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In the war with only night
In the shadows fearing light
One gives way to take respite
This the plea, he shall incite.

In the dark, he's lost in fright
Weary of the eternal plight
Singing that solemn lullaby,
Of the stars that have gone by.

Lost forever in the fight
From the danger and fright
Lacking will to neither live nor die
For them to strike he thus invites

Only a love from the days of old
Can stop the darkness taking hold
But his heart has grown so cold,
To decay, his body sold.

Who can offer him salvation?
Through the fear of annihilation?
Driven mad with isolation,
Can you save A souls temptation?

Who can off the love and light,
In the approaching dread of night?
In the coming of the swarm
Who can chase away the swarm?

From his death to his birth
Angels and demons war on earth
For whatever his soul is worth
Save this man from the markers words.
this is my first shot at poetry so pleeeeaese lemme know how i did? kinda morbid but i got this idea from.... you guessed it =D Deadspace
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The two Surveyors made their way up to the console.  Alexandra made it up first, climbing over the side and making her way to the supervisor.  Robert angrily climbed up by himself, visibly upset that Alexandra wasn't there to help him up.
"Good work," the Supervisor said as he looked at the console, "We're getting a clear image.  The engineers are currently moving the loader.  Altman be praised at their progress.  They are just barely ahead of schedule."
Robert got a good look at the screen.  Sam Caldwell was currently pulling the loader on the track using his Kinesis Module.  The Marker seemed to be glowing slightly brighter as the loader was brought in close.
"This is Cooper to Maxwell.  You reading me, surveyors?  Over."
Maxwell raised his right arm and punched the button on his comms module.  A hologram vidscreen revealed the face of an engineer on the other side.
"This is Maxwell," the Supervisor said, "I read you."
"We're starting the five-down in a few seconds.  Whether you have your equipment ready or not, I'm going to be turning it on.  You have everything ready?  Over."
"Everything's ready, Cooper," Maxwell said with a satisfied smirk, "I wouldn't miss this moment for the entire galaxy.  Altman be praised."
"Yeah, yeah," Cooper said, "Cut the Unitology crap.  I've had enough about that already."
"I wouldn't want you upset about the greatest moment in history, Cooper," Maxwell said, "You may start anytime."
"Fine.  I don't need your permission.  Over and out."
Robert stifled a snicker.  At least he wasn't the only one upset about this.
"Robert, you have one final task," Maxwell said, "Aim the hologram projector over to the Marker and keep it steady from the wind.  I want this whole event recorded with the Marker in the center."
Robert sighed.  Turning his ERM's safety on, he walked up to the large, turret-like hologram projector and aimed it carefully.  Placing his eyes over on the eye braces, he looked inside and made sure he aimed it so that the whole recording could be seen on the screen.
Damn waste of time trying to grab some glowing rock, Robert said to himself.
"Stand by, everyone," Cooper voiced on the comms, "I'm starting the five-down."
Robert watched carefully.  As he gazed at the Marker, he heard something like some far-off voice.  It seemed to sound like creepy whisperings.  He shook the thought out of his head and watched as Sam came up and pressed a button on the loader screen.
"Five…"
Cooper's voice seemed to grow distant.  Robert couldn't believe his eyes as the Marker began to spark red lightning at its base.
"Four…"
The loader's arms began to reach towards the Marker.  Sam seemed to notice the lightning and stepped back in surprise.  
"Three…"
The Marker glowed brightly as lightning shot up its surface.  The loader arms almost grasped its base.
"Two…"
A great glowing sphere suddenly formed atop the Marker.  Lightning covered it completely by now.  Were Robert and Sam the only ones noticing?
"One…Mark!"
As the loader's arms grasped the Marker's base, all hell broke loose as the sphere exploded in a blinding flash.
EDIT! Please read!

This, along with my other Dead Space Shadows deviation, has become my most popular deviation to date. I would like to let everyone know, as of today, I'm not currently writing or planning on writing Dead Space: Shadows until further notice. That doesn't mean it won't happen, but it does mean that you probably shouldn't expect it anytime this year (I might be nice and post what I currently have written this Halloween, but that would probably mean all the more that I'll take longer to write it).

I really appreciate the favs and the views, but if you happen to stumble upon this I'd really appreciate it if you took the time to look at my other stuff that I'm working on. Thanks for your time.

End of Edit

Excerpt from Dead Space: Shadows, Introduction - To Extract a Marker

Since I posted a preview piece of artwork earlier, I decided to post a text preview so you guys can see what you're up against. As I add more to the story, I'll steadily add more previews until I'm ready to post the first bit. This is going to be the last time you'll see a submission involving the first preview pic I posted earlier, mostly because I've got a specific logo poster set up for this story (which, by the way, is probably going to get edited. This one turned out so well that I'm having a hard time choosing between the two).

Preview Pic edited with GIMP 2.0, [link]
Dead Space (c) EA Games
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Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar
    Core Worlds
    Macragge            Konor        Prandium    Calth         Espandor
    Iax                     Quintarn    Tarentus    Masali        Talassar
    Parmenio             Firestorm    Gathis II    Newfound    Lorin Alpha
    Mancora              Ithaka        Vilamus    Honourum    Orpheus Prime
    Cyclades Epsilon   Cyclades Kappa     Armato    Sabatine    Saramanth
    Occuluda             Orax          Drachus      Praganar    Solstice
    Constantinium       Beseritor    Eleusis      Acheros      Vespasia
    Polyphemnos        Perinetus    Soryth      Tephaine    Aryus One
    Sinophia              Idumea       Calistra        Tyros        Elros
    Agrius                 Callaria       New Terra    Spira        Perseid
    Empyrium             Halcyon     Solaris V     Thallon      Terminus Mundus
    Arkanar               Velaxis        Qaddesh    Herathon    Talis IV
    Terra Sirenum       Xanthior      Meroetis    Thallus VIII    Vireneh
    Meridian           Fornax Primus   Scythium    Ophiussa    Lamaria
    Phorcys              Vanth          Actaea       Apsilae V    Salmacis
    Heptanomis        Thyrreion      Ithoria        Aquario      Arrapha
    Tarsis Ultra         Cythere      Pharaxia       Hyacinth    Talis Secundus
    Elliath                Abertur      Coridan         Delphina    Vekallor
    Orion Prime         Kalkallon     Epsilon Chi II  Skepsis     Salamis
    Oreius               Hacilar        Haven Port    Fornax       Pallas
    Aegea               Ultracior      Fulminus       Callidon       Ignesia
    Velathium          Calderis       Prosperity       Fortuna     Celes II
    Accatran           Dantris III    Arminiun        Heliosa    Epsion Octarius
    Jollana              Chordelis       Starport       Kinapis       Ultima Prime
    Aurion               Sebennytos    Port S'aid    Karanis       Hieracon
    Pyrar Tertius       Heracleion    Celestium    Bastion       Thronion
    Lunamire            Albion          Altheon       Draxis Prime    Fornicia
    Hydrax              Tarralax       Acamar       Arox          Velaris Sigma
    Aquileia             Borealis       Acherusia    Hellespon    Tetrapolis
    Vera III            Tamanis        Acre            Halior        Mundus Prospera
    Fortitude          Ilium            Safeharbor    Vexus        Forge's Hammer
    Athyra            Daminon        Pythion         Tripolis           Laocon
    Nova Mundus    Calderis        Vallar           Krion II        Highspire
    Talkara            Cerulean       Minos          Walkure       Veridan
    Malloran           Punt           Belpharos      Antium        Dynamus
    Farthest Point   Thule          Highcastle     Providentium    Judaea
    Anaxar             Meroe          Ksetras        Lyrian         Ad Ultramaris
    Westeros         Aquis Prime    Praesidia     Sarmates    Castra Ultra
    Phycion           Ithania          Tellene      Arcanis          Vellixari
    Ivixion            Altor II          Kallor        Vesperia       Ultra Mundus
    Armadea          Elianu          Provincio    Iphigenium    Talis IV
    Qabbalah         Hieratis       Manethus    Amratia         Proxium Alpha
    Ark Haven        Priarium      Zarem Alpha    Calladox    Vynar VIII
    Harran            Ramoth       Hatra Tertius    Aeclanum   Terra Secundus
    Castia Prime     Verallun      Antigonus       Cyraxia       Melander
    Ostra V            Laurentum    Astura        Gabii          Portus Ultramar
    Thurion           Prium Tetra    Aternum    Astinus        Veleia Prime
    Mannaseh        Khazaran      Qashan       Majar         Arkaim
    Zeriam            Callios          Denara        Vaios IV     Igneus Fornax
    Samandar        Celemantia    Charax        Halmyris     Herculium
    Ajmer              Antakya       Delphios       Berea        Iconium
    Sareptus         Artanes II    Taurunum    Byzantion    Oresthus
    Terranea          Uzal            Caphtor       Ophirius      Philistia
    Diauehi            Bithyn          Safehold      Nabataea    Tethiru
    Achaei            Perennus      Vaxum XII    Alemanni    Heruthus
    Androphacum    Armalaus     Tal Uxis       Syallax        Bastion Ultramar
    Betasii            Dysnex III    Ceutrones    Perellum      Chandravarma
    Cimbri             Lacunos       Nacerene       Gnosis        Celestar
    Xerxer            Holicum        Goodwill        Veselus       Igniteus IV
    Gandhara        Hamax          Hermunduri    Hyksos       Mandaea
    Kalkis             Sabine Path    Saldens      Iliaar          Sanhaja
    Sinjoh            Heavenrise     Thamud       Trixae         Pyraech
    Volcae           Hanarim         Quissex         Amphorus    Guilliman's Gate
    Tophane        Galatas          Tempest        Hellenis       Northern Pass
    Hercynia        Silvus V         Hversu          Hannathon     Paradisus
    Naturis           Prexior         Hamyrth        Calcyrion      Spridius IX
    Ashtarot         Sidon          Cytherus        Tyramis        Zophasem
    Baetylus          Theresh       Eryx VII        Anthemusias    Meride
    Pherres I         Corinthus     Solis Tertius    Solis Quintus    Solis Primus
    Triskelion         Histria         Thuriion        Epidamnos     Nymphaeum
    Homeward       Spirefall        Meneses       Pal'vesh        Archades
    Far Port          Kellenes       Konor Minor     Circius IV    Horizon Star
    Erythres          Mandra       Nea Ultramar    Kallithea      Mycenium
    Kalamos          Chaeron      Tithorus         Thellenes      Western Reach
    Aigerius          Prosperity    Ipsus III        Satris Alpha    Pythia Tertius
    Arcadion        Aetos I        Poseidon       Arathea         Tibor II
    Artemida        Iardanus      Carthage        Thanae         Portus Magnus
    Hadrumetus     Sabratha    Arx Praetorum  Caelum         Selene
    Hippocampus    Sibyllene    Hera's Bastion  Aphridix       Calumar
    Amphis Prime    Guardian     North Gem     Phorax V       Ultra Meridianus
    Altaneum         Edirnus        Coryxis        Watchpost    Praetorum Ultima
    Sidyana           Helaos         Phemis        Thokos        Riftworld
    Mundus Primus   Paradine    Carthenis    Cephlon IX      Cygnus Omega
    Ephor              Heliotrix       Porphyrus    Armatura         Belleraphon
    Arkheon           Bellaphorus    Ulstrex       Hermethia    Hydropolis
    Promonon        Taurea        Tetrapryion    Vasaali        Methres II
    Gideon Prime    Ophalcus      Beldene        Khea          Mare Infinitus
    Ancharia          Achaitus      Ulpium          Berengaria    Magna Portus
    Calligenia          Xanthe        Mekera        Hecatae      Cataract
    Pellamon          Guarid III      Ellisum        Cyracus IV    Zephyrim
    Myrtoa             Melketis      Teleost         Karhane       Pahura
    Tirazis              Icarea        Seleukia        Thapsacus    Leontos
    Canopus          Seraphaeum  Tamia VII       Terenu        Daphnae
    Eilithyias          Ankyron       Caldeus X      Antaea        Manawar
    Primis              Paraeton       Hetepheres    Malkata    Ankhmahor
    Pheredes          Ilalcum        Zaraphas        Arpadda    Hamath
    Symeion           Sarepta V    Maritimus        Ophrah      Raphanae
    Sepphoris          Taanach      Andriake         Kytoros    Ultramar Extremus
    Ambracia            Triantus      Ophyrnium      Samothrace  Karystos
    Orchomenos       Thermon      Lygos           Aeculanum    Himera
        
                    
After reading the novel Know No Fear, I've heard of the Ultramarines' great domain before the time of the Heresy. Within the story it spoke of the XIII Legion's great realm of five hundred worlds.

Known as the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar, or "the New Empire", the realm was the home of the largest of the Space Marine Legions. Mainstream 40k knowledge doesn't have much detail on this realm, so I took it upon myself to name all 500 worlds.

This project tok me two months to accomplish. I surfed the Web, searching for suitable names. Of course, I included the original eleven worlds of Ultramar, as well as any future homeworlds of Ultramarines Successor Chapters, and a few other Imperial worlds. The rest of the worlds are named after actual ancient locations on Earth, mostly from Ancient Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, or my own derivatives. For example, I may have taken a few of our modern cities' names and re-spelled them, or found ancient-sounding names, especially of Roman origin.

The end result, a list of my own idea of Ultramar: 500 worlds exactly.
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I'm just that fat kid
Starved of hope.
I'm just that cutter
Reaching for rope.

I'm just that dumb blonde
Reading all night.
I'm just that coward
Bleeding for a fright.

I'm just that child
Without care.
I'm just that girl
With messy hair.

I'm just that burner
Wanting to be cool.
I'm just that geek
Scared of school.

I'm just that emo
Smiling with glee.
You're just another drone
But you'll never be me.
Please let me know what you think :)
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"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you." –Stealer’s Wheel


Chapter 1: Table for Two, Please


Personal Log of Samus Aran: Log File 11700

There are some days when I regret my choice of profession. I've lost count of the vacations and leisure trips that have been interrupted by the call of duty; what good is earning money if you never have the time to spend it? At least it seems the Galactic Federation has finally found a good reason to pull me away from my R&R; a Space Pirate fleet has been spotted traveling through Federation territory. It was hard to miss them; the Pirates had deployed several dozen ships of varying sizes. While this alone was enough to send the Federation into full-on panic mode, the Pirate fleet's behavior is even more disconcerting; it has repeatedly ignored Federation colonies and installations during its exodus. Even the vulnerable, certainly appealing targets have been passed up in favor of their apparent destination; the borders of explored space. Something is up with the Space Pirates. And the last time something was up with the Space Pirates, they had uncovered the highly radioactive mutagenic material known as Phazon. Naturally, being the Federation's leading expert on killing Pirates, I was commissioned to follow the fleet to its objective and either destroy the fleet, take the objective for the Federation, or both. While I hope for a smoothly-executed mission, past encounters with the Pirates do not make that seem likely.

***

There were some days when the Master Chief regretted his choice of profession. Well, he would, if he had been given a choice. As it stood, he supposed, there are worse things than being trained and modified since childhood to be a living weapon. After all, you could end up being a bounty hunter; those guys never seem to get any respect, especially not from the military. But between fighting an uphill battle with the Covenant, trying to find and stop a series of superweapons that could kill all life in the universe and keeping the Flood from escaping captivity, what he wouldn't give for a few vacation days. There was always another crisis around the corner, and the Master Chief wished he could be given a respite every now and then, if only a short one.

Chief, focus! Of course, as the AI program residing in his armor had just told him as he ducked out of the way of a plasma bolt, the middle of a firefight was not the best time for wandering thoughts. His mind quickly ran over the situation; the USNC had located another Halo and had sent him with a battalion to destroy it. But as per usual, the Covenant had beaten them to the punch, and were now fighting them in a vicious ground war over control of their "sacred ring." The valley he and his unit were trying to pass through was crawling with Covenant soldiers, and the now-blasted landscape reflected their hour-long struggle. Both of them were too dug in, too well-fortified; someone needed to break this little stalemate of theirs.

Guess whose job that is?

"Did I say that out loud?"

Cortana scoffed teasingly. Don't think you were the only one who had come to that conclusion.

"You could've at least told me."

"Master Chief, sir! Sir!" One of the marines on their left flank was calling to him in near panic. Ducking along the rocks they were using as cover, the Chief made his way over to the marine.

"What is it, soldier? Covenant trying to out-flank us?"

Uh-oh.

Through Master Chief's visor, Cortana could see that the soldier was looking at a portable scanner; he must be the team's tech expert. On the device's screen was a motion-detecting radar showing a huge mass of bogeys approaching the ridge to their left, directly in between the marines and the Covenant.

"N-No, sir! Unidentified energy signatures!"

The Chief focused on the ridge in question. "Looks like somebody else is coming to join the party."

They broke into view with a thunderous, collective roar that rose above the din of the continuing battle. While definitely alien, they were also definitely not Covenant, with a somewhat humanoid body structure covered with various armor pieces and equipment. Their relatively thin limbs ended in clawed appendages, and the alien beings were armed to the teeth. They moved with speed and agility, leaping high into the air to catch the attention of both sides and silence their own fighting. The strange attackers were on top of the Covenant first, firing rapid bursts of energy from guns mounted on their arms and extending small scythes from their wrists to slash at foes in arm's reach. The stunned Grunts fell like flimsy shacks before a raging hurricane, and the ones that survived the initial charge broke and ran, screaming. The Elites lasted a bit longer, holding their own against the attackers before being overwhelmed by superior numbers with the loss of their Grunts. Most of the Jackals ran as well, and the few that stood their ground managed to inflict some damage before the Elites protecting them fell, and then they followed suit. A second group of attackers appeared, their attention now on the stunned marines.

"Aw man, Chief, sir, if they did that to those Covenant buggers, what're they gonna do to us?!"

"Calm down, son, we've got a lot more guts than the Covenant."

Yeah, and they're gonna end up all over the ground if we don't do something fast.

"Don't you start chickening out too, Cortana.” The Chief loaded a fresh clip into his rifle. “Come on, let's show them who they're dealing with."

***

Samus had seen quite a few strange things in her days battling the Space Pirates. A huge, living cyborg brain. Ghosts of insane Chozo. A planet trapped between two dimensions. This, however; this bizarre circular space station as large around as a standard-size moon and apparently with its own atmosphere and plant and animal life despite its strange shape; it certainly wasn't at the top of the list, but it earned a close rank. She perused the readings her ship's scanners were giving her; the bulk of the Pirate fleet had landed on the far side of the ring, while a small strike force had broken off from the group and landed in a mountainous area directly below her position. It made sense that while the majority of the fleet set about constructing a base for themselves, they would send a team of their better fighters off to start searching for their objective. It seemed like they were expecting a tough fight to come knocking on their doorsteps; Samus smirked, she wouldn't want to disappoint them. As she instructed her ship's auto-pilot, Samus opened the compartment holding her Power Suit and started getting herself dressed for work.

***

It had been vicious. Lacking in melee weapons of their own and faced with a foe that sought to close the distance as quickly as possible, casualties had already been heavy as several marines found themselves gutted within the first few minutes. But then the unit sent to rout the Covenant squad had returned, and things got really hairy. It was all the Chief could do to keep himself from being buried under the weight of enemy soldiers. He had been backed into a corner for who knows how long, felling dozens of attackers as he fought with a fury he was rarely forced to use, finally gaining a respite as his few remaining opponents hesitated and then fled. After taking a moment to catch his breath, the Chief emerged from his little alcove to find that the battlefield had become a slaughterhouse. He was used to the horrors of war; how could he not be? This, however...this was downright despicable. The ground was littered with the brutalized corpses of both Covenant and human, their bodies insultingly stripped clean of weapons and equipment by the aliens who had killed them. Who are these beasts, he thought to himself, these creatures who take the ferocity practiced by the Covenant to an entirely different level?

These poor souls…

"Cortana..." In the midst of the carnage, he'd forgotten about the fragile little AI program that had been hitch-hiking on his armor's computer for some time now. She usually kept silent during battles such as these, and the Chief realized that it was obviously with good reason. It was different for him, when the “kill or be killed” instinct took over. But for her, who could only stand by and watch, a powerless observer with a front-row seat for the madness of war, it must be incredibly hard to deal with. But there would be time for mourning later; when given the choice between avenge and mourn, the Master Chief would gladly choose avenge. "There's nothing we can do for them at the moment. I need to know who the hell those guys were and where they came from. Are you getting anything from Covenant transmissions?"

Nothing conclusive. Mostly outrage over the slaughter and vows to bring down these "devils" as they've taken to calling them…

Master Chief scoffed. “Suddenly I don’t feel so special anymore.”

It seems our visitors have landed a hefty fleet on the far side of the Halo.

"Then that's where we're headed. Whatever they're here for, it can't be good."

Whatever you say, Chie- Cortana paused, then shouted Wait! I'm picking up something closing in on us!

"What is it? Covenant?"

I'm not sure. Stay sharp, Chief, it's closing fast!

He didn't have much time to contemplate the warning before the cause for alarm came into view; a strange humanoid clad in bright orange armor with a wicked-looking gun attached to the right arm.

***

Samus tilted her head to the side at the sight of this strange soldier. Green armor covered most of his body, framing an orange visor that covered and concealed his entire face. Strange, she thought, is there some significance with his relation to her colors? Is he using Chozo technology too? Another bounty hunter wielding powers stolen from the race that sired her? Of course, why limit herself to asking questions? A simple command activated her suit's sensors and they began scanning the soldier.

***

"If he's Covenant, somebody should tell him to stop ripping off my color scheme."

Take it easy for a second, Chief. Maybe this guy's not a threat.

He realized the murder of his troops had enraged him more than he had thought; he needed something to shoot at, badly. The Spartan equivalent of venting, he imagined. "Yeah, and I suppose that cannon on his arm is for blending smoothies. Either he's Covenant, or he's one of those new guys. And either way, I'm bringing him down."

Drawing an SMG with one hand and a Plasma Rifle with the other, Master Chief took aim at the stranger and opened fire with a burst of bullets from the SMG.

***

The bullets ricocheted harmlessly off of the shield surrounding Samus' Power Suit, causing the Hunter a great deal of confusion. This...this stranger was using metal-encased projectiles? Without any sort of energy or plasma enhancement? Regardless, if he fired upon her, that must mean he is a threat. Samus' Power Beam began humming as she charged it up and brought it to level with the soldier.

***

The Chief quickly ducked under a ricochet "Uh-oh."

Chief-!

The Master Chief took a rolling dodge to avoid the large energy blast that erupted from the stranger's arm gun.

"I think I'm gonna need a bigger weapon."

Normally, this would be the time where he would start searching the ground for something suitable. But seeing as the mysterious attackers had grabbed most of weaponry, the Chief would need to make do with what he had on him until he could find something else. Holstering the SMG with one hand while firing the Plasma Rifle with the other, he ran for some cover. He was happy to see that the Plasma Rifle’s shots had actually made some impact, albeit not a large one. Regardless, it was a start.

***

Samus shielded her face from the blue energy bolts, her brow furrowed. It was nice to see this guy wasn’t going to be some pushover, but the weapons he was using were completely alien; her scans so far had been largely inconclusive, but the one thing they could tell her was that he wasn’t using an ounce of Chozo technology. On the plus side, it meant she wouldn’t end up facing her own weaponry being against her. But this might be something entirely new, something beyond Chozo standards. Fingering the button for Missiles, she approached her foe’s hiding place with caution.

***

You really think this guy’s going to stand around and wait for it to blow up? Cortana said skeptically.

“I’m kinda hoping he won’t know what it is.”

The piggybacking AI sighed Yes, because nobody uses handheld spheres for explosives anymore.

His back pressed against his cover, the Chief leaned his head out to take a look. The moment orange visor met with green visor a few feet away, both armored soldiers went into action; Samus aiming her Arm Cannon and pressing the Missile button, the Chief tossing the frag grenade from his hand. The two explosives met in mid-air, delivering a proportionately powerful detonation that hurled Samus back several feet and depositing her on her rear. Shielded from the majority of the blast by his cover, the Chief took a peek to see how his target had fared.

“Oh, there is no way he survived that.”

You’ve lived through worse.

“Yeah, and?”

Lo and behold, however, as the dust cleared, the Chief could see the orange-clad stranger sitting several feet away, shaking her head to brush off the shock of the explosion. Maybe he was just imagining things, but he could swear he could see a very angry glare coming from behind visor as she raised her Arm Cannon and pointed it at his face. The Spartan dove across the ground into a roll to avoid her shots, taking another leap towards a Needler lying obscured in a small ditch. Grabbing it as he landed, he emptied the weapon’s entire clip at Samus in a single continuous burst. Instead of puncturing the target, however the purple shards simply burst on impact with Samus’ shielding.

“That thing’s really starting to piss me off.”

***

This guy was really starting to piss her off. Fighting Space Pirates all her life had given her some rather irritating situations, like when that one Trooper had lunged at her with his scythe, missed, tripped, and ended up stabbing a crate full of Phazon behind them, killing himself and blowing out one of her Energy Tanks in the ensuing explosion. But tossing a grenade into her Missile placed this stranger near the top of her list. To hell with taking the cautious approach; this guy had to die.

***

Samus had been shielding her face from the Needler shots with her free hand, and as soon as the barrage ended she brought her fully charged Arm Cannon out from behind her back and let loose. The sudden attack caught the Chief by surprise, and the burst of energy threw him back against the cliff wall behind him and crippled his shields. He quickly shook off the shock of the two impacts and looked back up to see that…his opponent was gone.

“Where’d he-?”

Chief, above you!

The Spartan looked up in time to see Samus, having leapt several feet into the air up and towards him, aiming another Missile in his direction. He rolled away from the first shot, which cracked the wall where he had been standing, and took a leap of his own to escape the second shot. Samus landed on the spot where her first shot hit, but instead of attempt to give chase, she simply flicked her left wrist forward, snapping forward a small latch-like device that flung out a stream of energy and hooked itself onto the Master Chief’s shoulder. A single yank on the Grapple Beam, and the Chief was sent flying backwards. Instead of simply go with flow, however, the Chief twisted himself as he flew through the air and rammed his elbow into Samus’ face when he was close enough, knocking the bounty hunter off her feet and landing on his side himself. As he rolled into a crouching position, he muttered “Atleast that still works.”

Not waiting for his opponent to recover her balance, he leapt at Samus, ready to attack again. As he hurtled through the air, Samus simply stared at him for a moment, then leaned forward and…disappeared. As the Chief landed, he took notice of two things; the first, that Samus was suddenly standing behind him, the second that there were suddenly small glowing orbs lying at his feet.

“Those can’t be-“

See? Universal concept.

The Morph Bombs went off like very violent firecrackers, tossing the Spartan a few feet into the air. The Grapple Beam snatched him out of the air again, this time pulling him forward too quickly for him to react. As he landed in front of Samus, her free hand grabbed his chest plate and pulled him forward until they were face-to-face, while the business end of her Arm Cannon was shoved under his chin. Samus glared at her opponent through their visors, so concentrated on her anger towards this stranger that she didn’t notice her HUD alerting her to the approach of a dozen Pirate Troopers approaching her from behind until they were right on top of them. She pushed the Master Chief away leapt backwards to give her some space, and turned her gaze up towards the cliffside.

***

I think our friend may have called in reinforcements, Chief. Cortana reported dryly as the Chief regained his footing. I'm picking up a dozen alien energy signatures catching up with us.

"I think we can officially say this has been a bad day."

The Space Pirates burst into view, taking a flying leap from the ridge behind the Chief. To the surprise of both, Samus immediately opened fire on the new arrivals, knocking one out of the air with a charged shot and firing furiously at his comrades.

"...Huh."

Chief, I'm getting the feeling that maaaaaybe we were a bit hasty. Our friend here doesn't seem to be an ally of the aliens that attacked us; now might be a good time to lend a hand and show a gesture of our good will, hm? Cortana said in a very prompting tone.

"Yeah, yeah, I heard you."

A Pirate, completely ignoring the Chief, landed a few feet in front of him to get another angle at attacking Samus. Master Chief taught him to pay attention to his surroundings by peppering him with SMG bullets at point-blank range. Samus had backed herself into a corner, keeping her back to the wall ass he fired on the Pirates. Holding her own, she seemed to falter briefly when she noticed the cyborg charge up and drive his fist into the neck of the nearest Pirate, finally alerting the surviving attackers to his presence. Samus took the opportunity to unload two more charged blasts into the distracted attackers, felling one and wounding the other. Realizing that they had lost their offensive advantage, the Pirates turned and fled, and the two watched them leave. They turned and looked at each other, and an awkward silence ensued.

"Alright, here's the thing." Chief started, not wanting another prodding from Cortana. Samus stared at him blankly from behind her visor. "My squad's been wiped out. The area's crawling with those clowns from the Covenant, and now those new jokers too. And we’re stuck here, in the middle of them both. As much as I like playing the lone soldier, I would prefer having someone watch my back rather than shoot it. Sound good?"

The orange-clad stranger continued staring at him for a minute, apparently weighing her options, before responding in a feminine voice that the Chief found mildly surprising. "Agreed."

Now, see Chief? Being a diplomat without using your trigger finger isn't so hard, is it?

The Spartan ignored Cortana's teasing. "Glad to hear it. The name's John-117, but most prefer to call me by my rank, the Master Chief. You?"

"I am Samus Aran, a bounty hunter."

Master Chief offered his hand to Samus. "You seem like a pretty tough guy, Samus, it'll be a pleasure working alongside you."

Samus laughed lightly, then reached up with ‘his’ free hand, clasped a latch on the underside of ‘his’ helmet, and pulled the helmet off. A woman’s soft face emerged from under flowing golden hair, almost the complete opposite of her cold and hard exterior, and the Chief froze.

Chief-? Your heart rate just spiked, are you alright? Were you wounded at some point?  Cortana must not have been looking through the Chief's eyes if she was asking that question. 'A pleasure indeed.' he thought almost absent-mindedly.
The full title should read MetroidxHalo: Stuck in the Middle with You

Since the dawn of time (or atleast 2001), an age-old question has passed from gamer to gamer: Samus or Master Chief? While I think Samus is the most kick-assiest lady around, I propose this humble answer: Why not both?

Metroid © Nintendo
Halo © Bungie

Author's Notes:
First, this isn't supposed to fit in with the canon.
Second, anything from Prime 2 and Halo 2 and before applies to the characters, so MC and Johnson are with Miranda Keyes, Samus has her weapons from Prime 1, as well as the Pirates being from Prime 1.
Third, this isn't Delta Halo. This is an entirely new Halo.
Finally, I have no plans to include the Ing or the Flood. Maybe in a second fic, but not here.


Special Edition updates: You know what this chapter needed? I mean really needed? AN ACTUAL FIGHT SCENE. Ta-da, problem solved. It was one of the aspects of the original draft that always bothered me, and now it's been taken care of, along with a few odds and ends. Also threw in a tiny bit of character development.

I'm sorry if a bit at the end was somewhat confusing; it took me awhile to figure out how to communicate to the reader that you know who Samus is and that she's a girl, yet the Chief doesn't, and up until the point where she takes her helmet off, he continues to think of her as such. Also, Samus doesn't actually "disappear" during her fight with the Chief; she uses her Morph Ball to roll under him so quickly that he lost sight of her. I tried to make sure to drop enough hints (leaning forward, Morph Bombs), but I'm sure some people might still be confused. It happens sometimes.
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Ellie, where are you?

They say silence is golden.

But, we humans are not accustomed to true silence, as much as we may be unwilling to admit it.  

The hum of a cooling fan.  The rush of the tides.  The roar of traffic from beyond the apartment's walls.  The beating of our hearts.  The puff of breaths, chest falling in and out, the creak of leather against a pilot's seat.  The buzz of electronics, the roar of the C02 scrubbers.  The sound of the stars themselves, twinkling, a manifestation of billion year old light reaching my eyes.

I found comfort in those quiet moments.  But I did not know what silence was, I realize that now.  True silence steals.  It mars, it takes, and leaves nothing but a primal, unexplainable terror.  

Ellie!

I shudder.

The fires have been extinguished by Tau Volantis.  The baleful moaning of the red-hot shuttle chassis being thermally shocked into submission has ceased.  My screams are only in my memories.  Time has passed by, and now, I hear nothing.  My heart, gone, my breaths, gone, everything, gone.  

This is silence, and it is not golden.  It is hell.

I can't hear, I can't fucking hear anything.  The realization dawns on me as cold as the snow.  For a moment, I think I've gone deaf, eardrums shattered by the blast of the hull venting to atmo.  But there's no pain, and I'm quite aware I'm lying on my side, curled into a ball, proof my eardrums haven't lost their ability to naturally horizon.

My chest hurts, and the sensation of falling haunts me, sending seizures down my legs.  I defocus the pain and try to steal my bearings back from the storm, but all I see is white.  Phantom flashes of the shuttle's HUD redding out mar my vision, and the harsh scream of air being sucked from the breach ring in my ears.  But, I see nothing, and hear nothing.  

What had happened?  The metal had torn like paper.  I'd been flung like a rag doll, me and my seat and my datapad, into the merciless white.  Up and gone, down and into the white, and now I am nowhere.  

Alone.  Not just alone, meaning one is there with oneself, but really gone.  

Isaac, help me.  I can't find my heart.  I can't find my lungs.  The more I try, the more it hurts.

I pound my chest, and am greeted by blissful sound, the first I've heard since the crash.  The thumping of my hand on my chest, the reverberating drum of fist on lungs.  The wound pinches, and I wince, curling tighter into a ball.  Amongst the field of endless, relentless white, a splash of red.  

Fuck you, you will not steal the heart of me.  I grind my teeth.

I shake the snowflakes from my arms.  They're white, my fingertips blue.  The clock is ticking.  The monotone wind rushes, stealing out sound like a greedy wolf.  I begin to call his name, only to have it stolen by a snap of fluttering snow.  The flakes hurt my bare skin, more akin to blades of ice than gentile fluff, and I follow the blood trail on hands and knees, adding to it as I crawl.

I find I'm counting now.  The wind has stolen his name, stolen my heart, but I refuse to let it steal the simple bliss of making order.  I count out the serial numbers of heavy mining equipment I'm licensed to pilot.  I get caught on the drill's serial, perversely nostalgic for the Sprawl.  How could we have been joking back then?  How could he have kept it up for that long?  Even on the shuttle, he was strong.   It took time, but he found the power to keep whatever was inside of him...inside.  I envied him, for my insides were currently disobeying that simple edict: stay inside.

The blood trail ends.  Monochrome.  I tell myself I am not lost, and to continue forward.  Just hands, then feet, Ellie girl, hands and feet.  I can't feel them anymore.  So, the snow has taken that from me, as well.  But my arms still work, if barely, and I continue to egg them on with mumbled numbers.  A drill here, a shock-ring there, skyscraper sized jackhammers and Magpie-class mining ships.  What would daddy think of his little girl, now?

My numb hand depresses.  It sinks into a hold, and for a moment, I'm sure I've found it.  The crashed shuttle, and safety!  A hissing cry escapes my lips before falling to the wind.  My lips, now cracked, frown.  A hand print.  My hand print.

I've been going in circles.

It's time to rest,

he says, on the shuttle the night after.  

How could he rightly say that to me?  Come on.  I patched up his damn javelin wound, gave him the last medpac.  I forced him back into reality, yanked him kicking and screaming from his bloodied RIG.  He didn't feel safe, and I ignored the protests, gave no response to the rantings, the ravings.  I ran my fingers through his hair that night and said, this is all behind us now.

I tolerated his screams, night after night after god-damn night.  At first, I'd wake him up, try to bring him back, but the hold was too strong.  He hit me once, did you know that?  Didn't know where he was, raised that big, calloused fist of his and decked me across the nose.  Didn't hurt so much my face as much as my heart, already breaking.  But I never let on.  Stayed strong, or at least, I thought I was strong.

He didn't talk to me for three days, that time.  Couldn't look me in the eye.  Ah, the eye.  I guilted him as a joke.  Wonder now if he took it seriously.  Guilt was killing him.  I didn't know what to do.

Changed his bandages.  Cut his hair.  Cooked food.  Pirated food, clothing, medical supplies.  I was a stalwart sentinel as the screams faded, as the bags under his eyes melted away.  And he always said to me, after each day, it's time to rest.

Tears in his eyes.  Or tears in mine?  Lost an eye, but the tear ducts still work just fine.  Cry like a normal person, though little else is normal.  I reach out and touch his hand, but all I feel is flesh.  I grip his hand hard, as if my fingers could press through his palms and into his soul.

God, Isaac, I want to fix you.  Did it mean anything, at all?  Did I try and fail?

He got worse as we followed the bead to Tau Volantis.  Bags under his eyes returned, so did the screams.  Abandoned his razor, his food, took to staring into the void, but no stars reflected in those eyes.

Rest.

I fall to my side, a broken steel horse, withdraw my legs to my chest.  

Numb was taking the rest of me, soon it would be too late to resist.  I can feel the warmth in my fingers and toes already, my nose and my back, all warm and tingly.  It's hypothermia, I know, but I don't care.  After all this, I find I do want to rest.  

It's time to rest, he'd say, a faded smile hinted at by the wrinkle of his face.  

Rest tomorrow, I'd always reply, with a wink, my vision vanishing to complete the mannerism I'd once so easily engaged in.

I force my shoulders to move my arms.  I open my eyes, black turning to white, but with little difference on my bearing.  Rest tomorrow, you dumb, half blind bitch, because now there's work to do, even if it's just crawling two more feet.

I put one blue hand in front of the other.

With all my might, I pull.

A leg drags behind.  The other follows.

One more hand.  Come on, Ellie.  Daddy's girl, you can do it.

The hand lands in the snow with a thump, and I feel a click.  The snow gives way, pouring into blackness like sand down an hourglass, sucking my arm along with it.  The body, done, falls in tandem, unable to resist.  The silence of snow relents just for a moment as steel hinges creak and a heap of snow vanishes into the dark.

I fall with it.  There's a thump of flesh against metal, my ears ring.  My vision goes black, but the pain doesn't let me slip away that easily.  I groan, my voice returned.  My lungs rasp, and my heart pounds in my throat.  My feet scrape on the cold metal surface as I haphazardly push myself to sitting.  Silence has relented, but to what?

I look up to see the white square above me.  White flecks of snow enter the chasm, and vanish.  I sit in the last square of light, frozen meat.  It's considerably warmer down here, but I know I am in no way saved.  I look into the darkness around me, then once more into the light.  

There are worse things than you, darkness.  There are worse things than silence, and snow, and loneliness.  There are worse things than loss.  The hiss of the oxygen tanks expended.  The flashing of a RIG gone red.  The crunch of death under my boots.  There are worse things than a last, gasping breath.  Worse things than a friend, lost in more ways than one.

The worst thing of all is not finding what you're looking for.

I'm warmer now, but still need to find something, anything to help me.  I stand, shaky as a newborn colt.  One foot in front of the other, Daddy's girl.  

I walk into the embrace of my old friend.
Dead Space 3 prequel / conjecture

Where is Ellie? What happened to her, both before and after the crash? Does she really hear his shouts echoing through the storm, or does she simply imagine it?

This came from me thinking about DS3's setting. If anyone has ever been trapped in a snowstorm, they know how terrifying it can be. One of the most horrific events, in my experience, for sure. Snow steals everything. There's no sound, no sight. It's like the world around you vanished, and then you vanish too.

Thinking back on my experiences in snow, DS3's setting unnerves me more than returning to the Ishimura's med deck.

Anywho this is a rough thing I just wrote tonight, gave it a single pass for errors, and tossing it up. Any crits welcome, as usual.
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Eve yawned slightly as she opened her eyes, She glanced tiredly at the envelope at the side of her bed. It had a trimmed red & gold edge with a small red heart in the middle of the envelope. Eve didn't understand why humans participated in this holiday called "Valentines Day", She didn't have "romantic" feelings for anyone. Eve sighed & thought "Why on earth did Aisha make me participate in this stupid event?!" Eve got up then, stretched a little. Last night was tiring with everyone trying to seal off The Gate of Darkness. Eve exited her room to get changed into some casual clothing, Eve slid on a dark  long-sleeve top then some blue jeans. Eve felt odd wearing these common clothes, but she always felt a bit odd when trying something new. Eve walked out of her room to where everyone usually meets up. Rena,Chung & Aisha were already there. "Where's Elsword & Raven??" Eve muttered. "Still sleeping." Aisha replied in an annoyed tone, Eve shrugged then,said "Well, It is 6:20.. And you know how they like to sleep in." Aisha shouted "But it's Valentines Day!! He should be up by now!" Just as Aisha stopped her ranting Elsword rushed down the stairs & gave a sharp glare at Aisha then,protested "Can't a guy get some sleep?!" Aisha scowled at Elsword & replied "I told you to get up early today! It's Valentines remember?!" Elsword sighed & shook his head slightly "It's 6:21 Aisha, Did you honestly expect me to get up at this time?!" Elsword said as he ruffled his messy hair. "Yes I did.. But since your so lazily-" Aisha was cut off by Elsword kissing her on the cheek, Aisha's eyes widened as she blushed deeply, Elsword smiled as he ruffled Aisha's hair "Well, I'm up now because of your shouting.. So stop having a hissy fit,Ok?" Aisha mumbled in embarrassment "I-I-I'm n-not having a fit!!" Elsword chuckled & poked Aisha on the forehead "You're a bad lier.." Aisha blushed even more "S-Shut up! Just go & get changed,idiot!!" Elsword smirked "Fine.. But is that anyway to treat your Valentine?" Aisha blushed even more. Elsword chuckled cheekily as he walked off to get changed. Eve was trying to contain her giggling, Rena gave a sly smile to Aisha & poked her nose "So I take it you & Els are a item now then,Aisha?" Aisha nodded shyly, Rena giggled "You two are so cute together!" Aisha blushed even more then,muttered harshly "S-S-Shut up!!" Aisha felt a light tap on her shoulder then,turned around & saw Elsword in his Rune Slayer outfit with a rose in his hand, Aisha smiled & glomped  Elsword. Elsword smiled softly & hugged Aisha closely. Eve looked at Chung shyly,grasping the envelope in her hand. Chung glanced at Eve worryingly,noticing the shy look on her face he asked "Miss Eve? Are you alright??" Eve blushed slightly & looked down "I-I'm fine Chung.. But thank-you for your concern." Elsword picked up Aisha bridal-style, Aisha blushed deeply & held the rose that Elsword gave her tightly. Elsword smiled triumphantly then,said softly "Do you want to go outside for a stroll My Lady?" Aisha blushed even more as she nodded cutely. Elsword chuckled softly & opened the door with one hand then, went outside still carrying Aisha. Eve giggled a little, Rena smiled comfortingly. "So Eve, Who exactly are you planing to give that love-note to?" Eve blushed a little & mumbled "That's a secret Rena.." Rena giggled then,gave Eve a light pat on the head, Raven came wandering down from upstairs, His hair was ragged,plus he was still in his pyjamas. Rena got out of her seat then,abruptly cuddled Raven. Raven blushed slightly & kissed Rena on the forehead. "Morning,sleepy-head!" Rena giggled, Raven cuddled Rena closely "Morning beautiful.." Eve tilted her head back while closing her eyes, Rena looked at Eve worryingly, Rena let go of Raven then,approached Eve "Why so down?" Eve opened her eyes & answered "Nothing.. Don't worry about it." Rena shook her head "If you say so.." Rena poked Raven's forehead "You should go & get changed." Raven smiled then,kissed Rena deeply,Rena blushed hardly,Raven smiled and nuzzled Rena's neck "Fine.. I'll get changed for you." Raven went upstairs to get changed, Eve glanced at Rena lazily "So you & Raven are together then?" Rena giggled & replied "Yes, We are." Eve closed her eyes again & shrugged, At that moment Raven came down in some jeans & a red shoulderless-vest showing off his buff chest, He was holding something in his Nasod hand, From what Eve saw it looked like a small box for wedding rings,Raven quickly tucked away the box in one of his pockets before Rena could see. Rena hugged Raven tightly, Raven returned the hug then picked Rena up, Rena bushed hardly,Raven smiled then,said "Well.. Should we go outside then babe?" Rena blushed more & nodded, Raven chuckled then, let Rena down. Rena smiled as she held Raven's human hand when he lead her outside. Eve rolled her eyes, Chung was reading his book on gunning tactics as he glanced at Eve slightly, Eve blushed lightly as she quickly turned away from his gaze, "He's much more mature ever since he advanced to Deadly Chaser... & a bit attractive." Eve thought as she blushed again. Chung put down his book then,approached Eve "Are you sure everything's ok?" Eve blushed even more as she stared Chung in the face,he was still wearing his reading glasses even though he put down his book, Eve had a thing she kept a secret.. She had a thing for guys in glasses, ever since she advanced to Code Nemesis.. She started finding men in glasses oddly attractive, She thought it was a stupid,illogical & annoying fetish. Just then she reacted in the most illogical and stupid way possible, She kissed him.. on the lips. Chung pulled back,blushing hardly "M-Miss Eve?!" Eve covered her face with her hands to hide her blushing, she quickly rushed outside,loudly repeating in her head "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Why?! Why did I have to kiss him right there?!" Eve came across a large tree & slumped down against it, holding her head in her hands she muttered "Why did I kiss him??! A-Am I malfunctioning or something?!" Chung came outside then,found Eve, He sat next to her "M-Miss Eve?" Eve was still covering her blushing face "Y-Y-Yes?" Chung replied nervously "W-Why did you.. Uhh.. You know,kiss me?" Eve sighed, she presented the love-note in front of Chung. Chung looked at Eve in confusion as he blushed "Y-Your g-giving me your love-note??" Eve nodded shyly. Chung smiled softly "Well.. I guess I should give you this then." Chung pulled something out of the pocket of his jeans,  Eve glanced at his hand to see what he pulled out, what she saw made her blush even more. It was beautiful silver ring, It had two aqua-coloured Chinese dragons carved around it which looked like they were dancing around the base of the ring & at the centre was a dark-blue sapphire. Eve stuttered slightly "C-Chung? A-Are you..?" Chung nodded. Eve blushed even more & hugged Chung tightly, Chung blushed slightly then smiled. "H-How long have you b-b-been planing this??" Eve said shyly. "Hmm.. A few months now." Eve stopped blushing then,smiled softly & cuddled Chung closely. "I-I like you as well Chung." Eve whispered in a soft tone. Chung blushed slight & questioned "How long?" "Quite a while now.." Eve replied, Chung smiled then,kissed Eve on the lips. Eve blushed deeply, Chung chuckled then whispered huskily "Payback for before.." Eve blushed even more then,cuddled Chung again,Chung chuckled again & held out the ring. "So will you accept my gift,I mean proposal?" Eve blushed even more then,glompped Chung. "Y-Yes! I will!" Eve yelled with happiness. Chung giggled slightly "Miss Eve, I've never seen you act like this before. This attitude is-" Chung was cut off when Eve covered his lips with hers. He almost dropped the ring in surprise but Eve held his hands down as she deepened the kiss, Chung blushed even harder as Eve broke the kiss, She was flushed a deep red & was panting slightly, Her systems were screaming in her head about multiple things, New emotions,Her emotional systems out of balance along with other things.. Eve didn't care though,she was with the boy she had a crush on ever since she woke up from her chamber & now this boy just asked her to be his wife. She didn't know how to describe these feelings, Was this what humans called Love?
So I left it at a cliffhanger,but Eve & Chung still get married anyway. >w< So there it is. My EveXChung fanfic for Valentines Day. I hope you like it Rose!!

Elsword belongs to KOG & Kill3r Combo
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        Delta Squad remained in the weapons training room even after the others had left, uncomfortable with waiting while there was a mystery waiting to be solved on "Planet StarChild". It was named "StarChild" after it appearing out of no where two months ago. No known inhabitants, parents, environment…  all seemed native to those who saw it. Out of curiosity (and precaution), the Delta squad was to be sent as an investigation team to gain information on this "unknown rock"... But for now, the team was to wait as instructed by Gabe (a male scientist who assisted in the making of the clones) while he brought out "Their new team member".
        Sev (RC-1207) used this wasted time of waiting to his advantage by attacking holographic droids. Scorch (RC-1162) and Fixer (RC-1140) sat on near by crates while the Delta Squad team leader, Boss or 38(RC-1138) paced anxiously.
        Everyone looked up as the door finally slid open with a soft hiss. Gabe, a short stocky man with pale skin and messy cropped red hair and red mustache, pushed up his thick glasses as he entered the room. He wore a stained white lab coat and held a clipboard in his right hand.
He cleared his throat. "Sorry for the long wait, Deltas... We needed to make sure that your new team member's armor was in top condition before being sent to the surface. We can't risk any casualties."
        Scorch stood up. "Well? Where is he?"
        Gabe looked slightly puzzled. "I beg your pardon?"
        38 stopped pacing. "He means, where is the new delta?" he asked calmly to hide his impatience.
        Gabe smiled slightly. "RC-1186 should be entering shortly..."
        As if on cue, a clone with sky-blue splashed onto his armour in some areas stepped quietly into the room. 38 noticed a small image of a hawk on his left chest plate.
Gabe looked down at his clip board. "Delta Squad? This is your new team member, one one eighty six. They will be your new snipers unit for the mission." Gabe turned his head to the trooper, "Eighty six, this is the Delta Squad leader three eight. He will be the one who assigns you to your posts as well as to tell you what and what not to shoot."
The silent clone nodded but said nothing.
        38 continued for Gabe. "Nice to have you on the team, eighty six." he motioned to Sev, "This here is Sev. He's the brute force of the team."
Sev jerked his head in greeting.
        38 then pointed at the others, "And here are Scorch, the bomb specialist; and Fixer, our tech expert."
        Scorch nodded his greeting and Fixer stood up, but 86 remained silent.
        Scorch pretended to scratch his head. "Um... is there any reason you don't talk? Or is it just the "Snipers mentality"?"
        The clone showed no response.
        Gabe cleared his throat again. "Well then! Now that you're all acquainted, you best be off now." He turned and exited the door.
        Sev depleted the training sequence and strode towards the rest of the squad. "What are we waiting for? Let's go kick some alien bastards."
        Fixer patted his shoulder. "We don't even know if there's any life on the planet or not, Sev...
        Scorch shrugged and equipped a grenade belt to his waist. "Who knows? Maybe there is life on the planet, but they're completely harmless…" he picked up an assault rifle from the crates, "They may even treat us like Gods and present us with pretty alien females."
        "I highly doubt that, Delta…" 38 replied as he strapped a back up weapon to his pack, "But, in any case, let's keep a full stock of weaponry in case there are any hostilities. And maybe even some back-up bacta."
        Fixer nodded and retrieved a sniper rifle from the crates and strapped it to his back. He then picked up another and handed it to 86, who pushed it away. "What?" Fixer said with slight curiosity, "A professional sniper who refuses a sniper rifle?"
86 pointed to the uniquely designed gun strapped to his back.
        Fixer then nodded in understanding. "Ah…  You've got your own I see." He strapped the other sniper rifle onto his back as well, "I'll just keep this in case one's a faulty then."
        As soon as everyone was set, they made their way to the hangars where their ship was waiting to take them earthbound. As they strode towards the ship, 36 asked 86 a question.
        "Is there another name we can call you, rather than saying "eighty six" all the time?"
86, without turning his head to look at the Delta Squad leader, pointed to the Hawk image plastered onto his left chest plate.
        "Hawk..." 36 said to himself, "Yeah, I can live with that." He gave a small pat on 86's back as they boarded the ship, "Welcome to the Delta Squad, Hawk."
The ship doors closed and the ship ascended into the air. It turned towards the force fields and flew through them into space, and began it's travel towards the small grey planet. Everything would have seemed like a normal scout mission, but little did they realize...
...that something laid there in wait for it's visitors...



        Gremlak hunkered down the rocky cliff corridor towards his mistress's cave. Mistress Lituka had given him quite the beating earlier for presenting the wrong type of meat for her taste, and now he feared his next call to her cave. Gremlak was not like other Kurugas... his gray hide was to light in color and his bulky form seemed too small for the others' liking. His blade wings were too stubby and lacked enough poison to even take down an infant. He couldn't even fly.
        Gremlak gnashed his toothy mandibles together in dismay as his claws clicked against the stone floor as he entered his mistress's cave. His beady black eyes stared fearfully into the darkness where his mistress sat, blending in with the shadows. Unlike Gremlak, Lutika was a darker color than he was, and her hide seemed to match the rocks of the cliffs in both physique and strength. Her wings (when unfolded) brushed against each side of the cliff walls, showing off the size of her wingspan. The poison within her wing blades were said to be so powerful, that they were acidic to even the strongest of armor...
        Mistress Lutika opened her demonic red eyes and glared at Gremlak, who cowered in the doorway. "Ashamed Dirt-walker! Servant of thy higher ranks of the Air-Dwellers!" she growled her announcing "Greeting","Step forth, so that I may see thy unwanted spit-face!"
Gremlak gulped and shakily made his way towards the larger Kuruga female.
Full of impatience, Lutika growled in annoyance and stood taller so that she was staring down the unfortunate being. "What say ye of the outland star-grazer that roams the skies of my hive? My territories? Speak now, mud-licker! Or forever hold your hatches in respect of my presence!"
        Gremlak stood straighter and spoke quickly, with a not so growly voice, but with many offkey squeaks. "My mistress. My queen. Goddess of both land and skies, feared by all. Worshiped by many..." he then bowed so low that the dirt stick to his teeth, "That which flies, but is not of our kind-"
        Lutika nipped at Gremlak's haunches, causing him to roll over in pain. "MY kind, infected blood! Ye are not worthy to call yourself my kin!"
        Gremlak lay on the ground withering, but continued to speak, "Respect I give more than can be taken away from me, oh great and powerful one of even the outer colonies..." he shakily arose to his stomach, " That which glides near in not of your people, but is that of another... lifeless it be, but hold life within its belly..."
        "A ship!?"
        "...It flies without reason to your kingdom, with weapons unseen before by thine gems within thy void of wisdom and grace..."
        Lutika stood on her hind legs and roared in fury, causing the cave walls to tremble and Gremlak to jump back in fright. "Dare they! Dare they!? Dare they those of the darkness of timeless space the attempt to overtake my kingdom by pain! Pain they bring! PAIN THEY WILL AQUIRE!"



       Scorch had been staring at Hawk the entire flight trip, which made Hawk shift uneasily. Scorch leaned forward and tapped his finger on his knee as if he was pondering about something.
       Fixer noticed this and turned to Scorch. "What's on your mind?"
       Scorch leaned back again, finally taking his eyes off of Hawk (for a moment at least) to look at Fixer. "Something seems a bit… off about this guy…"
       Sev overheard and looked at Scorch. "What? Because he wont speak?"
       Scorch shook his head slightly and looked back at Hawk, who had gotten up and sat further away from the group. "No… It's not that." Scorch said, "He seems, well,… he seems too small."
       Fixer raised an eyebrow under his helmet. "Small?"
       Sev shrugged. "Could be because he's younger than all of us. He could just be a fresh mint."
       Scorch shook his head in disagreement. "No. I thought that his records said that he was a PROFESSIONAL sniper…"
       "Could just be that he's smaller in physique than the rest of us."
       Everyone looked up as 38 took his seat beside Scorch.
       "Plus, he IS a sniper… they don't wear much armor." he leaned back into his seat, "Rather than talking behind his back, I suggest we make him feel more apart of the team."
       Scorch nodded and finally looked away from the distant clone.
       But now that 38 thought of it, Hawk did look a bit "off", somehow… He didn't speak, or show even a hint of communication towards the Deltas. Hawk always kept to himself and steered clear from other groups. Fixer called it "Snipers Mentality", but 38 wasn't too sure… Was this what Scorch meant when he said Hawk looked small? Because he preferred to be alone? Or was it because he was holding back an unknown guilt? 38 could see it in his posture… burdened, worn, and quiet. 38 noticed that it did make him seem smaller…
       Hawk looked up and 38 realized that, he too, was staring at him. He quickly looked away, ashamed of his behavior to the new Delta.
       It was quiet for a few moments later, but then, all of a sudden, there was a loud explosion and the ship lurched forward. Everyone struggled to stay in their seats as the ship began to tilt sideways.
       "What in Jedi's name was that!?" Scorch yelled in confusion, "What hit us!?"
       38 held his hand against the ship wall to keep his balance as he made his way to the cockpit. He put his hand on the control panel and was immediately hit with a wave of heat as the doors slid open. Inside, he could see both pilot seats empty and burning. He closed the door and hurried towards the rest of the Deltas. "Engines been hit and pilots are Kay-Iye-Ay!"
       "Can you steer the ship to a safe location?" Fixer yelled as another explosion was heard.
       38 shook his head. "Negative! The cockpit's become an oversized oven!" he pressed another wall panel and the side doors opened, revealing the rushing grey landscape outside, "We're gonna have to jump!"
       "Jump!?... Sir!?"
       Without warning, Hawk sprang up to her feet, tightened the strap on his sniper, and leaped out of the opening. He somersaulted once and silently landed on his feet, unharmed.
       The rest of the Deltas gawked and were brought back to reality when the ship jerked again.
       "Cummon!" Sev yelled, "If He survived, then this should be no problem!" He dropped from the opening and landed with a heavy thud and a puff of dust.
       Scorch backed away. "There's no way-" Fixer booted him in the backside and Scorch fell out of the ship screaming.
       38 looked at Fixer. "Your turn Delta!" he pointed to the rapidly rising ground, "Team members before Team leader!"
       Fixer nodded and was about to take a step, but then the side of the ship scraped against a rock wall and he fell back. As he fell, he knocked into 38's legs, causing them to buckle, and 38 fell forward out of the ships opening. He hit the ground hard and it seemed like forever before he stopped rolling. 38 quickly rose to his knees and looked at the descending ship. "Fixer!" Commander 38 yelled as the ship hit another cliff and began to spin out of control.
       The ship finally disappeared behind a distant cluster of large sharp boulders and a thunderous boom echoed throughout the landscape. A few moments later, 38 could see a plume of smoke begin to billow in the distance.
       38 quickly put his hand to his comm. "Delta four oh! Do you copy?"
       Static... 38 tried again... "Delta four oh! Do you read me? Over!"
       Static...
       "Fixer!" The Delta squad commander barked. He sighed in relief as he heard  Fixer groan through the other end, but judging but the smoke and Fixers delayed response, 38 knew that his fellow teammate was injured and needed bacta immediately.
       "Delta leader!"
       38 jerked his head to his cliff's edge and peered down. He saw Scorch and Sev on the platform below. "Are you alright Deltas?" He questioned.
       "We're green, sir!" Scorch quickly responded, "Where's Delta eighty six and Fixer?"
       There was a quick sharp whistle from the platform above 38. 38 looked up and saw Hawk signaling towards him. 38 nodded and quickly looked back down to his teammates. "Hawk is on the platform above me, but Fixer was unable to escape the ship. He's alive, but he might need bacta... but the looks of it, his injuries could be severe."
       Sev tilted his head to the side. "So... We go and retrieve our wounded comrade, and quickly drag him to safety and hide."
       38 nodded. "Precisely. Is there any way you can make your way up here?"
       "No... Sorry sir." Scorch apologized and scratched the back of his neck.
       38 shrugged. "No problem. We'll rendezvous at the crash site. Meet me there."
       "Got it, sir." Sev saluted and then both he and Scorch began to travel towards the rising smoke trail.
       38 looked back up at Hawk, who was still awaiting for orders. "Delta eighty six, is there a way you can climb down the this ledge?"
       Hawk shook his head, but pointed to his sniper rifle.
       38 nodded as he understood. "Good idea. You keep an eye out for any hostilities and cover us while we all make our way to Fixers location." 38 shrugged and picked up his assault rifle, "Who knows? Maybe we'll find who the hell shot us down i the first place!"
       Hawk saluted his response and began to make his way across the ridge.
       38 began to follow, but paused as he thought to himself. "Silence is a snipers mentality? I thought snipers were very chatty..." He shrugged off the thought and continued to make his way to where the rest of his teammates were traveling.



       Gremlak limped slightly as he made his way further down the mountain side. His last meeting with the mistress had left his rump in a sore state. The news about the unliving air dweller had angered his mistress and she took out her anger on him. Gremlak sighed in depression. "Gremlak young lived with wonderful birthgivers... perfect in form, wonderful sights..." He scratched head with his "Unhexed" wing blade, "All that is good for... scratching. Not even good at that is it?" He stared at his stubby wings and growled. "If only me thinks could have way to get away of removing these weights o my sides..." Gremlak cheered himself up by thinking of things he had that the norms did not, "But who hard hide that perfectly blend it does with stones? Moi!... Who fastest ground runner? Moi!... sharper teeth? Sharper vision? Agility? Moi!... Me thinks as not strong as they I am, but fast, silent and dangerous more so than they!" Gremlak roared in triumph but then quickly quieted down, so he did not disturb the higher rankings... they would flank him for sure if they were disturbed by he...       
       There was the sound of a pebble being kicked and Gremlak stopped in his tracks. What was it? An higher ranked air dweller? But if so, what they do on... the ground? Gremlak sniffed the air and smelled something... a bit "off"
       Something brushed against a cliff wall that was near him, and he jerked his head to the side. His black eyes widened as he saw the strangest being he had ever seen!
       It was smaller than he, it being only about six feet high. It was slender and walked on only it's hind legs! It's outer skin or hide was shiny and white, with a few blue splotches in certain areas. But what caught Gremlaks eye the most was the chest symbol and its head... The symbol was that of an air dweller he had never seen, and the two legged creature seemed to bear no eyes... but a glowing blue visor that sent shivers down his spine...
       Gremlak whimpered and stepped back, causing the strange groundling to jerk its head towards him.
       The creature, as fast a a bolt of lightning from one of the planets occasional storms, jerked its strange offworld weapon up and aimed it at Gremlak.
       Growling pitifully, Gremlak backed as far as he could into the corner. His flank bumped into the wall and he yelped in pin as his wound brushed against the stone. He sat there, shaking and whimpering, not knowing if the creature would capture, or kill him...



       Delta eighty six kept her sniper level at the monsters head, unsure whether it was hostile or not. The creature kind of resembled a very large stone gray tiger with claws of a reptile, but it's forearms looked like strange looking bat wings. it's head was that of a prehistoric reptile, but its bottom jaw was split into toothy mandibles. It's long slim reptilian tail swished back and forth in distress.
       The creature let out a low growl and narrowed its deep black eyes.
       Hawk kept his aim on the creatures head, but examined the creature more thurally... He saw small droplets of red below the creatures hind legs. Delta eighty six looked at the creatures haunches and saw a nasty bite. Hawk then looked into the creatures eyes... and saw fear. This creature didn't intend on harming Hawk, it was afraid. Afraid and hurt.
       Hawk lowered his weapon slightly and took a step forward.
       The creature flinched and growled again, unsure whether to alert the hive or not.
       Hawk stopped and slowly put his weapon down, then holding up his hands to show that they were empty. He then continued to slowly make his way towards the creature, for it had stopped growling... but then it started hissing and spitting.
       The creature banged its tail against the wall, as if getting ready to fight.
       Delta eighty six stopped. "Shh..." he whispered, trying to not let the monster cry out, "Shh..." He stretched forth his hand...



       Gremlak stopped fussing and watched the strange creature stretch its forearm towards him. It kept making strange noises... but somehow, they soothed him. Gremlak eyed the creature further... It wasn't holding it's weapon anymore. Was it trying to greet him? Communicate? Gremlak wasn't sure... He sniffed the creatures hand, that was now a heads length away from him.
       "Shh..." It kept saying softly. It's hand gently touched his snout.
       Gremlak flinched, but as its hand continued to stroke his nose, he relaxed. Somehow, he thought, this creature meant him no harm. He let the creatures hand continue to pet him... its hand moved slowly down his side and to his flank. His muscles tensed as it touched his wound... he yelped slightly as the creature pulled something out of his rump.
       The two legged creature continued to pet him as it used its other hnd to show Gremlak what it had pulled out of his rump... a tooth? Gremlaks mistress had lost a tooth when she had nipped him, and the creature had pulled it out!
       Gremlak began to purr and rubbed his head against the creature. "Friend?" He asked in a growly voice, "Ally friend from off? Not harm Gremlak?"
       The creature hesitated, as if trying to figure out what he was saying, but then nodded as it understood. It patted his nose again.
       "Delta eighty six. You still there?"
       Gremlak raised his head at the sudden sound, but his new friend set its hand on his head reassuringly. The creature then walked towards the cliff edge and gave whatever was below it a thumbsup. But when the creature turned back, Gremlak was gone...



       Lituka had seen the entire scene... Gremlak had befriended the invaders! HE had led them here! Traitor! TRAITOR! As soon as possible, she would kill him... oh yes... she would kill all of them...



       Delta 38 watched the two strange reptiod aliens guard a cliffside. The cliffside that gave a plain view to their ship's crashsite. He needed to get there, but by the looks of the creatures' armor and weapons, THEY were the ones who ambushed them in the first place... As it turns out, there was life on the planet after all. Unfriendly life...
       Delta 38 whispered into his comm, "Hawk, can you snipe those guards?"
       As if in a response, the two guards fell down dead. 38 looked up to see Hawk look up from aimimng her sniper rifle.
       "Wow. That was fast."
       38 peered down and saw Scorch silently emerge from behind a rock from the lower balcony. But he didn't see Delta oh seven... "Scorch?" he asked, "Where's Sev?"
       "Sev went down to an even lower balcony to scan the ground areas, just in case there could be an ambush."
       "Right then." 38 walked towards the edge and looked for the ship. The smoke was really close now, and the ship seemed to be just past another cliff... 38 looked up at 86. "Hawk? I'm going to climb onto that ledge over there. Are you able to get there as well?"
       The silent delta nodded.
       "Alright. I'll meet you there." 38 looked down at scorch, "Scorch? I don't see any way you can get up there... Try and see if you can get around it."
       "Aye aye, sir." Scorch disappeared into the rocks once more.
       38 looked back up to the cliff 86 was on, but Hawk had already begun to make his way towards the cliff. Delta leader hurried as well. As he got to the cliff base, he strapped his gun to his back and began to climb. He chose his footing carefully and kept his eyes on where he was going to climb.
       It seemed like hours before he finally grabbed onto the cliff edge and pulled himself up. He peered down into the land below...
       The ship was lying in ruins in a crater it had created when it had landed. Fire blazed from the cock pit and engines... and Fixer was lying meters away, clutching his leg.
       "Fixer! Are you alright?" 38 asked through the comm link.
       Fixer looked around and finally spotted 38 on the cliffs. "I'm alive... but my leg... what happened?"
       "You don't remember?" Scorch said as he made his way past a cluster of boulders, "You must have hit your head harder that we thought..."
       38 began sliding down to the ledge just below him, by himself. He didn't see Hawk anywhere, so 38 must have gotten there early. "Hold on there Fixer..." 38 said as his feet hit the rock, "We're coming, just stay there."
       38 began quickly making his way towards another ledge, but then scorch speedily pulled out his weapon and aimed for the cliff he was standing on. "Squad leader! Behind you!"
       38 spun on his heels just as a large black creature lunged at him. He dove out of the way just as the monster landed with a roar.
       Scorch began to shoot at the creature, but was then stopped as the creature smashed its tail against the wall and caused a rockslide to block his path.
       The creature then turned back to 38 who had just pulled out his weapon. The creature swung its tail again and smacked Delta 38's gun from his hands. The gun skidded on the ground and then fell off the cliff.
       38 was now weaponless!
       The creature laughed a deep, growly laugh. And then it spoke, "I am mistress Lutika! One of this land to protect! And you! YOU will destroy not my lands! NO! And perish with traitorous Gremlak YOU WILL! NOW DIE!!!" It roared once more and lunged at 38.
       38 rolled under Lutika, dodging her attack, but as he got up again, Lutika swung her tail and knocked him onto his back. Lutika then spun around and began to furiously jab her wing blades at the place where 38 was lying. Delta 38 rolled to the left and the blade missed... he rolled to the right, missed again...
       Lutika growled in fury and struck both blades down at the same time.
       38 tried to quickly scramble from beneath the monster, but the blade sliced into stomache in the process. He cried out in pain.
       Lutika grinned in pleasure and opened her jaws wide to finish him off by snapping at his throat... 38 grabbed Lutikas mouth and slammed it shut, then wrapped his legs around her neck. Lutika raised her head in shock, taking the delta with her, and roared. She shook furiously and bammed her head against the cliff walls in attempts to throw Delta 38 off... but he held on tightly.
       Scorch grunted as he tried to pull himself free from the rocks. Sev climbed up onto the ledge from the ground and began to try and pull Scorch free. Scorch pushed his hands away. "No!" he barked, "Help 38! He needs more help than I do!"
       Sev hesitated, but then he nodded and tried to get into position to get a good shot at Lutika. Unfortuneately, his weapon was short ranged, and 38 was to far up. Sev growled in frustration. "I can't get a clear shot!"
       38 grunted as he struggled to sta on the monsters head. "Well Sev, if you can't get a good shot, go and retriev Fiser while I have the monster distracted and THEN help Scorch out!" Lutika wacked her head into the wall again and 38 almost lost his grip.
       Sev quickly did as he was told. He slid down the rocky slope, and landed with a thud. He then made his way to another ledge and hopped down to the lower balcony.
       As Sev made his way down the cliffs, 38 was beginning to tire. Lutika felt the clones grip losen as she shook her head again, and took this to her advantage. She threw her head high into the air, and 38 flew off.
       38 quickly flipped himself in the air and brought his feet down on Lutikas head when he landed. Lutika grunted in anger and rose onto her hind legs. As 38 attempted to scramble away to safety, Lutika smacked him into a wall and pinned him down with her back claws. She roared and was about to sink her fangs into his neck...
       ... there was a spray of blood as a sniper round from Hawks gun tore right through Lutikas left mandible. Lutika screeched in pain and threw her head high as her mandible was ripped from her lower jaw. As she rose onto her hind legs, she released her hold on Delta 38, who quickly ran into the safety of the boulders.
       Roaring in fury for losing her prey, she jerked her head upwards to the cliff that Hawk was perched on. "YOU LITTLE DEMON!" She screeched, blood spraying from her mouth. She spread her wings to a great extension and launched herself upwards into the sky.
       Delta 86, realizing that the monster was charging strait towards him, quickly grabbed his rifle and shot her again. The bullet pierced through Lutikas side, but Lutika was determined and did not waver even as blood and flesh sprayed into the air. Lutika flew past the cliff, into the air, and dove towards the lone Delta.
       38 pulled out a grenade from his pouch and threw it at he advancing monster. "Hawk! Stand clear!" Delta leader yelled as the grenade flew through the air and plopped into Lutikas claws. Hawk dove into cover behind a boulder right as the grenade exploded. Lutika let out an ear piercing screech as her wings shattered in a confetti of blood, bone and flesh that littered and painted the cliffs with red. Lutika plummeted towards the cliffside, her wings now useless and bloodied, she crashed into the rocks as she landed with a loud boom. Rocks and boulders began to tumble down the cliffside from the impact.
       Down below, Sev had finally gotten don to Fixer and helped him up. He slung Fixers arm over his shoulder and both of them heard the explosion. They looked up just in time to see the avalanche of rocks and boulders tumbling towards them. "Let's go!" Sev yelled as they both quickly ran towards the safety of the rocks where Scorch was hiding as well.
       As Lutika began regain her senses, 38 had quickly climbed the rocks and quickly made his way towards Hawk. "Delta eighty six? You alright?"
       Hawk nodded and then jerked his finger towards Lutika who was shaking her head and was beginning to shakily stand up on what was left of her legs. "I... I will KILL YOU!"
       38 quickly began to push Hawk towards the cliff edge. "Quickly! Go towards the rocks!"
       Hawk began to slide down the cliffs to the nearest balcony.
       38 was just about to slide down after him, but the force of Lutikas bloodied wing smacked him away from the cliff edge. He hit the wall so hard, the the wind was smacked out of his lungs and he began to cough.
       Scorch helped Sev set Fixer down beside a boulder before he looked up at the cliffs again. "Squad leader!" He yelled as he saw Lutika advancing towards their stunned Delta leader.
       38 shook his head to clear away the stars and quickly looked up to see Lutika pawing the stone ground, getting ready to charge. Lutika roared as loud as she could, causing the land to quake, and then she burst into a frenzied sprint towards the stunned clone. Delta 38 sprang up onto his feet and charged towards Lutika as well, despite his aching muscles and ribs. Just as the beast tried to nip him, 38 skidded beneath Lutikas underbelly and kicked her legs out from beneath her. Lutika yelped as she collapsed and 38 leaped onto her back and grabbed her upper jaw. Lutika growled and began to buck, causing more rocks and boulders to crumble from the cliff ledge. 38 grunted as Lutikas fangs dug into his fingers. Her pulled harder onto Lutikas upper jaw, and he heard a snap as he cracked her bone. Lutika screeched and reared onto her hind legs. Cracks formed beneath her feet and Lutika lost her balance. She roared as she begin to fall off the edge of the cliff.
       Delta 38 felt the creature begin to fall, and he quickly leapt off of Lutikas back. He landed on the ground and started to run... but Lutika's tail lashed out and wrapped around the deltas leg. 38 was tripped and was pulled over the edge of the cliff.
       Hawk finally landed on the ground and made his way towards the rest of the team when he heard Lutikas blood curling roar. Delta 86 skidded to a stop and looked up to see both the monster and the squad leader tumbling down the cliffs.
       38 grunted each time he hit a ledge with an incredible force. As he rolled and tumbled, he tried to avoid rocks that fell with them. Finally, they both landed with a tremendous thud on the solid ground. 38 could feel his ribs crack as he hit and his face winced in pain. Lutika hit the ground just as hard and growled in pain as well.
       The rocks fell after them and both 38 and Lutika painfully scrambled to get out of the way of the falling stones. Lutika noticed that her prey was nearly out of the rock slides reach, and she scowled. She leapt towards the rock wall and smashed her weight into the wall, causing more loose rocks to fall from the cliffs.
       Before Delta 38 could react, rocks pelted his armor, and he raised his arms in defence.
       Once the rocks stopped falling Lutika swished her tail and smacked Delta 38, full force into the cliff wall.
       38, being unprepared for the sudden attack, flew into the cliff wall, creating cracks from the incredible force. He fell from the wall and landed on the ground with a thud.
       Lutika hit the wall again and more stones fell.
       Delta 38 tried to get back up, but more stones fell onto him; A large rock fell and hit the back of his helmet. 38 grunted and collapsed into a limp heap on the ground.
       Everyone gasped. "Boss!" Fixer yelled. He tried to get up but fell back again as pain surged through his leg.
       Lutika smiled evilly with what mouth she had left, and growled, blood and drool dripping from her jaws, as she hunkered towards the unconcious clone.
       "Deltas! We've got to do something!" Scorch and Sev quickly grabbed their assault rifles and ran towards the large black beast, shooting furiously.
       Lutika growled angrily and swished her tail, knocking the Deltas off their feet. She then dropped her tail onto them, pinning them down to the ground.
       They tried to squirm out from beneath her, but with little to no success.
       Lutikas demonic red eyes flashed with pure hatred and anger towards them before she continued to make her way towards 38.
       Fixer tapped on Hawks leg. "Delta! Whatever you do, don't let that thing get to Delta Leader!"
       Hawk nodded and dashed towards the monster and Delta 38, unequipping his gun as he sprinted.
       Lutika stopped right beside 38s still form and raised her head to deal the death blow, but was stopped as Hawk rolled underneath her belly and shot her in the gut. Lutika roared in pain and raised her tail, releasing Sev and Scorch from her grasp.
       Sev grabbed Lutikas legs after Hawk was clear and Lutika tripped. Lutika growled in annoyance and snapped at Sev. Hawk jumped onto Lutikas head, snapping her jaws shut.
       While Sev and Hawk had Lutika distracted, Scorch quickly made his way towards Delta 38, who remained unmoving and face down on the ground. Delta 62 quickly knelt down at his squad mates side and shook his shoulder. "Suad leader! Wake up!" he shook him again, "Cummon! Wake up! Now's not the time for beatuy sleeping!" Scorch shook 38 again, but 38 didn't respond. He turned 38 over onto his back and scanned his comrade. He was alive, but knocked out cold, a slight chance of a concussion. Scorch looked to Sev, who was still struggling to hold onto Lutikas legs while she thrashed and roared. "Sev!" Scorch yelled, "He's unconscious! I can't get him to wake up!"
       Sev grunted as Lutika kicked Sev in the chest. "Then drag him to safety! We'll be there with you in a sec!" He bent Lutikas legs at an odd angle and Lutika screamed.
       Scorch hooked his hands underneath 38s arms, and grunted as he strained to lift him up. He had just begun to drag him away when Lutika threw Hawk off of her head and kicked Sev away. "Halt!" she growled, "He's MINE!" She roared a ferocious roar and charged towards Scorch.
       Hawk shook his head and quickly analyzed the situation... Lutika was charging at full speed towards Scorch and the squad leader... Sev was too far away... Fixer was in no position to attack... it was all up to him now...
       Hawk pulled out his sniper rifle and shot at Lutikas feet.
       Lutika tripped and face planted on the stony ground. She then got up and glared at Hawk, who stood his ground. When Lutika looked back, Scorch had already dragged Delta 38 to safety. Lutikas red eyes flashed and she roared in anger. "YOU!" She glared at Hawk, "You did this! YOU are the traitor talker and ambush planner! Gremlak played was he by you! I WILL KILL YOU!" She charged towards Delta 86.
       "Delta!" Sev yelled, "Watch out!"
       Hawk didn't need to be told twice. He dove out of the way just as Lutika chomped at the place where Hawk was standing. Hawk then pulled out his gun in a flash and began to shoot at Lutikas chest.
       Lutika howled in pain and spat blood onto Hawks visor.
       Hawk took a step back and tried to wipe the blood splatter off of his vision, but with little success. To make his vision clearer... Delta 86 took off "his" helmet.
       Lutikas eyes widened as she saw long blonde hair spill out of the clones helmet.
       Hawk looked at Lutika with cold blue eyes and put her sniper rifle onto her back. She pulled out her pistol.
       Lutika observed the strange being further... her skin was fair and her eyelids dark. She had a firm but beautiful face, but it remained expressionless and focused. Lutika also noticed a jagged scar across her face like a lightning bolt, which proved to Lutika that the being had been in previous battles and may be skilled in combat. Lutika tilted her head to the side slightly.  "You? You be a female amongst the lower males?" Lutika laughed at Hawk, "Why you participate in such idiosyncrasy?""Cummon now, join me and the kind of the fem... and we together will destr-"
       Lutika screamed as Sev blew a few rounds into into her flanks. Lutika then growled and tried to snap at Sev, but then Hawk shot a pistol round into her jaw.
       "So..." Lutika sneered, "You have chosen your fate... prepare to die!" She charged at Hawk.
       Delta 86 stood her ground and watched the beast charge towards her. Within milliseconds of Lutika crashing right into Hawk, the trooper jumped.
       
       Time seemed to slow down... Lutika snapping her jaws shut at nothing... Hawk in the air, beginning a front flip... Hawk was upsidedown and looking straight into Lutikas surprised eyes while aiming her pistol... Lutikas last thought: "I have been outmatched by a true predator of war..."... Then a loud bang.
       
       Lutikas brains and shards of her skull splattered across the stony ground as Hawk finished her frontflip and landed with a small thud onto her feet.
       Delta 86 quickly spun around, and saw Lutikas body thunder to the ground... Hawk noticed a perfect hole at the top of the monsters head, which meant, that she had successfully downed her target.
       Hawk looked around for her helmet, but failed to see it. She then turned around and looked at the Delta squad. She noticed that Sev had retrieved her helmet for her, so she walked over and briskly took it from him and put it on. She noticed that he had even cleaned most of the blood off of her visor for her. She walked past the group, not even acknowledging their stares.
       After a moment, Fixer finally cleared his throat. "Cummon Deltas, we need to get out of here... there could be more coming."
       Scorch helped Sev sling the unconscious delta 38 over his shoulders before hooking Fixers arm over his own and helping him onto his good leg. Then together, without a word, they followed Delta 86 into the dead wilderness, leaving behind the damage that was caused... failing to realize that that all was worse than it seemed...
"Through the Eyes of Hawk" - Chapter 1
A mysterious "wandering" planet is discovered and Delta squad is sent with a new member whom they dubbed "Hawk", to investigate. But they are attacked and their ship crashlands into hostile territory.
While attempting to rescue one of their wounded comrades, they are ambushed by a monsterous being and Delta leader is knocked out cold.
The new Delta, Hawk, manages to assist the team and quickly defeats the being. The team, injured but alive, then leave the crashsite and search for a safe place to hide.


Hawk (RC-1186) (c) Jake K.
"StarWars: Republic Commandos" (c) LucasArts

Parte 2 (coming soon!)
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夏の恋 - Natsu No Koi - Summer Love

(Eleven Pairings! JellalxErza, UltearxMeredy, GrayxJuvia, GajeelxLevy, NatsuxLisanna, AlzackxBisca, LokexLucy, ElfmanxEvergreen, LaxusxMira, HappyxCharle, RomeoxWendy...I think that's all.)


"Beach!" Levy cheered, yanking Gajeel along.

"Bonfires!" Natsu laughed manically, breathing out an arc of fire.

Makarov's eyes lit up pervertedly. "Bikinis!"

"Fish!" Happy shouted with a leap into the air.

"Swimming!" Gray yelled, trying to outrun Natsu.

"Gray-sama!" Juvia swooned.

Lucy slowly followed. "Suntanning and getting some time to read. Ahh! I love summer. Hurry up, Loke."

"Coming, Princess," the Lion said loyally, carrying all of her supplies, a massive bundle that almost rivaled Erza's luggage.

Elfman set up a ball net. "Volleyball on the beach. Now that is manly!"

"Hmph!" Evergreen scoffed, and she tapped the huge Take-Over mage under the chin. "I can prove volleyball is just as much a woman's sport."

Elfman glanced down at her bikini. "I bet a woman like you could."

"Hey!" She bonked him on the head. "Eyes up here!"

Laxus snorted gruffly. "Kids stuff. Why am I here?"

Mirajane walked by him in a tiny bikini and thong. "Because this guild needs a break, and that includes you. Besides," she grinned. "This trip can end up being fun, right?"

Laxus could hardly help but watch her ass as she strutted by. "Yep, we could make it lots of fun."

Erza watched them with a gentle smile. Then she glanced over to the blue-haired man beside her still dressed in a long coat and boots instead of swim trunks like the others. "Thank you, Jellal."

"It's the least I could do to pay back Fairy Tail. You allowed me to be amongst you as Mystogan and let me roam the Grand Magic Games with a bit of freedom. That was immensely helpful."

"It wasn't much trouble. Where in the world did you get this private island, anyway?"

"One of the people Crime Sorcière helped out was rather wealthy. His payment for our help was to gift us this island."

Makarov began to cry. "Waaaah, I want our own island!"

Macao tried to calm him. "We have Tenrou Island, master."

"It's not the same," he insisted. "It's our holy ground and is filled with monsters. I want a vacation island." He began to cry buckets of tears.

"Besides," Jellal admitted to Erza, "Ultear and Meredy have been begging me to take them here. It's their anniversary."

"Anniversary?" she gasped. "Those two...they...they're..."

"Wife and wife," he nodded.

Off to the side, Ultear and Meredy were leaning in to one another and holding hands. Ultear wrapped a protective arm around the little lady.

"Ultear," Meredy sighed happily. "I always wanted to come back to a southern island. It was back then, remember?"

"Yes, on Tenrou," Ultear recalled. "You saved me. I could never repay you."

Meredy caressed the dark-haired woman's face. "You have repaid me, Ultear...with seven years of happiness."

Erza saw them begin to lean in closer for a kiss and quickly looked away. Her cheeks went flushed and her heart began to race.

"I...I see," the Titania said in a fluster. "It's nice that they're happy."

"Gray-sama!" Juvia yelled in a panic. "Where did Gray-sama go? Gray-sama!"

"Eh?" Gajeel grunted from where he and Levy were playing. "That stripper vanished?"

"Gray-sama was here, then gone. Juvia was watching him the whole time. He went under the waves and never came up. Gray-samaaaaaa!"

Lisanna looked over from where she and Natsu were playing with a beach ball. "Juvia, your body is water. Can't you spread out and find him?"

Natsu suddenly served the beach ball back to the white-haired girl with a mighty smack. It hit Lisanna on the side of the head and almost knocked her out.

"Lisanna!" he shouted in worry. Natsu ran forward through the waves and held her as stars spun in front of her blue eyes.

Happy popped his head up from out of the water. "Charle! Charle! I caught a fish," he shouted proudly, holding up the wiggling sea trout.

The white cat turned her nose up at him. "It's still alive. And you're drenched. You smell like wet cat."

"Awwww, are you sniffing me?" Happy asked, blushing with embarrassment.

Charle stiffened in horror. "No! I wasn't...I...eww, gross, no!"

Happy giggled and said to Pantherlily, "She's so cute when she's shy."

The huge Exceed cocked an eyebrow. "Is that so?" he said gruffly.

Up on the shore, Bisca and Alzack had a lacrima camera taking pictures of Asuka building sand castles.

"Look, mommy!" she shouted proudly at the lopsided lump.

Bisca took a picture and then leaned into Alzack. She sighed in contentment. "Al-Al, she's growing up so fast. I miss having her as just a little baby."

"Bis-Bis," he crooned, then leaned close into her ear. "Maybe we could try for another one tonight."

She playfully slapped his arm, then blushed and leaned into his comforting embrace while planning out the seduction to come.

On her beach towel, Lucy laid on her stomach to let the sun beam upon her back. Loke knelt by her side and handed her a sweat iced drink.

"If you don't want a tan line, you should loosen the bikini," he suggested.

Lucy was sleepy from the heat and hummed, hardly aware of who was there. "Untie it for me."

"With pleasure," the Lion purred. Loke tugged on the bow she had made and draped the straps to the side. "Shall I apply a little more sunscreen lotion."

"Mmm...yeah...sure," Lucy mumbled drowsily.

Loke squirted a little bit of the lotion onto his hands and began giving Lucy a massage using the sunscreen. She moaned in pleasure and kept her eyes blissfully closed.

Erza watched all of them like a mother hen keeping an eye on her chicks. Natsu carried Lisanna to an umbrella so she could recover in the shade. Happy was cooking the fish he caught, and the smell had enticed Charle to at least come over to investigate. Gray suddenly emerged from the water with Juvia clinging to him in worry. Elfman and Evergreen with in the midst of a heated volleyball battle ("battle" was the best way to describe their vicious serves and volleys). Lucy appeared to be asleep and utterly unaware that Loke was practically molesting her. Bisca and Alzack looked so in love. To the side, Meredy and Ultear...well, Erza was trying not to watch what those two were doing to each other.

"Erza..." Jellal began with a hesitant tone.

Before he could say more, Romeo and Wendy ran by chasing each other with water guns. Wendy suddenly waved some air to block Romeo's jets of water.

"Hey, no fair!" the boy shouted.

"Magic is perfectly fair," the sky dragon slayer retorted, sticking her tongue out and tugging her eye lid.

"In that case..." The next stream of water Wendy shot out hit Romeo's fire and evaporated.

"Ah!" the girl cried out in surprise. "No fair!"

"Hey now, what did you say about magic being fair," Romeo grinned. The two ran off further, leaving behind a small mess made by water, air, and fire.

Jellal sighed. Ah, such youthful innocence. He and Erza could have been like that if they had not been slaves, beaten and worked to exhaustion, then cruelly separated. He wanted to protect this guild, these happy faces, all of this love that overflowed within Fairy Tail.

"Can we talk alone?"

Jellal's question startled Erza, but she nodded. They drifted away from the others and back to a bungalow amidst palm trees. Once alone inside the house, Jellal finally took Erza's face and gave her a tender kiss.

"I was happy to fight for Fairy Tail," he began. "I was happy...being around you. I can't ask your guild to shield me from the magic counsel, nor can I ask you to give up all your friends to follow me, like I made you leave Sho, Millianna, and the others. Still...if it's at all possible..."

Erza placed a finger over his lips to silence him. "We'll make it possible," she swore.

Then she replaced her finger with her lips, kissing him with burning passion, more fiery than her hair. Jellal wrapped him arms around her and pulled her in close to himself. He was glad she was out of her armor. Her body felt so soft, so gentle...just like her personality.

Outside, Fairy Tail laughed, played, and a few of the couples sneaked in a sly kiss or two. Slowly, as the afternoon wore on, they came ashore and gathered around a massive campfire that Natsu built.

Lucy pulled forth a silver key. "Open the Gate of the Lyre! Lyra!"

The perky celestial spirit squealed when she popped into the Human World. "A beach party? I know just the thing!" She strummed her lyre as if it was a ukulele and began singing.

Lucy glanced around and realized two people were missing. "Hmm...where's Erza and Jellal?"

Meredy giggled as she sat between Ultear's legs and snuggled into the woman's huge breasts. "I saw them sneak off to the bungalow earlier. Maybe we should leave them alone, you know." She gave a knowing wink.

Sadly, Lucy didn't catch her meaning. "Then Natsu will eat all the meat." Lucy took Loke's hand, and he helped her up. Mindful of her slight sunburn, Lucy moved slowly to the house and knocked just before opening it. "Erza? You in here?"

She heard a crash, then stomping and sharp whispers. Suddenly Erza raced out of the bedroom wearing Jellal's coat with the front yanked closed.

"We'll be a minute. Jellal was...changing...into his swimming trunks...yeah," she said breathlessly.

Lucy blushed as she realized what she had interrupted. "Oh, take your time," she laughed tensely, already backing out. "I'll tell the others you're...um...sleeping...and they should leave you alone. Um...bye!" Then Lucy raced out and back to the bonfire with a bright pink face.

Lyra's song and Natsu's fire lit up the beach as the sun sank and the summer heat began to cool. Couples sneaked away for a bit of romance in the dark. Ultear and Meredy had vanished. Bisca and Alzack carried sleepy Asuka away to tuck her into bed. Romeo shyly took Wendy's hand, making both of them blush. Happy had fallen asleep on Charle's lap, but the white cat didn't seem to mind this time.

Makarov sipped a fruit drink and watched as even his grandson Laxus took the opportunity to slip away with Mira, both of them giving each other sultry looks and lascivious smiles. "Ah, to be young!" he sighed. "This guild will definitely keep growing."

The End

:iconlove-fairy-tail: contest

Pairings: JellalxErza, LokexLucy, NatsuxLisanna, GrayxJuvia, AlzackxBisca, UltearxMeredy, GajeelxLevy, ElfmanxEvergreen, LaxusxMira, HappyxCharle, RomeoxWendy.....I think thatís all. 11 total.
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It is a curse I must abide,
Millions of voices screaming inside.
Voices once owned by a father or a son;
Now they all are mine.
I literally thought this up just this morning. I thought it was great, so I put it up. Yeah, it's small, but it makes an impact.

The Gravemind (c) Bungie Studios & Microsoft
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