Categories > Games > Halo > Fate Twister Redux

Act I Chapter II: The Ashes of the Wake

by sgtlegendkiller 0 reviews

Posted 1/30/2016

Category: Halo - Rating: R - Genres: Sci-fi - Published: 2016-07-31 - Updated: 2017-01-11 - 2602 words

Fate Twister (Redux Edition)

Act I

Chapter II
“The Ashes in the Wake”

It had grown quite dark for me. After I had fallen unconscious I found myself in a strange state of limbo; it was a niche in between the great mortal divide, where one is not necessarily dead but you know you're not quite alive. Unfortunately, there seemed to be no light to look up to from the darkness. Time had no meaning here as there only seemed to be the blanket of the void around me. My body failed to respond to any sort of motion I attempted as if I had been paralyzed from the neck down. The only thing that I really could hear was the sound of my constricted breath. The fact that I could not keep track of time was probably the most frightening part of the experience. It caused everything to fade together as I was wallowed in the darkness.

Eventually, after the ‘brisk’ eternity of nothingness dissipated, visions and feelings of every memory of pain and discomfort that I had ever experienced began to project before me at, what seemed like, a thousand miles per hour. These painful mementos started to surface from the earliest corners of my childhood. Everything from throwing up from the flu to the feeling every time that my mother’s hand graced my ass in discipline. Once these had played out, then came my teen years. Past all of the scrapes and breaks and fractures from playing football, and onto the vivid pains of my adulthood. Two that stuck out in the montage of hell were the times in which I had taken a round from an AK-47, right through the meat of my left thigh and when I had received a concussion from falling two stories off the drop rope of a UH 60 Blackhawk in the Marines. Luckily, once these had run their course through the filter that was my memory, the pleasantries of more desirable times began to play before me. They seemed to be mainly of those who had been close to me in my life.

I always had the fondest memories with my father. He had always been quite stern on teaching the lessons of life to me. Yet, despite this, there was always a sense of deviance to him that would allow much fun to be had. To best describe him would be that he was one of those guys who would race the muscle cars from the 1970s around the streets, while blasting early Exodus and Metallica tapes. He was very supportive of most of the decisions I made in my life; from the basic interests I had as a child, even up into my enlistment into the military. As much as I could not really tell him about my post military life, we still had kept close; if he wasn’t at my house working on a car, I was at his spending time with him and my mother.

One time in particular that stuck out to was our most recent project car, a 1969 Plymouth GTX that they had purchased from a farmer in a neighboring town. It was quite the extensive project, needing full restoration and a huge level of replacement parts from the decades of sitting in a corn field. The most ironic part of the project was towards the end when it had nearly reached completion. We had just replaced the engine with a totally rebuilt, 440 Six Pack, and had thrown it in perfectly only to find out the hard way that the fuel rails had not been fastened. This wonderfully stupid mistake resulted in a gasoline fire that almost took down the whole garage… I had never heard my father curse so much in his entire life.

Of course he never cursed around my mother; for she was a well-mannered and a firm stay at home woman who took literally no amount of shit from anyone, though she always meant well with an overly optimistic outlook on life. No matter how many times she had to scream our full name across the property or how many times she had to exert her authority, she would punish and send Mike and myself down the right direction on being well behaved and gentlemanly. It was what we needed. What I received from them was a good outlook on life and a strong work ethic. One of the greatest times I had with my mother was seeing how much she lost her head over seeing Morgan and myself off to senior prom. It is such a weird transition period in which a parent realizes that their child has now blossomed into an adult. I knew my mother felt this as I looked in the rearview to see her standing in the doorway of our home crying in the arms of my father as we left for the evening all dressed up in my father’s Chevelle.

Morgan was an amazing woman from Winnemucca that I had come to know through a football game in her junior year of high school. She was at the game rooting for the Winnemucca team; after they had won the game, she had approached me she to simply ask to borrow a dollar for a bag of popcorn. I of course offered to just buy the popcorn for her and we ended up talking for quite the extensive amount of time; little did I know this woman would become the love of my life. She had stuck with me faithfully through my tour in the Marines and through all of the time that Mike and I had spent away from home on our ‘security sale’ rounds around the world. It was quite saddening to me to now know that our trip home had been halted. I was planning to get engaged to her.

The instances that were running through my mind were not all pleasant. One that heavily sparked my attention was one scenario from his tour of duty with the USMC in 2010; it was of first serious firefight I had ever been through. It was here where I would learn that, in combat, no one has time to grieve the dead and dying. In the later parts of that year, Mike and I had been placed into a Company that was located in Afghanistan. One day there was to be quite a high value of altitude sensitive material to be transferred from our base to another. With a convoy made up of six Humvees, a pair of M1120 HEMMTs, and a single LAV-AT, we were heavily defended for our moderate trek. I had been set up with my M240L in the third Humvee of the three leading the train. Behind us was the LAV followed by another Humvee. After the fourth Humvee was the two HEMMTs with the remaining two Humvees bringing up the rear.

Though the temperature was blazing compared to what most Americans were used too, I don’t remember it being as hot as it would normally be. To be fair, it was always hot in Afghanistan and that was even with shade and a fresh supply of water. For what it was worth, the scenery made up for the somewhat hellish climate that seemed to stay as a constant. Even from the thick window of the back seat of a Humvee, the mountain ranges gave quite a view; it sort of reminded me of home.

“So… This isn’t all that hot for you, is it?” The Marine in the seat next to me asked.

He was a fellow leatherneck hailing from Idaho named Nikolai Garstrov. He was quite the interesting character to say the least; due to the fact of his near stereotypical Russian name without portraying even the slightest accent led me to dub him with the fond nickname of the “Pseudo-Ruskie.” Nikolai had always been easy to get along with as he was a good fit for the usual bullshit that Mike would throw my way.

“It is, kinda…”

“Really?” He gawked as if he was surprised with me. “I haven’t heard you complain about it yet.”

“I don’t like to complain.” I responded with a slight shrug before looking back out the window.

“Well, I know that… It seems like you like what you are doing here, though.” He pointed out.

“I do.” I answered with yet another shrug.

“Are you going to be a Lifer?” Nikolai questioned.

Before I could answer, our driver, Chad, spoke up. “I bet you both one hundred bucks that he is!” He laughed towards the other passenger, James, and Nikolai.

“Nah man! Have you seen his lady back home? He ain’t staying in the corps away from that.”

I just smiled and shook my head from such antics; all of this made the time go by.

As we passed through a town on the route, our conversation would soon be cut short as the deafening sound of an explosion from behind shook our Humvee. The startling sound sent everyone into a panic as we tried to figure out what the hell had just happened. We would soon piece together that an improvised explosive device, that had been set in the middle of the street we were passing through, detonated just between the middle Humvee and the first HEMMT, causing crippling damage to each of the vehicles. In our attempts to collectively piece together the situation, we failed to notice a rocket sailing its way directly at our vehicle from the roof of a nearby building.

The rocket slammed into the hood of our Humvee, causing a deafening force of concussion to tear throughout the cabin as the front of the truck was split open like an anchovy can. Even though my ears took a beating and my consciousness was quite shunted from reality, it was obvious that Chad and James had been killed from the explosive’s force on the front of the truck. The next moments were blurred heavily and I was rendered solidly numb until Nicolai desperately was shaking my shoulder in attempts to bring me back to clarity.

“Don!” He screamed, terrified. “Get the fuck up, man! C’mon! Don’t die on me!”

To give him some sort of answer, I gave him a quick wave as I sluggishly began to check myself for any damage. Happily, there was none, I was fine.

“We need to get the fuck out of the truck! The convoy stopped!”

I could barely hear him to begin with, but I could just faintly make out the sounds of a firefight building quickly. He was right though; we could not stay here. I popped open the door and got out as fast as I could in my still heavily dazed state. Once my boots hit the sand I found that it was somewhat difficult to stand for a moment. To counter this, I had to rest my weight briefly against the rear wheel well of the Humvee as I secured my M240L. There was hardly time to even gain my thoughts as it would seem, for I looked up just in time to see a trio of insurgence members turn down the alleyway that was right next to our, now, destroyed truck. With hardly a questioning second, I raised the weight of my light machine gun with the trigger held. Despite my weapon making quick work of the insurgents, seeing them die was devastating to me. These were my first kills.

Dissociation is key; they tried to kill you and so you acted. It is only natural.

As their bodies fell in shambles, I felt my nerves numb and my veins race as the need to act was quickly becoming apparent. My hearing was met with the sounds of nearly endless weapons fire with the occasional shouting. Nikolai soon came to my side of the Humvee as several rounds from enemy fire pinged off of the rear of the truck. Both of our heads ducked down behind our cover as we looked back in time to see the LAV roll forward as its rotary 20mm began to spray at whatever contact it had towards the enemy. Back with the convoy, one of the transports had been hit with a rocket in the front grill and had come to a stop at an angle that nearly blocked the entire street the convoy was going through. The other Humvees had moved around to form a sort of brace line before the transports. Sgt. Stacker, the head guy of the convoy, could be heard over the radio for Don and Nikolai to fall back to them.

With the cover of the light armor and the suppressing fire of the convoy’s blockade, we ducked our heads down and frantically ran toward the others. Miraculously, Nikolai and I somehow avoided the enemy fire that would occasionally strike the sand besides us. To our relief, we eventually found ourselves sliding into the safety of the Humvees of the blockade. With the mass of steel and armor, it would take a lot of luck on the insurgency’s part to get a direct hit on anyone still alive in the convoy. We hardly got a second’s rest before the Sergeant began to bark out orders to us. It was to be expected; if we were to both ward off the insurgence and survive the attack, we would need to act accordingly.

“Caster! Get that ‘Pig’ up on something and fucking help suppress those bastards!” The Sergeant yelled as he pulled himself down into cover from firing his M4A1 over the sloped rear of one of the Humvees.

I yelled back quickly to confirm his order before I moved with haste to the other side of the Humvee that I was currently behind. I swiftly extended the bipod of my M240L before setting it up on the hood. My lungs hurt; my breathing was desperate and panicky. I had never seen combat like this in my life, it was all so new to me. Despite this, I did what I had been trained to do as I did my best to get any hits, or suppress the enemy. It didn’t help that there seemed to be a never ending supply of them. I knew that our cargo was fairly important, but the insurgents seemed to want it a bit too much. Nevertheless, the blockade was not going anywhere.

Several minutes passed in a frantic blur. Of course this seemed like an eternity to me. Nikolai provided me ammo belts in between reloads so that the weapons could remain free and of use. The .50 M2 machine guns on the Humvees were essential to our effort as we waited for both reinforcements or for the end of the fight to come. As much help as the LAV had provided earlier on, it ended up not aiding us for very long as it was destroyed after a few long moments by several rockets from the insurgents. To great fortune, we were very soon after joined by a pair of M1127 Stryker Recon Vehicles and a single M1128 Mobile 105mm gun that were on a nearby patrol and had responded to our convoy’s call to arms. It was a surprising amount of mobile armor to just roll into our fight, but as we saw the trio of Strykers slam through a stone wall off to the right side of the roadway just in front of us, our spirits were greatly lifted.
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