even with a broken leg,” Morose scolded, throwing the shotgun for Trey to catch, “…and if I catch you ever coming near this Feral, you will be shot on sight!”
The others stayed silent and away from the comatose Feral while Morose kneeled down,
“Sanders…come over here, I need your tool,” Morose yelled over to his Gear mate, known to the others as Sanders. He walked over to Morose’s position, handing him a philips’ head screwdriver. Morose took the screwdriver and started to loosen the trap form the hinges.
“Is this the one that was with Sigma?” Sanders asked quietly, keeping the conversation to themselves.
“Yes,” Morose answered just as quietly, “…but this was all too easy.”
“You mean catching her?”
“That’s right…she wasn’t trying to escape…she was trying to distract us so the others could escape…and it f***ing worked!”
“Which means we lost the Gears…”
“Yea…they got away,”
“They couldn't have gone far...should we continue our search, or do you have another plan?”
Morose loosened the bolt to the trap as he turns over to Sanders,
“This Feral has kept them alive for a week out here in the wilderness…I had no idea until yesterday that Sigma squad was still on objective…”
“Then that means the COG knows where we are.”
“Not necessarily, they still can’t use their radios…that, and I don’t believe they’re going to leave this pretty little thing behind,” Morose said in a low husky voice, leaning over as he lays his hand on the side of Raven's face while turning her limp head. Gazing at the abrasion he put on her head, he gently brushes the hair from her forehead to get a better look. He then moved his hand down over the trap, gaping the iron clasp from her ankle as he tossed one of the hinges to the side, then gently moved her ankle from the trap.
“We need to get her back to Plantire, and get her some medical treatment,”
“What of the little girl…the boys said there was a kid with the woman…”
“The cold will take care of her, there’s no sense in wasting the resources to hunt her down…she’s the least of my concerns right now.”
"...and what of the old man?"
Morose looks up at Sanders for a moment, relishing on his thoughts as a new strategy began to fester in his mind. He turns his gaze back to the fallen Feral as he muttered,
Your thoughts on this...
Awesome chapter, but i was having some difficulties reading..... You may not know this, but I HATE stranded....
Other then that, it has me looking forward to some more. Keep it coming Jonesy...
....... Who in their right minds would rise against the COG to join, join the goddamn Stranded!? Stranded!? Of all the damn people you want to be stranded!? They are not humans!? Stranded!? Holy sh*t, why stranded!? That's like wanting to be shot in the ass while your sleep!
Wow...I didn't know your sh*t was holy...you could really patent that!....... Who in their right minds would rise against the COG to join, join the goddamn Stranded!? Stranded!? Of all the damn people you want to be stranded!? They are not humans!? Stranded!? Holy sh*t, why stranded!? That's like wanting to be shot in the ass while your sleep!
Anyway, the character Morose is also a bipolar sadomasochist, so yea...he's not in a "right" mind, lol...and who ever said that he joined the Stranded...maybe they joined him, or where forced to join him.
But in the end of all things, everyone will reap what they sow, bwahahah.
Heh my sh*t is holy.....
Well in the end of the day, your either COG or your not. Morose, chose the latter. And to me he's a stranded, stranded are scum. If only you people listened to Baird. He knows what's up. They have two options, join the only human force trying to make sure they don't die out, or go about robbing, raping one another and help speed the extinction.
The conscripts - in the end of the day, they are smarter then the average thug that walks the planet. For they have joined, opened their eyes at the fact that the COG is humanity's only chance at survival. They are thus citizens of Jacinto or Gears themselves. The other dirt, they are just as bad as the Locust.
And to hunt a Squad of Gears, how dare they!? Stupid Stranded, you'll die! If not in this story, in my mind! Muahahahaha!
/End rant part one.
PS: Awaiting new chapter to seek vengeance against the scum!
...but yea, technically Morose is a Stranded by definition and has been listed guilty of treason by the COG...but in his mind, he believes that the leaders are guilty of treason for not protecting the citizen's of the COG alliance by deploying their weapon of mass destruction. There's alot of directions of moral convention that each reader will decide for themselves who is more in the wrong.
..and then you have factions like the Feral, who got tired of being the collateral damage and told both sides to go (place your choice of expletive here) themselves and went off to do things their way, until E-day came and then they got trapped between several fronts, forcing them to choose a side.
Raven on the other hand is in a interesting predicament, especially since she is, technically a criminal by COG standards, first by evading the parol officer in charge of enlisting the women to breeding facilities, and then switches her alliance to the Feral, and becomes their infiltrator/spy against the other factions...only to now, volunteer to escort the Gears through uncharted territory to take out both insurgencies.
...and Baird knows all (snickers out loud) but then again, this is the same guy who has also said, and I quote: "People who trade freedom for security deserve neither".
Yes, but Morose is wrong there. You see, how can you make sure the Locust don't over run the population of Tyrus, while the headquarters of the COG is located there? It's a big risk? And how would you go about protecting the other members and leaders of the COG? It's all a bit too unrealistic. The man is obviously angry and thus is thinking that the world would have lasted if it were not for the hammer strikes. Open your eyes stranded!
The feral, no matter what, are either stranded or COG. There can be no middle, they must choose who they side with. Humanity or scum?
Baird does know all! It's true, there is UIR running the defense of the human population. It's the COG, not the Indies, Gears! And you play by the rules of the COG, those who trade freedom (becoming stranded to govern themselves) and risk the security, deserve neither. For they act as if humans can tolerate another idiotic genocide, by committing crimes against their own kind.
Man do I have a problem? ....... Nah...... my eyes are open.
I'm not implying that Morose is right or wrong...he is acting out of passion than logic, and poeple do this all the time. Why did Marcus abandon his post? Was it because he felt whatever it was that is father was working on was that important, or was it out of concern for his welfare? Either way, he was sentenced for prison for abandoning his post, nearly put to death.
Our own human history is filled with incidents that people did against overwhelming odds, whether it would be for the better or for worse, out of passion. Anytime there is a dictatorship, someone out there is going to have a problem with it. People are not politically correct, irregardless how hard we try to be.
Oh I understand, but when the world is going to hell and the so called dictators are the only line of defense from the threat, then you better get your ass on the floor and pray or join in on the 'resistance'. Because at the moment, stranded are nothing but militia men that attack and hate towards their own people, not the Locust. Now I understand that they are not soldiers, but if they can scavenge the bodies of the dead, why not try and kill the very beings trying to wipe you from existence?
I understand if some other former Indie state citizen believes that the COG are wrong and all that, and they rebel. But what of the once loyal COG citizens who were loyal up to the point where the COG launched an attack? They all of a sudden thought the COG were worthless or war pigs? Just like our history, where soldiers are taunted by the very people who they protect. The warrior who sits behind his computer ranting on and on about soldiers and how they 'kill babies and civilians'. Buddy, what the hell do you expect in war? Honestly, war has it's losses, yet ever notice how very few of them blame the politicians playing the 'game'? How all the hate is directed towards the soldiers and very little if any towards politicians?
Anyway, this all ties into 'time and place'. Passion it may be, but abandoning a post and abandoning a species is two different things.
PS: I feel all geeky for arguing about in game/fiction politics.... LOL!
Dude, why are you lecturing me? I'm not implying that you should "understand" why people do what they do, because believe me, I've dealt with some of that crap...and I'm not implying that it's right to abandon one's species for the sake of political correctness, but it happens.
I don't sit at my computer blaming soldiers for civilization's problems...there's no undermining political motive with the FF. Bad people do bad things...that's it, irregardless what you may believe and how people should conduct themselves! Soldiers normally follow a code of ethics, but some start to read in between the lines, and then treason follows. Does it make it right? Not necessarily, but it happens, and it even happens during the worst of times.
As far as the story is concerned, Jacinto's Remnant has insinuated that the Locust threat has dwindled dramatically, (even though we know better, but, for the sake of this argument...) so everyone is more focused on trying to pick up the pieces of a broken civilization...and then humanity reverts back to it's old habits...bickering over power, land, ect, and it'll be a matter of time before history repeats itself. Is it right, no, but IT HAPPENS.
And even though you may believe that abandoning a post, (in which many soldiers lost there lives as a result) is a seperate issue from betraying one's race, apparently it was an issue enough that somebody wanted him to "die" for it. Was that right? Who's to say, it wasn't my decision, but the governing magistrates decided that a forty year sentence was the more "appropriate" sentence in this case.
P.S....and before you ask what crawled up my a$$ and died, I just spent an hour playing Horde with a bunch of Boomers, coming out of Baird's a$$...apparently, Epic decided to change a few gameplay things for the day (s). LOLz
Not trying to lecture you, but if that's the way it comes across, then I apologize.
And about the soldier thing, that was not you, it was more so an off topic thing I started rambling about. But the rest was for the ideal of the argument were were having/are having. And I agree, humanity will fall back to what it once was, but it's far, far from being the same humanity it once was. It'll take years upon years to even get half way there.
Abandoning a post is still something that is wrong, but to say that it's almost the same as rebelling from society to run about your own, with your own rules and do whatever the hell you want is different. And a lot of people did die, the city was lost to the Horde, but that's a whole different matter. Morose is leaving behind not one or two people but thousands and leaving behind the people that counted on him, for whatever reason. Especially in a time like that.
PS: Don't worry, I do tend to rub people off the wrong way.
Ha ha don't worry, if anyone I'll look like the insane fool ranting about a group of 'humans'. Which I don't deny!
"SKORGE is not a disease baby, it's a lifestyle!"
The mood takes a sudden turn for what is left of Sigma squad as their primary objective starts to blur...
Chapter 32: When Black Birds Fly
The sun hung high in the sky, glancing through the patchy clouds, gathered in the aerials above. With each passing minute, time starts to eat away the sanity that once held Sigma One together, hanging by a thread of hope that Feral would return, but in the back of his mind, Baird was succumbing to inevitability.
Sven and Baird sat near the ledge of the plateau, getting a bird’s eye view of the settlement known as Plantire, just as Raven said there was. Sven would peer through his scope, checking out the compound, occasionally, glancing over is shoulder to see if Cole returned from checking out the trail for Raven’s return. He could see that the Corporal was antsy, trying to keep his mind occupied by writing in his journal, drawing the schematics of the Plantire compound, but anxiety distracted Baird to the point he would have to stop and rub his head, looking over to see if Cole had came back yet. It's been over thirty minutes, and still no sign of Cole. Baird got tired of waiting as he closed his journal and put it back into his pack.
“S***…I’m going back down the trail…c’mon Vin,” said Baird. Sven grumbled as he gathered himself up, putting away his rifle while Baird started to make his way down with Sven following behind.
“What are we going to do if Feral doesn’t make it?” Sven asked, realizing that Baird was probably not in the mood to be thinking of such things, but it was a legitimate question. How were they going to get back without their guide?
“We’ll worry about that when we have confirmation,” Baird said, without rebuke or sarcasm. Sven could tell that he was on edge, but was unclear as to what was truly contributing to Baird's restlessness. Was he concerned about getting back to Fort Block without Feral, or was he genuinely concerned about her welfare?
Although Sven figured the Corporal was somewhat on tolerable terms with Feral, he wondered if it ever went beyond just that? He knew that Raven could be a complicated person in more ways than one, but she wasn’t anymore immune to the basic needs that all human beings crave, and that is to be accepted, valued, or even loved. Baird, on the other hand, never seemed to care beyond the outside of his infinitesimal box, bricked within the tight walls that he used to keep others from scrutinizing him. As a consequence, he isolated himself from all affectional propensity while the speck of malice continues to fester inside. How Cole was able to get a inside peek still eluded Sven, but he wondered even more if Raven ever got close enough to dent the surface? And even if she did, why would she try, knowing the kind of person Baird is? It was this that baffled Sven the most.
Walking a little ways down the slope, they began to hike up to the edge of the woods nearby when they heard the sound of faint footsteps coming their direction. Baird stopped in his tracks and motioned Sven to do the same as they both kneeled down, and waited for the moving object to appear from the woods ahead.
It didn’t take long to realize that it was Cole, pushing through the thicket as he was carrying something with him.
“What is he…wait, is that…Delilah?” Sven blurted out while Baird glared at Cole, making his way to them.
Cole was moving as fast as his legs could carry him through the knee-deep snow, carrying Delilah on one side while holding his Snub pistol with his other hand. Baird could tell that the expression on Cole’s face was grave, revealing the one thing Baird feared would happen.
As Cole finally made his way to them, he gently put Delilah down.
“Mr. Gear, Mr. Gear,” Delilah busted out as she tumbled through the snow, running over to Baird and wrapped her arms around his legs. Baird was trying his best to brace himself from Delilah’s hold as he stabilized his balance while standing in the snow. Cole watched her as his face began to sadden, watching the little girl beam with enthusiasm as she continued to brace Baird as long as she could while she had the chance.
Cole didn’t want to have to break the ecstatic moment, but with time moving against them, he couldn’t put it off any longer. Cole had to break the moment.
“Ashley is dead.”
Silence followed for a brief moment as the news surfaced to the stunned.
“…and Billy…Abigail?” Baird asked.
“Deliliah said that Abigail is gone…and I don’t know about Billy…”
Baird choked down the only sense of reasoning he had to finally ask the question,
“Feral’s been captured, Damon.”
Baird’s expression turned mute, his eyes peering through a daze as the news hits him like a wrecking ball. He subconsciously places his hand on Delilah’s head, gently rubbing against the beanie hat that protected her head from the cold. She looked up gently, staring at him with her big gray eyes peering through him as Baird could see his own image in her glistened eyes, his reflection staring right back at him. Of all the experience that he gained over the years as a Gear, none of it prepared him for this.
Cole brought Baird’s daze back to the present,
“I went back to look for her…and I found this,”
Cole took out a Gorgon pistol and held it out for Baird to see. Baird quickly moved forward, breaking Delilah’s brace as he grabs the pistol and glares at it. Cole watched as Baird inspects it in vain, trying to make sure it wasn’t hers, but it was.
“I also…found a, bear trap,” Cole muttered as he continued, “…I found footprints all around it…including Feral’s. Delilah said that the Birdie Lady told her to go and find us.”
Cole reached into his pocket as he pulled out a piece of torn cloth, made of a soft velvet as the hinges where starting to feather.
“Delilah said that the Birdie Lady gave this to her,” Cole said as he held out the cloth in his hand. Baird reached over and took the cloth, bringing it closer to his face, testing the scent.
It was the familiar scent that he remembered most vividly that was uniquely Raven’s, mixed with the floral oils she used to keep her skin and hair clean and her natural pheromone odor, her true blueprint that resembled wild, unrefined vanilla.
Cole began again to confirm his findings,
"From the woods, I saw them from a distance...they had Feral...and I believe they were taking her back to Plantire."
"How do we know she's not dead?" Sven pondered, wondering if even the thought of going to rescue her was feasible. Cole responded,
"They wouldn't have gone through the trouble of taking her to camp if they wanted to kill her..."
Gripping the Gorgon pistol tightly, Baird closed his eyes as fury pulsed through his veins, his face scowling. She meant to do this all along…f***!
Sven stood in silence, getting the gif of everything that has happened. But knowing that time was working against them, Sven finally broke the silence,
“It’ won’t be long before those Stranded send out a search party to look for us.”
Cole turned to look at Sven, nodding.
“I have to agree with the kid, Damon,” said Cole, “...now that they have Feral, they may try to…get her to talk,”
Cole was having a hard time finishing his thoughts as the fear of what they would do to her throbbed his head. His mouth quivered, as he continued,
“…can’t what, Gus?” Baird blurted out as his face turned red. His body tensed up as his anger seeped into his speech,
“They expect us to come get her…and I’m willing to bet they’re waiting for us to come and get her…which is why we can’t go back, to get her.”
“We can get her Baird… s***, we’ve walked into worse situations…this one’s no different!”
“…and how in the f*** are we going to do that Cole…how do we just, waltz in and get her?”
“Well if you’re so damn smart, think of something!” Cole snapped back, pushing against Baird’s logic while Baird pushed back.
“How are we going to get past the whole f***ing militia, not to mention twelve of them are Gears…and what do we do with the kid? We can’t take her with us…”
“Well, instead of barking like some impotent b****, start thinking up a plan!”
“I already have one, Gus!”
“Oh, and what’s that? Let’s hear it Damon!”
“We go back to the Block, just as Feral originally instructed us to do!”
“The f*** are you talking about?”
“We have to get this intel back to command before the militia becomes an even bigger threat!”
"...and how'n the hell we gonna get back without Feral, Baird?"
"Her journal contains maps and schematics of the area, Cole...we don't need her to get back to the Block!"
The tension in the air lingered in between all of them, pushing against the barriers that where buckling under the weight of the friction. It was only a matter of time before somebody would snap. Although Baird’s demeanor was somewhat poised, Cole on the other hand, was bending under the strain. He didn’t like the idea leaving Feral. To him, there was no other option.
“So that’s how it’s gonna end, huh” Cole barked, raising his arms, gesturing his frustration at Baird’s plan.
“Are you going to start s*** with me now, Gus?” Baird rebuts as his jaw clenches and his shoulders protrude. The spaces between the two Gears begin to crowd as Sven and Delilah start to back off from the two Gears before the heat around them swells into a wildfire on the verge of bursting into a damning inferno.
“I’m not going to let this one go, Baird, so yea, I’m startin s***!”
As the confrontation swells, the cold air submits to the heat building around the two. For the first time in days, Cole and Baird couldn’t feel the cold. Baird tries to take back the reigns,
“This is not open for discussion…we have to get back to the Block before dark…”
“F*** that…I’m not going to leave one of our own behind!”
“She’s not a Gear Cole…we live and die for own, for each other…”
“She’s just as close as any other brother in arms…she’d done more s*** to save our asses than ten Gears, so as far as I’m concerned Baird, she’s family…”
"...she's also a spy, a hacker, and a thief...she's a Feral, Cole, her allegiance lies with them...and they have had their share of bloodshed in all of this mess, which doesn't make her any more innocent!"
"Yea, well then why did she bother saving a bunch of douchebag Gears when she could have dumped our asses in the ditch?"
Baird could feel the weight of Cole’s words, pulling him down as his logic was trying to come to terms with his conscience.
The awkward silence gave Cole the advantage,
"Yea...that's what I thought..." Cole starts to deride, but Damon, however, was just as equally defiant.
“F*** this…I don’t need this s*** right now,” Baird grumbled as he put away the Gorgon pistol, pocketing the cloth and started to walk back the other direction.
“Yea, that’s it…you just keep walking, Damon…like nothing ever happened,” Cole yelled out.
Baird stops in his tracks, leaving Cole to wonder if he was finally getting into his thick head. Although Cole has known Baird for years, as the two have shared life and near death together, there have been times they reveled in their spats, bickering as only friends can when they piss each other off. Normally it was usually something Baird said that was insensitive or hurtful, regardless of his blunt honesty. However, this argument was a first, oh God... we're fighting over a woman! S***…look at us now…Dom would be so proud…f***ing asshole!
“If we go back to get her, Cole, we’ll put everyone here at risk, including the kid!”
“The kid is already at risk, Baird…you said so yourself,” Cole sneered as his gestures began to become more animated, “…oh, wait…now you start giving a damn about the kid, huh? I’ll tell you what, Baird…you go back to the Block, and while you’re at it, take the kid with ya…I’ll go back to get Feral!”
“…and then your going to get yourself killed doing it Cole…so instead of one KIA, now I’ll have two…damnit, Gus, I thought you were smarter that that!”
“Yea, I guess we all can’t be as smart as you, Damon!”
“Well I’m so f***ing sorry that I can’t find the time to be all sentimental about all of this but I have a f***ing job to do, Gus…and that job is to get back to Fort Block before this militia tears into everyone at Farrall!”
“So you don’t give a s*** about anything or anyone unless it fits in with your objective! Feral was nothing more than just a convenience, to keep your sorry ass alive until all of this was done…” Cole yelled out in fury while Baird rebuked,
“The f***, Cole…Feral knew the risks just like the rest of us…”
“…and Feral cared about your sorry, selfish ass…but you don’t seem to give a s***! Is it any wonder most folk hate you!”
“Yea, well it comes with the job!”
“Well, you can go ahead and scram, feeling sorry for yourself, dragging your whiny ass back to Fort Block and telling Marcus what all happened in the past week, and how your entire team just told you to f*** off…”
“You don’t have a f***ing clue how I feel about all of this…”
“Well then prove me wrong, Damon…let’s here it!”
Baird’s brow curled into a scowl as his jaw tensed up, contemplating what to say next, but he couldn’t conceal the truth anymore than Cole could find it. Baird finally let it all hang out.
“OK…FINE, I DO CARE...I"M SORRY THAT SHE"S GONE...THERE, IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR?” Baird roared as Cole sits up, impressed with Baird as he watches his emotions spill like an ongoing faucet, overfilling the tub.
“…I MADE THE MISTAKE OF LETTING HER DO IT, COLE!”
“DO WHAT?” Cole bellowed back. The confrontation between the two men stirred the grass to startle the snake as the truth swelled up into concoction of angst that left nothing unscathed.
"Raven…” Damon choked as the words bleed through his mouth, “…led the Stranded to follow her so that we could escape. She was betrayed…by one of her own”
A stunned expression was blatant on Cole's face. Baird figured that it was time to reveal the truth.
“…the Feral…one of them ratted us out!”
The three stood there in silence as the soft wind, meandered around the space between them, brushing the cold air in the tense vicinity. The truth was there, lying on the floor as it bloomed into fruition. Cole peered at Baird with a perplexed expression as he took the news in with confusion,
“And you know this, how?” Cole asked.
“She…revealed it to me at the spring…and apparently left a letter in her journal…stating what was really going on.”
Cole and Sven hung on to his every word as the news pierced into them like a knife. It's not as if they needed any more tension than what they were dealing with before, and now this.
“Apparently, it was a Feral that led the Stranded militia to the squads, that told the Stranded about our whereabouts, that’s how they almost found us,” Baird said, moving to the side to sit down as he hung his head low, rubbing his sinuses while he carefully gathered his thoughts. There was no point in hiding the truth now, even though Baird did it to protect them, just as Raven kept it from him for the same reason. She new that they were being monitered.
“She didn’t know about it until it was too late,” Baird continued, “…we were being followed so she couldn’t tell me right away…which is why I couldn’t tell you…otherwise this whole thing would be compromised.”
“So we were being followed almost the entire time?” Cole asked as his anger started to simmer.
“Raven believes that one of the Feral scouts that was deployed with the squads, was working for the Stranded all along…she didn’t know about it until later. Nobody knew anything about it, not even the other renegade Feral. They still don’t know, which is why it is imperative for us to get back to Fort Block!”
Baird lifted his head for a moment as he turned his gaze towards the mountains behind them, letting out a sigh as he continued,
“I didn’t know about this until after we parted, Gus…and she did it for a reason. I didn’t understand at the time, but I do now. She wrote down some instructions for us to follow so we can take this information back to command, before they grow even more stronger…”
The other two Gears found no other reason to argue as they listened to Baird carefully while he spoke in monotone.
“…those instructions did not include us going back and rescuing her.”
His gaze still focused on the mountains ahead, he could feel the stares coming from Cole, Sven, and Delilah.
Cole looked over at Baird as he broke the silence between them,
“Man…what’s up with you,”
“The hell is that supposed to mean?” Baird sneered, trying to find something to justify the means.
“Something somewhere between the Block and here, just crawled up your ass and died…”
“Yea…it’s called Raven,” Baird griped while Cole chuckled at Baird’s expense,
“Well, believe it or not, she doesn’t hate ya…”
“Ok, now that’s al load of bulls***…”
“It’s true, baby,”
“..and you know this, how?”
“She told me.”
Cole could see the conflict wrestling inside Damon’s head. He’s seen it before, not too often, but enough to understand what it is that makes Damon who he is. Cole started to laugh at Baird’s defiance, knowing that’s usually his way of trying not to come across as sentimental, God forbid, if anyone would ever believe that Damon Baird could be sentimental…Boomer Lady would have a heart attack if she ever witnessed that!
“She told, you…” Baird groaned.
Cole replied, “…yea, she did.”
“Why…” Baird began but cut himself short, followed by a sigh.
“…would you believe her if she told ya?” Cole finally asked.
Baird sat for a moment as he pauses, understanding the kind of person Raven was, who could be honest yet rhetorical at the same time,
“Yea…your probably right, I wouldn’t…”
Baird looked up at Cole, still gathering his thoughts as best he could despite the dilemma he was dragged in. Cole chuckled to himself, turning his gaze over to Sven and Deliliah, who were both sitting on the side in a daze. S***, it’s been a long week, and it’s not over yet.
“Well, I’m glad we cleared that up,” Cole acknowledged while Baird rolled his eyes as he rubbed his forehead. Within the friction that confined the vicinity, a small voice sprung into the mix,
“Did the Birdie Lady fly away like she promised?”
Delilah’s voice brought the two Gears back to sane, as she looked at Baird with her eyes wide, piercing him with her glare as he rummaged through his head to find the words to say that might answer her question,
“Not yet, kid…not quite yet,” Baird answered.
Sven stood back up as he gently walked over to Delilah’s side. She looked up as she reached for Sven’s hand and held onto it, clinging to a glimmer of hope that may be all that’s left for Sigma One.
Cole summarized the general mood of the group as he finally asked the question that has lingered before them for the past thirty minutes,
“…so where do we go from here?”
...and it doesn't just end there
Anyhoozits, let me know whatcha think...the feedback has been slow, so I'm kinda wingin this.
That was awesome! I must saym those stranded are crafty bastards..... I don't like crafty stranded...
Must read more, more I say! Really nice interactions between the characters, and you really know how to capture both Baird and Cole.
PS: Damn Marose!
I swear, either your the only person reading my cr@p, over and over again, or you're just the only one leaving feedback out of a handful of people reading my cr@p...
...or maybe they where reading it...but then they got high... (I still think that's priceless...Mr. Sands is da bomb).
Ha ha yeah Mr. Sands is da bomb.
Don't worry, this place is pretty quiet again, it'll start to steam once we bump it back to life.... again. People to tend to read it, and then not comment until they have some more time, so who knows.
A lot of traffic stopped during the holidays, so that's another reason. And the people who told me they'd be active in a day or so, skipped out. The damn bastards!
Bewildered and broken, Raven awaits her fate; hoping that her sacrifice wasn't in vain...
Chapter 33: Revelations
I am watching the rise and fall of my salvation
There's so much s*** around me.
Such a lack of compassion
What does that mean to you...For me, it’s something I just do
I want something
I need to feel the sickness in you
I feel the reason as it's leaving me, no, not
It's quite deceiving as I'm feeling the flesh make
Carefully opening her groggy eyes, Raven could still feel the sting pulsing on the side of her head, swelling from where the one they call Morose, kicked her earlier. She doesn't remember a thing since she blacked out, but she could clearly remember the bitter dread she felt shortly before he struck her. The fact that he could move with incredible accuracy and speed was startling to her, knowing that he could have easily fractured her skull if he wanted to, but for whatever reason, he held it back. It was this fact that she feared the most. Apparently he wanted her alive, but for what purpose she was not quite sure.
Will they subject me to torture, or are they going to put me in a brothel, she begins to ponder of the horrible things that they would do to her, after hearing from what they did to the other squads. Not that any of it mattered, she was a broken, abandoned vessel. All that she believed to be true was a lie, and she kicked herself for being so na´ve and not uncovering it earlier. But perhaps she can still turn the tide for the Gears by allowing them to get away and return to the Block. Then the COG will unleash hell against the militia. It would be senseless for Sigma to rescue her now, she knew it and she knows that Baird was not one to make such rash decisions that would put the others in harms' way. She was counting on it.
Slowly lifting her head in the low light of some makeshift room, she noticed that her hands were zip-tied behind her back as she was slumped in a chair, her good ankle tied to leg of the chair, while her broken one was left out, apparently duct taped tightly in place. She could feel the pain throb as she did little to move it. Agh, s*** it still hurts.
Despite the hangover from earlier that morning, the meds that Baird gave her before her departure was able to quash most of the queasiness, until Morose kicked her in the head. Asshole. Thoughts ran through her mind, wondering where Sigma was. Baird's probably pretty pissed with me by now…I hope he uses the schematics in my journal to find their way back to the Block.
She could hear the commotion coming from the outside of the room, listening to the voices of men, laughing and carrying on, in between the sounds of what appears to be motors from an APC or two. She could tell that at least two Dills were in working order, damn.
As she cautiously leaned over to listen to the noise coming through the windows, hung high on the concrete walls, she suddenly turns her head to the door as the knob was turning and the door began to open. Stepping inside the room, Raven's heartbeat raced as Morose, calmly walks in, wearing his usual attire, Gear fatigues, boots and a heavy pea coat with his scarf hanging around his neck instead of on his head. Raven's innards crept into her stomach, her body shuddering in the presence of the traitorous Gear. For the first time she could actually see his entire face, other than just his glaring blue eyes as he looked at her for a moment and then turned around to quietly close the door behind him. As he turned back around, he began to take off his scarf and threw it on the table next to the door. He then proceeded to remove his coat, carefully unbuttoning the wool flap and then unzipped the front and pulled his muscular arms out, wearing only a pale undershirt and his bottom fatigues, similar to what the other Gears wore.
Although she already knew that he was pretty big, she didn't really know how built he was. He wasn't quite as massive as Cole, but he was pretty solid, maybe an inch taller than Baird, definitely dwarfing Sven. He was undeniably, in the physical sense, an emblematic Gear, vigorously conditioned for the battlefield and all that its lore entailed.
His white undershirt was thinning from long-term use, with a few holes torn near the hinges around the arms and his pectorals. She could vaguely see an array of tattoos on his back through his shirt. Between the hangover and the weariness from being struck to the head, her eyes blurred on occasion, but the body art bleeding through his garment was as plain as day.
His face was not young but not old either, just worn, as any veteran soldier would be. It reminded her so much of Baird's, hardened and unfeeling, and just as pale, however, Morose's hair was pitch black like hers and exceptionally longer. Apparently he didn't feel the need to keep it cropped, but his face for the most part was kept shaved. Although she didn't catch any prominent facial scars, one of his forearms was littered with them…if I didn't know better, I'd say this guy was ritualistically cutting himself, as part of a conditioning for pain tolerance. His thick long hair was partially pulled back into a horsetail, while some loose strands hung on the sides, as if he was out in the wind. His demeanor at the moment was not threatening, but she still felt uneasy around him, just as she was when she first saw him, but now, he looked even more intimidating than ever.
She shrunk a little in her seat as much as she could when he dropped his coat on the table and proceeded to move closer, not the least bit concerned about what she thought of him. He walked over and grabbed her chin as she grimaced from the pain while he forced her head to turn so he could look at the abrasion he left on the side of her forehead. He tilts his head as he analyzed it, then gently brushed the back of his hand against the swelling on her face and then quickly let's it go, turning around as he walked over to a med kit hanging on the wall, dismounting it and placing it on the table next to his coat. As he opened it up, he began to rummage through the supplies with his back turned to her while she tried to peer around his body, attempting to make sense of what he was really doing. Oh, what difference does it make...one way or another, he's going to kill me, regardless if he fixes me up and saves me to be killed later.
As he turns around, he pulls the table near her chair and then moves to pull another chair, placing it right next to hers. He carefully sits in it, shaking a bottle of iodine while he grabs her face again, but this time, she whisks her head out of his grasp, pulling herself away from him in spite. A sudden shift in the atmosphere around them took a turn as she could feel the scowling from his demeanor. Apparently, he didn't like that, not one bit.
He put the bottle of iodine down on the table and grabbed her leg that was fastened on her chair as he pulled her even closer to him and violently grabbing her neck, pulling the side of her head close to his face with his mouth next to her ear,
"Don't…ever…do that…again," he sneered into her ear while Raven trembled in his grasp, trying not to whimper from the pain in her broken ankle while rasping for air under his tight grip. It startled her just how fast he was able to move her like that and he could tell that it startled her. With his hand still wrapped around her throat, he loosened a little so she could somewhat breath comfortably while he took a cleansing pad and began to wipe down the abrasion on the side of her face. She whimpered from the pain as the alcohol coming from the cleaning pad soaked into her skin, stinging the side of her face around the scratch.
After he was done, he threw the cloth to the side as he took a Q-tip, mixed it with some iodine and carefully blotted along the scratched area. Raven took a deep breath, trying to slow her heart rate down, but it didn't make her any less nervous. His presence, the epitome of his poise was unsettling, violating her personal space as she was way too close for comfort. She knew that he could tell that she did not like being near him, much less close to him, but he was unwavering, forcibly putting her in a vulnerable place. But what could she do? With one slip of his wrist, and he could break her slender neck easily. And if that wasn't enough, although she can normally fight close in, she felt so wobbly from being hit in the head, she would not be able to keep her equilibrium effectively enough to counter without toppling over, not to mention the fractured ankle.
He gently begins to loosen his tight grip around her neck as he finishes putting the iodine on her abrasion and throws the queue tip to the side. He turns over to reach in the med kit, pulling out a disposable syringe and a bottle of some anti-inflammatory, medication. After shaking the bottle, he opens up the syringe, placing the needle into the bottle as he draws a few millimeters of the liquid.
Raven just sat there in a daze, her eyes shifting, puzzled by her medical treatment. She watched with her peripheral vision as he draws the syringe from the bottle turns slightly behind her. She quivers as he looks at her from behind, noticing the tear in her pants from when Baird removed the shrapnel out of her rear. Morose carefully wraps his large hand around her small chin, bracing it as he slams the needle into her glute. She yelps from the sudden jerk in her rear as he holds her against the back of the chair by her jaw.
"Hold still…" he said in a low, menacing voice, "…and be calm."
He suddenly takes out the needle and tosses it back into the kit, sitting up as he loosens his grip around her jaw. Without warning, he then gently pulls the side of her face next to his as he carefully brushes his nose along her jaw line next to her ear, inhaling the pheromone aroma, coated on her skin. Raven tenses up, looking carefully from the corner of her eye as he closes his eyes, analyzing the scent, moving over her ear to her hair and back down along the side of her neck. She dares not to move as she apprehensively allows him to violate her space, feeling his breath brushing along the skin on her neck as he exhaled serenely. She was not quite sure what made her more nervous, his sudden outburst or his gentle caress.
He opens his eyes as he lightly takes his hand off of her chin. The fact that he could control his strength with such a soft embrace made her fear him even more. She quivered as the sound of his low, dark voice seeped into her ears,
"They will come back for you…"
At the sudden stint with his taunt, Raven could only react with what she did naturally, and that was to be defiant,
"No they won't…they're probably already near Fort Block by now,"
"No…" he hissed between his teeth, "...they will come back for you. They're not going to leave a comrade behind…especially since you have been keeping them alive all this time."
Her heart sunk into her gut as he sneered softly into her ear,
"Of all the Feral that I have had to deal with in this whole, f***ing mess, you, my dear, have caused the most problems for me…you have kept Sigma alive a lot longer than I expected. I'll admit, I'm impressed…I have underestimated you, but I will not make that same mistake again."
"Well, then you can start by firing that traitor…the one who's been following us for the past three days," Raven taunted.
Morose's eyes perked up as he leaned back, impressed with Raven's little outburst.
"Is that so?" Morose sneered, his glistening blue eyes piercing into the side of her face. With her head still turned away from him, she could still feel his heavy ogling as the sound of his breathing became more audible,
"…you knew that you were being followed?"
"Next time, do your homework and get one who has more experience with the terrain," Raven sneered, hoping to piss him off so he could finally kill her.
"They're not coming for me...so why don't you do yourself a favor and just shoot me now before I get loose and cut your throat in your sleep," she snapped.
Thinking she had the last word, Morose let out a guttural laugh. If there was anything Raven was expecting from this conversation, it certainly wasn't that. Morose took his time to compose himself as he carefully grabs her by the neck again and gently pulls her ear next to his lips. Raven started to tremble at the sound of his voice, whispering in her ear,
"I can smell them, on you…they're not going to leave you behind, Feral,"
Raven froze as his words penetrated her psyche, cutting into the deepest fabric of her intellect. Desperately trying to hold back her emotions before they betray her, she scoffs back,
"Are you retarded? I'm just one less...Feral b**** that they have to worry about," she sneered, hoping that he would just break her neck right now so she could save face before it betrays them too.
Morose chuckled under his breath as he whispered,
"So…which one is it," he mused, tilting his head as he glares at the softness in her flushed face.
"Who…, she starts to snide, but before Raven could finish, he tightened his grip around her throat, putting some strain on her windpipe as she grimaced,
"Do not mock me…" he sneered quietly as she could hear his teeth grind, "…I know damn well that one of them has touched you…has severed the hymen into your soul…Raven."
She quivered at the sound of her name articulated on his lips, no, this is just a sick mind game, don't give in.
"So, is it the snot nose Private, Vinny…no, it wasn't him…or maybe the big, charismatic black one, he would be the most fun to break, to listen to the Cole Train squeal in agony, just like the other COG pigs that were like him…" Morose said, amusing himself as he could feel Raven stiffen up with each mention of their names. Leave them alone, she cringed to herself as he tore apart the only people in her life that she has unintentionally grown to love.
"…or, is it the asshole Corporal…" Morose continued as her whole body starts to strain.
"…let's see, what was his name…that's right, Corporal Baird…I can see him hanging from the gallows, whimpering like a dog," Morose went on, scratching at the layers of her psyche, ripping at them till they were sore. He could feel the duress, radiating from her body, starting to blister as the pounding in her chest became audible…so that's the one.
"You know…I must admit, I would have never thought that you Feral *****es would ever ally yourselves with the COG pigs. So, was it worth it, girl…to let him stroke you like those COG whores they round up for their breeding camps?"
Raven mustered enough malice and strength to yank her neck from his hand, turn her head and spit in his face.
Morose was caught by surprise as he looks at her, casually taking a cloth and wiping the saliva from his face. Ok, now I pissed him off…he's going to kill me for sure, so why don't you do it, you sadistic bastard! Do it!
But instead of fury, Morose let out a sinister grin, tossing the cloth to the side as he grabs the back of her head, tightening her hair in between his fingers, pulling her into his face and meshes his lips into hers. She struggles to keep him from entering her mouth, keeping it clamped, but his brace was strong and ravenous.
Realizing that she was trying not to participate, he stretches his mouth over hers and bites her upper lip. The pain causes her to lose focus and loosen her clamped mouth, giving him the window he needed to penetrate her mouth, forcing himself in while tasting her blood from the cut on her lip. Shocked by his intrusion, she loses the fight as she becomes fatigued, letting go and allowing him to enter.
The tension in her mouth slackens while her body turns into mush. She could taste him, like something sweet and metallic at the same time while he slithered into her subconscious, awakening some primal instinct that has been long suppressed. She did not expect him to feel so gentle as he caressed her mouth, tasting her delicate, salty lips with his own. He then gently dismounted from her mouth as he pulled away with his eyes closed, savoring her taste as he curled his lip, relishing in her flavor.
"Ahh…so that's what you taste like…now, I don't blame him for touching you," Morose said softly, his low voice twisting at her soul while he releases her hair. Trying to sever herself from the moment, he continued to drag her back as he meddles with her head some more,
"Although I have tasted many a Feral, in more ways than one, none of them was as potent as you are," he said as her blood began to boil, spilling over as she clenched her fists, tightening her jaw. He continued to cut into her conscience,
"…that can only mean one thing," he sneered, tampering with her mind as he leaned next to her ear, "…that you're in heat."
Raven quivered from his observation, the deepest of instincts that she has been trying to subdue was in vain, and its fragrance flowed from her most subliminal yearnings. The oxytocin that has been pulsing in her brain since the night before, immersed into her body as her natural signals began to blossom, causing her skin to flush and her lady parts to gorge.
Morose could smell it all over her, the pheromones reeking in the air around her. He knew that the Feral conditioned themselves to be lush, but he also knew that Raven was trying desperately to control it, fighting against it. She feels the conflict festering in her head as the touch in his caress ignited her most primitive of drives, moistening the air around her. She begins to feel the guilt stabbing her conscience, telling herself to hate it, to damn it, but the sensation Morose used to poison her head shoves prudence to the wayside. He uses this to his advantage as he lures her deeper into his confidence,
"It's not to say that the other Feral were not pleasurable…they're always at their best, when they are forced."
That did it. Raven sprang up as she quickly leaned into him, sinking her teeth into his neck, trying to reach and tear into his jugular. Her fury bypassed the pain in her leg as she ravaged around his neck. He quickly grabbed her by her hair again, but it did nothing to hold her back as she continued to gnaw wildly, so he grabbed her neck with his other hand as he moved to force his fingers into her trachea. She started to gag as he dug into her throat, under her chin, and then he threw her off of him. She collapses onto the floor, feeling the aftershock as the pain in her shoulder throbbed into her brain. Moaning from her already dizzy head while she leaned on the floor, she starts to cry in anger.
Morose, quickly grabbed another cloth and placed it on the bleeding, broken skin caused from her bite. Although she missed his jugular, she broke the skin leaving a shallow gash. Now we're even, asshole!
He rummaged into the med box and quickly poured alcohol on his cut as he moaned from the sting.
"That's it…" he sighed, almost as if he was getting off on it. Raven continued to lie on the floor motionless as she realized she did nothing to bend him in any way. He was too psychotic to be manipulated, realizing that her assault only added the fuel to his lunacy.
After he stopped the bleeding, he tossed the rag on the table and walks over to grab her chair as he effortlessly picks it up and sits her upright. His blood was still fresh on her mouth, mixed with her tears as she tried to spit it out,
"No you don't..." he scoffed as he grabs her hair again and pulls her head back. He then leans over, meshing to her lips again as he forces the blood back into her mouth. She starts to choke as his tongue crams the blood down her throat, grimacing from the metallic taste that was submerged onto her taste buds. He then releases her mouth with his, moving slowly along her face as he glides his tongue along the soft skin on her moistened cheeks, tasting the tears, and then stands back up, chuckling at her fatigued expression.
"Something to remember me by…I hope it was satisfying, trying to cut my throat with your teeth," he smirked, running his hand across her cheek, and along the bridge of her nose, until his finger met her lips.
Although she was tempted to bite into his hand, she now knew that he would only relish in it, and she was too depleted to tamper with his sadism.
"But it no longer matters, they will come back here for you…it's only a matter of time…and we will be waiting," Morose said sternly as he lifts his hand from her face and proceeds to stand up, closing the med box up and moving the table back against the wall. As he moves over to exit the room, after opening the door, he turns over his shoulder, glancing at her as he speaks,
"I can't wait to finally meet him…"
This chapter was interesting to write about as I delved into some fundumental, Fruedian concepts. I used some eroticism to set the overall mood that is stemming from Raven's condition...it was not my intention to use those elements for the sake of erotcism, but to orient the reader to Raven's plight. (whether I was successful or not is yet to be seen) At this point, she is hopelessly trapped between her hormonal snare and Morose's complacency. Taking the blows from both sides is rocking her conscience off balance as she starts to feel ashamed because of her condition and her true emotions concerning Sigma squad.
In the meantime, Morose attempts get into Raven's head by tampering with her emotional and hormonal state.
I'm not crazy, I swear...
As always, feedback is welcome...
Don't worry, it came off great. At first I thought you were trying to show a gentle side of Morose, with his caring and all. Man was I glad when he became the sadistic bastard he is!
Somebody kill him and his friends now!
As for the chapter, it was nicely done, the description and state of mind (Of Raven) was great, you managed to pull of the eroticism yet not to a full extent that it became a one sided conflict.
Well, I don't think you should edit anything, this is Gears of War. Where people chainsaw one another and where Epic were going to implant an execution where the Locust would rip off an arm (Of the COG) and beat him to death with it.
Well let's hope I can read the next chapter soon, I need reading material like this!
Alright, I just think they should let us write it out on here, and if someone goes overboard where every other word is considered 'bad' then sure. That's going overboard. But the writing, for example someone lets it flow creatively through the characters and their situations and shows it in a realistic way, then it should be alright.
The only stranded I can somewhat stand is Chap.... but only because I used him as a distraction throughout the whole level.
I also remember that other guy, the one with Franklin in the outpost, the one that gets up and points his gun at you like he can do anything!? I would've killed you, you bastard! Yeah, your so tough with your toilet and Gnasher that you stole!? You dirty bastard!?
........ I mean....... when can we have the next chapter Jonesy!?
...and you can use him as a meat shield too in multiplayerThe only stranded I can somewhat stand is Chap.... but only because I used him as a distraction throughout the whole level.
I'll have it up sometime this week...it's a pretty long chapter to edit and I'm trying to keep postings on a weekly basis........... I mean....... when can we have the next chapter Jonesy!?
Oh alright, awesome.
And I think I've only had Chap as a meat shield once, the rest has been Franklin. Still remember the old man, with his Boltak shooting Locust while running in semi-circles in the first game. While I'd hide in the corner and just continue to pop full mags into the Boomer.
Yayz...my FF thread made the 5,000 view mark ...not that it really means anything of "epic enormity," just another cheap way to bump the thread.
Well, now that I bumped it, I guess I better write something productive, especially if I'm just sitting here talking to myself (which I've done quite a bit since I started posting this FF), but hopefully I'll get the next chapter posted by tomorrow evening. There's alot that goes on in it so there's alot to edit...
Also, I'm debating on how to wrap up the emotional conflics in the end...I know how it's going to end but I'm rather unsure how I should portray the characters from an "expressive" perspective, especially with "established" characters since everyone has their own idea on how the characters should be portrayed. I haven't had any complaints, or at least any that I know of concerning this concept, so far, but then again, the feedback has been small, so I'm winging this from my own research, based on the canon.