Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default A Day in the Life Of: Mataki

    WARNING and DISCLAIMER


    Please note that this is a fanfic and that I do not preside over the existing characters that are implied in this story, nor the Gears of War elements and its franchise. Any details, titles, names that may be similar to that of other fiction or fanfiction, (unless cited) is strictly coincidental. This story is Rated M for Violence, Crude Language, and Adult Situations.
    A Day in the Life Of: Mataki


    "I just hate water. Water should come out of a shower or a glass. Rivers- fine. Bigger than rivers- sod that for a lark." - Bernadette Mataki explaining away her fears



    PORT LARCENT,
    FORMER UNION OF INDEPENDENT REPUBLICS MEMBER COUNTRY:
    2 YEARS BEFORE SINKING OF JACINTO CITY, 13 A.E.




    “Come on, you rodder!”

    Bernadette Mataki roared at the beast in front of her, squatting down in a fighting stance as it stared at her, weaponless. The rain falling around them turned her hair into a mushy mess, strands of it covering her face from their last clash, the day’s fading light tinting it a shade of orange. Her body felt sore where the grub had pounded into her armor, denting the metal and leaving a smear of blood and skin. Its cruel, yellow eyes glared from pitted, pale skin, baring its teeth at her with mist coming from every breath of the massive frame. Wounds covered the Drone’s body - multiple lacerations and a leaking stab wound in its upper chest where her knife was lodged. Thus far, it had deigned to leave the weapon there. Whether it was able to take it out or if it even wanted to were the last things on her mind.

    It roared back at her, charging with wild abandon like some schoolyard bully, as if it were confident in its superior strength despite the beating she had given it previously. The bloody things never learned, though she wasn’t about to complain over the intelligence level it showed. She darted to the side as it swung a bleeding fist, the muscles in its arm bulging under the thick hide. Counterattacking the Drone proved difficult, even with its wild swing throwing it off balance. Before she could get in a quick punch to the the neck or a kick to the back of its legs, it swatted its other arm in an arc quicker than she was expecting. Bernie threw up her arms, realizing her mistake too late as the blow sent her flying into the mud. Rubbing her arm across her face to get the mud and hair out of her vision, she rolled to the side as her opponent brought a boot down hard into the roiling mixture of dirt and water, splashing it everywhere.

    Acting quickly, she twisted in the mud, kicking her foot into the thing’s massive, armored leg right between the joints of armor at the back of the knee. It growled in surprise at the blow, falling to its other knee involuntarily and holding itself up with one of its arms. Using the momentarily relapse to her favor, Bernie jumped onto her feet, slipping slightly in the mud, and leaped on the Drone’s back. She caught it in a headlock, not even attempting to try to break the massively muscled neck, but instead focusing on crushing its windpipe. Even if it was a hell-spawned monster, it still had to draw breath in order to live. Growling with the effort, she pulled back hard, wincing as the Drone’s hands clamped onto the arm holding its throat.

    She could feel it pulling on her painfully, her arm almost feeling like it were about to break in half. Changing tactics, she let go before her bones could snap. The Drone, still pulling, brought her bodily over its shoulder. It roared in victory, rain and spittle flying into her face. She grimaced in disgust and grabbed for her knife with her free hand, ripping it out in a burst of blood and used both hands to ram it right back down into the thing’s throat, cutting off its roar into a gurgle. With pain flaring through the Locust soldier’s nerves, it reacted by wrenching hard on her arm and throwing her into the mud, letting go as she fell on her shoulders. She tucked her head in to avoid injuring it but even so, the fall hurt. Age has a way of doing that to a gal, she thought grimly.

    Moving away in a roll, she sprang to her feet and readied herself for the next round, back into her crouched fighting posture. Her breath misted into the air as she breathed hard, the rain washing off the mud she had picked up in the scuffle. She needn’t have even bothered returning to her stance, as the thing fell heavily to its knees a moment later, reaching up to almost, but not quite, grasp the protrusion she had shoved into its trachea. It gurgled again, dark blood running down that impossibly tough skin and staining it a pleasant red. Finally, it fell to its side in the mud and reached toward her menacingly, still not giving up. Bernie grinned at it fiercely, almost animalistically, stalking toward it like a cat cornering its prey. She thought she saw fear in its soulless eyes as the rain showered down loudly in her ears.

    “How do you like that, you rotten piece of sh*t,” she growled, stamping as hard as she could on the outstretched hand. Another gurgle answered her, weaker than the previous ones and filled with pain. She grabbed the knife and twisted it, shoving it in deeper and ripping it out in one smooth motion, killing it as quickly as she would any animal.

    “More than you deserve.”

    She spat on the corpse and crouched down to reach for its belt, moving aside a heavy hand and rolling the body over. The grub was already beginning to smell, but she rummaged through the pouches anyway. Ammo for its fallen Hammerburst and some kind of dark jerky were all that she found immediately, but she grabbed it all and stuffed it in her own pack. After another few moments of searching, she found a short knife strapped to the Drone’s leg, pulling it out and adding it to her piles of treasure. She’d see if the meat was worth eating later, since she’d run out of provisions and there weren’t many animals that she could find in this port city or its surrounding suburbs. Usually there was at least a few wild dogs or cats she could hunt down, but the area was abnormally vacant of any life. Now she knew why; even animals knew when to stay away from grubs.

    Her grisly business done, Bernie jogged over to the Hammerburst rifle that the Drone had dropped at the beginning of their fight, checking its unfamiliar design and unsuccessfully swiping her matted hair out of her face. She’d seen the gun's like several times in the last year on her journey from Galangi, her island home, unfortunate as that was. The grubs, as the mainlanders called them, were crawling over all of Sera. They had been the ones that had cut off her island from the rest of the world. One of the last broadcasts from Tyrus - she watched the news reports from there after she’d been shipped out even then - had called them The Locust. It was a fitting name, she'd acknowledged as she walked through abandoned cities, seeing almost everything of use stripped away.

    Of course, then there were the Hammer of Dawn's effects. She’d been sailing toward the mainland a couple of kilometers off the coast when the lasers first fell. Bright, white light had pierced the peaceful night at sea, the rumbling echo of devastation following the swell of a decent sized tsunami that had wrecked the boat she’d been sailing on. She had been lucky to survive that, clinging for dear life to the broken superstructure and making her way to shore shortly after that. Washing up on the following morning had been like waking up in hell. Where there had once been trees were now nothing but the blasted skeletons of a forest, roots grasping in the air as they had tried to hold the trunk against the shockwave. Even though there hadn’t been a city for days in any direction, the destruction had reached that far, she remembered thinking half in awe and half in numb realization that humanity had done this. It was a sobering thought, the point where she knew for sure things were going down the drain.

    Yet even with that, here she was, a year later, still traveling toward Ephyra to see if the COG stood against the Locust. A thankless task in response to a faint radio broadcast issuing a recall to the city Jacinto. Lifting the Locust Hammerburst up experimentally, she held it against her shoulder and fired a shot at a can lying a few meters away to clear her head and check its aim. The kick surprised her, throwing her back a few paces. Bernie frowned at the weapon, pressing a button on the side to eject the clip. It was jammed. Cursing, she tucked it under her arm and stood up, knowing she didn’t have time to mess with it now. Not with who knew how many grubs there were crawling through the ruins. Or worse, since the sun was just about to sink below the horizon, Kryll. She had to get back to the boat before dark or she’d be so much sliced meat.

    With that pleasant thought in mind, she limped in the direction of the port, breathing heavy under the weight of her pack, the Hammerburst, and her injuries. The pitter patter of the rain on the rooftops around her and the chill running through her body were reminding her that any sensible person would be inside. Smiling humorlessly, she turned down a street where a bell tower had fallen into the square, counting the landmark off of her mental list. Straight ahead, turn left at a clothing store repurposed to be a bunker, straight for two blocks, and then right to hit the waterfront. It felt like miles away to her but she kept going, alert for any Locust prowling about. The rain started lessening as she went and shifted into a light drizzle. She stuck to the shadows, ducking low to keep as much out of sight as possible, her old Pendulum War era armor jiggling loosely on her frame - a little more loosely than she remembered. Bernie frowned at how much muscle mass she had lost after being discharged from the army.

    The sound of heavy boots crunching across broken glass broke her out of the reverie, her eyes instantly spotting the source. Another massive, pale body holding a Lancer, the knife bayonette gleaming in the last of the sun’s light. It was standing in the middle of the street, only a few meters from her. Bernie cursed at her own carelessness and stood stock still. The thing hadn’t seen her yet. It sniffed the air and looked to the opposite side of the street from her, unconcerned. Bernie moved slowly into the store next to her, ducking under what had previously been a glass door with its handle across the middle, careful to keep her head and armor from clanging against anything.

    She examined her surroundings, constantly returning her head to keep an eye on the Locust in the street. The insides of an old style diner stared back at her, a broken picture frame on the wall of a man grilling something over a stove with a smile on his face. Bernie was surprised it stayed there, despite the invasion and Hammer strikes. Faded red stools next to a bar that had been broken in half by the roof that had caved in, the same color booths ripped and strewn to bullets, and finally, a swinging door holding on by one hinge completed her investigation. The door had to lead into the back, she guessed, where she could step into the alleyway and avoid the monster standing outside.

    Eager to leave the city behind and return to the safety of her boat, she passed through the doorway carefully, gingerly stepping over the glass in an effort to not make any noise. While Bernie winced with every step at the sound it made, the Drone didn’t appear to be as observant of its surroundings. One last look saw it walking away, out of her line of sight, snuffling loudly to itself. With relief, she grabbed the door handle to the back alley and opened it silently, gratefully letting the shadows embrace her once more. Looking to the right to make sure nothing was coming, she turned to the left and started walking, wishing she had someone on her tail to keep watch. It was nerve wracking to have to constantly crane her neck back and forth. Walking down the nearly flooded alleyway, she rummaged through her pack and pulled out a rectangular, black device and clicked it on.

    “Manny, get the boat ready. I’ll be there in a few minutes,” Bernie said into her primitive walkie talkie, holding it close to her mouth with her free hand. The effort of carrying the Hammerburst under her arm was starting to annoy her, so she set it on her feet for a few moments, looking out of the alley to see the home stretch. No movement. A faint crackle followed by her boat driver’s voice came over the speaker, loud even at the minimum volume in the silent city.

    Gotcha, ma’am. Sun’s about to set. I ain’t stayin’ here any longer after that, so you better get your sweet can movin’. Wheelhouse ain’t exactly defendable against the locals, 'specially when I paint them such a bright target.

    Manny’s grouchy tone made her smile grimly, knowing the man would keep his promise of leaving before the Kryll came out. Still, Bernie knew the man cared for her enough to wait until the last moment, which she might just be using. The thought spurred her on, grabbing the grub’s weapon under her arm again and setting off in a steady jog, ignoring the dull pain in her leg. The shells of former buildings began to look seedier as she went, even with the damage they had sustained. Whorehouses and bars hadn’t changed much since the people of Sera took to water, always located in easy enough reach for sailors coming into port.

    Bernie smiled as she remembered the first time she ever left her island to join the COG’s army. The sight of the hookers on every street corner and signs boasting the best strip clubs had been shock to her system then when she’d reached Tyrus. Men and even women hadn’t been shy to come up to her and ask if she wanted a good time, their shirts undone to almost show their varying chests. She had turned so red then, so innocent despite her age. Sex wasn’t a big deal to her, but seeing the openness of the mainlanders was something else entirely.

    Shaking her head to relieve her mind of its cobwebs, Bernie stopped at a four way intersection, looking all around the square for enemy movement. The sun pouring in from the right was but a sliver of what it had been, shadows deepening in readiness for the evening. Nothing moved as far as she could see, even scanning the rooftops for snipers. Her training picked out several perfect spots to set up an overwatch position, but it appeared the grubs weren’t exactly on war footing here on the other side of the world from Jacinto Plateau.

    Confident in her security, she ghosted across the square, passing a shattered window that warped her reflection. She stared into the windows in her peripherals, making use of them to keep an eye on the other end of the street, just in case. It never paid to let any pursuers know you saw they were after you. Her radio crackled suddenly, causing her to start and almost drop the Hammerburst, fumbling for a few seconds to bring the radio to her ear.

    Got a few grubs coming in to investigate the motor noise, ma’am. I’d appreciate some help with ‘em, if you’re around,” Manny said, the sound of his boat’s engine burring in the background. Bernie bit her lip and checked her position – she was a block away from the docks.

    “I’m right behind them, sweetie. Distract ‘em for a moment while I work my womanly charm,” she replied, turning down an alleyway that would lead to the docks inconspicuously. The safety on her newfound Hammerburst clicked off as she heard Manny putting a few shots out with his old rifle. The sound of grub return fire and their grinding voices lit up the air, giving Bernie the moments she needed. It was just as good a time as any to practice with her new weapon.

    Any time now, missy,” Manny said over her radio. “Don’t exactly enjoy having Barbara being shot full of holes.

    Bernie jogged to the end of the alleyway, ducking behind some broken masonry. Her shoulder slammed into the brick satisfyingly, looking out over the cover for a moment to see two grubs standing in the open, laughing as they shot at a boat on the end of the pier. They were unaware of her presence, thanks to Manny, and she used that to her advantage, sighting up the one closest to her with the Hammerburst’s ironsights. She adjusted her aim to allow for the major recoil and fired two shots as fast as she could pull the trigger, watching with satisfaction at the spray of blood where the Drone’s head had been. It sounded like a wet splash as brain and gore flew into the air, landing on the other Locust’s shoulder. Bernie moved her weapon over to hit the other one, firing off another three shots, center mass.

    She didn’t stop to look at her work, crouching back into cover just before return fire peppered her position. The slugs from her opponent’s weapon thunked into her cover alarmingly, leading her to believe it wasn’t as sturdy as she thought. She grabbed the walkie again, yelling over the sound of bullets to her partner.

    “One down, but the other bastard’s firing on my position. You got a fix on him?”

    Looks like he’s behind some barrels. Let’s see how he likes an arse full of rifle pellets,” Manny replied, his old rifle ripping into the night with gusto. The pained scream of a grub was music to Bernie’s ears as she leaped over her cover, running in a crouch over to the barrels. The Drone was on the ground, crawling in an effort to get out of the crossfire it had been in. Bernie sneered and sighted up on the beast, her bullets slamming into its brain.

    “Two tossers slotted, courtesy of Galangi,” she muttered into her walkie.

    Awful nice of ya, but we ain’t got time to pat our backs. Sun just went down, toots. Hop in the boat before them swarms start showing up,” Manny responded worriedly, heavy lights springing up all over his ship. It would give their position away to any grubs on land, but it was better that than being ripped apart. Bernie skipped her customary looting, hopping over the body and running as best she could with her injured leg. Her boots slapped against the wooden pier as she ran, the Hammerburst cradled in her arms protectively.

    The Barbara’s Fancy, Manny’s old sailboat, started moving away from its berth, spurring Bernie to run even harder. She was breathing hard, now, feeling that familiar rush of adrenaline from the small skirmish working its way through her system. Coming alongside the boat, she grabbed the railing and jumped for it just as the boardwalk ran out of board. She collapsed in a heap, her new weapon digging into her stomach painfully. She didn’t care, though, rolling over on her back and picking herself up enough to look at the receding coastline, the boat's engine rumbling reassuringly.

    With the last rays of sunlight tainting the clouds an orange, massive black swarms of Kryll exploded out of the ground and buildings. Bernie shuddered as a small portion of a particularly large group peeled off and flitted toward the boat. She didn’t bother wasting bullets on the things, trusting the bright, multicolored lights slung along Barbara. The shrill cry of the Kryll bounced back and forth on either side as they flew around the vehicle, darting in and then screaming louder as the light hit them.

    “Gives me the damn willies, that does,” a rough voice called out from Bernie’s left. She turned to see Manny standing on the door outside the wheelhouse, his bald head gleaming in the glare of the protective lights. He was a stocky man, about the same height as her, but built out in a way only a hardened sailor could be. Short, brown shorts that belonged on no man as old as Manny covered his thighs, and not much else, with the same color boots reaching up to the middle of his lower leg. A flamboyant white shirt open enough to release the giant puff of hair on his chest completed the strange ensemble. She raised an eyebrow at his form of dress, but he simply ignored the look and reached down a hand to help her up. Bernie took it gratefully.

    “I can relate,” she growled as the man heaved her to her feet.

    “Find any food, by chance?” he asked, scratching his scalp vigorously. Bernie backed up a little, not sure if she wanted the man’s fleas or whatever else was feeding on him. She shook her head and then paused, thoughtfully dug in her pack, remembering her discovery.

    “I’m not sure if we can eat it, but I found some kind of jerky in a grub’s belt,” she replied, pulling out the dried, tan meat. It didn’t look anything like any jerky she’d ever seen, but she was willing to try it once. Manny grabbed a piece out of her outstretched hand and tore off a chunk with his teeth, chewing contentedly. Bernie watched his face, wondering if her only way to steer the boat was going to keel over.

    “Tastes like sh*t, but I’ll take it,” Manny nodded with satisfaction, taking another bite. Bernie shook her head at the man’s careless attitude, stuffing the remaining slices of jerky back into the pack she carried.

    With Manny returning to his place at the helm of the ship, and the Kryll long gone as they sped further out to sea, Bernie examined the weapon she had brought along with her. The weapon was big, almost larger than she was if she had to be honest. The weapon’s clip receiver was damaged, a little dent punched into the side of it stopping the ejection. Grabbing a screwdriver from her pack and sitting back down, she worked the flat tip in between the seam and tried wiggling it around to pop out the cartridge. After a few minutes of messing with it, the clip ejected from the gun.

    Bernie blew out a breath as she finished her work, staring at objects in her lap and wondered at the pleasure the simple act of fixing gave. There wasn’t a lot of pleasure left in the world, though, so anything she could get was better than nothing. She shrugged philosophically, working to remove the dent so her other scavenged clips could be slotted in. The sound of the ocean slapping against the old boat accompanied her work, lending a certain peace despite her hatred of the wet stuff.

    Eventually, Bernie yawned and stretched, looking around their little boat at the reflection of the lights in the water. It looked as if they were sailing in nothingness, the surroundings black against the glare of the stringed illumination. She wiped her eyes, suddenly realizing how tired she was and stood up, gathering her gear with her. Waving to Manny through the wheelhouse window, she retired to the cabin, almost tripping down the stairs as the boat rocked with the waves.

    “Sh*t! Lock me up if I ever get used to this bloody vehicle,” Bernie groused, muttering her annoyance at her surroundings and dropping her stuff beside her bed, catching herself on the wall as the boat rocked again. Un-strapping the armor on her slender body, she let it fall where it may, too tired to worry about taking care of it at the moment, even though she knew she’d have to sooner or later. Sighing with resignation, the former Gear collapsed into the bed, instantly falling asleep.

    *****

    Bernie awoke to a sharp jolt as something hit the side of the boat, instantly awake as adrenaline ripped through her system. Thoughts of the boat sinking into the waves assailed her, fear clawing at her throat as she jerked upright to look around at the compartment. Manny’s familiar voice came from the other side of the small room, cursing at being woken up so early. As her eyes adjusted to the dark, she could make out the man strapping on his pair of too short shorts, leaving his top half exposed. He must have weighed anchor, which meant they were close to shore. At least, she hoped that she was making the right conclusion.

    “What’s up?” Bernie asked, careful to keep the nervousness out of her voice. She wasn’t going to let a little thing like the possibility of drowning bother her, especially if Manny seemed unworried. Surely not.

    “Hell if I know, sweets. Maybe we got grazed by a whale or some other flotsam. I’ll go check it out for you, seein’ as how you love being above deck at night,” Manny replied sarcastically, tramping up the stairs loudly, his voice calling down to her as he moved up. She frowned at him as his footsteps thudded above her, the sounds of waves causing her to twitch in anticipation.

    “What in the hell! You can’t just come up on a ship like that, son. It just ain’t prop-.”

    Whatever Manny was going to say, he never got the chance. The loud crack of a gunshot echoed from above, setting her combat instincts into overdrive. She forgot her fear of water, reaching for the Hammerburst next to her bed, grabbing a couple of clips for it. Multiple footsteps above her clued her in, so she went to the right of the stairs leading into her sleeping area and held her breath. The stars that she could see shone brightly, an almost eager darkness threatening to completely obliterate the light as it blocked her sight. She fell further back into shadow, pointing her gun up at her target, center mass, just like she’d been taught to in close range. Headshots only worked if you were far enough away not to be noticed.

    The first shadow clumped down the stairs, the soft, orange light of a cigarette lighting up the man’s scarred face. Bernie grimaced, knowing how loud the Hammerburst was going to be in the small quarters. Ah well, not like my ears are going to get a chance to recover from all this war, she thought, pulling the trigger just as the man reached the bottom step. Time stopped as her weapon clicked. Her eyes widened as she realized the Hammerburst was jammed, the man quickly turning toward the sound with anger plain on his ugly face.

    Dropping the weapon with a clamor, she threw a right hook at the murderer, feeling it impact satisfyingly against his cheek. The man stumbled backwards and caught himself on the counter next to the sink, clearly surprised by her strength. She rushed forward, intent on keeping her momentum up, feinting a right hook and once again striking flesh as her left fist smacked into the man’s right eye. Before she could continue, a heavy weight drove into her stomach, pushing her back toward the stairs and painfully bashing her tailbone against the second to last step.

    She avoided the punch heading straight for her head by dodging to the side and smiling grimly as the man’s fist hit nothing but wood. Using the man’s move against him, she kicked out with both feet, knocking him back into his previous position. Bernie gathered her feet back under her, ready to go again as the man spit out blood. She saw his eyes flick up to the stairs behind her and she looked up. The bottom of a boot appeared in her vision just before pain exploded in her face, tears overwhelming her as she fell, bringing her hands to her no doubt broken nose. She felt blood streaming out. Another kick to her side had her coughing up some of the blood that ran down her throat. F*cking stupid, she cursed at herself for getting distracted. Before she could regain her feet and get back into the fight, someone grabbed her arms and pinned them painfully behind her back.

    “Lookie what we have here, boss. A little old, maybe, but probably still…useful,” a leering voice pierced through the red haze of pain. Bernie didn’t like the tone in the man’s voice at all, but it was lost as a boot from another direction hit her in the head. What little vision she had blurred heavily at the edges, blearily hoping she wasn’t getting brain damage from all the abuse. “What the hell happened to your face, John?”

    “B*tch got a lucky shot is all, man. Tie her up while I look around, see if I can find any food or other supplies,” her first assailant growled sharply, cutting off anymore questions in that vein.

    “What about the rest?”

    Bernie heard a pause as the man, John, rummaged through the pantry, tossing aside cans and other foodstuff.

    “Let them have her. Then dump her overboard.”

    “Now that’s an order I can get behind, cap’n,” the other voice replied, a cruel glee evident in its tone. Bernie felt herself roughly manhandled as the asshole grabbed her by the hair and threw her on Manny’s bed. Her shins banged painfully against the wood paneling beneath it as she felt her hands being tied behind her. She kicked up with her right leg, feeling it hit the sweet spot and temporarily freeing her. Unfortunately, John had picked that time to stop messing around in the food closet. A rough hand ringed her neck, strong knees holding her legs down to stop her kicking. She was helpless, despite her struggling. Plastic ties Manny usually battened down loose items with dug into her wrist as they finished her imprisonment. Bernie could already feel the circulation in her hands cutting off from the tightness.
    Last edited by Croswynd; 02-22-2012 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default

    “Looks like this wh*re needs a lesson in certain etiquette,” John’s voice said loudly in the dark room. Then, with his foul smelling breath threading its way around the blood in her nose, he whispered in her ear. “Isn’t that right, babe? I can already tell you’re ready by the squirming.”

    Bernie wanted to scream at him, rip through the ties, and choke her tormentor, but she didn’t give the man the satisfaction of a response. When she didn’t answer, she felt a sharp pain as he bit the top of her ear harder than was sensually necessary. She grimaced but didn’t respond vocally, carefully blanking her mind from what was coming. Looking around in the small, enclosed space, she tried to find a weapon, any weapon, to stop- no, she wasn’t going to think about it. Even with the man’s rough beard like sandpaper on her neck around the pain of his teeth scratching down it. She bit her lip to take her mind off of it, feeling the cold sea air on her bare skin.

    This wasn’t happening. It just wasn’t. She hadn’t come all this way to just end up dying in the middle of the ocean, prey to some sh*tty asshole who hadn’t seen a woman for years. Oh, god, no, no. Bernie wanted to scream as John slapped her, clenching her teeth as her mind drifted into thoughts of skinning the man she had only briefly seen in the light of a cigarette. She would take her time with it, slowly working her way down his chest, first. Pain seared through her, but she continued imagining the ways she’d slice him. Bernie held back the tears that threatened to run down her face as her head slapped against the wall.

    Seconds passed into minutes, sweat running down her face and stinging her eyes, but she ignored it, her lip bleeding as she clenched it between her teeth. The pain in her lips took her mind away from the atrocity. She crawled into the holes in her mind and stayed there as the minutes passed into an hour, another man eagerly continuing where the first had stopped. It was unreal, her eyes glassy as she thought up an exquisitely grotesque death to each man that dared show his face to her. John’s face, most of all, burned in her memory.

    After two hours of torture, it blissfully ended. Bernie was suspended in a pain filled world, her body falling against the floor only to be picked up again and dragged up the steps. She glanced around, not seeing Manny anywhere, only absently noticing the bloodstain that lead to the side of the boat. They carried her to the rail, where she saw the lights her friend had strung up earlier that evening still glittering beautifully. She teared up at that, at last, feeling them run down her face irrationally. There couldn’t be beauty anywhere in the same space of time as what had just happened. Bernie felt weightless, retching into the water, and looking to the right just as she was thrown in. The small boat, so blue in the light, so dreadfully clear in her blurry world, disappeared as she sank beneath the waves.

    Panic seared through her mind as she looked around, suddenly very aware of her surroundings. Why now did she have to regain her mind, when she was drowning? It wasn’t fair. Bernie closed her eyes, her arms still bound behind her, a watery hand clutching her throat as bubbles of air ran out of her mouth and nose. The light from the boat was fading.

    A rough point jabbed into the side of her foot as she kicked and her eyes opened wide, stinging in the salt water. The pain of everything was nothing as she twisted her body, still sinking, to bring her foot up to her numb hands. She jerked her foot up, reaching for the knife she had taken from the grub in her boot, her entire being focused on that one task. Relief tinged with worry as her lungs started aching hit her, the knife now in nerveless hands, working at the plastic tie quickly. She hoped and prayed she wouldn’t drop it, though Bernie had a bad moment where her finger slipped and the knife broke the skin of her palm.

    Finally, after what seemed like an hour, but was actually only a few seconds, she cut through the ties, willingly dropping the knife now as she thrashed around in the water, pulling herself up as best she could, her half-remembered swimming lessons coming into her mind. Kick, thrust hands behind, kick. No doggie paddling. Just kick, thrust, kick.

    Her head broke above the water and she gasped, water draining out of her ears in time for her to hear the motor of the boat dwindling away somewhere to her left. However, even with her current situation somewhat mollified, a new problem arose. Where the light from the boat had previously been the work of a bunch of multicolored bulbs, now it was a roaring inferno.

    Poor Manny, she thought as she stared at her friend's only love. Poor Barbara. Poor me.

    Even with the heat assailing her, Bernie knew her only chance was to grab something inflatable from the boat before it joined her lost knife in the depths. A life saver on the side held with rope caught her eye and she clumsily swam toward it, falling beneath the water as her aching muscles failed her momentarily. She wasn’t going to last long without aid.

    Reaching the boat and grabbing onto the float with relief, she pulled on the ropes holding it. Luckily, the fire had eaten through the rope further along the boat already, so it came off with little trouble. It flapped in the water, hitting her in the head, but she was too relieved to care about the headache that was just starting to form. She was safe, for now, as she pushed herself away from the boat.

    Morning was hours away, but the water she was in wasn’t especially cold. She wouldn’t catch hypothermia, at least. So she held on to the life saver and her rage, waiting for morning so she could find and swim toward land. Bernie would never set foot on a boat again - unless it was the little blue boat John owned. That she would gladly step on, right before she skinned the screaming man piece by piece.
    Last edited by Croswynd; 02-19-2012 at 09:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Boomshot
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,080
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Crank Fastle

    Default

    I have to say this is an excellent, excellent piece. It was really well written, descriptive, emotive and above all, it gave us a real insight into a character not really explored (even in the books.)

    The fight at the beginning was well paced and I could picture it in my head so easily. It was also realistic too and played on the fact Bernie is getting old. The... scene later on was also tastfully done. Not going into unecessary detail but giving us enough to work with to know what's going on. I liked the emphasis on her focus to take her mind off the ordeal and instead, force it onto revenge... which we see the fruition of in Jacinto's Remnant.

    Nice work!

  4. #4
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,869
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: rusticangelic

    Default

    Cros this is just.... awesome

    Really enjoyed this piece, I'm actually quite speechless finishing this off. Really well done Cros.
    "I suppose you want me to say I've always loved you. But I don't.... I REALLY REALLY don't!"



  5. #5
    Boomshot
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    The Moon
    Posts
    2,821
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: UKnowJack

    Default

    Nah, it wasn't too long, although I'm not sure if you're insinuating the event in which she was gang-raped as mentioned in the book.

    Anyway, I'll have to agree with rusty...it moves very well and the plot keeps going up and to the end. Kudos!

  6. #6
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default

    I'll supply two replies to that sentence, as I'm not sure I understand your intention.

    Answer #1: I was actually referencing the fact that the story was too long to post all in one go, thanks to the character limit.

    Answer #2: Yes, it is that event that is happening here.

    Thanks for reading, Jonesy, though I'd love a more in depth review sometime, if I'm not asking too much. You're kind of my rolemodel here.

  7. #7
    Legend.....wait for it....dary
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    27,031
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Meh PSN ID: Meh

    Default

    baring its teeth at her with mist coming [from/with] every breath from the massive frame.
    One of those or a substitution would work well there.

    With pain flaring through the locust soldier’s nerves
    Capital there, Cros.

    Usually there was at least a few wild dogs or cats she count hunt down,
    Replace those with a 'ld'.

    Bernie jogged over to the Hammerburst rifle that the drone had dropped at the beginning of their fight, checking its unfamiliar design.
    'Drone' needs a capital letter, as its the same with 'Gear'.

    Then, too, were the Hammer strike’s effects.
    This part has me confused. I don't understand where this sentence is transitioning from or starting.

    I think thats all I spotted, aside from the reuse of lower-case for 'Drone' and whatnot. Anyway, onto the story it self. I think you did a great job of describing the world around her and every morsel of detail. You not only painted a picture, but you placed me, the reader, in that picture. When she was rumbling with the Grub, I was there, when she was making her way through the destroyed cities and world, I was there etc. I think that was a integral part of this story. Without that, it wouldn't have worked.

    The language was spot on. Bernie and those around her were fantastic. Bernie and Manny almost has this 'tease yet friendly' atmosphere about them. That no doubt made them both all the more believable. You also gave Bernie the spotlight, which was no doubt awesome! I also liked how you didn't simply start from the rape and onward, but instead, her pilgrimage and then ended at the rape. That leaves the reader to do the rest, to come up with the rest. I find the spot you ended to be the perfect place to end this particular short/story.

    Good work, Cros!
    I'll check in every now and again but for the most part, I won't be as active as I was previously. It really was the Gears + people that got me posting on here in the first place. Unless Epic release an awesome game or something. I'm leaving this message because I'm obviously a very, very important person.

    Hope to see a lot of you on the BT Forums! - 11/02/2014 (lol)

  8. #8
    Boomshot
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    The Moon
    Posts
    2,821
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: UKnowJack

    Default

    The reason I asked if it was the event that lead up to her rape was because I wasn't quite sure if you were alluding to that incident, so I didn't want to jump to conclusions.

    Anyway, I was confused between your character "Massy" and the culprit Massy from Jacinto's Remnant whom was a participant in her traumatic experience in which he intended to make an example out of her. That would be my only complaint if I had one.

    The description of the rape was well done, focusing on the trauma that's being inflicted on her psychologically, which unfortuntaley goes very deep, and it's not something that victims can just forget. Worst of all, her assailants intended to make sure she was put into her "place" so to speak, so it would be the last thing she'll remember before her demise.

  9. #9
    Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,824
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Wisdom Thumbs

    Default

    It's at times like this that words fail me.

    Honestly, how am I supposed to review something like this? Goddamn it, you guys! You've reviewed all the parts that I could have critiqued and the thing is too damn good to do anything but spew compliments over it.

    Cros, this is what I look for in a Gears of War short story. This is also the perfect Bernie fanfiction. I think you, sir, have won a medal.
    I came up with the Bag 'N Tag idea. No really, check the date. (proof)
    Fanboy of Gears since GameInformer's 2005 cover-article
    Speedtest - my internet is slower than yours

    "Tommorrow" - short story..................................................Games as Literature: Aspho Fields podcast

  10. #10
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Locust Prisoner, Sera.
    Posts
    7,942
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: lIMarcusFenixlI

    Default

    This is the best piece of work I've seen for a while. I mean really, this is truly something. I'm really glad you wrote this because it's something that needed to be addressed... no matter how graphic. I'm really impressed by the amount of detail in this piece and how much soul you put into writing it. Did you go back to the book for references at all?

  11. #11
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default

    First off, thank you everyone for your kind words. I feel all warm and glowy. Perfect end to an already epic night. Icing on the cheesecake, even.

    Now, to answer your question, Adam, I went back to Jacinto's Remnant, bit only once because I couldn't remember Massey's name. Everything else I just kind of threw together. It actually turned out different from what I had envisioned in the beginning. It was going to end with her getting a knife out of a pillow and flaying a few before Massey got away on the boat, but my characters here did what they always do and surprise me with something; in this case, the plastic ties.

    After that point, I just let the story flow where it may. It was supposed to have gone on longer, too, but I got tired of writing the night I posted it. Seemed like a good place to stop, anyway.
    Last edited by Croswynd; 05-17-2011 at 02:36 AM.

  12. #12
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Locust Prisoner, Sera.
    Posts
    7,942
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: lIMarcusFenixlI

    Default

    Interesting development. I kind of do the same thing with events in my stories, where I come out with something entirely different than what I planned to begin with. :P

  13. #13

    Default

    I'm SOOOOOOOO disappoint.


    That there's nothing for me to complain about and critique in order to make myself look all smug and superior.


    Like Wiz pointed out, all that's left is to throw out ever more sycophantic positive superlatives which would be more a list of alternative words for "awesome" than an actual review.

    Anyways, the level of detail, characterization and pacing all seemed perfectly balanced. The subject matter was grim, but maturely handled. With, like Jonesy mentioned, the focus being turned to intelligent character development instead of sensationalist gratuity. I was initially confused by the Hammerburst jam, as I assumed it was a chamber jam and not a problem with the clip, but that's a very minor thing. I liked Manny too, he actually did remind me of those island types, shame he had to die so soon.

    But yeah, it's an excellent short and will be added to the collection shortly.

    Funny thing about the ADITL collection... I haven't even got one entry in it.

  14. #14
    MSgt. Shooter Person
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Springfield,Missouri
    Posts
    158
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: An Undead Lord

    Default

    Its a pretty good read in my opinon.
    It's not Gears of war 3 that makes people mad its three reasons 1 Sawed off 2 Sawed off 3 Casuals that use the sawed off

    http://www.speedtest.net/result/1281750885.png

  15. #15
    Legend.....wait for it....dary
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    27,031
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Meh PSN ID: Meh

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealBigBoss View Post
    Funny thing about the ADITL collection... I haven't even got one entry in it.
    You are make funny, no?

    I'll check in every now and again but for the most part, I won't be as active as I was previously. It really was the Gears + people that got me posting on here in the first place. Unless Epic release an awesome game or something. I'm leaving this message because I'm obviously a very, very important person.

    Hope to see a lot of you on the BT Forums! - 11/02/2014 (lol)

  16. #16
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default

    Thanks a ton for reviewing so quickly, Boss. Yeah; I have to admit the jam was a little far fetched, but I just thought it was the only way to get Bernie in a (relatively) disadvantaged position.

  17. #17
    Legend.....wait for it....dary
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    27,031
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Meh PSN ID: Meh

    Default

    What do you have next, next be it, next, next? What is next, plan on something large or plan on something small, it shall be next?
    I'll check in every now and again but for the most part, I won't be as active as I was previously. It really was the Gears + people that got me posting on here in the first place. Unless Epic release an awesome game or something. I'm leaving this message because I'm obviously a very, very important person.

    Hope to see a lot of you on the BT Forums! - 11/02/2014 (lol)

  18. #18
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,648
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default

    Hmm. Your question gives me a good reason to bump this, as well as other reasons that could benefit me.

    After this, I've got to finish Haunted Echoes, then I think I'll slip into some unfamiliar shoes of a new story featuring a group of Gears that were stranded somewhere. A few oneshots should round out the year, as well.

    As for everyone else, thanks for reading. Comments keep me going, so leave something to say you've read it, hatred filling you or not. :P

  19. #19
    Redeemer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New york
    Posts
    1,542

    Default

    Beautiful brother
    Tips for People who want to learn the art of Gnasher.
    Try to bounce to the walls and make sure you dont spend too much time in a stationary postion when firing the gnasher you have the WONDERFUL abilty to doge bullets as well as become a one shot powerhouse if accuracy allows it. Also get good with the BLINDFIRE

  20. #20
    MSgt. Shooter Person
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sticking Kim and Valera with my big ole knife and wearing my chainsaw proof armor
    Posts
    446
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: N1SSASSA

    Default

    Her grisly business done, Bernie jogged over to the Hammerburst rifle that the Drone had dropped at the beginning of their fight, checking its unfamiliar design and unsuccessfully swiping her matted hair out of her face. She’d seen the gun's like several times in the last year on her journey from Galangi, her island home, unfortunate as that was. The grubs, as the mainlanders called them, were crawling over all of Sera. They had been the ones that had cut off her island from the rest of the world. One of the last broadcasts from Tyrus - she watched the news reports from there after she’d been shipped out even then - had called them The Locust. It was a fitting name, she'd acknowledged as she walked through abandoned cities, seeing almost everything of use stripped away.

    Where there had once been trees were now nothing but the blasted skeletons of a forest, roots grasping in the air as they had tried to hold the trunk against the shockwave.

    On paragraph 13, I think strewn WITH bullets would make more sense, because to doesn't really seem to fit.


    Relief tinged with worry as her lungs started aching hit her, the knife now in nerveless hands, working at the plastic tie quickly.
    Couldn't really tell what you meant here, might be wrong word choice or I might just not be grasping it properly.


    Overall, awesome story. Really enjoyed it a lot, good writing Cros.
    [Gears of War: The Journey] - Fan Fiction Short Story, any feedback appreciated"
    [Gears of War: The Onyx Platoon] - Fan Fic
    Don't care about KD, winning, or anything else. All I care about is playing as RAAM and pissing people off with my SAWED OFF YEAHHHH.


 

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •